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Author Topic: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]  (Read 5031 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?"

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2019, 12:26:14 AM »
Hilda subconsciously stood a little straighter as Farran’s eyes landed on her. “I’m on it.” she said, going over to the drum and keeping a sharp eye on the rope, looking carefully to see if anything went wrong, all while silently praying that nothing would go wrong and trying her best to keep focused and not to let her mind run away with thoughts of what was going on outside.

On a mental level, this was a far more difficult task than replacing the gear precisely because replacing the gear required more of her, and did a better job of keeping her worries from consuming her mind. But, she thought to herself, she had to keep focused. Lives were at stake.

Thankfully, the rope was holding up very well, not a problem in sight. But it seemed centuries had passed when the gate was raised.

“Finally!” she exclaimed. Hilda didn’t know what was in store for anyone in Utopia after this, but maybe, just maybe, they had a chance now, she thought, sighing a breath of relief. But she knew not to get too comfortable, especially since once she was no longer needed here at the gate house, it was time to go back out there to evacuate people, a thought that made her legs turn to jelly while her mouth became dry as sandpaper.

Maybe it wasn’t the right thing to think, given that she was needed outside too, but she couldn’t help but feel a little relieved when Farran asked for her and Nack’s help in managing the gate.

"Yath." she answered, her dry mouth affecting her ability to speak properly for a moment. "Um, I mean, yes." she corrected herself, her face slightly pink.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2019, 01:58:48 AM »
He understood everything he was told, but that didn't stop the momentous terror that bore down on him with a relentless heat. Sweat waterfalled, it felt (though he knew it were impossible), from the top of his head and down his body. By the time they began feeding the windlass he was already exhausted, but the pace was one he could keep. He thought of Struna out there, hoping she would still be okay, hoping that as soon as they had the gate open maybe she'd be there, shepherding out civilians.

Hoping she wasn't lying in the cobbles in a puddle of blood. Because that, more than anything, haunted his heart. He'd sooner the saboteur return and slaughter him than hear of that.

It was probably in that moment that he really, truly, realised his feelings for her.

And then they were done.

The gate was lifted and they were free and he could find her, get her out, before something happened and-- We're not finished yet, though. The words broke through his warm relief and shocked him cold. Of course there was more. There always was. And as Hilda confirmed that she could help that, he selfishly wanted to scream no. He didn't want to be stuck here. What use was he going to be here? All he could think of was... but it wasn't any use. Struna was distracting the titans, and she'd not need to as soon as the civilians were evacuated.

If he could uphold his end, she'd be safer sooner.

"Fine. What do we have to manage?" he asked, unable to leave the resentment out of his tone. It flickered too strong, though he did try to soften his expression to show he didn't mean anything by it. Covering his emotions and falsifying his feelings was more difficult now, when the truth, the true mentality, was overcoming everything else.

Above all, Nack didn't want to find Struna like he'd found his father.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2019, 09:54:35 AM »
With his own throat dry and tight, Farran had sympathy for Hilda. He nodded, glad of her willingness to do what was necessary. The boy, though… there was a shift in him, the question coming cold and resentful. Farran frowned, his expression one of silent reproach, at least until his wintery gaze snagged on the emblem of crossed swords. These were cadets, he was reminded, they were young and unblooded, and this situation was a major test - one that would prove overwhelming for even experienced soldiers.

"Only the crowds," Farran answered wryly, deciding against any verbal rebuke. "Come on." Turning on his heel, he led the pair out of the gate house and temporary tomb of Jaylen Ponsen. "Did they teach you kids about crowd control?" He called the question over his shoulder as they hurriedly descended the stone stairs. Their gear clicked metallically, Farran even grazing the walls in his haste. Even if it had been discussed in the classroom, it couldn't hurt to reiterate the key points.

"Stand your ground. Be firm. Use your voice. It may seem counterintuitive but the slower and more mindfully the people pass through the bottleneck, the swifter the evacuation will be," Farran instructed, speaking clearly and firmly. With a crowd of rightfully panicked and fearful civilians, achieving a mannerly evacuation was easier said than done. A crush wasn't the only horror they might face, however, and after a beat of silence, he continued. "If a Titan approaches, we engage. Immediately." The fleeing citizens of Utopia might inadvertently block the gate in their haste, but the carnage of an unchallenged Titan was guaranteed.

They reached the ground floor and, the moment they stepped into the daylight - Farran blinking in the sudden brightness - they were met with chaos. Babies and children wailed, bundled in their parents' arms, while adults were shouting and shoving into one another. Amongst the press of eager bodies was a fallen figure, arms wrapped defensively around their head as they were accidentally kicked and stamped on.

"Back!" Farran bellowed, charging forwards. He stood over the civilian - a young woman - and put his hands on the chests of those who stood behind her, halting the flow temporarily, allowing her the opportunity to climb to her feet and limp on through the gate. The crowd was pushing hard against him, his boots struggling to stay rooted to the ground so he could hold his spot. Falling here could spell death. A bigger team would make this easier, and safer, as would an Military Police soldier with the threat of a firearm.

But there were only the three of them. Where the hell everyone else was, Farran could not say.

"No pushing!" He yelled at the advancing mass. "You will exit in a calm and orderly fashion." Someone amongst the sea of faces cursed, sneering at the order, while another began to scream hysterically. Turning to stand side-on, minimising the amount of space he occupied, Farran let the river of bodies wash past him, finding he was still frequently clipped by passing shoulders. His grey eyes picked over those that swarmed through the gate, hoping to see Lana and Fritz amongst their number, while also wishing he could leave this post and instead seek out Axel.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2019, 12:11:23 AM »
Hilda’s eyebrows went up at how annoyed Nack sounded, but she shrugged it off. There was no time to analyze it, and it wasn’t out of the ordinary to be irritable in a high pressure situation. And this had to be the ultimate high pressure situation.

A knot seemed to form in her stomach as Farran told them they’d be dealing with the crowds. She really hoped he didn’t mean only the three of them. And the thought of Titans showing up only made the situation more intimidating than it was to begin with.

Hilda could hear the crowd before she saw them. It was complete pandemonium out there, she thought, looking at what seemed an endless sea of people loudly shoving their way forward, their eyes filled with fear. Having only had little more than a glimpse at the Titans in action before she’d gone to the gate house, she could only imagine what these people might have seen and experienced today.

She looked down and saw, gasping in horror, that a woman had fallen to the ground and was being trampled. Farran must have seen it even before she did, because no sooner had she seen the woman being trampled than he’d intervened. He clearly knew what he was doing, but it worried Hilda that there were only the three of them to handle this, and she and Nack were only cadets.

Keeping a close eye on the crowd, Hilda looked out for anything amiss, such as another person falling over. She only paused briefly to ask “Do you think we’ll be getting backup anytime soon now that the gate’s open?”

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2019, 10:06:54 PM »
He didn't quite remember anything about crowd control, though he had a vague recollection of making jokes about how dumb people must be to need soldiers to remind them how to behave. As they exited the gate house and took in the sight of the crowd though, Nack wobbled. Uncertain. Because this was real, and those jokes were far behind them.

Made even more real as Farran leapt into action, protecting a woman who would have no doubt died were it not for the Garrison soldier. How could people do that? Even in his most selfish moments, had he ever been like that? Had he ever put the life of another in threat just because he wanted something so desperately? He didn't think so. But nor had he been in a situation like this. Trapped, waiting for titans to eat him.

"Don't bet on it," he said to Hilda, the gloominess breaking through once more. Half would be dead. The cowards scattered. Their fellow cadets cut down and slaughtered. Nack swallowed, bracing himself, then stepped into the mass of the street, first helping an older man to get beneath the gate's gaping hole. How pleased he was for that. For the thought of freedom, even for them on the ground. If a titan came, of course, then they'd end up letting those monsters right into the heart of the Walls.

Wall Rose mightn't not have the capital, but without the lifeblood of the Roseans, where would they be? Without the farms, without the people, the industry, the military.

Jostled to the side, he turned sharply to tell the person who'd pushed him off, but they'd already gone, and more people seemed to be swarming in every heartbeat. Caught in their tide, he tried his best to weasel his way out, but only ended up being pushed further out. "Hey! Get off," he snapped, biting back an 'idiot' - better to stay respectful. Managing to shove his way forcefully to the side, he took a breath and pressed himself against the side of the gatehouse.

"This is ridiculous," he muttered under his breath. Someone's cry of pain caught his ears, and he fought his way back in to go help.

Re: Team One: Civilian Evacuation [Gate House]
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2019, 09:54:01 PM »
Do you think we'll be getting backup anytime soon now that the gate’s open?

The question came over the rush of footfall and clamouring voices. Before Farran had a chance to answer, the boy offered a surly response. The Garrison soldier frowned a little, as yet another passing refugee clipping his shoulder. "I hope so," Farran called to Hilda, wishing he could provide a more reassuring answer. It wouldn't take long for those on the battlefield to notice that the inner gate had been opened, but whether they came racing to assist was another matter entirely. Hope was all they had, but what they needed was reinforcements. Already they were overstretched - a single Garrison soldier and two cadets - tasked with operating the gate's mechanism, ensuring an orderly evacuation and keeping watch for approaching Titans. It was all but impossible.

Grey eyes flashing in the heat of the afternoon, Farran's gaze travelled along the wide, straight street leading away from the gate. Peeking around one corner, as though summoned by thought alone, was a 15 metre Titan. As soon as its wide, unthinking eyes settled on the crowd, it began to lumber eagerly their way, teeth gnashing in anticipation.


"To me, cadets!" Farran bellowed, immediately springing into action. Weaving through the crowd, he reached for the handles of his swords, though he could not draw them until he had space to manoeuvre safely. "Move, move, move!" Those words came as an order, as much to the civilians who swamped them as to the two young cadets he had taken command of.

Farran was almost free of the torrent when the panicked screaming began, ripples of realisation rolling through the evacuees as they noticed the horror that approached. The rush to escape through the gate recommenced in earnest, bodies pressing tight and desperate, but with a Titan in sight Farran understood there was nothing he, Hilda and the boy could now do to supervise. They would need to dispatch the threat, and hope they did not return to a smattering of trampled corpses, to the broken bodies of civilians with the breath and life crushed out of them.

Escaping the crowd at last, Farran drew his blades and squeezed the triggers, launching his hooks towards the stony façade of a tall building. Gas gave him the propulsion he needed to gain height, and the ascent allowed him a brief moment to look for his makeshift squad. There was no time for debate or discussion, they needed to bring the Titan down - the entire interior of Wall Rose was depending on their success. Farran had to wonder, had their superiors neglected to set up teams to distract and destroy the Titans that made it this far? Or were those squads already dead? It was entirely possible - as horrifying a thought as it was - that he and the two brave cadets were among the last living soldiers in Utopia.


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