No One Worth Possessing Can Be Quite Possessed

[13:47] <Yanmei> The time was 11:03 PM. Yanmei had finished packing for the trip, and was now sprawled on the leather livingroom couch, still in her formal dress and makeup. The door to the bedroom she shared with Lizzie and Isaiah was closed, and so was Gina's and Marianne's. There were an obnoxious number of dvd cases scattered about on the floor in front of her too, but she paid no mind to them. -
[13:51] <Yanmei> In her right hand was her regular cell phone. In the left was the one that Atticus Nelson had left her. She was staring at the latter, considering, regretting, and then she snapped it closed and began to dial a number on her regular phone.
[14:06] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> It dialled.-
[14:06] <Zhang`Mingzhu> Half a minute later, someone answered. "Hello?"
[14:09] <Yanmei> "Mom!" Yanmei sat up sharply, a slight tinge of surprise in her voice. She’d answered on the first try. "Mom… it's me. I called to see how you were doing."
[14:11] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "Oh, Blossom! I’m doing fine- I'm in a bit of a rush…"
[14:13] <Yanmei> "Ah… I understand. I heard about the Committee. How did it go?"
[14:19] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "Oh, you heard- well." There was clear pride in her voice. "They agreed to elevate me onto the Committee."
[14:21] <Yanmei> Something knotted in her throat. Yanmei swallowed it away as best as she could. "Congratulations~"
[14:23] <Zhang`Mingzhu> "Thank you, blossom."
[14:24] <Yanmei> "U-um… did they tell you? We’ll probably have a chance to see each other tomorrow, but…"
[14:27] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "Oh, there’s going to be a pilot hearing! Yes, they told me."
[14:31] <Yanmei> "…" She didn't sound ruffled at all. Was it because she didn't know? "The candidate? Did they give you his profile already?"
[14:34] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "Yes- yes, they did. I was actually looking it over when you called. Sorry, blossom- there’s a lot going on…"
[14:38] <Yanmei> "Right, right. I won't keep you long. I just wanted to give some words of encouragement?" She took a deep breath. "Some of the other Committee members are kinda scary, and pretty demanding, too. But don't let them boss you around, okay?" She gripped her phone more tightly. "Whatever you do tomorrow, can you promise me that it will be your decision?"
[14:43] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "… What a strange thing to say. Of course I will, Yanmei."
[14:46] <Yanmei> "Thank you, Mom." Her voice softened a touch. She could believe in her after all. Of course she could! "I wish there was more time for you to think it over. It will be a very difficult decicion. Isaiah, he’s… pretty nervous."
[14:47] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "I’m sure his father will help to ease matters."
[14:49] <Yanmei> "Maybe. Doctor Gabriel doesn't seem like he'd be very comfortable at this sort of thing."
[14:55] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "Well, I’m sure it'll work out. I'll see you tomorrow, Blossom."
[14:58] <Yanmei> "Mom…" There was so much to say. A warning bubbled inside of her, but she couldn't let it loose just yet. For a moment, she felt like crying, but it came and went thankfully fast and an awkward embarassment took a loose foothold. "…I love you," she mumbled.
[15:04] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "I love you too."
[15:07] <Yanmei> "Please don’t hurt him."
[15:08] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "…? Don’t be silly. I'll do what's best."
[15:10] <Yanmei> "Right." She squeezed her eyes shut. "Goodnight."
[15:12] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> "Goodnight, Blossom."-
[15:12] <Zhang`Mingzhu> Click.
[15:16] * Yanmei sat there for a long time after. She drew her knees up to her chest and let her phone fall onto the couch cushion beside her. "Idiot," she hissed at herself. "What are you going to do now?"-
[15:18] <Yanmei> The answer came after the first hour or so. The only thing she -could- do was to wash her face and climb into bed. So that was what she forced herself to do.
[15:23] <Zhang`Mingzhu> [Isaiah was fast asleep by the time she arrived… Or at least, pretending.-
[15:23] <Zhang`Mingzhu> [The next day, they woke up early, leaving Lizzie in Marianne’s care- Gina was nowhere to be found. She'd left a note for Yanmei and Marianne saying that she'd gone to visit a friend for the week.-
[15:24] <Zhang‘Mingzhu> [They were driven to one of the Geofront’s helipads, and there, put on a VTOL, along with Dr. Gabriel.-
[15:24] * Isaiah was quiet, not quite sullen, staring out the window contemplatively.
[15:27] * Yanmei was holding Isaiah's hand. She too was quiet, although she'd at least nodded to Dr. Gabriel in greeting, and had glanced at him a few times throughout the trip to see if he was drinking or anything.
[15:31] <Isaiah> [He wasn't. Dr. Gabriel was quiet himself.-
[15:31] <Isaiah> ["…"-
[15:31] <Isaiah> ["So the States are lost, huh." Said Dr. Gabriel.-
[15:31] <Isaiah> "Yeah…"-
[15:31] <Isaiah> ["That all you have to say?"-
[15:32] * Isaiah shrugged. "I had some memories of the United States. They weren't very nice ones. Rei and Alphonse are still alright- what do you want me to say?"-
[15:32] <Isaiah> ["You could've stopped it."]
[15:33] <Yanmei> "That's absurd," Yanmei broke in.
[15:39] <Isaiah> ["Excuse me?"]
[15:44] <Yanmei> "It's absurd to pin the fall of an entire country on the absence of one person. -Especially- when NERV should have come up with a contingency plan to compensate for his absence. And let's face it? They had plenty of time to do that between his last hearing and the point that the war in North American reached a critical point."
[15:50] <Isaiah> ["Hmph. There are some things you simply -can't- plan for."]
[15:53] <Yanmei> "…" Dissatisfied, Yanmei leaned back in her own seat, and frowned out a window.
[15:59] <Isaiah> And so they travelled in silence.-
[16:01] <Isaiah> [Eventually, the VTOL arrived over Hamburg- the engines switched to vertical, and they set down in front of the UN HQ.]
[16:08] * Yanmei stood. She was dressed in her NERV uniform, although she wasn't sure how much of a difference it made. She still didn't know why she had been told to come here, but she could at least try to comfort Isaiah. So she tried to, with a small smile. "How are you feeling?"
[16:09] <Isaiah> "… I've felt better." He gave her a little smile. "This is it, huh?"
[16:12] <Yanmei> "Yeah. We did our best, even against these odds. Whatever happens, I right beside you."
[16:12] <Yanmei> ^I'm
[16:18] <Isaiah> "I know. Thank you. For… Everything." He murmured as they walked.
[16:21] <Yanmei> "When you say that, it's almost like you're saying this is the end." Yanmei's smile turned a little sad. "It's not like that."
[16:24] <Isaiah> "No. I know." His grip around her hand tightened. "I'm sorry."
[16:29] * Yanmei squeezed his hand back, walking shoulder to shoulder with him. It was hard to remember the path back to that waiting room they had stayed in before, and for a long moment she wished Ariadne was with them instead of Dr. Gabriel.
[16:33] <Isaiah> [They entered through the front doors of the UN Building- Dr. Gabriel seemed to know where to go, and before long they were sitting in that waiting room, a television on the wall displaying the committee room.]
[16:35] * Yanmei looked down at her watch, and pressed her lips together. Not much longer. "Good luck, Docter."
[16:39] <Isaiah> ["Mm."-
[16:42] <Isaiah> [The Committee members began to file in. Hated Caine. Washington, looking, surprisingly, a little dishevelled and harrowed. Shardlake, looking as severe as ever. Inscrutable Ikari.-
[16:43] <Isaiah> [Her own mother, sitting in Fontaine's old chair, prim, hands folded together.-
[16:43] <Isaiah> [Then, there was Meir, Romanov and de Orleans.]
[16:47] * Yanmei watched them all, emotions flourishing brighter than her face would allow hints of. Anger at Caine. Curiosity and slight amusment at Washington. Wariness at Ikari. Fondness for de Orleans. And for her mother… a whirlwind of things that were impossible to separate clearly.
[16:55] <Isaiah> ["Ninth of April, 2017. Emergency meeting to establish the validity of one Isaiah Gabriel-Wei, dual citizen of the French Sixth Republic and the Chinese Federation, as an Evangelion pilot. Witness in attendance: Dr. Elijah Gabriel." Caine.-
[16:56] <Isaiah> [Dr. Gabriel stood up, heading slowly over to the elevator. He looked up -and vanished as it rose. He appeared on the screen in the middle of the Committee, as Yanmei had.]
[16:59] * Yanmei was still holding Isaiah's hand, of course. "What do you think he'll say to them?"
[17:04] <Isaiah> "He'll probably sell me out." Isaiah turned to her, giving her a wan smile.
[17:07] * Yanmei tried smiling back. "I never thought I'd say this, but I wish it was me up there again."
[17:21] <Isaiah> "…" He slid a little closer, and put an arm around her. He didn't add much.-
[17:22] <Isaiah> ["Dr. Elijah Gabriel. You stand before the Human Instrumentality Committee and the three highest ranked members of NERV. Everything you say will be recorded. As such, you are considered to be under oath as per the NERV Charter and the UN Constitution. Are you aware of this binding?" Asked Caine coldly.-
[17:23] <Isaiah> ["Yes." Said Dr. Gabriel.-
[17:24] <Isaiah> ["All of us, starting from me and proceeding clockwise, will ask you two or three questions which you are encouraged to answer promptly. Are you prepared?"-
[17:25] <Isaiah> ["Yes." Repeated Dr. Gabriel.-
[17:26] <Isaiah> ["You are the candidate's father, correct?"-
[17:26] <Isaiah> ["That's right." Said Dr. Gabriel, his tone monotonous.-
[17:27] <Isaiah> ["And how would you describe your current relationship with him?"-
[17:27] <Isaiah> ["Distant, uninvolved. He mostly keeps to himself. He's a fairly self-reliant boy."]
[17:31] <Yanmei> "Did you ever get a chance to talk to him before this?" Yanmei murmured to Isaiah.
[17:33] <Isaiah> "No."-
[17:34] <Isaiah> ["I see. So, in your opinion, he would be well-suited to remote deployment." Asked Caine.-
[17:34] <Isaiah> ["Yes." Replied Dr. Gabriel.-
[17:34] * Isaiah frowned darkly.
[17:35] * Yanmei followed suit. Had he been right about him selling out?
[17:37] <Isaiah> ["No further questions." Said Caine. "Washington."-
[17:38] <Isaiah> ["Ahem." Washington stroked his goatee for a second before continuing. "Your son and yourself are rather estranged, no? Why? What's the nature of the disagreements between the two of you?"-
[17:39] <Isaiah> ["He doesn't respect me. He has incredible potential, but his ambition is lacking." Said Dr. Gabriel. "He doesn't push himself to his fullest- he could be brilliant. But he wastes his time."-
[17:39] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah blinked, in surprise…-
[17:39] <Isaiah> ["I see. No more from me. Shardlake."-
[17:40] <Isaiah> ["Your son has rather exceptional scores and performance ability in theoretical subjects such as science, language, mathematics- I take it this is your doing?"-
[17:41] <Isaiah> ["Yes." said Dr. Gabriel. "I tried hard to make sure he grew up with a solid education."-
[17:41] <Isaiah> ["Good. It's good to see. No more questions. Ikari."]
[17:46] <Yanmei> "It's going so quickly." Yanmei's eyes reflected her worry. "Because they've already gone through this, I suppose?"
[17:47] <Isaiah> "Yeah." His grip around her shoulders tightened.-
[17:48] <Isaiah> ["No questions at this time. Zhang."-
[17:48] <Isaiah> [Zhang Mingzhu leaned forward, her face calm. "How important do you think the candidate's intervention could be to the UN and the world?"-
[17:49] <Isaiah> ["Very important. I'm of the opinion that if he'd been chosen last year, the USA would never have fallen, and this war could've already been ended. Hundreds of thousands of lives would've been saved."-
[17:49] <Isaiah> ["-That- much?" Asked Mingzhu in surprise. "Why?"-
[17:50] <Isaiah> ["You've seen the recordings of his Evangelion. He's the only one who can pilot it, and it's fearsome enough to singlehandedly destroy an Angel."-
[17:50] <Isaiah> ["But could it win a war by itself?"-
[17:50] <Isaiah> ["I think so."-
[17:50] <Isaiah> ["No further questions. Meir."]
[17:53] <Yanmei> "No… Does he really…?"
[17:59] <Isaiah> "He… He really is…"-
[17:59] <Isaiah> ["My questions have already been answered by Zhang Yanmei." Said Meir dismissively. "Romanov."-
[17:59] <Isaiah> ["Tell me, Dr. Gabriel. How did the candidate handle the death of his mother?"-
[18:01] <Isaiah> ["… Not well." Said Dr. Gabriel, pain crossing his face. "He… Well, I believe her death has contributed a lot to why he's like he is. His shyness, his timidity." He turned and stared at Caine before looking back at Romanov. "He would've grown up to be a lot stronger, a lot more… Of his own person."-
[18:01] <Isaiah> ["I see. No further questions. De Orleans?"-
[18:03] <Isaiah> [There was regret on de Orleans' old face. "Do you have anything you've wanted to say to your son, Dr. Gabriel? Something you wish you could've said a long time ago, perhaps."-
[18:03] <Isaiah> ["…"-
[18:06] <Isaiah> ["Yes." Admitted Dr. Gabriel. "he wasn't the only one who suffered when my wife died. Her death left me alone and- weak. Weaker than he was. I took it out on him. I blamed him for a lot of things. I… I know it isn't his fault. He hasn't had anything to do with the pain I've felt. He still doesn't have anything to do with what's happening, or what's going to happen. I've failed to protect him, to raise him. I should've stuck with him and been a father, not a coward. He's stronger than I am. So… So that's why I know he can avert the coming catastrophe."-
[18:06] <Isaiah> ["I do love my son."-
[18:06] <Isaiah> "……" Isaiah went still.
[18:08] * Yanmei didn't know what to say either. She stared at the screen, her eyes slightly wider.
[18:09] <Isaiah> "He's… He's proud of… Me?"-
[18:10] <Isaiah> ["No further questions."-
[18:11] <Isaiah> [Caine nodded. "I thank you all for your brevity. Time is of the essence, as you all know."-
[18:12] <Isaiah> ["Thank you for your contributions, Dr. Gabriel." The elevator began to lower. Before long, the doctor was back with them in the waiting room.]
[18:15] <Yanmei> It was hard to look at him directly, and it was hard to look at the video feed too. Her eyes roved around, trying to settle on something, and finally found Isaiah again.
[13:53] <Isaiah> [18:15] <Yanmei> It was hard to look at him directly, and it was hard to look at the video feed too. Her eyes roved around, trying to settle on something, and finally found Isaiah again.
[13:54] <Isaiah> [Dr. Gabriel, wordlessly, crossed the room to sit down next to them. He didn't look at them. Isaiah didn't look at him, either.-
[13:55] <Isaiah> ["We have heard the arguments- again- and interviewed the father." Said Caine. "Let us hold the vote. Should we, the Human Instrumentality Committee and the three Commanders of NERV’s largest branches, agree to designate Isaiah Gabriel-Wei as the Tenth Child, pilot of an Evangelion Unit, protector of human existence?"-
[13:55] <Isaiah> ["I say aye."-
[13:56] <Isaiah> ["Aye." Said Washington.-
[13:56] <Isaiah> ["Aye." Shardlake.-
[13:56] <Isaiah> ["Nay." Said Ikari. It was now Mingzhu's turn…]
[13:58] * Yanmei found herself gazing at the screen again, suddenly unable to move. She remembered her mother's confidence in things working out from the evening before, but it didn't slow her frantically pounding heart.
[13:59] <Isaiah> ["…"-
[13:59] <Isaiah> ["Aye."]
[14:01] <Yanmei> "No." Yanmei's hand curled into a fist as it sank in, and her heart seemed to come to an abrupt halt. "No… no!"
[14:05] * Isaiah hung his head. His hand around Yanmei tightened. "… She…"-
[14:05] <Isaiah> ["No matter what you thought, the Committee was too strong for you." Said Dr. Gabriel.]
[14:12] <Yanmei> "Shut UP!" She whirled, snarling. A futile reaction. Her eyes blazed with wounded fury.
[14:13] <Isaiah> ["It was meaningless, all this effort, all your resistence." Dr. Gabriel bowed his head. "No matter what little gestures of revolt or resistance you do, they exist purely to make you feel better. They don't change anything."-
[14:13] <Isaiah> ["Nay." Voted Meir, on the screen.-
[14:14] <Isaiah> ["Aye." Romanov.-
[14:14] <Isaiah> ["Nay." Said the quiet voice of de Orleans.]
[14:18] <Yanmei> "You don't know anything!" Yanmei advanced a step. "You think throwing up your hands is a better alternative? You're just pathetic!"
[14:19] <Isaiah> ["Don't you tell me what I am! I don't need any lectures from you! You're just as pathetic as I am!"-
[14:20] <Isaiah> ["Five to three." Caine's voice, quiet and soft as silk. "Motion carried. Isaiah Gabriel-Wei will become an Evangelion Pilot."]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "At least I -tried-! What the hell did you ever do?!" She nearly let go of Isaiah's hand. "Nothing, that's what!! You didn't even want to! What kind of parent are you?!"
[14:35] <Isaiah> ["Don't you get it?! I've never had a choice!"-
[14:38] <Isaiah> But Isaiah wasn't holding Yanmei's hand anymore.-
[14:38] <Isaiah> He was walking- no, running- over to the elevator. He pressed a button upon its railings, and a few seconds later he was in that chamber, face to face with the Committee.
[14:40] <Yanmei> "You-?!" But her hand was empty and the the whir of the elevator was in her ears. It made her falter, confused. And then she saw the monitor.
[14:41] <Isaiah> ["Let us begin th-" Caine's sentence was cut off by Isaiah's appearance. "You? What do you want? You're not allowed to-"-
[14:42] <Isaiah> "Shut up." Said Isaiah. "Just- shut the hell up, Mary Caine." He raised his hand. A knife gleamed within it. "I could leap this barrier and plunge this into your throat before you had time to react."-
[14:42] <Isaiah> [Silence met this proclaimation.]
[14:45] * Yanmei … suddenly lost her voice and a good deal of color in the wave of horror that came pouring down on top of her. "Oh… oh n-n…"
[14:48] <Isaiah> ["You dare to thr-"-
[14:51] <Isaiah> "Shut up." Isaiah lowered his hand, pocketing the knife. "I'll do it. I'll pilot EVA-08." He said, his eyes burning with anger- and something else. "I've just about had enough. When did this all start, Caine? Tell me. When you recruited my dad- to do this job he hated- was it because you needed him, or because you wanted it to be easier to get to me?"-
[14:53] <Isaiah> "How far does it go? How deep do your crooked plans run? Yanmei. What about Yanmei? Did you give her mother a job, too, just to get to her?" He turned and looked back at Mingzhu's shocked, pale face, before turning back to Caine. "How much have you tweaked, pulled, manipulated to get what you want? To set up these situations? To orchestrate the flow of our lives?"
[14:57] <Yanmei> A measure of awe was breaking through her horror. It was… such and absurdly reckless thing to say. She wanted to hit and and kiss him at the same time.
[14:57] <Yanmei> ^an absurdly
[15:01] <Isaiah> "Then, you've finally gotten your wish." Said Isaiah coldly. "You've finally made me a pilot. And I'm going to pilot. And I'll do it willingly, even." He said. "Because I've spent over a year trying to resist this, and all you've done is push and push and push- and now I realise that resisting was the wrong thing to do. Because I couldn't change anything like this."-
[15:05] <Isaiah> "I'll play your game. I'll fight. Angels, LN machines, whatever and whomever. But once this war is done- once the world is safe- I'm going to make you regret this. I'm going to fight you. No matter what you do or how you threaten me, or how you threaten my beloved, I'm going to destroy you. And I'm going to destroy everything you've done- and I'm going to try to make this right. A little bit of right out of so much wrong." He raised his hand to his throat- to his locket. "Yanmei's suffered enough. And there's a little girl to which I owe an awful lot. I wasn't able to protect her from the evils of the world- and then I wasn't able to keep your tainted hands from her. So no more. You wanted a pilot? You got it. But once the djinn is free from the bottle- you can't put it back. With the tools you've given me- I'm going to destroy you and your corrupt works."
[15:08] <Yanmei> The urge was… definately falling on the kissing side now. Without a doubt. But… she felt the frown coming before it reached her face. "Oh god." A direct threat was also really damn horrible.
[15:09] <Isaiah> [Caine stared, impassively.-
[15:09] <Isaiah> ["Begone, child. You're doing very little except disrupting our work."-
[15:09] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah stared, locking eyes with her. His gentle blues against her icy ones- they stared unbroken for a few minutes.-
[15:10] <Isaiah> Eventually, Isaiah looked away. "So be it."-
[15:10] <Isaiah> The elevator lowered itself back down to the waiting room. He was back with them, now…-
[15:10] <Isaiah> And trembling all over. "Yanmei…"
[15:11] * Yanmei rushed over to him. "I-Isaiah!" She didn't kiss him, though. Instead she put her arms around him.
[15:18] <Isaiah> He felt shaky and weak, and a cold sweat was beading on his brow. He fell into her arms, wrapping his own around her. "Oh God, what did I just do?"
[15:20] <Yanmei> "It's ok, it's okay." she rested her forehead gently against his, and tried to keep calm. "I've never seen you… I mean. You were amazing just now!"
[15:24] <Isaiah> "…"-
[15:24] <Isaiah> "Y-You think so?"
[15:26] * Yanmei gave him a little kiss. "You were really cool. Gutsy! Did… d-did you mean what you just said?"
[15:31] <Isaiah> "I… I did." He murmured, looking up at her and giving her a little smile. "S-Suddenly this doesn't seem so bad, huh?"
[15:34] <Yanmei> "I don't know, but…" she was smiling back at him, tears gathering in her eyes, and what came out next was something of a hoarse whisper. "Thank you."
[15:38] <Isaiah> His smile widened. "It was thanks to you."
[15:38] * Yanmei shook her head. "I couldn't even do anything this time."
[15:39] <Isaiah> "Do you really think I'd be able to do any of that without you?"
[15:41] <Yanmei> "Heh." Yanmei wiped her eyes before the tears could fully spill over on their own, and stood a little taller, giving one last look at the monitor and at the good doctor.
[15:42] <Isaiah> [Dr. Gabriel was staring at the screen- and Isaiah, a sort of horror, awe, pride and sadness on his face.]
[15:46] <Yanmei> "It's okay to head back now," she said. "Of course, if you two need a minute…"
[15:53] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah looked over at the Doctor.-
[15:53] <Isaiah> ["…"-
[15:53] <Isaiah> "No, let's go."
[15:56] <Yanmei> Faint surprise, and then a bit of something else crossed her face. "All right…" And she guided him toward the door.

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