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Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

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Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 30/4/2017, 02:33

//OOC: As stated, this thread is not open to anyone and only Nerdeity, who'll be RPing as Nile Dok, can participate. This has all been approved by the admins.

Alan sighed as he heard the doctor's words that he was finally back to full health. It was not a sigh of relief, but of the inevitable event that was about to unfold. Still, he had spent these last few weeks preparing. He was ready, physically and mentally, for the biggest trial that he has yet to undergo.
Alan smiled at the nurse, who was standing by him in the doctor's room. She smiled back shyly, still a little surprised by the sudden shift in Alan's behavior since the funeral he attended. Before, he was silent and cold, and spoke not a word that did not have to. Afterwards, he was kind and respectful. He always began their encounters by asking how she was faring. She wasn't used to this sort of chattiness from patients, much less one like Alan.
Alan thanked the good doctor for his good work, bowing slightly. His wounds have healed, his leg mended. Alan headed out of the doctor's office and made his way out of the hospital, back to the world, back to freedom. However, he knew that freedom wasn't to come, not yet.
With uncanny timing, right before he would walk out the door, a voice called out to him from behind. "Alan Katlewande? We need to speak."
Alan smiled and stopped walking, knowing what was ahead of him. It was time to put all his training to the test. He quickly changed his expression from a smile to a surprised, concerned look, before turning to face the one who called him. It was an older Military Policeman, with sunken-in eyes and a neat but ultimately unappealing beard. He was holding up a note. Alan didn't need good eyesight to know that it was an arrest warrant.
"Gunter Schwartz, criminal affairs branch," the soldier introduced himself, walking towards Alan calmly but with vindication "We would like to question you."
"Of course" Alan said, adjusting his glasses as if to read the contents the warrant. He didn't, though. He knew they were going to ask him about the events of the attack on the vi Rauco mansion, and the death of Captain Volkard, whom he was ordered to protect. However, the corrupt Volkard had been killed during the attack, prior to the appearance of the titans.

"Come with me, please." said Gunter, although the expression on his face said anything but 'please'. It was more of a 'You better play along or I'm going to beat you' sort of look. Alan couldn't help but feel nervous, even if he knew what was to come.
The investigation itself wasn't bad. Alan answered all the questions honestly, to Gunter's surprise.
"You admit leaving Captain Volkard and allowing him to be murdered due to your negligence?" asked Gunter, doing little to conceal the utter shock in his voice. Alan realized it must be bizarre to see Alan admitting to a crime he could so easily have denied without anyone knowing otherwise. "Yes. When the fighting began, I immediately headed to Captain Volkard, who has already lost a finger in the initial attack. I escorted him to a relatively safe location in the room, where I instructed him how to survive and lay low." Alan spoke quietly and in a calculated manner, showing no emotion in his voice, no fear, no regret. He stared at the older Policeman unblinking as he continued. "From there, I returned to the battle in hopes to contribute to the general safety of all the civilians. After getting moderately injured in a fight with one of the assailants, I returned to find that the Captain has been killed in my absence. Solely due to me abandoning my guard, the Captain is dead right now."
Gunter re-adjusted his seat, taken aback and lost in thought. From there, Alan continued. He did not fail to mention any details, and patiently explained again when Gunter was too slow. In the end, Gunter told Alan he'd be gone for a bit, and left the room.
Alan looked up and closed his eyes. This was the part he was dreading.

Suddenly, the gaslight in the room was put out, and the room went pitch black. Alan, out of courtesy, tried to see if he could move his hands, but his bondage held true and he was tied to the chair. He heard the door slowly open, and felt a bag being put on his head. It was customary that the interrogated could not identify their interrogator, as to protect them in the occasion a criminal will want his revenge for the horrible things that were to come.
"It's time you start telling the truth" a voice said in front of Alan. It was a strong baritone, just with a hint of gravel. Alan heard knuckles being cracked in anticipation. Alan internally sighed, knowing he will have to give them the satisfaction, and sooner rather than later.
"Policeman badge," Alan said simply, turning his head as if he could see through the rough-spun bag "You are legally required to show me identification to turn this into a real interrogation as opposed to a criminal assault."
Alan's head was punched violently from the left, which sent it flying to the right. He heard in front of him the voice grunt, then fiddle to find the badge. "You know your laws, I'll give you that." said the anonymous interrogator as he put the badge right under the bag, so Alan may see it. Alan inspected the badge quickly, and identified that it was made of silver and small details of gold. The Military Police badge has been changed 23 years ago to be made of silver and tin as to make them less expensive to manufacture. That meant that whoever was interrogating him had become a policeman 30 to 23 years ago, which narrowed down the list of potential interrogators very much. Alan smiled under his bag.
Firm hands grabbed Alan's shoulders and jerked him up. The man spoke spoke loudly and seemingly close to Alan's face.
"We don't buy your shitty little story. You saying that you fought the assailants willingly? That you felt compelled to protect others during the attack? Do you think we were goddamn born yesterday?!" Alan's face was slapped forcefully, and Alan grunted slightly, feeling bad for the poor doctor who spent so much time taking care of his wounds only for his work to be undone almost immediately.
"What I said is the truth" Alan spoke calmly but forcefully "My report had covered every rele-" his words were cut short by another punch, now coming from the right. Alan coughed.
"You will speak when I tell you to speak, scum." said the voice angrily "You say that you were disarmed by an assailant with a rose mask and he just let you live? Don't you think this is funny!? That you were spared by the assailants, but were also trusted by the Military Police forces?"
The interrogator paused, and paced around the small room. He continued with a quieter, more menacing voice.
"The only reason we see for the attackers to spare you is that you are, in fact, one of them. That you were a double-agent. You waited until the chaos would start, to betray your Captain and your king. When the Hydrargyrum came bursting in, you pretended to be fighting your fellow terrorists, and by doing so fooled them into thinking you were one of the good guys. There are multiple reports of you leaving the mansion briskly as soon as the titan appeared, which would make perfect sense if you are a criminal getting away from his crime scene."
The interrogator marched towards Alan and seemingly loomed over him. Alan could feel the heat radiating from his presence.
"Why would we have any reason to believe that you are not a murderous goddamn terrorist?"

Alan wasted to time to reply. He already knew what he was going to say. "This is because of my sense of justice. I would never commit such heinous crimes, because I despise them and everything they stand for. As you probably know from reading assessment reports on my duties as a Military Policeman, you will know that I am uncompromising when it comes to my duty.
The interrogator laughed, and stopped when he started coughing violently. Smoker, Alan noted, helping him identify the anonymous brute. "'Sense of justice'?" The man said in a mocking voice "What sort of fairytale do we live in? No one is like that, you and I know. Especially not anyone from the Military Police. You must be an idiot, thinking this is good enough proof."
"I don't," replied Alan "Which is why I can prove my devotion to justice." He did not wait for the interrogator to reply before continuing "I keep track of a lot of crimes which go unpunished. The Military Police is no exception. I can name the crimes for every Military Policeman on the force."
"Bullshit. There's no way that's true." said the interrogator in a condescending voice "These words of deception are not going to-"
"What is the first letter of your name?" asked Alan, assertion in his voice.
The interrogator spent a second pondering the importance of Alan's question. Deciding there was no harm in revealing this, he replied.
"It's N, but I don't see how-" he was once again cut short by Alan, who now had all the pieces he needed.
"Nicolas Rahmer, 42, Military Police Lance Corporal." Alan spoke quickly and with certainty "You killed a whore in a drunken rage, and bribed the owner of the establishment to keep his mouth shut. When rumors started circulating, you made sure his business ran into some 'troubling times'. That fire was an awful accident, wasn't it?" Alan's eyes were burning with repulsion, even though he was looking at nothing in particular.
The room was silent. Nicolas wasn't sure what to do, how to pretend that it was not him. Alan decided to help him out.
"Even if you put me in jail, I can still report all the details of your heinous crimes," Alan said, trying to make his statement sound like a comment and not a threat "Your only option is to leave this room and report to Gunter that I was hiding nothing, or face the consequences of your sins."

Another silence. Alan heard footsteps, then the door closing. He sighed and shook the bag off his head. Soon, the light also returned to the room.
It was not long until Gunter returned to the room, seemingly surprised at Alan's condition. "What happened?" he asked worried, as if he didn't know. Alan smiled and replied "I must've accidentally bashed my head on the table. Awfully silly of me, right?"
Unsure of how to reply, Gunter cleared his throat and began talking.
"After careful analysis of your report, it appears that you are guilty of abandoning your given duty during the attack, and allowing Captain Volkard to be killed. This is a grievous crime and usually would result in immediate discharge from the force. However, due to your seemingly heroic causes and actions in the battle, as well as influential words from some witnesses, Military Police Commander Nile Dok has decided to personally question you, try you himself and decide your fate. I will now escort you to his chamber. Upon entry, you must salute him and wait for his salute until you may lower yours. Speak only when spoken to. A guard will keep watch on you as to make sure you make no violent attempt. Any sudden movement and you will be killed on the spot. Is that all clear?"
Alan's mind was racing. He did not expect the Commander to get involved. This complicated things greatly. For the first time, Alan was unsure of how he was supposed to behave. Still, an order is an order. "Yes, understood" he finally replied.
Alan's restraint to the chair was released, and he was escorted out of the interrogation room. Gunter and him slowly marched towards the Commander's chamber.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Herdir on 17/5/2017, 16:04

//OOC: Replying in Nerd's place until either the thread is finished or Nerd becomes active again, whichever comes first.


Nile Dok's office. Rain falling heavily. Summer downpour et all, given it was perfectly fine outside mere minutes ago. Not like Nile was the type to mind that. Or, to be fully fair, even actively notice it. Instead, he was buried in documents and legalities all the way to his throat. The less fun part of his job, after all, was the one taking up most of his time (and office space, as the place was surprisingly small; it was Nile's personal choice, though). What amazing luck and good-fortune...

He raised his eyes upon another military policeman entering. Then two more. It was seemingly about Alan, as the good-for-nothing bastards had for some reason tried to interrogate Alan by themselves first. Despite quite explicit orders not to. His case was much too fine-lined, and would require his personal involvement no matter how you looked at it.

After all, the death of Ex-Captain Adar wasn't a matter to be taken lightly.

Nile quickly sent the policemen away, with the request - although worded much more alike to a threat - to bring Alan to him immediately. A decision had to obviously be taken here, and there were exactly two possibilities, given the report Hydrargyrum had filed (even though the report was sent personally to Nile, and not as an official document; it was simply their courtesy to mankind, after leaving the force). The two were simple: immediate execution or immediate promotion, both to be administered on the spot. Nile checked the gun under the table. Loaded. Hopefully not to be used.

The two were consequence to the fact Alan, in the fight, either showed out-of-the-ordinary dedication and heroics, even though the battle was lost, or had showed purposefully deceiving acts and had conspired with the enemy since the beginning, plotting against mankind through the murder of Adar vi Rauco. Despite the Hydrargyrum claiming it was not the case of the latter, Nile wasn't as convinced. He was in a position where to be convinced of something was not an affordable luxury.


In any case, here came the man entering the door.


Nile let the paper he was looking at on the table, off to the side, and instead pulled an already-prepared file case from a nearby drawer. He put it, unopened, to the side of the table as well.

"Take a seat, please." The door would be closed by either Alan or the MP that had escorted him. It was irrelevant whom. "And have a drink." Nile pointed at a wine bottle on the side of the window, with a few empty glasses next to it. He himself had a half-full glass on the table, even though he hasn't sipped from it in the past hour.

"That was not an offer, by the way. Interrogation tends to go easier and more truthfully when the interrogated party is tipsy. And seated."
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 18/5/2017, 09:38

As Alan followed Gunter through the winding corridors of the Military Police headquarters, his mind was racing. Even after all his planning, he did not expect to be directly questioned by Dok. It was most unusual - perhaps even exceptionally rare. Was his case truly so serious that it required his care? True, someone was dead because of Alan, but death was not so uncommon in the night of the attack.
Was the Military Police truly checking if Alan is a terrorist? This is absurd.

Alan's heart couldn't help but pace a little quicker. He was going to personally meet with Nile Dok, Military Police Commander. He was a special case among the MPs, in terms of his sins. Most had crossed the law in one terrible way or another. Nile's biggest crime, however, was his ignorance to the corruption of the Military Police. He was surrounded by scum and villains, and did little to none to stop it. Regardless of how much he knew, Nile must have been exposed to at least some of the corruption rampant in the Military Police. And yet it continued, as he kept his title.
Beyond that, it was only minor crimes - stealing meat along with fellow trainees, some drinking here and there during his younger years. Nothing that even Alan could justify as punishable in a serious manner.

Gunter and Alan finally slowed to a stop in front of a well-polished wooden door, with the words 'Military Police Commander' written on it in metallic, elegant letters. A sentry stood outside of the office, eyeing the visitors silently. Gunter gave Alan a small nod, reminding him of his earlier instructions, and opened the door. Gunter walked inside and saluted, and Alan followed quickly and saluted as well, with assertion and pride. The sentry followed, clutching his weapon with the loose but sure grip of a veteran. Alan realized that no one closed the door, and turned to close it himself. Commander or not, it was important to keep to civillized manner. He turned back to the commander, and quickly tried to analyze the situation.
Dok was seated, surrounded by paperwork. He looked powerful and mighty, but also... Tired. Strange, considering it was the morning. The office itself was small but very charming, all made with care and respect. Books lined the wall, although they seemed to be relatively unused. And of course, there was the paperwork, which was everywhere on the Commander's desk.

Gunter was looking nervous, as if he were waiting to be released and let out of the room, but to no avail. Alan turned his attention back to Dok, who was handling some paperwork and looking up at him.

Alan froze when the commander ordered him to drink. Even as an order, it would be most difficult to do. Is the drink laced with drugs? Poison? Alan had no way of knowing what was to come, and his poor knowledge regarding alcohol wasn't helping. It was illegal to drink as a soldier while on-duty or handling official bussiness, but it was also illegal to not follow the commander's orders, so long as they were not inhumane beyond doubt. After pondering for a bit more, Alan decided that taking a glass and not drinking from it unless neccesary would be the way tk go.
Gunter has already gone ahead to pour them all glasses of wine (It seemed he was quite eager for it). Alan went ahead and sat in front of the commander, as ordered. The chair was comfortable, but he shuffled in it regardless. Dok's eyes had a piercing gaze, that Alan couldn't always match.
Alan took a depe breath, and relaxed. He opened his eyes, ready to begin. If he couldn't expect what was to come, the least he could manage is a clear mind.
Behind him stood the sentry, solemn, as Gunter took a drink and stood awkwardly for a second, trying to figure out if he were supposed to stay or not. Deciding against it, he gave a nod to the commander, and left the office, glass of wine in hand.

The office was silent, but for the rain pouring outside.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Herdir on 19/5/2017, 14:42

Nile watched Alan sit, and Gunter pour glasses. He wasn't supposed to pour one for himself, yet went ahead anyway. Whatever. At least he realized he wasn't supposed to be in here either. Nile leaned back on his chair, leaving a slight sound of relief. He obviously hasn't done that in a while.

Now, all attention to Alan. Was the man in front of him a hero or a terrorist? Most info would point to the former, but that's what made him all the more dangerous if were he an actual threat. Risks could not be taken in this.

"I hope you will finish at least that glass right there before we finish talking." Obviously, this wasn't about hoping anything, but requesting. The alcohol, given Alan's limited exposure to it, should make this all go a little bit more smoothly. And, here being the actual hope Nile had, have things be easier to interpret as true or false.

Nile reached out for his own glass, freshly refilled by Gunter, and drank from it himself. A next sip wouldn't be taken for the next hour, but this was enough to show Alan it was no poison involved. No... If the case were for execution to be decided, there was a gun under the table. And one in the drawer. And guards outside.

"I assume you know why you are here." Depending if Gunter or Nicolas had or hadn't tried interrogating him for the wrong thing, of course. "Just in case, though, let me clarify: You are currently under doubt in regards to your motivations. In effect, we believe you may be a terrorist, and an especially dangerous one, at that. The death of Ex-Captain vi Rauco is not a matter to be in any way taken lightly. Before I elaborate more, I will allow you to try and defend your position. Do you have anything to say?"

With that, Nile narrowed his eyes a very tiny bit, almost imperceptible. He could be right now talking to an affiliate of Severin Wildner, the main culprit of the crime at hand. Given Alan's history with the MP, and the particular nature of his usual 'outlawful' acts, his position would have been key, given the amount of skill needed to keep up such appearances. Which meant considerable effort would be required to make him crack.

If he was guilty, of course.

The truth of that matter would be anything but easy to find out.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 19/5/2017, 20:04

Alan sat quietly, listening to Nile Dok's words, glancing forward with nothing particularly in focus. He was too busy thinking and analyzing the situation.
The man in front of him was no laughing matter. Even if he wasn't morally clear, none could deny his observant eye and powerful presence. It made Alan want to curl up and run away, but he had to face the consequences of his actions.

Alan was not particularly happy to hear the commander mention the wine. Looks like there was no way to avoid drinking it without him noticing.
Alan took a whiff of his glass absent mindedly. The sharp aroma of wine filled his nostrils, and his mind with repulsion. He put the glass down and quickly covered his mouth with his fingers in order to fight the gag reflex that hit him. He tried his best to make it look like a change of posture.

Alan quickly went over all he knew about alcohol, which was not very much.
Alan remembered that alcohol's effects only took place upon absorption into the bloodstream, meaning that the rate he drank the wine in would be irrelevant. However, if he could end the interrogation as quickly as possible, there was a chance for him to finish it without being affected at all.
Alan took a dreap breath, and downed all of the wine in one long, gross sip.

The wine burned Alan's throat, and tears of disgust lined his eyes, but he finished the drink and put the glass down, only slightly coughing. He looked up at Dok as if nothing happened, and began talking.
"I don't have much to say. I just want to thank you for taking the time to see me. I feel you may be more qualified to assess the situation than... Some."
Alan paused and coughed a little, trying his hardest not to throw up. He looked up and continued, with a calm expression.
"Since your time is so valuable, I think it would be best for both of us if we got to the meat of things. So, here is my side - All I did was for the safety of humanity, and for the common good. I fought the assailants on that night, and got injured in the process. Captain Volkard's death was due to my negligence, but not due to my intention."
Alan paused, thinking for a bit.
"Why are you asking me all this? I am sure there were multiple eye-witness reports of my actions during the attack. Sangwa vi Rauco herself had enough time to talk to me during the attack. Do you tuly think I am so deceitful that I could trick Adar's wife into trusting me?"

Alan returned to sitting quietly, the rain's taps on the window only getting stronger. He couldn't help bu feel a little dizzy. Was it the wine? Or just the pressure?
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Herdir on 24/5/2017, 15:47

Nile waited for Alan to gulp his wine down in a single go. There was a sadistic pleasure in watching him do that, and a temptation to pour him another, but that would have risked getting him drunk. The wine was weak, yes, but Alan was inexperienced. While a single glass would make him mildly tipsy, perfect for making his mouth spew just truth, any subsequent ones... weren't as safe. So that urge found itself suppressed.

A smirk appeared for a fleeting second on Nile's face when Alan mentioned... less skilled... interrogators. Given he was supposed to anyway be brought directly to him personally, but wasn't... it made the grim joke all that more sweet. As sweet as its sourness could be, anyway.

The MP was a hellhole for anything that was right or just. And when so many of its members had the one or another connection to the higher-ups in society, not military... Even as the commander, you couldn't do too much. Much less of the MP was actually under Nile's control than he'd ever admit, even to himself. Which is precisely why valorous people were so much more valuable here than anywhere else: because there was a crippling lack thereof. Not valorous in terms of 'good' though, nor in the sense of having strong morals, but in the sense of being efficient. Professional.

Skilled.

And that is why Adar was so dearly missed.

"What I 'think' is of no consequence, Katlewande." Nile's voice was still the usual cold. Alan's argument was indeed right, but it changed nothing and brought forth no new information. The dilemma stood unphased. "If I 'think' - or rather, 'believe' as you mean it - that you are innocent and act upon that, and then you turn out not to be, I doom an entire civilization. In the same way, if I 'believe' you guilty and act on that, I'll have killed a brilliantly performing soldier." Nile was, deep down, hoping Alan was innocent. Not due to compassion or any form of friendliness to Alan, but simply because if Alan were indeed a terrorist... Well. That would have been scary for all of mankind, someone with that much ability to deceive. "My decision here can only be taken upon me being certain. It is treacherous ground we're treading."

In any case, Alan had seemed to not have anything to add to this on his own. Time to start with the tools of interrogation, then. Nile slowly opened the filecase on the table. First page was an obvious page on Alan's general traits and characteristics, alongside a detailed hand-drawn depiction of him. Irrelevant, though. One more page flipped. This time, it was a single page relating multiple times when Alan had disobeyed the law. Of course, all acts had been benevolent, but it was still what it was.

"Let us begin, then. Firstly, what is the reason behind all of these?"

Nile turned the case to face Alan, and then flipped a few more pages. From the way he held it, it was obvious he was not intending to let Alan touch it, but he should have known what the acts were anyway. Just reading between the lines was more than enough to realize what it was all about.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 26/5/2017, 02:25

Alan was getting more and more worried as Nile Dok continued speaking. He would've started to panic, but his self control let him stay in focus. He knew he had to analyze and calculate faster than ever - because now he was fighting a poison in his own body, ready to hinder him and make him break.
Alan continued staring at the commander, intently. His words were harsh and cold, sounding foreign to Alan, but at the same time, not unsimilar to his own words. There was the same passion, intolerance of crime and wrongdoing. But where Alan was driven by hope and aspiration, Dok's cold voice spoke of betrayal and loss of trust.

Alan scanned the pages presented in front of him, quickly realizing what they were.
Numerous accounts of allowing one-time food-stealers from the outer cities escape, theft of items of food (With money left in their place), multiple instances of disobeying superiors... This is all a list of my crimes, which I had committed in my pursuit of true justice. How did they get all this? Alan pondered, trying not to let the panic seep in Who could've possibly been there to see all of this happen?
Alan regained focus. It wasn't relevant how the Military Police acquired the information, all that mattered was that they had it. Alan decided that it would be unwise to deny these crimes, and instead admit to them. In fact, it might help if he showed his truly good intent by revealing his thought process to the commander.

"These are unfortunate cases, in which justice's hand falls too short;" Alan said, looking out the window and carefully not trying to sound arrogant "I take no pride in any of these instances, because I despise breaking the law, but sometimes it may be the better thing to do. Not only morally, but also for the justice system. A good person who had to steal to survive can come home and continue living, becoming a productive member of society over time."
The young Military Policeman turned to face his Commander, trying not to flinch away "I know what I am saying is not helping my case, but it's the truth. I know how dangerous it may seem, a person who takes justice into his own hands. How is anyone to believe such a person is not capable of killing someone like Adar for the same justification?"
Alan paused and wondered if he should continue, but finally decided that speaking his mind might be just what he needed to do.
"I have no way of completely convincing you that I had nothing to do with those who attacked the vi Rauco mansion. Likewise, the opposite is true - I cannot prove that I am one of them. It all depends on the evidence at your disposal, and your judgement."

Alan took a deep breath, and continued.

"I- I know this is not helping my case. In fact, that it's making it look worse. I know the decision you're tasked with right now. Letting me go free might put humanity at risk based on a judgement call. I, like you, would not take that risk." Alan looked into Nile's eyes fiercely, speaking from his devotion to humanity "If I need to be locked away for the people of the walls to sleep more soundly, that I am willing to. It is them who I serve - humanity. But it's that same drive that made me fight the assailants on that terrible night, the need to protect the innocent from criminals."

Alan stopped talking, feeling light-headed. The wine was probably starting to show its effects, but it was unknown to Alan how much of it was the alcohol and how much of it was his mind playing tricks on him. Had he just sealed his own fate, telling the jailer that he is ready to be caged?
Alan stopped to think for a bit about all he said. Finally, a relatively okay argument started taking form in his mind.
"The charges against me - the small crimes I've committed. They all point to my tendency to take matters into my own hands and do what I think is right for justice if I see it necessary. That's exactly what happened on that night, when I decided to fight the assailants and disobeyed my orders to solely protect the Captain Volkard. If my intention from the beginning was to join the Military Police only to betray it from the inside, I wouldn't have committed all those small crimes that drew needless attention to me. I could far more easily blend in by being corrupt, like many of the other soldiers," Alan's voice was growing more and more sure as he continued "Simply put - If we are to believe that I am as good at deceit as I may be, then there is no reason for me to stand out amongst the regular soldiers of the Military Police."

The rain poured uncontrollably, beating against the window. It poured in a violent stream down the building, cleansing it of dirt.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Herdir on 26/5/2017, 10:30

Nile listened to Alan speak his mind in downpours. Was it the alcohol? Was it the stress? Or was it a deceit craftier than any before? The burden of uncertainty... Nile knew what Alan was saying all too well. He had spoken of being unable to take a decision based on what he 'thinks', but regardless, it was the only option as hand. Alan as so right, so very right... Much more than Dok liked to admit, but he was forced to.

Turning a blind eye on that could've meant assured death.

Now, a man taking justice in his own hands... Alan was sharp. It was indeed the main reason for which he was suspected of crime in the first place. After all, it was the entire reason the whole Ember Squadron was under doubt: they took justice as their own job. The corruption within the MP was not helping, either. Dok sighed, aloud. Severin Wilder, huh? Was or wasn't Alan one of his accomplices?

Regardless, he was also making a lot of sense in that an inside agent should not have drawn attention. That being said, someone thinking themselves judge would not have minded it though. The 'temptation of self justice' would have been too great to hold back, and mishaps would have inevitably happened. But not this many. Which was, surprisingly enough, reassuring. It was time to up the pressure, though, and see where Alan would crack.

"I will not comment on any of your arguments. They are taken into consideration at all times, but you will not be informed on how they sway the end decision." Nile leaned back, but he was obviously still tense. His hand instinctively caressed the gun under the table, invisible from Alan, but so very powerful over him. "You will, however, be given a clarification on a wrong assumption on your part: should you be deemed guilty, you are not going to face prison. The sole punishment for your actions..." Nile was making it sound good. His tone was not giving away what was to be told, instead building up hope within the soldier. Only to sadistically crush it. "...is immediate execution. On the spot."

And now, eyes narrowed. "Does this change your opinion of the matter in any way, Katlewande? Knowing just how dangerous this whole thing is for you?" And would it make you more willing to defend yourself? Nile hadn't voiced the last question. It only rang into his own mind, awaiting an answer. But not just yet. The ante had to be upped to a point where Alan had been completely broken in. Regardless of his innocence or guilt, slightly cracking his mind was the only way to truly know the answer. Hopefully, it would not leave scars.

Nile flipped the pages with Alan's small crimes. Now, there was a full biography of Alan's past. Complete with awfully correct speculations regarding his initial reasons for joining the Military Police. In itself, that should have been enough to trigger the paradox within Alan's mind. Time to see which side was stronger, and what was responsible for that paradox in the first place: Alan's own sense of justice, or exterior intervention regarding that?

Thunder boomed on the outside. The storm was only getting started.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 27/5/2017, 01:12

Alan was getting weaker and weaker with each passing second. He was tempted to support himself using the desk between him and Dok, but decided against it. He didn't want to show how weak he felt. It would just make the commander more eager to break him.
Alan listened to him continue about taking his arguments into account, and correcting him on his assumption. Alan was curious to know what his punishment would be, should he be deemed guilty, but the answer came all too soon.
Execution.

Alan froze, wide-eyed, and stared at the commander. Was he bluffing? Immediate execution was reserved for the worst of the worst - even serial rapists and murderers were given  time before their inevitable end. Was he truly that dangerous?
Nile's eyes gave away nothing. No sign of lying, nor signs discomfort or reluctance. A dark void lacking empathy for threats.
Alan started breathing heavy, and grabbed onto the table in order to hold himself up. He felt the urge to throw up, but out of sheer willpower fought it back. This was serious.
His existence was on the line.

Alan, almost in a haze, looked at Dok as he flipped through the report's pages. Alan stared and read along, his breathing getting heavier and heavier.
How do they know these things? The number of people who know is tiny. This is insane.
The biography mentioned everything - his life of poverty in the outer cities, the years he spent working oddjobs for his family, his mother...
Alan jolted upright, seeing his mother's name almost awakening him. She was the one who made him join the Military Police. She was the one who did everything she could in order to make sure Alan was safe.
He couldn't betray her trust. His entire existence was thanks to her.
And yet... all those times he disobeyed his commanders, or the time he spent training to become the grayblade, were those not already betrayals of their own? What difference did it make?
Alan, scared for his life, after recovering from mental and physical wounds, and losing his head to wine, was forced to confront his greatest dilemma, and all this, under the watchful and tactical gaze of Commander Nile Dok.
If Alan kept trying to find his own ways to seek justice, he clearly disobeyed his mother. Still, allowing petty thieves to escape does not amount to refusing her will. She would want him to survive, at all costs. This very situation would shame her.
Alan closed his eyes and estimated the possible escape routes and their chances of success. After a short overview of his position relative to the door and the building, the number of guards in the way, and the weapons they were carrying, he got to the conclusion that escape was impossible. He opened his eyes and stared at the commander, his expression defeated and his mind almost blank.

"Y-You must know what this report contains;" Alan began, choking on his own words. "I joined the Military by my mother's will. The only reason I showed the dedication to train hard and make it to the Military Police was her support and determination that I do so."
This, of course, was far from the truth - Alan's mother didn't support him much as she beat him into submission and obedience. Alan was, however, oblivious to that. He was not ready to face that truth yet, not even in the face of death.
"All I ever wanted was to keep my mother satisfied. She wanted me to live a life in the interior, far away from danger" Alan's voice started shaking "Does this sound like the story of a revolutionist who would seek to kill Adar?"
Alan sighed and paused before continuing, to prematurely answer the question that was to come "Of course, as you have noticed, this is contradictory to my quest for justice, for the greater good of humanity. In that regard, all I can say is that I failed both my own desires and the desires of my mother - I am not safe, but neither am I making a true difference."
Alan was confronted once again with despair, but unlike before burned alongside it a passion.
The passion to keep living.

"All I have ever done in my life is for other people" Alan heard his words spoken, without actively speaking them himself "Not once were my own life and needs a deciding factor of what I have done. So when I tell you that, despite fearing death, I am willing to accept it for the good of mankind, I want you to know that with certainty. I will not blame you, nor anyone else, for my execution, because it is the correct logical decision to take in this situation."
Alan was growing more and more accepting of the idea of him dying, but at the same time, resisted it more and more.
"And yet, I cannot allow you to kill me. Not for my mother. The reason I am here is because she willed it in one way or another, and her will dictates that I must stay away from harm at all costs. This may seem absurd to you - a man accepting his own demise and at the same time refusing it on the basis of his parent, but this is all that I can offer you."
Alan stopped, and listened to the storm that was taking shape outside. The rain falling, the wind blowing, so alive, so violent. Perhaps he was listening to its sound for the last time in his life.

Alan sat upright, and looked at Nile for the first time not as his commander, but as a fellow human, perhaps the final he will ever talk to.
"If it were up to me, I would have joined the Scouting Legion to fight the titan threat and bring hope to humanity. It was not in my control - my life wasn't in my control. I ended up in the Military Police, patrolling the streets as good soldiers gave their lives to the cause. And so, I found solace in seeking true justice when I could, helping the weak and innocent, and planning the judicial punishment of the corrupt. I learned and memorized every crime of every Military Policeman, hoping that one day I would be powerful enough to make a difference. My intention was to bring them to justice with a fair trial, at the hands of the law. I just... I just wanted to help humanity, in my little pathetic way."
Alan looked down, with eyes too weary for tears. He held his hands together and felt the heat of his living body. His next words were spoken quietly.
"I never attacked any civilian. I fought against the assailants, not with them. Please don't kill me. Please..."

Puddles were forming on the bricked roads littering the inner city. Their surfaces reflecting a dark sky, repeatedly shattered by incoming raindrops.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Herdir on 28/5/2017, 13:27

As Alan started speaking more and more rapidly, Nile Dok instinctively grasped the gun. His attention was fully directed to the young soldier - or traitor - talking away. He had to make a decision, and a great one at that. A large part of himself wanted to just shoot Alan, simply to not take the risk. But that would have meant giving in to the opponent. Giving them the victory of having sown chaos and doubt. Humanity was walking on the edge of a dagger now, and every decision had to be the right one, were they to keep surviving.

Alan spoke of his mother, and of her support. Once again, was it the actual lie Alan was telling to himself, or was it a lie to give the impression he is a troubled soul? His self-loathe at failing both goals... again, true, or a devilishly crafty fake? Dok felt like he was going mad. Severin had won this one on him.

And then Alan barely kept himself from crying, and even that due to being too tense to cry.

Add the alcohol to the mix. The obvious trauma left from the mother.

Nile leaned back, and sighed. He had been overestimating Alan, no doubt about it. Well, almost no doubt. If Alan would have been as deceptive as he was thinking him to be, he would have never even gotten here. And, even on the off-chance that Alan was indeed a traitor, a traitor this skilled at deception... There would have been no way for humanity to live on anyway. The only logical choice left at this point was sparing Alan. But, before that, he had to know something.

And it would not hurt to make it seem part of the interrogation.

"What you've said has been taken into account. There is one more thing you will be shown, and then a verdict will be passed." With that, Nile closed Alan's file, and sat up. Pulling out a keychain from his coat, he proceeded to open a cabinet with a rather hefty lock. Upon opening, it could be seen that the interior was fully made of steel, from the walls to the hinges, and wood was on the outside just for show. It was by all means a strongbox.

And in it, a singe, overly large document case, steel, locked as well. Dok took it, obviously extremely heavy, and placed it on the desk in front of Alan. Nothing was written on its front, instead being simply one large, jet black surface. After closing the strongbox-cabinet, Nile sat back down, and pulled out a key he kept on a string around his neck.

Since the recent events, there could never be too much safety with this one, after all.

A loud metal sound was heard when Nile opened the lock on the case. He then slowly opened it, the first file of the document saying plainly, in clear letters, "Classified Project Codename 'Blood of the King'". Nile rose his eyes to meet Alan's. The message was clear simply from that: should Alan ever speak about that, death would come to him faster than he can blink.

Without any other words, Dok opened the document at a marker already placed on the side of the filecase. Now, there was a full-page representation of the Red Titan, in scary accurate detail. Nile lingered on the page a while, to allow Alan to fully intake the picture, after which he spoke.

"You should be aware by now that the Red Titan, 30 meter class, is a rogue titan shifter. What do you know about his identity?" From the way he pronounced 'know', Nile obviously meant 'can deduct' as well as the actual 'already know for sure'. On the one hand, it was a last final test on Alan's loyalty, but on the other, it was much more meant to see just how sharp the man was.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 28/5/2017, 18:35

Alan stayed silent and listened to Nile say that his words were taken into account, and that the verdict was about to greet him. His mind wasn't really all in the conversation, instead dwelling on his life and his choices. What should his last words be? Should he write to his family beforehand? Will he be able to at all?
He was brought back to reality by the sound of a strong thud. He looked up and saw a great document case placed before him. Impulsively, he scanned for any clues and details, etching the name "Blood of the King into his mind". It took him a moment to notice Nile's cold expression, which he saw as the disgusted look of a commander right before killing a criminal.

Before Alan lay a full picture representation of the Red Titan. When Alan realized what he was looking at, he let out a high-pitched gasp and flinched, grabbing the table hard. The titan still terrified him, even more so after what he has seen it do. This was the first time he was able to see it clearly, because during the night of the attack it was dark and raining, and also he wasn't particularly close to it.
Alan looked up slowly at Nile Dok, who was anticipating an answer. The young Military Policeman's eyes spoke of horror. Of sheer horror, and of fear.
But alas, he was asked to do what he did best, which was to analyze. He began promptly.

Alan needed to focus. He closed his eyes and relaxed himself, knowing his life could depend on his answer. Drunk, frightened and traumatized, he let all his feelings slowly dissipate and logic and calculation took their place. He recalled with stunning detail the events of the night of the attack, and his own evaluation of the situation amidst all the panic.
Alan opened his eyes, looking at the commander with confidence, and no trace of fear.
"As you have already stated, the titan is 30 meters tall and controlled by a shifter. This is important to note because the shifter is in full control of his titan form while transformed, as can be seen by his tactical battle stance. His hair is uncannily similar to that of a human from the event, a violinist with a rose mask. I don't know exactly who they were, but whoever that shifter was is the person responsible for the whole attack on the mansion."
Alan paused to breathe, looking for any response from Nile, who was stern and expressionless as ever, only to continue.
"I cannot pinpoint the exact identity of the assailant, but I can gather enough details to generally know who they are. The attacker was a male adult, with medium-lengthed brown hair. He has shown significant skill playing violin, and his combat stance and use of weaponry during the attack both as a human and as a titan shows he has quite a bit of experience in it. This allows to possibilities - either this is a man of higher class who was taught these skills during his childhood, or this man comes from a poorer origin and after joining the military and receiving training, got to join higher society."
Alan paused to scratch his chin in thought, looking to the left for no particular reason.
"My bet is on the latter - the man's build was not particularly developed, so training since an early age does not seem as likely. Still doesn't explain the violin skills, though."
Alan turned back to Dok. "The man came to the party intending to attack and kill Adar, no question about it. After finishing his mission he just escaped, not looking for any more distraction or destruction. Now, that may indicate a political or random terrorist attack, but the Hydrargyrum were prepared, as were the staff in the mansion itself. Adar knew a threat was going to rear its head. This means that the two have a history."

Alan folded his hands, coming to the realization this may be his final deduction. Still, he did not let that deter him. "In conclusion, the man is likely a soldier who had a direct and two-sided grudge against Adar vi Rauco. He has skills as a violinist and as a combatant. His hair is brown and medium-lengthed and his build not particularly muscular. Control in titan form indicates practice and familiarity with his ability to shift."
Alan finished his words and looked down, knowing what was coming next. Hoping to stay alive for a few more moments, he dared to ask "Is there anything else?"

The rain was beating slightly less fiercely than before, almost as if it knew that Alan wanted a bit of peace before the end.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Herdir on 29/5/2017, 16:35

Nile's ears were peeled to everything that Alan had to say, in some ways his attention even sharper than before. Of course, at this point, it was unlikely anything more would be revealed about Alan's trustworthiness - in all, it's mostly been proven - but it would reveal a lot about the man's ability to think.

In the end, it was not that impressive, but not lacking either. With the amount of clues he had, Alan was quite able to pinpoint down quite the details, especially the grudge between terrorist and ex-police. The young fellow indeed possessed a sharp mind, which would be very needed in the days to come, if Nile's hunches were right. Which he, as always, hoped weren't, but prepared for the case in which they were.

Wait.

Dok blinked slowly. Given Alan's way of talking, even Nile himself had forgotten: the man was drunk. Moreover, he was very freshly out of a personal crisis enforced upon him. In those mere minutes, he was able to overcome it almost fully, and think swiftly after that, despite the dulled mind. That was... more than just impressive. A 'Sharp' mind wasn't doing Alan justice. If he were awake, he'd probably have been able to physically cut with it.

With that realization in mind, Nile was growing more and more certain of the course of action to be undertaken here. But it was not time just yet. He flipped the page. Full-page drawing of Severin Wildner's face, in dazzling accuracy and precision.

"Severin Wildner." Nile's voice was somewhat filled with disgust. He mostly kept it in check, but still... "Garrison. Traitor, and rogue titan shifter." It was obvious what the implication was. "This is certain information, not a theory." Or well, not as much implication as certainty. "Also... Ex-Lab-Rat. Escaped, I might add." That was as much as he said about Severin's history with the MP. Alan was dangerously bright anyway.

"This is the person you've seen in the mask. Now that you were revealed his identity, you are under the order to shoot him on sight, without warning. You may also not speak of this, to avoid causing chaos among the general population. A terrorist is one thing, but a traitor terrorist is... entirely different." Dok leaned back, looking at Alan's face. Was he or wasn't he affiliated with him? He had to look for signs of that. "Do you know anything about this person? Or can you guess anything?"

This was it. A final test, and a final bit of information revealed before the finale. Alan needn't know until it happened, though.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 30/5/2017, 02:49

Alan was growing sad. He did not want to die. The alcohol didn't help his emotional stability either. He almost forgot the whole scenario is an interrogation, and so his mind wasn't all there. He was glad Nile had more questions. Even facing death, Alan's curiosity peaked to see who was behind everything. He studied the face of Severin. Upon seeing it clear for the first time, he let out a gasp. That face - he recognized it! The odds were truly unlikely, but he did happen to meet him. Once. Twice, if you count the attack on the mansion. Alan was just surprised he met a shifter before. How many more has me met?

Alan listened in fascination to the commander as he listed off things regarding the identity of Severin Wildner. Alan was feeling almost proud that he managed to correctly assume the individual was indeed a soldier, and the Garrison would be the first place to look. Still, Alan's mood was far too grim to take any delight in his deduction. That still didn't stop the analyzing from taking his mind off his impending demise.
One detail that particularly struck out to Alan was that Severin was a lab rat, that escaped. Alan didn't know if it had any direct connection to Severin's murder of Adar, but one thing was certain - the Military knew more things about titans than they reveal to the public. Even if during testing they didn't know Severin was a shifter, after discovering he was any details from the experiments could reveal details about the titans.
Not once did Alan consider that the Military itself turned him into one.

When Nile Dok asked Alan if he knew anything about Severin, he realized the mistake he has made in expressing awe at the sight of the murderer. It could paint him as more suspicious of conspiring alongside him. Still, Alan was already fairly certain that he was going to die regardless, so he concluded it didn't really matter.
Alan's gaze naturally shifted to the left as he picked up his memories from long ago. His mind was acting fuzzy, so he had to navigate through multiple interpretations of the same memory, which took him time. At the end, he finally did collect all he knew, and spilled it out thusly.

"L-Let me begin by saying I don't really know this person. Severin, was it? I met them only once, during the beginning of my career as a Military Police patrolsman. I climbed to the wall in search of Garrison soldiers, since there were none and their negligence was making my job harder. I met him there - he wasn't particularly respectful towards me. Like, he didn't seem to have a particular beef with me. Just that he didn't seem to like the Military Police very much." Alan eyed the commander carefully. He was still talking to the leader of the Military Police. "Beyond that I don't know anything. He didn't even introduce himself when we met, which was rather rude, considering I did and we even shook hands."

Alan paused and began to speculate "Now, I can guess a lot more than I actually know. You mentioned an experiment. I'll assume the experiment took place after my encounter with him, since if he escaped it seems unlikely he'll just be hanging out in the open. I already established that he did not care for the Military Police beforehand. If the experimentation was done by the Military Police, which is probably the case, that must've only increased his hatred towards us. If Adar had anything to do with it, that might even be a sufficient motive for his attack." Alan played with a bit of his hair using his left hand's index finger "His motives are still unclear. It is not certain if he targets humanity as a whole or specifically just certain people. Either way, I'd say he has it out for the likes of us. He had cohorts during the attack. He's not alone, the people with him must know about his power. I doubt they have the ability to shift, though, otherwise they would have done it. This makes it more likely that he's targeting only a specific part of humanity, like the Military Police, for instance, because it's less likely normal humans would agree to try and help a shifter destroy humanity. Still can't be certain. Some people may hold grudges."

Finishing his words, Alan stretched back and grasped his head with his right hand. He was feeling very dizzy after all the concentration and thinking. He was feeling sad, and hating the effects of alcohol on his mind, and above all just anxious to get this over with. He was so afraid. So very afraid. He hated the wait, the uncertainty. He just wanted to go home, to say goodbye to his mother one final time, but it was not to be.
Such was the life of a criminal.
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Herdir on 3/6/2017, 13:38

Nile did not say much as he was listening to Alan. Indeed, the man's mind was impressive, to work as well as it did under these dire circumstances. That meant he'd be able to think under almost any sort of pressure, which in turn was possibly one of the most needed qualities in the military these days. In any case, while there was a mild surprise at the fact he had indeed met Severin, it wouldn't be entirely our of question. He was still going about posing as a solider. Or, well, at least in the past.

The rest of the stuff, Dok knew it. He didn't know Alan would be able to guess it all this well, but it's not like it was unexpected either. Anyway, the time for this charade was pretty much up, as the decision had been taken a while ago anyway. Of course, the doubt was never fully gone. It probably never will be until Severin would lay dead and with his corpse within Nile's personal sight. But it was gone enough, to call it like that.

Dok closed the steel filecase in front of him, locking it back, and putting it in the cabinet it was taken from. He could still enjoy himself a bit more with Alan by dragging this moment a bit, and he did exactly that. It'd help the young MP know whom exactly is leading around here, too.

As such, slowly, so very slowly, he sat back down. He eyed Alan with a fully expressionless face. He extended a hand under the table, grasping the gun. Pulled it out of there, in Alan's view.

"Well, I've taken my decision."

He threw the gun on a pile of papers close-by.

"You are hereby promoted to the newly-freed rank of Captain. You will not be assigned Volkrad's old squad; instead, you can personally choose whom you want and whom you do not in your squad. If the people chosen agree, of course, and if they're not enough to comprise a full squad, I will assign the rest." Nile inspected Alan's face. His reaction would be priceless to see.

"You are also immediately put in charge of the Red Titan's Case. You may not share information about it, however, without my explicit approval, and you will report to me personally from now on. At the same time, I want to see you here daily, starting tomorrow, until you've read and memorized the entire content of the filecase I showed you. It is vital to the survival of humanity that you understand this terrorist. Try to not become him." This was much less a jab at Alan than it was a genuine warning. Every investigator always ran that risk, of becoming their own prey, as int heir attempt to understand, they end up mimicking.


Nile leaned back. "So, any questions, Captain Katlewande?"
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Re: Rotting Away (Closed to Nerdeity)

Post by Alan Katlewande on 8/6/2017, 07:40

Alan stared sullenly at Dok as he slowly and silently put away his filecase, looking for any sign of what was to come. Even if he has accepted his death already, there was that little speck of hope that made him yearn to know... And also made the wait terrible.
Alan was sitting upright and on edge, his hands on top of his legs. He felt unreasonably cold, and dizzy beyond anything he has ever felt before. He felt almost as if he were about to faint, but sheer willpower and dignity kept him awake. Dead-pale, wide eyed and mortified, but awake.

The commander sat down, eyeing Alan before revealing his gun. Alan looked at it, frozen in fear.
He was going to die. His world was going to end. He expected it to happen, but that didn't make it much easier. What has he achieved in his miserable existence? What good has he done by chasing wild dreams and ideals?
The thought of running away crossed Alan's mind, like a caged animal. In the end, he decided to face his death on his own terms, with dignity.
Alan closed his eyes, breathing sharply. He was ready.
He was ready for death.
But death was not ready for him.

A moment passed. Then another. Only silence, except for the rain. Something was wrong. Alan opened his eyes exactly in time to see Nile Dok chucking the gun onto a pile of documents.
Alan stared at him, eyes unblinking and shocked. His mouth was gaped open slightly, his always-surprised-looking face looking even more so. He heard the Commander's words, but not directly. It all felt hazy, as if he were hearing and seeing it through a screen of fabric.
Alan's first thought, of course, was an analasys of the situation. Was Nile bluffing? It would be cruel, but not uncharacteristically cruel for him to bluff Alan, making him he will live only to kill him. That being said, that would be just as cruel to let him live and promote him after making Alan come to terms with death.
Alan was overcome by emotion. He was filled with confusion, with joy, with pride, with fear...
And with anger. So much anger.

Alan was going to blurt out and attack Nile, but restrained himself knowing his life was still in his hands, possibly even more so than before. Alan closed his eyes and breathed heavily, muffling his emotions and letting logic take hold.
Alan told himself that Nile did what he needed to in order to get to the truth. But even he didn't believe himself. Nile was cruel and cold, and nothing could justify the way he had toyed with him. Still, the commander was now HIS commander. He must come to terms with it, and with him. For now, at least.

Alan sat back in his chair, loosening up a bit, and looked at Nile with a small grin on his face. Being alive felt good, and being promoted felt just as good. In it's own messed up way, everything went well.
"I... I will begin enlisting people for my squad soon." said Alan in a haze, thinking of the different Military Police soldiers he knew, and who he would trust.
That was tough.
"I... Also have a question." alan said, looking thoughtful, choosing his words carefully "Were you really going to shoot me?"
Alan didn't expect remorse or regret from his commander, but he did expect the truth. If they were to work together, they had to be able to trust each other.
All in all, Alan felt giddy, worried, and confused. But he felt. He was alive.
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