Aline S Doom

[21:17] <Minaplo> [The Black Forest was lovely in January.-
[21:19] <Minaplo> [But it was also bitterly cold, Aline Blanc would realise, as she dizzily awoke. She didn't know what time it was, where she was. Only that she was in the Entry Plug, which was outside for some reason, all she could see were huge trees, and this plugsuit was doing a dismal job of keeping her warm.]
[21:24] * Aline almost immediately shivered, groggily assessing her situation. Cold. Forest. Entry Plug. So it worked? Maybe? Well… there were a few odd things about it, but… She looked around, reaching for - not that she remembers too clearly - emergency comm units.
[21:26] <Minaplo> [They had been smashed up. In fact there were signs of damage around the Plug, small ones, but noticeable. And now she realised why it was so cold, considering the Entry Plug had a life support system- the internal power had drained out.]
[21:30] * Aline muttered intangible curses. No communications, no… wait. How /long/ had she been out there, for the battery to run out?! Dear lord. Well… she shrugged openly to nobody in particular. Aline knew she had little chance of surviving exposure for long, but she also didn't quite feel like playing around in a busted-up entry plug. So… she started to fumble for the manual opening
[21:30] * Aline equipment.
[21:38] <Minaplo> [Which in this case was a magnetic 'attachment' one slapped onto the emergency hatch.]
[21:39] * Aline totally grabbed and used it then. Because gotta get out of this tin can, man.
[21:48] <Minaplo> [The attachment slapped onto the surface… And then with a heavy -thunk- the entire door collapsed outwards, letting in a chilly breeze that cut right to Aline's bones. Outside was LCL… And snow. Lots of snow.]
[21:53] * Aline stared at the scene before her. "…Well fuck." Was her first, and first /spoken/, thought. She considered pulling her arms up to her chest to cover up, but… why even bother? …then just a second later she did it by reflex. Still… Worth a shot, but. "Anyone out there?"
[21:56] <Minaplo> [… Out there, out there…-
[21:56] <Minaplo> [Her words echoed. There was a rumbling sound as a boulder came from nowhere, smashing several trees and letting other rubble follow it down the slope. The Entry Plug shifted a little. Downwards.]
[21:59] * Aline resisted the urge to mutter /another/ series of curses. So… knowing that she was likely to not survive a drop from wherever the fuck she was… she slid out of the entry plug, looking around /quietly/. Of course. She just /had/ to be stranded out here in the middle of the freezing cold in almost nothing at all. How frustrating.
[22:04] <Minaplo> [She'd see, now, that the area had signs of very specific devastation. The snow came from the mountains- avalanche? And a lot of trees had been smashed up… Ah.-
[22:06] <Minaplo> [Nearby, but not so near that it'd be easy to walk to- it was higher, up on the mountain slopes- was EVA-00, stripped of most of its armour, revealing the lean, gangly tissue beneath, its elaborate face-plates mostly ripped off revealing its jaw. EVA-00 was curled up, asleep, its chest rising and falling slowly, its head lying in the lap of EVA-05, which lay sitting up.]
[22:12] * Aline …stared rather distinctly. And breathed in and out shallowly. She thought… something. Her train of thought actually derailed slightly. When it resumed operations, she decided to just continue watching, wondering just how bad everything was - and how long it'd be before the rescue crews were coming.
[22:20] <Minaplo> [There was a crack nearly, sharp and short. Within the forest- it was gloomy and dark. She couldn't see very far into it…]
[22:23] * Aline looked around more than a few times, considering her options. She looked at the entry plug right nearby. At the forest. The downed trees near her… Gingerly, Aline would walk towards a fallen branch…
[22:24] <Minaplo> [It was heavy and stout.]
[22:26] * Aline definitely took it up, adding yet another improvised weapon to her catalogue. It was perhaps a pointless gesture, though. Pointless like she was going to be using that stick on one of the Evangelions up above. But… but she needed some kind of comfort. And hefting that branch into the air was a tiny, tiny comfort.
[22:28] <Minaplo> ["Is that a mugging intended, or a tool of fierce self-defense?"-
[22:29] <Minaplo> [A shape emerged from the forests now. A humanoid one. Someone clad in armour and a cape…-
[22:29] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix.]
[22:30] * Aline looked very sheepish, and lowered the stick to the ground, though not releasing her grip on it - because she immediately began to lean on it. "The latter. I thought… there was something else out there." She briefly pondered why he was here, but decided not to vocalize that.
[22:31] <Minaplo> ["Something else? Do go on."]
[22:33] * Aline looked embarrassed, actually. "Powerful. A feeling of dread. It passed soon after, but I can't shake that something unknown was present."
[22:34] <Minaplo> ["Is that so? Curious. You are cold, this I see; come here, be warm."]
[22:37] * Aline quirked a brow, but approached all the same. She knew the 'skimpysuit', as it doubtless has been nicknamed by more than just herself, didn't do /anything/ to protect from any environment.
[22:43] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix whipped off his cape- voluminous as it was- and wrapped it around Aline twice. It was incredibly warming.]
[22:45] * Aline almost immediately breathed a sigh of relief, watching the puff of air filter away. "Thanks."
[22:47] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix nodded, staring up at EVA-00 and 05.]
[22:49] * Aline looked up at them, puffing away with shallow breaths, suddenly vaguely amused by the cloud of mist. "I'm still surprised that worked." Aline sheepishly said. "…It's probably not going to happen again, though."
[23:10] <Minaplo> ["Why do you say that, is that what he said?"]
[23:12] * Aline shook her head a few time. Thankfully, with hours of probable time without LCL submersion, her hair was dry, if a bit orange-stained - so doing that didn't make her worlds colder. "No, he… didn't say much at all. I just don't quite know if I can muster that up again. A gut feeling, as it were."
[23:14] <Minaplo> ["Intuition? A worthy guide."]
[23:16] * Aline shrugged her shoulders, but under the massive cape, it was hardly much of a gesture at all. "Only one I have for this sort of thing."
[23:25] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix didn't respond. He merely stood, staring out at the Evangelions.]
[23:28] * Aline decided that that was a decent time to shut up, herself. Talking to him was, sometimes, awkward.
[23:32] <Minaplo> [And so Vercingetorix stood, silently, staring at the Evangelions. He glanced down at Aline. Then back to the Evas.]
[23:36] * Aline briefly looked back, somewhat uncertainly, before staring distantly at the Evas as well. She wondered just what was, in a sense, going on now. Coups and berserking and /this guy/ and… it was overwhelming.
[23:42] <Minaplo> ["Events move fast. Are you scared yet?"]
[23:47] * Aline had enough pride to mention it. "Yeah, a little."
[23:48] <Minaplo> ["Do you ask yourself: what is going on?"]
[23:51] * Aline couldn't really suppress the strange look on her face, so she instead settled on staring outwards to try to conceal it. "…Yes."
[23:53] <Minaplo> ["Tell me now then; what do you think?"]
[23:56] * Aline hummed slightly - not really anything musical, just something with a bit more of a tone than a mere 'hmm'. "Right now, I'm frustrated. Nothing sensible is happening. The Angels shouldn't really be fighting us, yet they are. Humanity shouldn't be divided like this, but it is. Bizarre dreams are acted on as if they were the most beautiful ideas, reason is abandoned in favor of
[23:56] * Aline paranoia, anger, and desperation… It just… it just… keeps happening."
[00:07] <Minaplo> ["What causes it? Mad destiny? Or mad choices?"]
[00:13] * Aline seemed to be left in thought for a while at that. "…I'm not sure which anymore."
[00:23] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix took something out of his armour and held it out to Aline. It was a chess piece made of pure marble, showing a glowing white naked Aline- Lilith!- with huge white wings. "Mankind burns. Angels burn. All is burning. Lilith endures. By the works of Mankind, Adam will be ended. By the works of Angels, Mankind will be ended. Lilith endures, Lilith triumphs."-
[00:25] <Minaplo> [He held something else out, now. Another chess piece, this one of a giant of light, all white with four insectoid wings and a glowing red core. "Mankind falters. Lilith slumbers. Adam returns. Adam devours. Mankind is nothing, not even a thought. Adam endures, Adam triumphs."-
[00:27] <Minaplo> ["These are paths you face, two paths that you see. Which endures? Which triumphs? None can say, but all wish."]
[00:34] * Aline resisted another urge - this time to ask where the hell he got such chesspieces - and instead pursed her cold, cold lips. "I… can't say I like either of those? Maybe that's why I'm overwhelmed." She did look rather… vaguely, at both of them, vision lingering on the Lilith piece for semi-obvious reasons.
[00:36] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix returned the pieces to his armour. "Then what do you choose, daughter of Mankind?"]
[00:40] * Aline looked down, eyes shut. It was a dramatically-appropriate gesture and she knew it. "…The naive hope that all four of those things can be saved, even if only in part."
[00:50] <Minaplo> ["Then I give you this." He held something out to Aline. It was another chess piece. It was an Evangelion piece. It had six wings. Two were the wings of Adam, two were the wings of Lilith, and two more were the wings of Metatron.-
[00:52] <Minaplo> ["This is no Eva. This is a sign, a beacon call. This is the Morning Star, and it belongs to you. It belongs to those who choose the third path, who would throw destruction down for all. It is a light for you, when your own soul seems dim."]
[00:59] * Aline solemnly nodded, taking the piece if allowed to - she internally was still very uncertain about so many things. "…Indeed…" She let herself ponder those words a bit longer, thinking about what happened right before her 'prayer' to 00. How she broke and faded, and seemed so damaged. It was happening again, wasn't it? Degradation of her soul.
[01:00] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix did not stop her. The piece was very smooth and warm to the touch.-
[01:03] <Minaplo> ["You wonder if you can make it, if the time left is too long. You fear the end, you fear darkness. But you fear something else, something greater than death, more than dissolution. What is it?"]
[01:12] * Aline was almost surprised at the warmth of the piece, and rubbed it idly with her fingers. "…I guess… failure? Not petty failure, but the ultimate inability to accomplish what I just spoke of. Even so…" She clasped the piece a bit tighter, and her empty hand also clenched. "It's a heavy burden."
[01:14] <Minaplo> ["If you fail…"-
[01:15] <Minaplo> ["Angels, mankind. There are others. Seven seeds, not just two."-
[01:17] <Minaplo> ["So much hinges on this. So much hinges on -you-."-
[01:19] <Minaplo> ["What happens in this year, has endless potential… For good, for ill. For one, for all. For us, for them. Angels, Mankind, the death of either unbalances the whole. It will affect the others, even across the stars."]
[01:29] * Aline nodded again, shuddering - no longer because of the cold, but just because. "I… imagined as much. I… …" She let the pause sit pregnantly, gorging itself on the silent winds for far too long, even if it was only a few seconds. "…have to do what's right, then. And do it well. I've already been pulling out a bunch of stops, and it'll only get more intense from here."
[01:38] <Minaplo> ["This will end soon. It comes closer. For good or ill, all will be resolved, but first you will fight."-
[01:38] <Minaplo> ["I will not lie. You will die soon."-
[01:39] <Minaplo> ["But you must not die before you should die. There will be a time. There will be a place."-
[01:39] <Minaplo> ["And to the wise, even death will bow."]
[01:41] * Aline felt sobered by that, but… well. So much sobering to go around, and she'd loop right beyond being not drunk. "…I'll… remember that. I only hope that the time and place will be good enough to make everything work."
[01:43] <Minaplo> ["It will have to be."-
[01:43] <Minaplo> [Vercingetorix turned and began to walk back into the forest. Above, Aline could hear the sound of a squad of VTOLs approaching.]
[01:48] * Aline turned to face the noise, clutching that cape tightly around herself as she looked off into the distance. The expression on her face was a vague, mysterious one, the kind that one /should/ get after a discussion of this nature and depth.

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