Sera 4

[17:48] <Minaplo> [NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Episode Sera 4. Date: 28th of November, 2024.]
[18:02] <Sept> The carnival went on. Day in and day out, leaving less and less time for Sera to sleep. "Who is it that seeks an audience today?"
[18:08] <Minaplo> [It was noisy, today. Outside of Sera's fractious perception, there had been a riot amongst the prisoners- armed police had been brought in, fighting the rioters, trying to push them back from the walls…-
[18:08] <Minaplo> [But it was always noisy in Sera's world. Outside, the twelve Master Models continued their never-ending conga line, followed by the music of the party and the clapping and the neverending litany of CONGRATULATIONS.-
[18:10] <Minaplo> [Outside, William Weiss-Xylander paraded in full papal regalia, with a trail of fabric miles long that flew into the sky and mingled with the clouds, giving Angels a slide to earth; hanging off his arm was Elena Clement, ostensibly in a nun's habit.-
[18:12] <Minaplo> [Inside, however, there was Malachi, and Freya, and Silas Caine, just the one; and Elisha, the latter smiling quietly. "Someone of renown seeks the ear of the hero of heroes." Said Elisha.]
[18:14] * Sept nodded solemnly. "Yes. I believe it's time we talked. This won't go on forever."
[18:27] <Minaplo> ["Nothing does." Said Silas. "Not even life. But is this not life at its purest? The power of living, creating?"]
[18:29] <Sept> "Maybe. But no matter how pure, it is still only mine. A true life is meant to be shared, not kept to oneself."
[18:31] <Minaplo> ["Shared with whom?" Asked Elisha.]
[18:32] <Sept> "Friends. Enemies. Who are you if not both of those things?"
[18:35] <Minaplo> ["Perhaps life isn't meant to be like this." Opined Malachi. "Perhaps its purest state would be not divided amongst people, but unified into a whole."]
[18:38] <Sept> "Perhaps. The Eden Base children sure seemed pure and happy."
[18:38] <Minaplo> ["Perhaps," Forwarded Silas, "The opposite is true, that life is to be concentrated into a few mighty beings."]
[18:43] <Sept> "And have life itself mimic the structure of NERV and its equivalents? I very much doubt that. Life is as it is. We should not need gods to fix anything."
[18:46] <Minaplo> ["You assume, then, that a god does anything it does for the benefit of others and not itself." Said Silas.]
[18:50] <Sept> "So I do. That would be the perfection I always strived for. But from all the way down here, I can see it's now an impossibility. And that just means I'm free." Sera grinned.
[18:51] <Minaplo> [Elisha let out a faint hiss.-
[18:56] <Minaplo> ["About time." Came a voice from the doorway of Sera's cramped cell. She was wearing a rather torn blue dress over a white tracksuit, but Viviane Fournier was still recognisable.]
[19:00] <Sept> There was something wrong here. Sera clapped his hands together in delight. "Viviane. I was wondering why you weren't attending."
[19:05] <Minaplo> ["How does it feel to be trapped, de Pteres?" She asked, a red flush in her cheeks betraying her triumph. She walked through the doorway, across the cold ground, until she was standing over him. In one quick flourish, she tugged a knife from her dress and held it to his throat. "Do you want me to free you as you freed me?"]
[19:12] <Sept> Something clicked as she crossed the threshold. A lot more clicked as he felt - really felt - the knife on his throat. He couldn't hear the party anymore, the congratulations, the fireworks. "Viviane, listen." Outside of his cell there were fires, screaming, shouting… sirens. The words he was saying didn't register in his mind. They were the ones he'd been telling himself he'd say, as
[19:12] <Sept> a kind of prayer, as he hoped for the miracle of being reunited with her. "It was you I loved, from the moment I saw you. You were like me."
[19:16] <Minaplo> ["No." Said Viviane, shaking her head.-
[19:16] <Minaplo> ["Fight her." Said Silas urgently. "Don't need her, end her…"-
[19:16] <Minaplo> ["Accept it." Murmured Elisha. "Death is the only freedom."-
[19:17] <Minaplo> ["You weren't like me, de Pteres. You never were. You -thought-, but only now do you really -know- how it feels."]
[19:22] <Sept> "Yes. I was never as free as you. Behind that table, listening to classical music… Your eyes betrayed everything. It was the first time I'd seen anyone like that. I understood that. That behind it all, you just wanted…"
[19:27] <Minaplo> ["Don't." She whispered. "Don't- don't. Stop it. She- she wasn't anything -real-, she was fake, this entire time she was a cell, keeping me trapped in my own head…"]
[19:28] <Sept> "You just wanted to see it all burnt down to the ground."
[19:29] <Minaplo> ["Yes."]
[19:33] <Sept> "I… want to see what you see. Out there. Just once. Kill me when we're done."
[19:42] <Minaplo> ["Alright." She took his hand.]
[19:45] <Sept> Sera took it. His cell was cramped again. The two of them were alone. "Call me Sept."
[19:51] <Minaplo> ["Sept."-
[19:51] <Minaplo> [She let him out of the cell, into a sort of freedom.-
[19:51] <Minaplo> [The first person was Paul, ferreting about in the other cells of other prisoners.-
[19:52] <Minaplo> [She stabbed him in the side, perfectly between the ribs, then cut open his stomach and let him bleed out.-
[19:53] <Minaplo> [The next was a prisoner who Sera knew stole from the kitchens. She cut his tendons and left him screaming. Alive and in pain. Because the freedom to destroy meant you also had the freedom of mercy, sometimes.-
[19:54] <Minaplo> [She moved from prisoner to prisoner, killing the lonesome ones first, the isolated ones, proceeding onwards smoothly from one target to another. A slit throat. Stabbed lungs. A quick jab ripping apart the heart.-
[19:55] <Minaplo> [She performed the rites of freedom, over and over, her clothes and her arms and her knife becoming slick with red blood.-
[19:55] <Minaplo> [She freed so many, and so she freed herself. She freed and she freed until there was only one person left to free.]
[20:00] <Sept> And Sera laughed and danced after her into the glorious trail of all the shades of red imaginable, and a few others besides. And he praised her name every step of the way. Now, he smiled at her, waiting. "Anything, anything, take -anything-! It was all worth it!"
[20:02] <Minaplo> [And thus she took his heart.-
[20:05] <Minaplo> [A cut across the throat, enough to bleed him and stun him but not enough to ensure he'd be dead by the time she was finished. She held up his heart to his eyes, and because she was, even then in that grim and bloody state, a girl with a romantic turn of thought, she gave him the gift of allowing the last thing he ever saw- to be Viviane Fournier, a woman after his own heart.]
[20:09] <Sept> [Of all the deaths of Sera de Pteres, it should've been the most painful one by far. But inside that small, isolated world, he'd found everything. Even himself. And he'd been there to burn it all down. Just like he'd always wanted.]

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