Second Exchanges

8th of March; from Aline to Shinji

Dear Shinji-san.
Revenge, huh? Well, I'll have you know that I haven't really found any interesting boys here in Paris-2. Most of them are too busy gushing over the fame, or being weird like Alexandre. It's a bit of a pity, since some of them -are- kinda cute, but I'd go insane if I spent too long around someone who couldn't even breathe right around me - and because I'm famous, not just because I'm a girl, you know. Don't woooorry about -that-.
But let's see, what else… well, clubs! Lillian's uh… actually in charge of the role-playing-games club. If this was in person I'd -so- be blushing right now!! But it's really pretty fun, so all's good. And ah, I don't know if you're still waiting to find out a good third club, but I'm thinking maybe you could… oh, I don't know…well. You've already got a sport and normal elective. Maybe go into one of the weirder, just-for-fun clubs? Like I did?
But… well. Otherwise, that's fine.
And, ah! I don't know how much I'm even allowed to say, but how much did you hear about the battle yesterday? It was a bit weird, but I think I'll wait until I know what you've heard of. There was some stuff they didn't release to the news, but I can't very well say all of it anyway. Emails're probably being monitored, you know. But… What I will say even now, though, is that Yanmei got pretty stressed out there, and I'm trying to help figure out what I can do to help…
OH and before I forget, I'm sort of scared of trying to email Miss Langley-Soryu. Something about what you said about her makes me… nervous. But don't worry about that too much. As a last comment, though? How has life been going in quiet, safe Japan?
~ Aline Blanc.

10th of March; from Shinji to Aline

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Dear Aline-san.
I'm glad to hear from you! I had heard of the battle on the 7th and was very worried at first. I was told by my mother that you weren't hurt, but she was pretty quiet about anything else. She didn't want to talk much about it at all, I don't think. It was very weird.
I hope Zhang Yanmei-san and Sera de Pteres-san are alright, though. I know you cannot say much, which does not do much to make me feel better, but I do hope they're ok. Please send them my wellwishes.
Onto a better, happier topic, though. I was interested to find out that your other club is Roleplaying Games. I think we have those here, but I'm not too sure, and none of my friends seem to be doing them, so it makes me a little shy to consider joining. But I wonder why you would blush to say that? Even though you would look very cute to blush, I wonder if you don't like talking about Roleplaying Games much. My mother was interested in that, though. She said she had some stories of her own when it comes to that sort of thing, but she hadn't been involved in a very long time. She prodded me to ask my father about it, but he's been really busy recently.
Life here in Japan is still pretty safe and quiet, as you say. The school year here is starting to pull to an end- I have holidays at the end of March before starting up again on the 5th of April, so I'm not too concerned about things like Club availability, since there'll be a lot of slots around.I'll probably get my results back for my exams by then, too. I hope I did alright.
Anyway, I'm wishing you well, Aline-san. I'm glad you're alright, and I hope I hear from you again soon!
Ikari Shinji.
PS: You haven't spoken to Langley-Soryu-san yet? Well, that's ok. But I'm sure she can't be any worse than Tsubaki Akagi-san.

4th of April; from Aline to Shinji

Dear Shinji-san.
There was something interesting that I… sort of forgot about before everyone got ready for it, but I'm sure you've heard about, since your mom was there. They ran the quarterly inderdivisional… some other word… games within NERV, and there were all sorts of people there! I don't want to waste too much time going on and on about what they were like, so I'll just do an overview.
It was split into three parts: The first was more sports-y - there was the fighting, running, and shooting division to each, and the MAGI system randomly put people in each. I don't know why, but the three of us Paris-2 pilots all got put in the events we were worst at! Yanmei made a good showing despite the injured leg in running, Sera… well, he isn't really that good with guns.
But I did the fighting tournament, it was… wow, really weird. And I ran into two people you know in just -that- part! I actually faced your mom the first round… er… we even joked a bit about how I'd explain beating her up, but don't you worry, it was just one hit with a… uh, 2.3m… foam greatsword. So I don't know if that's that much better than a real weapon or not, but… enh. Let's let that slide.
Then, then then I fought Tsubaki-chan! It was really hard to go against her, she was much better than I was, but I made like those loudmouthed super robot pilots and used my burning spirit and I managed to win! But I helped her up afterwards and we talked… She's actually really nice, but she seems really alone, and doesn't pay attention to almost anything - I think she doesn't get how to be with people, even worse than me - I can pretend my way through so well it's like I'm normal - and definitely worse than Sera, who I think I've told you has wandered around in halls and looked at windows in school like he was planning an escape route and stuff. But Tsubaki-chan didn't even realize the Geofront was underground at first!
But… I'm worried about what might have gotten her that way. Maybe you should try just talking to her just sort of neutrally, like an acquaintance - I think she needs someone to be nice to her back home, too. But uh… oh, right. And the next competition was trivia. Thaaat wasn' that weird or interesting, but we did very well in it, actually!
The third… aheh, that one worked sorta weirdly. First Dorian, you know, our Director, announced it was going to be a scavenger hunt for little Eva plushies~ But then one of the replacement bridge crew did this whole thing about the Commander getting killed because in truth it was going to be a murder mystery game! Though what was really funny was when Commander Fontaine went onto the comms to complain about them faking her death without permission in her usual iiiiice-cold way, and Alexandre basically slapped Dorian for having the audacity to set that up!
But uh, the mystery was pretty interesting, I even got to use some of what I learned from those animes you recommended to me a few days back! Ehehehe, yeah, I had been going to get the clues for the 'autopsy', you see, and the doctors participating in the game didn't really want to just give it to me outright… So I did the whole cute-face after sort of overacting… then then they overacted too and we did this whole little thing where I made like I was from one of those 90s mahou shoujo shows and we all laughed and I got the clue anyway~ But… we actually won, at the end!
And on top of that, there was a bonus question in the trivia round that got us and a few other teams a trip to the French Riviera in summer, and we each get to bring along one person. …Do you think your summer break might include a beach vacation in it?~ <3
P.S. I did run into Asuka-san there, actually. She's… really weird. She's loud, aggressive, and seems to have this competitiveness complex. I overheard her yelling about winning and grumbling about being the best in another way even when she lost. I actually was worried when I ran into her during the mystery game, but I managed to get her to go away without yelling at me or something so I think I know how to handle it! …She also cals us by our 'Child' designation rather than our names, Doesn't she know we can look that up on the database?… Ah well. It's a weird intentional distancing thing, I guess I won't really know until I can ask other people about it.
P.P.S. I just remembered. Your mom and 00 have been teaching me a lot about NERV, AT Fields, the Evas, and so on. Probably some of it is too confidential to say, but… It's pretty eye-opening. Maybe too eye-opening. I should save that for later, I guess? But… wow, kinda heady to know more than probably a big chunk of people who sort of outrank me. Sorry about getting weird like that, and for making you spend so long scrolling down!
-Aline Blanc

6th of April; from Shinji to Aline

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Dear Aline-chan!
I was actually wondering when you would talk about the Games. My mother told me about them when she came home. They sounded like a lot of fun- my mother made sure to tell me in long and exhaustive detail about how well you performed, taking a particular pleasure in detailing how you beat her with the foam sword. She was impressed, I think, by your performance.
That should hardly be surprising, though, because from what she said and from what you said, you did really well! Akagi Tsubaki-san is pretty well-trained, so I was really amazed that you beat her. Congratulations on that, and congratulations for winning the games. I guess if anyone I know is murdered, I know who to call, right? Although I really do hope you never have to use those 'talents' seriously…
Speaking of Akagi Tsubaki-san. I sort of took what you said on board, and spoke to my mother about it… She suggested we invite Tsubaki-san over for dinner. I asked her the next day, and it was really awkward. Sometimes its hard to figure out if she's really speaking or listening to you or not, but she said yes.
The night was pretty interesting. I think you would have enjoyed it, maybe. But I'll tell you what happened anyway. She was pretty spaced out still, even though we weren't at school. I think she might've been a little better, but I'm not sure.
I felt really awkward, because I couldn't think of anything to say, but I think she enjoyed herself. She made friends with my little sister quickly, and they seemed to have a lot of fun together, and they're already calling each other 'Tsu-chan' and 'Rei-chan'. She seemed to get along with my parents, too- I think my dad almost gets on better with her than he does with me!
I tried asking her about the Games, but it was really weird… She talked a lot about her 'brother', but my mother said she's only got a sister. So I don't know what she meant by that at all.
Still, she didn't seem too bad. I guess I'll try talking to her a little more and see if that helps, although I don't think I can do much at all. I think if I can get her to hang out with us and give her a few friends, she might become better.
Ah… Ah. I wonder if you are joking or not about the beach vacation! My summer holidays aren't having anything special this year outside of a trip to Paris-2, maybe, for my birthday. (The Sixth of June)! But… Even though it might be pretty hasty or me being too serious, I spoke to my mother about it. She said if you wanted to take me along, that was fine, and she would come along too, with Rei!
My dad said he was too busy, though. I don't think he enjoys the beach much anyway.
It's interesting that you spoke to Langley-Soryu-san. My mother did mention her a little, but didn't talk too much about her. She seems like she would be a bit of a handful to hang out with! Loud, aggressive, competitive… I don't know many people like that. Toji-san, maybe? I know he's a lot more loud and aggressive than I am, but he's a pretty nice guy. I'm sure Langley-Soryu-san's nice, too, once you get down do it. Maybe she felt she had to put on a good show or represent Germany well or something? I asked my mother about it, and she said that competitiveness was a pretty big part of the NeoSpartan Project… Maybe that's it?
As for that stuff you mentioned… With the AT Fields and the Evas and so on. I know it feels kinda weird for you, but isn't it right that the pilot should know a lot about the Evas? You're the ones piloting them, after all, so you should be able to know. I would think you would have a right… Maybe my mother thinks the same way.
Anyway. Thank you for your email, Aline-chan. It was really long, but I don't mind big emails! They're a lot of fun to read. I hope you're well, and that everything is going smoothly in Paris-2! Until next time,
Ikari Shinji.-
PS: I got my results back for my exams. I did better than usual! But this time, I had a special lucky charm to help me, so that's no surprise. Anyway, until next time!

19th of April: From Aline to Shinji

Dear Shinji-san…
You've probably seen the news already, but we're hot off of another angel battle! I'll update you on our previous topics first, though~
I'm glad, most importantly, that while it was awkward, things seemed to work out okay with your family and Tsubaki-chan! I even took the time to think about why she mentioned a brother… and then I reminded myself of something back from the games. The original idea of the games was to 'promote a sense of family'. But more than that… I told Sera and Yanmei that I wanted to treat all the pilots like sisters - and a brother, of course - since the angel before this new one had been hard on us emotionally, and other things had come to light to me.
I think… Sera must have run into Tsubaki during the games, and took what I said seriously. He even was walking around with her despite her being on another team, back in the mystery game, so I think he must have done something nice for her while I wasn't looking! So I think this mystery 'brother' is none other than Sera de Pteres! And, to repeat…
I'm not joking about the vacation, though I bet… no, no, don't bet. I imagine that your mom already cleared that one up for you. As for Asuka-san, I think the project's competitiveness might have a -lot- to do with it. But I can't imagine how I'd tell her that she's now in a different world without just annoying her. Breaking how someone else sees the world is hard… But~ That's that.
Now, surprisingly, not much went all that wrong with the latest Angel fight. No traumas or weird things that I'm worried I won't be allowed to tell you about, and it actually went really well. This was the first time that a core didn't blow up in Yanmei's face when she made the final blow! Which is good, since those tank battallions they keep deploying (even though I have said again and again that they hardly do anything) were right nearby, and would have been vaporised if it blew! It was a bit hard to drop, but…
Ehehe, I've developed a much better understanding of things this time around. I don't know if you saw any footage, but I can fly, in 00 at least. It feels… it feels so wonderful to be able to just think of flying, and it happens. Paris-2 is so pretty from the sky, moreso when you can just float there, nothing but yourself and the Eva to bother you. No plane engine. No helicopter rotors. Just… you, flying there. I wish I could have a chance, just once, to bring you into the plug when we're not fighting so you can feel it for yourself, but… They'd probably never let me. And I got a sense of appreciating it from 00, whoever they -really- are, since they were able to give me the feeling… like I had made it.
It's really strange… But I almost wonder if, in the Eva, floating there peacefully in the sky, we (me and the Eva, that is) were the real angels, the beautiful watchers of humanity, (mostly, the Evas do look a little freaky…), rather than a bunch of things trying to destroy it! Oh, and… ah, thanks for telling me about that lucky charm thing, too. It makes me happy to know I can help people even when I'm not right there…
-Aline Blanc

28th of April, from Shinji to Aline

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[Dear Aline-chan!
It's always good to hear from you after a battle. Even though I read the reports and hear the news and I know you're alright, I can't help but be really sure until you say something. It makes it more real.
I'm really happy about the battle, though! The Angel seemed really frightening, considering how big and tough it was. To think that something could do damage to the Geofront armour - that armour's supposed to be the best in the world! Even though I don't mean to imply that I want you in danger, I am a little glad it didn't attack here. We only have a "Minifront" here, and it's really not very big.
As you may have thought, I did see some footage. I saw you flying, with the power cable stretching through the air and everything. You're lucky it didn't break! But… I shouldn't say such spoilsport things, right? It sounds really amazing. A lot of the staff thought it was pretty impressive too, to see you hanging like that in midair, without an engine or anything. It sounds nice. I would like to see it myself, and I think it would be wonderful to see it with you like that, but… It is probably impossible, like you said. But it is something to imagine, at least. A lovely dream.
I've been thinking about what you said about Akagi Tsubaki-san and de Pteres-san, and that seems to make sense. Akagi Tsubaki-san has always seemed to think in a very literal sense like that, so if you were trying to promote a sense of 'family', then she would probably take it in a very direct manner… It must be very strange for de Pteres-san to be thought of like that!
Maybe they should write to each other too? Although I sort of have trouble picturing Akagi Tsubaki-san ever writing an email, maybe she'd do it for her 'brother'. Who knows?-
I would like to say… I am really overwhelmed and excited about your offer for that beach vacation… I think I'm being a bit of a bother, to be treated so nicely, but I really appreciate it. My mother said she would make the plans. Thank you again!
Oh, and finally, a few things about school, now that I'm back. We had our graduation ceremony, and we said goodbye to the old seniors. It sounds silly, but I sort of miss seeing them go- some of them were really nice and mentor… Mentor-y? (He seems to have failed to find a fitting word) to us. I hope the new batch are just as good.
I… I also bit the bullet though, and tried to find a 'weird, just-for-fun' club like you said. It was really embarrassing for me, but I signed onto a roleplaying games group. A small one. I was really shy about it so I grabbed Kensuke-kun to come with me. He's pretty otaku, even if it's a special kind of otaku- he went with it, though, and he seemed to have fun. I made a sorcerer.
But… That's enough from me for now. I shouldn't stay up too much longer, so I'll go. But…
I want to tell you that even if you only now think that you're the real angel, the 'beautiful watchers of humanity'… Some of us have thought that here from the very beginning, and we still think it now. So… I want to say that!
Fond greetings and goodbye!
-Ikari Shinji

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