In The Spine Of The Beast

[19:55] <Dorian> «19th January, 2015. NERV HQ: Evangelion Cages.»-
[19:58] <Dorian> [It has been some time since the world- and Sera de Pteres- were first introduced to the Evangelions. Since that day, when Sept had approached and touched EVA-01, strange, curious little changes had started taking place. First and foremost, he'd been given special- absolutely special- clearance to NERV HQ itself, to the Geofront- the giant, yawning chasm below Paris-2. And, of his own volition, he was able-
[19:59] <Dorian> [To go and see NERV's greatest asset- the Evangelions in their cages, frozen in NERV-Bakelite. He was, for all intents and purposes, much like an actual NERV employee in that regard.]
[20:12] * Sept sits on the edge of one of the raised walkways intended for maintenance personnel, swinging his feet back and forth. This was much like any other of his days, were it not for the biomechanical giant in the secret underground facility he was sharing space with.-
[20:14] * Sept hums a simple melody, staring at Unit 01, only looking away at the occasional metallic clatter or lament, briefly stopping his humming every time.
[20:16] <Dorian> "Back again, Sept?" Came a now-familiar voice- the voice of Captain Dorian Lachapelle, appearing in a small platform elevator specifically designed to ferry individuals up and down to and from the raised walkways. "You're having fun, huh?"
[20:22] <Sept> "Hello, Dorian. Fun? Hm." A short pause. "Guess I am. It's a nice change from the usual scenery. Business?"
[20:25] <Dorian> Was he asking about Dorian's business, or asking if Dorian had business with him? Dorian answered both. "Business is good. And in fact, I do have business with you right now."
[20:29] <Sept> "With me? I guess I owe you a favor for letting me come here, yeah. What do you need?"
[20:31] <Dorian> "Well, firstly. Tell me, Sept. Have you ever heard of the Marduk Report?"
[20:34] <Sept> "Nnnnnno, I don't think I have. Sorry, I don't know much about politics and such…"
[20:38] <Dorian> "It's fine, it's fine. If you did know, I would be very surprised." Dorian chuckled a little. "The Marduk Report was a survey, more or less. Now, the Evangelion is a unique machine, Sept- it needs unique people to pilot it. Not everyone can do it. The Marduk Report's purpose was to screen people for pilot material. Due to… Limitations, most people screened were between 13 and 17 years old.-
[20:39] <Dorian> "And at the end of that, we got a list of names of people who could pilot an Evangelion. Your name is on that list."
[20:44] <Sept> This was enough for the boy to finally establish eye contact with the operations director. "My name? What exactly do you..?"
[20:45] <Dorian> "What I mean is, Sept, that you, for one reason or another, can pilot an Evangelion." He turned and nodded toward Zero-One. "It just so happens that Zero-One here doesn't have a pilot yet…"
[20:47] <Sept> "…oh. That's… are you sure? I don't really have any experience with machines, let alone something like this."
[20:48] <Dorian> Dorian chuckled. "Listen. Don't worry. You can think, right? If you can think, you can pilot an Evangelion. You might need training, of course…"
[20:59] <Sept> Pause. And then, a resolute response. "…alright. If you think so. I'll try my best, Dorian."
[21:03] * Dorian smiled. God, that was easy. "Excellent! Excellent boy. You can tell your friend Freya that there's a job here at NERV too, if she wants it. Now then…"-
[21:05] <Dorian> [Timeskip! Sometime later- perhaps a day or two. Dorian now sat at his station on the Command Deck, awaiting their newest pilot to emerge from the changing room and enter the Entry Plug. But he wasn't alone, of course. There were other people there- his Deck assistants, as well as the bespectacled form of Luna Riel, the head of NERV's technical department.-
[21:06] <Dorian> And finally, there stood a tall, imposing woman in a navy blue NERV uniform, with long, dark brown hair and ice-like eyes. She wore a serious expression as she stared out at the deployment cage of 01.]
[21:22] * Sept appears in a doorway, clad in a skin-tight suit, with white and green patterns except for the feet and hands, which were a more noticeable bright orange. This, as well as the fact that he seemed to be limbering up, made him look more like he was going to test drive a futuristic track suit, rather than 01.
[21:24] <Dorian> ["Our new pilot." Said Dorian, turning to the ice-eyed woman. She merely nodded.-
[21:24] <Dorian> "The Entry Plug is waiting for you, Sept."
[21:31] <Sept> A deep breath. "Okay." The boy tried to look undeterred by the thought of what he was facing, but, failing that, settled on making his way to the plug at a brisk pace.
[21:33] <Dorian> [The entry plug loomed ahead, its front hatch open. It wasn't anywhere near the Eva just yet… A mystery as to how that worked. "How're you feeling, Sept? Try to remain calm."]
[21:38] <Sept> "…yeah." was all he could muster for a reply as he climbed through the hatch and settled inside.
[21:43] <Dorian> [It was a tight, narrow space, cylindrical, with an obvious seat and simple controls, resembling a jet fighter's… But surely this couldn't be all, could it? The windows of the Plug were totally transparent. "Alright. We're going to start the launch sequence now, Sept." He could hear some of the chatter in the background- "Stop signal plug ejection complete". A large, cross-shaped plug emerged from the Eva's back-
[21:45] <Dorian> [Revealing a vertebrae- like structure and a hole obviously designed to fit an entry plug. Sept would find the entry plug starting to move ("Inserting entry plug!"), as it was lifted into the air and inserted into said slot. "Now, Sept, we're going to start pumping the Plug full of LCL- it's an orange-like hyperoxygenated substance. Just breathe it in, alright?" …-
[21:45] <Dorian> [And already said substance was starting to fill the plug, pooling around Sept's legs, and rising…]
[21:49] <Sept> "Breathe it… in? You're sure about this. I can hold my breath pretty long if you need me to…" Sera eyed the highly suspect liquid.
[21:50] <Dorian> [It was already up to his chest by now. "We're sure. You'll find it's not going to hurt. You might be a bit nauseated, but it'll pass." … Why does it smell like blood?]
[21:55] <Sept> "Dorian. I trust you and all, but is this -absolutely- necessary?"
[21:55] <Dorian> "Yes!" Oh shit LCL up to his NECK
[22:01] <Sept> "You are aware I have no gillblrlpf"-
[22:03] * Sept attempts to hold his breath, but the smell of LCL in his head causes him to cough and gag after only a few seconds.-
[22:06] <Sept> Eventually, his breathing calms down, and his voice is heard again. "Alright, that's *cough* done, what's next?"
[22:07] <Dorian> "The Evangelion is controlled mentally, Sept. We link your mind and… Well, the Eva's mind, and you control it that way. You act as the 'brain' for its nerves, so to speak. We're doing that now. You might experience a strange sensation."-
[22:09] <Dorian> A few moments pass, then… ("Entering second level contact now-") A strange feeling shoots through Sept's body, almost like an electrical charge as all of his nerves tingle at once. His vision becomes distorted for a moment, a kaleidoscope of rainbows and bizarre, odd patterns of colour and shape fly by…-
[22:09] <Dorian> But at the end of it all, the plug is clear. He can't even see the LCL, and the glass 'windows'… Now see the outside of the room instead of the sides of the Eva's vertebrae.]
[22:16] <Sept> "What just..?" Sept looks around the room, trying to get his bearings.
[22:19] <Dorian> ("Synchronization Ratio at 50.9%…") "Sept, you just synchronised with Eva Zero-One. That's… Well, not many people do it on their first go. You should now be in control of the Eva. Remember what I said when you signed up? About how if you can think, you can pilot? I'm going to release the restraining bolts now. Once I'm done, I want you to think about… Walking."
[22:19] <Dorian> -
[22:20] <Dorian> [And… The sound of bolts disengaging, the cage opening- Releasing, -freeing- Eva-01.]
[22:27] <Sept> "Walking. Walking." Sept pictured the motion, muscle by muscle. Again, and again. When he had it all clear in his head, he concentrated, and tried to make it reality.
[22:30] <Dorian> [The entire crew of the command deck waited… Waited with baited breath.]
[22:32] <Sept> Sept's concentration broke, suddenly. "Dorian, who is that?"
[22:32] <Dorian> "Who is what?"
[22:35] <Sept> "Who do you think, the only voices here are ours and his"
[22:37] <Dorian> "…" Silence from the room, until another voice took over- a cool, feminine voice. "Pilot de Pteres, it's possible that you're feeling some of the thoughts coming from the Evangelion. Try to screen them out and keep focus." ("Synch Ratio is dropping to 41.5%…")]
[22:52] * Rynol has quit IRC (Quit: )
[22:58] * Sept relaxed slowly as the foreign influence faded, or, indeed, became less foreign, and faced the command deck. "Dorian, did you say something? What was it you wanted me to do?"
[23:03] <Dorian> "…" A pause from the channel. "Dr. Riel suggested that you might be having interference from the Eva's own thoughts. Is everything ok, Sept?"
[23:08] <Sept> "Yeah, no problems. Now, where were we?"-
[23:09] * Sept started over, pictured taking a step over and over, with more accuracy every time, until he could almost feel it, just by imagining it…
[23:10] <Dorian> [The sensation of forward motion… Without lurch. As if it were natural. Bam. A foot lifted, and fell.-
[23:10] <Dorian> "You did it! Sept, 01 moved!"
[23:14] <Sept> "No, I just… oh." Sera was suddenly much more self-aware. Reality came rushing back in, and though he tried to concentrate again, the plug's interior wouldn't leave him alone.
[23:15] <Dorian> [("Synch Ratio is dropping to 30%!") "Wait, Sept, don't do that-
[23:17] <Dorian> [The combination of walking attempts and Sept's sudden, awkward lapse in combination had… unexpected results. Or perhaps they were expected. Sept's sudden self-awareness would be replaced with a very acute -falling feeling- as Eva-01 toppled forward, slamming heavily into the wall of the room- pain suddenly reflected on Sept's own head.-
[23:17] <Dorian> [("Ha! You all owe me 50 Francs!")]
[23:24] <Sept> Sera felt disoriented, trying to pick himself up and regain balance reflexively, vaguely pissed off at the prospect of people betting on him, but he still had more immediate worries.
[23:25] <Dorian> "It's okay, Sept. Try standing up, and then we can restrain 01 again and call today a success. Baby steps."
[23:31] <Sept> "O…kay."
[23:32] * Sept had to think way too long of what he was trying to do, eventually figuring out he needed more than his legs, and tried to picture it again.
[23:33] <Dorian> [Slowly, sluggishly- why was it so difficult now when it had been so easy earlier? But slowly, it started to flow a little quicker… The Evangelion starts to lift itself, pushing itself back into an upright position.-
[23:34] <Dorian> [Minutes later, the docking clamps and restraining bolts latched onto 01, and with another flash of kaleidoscopic light and sensory weirdness, ("A10 Nerve connection disabled. No problems detected.") Sept's synchronisation vanished- replaced once again with the normal, dim view of the plug, filled with LCL. Before long, the plug itself was slowly retracted, and the entry hatch popped open- the LCL draining out-
[23:35] <Dorian> [Leaving the poor pilot to his own devices.]
[23:55] * Sept sits in the plug for a few minutes, trying, but miserably failing, to process what had just happened. All he was sure of was that he needed a change of scenery. He got out and headed straight out to change his clothes.
[23:58] <Dorian> [Unfortunately, he's intercepted in the docking bay! Oh damn. The familiar sight of Dorian, along with Dr. Riel- who Sept probably knew only by sight- and the third, a tall, strikingly beautiful- and intimidating!- woman. -The- woman. There could be no one else.-
[23:58] <Dorian> ["You did well, Pilot de Pteres. I am impressed." Said Commander Fontaine, her voice implying praise, but only implying it. She offered a black-gloved hand for the boy to shake, irregardless of whether he was still covered in LCL.]
[00:04] * Sept eyed at Dorian and the doctor first, before establishing eye contact with the Commander - insofar as a kid of his age can with someone like her - and shaking her hand, soon growing all too aware of the soup between their hands. "Oh. Thank you. I'm sure I can do better, though."
[00:06] <Dorian> ["Yes, you can." The hand is shaken, then retracted. Her eyes are so very cold… Only the barest hint of warmth. "As remarkable as your performance was, on the battlefield an Angel will eviscerate you in seconds. Improvement is necessary. I'm sure you realise that." She says sharply.]
[00:13] <Sept> "…A-Angel. Right."
[00:15] <Dorian> [Commander Fontaine stares a moment longer, then nods curtly- before turning and walking away. Dr. Riel turns to Dorian. "Dorian, I think you should be able to brief him, right?"—"Right." … The Commander is soon followed by Dr. Riel.-
[00:16] * Dorian nods at Sept, a warm smile. "Try not to get too disconcerted by the Commander. She's kinda like that. Why don't you go have a shower and get out of that plugsuit, Sept? After that, we can start setting out timetables, taking care of administrative issues- like where you're gonna live. That sorta thing."
[00:21] <Sept> "I think… I might still be disoriented from… all that. But I think I'd like to know what the Commander was talking about first, Dorian."
[00:21] <Dorian> "You mean… About Angels?"
[00:24] <Sept> "Yeah. I don't care why or how, just tell me what's really going on."
[00:25] * Dorian let out a looooong sigh. "Alright, but NERV policy. This shit remains secret." Dorian takes out a cigarette and lights it. A quiet puff. "So. You know Second Impact, right?"
[00:28] <Sept> "I do. Freya talks about it a lot. She's much better informed than I am."
[00:29] * Dorian chuckles. "She's not. She really isn't. Everything you lot have been told about Second Impact- about a meteor hitting Antarctica, all that shit- is a lie." Says Dorian casually, as if this amazing statement were just something normal. "In reality, Second Impact was caused by the awakening of a powerful extraterrestrial creature living in Antarctica. Mankind was nearly wiped out- it was only by quick thinking that the creature was taken out."
[00:30] <Dorian> -ure was taken out."
[00:32] <Sept> "Huh. Okay, but what does this have to do with..?"
[00:34] <Dorian> "Well… The creature- we call it 'Adam'-… Unleashed something. I guess you wouldn't be wrong if you called them proto-lifeforms. Seeds, offspring, something like that. Off into… Somewhere. Somewhere we can't reach. These seeds, they're gonna grow. And when they're finished, they're gonna be big, and full-grown, and they're gonna be wanting to wipe out the entire human race.-
[00:36] <Dorian> "I don't know when they're gonna come, and I don't know what they'll look like. But the Commander seems to think the time is soon. Real soon. And I'm inclined to believe her." Dorian nods his head over at 01. "The Evangelion- NERV's ultimate all-purpose humanoid decisive battleweapon- is the only thing that gives us a chance."
[00:42] <Sept> "…so, this is a last resort?"-
[00:43] <Sept> "I… think I can do that. Or at least, I'll try. Now, if that's all…" He indicated his LCL-soaked person.
[00:44] <Dorian> "Heh. You're taking this pretty well. Yeah, go ahead. I'm sure you're sick of that stuff already."
[00:48] <Sept> "Well, if I'm on this list of yours… you know."-
[00:50] * Sept left the rest of the sentence hanging in the air, and left the Operations Director alone with 01. If Freya was also offered a job there, she'd surely notice if anything was wrong.

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