Aline S Questions

[20:47] <@Minaplo> [Doctor Ikari stared up at the holographic projector, on which a special biological implant was shown. "… Still too unstable, I think. What do you think, Dr. Matsudaira?"-
[20:48] <@Minaplo> ["Agreed. I'm not sure what's causing the instability, though. It's not organic rejection, its something else…"-
[20:48] <@Minaplo> [The rest of the crew scurried back and forth across the science lab, leaving Doctor Ikari and her companion- the short, thickly-beared Matsudaira- to discuss their mystery implant.]
[20:54] * Aline almost felt stealthy. Or at least, she wanted to believe she was. In truth, the dolled-up christmas cheer in the middle of a giant laboratory thicket would probably draw eyes. On top of her natural appearance, which, since this wasn't a convention or anything like that, wouldn't be capable of being passed off as a mere cosplayer that somehow snuck their way in. But, beacon as she
[20:54] * Aline was, Aline moved closer, waiting politely for Yui to be alone. Prey is best hunted in isolation.
[21:00] <@Minaplo> [… But such is the way of nature. The predator stumbles, and it becomes prey.-
[21:00] <@Minaplo> [Permanently.-
[21:02] <@Minaplo> [Her appearance drew Matsudaira's attention, and that drew Yui's. She turned- and brightened. "Oh, Aline! It's-" She broke off. "That's an interesting outfit," she murmured, blushing.]
[21:05] * Aline looked down, and made a sudden puff of air. "Sho's doing. I decided to… uh. Let her go. I'm sure it'll be a nice surprise later?… Uh. I'm sorry, am I interrupting?"
[21:12] <@Minaplo> ["No, no. We're just going over one of the organ plans we picked up from the battleship when we captured it, but we're having trouble making it work. Come have a look."]
[21:13] * Aline wandered over, her hair now bouncing a little with the curls it was given. "Hmmm…"
[21:16] <@Minaplo> ["The idea of the organ is that it releases components into the bloodstream. When the adrenal glands of the unit are activated the components are released, the blood cells create a short-lasting thick 'scab' over bare skin and injuries that act similarly to an ablative coat. However, any attempts to produce the organ become unstable."]
[21:17] * Aline scratched her chin a bit, looking at it curiously. "So you have it working, but then it breaks down or causes problems in the unit itself…?"
[21:18] <@Minaplo> ["No. The organ itself breaks down soon after it is created." Said Matsudaira. "It's like something we're doing is inherently destabilising it."]
[21:21] * Aline scratched a bit harder, hesitating for a moment. "Maybe something about it is unstable without an additional input? Maybe it keeps itself together with external power somehow, or it's too dependant on the bloodstream, or a number of things. I'm…" A breath, laden with slight uncertainty. "I'm not sure what the potential backfire could be, but maybe it needs to have the unit induced
[21:21] * Aline to generate the organ, rather than it being synthesized?"
[21:23] <@Minaplo> ["Possibly." Said Matsudaira. "Although that limits it rather extensively…"-
[21:23] <@Minaplo> ["Mm." Yui turned to Aline. "I wasn't expecting to see you in here today, Aline-chan. What's going on?"]
[21:25] * Aline waved her hand. "A few questions, actually. Some about trying to get a gift for Shinji, that I figured you might know better about."
[21:25] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I see. Shall we go to my office?"]
[21:26] * Aline nodded calmly. "Ah, if it's not too much of an interruption."
[21:27] <@Minaplo> ["No, it's fine. Come on."-
[21:28] <@Minaplo> [Yui's office was fairly typical in size and furniture, although it obviously bore Yui's touch- Evangelion dolls took up a shelf by their own, and a series of pictures sat on the desk. One of the Ikari family (including Rei); another of the twelve Ayanamis…]
[21:33] * Aline followed along (of course), flouncing in her little christmas dress, until she actually arrived in the office… "Well, really, I was thinking of getting him a new… non-formal… outfit, but I was wondering… did you have any advice on how to get him to actually /wear/ it? He keeps wearing the same things day after day…"
[21:37] <@Minaplo> ["Well, if you want him to wear it, ask and he will. He's not too stubborn like that. But if you want him to wear it constantly without asking, that's a different story."]
[21:37] * Aline frowned a little. "Yeeah, that's… that's what I'm trying to do. I suppose he doesn't really /need/ an image consultant, but I think that might help him feel a bit more open?"
[21:40] <@Minaplo> ["The problem is that he does what is comfortable first and foremost and only shifts from that in extraordinary circumstances. I'd say baby steps- give him clothes similar but a little different and go from there."]
[21:44] <Aline> "Ah. Too bad, I was going to introduce him to warmer colors, but I think I know where I can go for that…" Aline said, pondering. "A pity I already gave the easy idea to Tsubaki. Sheet music if you were wondering." But… "There was one, more… sensitive thing, though."
[21:48] <@Minaplo> ["Oh?" Yui's eyes drifted unconsciously to the bust of Aline's outfit- before hastily back to her face, all in less than a second. "Something… With Shinji?" She asked tentatively.]
[21:51] * Aline fortunately was in a level of 'it's my boyfriend's mon' that prevented her from making a comment about the gaze. Instead… "Well, I admit it could affect him, but it's not /about/ him. And I mean /sensitive sensitive/."
[21:52] <@Minaplo> ["… I see." Said Yui, sobering immediately.]
[21:55] * Aline shook her head. "I… don't mean to trouble you too much, but… is it… is it okay to talk here? Yanmei's got me all paranoid."
[21:56] <@Minaplo> [Yui paused, looking up - but shook her head. "It should be fine."]
[22:00] <Aline> "…Remember the battle in China?" Aline herself had to take a deep breath after saying that.
[22:03] <@Minaplo> ["… I did." Said Yui, paling.]
[22:07] * Aline was not the kind of person to be emboldened by that kind of reaction, so instead she remained steady. "You already know where I'm going, don't you? I wasn't conscious - not even a peep of an EVA-dream - but you know I know what happened."
[22:11] <@Minaplo> ["Alright, then. What do you think happened?"]
[22:18] <Aline> "It was revealed to me through certain means that Voriel… found something in my AT Field. Something ancient and dangerous. I have uh…" For the briefest moment, Aline felt monumentally silly because of her outfit, but dismissed it. "A thing about acquiring information in… uh… inside. It's really weird. But anyway. Before Voriel was taken away by Gabriel, There was this little symbolic
[22:18] <Aline> gesture. The Lance, given to me while I was still dreaming with him in 00. Symbolically, of course. And then the half of that soul awoke, and I assume there was a mess."
[22:26] <@Minaplo> [Yui leaned forward, her hands wringing each other nervously. "Yes. It was disabled, of course." Yui sighed. "You know about Eugenia Ranvier, of course."]
[22:29] * Aline nodded swiftly, little boings of hair doing their thing. It was a firm, but surprisingly edgeless gesture. She looked… tired. A familiar (to herself) form of tired. "Yes, I do. I found out pretty late relative to her lifespan, but I did know."
[22:31] <@Minaplo> ["You know she carried Lilith's soul in her body at one point, then."]
[22:33] <Aline> "Mm-hm." Was Aline's reply. For some reason, the name itself made her cringe. "…And it was summarily removed, I believe after an incident." Her lips quivered like she wanted to say more, but didn't.
[22:44] <@Minaplo> ["That's right." Said Yui. "We couldn't simply store Lilith somewhere, it was too dangerous. Separate the soul, however, and you remove the consciousness." She said quietly. "And storing it in an E-Type field is the safest way to keep it under control."]
[22:48] * Aline thought, looking up at the ceiling. She was torn between two urges. The strong emotional ones, and the vital-to-survival rational ones. Her willpower was firm and steady, though, and for now she held it together. "…And there's only a tiny few, so I guess I drew one of the two short straws." She let a beat pass. "I'm not going to even ask about the other half. That's dangerous
[22:48] * Aline territory."
[22:48] <@Minaplo> ["I wouldn't tell even if asked." Said Yui. "In any case, we knew who to choose for one half of the soul. There was only one problem."]
[22:49] * Aline quirked her head. "…Problem?"
[22:49] <@Minaplo> ["The little girl we chose- Aline Blanc- was dying."]
[22:52] * Aline paused at that. "…So like Rei in more ways than just one…" She said that almost as if dreaming.
[22:54] <@Minaplo> ["More or less. Your mother was falling apart, but we were able to offer your father a deal. It was a long shot, even for him, but it was free, and if it succeeded, he'd get his daughter back. A clone, anyway."-
[22:55] <@Minaplo> ["We transferred your soul to a cloned body, placed the Lilith half in you. The original body we kept for tests. That was the 'clone' I referred to a few years ago."-
[22:55] <@Minaplo> ["As it stands, you're the clone. That 'clone' was the original body."]
[22:58] * Aline actually brightened at that. "…It… it feels better that way, somehow. Better than just being /there/, like I thought I was when I found out." She shook her head. "You know I'm not angry at you for it. L… /she/ keeps quiet, so it's not like I have anything but being a key to the end of the world as we know it to show for that, and by being pilots… nn. Sorry. Rambling."
[23:01] <@Minaplo> [Yui brightened a little herself, but waved her hand. "She will keep quiet unless directly activated. As it stands, she can't sustain her consciousness if it's disrupted." She shook her head. "But there were other consequences. You will have noticed that despite being a clone you aren't any stronger or tougher or faster than expected- we hadn't perfected genetic enhancements at the time, Surov wasn't part of the team." Yui shivered a little.-
[23:01] <@Minaplo> ["… And your mother knew something was wrong. She never really accepted you."]
[23:07] * Aline likewise shivered at the mention of Surov. Fucking Iron Brides I tell you. "…All this time I thought it was a disorder or something, but… Well, I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree when it comes to cleverness." A bit of pride there, even if it was sad pride. "…And yeah, I admit one thing I will never delude myself into thinking is that I'm a-" She intentionally
[23:07] * Aline coughed. "-prime physical specimen."
[23:08] <@Minaplo> ["Well, you're healthy, and you're not under-fit. Evangelion training has kept you somewhat above average." Yui sighed, looking down at her hands.-
[23:08] <@Minaplo> ["You have other questions, I'm sure."]
[23:12] * Aline slowly nodded. "…Well. The big one was answered, and I know why I'm what I am, but… …There's a part of me that still, tearfully cries out 'why?'. But you just said it. And… I'd ask why I didn't… get…" Slowly, Aline's mind was working on something else. "Er, ahem. Why I didn't get told. That kind of knowledge tears at a person's psyche even after they get the warmer side
[23:12] * Aline of the explanation." But a pause. "…There is one. What's the deal with William?"
[23:17] <@Minaplo> ["William?" Yui blinked. "… You're going to have to be more specific."]
[23:20] * Aline wrung her hands nervously, almost in mimicry of something /Yui/ did earlier. "…W… well. We spoke, and he seems to think that some of the memory alterations were… to black him out of my life. Why…?"
[23:27] <@Minaplo> [Yui smiled apologetically. "You'd have to speak to Fontaine or one of the Caines about that." Said Yui. "It might be that there was memory loss during transfer. Understand that we cloned your body in a batch. Twenty individual bodies. And of that twenty, nineteen -died-. Cloning a human being was -far- from perfect bact then."]
[23:31] * Aline nodded - solemnly, now - and sighed. "…Given all the mysteries, I expected something terrible. …Thank you for the talk, really. It must sound weird, you were probably expecting me to be angry or crying or…" A shudder. "Well, I'm trying."
[23:32] <@Minaplo> ["Anger, honestly." Said Yui quietly.]
[23:36] <Aline> "It's…" Aline started, but she soon stopped. She pondered that aborted sentence, perhaps even mourned it, for nearly a quarter-minute. "It's like I'm not numb, but… I know there's no point in being mad at you. Being one of the Trinity Pilots is suffering, it just seems natural to me now. It's… in a word…" A word she hesitated on and said with /very/ obvious quivers. "Destiny." And
[23:36] <Aline> that capital was more than just a sentence-starter.
[23:38] <@Minaplo> ["Perhaps." Said Yui with a tremulous smile. "But it's suffering that ends all Destiny."-
[23:38] <@Minaplo> ["That's what we all want, after all."]
[23:50] * Aline paused yet again. "…This world… But… but you're right. It is what we want after all."
[23:58] <@Minaplo> ["Yes." Said Yui, quietly. She turned to stare at a window, distantly. "It is…"-
[23:58] <@Minaplo> [Someone rapped on the door, hard. "Doctor Ikari! Are you there?!"-
[23:58] <@Minaplo> ["What is it?"-
[23:58] <@Minaplo> ["An emergency!"]
[23:59] * Aline stood up suddenly in alarm. "Aah!?"
[00:05] <@Minaplo> ["The Commander." Dr. Matsudaira stood in the doorway, panting a little. "There's been an attack-"-
[00:05] <@Minaplo> ["Commander Fontaine?" Yui shot to her feet.-
[00:06] <@Minaplo> ["No, ma'am."]
[00:13] * Aline looked pensive, and very tense. "…Then if it's not…"
[00:17] <@Minaplo> ["-No-." Yui's words were closer to a moan, laced with fear and misery. "Matsudaira, what happened?! Please!"-
[00:19] <@Minaplo> ["It's best if you come with me, Doctor." He said slowly. "… Commander Fontaine wishes to explain it to you."-
[00:20] <@Minaplo> [Yui turned to Aline. "Aline- go. Just- go." She said hurriedly- before following the Doctor out.]
[00:21] * Aline slowly nodded, even as Yui left. She… felt like she was left holding the bill, and all the holiday cheer in the world couldn't erase that feeling. So she watched, and… eventually turned to leave.
[00:26] <@Minaplo> [The atmopshere in the lab was tense and confused- no one had apparently told them what had happened. But someone was coming to speak to Aline, someone vaguely familiar.-
[00:30] <@Minaplo> ["Ms. Blanc?" Asked the individual- a woman. "You might not remember me. Kirihara, head of Tokyo-2 Minifront Security Section Two."]
[00:32] * Aline actually remembered by context of the visit. "Oh right, you… you were the one who I helped - poorly - the investigation with. What's the matter?"
[00:36] <@Minaplo> ["I've been tasked to take you to safety. Will my office do?"]
[00:38] * Aline absently nodded, the brief… self-satisfaction in remembering a chance 'stranger' quickly fading back into the tense malaise that was seething through the labs. "Sure."
[00:41] <@Minaplo> [Kirihara led Aline through the Minifront to her office, which was very neatly organised and prepared. "Would you like something to drink?"]
[00:43] * Aline thought on that for quite a bit, still more than just slightly wearied. "Maybe… maybe some tea."
[00:46] <@Minaplo> ["Er… Iced tea ok?"]
[00:46] <Aline> "It is." Aline's reply came, a bit slowly-worded.
[00:50] <@Minaplo> [Kirihara popped open a minibar under her desk and placed a bottle of iced tea in front of Aline- and a bottle of Chinese beer for herself.-
[00:50] <@Minaplo> ["I don't want to draw this out too long." Said Kirihara awkwardly. "Commander Ikari was shot dead in Paris-2 giving a speech."]
[00:53] * Aline cracked hers open and began to drink, relatively swiftly at that. "…After all the precautions for the pilots…" But as she set down the tea temporarily, she shook her head - not in that negative-response way, but the clearing-head way. "I guessed something happened to him, but for it to be like that… eep."
[00:55] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm. I'm going to be holding a holo-conference with Jeanne Simon in a minute. You're welcome to contribute, if you feel you can."]

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