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This wasn't as easy as it looked...and it didn't look easy at all. But even with all that in mind, Hakuro had learned the important tennants of that running-jumping-climbing urban sport known as parkour, and its rules applied to every surface and every structure. The first thing is momentum. You can seemingly defy gravity if you have the right speed applied in the right fashion, the force of your momentum pressing against the tilt of the world. It only lasts a couple seconds, and then it's all down to you, but it does work. Velocity is a great force-multiplier in every situation, provided to don't do something that'll just get you hurt...and Hakuro spent time falling down alot before getting the hang of it. Second thing: your grip can be maintained temporarily - i.e. long enough - on even a small outset. Rock climbers do it, professional tree-climbers do it, and so too does this hold in parkour. The skills are interchangeable. It's just that one is meant for the urban setting and must be adapted accordingly. Even still, Hakuro had been taught how to get up a brick wall, so a tree with many grooves in its bark wasn't going to be as challenging. Finally, you need to be sure of yourself AND be consciously aware of your limits at all times...but Hakuro didn't really have that problem, considering he must've climbed EVERY TREE on his island, at home!

I'm not even using 15% of my strength!

He was up that tree, enough so that people were starting to get a little concerned. Nobody official, mind you. In fact, Hakuro wasn't even aware of anybody really watching - Your focus is important, in some situation. - until someone decided to shout up at him from the base of the tree. Seems he didn't want him up here for reasons of... Ah, what do they say here in Endgland? Oh right, Health and Safety. Well, by the time that call had been made, Hakuro had managed to pull himself up to a nice thick branch for sitting on and looked down at whoever was talking...which in this case was one of the local boys and a pair of girls that he...hadn't been around enough to know their names or anything. Kind of sad, really. He usually got on with people faster than this. Certainly worked in Japan, and the Americans loved him! Well, mostly. He had a feeling that the boy shouting at him wasn't going to be pleased with this smiling magpie. Even still, he called back down, still unaware that Laurence had been reading on the other side of the tree.

"Oh, hey there! Good morning! Why's it more a problem if I hit someone? I'm someone! Suppose I fall down and hit no one! Then what? I mean, I could just not fall, but what I'm trying to say is that I don't understand the position!"

We interrupt this episode of Persona: The Calling to present Hakuro Kuroda being a smartarse, followed by a clicking sound and a flash as his phone got whipped out suddenly and he took a picture, followed by him doing more of the same with his surroundings. Granted, it was going to be on a phone camera's resolution, but it wasn't bad. He'd have to review them later, and the people and sights contained therein. Now, the only question was that...he was here, but didn't he have class soon?
And so, while the Sovereign planned and the Green Fox was deployed, while reassignments were made and love letters were discussed...

...food was being made.

And let us be perfectly clear here. This wasn't simple ordinary rations and water, the very basics of human survival doshed out to soldiers to keep their bellies quite. No no no no... REAL food, food for champions, proper eats. As it all came to fruition, cooked and toasted to perfection, the aroma began to seriously waft. Tender beef and cooked veg, herbs and spices, and even...garlic bread!

Britta had outdone herself in two particular ways. First of all, while she had often helped her mother with the cooking at home, this would be the first time creating a large meal for many, basically on her own. Isaac's assistance was more-or-less a time-saver in regards to what she could do on her own, though she would at admit that it made the job easier. Secondly, though, the challenge of the meal itself - working with what they had, rather than having the selection of a store to decide her approach - was almost genius. That she had managed a decent dumpling stew like this was an achievement in of itself, and to top it all off with garlic bread? That was a stroke of luck the camp would soon not forget!

She worked on her own, staying in the zone of cooking and not thinking - for now - of her own troubles, and a smile planted itself on her face. It was almost ready... Even if she'd done half as well as she had, the Squad would be eating better than they had in a while, perhaps as good as they'd had it at the White Hart, even. Oh, but she hated to think of that now... All those great memories, and all that tragedy, coupled into one...

Hans, wherever you are, I hope they gave you a gasmask too.

Or better yet, that he didn't need it, and would never need it. Now, that she had pulled out some of the wood to lessen the fire, let the stew simmer and toast the bread a little, it was almost time... Isaac had gone to find glasses, but along the way he realized he needed to set out alot of things, like bowls and spoons. He did that without even thinking about it, demonstrating what HE did around the house at home. What must it be like, on the Black family lands? He was the youngest in his family, according to him, and it was a bit bigger than her own family, perhaps just as warm. Rather than dealing with crops, they wrangled animals, so they must've all been fairly-strong too, rather than just traveling on excess crop-picking stamina. Isaac returned to the cooking spot when he was done.

"Alright, everything's ready. They're gonna love this..."

"They're gonna surround us like your wolves."

"I wouldn't be surprised. It was almost impossible to keep them all away from our slaughterhouse when there's been a fresh kill. Rikes even tried to dig under it and pop up through the wooden floor."

"How'd you solve that?"

"Tossed some unused giblets outside and worked like hell to fill the hole."

"Did you ever do the slaughtering yourself?"

"Only to feed the wolves. Dad figured if I smelled like that and it wasn't feeding time, they'd get confused."

"Smart man."

She knew that he was making conversation like this to help her keep her mind off of things, like she wanted. Isaac had that 'Whenever you're ready' look about him. He wouldn't force it, and for that she was thankful, but he also wasn't leaving it. That was okay, though, because she didn't want him to leave it. She wanted to say, but not right now. Right now, they were all about to sit down to a nice meal. Right now, she was putting out all of the fire and setting out the garlic bread on a small makeshift table. Right now, it was...

"DINNERTIME!!"

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Lost. Alone. Hated that. He lost their scent. How did he lose their scent? It was all because of the smoke. That awful stenchful smoke. He'd turned and fled like a pup from something that smelled worse than decaying dead, something that was death. He had to. It would choke him to death. He could tell. There was no choice. Hadn't been able to find the others since. City smells, enemy signs, distant sounds - no friends in the curious-patterned clothes. Only the things they called the Imps. He'd killed several Imps, since then. Last resort. Not suppose to, but had to. Hungry, or nearly trapped. Got hurt, but not badly. Snagged the parcel-vest more than his flesh. Have to be more careful...

Been a while. No food. Last Imp he attacked had food, but there was a shot and he had to run. So close. Even Imp rations are okay to eat, sort of. No friends, no Feds. Must have ran fully into Imp territory when the smoke arrived, gone the wrong way. Been wandering the entire time, sleep only when absolutely sure nobody was around...so very scarcely, even for his kind. Distant sounds were resolving into...people. Lots of people. Not sure, but...wait, no. This was okay. It wasn't Imp-speak. It was English, or mostly English.

Also, there was...

Oh!

Oh, that smelled good...

Rikes' ears perked up, suddenly.

Did somebody just shout 'Dinnertime'?
"A locallized tornado was witnessed earlier today..."

I'm off to see Godzilla. Hope you guys enjoy!
Hakuro Kuroda


He was just...always so bored when he was home.

He had an island paradise, but friends were few and far between, as guests came and went.

It was like being the king of nowhere and nothing.

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Take a child, just a young boy, and put him on an island beach. It's a fun place to be, to run and play and do all kinds of things that any kid could and would want to do in a place to themselves. Let him play and run around annd be himself for a while, until he finally tires himself out, exhausted all of his games.

Now, tell him he can never leave.

It's not to say that he was ever tricked into this life. They hadn't suddenly taken him here. He was always here, must like his parents, and THEIR parents, and so on. They weren't part of the country, not really. They didn't want to live there. Or at least, that was what his family wanted. But...a young boy wants something more. We live in a world where we don't wonder what's out there. We know. The internet tells us so, and it shares oh-so-many secrets and tales, so many things to do and be a part of...

But what if you can't go?

If the parents don't want to, and you're not old enough to go yourself, what can you do? The young boy sat on the beach, and felt his life becoming darker and grayer, lacking life and substance and feeling. Presently, he imagined the tide would be rising, only instead of how it normally does this, it would simply raise up on its own, like somebody filling a sink. It was constant, already reaching where he sat, and still going. He stood up, and it was already past his knees. He ran inland. It accelerated, engulfing the beach. Was the water raising or was the island sinking? Or worse...

Was it being eaten?

He ran harder, faster, climbed harder to make it up hill. No good. It was on his heels. There was a distant echoing groan. He HOPED it was just his father being overcome by the water. That was the tamest of all thoughts, at the moment. Higher and higher he went, until he'd reached the top of the tallest hill on the island, the lookout point of the hiking trail. The sea was everywhere. The ocean was eating everything. He had nowhere to go. The groan again, this time somehow everpresent, all around him, and then an arm stabbed out of the water and grabbed for him! Backing away, he saw himself...!

But it wasn't...was it?

The other boy had his clothes, his face, his build, but...everything was wrong. He had drowned gray-blue skin, with wrinkled hands and feet like prunes. His hair was just a ragged mess, his nails were like claws, and he looked malnourished. A savvy person would say he looked like a ghoul... Seemed to fit. His face looked like death, with rotten teeth and sunken black pits for eyes. He didn't look like a person. It was almost alien... And then, to top it all off, the apparition spoke in his voice, too. It said...

"Stop running. We belong down here."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you can imagine, the last few hours for Hakuro were not of normal sleep. He'd had a nightmare, one that he hadn't had since he was a young boy. The island dream was something he vividly remembered because it was his prime motivation to leave, to see the world. He'd had this thought that the ocean would just swallow everything up...and his young imagination conjured something pretty horrible in his sleep. That was when it started, or rather when he started it. The Hatto-san... Hatto Ken Ko-to. The refuge against severe boredom and dark thoughts. He was his own chief morale officer, a doctor with only one patient, the cure for the common rut.

For the moment, he was too tired to be particularly 'Hatto'. He'd woken up with the memory from long ago and needed to be upright. So, three hours before he was suppose to get up, he took to his swivel chair and his laptop with a blanket and absent-mindedly browsed through some of his files on the Hatto Site, smirking at all the goofy behavior there. He'd dozed, here and there, resting his head against the laptop, looking at the site again, resting again, looking at some comments... Hmmm. There was one from Sherry, of all people. Now, what did the Califoria Ninja-Girl want? He clicked on it.

...what?

"So, anybody else find this ironic? My little pupil told me he left home to get away from the isolation of living on an island, and now he's been living on a bigger island."

Sherry was the one who had transformed him from a roaming hat-boy who kinda' knew the basics of martial arts to a full-blown parkour specialist. Don't read too far into it. 'Specialist' just meant he didn't get severely injured by misjudging a jump or losing his grip at a critical moment, for the most part. It meant he was good, not godly. Anyway, she'd made this point, and...Hakuro hadn't even considered it. Was he just feeling some of home because the UK was a series of islands, separated from the rest of Europe like Okinawa from Japan? The parallel was...surprising. She might've been onto something... The difference, of course, was that London was bigger than his home. England was bigger. It was also harder to get use to, because of when they ate and some of the food and how certain things just aren't done.

Well, no matter. Since it was time to get up, may as well BE up. He put on some music from home and got to work.



Off with the blanket, whipping it around and tossing it at the bed. Bed clothes off, quick shower, dry and groom before picking out the day clo...oh right. One thing he'd liked about his time in America: The lax dress code, allowing him to wear more casual clothes instead of a uniform. Well, he got that on. It wouldn't matter, because he still had the finishing touch. Take that coat off the hook and pull it on with a flourish! Put that hat on with style! Hatto-san powers activate. He stepped on out and headed for the courtyard area. Let's see if there were any early bloomers out right now.

Yeah, some people here and there. I'd have a better look if I could get up high.

He looked at a promising tree to climb.

I wish I had a grappling hook...

Not actually aware of Laurence on the other side of said tree, Hakuro took a running jump - "Hatto-leap!" - and began scaling the thing, making good use of any of the knots and folds in the bark with his momentum and sure grip. It would have to be sheer smooth to defeat him, and that wasn't likely. He was gonna start making the squirrels jealous, a thought that made him laugh, suddenly.
This was unexpectedly nice, like something you wouldn't think feel the way it does, but it becomes an ultimately pleasant experience, regardless. Leaning against Sara like this was calming, focusing. With her largely taking in the other girl's words, it seemed like Kate could put aside all of her personal concerns, effectively fencing them off for a while. Not so much a wall, but the things disturbing her mind - the life she was having to come to terms with - felt farther away and quieter, kept at bay in this newfound peace. Nothing was happening to them, right now. The monsters were at bay, right now. This was simply a moment in time where - and Kate was surprised at how hard it must've been for her to even do this - they could relax.

Because...what DID Katherine Bellows do when things go to hell? What is it that always happens? She gets worked up inside, her mind races faster than a herd of stallions, and then she takes action. And that's what it's been like the past few years, hasn't it? The Titans go on the rampage, so she has been moving and working like hell towards survival, but never stopping for one second to live. Here and now, however, Kate realized that she hadn't had much in the way of human contact in any friendly manner for a long time. She use to enjoy those more innocent times alongside her friends in Shigenshina, her mind closed off from the evils of the world. Now that she was combating it with her brain and her own two hands, she'd stopped being a person and stifled her own growth, but just this moment...sara's words took on new dimensions.

This wasn't merely talk of survival, in living, but of growing as a person and having something TO live for. Even if this was not entirely the direction the Lieutenant had meant here, it took that meaning along with her own in Kate's mind. Sara was reminding her that she was not simply beholden to the life that was her mother's expertise. She was living this life herself and it was hers to lead, though she had much to be proud of for being her mother's child. For Kate, it also became a statement of how to proceed, what to do, what her direction was and how she could expand her horizons, even in this bleak Titan-filled world. It actually made Kate smile, feeling much better about herself.

"It's as much my legacy as hers, but I understand."

Afterwhich, she straightened up, and stood with a stretch. Funny how she seemed to be that fit, like she'd exercised all her life, yet she wasn't the powerhouse that Mikasa was. Must be that brain, always figuring out the easy way. Well, no matter. She looked at Sara now, clearly much calmer now.

"And we can't get to it without a little rest. Tomorrow and everything is gonna be busy. We both have work to do."

She offered Sara a hand up before they headed down. Incredible how she looked in the moonlight...

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Some people rested better than others, and it seemed like Kate had managed, because she was clearly in high spirits when they set out, that day. They were - by horses and wagons - bound for the abandoned castle which had previously been a Scout Regiment base of operations. It would be so again, and had - up until now - been the subject of testing on the most advanced scientific research regarding Titans known to man. This is what Hange Zoe was up to, anyway. That woman's attention to detail, ever since she started observations of all things Titan in the field, had been a large boon to the survival of mankind. Another such boon was riding in a wagon with Commander Levi watching him for signs of being a monster, but we know that Eren is about as anti-monster as you can get. An additional boon was on a wagon of its own. And we're not referring to Kate's presence there. We mean that she was sitting with the tarp-concealed new weapon, the one that seemed to involve gunpowder, but isn't a cannon. In their quest to take on Titans, they had the cutter blades, the ODM Gears, the high-tension wires, the heavy-piercing spears, and indeed the cannons. This was something long, and there was evidence of a pointy bit, but the way things were stored and wrapped up...it was hardly normal.

They would be upon the castle soon. Kate looked focused, even anxious. Too bad the place was a mess.
So basically...this:

Mentor Character

(A full profile HAS been written, but details are unavailable until the character is revealed in the RP.)

White-Feathers were all cock-eyed motherfuckers.

That was the general impression given unto them by Jean. Whether the Francian knew or not a reason why Michael would not know, the fact of the matter is that this wasn't a topic which Isaac was particularly knowledgeable of either. Farming lad, he was. Wolves and livestock, and go easy on the politics. Another good word for it was insidious, or disgusting, or appalling. His dad liked words like that to throw at the unacceptable. And then, if the one flung at with those words kept going, a fist would surely follow. Some people had no right to draw breath, because everything coming out of their mouth was just a waste of air. And for Thomas, apparently his people in Oceania, they were hailed a whole buncha' promises that held about as much water as a bucket with no bottom.

"I was never promised anything, of course, and I wasn't shamed into things either. I just got my marching orders. As in, 'Here's some convincing rifles pointed at ya. Now, march!'. Some of you already know that, and that's okay. Today, I don't feel so bad about it, because today...my sister informs me that the bastard responsible was found in abuse of his position and sent to the front lines. Turnabout is fairplay, and I hope he has loads of fun up here."

So yeah, Isaac's mood wasn't bad right now. It may have been wrong to wish bad tidings on a fellow human being, but fuck it. He's an arse. Now, before anything could continue, a young man trying to look very official and army and not-at-all like a complete greeny who didn't know that war is hell...came to deliver a message to Jean. He announced that it was for him, and then belted it out before he could even confirm that Corporal Robin-Charpentier was even here. I mean, he was...but imagine what would happen if he'd gotten the wrong table? After he left, Jean got up to go see what Baker wanted and explained to Isaac that Britta needed to know that she had cooking duty. Apparently, Thomas had voted her in.

"I didn't even know there was a voting process. Alright, I'll tell her."

He got up to go find her, buuut...Britta wasn't anywhere around. She went off on that errand of hers, and was presumably looking for stuff, as per requests. Perhaps she was already on the case. He'd have to wait around and find out, though.

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Meanwhile, Britta was indeed hunting up food for tonight.

She didn't know about the vote that Thomas put forth or anything like that. No, what she decided was that, in order to help her put her mind at ease, she was going to cook. Frankly, if anybody else had been up for the task, she would have insisted otherwise, because she had struck scrounger GOLD. Oh yes, indeed... It had started...with her spotting garlic. She found some in decent condition, and from there she looked for the other necessities: Butter, bread, salt... Yes, she had no trouble, or not exactly trouble. What she found with enough poking around - sometimes literally, with her serrated blade - were a number of things that were at least passable and in enough quantity that it could be done.

She could make garlic bread, but from what she found here...she could also make something ambitious.

Her eyes lit up as she started grabbing things. Some preserved beef that was neither soft nor hard, over a dozen potatoes, tins of spam and some leftover pork, corn, carrots, spinach, a bit of cooking wine, two bottles of not-the-best rum, and some ration biscuits. This was everything Britta could get, and she had a smile on and a sparkle in her eye with ideas.

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So, of course, a little later on, the silver-haired Gunner came in with a load of things over her back. It was a little heavy, but her enthusiasm carried her...plus training and experience in hauling a heavy machine gun. Isaac caught a look at her and blinked with a smirk. What was she so geared up for?

"Alright, I brought supplies. Hand these over to Michael, would you?"

She handed him some clean cloth and a better quality entrenching tool.

"Couldn't find him explosives, sorry. I looked hard before getting all this stuff."

"What is it?"

"Ingredients."

"Oh, so you knew already."

Britta stopped and looked over at the Corporal.

"That I was cooking tonight? Not until I decided it for myself a little while ago."

"Oh, I see. What was the urgent business, then?"

"...let's handle what we need to, first, okay?"

"Alright."

So, while Britta was getting a decent pot and water to fill it with, Isaac went over to present Michael with his sharper tool and the clean cloth he wanted, saying "Sorry, no explosives yet. She tried." before returning to Britta, who had a pot over a fire and was cutting things on a makeshhift cutting board - a random flat piece of wood - with her serrated blade because it was handy. She kept cutting things apart - meat and veg - and throwing them into the pot, which was getting thick now. She didn't even look up as she started giving him orders!

"Find another board, and start cutting those buns in half."

Isaac stopped, but then shrugged and went "Yes, ma'am." before pulling out his prybar for that. The prybar was a small hatchet with a fiddly bit for the prying, so it would certainly cut bread. Britta was stirring the pot with a large spoon and making sure everything was mixed up. Isaac had noticed the beef go in and some of the spam and all of the pork remnants, all cut into small pieces. He hazarded a guess.

"Making some sort of a beef stew?"

"Well, I mean it's not gonna be a perfect one, but if I've got the math right...I'm making a dumpling stew, AND garlic bread, the dumplings being any of little loaves left after the garlic butter's spent."

Oh ho ho... The good stuff. A dumpling stew - meat and vegetable stew with bread dumplings on top, absorbing some of the stew - and garlic buttered bread. Britta figured she could get a fair few - these are small handheld bread loaves - turned into toasty garlic bread with the fire here, and that six cut loaves would make up the dumplings, with the ration biscuits ground up on top as bread crumbs 'cause...there was only twelve of those and they're not great, really.

"So, do you need anymore help?"

"I've got this. Thanks, Isaac."

Okay... Isaac took the hint that Britta didn't really want to talk right now and went off to find some glasses for the rum. Still, though... That was going to be a helluva meal.
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