For Not Knowing Everything

[14:21] <Sept> August 26th. Afternoon. A fairly normal hospital room, though there are hints to be found as to the actual location. The technology, for example, seems a few years ahead of even the usually-modern public medical units. The room lights up with a dull color as Sera de Pteres, the boy lying in the bed in the middle of the room, flicks the switch by the bed. He was unable to sleep. It was Day
[14:21] <Sept> Seven since his capture, and things still weren't looking up.
[14:26] <Yanmei> A knock at the door. Apparently, Prisoner de Pteres had visitors…
[14:27] <Aline> Two visitors, even. though one was just hanging behind…
[14:30] * Sept pulled up his air-thin blanket slightly, looking for a place to hide. There still weren't any. Only the black roses in the glass vase on one of the tables, mocking him. There seemed to be a fresh batch of them every time he woke up, even if he'd slept in the middle of the day. It was getting to be quite unnerving just by itself. "Mmh?" he asked the door.
[14:32] <Yanmei> There was a pause, as if whoever was behind the door had barely heard and didn't quite know how to take that. "It's Zhang! And Blanc, too. Can we come in?"
[14:34] * Aline leaned over slightly, so her voice carried. "Yeah~"
[14:34] <Sept> "O-oh! Yeah, please…" Further cover was sought from the blanket.
[14:39] <Yanmei> So the door opened! Yanmei eased in on strappy high heels, leaving plenty of room for Aline, a navy-blue dress fluttering behind her. She took a look around. "Geez. I bet you're really bored in here, huh?"
[14:43] * Aline wandered in, in a perhaps less-showy outfit… A mild orange dress with little whorls of color on it, and rather than something like heels… just semi-nice-looking slippers. "Well, that depends a lot on what he thinks he might be doing for fun, no?"
[14:43] <Yanmei> "Like hiding, apparently?"
[14:44] <Sept> "I-if only I could…" Sept sat up, still holding the blanket/sheet up. It conveniently covered everything but his shoulders, head and right hand.
[14:44] * Aline actually saw what he was doing this time. Her face… sorta twisted around into an awkward frown. "…Eesh. I guess that's worse than bored."
[14:46] <Sept> "..? Uh, but. Why are you here, you really don't have to it's not really a fun place to be…"
[14:48] <Yanmei> "Of course it's not fun. That's why visitors drop by? To cheer patients up."
[14:50] <Sept> "Oh. Do I really… deservetobe*mumble*" He blushed, and looked at the roses.
[14:51] <Aline> "Yes." Aline's tone was still friendly, but her stare was sort of… 'you are acting weird'. "Moreover, I checked the charts. You're due to be let out soon."
[14:55] <Sept> "..!" The surprise caused Sera to almost drop the blanket, but he managed to regain hold of it… through an odd-looking sudden struggle. "Really? Really out, no catches? I can go see the city and Seine and One?"
[14:56] * Aline …staaaared some more. "Uh, they might ask you not to do too much heavy lifting…?" She really didn't know how to handle this.
[14:56] <Yanmei> "The city and the Seine are about the same as they were last week. And 01 is all patched up already. ISn't that right, Blanc?" Yanmei beamed at him. "But yeah. You'll be free pretty soon."
[14:58] * Aline nodded! "Evas bounce back real quick. Even 00 is fine now."
[14:59] * Sept nodded enthusiastically at Aline. "That's alright! As long as I'm— oh…" The smile faltered. "You knew..? Why I'm here… Ofcourseyoudidit'dbesillyotherwisesorry." There was shuffling under the blanket as he gripped his left hand.
[15:04] * Yanmei blinked. "Well… there was something weird going on in the entry plug? In addition to what we saw on the outside. Apparently Clement's a little agitated by it."
[15:07] * Aline was sort of… confused. "I don't really remember?… All I know is that they said you actually had wounds." Aline sighed. "…At least I got off better than you did, there."
[15:10] <Sept> "Y-yeah… I noticed, he's. He was here a few times. I don't really know what he wanted me to say. I mean, I shouldn't be here since you both still got hurt and I, I was just. Just. I couldn't protect either of you!"
[15:11] * Aline twitched a finger. "But uh… er… We're both still alive, right? Didn't that mean you did it just fine…?"
[15:13] <Yanmei> "It's not as if we don't know the risks that come with this job anyway," Yanmei sighed. "In any case, Blanc's right. If we're still standing, and Paris-2 is still standing, then things went well."
[15:16] <Sept> "Of course it didn't go fine! What if Asuka hadn't been there? I couldn't have finished it by myself! If I wasn't so weak I could've helped a lot more… Just one hit… pathetic."
[15:18] * Aline furrowed her brow a little. "…What." Her mind was racing with all sorts of things, but she didn't say anything beyond what she did.
[15:19] <Yanmei> "Did you ever consider that that was due to failures on our part too?" Yanmei glanced away, mumbling. "I was careless with my power supply again, and missed the core even when I was taking close-ranged strikes at it. You shouldn't have been left in that position with or without Asuka."
[15:23] <Sept> "I… I guess." He wasn't satisfied, but he couldn't really retort either. "We'll just… work harder next time, all of us?"
[15:24] <Yanmei> "Absolutely we will!" Yanmei nodded firmly. "We have no choice but to get better at these fights."
[15:27] <Sept> "I promise I'll train harder to make up for this week! Maybe not, weight lifting or anything, but… You know. I'll do it."
[15:29] * Aline nodded, but then… "Hey, what if you trained other ways, too? My mistakes were a part of the damage, too. Maybe you should try to study tactics more?"
[15:30] <Yanmei> "…how do we do that? By reviewing footage of old battles and seeing where we went wrong and right?"
[15:32] <Sept> This was a wholly new idea. "I could do that! I think. I could try!"
[15:33] <Aline> "Oh, yes. But also looking at actual military tactics - even though most Angels aren't like that… tactical wisdom on how to manage a larger force would still work to help us keep everything together!" Then… "Finally, knowing how Angels work, helps. I've been making that a goal of mine, and I think now, only the actual science division knows more about Angels than I do~"
[15:36] <Sept> "I thought— we thought, maybe we could have some people… maybe the drama club? Ah, act out something. Maybe we could learn something new about the Angels."
[15:37] <Aline> "…Uh…" Aline looked at Yanmei with a rather confused expression. Also counted as a 'what do I say?' look.
[15:38] <Yanmei> "…Learn about them through acting?" She was clearly puzzled as well. "Ah, why don't you explain a little more about what you mean?"
[15:40] <Sept> "They're - the actors - good at being and thinking like others..? Right?"
[15:41] * Aline shrugged her shoulders. "Depends on the ones in question. Some of them are good at it, some of them aren't… And we'd need to know enough about how Angels thi-" …Suddenly Aline got a weird look on her face.
[15:42] <Yanmei> "So… you think we should visualize being Angels?" Surprisingly… she was not that dismissive. She thought about it a moment. "If they were human enemies, it would be a valid way to do things. But… ah?" she glanced at Aline.
[15:44] * Aline looked left and right, veeery shiftily. "I… think my… uh, research has… given me some… guesses." She looked at Yanmei, and sorta tilted her head a bit… but then went over to whisper to her.
[15:44] * Yanmei gave a brisk nod. "Gotcha. De Pteres. Do you feel well enough to move?"
[15:47] * Lappy‘Haplo has quit IRC (Quit: )
[15:47] <Sept> "Ye- uh. I can definitely walk, but if you could get me my clothes, and… leave me alone for a moment..?"
[15:48] <Aline> "Yeah, sure! Uh… Yanmei, why don’t you, while I do that, go talk to the nursing staff? I know I saw that basically they were just waiting to announce the release, so…" Aline left that hanging.
[15:50] <Yanmei> "Oh, sure." So they wouldn't have to smuggle him out after all. There was always an easier way to do things. "I'll figure out where they were left. It'll just take a minute."
[15:51] * Aline smiled, then… "Okay, I'll head off with her, then veer past to get the clothes, alright!"
[15:51] <Sept> "Ah… thank you, Aline, Yanmei." They had really come through. They were helping him break out after all!
[15:59] <Yanmei> [It would be some time, but the three pilots eventually found themselves riding together in an elevator that opened to a flat roof high above the streets of Paris-2. It was a familiar place in the sense that they had held their post-NERV Games pilot picnic on a very similar roof. There were even some similar-looking pigeons fluttering about at their approach.]
[16:00] * Yanmei tried to brush one away as it waddled too close to her precious new heels. "We should be able to talk here, right?"
[16:01] * Aline strode out almost immediately, staring off into the afternoon sky. "…Sorry to have to go to all this trouble. It's just… that reminded me of things. But yeah. We should."
[16:03] * Sept clearly had a metaphorical unshaven beard. Barely didn't qualify for a Wilson. "Really, it's no trouble, I just… it's so beautiful." He was looking at the Paris skyline again.
[16:05] <Aline> "Er… right. Right." But then Aline leaned against an elevator wall. "I've told Sera a little about this, but not all of it. And there's… there's another thing." Aline looked sorta weird, like she was considering rather odd things. "I didn't exactly do nothing when I was unconscious in the last battle. And I haven't heard any of your… news, either."
[16:07] <Sept> With great difficulty, Sera managed to pry himself from the view and concentrate on the discussion. If it was about that…
[16:08] * Yanmei paced a little. "My news, huh. It's not much. You obviously had something on your mind back there, so… why don't you go first?"
[16:11] <Sept> "Did you come up with something new? Did you figure it out?"
[16:12] * Aline slid an arm up against the wall of the elevator booth. "Right. Basically, uh… I had a dream while we were on the Riviera. One of those… LCL nightmare dreams, I mean. This part, I told Sera at least, you were a bit busy." Aline looked off into the skyline for a second, before snapping back to the group. "The basic uh, plot summary is that everyone had turned into LCL for some
[16:12] * Aline reason, there was this red sand or mist flying through the air, then Tsubaki was there - I tried to ask her why she was there, I said something about how she might be special like me, she got upset… then an Angel's cross attack exploded up from the ground and this /giant/ Angel made of light turned up and there was this whole metaphorical battle… until it killed both of us with some
[16:12] * Aline giant spear. But uh… the reason it relates to this is…" Aline eyed Sera, there. "…I spoke to that Angel. And I think it might've been a weird psychic thing instead of /just/ a nightmare."
[16:18] <Sept> "…" Silence from the boy. He was too busy processing what this could've meant for his dreams.
[16:19] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei was still processing, but in a different way. It was her first time hearing it, and it sounded so -strange-… "You think it was a psychic thing?"
[16:25] * Aline nodded firmly. "Pretty sure. A lot of the details are… inconceivable, at least before having witnessed them. Little things like the highly involved shape of the Angel,,, or that there was a black circle obscuring the center of the moon, or that people turned into LCL at all. Tsubaki acted… acted not like how I thought of her. I expected her to be clueless, but to not… so
[16:25] * Aline violently object to me saying she was special. All of it… I had no idea before. It's so far out of even my crazy definition of normal." Aline… looked at the floor of the rooftop for a second, then back up. "Before the last battle, I thought maybe it was the next Angel, using some kind of long-distance synchronization-like power to screw with our minds. But… between it obviously not
[16:25] * Aline having had mind powers, and what happened when I was unconscious… I think I…" She closed her eyes, almost shaking. "I th-th-think it was the greatest of them… The First Angel, the one… the one that started this whole mess at Second Impact. That… grandeur, that sense of authority it spoke with… It had to be."
[16:27] * Sept seemed lost. "But… I just heard One. Didn't I? Is it, is it even related at all?"
[16:28] * Aline frowned deeply. "They might be… isolated incidents. Like, not from the same place."
[16:30] <Yanmei> "H-huh? Wait a minute… did you hear this, ah, first Angel while you were knocked out during the fight too?" Yanmei was frowning too. This was hard to grasp. "But it's strange! That you should see and hear it at all, that is. What could possibly trigger it? The Second impact happened years ago, before you were born, right?"
[16:31] <Aline> "Yeah, it did happen years ago. I… I don't know if it just /contacted/ me out of the blue, or if it was actually… helped. Because I spoke with 00 when I was knocked out." Aline bit her lip, almost a bit too hard. "And /that/ was stranger than it sounds, too."
[16:35] <Sept> "But could it really be it? I mean, if it caused Second Impact, it can't possibly still be alive..? And where would it have been hiding all this time?"
[16:36] <Yanmei> "I'm not following, exactly." Yanmei held a hand up. "We can already communicate with our EVAs on some level."
[16:38] * Aline nodded to that from Sera. "That's the thing that confuses me. I can /feel/ in my heart that I can't have made that up… but… but no. You're right, that is something that needs to be explained. However…" She then turned to Yanmei. "This was the closest I've ever been. We were together in a world of our minds. It was practically like we were face-to-face. She even told me that
[16:38] * Aline she 'finally met me face-to-face'. And uh…" Aline pushed her index fingers together nervously. It looked like she was wrestling with something very hard to say. "…00 is not the same. She's very, very different."
[16:41] <Sept> "That's… good? Isn't it what you've been looking for?" He smiled and nodded encouragingly.
[16:43] <Yanmei> "Is it?" Yanmei glanced back and forth between them. "When you say 'different,' you mean…? Different from all the other EVAs?"
[16:49] <Aline> "Yes. Different from all the other souls that are in EVAs. And all there ever will be." Aline gulped suddenly. "She acted very strange. When we first entered that 'world', she was actually… pretending to be Shinji. I uh…" Okay now Aline blushed. "I actually had to explain about a lot of things I felt embarassed about and that felt strange about it before she realized. Then she took some
[16:49] <Aline> other form, I… don't remember. It was also male. It's gonna take some time for me to get to why I call her a 'she', by the way." Aline took a breath, now trying to calm her nerves. "She also had this sort of strange, peaceful smile that she kept reinforcing at various moments. It… was almost unnerving at the same time that it was welcoming. But we spoke at great length, and she actually
[16:49] <Aline> was willing to answer my questions about who she was - but ended up playing it like a game of deduction, because she said that the 'First Seed'-" Aline looked at Sera. "-that is to say, Elisha, 01, didn't want us to know her identity yet, and would get angry if she just straight-up told me without letting me figure it out. I know that that's Elisha because I mentioned Sera for another reason
[16:49] <Aline> and she noted he was its pilot. But uhhh…" Aline looked more and more nervous by the moment. "We kept talking for a while, but things started to add up weirdly. At least my initial hunch was correct: She /did/ say she was a great artist, actually one of the greatest artists in the history of the planet - according to herself that is - and that she /did/ design and create the Geofront."
[16:49] <Aline> At this point, she paused to let more reactions come. This was altogether a lot.
[16:55] * Yanmei stared out over the rooftops for a moment, thinking. "…I don't understand… You saw her human form. You know that she was alive and that she designed the geofront. How does that make her different from any of the other Evas that were once human? And what does it mean to be a 'first seed'?"
[17:00] <Sept> "…There are three seeds. The Human Seed is broken."
[17:01] * Yanmei glanced at Sept. "…that's no less confusing, you realize?"
[17:07] * Aline shook her head. "First off, those were… multiple forms. It… it was odd enough. But then she started talking about AT fields. She just flatly said 'I created an AT Field' and at first I thought it was just some feat of science. But then… she went into something… beyond our understanding of it. About reproducing. About merging or dividing fields to create a new, original form
[17:07] * Aline that would not drain the originals so that they'd return to normal… she even told me that on division of a… okay, of a /soul/, each piece is focused on the part of its thoughts, emotions, and memories that most comprised it until it has time to grow - like hatred, like anger." Aline paused. "…Like 04." But then… "Yeah, there is that. Elisha knows what the seeds are, too, and told
[17:07] * Aline Sera as much. That the /Human/ seed is broken is an interesting thing, too." She finally took one last amazing gasp, and tensed up - Aline was trying not to shudder from sheer nerves! "00's soul isn't broken. And not only that, but… through some symbolism and explanations… well… it involved lots of milk. And a little tidbit that some Hindus believed that milk was the primordial fluid.
[17:07] * Aline And how she just /casually/ said… said… that they 'were not quite right, though I like the metaphor anyway.', as if… as if she knew it better than a study. If you… know… what I… mean." Aline's stare was terrified of… reprisal? Being ridiculed? But also had this clear sense that she was /dead serious./
[17:17] * Yanmei did -not- know what she meant. The phrase 'primordial fluid' and its usage in the conversation did result in her turning an odd shade of green, however. "Oookay. I think I'm going to take a while to think about this all? Dividing fields and dividing souls…"
[17:20] <SyntaxTerror> "Aline, I'll help you figure out who she is! If we can do that, we'll probably be able to figure out the seeds too!"
[17:22] * Aline shook her head quickly. "No, it's not that, it's my fault. I was sorta getting a bit… overly focused on the science. The primordial fluid thing was in response to one of my… uh, guesses about the symbolic value of the milk. I thought 'motherhood', and she said it was close…" Aline's face squirmed into a sorta uncomfortable look. "…Then referred to that myth in reference to
[17:22] * Aline the mother-of-all. That was the final hint. I… I already know, Sera. I already know who she is. But if I don't spend this long trying to get you two to learn it yourselves, you wouldn't be half as ready as you are now. I even know one of her names. Or her name. I don't know which - she reacted oddly to it when I said it, but didn't deny it either. I'll explain in a sec."
[17:22] * Aline had by the by looked uncomfortable because she was thinking about what mental image she might've accidentally inflicted on Yanmei.
[17:25] <SyntaxTerror> "That's… great?" Sera said slowly, carefully. He wasn't sure if he liked where this was heading…
[17:26] <Yanmei> "Mother-of-all." Yanmei mumbled. Somehow she looked even more looked distinctly uncomfortable. The greenness did not really recede.
[17:28] * SyntaxTerror is now known as Sept
[17:28] * Aline stood up, resolute and firm. "Yes. Yes, and… I know what the Angels would call her. Because… the First Angel called us - that is, humans - the 'Lilim'. And I looked up what that meant. It was a Hebrew word, which referred to the descendants of…" Aline let that dramatic pause spend an ample amount of seconds charging. "Lilith. To our myths, a demon. To the Angels, the mother
[17:28] * Aline of the 'usurpers'… To reality? …Our creator. That is who 00 is."
[17:30] * Yanmei …did not really look too shocked. Save for the last sentence, which was something that she was slowly collecting the bits for as Aline explained. "You did mention earlier that 00 was a parent."
[17:31] <Aline> "I did, yes." The degree to which that seemed matter-of-fact was in sharp contrast to the DRAMA beforehand.
[17:34] <Sept> "Oh. Oh, wow." … "What do we. How can we even use this..?"
[17:39] <Yanmei> "You're the one who said we needed to figure out how Angels think," said Yanmei, but she was distracted, sinking into her own thoughts. Three seeds not counting Lilith and Elisha…
[17:42] * Aline nodded. "And now we know. We know so well. The Angels' God - the First - thinks we've stolen the Earth from them. It thinks we deserve nothing but death, so its children can rule instead. NERV… NERV terrifies me even more, because they /sealed off/ our creator. It looks like there are now clearly three fronts to this war: The Angels' war to erase Earth's life, the natural imperative
[17:42] * Aline for the Lilim - for humans and all other Earthly life - to protect ourselves from that fate… and whatever NERV /really/ wants."
[17:46] <Sept> "No, that can't be right. They trained us for the EVAs, they… One, Elisha wouldn't!"
[17:47] * Yanmei looked a little depressed at that. "It doesn't matter what their motives are. For the sake of survival it'd be impossible to break away from NERV. It would mean the end of humanity in the short term of things. We're as good as stuck one way or the other."
[17:48] * Aline frowned, and actually looked hurt at that. It was as if now she had the same kind of loyalty that Sera did to One. Maybe. It still felt a bit different. "…But… then… why? She's… so kind to me. She wouldn't have… done anything wrong, surely." But Aline nodded. "No, no, it'
[17:49] <Aline> *it's not about making war on NERV. Like anything, the top and the bottom aren't born from the same idea. Something… something is /moving/ NERV to do something else. Maybe Ginevre is hiding more than we know. But… us, the doctors, the scientists, the regular staff.. they're fighting that second front. They're honestly defending humanity."
[17:50] <Sept> "Ginevre… is there no-one else?"
[17:51] * Aline thought… but then remembered something. "…NERV answers to the UN."
[17:54] <Yanmei> "So, what? You think they're the ones behind it because it's easier to blame them than it is Fontaine?"
[17:55] <Aline> "It's just a theory…" Aline sorta pouted. "You have to remember that Sera… actually gets along with her. I'm… also trying to be nice."
[17:56] <Sept> "It's a big organisation, easier for something to slip through..?" In Seraworld, perfect sense was still being made. Not a contradiction in sight.
[17:58] <Yanmei> "Sending someone spiraling into denial? Isn't my idea of nice. But fine."
[17:59] * Aline twitched a bit. "…Gg… But we don't have /proof/ either way!"
[18:01] * Sept just leaned back on the railing and sliiiid down to a sitting position. "You can't know. We can't know. When there's no proof, it's easier to look away. Hurts no-one. The surface is good, the surface is enough…"
[18:02] * Aline shook her head frantically, and was… was starting to get even more upset. "That's not it either! We have to find the truth!"
[18:05] * Sept didn't move from his spot. "…I can't. I can't go that far, Aline. It's… I can't ask those questions. Not yet. I need, I need… what was it.."
[18:05] * Yanmei regarded Sept in faint disgust, but he wasn't the one she was addressing now. "Good luck with that? But no. You did a decent job of putting things together without help from the inside. Lilith notwithstanding. I'm sure you don't need luck."
[18:08] * Aline shook a little. "…But… but… Why… why can't you ask, Sera? Why… why are you just talking about /my/ putting it together, Yanmei? Am I the only one who cares about finding the truth?"
[18:11] <Yanmei> "Haven't you figured that out by now?" Yanmei shook her head. "No matter what we look for, our situation is fundamentally the same, isn't it? There are just additional pressures to shut up and perform well. For the sake of Paris-2, then the sake of all humanity. It keeps growing and growing. Even if we know what runs the machine, we can't stop it."
[18:13] <Sept> "The other truths. It's not the only one that's hidden, I. How c-can -I- ask -who- she is, -who- anyone is? I can't. I have to t-trust in them. In everyone."
[18:22] * Aline practically sputtered out her response, looking… crestfallen. "Wha… wh-what… What you're saying, it…" She frowned deeply, and was starting to shiver. "It's… but… You must not feel it, then. You probably don't want to, or can't. Even with all the limiting systems. Even with the power requirements, even with everything else that might keep us from doing something… In
[18:22] * Aline our EVAs, we're still almost unstoppable by anything that isn't similar - like an Angel, like another EVA unit. Every single mission has me gathering new ways to violate the laws of physics as we know them. I… I can tear a hole in the world. I can reach anywhere that I can clearly understand its relation to my position - I've memorized the geographic coordinates of the control room of
[18:22] * Aline Central Dogma. I could literally reach in and just… kill them all if I wanted to. I could destroy all of NERV's chain of command in the space of a few minutes without leaving Paris-2. That field that the 7th neutralized… it's literally impervious to anything less than an N2 strike in the human arsenal. I can't just believe I have to shut up and perform well. I only believe that I must
[18:22] * Aline wait until what I do no longer saves humanity. We're… we're almost gods in our own right, as long as we're in the EVAs. Don't you get it? Even if they immediately attacked our synchronization hardware directly, we could cause immense damage. They… they're probably as afraid of us as we are them, for we can sync to the EVAs - most of them can't, and it takes /time/ to bring in the
[18:22] * Aline replacements." Aline's sort of… longwinded, frantic-but-broken emotional tone gave the whole speech this… weird cast to it.
[18:28] <Sept> "Gods… It's not us, it's not me, it's the EVAs. I'm weak. Who are we to wield that kind of power. Who am I to stand up to the kind of things you do, Aline, or make any kind of decision like that, even just to follow? Who am- Wh- gk." There it was again. That word catching in his throat.
[18:33] <Yanmei> "In our EVAs." Yanmei's eyes narrowed. "You said it yourself. We're only as powerful as our EVAs are. And those monsters are maintained by NERV and owned by the UN, who in turn can request the use of EVAs from other branches to subdue any and all uprisings on our part." Her anger gave her words a sort of clipped, harsh feel, and her accent thickened.-
[18:36] <Yanmei> "Without those powerful shells, we're just weak humans with slipshod training, tremendously vulnerable outside of them. And even beyond those organizations, de Pteres brings up a fine point when he says that we can't completely control them regardless. Maybe if your EVA had ever berserked, you'd actually get it. We may be expensive and important parts, but really, that's all we are."
[18:44] * Aline shook her head, backing into the wall as if /running away/. "That doesn't matter. That's a… that's a final strike scenario, a desperation blow. That'd be… that'd be when I'd rather die than let them do what they had to. I might win. I might lose. But at least I have some hope that I'd try! I mean… you both… you both…" Aline sidled about, almost acting on an instinctive
[18:44] * Aline impulse to escape. "Sera, come on. Stop it. You aren't that bad. You really aren't, you're… damnit, you're a living breathing human being, that's who you are to be able to do anything! And Yanmei… Yanmei, Yanmei… you just want to give up. To be miserable… to hate everything about your life, and make sure everyone else does too, don't you? Like Atticus, even if now he only says
[18:44] * Aline horrible things that aren't even verified. Like 04, except you're at least capable of socializing. I… I want to live, but I can't sell this world for my safety. I'm… I'm only talking about what happens if everything's falling apart. The end. The true and complete end. It's just… if I don't at least /try/ to learn the truth, I'll fall. I'll go back to the person I used to be before
[18:44] * Aline all of this. I'll want to die just because I can't take it. No longer learning means I can't be amazed at what I'm capable of, either - it's just more of what your worlds are like. I can't live like that! I literally can't!"
[18:55] <Yanmei> "You're a smart girl, Blanc. But you make a lot of very lazy assumptions about what 'our worlds' are like," said Yanmei coldly. "Well, whatever. If it makes you feel better? No one said you couldn't go on satisfying that healthy curiosity of yours. You don't see me and de Pteres moving to burn your books and cut down your research contacts, do you? Live how you can. That's what we're doing."
[19:06] * Sept leaned forward slightly, and slowly took off his coat. Most of his left arm was still bandaged. He tore at one end, calmly. "I -am- weak. That is what I am. Not wh." Deep breath. "Not who I am. But it's, it's enough. If I know that, and I keep working with One, I…" The fabric finally let go. With the same steady motion, Sera unwrapped his arm. There was a scar, something that had
[19:06] * Sept just started to properly heal due to the depth of the laceration, running from his wrist up to a little past his elbow. "I can be more. I know I can. Next time, I can take more. And I'll keep at it until I can fight by myself. Until I can take enough for all of you. You won't need to fight at all! If the EVAs are gods… If I can get myself -close enough-, I can. I can make it all go away.
[19:06] * Sept All of it."
[19:12] * Aline stared… she… she just did something amazingly stupid, didn't she. "I… …uh… I… I'm… I'm sorry, I'm… I'm being… being very stupid… Stupid about the EVAs… stupid about how the both of you think… I…" Aline backed into the wall - this time so hard that she just slumped into the ground. "I don't know anything about either of you. I just… pretend to try to heal
[19:12] * Aline your minds… I guess I'm like a little kid playing with her dolls, imagining the made-up stuff to be the real thing. That the happy family really exists. But they're just toys. My methods… all the psychology I thought I was using… just silly toys." …Aline was on this weird precipice of emotions, where she looked like she /really/ wanted to cry so amazingly hard, but she just… wasn't
[19:12] * Aline even together enough emotionally to try.
[19:18] * Yanmei stared at Sept's wound. Then at Aline, wavering face. She felt both an odd wave of astonishment, and the beginnings of a headache. Briskly, she clapped her hands together three times, and frowned at them both in turn. "Right, then. I think we all need to cool off." -
[19:20] <Yanmei> "De Pteres, you are going to get yourself killed by thinking like that. No one asked you to take over. You -can't- take over. Do you remember what happened in Berlin-2 Or hell, even just last week? Even if you get much stronger, the only thing that's kept us alive so far is teamwork."-
[19:28] <Yanmei> "How do you propose to throw that out? Do you think we'll -let- you sacrifice yourself? Don't confuse us with Fontaine." There was a clear ripple of anger then, and it was still growing stronger. "And Blanc. Your heart was really in the right place, at least? But… yes. You don't know everything about us. That you thought that you did is actually a little horrifying? But it's not too late to learn." She was aware for not the first time in her life that there were incidents in which she fell brutally short in trying to comfort others. -
[19:29] <Yanmei> This was another one of those times. "Maybe we should call it a day. Try to rest and think and come back to things."
[19:32] <SyntaxTerror> "All right. I'll just. Stay here for a while longer." And stay he did, unmoving, unwrapped injured arm now hanging limp at his side.
[19:35] * Aline …ever-so-slowly clawed at the wall, until she finally pushed on it enough to stand back up. "…Ah." She looked a lot less like she understood, and more like she… just stopped fighting whatever it was. Though that whatever wasn't her tears - Aline had yet to start crying or anything, but she didn't look any happier. "…Then I'll leave first. I'll… I'll take the stairs." The
[19:35] * Aline girl reached for the door to the stairway, next to the elevator's door…"
[19:39] * Yanmei seethed for a moment. She couldn't tell how much damage she had done or how much she had helped. Instead, she swiveled, strode for the elevator, and pounded buttons until it opened and shut.

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