Adam S Emergence

06[11:55] * Yanmei sank. -
01[12:00] <Yanmei> It was a rough, turbulent descent. She curled into herself and wallowed in the hurt for an amount of time that she couldn't determine. When she opened her eyes, she was no longer in an entry plug. The plugsuit, too, was gone; she could feel dry prickly grass beneath her, and the wind had an icy chill to it. -
01[12:05] <Yanmei> The place was familiar - at its core, a seemingly endless valley of grass, small gentle hills and flowers, with a great lake just a short distance away. But any plants that had once lived here had withered and turned the color of straw. A dank, rotting smell met her nostrils, drifting in from clogged and stagnant waters. -
01[12:11] <Yanmei> Dark rainclouds threw a long, black shadow over the fields… and within it were smaller shadows. A dark, formless, impossible figure with a long neck stooped in the corner of her vision as if to graze, but when she whipped her eyes to it directly, it vanished. -
01[12:17] <Yanmei> Uneasily, she stood, panning around. Her imagination? No… no. A sick horror began to creep over her. She edged away, but there was no where to edge away to. She was -surrounded-. Slowly moving shadows, as black as tar, with appendages that didn't make sense. They swayed and lumbered just within sight, but every time she tried for a clearer look, they vanished just like the first.
[12:19] <@Minaplo> [Slowly, the distant shadows began to thin, and she'd see, seemingly far away yet… feeling closer in reality… Isaiah, staring into the distance, looking away from her.]
01[12:22] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei moved for him. She could feel warm tears coming, and she fought them back. "There you are…"
[12:22] <@Minaplo> ["Why…? Why? I'm in your hand, why don't you just- squeeze?" He said quietly.]
01[12:23] <Yanmei> "Because I love you! I want you to come back with us."
[12:28] <@Minaplo> ["Listen… I know. I know that, but." He shook his head.-
[12:28] <@Minaplo> ["If I don't do this, Yanmei, if -you- don't do this… The world… Everyone in it… Lizzie, too, they're all going to die. I can't, Yanmei. That's worse than anything else."]
01[12:30] <Yanmei> "We can work something out. That's what I've been trying to tell you? We have scientists who have seen this before, with Lilith. Don't just decide it's over before trying to talk to them…"
[12:33] <@Minaplo> ["It's not the same! How do you think you're going to contain me, Yanmei? How are you going to contain Adam? She's not Lilith. She's awake. She's fully aware. You bring her within a kilometre of an unmanned Evangelion, and she's going to take it over, Yanmei. In another hour, Metatron is going to be here, and…"-
[12:33] <@Minaplo> [He shook his head wildly. "Yanmei, please! You have to hurry! If she gets her hands on me…"]
01[12:35] <Yanmei> "We won't let that happen? We'll fight and kill her before that happens. I can protect you! Don't you think I can?"
[12:42] <@Minaplo> ["…"-
[12:42] <@Minaplo> [He turned around, slowly, to stare at her. He had tears in his own eyes.-
[12:42] <@Minaplo> ["Yanmei…"-
[12:43] <@Minaplo> [… But he shook his head. "Yanmei, no one can protect me anymore. Please… I just… I just want to die."-
[12:43] <@Minaplo> [("That's not true!")-
[12:43] <@Minaplo> [Some voice behind Yanmei…]
06[12:44] * Yanmei jumped and spun sharply, her heart beating fast as she remembered those shadowy things.
[12:46] <@Minaplo> [A shadow had taken root, resolutely refusing to flit out of Yanmei's sight. Slowly, the nebulous black form began to break down, turning into…-
[12:47] <@Minaplo> [It was a little boy. Maybe five years old, with a mop of fluffy blond hair and huge blue eyes. His voice was distant, but his face was earnest. ("I don't wanna die…")-
[12:47] <@Minaplo> ["Shut up!" Snapped Isaiah angrily. "Stop it! Don't make it any harder than it is, Yanmei! Stop intruding!"]
01[12:50] <Yanmei> "I'm -not-. You don't think this effects me to?! Do you think you can be, like, 'I'm just going to die now, so why don't you go off and live a happy life without me'? Because I won't ever, ever be able to, and you know it!"
[12:51] <@Minaplo> ["But at least you'll be alive! That's what's important to me! Because I'd rather die than know I caused you to die! Please…"]
01[12:57] <Yanmei> "How do you think I feel? I don't want to kill you either." She reached out and tried to touch his hand. "Please… we're not out of time yet…"
[12:59] <@Minaplo> [He let her hand hover near his… For a moment, he seemed like he was tempted to grab it.-
[12:59] <@Minaplo> [But he stepped away, turning around. "You don't know. Yanmei- you don't know everything."-
[13:00] <@Minaplo> ["Don't you know how long I've really lived? My mother died because of me. SEELE killed her because of me, and they took me away and hid me within a vat for most of my life. My memories of America? Fakes. My memory of my own mother's death? Fake."-
[13:00] <@Minaplo> ["Do you want to know when I was released? A year and a half before we met. Until then I was asleep in a vat in some SEELE basement."-
[13:01] <@Minaplo> ["They used you, Yanmei! Because of me! Do you think it was a coincidence that we met? It wasn't! They set up the whole thing! They made my dad do it!"-
[13:02] <@Minaplo> ["They recruited you specifically because of me, and I have no idea why. I don't know if there's some code or program in my head, j-just waiting to flip at a second's notice… L-Like they did with mum's photo."-
[13:02] <@Minaplo> ["Please… Yanmei, you have to understand, even if I survive this, I'm probably just some pawn in Mary Caine's game! I don't… I don't want that."]
06[13:05] * Yanmei stared at him. It was long, sad, crumpled stare. "If… that's true, then we're both pawns. Not just you, but me too. Blanc and de Pteres… I know that they've probably been used by her too. We're all pawns. But. We're making the UEF real because we don't want to be any more." -
01[13:08] <Yanmei> She made another try for his hand. "They didn't make up the time we had together since we met. Those feelings were real? And I know any future we have together will be real too."
[13:16] <@Minaplo> [This time the hand didn't move away.-
[13:17] <@Minaplo> [He let Yanmei hold it, for a few seconds, his own fingers slowly squeezing around her own.-
[13:17] <@Minaplo> [("Don't give up on me. Please.")-
[13:18] <@Minaplo> [A young man- in his late teens- emerged from a shuddering shadow. he had fluffy, curly violet hair, and deep blue eyes… A message from a future that might yet exist.-
[13:19] <@Minaplo> [Isaiah stared at the young man for a few seconds, the tears suddenly swelling in his eyes. He reached up to brush them away, but more came, in a great gust…-
[13:21] <@Minaplo> [But he withdrew his hand, stumbling away from her. "No. Please. It sounds so… So good, and I want to believe in it, I want to see it so much…"-
[13:22] <@Minaplo> ["But… But I can't! I… I can't be selfish here. Not now. Adam- the bond I formed with mother, EVA-08, it wasn't a permanent synchronisation at all. It was just… It was Adam, the entire time, just controlling her like a puppet, waiting for the right moment to send her biology crazy."-
[13:22] <@Minaplo> ["I can't risk that again. At any second, Adam could decide…"-
[13:22] <@Minaplo> ["…"-
[13:22] <@Minaplo> [He took a breath. A deep, heavy breath.-
[13:22] <@Minaplo> [For an instant, he was gone, then he reappeared- but not as he was.-
[13:23] <@Minaplo> [The Marionette stood in his place, tall and gaunt with a soulless mask of hollow eyes and murderous mouth.-
[13:23] <@Minaplo> ["This is the only future left for me, Yanmei. This… This is what I've become."]
01[13:28] <Yanmei> "No." She stepped forward, undaunted. "You were crying just now. You're not just Adam. You're not some souless tool. You're Isaiah too! And I will love you in this life and all the others we've shared together, past and future. We'll beat them. Caine and Adam and Metatron. I will -never- give up on you."
[07:37] <@Minaplo> ["Do… You really mean that? Whatever happens, whoever I become, you'll love me? What if this doesn't stop, and I complete the journey into becoming an Angel, or becoming a new Adam- will you still join me as an Angel then, too, Yanmei?"]
01[07:44] <Yanmei> "I'll make sure you're not alone." said Yanmei with careful thought. "So whatever you turn into, I'll be with you, as a human or as an Angel or as something else. Whatever you are, you're still my Isaiah."
[08:14] <@Minaplo> ["Yanmei…"-
[08:15] <@Minaplo> [But the voice was coming from behind her, clear and sorrowful. As she turned, she'd see… Isaiah.-
[08:15] <@Minaplo> ["What… What are you doing? You've been talking to her- Adam- all this time without realising it!"]
06[08:20] * Yanmei felt her heart practically stop! She stared at the new Isaiah, and then back at the old one, her face twisted in horror and confusion.
[08:22] <@Minaplo> ["Yanmei, what are you doing?!" A third voice, from her left. Isaiah as he was when they first met… Innocent, unscarred by her mistakes…-
[08:23] <@Minaplo> ["Don't listen to them!" Said the first. "I'm the real Isaiah-"-
[08:24] <@Minaplo> ["Yanmei! Please!" Isaiah, bloodied, having been shot by Sera. "You betrayed me once, don't do it again!"-
[08:24] <@Minaplo> ["Yanmei!" "Yanmei!" "Yanmei!"-
[08:24] <@Minaplo> [Ten, fifteen, twenty, fifty Isaiahs, all around her, all of them begging her, trying to get her to see that they were the real thing…-
[08:25] <@Minaplo> [The shadows around her grew deeper. Towering above her now… The Marionette. The real Marionette.-
[08:25] <@Minaplo> [The entity Yanmei had mistaken for Excalibur, the entity really known as Adam.-
[08:25] <@Minaplo> ["I healed him from the brink of death. I have kept him alive where you failed." Said Adam, its slasher smile cold and loveless.-
[08:26] <@Minaplo> ["You promised that you would do anything. You promised that you would even ascend to Angeldom if that's what it took to heal him. Then that is the price you will pay…"-
[08:26] <@Minaplo> ["Watcher…"]
01[08:30] <Yanmei> "Isaiah!" Those words - and her mistake - made her frantic. She was searching desperately among the fifty identical faces, trying to find the real one. -
01[08:33] <Yanmei> For a split second, she thought she saw him and reached tearfully, but… there was something wrong. Her fingers were losing their consistency, dripping away into thick, black goo. -
01[08:33] <Yanmei> Yanmei screamed…
[10:45] <@Minaplo> [Eden was crawling.-
[10:46] <@Minaplo> [The shadows were starting to converge now, around the lake at the centre of the garden. As they joined its waters, they turned the crystal water black and thick and sludgy.-
[10:47] <@Minaplo> [More of them came, and around the edge were Isaiahs- dozens, hundreds of them, either decoys, shadows or parts of Isaiah… Parts that Adam had scattered, weakening and dividing his host.-
[10:47] <@Minaplo> [Adam stood in the middle of the lake, merging with the water. As the shadows joined it, Adam grew more powerful, larger…-
[10:47] <@Minaplo> [Within the sky, a throbbing, pulsing red light dominated, like a demon sun.]
01[10:53] <Yanmei> One of the shadows, a gangly multi-legged monstrosity, moved to the waters with the others, dipping down into the shallows. Curiously, however, its form remained erect for a few moments instead of liquifying, even as it trudged forward. -
01[10:56] <Yanmei> Eventually, it shuddered, stopped and started to ooze away like the rest, but there was something else emerging from beneath the mess. Solid humanoid arms and legs, all bare. Violet hair. Dark eyes focused on Adam's back, bright with fury. -
01[11:04] <Yanmei> A Zhang Yanmei, who was lean, tall, and unwavering, her hair falling down further down her back than before, both legs as strong and unmarred as if they'd never been injured or endured restorative surgery. The burn marks on her torso had been reduced to faint shadows of what they had once been. She threw her shoulders back and tossed her hair, as if expecting some response.
[11:05] <@Minaplo> [Adam did not deign to notice her.-
[11:05] <@Minaplo> [But the Isaiahs did. They stared at her, first not saying anything- then they began to scream out, calling for her, begging her not to abandon them…]
06[11:09] * Yanmei scanned them, not moving forward just yet, the trepidation from before completely gone.
01[11:11] <Yanmei> Some began to dissolve when her gaze passed over them, sliding back into sludgy puddles first, and then fading completly from existance.
[11:13] <@Minaplo> [Adam began to watch her, now, not moving anything but its head…]
01[11:17] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes narrowed. Her frown deepened. Confusion began to flood her. Something was wrong here… Where the hell was he?!
[11:22] <@Minaplo> [A strange wave of force rippled across the sky, disturbing the view of the burning demon sun.-
[11:23] <@Minaplo> [Something would blow through the garden: a wind.-
[11:24] <@Minaplo> [Not the fetid, smoky haze that filled the area. Not the cloying sickly-sweet smell of dead flesh that the shadows gave off. This was a wind clear and pure, a wind from on high… And it carried whispers. Whispers that only Yanmei could hear.]
[11:30] <Aline> "Y… Yanmei! We're here for you, you understand?" Clearly Aline's voice, carried in that wind, along with others.
[11:34] <Sept> "…'s not the end. We can make it not be the end, can make it be anything, anything you want…"
[11:38] <@Minaplo> ["… Don't get… The hell this is, but… You're not gonna let this little jerk stop you, are you?"]
06[11:39] * Yanmei blinked hard, puzzled but not stopping. Her frown started to relax just a little at each voice… and then reverse, forming a small smile. -
01[11:41] <Yanmei> "I won't? Don't worry," she replied aloud, and then immediately wondered if she was talking to herself. Nervertheles… "Thank you… all of you…" -
01[11:43] <Yanmei> She shut her eyes briefly, and then opened them again. This time, she was staring straight ahead at an Isaiah near the front of the crowd. Her smile grew broader, and she locked eyes with him, suddenly warm, knowing…
[11:43] <@Minaplo> [This Isaiah… Was the first one. The one who had turned into the Marionette. He was still in that form…-
[11:44] <@Minaplo> [He looked up at Yanmei, reaching a weak, begging hand towards her. "Please…"]
06[11:46] * Yanmei moved for him without walking - a split second teleportation that brought her across the sticky pond. She reached back for his hand.
[11:49] <@Minaplo> [… But suddenly his hand seemed out of reach. The shadow sludge was climbing up the banks of the lake, grasping him, pulling him in… Pulling him away!]
01[11:50] <Yanmei> "Tch!" She plunged after him without thinking, still reaching!
06[11:52] * Aline frowned, or made the mental semblance of a frown that a voice on the wind made. She… searched her soul. This was important. This was love. Even if she denied her bond of this sort… it was a powerful one. So that very soul she searched was being gently donated now, a small light in the darkness.
06[11:56] * Sept was ready. In this state especially, he could give anything to his chosen - his blessed, cursed chosen, to alleviate that pain even a little.
[11:58] <@Minaplo> [Asuka… She wasn't one of the chosen, and she didn't know much about what was going on. But she knew that Yanmei was there, and she had Yanmei's back- like any good big sister would.]
06[12:01] * Yanmei felt the sludge's resistance at first but she pushed, and clawed, and searched blindly through it with a muffled, wordless cry… and finally, her hand caught another hand, and clung fast to it.
[12:02] <@Minaplo> [She felt them, as if they were helping themselves- grabbing his hand, pulling him free…-
[12:03] <@Minaplo> [There were other hands there, too. Yanmei saw them, now. The hand of the little boy Isaiah had been… The hand of the son he had yet to see.-
[12:03] <@Minaplo> [Other hands, countless others, belonging to little fragments of Isaiah… The healer, the caretaker, the lover, the protector, the protected.-
[12:04] <@Minaplo> [Two other, special hands. One belonged to a girl, maybe sixteen or seventeen… She had medium-length messy brown hair and bright green eyes. She looked exactly like Rei except for those features…-
[12:05] <@Minaplo> [And the other belonged to a man, six foot three, his face perpetually set in a cocky, self-assured look…-
[12:05] <@Minaplo> [They pulled, together, all of them-
[12:05] <@Minaplo> [And the sludge gave way.-
[12:05] <@Minaplo> [Isaiah was torn out of the lake, and he fell forward, he fell into Yanmei's arms.]
01[12:08] <Yanmei> …And Yanmei clung to him desperately, breathing hard in part from the exertion and in part because she was fighting to keep herself in check and in control of her emotions. They'd done it!
[12:08] <@Minaplo> ["Yan… Mei… How…?"-
[12:08] <@Minaplo> ["How did…?"]
01[12:10] <Yanmei> Control be damned! She kissed him, full on the lips, long and softly.
[12:14] <@Minaplo> [He froze, but then slowly he grabbed her and began to return it. Subtly, imperceptibly, his form began to change. The mask began to soften and form a gentle human face, the feathery, rubbery skin becoming warm… Blonde hair began to cover his head.-
[12:14] <@Minaplo> [He was in her hands. She had him.-
[12:15] <@Minaplo> [Adam responded now, the sludgy shadow lake growing dangerous and turgid. It began to bubble, shapes beginning to emerge from its surface- monstrous, unspeakable shapes…-
[12:15] <@Minaplo> [Elisha stood up straight now, turning to Rei, then turning back towards… 'Sera'. "You know what I need. Do it."]
06[12:19] * Aline lingered on a different figure. While she was still expressing her warmth at Yanmei and Isaiah, Aline seemed to focus on Rei for a moment. It was almost as if she was doing a firm nod to the girl, one ripe with the future. But soon, her emphemeral attention noted 'Sera'.
[12:19] <Sept> "… of course." And that phantom presence of him was gone, with an echo of a whisper left behind. "Let's."
[12:20] <@Minaplo> [Rei saw Aline, and flashed her a brilliant, wide smile. She turned back to Elisha- who had, it seemed, suddenly changed, a wild streak of blonde flowing through his hair. They nodded.-
[12:22] <@Minaplo> [Elisha and Rei began to walk, sedately, even, across the lake. As they walked the Shadows faded, leaving only clear water in their wake.-
[12:23] <@Minaplo> [They struck at the same time, Rei going for the legs, whilst Elisha went for the head. They leapt ferociously forth, and despite his terrible visage and might, Adam was not at home here. Not anymore.-
[12:23] <@Minaplo> [Once! Twice! Three times they struck, and with each blow Adam grew visibly diminished, and Elisha grew demonstrably more powerful…-
[12:25] <@Minaplo> [Elisha absorbed the shadow into him, in huge great waves.-
[12:26] <@Minaplo> [Until at least, Elisha stood within the lake, it all drained of shadows… Adam had gone, leaving behind not even conscious thought.-
[12:26] <@Minaplo> [He looked up at the demon sun.]

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