For The Implications Of Failure

[15:03] <Ariadne> [The elevator in NERV HQ was always so slow, it seemed; it took minutes to get anywhere. Or perhaps it seemed like that because HQ was so big?-
[15:04] <Ariadne> Either way, Ariadne was unsure if she wanted the trip to be fast or slow. She wanted it to be over with. But she also dreaded what was coming. She tugged at her collar worriedly, her briefcase held in her hand.
[15:07] <Ariadne> [The elevator came to a stop. The doors opened, revealing… The office of Ginevre Fontaine. Massive, expansive, mostly empty, dominated by that desk and that woman. The roof and floor twinkled with strange, bizarre symbols, casting an ethereal light over all.]
[15:08] * Ginevre‘Fontaine looked up from her desk, putting a pen down as she did so. "Welcome back, Ariadne."
[15:09] <Ariadne> "T…" Ariadne paused, swallowed. "Thank you, Commander." She stepped inside and started to walk towards the desk. Such a long, torturous walk.
[15:11] <Ginevre`Fontaine> "The trip was fine, I take it?" Asked Ginevre, clasping her hands together. "Aside from that minor incident involving the Seventh Angel."
[15:13] <Ariadne> "I’d hardly call it minor. Most of the Enterprise Battlegroup's been taken out of commission." Said Ariadne, coming close to the desk now.
[15:13] <Ginevre‘Fontaine> "Well. The important thing is that it was a victory." A cold look. "And I hear you took a tumble."
[15:14] <Ariadne> "… I don’t think it was a tumble." Said Ariadne, hesitantly. "I think someone knocked me out."
[15:14] <Ginevre‘Fontaine> "Oh? What makes you say that?"
[15:14] <Ariadne> Ariadne placed the briefcase on Ginevre’s desk, opening towards Ginevre. Her hand was trembling.
[15:16] * Ginevre‘Fontaine eyed Ariadne coldly. Her gaze fell towards the briefcase… Her eyes narrowed dangerously as she unclasped the clasps and pulled the briefcase open.-
[15:17] <Ginevre`Fontaine> There was silence. A long, painful, ominous silence. Ginevre stared at the interior of the briefcase for a good four minutes before looking up at Ariadne. "What is this?"
[15:20] <Ariadne> "It’s…" Ariadne was shaking with fear. "I-It's… It's what I found in my briefcase after I woke up…"
[15:24] <Ginevre‘Fontaine> "… You allowed yourself to be knocked out." Said Ginevre, rising, cold fury in her voice. "And allowed -someone- to steal the Cradle of Adam."
[15:27] <Ariadne> "Y-yes."
[15:27] <Ginevre`Fontaine> "Do you have any idea what this means?!" Snapped Ginevre. "In the wrong hands, this could cause Third Impact!"
[15:30] <Ariadne> "I-I know…"
[15:30] <Ginevre`Fontaine> "The old men are going to eat you alive, Ariadne." Hissed Ginevre. "Providing I don’t do so first."
[15:35] <Ariadne> "C-Commander, please!" Ariadne was panicking. "You know the implications of this! You have to keep me safe!"
[15:36] <Ginevre‘Fontaine> "… Why?"
[15:36] <Ariadne> "You -know- me." Said Ariadne shakily. "Y-You know I have- have contacts that can help you."
[15:38] <Ginevre`Fontaine> "Spies, you mean? Amongst the old men?" A quirk of the eyebrow. "You’ll have to forgive me if I'm not enamoured with your offer."
[15:39] <Ariadne> "N-Not amongst them. Amongst others, too. I-I might know who did this."
[15:41] <Ginevre‘Fontaine> "Oh?"
[15:41] <Ariadne> "Y-Yes. Who else would need the Cradle of Adam? It could only be Azariah."
[15:45] * Ginevre`Fontaine was still for a minute before continuing. "And are you suggesting that you have spies in Azariah’s organisation?"
[15:46] <Ariadne> "I… I think so." Said Ariadne. "At the very least, you now know that you have spies within NERV."
[15:48] <Ginevre‘Fontaine> "We have always had spies within NERV. I even encourage a few." Said Ginevre coldly. "Don’t you know that Sophie Gagnier is essentially a double agent for Mazarin? I mean, both Mazarin and I know it, and Sophie knows it, so she is essentially a mediator between us, but nevertheless."
[16:03] <Ariadne> "But now you have spies stealing important items." Said Ariadne testily. "Commander. The Cradle of Adam w-was partly my fault, it's true, but it wasn't some random mugging. It was targeted. Someone -knew- it'd be there and someone took action."
[16:05] <Ginevre‘Fontaine> "Then you will have to ensure that such spies are rooted out." Said Ginevre coldly. "The sooner, the better. We cannot afford to lose our most important investments like this so easily. Dismissed, Ariadne."
[16:18] <Ariadne> "J-Just like that…?"
[16:20] * Ginevre`Fontaine stared at Ariadne coolly.
[16:22] <Ariadne> "I-I-I see." Ariadne started to leave, stumbling back at first, before turning around and rushing toward the elevator. Within seconds she was jamming one of the buttons.-
[16:24] <Ariadne> [The elevator doors closed. The last thing Ariadne saw was Ginevre Fontaine’s eyes, staring at her. Cold…-
[16:25] <Ariadne> She started to breathe rapidly, as the euphoria of relief started to replace her nervousness. She slumped against the wall- and thanked the slowness of the elevator for giving her time to compose herself.
[16:30] <Ariadne> Shakily, she reached for her phone, punched in a number. Held it to her ear. "H-Hello?" She murmured. "L-Listen. I… I need to get out somewhere. Just… I need to decompress…"

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