But A Mended Egg Is No Longer An Egg Soldered Armour Is No L

[14:04] <Aline> It was surprisingly quiet. And a bit filthy, but… Aline had chosen this roof carefully. It belonged to a building that had been damaged only somewhat in the fighting, it mostly just needed its Geofront Recession mechanisms repaired. But the fact that it was damaged and slightly disconnected, made Aline feel it to be a perfect venue for this coming talk. She needed to know. She had heard
[14:04] <Aline> Sera had admitted doing… what was it, shooting Isaiah?… troublesome. She needed to know more. And that him and Yanmei spoke… well, she worded it such as a "If you don't want to, fine, but it's probably for the better.".
[14:09] * Sept arrived, this time, in a rather unexpected manner. Namely, via the stairs, deviating from the agreed-upon time by a minute or two at most. "Aline," he nodded in greeting.
[14:11] <Yanmei> There was a chime from an elevator, and a handful of pigeons took to flight as the doors opened. Yanmei emerged with a resigned hair-toss and walked smoothly across the roof to where Aline and Sera stood. A certain tension snapped into place when she spotted Sept in particular, but she was determined to be dignified about this. "What's this about?"
[14:15] * Aline was standing staring out into the distance when the two arrived, and nodded to Yanmei with a quick turn, briefly ignoring Sera… "Hi Yanmei… Sera. It's about answers. I heard you two were arguing about… him… /shooting/ Isaiah? Clearly there's more to it than that. And I've had my own suspicions as of late. If you don't want to bother with this - and I understand that thought
[14:15] * Aline completely, you can leave. I just want to figure out what the /hell/ happened."
[14:17] <Sept> "That is alright. I can tell you what you want."
[14:18] * Yanmei didn't answer at first, although she did look awfully tired all of a sudden. She glanced to Sept at his response and folded her arms, letting him take the helm.
[14:20] * Aline nodded, clutching her overcoat tightly together for a second. Yes, she was wearing an overcoat. "…Then go ahead. I remember most of the talk on the /how/ and /what/. What I want to know, is why. Why the /fuck/ would you do that?"
[14:28] <Sept> "I was convinced she was in danger, and that there was no other choice. If 04 was right and I did nothing… We wouldn't have survived the next attack. No one would have." Sera stared at the skyline.
[14:31] * Aline stared critically. "Is this about the concern that he was going to kill her?… Mm. I don't /like/ it, but at least I understand it. Still…" She intensified her stare at him, yet somehow making it look like she was staring impassively. Nigh-emotionlessly. "There were a thousand ways you could've helped that situation without shooting him… I see." Aline then turned towards Yanmei,
[14:31] * Aline lowering the feeling-less deathmask a little. "Nonetheless, I imagine the both of you were livid. I don't really know what to say or do, because this is really just the result of a weak-willed moment of /idiocy/."
[14:35] <Sept> "I… don't think so. With what I knew, I had few choices. Was there something else, Aline?"
[14:36] <Yanmei> "Idiocy nothing. This was engineered," said Yanmei flatly. "04 has always, -always- hated Isaiah, and it wasn't because he was afraid for my safety. He's been in Isaiah's mind, and he's not stupid enough to confuse seven years of guilt and self-deprecation with whatever it was he described to Sera."
[14:41] * Aline grumbled audibly. "…Then this is a perfect time for the 'something else' I had. Regardless of if we can tap them for information… we need to hold /very/ closely who we can trust, now. The EVAs have their own agendas - or are too tormented to have a chance of being clear. The higher-ups have their own agendas. Really, we're the only ones left to be trustworthy, or rather, us and
[14:41] * Aline our peers. Fellow pilots, probably the Thruster team if only because they're /too/ eccentric or too stoic, depending, probably the ODs, and of course those we're closest to. As much as 00 has told me, I've formed my decisions only based on information from multiple sources. I can feel it coming apart. Deaths and resignations and reorganizations… any security we might've had in knowing
[14:41] * Aline which right hands weren't watching the left is drifting away. Do you understand?"
[14:44] <Yanmei> "You don't know the half of it."
[14:46] <Sept> "I understand. I won't keep any secrets from you. Is that alright?"
[14:49] * Aline frowned. "…That's not entirely what I meant, though it might be good if we, actually, did keep secrets. It's possible that any number of people could try to pry information out of us. The things we should tell are those that'd hurt one another. But… My worry?" Aline's large-and-in-charge dull tone began to break, and she started sounding openly concerned. "…is… is that we'll
[14:49] * Aline be used for those agendas. Turned against one another even worse than what 04 did. When the stakes are the fate of the planet and what happens after the world ends, they usually play for keeps - and people get hurt when that happens."
[14:53] * Sept stayed silent, seeming if not outwardly, maybe somewhere deep inside, embarrassed. "…what will we do with Lilith?"
[14:56] <Yanmei> "Destroying her is an impossibility, unfortunately." Resentment there, even if it was subdued.
[14:57] <Sept> "But others can, and we can't let them do that, right..?"
[14:57] * Aline shuddered nearly at the /mention/ of that name, now. "That'll be my department. We need a seed of life to keep the species' souls circulating, but being controlled is… repulsive. I'll try to come up with a solution for it, but I'm not sure what, yet. Admittedly, my plan is going to be even more complicated than just dealing with that… But she should neither succeed in her agenda,
[14:57] * Aline nor die."
[14:58] * ZackFood is now known as Zack
[14:58] * Zack is now known as ZackStudy
[14:58] <Sept> "…yes. That is how it should be."
[15:03] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei was frowning, though. "Is it really okay to be so unorganized this late in the game ourselves?"
[15:07] * Aline shook her head. "It's sort of… well. We could /try/ to come up with a way to protect our secrets, though I don't know what. But… we should probably consider our roles, and then work towards them. Because…" Aline looked /grim/. "I suggested acting semi-independantly to confuse the other parties. If we have a general idea, but not specific idea, of what one another is doing,
[15:07] * Aline none of us can be tortured into giving up our plans. Because I'm sure it'll happen eventually. Even if it's Lilith herself doing it." Another frown. "I will say this, though. One of my aims is to find a way to give the Angels their own world. A /different/ world. The basic plan is like what I said at Eden. Keep with the Ancestral plan to allow all seven races, ours and theirs included,
[15:07] * Aline flourish on their own."
[15:09] <Yanmei> "When I meant unorganized, I wasn't talking about whether or not to work semi-independently. This is our situation." She held up an index finger. -
[15:13] <Yanmei> "The parties we're opposing have been planning their moves for decades. They know what the outcome they need to reach is, and the individual steps to getting there. My question is: What do -we- know? And how do we get there before they do? And when did we all decide to go with your version of the new world, anyway? What if one of us would rather not see the world destroyed to begin with?"
[15:13] <Sept> "But when a turning point appears… it won't happen without us. The others have to anticipate them through their plans, but… with Evangelion, we will ultimately be in control."
[15:15] <Yanmei> "Are you sure of that?" she said bitterly.
[15:15] * Aline nodded somberly. "Sera has part of it, but… you're right. I've been focusing on this so long that I haven't asked you. We /should/ research a way to achieve the same goals without ending the world. It… should be possible. I mean, the gestalt, or Angelification plans that Jeremiah and Azariah, respectively, came up with, require humanity to /change/. Just letting humanity go its
[15:15] * Aline course, does not. And… well. We need to get /all/ of Evangelion under our control. That's a tall order."
[15:17] <Sept> "Elisha has made sure it is possible. As long as we are not ourselves controlled, we can achieve it."
[15:18] <Yanmei> "Can we trust Elisha Caine? You're just going on his word, aren't you?"
[15:21] <Sept> "Not his word. He is sure it is possible."
[15:21] * Aline raised a brow. "…How do we know, really?"
[15:24] <Sept> "He created them, overcaming the obstacles no one else could in doing so. It is not possible to corrupt Evangelion far enough to make it impossible."
[15:25] * Aline pondered. "…The weak point is the pilot. The pilots can be swayed or coerced… that…" She nodded. "That's our goal. Protect all the pilots, from us three to the other countries', to the Ayanamis, from the world-ending plot."
[15:29] <Yanmei> "Hmph," Yanmei looked away. "To do what you're proposing, we'd have to manipulate or go around the higher-ups. And even then, it may be impossible."
[15:30] <Sept> "Yes. That will continue to be our priority. I will trust you to find the Truth in the meantime, Aline. What we need to overcome Destiny."
[15:31] * Aline stared earnestly. "It's the only option we have. I'll try to do what I can, too. Shinji is a key to having Gendo tolerate me more than he would others, so don't think you'll be entirely alone in that job this time, Yan-Yan. But I'm… sorry to put the burden on your shoulders, even so. When this is all over, when we win - and I hope so deeply that we will, we should all relax and
[15:31] * Aline finally just be friends."
[15:35] * Yanmei rubbed her forehead with the heel of her palm for a moment, an absent, worried motion. "It's not like I wouldn't try to help our guys out anyway, if I knew they were in trouble," she muttered.
[15:38] <Sept> "…I would like that, Aline. Just know that… even if you're both investigating on your own. You can ask me for help. Anything. I don't need to know why. I know I can trust you more than I do myself."
[15:39] * Aline sighed, not out of frustration, but genuine worry. "…I know. We keep fighting. I'm nervous about that, but… I just got overwhelmed by the need to get this set up so we have a chance." …A stray thought. "Thanks, Sera. We have to move forward. I'm… sorry for making the both of you uncomfortable. Was there anything either of you wanted to ask?"
[15:41] <Sept> "Yes. Do you remember… what we talked about in Tokyo?"
[15:43] * Aline was taken by slight surprise. "The… Elisha clone thing?"
[15:44] * Yanmei stared at that.
[15:46] <Sept> "You knew how I felt. You must have noticed I had forgotten about it… hadn't you?"
[15:47] <Aline> "…" For a moment, Aline remained silent, head down. But then she raised it again, a look of… calm? On her face. "Yes. And that you were acting strangely. Like being nice to Gendo, even if you /did/ spike his curry. I suspected something odd had gone on, but wasn't sure what."
[15:50] <Sept> "Why didn't you tell me? You knew I wouldn't just turn you away."
[15:50] * Aline paused again. "I was afraid reminding you would make you go ballistic. You weren't comfortable with it the first time."
[15:52] * Sept shook his head slowly. "If it had been you instead of Ramliel…"
[15:56] * Aline frowned /aggressively/. That was a frown that was sad enough to kill. "…Ouch. I… I didn't know. She had said things to me too, hurtful things. Hurtful and a little true. Like how I was becoming less and less 'real', and that I was at risk of just dissolving away. But…" She put a hand to her chest. "Just as you seem to have accepted what was true, I realized that, yes… I
[15:56] * Aline might die. I might even be erased. But that doesn't mean I never existed, and that doesn't mean I can't make the world better while trying to survive."
[15:57] <Yanmei> "Um. Excuse me…"
[15:57] <Sept> "Yes, Yanmei..?"
[15:59] * Yanmei paused. It was a long pause. "Actually? I'm not sure where to begin, here. What's going on?"
[16:01] * Aline looked awkwardly at Sera. "…Y-you should handle that."
[16:08] * Sept blinked at Yanmei, Aline, and Yanmei again. "Oh, you were not informed. I'm sorry, Yanmei. I… I meant to, when I visited you. But I felt it was more important to speak of… other matters. You understand." Sera looked at the Paris-2 skyline, the cranes working in the distance. "I was born from the DNA of Elisha Caine, Yanmei. I am a clone, a copy of him with a soul of its own. I
[16:08] * Sept am not as old as you think I am, Yanmei. Depending on how you count… approximately five years, when I was first introduced to Paris-2."
[16:11] <Yanmei> "…oh." Yanmei seemed to retreat inside of her own head for a few beats. "How did you…? I mean, it sounds like you found out in Tokyo?"
[16:16] <Sept> "Elisha… 04 was the first to tell me the truth. I did not fully understand at first, but Gendo… had proof. I resented him for it. But I was not supposed to find out that way. It would have lead to our failure, so I was made to forget until the circumstances were better suited for it. Unfortunately, the memories related to 04 and, by association, to Isaiah… we're lost at the same time.
[16:16] <Sept> This was not the intention."
[16:19] <Yanmei> "Failure?" she was starting to look a little ill. "How -were- you supposed to find out? I don't understand! They made you forget what you did to Isaiah too?"
[16:25] * Aline finally spoke up, though she looked… pale as well. "How… how is right."
[16:25] <Sept> "I was not supposed to find out in a way that would make me blame Gendo for it, and possibly everything else. That wouldn't have been practical. The other memories, as I said, were not supposed to disappear. But no one else was aware of them, and you know how any science stops being accurate when it is introduced to the real world."
[16:32] * Yanmei tried to grasp onto that as well as she could. "And you knew about this clone stuff too, huh, Blanc?"
[16:33] <Aline> "…Some." Aline started. "I suspected some of the memory things - though not the shooting, I was pretty off on that anyway - and knew the clone thing after Gendo told him. At the time I think I just forgot to tell anyone else. I was…" She looked a bit embarrassed. "Also worried that I wasn't supposed to tell too many other people, because of how angry he was at it."
[16:35] <Sept> "It was stupid of me. It won't happen again."
[16:39] <Yanmei> Slight discomfort - or was it guilt? - appeared on her face and vanished just as quickly as she shook her head at Aline. "It's not like I'm accusing you of anything? I guess I was kinda surprised, that's all…" Sera's remark gets a distant frown, as if she was unsure of what to think of it.
[16:40] * Aline nodded veeeery slowly. "Sorry about that. This is all just so… complicated."
[16:43] <Yanmei> "Yeah…" Yanmei nodded too. "Actually…?"
[16:44] <Sept> "As you both now understand, I will say it one more time. I will not hesitate to help you in any way, should it come to that. They -can- bring me back."
[16:45] * Aline waved her hand at Sera a little. "…Right. But uh. Actually, Yanmei?"
[16:47] <Yanmei> "Actually, confession time. In Tokyo that time? An informant told me a theory about de Pteres being a clone."
[16:47] <Sept> "You have informants..?"
[16:49] * Aline blinked. "…I'm not entirely surprised she does, but I am a bit surprised you were told that…"
[16:49] <Sept> "Who was it, Yanmei?"
[16:50] <Yanmei> "Ah. I hope it's okay if I leave that person's name off the record by their request." Her eyes lowered a bit. "But I was instructed not to tell anyone unless a dire situation called for it. For understandable reasons? The sort of information would have changed your entire view of yourself, I'd suspect. It probably hurt…"
[16:53] <Aline> "Hence… why I was so nervous about saying it myself. But… mm. Fair." Aline sighed. "We all have our resources, and it's fine if you protect yours. After all, many of mine are protected by being in my head or an EVA, so I can understand leaving the name out."
[16:55] <Sept> "Don't worry. It doesn't matter, now. It hardly hurts anymore. When we were out there… I had never felt so alone. I knew I had betrayed everyone and everything I loved, and. I wouldn't be here without his help. It would've been simple to ensure they never recover me."
[17:00] <Yanmei> "I haven't forgiven you, you know." Yanmei frowned at him. "But… they messed up your memories before, didn't they? If… they had to make a new you, they might do it again, to the point that you wouldn't be you anymore. So. You should at least try to stay around for your sake."
[17:04] <Sept> "It would be more difficult for them to reconfigure the model, now. There are more variables to be accounted for even without anything like what they did before. But if that is what you want, I will try to stay alive. For my sake."
[17:05] * Aline nodded as well. "It's best to stay as we are, self-wise. If that makes any sense. I'm sorry to have to dredge up old - and some fresh - wounds, but I… guess we have an ideea on what to do, now?"
[17:06] <Yanmei> "Quit acting like it's my decision." Yanmei sighed. "You're so annoying… And yes, I guess so."
[17:10] <Sept> "Yes. I will make sure everyone stays safe and keep you informed if anything happens. I will also determine what exactly Ginevre's stake in all this is, so please leave her to me for now."
[17:11] <Aline> "Right, right. I guess, if there's nothing else, we should adjourn?…"
[17:13] <Sept> "Very well." Sera turned back around to gaze at the rows of cranes in the distance.
[17:15] * Yanmei glanced down at her watch. Had she left Isaiah and the baby unprotected for too long? Sure, they were back in the Geofront, but… "I'll stay in touch, of course." She started move off toward the elevator again, shooing a curious pigeon out of her path with a "geez, move it!"
[17:18] * Aline waited for a while, but… she took the stairs, herself.
[17:24] <Sept> The cranes had stopped now, likely the day's work was finished. But they still seemed to be of interest to the boy, as the minutes flowed by and he allowed just a hint of fondness to penetrate the ever-present blank facade. "I know. I think it's a very nostalgic sight, too," he said.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License