He Said Nagisa You Bastard

[05:58:29] <AdEvaGM> [The day after Christmas. Just after midday.-
07[05:59:44] <AdEvaGM> [After last night's excitement, Aline and Shinji retired to their hotel rooms to sleep… Probably very late. Rei remained at the hospital, turning a stern red eye on anyone who even dared to walk past Isaiah's room.-
07[06:00:10] <AdEvaGM> [Eventually however, Aline- after waking up, of course- would receive a phone call from Director Kirihara, requesting her assistance at the crime scene along with Shinji.]
10[06:06:48] * Aline had been a bit puzzled by the request, but… Well, it was a good idea nonetheless, to help out. She even mulled over it for a while while she dressed for the day - deciding on one of her 'casual outfits'. Which meant a plain burgundy T-shirt and black glossy shorts to go with it. Even in December, this country's weather… As soon as she could properly get herself and Shinji /equipped/, though, Aline was on her way.
[06:11:05] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji was wearing an equally simple white shirt and black trouser ensemble. An S2 car was waiting for them at the door to the hotel.-
[06:12:15] <AdEvaGM> [They 'felt' the crime scene before they saw it. People seemed be avoiding even heading in that direction, and many people were moving quickly, glancing up at the roofs around them.-
[06:12:53] <AdEvaGM> [The crime scene itself was taped off, police officers and S2 agents milling about the now-empty park.]
10[06:17:38] * Aline probably looked more than a bit out of place here, really, with all of the… actual disaster-relief officials around. …As opposed to disaster-instigating officials like herself. But she tried to remain calm, as she headed towards whatever concentration of people might betray Kirihara's location.
07[06:18:53] <AdEvaGM> [Kirihara herself was speaking to a few individuals. Even though Aline didn't know who she was… It was obvious by the way she stood, and how people seemed to listen to her.]
10[06:19:55] * Aline walked up to her, bowing politely. "…So, Kirihara-san… what would we do for you here?" It was just as polite as the bow, but had the slightest note of confusion as to what she /could/ do here.
07[06:25:33] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji followed after. "Good afternoon, Misaki-san." He bowed as well, a little shallower than Aline.-
07[06:26:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Shinji-kun. Aline Blanc-san. Good to see you both." She said. "I know this seems unorthodox, but the Director said you might be able to help."]
10[06:28:57] * Aline looked… well, still confused, but in concurring way. "I can see how it'd be unorthodox. But… Given our knowledge of the victim and possible psychological collateral victim… And I suppose other talents, I can see how it'd help. Where should we start? Witnesses?… Or forensics? I'm, to be honest, not sure which to start on, though I'm not so sure of my skill in forensic analysis."
[06:32:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions first."]
10[06:32:26] <09Aline> "Oh!… Ah, certainly, go ahead."
[06:32:53] <AdEvaGM> [Kirihara gestured them toward a nearby park bench.]
10[06:33:23] * Aline gestured at Shinji to follow as well, and went over to sit there, folding her legs nigh-instinctively.
[06:34:29] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji followed.-
[06:34:36] <AdEvaGM> ["How well did you know the victim?"]
10[06:37:03] * Aline scratched her chin a bit. "…Only tentatively. I've spoken with him and I know how he relates to who I /do/ know well, but… he himself is more of a friend that I meet more sparingly. It's harder to say. I mean, there's a lot I don't know - what his family is like sans that his father feels like he's perpetually annoyed at something, what he likes to do in the day, deeper aspects of personality, that sort of thing. I used to see him at school before I became a pilot, but I never actually met him back then."
[06:37:43] <AdEvaGM> ["I see. Then what can you tell me about his personality from what you know?"]
10[06:42:01] <09Aline> "Well, he's nice, a bit quiet… probably used to be much more shy before his relationship with Yanmei. Nowadays has a sort of soft inner strength to him. He's also very considerate and helpful - one of the few times I've spoken with him that I remember /clearly/ was asking for help talking to Yanmei, so I know he's willing to help others with their social problems, for sure. He's… not the sort of person to make enemies by his own actions, though."
[06:43:35] <AdEvaGM> ["No?" Asked Kirihara. "What can you tell me about Pilot Zhang?"]
10[06:50:02] * Aline suddenly pushed her fingers together, and altogether looked a lot more nervous. "I'm having trouble understanding her, really. What I know for /sure/ is that she likes to repress her own emotional reactions to things, keep a level public appearance, and tends to lay on public relations-like language when talking to anyone who might affect her reputation. The more speculative parts… eesh, let's see here. She seems to be easily angered at those that wrong her, even if she cools down later. Ferociously protective of Isaiah, as well. Hm, hm… and has this really weird wanting-to-look-adult complex I can't get my head around. Of course… part of the reason why I have such trouble figuring her out is because we tend to get into arguments, including a relatively recent one in a hotel here. I worry about her mental state and what she ends up doing by giving in to her indignation rather than trying to see things from a far wider perspective, but then she takes offense at being analyzed, and I get frustrated and… well, we usually end at yelling at each other for it. I know, at least, for me it's just a form of caring for her that I just can't figure out how to make her appreciate."
[06:54:34] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm." Kirihara rubbed her chin. "But she sounds like a careful person who wouldn't try to make enemies."]
10[06:59:56] * Aline let her fingers fall onto her lap. "The only person I can even think of who's been remotely hostile to her is Kaworu Nagisa. And he had already acted on his feelings and… I don't know what happened, but he had said it wasn't satisfying for him to feel vengeful. …I don't know if you read the reports on the action against the LN armor division out in Africa, but Atticus Nelson had died in battle after betraying our side… Yanmei was the one who made the kill. He was apparently close to Atticus, but again… He /already/ confronted her about it. So this just empties the field again."
[07:06:41] <AdEvaGM> ["Nagisa?" Kirihara pointed in the distance, to where a familiar-looking grey-haired boy was speaking to a pair of agents. "That one?"-
[07:06:48] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji stood up immediately, his hands balling into fists.]
10[07:10:02] * Aline gasped at that. A sharp curse in French /almost/ slipped from her tongue, but she stopped it in one of the early syllables. "…Yes. Please, I'd ask you to keep him away from us. He's… emotionally predatory, and it tampered with our-" She gestured to Shinji. "-relationship. I don't want to have to be too close to a person with that sort of history with me."
02[07:11:25] * Oat (ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.13-832-632-022d|taO#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.13-832-632-022d|taO) Quit (Quit: <Mina‘Haplo> ’T' is for Tao, who is Tsundere as hell :|)
[07:12:27] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji started to walk, -very- angrily, towards Kaworu.-
[07:12:58] <AdEvaGM> ["… Oh damn. Hold on." She started to head towards the agents as well, making vague 'shoo!' gestures with her hands.]
10[07:13:52] * Aline stood up, herself. "…This is not going to end well…" She had to follow, simply because she /might/ be able to avert catastrophe. Somehow.
[07:14:31] <AdEvaGM> ["NAGISA, YOU BASTARD!"-
[07:15:05] <AdEvaGM> [Nagisa looked over, and for a split second his face formed a picture-perfect 'shit, shit' expression. "What-?"-
[07:15:21] <AdEvaGM> ["Go away, Agent Nagisa! Your business here is concluded!" Said Kirihara hurriedly.]
03[07:15:55] * Oat (ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.13-832-632-022d|taO#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.13-832-632-022d|taO) has joined #nervfrance
10[07:18:10] * Aline blinked. She was slightly taken aback by that, but she advanced, a bit meekly now, behind the S2 director.
[07:18:51] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji started to run now.-
[07:20:41] <AdEvaGM> [About a metre from Kaworu he pulled his hand back and swung, Kaworu ducking out of the way at the last second, sweeping his leg under Shinji- dropping the boy into a heap- for the few seconds it took for Shinji to spring back up.]
10[07:24:21] * Aline continued onwards, but her face was scored with worry, and her posture was not in the slightest bit ready to intervene. She didn't want to be aiding such a mess, but… She really couldn't blame Shinji for it either. Especially when the guy's reaction to her saying she couldn't live with what she did, included yet more pushy seduction attempts. Ugh.
[07:30:06] <AdEvaGM> ["You!" Shinji swung another fist, which Kaworu dodged. "You- predator! Taking advantage of a vulnerable girl- I'll kill you-"-
[07:30:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Things like that wouldn't happen if you -understood- her, Shin-chan-"-
[07:30:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Don't call me that!" With a ferocious tackle, the two fell to the ground, brawling and punching.]
10[07:34:43] * Aline came up over the scene, staring downwards at the both of them with shock reflected on her face. While she wasn't crying just yet, the broad, distraught face that sometimes came with more intense bouts of that, became her expression as she cried out. "P-please, I… I'm… I…" She couldn't come up with anything. She wanted to say something about trying to figure out how to end this with a quiet detente or something of that sort, but she just couldn't bring out the words to explain it.
07[07:43:18] <AdEvaGM> [Unfortunately Aline was surrounded by people who didn't believe in 'quiet detentes'. Shinji was a pilot.-
[07:43:52] <AdEvaGM> [S2 Agents grabbed the combatants, burly hands pulling both of them apart. Shinji was sporting a black eye, whilst Kaworu was nursing a bruised chin and a bleeding nose.]
10[07:48:03] * Aline …well, getting them to stop one way or another… that'd do for her. For now. But she just shook her head. "It's… n-not that simple. Nor is it fair to… try to ma… to make it that simple." While she didn't even know the implications of saying this… "You can't blame him for something you probably cheated your way through anyway! I should have just… realized that."
[07:50:15] <AdEvaGM> ["It's not blame." Said Kaworu. He tried to smile behind the blood. "It's -education-."]
[07:50:22] <AdEvaGM> ["W-What does that mean-?!"]
10[07:55:48] * Aline realized she had no /real/ way to explain this in front of S2 Agents in the middle of an otherwise-public area. Goddamn secrets. "That doesn't change it. Just… Stop pushing him. This is not the time for that, the time for that has passed. I… I think… I…" She held her head briefly. "Ugh."
[07:58:24] <AdEvaGM> ["Release him. Agent Nagisa, please go away." Said Kirihara.-
[07:58:54] <AdEvaGM> [The agents released Kaworu, who rubbed his arms. "I really didn't mean either of you any harm. Quite the opposite. I'll see you both later."]
10[08:03:09] * Aline looked very strange, like she was torn between a sense of horror at something else unrelated, and distraught frustration, outwardly. "But… the… pain you caused…" She sighed, and let it drop at that.
[08:07:14] <AdEvaGM> [Kaworu started to walk away.-
[08:10:27] <AdEvaGM> ["I caused?" he said over his shoulder. "You know as well as I do that that wasn't the case." He headed over to a nearby car and climbed inside.]
10[08:12:59] * Aline sighed yet again. "Fate despises my love." Cryptic, short, and to the point.
[08:13:32] <AdEvaGM> [The other two agents released Shinji, who didn't, to his credit, pursue the fleeing car. "Sorry."]
10[08:16:07] * Aline craned her head over to him. "I did say that I thought, if I were in your shoes, I would've done that." Compared to the more dramatic sense of fragile agony she showed earlier, Aline's emotions now were a lot colder. Almost… grim in its sense of defeat. "I didn't know what I could've said anyway. This sucks."
[08:17:08] <AdEvaGM> [Kirihara watched awkwardly at the events that unfolded. She coughed lightly. "Um. This might be a bad time, but…"]
10[08:17:39] * Aline turned back. "…Yes?"
[08:18:25] <AdEvaGM> ["Could we proceed with the investigation?"]
10[08:19:09] * Aline looked at Shinji overly sheepishly. As much as it could come out from the sheer 'blah' she felt. "…Right. Sorry."
[08:19:38] <AdEvaGM> [The agents coughed politely and dispersed.-
[08:23:28] <AdEvaGM> ["The shooting was actually rather strange." Said Kirihara, guiding the two over to where the shooting itself had occured. Blood was on the grass- dried blood.]
02[08:23:48] * Oat (ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.13-832-632-022d|taO#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.13-832-632-022d|taO) Quit (Quit: <Mina‘Haplo> ’T' is for Tao, who is Tsundere as hell :|)
10[08:26:23] * Aline tried to… keep her emotions a little more under control. Not because she really wanted to suppress them for appearances - just thinking about that made her think of Yanmei - but because she felt that she had to concentrate now, and it wasn't helping. "Strange how?"
[08:28:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Well. For starters. Let's say this was a politically-motivated attack. If you could shoot a famous pilot, or her relatively unheard-of friend, who would you shoot?"]
10[08:30:37] * Aline nodded at that. "I… actually already worked that out in my head after visiting him in the hospital. It'd make no sense on those grounds. The only two motives I can see, are either a direct grudge against him, or…" Aline's expression darkened - or rather, she felt releasing some of that suppression-of-emotions would be appropriate for dramatic effect. "…Using him as a way to actively traumatize her, without killing her."
[08:32:34] <AdEvaGM> ["And as you said, he didn't seem to be the sort to make enemies…"]
10[08:37:50] * Aline pondered that for a while, then… "Ah. My advisor-" What a funny euphemism, but not giving him credit feels wrong. "-had a reasonable suggestion. Mind telling me a bit more about the particulars of the shots? Forensically, that is."
[08:48:56] <AdEvaGM> ["Two 7.62x51mm NATO hollow points- sniper rounds, basically. One of them hit the target in the stomach. The other one hit him near the heart, entering his lung."]
10[08:51:23] * Aline tapped her chin a few times. "…How common are those types of rounds? Are they nearly universal to sniping weapons, or do some services not use them?"
[08:52:04] <AdEvaGM> ["The US, Europe… Japan does too, because we buy from the US."]
10[08:54:17] * Aline smiled weakly. "…So it's unlikely that the Liberated Nations would equip someone with a gun that fires that type of round?"
[08:57:23] <AdEvaGM> ["Hard to say. They certainly would have harder access to it, and probably manufacture their own version that's subtly different. But they're freely available."]
10[09:04:00] * Aline tapped her chin again, but then nodded. "I understand. It's at least a thought, though… They don't seem to be overly lethal hits, barring what might have been a near-miss of the heart. Which makes it again strange, as I'd imagine even the psychological torment route'd be better with him killed outright. Maybe. This looks more like either a particularly brutal warning, a form of torment other than the sheer anguish of loss - such as paranoia or an increase in focus on him in exclusion to others - or a means to incapacitate him for a span of weeks."
[09:07:09] <AdEvaGM> ["I'm not so sure." Said Kirihara. "A single shot would have accomplished a warning or the paranoia aspect just as well, and if I wanted to incapacitate someone I'd shoot them in the kneecaps. The victim's wounds were nearly lethal- literally a handful of minutes either way and he would've been dead."]
10[09:09:34] <09Aline> "…A very strange attack, really. I could see another psychological angle in terms of the proximity to death, but this seems very, very elaborate of a motive. That is, to try to make sure he had a /chance/ of dying, but not guaranteeing it. Assuming, at least, that our sniper is not woefully incompetent of a shot."
[09:10:52] <AdEvaGM> ["I'd hardly call a bullet to the lung incompetent." Said Kirihara wryly. "In a firefight, the place with the best chance of downing an opponent is the body…"]
10[09:11:54] * Aline then popped up. "…Was the angle of fire ever determined, or was there not enough information?"
[09:12:46] <AdEvaGM> ["It was." Said Kirihara. "Above angle, from the top of one of those buildings." She pointed upwards to a building rooftop- in clear sight. "However, by the time we arrived there we didn't find anything…"]
10[09:17:52] * Aline stared up at the building roof for a moment, thinking. "…Would there be anything that might obstruct the ability to make a clean shot to the head? Or, perchance… some kind of situation that'd make a sniper treat their attack more like a firefight, where urgency requires them to take the safer bet, rather than a case where they have time to line up a headshot?"
07[09:20:34] <AdEvaGM> ["Normally, there wouldn't be. This time there was. I can demonstrate with your help, Shinji-kun, Aline-san."]
10[09:21:22] * Aline snapped her fingers. "Of course, Yanmei! …But I shouldn't steal your thunder~"
07[09:24:07] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, that's basically it, but there are other circumstances." Said Kirihara, standing Shinji and Aline together. "The first shot occured whilst the victim and Zhang were kissing." She took out a walkie-talkie and murmured a command. A second later, a red dot appeared on Shinji's temple- the margin between 'nothing' and 'Aline's head' was very small.-
07[09:25:19] <AdEvaGM> ["The shooter had line of sight, but there was too high a chance of hitting Zhang. After the first shot-" She pushed a bemused Shinji back, and pushed Aline into an awkward position holding Shinji's shoulders, but her body twisting to one side- "The victim staggered back, but Zhang moved forward. He was able to push her body out of the way, but his head remained mostly blocked."]
10[09:28:00] * Aline nodded - though it was certainly a strange thing to do with her body sort of… twisty like that. "So… I suppose yes, I was right in thinking bizarre near-death torment was just… a very odd edge case, and instead the truth was that circumstances prevented a legitimate killshot." …She did try to regain a not so contortionist posture, though."
[09:31:21] <AdEvaGM> [Kirihara nodded.-
[09:31:39] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji looked up at the buildings, frowning a little. "… This is an ambush nest."]
10[09:32:15] * Aline tilted her head over at Shinji. "…Is it now…" Then back to Kirihara. "…Why were they here, again?"
[09:33:05] <AdEvaGM> ["They'd just left the National Opera House after a Chinese Opera. They came here to watch the fireworks, I think."-
[09:34:02] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji, meanwhile, was focused on the buildings. "Tall buildings all around, and an open wide area with trees too narrow to act as cover… Flat roofs, lots of small windows, and so many stories so as to make them difficult to storm."]
10[09:36:39] * Aline …tilted her head. "That's… pretty detailed. Pretty extensive, too. And… …" Aline paused, suddenly. "Shinji… that's tactical knowledge from Silas' training, isn't it? I don't think your post-pilot-selection training could possibly be that in-depth."
[09:36:57] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji nodded silently.]
10[09:39:00] * Aline snapped her fingers. "Just like Alexandre had said at the terrorist attack. Someone either with, or with comparable training to, the NeoSpartans or their trainers, planned this out. Since that /specific/ description, while any school of tactics might be able to come up with it… if it's obvious to you because of that borrowed knowledge, then it was probably painfully obvious to an assailant with that kind of background."
[09:41:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Ambush nests are filtered throughout most of Paris-2." Said Kirihara. "Civilians rarely recognise them as such though, so we're dealing with someone trained in city fighting." Kirihara groaned. "A policeman's worse nightmare: an urban sniper…"]
10[09:45:14] * Aline nodded, though seemingly at nothing. "…A further point that I hadn't considered, that was brought up to me. Why did the sniper know they'd choose this place to watch, as opposed to any other? Was there… any reason behind choosing this spot? I rememeber reading about tons of fireworks-watching spots on a local events site, so something must have made this spot more attractive."
[09:47:56] <AdEvaGM> ["This place is pretty close to the Opera House." Said Kirihara. "But there are other places that are close as well, like you said." She sighed, looking up at the sniper's nest. "We can discount the idea of a sniper just sitting out looking for a thrill. Either the assassin knew where they were going in advance, or…"-
[09:48:09] <AdEvaGM> ["… Or there was an assassin at every fireworks place in the city." Said Shinji.]
10[09:51:18] * Aline frowned. "Given the skill involved, the latter sounds ridiculous. So… As I said to 'him', it was either them being spied on, or the assassin or an accomplice somehow altering their decision. The latter, though, is also less likely than just being watched or followed or even listened to."
[09:53:21] <AdEvaGM> ["NERV surveillance suggests that Zhang wasn't aware of the location before the victim suggested it…" Said Kirihara. "Following them presents an awkward problem, though."]
10[09:54:00] <09Aline> "…Getting all the way up to said defensible 15-story building, and still being in position to shoot before the fireworks are over and they've left?"
[09:55:52] <AdEvaGM> ["That's right."-
[09:56:17] <AdEvaGM> ["If the assassin overheard them, or somehow could listen to them, they could've rushed up the building quickly -before- they arrived." Added Shinji.]
10[09:57:21] * Aline nodded. "An accomplice with a radio, or having simply waited outside the opera house and then being fast on their feet."
[09:59:10] <AdEvaGM> [Kirihara nodded.]
10[10:01:09] * Aline smiled softly. "So I suppose that gives us a new witness pool to consider."
[10:03:07] <AdEvaGM> ["I'll need to see who was near the Opera House. It was very crowded…"]
10[10:26:26] * Aline had been standing silently for a good long time, her eyes fluttering rapidly. But she looked at Shinji… even stared at him, wordlessly, for a good long time, before looking in a more general direction to imply she was speaking to Kirihara. "…I'm not sure we can be much help for that, though. Was there anything else you wanted us to help with?"
[10:27:59] <AdEvaGM> ["Your… Er." Kirihara coughed. "Your advisor doesn't have any advice?"]
10[10:29:40] * Aline shrugged her shoulders, and attempted a fairly casual lie. Which integrated some shreds of truth. "Only more esoteric directions, like considering internal suspects. Unfortunately, that just can't be done until more legwork's been done."
[10:31:27] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm." Kirihara rubbed her chin. "Well. I guess the best you can do otherwise is keep an eye on the victim after he returns to Paris-2. Try to look for people who might want to hurt him."]
10[10:33:17] * Aline nodded. "Despite the relative root of trauma involved in it, Yanmei's watchfulness might be useful. I'll have to… find a way to get her to stay calm with me enough for me to suggest that she prepare for… being more hands-on in keeping him safe."
[10:34:33] <AdEvaGM> ["I can't help with that, I'm afraid." Said Kirihara, smiling a little. "Providing you don't try to psychoanalyse her to her face. Maybe you should just try more conventional tactics?"]
10[10:37:18] * Aline whistled a bit. "I plan to~. Also to apologize. I think coming in with the offer to help would… help. But… either way, I thank you for hearing out the three of us." …Somehow, actively acknowledging the looming head-Angel in the proverbial room /greatly/ entertained her, enough to keep her mood stable.
[10:37:44] <AdEvaGM> [Kirihara nodded. "Thanks for helping out, at least."]
10[10:38:58] * Aline bowed to her politely, then began to turn to head off… gesturing to Shinji to follow, though. "You ready to go, Shinji?"
[10:39:29] <AdEvaGM> ["I am."]
03[10:41:08] * CakeyCake (~ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.871-301-2-801-loop|3tmretrac#ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.871-301-2-801-loop|3tmretrac) has joined #nervfrance
10[10:41:49] <09Aline> "Right, then~ Let's go!" …She pushed close by, grabbing his hand.
[10:48:54] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji followed~]

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