For One Seen Thing Hides A Hundred Unseen Things

[19:18] <Dorian> [[Session 15: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Date: 16th October, 2015. Episode Title: For One Seen Thing Hides A Hundred Unseen Things.-
[19:20] <Dorian> [It's 11 AM on a Friday morning… And for the pilots, yet another day full of travelling. Their VTOL skims across the sky- they have been ordered to wear their formal NERV uniforms for this occasion. They're not alone, either- Dorian is with them, as are Doctors Riel and Gabriel; the Bunnies are present, too, including Marianne. They're heading east, towards Rheims.]
[19:23] * Yanmei has avoided looking at Dr. Gabriel for the entire trip somehow, instead focuses intently on the LCD display of one of her phones. For now, she was oddly quiet. Pleasant, but quiet.
[19:26] * Aline say calmly, and for this occasion, was simply leaning back calmly. She looked fairly… okay. Like she had things on her mind but they weren't overly troubling ones.
[19:33] * Sept was lost in thought, looking either at the floor or out one of the windows for most of the trip.
[19:36] <Dorian> [And so the VTOL passed quietly over French skies… It was amazing how much green empty land sat between cities, really.-
[19:38] <Dorian> [But eventually the (modest) skyline of Reims would come in sight, emerging from the green farmland and fields almost abruptly. But they weren't heading for the city. They were heading… For a compound. A complex, if you will- and not a small one. It sat on the outskirts of the city, greenland between it and the city like a moat. A collection of other vehicles- military VTOLs, political helicopters, media choppers- sat on helipads.]
[19:41] * Aline lifted from her mental reverie to peer out a window. She regarded it curiously, albeit a form of curiosity more in line with amusement than with wonder.
[19:43] <Yanmei> "What is this, Major?" Yanmei's thumb had stopped moving, and she looked up for perhaps the first time in hours. "It'd be nice to know before we touch down?"
[19:44] <Sept> It took a while for the sight to filter through to Sera's brain. "..Freya? Dorian? It's not going to be another one of… those, is it?" He inquired, carefully, as if speaking the thing's name would summon it.
[19:44] <Dorian> [Freya patted Sept on the head. "Sort of, but we'll be in the audience this time."-
[19:45] <Dorian> "Hah, indeed. That, pilots, is the headquarters of the French Heavy Industries Unity Initiative's special project: the Remote Wartrooper, the Thruster Solace."
[19:47] * Aline paused, opened her mouth, almost as if to say something more honestly surprised, but… then it returned to the same (actually sorta cryptic) amusement her original glance held. "Ah. So they've finally done enough on it to actually show it. Are we here for them to show off to us?" …Even /more/ amused.
[19:48] <Yanmei> "Hm? Interesting." Captain Nelson's project. Surely he would be there. A small sunny spot in an already trying day. For a little while, Yanmei's smile grew genuine.
[19:49] <Dorian> "That's right. Today is the unveiling. It's only natural for them to invite their main competitors."
[19:50] * Sept eyed the others' reactions with no little confusion. "Remote Wartrooper? …Competition?"
[19:51] <Yanmei> "It's a large warmachine. Like the EVAs. And Competition means… well, us."
[19:54] <Sept> "Ah. That's… good? Wouldn't that mean we could get more pilots?"
[19:54] * Aline just… pfffed a big puff of air. "Ehehehe, I hope they don't actually intend to throw something without an AT Field at Angels."
[19:55] <Sept> "Don't we already 'throw' tanks and VTOLs at them?" Sera looked away, immediately regretting saying that.
[19:55] <Yanmei> "Not quiet~ I think what they mean by 'Remote' is that there are no pilots for this thing." Aline's remarks went ignored. It wasn't as if Yanmei cared about the composition or functions of the Wartrooper personally.
[19:56] * Aline nodded at Sera. "Despite my insistence, yes. Maybe, if this thing works well, we could make use of the remote operation technology at least. Because seriously… pre-Evangelion interception duty…" She shook her head.
[19:57] <Dorian> [Dr. Gabriel cast a disdainful eye down at the facility below. "Hmph. Disgusting."-
[20:00] <Dorian> [The VTOL was coming down now, slowing… Slowing… Then with a sudden lurch, came to a stop on the ground. The doors opened, the engines starting to power down. In the distance they'd see two people waiting by the door to the complex.]
[20:02] * Aline briefly eyed Dr. Gabriel. He was pretty surly for the 05 transfer mission… too… Aline's expression darkened for a moment, before she began to stand up and get ready to disembark.
[20:04] * Yanmei snapped her phone shut and rose from her seat, eager to exit, but trying not to look it. "Well. Let's make the most of an interesting event, shall we?" She started for the door.
[20:05] <Dorian> "Right." Dorian led them as the door opened, rolling down onto the platform.-
[20:05] <Dorian> ["Today is going to be a lucrative day." Said Frederic. "I can smell it. Today is a day for suckers."]
[20:05] <Sept> "…mh. Right. Let's." Sept followed, unenthusiastic.
[20:05] * Aline followed as well, but rather pointedly made sure to roll her eyes at Frederic on the way out!
[20:10] * Sept eyed Frédéric curiously. "Oh? What do you think today's wagers will be about?"
[20:10] <Dorian> [As they approached, the two figures would be revealed to be the good Captain Atticus, dressed splendidly in his British Air Force dress uniform, an easy smile on his face. Next to him, dressed sharply in a suit, was Nagisa Kaworu, a notepad in his hand.]
[20:10] <Dorian> ["Oh, the usual. Whether it'll work." Said Frederic lightly.]
[20:11] * Aline for her part had her attention more on the two figures. Perhaps more interesting… and she did wonder what part of his role even /was/ with a remote operations unit. Was it literally remote-controlled or was it automated? Hmmmm.
[20:12] <Yanmei> Nagisa too. Well, of course he would be here? Yanmei smiled, waving as they approached. "It's good to see you both!"
[20:12] <Sept> "Really? But why would y-" Sept caught sight of the figures in front of them. "Twenty says it doesn't," he suggested sourly.
[20:13] <Dorian> ["What? No way." Said Frederic.]
[20:13] <Sept> "Fine. But I called it."
[20:18] <Dorian> [Atticus returned Yanmei's smile with interest. "Yanmei~! I'm glad you're here!" He cried.-
[20:18] <Dorian> ["…" Nagisa looked up from his notepad, peering at Yanmei curiously for a moment, before smiling. "How nice."]
[20:21] <Yanmei> "Isn't it?" She grinned back at them, determined not to show her nerves under that gaze. No, no, cheer and brightness and nothing else. "The big day, huh? Come to escort us inside?"
[20:23] * Dorian stopped short as he approached, staring at Atticus for a moment before hastily starting to wheel past. "See you all inside."-
[20:24] <Dorian> ["Ah, Major…? Ah well." Atticus turned back to the pilots with a warm smile. "Something like that. Actually, Kaworu here was going to escort you all inside- I actually wanted a word with you, Yanmei."]
[20:25] * Aline looked back and forth between Yanmei and Kaworu, actually. Something odd there… But then she smiled gently. "Ah, that's fine. I don't mind leaving you two to discuss business." …Of course, she herself was only half-honest in that smile, considering…
[20:27] <Yanmei> "Is that so?" Yanmei nodded. "That's fine. We'll catch up with everyone later? Ah… Mr. Nagisa, you've met mostly everyone here before, at the resort. Let me introduce Doctors Riel and Gabriel, of NERV France before we go…"
[20:27] * Yanmei gestured to each in turn as she said their names, of course.
[20:31] * Sept -eyed- the two, especially Atticus, in silence. With a final "I'm watching you" look, he parted, leaving Yanmei to fend for herself.
[20:34] <Dorian> [Atticus blinked in mild, pleasant surprise as Sept gave him a dark look. Shrugging lightly, he turned to his secretary. "Take care of them, Kaworu." "Of course."-
[20:35] <Dorian> [Kaworu looked toward Aline and Sept- and of course, toward the Doctors and the Bunnies. "Pleased to meet you, Dr. Gabriel, Dr. Riel. Would you kindly follow me inside?" To the group in general.]
[20:36] <Dorian> [Atticus meanwhile stepped forward toward Yanmei. She'd suddenly catch a whiff of something- ah. Lavender. He was wearing a lavender scent.]
[20:38] * Aline nodded quickly. "Of course, of course." She… almost considered for a moment whether she had something interesting to say. "…Well, I guess your… employer? Has gotten himself involved in something that's finally bearing fruit. I suppose that may or may not be interesting." …Talking about Atticus. So awkward.
[20:39] * Yanmei …made the connection between the scent and Dorian for the first time. No wonder he had left in such a hurry… Hopefully, he would be okay. "So." she turned, letting Atticus take the lead. "How are you holding up?"
[20:41] <Dorian> [Kaworu led Aline and Sept- and the others, of course- through the doors… Into an elevator. He pushed a button. "Indeed." He said to Aline. "A very interesting situation."]
[20:42] <Dorian> [On the helipad deck… Atticus and Yanmei were at this point, alone. "Oh, I'm fine. I'm more concerned with you." He said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "You've been through some serious tribulations recently."]
[20:44] * Aline smiled, maybe a bit nervously. "Ah. Well, I guess that must itself be a good sign, for it to be /very/ interesting, that is." She peered across the rest of her… partners, as it were. No doubt either talking amongst themselves or staying deathly quiet because, you know, /elevator/.
[20:44] <Sept> "I'm sure it is," muttered the boy inaudibly. The wall of the elevator was clearly even moreso, however.
[20:46] <Dorian> [It was an expansive elevator, thankfully. Enough room for everyone! Sophie and Frederic were talking cheerfully ("I wonder what the food's like here?" "Hey, do you come to these things -just- for the food, Sophie?" "Hush.") whilst Dr. Riel and Dr. Gabriel were basically whispering. Marianne was leaning casually against the back of the wall, whilst Freya was looking at Sept with concern.-
[20:46] <Dorian> ["A good sign, you say? Whatever could you mean…?"]
[20:48] <Yanmei> "How much have you heard?" She hesitated. "Probably about the last battle, huh? That was the second time I should have died…"
[20:49] * Aline was actually surprised at that response… but ran with it. "Oh, well. Very interesting would mean you're hardly bored with it. Boredom is… while a bit petty an emotion, still rather bad to go through, no? So being spared of boredom, and not mentioning it as bad… er… right?" Aline's face sorta scrunched in an 'okay what am I even talking about' way.
[20:49] <Dorian> ["I've kept my ears open, I guess you could say." Said Atticus pleasantly, but with a hint of real concern. "I heard pretty much everything from all sources… Except from you, actually. I'm a little surprised."]
[20:53] <Dorian> [Kaworu turned slowly to stare at Aline, a mild but neutral expression in his red eyes.]
[20:53] * Sept leaned toward Freya, whispering. "We'll have our own space, right?"
[20:53] <Dorian> [Freya nodded firmly. "Of course."]
[20:53] <Yanmei> "Sorry…" She wasn't outright sheepish, but there was certainly a hint of it underneath her demeanor. "I thought… when I got the phone, I thought it myself, 'I should use this as a lifeline. For those times when I really can't take it.'" She closed her eyes for a moment, and then opened them. "But I've been handling it? I…"
[20:54] <Dorian> ["Have you really? Are you sure?" Asked Atticus softly. "You can speak openly here. There aren't any bugs. It'd be too risky for anyone to bug this place."]
[20:55] * Sept nodded, going back to examining the exquisite wood grain of the rail bars.
[20:57] * Aline stared back, and seemed… openly confused. She opened her mouth again without speaking. "…Ah? Sorry, that must've sounded silly."
[20:59] * Yanmei hesitated, glancing aside now. "It was hard. Really really hard. My guardian was in the hospital for a while. She's still healing, emotionally speaking. And you know Isaiah, right? Yes, of course you do. You've met!" She shook her head, feeling a little silly for asking. -
[20:59] <Dorian> ["I don't concern myself with boredom." Said Kaworu, turning his gaze back to the elevator doors- the elevator itself having come to a stop. "Boredom is the product of a blinded mind. We're here." The doors opened… Revealing…-
[21:00] <Yanmei> "He's still in a coma. Back on that day when the school was attacked, it was like everything suddenly collapsed around me. And… and, if it wasn't for me…"
[21:01] <Dorian> [It was a wide, spacious room with just a hint of luxury to it- mostly in the very neat round tables with white tablecloths, of which there were a good 40 or so. People were present- a good deal of people- in everything from fashionable dresses to suits to military uniforms. Patient waiters made the rounds with glasses of wine and hors d'oeuvres, whilst a buffet table sat against the edge. A raised platform sat at the end of the room, where technicians were setting up the microphones. The emblem of the Unity Initiative- three concentric circles (Blue, white, red from the outside) with a band of 7 stars within each circle- had been attached to a banner that from the roof.]
[21:03] * Aline for her part seemed… well, not offended, but certainly put off. "Oh." …And figured that was enough of that line of conversation, as she began to survey the resultant room.
[21:03] <Dorian> ["Shhh." Said Atticus quietly, moving a little closer to Yanmei and putting an arm around her shoulders. "You shouldn't blame yourself. Surely you know you couldn't have done anything to prevent such events?"]
[21:07] <Yanmei> "That's what Alexandre Fontaine said." She was no where near tears yet, though she was holding herself a little more stiffly than usual. "He gave me some unsolicited advice that I'm trying to take. Don't tell anyone about that." She shook her head. "But for him - Isaiah - it's not just this. I've put him through so much in the last year. I've tried to protect him. I have! But I just make things worse for him in the end
[21:08] <Yanmei> - It would have been better if we'd never met…"
[21:09] * Sept joined Aline in Special Lounge Exploration. "I guess we won't see them directly, then?"
[21:10] <Dorian> ["Ah." Said Atticus sadly. "I agree. But only for the pain it seems to be causing you. Until you can accept that you'll keep hurting him…"]
[21:11] * Aline …suddenly turned toward Sera, already quite confused. "…Them? What them?"
[21:11] <Dorian> [Kaworu sat the rest of the entourage down- since Sept and Aline were ~exploring~- then he seemed to blend into the crowd.]
[21:12] <Sept> "The Solace…s? Or is it just one. Uh, still. They probably wouldn't fit here."
[21:14] * Aline …nodded. "It's just one, and no, no, we'll probably see by video or be led out somewhere after the meal." She was still trying to regain some semblance of not being confused as to what the hell was going on. "But yeah. For now I guess it's going to be some… uh… pointless luxury dining stuff."
[21:15] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei rubbed her forehead. "I'm not sure how to do that? Accept the pain? I'm trying to do something else for him, even now, but I don't know how it will turn out."
[21:16] <Dorian> ["What's that?"]
[21:18] <Yanmei> "There's a chance that Fontaine will try to make him into a pilot."
[21:19] * Sept nods and wanders off to try some of the edibles available. Flying tends to make one hungry.
[21:19] <Dorian> ["!" That seemed to take Atticus by surprise… He frowned. "Why…?"]
[21:20] <Dorian> [There was a buffet table nearby, with a stack of plates and everything… It was mostly deserted, too, except for a single, tall man with his back turned.]
[21:21] * Aline decided, for the sake of keeping mental clarity, to just follow along.
[21:21] <Yanmei> "Unit-04 reacted to him. It activated and stared at him for a few minutes. So they tried to make him sync with it. It wasn't a complete failure."
[21:23] <Dorian> ["… Huh. I see. A self-activation…" Atticus sighed. "That means he'll almost certainly be shanghaied."]
[21:25] * Sept starts piling snacks on his plate, now and then glancing between the rest of the room and the man currently setting off his proximity alarm.
[21:26] <Yanmei> "They wouldn't pair him with 04. Not after the way it attacked him during the tests. But…" Yanmei shook her head. "In any case, I told Fontaine that I would oppose her on this. He doesn't need this. He doesn't want to do it."
[21:26] <Dorian> [It's President Mazarin. Oh snap. As Sept glances up at him, he totally looks back with those piercing crystal eyes of his.]
[21:27] <Dorian> ["NERV isn't in the industry of listening." Said Atticus bitterly, staring down at his feet.]
[21:27] * Aline really only took a tiny handful of little appetizers and really wasn't going to eat that m- oh for fuck's sake.
[21:28] <Yanmei> "It's not," she agreed, anger flourishing. "That's why I'm going outside of NERV. To the UN. To the Marduk Institute, if I can find any information on it. But I know what my chances are. To gather even influencial allies to actually pull this off would be incredible."
[21:29] <Dorian> ["…" Atticus sighed. "Look. Yanmei, I'll help you. I have some contacts who might be able to help, but you'll have to do extraordinary things if you want to protect him."]
[21:33] <Sept> "O-oh. Hello, Mortimer. You're here too."
[21:34] <Yanmei> "I know." She swallowed, hard. "Thank you for your help. Even if it's a doomed effort, I want to show that she just can't do what she pleases to us."
[21:34] <Dorian> ["Indeed. As President of France I reserve the right to watch when people unveil weapons of mass destruction." Said Mortimer, turning around to face the two of them fully. A plate of little pizza slices was held in his left hand. "Ah, Pilot Blanc! Capital."]
[21:35] <Dorian> ["No such thing as a doomed effort." Said Atticus with a lopsided smile. "Only nearly-doomed ones. Yanmei?"]
[21:35] * Aline was not nearly so 'capital', and in fact she had a dully neutral look on her face. "Ah." A brief glance towards Sera.
[21:36] <Yanmei> "That's tremendously comforting," she said, and gave a little joking smile. "And yes?"
[21:38] * Sept turned back to the buffet and continued assembling the ultimate snack plate while addressing the President with a disheartened tone. "I guess you know about Anwar…"
[21:38] <Dorian> [Atticus smiled, taking off his glasses. He pocketed them safely, before, with rather sudden speed, he embraced Yanmei- and kissed her at the same time.]
[21:43] <Dorian> ["Yes." Mortimer nibbled on some pizza. "Capital job there, young man. I think you have a good political career ahead of you."]
[21:43] * Aline basically instantly went from merely 'neutral' to 'silent hatred' at that… and seemed to be focusing her attention.
[21:44] <Sept> "…what?"
[21:44] <Yanmei> "Mmph?!" What… What the HELL?! Yanmei stood there, numb, like a doll.
[21:46] <Dorian> ["Yes. Why, with your skills, you could easily blend into the most incompetent of parliaments."]
[21:46] * Aline then interjected. Cold as ice. "Sera. Let's /go/."
[21:49] <Dorian> [Atticus continued for a moment- then pulled back, letting Yanmei go. He put his glasses back on, smiling- he seemed completely unruffled. "You can take that or leave it. I think you'll find me far more resilient than other people in the same situation…" He started to chuckle. "What a luxury that must be."]
[21:53] <Yanmei> "Luxury?" Yanmei stared at him, shock giving way to utter confusion. "What are you even.. what… what was that for?! Doing something like that out of the blue!"
[21:56] <Dorian> [Atticus -laughed-. He was genuinely enjoying this as he turned away and started heading for the elevator. "I don't have time to build up to it. We hardly see each other, anyway. I find you very attractive, Yanmei. Irresistably so, and I don't want to waste time. Still, there's no reason for you to have to feel the same way, I guess. Like I said." He turned to look over his shoulder. "Take it or leave it."]
[21:58] <Sept> The line caught Sera off guard, and he was still fishing for a response when Aline cut in. "No! You brought him there! As a leader, aren't you supposed to know how people work? You knew everyone involved, and you chose to have all of us there together. There must have been better ways to get Algeria's resources and, and there must have been a better way to- whatever you wanted from me!
[21:58] <Sept> You're at least as much at fault for her as I am!"
[22:02] <Dorian> ["You seem to expect too much of me." Said Mazarin idly, waving a hand. "How was I to know you'd react so violently to an angry yet ineffectual man? I simply intended to reward you for your services." He finished off a slice of pizza. "Learn to control yourself instead of flailing at events- and at other people…"]
[22:03] <Yanmei> "I'll leave it." She was trying to reassemble some semblence of professionalism, but that was one hell of a task, even for her. She stared after him, red-faced. "Not that I'm not f-flattered? You're an attractive person too! But!"
[22:04] <Dorian> ["But what?" Asked Atticus, with a grin. "Which is it? Tell me. Which one beat me to it?"]
[22:04] * Aline stared. "Step off from him, Mortimer. Do you mean to break the poor child? He is not suited for your rewards, and frankly…" She began to /angrily/ eat a little biscuit. "Peddling politics to someone whose love is in danger because of it? Disgusting. Human politics… a fourth-front trifle."
[22:07] <Dorian> ["Peddling politics?" Mazarin quirked an eyebrow.]
[22:08] <Yanmei> "What? No!" Yanmei shook her head wildly. Hard enough to dislodge the beret she was wearing. "Maybe I just don't want to get involved with anyone! Did you ever think of that?"
[22:09] <Aline> "Wasn't that an offer of some sort? It almost sounded as much of one as it was a joke, at least with the reward bit. Either way… He is not fit for your world. Just leave him alone and…" Aline sighed. Heavily. "Count the damage done."
[22:09] <Sept> "…then what is there left to make you the leader? What makes you better at deciding everyone else's lives for them? Why does anyone need you?"
[22:10] * Aline twitched instantly at that, but said nothing.
[22:11] <Dorian> [Atticus grinned. "Alright, alright, I get it. You're just not ready~" The elevator opened and Atticus slipped inside. "Maybe I overestimated that…?"]
[22:12] <Dorian> [Mazarin smiled. "People need me because without me, who would turn the cogs?" He… Suddenly laughed heartily, and… Reached out to pat Aline on the head. "If you desire an omniscient leader, I'd suggest you turn to young Aline here, de Pteres. She seems muchly to think that all she sees is all there is to see, at least."]
[22:15] * Aline grabbed that hand, and (gently) pushed it away. "I am not suited for your world either. But I certainly know more about other things than you - no, than any other person should. I merely suggest that your world stays inside itself. People who want and grab and demand and the people who sort that out. That's… not my job. It shouldn't be. You should know this." …She still looked
[22:15] * Aline rather mad.
[22:16] <Yanmei> "You don't have to sound so calculating," Yanmei huffed, but she joined him. She had to get to the event, after all. Good god. She frowned, trying to collect herself. It would probably be a short trip down. "Some lipstick rubbed off. You might want to wipe your mouth?"
[22:18] * Sept just stared back in contempt this time. He had no comeback. "Who said I wanted a leader at all…" he muttered.
[22:19] <Dorian> ["I disagree." Said Mazarin, chuckling. "But then again, you Evangelion people never really did appreciate my point of view. I suppose I should be tired of that incessant supremacy after having to deal with it for so long, but maybe I've simply grown up." He turned to Sept, and smiled. "You're quite welcome to be leaderless. Whoever said I wanted to manage you? But someone has to. For the greater good."]
[22:21] <Dorian> ["Oh, really? Damn." Said Atticus, starting to rub at the mark with the back of his hand. "Gosh. Imagine what they'd say if they saw that, huh?"]
[22:24] * Aline folded her arms, with a sigh. "I'm not sure /what/ you were trying to say, but… I do not understand people in the way that would make doing your job anything I'd tolerate. I am willing to /admit/ that weakness. Maybe you're so used to the incessant supremacy that you see it automatically? I just want to protect two young teenagers that don't have a concept of this. Go bother Yanmei
[22:24] * Aline or something - she actually enjoys this stuff." …Aline said that with a blatant tone that suggested the preference baffled her.
[22:26] <Yanmei> "I am imagining. And it's kind of amusing. Less so if they figure out that it's my shade, though." She smirked, incredibly enough, and went through her purse for a moment. She found the tube that the color had come from and reapplied hastily.
[22:26] <Sept> "Manage me? On what authority? You don't even have any idea what's going on inside NERV, don't make assumptions of what you can or can't do. ..Come on, Aline."
[22:27] <Dorian> [Mazarin coughed slightly. "That's enough, the pair of you." He said sternly. "You've said your pieces. Now my daughter is approaching and I'd rather not have her day spoiled. Follow the young man's advice, Pilot Blanc."]
[22:28] <Dorian> ["Heh." Atticus watched her as she reapplied the lipgloss. "Still. I take it we're still good?"]
[22:29] * Aline sort of… stared at Sera, but it was a… somewhat unplaceable gesture. Probably displeased though. "Eh." …And she walked off in an entirely different direction, biscuit in her mouth. If Sera followed /her/? That was his business.
[22:30] * Sept followed, sure enough, not looking back!
[22:30] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Yeah, we're good." Yanmei sighed, shutting her purse. "This is actually a lot less awkward than it should be?"
[22:32] <Dorian> [Mazarin let out a small sigh as the two headed off. "They sound just like him." He grumbled to himself, scowling- before quickly dropping the expression as a young girl approached.-
[22:33] <Dorian> [Meanwhile, the elevator doors opened, letting Atticus and Yanmei see the press room. "I guess we're just too laid back." Said Atticus cheerfully, leading off.-
[22:35] <Dorian> ["Ladies and gentlemen! Honoured guests and valued persons." Came a cry from the stage, the magnified voice ringing around the room. "On behalf of the French Heavy Industries Unity Initiative, I would like to welcome you all to the first public unveiling of the Thruster Solace- the future of land combat." There was a polite smattering of applause.-
[22:37] <Dorian> [The NERV personnel all had a table together, of course- where Atticus and Kaworu had gotten to remained a mystery. Nevertheless, the NERV personnal would recognise the President (naturally), as well as the heads of France's militaries, and of course the CEOs of all of the various industries represented by the Unity Initiative.-
[22:38] <Dorian> [A good half hour passed as the presenter discussed various details and idle things- essentially, a waste of time. Politicking, as one might say.-
[22:38] <Dorian> ["And now. The event that we have all been waiting for- the culmination of the hard work and dreams of the Unity Initiative's technicians for the last four and a half years. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you- the Thruster Solace.-
[22:39] <Dorian> [The walls behind the stage -split-, parting to reveal a giant glass facade into the outside. A 20-metre tall rectangular structure dominated the view. Slowly, it started to rise… And rise, and rise, until it was 45 metres high.-
[22:40] <Dorian> [Then, with an incredible sound, it opened- the top folding upwards, then the four sides recessing into the ground. What remained…-
[22:41] <Dorian> [It was no Evangelion. Where an Eva was slender, sometimes outright thin, this thing was… Bulky. Heavy. Strong. It was thick. Its entire body was just layers of metal and steel; its arms, simple structures with giant blast shields on the outside, terminated in two hands. Its legs were gargantuan- like battleships in their own right. A facsimile of a human head sat on the very top.]
[22:43] * Aline stared impassively. She was /already/ circumstantially unthrilled because of her knowledge of the aforementioned issues with AT Fields… but that altercation earlier (goddamnit Sera) made her mood even /less/ amused. So Aline just stared.
[22:44] <Yanmei> "So they finally got around to showing it." Yanmei had found a seat next to Marianne, and was doing through her purse again. She brought out a camera of her own. "It looks even taller than an EVA. Fatter, too."
[22:44] <Dorian> ["It's so… Man. They're really going for sheer solid weight, huh?" Said Marianne.]
[22:46] * Sept snickered at Yanmei's comment. "I'm sure they'd have to be pretty hard to get around in, yeah…"
[22:48] <Yanmei> "Hm. Well. It looks like it's take a while to cut through all the armor? It's amazing that they managed to build a fuctioning robot of that size at all."
[22:49] <Dorian> "Nothing surprises me anymore." Muttered Dorian.
[22:49] * Aline waved a hand slightly. "…Indeed." She had wanted to say something. Instead, just that affirmative non-statement would have to do.
[22:51] <Dorian> [The Solace… Moved. A step forward- the ground shook with the impact. Then another. It lifted its hands into the air, and balled them into fists. The audience- already stunned by the mass of the machine- started to applaud.]
[22:52] * Sept joined the applause idly. "Huh."
[22:52] * Yanmei kept her camera trained on the bulky monster of a machine. She didn't dare say it aloud with Marianne right there, but she knew her mother would love this footage.
[22:55] <Dorian> [The Solace took another step forward. It leaned forward, tilting its head down so that it was staring down at the building they were in.]
[22:56] <Sept> "…One did it better."
[22:56] * Aline turned towards Sera. "Considering what it is, that's very apt."
[22:59] <Dorian> [… Solace took another step forward. And another. And another. Then it started to pick up speed- and whilst it wasn't as fast as an Eva, having something of that size start to run towards you was not at all comforting.]
[23:00] <Dorian> "… Out." Muttered Dorian. "The three of you, get out."
[23:01] * Aline looked at Yanmei, then at Sera… Then stood up and /bolted/ out. She knew that tone when she heard it!
[23:03] <Sept> "Oh." Sera did the same, heading for the nearest usable exit! The elevators probably weren't a good idea right now.
[23:03] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared at Dorian. She had lowered the camera, not quite alarmed, but… She turned to go, shutting off the device and tucking it away in her purse. Out they went!
[23:04] <Dorian> ["…" Marianne nodded to the Bunnies, and to the Doctors. Together they bolted, too, followed by Dorian.-
[23:04] <Dorian> [The crowd stared, suddenly uncertain as the Solace continued to run… Then there were screams. A panic- people started to run. And for good reason.-
[23:05] <Dorian> [The roof would -collapse- as a giant, iron foot smashed through it like it were paper, coming down and crushing the buffet table- and most horrifyingly, the table the Pilots had just been sitting at, sending incredible tremors through the ground.]
[23:08] * Sept notices what's happening just in time and supports himself on the wall while running, stumbling for a few steps, but keeping up his speed nonetheless.
[23:10] * Aline on the other hand went skidding past a few tables as she quite squarely hit ground, yelping in shock!
[23:11] * Yanmei toppled forward, holding in a cry that would draw attention to the graceless display if there hadn't been deafening smashing noises and screams of terror to cover it up. A rather hefty chunck of iron debris hit the ground a few feet ahead of her, so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise? On impluse, she covered her head to protect herself.
[23:13] <Dorian> [Aline would find a rough hand grip her arm- and another her shoulder- and pull her to her feet. "Hurry on! Go! Quickly!" Came the pale, but firm, face of Mazarin.-
[23:14] <Dorian> [Yanmei would see Marianne topple as well, the woman hissing in pain, a hand instinctively going to her ribs- before she got to her feet and ran forward, stopping only to let Yanmei know it was alright to move.]
[23:15] * Yanmei nodded, struggling to her feet and following, arms still over her head. Marianne! She was running, so she was probably okay, but Yanmei's face was full of worry.
[23:16] * Aline was mixed between a frown and the obvious fear of dying at the hands of an opponent she can't face without 00's help… and shot back a quick comment as she made her way to a stairwell. "R-right. Thanks."
[23:16] <Dorian> [Mazarin nodded firmly- then turned back and ran back into the mess that was the hall.-
[23:17] <Dorian> [It didn't take long for them to assemble outside- fear or need drove them. They emerged just in time to see Solace run off toward the city.-
[23:19] <Dorian> "Pilots! Listen up. Dr. Riel and Dr. Gabriel are in the Unity Initiative's command centre." Said Dorian, who was there waiting for them. "It looks like the Solace Supercomputer's gone berserk. It's reading everything as hostile- and now it's heading for Rheims." He frowned. "The Solace is immune to conventional weaponry. All we have are the Evangelions."
[23:21] <Yanmei> "How long until they're lifted here?" Yanmei was making an effort to dust off her uniform jacket and loosen her tie. She tossed another concerned look at Marianne and the other Bunnies while she was at it.
[23:23] <Dorian> "Twenty minutes. We can do a manual sync in the field." Said Dorian, his frown now permanent. "The Solace is 25 minutes away from Reims. Furthermore, it has a nuclear reactor as a power source. There's no guarantee it won't go into meltdown if the Supercomputer has its way."
[23:24] * Aline shook her head heavily. "…Of all the… Let's just make sure the specifications are at our fingerti-." Aline /flat stared/. "What. The. Hell. What moron decided packing a fission reactor in a… four years for /this/?! Ugh. I suppose we'll have to be careful about it?"
[23:25] <Dorian> "That's right." Dorian tilted his head down for a moment- the communicator at his ear buzzing- then nodded. "We have someone on standby who can disable the reactor. But we need an Eva to carry him there and put him in."
[23:26] * Yanmei closed her eyes briefly. She hadn't felt the terror of going up against another Angel, but this was just as dangerous, wasn't it? "Better just disable it quickly. Take out its legs to it can't walk, and then… Well. The specialist can handle the rest?"
[23:26] * Aline nodded. "Unless its head has some of its control systems." But… "Ah, just some nuclear technician, or…?"
[23:27] * Sept was breathing heavily. "So we need to disable it without compromising the core, and then trust a single person to disable the core, all before it reaches Rheims… This'll be difficult." With a sigh, he added, "You would've won, Frédéric."
[23:27] <Dorian> ["Seems like." Said Frederic grimly.-
[23:28] <Dorian> "Captain Atticus." Said Dorian, nodding his head at Aline. "No one else has the physical qualities required to attempt such a complicated and dangerous procedure."
[23:30] <Aline> "Ah, I figured as much. I was sort of wondering what sort of nuclear tech could even do that." She then nodded. "Either way, any preference on /which/ unit should have him? I have a way that might make it easier to get on board, but it'd still need the thing to stay /still/."
[23:30] <Dorian> "Any unit that can spare a hand. Sera! If you can bring it to a halt…"
[23:31] <Sept> "I can stop it if you take care of Atticus.."
[23:32] * Aline nodded. "…Yes. 00 will take him, then. I at least rely on only one firearm, and other than that I don't need hands for anything."
[23:33] * Yanmei had raised both eyebrows at the mention of Atticus jumping into an unstable nuclear reactor, but she held her tongue.
[23:34] <Yanmei> "Considering that 00 can also fly and provide long range support, it would make a sudden approach easier anyway."
[23:34] <Dorian> "Sounds good. Alright! Pilots! Prepare for combat!"-
[23:34] <Dorian> [20 Minutes Later-
[23:35] <Dorian> [The harnesses of the Eva Carriers hissed as they unlatched from their aircraft, hurtling toward the ground- only to blast apart and split 20 metres above the ground, allowing the three Evangelions a relatively smooth landing.]
[23:51] <Yanmei> It was a few minutes before she was settled in her plug and breathing in the familiar horror that was LCL. "Unit 04 here. No problems. Heading out. De Pteres, join me in a moment, won't you?" And the violet and silver EVA started out at a light run, its form shimmering slightly with an freshly forming AT field
[23:54] * Aline waited calm, with her… quasi-passenger, only stepping a bit closer to the front, instead being content with waiting in her plug, letting herself feel the natural buoyancy, as her AT Field spread to full. Though she did ring him up briefly… "Comfortable in there?" It was a bit of a tight fit in 00's left hand, but better than nothing. "I might end up doing something disorienting
[23:54] * Aline to get you there in time. Stay ready."
[23:55] <Dorian> ["Noted. And I trust you, Blanc. You have what it takes." The calm voice of Atticus.]
[23:57] <Sept> "Sure. You can count on me."
[23:58] <Dorian> [The Solace slowly started to come to a halt… Its legs digging into the ground. It took up a stance strangely reminiscent of a sumo wrestler as the chestplate started to open. The golden hubcap extended outwards, like a telescope… Before energy started to run from its feet and fingers through its entire body, centred on that cannon. It glowed with a bright red light, before…-
[23:58] <Dorian> ["T-The Solace Cannon! DODGE-"-
[23:59] <Dorian> A beam of energy ripped through Sept's AT Field, smashing into 01's right leg and causing incredible damage to the armor and flesh beneath it. Sept could feel- it was like the plugsuit was fusing to his leg…]
[00:03] <Sept> "A-ahh..!" Sera sounded much like he'd just spilled really, really hot coffee on himself. "I-I'm fine, I'll be there."
[00:05] <Yanmei> "You're sure?" Yanmei cast a frown back at him, before adjusting her stance and firing her own weapon. It struck, but… "Those guys… they really did go crazy with the armor, huh?"
[00:06] <Dorian> [The Solace Shield on the arm fully absorbed the blast… Before turning its head toward Yanmei. It lifted an arm- the arm's 'sleeve' expanded out, revealing six barrels that started to spin. They glowed with the same bright red energy as the chest cannon had- before firing a full salvo of positron bolts at Yanmei! But she seemed to be on the outer edge of the weapon's range, and the bolts fell short.]
[00:09] * Yanmei flinched at that! It was hard not to recall Sept's latest injury, since it had just happened, and looked rather painful. "Major? Are our weapons really going to do the job for this?"
[00:10] <Dorian> "They should. The armour's thick, it's true, but it has its weaknesses. If you keep slamming it with hits, it should go down- aim for the legs and the head! Try to keep away from the core."
[00:11] * Aline came on the comms too! "Yeah, any nuclear reactor they'd used would have to be there. So for the love of god take time to aim if you have to!"
[00:12] <Yanmei> "Yes, Major. And yes, we know."
[00:16] * Sept proceeded with the same fiddling about with his equipment as last time, though they were much less frantic now.
[00:21] * Aline then… stared forwards. She held her cargo protectively, and leapt into the air on currents of force, landing a bit closer into range, but… not as far ahead as Yanmei was. She just needed to be close enough to make the shot.
[00:22] * Yanmei …frowned at that. "You're coming into its firing range this early? With the relatively unprotected cargo that you're carrying?"
[00:23] * Aline shook her head. "I'll pull back if I have to, but I'm not going to be of much use farther out than that!"
[00:23] <Sept> "He'll be fine. He's a potential pilot, right?"
[00:24] <Dorian> [A positron bolt seared across the battlefield, smoting 00's right leg!]
[00:26] <Yanmei> "De Pteres…" She sounded notably irritated, but suppressed it. Then shots started firing again, and she had things to worry about.
[00:26] * Aline …peered at the target, after recovering from a failed attempt to bend around it. 00 did, too. "…No worries, no worries."
[00:27] <Dorian> ["G-gaah…"]
[00:33] * Aline then… noticed that Yanmei was starting to aim her rifle… and in a moment of instantaneous thought… The right wing of 00 flickered with greenish light, and a designation beacon lit on the Solace's left leg. "Saw you aiming there. Go for it!"
[00:36] <Yanmei> "Thank you for the assistance. But please, be careful, Blanc!" Yanmei steadied her positron rifle, glaring down the sights, and squeezed the trigger. A stream of milky blue light made a straight line from the barrel to the Solace's left leg joint!
[00:50] <Dorian> [The blast dug deep into the armour, and Solace wobbled… Before turning its gaze toward Yanmei. Both of its arms rose, the collars expanding, the barrels spinning… Before a veritable storm of shots spat out at Yanmei!]
[01:05] * Yanmei gave a short shriek of pain and surprise as gunfire ripped into her EVA's chest and legs. She staggered, but… she was still standing when the smoke cleared. "N-not yet!"
[01:06] <Dorian> "… Hah!" Dorian's glee came over the speakers. "That's what they get for building an inferior product! Go, Yanmei, go!"
[01:10] * Aline stared down at the support drop… "Hey, Dorian… got anything to get that cable a bit closer? I'm trying to do something pretty time-sensitive." Aline began to concentrate…
[01:11] * Sept took a few steps, but the wounded leg just wasn't quite holding up to the speed he wanted. There was a glimmer of the AT field as he attempted to make the leg's load lighter somehow… More stumbling, and the glimmer widened to cover the entire area under 01. Before he realised it, Sept was no longer touching the ground. He -flew- at full speed toward the Solace, and latched on
[01:11] * Sept dynamically to try to wrestle it into position!
[01:11] <Dorian> "Hold on." Dorian went quiet- buttons were pressed- and the umbilical cord's cushion-rockets ignited, propelling themselves toward Aline and bouncing off of her field.
[01:12] <Dorian> [Solace seemed to see 01 coming… And deftly stepped backward as Sept rushed at him, hurling a backhand hard into the AT Field- not enough to penetrate, but enough to bring Sept to a halt.]
[01:13] * Aline grabbed it carefully, fiddling with the positron rifle (leaning it against 00's leg for a moment) and plugged it in quickly. "Thanks!… Now…" Aline's concentration surged, and… the air in front of 00 started to ripple and wave, almost as if there was a vertical whirlpool of air forming there. "You have about half a minute or so to get ready, Atticus."
[01:14] <Dorian> ["Ready? For…?"]
[01:15] * Aline got this sorta strained-yet-goofy expression. "Interdimensional travel."
[01:18] <Dorian> ["…" Atticus sighed. He leaned back in 00's arm and put his hands under his head. "Are you sure that's safe for humans?"]
[01:20] * Aline chimed in cheerily. "Pretty sure! It'll just be a short jaunt anyhow. Where on the Solace should you be dropped? Front, side, back…?"
[01:21] <Dorian> ["Try for the back. That's where the emergency hatch is."]
[01:21] <Aline> "Alright then, that should be easy enough."
[01:21] <Dorian> [Meanwhile- their quarry was moving. Edging around Sept cautiously, its gatling gun opened fire again, sending a streak of red energy at 01's right leg!]
[01:24] * Sept was still somewhat off balance from both his previous test flight and the Solace's surprising comeback. For a moment, it seemed like the beam of energy penetrated the leg's armor, but as the light, smoke and sound of Sera yelling in pain on the comms cleared… the leg was simply there no more.
[01:29] <Yanmei> "Eye for an eye." Yanme grit her teeth at Sera's yells, honing in on the machine's already damaged left leg. "Firing." She did! But it knew enough to block, to her dismay.
[01:30] <Dorian> [Block… And prepare to retaliate. It crouched like a sprinter before hurling itself toward her, each footfall ripping up whole football fields of ground.]
[01:39] * Aline then… saw her chance. "Hmmmnnnn… nnn…" Deep in concentration, Aline reached out, with her mind, with 00's power… with /their/ souls… and with the golden shimmer of an active AT Field, that whirlpool of invisible force first strengthened, then suddenly /tore/ before Atticus's eyes. A combination of mysterious luminous energy, and a view of the Solace's back were displayed…
[01:39] * Aline "Okay, get ready to get onto it as soon as you have the chance! Here we goooooooo!" And then the hand that the (hapless?) Captain was riding suddenly thrust through that tear in space, and appeared behind the entirely-inattentive giant robot!
[01:41] <Dorian> ["?!" A pause… "… Huh. That was actually surprisingly painless. Here I go!" He stood up, and with a running leap, jumped from Aline's hand onto Solace's back.]
[01:42] * Aline pulled back immediately thereafter, because she had no idea whether or not she'd have to cut the portal immediately… It was hard work!
[01:42] <Dorian> ["I'm on."]
[01:43] <Aline> "Yay~" Aline then grinned as she moved to address her teammates. "You heard the man, the package has been delivered!"
[01:44] <Yanmei> "Right. So now we stick to wrestling? Bringing it down more violently would injure the Captain, so…"
[01:45] * Aline nodded quickly and firmly. "Righto. If it's being surly, I can really focus and do a headshot - since that's higher than his position it should be safer, but I'll be extra-careful about the aim."
[01:54] <Yanmei> "Thanks." Yanmei raised her positron rifle for her own shot at the head, but with Sept standing between her and Solace, she couldn't get a clear shot. The beam sailed past its head instead!
[01:55] <Dorian> [With a violent shove at EVA-01, Solace seemed to have a moment to slip away- and so it did, heading north and snapping a shot off at Aline.]
[01:56] * Aline tried to dodge, but… in the middle of a torso pivot, it ended up striking 00 straight in the chest!
[02:06] * Aline then turned to face it, and… dismissing the portals with nothing but a simple shift of attention, she designated its head with her markerlights, then opened fire!… It was a sure hit, if it didn't manage to dodge…
[02:06] <Dorian> [… Which it did, swaying to the side and letting the beam pass right over.]
[02:16] <Yanmei> Grim faced, Yanmei bent her legs, and sprinted forward, aiming a clean slice at the shoulder joint. But the blow wasn't so clean, and it didn't go all the way through. "D-drat!"
[02:17] <Dorian> [Indeed- Solace brought its left arm up and blocked! But Yanmei's attack sank deep into its shield, and as she withdrew, parts of it fell away.]
[02:29] * Sept had had enough. Something so big shouldn't have such an easy time evading his grasp. Sera gripped his knife with both hand and field, and drove it toward the great Wartrooper's head.
[02:30] <Dorian> [The knife tore straight through the arm- severing it completely- and drove itself into Solace's face, causing incredible damage as it started to spark and crackle.]
[02:34] * Aline narrowed her gaze at the damnable thing… "Well, I can't get much of a shot with them there, so…" She took a deep breath, then 00 started to get into a sprint! "AAAAAAA~!" …And then it sunk its teeth into the Solace's remaining arm, and clenched down /hard/, tugging at it even as copious amounts of acid burnt at it!
[02:35] <Dorian> [The acid sizzled and burned, and Aline'd find the arm ripped off with a painful, wrenching sound…-
[02:35] <Dorian> [… Solace seemed to become inert.-
[02:35] <Dorian> "…-
[02:35] <Dorian> "… Pilots! It's activated its Self Destruct Sequence! Disable its head! Quickly!"
[02:37] <Sept> "How dare it…" Sera hissed at the robot through gritted teeth.
[02:38] * Yanmei tries to do just that, swinging back her bayonet and smashing it forward into the left temple of the head. "Haaaah!!"
[02:38] <Dorian> [The bayonet penetrated deep through the head, and out the other side- splitting it straight up the middle. For a moment, Solace lurches… Then the lights in its mangled eyes go dead.-
[02:39] <Dorian> ["N-Nngh." Atticus groaned over the comms. "R-Reactor… Disabled."]
[02:40] * Aline beamed triumphantly over the comms. "Yup! Must've taken out the control system with that cut! Way to go, Yanmei!"
[02:41] * Aline then paused sheepishly. A second passed. Then 00 spat out the severed robot arm onto empty ground.
[02:41] <Yanmei> "… Real classy, Blanc." But she was actually giggling.
[02:42] * Sept was reaching back with his knife when Yanmei's blow landed. He looked at 04 for a few moments, wide-eyed. "What'd… Nevermind. Good job." The tone was quite opposite from the message. There was disappointment in there somewhere.
[02:42] * Aline on the other hand giggled back, seeming to miss Sera's tone. "That's just how we roll~"
[02:42] <Dorian> "Excellent work, all three of you." Said Dorian cheerfully. "This will make us look -very- good."
[02:44] <Yanmei> "Yes, you're right, Major. What a nice coincidence that is, going by how the day started out." She did blink at Sera, though.
[02:52] <Dorian> "Well, that's that. Pack it up and let's come home, kids."-
[02:52] <Dorian> [A few hours passed. It… Well. It had been a long time since the Evas had been deployed and they'd returned (mostly) in one piece, hadn't it?-
[02:52] <Dorian> [But before long, the three of them were sitting in the Command Centre, Dorian having just come to the end of his debriefing.]
[02:54] * Yanmei glanced down at her phone. She had been holding it discreetly in her lap, and was now just hitting the send command to delivery a lovely "thank you and get well soon" text to Atticus.
[02:56] * Aline wrung her hands together, as she still was (lightly) smiling. That was easy. Very easy, and quite honestly a change of pace from the last two Angel battles. She even had time to toy with AT field abilities. Such a fulfilling day when the fight is relaxing enough to use it for a rare opportunity to experiment! Needless to say Aline was in high spirits.
[02:58] * Sept continued to be somewhat distracted, as he had been ever since the battle. He examined the Command Centre idly, his gaze wandering from the monitors to the various workstations to the Evangelions.
[02:59] <Dorian> "That concludes everything for today. Excellent job!" Said Dorian- before he looked over at the door. "Ah… Pilots. I think someone's here to say goodbye."
[03:01] * Aline raised a brow, and turned around to see who it might be~
[03:01] * Yanmei looked up at that, almost startled.
[03:01] <Dorian> [Just peeking around the corner was the eye and forehead of Natasha Volkova, who squeaked and withdrew.]
[03:03] <Yanmei> "Natasha. You're a pilot too, you know?" Yanmei half rose from her chair, calling to the other girl. "One of us? Relax."
[03:03] <Sept> "Natasha..? Oh, no. We'll be even more separated…"
[03:03] * Aline nodded firmly. "Yeah! All chill. Chill chill chillll~"
[03:04] <Dorian> [Natasha peeked out again. Blushing as she did so- before finally emerging. She was wearing her full Plugsuit- yellow and white. "Y-Y-Yes. I-I am… D-Departing today for Russia. I-I was sworn in today, along with the Sixth Child."]
[03:06] * Aline blinked at that. But it was a relatively cordial blink. "Ahhhh, well then yeah. Might as well say some proper goodbyes, even though I hardly met you, eh?"
[03:08] <Yanmei> The sixth… Yanmei felt unsettled. But she kept up her smile. "Congratulations."
[03:10] <Sept> "Yeah, you, uh. Deserve it. And we'll see each other! Because you're family too now, and. We're in this together!" Sept -tried- his best to offer a sincere smile to the girl.
[03:12] <Dorian> ["A-Ah, uh. T-T-Thank you, all of you." Said Natasha, blushing. She bowed. "I-It w-was an honour."]
[03:13] <Yanmei> "The pleasure was ours. You will keep in touch, won't you?"
[03:14] <Aline> "Yeah, I can give you my email address~"
[03:16] <Dorian> [Natasha clasped her hands together delightfully. "R-Really? Would you really?!" She came a little closer, looking about for a pen and paper.-
[03:18] <Dorian> [The Command Centre doors opened again. "Oh, there you are, Pilot Volkova-" Said someone, emerging around the corner- someone in a plugsuit. It was blue, mostly; with a white chestplate; the number '05' stencilled onto the front of the chestplate. He had blue eyes- wide in surprise, because he'd seen the pilots, and frozen. He had dark brown hair, and his name was Ikari Shinji.]
[03:20] * Aline stared. /Stared/. "…Th-… they…" Her hand twitched. "They they they /WHAT/?!"
[03:21] <Sept> "Hello, Shinji. -Oh, no-…"
[03:22] * Yanmei had gone quiet. And wide-eyed. Her gaze flicked between the couple quickly, the unsettled feeling giving way to sheer distress.
[03:23] <Dorian> [Shinji stared, in horror and fear for a moment- before he bowed his head, like a scolded child.]
[03:23] <Dorian> [Natasha looked extremely uncomfortable. old instincts kicked in and convinced her that someone would blame her for this.]
[03:24] * Aline shook her head very swiftly… and actually rushed to hug him. "Sorry sorry sorry I just… I… You remember, right? It wanted to kill me. I could feel it. I… Please be careful, because I… I'll keep a close eye. It doesn't seem to mind you, but I'm just… afraid…"
[03:24] <Dorian> [Shinji shuddered, tears starting to bubble in his eyes as he embraced Aline, trembling.]
[03:25] * Sept just looked overall down from both sudden turns of events. He looked between Natasha and Alinji with a look of deep sadness, and some pity.
[03:27] * Aline clenched tighter, but then… then… Shuddered. And her face looked even worse. She was already matching pace with Shinji's tears, though her eyes also had this sort of nigh-cosmic level of 'oh shit' reflected in them.
[03:27] * Yanmei looked away herself, hands clenching her cell phone tightly as if she meant to throttle it. At some point, her eyes landed on Dorian. Beneath their panic, they were -angry-
[03:28] * Dorian had been watching the scene quietly, and as he turned to see Yanmei's eyes on his… He just shook his head helplessly. Disappointedly.
[03:29] <Dorian> [Shinji sobbed, almost curling up into a ball- a standing ball, almost. "F-Father, he…"]
[03:30] * Aline buried her head in, and held tighter still. "…So he did…" She said it with resignation. Almost as if it sounded predictable.
[03:31] <Dorian> ["F-Forgive me…"]
[03:32] <Yanmei> Silent accusations. At him, at NERV, at Fontaine. Yanmei looked away from him now, glaring down at her hands. Why them?
[03:34] * Aline shook her head. "You didn't do it. It's not your fault. It's not your fault!" She looked around almost desperately, but then… sighed deeply. "I'll do everything I can. I'll request co-training sometime. I'll give you advice. I'll try my hardest to help you when I can. I know that because of things, the 'brother' relationship doesn't work, but… please." Aline stared into his
[03:34] * Aline eyes. "If you've been thrust into this, I want to make it better. It's hard, but I've been there, you know? That's so many places I've been that you're going to now."
[03:36] <Dorian> [Shinji slumped. For a moment it seemed he'd just collapsed, but… No, he was still there, awake, his eyes miserable.]
[03:37] <Sept> "…it better," Sera muttered. He raised his head a bit and spoke up. "We'll all make it better. Okay? It'll be alright." He repeated it slowly. "It will be alright." There was that attempt at a smile, and a simultaneous attempt at resolute comforting. Neither worked particularly well.

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