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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia by Annie Leonhardt
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Author Topic: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia  (Read 138 times)

Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« on: June 25, 2020, 12:26:13 PM »
Autumn 845

It was unseasonably warm for Autumn, Sylvia was glad for the sanctuary from the heat provided by the forest. Despite the hot weather, it smelt alive, cool, fresh and welcoming. It managed to reinvigorate her, the heat no longer sapping her strength. She stopped suddenly, kneeling by a bush filled with large round fat red berries. A smile crossed her face as she popped one in her mouth. She savoured the sweetness of the fruit. "Hey Annie." The small cadet called out. "Do you want some?" Sylvia offered as she started to pick the fruits and carefully store them in a small bag.

Her Son's accent was noticeably thick, though she didn't act like how most expected a daughter from a wealthy family to act. "Don't worry these are edible." She explained, with a small smile. "We use a domesticated variety of this plant at home." Sylvia was very knowledgeable about herbs and generally any kind of plant. It made her handy to have as a partner as the small recruit could usually find something to eat extra.

"Delicious." She proclaimed as she bit into another berry.
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2020, 11:24:20 PM »
As far as partners went, Sylvia Charpentier was a decent one to have; disciplined and focused, without being needlessly overbearing or ingratiating.  The girls travelled at a brisk pace, making good time as they charted the hills and valleys, finding no difficulty in the task of orienteering.  By the time they stepped into the shadowy coverage of the forest, sweat caused Annie’s t-shirt to cling to her upper back, and lay damp beneath her breasts.  Wearing a hoodie in heat would do that to anyone, even a veritable ice queen.

They hadn’t hiked far beneath the trees when Sylvia evidently spotted something of interest, kneeling beside a fruit bush heavy with red berries.

Don’t worry these are edible.  We use a domesticated variety of this plant at home.

‌“Oh yeah?” Annie queried quietly, adjusting the position of the strap of her backpack as she stepped closer.  If Sylvia was eating them, they must be safe.  With pale, slender fingers, the blonde picked a juicy berry and nibbled at it delicately.  It was sweet on her tongue, and she blinked in pleasant surprise.  ‌“What are they?”

Normally, Annie did all she could to avoid instigating conversation, but with the chestnut-haired girl she had an ulterior motive.  Nobility was written into Sylvia’s fair features, into her accent, and she was imbued with the easy grace and keen intelligence of the well-bred.  Admittedly, it had taken Annie longer than she would have liked to learn a little more about this particular cadet.  The name Charpentier reeked of affluence and even carried a certain familiarity.  It was only recently, on a late night venture into the Interior - these forays were taking their toll, leaving shadows beneath Annie’s solemn blue eyes as exhaustion started to gnaw at her - that she had her moment of revelation.  A trio of rebellious well-dressed men, drinking on a street corner, passing between them a bottle of fine wine, the label emblazoned with the name of the vineyard estate.

CHARPENTIER.
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 04:55:26 AM »
 "Yeah do not worry." Sylvia said to reassure Annie. "They are a form of wild grape." She explained, Sylvia was used to working with grapes, it came with the territory given her family business. Well former family business, since her father still didn't approve of her joining the military. If her life had run its predetermined course, she would have taken over the business.

"Aren't you a bit hot?" Sylvia inquired, getting to her feet and dusting herself down. She gave Annie a thin smile. Until recently she had not spent much time with Annie, though she knew of her by reputation. She was easily one of the best recruits, if not the best one, plus her close combat skills were near unbeatable.  Not that Sylvia believed she could easily match her blow for blow and punch for punch. But there was always a chance to win.

"Can I ask you something please?" She inquired politely, it made sense to Sylvia since they were alone out here together, it was reasonable to get to know each other a little bit better.
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 08:16:25 AM »
They are a form of wild grape.

If ever there was a confirmation of Annie’s mounting suspicions, this was it.  She nibbled on another juicy berry as Sylvia climbed to her feet, savouring a small, fleeting feeling of triumph along with the sweet taste.  While Reiner was busy becoming a beloved big brother to their cohort - he wasn’t in his right mind, of that Annie was certain - and while Bertholdt was preoccupied with keeping their fractured leader in check, she was finding her feet and gaining traction.  Any information about the Interior, the nobility, the royal family, could prove useful.  They would get to go home, whatever it took.  Even if she had to do it all herself and then carry both boys home on her back.

‌“A bit,” Annie admitted, adjusting the hem of her hooded sweatshirt.  Normally she ran on the frigid side of cool, but even she wasn’t immune to the baking heat of this unseasonably warm autumn day.  Exertion and the relatively thick layers she swaddled herself in didn’t help either - not that she would have it any other way.  A hoodie gave her something to hide behind, disguising the silhouette of the body she often felt overwhelmingly uncomfortable with.  Besides, her father had always insisted that discomfort and duress could only improve performance in the long run.

The next question caught the tiny blonde off-guard, and although her expression remained bland, she blinked in muted surprise.  Generally, when someone preempted a question by asking if they could ask it, it was because they had something dreadfully personal, or blunt, or serious, or presumptuous to say.  Then again, perhaps Sylvia was just being polite.  Beautiful manners would be in keeping with her considerate personality and presumably privileged upbringing.  Etiquette was like armour to the nobility, Annie had noticed, some wielding words with all the grace and refined savagery of a sword in hand.

‌“Sure, shoot,” she encouraged, with a small, affirming nod of her head.
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 09:01:13 AM »
 Sylvia wasn't going to tell Annie to take off her jumper if she happened to be too warm. After all, she always seemed to know what she was doing. "Just keep yourself hydrated okay?" She cautioned, not wanting to force anything on her current partner, Annie was capable of looking out for herself and Sylvia suspected she might not appreciate her concern.

"Thank you, I promise it won't be a personal one." Sylvia replied, she learned early on to avoid certain topics with other cadets. Her home was intact, her family safe, heck she even came from vast amounts of wealth. In that regard she was different from many of her fellows.

 "Why do you want to join the Police Regiment so much?' She offered her a smile. "It... It's not that I am trying to convince you otherwise I don't know what regiment I want to join." She explained before adding. "Though when you do join you might be able to see my home." She chuckled but then the smile vanished, Sylvia wondered just what Annie might think of her family's extensive estate.
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2020, 10:26:56 AM »
Whether it was genuine concern for her wellbeing - or concern only for the successful completion of their hike - Annie was almost touched by Sylvia’s reminder to stay hydrated.  She gave a little nod in answer, hoping that the chestnut-haired girl wouldn’t always prove to be this caring.  It would make the duplicity that much harder.  Annie was often branded as a bitch, but a heart still beat in her chest.  As much as she wished it didn’t.

The question was asked so gently, and with such a soft smile, that it wrenched at the blonde.  Annie tilted her head forward and scuffed a boot on the ground.  Mossy and pleasant, the forest floor littered with leaves and pine needles.  A cool, calm place, one far preferable to being beneath the scorching eye of the sun.

She hated what Marley compelled her to do.  She hated how hard it was to look into the eyes of the well-meaning and compassionate and lie through her teeth.  There were no devils in Paradis, only people, and all the spectrum of humanity they brought.

Though when you do join you might be able to see my home.

That gave her an opening, though Annie didn’t seize on it immediately.  Before anything else, Sylvia deserved an answer to her question - as honest a one as the Warrior dared give.  Elements of truth always helped with her lies.

‌“Because I’m an inherently selfish person,” Annie answered softly, at last commanding her blue gaze to meet Sylvia’s hazel.  ‌“Because above all else I want an easy life, and I don’t want to die.”  She shrugged her narrow shoulders, knowing how ugly the truth could be.  As far as she could tell, and in the most general of terms, the Survey Corps was for the suicidal or foolhardy, while the Garrison was for the vice-ridden or mediocre.

‌“I… thought you might be from Wall Sina,” Annie added after a pause, hooking blonde hair behind an ear.  ‌“You seem educated, you know?  Well spoken.  It’s a good way to be.”  She picked another berry, rolling it thoughtfully between her fingers.  Sylvia knew something about botany and foraging, that much was clear.  ‌“Did you enlist, or were you conscripted?”  That probably edged on being a personal question, so Annie hastened to add, ‌“Don’t answer if you don’t want to.  I just… can’t imagine choosing to leave Wall Sina.”
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2020, 11:35:30 AM »
 It appeared that Annie would take into consideration the need to stay hydrated, it would benefit them both really. If either of them collapsed from dehydration or heatstroke, the other would be in trouble. Sylvia doubted that she had the strength to carry Annie, even if they were roughly the same height.

Sylvia found it hard to believe that Annie was a selfish person. Yet the way Annie spoke it, clearly Annie believed herself to be. She listened to what Annie had to say before replying. Many people listening only to speak, but to talk, but Sylvia was the rare sort who actually listened to what others had to say.
"It is not selfish to not want to die... I would say it is common sense to not want to." Until she had joined up, her own life knew no threat or concern, no Titans threatened her, no lack of food, or shelter. It was a soft, decadent and easy life. "I don't believe you are selfish." She added leaving it at that.

Sylvia nodded in confirmation. "I am." Though her cheeks seemed to be ever so slightly redder as if this embarrassed her. "Thank you... I er... Used to read a great deal.'" There was unfortunately not always the time to read now she was a cadet.

She managed a small smirk. "Truth be told I am a little of both " Sylvia said quietly. "In hindsight I should have stayed quiet about wanting to join the military... But I... My father didn't approve and a massive argument followed... A couple of weeks later my conscription letter arrived." She shook her head wearily. "My father swore he could get me out of it if I wanted... But I didn't... He banished me from my home and disinherited me though I know that he will give me the inheritance again. He loves his money too much to let it go to someone who isn't a Charpentier."

She chuckled but it was mirthless. "Not like there is anything I can do with the money anyway." Sylvia had never cared for money and wealth. "I was born into a life of luxury, I never wanted for anything... We always had meat, venison, beef, lamb, pheasant, quail. I was ten before I realised that not everyone lived like that. Ten."

Sylvia continued. "I... I wanted to see the world, do some good with my life... I don't think I fit in with the other cadets, the rich girl from Sina." The young woman finished only then seeming to become aware of the fact she rambled on to Annie. "Sorry Annie..  I didn't mean to throw all that at you." She apologized feeling her face flush with colour, Sylvia preferred to lose control and vent in private where possible.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 07:31:20 AM by Sylvia Charpentier »
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2020, 11:00:55 PM »
I don’t believe you are selfish.

Annie hated how a small part of her was so pathetically grateful for those words, desperate to believe there was something good - something redeeming - about her character.  Even if they came from a girl who did not know her, what she had done, what she was capable of.  And there was still so much blood left to be spilt.  Murmured thanks died in her throat, Annie choosing silence, choosing instead to let the conversation flow.

On a personal level, there was something immensely relatable in what Sylvia shared; a domineering father, a wilful daughter, a fraught relationship.  From a business standpoint, there were revealing fragments to be tucked away, lest they prove useful in future.  The fact that Sylvia’s father possessed the power and influence to revoke her conscription was the main takeaway.  This was a man with connections to the military, merchants, certainly other nobles, possibly carrying some political clout.  He was a man who loved money, someone prepared to disinherit his daughter for show.  Presumably that meant Sylvia was an only child.  She had paid a high price to be here, in the Training Corps.  But why?

I wanted to see the world, do some good with my life.

Was it really that simple, and that righteous?  It certainly seemed to be the case, going by the self-judging tone Sylvia used when she revealed she had believed all people lived affluent lives until the age of ten.  At ten years old, Annie was in the thick of her candidateship, and had already been broken and remade by her father’s strict training regime.  They were so fundamentally different but they had some similarities too.  Perhaps that was what compelled Annie to be frank with Sylvia.

‌“There’s nothing to be sorry for,” she murmured in gruff reassurance, meaning it.  Not simply as an infiltrator, but as a person, with everything else stripped away.  ‌“For what it’s worth, I think you have it the wrong way around.  My guess is you were always a soldier at heart, someone who didn’t fit in with the other rich girls from Wall Sina.”  Annie knew all about not belonging.  She didn’t belong anywhere.  Not in Paradis, not in Marley.

‌“It takes courage to speak up, Sylvia.  Never lose that.  Be prepared to bare your teeth, to say your piece, to stand your ground.  Once you lose your voice…” Annie hesitated, not convinced she was making sense.  Her father had taken her autonomy but paid for it in broken bones, and after years of silent suffering she had screamed until her throat was raw.  ‌“You can’t easily get it back.”

A faint nod of her blonde head indicated they should walk, though that didn’t mean they couldn’t continue the conversation.

‌“If you make the top cut, would you consider the Military Police?”  They were still in the early stages of their training, but Sylvia appeared a capable and promising cadet.  She would almost certainly get the choice of joining the MPs, if she so desired.
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2020, 07:58:34 AM »
She listened quietly. "You would be right there, I tended to not get on with many people." Sylvia much preferred her books to the balls and whatever it was that others liked to do. "Though it is nice to think that I was a soldier at heart." She knew that she could have never fitted in or settled in Sina, a life of luxury and complete safety. What enjoyment could be found in that?

Sylvia nodded at Annie's words. She was right with that. "Courage is doing the right thing on a difficult day." Yet she found herself wondering what Annie must have gone through. Part of her wanted to inquire and find out, but she held back. Sylvia knew that many of the recruits had more than their fair share of trouble haunting them. Homes destroyed, their families devastated. It was a topic to avoid, unless you came from Sina.

She followed after Annie and considered her question. It was a fair one after all. "I don't know." Sylvia said at first. "I would be just going back to my old life really but in a uniform... I..." She hesitated before saying. "We are always taught that only here humanity survives, we... Endure but I... There must be other people out there beyond the Walls, perhaps behind their own Walls... I might join the Scouts to see if we can find them." She managed a weak smile. "Just a theory." Sylvia sighed and shook her head. "But the Garrison... I have a theory for the positioning of the guns that might work." She shook her head again. "I... Sorry you probably don't want to listen to someone ramble their ideas at you."

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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2020, 11:16:07 PM »
Courage is doing the right thing on a difficult day.

What a beautiful sentiment, and one alien to Annie.  To her, the line between right and wrong was so indecipherably blurred.  Everywhere she looked there were powers and pawns, and she existed as a foot soldier for a cause she didn’t even believe in.  An eye for an eye until everyone was blind, if they weren’t already.  All she could do was what was right for her, whatever would bring her closer to home, to her father.  Cowardly and self-serving, in Annie’s mind not only was she not her own person, she wasn’t even a person

Suddenly the blonde felt bone-tired, exhausted in a way that had nothing to do with the heat, or the miles they had hiked, and everything to do with the weight of expectation on her shoulders, with the innumerable prices she had been forced to pay, leaving her with a tattered, threadbare soul.  Better to focus on Sylvia, to refuse any self-reflection.  Better to focus on the sunlight that dappled prettily through the canopy above, on the scent of earth and growth.

There must be other people out there beyond the Walls, perhaps behind their own Walls… I might join the Scouts to see if we can find them.

Annie’s face remained impassive.  The girl was closer to the truth than she realised, not knowing that the eyes of the world were on Paradis.  Great gears and wheels turned, grinding nations into dust beneath their weight.  Out there were battleships, trains, guns, all technology and war and humankind.  Annie would almost have preferred to live in ignorance on the island, even with the Titan threat.

‌“I guess it’s possible…” she hummed noncommittally.  Luckily, a new line of conversation opened, one that mightn’t lead to the Founder but could still potentially help her.  Canons mightn’t be a threat to Reiner or Bertholdt, not in their Titan forms, but they were a danger to Annie.  There was only so much of her body she could harden, and only for so long.  Any potential developments or improvements, either in engineering or strategy, were worth knowing about.

‌“I’d like to hear it, actually,” Annie encouraged gently.  Sylvia was a passionate and clever girl, whatever she had in mind it was surely something she had given serious consideration.  They could always loop their discussion back to Wall Sina later.  ‌“Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to see where improvements can be made.”
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 06:51:36 AM »
"I know it must sound crazy... But it makes sense from what evidence we have." Sylvia said, after all someone must have built the Walls in a manner now lost to the future generations. She hadn't seen a Titan, but she doubted any great sky deity came down to build them for humanity in their our of need. Therefore if they were of human construction, it was possible for there to be other populations of humanity in the same isolation as them.

She felt her lips form into a narrow smile when Annie said she would like to hear it. "We all know that the Colossal Titan just appeared one day and destroyed the gate in mere moments." Sylvia began. "Followed by the Armoured Titan smashing it's way through the second gate and causing one of the largest defeats and greatest disasters in history." This was common knowledge so far, humanity had been utterly defeated that day.

"Our new defensive ideas however seem to be reliant on the fact we will see both of them coming... This I find highly doubtful." Sylvia explained. ", Whilst we should know doubt concentrate some guns on the main gates. I would concentrate most of them on the Walls nearer the Gates." She said to Annie, relishing the opportunity to talk her theory aloud. "The gunners then could fire on the Colossal Titan or the Armoured as well as the other Titans which entered. Sylvia frowned.but continued on. "Of course however this is dependent on either of them being vulnerable to cannon fire... Plus there is no way to predict if any new variety of Titan might appear." She let out a quiet sigh. "It's however the best I can think of given what I currently know and a rough idea on the disposition and strength of Titan forces."
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2020, 10:43:00 AM »
Sylvia had given it some thought.  Annie listened closely, her blue gaze trained on the forest floor - apparently watching for roots and brambles - processing all the girl had to say.  These days, any talk of defensive strategy had the Colossal and Armoured Titans at its core.  Regular Titans did not possess the means to pierce the Wall, and only posed an immediate threat to the Survey Corps and the Garrison.  The single most devastating day in Paradis’ history had come when she, Bertholdt and Reiner had made their first move against the islanders. 

Sometimes it was difficult to reconcile the boys she knew with their Titan counterparts.  Beneath it all, they were good kids, even if Reiner pissed her off like nobody else.  As for Annie herself, she couldn’t help but think a rot ran to - or rather from - her core.  There was a part of her that felt most alive when she was piloting the Crystal, with blood on her hands and screams ringing in her ears.  She didn’t have to be in Titan form to be a monster.

‌“You make a good point,” Annie responded, mulling over all that Sylvia had said.  Canons could be moved, she knew, the tops of the Walls lined with tracks they could be guided along.  It was a slow process, however.  ‌“Firing into the district would destroy homes and tear through evacuating civilians,” she noted nonchalantly, without any hint of judgement.  Desperate times called for desperate measures, and if decimating a district was what the islanders believed it would take to save the rest of the realm, she would scarcely judge them for it.  ‌“But I still think there’s something to be said for your strategy.”

Annie glanced at her companion.  ‌“Let’s just hope there are no new varieties of Titan…” she added solemnly.  Of all that Sylvia had said, this was the most alarming to the blonde cadet, which probably stood testament to her own selfishness.  Bertholdt and Reiner’s Titan forms had been clearly sighted and had no doubt been discussed at great length within military and civilian circles alike, but she remained unknown.  Quite when her reveal would come, Annie could not guess, but when it did she planned to use the element of surprise to her advantage.  ‌“I’m glad I’ll be in the Interior, though I guess if Wall Maria can fall, Wall Sina can too.  Nowhere is safe, really.”
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2020, 01:32:38 PM »
 Sylvia listened to Annie's response, she fell silent as she picked her way through the undergrowth. For a girl from the luxurious world of Sina, she seemed to be far more adept and comfortable in the wild places. "Thank you and..." Sylvia trailed off for a moment before saying. "You're right but if we don't stop the Titans from breaching the Wall... It could spell the end of humanity, extinction." She swallowed and sighed wearily. "We are focusing too defensively, they don't feel fear, they barely feel pain..." She seemed thoughtful as if perhaps their discussion might lead to seem great revelation, something that might change humanity's dire fortunes.

"It is a war of survival. One we are losing and we cannot afford to lose another Wall... Even just one of the gates could be disastrous." Maybe her home was not as safe as she believed it to be. Eventually, humanity would run out of places to flee to, resources to use and  then the Titans would claim their victory.

"Me too..." Sylvia whispered as if confessing a secret to a lover. "If they breach the Wall you might not be safe for long... Or maybe it is more a when, will it be today, tomorrow, a hundred years from now?" She sighed and shook her head as if to force the idea from her mind. She returned to the topic of Titans and said quickly. "But what if there are new ones? Ones that could jump, climb... I... We don't know how to reproduce... Yet given how so many of them appear to male it... It's a theory what if they are a matriarchal society? Like ants for example or bees. Somewhere there is a female Titan, some kind of smart Titan that directs their movements and attacks?" She stopped again, pausing to investigate some kind of mushrooms on the dirt floor, she started to collect them. "This is another theory of mine... I have no evidence to support it, beyond the absence of any females as given we have only seen the human male like ones... But how do they reproduce their numbers?" The question had no answer, Titans were as different to humanity as a human was to a mushroom. "I'd hate to be proven right though, that there is a queen some kind of smart female Titan." She pocketed the mushrooms. "Sorry... I tend to think a lot as I cannot sleep."

Sylvia said standing up and dusting herself off. "I suppose you must think I am crazy now. I can only imagine what some of others would think of my ideas... Eren would probably go crazy at me." She chuckled at the thought, though her eyes were troubled. "I... I admit I don't want to be killed by a Titan... But I do wonder what they gain from eating us, there must be some purpose, some logic to it."

She fell silent again before speaking up. "What if the Church is partly right? What if the Titans are some divine punishment? Or... Maybe humanity once fought itself in a bitter war and they are some terrible weapon let lose and..." Sylvia kicked what looked to be a small stone in frustration with her right leg. She let out a yelp of pain and clutched at the foot, the stone was much bigger than she believed and had stuck fast, taking the blow. "That was stupid." She hissed through gritted teeth. "I suppose it is what I get for thinking too much... Even if I was right, I have no evidence and no one is going to listen to the ravings of some rich girl from Sina..." « Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 01:37:30 PM by Sylvia Charpentier »
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Re: Of herbs and warriors Annie/Sylvia
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 11:03:02 PM »
Extinction of life behind the Walls was absolutely a possibility, even without the Warriors’ missive.  Annie understood how high the stakes were for the Paradisians, and recognised that they would do everything - anything - within their power to stay alive.  The primal desire to survive thrummed inside every being.  That was what made them so very dangerous.

‌“Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not criticising,” Annie murmured.  ‌“The loss of Wall Rose would result in an immediate and catastrophic loss of life, and that’s to say nothing of the food shortages that would follow.  Weigh that on the scales against the decimation of a single district and it’s clear which option is preferable.”  Her words were measured, thoughtful, dispassionate.  As if she had not played a role in the genocide of Wall Maria’s denizens.  She shrugged nonchalantly.  ‌“Some evils are necessary.”

The blonde lapsed into her usual silence, listening as Sylvia spoke of a fanciful matriarchal society, one ruled over by a Titan queen.  Annie had to admit, she rather liked the imagery such talk conjured - a fierce and inherently female ruler, with a horde of cockless foot soldiers at her disposal.  It was almost enough to make her smile as she halted, making no protest or enquiry as her teammate knelt on the forest floor to inspect and then gather some mushrooms.

I’d hate to be proven right though, that there is a queen some kind of smart female Titan.

‌“I don’t know… women so often get the short, shitty end of the stick, I kind of like the idea of a queen,” Annie remarked drolly, turning over Sylvia’s allusion of sleeplessness in her mind.  What kept the noble girl awake at night?

‌“I don’t think you’re crazy.  I think it’s… good to think,” she offered when it seemed her teammate was losing confidence.  This time, Annie did smirk faintly, amused to imagine what Eren’s reaction to Sylvia’s theories might be.  That volatile boy possessed a hair-trigger temperament.  At the very least, they would be treated to one of his vehement diatribes. 

Any trace of amusement was swiftly washed away, however, by the mention of the Titans’ compulsion to eat humans.  It was a mindless, instinctive reaction, no doubt born of an inherent desire to be returned to their human form.  Just like the one that had eaten Marcel - Annie still remembered the sound of his blood pattering on the ground, with all the ferocity of a sudden downpour - and just as she herself had consumed the previous holder of the Crystal Titan.

Talk of divine punishment, wars and weapons brought Sylvia a touch too close to the truth, even if her suppositions were nothing more than baseless daydreams.  Annie snorted and managed to make it suitably derisive.  Before she could say anything else, her teammate mercifully kicked a stone and obviously hurt herself.

‌“It’s good to think,” Annie reiterated in response to Sylvia’s assertion she somehow deserved the discomfort, gaze trained on her injured foot.  ‌“Are you all right?  Do you need to stop for a moment?”
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