Sera 2

[19:16] <@AdEvaGM> [NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Episode Sera 2. Date: 12th of April, 2024.-
[19:40] <@AdEvaGM> [When Gendo did eventually visit, more than two years had passed…-
[19:41] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yo, de Pteres! Ya got a visitor."]
[19:46] <Sept> "So soon? Sure, I'll take it." Sera was, by now, Handling It. It was still a crappy way to live, but there were times when he could genuinely relax, now that he understood the system.
[19:50] <@AdEvaGM> [A guard led him through to the visitor's room. Gendo was already there, arms folded together, glasses opaque.]
[19:54] <Sept> "Well, hello. So you still care, after all."
[19:57] <@AdEvaGM> ["Are you still struggling?"]
[20:01] * Sept sat down calmly. Nothing about his demeanor betrayed any nervousness. He wasn't under any delusions of Gendo coming here to prove his innocence. "I think less than before. But you know what my word is worth."
[20:05] <@AdEvaGM> ["Mm. Who would have thought you would have adapted to a life of cells and bars? I have been- advised to tell you about developments on the outside world."]
[20:11] * Sept frowned. "Advised..? Do go on."
[20:25] <@AdEvaGM> ["We have new pilots for Paris-2. Rosalie Paget will be squad leader, joined by Padma d'Orleans."]
[20:27] <Sept> "And new Evangelion units? Who's in those?"
[20:29] <@AdEvaGM> ["EVA-22 and 23 are being piloted by the aforementioned pilots. 24 and 25 are being reserved for Oskar Soryu-Fontaine and Louise Windsor. EVA-26 through to 35 are scheduled to finish construction by late 2025, at which point they'll be distributed across the world."]
[20:35] <Sept> "Not the pilots. Who did you use to build them? Are you going to treat them the same way?"
[20:36] <@AdEvaGM> [Eyebrows furrowed over those glasses. "… NERV built them."]
[20:38] <Sept> "Their souls," Sera said patiently. "FAR identities, their relationships to the pilots, those are what matters."
[20:43] <@AdEvaGM> ["Evangelions these days are not nearly so temperamental." Said Gendo silkily. "Any pilot can synchronise easily with any Master Model. However, if you must know, we used the souls of Paget's father, d'Orleans's biological mother, Soryu-Fontaine's deceased twin and Windsor's grandmother."]
[20:50] <Sept> It took Sera a while to process this. "They're just war machines now?"
[20:50] <@AdEvaGM> ["Were they ever anything but?"]
[20:54] * Sept took another long pause. "Why are you really here? Who cares what I think of your new pilots?"
[20:58] <@AdEvaGM> ["Fontaine does. As does Shinji, for some reason."]
[21:03] <Sept> "How does Shinji factor into this?" Sera was struggling to keep up with all the information on offer, suddenly.
[21:06] <@AdEvaGM> ["He was the one who chose the pilots."]
[21:11] <Sept> "…I see." Sera drummed his fingers on the table. "I've only met any of those people a few times. Any Eves?"
[21:12] <@AdEvaGM> ["No Eves."]
[21:18] <Sept> "Then I'm not sure how I can help from where I am."-
[21:18] <Sept> "They'll surely be lacking in the sense of urgency and stakes we knew," he added as an afterthought.
[21:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["Of course. In fact, it's possible we will go through several generations of pilots before such a situation arises again."]
[21:25] <Sept> "Surely the Master Model limits the issues of aging decay in SRs, at least?"
[21:28] <@AdEvaGM> ["Somewhat. The Master Models offer higher, safer levels of SR in general, but decay still occurs, albeit more slowly."]
[21:32] <Sept> "I can't argue with that, of course."
[21:36] <@AdEvaGM> ["Do you believe the Angels will return?"]
[21:38] <Sept> "Of course. If something else got to the Angels, we'll run into them."
[21:40] <@AdEvaGM> ["Something else?"]
[21:43] <Sept> "I can't imagine they'd make a delay like this out of their own volition."
[21:49] <@AdEvaGM> ["Then perhaps they will return, stronger than ever, and we will fight them and thus become stronger ourselves- rinse and repeat until we are all gods."]
[21:50] <Sept> "What's the difference?"
[21:53] <@AdEvaGM> [Gendo didn't immediately respond. Instead he looked up at the roof, as if in deep thought, before looking back. "Perhaps it's simply Destiny that makes us into the grindstone."]
[21:58] <Sept> "Hmph. Could be. Did you come up with all the Destiny shit yourself? I always wondered. Where did this start?"
[22:01] <@AdEvaGM> ["Oh? Surely you know that."]
[22:05] * Sept shook his head. "I don't think you appreciate the variance in the quality of my memories. It was all from the Caines?"
[22:07] <@AdEvaGM> ["Oh, yes. I believe it was Elisha who codified Destiny, but I'm sure the concept was known to Jeremiah."]
[22:13] <Sept> "Hmmh. Wouldn't be a surprise if it came from the dark ages. It's not like anyone'll be able to tie the Caines to this if there's an afterwards."
[22:17] <@AdEvaGM> ["Mm. I suppose they are good at that."-
[22:17] <@AdEvaGM> [Ikari stood up, pulling his chair back as he did so.]
[22:20] <Sept> "Was this visit a formality or a compliment, Gendo?"
[22:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["An observation."]
[22:28] * Sept scoffed. "You know exactly what you're getting into with the new pilots. And you know what your choices are if you want 01 active again."
[22:31] <@AdEvaGM> [Gendo smirked.-
[22:32] <@AdEvaGM> ["And it gives me no small joy to see those choices all locked up and under key."]
[22:39] <Sept> Sera seemed more disappointed by the reply than frustrated or angered. "You can't control Padma," he said after a pause. "You can't think having her on is a good idea."
[22:43] <@AdEvaGM> ["Oh? I'm sure Shinji will care for your reasons, do go on."]
[22:50] <Sept> "Don't -give- me that bullshit! This is still your fight, show some responsibility! She's not human, she's not even a Neospartan! Even if she's not an Eve, there's no telling what she'll do when she gets her hands on an Angel!"
[23:01] <@AdEvaGM> ["She's at least as human as you are." He turned.-
[23:01] <@AdEvaGM> ["Although, then again, that may have retroactively proven your point. Have a good day, de Pteres."]
[23:03] <Sept> He wasn't wrong, of course. It wasn't what he'd meant, but he couldn't deny it. And so, he just stayed there, staring at the table as Gendo walked away.
[23:04] <@AdEvaGM> ["Visit is over." Said a surly guard, entering from Sera's side. "C'mon, back to the courtyard."]
[23:34] <Sept> "Fuck…" Sera stayed there holding his head for a few more moments, then stood up and made to leave. Perhaps because of the guard, perhaps not.
[23:37] <AdEvaGM> [It was Free Time- in essence, a period when those inmates who'd signed onto Betterment Programmes such as learning carpentry or the like went off to, indeed, learn, whilst those who didn't milled about, read or talked. All the inmates not in a Betterment Programme were required to stay in the courtyard, a wide empty space surrounded by walls, dotted with tables and chairs.-
[23:37] <AdEvaGM> [Once Sera arrived in the courtyard, however, he'd hear a voice call out to him…-
[23:37] <AdEvaGM> ["Hey, Sept!"
[23:37] <AdEvaGM> ]
[23:43] * Sept turned sharply. Neither the words nor the voice promised anything good.
[23:44] <AdEvaGM> [He was leaning against the wall, arms folded, looking utterly relaxed, not a strand of hair out of place on his head. Malachi Ansel grinned. "Yo."]
[23:46] * Sept raised an eyebrow, and stared. "Malachi. What do you want?"
[23:47] <AdEvaGM> ["Aw, is that anyway to greet an old friend?"]
[23:47] <Sept> "No."
[23:47] <AdEvaGM> ["Y'see? Then you should come over here and say hi to a brother."]
[23:48] <Sept> "Neither of those descriptors apply to you. What do you want?"
[23:48] <AdEvaGM> ["To say hi."]
[23:49] <Sept> "Hello."
[23:50] <AdEvaGM> ["That's it? No questions?"]
[23:54] <Sept> "I have no unfinished business with you. I don't care why you're here."
[23:55] <AdEvaGM> [A nearby prisoner was staring at Sera wide-eyed.]
[23:58] <Sept> "And what are you after?" He said, turning to the man. "Do I look like I want to deal with the likes of you right now?"
[23:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Uh, n-no, dude, you just-" The guy promptly got up and ran off.-
[23:59] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, nicely handled, La Hire." Said Malachi.]
[00:03] <Sept> "Sure. And do you have anything to stop me from going the same way as him?"
[00:06] <AdEvaGM> ["My lovable countenance?"]
[00:07] * Sept turned around and started walking.
[00:08] <AdEvaGM> ["So you enjoying your vacation~?" Asked Malachi, catching up remarkably quickly.]
[00:17] <Sept> "I -will- hurt you. -Go away-."
[00:18] <AdEvaGM> ["Naww, you, widdle innocent Septy-Sept, hurt me? C'mon, you don't wanna do that. You'd best get used to me real soon- we're in here for a loooong time."]
[00:24] * Sept turned around and hurled a fist at Malachi's stomach, as hard as he could.
[00:26] <AdEvaGM> [He'd anticipated the move; by the time Sept's fist had swung out Malachi was dancing out of reach. "Whoops! Septy-Sept's not the innocent kiddo anymore, eh? No more being chased by girls for your cookies~"]
[00:31] * Sept -seethed-. "I was doing -fine- before," he managed.
[00:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Well now you're gonna do even finer." Said Malachi with a grin. "Hey, look, I get it, you've had a looong day and you wanna be left alone…"]
[00:48] <Sept> "What do you know about my day? You're here just as much in the dark as I am!"
[00:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, I can tell it was bad, 'cuz you're acting all temper-temper."]
[00:55] <Sept> "It's because the only reason I've been able to keep it together is because I've been able to keep assholes like -you- away!"
[00:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Alright, alright, I get it." Malachi threw up his hands. "I'll leave you alone."]
[00:59] * Sept kept walking.
[01:05] <AdEvaGM> [And Malachi kept to his end of the deal…-
[01:06] <AdEvaGM> [Indeed, Sera would see neither hide nor hair of him until the end, when it was time for the prisoners to return to their cells.]
[01:10] <Sept> Yet it still bothered him. He couldn't escape from Malachi in here, not properly, and they both knew that.
[01:11] <AdEvaGM> [Especially since Malachi was sitting on the usually-empty other bed in the cell.]
[01:16] <Sept> "…"

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