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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Vrock_Summoner's Avatar

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    Default Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    The year is 845.

    The Walls have stood strong for 102 years, and the security they provide shows no signs of waning. Corruption aside, things within the Walls are peaceful… even good. So it has been since yesterday, and the day before, as far back as even the grandparents of the vast majority of the populace remember. And so all believe it will remain to the next tomorrow, and the one after that, to their grandchildren…

    How could anybody have any way of knowing what’s coming?

    Spoiler: “Marie”
    Show
    It’s a cool, sunny day in Shiganshina.

    Your father has been working a great deal of overtime lately, and is very stressed whenever he’s home.

    Your “older” (ten minutes makes him the older twin, he says) brother, Matthias, in his usual embarrassing efforts to appear wise for his age, has explained to you assuredly, “Of course he’d be stressed out! Since Mom has been ill, he worries about her, and she was bringing home the majority of the paycheck before, so he has to work a lot more.”

    As if you couldn’t figure that out yourself. Except instead of by watching Dad, you pieced it together from watching Mom.

    You don’t remember a day in your life where Mom didn’t seem pristine and strong. She’s always been a ‘muscle and bustle’ sort of woman, and you’re sure you’ve never seen her take a day off for an injury or sickness. Heck, you can’t remember her ever having anything worse than a headache for more than an afternoon at a time. Until suddenly she did.

    The illness started a few months ago. First, she became fatigued, yet couldn’t manage to sleep well. Then the symptoms gradually became worse over the course of the weeks and months leading to the present day. She lost her appetite and thus a great deal of weight, turning from a powerfully-muscled woman into a frail and skinny one. She began to cough a great deal… more than once you even caught her wiping blood onto her clothes from it. Even her hair, her beautiful red hair that everyone tells you to take pride in for inheriting, has started to thin a bit from falling out.

    “Come on, Linor, there aren’t any doctors better than you. There has to be some way to figure out what’s wrong with you!” You remember overhearing Dad pleading.

    “I know what’s wrong with me,” Mom admits. “That’s why I know there’s nothing that can be done… And that I won’t be around too much longer.”

    Dad went quiet after that day. He’s barely spoken since except to snap in frustration.

    Yet in spite of everything, Mom never seemed to let it get her mood down. She’d been teaching you and Matthias how to fight since before the illness came down, and only seemed to redouble these lessons as her health worsened. It was hard work, and Matthias complained about it constantly, but Mom said you both had to, so you could protect your little three year old sister, Gabriele.

    As if she already assumed she wouldn’t be around to do it.



    “Oi! Marie!” Matthias’ voice pierces through your thoughts as he steps out the back door of the house to join you in the yard, the family dog jogging out behind him to go try and find a comfortable place to lie in the garden (and hopefully not dig it up again). Matthias clasps his hands on your shoulders and gives you a doofy grin. “What’re you staring off into the sky for? Hoping to go there?”


    Spoiler: “Annie”
    Show
    ”This… is your destiny.”

    The sky is dominated by a massive black orb. It’s hanging there, well away from your touch, yet just from looking at it you can feel its weight crushing down on you. Even the very colors of the sky seem to distort around it.

    You feel something in your hands. Looking down, you find yourself cupping something. A small, fragile effigy of yourself rests in your palms, shaking. The weight bearing down from the sky leaves it shaking, threatening to shatter into dust.

    You hear the voice pounding through your head continue.

    “This is the center of everything. The pivot of humanity’s future. The Fate Core. And you have the honor of becoming its host.”

    Your throat is closed up. You can’t respond even if you want to. The effigy in your hands begins to crack, a bit of fluid escaping from its eye to run down its head.

    “That is your sole meaning. To maintain the holy order that has been erected. You shall be possessed by the will of our founder. His dreams shall be yours. And for your time, you will see the world through the same eyes as your mother does, for as long as this paradise can exist. What more could you want?”

    The effigy snaps with a loud crack and you feel a jolt run through you, the world blinking into darkness…

    Then your eyes flutter open, and you’re awake. On your bed, buried in pillows and stuffed animals and dolls, kept in darkness by surrounding velvet drapery… but awake.

    “Good morning, princess!” You hear the words faintly, so you know they’re coming from the next room over. The servant is waking your older sister. That means you’re probably next.

    You still feel heavy.


    Spoiler: “Melchior”
    Show
    Well. Today is off to a rough start.

    Everything started out nice. You had breakfast with Father - complete with a prayer to the Walls, particularly Maria, which Father had moved to Shiganshina in the first place to be closer to. You don’t remember living anywhere else, and he never really clarified whether he moved before or after you were born, so… this is home, at any rate. Being nestled into a district with the protective Walls nearby at all sides has always made you feel safe, even as you’ve heard others claim this to be the most dangerous place within the Walls.

    Anyway, after breakfast, Father took you out into town to buy you a few new notebooks for your ongoing schooling. The shopping center is bustling even this early in the morning. People give Father and you a bit of a berth, but nothing beyond what you’re used to.

    Tension started to rise, however, when a group of Garrison soldiers came through, carrying ladders and what appeared to be various cleaning products and implements, tailed by rich businessmen and what appear to be… some kind of artists?

    One of the fat rich men is having what appears to be a loud and heated one-sided discussion with the artists, from which you (and many other passers by) can surmise what’s going on here - they’re going to be cleaning up a portion of the Wall and making a mural there, sponsored by the businessman here.

    Father quickly leaps into action, running towards the entourage and yelling angrily, his arms thrown up into the air. “How dare you all!? You parade through here to defile the Walls with… with paint!?”

    Any other day, most people would groan and ignore Father when he began preaching like this. Today, however, he had something you’d rarely seen him with before - allies.

    “Yeah!” One of the shoppers shouts. “Our tax dollars are being wasted paying soldiers to help make a freaking painting!?”

    A crowd starts to form around and grow angrier, forcing the soldiers to force them back. This looks like it might escalate, and nobody’s trying to keep the peace…

    What are you going to do?


    Spoiler: “Samuel”
    Show
    Your head throbs with a dull pounding pain as your eyes flutter open. Ugh, what is that stench? It’s so dark…

    It doesn’t take long for your eyes to adjust and for you to figure out where you are. You were sleeping in a small drainage trench in an alley. As your awareness comes back, you remember the fight you got in yesterday, that had left your head hurting like so.

    Soon you’re distracted from the pain in your head by the pain in your stomach. Oh, right. You put up a good fight, but it was three on one, and they were a lot older than you. They took your bread, so you went without food yesterday.

    Knowing there’s nothing to gain sticking around here, and hearing the bustle of shopkeepers not far away, you groan, work your way to your feet, and head out. You’re not sure how you look, but… probably not great.

    It takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the sudden sunlight when you step out from the alley. When they do, you take in your surroundings.

    There are food merchants all over - fish, potatoes, bread, vegetables of various types… Well, that’s most of it, really. Shiganshina isn’t known for its variety of food. Still… your stomach rumbles again. Not like you have money, but you get lost in a crowd pretty well if you have to.

    Not too far off in the other direction, you spot the three guys who beat you down for your bread yesterday (still with their own share of injuries, serves ‘em right) shaking down another kid for the bread he just bought to feed his siblings. Go figure, the soldiers that are around are drunk and too busy with their card games to do anything about it. Not that you aren’t still hurting from last time, but you’re itching for revenge…

    Finally, in the opposite corner of the marketplace, you spot a commotion… oh, and Melchior. He’s an interesting friend and all, sure, sure… but right now you’re mostly thinking about the meal and shower you got last time you were over at his house. On the other hand… it looks like he’s right next to an escalating conflict between a bunch of shoppers and Garrison people. And the commotion is making the food sellers more distracted.

    What are you going to do?


    Spoiler: “Mila”
    Show
    ”Darlin’, up, up and at ‘em!”

    You bolt awake at Ma’s words; you’re so used to getting up at this time that you were half-waking anyway.

    Your sister Irina has a harder time of it, but now’s the time for developing good habits, right? You help her get dressed and brush her teeth, and then leave her to the direction of your mother while you start tackling the morning chores. Once the chickens are fed, the eggs collected, and the cows milked, you bring everything in to start helping make breakfast. For such a big family, every meal is a big event! Platters of eggs, mashed potatoes, tomato-basil toast, pea soup, and unlike usual, today even ham! A real feast to fuel up for a hard day of work.

    Pa, a burly bushy-bearded man in overalls, walks back in from outside, having finished the early-morning work for the farm. He sniffs greedily and gives a huge grin. “I smell ham! Awwwright!”

    “Ham!?” Your older brother Gregory’s booming voice roars into the house from behind Pa, followed shortly by Gregory himself barreling in. Despite only being sixteen, he’s already taller than and almost as muscular as Pa; nobody’s really sure where he got it from, but he’s got the brain to match his bullishness. He slobbers as he nearly trips over himself running to the table, but stops short when Ma gives him a death glare. “Oh, uh… Sorry, Ma.”

    “You’d best be! You know better’n to run in tha house, an’ gettin’ here first ain’t gonna mean you eat before ev’rybody else. Now go wash yer hands,” she scolds. Gregory gulps nervously and runs- catches himself and walks to go wash up.

    Following in behind them by over a minute is your other older brother, Alex. As he walks in, he lets down his long blonde hair from the tight bun he keeps it in for farm work. He’s almost the opposite of Gregory - at thirteen, he’s barely any taller than you, and has a slender, even delicate build. You don’t remember him saying more than a few words at a time in the entire time you’ve been alive, and always has a distant look in his eyes. He nods respectfully to you and Ma as he passes to go wash up.

    Pa puts his hand on your head and half-smiles with pride. “G’morning, Mila dear. The food looks smashing; Ma’s been teaching you well, eh?”


    Spoiler: “Amelie”
    Show
    You’re lost in reading a book by the early morning sunlight filtering through your bedroom window when your pater - that is, male parent - taps on your shoulder, rousing your attention a bit.

    “Hey, sweetheart,” he says warmly. “Breakfast is ready whenever you want it. I don’t want to distract you, but please eat some before it’s time to go to school today, okay? Love you.”

    With that, he kisses your head softly, then leaves your room, quietly shutting the door behind him. He made little enough of himself to convey his point without making you lose your place in the reading - how considerate.

    Your book really is quite interesting. You’re sure you’ll find time for breakfast just after… this… line...

    Your mater - other parent - shoves the door open inelegantly, giving you a cool look. “You’re going to be late. Don’t bother stopping to eat; I won’t countenance a tardy on your record.”

    Despite her efforts to make this seem like a sacrifice through her demeanor, it’s easy enough to grab the toast off your plate as you pass and shove it into your mouth as you speed-walk over the settled snow towards school. That’ll be plenty; eating plainly and minimally encourages focusing on the mental pursuits. You carefully pluck the crumbs from your face to perfect your presentation as you arrive at your designated school room and head in.

    “Good morning, students,” the teacher, a middle-aged woman with early-graying hair greets formally. “Please open your texts to page 126…”



    As you’re packing up your notes at the end of class, without warning, the world turns sideways and you feel a sharp pain on your left temple as the floor strikes it. After the brief whiteness of a blow to the head fleets from your vision, you turn your head up to observe a girl with short violet hair glaring down at you. She seems vaguely familiar, but all the riffraff kind of have that effect. From your position, you can’t see well, but you certainly don’t hear the teacher addressing her over this. How troublesome.


    Spoiler: “Infiltrators”
    Show
    The remnants of last conversations with your families, friends, and everyone else important enough to remember drift through your dreams.

    “Best of luck! Make us proud!”

    “Go kill those devils!”

    “I’ll wait for you. Just, please... Come back to me.”

    “I’m sorry. For everything.”

    ... Then your eyes collectively flutter open as the officer barges into the room. The ship continues to sway in the water, but it would appear you’re no longer making forward movement. In other words... The voyage is over. You’re there.

    Paradis.

    The officer orders you all to wake up and come to attention, so you do. He looks you each over, then nods, cracking a half-smile. “This is it, Warriors. We’ve arrived at the coastal shelf. Make your last preparations and deport when you’re ready. I expect the lot of you to do your race proud. Dismissed.”

    And with that, he walks back out, leaving you to dress and contemplate what you’ll soon be doing.

    How will you prepare to depart? Anything special you’ve brought along to help yourselves out in the infiltration? Last minute questions or requests for the ship’s captain? Anything else?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    aturtledoesbite's Avatar

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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    "What more could you want?"

    The question echoed in Crescentia's head even after she awoke. Why did it have to be her? Why couldn't her older sister take the job? She'd seen Mother when the Founder's will was in charge, and it scared her. Maybe it would make things easy if she didn't actually have to make any hard choices...but then what would be the point of ruling? Also, having some mythical old man or whatever make her do things sounded terrible.

    What she wanted...was to lead.

    ...of course, none of that was relevant at this exact moment, where she neither wanted to get out of bed nor go back to that dream. Annoying. So she just settled for curling up under her blankets and cuddling with the nearest stuffed animal; a plush dolphin. Once the servant got around to her: "Nnnnnngh, five more minuuuuuuuutes..."



    To be honest, Bastian hadn't really considered what he might need to bring. He figured someone else was doing the planning, they'd probably take care of stuff like that. For now, though, he could at least offer to carry anything his...'partners'? --whatever the word was-- needed to carry.
    Last edited by aturtledoesbite; 2018-05-13 at 12:10 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Volthawk's Avatar

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    London, England

    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Samuel groans as he looks around and sees the situation in front of him. He really needed to get better at protecting what's his (even if he's already pretty good), or at the least find some other way of surviving. For now though, this was his life and...they're here. The bastards.

    He doesn't really stop to think through the fact that he's still worse off than them, or that he's still outnumbered, or anything that would normally give a person pause for thought. Instead, he just rushes in, going in swinging against the closest of the trio. No need to talk it out first, not with them.

    ----------
    Friedrich smiles when he hears that they've arrived at Paradis. It was finally happening, he was finally going to be able to reach towards the glory and destiny he was born for. He will not fail. In one of his hands he holds a familiy keepsake, a small trinket bearing the symbols of the royal family on a metal chain, the last gift from his family and a symbol of why he's here. Although during the journey he'd been holding it, drawing conviction from it, when he dresses he hides it under his clothes, along with a knife.

    Once he's dressed and ready, he turns to look at the rest of the group. He didn't know them that well, but he knew he had to rely on them, and that they'd been judged as being the best choices. That would do.

    "This is it. Our time is here. No more waiting, let's load up the supplies and get going."
    Blake avatar by Cuthalion

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hypersmith's Avatar

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    Pluto (EST)
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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Melchior had a general dislike of the military. His friends in the streets called them lazy layabouts, and like father said, they spent the rest of their time trying their best to defile the walls. This was an awful mix of both. Managing to do both was... was...

    His voice joins the others. "People like you are why there's struggling within the Walls!"
    If Father was okay with it, it was right.



    Stephan is characteristically silent. He's been like that for as long as any of you have known him. If he doesn't have reason to speak, he just won't. Fortunately, he has a lot of reason to speak when it comes to actually fighting.

    He carries no mark, no identifier of who he is, though his titan form makes clear he's a of the royal family. That ability to speak, along with his clear head in most circumstances, is what lead him here. He too, tucks a nondescript knife into its sheath, to be used when needed.

    He loads up a few more supplies, then picks up his backpack. A pot, a matchbox, rope, rations. No need to starve while they traveled.
    Having a pretty rough time in college atm. Going to be very spotty in posting.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Spoiler: Marie
    Show
    Marie, still looking up, points out faces and shapes in the clouds.
    "That one's a raven, and there's a fox, and that one is Daddy when he's happy, and there's Daddy when he's grumpy, and there's a sheep... Here, I'll show you a better... view!"
    Without warning, she grabs her brother's arm and wrist and hurls him over her shoulder onto his back, just like Mommy taught her.

    She crouches, looking upside-down at his face.
    "...Why isn't Mommy getting better?"


    Spoiler: Lilly
    Show
    "Allllriiiiight!" Lilly nearly growls as she stretches. "Let the hunt begin! Last one ready's a hamster's father!"

    She doesn't have to do much more than throw on some peasants' clothing - not at all shy about changing in the open - and tuck a knife up her sleeve. They assembled their supplies last night; she'd go out and Shift as soon as these slowpokes were ready to load her up.

    They'd have fresh food and water for their journey to the city, canvas for wrapping Bastian into an human bullet, and explosives to make short work of the outer Gate. Along the way, they'd be burying metal boxes full of nonperishable food and water, guns, traps, more explosives, and a map of the island in each, to give them an edge on their way back - one way or another. The barrels and shovels would be broken in the chaos at the Wall.

    She licks her lips. While part of her is truly excited to be out in a new land and making use of the skills she'd paid hell to master, another part can't help but be nervous. Failure here means death for all of her family, friends, and packmates. It's not an option, ever. Ever.


    Spoiler: Mila
    Show
    Mila beams with pride.
    "You betcha! Cookin' 'round here's life an' death, innit? C'nya imagine if Greg had t'do't?!"

    She goes about setting the table, helps little Irina up onto the bench, and casually moves Pa's extra helping of meat to Alex's plate. All part of the routine - and she wouldn't have it any other way.


    Spoiler: Amelie
    Show
    An external force was applied to alter my inertia. Symptoms mild - but annoying. Impetus uncertain; working hypothesis: this violet-haired rabble tipped my chair. Ingesting dissinia leaves causes similar symptoms of headache and acute dizziness: will consider a comeuppance later."

    Amelie rightens herself and starts collecting her things, moving more or less automatically as her brain continues on its own course.
    "Pearson theorized that bodies fall to the ground because of a magnetic force exerted by the ground upon our bodies. I believe it is more precise to say that the iron in our blood is what is being acted upon, much as a magnet to an iron rod. Birds, then, are resistant to this effect because their blood has much lower iron content than creatures of the land. While I appreciate your proactiveness in testing Pearson's theories, your experiment suffered from a number of flaws, not least of which that is was conducted in the absence of a controlled forum; your results could be tainted by any number of variables for which you failed to account. Moreover, such things are far beneath the current forefront of scientific inquiry; I might recommend reviewing the works of Greeber and Rommit to better inform your next mode of research. I do hope this has been enlightening for you - ah, would you like to join me for tea after class hours to continue our discourse?"

    She doesn't particularly wait for a response before walking past the girl toward her next lecture. Perhaps she'll finish chapter VII of Horocleus' Astrologaea if they are not too obnoxiously loud about their poesy.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Vrock_Summoner's Avatar

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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Spoiler: “Samuel”
    Show
    Spoiler: Samuel’s Fight Transcript
    Show
    The three food-thieves see Samuel running at them and, eyebrows raised, turn to face him, startled.

    Samuel runs in so quickly that his three opponents are blindsided and not ready for a fight! Sam can use their Flat-Footedness for a Boost!

    Grinning at his opponents' openness and vulnerability, Samuel finishes his charge with a punch aimed straight at the closest guy's guts, his momentum keeping him moving forwards and allowing him to bring up an elbow to the nose take out the second.

    As Samuel pummel the first two guys with flourish, their crumpling bodies provide enough distraction for the last one to slip around to his back and slip his arm around Samuel’s neck! He has created the Chokehold Aspect with two free invocations!

    While the chokehold is a problem, Samuel doesn't try to break it, instead just trying to take his attacker down quickly, relying on raw power - in previous street fights, this had served him well, so he strikes his attacker in the gut with his elbow, which isn't as effective as he'd hoped but still hits with some force.

    The older boy’s grip on Samuel’s neck tightens considerably, and he feels his strength sapping away, but he can endure it for now, and the older boy seems to be struggling too after that powerful gut blow.

    Despite the efforts of the older boy, Samuel isn't quite out of the fight yet, struggling and bringing his head back to crash against his enemy's face, knocking him out.


    As Sam makes rapid work of the three who had roughed him up yesterday, the other boy (about your age, or at most a year older) they’d been shaking down grins widely. Taking a better look at him, you can tell he’s only a little better off than you... he’s clearly going hungry, but at least he seems cleaner, like he’d slept in a bed instead of a ditch.

    “Wow! You’re incredible! Those guys were gonna take my bread...” He looks you up and down. “Golly, you’re kind of a mess, aren’t you? You must have it really rough...” After a moment of thought, he splits off a piece of his loaf. “I can’t afford to offer much, because this has to feed my little sisters and pop, but... breakfast? On me?”

    Before you can respond, there’s gunshots, screaming, and lots of people running from the opposite side of the marketplace, where you saw Melchior earlier...


    Spoiler: “Annie”
    Show
    ”Crescentia, darling, normally I’d accept that, but you really do need to get up now. There’s a lunch function in two hours with the other noble houses and it’ll probably take over an hour for you to get ready. I know you like long baths...”

    The middle-aged servant opens up your drapery, letting light pour into your bed area. It stings your eyes.


    Spoiler: “Melchior”
    Show
    An air of charisma carries in your voice despite your age, rousing ever more of the people in the market to join the developing crowd of dissenters. A scant few people reluctantly make their way over to the businessmen’s side and help the soldiers push people back, almost certainly because those businessmen control their own paychecks, but it’s paltry compared to the opposition.

    “Please, please, I need everyone to remain calm!” One of the Garrison soldiers requests, but there’s a hint of pleading in his voice, and the crowd pounces on the weakness.

    “We won’t pay to have the Walls painted on! We won’t pay to have the Walls painted on!” One man starts chanting, with others soon joining in, until it’s a roar. The Garrison soldiers nervously reach for their guns, and Father capitalized on this.

    “And lo, those so terrible as to tamper with the Wall would threaten violence against the righteous! These Garrison aren’t just lazy, they’re monstrous!”

    That earns him a gun barrel pointed right at him. “You! Be quiet or you’ll be arrested for treason! You all will be if you don’t disperse!”

    The crowd hesitates for just a moment. The tension hangs palpably in the air, so thick you feel you could cut it with a knife.

    Then that soldier is knocked flat by a fist to the face from the first man who supported Father.

    All at once things start happening. The man who threw the punch is shot, while the next most aggressive looking dissidents get violently arrested. Everyone else freaks out and starts running.

    Father snatches your hand to lead you out of the line of chaos. He gives you a quick hug, then looks back. “The people need our Word now more than ever. Let us sing our praises for the sacred inviolability of the Walls!”

    And so he does, until eventually he too is arrested for his part in what happened, and you are left alone to stew in the Dark mood that has fallen over the marketplace.


    Spoiler: “Marie”
    Show
    Matthias groans as he lays on the ground, staring up. “Owww... You’re too enthusiastic about those fighting lessons, Marie...” Then he sighs, meeting her expectant eyes, and betraying some sadness in his own.

    “... I don’t know, Marie. I just want things back to how they were before.”


    Spoiler: “Mila”
    Show
    Pa eyes his plate with some confusion, then adds more meat again, despite Ma’s fussing to leave some for Granpa.

    The peace of breakfast is interrupted by a “Yahoooo!” followed by a loud crash and the sound of snapping wood. Everybody in the kitchen except Irina rushes in the direction of the boys’ room.

    It would appear that Gregory, bored of washing his hands, cannonballed onto Alex’s bed, causing its frame to collapse under the force and the mattress to fall down.

    “You little- that’ll take days to rebuild, Gregory!” Pa snaps with the closest thing his heart can muster to anger.

    “Ahahaha! Ow... Sorry, Dad...” Gregory lays back on the mattress, laughing more. Alex stands in the corner of the room, pale as a sheet.

    “Don’t put weight on it!” Ma scolds, and Gregory fearfully hops back up to his feet, looking concerned. “If there are wood splinters, you’ll tear the mattress. As it is now, it’s probably still usable with a bit of threading.”

    Pa nods, then goes over to carefully pick up the mattress. However, to his surprise, Alex runs over and puts his hands down on the mattress, keeping Pa from moving it.

    “I- I, uh-“ Alex’s voice shakes. “I’ll take care of it. I have sewing supplies. I’ll take care of the mattress while the rest of you have breakfast. I... I’m not hungry anyway.”

    “Ha! Seriously, what’s with you and sewing?” Gregory jabs, but shuts up again with a quick glare from Ma.

    For the moment, everything hangs uncertainly. Pa tries to move the mattress again a bit, but Alex is unwavering, which surprises Pa. Nobody quite knows what to say for a moment.

    Unless you do?


    Spoiler: “Amelie”
    Show
    The violet-haired girl seems incredulous during your lecture, then grabs your shoulder as you attempt to walk past. “Hey! You freak! Hold it!” She roughly tugs you, stopping you from making progress. Then she starts to rant.

    “What the hell was with you yesterday, Amelie!? I stayed up all night on my half of the group assignment, but you just scrapped it for your own work, and when the teacher asked you about it you said I ‘didn’t contribute anything meaningful’!? You cost me a letter grade, you cow!”
    Last edited by Vrock_Summoner; 2018-05-13 at 08:31 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Volthawk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Samuel grins as the boy compliments him and offers food, grabbing the offered bread as soon as it's offered. Things kicking off elsewhere in the market kind of kills any long response he might have had, though - Melchior was in the middle of that, and the guy lacked good sense when it came to his cult stuff, so Samuel knew he had to go make sure he was okay.

    He grins at the boy, responding with a quick burst of "I'm Samuel, thanks for the bread, see you around, need to go find someone, bye." before running off towards the disturbance, eating the bread as he goes and looking for Melchior.
    Blake avatar by Cuthalion

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    aturtledoesbite's Avatar

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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Crescentia covers her eyes with the plush dolphin. "But those lunches are boring! They probably wouldn't even notice if I wasn't there anyway; even if Mother wants me to succeed her, it's not like that's happening any time soon. Can't I just go play out in the garden with Dirk and Abel today?"

    Despite her vocal complaints, she shuffles out of bed and lets the servant get her ready.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    ... Father was brave. And the people trusted him. They fought for him. That man got shot for him. Father really trusted and cared about the people the wall protected, and they returned his sentiment in times that mattered.

    Melchior was stunned, barely managing to shuffle out of the way of the rapidly dispersing people. This damn soldiers were terrible. Awful. Still, the awe and trust in Father outweighs the dread of seeing him pulled away.

    And so Melchior stands about as the mood darkens, watching, reading the people around him. Ah, what a nice surprise - Samuel. He steps towards him, jabbering excitedly.
    "Did you see that?! All those corrupt defilers will have what's coming to them! They can't stop Father, the only thing that can hold him is the Walls, with their protective embrace - isn't it a good day?"

    Seems he's quite alright. Having people on Father's side is quite the occasion for celebration.
    Last edited by Hypersmith; 2018-05-13 at 09:14 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Griffon

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    Spoiler: Marie
    Show
    Marie flops on the ground with her head next to her brother's, looking up.

    "Yeah. Me too..."


    Spoiler: Mila
    Show
    Mila sees what needs to be done and takes control, borrowing what she's inherited from Ma's aura.

    "Listen up, y'all! First thing's first: everyone eats breakfast! Ain't none'a my family goin' hungry on account of a broken bed, so let it lie fer now! Pa an' Gregory can get t' work outside, Ma an' Alex can fix up the mattress, and Irina and I'll clean up from breakfast. Tomorrow we'll cut wood for a new bedframe while Ma's gone shoppin'. Alex, yer welcome t' share my bed 'til yers is fixed, an' little Irina can snuggle with Ma and Pa, jus' like she's been wantin'. Now let's get a move on a'fore the pig gets cold~!"


    Spoiler: Amelie
    Show
    Amelie blinks vacantly, barely acknowledging the girl who grabbed her.
    "I'm afraid I don't make a habit of memorizing meaningless drivel. Perhaps you should spend your nights on more worthwhile activities, like contributing to Lazarus's recent studies in juvenile psychometrics? I can't really be bothered, given the woeful inadequacy of local sample populations. Now shoo, off with you, do whatever it is you... children do."

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Melchior's jabbering just gets a nod in response from Samuel. When the guy got like this, it was best to just let him get on with it, particularly if Samuel wanted any chance of being offered a meal and shower. When his friend finishes talking, Samuel responds, somewhat more laid back now things are a little quieter and the rush from the fight has had time to die doen. "So the old man got arrested? What happened, anyway? I was busy...fixing something that was wrong, that word." He sits on a nearby barrel as he waits for a response.
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    Melchior starts walking down the road back towards his house. He had no money for a notebook, and it would be best not to be wandering when Father came back. He would be worried. It was bad enough when he got in fistfights. This time there was a lot more serious.

    As they begin the walk back, Melchior grins. He's missing a canine, and the gap whistles occasionally as he speaks. "Yeah! One of the merchants was being greedy, and wanted the garrison to paint on the wall for him. Father told them to stop, and the people around us started agreeing. They started getting mad when Father showed them how monstrous they were being, and they pointed a gun at him, and a true martyr punched him then he got shot! Some people ran, and the ones who stayed were arrested."
    He seems a little too high on his story to notice Samuel's condition.
    Last edited by Hypersmith; 2018-05-13 at 10:24 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Spoiler: “Annie”
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    The servant draws a sharp, hesitant gasp when Crescentia speaks. They seem to be deep in deliberation while helping you get washed and dressed for the day’s events.

    Just as you’re about to leave the dressing room to mingle with the other members of your family, though, the servant lightly touches your shoulder to stop you, looking... is that guilt on their face? Sadness?

    “Princess Crescentia, I don’t know if I should tell you this, but I think you deserve to know,” they say, with clearly wavering conviction. “Of course, your brother will serve as regent until you are old enough to assume the throne properly, but... Her Highness seems intent that you will inherit not long after your twelfth birthday.”

    They bow and go silent to allow Crescentia time to process what she was just told.


    Spoiler: “Marie”
    Show
    Matthias stays quiet for a minute, then turns his head to look at Marie again. “Honestly, I’m worried about the future. We all know Mom makes all the money around here. I was hoping to go to school to be a doctor like her, but... I wonder if I’ll be able to now. Being a tailor is just...” He sighs. “If she... doesn’t get better, I mean.” He chokes a bit, seeming to be trying to hold himself together. “You too, right? You look so much like Mom, you probably wanna grow up just like her too.”


    Spoiler: “Mila”
    Show
    Ma appraises you approvingly, while Pa and Gregory seem stunned into submission, and Alex... that’s new. He smiles at you and mouths thank you.

    And so everyone is led to the dinner table, where your past-working-age Granpa and furious sweater-knitting Grandma have shakily made their way to. Once everyone is sitting around the table, everybody takes turns thanking you and Ma for cooking it, and when everyone’s done, everyone digs in!

    It’s a lot like any other breakfast. Gregory and Pa inhale the food moreso than eat it, constantly lapsing on and then being criticized back into table manners by Ma throughout, whilst Alex does more poking around of their food than ingesting it. Irina makes a bit of a mess spilling egg on herself, while Grandma starts squabbling with Granpa when he tries to take the tomato off his toast.

    The sunshine filtering through the window completes the set for a beautiful breakfast. It’s... well, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting more from life than this, sometimes.

    When everybody’s finished eating - well, except Alex, the remaining half of whose plate is fought over by Pa and Greg, as per protocol - Ma stands up and beckons to you to come help with dishes. Irina, however, has other ideas, and rushes over, saying “let me help today, let me help today!”

    Ma is caught off guard, and Alex, with uncharacteristic swiftness, jumps in to say, “Ma, may Mila come help me now, please?”

    Ma sighs and nods. “Fine, fine. Here, Irina, hold the cloth like this. I’ll wash, and you dry the plates...”

    With that, Alex snatched your sleeve and gently tugs you back towards his room, clearly eager to talk to you one on one.

    Once you have privacy, but before you start moving the bed, Alex’s face starts to go red, but he gulps and forces himself to speak. “S-sister... Um... I know it’s going to seem bad, but... Can you keep a secret? Just for a little while, please? I... You’re the only one that I don’t feel scared about knowing.” He looks at you pleadingly.


    Spoiler: “Amelie”
    Show
    The girl snarls in response to Amelie brushing her off. “You...!” The teacher finally deigns to look at her seriously as she balls up a fist, so she stops, sighing, then falls back on a haughty tone. “Fine. Asocials like you... You all think you’re special, but you’ll die alone and unloved without ever contributing to society. I wonder if you’ll still be ignorantly feeling proud of yourself then.” She storms out of the room, leaving you to go on your way.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    aturtledoesbite's Avatar

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    Two years. In two years, she'd be as trapped as her mother.

    ...No. That can't be. She's lying. Why would Mother do this? Besides, it's ridiculous. Crescentia is pretty sure that inheriting only happens on death. Mother won't die in two years. That just can't happen.

    "...Even if you're just trying to get me to take this more seriously, that's poor taste for a trick." Without waiting for a reply, she leaves the dressing room.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    All in all, Samuel was pretty happy with how the day was going so far - he'd gotten even with those bastards, maybe made a future friend, ran into Melchior and now it looked like he had a good meal ahead of him with a friend. Things were good, and he smiles as he walks, listening to Melchior's story.

    "So that's how it was? Thought it would be. Garrison's a bunch of bastards around here. Still, the old man has money. Shouldn't be too hard for him."
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  16. - Top - End - #16
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    With a bit of a spring to his step, Melchior continues towards home, grinning widely. Seems He's happy enough to just head back and enjoy the unexpected break till Father is back. He calms down eventually, returning to normal strides, and finally taking a good look at Samuel.

    "Woah! Who was picking a fight with you?"
    He twists his mouth and wrinkles his nose. "They really left a couple marks on you too huh?"
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Samuel grins, apparently not that concerned about his injuries. He'd suffered worse in the past, after all, and he was still riding the high from his victory - even with his bruises, he still considered today a good day.

    "Some older bastards, three of them. They got me last night, took my food, but I got them better this morning. Two down straight away, got the last one while he was trying to choke me. Even got rewarded for it, got some bread. A pretty good morning."
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    "I think we have some leftover cheese and more bread at home. You can help yourself - double reward! Long as you wash up. Father likes to keep the place clean, and we've probably got some time before he gets back."
    Melchior smiles. He has enough sense to know it's something Samuel looks forward to. No shame in that. It wasn't his fault there were so many bad people in the walls.
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    Samuel nods, happy about Melchior's offer - this really was a good day. "Great! Need any help with things while I'm there? Gotta do something for it."
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    "I don't think so... We were gonna get books, then come back and study. No reason to heat up any water or anything right now."

    As the house comes within view, Melchior takes off running for the last stretch. "Lets just do something fun!"
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Samuel doesn't say anything in response, just starting to run and match Melchior's pace. If he didn't have to do anything more today for his food, that made things even better - it wasn't that common that he was just able to have fun, knowing his needs were taken care of for now.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Griffon

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    Spoiler: Marie
    Show
    "No way! Sick people are scary and gross! I wanna make masks and stuff like Daddy likes! I'll make him smile every day, then when he doesn't feel like it, he can put on a smiley mask!"
    Marie hops up, reenergized, and trots toward the house.
    "I'm gonna go make one right now!"


    Spoiler: Mila
    Show
    Mila smiles warmly, and her voice is soft - both for comfort and not to be overheard.
    "It's about your sewing, isn't it? Go on; Big Sis'll take yer secrets to her grave, if'n ye want."

    Alex nods, and, with some help from Mila (since his muscles are hardly any more developed than hers) moves the mattress off the shattered bed frame, revealing a box that had previously been tucked under his bed carrying... oh, wow, that fabric is nice. It's some kind of fancy black-and-blue dress, though it's hard to make out details while itâ's all folded up. Alex shuffles uncomfortably. "I... need to find a temporary hiding place for this."

    Mila can't help run her hand over the fabric, though resists the temptation to unfold it for a better look.
    "Woah, this is nice! Could sell it for a lotta coin if'n we lived further in. Waste o' talent out here..."

    "Yeah... Yeah, probably. But I definitely don't plan to sell it. It's, um... Oh, gosh, I feel terrible for it, but, I'm actually... planning to break the law," Alex admits.

    "You're... what? What law? Why?"
    Her voice is still hushed - confused, not yet alarmed.

    Alex gulps, then continues, "This is a fabrication of the uniform for Kailles University in Trost District. I... well, I've been saving up bits of money here and there doing sewing work for people at night, and, I almost have enough to try and bribe a merchant to smuggle me past the checkpoint. At which point, I'm going to sneak into lectures... Kailles has so many students that most classes won't notice one extra. So I... I can get an education. And maybe do something with my life besides farm, y'know?"

    Mila draws a breath in, until it gets caught in her throat, then she shakes her head while smiling and chuckling. She rubs Alex's head like he used to do for her.
    "That's... I dunno, that's amazing, Lexy!"
    She smiles into his eyes.
    "If anyone in this family can make somethin' more of themselves than dirtscrapers, it's you. I've got a little savin's m'self, if it'll help. Can't let Ma or Pa find this, though, or they'll sell it and our hides fer another hog. Let's see... Under my mattress, d'ya think? Or maybe in the attic? So long as nobody hears us go up there..."

    Alex's eyes light up. "You... You're okay with it? All of it...? I couldn't ask for your share of savings, but, if you'll help me hide this, I... thank you!" He looks thoughtful. "Hm... I don't want to risk them getting suspicious if they catch us coming down from up there. Under your mattress is probably best." He gives a half-smile. [b"Greg's a lot less likely to jump around in your room, too..."[/b]

    "Darn right! I'd whup 'im good too!"
    She covers her mouth after that accidental outburst, then laughs it off.
    "C'mon," she whispers again, "let's do some real work here, then I'll just stuff it under m'apron when I go fer the sewin' kit. None the wiser."

    Alex nods enthusiastically and quickly gets to work, cleaning up wood fragments, stripping the sheets, and appraising the couple of small holes in the bottom of the mattress.
    However, as you're both getting started on the immediate cleanup necessary, Gregory pokes his head around the corner. "I may not be the brightest knife in the crayon box, but I know what it looks like when ya got somethin' to hide. Lemme see!" He says enthusiastically, before charging in and throwing aside sheets and the like youâ'd just gone done folding, not really sure what he's looking for.

    Mila flushes red - not out of fear of the uniform being discovered, but anger at Greg disrespecting their hard work.
    "Greg, you idjit!"
    She introduces her heel to his shin with maximum force, then pushes him toward the door while he's unbalanced.

    "Oooow!" Gregory grumbles. "The heck, MiMi? That hurt..."
    You notice your push back only prompted about a step.

    Mila slides into the space of that step and continues body-checking him toward the door. She puts on a sugary-sweet smile with murder in her eyes. Ma didn't teach her that yet, but she learned all the same.
    "Now Gregory, you nearly done gave yourself a splinter! Why don't y'go help Pa outside a'fore I strangle ya with the sheets y'just ruined, hmmm~?"

    Gregory's eyes widen. "You're... so Ma-ish today," he notes simply, then allows himself to be pushed out the door, but makes quick eye contact with Alex. "Show me later!" Then he finally wanders off to rejoin Pa.

    Mila stays in the doorway until the kitchen door slams shut, then fills up her lungs and lets out an enormous sigh.
    "That boy, I tell ya. Better off in the army or summit..."
    She comes back and surveys the mess.
    "Welp, first time was practice, now let's dress that bed f'real!"

    "... How did you do that!?" Alex asks, amazed. "He just... always does whatever he wants, no matter how hard I argue."ť

    Mila demonstrates the same smile, though her eyes are happy instead of bloodthirsty.
    "It's not what you c'n do t'em, it's what y'make 'em think ye'll do t'em. Ain't that right, Lexy~?"

    Alex stops cold for a second, then smiles serenely. "Thank you. Now let's get everything cleaned up!"

    Back on task, they make quick work of sweeping the splinters into the cracks between floorboards and dressing the mattress back up. Then Mila gathers the uniform up under her skirts, tucked high so it won't fall, and winks at Alex.
    "Now I won't be a minute. Why don'ye grab yer things an' bring 'em to my room while y'wait?"
    She heads over to the room she shares with Irina...


    Spoiler: Amelie
    Show
    Amelie starts to make a rebuttal, then peters out with a sigh when she realizes she's talking to nobody.
    She proceeds to her next lecture lost in thought.
    How to improve my social standing... ether of rhapphleur, maybe? But to make enough for everyone in the school to drink, then to make them do it... Wattson should have written more on this. Hrm...

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Melchior crashes into the door to the house in his haste, practically bouncing off the floor as he gets up to open it again.
    It's locked.
    "Wha..? Father must have locked it when we left." He frowns and looks back at Samuel apologetically.
    "Now what?"
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Spoiler: Melchior & Samuel
    Show
    It’s actually not that long before Melchior’s father gets home - and with an apologetic look and a handshake from the jailor after getting a carriage ride home, at that. How odd; Melchior wouldn’t recall his dad ever being particularly friendly with that man. It’s probably no big deal, though.

    When he sees Samuel and Melchior hanging out, he gives his warmest smile, but it still seems strained. He’s clearly had a rather stressful day, though not so much as Samuel’s yesterday. He comes over to unlock the door while addressing Samuel.

    “Hello, Samuel. It’s a pleasure as always to have one of my son’s friends over. Help yourself to whatever you need.” And with that, he picks out an old-looking book and sits on one of the leaving room seats to read.


    Spoiler: “Annie”
    Show
    Another day. Another stupid event. Of course. “Because maintaining good relations is important for stability.” As if anyone or anything could actually risk the royal family’s position. Like, hello?

    And the worst part is that your family doesn’t get to be the important ones here. Well, obviously they are the important ones, but they have to act like they’re some lesser noble family. Ignoring your own royal name of Fritz and responding instead to “Reiss”... And for what? To maintain some useless charade?

    So now you’re watching your mother, Queen Freya herself, kissing up to that senile old man they have pretending to be in charge of the country. And of course, most of the other nobles know it’s a farce too - but still the act must be maintained, if only for the benefit of the lesser servants presiding over the meal. Because it would be “inconvenient” if the truth got around so that everyone could know to give you the respect you deserve...

    Wait a minute. Did your mother just leave? The event had only started an hour ago and she just... Just ditched you, Florian, and Urklyn there! Now Urklyn is taking over as the diplomatic head of the house, while Florian tells you no, you aren’t allowed to leave to follow Mother out...

    The event goes on, and on, and on, as they always do, all the way into the evening, until finally, mercifully, the boredom is cut short as a soldier comes barging through the door, panting and sweating a great deal as he eventually shakes his way into a barely-half-proper salute. How undignified.

    “What is the meaning of this interruption!?” One of the heads of the other noble house’s snarls at the intruding soldier.

    “T-terribly sorry, milords an’ ladies! But there’s urgent news! Extremely urgent. Wall Maria has fallen! The Titans have gotten inside!”

    A weighty silence hangs inside the room. You almost immediately feel the nearby Florian snatch your hand in her own. You can feel her trembling.


    Spoiler: “Marie”
    Show
    As you run inside, you see Mom patching up a shopping basket at the table. She smiles warmly at you as she sees you, but the effort does little to mask the continuation of her gradual decline in health. It’s so bad you can smell iron and mint mixed together on her breath - or, as you’ve come to understand it, her attempt to cover up that she’s been coughing blood again.

    “Good morning, sunshine!” she greets with an odd mix of forceful enthusiasm and soft, singsong tone. “I was just about to go to the market to pick up some pork and veggies for tonight’s dinner. Would you come with me, please? You’ve been getting so strong from how hard you’ve been training, and I’m not sure I can carry it all.”


    Spoiler: “Mila”
    Show
    The day continues with no more difficulty than any other on the farm, at least for a couple of hours. Cleaning, chores, post-chore cleanup, next chore-

    And then the screaming starts up from outside.

    You, Ma, and Irina rush out to see what the commotion is about just as Pa and Greg have rushed back to the door.

    “We gotta move, now!” Pa orders with an intensity you don’t recall seeing him use since that time Greg almost burned down the farm. “There’s... there’s Titans! We don’t have time to grab anything, they’re damned near already in the village!”

    Greg looks around the group, seeming to count with his index finger while looking strained. “Uh... Alex?”

    As he so eloquently pointed out, Alex is currently with neither of the family groupings. Pa goes pale, while Ma snarls a bit. “He was with you! You should know where he ran off to!”

    “Look, I’m sure he’ll get the memo and join us in evacuating-“ Pa begins, but is even more angrily cut off.

    “I am not leaving without one of my babies! Gregory, girls, grab an axe and search inside and the north side of the barn, but get on the horses and run like hell if the Titans get close! Honey, we’re gonna search the south side! Move it, people! This is not a drill!” Ma orders off rapidly, badgering Pa, Greg, and Irina to go along with it.

    Greg grabs an axe out of the cabinet, while Pa snatches a flintlock pistol and another, heavier axe out of the locked cabinet higher up. There’s still one more axe and a variety of knives left, if you also want to arm yourself. Beyond that... When Ma and Pa run off, Irina and Greg look to you for leadership. Go figure you had to spend all that time being mature for your age, eh?


    Spoiler: “Amelie”
    Show
    It’s a couple of classes later now, Botany in fact, and you’re back with the girl who caused you minor annoyance earlier. You probably wouldn’t have even noticed, except that you were paired with her again in this class. Impressively, she seems even less enthusiastic about the partnership than you.

    You’re all going out to pick herbs from the cliffside today. There’s the obligatory muttering among the students about how they should be able to stay in because it’s snowy out, but if that excuse worked, they’d never do anything in this class - it’s always snowy out.

    The cliffside isn’t the most ideal place for picking herbs, but unfortunately, today’s poultices require some that pretty exclusively grow on that patch of land. Thankfully, since the incident ten years ago, the school has gone to great pains to mark which parts of the cliff are safe to walk on, and put up a bit of fencing around the unsafe parts.

    You and your partner are assigned off to another part of the cliffside, which required a good deal of shoving your way through thick underbrush to reach in order to avoid the large fenced-off zone separating you from the zone the rest of the students are working in. Your partner clearly seems most-displeased with this indirect path, but you’re not the sort of person she’d vent to about it.

    At first you and her get to work silently and quite separately, but after several minutes and without pretext, she asks, “What motivates you, huh? Do you just learn for the sake of learning, or do you have goals like a real person?”

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Melchior waves to Father as he pulls Samuel in, towards the kitchen. He speaks in a low hush. "Looks like Father is tired. Let's let him have some quiet." He washes his hands before reaching for the breadbasket and fishing out a loaf of bread, followed by a slab of cheese. He cuts a two respectable chunks off both, handling the knife so carefully you'd think it was coated in poison. The two larger chunks go onto a plate which he sets on the table before seating himself beside them with his own chunks. He takes a bite of his slice of bread and mumbles through a mouthful to Samuel.

    "So whatcha want to do after this? We could clean up and play marbles near the house, or we could go do something else and clean up later." His eyes widen and he hops out of his chair.

    "Forgot to put the bread away." He explains, as he dutifully does so.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Samuel just nods in response to the old man - he was nice enough, and fed Samuel, but he could go on a bit so Samuel was somewhat happy to see the man just sit down and read quietly. Looks like he didn't even have to survive a round of preaching. Today really was an excellent day.

    Even though he'd had a little bread earlier, Samuel was still hungry and shows rather less decorum than Melichor, eyeing the food as it's sliced and quickly starting stuff his face once he can. Fighting gave him an appetite. "Uhh...let's stay around here for a bit. Marbles, I guess."
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Crescentia pulls Florian's hand closer a little, holding on to it. Aren't the Walls supposed to stand forever? What's going on?

    She doesn't voice this worry, though, since it wouldn't do any good. Instead, she looks up to Florian. "Where's Mother? And Dirk, and Abel?"
    Last edited by aturtledoesbite; 2018-07-17 at 10:41 AM. Reason: lol i forgot to italicize thoughts

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hypersmith's Avatar

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    Jan 2017
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    Pluto (EST)
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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Melchior nods, putting down his half finished food. "You should wash your hands you know, so your food doesn't get dirty." He steps out of the room for a few moments, returning with a small burlap sack. He sets it down on the table and takes a few more bites of his food. "Lets just go tell Father we'll be outside, then leave."
    Having a pretty rough time in college atm. Going to be very spotty in posting.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    May 2016
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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Spoiler: Mila
    Show
    Mila picks up right where her mother left off. There's no time for fear or panic - not when there's so much work to do.

    "Greg, check th' barn, pronto! Get th' horses ready; if Alex ain't in there, we'll be comin' to ya with Titans on our heels! Now get!"

    She reaches for the remaining axe, but then realizes that it won't mean a thing against a Titan - better to have her hands free and a lighter load for running. She snatches a knife and fixes it in Irinia's belt, then grabs a couple for herself and Alex and takes Irina's hand, running into the house. She yells his name - up the stairs, into the side rooms - but runs straight for her bedroom, where she stashed the uniform.


    Spoiler: Marie
    Show
    Marie frowns deeply at first - at both the stench and the prospect of having to watch her mother's decay for the length of the trip - but then finds her inner smiling mask and runs up to hug her lightly around the midriff.

    "Okay, mommy! I'll come with you and carry alllll the groceries! Then Daddy and Big Bro will be amazed at everything we cook for dinner, and we'll all be happy and full tonight! I love you, mommy~!"

    Her words and feelings are... not insincere, exactly, but ones she's choosing to buy into for this moment in the hopes that if everyone else does too, they might become true. If the alternative is living every moment immersed in disgust and hatred for the cruel world, it's better to believe in a beautiful world instead, even if it's made of wishes and lies.


    Spoiler: Amelie
    Show
    Botany is one of the few classes that Amelie feels truly invested in - one of her reasons for attending school, one might say. Of course, her family's background in medicine and the surgical arts put her well ahead of her classmates even before she applies herself, but the practical experience and breadth of exposure is nonetheless invaluable to rounding out her expertise. Accordingly, she takes the coursework very seriously, but also acknowledges those times - those frequent times - when access to tools and expendable materials affords her better opportunities to learn by experimentation than simply following the lecture and nothing more.

    In accordance with her academic principles, she collects plants besides those assigned for today - specifically rapphleur, among others - and makes no effort to hide this. Indeed, sometimes it takes more effort to remember that there would even be anyone to hide it from, were the gesture necessary in the first place.

    "The pursuit of mastery within a given field is in itself both a goal and a means to an end, for only by first understanding what we do and do not know about the world can we hope to bring ever more of the latter under the former, and thereby as a race gain mastery over our environment. That is to say, a culture that contains masters of every discipline would attain collective godhood: imagine the paradise of human perfection we could achieve then! Hunger, pestilence, war, even death itself would come to heel beneath us; the Titans would be as ants, nay, lobsters, for us to study and decimate at will. My personal work is but a small piece of this, yet a vital one, for it will open the door and pave the way for countless others to follow in my footsteps just as I have done in the wake of my forebears. Much like this fine specimen of the species coccytana: it is good not by its own virtue, but by virtue of the trials its parents and grandparents endured by their merits and passed down to this offspring, which will itself endure trials that its forebears could not have, and thereby create ever more superior offspring."
    She cuts the plant in question, adding it to her basket.
    "...Or perhaps forces beyond its ability to resist shall subsume it for their own natural progression. In either case, it will serve as yet another small paving stone on the road to utopia."

    She turns to the other girl, noticing her for perhaps the first time. There's something both deeply curious and coldly calculating in the gaze she casts; she could be sizing the girl up just as she did the coccytana.

    "...What purpose shall you serve, I wonder? Tell me, what are your qualities that are worth developing?"
    The question is sincere, not taunting, though delivered with Amelie's inherently condescending and aloof tone.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Vrock_Summoner's Avatar

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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Our War - Attack on Fate Core IC

    Spoiler: Melchior & Samuel
    Show
    As you’re messing about and preparing to leave, people outside start screaming in terror and the sounds of what could only be explosions send vibrations through the house. Melchior’s father bolts upright immediately and runs outside, with your own curiosity drawing you out as well. People are taking steps back, trembling, covering their mouths with their hands, staring up in horror in the direction of Wall Maria. You find your own eyes tracking with theirs, looking up to see the source of this panic, the-

    By the Walls, what the hell is that thing?

    You’ve come out in time to see it standing upon the Wall, staring down at the town below, little specks falling away that you can tell even from this distance are dead Garrison soldiers. It... It. You aren’t sure how to describe it; you’ve never seen anything remotely similar. Some kind of gigantic (a third the height of the Wall!), furry humanoid with a hunched back and elongated arms.

    One man wonders aloud, in a trembling voice, “Is that a T-Titan?” It doesn’t fit any of the stories you’ve heard or read, though. Titans are supposed to look like big people, sure, disproportionate and monstrous people, but very much not furry and animal-like like this...

    What it does next makes that mystery seem like little more than an odd curiosity by comparison.

    It speaks, in a voice that rumbles through the entire town like thunder.

    “Your judgment has come. Kneel and die.”

    People begin to scream and run. You’re barely able to hear the soldiers yelling about how Titans have broken through the front gate and trying to calm the current panicking mob into making an orderly evacuation. Melchior’s father has both of you by the wrists and is leading you towards the front of the crowd.

    Then once you’re further ahead in the wave of people, he stops and lets go.

    “Lo, people of Shiganshina!” He cries out at the top of his lungs, catching a handful of people’s attention, but mostly being ignored by the human stampede. “This is judgment! This is punishment upon our people for defiling the sanctity of the Walls by allowing soldiers to trod upon them and put up cannons! Wall Maria Herself brought this curse upon us to show humanity the error of its ways! Come together with me to pray, and us faithful who opposed those military scum from the start shall find salvation!”

    A few people begin to huddle around him. Not even a dozen. Everybody else just keeps running. Do you?


    Spoiler: Crescentia
    Show
    Florian steadies herself and clasps both of Crescentia’s hands in her own, looking into her eyes. “Dirk and Abel are back at the estate. The guards will take good care of them, so don’t worry.”

    Before she can continue, Urklyn runs up to the two of you. “Mother sent a messenger. We’re having an urgent family meeting. You understand?” You notice the weirdly stressed word and are able to piece together the subtext. You won’t be going back to the Reiss estate.

    Florian’s eyes widen. “I- I see... Alright.” She nods. “Let’s get moving.”

    Your two older siblings guide you by hand out of the building where the nobles have started to argue amongst themselves. One hailed carriage later, and you’re on your way to the private meeting place of the true royal family - yours, of course - a chapel in a small nearby village. This is only your second time ever being there, and the first was long enough ago you don’t remember at all what it was about.

    Florian continues to hold your hand as she leads you into the building, where Mother, Dirk, Abel, and a few of the most trusted members of the Military Police are already waiting. Seeming satisfied with the attendance, Mother wordlessly beckons for a secret trapdoor to be unveiled and opened.

    Florian doesn’t seem satisfied with these proceedings, however, and speaks up. “Mother! What is going on? Where were you? Why are we here?”

    The Queen gives Florian a dead-eyed look. You know that look. The one she only has when the First King is influencing her actions. She speaks in a cold monotone. “I left because I sensed Wall Maria fall and I needed to make preparations.”

    Florian seems even more incredulous. “Sensed it? You knew! You knew and you let all those hours pass by without telling anyone! We could’ve already had forces mobilizing to go help save-“

    Florian is silenced with a slap in the face. She stumbles back, having been caught completely off guard by the show of aggression.

    “Have some sense, girl. If I openly spoke of Maria’s fall so soon after it happened, so long before the information could’ve had time to travel, it would bring suspicion on the royal family. Even this was far too soon, but we may be running out of time.”

    As she finishes saying that, the soldiers open up the large trapdoor, leading down into a cave system of sorts, only instead of rock, the walls of the cave are faintly glowing crystal, not harsh by any means, but bright enough that your group doesn’t need torches down here.

    Florian’s voice betrays the anger her face will not show. “You didn’t answer why we’re here.”

    Mother begins to descend gracefully down the steps, not even turning to look at Florian as she explains. “We’re here to discuss the extinction of our people.”

    ——————————————————

    You and your younger siblings find yourselves pushed off to the side while your older siblings and Mother argue between themselves.

    “You cannot be serious!” Urklyn stomps around loudly as he addresses the royal congregation. “Mother, you have unimaginable power! You could bring a stop to this yourself! Why are we just allowing our populace to be decimated!?”

    “It’s the price we must pay for our sin,” she responds quietly.

    “What are you talking about!?” Florian jumps in. “Our people haven’t done anything wrong! Certainly not to deserve a slaughter!”

    “And more importantly,” Urklyn cuts back in, “this will really cut into our tax revenue! We’re going to have to fund a refugee program to maintain public approval, we’ll lose all the fantastic land in Maria, we’ll have to build farms within the area of Rose... It’ll be a huge drain on the treasury, right when we most need to spend it on keeping the nobility loyal!”

    Florian seems flabbergasted. “Do you think that’s the most important issue here!? People. Are. Dying! By the thousands, and that’s if we’re lucky!”

    “And a whole hell of a lot more will die if there’s a power struggle between us and the nobility, so quit crying about platitudes and remember our position!” Urklyn snarls.

    “Enough!” The Queen interjects, her face growing darker, her eyes sunken and more crazed. “Neither of you are seeing the bigger picture. I will take no action to defend the people within the Walls. If it is our time to perish, then so- then so be it.” Her concentration flickers for a moment, as if she’s fighting with herself - she probably is - but it’s obvious which part of her is stronger right now. “The nobility will not act against us. They need a royal with my power to prevent population crises. They haven’t forgotten what almost happened eleven years ago.”

    Urklyn diverts his eyes and goes quiet, but Florian still doesn’t seem satisfied. However, before she can keep arguing, one of the soldiers points his gun deeper into the cave system and calls out, “Halt! Who goes there!?” The whole family turns to look at what the soldier has spotted.

    A woman in a hooded cloak walks out from behind a pillar, having approached surprisingly closely. Usually Mother had a sense for these things, but she seems just as startled as everyone else that someone is here - so startled, in fact, that her face goes completely back to normal, and she takes a step forward.

    “Who and what are you!?” The Queen demands emphatically. “Reveal yourself!”

    The woman pulls back her hood, revealing her bright scarlet hair, sickly disposition, and the tears streaming heavily down her face. She sniffles once, her teeth chattering, before she says, just loudly enough to be heard, “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry...” Then she raises her hand up to her mouth and bites down on her thumb.

    A reddish-yellow lightning bolt explodes into the center of the room along with a gout of steam.

    Mother, seeming to light up with recognition of what’s happening, moves to bite her own hand, but she’s never given the chance as a massive, skinless hand forms from out of the steam cloud, snatching the queen’s lower body in its fist and continuing forward to slam into the crystal wall behind her. The force of this movement whips your mother’s upper body back over the giant’s fingers, and she goes totally limp, her eyes remaining open but lifeless.

    The hand retracts towards the figure that is becoming visible within the steam - a towering Titan with a womanly figure and a very flesh-revealing getup, in the most literal sense; only her face, breasts, shoulders, hips, and strips down her legs are covered by skin. The only part of her that’s still recognizable from the human she just was is the bright red coloration of her hair. Her cheeks split to allow her mouth to open wider, and she bites down on the queen’s limp body, messily bisecting her and swallowing the top half before throwing the legs in after. The sight is so sudden and horrifying that everyone else around you can do nothing but stand there in mesmerized shock, just trying to comprehend what’s happening.

    Then she finishes her meal and her eyes turn to the rest of you, and both the soldiers and your siblings start screaming and moving. Urklyn sprints to meet up with the trembling soldiers on the stairs and demands they get him out of here, and the group is collectively crushed into a gory mess by the Titan’s outstretched hand for their trouble. Florian takes the opportunity to run around the Female Titan and head for where she came from, deeper in the cave. Abel, barely cogent of what’s going on but trying really hard to be a big girl, grabs Dirk’s hand and runs towards the stairway as well. The Titan swivels around on one foot while bringing its other leg around, which you can see is now encased in a bluish crystal not unlike what the cave is made out of. She throws this spinning kick at the running kids, reducing them to a mist of red that splatters onto you while the wind force of the kick sends you flying into the cave wall, and the whole world goes faint as you find yourself light-headed and delirious, not quite able to manage see straight, much less stand back up.

    You can sort of make out Florian disappearing from view. Your eyes drift back towards the Titan, who isn’t giving chase... In fact, she’s stopped her advancing motion entirely, and is staring down at the bloodstain that used to be your two younger siblings. The cave shakes a bit as the Titan falls to her knees, and you’re pretty sure you see tears streaming down her face. She covers her face with her hands and her body shudders for what feels like forever. Eventually, however, she looks over, eyeing your semi-conscious movements. She reaches her hand towards you, seems to hesitate... then delicately picks you up and places you on her tongue.

    You wait to be swallowed, bitten, crushed, anything, but it doesn’t happen. She leaves her mouth just open enough for you to have air, and you can both feel and slightly see as she smashes her way through the trapdoor and climbs out into the chapel, demolishing it from within with her oversized body.

    And then you feel the wind whip around you as she breaks into an unbelievable sprint. She’s blisteringly quick - the fastest horses you’ve ever ridden on couldn’t go half this fast, and she keeps it up for hours where the horse would exhaust itself in a minute. Your heart pounds more and more painfully in your head, until you can’t handle it anymore and black out, overtaken by a sleep that offers no rest.

    —————————————————

    You awaken, feeling substantially worse than when you passed out, not long before the Titan finally comes to a stop. She lays down and cups her arms in a perimeter around you as she opens her mouth - meant to keep you from running away, clearly, not that you’d be able to in the first place. Even the exertion of getting out of her mouth makes you feel like you’re going to throw up and pass out all over again.

    You see the Titan’s body start to slowly and visibly evaporate into steam, and the woman from before steps out onto the corpse’s head. She too appears a lot worse for wear than when she originally appeared - she’s exhausted, pale, on the verge of collapsing. Yet by sheer will she jumps down to stand alongside you and kneels, putting her hands upon your stomach.

    “I’m... I’m so sorry... Please... You appear concussed... Allow me to...” Her weak voice trails off and a small crackle of electricity makes your skin feel warm where she’s touching you. Almost immediately, you feel as good as new - your head doesn’t hurt and you don’t feel ill. Like... nothing ever happened...

    But it did. The only living relative you might have is Florian, and you can’t even know that for sure. And you have no idea where you are. By a red-haired stranger and a flash of lightning, you’ve gone from a future queen to a helpless orphan.


    Spoiler: Mila
    Show
    You find Alex exactly where you expect - trying to climb out the window, dress in hand. He turns to look at you with wild eyes, then relaxes a bit, resting on the windowsill.

    “Mila... What a relief, I was worried you were Greg. Is he out there, though? I- I have to slip away from everyone without them seeing this-“

    Irina tilts her head. “Is that one of Mama’s?”

    Alex grimaces and shakes his head. “N-no... Look, Irina, I can explain later, I just need to get out of here without Ma or Pa or Greg trying to-“

    He’s interrupted by a shadow falling over his body. As he turns to look at the source, it comes into view for you right past him as well-

    The smiling face of a Titan about two or three meters in height, with short black hair, friendly eyes, and no lips hiding its disproportionately large teeth.

    Alex screams and throws himself back into the house from the windowsill, but one of the Titan’s hands catches Alex’s leg, causing him to sprawl over and drop the dress. Irina, not knowing what else to do, instinctively runs and tries to pull Alex away from the Titan by his upper arm while he kicks at the creature’s hand and the wall with his free leg to try and stop it from pulling him back out.

    What do you do?


    Spoiler: Marie
    Show
    Your enthusiastic willingness to go shopping with your mother, faked though it may be, actually seems to put some vitality back in her - she smiles even more strongly, puts out that extra bit more energy, and pops in another breath mint. “Excellent! It’s so nice when we spend time together. I have so much I want to impart on you before-“ She seems to trip over her sentence, but quickly and smoothly recovers- “before you become an adult and have to start thinking about dealing with all of life’s troubles yourself!”

    And with that, she takes the basket and your hand and begins the relatively short walk to the market district with you.

    ——————————————————————

    As your mom is weighing pork at the meat stand, her eyes suddenly widen and she bolts backwards, looking at the sky above the Walls. Your eyes trail up just in time to see what looks like a lightning bolt disappearing over the other side of the Wall. It’s a little weird, what with the sky so clear, but... Your mom seems really freaked out; she starts hyperventilating and watches the Wall like a hawk. Just as you’re about to try and get her attention, because the shopkeeper is annoyed with her for spacing out in the middle of a transaction, you see... it.

    A great beast, nearly a third the height of the Wall itself, climbs over the edge, standing tall atop the structure. People scream at the sight of this horrific entity, some giant humanoid with arms almost the length of the rest of its body and similarly freakishly elongated fingers, a concave face, and brown fur covering most of itself. From this distance, you can just barely make out the specks that you know are soldiers it’s in the middle of slaughtering.

    People stare in horrified shock for a minute, not sure what they’re supposed to do. The military hasn’t given an evacuation order yet, so maybe everyone should just wait for them to-

    And then it tears a row of cannons off the top of Wall Maria and throws them faster than the eye can follow. Before you can even register that it’s happening, the cannons crash into the ground throughout the market district, leaving splattered bodies, crushed stalls, and holes in building walls all around you.

    That’s when everyone starts running like hell. Your mother is no exception - although her failing health gives her a bit of a hobble, the athlete she used to be takes over as she snatches your hand and forces you to sprint at full speed just to keep from being dragged along behind her. The groceries have long since been abandoned - your mom’s only concern is getting home as fast as possible.

    Your heavy breathing and the sound of pounding feet don’t manage to drown out the beast’s voice as it declares, “Your judgment has come. Kneel and die.”

    Your mom seems relieved as she comes into view of your house, still standing, and slows to a jog, letting go of your hand. “Come on, let’s go in and get the others so we can get out of-“

    She’s interrupted by another flash of lightning, this one coming from much closer, exploding into steam and pulses of arcing light in the sky almost directly above your head. From the obscuring cloud appears another giant, this one more normally human-shaped but covered from head to toe in thick grey metal plates. It falls aimlessly like the world’s heaviest ragdoll, yet just keeps getting bigger and bigger, almost like it’s going to land near-

    Your mom tackles you down to the ground as the metal behemoth slams down headfirst, blasting dirt, wood, and stone out in a propulsive splash that sends you, wrapped up and shielded in your mother’s embrace, tumbling through the street, debris falling all around you.

    When everything settles, you find you’ve escaped largely unscathed - you’re scraped up a bit and covered in dirt, but considering the state of your surroundings, you could be a lot worse. You slip out of your groaning mother’s arms and inspect her, finding her back covered in deep lacerations. However, in spite of her serious injuries, she rolls into her arms and starts to force herself to her feet. You’re so overwhelmed by everything that’s been happening that it takes you a moment to register that your mom is... laughing? Sobbing? Both?

    She staggers upright and stumbles forward, looking at the house... or where the house was, anyway. While the armor-plated giant hadn’t landed directly on your house, it might as well have; the whole place was completely a devastated mess of wreckage and splinters, just like all the other houses around it. This creature falling from the sky was more devastating than any gunpowder explosion you could imagine. And you have a pretty good imagination!

    She continues to laugh and sob, clutching her face and stumbling further into the wreckage, vainly shouting the names of your siblings in hopes of getting any response. Of course, there is none. Your mother throws her hands up into the air and lets out a roar conveying the deepest fury, yet also the most complete brokenness.

    “Every!” Your mom balls up her fists and hits them against her own head. “Goddamn!” The throws her hands up once more. “Time!” Then she lets her arms fall limp at her sides and softly wails as she continues to stagger forward. “Every time I find hope to really be happy... Life tears everything from me...” She snarls. “We could’ve stopped this! Even now you could’ve stopped this, you goddamn royal pieces of-“ she goes into a coughing fit, collapsing to her knees as blood spills from her mouth onto her clasping hand.

    Once she settles down again, she just stares down at her bloody hand quietly for several seconds, then growls and puts her thumb in her mouth. It seems like she’s starting to bite her own hand... but then she stops and surveys the surrounding situation. First the iron colossus, who is currently pushing its way out of the crater it buried itself in during that landing. Then the hairy beast on the Wall. Then the Titans that have started meandering through the streets and eating people- oh holy crap that’s happening too. Then to the soldiers desperately running and flying about trying to deal with all of it and failing miserably. Finally, however, her eyes rest on you, before tears spill out of them and she just whines pathetically for a second, her hand still in her mouth.

    At last, however, her breakdown appears to be over. She stands, takes her thumb out from between her teeth, and walks over to you, picking you up (in spite of any potential protest) and starting to run towards the boats everyone else in Shiganshina is being ordered to evacuate to. Using What breath she can manage despite her exertion, she huffs out some words for you.

    “You... You’re all I have left. If there’s any value left in my life, I’m going to invest every drop of it into making sure you never have to feel as powerless as me. I’m sure you’ll understand some day. I love you.”

    You only have a few moments left to fit in a response before you hit the deepest part of the crowd and can no longer be heard without shouting over the clamor.

    Your mother, still holding you, pushes you up towards the front of the crowd with all the strength her body can muster, shoving people aside and, at the end, even knocking one of the soldiers over the edge, though he manages to latch on with ODM gear before he would fall into the water and starts yelling obscenities from down below. Even your mother’s rampant charge to the front doesn’t appear to have been enough, however, as the boat is already full and the soldiers aren’t letting anyone else on.

    Your mom scans the crowd on the boat and then starts shouting, “Ma! Pa! Over here! It’s Linor!”

    Two older folks on the boat turn to look down at you, and they seem to recognize you just as you recognize them - your grandma and grandpa! Your grandpa’s got the looks of worldly experience; a weather-beaten, tan face marked with laugh lines, receding black hair, broad shoulders supporting large arms. Your grandma is almost his complete opposite, a frail-looking younger woman with pale skin, a tight ponytail, and thick spectacles. Your grandma grips the railing of the boat with one hand and has her other arm wrapped around your grandpa’s waist, while your grandpa lurches over the railing, reaching out with both hands.

    “Linor! Marie!”

    You feel your mom’s grip on you shift down to your hips and bum as she pushes people aside to run alongside the boat to where your grandparents are, an endeavor further complicated when the boat starts moving, but she just barely manages to reach them and propels you upwards, into your grandpa’s waiting arms. You’re slowly hoisted over into the cramped-to-overflowing boat, while you can see from among the crowd you came from that other people are attempting the same maneuver to save their own kids and are promptly losing their balance and falling into the water below.

    “Ma! Pa!” Linor shouts as she’s pushed back by the crowd, no longer able to follow along with the boat. “Take care of her! Please!”

    Your grandpa forces out his best reassuring smile and nods. Your grandma turns away and bursts into tears. There are others crying on the boat too. Other than that, things are deathly silent on this side, in sharp contrast to the deafening crowd you’re leaving behind.


    Spoiler: Amelie
    Show
    ”Seriously?” The other girl scoffs. “Something as abstract as a utopia... You really don’t have human emotions, do you?” Then her voice softens. “Well, whatever. Your screwed up brain isn’t my problem as long as you don’t go messing up my grades. As for what I’m gonna add to the world...” she flips her hair out of her face. “Well, if my dazzling charm isn’t enough to light up people’s lives, I’m also going to become a doctor and apply for a research visa so I can move into the interior. It’ll let me live somewhere nicer and make my parents proud... and hey, who knows? Maybe I’ll actually cure some deadly diseases while I’m there, get my name in the history books! Wouldn’t that be something?” She chuckles, then shakes her head. “Well, not that I’d expect you to get it... It’s not nearly such a pretty ideal as your vision of changing the foundations of life itself, after all...”

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