Her Opening Gambit

[06:17] <AdEvaGM> [[Session 59: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Date: 11th of August, 2017. Episode Title: Her Opening Gambit.-
[06:18] * Rynol has left #nervfrance
[06:18] * Aline has joined #nervfrance
[06:18] * CakeyCake is now known as Yanmei
[06:19] * SyntaxTerror is now known as Sept
[06:21] <AdEvaGM> [It was seen by the people in the street before the sirens sounded- a band of light, flickering, bright red and orange, as though a small sliver of atmosphere had set alight…-
[06:23] <AdEvaGM> [The shriek of the sirens drove most Parisians towards the bunkers, whilst at the same time summoning the pilots. They knew where.]
[06:27] <Yanmei> The Command Center. Yanmei made her usual entrance, all pleasant smiles until she reached the bridge and they became more subdued as she searched the monitors with her eyes. "Colonel. What do we have this time?"
[06:29] * Sept was there to greet her, having been spending the day around HQ anyway. After a silent wave, he turned his attention back to the monitors and readings.
[06:30] * Aline was thus the last in, panting from an obvious mad dash, but staying silent otherwise - best to let Yanmei start the conversation.
[06:31] * AdEvaSleep has joined #nervfrance
[06:32] * AdEvaGM has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[06:32] * AdEvaSleep is now known as AdEvaGM
[06:36] <AdEvaGM> [William was sitting in the corner, already suited up and waiting to go.-
[06:37] <AdEvaGM> ["Satellite view, Riel." Said Marianne, nodding to the pilots as they entered. The viewscreen changed…-
[06:38] <AdEvaGM> [It was wreathed in fire, its AT Field flickering about it as it hurtled towards Paris-2. It was obscured by the flame, and yet…-
[06:38] <AdEvaGM> [Object: THIRD ANGEL. Codename: Gazardiel.]
[06:39] <Yanmei> "…what?"
[06:40] * Aline blinked heavily. "…Is this seriously real?"
[06:43] <Sept> "…I see. They can do that."
[06:44] <AdEvaGM> ["Can we confirm that it -is- Gazardiel?" Asked Marianne.-
[06:45] <AdEvaGM> ["MAGI says it is, from prelims. We'll have to wait for a full confirmation." Said James.-
[06:45] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, in any case, an Angel is an Angel. Everyone- let's get going!"]
[06:47] <Yanmei> "Right." Yanmei nodded to the others before turning to go.
[06:47] <Sept> "Yeah. Good luck, everyone."
[06:47] * Aline nodded as well. "…Right." In response, it seemed, before going to suit up.
[06:57] <AdEvaGM> [William nodded, pausing a moment to look back at the image on screen… Before following.-
[06:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Yanmei, Sera, Aline- you'll deploy first, and William will come in on the reserve. We've already scrambled the Grendel to intercept."]
[07:04] <Yanmei> "Yes, Colonel. We'll do the usual approach? Sera and I will approach and neutralize, while Blanc takes shots from a further position."
[07:06] <AdEvaGM> ["That sounds valid, but be warned. I don't like this. It feels like a trap."]
[07:07] <Sept> "This could be a big opportunity, and yes. We can't risk doing anything rash until we have the data from MAGI. If it really is exactly the same as before, we might be able to subdue it."
[07:07] * Aline commented in. "It does. Like it's going to fall apart into a horde of angelspawn or turn into another angel or /who knows what/. Best to be cautious…"
[07:10] <Yanmei> "Agreed," Yanmei muttered.
[07:19] <AdEvaGM> [The rushing of the LCL provoked faint protestations from the newest pilot. "This takes some getting used to, doesn't it? Ugh…"]
[07:22] * Sept was busy making last-minute adjustments to keep up with small talk.
[07:26] <AdEvaGM> ["Colonel, it isn't pursuing the Grendel- it looks like it's just standing there…" Said James, frowning over his console.-
[07:27] <AdEvaGM> ["Analyse it now. We don't know what it's up to, but I don't feel good about this."]
[07:27] <Sept> "It's definitely more dangerous than the one we knew, but Otis confirms its behavior is the same, so far. Stay on guard."
[07:29] <AdEvaGM> [Marianne nodded. "In any case- EVA-00, 01 and 04: deploy!"-
[07:30] <AdEvaGM> [The three Evas, fitted firmly into their catapults, were hurled up at top speed towards the cavernous roof of the Geofront- emerging into the sunny, cloudless cityscape of Paris-2. There, they saw the Grendel, jetting backwards from… Gazardiel, curled in upon its tail, scythed arms raised above its head, the core in its head a dull red.]
[07:33] <Yanmei> "Ugh…" What a familiar sight. From the first battle they'd fought in Paris, to the Angelspawn on that hated island, to this. 04 braced itself against the pavement and then streaked toward the Angel, soaring through the air. "Pursuing. Weiss-Xylander? Bear with the grossness for a little longer, won't you?"
[07:34] <Raphael> The Grendel is sporting a rather nasty gouge along its right side, deep enough to see mechanisms sparking underneath the armour plating as backup systems came online, but Raphael only sounds a little more terse than normal when he breaks in on the main channel. "The AT Field's weaker than the other angels I've dealt with. Standard munitions wounded it without neautralization."
[07:35] <Aline> 00 followed soon after, pulling to a stop a bit further out, but at the same basic distance from the target. "If it remotely resembles the original Gazardiel, that should be understandable. It was a far weaker Angel, though I admit there's still something suspicious about it."
[07:39] <AdEvaGM> [Gazardiel raised its head, as if to gaze up towards the unseen stars, when…-
[07:40] <AdEvaGM> [There was a sucking sound, like someone had pulled the plug out of a pool. Some two hundred meters before Gazardiel, the air started to warp and shimmer- a crackle of energy struck out across the rent, before it ripped open, staining the area around it with a blank, cold pure white for a split second- before it vanished.-
[07:41] <AdEvaGM> ["…! Colonel! Major's picking up… Ten, no, thirty- fifty?! New entities, in a clump!"-
[07:41] <AdEvaGM> ["What?!"-
[07:41] <AdEvaGM> [Where the anomaly had been now stood a veritable army of that same damnable foe- smaller, but no less armed. There were too many, too packed, too quick to count…]
[07:42] * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
[07:49] <Sept> "…shit. Do you want to capture all of them, Marianne?"
[07:49] <AdEvaGM> ["No. Destroy them all!"]
[07:49] <Raphael> "Yes, ma'am." Raphael mutters.
[07:51] <Yanmei> "Thank god!" 04's AT Field rippled, and a bolter shell followed, exploding against the mass. "I don't suppose anyone can pinpoint a leader to target in there somewhere?"
[07:51] <AdEvaGM> ["I suspect that the prime Gazardiel is the leader…"]
[07:51] * Aline blank-stared at Sera's viewport, but shook her head. "It's probably the 'big' Gazardiel. And uh. …Best to stay away from that horde, I intend on using wide-area AT powers."
[07:54] <Sept> "If you can keep them in check, I can take on Gazardiel."
[07:56] <Yanmei> "Do it. It'll be a pain if he brings in even more guys or makes them tougher somehow?"
[07:57] <Raphael> "That would be best. I'll work with Pilot Blanc to give you some room." Raphael says. The massive barrel of the T-RIDEN-T's bolter begins to work again, pouring shells into the centre of the horde to pulp angelspawn and road alike and sending a shower of gore across the street.
[07:58] <Aline> "Aaacknoooowledged!" Ah, the thrill of battle. Aline's glee met 00's gestures as a wide sweep of its lance joined a rippling plane of AT force, bisecting as many angelspawn as Raphael was pulping!
[08:04] <AdEvaGM> [The bolter shells shredded a great many, as did the wave of energy- but they surged forward, heedless of the casualties, hundreds of scythed blades smashing against 04…!-
[08:06] <AdEvaGM> [The warping field rippled throughout the southern hills of Paris-2, bringing forth another horde of chittering Gazardiels…-
[08:07] <AdEvaGM> ["Damnit, another? Look out!"]
[08:07] * Aline frowned. "I can help with the little ones, but we better knock out the leader and /fast/!"
[08:08] <Raphael> "… Permission to change targets, Colonel?"
[08:08] <AdEvaGM> ["Granted-!"]
[08:08] * Raphael nods, the Grendel shifting its bulky form to gain a better shot.
[08:12] * Yanmei frowned as the hills rippled with a mass of new living bodies. "Blanc, go for the new guys. This first group is weak enough to handle alone as they are."
[08:14] <Sept> "Right. I'm counting on you." 01 broke into a run, heading past the throngs of Angels and toward the one that stood alone. It was so small, now…
[08:15] <AdEvaGM> ["Colonel, a power fluctuation-!"-
[08:25] <AdEvaGM> [The LCL within Yanmei's plug rippled, as though an electrical current had run through the liquid…]
[08:30] * Yanmei …reacted to -something-, lifting a hand to her forehead and gasping. She made an odd noise that might have been a swear that switched out into something less comprehensible.
[08:31] <Sept> "Keep up the pressure! We can't give them any space!"
[08:31] <AdEvaGM> ["Yanmei! What's the matter?"-
[08:32] <AdEvaGM> [There was a heavy clanking as the Embarkation Elevator shuddered to a halt, EVA-21 climbing out, heavy bolter at the ready. "So slow…"]
[08:34] <Yanmei> "C-Colonel… There's been a… complication." Yanmei swallowed.
[08:34] <AdEvaGM> ["What? What is it?!"]
[08:34] * Aline stared suddenly at Yanmei's vidscreen. "A…Ah?"
[08:35] <AdEvaGM> [The image… The whites of Yanmei's eyes were a bitter, angry red; blood ran in rivulets from her sockets, and the skin around her face looked as though someone had tossed a burning, boiling hot rag over her face- her skin was pink and raw.]
[08:39] <Raphael> As Sept made his charge, car-sized rounds were slamming into the creature's AT field with detonations loud enough to shatter the windows of the surrounding buildings. One manages to punch through, leaving a bloody tear across the Gazardiel's arm. In the cockpit, Raphael keeps one eye on the vidscreen, his jaw tightening a little.
[08:39] <Yanmei> "Please tell me that there's a problem with 04's optic nerves? Or… a plug malfunction, or…" Her expression was grim, taunt. She swallowed again. "I can't -see- anything."
[08:39] <Sept> "-Damn it-… Hold on! I need more time!"
[08:40] <AdEvaGM> ["… Yanmei, we… Damnit. We need to pull her back-"-
[08:40] <AdEvaGM> ["I'll try!" Shouted William, his Heavy Bolter- christened with the name Saint Michael- ripping huge bloody swathes of Spawn down.]
[08:40] * Aline stared. "…I can't lie to you, Yanmei. It's… it's what you think it is." Let's assume Aline was /briefed/. "Maybe she can still neutralize targets…?" But another wave issued out, ironically saving Yanmei by finishing off what William started.
[08:54] * Yanmei clenched the controls tightly. She tried to breath slowly. "I'm no good to anyone if I pull back," she muttered.
[08:55] <Raphael> "And you're no good to anyone dead, ma'am." Raphael says tersely. "… with all due respect."
[09:02] <Yanmei> "…" 04 started to move gingerly, its AT Field shifting once more as its full strength returned… and then weakened again, finding another target to neutralise. "These guys? Are not that dangerous. If I can help out somehow without being getting crushed, then I will. Colonel?"
[09:04] <AdEvaGM> ["Y-"-
[09:05] <AdEvaGM> ["COLONEL!" James's voice. "There's another- a Gazardiel has teleported -into- the Geofront!"-
[09:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Shit. Shit shit shit- Aline, William! I'm calling you back underground! NOW!"]
[09:17] <Sept> "Raphael, throw everything you have at it! We have to forget about the groups!"
[09:22] <Yanmei> "He's right." Yanmei's voice was carefully calm. She swapped out the bolter for a second blade, clumsily, and flailed violently at where she felt the strikes against her AT Field. The strikes themselves were smooth, but the aftermath… awkward. "Otis? Did I get any?"
[09:24] * Aline was, meanwhile, beating a very hasty retreat back underground, following William downwards into the Geofront…
[09:26] <Yanmei> The prog sword in Yanmei's right hand dripped gore and carapace bits…
[09:27] * Raphael doesn't hesitate, even as he glances away from the wounded Yanmei. There's the tell-tale scream of bolter shells tearing through the air again, and this time a good deal more than one pierce the weakened AT field.-
[09:27] <Sept> "You're doing great, Yanmei! Keep it up!"
[09:27] <Raphael> Splat. The wet sound of shells detonating deep inside flesh, ripping away a leg; an arm; half of an alien face. It's all over in a second or two, and by the end there's not much left to indicate the creature existed at all… except for that last horde of spawn and a great deal of mess for the clean up crews to clear away.
[09:28] <AdEvaGM> [As the ruined head smashes to the ground, the dull core… Simply crumbles into powder.]
[09:29] <Raphael> "Target eliminated." Raphael notes matter-of-factly.
[09:30] <AdEvaGM> ["Excellent work! Captain, stay topside- Sera, I want you to help clean up those stragglers!"]
[09:30] <AdEvaGM> [The stragglers in question were now swarming against Yanmei…]
[09:31] <Yanmei> "Ugh, leggo!" Her AT Field repelled them once more with a flicker of prismatic light
[09:54] * Sept shot off a few rounds toward the things surrounding EVA-04. "Raphael, you're better equipped for this..!"
[10:01] * Yanmei attacked brutally just as before, her prog sword whirring. "Once we're done here, we'll join the others! And this'll take no time at all?"
[10:02] <AdEvaGM> [It was as if Yanmei's blows hit a sudden wall.-
[10:02] <Raphael> "On it, Pilot de Pteres." Raphael calls, bolter shells chewing through the horde. Still the seething mass of muscle and claw seems to take the losses without so much as a blink…
[10:03] <AdEvaGM> [To the outsiders, they'd see Yanmei turn her blade on herself, savaging her own body, but for Yanmei…]
[10:08] <Aline> Unfortunately, Aline wouldn't be able to see what Yanmei was doing. She instead landed in the middle of the Geofront, immediately entering a battle-stance, as she sent out a wave of neutralizing force towards the controller down bottomside. "William! Get ready to blast that thing into a grisly pulp, because I just neutralized it to nothing!"
[10:10] <Yanmei> The careful composure she'd kept up during her bout of blindness crumbled under the sudden agony and sheer disbelief. "Stop… leggo! FUCK!" Her words dissolved into a long, mindless scream. Limbs tumbled off, waterfalls of blood pooling into the streets below…
[10:13] <AdEvaGM> ["Understood." Said Will, hefting his bolter…-
[10:13] <AdEvaGM> ["Y-YANMEI?!" Marianne screamed. "What's wrong!? What happened?!"]
[10:13] <Raphael> "Pilot Zhang…?" Even Raphael seemed a stunned by the suddenness and brutality of it all, his eyes wide even as his finger tightened on the trigger to send another burst of covering fire into the horde. "Sera, get her to safety!"
[10:19] <Sept> "What are- YANMEI! STOP!! Goddamnit, just… Yanmei? Can you hear me? Get -back inside-, the rest of us can finish this!"
[10:20] <AdEvaGM> [The bolts slay nearly all of the horde as the spawn collapse into bloody pieces, leaving only a tiny handful to flee in clear panic…]
[10:21] <Aline> But Yanmei wasn't the only one suffering. It wasn't as severe - nor violent - but Aline suddenly gasped harshly. "Ack… it… it's trying to… attack me too…!" She nearly croaked out.
[10:22] <Yanmei> No answers from Yanmei at first, or attempts to get away. Because she was now flat on her back, screams trailing off into shuddery rasping breaths. She stared up at the sky. -Stared-. "Oh…" she said at last faintly.
[10:25] <Yanmei> "…my vision came back. Ha… ha ha…"
[10:28] <Raphael> "Can we arrange a recovery team for her topside, Colonel?" Raphael says, the shock hidden away again as he turns th Grendel towards the nearest launch port.
[10:30] <Sept> "-Yanmei-…" Still, Sera headed down, as well.
[10:33] <Yanmei> "Ha ha… no… I can still…" Her AT Field flickered and drew close to her. "We can't let it turn out like last time? So…" 04 started to rise, slowly. "Let's focus on the Geofront…"
[10:33] <AdEvaGM> ["Yanmei! Are you sure?!"]
[10:36] <Yanmei> "It'll be fine, Colonel." She gave a hairtoss and tossed a smile, though both were… disjointed. Distracted. A touch more manic than usual. "I can still do some things?"
[10:38] <AdEvaGM> ["… Very well. Captain, you are to remain topside and secure the area. Hunt down those stragglers!"]
[10:45] <Raphael> "…" There's a moment's pause at that - barely more than a second, but even that is unusual for Raphael. He's watching Yanmei's picture with a slight frown. "… Of course, Colonel." He says, turning the Grendel back away from the launch port and sending it flying as the boosters roar to life.
[10:59] <AdEvaGM> [In the Geofront, the Hordes swarm forward, heedless of the fire from Will's bolter. A blast of AT energy rips at Aline's feet as the Angels smash into their line- and into the HQ.-
[10:59] <AdEvaGM> ["No! Get away!" Will moves, pushing Aline away from one of the gatherings- which removes his leg for his chivalry. He lets out a sharp, low cry…-
[10:59] <AdEvaGM> ["Repulse them! Re-"-
[11:01] <AdEvaGM> [Marianne's line goes dead as the Spawn break through the HQ wall, a massive spike ripping James from his chair and impaling him into the wall before pulling away. A blood-curdling scream cuts through the chaos- James slides to the ground, a trail of blood sticking to the wall behind him. Shock soon sets in as he sees his life force ebbing away.-
[11:03] <AdEvaGM> ["JAMES!" Dr. Riel screamed out, running towards him- only for a piece of steel girder, now loose from the roof, to rip free of its final holdings, striking her mid-run and slamming her to the ground.]
[11:12] * Aline shuddered instinctively at seeing the HQ overrun, but turned back at the horde with anger in her eyes and pain wracking her body. "N… No. NO!" A flicker of 00's wings unleashed a furious wave at one of the groups assaulting her!
[11:46] * Sept gritted his teeth and kept his back to the pyramid as he battled the Angel, sword and scythe clashing together in an impressive display of sparks. And in the midst of it all, with great effort, Sera kept his breathing regular and -focused-.
[11:47] <AdEvaGM> [The Controller hissed in its alien voice, slipping away from EVA-01 and turning its attention back towards the other Evas, steadfastly ignoring Sera. A lance of energy ripped up towards Yanmei…]
[11:50] <Yanmei> Yanmei, who had only just descended herself, AT Field pushing back some of that of the hordes assaulting HQ and her other two teammates. "Hang in-" was about as much as she could get out before it sliced into her.
[11:51] <AdEvaGM> [In one energy uppercut, 04 was defeated- it toppled backwards, defeated, its body aflame.]
[11:53] * Aline cried out - again - in anger when she saw 04 go down, and leapt away, sparing a careful potshot at the controller while she peered over at the hordes, all lined up in a row. "Damnit, this is way too intense for what it should be!"
[11:58] <AdEvaGM> [The shot hit home, rocking it from the force of the blow-
[11:58] <AdEvaGM> [Whilst over the comms there was a terrified scream as William felt the full brunt of Metatron's wrath. "N-NO! I DON'T WANT- N-No…"]
[12:02] * Raphael has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[12:03] * Raphael has joined #nervfrance
[12:23] <Sept> "FOCUS!" Sera yelled into the comms, simultaneously bringing his sword down on the Angel, forcing it through its insufficient attempt at stopping the blade, and down through its skull.
[12:24] * Aline was shivering, shuddering, and shaking, her head dizzy and body numb, but she kept fighting. A withering wave of AT Force coursed through the ranks of one of the hordes, likely to be followed by her allies' support…!
[12:26] <AdEvaGM> [With a final howl, the Controller staggers backwards, its core already turning to dust as it falls…]
[12:26] <Sept> And sure enough, as soon as he'd managed to dislodge his sword from the Controller, Sera was on the remaining hordes, cutting his way through them with a furious precision.
[12:27] <AdEvaGM> [Without the Controller to keep them in check, the multitude weren't able to bring Sera down. They wavered, then broke, scattering, yelping in animalistic fear…]
[12:27] <AdEvaGM> [… Where William began to cut them down with blasts and bolters.]

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