Cannon To Right Of Them Cannon To Left Of Them Cannon In Fro

[05:30] <Marianne> [[Session 47: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Date: 2nd of May, 2017. Episode Title: Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them, Volley'd and Thunder'd, Storm'd at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well.-
[05:33] <Marianne> [Cyrenaica, Libya. The sun beat down upon the dry land and grasses of this little corner of fertility in a sea of barren death.-
[05:34] <Marianne> "Command to EVA-01. What is your status, over?"
[05:36] <Sept> "Deep sea fish are getting more and more interesting. I may be going mad," he replied. "Over."
[05:38] <Marianne> "Well, heads up. The German and Soviet Evas have moved into Egypt, and the Independence is headed your way. You should encounter the vanguard of Solaces soon."
[05:44] <Sept> "I see. We'll be ready."
[05:45] <Marianne> "Good." Marianne changed frequencies. "Zhang, Blanc, Ayanami- how are you?"-
[05:46] <Marianne> [Blanc and Zhang were, in fact, many thousands of feet above- above the clouds, in fact, in a pair of Evangelion Carrier planes, strapped to the undersides. EVA-11, Roku's Eva, circled them lazily- her Evangelion possessed a pair of new, morphic black wings with white trims. A Heavy Bolter was carried in its hands. "I am fine, ma'am."]
[05:49] <Yanmei> "Likewise, Colonel." It had been a long trip so far, and Yanmei was not in possession of a cell phone to keep her company, sadly. She fidgetted in her seat.
[05:50] * Aline was loosely breathing, handling herself as calmly as she could - it was obvious, though, that she was putting on the airs of meditation by near-force. "I'm alright."
[05:52] <Marianne> "Good. We're nearly ready, girls, so keep awake."-
[05:53] <Marianne> [Sera would notice a… Tremor in the water. Schools of fish suddenly darting and moving.-
[05:54] <Marianne> [Above him, jet engines screaming, flew wings of Valkyries, swords in hand- followed by Thruster Solaces equipped with clumsy air-drop jetpacks. There were -splashes- as Aqua Solaces zoomed across the surface of the water- far too far away to pick him up, disguised as he was.-
[05:55] <Marianne> Five, ten minutes after they departed, Sera would notice the huge, long shadow above him…
[06:01] * Sept found himself fidgeting now, as well, despite spending most of the time waiting relatively relaxed. "Are you still there? Just tell me when."
[06:03] <Marianne> "Alright. We're waiting for it to halt position and take up artillery firing…"-
[06:03] <Marianne> [The Independence eventually came to a stop- the shadow passed from overhead…-
[06:04] <Marianne> [Dull thuds could be heard, even underwater.-
[06:07] <Marianne> "Sera! Now!"
[06:11] <Sept> "Finally." The sands shifted and clouded Sera's vision for a moment as 01 rose from the seabed, kicking itself off toward the surface and the vague shadow beyond.-
[06:19] <Sept> EVA-01 emerged from the deep, reflecting light in curious patterns as its stealth systems went offline while the water flowed from its surface. It sped off toward the battleship in an erratic flight pattern, whirling through the air, gripping a large object under one arm…
[06:33] <Marianne> [The Independence was no defenseless, not even on its underbelly. Dozens of cannons and missile launchers turned to aim at the Evangelion- and opened fire in a huge mass that the Evangelion was able to ignore safely…]
[06:42] <Sept> A loud screech as 01 landed on the ship's surface, clawing itself to a halt. It stopped for a moment, and then slammed its cargo onto the ship's side. With the glimmer of an AT field around it, the N2 mine detonated.
[06:45] <Marianne> [There was an immense flash- and for a second it seemed as though Sera held a miniature sun in his hands. It threatened to rip through that very AT Field…-
[06:47] <Marianne> [But it held, and the energy annihilated the spire that was 01's target. The metal literally vaporised beneath the sheer concentration of energy- and a second later, energy rippled out across the entire hull of the Independence. The Ablative Field was down.-
[06:47] <Marianne> "EVA-00, EVA-04, EVA-11, deploy!"-
[06:47] <Marianne> [Yanmei and Aline's holding clips disengaged…]
[07:10] <Marianne> [The fire being poured into Sera started to intensify, now. Without his AT Field he was especially vulnerable as thousands- if not millions- of bullets raked his chest- missiles exploded into legs and arms- and positron bolts ripped through his body.]
[07:13] <Sept> His shield would've weighed him down, made him an easier target. If only he'd had it… Desperately, 01 clawed its way along the ship's metal hide, trying to find some cover between the structures.
[07:19] * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
[07:50] <Yanmei> A moment of weightlessness before horizontal movement changed to vertical… and then Yanmei dropped like a stone, eyeballing a distance target on the ship amid the bright flashes of light below. Positron fire. She was sure of it. -
[07:53] <Yanmei> "Steady…" She lifted 04's gun, squinting, adjusted her shoulder-mounted one, and then let out a short burst of fire from each. "It'll be better if we can just rely on our AT Fields for defense, right?" There was a faint trail of smoke below, at her target.
[07:56] <Marianne> [Roku had dropped in formation with Yanmei, but pulled up now, her wings flapping gently. Bolter fire streaked through one set of turrets, destroying three large cannons.]
[07:58] <Sept> Finally finding some small reprieve, Sera scrambled and flew his way up the side of the beast onto the deck, where he found the reason the cannons had lost interest in him. Familiar spots in the sky, and faint gunfire mixed in between the lulls in the cannonfire around him. "Welcome aboard!" came Sera's voice, pain forgotten for a second.
[08:11] <Aline> From on high, 00 lowered as well, not even bothering, at this insane an altitude, to spread its wings yet, instead keeping them folded up and not slowing the fall just yet. Aline was there, ready, and… "Looks like we're dropping in to rain some firepower on his parade, eh? Here goes!" The newly-installed wingmount maser cannon on 00 fired a swift pulse of 3 shots, streaking down towards
[08:11] <Aline> a positron turret encasement!
[08:13] <Marianne> [The bolts melted and bulged the metal casing, eventually detonating the main computers within the gun itself, frying it into uselessness.-
[08:13] <Marianne> "Good job, everyone! Keep going!"
[08:13] <Sept> The sole arm of EVA-01 hacked at, and through, some of the closest anti-Evangelion weaponry, metal screeching and sparking in protest.
[08:17] <Marianne> [A storm of heavy Positron bolts flew up towards Yanmei, hurtling towards her…]
[08:20] <Yanmei> "Hah." Yanmei tucked her arms close to her body and straightened her legs to make her fall more bulletlike, slipping between the bolts easily. "What terrible aim, Caine."
[08:23] <Marianne> [On the port side of the ship, a launch tube opened.-
[08:24] <Marianne> [A mech was catapulted out of the tube, and without stopping, flipped and hurtled towards Roku at top speed. It was tall- about the height of an Evangelion- and thin, with dark blue armour plates and a tall, crested head. In its right hand it bore a curved prog sword- in the other, a different, long, thin sword…]
[08:28] <Marianne> "All units, note- an unidentified unit has been sighted on the battlefield."
[08:30] <Sept> "The ship takes priority. Don't let it catch you off-guard, but don't pursue it."
[08:36] <Yanmei> "It'll be awfully hard to wreck the ship if we're getting stabbed in the back by something aggressive?" Yanmei pointed out. "Roku. Think you'll be alright?"
[08:37] <Marianne> ["The enemy is fast. I should be able to outmanoeuvre, however."]
[08:37] * Aline frowned, looking between her targets. "Well, uh, stay at it. I have my designated site as-is."
[08:39] <Yanmei> "We'll leave it to you? In the meantime…" Yanmei unleashed a burst of gunfire at another distant positron weapon. Only, it didn't seem so distant now…
[08:40] <Marianne> "Yanmei, look out-!"-
[08:40] <Marianne> [A massive burst of energy headed her way…]
[08:42] <Yanmei> "Hup!" A mid-air somersault carried her out of the way. "…that was close."
[08:47] * Aline meanwhile kept firing. "The damage output on this thing might not be as great as Sera's sword, but…!" Three more shots, all striking home and the final of their number searing with amazing power!
[08:49] <Marianne> [The base caught on fire and exploded with great and satisfying force.]
[09:01] <Yanmei> "Ugh!" Two heavy blasts came from seemingly out of no where. One was repelled by her rippling AT Field. The other smashed solidly against her midsection, a bright, hot sear of positron energy. "This is exactly what I didn't want to happen?"
[09:03] <Sept> The bloodied figure of 01 would flinch and be thrown slightly off balance by every missile, but none seemed to do any lasting damage as it hacked its way through the last of the aft cannons.
[09:09] <Marianne> ["This enemy is -fast-!" Noted Roku, barely dodging a blade as it sung through the air.]
[09:11] * Aline tapped her chin, as she stared down at the ever-faster-approaching battlecruiser. "Surprising that a non-EVA can have such tight controls…"
[09:12] <Marianne> "We've received a report from the German-Soviet group. They've engaged the enemy."
[09:35] <Yanmei> "How it's going well for them? Ngh!" More explosions, pummeling 04. It emerged from the cloud of smoke they wrought, aiming once more and shattering the two positron turrets it had been firing out before for good.
[09:35] <Yanmei> ^Hope it's
[09:35] <Yanmei> ^firing at
[09:36] <Marianne> [Another streak of Positron energy slammed into Yanmei's chest, frying circuity.-
[09:36] <Marianne> "They're holding their own. Asuka's engaging the T-RIDEN-Ts now."
[09:49] * Aline grumbled slightly, overhearing that. "Well good for them! Anyway, these positronic impact cannons… need to go." The maser carbine stirred again, firing a withering barrage at them!
[10:08] <Marianne> ["Wait- I- Yaa-" Roku screamed- a scream that was cut off.-
[10:08] <Marianne> "EVA-11's down! Yanmei, look out!"-
[10:09] <Marianne> [A shadow passed over Yanmei… The unidentified mech hovered above, staring down coldly.]
[10:10] * Aline punched her console, lightly. "Damnit! We've got to step it up!"
[10:26] <Yanmei> "Yes, we do." Yanmei glared above her at the looking T-HUN-T, and promptly zipped away with a ripple of her AT Field, toward one of the ship's prized Grand Positron Cannons. She let the force of her entrance do all the work, tucking one leg beneath herself and sailing the rest of the way on gravity alone. "Hyaaahh!!"
[10:27] <Marianne> [The armor plating cracked and fell apart…-
[10:27] <Marianne> [… And that's all.-
[10:28] <Marianne> [… But something unusual happened. A little light- unnoticed before- started to blink blue.-
[10:28] <Marianne> [As did another on the other cannon.-
[10:28] <Marianne> [And another.-
[10:29] <Marianne> [They spread, from bow to stern, until the entire ship was covered in blinking blue lights.-
[10:29] <Marianne> ["Colonel! Energy reaction within the target! This reading- It can't be-!"-
[10:29] <Marianne> [The air shimmered around the Independence…-
[10:29] <Marianne> [And stiffened, taking a hard, polygonal rainbow shape.-
[10:29] <Marianne> "That's an… AT Field?!"-
[10:30] <Marianne> ["Pattern blue, Colonel!"]
[10:31] * Aline twitched at the last bit. "G-g-gah. The Children of Adam are not fucking /toys/." Then she looked at her assembled vidscreens. "I'll try to take care of the… Angelic pattern. You two should keep fighting."
[10:38] <Sept> "…will do, Aline. Stay safe."
[10:43] <Yanmei> "Colonel. Any additional suggestions?" Yanmei was standing over the broken bits of Positron cannon armor, breathing heavily.
[10:45] <Marianne> "… We need to neutralise it as usual. Take out that cannon, Zhang."
[10:46] <Yanmei> "Yes, ma'am."
[10:46] * Sept beat his sword against the launcher with as much force as he could muster, but he couldn't manage to penetrate that paper-thin layer. "I'm wide open, the field… it's still too strong. Positron weaponry is our only option."
[11:03] <Marianne> [If Yanmei had underestimated the firepower of the Positron Battleship, she'd now realise that what she'd felt so far only intensified as she got closer. The hull -bristled- with weapons, all of them firing at her in a shower of energy and metal.]
[11:09] * Yanmei let out a short, sharp shriek as the gunfire and positron blasts burned into her. She muttered something shakily in Chinese, as her Eva dripped fluids, the flesh around the big gaping hole though its innards bubbling and starting to slowly encroach again.
[11:15] * Aline stared down from on high-rapidly-falling, and narrowed her eyes. The others felt the telltale tingling of an AT Ping going off, and then 00 further shimmered as it committed its energy to neutralizing the field… "Disadvantage of AT Fields. They're goddamn obvious." She muttered to herself, as she levelled the positron rifle, and pulsed a shot at… a seemingly nondescript section
[11:15] * Aline of the battleship's hull. "I've located the Angelic entity. Sending targeting data now. I'm gonna be very vulnerable now, though, but I hope it's worth it!"
[11:17] * Aline added. "…That might be where the bridge is, too, if they need synchro equipment - that stuff can't have a long range."
[11:18] <Marianne> [The positron bolt burned through a goodly chunk of hull.]
[11:32] <Marianne> [A shadow appeared over EVA-01.-
[11:33] <Marianne> [Attila hurled from the sky, leg outstretched in a firm, hard kick.]
[11:36] * Sept turned around in time to shift his position accordingly, and tackle the unit out of the air. They both landed on the deck, under a dozen meters from each other. 01's stance was still that of a being with two legs, creating a sight that seemed to defy physics slightly moreso than just levitating. It raised its single arm with the progressive sword in its grip and lunged.
[11:37] <Marianne> [The whirring prog sword came down, and clashed with it in midair- a massive shower of sparks lit up the top of the deck as the two vibrating blades met. Attila pulled back- and swung, low, towards the leg.]
[11:40] <Sept> 01 dropped and rolled toward the blow, sweeping the blade aside with his own on the way. He pushed hard into the Attila, trying to get it off-balance as he renewed his stance.
[11:41] <Marianne> [It side-stepped and leapt backwards through the air, landing far down near the bow of the battleship. It raised its right arm in warning…-
[11:41] <Marianne> [… And a Mas blast ripped it clear off the chassis. The Attila staggered.-
[11:42] <Marianne> ["…" A panting, female voice over the comms. The comms themselves were scratchy and damaged. "I-elle Bellamy, r-ng - uty."]
[11:52] <Yanmei> "Bellamy…?" Yanmei fire her own bolter rounds, trying to help 01 out. "Did she say…?!"
[11:53] <Marianne> "… So you were alive after all…"-
[11:53] <Marianne> ["C…Colonel. High energy reaction within the target. The engine's letting off erratic emissions…"]
[11:53] <Marianne> "How erratic? Explain."-
[11:54] <Marianne> ["It looks like the main Positron core is about to overload."-
[11:54] <Marianne> "Overload?! But…"
[12:04] * Aline grumbled a bit more, the sync disruptions having knocked her a bit for a loop. "*mumble* …ing Silas *mumble* egotistical li… *mumble*" And she stabbed deep into the bridge with her lance, jamming it in hard with her fiery, penetrating desire!
[12:08] <Yanmei> "Colonel. Publicaly verifying orders to retreat, asap?"
[12:10] <Marianne> "Yes. We need to -go-."
[12:18] <Yanmei> "You heard her. Blanc, de Pteres! You too, Isabelle, if you can hear me." She started forward - yelped in pain and surprise at a nearby turrent exploded, showing her with shrapnel. "Ahhh… Ngh…" She tried to pull herself together, staggering across the hull to where Roku's EVA lie, and firing at the Attila once more.
[12:19] * Aline grimly looked down at the site where she stabbed, but inside the plug, she gave a curt nod. "Right, right… Let's close this up, eh?"
[12:20] <Sept> "I… I'll be right with you. Don't worry. You can go."
[12:29] <Marianne> [The Attila took a step back, as if to run, or fly…-
[12:30] <Marianne> [The bolter shells ripped through the arms first, then the torso, which detonated completely, shrapnel flying in all directions- but the other shells caused a chain reaction, its last arm joint vaporising- its burning legs stumbled backwards, then fell onto their knees, then down against the deck.]
[12:34] <Sept> EVA-01's stance relaxed, and its lone broken arm hung limply at its side, gripping the sword. And then… he noticed her. "WAI-" He was far too late. The desperate cry came moments after the impact hit the Attila, soon cutting into nothing but silence.
[12:35] <Yanmei> There was a long silence from 04's entry plug. Long and disbelieving. The EVA's gun arm twitched slightly, as though it might lower or drop the bolter completely, but it didn't.
[12:36] * Aline almost broke the mood with her blank stare, 00 similarly angling its head quizzically, even as she started to reconfigure her AT Field to get moving at top speed…
[12:39] * Sept took a few limping hops toward the flaming wreck. "…" He knew what he had to do, but he had no way to communicate it to the others. "Help me…" he finally said. "M-my arm, it doesn't… we need to g-get her out." EVA-01 stood there on the deck of the sinking ship, gazing at the wreck with its usual gamut of emotions.
[12:43] <Yanmei> "Where?! Where is she?!" A step forward from 04 as she too panned the wreckage. There was some desperation there, too. Her voice was louder than usual. "Blanc, help him! I… Roku's…"
[12:45] <Marianne> [There, embedded in one of the fractured legs, cracked and half-broken, was a pod…]
[12:45] * Aline slowly moved forward, even 00 looking halting and dazed - yet, thanks to its AT Field, strangly quick. The effect was a disturbing lightning-shuffle, but the lumbering evangelion made its way towards the ruins of the Attila, and Aline looked down, before staring into the Sera picture on her screen. "…I'll do it. You go." And with that, she cradled the lance in the opposite arm's
[12:45] * Aline pit, as though couching it for a charge, before… gently reaching for the pod.
[12:46] <Marianne> "Thirty seconds!"
[12:48] * Yanmei was staring now, lapsing back into a strange silence. Her throat felt suddenly tight, and she had to work her way out of it. "Quickly. Move… we have to move." Rusty voice now, the comparative hush from its previous state suddenly jarring in her own ears. She stooped and collected the MP EVA as well as she could.
[12:49] * Sept stood still a while longer, as if to ensure proper etiquette was followed. Then, effortlessly, EVA-01 floated away from the deck and sped off ahead of Aline, the Evangelion's luminescent wings making a mockery of flight with their strangely vague and apathetic motions.
[12:49] <Aline> The hand took a firm grasp, carefully enfolding its cargo inside its fingers… before Aline looked up. "R-right, again. Now! Go now!" …and just as she said that, 00 tucked its legs, and leapt into the air, streaking at a pace that, once upon a time, was the domain of the Angel Gazardiel, but was now due to a trusted technique of the pilots.
[12:50] <Marianne> [EVA-07 was already well away, the heavy Evangelion gliding across the water at top speed.-
[12:51] <Marianne> [The MP Eva- with an AT Field helping- was light in 04's hands, and they were the last to leave…-
[12:52] <Marianne> [The Independence was breaking, its superstructure snapping in half. Explosions ripped through the deck as the AT Field surged and engines overloaded.-
[12:52] <Marianne> "Ten seconds!"
[12:59] <Sept> EVA-01 made no effort to turn around, to gloat or to be sure of Silas' death, as Sera otherwise might have. He'd glanced at 00's cargo a few times, but now it just seemed like the unit was on autopilot.
[12:59] * Aline grit her teeth, soaring ever higher, ever faster. 00 was approaching a significant fraction of 1 km/s now, and not abating much in speed. She felt like she was not just running for her life, but doing something important for Sera. Not that she /truly/ knew, but…
[13:02] * Yanmei wasn't lagging, exactly. She was behind the other pilots in terms of speed, certainly, but she was determined to reach the safe zone. Still, she didn't want to be too close to them either. It was a starnge balance of urgency and… an urgency of a different sort.
[13:04] <Marianne> [EVA-07 was ahead of all of them. It had clearly seen better days- its right leg was twitching mechanically, and significant parts of its armour looked… Patchy. The head was marred by a long cold energy burn…-
[13:05] <Marianne> [There was a roaring sound behind them, louder than anything they'd ever heard in their lives- so loud it threatened to deafen them, set their ears ringing.-
[13:08] <Marianne> [The Independence, split in two halves, began to sink towards the ground- when the stern half erupted. Explosion was too tame a word- the walls and bulkheads vaporised as the main reactor unleashed its power. Energy enough to power Europe for a year expanded in a massive glowing globe of positron energy.-
[13:09] <Marianne> [Of the Independence, the flagship of the LN, nothing remained. With it died eight thousand, four hundred and twenty three young men and women who had given their blood, sweat, tears- and now, their very lives to keep that ship fighting, in support of the cause they believed in.-
[13:09] <Marianne> [There was a sucking, howling sound as air rushed to fill the void left by the explosion…]
[13:17] * Yanmei didn't want to look behind, and yet she still ended up doing so anyway, with a turn of her head, wincing as it stung her eyes. Somehow, the five of them were still alright even in the face of this devastating force, but…
[13:19] * Sept only corrected his course as the winds shook 01, sending intricate patterns of fluids below from the unit's many flowing wounds.
[13:21] * Aline likewise didn't want to look back… and actually succeeded in that, staring ahead, actually even sometimes shutting her eyes for long blinks, as she cruised ahead. She knew the weight of their actions, yet… with the comms off, she couldn't help but mutter. "You… idiot."
[13:23] <Marianne> [And so they travelled, leaving Cyrenaica far behind…]
[13:31] <Sept> [Some weeks later…-]
[13:33] <Sept> [The corridors of the Saint Louis High School were always quite empty by this time of the day. Sera de Pteres hadn't seen them this way for a while, though. Most of the time, he'd actively avoided being around on the days when the Music Club convened, but he was there now for the first time in months, in the hallway, waiting for their gathering to end.]
[13:37] <Aline> It would soon end, like all gatherings would. All things, if we were to wax overly poetical. People filtered out, people went about the rest of their daily routine, few even caring that there was a boy in the hallway who wasn't there on other weeks. But one did notice. One who was familiar enough to him, for so many circumstances and so many reasons. "…Sera?" It was Aline.
[13:41] * Sept raised his head and wordlessly lifted what he was carrying in his right hand. He held up the violin case with both hands so she could plainly identify it as one she'd seen before. "You'll teach me, right?" he said.
[13:44] * Aline stared, and then stared again. She almost opened her mouth to say something, but… instead smiled softly. Now was not the time. What she did say, though, was… "Of course I will. It'll… take time to learn, but you already know the scales, so…"
[13:45] * Sept smiled back. "Thank you, Aline."

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