For The Urge To Know

[13:46] * Yanmei took her time wandering through the resort. She had peeked into Marianne's room, but finding no one there, continued onward in search. Where was she? The bar? The sauna? Dorian's room~?
[13:49] <Dorian> [… Naughty Yanmei. Nevertheless, she'd find Marianne in the bar! Cheerfully sharing a glass of wine with Dorian, who both seemed to be laughing at some incredible joke.]
[13:51] * Aline had heard of this interrogation, as it were, and decided to accompany Yanmei for this adventure. …Worth noting this is one of the few reasons she'd even enter the resort's bar…
[13:52] <Yanmei> "Mm hm…" They certainly were getting along. She repressed the urge to give a little giggle, and then glanced over her shoulder to Aline with a nod, as if to say, 'let's do it!'-
[13:53] <Yanmei> "Marianne! Major!" She approached openly with a friendly wave. "Glad we caught up with you two."
[13:54] * Aline for now just smiled. "Yes, indeed…"
[13:55] <Dorian> [The two of them looked up at Yanmei and Aline. Marianne beamed, giving Yanmei the special little smile she saved just for her. "Yanyan! Aline! Come to join us?"]
[13:58] <Yanmei> "Of course. Seems like we all have some catching up to do." She slid into a seat at their table, looking rather comfortable. "What a day yesterday was. Thank you again for preparing the nature hikes, Major."
[14:00] * Aline …dodm
[14:02] * Aline didn't feel like saying anything about joining them… She was leery of the fact that she -might- end up having to drink for appearances, so would rather try to avoid drawing too much attention to those appearances. "Yes, it certainly was… interesting." Also trying not to tip off that she was even -more- in it for the fact-finding mission. She just doesn't have Yan-yan's PR reflex
[14:03] <Dorian> "Hah. No problem. I'm sure some of you had fun, even if there was a bit of trouble."-
[14:03] <Dorian> ["We were just talking about that, actually." Said Marianne, her amusement giving away to motherly seriousness. "You're both lucky you weren't hurt."]
[14:08] <Yanmei> "We certainly would have avoided those wolves if we could, but the rest of the experience was really lovely. Speaking of which, I had a discussion with Edgar this morning, and Isaiah too. Isaiah… wants to adopt the wolf we saved."
[14:09] * Aline raised a brow. "…Does he now. Well… That might make things complicated back home, though only slightly."
[14:10] * Dorian had a reaction rather similar to Aline's. "… He'd need a permit, and… Just how hurt is this wolf? Can't they release it back into the wild?"-
[14:10] <Dorian> ["… That's-" Marianne, on the other hand, had a reaction probably similar to Yanmei's when she found out. "H-How can he look after a wolf? His father would never go for that."]
[14:13] * Yanmei nodded. "That's what I told him! But he doesn't want to listen. The wolf's situation -is- grave, though. The doctor said that he won't be able to run normally again, which drastically hurts its chances of survival in the wild. And the resort won't take him in either. It's a difficult situation."
[14:15] <Yanmei> "I also confirmed that it was likely Edgar who -gave- the wolf those injuries." She chuckled wryly. "Scaring them away is one thing, but… just what sort of training do NeoSpartans get, anyway?"
[14:15] <Dorian> "The best." Said Dorian dryly. "Why don't you girls sit down, and we'll tell you?"
[14:18] * Aline did just that. "You saw the video with Asuka. Even if, without backup, she had no real chance of beating the 6th due to its nature, she still was quite able to tear a swathe of destruction on her own. I imagine Alexandre's more of a tactical sort. Which means that… Edgar probably has a far more… savage level of training. I don't know, I don't like talking to him, even before
[14:18] * Aline this."
[14:19] <Yanmei> "Customized for each student? I see…"
[14:20] * Dorian simply stared at them both. He gently tapped his fingers against the table- he seemed to be waiting for something.
[14:22] <Aline> "Ah, I was actually guessing. I don't -know-, actually."
[14:23] <Yanmei> "Oh." Yanmei didn't look too embarassed, though. She glanced toward Dorian, appraising, searching for clues about what it was he wanted. "Ah. Shall we order something?"
[14:24] * Dorian quirked an eyebrow. "You can go ahead. But tell me, would you girls -like- to know about the program, or are you content with hypothesising amongst yourselves?"
[14:26] * Aline staaared back. "Well, I still know a fair bit, but I almost always want more information. On basically everything I can safely get it on." She absently tugged the collar of her blouse out of nervousness. "So, yes."
[14:27] <Dorian> [Marianne was smiling to herself in amusement behind Dorian's back. Presumably she knew him well enough to understand what, exactly, he was 'meaning'.]
[14:28] <Yanmei> "We wouldn't be here if we didn't what to know?" Yanmei pointed out. Then, after a moment of briefest hesitation. "We have other questions too. Lots of them."
[14:29] * Aline raised a finger. "Though I don't quite know how much Dorian knows, or wants to tell, or -can- tell. So some questions might remain unspoken."
[14:30] <Dorian> "Heh." Dorian glanced over his shoulder at Marianne, before turning back to the girls. "I know quite a damn lot. Anyway- go get your drinks or whathaveyou. When you're ready, I want you both to tell me what you -know- about the actual NeoSpartan process."
[14:33] * Yanmei called a waiter over accordingly, smiling at him. "Cosmopolitan, please." She didn't know what went into it, but it sounded incredibly sophisticated.
[14:34] * Aline just muttered. "I don't need a drink."
[14:34] <Dorian> ["There -are- nonalcoholic drinks available, you know." Said Marianne, grinning.]
[14:35] * Aline shifted her eyes a little. "…Right. Fine, than just a plain cola."
[14:36] <Dorian> [It wouldn't take long for their orders to be served. The bar was quiet, after all. Before long, Yanmei would have her interesting cocktail; Aline would have a glass of cola on ice, with the rest of the bottle nearby.]
[14:38] <Yanmei> "I don't know much about the program personally?" Yanmei said, picking up her sophisticated drink with one hand. "It trained children to be EVA pilots, which means they've a lot of combat training, like us, but for longer. And they watched a lot of war movies too."
[14:41] * Aline sipped a bit of cola, and… added. "They were a UN initiative, latter in the long line of similar military academies that took in orphans and similar. Tended to be pretty brutal - hence the name - and probably only were capable of existing in the instability shortly after Impact - once some nations started to recover, controversy forced them to shut it down. I know many are trained
[14:41] * Aline in at least different ways of acting, especially later on. Such as those trained to 'act more civilian'." Aline took a longer sip. "The thing that makes me wonder, though, is that the only NeoSpartans that are actually in EVAs, are those -not- protecting Paris-2, which sans the attack on Berlin-2 is practically the only region that gets Angel activity. Odd."
[14:42] <Dorian> [Marianne snickered a little at Yanmei's summation.-
[14:44] * Dorian on the other hand was nodding quietly. "Mmm… Yes. You know a fair bit, Aline…" He tapped his fingers together, looking contemplative. "There's a reason for that, Aline, but I'll get to it in a minute. But yes. As Aline said, the NeoSpartan program started as a UN 'take' on what countries were doing anyway, especially wartorn ones."-
[14:45] <Dorian> "Of course, the UN can do things a bit better than individual nations can. Especially when they married the project to Gehirn and the Evangelions. Alright, let's see. It all starts off with aptitude tests. Each potential pilot is examined, tested, and finally accepted. After that, they undergo gene therapy of varying intensity to enhance their bodies and minds- and then, they're divided into roles, as you said."-
[14:48] <Dorian> "Command roles, close combat roles, long range combat… Each pilot was trained according to their own strengths. Alexandre and Atticus, for example, were trained as commanders. Asuka and Edgar were trained as close combat specialists. Tsubaki was trained for a more supporting, long-range combat role."
[14:50] * Aline quirked a brow at that. Funny then that she told Asuka to lead, huh?… That said though, if there was one thing Aline knew as the de facto tactician for the Paris-2 team, it was the merits of having the command not be so distant and different from their commanded, at least for on-field commanders. "…That does explain the different behaviors. Though I know Tsubaki's draw from
[14:50] * Aline actual diagnosable conditions as well."
[14:51] * Yanmei had blinked at Aline's explanation - she certainly knew a lot! - and now she was blinking at Dorian's trying to digest it slowly. "Why was Fontaine in the program? He's not an orphan. If anything, he's highly valued because of who his mother is."
[14:52] * Aline did quickly reply to Yanmei, sounding a little bitter. "He might as well be."
[14:53] * Dorian nodded in acknowledgement to Aline, before turning to Yanmei. "Whilst it's true that many of the NeoSpartans were taken in because they were orphans or because their parents couldn't keep them… Heh." His eyes flicked back to Aline for a moment, then back to Yanmei. "Alex's father- Elisha Caine, who was head of Gehirn- requested it."
[14:54] <Yanmei> "Who would do something like that?" she sounded disgusted openly for once.
[14:57] * Aline shook her head. "…I have no idea. I don't know what Elisha's like."
[14:58] * Dorian shrugged a little. "It was before my time with the Org, honestly. All I know is that Elisha Caine was a man who followed his own, special logic and his own special morals. He might've wanted a super-soldier for a son for some reason."
[15:00] * Aline frowned deeply. "…Strange."
[15:03] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei took a long drink, and placed her glass back on the table. "It's not as though we can ask him either, I suppose?" She wanted to glance at Aline, but was not about to be that unsubtle. No need to reveal -everything- that they were aware of. "What Blanc mentioned earlier is something I've wondered about too. We -were-
[15:03] <Yanmei> selected over these super soldiers because of natural abilities to sync with our respective EVAs to the extent that we do. At least that's what I believe."
[15:04] * Aline nodded at that. "Aye. I know about that in my case at least, as well."
[15:06] * Dorian nodded. "That's right. For starters, every NeoSpartan who successfully completed the Project was promised a Production-model Evangelion- 02 onwards. That's why Tsubaki got 03 and Asuka got 02. Alex was supposed to get 04, but 04 refused to synch with him- and flatly attacks nearly everyone else." He tapped his fingers together. "00 and 01 aren't Production models- but Aline, you were there when you saw 01 respond to Sera.-
[15:09] <Dorian> "And you yourself were chosen after that mess with the Covenant of Light. That was partly to protect you, but it was also because you genuinely do have a good synch ratio with the big guy, and you're clever."
[15:10] <Aline> "Yeah. I do have an excellent synch ratio. And…" She smirked a little. "…Other, more intense units would be ill-fit for me."
[15:13] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei refrained from commenting on more intense units, instead picking up her drink again. There wasn't much of it left at this point. "So! As the production line expands, then every NeoSpartan graduate will be an official pilot. At least that's the plan? And our good friend Captain Nelson looks like he's next. What's his story, I wonder…"
[15:14] <Dorian> "Well, not exactly next. When Britain gets its EVA, -then- he gets to be a pilot, but I'll let you guys know that Britain is sort of low on the list." Dorian winked. "But what do you mean?"
[15:16] <Yanmei> "Edgar hates the guy. Edgar. Who's on friendly terms with the likes of Fontaine." The glass went down again, empty, and she closed her eyes for a moment. "It made me curious?"
[15:16] * Aline heeeeadtilted. "…What, seriously? Okay, this I have to know."
[15:18] <Dorian> [Marianne snickered slightly. "Alex isn't that bad."-
[15:19] <Dorian> "Ah…" Dorian rubbed his chin. "It's bad blood, I think, relating back to the NeoSpartan Project. Atticus was… Different."
[15:20] <Aline> "How different is 'different, though?" Aline shook her head.
[15:20] <Yanmei> "He is too that bad," Yanmei muttered, but it was essentially inaudible.
[15:23] <Dorian> "Well… Different enough that if you met him back then, and met him now, you'd think he was an entirely different person." Dorian clasped his hands together. "See, Atticus… Never wanted to be a NeoSpartan. When Gehirn took him in he was… Well, about six years old, living in an orphanage. Hard working kid, but sullen and not the sort to make friends."-
[15:25] <Dorian> "The NeoSpartan Project guys figured he'd grow into it over time with discipline… Well, he 'fell into line', but he never truly grew to accept the program. He hated it, and he hated Gehirn, and at first he fought against it… Eventually, he realised it was futile, so he started taking his anger out on his fellow NeoSpartans. He broke all of Tsubaki's fingers at one point after a sparring session."
[15:26] * Aline /instantly/ hardened in tone. "…That's… stupid, stupid broken fool. That's not how you deal with your emotions! And to someone like her, unforgivable!"
[15:28] <Yanmei> "He was a child, Blanc." Yanmei's own emotions were blocked from view, her face not really smiling, but rather calm, unreadable.
[15:31] <Aline> "That… that that that doesn't…" Aline clutched her soda glass a bit tightly. "…Bah. Fine. Have it that way."
[15:33] <Dorian> "That's enough." Said Dorian firmly. "It's neither here nor there. You don't know what it would be like to be in his situation at the time, even if it was an incredibly horrible thing to do." Dorian's eyes were hidden behind his usual shades. "Either way, before you go and grab your pitchfork, keep in mind that eventually, Atticus -grew up-. He realised he'd been doing the wrong thing and he tried very hard to change.-
[15:34] <Dorian> "It took years of therapy and other conditioning to make that a reality, but I'm sure if you were to ask him now he'd feel very remorseful for it."
[15:35] * Aline sighed. "…If he actually did change… fine." Aline looked frustrated, perhaps embarassed too at having that sudden outburst.
[15:38] * Yanmei didn't say anything for a while after that, just thinking quietly.
[15:40] * Dorian took a mouthful of wine, sighing slightly. "So, Aline. How's little Ikari been?"
[15:41] * Aline muttered back, still obviously embarassed (in the more sulky sense of it) about the outburst. "…Okay. Still a bit awkward, but less than initially."
[15:43] <Dorian> "Is that so?" A little grin. "The good Doctor was telling me you guys were very… Hm, what's the word? You relied on each other when those wolves attacked."
[15:44] <Aline> "…If anything, he was the one that needed the help that time. It was almost like evening the balance after the battle against the 6th."
[15:44] * Aline was, by the by, embarassed and flustered, but -not- bitter. Those words were earnest and kind.
[01:47] <Yanmei> "The 6th?" Yanmei blinked up, and then grinned. "come to think of it, didn't you say something about relying on the power of love when you were holding hands with him during yesterday's incident? How interesting~"
[01:48] * Aline was starting to regain her composure. "Eh?… What's it to you? It's a reasonable source of will!"
[01:50] <Yanmei> "If you say so~"
[01:52] * Aline closed her eyes for a moment. A somewhat undefined gesture, that.
[16:02] <Dorian> ["Have you kissed yet~?" Asked Marianne, grinning.]
[16:03] * Aline bluuuushed, too embarassed to even open her eyes. "N-not yet! I'm trying to ease him into it. He still gets a bit scared."
[02:05] <Yanmei> "Seriously?" Yanmei shook her head. "Listen. The best way to do it is quickly, when he's not suspecting it. Like tearing off a bandaid, except romantic!"
[02:07] * Aline shifty-eyed at that. "…Are you so sure?…"
[16:12] <Dorian> [Marianne leaned forward. "And how would you know about that, Yanyan~?"]
[16:15] <Yanmei> "…Romantic movies," she said. Oh wait… but no. There was no way she could be implying what she thought she would. Marianne and Dorian wouldn't have access to the security feeds from the day of the battle of the 6th Angel, would they? Or, god, the night before.
[16:17] * Aline was rather in the dark about this. As far as she knew, Yanmei and Isaiah had a 'will they or won't they' tension that frustratingly hadn't seemed to break yet. "…That might not be the best piece of advice, then."
[16:18] <Dorian> ["It's a shame he wasn't here for the big battle." Said Marianne. "Just think. Suddenly terrified by the idea of losing you, Shinji throws his arms around you and kisses you~ And then valiantly waits for you to come back~"]
[16:20] <Yanmei> "S-so! Dorian. About this wolf thing? Do you think you can convince NERV to adopt him? Surely the organization could use a mascot."
[16:22] * Aline looked at Marianne, and had this odd look on her face. It was like a smile, but yet seemed to ooze crypticness. Not in the sense that she was being coy, but that she was tapping on something… /else/. "I felt it as though he was, Marianne."
[16:23] <Dorian> ["Oh? You could feel his love all away from across the world~?"-
[16:23] * Dorian peers at Yanmei. "Hmm. I thought we already had a mascot."
[16:24] <Yanmei> "Do we?"
[16:24] * Aline nodded. "…Yes." The smile actually grew a bit wider. "I did."
[16:24] <Dorian> "They're these big robots called Evangelions, see, NERV uses them to fight these space monsters and it's the main reason NERV exists…"
[16:27] <Yanmei> "Come on. The Evangelions aren't marketable enough and you know it. Imagine trying to sell t-shirts with, say, 01's face plastered across it. That would never work."
[16:27] * Aline did, though, take a second to quip back. "All due respect to them, but I think only really aggressive preteen boys would actually -treat- them like mascots. I mean the -teeth- and the acid and the piercing howls…" she did, though, wag a finger. "You'd make an absolute -killing- on the action figure market though."
[16:28] <Dorian> ["Do you think it's -true love-, Aline?" Asked Marianne with a whispered-yet-loud voice.-
[16:28] <Yanmei> "You see?" She made a gesture toward Aline. "Blanc gets it. Now, a cute little wolf, on the other hand…"
[16:29] <Dorian> "Action figures. And maybe we could boost sales by selling resin models of the pilots… We'd make a killing…"
[16:30] * Aline looked back and forth suddenly. Frantically. "Yes Marianne I'm pretty sure it is and oh god Dorian do you even -read- the merchandising emails some of us get oh god."
[16:32] * Yanmei giggled. "I didn't even realize that we were getting emailed merchandise offers? Wow…"
[16:32] * Dorian laughs. "Of course I do. Where do you think I'm getting these suggestions from?" He peers over at Yanmei. "Trust me, some of them you really don't want to touch. -Really- don't."
[16:34] * Aline was creating the embodiment of ' ._. ' right here. "Y-y-yeah. Uh… er…" She shook her head. "Two words: Hug pillows."
[16:36] <Yanmei> "…oh." Her dreams of being a softdrink spokeswoman/model died. Of course she couldn't really do the latter anyway. Nowadays, at least. "Fine, fine. Let's forget the marketting, then."
[16:37] * Dorian snickered. "Anyway. I don't see a -problem- in having NERV look after a wolf, exactly. I mean, Dr. Riel got clearance for that tiger of hers."
[16:38] <Aline> "…I totally forgot about the tiger." She had quickly gone back to normal. Terror of exploitation is a minor emotional downswing.
[16:40] <Yanmei> "Tiger? Really?" Yanmei blinked a few times. "Why is there a tiger in Headquarters that I've never seen before?"
[16:40] <Dorian> "It's a cub. Dr. Riel keeps it in her office as a sort of scientific side-project."
[16:41] <Yanmei> "…so if Isaiah had an office in the hospital…" she pondered aloud with growing cheer.
[16:44] <Dorian> "I couldn't see any problem with it." Said Dorian. "Would you prefer that than for him to keep it at home?"
[16:47] <Yanmei> "It seems safer?" Yanmei shrugged. "He was planning to move out and live alone with it. But at NERV there will be armed people around in case… something unpleasant happens between them."
[16:48] <Dorian> "Move out and live alone…?"
[16:49] * Aline scrunched her face. "Hopefully they at least have the decency to use riot rounds or tasers or something." Then… "I assume not living with his dad, alone?"
[16:50] * Yanmei nodded. "They don't really get along very well? So it would make sense for Isaiah to think about moving out."
[16:51] <Dorian> "Well, either way. Let him know that he's probably allowed to keep it in his 'office' or whatever at the Geofront, providing he can take care of it…"
[16:52] <Yanmei> "I'm sure he'll be very happy." Yanmei looked a little relieved herself. Leave it to Dorian to come up with a solution!
[16:53] <Aline> "Yeah. Yay wolf~ I think~"
[16:56] <Dorian> ["Have you considered that he's looking for an excuse to move out, Yanmei?" Asked Marianne.]
[16:57] <Yanmei> "Even if that's the case, he shouldn't be living with a wild animal? At least not unsupervised."
[16:58] <Dorian> ["Why doesn't he live with us, then~?"]
[16:58] * Aline shrugged. "Technically, he's probably still 'supervised' anyway."
[16:59] <Dorian> "Have you been enjoying the sensation of being unsupervised, Aline?" Asked Dorian, amusedly.
[16:59] <Yanmei> "Hm? I wouldn't mind that? You would have to convince Dr. Gabriel, though."
[17:00] <Dorian> ["Well, it's something to talk about." Said Marianne, but now that Yanmei had spectacularly failed to bite, seemed more contemplative than anything.]
[17:01] * Aline nodded rather firmly. "Do I even need to answer? You heard my little bit about wanting all the information. After all…" She folded her arms a little. "There's so many things I think Jeanne would have an aneurysm about if she overheard. Or, perhaps Ginevre would? I can't feature Jeanne knowing some of the Gehirn information per se… Ah, whatever. Nonetheless yes, I enjoy collecting
[17:01] * Aline secrets, even the horrible ones~"
[17:01] <Dorian> "I can tell."
[17:10] <Yanmei> "Well~" Yanmei lifted her arm to call over another drink. And probably a meal at that. "Thank you for answering our questions today, Major. You've been really helpful, as always."
[17:10] <Dorian> "Not a problem."
[17:11] <Aline> "Yeah! You definitely did tell Yanmei some interesting things there, and there was nice talk otherwise~" …Okay, maybe Aline was letting her 'more secrets than thou' status get to her head.
[17:12] * Dorian takes a mouthful of wine. "Tell Dr. Ikari 'hi' for me when you see her next."
[17:13] * Aline nodded. "Yeah, I will~"

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