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Author Topic: Clean Sweep  (Read 1008 times)

Clean Sweep
« on: July 28, 2017, 12:41:30 AM »
The rain rattled against the window as Erwin stared out into the streets of Stohess.  Turning back to his father’s old notebook and his own charts and research on his desk, he reviewed the notes again, and compared them with some of his own findings.  His progress had been slow as of late…with Shadis gone and his promotion he had much less time to dedicate towards his research, and even more responsibility.  In training, one of his instructors referred to the Survey Corps as “humanity’s most well-armed misfits”.  Over the past fifteen years of service, he fully understood what he had meant.  The Survey Corps’ members were indeed just that.  While the Military Police search for the best and brightest with each group of trainees, the Survey Corps would take in soldiers of all sorts.  From titan killers to those with wanderlust and those with odd habits or ceaseless courage, his unit could not have had a more diverse array of members.  His unit also could not have had better coordination, teamwork, and trust with one another.  Despite the reputation of the Survey Corps, they truly were humanities finest.  However, there were very few individuals that would say that to an MP.

As he sat slowly reviewing his father’s notes, he was interrupted with a knock on his door.  Opening a drawer and sliding the notebook inside, he said, “Enter.” 

A soldier entered.  “Sir, there’s a squad of MPs coming down the street…another one of their surprise ‘inspections’,” she said.

Erwin stood from his chair.  “Well, this should get interesting.  Is Captain Levi on another one of his cleaning spells?”

“Yes, sir.”

Erwin smirked.  This will get interesting indeed, he thought.  “Follow,” he said, as they exited his office. « Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:10:52 PM by Erwin Smith »
Logged


Re: Clean Sweep
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 08:13:40 PM »
“Kh,” Levi scoffed to himself. Puddles on the floor. Mud everywhere. Soldiers trekked from the stables to the barracks with only a slapdash scrape of boots against stone to get the horse shit off. It fell to Levi and a drafted crew to get out the soap and rags, get on their hands and knees, and scrub. “You’re not getting out of here any faster, Nina.”

Nina flourished a rag more to the effect of smearing mud than cleaning. Solidly his senior in years, she only cast him an indolent look. “You’re not going to be satisfied till the smell’s gone, and that won’t happen till the rain stops. This always happens in buildings near stables—the rain brings out aaallll the interesting aromas.”

A rash of nervous sniggers ran through the crew. Levi continued to scrub the floor, waiting the moment it took for the noise to subside, and then glanced over the crew drolly. He paused until they picked up their pace, kicking up a fuss at appearing to work hard, before he resumed scrubbing and answered Nina. “That fetid shitty smell isn’t the only thing the rain brings out. Festering muck means disease. You’ve seen the Maria folk. And go replace the water in that bucket, it’s filthy.”

Nina sniffed, sobered by the reminder of the refugees but unwilling to give ground, and stood so that she could heft the bucket of brown water she had been dunking her rag into. Satisfied, Levi returned his full attention to the floor, only for a soldier to barrel around the corner from the west and crash into Nina, spilling half the bucket with a splash.

“Sorry!” said the soldier, darting around Nina to head for the entrance to one of the dorms. Levi rose to catch him by the arm, hauling him back and planting himself between the soldier and the open door to the dorm.

Using the hand still holding his rag, Levi pointed at where the disgusted Nina stood. She was standing in a puddle, and her front was soaked. Even the guy had some sprinkles on his jacket. “You spilled it, clean it up.”

The soldier—Levi couldn’t recall his name—glanced between Nina and the dorm with an anguished expression. “The MP are here,” he blurted. “Victoria says they’re gonna search the barracks for things to confiscate! I gotta hide my stuff!”

Everyone went on alert, straightening up in alarm. A few of them tossed their rags onto the ground with wet plops and began to edge away. Levi’s jaw clenched. “Erwin know about this?”

The messenger soldier nodded eagerly. “Yes! The commander’s taking them here right now.”

Levi’s crew hadn’t been working long, meaning they were still fairly close to the building’s entrance. Levi strained his ears—and there, the thunk of the heavy front door, accompanied by Erwin’s voice. Levi threw out his hand to forestall his soldiers from leaving, the sharp gesture and the flick of moisture from the rag in his hand catching their attention. “Stop that. Get back to work.”

“No way—” began Nina, but she and the others stopped short, recognizing Erwin’s and unfamiliar voices about to turn the western corner. They would be in deeper shit if they were caught trying to squirrel away their things. In a flurry, the she and the crew threw themselves back into cleaning with the same enthusiasm they used whenever they faked it. They hissed to each other under their breath. “Dammit!”

Levi gave the messenger soldier a hard tug, and before the guy knew it he was on the floor near Nina’s puddle with a rag in hand. Wordlessly, Levi plunked his own bucket of soapy water near him and Nina so that they could dunk their rags into it, and with his foot gave Nina’s bucket a nudge so that it shifted west away from them, out of range to be accidentally knocked over. That done, Levi moved towards the back of the group so that he could shut the dorm’s door, scanning the dirty hall critically as he did so. Seconds later, Erwin and the MP officers turned the corner, and the soldiers got to their feet to salute.

Levi eyeballed the MP. They must have taken a carriage here—all the better to transport whatever they stole from the Survey Corps soldiers—because they weren’t soaked to the bone. But they were dripping, and they brought with them a gust of outside air from the stables, and Levi’s already sour face darkened. Instead of saluting, Levi moved near one of the dirty water buckets to wring out his rag. “What’s going on, Erwin? Brought some volunteers for our next expedition? I gotta say,” Levi looked straight at the one who seemed to be the boss of the MP, “that one looks like he’ll shit his pants the first time he sees a red flare.”
Logged


Re: Clean Sweep
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 11:51:51 PM »
A few moments earlier...

Erwin stood at the edge of the street as the carriage from the Military Police drew nearer. The rain had yet to let up, but the thunder had seemed to pass. In any case, it did not dampen his spirits by any means - he quite enjoyed the rain. He found quiet, lighter rainstorms to be almost meditative by comparison.

This was not one of those storms, and the weather had been much the same for most of the previous week. So not only was it a drain on morale, but it also made the planning and execution of missions more difficult, and that was on top of the ever present funding and support issues. Both of those were issues Erwin would have to contend with later in the week.

Hange will no doubt be excited about the food, but Levi may try to kill me when I order him to go, Erwin thought.

He snapped back to the present as the carriage came to a stop before him and the first of the MPs stepped down and saluted, followed by another three. They looked like fools. As Erwin returned their salute he quickly noticed skipped buttons, improperly tucked shirts, one was obviously hungover and the squad leader needed to shave properly. Levi was going to have a field day with this group.

And so the same old routine began. They presented their orders, Erwin accepted them, then he showed them the way to the barracks whilst making small talk as needed. Once again, he ended it the same way as well. "Gentlemen, I trust you will find everything in order," he said as he opened the door to a series of salutes - and Levi's expected attitude. Erwin had to fight from laughing at his remarks this time. "Hardly," I doubt they would meet Hange's standards." Several of those in the room knew what he meant and did their best to hide smirks and chuckles. "I need to check in with some others down on the far side of the barracks," he began, "I'll be in earshot if there is anything you need. They are in you care Levi." And with that he began a mock inspection of his own.
Logged


Re: Clean Sweep
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2018, 06:26:28 AM »
They are in your care, Levi.

Levi’s impassive face betrayed none of his surprise. He carefully watched Erwin as the man passed him by, but Erwin offered no further comment. He had all but served these lunks up to Levi on a platter.

Levi didn’t mince words. “Get out before you eat shit.”

Levi’s greeting had left the MP boss bristling, and he had watched Erwin leave with some surprise and mounting affront. “We have a job to do,” he said, walking forward. His reedy voice was as unimpressive as his unshaven jaw. “Get back to scrubbing, because you lot live like pigs.”

Levi looked over his crew. “You shouldn’t need him to tell you to clean. Nina, go change shirts already.”

They turned incredulous faces towards him, Nina’s lit with the sudden hope, but Levi ignored them, hefting the dirty bucket at his feet. Then he simply took a step forward and dashed it in the face of the approaching officer. The man erupted, coughing and gagging, and for a moment Levi wondered if he had overestimated this guy's stomach. “Huh. My bad.”

“Y-yoou—”

The bucket made a solid clank when Levi dropped it. “You should go scrub off,” Levi commented as he passed through the throng of MP, stopping to lift the bucket that had already been partially spilled. “I’ll escort you out, and dump this bucket while I’m at it.” He looked pointedly at the MP. “Wouldn’t want another spill.”

“That was assault! Insubordination! Y-y-you’ll be punished for this!” their leader gasped, enraged but impotent from disgust. He stood rigidly for fear of encouraging the current dripping situation by moving.

“Go tell your superiors all about it,” Levi said in a bored voice that contradicted his sharp gaze. “And tell them that any future ‘inspections’ will be handled by Erwin.” Not that Erwin was very preferable. He would do a better job than these dunces—and he would probably take one look at Levi’s pack of cigarettes and deduce that they were Farlan’s—but he would leave everything where he found it. Except the knife, but Levi could find another one.

“You—COMMANDER ERWIN!” « Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 06:59:00 AM by Levi »
Logged


Re: Clean Sweep
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 10:42:58 PM »
“You—COMMANDER ERWIN!”

Erwin did the best to hide the amusement on his face. After all, he did more or less plan this, So he did have to keep the scheme going for a little while. As he walked over however, he chose to skip the obvious questions. He expected Levi to be a thorn in their side, but he exceeded hsi expectations.

"Levi," he said,"I'll take things from here. Perhaps it's best that you speak with me after you finish here."

He then turned to the MPs. "Gentlemen, if you'll follow me." Erwin then escorted them out, letting them bluster all the way. It was a torrent of words he was used to - especially when one considered that they always found something to complain about. As they reached their carriage, they add something new.

"Commander Dok will hear about this," one shouted as they rode off. However seriosu they may be, he doubted Nile would do anything. Erwin certainly respected him as a man, but still questioned how he got a Commander position.

---Two Hours Later---

Erwin busied himself with completing the day's reports when Levi appeared in his doorway. Erwin put down his pen. "The door may be open, but I still expect you to knock - squad leader." He waited to gauge Levi's reaction. "Close the door, it's time we spoke about setting a plan in motion. « Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 10:45:14 PM by Erwin Smith »
Logged


Re: Clean Sweep
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 03:49:57 AM »
“You heard him,” Levi said shortly as soon as Erwin left. “Let’s finish here.”

“You heard the captain,” Nina surprised Levi by saying. She had her hands propped her hips authoritatively. “Get scrubbing! I’ll be back soon.”

As Levi squatted to clean up the puddle he had left by splashing the police official, he turned Erwin’s words over. Surprise was no element of the commander’s face—almost certainly, this was that sly man’s intended outcome. But what Erwin had gained by alienating some MP juniors was lost on Levi—it was a leap to expect the Survey Corps soldiers to credit Erwin for banishing those bastards, after all. Now, instead of snickering over Levi’s commands, they bent to their jobs with some work ethic. Levi had even caught some of them staring at his back, something they quickly pretended they hadn’t been doing. But they were actually scrubbing now—and after a scolding, actually scrubbing harder instead of scoffing behind his back.

After two hours, Levi decided that the cleaning duty was complete. Nina had even surprised him by coming back to pick up her slack. His evening had nothing left to do but see Erwin in his office.

Levi didn’t bother to knock when he stepped in. “Sure,” he said dryly. Erwin could expect all he’d like. All Levi had done was interrupt paperwork, for fuck’s sake. Erwin had said he wanted Levi to speak with him, but Levi suspected it was the other way around. “I’ll leave, then, if all you wanted to say was to tell me to knock.”  Though he said this, Levi made no move to leave, instead shutting the door behind him and approaching Erwin’s desk. He didn't respond when Erwin referenced a "plan," instead listening, impassive. « Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 08:04:01 PM by Levi »
Logged


Re: Clean Sweep
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 07:07:58 PM »
"Today was test," Erwin began. "While Mike and I are the only two who know that you were actually hired to kill me, rumors move fast through this unit." Leaning back, he brought his hands up, interlacing his fingers with his elbows still on the arms of his chair. "I wanted to gauge their reaction - I think its safe to say people in this unit will follow your lead out of respect and not just fear." He expected Levi's reaction to his thoughts to be as deadpan as always.

"This brings me to my next point, and the real reason I wanted to speak with you" he said. Retrieving a stack of papers from his desk drawer, he continued. "I want you to create a squad that meets your standards for dealing with threats - titan and otherwise." He slid the stack towards the edge of his desk. "I've taken the liberty of collecting records some records of Survey Corps members you may wish to consider. I think Petra Ral and Eld Jinn may be a good place to start." Erwin stood from his chair. There would be one crucial piece to this squad's design.

"I want to make myself abundantly clear Levi - this squad shall be known as the Special Operations Squad and will be granted complete and total autonomy in case of my death until such time as my successor takes command, attempts remove me as commander of this unit without proper means of ensuring continuity of command are made, or if any attempts to dissolve the Survey Corps are made." He paused. Levi was familiar with 'wet work' as it was called, and Erwin knew that he needed to assemble a group of individuals will to work with Levi and take on the most sensitive and dire of missions. Their skills and talents would be needed in the near future - he was certain of it. "Your missions will be your sole, primary objective when I issue them." He then asked Levi one final question. "Do you understand what I am asking of you Levi?"
Logged


 


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