|The Jacobin Club|
31 March 1791
- Trenet: Four hundred armed noblemen, Honoré! If it weren't for General Lafayette-
- Mirabeau: Enough, enough! The room is fogged with your bluster! All hot air and no action. Yet here's a man with good news, I think. Arno, what did you learn from the silversmith?
- Bellec: Poison. They're catching up.
- Arno: Germain made that pin, and others like it, for a man named Lafrenière.
- Mirabeau: Are you sure?
- Arno: Certain.
- Mirabeau: Grand Master de la Serre spoke highly of his loyalty. Hm, very well. I suppose the course is clear, Arno. Find (Mister) Lafrenière-
- Arno: I have done so already, (Mister). He is no threat.
- Bellec: What are you saying, pisspot?
- Arno: I had a lead on Lafrenière. I followed it, and I killed him.
- Quemar: Unthinkable!
- Bellec: What the hell were you thinking?
- Trenet: I've never heard of such phenomenal hubris!
- Beylier: How dare you defy the Creed?!
- Trenet: The arrogance of it is just astounding!
- Quemar: Bloody-handed murder!
- Beylier: What gives you the right?
- Bellec: The next time you circumvent the Council, I'll rip you a new arsehole!
Mirabeau interrupted and silenced the Council.
- Mirabeau: While this Council admires your zeal, it is not your place to choose your own targets. You should have reported your findings to us.
- Arno: Forgive me, Mentor. I believed I had found the man who ordered (Mister) de la Serre's murder. When I discovered further evidence that suggested he was about to strike at the Brotherhood in force, I took action.
- Quemar: Believed? Suggested?
- Arno: I am... no longer certain of Lafrenière's motivations. In his memories, I saw him writing the letter that would have warned (Mister) de la Serre of his betrayal. When he spoke of his impending attack, he mentioned a club in the Marais - not one of our safehouses.
- Mirabeau: What do you make of this?
- Arno: I cannot say. I would like to investigate further.
- Beylier: I don't like this. The boy is a gifted Assassin, but I fear he is obsessed with a private vendetta. Let another follow this lead.
- Arno: We don't have time! Whatever Lafrenière was planning, it happens tonight!
- Mirabeau: He did ask permission this time, Guillaume.
Beylier groaned skeptically.
- Mirabeau: Go then. See what you can learn. But no more rash action, hmm?
- Arno: Yes, Mentor.
Arno reached the Hôtel de Beauvais.
- Arno: This is the place. What was Lafrenière so interested in?
Arno saw a prisoner being escorted into the club.
- Rouille: Get him upstairs. Quickly.
He then noticed Aloys la Touche entering the club.
- Arno: La Touche, old friend. You do get about, don't you?
- Guard 1: Why in God's name are we patrolling the catacombs? Have corpses suddenly become worth more than gold?
- Guard 2: It's the renovations. Until they've finished, the tunnels open right up into the basement. We can't very well have thieves coming up through the floor and robbing the place blind, can we?
Arno tailed la Touche in the club.
- Guard 3: What's going on in the back room?
- Guard 4: Dunno. And if you're smart, you'll let it lie.
- Guard 3: What's that supposed to mean?
- Guard 4: Just that some folk don't like other people prying into their affairs. Savvy?
- Guest 1: How late you think they'll go tonight?
- Guest 2: Lord knows. Get these politicians talking and they never shut up.
- Guest 1: I guess I'd better put some coffee on then.
- Robespierre: It was a crime worthy of death under Tiberius to praise Brutus. Caligula condemned to death those who were so sacriligious as to undress before the image of the emperor. Once tyranny invented the crime of injured majesty - which were actions either indifferent or heroic - who could have dared to think that it merited a punishment more gentle than death without rendering himself guilty of the same crime? When fanaticism, borne of the monstrous union between ignorance and despotism, invented in its turn the crime of sacrilege, when it conceived in its delirium the project of avenging God himself, was it not necessary that it offer him blood, and bring him down to their level of the monsters who said they were his image? The death penalty is necessary, say the partisans of ancient and barbarous routine. Without it, there is no brake strong enough for crime. Who told you this? Have you calculated all the gears by which penal laws can act on human sensibility? Alas, before death, how much physical and moral pain can man endure? The desire to live cedes before pride, the most imperious of all the passions that master the heart of man. The most terrible of all punishments for social man is opprobrium, is the overwhelming sight of public execration. When the legislator can strike the citizen in so many sensitive places and in so many ways, why would he reduce himself to employing the death penalty? Punishments are not imposed to torment the guilty, but in order to prevent crime by the fear of incurring. It has been observed that in free countries, crime was more rare and penal laws more gentle. All ideas hold together. Free countries are those where the rights of man are respected and where, consequently, the laws are just. Where they offend humanity by an excess of rigor, this is proof that the dignity of man is not known there, that that of the citizen doesn't exist. It is proof that the legislator is nothing but a master who commands slaves and who pitilessly punishes them according to his whim. I thus conclude that the death penalty should be abrogated. (Thank you. Thank you. Many thanks.)
- Guest 3: Lovely speech.
- Guest 4: Quite. The man's a visionary.
- Guest 5: Abolish the death penalty? Next he'll be saying we should do away with branding!
- Guest 6: Perhaps we should start sending criminals off to the tropics, like the British.
- Guest 5: Hah!
- Guest 6: That will turn some heads at the Assembly.
- Guest 5: If Mirabeau will actually yield the floor.
- Guest 6: True enough.
- Lévesque: How much longer must we wait? I do have other business to attend to.
- La Touche: Just a little longer. The Grand Master wants the politicos thinned out before we begin.
- Le Peletier: I trust we'll finally learn the meaning behind our recent... activities?
- La Touche: All will be made clear.
- Lévesque: I don't like it. The plan is still too vulnerable - and let's not forget Lafrenière is still out there somewhere, waiting to burn us all at the stake.
- La Touche: So, you haven't heard yet, then?
- Lévesque: Heard what?
- La Touche: Lafrenière is dead. Hours ago, in fact. Assassins.
- Le Peletier: That seems... convenient.
- La Touche: Ah. That's the thing about Assassins. Point them at a Templar conspiracy and they ask no questions. They go right for the killing. Predictable that way.
The Templars laughed.
- La Touche: Come, we'll fetch the Captain and get started.
Arno tailed la Touche to the interrogation of the prisoner.
- Rouille: Come on, speak up!
I need an answer, friend.
It's a simple question. Just tell me what I want to know.
Tick tock, mate.
No need to make this any harder, eh?
- La Touche: Have you finished?
- Rouille: Near enough. Now, here's the thing. I can go on like this all day. But you... You've got an hour left in you. Two at the most. Half if I bring out the sharp bits. So why not skip the endgame and go directly to mate? Tell me where it is and all this can be over.
- Prisoner: Luxembourg....
- Rouille: What was that?
- Prisoner: Palais du Luxembourg.
- Rouille: You are a smart man.
- La Touche: Rouille? Clean up your mess. It's time.
- Rouille: Be right there. You heard the weasel, boys.
Signalling his men, Rouille had the dying prisoner thrown out of the window. Arno tailed la Touche and Rouille to the meeting.
- La Touche: Did you really throw him out the window?
- Rouille: Trash belongs in the gutter.
- La Touche: Sloppy. Someone might have seen.
- Rouille: Who? My boys are watching the whole place. They'll deal with any good Samaritans.
- La Touche: They'd better. The Grand Master won't be happy if the whole plan comes unraveled because of one dead peon.
The meeting began.
- Rouille: You were right. King Louis has been talking to all sorts he shouldn't have. Plotting against the Revolution out of one side of his mouth while he promises to support the Constitution out the other.
- Germain: Good. I trust you can get this information into the proper hands, Monsieur le Peletier?
- Le Peletier: Of course, Grand Master. With this evidence in hand, the King's conviction is certain.
- Rouille: Told you I could make him talk.
- Germain: You've done well, Captain. Marie?
- Lévesque: The price of grain is higher than ever, Grand Master. Our agents are in place to divert the shipments to our docks. They await only your command.
- Germain: Good... Starve them. Through famine and fury they will see their false masters for what they are... But do it gradually. Too quickly and we'll draw the wrong sort of attention, yes?
- Lévesque: What you're asking will take at least a year, Grand Master. If not two.
Hiding in a storage room, Arno listened in on the meeting.
- Germain: The Great Work requires patience, my friend. If Paris must suffer a while longer so the world might be remade, then so be it.
- Rouille: Why not just kill him and be done with it? One of my boys, a knife, a dark hallway... easy peasy.
- Germain: We want a condemned man, Captain, not a martyr. Have patience.
- Le Peletier: Respectfully, Grand Master, patience is all well and fine, but the longer we wait, the greater the chance of discovery.
- La Touche: The Assassins already found Sivert and le Roi des Thunes.
- Germain: Sivert and le Roi already served their purpose. Their destruction, while inconvenient, is no obstacle. And the Assassins have already proved useful when properly led.
- Rouille: What about the de la Serre brat? She could be dangerous if she manages to rally the old guard.
- Germain: That situation will be resolved.
- Lévesque: How so?
- Germain: Mademoiselle de la Serre will soon be on her way to l'Hôtel Voysin, eager to speak with Monsieur Lafrenière. Sadly, Monsieur Lafrenière has nothing left to say.
- Arno: Élise...
Arno began to make his escape from the club.
- Rouille: Clever, Grand Master. But you've had your brush with the Assassins as well. Respectfully, you won't always be so lucky.
- Germain: Quite right. I shall leave the execution of our work to you good ladies and gentlemen. For my part I will retire to the Sanctuary and await the final phase. Will that satisfy you, Captain?
- Rouille: I'll see the watch tripled.
- Germain: Very well. May the Father of Understanding guide you.
- All: May the Father of Understanding guide us.
- Guard 5: Come on. We'll lock up down here and go for a pint.
The guards noted Arno's presence.
- Guards: Stop him! He's a royalist spy!
There's a spy on the loose!
Find the spy!
Don't let the spy escape!
The spy's still here!
Watch the exits! The spy will be making a run for it!
Seems we have a spy, boys!
No spy's escaping on my watch!
Arno escaped the club.
Although initially scolded for his assassination of Lafrenière, Arno was allowed to continue his investigation. By eavesdropping on a Templar meeting, he learned of a planned ambush on Élise.