For The Love Of Life 1 5c

[22:04] <Sept> Yet, just as he lagged behind of the group, the Evangelions' instruments - and soon enough eyes - detected several groups of the ghouls they'd faced before. "I'll be there! 07, 15, break the first group, I'll cover 20!"
[22:22] <Minaplo> ["Got it!"-
[22:23] <Minaplo> [A ghoul rushed at Nana, who elegantly side-stepped, sweeping her blade through its head, before turning mid-step and stabbing it through the torso. "It's stuck. Twins, go!"-
[22:23] <Minaplo> ["Roger!" "Roger!"-
[22:25] <Minaplo> [EVA-07, a moving steel mountain in its heavy F-Type equipment, thundered across the mountains, each footstep causing a small avalanche of boulders. Its hands burst into flame, and as it reached the Ghoul, pulled its arm back and lunged, striking the Ghoul square in the chest. The Eva didn't slow, and the arm tore its way out of the ghoul's torso.-
[22:25] <Minaplo> [The Eva then pivoted on a heel, brought its leg up, and round-house kicked the Ghoul's head from its shoulders. It stayed there for a second, unmoving, before unceremoniously exploding into seventeen separate chunks of gore.-
[22:36] <Minaplo> [The ghouls began to swarm towards 01 now, or more accurately, towards Juuichi. Claws, maws, and in the distance, a rain of bolt shells aimed at the hapless Ayanami…-
[22:37] <Minaplo> [("Orange Squad Leader, move to shield Juuichi! All Orange units, reform and charge!")]
[22:51] <Sept> The Lance of Cassius shifted in his hands as he moved to cover Juuichi's unit, seemingly cutting a swath of bolter shells out of the air as he moved past her to block off another of the ghouls trying to get in closer, giving it a friendly bop on the head with the spear-form Lance.
[23:16] <Minaplo> [The friendly bop tore through its head, leaving a messy bloody crater. Before the head could reform, Nana flashed past, a swirling tornado of blades, slicing the Ghoul's torso three times as she passed, not even stopping as she headed off towards an isolated ghoul. Her foe burst behind her.-
[23:18] <Minaplo> [Juuichi took the time to fall back and reload, leaving Sera alone with a ghoul…-
[23:19] <Minaplo> [Although Sera may have been distracted. If he were looking to the east, towards the intimidating, long, ice-capped mountain wall to the east, he'd see the mauve form of EVA-07 running along the peaks into a spread-out line of ghouls. The first ghoul, EVA-07 punched through the chest, not even stopping to pull it off. 07 ran over to the second ghoul, the first still impaled on the arm-
[23:20] <Minaplo> [Where 07 smashed the same arm through the second ghoul, stacking the two on top of each other. A single punch with the other hand tore off their heads. She crouched, then threw her ghouled arm violently into the air, propelling her enemies upwards…-
[23:21] <Minaplo> [Where they gained some height before arcing down. 07 waited, timed it, then leapt and round-house kicked the first ghoul in the torso, sending it violently into the second ghoul, smashing it clear of the mountains and off into the unseen distance beyond.]
[23:50] <Sept> "Good work," he remarked while taking a quick look around for ghoul reinforcements. "Almost done with this group."
[23:52] <Minaplo> [With a single slash, Nana finished hers off.-
[23:53] <Minaplo> [There were just two more, now. One of them lashing out wildly at Juuichi and Sera, and another charging towards them from the mountaintops.]
[23:56] * Sept focused on the closer one, bashing it back for enough room to drive the Lance through its AT Field and skull, leaving Juuichi to hold off the other one.
[23:59] <Minaplo> [The Ghoul's body didn't even hit the ground. Once it stopped moving, the entire body glowed white then disintegrated, little ribbons flowing around and into the lance.-
Session Time: Sun Jun 29 00:00:00 2014
[00:00] <Minaplo> [Juuichi was not a melee combatant, and so her holding-off the last ghoul was mostly her ducking and weaving.-
[00:00] <Minaplo> ["Hey hey, Sera, set me up, pin that sucker in place!" Said the twins, their voices in perfect unison.]
[00:04] * Sept closed the distance between them, again neatly sticking the Lance through the ghoul's neck, twisting it there before releasing it just before it got in 07's reach.
[00:05] <Minaplo> [The Ghoul fell backwards, and 07 intercepted it. A solid kick to the torso's back as it fell propelled the ghoul into the air, where the damage to the neck twisted, ripped and eventually separated the two.-
[00:06] <Minaplo> [The head fell towards the earth, where 07 bounced it off a knee, then off the head, before round-house kicking it towards the west.-
[00:06] <Minaplo> [The head struck the glass-like lake near the battleship, skipped three times, then sank.-
[00:06] <Minaplo> ["Ahahaha, man, this is awesome." Said the twins. "I could get used to this."]
[00:07] <Sept> "Aren't you?"
[00:09] <Minaplo> ["Hahaha, you're totally right!"-
[00:10] <Minaplo> [Rumbles, like an earthquake, to the west. The Battleship was unleashing its fearsome firepower into the distance, to the south…]
[00:13] <Sept> "Everything okay back there? We should keep going. Clock's ticking on all of us."
[00:14] <Minaplo> [("We're fine. Advance, Orange.")]
[00:15] <Sept> "Alright. Stay close, keep the pace up."
[00:21] <Minaplo> [And so they headed east, towards the mountain wall.-
[00:22] <Minaplo> [The climb and walk was easier in an Eva by far; they could move flat-out and mostly keep their footing so long as they weren't attacked.-
[00:23] <Minaplo> [Still, it took time, more time than perhaps they had. As they climbed they heard the Battleship's guns fire several times…-
[00:24] <Minaplo> [Eventually, 01's great hand would grasp a mountain summit, and with one last half-leap, the wall would be surmounted. Beyond…-
[00:26] <Minaplo> [Beyond was a wide basin, filled with wild grasses and untamed forests, spreading like a thick green carpet in all directions. The mountain wall snaked to the south and north, curving in on itself like a great Chinese dragon, turning this basin into a massive vale, all the while broken up with little tendrils and roots as the mountains spread and became hills. To the north, the mountains rose like great jagged spears, or perhaps like the teeth of a great beast, taller than any mountain on earth, heading into the atmosphere. There would be no going that way.-
[00:28] <Minaplo> [And to the east the mountain wall continued to twist and turn, forming a second line, through which there were only shallow and thin passes. The glacial mountaintops were covered in snow and ice and frost, and although there was no sun, the day's heat caused them to melt, trails of icy water flowing down from the mountains and collecting in the valleys, forming thin, quick-flowing rivers.-
[00:28] <Minaplo> [And beyond that, they saw more mountains, and more, and one tall spire in the distance, towering over all- their target, no doubt.-
[00:29] <Minaplo> [But here, Sera and 01 were in the clouds; if they peered down at themselves they'd see that their body was shrouded in white, fluffy clouds that felt cool and damp to the touch. As he looked around he'd see his comrades emerging, haloed in cloud and light, hands and bodies slick with meltwater.-
[00:30] <Minaplo> ["Wow." Murmured Nana. "Look at this…"]
[00:36] <Sept> "Yeah. It's… pretty, alright." 01 paused to appreciate the view. "If this is the world we've come to throw away, we'd better remember it well."
[00:37] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Nana quietly, downcast. "I didn't really feel it before, but this… I can sort of see a little bit of the person who made this. There's a… A… A yearning in this landscape…"-
[00:38] <Minaplo> [("Alright, Orange.") Came Frederic's voice, not unkindly. ("Let's keep going. Remember to ping.")]
[00:41] <Sept> "Yeah, yeah. Advance." 01 hopped down, feeling a little bad for sliding down the mountainscape so roughly.
[01:14] <Sept> -
[01:15] <Sept> "Any signatures in range, 07?"
[01:17] <Minaplo> ["Six, 14 klicks east-northeast. Two run-of-the-mill, three… Powerful. One off the charts."]
[01:55] <Sept> "Alright. Follow."
[02:09] <Minaplo> [And so they followed, trekking through forests, and ravines, and up the sides of vales and dells, and over the mountains…-
[02:10] <Minaplo> ["There. I think I see them." Said the twins. "two Seraphim."-
[02:10] <Minaplo> [Sera could see them too, toting their odd, warped bolters. They were hovering close to the ground- on seeing Sera and the others they fled deeper into the mountains.]
[02:12] <Sept> "Preparing something..?" The march continued. "I don't see a lot of options for us, here. Storm in, put up barriers to hold off against their initial assault, whatever else is back there."
[02:15] <Minaplo> [And so they rushed across the valley, towards the great peak…
[02:15] <Minaplo> -
[02:17] <Minaplo> [They saw their quarry… Seven targets, packed into a rough square formation.-
[02:17] <Minaplo> [Four of those bolter-toting Seraphim, alongside…-
[02:18] <Minaplo> [Three Angelspawn, floating, thin-limbed, wings instead of legs, two arched wings from their backs, faces like smooth white opals.-
[02:18] <Minaplo> [("Warning: Star Angelspawn detected.") Noted OTIS. ("Air Configuration: Codenames Tula, Mithuna, Kumbha. Defensive combat specialists.")-
[02:20] <Minaplo> [The moment they were within visual range, the Air Spawn threw up a hand. Massive overlapping AT Fields, kilometres wide, burst into existence, turning their position into a hard shell.-
[02:21] <Minaplo> [("Formation detected: Testudo.") Chimed OTIS.-
[02:21] <Minaplo> ["Wait, one's missing. Where's-" Began the twins.-
[02:23] <Minaplo> [There was a lake of frozen water near the middle of the formation. The surface showed the sky, the clouds…-
[02:24] <Minaplo> [And a floating, cephalic entity, with a thin, small, twisted grey wet body, with long thin hands, clever fingers, and a huge, over-developed, bulbous head, covered in eyes, a mouth framed by tentacles…-
[02:24] <Minaplo> [The creature wasn't visible anywhere except in the lake. After a moment, a single portion of its body appeared- just the head.-
[02:26] <Minaplo> [("Orange Squad! Look out!") Ezekiel's voice, terse over the comms. ("What you're facing is the Grey Asterion. Its body is displaced through an extradimensional space, making it difficult to combat.")]
[02:29] <Sept> "Mm. So we take down the weaker ones first. Forward! 07, can you neutralise the front of the barrier? I'll take care of defense."
[02:29] <Minaplo> ["Got it!"-
[02:29] <Minaplo> [A storm of bolt shells, energy strikes and more esoteric materials hurled their way out of the fortress, all focused on 07.-
[02:30] <Minaplo> ["Hnngh-" The twins groaned, not in unison. "Metatron's voice…" Sophia murmured.-
[02:30] <Minaplo> [The Air-Spawn moved their hands, forming a single straight defensive wall.]
[03:37] <Sept> "Can't siege them. On my mark, we bolt north and try to at least catch the Seraphim before they adjust. Ready?"
[03:41] <Minaplo> ["Ready." Said Nana, prepping her blades.-
[03:42] <Minaplo> ["Let's do it." Said the twins, readying their bolter.-
[03:42] <Minaplo> ["I'll… Think of something." Muttered Juuichi, rapping uselessly on the barrel of her lethargically recharging cannon.-
[03:42] <Minaplo> [("Copy that, Orange Leader. Relaying optimal movement path now…. Go!")]
[03:45] <Sept> "Move!" With an AT-assisted burst of speed, the squad leapt past the concentrated wall and around, right into the middle of the enemy formation. 01 got in first, obliterating the first Seraphim in its way, quickly securing the foothold for the others and turning to fire on the rest of the bolter-equipped Angels.
[03:47] <Minaplo> [His blasts saw another Seraphim collapse, not dead, but writhing in pain from a torched limb.-
[03:48] <Minaplo> ["Focus on Tula!" Shouted the twins, turning their bolter on the bright orange-white Angel. Their custom bolter spat deadly shells, causing some harm as they cratered and splintered its flesh. Juuichi followed up with a blast of powerful AT Energy…-
[03:49] <Minaplo> [… Which heralded Nana's lethal charge. "Hyaa!"-
[03:50] <Minaplo> [Her tornado-strike tore through Tula's chest and arms, globs of thick black sludge hurtling through the air in the wake of her blades. She levelled her Positron Sword squarely at Tula's throat, and struck the finishing blow…!-
[03:50] <Minaplo> [… Only for her arm to freeze, inches away from its intended target. "Wh-"-
[03:51] <Minaplo> [Tula, face expressionless and featureless, pushed itself backwards with a wing beat, held up its arms, entwined its fingers. A bright orange disk of light appeared, covered in dozens of little bumps.-
[03:51] <Minaplo> [The bumps stretched outwards, the light seeming more like a membrane, before it split, a hundred sharp energy darts ripping easily through parts of Nana's unit's armour and flesh. Nana screamed-
[03:52] <Minaplo> [… Just as Kumbha, another Air-Spawn, flanked her, its left hand a lance of energy which tore through EVA-15's chest and arms.-
[03:53] <Minaplo> [Mithuna followed up, flinging negative-light blast- anti-AT energy- at the prone, off-guard Eva.-
[03:53] <Minaplo> [And finally, the floating head, the visible part of the Grey Asterion, closed its eyes.-
[03:54] <Minaplo> [A thin, colourless cone emitted from its forehead, like a travelling heatwave; it stretched out, enveloping EVA-15.-
[03:54] <Minaplo> ["T-The Eva…" Groaned Nana. "S-So… Heavy-"-
[03:54] <Minaplo> [The heavy armour plates buckled inwards, rending and ripping into the flesh as they were crumpled inwards, collapsing under their own abnormal weight. A small gap appeared in the plating-
[03:55] <Minaplo> [And a thin grey light struck outwards from Grey Asterion, penetrating through the gap and out the other side. EVA-15 collapsed- down, but not done for yet.-
[03:55] <Minaplo> [("Orange squad, be advised! Battleship bombardment incoming!")]
[03:58] * Sept hesitated, close to just leaping into the fray with EVA-15 instead of following through with the plan. "Got it. Hang tight, Nana, we'll break them! 07, 20, get the Star Spawn down!"
[04:02] <Minaplo> [A mighty rumble, and flashes of light on the horizon. Not lightning.-
[04:03] <Minaplo> [Several massive Positron beams smashed into one of the areas holding a Seraphim. Not all of them hit directly, but they didn't need to; each created a massive blast that would've hit a hundred Spawn of that size easily.-
[04:04] <Minaplo> [Then came a wave of massive bolt-like explosive shells, propelled at supersonic speeds; their sheer momentum was enough to create a massive explosion, let alone the internal munitions.-
[04:04] <Minaplo> [And then- dozens and dozens of long-range missiles, streaking in formation.-
[04:04] <Minaplo> [By the time the bombardment had ended, the Seraphim was nothing but a smear.]
[22:16] <Sept> "We need to keep the barriers under control. Juuichi and I will neutralise them to give you an opening, 07, use it well!"
[22:39] <Minaplo> ["Got it!"-
[22:43] <Minaplo> [EVA-07 rushed through the weakening barrier, slowing somewhat, but not enough- its massive burning fist struck Tula in the face, cracking the surface- then grasped the face, claws digging in, dragging it closer-
[22:44] <Minaplo> [Before surging forth, smashing the Angelspawn's head into a mountain peak, splintering it and the peak into a thousand fragments.-
[22:44] <Minaplo> ["Spawn down!"-
[22:52] <Minaplo> [The last two Air Spawn- Kumbha and Mithuna- were single-minded in their pursuit of Nana's demise. The twins placed themselves between the downed unit and most of the firepower…-
[22:56] <Minaplo> [The disembodied floating head that was the Grey Asterion looked around at the Evas, sweeping aside its defense line… It closed its eyes.-
[22:57] <Minaplo> [Sera wouldn't feel anything, but suddenly EVA-07 would stumble slightly; meanwhile Nana, who had been trying to stand, would suddenly go limp, her unit's head lolling back. In the video feed, Sera would see Nana in her plug, eyes open and glassy, her mouth slack, her hands loose, staring up at the roof…-
[22:58] <Minaplo> [… Whilst Julie, who had managed a single shot off at Mithuna, suddenly screamed- a loud, heartbreaking sound- her unit suddenly backing up, before turning on its heel and fleeing in terror down the hill, slipping and sliding on the uneven surface.]
[23:00] * Sept continued his work, taking down one of the weaker Spawn. "Gh. Amatore! Can you give them a shock or something? We can't afford to give them time, now!"
[23:05] <Minaplo> [("That's not going to work- look, I'll focus on snapping Julia out of it, and I'll give you some fire support! Focus on taking out those Air-Spawn!")]
[23:16] <Sept> "-Will do-," he replied tensely, the simulated Sera on the vid-comms faltering for a moment. He opened fire on the northernmost of the Spawn, leaving the one on the other side of the barrier field to EVA-07.
[23:25] <Minaplo> [The streak of light sped towards Mithuna, which swerved out of the way.-
[23:25] <Minaplo> [EVA-07 grabbed Kumbha's head, pulling it up, up… Over 07's body…-
[23:25] <Minaplo> [Then -dropped- the spawn onto its knee, a horrific -crack- sound echoing through the mountains.-
[23:26] <Minaplo> [07's right leg lifted, then fell fast and painfully onto Kumbha's face, which smashed like an egg.-
[23:31] <Minaplo> [Turning on said heel, it threw a hand out towards the errant lotus-beam, which suddenly halted in mid-air, turned sharply, and tore through Mithuna's own head, narrowly missing 01 doing so.-
[23:31] <Minaplo> [Mithuna teetered, then collapsed- but wasn't able to hit the ground before it vanished.]
[23:37] <Sept> "That leaves the last one… I'll need help neutralising it."
[23:52] <Minaplo> ["Got it." Said the twins, stepping forward, pulling out the bolter. "On your mark!"]
[23:57] <Sept> "Ready. Go!" Turning the Lance's head towards the extradimensional monstrosity, 01 put everything into take down its defensive field to let his weapon do some kind of damage.
[23:58] <Minaplo> [The lotus shot struck the creature's head… Only at the last second, the head vanished. The beam clearly hit -something-, but whatever it hit was impervious to attack.-
[23:59] <Minaplo> [At the same time, the creature's long, twisted legs appeared…-
Session Time: Mon Jun 30 00:00:00 2014
[00:00] <Minaplo> ["Slippery." Muttered the twins, focusing on the legs. Their bolter, accurately aimed, managed to take some chunks out of it.-
[00:01] <Minaplo> [Juuichi's unit slowed, then stopped. From her video screen they could her her shallow breaths, her bringing her terror into check. Her Eva turned, discharged the Positron cannon's final shot, then tore it off her frame and tossed it aside.-
[00:01] <Minaplo> [The grey Asterion floated towards the Twins now, and Nana- a ribbon of black light streaking out of seemingly nowhere to lash at Nana's still-prone form.-
[00:01] <Minaplo> [Nana, lying catatonic in the plug, blood suddenly starting to pour from her eyes- which suddenly blinked, her head shaking. "Nngh- nngh. I…"-
[00:08] <Minaplo> ["Going to just punch it." Muttered the twins, holstering the bolter. "Help, Sera!"]
[00:10] <Sept> "On it! Amatore, support!" 01 charged, full speed, at the Asterion, flourishing the Lance.
[00:11] <Minaplo> [A battery of missiles streaked into the area, saturating Asterion with explosions… Only to be revealed as being mostly unharmed, its legs having vanished, its body now visible.-
[00:11] <Minaplo> ["Ngh- what? My AT Field…" Muttered the twins. "It has some effect-!"]
[00:12] <Sept> "Doesn't matter, it's under control! This is our shot, give it all you have!"
[00:18] <Minaplo> ["Nnnngh." Nana's Eva struggled painfully, not able to stand- but not intending to give up. grasping blindly around for her sword, she picked it up- and swung wildly, catching the Asterion's chest. Guided by the sound and feel, she pulled her arm back- and -hurled- it at the Asterion's chest, the sword moving with unnatural speed, spinning wildly around, whizzing menacingly like a flying guillotine.-
[00:19] <Minaplo> [It tore straight though Asterion's body with little resistance, leaving a massive bloody gash across its chest. It reeled, leaving it open for Sera and the twins…!]
[00:22] <Sept> "07, go!" Sera, meanwhile, took a step back, as if charging up a special attack.
[00:25] <Minaplo> [EVA-07 leapt forward, its clawed fists plunging deep into the gash. It strained against the flesh, once, twice…-
[00:25] <Minaplo> [Then it -tore- outwards, clearly bisecting the Spawn. The body hung there for a moment…-
[00:26] <Minaplo> [Before the body began to disintegrate into tiny little grey crystals, slowly at first, then quickly, until even the invisible head and legs began to disintegrate.-
[00:26] <Minaplo> [The crystallised body hung for a moment… Before suddenly blowing away in a gust of wind, dispersing, nothing more than dust.-
[00:28] <Minaplo> [The ground beneath them rumbled.]
[00:32] <Sept> A few moments of silence. "It's done, I think."
[00:33] <Minaplo> [("Energy buildup in your region.") Said Ezekiel. ("Orange Squad, you have one minute to prepare before the Gate opens. Once it's open, you won't have much time before it seals itself.")]
[00:58] <Sept> "Got it." 01 hoisted the shield and Lance, stretching. "Everyone still ready to go on?"
[00:58] <Minaplo> ["Damaged, but I think I can deal." Murmured Nana.-
[00:59] <Minaplo> [("Orange Squad, you won't be able to retreat once you're through, and any damaged units won't be recoverable unless you drag them with you. If you feel one of your number should come back, then say so.")]
[01:01] <Sept> "We're not turning back. Are the other squads still en route?"
[01:03] <Minaplo> [("They're fighting, they're making their way as best they can.")-
[01:03] <Minaplo> [("20 seconds.")-
[01:03] <Minaplo> [The rumbling was becoming stronger. Cracks were beginning to show in the great mountain…]
[01:05] <Sept> "Alright. We're going in. We'll see you on the other side."
[01:05] <Minaplo> [The cracks were travelling up the mountainside, heading towards the top…-
[01:06] <Minaplo> [Louder, and wider, until the summit broke apart, smote with a great fury, the mountain exploding outwards, sending slabs of rock and stone in all directions, showering them with boulders and granite and uprooted trees and icicles…-
[01:07] <Minaplo> [An intense green-white vortex of light and wind exploded out of the mountain, streaking into the air, swirling aggressively. The winds were intense, grabbing trees and rocks from kilometres away and picking them up into the air…]
[01:11] * Sept took a step back to shield himself from the bits of mountain flying around, but advanced back quickly, gazing into the dimensional abyss. "Everyone ready?"
[01:13] <Minaplo> ["Ready…"-
[01:14] <Minaplo> ["Let's do it!"-
[01:14] <Minaplo> ["I'm good."]
[01:15] <Sept> "Let's go, then." Into the swirling vortex.
[01:17] <Minaplo> [The force grabbed EVA-01 and lifted it into the air. A moment of disturbing weightlessnes…-
[01:17] <Minaplo> [Before he was -hurled- in a wide, wide circle around the vortex, swirling with it, at sickening speed. Faster than his Eva had ever gone. The world was nothing but a blur of streaks of green and grey and blue…-
[01:19] <Minaplo> ["Aaaaaaaaaaah!" Screamed Nana over the video.-
[01:19] <Minaplo> ["Dontbesickdontbesick-"-
[01:19] <Minaplo> ["WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"-
[01:19] <Minaplo> [He was rising in altitude, the spiral throwing him higher and higher into the air…]
[01:23] * Sept gripped his gear tightly. It would be unfortunate if he dropped the Lance in here. "Don't crash into the ground!"
[01:26] <Minaplo> [Rising, rising… He rose with such speed that for an instant, he managed to escape the 'gravity' of the whirlwind.-
[01:27] <Minaplo> [EVA-01 was hurled high, high… For a moment he was suspended in space, unmoving as his velocity was eroded by gravity's pull.-
[01:31] <Minaplo> [Below him he saw the mountains- so high and insurmountable when he'd been climbing them, but now he could see them all laid out before him, snaking and bending, framing the forests and rivers… He could see the great lake where the Battleship was residing, surrounded by green plains and wildflowers. He could see, beyond that, the far gleaming blue sea, where Aline was fighting- wide and endless, a far-distant horizon beyond the grasp of man or Angel. He could see, to the south, a wide flat desert, the eye drawn inexorably to the great smoking volcano…-
[01:35] <Minaplo> [To the north, flat ground gave way to great mountains, rising higher and higher, a wall of white and granite- a frozen, grim arctic.]
[01:41] * Sept turned around and around in the air, trying to burn as much of it as he could into his memory before gravity would reclaim him again.
[01:43] <Minaplo> [The fall was… Quicker than expected. Indeed, now he was being sucked down towards the very middle of the whirlwind- a gaping chasm within the swirling green vortex.-
[01:44] <Minaplo> [He fell, and in an instant his vision of the grand vista was swallowed up by walls of swirling green, an incredible rushing sound filling his ears, drowning out his thoughts…-
[01:44] <Minaplo> [Sera fell.-
[01:46] <Minaplo> [The fall took longer than the ascension had. He was falling- falling down through the mountain, through the earth, through a deeper layer…-
[01:46] <Minaplo> [The rest of his squad was following, he was sure, although he couldn't hear their voices.-
[01:46] <Minaplo> [If he strained, though, he thought he could hear a sort of whisper on the wind, barely discernible over the roar.]
[01:47] <Sept> Momentarily distracted by the whisper, Sera just steeled himself against the inevitable impact, hoping he'd be fast enough to catch himself.
[01:51] <Minaplo> [The vortex was becoming narrower now, the walls of green pushing in on him. He felt his arm stray against one of the walls- the force pulled his entire equilibrium off-balance, throwing him around topsy-turvy, head-over-heels…]
[02:00] <Sept> Impossible to orient himself. He'd just have to have enough airtime on the other side if he wanted to survive.
[02:05] <Minaplo> [Narrower. Narrower. It was impossible to -not- touch the walls. He was twisting, turning, being thrown violently about, side to side to side-
[02:06] <Minaplo> [-SLAM-.-
[02:06] <Minaplo> [Quite suddenly the walls of green were gone. Within a nanosecond 01 had been propelled, violently, into a very hard surface.-
[02:07] <Minaplo> [Ground. No- a floor.-
[02:08] <Minaplo> [A smooth, flat floor of… Rock? Stone? He was in a tunnel!-
[02:10] <Minaplo> [It would've been a huge cavern for a human being on foot, for an Evangelion it was… Proportionate. Two Evas might be able to walk side by side here, but three would be too much.-
[02:11] <Minaplo> [The walls and ground were made of a white, clean stone surface, with veins running through the white- a type of marble?-
[02:12] <Minaplo> [The white of the walls glowed, not blindingly so, but enough to see by…-
[02:12] <Minaplo> [-SLAM-.-
[02:12] <Minaplo> [A tremendous weight smashed into 01's back, followed by two more thuds. The rest of his teammates, it seemed.-
[02:12] <Minaplo> [The vortex was nowhere to be seen; above was nothing but smooth marble roof.]
[02:13] <Sept> 01 shook itself lightly. "…status report?"
[02:14] <Minaplo> [There was a great shifting of weight above him as his squad sorted themselves out.-
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["Dishevelled." Said Julie. "Little ill. Otherwise fine."-
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["I can feel my lunch mixing up inside me." Mumbled Nana.-
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["Could do- grr- without the rough landing." Said the twins.]
[02:19] <Sept> "Let's… get our bearings. That was an odd experience."
[02:19] <Minaplo> ["I heard a strange voice in the vortex." Said the twins.]
[02:21] <Sept> "Same. Things about its home?"
[02:21] <Minaplo> ["I think so. It felt… Sad." Said the twins contemplatively. "Lamenting, maybe?"]
[02:26] <Sept> "Yeah. We stole its planet."

-cont'd-

(15:23:48) @Minaplo: ["Well." Julie shook her head a little to clear her thoughts before pointing her gun down the hallway. "Only one way."]
(15:27:35) Sept: "Yeah. Let's move out. Any signatures?"
(15:34:47) @Minaplo: ["Not a one."]
(15:38:21) * Sept nodded and headed forward, leading Orange Squad westwards into the narrowing passage of the cave. "Stay vigilant."
(15:46:17) @Minaplo: [An order that would be less clich├ęd and more relevant in a second, when…-
(15:47:37) @Minaplo: [As through crossing some sort of invisible -line-, The hallway suddenly filled with a hundred thousand rainbow-coloured energy bolts!-
(15:47:54) @Minaplo: [Sera alone was fast enough to reflexively move through them- his companions began taking hits. "Ugh-"-
(15:47:57) @Minaplo: ["Damnit!"-
(15:48:00) @Minaplo: ["Ow!"]
(15:50:06) * Sept glanced back, continuing forward all the while. "Keep moving! Is there a source?"
(15:50:34) @Minaplo: ["A few clicks, same direction!" Said Simonides.-
(15:51:37) @Minaplo: [Their smooth, glowing marble hallway emerged into a cavernous room, whole kilometres wide, large enough to hide a town. In the middle…-
(15:54:12) @Minaplo: [Was 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.]
(15:56:27) Sept: "The only one? Ayanami, take its field down! Simonides, ready to take it down!"
(15:56:48) @Minaplo: [There was a split-second pause as Nana and Julie looked at each other.-
(15:57:23) @Minaplo: [Then Julie dug in her heels, slipping to a stop, her free hand out- the field began to flicker and dim.-
(15:57:45) @Minaplo: [Simonides was in next, AT Field wrapping around her right hand, dodging around the plane of force. The fist crashed into the surface-
(15:58:04) @Minaplo: [… Which seemed to splinter off, the fragments catching in mid-air, turning towards the Eva, and hurling themselves into the armour!]
(16:02:26) Sept: "You okay?" 01 dashed forward, circling around to the other side to follow up with a lance straight through the Cherubim.
(16:03:26) @Minaplo: [An extremely high-pitched scream rippled through the room as the Drill smashed through the Cherubim. Huge fissures ran across the surface, before it broke in half, the fragments dissolving into glass dust within a second.-
(16:03:41) @Minaplo: ["Fine." Said Simonides, pulling the shards out one by one. "Nasty little shit, though."]
(16:07:38) Sept: 01 swayed for a moment as it eyed the chamber, as if catching its breath as the others regrouped. "Right." And the way westward continued.
(16:08:14) @Minaplo: [The chamber narrowed into a small side-room, essentially. Featureless except for a glowing sphere built into the ground…]
(16:13:23) * Sept walked up to it, peering closer, seeing if it reacted to proximity. "No signatures?"
(16:15:23) @Minaplo: ["Nope."]
(16:18:06) * Sept reached down to push, lightly at first, on the middle of the sphere, on what looked like a button.
(16:20:08) @Minaplo: [With a clean and satisfying lack of resistance, it sank down into the ground and stayed there.-
(16:20:11) @Minaplo: […?-
(16:20:19) @Minaplo: [There was a very light rustling from the way they had come…]
(16:20:57) Sept: "Hm? Did it do something?"
(16:23:01) @Minaplo: ["I'm not sure. No signatures."]
(16:25:44) Sept: "Let's make sure before we break this thing apart." He began to head back towards the larger chamber.
(16:26:42) @Minaplo: [The path they had come from was gone, only a solid wall in its place…-
(16:26:58) @Minaplo: ["Hey, look!" Said Nana, pointing to their right. "A new gap in the wall…"]
(16:29:21) Sept: "Yeah. We don't want to get lost. Try to keep your bearings." The party headed into the newly-opened corridor.
(16:39:19) @Minaplo: [And so they went, moving south… Into a small(ish) room, where they turned east- into an intersection running north and south.]
(16:45:40) Sept: They turned north, still wary of further positron hail.
(17:37:14) @Minaplo: [There, they found a room- with a glowing button identical to the one they'd just pressed.]
(17:38:23) Sept: "Seems safe. Stay close."-
(17:38:51) * Sept hit the button, waiting a moment and then turning back towards the corridor to see what he'd accomplished.
(17:46:20) @Minaplo: [To the south- the other end of the intersection- was another small chamber, replete with glowing orange button.]
(17:49:51) Sept: The way behind them seemed to have closed off, they noted on the way to the newly-uncovered sphere. Periodically calling for AT pings, they made their way southward and depressed the orange extrusion.
(17:50:41) @Minaplo: [Which only boxed them in, the wall to their north- their passage- sealing.]
(17:54:51) Sept: "So this is how it's going to be. Does she just hope to play for time?" Cycling the door open again, they backtracked to the intersection. "We'll split up, Nana goes with me. You two stay at the second switch we found, and we'll try to cycle all the doors in between open. Alright?"
(18:38:34) @Minaplo: ["Sounds good. Don't take too long."]
(18:42:20) Sept: "Right. If you lose contact, come after us." And 01 headed back for the sealed wall behind them.
(18:47:13) @Minaplo: [Testing would, however, only find Sera and Nana back in the intersection eventually, with no gain.]
(18:49:27) Sept: "Same plan. You two stay here, we'll try the other one."
(18:49:42) @Minaplo: ["Got it."]
(18:50:41) * Sept headed south again, with Nana following close behind. Once they were both in, he hit the different-colored switch once more.
(18:54:53) @Minaplo: [And the door behind him closed.-
(18:55:10) @Minaplo: [("Hey! The wall to our east just opened!") Said Simonides.]
(19:02:46) Sept: "Alright. Can we meet up there?"
(19:03:31) @Minaplo: [There was a pause.-
(19:03:44) @Minaplo: [("The button isn't sticking down. I don't think this'll open your door anymore.")]
(19:05:35) Sept: "Alright. Forget about a way back, then. You two scout ahead. Watch each other's backs."
(19:06:00) @Minaplo: [("Got it.")-
(19:32:34) @Minaplo: [("Ah, shit! Crystal!")]
(19:37:58) Sept: "Can you handle it?"
(19:38:19) @Minaplo: [("Yeah, hold-")-
(19:38:41) @Minaplo: [The sound of muted positron rifle fire, footsteps- growls- and then the keening scream of the Angelspawn.-
(19:38:52) @Minaplo: [("Fucker got me that time. Nothing too bad, but… Oh, hey! Another button!")]
(19:41:04) Sept: "Hah. Don't get carried away. Whenever you're ready."
(19:47:10) @Minaplo: [("Done.")-
(19:47:17) @Minaplo: [The wall to Sera's east melted away…]
(19:51:16) Sept: "Alright. Ready for more after that brisk walk?"
(19:51:46) @Minaplo: ["Alright." Said Nana quietly.]
(19:53:30) Sept: The light was limited, but the two delved deeper into the narrow cavern, keeping an eye out for whatever lurked beyond…
(19:53:54) @Minaplo: [… And immediately ran into starburst rainbow patterns of positron light, the first volley nearly tearing through Nana.-
(19:53:58) @Minaplo: ["Khhhh-!"]
(19:57:10) * Sept swore in the kind of French that several institutes had tried to make not exist through much of the 20th century. "Get back!" He dove forward, not expecting to be able to do anything for her. "It looks like it's just one, anyway…"
(20:09:33) @Minaplo: ["C-can you handle it…?"]
(20:11:38) Sept: "Yeah, I'll call you when I can't." He said quickly, charging into the chamber at full speed, having to awkwardly alter his course through AT field use to avoid colliding with the Cherubim's barrier. The positron rain just kept coming, though…
(20:13:45) @Minaplo: [Several shards had broken off from the main body, now, all of them orienting towards Sera. As he approached, they all hurled themselves at him, sharp and murderous…]
(20:18:01) * Sept angled himself slightly sideways towards the barrage, focusing his defensive field on one arm and, with an effort, fiercely backhanding into the barrage with his shield. A moment to recover his balance, and he kept going, charging lance first into the crystal being.
(20:32:33) @Minaplo: [The drill struck home, slowing as it dug into the armoured crystal… Before finally breaking through, the Crystal letting out its awful screech as it disintegrated.]
(20:38:43) Sept: A pause for quite a few moments. "We're fine. Move up."
(20:39:31) @Minaplo: [Nana did just that. "Another button." She said, nodding towards the next chamber.]
(20:41:52) Sept: "Yeah. You can keep a distance from me in case there's more of those things." Once they were both good and ready inside their chamber, 01 hit the new button.
(20:43:26) @Minaplo: [("New door's opened up- Motherfucker, crystal!")]
(20:44:15) Sept: "Could be worse. We're making good progress."
(20:48:32) @Minaplo: [The sounds of combat, then…-
(20:48:43) @Minaplo: [("Ok, we're good. Button here! Shall I?")]
(20:58:11) Sept: "Go ahead."
(20:59:18) @Minaplo: [The wall to Sera's south dissolved…-
(20:59:34) @Minaplo: [There was a harsh, animalistic growling noise. The light revealed…-
(20:59:46) @Minaplo: [Five Evanghouls, all of whom turned, raised their claws, and rushed 01!]
(21:09:25) Sept: "Shit. Seems like they- there's ghouls. Close the door. Now. Nana, behind me."
(21:09:58) @Minaplo: [The ghouls had already streamed through when Julie slammed the button in a different room. All except one.-
(21:10:28) @Minaplo: [The wall reformed around it. It was simply compressed and then collapsed into its component particles.-
(21:10:40) @Minaplo: [The other four were leaping at 01, climbing on top of each other to attack…]
(21:13:56) * Sept readied himself and sprang into action, smashing the first one out of the air, clawing, punching and tackling the rest off him. "YOU ENTERED THE CAINE FIELD, FUCKERS!"
[11:08] <Minaplo> [And between his spear and Nana's swords, it wouldn't be long before they tore through the group, clearing the path to the next glowing switch.]
[11:11] <Sept> "Hah. You're clear to continue over there," he said as he opened the path for the other group.
[11:19] <Minaplo> [Sounds of a short bout of violence before Sera's door opened again. ("Go!")]
[11:21] <Sept> "Right." The two headed south again, Sera expecting more of the ghouls.
[11:24] <Minaplo> [Not this time.-
02[11:25] * Minaplo (ua.ten.tenii.nyd.84-59-051-421|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.84-59-051-421|olpaniM) Quit (Quit: )
03[11:30] * Minaplo (ua.moc.tentsew.aw.44-44-7-85-lsd|olpaniM#ua.moc.tentsew.aw.44-44-7-85-lsd|olpaniM) has joined #nervfrance
[11:33] <Minaplo> [The Spawn that stood before them was more 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-01 entered, the great creature twisted towards it- and unleashed an energy beam far too fast to dodge. It struck towards 01,
[11:33] <Minaplo> Sera bringing his shield around in time just barely fast enough to block it, huge chunks of ablative armour burned away in a second.-
[11:34] <Minaplo> [All around the vine-like Spawn were hundreds of smaller copies, each of them swarming towards the two Evangelions, hurling themsleves at 01's field, smashing into it, bringing it down- the sudden collapse causing inexplicable burns to sear across 01's flesh.]
[11:36] <Sept> "Go for the swarms!" 01 flailed about, trying to regain enough control and ground to get an effective Lotus strike at the advancing hordes.
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["Hyah!" Nana lashed out, cutting swathes through the masses of creatures quickly and efficiently, clearing a space for Sera- and an opening to approach the master.]
[11:41] <Sept> "Good work." He dashed forward and leapt at the larger Spawn, lance first.
[11:42] <Minaplo> [His strike severed many of the vines, one of the glowing nodes crumbling into ash.-
[11:42] <Minaplo> [Nana was fast behind, laying into the Spawn with her two swords, but this time she wasn't quite fast enough. After a heavy blow sent the spawn staggering, it suddenly froze- then began to glow, brighter and brighter, until the vision was blinding.-
[11:42] <Minaplo> [It exploded, bathing the area around it with ferocious energy. Nana escaped safely, but 01…]
[11:47] <Sept> 01 was blown a ways back by the force, landing roughly. "Right. The Spawn with the large swarms explodes. Advance." Getting back up, another progress button was triggered.
[11:48] <Minaplo> [("Oh, son of a bitch.") Came Juuichi. ("The pressure plate's gone, and my door's open-")-
[11:48] <Minaplo> [("Same here.") Said Simonides.-
[11:48] <Minaplo> [("Time to see if I can solo a glowy crystal thingy.") Muttered Juuichi.-
[11:49] <Minaplo> [… As expected, within about 20 seconds they heard the sound of combat, followed by the painful screech of a dying crystal Angel over Simonides' intercom.-
[11:49] <Minaplo> [The wall ahead of Sera vanished. ("You're free to go!")]
[11:52] <Sept> "Yeah. Let's hope we can group up again soon. Between the ghouls and that Spawn…" The two advanced again.
[11:55] <Minaplo> [… And before long, the by-now familiar spray of positron bolts would greet them. Nana was able to avoid them at first, but 01 was not so lucky, a truly terrible collection of them smashing into 01's now quite damaged torso.]
[11:57] <Sept> That wasn't enough to make him hesitate, however. 01 pressed on, expecting Nana to keep up.
[11:59] <Minaplo> [And so Nana tried. Dodging one volley, ducking under another, and avoiding a third- but this time she misjudged.-
[12:01] <Minaplo> [Her avoidance pattern took her directly into the path of another volley of menacing red and blue bolts. The first four burned through her Eva's armoured chest plate, with the next three vaporising ever-deeper holes into its flesh. Nana was screaming at this point, but it wouldn't last for long.-
[12:02] <Minaplo> [The next six bolts punched clear through the Evangelion, before finally striking the plug, hitting it square in the middle. Nana's tortured cry of pain lingered in the air for just a second, before-
[12:03] <Minaplo> [ 1[4EVANGELION MASTER TYPE UNIT 15 NO SIGNAL1]-
[12:04] <Minaplo> [Sera would see the Evangelion stagger backwards, its torso a burning, smoky mess, before it tottled backwards, the cleanly shorn remains of the Entry Plug jutting in a bent angle through a part of the Eva's spinal column, the Plug's ejection jets firing in pitiful little bursts, accomplishing nothing.-
[12:05] <Minaplo> [("N-Nana…?!") Juuichi's anguished cry. ("No!")]
[12:09] <Sept> "…could be difficult. Hold on."-
03[12:21] * ZackSleep is now known as Zack
[12:22] <Sept> "There's still a crystal here. Should be fine…"
[12:22] <Minaplo> [("Nana…)"]
06[13:15] * Sept charged into a prolonged skirmish with the crystal, razor-sharp projectiles piercing and sinking themselves in all throughout EVA-01's shield and arm. But finally, Sera found an opening and got the crystal down.-
[13:15] <Sept> "There. We're clear. Status report?"
[13:18] <Minaplo> [("Clear." Said the Simonides. Sera would see that there was a passage through the south wall that he could travel through- he saw EVA-07 rush into an intersection and down the hall.-
[13:18] <Minaplo> [("Shit! Concentrated positron beams-")-
[13:19] <Minaplo> [("Nana!") Shouted Julie. ("What happened to Nana?!")]
[13:34] <Sept> "Gone. We can figure it out once we're safe, -alright-?" 01 emerged into the larger corridor, heading straight after the twins.
[13:55] <Minaplo> [Simonides rushed ahead, lashing a crystal-Angel with her fists. Behind the Crystal was another vine-energy Angel. Sera saw one of its nodes glowing a half second before the beam hurtled towards Julie's Unit's chest…]
[14:00] <Sept> "Get down!" 01 shifted slightly to get in the way of the attack, the energy melting away parts of the shield and piercing the remains of the armor on 01's arm, but everything seemed to remain functional…-
[14:10] <Sept> "07, I'll finish the crystal!" Again charging forward, ready for the shuriken counterattack, 01 pierced the core of that luminous being.
[14:15] <Minaplo> [The crystal shattered with a scream, whilst behind them, Julie wiped out huge swathes of swarm-creatures with a horizontal plane of AT force.-
[14:16] <Minaplo> [EVA-07 stepped forward, neutralising the vine-creature-
[14:16] <Minaplo> [Only for it to throw a sac of green liquid down onto the ground. It exploded around 07, doing no visible damage…-
[14:16] <Minaplo> [But her AT Field flickered and died. ("What the-")-
[14:18] <Minaplo> [But the brief respite was not enough. With a well-placed positron shot, and a hail of devastating bolter fire, Julie completely destroyed the creature in a storm of fire.]
[14:20] <Sept> 01 eyed its surroundings for a few further moments, radio quiet as it drew a knife from a wing dock to replace the molten husk of its shield.
[14:21] <Minaplo> [("Where's Nana?") Said Julie. ("I'll get her.")]
[14:25] <Sept> "Yeah. Right behind the first corner. We'll… try to get her home." Another glance back before he returned to staring towards their way forward, ready for new entrants. "I'm sorry."

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