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Author Topic: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]  (Read 2483 times)

Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« on: December 09, 2018, 04:12:32 PM »
[ january 846
wall maria territory

The Abnormal had charged through without care, its arms windmilling in chaotic fashion as it ran, splicing the formation with dramatic ease. His steed, Aspen, had halted just in time to avoid its wrath. Gunther braced himself, hand clutching at the hilt of his blade, as he saw other shapes dart towards it, lines attaching to its skin. The Abnormal thrashed. It was unclear whether or not it was aware of them, whether it was trying to dislodge them intentionally or if it were simply how it moved.

Roaring sounded from behind him.

A second Abnormal had reared up, thundering through the formation struggling to piece itself together. Gunther whipped on the reins, steering his mare around to chase after a riderless horse. As she gained on them, he reached out with one hand, and snatched up the flailing reins, pulling them sharp to bring the horse under his command.

Keeping pace, the scout surveyed the situation. Two Abnormals, both being taken care of. The formation shattered, as his fellow soldiers attempted to protect their gear and retain some amount of the commander's formation. Around them, destroyed farmland, tampled down by the titans. By a large oak tree, something glittered, reflecting light as the sun crawled down the sky.

He saw Erwin up ahead, and several hooded soldiers nearing him, most likely seeking orders. One appeared wounded, another was trailing behind - an injured horse, perhaps.

"Commander," he called ahead, guiding both horses to catch up. "There's something over here!" He reasoned that the Abnormals would be taken care of soon enough, and a regroup was likely in order anyway. Last expedition, he vaguely recalled passing by the farmland from the east, a passing glimpse. They had been pushed off track, though not by much.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 04:22:11 PM »
Abnormals were nothing new. They were still unpredictable in rate of occurrence, and particularly troublesome, but nothing new. This one, like many others, had sown panic through the ranks and formation, leaving the Survey Corps scattered before they reach the terminus of the first leg of the mission.

The second abnormal fell almost as quickly as it appeared; the first disappearing over the horizon as if it had not even noticed the remaining Survey Corps members along with a handful of his soldiers making sure it fled, or was dealt with if it did.

According to their previous expeditions, near the Survey Corps stood a ruined village, its sparse amount of standing structures hopefully still holding back some of the snow and cold. A storm was coming, and not that of a hoard of titans. This set back would cost them time, and the last thing he wanted to risk was being caught in the elements during a snow storm. A handful of his troops came to him seeking orders and directions, not all of them were squad leaders.

“Find usable shelters for now in the village nearby. I know the idea of spending the night here is not ideal, but the open terrain should prove as helpful as it is dangerous,” he said. “Relay the message immediately.”

Erwin turned his head as he heard a voice call out – it was Gunther Schultz. Turning his horse and taking a light trot, Erwin moved to meet him. “What is it?” He asked, as blunt as usual.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 01:26:38 AM »
Gunther's eyes narrowed in on the glint, awaiting their esteemed commander as Erwin and his horse trotted over. "Something that wasn't there before," he answered simply, the punctual and oft-muted soldier fixing a concerned frown to the man. "Nothing moving - which is at once both reassuring and worrisome."

Drawing one blade and holding it at his side, he gave a nod and manoeuvred his horse in the direction of the glittering object. Perhaps it was as simple as a mirror, but he was certain that they would have spotted it in the distance before. Somebody would have reported it, even if they hadn't checked it out - they were searching for signs of life, after all, and anything could be something.

It took barely a minute for Aspen to saunter over, at ease without the titans immediately threatening their every hoof-mark. Clutching his blade, Gunther's grasp of it slackened some as he got a good look at the target. He threw up his other hand, and made the silent signal of it being safe to approach. As far as he could see, at any rate.

The frost-covered body of a Survey Corps soldier lay upon the ground, a singular blade kept in their hand, rigor mortis having kept it in place, along with the frozen positioning of what once was somebody's family. Their body was half-concealed by a makeshift tent crafted from branches and rocks.

Gazing down at the body, Gunther sheathed his blade and swallowed a silent and solemn few words to himself. He couldn't recall the soldier's name, though he vaguely had the thought that they had been a medic. Still, he saluted as a sign of respect.

"She hasn't been dead for long," he offered to the commander, dismounting and crouching aside the body. "Nor has she been eaten, which is odd, but not impossible - do we have any studies on whether Titans are interested in scavenging the dead? Hm. But, if she hasn't been dead long, either way... it suggests she's held out for some while. Yet we know there are Titans in the immediate area, or are now." He spoke aloud, letting his thoughts roam free for the benefit of Erwin.

"What should we do, sir? I can examine her further, to find any notes, any cause of death, and identifiers. But I expect, to survive this long, she must have had somewhere to survive nearby." He tilted his head up to look at the commander.

Gunther truthfully didn't think he'd said quite so much in some months, especially all at once.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 12:32:12 AM »
Erwin listened and watched as his soldier spoke. He exhaled heavily, almost as if it were a sigh. It was unfortunate to find someone in this condition. It certainly would not boost morale in the slightest. But it was one more name that could be removed from missing to dead. Perhaps this discovery will bring some closure, he thought.

He waved several of his troops onward to what was left of the village. For once, Erwin tried to be optimistic and hoped that coming storm would be little more than a snow squall.

He dismounted his horse as he drew nearer the bodies. “Proceed,” he said, gesturing towards the body with an open hand.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 04:53:10 PM by Erwin Smith »

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 12:52:43 AM »
With a bow of his head, Gunther knelt at the side of the body, hands passing over the frozen ragged uniform he knew so well. It protested against his intrusion, refusing to budge without cracking and stiffly moving. After a short while, he produced three tags tangled together and a small military-issue notebook.

"Sergei Hassler, Artyom Menke, and Anna Schoeler," he read from the tags, and offered them up to the commander. Flicking through the notebook, he saw nothing had been written down except the odd doodle and note from previous expeditions. Likely she hadn't thought she would be found. He checked the body again, but produced nothing of use. "Three confirmed deaths," he muttered.

He adjusted her uniform for the sake of dignity and decor, and rose to his feet, handing over the notebook.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2019, 09:43:24 PM »

Three more names to add to the Survey Corps records.
Three more to add to the bodies already in the ground.

Three more deaths that could be difficult to explain. Not because of how they died, but what did they die for. Did all deaths have meaning in this conflagration of violence? Perhaps in his more grim equations, yes.

Erwin had a job to do, and he could not protect everyone, regardless of what he was capable of doing.

Erwin reached out for the tags putting them in the pocket of his uniform. At least the weather was cold enough where collecting the bodies would not prove to be problematic. Or draw attention of any animals that may be around. Notifications, even of squad members would have to wait.

Erwin took the notebook as well, but he felt it rather unnecessary to hold on to it. Squad leaders typically handled personal effects.

“Mark the area so that the bodies can be collected. We’ll have to make room on one of the wagons for them,” he said.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2019, 12:28:28 AM »
Gunther dipped his head at the commander's words, then looked back at the body. "There's only one body," he quietly pointed out. "Which means either the other two were eaten, or they're hidden away elsewhere. Perhaps it would be beneficial to conduct a sweep of the surrounding area?"

Judging from the body's position, he could make the assumption that she was likely travelling away from whatever hideout Anna had taken to for safety. To freeze to death, her movements must have been slow, which here suggested that she was intent on travelling to... somewhere. Back to the walls? Hm. Only if there was no hope for her any longer. Though if she had been stuck outside since the last expedition, it might have been her last-ditch attempt to return home.

"I think we might find something that way," he said, pointing towards a copse of trees. "Likely not within, because those would easily be pushed out by the titans. We need to find where she held out. There might be other survivors."

One of the other scouts had approached, and he gestured to them, then pointed to the body. "Have the wagon clear some space for her. She deserves to be brought home."

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2019, 05:18:24 PM »
Gunther had a point. While it was clear that there were two other deaths, a brief search for the bodies still had to be conducted. The snow was not terribly deep, which would help, but if she made it out this far on her own, they died before she made he attempt to leave.

Erwin himself paid little attention to the orders Gunther passed along, narrowing down the options.

Searching the forest could very quickly turn into an ambush – something that would be disastrous for the unit while they regrouped.

Any footprints were probably covered at this point, so searching for those would prove little more than a waste of time.

“Start the search in the village,” he said.  “That would seem to be the most logical place look, and perhaps, their best option at the time.”

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 01:25:45 PM »
Awaiting Erwin's next orders, Gunther glanced to the commander and adjusted his posture. With the suggestion of searching the village, he inclined his head. "Yes, commander." Ever obedient, he climbed quick atop his steed, soothing Aspen with a gentle pat and smooth of his hand.

"Anywhere that could store food efficiently, as well as heat, would be the most likely hold out," he reasoned aloud, eyeing the commander. "But any human would attract the titans, particularly a group, whether small or not, so either it must be reinforced, out of the way, or... they got lucky."

Because there was such a thing as luck, there had to be in order to live so long with the titans pushing through. There were no strong strategies that would enable them to outlive attacks with little equipment, and he was certain that they had not left too many important pieces of equipment that previous expedition. Unless the village had held a stash, which was possible in the rush of the evacuation.

Considering that, he glanced quick to the body as it was lifted by two soldiers and carried towards one of the wagons that had just pulled up. No omni-directional mobility gear. So it had been shed, which suggested there had not been replenishments of gas or blades. Unless it had been taken.

Too many factors. He had to focus.

"Sir," he said simply, with a bow of his head, before encouraging Aspen forwards. He waved over some of the scouts who were regrouping. "Search the village! We're looking for any sign of survivors, dead or alive - or anywhere they may have held out."

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2019, 12:14:40 AM »
Erwin mounted his horse as the search proceeded around him. As the woman’s body was removed, he thumbed through the diary. There was little out of the norm. Names of fallen comrades – Erwin recognized a few. Other than that, there were a handful of entries and pictures. It was only about two thirds full. As far as her sketches went, she seemed to like drawing horses the most.

He looked as a flare was fired, it seemed that the abnormals were dead, and his soldiers were starting to gather around the village.

He turned his horse towards the village, as his guards approached and followed him in tow. The squall was passing through, so they would have to hunker down for the while, but the bodies should be easy to find within the confines of the village.

The activity between the search and preparing for the brief storm moved at a quick pace. He dismounted and led his horse under and overhang and saw Gunther. “Any updates on the search?”

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 12:59:45 AM »
Gunther was at the forefront of the search, hunting through abandoned buildings and ruined walls. Titans had swept through already, large feet crunching cobblestone and wrecking every semblance of normality in the village's previous life. Carts, splintered. Stalls, snapped into pieces. Frost glittered across all, clumps of snow barely concealing the dark spots of blood staining the ground. Not everybody had evacuated.

But he saw no sign of where a survivor might hide, trotting around the village once.

It was halfway through checking one street again that he noticed something. A scrape of snow, clawed towards a basement window. But why would somebody have been dragged inside of a house? Titans hardly managed to move well enough, and as he got closer he noticed footprints leading away. Faint, old, but there. A dusting of snow showed that it was at least a few days old.

Hearing his name, Gunther looked over as he dismounted his horse. "There's signs of somebody being here, commander," he replied simply, and crouched beside the window. A web of cracks made it difficult to see through it. He sat, then kicked a boot through the glass, shattering it into the basement. No sound of life within. After a pause, he glanced to Erwin. "There's an unlikely chance it could be trapped. I'll shout whether it's safe or not." And despite it being a statement, he still waited for permission to go ahead.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 10:03:39 PM »
Erwin dismounted his horse; snow crunching under his boots. He handed the reins of his horse to a subordinate.

“Very well, proceed,” he said, as he crossed his arms.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2019, 08:17:12 PM »
Gunther dipped his head, giving the window one last searching peer before he slid through the window. He landed quietly, crouching in place as he surveyed it from within. No disturbance or sound of life still. As a Scout, he knew to be wary - Titans were hardly the only threats out here. Since the Wall had fallen, it had drummed in the concept of humans doing anything to survive. No matter what that was.

He wasn't entirely certain whether Titans were truly worse than humans.

"Clear, sir," he called after a minute more, picking his way through the junk slewn across the basement. Opened tin cans rolled away from his boots, echoing as they bounced off of one another. It certainly seemed a likely hideout for some of the soldiers - how many, he couldn't quite tell. Anna must have died last of the three, to be holding their dog tags. Unless, he supposed, she had travelled without the others in an attempt to find her way back to the Survey Corps?

No, that was bordering on preposterous. No Scout would willingly leave comrades without leaving identification with their bodies.

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2019, 03:57:10 PM »
Erwin waited outside patiently as Gunther made his way inside and inspected the cellar. He kept his eye on the rest of the Survey Corps just in case anything else happened. As he heard the all clear, he knelt down next to the window and peered inside.

"Anything of note among the sea of refuse you're standing in?" he asked. "Do you see another way inside?"

Re: Frozen hopes. [Erwin]
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2019, 08:16:17 PM »
"There's a door, sir," he reported, picking through the place. The door seemed to be leading to a staircase based on the wall placement, though when he tried it nothing budged. Not even with a good shove with his shoulder. "Something's blocking the other side. Perhaps barricaded for their own sake? They must have closed the window behind them to trap in the scent of food against any roaming scavengers," he theorised, walking back over to the window. "There might be journals hidden around, if anything, though it would take some time to find them, I expect." « Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 08:16:28 PM by Gunther Schultz »


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