Misato S Victory

#1[17:04] <AdEvaGM> ["Wwwwwwwwelcome back, folks!" Cries Julian, sitting to Raphael's right at the commentary desk. "You're back just in time for 2017 THUNDERDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME! Why don't you tell the boys and girls at home all about today's participants, Captain?"]
[17:11] <Raphael> "Our scheduled contest today will be a skirmish between the pilots of NERV’s Boston branch, headed by Major Alphonse Wellesley, and Major Misato Katsuragi’s Tokyo-2 unit." Raphael says matter-of-factly, still impeccably dressed and looking rather offput by Julien’s displays of ludicrous enthusiasm.
[17:12] <AdEvaGM> ["So, what can you tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of this line-up, Cap?"]
[17:17] * Raphael folds his hands, looking directly at the camera as if staring at the viewers beyond. "Of all potential match ups in this competition, the Boston and Tokyo branches show the most similarities. Both are led by so-called 'bersek' Evangelions, and backed by two of the Mass-Produced models with similar capabilities. In the end it's really a competition between the two Operations Directors
[17:17] * Raphael to see who can gain the upper hand with such similar teams."
[17:18] <AdEvaGM> ["And what a pair of ODs they are! The young wonderkind Alphonse Wellesley, and the experienced and lovely Major Katsuragi… Both have more than a few notches on their belts…"]
[17:21] <Raphael> "They're exceptionally talented, certainly." Raphael said guardedly, suddenly looking a little uneasy.
[17:22] <AdEvaGM> ["You, of course, can probably tell us quite a bit about the good Major Katsuragi, eh, Cap?"]
[17:23] * Raphael 's lips tighten. "… No more than any other officer, I'm sure."
[17:27] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, but I'm not~ Ah, but that's a story for another time. Why don't we swap to one of our on-site correspondents?"]
[17:32] <Raphael> "C-certainly." Raphael says, scanning the console's selection of options. "We cross live to Team Tokyo's command room, with our correspondent, Miss…"-
[17:32] <Raphael> "… Ah."
[17:35] <AdEvaGM> [The camera swapped to an explosion of lace and silk.-
[17:36] <AdEvaGM> [Within the endless seas of higher quality garments stood the impenetrable fortress of Chiisana Himesama, umbrella planted firmly into the ground. "Chiisana Himesama reporting." She says, turning her head with a swish that sends her impeccable hair floating gracefully through the air, immediately cementing her place firmly into the lovesick fantasies of ten thousand teenage boys.-
[17:37] <AdEvaGM> ["The Tokyo-2 pilots are prepared and awaiting the siren." She says, gesturing with a hand towards Misato's back. "Major Katsuragi has her plan worked out to its most finite possibilities…"-
[17:38] <AdEvaGM> [She turns back to the camera and a bright red blush sweeps her face as she claps lace-coated hands over her cheeks. "Aided by the ever-dashing Prince Makoto~"]
[17:42] <Raphael> "… Mmm." Raphael manages to venture, keeping a firm grip on his calm like his life depended on it. "So, Miss Chiisana, can you venture a guess as to Major Katsuragi's plans for dealing with the Boston unit?"
[17:44] <AdEvaGM> [Chiisana's composure returns immediately. "Yes. I believe her plans are to destroy them." She takes a moment to think. "If I were Major Katsuragi, I would try to pin down Gabriel-Wei, then focus on removing San and Rei in that order."]
[17:48] <Raphael> "Pilot Ikari will likely be her primary method of keeping Pilot Gabriel-Wei busy. Given their reputations, who would you favour in a duel between the two?"
[17:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Ah. A philosophical question not unlike that of irresistable force versus an immovable object. However, in my expert opinion I believe Pilot Gabriel-Wei will gain the upper hand, but will probably be destroyed soon after."]
[17:50] <Raphael> "And why is that?"
[17:52] <AdEvaGM> ["Pilot Gabriel-Wei has the advantage of reach. About 100 metres of reach, to be precise."]#
#6[17:57] * Raphael nods slowly. "I see. It seems like a fair conclusion. I-" Raphael frowns as a blinking light on the console catches his attention. "… Pardon me, ma'am, but we're just receiving word that the skirmish is about to begin. We'll likely see you again as the battle progresses, but for now we're crossing to our feed of the arena itself…"
[17:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Understood."-
[17:59] <AdEvaGM> [The camera changes now to the unnaturally realistic virtual arena, where a siren was sounding. The Evangelions began to rise from their launch ports…-
[17:59] <AdEvaGM> [With a slam, the catapults stopped, the latches breaking free.-
[17:59] <AdEvaGM> ["And we're #GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!#" Cries Julien.-
[18:05] <AdEvaGM> [However, this wasn't the violent blitzkrieg of Leningrad versus Paris. The first twenty seconds saw the Evangelions move into cover, with Tokyo's trio moving up into a reinforced block, Tsubaki hefting a Long Mas up and focusing her energies around it.-
[18:06] <AdEvaGM> ["And it looks like a defensive opening from both sides here…"]
[18:09] <Raphael> "The presence of 08 and 05 makes the prospect of the others rushing ahead somewhat less appealing. For now it's a question of which of those two makes the first charge…"#
#1[18:25] <AdEvaGM> [… It was Isaiah who sprang first, leaping across the arena to make a violent swipe at Tsubaki, who barely sprang away.-
[18:26] <AdEvaGM> ["Aaaaand it's everyone's favourite baby-eyed champion, ISAIAH GABRIEL-WEI! Can this shock and awe tactic work…?"-
[18:27] <AdEvaGM> [But Misato was smirking, her eyes alight, in her command room. A second later, Sho responded, her Prog Sword swinging about and clearly threatening Isaiah's avenues of escape.-
[18:29] <AdEvaGM> [Across the arena, San took a well-aimed shot at Shinji, who ducked aside, allowing him an upper-cut claw at Isaiah- who rapidly parried.]
[18:45] * Raphael is watching the feed with rapt attention now. "… Hmm. As noted by our Tokyo team correspondent, unit 08's reach could be the deciding factor. Pilot Ikari will have a difficult time trying to avoid them, I suspect."
[18:48] <AdEvaGM> [True to word, EVA-08 -twists-, its entire body contorting unnaturally, its neck snapping out and ripping huge bloody chunks out of EVA-05's leg and torso. Shinji screams in his plug as his unit falls…-
[18:48] <AdEvaGM> [Only to leap back to his feet and slam into Isaiah with a dropped shoulder, taking him by surprise and pushing him to the ground.]
[18:55] * Raphael actually smiles a little at that. "A strong recovery from Pilot Ikari, though it will be difficult to capitalize on the opening before Pilot Gabriel-Wei's assistance arrives."
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [… "Rei. Move and try to extract Isaiah." Says Alphonse.-
[19:03] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes, Al-chan." EVA-09 leaps across the field, giant hammer held in both hands…-
[19:08] <AdEvaGM> ["And here comes the assistance! Rei Ayanami, looking fine in a plugsuit as always. Energetic, eternally optimistic and more lithe than a gazelle, this blossoming and surprisingly well-endowed young lady is well on the way to breaking a few hearts in her time…" Says Julien, beaming and winking at the cameras.-
[19:09] <AdEvaGM> [Rei tries very hard not to lose her focus, although her face lights up like a beacon. Within her impressive new Trace Plug- Rei floating as if suspended in midair- she throws her arms across her chest and scowls at the camera. "R-Raffy-kun, hit him!"]#
#6[19:36] * Raphael doesn't lash out, of course - he barely even moves bar a slight tightening at the corners of his lips, and a bit more pressure on his own folded hands. But still…-
[19:37] <Raphael> "… Mr. Lafabre, I would be -extremely- careful if I were you." Raphael says. His voice is quiet, but it has a definite edge to it that Julien would rarely have heard from him.
[19:40] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm…?" Julien turns to him. Raphael is an intimidating man when he wants to be- and Rei is definitely a topic he is sensitive towards.-
[19:40] <AdEvaGM> [… However, it takes a special type of talent to work for the Thruster team.-
[19:40] <AdEvaGM> [That talent is insanity.-
[19:40] <AdEvaGM> [Julien's eyes shine with infuriating innocence. "Oh, don't-"-
[19:41] <AdEvaGM> [Rei lets out a low growl of pain over the comms. Tsubaki opened fire- Rei shifting to deflect the blow from Isaiah- and the shot tore through her Evangelion's arm without pause, her hammer falling heavily into the virtual pavement. "Agh-!"]
[19:51] * Raphael 's attention is back on the screen the moment he hears the sound, Julien forgotten. "… A… well-placed attack from Pilot Akagi." Raphael says slowly. "But I'm certain it will not be enough to slow down Pilot Ayanami Rei on its own." He says, glancing directly at her monitor for a moment.
[19:56] <AdEvaGM> [Rei is still for a moment, chest heaving as she breathes- but she glances at Raphael and at the screen showing a concerned Alphonse. She nods, once- and the warhammer is dropped, her prog sword pulled from a rack built into her wing. In the same action she swings it against Shinji, who parries it- barely.-
[19:56] <AdEvaGM> ["She's still in the fight- but what's this? One of her sisters is moving up out of cover…?"]#
#1[20:28] <AdEvaGM> [San began to focus, her insectile wings glowing…-
[20:29] <AdEvaGM> [Whilst the battle in the intersection grew ever fiercer. With a heavy -push-, Sho hurled EVA-08 backwards, out of Rei's reach-
[20:30] <AdEvaGM> ["NOW, TSUBAKI!" Shouted Misato, slamming her display.-
[20:30] <AdEvaGM> [The whip-crack of maser energy echoed through the arena, a bright beam slicing through EVA-08's head and sending it stumbling, its eyes smoking, its pilot letting out a ragged cry of pain.-
[20:31] <AdEvaGM> ["Zaizai!" Rei looked back over her shoulder, her eyes narrowing- before unleashing a rain of blows against Shinji and Sho both. They parried…-
[20:32] <AdEvaGM> [But it didn't leave them time to evade. San unleashed a mighty cross blast- a maneuver quickly becoming one of Alphonse's signatures- that claimed Shinji, who let out a gurgle of pain…-
[20:33] <AdEvaGM> [… But where it should've vaporised Sho completely, the plucky Tokyo Ayanami simply gritted her teeth, bore the brunt of it against her shield- dropped her sword, and pulled out a bolter. She held it one-handed, lifting it- and with a synchronised volley, Sho and Tsubaki fired, the point blank shots sending EVA-08 to the ground with a fried head and provoking another groan of pain from Rei as a bloody chunk of 09's head was ripped out by a bolt round.-
[20:34] <AdEvaGM> ["O-ho-! Things are swinging back and forth now, but it looks like the ball is in Katsuragi's court…!"]
[20:40] <Raphael> "So it would seem." Raphael says, his tone a little flatter as he masks the flare of discomfort Rei's pain drives through him. "The balance of power is still roughly even, all things considered, but right now the Tokyo team has the advantage of momentum. The next few moments will be essential if they intend to capitalize on that."
[20:51] <AdEvaGM> [The Bostonian team, however, managed to recover admirably, pulling back to a redoubt before the Tokyo squad could pin them down.-
[20:52] <AdEvaGM> [Sho pursued, neutralising Rei- but Alphonse was ready for her. Rei leapt into the air…-
[20:53] <AdEvaGM> [And as San's bolter fire distracted the Tokyo Ayanami, Rei dropped from the sky, smashing a heavy foot into EVA-13- but Sho was barely undeterred. In her plug she let out a shout of defiance, and within seconds was swinging once again- and this time with assistance from Tsubaki, spraying Maser fire that Rei continued to evade.]
[20:56] <Raphael> Try as he might, Raphael seems unable to hold back a small, proud smile at Rei's recovery and everything that came after. Still, he couldn't help thinking of Misato in the Tokyo control room…-#
[21:00] <Raphael> "It seems Pilots Ayanmi Rei and San have brought this battle close to the tipping point. Again, the deciding factor will be continued pressure, but with combat this close even one lucky attack would be all it took to turn the tide."
[21:02] <AdEvaGM> ["And who will that attack go to-?!"-
[21:03] <AdEvaGM> [Sho and Rei duelled, identical swords and identical styles clashing. They ended with a blade buried in 09's torso and one in 13's leg…-
[21:03] <AdEvaGM> [It was Tsubaki that ended the duel, a maser shot acting as executioner yet again. Rei lifted an arm to block…-
[21:04] <AdEvaGM> [And it wasn't enough, vaporising arm and head both. Rei let out a final scream before the feedback suppressors kicked in, and her synchronisation cut- she collapsed to her knees in her Trace Plug, hands on the ground, shaking her head.]
[21:14] * Raphael eyebrow twitches just a fraction at her scream, but that's all. If anything he seems a little -less- worried now that Rei's role in the combat was over. "… And that's enough to eliminate 09, though as with all the other Pilots today I think it can be agreed that she performed admirably."
[21:15] <AdEvaGM> ["Absolutely. She fought like a true knight."-
[21:15] <AdEvaGM> [At this point, the momentum is totally in Tokyo's favour- Sho drops down onto San, who fires off a last-ditch effort with a wave of AT energy…-
[21:16] <AdEvaGM> [But when it clears, San is pinned in mid-air on the end on Sho's sword, and the torso is ripped in half by another Maser blast.-
[21:16] <AdEvaGM> [The siren sounds.-
[21:16] <AdEvaGM> ["Tokyo-2 wins!"]
[21:26] * Raphael 's smile broadens. "A victory by the skin of their teeth, but that's all one can hope for when two teams are so evenly matched. Congratulations to the three Tokyo-2 pilots and Major Misato Katsuragi for their success in such a close battle, and to the Boston team for their own exceptional performance."
[21:34] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes indeed, yes indeed- ah, the pilots are being extricated from their plugs and it's time for the post-match OD interviews. Take us away, Captain!"]
[21:40] <Raphael> "Ah, of course." Raphael says, searching the row of options on the console readout and pressing one that divides the main feed into three vertical slices: A link to the two command centres on the left and right, and an… unsettlingly close-up shot of Raphael himself in the centre. That last one makes him glance around in a hopeless search for a camera operator to signal, but by the time
[21:40] <Raphael> he spots one the ODs are already filling their own sections of the screen.-
[21:42] * Raphael clears his throat awkwardly and settles back into the Interview Position, professional demeanour sliding back into place. "Major Katsuragi and Major Wellesley, thank you for joining us."
[21:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Captain~" Says Misato, beaming into the camera. She is- for Misato, at least- positively bouncy, and her eyes are sparkling.-
[21:45] <AdEvaGM> ["Always a pleasure." Says Alphonse. Despite his defeat he seems quite content. He's sitting on the steps of his command dais and he's not alone- a clearly exhausted Rei is squeezing up next to him, eyes half-shut, head lying on his shoulder. Alphonse has an arm comfortingly around her waist despite the film of LCL coating her.-
[21:45] <AdEvaGM> [… Off-screen on the Boston side, the sound of faint retching can be heard as San continues her uphill battle against LCL.]
[21:50] <Raphael> The sight of Rei and Alphonse catches him first, signalling a brief return of the almost paternal smile from earlier. But Misato… seeing her with that much obvious joy was enough to bring a similar giddy sparkle out in Raphael's own eyes, and he has to work to stop himself beaming back. "… Uh, first of all, Major Katsuragi, congratulations on your victory."
[21:55] <AdEvaGM> ["Thank you, Captain~" Says Misato cheerfully, her face flushed from exertion. "It was a close one! I didn't know if we were going to be able to pull through for a minute there…"]
[21:56] <Raphael> "Do you have anything you'd like to say to the Boston team, ma'am?"
[21:57] <AdEvaGM> ["I'd like to thank them for being such worthy opponents." Misato flashes Alphonse a smile and a peace sign.-
[21:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh…" Alphonse is clearly a little taken aback, but he smiles in return. "Thank you very much. But you deserved this victory, as the superior combatant."]
[22:04] <Raphael> "And Major Wellesley, it seems like there were a handful of turning points littered throughout the battle. With such a close battle, is there anything you feel you could have done differently?"
[22:08] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmm." He ponders this for a second. "I think in retrospect, if I had combined a dual assault on pilot Akagi with both Rei-" he rests his head against Rei's head fondly at this- "and Isaiah, followed up by a cross blast from San, I believe we could've had it in the bag, but…"]
[22:11] <Raphael> "… But," Raphael continues, "I think we can agree that you have both proven yourself strong contenders for this competition's main prize, regardless of the results today."
[22:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, yes." Says Misato happily. "I'll be looking forward to seeing how Boston handles the other teams~"-
[22:13] <AdEvaGM> ["Likewise." Says Alphonse serenely.]
[22:15] <Raphael> "And finally, Re-… Pilot Ayanami." Raphael corrects himself, coughing slightly. He gives her a fond smile, camera or no camera. "Since we happen to have you here, ma'am, do you have anything to say to the ODs or your fellow pilots?"
[22:21] <AdEvaGM> ["Heehee." She lets out a tired giggle at Raphael's formality. "I'd just like to say- thank you all for trying your best, and I wish them all well in the coming matches."]
[22:25] <Raphael> "Kind sentiments, ma'am." Raphael said, folding his hands again and giving her a nod. "Thank you very much for your time, all of you."
[22:26] <AdEvaGM> [Alphonse gives him a nod. Rei smiles warmly. "See you, Raffy-kun."-
[22:26] <AdEvaGM> [Misato beams at that, giving Raphael a mischievous wink. "Yes. See you, Raffy-kun~"]
[22:27] * Raphael remains straight faced, but that glimmer is still in his eyes as he turns a little pink. "Ma'am."
[22:29] <AdEvaGM> [The split-screen view fades and the viewers are treated to Julien's beaming face, about a foot away- if that- from Raphael's left cheek. "Man! Let's hope we see a few more no-quarter battles like this, eh?"]
[22:33] <Raphael> "Ah… quite, sir." Raphael says, adjusting his cap a little in an attempt to hide a sudden burst of nervous energy that's left him looking a little flustered. "It was certainly an…" He pauses, searching his memory for an appropriate bit of commentary cliche, "'Edge of your seat' match."
[22:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Hohohohoho!" He booms. "Well, that was Match #3- Boston versus Tokyo! Join us in a few days time for the second round of battles- until then, stay pumped!"]

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