For The Conflict Of Logic

[06:55:26] <Sept> [September 26th. The school of Saint-Louis is closed. Well, extra closed given that it is a Sunday. Sera de Pteres felt many conflicting emotions as he walked around the block, staring into the fenced-off and now guarded school grounds. He walked and walked, every now and then stopping to lean around and gaze at the activity inside. Mostly cleaners and people documenting the scene, then
[06:55:41] <Sept> carrying it away categorised into small boxes.]
[07:03:24] <Elena> [Sept wasn't alone! Well, he was, but there -was- someone near by… Someone he'd recognise. Elena Clement- someone rarely spoken to, but often seen- was sitting on a bench nearby, eyeing the school with an expression of dejection, dismay and on some level, betrayal.]
[07:07:28] * Sept finally turned away from the scene, leaned back on the fence, and slid down to just sit on the pavement. It was then that he noticed the familiar face. "Hello," he started, stopping for a moment to fish for her name. "Elena. What are you doing here?"
[07:08:29] <Elena> "Hm?" She tore her heartbroken eyes away from the school and towards Sept. "Oh. De Pteres… I… I just always come here on Sunday."
[07:10:27] <Sept> "Oh." Another pause, long enough for anyone else to question if he was going to follow it up with anything. He did. "It's not right, is it."
[07:14:12] <Elena> "It's not." Mumbled Elena sadly. She was wearing a long navy blue skirt, a white shirt and a red sweater; the resemblance to the school uniform was uncanny. "Why would they attack a school? They're… Supposed to be places of peace."
[07:16:34] <Sept> "Yeah…" Sera nodded, and blushed, looking down. "I'm sorry."
[07:17:52] <Elena> "Sorry? What for?"
[07:20:19] <Sept> "We… we were the ones who were fighting. We could've surrendered and none of this would've. You know."
[07:22:21] * Elena shook her head sadly. "That wouldn't have been much of a solution. What if an Angel attacked and you were all prisoners?"
[07:27:58] <Sept> "Yeah, but. That's no. Right." There was no logical response there. "Do you think it'll be the same, when they open it again? I hear even more of the students are gone now…"
[07:28:44] <Elena> "Only those who NERV managed to convince to stay are here now." Elena looked down at her lap. "It'll be a ghost school…"
[07:30:00] <Sept> "There'll be so little judo left…"
[07:30:31] <Elena> "I didn't know you did judo." A pause. "… There won't be much of anything left, now."
[07:37:47] <Sept> "Oh, I didn't, it was just, Edgar. He was sad. Earlier." Sera stood up and took a look down both ways of the street. "The same's happened to Paris, hasn't it. I… I shouldn't be here, down on the streets. I never used to be, it was so busy… Ever since Imperative One, we never got it back to normal." He looked at Elena with a pleading look in his eyes. "I told them, I said this would
[07:37:48] <Sept> happen, that I knew how the city would react. But they did it anyway. And now it doesn't matter if they can't do it again, it's… too late."
[07:39:19] * Elena looks at Sept with a hint of confusion. "What do you mean?"
[07:42:02] <Sept> "Oh, Qaph-. When they evacuated the city. I made Ginevre promise she wouldn't do it again without asking me, but it's no good now, is it…"
[07:42:43] * Elena rubbed her brow, her confusion increasing. "I don't get it."
[07:52:15] * Sept showed some signs of frustration. He was gesturing with his hands now. "They told everyone to evacuate, but… when they tell that to people, they get scared. It's not just the Angels that are after their homes, and we've always been able to protect them, even then. But if -we- make them leave their homes, what do they have left? What can we offer them…"
[07:53:48] * Elena furrowed her brow. "… Er, they go and live elsewhere, then? It's better than people dying. I mean, it'd be irresponsible to tell them to stay put after Berlin-2 was destroyed."
[07:57:38] <Sept> "But what'll happen to Paris…" The retort was weak, but the sentiment behind it seemed sincere.
[07:59:23] <Elena> "…" She scratched her head. "… Paris is just a city, though. It's just buildings and concrete and glass. People're more important than a city."
[08:03:44] <Sept> "What are you saying?! No! They won't be the same without Paris! If, if they just leave it, they're leaving all of the memories of it behind! Not just theirs but of everyone else who lived there! It's not right…"
[08:05:09] * Elena stared at Sept flatly. "… That's stupid, de Pteres. Memories are memories. They shouldn't rule someone's life to the point where you act like an idiot."
[08:07:33] * Sept looked hurt. He looked away again. "…do I act like an idiot..?"
[08:10:22] * Elena paused, looking a little sheepish. "… Sorry. I didn't mean to call you an idiot. It's not your fault, it's just… People have more important things to do with their lives than cling to some abstract metaphorical concept."
[08:20:19] <Sept> "…right. I." Silence. "It just means so much to me. I'm worried if it turns into a ghost city, if it dies… There won't be anything to protect here and they'll start attacking somewhere else. And we'll have to move after the people." Sera shuddered. "I don't want to leave Paris, Elena. I don't want to leave the school."
[08:25:07] <Elena> "But that doesn't make sense." Said Elena patiently. "The Angels don't attack due to population density, otherwise they would've cleansed Shanghai-2 first."
[08:26:40] <Sept> "Oh… that's right. We still haven't figured that out, have we."
[08:27:36] <Elena> "There's only one theory that explains Angel attack patterns right now." Says Elena primly.
[08:27:56] * Rynol is now known as Rynol|AFK
[08:29:32] <Sept> "Right. You mean..?" Sera asked carefully. He wasn't particularly fond of that theory…
[08:30:35] <Elena> "Right. The theory that (based on our current data regarding their attacks and going for the simplest pattern) that they target Evangelions."
[08:36:13] <Sept> "Of course, it doesn't mean it's the Evangelions that triggered the attacks, they could just be trying to beat our army before going for the cities… But. There's no way to know for sure, not for a while yet."
[08:39:47] * Elena nodded slowly. "Do you know what I would do? If I were Qaphsiel."
[08:42:13] <Sept> "It went for Berlin with its singular Evangelion, but not Tokyo… What would you do, Elena?"
[08:46:01] <Elena> "I'd attack Tokyo-2 first." Said Elena promptly. "Devastate the city, then work my way east across Asia, hitting China and nuking its cities one by one. Either the infrastructural and logistics damage (which would be -significant-, easily in the tens of trillions, I'd add) would cripple NERV, or the public outcry would force NERV to deploy its Evangelions, but NERV barely won that fight
[08:46:02] <Elena> even -with- the giant omega-mega cannon, didn't they? So they'd probably fail, and then I'd have won."
[08:54:00] * Sept thought this over. "You're right, I think. It does look like they want to specifically challenge the Evangelions… I wonder wh-" The rooftop talk. "Hm."
[08:54:16] <Elena> "Hm?"
[08:56:50] <Sept> "Oh, it was just another theory I heard… It sort of fits into that, but it doesn't really matter." Sept waved a hand to try to shoo the topic away.
[08:58:08] <Elena> "Tell meeeee, you tease!"
[09:05:49] <Sept> "Ah. I guess. It's a bit silly, but. Ahm. If the Angels think they're uh, gods. Which, I guess they have a bit of a right to think, butthat'sbesidethepoint. So, if… if they feel that the Evangelions are the same as them, but are sort of on the side of the humans. So they'd both just be fighting… over us? But the reason we're winning is because they'd otherwise be equal, but we're there
[09:05:53] <Sept> with them. Uh. I did say it'd be silly."
[09:07:31] * Elena scratched her head. "So, wait… The Angels are fighting the Evangelions because Angels want to rule humanity? And the Evangelions are winning because we support them."
[09:09:26] <Sept> "Basically, yeah… I mean, in the theory."
[09:09:50] <Elena> "Then why did Berlin-2 get destroyed?"
[09:14:41] <Sept> "Maybe… No, but then Tokyo should've been too. Maybe it was just a warning… a demonstration of what they could do if they won..? But. That'd be horrible…"
[09:16:28] <Elena> "But if the Evangelions are equal to Angels, Berlin-2 should've been a victory."
[09:29:30] <Sept> "Qaphsiel was… different. But I guess it took all three of us to beat all the other ones, too… So with that and the fact that they're coming one at a time, it's like they want a fair fight." Sept shook his head. "I shouldn't even be thinking about this, I should just be thankful they haven't come all at once."
[09:31:29] <Elena> "Maybe they're rivals."
[09:32:10] <Sept> "You mean, the Angels?"
[09:36:42] <Elena> "Yeah."
[09:39:08] <Sept> "It's possible… I mean, they are pretty different, so I guess it could be only natural they'd avoid each other?"
[09:39:40] <Elena> "Yeah, that's possible." Elena shrugged. "We don't really know much about them."
[16:39] * Sept turned to look the girl in the eyes again. "…Elena. Why are you doing this?"
[16:45] <Elena> "Doing… What? Talking to you?"
[16:48] <Sept> "No, I mean, you shouldn't have to worry about the Angels but you still help me with ideas, and you're always so motivated with everything you do, I was just sort of wondering what your, um. Reason for all of it is?"
[16:58] <Elena> "My reason…" Elena blinked. "Well, I guess I just like making the most of things! I can't not, in a sense. I have a very active mind."
[17:07] <Sept> "Oh. That's… good for you." There was a sense of disappointment in his voice.
[17:07] * Lappy‘Haplo (~ua.ten.tcennoc.rof.2-71-001-95-C|ahniatpac#ua.ten.tcennoc.rof.2-71-001-95-C|ahniatpac) Quit (Ping timeout)
[17:07] * Elena peered at him curiously. "You seem upset."
[17:11] <Sept> "Ever since I started piloting, I’ve been trying to figure out why people do things, but so far… None of it makes that much sense to me. Aline says I don't have a reason for anything I do, and now…" Sept fiddled with his hands. "…Viviane."
[17:13] * Lappy‘Haplo (ua.ten.tcennoc.irb.1-121-001-95-C|pahniatpac#ua.ten.tcennoc.irb.1-121-001-95-C|pahniatpac) has joined #NERVFrance
[17:14] <Elena> "… Well. I mean, it’s more complicated than that. Here." Elena stood up. "Let's go somewhere. We can hit up a Roman Pizza, and we can discuss it in detail." Her voice was kind, because you had to be kind in these awkward situations.
[17:21] <Sept> "Oh?" Sept suddenly had an expression like 'I just remembered I have a thing at a place'. He looked back at the school, still firmly undergoing investigation. He hesitated for a moment, and then nodded to Elena. "Y-yeah. I'd like that. Thank you, Elena."
[17:35] <Elena> "Not a problem." Said Elena cheerfully, smiling. "Come on, then!-"
[17:35] <Elena> [… And before long they were in the hot warmth of the 'Italian-style' fast food pizza parlour that was a Roman Pizza franchise.]
[17:48] <Sept> "Ah… This place." Sera went ahead and picked out a table for them. By the windows, of course. He proceeded to sit stilll while calmly looking outside.
[17:50] * Elena sat down- a waiter hovered over.-
[17:51] <Elena> ["Ah, a yo-"- a dark glare from Elena stopped the budding Etoile Waiter in his tracks. "… May I take your order?"]
[18:02] * Sept didn't look away from the bustling deserted street. "Ah, just a plain. What do you call it. Mar-guerre-ita?"
[18:07] <Elena> ["One Pizza Margherita." Said the Waiter.-
[18:07] <Elena> "And I'll have the…" She stared flatly at the menu. "… The tandoori. And a coke."-
[18:07] <Elena> ["One Pizza Margherita, One tandoori, and a coke. Anything else?"]
[18:16] <Sept> "Another coke. That will be all, thank you." Sept continues his stare. "It should be rush hour. The street should be jammed with cars."
[20:32] <Elena> "It really bothers you, doesn't it?"
[20:37] <Sept> "No-" Sept started, but immediately paused to reformulate his response. He nodded reluctantly, slowly. "Yeah, but. I hate it when they are there. It makes me feel powerless and scared and it's stupid but now that they aren't there…"
[20:42] <Elena> "… It makes you feel uncomfortable because you're not used to it."
[20:48] <Sept> "Yeah. Everything's so… different now, it feels like I have to try my best to hold on to anything I do understand, and even that's only barely enough…" He paused. "We went to the Alps and the Riviera. I had no idea… There's never been anything like them in Paris, I don't know what it would've been like without Viviane and Aline and everyone. Probably a lot more. Scary."
[20:57] <Elena> "But you don't find any sort of joy in exploring things or finding that there are things you don't know about?"
[21:06] <Sept> "No, not re-" Goddamnit, Sera. One response to one question. "Well, I guess the Valley was… I don't know. I've just never had to, I guess. Or had much of a chance to, until now. But I don't think I could ever be as passionate about it as you, or Aline."
[21:13] * Elena folds her arms. "But doesn't it scare you, the idea of knowing everything?"
[21:17] * Sept frowned. "What do you mean?"
[21:18] <Elena> "Imagine if you knew everything." She began.
[21:22] <Sept> A pause as Sera closed his eyes for a moment to think. "Okay."
[21:22] <Elena> "Now. I want you to picture something. Something that, when you first saw it, you felt like it was the most beautiful thing in the world. And just seeing it filled you with wonder."
[21:26] * Sept nodded. "Yes?"
[21:27] <Elena> "Imagine never, ever feeling that feeling again."
[21:34] <Sept> "…oh." He suddenly looked ashamed. "I don't want -that-…"
[21:37] <Elena> "So you see?" Said Elena with a hint of smugness. "It's ok if things change."
[21:43] * Sept nodded, -slowly. "M-mmh. I understand." He still looked worried, though. "But it still isn't good for Paris to be like this."
[21:45] <Elena> "Well, I admit, statistically speaking a population decrease in such a small city -is- a bad sign, but I think it'll bounce back."
[21:53] <Sept> "Oh? That'd be nice." Some cheer restored! "So… is that why you do things, then? Because you always want to have something new to learn about..?"
[22:02] <Elena> "Hmm… I think that's part of it. Let me explain." She sat up straight and tried to mask her disappointment that Sept didn't ask her to prove her statement. "It's like… I want to be enriched. I started life as a blank slate, a 'tabula rasa'." She made fingerquotes. "Like everyone! I didn't have any experiences and I didn't know anything. But as I learned, I grew. And it's like this. I enjoy learning for its own sake, it's true, but I'm also curious. I want to -explore- and see the bigger picture, and I want to see myself as well. People change as they learn, right? So I want to see what I'm like at the end, when I've learned everything I can."
[22:19] * Sept made a difficult face. "Hmmm. I see." But what if you don't remember those first triumphs of learning? What if they were so painful you don't want to? "Aren't you worried you'll run into something that will hurt you? I mean, there have to be some things you wouldn't want to learn."
[22:20] <Elena> "Hm… There might be some things that hurt me, yeah, and obviously I don't want to hurt myself. But…" Arms folded, head up! "I can't ignore the painful stuff just because it hurts. That's a little childish!"
[22:32] <Sept> Something clicked. Sera found himself rubbing his left arm. "If you put it like that… You're right. And Aline, too." The boy looked pensive, then clearly sad, but there was a certain kind of resolve behind there too. "S-sorry," he muttered quietly.
[22:39] <Elena> "Huh? For what?"
[22:44] <Sept> "Oh! Uh, nevermind, I didn't mean. A different conversation." A light blush. Awkward. "Um."
[22:44] <Elena> "…" Elena frowned and kicked him under the table. 800 kilometres away, Asuka fistpumps and has no idea why. "Were you even listening?"
[22:54] <Sept> "I was! I really was I'm sorry!" Sera stared pleadingly into Elena's blue eyes. Then, shiftyeyes as if to make sure no one would hear. His expression was now much warmer, and he breathed deeply. "Elena…. thank you. You helped me a lot."
[23:07] <Elena> "E-Er…" She blushed. "Did I really…?"
[23:15] <Sept> "Yes, yes you did! I understand you and Aline and people better now! It's been so hard sometimes, but it feels like it'll be alright now. So I'm glad we could have this talk!"
[23:17] <Elena> "Ah… W-well, I'm glad to help."-
[23:17] <Elena> [Then… Well, their order came. A Margherita, a Tandoori and two cokes. "Enjoy!"-
[23:18] * Elena starts digging into her pizza with a gleeful 'Ooh!' … She ate with almost unseemly haste.
[23:19] * Sept had satisfied all his needs conversation-wise, so he did much of the same, with a smile on his face.

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