In The Cage Of Zero One

<EVA-01> [The Date: The 8th of March, a day after the attack. The location: The Evangelion Cages. Specifically, the cage of Evangelion Unit 01, better known as EVA-01. Its body and head had been heavily damaged- indeed, mostly completely destroyed in the battle. But Evangelion repair crews worked abnormally fast. A crew would be capable of repairing a near-destroyed Evangelion in just over 12 hours. The repair bill was, of course, astronomical.-
<EVA-01> But. The green EVA was now nearly-fully repaired, and sitting in its pool of bakelite, staring out quietly- maybe sullenly? Who knew? At the world around it. Unmoving and frozen.]
*Sept stared right back at 01, as he had been for the past ten-or-so hours. It was probably getting close to morning outside, if it wasn't already, and it showed on Sera's face. Bags under his bloodshot eyes, he kept up his vigil, occasionally nearly nodding off.
<Sept> "I'm sorry…" he muttered under his breath. Section 2 had probably lost count of the times he'd said that.
<EVA-01> [The words had been spoken many, many times. Somewhere, a band of security agents were keeping count- and placing bets on how many times he'd say it. Ten hours. In fact, Sept's vigil had just passed the 10 hour mark exactly.]
<EVA-01> … Maybe it was just sleep deprivation. But for a moment there seemed to be a light flicker in 01's eyes.
*Sept perked up. Did he imagine that?
*EVA-01 remained inert. Maybe if Sept tried speaking again…?
<Sept> Silence. And then, "…I'm so sorry, 01."
<EVA-01> [("Hey, Lieutenant, I'm picking up some strange readings- power fluctuations in the EVA…") ("Huh? That shouldn't even-]
<EVA-01> The dull, empty eyes… Lit up, a clear and pale yellow.
<EVA-01> [("?!") A voice came over the PA. ("de Pteres, what's going on?! Get out of there!")]
*Sept stared, mouth half-open. He put on his best smile despite the fatigue. "I'm so glad…" The disembodied voice was promptly ignored.
*EVA-01 pulled itself up slightly, freeing its arms from the bakelite. Tilting its head down, it stared at Sept… Its hand rose into the air, slowly unfurling into an open palm, which it laid down next to Sept. The slight impact shook the gantry slightly.
<EVA-01> [("EVA-01 is moving by itself- this… This is bad! Why aren't the restraining bolts working?!") ("We can't have another EVA berserk… Not here in Central Dogma-") ("Wait, what's it doing? Sept?")]
*Sept looked at the hand, and then the face looking down at him, remembering the encounter at the square. It seemed so long ago.-
*Sept climbed onto the open palm, and stood there. "It's trust, Frédéric. I betrayed that trust, and I need to regain it. Whatever it takes." His voice was a little shaky, but whether it was from fatigue or fear was uncertain.
<EVA-01> [("Y-you're going to -trust- that? You saw what 04 did to Iadiel, Sept!") ("Sera, please, see reason-") ("De Pteres! What's- What's he- Marianne?!") ("Keep calm, Sophie.")]
*EVA-01 's hand fastened around Sera. Not to the point where he was crushed. But -enough- to keep him secure. The machine's level of control was phenomenal. Very slowly, it lifted him up to head height.-
<EVA-01> Then the entire top part of the body lurched forward slightly. The False Plug- the massive, cross-shaped Plug that occupied the cavity in 01's spine when the Entry Plug wasn't being used- shook. 01 wanted it out. He wanted a -real- plug.
<Sept> "Frédéric?" … "I'll need to get inside. Prepare the plug."
<EVA-01> ["No. Absolutely not." Said Gosselin quickly. "I don't have clearance for that, Sept."-
<EVA-01> ["Lieutenant Gosselin." Said a sudden, cold voice over the PA. "I'm giving you clearance. Prepare the Entry Plug for activation and synchronisation."-
<EVA-01> [Silence. Then- "Y-yes. Of course, Commander." The clamps around the False Plug pulled- and with one mighty tug, the entire thing was pulled free. Within minutes a new, perfectly functional Entry Plug was prepared. "T… There's a Synchronisation Headset inside." Said Gosselin, his voice uncertain. "We'll prepare the LCL once you're inside."]
*EVA-01 lifts its arm, pushing Sept towards the plug for ease of access.
*Sept was about to start yelling when the Commander's voice cut in, likely preventing a dangerous set of circumstances. "Thank you, Ginevre." Sera climbed in, put on the headset, and waited. Breathing some water would be the least of his trials that day.
<EVA-01> [("B… Beginning LCL immersion.") and a few moments later, the plug started to fill with LCL! Within seconds, Sept would be inundated by the hyperoxygenic liquid.-
<EVA-01> [("Inserting the Plug.") The plug was pushed into 01's back, and secured. The hatch closed.-
<EVA-01> [("Beginning first stage contact.") The plug shone with colour- a kaleidoscope of rainbows, fractal patterns, starry fields- before finally coming to the LCL-less, clear view that a synchronised pilot had- the view from the Eva's head.-
<EVA-01> [("Synchronisation complete.")]
<EVA-01> [Time passes. Minutes tick by as pilot and Evangelion converse…-
<EVA-01> A low, repetitive, deep sound booms from the Evangelion. Hu. Hu. Hu. Hu. Hu.
<EVA-01> [("Oh Jesus, is it…?!") ("…")]
<EVA-01> There was a moment of dead stillness.
<EVA-01> Then, EVA 01's eyes turned red.
<EVA-01> [("… The thought pulses are reversing! Lieutenant! EVA-01…") ("?! Is it- Is it going berserk?") ("Y… Well. Well… No. It's not… It… -Almost-. This is really weird…")]
[21:15] * EVA-01 remained -completely- still. Even though everyone who knew it was there was freaking out.
[21:38] <Sept> There was clear discomfort in the entry plug. Sera's groans and heavy breathing came through quite clear on the speakers.
[Time passed, still heavy with the silent, but unignorable threat presented by the Evangelion.]
[21:46] * EVA-01 finally moved, its mouth ripping free of its metal dentures, a loud, painful, disappointed roar echoing throughout the room. The entirety of the Geofront heard that terrible sound.
[21:46] <EVA-01> [There was silence in the command centre. Fear was the order of the day.]
[Time… Passed. The minutes ticked by once more.]
*EVA-01 roared, once again- a terrible, aching sound. It turned its gaze toward one of the windows above- where the Command centre could look down upon the Evangelion.-
*EVA-01 didn't wait. A single moment was all it needed. It reared back- and swung a fist straight into that window. Crack! Again. Crack!-
<EVA-01> [("M-My God! Evacuate! Evacuate! Pull the plug!") ("It really is going berserk!") ("A-aaah…!")]
<EVA-01> Another series of crashes this time. 01 was ramming its entire head into the wall, shaking all of Central Dogma. It was on limited power, yet- wham! Wham! The wall buckled beneath that incredible weight.
<EVA-01> Wham-wham-wham-wham-wham! Wham… Wham. 01's back split open, and the plug was ejected forcefully, slamming rather violently into a wall before finally landing. 01 slumped forth, scraping down the wall.
<EVA-01> [("Ejection procedure com… Complete. Sophie, you alright?") ("Frédéric… I…")]
*Sept had the wind knocked out of him, physically as well as mentally. For all too many moments, it sounded like he was drowning - suffocating, whatever the technical term would've been. Finally, when his breathing stabilised, Sera lay back in the vague comfort of the ejected entry plug, trying to figure out what had just happened, trying his best to ignore the headache and the faint
*Sept trail of blood trickling down from his forehead.
<EVA-01> [The LCL had drained away. Thank God. But now there were sounds from the outside. "Sept. Sept!" … A sudden shout of pain. Then- the Plug's hatch opened.]
<Sept> "Who..?" The utterly confused pilot squinted his eyes.
<EVA-01> ["Sept…" The serious, worried face of Ginevre Fontaine. She kept clenching her hands. "Are- Are you alright?"]
<Sept> "Fr— Ginevre. What are you..?"
*Ginevre stepped into the Plug fully now, bending slightly. She was hovering over Sept now, reaching out- touching his face, wiping at the blood. "Sept… Sept. I'm here to get you out."
<Sept> "Out? But." Sera made a brave attempt at looking around. 01's figure, resting in an unnatural position, caught his eye, and he remembered. "Oh. Y-yeah, let's do that."
*Ginevre reached out, grabbing Sept's upper arms. She winced as she did so, and Sept might notice momentarily what appeared to be burn marks on Ginevre's hands. But before long he was being gently pulled out, and pulled towards the exit of the Plug.
<Ginevre> [… "SEPT! SEEEPT! Oh- Oh no-" Came another voice. Freya.]
*Ginevre frowned slightly. She began to move slightly faster.
<Sept> "…? Was that. Freya? Freya!"
<Ginevre> [Within minutes Freya came into view, looking absolutely frantic. Sept could -also- see repair and removal crews filtering into the area, but he probably didn't care too much about them.-
<Ginevre> ["Sept! Oh God, what were you thinking!? I heard- I was -so- scared, I'm so glad you're safe, but…" She grabbed onto him.]
<Ginevre> "Easy, Solheim. I can handle this." Said Fontaine coolly, still supporting Sept.
<Sept> "…'Handle'? I just… need some rest, Ginevre. Some time to think this over. I think I'll be fine to the apartment, I…" He supported himself slightly on Freya, and carefully put more weight on his legs. "Yeah. Legs still working. Just see to your… child." He glanced at 01. "That's enough for me."
*Ginevre stared at Sept, then at Freya. Finally, she let go. "Very well. Solheim, take de Pteres to the Medical Division. Have him checked for a concussion. -Only- after that will you take him back to his quarters. Understood?" She said firmly.
<Ginevre> ["Yes, Ma'am. Understood perfectly." She nodded, then turned back to Sept. "Come on, you. Geez, you're lucky you didn't break anything… But that head wound does look nasty, Sept. Come on." She started leading him away.]
<Sept> "Mmh. I've been through worse though… haven't I? Like that time the rails by Seine-2 were slippery from the rain. Haha…"
<Ginevre> ["Mmm, I dunno, Sept. You've been in some dangerous things, but… Well, I'm sure you're fine, but at least we should check. You always were a bit insensitive to danger when it comes to stuff like this."]
*Ginevre stared after the two, watching them go. She flexed her hands, looked down at them with the hint of a forlorn look. The skin was blistered and burned from prying open the still-hot Plug hatch- the burns were deep enough to leave scars… She'd have to take up her gloves again after this. She sighed, staring on after Sept- and hoping it'd been worth it.
<Sept> "I guess… As long as I get to sleep after. The headache's just… deeper than that. I don't know." Sera touched his forehead, and winced when he found the wound. The pain vividly brought back the feel of the command centre wall, giving way to him- no, to 01. What the hell was all that about?
<Ginevre> [That would be a story for another time. "Deeper…?"]
<Sept> "It's like… ugh, I can't describe it. Let's talk about it later. Maybe it is just a concussion."
<Ginevre> ["Hm…" A worried look came across Freya's face as she led Sept away, leaving Ginevre behind to clean up after 01.-
<Ginevre> [In the command room, the Bridge Bunnies had largely managed to collect themselves; Marianne helping to direct the cleanup efforts, whilst Frédéric helped calm down the highly upset Sophie. For someone who idolised the Evas as much as she did, having one try to burst through the Command Centre was an extremely horrifying experience.]

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