Guys' Night Out

(12:59:09) Sept: "Alright, we're just playing for pocket cash, right?" The group was setting up their table for poker at Blue's as the establishment's gentle - and sometimes less so - chatter continued around them.
(13:09:37) Minaplo: ["50 francs is pocket cash, right?" Asked Frederic immediately, reaching into his jacket.]
(13:13:53) Sept: "Well, sure. I'm pretty broke, but it's not like I need it for anything. That alright, Alex?"
(13:14:51) Minaplo: ["Bullshit. What happened to your NERV trust fund?"]
(13:16:03) Sept: "Mysteriously vanished. All withdrawn."
(13:21:31) Minaplo: ["Bullshit." Said Alex again. "What -really- happened to it? If it did just up and vanish, why didn't you tell NERV about it?"]
(13:23:34) * Sept focused on shuffling the cards. "It was Freya. Let her have it."
(13:28:44) Minaplo: ["Oh." Said Alex with some surprise. "… That was generous of you."]
(13:32:16) * Sept shrugged, but smiled at Alex knowingly. "It would've taken a lot of trouble to forge all the documents, so she's earned it."
(13:34:37) Minaplo: ["Heh."-
(13:35:00) Minaplo: ["Well, I am, in fact, not broke, so I'll go with 50 francs and shout Sera his share too." Said Alex.]
(13:37:20) Sept: "Oh, no, I'm not having your charity. I still have almost a hundred in my actual account." He finished shuffling, placing the deck down in the middle. "And I expect to double that."
(13:39:02) Minaplo: ["Oh shit." Said Frederic, grinning. "Gentlemen, I believe the gauntlet has been thrown."-
(13:39:28) Minaplo: ["Damn right it has. Fine. I was going to go easy, but now I've decided that I'm going to walk out of here tonight with you in my debt, Sera de Pteres."]
(13:44:18) Sept: "Hah, good decision. You want to start with the deal, then? I've been known to not be trustworthy with a deck."
(13:47:18) Minaplo: [Alex took the deck and began to deal it out. "Really? What, you once stole a card or something?"]
(13:50:06) * Sept frowned at Alex, then peeked at his cards. "Was it that well suppressed? Or were you even in Paris, then? No, I… I cheated a bit against some mob bosses and stirred up some other, mm. Excitement."
(13:51:17) Minaplo: [Fred's eyebrows rose.-
(13:51:33) Minaplo: ["Sounds like a story. Go on, then." Said Alex.]
(13:56:35) Sept: "It's actually pretty embarrassing - check," he said. "It was after my encounter with Mary, I was completely lost and couldn't get a handle on my identity or hallucinations." He considered for a moment. "I mean, the story's not as grim as that, but you really want to hear it?"
(14:14:33) Minaplo: ["Check. Go ahead." Said Alex.]
(14:26:03) Sept: "Bleached my hair, bought a hat, a bunch of attention, crashed a gambling den." Sera played around with his chips. "These mob bosses show up, hoping to play me into some kind of debt, or just put the screws on a pilot otherwise."
(14:27:33) Minaplo: ["Makes sense." Said Fred. "Raise."]
(14:32:37) Sept: "Eh, fold. So more and more people pile into the place as we play a few hands, and I just… somehow completely play the crowd, spouting nonsense about Joshua Caine. Like how Silas used to do, you know? I'm sure it was something brewing in Paris already, some enimosity towards the mob, but…"
(14:35:31) Minaplo: ["Call. Paris isn't exactly fond of the mob." Said Alex, grinning. "There's only one shadowy, ruthless organisation they'll allow in Paris…"-
(14:35:44) Minaplo: [Frederic grinned, and the two of them shared a disgustingly friendly high-five.]
(14:38:19) Sept: "The gendarme's pretty mean."
(14:39:34) Minaplo: [Alex let out a snort of derision. "So you're in a mafia gambling den, agitating the crowd, playing against some bosses…"]
(14:41:40) » Zack is now known as ZackSleep
(14:43:47) Sept: "So yeah, anyone with, I don't know, a fear of crowds, or who isn't a complete fucking lunatic, couldn't have been in control of that situation. And I was. I messed with the deck against the last guy, crowd says nothing, but the guy calls me on it when he gets this utterly impossible beat."
(14:58:11) Minaplo: ["That sounds like a situation prone to rapid escalation." Said Fred with a smirk.]
(15:04:04) Sept: "Yeah, and if I hadn't had the crowd, I would've had to kill them, probably. But no, I just get the entire place to turn into this huge brawl and stroll the fuck out." Sera flexed the fingers on his unreplaced hand. "And that's… how I'm not afraid of crowds."
(15:09:16) Minaplo: ["Huh. You know, I thought I'd noticed a change…" Said Frederic, flicking his gaze back down towards his eyes.-
(15:09:36) Minaplo: ["That's not a half bad story at all." Said Alex with a grin. "You ought to tell it more often."]
(15:10:35) Sept: "Requires too much setup. Makes me look like a narcissist."
(15:24:40) Minaplo: ["Sometimes that ain't a bad thing." Came a fourth voice, Mr. Blue leaving the bar to swagger over to the game. "Havin' a few narcissistic stories on hand can really flesh out a convo. Can I get you bad boys anything to drink?"]
(15:29:16) Sept: "Some kind of mediocre beer, first one eliminated pays?"
(15:35:04) Minaplo: ["Sounds good." Said Fred.-
(15:35:12) Minaplo: ["Actually, I'll have a glass of wine." Said Alex airily.]
(15:41:36) Sept: "So how's everything with you, Alex?"
(15:42:15) Minaplo: ["Good, but busy. Sometimes occasionally not so good. I've been sorting everything out with Eagle Squadron, and it's not always smooth sailing."]
(15:48:46) Sept: "Trying to establish hierarchy among Neospartans, sure."
(15:51:30) Minaplo: ["No, that's not the problem." Said Alex. "They know I'm the leader, they respect that mostly- that's something they've been taught, learned through the programme. It's the… Idiosyncrasies that're a problem."]
(15:52:21) Sept: "Oh? What's up?"
(15:52:56) Minaplo: ["Well, let me outline it. I've five men in my Squadron. Edgar, Evangeline- you know them. Eva's alright, Edgar's loyal but he gets… Into problems."-
(15:55:02) Minaplo: ["The other three you haven't met. Pham Thi Tien, Nataniel Santiago y Martin and Remy Fabien Awala. Tien's a Vietnamise resistance fighter, she's dedicated her life to overthrowing the Chinese rule in Vietnam. She's unbelievably headstrong, hates the Chinese, and they hate her back. Problem. Nataniel's her lover, but he's reluctant to rein her in. Problem. Remy's a sweet guy, but part of
(15:55:03) Minaplo: the deal we hashed out when I brought him in was that he'd have a space for his 'current project'. Setting that up? Problem."]
(15:56:29) Sept: "Is there gonna be golf course on the deck?"
(15:58:16) Minaplo: ["What…?"]
(15:59:47) * Sept handwaved. "What's the project?"
(16:02:13) Minaplo: ["He has a quartet of armoured lion cubs he's tamed, and he's studying them…"-
(16:02:33) Minaplo: [Blue returned with their drinks, and Alex was quick to drink deeply of his glass of wine.]
(16:04:38) Sept: "So a natural habitat for lions..?"
(16:10:24) Minaplo: ["Not exactly. They're armoured lions, see."]
(16:11:46) Sept: "So what do they need, then? Super-reinforced walls?" Sera sipped his beer.
(16:12:32) Minaplo: ["Yeah, exactly." Said Alex. "We had to have Engineering install a partition in his room made of reinforced surovite. They chew through lesser metals and breathe fire, so we can't exactly cheap out."]
(16:15:01) Sept: "Why do they breathe fire?"
(16:17:31) Minaplo: ["They're Ferals." Said Alex. "Animals exposed to S2 Energy sometimes mutate. When Metatron bombed Africa… Armoured Lions are a stable mutation of African Lions, except their fur can knit together to create an armoured mesh, they're incredibly strong, grow to be 15 feet long and yeah, they breathe fire. Apparently it's something to do with expelling a chemical mix from their mouths that
(16:17:32) Minaplo: ignite on contact…"]
(16:20:29) Sept: "..right. So this guy's studying them just for the hell of it?"
(16:22:00) Minaplo: ["… I suppose the answer there depends on your definition." Said Alex diplomatically. "Remy, he's been working in animal conservation for years, trying to protect endangered animals like lions or elephants or rhinos… He genuinely just loves animals and thinks these Ferals- Armoured Lions, Manslayer Eagles, whatever- have as much a right to conservation as any animal."-
(16:22:22) Minaplo: [Alex leaned in, lowering his cards to counter-balance. "He met Yanmei the other day and told her that his ultimate goal is to tame an Apocalypse Engine."]
(16:24:37) Sept: "Hmmh. Mad enough for that unit, definitely."
(16:25:28) Minaplo: [Alex smirked. "He's a pretty cool guy. He has crazy ambitions, but he's not an idiot. He was the one who made sure the Lions would be secure before they came on board because he didn't want to hurt anyone."-
(16:25:50) Minaplo: ["But yeah, you can see the situation. Didn't you run into Edgar picking a fight with Asari Keita the other day…?"-
(16:26:00) Minaplo: ["Oh yeah, I heard about that~" Crowed Frederic gleefully.]
(16:30:05) Sept: "Well, yeah, but that really did seem pretty harmless."
(16:32:56) Minaplo: ["It's going to keep happening." Said Alex darkly. "Keita and Edgar are nemeses. They've hated each other from the day they've met."]
(16:36:26) Sept: "I couldn't get a straight answer out of them - not that I cared at the time. Was it just a decision they both made? Pinky swear?"
(16:39:28) Minaplo: ["Nah, I guess it's just one of those instinctual things. Isn't there anyone that you hated from the instant you met?"]
(16:41:32) Sept: "I don't know? Blue was probably fine until he opened his mouth. Can't remember."
(16:42:47) Minaplo: [("You fucking loved me, don't lie!")-
(16:43:02) Minaplo: ["What about Gendo?" Asked Fred.]
(16:45:43) Sept: "…oh. Sure. Even then, surely you could easily explain it… With Ginevre being so… Ginevre, I didn't really have a The State to rebel against, before him."
(16:58:50) Minaplo: ["Hah." Muttered Alex.-
(17:00:24) Minaplo: ["Anyway, to explain it… Keita's proud, arrogant and he likes to prove he's stronger than anyone else by finding the person he sees as the biggest threat and demolishing them. Edgar is proud, self-confident, is constantly trying to improve himself and never ever backs down…"]
(17:03:21) Sept: "Yeah, I see the problem. But what do you do?"
(17:03:47) Minaplo: ["Try to keep them apart."]
(17:04:02) Sept: "Fair enough. And hope they're distracted enough in battle?"
(17:05:06) Minaplo: ["Yeah. If they waste time in battle on their feud, then they both get their heads kicked in. Any NeoSpartan who lets grudges carry over in a real situation crosses a forbidden line."]
(17:10:55) Sept: "Of course." Sera idly raised, shoving some chips into the pot carelessly. "How's everything with Asuka?"
(17:20:29) Minaplo: ["Good! She's happy that we're able to be together. She's also delighted that she got to save your ass at Niagara."]
(17:24:09) Sept: "I'm not surprised. I'm pretty delighted as well, she should know. You mean she's happy-happy or just… Asuka-happy?"
(17:26:00) Minaplo: ["It… Varies." Said Alex, shifting uncomfortably.]
(17:26:33) Sept: "Yeah? You want to elaborate?"
(17:32:18) Minaplo: ["Well, you know. There are times when she's… Actually sweet." He said. "Where she takes a genuine honest joy in just being happy and being with me, like… The other day she made me breakfast and she preened as though it was the greatest thing in the world. And that's adorable."-
(17:34:13) Minaplo: ["And then there's the… Other times. Here's an example. When I first arrived back on the ship, she was thrilled, and hugged me and all that, then when I showed her my D-Titan, she just began to laugh and laugh and for the next six hours she called me nothing but 'Titan-bitch'. It was like the fact that she ended up in an Eva and I ended up in a Titan was of supreme delight to her."]
(17:44:23) Sept: "Heh, of course! A Titan's a regular, tired old warhorse. Her Eva's the monstrosity coming down the Alps to destroy everything. Right?"
(17:48:15) Minaplo: [Alex's expression was sour. "I can't deny it, although I prefer to describe it as a state-of-the-art war machine instead of a tired warhorse. Tch…"-
(17:48:38) Minaplo: ["Sounds like you're pretty proud of your Deathtrap Titan already." Said Fred happily, calling.-
(17:48:42) Minaplo: ["Don't call it that!"]
(17:48:58) Sept: "Is that official?"
(17:49:11) Minaplo: ["No! The D stands for Defender."]
(17:49:33) Sept: "I'm sure it does."
(17:50:07) Minaplo: ["It's not the Titan you should mock." Said Alex darkly. "The 'E' in E-Destroyer stands for Evangelion…"]
(17:53:02) Sept: "It's the thought that counts, I guess. The rate of evolution on Evangelions just outpaces the advances made in robotics."
(17:54:15) Minaplo: ["We'll see." Said Alex firmly. "I've scheduled my team in for practice combat against Dorian Squad."]
(17:56:34) Sept: "Oh? Fair enough."
(17:59:11) Minaplo: ["So." Frederic sat back, a smirk on his face. "Sera and I both know there's something you haven't told us yet regarding your pilot girlfriend…"]
(18:02:13) Sept: "We do?"
(18:06:16) Minaplo: [Alex was frowning.-
(18:06:57) Minaplo: ["C'mon, don't play dumb." Said Fred. "Two young lovers, reunited at last, together on a luxurious, romantic craft…"-
(18:07:01) Minaplo: ["Oh for fuck's sake."]
(18:12:18) Sept: "Mmhm," Sera just said, looking at Alex. Another gulp of his drink.
(18:16:14) Minaplo: ["Fine. Let me tell you a story." Said Alex. "I've told you of happy, sweet Asuka, and of delighted, conquering Asuka. But there's the third Asuka that none of you know about…"]
(18:19:26) Sept: "Alright..?"
(18:20:19) Minaplo: [He leaned forward, beckoning them closer.]
(18:22:35) * Sept frowned, but still obliged, putting down his cards and leaning in, resting his face on a hand.
(18:25:16) Minaplo: ["The third Asuka, gentlemen… The one I call Sexual Predator Asuka." Said Alex, his face and voice a perfect exercise in deadly seriousness.]
(18:28:20) * Sept opened his mouth… and closed it, frowning rather deeply.
(18:28:52) Minaplo: ["What?" Asked Alex, breaking his serious facade.]
(18:35:20) Sept: "No, go ahead. Do not mind me."
(18:40:06) Minaplo: ["Well, I exaggerate a little." Said Alex, leaning back and sipping his wine. "But sometimes… She thinks along the same lines as you do, Frederic. Two young blah blah blah. She's can just be… A little forceful about what she wants."]
(18:44:50) Sept: "Fear the day she starts showing her affection in public."
(18:47:06) Minaplo: ["Oh, she already does, in her own way."]
(18:50:35) Sept: "Yeah, I mean if she discovers more direct ways."
(18:52:56) Minaplo: ["… What ways?"]
(18:54:13) Sept: "I wouldn't know! I'm not-" Sera paused to make sure he wasn't shouting. "Sexual Predator Asuka."
(18:58:55) Minaplo: ["She can be pretty direct in private." He muttered urgently. "But there's no way she'd do that in public, is there?"]
(18:59:05) Minaplo: ["… Is there?" He added in a whisper.]
(19:00:04) Sept: "Not unless she gets some kind of massive ego boost, so she can think of herself as the God Emperor of mankind -outside- her private life."
(19:02:22) Minaplo: ["But there's a part of Asuka that -always- thinks like that."]
(19:03:04) Sept: "Yeah. And she -did- save the world again just now."
(19:04:47) Minaplo: ["…" He stared down at his hand of cards.-
(19:04:57) Minaplo: ["Does this mean it's-" He placed them down. "Time to fold…?"]
(19:08:19) Sept: "Perhaps. But there's worse things in the world than being the God Emperor of mankind's favorite slave. A lot worse things."
(19:09:40) Minaplo: ["A slave to the Throne is richer than a thousand renegades." Said Frederic solemnly.-
(19:15:03) Minaplo: ["What about you?" Said Alex out of nowhere, rounding on Sera.]
(19:17:08) Sept: "What about me what?"
(19:17:10) » Join: Suzune (~ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.542-641-19-27-loop|enuzuS#ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.542-641-19-27-loop|enuzuS)
(19:19:39) Minaplo: ["Frederic has Sophie, I have the God-Emperor, what about you?"]
(19:20:22) Sept: "Complicated," Sera shrugged.
(19:22:42) Minaplo: ["We have time." Said Alex.]
(19:25:16) Sept: "Well, if you insist, there was the time I had curry with Ginny back at Asgard…"

-cont'd-

(13:50:34) Minaplo: [Alex kept staring at him with an incredibly flat look. It was positively 2-D.]
(13:57:57) * Sept had a difficult expression on. "I mean, it was -alright-, but with reincorporisation and everything, I'm especially sensitive, and she was trying this new…" He made an unintelligible hand gesture. "thing, and it was all highly experimental."-
(13:58:21) Sept: "But I did enjoy the company. Asgard was pretty tough."
(14:04:45) Minaplo: ["Oh my god." Murmured Frederic, grinning.-
(14:06:30) Minaplo: ["He's playing you." Muttered Alex. "My mother would never do it."-
(14:06:49) Minaplo: ["Uh-huh."-
(14:08:20) Minaplo: ["Don't." Warned Alex. He grabbed his glass of wine. "I'm warning you. If you take this too far, I'll kill you and Gagnier and hang you up outside the bar as an example to others." He took a mouthful.-
(14:09:41) Minaplo: ["You can't do that." Said Fred, grinning. "Spare Sophie, at least. She's pregnant!"-
(14:10:21) Minaplo: [Sera would be given the highly unpleasant sensation of feeling another person's mouthful of wine splatter before him, at least some of it flicking across his cards, shirt and face.]
(14:14:34) Sept: Just as he'd got the bloodstains off… Sept closed his eyes and wiped his face with a napkin. He leaned back and put his cards down. "Congratulations? When'd you find out?"
(14:20:59) Minaplo: ["Few months ago."]
(14:25:25) Sept: "-Huh-."-
(14:25:28) Sept: "Any telepathy yet?"
(14:28:32) Minaplo: ["Don't think so. Why?"]
(14:29:25) Sept: "Never know, could be contagious. Keep an eye out."
(14:32:36) Minaplo: ["Uh-huh. If telepathy… Ensues, I'll be more worried about whether or not she's secretly a clone."-
(14:33:32) Minaplo: ["More likely than you think. Pardon the wine, Sera." Alex dabbed at his shirt ineffectually with a napkin. "Although you know, the telepathy thing isn't that unusual either. Or wasn't. You've all heard the old A-Type stories?"]
(14:37:56) Sept: "Mmh, sfine, shirt's probably cursed. But yeah, fortune tellers, et cetera?"
(14:46:26) Minaplo: ["Mmm… Something like that, although I don't know if there were any reports of actual divination. It all came down to manipulating AT Fields, but they could only really manipulate it in one way… So if you threw fireballs? That's all you did. Some might be big, some small, but that was what you could do."-
(14:47:53) Minaplo: ["But the relevance of this story is this." He sat up a little higher, leaning in. "A-Types… Could often be related. I'm an A-Type. My mother's an A-Type Adam. Mary's an A-Type, as was Azariah. Silas, obviously, was. My grandmother… Now isn't that interesting?"]
(14:53:05) Sept: "Oh, huh. That's true. But there are souls that are inherently A-Typed, so I wonder what the exact mechanics for passing the trait on would be?"
(14:55:37) Minaplo: ["Well, here's what I'm thinking." Alex took another mouthful. "Say the rains were coming, and God asked you to build a boat. You're allowed to bring whoever you want onto the boat… Who'd you bring?"]
(14:56:56) Sept: "… what? You mean me specifically?"
(14:57:39) Minaplo: ["Well, no. Not you specifically, but in general. But alright, then. Who -would- you bring?"]
(15:02:15) Sept: "No, but that's what I meant, it's not a question with my hands already tied with Aline and Yanmei."
(15:03:32) Minaplo: ["Well it's a big fucking boat, man. Alright, I'll just give you a number: pick -ten- people you can bring."]
(15:04:10) Sept: "Was there someplace you were going with this?"
(15:04:22) Minaplo: ["Yes."]
(15:05:40) * Sept looked uncomfortable for a moment, before catching himself. "And where's that?"
(15:06:12) Minaplo: ["On a road that starts with you telling me who takes beds four to ten."]
(15:12:28) Sept: "… Ginevre, you, Mary. Freya… Mm. Tough."
(15:12:52) Minaplo: ["Mary?" Frederic's eyebrows rose.-
(15:13:36) Minaplo: ["No no, that's expected." Alex leaned forward. "So that's seven beds. The last three- Asuka, Viviane, and Tsubaki? As a quick suggestion."]
(15:15:07) Sept: "It's what I was thinking, but… mm, probably overthinking it. Yeah, they'd definitely be on the short list."
(15:15:26) Minaplo: ["Anyway, the point is, the people you've put on your boat are-"-
(15:15:33) Minaplo: ["Yanmei's gonna be pissed you didn't bring Isaiah-"-
(15:16:57) Minaplo: ["Shhh! The point is, they're all people you value. People close to you." Alex tapped the table. "Now, the A-Types are all reincarnations of the First Ancestral Race. And like your boat, the Moons are basically arks. So it'd make sense that at least some of the people on those arks would bring some friends and family and loved ones with them. Right?"]
(15:18:26) Sept: "…sure. So you mean there'd be no 'temporary' way to possess that property, at least under normal circumstances?"
(15:19:40) Minaplo: ["Mmm, more or less. The crux of it is that the souls in the Moon are tied to the Seed. We're tied to Lilith. When we die, our souls go back to her. Now, this is important: Sera, do you know how babies are formed?"-
(15:19:41) Minaplo: ["I do!"-
(15:19:43) Minaplo: ["Shh."]
(15:23:28) Sept: "…yes, Alex."
(15:24:06) Minaplo: ["Ok. What about how a soul gets into the baby?"]
(15:29:01) Sept: "Obviously if there's a strong connection, it… no, is the answer. I don't remember that soul ed class."
(15:41:16) Minaplo: ["Heh. Souls can- merge isn't the right answer, but yes, they can connect through intense emotional experiences. Sex is one of those experiences, and when conception occurs, that spark of life is formed when the connection is strongest. If there's souls waiting in Lilith they get reincarnated. If there isn't, a new soul is… Created, somehow. But we also know that the connections of past
(15:41:16) Minaplo: lives can carry over in some ways, particularly with the A-Types. So it's not too farfetched to assume that when conception occurs, that connection can summon a soul it's already familiar with… Leading to A-Types breeding A-Types."]
(15:48:57) Sept: "Yeah. I think that's right. How did we get here, again? You were saying you can throw fireballs?"
(15:52:59) Minaplo: ["No. But I could've, if I'd been born thirty years ago and not twenty. These abilities seemed to vanish during Impact, see." He drained his wine. "But consider it. 4,000 A-Types, spread across the world, maybe clumping together due to families… Some would unlock their abilities, not all. So that's a vanishingly tiny minority… Easily overlooked due to small data pools for provability.
(15:53:00) Minaplo: What you could have, though, is families quietly passing down the technique to understanding their abilities from child to child…"]
(15:58:31) Sept: "Uh huh. That's one way the Caines will have stayed in power for so long."
(15:59:42) Minaplo: ["So you're saying that you… Both… Come from an ancient line of wizards." Said Frederic skeptically.]
(16:04:25) Sept: "Yes. And the Evangelion are our way to get back at the world for taking away our wizardry."
(16:10:46) Minaplo: ["Actually, to be honest, I don't think that's what happened with the Caines." Said Alex after a moment.]
(16:11:20) Sept: "I wasn't being serious."
(16:12:39) Minaplo: ["I know you weren't. I'm just musing."]
(16:16:32) Sept: "What do you mean, then?"
(16:20:41) Minaplo: ["I mean… I don't think the Caines unlocked their powers, or if they did, they didn't -keep- doing it."]
(16:22:38) Sept: "What makes you say that? I mean, if you have a limited supply of souls that are essentially recycled for the bloodline, it can ensure that kind of continuity, but why wouldn't they cultivate magic, then?"
(16:24:04) Minaplo: ["Why? I couldn't tell you. But I don't remember reading of any of them doing it. Do you remember any event or anything like that? Has something akin to it ever come up in memory?"]
(16:25:38) Sept: "No. But like you said, it wouldn't have been anything huge, just little things to help them along."
(16:28:42) Minaplo: ["Yeah, but… Ok. Let me illustrate. You know Raskova."]
(16:28:53) Sept: "Uh huh."
(16:29:12) Minaplo: ["She was an A-Type who unlocked her abilities before Impact."]
(16:29:28) Sept: "Yeah?"
(16:30:17) Minaplo: ["She could manipulate the physical properties of her body in certain ways. She could jump onto buildings, or lift things heavier than she was, or take a bullet without suffering any real damage…"]
(16:31:12) Sept: "You sure? That sounds like a lot more than a single trick."
(16:33:03) Minaplo: ["'you sure'? Of course I'm bloody sure." Snapped Alex. "But it's all the same thing- it's shaping her body in some way. If someone's ability was mind manipulation- if they could make you see something, or make you -not- see something, would they count as two different tricks to you, or what?"]
(16:36:49) * Sept leaned forward again. "Of course not, but won't some of that have come from her drugs?"
(16:38:38) Minaplo: ["No! That's the thing that's so important to understand. She never took the drugs until after Impact." He leaned forward towards Sera, a strange light in his eyes all of a sudden. "Do you get what I mean? Losing her ability during Impact was so traumatic for her that she resorted to a drug that cuts -decades- off your lifespan in order to gain some semblance of it back."]
(16:42:00) Sept: "Alright, I see that, 'course she did. Even without identifying with that kind of strength, it would still be highly addictive."
(16:43:40) Minaplo: ["Sure." Alex sat back, satisfied, avoiding potential awkwardness amongst unseen audiences. "Now… Honestly, I can't really see any of that amongst the Caines. Sure, the flag-bearers of the family have all gone nuts in their own ways, but not quite nuts in -that- way. Now again, I don't know -why- they'd avoid tempering that power, but…"-
(16:44:00) Minaplo: ["Maybe they didn't know." Suggested Fred. He looked at Sera. "That likely, or… Am I just way in over my head?"]
(16:48:59) Sept: "Eh, possible. But there's any number of reasons. With diverse talents, the Caine heirs might've been more tempted to pursue their own goals instead of taking up the family mantle. Or maybe they didn't want to attract attention, get dragged into Holy Grail Wars or something."
(16:49:32) Minaplo: [They both looked at each other quizzically.-
(16:49:46) Minaplo: ["What… Like Indiana Jones?" Offered Frederic.]
(16:50:18) Sept: "Like, you know. Magic family feuds."
(16:54:30) Minaplo: [The two of them frowned down at the table.-
(16:56:05) Minaplo: ["Oh, yeah, I get it." Said Fred. "Like the War of the Roses, but everyone's throwing around lightning bolts or turning back time. That'd get messy."-
(16:56:30) Minaplo: ["Yeah, like our family's never caused messy feuds." Said Alex sarcastically. "But I actually like that interpretation, though."]
(16:57:00) Sept: "Yeah, like magic's for the riff-raff, low-tier A-Types."
(17:00:50) Minaplo: ["Of course, and a Caine doesn't need magic to…" Alex frowned. "Rule the world. Hm. Actually, that fits the psychology pretty well."]
(17:01:44) Sept: "Yeah, see? We got this. Mary doesn't have the only claim."
(17:02:18) Minaplo: ["Claim to what?" Asked Fred.]
(17:04:27) Sept: "Family throne, I don't know, whatever comes with it. I can't imagine the sheer amount of resources and information she'll have inherited - or taken - from Jeremiah."
(17:06:56) Minaplo: ["Quite a lot." Muttered Alex grimly. "Money, political power…" He sighed.-
(17:07:04) Minaplo: ["The power over life and death, I suppose."]
(17:12:28) Sept: "Uh huh. And that's also why she gets a spot on the ark. She -is- capable. She hasn't backed down from that power in the least."
(17:22:30) Minaplo: ["But can you say she's used it for the right ends?" Asked Frederic.]
(17:24:24) * Sept scoffed. "Come on, really? Yeah, it's entirely valid, given the stakes. She knows it'll work."
(17:26:17) Minaplo: [Frederic folded his arms. He didn't look anywhere near impressed. "Explain."]
(17:32:07) Sept: "It's religion all over again! She knows she's a capable god, and she has a plan she knows she can realize with the resources she has. She -knows- that everyone else with conflicting plans has inferior resources or resolve. Most importantly, she knows that if none of these plans are realized, all life will be doomed to oblivion for eternity. These are the things she knows."-
(17:33:11) Sept: "Humanity and Angelkind are standing bickering on the train tracks of eternal damnation. The way she wishes to shove them off the tracks makes her a terrible, reprehensible person. But walking away would make her even worse."-
(17:33:50) Sept: "It doesn't matter if the train is real or not. You do the best you can, based on what you -know-."
(17:41:58) Minaplo: [There was a silence at the table, one that lasted for about ten seconds. Frederic stared at Sera, and went pale; he moved to say something when he was cut off.-
(17:42:40) Minaplo: ["Hey, no fair." Said Blue, ambling over. "Talking about bullshit Caine Logic? Why, that's one of my favouritest topics to ever exist, and I am disappointed that I wasn't invited to the party."]
(17:45:48) Sept: A groan escaped Sera. "If you like it so much, why did you ever quit?"
(17:49:52) Minaplo: ["Well there wasn't ever so much 'talking' as there was 'blind unthinking acceptance of', and you know, that… annoys me." Said Blue cheerily. He grabbed a chair and dragged it over to the table, sitting down. "Now, as the token dude here whose life has been majorly fucked by Caine Logic and the progenitors thereof, I really do feel that I could bring something to the discussion."]
(17:51:16) Sept: "'course you do. I'm pretty sure the mood is unsalvageable, anyway. Sorry about that. Go ahead."
(17:54:49) Minaplo: ["See, firstly, I have to acknowledge that a good portion of people pretty much agree with you if it were like, a generic 'Person A' argument and not Mary Caine. Because man, people really hate her guts. Yeah, even Fred here agrees with you, he just doesn't want to admit it because he's gotten all ragey and shit."-
(17:55:45) Minaplo: [Frederic went red, and for an instant, it seemed inevitable that he'd attack Blue. But Blue ignored him and continued.-
(17:59:02) Minaplo: ["But… See, I don't." Said Blue happily. "Because it all comes back to that circular knot that Caine Logic runs off. Caine Logic says that when you see two fuckers on train tracks grapplin' at each other, you do exactly two things: first, you go 'What fuckers!'; second, you get right in there and grapple the fuck outta 'em."]
(18:01:01) Sept: "How do you account for the fact there's no endgame to the conflict without intervention? Anything's better than mutual annihilation."
(18:03:34) » Suzune|ZZZ is now known as Suzune
(18:05:01) Minaplo: ["Well, for starters, by pointing out that it's not a fact. It's an opinion. And it's shit. The exact same method used to end the conflict is the same fuckin' method that started it in the first place."]
(18:08:15) * Sept shook his head. "Everyone can be manipulated. Nothing is certain. So there comes a point where you see your opinion is more strongly backed than another side's. Where you know better."
(18:12:26) Minaplo: ["Uh-huh. So… We agree that it's just your opinion. Ok, point one to me, right?" He asked, turning to Alex.-
(18:12:38) Minaplo: [Alex let out a grunt, burying his face in his hands.]
(18:16:58) Sept: "This is already falling apart if you don't believe in an impending peril facing both Adam and Lilith. If it's the Logic you want to debate, we'll need a common premise."
(18:18:24) Minaplo: ["What's your peril?"]
(18:24:16) Sept: "Adam, Lilith and some other Seeds were supposed to have planets of their own for their people to live on, and all these peoples were supposed to come together later to defeat an ancient cosmic evil. With me?"
(18:26:48) Minaplo: ["Uh-huh." Blue placed one elbow on the table, resting his head on the palm of his hand, staring at Sera with apparently utter sincerity.]
(18:32:58) Sept: "One of these people missing could already pose really unfortunate problems for the survival of all the rest, since one race just 'winning out' won't imbue them with any additional power. The net result is still negative, unless the surviving race - let's just assume that's us - transcends their present state somehow, as should be possible through Instrumentality or other reconstruction. A peaceful resolution… seems impossible at this stage."
(18:38:28) Minaplo: ["So what you're saying is, the longer time we spend fighting, the less time we're spending gettin' ready for fighting space Lucifer. Am I right?"]
(18:42:38) Sept: "It's not really about time, per se, I think. But now should be the only time you could unite either race that way?"
(18:44:00) Minaplo: ["Okay. So now's your once chance to end the whooseywhatsits and fulfill the ancient obligation and sort of undo all the shit, so we can fight Space Lucifer at some point in the future. Right?"]
(18:46:46) Sept: "Sure."
(18:47:09) Minaplo: ["And your preferred method is to turn us all into a pile of LCL that can't do shit."]
(18:49:40) Sept: "What, no. That's Mary."
(18:53:52) Minaplo: ["Right, so -her- preferred method is to turn us all into a pile of LCL that can't do shit."]
(18:56:53) Sept: "Yeah."
(19:00:48) Minaplo: ["… That doesn't help anything in the fucking slightest." Said Blue.]
(19:03:03) * Sept shrugged. "She's the one with the Eternity Drive. It should function in a fairly similar way, so whatever uses she's getting out of that would be magnified immeasurably."
(19:11:58) Minaplo: ["You know what? I'm going to leave that for now, because fuck if either of us know anything about that beyond pure speculation. Here's this, though. Ok, space Lucifer is on the table and I'm going to accept that. However, let's talk about a peaceful resolution. You say its impossible. Why?"]
(19:19:14) Sept: "Mm. It requires a vast majority of both sides to accept peace as a result. It's something that can't be sprung on the people by the ones in control - like through forced relocation, or that enmity will find a way to stay alive as long as it takes. We've been entrenched in this for a while, and everyone's lost something. They're not going to back down without a miracle."

-recont'd-

(14:43:09) Minaplo: [Mr. Blue clapped his hands and grinned. "And boom, motherfucker. Boom. That's where I win."]
(14:44:43) Sept: The corners of Sera's mouth turned upward slightly. "You win because there's a chance?"
(14:56:16) Minaplo: ["No, I win because what you've just said proves why Caine Logic is terrible. Here's the thing." He sat up in his chair and thumped the table. "You say a peaceful resolution isn't possible because no one's gonna back down. It's what I was talking about earlier- you see two people fightin', and you decide to end it by fightin' them too. Or heck, you're fighting, and you decide the only way
(14:56:17) Minaplo: to end the fighting is to… Keep fighting. To fight until someone can't fight anymore."-
(14:57:41) Minaplo: ["Yet every fucker always says they don't like war, unless one's being fought out of necessity, and then well it has to be fought to the end. You just admitted this isn't being fought out of necessity. Right now, we can get peace at a bargain price, and all it takes is for everyone to stop fighting."]
(15:14:51) * Sept leaned forward, hands on his lap, wearing an idle expression. He was definitely engaging Blue, but it was unclear if he was actually taking him seriously. "That's right. Our counterargument is that the Seeds of both races retain control of their populations, manipulating them in subtle ways to try and annihilate the other Seed. The ways to get around that would be, again, the relocation of one or both races, or some kind of grand power to override that control, which requires a God, which requires our fight, which, as long as both sides don't have their armies stand down, will also cause fairly massive collateral damage in the human population. This part's not integral, you can choose to ignore or not believe it if you want to."
(15:17:12) Minaplo: [It was Alex who spoke up next. "What about the peace treaty Caine was offered?"]
(15:19:56) Sept: "Yeah, we can shift to the practical issues. The reason I mentioned the Seeds is because the more likely way to accomplish that would be for the armies to lay down their arms, not for the leaders to decide not to use them. So how do you get them to do that?"
(15:26:13) Minaplo: ["People won't fight without a reason. Even if that reason is a lie or an excuse." Said Alex. "Humanity's fight has always been defensive. Remove the threat and the armies don't have any purpose."]
(15:27:55) * Sept shrugged, leaning back again. "Too abstract. What threat? How do we remove it without fighting?"
(15:28:31) Minaplo: [Alex scratched the back of his neck. "In this case, the Angels, and we remove it through the peace treaty- the Angels leave with Adam and do their thing elsewhere."]
(15:34:11) Sept: "Oh, -that- kind of treaty. Alright. So we just open up a line through the emissary or with Ikari's help and convince them we're actually the ones leading our race, not Mary."
(15:35:58) Minaplo: ["I'm all on board." Said Alex. "But of course our chances of actually succeeding are much lower thanks to her 'response' in the first place."-
(15:36:33) Minaplo: [Mr. Blue scoffed. "Two dudes are fighting on a train track. There's no train, but you want to justify you intervening. The answer: create the train."-
(15:36:53) Minaplo: ["But either way, you two are still overthinking this." Said Mr. Blue. "I already have the perfect answer. Everyone stops fighting."]
(15:39:07) Sept: "Again, hero. How?"
(15:39:15) Minaplo: ["They choose to."]
(15:39:51) Sept: "Even if that means death for them personally?"
(15:40:01) Minaplo: ["Why would it mean death?"]
(15:43:53) Sept: "Some are forced to fight, are only alive in the first place because they promise to fight. Some identify with it, and stopping might as well be the same as death. And are we assuming all this happens instantaneously? If not, some will be made examples of."
(15:51:23) Minaplo: ["All situations created because some fucker chose to fight in the first place." Said Mr. Blue, sitting back, one arm over the backrest of the chair. "You seem to think it's like some kinda lever, where the lever's stuck in 'fight' and I need to push it over to 'not fight' through some kinda huge effort, but it's not. That's a nice fantasy, a nice lie for people to buy into, but it ain't
(15:51:24) Minaplo: it. It's actually two buttons, and we just keep hammerin' the 'fight' button over and over again. The people forced to fight are made to push it by fuckers who choose to fight, and those who promise to fight owe their promises to fuckers who choose to fight. Some have been -made- to identify with it by people who choose to fight. It won't matter if it takes an instant or a fuckin' century.
(15:51:24) Minaplo: You push the fuckin' Not Fight button, you keep pushin' it, and eventually the button gets pushed enough that fightin' doesn't happen."]
(15:58:20) Sept: "-How-? What's the resistance's next move, Blue?"
(15:59:05) Minaplo: ["Better question: What's -your- next move? What'd happen to you if you didn't fight?"]
(16:02:32) Sept: "I'd become a pile of LCL that can't do shit?"
(16:02:45) Minaplo: ["Why?"]
(16:06:16) Sept: "Because Mary keeps a stronger grip on her pieces. She won't relent that easily. She knows - sincerely believes - she can solve this. She is not interested in peace. And her Primes will be enough to finish the job even if the actual armies desert her."
(16:07:28) Minaplo: ["Uh-huh. So what problem is she solving, and why isn't she interested in peace?"]
(16:16:42) Sept: "The problem of the Human-Angel conflict and, subsequently, space Lucifer. The problem of destiny making this world uncaring. She's not interested in peace because she can fix both of those things."
(16:19:35) Minaplo: ["But we can fix both of those things too." Said Blue. "-And- your boy just said she coulda fixed the Human-Angel conflict. All that woulda left was the Destiny problem, and what's that stem from? Seeds choosing to fight like assholes. So once again we're back to the problem of trying to solve a problem that was created by assholes choosing to fight, by choosing to fight, and now -we're-
(16:19:36) Minaplo: the fucking problem."]
(16:27:10) Sept: "True, and that may have been just because of her pride, which you can blame on the Caines, guilty as charged. Yet we're back to the point where humanity can only be tricked into this kind of unity during this conflict - leading to the available resources that allow us to initiate Instrumentality or an alternative. Yes, without Caine Logic, the Angel War might already be over. So what do you do?"
(16:30:57) Minaplo: ["Here's the way I see it." Said Blue, tapping the table. "We're in this shitty situation. And as I said, I really don't think many people are gonna agree that not fightin' is the way out of it. Not many people on this ship, at least. So yeah, looks like fighting is the hand we've been given. So the only thing we can do is reduce what that fightin' means. This is… Mmm…"-
(16:33:37) Minaplo: ["Let's call it Miss Rei's Wisdom." He nodded slowly. "If you can't stop the fightin', or if you need to fight because there really is no way to stop Caine? You make fightin' itself less intrinsically shitty. You fight, but you don't ever kill. You beat your enemy, but you let 'em keep their lives. Ultimately the hope is shit stops and fightin' itself fades away, but I'm willin' to settle
(16:33:37) Minaplo: for fightin' without killin' in our specific situation."-
(16:36:44) Minaplo: ["But ultimately, the point stands. Our problems stem from someone else choosin' to fight. If the Seeds had met here, and gone, 'whoops, isn't this embarrassing', and, I dunno, thrown Adam to Mars or something, then there wouldn't be any fightin', and we'd still have Angels and… Whatever we'd be… And we wouldn't need to have a conflict to get the resources to uplift in the first place.
(16:36:44) Minaplo: But -because- they chose to fight, we're locked in our current situation which could endanger everything due to Space Lucifer. So whilst I might concede somewhat on our current situation, based on that shit I just said, I think you can agree that in general, choosing not to fight in the first place leads to better outcomes in the long run."]
(16:41:48) Sept: "Yeah, alright. So what you're saying is, a world where you get dragged into conflicts for no reason is stupid?"
(16:43:04) Minaplo: ["Yep. And the only way to fix that stupidity is to try to ensure in the long run, the choice to not fight overtakes the choice to fight." He nodded sagely. "That's why I'm gonna vote for Miss Rei to become President after this shit's all done."]
(16:46:52) Sept: "You should've been the third sibling. Azariah was always the odd one out, anyway. You've got this act down, except for the tiny part where you look up to -her- so much."
(16:47:29) Minaplo: ["… Hm? What act's that, exactly? And what's wrong with lookin' up to her?"]
(16:51:18) Sept: "This unshakable superhero thing. Fit right in with the Caines, but they tend to not find their role models from the outside."
(16:52:43) Minaplo: ["Hah. Man, it's my ideal, but you know I haven't always lived up to it. I'm a bad fucker, I've done bad shit, I've killed- although probably less than everyone else at this table, mind you- so the best I can say is that I'm tryin' to live up to that ideal and not always doin' so good."-
(16:55:17) Minaplo: ["But Miss Rei's my hope. I promised myself. I said I'd see if she could kill in even the worst circumstances. So I kidnapped her most beloved person whilst he was injured. She found me, injured, completely worn down, her inhibitions thin… I goaded her. I told her I'd killed her Alphonse. She said she'd kill me. And she didn't. She forgave me after all that, after I'd hurt her so fuckin'
(16:55:17) Minaplo: horribly, or so it'd seemed."-
(16:56:10) Minaplo: ["Now what I did was -super- shitty. If she'd killed me, I probably wouldn't have blamed her one bit. But she didn't. She lives my ideal better than I do, so she's my hero, and I also promised her I'd serve her perfectly until I died, so that's that."-
(16:56:29) Minaplo: ["Still," He looked pleased. "'unshakeable superhero thing'. I kinda like that. I've always wanted to be a superhero."]
(17:04:06) Sept: "Uh huh. So that's our day's work? 'Would be nice if Mary or the Seeds would've nipped this in the bud'? 'Nice if we could lay down our arms, but too bad everyone's such lunatics'?"
(17:08:16) Minaplo: ["I think the real gain is realising 'Hey, this shit ain't justifiable, and if you think it is, then you're fuckin' lying to yourself and you could literally cause the apocalypse'."]
(17:16:20) Sept: "…alright?"
(17:18:21) Minaplo: ["Just remember that the next time you're tempted to overcomplicate things. S'just one little rule, man. Most of us get it taught to us as kids: don't fight, don't kill. You just gotta stop findin' shitty excuses around it as you get older."-
(17:18:52) Minaplo: ["Now, I'm closin' up in five minutes, so you all better get finished up here." Mr. Blue stood up, slowly pulling off his coat jacket. "And don't forget to pay for your drinks, either."]
(17:22:33) * Sept sighed, looking at Frederic and Alex apologetically. "Sorry about that. I really thought that'd be more entertaining."
(17:24:09) Minaplo: [Frederic was sitting there in stony silence.-
(17:24:15) Minaplo: ["Entertaining how?" Asked Alex skeptically.]
(17:27:01) Sept: "If say, one of us would've totally flipped, or otherwise cornered the other. If we'd actually come up with something."
(17:30:35) Minaplo: ["Come up with something… What? Some sort of solution?"]
(17:31:30) Sept: "Some common cause to encourage both the EUF and UN to disarm, for example."
(17:35:10) Minaplo: ["The common cause is there." Said Alex, shrugging. "Want of peace is its own cause. It's just like you said, though. My dear ol' aunt's not interested in peace." He stood up, letting out a stretch. "I should be getting back anyway. Time to enslave myself to the throne of the God-Emperor."]
(17:37:11) Sept: "Hehehe. Have fun!"
(17:38:35) Minaplo: [Alex swatted Sera around the back of the head. "You shut up. And not a -word- to anyone about certain discussed topics." He muttered, before heading off, waving to them both.-
(17:43:34) Minaplo: [Frederic sighed, moving his chair back. "Sera. I'm a soldier. A fighter. I don't know much about what you two just said, but I know when a cause is worth fighting and dying for, and I know that's what the fight against Caine is. So let me ask you this: whose world do you want realised? Ours or her's?"]
(17:52:47) Sept: "Hers isn't much of a world to dream of. It works, but… I wouldn't give it much more credit than that. I still want something more! I'm not sure if the UEF is exactly that, but overcoming Mary is the first step to anything else."-
(17:53:09) Sept: "Come on, Frederic. I'd tell you if you were being played."
(17:55:05) Minaplo: ["What -do- you want, Sera? Do you know?"]
(17:58:19) Sept: "… I have days when I do."
(17:59:08) Minaplo: [There was a strange expression on his face. Was there pity in it…? Perhaps. It was hard to tell.-
(18:01:00) Minaplo: [He stood up. "Sera, I consider myself your friend, and I don't want that to change. But I'm gonna be an honest friend too. You've changed a lot from the young kid I knew when you first joined the programme. From that confused little guy I helped to move in. Who wondered why he had to wear a uniform to go to school, or to go to school in the first place, who was utterly speechless when I
(18:01:00) Minaplo: told him he'd go in the uniform or he'd go naked."-
(18:05:03) Minaplo: ["In some ways you've changed for the better, but in some other ways… I'm not so sure. You might not miss who you were back then, but I do. The Sera that Patrice and I knew back then was an innocent kid in his own way, faithful and honest in this real intrinsic, absolute way. The way he saw the world was simpler, and in some ways I think he was right in that view."-
(18:06:49) Minaplo: [He shrugged, pulling on his uniform coat. "I don't know anymore. Some of the shit you says pisses me off, quite frankly, but if you say you'd tell me if I were being played, then the best I can do is just trust in that and hope for the best." He held a hand out to Sera.]
(18:22:38) * Sept hesitated, looking at the hand. "Th-Thanks. Look, that Sera, even after Patrice… all he wanted to do after was get Paris back. Make sure that would happen to no one else, to… put it behind him. He was happy Viviane hadn't had to see it. The only thing I -can't- justify is trying to be that kind of hero."-
(18:23:34) Sept: "But I want to have a way back, if it's all over. That's why Freya isn't here."
(18:26:30) Minaplo: [There definitely was a kind of sadness in Fred's face. He withdrew the hand, but ran it through Sera's hair first, fondly; then the other hand came around, and together they wrapped themselves around Sera's shoulders, Frederic crouching down to make the hug easier. He rested his own head against Sera's, and for a moment Sera could hear the tears.]
(18:30:01) * Sept tried so very hard to say something, but he had nothing, just returning the embrace instead.
(18:31:59) Minaplo: [After a minute or so, Frederic pulled back, sniffling slightly. "Here, do us all a favour?"]
(18:33:21) Sept: "What?" He said, cautiously.
(18:36:20) Minaplo: ["It's the springtime. Flowers are blooming, the birds are frolicking… Follow in their fine example- and the one Alex just set- and find yourself a damned girlfriend already."]
(18:40:50) Sept: "Um. Well, there's several obstacles there…"
(18:42:49) Minaplo: ["Like?"]
(18:44:27) Sept: "I'm weird, and hard to approach when I've been piloting."
(18:44:53) Minaplo: ["Aline's weird, and can be hard to approach, period."]
(18:45:33) Sept: "…I resent that," he muttered.
(18:46:48) Minaplo: ["I mean it in a good way. C'mon." He punched Sera in the shoulder lightly. "Why don't you wait a few tables here one day? Or just hang out by the pool? Hell, there's plenty of young ladies who'd be willing to give -the- de Pteres at least the time of day…"]
(18:49:55) Sept: "Yeah, I appreciate it, but… look, I understand. Okay? I just have to be a bit careful about this."
(18:51:42) Minaplo: ["Uh-huh. It's cool, I get it. Just do try for me, y'know? Mana Kirishima in the SoS Task Force is pretty cute, and she's accepting of all types… Just a suggestion." He grinned. "I'll see you later."]
(18:54:51) Sept: "Alright. See ya!"

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