/ 
Total Blackout – PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 3 (part 2)

PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 3 (part 2)

The streets of Paris were heartbreaking to see. Pierre discovered a landscape of desolation with every step he took. Broken shop windows stretched endlessly, the uncollected garbage bins lay overturned, leaving trash strewn everywhere, and some had even been set on fire. He felt a pang of sadness at seeing the streets so dirty. Paris was not known for its cleanliness, but he had never imagined seeing it in such a state.

Rats had emerged in large numbers from their hiding places, seeking food, which was not hard to find at the moment. Beggars, unable to peacefully beg on the main streets of the capital, had to fight against the filthy rodents for a bit of food while avoiding the often violent individuals who roamed the city in small groups.

The rest of the inhabitants, nearly two million people, seemed divided on what to do. Some, evidently, were trying to flee the capital, taking with them whatever they held most precious in suitcases, shopping carts, backpacks, or even garbage bags. Entire families were going into exile, a surreal sight that Parisian monuments had not seen since World War II. Others, and they were certainly still numerous, did not seem ready to abandon their homes, which Pierre could perfectly understand. When a man abandoned his home, he could not be certain of finding it later. So many things could happen in his absence. It could be occupied by another family or suffer the same fate as all those businesses.

He thus encountered some groups composed of men united in their desire to defend their building, or even their street, against potential dangers. Because weapons were scarce, unlike in the USA, they were mainly equipped with sticks. Pierre supposed they likely had much more dangerous weapons on them, such as kitchen knives.

The events of the previous day had shocked many. Most Parisians had locked themselves at home; however, despite the panic the day before in front of the presidential palace, the protests had not ceased. He carefully avoided more than one procession on the way.

Damn, it's worse than I feared! David is right, we need to leave quickly, no matter the destination.<

/em>

As he walked, all Pierre could do was admire the consequences of the riots and reflect. As David Marinot had said, cities were meant to bring together people and therefore different professions so that everyone could find what they needed. However, security and food were disappearing. Consequently, the longer he stayed in place, the more he would come into contact with people as desperate as he was. It was no wonder that in movies, series, and zombie games, one should avoid cities unless there was no other choice. The only difference with this dreadful situation was that the inhabitants of Paris were not, at least for the moment, trying to eat each other alive.

One day, during lunch break, Pierre and David had a debate (largely dominated by the Geek) about what they would be willing to do to survive in the event of an apocalypse. David had gone further than him, mentioning cannibalism. Pierre, the honorable trader who turned into a shark when it came to business, really couldn't see himself roasting someone else's thigh, even if he were starving. David had then replied not to underestimate the determination of a person with an empty stomach. There had been precedents, whether after a shipwreck or a natural disaster, so this situation could quickly reappear in the event of a serious crisis. He had taken as an example an earthquake that occurred in Lisbon in the 18th century. The inhabitants were naturally very Catholic and very sensitive to morality. However, an almost total destruction of the city by the shock followed by a tsunami and finally a monstrous fire had been enough to turn these pious people into fanatical cannibals.

When he reached the level of the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, and the Élysée Palace, Pierre noticed that the streets were even more ravaged. Gendarmes, some mounted, prominently displayed their weapons, which he took as a desire to deter potential rioters from approaching beyond a certain limit of the palace. He was very saddened to see the capital so close to ruin. He had respect for these brave people: without them, all these beautiful buildings would have been nothing but smoking ruins.

Despite all his respect for law enforcement, Pierre took great care not to approach them and quickly crossed the Seine via the Concorde Bridge, on which many messages had been spray-painted.

The river was peaceful, without any boats in motion. The Seine flowed silently, and it was barely possible to hear the fauna as terrified as the Parisians by all this commotion. Normally, traffic should be intense on the wide river, especially to show foreign tourists the architectural wonders of the capital. They must feel very far from home now, Pierre thought. Most of them must come from non-European countries, especially Asia.

The next few days, he thought, seeing one of those open-roof barges stopped under the Alexandre III Bridge, won't be easy for these people. Especially if they don't speak French and live far from here.

He thought of all the Asians who would have to walk along the same route that Marco Polo had taken centuries ago. Of course, this was assuming that the situation was the same in other countries as it was in Paris.

As soon as he reached the other side, he could see in more detail the devastation on one of Paris's most illustrious buildings: the Bourbon Palace. This old building with splendid architecture had clearly been recently attacked and was still smoking. It was terrible news for France as a whole because it meant that one of the main organs of the Republic had fallen. Indeed, this was where the National Assembly usually sat. He didn't know what had happened, but it must have been very violent for the facade to be so ravaged. He even spotted several traces of dried blood, which had taken on a very dark color on the gray slabs.

Unfortunately, he had no way of knowing what had happened and whose blood it was. It was not impossible that Parisians had decided to vent their anger on the politicians who had been elected to represent them but who, in reality, represented their ideas so that they would be present in the laws passed. Along with the President of the Republic and the ministers, parliamentarians were the least popular political figures among the French. Pierre didn't give them a very high chance of survival in a Paris plunged into full anarchy.

Pierre quickened his pace, avoiding the people he could meet, and walked along the Quai d'Orsay for four hundred meters until he reached the Alexandre III Bridge and the Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni, which led straight to the Invalides Hotel. Pierre hoped it hadn't been emptied like the shelves of the Monoprix near his home. Fortunately, the building seemed intact. It was a sublime building worthy of a king, pierced with many windows and surmounted by a golden dome. It was under this dome that Napoleon's tomb lay, one of France's greatest historical figures, whatever one might think of him.

The place seemed deserted, as no one tried to stop him. All visits had naturally been canceled, as well as the roommates and conferences.

They must all have gone to take care of their families or look for food. Who could blame them?<

/em>

He arrived in what was called the Cour d'Honneur, a courtyard he recognized as the one used as a stage for posthumous decorations, for example, when it was desired to honor a soldier who died for the Fatherland. He walked past without looking at the massive cannons lined up like valiant little soldiers and entered a building with wide-open doors, evidently forced. The wing of the hotel located on his left upon entering seemed dedicated to Louis XIV and Napoleon.

Oh! It's magnificent!<

/em>

In other circumstances, he would have taken the whole day to look at everything, but he didn't have all that time. He still stopped in front of huge models representing with impressive precision cities and fortresses of France. They occupied enormous surfaces to represent everything down to the smallest details. The artist had even gone so far as to represent the windows of each of the houses!

Wow! It's like Google Earth in an 18th-19th-century version!<

/em>

But that wasn't what he was looking for.

He walked for long minutes without encountering a soul in the peaceful corridors of the museum, trying to find something that could be of any use to him. His steps echoed on the shiny floor and reverberated against the walls and display cases. He passed without entering in front of the so-called Saint-Louis Cathedral and continued his search. Without realizing it, he had passed to the other side of the Cour d'Honneur where he finally found what he was looking for.

In fact, there was much more than that. He was in the section dedicated to the two world wars and ancient weapons and armor.

There were so many armors and weapons that Pierre didn't know where to look. He felt like a dog to whom a thousand very amusing toys had been thrown. His gaze couldn't focus as there were so many things vying for his attention. All the armors were very beautiful, but some were simply exquisite to the point that one could undoubtedly speak of works of art to describe them. Pierre couldn't help but stop in front of one of these armors. It was very large, especially since it was mounted on a horse mannequin as well.

Is this François I's?<

/em>

To put it on, he would have to be the same size as him, nearly six and half feet (two meters) tall! 

There were naturally not only armors, but also weapons, and they were very numerous. They ranged from the Middle Ages to today, thus tracing the entire history of France and Europe. It was there that David had helped himself. There were swords, spears, halberds, war hammers, war hammers, daggers, cavalry sabers, pistols, and rifles. It was so impressive that Pierre's mouth remained wide open. He quickly found a broken showcase and an empty space. The samurai armor seemed very sad without its katana.

Pierre thought for a moment.

The firearms have most certainly been modified so that they can no longer be used. Anyway, I don't have ammunition, or not enough, to protect myself in the long run. If David took a saber, it's certainly not a coincidence! He must have come to the conclusion that a bladed weapon never runs out of ammunition and never jams. Let's see, what's best? If I want to move easily, I need something light. A knife? No, a kitchen knife would do just fine. I need to impress those who would harm me and make them think twice before attacking me. So, a sword it is. Or a saber.<

/em>

The ex-trader could have taken a knight's sword, a fantasy of many boys, but he was afraid he wouldn't be able to use it correctly. If he wanted to be able to fight in the long run, he needed a lightweight weapon. He decided to take a superb cavalry saber from the Napoleonic era, which had certainly belonged to a very high-ranking officer in the Emperor's army. As it would have been stupid to make all this way for just this one weapon, he continued to wander the aisles as if he were shopping.

Chapter end

Catalogue
NATHAN BELCOMBE - DAY 1
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 1 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 1 (part 1)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 1 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 1 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 1 (part 3)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 1 (part 2)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 1 (part 2)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 2 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 2 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 2 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 2
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 2 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 3 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 3 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 3
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 3
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 4 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 4 (part 1)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 4 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 4 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 4
KARIMA ALI - DAY 5
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 5 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 5
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 5 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 9 to 17 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 9 to 17 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 9 to 17 (part 3)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 3)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 4)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 21 (part 1)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 21 (part 2)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 21 (part 3)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 22
KARIMA ALI - DAY 22 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 22 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 31
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 68
KARIMA ALI - DAY 88
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 94
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 124
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 153 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 153 (part 2)
AMIN SAIDI - DAY 155
AMIN SAIDI - DAY 157 to 164
KARIMA ALI - DAY 169
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 188
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 195
KARIMA ALI - DAY 216
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 232
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 245 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 245
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 245 and 246
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 246
KARIMA ALI - DAY 253
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 253
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 259
KARIMA ALI - DAY 262
Setting
Font
Arial
Georgia
Comic Sans MS
Font size
14
Background