Komm Susser Tod 2 2 9

[19:59] <Raphael> Of all the things Raphael had expected to learn while stranded on Mars, extended lessons in just how painful it was to prepare and wear anti-radiation gear had not been one of them.-
[20:01] <Raphael> And yet so it went. He tried not to sigh as he pulled on the bulky gear for the third time that day, checking every seal as Suzie chatted enthusiastically with an Iron Guard stationed outside the bulkhead that lead to the irradiated approach to Engineering.
[20:05] <Minaplo> ["In fact, several of my comrades are inside right now." Said Duncan.-
[20:06] <Minaplo> ["Huh? Really?" Asked Suzie.-
[20:06] <Minaplo> ["Really. Some of us are trained to work with machinery. Our resident Tech Guard are speaking to Surov right now. Apparently they're discussing how to fix the radiation leak here."-
[20:06] <Minaplo> ["'Bout time."]
[20:11] <Raphael> "It'd certainly help to have that fixed." Raphael admits, completing his outfit with a sealed helmet. After one last set of checks he stands and moves over to join Suzie.
[20:12] <Minaplo> ["You know, I do have to disclaim to you that repeated exposure to radiation won't give you superpowers, Suzie." Said Duncan, opening the door. "Take it from me."-
[20:13] <Minaplo> ["Thbbbt." Said Suzie, letting Raphael go in first.]
[20:16] <Raphael> "Thank you, Knight Duncan." Raphael says as he steps past, pausing a short way down the hall as he waits for the girl and her AC-Suit.
[20:17] <Minaplo> [And she follows on, the Peaceknight's steps unsettlingly quiet for such a heavy machine.-
[20:18] <Minaplo> [They walk through the gloomy, threatening corridor for a few minutes before they exit out the other side, the Iron Guard on that end waving them through.]
[20:25] <Raphael> After a decontamination, another suit check and finally going through the process of removing the suit again, Raphael felt a brief moment of empathy for why Misato ignored the damned things during the battle. Only a brief one, though.=
[20:25] <Raphael> <-*>
[20:26] <Raphael> Still, eventually Raphael would be left to enter the Engineering bay with Suzie in tow, glancing around to check who, if anyone, was present.
[20:27] <Minaplo> [Apart from the busy workers who made up the bulk of the warm room, Raphael would see Akagi Ritsuko standing in the central dias overlooking the room. Supervisor?-
[20:29] <Minaplo> [There were others as well. In the distance he'd see Sarasvati and Navah, the two of them standing around a work console, studying the display. As they entered, Sarasvati looked up and gave them an enthusiastic wave. Navah stared at her, then over at Raphael, and joined in all too quickly with both arms.-
[20:30] <Minaplo> [Surov was here as well, walking along with an Iron Guard. This Guard had black armour, with a silver wrench-over-gear device embossed onto his pauldrons. Most intriguingly, this Guard had a large servo-arm and a phalanx of Mechadendrites emerging from ports at the rear of his armour.-
[20:32] <Minaplo> [Raphael could see a few other Iron Guard around as well with the same black armour and silver device, although these ones lacked the arm or dendrites. However, they still walked around, collecting large crates of materials and equipment…]
[20:39] * Raphael took all of this in - the sudden ubiquity of the Guards earns a slight frown, but he knows better than to let it linger - before he hurries to follow Suzie as the little girl guides the Peaceknight over to Navah and Sarasvati. It's nearly impossible not to notice the way the bouncy, almost -skipping- motion of the AC Suit mirrors the exciteable little girl piloting it. The effect
[20:39] * Raphael is a little eerie.
[20:51] <Minaplo> [Navah meets them halfway. "Hi Suzie!" She screams, managing a running leap onto the Peaceknight, before climbing swiftly up its surface until she's sitting on its head.-
[20:52] <Minaplo> ["Hi Navah." Said Suzie. They can -hear- the grin in her voice. "Look! Dad let me come down proper this time!"-
[20:53] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh." Said Navah, peering down at Raphael with a skeptical look.-
[20:54] <Minaplo> [It isn't long before they've walked over to Sarasvati, who looks up at the Peaceknight and smiles. "Hello, Suzanne. Hello, Captain." She adds, turning to Raphael. "It is good to see you both."-
[20:54] <Minaplo> ["Hi Sarasvati!" Chirped Suzie. "Dad said I can hang out here today! Isn't that awesome?"-
[20:55] <Minaplo> ["Yes."]
[21:03] * Raphael gives Navah a level stare in response, before turning back to Sarasvati. "I would like to apologize for having a short temper yesterday, ma'am. Provided she is not being a bother, I have no problem with Suzie spending time with her friends."
[21:10] <Minaplo> ["Not at all." Said Sarasvati. "I may be busier today than I was yesterday, but that does not mean I cannot play." She smiled, reaching into her coat and taking out a small, hand-sized disc-shaped button object. "I hope you enjoy laser ballistics training."]
[21:15] * Raphael frowns a little, although it's a marked underreaction compared to what you would expect from most parents. "… Nothing dangerous, I hope."
[21:19] <Minaplo> ["It sounds awesome." Said Suzie.-
[21:20] <Minaplo> ["Nothing dangerous." Said Sarasvati warmly. "This is a holographic projector I built last night. It projects floating drone targets, and give Suzanne a dummy rifle. She aims at the targets, fires, and a confirmed hit deactivates that target. No projectiles involved."]
[21:27] <Raphael> "Sounds agreeable." Raphael says with a nod and a small smile, glancing over to Suzie. "Should I leave you three to it?"
[21:31] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh!" Said Suzie. The cockpit hatch has opened, and she's grinning, her face lit up, her hands curled into fists, anticipating hologram slaughter.-
[21:33] <Minaplo> [Raphael can hear footsteps behind him- the heavy-shod clops of Iron Guard.]
[21:45] * Raphael is already in the process of turning, one hand raised to wave goodbye to Suzie and the others as he goes, likely getting a good look at the new arrival in the process.
[21:47] <Minaplo> [It's the servo armed Guard he saw earlier, staring down at him. Next to him is Surov, looking only faintly uninterested.-
[21:47] <Minaplo> ["Captain Guillory." Says the Guard.]
[21:54] <Raphael> The name recognition seems to have an instant effect on him. His shoulders are squared as he draws himself up to what amounts to his full height, peering up (and up, and up) at the guard with unflinching calm.-
[21:54] <Raphael> Sir." He replies mildly, giving the Guard a nod and then sparing another for his companion. "Doctor Surov."
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["Guillory." Says Surov blandly.-
[22:00] <Minaplo> ["I am Tech Guard Master Arthur." Says Arthur. "I've heard of you. You're the man who set ablaze to Valletta and routed the 92nd, capturing five Mark Ones in the process. You're the man who cut down Ekkehardt and captured Eevi." He said. His voice is calm, even pleasant to listen to, but with the voice modulator of his helmet it's impossible to tell if he's angry or not. "They say you destroyed our base near Chengdu, and that you were the one who fought your way into Father Azariah's throne room and dealt the killing blow."]
[22:06] <Raphael> "That is correct." Raphael says calmly. His attention moved back to Arthur almost immediately following his greeting to Surov and shows no signs of wavering.
[22:07] <Minaplo> [He lets out a low 'hmm' sound in his throat. "Many Guard would cut you down for that." He says, before holding out a large gauntleted hand. "I am not one of them. My only regret is that a man of your talents did not defect when you had the chance. You would've made a magnificent Iron Guard."]
[22:15] <Raphael> "Ah." Raphael says, making an almost comical attempt to return the handshake. His own hand is effectively swallowed up by Arthur's gauntlet; it would be as easy for the Guard to crush it into paste as it would be for a human to crush a fly. "Thank you, sir. I find a more basic form suits me well enough."
[22:16] <Minaplo> ["If you say." Says Arthur. "But once we return to Earth, if you ever have a change of heart, let me know."-
[22:17] <Minaplo> [The Guard shakes Raphael's hand with the sort of gentle caution one typically uses around a faberge egg. A second later he turns to Surov, nods, then leaves, heading back towards his squad. Raphael can see two of the Guard, helmets off- one a white bald man, the other a dark-skinned woman with short dark hair- the former crying out in anguished rage.-
[22:18] <Minaplo> ["Argh! Aaliyah! I have broken another wrench!"-
[22:18] <Minaplo> ["Stop that!"-
[22:18] <Minaplo> ["Tech Guard." Muttered Surov. "They will kill me before we are done here, I think. Guillory, come. I wish to speak to you about something in private."]
[22:23] <Raphael> Raphael is still staring after the Tech Guard with obvious bemusement and has been since the man turned his back. Surov's voice shakes him out of it quite suddenly, and he gives the man a small nod. "… Of course, Doctor."
[22:25] <Minaplo> [Surov leads him through one of the side doors- the temperature drops sharply. The room within is a laboratory, a few dozen scientists working through the main area. Raphael can see, though a glass partition to his left, a nearly-empty smaller laboratry- within is Yui Ikari, smiling and chatting with an enthusiastic Ayanami Kyuu. The former had a folder in her hand.-
[22:26] <Minaplo> [But Surov leads Raphael to the right, into what looks like his -own- private laboratory. One of the walls is dominated by a MAGI display.-
[22:28] <Minaplo> [Surov walks over to the display, gesturing as he goes to three surovite briefcases on his desk. "Regarding your upcoming mission, I have prepared for you the Bondsuit, the Skeleton Key, the Invisibility Cloak, the EMPen and the Executioner Rifle- as requested."]
#6[14:14] * Raphael nods, running a finger over the three cases as he examines them. "Thank you, Doctor. Again, I appreciate you letting me bend the terms of our agreement."
[14:28] <@Minaplo> ["Circumstances have changed." Said Surov. "And Sarasvati felt I had a- 'hoarding tendency'." He admitted grudgingly.]
[14:30] <Raphael> His lip twitches sharply, the hint of a smirk showing through before he gets it under control. "… Y-yes. Well."
[14:34] <@Minaplo> [Surov, luckily, has his back to him- but one of those mechadendrites seems to be 'looking' at Raphael with some suspicion.-
[14:34] <@Minaplo> ["I wish to talk about Sarasvati. Do you have time?"]
[14:37] <Raphael> It's Raphael's turn to look a little suspicious, turning to watch Surov's tentacled back warily. "… I can spare some time."
[14:45] <@Minaplo> ["I want to express my gratitude for your acceptance of Sarasvati." He said. "Considering the rumours floating about, and her own exotic nature- many have not been as gracious."]
[14:57] * Raphael is quiet for a while as he works to process this, his brow furrowed in something like confusion. "Rumours aren't to be trusted, especially when they're generated by frightened people looking for a scapegoat. Besides, I trust that Miss Sarasvati would be suffering considerably more ill-will from Command were any of them true."-
[14:57] <Raphael> "And exotic nature matters less to me than most."
[15:05] <@Minaplo> ["Reasonable. What do you think of her?"]
[15:10] * Raphael tilts his head. "I haven't spent a great deal of time around her but she seems surprisingly well-adjusted to the outside, given her background. She was polite and helpful during our interactions."-
[15:11] <Raphael> "… Suzie's already rather fond of her."
[15:14] <@Minaplo> ["Mm. To be expected." He said. "You are aware that I have a good deal of fondness for Sartre myself."]
[15:20] <Raphael> It was a struggle to keep the outright confusion from showing on his face, but somehow he managed. "… I hadn't realized, sir. I'm pleased to know, though."
[15:25] <@Minaplo> ["She is fond of Sarasvati. She keeps Navah out of my way. And she has a natural talent with machines." Said Surov, turning around slightly to glance back at Raphael. "These are all good qualities."-
[15:26] <@Minaplo> [He turns back to the MAGI. "If she is so inclined, there will be a Technical scholarship waiting for her when she comes of age."]
[15:30] <Raphael> A quiet 'oh' is the closest he comes to a response for a few awkward settings, Raphael's brain working rapidly to try and realign his perceptions of the man before him with… this. It's a surprisingly difficult task.-
[15:30] <Raphael> "… Thank you, Surov." He manages eventually, and it must be said that he sounds rather sincere. "That's extremely generous."
[15:31] <@Minaplo> ["Is it?" Surov asked, pausing for a second, something close to puzzlement on his face.]
[15:32] <Raphael> "…" Raphael blinks. "… Yes."
[15:33] <@Minaplo> [Surov's eyes narrow for a second, before he returns to the MAGI.-
[15:33] <@Minaplo> ["I have been reviewing the combat data from the Peacecraft's engagement at Asgard."]
[15:38] <Raphael> "I see. Have you turned up anything new?"
[15:47] <@Minaplo> ["Some of the plans we found were incomplete." Said Surov. "Reviewing the combat data has allowed me to understand the intent for those plans. There are plans here that could allow us to equip the Peacecraft with what the plans refer to as an 'Artillery Frame', for example."]
[15:50] * Raphael nods slowly. "A modular design, then. Typical for Julien's work."#
[15:55] <@Minaplo> ["Yes." Said Surov. "Unfortunately, it seems as though some of the equipment specified is out of our reach thus far." He turned back towards Raphael. "The base at Asgard should have the components and frames specified here- assuming that our enemy haven't taken them for themselves, which could be disastrous."]
[15:57] <Raphael> "You're suggesting a retrieval?" Raphael asks, his eyes narrowing.
[15:59] <@Minaplo> [He shook his head. "I would like to, but we don't have the necessary resources to spare. In the end, command will be prioritising capturing facilities that can repair our Eva Corps- and Asgard is low on that list."]
[16:01] * Raphael seems to relax a little at that. "Agreed. An attack on Asgard right now would almost certainly be a disaster for us."
[16:05] <@Minaplo> ["Mm. Nevertheless, I've compiled the necessary simulation programmes for your benefit. It is important you get a feel for the Peacecraft as quickly as possible."]
[16:07] <Raphael> "Right. Of course. I'll see to finding some time to train."
[16:08] <@Minaplo> ["Will that be a problem?"]
[16:09] <Raphael> Raphael shakes his head. "I'll make it work, sir."
[16:10] <@Minaplo> ["Mm. Let me know if there are any tasks that might require the use of the Tech Guard."-#
[16:10] <@Minaplo> [Surov paused for a second, long enough for the distant cry of ("Argh! I have destroyed the toolbox!") to filter through the room.-
[16:11] <@Minaplo> ["We also need to find a replacement pilot for the Ilmarinen."]
[16:16] <Raphael> The shout draws a momentary glance, and for a moment he almost feels sympathy for Surov. "… Yes, I've been considering it. We have a few candidates within SOS with rudimentary training. Sergeant Duval was going through basic before his fall, and we have a few soldiers drawn from Dreadnought auxillary units. I don't know that any of them are trained with the Titans to a degree where I'd
[16:16] <Raphael> want them in the field, though."
[16:19] <@Minaplo> ["There is an alternative. Your unit is designed for long-range combat?"]
[16:19] <Raphael> "Correct."
[16:21] <@Minaplo> ["That gives me two ideas." He said. "Sarasvati could pilot it, but there's also the decoy, June."]
[16:26] <Raphael> "June…" A shadow of some darker emotion passed over his face. "Possible. Roku was trained for ranged combat, but…"-
[16:27] <Raphael> He frowns and shakes his head, more to clear it than out of any sort of refusal. "Would you really want Miss Sarasvati in the field?"
[16:29] <@Minaplo> ["It is a good use of her talents." Said Surov. "It is moreso up to her, but she has already expressed a desire to take a martial role in this war. Her experience with the MAGI and her access to information would make her an adept Operations Director if it was needed."]
[16:33] <Raphael> "… I see." Raphael nods, and there's a hint of approval there. "Given how much damage has been done to our command structure, she might do more good there than with me."
[16:34] <@Minaplo> ["Which leaves June."-
[16:34] <@Minaplo> ["Guillory, what are your plans for June?"]
[16:36] <Raphael> "Plans?" Raphael purses his lips. "I have no plans. I'm only trying to give her a chance to make her own."
[16:36] <@Minaplo> [Surov stops, and turns.-
[16:38] <@Minaplo> ["Will she be under your care?"]
[16:46] <Raphael> "… I imagine so." Raphael says cautiously. "Presuming there were no objections."
[16:52] <@Minaplo> ["Then you must have some- strategy- regarding her wellbeing?"]
[17:04] <Raphael> "…" Raphael just stares back unflinchingly.
[17:05] <@Minaplo> ["…"-
[17:05] <@Minaplo> ["Dr. Ikari would like to speak to you."]
[17:11] <Raphael> "… Does she." Raphael says tonelessly, his lips still forming a thin line. With a small sigh he begins heading for the door.-
[17:11] <Raphael> "Have a pleasant day, Doctor."
[17:13] <@Minaplo> ["Mm."]
[17:20] * Raphael is scowling by the time he returns to the hall, hands clenched at his side as he wanders in the direction he last spotted Yui.#
[17:22] <@Minaplo> [She's still in her lab, talking cheerfully with Kyuu- the lab is partitioned off from the rest of the laboratory main room by a glass wall and door.]
[17:30] <Raphael> Watching Raphael bring his emotions to heel was a fascinating show, with careful control of his expression, stance and voice shielding his inner self from the outside world as surely as any wall of brick and mortar. By the time he reached the glass partition and raised his hand to knock, his face was completely calm again - so carefully controlled that it was hard to imagine him being
[17:30] <Raphael> angry in the first place.
[17:34] <@Minaplo> [Yui looked over, then walked towards the door, opening it. "Come in, Guillory. You remember Kyuu?"]
[17:39] * Raphael steps inside and offers Yui a pleasant nod and Kyuu a proper smile. "Of course. Hello, Kyuu."
[17:43] <@Minaplo> ["Hi. Mama, can I practice on him?"-
[17:43] <@Minaplo> ["Kyuu," Began Yui patiently, "Now's not-"-
[17:43] <@Minaplo> ["Let me practice on you!" Said Kyuu, staring at Raphael with intense eyes.]
[17:45] <Raphael> "…" He gives Yui a sidelong glance, just long enough to read her face, before turning his attention back to Kyuu. "Of course, ma'am."
[17:50] <@Minaplo> [Kyuu is on him in a flash, pushing her fingers to his wrist, his throat- taking his pulse, then she's taking his temperature by pushing her forehead to his, then she's grabbed a stethoscope to push to his chest. She's trying to force a blood pressure wrap around his bicep when Yui gently takes her shoulders and pushes her away. "That's enough, Kyuu. The Captain isn't your dummy."]
[17:54] * Raphael looks just a little shellshocked as Kyuu is pulled away - it was the speed as much as anything else - but he manages shake it off fairly quickly. "That's… uh, you've clearly been practicing, Kyuu." It was the truth, if not the /whole/ truth.
[18:00] <@Minaplo> ["I'm gonna be a doctor!"-
[18:00] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, no one's doubting it." Said Yui. "Sorry, Guillory."]
[18:02] <Raphael> "No trouble at all. Always happy to help medical progress." Raphael says, smiling a little.
[18:04] <@Minaplo> ["She's been a big help as a nurse down in medical." Said Yui with a fond little smile. "We can't doubt her enthusiasm. Take a seat, Guillory." She said, gesturing to an office chair.]
[18:06] * Raphael bobs his head and takes the offered chair. "… Surov said you were looking to speak to me, ma'am?"
[18:08] <@Minaplo> ["Yes. Well. First, how have you been?"]
[18:10] <Raphael> "Busy." Raphael says with a small sigh. "It's ard to complain about my circumstances given the wider situation, of course."
[18:11] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm…"-
[18:12] <@Minaplo> [She looked over at Kyuu for a moment, her face away from Raphael's before turning back. "You look tired."]
[18:14] <Raphael> "Most of us do."
[18:20] <@Minaplo> ["That's true enough."-
[18:20] <@Minaplo> ["Shinji's been talking about you. Said you've been giving him some help."]
[18:22] * Raphael nods slowly. "Where I can, at least. The boy has a lot on his shoulders."
[18:31] <@Minaplo> ["He's told you about the- inheritance."]
[18:32] <Raphael> "He has." Raphael nods, his jaw tightening a little.
[18:34] <@Minaplo> ["Kyuu." Said Yui. "Why don't you go see if they need help in medical?"-
[18:34] <@Minaplo> ["Okay!" Kyuu quickly ran off, leaving them alone.-#
[18:35] <@Minaplo> ["I know you worked with my husband before he died." Said Yui quietly.]
[18:38] * Raphael eyes the door Kyuu had disappeared through as it swings slowly to a close, weighing his options. When it finally clicks shut he meets Yui's gaze again. "I did."
[18:40] <@Minaplo> ["He told you about Elisha's ultimate plan, then?"]
[18:45] <Raphael> That brings a much longer pause as Raphael studies her face. "… He did.
[18:45] <Raphael> "
[18:57] <@Minaplo> ["Alright, that's good." Said Yui, folding her hands together in her lap. "… And you're going to help us make it happen, right?"]
[19:00] <Raphael> His eyes narrow a fraction. "I'm not going to stop it."
[19:02] <@Minaplo> ["That's not really good enough." Said Yui quietly. "You've been given an active role in this as much as anyone."]
[19:06] <Raphael> "Then Gendo should have selected someone who wasn't actively disgusted by it." Raphael said flatly. "I didn't make a secret of my position."
[19:07] <@Minaplo> ["… I don't understand." Said Yui, frowning. "How on earth would you find the plan disgusting?"]
[19:11] <Raphael> "… Yui." Raphael says, fighting to keep his voice level. "I don't need to be convinced about this. I am willing to believe that the plan is necessary, and that I cannot stop it even if I wanted to. Let that be enough for your purposes."
[19:23] <@Minaplo> [She stared at him with the same look she would've given someone who'd just grown a second head. "I… He hasn't told you a damned thing, has he?"]
[19:27] * Syntax (if.vth.pp.051452181sc|tpeS#if.vth.pp.051452181sc|tpeS) has joined #nervfrance2
[19:31] * Raphael looks back impassively. "He told me a great deal, actually."
[19:36] <@Minaplo> ["No, he hasn't. Being able to stop it is the entire idea."]
[19:44] <Raphael> "… Go on." If she didn't have his full attention before, she did now.
[19:55] <@Minaplo> ["You know about the basics, at least. That Elisha's plan to free humanity requires him to become a Seed, like Adam or Lilith."]
[19:56] <Raphael> "Right."#
[19:36] <Minaplo> ["Elisha wasn't a fool." Said Yui. "He knew that the process could be hijacked, either by one of the other Seeds or by human beings, or it might somehow go wrong. So he called for us to build a security device to serve in the same role as Cassius or Longinus. A security device that would be needed as a 'key' to activate the process, and could be used as a jammer to halt it."-
[19:36] <Minaplo> ["That's the purpose of EVA-05."]
[19:44] <Raphael> "…" He -stares- at her, some tightly strung muscle at the base of his neck twitching fretfully. "-Why-. Why would he give me that?"
[19:50] <Minaplo> ["I don't know." Said Yui miserably. "There's no reason to pick you over me…"]
[20:01] <Raphael> "Maybe he wanted someone with perspective." Raphael says, the words slipping out before he can stop them.
[20:03] <Minaplo> [Fury flashes across Yui's face quite suddenly, her eyes burning brightly. "Then he wouldn't have chosen #you#. Anyone who finds giving humanity a choice to be disgusting is an ignorant slave."]
[20:11] <Raphael> "And anyone who speaks is such absolutes is a fanatic." Raphael says. His face shows none of the fury Yui's displaying, but there's -venom- to the words.
[20:17] <Minaplo> ["That's #nonsense#. Not even you believe that." She said, getting to her feet. Her hands are curled into fists, and her teeth are clenched tight, her lips pulled back. "That's all you have, isn't it? Hiding behind words like 'fanatic' to make up for your own spiritual cowardice!"]
[20:42] * Raphael shuts his eyes for a moment and takes one long, deep breath. He counts to three. Only when this is done does he slowly stand, everything held carefully relaxed… except for his eyes, boring holes into Yui's. "You disgust me," He says quietly, "Because you are a hypocrite. You are all hypocrites. You want to take away my choice - the choice of others, the choice of my /children/ -
[20:42] * Raphael and then tell me it's better this way. Because /you/ know better. And then you have the gall to tell me that's not what you're doing."-
[20:42] <Raphael> "If that's spiritual cowardice, Yui Ikari? So fucking be it."
[20:47] <Minaplo> ["You…" For an instant the sheer rage in her expression and her eyes is such that, considering her looks, Raphael would be forgiven for half-expecting an AT explosion to push him back. Indeed, she looks as though she's ready to fly at him herself and tear him limb from limb.-
[20:50] <Minaplo> ["You have #never# had a choice." She spits. "Your entire life, you have never, -ever- been free. You've been a slave, and you're a slave now, and God help me if you had your way, we'd all be slaves in the future. You talk about taking away choice? That's -exactly- what you'd doom the entire human race to- and you'd be #happy# about it. You're -pathetic-. That my husband was doomed to the Eternity Drive and you still live is an #injustice#."]
[21:12] * Raphael , against all odds, -smiles-. It's a cruel, cutting thing matching every scrap of fury Yui's brandishing against him more overtly - a scalpel in place of a sword. "Yet you still need me." He says. "Not believing in Elisha Caine's right to divinity doesn't make me a slave, Yui."
[21:21] <Minaplo> ["You arrogant son of a bitch." Said Yui, practically forcing the words through her teeth. "Elisha Caine gave his life to try to save people like #you# from Lilith. From slavery. From #Destiny#."]
[21:35] <Raphael> "Stop acting like that means something to me!" Raphael snaps. Only now does he take a step foward, part of his calm evaporating. "Stop acting like I should know what you're talking about when you and yours have deliberately kept us all in the dark, playing us all as pawns. If you wanted the right to be angry for being misunderstood maybe you shouldn't have mislead us in the first place."
[21:38] <Minaplo> ["You told me he told you 'a great deal'." Said Yui. "Don't try to act like you know things, then get angry at me for assuming #you already know#! If you don't know what I'm talking about, then sit down, shut up, and listen for once in your goddamned life!"]
[21:43] <Raphael> "I /was/ listening!" Raphael shouts, his face twisting in a way that might broadly remind Yui of Shinji-esque petulance.
[21:52] <Minaplo> [Something flashes in Yui's eyes, something other than fury. She takes a long, whistling-through-clenched-teeth breath, her hands furling and unfurling into fists and back.-
[21:53] <Minaplo> ["Then #please#, sit down, and let me explain what Destiny means."]
[22:00] <Raphael> "…" Raphael seemed to go through a similar struggle, if slightly more internalized. Eventually he let out a sigh. "… Fine."
[22:05] <Minaplo> ["Okay."-
[22:07] <Minaplo> [She stands there for a minute, taking breaths, before she walks over to a whiteboard on wheels, dragging it out into the middle of the room. She grabs a collection of whiteboard markers and unscrews a black one, drawing things on the board with perhaps a little more force than is necessary.-
[22:16] <Minaplo> ["Alright. Every Seed- Lilith, Adam, for example- has a collection of souls tied to it." She drew an oval, with the word 'LILITH' written inside it. "In our case, it's us- the Lilim. The souls Lilith was created with, and the children of those souls." She drew a second, larger oval below the Lilith one, and wrote 'LILIM (souls tied to Lilith)' inside it. "With me so far?"]
[22:17] <Raphael> "Yes." Short sentences. Easier to keep himself in check that way.
[22:23] <Minaplo> [She drew two vertical lines through the LILIM oval, dividing it into three sections- a beginning, middle and end. "Souls come from Lilith, and they stay with her if they don't have bodies. When people are born, they gain their soul from Lilith- either an old soul is placed into the new body, or Lilith creates a new soul caused from the spark that is generated from the parents' souls touching." She drew an arrow from 'LILITH' to the 'beginning' of the oval, in which she wrote 'BIRTH'. "Then we live-" She drew an arrow from 'BIRTH' into the middle of the oval, where she wrote 'LIFE'. "Then we die." She drew an arrow from 'LIFE' to the 'end' of the oval, where she wrote death. "And when we die, our souls return to Lilith, to be reincarnated later." She drew an arrow from 'DEATH' back to Lilith. "This is the cycle of reincarnation. With me?"]
[22:27] * Raphael nods, just once. Not quite impatient yet.
[22:32] <Minaplo> ["Where your soul goes when you become reincarnated depends on Lilith." Said Yui. "That's a decision she can make. However, it's far from the only one. If you look at it like this, you might think she only interacts with us during birth and death. But that's not true." She turns to Raphael. "Lilith isn't just a passive seed like you plant in the ground, and life springs up from it on its own. Lilith's the seed and the gardener both, and we're her crop. A gardener needs a way to tend to her crop, to make sure it develops the way it's intended, and that's where Destiny comes in." She says, drawing a line from 'LILITH' to 'LIFE', then writing 'DESTINY' on the middle of the line. "Simply put, Destiny allows a Seed, like Lilith, to control every facet of the nature of its crop. Its thoughts, its habits, even how it develops, pruning what it dislikes and encouraging what it does like. That's the broadest term, and I'll explain the intricacies now, but you understand so far, right?"]
[22:36] <Raphael> "… I do, yes." This one seems to take a lot more effort, as if there were a hundred questions that demanded to be answered then and there.
[22:43] <Minaplo> ["If you want a very visible example of Destiny, then consider this: when Second Impact occured and Adam awoke, she was able to, in the short window of time in which she was awake, use Destiny to fuse into the Angels the imperative to retrieve its body, recreate its species and to let nothing stand in its way. Only the most powerful of the Angels were ever able to shake this command off, and even then, only temporarily."]
[22:46] <Raphael> "Alright." Raphael says tonelessly.
[22:53] <Minaplo> ["Now, Destiny is divided into two concepts." She said. "Low Destiny and High Destiny. Low Destiny is typically collated with chains of probability that lead to outcomes- in essence, it's an external way of influencing something. Seeds can create these chains by manipulating the probability of an event happening. So for example, if a Seed wishes to remove you, it might cause a chain of events that eventually lead to an earthquake, during which your door jams, you can't get out, and you die."]
[22:58] <Raphael> "… Alright." He says, much more slowly now.-
[22:59] <Raphael> But this time he can't help himself. "So how do you even know Low Destiny exists?"
[23:01] <Minaplo> ["That's the thing. We're not supposed to." Said Yui. "Optimally, from a Seed's perspective, we'd just put it down to coincidence… Which it might very well be, but it might not be either. In truth, we know Low Destiny exists because of the records in the Dead Sea Scrolls and from the writings of those who've remembered their lives as Ancestors, but actually discerning if something is Low Destiny or just a coincidence? … That's a little beyond us."]
[23:07] <Raphael> "…" Raphael considers her for a moment. "Right."
[23:08] <Minaplo> [She nods.-
[23:14] <Minaplo> ["If Low Destiny is the nuclear missile, then High Destiny is the sniper rifle." She said. "High Destiny is much more dangerous. Low Destiny is using external tools to influence things, but High Destiny uses -internal- changes. Changes in thoughts, hobbies, personality, loves and hates, even changes to one's -soul-. Now imagine all this, but don't picture it as forceful- High Destiny doesn't force you do to something, it changes you so that you -want- to do something." Said Yui. "Imagine if you went to sleep, and when you woke up tomorrow, you didn't love Katsuragi, but rather loved Ritsuko. You didn't love Suzanne, but rather you loved Tsubaki. You didn't feel like a soldier; rather you felt your passion was for preparing the world's best creme brulee. Imagine all of this, with you accepting every one of these changes as an intrinsic, personal thing that's a part of you, something you'd defend to the death… That's High Destiny."]
[23:21] <Raphael> "… Alright." Still measured, unlinching. He was staring right at her.
[23:27] <Minaplo> ["Now, imagine this on a -global- scale. Imagine that, not only did that happen, but everyone else had changed to accomodate that. Ritsuko loved you back, Tsubaki loved you as a father, and all anyone could remember was you and Ritsuko. Your old life, your life with Katsuragi- not only was it gone, but it wasn't even a memory. You might even find the idea to be mad." Said Yui. "But it gets worse. These changes, commands, what-have-you, can also be planted, and delayed- Lilith could affect you one day, but the changes would only trigger ten years later. That's why High Destiny is so terrifying." Said Yui. "With it, there's no guarantee that the 'you' who stands here today was the same 'you' from yesterday. And when applied on a global scale… You can shape entire cultures, civilizations, histories, pushing them towards certain goals or aspects."-
[23:29] <Minaplo> ["Consider this: imagine if you went back 50 years and killed all the Caines alive at that time, and all the Katsuragis, and Ikaris, and so on, so that I never existed, or Elisha Caine or Mary Caine never existed, or no Doctor Katsuragi. Chances are, Second Impact -still- would've happened because Lilith wanted it to happen. The only difference would be the names of the people involved in bringing it about. That's why it's called Destiny- it exists to bring about destined ends."]
[23:37] * Raphael just keeps staring. "Alright."
[23:41] <Minaplo> ["Elisha's plan is designed so that Lilith and Adam are preserved, and can be sent out to serve their purpose elsewhere. In doing so, he would sever our connection to Lilith, and instead reconnect us to himself- with the bond much more weaker, and our own AT Fields stronger, so we could resist him if he tried to use Destiny. He'd also use his power to damage himself so much that his ability to use Destiny would be removed- and then if that didn't work, EVA-05 was to finish the job."]
[23:49] <Raphael> … only that brings him up short, as if the pieces weren't quite adding up the way he'd expected them to. "What?"
[23:51] <Minaplo> ["What?"]
[23:58] * Raphael squints at her, trying to reassemble his train of thought. "What hope does one Evangelion have against a complete Seed? The Giant of Darkness might have wiped out the Eva Corps if it hadn't been brought down in a different fashion, and it was just a manifestation."
[00:00] <Minaplo> ["The answer's pretty simple. Before the Evas received S2 Organs, what was the best way for a conventional force to defeat one?"]
[00:09] <Raphael> "Destroying the umbilical."
[00:11] <Minaplo> ["Exactly. Turn off the power, and an Eva is just a big dumb object." Said Yui.-
[00:18] <Minaplo> ["It's the same for this. See… The act of an Eva turning into a Seed is something that requires a massive amount of power. In fact, if Lilith tried to merge with Adam, they'd require the power of a Lance to actually enable it. This is what makes the Lances security devices: not just because they have pure destructive potential, but because the Seeds -rely- on accessing their vast pools of power. That's the same principle behind EVA-05. If Elisha's plan succeeds in its preliminary stages, he might turn into a psuedo-Seed. More power requires him to draw on a deep pool of power, one offered to him willingly." Said Yui. "That's what EVA-05 is. We've been feeding 05 with collected S2 Organs, expending them to give the Eva vast reservoirs of energy. When Elisha the psuedo-Seed awakens, 05 will open the conduits just for him, giving him the energy he needs to mature into a being powerful enough to do what he needs to do… And once that's done, the conduits go off, and because the Seed's reliant on external energy, it falls into a 'power-saving mode'. In that state, EVA-05 could handle it with ease."]
[18:38] * Raphael grits his teeth and lets out a sigh.-
[18:38] <Raphael> "… more sanity than I expected." He admits. "If it's true."
[18:44] <Minaplo> ["It's true." Muttered Yui. "We're not idiots. Not even Elisha believed he should be trusted without some failsafe, not with the situation as it was. Besides, it's only natural for me to want my children to grow up without being enslaved to Destiny, especially since twelve of them are tethered closely to Lilith as is." Said Yui. "And even beyond that, selfishly, this plan is the only one that ensures that my Rei returns and gets the life she deserves."]
[18:52] <Raphael> "…" Raphael regards her silently, his arms folded as he examines her face. "So the Ayanamis would be kept with us? They wouldn't stay under Lilith?"
[18:53] <Minaplo> ["Not a chance." She says with an utter sort of cold intensity. "Not a fucking chance on God's green Earth."]
[18:54] * Raphael nods slowly. "Good."
[18:56] <Minaplo> ["Some people may go with Lilith when she's sent away." Said Yui. "But it'd be their choice to stay or go. I imagine a lot of people will stay, including my girls. There's always some who'll go, though."]
[19:10] * Raphael just shakes his head, taking a deep breath before his eyes lock back on Yui. "Thank you for the explanation, Doctor."
[19:11] <Minaplo> [She nods curtly at him in response. "Do you have any questions?"]
[19:14] <Raphael> "I don't believe so." He says simply.
[19:19] <Minaplo> ["Alright. Then if there's nothing else, you should go." She says, before turning to her white board. She's halfway through wiping it clear when she stops. "One last thing. I've been speaking with Rei, Surov, Castillo and a few others about methods on how we can make June feel welcomed and loved when she returns. I think we should work together on this, but we should leave that discussion for another time."]
[19:24] <Raphael> "Y… yes. Of course, ma'am." Raphael says stiffly. Still tucked behind his elbows, his hands have balled into tight fists.
[19:27] <Minaplo> [She turns briefly to give him a nod, before she begins pushing the white board back towards the wall and just generally tidying up some clutter.]
[19:29] <Raphael> Raphael doesn't need to be told twice - in fact, he barely needs the first time. He's on his feet and heading for the door, his face carefully blank and his eyes set straight ahead, wondering whether he can spare the time for a visit to the gym before he's forced back into the fray. Something to work off the anger roiling in his chest.-
[19:29] <Raphael> Fucking Ikaris.
[19:35] <Minaplo> [Once Raphael is out of the laboratory area proper, Yui adjusted the privacy tint of the transparent walls until they were so dark as to be practically opaque. Once that's done, she sits down at her desk, pulls a book- some sort of notebook or diary- out of a desk, opens it up to the date and begins to write.-
[19:35] <Minaplo> [Details about the day, about what she did, what she thought, what she said. As much as possible.-
[19:36] <Minaplo> [She manages to fill in two and a half pages in diligent Japanese before she throws the pen down onto her desk, hangs her head and starts to cry painfully to herself.]

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