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Demonic Gate

Shingeki no Kyoujin: An Attack on Titan Story as told by DG and Mii-mi

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The mountains...the survivors, including myself came here a long time ago. It's out home and we won't give it up to those disgusting creatures down below. They wander up sometimes. I've honed our homes into the very rock to make it safer for us. It's been hundreds of years since the world was lost to the Titans. We, the last of civilization survive on hope and dreams. We have a military system of sorts and even could call ourselves a great city. Our city is under the mountain and stands firm to this day. We have a military, police, merchants, even a hierarchy of sorts.

 

As for me, I'm a tinkerer and military man. My designs for traps have been used for years now to keep the titans at bay on the sides of the mountain. Granted I am still a man of the military and have lost much to the titans. I have only my left arm to work with now, as my right was bitten off by what we like to call an Abhorrent titan. It's a tough life by we manage. I still stand as one of the top titan killers, if for no other reason that my device designs, one of which allows for slight flight. I actually have a team behind me with designing traps. I am a Captain after all.  I've been here about 10 years now, late 20s, and still alive. What more could I ask? 

 

One of the people under me is a prodigy, newer to the group. I have a feeling she'll make a great apprentice under me for major device design.

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[ ._. ]

As I stood outside of my parents house, its overall appearance reminding me of a past I so easily watched slip by, I realized the luxuries of living alone. They hadn't done much for me, except of course protect me from the truth which had led me toward my naivety. It was cruel, that night, when those monsters we call humans left a distinct mark on the house, my parents and me. I'd never felt so alone considering the way they'd cherished my very being, as if I were a treasure no one else could look at let alone touch, but that night it was all proved wrong. My parents were wrong, they lead me on, but as a result they fell to their death beds by the very monsters they had left me with. It was painful, it was red, it was an action that had me realize no one else could be as horrid as a human being. Especially when you're young, they exert most if not all of their power, their strength on you as if you mean nothing but a mere body, a mere flesh created to use and abuse without any meaning. I was surprised they didn't kill me after they were finished with me. I was expecting an axe to my neck and maybe a little more agony to add to the pain they'd caused me, but they left me as if I were not worth it. As if I were an experiment that had failed. After looking at the house, I realized the luxuries of living on my own. One of them being strength.

That house was one of my destinations before of course returning to the man I was to work under. The watch of a great commander, who himself was an artifact of extreme experience. Many of the villagers could not keep their mouths closed with the excessive amount of gossip their lips spurred due to his inability, but they all knew deep down they would be the product of failure had their right arm been torn off by one of the all powerful titans. Their existence made every aspect of life a challenge. Too bad my parents hadn't informed me of those either. The life I live now and may excel in in the future might've been what they were so eager to protect me from.

Inching toward my place of work; head quarters of the trainees working for the better future for humanity, I noticed I hadn't kept myself updated on what my instructors had taught me. I was quite confident though that after a small synopsis I could have all that information locked up and ready to use.

Slowly, I reached up and ran a finger through my thick black hair and sighed, knowing the aching feeling of wanting to be the same as everyone else. Knowing the way I had looked for 17 years was not normal. Was it possible that this was why everyone was so interested in me?

At last, I'd reached head quarters. A place of sanity in a world filled to the brim without hope and disarray. As I looked up at the large doors, I thought of the world behind me and the world beyond the mountains. The questions in my head ceased to stop as I found myself again wishing I could expedition further away from this village, this secluded place that feels more empty than full. I just know, something is missing, something was always missing.

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The new recruits arrived on time for once. I've trained them for several years now and every time I get a wise-ass who wants to know how it felt to lose my arm or how it felt when my eye was nearly gouged out and was just left with a large scar on my face, or the fact that I had prematurely white hair. I've experienced enough to leave the battle with these scars is all I ever say to them. They don't get it until it's too late usually. I'm lucky, at least I can still see and have both of my legs. I can manage with one arm. It makes me take my time with my work, and since I take my time, I end up with better results. I made this particular explosives not long ago that could be dug into the steeper parts of the mountains where the titans climb, and the moment it was touched it would blast shrapnel and rocks into their body, dicing them into pieces and making them a smear of blood on the side of the massive peak. I also helped design special mortars for our cannons that would hook on and stick to their bodies, weighing them down. Neigh impossible to get off too. Makes it very effective, but hopefully one of these new recruits will prove themselves in weaponry design.

 

Not to mention combat, I always need fresh bodies to help with expeditions down the mountain. People always assume I'll not return the next time I leave, yet when I'm the first one in the gates they all cheer saying they knew I would. It's a fickle thing dealing with the common folk when you do care for their safety but they have little faith in yours. None of them would believe my titan kill count since my arm was eaten. It has actually sky-rocketed as I have found a way to make myself faster with the slightly less amount of weigh. I've perfected a special technique I like to call a Cross Cutter that lets me slice going one way, anchor to them and spin right back around in the blink of an eye and slice the chunk of their neck off with nary a scratch. 

 

They finally come into the main hall, I can hear them scrambling in to line up and give their best salute when asked. I simply finish my work, letting them wait a moment before grabbing my coat. I make my way down to the balcony above them and look them left and right. "So, this is what we could scramble up this year eh?" I step down, I don't wanna intimidate too much but I need to keep them in line. "Pathetic. Give me one good reason why I should train any of you."

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[ do our characters know each other already? ]

After entering, I looked around only to notice several types of expressions on faces. Appearances meant nothing, especially after you could see how one was feeling based on what was on the outside; see what all they've been through and all that they've experienced in their lives. Some had calm expressions. These often indicated that they had been afraid once, but after many years they had forgotten or taught themselves that grievance can only bring harm to ones self. Others had fear scribble all over their face and movements and the rest all seemed to be waiting for something to happen. No one seemed excited. They all looked forced.

I walked alone, in silence toward the front and center of the hall before taking my salute, I noticed him, our gallant commander. He was as I had expected, an expression of seriousness across his face, tall and standing as though he truly hadn't given up on life. The people who spoke of him had nothing to backup their gossip and ridiculing. If it hadn't been for him and his comrades, none of us would be alive and standing. We'd all be titan food and for what reason? There was no way I was dying without a good reason.

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[We'll say you've probably seen him once or twice as a child or something.]

 

"None huh? Well, your silence means something else. You're ready to listen." Can't keep them scared all the time, and a little compliment might actually help. Either way, I walk up and down the rows making note of the kids faces and how sturdy them seem. One girl in particular stands out. He entire appearance is strange, but from what I remember her mother looked like that too. I take note of her serious face and pass by, no need to force anything out of them. However, I do come across a boy whose shaking in his boots and is using the left hand for the salute. "The hell are you doing boy? Are you making a mockery of me or something?" I stand about a foot and a half above the kid and look down at him sternly.

 

"You salute with your right hand." I glare him down as he shakily changes arms. "Good."

 

"Hey cap. You can't even salute, you can't make fun of a kid for being scared." A kid from the back speaks up. We got ourselves a wise-ass. Those are always fun.

 

"And you can't stand on your feet properly." I walk over to him and headbutt him, forcing him to his knees. "If you talk out of turn again it's laps around the mountain until you faint." That shut the kid up and worried him deeply. 

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[ gotcha~ ]

For now, it seemed everyone was afraid. It seemed as if they were expecting gentle treatment in said place. A place in which the main priority and primary objective was for a solider to be ready to give their lives for the safety of humanity. This meant defeating a threat that seemed to have an unnecessary craving for human flesh and only human flesh. Especially with the commander yelling and treating various trainees to be with extreme anger and impatience, causing them physical and emotional pain on their first day; a lack of fear would be nothing less than unbelievable. Surprisingly though, I wasn't treated this way. I wasn't hurt emotionally or physically. Maybe it was because he could see the pain embedded into my being.

The way I moved and walked, people thought it best to stay away. I received little to no attention because I wasn't one to be tampered with. I was already to hurt, too scarred to feel the stinging pain of their words and the heated lasers from their eyes as they glared at me. Various men, intentions to use me ogled me. Nothing affected me. I woke up in a bed of needles, walked on cactus and slept with one eye open as I knew how cruel the world was. The opposite was yet to be found.

My eyes continued to stare ahead, eyes relaxed simply because I needed to keep calm. No one needed to see what I was feeling. They couldn't understand anyway. But just as quickly I heard a loud bang to one side of me. It seemed one of us had collapsed unconscious. I looked back toward commander, wondering if he'd heard what had happened and just as quickly I latched my attention on the young man sprawled across the floor. It wasn't surprising, it merely confused me. Commander hadn't even spoken to him.

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"Now, you'll all be assigned to different training regiments over the course of the next few months. Each will be difficult and will test your mettle in every way possible." I began instructing the recruits as I looked at them again, taking note of their faces when bringing up their courses of training. "First. You will learn trap-making, probably the most essential tool of a soldier here. Traps are placed everywhere around the mountain to ward off the titan and they are our primary source of protection. We keep our soldiers in the city most of the time to keep bodies high in case of an emergency."

 

I stepped out of the group and onto a stage we had set up for the occasion. "Second! Will be marksmanship training. You'll need to know how to fire our rifles and cannons with utter surety. One false fire and you'll have a titan digesting you the next moment. You will learn how to make a bullseye on a target from nearly a thousand feet away. The farther they're kept, the safer we are." Pausing between instructions helps let the recruits sink in the information before they hear the next. I've learned that over time.

 

"Third. You'll be trained in hand-to-hand and blade combats. These will train you to fight not only titans but your fellow man. We have had riots, rapes, and other such atrocities in our fair city that we will not stand for. Men are monsters like the titans, and some grow to fierce. That is an unfortunate truth. We protect the peaceful from the murderers and thieves as well as the colossal beasts outside." This one is always tough for them to sink in, learning how to combat each other. But I know too many who wish they paid more attention in this course.

 

"Fourth. Air Combat. This is essential if titans, particularly abhorrents, get close enough where troops are necessary to be deployed. This is a short course but a necessary one."

 

"Finally, you'll learn signalling by use of flag, flare, and hand gestures as well as horseback riding and electric maintenance. Our city runs on powerful generators of my own personal design and if they go our, our light is snuffed and we're left in the dark. This is why we need other means of communication in the case where speaking is too dangerous." With that they all looked overwhelmed as usual, save for one or two of them. "Now. Barracks are up on the second floor, the mess hall is on the landing to your left. Go grab yourself some food and enjoy yourselves. For tomorrow, you'll be welcomed into Hell." And with that, I dismissed them. Some begging to leave already, and having them dismissed simply knowing they can't handle it. Those that stay get to enjoy good food and meet one another. I'll be joining them not long from now. 

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As commander started to speak, I pulled my attention away from the unconscious boy and looked back toward him. My lips parted only for a subtle breath of disbelief to blow past them. I understood not many minded the weak, especially if they eagerly displayed it or accidentally fell into it, but this sudden fear struck over me. I wanted to survive, just as anyone else did. I wanted to survive for my parents and I wanted to survive to show the world all that I could do, but what if I couldn't? What if I fell into accidental weakness and aroused some kind of horrid thought that I couldn't continue? What if I forgot how to fight it?

Shaking my head a few times, I dropped it and looked down. It seemed as if the last time I'd contemplated on what fear was fell on the day I watched my parents die. The way they shouted at me, asking me to leave and eventually forcing when I refused to. That day I knew nothing about fear, nothing about the need to fight as I had never been in pain until then. It was not long until I realized why these things happen. Just as commander spoke of humans being similar to monsters, similar to the threat at hand, I memorized those faces. The men who appeared humans, but their actions resembled nothing less than harm. If I were to learn one on one hand-to-hand combat, I could destroy those who dared challenge me. I need to fight, that was where it ended. That was why I joined the trainee corps is to fight my way to the end. This was my plan, but first I would need to pass to the end. I couldn't survive in fear.

Lifting my head up, I looked back toward the hardened and serious face of our commander. My eyes squinting as I inhaled a deep breath only to take mental note of everything that was to be done. It wasn't until he dismissed us that the rest of the trainees-to-be decided to rush off without another intake of the rather dark hall. Food was one of the last things on my mind. For a moment though It felt as if everyone came for the food, the luxury of living and wallowing in the "good life". Either I was to look at them with disgust or I was to complete my objective without creating any extra enemies. Fighting for what you believe in doesn't often come easy.

I sauntered into the next room where a few trainees sat along medium length wooden tables and took a seat at one end, keeping away from the rest as they gorged themselves. Most of them resembled cattle to me in a way. Their expressions changing into those of happiness and content, but at the same time they most likely hadn't lived a cruel life. Any more years and I would've been just like them. Greedy humans, horrid titans, a cruel overall world. Am I the only one left who cares about myself?

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The day seemed like it would be tedious, but somehow it all solved itself pretty quickly. The students all went on to enjoy their food, those that stayed at the least, while my fellow officers went to join them after taking care of a few matters. I didn't join them too quickly as the machine I had been working on was still in need of some finishing touches. Nonetheless, I keep telling myself. "Alright, just get it done, and go get food before it's all gone. It doesn't help anyone to work on an empty stomach.

 

Time passed pretty quickly and the new shrapnel mine I designed looked operable. We'd test it on a dummy during their first trap making class. With my work done I got to head to the mess hall, most of the officers had already left, and all the students were still in trying to stuff as much as they could down, taking advantage of the good cuisine. Of course the moment I entered some of them got quiet due to my seemingly domineering stature and demeanor. Well, if that's what they thought, I can't really show them otherwise. I get myself a plate of bread, meat, some hard cider and a little desert. Couldn't explain it to them if I tried but I had a sweet tooth that could put a titan to shame if one could compare humans to candy. I doubt anyone had the sick sense of humor I did sometimes so I never really make the joke.

 

Of course by the time I'm getting around to my dessert the recruits are filing out. Slow-eater I am, I didn't realize that I was eating for a good hour and a half. Night had fallen and our 'skylight' was turned on. A little something I had actually designed myself, we designed a very complex series of lights to be built into the cave ceiling to work like stars. It surprisingly worked well, and was often the only night sky anyone in the city ever saw. But if they saw the real thing, they'd know how impossible it truly is to capture. It took me years to get the amount of bulbs I needed to make enough stars to make it seem worth the trouble.

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My fingers gripped tightly onto the pencil in my hand as I scribbled random notes and reminders into it. My hunger pains had almost dispersed themselves before I would need to bear with the embarrassing sounds it made. Either that, or I was not paying much attention to these uncomfortable bodily reminders. At least I'd be reminded of my intentions of refusing to eat foods that would in turn weaken me. I mean, what If titans attacked right this moment? Wouldn't the others keep to themselves and hide, possibly feel sluggish due to their lack of indulgence in foods rich in healthy proteins and energy? I most certainly was not intending on finding myself in a corner, afraid or full of lame excuses.

After slipping my notebook into my side bag, I turned my head to look around. It seemed darkness and isolation had become of the hall. Everyone seemed to have disappeared from said premises and before I could stand up to leave as well my eyes darted up toward the ceiling. In complete awe, I gazed up, my mouth half open as I took in the sight. It seemed not everyone was around to see such a sight. Despite their unfortunate leave, I sat back down and stared up without a second to flinch. I wanted to take it all in before it disappeared, whatever it may have been.

Every object and every unnoticed action that may have happened while I looked up went past me as would a bullet train. Without any reaction for at least ten minutes, I managed to look back down due to the strain on the back of my neck. My hand reached up to rub it lightly, but my eye turned the other direction as well, taking in full glance of commander seated a few tables behind my own. With eyes wide, I stood up from my spot and turned toward him only to take a deep bow keeping myself down as I intended no disrespect what so ever. After returning to my previous stance, I quickly made it my mission to leave the premises as soon as I could. My curiosity and carelessness before a high standing official was not going to rot my reputation. I was convinced.

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"Recruit." I spoke up. The girl hadn't eaten. I knew that much. She had no tray when I came in and was just writing things down like she was studying for a test. I stood up with a roll in hand and walked over to her standing near her with an imposing face, making sure she knew I had something important to say. I took a moment to let it sink in like with the other recruits, but she seemed different in a way, much more distant and hollow. Nonetheless I brought the hand with the roll up and shoved it into her mouth. "You'll eat when told to eat. You think you can do 'anything' useful when not eating a healthy diet. Starving yourself will only reduce your performance. Do I make myself clear?"

 

This wasn't the first time I needed to do this. Almost once every year there's the one student who thinks they need to focus on staying alert in case of titans when what they should be worrying about is staying healthy. "You're of no use to me if you make stupid mistakes like that. Now there's still some meat and cheese on my tray over there. Finish it and get some sleep. That way you'll be prepare for hell tomorrow." With that I turned away and made my way to the door. Sometimes it took more than once to get this point across, but I've had to say it enough to know it's true no matter what. 

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