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Author Topic: The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)  (Read 505 times)

The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)
« on: February 11, 2022, 02:53:30 AM »
Every cycle of cadet training has always had that initial day of induction, where every new cadet enters through the gates, receives a basic level of instruction after being given their uniforms, and then set to face one of the most harrowing experiences of their young lives.  Being introduced to their dreaded chief instructor is a rite of passage for all recruits, as it is never as simple an affair as learning his or her name.  No, it is the moment that separates the wheat from the chaff, the strong from the weak, the ones that have the intestinal fortitude to withstand at least a basic level of trial and hazard to demonstrate that they are worth the expenditure of the state to train their sorry selves and become soldiers.  Over the last hundred or so years, countless thousands have mustered through, and no matter how many years passed or titans they’d managed to slay, none ever forgotten that first encounter with the reality that they were all equally worthless, and subject to the whims of tyranny like they’d never experienced.

This year’s training induction, however, had taken a new urgency unlike any before.  Wall Maria, impossibly, had fallen.  Most of the Refugees over a certain age were sent out on what was little more than a suicide mission, while many of the younger ones who were deemed potentially trainable now all found themselves fortunate enough to enter training.  In the eyes of many in the state, sheer numbers of new troops were what was necessary now, and given that people realized that joining the military had a much more real chance of facing a titan than ever before, the net as to who was accepted to begin training had widened more than ever before. 
“I can’t believe we’re seriously reducing admission standards to such a pathetic degree.” Keith said to the man walking besides him, as he looked down at the long list of names, as well as ages, of those who had most recently been enrolled. “Many of these are little more than children barely out of grammar school.”
“That is not our decision to make, chief instructor.” Colonel Hugo Baptiste replied.  “And under normal circumstances, I’d be inclined to agree with you.  But the loss of Wall Maria has the Royal Government spinning.  Not only have we lost the majority of our arable farmland and mineral resources, but the military too has lost a sizeable portion of its trained personnel.  We need all the warm bodies possible to not only insure order down the line, but also maintain our people’s hope.”
Keith didn’t say anything to correct his colleague.  Hugo was ever the logistical officer, and it showed in his analysis of the necessity of growing this class size to being larger than any that had come before it since the very first class over a hundred years ago.   But both men also understood the importance of quality over quantity, and while Keith may have misgivings about training many who were so young, neither were willing to reduce the standards of what they expected of soldiers.  The titans certainly wouldn’t care, and a poorly trained soldier who died with full gear were little more than wastes of resources.
After a few silent moments, as they neared the exit of the main officer’s quarters that opened onto the parade ground, Keith finally replied. “You can’t tell me you buy that ‘Hope’ line, Colonel.” 
“What I believe is irrelevant.  As is what you believe.” Hugo retorted. “All that matters, is you do what you do best.” 

Outside, the two men parted ways, with Hugo walking off to join the other instructors watching the induction ceremony, and Keith striding towards the raised dais to addres the new inductees.  Look at them…  Some of them barely have properly fitting uniforms.  That one looks like he’s about to cry and suck his thumb.  She looks barely old to catch the eye of the sickos in the interior.  He didn’t view all of the new recruits with such immediate disdain.  In the eyes of many, Keith saw the look of those who had already seen the Titans and knew just how horrible the creatures they would be going up against truly were.  It didn’t matter, as soon as he was done giving his introduction, all would receive the dressing down necessary to ensure as few weak links made it through this week as possible.

There was silence as Keith rose to the stage, his bald head, pressed uniform, and shined boots giving him an intimidating demeanor that was only strengthened by his impressive height.  Staring down at them in silence, his gaze slowly traverses across the formed-up gaggle of new recruits, seemingly emanating a sense of sheer disgust and hatred that seemed to be looking at everybody and nobody all at once.  Putting his hands behind his back, he shouted.

“A-Ten-SHUN!” He shouted, watching as all attempted to snap to attention before he began.  “I’ll keep this short, Maggots, as you are not worth the time nor have the mental capacity to process anything more than the briefest snippets of information!  My name is Chief Instructor Shadis, and for the next three years of your pathetic, miserable existence, I will mold you from the shapeless sacks of civilian shit not worth the salt in your rations into soldiers!  Make no mistake, you are all EQUALLY worthless, and in my eyes you’re all of lesser value than the excrement from the cows sacrificed to make the leather boots your nasty feet are now inhabiting!  If you wish to be worthy of the uniforms you now wear, to be more than a bunch of scared children who would otherwise be little more than titan fodder, you will absorb in your tiny minds every lesson I impart on you as though God himself parted the skies and zapped it into your souls!” After a few moments of silence, he snapped to attention and saluted.  “Give your salute!  Let this salute be a reminder that you have fully given your hearts to humanity!  Because unless you tuck tail and run out of here like the spineless cowards I know some of you are, your asses all belong to ME.”

And so began the vicious dressing down of each individual student.  Each inspection went the same way.  After a brief sizing up, Keith would latch on something, anything, that was wrong, and begin to tear into the hapless new cadet before they had any real inkling of what they had done wrong.  Poorly shined boots, untucked shirts, those were the easy targets.  More fun, however, were when he caught those with vacant stares who had no idea what to think, or those with obvious fear in their eyes that were easily tripped up by the barrage of questions Keith would throw at them.  To some, the barrages lasted shorter than others, as he could sense rather quickly who had the right stuff.  From the looks of determination, to looks of those who had seen the titans, they were not worth his time at this moment.  No doubt, in the next three years, he would find something or another to chew out. 

Stopping and pivoting, as he had with all the others, he glared at a young, lean 15 year old recruit with black hair and steel grey eyes.  His face was one he recognized, though not because he had seen it directly, but because he had seen that of the boy’s father many, many times in the past. “You!  What’s your name, maggot?  Where are you from!?”
“Alexander Bouvier, SIR!”  The cadet snapped to attention and saluted, staring straight forward and not making eye contact with Keith. “I’m from the Karannes district, but originally from a horse farm in Wall Maria, sir!”
“Bouvier…” He replied, and shook his head.  “And just why on earth did you join my army, cadet?”
“To avenge my father, sir, and retake our homes!”

“Retake our home.” He huffed.  “So you wanna be a scout, huh?  Well ain’t that noble, too bad your legs are shaking wobblier than a colt who’s just been shot out from its mama’s womb!  GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, BOUVIER!”
“SIR YES SIR!” Alex replied, closing his eyes as he shouted at the top of his lungs as he straightened his legs and tried to regain his bearing.

Pivoting, he took another step, and stopped at the very next cadet he saw, turning to face them and shout. “And just who are YOU, maggot?  What shitty corner of the kingdom did you manage to crawl out of, and why the HELL are you in my army!?!”
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 03:29:39 AM by Keith Shadis »
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"You're useless, until you prove otherwise."

Re: The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2022, 12:35:50 PM »
 This was it, the moment when she happened to officially be in the Army. Was she nervous? Yes, but she still found herself proud to be here. Unlike everyone else, she had a chance to back out. Her parents, the famously rich Charpentier's wanted her to, they could use influence, their fabulous wealth to buy the right people to cancel her conscription. But Sylvia wanted to do something for herself. She had enough of parties, of the social political games her parents played, of attending pointless balls. Sylvia wanted to decide her own future, to go where none of her family ever dreamed to go, let alone dared to do it.

She would be a Scout, she would be a soldier and if that meant damning any claim to fame and fortune then so be it. Foolish rebellion her father had called it, well far better to be a fool than to be a coward and hide behind Wall Sina all her life, never knowing the truth about the world or how others struggled just outside her home's walls.

The instructors were setting upon the cadets now, cadets who like her wanted to contribute to humanity's victory over the Titans. Sylvia stood at attention, rigid but she was rather small. Chief Instructor Shadis appeared to be hell bent on verbally abusing just about everyone here. She hoped, he might overlook her. Unlike the other cadets, Sylvia did not share the haunted look, nor the half starved appearance of others. Heck, she suspected perhaps unfairly she even smelt better. She was the odd one out, most of the others were, poor, the homeless, the refugee, the starving, the desperate. What was she? Daddy's little rich girl? The heiress who denied her fame, who abandoned a life of ease for playing in soldier?

She was Sylvia Charpentier, she would be a Scout and she would go where no others in her family had ever been. She would do things her parents never believed she could and if her father disliked her choices then all the better. It was better to choose for herself, than never choose at all!

Suddenly, Shadis was there. In front of her, sinister as a villain from a detective novel. "I am Cadet Sylvia Charpentier sir!" Sylvia managed to answer him, her voice clear, but her strong posh Sina accent obvious to all. "I'm from Wall Sina sir! I'm here to take back Wall Maria." There, that sounded better than find myself, be free, or to stick it to her father. She waited for judgement, for Shadis to yell, demand press ups, to strike, to do something.
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Re: The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2022, 11:49:04 PM »
Charpentier.  Like the wine.  Keith thought to himself, as his sunken, cold eyes studied the girl with what seemed to be little more than derision.  Posh accent, a look of quiet superiority that she likely didn’t even intend to show, posture that stood slightly straighter than your average recruit.  Keith knew this type, and he knew them all too well.  His eyes narrowed, and he seemed entirely unfazed by the nobly stated goal as he crossed his arms.

“Well I’ll be.  Looks like we got ourselves here a little Sina Savior!!  Ya here that boys and girls!?  One of your betters from on high has oh so nobly deigned to join the rest of us in the mud.  YOU AIN’T FOOLING ANYONE, YA LITTLE RUNT.” He bent down so he could now get eye level with her, his hands on his knees from how far he had to bend down, and continued his tear-down tirade.  “Fancy education and proper manners befitting a lady of the interior ain’t worth the silver spoon you’ve got so firmly shoved in your mouth when your face to face with a titan actively shoving you into theirs!  See I’ve seen your type, many times, and you know how your kind fare beyond the walls?  They freeze, they panic, they shit their silk undergarments and immediately transfer to safer posts, because at the end of the day, YOU’VE got a place to run back to.  A fancy home with vineyards and servants and embroidered sheets, safely removed from any real hardship.  Look at your hands!” He snatched her wrist and holds her up by her arm, studying her hand and scoffing when he saw no signs of callouses.  “Baby soft!  You ain’t worked a day in your life, have you!?  And now you’re going to tell me YOU’RE going to take back Wall Maria?  A place you’ve likely never seen, for people who couldn’t even get jobs picking grapes in that fancy vineyard that’s got your name?!”  Letting go and dropping her, he shook his head.  “GET BACK TO YOUR FEET.  The sooner you get honest with yourself as to why you’ve donned the uniform, the sooner you’ll stop being a noble brat playing at being the hero and function as though you’re worth a damn!  I ain’t holding my breathe though.” 

Staring down at the now somewhat muddy cadet, Keith attempted to take the measure of her.  Would she cry?  Break down and run?  He’d seen it many times before, but he’s also seen quite a few inner wall cadets who ended up remarkable soldiers in their own right.  But today wasn’t about building any of these children back up.  Today was the day to see whether they could withstand the barrage and the stress of their new lives.
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"You're useless, until you prove otherwise."

Re: The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2022, 12:49:13 AM »
Today was finally the day that Reiner and his friends would officially be inducted into the Cadet Corps for the military. Lined up amongst the rest of the new cadets, Reiner finally got to have a proper look at those he would be calling his “comrades”. For a time, at least. His true mission in joining the military wasn’t anything as noble as wanting to reclaim the territory within Wall Maria or beyond. If he had to hazard a guess, he would say that is why half of the new trainees were here. To reclaim their lost home. Just how many had been from Shiganshina District that day? How many family members amongst these cadets had he been responsible for killing?

Reiner didn’t allow those thoughts to last long. After all, these people were his enemies. He shouldn’t be feeling any amount of sympathy for them. If he spent all this time dwelling on his actions of Wall Maria’s downfall, he’d only crumble under the guilt of now being surrounded by his victims. He was here for one thing alone, to get into the Military Police along with Bertholdt and Annie. This was the easiest way to go about this.

Despite the nerves rising in him, he knew deep down that they’d be alright. After all, it wasn’t like him and the other two didn’t already endure years of military training, if only for a different purpose. Even if they were raised differently, this military training shouldn’t be any less familiar.

As soon as Instructor Shadis made his appearance, Reiner stiffened, if only for a brief moment. Although nothing alike in appearance, Keith was the spitting image of Commander Magath. They both held a stern, fiery look in their eyes. And Keith’s teardown of the new cadets were no different then the insults thrown their way when Reiner and the others were training to become warrior candidates. At least the military here seemed well instructed if nothing else. That would be good to know going forward, even if the people of Paradis were ultimately powerless in stopping him and the others.

After Keith had finished berating one of the cadets, Alexander, he had moved onto another. Sylvia Charpentier. She had been a girl who had caught Reiner’s eye more times then he wanted to admit in the while the cadets had been waiting for the induction to begin. Not because she was beautiful or anything like that. At least, that’s what he had been telling himself since he first laid eyes on her.

I'm from Wall Sina sir! I'm here to take back Wall Maria.

Wall Sina? Well now, that was certainly worth his attention. Only nobles seemed to hail from the interior. Or at least, upstanding, rich citizens. She was no doubt the daughter of a noble then. Perhaps she or her family had intimate knowledge about the royal family. It was unlikely Sylvia herself would know anything about the Founding Titan. Still, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to get close to her in the future and see if she could share anything. She would surely be of use going forward.

Reiner clenched his jaw however once Keith snatched Sylvia's wrist. He shouldn’t care about what happens to her, but something tugged at him at seeing how she was being treated. Perhaps it was just because she was a girl. Regardless of being an enemy or not, it bothered him to see her treated with anything but care.

He’d like to see the instructor pull a stunt like that with Annie. Reiner almost scoffed at that thought. If he so much as looked at Annie wrong, Keith would be flat on his ass before he even knew what hit him. Annie wouldn’t put up with playing nice with Keith or their new fellow comrades, he knew that much. Either that, or Bertholdt would step up and defend Annie. Bertholdt was shy and lacked confidence, but if Annie's safety was on the line, he knew his friend would pull through.

He needed information, first and foremost. And now, seeing Sylvia being dropped in the mud, he had made up his mind. He would check in on her later and see how she was holding up after all this. To get information of course…not because he was worried or anything like that.
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Re: The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2022, 04:20:34 AM »
There was a logic to this vicious initiation that, to outsiders who are unfamiliar with the military or new recruits still quivering in their boots, was not entirely obvious.  The instructor was not only trying to weed out the weakest links, nor was he only trying to tear them all down to their basest selves to build up later.  He was intentionally serving as the external threat that was attacking the entire group, which as any student of basic human psychology will tell you, by serving as that threat to collective well-being the cadets would have only two options.  Hyper atomize, and pray that their number wasn’t brought up so they could simply survive the ordeal, or band together collectively to ensure their survival even when things were at their toughest.  The former option Keith had to ensure was not a valid route in their minds, by attacking each one systematically and carefully.  That left them only the latter, which over the course of the next three years, the only way to accomplish would be to work together to become proper soldiers.

But it was not three years from now.  The banding together was going to happen in the quiet hours of the barracks when they were talking about what they had just undergone.  Or in later field exercises as they worked together to surmount physical and mental obstacles.  Before all that could ever happen, before they could dream of working together, they all had to endure the trial before them.  For as vicious as Chief Instructor Shadis might appear, what they would be facing collectively in the future would be far more terrifying.  The last few months had been ample proof of that.

Seeing Reiner’s jaw clench up as he stood alongside Sylvia, then seeing the boy appear almost smug at some other thought, he tilted his head for a brief second, before pivoting, stepping towards him, stopping and pivoting to face the boy.  “Careful not to hurt yourself there, boy.  Why don’t you loosen some of that mental burden by sharing to the corps what’s on your mind.  Or are you as stupid as you look and those farmboy muscles constrict what blood your two remaining braincells desperately need to form a sentence.  Name and place of origin, Cadet!”
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"You're useless, until you prove otherwise."

Re: The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2022, 10:46:32 AM »
 Whatever she had been expected to say, she did not need to use her impressive intellect to figure out she had said the wrong things. Perhaps speaking at all had been a mistake? Then again not answering also would have been a mistake. He was right on the money about the fancy home, the servants, though he left out the small force of well trained bodyguards her family kept as security.

He suddenly snatched her wrist in a vice like grip, she winced in pain at the pressure, but to her credit did not cry out. He continued his rant. his rave and Sylvia just merely took it but he was wrong about her. He was wrong about her, she would not let him kick her out simply because of who her parents were, just because her father possessed more money than everyone here combined could imagine.

At least being muddy was familiar, memories of working in the vineyards and greenhouses, seeing the various plants and learning about them from her father came back. Though she shuddered at the thoughts that others might think she wore silk undergarments. Sylvia did of course, they were comfortable and well... That was none of their business.

She scrambled back to her feet, blushing, embarrassed and perhaps humiliated. "Sir yes sir!" Sylvia shot back, not wanting to voice the real reason that she wanted to decide her own future and not live a life everyone here would gladly murder anyone to get or marry anyone for.

Sylvia tried not to notice how the tall handsome farm hand looking boy appeared to be struggling to contain himself over how Shadis had been treating her. Amusement perhaps? Or maybe he thought it not proper? She had found her eyes wandering to him before Shadis formed them all up and launched his lightning assault on them all. Shadis had also seen this and like a predator stalking wounded prey leapt into the assault.
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Re: The 104th Induction Day (Past Thread: Late Spring, 845) (OPEN)
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2022, 02:07:59 PM »
Reiner was glad the girl had been able to stand. She didn't appear to be harmed in any way, which came as a relief to him. As much as he told himself he shouldn't care about her, he couldn't shake the feeling of needing to check up on her later. He just hoped Bertholdt or Annie wouldn't give him a hard time about this later. He had a feeling they wouldn't take kindly in knowing he was worried about their enemies.

Despite a few feet being between them, Reiner had been able to catch Sylvia's gaze wandering over to him. His breath caught in his throat as their eyes met. The sunlight reflected beautifully in her hazel eyes. Really getting a good look at her now, she was stunning. Reiner felt a bit of heat rising to his cheeks and he quickly averted his gaze from Sylvia, mentally scolding himself.

The last thing he needed was to start thinking that way about her. He didn't know Sylvia. They weren't friends. He didn't need to start forming attachments to anyone here, least of all trying to get romantically involved with anyone. It would only prove to be detrimental to their mission in the long run.

Reiner didn't have long to be wrapped up in his thoughts since Shadis had come to stand in front of him. Great...he was next on the list to be berated. Very well then, he could handle whatever the instructor threw at him. Offering up a salute, Reiner fixated his gaze on Keith's.

Name and place of origin, Cadet!

"Reiner Braun, sir!" Reiner said, his voice steady and clear. Thank whatever god was out there that he had undergone military training in the past. Or else he'd never be able to maintain his composure under such an imposing man. "I come from a small village in the mountains Southeast in Wall Maria."
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