She Said I Am The Rose Maiden And I Fight For Justice And Lo

<Isaiah> [[Session 25: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Date: 8th of March. Episode title: She said, "I am the Rose Maiden- and I fight for justice and love!"-
<Isaiah> [The excursion was well under way at this point. It was 11 AM, the sun was shining as brightly as ever. They'd just paid a visit to the National Library, and were on the way to the next location.-
<Isaiah> [The class had been divided into groups, all of them given different destinations and led by a different teacher. This group was composed of Aline, Sera, Yanmei, Isaiah, Rei, Eugenia and Amelia- and their Petites, of course.-
<Isaiah> [Next destination: the Xenobellum Museum.]
<Isaiah> [Miss Lachance guided them, of course.]
*Aline had given Lillian an awkward shrug before the groups split, but now… now she had to deal with being close to Gina. Again. At least she'd be distracted a little. …Though… This was a suspiciously well-talented group. Edgar's big sister, Rei with her AT powers, Gina who had exposure to 00 and yet somehow rebounded, and the three Paris-2 pilots… among which two were excellent
*Aline fighters even out of their EVAs. Then there were Aline's own abilities…
*Yanmei chatted happily with Rosalie. The notable figures in their group hadn't gone unnoticed by her either, although aside from a few curious glances at Amelia and Gina and smiles at Rei and Isaiah, she didn't seem too fussed about it.
*Sept …was keeping an eye on Amelia. She'd tried to ruin the fencing club aleady, she might do the same with the Petites. The museum might as well have been a deserted alley, with how interested Sera was looking. Well, honestly, an alley probably would've been more interesting to him.
<Isaiah> [The museum was probably hold hat to Sera anyway, considering that it was only five minutes away from where he officially lived. Why, only a short walk away…-
<Isaiah> [But they hadn't reached the museum just yet, but the Petites seemed fascinated by it already.-
<Isaiah> ["It's gonna be pretty exciting, isn't it, Yanmei?" Asked Rosalie cheerfully, peering up at her Tutor. "They say they have wax statues of the Angels there."-
<Isaiah> ["Will we be able to do our own thing once we're there?" Asked Nicholas.-
<Isaiah> ["You'd think seeing the things once would be enough." Muttered Anselme.]
<Sept> "Repetition is the mother of learning. Or whatever." Muttered Sera.
*Aline looked down at Nicholas, smiling. "I'm sure we could. I could probably give - within reason - a bit of extra insight, especially on the later Angels."
<Yanmei> "Wax statues of the Angels? Well. It'd be pretty interesting to see them scaled down." She grinned. "It's take a little too much wax to make them full sized~"
<Isaiah> [They wouldn't realise it. But at that point, the signals of every mobile phone in the group immediately died, the lighting went out, and all across Paris-2 the entire electricity grid just shut down.]
<Isaiah> [… Yanmei would find someone grabbing her arm. "M-meimei…" Rei. She looked worried.]
<Yanmei> "Hm?" Yanmei blinked at her. "What's wrong? Is your Petite causing you trouble?"
<Isaiah> [Rei looked worried, and leaned forward to whisper.]
*Aline suddenly turned her head, at Rei doing that. "…I… Yanmei. I think there's something wrong." Rei had reacted to Sathariel, so maybe there was some kind of AT disturbance now?… Another Angel?!
<Isaiah> [Eugenia looked up, frowning against the wind.]
*Yanmei stopped walking. She reached for her NERV phone. "They should have called…"
<Isaiah> [No Signal flashed across Yanmei's phone's wallpaper.]
*Yanmei looked up again. No Section-2? "All right. Problem. The three of us are heading to Headquarters now. Even if they didn't summon us, there's no way in hell we should treat this as a false alarm."
*Sept frantically dug out his phone as well. "Light. Light is good. W-we need to go now."
<Isaiah> [As Yanmei had the thought, a band of men in suits 'materialised', hiding in some of the most ridiculously genius places, to converge on the group. The Petites were already looking around worriedly.-
<Isaiah> ["There's a problem." Said one of the agents. "We've lost contact with Headquarters. None of our gear is working."]
<Yanmei> "What about transportation?" Yanmei frowned. "If we could get there quickly? We could figue out what's going on."
*Aline nodded… and decided to take the other side of things. "Miss Lachance. Get the children to safety. We have reason to believe something bad's happened. It could be anything, and…" She looked around. "Yes. And…" A gesture at Rei. "There might be an AT Event of some sort going on. We need to make it to HQ like Yanmei said… and these kids need to be kept safe."
<Isaiah> [Sept's phone flashed. No Signal.-
<Isaiah> ["To safety. Right. The bunkers-"-
<Isaiah> [… As one, everyone in the group would feel… Foreboding. There was no other way to put it other than pure foreboding. Immediately a few Petites started to cry.-
<Isaiah> [It started to go dark.-
<Isaiah> [Something was obscuring the sun. Something massive. Something far, far larger than an Evangelion.-
<Isaiah> [It hovered in the air, bipedal in a grotesque sort of way. Its arms were ridiculously thick, whereas its legs were thin. It had no neck, its head buried into a mass of flesh that topped its torso.-
<Isaiah> [A cry shook the buildings of Paris-2. The fleshy torso started to boil, black and inky. Faces- more faces- started to form out of its mass. Faces of horror, fear.]
<Yanmei> "You…" Yanmei stared upward, her face a mask of sheer disbelief, her eyes wide. "You have to be kidding me…"
*Aline stared up at it. "…There's no time. We have to go now!…" And then a look at Rei. "Whether you go with us or the kids, someone might need your unique skills to protect them. Stay ready, mine are… too dangerous."
*Sept glanced at Amelia. "It'd better have been worth it." Then, he began to head out. "C-come on, Aline, Yanmei! We're going!"
<Isaiah> [The Angel let out a cry.-
*Aline then twitched, as if responding to something. "No time! Take… take cover, all of you! NOW!" At the children, the teacher, the officers.
<Isaiah> [… Not 15 metres away, something slammed into the ground. It was a massive, purple-blue shard, slicing into the ground with shocking ease.-
<Isaiah> [After being imbedded, it… It split open. Like a pod.]
*Sept slid down to lean against the corner as the pod hit. He was breathing rapidly. "One… two… three…" Then, peeking around the corner, he made to approach slowly, quietly, to get a better view of the object.
<Yanmei> "Don't go near that!" Yanmei snapped. She had caught Rosalie's arm and had pulled her behind herself protectively on instinct.
<Isaiah> [Sept would see, even from his limited vantage, that the interior of the pod was full of liquid. Viscous, orange liquid…-
<Isaiah> [He would watch as a hand formed from the mass, literally forming out of it as if the mass were hardening and changing colour. A gnarled, purple hand…-
<Isaiah> [Followed by a claw with long, glimmering blades that caught light around them. And finally, a head. A maw of fangs.-
<Isaiah> [The Petites cried out in fear. Rosalie clung to Yanmei's arm, happy to be safe behind her- Rei had done the same with her own, and Isaiah was shielding Rene, a knife in hand.-
<Isaiah> [The creature dragged itself out of the pool. It stood up- and shrieked.]
*Aline was, on the other hand, already started to double back, grabbing onto Nicholas. "N-Nick. Come on. We have to go. We have to go now. I need to get to 00. Come on." She repeated it quickly, almsot like a survivalist mantra. "E-everyone! Let's go! Now! We. Have. To. RUN!"
<Isaiah> [The shriek echoed off walls. The children… Started to scream as waves of horror filled their bodies. The sound they heard spoke of horrible things.-
<Isaiah> [Alexandrine- Amelia's Petite- fell to her knees, screaming and babbling, scratching at her own skin. "N-No, mama, I-I'm scared-"-
<Isaiah> [Anselme trembled. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he collapsed…-
<Isaiah> [Yanmei would feel Rosalie try to move away. "Yan…. Y-Y-…"-
<Isaiah> [… Two of the S2 Agents collapsed, their knees buckling as they tried to keep out the screams. The other two started to tremble as they fumbled for their pistols.-
<Isaiah> [Miss Lachance reached into her purse, taking out a revolver. "O-Oh dear." She said shakily as she stared at the abomination.-
<Isaiah> ["G-Gotta run." Whispered Nicholas.-
<Isaiah> ["We need to go." Said Amelia. "SERA! GRAB YOUR PETITE! WE NEED TO GET INTO COVER AS ALINE SAID-"-
<Isaiah> [The ground shook as another shard-pod slammed into the ground, at the other end of the street. A third slammed into the museum.-
<Isaiah> [All around the city, shards were disgorging, slamming into unprotected buildings and streets.-
<Isaiah> ["… The service tunnels hook up to the Geofront." Mumbled Rei to herself.]
<Yanmei> "What did you say?" Yanmei's head snapped in Rei's direction. She was just barely holding on to Rosalie, to make sure she didn't dash off blindly in a panic. "Service tunnels?"
*Aline looked this way and that. "…Then we'll take them! Rei-chan, where are they?"
*Sept could take no more. The Angelspawn was pretty bad, but jesus christ he couldn't hear his own thoughts in this mess. "SHUT UP AND GET THEM -OUT-!" he yelled as he glanced back at the chaotic mass of people. "Aline and Yanmei! Take those weapons, for christ's sake!" Sera nodded and spat towards the S2 Agents as he fished out his own instruments. Armed with a revolver and a knife, he
*Sept kept himself clearly detached from the rest of the group, in between them and the creature. "Bunch of incompetents…"
<Isaiah> ["Some of them are built into the bunkers. The nearest here…" Rei stared over at Sept, and shook her head. "The nearest is in an apartment building. We need to go."]
<Isaiah> [The Angelspawn bounded from its pod, hurtling across the ground and passing by the S2 Agents, rending claws slashing at Miss Lachance. The woman raised her right arm in a panic, but the claws ripped straight through it- she howled in pain, blood splattering across her face and the ground below.]
<Isaiah> [Sept would see… Another arm emerge from the pool of LCl in the plug. And another clawed hand…]
<Sept> No time to pay attention to more of them. It didn't change the situation, they were just as dead if they couldn't get out in time. And no reason to make the others panic further. "KEEP MOVING!"
*Yanmei didn't try to hide her contempt as she stared at Sept's back. Instead, she made for Anselme. "Stay close!" She barked at Rosalie. "We're gonna run! Rei! Which way?"
<Isaiah> ["Towards the alley- towards- Eugenia-" She grabbed up Suzanne and followed, Amelia doing the same with her shrieking Petit. Isaiah was soon at Yanmei's side as well.]
*Sept opened fire on the banshee, the bullets whizzing just past it as Sera first overcompensated for recoil, then under. "Get out of there!"
*Aline glared at Sera, and… then picked up Nicholas. "We're going." …and she did her best impression of a mad dash towards the rest of the group. "About how far is it?!"
<Isaiah> ["Just down this alley- and across the street-"-
<Isaiah> [The gunfire distracted the Banshee not at all, as it remained focused on its target. Despite her ripped and bleeding arm, Miss Lachance leaned back, executing a perfect roundhouse kick into its head, following up with an uppercut, dazing it for a split second. "DE PTERES! GO! NOW! I'LL HOLD THEM OFF…!"-
<Isaiah> [Sept would see the new Banshee emerge fully- as three pairs of arms started to emerge from the LCL pool.]
<Sept> "Fuck that! We'll all get out of this!" Sept took aim again… why did it have to thrash around like that?
<Isaiah> ["Go-"-
<Isaiah> [Her last words, as the two claw-arms lashed out, one of them impaling the teacher through the chest. With a single pull-like action, it ripped her in half.-
<Isaiah> [Sept would see the 2nd Banshee swoop onto one of the fallen Agents, messily eating into his torso.]
<Sept> "…" Sera's aim wavered. "Y-yes, ma'am." He glanced back as more of the beasts kept crawling their way out of the shard. Then, he ran.
<Isaiah> [The shrieks of the monsters filled the air as they ignored Sept. They focused on the weak prey.-
<Isaiah> [Soon, the other Agent joined his colleague.-
<Isaiah> [Sept would easily catch up with the rest of the group as they emerged from their alleyway…-
<Isaiah> [For Sept it would be a familiar sight. This was… The block he lived on. His building was across the street.]
*Yanmei was doing her best to scan up ahead for danger, just using her eyes. She was clinging to Anselme with both arms, Rosalie presumably running alongside her. "Just up ahead, right? Across the street?"
<Isaiah> [Rei nodded fervently.]
*Aline was holding on to Nicholas, herself, looking between the various people with her. "They might still follow us, but the closer we get to the Geofront, the better our chances are!"
*Yanmei sprinted for the front door, ready to kick it open, if need be.
<Sept> "O-oh, -that-." Their route was suddenly much clearer in Sept's head. "Aline. Yanmei. Please, d-don't let any more of them… I. I need to get something. I'll catch up." And he was simply gone, dashing into the building ahead of the others, knife and revolver still drawn.
<Isaiah> ["He's headed into the building…" Said Rei, running after.]
*Aline called out quickly. "I can do something to he-" …Then she frowned. "…That's his apartment. He's probably getting something." But, looking at the others. "Sera's the fastest person I know, and he has some good things, like this crazy grappling gun. Let's keep going, they'll catch up! And if we get caught…" Even while running, then waiting at the door for Yanmei to break through…
*Aline "I know a trick that can help. A dangerous trick." A tilt at Yanmei. "More aggressive. More powerful."
<Yanmei> "Don't you dare," she snapped. She had caught the glance, and it made her frown. "We have -enough- problems to worry about. Getting to the Geofront comes before even stopping you if something goes wrong. Otherwise we'll never stop all of those things…"
*Aline nodded. "I /know/. It's the last of last resorts. Trust me."
<Yanmei> "Trust you? Like last time?"
<Isaiah> "Please." Shouted Isaiah as he followed. "Please, not the time…"
*Aline sighed. "…No, it isn't." Her tone was clipped, and upset. Once the door was open, she'd go inside.
<Isaiah> [It wouldn't be long before they were all inside. The moment the door was closed, Rei and Isaiah worked on barricading it. Rei accomplished this by kicking open the nearest door and looting a sofa.]
<Yanmei> "You did a good job, Rosalie," Yanmei was panting by now. Damn, this kid was getting heavier every minute… but she didn't dare put him down, instead manuevering him into a sort of piggy-back-riding position to free up at least one arm. "You were so brave!"
<Isaiah> [The children were shellshocked, to say the least. Poor Alexandrine- a brown-haired girl with spectacles- had calmed down and was sobbing into Amelia's chest. Anselme lay against a wall, now awake.]
<Isaiah> [… Now he's awake in Yanmei's arms.]
<Sept> Last set of stairs… still no sign of immediate danger. Apartment doors… "First… second… third…" Sera fumbled for his keys as he ran, missing the lock a few times. They -had- to be there. But what if the banshees had gotten there before him..? No. It was too horrible to imagine.
<Isaiah> [Sept would notice that there was a shape on his floor. Someone… Against the wall, at the far end, emerging from one of the rooms. A human…?]
*Aline looked around, trying to get past the whole 'if we're about to die I'm going to summon my brain angels' awkwardness. "…Hopefully Sera'll bring something for us."
<Isaiah> [Isaiah was panting as he put Rene down, the boy trembling. "You alright, Yanmei? Rene?"-
<Isaiah> [Rosalie was clinging protectively to Yanmei's leg.-
<Sept> "Who is it?!" Sera yelled, still trying to get the door open. Was it jammed? Had -they- jammed it from the other side to stop him from getting in?!
<Isaiah> ["G-Gina, I'm scared." Mumbled Camille. Gina hugged him, her usual whimsical nature now soft and solemn. "I'll protect you as though you were my own.]
<Raphael> As the figure comes closer Sept would see he's dressed in a dishevelled and blood-spattered NERV uniform, with a pistol in hand. The man’s older by military standards, with grey-black hair and sharp eyes.
*Yanmei nodded to Isaiah. "I'm okay. We're all okay."
<Raphael> "Mr. de Pteres," he says slowly, lowering his pistol, "I’m glad you’re safe."
<Isaiah> [Rei was standing in the middle of the room, concentrating… "Leenie-chan… Bad news."]
*Aline turned to face Rei. "…More?"
*Sept lowered his own weapon as well, holstering it and thus freeing up both hands to get the Damn Door open. "…NERV? ID. Show me your ID."
<Isaiah> ["The Spawn…" Rei shook her head. "They can sense AT Fields." She looked over at Aline. "Active Fields. The moment either of us channel our power, they'll swarm us in waves."]
<Aline> "…" Aline grimaced. "…Then we'll need weapons. Hopefully Sera delivers."
<Isaiah> "You did a really good job, Rei." Said Isaiah. "… Miss Lachance, she… Those soldiers…"
*Raphael nods once, as if this is only fair, and reaches inside his jacket to retrieve what was either a legitimate NERV ID or an extremely convincing replica. It identified him as one Raphael Guillory, Wing Commander in NERVs VTOL squads. There was blood on the hands that held it. "You're right to ask," he says simply, "Are you alone?"
Session Time: Sun Sep 18 00:00:00 2011
<Yanmei> "…" Yanmei shook her head at the reminder, troubled. "Let's… not think about them right now."
<Isaiah> ["I'll get them back." said Amelia angrily. "I'll hunt down every last monster I can find."]
*Aline smiled softly. Good old Amelia Chevalier. Always strong. "If you do that… finish protecting us first, okay? We need the EVAs, but until we can reach them, we need you."
*Sept looked at the card for far less time than would be needed to spot a fake. "Not alone, Raphael. Aline, Yanmei, the rest of the excursion group is down there. We're taking the tunnels." Rattle, rattle. Sera turned the key once more and slammed his shoulder into the door. It opened completely normally, and Sera tumbled into the room from the excessive force. He turned to the Wing
*Sept Commander, grinning madly. "Now help me carry this."
<Isaiah> [It wouldn't take them too long to liberate the apartment's contents.-
<Isaiah> [… Sept would see, however, the streets, running thick with Angelspawn- the clawed beasts he saw, as well as the odd lumbering, huge quadrupeds, each of them bearing like a turret one of those weapons the Angels seemed to occasionally possess- the one deemed by NERV to be a 'Shuriken Cannon'.-
<Isaiah> [Before long, however, the two of them would be back in the building foyer.]
<Sept> The telltale clinking of straps and the various packs signalled the return of Sera, along with his new friend. And his old friends. But, as the two came into view, it was clear there wasn't as much noise as there should've been. The boy was clad in the dark blue of the UN Military's armour from head to toe, carrying a shotgun, with -various- other… implements in belts, in his backpack,
<Sept> and being carried by Wing Commander Guillory. "Everyone rested? They'll pay for what they did to her. -No one- invades my Paris."
*Aline stared. "…Quite the armory there. And I just have two weapons."
*Sept nodded. "I mean it when I say I'll protect you two, Aline. I can't always do that with my bare hands."
*Sept nodded. "I mean it when I say I'll protect you two, Aline. I can't always do that with my bare hands."
*Aline slowly nodded. "…Just… try to respect our own ability to, eh?" But she drummed her fingers together. "…So, since I doubt you can use…" Aline peered closer to the pack. "4 or 5 different guns, we should divvy them up for now."
<Isaiah> [Isaiah and Amelia glanced over.-
<Isaiah> "I have a knife, but… Well, we'll see how it divvies out.-
<Isaiah> ["I can handle front line combat." Said Amelia.-
<Isaiah> [Gina looked up from Camille, to add- "I'm accomplished with guns as well."]
*Raphael stepped forward, balancing out his load witha lifted knee. "I can spare my sidearm if need be," he says, with a small nod of hello towards Aline.
*Aline nodded, finally acknowledging the elephant in the room. She did wave to Raphael, though, while turning towards Gina. "…I guess it's one thing our common thread lets us share. You guys must know how I fight in 00. It's the same here. Long-range with a rifle'd suit."
*Sept put down his backpack and unloaded some of the equipment off the top, neatly arranging it on the ground. The protective coat he had once worn, the sniper rifle, grenades… he was holding on to the knives and close-range firearms, however, barely acknowledging his holding them. "Divide them up as you think is best. We should hurry."
*Aline frowned. "…Those two guns… You're better with knives. Yanmei…?"
<Yanmei> "de Pteres? It's a little hard to divy them up when you're holding on to some important pieces?" She smiled at him. "It's not like we won't give them back? But there are people here who could use them."
<Sept> "What? No, I'm the one with the armour. I can't take care of everything with -just- the… nngh. Y-you're right. Just… you'd better be ready to cover me when I need it." He set down the two weapons and their spare ammunition slowly, stopping with each as if for a silent farewell.
*Yanmei went for both handguns, giving them a little twirl and checking them over. "Thanks. I sppreciate it. Let's try to hurry through this and get there quickly."
*Aline stared at the assortment. "…Hm. I… I'm pretty fragile, and I'm a better shot with a careful aim. I'll take the sniper and the smokebombs… Gina, you look stronger than I am, how about you take the anti-armor grenades and the shotgun? …Anybody who wants knives, get them. Isaiah… I know you have a knife, but why don't you take the armor vest? You might need it more than Amelia
*Aline or Rei will."
<Isaiah> "…" He glanced over at Yanmei. "Should you take the vest? You're more important."
*Aline looked between the two, then… smiled. "Up to you two. I just said that because she's got guns and'll be farther back."
<Yanmei> "Absolutely not." Yanmei shook her head. "I'll be keeping my distance. But if you have to use the knife, you'll be getting in close."
<Isaiah> "… Yeah, you're both right." Said Isaiah, and after a moment he took the vest.
*Raphael glances around as Yanmei selects the pistols and pulls two additional clips from his belt. "Here, ma'am, just in case," he says, holding them out for her. "It should already be fully loaded. Tossed the last clip as I came in."
<Isaiah> [Eugenia grabbed the shotgun. "Understood."-
<Isaiah> [Amelia grabbed herself a knife, as did Rei.]
<Yanmei> "Thanks, sir." Yanmei accepted it with a smile, and then swept a confident look between him and Isaiah and then the smaller kids. "It'll be okay. Let's keep our wits about us."
*Isaiah nodded, taking out Mingzhu's knife.
*Aline was finishing checking her sniper rifle, and setting up a grenade belt for her two smoke bombs. She… did eye the kids. "Listen, all of you. A lot of us have training to fight, and that means we'll keep you safe. But you've got to stay close to us and /not/ get separated. Understood, kids?"
<Isaiah> [The kids nodded, a lot of them too scared to say much. Anselme glanced over at the table, and then took out a little knife from a sheath 'round his ankle.]
<Isaiah> [Rei turned to eye one of the hallways. A sign on the wall said BUNKER THIS WAY.]
*Sept flashed a little smile at the shifty Petite. His Petite, he thought.
*Raphael finishes his brief inspection of the barricades and unslings the assault rifle from his shoulder. "Now some of you seem to have had at least a little weapons training, but since we're under the pump it'd be best to remember the basics. Before we head down, make sure you've done all your weapon an ammo checks. Better to do it while we still have light."
*Aline held the rifle down and to her side, looking to Rei. "…Ready? Close-combat people in front, except for one or two rearguards. I'll be in the back, mid-range firearms covering… mid… range, and the kids in the center?" But a turn to Raphael. "Checked, here. Sera keeps even his unused stuff in good condition. Full clip, recently-oiled."
*Sept …was out of weapons. So he checked the functionality of his only remaining mechanical piece of weaponry. "vvVVWWRRZZrrrrvv", said the Prog Knife.
<Isaiah> "Is that a Prog Knife?"
*Aline blinked. "…Looks like it."
<Isaiah> [Rei started leading on, gesturing for Gina and Sept to follow after.]
<Sept> "It is." Sept just grinned.
*Aline did, though, start herding the children. "Just stay together in the middle. I'll be behind you with the big gun, 'kay?"
<Yanmei> "Personal scale ones, now? Interesting." Yanmei had already done her checks, and was trying to find some sort of position for herself. "Ngh. Lights are gonna be bad, huh?"
<Aline> "…Probably. I got my glasses upgraded with low-light tech, so I should be fine for sniping, but… mm. Could be problematic."
<Yanmei> "My goggles are at home," Yanmei frowned. She gazed down at the guns with a touch more uncertainty. "I guess it can't be helped."
<Isaiah> ["If we're lucky, the tunnels' personal backup generators should keep most of the area well lit. Almost well lit." Said Rei as she headed down the hallway, pulling the heavy bunker door open. "Let's go."]
<Raphael> "Power grid was failing last I heard, possibly city-wide. I'm not sure what the situation is like in the tunnels." The soldier takes one quick glance towards the windows before clenching his and heading for the steps.
*Aline followed along now, leading her little pack as designated team mom, eyeing cautiously…
<Sept> "Right." Sera led the party with Rei.
*Yanmei found herself somewhere in the center, presumably with Isaiah
<Isaiah> [She led them into the bunker, heading over to a corner and opening a supply cabinet. She pulled out two first aid kits and four flashlights, throwing one fo the first aid kits to Isaiah. She kept the other for herself. The flashlights she threw to Yanmei, Sept, Amelia and Raphael.]
<Yanmei> "Thank you!" She tucked the flashlight into the waistband of her skirt for now. The overhead lights were still enough to see by.
<Isaiah> [Rei nodded. Then she walked over to a corner of the room, and opened a hatch. Beneath was a round hole, a ladder leading down. Faint light could be seen at the bottom.]
*Aline just moved on, glad that others'd be able to see. But… "Well then. I guess this is it."
<Isaiah> [Rei nodded. She took a deep breath, and started to climb down.]
*Yanmei followed when it was her turn, tucking her offhand gun into her waistband as well, so that she could grip the ladder
<Isaiah> [The others started to go as well, Amelia going last so she could help the kiddies along. She personally carried Alexandrine, who was clinging tight to Amelia's shirt and burying her head in Amelia's chest, as if everything were just a passing bad dream.]
*Aline took up the almost-rear, using the rifle's strap to have a chance at gripping the ladder, herself… before bearing it openly again on arrival.
*Raphael 's light is slotted on to the rail-mount along the top of his rifle with a murmur of thanks. He holds his position at the rear of the little horde of children alongside Amelia until the last of them are safely away, and only then does he take his own turn.
<Isaiah> [The tunnel they were in was about two metres wide, enough for two people to walk abreast. A large NERV blast door sits at the end of the tunnel, a manual lever sitting on the side.]
*Yanmei moved forward a little. "I'll do it. Someone cover me, though? We don't know what's behind there."
<Isaiah> [Gina shifted forward, her shotgun up.]
<Yanmei> "Thanks~" She waitbanded both guns now, and got to work with the lever.
*Aline raised her sniper, as well. "Raphael, keep watch at the rear, this thing's atrocious to aim point-blank." …And she began to focus on the space through the door.
*Raphael takes a long, worried look towards the front of the group, with Yanmei by the door, but accepts Aline's request with a nod.
*Yanmei pulled the lever, more focused on it than what lay beyond, but… the faint tension on her face suggested that she wasn't completely oblivious to danger.
<Isaiah> [The lever took a lot of effort, but… The blast doors slid open with a whine.-
<Isaiah> [A room lay beyond, about ten metres long and ten wide. It was much like the corridor- grey with sturdy metal bulkheads and metal plates beneath. Three large blast doors like the one Yanmei'd just opened sat to their left, right and dead ahead.]

<Sept> "…three tunnels? Do the others connect to the rest of the network?" Sept tried to examine the doors. Did any of them look like they'd been opened recently?
<Isaiah> [They hadn't.-
<Isaiah> ["The three doors all lead to the same place, but the central path is the quickest. It's designed for defense." Said Rei.]
<Yanmei> "Then that's where we should head," said Yanmei, relieved that Rei knew the way even half as well as she was demonstrating.
*Aline nodded. "…Given the safest place to be now is the Geofront, we should take the straight path, closing doors behind us." A bit of a distant sigh. "Though that might only hold them off for a few minutes per door."
<Sept> "Sounds logical… knew I should've taken those proximity charges when they were on sale. Should we leave instructions for anyone else coming through here..? If we make it through, the path should be confirmed safe for them, too."
<Raphael> "Certainly better than nothing, Miss Blanc," Raphael says, not spending long checking the path ahead before his aim returns to the stairs. "And with respect, sir, I think our primary concern should be getting you and these children to safety. I'm not sure we can afford the extra time."
*Aline nodded as well. "Yeah, because if we get to the Geofront, we can try to sortie the EVAs. Then we can face this deathbringer personally. And end this right then."
*Sept nodded, hesitantly. "Right… Aline, do you think if we kill it, those things will go, too? Like with Qaphsiel?"
*Aline thought. "It's likely, but I'll think on it for a moment…"
*Aline snapped her fingers, then. "…Not sure. But it'll definitely stop the flow. I still /think/ they're extensions of it." But she looked around. "We should stop dawdling. Get forward, close one door, then proceed on the fastest route. Got it?"
<Sept> "Got it. Let's go. Raphael, if you'll help me with the doors?"
<Yanmei> "I can do it, since I'm not stuck near the rear," Yanmei pointed out. She was, in fact, still lingering by the lever she had just pulled.
*Aline started to herd the children into the room ahead, though, as they dealt with that. Keeping her gun level, and scanning across the area with quick, uncertain glances.
<Raphael> "It might be better to leave it to me, Pilot Zhang," Raphael says with a little smile - little more than a twitch of the corner of his lips that never reaches his eyes. "You three are mission-critical, and we don't exactly know what's behind these doors. It's my job to make sure you make it back safe and sound."
<Yanmei> "Oh. Well, yeah, I guess so." Yanmei muttered. She made her own distracted effort to smile back.
*Raphael pushes his way past a few of the children as gently as he can as he moves up towards the central door, rifle raised. With a nod towards Sept, he grabs hold of the lever and pulls…
<Isaiah> [The door slides open… Or almost slides. It… Seems to jam halfway.-
<Isaiah> [For a second they can glimpse a corridor like the one behind them, but half the lights have gone out and after awhile it ends in inky blackness.-
<Isaiah> [… As the door jams, however, something else seems to happen. There's an ominous cracking above them…-
<Isaiah> [… And then suddenly a tremendous impact- the force of something smashing into the roof like a rocket, cracking it with incredible force and bringing huge parts of the roof crashing down…!]
<Sept> "Get away!" Sera shoves Raphael out of the doorway and dives back himself, barely escaping. For a few moments he lies face-down by the wall, covering his head with his hands, before it becomes clear the danger is past.
<Isaiah> [Rei looked to the side- grabbed Yanmei and Suzanne and pulled them to her left in a violent jump. Rosalie squealed in pain, but Yanmei couldn't see what happened-!]
*Yanmei cried out too, but it was more out surprise than pain! She was struggling to get her bearings as soon as her feet touched stone again. "A-an attack?!"
<Isaiah> [Rei let out a deep breath as she climbed to her feet. "It… It feels like one of those shards slammed into the roof."-
<Isaiah> [Faintly Yanmei could hear someone- Isaiah- calling her name.]
<Isaiah> [Someone else, too- Sept was still alive, seemingly.]
*Raphael accepts the shove and rolls with it, shoulder-first. He wastes no time getting to his feet the moment the rocks stopped falling. "I think that's it, yes. Are you four hurt?" For the first time since his arrival he's showing the outward signs of concern.
<Isaiah> [Suzanne looks shaken but unharmed, but Rosalie is cradling her wrist and whimpering.]
*Raphael comes closer and kneels alongside Suzanne and very gently takes her wrist and checks it, muttering calm words as he does.
<Yanmei> "I'm fine, but…" Yanmei kneeled down to check on Rosalie… but Isaiah's faint cries caught her attention, and she stood up again. "Hey! HEEEEY!!!" she called. A step toward the wall of debris. "Shit. Cut off?"
<Isaiah> [It looks to Raphael like Rosalie's sprained her wrist.]
<Isaiah> [Rei stared at the debris with a desperate look, and for a second she fidgetted, as if tempted to try to blast it apart with her Field. "… W-We'll have to unite with them later, Yanmei."]
<Yanmei> "Yeah." She took a step back, looking discouraged. "There's only one way for us to go. I'll cover whoever's going to open the doors, then. I guess that will be you?" she glanced to Raphael.
<Isaiah> [Sept's voice. "W-we'll meet you at the Geofront! mmbmblb please stay safe!"]
<Isaiah> [And Aline's. "mbmbl We'll do our best here to do the same!"]
<Isaiah> [Rei shouted back. "Look after Zaizai, Leenie-chan!"]
*Yanmei took a deep breath. "GOT IT!"
<Raphael> "You're alright, kiddo, just a bit of a twist." he says to Rosalie, even sparing her a real smile before he stands up and joins the other two at the wall. "Right, miss," he says, sparing the debris another look as Sept's voice carries through.
<Isaiah> ["Got it too!" Aline again.]
*Raphael moves up to the door as the others finish their discussion and lays his hands on the lever. "Are we ready?"
*Yanmei gave a little nod. Over her shoulder, she glanced back at the two younger kids and flashed another confident smile. "We'll be okay. Rosalie, you're being so brave! You too Suzanne."
<Isaiah> [Rosalie nodded, trying to give Yanmei a smile. Suzanne looked up at Yanmei with big eyes. "I-I know you'll protect us." She said quietly but confidently.]
<Yanmei> "Course we will." She gave a wink, and then tried to covering the door.
<Raphael> "Alright." He takes one last glance back the way they came and, face set, begins pulling the lever.
<Isaiah> [The blast doors slide open relatively easily for the tough Wing Commander, revealing yet more corridor- and another door.]
<Raphael> As the creaking of the blast doors passes, Raphael goes still as he stares into the corridor ahead. After a moment he turns to the other two teens, his back carefully turned towards the children, and raises one finger to his lips.
*Yanmei tilted her head a little at him, tightening the grip on her two guns and raising them in anticipation.
*Raphael heads for the next door and gets to work.
<Isaiah> [The door slides open, revealing a room with two doors- one to the right, one ahead. Narrow doors… And…-
<Isaiah> [A creature lurks in the door straight ahead, armored in a purple exoskeleton, a bulbous head full of fangs, and four arms- two claws.-
<Isaiah> [It sees them.-
<Isaiah> [And it -screams-.]
<Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes widened in horror. That chilling scream again… but she was more concerned with the fact that it was even there. She took a step back, still aiming.
<Isaiah> ["N-No-" The wave of fear rolled through the children…-
<Isaiah> [Yanmei would hear Suzanne -scream-, footsteps pattering against the ground as she bolted back the way they'd came. Yanmei would hear something far more disturbing from her own Petite, however.-
<Isaiah> ["T-They're gonna eat us." Said Rosalie, her voice chattering in a hysteric giggle. "G-Gonna eat us all, Yanmei. All up…"]
<Isaiah> ["Yanmei! Take care of the kids-" Rei ran forward, knife up.]
<Yanmei> Left gun waistbanded… Yanmei snatched at Rosalie's uninjured arm, swallowing back her horror at that -laugh-, and doubled back. "Suzanne! Wait!"
<Isaiah> [Rosalie belted at Yanmei's hand ineffectively.]
*Yanmei ignored it, not even taking the time to scold her. What was she going to say? 'Stop losing your mind?'
<Isaiah> [Yanmei'd see Suzanne, scrabbling against the rocks. "G-gottagetoutgottagetoutmummy-!"]
*Raphael already has the assault rifle up to his shoulder as Rei rushes past, aiming down the sights, before firing off a carefully controlled burst of fire that rips through the banshee's carapace.
<Isaiah> [The creature shudders, and with a screech, falls to the ground, bleeding a horrible ichor.]
*Raphael keeps his aim trained on the creature for a few seconds before shooting over his shoulder. "We're clear!"
<Isaiah> ["That was a good shot, Wing Commander-san."]
<Raphael> "It's the sort of day where it pays to be on my game," he says simply, glancing slowly around the room.
*Yanmei stared for a minute. She didn't know what she was supposed to do - both of them were losing it, and she didn't think that slapping them would get any results. So instead, she gathered them both in her arms, ignoring the constant flailing from their smaller bodies. "It's okay, it's okay," she murmured. "We said we'd protect you, so…"
<Isaiah> ["Well said." Rei moved to cover the closed door.]
<Isaiah> [Suzanne stilled, and fell into Yanmei's hands, sobbing. "I was so scared-"-
<Isaiah> [Rosalie was still thrashing about, though, and although she was slowing, she still managed to catch Yanmei in the ear.]
<Raphael> "I think I missed your name before, Miss…?"
<Isaiah> ["Rei." Said Rei. "Ayanami Rei. I'm 16 years old, and I go to Saint Louis School. I'm going to be a pilot one day."]
<Raphael> "Pleased to meet you, Rei. Glad we have your help today."
*Yanmei winced, but she didn't disengage. "It'll be okay, Suzanne. You've been great. I need you to hold up just a little longer, okay? We'll be someplace safe soon, but we can only get there quickly if you help."
*Raphael raises his rifle again as he spots Yanmei and the children returning down the corridor. "Why don't you give that next lever a pull, miss? I've got you covered."
<Isaiah> [Rosalie was still freaking out, and now she was biting Yanmei's hand…]
<Raphael> "Do you need any help down there, Pilot Zhang?"
<Yanmei> Ow. Owowowow… Yanmei grit her teeth. Goddammit. With one of her charges at least capable of proceeding under her own power, Yanmei was making an effort to return, shooting little encouraging glances at Suzanne along the way. "I've got it. Just go forward, okay? I'll stick to the rear from now on."
*Raphael looks concerned, but returns his aim to the door ahead. "Got it."
<Isaiah> ["Alright." Rei grabbed the lever and -pulled-.-
<Isaiah> The Banshee was waiting for her. It crouched, ready to spring…-!]
<Raphael> The moment it took to the air it would find a hail of bullets waiting to meet it.
<Isaiah> [The corpse was cut off in mid-flight, slapping to the ground in a bloody mess.]
<Raphael> "Clear," Raphael murmured again.
<Isaiah> [Rei took a moment to rise from her stance. "That was close."]
*Yanmei had just about reached them now, thankfully not getting close enough to the Banshee to scare the kids until it was nothing but a harmless corpse. "Good work!"
*Raphael gives Yanmei a resolute nod. "Thankyou."
<Isaiah> [Rei looked from door to door, then back at Raphael and Yanmei. "I'm not sure where to go from here…"]
<Yanmei> "No? Erm…" Yanmei looked a little troubled by that. "Maybe we should head North? We might find a path that runs parallel with the one we were taking before."
<Raphael> "…" Raphael stares from one door to another for a few moments, noting nothing much of use peeking out of the dark. "That seems about as good a chance as we're going to get, I think."
<Isaiah> [A crash behind Yanmei as a Banshee leaps out of a ventilation shaft. It crouches for a moment, staring at its prey…]
*Yanmei jumped and spun, finger already on the trigger of her revolver! But the shot went wide, as she couldn't steady her hand in time.
*Raphael whirls on his heel at the sound, raising his gun for a snap shot… only to watch the damn thing skitter away as the bullet spirals into the dark. "Damn. Yanmei!"
<Isaiah> [Rei turned as well and struck at it- but it slid back. "The children-!"]
<Isaiah> [Suzanne was screaming- and Rosalie, that laugh…!]
<Isaiah> [… Finally started to subside, replaced with screaming.]
<Yanmei> For a moment, the screams are drowned out by two roaring handguns. When Yanmei finally lowered them, the Banshee was no more… "E-everyone okay?"
<Isaiah> [… A crashing, roaring sound- and Raphael would see two deadly claws slam out of a shaft, into the roof above his head!]
<Isaiah> [Suzanne, on the other hand, pounced on the dead Banshee and started flailing her fists against its head. "Die, monster!"]
*Raphael swerves away from the slashes at the last moment, claws flying dangerously close to his head. For a moment his aim doesn't shift from the banshee attacking Yanmei and the children, but once it drops he snatches the knife from his belt in a reverse grip and stab blindly into the vent with a low curse.
<Isaiah> [The creature grabs the knife in its claws. There's a pulse of energy- and immediately the metal melts straight to the hilt.]
*Raphael actually makes a thoughtful noise as he pulls back nothing but a ruined grip before tossing it to the ground. "Pilot Zhang!"
<Yanmei> "Yes?" The noises from ahead hadn't escaped her attention. "What's happening?"
<Isaiah> [The Banshee snarled in Raphael's face, then pulled itself into the shaft… And then it was gone.]
<Isaiah> ["MEIMEI-"-
<Isaiah> Another banshee appeared at Rei's doorway. It took a swing that Rei narrowly avoided. "I can handle it!"
<Raphael> "They're in the ventilation shafts! Watch the children!"
<Yanmei> "The vents-!" Yanmei's eyes flicked upward, then around the room, then back at Rei who was clearly undergoing a struggle of her own.
<Raphael> A moment later Raphael backs up into the room, his aim remaining squarely on the corridor he emerged from. "Two ahead. Ambush," he said in clipped tones. He glances quickly over at Rei before coming to the same conclusion Ayanami did.
<Isaiah> [Rei is a little busy- but she seems to be doing well, stabbing up at it and cutting the Banshee across the body.]
<Yanmei> "Two…" Yanmei bit her lip. "It's tight in there, isn't it? I've got a slightly better shot at close range with these guns… Should I go ahead?"
<Raphael> "I'm not going to be able to get a shot in if you do, which means dealing with two of those things on your own. But it's either that or the second path…" He mulls it over in silence for a moment.
<Yanmei> "The second path…" Yanmei frowned, and then sighed. "Fine. Let's wait on Rei to clean up, and then we'll go that route. It sounds safer, even if it isn't what we wanted."
<Isaiah> [… Yanmei would see something out of the corner of her eye. Another one of them, heading towards her-!]
*Yanmei snapped off a quick shot, but it was a bad one. "No!"
<Isaiah> [It dodged- but it wasn't going for Yanmei.-
<Isaiah> [It grabbed Rosalie, its claws slicing into her arm. Like a ragdoll it picked her up and slammed her against the ground- concussing her immediately.]
<Isaiah> [Meanwhile, Raphael would see a shape emerge ahead of him…!]
*Yanmei let out a horrified, wordless scream! Rosalie!
*Raphael drops his earlier pretense of ammo conservation in favour of a long burst of full auto fire. Still, between the speed of the things and the screaming from behind him he doesn't land enough to make the barrage count.
<Yanmei> With her attention soundly divided between the monster attacking Rosalie, and the one now emerging from the same pass to menace Suzanne, so too were Yanmei's bullets. A series of fast shots sounded out, and she switches aim between the two targets smoothly. Some missed, but others landed. Suzanne saved, but Rosalie…
*Raphael lets out a wordless cry of rage as the Banshees head for the children, landing a quick forward kick on the one menacing him before turning and firing a hurried shot into the one over Rosalie.
<Isaiah> [The shot lands hard, and the creature staggers- enough time for Rei to do a crowd-clearing whirlwind kick, before skipping over to stab it in the jaw- ending it.]
Session Time: Mon Sep 19 00:00:00 2011
<Yanmei> Relief… but it was short-lived. As the remaining creatures closed in, Yanmei set her jaw, and tried more of the same, switching shots between the two that she could line up from her position behind Raphael. Neither of them fell down, but she could see wounds.
*Raphael is dealing with the one on the right as best as he can, face back to its original mask of calm, but there's blood leaking from a deep gash in his wound and down the leg of his uniform.
<Isaiah> [Rei struck out, her blade finishing off one of the wounded…-
<Isaiah> [The other two- the ones snarling at Raphael- froze for a second- then bolted off. It… Was quiet.]
*Raphael is still for just long enough to be sure they're gone before he sets off towards the north door… hobbling a little, it must be said. "Zhang, would you mind seeing to the other doors?" Still calm.
<Yanmei> "Right." She hesitated, watching Rei work on Rosalie… but she made herself turn for the south door quickly.
<Isaiah> [Suzanne knelt down next to Rosalie. Suzanne had blood on her clothes and face, but she was holding herself in check as she smoothed Rosalie's hair. "Can you help her, Miss Rei?" "I think so." … "I've stopped the bleeding, but she needs real attention."]
<Raphael> "I know," Raphael replies.
<Yanmei> "As soon as we get there." Yanmei shut her eyes for a moment. NERV has some of the best medical facilities I've ever seen.
<Raphael> "What about you two? Are either of you wounded?"
<Isaiah> [Rei nodded. "Slightly. It'll heal. Would you like me to tend to your injuries?"]
<Yanmei> "I'm okay, for some reason." she glanced back at Rosalie, concerned. Crap. The little girl got it worse than any of them…
*Raphael glances down at his leg and blinks a little. "Oh. I think I'll be fine for now. Save what you have for the children."
*Yanmei pulled the lever. Clankclankclankclank… the south door shut. And with that, she was on her way back to said children, tucking her revolver away with on hand, and then struggling the manuever Rosalie into a comfortably carrying position. Piggyback time.
<Raphael> "There's a vent up ahead that they attacked me from earlier, so mind your step. Seems clear for now. Move fast and you should be fine.
<Raphael> "
<Isaiah> [Rei nodded, sweeping past Raphael. She paused before the vent… Then slid past.]
*Yanmei was swift to follow, along with the two kids.
<Isaiah> [Rei moved into the intersection- and reflexively ducked as two claws slashed out.-
<Isaiah> [Yanmei would find the grate above her filled with clawed death as well! "Snrrr-!"]
<Yanmei> Yanmei would have crashed back, pressing herself against the wall on instinct, but there was Rosalie to consider at the moment. So instead she unloaded a few rounds into the grate! "Such underhanded tactics," she complained.
<Raphael> "Nicely done!"
<Isaiah> [The thing's head was still peeking out of the grate, oozing ichor onto Suzanne below. "…"-
<Isaiah> [Rei was still engaged in combat. "Tough…"]
<Yanmei> "Thanks!" She peered up ahead. "Go Rei! You're amazing."
<Isaiah> [Rei struggled, pushing the monster back. "Wing Commander-san… Push past… Now!"]
<Raphael> With a nod to Yanmei, Raphael does as ordered… and a moment later there's the near-deafening report of a rifle shot from just behind Rei's head. The banshee no longer seems to have a head.
<Raphael> "You alright, Rei?"
<Isaiah> ["Thank you." Said Rei. She stepped over the banshee's corpse and covers the next door along. She turns to look back at Raphael and offers him a bright smile. "I'm very fine, Wing Commander-san."]
*Yanmei in the meantime is working the lever to close the door behind her. She'd learned her lesson from the swarm in the previous room.
<Isaiah> [Clank! It shut.]
*Yanmei breathed a sigh of relief, happy for the momentary quiet.
*Raphael actually looks genuinely amused as he returns the smile, but it only stays for a few moments. He glances to either side of the hall. "Two more doors, one past a junction…"
<Isaiah> ["I'll take point. Please do your best to cover me." Said Rei, as she swept down the hallway. She reached the junction… "Clear!"]
<Raphael> "Done," Raphael nods, moving into position.
*Yanmei started to hustle further into the hallway too, bringing up the rear, Suzanne between her and the good Wing Commander.
<Isaiah> ["Do you think they're all gone?" Asked Suzanne.]
<Yanmei> "I dunno about that. But we're okay for now." She smiled down at her. "Just a bit longer and we'll be at the base, and you can see your classmates again. They'll probably have snacks there too."
<Isaiah> [Suzanne nodded fervently.-
<Isaiah> ["I'm opening the door. Please cover me…" Rei pulled the lever…-
<Isaiah> [An empty room.]
*Yanmei followed, but only so far, waiting at the entrance to close it once everyone else was through
<Isaiah> [Rei entered, heading to the southern door. She opened it…-
<Isaiah> ["This corridor is blocked…"]
*Raphael lets out a sigh. "I suppose we'd best head north again."
<Yanmei> "Looks like the only thing we can really do." Yanmei flash Raphael a little smile. "Don't look so glum! I bet that stuff is the very same as the debris that cut us off from our original path. I'd say that we're making progress."
<Raphael> "I suppose so," Raphael agreed, giving Rosalie a long look. "How are you managing?"
<Isaiah> [Rosalie is unconscious.]
*Yanmei held the unconscious child securely. "I think I'm getting used to toting around little kids like this," she said with a little smirk.
*Raphael smiles a little at that, softer than the ones he's shown before. "It's certainly something that takes some practice," he says, moving up to the next door. "Heh. I'd heard you had a good game face, Pilot Zhang. I'm impressed."
<Yanmei> "Well~" Yanmei somehow managed a hair-flip while holding onto a gun. "Pilots like me need nerves of steel! Besides…" she grew a little more serious, glancing at Suzanne. "They say that fear and panic are contageous."
<Raphael> "Absolutely true on both counts."
<Yanmei> "You handle yourself pretty well too, Mr. Wing Commander. As expected!" She winked.
<Isaiah> [Rei moved forward. "I'll open the door…"-
<Isaiah> [Crank. Crank. Crank…-
<Isaiah> [Two snarling maws -immediately- leapt through, a font of claws and hands grasping at them.-
<Isaiah> ["Wind Commander-san!"]
*Raphael 's expression of calm doesn't shift: He simply sights along his rifle and pulls holds down the trigger until two bullet-riddled corpses hit the floor.
<Raphael> "I try," he says, moving to eject the magazine.
<Isaiah> [A grate bursts open. And as Raphael enjoys his moment of understated camaraderie…-
<Isaiah> [Burning claws rip through a door- Yanmei would find herself facing two enemies at once…-
<Isaiah> [The second of which ignored her, but instead grabbed Susanne's leg with its claws, rending through to the bone. She -screamed- in pain- "REI! R-REI!" But… But she didn't collapse.]
<Yanmei> A rescuing hail of gunfire from Yanmei. Too little too late however - she cried out, shocked, -angry-.
<Isaiah> [Unhalted. A claw reached out for Susanne…-
<Isaiah> [Rei… Shifted, letting the claw sink into her own arm. She stared the Angel straight in the eye.-
<Isaiah> ["I am the Rose Maiden." She said, coldly.-
<Isaiah> ["And I fight for justice and love!"]
*Raphael finally finishes reloading just in time to put a three-round burst into the chest of Rei's attacker before it has time to retaliate further.
*Yanmei has dispatched with the one attacking Rosalie too, though it doesn't make her feel much better. "What do we do now?"
<Raphael> "We'll have to keep moving, just like before. I can carry her as soon as we get her cleaned up." He glances over at Rei, nodding in approval. "You saved her life, miss. How's that arm?"
<Isaiah> [… Rei is implacably angry. The area around her is warping and vibrating with colour- light pinks, reds, yellows and blues, swirling around her.-
<Isaiah> [A staff emerges from… Somewhere. From the ground. It's somewhat ornate, tipped with ruby diamond. She grabs the spear…-
<Isaiah> [… And pulls a dress out from her cache as well. This she places not on herself, but on Suzanne.]
*Yanmei stared. The expression on her face had split halfway between utter bewilderment and nervousness. Hadn't she said something about AT field usage and swarms earlier…?

*Raphael ‘s raises his gun on instinct as the AT Field shimmers to life around Rei… only to lift his finger carefully away from the trigger as she lays the dress over the wounded child. "… Pilot Zhang?" he asks, words coming a little slowly.
<Yanmei> "I don't…" she hesitated, holding Rosalie tighter. "Rei, what are you doing?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> "I had to protect Suzanne. She trusts me…"-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne was whimpering, holding her leg and trying not to scream, her face showing signs of shock.-
<Ayanami`Rei> "I had to…"-
<Ayanami`Rei> … For the first time since the Banshee had gone for Suzanne, Rei seemed to realise what she had done. She looked up suddenly.-
<Ayanami`Rei> "… Oh no…"-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… Chittering. The sound of Banshees, loud enough to hear now. Approaching. From seemingly all directions.]
<Raphael> "Hell…," Raphael murmured, glancing up at the path the arrived from with a scowl before moving to pick up Suzanne. "No time for this. Miss Zhang, do you still have that second pistol?"
*Yanmei backed away… but there was no where to back away to. She fumbled with the pistol before tossing it toward Raphael. The revolver was still tucked away in her waistband, but now she took out something different… a shiney black rod, with a blunt pronged tip.
<Ayanami`Rei> "We have to move." Said Rei, bringing her staff up. "Wing Commander-san, I’ll take point, but -please- protect Suzanne…!" The girl rushed forward, towards one of the doors-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… And was almost immediately attacked by a Banshee, hurling itself out of a crevice in the room ahead. It hurled itself at her, the girl dodging narrowly.]
<Yanmei> "Rei!" Yanmei was quick to follow, her face grim. The rod gripped tightly in her free hand.
*Raphael catches the pistol one-handed and very gently scoops up the child with the other, balancing her on his hip. "It’s ok, kiddo, I've got you. You can close your eyes if you want." And then he's off.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Suzanne stares up at him, and for a moment it seems as though she’ll take the offer… Instead she takes a deep breath, frowns as hard as she can and balls her hands into fists, gritting her teeth.]
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… There’s a moment where the hisses are replaced with the sound of claws against metal, then…-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Suddenly they’re everywhere, swarming into the room they'd just left, from the rooms ahead. One of them struck out, slamming a claw into Yanmei's leg- cutting deep. Raphael would find himself having to dodge another…]
*Yanmei screamed! Her leg! Her bad one, too! For a minute, it looked as if she would reel backward and let go of the rod, but she somehow kept on her feet and even retaliated, slamming the rod into one of the monsters twice with a crackling blue-white spark on impact.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [It howled in genuine pain, twitching and collapsing backwards.]
<Raphael> "Zhang!" Raphael narrowly dodges another slash from his own attacker before shoving the barrel of the pistol in under its jaw and pulling the trigger.
<Ayanami`Rei> [It dies messily, but is replaced quickly…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [A claw flies for Raphael’s head, only for Rei's shimmering Force Staff to parry it.]
<Yanmei> "I-I'm fine! Just…" she trailed off, staring beyond the stunned creature to more of them quickly approaching. "We need the door open!"
<Raphael> "Right! Ayanami, can you-" Whatever comes next is cut off by another charging banshee.
<Yanmei> Another crackling blow put that one down as well. A small wall of twitching bodies seemed to be forming to the south.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The Banshees…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Seemed to be withdrawing.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The ones harassing Raphael and Rei ran.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Raphael would see one, as it ran, suddenly be impaled by Rei’s staff. The body literally vaporised, turning into a greasy smoke, whilst the limbs blew themselves with such ferocity that they buried themselves into the walls.-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The enemies Yanmei had been holding off so adroitly started to stir… And they were clearly agitated.]
*Yanmei brought her rod around in a black arc. "Haaaaah!" It slammed into a monster once more, flickering.
<Ayanami`Rei> [In its agitation it panicked, clamping its mouth over the taser.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The charge utterly fried its mouth and it reeled, collapsing onto the ground spasming.]
<Raphael> Another ear-splitting report from Raphael’s gun, this shot ripping through the neck of the last Banshee standing. He's already shifted his aim to the stunned angelspawn before it hits the ground, and he puts one fires one last shot to render it still.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Silence…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The banshees were all dead, or had escaped in the chaos.]
*Yanmei was breathing hard, her face pale. She looked confused. "Why did they all…?" She glanced to Rei. "Did you do something?"
*Ayanami`Rei looked over. She shook her head, about to speak…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… The ground shook.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… Again.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [And again.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… Coming from the rockslide in the southern corridor. Boom. Boom.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… And with a giant wedge of force, the rocks -shifted-.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [A beast emerged, all fang and claw- like the Banshees, but far larger, heavier. It was about fourteen feet tall and it dominated the entire hallway with its bulk. Two of its four arms terminated in a pair of giant scythe-like claws; the other two terminated in a long cannon-like object.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [It snarled at them- and started moving towards them, its every movement full of motion and great, inevitable power.]
<Raphael> "… Door," Raphael says slowly, moving to place himself as far in front of the children as he could. "Rei, please get the door."
<Ayanami`Rei> "Door." Rei reached for the lever, pulling with all her might- the door was sliding open, but not fast enough! It got closer…
*Yanmei was… actually shaking. She clung to Rosalie harder. "M-Massive…"
<Ayanami`Rei> "Door open! Please get inside!"
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne was -screaming- in fear…]
<Raphael> "Remember what you said about panic, Yanmei," he says, ushering her towards the door. His gun is aimed squarely at the thing’s face.
*Yanmei didn't hesitate. "I know… I know!" She ran for it, stopping a little way inside to make sure the others made it too… and to collect herself
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Rei looks, to make sure her allies are inside- and it’s her undoing. She isn't able to dodge the creature's charge, its headplates smashing into her, knocking her down. It rears up, positions one of its scythes above her…]
<Raphael> … only a glove-clad hand to reach out from beyond the threshold of the blast door and pull the girl roughly inside a split second before the scythe crashes down.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The scythe punches through the ground, and the beast is infuriated to lose its prey. It snaps at Raphael and Rei as they’re pulled away, and it smashes its head into the doorway. It peers through, and -howls- its angry fury. The very sound shakes the corridor's foundations.]
*Raphael winces against the sound, head spinning, and kicks out blindly towards the door controls.
*Yanmei stared back at it, glassy-eyed and shaking, even from her comparatively removed position. She tried to will her feet to move further in to protect herself and the kids, but somehow they wouldn't obey.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The door slammed shut…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Silence.-
*Raphael waited, counting to try and gauge the passing of time. One… two… three…-
<Raphael> "… I don’t think it's coming throu-"-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The moment the words left his mouth the door -shattered-, claws and head smashing their way in, snapping at Raphael, mere inches from his leg- he could feel its putrid breath, breath that had the hint of human flesh in its scent.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… But the force was too great. The entire doorway collapsed in, crushing the door and frame completely, forcing the monstrosity back. It howled in utter rage.]
<Yanmei> The crash nearly shook Yanmei off her feet. Somehow, though, she was still standing as the dust and debris choked the hallway, although she still couldn’t make herself move forward.
*Raphael has his back to the group even as the sounds of collapse pass, utterly still. He stays that way for a few moments before leaning his shoulder gently against the wall, breathing coming long and slow… carefully controlled out of sheer effort.
*Ayanami‘Rei finally manages to come to her senses. She shakily pulls herself up into a sitting condition. "… Meimei. Are you alright?"
*Yanmei stared at her. Rei. Little Rei! The kids. She had to be brave. At least smile. "F-fine. Just… j-just need a minute… ah…"
<Raphael> "We’ve got that," Raphael says, turning towards them again with his face wholly composed. "Rei, would you mind taking a look at that leg of hers while we have a moment?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Suzanne gritted her teeth, and latched onto Yanmei tight. "I-It’s ok. I-I trust you."]
<Ayanami‘Rei> Rei nodded. "Understood, sir."
*Yanmei blinked down at her. She felt suddenly ashamed somehow, but the rest of her was still frozen, the giant monster’s bellow still echoing in her ears
*Raphael gently pulled Suzanne from Yanmei's arms with a smile once the hug was well and truly done. "Pilot Zhang, we need you to stay with us, alright? There's an angel topside that you owe a -lot- of pain to, I think. For all of us."
<Yanmei> Angel… right, the Angel. The one who caused all of this. Anger flushed through her. It started as a quiet spark, and it took a long time to grow, pushing aside her fear in the process. For a minute, it didn't seem as if she would respond. Then, finally… "Y-yes. Yes, sir." She literally shook her head as if trying to clear it after a bad dream.
<Ayanami‘Rei> Rei let out a small painful sound, a pile of bandages at her side. "Suzanne, please come here. Wing Commander-san, please help her."
*Raphael lifts her carefully over Yanmei’s shoulder and into Rei's arms.
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["Wh-what is it, Reirei?"-
*Ayanami`Rei took the girl gently. "Suzanne, the monsters want to eat us, but they want to eat me most of all. Think of it as though we are all delicious snacks, but I am wrapped in fried bacon, your favourite food, so they will eat me first. May I please take my dress back so they cannot do this?"-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne blinked. If anyone in the group had objections to Rei’s somewhat direct tale, they should've known better, because Suzanne was made of firmer stuff. She nodded. "Of course, Reirei."-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Rei nodded and smiled, and took the frilly pink dress off of Suzanne. The dress was not just clothing- half of it was akin to a plugsuit, and Rei was quick to shed her jacket and a few other garments- applying the dress over her singlet. … It looked good on her, although of course it looked very odd considering their grim surroundings. There was a -shrrk- sound as it pressurised. A moment
<Ayanami`Rei> later, the air around her shimmered.-
<Ayanami`Rei> "There. Wing Commander-san, please protect Suzanne. I’ll take point."
*Raphael voices no objections as such, but he does give Rei a worried look at the explanation. "Of course."
*Yanmei was drawing her taser again. Her hand was a little shakier than before, but she put on a determined face.
<Yanmei> "Rei. We'll make sure you don't get eaten."
*Ayanami‘Rei turned to Yanmei and smiled broadly. "Thank you, Meimei." She bowed.
<Ayanami`Rei> "Alright. Ready…"-
<Ayanami`Rei> She pulled the door open.-
<Ayanami`Rei> ["Shrrkrreee!" Two Banshees-
<Ayanami`Rei> [And a third burst out of a ventilation shaft, exactly where Yanmei had been. It reached for Suzanne, but the girl screamed and kicked out, catching it in the nose- sending it retreating back for a second.]
*Yanmei tried to swing at it a few times for good measure, but couldn’t get a blow past the grate itself. "Damn!"
*Raphael slips the barrel of his pistol through the grate and fires twice, not pulling back until he hears the scream of pain. "Good girl," he says to Suzanne, moving her back as far as he can manage.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [There’s a cry of alien pain as Rei smoothly dodges her foe, before crushing its skull with a single blow.]
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The creature Raphael shot surges back again in anger, grabbing at Suzanne- but digging a long arm-claw into his leg.]
*Raphael ignores the claw in his own leg in favour of wrenching the kid free with both arms, getting another debilitating laceration for his troubles.
*Yanmei plunged her rod deep into a grating slot, this time not only striking, but crashing through it’s teeth, jaws, and into the back of its throat. The rod sparked… and sparked… and sparked… It took effort to yank it free at last, a disgusting burning smell wafting through the small hallway now.
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["E-Ew…" Murmured Suzanne, her eyes wide.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The last banshee bolted down a corridor- a corridor where, through a burned out ruined door, the group would see the sign of damage. A large gaping hole in the floor…-
<Ayanami`Rei> "It’s fleeing." Rei followed, but only to the near end of the corridor.
<Raphael> "Be careful," Raphael calls, carefully testing his weight on the right leg before heading after her.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [It’s pretty sore, but doesn't feel like it's lasting damage.]
*Yanmei was hot on Rei's heels too, her taser ready, standing with the sleeping Rosalie in a more defendable position
<Ayanami‘Rei> [As they moved into the room…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [It all seemed to happen at once. The Banshee that fled from Rei charged down the hall, claws out-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The two other doors in the room were torn apart, a pair of Banshees emerging, and-
<Ayanami`Rei> [A grate above Yanmei’s head ripped open, an Angel reaching out to grab her!]
*Yanmei fought back! The baton struck true twice, both overhead, sending her attacker into a stupor.
*Raphael is trying to keep Yanmei covered, but it's all he can do to keep Suzanne away from flailing claws. He fires again, one bullet finding its mark.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [A roar of pain-
<Ayanami`Rei> [As a banshee strikes Rei, but its claws shimmer off her AT Field.]
Session Time: Tue Sep 20 00:00:00 2011
*Raphael keeps up his constant fire into the wall of teeth and claws, but can’t seem to find any neat patches of weak flesh.
*Yanmei swung her rod again, deperately in both directions that she was being attacked in, but…
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The Banshee grabbed the taser…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [With a single squeeze, crushed it into pieces…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [And then quickly devoured the sparking metal.]
<Ayanami`Rei> Clank clank. Rei’s staff swirls. "Wing Commander-san, I can see two more enemies emerging from this corridor. We need to retreat."
<Yanmei> "We can't do anything-" Yanmei yanked out her revolver, spun it, and tried to slam the butt of it into a Banshee's face "-'ngh, when we're pinned down like this." She scowled, the destruction of that very important taser leaving more than a sour taste behind.
<Raphael> "We'll just have to-" Bam bam. A quiet curse "- try and get some breathing room. Can you hold them, Rei?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> "Yes, sir."
<Ayanami`Rei> [And with that, Raphael would see a staff impale itself through his enemy’s chest cavity, sending it gurgling to its death.]
<Raphael> "… much obliged, miss."
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["HAR! GET AWAY!" There’s another growl from the vent as a small foot catches it in the nose. Two claws sweep over Yanmei's head, but the well-timed kick sends it awry.]
<Yanmei> "!" Yanmei glanced behind her, a little grin on her mouth. "Thanks for that, Suzanne!" She tried to focus on beating the one directly in front of her. Wasn't there another corridor just beyond it?
<Raphael> Yanmei's target would be sporting a new hole through the chest a moment later as Raphael moves to assist her.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… Yet it remained alive!]
<Ayanami`Rei> [In fact, its horribly -human- hands were reaching for Raphael’s throat…!]
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… Suzanne reached them first, and, pulling one hand closer, sank her own teeth into the hand.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The Banshee’s hands jerked back as if utterly offended by the insanity.]
<Raphael> "…" Raphael stares at the retreating hand for a minute before letting out a choked, wonderous laugh. "You're quite the little warrior, aren't you?"
*Yanmei lifted her revolver again… and slammed it into the banshee blocking her way as hard as she could. She was still not feeling her best, but the blows that had come before it had at least softened it up. She felt something gave way, and the same was true when she tried the same attack on the one snarling at the grate.
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["I-It was gonna hurt you!"-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The banshees tried to fend off Yanmei’s attacks. But… Their skulls caved beneath the heavy handle.]
<Raphael> "It was," Raphael acknowledges, giving Yanmei a nod of aknowledgement as the other banshees go down. "Alright, we're moving, Rei!"
<Ayanami‘Rei> "On it!"-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Raphael, as he retreated, would see… A Banshee, waiting in ambush…]
*Raphael begins to make his retreat, snapping off another shot at the new target as it presented itself.
<Ayanami`Rei> [It smoothly dodged.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Yanmei would see the one she’d killed- in the vent- slide out onto the floor, another taking its place! Swinging at her-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Whilst Rei found herself fending off a small army. "Go!"]
*Raphael fires off another pair of shots into the crowd surrounding Rei in a desperate attempt to give the student some room to retreat.
*Yanmei didn’t like this at all, but.. she was soon running after Raphael, trying to reach the hallway.
<Ayanami‘Rei> "I’m fine! Please go!" Rei ducks another few blows, then, using her staff as a platform, she flips over one of the Banshees, smashing her staff seamlessly into its head as she goes- crushing it into a pulp.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… Raphael and Yanmei would notice that the Banshees were starting to retreat again.]
<Ayanami`Rei> [Before long, Rei was before them, and the Banshees… Melted into the shadows.-
<Ayanami`Rei> "They’ll be stalking us from behind, I fear." Said Rei.
<Yanmei> "Ugh. Always so sneaky." Yanmei shook off her revolver as well as she could. "Maybe if we move as fast as we can, we can avoid them."
<Raphael> "It's possible, but they're good hunters," Raphael says, some of the tension gone from his shoulders now that Rei was clear. "I wouldn't bet on evading them long. You three ok?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> "I am alright, Wing Commander-san."-
<Ayanami`Rei> ["I’m ok. M-My leg really hurts…" Said Suzanne, her angry face trembling for a moment. "B-But it's ok…"]
<Yanmei> "Me too." Yanmei shook her head. Now that they were in a safer position, she could feel more relieved. "We were lucky back there."
<Raphael> "You're doing great, little one," he says, giving Suzanne a fond smile. Yanmei gets a grim nod in turn as he moves ahead.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [As Yanmei advanced, she’d find herself in a 4-way intersection…-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The northern corridor led to a room marked, clearly:-
<Ayanami`Rei> [ARMORY]
<Yanmei> "!" Yanmei stared. "We… we’re even luckier than I thought!"
<Raphael> "What is it?"
<Yanmei> "It says Armory." She pointed. "I don't know about you, but I could use some more bullets."
<Raphael> "Absolutely."
*Yanmei was the first to make it to the door. So she grabbed the lever and pulled, a cautious glance over her shoulder to make sure she was being covered.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The door opened…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… Beautiful. Fully equipped gun cabinets. Assault rifles. Ammo boxes. Pistols… This is just what she could -see-.]
*Yanmei gasped a little. "There’s so much…!"
<Raphael> She was indeed being covered, but as the door rolled open Raphael would let out a long sigh of genuine relief. "… well. That's a stroke of luck if I ever saw one."
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["So I get a gun?"]
<Ayanami`Rei> ^Do*
<Raphael> "I’m… not so sure about that, Suzanne." He does take a few moments to consider it, though.
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["I-I wouldn’t fire it." She said. "Just hit them if they get too close." She stares up at Raphael.]
<Yanmei> "We could give her -something' though. She's been a big help." Yanmei stared up at Raphael too.
<Raphael> "… maybe. Let's see what's here first."
*Yanmei took a few steps in, looking around curiously.
*Raphael lets out a bit of a whistle. "They didn't spare much expense," he says, running his gaze over the storage labels.
<Yanmei> "We can take whatever we want, right?" Yanmei spun from one of the shelves, holding up something that looked like a miniature rocket launcher
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Armor sits in its boxes. Yanmei would find a white box marked with a red cross, and inside- three packs of medigels. Of course she’d find the bolt pistol, but there was a long, red box there as well…]
<Raphael> "So long as you've got the training to fire it safely you won't hear me telling you no."
*Yanmei opened the box as well. Something about this seemed familiar…
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… A long, well made sword with a chainsaw bit. She knew what it was. A personal-scale Chainsword… She’d never seen anything like it at this size.]
*Yanmei hefted it up for a closer examination, and tried out a few swings. "Interesting…"
*Ayanami‘Rei doggedly guarded the door, but… Stepped in. "I’ll give one of those to you, Suzanne." Pointing at the armor.
*Raphael is busy taking a selection of spare clips for his preexisting weapons, along with a pair of grenades, but at Rei's voice he glances up. "Give one to her as well," he says, nodding to Rosalie. "My set's holding up for now."
<Ayanami‘Rei> "Yes sir."-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… At that point, Rosalie started to stir. "Mmm… Mummy…"]
<Yanmei> "!!" Yanmei hurried over to set the girl down on a stack of crates. "Rosalie?"
<Ayanami`Rei> [Rosalie tried to sit up, then groaned in pain. "Yanmei… Ow…" She winced. "It-It hurts…"]
<Ayanami`Rei> [The girl looked down at her heavily bandaged arm, which dangled uselessly. "I-I can’t move it…"]
<Yanmei> "…" Yanmei leaned over, not quite giving her a hug, since she knew that would hurt. "We have a little medicine. We're going to try it out now and see if it helps you and Suzanne with the pain."
<Ayanami‘Rei> "Meimei." Said Rei quietly. "… My kit has morphine…"
<Yanmei> "That… will help even more." Yanmei nodded at her. "Thanks, Rei. Can we figure out the right dosages?"
<Ayanami`Rei> "It shouldn’t be much of an issue."-
*Raphael is finishing his rundown of the equipment lockers, but it's pretty clear he's listening in.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Rei breaks out the medikit, taking out a needle. She hands it to Yanmei.]
*Yanmei accepted it with a grateful smile. "Rosaline? Close your eyes for a minute, sweetie."
<Ayanami`Rei> [Rosalie nodded. "O-Ok…" She closed her eyes.]
*Yanmei gave her the injection… after struggling for a moment to figure out where to make it. She chose the arm, as that where she recalled gettin shots when she was a kid.
<Ayanami`Rei> [The girl winced… Then her eyes flittered a little. "Thank you Yanmei…"]
<Yanmei> "Just hang in there, okay?" She smoothed down her hair, and then nodded to Suzanne. "Next patient."
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne frowned.]
<Yanmei> "What, you don’t want to?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> [She pouted for a moment, then held out her arm. "I-I don’t want to end up passing out." She said stubbornly.]
*Yanmei hesitated. Glanced at Rei. "Can we lower the dosage? Or… forgo it altogether? I think she wanted to help fight, after all."
<Ayanami‘Rei> "Lowering the dosage should help with that."
<Yanmei> "RIght." she was no Isaiah, so adjusting it correctly was a bit of a fumble. Eventually, she gave the girl her injection. "There you go. Your leg will feel better soon, okay?"
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne nodded. "O-Ok."]
*Yanmei pulled out the revolved that Sept had loaned her too, and pulled out the remaining bullets. "Here. You can use this to hit things, like you wanted to."
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne nodded, taking it. "Thanks!"]
*Raphael finishes his own preparations and moves in to pick Suzanne up once more. He does pause to double check the revolver is free of bullets, though. "Ready to go?"
<Ayanami`Rei> ["Yeah. Thanks for everything, Mr. Raffy."]
<Raphael> "Anything for a fellow soldier."
*Yanmei stood up, and attended to her own weapons and armor, not removing her uniform for the latter, naturally. Two more handguns fully loaded with additional clips. Grenades. She was good to go.
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne smiled. "I’ll make you proud…"]
<Ayanami‘Rei> "Meimei!" Rei crouched. "Down at the end- from where we came from…"
<Ayanami`Rei> [A banshee emerged… Running towards them already!]
<Yanmei> "Ugh, god." Yanmei frowned, lifting her guns a little. Pretty far away. She took aim regardless
<Ayanami`Rei> [They were getting closer. Four of them…!]
<Yanmei> And… she let the bullets fly! But more of them hit the walls than the creatures. Yanmei looked vaguely upset at herself.
<Ayanami`Rei> [The shower of bullets seemed to give the banshees pause, however, and they retreated…]
<Yanmei> "…" Wary, but not enough to give up the way, Yanmei retreated further down the hallway too, toward the unknown. "Let’s go. They'll probably be back?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… Clang.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Two pairs of claws hurled themselves at Yanmei! One of them directly for her face… The vents on both sides…?!]
<Yanmei> "?!" Yanmei let out a startled yelp and crouched, covering her head with her arms instinctively as one might protect themselves from falling debris. She could feel the claws slice through air, and a little trickle of blood ran down the bridge of her nose. Th-the hell?!
*Raphael flattens himself against the wall a split second after Yanmei ducks, leaning his weapon hand around the corner to blind-fire into one before firing another pair of shots into the darkened vent opposite. There’s the wet sound of gore splattering from within the walls.
<Yanmei> "…" It's a moment before she stood up again. "Th-thanks."
<Raphael> "Don't mention it. They're smart ones, no denying it."
<Yanmei> "Yeah," she said ruefully, looking up at the grates again as if she didn't want to encounter more of them ahead. She did start walking, though. Slowly.

<Yanmei> It wasn't long before she encountered a narrow door along the right side of the hallway, though. She glanced back at her companions before reaching for the controls. "Shall I?"
*Raphael nods. "I think so. Rei and I will cover you, alright?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["B-Be careful, Yanmei…" Murmured Rosalie. The girl was a little unsteady on her feet.]
<Yanmei> "Thanks." Yanmei nodded back at him gratefully - spared Rosalie a smile to hide her concern, and pulled the lever.
<Ayanami`Rei> [The door opened…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Revealing an empty room.]
*Yanmei moved in slowly… it wasn’t very big, so there wasn't much ground to cover. "All clear," she called back, guns raised and ready.
*Raphael is through the door with Suzanne a moment later, moving up to the next door. "Ready?"
*Yanmei waited for the Rosalie to trail in and find a safe spot before switcing her aim over and nodding to Rasphael. "OK, we're good."
*Raphael nodded and, after adjusting the weight of Suzanne on his hip, laid his weight against the lever and heaved.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [A hallway…]
<Raphael> "Looks clear."
*Yanmei made the first venture into the new hallway, temporarily holstering a pistol to carry Rosalie. She could walk, but she didn’t look like she was getting on very well. It was worrying…
*Raphael steps carefully through after her, casting a wary eye towards the vents as he passes.
<Yanmei> "!" A look of sudden surprise from Yanmei. She glanced over at her companions, eyebrows raised as if to ask 'Do you hear it too?'
*Raphael nods, still eyeing the vents as Yanmei speaks. He raises one finger to his lips before gesturing back the way they came.
*Yanmei nodded mutely, and backtracked to the previous room, sliding past Raphael and Rei both. She sort of jerked her head to the kids to indicate that they should follow.
*Raphael inches back towards the door, waiting for the others to pass… before pulling one of the grenades from his belt, tearing out the pin with his teeth and tossing it at the foot of the vents.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [it rolls… And…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Boom! Shrapnel fly in all directions, but he’s out of the blast radius of course. There are shrieks of anger from the vents, and the sound of mad scrabbling.-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… The sound of a vent popping somewhere, and a scream as a Banshee hurls itself towards Rosalie from a roof vent.]
*Yanmei had just finished closing the door before hearing the cry! She spun, guns blazing. "Rosalie!"
<Ayanami`Rei> [The creature was blasted apart before it could reach her, leaving the girl with a scream on her lips and dark purple ichor on her face… She spat. "U-Urgh…"]
<Raphael> "Fine shooting, Pilot Zhang," Raphael said with an approving nod.
<Yanmei> "Thanks, sir. Er… sorry, Rosie. Are you okay?"
<Ayanami`Rei> ["Y-Yeah." Said Rosalie, nodding, her eyes wide.]
*Yanmei smiled at her, and started to ease back into the narrow hallway. "Come on, I’ll keep covering you. Go to where Suzanne is, OK?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Rosalie nodded shakily and started to head off, trying to hide her winces from Yanmei as she held her arm.]
*Raphael waits until Yanmei and Rosalie are back in the relative safety of the corridor before returning to the nervous trek through the halls.
<Yanmei> There were no more surprises, for at least a few more yards. But as they lined up to take a blind corner a few minutes later, a very faint snuffling sound caught Yanmei’s attention, and she glanced up. "Rei! Above you!"
*Ayanami‘Rei turns- and reacts immediately, stabbing her staff through the vent and catching the beast in the snout. It yelps and skitters away. "Thank you, Meimei."
<Yanmei> "Welcome." Yanmei gripped her guns tightly as she moved ahead. "They’re not putting up as much of a fight as before, though? It's odd."
*Raphael tracks the sound of skittering in the vents until it disappears, frowing. "I've noticed too. Be ready for anything, you two."
*Ayanami‘Rei cautiously stalks down the corridor, heading to the door. She checks to make sure everyone is ready, then opens it…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Revealing a 4-way intersection of a room.]
<Yanmei> "… so," said Yanmei awkwardly, moving forward for a better look at this development. "South or East? Or do we want to head up again?"
<Raphael> "Hmm," Raphael murmurs. "East seems to be serving us well enough, but these corridors make it hard to tell how long that’ll last."
*Ayanami‘Rei heads over to the southern door. "We might want to head south to correct the fact that we’ve been heading north and east for awhile."
<Raphael> "… mmm. Good point."
<Yanmei> "Yeah, it's hard to know how far off we are from our original path now." Yanmei frowned, growing sober. "I wonder how the others are holding up. Like Isaiah…"
*Ayanami‘Rei paused. Looking back at Yanmei with a clear expression of worry… Before turning back to the door. "We -will- find Zaizai…"-
<Ayanami`Rei> She pulled the lever down- and immediately leaned back as a forest of claws struck out at her.
<Yanmei> "Ye-" Her reply was cut off as some rather rude visitors smashed through the door she had just closed, sending debris flying. Yanmei yanked out two new weapons, her face grim… but neither of them landed, despite her best efforts to hold the creatures back. "Uh… uh oh…"
<Ayanami`Rei> [There was a veritable wave of the creatures coming down the corridor now…-
<Raphael> "… damn. Hold on, you two," Raphael called, turning towards the other corridors only to be interrupted by the sound of claws rending his own door.
<Ayanami`Rei> [Seconds later, the door near Raphael burst apart, energised claws ripping through 10 inches of metal as though it were paper, heading straight for him!]
*Raphael is fast enough to get off two shots before they can engage, but neither of them quite manage to land. "…"
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne flails wildly with her new revolver!]
<Yanmei> "Stop multiplying!" Yanmei slashed at one with her sword.
*Raphael leans away from another blow, still holding himself between his charge and the banshees. He thrusts the pistol up towards Suzanne. "Would you hold this for me for a second, kiddo?"
<Ayanami`Rei> [She grabs it!]
<Raphael> "Thanks." He snatches another grenade from his belt and sends it sailing over the heads of the banshees in his hall.
<Ayanami`Rei> [It hurls forth…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Lands in the rear of the group and explodes! There are yelps of pain from within the very walls as two of the banshees are shredded.]
<Ayanami`Rei> [Almost on cue, there was another explosion- a Banshee ripped straight through the last remaining door…]
<Raphael> "Yanmei, behind you!"
*Ayanami`Rei moved on cue, swinging her staff at the newcomer’s head- it ducked- before slamming it into her first foe's jaw, snapping its head back to give her enough time to impale its head to the roof.
<Yanmei> "?!" No time for surprised yells and thank yous. The snarling was constant, both before and now behind her, and dismay was already filtering in as well. S-so many!
<Ayanami‘Rei> "We need to thin their numbers! Behind you again!"
<Raphael> "On it." Another grenade soars past the banshees ahead of him, before he calmly accepts his pistol back from Suzanne.
*Yanmei brought chainsword around in an abrupt arc, this time ready for it. There was something like a noise made by a chainsaw, and the monster’s head went flying. "Easier said than done!"
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The Banshee right before Raphael throws its hands up, trying to grab the grenade. It fails, and it looks Raphael straight in the eye-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Right before a piece of shrapnel obliterates its hippocampus.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [In the bloody mess that ensues, Raphael doesn’t see a new foe emerge from the vent… It's only until he hears Suzanne screaming that he realises it's grabbed her and is pulling her away.]
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Another hurdle of claws at Yanmei- they’re mere inches away when a staff appears and pushes them back!-
<Ayanami‘Rei> "Please be careful!"
<Yanmei> "I’m trying!" The sight of those claws was enough to make her lose her breath… now she was coming back down to earth, glaring at the Banshee who had nearly skewered her.
<Raphael> "N-!" Whatever cry he had on he lips is cut off as he clenches his jaw and levels his gun at the Banshee's face, his own expression grim and angry.
<Yanmei> There was a sudden explosion from the hallway closest to Yanmei as she finally lost her patience! Annoyed, she let a telltale grenade pin fall from her fingers.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Another two banshees went down!]
*Raphael doesn’t flinch at the explosion. All he does is pull the trigger. The first shot is enough to punch a messy hole through the eye of the banshee holding Suzanne, but he keeps on firing.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The beast basically disintegrates, Suzanne throwing her hands over her ears as she does so.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The bullets rip through Raphael’s target and pulp the one behind, blowing off its limbs and bursting its head like a melon, causing a strange commotion in the vents as two other wounded Banshees react to its comrades' dying psychic scream.]
*Raphael snatches the girl out of the corridor and back into relative safety, the anger draining away from his face again to leave only the calm. "You alright?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> ["Grr!" Is her only reply as she grabs the pistol in both hands and whams it full-on into a banshee’s snout, causing something to crack and for several massive fangs to fall out.-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [A horrible -scream- rends the air, and- immediately- Rosalie lets out a scream- "NO! YANM-" before she suddenly collapses. Suzanne trembles furiously, but remains sensate.]
<Yanmei> "Rosa-" Yanmei’s own yell was cut off, as a big glob of a clear mucus-like substance narrowly flew past her head and splattered against the far wall of the room, where it hissed ominously. "…"
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The chaos seemed to be getting to Raphael just a little- before he knew it, two extraordinarily tight pair of hands were tightening around his own!]
*Raphael lets out a grunt of anger, struggling to try and pull free of the grip. He’s acutely aware of how close those taloned hands are now…
<Yanmei> Disgusting. Yanmei's hand shook. But she was yanking out her chainsword now, and charging, not at the spitter, but at the monster at her back. Even though it hadn't -done- anything, it was entirely too close, and ewew… DISGUSTING. GET AWAY! The chainsword buzzed and a fine bloody mist leaped into the air-
<Yanmei> as it penetrated the beast's midsection… and went further, extending out the other side and tearing into the beast behind -it- as Yanmei continued the thrust. "HaaaAAAH!" It was only when te blade sparked against a wall that she noticed what she had done, and drew back sharply.
*Raphael finds the weight on his arms suddenly ease - The hands are still their, for sure, but the arms and body attached to them are most definitely not. "… thank you, Miss Zhang," he says slowly, before raising his gun again. Blam.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The creature reeled back, then… Hurled itself at Raphael furiously, claws stabbing him in the chest.]
<Raphael> The claws find a gap between the plates and slice right on through, cutting who knows how deep before they pull back. Raphael reels back a step and cough, a small trail of blood leaking from his mouth.
*Yanmei stared, having gone from accidentally saving the man to watching him get impaled himself in just a second or two. "Mr. Wing Commander!"
<Ayanami`Rei> ["Raffy!" A revolver flails out, narrowly missing one of the claws.]
*Raphael manages to right himself before falling, raising his weapon again. "I’m… fine!"
*Ayanami‘Rei narrowly parried another blow threatening to disembowel Yanmei. "Focus!"
<Yanmei> Rei’s words snapped her attention back to her original foe - the spitter - and with another loud, dull buzz, the chainsword claimed another body, tearing through it's ribs and lungs as Yanmei buried it into its chest.
*Raphael shifts his aim slightly and spreads the last of his clip between the angelspawn attacking him and one of those at Rei's shoulder. His movements are a lot slower now…
<Ayanami‘Rei> [One of Rei’s assailants goes down!]
*Yanmei somehow dodged another claw from behind with a spin that sent her sword into both the assailant and the creature she had just been facing off against. Two more bodies thudded against the ground, and for the first time in a long time she could see the end of the hallway that they had entered the room from. She breathed hard. Her armor, and the uniform that could be seen underneath it were soaked in dark ichor.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [A glob of sizzling acid barely misses Raphael’s leg- the projector gets a revolver to the face for its trouble.]
*Raphael follows Yanmei's lead, drawing the wicked looking machete from his hip and slicing back at the banshee behind him.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [It grabs the blade, snaps it in half. The metal melts in its claw.]
<Raphael> "…" Raphael tosses yet another ruined melee weapon away with a sigh, but Suzanne’s strike doesn't escape his notice. "Good work kid," he says, trying to smother another cough.
<Yanmei> YAnmei's view of the hallway… was obscured once again as another creature came bounding toward her, shrieking. A slash at it, a bullet fired in the opposide direction at yet another flanking enemy, but neither hit.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The snarling beast facing Raphael… Changed its tactics. A snap kick to his bad leg, followed by a stunningly brutal punch to the guts.]
*Raphael is still a little unsteady as it is, and that punch is more than enough to knock the wind from his lungs. He collapses to his knees, struggling to stand.
<Ayanami`Rei> [The banshee stands over him, Suzanne screaming-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… When there’s the soft 'whump' of something organic exploding, as Rei unleashes a split-second energy charge straight into one of her opponent's guts. The painful psychic scream sends Raphael's foe shrieking to the ground…-
<Ayanami‘Rei> [… Where Suzanne immediately sets on it, beating the revolver into its head until something goes -crack- and the entire purple mess caves in.]
<Raphael> "Good… job, Suzanne," he says, some of his breath starting to return. He’s struggling to get his gun arm back up. "You did great. Get back over here, though, ok?"
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Suzanne nodded-
<Ayanami`Rei> [And, elated with victory and not looking, she failed to notice the new Banshee slither out of a vent, and run at her, claw aimed straight…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [For her chest.]
*Raphael /moves/. Blindingly fast he reaches out, the breath still barely coming, and scoops one arm around Suzanne’s back… even as another grabs the claws striking for her back with his own gloved hand.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The claws -burn-. It’s like putting your hand in the path of a solidified flame, and they burn away flesh and ruin muscle.]
*Raphael lets out a low scream through clenched teeth, but he holds fast as Suzanne is swept back around the corner of the doorway.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Suzanne stares up with shock as she is swept over, roughly smacking into the unconscious Rosalie as she goes.]
*Raphael only lets go when the girl is safely away, gritting his teeth and pulling himself to his feet. His right hand is a ruined mass of flesh, but he brings his pistol up with the left and tries to fire into the Banshee’s chest.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [It leaps back, snarling.]
*Yanmei was flailed around with a few misses… and then karma seemed to kick in, and her sword slammed into her newest assailant three times in a row, fresh sprays of liquid alien matter flying briefly into the air.
<Ayanami`Rei> [It bursts into chunks of meat…-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Whilst Raphael would notice his opponent staring… Not at him. But at Suzanne.]
<Raphael> "…" Raphael knows that look, knows what it means. He lifts the pistol again, vision swimming, and unloads another burst of ammo into the hall… and not much else. "… no!"
<Ayanami`Rei> [The beast is about to strike…-
*Ayanami`Rei looks over. Twisting her legs up, she leaps to her feet, doing an impressive backflip before focusing her energies. Raphael would feel the air around him build up, before the air in front of the banshee explodes like a torpedo, sending flying into a wall at the speed of sound. It -explodes-.
*Raphael looks back over his shoulder and sees Rei at his back, smiling despite the pain. "Thanks, Miss Ayanami."
<Ayanami`Rei> [Another Banshee, this time pressing in on Yanmei, all teeth and claw…]
<Yanmei> "Hngh!" With a grunt of effort, Yanmei slammed her sword into the fiend who had knocked down Rei and appeared to be following after her for some followup blows. She pulled it back with effort after the damage was done, raised it overhead, and did… unspeakable things to her own attacker. Raw chainsaw noises, squelches, cracking… -
<Yanmei> Finally, she made an effort to wipe her face off with the ruined sleeve of her shirt, and stared down her now once-again-abandoned hallway. "It seems like we thinned them out after all," she said to her companions cheerfully, as if she wasn’t responsible for the mound of ground meat and caripace fragments now at her feet.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [There was one banshee left. It was staring at Yanmei, a dazed, broken look in its eyes as the rattling psychic death scream of its ally forced it to replay that death over and over.]
<Raphael> … it would find Raphael’s gun against its temple.-
<Raphael> He pulls the trigger. One last corpse is added to the pile.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Its head sort of explodes as it falls backwards.]
*Raphael is breathing hard, with a faint, unsettling whistle with every inhale, but seems remarkably controlled for all his wounds. "You alright, girls?"
<Ayanami`Rei> [Suzanne nods slowly.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [Rosalie starts to stir again, only for her to come face-to-face with a severed Banshee head. She screams in pain and jumps away, jamming her bad arm into a wall- she yelps in pain, and pulls her knees up to her chin. "G-gotta get away, i-it’s so small here, I-I can't take it…"]
<Yanmei> There were no more monsters to kill. The adrenaline died slowly, but other matters seemed to hasten it. Rosaline's fear, and Raphael's… "Your arm!"
*Raphael is in the process of veeery carefully stripping off some of his jacket sleeve with a severed banshee claw to cover that particular wound up, but in the meantime Yanmei would get a good look at the ruined thing. One finger seems to be clinging on only thanks to a rogue snippet of tendon. "My arm is nothing," he says calmly. "Won't be able to carry Suzanne with it, though."
*Ayanami‘Rei steps over and picks Suzanne up. "You did very well, Suzie." She says. But she turns back to Yanmei. "Rosalie…"-
<Ayanami`Rei> [The girl was catatonic at this point.]
<Yanmei> "Nothing? You can’t be serious! A hospital…" but even as she started to say it, she knew it was impossible. "…" Discouraged, she looked away. But then Rei reminded her about Rosalie, and she found herself staring at the girl's blank, horrified eyes with a certain sort of horror herself. "Rosalie?" She reached for her.
<Ayanami‘Rei> [The girl wasn’t responding.]
<Yanmei> "God…" She waved a hand in front of her face and tried to pick her up. "Let's… just get out of here. Get to someplace safe. With a medical doctor and psychiatric staff."
*Ayanami‘Rei looked up now, staring down a corridor, where a shard could be seen… "…" Hoisting Suzanne up, she started walking down the corridor without a word.
<Raphael> "That’s all we can do, I'm afraid," he says, discarding the claw and testing his newly-wrapped hand. "Can't be far left now."
<Yanmei> "R-Rei? That's not someplace safe!" She gripped Rosalie a little harder, but she followed, feeling sick for the good Wing Commander and for the little girl in her arms
*Ayanami‘Rei continued to walk.-
<Ayanami`Rei> Eventually she came to a 4-way intersection… The other two branches containing a shard, and the other… A massive hole in the ground. Rei stepped over to it.-
<Ayanami`Rei> "Look." She pointed down.
*Yanmei was trying not to look nervous. Very slowly, she moved over to the hole and peered down too.
<Ayanami`Rei> [The hole… Had to reach all the way to the Geofront armor, it was so deep.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [And the sides?-
<Ayanami`Rei> [… Lined with Banshees. The closest one was about 60 metres away, climbing up slowly. But there were hundreds… -Thousands- more below.-
<Ayanami`Rei> Quietly, Rei bent down, and scooped something up from the side of the hole. It was small, fitting into the palm of her hand, covered in LCL. A tiny Banshee, no bitter than a kitten.-
<Ayanami`Rei> "Each one of these creatures lives to kill, doesn’t it?" Asked Rei. "Each is identical in every way, shape and form, with the same goal, the same creator.-
<Ayanami‘Rei> "Is there nothing here that can redeem even one of them? Set it aside from the whole? Or are they all just one mass?"
<Yanmei> "In the time it would take us to figure that out, they’ll overrun and destroy us all." Yanmei's eyes were fixed down below. She took a step back. "So many in such a short amount of time. Has it even been an hour since this mess even started?"
*Raphael looks back at the other two uneasily, working hand drifting to the last grenade at his belt as he stares into the hole. He says nothing.
*Ayanami‘Rei held the banshee out to Yanmei, where it mewled, its malformed limbs waving uselessly in the air. "I… Meimei. This one is different. It is small and cannot hurt us."
<Yanmei> "It will grow, Rei." Yanmei edged away from it. "Or it will find some way to hurt us. Maybe some simply come in different sizes. That huge one we saw before…" she shivered a little.
*Ayanami`Rei turned to look at Suzanne, and then back to Yanmei. The comparison was obvious.
<Yanmei> "…" Yanmei sighed, switched tactics. "If you take it with you, the people at NERV will just take it away, Rei."
*Ayanami`Rei nodded slowly. She looked down at it once more. "People… Expect me to fight and die on orders, made in a lab like a tin can." She said, sadness in her face. "People called me a monster. Claimed I wasn’t even human." She opened a Dirac cache, and dropped the Banshee inside, before sealing it up. "I am -not- a monster."
*Yanmei stared at her a moment, and then looked away. Was that a hint of guilt or shame there? A long pause. "It was thoughtless of me," she muttered after a while. "I'm letting my own fears get in the way of thinking. I'm sorry."
<Ayanami‘Rei> "No, it’s alright." Said Rei, smiling. "But we should hurry."
<Raphael> "… We should," Raphael agrees, giving Yanmei a long look to try and see if everything was alright.
*Yanmei nodded her affirmation, and then gave a small smile of her own to Raphael.
*Raphael returns the smile after a moment before giving the chasm one last look. Then he leads the way back towards the intersection.
*Ayanami‘Rei walked along.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [A minute or so later they’d come to another empty square room… One with a destroyed door and another with an opened one.]
*Yanmei hesitated… and then moved in more cautiously, one pistol raised. "Someone's been here."
*Raphael joins her moments later, his own gun drawn. "Could have been the other team," he says, not sounding particularly convinced.
<Yanmei> "Maybe," Yanmei murmured. She started forward, through said open door, still being cautious.
*Ayanami‘Rei followed. Down a corridor… Reaching a door.-
<Ayanami`Rei> "Open?"
<Yanmei> "Yes." Yanmei nodded. "Let’s see what's there."
<Ayanami‘Rei> [A corridor led to another shard, oozing LCL…]
<Raphael> "Hold on…" Raphael murmured, pointing down the corridor at the shard. "Yanmei, do you have any grenades left?"
<Yanmei> "One." Yanmei glanced between him in Rei. :Are you suggesting what I think you are?"
<Raphael> "It’s either that or wait until it spawns."
*Yanmei pulled it off her belt. "Do you want to do the honors, or shall I?"
<Raphael> "Might be best if you do it," Raphael says, giving the thing one last look.
*Yanmei drew the pin, gripped the grenade, and threw it overhand, down the corridor, as hard as she could. She waited to hear it land…
<Ayanami‘Rei> [Tink, tink, tink.-
<Ayanami`Rei> [BOOM! The shard was ripped apart by the explosive.]
*Raphael smiles, leaning against the wall a little. "A… good throw."
<Yanmei> "Thank you." She didn’t seem satisfied, exactly, so much as a little relieved. "This way, we won't be attacked."
*Ayanami`Rei nodded, smiling. Then turned to open the door. One pull… And it opened, to reveal…-

[00:19] <Isaiah> [For both groups- Yanmei's, and Sept's- the doors would open.-
[00:19] <Isaiah> [Revealing three things of importance. The first of course was the large room, easily the largest they'd been in yet.-
[00:20] <Isaiah> [It had five doors; two on the south side, two on the north, and a large blast door to the west. To the east was an elevator access door.-
[00:20] <Isaiah> [Secondly, of course, was the other group. Each group was standing directly opposite the other.-
[00:21] <Isaiah> [And thirdly… Was the lights. Bright, electric-run lights on the roof, and radio transceiver built into the wall. A voice was speaking.-
[00:22] <Isaiah> ["This is Colonel Dorian Lachapelle to all NERV employees! If anyone sees the pilots, contact me as soon as possible! Pilots, can you hear this? Come on…" His voice was heavy and angry. "This is Colonel Dorian Lachapelle to all NERV Employees…"]
[00:24] * Sept …couldn't believe what he was hearing. Carefully, as if afraid, he looked in through the doorway. "Yanmei… We made it."
[00:25] * Aline rushed to the transciever as soon as she got in there, actually blowing right past the welcomes and greetings. If there was a broadcast button, she'd fucking /hit it/. "All three pilots are here, at Geofront access service tunnels. Please come in!"
[00:25] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared. It was like waking up from a bad dream. She still balanced a mute, blank-eyed Rosalie on one hip, her armor and what remained of her uniform and much of her skin soaked in the dark stuff the others might have recognized bleeding from the Banshees. In one hand, she still gripped a pistol. "…everyone… Isaiah!"
[00:26] * Isaiah stared back, covered in bandages, carrying the ruined body of little Camille, the fainted form of Rene, and Eugenia strapped to his back. As quickly as he could he set them down, before running clear across the room towards Yanmei. "Yanmei! Yanmei!"-
[00:28] <Isaiah> ["Aline?!" Dorian's voice was full of relief. "Oh, thank -fuck-. Listen, we've managed to restore 94% of our surface defenses and repair the power grid, and Parisian Guard units have managed to secure and hold the Launch Ports for now. The Evangelions are mostly topside waiting deployment. Tell me which part of the tunnel you're in and we'll send down the elevator!"-
[00:28] <Isaiah> [Aline would see a little code on her radio- B6-C.-
[00:28] <Isaiah> [Rei looked at the other group, her large smile cut short as she saw the bodies of children. She faltered.]
[00:30] * Raphael 's own NERV uniform is stripped away in most places, and whatever remains is soaked in blood - human and banshee. There's a thick wrapping of makeshift bandage around one hand. He lingers close enough to listen to the radio as he does a rapid headcount of the new arrivals. "… de Pteres. Is this everyone?" The look on his face suggests he does not enjoy having to ask the question.
[00:32] * Yanmei ran forward a few paces too, embracing Isaiah as hard as she could… before the banadages wrapped across his body registered in her mind, and she pulled back sharply. "Isaiah…" She stared at him more closely, and then at those he had been carting around.
[00:32] * Aline quickly barked out the location. "B6-C. And Sera's taken some serious wounds, and we have other heavily-injured besides." For the sake of observation, Aline's dress was surprisingly intact - mostly, it was just adorned with a /whole lot/ of blood. And dried chunks of human flesh. And there was what distinctly looked like Banshee brains sliding ever-so-slowly down the chestplate of
[00:32] * Aline the armor she wore.
[00:33] <Sept> "No. It isn't everyone, Raphael." Despite the clear melancholy of his tone, there was a strange smile on Sera's face he could do nothing about. "Those things of mine I lent you… did they help?"
[00:35] <Isaiah> ["B6-C…" A pause. "Shit. That's one of the heaviest-damaged areas still available to us. Alright. I'm sending the elevator now- it'll take awhile. But I'm glad you kids are ok." He started to laugh in euphoric relief. "We might actually pull through!"-
[00:35] * Raphael simply nods at the first part of that, knowing enough to leave it be. "Wouldn't have made it without them, I think."
[00:36] * Aline nodded at the transceiver. "…Tell me about it. I know we sort of… uh. Enhanced the damage a little. Those things are fucking /tenacious/, but one good grenade sends down those little shard things."
[00:37] <Isaiah> "Yanmei…" Isaiah is crying already, tears of relief and joy more than anything. He follows Yanmei's gaze for a split second, back towards the body of Camille, Gina's shattered form… Before he pulled her closer, tighter, kissing her firmly on the lips without a second's hesitation.-
[00:37] <Isaiah> ["You tell me." Swore Dorian. "Casualties are massive up here, Aline. We're talking in the tens of thousands."]
[00:38] <Sept> "…That's good. Raphael, could you… make sure they're all gathered somewhere so I can pick them up..? I think I have to go…" Sera tried to look as dignified as was possible advancing toward the elevator while leaning on the wall for support.
[00:40] <Aline> "Yeah… Anyway, if you need anything else, just say so and I'll get back on the line." …And so, Aline turned to the others, leaning against the console the radio was sitting on. "I imagine Sera's filled you in on our half, huh?"
[00:41] * Yanmei was surprised… but not too surprised. She kissed back, deeply, the battle still ahead starting to bore into her mind again.
[00:41] <Isaiah> [The electronic, low whirring of an elevator moving nearby…-
[00:42] * Isaiah lingered in the kiss for a little while longer- before pulling away, his entire body shaking. "T-They killed children." He mumbled. "C-Children, and I… I couldn't do anything…!"
[00:43] * Raphael stares at Sera's retreating back for a moment, before turning towards Aline… which had the completely unintentional effect of giving Yanmei her privacy. "Enough, yes," Raphael says grimly, before letting out another painful-sounding cough. He wipes away the blood with one hand. "You're unhurt, Miss Blanc?"
[00:44] * Yanmei gave him another hug, more gentle than before. She felt helpless, but it was the only thing she could do for him. "I'm so sorry… You tried, though, I know you did."
[00:45] <Isaiah> [Rei puts Suzanne on the ground gently near the elevator, before heading back over to Aline. Her frilly pink Armored Dress has long since been stained red and purple. "Leenie-chan…"]
[00:48] * Aline nodded firmly. "Well, mostly. I got hurt during the initial collapse, but Isaiah patched that up. Didn't get hit at all, though… I wasn't good enough to save them, but I… I put down a lot of those things." Closer-up, Rei'd probably notice the dried tears. "…I take it by the outfit that you had to use your powers, Rei-chan? Mmm. I guess that'd be better than if I did… Would
[00:48] * Aline go for all but a few minutes then run around trying to end the world."
[00:48] <Isaiah> ["… I lost my temper." Said Rei guiltily.]
[00:49] <Isaiah> [Thump.-
[00:49] <Isaiah> [Thump. Thump.-
[00:49] <Isaiah> [The ground… Was shaking. As were parts of the roof above their head.]
[00:49] <Sept> "Is that… the elevator, Aline?"
[00:50] * Aline looked up, suddenly, her attempt to comfort Rei cut short. "…Elevators don't make those noises. Rei, do you sense anything?"
[00:50] * Isaiah turned towards the blast doors.-
[00:50] <Isaiah> [Thump. Thump. Thump. They were becoming more forceful, more common.-
[00:51] <Isaiah> "Wing Commander-san. It's…!"
[00:51] <Yanmei> "No…" Yanmei was staring at the door she and the rest of her team had emerged from. Her face hand gone stark white. "Not again!"
[00:51] <Raphael> "…" Raphael's head snaps around… actually seeming to grow a little paler at the sound. "Kids and wounded to the back of the room. Hurry!"
[00:53] * Yanmei thrust Rosalie into Isaiah's arms, and reached for a second pistol. Her entire body was shaking. "Go! Get to the others and make sure they're safe!"
[00:53] <Isaiah> [Isaiah froze for a second, before nodding. "What's goi- nevermind!" He ran to the back of the room, quickly shifting Gina and Rene.-
[00:53] <Isaiah> [Rei grabbed Suzanne, shifting her as well. "I-It's coming back…"]
[00:53] * Aline raised her flamethrower then and there. She had a grit that… despite a whole year of fighting in an EVA, seemed a lot more hardened than before. "Bring it, nasty."
[00:54] <Isaiah> [Nicholas was staring at the door- before Anselme grabbed him and pulled him over. Anselme immediately dropped onto the floor, the sniper rifle set up in front of him.]
[00:55] * Sept dug out the assault rifle and leaned back against the wall, stowing the knife away. Even he had to admit he was in no shape for close combat. He glanced at Anselme with a little smile.
[00:56] <Raphael> "Rei, whatever happens the pilots -need- to make it onto that elevator. You understand?" His voice is steady but gentle as he glances towards her, checking his own pistol before taking position at the centre of the room and aiming for the blast door.
[00:56] <Isaiah> ["Understood, Wing Commander-san. Love and justice transcend death itself…!"]
[00:57] <Raphael> "… right."
[01:00] * Yanmei seemed to be bracing herself. She hadn't quite stopped shaking yet, but at least she had a tighgt grip on her guns.
[01:02] <Isaiah> [Thump. Thump. Thumpthumpthumpthump-!-
[01:03] <Isaiah> [The Blast Doors -tore apart-, as though they were paper. The Reaper emerged- 14 foot tall, armored from toe to neck, its hands ending in a giant cannon that dripped acid; its claws ending in long, utterly cruel scythes. It focused on Rei- and growled.]
[01:06] * Aline eyed it, and a glint formed in her eye. "Well /hello/ there. Let me welcome you to Paris-2, the new city of love…" Then she grinned nearly-maniacally. "…And /fire/!" Fwoosh! The flamer released a sudden powerful gout of fire… but Aline actually must have lucked out and sparked the gas in an even more amazing way… because the mere line of fire turned into a goddamn exploding
[01:06] * Aline /fireball/ that hurtled at her mark!
[01:12] * Yanmei aimed. No one-liners here. Just bullets… lots of them, in an endless spray, as she choked back her fear and tried to focus.
[01:16] * Sept cursed under his breath as the massive doors buckled. Still, he managed to take aim carefully - not that it was needed for something of that size - and pull the trigger. Only to watch as the gun made a very uncharacteristic "clink" sound and proceed to do absolutely nothing else. Stupid idiot other people's guns! He fumbled furiously to try and eject whatever was causing the mechanisms
[01:16] * Sept to jam, but nothing continued to happen!
[01:19] * Raphael stands side on a at Rei's back, pistol raised in his one working hand… only once at first, the shot glancing harmlessly off its hide, before taking a deep breath and firing twice more in quick succession.
[01:22] <Isaiah> [Isaiah joined his own gunfire to the cacophony, although most seemed to bounce off its armour…-
[01:22] <Isaiah> [Yanmei's shots, as well as some of Raphael's and Isaiah's, seemed to cause it terrible pain as it hit the relatively large and unexposed flesh around the head.]
[01:23] * Raphael allows himself a very thin hint of a smile. "Armour plating on the head seems to be thinner! Focus fire if you can manage it."
[01:25] * Aline nodded towards Raphael… and made to shoot in that general direction… but the last of her flamer-fuel ended up just singing the roof…
[01:36] <Isaiah> [The creature weathered the assaults, however- and, smashing its scythes into the ground, sent out a howl- a howl that shook the room, and for some people, burrowed into their very souls, filling them with the utmost terror.-
[01:37] <Isaiah> [Nicholas fell backwards, his eyes immediately glassing over. Rosalie broke out of her stupor, but only to start screaming in fear, vomiting and shaking.]
[01:39] * Yanmei was still aiming, but… "Head. H-head. The…the…head…" Aside from uncontrollable shaking, her mouth was the only part of her moving, her eyes wide, blank with terror. "H-h…"
[01:47] * Aline simply stared at the creature, pointing the rifle she now switched to, straight-on at the creature. Waiting for the right moment…
[01:47] * Raphael jams the wrist of his ruined hand up against one ear in a vain attempt to shut out the sound, but seemed otherwise unaffected as he stepped even closer to the fray and fired into the creature's face once more. "Hnng."
[01:49] <Isaiah> [Isaiah sprinted across the room, skidding to a halt next to Yanmei, grabbing one of her hands and squeezing it. "I'm here, Yanyan."-
[01:50] <Isaiah> [Rei, however, was engaged in the desperate attempt to go toe-to-toe with a 14 foot tall creature that weighed the same as a main battle tank. She struck it in the face- although its skin hardened at the last- and danced around one of its scythes- the other however catching her in the chest hard. "A-Ah!"]
[01:54] * Yanmei …went still. Gazing at Isaiah, now, she could gather her resolve, some of her actual focus starting to sharpen in her dark eyes. For a minute, her face started to crumple… but then she willed it to smooth out. And not a moment too soon as Rei took a nasty slice from the beast.-
[01:55] <Yanmei> "Rei!" she drew a new weapon without thinking, and fired at once… but it went astray, exploding a part of the doorframe intead.
[02:00] <Raphael> Damn. "Hold steady, Rei! I'm right behind you!" Raphael calls from somewhere behind the girl, much closer now as another neat pair of gunshots ring out to strike the beast square between the eyes.
[02:00] * Sept angrily discarded the rifle and hobbled over to Gina's unconscious body to retrieve his shotgun, annoyed by the Reaper's howling if anything. He took a worried look at the children in the corner, but felt only pride when he saw Anselme utterly focused on the sights of his rifle. If only he could do something as well.
[02:04] * Aline on the other hand stared down the iron sights of her assault rifle… and saw an astoundingly perfect opening. So she opened up with a /brutal/ barrage of rifle fire… Only to stare in shock as it hardly even made a dent. "F-f-fuck, what are these damn guns even good for?!"
[02:07] <Sept> "At least we found out why they were in the fucking basement! They must've designed the Pallets based on them!"
[02:15] <Isaiah> [The beast, with a roar, turned its large cannon towards Yanmei and Isaiah. It reared back and- fired, a burst of boiling acid that spit across the air, landing with a blast in the midst of the pair. Yanmei was able to dodge…-
[02:16] <Isaiah> [But Isaiah wasn't. With a short, painful scream that quickly turned into one of absolute agony, the boy flailed his arms, falling backward, rolling back and forth… Before he stopped moving.]
[02:23] * Yanmei stared. Stared as if she couldn't believe what she was seeing. Stood. Moved to him, splashing carelessly through the acid puddle
[02:25] <Isaiah> [The burns were deep, and she knew they'd kill him if she didn't act fast. He still had a medkit…!]
[02:25] <Isaiah> [Anselm fired his rifle, but the boy's sheer inexperience caused the bullet to smack somewhere above Yanmei's head.]
[02:27] * Yanmei worked fast. Frantically! The shotshot went -completely- ignored and she searched, and found, and opened, and -poured- that orangey miracle cream on any exposed part of him she could find. Tried tearing off his vest and pouring it there too, over wounds and bandages as well.
[02:30] <Isaiah> [The biogel quickly seeped into his wounds, stamping out the acid whereever it lay. Before long he was starting to stabilise, but it had been a very close call.]
[02:31] <Raphael> "Zhang! Pull him clear!" Raphael hollered, his momentary distraction causing his shots to ricochet harmlessly off the beast's armour plates.
[02:32] * Aline stared intensely at the thing… "You… you stupid puppet. Worthless doll of the Angel of Death… You don't hurt someone my friend loves as much as that!!" Despite her hotblooded accusations… Aline's aim was cool and efficient. Single pop, to the head.
[02:35] <Isaiah> [The creature twitched, shuddering as it shook its head.-
[02:35] <Isaiah> [With a roar, however, it surged forth, bringing its two scythes down upon Rei…-
[02:35] <Isaiah> [… Only to be pushed back by a smattering of heavy machine gun fire.-
[02:35] * Isaiah is now known as Dorian
[02:36] * Dorian rolled out of the elevator, as coolly as you please, heavy machine gun blasting away. "EVERYONE GET ON!"
[02:44] <Raphael> "Get the mission criticals clear first, sir!" Raphael roars, not turning as he unloads the last two shots of his clip into the creature's eye. He reaches for another clip.
[02:44] <Dorian> [One of the bullets burns into the creature's eye, sending it howling in utter fury.]
[02:45] * Aline slowly nodded, as she headed around… coming behind Raphael after a shot that went sour. "I can get back, I just want to help a bit too."
[02:45] * Yanmei is paying attention, although it didn't initially look like it. She snagged Isaiah's collar, and started to drag him to safety. "You kids!" She eyed the group in the corner, "Move it!"
[02:50] <Dorian> [Suzanne grabbed Rosalie and started to drag her towards the elevator, crawling…-
[02:51] <Dorian> [Whilst the Reaper lowered its head, and -stampeded- through the middle of the room towards the elevator, bowling over Aline, Rei and Raphael…!]
[02:51] * Aline was knocked for a loop… but that was because she pulled into a sudden dodge-roll, coming up behind the monstrous beast!
[02:53] <Raphael> "No, go /no-" But turning his head for even a second proves far too long as the Reaper makes an unexpected charge, knocking him flat and leaving him to be trampled beneath the enormous creature's feet.
[02:57] * Yanmei ducked her head and ran! She had made Isaiah as comfortable as she could in the few seconds she'd had on the elevator with him… which involved laying him flat on the floor of it and hoping that he wouldn't get stepped on. "Suzanne! Rosalie!" She reached them, arms outstretched. "Here, hurry! Rosalie, we're going to see your mom now!"
[03:01] <Dorian> [Rosalie crawled into Yanmei's arms, sobbing, whilst Suzanne clung to her…-
[03:02] <Dorian> ["LEENIE-CHAN! PLEASE GRAB RAFFY-SAN AND GO!" She held her staff in front of her, channelling its power… Before rushing the beast, jumping over one of its low swings to bring the energy-charged staff down on its back with enough force to smash it into the ground. "… Did I defeat it…?"]
[03:06] * Aline nodded frantically, and started to grab the poor not-EVA-pilot, dragging him as impotently as a wimpy 16-year-old girl could!
[03:07] <Dorian> [Rei was still staring down at it… When suddenly the entire bulk reanimated, rising up to smash its scythes down at her once more! "Ah-!"]
[03:09] * Yanmei ran, her arms now filled with crying and shaken six-year-old. She made it back to the elevator… only to rush back out again, hands empty.
[03:13] * Sept readied his shotgun, looked down at it, and then just… dropped it onto the elevator floor. "…Anselme. Uh. Could I see that rifle again?"
[03:15] <Dorian> [Anselme hurriedly shoved it into Sept's hands.]
[03:15] <Dorian> [A pained scream- the pilots would see a scythe cut through Rei's leg, exposing bone and everything.]
[03:17] * Sept readied it against his aching shoulder, looked through the sights at the softer flesh covering the Reaper's skull. He heard the screams. She wouldn't last long. It would soon be too late..!
[03:21] * Yanmei ran some more. Grabbed some more children to the south, neither moving. One actually feeling… a little cold and stiff. "…"
[03:21] <Dorian> [Rei crouched and, gritting her teeth, sprang into the air, the AT Field pushing her into the elevator, where she collapsed tiredly…-
[03:21] <Dorian> "SEPT! TAKE THE SHOT, SON!"
[03:24] * Aline followed along closely, ending on the elevator platform with a very unconscious Raphael…
[03:25] <Sept> Sera's hands were shaking. He would've liked to think they wouldn't, at a time like this. But all the adrenaline in the world couldn't face up to this. He'd trained himself for this, though. "You don't get to do that." The crosshair was in place. Distance… negligible. Sept pulled the trigger. The target jerked backwards… and fell. It stopped moving.
[03:26] <Dorian> [The Reaper staggered backwards… And then fell. Almost immediately the skin started to dissolve, gallons of acid pouring out onto the floor, burning through metal and concrete alike.]
[03:32] <Yanmei> "No! Ah!" Yanmei put on the afterburners, scrambling back to the elevator.
[03:34] <Dorian> "Get us out of here!" The elevator doors closed a second after Yanmei scrambled on…-
[03:35] * Sept …sat down as the elevator started moving, leaning on the rifle and staring at the massive pile of dissolving Angel. He dug for something in a breast pocket, and, eventually, found it. He looked at the syringe of morphine ponderously.
[19:20] <Dorian> [It took a few minutes for the elevator to reach the top.-
[19:20] <Dorian> [When it finally did…-
[19:21] <Dorian> [They emerged into an armed camp, the sun still eclipsed by Malchediel- but the light that remained was still awfully bright to their eyes. They'd arrived in an area of respite in the battlefield of Paris-2. Tanks stood at watch, Parisian Guard soldiers kept the perimeter tight. There were hospital tents and command tents…-
[19:22] <Dorian> [And right in the middle was a Launch Port, open permanently. EVA-04 sat out about half-way, the Entry Plug about a metre above the ground.]
[19:24] * Aline emerged with a very grim look on her face… and eyes locked towards where the sun was - her superglasses quickly dampening the /overabundance/ of light just as well. She wanted to recognize it. The face(s) of the Angel of Death. The real enemy.
[19:25] * Sept gaped at the sight, shielding his eyes for a moment as they adjusted. "I… forgot it wasn't night out. What happens now, Dorian?"
[19:27] * Yanmei stared at the familiar EVA once she could focus. Knee-deep in squalling kids, resting next to an unconscious Isaiah, she hefted herself to her feet wearily. "Um, we fight some more?" She started peeling off a bloody, ruined school uniform jacket. "No problem."
[19:28] * Dorian nodded. "We fight. But there's a problem. Look." He turned to Aline and Sept. "We're going to need you two on the jeeps right now."
[19:29] * Aline turned to Dorian, nodded immediately. "…Right." And began looking for, then heading for, said jeeps!
[19:30] * Sept blinked, and helped himself to his feet, still using the rifle as support. "…alright, Dorian."
[19:30] <Dorian> "Rei, go with them. Sept. Make sure you take that boy with you. Anselme."
[19:36] <Dorian> [Rei nodded, and rushed after Aline. Aline and Rei were bustled into a jeep and headed off…!]
[19:38] * Sept had no problems with keeping the kid around for as long as he could. "Anselme. Come on, we're going. And… you did well back there."
[19:40] <Dorian> ["Thanks, Sera. Do you want some help?" He followed on quickly.]
[19:42] * Dorian turned back to Yanmei. "Head over to the tent, Yanmei. There's an entry plug waiting. We'll take care of the Wing Commander and the kids and Isaiah as well."
[19:43] <Yanmei> "Right." She threw her shoulders back, resigned, and started over. Unlikely that she'd get the chance to shower, but a nice clean change of clothes - even if it was a plugsuit - would be nice.
[19:44] <Sept> "I don't know. Maybe. Let's just… we should get to One as soon as possible, alright?"
[19:44] <Dorian> [Yanmei would find a Plugsuit waiting in a changing room.-
[19:45] <Dorian> [Meanwhile, Dorian entered the medical tent, where Guardsmen had already taken care of Wing Commander Raphael and the children. Isaiah was lying on a stretcher, Dr. Clement having just injected a long needle into his upper arm.-
[19:45] <Dorian> "I'm sorry, Isaiah." Said Dorian quietly. "This is as bad as it gets. I know it hurts, but you can still speak and think, right?"-
[19:46] <Dorian> [The boy nodded. "Y-Yeah…"-
[19:46] <Dorian> "Then I have a special task for you."
[19:46] <Dorian> [Sept and Anselme were rushed off in one direction- Aline and Rei in another.-
[19:47] <Dorian> [Such a brief line could not do the trip justice. Banshees swarmed down the streets as Guardsmen fought and died to give the Pilots the chance to pass.-
[19:47] <Dorian> [But eventually, they arrived- Sept at an Intersection where 01 sat, and Aline at another, where 00 sat.]
[19:48] <Dorian> [Dr. Riel was waiting for Aline, whereas a different person- Jeanne Simon- was waiting at 01.]
[19:49] * Yanmei reemerged eventually, in her usual white and violet plugsuit, her hair and skin toweled as clean as she could get them on short notice. She flipped her hair, starting to feel very much like her old self, and strode confidently toward her plug. "At least they made it easy to get into this time~"
[19:49] <Dorian> [Sitting outside the plug was Dorian, Dr. Clement…-
[19:49] <Dorian> [And Isaiah. The wounded boy was leaning against the side, but more importantly, he was wearing something strikingly familiar- one of Yanmei's own plugsuits.]
[19:49] * Sept was cheered up - as much as the situation permitted - by the sight of the woman. He clambered out of the vehicle to meet her. "Jeanne..! Why are you here?"
[19:50] <Dorian> ["Section 2's been trying to secure the civilians." Said Jeanne. "They send me here to secure the Pilots for EVA-01." The woman looked tired- and something else. Wounded. Like something she'd trusted for a long time had shattered in her hands.]
[19:51] * Aline got out almost as soon as the jeep stopped and the area was clear. "Dr. Riel! Here to… get us ready, I take?"
[19:51] <Dorian> ["That's right." Said Dr. Riel. She glanced at Aline, and over at Rei.-
[19:51] <Dorian> ["… You'll be piloting together. You know that, right?"]
[19:51] * Aline then suddenly blinked at that. "…He didn't /really/ say anything about that, but that… if it'll help us win, sure."
[19:52] * Yanmei came to a dead halt. Her eyes swung around the camp fast, searching for the mastermind behind this ugly trap - likely the form of a NERV Director - before settling on the trio again. "Colonel?"
[19:52] <Dorian> ["H-He didn't?" Dr. Riel looked put-out a little. "A-Anyway, the plug is all fired up. Ayanami. You know what to do."-
[19:52] <Dorian> ["Yes, Doctor! Come on, Leenie."]
[19:52] <Sept> "Is everything ready, Jeanne? Can I go?"
[19:54] <Dorian> "… I'm sorry, Yanmei." Said Dorian. "Orders from the top. All Evangelions are to have two pilots this time, in case the first one dies in the line of duty to injury or fatigue. We… Surmised that Isaiah was the best fit."-
[19:54] <Dorian> [The boy wasn't looking at Yanmei. Not yet.]
[19:54] <Aline> "Of course I do." Aline went off, too, to change. She took longer to get out of the armor, but by now she was a complete veteran of plugsuits. It wouldn't be much longer before she emerged from the tent in her trademark blood-red (It was a much darker shade than Asuka's, really!), yellow-'ribbed' suit, letting it shloop into place with that familiar affixing method.
[19:54] <Dorian> ["Er, one more thing. Pull up your sleeve, then you and your copilot can get in."]
[19:55] <Dorian> [Rei emerged a few moments later in a bright white one. She was limping a little, her leg heavily bandaged. She nodded to Aline.]
[19:56] <Yanmei> "You can't." Yanmei swallowed, but took another step forward, eyes hardening with determination. "He's been attacked by 04 before. He's -injured-. I can't just go along with this quietly!"
[19:57] * Aline peered over at Rei, noting the different color. "…Oh. Is that your suit for MP-00 or EVA-09 or whatever they're going to call it?"
[19:58] <Dorian> "Yanmei. We don't have a lot of choice. The Angel is unimaginably powerful- moreso than Qaphsiel. You're not in the best of states." There was guilt in his eyes. "We asked Isaiah if he was ok with it. He said he was."
[19:59] <Dorian> [Rei nodded once. "That's right."]
[20:00] * Aline nodded, with a sort of vague smile. But only vague, since she knew that death was calling. "Alright then. Let's get ready to go. Dr. Riel, any other pre-prep needed, or do we just need to hop into the plug and get moving?"
[20:01] * Sept pulled up his sleeve without question, but… "…copilot, Jeanne?" He looked worried.
[20:01] <Dorian> ["Er, one more thing." Dr. Riel gave Rei an injection. "It'll make you feel ready for combat, but it crashes you hard." "Alright." "You're ready to go."-
[20:02] <Dorian> ["…" Jeanne placed a needle into Sept's upper arm. He'd feel a surge of strength through his body that made him feel almost heady. "Didn't Dorian tell you? All the Evangelions are to have dual pilots this time to assist."]
[20:02] <Yanmei> "You don't have to!" Her attention darted over to Isaiah. God, why? Surely he knew what this would mean? "I'm fine. -Fine-. I haven't complained about fighting, have I? Please, reconsider it!"
[20:05] <Dorian> [Isaiah groaned as he pulled himself up. "This… Will be the last ever time I ever get into an Entry Plug." He said. "I promise you that. No matter what happens, I'll never get into one again. But…" He hesitantly stepped forward, staggering a little before he reached her, clutching on tightly, whispering.]
[20:06] * Aline would, then… get onboard, climbing gingerly into the plug, and taking the forefront position… leaving some room for Rei, of course. Some help, would be welcome. "…I should probably have the input language boot for Japanese, shouldn't I?"
[20:07] <Dorian> ["Japanese, English, French is all fine, Leenie-chan." Said Rei, climbing in and taking position behind Aline.]
[20:11] <Yanmei> "Idiot," but her shoulders were slumping. "They'll only use this to destroy you. Why are you…?" She searched his face with her eyes.
[20:13] <Aline> "Ah. Then French it is! It'll make me work better since it's native and I'm the primary pilot." …Bleep bloop. "Ready, Dr. Riel!"
[20:14] <Dorian> [Isaiah stared back, face to face. He reached for her hand and squeezed it tiredly.]
[20:20] <Dorian> ["Right. I'll wait for the word from the other Launch Ports."]
[20:20] <Yanmei> For a moment, absolute misery flashed in her eyes. She looked away again. "If you need this? Then I won't stop you." Surely that was why they had asked him first. But that wasn't the whole story, was it? Sadly, she squeezed his hand back.
[20:23] <Dorian> ["Please forgive me." Tears welled in his eyes.]
[20:28] <Sept> "H-he didn't. Who do I..?" Sera fought the urge to glance back at Anselme.
[20:28] <Dorian> [Jeanne stared at Anselme.-
[20:28] <Dorian> [Anselme stared at Sept.-
[20:28] <Dorian> ["… You wanted me to pilot if you died." Said Anselme quietly.]
[20:29] <Yanmei> "I'm the one who should be saying something like that, shouldn't I?" She hadn't stopped clinging to his hand. "If we don't get through today, then at least…" she gave another squeeze. "If there's anyone I can count on, it's you. You know that."
[20:30] * Sept turned to look at the boy. "But… now you'd just have to do it because I'm weak right now, not because I'd've done some… greater sacrifice for us. It's my fault if something happens."
[20:30] <Dorian> [Anselme pointed at Sept.-
[20:31] <Dorian> ["You're weak because of me, so it's really my fault." His pointer turned into a fist. "If you think I'm letting you go in there alone…"]
[20:32] <Dorian> ["I do." Isaiah managed a small smile, leaning forward to place his forehead against her's. "Yanmei?"]
[20:33] <Sept> "I-it'll hurt. You have to know that. And it won't stop as soon as you get out."
[20:33] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She leaned forward into the warm, familiar gesture herself.
[20:34] <Dorian> [Anselme nodded. "I know. But…" He shook his head. "It hurts inside, as well, and that lasts a lot longer. Please…!"]
[20:34] <Dorian> [Isaiah whispered, barely audible.]
[20:36] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes widened… but they settled again soon enough.
[20:36] <Sept> A worried little smile. "…alright. But, Jeanne. Do you really think it'll work just like that? He's said… we made a promise."
[20:37] <Dorian> ["Sera, I have no clue." Said Jeanne. "My degree was in counter-terrorism."]
[20:38] <Sept> "Um. Right. Sorry. I thought you'd… are we supposed to start now?"
[20:38] <Dorian> ["Yeah."]
[20:42] <Sept> "Mmh." And with a nod to Anselme, the final preparations started. Though this time… some of the NERV Pilot Introductory Traditions were skipped as Sera described the more alarming parts of the synchronisation process to the kid in advance.
[20:42] <Dorian> [Isaiah smiled. It was an improvement over the misery he'd presented, but… A smile was a smile. "That's right." He kissed her gently.]
[20:42] <Dorian> ["…" Anselme remained quiet and listened.]
[20:43] * Aline of course had been ready a long time ago, so she was just going over preflight (…given 00's powers, that was more than just a figure of speech) checks out of sheer boredom.
[20:46] * Yanmei kissed back, and then pulled away, regarding Dorian and Dr Clement. "We'll do it. But this will be the last time he gets into an entry plug. Make sure -she- knows that. And that it's not because of her orders, or destiny, or any other tripe she comes up to explain it to herself." She started for the plug again herself.
[20:46] <Yanmei> ^comes up with
[20:46] * Dorian nodded, turning to Dr. Clement and nodding.-
[20:46] <Dorian> [Isaiah followed quietly.]
[20:53] <Dorian> [Before long…-
[20:53] <Dorian> [All six pilots sat in their plug, Headsets clipped to their foreheads.-
[20:53] <Dorian> "All pilots, this is Colonel Lachapelle. How're we reading?"
[20:55] * Aline gave a solid thumbs-up. "All systems optimal, dual-sync stable, and head-Angels behaving for now. Unit-00 is go!"
[20:57] <Sept> "We're good, Dorian. Let's go."
[20:58] <Yanmei> "No problems?" She glanced behind herself, at Isaiah. "Do we have a plan, Colonel?"
[20:58] <Dorian> "Yes." Dorian turned to Gosselin, who was manning an improvised tactical staion, and to Marianne. He gave the signal.-
[20:58] <Dorian> "Kill it. All Evangelions- LAUNCH!"
[20:58] <Dorian> [The three rails lurched up the rest of the way, then immediately released.-
[20:59] <Dorian> [Malchediel looked down at them from a thousand faces.-
[20:59] <Dorian> [Slowly it lowered itself, the sunlight streaming around It. With a groundshaking crash it landed, crushing the Louvre beneath its feet.]
[21:01] <Yanmei> 04 started forward at an easy pace, not quite willing to meet it right away. The air around it glimmered.
[21:02] <Dorian> [Isaiah sat at her side, breathing in quietly, in and out. He was nervous, she could feel it. But… 04 hadn't hurt him. Yet.]
[21:10] <Dorian> [Two Positron cannons opened fire, slamming into Malchediel- or rather, the solid air around it as the AT Field blocked even those mighty weapons.]
[21:15] * Aline then took a deep breath. "Alright. It's go time." The air shimmered /violently/ around 00 as a nearly-perfect bubble of AT power formed around it… and then, Aline noticed them, as her senses expanded with the AT Field. "Ah. Little wretches. Now that I'm up here, you're just sad little puppets of the real threat." 00's head reared back, while simultaneously, a few chunks of rubble
[21:15] * Aline kicked away by a shard started to shake. "The sight of you annoys me. Disappear!" Rubble launched like deadly missiles, and a giant glob of acid shot from the EVA's wide-open maw, reminiscent of a wasp spitting into its nest materials - but deadlier.
[21:18] <Sept> 01's field flickered into life with a distinctly brighter light than usual - probably in line with the other pilots' experience. With a well-practised stance, Sera raised his shield and advanced.
[21:19] <Dorian> [The Angel looked around…-
[21:20] <Dorian> [Focused. There was a slowly building wave of energy around it, like little wisps of blue light heading from all over the city, building up within its shimmering AT Field.-
[21:20] <Dorian> [Then… An explosion. A wave of… Something forced its way through the city.-
[21:20] <Dorian> "W-What- no-!" Dorian let out a scream- then quickly fell silent.
[21:26] <Sept> "E-everyone alright? Dorian?" The advance continued uninterrupted, but his tone spoke volumes where 01 stayed focused.
[21:26] * Aline …seemed to react too, but… Only insofar as her screen image showed her eyes suddenly mega-dilating, and slight shuddering.
[21:26] <Dorian> [Behind Aline, Rei shuddered too as a foreign mind assaulted her from the weakness in Aline's armor.]
[21:27] <Yanmei> "Colonel? …Dorian?!" Yanmei shook the assault off easily. There were more -important- matters at hand.
[21:30] <Yanmei> "We're going in, Isaiah." And 04 proceeded to do just that, effecting the Angel's field with its own. This… she didn't like it!
[21:31] <Dorian> ["Alright." He murmured. He kept his eyes closed. Focused.]
[21:40] * Sept charged in, cutting at Malchediel's leg as he closed in, staring down the thousand faces. "Yanmei… Please, be careful."
[21:42] <Dorian> [The Angel's leg flinched backwards, and it stared at 01 silently- before reaching out to swing at it with a meaty, energised paw.]
[21:42] * Aline then took a sharp breath, and stared back out like normal again. "…So unrefined." But 00 for now just dashed across the cityscape, moving to a flanking position! "Guys. It… it didn't even try to deflect that stab. I've got a very bad feeling about this."
[21:47] <Sept> "Maybe all those monsters are taking up its field?" Sera shuddered. "A-Aline. It's trying do -that-. Please, can you… make it stop?"
[21:47] <Yanmei> "Then the best thing to do? Would be to bring it down before it goes through with whatever plan it's working up." 04's field shimmered yet again, setting off a smaller action than before, and it fired off a quick shot that merely grazed the Angel's own field. "Tch. Maybe it was just being lazy before?"
[21:48] * Aline almost instantly knew what Sera meant. "Hm. But… I'll try my best. With Rei's help I've got a lot of power at hand, so I might be able to make a pretty fierce attack…"
[22:01] * Sept focused the AT field around his favorite sharp instrument for another lunge at the leg. It was going to tear it clean off - but nothing reached the flesh, as the Angel's field deflected the strike with a sharp noise. "Agh. It must've just been a momentary lapse, because of that, whatever it was it did earlier…"
[22:03] * Aline nodded. "Probably. You guys should try to neutralize it. Until then…" The air twisted violently around the barrel of her positron rifle, and… it fired, wrapped in that same explosive AT charge she used against Sathariel! But it… it missed?! "Fffffff!"
[22:19] <Dorian> [Malchediel -dodged-, actively predicting the attempt before it happened, sliding out of the way. It stared down at Sept- and a second later, a burning red tendril burst from its torso, sizzled through the air and slammed into 01's right arm, immediately twisting around to hold it tight! Energy pumped along it- along with other, more insidious things.-
[22:20] <Dorian> ["A-A-Ah!" Anselme let out a low cry of horror and pain as bloody wounds started to rip across his right arm.]
[22:30] * Yanmei muttered something in her native tongue. Another something or another tried to slip into her mind, but she shook it off. "How're you doing back there, Isaiah?" She raised her guns, took focus.
[22:32] <Dorian> ["I'm doing ok." He mumbled.]
[22:32] <Sept> "I'm sorry, please hold on, Anselme…" Sera shook off the mental assault and bashed the tendril off with his shield. Time to get defensive, it seemed. "Neutralising it some more… try to get some damage in, Aline, Yanmei, or I'll…"
[22:34] <Yanmei> "Are… are you sure?" Comm. "Got it. Don't worry." Staring down her sights at the ugly bastard.
[22:35] <Aline> "I'm… trying!" Aline tried her gambit again, this time with chunks of buildings. "Come on you piece of crap!"
[22:36] <Dorian> [The shards of material flew at Malchediel… Only to stop in midair, a rainbow corona unfurled around it.-
[22:36] <Dorian> ["Leenie-chan, look out-!"-
[22:36] <Dorian> [With a strength of will far greater than Aline's, the shard hurled itself right back at 00, smashing into pieces on its chestplace.]
[22:37] * Aline almost set to dodge, but… but she knew that if she took that hit with her AT Field, even with just the reserves she had up, it'd blow it to pieces. But she wasn't fast enough…! "Ag-…h? Oh. Ineffective."
[22:41] <Dorian> [There was another psychic explosion, a wave of unseen energy making its way through the city. Immediately, Anselme started to scream as unknown forces pressed into his mind.]
[22:51] <Dorian> [Isaiah reached out, took Yanmei by the shoulders. He didn't say anything, just concentrated.]
[22:53] * Yanmei grit her teeth. It seemed like she was concentrating too, on her most damaging gun. She let loose an explosive round that streamed past the monster's field and blew up against its many faces! A slow exhale…
[22:54] <Dorian> [The creature flinched a little…]
[22:55] <Yanmei> "No good, huh? What a tough guy…"
[23:04] <Sept> "Anselme. Pay attention. You might not see this again." A flicker of the remnants of 01's AT Field, and there he goes… we have. LIFDOFF-
[23:08] <Sept> The cityscape, almost serene from this distance, spread out before the pilots, the fields and forests surrounding the further parts of the city stretching into the far horizon… before it all came plummeting back at them. The armored foot of 01 landed on the Angel with a loud, sickening crack, as the Evangelion vaulted back to the ground by it. But judging by the monster's demeanor, they
[23:08] <Sept> might as well have thrown an empty can of soda at it in contempt.
[23:09] * Aline smiled broadly, as she watched Sera set up his attack. She had to time it just right. Juuuuust right. Then? She made a little finger-gun, 00 actually imitating the action. "Bang." …And right as 01's foot flew off of that leg of the Angel?… A mighty purple cross of energy /exploded/ into Malchediel!
[23:16] <Dorian> [The beast did in fact reel in genuine pain as Sept smashed into it, most of the weight of the impact landing against the leg. The blast afterwards seemed to mostly irritate it more than anything- a fact not lost on the others as it suddenly hurled itself toward the north, taking a massive leap that shook the very ground.-
[23:16] <Dorian> The eyes of the main face shimmered, a bare glimpse of rainbow light hurtling across the battlefield and striking EVA-04.]
[23:19] <Dorian> [A voice- across the comms. "YANMEI! YANMEI, NO!" Isaiah's voice, panicky…]
[23:20] <Yanmei> Not… screaming, exactly, but a sort of choked noise joined it, as if someone, perhaps, was clamping down on a yell of their own.
[23:21] <Sept> "Isaiah! Shut up and get yourself together!" Sera snapped at the voice, dashing off after Malchediel.
[23:21] <Dorian> [Anselme had just recovered from the insane stunt. "W-Whua…"]
[23:22] * Aline was a bit less yell-ey, instead looking over at the Angel, which was flying away. "…It left your neutralization ranges. Annoying."
[23:26] <Yanmei> "Why don't -you- shut up." Yanmei's voice. Recovering. Slowly. 04 shifted position, and raised its gun.
[23:31] * Aline then came on the lines. "Bickering's bad. Fighting's good. Now, I guess I'll have to pick up the slack there." She seemed honestly /miffed/ at having to use her own precious field for mere neutralization. But… nonetheless, 00 raised its rifle, pointing it down at that same leg. "Be a dear and die."
[23:33] <Dorian> [The blow seared the leg- only for some of the wounds to start healing immediately after. Malchediel rose its arms into the air, millions of tendrils of energy flowing into it.]
[23:40] <Yanmei> 04… fired its shot after one last shudder! There was an explosion, in the same spot where its last one had hit, in the creature's malformed head
[23:41] <Dorian> [The blast made the creature flinch once more…]
[23:44] * Sept duly shut up as requested, though the seething remained, some of it being redirected toward the Angel as he tore away the last remnants of its defenses.
[23:47] * Aline then smiled. "…Field's lowered…" The rifle aimed again… and shot a blaze of multiple shots! "…Attack's raised!"
[23:52] <Dorian> [The creature flinched once more- then raised its hand towards EVA-01. A wave of rainbow light shot out, engulfing the Evangelion- and the Angel turned towards Aline.]
[23:53] * Aline stared… and then grimaced. "He failed. Yanmei, I'm going to have to lower some of the neutralization soon, you're just going to have to hang tight."
[00:04] * Yanmei simply bounded forward with a prism-like burst of light in silence, landing hard and waving her own hand, diminishing the Angel's field as well as she could.
[00:04] * Sept started advancing toward 00, blatantly ignoring the Angel, now. The only conflicting factor was Sera's faint voice. "I, A-Alin- no… -help-."
[00:06] * Aline on the other hand clutched her head suddenly. "…Fucking…!" …and decided she had to cut this out one way or another. "Sorry Yanmei, but I can still operate at long range!" …So 00 ran away, ran fast… faster than 01's neutralization. Faster!
[00:13] <Dorian> [Malchediel lifted its left arm into the air.-
[00:13] <Dorian> [Flesh plates opened up on the side, dozens of massive shards appearing out of the flesh.-
[00:13] <Dorian> [It prepped the arm.-
[00:13] <Dorian> [Opened fire.-
[00:14] <Dorian> [The shards ripped into an unprotected 01's back without stopping, tearing the body to absolute shreds. The Entry Plug ejected, only for half of it to blow away in the crossfire.-
[00:14] <Dorian> [EVA-01 tottered… Then fell forward, slamming into the ground.]
[00:15] <Dorian> "God… -Damnit-! 01! Send teams to secure the Plug, -now-!"
[00:15] * Aline stared. "F… It… It must've realize I made its toy useless and then…" She shuddered.
[00:16] <Dorian> [Malchediel turned to stare at Aline.]
[00:17] <Aline> "Yeeeeup." Aline's tone made that seem rather… final.
[00:18] <Yanmei> "What are you even-?!" Yanmei could probably grasp at what was happening if she wanted to. She really really didn't want to.
[00:20] <Yanmei> Instead, she lifted both guns, eyes only straying away in the direction that Sept's plug had landed in, off and on. Damn… so close by… "Colonel, I'll try to shift position in a moment." Her field dimmed and flickered out of existance, the cost of weakening the Angel's further.
[00:22] <Dorian> "Then I'll support with the positon turrets!" Two bright beams of energy cut across the sky, one of them breaking through the field and hitting its leg.
[00:31] * Aline nodded, and then took a deep breath. Fight the temptation fight the temptation… "I should remember how he was. Stalwart. Willing to face death with my support. That honor… With my heart, that honor will go into my attack! A true knight need not debase herself with a wraith's hatred, and shall kill even death! I say to you, Angel of Death." …Her positron rifle glowed, and
[00:31] * Aline another /ferocious/ AT field sprang up around it. "Fuck. You!" …Release.
[00:33] <Dorian> [The AT Field shimmered around Malchediel- sealing the attack harmlessly- but the torpedo exploded soon after, shattering the Deflection Field. It paused, as if to ponder this.]
[00:36] <Dorian> ["Meimei!" Rei now. "Leenie-chan has reduced the Field- please, open fire…!"]
[00:43] <Yanmei> "Got it!" She was already focusing. "Ready, Isaiah? Here we go!" A hail of gunfire and explosions rocked the air around the creature, unhindered. "Thanks for the free shot!"
[00:44] <Dorian> [The first few hits didn't seem to hinder the creature- but the others struck the small, glowing red core at the base of its body, sending it howling in mad fury.]
[00:47] <Yanmei> "…uh oh."
[00:54] * Aline blinked in surprise. "…You're causing a lot of damage to its core, Yanmei… Let me help!" …After /considerable/ expenditures of will… the ripple in 00's AT Field started to wobble… then peak… and then a spear of force rocketed out of it, igniting the air and turning it into a ferocious plasma bullet!
[00:55] <Dorian> [The bolt struck true, with some help from Dorian- causing the creature to shudder and pause for a moment.-
[00:56] <Dorian> [… Then one of its faces- a human face, twisted into ecstasy- started to shine, before a pale yellow beam of light struck out, slamming into 00's AT Field. It paused for a moment… Before passing through, hitting straight into the Plug.-
[00:56] <Dorian> [… It wasn't going away.]
[01:00] <Yanmei> "Stop that!" Yanmei fired another exploding shot at the shiny red core, this time taking careful aim again.
[01:02] * Aline shook her head. "I'm… I'm still okay. It's… distracting me. But…!" She tried to fire another blast, but… it missed.
[01:14] <Dorian> [Malchediel gestured, lifting its right hand into the air- before unleashing another pale yellow beam of light- this time at EVA-04.-
[01:14] <Dorian> [It struck deep into the Entry plug, just as the one afflicting 00 did the same…]
[01:22] * Aline shook her head frantically. "I won't let you use them! It might be suffering to deal with that… but you can't. You can't! You've done enough to this world! I will /not/ permit your stupid one-sided world from coming to pass!" …And she made a solid go at another AT blast!
[01:24] * Yanmei tried to shield her eyes with her hand, but it didn't do very much. Actually… after a moment, she lost the urge to do it completely. "…gorgeous…" she murmured. Her other hand went slack at the controls. "I-Isaiah… do you see it?"
[01:25] <Dorian> ["Y…" His hands were on hers, his fingers entwining with her own. He rested his head on her shoulder. "Yes…"]
[01:27] <Dorian> [… All communications with EVA-04 vanished.-
[01:27] <Dorian> [As the Mindbeam disengaged from both Evangelions, a thick smoke of black left EVA-00, merging into Malchediel… Where it shook violently, the black smoke rampaging across its body.-
[01:27] <Dorian> [One second later… EVA-04's eyes turned a bloody red.]
[01:29] * Aline darted her head back and forth, and then… "…Commander. Surely you can see what just happened to 04. But… It took the Wr- Sathariel out of me. If it doesn't die soon… It might be able to awaken /his/ powers too! Be… be ready."
[01:29] <Dorian> "Damnit. This day just keeps getting worse…"
[01:31] <Aline> "…On the upside, 04 is much better at causing damage than Yanmei." Despite the powerful emotional drama… Aline seemed somehow relieved. "We might make it through this. I for one say…" Then a slight grin. "Go for it, killer Elisha!"
[01:35] <Yanmei> 04 stalked forward slowly at first. It had had quite enough of those pathetic light shows, and was determined to let that fact known, by picking up speed and lancing the Angel through a shoulder, a satisfied growl at the spray of blood that erupted from it. Its eyes narrowed…
[01:36] <Dorian> ["…" Rei had been calm the entire battle, a perfect copilot, spending her abilities monitoring Aline's own. But…-
[01:36] <Dorian> ["Zaizai…!"-
[01:36] <Dorian> ["Meimei…"]
[01:39] * Aline called back behind her, a soft smile on her face. "04 is very angry when he berserks, but… Don't you see? The Angel has trouble attacking the pilot's mind when the Eva berserks. They're actually safer now, even if Isaiah won't be ready for this kind of sensation. Hope exists." She raised her positron rifle once more, now unhindered. "I'll make sure of it. Forever." Shot selector
[01:39] * Aline - maximum. Fire!
[01:43] <Dorian> [The Angel flinched greatly as the Berserk Eva ripped into its shoulder, stumbling backwards in pain. But this was nothing.-
[01:44] <Dorian> [The Positron beam that smashed into the Angel's leg vaporised it, stripping away ossified plates, flesh, bone- sending it screaching in agony as it collapsed to the ground, the cauterised stump sending flames burning across its body.]
[01:47] <Yanmei> 04 loses his grip, thanks to gravity. It doesn't like that. There's the sound of tearing, squealing metal as it rips its dentures apart, its own mad, wrathful howl drowning out both it and the Angel's cries.-
[01:51] <Yanmei> Claw, claw, claw! The Angel looses chunks of itself. The other shoulder finds a matching hole in it, its remaining leg in the process of being shredded. Blood splatters the cityscape like canvas bearing a careless child's painting. A roar that sounds somehow delighted.
[01:55] * Aline meanwhile openly aided the attack, and… "Angel of Death. You've been a plague to this world. But…" An AT Field focused. At the last moment, though, some of its power lessened. Aline seemed to… realize something. But she continued on unabated. "It is I, and the other pilots, who decide life and death. Now die, for your accumulated sins!" …And a final spear of AT power, wreathed
[01:55] * Aline in searing heat like the sun, surged right at its core, even admits the feast!
[01:56] <Dorian> [With a rattling death cry…-
[01:56] <Dorian> [The core splits in half, the released energy bathing the body in a funeral pyre.]
[02:00] <Yanmei> 04… does not stop its rampage. Before long, more things join the painting. Intestines, draped like party streamers over buildings. Muscle fibres. The spine comes next, with some effort that involves reaching through the fresh hole in its front and pulling, pulling hard.
[02:02] * Aline stood watch, 00 a silent sentinel, again. 6 unblinking eyes, surveying the carnage with no visible emotion. Aline purposely turned off all comms for a moment, muttering to herself. "Such is the destroyer."
[02:03] <Yanmei> The spine comes free at last, still doused in fire. A triumphant roar envelopes the city. Then… its eyes go blank.

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