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Author Topic: [EVENT] Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]  (Read 508 times)

Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]
« on: December 15, 2018, 10:02:33 PM »
[ June 846 - ODM Aptitude Test ]

CURRENT TEAM and posting order
Axel | Marco | Sebastian | [NPC] | [NPC] | [NPC]

Axel gazed up at the trees towering above, the thickness of the forest hiding the secrets within. Having been given the rundown on how this would go, having to collect four sashes in the dummy-infested trees, he was itching to begin. It was a test of how well they could manoeuvre with their omni-directional mobility gear, as well as adding in a spice of fun. Eager, he looked at his teammates and gave a firm, confident nod.

They were given a brief chance to speak before it was time to launch themselves into the foliage. He started: "We should spread out, though remain in sight of each other, so we can keep up communication. If one of us sees a sash, call out 'Sash' and your position - go by compass, we're facing north going in." For a brief moment he wondered if any of them would take his word of command - he was one of the younger ones in their corps, but he was determined to get this right. Teamwork was important - if they had ideas, he'd at least listen to them.

"Anybody got anything to add?" he asked, hopeful that they could shed further advice on how to tackle the race ahead of them. Even if they didn't win, he still wanted the satisfaction of knowing they'd considered everything possible. With his grey eyes fixed on the trees, he wondered what it would be like if this was a proper mission, one with real Titans, the sashes perhaps fallen comrades, or civilians, or supplies. To approach it like an adult, a graduate, would fuel his desire to do his best.

One of the other cadets, a brunette girl he knew was a little older than him and called Helena, and from the south-west of Wall Rose, piped up. "We should make sure we don't use up too much gas." A brief contribution, but it was more than he'd heard her say before.

"Right. Make sure not to go too low to the ground either, or we'll miss any sashes higher than us." Conservation of gas was going to be tricky, but he hoped they could work it out. "Act as though we're going to power through the entire forest. We should be able to use momentum at points and very little gas if we time things right." That was something he knew he could do.

[ non-playable characters ]
[ feel free to control their actions, noting any unique characteristics here for tracking ]

Helena Lovig - brunette, green eyes. Risk-taking, quiet, unobservant. From south-west Wall Rose territory.
Jannik Wurst - blond, brown eyes. Curious, sociable, pessimistic.
Tilde Fisker - brunette, brown eyes. Distrusting, careful, outspoken. « Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 07:57:36 PM by Axel Falkenrath »
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Open]
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 08:54:39 PM »
There had been copses near Jinae, swaths of woodland that striped the landscape and bordered the fields.  They were nothing like this place, however.  Here the trees stood taller than Titans, their thick, evergreen canopies blotting out the sun and ensuring the forest floor remained in a cool, perpetual state of shade.  Here and there, the odd shaft of light filtered through from above, but there were few and far between.  All sound was muted by the thick carpet of pine needles and deadened by the sea of trunks that surrounded them.

Glancing to Axel, Marco returned the nod, and smiled.  This would be a challenge - a test - but the height of danger came in the form of tangled wires, scratches, falls or a bad score.  Nothing life-threatening, hopefully.  It lent the expedition a simultaneously lighthearted and competitive edge that was likely lacking in actual military operations.

“Sounds like a solid plan to me,” Marco responded agreeably, his gaze flickering between Helena and Axel.  The conservation of gas would surely be vital, he just hoped that he was able to keep up with the pace set by his companions; after all, it would be accurate, and fair, to describe his approach to ODM manoeuvres as steady and methodical.  That fleeting concern brushed aside, there was only one other thing the freckled cadet could think to add.  “Be sure to shout ‘Titan’ if you happen across one of the dummies.  I imagine we’ll do better if we take them down together.”
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Open]
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 01:51:28 AM »
Haaah, nature was so pretty when it wasn't a cruel mistress trying to kill her with the elements. Sebastian leaned back a bit in her saddle, letting out a long sigh. Focus was vital, something she knew perfectly well, yet the humid air and tranquil forest had her wanting nothing more than to give up on the entire thing to spend the afternoon asleep under the warm, sunny glow. She shook her head to dispel the notion, black locks brushing against her cheeks. Best to follow through on this without giving anyone too much trouble.

She fiddled with the leather reins in her hands as her sky blue eyes darted around the forest. There was nothing out there that she could see, not yet. It was time to get down to business; the others were right, making plans that she could follow with ease and taking that job out of her hands. Teamwork was supposed to be the most important aspect of this test, she was certain of that much. As long as caution was exercised, she doubted they'd find themselves in too terrible of trouble.

"Got it," Sebastian replied. "We're basically sprintin' it then, right? Movin' in bursts to get where we wanna go and find some fabric. This feels a li'l bit like a game, don't it?" She tilted her head to either side, trying to force a crack in her neck. Sebastian was grateful to have a bed for the first time in a long time after joining the military, but damn, it still made her body ache. "We should be extra careful 'bout rushing at the titans all at once while we're out here, though. They're fake, but us slammin' into each other and falling into some rocky crick on the forest floor definitely wouldn't leave us with no fake injuries, ah? Handlin' sprains and breaks when we're trying to win is a no-go."

Victory was secure, as far as she was concerned. That confidence made her feel at ease, perhaps too much so, but her track record would show it wasn't altogether unfounded. Sebastian glanced around at the people she'd been partnered with, offering a wide smile. Comradery would serve them all well here, she was sure of it.
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2019, 03:49:16 PM »
Having Marco on board was a relief - Axel appreciated his opinion, and the further addition of calling out Titans was something he'd overlooked. Foolish of him, maybe, but he could take the not-quite-a-correction from the boy of all people. Had Tilde said it instead, he might have been more annoyed. If they could get extra points for teaming up on Titans, he'd take it. Winning was important - this would contribute to their placement at graduation, he was certain.

Sebastian spoke up, and Axel fixed his eyes on the boy. "Right," he confirmed. Sprints would be the best way forward. Keeping that momentum going would be beneficial, and if they could really hit it right, conserving enough gas to keep going with minimal effort, they'd truly show how well they were getting on with their gear. He didn't think of it so much as a game, but he supposed it was styled after one. Why not? If it helped them figure it out - and Jannik was nodding along to Sebastian's words anyway. Best to keep the whole team on side.

And as Sebastian continued, focusing on the element of taking the Titans down, he realised not only was he right, but that they needed to sort that out too. Strategy. Their instructors might not be able to hear them, but they would certainly notice if the squad moved together as one, so to speak. "Injuries have to be avoided, we'll probably be marked poorly for so much as a bruise," he said, though really bruises were inevitable - one of them would end up clipping a tree at the least. "You're right though. We need a strategy for the Titans." It took him only a breath to continue, speaking just as fast as he thought: "Approaching them like the real deal means we have to be aware that a real Titan would need distractions. So we split up - some of us as attackers, some of us as distractions. Distractors stay low, going to the front of the Titan, attackers go high and around the back. That's less people to keep an eye on and avoid."

He looked them all over. "I'm attacking." Just in case that wasn't obvious - even if it would be a good opportunity to prove that he could do more than just attack, he didn't want to lose points because any of the others were too slow or hesitant. « Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 03:50:36 PM by Axel Falkenrath »
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2019, 10:18:05 PM »
Marco's gaze travelled as he listened to his comrades discuss tactics. The forest was an ideal setting for this aptitude test; the wide, tall tree trunks and their innumerable sprawling branches offering a multitude of places to anchor their hooks. It was easy to imagine them darting through the canopy, using bursts of speed to build their momentum. If they were clever, and mindful, they should be able to conserve gas. The terrain did mean they were faced with endless obstacles, however. They would need to exercise caution and, as Sebastian pointed out, be mindful of one another. Armed with lethal blades and relying on wires that could all too easily become tangled, any contact could spell disaster. And that was to say nothing of what might happen if they fell. Sprains and breaks, indeed.

Axel's plan was sound, and confidently communicated. It opened up space between them, reduced the chances of collisions and would surely make them appear professional to their instructors. The Titans were dummies and, while this did feel like a game, they could only score points for taking it seriously.

Naturally, Axel wanted to attack. He was agile and decisive, made for the role - so no qualms there. "I'm happy to distract. I'll go on the flank, if you want to spearhead?" Marco nodded at Axel, an eyebrow raised in askance. Vaguely, the freckled cadet wondered if he would be marked down for taking a more passive position within the team - until he reminded himself of exactly that, this was a team effort. Helena muttered her preference for acting as an attacker, which sat less easily with Marco. She took unnecessary risks that didn't always pay off, and she had a terrible habit of losing track of what was going on outside of her own bubble. He didn't say any of this aloud, not wanting to hurt her feelings, but he hoped the other attackers would have the sense to keep an eye on their unobservant companion.

Marco's attention shifted to Sebastian then. "What about you, Seb?" As he asked the question, he rolled his wrists, loosening them for the challenge ahead, and began checks on his ODM equipment.
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2019, 02:33:12 AM »
With no objections given, it seemed that she was prepared to go along with the plan as it was now. Discussions like this were for the best to avoid any conflict later; besides, she was happy that it wasn't quiet. Axel was plenty capable. He'd already established himself as something of a leader here, anyway. She, too, wasn't quite as happy with Helena's decision. Sebastian wanted to tell Helena she had no business taking such an active role, but she bit her tongue.

Rather, she tried to, before saying moments later, "Damn, Helena, you sure you wouldn't just lose sight of the thing before you even hit it?" This earned her a sharp, forest-green glare, but no words in response. Tough crowd. If the girl wasn't backing down, though, she supposed there was nothing she could do about it.

These tests felt purposeful, compared to some. Sebastian could joke around and be at ease, yes, but she wasn't going to catch herself doing anything that would chance a low score. Given the opportunity, her team selection might have been a bit different. Still, as long as none of them acted stupid, she didn't see them failing.

"I'll go with you, Marco. We work pretty well together," she replied, smiling at him. "Y'know, if we split into smaller teams, each havin' two on distraction with one on the offense, d'you think we'd cover more ground a bit quicker? Yer kinda makin' a lot of the choices here, Axel, so you tell me." Sebastian trusted her own judgment above anyone else's, of course, but she was comfortable to leave the group's dynamic as it was. Being too challenging wouldn't make her all that popular. « Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 02:33:36 AM by Sebastian Schwarz »
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 03:29:49 PM »
Axel stared at Jannik as the boy started chuckling at Sebastian's response to Helena, until he went silent. There was no use antagonising one another when they needed to focus on the task at hand. Sebastian had a point though. He also had a point when it came to splitting the team up. Still, he wasn't sure if he trusted Helena to spearhead Tilde and Jannik. If those three messed up, it would affect their overall placement.

But it would also mean he could avoid getting slashed by Helena as much.

"It would help us cover more ground," he accepted. "The sooner we go, the better. Remember, we're after red sashes." He perhaps pointedly looked at Helena as he said it, though he couldn't be certain that she was paying attention. Whatever happened, he hoped that Tilde's caution would overcome the trio's disadvantage with Helena leading. "We can split far enough to scan more of the forest, but don't go out of view. If we run into any trouble, we need to be able to reach and help one another."

"We'll need to help one another sooner than later," Jannik muttered, watching Helena warily.

Shaking his head, Axel took hold of his hand grips, readying himself with a foot planted forwards on the ground. "Follow my lead." He looked at Marco, then Sebastian, and gave a sharp nod. "Let's start high to find momentum swinging."

He didn't quite wait for agreement, kicking off from the ground with a burst of gas, grapple firing high to one of the nearby tree trunks, as high as he could aim. He moved with a delicate grace into a swing forward, squeezing for gas only enough to encourage him higher as he moved to the next tree further on, quick to ease into the motion of swinging forwards, momentum building. « Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 03:29:59 PM by Axel Falkenrath »
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2019, 01:27:18 PM »
Damn, Helena, you sure you wouldn't just lose sight of the thing before you even hit it?

Sebastian could often be trusted to speak plainly, putting into words what others were content to simply think. His observations were also frequently humourous. Marco didn't disagree with the sentiment but he couldn't bring himself to agree aloud either - even if Helena's scowl indicated, reassuringly, that her feelings weren't hurt. Jannik had no such qualms, however, and laughed until Axel's steely gaze silenced him.

"We do, don't we?" Marco grinned back at Sebastian, more than happy to team up. The blue-eyed cadet excelled at thinking on his feet and was unshakable even under pressure. Turned out he was a decent strategist too, suggesting they divide into two smaller teams, with Axel quickly agreeing to the proposition. Inwardly, Marco was glad to be with Axel and Seb both, and felt confident that they would perform well - certainly well enough to balance out any mistakes made by Helena, Tilde and Jannik. Then he felt a pang of guilt, wondering if he was being uncharitable and unsportsmanlike for even thinking that.

Discussions came to an end, signalled by Axel driving himself upwards. Marco swiftly followed suit, firing his hooks high into a broad tree trunk, rough shards of bark falling free with the impact. A touch of gas elevated him to a point where he could kick off a branch, adding to his momentum as the wires retracted, ready for the anchors to be launched again and pull him higher still. It didn't take long for him to find a rhythm, leaves whipping past as he steadily picked up speed. Although he would never be the most agile of ODM operators - not even with Jean's coaching - Marco still enjoyed the thrill of moving beneath the trees, flying through the cool air of the canopy. But this task had his focus and, in his peripheral vision, he was aware Axel and Sebastian, the former a little ahead, as space opened up between them. Warm, honey-brown eyes narrowed, peering through the foliage, finding Helena had ploughed ahead, and was in danger of disappearing from sight.

"Don't go too far, Helena!" Marco called to their teammate, concerned she was already failing to pay attention to her surroundings and their positions.
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Re: Through the bristling trees. [Marco/Seb]
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2019, 09:34:16 PM »
Perhaps it was blind confidence, but Sebastian was fairly certain there was nothing to worry about. With the three of them having enough combined skill to make up for a more lacking collective on the other team, she saw no reason to pay them much mind. There were times to be a good sport about things and aim to include everyone equally. Now was not one of those times. She suspected this test, despite her remarks on its game-like nature, was going to count for a lot. Anyone that stood to fuck that up for her was going to pay dearly.

Momentum, right; less gas and more to see from that vantage point. Seb followed Axel's lead, almost a perfect mimicry. He seemed to succeed at most anything, really, so she saw no reason to doubt the method. Jealously regarding someone else's skill was a weakness when the option to just steal things was right there. She'd learned quite a bit by exploiting her "friendships" for information that those in possession of it might be reluctant to share with near-strangers for fear of losing any upper hand they could get.

Even after using the ODM gear for a while now, there was still something so thrilling about that unnaturally airborne feeling that came with it. Humans weren't meant to fly, really. Biology itself advised against it. And even if this wasn't the same as the birds that scattered at the presence of people on their level, it was close enough. Anything people wanted to do, they would find a way to. For no longer than a second, she looked down. The world below was little more than flashes of color in forest shades.

"Forget it, she's a fuckin' moron!" Seb shouted, intentionally louder than she needed to be for just Marco to hear. She didn't need to preserve anything between herself and Helena, so if she would slow down at all, it was a victory. Besides, if she got uncharacteristically confrontational about the snide behavior later, Seb could indulge in the spectacle. Win-win situation, really.

From below, the forest had seemed huge. Above, it somehow seemed even bigger; being able to see the sheer mass of trees this way made finding things in it sound way harder than it needed to be. With another team that they were technically competing against, she supposed that there was likely some sort of structure to the spacing. Not that she had a clue what it was or where to begin. Disregarding the others and paying only enough attention to make sure no one was at risk of colliding at the next tree she aimed for, she started searching in earnest. Turning back as little as possible would do a lot for preservation of their resources, so she desperately hoped they wouldn't have to. « Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 09:35:09 PM by Sebastian Schwarz »
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