Cherry Blossom Procession 4 2 14

[08:22] <@AdEvaGM> [The Sword of Damocles, flagship of the UN Space Forces.-
[08:22] <@AdEvaGM> [At present, it cruised through the Indian Ocean, or specifically under it, two point six kilometres below the surface.-
[08:25] <@AdEvaGM> [Aline was on the Damocles at the express- invitation, so to speak- of Ezra Caine, although he was not currently on the bridge. Instead he sat in his office, within his own quarters- he was hard at work behind his desk.-
[08:25] <@AdEvaGM> [It was to this office that Aline had been directed. As she entered, Ezra stood up and offered her his hand to shake. "Ms. Blanc. Good to see you again."]
[08:29] * Aline extended her hand, and shook back. "Ah, the same, Mr. Caine." She said genially, before eyeing the chair briefly, and flumphing down. "So… what's the occasion today, if you don't mind my… asking?"
[08:35] * Tao (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR) has joined #nervfrance2
[08:35] * Raphael (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR) Quit (Ping timeout: 183 seconds)
[08:36] * Tao is now known as Raphael
[08:37] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra too sat; he leaned back in his chair, his arms resting in his lap. "My own curiosity. May I ask you a blunt question, Ms. Blanc?"]
[08:38] * Aline trailed off without having said anything to trail off /from/. An odd ability. "…I guess you can."
[08:38] <@AdEvaGM> ["How much of a damn do you really give about the war?"]
[08:41] * Aline paused. …Trailed off. "Honestly? … …Not a lot. It… honestly feels like I'm just wheeling in place to try to get what I want done, done. …I." She shook her head. "… …Every Solomon is controlled, I know that much. I don't know if anything's been changed, I don't know how much of my soul is in the Drive. …The longer I've been like this, the more I suspect things. I…
[08:41] * Aline I don't really like Yanmei and Sera's an idiot, and I sort of… put the UEF in the same box by habit, but how much of that is me? The last part I mean. …I've had practical knockdown dragouts with Yanmei so…" She shook her head. "I don't know. BUT UH. …The war? The war itself can go fuck itself."
[08:44] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra was quiet for a minute or so, fixing Aline with a steady, but gentle gaze. Eventually he sighed.-
[08:46] <@AdEvaGM> [He reached under his desk, pulled out a bottle of red wine and two glasses, filled them, then pushed one to Aline. "Yes, I thought as much. You never struck me as the type to really be involved without being forced to do so."-
[08:46] <@AdEvaGM> ["In fact, of the six Solomons, none of them, including yourself, give one ounce of a damn about the war."]
[08:48] * Aline …eyed the glass. A brief shake of instinct made her almost push it back… but she picked it up. Things had changed. Sip. "…About right, even without having talked to them before /and/ after 'turning'. …I even said to someone, post-Solomon, that /nobody/ willingly works for Mary for the sake of working for Mary. …Unless, I guess, they're either family and sorta weird about
[08:48] * Aline her, or are - were? Does she even have the parts…? - banging her."
[08:49] <@AdEvaGM> ["A question that will have to remain academic." Said Ezra, his tone light.-
[08:50] <@AdEvaGM> ["And you make a firm observation. You could categorise Mary's allies into three groups."-
[08:51] <@AdEvaGM> ["The first are those who have literally no choice because she has enslaved them- that would be you."-
[08:51] <@AdEvaGM> ["The second are those who are 'close' to her- intimate, or family."-
[08:51] <@AdEvaGM> ["The third are those who know too much about her to ever support her fully, but find being aligned to her suits their interests- for the time being."-
[08:52] <@AdEvaGM> ["If the choice were yours, which category would you fit yourself into, Ms. Blanc?"]
[08:53] <Aline> "That's almost too easy a question, you know." Aline said with a chiding tone. "What sane human would desire this kind of slavery? And I'm not close to her either, so the third."
[08:54] <@AdEvaGM> [He laughed. "Guilty as charged. I half-expected you to take a hidden option and take 'none of the above', though… Interesting."-
[08:58] <@AdEvaGM> ["Of course the other interesting thing is that Mary knows who fits into these categories. The question now is which category do you think she 'trusts' the most?"]
[09:03] * Aline pondered. "…Allegedly the close ones or the slaves? A normal person would trust the close ones, but maybe she's since only become able to trust control?" Aline shook her head. "…I dunno. I probably could've gone for that hidden answer or even should've."
[09:06] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra chuckled. "It sounds like you have the right of it, though. A Prime belonging to the category of the slaves, but wanting to be in the category of enlightened self-interest… You know, that's an interesting juxtaposition. Interesting things could happen from that, if they happened at the right time."]
[09:09] <Aline> "Interesting enough to suggest that you have some /enlightened self-interests/ on this matter." Aline lightly teased.
[09:17] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra laughed.-
[09:17] <@AdEvaGM> ["You could say that. In fact, why don't I tell you about some of my enlightened self-interests?"]
[09:31] * Aline smirked a little. "Sure~"
[09:34] <@AdEvaGM> ["How much do you have to do with Joan?"]
[09:43] * Aline thought about that for a bit, then shrugged. "Not… much, actually."
[09:50] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra nodded.-
[09:52] <@AdEvaGM> ["When I first arrived here, Joan was homocidal- you couldn't trust her to do the right thing, rather she would predictably do the wrong thing every time. But with a bit of digging, I learned that much of her murderousness came because of… Drive energy-? that wasn't being exercised because her ability to spawn had been sealed."]
[09:56] * Aline nodded so far. "That… well. That would make sense with Angelic psychology, insofar as they were not 'designed' to handle things without Angelic recourses, including potentially that."
[09:57] <@AdEvaGM> ["Quite right. At least that was the, er, diagnosis I was working from."-
[09:57] <@AdEvaGM> ["Of course, it means Joan gains more power from it, more of what she wants." Said Ezra. "A few people come to mind who didn't seem impressed by the idea that she was being helped."]
[09:59] <Aline> "A few, maybe especially one in particular?" Aline sort of irritatedly said.
[10:03] <@AdEvaGM> ["Haha. That's between me and them."-
[10:04] <@AdEvaGM> ["But as you might expect, I'm not doing this just because I want to see Joan become healthy."]
[10:09] * Aline slowly nodded. "Well no, I didn't expect that. Not with the, ah. Disapproval inherent."
[10:18] <@AdEvaGM> ["Quite." Said Ezra. "Simply put, there are benefits to everyone if Joan is less destructive- it benefits us because it makes less of a mess, it benefits our enemies because Joan won't be slaughtering their civilians or torturing them…"-
[10:21] <@AdEvaGM> ["These kinds of deals are what makes Promised Land thrive, ones where every party benefits." Said Ezra. "And so I would like to make one such deal to you."]
[10:27] * Aline tilted her head back and forth. "Okay…? Well, I'm listening anyway, to be honest."
[10:30] <@AdEvaGM> ["One of the things I'm doing as part of Joan's programme is socialising her and her Phantoms. I'm taking them to Victoria Falls on a day trip soon. I would like you to come along."]
[10:32] * Aline immediately nodded. "Ah! I could do that. You should /know/ how the Synfront is on anyone's morale." She noted. "…Should my own Phantoms stay home or…?"
[10:33] <@AdEvaGM> ["Oh, I don't know about staying home." Said Ezra. "But taking them isn't a good idea either. That's where -your- benefit comes in- I'm offering you the chance to move your family onto the Damocles."]
[10:34] * Aline smiled. "Oh, good. A more stimulating environment will help a lot with my Enrichment Programs…~"
[10:37] <@AdEvaGM> ["Exactly. Furthermore, they should have more freedoms whilst you're away from the taskmasters." Said Ezra. "And of course it means more people for my Promisedlanders to mingle with… You see? Enlightened self-interest, all the way down."]
[10:40] <Aline> "Better than turtles, even if some turtles can be adorable." Aline noted whimsically. "But yes, I… … Hm. I guess they'll be mostly well-behaved? I mean you've met all the other groups. … …Possibly might be a bit headstrong or maybe strange, but no, I think it'll work okay."
[10:42] * Raphael (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR) Quit (Ping timeout)
[10:42] * Raphael (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.411-75-291-271-epc|leahpaR) has joined #nervfrance2
[10:46] <@AdEvaGM> ["Ahaha, headstrong Phantoms. I welcome it."-
[10:46] <@AdEvaGM> ["They can't possibly be worse than Athena's." Muttered Ezra.]
[10:46] <@AdEvaGM> <Nope>
[10:46] <@AdEvaGM> <Agatha's*>
[10:47] <@AdEvaGM> <fuck you shut up>
[10:49] <Aline> "I imagine I've socialized them well-ish? They might even be pretentious! Maybe." Aline handwaved. "But yes I've been trying to instill as much independant critical thought as I can in the 'safe' mind modes. I would love to try to engineer some kind of inter-mind memory pipeline but… Well. That kind of tampering would become apparent to The Powers That Be and I'd need a lot more knowledge
[10:49] <Aline> of neuroconditioning rather than using…" She looked around shiftily. "Blunt instruments of the metaphysical kind."
[10:53] <@AdEvaGM> ["Blunt instruments?"]
[10:53] * Aline fretted a little, twiddling her fingers. "…High Destiny?"
[10:56] <@AdEvaGM> ["Ah. I… See."]
[10:57] * Aline was flushing in embarrassment. "It's the neuroconditioning equivalent of using a nuclear bomb to stomp a fly, and raises horrifying implications so you can… uh. Imagine my hesitation."
[11:00] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes, I believe I can." Said Ezra quietly. He drained his wine glass quickly.-
[11:00] <@AdEvaGM> ["… So, Ms. Blanc. We have a deal, then?" He said hurriedly, holding a hand out to Aline.]
[11:00] * Aline held her own out. "We do! …Sorry about inspiring existential horror."
[11:05] <@AdEvaGM> ["Occupational hazard, I'm used to it." He said, flashing her a handsome smile. "May this deal lead to many other fruitful ones in the future."]
[11:08] * Aline nodded her head again, smiling a bit brighter. "Oh, certainly~"
[11:11] <@AdEvaGM> ["Now, I could tell you some stories-"-
[11:14] <@AdEvaGM> [The comms in the room suddenly opened. ("Captain, this is Commander Sinclair. We've detected a Chinese surface warfleet.")-
[11:14] <@AdEvaGM> ["On my way." Said Ezra, suddenly rising to his feet. "With me, Ms. Blanc."]
[11:16] * Aline nodded sharply, standing up and moving to join him. "…Surface battlefleet…" Wondering if they were going to engage, or…"
[11:18] <@AdEvaGM> […-
[11:19] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra quickly took the captain's chair. "Report."-
[11:19] <@AdEvaGM> ["Eight destroyers and three cruisers." Said Sinclair. "We believe they're on interception duty, looking for Wu's invasion force."-
[11:20] <@AdEvaGM> ["Likelihood of interception?" Said Ezra.-
[11:21] <@AdEvaGM> ["Almost certain." Said Sinclair. "They'll cross paths in an hour."-
[11:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["And diverting the fleet is out of the question at this range." Said Ezra.-
[11:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["Correct, sir."-
[11:23] <@AdEvaGM> ["…" Ezra drummed his fingers on the armrest. "Ms. Blanc, have you ever been lost at sea?"]
[11:24] * Aline …thought about that. "I've been lost on /land/." She answered dumbly. "…What are you suggesting? Some kind of baffle or means to disorient the fleet?" She had already pondered her own idea, but it might have been… blunt force.
[11:26] <@AdEvaGM> ["Nothing so much." Said Ezra. "I mean pure brute force- destroying the fleet in one fell swoop and condemning thousands of men and women to the waves."]
[11:29] * Aline nodded. "… But to the waves…" She mused. "I mean, aware that this is a war and we have every reason to destroy the enemy for strategic gain. But I think I slightly understand what you mean anyway."
[11:30] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes." Said Ezra.-
[11:30] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well then, Ms. Blanc, do you have any suggestions on how to baffle or disorient our enemies, without revealing the existence of the Damocles or allowing them to call in an Evangelion alarm?"]
[11:35] <Aline> "You said lost at sea, right?" Aline thought. "How covertly can we perform AT effects through the connected Dys? Like… say… to imitate natural phenomena like a rogue wave?"
[11:45] <@AdEvaGM> [Ezra glanced at the AT Technician, who shook her head.-
[11:46] <@AdEvaGM> ["Seems to be a bit above what Sophia can do." Said Ezra. "If it's an AT trick, you'll have to do it yourself."]
[11:47] * Aline frowned. "…Fair enough. I… …I personally don't have the range without an Evangelion, and I don't have any other bright ideas unless a conventional weapon system can be modified to do the same. Even then, it's dicey. I mean if we just jaunted them it'd be obvious…" Beat. "I'm sorry, I'm not a trained tactician."
[11:52] <@AdEvaGM> ["Could you bring your Eva here?" Asked Ezra. "I can clear it if it's an authority thing."]
[11:59] <Aline> "…Probably? I'm remote-capable…"
[11:59] <@AdEvaGM> ["Alright. Jaunt your Eva below us, and you can do the rest here."]
[12:13] * Aline nodded, meditating. …After a few seconds, there was the slightest disturbance as something displaced an Evangelion's mass of water. …then a thud. "I'm going to have him cling to the underside so I have a bit less to think about in regards to treading water…" Aline mutttered. "Okay, let's see here… kinetic force… thermal alteration. It'll take a bit of doing but I think
[12:13] * Aline I can…" Slowly, Aline nurtured the flows of energy around the surface fleet. Eva-00 responded, and… "Brace for turbulence, and try to keep pace with the fleet. I need to do this over a few minutes, but if it works…" She nudged things delicately at first. Small thermal alterations, reaching out with her field to sense moisture in the air… this was a delicate procedure. Coalescing
[12:13] * Aline it, slowly… Water and water vapor in the upper atmosphere combine with inflows of thermal energy conveyoring from the sea. The thermal elevator fed the water vapor she was gathering, forming clouds… slowly, over roughly 10 minutes, clouds to the northeast of the fleet, following a dip in the jet stream already there, were gathering heads of steam. …This was going to be big. What
[12:13] * Aline Aline was doing… was tantamount to using the nuclear power equivalency of an Evangelion slightly more literally than normal - a hurricane, sufficient to disrupt radio contact, to scatter the fleet. She continued to whirl it through, the girl on the ship's deck actually waving her hands like a conductor to an orchestra. Sometimes, Destiny intervened, low and base, to ensure that natural
[12:13] * Aline thermal currents flowed in the right place, that lingering S2 radiation made the AT field effects harder to notice… The seas raged. Waves planed up amidst the flow of heat, as an unseasonable typhoon began to rock the fleet. With luck - and luck was never variable with Low Destiny on call - they would not /die/. She felt the threads of probability ringing. A Chinese deck-hand slipping
[12:13] * Aline on the spray would later, instead of falling overboard, catch a railing and be there to save his crewmate. Radar signals would go afoul. Ships would be literally physically turned around and carried by cresting waves for thousands of feet, maybe miles. …She planned it with fierce intellect and knowledge of physics, too. …The Chinese fleet would reassemble, yes. …But only after long
[12:13] * Aline enough that Wu's fleet would be out of their interception window. Time lost.
[12:21] <@AdEvaGM> [The bridge had gone silent as Aline had worked. They had borne silent witness to her manipulation of something as primordial as the weather itself.-
[12:22] <@AdEvaGM> [Here, then, was the power of a god in the most simplistic of ways.-
[12:22] <@AdEvaGM> [Long after the Chinese fleet had been harmlessly scattered far and wide, Ezra turned toward Aline and broke the silence.-
[12:23] <@AdEvaGM> ["Very impressive, Ms. Blanc." Said Ezra quietly. "I went into that expecting violence. Of course, I don't like to kill, but if we didn't, then they would kill our own men, so we would have to act… In essence, kind of the opposite of what I was talking about, a situation where we have to act poorly to prevent poor acts. Everyone loses."-
[12:24] <@AdEvaGM> ["But you made it into a real win-win." He gave her a smile. "You really are quite something else."]
[12:25] * Aline looked mentally strained, and… yet, was flush with happiness. "…I remember a man who works with the UEF. Who was the most insane pacifist. …He was kinda cool actually? …This feels like something he'd appreciate."
[12:31] <@AdEvaGM> ["Anyone I know?"]
[12:32] * Aline smirked. "Okay, you know the LN? You see, back a year or so ago, there were these three agents, you see…" … …~

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