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Author Topic: Third Watch (tag Michelle)  (Read 245 times)

Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« on: March 06, 2020, 12:13:49 AM »
Third Watch/Early Evening/Spring

Team Leader Holt cast his gaze over the horizon and took a swig from his canteen as the messenger saluted him and moved down the Wall to the next cannon team. Titans had been spotted and Arkin was to keep an eye out. Obviously. The lukewarm ginger tea still had some bite and seemed fitting for this cool spring evening. The sun had just finished dipping under the horizon and the last orange light was fading away. Soon the fire and torches would be lit. Turning his back on the seemingly endless stretch of inky black green beyond the Walls, Arkin faced his team. His second in command, a tall woman named Rahab had almost as many years on the Wall as Arkin. A competent leader in her own right - Arkin trusted her with his life. Most of the other members, while not vets, had a few years under their belts and had proven themselves worthy soldiers and Arkin was proud to call them friends.

And now there was a new member. Fresh out of training. Michelle. Arkin had assigned her to shadow Colin, a stocky redhead, who was working on some cannon maintenance at the moment. Arkin approached them, "How's it going? Colin teaching you everything he knows?"

He took another sip of his canteen, "Titans have been spotted...so don't be surprised if we see some action tonight." He gave Michelle a reassuring smile. "We've done this hundreds of times. We'll show you what to do if anything happens tonight."

"But even yet I have so many miles to go."

Re: Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2020, 10:15:12 AM »
 The petite figure of Michelle Whitaker look positively tiny when compared to the powerful visage of a nearby cannon. She shivered from what she told herself was the wind and not nerves or anxiety. After all they were incredibly high up, which should have meant safety but if Titans had breached the Wall in the past, they might be able to do so again. Plus she was worried about her twin brother, this being the first time in her life they were in entirely different places. He went with the Scouts as his choice of Regiment, despite being one of the best recruits. She hoped he would be okay, Michelle had little choice but the Garrison having scored too low to try for the Police and lacking any faith in her fighting skills to survive as a Scout.

She was watching Colin work on the cannon, noting the tools he used, her mind cataloguing them and their names for future use as well as reference. Michelle jumped when a voice suddenly sounded, she turned her blue eyes wide. "Yes." She answered quickly. "Yes sir." Yet at the mention of Titans possibly approaching, Michelle paled. "What? Really?" She glanced at the cannons, they once seemed reassuring now she doubted whether or not they might actually manage to halt the horrors. "Hopefully nothing will happen." Michelle said quietly, she shivered again but was making an attempt to behave and act like a soldier despite being fresh out of the cadets and still green as grass.

Re: Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2020, 12:38:15 AM »
"Yes sir."

Arkin chuckled and his eyes crinkled at the corners. His face, like many members of the Garrison his age, was fairly sun worn and weather-beaten. Almost two decades on the Wall would do that to a person.

"Between us, you can call me Arkin when only the team is around," he said. Arkin did like to keep it pretty casual. His team knew he was the boss - so titles were just surface in his opinion. Colin made a few comments about a part that needed to be replaced soon and Arkin said he would put in an order for it. There was always paperwork to do.

"What? Really?"

"Yes really," Arkin said gently. He understood being nervous. Titans were horrifying. Any soldier who did not feel at least a little fear around them - in Arkin's opinion - was a bit of a mad man. Arkin feared the Titans. And he would never be ashamed to admit that.

"Hopefully nothing will happen."

"If something happens...then it happens," Arkin returned firmly but hopefully not unkindly. "And when it happens we will deal with it." He looked at Michelle for a long moment - his pale eyes regarding the green soldier with interest. "And so will you. As best you can."

"Come talk to me for a minute," Arkin said after a moment, "Over here." He gestured towards the edge of the Wall and started walking. "Let's sit." He lowered himself down so his legs dangled over the edge, "Want some tea?" He had a small cup that came with his canteen and he filled it - handing it to her.

"So...how is it going? How are you feeling about being out of training and on duty? It's pretty nerve-wracking huh?"

He took a sip of the tea, "Your first assignment is always the hardest."

"But even yet I have so many miles to go."

Re: Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2020, 02:41:49 PM »
 At his chuckle and his words, Michelle felt her cheeks warm. "Yes Sir, I mean Arkin." Michelle replied stammering to hastily correct the method of address when speaking to him. She made a mental note of the part which they needed to sort out. The tiny soldier understood the importance of the cannons, even if they struggled to kill a Titan, their ranged firepower should not be ignored. At least according to the books, their ranged firepower should not be ignored.

She swallowed, nodding the once, casting a glance with worried eyes off in the distance. What if Titans came for them? Would they be able to hold the line and defend everyone from attack? After all, Titans cared only to eat humans, they did not feel fear unlike their smaller targets. Could they stop them? They had to, if they did not, if they failed... Then humanity was extinct, everyone would die.

"But... But..." Michelle wanted to protest. "How?" She had not seen a Titan, never laid eyes on one outside of books and target dummies. As he looked into her eyes, Michelle met his for but a heartbeat before glancing away, unable to meet his gaze for long. "Do we warn the citizens the moment they turn up? What if they don't listen? Or we miss?"

She followed him slowly, her eyes flitting nervously over to the Titan side of the wall in case their enemies arrived. Michelle looked nervous, very much akin to a small baby bird that knew it was in danger but could not work out a way to fly.
She nervously sat down, shuddering as her feet and legs hung over the edge of the abyss to the Titan infested territory, Michelle trembled visibly. She managed to nod, not trusting herself to speak. She accepted the cup, though it took her several attempts to raise it without her hand shaking. She sipped the hot drink. "Thanks..." She muttered in a soft voice, the scent of something so domestic, so homely managing to soothe her soul somewhat.

Michelle was silent for a few moments, the silence to her awkward. "I like... I like being in the Garrison." She admitted quietly as if by such a revelation she might land herself in trouble. "I... My friends here like that I am good at sorting out the papers." She shrugged. "My father is not pleased with me though... I was the first Whitaker ever to fail to make it into the Police..." Another sip of her tea. "I... Sorry... It's really nerve wracking being up here... I'm scared." She whispered, tears dripping steadily down her soft pale cheeks. She was terrified. "I... I'm so scared... Of... Of them." Michelle was  gentle soul at heart, her warmness and kind smile soothing to me. She set the cup down, wiping her face clean of tears with a hand as more flowed down.

Re: Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2020, 01:08:49 AM »
"But... But...How?"

Arkin shrugged, "With the cannons. And our gear and our blades. We've done this a hundred times Michelle. We'll show you what to do." He and Colin exchanged looks and after a moment, Arkin gave the order to light a few torches. It was fully dark at this point and while the torches were still kept fairly dim, the team did need to be able to see.

If he was being honest, Michelle concerned Arkin. Not that he disliked the girl. He thought she was very sweet. But...a soldier that was too nervous was more likely to make a mistake. And a mistake could mean life was lost. And Arkin did not want to write a letter to anyone's family saying their son or daughter was lost. He'd done it before and it was just...awful.

"Do we warn the citizens the moment they turn up? What if they don't listen? Or we miss?"

"There are teams all along the Walls. Whoever sees the Titans first will send up a flare. There are teams that will sound the alarm and if an evacuation needs to be done - then there are teams for that as well. Our job is to deal with the Titan. And that is what we will do. His voice was very firm. Michelle needed to know that the team knew what they were doing. And that she would be okay.

"I like... I like being in the Garrison."

"Well that's good. I like being in the Garrison too." He really did. It was a good group of people - for the most part - and it performed an important role in protecting people.

"I... My friends here like that I am good at sorting out the papers. My father is not pleased with me though... I was the first Whitaker ever to fail to make it into the Police..."

"That is a very good skill to have. I might have you go through my desk and organize it," Arkin said with a laugh. He really did mean it. Not everyone could keep an office...and his desk was looking a little messy.

Arkin took another sip of his tea, "That's rough about your father. I'm sorry to hear that. Ya know...there was about 80 or 81 cadets in my training group. And I was..oh...number 78." He turned his blue eyes towards Michelle, "And I'm not ashamed. That was the best I could do at the time. And you should not be ashamed."

"You just need to worry about learning. Training is good...very good. But it can only teach you so much. You learn on the job too. And you're a smart kid. You have plenty of time. I mean...I'm 31 and I learn new things every day. Don't be so hard on yourself."

He gave Michelle's think shoulder a squeeze. Poor kid. Poor poor kid. He folks had not been happy he joined the military - but they had been nothing but supportive in the end. And proud. Poor kid did not have that. That was a terrible burden to carry.

"Sorry... It's really nerve-wracking being up here... I'm scared. I... I'm so scared... Of... Of them."

Arkin reached into his pocket and took out a hanky. Handing it to her, Arkin assured her it was clean, "It's good you're scared. You'd be a bit mad to not be scared. But...we need to work on turning that fear into mostly respect. I'm absolutely scared of the Titans. But more than that...I respect them. Respect does not cloud your mind the way fear does."

He ran his hand through his hair, exposing his mangled left hand and sighed, "Did you join the military because you wanted to...or because of your dad?"

"But even yet I have so many miles to go."

Re: Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2020, 07:08:30 PM »
  Her eyes widened at his response, she tried to picture herself on the Walls fighting back the Titans. She would like to be brave, to be one of those powerful soldiers that stories are told about, living legends, great heroes. But she wasn't, she happened to be frightened and feeling dismally small. "The books say cannons are not very effective against Titans, they can regenerate from head wounds in about two minutes." She managed a small shrug. "Give or take... Can we kill them with cannons? Or do we have to use the ODM gear?" Michelle inquired, sipping her tea, trying to keep the tremor of fear from her voice. She had been surprisingly agile in the air, her small body seemingly adapt for flight. It may even be an advantage as she was smaller than most of the other soldiers she encountered.

She shuddered at the thought of having to deal with a Titan. "I hope we don't need to evacuate... All those people would be counting on us to defend them." Michelle shivered, wiping at her eyes but at least she managed to stop crying. "I've... I've never seen a real Titan... The training ones looked weird."

She managed a small smile at that. "They are." She sipped her tea again. Michelle ducked her head at his laugh. "I... I can sir. I am sure it won't take long." Of course, she would need to see it to know for sure.

His next words stunned her and Michelle felt her cheeks grow warm. "How? You are an amazing soldier." But Michelle thought everyone around her was an amazing soldier, since she was to put politely as green as spring grass.
"I'll do my best sir." Her smile growing slightly. "Thank you." Michelle felt a tab embarrassed that he thought her to be smart with the potential to learn and become a good soldier.

His hand squeezing her shoulder made the girl flinch as it came unexpectedly. Startled she almost lost her perch, but she managed to catch herself to prevent an undignified fall from grace. Her cheeks reddened. "Sorry sir." Michelle wanted to say that it was not him, but rather she was not used to such a gesture.

She accepted the hanky using it to wipe away the traces of the tears. "I'll... Try." Her voice held a slight shake to it, but it was better than running away screaming in terror from a Titan. Michelle could not imagine respecting a Titan, they were monsters, they killed people, ate them for some unknown purpose... Men, women, children, young or old, rich or poor they ate people without any consideration or remorse. How could one respect monsters?

Michelle's eyes widened at the glimpse of his hand, but she looked away quickly to avoid making him feel self conscious about it. At his question, she let out a sigh and finished the rest of the tea. "No." She stared down past her dangling feet into the darkness. "I'm a Whitaker and Whitaker's have always served in the military." Another sigh, this one filled with sadness. "Specifically the Military Police... That was until I came along the first Whitaker to fail to get into it." She shook her head bitterly. "What about you?"

Re: Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2020, 09:16:20 PM »
"The books say cannons are not very effective against Titans, they can regenerate from head wounds in about two minutes. Give or take..."

Arkin laughed, "That sounds about right. It's pretty quick. Did you like training? What was your favorite class?" Arkin was trying to get to know the girl. He'd gotten a write up on her when she was assigned to his team, but words on paper was not a person.

"Can we kill them with cannons? Or do we have to use the ODM gear?"

He shook his head, "No. The cannons slow them down and we have some control over where the Titans go with the cannons. Ever seen sheep or cows being herded around? Something like that." Arkin took another sip of his tea and peered out into the night. He could not see anything. Of course, that did not mean nothing was out there...but Titans...they could really surprise you.

"We'd use the gear. You'd use the gear," he turned his head to look at Michelle, "Don't worry - I would not throw you right into combat. You'd shadow someone if possible."

"I hope we don't need to evacuate... All those people would be counting on us to defend them."

"Between the Wall and then us - it's not very likely we would have to evacuate. And if we do...then we do. What's going to happen is going to happen and it's our job...our duty...to deal with whatever comes our way." He gave Michelle another smile, "It's good you care."

"I've... I've never seen a real Titan... The training ones looked weird."

He snorted at that, "The real ones look weirder. Trust me. And they all look different. Interesting creatures for sure." Arkin did find the Titans interesting. Horrifying, disgusting...almost demonic at times. But also just...very interesting.

"How? You are an amazing soldier."

Arkin shook his head, "No. Not really. I'm good at what I'm good at. And I have had almost twenty years to get good at my job. Believe me...I'm not good at many many things. But I found my skills and I ran with them."

Arkin watched her dap her eyes with the hanky and thought back to his own youth. When he was not getting his ass kicked by the bullies in training - he had done his share of crying.

"I'm a Whitaker and Whitaker's have always served in the military. Specifically the Military Police... That was until I came along the first Whitaker to fail to get into it."

He nodded, "That is really rough. It's hard to disappoint your family. It really is. But," he paused for a moment before continuing, "Michelle you need to remember that in the end it really only matters that you are proud of yourself. I know...I know..that sounds trite...but the fact of the matter is that you are in the Garrison and you need to make the most of the Garrison. And the Garrison has some of the best soldiers. Not me of course," he laughed a little, "But Ian Dietrich, Mitabi Jarnach, and Rico Brzenska...they lead the Elite Teams and they...THEY are the best soldiers I've ever seen. And of course, we have Commander Pixis. He's a legend." Arkin laughed again. "There are so many good reasons to be part of the Garrison. Never let anyone make you feel ashamed of that."

"What about you?"

"I always knew I'd go into the Garrison. I...I can't say for sure but I don't think I'd have gone into the MPs even if I had the chance...and the Corps was never a thought in my head."

He scanned the distance again as he spoke, "I'm from Trost. My family runs an apothecary shop and they were...surprised...when I wanted to join...but not upset or anything like that."

Arkin was going to say more, but out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a light down the Wall. A good distance away - but soon another blaze was lit...closer this time. He nodded and stood. As he did...a flare broke through the inky black of the night.

"Well...looks like we have Titans heading out way. Rahab! Like the signal fire. Everyone else...stations." His voice was calm. Almost like he was just a teacher giving instructions to his students. He turned back to Michelle and put his good hand on her shoulder, stooping so they were eye to eye, "Stay with Colin by the cannons. You'll be fine."

With a smile, Arkin moved to stand at the edge of the Wall - Rahab joining him. The other team members took their places by the cannons. He drew his blades and waited.

"Steady on," Colin said softly to Michelle, "Just watch me. Done this a thousand times." He winked at her as he readied a cannonball.


"But even yet I have so many miles to go."

Re: Third Watch (tag Michelle)
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2020, 10:17:31 PM »
 Perhaps a tiny part of her mind had irrationally hoped that maybe the instructors and the text books were wrong... That Titans could not regenerate that fast. But his confirmation of it wiped out a tiny fragment of defiant naivety within her. "Oh..." She swallowed, trying to prevent herself from imagining such a horrible sight in her mind of Titans regrowing limbs or... Heads.

She shuddered, glad he asked a different question. "No... Not really..." Training had not been a good three years of her life, but there was no going home in defeat, no quitting or deserting. "I liked the classes... Anything with a book." Michelle confessed somewhat sheepishly as if being forced to reveal a crush. "It was the only thing that I was really good at." She added on, hating how she ranked bottom throughout most of training despite her best efforts... Everything she did proved futile.

"But sheep and cows don't eat us." Michelle pointed out, unable to imagine how a Titan might be herded. According to the books and reports they were not overly bright, but their ability to endure and their sheer strength proved to often overwhelm the best forces humanity could muster against them. If that were not enough, they tended to possess a significant numbers advantage.
Though Michelle was looking off into the distance, she was not really seeing anything. The Titans were out there even now... Who knew what they were doing... Sliding closer, unseen like a phantom in a nightmare.

She glanced down at her ODM gear, wondering if in a battle she might actually use it. What if it malfunctioned? What if she failed to kill the Titan? What if another one grabbed her? "I..." She swallowed unable or unwilling to repeat that she was scared. The rookie was obviously frightened.

"But... If they breach the Wall..." She trailed off and shook her head, there was no point in thinking about all these what ifs. All they were doing was scaring her more and more. Far better to stop it. "Thank you sir." Her eyes widened at the slip up. "I... I mean Arkin sir... Erm just Arkin." She looked away again, feeling distinctly embarrassed. 

She shuddered to imagine what kinds of Titans he had seen in his years of service. "It's cold up here." Michelle said quietly as the petite soldier trembled. It was not cold, but she wanted to say she shook from cold and not sheer terror.
"Oh... Well... That is good, you... Must be amazing though to be in command right?" Michelle doubted that she might ever find herself in a position of command or authority. She did not have the right personality traits or confidence in herself to be an effective leader. "May I ask what those skills were?"

Michelle nodded slowly. Her whole upbringing had been for but a single goal, a single purpose to join the Police Regiment and she failed. Though she had failed many years before that in the eyes of her father, a Whitaker does not fail... She smiled at his words to her, she liked Arkin, he seemed... Well big brotherly. "Thanks... I will try... Rico is scary." Michelle added with a nervous glance about herself. "I'd hate to be a Titan facing her." She paused. "Don't tell her that. Forget I said anything." Michelle could only imagine what it must be like to be in the elite squads, the veterans, the best of the best within the Regiment.

"So you know the city like the back of your hand?" Michelle asked. "I keep getting lost..." She admitted, the streets all appeared the same to her so more often than not the rookie got turned around.

"By the Goddesses." Michelle whimpered aloud, too frozen from fear and shock to move as the others exploded into action. Suddenly Arkin's hand was on her shoulder, he stared into her eyes, she stared back, though her blue orbs were filled with unbridled terror. Her jaw worked uselessly and Michelle struggled to force herself into life. She was no coward, though in her heart she desperately wanted to run, run far, run fast and run screaming. So long as there was somewhere to keep running to.

"Don't let them eat me." Michelle whispered to Colin. "I don't... I don't want to die that way." The fear of being eaten was a very real one as an instructor, a former scout had told Michelle and some of the other cadets several of her battle stories.



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