For The Love Of Life 1 2 4

[22:29] <Sept> Wandering through the Science divisions again, Sera found there to be a distinct lack of Ricchan present. That didn't stop him from pestering a junior staffer or two on the way, of course… But eventually, the hunt continued, leading him to her more private habitat.
[22:36] <Minaplo> [To a door, in fact, in the Officers' Quarters part of the ship. Specifically to the door of one Admiral Katsuragi…]
[22:40] * Sept did hesitate for much of the way there, usually steering clear of strategy meetings, but he just needed a quick word with her. He knocked on the door.
[22:47] <Minaplo> [There was a silent moment, before the light on the computerised console to the right of the doors went from a bright red to a green. The doors slid open.-
[22:49] <Minaplo> [Inside was… Pretty much what he expected. Misato Katsuragi, discarding stuffy professionalism by lying on an extremely comfortable-looking plush couch, head on the soft armrest. She was holding her right hand, wearing a thick black glove, out towards the door as it opened.-
[22:50] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko Akagi was sitting, not laying, on one of the armchairs, one leg over the other. As the door opened she looked over at it slowly, not looking at all surprised as she tapped the end of her cigarette against the edge of her ashtray.-
[22:50] <Minaplo> ["Oh, it's Sera-kun." Said Misato with some surprise.]
[22:58] <Sept> "…Just Sera is fine." Sera-kun walked in - or tried to, as the spear he was still carrying around caught on the door frame, nearly making him lose his balance. He got it on the second try, but the damage was already done. He played it off coolly, facing Ritsuko. "So just a word about, uh, Friday. Thursday? The dinner. The… we'll be preparing for the operation, so I can't really. Come."
[23:04] <Minaplo> ["I figured. Tsubaki'll be upset." Said Ritsuko mildly.]
[23:13] <Sept> "…yeah." He opened his mouth to continue, but then shut it again, glancing at Misato uncomfortably. "Well. We'll see what we can do once we get back."
[23:15] <Minaplo> ["It's rude to upset a girl, you know." Said Misato amiably. "You'd better make it up to her double when you get back! And buy presents, too."]
[23:21] * Sept resented that. "I'd rather think I'm making up for my in-here-ness by being out there. Is that… is that how your thing with Guillory works?"
[23:22] <Minaplo> ["Tch. I'm pretty sure that's how it works for everyone."]
[23:24] <Sept> "N-" Sera hesitated, glancing at Ritsuko for help.
[23:24] <Minaplo> [But Ritusko was looking away from him, a look of grim expectation on her face.-
[23:27] <Minaplo> [And the dreaded moment came, where Misato's face suddenly lit up, and she sat up all of a sudden, hands clapped to her cheeks, grinning. "O~ho! So you're like that with Tsucchin, huh? Comparing your relationship to mine, I had no idea you were so open about it~"]
[23:37] * Sept took half a breath at that, immediately hostile. He shouldn't have stopped for a moment around this person. "-No-, I was -going- to say how senseless that sounded. The only comparison here is between you and a…" He swore under his breath, astonishingly fast. "Whatever grimmian monster makes tasteless undue implications about people."
[23:42] <Minaplo> ["Tch tch tch. Poor Tsucchin. To have such a clueless boyfriend. You know, for someone who's friends with Yanyan, I expected you to be able to treat a girl better than this~ Maybe you need to take lessons from Yanyan? Start shaping up pronto?"]
[23:50] <Sept> She was quite good at this. Fists clenched and teeth gritted, every single cell of Sera's being was tensed up, ready to snap into action. If the second Sera couldn't even handle Anwar, his head might've exploded if he'd been confronted by this demon. "You -can not say that-. It's- it's just not allowed!"
[23:56] <Minaplo> ["Oh, so that's what it's like. A secret tryst, hm? Kisses stolen in dark, empty corridors, the touch of a trembling hand on warm, bare flesh in hidden closets… Don't worry, Sera-kun." She winked enthusiastically. "I'll keep your secret nice and safe~"-
[23:56] <Minaplo> ["Heaven above." Muttered Ritsuko, her free hand covering her eyes and forehead.]
Session Time: Tue May 27 00:00:00 2014
[00:08] <Sept> "No, you idiot! I -wish- that was how it was with her! I wish I could have the same obvious choices that lead Yanmei to her happiness regardless of consequences! But there are people in this world who don't torture their partners and strangers alike out of some, I don't know what but it's not healthy! You don't get to be unique in fucking up and getting screwed over in relationships and
[00:08] <Sept> being a lonely goddamn sap!" Sera breathed heavily, looking down at her.
[00:15] <Minaplo> [Misato laid back down on her couch, trying to fight down a smirk. "There's no need to shout. Geez." She said comfortably. "You have more baggage than a bellboy, so you just need to sort that out before you get to the good stuff. No shame in that! Keep trying, Sera-kun. We're all rooting for you."]
[00:21] * Sept squinted at her. "You're terrible," he concluded in a condemning tone. "And I'm going to rescue Guillory from your witchery one day." He cleared his throat. "Apologies for… interrupting." He turned to leave.
[00:28] <Minaplo> ["Seeya, Sera-kun!"]
[00:51] * Sept hesitated, again, even after glancing at Misato to remind himself how unwilling he was to stay. "…there… was something, the other day. Hold on. Yes. Could you give me a bit of a brief on, um, our strategy?"
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Only if you sit down."]
[00:54] <Sept> "Why?"
[00:56] <Minaplo> ["Because I want you to?"]
[01:00] <Sept> "…right." Sera took the Lance fragment into his right hand and took a seat, hopefully on a chair that wouldn't put clamps around his feet and hands.
[01:02] <Minaplo> ["So." Misato beamed, still reclining, of course. She was wearing a warm, inviting red sweater and long black trousers; her feet were covered in black stockings.-
[01:02] <Minaplo> ["What strategy do you mean?"]
[01:04] <Sept> "The campaign, in general. I mean, you're still going on the offensive, right? Trying to weaken the UN's resources and gain allies."
[01:05] <Minaplo> ["Essentially. We can break this up into five theatres, ok? Europe, Australasia, Africa, North America and South America. What do you wanna learn about first, Sera-kun?"]
[01:14] <Sept> "I'd like to know what our priorities are, offensively and defensively. This ship, for example. How self-sufficient is it at this point?"
[01:20] <Minaplo> ["Well, it still needs to bring food on, although we have a supply store of about nine months if we're cut off from resupplying. There are limited industrial facilities that let us refine and create our own ammunition and missiles and the like…"]
[01:23] <Sept> "If facing overwhelming power - maybe with most Evangelion out of commission, what are your options? What does it take to lock the ship down and overpower it?"
[01:27] <Minaplo> ["Evangelions or something with an AT Field. A powerful one, too. You'd need three Evas or so to really bring down the AT Field that EVA-03 generates. That's assuming the ship doesn't jaunt away before it can get caught!"-
[01:28] <Minaplo> ["Even with the AT Field down, the Battleship isn't defenseless." Said Ritsuko, sitting back in her chair. "It still has a powerful regenerative hull and self-restoring ablative gel, as well as a powerful weapons suite. That said, its biggest danger remains other Evas…"]
[01:39] <Sept> "…right. So, assets on the ground, then. The… politics and guesswork of the offensive strategy don't matter, but assuming this first push goes just like you wish, what do you end up with? What are your most valuable bases or… well, I guess the more open industrial assets are pointless, so it'd have to be limited to assets like Asgard, right? If your war turns into more of a stalemate
[01:39] <Sept> after this first round, which bases do you rally around?"
[01:43] <Minaplo> [Misato took a moment to think.-
[01:45] <Minaplo> ["Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. All of the NERV bases are important. We don't control all of them right now, since Japan's abstaining from any real decisions, and Germany has declared for the UN."]
[01:47] <Sept> "Ambitious…"
[01:49] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, early gains telescope into long-term benefits." Said Misato happily. "Here's the real crux of the matter, Sera-kun. With every base we take, we up the limit on the amount of Evas we can stock and support at one time. The more bases, the more Evas, and the faster we repair them. So they're a priority."]
[01:52] <Sept> "But you can survive without them, if need be? As long as the battleship remains mobile enough to avoid conflict."
[01:53] <Minaplo> ["We can survive, I suppose, but each base we lose makes victory less assured."]
[01:55] <Sept> "And each day you -survive- gets you closer to victory."
[01:57] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, that's about it. Anything we can do to wear down the enemy helps, of course…"]
[02:01] <Sept> "Um. Yeah." Sera tapped his fingers on the shaft of the ancient and unfathomable artifact. "Ritsuko, do you… you know what Mary's doing, right?"
[02:02] <Minaplo> ["Be more specific?"]
[02:11] <Sept> "I hate this," he sighed. "All the Caine bullshit Gendo was wrapped up in, too. Fate, Destiny, Instrumentality."
[02:14] <Minaplo> ["I suppose I do, yes."]
[02:16] <Sept> "Yeah?"
[02:16] <Minaplo> ["Yes."]
[02:27] * Sept nodded, continuing facing Ritsuko. "So in -our- war, Mary's giving us time and… potentially resources because Metatron winning is unacceptable for all other parties. And once we deal with that, there's no reason for her not to redirect everything into crippling the UEF, holding any Trinity Evangelion captive and winning by default. I'm but a lilimspawn and know little of such
[02:27] * Sept things, but I think what follows this next battle is what will decide the conflict. If you're still spread too thin by then, you lose. Right?" He glanced at Misato.
[02:30] <Minaplo> ["Pretty much. There's a saying." Said Misato. "The prey can outrun the predator a hundred times, but the predator only needs to catch it once. It's the sort of the same here. We can win a dozen battles, but because of things like losing the Trinity Evas, or somehow losing the other necessities, we have to be extra careful."]
[02:38] <Sept> "Right! I wasn't sure if you were keeping those options on the table. I could understand people getting overly fixated on 'just winning the war' in a situation like this."
[02:38] <Minaplo> ["We're too eccentric for that." Said Misato proudly.]
[02:42] <Sept> "The opposition is pretty fucked up, too, don't forget."
[02:47] <Minaplo> ["Hey, who said anything about being fucked up too? Most of us are pretty stable, you know."]
[02:50] * Sept shrugged. "Group effort?"
[02:56] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh."]
[03:03] <Sept> "Comforting. Thanks. We'll be taking a lot of risks going into this one, so everything might just be shuffled up by tomorrow. But that's all, for now."
[03:05] <Minaplo> ["Not interested in any theatre details, huh?" Asked Misato wryly.]
[03:09] <Sept> "Politics and guesswork," he repeated with a slightly condescending smile. "Am I going to be impressed by your maneuvers?"
[03:11] <Minaplo> ["Well, you should be." Said Misato. "Since one of those bouts of 'politics and guesswork' could lead to a new Eva unit…"]
[03:14] <Sept> "You're going to conquer the sun?"
[03:14] <Minaplo> ["Nope. Don't be a brat."]
[03:15] <Sept> "Then what?"
[03:20] <Minaplo> ["Brazil." Said Ritsuko. "Early in the peace, it was one of several nations that were chosen to house NERV bases, but the work wasn't finished by the time the Angels came in force. Britain, Italy, Canada and Saudi Arabia were all other examples."-
[03:21] <Minaplo> ["But Brazil put a lot of effort into their base, and even though it wasn't finished, it's still a lot farther on than all those half-finished dugouts. Enough so that with a bit of work we could proverbially hammer out the dents and make it operational."-
[03:24] <Minaplo> ["And there's a yummy red cherry on this cupcake." Said Misato, beaming, clapping her hands lightly once or twice. "They even began to construct an Eva unit at this base. It got shelved too, but with a little bit of work from the other bases, we can take it out of mothballs and fix it right up."]
[03:25] <Sept> "Mm. Interesting," Sera nodded.
[03:27] <Minaplo> ["Of course it is!"-
[03:28] <Minaplo> ["The 'politics'," Began Ritsuko, "Comes from the fact that Brazil's declared itself neutral."]
[03:30] * Sept scoffed. "And they want what in return? 'Protection'?"
[03:40] <Minaplo> ["No. It's declared itself neutral. They're not taking either side." Said Ritsuko. "The only way to get them out of that mindset is to make them think the -other- side is out for them."]
[03:43] <Sept> "If I was them, I'd burn the thing to the ground," he laughed. "They can't defend themselves, and they're just begging for someone like you to come along."
[03:45] <Minaplo> [Misato let out a little stretch. "Nah. Bad idea. What they're doing now is clever enough."]
[03:46] <Sept> "And what's that?"
[03:49] <Minaplo> [Misato shrugged. "They can't use it without the help of one of the big two alliances. But if one tries to seize it by force, they push it right into the hands of the other, and it's absolutely not guaranteed that any attempt at force'd work. Since neither side wants that, they use softer methods like negotiation to try to get the prize, which conveniently allows Brazil to delay and wait out the clock whilst the two alliances wear each other down."]

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