Sera 3

[17:19] <@AdEvaGM> [NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Episode Sera 3. Date: 30th of October, 2024.-
[17:20] <@AdEvaGM> ["Hey, bro?"]
[17:22] <Sept> "Explain."
[17:25] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well, broest of the bromain, do you know what's happening around this time next month?"]
[17:25] <Sept> "Start making sense."
[17:26] <@AdEvaGM> ["Psh. It's Zhang Yanmei's birthday on the 28th of November." Malachi was sitting on the top bunk of the two beds on Sera's side of the room. He leaned over the side and peered at Sera, upside down. "You gonna send her a letter, Bromander?"]
[17:27] <Sept> "What's it to you?"
[17:29] <@AdEvaGM> ["I'd send her a letter." Says Malachi, with a grin. "Actually, that reminds me. I need to go see if Mastuh Blastuh can smuggle in one of those old Xeno War eroge books. You want in, bro? Betcha looooonely~"]
[17:32] <Sept> "Not interested. What were you arrested for?"
[17:33] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well obviously I'm innocent, bro. Just like you."]
[17:55] <Sept> "What were you accused of?"
[17:55] <@AdEvaGM> ["They say I shot a man in Orleans just to see him die."]
[17:56] <Sept> "Did you?"
[17:56] <@AdEvaGM> ["Did you?"]
[18:01] <Sept> "Those are two very much separate cases. I didn't. Why would I go after Section Two?"
[18:12] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well fuck, I dunno, Rad Bromance, let's see. Un, you're a big ol' survivalist freako. Deux, you have that edge of paranoia that means you might off anyone, especially if they're following you. I mean, you totally did bolt from the police right after. Trois, you do have a history of trying to kill perfectly normal people- hell, people on your own side, even. Quatre, maybe you thought he wasn't S2, like a spy or a door-to-door salesman or something."]
[18:22] <Sept> "All circumstantial! NERV has information that could overturn the verdict, but it isn't guaranteed and they think they no longer have any need of me."
[18:24] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well, isn't that true, bro?"]
[18:27] <Sept> "What's that supposed to mean?"
[18:34] <@AdEvaGM> ["Let me put it like this, Brogun. You went and dumped all your spares, so you don't even have insurance. That would be enough for even a regular person."-
[18:35] <@AdEvaGM> [His head reappeared. "But you also went and upset Elisha. Of course they don't need you."]
[18:39] * Sept froze. "You couldn't know about those. You couldn't know about Tokyo."-
[18:40] <Sept> "No," he told the world.
[18:42] <@AdEvaGM> [Malachi smiled happily.-
[18:43] <@AdEvaGM> ["But I do."]
[18:48] <Sept> "Was it the stress from Gendo? Was -he- really here? Was it Lillith? Lack of isolation through One? He had research on this, what did it say..?"
[18:50] <@AdEvaGM> ["Shhhhhh." Purred Malachi. "You're just lonely, that's all. You wanted someone who knew you, someone who knew you inside out…"]
[19:02] <Sept> "Bullshit," Sera whispered. "You could do it without Lillith, if it was Gendo that gave you the information and paid the guards… no, that doesn't help…"
[19:09] <@AdEvaGM> [Malachi beamed. "We're going to have fun, you and I…"]
[19:15] <@AdEvaGM> [Date: 9th of December, 2024.-
[19:16] <@AdEvaGM> ["And do you feel suicidal at times?" Asked the psychiatrist.]
[19:21] <Sept> "Powerless, maybe. But suicide has never been an option." Sera's speech was rather calm and measured, though perhaps uncharacteristically marked by pauses and lapses in concentration for him.
[19:27] <@AdEvaGM> ["And what -are- your options?" He asked.-
[19:27] <@AdEvaGM> ["You could always escape." Said Freya casually, feet up on the table.]
[19:29] <Sept> "I think we both know I can only hope to serve my sentence through to the end, a day at a time. Wishing for miracles isn't productive here." Sera smiled.
[19:31] <@AdEvaGM> ["You could always enrol in a betterment programme, take up a trade."-
[19:35] <@AdEvaGM> ["Hey, remember that company you have shares in? I wonder what happened to that." Asked Freya.-
[19:37] <@AdEvaGM> ["Is your place really in running a company or making furniture? Be honest, Broesus." Asked Malachi.]
[19:46] * Sept faked a cough. "I did try that, but the life didn't really suit me. I won't cross out the option, but it still doesn't feel quite right to me."
[19:47] <@AdEvaGM> ["And what do you intend to do when you get out?"-
[19:47] <@AdEvaGM> ["See 01-" began Freya.-
[19:48] <@AdEvaGM> ["Murder Shinji Ikari." Finished Malachi.]
[19:48] <Sept> "What? Why?"
[19:49] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well, you do miss him." Said Freya.-
[19:50] <@AdEvaGM> ["You already tried to off Isaiah." Said Malachi. "You may as well try to go for the full set, Brobert the Bruce."-
[19:50] <@AdEvaGM> ["Why what? Don't you want to get out?" Asked the psychiatrist.]
[19:55] <Sept> "-No-," Sera said hurriedly, "I try to not think about that. I-I had a lot on the outside, I find the days are easier when I can put that away and deal with this environment…" A pause. "you know, deal with it as-is."
[19:55] <@AdEvaGM> ["How long has it since you had a croissant?" Asked Freya.-
[19:56] <@AdEvaGM> ["I see. Well, that's one coping strategy for sure." Said the psychiatrist. "I notice that you rarely get visitors. Does this bother you?"-
[19:56] <@AdEvaGM> ["Course it does." Said Malachi.]
[20:01] <Sept> "The last visitors I did get didn't bring much light to the world, but… Well, I can understand my NERV acquaintances having better things to do. I'm… not sure. More visitors could keep me better grounded, or it could make the wait harder."
[20:02] <@AdEvaGM> ["Many inmates find that visitors help keep a person positive and stave off depression." Said the Psychiatrist.-
[20:03] <@AdEvaGM> ["What do you have to be depressed about, I wonder?" Asked Malachi.]
[20:11] <Sept> "Well, you know I'm still quite attached to NERV's goals. Them firing me came as… a shock. I feel responsible for what they're doing, even when I'm here."
[20:16] <@AdEvaGM> ["That's not a surprise. NERV defined your life during a time in your life when most people are uncertain and unsure of their course in life. But perhaps- and I know this sounds easier said than done- it's time to find some other goal."-
[20:16] <@AdEvaGM> ["Of course you won't." Said Malachi easily. "You were attached to NERV's goals because that was your sole purpose. Without them you're not even human, just a discarded tool."]
[20:29] <Sept> "That's putting it lightly," Sera laughed. "Even if the me here wasn't made by them in that way, they're still literally fighting for the race's survival. If there's the slightest chance I can make that an easier fight…"
[20:30] <@AdEvaGM> [The three of them- Freya, Malachi and psychiatrist all- spoke at once. "How?"]
[20:32] <Sept> "I have experience and a perspective. They are, at times, wrong."
[20:33] <@AdEvaGM> ["Do go on." Asked the psychiatrist.]
[20:37] <Sept> "On the most basic level, they have a new generation of pilots who need to be prepared for unimaginable obstacles. Experience, and perspective."
[20:54] <@AdEvaGM> ["Are you sure that's entirely wise?" Asked the psychiatrist.]
[20:56] <SyntaxTerror> "How do you mean?"
[21:01] <@AdEvaGM> ["To identify with that sort of goal." Said the psychiatrist. "NERV is dedicated to the same things- basically, what I'm saying is that even though I understand you have an emotional investment in NERV, I don't think it's healthy, considering your history with them. I would suggest a new path."]
[21:05] <Sept> "Hmmmmmh." "
[21:06] <Sept> "And if I said my health was of a lower priority than the good of mankind? Would we be back to the suicidal question?"
[21:09] <@AdEvaGM> ["You misunderstand. Surely you realise that there are plenty of other people who can contribute to that cause in a far healthier fashion? You understand it's a meaningless sacrifice?"-
[21:09] <@AdEvaGM> ["Do you even care about the good of mankind, King Brolomon?" Asked Malachi.]
[21:18] <Sept> "Goddamnit, you -understand- where I came from. My life's only ever had meaning because I trusted it wasn't meaningless. And they weren't, so far."
[21:19] <@AdEvaGM> ["So far, but now NERV has demonstrated that it no longer needs or wants you. It's time to move with the times." Said the psychiatrist.-
[21:20] <@AdEvaGM> ["Were they really sacrifices?" Asked Freya quietly.-
[21:24] <@AdEvaGM> ["Have you ever really lived? Let's be honest- you didn't give a damn about anything until one day all the switches in your head flipped." Said Malachi, leaning back in his chair. "To me, bro, it sounds like you're still just following that programming."]
[21:38] * Sept shook his head forcefully. "I'm sorry, I don't believe that. I can't believe that. If… If I was just following them blindly, I -would- know. I can -still- think it through myself, -rationally-."
[21:40] <@AdEvaGM> ["But your own way of thinking is designed by them." Said Malachi. "Specifically designed to convince you that you're not following them blindly whilst doing what they want. What, did you think Azariah Caine could be beaten by rational thought?"-
[21:40] <@AdEvaGM> ["Sera?" The psychiatrist seemed a little concerned.]
[21:51] * Sept paused for a while in thought, flexing his fingers. He hated him for bringing Azariah into this. He at least should've been able to rest in peace after all this. But of course Malachi was right. "It's the same as all the dead ends in my life," he told the psychiatrist. "I can't tell you any of the details that truly matter. But I need your trust."-
[21:52] <Sept> "I'm still very much capable of serving out my sentence as before. That is all."
[21:52] <@AdEvaGM> ["I see." Said the psychiatrist. "Well then, you do seem rather irritable at times and prone to emotional forcefulness, but you do seem quite lucid… I do think we're done here. You can go back to your cell now, Sera."]
[21:54] <Sept> "Very well." Another pause as Sera pretended to admire a painting on the wall. "Until next time."
[22:03] <@AdEvaGM> [The psychiatrist got up and left, leaving Sera to leave via the other door.-
[22:03] <@AdEvaGM> ["Congrats, Sept. You're sane." Said Freya happily.-
[22:04] <@AdEvaGM> ["We know better, don't we, Brocephalus?" Said Malachi smugly.]
[22:14] <Sept> "Maybe," Sera sighed. "That'll give me a few more weeks to hope for that miracle."
[22:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well then." Malachi smirked, walked over to the door, and presented it to Sera. "Then let's throw a party: to your sanity."]
[22:29] <Sept> "Down a few drinks for me. I'll be in my cell. Waiting." He walked through.
[22:40] <@AdEvaGM> ["CONGRATULATIONS!"-
[22:41] <@AdEvaGM> [The old grey courtyard had… Changed.-
[22:44] <@AdEvaGM> [A flight of cherry blossom petals, moving exactly at five centimetres per second, blew past, a fragrant scent lingering on the wind that propelled them. Streamers of every colour hung from the walls and the windows, fluttering in the breeze.-
[22:45] <@AdEvaGM> [Twelve Master Model Evas were performing a conga line in a perfect circle around a table; except the table had turned into a massive lotus blossom, upon which sat EVA-01, his arms held perfectly horizontal; EVA-00 and EVA-04 sat behind him, their arms up and down respectively, giving the impression of the statue of a Hindu deity.-
[22:47] <@AdEvaGM> [A flight of Etoile Waiters seemed to glide on nothing around, carrying trays; each tray was crammed with cups full of LCL that splashed about but never fell on the ground. Doctors Surov, Yui Ikari, Ritsuko Akagi and Luna Riel lined the doorway as he exited, each one bowing as he passed. "CONGRATULATIONS!" "Congratulations." "CONGRATULATIONS!"-
[22:48] <@AdEvaGM> [Inexplicably, a penguin stood in Sera's path. "WARK!"-
[22:50] <@AdEvaGM> [Shinji Ikari in bow tie and coattails danced the tango with Tsubaki Akagi in a yukata, a small trail of cotton candy falling in the air as they passed, only to be consumed by a tiny swarm of insatiable banshees. Silas Caine, Silas Caine and Silas Caine stood nearby, each one identical, each one clapping politely as he emerged.-
[22:52] <@AdEvaGM> [Beyond them, however, stood Gendo Ikari and Elisha Caine. Gendo was applauding fiercely, his eyes visible for once through his glasses. Elisha merely smiled, his arms folded, watching, judging.]
[23:04] <Sept> What else could he do but live with it, now. He'd been bound for this ever since he'd failed to bring Elisha back and finish it all in time. Sera de Pteres had bet it all on getting a new life, a second chance, and it hadn't come. There was no way he could trust any part of himself anymore. And there was no way for him to help that miracle along.-
[23:05] <Sept> "Thank you."

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