Conspiracy

[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:10] <Minaplo> [NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. 7th of February, 2018. Episode Title: Conspiracy.-
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:16] <Minaplo> [It is 10 in the morning on this day, and the guards that stand watch over the entrances of NERV Headquarters' topside entrances are growing bored.-
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:17] <Minaplo> [It isn't their fault. The day is cool, but the sunlight is directly upon them and it is nice and warm; the streets are quiet and empty and there's hardly been any traffic in or out.-
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:18] <Minaplo> [At this point, a young man beings to approach the gates.-
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:20] * SyntaxTerror is now known as Sept
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:22] <Minaplo> [He is of medium height, with fair skin and aqua-blue eyes. His hair is long and golden-blonde. His clothes are humble, rustic even and consist mostly of a clean robe. In his right hand was a rod, two feet in length and topped with a crystal.-
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:22] <Minaplo> [The guards take note of him, hands reaching to their rifles. He was probably some priest or religious nut. He wouldn't be the first or the last.-
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:23] * CakeyCake (~ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.81-522-722-69-loop|3tmretrac#ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.81-522-722-69-loop|3tmretrac) has joined #nervfrance
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:23] * CakeyCake is now known as Yanmei
[06:28] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> ["Good morning." Said the young man, giving them a smile. "Are you good today? I hope you are good today. Are you going to shoot me?"-
[06:29] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> ["Depends." Said one of the guards gruffly.-
[06:29] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> ["On what does it depend?"-
[06:29] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> ["On what you want."-
[06:29] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> ["I want to meet with your leaders." Said the young man.-
[06:29] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> [The guards snickered. "Funny. And why should we let you in?"-
[06:29] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> ["Because I'm an Angel."-
[06:29] <Minaplo> [21:24] <Minaplo> ——
[06:25] <Minaplo> [It is 9:30 in the morning on this day, and Aline Blanc and Raphael Guillory have been summoned to the conference room of the Battleship for a meeting.]
[06:31] * Aline would appear… not quite in a uniform, but dressed in a relatively prim black dress, striding through with a small push-up of her glasses as she went. She didn't make a casual expression, because she quite honestly expected this to be Serious Business.
[06:37] * Raphael has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[06:54] <Minaplo> [The conference room was occupied already, of course. Marianne is sitting in the head chair, Frederic to her left, Misato Katsuragi to her right. President Linden sits next to Misato, and next to Frederic sits President Mazarin.-
[06:55] <Minaplo> [Behind Marianne, his back to the congregation, is the armoured form of Vercingetorix. As Aline enters he turns on his heel dramatically, his cape flowing around him. "You are here. That is good."]
[06:57] * Raphael has joined #nervfrance
[06:58] * Aline slowly nodded. "Yes, yes I am. She looked at the various people assembled. This seems to be quite the important mass…
[07:07] <Minaplo> [Raphael Guillory is also there, on Linden's right side. Yes, Linden is sitting between them. Yes, she planned it. Little victories.-
[07:09] <Minaplo> [Marianne looks a little miffed at Vercingetorix's needless showmanship, but with considerable professionalism moves on. "Yes, you're here. Take a seat and now we can begin."]
[07:12] * Aline decides to, through no fault of her own, take the seat next to Raphael that's open. As if he didn't have enough problems.
[07:15] * Raphael gives Aline a small nod and a (slightly forced) smile before lapsing back into his usual composure. Although it must be said that he's paying very careful attention to the papers in front of him, eyes not venturing to either side…
[07:28] <Minaplo> ["Let's begin." Said Marianne. "Firstly, I would like to draw attention to the fact that an attack was made on Pilot Blanc here by criminal elements, specifically, the Mafia that seem so destined to irritate us."]
[07:30] * Aline nodded, and with surprising candor… "And in my drunken haze I basically proceeded to blow them up and cause grievous collateral damage in so doing. But they… they almost seemed to be there for some other reason, since on seeing me they asked if I was who I was, as if surprised I was there. Then again, they were heavily armed…"
[07:33] <Raphael> The mention of the mafia seems to set Raphael on edge, and he glances sidelong at Minerva without really intending to.
[07:35] <Minaplo> [Minerva glances back knowingly.-
[07:36] <Minaplo> ["We've been told as much, yes. We found a certain Joao Alves at Heaven Purview. Apparently he saw the entire thing."-
[07:36] <Minaplo> [Frederic spoke up. "Joao Alves is the heir to the Alves weapons trafficking dynasty. He's known to us, and we know his organization seems to be working with the Mafia to antagonise us. But he says his organisation has been coerced into helping them." Frederic tapped his chin. "He's given us information."]
[07:37] * Aline sorta stared at that. "So that was… ah. Information is good."
[07:48] <Minaplo> ["He's told us about some of the threats we face from these criminals." Said Marianne, nodding to Raphael. "Including the Mr. Blue you're so well-acquainted with, Guillory."]
[07:56] * Raphael frowns deeper for a moment, but nods. "New information is appreciated, ma'am."
[07:59] <Minaplo> ["According to Alves, Mr. Blue lured a number of criminal elements together, including the Parisian Mafia, the Camorra, the Alves group and an internet information group, with the idea of capturing a Paris-2 pilot and then ransoming them for cash. However, he's run into some problems with the- impetuous nature of the group. The mafia don was famously captured after a huge scene in public,
[07:59] <Minaplo> and the Camorra leader was killed when his car exploded- during the operation that saw Pilot Ayanami injured and Major Wellesley captured."-
[07:59] <Minaplo> ["Apparently, that operation wasn't demanded by Mr. Blue and he was furious when he found out. In any case, he's now taken over as leader of the Mafia -and- Camorra."]
[08:00] * Aline raised her brow. "I knew he had some semblanceof influence already, but to be that powerful…"
[08:09] * Raphael made a face as though he'd bitten into something sour, unable to help himself. "Is there any more factional infighting left to take advantage of? Better to splinter a power base like that before striking if at all possible."
[08:13] <Minaplo> ["Agreed." Said Mazarin quietly, his first contribution to the discussion.-
[08:14] <Minaplo> ["As Aline notes, Mr. Blue is fairly powerful, but he's not invincible." Said Frederic. "Joao says that his mother isn't fond of the direction of the- alliance, so there's a potential exploit there. He also says that there's a possibility of other Mafia or Camorra elements- capos or what-have-you- expressing disquiet."-
[08:14] <Minaplo> ["Mr. Blue is going to be addressing these 'elements' at a grand ball soon." Said Minerva.]
[08:19] <Aline> "…So whatever we do about them is going to have to either be fast, or will be facing the results of his 'addressing's."
[08:23] <Raphael> "Mmm." Raphael murmurs, glancing thoughtfully down at his hands.
[08:23] <Minaplo> ["Exactly." Said Linden.-
[08:24] <Minaplo> ["Which is why Captain Guillory and I will enact a plan to infiltrate said ball."]
[08:27] * Aline nodded. "Well, that sounds good then. Hopefully you'll be able to do something effective." Though there was a lingering question of a president getting involved in an infiltration mission, but Aline left that unspoken.
[08:28] <Raphael> "Understood." He says with a sharp nod, looking up again. "An event of that size… it's possible we could get a small team inside if we're careful…"
[08:28] <Raphael> … Apparently the -idea- of bringing the President on an infiltration mission into mafia territory hadn't even occured to Raphael.
[08:33] <Minaplo> ["Our primary target is Mr. Blue." Said Minerva. "Bringing too many assets in might jeopardize ourselves and Major Wellesley."]
[08:35] * Aline remained silent and looked at the two of them. She didn't know infiltration that wasn't in a video game.
[08:37] <Raphael> "… Mmm. A single operative would make it more difficult to apprehend Blue, but our options for getting one inside increase." He falls silent, mulling this over further before realizing the meeting has stalled. "… Regardless, ma'am, I'm certain we'll be able to put a plan in place."
[08:38] <Minaplo> ["There'll be two operatives."]
[08:39] * Aline looked at the two of them - Raphael and the President - as if to hint to Raphael her suspicions.
[08:41] <Raphael> But he wasn't looking at Aline, of course, because he was already going against his better judgement just by focusing on Minerva and had no intention of increasing the threshold of difficulty. "I see. Understood."
[08:43] <Minaplo> ["I am the other operative." Said Minerva slowly.]
[08:44] * Raphael has quit IRC (Client exited)
[08:44] * Raphael has joined #nervfrance
[08:46] * Aline twitched her hand as if to facepalm. But she didn't. That'd be horribly unprofessional.
[08:47] <Raphael> "… Ah."-
[08:47] <Raphael> His gaze swivels towards Marianne, managing to make his deep, deep misgivings clear despite maintaining a straight (If slightly red) face.
[08:49] <Minaplo> ["She'll be going in disguise." Said Marianne. "A very convincing disguise, with some limited assistance from Doctor Surov."-
[08:49] <Minaplo> [She says this as though it's supposed to be reassuring.-
[08:50] <Minaplo> ["Don't worry." Said Linden, patting Raphael's hand soothingly. "I know it seems insane but that's all part of the plan! I know how to handle myself, and we all agreed that I was probably the best person for the job, all things considered."-
[08:50] <Minaplo> [Misato shoots Linden a dark look, which earns a chuckle from Mazarin.]
[08:51] * Aline just calmly observed, because she was her own trouble for the poor boy/man/thing.
[09:03] * Raphael eyes Marianne for a moment longer (The tightening at the corners of his mouth as Linden makes contact is fractional at best), but seems to understand that the matter is decided - at least for now. He nods stiffly and seems to slide a few inches deeper into his chair. "Understood."
[09:05] <Minaplo> ["We have other matters. Ones most problematic." Said Vercingetorix.-
[09:05] <Minaplo> ["Zhang Yanmei; confession. Are we all aware? Do we understand?"]
[09:07] * Aline looked a bit grim at that. "I'm aware of it. It… reeks of something wrong but I can't place what."
[09:18] * Raphael has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[09:18] * Raphael has joined #nervfrance
[09:27] * Raphael has quit IRC (Quit: )
[09:31] <Minaplo> ["It's a fake. It's not real." Said Vercingetorix. "Zhang Yanmei, she escaped. With 08, with child."]
[09:32] <Aline> "…Amazing that they managed to suppress news of that for as long as they did." Aline said rather guardedly.
[09:35] <Minaplo> ["They what?" Mazarin looked darkly angry.-
[09:36] <Minaplo> ["They admitted that 08 escaped with Isaiah, but…" Marianne frowned.-
[09:36] <Minaplo> ["Trickery. As per usual." Said Vercingetorix.-
[09:36] <Minaplo> ["But 04 is in Caine's hands; a dangerous pair they are, too. We need it back. We need Yanmei."]
[09:38] * Aline slowly nodded. "…It's perhaps better that she's out of Caine's control, but… 04 still being in it is troublesome, yes…"
[09:41] <Minaplo> ["We need to find 08 as well." Said Marianne.-
[09:41] <Minaplo> [And now Vercingetorix moved, slowly, down the table, placing his hands on Aline's shoulders, the thumbs pressing slightly against her throat.]
[09:43] * Aline couldn't help but to squirm, but tried to remain composed in other ways. It wasn't quite helping. "Th-then we'll find her and Isaiah..
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["Where to search? Begin where?"]
[09:46] * Aline squirmed a bit more. "Wherever it is, it probably uh, isn't in UN territory. They would've noticed. Probably not offworld, that'd be just… stupid."
[09:47] <Minaplo> ["Our haystack is reduced, but is still a haystack." Said Vercingetorix. "What we need to do… Is to look everywhere."]
[09:52] * Aline continued to kind of jitter, why did this have to be so vaguely uncomfortable!? "W-well then! I guess that's… the plan."
[09:58] <Minaplo> ["We will need to use Lilith."]
[10:00] * Aline suddenly became a lot more uncomfortable than before, but didn't move this time. "…So we do. 'Souldar', for lack of a better term?"
[10:03] <Minaplo> ["Yes. But I need both pieces."]
[10:09] <Aline> "!" Somehow Aline pronounced an exclamation point. "…So the other one is…" She shook her head. "…Somewhere."
[10:10] <Minaplo> ["Do you know where…?" Whispered Vercingetorix.]
[10:11] * Aline whispered back. "No…"
[10:19] <Minaplo> ["Guess. Use your brain."]
[10:24] * Aline flashed backwards over years. Any evidence… any evidence at all. Imagery, connections… Throughout her mind a stream of thoughts and images flowed. Lilith - both corpulent and lithe variations. Herself and Euginia. AT Fields. The Lance. Yui. Wait… wait. The Lance. The /Lance/. She remembered something, and actually winced there at the table in full view. But she had a response.
[10:24] * Aline "…Tsubaki?"
[10:28] <Minaplo> ["Correct."-
[10:29] <Minaplo> [There was a gasp from around the table- Marianne and Misato. Frederic was frowning, and the two presidents seemed mildly bemused.]
[10:31] * Aline for her part exhaled, perhaps a bit glad that she didn't screw up. The way Vercingetorix acted around her made her on edge for those kinds of things.
[10:40] <Minaplo> ["That's all well and good, but Tsubaki's in the Synfront." Said Marianne.-
[10:40] <Minaplo> ["I intend to fix that." Said Vercingetorix.]
10[23:58:13] * Aline felt a tremor in her body. She didn't know what he meant, but… "…How?"
Session Time: Sat Mar 16 00:00:00 2013
[00:00:30] <Minaplo> ["Not your concern. Do not worry." He leaned down until his imposing mask was level with her face. "I will call for you very soon. Until then, remain safe."]
10[00:03:07] * Aline slowly nodded, though the combination of a number of factors about him was starting to really get to her. Even so. "Alright." She had to keep /some/ semblance of composure, even if her unease was clear. It wasn't really hiding anything as much as it was just being proper at this point.
03[00:09:34] * ZackAFK is now known as Zack
[00:11:59] <Minaplo> [There was a beep. Marianne hit a button on her table- "Go ahead, Bridge."-
[00:12:51] <Minaplo> ["Colonel, ground security says there's a situation. A man claiming to be an Angel approached the external guards."-
[00:13:05] <Minaplo> ["…" Marianne's eyebrows rose. "Go on."-
[00:13:51] <Minaplo> ["Normally we'd dismiss him as a religious fanatic but we've spoken to Ayanami Shi and she says she can sense Pattern Blue on him. What do we do? He's non-hostile."]
10[00:15:17] * Aline was kind of staring off into the distance with a pensive look on her face, when that choice bit of news broke. Non-hostile, tiny Angel, just waltzing up to the guards? What is this madness?
07[00:16:53] <Minaplo> [There was a sharp sound like a crack behind Aline, and the sudden rushing of air. Vercingetorix had teleported away.-
[00:17:42] <Minaplo> ["Damn that creepy son of a bitch." Murmured Marianne. "Alright. The alleged Angel is communicating- what does it want?"-
[00:17:49] <Minaplo> ["It wants to talk to you."-
[00:17:58] <Minaplo> ["Alright. What does everyone think?" Asked Marianne, turning to the table.]
10[00:23:22] * Aline furrowed her brow, but seemed a bit relieved to be out of his presence for now. "Well, given that a nonhostile Angel is possible - Shoftiel, if I remember correctly - we should consider it. With a mind for some level of safety… though no big fancy guard columns or something. Intimidation is… not the mindset I'd have. At least, that's my input."
[00:34:18] <Minaplo> ["Agreed." Said Frederic.-
[00:34:40] <Minaplo> [Misato's brow was furrowed. "Is it really safe to let an Angel into our most important assets?"-
[00:36:05] <Minaplo> ["If the Angel wants to communicate, we should allow it that." Said Mazarin. "Although letting it into said assets -is- dangerous."-
[00:36:24] <Minaplo> ["Colonel, this is in your hands." Said Minerva. "I'm as much a guest here as that Angel is."-
07[00:38:28] <Minaplo> ["Hmm." Marianne nodded, and got to her feet. "Alright. This meeting's at an end. Blanc, Gosselin, come with me. We'll meet this Angel in the cargo hold. Katsuragi, arrange for some security."]
10[00:44:20] * Aline stood up as well. Talking with an Angel in a way that wasn't telepathic and confronting! It would almost be exciting if she wasn't fresh off of an entirely different confronting situation. So her expression remained about as neutral as she'd allow it. "Understood."
[00:57:13] <Minaplo> [And so they went, led by Marianne, down to one of the cargo holds. The hold's roof had opened, exposing it to the blue sky outside.-
07[01:07:05] <Minaplo> [After about ten minutes of waiting, the sound of a heavy VTOL filled the air. The cargo VTOL slowly lowered itself down onto the steel floor, the rear hatch opening as the engines cooled. Aline would note the security- a squad of Battleship Marines behind the 'welcoming committee', and another on the second floor gantry.]
10[01:11:49] * Aline regarded the squads a bit warily… given the enormity of the danger an actual Angel posed, she supposed she shouldn't be so put off, but even so… hm. Maybe she was just being unusually optimistic. So there she stood, hands wrung at her waist.
[01:26:14] <Minaplo> [The VTOL's rear hatch lowered, and a squad of Storm Troopers filed out, followed by an AC Suit. They took up position around the VTOL, guns trained on the rear hatch.-
[01:32:53] <Minaplo> [And finally, someone emerged. It was a man, maybe in his twenties, wrapped in a simple blue robe. But there was nothing simple about this fellow- he was beautiful. He had long golden-blonde hair and a sweet, lovely face.-
[01:33:16] <Minaplo> [In his hands he held a sceptre topped off with a perfect red sphere that shone like a gemstone.]
10[01:36:15] * Aline stared, because, well. This was an unusual, impressive scene to be seen. She did note the sceptre, though, because if nothing else, it definitely was reminiscent of a core. Of course, she also felt a strange trepidation, given… something.
07[01:50:23] <Minaplo> ["I am Colonel Marianne Amatore-DeForest, Operations Director of NERV Headquarters." Said Marianne, her tone official and firm. "This is my XO, Captain Frederic Gosselin, and one of my pilots, Aline Blanc."]
10[01:51:07] * Aline gave a little bow when she was introduced, but said nothing else. For now, this was Official Mode.
[01:55:48] <Minaplo> ["I am Ezekiel." Said the Angel, bowing in return, smiling with a friendly face. "The Warmaster sent me, to act as a guide, and as a diplomat. I bring messages."]
10[02:00:22] * Aline widened her eyes slightly at the mention of the Warmaster - not because she really recognized it, but because it wasn't the name she figured was 'in charge'. Even so, she slowly nodded.
02[02:07:37] * CakeyCake (~ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.81-522-722-69-loop|3tmretrac#ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.81-522-722-69-loop|3tmretrac) Quit (Quit: Rawr! :E)
[02:15:22] <Minaplo> ["Then we welcome you in that capacity." Said Marianne. "Do you seek embassy?"-
[02:15:46] <Minaplo> ["I do. I possess Angelic power but in many ways I am a frail Lilim." He smiled disarmingly.-
[02:18:59] <Minaplo> [The tension in the room decreased, if only slightly. Years of conflict made everyone in the room- understandably- wary of this individual.-
[02:19:24] <Minaplo> ["Very well. Follow me." Said Marianne, and they led Ezekiel away.-
07[02:19:59] <Minaplo> [Eventually the cohort would arrive at a bedroom, much like Aline's. "This room will serve as your quarters. For security reasons we cannot allow you to travel the vessel without an escort." Said Marianne. "And guards will be posted to your door at all times."-
[02:20:05] <Minaplo> ["I am to be a prisoner?"-
[02:20:18] <Minaplo> ["You are to be a diplomat." Replied Marianne wryly.-
[02:22:29] <Minaplo> ["Understandable." Said Ezekiel, sitting primly upon the bed.]
10[02:26:32] * Aline was still wringing her hands, and was smiling what she thought was disarmingly - a pale (and how!) shadow of what Ezekiel had done earlier.
[02:41:13] <Minaplo> ["In any case, today I bid you warmth and greetings." Said Ezekiel with a smile. "But for now I am rather tired and wish to rest…"-
[02:41:32] <Minaplo> ["Fair enough." Marianne nodded slowly. "Then we'll leave you to it. Come on."-
07[02:41:50] <Minaplo> [A second later, Fred, Marianne and Aline were outside once more, walking through the corridors. "What do we think?" Asked Marianne.]
10[02:44:20] * Aline waved a hand. "Well, the first flag I had was that he claimed to be with the Warmaster - a name I haven't heard yet - rather than with any form of empire or empress, so that means that among the higher angels there's actually divides in opinion. Which is good enough, because Metatron doesn't give a damn anymore it seems."
[02:45:36] <Minaplo> ["It would explain why Astrotelepathy hasn't told us about this fellow before." Noted Frederic.-
07[02:45:48] <Minaplo> ["I agree." Marianne nodded. "What do you think he wants, Aline?"]
10[03:06:27] * Aline scratched her chin as they walked along, looking very contemplative, and far more relaxed than before. "Well, from a purely psychological perspective… most Angels want a few things. To exist in pursuance to their personality, and usually a goal related to the survival of their species - like paving the way for Angelic life, securing their Seed, and so on." She looked around, thus making a beat. "At any rate, I think that his personality is genial and perhaps less /authoritative/ than some Angels we've encountered, and combine that with the generic goal of perpetuating the Angelic race, and I think… I think he - or him on behalf of the Warmaster - might be making diplomatic overtures as a way to ensure such a goal happens, because war is, especially to one not sharing the general opinion of the 'Empire', not going to work. Ironic, really, considering his master's epithet."
07[03:12:06] <Minaplo> ["It -is- strange. That this 'Warmaster' is trying diplomacy in the first place. In any case, I'll keep that in mind, Aline. But I have a task for you."]
10[03:13:31] * Aline tilted her head to the side, rather quizzically. "Ah?"
[03:14:51] <Minaplo> ["I'd like you to- not now, best to leave him to his rest- but to speak informally with this 'Ezekiel'. Try to earn his friendship. You understand the Angel's psychology better than the average person, so you're the best one for the job."]
10[03:18:30] * Aline had not /literally/ expected that, but did anticipate something along those lines, so her reply was relatively quick. "Yeah, I can do that. And in an informal circumstance, it should be easier…" She paused, thinking about something. "Mmm."
[03:20:25] <Minaplo> ["What is it?"]
10[03:27:24] * Aline tiled her head in the other direction. "I'm just worried about something. There's something about Ezekiel that reminds me of Kaworu, and… recently, Shinji had a hallucination of said Kaworu - Frederic could attest as to how violent his reaction was. It sounds a bit… I dunno, cold? But I'd rather prevent that from happening again, and I'm worried if he sees me with Ezekiel, he might pick up on the same thing?… and react poorly."
[03:28:10] <Minaplo> [There was a moment of silence.-
[03:28:22] <Minaplo> ["We'll make sure to warn you ahead of time." Said Frederic.]
10[03:32:50] * Aline made a gentle smile at that. "Thank you. To have someone go into a berserker-rush at him… that'd be a fiasco."
07[03:33:12] <Minaplo> ["It would definitely sour relations." Said Marianne wryly. "Alright, Blanc. Dismissed."]

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