In The Shadow Of A Mechanical God

[00:04] <Sept> [Paris-2, a downtown rooftop. One of the Usual Places. Silence has fallen on the busy neighbourhood, both due to the time and events of the day. The view would normally be quite poetic, if not for the massive figure of the just-unveiled EVA Unit 01 standing, lifeless, in a square and creeping the fuck out of the populace, despite the best intentions of the ceremony.]
[00:09] <Sept> [Freya glances at her watch before continuing to stare out at the sun retreating beyond the skyline. Despite his common claims to the contrary, Sera was a creature of habit in many things, and if he were to show up, it would be soon. Her wait was not long, as she soon heard the metal-on-metal rattling of the fire escape announcing his arrival. The boy's head peeked onto the roof, surveying
[00:09] <Sept> it before climbing on, and wordlessly joining the girl in her stare from a safe few meters away. -]
[00:09] <Sept> "Did you see it?"
[00:14] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya turns slightly toward him, then flicks her eyes back towards the massive green monstrosity that now towered in the centre of Paris-2. "It’s not something that's easy to miss. It's…" A low whistle. "… Something."]
[00:25] <Sept> "I meant the ceremony. Steered clear, but it was hard to miss. I think I ran into three separate parades before I found my way. But yeah, it got really quiet once the flyovers ended. Did you see the ceremony? What do you think they were trying to do?"
[00:27] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Well…" She tapped her fingers together. "Three parades. Military fanfare. -Bunting-. Sounds like they were trying to make people proud."]
[00:39] <Sept> "Huh." Sera examined the machine. "I dunno. I think it’s too big for anyone to be proud of. I saw a lot of scared and upset people. The way it is, it just seems like it doesn't fit. Like it's… alone there." There was no discernible emotional response to this visible on his face.
[00:44] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Alone?" Freya peered out at the machine that dominated the sky of Paris-2. "Yeah… No real pride, is there? But… It’s not like a lack of pride, exactly, it's just that it inspires fear more than pride, right? It's alone, like you said- it's not something we can really understand."]
[00:49] <Sept> "Mhm. Business?"
[00:52] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Oh, it wasn’t bad!" Says Freya cheerily, turning her attention away from the mechanical god. "In fact… It was good enough to…~" She rustles about in her coat and tosses Sept a small paper bag.]
[00:55] <Sept> Sept hurriedly turns his head to the rustling, but relaxes once he sees the bag and catches it. With a questioning look to Freya, he peers inside.
[00:56] <Mina‘Haplo> [A buttered croissant.]
[00:56] <Mina`Haplo> [A little toasted.]
[01:22] <Sept> The croissant faces a swift and delicious death at the teeth of le monstre de Pteres.
[01:23] <Sept> "Fhankhf." Munch, munch. "So, the city. As I said, quiet. Ran some packages to people. Really enjoyable with empty streets. If that thing’s the reason for it, I don't mind it being around."
[01:24] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya smiles in an amused, slightly exasperated way- no doubt she’s had plenty of experience with Sept's awkward dislike of crowds. "So that's all it takes for you to like it, huh? It clears out the streets and you're instant friends…?"]
[01:31] <Sept> "Friend's a strong word. It just distracts people. Draws attention. It's nothing like you, for exam— No, that's not right. It's exactly like you. So… I guess we have to be friends? But don't worry, I'm sure things'll get back to normal soon. Either it'll go away or people will just get bored with it."
[01:32] <Sept> "I mean, not that they'd get bored with you. I mean."
[01:37] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya wasn’t sure whether to laugh or not. What on earth did that mean? She looked back over at Sept's new 'friend'. Then back towards Sept. "Exactly alike, huh? I dunno… Do you think so? I mean…" She turned back towards it. "Now that I look at it… I dunno, Sept. I'm getting a sort of… Protective vibe from it." Now back to Sept. The awkward asocial boy is now diamonds. "Am I protective, huh?"]
[01:45] <Sept> If by diamonds, you mean flushed red, yes. "I, but, that's not what I said Iwasjusttalkingabout how you, work with people, and things. -"
[01:46] <Sept> "andI'mnotsaying protective is such a bad thing to be, and, uh. The croissant?"
[01:50] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya started laughing now. "It’s okay, Sept. It's okay." She said, chuckling. "I'm sure your new friend can give you much bigger croissants. Look at those big hands of…" She tilted her head. "I dunno what you use in this situation. He? She? It?"]
[01:55] <Sept> A sigh of relief. "I don't think there's a word for that. I think 'it' will do for now. It hasn't done anything… human, so it's only logical, right?"
[23:57] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Yeah, but, they call ships ’she', you know." Says Freya, slightly teasingly. "What do you want your new friend to be, Sept, hm~?"]
[00:00] <Sept> "I think…"
[00:02] <Sept> "I think I don't want to know where you're going with this." -
[00:03] <Sept> Sera finishes off the last bit of the croissant. "I mean, I guess it looks like a him, but… why would it matter, he'll just be— -it- will just be taken away soon. They wouldn't just keep it there. Would they?"
[00:05] <Mina‘Haplo> ["You know… Something that big probably will be moved. Actually." She grins at Sept. "That’s a good question. What do you think it's even for?"]
[00:11] <Sept> She most likely already knew. She rarely asked questions to find out the answer. "I didn't give it much thought. Considering all the flair and showing off, I don't know… some kind of remotely guided multi-purpose weapon or tool? Doesn't look like it'd make a comfortable transport, at least."
[00:14] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya nodded. "Definitely a weapon. Why else would it have a military parade in its honour?" She said, looking over at Sept. "Is it really needed, though?" She asked idly, reaching into her jacket and taking out another paper bag. Reaching in, she pulled out an iced bun and began to nibble.]
[00:24] <Sept> "Hmmh." He couldn’t quite figure out what she was getting at, but then again, he rarely could. "I wouldn't know. Maybe someone else has built one too? And what are you now, a paper bag ninja? How many of those do you have stashed away?" A masterful attempt at changing the topic. By Sera's standards, anyway.
[00:30] <Mina‘Haplo> ["I- I have enough! At least, I didn’t want -your- buttered croissant leaking all over -my- bun, ok?" Says Freya, folding her arms, a little scowl folding into a grin. "Besides, the bakery I got it from, the baker seemed rather distracted, and I ended up with a few spare. They'll be handy!"]
[00:43] <Sept> "But what's up with those colors? They don't shine in the sun, but it's obviously not trying to be camouflage either. I don't get it. This whole thing just contradicts itself no matter how you look at it."
[00:45] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Maybe it- maybe he just likes green." Says Freya with a cheeky grin.]
[00:48] <Sept> "See, that’s another thing you have in common."
[00:49] <Sept> "Have you ever wanted to dye your hair orange, by chance?"
[00:52] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya shakes her head. "Where would I find the time to do that? … Hey! What are you saying? That I look like a boy now?"]
[00:59] <Sept> "Iwhatno! You’re the one who keeps calling it a him!" Sera sighs, and smiles for just a moment. "Let's just forget about the thing for now, okay?" he said, while continuing to quite clearly stare at the Eva.
[01:01] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya grins, and, obviously only out of a desire to comply, shifts to put herself between Sept and the Eva. "So! The city is quiet, the day is moderately warm- whatcha gonna do now?"]
[22:27] <Mina`Haplo> [A request to pay a strange, very specific, perhaps even daring favour- for the introverted young Sept to take his friend, Freya Solheim, to see the massive monolithic creation- or rather, not to see. But to stand directly in its shadow- to -touch-.]
[22:36] <Sept> Sept led the way through alleyway and street, perhaps a little too enthusiastically, nearly leaving Freya behind more than once. As they got closer, it became apparent the site was near-deserted as well. Perhaps there were plans for more of the celebrations before they were clearing the square?
[22:38] <Sept> "Do you really think it’s alright? I mean, it seems pretty important, I'm sure they're guarding it *some*how." None of the windows of the neighbouring buildings were spared from his prying stare.
[22:39] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Whoa- whoa." Freya has to almost run at some points to keep up. Was he trying to lose her, or was he simply really eager? She hoped it was the latter- after all, it was important for Sept to get along with his new friend. She grinned a little to herself as she followed Sept out into the square. "Well, if someone gets angry at us, we can just say we didn’t know, I mean, there's no law against touching giant robots."-
[22:39] <Mina‘Haplo> [The square itself is indeed mostly deserted. The large legs of EVA 01 dominate the area, seeming to almost naturally draw the eye up towards its bulk.]
[22:44] <Sept> "There isn’t? I guess you know better… It still doesn't feel right."-
[22:45] <Sept> He began to carefully approach the giant, stopping for several seconds after taking a first step inside the zone reserved for the Eva.
[22:49] <Mina‘Haplo> [… And promptly kicks his foot into an annoyingly pavement-coloured toolbox left lying around. It falls over, a collection of tools and the like spilling onto the ground with a clangy-clang! … But there doesn’t seem to be any guards or the like drawn to the sound.]
[22:53] <Sept> The horrible failure of a ninja continues with his slow pace, trying his best to ignore Freya. Getting close enough, he tried to inspect the paintwork from different angles. Still didn't make any more sense, though.-
[22:54] <Sept> With one more look around the square, Sera placed his palm against the side of Eva 01's foot, his eyes closed tight.
[22:54] <Mina‘Haplo> [That… Brought a reaction, from the most unlikeliest of places.-
[22:55] <Mina`Haplo> [Freya gasped, standing about two metres behind Sept- and the reason soon became apparent. With an excruciatingly loud creak, the Eva… Moved. Its head, only, which had once been staring off into the distance… Looked down, now. Staring down at Sept.]
[22:58] <Sept> "OH GOD PLEASE DON’T-" Sept opened his eyes and looked around the square, but still saw no one. After a few moments, he slowly turned his head upwards, and welped.
[23:00] <Mina‘Haplo> ["S-Sept." Murmured Freya quietly from behind him. "It… It moved. What’d you do…?"]
[23:06] <Sept> "I just no I did nothing why would— alright, I… think it stopped."-
[23:07] <Sept> "Maybe someone sat on the remote or, uh. Let's just… back away, slowly, okay?"
[23:08] <Mina‘Haplo> ["O-okay." Freya starts to back away, since Sept backing into her and then falling over would be far too droll. As Sept would start to move back, though, he’d notice the head -slowly- following him with its gaze…-
[23:10] <Mina‘Haplo> [And then- "Hey. What’re you kids doing?" Came a sudden, deep voice- questioning, but not (exactly) harsh. There was a man, a wheelchair bound man in uniform, sitting in a doorway off to the side, a cigarette between his lips. It looked as though he'd been watching the proceedings- his mouth twitched slightly.]
[23:14] <Sept> Sept spun around wildly, trying to face the man and Eva at the same time. "Itoldyouso Frey whatarewedoingherepleaseanswerhim."
[23:19] <Mina‘Haplo> ["We were… We were just, ah…" Freya shot Sept a look. Damned boy always leaving it up to her to speak for him. -He- was the one who touched Big Green! "We just wanted to look at it! Heh heh… And… And my friend here wanted to feel it. He likes touching legs. … Robot legs."-
[23:20] <Mina`Haplo> [The man stared at them blankly. Or theoretically; his eyes were hidden by black shades. A moment. Another. "… So you kids interested in Zero-One here?" He asks. An awkward moment.]
[23:22] <Sept> Sera scouts out the exits under Freya’s covering fire.-
[23:23] <Sept> …but is forced to treat the encounter as peaceful for now. "Zero… One? His name?"
[23:26] <Mina‘Haplo> ["That’s right. EVA 01." The man wheels out a little further. "It's kind of a codename. Heh. You kids must be pretty gutsy. Most people seem to be afraid of 'er."]
[23:31] <Sept> "Oh, it's just that the quiet he brings outweighs that…"
[23:32] * Aline emerged from around a corner, having been waiting… somewhat nearby. Smallish and unassuming, she was in a somewhat simpler uniform than the wheelchair-riding man… certainly less decorated as well, with only the service logo and a single identification patch on one side. Her white hair fell out almost at random, and instead of shades, clear glasses sat on her nose. Muuuch less
[23:32] * Aline intimidating. The rather soft voice didn't hurt that image either. "Given how they look, though, you can't blame them, no?"
[23:33] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Heh. Well, there’s that." The man reached up to his cigarette, taking a puff- his last, as he rather quickly threw it down and crushed it. "Oh, Aline! You saw these nervy kids, huh?" He snickers.]
[23:34] * Aline leaned against the wall. "Heard, actually. Wondered what the fuss was about."
[23:35] <Sept> Sept started to look around the square again. Just when he'd almost started to feel comfortable. "Stop! How many of there are you? I mean there you— thyou— you know what I mean!"
[23:36] <Mina‘Haplo> [Dorian winced. The correct answer would probably make him panic and flee- Section 2 wasn’t the sort to risk one of its pilots.-
[23:36] <Mina‘Haplo> ["H-hey, Sept. Settle down." Said Freya playfully- yet nervously. She didn’t see any danger yet…]
[23:37] <Sept> "I'll settle down when I know where the rest of them are waiting!"
[23:38] * Aline was nice enough -not- to give the correct answer. "Ah? This -was- just a parade ground. Don't you think it'd be odd to be so desolate, so soon?"
[23:40] * Sept breathed heavily for a while, mouth open, trying to come up with an answer. "I'm finding a lot of odd things today. Why stop now? And who exactly are you?"
[23:40] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Dorian Lachapelle. I work for the company that made Zero One." He nodded, before yielding the floor to Aline.]
[23:41] * Aline actually giggled at that, as if finding it funny. "Aline Blanc, pilot of Zero Zero. This one’s predecessor, obviously. If you had actually watched the parade you might have known that~"
[23:47] <Sept> Sept's breathing got slightly steadier. "Fine. I'm unarmed, so there's no need for more of you here, okay? I'm Sep— My name is Sera, and this is my friend, Freya. So", he said, looking at Dorian and gesturing toward 01. "are you his pilot, then?"
[23:49] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Nice to meet you, Sera." Dorian nods his head. "And nope. I’m the guy who makes things happen, but I'm no pilot."]
[23:50] * Aline nodded as well. "He's more of a…" She seemed to have difficulty with the term still. "Command-and-control… level… operative? Something like that." She did wave, though. "Cute name~"
[23:51] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya giggled a little. "It is, isn’t it? We call him Sept for short."]
[23:54] <Sept> "There was nothing wrong with my real name…"-
[23:56] <Sept> "Oh… if it's alright… I still don't know what exactly it is that this, these EVAs do."
[23:56] <Mina‘Haplo> ["They protect." Said Dorian simply, turning to give Aline a knowing look. The real mission of the Evas wasn’t quite public knowledge yet.]
[23:57] * Aline nodded. "Yes, yes~ Big fancy protectors. Quite big as you can see~"
[00:00] <Sept> "Oh. That makes sense. But… what kind of terrain could it possibly work in that would call for those kinds of colours?"
[00:01] <Mina‘Haplo> ["still on about those colours…" Murmured Freya.-
[00:01] <Mina`Haplo> ["Terrain that’s green and orange, obviously." Said Dorian, smirking, turning to Aline.]
[00:02] * Aline stared up. "…Do you really think camouflage even matters for something that big? At least, I've always been confused about it myself to tell the truth." …She did pause though. "Certainly do tend to be very ah… bright." She blushed a bit, looking at Dorian. She had -yet- to hear the reason for the coloration.
[00:02] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Hey, don’t look at me. I don't know what the hell the Technical Division put in their coffees to come up with -this-."]
[00:03] * Aline shruuuugged. The extra 'u's were for emphasis. "Right~ Maybe you should try some of it, whatever it is. Might perk you right up!" Tease, tease.
[00:04] <Mina‘Haplo> [Dorian muttered something under his breath. Damned kids.]
[00:08] <Sept> "The view from up there must be amazing, though…" Changing the subject, Sera turned again to look at the Eva, and welped. It was still staring.
[00:11] * Aline nodded. "…Well… yes… Can be a bit disorienting in motion, but I know I got over that fairly quickly."
[00:12] <Mina`Haplo> [Dorian nodded slowly at that. He could still recall the first few contact experiments… He turned to Sera, then up at 01. "Looks like someone’s taken a fancy to you, Sera."]
[00:12] <Sept> "Huh, in motion? What kind of monitors do you control it with?"
[00:13] <Mina‘Haplo> [Dorian waved a hand towards Aline.]
[00:14] * Sept blinked.
[00:14] * Aline hoped she interpreted that motion correctly. "No, no, it has nothing to do with that. It’s just… that high up a view, is all." Awkward smile, awkward smile, awkw- shit shit regular smile we need a regular smile!
[00:15] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya gave a sidelong glance towards Sera. "What does she mean by that…?" She whispered.]
[00:16] <Sept> Whisper, whisper. "I think she means she’s afraid of heights, be polite."
[00:17] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Ohhh."]
[00:17] * Aline just continued to stare curiously. She had no idea what they were talking about! So just standing cutely confused. She could do that. That was easy.
[00:18] <Sept> "I understand. Everyone has something they’re not good with. You're brave enough to work with it, I just… avoid it… or -them-."
[00:19] * Aline looked even -more- confused. "Ehh…? I don't know what you're talking about…"
[00:21] <Sept> "Don't worry, your secret's safe with us. Right, Freya?"
[00:21] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Right!" Freya gave Aline a wink and a thumbs up.]
[00:21] <Mina`Haplo> [Dorian was quiet. Miscommunication was the sacred right of the young.]
[00:23] * Aline had almost looked back at Dorian to -try- to get a clue as to how to respond, but she could -feel- the silence. It was his absolute territory, just as intimidating as the one she could raise aboard the 00. Probably moreso. "I… don’t think I told you a secret about me… It was just a bit awkward… I mean disorienting…" Puddle of embarassment progress: 10%
[00:29] <Sept> "So… Dorian, was it? Why do you think your… Zero-One is uh. Looking at me?" A wink to Aline. Another change of topic by the MASTER.
[00:30] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Maybe it’s lonely. Maybe it wants a friend. You wanna be its friend, Sera?" Says Dorian dryly.]
[00:31] * Aline tried desperately, oh so desperately, to play along. "Friends~"
[00:35] <Sept> "Uh. I'm not sure what you mean. But… if it means he'd stay here more, I, think I'd be okay with that!"
[00:37] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Heh. Is that so?" Dorian turned his head towards Aline slightly. "What do you think, Aline? Think this budding little Eva-friend’s worthy of Zero One's friendship?"]
[00:39] <Sept> "What about Freya? I… might not have met you without her…"
[00:40] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya blinks a little. "Well, y’know, it is… Kinda cool, I wouldn't mind…"]
[00:42] * Aline tilted her head back and forth, then back and forth again… "Well, if 01 took a shine to him…" Without really elaborating on that more.
[00:46] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Well it’s settled then." Dorian says, smiling a little. "You- and yeah, I guess you too, girl- you want to support the Eva, then that's great. Hey." He turned to Aline. "Someone who shares your interests, huh?"]
[00:48] * Aline nodded curtly. In truth she didn't know how much, if anything, Sept.. Sera.. whoever, shared. But best not to too overmuch shout over Dorian. "Guess so!"
[00:50] * Sept still wasn't entirely sure what had just happened, but had to assume it was positive.-
[00:52] <Sept> "Interests? Nevermind, I guess I should thank you. You have my appreciation, for uh, that." He even bowed a little, not entirely sure on the etiquette for befriending giant robots.
[00:53] <Mina‘Haplo> [Freya gave Sept a sidelong glance, then semi-bowed herself. How awkward. "Think it’s time to scarper?" She murmured.]
[00:54] * Aline seemed more than a bit… amused? At the whole shenaniganry afoot… But nothing else. She was too cute to be creepy, but yet at the same time, seemed to be -thinking something-.
[00:56] <Sept> "That's probably a good idea", the boy murmured back. "So, then. We'll just… see you around?"
[00:57] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Sure. We tend to like this area- maybe you can hang around with Aline sometime."]
[00:57] <Mina`Haplo> [Freya narrowed her eyes juust a little.]
[01:05] * Aline nodded. "Sure thing~" …She briefly looked at Freya with this big ’ol disarming smile.
[01:11] <Sept> "Come on then, Freya. See you, Dorian, Aline!"
[01:12] <Mina‘Haplo> ["See you." Said Dorian.-
[01:12] <Mina`Haplo> [Freya stared back at Aline, before finally smiling back and throwing them a thumbs up. "See you around, maybe!" She’s off with Sept.]
[01:14] * Aline just sort of waved with her eyes closed. Good thing she knew how to be adorable on command.
[01:17] <Mina‘Haplo> [Dorian waited until the kiddy duo had departed, before slowly pulling out another cigarette and lighting it. "Aline, you’re a clever girl- do you know the significance of what just happened?"]
[01:18] <Mina‘Haplo> [The Eva, idly, continued to stare off at Sept… Until he was out of the square, whereupon it just… stopped.]
[01:19] * Aline turned to Dorian, thinking. "…I have some inkling. Evas don’t usually just -react- to people like that." She paused… and murmurred. "Except for 00… before today anyway…"
[01:21] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Indeed." Said Dorian, taking a slow, unconcerned drag on his cigarette. "I think our new friend might very well be pilot potential, as providential as that is. 01 never let him out of sight at all…"]
[01:24] * Aline nodded… "And specifically 01’s pilot…" She scratched the back of her head. "I hope that Freya girl won't harass me or something later…" She looked around vaguely, knowing about the Section 2 agents. "If not for my sake, then for hers. She looked… jealous?" Leave it to the kid to worry about a jealous girlfriend when she was learning of a new comrade-in-arms.
[01:26] <Mina‘Haplo> [Dorian ’humph'ed. "Teenagers. It's your lot's prerogative to be like that." He took another drag. "I wouldn't worry though. Given enough time, she'll have bigger fish to fry then supposed competition from her friend's cute young colleague." Dorian peered up at 01. "Alright. Another twenty minutes, then we take 01 back down to HQ. Commander Fontaine's sent the message to put her back under Bakelite, so we can't tarry."]
[01:31] <Aline> "Right!" She avoided the salute this time. She used to do that at random times for no good reason. It probably got annoying. She -thought- it did. …Though while milling about, she did ponder. Which was true? Was 01 male or female? …Do Evas have genders? They almost seem like they might. Very weird things…

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License