He Said Only Eva Can Ever Give Us Our Freedom

[20:52] <Yanmei> The elevator leading to the Commander's office was obnoxiously slow. Within it, a young lady waited, her impatience hidden behind a calm demeanor. It was one person after another today - meeting so many faces that she was having a hard time remembering them all. -
[20:54] <Yanmei> But here she was, meeting another one. Or at least, growing re-acquainted with it. It was an important face too, so she had to be at her best. So she summoned her confidence and threw her shoulders back and tossed on a winning smile.
[20:56] <Ikari‘Gendo> [The elevator doors opened.-
[20:56] * Ikari`Gendo was sitting at his desk, a pen scribbling across another request form or the like. He went still for a minute as the doors opened, before continuing. He didn’t look up.
[20:58] * Yanmei stepped off the elevator, strode a few paces into the room proper, and politely waited. She wasn't used to… being ignored, but she didn't drop her smile either.
[21:08] * Ikari‘Gendo continued to write. About 5 or 10 minutes passed.-
[21:09] <Ikari`Gendo> Eventually he looked up, frowning. "What is it, Third Child?"
[21:14] <Yanmei> "Commander Ikari Gendo." She beat aside the urge to cross the room for a western handshake, even if it was the bolder and more dramatic greeting, and instead bowed where she stood. "I thought it might be a good idea to introduce myself more formally. It felt a little strange, touring your facilities without doing so? But if this is a bad time…" she righted herself.
[21:16] <Ikari`Gendo> "Two hours ago I threw Sera de Pteres into the brig for forty-eight hours." Said Gendo. He was still frowning. "One hour ago I spoke to Aline Blanc about her relationship with my son. Are you three -always- this synchronised?"
[21:18] <Yanmei> Surprise flashed briefly over Yanmei’s face. "Never, actually. It seems like you're witnessing a very rare event."
[21:19] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Hhn."
[21:21] <Yanmei> "Or maybe it’s just that you're such an interesting guy that everyone's curious about you~" When in doubt, flatter.
[21:22] <Ikari‘Gendo> "…" Gendo sighed, put aside his form. Clasped his hands together and stared at Yanmei. The lenses caught the light, becoming disturbingly opaque.-
[21:23] <Ikari`Gendo> "Don’t try to flatter me, Third Child. I'm not in a very good mood."
[21:28] <Yanmei> "I see. Sorry. I meant no disrespect, of course." Wasn't flattering people usually supposed to… cheer them up? Her own smile receded just a little in her contemplation.
[21:29] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Sit down."
[21:34] <Yanmei> "Yes, sir." And she did so, her posture graceful, picking up a thread of th conversation that had been left hanging before. "So. I take it that Sera de Pteres did something warrent being punished earlier?"
[21:36] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm. He insinuated I had a mental complex, laughed in my face and showed utter disrespect unbefitting of a member of NERV."
[21:39] * Yanmei blinked. Somehow or another, that guy always managed to surprise her when her back was turned. "I’m sorry to hear that. It's little consolation, I'm sure, but I apologize for his behavior."
[21:40] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm." Gendo was silent.-
[21:41] <Ikari`Gendo> "I wonder as to the situation in Paris-2 that such laxity goes unpunished."
[21:45] <Yanmei> "De Pteres has always been an exception to such protocol," Yanmei murmured.
[21:46] <Ikari`Gendo> "I see."
[21:48] <Yanmei> "Aside from being relatively new to this lifestyle and understandably bewildered by some aspects of it, Commander Fontaine seems to favor him quite a lot."
[21:49] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm."
[21:51] <Yanmei> "Those of your subordinates that I’ve met seem all pretty professional, though."
[21:52] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm. As befitting a NERV institution." Said Gendo.
[21:53] <Yanmei> "But of course," Yanmei smiled.
[21:54] * Ikari`Gendo simply nodded.
[21:56] <Yanmei> "Commander Ikari. Do you have much of a military background yourself?" She was not going to let an awkward silence fall that easily. "I understand that you are an old friend of Commander Fontaine, so I had assumed that yours was mainly academic, like hers."
[21:57] <Ikari`Gendo> "That’s right. I am a Metaphysical Biologist much like Commander Fontaine. We studied at the same university and worked on the same projects."
[22:01] <Yanmei> Old news. "I see! The two of you must have a lot to talk about, then. And I have to say that it's pretty heartening to see friendships endure over the years. Would I be correct in assuming that the two of you support each other frequently even now?"
[22:03] <Ikari‘Gendo> "…" Gendo frowned. "We support each other, yes. Where are you going with this, Zhang?"
[22:06] <Yanmei> "Nowhere, really. I suppose I was just drawing parallels between you and another longtime friend of hers that I’ve met. President Mortimer Mazarin?"
[22:11] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Oh really."
[22:14] <Yanmei> "For forty years he’s quite loyal to her, even though their agendas should naturally conflict at times now that he's in the office that he's in. He also mentioned that she changed radically over the years, even before the loss of her husband."
[22:15] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I can’t say. I only ever knew her after she became Elisha's partner."
[22:20] <Yanmei> "Hm, I see." She sounded a touch disappointed. "I was hoping to get another person's perspective on it. Well… something else I'm curious about? How well do you know her son, Alexandre?" She was proud of herself for not placing the word 'jerkface' before his name, even though it was kinda well-deserved.
[22:21] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Fairly well. I was chosen as his godfather by Elisha."
[22:25] <Yanmei> "Really?" Yanmei blinked. "Then you have some insight into the relationship between him and Commander Fontaine?"
[22:26] <Ikari`Gendo> "I suppose."
[22:28] <Yanmei> "It’s a baffling thing, from an outsider's perspective." Her smile turned almost apologetic. "A friend of Alexandre suggested that she was doting when he was younger. But to see them now…"
[22:28] <Ikari‘Gendo> "What did Commander Fontaine say about it?"
[22:30] <Yanmei> "She once mentioned that she had nothing left in her life but the struggle - between humanity and the Angels, I presume." Her smile receded again. "It’s as if she's forgotten about him?"
[22:32] <Ikari‘Gendo> "She took Elisha’s death very hard." Said Gendo. "But to say she has forgotten him is ultimately not true. Surely you know that."
[22:34] * Oat has joined #nervfrance
[22:35] <Yanmei> "I wouldn't know, I'm afraid. Between those words and her behavior, I wonder if it could very well be true."
[22:37] <Ikari‘Gendo> "You can think of no other reason she would want to drive him away?"
[22:40] <Yanmei> Because he was useless to her plans now? Because she has a replacement in de Pteres? Such a cold, horrible woman. Yanmei mutely shook her head.
[22:41] <Ikari`Gendo> "What is Alexandre Fontaine’s greatest ambition?"
[22:43] <Yanmei> "Before he was rejected by Unit-04, it was to be an EVA pilot. It's something he trained his whole life for."
[22:44] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm." Said Gendo. "What does Ginevre Fontaine represent to NERV?"
[22:46] <Yanmei> "She’s our nigh-perfect leader, naturally~" Yanmei paused. "You're implying that she wants to drive him away from the organization?"
[22:49] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm."
[22:51] <Yanmei> "If she didn’t want him involved, why put him through Neospartan training to begin with?" Yanmei glanced aside with a slight frown. "In the end, even Elisha didn't want him piloting. It couldn't have been for show…?"
[22:51] <Ikari‘Gendo> "There are other benefits to Neospartan training."
[22:55] <Yanmei> "I suppose," she relented. But it was rather like letting a kid build up a sandcastle only to stomp on it and douse it with fire when his back was turned. Her frown deepened a little bit.
[22:56] <Ikari`Gendo> "He’s a resilient young man. He'll get over it."
[22:57] <Yanmei> "You'll be happy to know? That he's already on his way to doing that." Not that -she- cared, was the silent addition, punctuated with a small, careless hair flip.
[23:01] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm. Well I’m glad he has friends like you to help him."
[23:02] <Yanmei> "That's taking our relationship a bit far?" Yanmei shrugged. "He's just a guy that I know. And I was just curious."
[23:03] <Ikari‘Gendo> "He seems more than just an acquaintance."
[23:06] <Yanmei> "!" Yanmei wrestled with her composure. "I assure you that Colonel Lachapelle’s words on the matter are to be taken with a grain of salt."
[23:07] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I wasn’t aware Colonel Lachapelle had an opinion on the matter." Said Gendo. "It is entirely your own actions here in this room that have led me to this conclusion."
[23:15] <Yanmei> "…" She wasn't sure what to say about that. So she tried to change the subject, hastily. "A-anyway. I meant to ask you earlier if you preferred the idea of using Neospartans as pilots as opposed to civilians. I can understand some diversion from it given the circumstances, but they're clearly better trained for it physically." She loathed to bring it up, but even -that- was preferable to the direction the conversation had been taking before.
[23:16] <Ikari‘Gendo> "A meaningless question."
[23:16] <Yanmei> "…is it?"
[23:17] <Ikari`Gendo> "Why do you pilot?"
[23:18] <Yanmei> "To protect Paris-2, and the world by extension, of course." Her winning smile made a return, almost sparkling.
[23:18] <Ikari`Gendo> "The wrong reasons."
[23:19] <Yanmei> "…" Shit. Did he see through her? "…are they?"
[23:21] <Ikari`Gendo> "Yes." Said Gendo, staring at her. "What might the -right- reasons be to pilot? Try to guess."
[23:24] <Yanmei> "For… duty." she tried again, and this time her smile really did seem to sparkle. That was the response a Director of NERV would surely want. "To represent our benevolent and charming superiors to our very best ability?"
[23:27] <Ikari`Gendo> "Wrong reasons."
[23:31] <Yanmei> "For honor, then." She didn’t even know what the hell that could mean, but she was running out of pitches. "The honor and glory of a noble battle." Sparkle.
[23:32] <Ikari‘Gendo> "The wrong reasons again."
[23:34] <Yanmei> "…" Finally, she sighed. "I… think I will have to concede defeat, Commander. Please tell me what the right reasons are."
[23:34] <Ikari`Gendo> The corners of his mouth rose.-
[23:35] <Ikari`Gendo> "Eva is special. You should know that. Every task on earth requires a reason found within the person’s heart to do, but not Eva. Rather, Eva is the reason. From the time man was given the Fruit of Knowledge, we were destined to build it." Said Gendo. "Therefore, the only right reason that you pilot is that you were -meant- to pilot."
[23:37] <Yanmei> "Is… that so?" Yanmei tried to digest this quietly. "Destiny. Does free will factor into this equation anywhere?"
[23:38] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Free will…?" Gendo smiled. "Mankind’s will is too weak to resist the world- because of that, its course is already mapped out for it. Only Eva can ever give us our freedom."
[23:41] <Yanmei> That was a no. Yanmei nearly bit her lip, but she remembered herself and the nature of her host, and stopped it before it happened. "Then you would say that a person's attempts to defy destiny would be fruitless. Unless it was through an EVA?"
[23:44] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Yes and no. A person who pilots Eva might be able to defy destiny, but in reality they are just human. Only Eva can ever give all of humanity the strength to defy destiny."
[23:48] * Yanmei was silent for a few seconds. Then, her manners made a comeback. "I see. You have given me something to think about, Commander."
[23:49] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm."
[23:52] <Yanmei> "If you have any other questions for me, I’m certain that I could answer them for you." The previous question-and-answer mishap had given her confidence a slight blow. But… she could redeem herself, couldn't she?
[23:54] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Tell me about Gabriel-Wei."
[23:57] <Yanmei> Yanmei’s eyes widened a moment. "…"
[23:58] <Ikari‘Gendo> "He… Knew Rei, did he not?"
Session Time: Thu Aug 18 00:00:00 2011
[00:00] <Yanmei> "Oh. Yes, he did." She started to relax again. A father curious about the guy his little kid had liked so much. "He’s a kind guy. Very gentle. He's undergoing medical training, and is officially a part of NERV's staff."-
[00:03] <Yanmei> "He's a genius at mathematics, and even without formal training, had a high aptitude for medicine. And he likes children. I think one day he'd like to be a dad himself. That's why he and Rei got along so well."
[00:07] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I see…" A pause as Gendo considered the information. "You two are close, Blanc said."
[00:09] <Yanmei> "He saved my life once. And apparently, I saved his, in a way. At least, that’s what he says?" She smiled a little. "He's very dear to me."
[00:11] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm…" Gendo seemed to be considering something. "You should take him down to see Gogouki whilst you’re here. He would like that, I think."
[00:13] <Yanmei> "Hm, well. I think he would, yes." She nodded. "Thank you for the idea."
[00:15] * Ikari‘Gendo nods slowly. "What about yourself?"
[00:17] <Yanmei> "Hm?" Yanmei tilted her head a little, thoughtfully. "Well, I suppose I would like that too."
[00:18] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm. Rather I meant, tell me about yourself…"
[00:25] <Yanmei> "Well, I think I can manage that." She winked. "I’ve been with NERV for almost three years. Before that, I was living in Beijing with my mother."-
[00:25] <Yanmei> Old news. "But, I would say that I've adjusted to life in Paris-2 fairly well? I managed to become fluent in the language in a relatively short time because of accelerated lessons. And the immersion helped, of course."
[00:26] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Your mother… Zhang… Mingzhu, if I’m not mistaken."
[00:29] <Yanmei> "That's right~ It seems like she's becoming well-known too? I got a chance to talk with her recently. It was my birthday just a little while ago, you see, and Isaiah managed to arrange a call to her." Geeze, what was she babbling about? Her face felt all rosy and flushed too.
[00:31] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Indeed?" An eyebrow arched.-
[00:31] <Ikari`Gendo> "Yui often speaks to her, because of their tasks. Yui could tell you more, but I believe you have been mentioned a few times between them. Both women seem to have a high opinion of you, Zhang."
[00:35] <Yanmei> "Well, I do try," she said modestly. "Doctor Ikari, too? Because I haven’t spoken much to her, it's something of a suprise?"
[00:38] * Rynol has joined #nervfrance
[00:39] <Ikari‘Gendo> "She’s been keeping her eye on you." Said Gendo. "Ah. You and Gabriel-Wei are invited to dinner on Saturday."
[00:41] <Yanmei> "I see. Well, I at least would be delighted to accept." She beamed. "I'll ask Isaiah, naturally, and call ahead with his response."
[00:42] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm."
[00:45] <Yanmei> "Well, then," She started to stand. "If that’s all for now, I'll see you on Saturday, Commander."
[00:46] <Ikari‘Gendo> "See you."
[00:47] * Yanmei made for the elevator doors, waited for them to open, and gave one last parting phrase as they began to close. "Have a ~lovely~ afternoon!"
[00:48] <Ikari`Gendo> "Zhang."
[00:49] <Yanmei> "Sir?"
[00:49] <Ikari`Gendo> "Such meaningless PR-speak is transparent and irritating." He said, frowning. "Remember that in the future. Leave it at the front door on Saturday."
[00:51] <Yanmei> "…" She didn’t anwer verbally, but the last glimpses of her face carried sort of a flat, disbelieving expression.
[00:52] <Ikari`Gendo> "…" Gendo picked up his last form, and continued to write.

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