Aline S Lone Stand

[07:18] <Minaplo> [NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. 12th of February, 2018. Episode Title: Aline's Lone Stand.-
[07:18] * TaxCake is now known as Yanmei
[07:27] <Minaplo> [It was four AM in the morning. Aline Blanc was almost certainly asleep; Shinji Ikari certainly was, his form curled up a little beneath a cocoon of sheets. -
[07:28] <Minaplo> [But the gloomy peace of the small hours was not to last, as someone came knocking on Aline's door, lightly…]
[07:35] * Aline at first didn't stir too dramatically… but as the knocking persisted, she sat up, rubbing her eyes, and then swiftly got Moving - light on, glasses… on. She wandered over, and opened it a crack. "Mmn?"
[07:43] <Minaplo> [It was a female crewmember. "Pilot Blanc? You're wanted on the bridge."]
[07:44] * Aline slowly nodded her head. "Alright, I'll just be a moment to dress."
[07:49] <Minaplo> [And so, ten minutes and a change of clothes later, Aline would find herself on the battleship bridge. Frederic was sitting in the captain's chair, but apparently Marianne had been summoned, since she was standing to Frederic's left, a uniform coat buttoned hastily over a nightgown.-
[07:51] <Minaplo> [The lights were dimmed, and the viewscreen deactivated. "Blanc." Said Marianne as the pilot entered.]
[07:53] * Aline bowed her head slightly, out of deference. She had herself merely slipped into a black dress because pilots dressed as they pleased (since it didn't matter anyway - plugsuits for all). "Yes." Was the simple reply.
[07:56] <Minaplo> ["We're in silent running mode." Said Marianne. "I want you to listen to this." She turned to the comms officer, and nodded.-
[07:59] <Minaplo> [A song began to play through the room, a powerful, slightly bombastic theme.-
[08:00] <Minaplo> ["It's Beethoven." Said Frederic darkly.-
[08:00] <Minaplo> ["It's filling all of our communication channels." Said Marianne.]
[08:02] * Aline /tilted/ her head at that, looking more than a bit confused or uncertain. "…Do we know where it's coming from?"
[08:03] <Minaplo> ["No. That's the problem. The- Beethoven- is interfering with our sensors, so we can't trace its origin." Said Frederic.-
[08:05] <Minaplo> ["It could be a computer virus." Said Marianne. "A sophisticated jamming program. Or it could be something else. What I want to know is- what does your intuition say?"]
[08:11] * Aline shook her head at first, and looked down. Moments were spent in quiet thought, before she looked back up. "It's like… Only two explanations make sense, and both sound bizarre because of the choice of Beethoven. The first thought is that you're right and it's a problem with the battleship, or NERV HQ if they're also having the problems too, but… if it really is so damnably
[08:11] * Aline widespread and thorough, it could be some kind of Angelic effect, like the selective radio jamming from the cultist attack a bit ago. Though as I said… the choice of signal noise makes either one sound weird."
[08:15] <Minaplo> ["That's a good point." Said Frederic. "Tell me, would it be… Impossible for an Angel or Angelic entity to fill our airspace with Beethoven?"-
[08:15] <Minaplo> ["Fred, please try to take this seriously." Sighed Marianne.-
[08:16] <Minaplo> ["I'm trying, but we're being attacked by Beethoven."]
[08:19] * Aline shrugged at the banter, looking slightly lost. "Unfortunately, short of basically announcing our suspicion by sending out an AT ping from one of the EVA units, I can't think of anything else to rule things out. I imagine even attempting to check the computers would be hellish."
[08:20] <Minaplo> ["Do you think we should do it?"]
[08:25] * Aline waved a hand. "I admit, I'm kinda running on assumptions. Like, that we're trying to remain very stealthy - hence silent running. Personally, I think we should do something, but… Just to rule out a movie-plot-level possibility… has anybody sat through it long enough to notice one particular suite or whatever ending? Because, while it is kind of like a movie plot, it's /possible/
[08:25] * Aline that the end of the song means… something happens."
[08:32] <Minaplo> ["It's halfway through the Ninth Symphony, first playthrough. So it began about half an hour ago." Said Frederic.-
[08:32] <Minaplo> ["I wouldn't be surprised." Said Marianne. "Blanc, I want you to go activate EVA-00 and prepare to sortie."]
[08:34] <Aline> "Aye, then. Worst that happens is a few minutes washing LCL out of my hair, if it's not that kind of something." Another little bow, and Aline was out on her way to the EVA hangars.
[08:37] <Minaplo> [Apparently the order had gone out the moment she left the bridge, as she arrived at the hangar to find Shinji sleepy and suited, and Asuka looking tired and grouchy. EVA-00 was already being unrestrained.]
[08:39] * Aline gave a little pout as she passed them by. "Sorry guys, but if this is something bad…"
[08:40] <Minaplo> ["Yeah yeah." Huffed Asuka, folding her arms. "Go put on your suit already, maybe it'll wake Baka-Shinji up a little."]
[08:44] * Aline …decided to just nod and get on with it, moving off to get changed. It was practiced and routine, to be honest.
[08:48] <Minaplo> [And so ten minutes later, the three Evas would be deployed in the cover of darkness, with little light to guide them; they had to rely on city lights and other things.-
[08:49] <Minaplo> ["Communications on- eh?" Asuka frowned at her console. "What the hell? Why is there dumb music playing over all the channels?"-
[08:49] <Minaplo> ["It's not dumb, it's Beethoven." Said Shinji, folding his arms and frowning at Asuka's comm window, which was playing the song faintly.-
[08:49] <Minaplo> ["His Ninth symphony, to be exact." He added smugly.-
[08:49] <Minaplo> ["How does a Baka-Shinji know that-?!"-
[08:50] <Minaplo> ["Alright, that's enough." Came Marianne's voice, audible despite the Beethoven. "Blanc, you know what to do."]
[08:54] <Aline> "Absolutely, ma'am." Was Aline's response. She focused herself inwards, and then with a synchronized gesture, 00's AT field expanded across a relatively vast 10km radius, scanning for anything and everything - she knew she'd register a large mass of humanity - and Ezekiel for that matter - but she also knew that a true Angel or spawn would read loud and clear.
[08:58] <Minaplo> [One moment passed. Another. Another. Each moment with her consciousness spread thinly over that great seething mass of mankind. Ezekiel was bright blue on the battleship, whereas she also picked up the red of an Ayanami. Beneath the ground she felt the red of Rei, the blue of the Spectre, and far below that…-
[08:58] <Minaplo> [… She probably didn't want to go that far down. Nothing good lay there.-
[08:59] <Minaplo> [For a second it seemed as though there was nothing truly Angelic to be detected. Just as she intended to collapse the ping…-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [Suddenly she felt it, and she understood why she couldn't detect it before. An Angel- or a Spawn- on the western side of the city, its field and consciousness decentralised and dispersed over a hundred metre radius. It had looked like tiny little blips, but now it was coalescing…!]
[09:04] * Aline twinged in attentiveness, and hit the comms. "Contact, western edge of the city. It was dissolute before, but it's starting to come together!"
[09:05] <Minaplo> ["Angel?"]
[09:10] <Aline> "Or spawn. Whatever it is it's definitely a blue signal…" Aline's initial 'enthusiasm' was tempered now by contemplation.
[09:19] <Minaplo> ["Alright. Move to engage, attack formation AD-3!"]
[09:27] <Aline> "Got it!" As Asuka move forwards first, Aline soon followed behind, remaining about as calm as she could possibly be in this situation - which was 'somewhat'.
[09:34] <Minaplo> [It was still dark, and Aline would have to rely on her memory to figure out where the Angel was…-
[09:39] <Minaplo> [But the effects would be seen soon enough. As Asuka moved to cross a bridge, a bolt of dark energy struck from the darkness, swallowing her in its negative glory.-
[09:40] <Minaplo> [A bright rainbow corona flashed from a part of the western city, and Aline saw, briefly, a mass of ribbons- before the Angel was swallowed by the shadows once again.-
[09:40] <Minaplo> [Asuka let out a cry, quickly biting down and gritting her teeth. "U-Uugh, no… Hah, hah… Hah… That doesn't- matter right now! Ikari, Aline, g-get your asses over here now!"]
[09:44] * Aline nodded through her comm window, and 00 began to break into a mild jog, coming up a number of meters away from Asuka, but not as far as one would really think.
[09:57] * Raphael has quit IRC (Quit: )
[10:15] <Minaplo> [And Shinji spearheaded the assault now, making up for Asuka's uncharacteristic hesitation…-
[10:16] <Minaplo> [The area was struck again with that negative energy, and now Aline could hear it over the sound of Beethoven; the attack vaporised buildings cleanly, and even though it couldn't penetrate Aline's AT Field, she swore she could see…-
[10:16] <Minaplo> [Faces in the dark energy.-
[10:17] <Minaplo> [But Asuka let out a cry, sweat pouring down her face as pain wracked her body. "N-No, it's- I-"-
[10:18] <Minaplo> [And quite suddenly, Aline would see their nemesis, a floating, emaciated torso with no head- just an omnisensory halo floating above its thin torso. Where it might have had legs it had only tendrils, thousands and thousands of tendrils- a large amount of which now headed for EVA-02, wrapping around the Eva's face and body. Quite suddenly, Asuka's comms window shut off.]
[10:20] * Aline shook her head semi-frantically, and focused her field on the now-very-close enemy, and… cried out suddenly. "Guh! It's…" She fired a shot into it, which seemed to have no effect, and almost immediately let the AT Field return to shrouding 00. "It's got some kind of feedback on its field!"
[10:27] <Minaplo> ["Leave it to me!" Shinji bolted over the bridge, clenching his fist- EVA-05 mimicked his movements. The enemy's AT Field began to cancel- and even though the negative effect was plain on Shinji's face he didn't yield.-
[10:37] <Minaplo> [But the tendrils were digging deeper into EVA-02's torso, now, electricity crackling across them- and EVA-02 was growing more erratic and sluggish, it eyes flickering off and on, its hands clenching and unclenching… Before it hunched over, like a puppet with its strings cut.-
[10:37] <Minaplo> [… Only for its head to rise again, focusing now on EVA-05.-
[10:38] <Minaplo> ["Blanc! That body is immune to most forms of attack!" Came Marianne's voice over the comms. "We need to bring it down using an AT Field!"]
[21:42] * Aline nodded. "Of course!" …Her first response was to launch a rising cross at its head! But… "Hmm… I could do better than that, actually…"
[21:46] <Minaplo> ["H-Hurry!" Said Shinji, leaping forward, his Eva's hands reaching out to grab a handful of the Angel's tentacles in a firm grasp, pulling it towards him. "H-Hah-!"-
[21:47] <Minaplo> [A rainbow corona heralded a cutting beam of light that struck through EVA-05's head, burning off several layers of armour, but barely staggering it.]
[21:48] * Aline grit her teeth, as 00 flipped its lance once. "I will!" She wrapped parts of her AT Field around the spear, charging it with power… before projecting it at her foe, the weapon sailing straight /through/ its head, then back again, crackling with energy even as it returned to the EVA's hand.
[21:57] <Minaplo> [The damage dealt was clearly measurable, but not quite enough to force a kill- and even worse, Shinji suddenly seized backwards, his hands flying from the foe.-
[21:58] <Minaplo> ["N-No! No way! What's happening to my hands!?" Shinji held them up in front of his face, his eyes popping. "Al-Aline, my- my hands, stop them- make them stop-!"-
[21:58] <Minaplo> [("Geofront Command! The Angel is attempting to infiltrate our computer network system!"-
[21:59] <Minaplo> [("It's moving through the fourth- no, third- firewall layer!")-
[21:59] <Minaplo> [("No, wait, it's already onto the second-")-
[21:59] <Minaplo> [("It's going for the MAGI system!")]
[22:02] * Aline groused slightly under her breath, before letting out a yell. "Haaa!" She dove for the thing's head, but didn't really manage to strike true.
[22:11] <Minaplo> [("The Angel's accessing our codes! It's taking control of the entire command hardware system!")-
[22:12] <Minaplo> [("Get out of my way!") Came the voice of Doctor Barzilai Surov, coupled with the sound of someone being knocked for the floor. ("No normal human mind can match this thing's abilities. I'll need to interface directly with the MAGI to have any hope of countering its attempts-")-
[22:12] <Minaplo> [A code flashed across EVA-00's window. "CODE 100: CATASTROPHIC DEFEAT. N2 STRIKE IMMINENT"]
[22:12] <Minaplo> [The Angel itself was already spiriting away, out of Aline's reach…]
[22:22] * Aline flash-stepped - or so it almost seemed with how fast 00 was moving - closer, and the lance hovered in the air, going for another vicious one-two stab, as she nearly stared a hole into the black horror.
[22:29] <Minaplo> [The halo that doubled as a head for the creature split in half, and the Spawn as a whole reeled backwards, its tentacles flying about erratically, smashing buildings and flattening cars.-
[22:29] <Minaplo> [Aline would see the shadow of EVA-05 move swiftly across the ground, Shinji landing nearby to neutralise the Angelspawn once more. "Hhr-"-
[22:30] <Minaplo> [("Blanc, look out-"-
[22:31] <Minaplo> [… And for a second Aline blacked out, her body wracked with electric shocks that completely scattered her thoughts, making it hard to think or even try to think for a handful of precious seconds.]
[22:35] * Aline shook her head and sputtered deliriously… but she was quick to rebound, making another toss… which, this time, was completely evaded. "Damnit, we're running out of time for this!"
[22:51] <Minaplo> [Aline would find her actions becoming ever sluggish- her peripheral vision would suddenly light up with a huge blue beam, EVA-05 staggering back in pain from a direct positron shot to the head, Shinji-
[22:51] <Minaplo> [Shinji -screaming- in a way that was totally unusual for him.]
[23:14] * Aline struggled greatly - to even move - and raised the arm with the lance one more time. "Come on… COME ON!" She cried, as the lance was discarded rather brutally into the mass of tendrils.
[23:17] <Minaplo> [But it wasn't enough. The tendrils swarmed around the lance, denying her her greatest weapon- it'd cut her Synch completely soon, and then-
[23:17] <Minaplo> [A voice came over the comms.-
[23:18] <Minaplo> ["Requiescat in Pace."-
[23:18] <Minaplo> [A light- a burning, glorious light- streaked from beyond Aline's vision, directly ahead of her, nowhere near close.-
[23:18] <Minaplo> [A Great Positron Cannon.-
[23:19] <Minaplo> [The shot tore through the Angel's chest- or rather, it didn't, as it couldn't tear through something that no longer existed. The light blinded Aline, the impact threw her off balance, smashing her through a set of tenements.-
[23:19] <Minaplo> [… But when she came to, she would hear the blessed silence. No Beethoven.]
[23:20] * Aline sighed rather heavily. "Good to know you're back, Will."
[23:22] <Minaplo> ["I take it you missed my oversized weaponry."]
[23:23] <Aline> "Well…" Aline began. She considered the situation. "It was helpful at any rate. We were doing well enough, time was just running out."
[23:25] <Minaplo> ["So it seems."-
[23:26] <Minaplo> [Aline would hear Shinji- and see EVA-05 hunched over, its hands over its wounded head. He was sobbing, like… Well, like Aline did when she was a little kid and she was really scared.]
[23:27] * Aline stared out at that, 00's face actually turning in that direction. "…Yeah…" She couldn't think of much better to say.

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