Pilots Musings

[12:54] <Yanmei> There was a certain downtrodden quietness to some of the old districts in Paris. Yanmei noted this as she stood on a certain rooftop, peering down at a few of the battle scars it had gained over the past few years - buildings and sidewalks that no one had bothered to repair yet. Some of the pigeons that she had startled away with her arrival were settling back down again, waddling about. -
[12:55] <Yanmei> She scowled at them, annoyed. They ignored her apathetically.
[12:56] * SyntaxTerror has quit IRC (Quit: I wonder what this does?)
[12:59] <Aline> Soon thereafter, another figure appeared, scattering the damnable avian rats even more. A figure best described as /very/ white. White hair, a long white coat for some ungodly reason… Aline, unmistakably. "So we meet like this again…"
[13:05] <Sept> And the last to ascend the stairs to the top was Sera, in his glasses and casual non-sporting gear. "Hi, guys."
[13:08] * Yanmei nodded to them each in turn. Today she was dressed in pink and black, her arms and legs carefully covered. "Good to see you both. How've things been going?"
[13:10] * Aline frowned minorly. "…Could be better by far." At present, she didn't /quite/ elaborate on that yet.
[13:12] <Sept> "Busy. Getting better." He smiled a little, but sincere, smile.
[13:16] <Yanmei> "Hmm," Yanmei eyed Aline a moment, but moved on. She stuffed her hands into her pockets and sighed. "You guys might've heard, since you've been around a little more than I have recently, but NERV's been taking a new approach to tracking and confronting Angels."
[13:18] <Sept> "I heard… bits and pieces. Any idea if the command structure will change in any way?"
[13:19] * Aline took a breath, and then nodded. "I've heard about it, yeah, and… I don't /think/ it'd change just for that?"
[13:21] <Sept> "Considering we might have more information on the Angels, and cooperation between bases could be planned a bit more… I guess Ikari'd still be calling the shots, huh?"
[13:23] <Yanmei> "Pretty much? If there are changes being made at the top, I haven't heard about it. They're planning to promote a pilot to have some level of authority over all the rest of the pilots, though? But that's been in the works for a while and would only come into play during huge battles, like that final one against Azariah's troops."
[13:24] <Aline> "…And that one is probably you or some other division leader, isn't it?" A slow pause. "But no, I don't see them thinking there a reason to change /anything/ about the command structure save that."
[13:28] <Sept> "Yeah, that seems likely. Anything else we should know about the tracking system?"
[13:31] * Yanmei shook her head. "It isn't a perfect system yet. They're… getting a lot of interference from Angelspawn and, believe it or not, that new cult we've been hearing about."
[13:32] <Aline> "That's easier to believe than you think, you know. What with all those AT-field using Iron Guards all running amok…"
[13:35] <Yanmei> "Didn't think they'd be powerful enough to cloak a fullblown Angel? But if that's the sort of enemy we're dealing with…"
[13:36] <Sept> "Yeah. The game's changed."
[13:37] * Aline folded her arms and sighed a bit. "Troublesome…"
[13:39] <Yanmei> "Neither of you have been picking up anything weird, right? Like AT vibes following you around or anything?"
[13:39] <Sept> "How much of a case do we have against those cults, anyway? If we can get together an organized effort against them…"
[13:42] * Aline looked left and right between Sera and Yanmei, whose sentences more or less crashed together at once. "N… no, I haven't. And I think we'll have to just deal with the cultists one-by-one? I'm not sure about the 'case against them' or anything."
[13:42] <Yanmei> "There is already an organized effort going on. It's just not being handled by the EVAs. I don't have many details, but I think Guillory might."
[13:45] <Sept> "I see. But… no, I'm sure I would've noticed something like an active AT Field in Paris…" Sera glanced at Aline uneasily.
[13:46] <Aline> "H-hey, don't look at me like that. I've been good about that!"
[13:49] <Sept> "Y-yeah. Just saying."
[13:52] <Yanmei> "Ah…" Yanmei blinked a little. "Well… if you feel anything else, tell someone right away?"
[13:53] * Aline was, at the moment… not /sulking/, but looking a bit put-out and semi-pouty.
[13:56] <Sept> "I will. I mean, it's not like we should count on it, but I will."
[13:56] <Aline> "Y… yeah. Just sensing a field close by in Paris isn't going to m… mean much." Still a bit off.
[13:59] <Yanmei> "It's just that one or two members of the bridge have been being tailed lately. It might be related to those guys, and it might not? But it never hurts to be on guard."
[14:00] <Sept> Sera's hand made a slight motion as he was about to rub the back of his neck before catching himself. "That's right. So… Yanmei, your recovery has been continuing as planned..?"
[14:02] * Aline peered at Sera, though then focused back in on Yanmei. "Assuming it's not internal. God knows we have a bunch of… stupid stuff going on with the people in charge of the people in charge…"
[14:05] <Yanmei> "I'm pretty much back in shape. They let me go, after all?" Yanmei smiled… and kept smiling at Aline's remark. "Well, who knows about that."
[14:07] <Sept> "Well, it's not like we don't have suspects for that. I heard something from Jeanne the other day…"
[14:08] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[14:09] * Aline quirked a brow. "Hm?"
[14:10] <Sept> "The W guy's gone missing. The higher-ups supposedly should've been able to track him anywhere he went. I don't know the details, but he's out there, in any case."
[14:13] <Yanmei> "That's… just plain weird. Maybe he took a personal break after the news about Nagisa? They were really close," she added for Aline's benefit.
[14:13] * Aline has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[14:16] * Aline has joined #nervfrance
[14:16] * Aline shook her head. "He seems like the kind of guy who doesn't take breaks. Or, maybe, whose life is the job.
[14:19] <Sept> "…hm. Yes. If that's the case, we can just hope he's decided to move on to other… 'cases', then," Sera said mockingly.
[14:23] * Yanmei smirked faintly. "That's a shame, though? If we'd lured him over to our side, we could have asked him about all the stuff he knew about the bosses' plans."
[14:24] * Aline looked around shiftily. "I dunno, that almost sounds like playing with fire. He's a strange one, and that might mean strange allegiances too."
[14:27] <Yanmei> "It's almost worth the risk, though? Like knowing what they're up to, or better, having evidence for it."
[14:27] <Sept> "…yes. In either case, we should probably keep it between ourselves if he tries to contact any of you. Sending S2 after him would probably just…" Sera handwaved.
[14:27] * Aline simply nodded. "Not worth it."
[14:28] <Yanmei> "Right, right."
[14:32] * Sept breathed deeply. "We know about all of them, but we just can't go after them. What I'd give to have the chance to act instead of reacting."
[14:34] <Aline> "Sadly…" Aline shook her head. "Right now we're not going to be likely to /get/ anything more. We're playthings on a political level."
[14:36] <Yanmei> Yanmei's face darkened. "I don't think that's something we can just sit back and accept."
[14:40] <Sept> "We should have something to show for all the time we've spent in all their stunts… We need to get some kind of an edge on that field."
[14:42] <Aline> "But what?" Aline sighed. "I know you two have done at least something, Yanmei moreso, but… All I really have is knowledge and Evangelion, that's more or less all /I/ have. I might be on Ikari's good side, but pushing him will quickly lose that."
[14:44] <Yanmei> "We can't rely on him anyway. That guy seems to do whatever he wants either way."
[14:45] <Sept> "Mazarin?"
[14:46] <Aline> "Does he even have /enough/ influence, Sera?"
[14:47] <Sept> "You'd think he would've had some favors to pull, though with NERV's changes in administration…"
[14:49] <Yanmei> "He does have connections. I dunno, though? It might be better to go to those connections directly."
[14:50] * Aline sighed again, but seemed a bit less… oppressed. "That's an angle."
[14:53] <Yanmei> "To my knowledge, there's the Fontaines and another member of the Human Instrumentality Committee. I think our best bet is with the former."
[14:55] <Sept> "Yeah. Please, if you could look into those contacts of yours and Mazarin's… I can see if Ginevre still has any stake in all this." Sera shook his head slightly. "Though I hate the idea of hiding behind her on something like this."
[14:57] * Aline wiggled a finger. "UNcovering information doesn't really make it 'hiding' behind someone, does it?"
[15:00] <Sept> "Yeah, I guess you're right. It's just that she's. Hm. I know she can help, but there's little I can do for her in return."
[15:02] <Yanmei> "Hm. I know the feeling. But someday we'll be able to return favors too, won't we?"
[15:02] * Sept nodded sharply. "Yes. A lot of people are counting on it."
[15:02] <Aline> "If nothing else… we can offer some level of support in the 'endgame'."
[15:09] <Yanmei> "If we make it there. Remember Isabelle's plight? We can be disposed of too if necessary."
[15:11] * Aline looked off into the distance. "Then I guess we still have to be seen as useful, all the while."
[15:12] <Yanmei> "Precisely."
[15:13] <Sept> "I hate to say it, but… it might not have been just about her being uncontrollable as a pilot. An uncontrollable Eve poses much greater problems for NERV. And everyone else, for that matter."
[15:14] * Aline paused Significantly, but said nothing else.
[15:19] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei frowned. "Don't you think that it was more that they thought she'd make a better sacrifice to their grand Chantry infiltration scheme? If she kept fighting, she could get hurt, or worse, and couldn't be used for that opportunity."
[15:25] <Sept> "Mmh. Also likely. They obviously still -want- Eves among the Evangelion pilots, though, so they must have some plan. They've had every opportunity to hire anyone else they pleased off the Report."
[15:26] * Aline shook her head, frowning up a storm. "Well… yeah. So there's something… to it…"
[15:30] <Sept> "…they probably still consider it the best and most… 'reliable' way to 'capture' Angels for any purpose," Sera said, pronouncing the last words reluctantly. "Even after all their research."
[15:32] <Yanmei> "So you think there's still an alternative reason for them putting this capture plan into motion?" Yanmei looked thoughtful. "Interesting."
[15:34] * Aline nodded /very/ slowly. "Still… these remaining Angels are harder to just… contact. It's not as easy as it looks, they're much more hostile."
[15:35] <Sept> "I hope I'm wrong. Maybe it's all just coincidence. But yes, that's what I suspect."
[15:36] <Sept> "That's also part of it. Until now, you've been contacting them alone. What if there were others helping..?"
[15:37] <Yanmei> "Wouldn't that just piss them off even more?"
[15:39] * Aline nodded. "I'm… more inclined to agree with Yanmei. It's a matter of persona and demeanor. These are just plain /different/."
[15:41] <Sept> "I see. I'd been a bit worried about that, honestly. At least that's one thing put to rest."
[15:46] <Yanmei> "Hm. Well, as mean and tough as they are, at least we have another guy to help us out with defending against them." She scanned their faces briefly for reactions. "Question is, what do we do with him?"
[15:47] * Aline shrugged her shoulders openly. "Figure him out?"
[15:49] <Sept> "I… don't know. I've gotten nowhere on his connections to NERV. Ikari put him there, but he just seems so… so -normal-. There's no way he'll know anything if he's here for someone's agenda."
[15:51] <Yanmei> "His background is apparently clean, and all signs of the decision-making made by the Committee suggests that this was just a reaction to the Azrael incident. But even if that's the case…"
[15:52] <Aline> "You're suggesting caution…?"
[15:55] <Yanmei> "Let's just keep an eye on him for a while. Even if he's completely innocent, we shouldn't come running at him with a bunch of heavy secrets and stuff?"
[15:55] * Sept nodded. "If we can afford to wait on this at all, he'll… eventually discover what he's gotten himself into by himself. Everything the Angels can do, the politics, the stakes… We could judge what we can rely on him for once we see how he reacts."
[15:56] <Aline> "Probably wise. He'll probably be shaken, if he's innocent."
[15:58] <Yanmei> "If he gets that way, we'll just help him out." Yanmei grinned. "You two already seem close, Blanc."
[16:00] * Aline suddenly blushed. "I… I don't know what the deal is. I helped him out at first, and now it almost feels like he's coming on to me. It's a bit embarrassing…"
[16:02] <Sept> "You're sure it isn't the same thing Raphael has?"
[16:03] * Aline brightened even more. "I'm pretty sure it isn't…!"
[16:05] <Yanmei> "Oho~?" Yanmei rubbed her chin. "You'd be more convicing if you weren't turning cherry red."
[16:05] <Sept> "Just karma, then~"
[16:05] <Aline> "Ooiiiiii…" Aline was nearly melting.
[16:08] <Yanmei> "Heh heh." Yanmei's smirk was briefly broken as a bored pigeon wandered closer, warbling. "That about wrap things up, then?"
[16:12] * Sept silently nodded, turning to look at the skyline for a moment.
[16:17] * Aline managed to recover her composure in time to silently nod as well…
[16:19] <Yanmei> "All right! In that case, I'm going to head home?" She smoothed down her hair, and turned for the elevator. "See you both at school~"
[16:20] <Sept> "Mm. Actually, there's something I wanted to…"-
[16:22] <Sept> Sera glanced at the two of them quickly, and then back at the rooftops stretching out around them. "I know things have changed. I've changed. I see a lot more. And I still look out for the best for all of us. It's… a stupid thing to say, but I don't want to leave it hanging and maybe I'll feel better for having said it. But that's all." He paused. "See you!"
[16:23] * Aline slowly nodded, standing up. "Just… remember yourself. I'm trying to do the same thing for me." And she started to head towards the stairs…
[16:26] * Yanmei had paused, off guard by the sudden sentiments, but she nodded as well. "Naturally. Let's all do our best, eh?"
[16:26] <Sept> "Yeah." Sera stayed behind. Who knew how he'd be getting down, but it sure wouldn't be by the stairs or the elevator. Not for another good five minutes.

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