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"This is an ugly war."―Alex, regarding the trenches[src]
Alex was a Belgian soldier during World War I. In September 1916, he was one of several Belgian motorcycle couriers assigned to relay French communications in the Verdun area for the 2nd Army. The Belgian couriers were brought in when the newly-appointed General Robert Nivelle needed fresh messengers, without the infiltration of German spies.
Alex lived in the courier quarters in the chateau that served as the 2nd Army Headquarters in Souilly, along with Henri Defense (Indiana Jones), Claude, and Rocco. The evening after Jones' first trip to the trenches, they all enjoyed a meal in the dark kitchen, where Alex remarked on the unpleasantness of trench warfare. Jones explained how he had gotten involved in the war as a Belgian soldier, and Jean Marc and Rocco gave Jones a quick history lesson of how all of Europe got entangled in the war.The next evening, Colonel Barc and Major Gaston came to the couriers to find someone who could speak German. Alex and the other couriers stood at attention with no one wishing to take the assignment. Jones arrived late, and volunteered when none of the others stepped forward, not knowing they needed a spy.