For The Love Of Life 1 5

[07:12] <Minaplo> [END OF EVANGELION. Date: 6th of May, 2018. "For the Love of Life" 1.5-
[07:13] <Minaplo> [Hours to Doomsday: -37:19:00.-
[07:15] <Minaplo> [The pilots had been placed in their Plugs a minute before the operation commenced. The Dorian Lachapelle was currently hovering over the Atlantic Ocean, some thousand kilometres west of Cameroon.-
[07:18] <Minaplo> [("Set condition one throughout the ship.") came Marianne's voice over the battleship's PA. ("All hands to combat stations. Engineering reports orbital launch engine engagement in four minutes.")]
[07:23] <Sept> "EVA-01, all systems normal."
06[07:23] * Aline was drumming her hands on the control surfaces… "00 is completely fine here."
01[07:24] <Yanmei> "Same for 04?" Yanmei was watching the bustle around the cages with a rather distracted face.
[07:51] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would feel something along her hand- pressure, as though someone were giving her a reassuring squeeze…-
[07:54] <Minaplo> [The minutes began to tick down. The pilots could feel… A restlessness building throughout the ship, as though everyone were suddenly moving faster, more hurried…-
[07:57] <Minaplo> [("Engaging inertial damping. Gravitic alignment system active. Launch in t minus 30 seconds…")-
[07:58] <Minaplo> [Sophie counted down. 25. 20. 15. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1…-
[08:00] <Minaplo> [The ship suddenly -shook-. Usually when the ship moved, it wasn't noticeable to those inside, but this time Yanmei and Aline would feel the sudden acceleration in their bodies, pushing them against the back of their plugs. (Sera sloshed around a little.)-
[08:03] <Minaplo> [The acceleration only grew stronger. Their plugs began to tremble, tossing them around lightly, not enough to truly dislodge them. Everything they saw was blurred- or rather, everything was shaking.-
[08:04] <Minaplo> [("Escape velocity achieved!") ("AT Field spread! Atmospheric dispersion active! Parameters well within recommended levels!")-
[08:08] <Minaplo> [("Destination achieved in three, two, one-"-
[08:08] <Minaplo> [A moment of violent trembling, then- sudden slowing.-
[08:08] <Minaplo> [("We have escaped Earth's gravity. Stage one of Operational Moon Door complete.")]
[08:11] <Sept> "Distance to the egg?"
06[08:11] * Aline breathed a sigh of relief. Space. She was in space! …Though on some level it wasn't /that/ impressive.
06[08:13] * Yanmei hung there, staring at the cold, pretty void surrounding them, and slowly began testing Eva-04's movements. Zero-gravity, huh…?
01[08:16] <Yanmei> RETCON
06[08:17] * Yanmei slumped back in her plug. "No complications detected so far, right?"
[08:19] <Minaplo> [("No complications. We'll be arriving at the Egg in twenty minutes.")]
06[08:21] * Aline nodded, even though she asked none of those questions. "Twenty minutes…"
[08:24] <Minaplo> [("Ugh. Twenty minutes? Damnit, I feel all on edge…") Muttered Asuka.-
[08:24] <Minaplo> [("Hey, isn't it funny that Isaiah's the only boy pilot with us?") Asked Kyuu, innocently.]
[08:26] <Aline> "…Well, yes… Sera is a bit orange-flavored right now…" Aline noted nervously, as if trying to lighten up the mood.
01[08:27] <Yanmei> "Still counts," Yanmei said firmly. "A liquified boy is still a boy? I think."
[08:29] <Sept> "Sure, let's go with that."
[08:31] <Minaplo> [("What if they unliquefied him into a girl?") Asked Asuka curiously.]
01[08:33] <Yanmei> "Hmm." Yanmei eyed 01 with sudden curiosity herself. "You'd think it wouldn't be possible? But…"
06[08:33] * Aline was very quick to respond to that. "Then that raises very fun questions about Sera's gender identity, now doesn't it?" She then… managed to put on a teasing tone. "Seraaaa. I could find you a dress in your size when this is all over. I mean, you don't have to hide it~"
[08:36] <Sept> "Hah. I'm sure it would've been possible. Maybe that way," There was a hint of menace in his tone. "I could've kept much closer watch on you."
[08:36] <Minaplo> [("Whoa, creepy time!")]
[08:40] <Sept> "Hmph."
[08:45] <Minaplo> [("Maybe we should have a bet.") Offered Kyuu.]
01[08:45] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[08:46] <Minaplo> [("Whoever kills the most Angels gets to have a d- … A single wish from any one person here.")]
06[08:47] * Yanmei stared at her. "I don't think betting is good for morale."
[08:48] <Minaplo> [("Bullshit.") Came Frederic's voice instantly.]
06[08:49] * Aline …sighed. "I don't really like bets, but…" She turned her head over to Kyuu's screen. "Fine. Staring death in the eye, all that."
[08:51] <Sept> "…if that's what it takes. Meanwhile, I'll be doing my job."
01[08:55] <Yanmei> "Yeah, see? We should be focused on the battle. We can't have people overexerting themselves and putting themselves at further risk over a simple bet. Asuka."
[08:56] <Minaplo> [("Weak.")-
[08:58] <Minaplo> [Nineteen minutes passed before the next command came through.-
[08:59] <Minaplo> [("EVA-01, we'll be deploying you in sixty seconds! You know what to do!")]
[08:59] <Sept> "Yeah. Ready."
[09:01] <Minaplo> [EVA-01's catapult was already shifting on its rails, heading towards the launch port…-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [("T-minus 30 seconds!"-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [Locked in!-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [("T-minus 25…"-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [("Launch Evangelion Unit 01!"-
[09:02] <Minaplo> [The thin LCL-filled membrane within the plug suddenly found itself smacked hard into the back of the plug chair as EVA-01 was launched violently upwards. The elevator doors opened a second before arrival, launching Sera into the void.-
[09:05] <Minaplo> [Beneath him, the black-red hull of the Battleship spread out before him, long, angular, martial. But all around him…-
[09:05] <Minaplo> [Stars. He'd seen this before, once, but it had been distorted by the Dirac Wings of Ramliel. Now he saw it all. Billions and billions of stars, in all directions, arranged in clusters and great rivers…-
[09:06] <Minaplo> [The Moon, before him, massive, the Battleship merely in the foreground of this behemoth rock. Silver soil giving way to great red chaotic blot- the Singularity Egg.-
[09:08] <Minaplo> [And behind him, blue and green, glowing with reflected sunlight caught in the atmosphere was Earth. He could see Africa, Europe, and glimpse Asia, shrouded in darkness…-
[09:09] <Minaplo> [He could see the angry Dead Sea that shrouded the South Pole, purple and red and yellow, sickly, pulsating… A massive wound on the lovely Earth. A mirror to the Moon's own spot…-
[09:09] <Minaplo> [ANd a silent promise of consequence.]
06[09:11] * Sept measured the near-incomprehensible structure for a few moments as he floated clear of the ship on his own momentum.-
[09:11] <Sept> He tightened his grip on the Lance and pulled his arm back, focusing his AT Field to steady himself in place. Then, with all of his strength, he hurled the Lance toward the Singularity Egg. Time to prove your worth, Angelkind.
[09:14] <Minaplo> [The Lance flew from Sera's hand, almost as though it were under its own power. Indeed, it accelerated the moment it left its hand; heading, as straight as a speeding bullet, towards the Egg's surface.-
[09:15] <Minaplo> [The Lance elongated, stretching out to be double its normal length. Glowing blue light gathered around the shaft, swirling faster and faster like a tornado, before bursting apart, forming two brilliant sky-blue angel wings, each a kilometre wide.-
[09:16] <Minaplo> [With momentum that ignored every law of nature, the Lance… Struck.-
[09:17] <Minaplo> [A massive blue-white explosion erupted from the point of impact, heralded by a flash of blinding white light so bright and wide that it lit up the sky on Earth. A great birthing of a new morning star.-
[09:18] <Minaplo> [The Lance flew back into Sera's hand well before the light-blast had actually faded. And once it had, Sera would see…-
[09:18] <Minaplo> [A small breach, small compared to the rest of the Egg, but able to fit five Battleships abreast comfortably. The hard 'shell' had broken open, revealing a soft whorling 'sea' of pink and red and orange and black.-
[09:19] <Minaplo> [("The Lance was successful." Came the voice of Ezekiel. ("We may begin the attack.")-
[09:19] <Minaplo> [("Very good! EVA-01, back to the Battleship! All hands, ready! All units, prepare for launch! Helm, take us inside the Egg!")]
06[09:20] * Sept took another look at the breach and headed back for the access deck.
06[09:21] * Yanmei braced herself, digging her fingers around her controls. "Remember everyone. Stick to your formations once we're free? We wait for command to give the signal to advance."
[09:43] <Minaplo> [The Battleship boldly entered into the chaotic sea. As the tip of the drill hit the surface, it swirled and clung and stuck and creeped along the hull, slowing the Battleship's progress…-
[09:43] <Minaplo> [… But quickly broke apart. The Battleship emerged on the other side, and…-
[09:43] <Minaplo> [As the Evas were launched, they'd see they'd emerged into a whole new world.-
[09:46] <Minaplo> [The skies above were blue, clear blue, clearer and bluer than any sky on Earth. There was no sun, yet light lit up this place, lighting up the wide, pristine, verdant fields below them, the sheltered glades and cool valleys around them which lay hidden beneath endless mountains…-
[09:46] <Minaplo> [Beneath the battleship was a lake of glass-clear water, surrounded by small clutches of evergreen trees…-
[09:47] <Minaplo> [To the west, they could see the land meet the sea; a never-ending sapphire realm, calm and peaceful, each wave perfectly measured. The light gleamed and shone off the surface of the water, even though there was no sun.-
[09:47] <Minaplo> [To the east, the land became rocky and rough, the mountains thick and impenetrable and sturdy. A wall of granite and rock and soil…-
[09:48] <Minaplo> [And to the south the green fields gave way to grey-yellow desert, the shifting sands restlessly revealing mournful, hidden peaks as the wind blew…]
06[09:51] * Yanmei paled. A lot. She skimmed around at the gorgeous scenary over and over, slowly at first, and then more frantically.
06[09:52] * Sept touched down on the rolling meadows, wary. "Pretty."
06[09:53] * Aline watched… almost as if impassively. But yet… her eyes were dilating. "…So this is her desire…"
[09:54] <Minaplo> ["Who knew she had good taste?" Said Asuka, staring at the hills and forests.-
[09:56] <Minaplo> [("I was right.") Said Ezekiel. ("There are three gates. To the west, to the east and to the south.") He fell silent for a moment. ("Yes, I was expecting this. The gates are more than just constructs. She's tied their nature to an entity of some kind. A guardian. Once the guardian falls, the gate will only be stable long enough for four or five units to pass through before it collapses.")-
[09:56] <Minaplo> [("Alright. White Squad to the west.") Said Marianne. ("Orange Squad to the east, and Violet to the south. Move out!")]
01[09:59] <Yanmei> "R-right…" Yanmei shook her head hard. "Right!" She said with more conviction. "Moving out! Sho, take point! Good luck, everyone!"
[10:00] <Sept> "Very well, let's move. A pity about the landscape, but I'm sure she can build it back if she wants to."
01[10:26] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei's group was the first to move, dashing south from the others at rapid speeds. In the meantime, she activated something in her Eva, tapping into its AT Field. "Coloniel, I'm getting a lot of Pattern Blue signals out here? I'm sending you the information."
[10:28] <Sept> Sera's party took off running as well, with the Simonides unit at the back of the almost Final Fantasy -ish party formation.
06[10:29] * Aline advanced with her own unit… "…Nothing here yet…"
[10:32] <Minaplo> [("All units, keep advancing, but remain on your guard.")]
01[10:50] <Yanmei> Advance they did. Although, for Yanmei's team, they found their progress hindered by a vest stretch of hot sand that made it entirely too easy to stumble.
[10:50] <Minaplo> [The waste stretched out before them, for miles and miles…-
[10:50] <Minaplo> [The land here was dead; nothing grew, not even weeds. Beneath the sand was only rock.-
[10:52] <Minaplo> [The air was thick with fumes and toxic gases; if they'd not been safe inside an Eva, they'd all be choking right now.-
[10:53] <Minaplo> [Far across the wastes they saw a massive peak, easily ten kilometres high, the side blackened and cracked. A huge black cloud of fume and fire hung over it, and the crown of this peak glowed red-hot; from it came streams of lava which rent the landscape, creating great red rivers of molten rock.]
01[10:55] <Yanmei> "W…what the hell is this? Active volcano…?" She tried to remember seeing one during their descent.
01[10:55] <Yanmei> She -did- stumble then, clutching her forehead.
[10:56] <Minaplo> ["Nngh." Isaiah groaned beside her.]
[11:15] <Sept> "Mmh. Keep going, squad, but I need to pace myself. I'll catch up in no time."
[11:20] <Minaplo> [Sera's squad obediently pressed forward, towards the ominous, intimidating wall of mountain ahead…-
[11:20] <Minaplo> ["Enemy contact!" Shouted Juuichi. "Ghouls! And-"-
[11:21] <Minaplo> [The loud retort of bolters, echoing off the walls of the valleys and peaks; a bolt round struck Juuchi's unit's right arm. "Damn-it…"]
03[11:23] * ChanServ sets mode: +qo Minaplo Minaplo
06[11:47] * Aline and her squad were soaring over the vast glimmering ocean, when 00's AT Field picked up… an oodle of enemies. "Contacts! Moving to engage the northern contingent."
[11:48] <@Minaplo> [Her squad veered in mid-air to follow her, Fatima taking the front.]
01[08:11] <Yanmei> Yanmei's group, in the meantime, also found themselves facing off against a wave of ghouls. Only… they were coming in from nearly all sides, boxing the Evas in. -
01[08:13] <Yanmei> The attacks came suddenly. Positron shots, and then claws and bites. Yanmei dodged the first set of teeth to come at her, and smashed through the brains of the zombie to whom it belonged, glancing over her shoulder. "Shit! Go! Juu!"
[08:16] <Minaplo> [For Juu had taken more than her fair share of attacks- great rivulets of blood poured down her Eva's helmet, and one hand was clapped over its eyes. She was defenseless as another Ghoul leapt at her, its jaw ripping wide and open, touching its throat, the flesh at the corners of its mouth stretching and tearing, a line of jagged white teeth visible even through the smog.-
[08:17] <Minaplo> [At the last second, Go pushed Juu out of the way, Juu's blinded Eva stumbling awkwardly, falling to its knees, steadying itsself. The Ghoul's jaws clamped down firmly on Go's unit's head, the teeth driving themselves deeply into the helmet, ripping open surovite plating and flesh alike. Go screamed as the Ghoul latched onto her, clinging to the top half of her body, its weight sitting on
[08:17] <Minaplo> her shoulders, constantly ripping and biting at her head.-
[08:19] <Minaplo> ["I'll blunt them. Yanmei, support me!" Said Sho. Her Eva crouched down, as if about to burst into a sprint- and then it was off! It covered the distance quickly, leaping into the air and performing a deceptively slow pirouette, bringing her prog sword down heavily against Go's assailant. The blade tore open a jagged wound on its twisted and warped head, and it reeled for a moment, a painful
[08:19] <Minaplo> keening of pain filling the air as it screamed.-
[08:20] <Minaplo> [Juu followed the sound, turning slowly, carefully-
[08:20] <Minaplo> ["GET COMPUTER COMPENSATION FOR UNIT 16!" Roared Harken.-
[08:21] <Minaplo> [At the last second, EVA-16's arm shifted slightly before the swing, the blade slicing the Ghoul's head clean off. The Ghoul froze, then tumbled away in a heap from Go, the head already started to reform.-
[08:22] <Minaplo> [The Ghouls came in strength once again, pressing against Juu especially, but with Sho there, the tide had turned. Blade and shield flashing, Sho kept them at bay, pressing them back, creating a zone of safety.-
[08:32] <Minaplo> [A thin, bright beam of red light streaked across the battlefield, striking Juu in the back. Her Eva shuddered forward, her faint AT Field vanishing. "Wha-"-
[08:33] <Minaplo> [But any other communications were blocked out by a scream. If Yanmei looked at her visual screen to Sho's plug, she'd see Sho screaming, her back arched, arteries bulging out of her neck, her hands clapped over her eyes… Not blocking out the blood streaming from them.]
01[09:44] <Yanmei> "Grr…" Cover it was! 04 sprang back toward them, slicing at the ghouls even as fire from the battleship rained down around them. "I'll clear a path! Sho… Sho! Listen to me! Run for it when I tell you to! To the East!"
[10:53] <Minaplo> ["Nngh…"-
[10:58] <Minaplo> [Sho's unit didn't reach its target without attracting a hell of a lot of attention. Mid-flight, a barrage of energy bolts ripped through the lower half of the unit, armour plates on the left leg burning away, something exploding in the Eva's midsection. Trailing blood and smoke, the Eva tumbled head-over-heels through the air, smashing into a rocky, sand-covered outcropping, the impact
[10:58] <Minaplo> sending it back into the air, where it destructively smashed its way through several more pillars of rock and dunes of sand before landing, quite on fire.-
[11:00] <Minaplo> ["Sho!" Go flew past her, staring down at the burning Eva, a worried expression on her face; she was biting her lip.-
[11:01] <Minaplo> [There was a shout of pain over the comms; not from Sho this time, but from HQ. Yanmei would see Harken suddenly buckle in his seat, sprawling onto the ground.-
[11:03] <Minaplo> ["No! Leave me!" Roared Harken, batting away the hands of an assistant. He pulled himself to his feet. "Go! Smoke one!"-
[11:03] <Minaplo> ["G-Got it!" Go landed, raised her Long Mas, and fired. The shot streaked towards a Seraphim, which elegantly swerved out of the way. It raised its rifle-
[11:04] <Minaplo> [… And the maser bolt turned sharply in mid-air, ripping through the Seraphim's head and out through one of its eyes. It screeched, a hand clapped over its face.-
[11:11] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would see Harken slam his console. "Bring weapons to bear! Lock coordinates! Archibald, fire!"-
[11:12] <Minaplo> [The horizon behind the mountains glowed red, and a few seconds later, two Seraphim were caught in a titanic bombardment. Streaks of positron energy ripped through the area, causing huge globes of annihilated matter to light up the sky; the second the globes cleared, huge shells struck the Angelspawn, letting out titanic explosions that could level cities.-
[11:13] <Minaplo> [One Spawn was clear of the explosion, the other consumed; it was just in time to be struck by dozens of cruise missiles, carpeting the area in fire and shrapnel.]
06[12:28] * Yanmei dropped down on the remaining Ghoul as it lumbered toward Go and Sho, slicing off its head with surprising ease. Excalibur had taken on a more sinister appearence now, a strange dark sheen now apparent along the blade. -
01[12:30] <Yanmei> "Press the advantage!" she cried. "Juu, go for the AT Field! Once more, Go! At the survivor!"
[07:55] <Minaplo> ["Hyaa!" The barrel of the Long-Mas burned brightly as the beam struck…-
[07:55] <Minaplo> [And before long, the lone Seraphim was gone, nothing more than burned flesh.-
[07:56] <Minaplo> [Sho in Unit 13 was struggling to her feet, concentrating. Huge fleshy tumors began bursting all over her Eva's body- replacement organs, bones, flesh…]
03[08:48] * Suzune (902.721.681.27|enuzuS#902.721.681.27|enuzuS) has joined #nervfrance
01[08:52] <Yanmei> Yanmei exhaled. That was all of them, was it? "Let's get out of here…"
[08:57] <Minaplo> [They swept east, ensuring that this part of the plateau was clear of enemies- they saw a huge river of lava streaming off parallel to their path, heading off, following the mountains- into the east, where the lava drained into what was a massive -ocean- of lava, which set the sky above it red and black with its heat.-
[08:57] <Minaplo> ["Looks like our path's obvious, then." Said Sho, turning towards the volcano.]
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01[09:01] <Yanmei> "Agreed," Yanmei murmured, turning the same way with a frown. "Be on your guard. I've a bad feeling about this?" 04, its wings already spread, began to coast southwest toward that fiery landmark. She concentrated, and the odd sheen along Excalibur's blade intensified.
[09:02] <Minaplo> [It wouldn't take long before they ran into danger.-
[09:02] <Minaplo> [Positron cannon shots had plagued the battlefield the instant Yanmei's squad had emerged onto it; and now they saw the source. Several Seraphim toting the heavy weapons; and Juu could sense more, hidden on the other side of the volcano.-
[09:04] <Minaplo> As they approached, the Angelspawn began to open fire, Sho bearing the brunt of it, but bearing it well. Three Spawn clung to the slopes, ones Yanmei had only dimly seen before…-
[09:05] <Minaplo> [("The Red Fire Stars." Said Ezekiel over the communications. "Three of Metatron's Weapons."-
[09:06] <Minaplo> [One of them remained where it was; it looked like a figure of armour- ornate overlapping plates of some metal, but no body wearing it. As they approached, plates of its armour retracted, revealing glowing red spots that began firing a hellish bombardment.-
[09:06] <Minaplo> [Explosions and energy strikes scorched the ground around them, many of them going wide due to the Evas' speed, but…-
[09:07] <Minaplo> [The other two left the slopes, hurtling towards the Evas to meet them in open combat. One of them was thin, humanoid, resembling vaguely an insect in some ways; its armour was chitinous and it constantly leapt back and forth through the air in a twitchy pattern. It held a long barbed spear in its hands.-
[09:08] <Minaplo> [The other was tall and sedate to the insect-spawn's hyperactivity. It resembled a robed human being; it was bluish-purple, and it had wings of radiant light, like rainbows made solid. Instead of a face, it had an opaque reflective… Plain.]
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01[10:20] <Yanmei> 04 spread its wings wide and swept for the stranger spawns. "We'll distract the tough ones? Take care of the smaller long-ranged guys, quickly!" -
01[10:23] <Yanmei> She went for the robed one first, slashing with Excalibur and the Herald alike, but they didn't penetrate the creature's AT Field, even with all of the energy flowing through them.
[10:26] <Minaplo> [("Zhang, look out-")-
[10:26] <Minaplo> [The twitchy insect-Spawn lashed out towards her, before making a split-second turn to the left, behind her, striking 04 at the base of the skull with its spear.-
[10:26] <Minaplo> [EVA-04 seized up, and even in the plug Yanmei would find her limbs locking.-
[10:28] <Minaplo> [The shimmery one attacked, its left arm metamorphising into a multi-headed rainbow whip, which it lashed EVA-04 with, its AT Field cracking apart. A second later, the whip-tendrils went rigid, began to swirl, and with a flash of light, fired a long cone-shaped burst of prismatic light, which ripped through 04's flesh and armour with such ease that it may as well be air.]
06[10:31] * Yanmei strangled back a pained yell. It wasn't as difficult as one might expect, as she was already distracted and seeing stars from the headwound. In the aftermath, she mumbled a soft curse…
[10:44] <Minaplo> [Juu's advance, however, was paying dividends as she cut through a Seraphim, her Field deflecting most trouble, her speed handling the rest.-
[10:46] <Minaplo> [The volcano itself, however, was not just a backdrop to this struggle.-
[10:47] <Minaplo> [A massive hand emerged, red and black with soot and fire, the skin hard like rock, broken up by thin strands of magma. It grabbed onto the side of the caldera- and whoever owned the hand pulled itself up.-
[10:48] <Minaplo> [Massive. A humanoid shape larger than an Eva, all molten rock and metal rivers, a being of fire, the heart of the earth.-
[10:49] <Minaplo> [It was covered in heavy armoured rock and metal plates, resembling a strange, crude facsimile of F-Type armour.-
[10:51] <Minaplo> [In its right hand it held a long, heavy sword, the liquid metal blade glowing bright with heat; as the right hand moved, loose flecks of molten metal sparked off the surface of the blade, splashing onto the ground.-
[10:51] <Minaplo> [It opened its mouth, and roared, not in a bestial way, but in a proud way, a way of challenge, a gauntlet thrown. A blast of fire issued from its mouth as it stood up.-
[10:51] <Minaplo> [Azrael, the Imperial Herald.-
[10:51] <Minaplo> [Time for round three.]
06[12:28] * Yanmei … paled to a sickened complexion at the sight of him. Still, there were roadblocks ahead of them, and they had to get rid of them all the more frantically before Azrael sprang into action. -
01[12:32] <Yanmei> She let her eyes dart back over to the spawn ahead of them, and concentrated. First on the AT Field of the rainbow-robed one, and then on a second task that she had never attempted before, functioning on sheer desperation and instinct. Black shadows writhed off of Excalibur like twists of smoke and ash. -
01[12:35] <Yanmei> They formed sharp, spindly, bladed limbs. Emaciated torsos. Dozens of them, all vague, semi-transparent beings, much smaller than 04 or even the angelspawns. Hissing, they surged at the robed spawn…
[12:44] <Minaplo> [The wraiths swarmed upwards onto the spawn, slashing violently through its torso. These things would've made mincemeat of the Brothers; and if the spawn had a face, Yanmei suspected it'd be twisted into an expression of rage and fear.-
[12:45] <Minaplo> [The insectoid, however, was untouched. In a gruesome display, it plunged its own hand into its chest, pulled out a clump of flesh, and tossed it into the ground in the centre of the battle raging.-
[12:46] <Minaplo> [It exploded, but not one of kinetic energy and fire; this time it was a strange AT burst. Yanmei felt her Field's defenses collapse…-
[12:47] <Minaplo> [… And then the firestorm began, the armour-suit Angelspawn throwing its blasts and bomb-strikes into their midst, along with barrages from the Seraphim.-
[12:47] <Minaplo> [WHen the smoke cleared, Sho was gritting her teeth in pain, her unit's arms missing, and Juu was stumbling, huge rends made in her unit's chest.-
[12:49] <Minaplo> [Azrael walked slowly down the volcano side, lifting his burning hand towards… Juu. It opened its mouth, letting out a roar that, somehow, in their minds, was interpreted as a painful screech of discordant sound.-
[12:50] <Minaplo> [But Juu felt it hard. A sudden gash split her forehead open, and she screamed, hands reaching up to clutch her head.-
[12:50] <Minaplo> [Another blow, and she bucked backwards, smashing the back of her head against her seat. The blood was all through her hair, over her hands…-
[12:51] <Minaplo> [She was screaming and sobbing in terror at the same time, her voice choked and incoherent. she fell forward, her Eva falling to its knees…-
[12:51] <Minaplo> [… When the final blow, Metatron's blow, struck her again. She let out one more agonising cry before falling, toppling, to the bottom of the plug, the blood pouring from her eyes now.]
01[08:30] <Yanmei> That damned Angel! Within the entry plug, Yanmei's eyes darted to Juu's window, darkening angrily. "General! I need a strike on the three bigger spawn on my mark! Units, get ready to fall back! Go, help Juu!"
[08:32] <@Minaplo> ["Uh, got it."-
[08:34] <@Minaplo> [Juu's unit was suddenly yanked to the side by an invisible force, dragged out of the immediate area moments before the bombardment hit.-
[08:37] <@Minaplo> [EVA-04 itself was mostly untouched, but her enemies were shattered, and a gap was clear- the insect Spawn and the blank-faced one were open!]
01[08:47] <Yanmei> 04 hadn't dodged the bombardment at all, and now stood amidst the smoking sand, in prime position for another lunge! It did just that, striking viciously at the insect one until it fell, and then sprang back as positron shots buzzed through the battlefield. "Let's pull back even farther now! Get rid of the ones firing on us!"
[09:45] <@Minaplo> [The followup battleship bombardment crashed around them, covering Yanmei's retreat. The last of the enemies she'd been engaged with- the blank-faced angel- was torn apart by a well-placed impact shell.-
[09:46] <@Minaplo> [Go was running towards them- towards Sho, specifically. "Jaunt, Yanmei?"]
01[09:47] <Yanmei> "Yes! Everyone, group together! That goes for you too?" She eyed her shadowy, hissing sword creatures.
[09:51] <@Minaplo> [They were all quite small- compared to EVA-04 they would've been around the size of small kittens. At her voice they all turned to look up at her with those expressionless mask-like faces- then began quickly flitting towards her, bodies wispy and cloudy.]
01[09:58] <Yanmei> And Yanmei herself moved close to Go, bracing herself. -
01[10:01] <Yanmei> The warp would dump them practically on top of a group of familiar pale winged spawn - ranged fighters. Yanmei neutralized one immediately, tearing into it with Excalibur. "Let's hurry up! There's no telling how far behind the fiery Angel and that other spawn will be? Command, I need another strike!"
[10:03] <@Minaplo> [("Acknowledged, Violet Leader! All hands, prepare to fire! Archibald, lock coordinates on 04's position! Ready- FIRE!")-
[10:04] <@Minaplo> [The Seraphim seemed to know what was coming. It darted away quickly, avoiding one vicious bombardment, only to be caught in the next one. Yanmei could see its form in the flames, twisting, disintegrating…-
[10:04] <@Minaplo> ["Two more." Said Isaiah quietly.]
01[10:07] <Yanmei> "-One- more." Yanmei was already throwing herself at another neighboring spawn, wearing through its AT Field and slashing at it multiple times.
[10:18] <@Minaplo> [Juu, at this point, was starting to calm down, although the blood was coating her face and hands. "I… I-I-"-
[10:19] <@Minaplo> ["Zero more!" Said Go, levelling her long maser at the last Spawn. One pull of the trigger, and the beam struck outwards… Only for the Spawn to weave to the side with a beat of its wings!-
[10:20] <@Minaplo> [Go threw a hand out, and the beam twisted in midair, turning in a wide arc to cut through the Spawn's head from temple to temple. It hovered for a moment, as though the damage were somehow delayed… Before its head burst into flames, and the body fell to the ground, a blackened stump for a head.-
[10:21] <@Minaplo> ["Yanmei, we're under a lot of fire here!" Shouted Sho. Several energy beams struck towards the still-dazed Juu, and Sho leapt forward, her unit manifesting a shimmery orange-white translucent arm from its right stump. It struck out, covering Juu- the arm suddenly collapsing under heavy strain.-
[10:21] <@Minaplo> ["Ugh, damnit! Positron cannons incoming!"-
[10:22] <@Minaplo> [The arm rematerialised, just in time to deflect the worst of the damage. A final shot tore the arm apart, striking the Eva square in the chest, clearly doing some damage- it staggered backward, and Sho let out a cry of pain.]
01[10:25] <Yanmei> "We're okay! That was a good job," Yanmei assured them, gesturing south with her sword. "Let's handle the second group of them with the same teamwork everyone! Group together and get ready to Jaunt once more?"
[10:27] <@Minaplo> ["Let's do it." Said Sho.-
[10:27] <@Minaplo> ["Alright!" Came Go's response.-
[10:27] <@Minaplo> ["I…"-
[10:28] <@Minaplo> [Juu's breathing was shallow. "Head. Hurts. Can't… see. Light… Light… Ow…"-
[10:28] <@Minaplo> ["H… Help, please-" Her hands were clutching her head, gripping the temples. "M-Metatron…"-
[10:32] <@Minaplo> [There was a sudden burst of static; their video to Juu's plug blacking out for a second.-
[10:36] <@Minaplo> [When the vision returned, it came with sound- awful sound. Juu's screams of helpless agony, begging someone for help. Her hands were clutched over her eyes; great gouts of blood poured through her fingers, down her arms and over her body, spreading out through the LCL. She was half-standing, her back arched in an abnormal bend. She was shaking her head furiously…-
[10:38] <@Minaplo> [There was a sudden -crack-!, and the a wet, mushy sound. A sudden, single spray of blood splashed against their video screens, tinting the image- the image of Juu, no longer moving but for twitches, her body bent and twisted back, her eyesockets a bloody mess. The spasms had snapped her spine.-
[10:40] <@Minaplo> [There was a moment of silence as they processed this horrific display.-
[10:40] <@Minaplo> [Then, in an instant, Juu's flesh burst into flame, the LCL began to boil, and the video cut out.-
[10:40] <@Minaplo> ["…"-
[10:40] <@Minaplo> [There was a soft -thump- from Go's plug. The girl had collapsed back in her seat, fainted.-
[10:41] <@Minaplo> ["Oh… Oh god." Muttered Sho, her grim facade shattered. Her eyes were wide, and she was taking impulsive steps back. "Oh god, no…"-
[10:42] <@Minaplo> ["No. No, no, not again." Whispered Isaiah. Yanmei felt a sudden pain in her leg- Isaiah was gripping his thigh, cutting into the softer flesh, his hand a vice-like grip. "No…"]
01[10:58] <Yanmei> "Isaiah!" Yanmei voice was sharp and keen, but it was hitting an unusual note now as she tried to drag him back down to earth. "Everyone!"
[11:15] <@Minaplo> [The Ayanamis remained non-responsive, but Isaiah was bringing himself back, closing his eyes, taking deep breaths…]
01[11:32] <Yanmei> "Isaiah. We are going to take out the other positrons. Now." She spoke slowly, deliberately. "Sho. Stand by and protect…" she felt, somehow that her words were being wasted. She eyed the wraiths. "You two stand by and protect the the two remaining EVAs. Okay?"
[11:33] <@Minaplo> [They stared up at her. A wordless hiss filled the air before they began swarming towards Sho and Go.-
[11:33] <@Minaplo> ["N-No." Sho muttered. "I… I can do it. I… I'm ok. I'm ok…" She closed her eyes, that orange translucent arm bursting into being once again. "Go ahead."]
06[13:39] * Yanmei gave her one last long look. "Stay tough. I'll try keep it from dragging out? Isaiah, let's go!"
[13:39] <@Minaplo> ["Understood."-
[13:39] <@Minaplo> [EVA-04 vanished…-
[13:40] <@Minaplo> [… Reappearing on the other side of the great lava flow, landing, as planned, right in the midst of the three cannon-wielding Seraphim.]
06[13:48] * Yanmei immediately clashed against them, using both Excalibur and the Imperial Herald, carefully peeling through the first one's AT Field. There was support in the way of great big missiles and blinding blasts of light from the Battleship, and very soon it was dead. The remaining ones, busied themselves with 04's own AT Field… Yanmei grit her teeth against it, scrambling but not completely evading the blasts of energy from the remaining armored Angelspawn and then countering against one of the Seraphim with deadly force…
[13:56] <@Minaplo> [The area around 04 exploded once again, but this time with bolts of AT energy. The ground cracked and buckled, EVA-04 swaying with it, losing its footing.-
[13:57] <@Minaplo> [A chain of blasts struck 04 square in the back; the unit was hurled through the air at tremendous speed, smashing into the ground hard some 900 metres away.]
06[14:00] * Yanmei …needed to catch her breath after that one, head lolling about in her plug. She tried forcing 04 to its feet in the middle of the indentation left behind, long streams of sand and scorched rock cascading from its armor. "Isaiah, you okay?"
[14:01] <@Minaplo> ["… Fine." He was shaking his head quickly. "Could've been worse. Let's waste one."]
01[14:03] <Yanmei> "Right." 04's grip tightened around Excalibur. It lurched at the nearest Seraphim! Slash! Slash!
[14:06] <@Minaplo> [The Seraphim died with a scream, torn to ribbons…-
[14:07] <@Minaplo> [The third and last Seraphim levelled its cannon at 04, only for a single maser bolt streaking from nowhere to tear through its left eye. The head was consumed with flame soon after… And with that, the last of these pests had died.-
[14:08] <@Minaplo> [But now Yanmei would have more problems to content with. The armoured Angelspawn was weakening her Field, allowing an attack from…-
[14:08] <@Minaplo> [Azrael.-
[14:09] <@Minaplo> [Wreathed in flame and smoke, mouth yellow-white with molten lava, a sword glowing with heat in its right hand, it strode down the volcanoside, stepping through puddles and streams of lava as though it were water.-
[14:10] <@Minaplo> [The walk became a run, and all of a sudden this juggernaut was on them! The flaming sword slashed through 04's left arm, burning through armour and flesh, the pain like fire on Yanmei's skin.-
[14:10] <@Minaplo> ["Moving to assist!" Came Sho's shout. Yanmei could see her on the vid…-
[14:11] <@Minaplo> [… When suddenly she seized backwards, hands clapping to her face in a scene Yanmei had seen all too much recently. Sho's head snapped backwards, smashing into her chair; rivulets of blood were pouring through her hands, and she was screaming, short and sharp, out of breath.-
[14:11] <@Minaplo> ["Nonotlikethisnotlikejuuplease"]
01[14:13] <Yanmei> Yanmei's scream ended between more gritted teeth. She was half dizzy from the pain and the horrifying distraction that her vid providing. "Sho! Fall back! Now!"
[14:15] <@Minaplo> [… But she wasn't answering.]
01[14:16] <Yanmei> "Command! I need a report on her vitals!"
[14:17] <@Minaplo> [("Alive but not responding. Her vitals are going insane- we can't keep her on the frontline, Zhang.")]
01[14:22] <Yanmei> "Go. Go, are you there?" 04 had taken a firmer stance now. It drew an arm back, and chopped at Azrael to no avail thanks to its AT Field.
[14:28] <@Minaplo> ["I am. I'm drawing a bead on the armoured spawn, but it needs softening first."]
01[14:33] <Yanmei> "Command, requesting an attack on the armored one. Go, as soon as you make the shot, I need you to take Sho back to the ship." Strange shadowy shapes were running along Excalibur again, creeping higher, growing more wild.
[08:16] <Minaplo> [("Solid copy! Targeting solution acquired! Weapons recalibrated… Fire!)"-
[08:17] <Minaplo> [At the same time, Go depressed the trigger on her Long Las.-
[08:17] <Minaplo> [It struck the target a second after the bombardment began- and when the smoke cleared, all that remained was a burning empty metal shell, in several dozen pieces, streaking in twenty different directions.-
[08:21] <Minaplo> [Azrael paid no heed to it. It hefted its mighty sword up and lunged towards 04, almost striking with the first blow, then the second, then finally slicing deeper into 04's left arm with the third blow.]
06[08:24] * Yanmei felt it rather heavily, staggering slightly and crying out in pain. Still, she kept a grip on both weapons. "I can't get through the Field!"
[08:29] <Minaplo> [Go was gone, vanished, along with the disabled Evas belonging to Juu and Sho. A few seconds later, Go was back- barely in visual range, but there nevertheless. Azrael's AT Field began to diminish…]
01[08:31] <Yanmei> And Yanmei was recieving a wave of helpful data from the Battleship, adjusting her angle before striking again, over and over. The first two blows met the same resistance, but the others slipped through, one of them gashing Azrael's face.
03[09:11] * Syntax (if.vth.pp.10109072sc|xatnyS#if.vth.pp.10109072sc|xatnyS) has joined #nervfrance
[11:29] <Minaplo> [Azrael roared, taking a single step back- before flicking its free hand towards 04, its AT strength diminishing rapidly. The black aura around Excalibur abruptly faded- and the battle was on again, Azrael swinging a wide, lethal blow.-
[11:29] <Minaplo> ["D-Damn, I can't… Shot…" Go muttered. Yanmei could hear her quick, shallow breaths in the background.-
[11:29] <Minaplo> […-
[11:30] <Minaplo> ["Isaiah, Yanmei, I- I have an idea!"]
01[11:36] <Yanmei> "What is it?" Yanmei managed through gritted teeth. She was trying desperately to fend off fresh blows from Azrael's flaming sword, acutely aware of how much more vulnerable 04 was now.
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["Metatron, s-she's focusing on defending that Angel." Said Go. "I…"-
[11:39] <Minaplo> ["If I take my remaining power, and pour it into a funnel for my gun, my shield will drop, and Metatron will waste time going for me. He'll be open, and you can attack him- then y-you get out of the way, and if I shake Metatron off, I… I can take the shot!"]
06[11:52] * Yanmei hesitated for a split second, clearly thinking of the other fallen and blinded Ayanamis, but the moment was broken as her own counterattack missed Azrael's head by a mile. "Just long enough to take the shot, okay? Command will back you up if anything goes wrong."
[11:54] <Minaplo> [("Agreed. We'll be sending targeting data along the OTIS band.")-
[11:58] <Minaplo> [She felt a tightening in her hands. Isaiah, suppressing his misgivings…-
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["Three… Two… One…"-
[12:00] <Minaplo> [Go took a deep breath. The air around her shimmered- a swirling rippling rainbow funnel was emerging around the barrel of her gun!-
[12:00] <Minaplo> [A second later, the pilot herself suddenly spasmed, a hand flying to her head.]
06[12:05] * Yanmei definitely noticed, despite her own peril. "Go! Is she…?!"
[12:05] <Minaplo> ["I-I'm fine!"-
[12:06] <Minaplo> [And indeed, there seemed to be no blood gushing from her eyes- Go grit her teeth. "Hurry- up and move!"]
06[14:02] * Yanmei did! Although not without making making some calculations of her own and a flurry of attacks herself! Some missed, but she got a good one in on the Angel's arm before skipping narrowly backward.
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["Got it!"-
[14:03] <Minaplo> [Azrael swung at 04 as it leapt away, missing, leaving it exposed.-
[14:04] <Minaplo> [Go pulled the trigger.-
[14:05] <Minaplo> [The maser beam streaked across the sky, over the lava stream and squarely through Azrael's eyes. The beam ripped out through the back of its head, unstoppable, the penetration ravaging and rending muscles and bone and grey matter as it went.-
[14:07] <Minaplo> [Azrael staggered, its head nothing more than a useless mess. Without ceremony or grace, it toppled forward, slamming into the ground, causing a minor earthquake that even 04 felt.]
06[14:09] * Yanmei … stared down at the headless body once her vision was free of the spots caused by the searing light. She was breathing hard. "It worked…" She gripped Isaiah's hand, briefly. "It worked… Go! That was excellent!"
[14:11] <Minaplo> ["I… I don't believe it." Go's unit went slack, rifle hanging from the right hand. "It worked… Haha. It worked! I'm alright! Wow!"-
[14:11] <Minaplo> [Her scared chattering gave way to relieved, giddy laughter. "Hahahaha. Oh god, that was scary… Mind shield up!"-
[14:13] <Minaplo> [("Report, violet squad.")]
01[14:15] <Yanmei> "The enemy, Angel Azrael, is disabled? Commencing with the destruction of its core in case it can regenerate." 04 stepped toward it, swords still drawn.
[14:17] <Minaplo> [The massive body trembled, once, twice, and then in an instant the heavy, unwieldy outer armoured shell exploded off the body, sending huge shrapnel fragments in all directions.-
[14:17] <Minaplo> [The instant the armor was gone, a swirling beam of red light, glowing like molten lava, emanated from Azrael's body, firing into the air. A second later, the chaotic light ceased…-
[14:19] <Minaplo> [But now they saw Azrael, getting to his feet, surrounded in an aura of fire and smoke and ash. He had looked terrifying before, but now he looked genuinely nightmarish, as though something this confronting and imperious was purely the realm of fiction. The sword in its hand glowed and seethed brighter and hotter than ever, and all about Azrael's quickly regenerating head was a wreath of
[14:19] <Minaplo> flame.-
[14:20] <Minaplo> [With a horrifying roar that shook the land for miles around, the Angel moved, already much faster- unnaturally so. It lashed its sword out at EVA-04, missing it by scant metres, the flames on the tip licking at 04's armored breast.]
06[14:25] * Yanmei barely made it. Her eyes were round with horror, and in the heat of the moment she'd made an odd squeaking noise. Now, however, she was finding her voice again. "N-no! Go! Fire again! I'll keep him busy!"
[14:26] <Minaplo> ["I-I've got it!" Go, to her credit, barely fumbled with the rifle, bringing it up to her shoulder, aiming, and pulling the trigger.-
[14:28] <Minaplo> [The well-aimed shot struck one of the weaker parts of Azrael's injured left arm. The arm destabilised, crumbling away in a second. The sudden pain spike seemed to take Azrael aback as he stumbled suddenly, pausing to steady himself…
[14:28] <Minaplo> ]
01[14:31] <Yanmei> Yanmei shifted her weight as if on the verge of following up with more slashes… and then quickly darted as her console lit up with red lights and warning beeps. "Incoming!" -
01[14:32] <Yanmei> But the warning cry was mostly drowned out as missiles and streaking cannon fire rained down on the Angel.
[14:33] <Minaplo> [The massive ordinance bombardment shrouded the Angel in even more smoke and fire…-
[14:33] <Minaplo> [… But Azrael didn't wait for it to clear before he emerged, his sword glowing with a harsh white light now. A single, incredibly fast strike…-
[14:33] <Minaplo> [A spike of pain, straight to Yanmei's brain.-
[14:34] <Minaplo> [EVA-04's left arm lay on the ground, twitching, the hand spasmodically grasping the Imperial Herald.]
01[14:37] <Yanmei> Yanmei's long, agonized scream ended in a strangled gurgle, and she fought to keep her vision from blurring further and fading out, stumbling backward over her own legs. "Ah… Aha…Y…YOUUUUU!"
[14:38] <Minaplo> [Azrael stared at her. Then he embedded his sword into the ground, where it fell to ash.-
[14:38] <Minaplo> [WIth a twitch of his hand, the Imperial Herald flew from the ground, up, into his waiting grasp- the faithful sword returning to the rightful master.-
[14:40] <Minaplo> [A dull metal scabbard sat on Azrael's hip, created out of Azrael's own body. The sword was sheathed- the burning, molten hand reaching out towards 04.-
[14:40] <Minaplo> [It grabbed 04 by the throat, lifting it up a full ten metres off the ground. It squeezed- and then with a single mighty toss, sent 04 sailing through the air.-
[14:41] <Minaplo> [They landed not with a hard -thud- but with a strange, slow -glob-. It'd take addled Yanmei a second to realise what had happened…-
[14:41] <Minaplo> [… When a wave of intense heat rippled through her body, not only from the feedback, but from the rapidly rising temperature of her LCL.-
[14:42] <Minaplo> [The lava stream… She was sinking into it, now; it sucked her in, and Azrael was all too happy to help. Slowly and with deliberate purpose, it placed a foot on 04's chest…-
[14:43] <Minaplo> [And, putting all of its weight on that foot, pushed -down-, swinging its other leg over onto the other side of the stream bank. Then, it lifted its pinning foot, and walked off, leaving its impromptu bridge where it belonged- burning in the lava.]
01[14:49] <Yanmei> And it -did- burn. The pain was crippling, beyond anything Yanmei had ever felt… Only by spotting a mass of shadows on the southern bank of the lava stream made her vaguely aware that she could survive by escaping, but couldn't get her body to respond, let alone 04's or Isaiah's. Both those… the weird, dark little spawns that had come from Excalibur… they were here to help her somehow, right?
[14:50] <Minaplo> [The milled about the lava bank, staring, their blank, identical doll-like masks tilting to one side. Yanmei would see that every few seconds, one of the wraiths would spasm, then split in half, resulting in two fully-formed shadows…-
[14:51] <Minaplo> [Then, all at once, they lifted their swords above their heads, and scurry-marched five-abreast across EVA-04, their shadowy feet like the patter of a thousand rats on Yanmei's chest. They were running off to fight Azrael, a fight they couldn't possibly win…-
[14:51] <Minaplo> [Yanmei heard, dimly, the familiar sound of a maser discharge.-
[14:52] <Minaplo> ["Help! Please, help! I-Isaiah, Y-Yanmei, you need- get up, please! He's coming for me!"-
[14:53] <Minaplo> [… All of a sudden, Yanmei's plugsuit, already skintight, became even tighter, compressing her chest, cutting off her air supply. For an instant she couldn't breathe, her vision swam, dizziness made her light-headed…-
[14:53] <Minaplo> [Then it loosened, returning to its usual state. Yanmei could hear the tell-tale sound of beeping from one of her consoles. Combat stimulant dispensers. Getting her back into the fight.-
[14:54] <Minaplo> [Her vision was clearing, her breathing improving, even the pain was fading a little… She could think!]
01[14:56] <Yanmei> Thinking was probably a mistake. The drugs dulled the pain, but only enough to remind her of less pleasant experiences in the entry plug. Trapped, boiling alive in LCL… -
01[14:58] <Yanmei> She could flail an arm though, and when she did, 04's arm moved as well. Fingertips on her good hand hit the bank, and she seized it fast, fighting against the heavy flow. At last, she rolled onto solid rock again. -
01[15:00] <Yanmei> All the little Excalispawn had made it across by then, and were swarming up behind the terrifying Azrael. Beyond them all… was Go's Eva. -
01[15:03] <Yanmei> Excalibur was still sinking, but 04 could withstand enough to drag it out of the slow-moving stream. The target, though… the air around him seemed to shimmer and twist oddly. The heat? Or some weird AT Field effect?
[23:37] <Minaplo> [It was almost like a trick of the light, but… Yes, there it was! The left arm had regrown, weak and thin but becoming stronger with every second.-
[23:38] <Minaplo> ["She's healing him." Hissed Isaiah.-
[23:38] <Minaplo> [Go levelled her rifle again, pushed the butt against her shoulder and fired. The maser bolt struck Azrael square between the eyes, but this time he simply shrugged it off. "Uhh…"]
01[23:40] <Yanmei> "Then we'll beat him up faster than she can make repairs?" -
01[23:44] <Yanmei> 04 was lumbering to its feet now, completely ablaze and trailing smoke as it began scrambling for Azrael. It slashed! The first few attempts bounced harmlessly away as the Angel drew the Herald, lightning quick, and put it to use. -
01[23:48] <Yanmei> The last clashed against its AT Field as a change of pace. Yanmei dug in against it, bracing 04's feet against the soft earth. Excalibur flickered darkly and then… unexpectedly broke through, slashing Azrael's weak arm!
Session Time: Tue Jul 08 00:00:00 2014
03[00:02] * Zackv2 (moc.rr.ser.nas.302-541-39-67-epc|aryT#moc.rr.ser.nas.302-541-39-67-epc|aryT) has joined #nervfrance
02[00:03] * Tyra (gro.tenranul.ffats|kcaZ#gro.tenranul.ffats|kcaZ) Quit (Killed (NickServ (GHOST command used by Zackv2!moc.rr.ser.nas.302-541-39-67-epc|aryT#moc.rr.ser.nas.302-541-39-67-epc|aryT)))
03[00:03] * Zackv2 is now known as Tyra
[00:04] <Minaplo> [The arm suddenly gave way, slapping into the ground.-
[00:16] <Minaplo> [But Azrael seemed less fazed this time. He swivelled around, swinging his sword around towards 04, knocking Excalibur a side. A haze of white energy was gathering around the blade of the Imperial Herald…-
[00:16] <Minaplo> [Thwack! Slash! Two strikes towards EVA-04's right leg. With a disgusting squelching sound, the leg came off, leaving 04 teetering precariously.]
06[00:26] * Yanmei shrieked! 04 rocked dangerously, clutching its own leg. -
01[00:27] <Yanmei> After a second she spat something furious and unintelligible out, and pried open her eyes for another glimpse of Azrael through the flames.
[00:30] <Minaplo> [Azrael was turning, intending to ignore 04, heading towards Go again… It was open!]
01[00:36] <Yanmei> It was now or never… right at his blind spot! 04 spread its wings, bent its good leg, and swooshed forward. Yanmei screamed again, this time mingling agony with hate and fury. The core… the core was there! A bright red gleam barely visible through a gash in its torso that she and Isaiah could aim Excalibur at.
[00:39] <Minaplo> [The attack struck home, staggering Azrael, causing him to turn to face them fully…-
[00:39] <Minaplo> ["The head. Go for the head!" Shouted Go.]
01[00:43] <Yanmei> And Yanmei did, with another ragged scream, ripping out Excalibur and then plunging it between the Angel's eyes with all the strength that she could muster.
[00:44] <Minaplo> [And this time the blow was -felt-. The sword burst through the head and, as Yanmei tore it away, the head came with it, disintegrating in mid-air.-
[00:44] <Minaplo> [Azrael's remaining arm feebly raised its sword, trying to fend off an attack… Before it toppled backwards, the core exposed for all to see.]
06[00:51] * Yanmei hesitated only long enough to take aim. It still hurt… the wounds and the relentless unbearable burning, but the end was right there! She struck again, this time at the core again.
[00:52] <Minaplo> [Crack! Thin lines began to spread out from the impact epicentre…]
01[00:54] <Yanmei> She lifted it again, over the same spot. Plunge!
[00:55] <Minaplo> [The sword sunk deeper in this time, the cracks deepening. Light was starting to shine from the centre of the core. One more…!]
01[00:56] <Yanmei> She obliged, lifting it again. "Hurry up and go!" She rasped, and smashed it down!
[01:00] <Minaplo> [CRACK!-
[01:01] <Minaplo> [The core split open, and a flood of white light burst outwards, enveloping the sword, 04's arm… It flowed through the chest and into the Entry Plug, and…]
02[01:34] * Tyra (moc.rr.ser.nas.302-541-39-67-epc|aryT#moc.rr.ser.nas.302-541-39-67-epc|aryT) Quit (Ping timeout)
03[01:36] * ZackAFK is now known as Zack
03[01:46] * Zack is now known as Tyra
03[02:41] * Raphael (~ua.moc.odod.lsd.citats.122-511-841-221|leahpaR#ua.moc.odod.lsd.citats.122-511-841-221|leahpaR) has joined #nervfrance
06[03:06] * Yanmei jerked, startling herself, turning her head around in the plug as if she had never been in one before. It was just her and the Isaiah-hologram in there, but… -
01[03:08] <Yanmei> Wearily, she used her free hand to pinch the bridge of her nose, bowing her head slightly.
[03:14] <Minaplo> [("… Minute to emergence of the gate transmission anomaly.")]
03[03:14] * Syntax (if.vth.pp.10109072sc|xatnyS#if.vth.pp.10109072sc|xatnyS) has joined #nervfrance
01[03:15] <Yanmei> What? She looked up again, with just her eyes. "Please repeat that, Command?"
[03:17] <Minaplo> [("There's a high energy buildup coming from the volcano. In 50 seconds, the gate transmission anomaly should appear in or around the volcano. You will need to enter it to proceed.")]
01[03:19] <Yanmei> "…all right." She looked briefly around the battlefield and then up at the mighty volcano overlooking it. She flapped 04's wings a few time, getting it to hover, testing out its remaining limbs a bit. "Ready. Go, you okay?"
[03:21] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I'm ok." She was walking over to 04, her unit blessedly unmarked.-
[03:22] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would realise, looking around, that somehow, during that burst of energy…-
[03:22] <Minaplo> [Her arm and leg, severed by Azrael, had regrown.]
06[03:28] * Yanmei sat up properly, testing out the new arm with a little flex. "You did well out there. You too, Isaiah. Let's get ready…"
[03:32] <Minaplo> ["Right." Isaiah looked up at the vidfeed and smiled. "I'm very proud of you, Go. You were awesome."-
[03:33] <Minaplo> [Go beamed, a bright wide smile, her cheeks flushed red with pleasure at the praise and pride.-
[03:34] <Minaplo> [("Thirty secon-")-
[03:34] <Minaplo> [CRACK-BOOM!-
[03:37] <Minaplo> [The sonic shockwave nearly deafened them. With an almighty explosion, the top of the volcano erupted, the grand fury of the earth and stone issuing forth, great burning rocks flying in all directions, landing dozens of kilometres away. Huge plumes and geysers- geysers!- of lava shot into the air, the highest two kilometres tall, coming down in a molten spray that left small fires burning
[03:37] <Minaplo> all across the desert. Superheated waves of pyroclastic gas rushed down the hillside, enveloping the Evas- although it raised the temperature of the units and caused those inside to sweat, it didn't cause anything but superficial harm as it stripped the paint from 04's chest and legs.-
[03:37] <Minaplo> [("First sign, verified.")]
06[03:39] * Yanmei winced visibly. It didn't hurt as much as the lava stream, but it was still startling in an uncomfortable way. "So this is normal? Right."
[03:46] <Minaplo> [("You will need to jump into the volcano. Get ready.")]
06[03:49] * Yanmei …repressed a deep shudder. Into the lava… "All right." Another wingflap carried her a little further up the side of the volcano, although not quite landing. "Just say the word?"
[00:07] <Minaplo> [("Another twenty seconds. We need to wait for when the energy output peaks.")-
[00:07] <Minaplo> ["Y-You mean, we need to jump into it when it's erupting the most?" Asked Go, her pleasant flush gone, replaced with pale horror.]
01[00:12] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei tried to look bright. "Clearly there's some trick to it? It won't kill us, right, Command?"
[00:20] <Minaplo> [("Ten seconds. Good luck, Violet Squad!")]
01[00:22] <Yanmei> Slow breath. She glanced around them one last time, making note of the fading wraiths far below them. Then, she braced herself, shutting her eyes.
[00:27] <Minaplo> [("Five. Four. Thr-")-
[00:29] <Minaplo> [The top half of the volcano -exploded-. Huge slabs of stone and rock burst off the surface, breaking up into thousands of heavy boulders, raining rocks down on the two Evas, smashing against their AT Fields. The Field flashed and shimmered so often that it looked as though fireworks were exploding just outside the plug.-
[00:30] <Minaplo> [A lava sea was forming now, not only due to the huge flows from the volcano but also from the rains from the ever-strengthening geyser.-
[00:31] <Minaplo> [("Now, Violet Squad! Jump!")]
01[00:34] <Yanmei> "Roger that? C'mon! Keep your field up!" Yanmei barreled for the center of that geyser, jaw clenching at even more sparks. She could feel the insane heat even before she touched it. -
01[00:35] <Yanmei> For the briefest instant there was a moment of sharp clarity. And horror. What was she -doing-? But it was too late.
[00:36] <Minaplo> [They jumped.-
[00:38] <Minaplo> [There was a brief moment where Yanmei could stare down at the great magma sea below, in a gap between the next geyser blast. It spread out everywhere, a great glowing angry yellow, red and white lake…-
[00:39] <Minaplo> [And then the geyser exploded once again, engulfing them all, inundating them, bathing them in it.-
[00:41] <Minaplo> [The heat was intense- Yanmei saw, even through the AT Field, the paint on her unit bubbling up and melting away, leaving behind shiny silvery armour plates. She felt that dreaded ripple through the LCL that told her it was starting to boil. She was sweating profusely- or was it just the LCL after all?-
[00:42] <Minaplo> [There was a sense of falling, then- impact. Not against a hard surface but against the magma sea itself. the heat doubled, she felt her chest burning. She began to realise just how -tight- the plugsuit was. How it clung to every surface, not giving her any air…-
[00:43] <Minaplo> [Now it felt even tighter, pushing in on her chest like a vise, not letting her breathe. She couldn't breathe- the pressure was too much. She needed to get out!]
01[00:47] <Yanmei> The heat was too much… in her lungs… everywhere! The pressure was almost as bad… Frantically, she looked up, realizing how difficult an actual escape was now.
[00:48] <Minaplo> [The lack of air was getting to her. Spots began to appear in her vision, which was already swimming; she felt sick and light-headed. And she began to hear things. What sounded like…-
[00:48] <Minaplo> [Whispering.]
01[00:53] <Yanmei> Never a good sign. Too little oxygen. She was probably dying. Or…?
[01:00] <Minaplo> [The whispering growing stronger, more insistent…]
06[01:05] * Yanmei began to writhe, curling up a bit. She was listening, like it or not… and it wasn't helping.
[01:10] <Minaplo> […-
[01:10] <Minaplo> [There was something ahead. Something dark…?-
[01:10] <Minaplo> […!-
[01:11] <Minaplo> [All of a sudden, they were free! EVA-04 was launched upwards. In a single moment, all of that horrible pressure fell away, like a ton lifted off of Yanmei's shoulders. There was a moment of glorious weightlessness…-
[01:11] <Minaplo> [Before EVA-04 fell, crashing into something hard and smooth. Ground.-
[01:12] <Minaplo> [Almost instantly the heat began bleeding away from the unit. The LCL settled down, her lungs stopped burning, her suit's abnormal tightness disappeared.-
[01:13] <Minaplo> [The spots were already vanishing from her vision.]
06[01:17] * Yanmei lay there, gulping desperately, trying to prove to herself that her lungs were fine after all. Blinking, she searched for Go's unit. Grabbed Isaiah's hand again to make sure that he was still there.
[01:19] <Minaplo> [He was. He squeezed back, and a moment later Yanmei would feel a gentle caress along the back of the neck, a calming, soothing sensation.-
[01:19] <Minaplo> [They were, now that Yanmei was looking… Somewhere else.-
[01:23] <Minaplo> [They were in a chamber, a wide cavern that would've been enormous for them if they'd been out of their units, but was ultimately just proportionate to the Evas instead. The chamber was made of a smooth, black material- obsidian, probably- and illuminated by the brightly-glowing river of magma that flowed through the chamber, bisecting it. Yanmei's side, she'd notice, was more…
[01:23] <Minaplo> Artificial-looking, with straight edges terminating in a black hallway that led away from the chamber. The chamber on the other side of the river was rougher, more natural, like a cave.-
[01:24] <Minaplo> [The magma began to ripple, and all of a sudden Go's unit burst outwards, arcing into the air followed by flecks of magma. The unit twirled mid-flight to land heavily on its back.-
[01:24] <Minaplo> ["Kuh."]
06[01:28] * Yanmei - still on her back - ran 04's hand along the black ground with a faint sense of awe. "You ok over there?" she managed.
[01:29] <Minaplo> ["Don't wan' jump through lava again…"]
01[01:31] <Yanmei> "You and me both?" She shifted gingerly to a sitting position. "Command. No more lava, okay?"
[01:32] <Minaplo> […]
01[01:32] <Yanmei> "Command. Can you hear me?"
[01:33] <Minaplo> […]
01[01:35] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei slowly made it all the way up to a standing position. "It's not too surprising, after that?" she grumbled. "We're on our own."
[01:37] <Minaplo> ["Shit." Muttered Isaiah.-
[01:37] <Minaplo> ["It might just t-take them some time." Said Go, getting to her feet as well. "Uh…"]
01[01:39] <Yanmei> "They did say that this would mess with our communication a bit?" But Yanmei blinked at her. "Hm?"
[01:41] <Minaplo> ["Did anyone else hear a… A whisper?"]
01[01:41] <Yanmei> "You too, huh…?"
[01:42] <Minaplo> ["Oh, so it wasn't just me."]
01[01:45] <Yanmei> "Heart of the planet." Yanmei sighed. "Metatron created this whole place herself. She has a pretty good grasp of the things that make up the Earth. And… other planets too, I guess."
[01:45] <Minaplo> ["Hm."-
[01:46] <Minaplo> [Go reached back, her right wing dock opening up to hand her that well-used Long Maser. "So… What now?"]
06[01:47] * Yanmei eyed the path leading to the next chamber and tossed her hair. "Easy? We take a walk and find out more."
[01:50] <Minaplo> ["Let's… Let's do it." Said Go, then, lifting her Maser up and holding it across her chest.-
[01:50] <Minaplo> [Next to Yanmei, Isaiah grinned.]
[07:40] <Minaplo> [There was a quiet sound- the sound of pattering.-
[07:41] <Minaplo> [If Yanmei looked around, she'd see the surviving sword wraiths emerging, apparently unscathed, from the lava, march-pattering over to EVA-04, where they assembled in quiet unison, all of them looking up at 04…]
06[07:45] * Yanmei stared down at them. Then she grinned. "So you guys made it too, huh? Thanks for the company~ Ah. This way, ok?" And she led the way, going down the obvious corridor leading out of the chamber.
[07:52] <Minaplo> ["Not sensing anything." Said Isaiah.-
[07:52] <Minaplo> [The corridor was long, dark and quiet. Before long the light of the lava faded- Otis automatically switching to Low Light mode, which in this case was a pair of floodlights built into 04's chest turning on.]
01[08:38] <Yanmei> 04 was not exactly moving with slow caution. Neither was Go's unit. Both were zipping along at AT-assisted speeds, the wraiths just barely keeping up, until…
[08:38] <Minaplo> ["-!"-
[08:39] <Minaplo> [It would be the equivalent of walking outside and right into a hailstorm. Suddenly, a metaphorical thunderstorm of energy bolts of a million different colours were raining down the hallway!-
[08:39] <Minaplo> [They were coming from a target too distant to see in the gloom; but the hallway had ended in an intersection, and the left-hand path had terminated in a huge square room…-
[08:40] <Minaplo> [Lit up now by the lethal rainbow.]
01[08:46] <Yanmei> "Uugh…" Yanmei, still slightly out of breath from the pummeling, yanked Excalibur out and did a swifted headcount… not that there were many heads to count at the moment. Go was there, probably reeling a little herself. The wraiths were there. -
01[08:46] <Yanmei> "I dunno what that is? But let's bring down its field."
[09:20] <Minaplo> ["Got it."-
[09:21] <Minaplo> [They rushed out into the room, Go taking the shots, gritting in pain- the Wraiths scurrying forward, too small to register on their foes' senses.-
[09:21] <Minaplo> ["There's a pattern." Muttered Isaiah. And Yanmei could see it too…-
[09:22] <Minaplo> [Suddenly she was leading EVA-04 on a smooth zig-zag, grazing past the projectiles, focusing her movement under a starburst formation of bolts…-
[09:23] <Minaplo> [Before long, they'd see their quarry. A diamond-shaped entity with a hard, straight white-transparent surface, a red core visible within. The diamond was rotating, and several times a second the core would glow, the light hitting the surfaces, reforming into brilliant rainbow shapes, and unleashing waves and patterns of positron bolts throughout the room.]
01[09:26] <Yanmei> "There!" 04 reached out, from a distance at first, and the diamond thing's AT Field weakened. "Follow my lead?" Immediately afterward, the Eva braced itself and dashed forward with a series of hard slashes.
[09:27] <Minaplo> [The first slash tore off a great slab of its surface. The surface shattered into a million little fragments, then hurled themselves at 04, a deadly curtain of shards.-
[09:28] <Minaplo> [But the attack left it open- a single shot from Go's rifle launched a bolt of energy into its core, which lit up its surface with a final green light before disintegrating, a disturbing shriek the only thing of it left before it disintegrated into glass dust.]
06[09:29] * Yanmei exhaled, slowly, only relaxing once the last bits of dust sprinkled harmlessly to the ground. "Good work, Go."
[09:30] <Minaplo> ["Thanks. That was…"]
01[09:30] <Yanmei> "Really annoying?" Yanmei guessed.
[09:31] <Minaplo> ["Painful."]
01[09:51] <Yanmei> "Ah."
[09:56] <Minaplo> ["Where to now?" Asked Isaiah.]
06[10:00] * Yanmei eyed the door to the west. There was also the way leading back to where they had come from. "If the 'security' in this area has just been disabled, we should be free to explore a little more? Let's take our time and head back to that last intersection. I'm curious…"
[10:03] <Minaplo> [And so they headed back east, back to the intersection, then past, where they ran into…-
[10:03] <Minaplo> [A wide square chamber, and in the middle was a pedestal, about 30 metres high. The surface was smooth, and tapered to a point in the direction they had come from. On the top was a glowing orange symbol…-
[10:03] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would realise that if she tried, she could lift it slightly and rotate it.]
01[10:05] <Yanmei> So she did. Although not without tapping it experimentally with the tip of Excalibur first, her eyes narrowed suspiciously.
[10:11] <Minaplo> [No danger. She rotated it…-
[10:12] <Minaplo> [… And the wall behind her vanished, and a shallow alcove appeared in the direction of the pointy part of the pedestal! The alcove was doorway-shaped, but didn't lead to a path.]
01[10:13] <Yanmei> "…" She tried it again, feeling rather disoriented now.
[10:16] <Minaplo> [Another twist. The doorway vanished again, reappearing to the east- where the pedestal was pointing.]
01[10:21] <Yanmei> One more twist, as another plain wall was the only thing that the east exit seemed to lead to.
[10:22] <Minaplo> [The southern doorway emerged, and this time- a corridor…]
01[10:37] <Yanmei> "Hm." Yanmei frowned. Slowly she started forward. "Let's check it out?"
[10:37] <Minaplo> [And so they headed south…-
[10:37] <Minaplo> [Their journey ended in a room, empty except for a swirl of energy in the centre of the room.]
01[10:38] <Yanmei> That earned a long cautious inspection. "…the heck is this?" she muttered. "It's just… -here-."
[10:42] <Minaplo> [… And in an instant the swirl un-twisted, flowing into 04.]
06[10:52] * Yanmei gasped, stepping back. It poured through her, lifting her sagging energy. From what she felt from Isaiah, it was doing the same to him as well. "W-well, well…" it seemed as if she was about to say more, but the swirl was now gone and the room lay empty.
[10:54] <Minaplo> ["What happened?" Asked Go curiously.]
01[10:58] <Yanmei> "It… I think it healed us?" Yanmei shifted around, lifting 04's arms experimentally. "We feel stronger, and it doesn't hurt as much."
[10:59] <Minaplo> ["Wow. That's awesome…"]
01[10:59] <Yanmei> "You'll get the next one, ok?" said Yanmei firmly.
[11:06] <Minaplo> ["Ok."-
[11:06] <Minaplo> [They backtracked after this, returning to the site of the slain crystal angel…]
06[11:31] * Yanmei led them on further northwest… to a similar pilliar to the one they had just encountered. Turning it, however, did nothing. "Hm. I bet it's doing something weird to a room located somewhere else," Yanmei muttered, leaning over it. She stood up fully. "What if you and the wraiths stay here? Isaiah and I will take a look up ahead."
[11:32] <Minaplo> [Go looked down at the Wraiths. They looked back.-
[11:32] <Minaplo> ["O-Ok."]
06[11:52] * Yanmei flashed her an encouraging smile. "We'll be able to communicate the enture time, so don't worry? We'll see you soon."
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["Ok."-
[12:00] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would soon find a new room, with a new pedestal…]
01[12:01] <Yanmei> And she would test it, turning it this way and that, and instructing Go to do the same on her end.
[12:06] <Minaplo> [And through a bit of fiddling… The doorway Yanmei came through would vanish, and the doorway to the north would open, revealing another room- this time with a corner heading east!]
01[12:08] <Yanmei> "Great! Come on over, Go. We found the way out." And with that, she gave her instructions on how to locate her, and turned the room's entrance just for a moment so that Go would be able to access it.
[12:08] <Minaplo> [And thus Go entered, the little gaggle of wraiths following quietly.-
[12:08] <Minaplo> ["Weird…"]
03[12:09] * ZackSleep is now known as Zack
01[12:09] <Yanmei> "I know, right?" Yanmei turned it again, opening the way. There was a hallway, and at the end of it was a small room with a… strange, glowing platform.
[12:12] <Minaplo> ["Hm." Go frowned. "It's weird. I think you activate it by stepping on it, or so my senses tell me, but there's a strange… Ambience to it. Dirac-like, but not quite."]
06[12:15] * Yanmei looked around. There was nothing else in the room. Just them and the glowing thing. "Let's try it."
[12:16] <Minaplo> […-
[12:16] <Minaplo> [Suddenly, she was in an entirely different room. It looked identical, but there was no exit, and only a blue swirling platform besides her own yellow one. The blue one was made of concentric rings, with the one in the middle resembling the moon…]
03[12:45] * Zack is now known as ZackAFK
01[15:02] <Yanmei> It would go on like that for a while. Teleporting from one room to another, pressing the occasional button that would switch off one type of portal and activate others. -
02[15:06] * Minaplo (~ua.ten.tenii.nyd.73-17-051-421|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.73-17-051-421|olpaniM) Quit (Quit: )
01[15:11] <Yanmei> The portals themselves were brightly colored and always gorgeous. Some resembled pools of starlight or fire or other familiar elements. Others were glowing shapes or swirls. There was, however, one constant among them all: passing through them always came with the sensation of being painfully squeezed like a tube of toothpaste by some cruel law of of physics. -
01[15:20] <Yanmei> They spent… a long time passing from portal to portal. Yanmei lost count of how many they went through or how many minutes - or hours - ticked by as they did so. They picked up patterns and sometimes lost them, accidentally getting dumped back in beginning room to start all over. Eventually, and with the sort of abruptness that shattered the growing tensions among them, they appeared in a room with an actual honest to god passageway carved out of normal solid material.
[07:17] <Minaplo> ["… Is that- an exit? An exit!" Isaiah fell back in his seat and began to laugh. "A fucking corridor. I've never been so happy to see a -corridor- in my whole life."]
01[07:20] <Yanmei> "I know, right?" Yanmei was grinning along. "What the hell even was that? Was Metatron trying to frustrate us to death?"
[07:22] <Minaplo> ["Delays." Said Go. "So we'd be off-balance and walk into a trap."]
01[07:23] <Yanmei> "You think so?" Her grin faded somewhat.
02[07:41] * SyntaxPhone (~if.elibom-asile.tan-851-241-67-58|xatnyS#if.elibom-asile.tan-851-241-67-58|xatnyS) Quit (Quit: Bye)
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02[08:07] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT) Quit (Ping timeout)
03[08:09] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT) has joined #nervfrance
02[08:35] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT) Quit (Quit: Bye)
[08:51] <Minaplo> ["Only one way to find out either way." Said Isaiah quietly.]
01[08:54] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei marched grimly onward, leading the way.
[08:54] <Minaplo> [Down the corridor…-
[08:54] <Minaplo> ["… Look out-!"-
[08:55] <Minaplo> [Waves of shimmering rainbow-coloured positron bolts, streaking towards and past them! Go let out a cry as she was struck by six or seven, stumbling backwards.]
06[08:57] * Yanmei in the meantime, charged forward, brushing off the hits. She knew what the enemy would look like this time! -
01[08:59] <Yanmei> And indeed, sitting in the narrow hallway just up ahead was the same sort of diamond-shaped creature as before. 04 reached out hand, and the creature's AT Field began to erode… just in time for the follow-up: a flurry of sword blows from Excalibur.
[09:03] <Minaplo> [Shards fell from its body- shards that reoriented towards 04, hurling themselves into 04's body and leg! They cut deep- Yanmei could feel them, burying into her knee and thigh…-
[09:03] <Minaplo> [Go aimed, and opened fire, but her maser simply bounced off the diamond surface. "Wha?!"]
01[09:04] <Yanmei> "Don't stop! Try again!" Yanmei was trying too, slashing even more at it even though she knew more painful shards would result.
[09:05] <Minaplo> [The shards tore through 04's ankle and foot, nearly severing it before the diamond crumbled beneath Excalibur's blows, a horrific screech echoing as it disintegrated into dust…]
01[11:08] <Yanmei> 04 doubled over as the pilots inside caught their breath. "D-dammit…" Fleshy tumors were beginning to fester over the damaged foot - new flesh grotesquely bubbling to the surface to replace the damaged. "Let's… move on," said Yanmei after a few minutes.
[11:11] <Minaplo> [The Cherubim had been guarding an intersection. They took the western path, which led them…-
[11:11] <Minaplo> [To a dead-end hallway, featureless except for a wellspring of energy like the one Yanmei had absorbed earlier.]
06[11:12] * Yanmei blinked at it and smiled faintly. "It's all yours, Go."
[11:14] <Minaplo> ["Are you sure…? I can get by if you want to use it." She said gently.]
01[11:15] <Yanmei> "It's fine. We're definitely holding up? And anyway, I did promise it to you earlier."
[11:18] <Minaplo> ["Well, alright."-
[11:18] <Minaplo> [Go stepped past them, reaching out tentatively towards the energy. It suddenly uncoiled, flowing into her- she let out a gasp.-
[11:18] <Minaplo> ["W-whoa…"]
06[11:23] * Yanmei watched with knowing amusement. "Incredible, right?"
[11:24] <Minaplo> ["Yeah…" She shook her head a little. "Wow. I-It's pretty heady."]
01[11:25] <Yanmei> "Hehehe. I'm hoping we can find a few more of them before we leave this place~ So great…" -
01[11:26] <Yanmei> She glanced over her shoulder, back the way they had come. "We'd better keep going?"
[11:26] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Let's go."]
01[11:28] <Yanmei> Back they went, turning north at the previous intersection with no further events… until they found themselves standing over a great bright, glowing button in the center of a hallway. "Huh"
[11:32] <Minaplo> ["I can sense enemies." Said Go quietly. "A lot. Be careful."]
06[11:34] * Yanmei sighed. "Not a very clever trap? But…" she looked up at the dead end awaiting them just up ahead, frowning, "Unfortunately, there isn't anywhere else for us to go." Slowly, cautiously, she jammed 04's thumb onto the button and pressed down.
[11:35] <Minaplo> [The wall to her left disintegrated, as did the one to her right… And the one straight ahead.-
[11:35] <Minaplo> [There was a distinct hum that Yanmei felt in her teeth, when…-
[11:36] <Minaplo> [A crossfire! Three crystals, or so it seemed, hurling waves of bolts at her from three different directions…]
06[11:38] * Yanmei cried out, arms over her face as if to shield herself from the storm. "C'mon! Left! Left!" she growled, and took off hurrying in that direction.
[11:40] <Minaplo> [Go followed her, as did the Wraiths. Here, she was shielded from the other foes, but there was still a crystal here, glowing ominously, firing its constant patterns…]
01[11:47] <Yanmei> It was time to put a stop to that! Yanmei crossed the distance quickly, ducking around its barrier field and plunging Excalibur into it! "Hah!" But, of course, more crystals shattered off, digging deeply into 04's chest and stomach. "A-ahhh!"
[11:52] <Minaplo> ["G-Gh. It's- shit." Isaiah groaned, a hand over his own stomach.-
[11:53] <Minaplo> ["WARNING: EXCESSIVE BLOOD LOSS DETECTED." cried OTIS.-
[11:53] <Minaplo> ["Yanmei! Back off!" Said Go, the air warping around her rifle. "I've got the shot!"]
01[11:54] <Yanmei> "Sh-shut up, OTIS." Yanmei muttered. And then to Go, as she staggered back a bit. "Yes, take it!"
[11:56] <Minaplo> [A single, well-aimed shot struck right through the red core of the crystal, shattering it into five pieces. Go winced at its keening death-wail.]
06[11:58] * Yanmei sagged, trying to dull the pain through sheer force of will… but it was 04's strange alien biology that did it for her in the end, as it began to heal itself in the same way as before. "Whew…"
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["That was close." Said Isaiah. "Thanks, Go."-
03[12:00] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.632-91-791-94ap|oaT) has joined #nervfrance
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["N-No worries. You alright?"]
01[12:02] <Yanmei> "We're ok. Just give us a second…" She wobbled a bit, finding her bearings. "This isn't good. I was hoping there'd be a definite way out through this room? Looks like we'll have to go back and pick another direction."
[12:08] <Minaplo> ["A real trap." Muttered Go.]
01[12:12] <Yanmei> "Ugh. Stupid Angel," Yanmei muttered. She pounded her fist lightly against her console. "All right. Let's go. Get ready to run straight across the intersection!"
[12:14] <Minaplo> ["Ready!"-
[12:14] <Minaplo> ["This is not as fun as I was hoping it'd be." Muttered Isaiah, who was rapidly punching calculations into a computer console.]
01[12:21] <Yanmei> "You were hoping this would be fun?" Yanmei frowned… and then slowly lapsed into a small smile. "It could be, actually. For once, no one's watching us? We can talk about whatever we want, without fear~"
[12:22] <Minaplo> ["Um…" Go was reddening.-
[12:22] <Minaplo> ["Not the time, sweetheart." Said Isaiah airily.-
[12:22] <Minaplo> ["And I always hope it's fun. Let's go!"]
01[12:29] <Yanmei> And so they went, dashing frantically across the intersection with its many many blinding positron explosions. They made it to the eastern chamber… which was much like the first in most respects. A single crystal creature, and no exits. "Dammit!" 04 charged ahead almost recklessly, slashing at it at once. "Get ready to finish it off, Go!"
[12:30] <Minaplo> [And so Go did, rushing in after, her rifle already armed and charged. A single fire through a weakened frame set its core ablaze, and it quickly disintegrated.]
06[12:38] * Yanmei was once again left gasping in pain after the battle, multiple spots on 04 oozing blood. "Next path…" She reached out with her AT Field, trying to feel what Go had sensed earlier. "Seriously? There's like a million of them!"
[12:39] <Minaplo> ["Suggestions?" Asked Isaiah.]
06[12:50] * Yanmei frowned deeply. "We distract the others? Leave the crystal one to Go. I know there's at least -one- of them in there that's projecting all those positron blasts."
[12:51] <Minaplo> ["Which means there's some in there that -aren't- a crystal." Said Isaiah.]
01[12:54] <Yanmei> "We can assume. If there's a big group of crystals… well. We'll work that out once we get there."
[12:56] <Minaplo> ["Right. Shall we?"]
06[13:03] * Yanmei nodded. 04 took the lead again, the wraiths scuttling not far behind. It gave only one shortest of pauses at the entrance to the new room for assessment. It was much larger than the others, the Crystal monster humming away along a far wall. standing firmly between the Evas and it, however were… stranger creatures that Yanmei had never seen before. There was a giant, larger than the Evas, and an entire army of smaller copies of it.
[13:04] <Minaplo> [It was like a collection of thick green vines, albeit without a wall to cling to, that had twisted together to form a vague humanoid shape. At various nodes across its body, 'vines' crossed and produced glowing white energy. As EVA-04 entered, the great creature twisted towards it- and unleashed an energy beam far too fast to dodge. It struck 04 square in the middle of the chest, burning
[13:04] <Minaplo> through armour and flesh with ease…]
01[13:09] <Yanmei> Goddammitmorepositrons! 04 reeled back, Yanmei shrieking in pain. The Eva almost collapsed to one knee, but recovered its balance just in time. "Y-you!!"
[13:12] <Minaplo> [But Yanmei wouldn't have time to just curse. Those milling copies all surged towards Yanmei, smaller blasts issuing in their thousands from their own points. Multitudes of them glowed, then disintegrated, converted into energy balls- which struck the AT Field, blowing huge holes in 04's AT defense until the entire field collapsed, leaving 04 open.]
06[13:16] * Yanmei had had -enough-. She launched herself - and 04 and Isaiah - toward the army's master, screaming murder, her swords drawm. "Vengence!!" There was tearing, and blood from something that wasn't 04 for once.
[13:17] <Minaplo> [It was more of a bright, glowing sap.-
[13:18] <Minaplo> [Yanmei wasn't the only one slashing her way through. Her Wraiths had caught up, and were cutting their way through the army of vine-creatures with their sharp blades. In some cases, the vine-creatures didn't die when struck, but were covered in a thick black shadowy oil- that drained away, leaving another wraith…]

[07:10] <Minaplo> [There was a corridor facing all of them.-
[07:11] <Minaplo> [The were spread across three different areas, but it didn't matter: there was a corridor facing all of them. It wasn't the same corridor. It was three different corridors; but this didn't matter either, since it all led to the same place.-
[07:12] <Minaplo> [They would all emerge… More or less at the same time, into a simple room. It was hardly a room; no floor, no roof. Only four walls framing a black void. A void they could step on, run on, and touch… But it felt like -nothing-.-
[07:12] <Minaplo> [So there they were…]
01[07:21] <Yanmei> 04 looked as if it had gone through hell. Its distinctive purple paint job had been stripped off save for a few ragged patches, and it now bore countless scorch marks, dents, and tears in its armor. Go's unit had also lost its paint… but at least it seemed to be in good shape otherwise. Yanmei regarded the other suddenly appearing units with mild surprise. -
01[07:21] <Yanmei> "Hey! You guys made it…"
[07:24] <Aline> For its part, 00 was covered in wounds as well, dented and marred. DEVA-01 had basically looked pristine, save maybe for places where one could tell ablative layers had been breached. 02 didn't really seem mucked up all that much, either. For what it was worth though, Aline smiled - even if on some fundamental level, she looked a bit more spent than she should've. "Yeah. It's been messy,
[07:24] <Aline> but it… it is probably going to get worse, right?
[07:32] <Sept> The Evangelion of Sera and the Twins were mostly still in prime condition, but the Ayanamis' were much less so - with Juuichi bearing Nana's broken-down unit. "Potentially. But if we don't need to split up any further…"
[07:33] <Minaplo> ["Hey." Isaiah frowned. "What happened- Nana…?"]
06[07:37] * Sept shifted his weight around. "Crystal Spawn. Positron area denial. She helped."
01[07:40] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei blinked a few times, and then cast a wary eye at Isaiah's comm window. "We need to reorganize," she said after a few moments of silence. "Figure out where exactly we should go. We're all still in danger here."
06[07:42] * Aline eyed the generic sound-only window for Sera - why have a vidscreen for a darker orange bag in a sea of orange? - suspiciously. "Kinda terse there. But uh… We lost one too, but it was on the top level. I tossed her back to the battleship, at least, since we were in the area. And I saw the crystal spawn… Yeah." …If only she knew what had come after. Something about light and
06[07:42] * Aline shadows…
[07:49] <Sept> "So is this…" He stamped on the void-floor lightly. "Some kind of core for this layer?"
01[07:56] <Yanmei> "No idea," Yanmei muttered. Some of the darkness around 04's feet was moving slightly, but Yanmei didn't seem terribly concerned about that. "Let's Ping. Get a better idea of where we are and what our next steps should be."
[07:59] <Sept> "Agreed. It seems like we should be able to get through here with the Lance, but we should check for signatures."
06[08:01] * Aline went ahead and committed the effort to make a ping! Dooooom.
[08:05] <Minaplo> [Aline would sense or feel the allies in the room… Including the greatly disturbing horde of sword-wielding masked shadow-creatures that milled around 04's legs, staring up at the Eva like demented, heavily armed ducklings.-
[08:06] <Minaplo> [But nothing that wasn't what she had verified visually.]
06[08:07] * Aline had been sort of leaving that elephant in the room alone for now. But… "I'm not picking up anything else. Either the shadow's inert, or uh… we've got something more /fucked/ on hand."
[08:08] <Sept> "Hm. Alright. Here we go, then." 01 lifted the Lance with both hands, made like a dwarf and struck the earth.
[08:12] <Minaplo> [As the Lance of Cassius struck the plane of nothingness, a loud, high note- almost musical- sounded throughout the room, emanating from the impact point.-
[08:14] <Minaplo> [A second later, the void began to -ripple- outwards, in constant expanding circles like a disturbed lake. The waves, barely distinguishable, 'flowed' unfeelingly over their feet.-
[08:14] <Minaplo> [And then it vanished.-
[08:15] <Minaplo> [Before they had time to fall or fly, a titanic rushing sound filled their ears. The corridors around them vanished, replaced by walls.-
[08:17] <Minaplo> [Within a second, their shaft of emptiness was full of a tremendous wave of what seemed to be water; it sped upwards, above their heads, catching them in the path, lifting them up at tremendous speeds.-
[08:18] <Minaplo> [They zoomed… Upwards, was the best they could manage, leaving their 'maze' far behind.-
[08:23] <Minaplo> [The tunnel around them was narrowing, and it was changing; where once it was a strange smooth stone, now it became brighter, nearly translucent, a membrane stretched around them, blocking out a vast expanse.-
[08:23] <Minaplo> [Above them, the tunnel narrowed into a small opening, barely fifty metres wide; through it shone… Light.]
[08:30] <Sept> "Ready to spread out! We're almost there..!"
06[08:33] * Yanmei frowned up, apparently not liking the narrowing that was going on above them. She braced herself…
06[08:34] * Aline made sure to push into some kind of line formation while flowing at unreasonable speed. She didn't want to get a sympathy concussion from 00. "This is the part where I make the 'hold onto your butts' quote! I just did it!"
[08:41] <Minaplo> [("Yeah, I feel better already.") Said Asuka dryly.-
[08:41] <Minaplo> [The little opening came closer, closer- it looked far too narrow!- closer-!
[08:41] <Minaplo> [They burst through, into a completely different world.-
[08:43] <Minaplo> [They were still suspended in fluid, still being pushed onwards. They were still in a tunnel- except now it was more accurately a tube. They flowed smoothly through a thin tube, clear like a window; the transparent walls lined with tiny little blood vessels. Through it, they saw…-
[08:45] <Minaplo> [Water. Tremendous amounts of it, an ocean; an ocean wide and deep, fathomless, an ocean that the stars themselves could reside in. An endless sea, absolutely unbounded.-
[08:53] <Minaplo> [It was unending, but not unpopulated. They could see billions of small roughly spherical objects, each themselves a transparent membrane, full of a similar sort of fluid that they were now suspended in.-
[08:55] <Minaplo> [They weren't idle, either. Yanmei, Aline and Sera would see one sphere bulge, stretch until it was roughly the same size, then divide, forming two roughly identical spheres joined together- all of it happening in less than a hundredth of a second.-
[08:57] <Minaplo> [The two spheres stretched again, then split, then stretched, then split- until where there had been one, now there were hundreds. A thousand. Millions, yet it seemed to be tiny compared to the endless ocean, even as the other cells divided and spread.-
[09:02] <Minaplo> [The first one they'd seen was more, now, not simply a trillion spheres but now a twisted, shapeless creature of its own right, curled in on itself, suspended in a floating greyish sac. Within seconds it had increased its size a hundredfold, the sac's borders stretching as the unformed mass developed a long, low head; smooth flesh had twisted and formed long curved fins, six a size, segmented
[09:02] <Minaplo> like wings; its main body bulging, becoming thick and stocky, coated in a layer of fatty blubbery flesh that looked engorged and slimy, splitting near the bottom into a dozen gigantic miles-long tentacles, each covered in a hundred perfectly round electric blue eyes.-
[09:08] <Minaplo> [Eventually the sac grew too small for it and it burst outwards; by now it was easily the size of Earth, or something thereabouts; they would've been a hundred thousand kilometres away at least. But it wasn't alone, for the ocean now was full of other creatures. They saw a shape with a single roundish head with six eyes, a fat body and short legs, with twenty arms, each serrated and armoured,
[09:08] <Minaplo> wrapped around itself to form a shell; a round blue fleshy sphere, coated in a thousand long spines that split open to send tremendous sonic waves throughout the water, propelling it through the sheer force; a ovaloid entity, poison-green with bright orange spots, with no visible arms or legs but covered in small little tumours; this in turn was set upon by a creatre that was nothing but
[09:08] <Minaplo> twenty roughly humanoid heads attached by a long red intestine to a single core-like body. The head-creature tore through the green-orange one, engorging itself on flesh, the intestines growing fat and slick, before distending and talling away, each head vomiting up a small roundish core-body of its own, each already bristling with twenty tiny heads.-
[09:11] <Minaplo> [They watched the first one- the tentacled creature with no eyes- as it swam through the water, finding another creature (A snake-like creature with a long, tube-like head ending in a sucker) and smashing into it. At first it seemed as though they were fighting, but the truth of it became obvious when the tentacled creature swam away; seconds later, the other creature split open, a dozen
[09:11] <Minaplo> tentacles pulling their way out of the body, a smaller copy of the first creature floating away. The snake-like creature's wound quickly healed, and within seconds had encountered the first Tentacle Giant again, copulating again, giving birth again…-
[09:13] <Minaplo> [And they saw the Tentacle Giant, now incredibly huge, swimming slower, sluggishly, falling, falling- mighty in size but feeble in reality, the flesh eventually torn apart by a dozen creatures of different sizes and different forms, until nothing was left but a basic skull and a long translucent spine.-
[09:13] <Minaplo> [All of this… In a minute of time.]
[09:15] <Sept> "God. She's not wasting time, is she? If this got unleashed on the planet…"
06[09:16] * Aline was… maybe unsure whether to take notes, or mentally shut down. "…To say she's been busy…" Chances are all sorts of other super-duper-quick lifecycles were playing out before her in the time it took to say that. "…fucking understatement, that."
06[09:20] * Yanmei looked slightly ill by this point. "I'll say?" she muttered. "And she needs better aesthetics…"
[09:21] <Sept> "Guess the budget was only enough for the top level."
06[09:24] * Aline gave the either glitchy indecisive or sound-only window of Sera's a level stare. "…You can't seriously be unfazed."
[09:26] <Sept> "I'm more alright with destroying this than what came before. This isn't… this is an army. Isn't it?"
[09:28] <Minaplo> ["Wh… What if it's not? What if it's -her-?" Whispered Isaiah. "What if… This isn't an army, but a dream? Her dream of- life? Infinite life, with infinite diversity…?"]
06[09:31] * Aline slowly nodded. "…But even if it's to sleep again, she has to wake up. Our lives depend on it." A pause, all the same. Her eyes were focusing a glowing seven-spined thing with pterodactyl-like heads at the end of each spine whip through the ocean. "…But no. She doesn't need to be so crass as to make this just an army."
01[09:32] <Yanmei> "Y-yeah. Orginizing all this seems impossible anyway?" Yanmei shook her head. "But why even show it to us…?"
06[09:32] * Sept stayed silent to that.
[09:32] <Minaplo> ["T-To terrify us?" Offered Go, who was averting her eyes.]
06[09:37] * Aline frowned. "…Or educate us."
01[09:40] <Yanmei> "No one said it couldn't be both."
[09:41] <Minaplo> ["Nngh." Asuka shook her head. "W-Who cares! So long as… We don't have to fight them." She muttered. "We'd be here forever…"-
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["Sounds like you'd actually like that. No?" Asked Juuichi, who was staring transfixed at a creature that had started as a small red slug attached to the Tentacle Giant; it had slipped from creature to creature, each time changing and mutating, taking on traits of its host, until now it sported a truly bizarre mix of tentacles, heads, claws, talons, wings, fins, legs, hands, tendrils and
[09:45] <Minaplo> teeth.-
[09:46] <Minaplo> ["Don't be ridiculous." Said Asuka. "We'd be fighting forever, trying to wipe clean an ocean that we'll never see the end of. Fighting for the impossible is fine, but if I'm gonna, I wanna achieve something in the process."-
[09:46] <Minaplo> ["Whilst we're here fighting, the world dies. So no, not this time."-
[09:47] <Minaplo> ["Fighting all the time… What the hell." She mumbled to herself. "I'm not like that, you know…"]
06[09:49] * Aline frowned a little. "I'd /say/ something about cutting the banter to get on with things, but…" A sort of helpless look up into the depths of the tube. "We are kind of waiting for the fucking circulatory system to do its magic."
[09:49] <Minaplo> [And at that exact moment the tube -bent-.-
[09:51] <Minaplo> [A sharp downwards, far sharper than they expected. They hurtled down, then up again, then down, seeing a million different life forms- each colossal in comparison to a human- form, life, reproduce, then die, their heirs evolving as eons passed in minutes.-
[09:53] <Minaplo> [One final downward bend- and this time it ended in -something-, a great bubble-like object floating in the endless ocean, its clear surface lined with blood vessels. Around the 'equator' and top of the object were thick, bulging linings of pink flesh- and they were heading towards it at top speed, towards a small opening that periodically opened and shut.-
[09:54] <Minaplo> [Yanmei and Go were the first through, the opening sealing behind them. Sera, Simonides and Aline all slammed into it at once, with Asuka and Juuichi slamming into them.-
[09:54] <Minaplo> [The opening opened once more, allowing Sera and Simonides through, but a surge of water pushed the others back. Finally, with a third spurt, they were through, ejected into the pod.-
[09:54] <Minaplo> [… It was…-
[09:59] <Minaplo> [They were in a long chamber of some kind. A chamber that breathed, expanding as the opening was shut, and contracting as it opened, the rush of air pushing most of the fluid back. The walls were thick and fleshy, with a soft surface but quite heavy and resistant to movement. The ground beneath was a twisted mess of flesh, knotted and expansive, all of it coated in a reddish layer of fluid.-
[09:59] <Minaplo> [At the very end of the hall was another hole, this one leading… Somewhere else.-
[09:59] <Minaplo> [The Evas themselves were sprawled across the ground.]
06[10:01] * Aline just… sighed. A long-suffering kind of sigh. "How many times… with the…" Aline had 00 raise its hand, dripping red goo. "…I won't even ask." But soon, her Eva was standing again.
01[10:04] <Yanmei> "This is-" Yanmei paused to push Go's unit off 04, staggering upright. The little shadowy Wraiths were already regrouping around her again. "This is -gross-. Where are we?"
[10:09] <Sept> "Ugh. I don't know, but someone's going to find some uncouth metaphor in this." 01 elected to stay off the ground entirely, seeing if AT field functions were normal this far in.
[10:10] <Minaplo> [They did.-
[10:11] <Minaplo> ["Hm." Said Fatima, who had been silent since the breaking of the void; she had watched the creatures, a mix of awe, fear and perhaps a little anger on her face. "Could it be an uncouth one? We are in an egg. This is the middle of it."]
[10:14] <Sept> "So who's going to be hatching from it?"
[10:14] <Minaplo> ["Metatron, obviously!"]
06[10:15] * Aline …once again eyed Septwindow. She was doing that a lot. "Did you fall asleep during the briefing…?"
[10:17] <Sept> "That is… not what I meant."
06[10:18] * Yanmei sighed, peering up ahead. "Enough, already. We've got a hole to jump into. Apparently."
06[10:19] * Aline …pondered something, though. 00 was moving a bit closer to the hole, but trying to keep /some/ kind of distance all the same. "I wonder…"
06[10:21] * Sept went to take a closer look, as well. "Any objections?"
[10:22] <Aline> "…Maybe. I think I know a way to make the old drop-a-stone-down-the-hole thing actually mean something." 00 turned to face the other Evas. "Would anyone happen to have something they can do without that can go down the hole…?"
[10:24] <Minaplo> [Simonides placed a foot on Nana's wrecked unit, grabbed the arm, and pulled it off in a solid twist, tossing it to Aline.-
[10:24] <Minaplo> ["(HEY! What the hell do you think you're doing?!") Shouted Juuichi.-
[10:24] <Minaplo> [("She isn't using it!")]
06[10:27] * Aline had this very put-off look on her face. "…I…" A world-wearied sigh followed. "It'll fucking /do/." 00 caught the arm through /science/ (namely cradling its staff in the crook of its arm), and… Aline's AT Field focused on it briefly. "Tag it with a beacon. Track the artificial proprioreception. Gives me an idea of how far it goes until it stops moving. Sounds paranoid, I know,
06[10:27] * Aline but…" A shrug, before she made 00 sort of… just… toss the arm into the pit. Sacrifice to the metawomb.
[10:28] <Minaplo> [It fell.-
[10:28] <Minaplo> [And before long Aline would receive her data, whilst Juuichi stared red-faced at her own lap, tears in her eyes.]
[10:31] <Sept> "…"
06[10:33] * Aline slowly nodded, letting the beacon transmit. "Tube like the last one. One and a half klicks. I… I think I can route a ping through it by overloading the beacon. Moment." …An imperceptible act later, everyone would be treated to Aline's jaw hanging a bit slackly. "…Uh. You all better hope that funnier-looking lump of flesh was a save point, because it's a fucking mess down there.
06[10:33] * Aline Thousands of contacts. One /ridiculous/ one that's probably Metatron."
06[10:35] * Yanmei had been lecturing, for all the good it would do now. ("For god's sake, you two, be more respectful!") And then, she turned around at the report, "Thousands? Like, enemies, or creatures like the ones we just passed?"
[10:35] <Sept> "We only need to take down the Egg."
06[10:36] * Aline shrugged. "It takes way too much time to do an actual scan. So you're just going to have to settle for 'distinct AT fields'. Sorry."
01[10:40] <Yanmei> "Well. We can't sit around here either way." Yanmei frowned, crossing her arms. "Let's get to it."
[10:41] <Sept> "Right. Good luck, everyone." And 01 dropped in.
06[10:44] * Aline mostly waited her turn, 00's head sometimes turning to 'heavier' units every now and then.
06[10:46] * Yanmei let one or two more of the sturdier Evas drop in before going herself, glancing back over her shoulder once more. "Be careful. Whatever may happen next, watch each others' backs." And then she was gone.
[10:46] <Minaplo> [Fatima and Simonides were in before Yanmei; after she was gone, it was Juuichi, leaving Asuka, Aline and Go.]
06[10:47] * Aline looked at Asuka - via 00 - and did a nod. Soon, she too was taking a trip down the drain.
01[10:47] <Yanmei> The little Wraiths, it should be noted, had also trailed in promptly after Yanmei.
[10:47] <Minaplo> [Of course. And then finally, Asuka had gone- then Go, last.-
[10:48] <Minaplo> [The trip was fast, no fluid this time, just sliding along the slick surface. The tube quickly curved horizontally, allowing them to essentially walk out…-
[10:49] <Minaplo> [Into the heart of the bubble. Into the womb. The core of the Egg.-
[10:50] <Minaplo> [It was unsurprisingly huge, the surface and walls around them made of that thick fleshy fatty material; above them was clear membrane, allowing them to see the many gigantic creatures that still roamed the infinite sea.-
[10:51] <Minaplo> [Directly ahead of them were Spawn. Aline had been right- they numbered in their thousands, Evanghouls and Seraphim both, the Ghouls lumbering across the ground, their long disproportionate hands dragging against the flesh. The Seraphim swooped overhead gracefully, their angelic weapons fused into their hands.-
[10:53] <Minaplo> [Above the womb, connecting into and through the membrane, was a very fat, thick tube, out of which seeped slowly great amounts of a sludgy, viscous white fluid. It poured onto the ground, forming a great uneven hill. At the very top…-
[10:54] <Minaplo> [The Lance of Longinus, casting a long shadow, surrounded by a strange latticed object which gleamed with an unreflected light. The Lance radiated a visible sort of energy too, which fed into the aperture, draining away in several small glowing spheres.-
[10:55] <Minaplo> [And at the peak of the hill, buried within the fluid, a form that seemed more conceptual than physical…-
[10:55] <Minaplo> [The Last Angel. Metatron, the Silver Empress.-
[10:56] <Minaplo> [As the Evangelions entered, Metatron woke, her gleaming, lustrous form emerging from the fluid, her wings of rainbow light unfurling about her. A form that was multi-armed, but how many arms one could not be sure; four, or eight, or maybe a hundred, her form changed and pulsed so.-
[10:57] <Minaplo> [She seemed unhurried by the presence of the Evangelions. She stared down at them. No more running, no more escape. She knew that the decisive moment had come.]
[11:14] <Sept> "Well," Sera said as the others emerged into the chamber. "This is it, then. We're the best humanity had to send. Lilim, 'spawn, hybrids… Humanity's already plenty diverse. We can do better justice to the universe than this egg, and we will."-
[11:15] <Sept> "So please don't hesitate now. We have nothing to lose. Let's take our future back."
03[12:08] * ZackSleep is now known as Zack
01[12:55] <Yanmei> "Hah. We couldn't turn back at this point, even if we wanted to?" Yanmei grinned broadly, staring out over the battlefield. "Besides, everyone here has something or someone they want to protect, even if it happens to be themselves. We wouldn't be here otherwise. So! Let's give this Angel hell, and show her how much those things mean to us!"
06[12:59] * Aline stared out towards the tableau of warriors. Towards their sort of hard-to-look-at leader. "…This isn't the future. This is a dream. A dream we have no part in, so…" 00 raised its staff and pointed it forth. "Let us wake the dreamer. For /everyone's/ future, not just one kind's."
[13:09] <Minaplo> ["Exactly. For everyone's sake." Said Isaiah quietly.-
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["The only way out is through that Lance, right?" Said Simonides, EVA-07 falling into a battle stance. "… Heh."-
[13:12] <Minaplo> ["We've come a long way, haven't we, sis? Damn right. Remember when we used to run shit for the mob back in Macedonia? I never ran anything… Well, either way, now we're on the goddamn moon beating a god to death, so let's hear it for the street girls."-
[13:14] <Minaplo> [Julie nodded once, blinking away her tears. "We were made to do this, but I'm here because I want to be. Damnit, now, we can't fail!"-
[13:22] <Minaplo> [Go took a deep breath. She lifted her head, stared out… "I-I want to fight-"-
[13:23] <Minaplo> ["LET'S DO THIS ALREADY!" EVA-02 leapt from the ranks, hurtling across the field and throwing itself into the very first dysanghoul horde, landing with enough force to toss several to the ground. Prog axe pulled back, Asuka began swinging it -wildly-, carving huge chunks out of the ghoul ranks.]
[13:25] <Sept> "…" Sera wouldn't go down in history taking that bait from Asuka. He refused, and followed behind the vanguard.
06[13:42] * Yanmei found herself on the front line, not far behind from Asuka. "Do you even know the meaning of the word 'coordination'?" she complained, going at the same horde with her own slashes.
06[13:45] * Aline cast out wide waves of AT force as she moved into a more rearward formation. "Look, let's just… rebuild the plan as we go. Cut down the numbers, eliminate anomalies with prejudice."
[13:54] <Sept> "Yeah. Face the first groups head on. Wear her out." Sera joined the fray, taking out a small contingent of the ghouls.
03[14:19] * Zack is now known as ZackAFK
[14:23] <Minaplo> [With a cry, the other units joined the fight. The Twins smashed through the ranks with their sharpened claws, Juuichi and Go threw out wave blasts in all directions…-
[14:33] <Minaplo> [Metatron watched, seemingly doing little to affect the outcome, when all of a sudden-
[14:33] <Minaplo> [A streak of red light tore through 02's left hip, stumbling the Eva. "Ngh- what?!"-
[14:33] <Minaplo> [Metatron had acted- but there was worse to look at. Up on the fluid pile stood…-
[14:34] <Minaplo> [It was an Evangelion, bearing a long, sharp blade. It was shrouded in a dark fire, but its colouring could be discerned. EVA-04.-
[14:34] <Minaplo> [It lifted its arm, pointing downwards at the group contemptuously.]
06[08:43] * Yanmei stared up at it. Slowly disbelief on her face turned to understanding… and hatred. -
01[08:45] <Yanmei> "Keep hitting the small fry!" she shouted, doing just that. "We can't lose focus?"
[08:48] <Sept> "Got it. Thin them out before we can focus on any defensive maneuvers."
[08:55] <Minaplo> ["Grr! I'm trying!" Shouted Asuka, trying to get back into the swing of it. Her naginata whirled around her head, scything down six Ghouls in a single blow, before holding it out in front of her, whirling it around at top speed- a giant blue flaming wheel emerging in front of her- and just charging into the mass, sending dozens of the creatures flying, torn into chunks of flesh and bone.-
[08:57] <Minaplo> [Go and Juuichi, their sophisticated rifles useless here, were compressing their AT Fields into waves of force, throwing them out at high speed, carving huge sweeps out of the formation.-
[08:58] <Minaplo> [The twins were at it as well, fists and feet flying- with one punch they tore through six Seraphim torsos. They uncurled their claw and pulled it loose, shredding organs and spines in the process.-
[09:00] <Minaplo> [They were making headway, tearing through the great bulk of the army- but this focus had its price.-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [The Shadow-04 shook its head, hefting its sword up. It ran forward, leaping off of the great fluid hill, hurtling through the air and coming to land in the midst of the Evas.-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [Whirr! Slash!-
[09:02] <Minaplo> [The comms were filled with screams. With a few quick slices, the Shadow-Eva had torn a leg off 02 and 07 each, and was turning now to dispatch the weakened units properly.-
[09:02] <Minaplo> [("H-Help! Grr… Help, damn you!)" Shouted Asuka, her hands clapped over her head, her teeth gnashing together.]
06[09:08] * Yanmei cured, turning, but she was in the midst of another group of ghouls, too far away to help. The wraiths swarmed around her, slashing violently at the enemy with their own little swords.
01[09:08] <Yanmei> ^cursed
06[09:11] * Sept , meanwhile, went after the shadow of EVA-04 - blades clashed several times, but 01 came out victorious, finding an opening and plunging the lance into Yanmei's shadowy heart. Sorry, Shadow Yanmei's heart.
[09:13] <Minaplo> [But the damage was done.-
[09:15] <Minaplo> [Metatron raised a hand- just a single hand- and that same red light gathered at the tip of a finger. Barely larger than a maser beam, it emitted a bright red lance, streaking through the air- and right through EVA-07's torso.-
[09:16] <Minaplo> [A second after the beam had passed through, the entire body of 07 exploded outwards, bursting into flame, torn from within. A single pained, tortured shriek filled the comms- they saw Sophia, tearing at her plugsuit, screaming so hard as to almost dislocate her jaw- before the video went dead.-
[09:16] <Minaplo> [The air around Metatron shifted, just for a second- and reinforcements appeared. Many of them were huge by Spawn standards, masses of long wings surrounding a body dominated by an eye-
[09:16] <Minaplo> [Qaphsiels.-
[09:17] <Minaplo> [("D-Damnit.") Asuka groaned. ("Not that one…")]
01[09:21] <Yanmei> Having cleared the last of her group of foes, Yanmei hopped backward a little, rushing through a command via her console. "Keep it together, Asuka! Here!"
06[09:23] * Aline briefly held her head for a moment, looking out with a frown. "…I think Metatron did something… hold on."
[09:24] <Sept> "Take care of it. We need a barrier to cover us!"
[09:28] <Minaplo> ["O-On it!"-
[09:29] <Minaplo> [Go rushed up just in time, throwing a free hand out- a wide, gleaming barrier burst into existence just seconds before the barrage of positron strikes hit. The field -shone- like a sun, blindingly bright as it absorbed the hits- one of which went through…!]
02[10:22] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.721-022-632-022d|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.721-022-632-022d|leahpaR) Quit (Ping timeout)
03[10:25] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.491-81-791-94ap|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.491-81-791-94ap|leahpaR) has joined #nervfrance
06[11:17] * Sept was there to deflect the last one, holding up the strongpoint of his AT field toward the hordes. "Push them back and advance. We'll wade through them all the way through!"
03[11:28] * Oat (~ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.721-022-632-022d|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.721-022-632-022d|leahpaR) has joined #nervfrance
02[11:29] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.491-81-791-94ap|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.491-81-791-94ap|leahpaR) Quit (Ping timeout)
[11:44] <Minaplo> [And so they advanced, beating back the hordes- clearing the path to the Silver Empress herself.-
[11:46] <Minaplo> [Indeed, Asuka had just been mopping up the stragglers- when her Evangelion stumbled, falling to one knee, thrashing wildly, letting out a low roar.-
[11:48] <Minaplo> [In her plug, Asuka's torture wasn't ending. The tell-tale signs of a psychic attack from Metatron were there- bleeding from the eyes, screaming- there was blood pouring from her mouth where she'd bit down on her tongue. Her fingers were starting to dig into her own eye sockets…-
[11:50] <Minaplo> [Their front line was starting to buckle as well. The angelic artillery had broken through Go's barrier, and the grand battery was firing again, this time against Julie, her Evangelion barely handling the damage. ("Ghh-! He-help!")]

-

[01:10] <Sept> Tired. Normally, the Lance of Cassius seemed to propel itself as long as you gave it a direction, but with every scream and downed ally, it seemed to double in weight. Now, with even his closest allies motionless, it was just him and the formidable corporeal shape, standing in a realm where time stood still. Him, the Evangelion, more a servant of humanity than a real representative of its
[01:10] <Sept> hopes. But he knew his mission, and he knew Metatron had to die here.-
[01:10] <Sept> So he was prepared to stay on his feet, trading blows with the most powerful of Adam's children. She had created a world teeming with an impossible spectrum of life forms. Brought Adam's children a new kind of foothold, a place in the universe to call their own. And she had tried to kill all of Sera's friends and allies who had come to stop her. To most of them, Metatron was still just
[01:10] <Sept> another monster. And if he failed, they'd never know the difference.-
[01:10] <Sept> He stuck the Lance through the monster's heart.
[01:14] <Minaplo> [And everything stopped at that point.-
[01:17] <Minaplo> [The Lance was buried nearly up to his hand in Metatron's core, yet there was no sign of the drill point penetrating through to the other side of her body. The immense tempest of power and rage and might that had been his existence for the last few minutes came to a lull.-
[01:18] <Minaplo> [A hand- Metatron's hand, silvery and lustrous and burning with quickly dimming energy- grabbed the shaft of the Lance. She tugged at it, trying to pull it out of her core. It barely shifted.-
[01:21] <Minaplo> [The tugging slowed, and before long the hand had fallen away, feebly trying to lift itself again, one last effort- but there was nothing left to give. Metatron had spent every ounce of strength, every well of power, spending her life as one might a coin, if it had meant victory, life for her own.-
[01:21] <Minaplo> [But the price had been too high.-
[01:22] <Minaplo> [Sera felt her eyes on his face. He saw her body slump, not dead, but dying. All she had left was the look, and the silent questions buried within.-
[01:23] <Minaplo> [Metatron slowly dissolved, the glowing form shining for one last moment-
[01:24] <Minaplo> [Before she fell, silver little drops raining down on Sera, on the Evangelions- little droplets lighter than air and brighter than the sun.-
[01:24] <Minaplo> [And then Metatron was gone.-
[01:24] <Minaplo> [Sera stood alone, the Lance outstretched, impaling- nothing.-
[01:25] <Minaplo> [Nothing left except a brilliant rainbow shining over the head, a last little ray of beauty- before it vanished into the Lance.-
[01:26] <Minaplo> [Before him was his last duty- the key of Adam, the Lance of Longinus sitting unguarded and unadorned in its pedestal, the artifice around it still drawing on its power… No one could know how long it'd last.-
[01:28] <Minaplo> [Yanmei, meanwhile- would have seen this with her own eyes, the front portion of her Entry Plug having vaporised into nothing beneath Metatron's power, leaving her exposed to the hot, moist air of this place. She herself had been… Almost unscathed, perhaps a few light burns here and there, some smoking strands of hair or small holes burned into her suit, but… She was alive. Perhaps it was the last grace of a mother.-
[01:28] <Minaplo> [Her communications, incredibly, still worked, even though her head rang with the shock of forcible desynch with Isaiah.-
[01:30] <Minaplo> [Aline, on the other hand, would have seen this as well- but rather from her undamaged entry plug as it floated through the air on parachutes. Her comms still worked as well, even though her beloved 00's chest had been reduced to a sort of runny liquid mix of metal and meat.]
[01:39] * Yanmei was silent during the end, staring up as Metatron slowly dissolved down to the last flecks of light. Her eyes were unreadable, and her jaws clenched slightly. Finally, she blinked a few times, slowly, and stirred in her seat, working out the aches and pains. There were a lot of them, but it was more shocking to be alive at all. "We should hurry," she muttered hoarsely.
[01:41] * Aline nodded silently in the descending plug before she responded. "…Yes. We need to get… all of this sorted."
[01:41] <Minaplo> [("Does this work?") Came Fatima's voice, crackling over the comms.]
[01:42] * Sept glanced up at the Lance of Longinus, still feeling himself slipping away. "Yeah." A careful step away from the place she'd fallen, reverent or just scared of the dead coming back. "It does."
[01:47] <Yanmei> "That's right…" Yanmei frowned down at the half-shredded remains of her console. "If anyone else can hear us, please respond? Other units? …Command?"
[01:48] <Minaplo> [("This is Go. I'm ok…")-
[01:49] <Minaplo> [Nothing from Command.]
[01:49] <Aline> "I don't think we can reach command from here… Let's just finish this, then."
[01:50] <Minaplo> [("Agreed.") Said Fatima.-
[01:51] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would hear a low patter of something running across the exterior of 04- she'd look up in time to see Isaiah peer over the edge of her melted plug. "H-Hey. Brings back memories, huh?" He said, clearly shaken, his smile wan.]
[01:55] * Sept continued on his way, then, towards their inanimate jailor, and without further ceremony, grabbed it, ready to pull it out.
[01:56] * Yanmei smiled back at Isaiah, just as worried, if not more. "It's dangerous to be outside like that? C'mon…" She gestured for him to come inside… not that there was much room. Uncertain of what to do next, she watched Sera carefully.
[02:00] <Minaplo> [Isaiah lept down into the plug, slipping on the hot LCL as he landed. Steadying himself against the side, he held a hand out to Yanmei. "I don't think so. Come on, my plug's still intact. It'll be safer, and…" Isaiah glanced back at 01. "I don't want to be outside of it when things go down here."-
[02:01] <Minaplo> [Nothing happened at first as 01 grabbed the Lance…-
[02:02] <Minaplo> [About ten seconds later, however, the Lance began to twist and morph, slowly, like metal bending in the heat- before it suddenly -surged- up 01's arm, thin veiny tendrils plunging through the armor and into the flesh below.-
[02:02] <Minaplo> [EVA-01 went dead.]
[02:37] * Yanmei stood unsteadily and caught Isaiah's hand. "Alright. Let's-" But she stopped, staring at the inert 01. Was that -supposed- to happen? In any case, she was soon clamoring out of the broken plug, following Isaiah's lead.
[08:33] <Minaplo> [Isaiah and Yanmei would run across 04's dangerous, broken, burning surface, back towards the safety of his half-ejected plug…-
[08:34] <Minaplo> [But they, and Aline, would have seen something else besides EVA-01's sudden inoperability.-
[08:42] <Minaplo> [DEVA-01, which had been utterly -ruined- by Metatron's fury… Began to move.-
[08:44] <Minaplo> [The exposed torso innards began to expand and twist and tumorise, before exploding outwards into perfectly whole flesh. The four ruined limb-stumps began sprouting thousands of tiny arms before whole arms ripped their way outwards.-
[08:44] <Minaplo> [DEVA-01 stood up, looked about-
[08:44] <Minaplo> [And began walking towards Aline.]
06[08:45] * Aline blinked at that. Then blinked again. "Uhm. …Should I be worried? I'm almost thinking I should be worried!" …She /did/ sound the part.
06[08:53] * Yanmei froze for a moment, halfway through scaling a charred bit of 04's broken chestplate, her eyes wide. She doubletimed it after that. "Isaiah, move it!"
[08:57] <Minaplo> ["R-Right." He held her hand tightly, and together they -sprinted- towards his entry plug. He reached it, wrenching the hatch open for her…-
[08:59] <Minaplo> [DEVA-01 reached Aline's plug- and reached down to pick it up. Aline felt the sudden -lift-, the way the walls of the plug creaked ever so slightly from the pressure- the way the LCL sloshed about.-
[09:01] <Minaplo> [("You will be safer in here.") Came Fatima's voice.]
06[09:03] * Aline breathed out a sudden sigh of relief. "…Thanks for both that, and reminding me that your unit wasn't considering something horribly untoward without your input."
[09:08] <Minaplo> [("Don't worry about that.")-
[09:09] <Minaplo> [A port opened in one of DEVA-01's wing docks- and it was in here that Aline was stowed.]
01[09:13] <Yanmei> "Everything's okay then…?" That was Yanmei, using Isaiah's comms, the two of them sharing the same video feed now. She still looked frazzled, out of breath and rather suspicious as well.
06[09:16] * Aline shrugged openly on her vidscreen. "I don't have that much of an option. A loose plug is hardly a good place to be during the assumed 'endboss's lair crumbles to nothing countdown sequence to escape' part of this."
01[09:20] <Yanmei> Yanmei's frown deepened. "Right. 'Escape'…" She glanced beyond the Deva to all of the broken Eva units littering the battlefield.
[09:21] <Minaplo> [("Time to collect.")-
[09:24] <Minaplo> [It was EVA-02 that DEVA-01 approached next. The claw reached down towards the torso-
[09:25] <Minaplo> [Aline- through some sort of external camera- and Yanmei too- would see the hatch on the entry plug -burst- open. A single red-clad leg hung in the air for a moment, before it vanished. A second later, Asuka leapt out, tucking into a perfect front-flip before landing, legs spread, hands on hips, on the top of her Plug.-
[09:26] <Minaplo> [She took a moment to dust off her shoulders, before she -hmphed- at the giant claw heading her way. "Not on your fucking life. Oi, Yanmei! Make room! I'm coming over!"]
06[09:32] * Aline …sighed. Heavily. "I'd offer but…"
01[09:34] <Yanmei> "You're what?" The giddy relief of seeing her alive and even unharmed atop the wreckage of her unit quickly faded. "Whatever, fine. But there's not enough room in here for everyone? Nejem, what are you planning to do?"
[09:35] <Minaplo> [("Do you mind if I gather up the Evas and their pilots?")-
[09:36] <Minaplo> [Asuka had at this point leapt off EVA-02 and was running, making -ew-ew-ew faces as she bounced over the fleshy tubes that made up the ground here, ankle-deep in some sort of sticky fluid.]
01[09:37] <Yanmei> "That's fine," she said warily, "But that's a lot of units for one person to carry? Ah. Could you give Asuka a lift over to Isaiah's entry plug, by the way? It'll speed things up."
[09:38] <Minaplo> [("As you say.")-
[09:39] <Minaplo> [And so Asuka reluctantly let herself step onto DEVA-01's hand, wiping fluid off onto its thumb as she went. DEVA-01 delivered Asuka to 04- then went to work on collecting the bodies.-
[09:44] <Minaplo> [Looking at it hammered it home. Six Evangelion corpses sat in a pile on top of the other, their Plugs removed carefully and placed to one side.-
[09:45] <Minaplo> [Three breached plugs- Elene's, Julie's, Nana's. Elene was apparently alive, but her body had long since been removed by Sophia, who they could hear dimly screaming and sobbing in terror over the comms.-
[09:48] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would hear the eventual sound of heavy thumps along the Entry Plug as Asuka pulled herself inside. It… Was an awkward fit, Asuka squeezing herself in against Yanmei's shoulders. The fluid's odour was powerful and pungent, reminding Yanmei of rotted fish and powerful bleach.]
01[09:56] <Yanmei> "Guuuh." Yanmei cringed, frowning at Asuka briefly. But… there were more important things to worry about. The number of plugs that were utterly silent, for example, and the ones that were not. Like Sophia's. She stared out at them, brow furrowed.
06[09:57] * Aline was by now drumming her fingers on one of the control bar things in her plug, not necessarily /bored/, but on edge and impatient.
[10:00] <Minaplo> [Asuka leaned over- driving her foot into Isaiah's shoulder- and pressed one of the comms buttons. "Oi, Blanc. You know what's going on with 01?"]
06[10:03] * Aline once again sighed, stopping the drumming for a moment. "Something something Longinus, something something mental communion, something something much more of a douchevortex of a lance than Cassius. And I honestly couldn't fucking give you a more /detailed/ explanation if I tried! It's even just a guess, but… it sorta /was/ his planned job."
[10:05] <Minaplo> [("Y'know, you should get someone to look at all that anger.") Said Asuka. ("You got shot down, s'not a big deal.")]
[10:07] <Aline> "Ehhh. It's frustration at the Lance. I remember hearing it tried to take 01 over back when I was pretending to be a world-shattering deity and all that junk." Aline waved her hand subtly. "And waiting. Also kinda edgy 'cause of waiting."
01[10:19] <Yanmei> "Nothing we can do about that," Yanmei muttered, still frowning at the plugs. "It'll be alright, I'm sure? Armin is with him."
[10:31] <Minaplo> [There was a sudden tremble that shook throughout the womb.-
[10:31] <Minaplo> [DEVA-01 stumbled slightly, jostling Aline in her plug.-
[10:31] <Minaplo> [But Aline and Yanmei both would see the sudden… -interjection- into the womb. A thin trickle of water suddenly splashing on the ground.-
[10:33] <Minaplo> [If they looked up, they'd see its source- a tiny little perforation in the outer membrane keeping the water of the endless ocean of creation- and its many creatures- out.]
06[10:37] * Aline …did peer up. "That is one of many definitions of 'Not At All A Good Thing'."
01[10:38] <Yanmei> "You don't say?!" Yanmei snapped. She tried reaching around Isaiah to tug on the controls… but of course that didn't work. "G-goddamn, hurry up, 01!"
[10:38] <Minaplo> ["Ugh." Muttered Asuka. "Do you remember that one with the 20 heads? I don't wanna be eaten up so some head-monster can use me as food for its babies."]
01[10:41] <Yanmei> "Thank you for reminding everyone about that."
[11:12] <Sept> The light in 01's eyes flared again and the Evangelion jerked backwards, the Lance of Longinus finally breaking off from its socket in the ground. "Everything… we ready to go? What's the situation?"
06[11:13] * Aline suddenly perked up! "The egg's water's broke. We're gonna have some /fucking contractions/ soon."
[11:14] <Sept> "Its wha- right. We have everyone?"
[11:16] <Minaplo> [Isaiah's plug suddenly withdrew into 04's torso. The Evangelion's eyes burst open, red light shining out.-
[11:17] <Minaplo> [("Whhh-") Came Asuka's sudden cry as she was plunged down against her hosts.-
[11:17] <Minaplo> [The Eva pulled itself upwards, its knees bending back, twisting onto its feet…]
06[11:19] * Aline sharply turned towards the OT3 Plug's vidcam. "I'm stuck in a wing dock. What the hell is happeni- Wait. I think I can get a pic. I…" Red eyes take fucking warning. "…Fun."
[11:21] <Sept> "Right! Hold on!" He tried to find a more comfortable grip on the Lance of Longinus, but there didn't seem to be one. The thought of its tendrils still lingering at the back of his mind, Sera pointed it down and away from everyone, unleashing a torrent of energy to burn a hole clean through the egg's interior.
[11:25] <Minaplo> [The beam shot straight through the womb, but also… through the ocean, as though it were a blanket one could just pull away to reveal the hole beneath.-
[11:25] <Minaplo> [They saw, through the chasmic void made- the stars. Twinkling, cold and lovely in the distance…-
[11:25] <Minaplo> [… The womb's inner wall began to -collapse-. Sudden gallons of water began rushing out…!]
01[11:26] <Yanmei> As water poured in around them the visible wounds on 04's chest seemed to fizz and then close over. The flesh around where its limb had been severed bubbled and expanded, a new arm taking shape. "Still… present and accounted for?" Yanmei's voice. Although it was sluggish. -
[11:26] <Aline> "I hate to be /that person/ but I think hurrying is a wonderful idea!" Nervous, frantic drumming on the console. "Wondrous, excellent idea that!"
01[11:27] <Yanmei> "Jaunt. Can we..?"
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["I think so." Said Isaiah, seconds before Asuka kicked Yanmei in the back. "Get everyone together, grab the plugs, hurry up!"]
[11:32] <Sept> "Just move, I don't care how!" Anyone on the outside would notice a few more short beams shoot out of the egg as the crack in its surface grew. Sera run-floated back to the others.
06[11:32] * Aline nodded, breathing a sigh of relief at that. "I am /quite glad/ you both know how to do that and still have a pilotable eva, Isaiah. But, yeah. If that hole'll break the mondo interference shit…" Aline didn't finish
[11:36] <Minaplo> [DEVA-01 leapt over to 04's side, making sure to lift the many Eva bodies as it did so- it didn't even struggle under the weight.]
01[11:37] <Yanmei> "No… kicking." 04 loped over to stand amidst the other waiting Evas, downed and functioning alike. It gathered the entry plugs in its arms, both pilots inside focusing on the void above them. Then, suddenly…
[11:38] <Minaplo> [The extradimensional whirlwind spread out from 04, swallowing them all- the Evas, the plugs, 01 and D-01…-
[11:38] <Minaplo> [But…-
[11:39] <Minaplo> [About a second into the journey, they all felt a sudden surge of pain, as though trying to squeeze through a hole so small that they'd have to tear off their arms to do it. The stress built, the field buckled, and for a second they were nearly pushed back into the 'real'space of the Egg, trapped with nowhere to go.-
[11:40] <Minaplo> [Then- relief. Sudden blessed relief, the sensation of something reaching in and -tugging- them out. They were launched outwards violently, their bodies pulling free of the crack.-
[11:40] <Minaplo> [With an intense, stomach-churning moment of illness, they would find themselves…-
[11:41] <Minaplo> [In orbit around the Dorian. Above them was the blue marble of the Earth.-
[11:41] <Minaplo> [And below- the Egg, its shiny surface turning to glass, then cracking- the fragments starting to dissolve into dust…-
[11:42] <Minaplo> [Before it erupted outwards, a massive cataclysm that tore a massive gouge out of the surface, a crater larger than any ever seen on the Moon. A small Second Impact occurred, concentric rings of negative energy spreading outwards, engulfing the grey surface, the shockwave sending them hurtling away…-
[11:42] <Minaplo> [Two small, tiny, insectoid wings emerged from the centre of the cataclysm.-
[11:42] <Minaplo> [A second later, they collapsed.-
[11:43] <Minaplo> [A minute later, the Egg did as well, its massive store of energy drained…-
[11:43] <Minaplo> [Leaving behind nothing but a massive scar and a small pulsating field where the heart of the Egg had once been.-
[11:43] <Minaplo> [They were free.]
[11:48] <Sept> Silence from EVA-01 for a while as its wings lazily tried to stop its momentum through space. "Wow."
06[11:49] * Aline slumped into her plug chair, or at least tried to. "…That was certainly a /thing/." With that sort of breathless uncertainty that suggested she wasn't sure what to process the event as.
01[11:52] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei had watched in horrified silence, all the while trying to upright 04 without the help of gravity. "So… so that's what it looks like…"
[11:53] <Minaplo> [("…ort!")-
[11:53] <Minaplo> [("Pilots, this is the Dorian! Report status, over!")]
01[11:56] <Yanmei> "We're here! Most units badly damaged. Requesting permission to dock!"
[11:57] <Minaplo> [("Permission granted! Mission status, Team Leader? Is Metatron gone for good?")]
01[11:58] <Yanmei> "Mission completed? We destroyed her core, and the singularity egg is gone."
[11:58] <Minaplo> [("Please repeat for confirmation, Team Leader!")]
[11:58] <Sept> "Yeah, we blew up the egg there. Maybe you noticed," muttered Sera's voice over the chatter.
01[12:00] <Yanmei> "Mission successful! Metatron is dead!" Yanmei raised her voice, hoping to be heard better.
[12:00] <Minaplo> [("Mission successful! We confirm, mission successful!")-
[12:01] <Aline> "…Pretty much, yes. I saw it, it was a thing!" Aline was honestly relieved /just/ enough to not let her aggravation at repeating things show.
[12:02] <Minaplo> [The comms were drowned out by shouts and whoops, racuous clapping and squeals of delight. They could hear sobbing.-
[12:02] <Minaplo> [It may have been hard for the pilots to really grasp.-
[12:02] <Minaplo> [But for many of the people on this ship- an 18 year old nightmare had been laid to rest.-
[12:03] <Minaplo> [The Angels were gone- for good.-
[12:04] <Minaplo> [("Make announcements throughout the ship.") Came Marianne's voice, a laugh in her tone. ("Make sure everyone knows! Sophie, raise Asgard, the Geofront, Beijing- anywhere and share the good news. Yanmei, Sera, Aline- thank you all so, so much. And you as well, Fatima. I don't think we could've done it without you.")-
[12:05] <Minaplo> [("Understood, captain.")("Attention all decks-")("Captain, Asgard, the Geofront, Beijing- they're not responding to our hails-")("Atmospheric radiation well below expected levels! Fallout should be minimal!")]
06[12:05] * Aline raised a hand subtly. "…Uh."
01[12:09] <Yanmei> "What is it?" Yanmei glanced over at Aline, still looking a little dazed from all the reactions.
[12:09] <Aline> "Them not responding. I have /no/ idea what the deal is or why, but…" Aline shook her head. "It's another definition of not at all good."
01[12:11] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei shut her eyes. "We need to return as soon as the Evas are on board."
[12:11] <Minaplo> [DEVA-01 floated quietly, silent.-
[12:12] <Minaplo> [A second later, Yanmei's- and Aline's- and all of the others- eyes were filled with a blinding flash of light.-
[12:12] <Minaplo> [Not just some random flare.-
[12:12] <Minaplo> [This was a Dirac jump.-
[12:13] <Minaplo> [Before them appeared a Battleship. A battleship very much like their own, but without a massive drill. Instead its body tapered into a long, complex-looking firing array.-
[12:13] <Minaplo> [Around the Battleship were E-Destroyer fleets, wings of starfighters…-
[12:13] <Minaplo> [And a second later, two Dysangelions appeared around DEVA-01.-
[12:14] <Minaplo> [The Sword of Damocles had fallen on their heads.]
[12:15] <Sept> "We did one thing. We changed the world."
06[12:31] * Aline raised her hand even more. "…I'm not even surprised anymore. I'm not even surprised anymore!" Aline shook her head furiously, hair whipping around in the LCL… and then banged her head against the main console of her eva-less plug. "Fucking." Clonk. "Can't." Clonk. "Ever." Clonk. "Stop." Clonk! "HAPPENING!" Clonk!!!
01[12:34] <Yanmei> "Blanc, -enough-." Yanmei's own voice was hard. Furious. She tried addressing their enemies. "What is it, then? You have some demand for us?"
[12:36] <Minaplo> [The bow of the ship began to crackle with energy.-
[12:36] <Minaplo> [("I'm sorry.") Whispered Fatima.-
[12:36] <Minaplo> [No response from the ship. No attempt at communication.-
[12:36] <Minaplo> [No demands, anymore. Apparently wreckage would suffice this time.]

-cont'd-

(15:14:04) Minaplo: [The Dysangelions were the first to act, throwing their hands out towards the Dorian.-
(15:14:21) Minaplo: [("Neutralisation detected! Our Deflection Field is down!")-
(15:15:09) Minaplo: [A flash of bright light shot forth from one of the Dysangelions- striking the hull of the ship, doing little more than cracking the external gel covering. But that was all it needed to do.-
(15:15:49) Minaplo: [A few seconds later, the Sword of Damocles , energy buildup overflowing from its titanic cannon- unleashed its power.-
(15:16:38) Minaplo: [A sphere of inky blackness formed at the bow of the vessel, visible only by what it obscured. For a moment, it occulted the Sword entirely…-
(15:18:12) Minaplo: [Then like the breaking of a dam, the energy burst forth, an intense stream of an unknown force ripping towards the Dorian. There was no time to evade- it struck the Drill, the hull of the ship seeming to twist and warp a second before impact-
(15:19:25) Minaplo: [Before it simply tore straight through the vessel as though all of its mighty armour and mass were nothing. The beam exited out through one of the thruster clusters at the aft of the ship.-
(15:20:41) Minaplo: [When the energy faded, and they had a chance to investigate the damage, they'd notice that whole sections of the ship, decks, anything in the weapon's path had simply been shorn away, the very edges of the 'slice' perfectly even and narrow. It did not twist or tear or splinter or rip or fracture- it simply annihilated.-
(15:21:51) Minaplo: [The followup came a few seconds later, as a dozen systems suddenly found themselves disrupted, overloading and exploding throughout the ship, causing even more damage. Sudden decompression began sucking equipment, goods and people out into space, their chances of survival nil.-
(15:22:06) Minaplo: [Over the comms, all Yanmei and Sera heard at first were screams.-
(15:23:11) Minaplo: [("DAMAGE REPORT!") ("Catastrophic breaches on- on all decks-") ("The Gel System is down!") ("We've lost the drill, Captain!") ("Trying to access the secondary energy circuit- nothing. We've lost 70% of our onboard positron reactors!")-
(15:24:39) Minaplo: [("Incoming!")-
(15:25:29) Minaplo: [The starfighter waves glided forward now, silent in the void; they began converging on the Dorian, the vanguard squadrons begins shot out of the air by the still-functioning anti-air cannons.-
(15:26:33) Minaplo: [But many got through the screen, spreading out to shield heavier, larger bomber-craft, each bearing a massive payload- a single, cumbersome, slow torpedo. Impractical against anything smaller than a battleship.-
(15:27:19) Minaplo: [The torpedoes fired, smashing into the Battleship's main guns, detonating into blinding fusion flashes. One Positron Impact Cannon was torn from its turret, the internal generator overloading a second later.-
(15:27:29) Minaplo: [("PI-Cannon #3 down!")-
(15:27:44) Minaplo: [("Damnit, damnit- EVANGELIONS! EVANGELIONS, REPORT!")-
(15:28:28) Minaplo: [But the Evas would have troubles of their own. Wings of E-Destroyers, numbering twenty, thirty or more were bearing down on each of them, their pulse carbines firing furiously, showering them both in a curtain of blasts.-
(15:28:58) Minaplo: [("The enemy Battleship is launching boarding torpedoes! Sections- D1, C3 and A2 targeted!") ("Provide warning!")]
(15:35:28) Yanmei: 04 raised its lone arm, as if to ward off the incoming fire. It hurt, but it was nothing like the punishment Metatron had just inflicted on them. "We're here, Command!" She skimmed the damage… then let her eyes draw back to the traitorous Deva, quickly filling with more malice. "Comand… we'll make an opening for you to retreat?"
(15:36:21) Sept: "…" Sera spent the time from the arrival of the hostile battleship through to the opening salvoes making sure he was still in fighting condition — the encounter with Longinus had improved his stability, if perhaps only temporarily, so he needed only reform his AT field into a defensive pattern. Flying in erratic patterns, 01 avoided the bulk of the advancing forces for now. "Dorian? Can you jaunt? We cannot engage the Damocles for you."
(15:53:11) Minaplo: [("Not with those Dysangelions neutralising! If you can just keep Target D-2 occupied…")]
(15:57:36) Sept: The Lance's Lotus Beams kept the worst part of the E-Destroyer squads from reaching 01. "I can break her neut for a moment. Yanmei?"
(16:00:53) * Yanmei sucked in a deep breath. Slowly, 04 slipped Excalibur back into a wing dock… and then it tore forward, smashing through a clump of E-Destroyers and sending them spinning. It beelined for Joan's Dysangelion. "I hear you!" -
(16:02:30) Yanmei: 04 slammed its lone arm into the Dys' neck, and wrapped around, managing a clumsy chokehold and squeezing tight.
(16:08:19) Minaplo: [The momentum propelled them away from the ship, the Dysangelion struggling wildly, It flexed one of its claws, lunged it into EVA-04's arm- and tore huge strips of flesh and armour away from the bone.-
(16:09:15) Minaplo: [The surface of the battleship was coated in a hundredfold little explosions now as starfighters were shot out of the air by anti-air cannons and torpedoes hit home.-
(16:09:38) Minaplo: [("AT Field strength increasing!")-
(16:09:45) Minaplo: [("Prepare to jaunt!") Cried Marianne.-
(16:10:54) Minaplo: [("… No response from EVA-03. Our remote access to EVA-03 has been severed-") ("Analysing- it looks like it needs to be repaired manually!")-
(16:11:07) Minaplo: […-
(16:11:37) Minaplo: [("I'll go down there.") Misato's voice. ("You, you, you're with me, on the double, let's go!")-
(16:11:55) Minaplo: [("Evangelions!") Marianne's voice. ("We need more time! Give us fifteen minutes!")-
(16:12:32) Minaplo: [Yanmei and Sera would see the other Dysangelion suddenly disengage, hurtling towards DEVA-01. Fatima's unit turned to stare at them one last time, EVA-00 in its arms…-
(16:12:41) Minaplo: [Before Dys and Deva both vanished, jaunting away.]
(16:17:45) * Yanmei hissed in pain and fury, only tightening her grip further and bracing herself as more E-Destroyers aimed their weapons at 04. "We understand!" Her head snapped around as the Deva vanished from space, but there was nothing she could do about it. Not now, anyway…
(16:19:16) Sept: "ALINE!" A channel opened to the remaining Dysangelion. "You fuckers aren't getting away with this, either! What the hell were you -thinking-?!"
(16:20:49) Minaplo: [("Pretty sure I was thinking of destroying your entire stupid fucking group in one fell swoop. Saves us the trouble of doing it later.")-
(16:21:45) Minaplo: [Yanmei would feel a jab to her head- somewhere in the maneuvers, Asuka had slid down and was sitting on Yanmei piggy-back, her thighs squeezing into Yanmei's ears. "Hey hey hey, that fucking claw!"-
(16:21:57) Minaplo: [The Dysangelion's claw rose into the air, preparing to tear 04's arm free…]
(16:29:34) Yanmei: "I'm -not- letting go!" Yanmei snarled, digging 04's own claws in stubbornly, apparently trying to break or tear off something or another in the little time they had left.
(16:35:17) Sept: 01's remaining hand grabbed onto the Dysangelion's claw instead, the points digging into the Eva's flesh. "She's always got to be doing the right thing, doesn't she? Send you to neatly tie up all the loose ends so she can do what the fuck she wants, huh?" His arm twitched, nerves torn by Joan's claws, but he hold on as long as he could.
(16:40:51) Minaplo: [("… Yes?")-
(16:41:21) Minaplo: [The claw's grip tightened, pushing harder and harder towards 04, digging deeper into 01's flesh and armour as it went. ("Get the fuck out of the way, 01, before I tear your arm clean off!")]
(16:51:22) Sept: "Fuck no. You'll wake up yet." He ended the transmission, still fighting for a better grip on her hand. "Yanmei! Everything okay?"
(16:54:25) Yanmei: "I'm fine?" She said through gritted teeth. "Even if I lost my arm, I'd still kick her ass."
(16:55:03) Minaplo: [Five pairs of mechanical hands reached out to grab at 01's, pulling it away.-
(16:55:41) Minaplo: [The E-Destroyers- dwarfed by the Titan Moduled Eva, were swarming them both by the dozens, trying their best to interdict them. Sera felt them tugging at his arm, trying to cover his face, pulling at the Lance-
(16:55:52) Minaplo: [Yanmei too found them trying to free her grip around the Dysangelion's neck.]
(17:01:38) Yanmei: 04 clung fast! One of its legs had slipped around the Dys in an effort to maintain balance and a secure hold. In the chaos it had wreched the restraints on its mouth free, revealing rows of razor teeth. "Oh, just fuck off, all of you!"
(17:02:53) Sept: There was no way he could use the Lance to any good extent in that situation, but he did the best he could to bash the Destroyers off and continue to distract Joan with errant Lotus Beams. "Not much longer!"
(17:08:24) Minaplo: [Pinned so, one of the large bomber craft took an exceptional risk, charging through the thicket directly at EVA-04's head.-
(17:08:54) Minaplo: [A few seconds before impact it pulled up, launching its torpedo payload in a perfect shot straight into 04's maw.]
(17:12:16) * Yanmei shrieked, her voice matching with Isaiah's own pained cry in perfect harmony. Even 04 itself rumbled a little at that. -
(17:13:15) Yanmei: For a split second, the grip seemed to loosen, and then it tightened again, as if the pilots or Eva had realized it and were redoubling their efforts.
(17:13:51) Minaplo: [Sera, on the other hand, would see another problem- the other Dysangelion shifting into reality out of nothingness…]
(17:20:03) Sept: "…" Not much longer, indeed. He didn't intend to confront her in any way, they just had to stay in the way…
(17:21:01) Minaplo: [("Sera, intercept that goddamned Dysangelion!")-
(17:21:46) Minaplo: [A sphere of burning energy had appeared in the Dysangelion's hand, aimed for the battleship. It grew to a critical point- then blasted forward…-
(17:22:44) Minaplo: [Joan's claws finally found their purchase in 04's arm, and with a single final wrench, pulled itself free.-
(17:23:23) Minaplo: [("Goddamn you.") A claw was raised- and brought down on 04's head, punching through the outer skull cap and into the eyes…]
(17:26:10) Yanmei: 04 reeled back! Yanmei pressed her hands over her own eyes, as she felt it… and then managed a thick laugh. "Oh please. Is that actually your best~?"
(17:32:13) Sept: "I'm doing what I can, shut up!" A prismatic barrier spread itself out as the blast of energy neared — not a segmented AT barrier, but a more unified kind raised by the Lance, at first glance like the surface of a soap bubble.
(17:44:21) Minaplo: [The beam struck the surface, pushing it inwards towards the lance, the surface bending and giving way fluidly…-
(17:44:55) Minaplo: [("Don't -taunt- me.") Hissed Joan. The claw raised- and came down, pulling away the armoured forehead of 04.-
(17:45:30) Minaplo: [Another strike, deep into 04's chest. ("Don't you fucking taunt -me-! You nothing abducting fucking lilim bitch! I hate you!")-
(17:45:33) Minaplo: [Another claw.-
(17:45:35) Minaplo: [("Hate you!")-
(17:45:36) Minaplo: [Claw.-
(17:45:49) Minaplo: [("Hate- you- so- much!")-
(17:45:58) Minaplo: [Claw, this time burying almost deep enough to reach the plug.-
(17:46:19) Minaplo: [("This is… M… Misato. Connection- *cough cough* Connection…-")-
(17:46:34) Minaplo: [("Connection is back online!") Shouted Sophie.-
(17:46:53) Minaplo: [("Evangelion pilots, standby! Jaunt in ten seconds!")-
(17:46:57) Minaplo: [Joan's Dysangelion -froze-.]
(17:52:40) Yanmei: "Whoops~~" Yanmei was doubled over, but Joan couldn't see that. She was also smiling, which was also something Joan wouldn't actually see, although she probably heard it.
(17:53:47) Sept: That was it, then. The war would continue, and the world refused to change. Sera took a moment to look at Scholastica and Joan in turn.
(18:08:24) Minaplo: [Yanmei would hear nothing but a loud, anguished -shriek- of rage…-
(18:08:27) Minaplo: [Then- nothing.-
(18:09:01) Minaplo: [A second later, they'd find themselves somewhere completely different. For one, they were no longer in space.-
(18:11:35) Minaplo: [Above them was a sky. A light blue utterly featureless sky spreading in all directions-
(18:12:09) Minaplo: [And below them was an endless barren reddish-brown wasteland, spreading, again, in all directions. No trees, no grass. Just the odd hill or cliff.-
(18:12:30) Minaplo: [They hung there for a moment, the air eerily quiet…-
(18:12:49) Minaplo: [Then the Dorian hurtled past them. Caught in the planet's gravity, it had no way of pulling free.-
(18:12:54) Minaplo: [It was going to collide into the earth.]
(18:19:27) Sept: "Fuck, how do we-?"
(18:27:58) Yanmei: "I don't know!" 04 was fall too, trying to catch up with it. A battleship of this size… "Ah! Barrier Fields!" 04 extended a hand, and a shimmer appeared quite some distance below on the same trajectory. "You too, Sera! Make it a weak one! We want to slow it down, not stop it completely?"
(18:32:18) Sept: "Right! Covering the other end, we'll- I don't know, balance?"
(18:35:47) Yanmei: "Do it!"
(18:41:58) * Sept dove past Yanmei, then, extending a deflective barrier field of his own, carefully trying to increase the density to find the proper range.
(18:52:19) Minaplo: [It was a painfully difficult task to balance.-
(18:52:50) Minaplo: [Too much force by one of them had the chance of tilting the battleship in one direction or another. Yet too much force by either of them had a chance of causing real internal damage.-
(18:53:26) Minaplo: [Isaiah wasn't touching his control handles.-
(18:54:06) Minaplo: [His hands were folded over his chest, his eyes closed. His mind spreading out, touching 01's, sending instructions, calculations…-
(18:54:22) Minaplo: [The battleship began to slow…-
(18:54:33) Minaplo: [But they never had a hope of -stopping- it. The best they could do was reverse the damage.-
(18:55:17) Minaplo: [As the battleship pressed into their Fields, it began to push them down too, down towards the earth. It risked burying the Evas underneath the bulk of the Battleship.-
(18:55:42) Minaplo: [And so, about ten seconds away from impact, Isaiah gave the order a second before Asuka kicked him in the back of the head. "Out of the way -now-."]
(18:58:52) * Sept did, flying up diagonally, at first parallel to the bow of the ship. They'd done all they could, surely…
(19:01:35) Yanmei: 04 mirrored the motion, flying in the opposite direction. Yanmei waited, holding her breath…
(19:11:35) Minaplo: [The Battleship crushed itself into the earth bow-first, its unstoppable momentum sending it ploughing through a dozen hills and cliff-faces, leaving a massive twisted trail of destruction in its wake.-
(19:12:15) Minaplo: [The front of the ship practically crushed backwards into the hull, sending debris and ruin in every direction and destroying several more decks in the process.-
(19:12:18) Minaplo: [Yet…-
(19:12:48) Minaplo: [The damage was not as bad as it could have been. It -had- slowed down thanks to the Evas' efforts, and when it did finally stop moving, it did so several kilometres short of what had been expected.-
(19:13:10) Minaplo: [The rear of the ship got the best deal out of it, as its landing was more gradual- although violent at first, most of that part of the ship remained intact.-
(19:13:22) Minaplo: [And so, eventually, the Dorian Lachapelle came… To a stop.]
(19:21:52) Sept: 01 climbed a hundred or so feet further, scanning their surroundings. "The bases weren't responding."
(19:22:31) Yanmei: There was dead silence after it stopped moving. It lasted all of a full minute. Then, Yanmei's voice burst out over the communication system! "This is Unit-04! What's the status on the Bridge? Can anyone hear me?"
(19:25:52) Minaplo: [("…")]
(19:28:04) * Yanmei hissed under her breath. For a moment, she buried her face in her hands. "We suspected they would attack France the moment we we done with the Singularity Egg. I didn't think… all the bases, plus the Battleship…"
(19:28:16) Yanmei: ^we were done
(19:28:33) Minaplo: ["Asgard was supposed to be secret." Said Asuka. "Let's not panic just yet- maybe they were just jamming us."]
(19:32:53) Sept: "Maybe. Maybe they're jamming all of the bases locally. We can't just hide the ship…"
(19:34:33) Yanmei: Yanmei rubbed her face tiredly. "All right. We wait for Command to get their shit together. In the meantime, we figure out where we are and stand by for any other nasty surprises they want to throw at us while the ship's vulnerable. If they don't respond within an hour, one of us goes to the nearest base to see what's going on."
(19:34:46) » [ notice from Eavan ]: [Global Notice] Ladies and gents, please direct your congratulations, your well-wishes, your doom-saying and your lewd honeymoon ideas to Doom_Gaze, who will be getting married this evening.
(19:35:24) Minaplo: ["Do we even know where we are?" Muttered Asuka.]
(19:40:27) Sept: "Can't say. Yanmei? GPS, anything?"
(19:43:27) Yanmei: "OTIS?" She paused, and then reeeached over to flip the volume on. "Otis. Where are we?"
(19:44:00) Minaplo: ["Calculating."-
(19:44:58) Minaplo: ["Calculating… Local geography analysed. Celestial navigational analysis complete. Atmospheric analysis complete. Location confirmed."-
(19:45:16) Minaplo: ["Location: Peace Vallis, Aeolis Quadrangle, Planet Mars."]
(19:48:06) Yanmei: "No…" Yanmei had gone stark white.
(19:48:46) Sept: "What?"
(19:51:09) Yanmei: "It's…" She shook her head. "I mean Caine might not find us? But it makes going for help and investigating other bases a little more complicated?"
(19:54:08) Sept: "What, time, space, alternate universe? What is it?"
(20:10:52) Yanmei: "Sheer distance?" 04 was sinking toward the surface now. A spot next to the ship, more specifically. "We're on Mars."
(20:16:08) Sept: "Fan-tastic-."
(20:17:10) Minaplo: ["Uh." Asuka coughed.-
(20:17:38) Minaplo: ["We should probably haul ass. That crash landing probably caused ten thousand breaches, and Mars's atmosphere is mostly CO2."]
(20:19:20) Yanmei: "I know? Isaiah? Otis? Do either of you know if 04 is capable of opening a jaunt huge enough to get the ship out of here?"
(20:20:18) Minaplo: ["Not a chance." Said Isaiah. "We probably could do it, but the battleship can't take the strain."-
(20:20:23) Minaplo: ["I have an alternative!" Said Asuka.]
(20:20:32) Yanmei: "Yeah?"
(20:22:21) Minaplo: ["A massive bunker field." Said Asuka. "AT Fields can change particles on contact, right? Here's what we do: spread a giant bunker field around the ship to screen out the CO2, and try to tune it so that we create a breatheable atmosphere inside."]
(20:24:01) Sept: "…"-
(20:24:15) Sept: "Can you do it, 04? I can try to jaunt back to look for the real Asuka."
(20:25:46) Minaplo: ["You fucker." Muttered Asuka. "I have a degree, you know. Also, if you think Alex Fontaine'll fuck anyone at least as smart as him, then you are wrong as Yanmei's cousin."]
(20:26:00) Minaplo: <don't think*>
(20:27:28) Sept: "Ho. You've been holding on to that one."
(20:31:36) * Yanmei stopped snickering long enough to help Isaiah with the barrier field. It spread around them and over them, encasing both the ship, the plugs and the Evas, fallen and functioning alike.
(20:35:13) Minaplo: [("… Elions? Come in!")]
(20:36:41) Yanmei: "The Bridge!" Yanmei paused in her jubilation, not wanting to break concentration -too- much. "Ah. Sera, Asuka, can you get that?"
(20:40:44) Sept: "Yes, Bridge? Status?"
(20:41:37) Minaplo: [("I… Everything's fucked. More to follow. What's it like out there?")]
(20:43:30) Sept: "Dry. Fucked. How the hell do we get Aline back."
(20:48:40) Minaplo: [("Can you guys come on board?")]
(20:49:20) Sept: "Someone has to maintain atmosphere."
(20:56:38) Yanmei: "s' right." Yanmei chimed in. "It's only until Akagi is back online. She could probably take over without a sweat?"
(20:57:59) Minaplo: ["I'll take over." Said Isaiah. "You guys go down."]
(21:00:26) * Yanmei looked as if she was going to protest, and then stopped. She nodded instead. "If you're sure, then all right? Let's go, Asuka."
(21:01:49) Minaplo: ["I'm staying on your shoulders, though." Said Asuka.]
(21:02:36) Sept: "Right. We're not… leaving for a while, are we? I guess we can."
(21:07:04) Yanmei: "You'd crush me and you know it? And yeah, it should be ok. Better. Isaiah's really -good- at this." The plug ejected halfway out. Yanmei unhooked herself, and undid the hatch so that she and Asuka could slip out, clamoring across 04's chest to his shoulder so that 01 could pick them up easily. They were… alive, but the air was definitely a little thin, leaving them wheezing a little
(21:07:04) Yanmei: after only that.
(21:14:37) * Sept helpfully gave them a lift onto the deck. "Are the lifts operational, too, or shall I keep watch?"
(21:17:54) Minaplo: [("Looks like the lifts are out.") Came the comms from Command.]
(21:19:26) Sept: "I'll manage. I'll take a break once you've got the worst emergencies out of the way."
(21:21:57) Yanmei: "Should at least you a feed - at least an audio one - from inside. For 04 too." Yanmei hopped off onto the deck, and went for a stairwell leading down with no hesitation.
(21:25:54) Minaplo: [They'd all notice, all too quickly- especially considering Yanmei's thin suit- that the air was not only thin, but it was -cold-. Far, far too cold…-
(21:26:07) Minaplo: [Even inside the battleship. And if they thought the exterior looked bad…-
(21:27:15) Minaplo: [The hallways were littered with destroyed objects, debris from ruined walls and roofs, and worse, the wounded and dead- of which there were many. The moans and screams haunted Yanmei all the way to the bridge.-
(21:28:13) Minaplo: [The bridge was the least damaged part of the battleship, but even then it looked terrible. Lights and cables hung from the roof haphazardly, only half the computers worked, and everyone had taken some injury. Marianne sat in her captain's chair, looking utterly defeated.-
(21:28:36) Minaplo: [To her left, slumped on the ground, was Ezekiel, unmoving- apparently not wounded, but still unconscious.]
(21:33:01) Yanmei: "Marianne…" Yanmei tore her eyes from Ezekiel, focusing on her. She edged closer to the captain's chair.
(21:34:59) Minaplo: [Marianne stared at Yanmei for a good long second- then got to her feet and gestured wordlessly at the captain's ready room.]
(21:35:35) * Yanmei simply nodded. She followed without another sound.
(21:36:01) Minaplo: [The moment they were inside, Marianne slumped into her chair, covered her hands with her face and began to sob.]
(21:38:25) * Yanmei hesitated for a split second… and then she moved over to her, nestling onto the armrest of the chair. It had been a long time, but she tried to offer her comfort. A warm shoulder to cry against or someone to hold.
(21:40:37) Minaplo: [Marianne clung to her, pressing her face against Yanmei's chest, just sobbing inconsolably like a baby needing its mother.]
(21:43:44) * Yanmei held her, still saying nothing, letting her just release it all. Her own face was dry, but… it was twisted slightly with some emotion. Concern? Fear?
(21:44:26) Minaplo: [Asuka watched them both quietly- before she too stepped in and wrapped her arms around them both.]
(21:47:15) Yanmei: It startled Yanmei a little, but she soon relaxed into it as well, gratefully, her features smoothing ever so slightly.
(21:56:21) Minaplo: ["I-I'm so sorry." Choked Marianne. "S-So sorry…"]
(21:57:57) Yanmei: "It's ok," Yanmei murmured. "It's ok. We can get home. We can still fix this?"
(21:58:10) Minaplo: ["C-Can we? We're- we're fucked…"]
(22:01:15) Yanmei: "We have breathable air, and food and water - I hope. We still have Evas. 04 and 01 and 03 and 05 should still be in storage, right?" Yanmei was nodding to herself. Thinking about the ones they still had was better than thinking about the ones they had lost. -
(22:03:51) Yanmei: "It's -ugly-, but it's not hopeless. We make it so the ship can hold together during a jaunt, and we can make it to a base with supplies and repair equipment."
(22:06:06) Minaplo: ["We- We don't know if there are any even bases left."]
(22:07:34) Yanmei: "We don't know that there aren't either? Maybe they were jamming us before so that we couldn't send for help or warn anyone. Right, Asuka?"
(22:08:23) Minaplo: ["Yeah, that's right." Said Asuka. "Is there some way we can send a long-range message?"-
(22:08:35) Minaplo: ["I asked Tsubaki to see if she could get on it." Said Marianne.]
(22:09:42) Yanmei: "There's Ezekiel too. When he wakes up?" Yanmei was considering carefully. "I don't know what his range is, but he might be able to teleport there. Relay some messages."
(22:12:11) Minaplo: ["Y… Yeah." Marianne was shaky. "Maybe."]
(22:14:28) Sept: "Of course," Sera corrected. "Always."
(22:19:47) Yanmei: "Between 04 and Akagi, we could probably just open a human-sized jaunt for five minutes to send someone or something through? Like a messenger robot or something? If it's urgent and we don't want to wait." -
(22:22:10) Yanmei: She hesitated for just a second more, trying to figure out the best way to phrase it. "As for the ship… are the ship's computer systems able to help speed up damage assessment and rescue missions?"
(22:30:18) Minaplo: ["We've got Surov looking into it." Said Marianne.]
(22:32:20) Yanmei: "Are the ship's medical supplies inaccessible?"
(22:34:59) Minaplo: ["No. We had triage stations set up around the ship- the main problem is just getting around properly." Said Marianne.]
(22:36:46) Sept: "Someone will have to address the crew…"
(22:37:58) Minaplo: ["We'll need to do census first." Said Marianne. "See how many are even alive…"-
(22:38:05) Minaplo: ["And… That reminds me. I've bad news."]
(22:38:54) * Yanmei exhaled. "Let's hear it?" Bad was a relative thing. Yanmei was learning that more and more as the day went on.
(22:42:53) Minaplo: ["Agatha, Augustine and the Spectre broke out, took von Brandt and jaunted out during the battle."]
(22:47:29) Yanmei: "Of course they did. If the security was down for even a moment… well, we'll worry about that when we're ready to get back on the battlefield. More importantly, any guesses as to where Caine's people took their own new prisoner?"
(22:50:38) Minaplo: ["Synfront." Said Asuka immediately.]
(22:52:48) Sept: "They had to jaunt, so they likely aren't on the Damocles, either. I think we lost track of their signatures during the battle, as well. Anything but the Synfront is unlikely."
(22:54:40) Yanmei: "Then we should consider launching an attack on it as soon as we can. But… that's for the future, though?" Yanmei put her hands on her hips. "First, we organize a proper expedition team. I'm hesitant to do this but… Go was still unhurt the last time I checked. She, Asuka and a medic… maybe Isaiah? and some other people should try to make more progress on the headcount. I'll take over
(22:54:40) Yanmei: for 04. And we need to do something about the hangar lift? De Pteres can't stay in 01 forever, unfortunately."
(22:56:27) Minaplo: ["I'll have Surov summoned to the bridge to see what he has for us." Said Marianne.]
(22:57:00) Sept: "Thank you."
(22:58:15) Yanmei: "Yeah." Yanmei gave her another hug, smaller this time. "Looks like we're gonna have to work hard for a while longer."
(23:02:55) Minaplo: [("CAPTAIN!")-
(23:02:59) Minaplo: [A shout from the bridge.]
(23:04:30) * Yanmei went rigid. She wasted no time spinning on her heel and hurrying toward the bridge, along with Asuka and Marianne.
(23:05:59) » ZackSleep is now known as Zack
(23:19:04) » Zack is now known as ZackAFK
(23:22:37) » ZackAFK is now known as Zack
(23:22:50) Minaplo: [Marianne ran out as well, as did Asuka.-
(23:22:52) Minaplo: ["What is it?"-
(23:23:12) Minaplo: ["AT Field signal detected one kilometre above! Pattern Blue!" Shouted Sophie.]
(23:25:10) Yanmei: Yanmei's face went grim, paling again. "A Dysangelion? How fast is it approaching?"
(23:29:07) Minaplo: ["It's- not!"]
(23:30:15) * Yanmei scowled. "Can we get a visual of it?"
(23:32:43) * Sept stood ready to cover 04 from the intruder, angling to get a better view.
(23:34:52) Minaplo: [The viewscreen, damaged as it was, managed to resolve the intruder's image into something recognisable.-
(23:35:08) Minaplo: ["… That's Zeruel." Said Marianne, eyes widening.]
(23:35:44) Yanmei: "…how did it find us?" Yanmei's own eyes narrowed. "What's going on?"
(23:36:27) Minaplo: ["… Tsubaki." Said Marianne quietly. "She must've telepathically contacted- Vercingetorix."]
(23:40:12) Yanmei: "Let's get her to invite him down, then."
(23:40:39) Minaplo: [A sudden black gas formed in the middle of the bridge. A second later- Vercingetorix emerged.]
(23:42:51) Sept: "Hm. So not everything's gone."-
(23:42:53) Sept: "We changed the world. Now we have to start fixing it."
(23:46:55) Yanmei: "Easier said than done," Yanmei muttered, and tiredly took a seat.
(23:47:15) Minaplo: ["… Yeah." Said Vercingetorix.-
(23:47:43) Minaplo: [Zeruel vanished- a minute later, he returned, with the Liberty Bell, flying a kilometre above the Battleship.-
(23:47:46) Minaplo: ["… Yeah."-
(23:48:59) Minaplo: [For the love of life-
(23:49:11) Minaplo: [There's a tradeoff-
(23:49:19) Minaplo: [We could lose it all-
(23:49:28) Minaplo: [But we'll go down fighting-
(23:49:44) Minaplo: [And what of the children?-
(23:49:52) Minaplo: [Surely they can't be blamed for our mistakes?-
(23:50:04) Minaplo: [And slowly, I've come to realise-
(23:50:09) Minaplo: [It's all as it should be-
(23:50:24) Minaplo: [That hiding space, a lonely place-
(23:50:30) Minaplo: [How can the right thing be so wrong?-
(23:50:39) Minaplo: [I've found mistakes where they don't belong-
(23:50:45) Minaplo: [For the love of life-
(23:50:49) Minaplo: [We'll defeat this-
(23:50:55) Minaplo: [They may tear us down-
(23:51:00) Minaplo: [But we'll go down fighting-
(23:51:06) Minaplo: [… Won't we?]

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