First Exchanges

14th of February: from Aline to Shinji

Dear Ikari Shinji-san.

(I figured I'd use that anyway. I did that with your mother and she was a bit confused why a French girl would do that, but I think it's being nice!) It's good to know that you were watching, and that you even paid enough attention to know which one was mine, even if likely after the fact. But this will be a good opportunity for both of us to practice English, since I don't know Japanese, and you don't know French. Anyway… It's great to see that you're so supportive! And yeah, it can get a bit scary in there. For example, that direct hit was rather shocking - I barely got my wits back together in time to get moving. I think all three of us just didn't have the experience with Angels. Even if we didn't tell the people at the press conference that. It'll get better in time, I'm sure of it! I also do music, and I'm on the best track for science classes. I'm somewhat older than you, I've been 15 for a few months now, but what's only one year as a difference? Let's see, what else… Ah, my dad works on civil engineering, I think, and right now he's on a long term contract to get Berlin-2 up and running, so he just visits every month or so. Mom's a bit of a housewife, I think - she used to be… I don't remember. Something pre-impact. But since then, she hasn't really wanted to leave the house for things other than shopping. (Er, wait, that's actually a little embarassing. Oh well!) But I'm getting by just fine, if you have other questions feel free to ask! Oh, and, ah, which instrument do you play? I do classical violin.
P.S.: Fair's fair, so I'm sending my picture, too. I know you've probably seen it all over the news already, but this is a family photo. I think I look less stiff out of uniform.

19th of February: From Shinji to Aline

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Dear Aline-Blanc Sama.
I'm really amazed and thankful that you decided to reply! I imagine you got a lot of letters like mine, so replying to me is really nice.
I saw the press conference. You did really well! All of you were really impressive. Some of those questions were really hard- I'm not sure I would've done as well as you did. Being in front of people like that makes me nervous even in a schoolroom!
I hope my mother did not bother you too much. Her request was so embarrassing, I was blushing the entire time you spoke and my sister made fun of me endlessly. But I really do appreciate it. My mother has a high opinion of you coming back. 'She's not like that other one', she keeps saying. ('That other one' is the pilot here in Japan, Akagi Tsubaki-san. She's really gloomy and not friendly at all! I think you're far nicer.
It was interesting hearing about your family. They seem really normal- not like here, where both my parents work for NERV. I wonder how your view of NERV is different because of that.
As to what instrument I play, I play the cello. I'm not too good, so I practice regularly.
Do you get along with the other pilots, Aline Blanc-sama? I hope they're friendly and not at all like Akagi Tsubaki-san.
Anyway, thank you again for replying! I'm really, really happy. I read this a while ago and have only been able to reply now, so I've spent half the day distracted and daydreaming. Please feel free to continue to reply to me. I would love to hear about you some more.
-Ikari Shinji.

20th of February: From Aline to Shinji

"Dear Ikari Shinji-san.
As to a… number of things… well! I respect the fact that you can admit being nervous. Sera de Pteres, pilot of 01, is very nervous too. I think at least that thing, you two seem to have in common. And don't worry. Your mother wasn't a bother, either. But you did ask about the other pilots, actually, and that's a sort of odd thing. Sera is something of a strange guy - he's really quiet, a bit absent-minded, and is really scared by lots of noise. Would you believe he actually fainted right before that conference? If it weren't for Freya, he'd be helpless outside the 01, I think. …Ah. Freya was that girl who was with him. He hangs onto her for almost everything, it's like she's acting like his mother, but almost feels more like a part of him. Kinda odd. I don't get much chance to talk to him because he keeps wandering off or hiding from people, so sadly I don't know him better than what I just told you. Now, Zhang Yanmei ((impressively, Aline managed to round up the correct characters for her name in Chinese and provided those as well.))… I don't know why, but, while she's this big socialite, always talking things and playing around with the 'nobility' of the school and so on… I really like her for some reason. She's sort of like an older sister, or a little sister, or something else? I want to protect her because she has to sit suffering through people tearing into her with words, or other things. There was an earthquake here in Paris-2 and the 00 broke loose, accidentally crushing part of Yanmei's leg while trying to shield me from debris. I felt really guilty for weeks after, and kept getting her food and helping her with some of the physical therapy courses. I guess it's because she's willing to talk to me on even ground, even though I'm not truly that much of a popular-crowd person? Something like that. They're mostly nicer than Akagi-san, from what I've heard, anyway! I know there's one other pilot, in Germany, but I don't know much about them. Maybe your mom knows, or knows someone who knows? I'm at least curious to see if it was only Paris-2 that got lucky with the pilots that were broken in relatively gentle ways, or if the 02's pilot is nice too! (Really, have you ever noticed that all the pilots have something wrong with them? Yanmei's wounded and has so much on her shoulders that I wonder if she isn't hiding something about how bad she feels, Sera's scared of all sorts of things and acts weird and paranoid sometimes, I'm diagnosed with intermittent depression, and Akagi-san probably has that even worse! It's like the Evas need insanity to work! …I hope that's just a joke.). But even if I don't hear about the 02's pilot, at least I know enough as-is! Anyway, I think I'll leave it off at here for now - maybe sometime we can set something up about your music and mine? I'm a member of my school's music club and I think they'd love to have even a video-conferenced performance from someone living in another country. It'd get them all excited about cultural exchanges and stuff. But doooon't worry! That's for much later, when you get some more practice in! Anyway, bye~ -Aline Blanc.

26th of February: From Shinji to Aline

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Dear Aline Blanc-sama.
Thank you very much for your message. I know with school starting for you again you must be very busy.
It's interesting to hear about your fellow pilots. Poor de Pteres-sama! To think that he fainted out of nervousness before the conference upsets me. It would have been better for him not to have gone, I think. I am a shy person, but I don't think I am anywhere near as nervous or shy as that.
Zhang Yanmei-sama is interesting, too. From what I saw and from what you have told me, she seems to be very suited to making friends, or at least being popular. The fact that you can feel like she's your friend, too, means she is probably very talented. I did not know about her leg, though. What a shame! Still, as sad as it is, I am glad that 00 moved to protect you, for I would not want you to be hurt either. Although, I am amazed to think of 00 moving by itself. Nothing like that has happened here with 03 and Akagi-san.
I asked mother about the pilot of 02. She told me her name was Asuka Langley-Soryu- she's German-Japanese. I asked her what she was like, and my mother teased me about the idea of 'trying to pick up another pilot with my letters'. What a thing to say! It made me worry that perhaps I have been annoying you with my own, but your reply helped put my worries to rest. Either way, this is what else my mother told me:
She didn't say much about Langley-Soryu-san's personality, but she said she was 'very energetic' and 'one of NERV's greater assets'. She also told me that Langley-Soryu-san was the 'first and best product of the NeoSpartan Education Project', but I don't know what this is and she didn't seem to want to talk about it too much.
I am sorry to hear about your depression, Aline Blanc-sama. I wish I could do something to help, but unfortunately I am very far away. The best I can do is send warm thoughts. The idea of the Evangelions requiring insanity is a pretty scary concept, though. I hope that really is a joke. I look at Akagi-san sometimes and she doesn't seem insane, just very down.
I would be very interested in a video-conference performance, Aline Blanc-Sama! Although obviously not any time soon. As you said, I need to get some more practice in, and the idea itself makes me feel a little nervous. But we can handle that when we come to it.-
How are you liking school? What subjects did you take? Are your fellow students friendly? I hope they treat you nicely.-
Signing off for now, though. I wish you my best regards, Aline Blanc-Sama. Until next time!
-Ikari Shinji

27th of February: From Aline to Shinji

Dear Ikari Shinji-san.
Thank you, first of all, for giving me the information I asked for. Maybe you should show a sentence from this email to your mom to prove your honorable intentions! Shouldn't be much harm in her knowing it was me who wanted to know, no? Either way, though… My courses included maths and a history class and I know I'm enrolled in sciences too. But on the first day we just spent the last part of the day joining clubs. I know it might seem a bit like cheating, but I asked about security clearances and… ehehe… I can talk a whole lot about AT Fields without breaching security rules! Nothing like entering the science club with a branch of science none of them know about~ In a few other things, like the swim team, but that just isn't as amusing as that last one. The students? Wow, it's a bit complicated. Some of them are all excited because I'm one of the pilots… which I guess is good, though sometimes all the attention is a bit weird. Alexandre Fontaine (Yes, as in the same Fontaine as the NERV Head.) is one of the ones that's been sort of mean in a weird sarcastic way. I get the feeling I'm expecting -too- much hostility out of him just because he goes after Yanmei a lot, but even so he's… very much part of that 'nobility' I talked about last email. Acts like it, too! There's another one, a Malachi Ansel… He's trouble, but thankfully not to me. Yet. I think. He… wow, I said Sera was absent-minded before, but what Malachi did was he gave Sera a box of cookies. I know you're thinking that that's not a big deal, but! He then told a lot of the other girls in the school that he had got those cookies he was eating from Sera. Sera was really popular for being a pilot, too, so they swarmed him. I mean, really swarmed him! Me and Yanmei and Freya all had to band together to stop them, and it was just such a mess. But uh… while the troublemakers have a lot to say about them, that doesn't mean there's no good sorts! Isaiah Gabriel-Wei is this small kid that Yanmei made friends with or something, and he was nice… and and there was Lillian Durand who was head of one of the newer clubs I joined. She was really bouncy and fun but wasn't all that obnoxious either, so I think I'll have a great time in that club. I hope school's going okay for you, too! I know so little about life there… what kind of courses do -you- take, hm? I bet with your mom there to tutor you you'd probably do really well in science. You're one of those quiet types who tend to be good at it anyway~ Also wonder if you've met any interesting people - maybe some interesting girls, mm? Ehehehehe. Well, no matter the case, I'll hear back when you're ready. Bye~
-Aline Blanc

2nd of March: From Shinji to Aline

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Dear Aline Blanc-Sama.
You're welcome! I was happy to find out that information for you, even if it wasn't too much. I found out a little more, but I can leave that to later.
It was interesting hearing about your school, Aline Blanc-Sama. Your school sounds like a hectic but engaging place. Poor de Pteres-sama! To think he was mobbed like that, especially since he really hates crowds. I feel sorry for him. It's no good being popular when you don't like the attention. They all sound like interesting people. Even so, I hope that Ansel-san or Fontaine-san don't cause you too many problems! You say Fontaine-san and Zhang Yanmei-sama argue a lot? I wonder why that is. They should apologise to each other and try to start over!-
The clubs sound like they're a pretty awesome part of your school! I'm sure going into Science Club talking about the AT Field will turn some heads. I asked my mother about it, and she laughed, saying that in the end, you would have to compete with Dr. Riel to see how quickly you could publish the information. I didn't think you would have taken swimming, Aline Blanc-Sama. It's weird to think of you in a swimsuit after seeing your pictures in uniform. But I guess it's not that different from a plugsuit, is it? Except a plugsuit looks a lot more uncomfortable.
Here, swimming is a mandatory part of our student life. All students have to do some physical activities, like swimming or running. Japanese schools are a lot different to French ones, I think. I wonder why that is?-
So music, swimming science, and the club Lillian Durand-san is running? What club would that one be? It sounds like it has fun people in it but I don't know what it is.
My classes- I take Japanese, English, Mathematics, History, Science and Home Economics. I do alright in them, I think. Having my mother around helps with my science score, you're right. My father helps out a little as well, since he's also a scientist. I am having trouble finding out how to write his area out in English, though. Either way, he spends more time with my little sister, Rei. When it comes to clubs, I take Music Club as you might expect, and Kendo Club- which my friend made me do, even though I am not very good at it. I am thinking of another club to join now, but I'm not sure what to take! Maybe you have some suggestions, Aline Blanc-sama.
There are a few interesting people in my class- but you shouldn't tease me like that, Aline Blanc-Sama! I read your email before school and am only replying now, so everytime I went over it in my head I started becoming bashful at your last few lines. I think my mother would be proud to know she has a colleague in -that- line of work.
But I have two good friends here. There's Suzuhara Toji, who's a really tall, tough guy, but he's actually really nice below that. In fact I think his tough guy thing is just an act. There's also another kid named Aida Kensuke. His dad works for NERV, too! Kensuke-san's really into the military, and Evas, too. He's really jealous of Akagi-san, who's also in our class. She's sort of popular, but she never does anything to encourage it.
Finally, there's our class representative, Horaki Hikari- do you have class representatives in France? Anyway, she's really strict and makes sure we do everything on time, so she's good in that way. The other students in my class don't talk to me too much. I'm pretty quiet, and even though I'm the son of the Commander of Tokyo-2, I try to keep my head down. I don't want any of that attention, and besides, Akagi-san is there to soak up most of it. Finally- my heaven and earth revenge, Aline Blanc-Sama. Have -you- met any really interesting boys at your school? I bet you have to be careful when thinking about those sorts of things. It would be hard to find a boy who likes you for you instead of your fame, right? … Why are we even talking about this anyway? Either way, it was really nice to hear from you again, even if you're going to mercilessly tease me. I look forward to hearing from you again!
- Ikari Shinji.
"PS. I went and forgot about that stuff about Langley-Soryu-san! I found out that you can contact her via NERV's internal network as well. She's listed with her email under the personnel for Berlin-2.
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