Only The Monstrous Anger Of The Guns

[20:17] <Isaiah> [[Session 44: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Date: 11th April, 2017. Episode Title: Only the monstrous anger of the guns.-
[20:19] <Isaiah> [One hundred miles off the east coast of Halifax, Canada, the Enterprise Battlegroup sat at anchor. At the core of the battlegroup- in the middle of the frigates and destroyers and cruisers- sat the Enterprise, the Evangelion carrier. On its deck sat the Paris-2 war-machines; the Evangelions, the Grendel, and four squat Dreadnoughts with bulky thrusters attached to the hull.]
[20:20] <Isaiah> ["Sortie in five minutes." Came the Captain's voice.]
[20:31] <Raphael> … it's with a brief pang of nervousness that Raphael reenters the cockpit of the hulking T-RIDEN-T. There's no reason for it of course, but illogical emotions seem to be coming thick and fast in the past few days. There was nothing to do but work through them. The captain worked methodically on the boot process for the onboard computers, allowing himself to sink into the pre-battle calm
[20:31] <Raphael> he's grown used to over the years. "Superheavy team, report."
[20:31] <Sept> It wasn't like Sera would've had much else to do on the ship but wait for those words. The five minutes would be mostly spent doing much of the same, in meditative silence.
[20:32] <Yanmei> Inside of EVA Unit-04, Yanmei locked a hollow gaze on a map of Boston that displayed on a comm window. She'd been oddly quiet during the briefing, but now she was talking to someone and trying to settle his nerves a little. "It'll be okay," she was saying. "Everyone will be there to fight so you won't be alone. It won't be like last time?"
[20:33] <Aline> The silence before the storm. Aline hated this. She hated these missions, and the sour expression made it no secret. But she was trying to remain calm, and was actually doing a few odd-looking stretches. She couldn't do a full routine in a seat, but it… looked like Aline had indeed been taking those yoga lessons that Elena suggested rather seriously.
[20:37] <Isaiah> "I…" Isaiah had been rather calm all day, but now that the moment of truth was close his nerves had resurfaced. He couldn't hide them at all…-
[20:37] <Isaiah> "I-I'm sorry, Yanmei. You'll protect me, right?"-
[20:37] <Isaiah> ["Dreadnought 01 standing by." Came Mana's voice over the Grendel's comms.-
[20:38] <Isaiah> ["Dreadnought 02 standing by." Marie.-
[20:38] <Isaiah> ["Dreadnought 04 standing by." And Blaise, jumpy nerves inherent in his tone.]
[20:41] <Sept> "Everyone ready? We're clear about the plan?" Sera's tone was quite calm in contrast to some of the others.
[20:41] <Yanmei> Her face softened in spite of everything. "I'll always protect you," she said firmly. "Stay close to me out there, okay?"
[20:42] <Aline> "…" Aline stared, mouth half-open at the comms window from Sera. "…Clear enough."
[20:43] <Isaiah> "… I will." Isaiah tried to give her an encouraging smile.-
[20:44] <Isaiah> ["De Pteres is on point." Said Marianne. "Blanc and Zhang after. Remember- climb to an altitude of 100 kilometres first before dropping down as fast as you can. Once you're in Boston, Wellesley will command the action."-
[20:44] <Isaiah> ["Evangelions- move out!"-
[20:44] <Isaiah> ["Superheavy Regiment- move out!" Frederic's voice.]
[20:46] <Raphael> "Yessir." Raphael says, and the shadow that shrouds the other dreadnoughts shifts suddenly as the Grendel stands a little straighter. Then there's a bone-shaking roar as its jump jets kick in hard, sending the giant mass of metal hurtling into the clear blue sky.
[20:56] <Sept> "Got it. Stay safe, everyone." The Evangelions' ascent was much more subdued, of course.
[20:57] <Aline> Indeed it was. 00 glided after 01 with naught but a 'whoosh' to mark its passing, and even a rapid landing into the cityscape… would be overly genteel and delicate in comparison. Ah, Evas.
[21:01] <Yanmei> 04's bulk was made all the more apparent moments later, when it smashed into a Boston interception, feet first. And it -was- bulkier than normal, its hated F-type equipment firmly strapped on for extr protection. "Right, then." With her game face on, Yanmei lifted her guns behind a flickering AT field. "Prioritize area attacks and wide barrages, everyone. We've dealt with these unit types before."
[21:02] <Yanmei> ^intersection
[21:04] * Sept , meanwhile, made a point of attracting slightly more attention with his landing, flattening half of what seemed like a particularly museum-y building. "Yeah. Break their formations and their toys. Good luck."
[21:06] * Aline nodded from within her plug, as 00 perched itself on a harbor's shipping floor. "Righto. This time, this time I'll try to keep that in mind."
[21:07] <Isaiah> [A comm was patched through to the newcomers from the Minifront. "This is Major Wellesley. Good to see you all here. San! Get ready to deploy!"-
[21:07] <Isaiah> ["Yes, sir."]
[21:08] <Isaiah> [Boston was crawling with LN mechs. Swift valkyries, bizarre Aquas- and row upon row of heavy, solid mechs-of-the-line Thruster Solaces.-
[21:08] <Isaiah> [Minerva Linden sat in the cockpit of the T-RIDEN-T Mouse, a small mini-T-RIDEN-T barely bigger than a Dreadnought. She looked up at the sky. "So here come the relief forces…"]
[21:16] <Raphael> And last of all came the T-RIDEN-T, the speedier Dreadnoughts flitting along behind it. When it lands, it does so at the cost of dockside warehouse. "Sergeants Herriot and Favager, deploy with Pilot Blanc and try to thin out the units to the southeast. Blaise, provide what protection you can. Sergeant Kirishima, you're with me for now."
[21:18] <Isaiah> ["Right away, sir." Blaise and Marie moved to cover Aline, whilst Mana remained close, her Dreadnought slamming through a comic book store.]
[21:23] <Yanmei> A thin smile appeared briefly on Yanmei's face upon seeing the destruction of that comic book store… and she unleashed a hail of gunfire to her immediate north, to where steel bodies loomed above buildings. The Valkyrie Solaces from last time…
[21:25] <Isaiah> [The thundering bolter rippd through the lead Valkyrie's torso- and put a bolt through another's head. The third bolt shredded a third Valkyrie's leg.-
[21:25] <Isaiah> ["Good shooting, Zhang." Came Alphonse's voice.]
[21:25] <Yanmei> "Thank you, Captain."
[21:32] * Aline looked at the heavy command formation in the distance… and flashes of something she did earlier in the week came to mind. "Tch. Not about to proc aggro from that." So instead, 00 strode to the southeast, and with a wide flourish of its lance-bearing arm… cast forth a wave of force at a /large/ swath of Aqua Solaces!
[21:32] <Raphael> The long-barreled positron cannon hasn't made the trip to Boston, instead replaced by a truly enormous gatling gun that the Thruster team had gleefully unveiled before their departure. It roars to life now, making the area's surviving windows shake and unleasing bullets nearly the size of cars at the advancing solaces.
[21:36] <Isaiah> [Raphael's slugs rip through arms and a leg, cripping two beyond repair…-
[21:37] <Isaiah> [Whilst Aline's rolling wave of force catches all but one of her targets, ripping open metal and armor plates, causing significant damage.]
[21:53] <Isaiah> [Mana's stompy robot now turned and joined her commander in his barrage- whereas her guns had proven ineffective against Omniel, here they found their mark, busting two Aqua Solaces and sending their metal carcasses crashing to Earth.]
[22:10] <Isaiah> [However, the Aquas were not silent in taking their punishment, and quickly opened fire, slamming a rain of Positron bolts into EVA-00- burning into the head, gouging out huge chunks from the cheeks and jaw, and slagging plates of chest armor, sending the Evangelion collapsing into the river.]
[22:12] * Aline could only scream from the resultant pain, and twitch violently…!
[22:14] <Sept> "Aline! Hold on, I'll be there soon!"
[22:15] <Isaiah> [Sera would soon have his own problems- another shower of Positron bolts headed his way.]
[22:19] <Sept> Luckily for him, the river was close by, providing good cover from the barrage.
[22:21] <Yanmei> Crap! Yanmei on the other hand, was torn between the mess to the south and the… something quickly flying at her from the west. "Not good…"
[22:24] <Isaiah> [It was a T-RIDEN-T, its hands replaced with short Progressive blades…]
[22:24] <Raphael> Raphael is in the perfect position to see 01's head torn open, a grim look on his face as the chunks of gore are sent bobbing down the river. "Sergeant Herriot, provide cover for Pilot Blanc until she can find her feet. Sergeant Favager, see if you can thin the her—" Whatever comes next is interrupted as Raphael's T-RIDEN-T is buzzed by another of its kind, moving down the river towards
[22:24] <Raphael> Aline. "… -shit-."
[22:25] <Isaiah> [There was a bright rapid-fire lightshow across Boston- Marie's Dreadnought opened fire, with its new Maser Annihilator, ripping through two more Aquas- and setting the river on fire, briefly. "I'm on it, sir!"]
[22:26] <Raphael> «00*, bluh numbers :I»
[22:31] * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
[23:05] <Isaiah> [Another rolling wave of positron bursts headed into Sera, despite his new position…-
[23:06] <Isaiah> [Whilst a storm of maser bolts failed to even phase EVA-04.]
[23:06] * Raphael (ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.57-232-13-112d|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.57-232-13-112d|leahpaR) Quit (eraniss.tx.us.lunarnet.org obsidian.ab.ca.lunarnet.org#)
[23:06] * ZackSleep (gro.tenranul.ffats|kcaZ#gro.tenranul.ffats|kcaZ) Quit (eraniss.tx.us.lunarnet.org obsidian.ab.ca.lunarnet.org#)
[23:08] * Yanmei is moving north, locking blades with one of the Valkyries that had just fired on her, leaving the lonely enemy T-RIDEN-T behind. "Nice effort?"
[23:10] <Sept> The beams crashed through 01's AT field and armor in a spectacular series of crashes and flashes, and Sera yelled as he felt the flesh of his hands start to burn. But as the noise and pain subsided, 01 still stood, largely singed, but still quite intact.
[23:11] * Raphael (ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.57-232-13-112d|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.57-232-13-112d|leahpaR) has joined #nervfrance
[23:22] * Aline started to breathe regularly again, and looked across the battlefield once more. Oddly, though, she grinned. "…I'm gonna try something. No speeches this time, 'kay?" …And first with a simple wingflap, but then a massive barreling shot of AT force, 00 soared off to the southwest! It flew right between two ranks of PW-Solaces, and folded its leg into a flying kick posture! …A
[23:22] * Aline second passed. Impact was almost there… then with a bright flash, 00 was gone, leaving behind a possibly-familiar dendritic crimson 'shadow' of light, sparking seemingly harmlessly only about 20-30 meters from the central LN command group.
[23:23] <Isaiah> ["Uh-?!"-
[23:24] <Isaiah> [Minerva stared up at the floating shadow, unnerved… "… A Dirac Sea? There's nothing we can do to it now, but it can't do anything to us. It's fine to ignore it."]
[23:31] <Raphael> "… will she be alright, Pilot Zhang?" Raphael mutters, glancing back towards the command group as more bullets from the Grendel rake across the seemingly endless lines of Solaces.
[23:33] <Yanmei> "I hope so. We can't spare someone to go with her until we've taken out more units here?"
[23:45] <Raphael> "Right."
[23:47] <Isaiah> ["Firing-!"-
[23:48] <Isaiah> [Mana's Dreadnought capitalised on Aline's earlier work. Maser bolts found cracks in armor all too easily, and before long a burned out battle line replaced the once-deadly Aquas…-
[23:48] <Isaiah> [… But before she could react, she was caught in a crossfire of small bolts, ripping through a leg-
[23:49] <Isaiah> [And then, a far brighter beam from the Artillery T-RIDEN-T speared through the body, sending Mana's cockpit ejecting through the air. The same happened with Mana- two IFF tags vanished on Raphael's sensors, but before long there was a beeping in his cockpit. Incoming projectile! The Point Defense systems calculated- and a bolt shot exploded harmlessly away from his mech.-
[23:49] <Isaiah> ["This is Marie. Son of a bitch got me hard, but I'm alright."]
[23:54] <Raphael> "… Right." Raphael says, allowing himself a quick curse as he brings the Grendel around to find his new assailant. The T-RIDEN-T is hard to miss. "Marie, we can get Mana an extraction from her position, but you're still in the middle of things. Are you able to get to an evac point?"
[23:54] <Isaiah> ["I'll see what I can do, sir!"]
[23:55] <Raphael> "Good work, Sergeant. I'll see what I can do from here."
[23:56] <Isaiah> "This… Is Isaiah." Came Isaiah's voice over the comms. "… Synchronisation complete. Deploying now. Do I really need to take this sword? It… Ugh. It feels weird…"-
[23:56] <Isaiah> ["It's imperative. Orders from the top. We have to get it out."]
[23:59] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei started to say something, but a sudden bombardment made her change her mind quickly, hissing through her teeth as 04's leg began to lock up. "D-damn it…"
Session Time: Sun Feb 19 00:00:00 2012
[00:02] <Sept> "Isaiah? You have to be extremely careful with that, and not just physically. Worry about nothing else, the rest of us will be fine. Understand?"
[00:07] <Isaiah> "Uh… Alright, I understand."
[00:15] <Isaiah> [There was a rainbow corona that flooded Boston with prismatic light.-
[00:15] <Isaiah> [EVA-10 glowed, its AT Field shining incredibly brightly… "Cross Blast initiated-!"-
[00:15] <Isaiah> [The energy strike that lit up the city could've vaporised an army. It -should've- vaporised the Thruster Solaces…-
[00:16] <Isaiah> [But as the smoke cleared, they remained standing, all of them missing their right arm- at the last second, defensive subroutines had placed them into a tortoise-like formation, absorbing most of the energy.-
[00:16] <Isaiah> [San was not so lucky. A hail of enormous positron bolts shot out, smashing and vaporising EVA-08's arm and blasting through the body. San screamed- "No-! N-"-
[00:16] <Isaiah> ["SAN!" Alphonse, his voice laced with worry-
[00:16] <Isaiah> [But EVA-10 was down.]
[00:27] <Isaiah> [Splash! Blaise's Dreadnought chugged through the water, propelled via its thrusters- a power fist hurled at the Interceptor T-RIDEN-T, which parried it away.]
[00:28] <Raphael> "Captain Wellesley." Raphael said, hurriedly trying to find a decent line of sight in the chaos. "Where's Pilot Rei?"
[00:29] <Isaiah> ["One moment. Macquarie, is Rei still fighting?"-
[00:29] <Isaiah> ["Yes, sir."-
[00:30] <Isaiah> ["There you go, Guillory. Rei was intercepted by Liberated Nations invading troops en route to the Cages. She's still trying to fight through."]
[00:36] * Raphael doesn't pause in his work, but something about his expression shifts… like a subtle walling off of his emotions. "… Understood, sir."
[00:41] <Sept> "…come on," Sera muttered to himself. "You're out of your depth here, you should know that!" Sera fought to get himself some space, just a little to get a clean shot at the TRIDENT… Metal whined and screamed against metal, 01 spun around and the noise repeated itself. Scraps of mangled plating and sensors rained into the River Charles. "What now?!" He demanded from the remaining Solaces.
[00:43] <Isaiah> [The T-RIDEN-T stood upright for a second- before slumping over, smashing buildings.-
[00:43] <Isaiah> [The two remaining Valkyries answered Sera's challenge with mute, mechanical stoicism.]
[00:47] <Isaiah> [Alphonse shook his head. "Macquarie, open a window to Linden."-
[00:47] <Isaiah> ["Done, sir."-
[00:47] <Isaiah> ["Linden. You've made an error."-
[00:48] <Isaiah> [Linden stared at the comms window. "What do you mean?"-
[00:48] <Isaiah> ["All this time I've been pulling the air force back, tucking it away wherever I can. Most of the forces you've fought have been ground forces, or my Evas. You didn't think to pursue because you didn't see them as a threat."-
[00:48] <Isaiah> ["That was a mistake."-
[00:50] <Isaiah> [Fighter jets- a veritable armada of them- hurled across the sky from the north, firing off missiles towards vulnerable Solaces. An Aqua, its head already heavily wounded, fell- and a Valkyrie was picked off as well from heavily-armed VTOLs.-
[00:50] <Isaiah> ["… Fighter jets, huh." Murmured Minerva, smiling a little.]
[01:01] <Isaiah> [Yanmei would espy, now, EVA-08, emerging from a deployment launch port.-
[01:03] <Isaiah> [That same, menacing shape, the open jaw… But now the Evangelion carried in its hands a large, gleaming sword. It was exquisite in its shape, with a crossguard shaped like a crescent, reminiscent of shining platinum, and a straight edged blade… It wasn't adorned with symbols or decorations. It needed nothing to enhance itself. It was Adam's Sword- it had a majesty of its own that no one could deny.]
[01:07] <Yanmei> "Isaiah. How are you doing? Hanging in there?" 04 was still firing, armor slightly charred from the latest cannon fire aimed at her. One of the Valkyries went down in smoke before her. At the sword… she actually frowned.
[01:08] * Aline was, it should be noted, able to see the blade, even though where she was hidden, no comms signals could escape. The girl silently stared at it, knowing it was something of probably Angelic majesty, but not quite realizing what it was.
[01:17] <Isaiah> "I'm… I'm ok, for now."
[01:19] <Aline> It was then, after those last shots, that Aline had managed to gather enough concentration to proceed with her plan. A tendril of 00's shadow moved slightly, ever-so-slightly, carefully pausing as if contemplating something, before… entirely unrelated to that movement, a black puddle tinged with the same crimson in gentle flashes rose up from the ground, becoming a surge! When it subsided,
[01:19] <Aline> Minerva's command unit was no longer in Boston.
[01:20] * Raphael is still wearing that frown as he he draws a bead on the heating vents of the enemy T-RIDEN-T. With a minor adjustment of power to the Grendel's railgun and a low electric hum a bullet is sent rocketing across the river and towards his target on the far side.
[01:20] <Isaiah> [The Lion's jets propel it to the left a second before the shot hits. "Huh. He's not a bad sho…"-
[01:22] <Isaiah> ["… Minerva?" Tobias's eyes widened for a split second, in panic- before narrowing in anger. "Minerva! No!" He jammed his fist onto a button, trying to hail Alphonse on the comms- but accidentally raising just about everyone on the battlefield.-
[01:22] <Isaiah> ["Wellesley! Damn you- what have you done with her!? Give me back my daughter! Let her go!"-
[01:22] <Isaiah> ["…" Alphonse shook his head. "Blanc, if you can hear me, keep her there. Disarm her, but don't kill her."]
[01:28] * Aline unfortunately couldn't, but… Well. We'll see what she does.
[01:31] <Raphael> "…" Raphael's jaw tightens at something familiar in the voice on the other end of the line - a very specific kind of pain and fury. He opens a private channel. "… Group Captain Linden?"
[01:42] <Isaiah> [But Raphael can't get out more than a few words before a truly insane hail of energy bolts rips through the Grendel, destroying its arms- legs- body- everything except the cockpit.]
[01:43] <Isaiah> "Alright. Here we go…" Isaiah focuses, the AT Field rising- and he strikes out, EVA-08's arms stretching disturbingly as the Sword is slashed at a Valkyrie- which parries it away.-
[01:43] <Isaiah> ["It's… It's just like the Chairman said." Said Macquarie. "EVA-08's AT Field is being augmented by Excalibur!"]
[02:09] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes narrowed dangerously. She tried to take her frustrations out on the robots in front of her, but it only amounted to a series of distracted and useless flailings.
[02:15] <Isaiah> Isaiah, meanwhile, ignored his foe and began to run, towards the flank of the Thruster Solaces- Solaces who had been marching forward now. "A-Are you sure this is going to work, Captain?! It didn't work for San!"-
[02:16] <Isaiah> ["Trust me. It'll work this time."]
[02:20] * Sept continued his battle in the river, avoiding incoming fire and slashing his way through the rest of the Solaces surrounding him. "You can trust him, Isaiah. You have to."
[02:21] <Isaiah> "R… Right." Isaiah took deep breaths. "Please work…"
[02:30] <Isaiah> [Sera, on the other hand, would find his problems multiplying. Like a horde of demonic, heavily armed giant frogs, the Aquas were on him, slashing at him with their massive Progressive Bows.]
[02:37] * Sept pushed into their assault, hoping to guard his rear with the shield while he skewered the Solace right in front of him. It didn't quite work as planned, though, as the progressives tore into his left wing, gouging down to his shoulder through to the arm's nerves. The arm hung limply, still clutching the tattered shield, and the faintest hint of worry crept itself onto Sera's face.
[02:40] <Isaiah> ["Sera, I'm going to drop some bombs on you in… Twenty seconds." Said Alphonse. "Make sure to keep that AT Field up!"]
[02:41] <Sept> "Thank you, Alphonse. I appreciate it." Sera's tone bore not the slightest hint of sarcasm.
[20:49] <Yanmei> More rapid fire from 04. Yanmei stared into the clearing smoke cloud it kicked up, despair clear on her face. The two remaining Valkyries were still standing. "Waste of ammo," she muttered to herself. "Come -on-. Focus!" The more this was drawn out, the longer Isaiah was stuck holding onto… that thing.
[21:08] <Isaiah> [Positron bolts thundered at EVA-01- surrounded as it was by Aqua Solaces, this was exactly the last thing Sera needed.-
[21:09] <Isaiah> "Ugh-" Isaiah groaned, Positron bolts slamming into his arms and legs- he was struggling to keep the Evangelion in check, even as two more Thrusters charged at him.
[21:22] <Yanmei> …And now they were firing at 08 pretty heavily as well. The EVA could take that, but what about -him-? "Bastards." Yanmei gripped her controls more tightly. "Don't think you'll get away with that!"
[21:24] <Isaiah> EVA-08 lifted Excalibur up, its gossamer-like wings glimmering with sudden energy. "I… I can-!"-
[21:25] <Isaiah> An incredible angel cross ripped through the formation, destroying yet more arms, and even scrapping a few of the Thrusters. "Ah… Ah…-!"
[21:26] <Isaiah> [Sera would soon fins his problems multiplied even more. Like some sort of nightmarish cursed fever dream, the Aquas began latching on, trying to drag him down into the depths…]
[21:44] <Isaiah> ["Sera- incoming!" Alphonse's voice. "keep your head down-!"]
[21:54] <Sept> "Get- OFF ME!" 01 struggled with the encroaching Solace, ignoring the voice for just long enough to be caught off-guard by the sudden explosions raining down on him. The giant crashed through a block of buildings on his landing back on the streets, but still seemed to be moving, though it seemed to be having difficulties getting up…
[22:05] <Yanmei> The Valkyries were countering now, and Yanmei best her best avoiding them, letting them bounce off her Field, slamming her progressive sword into one of them in retaliation with a grinding noise and finding herself utterly dissatisfied by the whole mess. "Enough already!"-
[22:11] <Yanmei> 04 abruptly sprang away, leaving one whole Valkyrie and one destroyed one far below. There were more pressing matters to worry about. The T-RIDEN-T Lion demanded her attention, its sights clearly already on the struggling 08, and she brought it full force, slamming down to the ground behind it on her good leg, and raising her Bolter. The resulting explosion caused by the shell was… impressive.
[22:11] <Isaiah> [Beep beep beep!-
[22:12] <Isaiah> [Tobias looked up. "-!" He slammed his fist into a button…-
[22:12] <Isaiah> [Yanmei probably wouldn't see the small ejection cockpit slam into a building below.-
[22:15] <Isaiah> ["Hyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" Blaise's stocky little robot was hurtling across the Boston streets, towards one of the Thrusters assaulting EVA-08. Using one fist to grab onto its gorget, he pulled it down to a more manageable height. His other he slammed into the Solace's head- or tried. An arm got in the way- and the fist just ploughed straight through, crushing the nose as other details.-
[22:16] * Isaiah was still, however, assailed- positron bolts and energy strikes plunged into his armor, followed by sledgeifsts. "Ugh. I… I- Yanmei- YANMEI-!"-
[22:18] <Isaiah> [His communications went dead.-
[22:20] <Isaiah> [A second later, EVA-08 roared, a sound that shattered windows and cracked concrete. The Evangelion was awake.-
[22:20] <Isaiah> [It -hurled- Excalibur into the river, and then proceeded to bite a Thruster in half.-
[22:21] <Isaiah> ["… Alright. Everyone should probably give EVA-08 a wide berth. Sera, time to go on the offensive!" Said Alphonse.]
[22:23] <Sept> Only Sera's heavy breathing could be heard at first, as he struggled to find the words. "Then what the hell do you call that just now?!"
[22:25] <Isaiah> ["… Yes, well, we have to focus on the positives."]
[22:29] <Isaiah> ***
[22:29] <Isaiah> ["Aggressive Defense. Now get in there and rip them apart!"]
[22:34] <Sept> "…sure, Alphonse." Though many of its limbs were still only barely functional, 01 dashed and leaped at the next formation of Solaces, slicing through the first one before backing up some steps in a defensive stance.
[22:40] * Yanmei was staring at 08 open-mouthed. For a moment, she tensed, bracing herself… but whatever she was anticipating either never came or was not as bad as she'd thought. In any case, she joined Sera a moment later, thumping down after using her AT Field to hover the rest of the way. Her sword was way off the mark, but her face was more relaxed now in spite of it.
[22:53] <Isaiah> [But this was no time for rest. A veritable hail of energy bolts was hurling towards her!]
[22:55] <Yanmei> Her AT Field didn't stop it… but the F-type armor did! Yanmei lifted an arm to shield her face out of instinct as sparks showered against 04's frame.
[22:56] <Isaiah> [She would see one of her aggressors explode into sparks as EVA-08 ripped off its head, torso twisting unnaturally long to gain the reach.]
[22:57] <Yanmei> "Ugh…"
[23:16] <Isaiah> [And a second later, she'd feel intense pain in her leg- a Valkyrie had flanked her, Prog Sword burrowing into a weak point in the Evangelion's armor…]
[23:19] * Yanmei let out a sharp gasp at the pain. "Y-you again?!"
[23:30] <Sept> "Yanmei… stay safe, I'll take that other group!" Sera easily disengaged from the combat with the armless machine, and sprinted towards the more intact formation of Solaces. He could've sworn they were eyeing him hungrily…
[23:32] <Isaiah> [One of them went down. But indeed they were…-
[23:33] <Isaiah> [Their eyes shone with light, and a second later, EVA-01 was riddled with energy beams from their eyes.]
[23:46] <Sept> Farewells were screamed to limbs, as that familiar hoarseness began to resurface again…
[23:46] <Isaiah> [A shadow crossed his vision.-
[23:48] <Isaiah> [His Evangelion would soon be sprinkled with electronics as EVA-08 ripped off a Thruster head, crushing it easily- burned, acidic crumbs falling upon EVA-01. The berserker was all that stood between Sera and doom.-
[23:48] <Isaiah> [Sera's chest would suddenly compress, and…-
[23:48] <Isaiah> ["Sera, this is Alphonse. You need to get to your feet. Your arms- don't worry about them. You have an AT Field!"]
[23:58] <Sept> "Of c-course… I know that. I'll be fine."
[00:02] <Isaiah> [Yanmei's harasser wasn't going away. It tried a cunning strike on her leg…]
[00:06] <Yanmei> But the attack missed, as 04 swiveled, bringing its own sword whirling around. Two of the Valkyrie's own legs tore away, and the pilot of 04 actually uttered a laugh. "Nice. How does it feel when it happens to you, huh~?"
[00:07] <Isaiah> ["…" The Valkyrie was a robot, and thus could not reply.]
[00:08] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei's laugh trailed off and turned into a frown. "I hate you."
[00:09] <Isaiah> ["…" The Valkyrie was a robot, thus it knew not love nor hate.]
[00:25] <Isaiah> [The head of the Valkyrie suddenly exploded. It looked around -groggily- only for another flight of missiles to rip open the head. It tottered and fell into the river.]
[00:28] <Yanmei> "Hmph." In her entry plug, Yanmei tossed her hair, a movement that was eerily mimicked by 04 itself. She buckled down quickly, though. This was no time for that…
[00:42] <Isaiah> [There was the sound of something fizzling behind her- a Thruster, its eye crackling, and next to it was an ally, warming up its gatling…]
[00:47] * Yanmei tried bending her knees, gritting at the stiffness and pain, 04's right leg spurting fluids. She got what she wanted, however, and just in time as the gatling spat out its first rounds. They were aimed at a figure… that was no longer there. -
[00:50] <Yanmei> 04 was above that unfortunate Solace in all of his monsterously bulky glory, and it was bringing its sword down deep into it as it landed from its jump. Sparks flew. The chainsawlike buzzing was almost deafening. And then the Solace crumpled.
[01:02] <Sept> Meanwhile, in the river, Sera was struggling with one of his useless, unresponsive arms, looking vaguely like a dog trying to scratch behind its ears as the mechanical beast pried the remnants of the shield off from around the positron sword that used to power it. "Get away from them…" he muttered as the now-free blade floated up of its own accord and was flung into one of the more
[01:02] <Sept> mechanical beasts still standing!
[01:03] <Isaiah> [The Charged Sword impaled itself through the Thruster's raised arm, ripping it off- but leaving it able to fire eyebeams at Yanmei.]
[01:27] <Yanmei> Which were absorbed harmlessly by the armor it wore. 04 raised its bolter, steadied the Maser weapon on its wing, and fired well beyond it, to the special hardier-looking Solaces still stationed around the area where the young Linden had been abducted from.
[01:28] <Yanmei> - Unfortunately, they were hardier looking for a -reason-. None of them fell.
[01:32] <Isaiah> [And they responded. Not at 04.-
[01:32] <Isaiah> [But they fired a massive -storm- of endless bolts at EVA-08. The sheer thicket of positron energy obscured the Berserker from sight…-
[01:32] <Isaiah> ["Oh no. It… Couldn't have…?!"]
[01:34] <Yanmei> "N-no way!" Yanmei rose slightly out of her seat, her heart in her throat and stared at the onslaught in horror.
[01:35] <Isaiah> [EVA-08…-
[01:35] <Isaiah> [Hurled itself through the thicket, and proceeded to rip off one of the offending arms. "RRRRRRRR#RRRRRRRRRRRRRR!#"
[01:52] <Yanmei> "O-oh." Well. Somehow she felt like she should have expected that. Her sword clattered to the pavement, and she lifted her bolter to try to give her a hand, unleashing a comparatively tiny and badly-aimed barrage of her own.
[01:52] <Isaiah> [Nevertheless, it tore through one Solace's hull with intense force…]
[01:55] <Aline> …and amidst the explosions, the branching, shuddering shadow of 00 finally flashed again, leaving the EVA and its unwitting cargo to appear again… "Sorry to come back half-cocked, even more sorry to have waited so long to, but you guys look like you could use a hand again, in spite of my damage!" And then she moved 00 to lock itself into melee against the forward two Solaces, brandishing
[01:55] <Aline> her Lance threateningly.
[01:58] <Isaiah> [The Solace turned towards her, arm raised…-
[01:58] <Isaiah> [Then slumped. The other three did the same.]
[01:59] * Aline blushed, and broadcast on both channels. "…Or, well… close enough. Thanks." Quieter. "…again…"
[02:09] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared, not quite believing what she saw. Then she eyed her channel to the Minifront. "Captain? The rest of the robots are down. Is that… all of them? Nothing else hidden around here?"
[02:10] <Isaiah> ["Nothing on sensors…"-
[02:10] <Isaiah> ["This is Colonel-President Minerva Linden. The battle is over." She said quietly. "Well done, Alphonse. You… You did too well." She shook her head. "That's that, then…"]
[02:16] * Aline nodded a bit, though looked into the distance now… "Hmmm."
[02:17] <Yanmei> "So…" Yanmei was staring at 08 now, a little uneasily.
[02:17] <Isaiah> [EVA-08 shook its head savagely, like an animal's- it ripped the head off of the Solace it was fighting, then turned its head towards the west.-
[02:17] <Isaiah> ["Rrrrrr…" Clank. Clank. It began to walk.-
[02:18] <Isaiah> ["…" Alphonse nodded. "We can retrieve it later. Yanmei."]
[02:21] <Yanmei> "Yeah. I guess it will get bored sooner or later?" she said glumly, and then shook her head, hard. "If this battle is a UN Victory, then I presume that either you or the Director will be issuing commands in the aftermath, Captain?"
[02:23] <Sept> "So we're done here… Is there anything left to help with, Alphonse? With the sword, or the evacuation?"
[02:25] <Isaiah> ["I'll be issuing the commands. Firstly…" Said Alphonse quietly. "There will be no evacuation. Zhang, bring Linden in. De Pteres, retrieve Excalibur. Make sure not to touch it- AT Fields will be enough, I should think."]
[02:27] <Yanmei> "Yes, sir." She tried to pretend that she didn't feel sick at the thought of that thing being brought to the surface again.
[02:31] <Isaiah> [Linden's mech- a small T-RIDEN-T- was in the middle of the clump, not moving at all…-
[02:31] <Isaiah> ["Blanc. Retrieve San, and what remains of EVA-10."]
[02:32] * Aline listened closely to Alphonse's commands… but then raised her voice - and her comms. "…Sir? Could I ask a favor? Namely… Minerva's father is somewhere in the city, could you make sure the two get to have some contact with one another once this is over? …Otherwise, I'm fine with my orders." And as if on cue, 00 began to head off to work at getting unit-10 and San to proper
[02:32] * Aline safety.
[02:33] <Isaiah> [EVA-10 was lying, rather awkwardly, in the river…-
[02:33] <Isaiah> ["Of course." Said Alphonse. "Status report on the fighting within the Minifront?"-
[02:33] <Isaiah> ["Entries one through four are still compromised, but UN troops are handling it. Entry five is contested."]
[02:35] <Yanmei> 04 loped over to the fallen Mouse T-RIDEN-T, and Yanmei opened up a channel to the Minerva. "Please bear with me. This will be a rocky ride, but I promise to make it a brief one."
[02:36] <Isaiah> ["Alright. Thank you."]
[02:37] <Yanmei> With that, Yanmei dropped her sword yet again, gingerly picked up the small robot, and drifted over toward one of the launch ports.
[02:38] * Sept glared at the river, and the vague shape gleaming unnaturally below the surface of the water.He stood there a while, thinking.
[02:39] * Aline began the process of setting down a few weapons near a supply cache, and went about /gently/ turning about EVA-10 to get at its plug area, Thankfully, she remembered enough about manual plug removal to be able to do it en-EVA'ed, again very gently working the machinery (as much as she could) and getting even gentler care towards getting the entry plug out.
[02:39] <Isaiah> [The river glared back. Beneath the surface, Excalibur did in fact gleam, a blade so sharp as to split the water around it…]
[02:43] <Isaiah> ["Alright. Pull yourself in, Yanmei. You can at least get yourself out at the same time."-
[02:44] <Isaiah> [Aline's careful salvaging meant she'd soon have an Entry Plug in hand. "I am glad to be out." Murmured San, over the emergency phone.]
[02:51] <Aline> "I can /imagine/. " She said, frowning a bit. "Let's get you somewhere where you can get out." And so, Aline began to head to wherever the designated drop point was - surely, it was listed on her HUD or something.
[02:52] <Isaiah> [Indeed it was. "So we won…?" Asked San.]
[02:56] * Yanmei did just that, descending down the open shaft manually and cautiously as well. It would be only a matter of time before she was settled and freed from her entry plug, wrinkling her nose slightly at the lingering LCL residue.
[02:58] * Aline made it over towards the site now, cradling the entry plug gingerly in one hand, and tugging the EVA around with the other, slung (with difficulty) over a shoulder due to 00 probably being one of the /least/ beefy EVAs in the entire lot of them, at least when it came to heavy lifting. Even then, she was flying with wings and using AT support as needed. "Yeah, we won. I got hit pretty
[02:58] * Aline hard early on, then kept the LN commander stuck in a Dirac Sea while everyone else basically tore through the drones… 08 did berserk, though. Again."
[02:59] <Isaiah> [San nodded. "Good."-
[03:00] <Isaiah> [But Yanmei would indeed be free- able to stretch her legs. She'd see Geofront soldiers arrive and surround the Mouse- which opened up.-
[03:00] <Isaiah> [In person, Minerva Linden wasn't very tall- barely the height of an Ayanami. She climbed down the ladder, into the company of the soldiers- and looked over at Yanmei.]
[03:06] <Yanmei> "President Linden." She tried to strap her professional face back on, and to give the girl a polite nod. "Thanks for your cooperation. There's something to be said for the LN's technological and military prowess? Your troops were really difficult to get through."
[03:08] <Isaiah> [Minerva smiled earnestly. "Thank you. Although as it turns out, not difficult enough."]
[03:09] <Isaiah> ["de Pteres." Alphonse. "What's taking so long?"]
[03:11] <Sept> The sword eventually rose calmly from the water, trapped by an entirely different kind of gleam. "I can let you do this instead, if you want. Will I have to take it back like this or do we have sufficient transport?"
[03:12] <Isaiah> ["Like that, I'm afraid. It's too big for a Bumblebee."]
[03:13] <Aline> Eventually, 00 settled down as well, finding an empty space, and with a loudspeakered, - thankfully not blaring right into the two talking's ears, but more in the distance… "…Please stay clear of unit 00 at this moment, thank you." Seconds passed. WHUD. The sound of an Evangelion being placed on the ground as carefully as possible, but with the obvious loosening of the load at the end
[03:13] <Aline> making it land a bit louder. Then the much, much gentler clank of an entry plug being set down, alongside the hiss of another opening. Aline soon made her way to the foot of 00, walking closer to San's plug expectantly.
[03:14] <Yanmei> "Sorry." Yanmei shot her a somewhat apologetic look. "How do you feel?"
[03:14] <Isaiah> [The escape hatch wheel spun, and it cracked open- a green-haired San crawling out a second later- vomiting up a stream of LCL.-
[03:14] <Isaiah> [Minerva smiled. "Like I'm about to start another battle." She headed over to Yanmei's side, closely. "I have to figure out how to allow the UN to accept a United States with me as President."]
[03:16] <Yanmei> "That'll be pretty difficult," she murmured. "You're so closely connected to the LN. If there was some way to distance yourself from them…"
[03:16] * Sept cursed audibly. "This'll be a long trip. How much longer until we can get going?"
[03:16] <Isaiah> ["Probably a few hours. Just set Excalibur down on an open area for now."-
[03:17] <Isaiah> ["Yes, I know." Murmured Minerva. "I hope Alphonse can put a word in for me…" She shot Yanmei a furtive look. "The United States doesn't need the LN. I'm quite willing to swap flags, but the US doesn't need the same idiots as it did before I came."]
[03:17] * Aline patted San on the back, gently, though the vomit made her nervously gulp down (eewwww) the last of the LCL she was beset with, herself. "Feeling better, now?"
[03:18] <Isaiah> ["Yes. A little. If this keeps up, I'm going to develop a conditioned aversion to cramped spaces."]
[03:21] <Yanmei> "Yeah. From what I've heard, I agree?" She gazed at her pensively. "Your goal was to clean up the corruption around these parts, right? Because-" she gave a little smile, "-'it's the right thing to do'?"
[03:24] * Aline made a soft 'tch' noise, though it was not a hostile one, more of a sort of distant noise a bit more authoritative than a sigh. "Ah, ah, maybe you should try doing /fun/ things in closed spaces, like maybe play games or talk with a friend - or if you're more interested in brushing up on your skills, a few rounds on the simulator for a more relaxing than harrowing setup?" Aline did
[03:24] * Aline vaguely shoot an eye over at Yanmei, but they were far enough to be out of earshot, only vague figures with vague words, given the girth of the hangars.
[03:25] * Sept tossed the blade roughly onto a group of buildings slightly lower than the surrounding ones. Inside the plug, he curled up just a little, and stared down at his hands.
[03:25] <Isaiah> [Minerva let out a soft giggle. "Yeah, that's right."-
[03:26] <Isaiah> ["Yes, I do believe you're right." San got to her feet. "Conditioning is also useful for removing aversions and phobias, after all…"-
[03:27] <Isaiah> [Sera was alone in the plug…]
[03:33] * Aline nodded. "Best to take your psychology into your own hands, really…"
[03:34] <Isaiah> ["Except when you cannot." San tried to walk… Only to sag again. "Nngh…"]
[03:36] <Yanmei> "Heh. Well, I've sure there's at least a few guys in the UN you can convince. They may not operate on a code of honor, but you've proved you've got power, and they might be interested in that. At the very least they might be curious about the person who turned Theodore Washington, of all people, into a nervous wreck for these past few days."
[03:37] <Isaiah> [Minerva giggled louder at that. "The old bastard deserved it."]
[03:38] * Aline quickly rushed in to grab San, and held her up. "Careful, careful… I guess caring for the body might help too…"
[03:38] <Yanmei> "I know, right? If only you could have seen him," she was giggling along.
[03:41] <Isaiah> ["Yes, you are…" San pulled herself up, leaning on Aline.-
[03:42] <Isaiah> ["Ooh, what did he look like?" Asked Minerva gleefully.]
[03:43] <Yanmei> "Way stressed," Yanmei leaned closer, cupping a hand around her mouth. "Like he hadn't slept in a week. His clothes and hair were rumpled too."
[03:47] <Isaiah> ["Ooh, good." Said Minerva, a bright, sincere beaming grin on her face. "That means he was in a hurry. Hmm…" She looked at Yanmei with concern. "Hey, Washington's cronies in the US have mostly been ousted, but he'll want them back if the US is to return to the UN. I don't want that. But people respect you, and you have influence in these things- can you help me?"]
[03:49] * Aline started to move towards the assembled soldiers and other personnel, with San leaning against her still. "Yeah."
[03:50] <Isaiah> ["Where's Rei-neesama?"]
[03:52] <Yanmei> "Hmmm. I don't know how much influence I actually have on these things? I can put in a good word for you with certain people over in France and possibly China, though. But first," she looked up at the soldiers around them, "you'll have to deal with your immediate situation."
[03:53] <Isaiah> ["Thank you!" Minerva latched onto Yanmei's arm tightly, squeezing it in an all-too affectionate hug, like a little sister might.-
[03:53] <Isaiah> ["… Can you take me? They're… Not looking happy."]
[03:54] * Aline frowned rather openly at that. "…I'm not sure. I spent too long in the Dirac Sea, but… I think she's probably still fighting."
[03:55] <Yanmei> It caught her well off guard, and Yanmei blinked a few times. "Uh, sure." She flashed a smile at said soldiers now, nodded to Aline and San, and started to lead the way to the Bridge, where she assumed Alphonse was.
[03:57] <Isaiah> ["Still fighting? I should… I feel faint." Murmured San.-
[03:59] <Isaiah> [Minerva stayed latched on as they made the journey.-
[03:59] <Isaiah> [On the bridge, Alphonse was standing at post, his crew doing the same…-
[03:59] <Isaiah> [Yanmei would however, notice the unmistakeable profile of Kaworu Nagisa sitting in a chair, off to the side of a console.-
[04:00] <Isaiah> [Alphonse quirked an eyebrow at the scene. "… Hello, Miss President."]
[04:02] * Aline held onto San, and sliightly picked up the pace. "Let's get you up to command, then you can get a seat at least." And not too long after the initial words were said, she'd come up after Yanmei and Minerva, a very different form of clinging taking place.
[04:03] <Yanmei> "…" What the heck. Yanmei tried not to stare at Kaworu. The guy really got around, didn't he…? She took a step back, letting the two get reacquainted.
[04:05] <Isaiah> [Minerva let go of Yanmei only reluctantly. "Captain Wellesley… It's been awhile."-
[04:05] <Isaiah> ["And little has changed, has it?"-
[04:05] <Isaiah> ["You could say that…"]
[04:07] * Sept hobbled in, as well, makeshift bandaging around… well, at least some of his wounds. He'd -tried-. "Looks like we're al-" The boy's eyes caught on Linden. "Is that..?"
[04:11] <Yanmei> "That's right." Yanmei didn't look over at him. "It's President Linden."
[04:11] * Aline nodded. "Otherwise yes, all together."
[04:12] <Sept> "…for hostage exchange?" Sera was too worn out to stop himself from sounding utterly hopeful.
[04:20] <Yanmei> "Probably not." Yanmei eyed the two strategists. "We all just got here, so we're still figuring out where everything stands?"
[04:21] <Sept> "…alright."
[04:22] * Aline was busy escorting San to a chair somewhere further up, but seemed, nonetheless, somehow relieved at what Yanmei said.
[04:22] <Isaiah> [Alphonse glances over at the pilots, before back to Minerva. "We can discuss this later. For now, I have to attend to cleaning up my city."-
[04:23] <Isaiah> ["… I understand. If I can help in any way-"-
[04:23] <Isaiah> ["You've done enough. Soldiers, take her away."]
[04:34] * Yanmei looked a little disconcerted, and frowned. But… she could understand that, too.
[04:37] <Isaiah> [Minerva gave Yanmei one last look before she was led away.-
[04:37] <Isaiah> ["Well." Alphonse turns to the pilots. "Aline, please take San to the triage on Level 2. Yanmei and de Pteres… Good job. Dismissed."]

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