Cherry Blossom Procession 4 2 43

(12:06:08) Sept: Sera's mornings were usually spent working on whatever project he was focusing on - he greatly valued the time right after waking up for these endeavors. So it was an afternoon when he could finally agree to find the time to see a Mr. Aherne.-
(12:07:01) Sept: He'd never spent a lot of time with Delgado, especially during their time on the Dorian, but he was still quite familiar with the reception.-
(12:08:56) Sept: "I should have an appointment here," he greeted the receptionist.
(12:25:15) Hopeplo: ["Yes, you do. You're just about on time." Said the receptionist happily. "Take a seat and I'll let Doctor Aherne know."]
(12:28:33) Sept: "Right, thank you," Sera nodded and sat down comfortably on one of the chairs by the wall, staring at the ceiling.
(12:31:25) Hopeplo: ["You'll find some forms on the table." Said the receptionist. "Would you be happy to fill them out?"]
(12:40:22) Sept: "That's fine, I guess." With a bit of effort, Sera sat up normally again, eyed the table next to him, and grabbed a pen and one of the stacked sheets of paper. He crossed his legs and started filling it out, not unlike a crossword puzzle.
(12:45:22) Hopeplo: [There was also a form there that required only a signature- an informed consent form, telling him that, for example, the content of his sessions would not be shared with anyone else except the therapist's supervisor and required by law, such as during a criminal proceeding. Did Sera sign it?]
(12:47:34) Sept: Sera often assumed this of people anyway, so he signed it without much thought.
(12:51:43) Hopeplo: [On a ship run by Yanmei? Sera really was in the right place.-
(12:52:32) Hopeplo: [A few minutes later, the door to the offices opened, and out came the new doctor, Laurie Aherne. "Mr. de Pteres? Would you like to come with me?"]
(12:55:53) Sept: "That's what I'm here for. Need these forms for anything?" Sera waved the half-filled questionnaire about a bit.
(12:56:26) WERDplo: ["They help, sure. If you'd like to finish them off, or not, up to you…"]
(12:59:21) Sept: "I'll fill them out as we go, in that case." Sera stood up, folded the papers in half and followed Aherne.
(13:06:36) WERDplo: [Aherne led him down the hall into the office, which had been Delgado's; but now it looked a lot different. There were still bookcases, although by and large fewer than there had been, and the liquor cabinet had been done away with. The desk was smaller and more modern and sleek than Delgado's grand old mahogany desk, and the seats, whilst still comfortable, were also newer and more elegant
(13:06:36) WERDplo: in design.-
(13:06:53) WERDplo: ["Please, take a seat." Said Aherne, gesturing toward one of those comfortable chairs. They sat opposite- on an angle- to a single chair closer to the door. There were no desks or such between the chairs, although each chair had its own little table.]
(13:10:45) Sept: Sera stopped to examine one of the bookcases, first. Then he sat down, looking at Aherne.-
(13:10:53) Sept: "You've renovated."
(13:12:06) Hopeplo: ["That I did." Said Aherne warmly. "What do you think?"]
(13:13:31) Sept: "It's inoffensive. Nice. I don't see anything personal, but I don't know you."
(13:18:02) Hopeplo: ["How about we change that first?" Said Aherne with a grin. "I'm Laurie Aherne, you can call me whatever you're comfortable with. As you know I'm Dr. Delgado's replacement, and I'm fine with you asking me anything you want to know about qualifications or experience or so forth."-
(13:18:44) Hopeplo: ["But that also means I'm a newcomer to your ship, and its unique way of looking at things. So if I seem a bit dumb about something, that's probably why. Are you happy to agree to pull me up and explain what I've missed if things go wrong?"]
(13:20:33) Sept: "Sure. Likewise."
(13:23:43) Hopeplo: ["Alright, good." Said Aherne; he rubbed his hands briskly and sat back in his seat, leaning just a little forward. "So, what do you want me to call you?"]
(13:27:15) Sept: "Sera's fine. I'm not too picky either way."
[20:48] <Hopeplo> ["Sera, then." Said Aherne. "Now, we've got about an hour here together, but it might be good if we just spend some time getting to know a little bit about each other, aye?"]
[20:54] <Sept> "Mhm."-
[20:54] <Sept> "I remember being annoyed with Felix because he'd never read the files so we could cut to the chase. Or at least he wouldn't admit he'd read 'em. Are you gonna do the same?"
[21:01] <Hopeplo> [Aherne chuckled.-
[21:03] <Hopeplo> ["I was hoping not to." He said. "No disrespect to the files, they have a purpose… But I find this works best when I go into it with a blank slate. It lets me form my own views, independent of someone else's perception of you. Does that make sense?"]
[21:10] <Sept> "Yeah, of course. I guess I still think about them in terms of NERV intel. Objective and omniscient."-
[21:10] <Sept> "Where do we start?"
[21:20] <PINGplo> ["Hmm… Anything about yourself you like to talk about?"]
[21:27] <Sept> "Not… really. My life revolves around the war and its circumstances a lot, but I have things I do in my free time. But I don't think they have a lot of bearing on anything for you."
[21:30] <PINGplo> ["No no, please."]
[21:32] <Sept> "You want me to talk about my hobbies?"
[21:34] <PINGplo> ["Absolutely."]
[21:38] <Sept> "Well, I play music. I've been relearning the violin and the flute after I stopped for - some months or a year or something. I got my hand replaced in the meantime, so. And a bunch of basketball, recently. Both tied to long-term goals, which is probably why I've stuck with them. And then very little reading and whatever."
[21:39] <PINGplo> ["Hmm, I see. So musical instruments, team sports and a bit of reading." Said Aherne. "Sounds pretty diverse."]
[21:42] <Sept> "Team sports is the recent exception. Otherwise, it's all something I can do by myself."
[21:55] <PINGplo> ["Right, right, you said you recently started that. How'd that happen?"]
[22:00] <Sept> "Took an offer to join Fox squad for their weekly practice. It turned into a bet, so now we practice for the match we agreed on."
[22:04] <PINGplo> ["Oh, I see. You like it?"]
[22:07] <Sept> "Yep."
[22:15] <PINGplo> ["That's good." Said Aherne.-
[22:15] <PINGplo> ["What about friends and family?"]
[22:26] <Sept> "Got some family onboard, and some friends. They come and go."
[22:26] <PINGplo> ["Mind telling me a little about that?"]
[22:32] <Sept> "Ginevre Fontaine, Anselme Desrosiers and Freya Solheim are all people you'd consider family here. I stay in touch and have lunch with the former two pretty regularly. Freya just got back from a long trip alive, so I'm pretty happy about it."
[22:48] <PINGplo> ["Alright, that's good." Said Aherne encouragingly. "It sounds pretty dangerous out there, yeah- glad she made it back…"]
[22:53] <Sept> "Mhm. She might've made it by herself, but maybe not, so I had to track her down and help her out."
[23:20] <Hopeplo> ["Oh, you did? That sounds intense."]
[23:21] <Sept> "It was."
[23:23] <Hopeplo> ["Hmm."-
[23:23] <Hopeplo> ["Still, it's good that you're in touch with your family. What about friends?"]
[23:31] <Sept> "The few people I play music with, people like Fox squad, some of the pilots I work with I'm on good terms on. But for anything more than that… Tsubaki Akagi and her immediate circle I am or was very close with. Maybe a few others, but we don't catch up that often."
[23:36] <Hopeplo> ["Okay, alright." Said Aherne. "So a few friends, often with shared interests… Good, good."-
[23:36] <Hopeplo> ["Just a little more- about work, maybe?"]
[23:41] <Sept> "Right. I'm an Eva pilot, and everything else I do tends to be secondary to that - it'd be bad if I couldn't resolve some issue with it because of an injury from other work, or personal issues."-
[23:43] <Sept> "I've always wanted to be more involved in the command and research departments, but I only recently had the opportunity to do any of that. So I've been helping the Tech people for a few months now in the time between battles."
[23:44] <Hopeplo> ["Oh, I see. Work outside of the front line- how's it been?"]
[23:47] <Sept> "Good. Everyone's the best at their jobs, so it can be tough to feel like I deserve to be there," Sera shrugged. "But succeeding is very rewarding. I like not being wrong."
[23:52] <Hopeplo> ["Alright, that's really good." Said Aherne.]
[23:54] <Sept> "Mhm."
[23:56] <Hopeplo> ["Okay. Well!" Aherne sat back a little in his seat. "Let's get started, hm? Now that you're here, is there anything you want to bring up, something I can try to help you with?"]
[23:58] <Sept> "I don't know. What is it you usually help people with?"
[00:00] <Hopeplo> ["Whatever they want help with. Anything, really."]
[00:08] <Sept> "Okay. With Felix, it was mostly him graciously pretending to have a calm evening with me over whiskey or something. A non-condescending setting where I could complain about whatever injustice. But I don't particularly need that these days."
[00:11] <Hopeplo> ["If you don't need it, then it's not much use offering it." Said Aherne.-
[00:12] <Hopeplo> ["If you don't feel like there's anything you're wanting from me, that's fine too. It's just an assessment and I'd be happy to say, you know, you're handling your own stuff. That'd be great."-
[00:12] <Hopeplo> ["Of course, if there's anything you feel like you can't handle yourself, or haven't been recently…"]
[00:20] <Sept> "Sure. If we can be honest with each other?"
[00:21] <Hopeplo> ["Please."]
[00:28] <Sept> "There're always things I feel are causing problems that I can't see solutions for. That's caused by the complicated nature of these two wars and the reasons they started."-
[00:29] <Sept> "Maybe you can help me with them. But you'll need a better grindstone than the casual positivity so far, and the rabbit hole's going to be endless. Of course, you knew that when you agreed to take the job."
[00:41] <Hopeplo> ["Fair enough."]
[19:52] <Sept> "Okay. Let's… start with the hopefully easier matters. You're not briefed on Aline Blanc?"
[20:14] <Hopeplo> ["Depends on what you mean." Said Aherne. "I've been given the outline on a lot of 'classified' matters- Eternity Drive, things of that calibre. I know a few things about her, but I haven't read her full profile."]
[20:20] <Sept> "Good." Sera tapped on an armrest for a few moments, looking past Aherne. "Since a little after she died, I've harbored a bunch of irrational hate for her. I think it's very unconstructive. Let's try solving that."
[20:28] <Hopeplo> ["Alright, let's do that." Said Aherne. "So you feel a strong sense of- hatred? Explain to me what thoughts you have when you feel that hatred."]
[20:32] <Sept> "What do you mean, what thoughts?"
[20:41] <Hopeplo> ["Hm, I mean… Describe what it feels like for you when this hatred rises to the surface."]
[20:48] <Sept> "…right," Sera said slowly.-
[20:52] <Sept> "Well, I think it's like an impulse to blame someone else for the challenges right now, and there's no good outlet for it, because no one else feels that way. So it reinforces my feeling of not fitting in, I guess. That what you mean?"
[20:54] <Hopeplo> ["That's all good, sure." Said Aherne. "We can come back to the other stuff later- for now, though. Let's look at these thoughts- an impulse to blame someone else. Aline?"]
[20:59] <Sept> "Sure. Twofold: it's easy to blame me for her death, and she was irreplaceable, yet I've had to temporarily replace her. Inadequately."
[21:00] <Hopeplo> ["Replace her. How?"]
[21:03] <Sept> "As the person who knows anything, from the three of us."
[21:05] <Hopeplo> ["The three of you- you, Aline, Yanmei?"]
[21:05] <Sept> "Yeah."
[21:06] <Hopeplo> ["Alright. So it sounds like Aline's role was to know things. Anything in particular that you consider most important?"]
[21:13] <Sept> "Evangelion, souls, Impact scenarios. By now, she should've been able to get to the bottom of a lot of ancestral race bullshit that could have helped."
[21:29] <Hopeplo> ["And without her it's a lot harder, and more pressure's on you?"]
[21:33] <Sept> "Yes. Yanmei's too… busy. And it's even more difficult to get anyone else."
[21:51] <Hopeplo> ["It does sound like a thorny issue- how come it's so hard to get others into it?"]
[21:57] <Sept> "It would require near-absolute trust. And it would create another irreplaceable person, and there are times when it isn't possible to consult someone else."
[22:03] <Hopeplo> [Aherne nodded. "Alright. So overall, Aline's gone, and now all that responsibility- that immovable responsibility- has been placed on you… On top of everything you were already doing. And you feel like you've done a poorer job of it than she would've."]
[22:05] <Sept> "Naturally."-
[22:05] <Sept> "If I could do it better, she wouldn't have been here."
[22:08] <Hopeplo> ["Because you think it's your fault she died."]
[22:13] <Sept> "No. Well, yes. She was a pilot because of her skillset. So it's my fault for putting her in an Eva in the first place, but that's pointless to think about."-
[22:15] <Sept> "But I think I did everything I could during the operation. I don't have regrets or anything stupid. I hate that it happened, but that should be the end of it."
[22:17] <Hopeplo> ["But it sounds like it isn't, for you."]
[22:19] <Sept> "…"
[22:22] <Hopeplo> [Aherne didn't say anything either, instead leaning back in his chair a little, giving Sera the mastery of the floor.]
[22:26] <Sept> "Obviously, it wasn't her fault in the operation, either. She was incapacitated and did everything you could ask of her. But, I guess."-
[22:27] <Sept> "'If it had to be her, why couldn't she be better than this?'"
[22:28] <Hopeplo> ["Better in what way?"]
[22:31] <Sept> "Better somehow that would've avoided this disaster. There's nothing about this that we can turn to our advantage."
[22:48] <Hopeplo> ["Alright. So what can we do instead?"]
[22:55] <Sept> "Recover. We need Aline back, dead or alive, including her soul and everything else. That's difficult enough without me hesitating."
[21:38] <Hopeplo> ["So we're looking at ensuring you're in the best frame of mind to do that?"]
[21:39] <Sept> "Of course."
[21:42] <Hopeplo> ["I'd like you to sum up what you think you need to do- or overcome- to get yourself in that frame of mind."]
[21:47] <Sept> "Find a better way to understand the emotion, then change it."
[22:00] <Hopeplo> ["Sounds good. Anything else come to mind?"]
[22:03] * Sept looked back at him in silence for a few moments.-
[22:04] <Sept> "Not really, no. I've already spent hours going in circles with this, alright?"
[22:05] <Hopeplo> ["Sure, but I'd be remiss if I assumed to know what you've already thought."]
[22:09] <Sept> "I know. That would help, but I guess Felix didn't know any telepaths."
[22:13] <Hopeplo> ["He wouldn't use them even if he did." Said Aherne. "Alright. So step one is to understand the emotion. And that's what you've been doing, right? Talking about how much harder her death made your investigation and handling of all that knowledge."]
[22:19] <Sept> "But… that's the practical reason. It makes sense, and I should be able to solve it by myself. It's everything else that's muddled."
[22:21] <Hopeplo> ["Go on."]
[22:25] <Sept> "About what?" Sera asked, irritated.
[22:32] <Hopeplo> [Aherne was silent. He leaned back slowly in his chair and frowned thoughtfully.-
[22:36] <Hopeplo> ["… Alright, I realise that my approach at the moment doesn't seem to be helping." He said. "Let me try again. What I'm trying to explore is why you feel you should be able to solve this by yourself and what's stopping you from doing so. It sounds like you have specific thoughts on that topic, so I'm hoping we can put them all on the same page, side by side, and create a plan like that.
[22:36] <Hopeplo> Would it help if I gave you some paper and pen, jot it down?"]
[22:42] <Sept> "No thanks. I can remember that much. Let me think."-
[22:44] * Sept was quiet for a bit longer, rubbing his forehead with first one hand, then the other.-
[22:47] <Sept> "Okay. I should be able to solve something this small because I've been doing it to survive bigger changes in my life. Few people could make it through death, layers of brainwashing and experimental Eva conditions like I have."-
[22:51] <Sept> "But with Aline and Yanmei, there was never a need to tear down and rebuild. I've thought about them the same way since the beginning. So this… seemingly psychologically insignificant event - we lose friends all the time - has caused this unsustainable structure to collapse."-
[22:51] <Sept> "Sorry. I promised you something simple. Does that make sense?"
[22:58] <Hopeplo> ["Sure." Said Aherne quietly.-
[22:59] <Hopeplo> ["I think I'm starting to understand your frustration now." He said. "You feel like you've had similar situations in the past that you've overcome, but what you used then isn't working now. Am I right?"]
[22:59] <Sept> "Correct."
[23:02] <Hopeplo> ["Why not, in your opinion? Have the rules themselves changed, or is the situation different somehow?"]
[23:07] <Sept> "I said it's collapsed. I can't look at my own thoughts clearly enough and isolate a good reason because of the years of… how I've been treating them."-
[23:10] <Sept> "But while they were alive and everything was fine, the problems didn't exist."
[23:14] <Hopeplo> ["Alright. Do you mind illustrating something for me? How do you react when you lose someone who isn't Aline or Yanmei?"]
[23:23] <Sept> "…right. In a battle, we fight without them. Of course. Outside, I mourn like anyone else. There may be times when I'd rather feel angry at myself or the circumstances than feel sad."
[23:29] <Hopeplo> ["I see. Do you mind telling me a little more about how you mourn others? What feelings do you have? Other thoughts?"]
[23:31] <Sept> "Whether or not I blame myself for it, it always makes me want to end the war faster."
[23:32] <Hopeplo> ["Hm, I see…"]
[23:46] <Sept> "And that's a touchy subject on this ship. People don't want to hear me talk about it, although they've let me understand they agree with me. So I guess I've given up on it. But that's hardly relevant to this."
[23:51] <Hopeplo> ["Howso?"]
[23:53] <Sept> "You were asking me about other people dying. That's a different subject."
[23:55] <Hopeplo> ["Hm. You don't want to talk about it?"]
[23:59] <Sept> "Tell me how it's related to Aline and we can spend time talking about it."
[00:02] <Hopeplo> [Aherne was silent for a moment, his hands folded neatly in his lap.-
[00:12] <Hopeplo> ["It sounds to me like it has a lot to do with Aline. When someone dies, it makes you want to end the war faster, yes? Well Aline's death made that harder for you. Wiped out one of your avenues. Slowed that progress, majorly even. That means that ever since Aline's died, you've found it that much harder to mourn for everyone else that's died- and she's the reason, and you haven't been
[00:12] <Hopeplo> able to talk about any of that because people don't want to listen to you."]
[00:17] <Sept> "Better," Sera said, tapping on the armrest nervously as he mulled it over.-
[00:34] <Sept> "No one's died after Aline, so you're wrong. Malchediel was the one that casually slaughtered my city. Everything since has been trivial in comparison."-
[00:34] <Sept> "Otherwise. I can agree."
[00:41] <Hopeplo> ["Pardon me." Said Aherne. "Thousands died after Aline's death on the moon, both here, in Asgard and elsewhere- I had no idea if any of those were your friends or not."]
[00:43] <Sept> "…Ah. I see."-
[00:45] <Sept> "Your timeline is wrong. Aline didn't die in Metatron's egg, she was killed while captured by the UN. We found out after the massacres."
[00:47] <Hopeplo> ["Metatron's egg was the last chance you had to avert her death." Said Aherne. "So it doesn't matter if she died then or if she died a day later- it's the same outcome."]
[00:50] <Sept> "If I didn't know it would happen, then it didn't color my experience of the Asgard massacre in any way."
[00:56] <Hopeplo> ["True enough, but there've been plenty of battles after that with losses on both sides, you could've had a friend amongst those. It's apparent that you didn't, though, so let's move on."-
[00:59] <Hopeplo> ["Fact still remains that if someone close to you died tomorrow- and that's always a risk, isn't it?- that Aline's death would be a factor in that, either indirectly or directly. And is it possible that it's having an effect on your feelings about the deaths before her's?"]
[01:04] <Sept> "The deaths before her's?"
[01:04] <Hopeplo> ["Malchediel's attack, for instance."]
[01:08] <Sept> "I don't follow."
[01:15] <Hopeplo> ["You said so yourself, you lose friends all the time. Yet it was Malchediel's attack that you singled out- everything else is 'trivial' in comparison…?"]
[01:19] <Sept> "But it happened two and a half years ago. What's her death got to do with it?"
[01:21] <Hopeplo> ["I don't know- you tell me if it is or isn't." Said Aherne. "At least entertain the possibility- since they're both a form of grieving."]
[01:23] <Sept> "…"-
[01:27] <Sept> "I guess that failure - hers and mine - makes all the deaths leading up to it even more pointless. Hm."
[01:31] <Hopeplo> ["And she's not even around anymore to bear her half of the burden, seems like."]
[01:40] <Sept> "Quite the opposite. Sentenced to life as a superpowered being going around accosting her old flames. Must be hell."
[01:41] <Hopeplo> ["Alongside Malchediel herself. Have you met Aline in the field yet?"]
[01:45] <Sept> "Nah."
[01:46] <Hopeplo> ["Given much thought to that?"]
[01:51] <Sept> "That's mostly what I'm worried about. I think it could be a problem when I'm piloting, too."
[01:54] <Hopeplo> ["Alright." Said Aherne. "What do you fear most in regards to interference with your piloting?"]
[21:55] <Sept> "Well, obviously that I'll do something stupid when provoked. Fail to cover an ally or blow up a city or something. All it takes is one good war crime and either the war effort is set back by months, or they put me in jail again after a tribunal."
[22:06] <Hopeplo> ["Mm. And you're worried that they'll try to do that, then- deliberately provoke you."]
[22:08] <Sept> "That would be self-centered of me, to think there's some kind of grand plan for it. But yes."
[22:12] <Hopeplo> ["How might they do that?"]
[22:20] <Sept> "I don't know. It's not hard to out-track my coverage in a larger battle. I take the stakes - the civilian and military lives involved - very seriously when I'm piloting. Especially with the current tech. So it gets to me when they keep picking strategically insignificant targets behind me instead of taking a direct confrontation."-
[22:20] <Sept> "Or they could just insult me. I guess that works."
[22:22] <Hopeplo> ["I see. So prioritising the vulnerable over you, and insulting you… Alright. Is there anything you think they'd go for if they were trying to insult you? What might work?"]
[22:27] <Sept> "I don't know, any number of my personal past or future failings and their consequences. Or they could go for Yanmei. I'm protective of her, obviously."
[22:28] <Hopeplo> ["Is that so? Hmm…"]
[22:35] <Sept> "Right. So?"
[22:37] <Hopeplo> ["Do you mind telling me a little about your relationship with Yanmei?"]
[22:43] <Sept> "Sure. We're not that close, but we've worked together for a long time so we're used to each other."
[23:05] <Hopeplo> ["Of course. And you feel protective of her."]
[23:09] <Sept> "Sure. Calling it love wouldn't be an exaggeration, but it also wouldn't be constructive."
[23:10] <Hopeplo> ["No?"]
[23:13] <Sept> "She's got a lover, I'm not romantically interested in her, and it should be obvious to anyone who knows our circumstances. No, it wouldn't be."
[23:14] <Hopeplo> ["And it doesn't affect you negatively?"]
[23:16] <Sept> "Not until she gets killed and/or captured."
[23:30] <Hopeplo> ["Mmm. Alright, that brings us back to their attempts to knock you off-kilter. It sounds like this is something of a concern for you- should we work on finding ways to protect yourself against it?"]
[23:37] <Sept> "Dealing with Aline would be better, but that would be a good measure for the short term."
[23:38] <Hopeplo> ["Mm, okay. Dealing with Aline- we can focus on whichever you like, but if you think protecting yourself is more doable…?"]
[23:40] <Sept> "I guess I do."
[20:50] <Sept> "I'm… not sure if I have experience with it. If I look at previous battles - Angels, Silas, whatever, they've always been our main goal to begin with."-
[20:51] <Sept> "We're not going to roll out the armies for the express purpose of retrieving Aline. She's just a hindrance. That's what makes this new and a problem."
[20:55] <GONEplo> ["Alright." Said Aherne.]
[20:57] <Sept> "What was the question? What have I tried…"-
[20:59] <Sept> "I'm good at ignoring things? But when I'm piloting, there's a much clearer sense of right and wrong. And what she's doing is wrong. Not just morally, but in the sense of the correct state of things."
[21:00] <Hopeplo> ["Alright, so she's really transgressing against you. And it sounds like you want to bring her back in line?"]
[21:02] <Sept> "Sure. That's good enough."
[21:03] <Hopeplo> ["How often do you run into situations where others, y'know, transgress against you? Is it just Aline?"]
[21:09] <Sept> "Often enough. I disagree with people's values all the time. But I'm used to it in everyday life, so I can ignore it. But this could affect my piloting. No, there hasn't been anything else in this war."
[21:11] <Hopeplo> ["Alright, so the fact that you're piloting at the time is what makes it distinctive."]
[21:13] <Sept> "Yes. The environment likely makes it easier, and the potential consequences are of a different magnitude. Obviously."
[21:13] <Hopeplo> ["Right. But if you two met, say, at an embassy, and she did the same thing, you'd have a better time of ignoring it."]
[21:14] <Sept> "Probably."
[21:16] <Hopeplo> ["Mmm." Aherne rubbed his chin. "It's curious to me, the way this sounds- it's as though knowing that the stakes are higher actually increases your chance of failing."]
[21:22] <Sept> "It's- not. L-look, 01's just more actively protective of them. I don't know what you want to find, but isn't there some technique you can recommend for it or something?"
[21:38] <Hopeplo> ["Maybe." Said Aherne. "But at the same time, I trust you as well. I trust you as a competent person, a resourceful one- I don't expect that you just show up here, not having tried to fix the problem yourself, or at least have the worm of an idea on what you might do."]

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