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Author Topic: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]  (Read 4940 times)

Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« on: March 16, 2018, 12:08:04 PM »
- following on from the Team One: Civilian Evacuation thread -

It was cool within the chamber, the summer heat absorbed by the grey stone of the gate house.  Despite the faint chill, sweat soaked into Farran’s shirt and glistened on his brow.  In the chaos that followed the breach, it became immediately apparent that the Garrison Regiment of Utopia was not prepared.  Teams had been hastily formed, unwilling soldiers thrust into positions of leadership and authority, many of their subordinates balking openly at the danger they had found themselves in. 

Whatever the cost, the fate of Shiganshina could not be allowed to befall Utopia.

The fate of Wall Maria could not be allowed to befall Wall Rose.

Please no.  Not again.  We have to stop them!

That thought powered Farran on his way to the gate house, under the orders of his superior.  The gears of his minds clicked and whirred from the moment he arrived in the empty chamber, steely grey eyes settling immediately on the winch as he slipped his backpack from his shoulders.  It was evident that it had been wilfully tampered with - which explained why the civilian evacuation had not yet begun in earnest - but where was the guard? 

That was when the ominous, metallic tang of blood filled his nose. “Fuck…”  Farran breathed.  There, in the corner, on the floor, lay a crumpled soldier with congealing blood pooling all around him, his dull blue eyes open in a glassy expression of surprise and horror.  His name was Jaylen Ponsen.  Moving swiftly, Farran draped his own rose-embroidered jacket over his deceased comrade, hiding the man’s face and giving him some small privacy in death.

It took all of his resolve to keep his mind from running wild.  For now, his priority was the hoist.  There was no time to ponder this terrible situation, only to remedy it.  Rolling up his sleeves, kneeling by the windlass, he allowed himself to think briefly of his beloved Lana; at this time of day, his wife would normally put their son down for his late morning nap, and use the temporary peace and quiet to bake bread or do some sewing.  Where were they now?  Amongst the masses of people pressed fearfully against the closed inner gate?  Cornered, panicked, as the Titans drew ever nearer…

Too many Falkenraths had died in such a way.

Spurred into action, Farran knelt by the windlass, fingers running over the mechanism.  The brake had been forced - hammered? - against the gears, locking it into place.  Vaguely, the engineer was aware that even if he did repair the winch, he couldn’t hope to raise the gate by himself.  Again, this thought was pushed forcefully aside.  The priority, for now, was actually making the fix.  He stepped in some of the thickened blood as he crossed the room - it squelched unpleasantly beneath his boots - and roughly opened the rucksack he had brought with him.  Inside was a collection of basic tools, hopefully enough to see him through this task.  With a crude kind of crowbar in hand, he crouched by the windlass and began the long, hard struggle of prising the brake away. « Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 12:08:45 PM by Farran Falkenrath »

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 02:07:49 AM »
“Don’t worry, I won’t be going after any Titans unless they get in our way.” Hilda reassured Nack, her voice flat. “Right now, we should just focus on getting to the gatehouse and take it from there.” It wouldn’t be too far, and looking out towards the gatehouse in the distance, there weren’t any Titans between it and them, but that didn’t mean one wouldn’t show up.

Her wires soon shot out towards a nearby roof, and taking a deep breath, she moved up onto it, moving from rooftop to rooftop towards the gatehouse, trying desperately not to think about anything but just making it to their destination, all while trying to keep an eye out for any Titans that might approach. She kept breaking it all down into increments, her focus narrowing to each rooftop ahead of her, bit by bit. It made tasks seem less overwhelming to her, to break them down into smaller tasks, and right now it kept anxiety from taking over.

Once she and Nack made it safely to the gatehouse, she paused only a moment to catch her breath and just collect herself before moving inside.

Not bothering to waste time with formalities at a time like this, she immediately spoke.  “Hey, we’re here to help with the…” her voice trailed off when she saw only one man inside. Where was everyone? And what was that smell?

She froze in horror when she saw a person with a jacket draped over his face. Was he dead? Why was there a dead man in here?

She took another deep breath, shuddering at the smell of blood before turning to the man. “What’s going on? Where is everyone, and what happened to him?” she asked the man working on fixing the gate. “I mean… shit…” she paused. She shouldn’t be panicking, but the situation was worse than she thought if there were only two people in here and one of them was dead!

With yet another deep breath to calm herself, she composed herself enough to say “How can we help?” she asked shakily That was the reason they were here, and she needed to focus on fixing the gate. But it was hard for her not to notice the worrying lack of other people and the corpse lying nearby.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 02:49:14 PM »
Her reassurance did some to calm his nerves, though he couldn't even lie to himself that the fear had been erased. The gatehouse was what was important now. If they were going to find a means of saving people, they would need to push harder and get the gate working quickly. Especially with Struna out there distracting the Titans and buying more people time. Including them. Her luck would carry her. Perhaps her attempt to bestow luck upon them would assist in the reparation of the gate.

Following Hilda's path, which was slower than he expected but certainly seemed safer, Nack shadowed her movements and pushed on. He was not quite at ease with the rushing movements of going from roof to roof, kicking in gas perhaps a little extravagantly to ensure he didn't fall back. What would happen if a Titan crept up behind them? His desperate glances back to ensure that would not be a fate bestowed upon them very almost lost him on her track. He caught up again, glancing at the upcoming gatehouse. How many were struggling already to fix it?

While she paused for breath, he hesitated behind her, fear running through his blood. It sounded quieter than he would have liked within. Where were the Garrison soldiers calling to one another as they attempted to fix the mechanism?

Behind her every step, the boy caught a whiff of something that made his stomach flip. Blood in such amount had only rotted his nostrils once before. The body at the bottom of the stairs had been drenched in dried blood, eyes staring into the distance, glassy, yet somehow conveying the fear he'd heard throughout the night. Nack gagged, turning away before he could find the smell's source, hastily trying to bury the memory. Was it the blood or the memory that truly sickened him?

My father's alive, he told himself, only distantly aware of Hilda's words by him. He's a merchant -- no, he's a tailor. He's waiting at home for me to graduate, and he'll welcome me home, and everything will be right again. To convince others was difficult. Convincing himself was near impossible. He'll tell me he's proud of me, and I'll stay in Karanes. There will be no Titans there, and everything will be right again, he pushed, emphasising it to himself.

Pulling himself out of his own mind, he managed just to catch the end of Hilda's words. Brown eyes wide in terror all the same, as he covered his nose before the overpowering scent could relinquish control once more, Nack gazed at the man present. If somebody was dead here and there was only one person within... "Hilda," he hissed, "How do we know we can trust him?"

His eyes flashed at her, not wanting to speak it in case his creeping paranoia was confirmed before they could do anything. He just wanted to be wary. Sure, he was working on the brake, but was he fixing it or sabotaging it further? There were bloody footsteps on the ground. Why would there be? The body, oh god why was he looking at it, was even covered up with a jacket. The supposed brake-fixer wasn't wearing a jacket, so surely it was possible that he was the saboteur?

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 01:33:49 AM »
Completely focused on his task, Farran didn’t realise he had company until there was a shadow of movement in his peripheral vision.  His dark head snapped up and he saw that two figures had joined him in the gloomy chamber.  Immediately, he scrambled to his feet, his grasp tightening on the crowbar.  With Jaylen dead - with the outer gate yawning open, with the inner gate locked closed - it was apparent that a monster moved among their number, and that it wore a human face. 

But then the flickering half-light of a low-burning brazier revealed two cadets, the familiar emblem of crossed swords stitched onto their breast pockets, directly over their young hearts.  Farran relaxed, or as much as he could given the situation, the tip of the crowbar now pointing to the stone floor.

“You shouldn’t be here…” he started, his grey eyes flicking between the two.  His mind was saturated with information, full of pieces of a puzzle that stubbornly refused to lock together, and filling the spaces in between them was fear; fear for the people of Utopia, fear for his family.  Axel was stationed in Utopia, it was true, but the barracks were behind the inner wall.  Axel was safe - for now.  So why were there two children - presumably his nephew’s comrades - standing in front of him, playing soldiers in the middle of a goddamn warzone?  “Who sent you…?”  The question was whispered with urgency, Farran’s voice cracking with emotion as realisation closed in.  The blood that ran hot in his veins suddenly turned to ice, as his world came to a crashing halt.  For a moment, even the mechanism was forgotten. 

The terrible thing was that it made sense

Utopia had the smallest Garrison of any district and next to no Survey Corps presence.  With the Training Corps barracks nearby, and currently occupied, of course they would pull the cadets into the fray.

Axel.  Oh fuck, Axel

The crowbar slipped, almost escaping his grasp.  With a groan, Farran pushed damp hair back from his brow.  “I don’t know…” he answered honestly.  He didn’t know what was happening, or why, but he understood the suspicion, and he knew he had to pull together.  But there was no time to waste.  If the cadets needed convincing that he wasn’t the monster, he would have to make his case whilst working towards a solution.  With a dry swallow, he nodded in the direction of their silent companion, the corpse in the corner.  “That is Jaylen Ponsen, who gave his life in the defence of Utopia District.  He was a loyal friend, a dedicated comrade, and a dearly-loved father of three.”  Farran forced himself to look at the crumpled body, his expression pained.  Blood soaked through his jacket in patches, garish flowers blooming alongside the Garrison roses.  In their presence, beneath a makeshift shroud, a kindly and good-natured man was growing stiff and cold.  With a shiver, Farran’s gaze shifted to the young pair.  “My name is Farran Falkenrath, I’m an engineer within the Garrison Regiment.”

Taking a step back, he returned to his post, sliding to his knees beside the windlass.  For a long moment, he stared glassily at the brake.  Fix the mechanism - Lana and Fritz will evacuate - go find Axel.  It was a plan, bare bones though it was, and it relied on the three of them succeeding in their task.  Because leaving wasn’t an option, not yet, and afraid though he was, he was a sworn soldier.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Farran forced the words out, lifting the crowbar and assaulting the misaligned brake with new fervour.  “I’m going to need your help.  Both of you.  One - one of you will need to help me prise this piece of tampered shit off.  It’s what’s - it’s what’s holding everything up.  We’re going to need to replace it -”  Farran grunted and paused in his efforts, passing his forearm over his face, wiping it free of sweat.  It was impossible to stay focused, he had to ask.  From his place on the floor, he looked between the two, only now noting their features.  They looked so young, fearful too, but they were here and ready to serve.  “Do either of you know Axel?  Do you… do you know where he is?”

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 01:14:01 AM »
Hilda froze at Nack’s words. The thought hadn’t occurred to her, as her mind had fixed solely on two facts- one, that there was a dead body in the first place, and two, there should have been more people there to try and open the gate, given that they couldn’t properly evacuate until it was fixed. But well, two people in there and only one was alive… could the man fixing the gate have killed the other, and why?

She didn’t really think it was very likely that the man fixing the gate was behind the current chaos- if he’d tampered with the gate, then he probably would have left the scene of the crime as soon as he could, once his job was done- it would be stupid to stick around and assume no one would come, or only just one person. It was possible that he really was that stupid, but other people had to have been here, wouldn’t they? Or what if the dead man had been the one to tamper with the gate and had gotten caught coming back to make sure it didn’t get fixed?

“I… I don’t know…” she whispered back, so that only Nack could hear. The gate needed to be fixed, but the corpse nearby complicated things.

She tensed as the man spoke. Being told they shouldn’t be here, it seemed ominous, like something the person who tampered with the gate might say.

“All of the cadets were sent here.” she answered, not knowing what else to say.

As the man gestured to the corpse, Hilda saw blood soaking through the jacket covering him. Her stomach churned, brow furrowing as he told them about the dead man. That didn’t sound like something the person who just killed him would say, but she remained somewhat cautious.

Falkenrath… was he any relation to Axel Falkenrath? She didn’t have much time to think about it, as he told them what was wrong and how they needed to fix it.

“Okay, but what does the other person need to do?” she asked, since he’d said he’d need help from both of them. “Yeah, I know him, but I’m afraid I don’t know which team he was assigned to, it all happened so fast…” And really, at this point she didn’t know exactly where any of her fellow cadets were, besides Nack.

She carefully moved towards the tampered mechanism, trying her best not to step in any blood. She looked it over, examining it. Farran was telling the truth about what was wrong, anyhow. And if he was the killer who messed with the gate, then his job was done, and there wouldn’t be any need to tamper with it further. He probably really was trying to fix it. She remained cautious, but for now, his story seemed to check out.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 01:24:18 AM by Hilda Meissner »

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2018, 12:31:41 PM »
Suspicion grazed his expression as he watched the man, from how he reacted to their presence to how he spoke. If there was even the slightest chance that he might be involved in some kind of sabotage attempt, they'd have to fight. Nack's fear of the Titans didn't count here. He could fight a person - he knew he could do that, and he wasn't afraid to back down if he had to. Right? Probably. But the way he spoke of the dead man, it seemed too genuine to be fake. Why would a murderer describe their victim in such a way? It made no sense, and it was too pained to be a lie. Could he lie like that? Maybe. But he was very good at getting into character...

Farran Falkenrath? Had to be related to Axel, nobody else seemed to have such a stupid surname. The kid was 'dodgy' as he'd describe him, based on their arguments and the amount of times the idiot ended up getting in the way or trying to fight those he liked. But he was too set on his rules to be related to somebody evil. Maybe this was his dad. He'd never heard of him talk of his family much - Nack had no interest in trying to impress somebody who got on his nerves qite so much, so he'd barely listened to the brat.

Looking at Hilda, the brunet muttered, "I think he's alright, but keep an eye out." They had to take the chance. Struna was out there. Jean and Kieran too. How many of them had already met a Titan in combat?

What if one of them had already died?

As the supposed soldier explained what they needed to do, he nodded, beginning to roll up his sleeves. So there was a job for both of them. He'd just have to take the one with the least amount of skill. And if he or anyone else - if not for the scent of blood, he might have even suspected the jacket-covered corpse of lying in wait to ambush them - tried anything, he'd just take them down. There was the confidence he could rely on. They could do this.

But the man interrupted himself before he could explain what else there was to do. He glanced at Hilda as he tried to remember. When their teams had been called, he'd listened out for where his friends would go. Kieran was with Ymir. Struna was with him. Jean was with Axel. That was it. "Axel's on the support team," he muttered, a flash of a grimace settling on his face as he thought of his bunkmate heading towards that mess of Titans. "They're at the other gate with the instructors and some soldiers."

Shaking his head, he pressed on. "Look, we've got to think about that later," he said, if only because he was struggling not to think of how likely it might be for one of the others to have been grabbed already. They had to be safe. "We have to fix this gate now or nobody's going to be safe. Hilda's good with mechanics, she can probably do whatever requires that," he glanced to the girl to be sure he'd remembered right. "I'm not, but I'm strong. Either tell us what needs doing or get out so we can move on. Then you can go find your kid or whatever, when everybody can get through, and before the Titans get this far. My--" he broke off, stifling a choke. Keep it together.

"Our friends are out there too. They can get out on top of the Wall, but most of them won't 'till everybody else is safe. Fix it, or go."

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2018, 11:48:16 AM »
All of the cadets were sent here, said the girl.

They’re at the other gate with the instructors and some soldiers, said the boy.

Farran swallowed hard, the apple of his throat bobbing.  The revelation was every bit as dreadful as he had feared.  Not only had Axel been mobilised but, if the cadet standing before him was to be believed, his nephew had been sent to the frontline.  As of this moment, the most dangerous place to be was in the shadow of the yawning outer gate, through which Titans poured and staggered, their oversized hands outstretched and grasping.

Horror had teeth that were long and cold; Farran felt the sting of them in his chest.  Not even the flush of summer heat combined with physical effort could keep the colour in his face.  Maybe it was his pallor that gave him away - fear for Axel rendered him almost as pale and bloodless as Jaylen Ponsen.  Perhaps sensing his trepidation, the male cadet was now speaking with urgency.  The mistaken insinuation of ‘your kid’ didn’t earn any correction from Farran, who peered intently at the speaker.  He mightn’t be Axel’s father, but the boy was his blood.

There was fire in this dark-eyed cadet.  His words carried heat, and he spoke hard truth.  Blinking, Farran shook himself free of the immobilising touch of dismay, his own glacial shades of grey smouldering with renewed determination.

Fix it, or go.

He would undertake the former first - as was his sworn duty - and then, knowing that the civilians of Utopia could evacuate, that Lana and Fritz might be safe, he would then head for the outer gate.  Axel was all but a man now, on the cusp of graduating as a fully-fledged soldier.  There would be no plucking the young Falkenrath from the battlefield but, if he could find him, Farran hoped to keep him safe.  Whatever the cost.  And surely, between himself and the two cadets in his presence, one of them would live long enough to tell their superiors of what had been discovered in the inner gatehouse, of what had befallen Jaylen.

Farran turned his wintery gaze to the girl - Hilda, wasn’t that what the boy had said?

“There’s a storeroom on the floor below us.  We need another one of these -” he explained, nodding to the crowbar in his hand.  His words were hurried but his enunciation remained clear.  “And we’ll need a replacement brake.  See this ratchet gear here?”  Farran tapped the brake - the one he had been working so hard to prise fear from the mechanism - with a work-worn finger.  “When we raise the gate, this is the damn thing that’ll keep it from slamming down on the people below.
 It has twenty-three teeth, remember that.”

How fiercely he hoped there would be a spare.  In normal circumstances, there certainly would be.  Was it likely that the saboteur would have thought to empty the store?  It seemed probable that the person to sabotage the gate was the same who murdered Jaylen, and thus they would surely want to leave as quickly as possible.  Then again, until today, Farran wouldn’t have believed that something like this could even happen.

“Hurry down there now, Hilda.  And keep your blades drawn, you hear me?”  There was a tone of paternal concern to his voice now, one that begged for her to listen.  For this brief instant, it wasn’t Titans he was concerned with, but those monsters who wore human faces.  “As for you…” Farran turned his attention to the boy, and held out the crowbar in offering.  The metal was warm, heated by his blistered and bruised palms.  “I’m fairly certain it will take both of us to force the brake off, but you’re welcome to try.”  That, and perhaps the cadet would be a little more at ease, having a weapon in his hands.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 01:05:08 AM »
Hilda nodded as Nack told her that the man was probably not the one responsible for this mess, but to keep an eye out. She was already thinking the same thing.

She looked over at Farran, fidgeting as she waited for him to tell them more about what needed to be done to fix this, as fixing the gate was the only way anyone in Utopia was going to have even the slightest chance of making it out of this alive.

She tensed a little as Nack mentioned that she was good at mechanics, the thought finally sinking in of how huge a responsibility was ahead of her. The fate of Utopia, and everyone inside lay partially in her hands. She felt in over her head, her heart racing. This was way too big a responsibility for her. But she didn’t really have a choice, did she? Her hands felt clammy again, and with a sigh, she wiped them on her pants. She just had to pretend this was a drill or something. An ordinary assignment for training, not a life-or-death situation. Focus on whatever task was given to her and not think of the impact it might have. She shook her arms out, as if to physically shake off as many doubts and anxieties as she could. Maybe she looked stupid, but it was helping to push those thoughts aside.

She listened carefully to Farran’s instructions. She looked at the brake, doing her best to memorize its appearance. “Twenty-three teeth.” she repeated, to better remember it. “Got it.” she nodded, drawing her blades though she hoped there was no need to use them.

She headed carefully down to the storeroom, feeling like she was doing twenty things at once. Trying her best to keep the image of the brake fresh in her memory while repeating “Twenty-three.” to herself so she wouldn’t forget how many teeth the replacement should have, all while trying to stay on guard for any potential attackers, possibly the person who’d tampered with the gate in the first place.

Though she had soon made it safely to the storeroom, she didn’t feel any safer at all, remaining on her guard as she looked around the place for any hidden intruders before beginning her search for a replacement brake. It felt almost as if someone could jump out at her at any second.

She quickly found a brake that looked a lot like the one she had set out to replace, and counted the teeth, her face falling when it had the wrong number of teeth. With a sigh, she resumed her search until she found another nearby. “Nineteen, twenty, tw-  twenty three!” she smiled, relieved to have found the right replacement. She hurried back up, trying her best to be on guard, though it wasn’t easy when she was trying to get back upstairs as quickly as possible. “I’ve got the brake!” she announced, holding it up. “How’s it going? Making any progress?” She glanced down at the brake to see if they’d made any progress.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2018, 10:30:20 PM »
Relief filled him as the man finally seemed to pull himself together, instructing Hilda on what to find in the storeroom. He knew what to do. He had directions. That was more than a start, that was progress. Perhaps they could get the gate open quickly. What would he do then? Nack supposed he was meant to help with the actual evacuation, though a horrible itch to find Struna and make sure she was okay filled him. What of the man? If he was going to find Axel, perhaps he could go find Jean too... No, he had to do his job, and he'd stick with Hilda. They might even need to stay inside in case it was sabotaged again. Would that happen? He hoped not.

His eyes glanced to the covered body, and stared. Every word spoken was tuned out, his focus fixed on the symbol of sabotage, of life's end. The corpse of a soldier who had been slain by human hands... if this murderer was out there, trying to keep them all stuck in the district, there was no telling where they would be, or whether they would return. Wouldn't it be a good cover story to be hanging out in the gatehouse, or nearby, to come back and sbaotage it the moment they were close to getting started again?

Farran spoke to him, and he looked over. Was he certain that the man was a soldier of the Garrison? Mostly. Was he sure this wasn't the murderer? He wasn't convinced, but there was nothing he could do  to check. It might not even be his real name. It was so easy to pretend, especially when you didn't seem to have any choice.

Nack bit his lip, and reached out for the offered crowbar. It felt warm as he took it. Heavier than blades. Would it hurt if it smashed into somebody's head? Panic blossomed in his chest, and he swallowed it down. Trust him for now. But he wouldn't take his eyes off of him.

"Sure," he muttered, glancing to where Hilda had exited the room, then looked across at the man again. "So what made you come here?" the boy asked, pushing the crowbar into its place, and angling his body for sure feet, glimpsing Farran out of the corner of his vision. He strained as he pulled back on it, then tried pushing it. No dice, only strain.

When Hilda returned, he nodded to her. "Not great," he answered. The strength of two people would have to do though, surely? And it would prove whether or not the man was a saboteur - either he'd make sure the brake couldn't be prised away, or he would and would sabotage the replacement. Right? Sure.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 04:36:17 PM »
Hilda, bright-eyed and attentive, having taken heed of his instructions, left the room.  All they could do now was wait for her return and hope that luck was on their side.

Farran moved back to give the cadet his space, watching as the boy tested the gear’s resistance.  Even youth and fresh strength were not enough to see the mangled brake shift.  A disheartening truth, but one that was unsurprising.  “Captain’s orders,” the engineer answered quietly, brushing dark hair back from his face, smudging his brow with grease in the process.  “The interior gate is almost always open during the day, to permit people to enter and leave the city.  In a situation like this, there was no reason for it to be closed…”  That would only change the moment saving Utopia was deemed impossible, when the Garrison could no longer hold back the advancing Titans.  In that instance, the gate would shut fast, and the fate of the civilians left inside would be sealed.  It didn’t bear thinking about.

Luckily, distraction arrived in the form of Hilda.  “Saviour,” Farran murmured, managing a small, fractured smile.  Cradled in Hilda’s arms was a glimmer of hope, that hundreds of lives might yet be saved.  Now all they had to do was force the broken brake off the shaft.

With his leather boots creaking softly, Farran scouted the room, seeking another crowbar.  While none were apparent, there was a riveting hammer in his rucksack, narrow enough to slide behind the gear.  It might just serve the same purpose.  Taking the familiar tool up in hand, he made his way to the windlass, nodding at the boy as he did so.  “You keep the crowbar and prise it from that side,” he instructed, taking position at opposite side of the mechanism.  “We’ll try together.” 

They would soon know if this was a fool’s errand, or if victory was within their reach.  Farran wiped his hands, one by one, against his breeches, then readied his grip on the hammer, sliding the narrower, claw-like end behind the gear.  Grey eyes sought out shades of brown as he nodded again, his jaw steeled.  “Ready?”

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2018, 11:19:53 AM »

Characters involved (this is not a posting order):

  • Nack Tierce - 4/4 pairs of blades remaining; 78% gas remaining
  • Hilda Meissner - 4/4 pairs of blades remaining; 80% gas remaining
  • Farran Falkenrath - 4/4 pairs of blades remaining; 85% gas remaining

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2018, 01:46:22 AM »
Hilda’s face fell at Nack’s answer to her question as to whether or not he and Farran had made any progress in removing the damaged brake. She knew better than to think they would have succeeded in removing it by now, but she had dared to at least hope that they had made even a little progress, but then again, it seemed that Nack had been trying to do it on his own, and Farran didn’t seem to have made much headway in his attempts to remove it earlier.

Still, seeing how hopeful Farran was at the sight of the replacement brake gave her a brief moment of hope herself, before she reminded herself that the damaged brake had to come off first, and until then, the replacement wasn’t any good. She let out a sigh of frustration. “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to find a spare crowbar.” she apologized. There should have been one, but maybe the one being used was the spare and a replacement hadn’t come in yet.

But she felt a little better once Farran stepped in to help with a hammer. But it didn’t stop her from pacing around nervously, as she tended to do when she was worried. She supposed there were worse ways to deal with the fear surging through her right then. The fear that Utopia would fall, taking her and her friends and other classmates with it.

And it wouldn’t stop there. If Utopia fell, it was likely that all of Wall Rose would be invaded by Titans in the same way Wall Maria had just a few short years ago. Everyone at home… she stopped herself there, it wasn’t a good idea to follow that train of thought, even in a terrible situation like this. She took a deep breath and wiped her hands on her thighs again. She might not be able to do anything until the tampered brake was off, but she still needed to keep her cool. A cool head was essential in a crisis like this, after all. At least it was for her. She took looks over at the brake to see the progress Nack and Farran were making, but said nothing, as she didn’t want to distract them.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 07:32:35 PM by Hilda Meissner »

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 07:31:52 PM »
Nack nodded slowly to the soldier's words, understanding that. He couldn't remember a time when he'd seen an interior gate be closed - maybe that was so they'd always have an exit, if Titans broke through again. Now they had, and yet this gate was so conveniently closed. Whatever kind of sick individual was responsible for it, he hoped they got caught. Better, that the Titans ate them. Although then they probably wouldn't know for sure why this was happening. Had the two offensive teams managed to get to the other gate yet? Was backup even coming?

"Where's the rest of your squad?" he asked, glancing to Farran. Did engineers even have squads? He didn't know, but figured he might as well ask. Just to help confirm his story. Maybe his paranoia was getting out of control, but it'd help to calm him. Something to focus on. Everything just felt so strange and off. Unreal still.

But he had to focus, for Struna's sake.

With Hilda's return, he could, without hopelessness. Instead, he shook his head at her apology automatically. "It's fine," he said, even though he didn't know - because all this might not be new to him, but it was certainly unfamiliar ground. But he had to reassure somebody, because then he might believe the words himself.

He looked up as Farran spoke, a hammer in his hand. It would have to do. They could do this. They had to be able to do this. Tightening his grip around the crowbar, he nodded. "Hilda, shout if you hear anything odd outside, or inside, yeah? Just... Just in case, you know." In case the saboteur was already on the way back. Stop it, he told himself. Dark thoughts crept in like spiders, nestling the corners of his mind.

"Ready," he confirmed. Attempting to prise the brake once more, he put as much effort into it as he could muster, eyes squeezed shut in his focus, teeth grinding as the metal scraped together.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2018, 01:49:32 PM »
It was a terrible thing to admit, even to himself, but until the cadet asked about his squad, Farran had scarcely given them a second thought.  Between his concern for his wife and infant son, and for the people of Utopia, his squadmates and fellow soldiers seemed less vulnerable.  Less vulnerable, but not immune - a sorry fact the stiffening corpse in the corner stood testament to.  In the coming days, there would be more than a few sorrowful families to receive the fraying, embroidered rose badge that once rested over their loved one’s heart.

“From what I last heard, my squad were planning to mobilise the canons.  Not the ones on the Wall, but the those on the ground.” Farran answered, wondering if his team had been successful, or if they had changed their course for the outer gate.  Thinking on it now, he didn’t recall hearing any nearby canonfire.  There was no time to wonder further, as the pair braced to lever the brake free.  The boy called to his comrade, instructing her to listen.  A wise choice, really.  Who knew if the murderer still lingered nearby, dogged and determined to see the inner gate remain closed?

“On three, then,” Farran instructed, adjusting his grip on the hammer’s handle one last time.  “One, two, three.”  The soldier’s palms stung as pulled, channelling of his trepidation and desperation into that one movement, urgency rushing through him.  Whatever small hope he had fostered began to ebb as his muscles burned and his clenched teeth ached - how much longer could they keep this up?  Then, after what felt like an eternity, the brake gave a low, metallic screech of protest.  It took their combined effort but the mangled gear was slowly, painfully prised from the shaft, and left to clatter onto the stone floor.

With a victorious hiss of relief, Farran set the hammer aside.  “Good work,” he panted hoarsely, giving the boy a tired pat on the shoulder.  “That was... definitely a job for two.”  Standing tall, he stretched his protesting back and arms, grey eyes seeking out Hilda.  As weary as he felt, there was no time to waste, not with evacuees waiting in the shadow of the closed inner gate.  Giving the girl a nod, he gestured for her to come closer.  “So you’re talented with mechanics, eh?  This should be easy enough for you, then.  We just need to slide this gear into place.”  It would go more smoothly with two of them, with two sets of eyes and hands to ensure the gear’s axis was lubricated, and its teeth aligned accordingly.  With a grunt, the brief moment of respite now passed, Farran knelt back down.  It wouldn’t feel like true victory until that gate was raised.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 02:17:56 AM »
Hilda wasn’t so sure it was fine, but she didn’t argue the point. She just kept on pacing back and forth, trying to distract herself with other thoughts, thoughts that kept inevitably turning to the fact that Utopia was overrun with Titans, which turned into thoughts about how much worse the situation could get. So she ran over the possibilities of who was doing this and how and why- her mind was going to keep coming back to this, but trying to figure it all out was a lot less nerve-wracking than thinking about the outcome of this, and if there was anything to catch Hilda’s attention it was an unanswered question. She was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she nearly jumped when she heard the sound of her name.

“Uh, yeah, sure.” she nodded at Nack’s suggestion that she keep an ear out. Presumably for the person- or worse, people- responsible for this. She wasn’t so sure that just one person did this. With her blades ready in case someone burst out at her, she listened carefully for any strange noises that might indicate someone had gotten in or was already here and lurking nearby. The latter possibility in particular made her skin crawl. It would be terrible either way, but the thought that someone had been watching and waiting to strike the entire time was especially creepy. She shook that thought off, as it wasn’t a good idea to keep dwelling on worst case scenarios like that, especially when she was supposed to be listening out for any potential intruders.

Her ears were open, but all she heard was Farran and Nack working on the brake, until finally, the damaged gear was removed. She sheathed her blades as Farran spoke to her. “I-I  guess you could say that.” she stuttered, moving over near where he was standing. It made her incredibly nervous.  So many lives were partly in her hands. It was incredibly daunting, and made her stomach feel a little queasy just thinking about it. She looked over at the gear, before her eyes darted back to Farran, waiting for the go-ahead to get started.


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