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Author Topic: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]  (Read 2896 times)

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2018, 05:56:19 AM »
The effort he put into moving the crowbar burned. He could feel sweat prick through his skin, the dampness at his hairline. Nack didn't relent, energising himself with the pure unfiltered determination of one who fought for others. It was the least selfish - he wasn't prepared to even think of being selfless - thing he had done, and he was going to do it well. If they couldn't get the gate open, thousands would die. Worse, they'd all remain trapped with the Titans.

Struna wouldn't give up if she were there. So nor would he.

His laboured breaths came out in pants by the time the screech of protest, of movement, sounded. The brunet collapsed forward, very almost smacking his head into the crowbar, and it took all of his willpower to keep going. So close, almost... there! As cold relief spread over his aching muscles, he nodded at Farran's pat and moved out of the way.

Leaning against the wall, he took deep sucks of breath to ease his lungs. It burned, at first, but not half as bad as his muscles had felt aflame. Nack knew he had to move, while Hilda assisted the engineer. Now it was his turn on watch, but instead his eyes fluttered shut. Peace, blocking out the world. Dismissing his worries.

To snap himself out of it took more than he'd thought. It was a sudden noise that startled him, and he reached for his blades before realising that it had been the sound of horses clopping along. Somebody pulling a wagon, maybe, or thinking it would get them through the gates further. It didn't matter. Alert, the boy stared at the doorway.

Only a few seconds passed before the paranoia set in. What if it were the saboteur, returning to ensure they got no further? His fingers gripped the hilt of his blades. "How's it going?" he asked over his shoulder, not daring to look back.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2019, 04:13:59 PM »
(OOC: Sorry for the slow reply, guys! Just a heads-up that I sent this reply to Senia for approval before posting it here. I had done a bunch of research on the mechanics of drawbridges, etc. but it's all on my laptop and I'm stuck on mobile at the moment, so I decided to be fairly vague and keep things moving along.)

As Hilda approached, wide-eyed but able and willing, Farran had a sense of her nervousness. The cadet's apprehension was understandable, given both their dire circumstances and the huge weight of responsibility that lay heavy on their shoulders. If the three of them did not raise the gate, many of the people on the ground would be doomed to die. Painfully, slowly, trapped in a district now populated with Titans. Recognising little good would come from this train of thought - they all knew full well a very human price would be paid for their failure - Farran reined in his trepidatious mind, instead offering Hilda a small smile. One that was weary, grateful and, hopefully, encouraging.

It took them both to guide the new gear onto the unoccupied shaft, and some force on the Garrison soldier's part to push it into place. He murmured quiet instructions to Hilda as they worked together to adjust the pawl, and to examine the arm it was attached to. With every second that ticked by, the atmosphere grew more electric and urgent. Still, they could not hurry their meticulous work unduly; it would not do to attempt to raise the gate, only to have the apparatus jam or break.

"Almost there…" Farran grunted, as much in encouragement of his assistant as it was an answer to the boy's question. His hands were slick with grease when, at last, he stood back to regard the repaired windlass. "Done, I think we're done." As he spoke, his grey eyes flicked briefly over to the dark-haired girl, looking for affirmation, lest Hilda espied some flaw that escaped his attention. "You did well," he told her, and meant it, having been quietly impressed with her ability to work diligently under pressure.

Breathing deep, he then pressed the heels of his hands over his eyes. A moment to recentre, to refocus, to prepare for the next stage. "It'll take all three of us to raise the gate, assuming everything holds up," Farran's hands fell away from his face, so one could gesture to the windlass to indicate his meaning. One at each winch, another to watch closely and ensure the ropes fed smoothly into the apparatus.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2019, 12:24:41 AM »
As nervewracking as it was to have the fate of Utopia, and likely all of Wall Rose in partly in her hands like this, Hilda felt a sense of relief at getting to work on replacing the damaged gear. It would keep her too busy to worry about what was going on outside, about who might be hurt or even dead. About the Titans themselves- she shuddered just thinking about the ones she’d seen already. The memory felt more like a fever dream than something she’d actually seen with her own eyes, it was all too surreal.

Shaking those thoughts off, she helped move the gear onto the shaft, thoughts of whatever might be happening outside suppressed as much as Hilda could manage, so that she might focus on the task at hand, one that required time and attention. She listened carefully to Farran’s instructions, following them as best she could, periodically reminding herself mentally to stay focused and not to rush anything or miss a single detail.

Hilda didn’t have a very good sense of time, so she wasn’t sure how long it had been since they’d started before the windlass was finally repaired, though it had felt like an eternity. She smiled a little at being told she’d done well, and gave the windlass one last looking over before nodding. “Yeah, everything looks good.”

She looked down at her grimy hands and wiped them on her pants. “Where do you want each of us to go?” she asked, given that one of them would have a different task than the other two.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2019, 11:16:36 PM »
Each second that passed was another that gripped him in turmoil. Itching to go out, to do something, to help somebody... or to run. How bad was it out there now? How many people had already died? He could imagine that, as sure as he could lie about it. Blood raining down, great puddles of red pooling the streets, streams snaking through the cobbles. The smell, rancid and rotting, of vomit and meat.

When they finished, Nack didn't stop the great sigh of relief as he turned back to them. "It will hold," he said confidently, striding over to the windlass. Just a look at it gave him shivers. Could he do that? No, he couldn't. Could he? But he had to do something. The sooner the better too.

"We don't have to do any more checks to make sure it doesn't hold anyway, do we?" he asked, phrasing it with his typical boldness. Inside, panic reigned. If there was something to check, he could do that, and then it would go easier on them. Though the winches couldn't be too bad, could they? It wasn't going to be more difficult than the crowbar, surely.

Deciding it better to get it over with, he positioned himself at a winch, preparing himself to listen to what they had to do exactly. « Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 11:17:09 PM by Nack Tierce »

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2019, 02:10:16 AM »
Yeah, everything looks good.

It will hold.

The second statement perhaps came with the swell of false bravado, but still Farran was grateful for the double dose of positivity - and for the good fortune of having encountered these two capable cadets. In answer to the question, the engineer shook his dark head. There were no more checks. This was their moment of truth. Either they would succeed, or they would fail.

Farran's heart was full of Lana, Fritz and Axel as the boy took up position at the winch, answering the question of who should go where. It seemed the sensible way to divide the work. Hilda had already demonstrated she was dexterous and keen-eyed, while the boy was physically strong.

The quiet scuff of boots against the stone floor seemed awfully loud as Farran moved to the other winch. Although his expression and hands were steady, his heart hammered against his ribs. Steely grey eyes landed on Hilda first.

"You'll need to stand by the drum and keep a close watch. If the rope starts to bunch, snag or fray, you give us a shout so we know to stop," Farran explained, pausing to wipe his hands on his grease-smeared breeches. Then his attention shifted back to the boy. Really, he ought to ask for his name, but now was not the time. "All right, then. The windlass will do the heavy lifting for us, but it's still hard graft. You get tired, you tell me. We can take a break anytime, and the pawl will keep the ratchet gear from recoiling. Basically, if we stop, the gate stops too - and stays in place."

Or so it should. Unless the ropes had been sabotaged.

Farran did not share this dark, intrusive thought. A major malfunction of the mechanism could take hours to repair and would likely require a skilled team of Garrison mechanics. In that scenario, innumerable civilians would perish. And yet servicing the entirety of the apparatus would take almost as long.

This was a risk they had to take.

"Ready?" Farran asked, his gaze shifting between his two companions. Satisfied they were prepared, he began to turn the winch. His movements were unhurried, steady, matching the pace of the boy at the other side of the drum. Time slowed to a crawl, his palms burning as sweat began to stick his shirt to his back. Every so often, he checked in on Hilda - his wintery gaze one of askance, seeking reassurance - and on the boy, who toiled diligently at the other winch.

And then it came, the most wonderful sound. That final click as the gate was raised into place.

"We…" Farran released the handle, taking a step back from the windlass, hands pushing hair back from his damp brow. "We did it." The relief was overwhelming and absolute, it rose in Farran like a wave and caused him to choke on a sob. His family had a chance at survival. For a brief moment, he buried his face in his hands, his humanity showing. Then the soldier returned, and when Farran's hands fell away they revealed an expression of dogged determination. This respite had been all too brief, but duty demanded further efforts. "We're not finished yet, though. I'm going to need your help managing the gate. You fit for that, cadets?"


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