In The Line Of Assault

<Mina‘Haplo> [[SESSION 6: Neon Genesis Evangelion. Date: 17th of April, 2015. Episode Title: In the Line of Assault.-
<Mina`Haplo> [Two Hours Ago:-
<Mina`Haplo> [The tremors can be felt miles away. Boom. Boom. Each five seconds, another world-shaking tremor. Boom. Boom. It shakes the ancient trees of Bourgogne, and disturbs the waters. Ripples spread across lakes and rivers temporarily stop. Animals start to flee. Boom. Boom.-
[20:27] <Mina`Haplo> [One Hour Ago:-
[20:28] <Mina`Haplo> [An armoured, plated head lifts itself into the sky. It sniffs for a moment. The world is unfamiliar to it, yet primevally belonging to it. Something very much akin to satisfaction ripples through its body. It lifts a heavy, armoured foot, brings it down. A tree is crushed underneath. It keeps walking.-
[20:29] <Mina`Haplo> [10 Minutes Ago:-
[20:29] <Mina`Haplo> ["Why the hell didn’t we detect it earlier?" Shouts a wheelchair-bound man, his face contorted into anger. "This thing is massive- you're telling me we didn't see it? What happened to the Interception Net?" "We- We don't know, sir!" "Call the pilots! Paris-2 is on alert!"-
[20:30] <Mina‘Haplo> [The Present. The Pilots have been summoned. NERV HQ is alive with the sound of alarms and warnings.]
[20:40] *Yanmei is there, her pleasant mask on as per usual, shrugging out of her jacket and draping it over her arm as she walked briskly toward Command. Today, she felt no more eager to be tossed onto te battlefield than usual, but at least she had a personal game plan to keep her on track. She had been altogether too emotional lately, and that was absolutely no way to behave.
[20:40] * Sept makes his way through the HQ corridors, wincing at every cycle of the alarms. He was a bit twitchy due to the racket and general chaos, but kept himself under control… for now.
[20:40] * Aline on the other hand was a bit more frantic and scattered, looking a bit frazzled and out-of-place. She was deeeefinitely in the throes of a mood disruption. But she was there! That was the important thing!
[20:41] <Dorian> "We haven’t any time to lose." Said Dorian, turning to look at them. "I applaud you on your rapidity, nevertheless. Gosselin! On screen!"-
[20:43] <Dorian> [An image flickered across the Command Centre's holographic viewer. A… Beast appeared. It was a squat, thick, monstrous creature- easily taller and larger than an Evangelion by -far-. It was armoured in thick, bony plates and meaty, fat, clawed hands. It seemed almost to be fighting the instinct to rampage or stampede.-
[20:43] <Dorian> [Its arms looked as though they'd been carved out of a mountainside, and its eyes… There was an ossified 'face' on top of its head, with a long, horn-like 'nose'… Two 'eyes' sat on this face, smoking as if a fire raged within it.]
[20:46] <Dorian> [Across the top of the viewscreen are the words: "Object: Fifth Angel, Codename: ASMODEL".]
[20:46] <Yanmei> "At least this one won't be too quick on its feet?" She was ignoring her fear. That little voice in the back of her head that warned her that - based on appearences - it would probably hit like an Eva-sized tank. Why oh why did they have to go out there?
[20:47] <Sept> "We're… going to need some kind of weakness on this one. That armor looks really tough."
[20:47] * Aline meanwhile sighed slightly in relief. How the hell was this a relief?? "…At least… At least it looks dumb and brutish enough to not have a ridiculous AT Field strength. Maybe."
[20:48] <Dorian> "The MAGI's going all over it looking for weaknesses. Hopefully…" Dorian went silent, and he nodded to Aline. "We suspect its' AT Field isn't very strong, which is how it managed to get so close without us detecting it." Dorian took a deep breath. Was he nervous, too?-
[20:49] <Dorian> "Do your best, pilots. Everyone is counting on you. I don't need to remind you what the price of failure is- but we have every confidence in you. Get to it!"
[20:56] <Yanmei> "Yes sir." Calm(?) resignation. She turned to go. Eva 04 awaited…
[20:57] <Sept> "Mmh." A few more glances around the room, and then at Asmodel, and Sera was off. The faster they were out there, the less of the city would be destroyed.
[20:58] * Aline certainly did get to it, moving frantically and sporadically. Third time was… not the charm for heated, high-speed plugsuit dressing, unfortunately. THIS time, Aline managed to make it without having to hop around. However, she caught herself putting the damn thing on /backwards/ right before hitting the tightener (which is how she noticed that in the first place). Given the
[20:58] * Aline circumstances, it was… basically the same speed that she -normally- dressed at. Oh well. But, after that? Her heading to the entry plug was practically a dash~
[21:01] <Dorian> [The three Evangelions were waiting. The Bakelite was starting to drain… Entry plugs were waiting their pilots.]
[21:05] * Sept emerged, fully suited and carrying a small pouch. Entering the plug, he first carefully set the pouch down to the side so as to not let it interfere with his job.
[21:05] * Yanmei stared into her plug after dressing and ascending to the proper platform. The expression on her face was unreadable for just a few moments, but… she made herself climb in anyway, shutting her eyes once she was inside and tightly gripping the controls, bracing herself for the unpleasantness to follow.
[21:06] <Dorian> ["You going alright, Sera?" Came the voice of Lieutenant Gosselin over 01's intercom. ("Inserting Entry Plug!") Sept felt the Plug enter the Evangelion's spine…-
[21:06] <Dorian> ["You can do it, Yanmei." Whispered Marianne, partly to herself, but partly to her precious little girl. ("Inserting… Entry plug.") Yanmei was delivered unto 04- and the Plug started to fill with LCL.-
[21:07] <Sept> "Yeah… It looks like we'll just have to throw everything we have at it, Frédéric."
[21:07] * Aline had slid into the seat for her plug with what nearly amounted to a -sliding leap-! She already got in position, got ready… And took a long, deep breath. Calm down. Calm down. Everything in 00, including you, has to be as calm as the lakes in winter. Nothing moves in a sheet of ice. Nothing. All is still…
[21:08] <Dorian> [Sept's plug started to fill with LCL- as did Aline's. "You're the best, Aline, and so's 00- I know you'll pull us through!" Gushed Sophie, coincidentally, as the LCL also gushed.-
[21:09] <Dorian> [("Plugs secured. Begin the first level connection.") "Sera, 50 francs says you cut off its head anyway."-
[21:09] <Yanmei> "Right. I'll do it." She was only-half listening, it seemed. It took a moment for the meaning behind Marianne's words to sink in, and she flushed, just a little. "Erm. I mean, thank you, Marianne."
[21:10] <Dorian> [("I know you will, sweetheart.") The kaleidoscope effect ripples through the plugs, and each pilot would find themselves, as is by now familiar, sitting, to them, in an LCL-less plus- seeing through the eyes of a 40 metre tall war machine.-
[21:11] <Dorian> [("Entering second level contact. Fixing the thought patterns to French- Bidirectional circuits are open. Synchronisation complete.")]
[21:12] * Aline was practically meditating. Ironic, that even with how much it could cripple her… Trying to overcome her depression through sheer -will- was making Aline far more -aware- of the world around her than before.
[21:15] * Yanmei shivered, almost imperceptably. She kept her eyes shut for now, and tried to make no other movements.
[21:17] <Dorian> "Report. How're you all going, pilots?"
[21:20] * Aline could be slightly heard muttering something about how she must be calm… but then perked up. "Ah! Alright. And… send me and 00 to the furthest launch point in the affected area. Yanmei and Sera will need the advantage. Don't be surprised if I do something… weird. Just have the central river umbilical ready!" …Okay, what was she on about?
[21:21] <Dorian> "Noted."
[21:22] <Yanmei> "Just fine, Major. Nothing unusual." Those listening closely might have perceived a silent sigh attatched to that, depending on who they were. "I'll need a bit of time to raise my shield once I'm up there? De Pteres, are you okay with going in closest?"
[21:23] <Sept> "Not out there yet, Dorian. Are you sure it took this long the other times?"-
[21:23] <Sept> "Yeah. No problem at all."
[21:25] <Dorian> "Sept, we're going as fast as we can. Trust me in this-" the 'roof' trembled slightly as the Angel walked. "Alright. Prepare to Launch! Release the first lock bolt!"-
[21:26] <Dorian> A series of clamps and restraining bolts broke free from all of the Evangelions. The three machines were tractored onto three separate launch pads. ("Launch preparations are complete.")-
[21:26] <Dorian> "Roger. LAUNCH!"-
[21:26] <Dorian> [A lurching, pulling feeling as each Evangelion was launched -upwards-, to the city!]
[21:33] * Aline roared out of the gate with surprising speed, getting her bearings readily. "Okay, okay, rangefinding… Ah! Got it." In a blink of an eye, her AT Field was fully spread… and then suddenly? EVA-00 /launched/ right into the air, and leapt across much of Paris-2 in a single, crazy floaty-jump, landing right near the desired Umbilical station! While she had no idea what was about to
[21:33] * Aline befall her… Aline did feel pretty proud of what she did~
[21:34] <Dorian> [Asmodel didn't respond to the appearance of the Evangelions. Its lumbering had stopped even before they arrived.-
[21:34] <Dorian> [Aline's stunt, however- and the appearance of an AT Field- saw it bring its head up immediately. It turned towards her… Dropped to all fours… Lowered its head, and charged. The ground shook with its weight.]
[21:42] * Aline stared, wide-eyed. "…Ohno." She tried desperately to block the sudden roaring charge… But it was no use! The thing /gored/ 00's left arm, ripping the thing open! And it wasn't much better for Aline. "IYaaaaaaaowww!" But… in spite of her piercing scream, something strange happened. She could feel 00 better now. The pain must have shocked her into action!
[21:45] <Dorian> [Asmodel ripped the horn down 00's left arm, sending a wave of glood gushing from it, coating the Angel. It tasted blood.]
[21:46] <Yanmei> "Blanc!" Her voice was shocked… as if she couldn't believe either te stunt she had just seen, or the Angel's reaction to it. She clenched her jaw, trying to focus on her shield through the protective anger suddenly gripping her. "I'm sorry… Just hold on, Blanc!"
[21:47] <Sept> "Aline! Stupididiotangel…"
[21:51] * Aline was now absolutely terrified, and… 00 once again gave gravity the finger, this time shooting -straight up into the air-, leaving it and thus Aline floating a heady amount of kilometers above the entire battlefield. Aline didn't say anything, but her heavy, frantic breathing could be heard over the comms. …And it kept going, even as 00 seemed to just hang in midair, umbilical
[21:51] * Aline dangling to make it look like an obnoxiously gigantic balooon.
[21:53] <Dorian> [Asmodel follows Aline with its eyes as she rises… Then seems to give up interest. It looks down at the ground, and raises its hand, a field of actinic energy rippling around it… Which it plunges into the ground, the sheer force rippling through the very turf beneath them and smashing through plates of armor.-
[21:53] <Dorian> "?! W-what the hell-" ("Major, it breached plates 1 and 2!") "G-Goddamnit! And 00's… Alright. 01 and 04, converge on the Angel and flank it from two directions!"
[21:55] <Sept> "I'm on it! …it's like it's not even interested in us…"
[21:58] * Yanmei stepped drifted in a few steps closer, a short burst of fire erupting from her gun. "We won't let you get away with that!"
[21:58] <Dorian> [The shot was guided this time by remote computing, and they impacted on the thing's leg… It looked down at the blood, then up at Yanmei.]
[22:02] <Sept> "I… I n-need more speed to get through. If I get en— enough, I could get through its armor, right..?" Sera's backward steps quickly turn into an all-out sprint.
[22:06] * Aline suddenly stopped just breathing into the comms, and actually said something. "O… kay… I think I've got it… under control. Give me a second to… aim better."
[22:08] <Dorian> [The thing was still looking towards Yanmei. It dropped to all fours… And started walking towards her, slowly at first, but gaining speed…!]
[22:11] <Dorian> "It's going to charge." Said Dorian, murmuring to himself… "It's going to charge! Yanmei, pull back, quickly. You can't take that thing one-on-one without the other two Evangelions!"
[22:16] <Yanmei> "Yes Major…" Resisting the urge to spring forward and slice at the thing. She instead let out another short burst of fire, scuttling a little closer to Sept.
[22:16] <Dorian> [The bolts struck the glowing red perfect sphere that was the core.-
[22:16] <Dorian> [It let out a truly angry bellow at this.]
[22:18] * Yanmei paled a little at that, but kept her jaw clenched, putting on a tough and -composed- front in other respects.
[22:18] <Dorian> "Sept! Sept, we need you back there. I think…" There was a pause. "We need to bring down its AT Field, anyway."
[22:21] <Sept> "…yeah. On my way, Dorian. Sorry." As he'd feared, the situation didn't look any better from further away. But still, he managed, if only thanks to the niggling voice in his head, to make himself get back, closer to the beast.
[22:23] * Aline slowly, carefully replied. "It might… be using it to nullify force… rather than just passively deflect. Though that's sort of even more passive. Let's… see." And she started to float down in 00, half the distance she had bolted up in the first place! Juuuust close enough, to… "Alright… Going to try to neutralize some of its field. Let's see if that makes our shots easier!"
[22:26] <Dorian> [The beast's field shimmered slightly as it was disturbed- the field wrapped tightly around its body.-
[22:27] <Dorian> [… Only for it to fully reform as it charged, away from Aline and directly into Yanmei! The horn rose through the air… And slammed into a wall of force before it was able to land.]
[22:35] * Yanmei didn't quite shriek… but the slight squeaking noise she made made it apparent that she hadn't been expecting for her AT field to withstand the blow. Hopefully no one had heard it, though? She scrabbled even closer to Sept, now… "de Pteres! Let's attack together!"
[22:37] <Sept> "Got it… You okay, Aline? Neutralising AT field… now."
[22:38] <Dorian> [There was a shimmer once more around the creature's body…-
[22:38] <Dorian> "It's AT Field is down! Strike!"
[22:44] * Aline let 00 land, and delivered a curt "Right!"… before raising the big hulking railgun one-handed, and firing it… and hitting anyway. How's -that- for a bounceback from terror?
[22:50] <Dorian> [The tricky- very tricky- shot manages to hit despite Aline's troubles! It cuts through some of the armor in the beast's right leg, which starts to bleed a little. But… It hardly notices as it drops its head and charges at Sept!]
[22:51] <Dorian> "Alright. Yanmei and Aline- provide covering fire!"
[22:51] * Sept saw the beast coming up for another charge, this time at him. So taking down its field finally got its attention? In any case, things were finally going more or less according to plan. Sera waited for the Angel to get closer… waited, and placed all of his weight behind his shield, in a textbook attempt to divert the force of the charge. It was very much not unlike a matador's
[22:51] * Sept maneuvers… whether or not the boy knew what a matador was.
[22:51] <Yanmei> ["Roger that!" Attacking one of her comrades again! Yanmei lifted her gun in a flash of anger and let loose completely with a hail of bullets!]
[22:53] <Dorian> [Asmodel's charge goes wide, horn harmlessly glancing off the shield's thick hull. Yanmei's bullets fare -much- better this time, and cause a good deal of wounds all over the creature's body! Already slightly shaken from the failed charge, it shakes its head and looks back around at Yanmei.]
[23:02] * Aline then… gets a crazy-looking grin. "I'm sorry, Dorian. But I'm not going to provide covering fire." …AT distortions flowed around 00… and like a shot, the unit bounded through the air with the grace of a wire-fu using wuxia protagonist!… Only for its strange insectile head to gape open and reveal a toothy maw dripping with some rather nasty-looking acid, making it much
[23:02] * Aline more on par with a horror story. And this horror-kung-fu headed straight into Asmodel's leg, with a horrible crunch!
[23:04] <Yanmei> "Wh-what the hell?! I mean… well done, Blanc?"
[23:06] <Dorian> [The beast cries out with sudden pain as Aline… Uses some sort of horrible bite attack and relinquishes her right to be considered a civilised human being. Dear lord.-
[23:09] * Sept lunges in using the opening from the blocked charge. Savoring his first direct attack, he takes careful aim before making a wild thrust at Asmodel with his dagger.
[23:09] <Dorian> [Asmodel might be distracted with the pain from such a barbaric attack… But it manages to bring its hand, shimmering with energy, up. In a horrifying moment, time seems to slow for Sept as the Angel rips the knife from his hands… And crushes it, the pieces falling into the Seine.]
[23:11] * Yanmei moved in closer! Carefully. She tried to steady her hand, remembering back to her lessons at the shooting range.
[23:12] <Dorian> "Yes, that's it, Yanmei. Keep it like that… Raise the rifle, aim down the sight…"
[23:20] <Sept> "My… knife… YOU IDIOT!" Sera made for a vengeful counterattack, but missed. It just wasn't the same without it…
[23:21] * Aline moved in again… "I've designated the core!" The telltale blue flicker of her markerlight designation system, on her still-good wing, could be seen painting small purple spots on that glowing red core… Which, naturally, she proceeded to try to feast upon! And while her aim was extraordinary…
[23:22] <Dorian> [Aline might feel a faint stinging sensation in her face as the Angel slaps her, er, head away.]
[23:23] <Dorian> "NOW, YANMEI! FULL BURST!"
[23:24] * Yanmei did as told, and for a moment the gunfire was deafening!
[23:32] <Dorian> [The beast roared in indignation! How dare these creatures keep trying to hurt it, keep… Keep puncturing its flesh with little bites?! And big bites, too!]
[23:32] <Dorian> "Sept, I'm sending up a flail from 00's weapon stores. It can be found at your Launch Bay."
[23:38] <Sept> "Thank you, Dorian. It should be -hnng- useful here." The speech was interrupted by Sera's obviously futile attempts at piercing the creature's armor with his bare(?) hands.
[23:39] * Aline attempted yet another… ultimately meaningless bite! "Hmm… I think I'm going to have to try to get manipulative here. I still have the core designated, though!"
[23:39] <Dorian> "Alright. Yanmei, try to open up on that core! Use aimed, single shots!"
[23:44] <Yanmei> "Yes sir." Yanmei tried just that… and missed! Oh dear. "Next time! - " Slight frown as she broke off, distracted.
[23:57] * Aline had continued to try out the bites… but this time, it being able to parry her was causing her no end of frustration! "D-damn! I'm going to have to back off and fight at range again!"
[23:58] <Dorian> [The beast was bloodied now from a thousand missiles and bullets, that had surprisingly been taking their toll… It ripped its legs up out of the ground, stamping them twice like a sumo wrestler, before whirling its glowing hands right at Aline!]
[00:00] * Aline instinctively reached out with her AT field, more than blocking the hits as soon as they came!
[00:01] <Dorian> [The beast smashed its fists into the AT Field, snorting flames and smoke from its eyes in frustration.]
[00:01] <Sept> "N—!!" Sera's yell was cut short as Aline blocked the assault.
[00:01] * Yanmei fired again after a moment of distracted preparation, sending her bullet for the core.
[00:03] <Dorian> [The beast howled, an ululating cry that shattered windows and shook buildings. It turned to Yanmei. Enough of this pestilential beast…]
[00:05] * Sept grabbed the flail, and started on his way back. So far, so good…
[00:07] * Aline once again committed energy to releasing gravity's bindings… and hovered upwards, the constant scan of her markerlights still playing across the core! "There! I'm out of your way. You should have a much easier shot now!"
[00:09] <Dorian> [Asmodel lumbered toward Yanmei, its foot sinking into the Seine, sending waves onto the shore- before swiping a giant energy claw at EVA-04's arm!]
[00:11] * Yanmei jerked out of the way just barely, with a gasp. Falling back on instinct, she jabbed frantically at it with the wickedly pointy bayonet fastened to the end of her gun!
[00:21] * Aline floated high above Paris-2, unassailable, unreachable… And in position to strike. Her rail shot struck true, but it only made a minor nick to the core! "Mmm… needs a little more…"
[00:31] <Sept> Finally back - Sera could now cover Alexia to his full extent. Getting to flail the flail at the Angel was just a bonus. Lashing wildly from side to side, the weapon came down on Asmodel!
[00:32] <Dorian> [The beast shook a little at the attack to its most sensitive spot… This seemed to break its tunnel-visioning hatred for Yanmei, however. Now it turned to Sept and his flail. It had had enough.-
[00:33] <Dorian> [It reached forward with both hands, one of them being tossed aside by Sept's shield- the other smashed itself into his body with monstrous ease. Metal ripped and tore, and Asmodel's hand came back covered in blood.]
[00:36] <Yanmei> "No!" Yanmei stabbed again and again, coherant thoughts breaking down under the rhythm of the thrusts. Just. Go. Down. And. DIE.
[00:39] <Sept> "Hhgghg." What Sera felt was more like just being knocked breathless than something very close to being eviscerated, but comfort was still not the operative word here. In a flash, he remembered Iadiel - how its flames had burrowed through from that same spot. He didn't want to leave 01, not here in the middle of the city.
[00:39] <Dorian> [Crack! Crack! Crack! The bayonet smashed into Asmodel's red core, which flared for a moment, filling with energy…-
[00:40] <Dorian> ["Merde! Merde! Take cover!" Yelled the soldiers on the ground, all of them suddenly, utterly convinced they were about to die.-
[00:40] <Dorian> [… The core glowed, flickered, and died. Asmodel's lingering, rattling death cry rang out, deafening the people on the ground, even those in bunkers… But once the core died, it shudders, slumped, collapsed onto the ground with a crash, and lie still.]
[00:41] * Aline stared down… "Mm…" She sounded rather muted and contemplative, as if pondering a great many truths. Or simply watching. Yes… watching. It was, at least, a relief that the core didn't explode. "Ah. Good work, Yanmei! And we seem to be lucky this time."
[00:42] <Dorian> [("Wait, it's dead? Where's the explosion? There should be an explosion.") ("Shush, Gosselin! We've won! We've won! Yanyan did it!")]
[00:44] * Yanmei lifted the bayonet again in her frenzy… and stopped, confused. It was no longer moving? But it wasn't blowing up either. "We.." her thoughts filtered back to her. "It's dead?"
[00:44] * Sept covered his face, widened and lowered his stance… and waited. But nothing happened. It took some time for it to sink in, but… "We did it! Paris-2 is fine!" Sera closed his eyes, relaxed, and let the flail and shield fall from his hands.
[00:45] <Dorian> [The flail promptly came down and smashed several cars in the street.]
[00:46] * Aline chimed softly, and even happily. "Yes, it's over~." She did pause, though. "…I do have one thing to honor, though." …And 00 moved back, to hover over its launch point, where Aline knew she'd most efficiently be able to do what she was about to do! Then?… She -rose-. Rose so high that the umbilical was pulled taut. And for the moments that the people on the ground were
[00:46] * Aline celebrating? Aline was up there, staring down at all of it. And past it. Past Paris-2 as well. To see the plains and forests beyond it. To look at the horizon… Peer through the clouds, clouds that likely the lowest of which she had gone -beyond-.
[00:49] <Dorian> "We won…" Dorian nodded to himself. "Good job, pilots. Come home, now."
[00:52] * Aline …knew she had to go, sooner or later. But she did, eventually. Graciously. "Right. Coming~"

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