A Deep Mistrust Of That Which Certain Seems A Hope Of That W

[22:15] <Yanmei> Another dreary mid-December afternoon. Another elevator clunked down its shaft at its usual speed - that is to say, at a snails pace. Another occupant taking advantage of the slowness by primping and sorting through her thoughts. She posed in the minutes before the doors opened, brightly smiling, shoulders squared and confident, stance wide. She was the only one in the elevator, after all, and practice made perfect.
[22:18] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Eventually, the elevator came to a stop- and the doors did open.-
[22:19] * Ikari`Gendo was sitting in that chair, behind that desk, the one that Ginevre used to occupy.-
[22:19] <Ikari`Gendo> He looked up, staring at Yanmei. He didn’t say anything.
[22:21] * Yanmei beamed at him, stepping forward into the office. "Hello, Commander. I love what you've done with this place! Is this a bad time?"
[22:23] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Not yet. What is it?"
[22:27] <Yanmei> "I was hoping we could talk?" She kept standing, only because she hadn’t been offered a seat yet. Staring into those lenses, she wondered how much he already knew. "How are you finding things here in France? It's a serious change from Tokyo-2, isn't it?"
[22:28] <Ikari‘Gendo> [In fact, the customary chair that Fontaine had kept for guests was gone…-
[22:28] <Ikari`Gendo> "In some ways. What do you want?"
[22:36] <Yanmei> To the point. So much for smalltalk. "I just had some questions. They’re a bit private in nature, though…" she was still smiling. "But the former Commander gave a glowing recommendation about your character and personal knowledge, and I decided to follow up on it."
[22:37] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Then out with it."
[22:41] <Yanmei> "Hmm." She glanced briefly up at the ceiling. How many cameras were stationed in here, she wondered. This was always a sticky thing, and she was simply awful at alluding to it subtly… "Is this a place where we can hold a private conversation, Commander?"
[22:53] <Ikari`Gendo> "Yes." His brow furrowed.
[23:00] * Yanmei hesitated. "How would you describe your working relationship with the Head of the Human Instrumentality Commitee?"
[23:01] <Ikari`Gendo> "Perfectly serviceable. I do my job, she does her’s."
[23:03] <Yanmei> "Are you aware that she's on the list of people who have spies planted within NERV for various reasons?"
[23:04] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Yes."
[23:06] <Yanmei> "Are you aware that she’s sending additional investigators to this branch next month?"
[23:08] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I am, yes."
[23:09] <Yanmei> "I see." Yanmei adopted another pleasant smile. "Are you curious about how I know this too, Commander?"
[23:09] <Ikari`Gendo> "I’m sure you will tell me sooner or later."
[23:11] <Yanmei> Her smile dimmed a little. "Well. The truth is that I've been drafted into her services recently. Involuntarily."
[23:13] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I see."
[23:18] <Yanmei> "I’m not concerned about what she can do to me? But she's been threatening the people who I have close connections to. Did you know that Elizabeth Bellamy was kidnapped on the First of October this year? It was only for a few minutes, but it was without a show of power on her part without a doubt."
[23:18] <Yanmei> ^was a show
[23:18] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I understand why this would cause you distress."
[23:21] <Yanmei> "Well. I mean at least she returned her? But I’m worried all the same. What would you do in a situation like this?"
[23:21] <Ikari‘Gendo> "My first step would be to not allow myself to be dissuaded from my course of action by threats."
[23:24] <Yanmei> "Eh? I… see."
[23:25] <Ikari`Gendo> "The question you have to ask yourself is what is more important? Preventing the flow of information to Caine, or Bellamy’s life?" Ikari folded his hands together. "The natural instinct is to wish to prevent harm to our loved ones, but if the cause is desperate enough then we cannot allow such things to dissuade us."
[23:27] <Yanmei> "…" The hairs on the back of her neck were starting to rise. "I don't think it's wrong to have it both ways? And to maybe attempt a third way."
[23:29] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Naturally, any solution where we can both preserve our goals as well as those we treasure are to be pursued. I do not think you have to worry about Bellamy for long. She is being returned to her mother in February, and Caine will find it nearly impossible to reach her in Eden Base."
[23:31] <Yanmei> "…that soon, then." Yanmei nearly frowned. "That would be fine, but there are others that Caine had the capacity to threaten as well. My mother. Isaiah Gabriel-Wei. Likely more. It will still be a problem even after Elizabeth is gone."
[23:34] <Ikari`Gendo> "I doubt she will seriously attempt to hurt your mother. And Gabriel-Wei’s issue can be fixed quite easily."
[23:36] <Yanmei> "Oh?" A bit of wariness now.
[23:37] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Simply allow him to become a pilot."
[23:38] <Yanmei> "Out of the question."
[23:43] <Ikari`Gendo> "Remind me: why are you so determined to prevent that outcome?"
[23:47] <Yanmei> "I have my reasons, Commander. More importantly, that’s the exact fate she's threatening him with in the first place. I understand that it's undermining her power over me, but it's like letting her win at the same time. You can understand my reluctance, I'm sure?"
[23:48] <Ikari‘Gendo> "This is hardly about letting her win or lose, Zhang. If she forces Gabriel-Wei to pilot, then it is a victory for you, both figuratively and literally."
[23:50] <Yanmei> "I fail to see it as either of those." There was a slight edge gathering in her voice. She had to pause to will it away.
[23:50] <Ikari`Gendo> "Then allow me to explain it."
[23:51] <Yanmei> "Feel free."
[23:54] <Ikari`Gendo> "First and foremost. If she forces Gabriel-Wei to pilot, then she has done so because you have not given her the information she wants. It is as much an admission of defeat as it is a tool. Secondly, as a result, Gabriel-Wei is, in fact, put into a position of extreme safety."
[23:55] <Yanmei> "From her, maybe. I would hardly call piloting a safe occupation?"
[23:56] <Ikari`Gendo> "That is because you, much like de Pteres and Blanc, are incredibly lacking in perspective."
[23:56] <Yanmei> "What an -interesting- statement that is."
[23:57] <Ikari`Gendo> "It is. Tell me, Zhang, how many people have died since the start of the Angelic War?"
[23:59] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei gave a thin-lipped smile. "You’re going to compare that number to the rate of pilot deaths to make a point, aren't you?"
[23:59] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I am, Zhang."
Session Time: Mon Dec 26 00:00:00 2011
[00:06] <Yanmei> "There are dangers other than death. Angelic mental attacks. Dealing with the EVAs themselves - those berserking episodes! The bizarre things that happened to Adrian Bellamy and Aline Blanc. It’s also not something he wants to do. It's not something I want to see him forced to do." Yanmei shook her head. -
[00:07] <Yanmei> "I've fought too hard. I won't pull back now, just because it's a little convenient for me."
[00:08] <Ikari‘Gendo> "but he faces those dangers anyway." Said Ikari. "In fact, he faces them now from the relative vulnerability of a simple lilim, as opposed to one equipped with an Evangelion’s protection."
[00:13] <Yanmei> "And what about my protection? I'm no EVA, but I can at least act like a buffer…"
[00:14] <Ikari‘Gendo> "If you truly cared for his safety, you would give him every defense possible."
[00:19] <Yanmei> "I am doing just that." Her voice was carefully controlled. "Or do you mean to imply that that was your motive for wanting to see him in the pilot’s seat from the beginning?"
[00:20] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Hardly." Said Ikari. "Nevertheless, the fact remains that he would be safest as a pilot. After all, most EVA units outside of the Paris-2 division rarely see combat."
[00:22] <Yanmei> "Why was EVA-08 configured for Isaiah before he was officially designated?"
[00:23] <Ikari`Gendo> "You may as well ask the same for every other pilot. The Evangelion is always finished before the pilot is selected."
[00:27] <Yanmei> "I wonder why that is," she said dryly. "Speaking of pilots, before I go, there was something else I wanted to tell you on the subject of Mary Caine. You may already be aware of it? But she’s very interested in Ayanami Rei."
[00:28] <Ikari‘Gendo> "That’s no surprise. Caine and the Committee were the ones who requested the creation of the Ayanamis in the first place." Gendo smiled thinly. "Do you know why she is so curious?"
[00:32] * Yanmei regarded him cautiously. "I assumed that it was because she perceived Rei and her sisters to be some sort of threat. I'm not really sure how, though?"
[00:33] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Let me illustrate it as thus. Do you know what, exactly, Caine wanted when she requested the creation of the Ayanamis?"
[00:34] * Yanmei shook her head.
[00:36] <Ikari`Gendo> "Unthinking dolls, capable of only the most limited of individual thought, and even then only on orders. They would respond only to orders, demonstrate no emotion and display no personality."
[00:36] <Yanmei> Yanmei’s eyes widened a bit. "…"
[00:39] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Both Yui and I felt that that was unacceptable. And thus we ensured that they possessed emotion, and the ability to form personalities, and to think for themselves."
[00:41] <Yanmei> "What was the reason behind Mary Caine’s request? Surely the existing pilots hadn't been willful enough to cause trouble for her at that point. Was it out of fear?"
[00:43] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Simple control. A dislike for the idiosyncratic nature of the pilots, and the desire to create pilots who would follow orders unhesitatingly, without being muddled by personal ideals or belief."
[00:45] <Yanmei> Yanmei’s upper lip curled faintly. "That sounds pretty likely," she muttered.
[00:47] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Indeed. Despite the fact that Caine’s role and my own are both after the same goals in regards to defeating the Angels, giving her such a tool was -not- in my interests."
[00:49] <Yanmei> "So you created Rei and her sisters instead."
[00:51] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Indeed. Intelligent, fully realised human beings, capable of making their own decisions. Already, the twelve of them are quite distinct from one another. Still bound by the conditioning to follow orders unhesitatingly, however. " A very thin half smile. "Caine fears some plot on my part, some scheme. She probably wonders whether I have implanted some sort of conditioned order into Rei or
[00:51] <Ikari`Gendo> the like."
[00:58] * Yanmei raised an eyebrow. "She was asking about dreams, too. Whether Rei had had unusual dreams at night."
[01:00] <Ikari`Gendo> "Unsurprising." Said Ikari. "It’s entirely possible that if I -had- implanted such a command into Rei's mind, it might surface as a dream. However, I somehow doubt that given Rei's current emotional state, such dreams would be rare."
[01:01] <Ikari‘Gendo> <doubt that.*>
[01:02] <Yanmei> "That makes sense," Yanmei murmured. "Well, between the two of us, you’re in a better position to protect the Ayanamis, so I hope you will. I can only block or skew so much information before it reaches Caine, after all?"
[01:05] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I am already considering taking the necessary precautions. You are aware of Alphonse Wellesley, yes?"
[01:05] <Yanmei> "Yes."
[01:10] <Ikari`Gendo> "I suspect he will be rather useful in protecting Rei, especially once she is in Boston."
[01:12] * Yanmei seemed to lighten quite a bit at that, even going so far as to grin. "I’m sure he will~"
[01:14] <Ikari‘Gendo> "…" Ikari eyed Zhang. "You did not tell Caine about Rei’s intensifying relationship with Wellesley, did you?"
[01:16] <Yanmei> "I said that they seemed friendly, but that I didn't know how deep it went."
[01:16] <Ikari‘Gendo> "How deep do you expect it to become?"
[01:19] * Yanmei blinked at that. "I don’t know. They're in that cute puppy love phase. On the other hand, Rei did rush through an EVA-scale battlefield to save him from a collapsed bunker… Just that alone is pretty intense, isn't it?"
[01:21] <Ikari‘Gendo> "It is. Rei is, despite her gentle personality, someone who possesses intense emotion." Said Ikari. "Wellesley is much the same, in fact. But for him it is compounded by the fact that he is also very lonely, and yearns for a bond."
[01:23] <Yanmei> "Ah… I see." An uncomfortable resonance. Yanmei shifted in place a little.
[01:28] <Ikari`Gendo> "Yes." Ikari nodded. "Wellesley needs a gentle, sincere and loyal companion to help his many, many insecurities and neuroses. On the other hand, Rei needs someone who will be devoted to her and return her intense affection. I think the result is obvious. They need each other, and that is exactly what I need- someone who will protect Rei, even unto death. I am counting on their relationship
[01:28] <Ikari`Gendo> becoming as intense as that."
[01:32] <Yanmei> "…if you just asked him to help out, I’m sure he would? She's saved him before, after all, and I think he really does like her."
[01:32] <Ikari‘Gendo> "No. I would prefer for this to develop naturally first."
[01:35] * Yanmei frowned a little. "If you put them in a room together and blocked the exits for a few hours, things would probably accelerate to that point quickly."
[01:35] <Ikari`Gendo> "Zhang, no." Ikari frowned. "That is a Katsuragi thing to do. I wish to allow them to explore this relationship as they will themselves. It is far more genuine, and it anchors Rei well."
[01:38] * Yanmei scrutinized him a moment, and then nodded, trying to hide her surprise. "Well, that’s fine too?"
[01:39] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Are you yourself happier knowing that your romance with Gabriel-Wei unfolded at its own pace?"
[01:42] <Yanmei> "Yes. Not without some minor meddling at some points, but it turned into a very satisfying relationship."
[01:43] <Ikari`Gendo> "Indeed. And it is important for Rei that her first genuine romance unfolds in the same manner. It is important for her to make that choice -personally-, not have it forced upon her."
[01:47] * ZackAFK has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[01:47] <Yanmei> "I understand. You make a good point, Commander," she said simply.
[01:48] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm. Is that all?"
[01:50] <Yanmei> "I believe so?"
[01:50] <Ikari`Gendo> "Good. Then. About these investigators…"
[01:50] <Yanmei> "Yes?"
[01:52] <Ikari`Gendo> "I am aware of their coming, since one of them has recently applied to be the new Tactical Operator for EVA-04." Said Ikari. "Remember, these people are spies- and they’re employed by Caine, so they are likely to have their own agendas independent of her's. It is these agendas that she uses to control them. So they are not necessarily your enemy. Their situations might very well be identical
[01:52] <Ikari‘Gendo> to yours. Use that to your advantage."
[01:55] <Yanmei> "Another excellent point, Commander. And speaking of taking advantage of situations, may I ask you a question?"
[01:55] <Ikari`Gendo> "What?"
[02:01] <Yanmei> "I do wonder what your own actions will be with time, given some of the earlier points about Isaiah’s fate in our discussion."
[02:02] <Ikari‘Gendo> "What indeed."
[02:03] * Yanmei stared.
[02:04] * Ikari`Gendo stared back, the roof’s arcane light pattern reflected in his glasses.
[02:04] * ZackAFK has joined #nervfrance
[02:08] <Yanmei> …it was like staring into the unblinking void of space. With no clues or recourse at hand, she found herself looking away first. "…"
[02:08] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Perhaps it is not -my- decisions you should be worrying about."
[02:09] <Yanmei> "But I’ve already made mine?" Something nagged on her mind, but she repressed it as hard as she could.
[02:10] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Consider that the decision you took was the wrong one."
[02:12] <Yanmei> "I will think about it," she said after a long pause. "But I won’t make promises about it changing."
[02:14] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Perhaps you are not the one whose mind will change. Perhaps the day will come when Gabriel-Wei willingly enters an Entry Plug once more."
[02:23] <Yanmei> Her eyes narrowed, but there was no hiding the raw flicker that went through them. "…We’ll see about that. Is there anything else, Commander?"
[02:23] <Ikari‘Gendo> "No."
[02:27] <Yanmei> "Then I suppose this is it for today? If anything comes up, I’ll try to be in touch, but I might be a bit sparse until I have a better idea of what the investigators are after, of course."
[02:27] * Ikari‘Gendo simply nodded.
[02:32] <Yanmei> "I’ll be on my way, then." One last hair-flip. "Have a good day, Commander~" And she headed for the elevator.
[02:33] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm."
[02:36] <Yanmei> Before long, the doors closed behind her, and she let her shoulders sag. Yanmei leaned forward until her forehead touched one of the cool metal sides, but it didn’t offer much relief. "Isaiah…"

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