Sera's Plan

[20:25] <@Sept> [The atmosphere had picked up towards the end with their stories. Eventually, Yanmei and Isha's business with Sera had concluded, and they'd left him to continue whatever it was he filled his days with, now.]
[20:30] * Joshua had retaken his spot on the chair Isha had used, making a show of leafing through one of the notebooks, the sound of it filling the otherwise still room. "Look at you, though. Almost made it through a conversation without falling into Elisha's patterns again. Almost."
[20:30] <@Sept> "…"
[20:37] <Joshua> "Of all the paths you've gone down, the regained memories and whatever the hell else, how many of them have been you or him actually running NERV?"
[20:37] <@Sept> "…"
[20:44] <Joshua> "That -isn't- healthy!" He snapped, leaning harder on the chair and letting the frustrated concern show through the sneering tone on the surface. "Psychological tricks can't stand up to a fraction of the AT stress our soul is under! There's nothing more to find by fishing for associations to his memories!"
[20:53] <@Sept> "You had something relevant to discuss. Can we skip to that," Sera moaned, still lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling.
[20:59] <Joshua> "No, fuck you! There's no easy resolution to this, this isn't Thunderdome, 'one of us' isn't going to be eliminated once someone finally gets their way and ends this! This is just you instinctively clinging to unmended parts of the soul, escalating meaningless conflicts until something breaks and you slaughter your entire ward!"
[21:01] <@Sept> "No one can prove it was me," he said, strained and slow.
[21:12] <Joshua> "True. You can extend your denial with devil's proof. Maybe you could've pulled yourself out of that brain rot. Maybe it really was Viviane, and it was just covered up – with good reason. Even if you had witnesses saying Viviane was living out a normal life, it doesn't mean she didn't have another one. Doesn't mean all organisations cut ties with her. But that does not solve our problems
[21:12] <Joshua> in the present."
[21:15] <@Sept> "Eeuuuuugh, fine, you win. Let's think about the plan instead."
[21:21] <Joshua> "Right!" Joshua flipped a page. "First, there's the small matter of compensation~ Yanmei may still have our utmost trust, but you -know- some of that will leak back to NERV."
[21:27] <@Sept> "…agreed. I was sure warning them of the battleship would save lives for everyone. But they're still secrets I'm responsible for."
[21:31] <Joshua> "Then, we'll just have to report back to Mother with our findings on Vercingetorix. Which, I'm sure, we were going to get around to in due time anyway~"
[21:32] <@Sept> "…of course."
[22:39] <Joshua> "Speaking of whom, Akagi will be a priority target, now. She's clearly picked her side, so it's even more crucial we help finish Mother's mission and bring her or her soul back."
[22:40] * @Sept shook his head forcefully. "No. She deserves to live through this."
[22:46] <Joshua> "After all this, can you honestly say she's sentient, let alone 'deserving' of anything? Do I have to remind you of Mother's orders?"
[22:48] <@Sept> "That's why it'll be easier to keep her away from the greatest dangers! Who will I be able to look in the eye after I turn in my friend, doll or not?!"
[22:58] <Joshua> Joshua's tone was cold. "More people than you will if you break the rules. More than if you snap with no provocation in full view of everyone you know. I'll carry out my just punishment and make sure to seek out the most primitive, most striking and most of all -most painful- implement to take those last fingers off with. No one will ever trust you, in battle or otherwise. They will know
[22:58] <Joshua> you've lost it for good this time. If we even can fight after that. Mother might not be generous enough to heal us this time, unless she can make sure you'll behave."
[23:03] <@Sept> "…I understand."
[23:13] <Joshua> "Very good." A few more symbols were jotted down in the already-full pages, lines drawn between elements. "And you will keep floundering in the dark until Elisha deigns it appropriate to make a move? Or will you keep protecting the precious, untouched neutrality of the Paris pilots?"
[23:27] <@Sept> "If that guy is Ikari, there's still a chance he's following Elisha's plan…"
[23:27] <Joshua> "If only you'd had the slightest idea of what his plan was from the beginning. Maybe you could have accomplished something!"
[23:46] <@Sept> "Irrelevant, now. Without limiters, it may be marginally easier to keep all the fragments under our control. To find Adam, and an opening large enough to bring them all together. With the blood of Adam, the flesh of Lillith, the body of Mankind… 'Free, and to none accountable-"
[23:48] <Joshua> "-preferring hard liberty over the easy yoke of servile pomp.' Lucifer's line. You're getting better at masking that you're just repeating his words. Someone who wasn't literally you might've been fooled. And you know Instrumentality is anything but a dictatorship. The point is invalid."
[23:48] <@Sept> "Under Mary, it will be."
[23:49] <Joshua> "She's promised us otherwise," he said, without the slightest hint of self-awareness.
[23:59] <@Sept> "Becoming the Zeroth Angel would give us as much power to solve everything as Mary does. Transcend the game board, refuse it, knock it over. With the four fragments united… I can't begin to imagine what will happen to you."
[00:02] <Joshua> "That depends. Do you think God – or, indeed, Lucifer – ever doubts Himself? I'd think Him more than anyone else. I'm certain there's room for me in some corner of such a great existence's soul."
[00:39] <@Sept> "We can find out. And the remaining path?"
[00:46] <Joshua> "Oh, yes. The ultimate dream of the fabricated."
[00:47] <@Sept> [Time, thought Seraphiel.]
[00:47] <@Sept> "The one thing they haven't thought to offer us yet."
[00:49] <Joshua> [A span of life, it thought.]
[00:50] <Joshua> "And how do we get there? We've been told it's impossible to achieve."
[00:52] <@Sept> [Transcend Mary. Transcend Elisha. Whoever holds the key first. Only the master of a world may choose to be something less.]
[00:53] <@Sept> "We both do our best. Impossible is what we are." Sera stood up, crossing over to the chair.
[00:58] <Joshua> The blond-haired figure stood up as well, the eyes of the two locked. "That's a promise. Maybe I'll see you on the other side."
[00:59] <@Sept> Their fists knocked together. There was a slight falling sensation. One of the figures was less real than the other.
[00:59] <@Sept> "Maybe I will."

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