For Meeting Dr Riel

[17:01] <Sept> Sera de Pteres was lounging just outside a particular office. He had almost knocked on the door, several times in fact. But he had come to the conclusion that the situation was not yet properly assessed, and had apparently chosen to reassess it a few times over while standing, quite naturally, right behind Doctor Luna Riel's door, looking like he was pondering a chess move..
[17:03] <Luna‘Riel> … So when Dr. Riel emerged, not from her office, but from around the corner, holding a sealed bowl of… Something, and a cup of coffee, he probably wasn’t expecting it. "… de Pteres?"
[17:13] * Sept jolts, looking at the doctor, then at the door, then at the doctor again. "O-oh, hello! Doctor Riel. I'm S-Sera, I uh was wondering if you had some time it's fine if you don't and I'm afraid I can't remember your name?"
[17:17] <Luna‘Riel> "… Come in, de Pteres." She glided past and opened the door, before slipping in!
[17:19] * Sept followed, closing the door behind him and finding a seat. "Please. Sera."
[17:23] * Luna`Riel sits down at her seat, and cracks open her bowl- the smell of butter chicken wafts into the air. She’s bending over, obscured by the table when Sept speaks, and doesn't hear him- the sound of her pet cub tiger mewling can be heard, along with babytalk- before she emerges. "So what was it you needed, de Pteres?"
[17:31] * Sept sighs very slightly, more likely to be interpreted as just breathing out. "Riel, I was hoping we could talk, about… various things, things that you know better than I do. The Evangelions, the MAGI…"
[17:32] <Luna‘Riel> "Ah. Certainly! That isn’t a problem at all. And please, call me Luna." She winks at him over one of her lenses.
[17:40] * Sept blinks for a few moments. "Ah. Luna. Right. But I was wondering. About the Evas, their…. personalities? Can you tell me how they were… created, Luna?"
[17:41] <Luna‘Riel> "That’s simple." A smile. "The same personality imprint technology used for the MAGI!"-
[17:41] <Luna‘Riel> [Sept would feel something furry and orange brush up against his leg.]
[17:53] <Sept> "The MAGI has a per-" The sentence was cut off as Sept’s attention was brutally stolen via feline intervention. Sept looked down at Orange-kun. "Oh. This is the c- tiger, was it? Hello, tiger." Sept attempted to pick up the creature for closer examination.
[17:55] <Luna‘Riel> [Sept would have little trouble picking up the tiger! He was somewhat… Not heavy, just felt really dense and -full-. "Mrrrrr." He had orange fur with black stripes, and a white mane, and orange-black eyes. Also, white teeth, that he sank into Sept’s hand.]
[18:05] <Sept> "O-ow." Sept… kept his grip on the cub without too much of a flinch. It didn't -really- hurt him a lot. His hands had been through much worse. But he was still aware of the possibility of infections, and the -hospital time- that would likely ensue from something like that. Slowly, he started to let go of the weight of the tiger. An offer of freedom in exchange for another.
[18:12] <Luna‘Riel> [Tiger refused. Its teeth remained deep in his flesh.]
[18:15] * Sept …changed strategies. He attempted to pet the creature with his other hand, to scratch it behind its ears or something. The words THIS IS STUPID flash across the panel.
[18:16] <Luna`Riel> ["Mrrrrrrrr." Tiger’s eyes try to follow his other hand -and- keep its grip on his hand, but once he starts petting it, it lets go and solidly consolidates his position on his lap.]
[18:25] * Sept ponders. Trying to get the tiger off would probably not be a good plan at this time. So the boy promptly files it under 'Later' along with his hand and turns his attention back to the doctor, idly petting the tiger now. "Where did you find him, Luna?"
[18:27] <Luna‘Riel> "I was on an expedition to East Bengal about ten months ago." Said Dr. Riel. "I found Felix there in a cage."
[18:32] <Sept> "Ah… So he has been living in the wild, too." Sera turned to Felix for a moment. "You’re lucky," he told him. "Ah, where were we..? Oh, MAGI. It has a personality? Is that safe?"
[18:32] <Luna‘Riel> "Perfectly safe." Said Luna. "The personality is that of my mother’s, after all!"
[18:39] <Sept> "Your mother's. Huh." Sept paused. "Your parents, then, they were… scientists like you?"
[18:39] <Luna‘Riel> "My mother was." Said Dr. Riel cheerfully. "My father’s an architect. He's retired now."
[18:42] <Sept> "Mmh. Tell me, Luna, is the process of personality imprinting… is it lethal, maybe?"
[18:44] <Luna‘Riel> "Huh?" Dr. Riel stares at Sept. "No. Don’t be silly. My mother's personality is imprinted on every MAGI from Boston to Japan. That's 21 computers- and there was only ever one Sophie Riel."
[18:45] <Sept> "But… they're all dead, the personalities of the Evas, aren't they? It's just coincidence, then..?"
[18:47] * Luna‘Riel flinched slightly at that. "W-Well, most of the people chosen were dead before the imprinting happened."
[18:51] <Sept> "Oh, so you can still read the personality after that…" Sept looked down at Felix again, contemplatively. "But, didn’t Elisha have to leave Ginevre exactly because of the project..?"
[18:52] <Luna‘Riel> "Ah… Er…" Luna’s eyes flicked towards the left nervously, before back at Sept. "What?"
[18:55] * Sept looked at the doctor insistently, maybe even a little frustrated. "They had a fight over it! She was crying and he consoled her, the Evas were their only hope left… if it wasn't about him 'leaving', then what?"
[18:58] <Luna‘Riel> "U-Uh…" Luna scratched the back of her neck. "I can’t really say. I'm not sure what you're talking about…"
[19:07] * Sept had a pleading look now. "But you have to! I don't have anyone else to turn to, you know the most about the Evas out of anyone here and… And you're the only one who can possibly tell me what really happened, it was really hard for both of them and they probably can't talk about it all that well… Please, Luna?"
[19:08] * Luna‘Riel frowned and looked down at her lap. For a single, split second, she looked -exactly- like Sept did when he saw a crowd heading his way. The same sort of helpless caught flight-fight feeling. "Uhm… I… I guess I’ll try to tell you what I know…"
[19:14] * Sept almost bounced in his chair a little, before remembering the likely consequences for such actions. He would just lean in slightly and nod encouragingly a few times.
[19:15] * Luna‘Riel bit her lip slightly, trying to think. "I… Don’t know where to start." She said listlessly. "With Elisha going insane? Earlier…?"
[19:17] <Sept> "As far as back as it takes to explain all of it, Luna."
[19:23] <Luna‘Riel> "Hum… Then I guess we could start with…" She frowned. "It was before 01 or 00 were finished, I think. We weren’t sure on how to proceed."
[19:27] <Sept> "How to proceed with..?"
[19:30] <Luna‘Riel> "We had everything prepared. The body, the technology… We had the cores but they weren’t working. They were inert and we weren't sure how to bring the Evangelions online."
[19:32] <Sept> "Ah… You were missing something besides all of the parts that make up the Evangelion itself?"
[19:33] <Luna‘Riel> "That’s right. That was before we realised we needed a personality imprint on the Evas, too."
[20:59] * Sept nodded. "I guess that's to be expected… you were building something you didn't completely understand at the time."
[21:01] * Luna‘Riel nodded. "I’m glad you understand. But… That's when Elisha suggested using the personality imprints."
[21:04] <Sept> "Out of nowhere? He… how did he even come up with the idea?"
[21:09] <Luna‘Riel> "Well, the MAGI had been a success." Said Dr. Riel. "And since it was working fine… I think he figured, that since the Evangelions had AT Fields of their own, they were worthless unless they had some sort of ’identity', even if it was just an imprint."
[21:14] <Sept> "Ah. I guess, it makes sense. But… What went wrong, then?"
[21:16] <Luna‘Riel> "I’m still not sure." Murmured Dr. Riel. "But I suppose, the best way to explain it was that whilst taking the imprint, the programming became overly invasive…" She sighed. "We were able to plant the imprint on 01, and it worked, but Elisha was damaged. Insane. Violent. He savagely attacked anyone who came near. He even killed a person."
[21:25] * Sept was shocked. Elisha Caine, a violent lunatic? "O-oh, no… I take it it hasn't done that before? Did it have something to do with 01? With Elisha?"
[21:27] <Luna‘Riel> "Just a random person. Came to visit Elisha in his cell…" A sad sigh. "The chief architect of the Geofront’s recessive buildings and upper shell…"
[21:29] <Sept> "Ah… but all the other imprints had no problems with otherwise similar setups..?"
[21:31] * Luna‘Riel shook her head. "Most of the other imprint donors were dead -before- they had their imprints placed down, but Elisha lived on in his padded cell for a year after EVA-01 was activated."
[21:33] <Sept> "…" A long silence. "…with the knowledge that there was another one of him out there… equally trapped."
[21:34] <Luna`Riel> "I-I guess so." Murmured Dr. Riel.-
[21:34] <Luna`Riel> [Felix started kneading Sept’s lap, sharp claws digging into his thighs…]
[21:41] * Sept nodded slowly while considering the story. He let out a little "A-ah" as he recognised the pain in his legs. It was… much more noticeable than the teeth had been. Sept hastily continued petting the tiger in a rather cheap attempt at diplomacy.
[21:41] <Luna‘Riel> [The tiger was, apparently, just trying to make itself comfortable, and laid back down eventually.=
[21:42] <Luna`Riel> "It was a dark time for all of us, especially after Azariah had left."
[21:43] * Sept settled down and relaxed as well. "Azariah?"
[21:43] <Luna`Riel> "Elisha Caine’s older brother."
[21:45] <Sept> "Ah. He was in the project too?"
[21:49] <Luna‘Riel> "He was part of Gehirn." Said Dr. Riel. "He was a neurologist, mostly. He, ah, he left after he and his siblings had an argument about the inevitable role the Evas would play."
[21:53] <Sept> "…that’s too bad. I wonder where he is now..?"
[21:56] * Luna‘Riel shook her head. "I don’t know."
[18:19] <Sept> "What happened to Elisha, then? Was t-there an accident or did he just… fade? Did Ginevre and the others try to help him? Did… was Alexandre ever told about this?"
[18:28] * Luna‘Riel fidgetted nervously. "O-Of course he knew. A-and… I-I don’t know. I think Commander Fontaine visited him once or twice, but… No. He, um, he was shot to death after trying to break out and mess with an Evangelion unit."
[18:33] <Sept> "Ah…" Maybe it was better than being stabbed to death by someone close to you? Maybe? A moment of silence for those lost. "What do you mean 'mess with'? Sabotage? Or something more?"
[18:36] <Luna‘Riel> "He tried to sabotage some of the rudimentary components of EVA-04, and he tried to use 01 to do it."
[18:40] <Sept> "But it was just on the physical level, right? It didn’t have anything to do with how 04's… acted? Did it?"
[18:58] <Luna‘Riel> "No, I don’t think so." Said Dr. Riel helplessly. "I wasn't there at the time…"
[19:22] * Sept sighed. "So that's how it is… He's really dead. I can't begin to imagine what he could've been thinking, I… there's so much I don't know about him."
[19:30] <Luna‘Riel> "I’m sorry. Maybe it's best to ask someone who knew him better."
[19:36] <Sept> "No, it's fine. I'm not sure if there's anything to be gained there… I mean, I still have One. And he's still…" Sera paused to look for a word. "He isn't broken. At all. He's just… comforting, to have there. Even if it's only in the battles. I don't want to lose that by thinking about what he'd be like if… if something like -that- happened. Does that make sense?"
[19:40] * Luna‘Riel blinked, staring at Sept. "I see… But, are you sure that’s really a risk?"
[19:44] <Sept> "Well… I mean, no, I know he wouldn't, not when. I mean." A somewhat confused look as Sera restructured his reply. "After Belgium. He was… angry, wasn't he? I remember it now, but I was so confused then myself I. Can't really know if it was at me or… something, someone else."
[19:45] * Luna‘Riel shakes her head and shrugs. "Evangelions are odd constructs. We don’t really know the full extent of why or how they act…"
[20:54] <Sept> "Mmh. It's really just up to us pilots to figure that out, then, isn't it..? But. I don't think you need to worry about it too much. With all seven of us sharing our experiences, I'm sure there's no secret to them that Aline and everyone couldn't uncover! Well, six for now… still, that's more than before. So, it's alright?"
[20:57] <Luna‘Riel> "Are… You really going to try to uncover everything?"
[21:01] * Sept tilted his head. "I guess so? Every bit more we know can help us make better choices… and knowing really can’t hurt us any more than what we've already been through, can it?" He made a slightly sad smile.
[21:03] <Luna‘Riel> "Well…" A sigh. "I can give you some help, I guess."
[21:05] <Sept> "You… can?" Sera blinked. Had she been intending to -hide- something? Surely not!
[21:05] <Luna`Riel> "I can give you names of a few of Elisha Caine’s old friends. People who might know more."
[21:06] <Sept> "Ah." The boy nodded solemnly. "That -would- help a lot. Thank you."
[21:08] * Luna‘Riel ripped a piece of paper off of a notepad and started to scribble. "The first person you should talk to are the Commander and Alexandre Fontaine."
[21:09] <Sept> "…mmh." He wasn’t particularly looking forward to opening such old wounds, but if it helped the pilots, the family…
[21:10] <Luna‘Riel> "Then, there’s Elisha Caine's best friends from university- Ikari Gendo and Ikari Yui."
[21:16] <Sept> "The… Ikaris." Shinji's parents. More people in pain. Sera remembered a photograph of the former, suddenly, his vivid blue eyes staring out at him from the lifeless image. Maybe he should look up Ritsuko while he was at it, tell her the news…
[21:19] <Luna‘Riel> "And I suppose you could ask Mary Caine, Elisha’s sister…"
[21:23] <Sept> "Mary. Where is she, then? How can I reach her?"
[21:24] <Luna‘Riel> "She heads the Human Instrumentality Committee, so she’s usually living in Hamburg."
[21:29] * Sept nods. "Definitely reachable, then… anything else?"
[21:32] <Luna‘Riel> "Hm…" She bit her lip. "Can’t think of anyone else…"
[21:33] <Sept> "That's alright. I'm sure this much will help me answer a lot of questions. You've been a great help, Luna. Thank you."
[21:37] <Luna‘Riel> "That’s alright, de Pteres."
[21:38] <Sept> "Call me Sera. Please." They sounded like parting words, but Sera… sat still.
[21:39] <Luna‘Riel> "Sera."
[21:39] * Sept shifted slightly. "Right. Thank you, Luna."
[21:40] * Luna`Riel nodded. Pushed the piece of paper towards him. It had a list of names, addresses, and hilariously enough, quick portraits.
[21:46] * Sept took the paper with a quick scan of the portraits and pocketed it carefully. Right, time for the hard part. Sera reached for what was apparently a small sturdy plush version of his Evangelion on the table, disregarding Dr. Riel for the moment. "I’m sorry, One", he whispered, before… dangling the figure to the side of him, body tense and ready to move.
[21:47] <Luna‘Riel> [The tiger’s gaze lifted to eye the toy, his claws suddenly digging into Sept's thighs once more.]
[21:50] * Sept winced a little, but proceeded with the plan. With as fluid a motion as possible, he threw the toy slightly upward and pulled his hand away.
[21:51] <Luna‘Riel> [With a moment of sharp pain, the tiger leapt, first onto the arms of the chair -digging its claws into Sept’s thigh far deeper than usual- before leaping, catching the toy out of the air (and barely missing Sept's fingers).]
[21:54] <Sept> "Well, thank you for your time, Luna. I'll see you. And you, Felix." Sera waved to the both of them unselfconsciously and exited the office.
[21:57] * Luna`Riel waved… Then the moment Sept was out, fell back in her chair and sighed. She grabbed her butter chicken and just began eating ravenously. Within a few minutes the bowl was empty. Then, with that done, she laid her head on the desk and sighed. "Urgh." She muttered. "Merde merde merde. Stupid Elisha Caine. Stupid stupid stupid, putting me in this situation…!"
(15:05:29) * Sept stopped to lean back to a wall after the first corner to check where he was standing, physically and mentally. His hands were bleeding, his pants were torn, and he had been sweating. It looked like he had just survived crash landing in the jungle. But moreover, he looked at the slip of paper, most of the names on the list belonging to quite powerful people. What was he doing? Was this really something -he- wanted to lead him to? With a sigh, Sera stashed the slip once more and headed for his apartment. He needed a rest.

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