She Said, "Protect This World's Hope With The Light Of Your Soul."

(16:54:43) * Aline found herself standing on the roof viewing area of the hotel the both of them were staying at. It wasn't very heavily-inhabited at this time of day, and that was for the better. She wanted at least /some/ time to be as alone as someone with two souls can be. Given that he was probably quiescent at this time, that was actually rather alone indeed.
(16:57:22) Sept: Her phone beeped, signalling the arrival of a message. "can you talk ? -sera" it read.
(16:58:20) * Aline …blinked rather heavily at that, once she pulled out her phone. Rather than immediately call him back… she shot off a quick reply. {"why"}
(17:03:47) Sept: It was… perhaps more than the boy had expected. There was a longer pause before the reply came, carefully worded. "about yanmei. worried. talking directly to her very impolite, maybe dangerous. please."
(17:06:26) * Aline considered that… a bit odd of a way to put it, but she'd humor him. Protecting Yanmei was better than having to answer for what he might accuse her of having done during the incident. Even if he did ask that… Mm. Worth the risk. So, she actually just straight-up called, speaking the instant that she could hear the line established. "What's the issue, then?"
(17:13:29) * Sept jolted at the abrupt classical melody from the phone. His "Hello, Aline." was drowned out by a gust of wind - he was outside as well - but he sought shelter from the wind soon enough, and the noise turned into a rather more bearable ambience. "S-sorry. But. Could you tell me… everything, first. What's the situation, Aline? With the hospital, and with what happened…"
(17:21:49) * Aline tried to be as quick as she could. "…They had left an opera, went to view fireworks. Isaiah was shot, twice. He… was almost going to die, it was very close, and only him being rushed to the hospital would help. Right now, he's unconscious, in a special sealed room. He needs some time to recover, but I /think/ he won't be out as long. Yanmei and Rei - Ayanami, you know - have
(17:21:49) * Aline been watching him quite a while now, if I recall correctly."
(17:25:46) Sept: A pause. "Yanmei's still at the hospital? Has she… she probably hasn't been resting, has she?"
(17:26:45) Aline: "…Probably not. Were you just checking up on the particulars, or…?" Aline seemed unusually casual about that detail, though.
(17:36:23) Sept: "You're better at this than I am, Aline. We need her to rest. She's doing something very dangerous. Help me with this."
(17:44:22) * Aline sighed. "…Just because of not sleeping or resting and exhaustion? I know Rei's been helping her. If we really need to, we can go help her stand guard. Otherwise… This is her love. Coworkers she'd get angry at over little things or that she thinks are crazy or even are just /there/… Won't be enough to sway her. We aren't /supposed/ to be enough to sway her."
(18:00:02) Sept: "That's a stupid excuse. Not enough. She's in no condition to make decisions. If there's any danger to either of them now, Yanmei will be the one getting hurt. She's protecting the wrong person."
(18:03:01) * Aline twitched. How could she… …Hm. Maybe… "You're wrong. The shooter took careful pains to avoid hitting her. Isaiah was, and always has been, the target. It doesn't make /motive/ sense, but the facts of the case make it clear, I went over it with S2 Director Kirihara."
(18:09:21) Sept: …Fine. "Theory. 'EVA Pilot dies to madman shooter'. Martyr death. NERV funding skyrockets. Now, 'Child Pilot breaks down under stress, dies in accident - leaves city, world unprotected'. The longer this goes on, the easier it would be to make that happen."
(18:15:02) * Aline then twitched even further, voice dripping with annoyance. "What part of 'the facts of the case make it clear' do you not get? We went over the firing angle, the shot locations… And even if there /were/ other dimensions to this, we're talking over a NERV phone. I had already voiced concern it may have been an inside job, and while I don't /think/ people would get overly jumpy,
(18:15:03) * Aline it's better to not point fingers on a monitored line."
(18:19:50) Sept: "We don't have time to worry about that. -Aline-. As long as we don't know the exact motive, we have to assume anyone in contact with him is in danger. If they're only after him, they might be getting desperate now, and they might try again even if there's someone in the way. We can't let her keep doing this."
(18:21:32) Aline: "I… said… we could help her guard him. It really… is not as… stupid as you think it is…" She was getting rather strained from having to /explain/ this. "You could try actually believing me, by the way, since I /am/ the one who knows more about the case."
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(18:33:48) Sept: "Aline…" Sept said, not -quite- pleading. "I wouldn't ask if I didn't think it was important. Least of all now."
(18:37:10) Aline: "Sera, what I'm saying is important, too. I just know things. Moreover…" She was actually /not/ hateful in saying this, more just concerned. "Why is it so important to you? Why is making her stop watching him so crucial, that even if I say we should help watching over him to relieve the burden… you still say 'no, she just has to stop, we can't instead help what she's doing and reduce
(18:37:10) Aline: her stress'?"
(18:46:43) Sept: "Stop it, Aline. Please, you're always… Just. Fucking stop it. We're all in this. You don't get to be the only one just knowing things. Couldn't you just look at this… objectively?"
(18:49:31) * Aline raised her voice, very suddenly. "I /am/! You're the one who's calling me on an unsecured line about it! I can tell you what I know but I /really truly seriously/ don't want to offend people with it."
(18:57:28) * Sept replied calmly, in a low voice. "That makes… two of us." Silence, and the wind in the background once again. "Godfuckingdamnit. Fine. If you want to tell me, go right ahead. We should still have time."
(18:58:24) Aline: "It has to be in person."
(18:59:57) Sept: "Is there no other way?"
(19:00:16) * Aline spoke with dread finality. "There really isn't."
(19:03:18) Sept: "I'll need some insurance. A guarantee. Whatever. A promise, maybe. If you've got nothing else."
(19:04:54) * Aline stared at her found incredulously. "…Insurance of /what/?"
(19:06:09) Sept: "You know damn well."
(19:07:53) * Aline paused for a few seconds, then facepalmed. The impact of her fingers against her forehead was actually audible. "…God, you don't know anything about that. I have to specifically wake him up to do that, and it's at great risk to keeping my /own/ head under my control. So keep your knives in your pants or wherever it is you hide them, and that won't happen."
(19:12:19) Sept: A final pause. "Where? If you say it here, it'll be all for nothing, won't it?"
(19:14:32) * Aline nodded… to a phone. Old habits. "Of course, of course. We can meet… hm. I'll wait outside the hotel I'm staying at, we can decide where to actually talk later."
(19:17:49) Sept: "How about the roof? I doubt anyone could follow us across."
(19:21:10) * Aline pondered that. "…Compromise. We'll find some other roof. After all, didn't you just say saying where we'd talk'd be silly? Best to keep to that, since you never know when crazy impossible bullshit will happen."
(19:23:09) Sept: "That's what I said. We'll start at yours."
(19:23:50) * Aline …understood. "Ah, yes, I see now. O… kay. You're going to have to help me, I'm terrible at that."
(19:24:33) Sept: "Of course."
(19:26:11) Aline: "Anything else, or…?" It was so awkward, figuring out when to hang up.
(19:31:33) Sept: "No. I'll be there right away." And the call was terminated. Sera got up and faced the wind with his eyes closed for a few moments. It was dying down. A bit later, there was only a faint 'pchoo' sound. And the roof was empty.
(19:34:07) * Aline was, fortunately, clear-of-mind enough to figure out that if he was going to go roof-hopping… she was probably going to meet him /up here/. So she didn't do something as dumb as go /all the way back down/. No, instead she'd just wait, at the lonely western railing.
(19:45:25) Sept: Time passed. And eventually, Sera de Pteres would show up on an adjacent roof, giving Aline a little wave. Was that a wave? No, he was pointing at something, something by Ali- CLANG. The claws at the end of the wire dug into the grating of the ventilation duct, a meter or two from her.
(19:47:01) * Aline turned and… stared at the hook. "…I take it you've… been… uh. Equipped?"
(19:51:37) Sept: The boy nodded enthusiastically in response, took a few running steps and…. jumped off the roof. The rhythmic back-and-forth motion of the wire against the railing betrayed his continued living status, though. And soon enough, he'd re-emerge, clambering to the rooftop proper and starting to disentangle the claw. "Yes. Hello, Aline."
(19:54:35) * Aline would… continue to just sort of stand there, taking in the fact that the kid now had a goddamn grapplegun. "…So, will we switch roofs, or is this fine?" …She briefly peered out to the streets below, and shook a bit.
(19:59:05) Sept: Sera had sounded fairly confident and energetic on the phone, but there was a slight wavering quality returning to his voice now. Though a markedly different one from the simply tired one he had had for the past several weeks - any time out of a hospital had obviously worked wonders for him - now he was just nervous. "You can zipline. Completely safe, I assure you. Do you think they could listen to us here?"
(20:01:07) * Aline considered. "…I have no idea, but I assume yes. Let's… move over, then." She stared out across the line rather nervously. But… compared to the consequences of…
(11:34:49) * Sept nodded, and began preparations. He tossed his bag to Aline. Within was… no small amount of miscellaneous equipment, ropes and whatnot. "You can wear the harness if you think you might not be able to hold on for the trip yourself." The claw was soon attached to the neighbouring building's fire escape, on the other side of the wide alley. The wire ran over an antenna to give it some angle, and Sera was the counterweight. He was waiting patiently.
(11:39:25) * Aline stared at the supplies for a good while, and… then nodded. She began to put on the harness, thought not without trepidation. "I don't trust myself to, but… well. There's a first time for everything. And I /do/ have a secondary safety measure, but that's got its own risks." She triple-checked the settings and clasps and so on, before walking over to him. "…So go ahead and show
(11:39:25) * Aline me how to set the rope or.. whatever.
(11:48:38) * Sept reached out to demonstrate, but his hand stopped abruptly. He looked into Aline's eyes quietly for a few moments, and continued. "These clasps attach to the wire. This one too, but it's different. Hold on to this handle, and when you get closer to the other side, squeeze it. It should tighten around the wire and slow you down. But try not to dawdle, or. I mean, yeah. That's it." Another moment of hesitation, and he gave her an encouraging(?) pat on the shoulder.
(11:54:14) * Aline began to set them, and… again, triple-checked them for paranoia's sake. But then she looked back at him. "Sera, again. If I do that, I run the risk of losing my own mind. Every single moment, I was fighting to keep control, myself. So if I was going to use it now, it'd only be because the alternative is turning into a meat pancake." …Nonetheless! "But… here we go!" She stared
(11:54:14) * Aline down the side of the building for a moment, but then pulled on the ropes a bit to make sure they were tight. Then… Then! She'd start to slide across, remembering to use the 'brake' near the end.
(12:00:05) * Sept gave a nod that said absolutely nothing at her attempts to allay his fears. Stayed behind to give additional stability to the ride - it might have held on just by tying it to something, but holding on to it himself felt safer. "Everything alright, Aline?"
(12:04:38) * Aline was moving on, of course, she did call back. "Sh-sh-should be!" …She was squeezing the handle and starting to slow down! "Ah… so now you go over, I take it?"
(12:15:19) Sept: "Right!" Sera waited for Aline to safely detach herself before proceeding to follow, his bag shouldered. He double-checked the zipper, as he was used to doing by now. Couldn't have stuff falling out onto pedestrians. Some moments later, the boy was holding on to the outside of the railing, a wide smile on his face. He was looking for something to pull himself up with, but not really finding anything. That is to say, his other hand was flailing about uselessly as he dangled over five stories of space.
(12:16:40) * Aline frowned rather heavily… and extended a hand to hime, worry in her eyes. "Come on! You're the one who's good at this!"
(12:21:22) Sept: "A-ah, right." Sera took hold of the hand and vaulted himself over the bar. Then, as he became conscious of the physical contact, he let go suddenly, immediately scolding himself for doing so. He reeled the rest of the wire in and made for the stairs leading to the rooftop proper.
(12:25:20) * Aline would proceed up, herself, about as calmly as she could. She wasn't really smiling broadly, but she /was/ trying to keep everything on the proverbial up and up.
(12:28:27) * Sept had soon found himself a comfortable spot and sat down. "So…"
(12:31:33) * Aline sat as well. "I have a very good reason why it's important to protect Isaiah rather than let Yanmei just rest. But… it's still a theory, if a rather founded one. Can I trust you to /only/ act by guarding Isaiah, and /not/ by attacking the person responsible, until we have a lot more proof and a clue on what to do?"
(12:36:17) Sept: Pause. "I can promise not to attack them, Aline."
(12:41:11) Aline: "Thank you. It's important that we be /careful/. I mean… I was willing to zipline over without the slightest experience, because of how scared I am of what'll happen if people find out too early. And I'm still scared of the whole building-hopping thing. I'll probably go down the normal way when we're done." But Aline drummed her fingers together. "I think I should start with the logic,
(12:41:11) Aline: though. I know you don't /really/ care about my kind of logic a lot, but it's how I was convinced, so I at least want to start off that way. First… Let's take the first thing I said - that the shooter was very careful not to shoot Yanmei. That sounds strange, right?"
(12:44:44) Sept: "…maybe. At least it narrows down the list of motives a lot. I'm sure it isn't hard to come up with an explanation, but… go on."
(12:49:30) Aline: "Now, Shinji noticed - using leftover memories from that Silas impression and please don't get weird over that, this is not the time - that the area they went to was an 'ambush nest'. Lots of tall buildings around an open area with almost no cover. So NeoSpartan training is at least fairly likely to be involved in the shooter's plans… which I'll remind you, means people in NERV or who
(12:49:30) Aline: once were with either NERV or GEHIRN, knew these specific tactics. Following me so far?"
(12:52:36) * Sept frowned. "…sure."
(12:55:27) * Aline continued. "However, to use such a place, the shooter'd need time to set up. Enough time that they'd have to have some way of knowing where Yanmei and Isaiah went /without/ following them. Like an accomplice or the ability to watch them some other way. S2 Director Kirihara told me that her agents had already checked the surveillance, and had seen Yanmei and Isaiah going to that
(12:55:27) * Aline /particular/ spot when they reviewed it. Do you think those two facts might have something to do with each other?"
(12:57:32) Sept: "Of course. Wherever we look in NERV, it's filled with people we can't trust." Said Sera bitterly.
(12:59:43) Aline: "Right. Now… this part will need more explaining, probably. You know how sla-…" Aline shook her head. Wrong word! "Evangelions need a soul to function? That without it, they can't even turn on, because they don't have their own AT Field?"
(13:06:01) Sept: "…yes? What does that have to do with this?"
(13:08:29) * Aline let only the smallest of knowing looks cross her face. "Motive. But I'm getting to it, it needs all the setup first." Nonetheless, it resumed pure neutrality. "Furthermore, they work best when there's some kind of good relationship between the soul and the pilot. Like how 03 is Tsubaki's mother, or 05 is Rei's soul. Right?"
(13:09:31) Sept: Like 01 and Sera. "Right."
(13:12:14) * Aline nodded. "Okay, now this is where we connect dots. Rei /Ayanami/ is going to become a pilot. Her unit hasn't been made yet, so they'll need a soul for it. Can you guess why this matters in relation to Isaiah being shot?"
(13:14:49) * Sept looked down at his knees. "…oh, god."
(13:19:31) * Aline let her own feelings loose, a /deep/ frown crossing her face. "The person most likely to order this is Gendo Ikari. That's why I wanted you to hold off - he's too powerful to attack right now. Yui still thinks of this Rei as her daughter, and wouldn't do it to her, but… Gendo would, because the plan is even more important to him. I don't know if this is true, but this is the more
(13:19:32) * Aline /likely/ reason for such a bizarre attack, so… that's… that's what I couldn't tell you. And the person responsible is /why/ I couldn't say it."
(13:27:57) Sept: Silence, followed by a slow nod. "Mmh. Right. C-could you… tell me something else, Aline?"
(13:32:27) * Aline tilted her head now, confusing slowly overtaking dismay. "…What?"
(13:34:31) Sept: "What happened to you… you never explained it. Not really. Who, and when, and… most of all, why you did… that." Sept was very uncomfortable with the topic. There was a note of genuine hurt in the last part.
(13:42:51) Aline: "…Ah." She looked uncomfortable, herself. "I was afraid you'd try to kill me if I told you, because you're more… I don't know, devoted to the battle than I am? But… it's Voriel. The Tenth Angel. That's the 'who'. The 'when' is apparently ever since we fought him, a part… stayed. They talk to me, they seem to /like/ talking to me more than anyone else. We have had to learn to co-exist,
(13:42:51) Aline: because neither of us can really stop this right now - I don't have the willpower to push him out, he can't take full control of me nor can he leave - because then, he'll die. All that's left is some of his soul, in my body. So instead, we have to cooperate, even if it leads to… issues like that." Aline sighed, though. "The why… Because I didn't want anyone to die that day. Yanmei would
(13:42:52) Aline: knock me out if I lost control, I told her to. Yui /has/ been spoken to, and is sorry for how badly things have changed, she… didn't truly understand what the effects were. So I wanted to keep her alive because I hoped for that. And because Shinji doesn't deserve a dead mother - she doesn't /willingly/ hurt people to get what she wants anyway. And… because Rei Ayanami and the other
(13:42:59) Aline: MP-Pilots are still alive, even if they're strange creatures whose lives will have painful gaps in them. I used those powers because I had them available, but also because… You didn't deserve to die for this, either."
(13:48:10) * Sept was shocked. "Aline…" was all he could say.
(13:49:04) * Aline shook a little, nerves starting to affect her. "What… what are you feeling?"
(13:51:25) * Sept …leapt at her, suddenly. With his arms open, it should be noted. HUG AMBUSH, ROLL FOR SURPRISE
(13:54:22) * Aline automatically fails! She's just too surprised! …So surprised that she even made a little "Eep!" in response to the impact!
(13:57:09) * Sept embraces the girl tightly, eyes watering. "I would never… never -EVER- hurt you or Yanmei. E-even if we can't understand each other, w-we can't, we shouldn't… So please…"
(13:58:50) * Aline shakily nodded, eyes still rather wide with shock. "R-r-right. But we should still try to understand… never stop until we die… and never let ourselves die if we can help it, right?"
(14:01:26) Sept: "O-of course, stupid. I just, with Yui… You're a better good cop, I was just trying… Y-you -hurt- me, Aline."
(14:03:45) * Aline put her hands on his shoulders. "There's a time and a place… it was a mess. Isaiah couldn't take it, and he went off the deep end - but that made everything /we/ were going to do just as bad, because the bar was set. Next time… just let your anger speak. Pulling a knife in front of that many people… makes them think of the worst."
(14:06:43) Sept: "I would never hurt you or Yanmei…" he repeated. "Please, can y-you promise me you won't ever forget that?"
(14:09:01) Aline: "…As long as you promise to remind us when we forget… including when we're afraid you'll hurt someone we want to protect."
(14:12:02) * Sept let go, and retreated to a socially safe distance. "About why I called…"
(14:12:53) * Aline nodded. "…Do you now understand why I want us to help her? Even if he's well by the time we get there, she… does need a chance to rest."
(14:15:35) Sept: "I… I understand. But it's… what I meant doesn't have to do with the incident itself, Aline."
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(14:16:27) * Aline blinked a bit. "Okay, then… what?"
(14:19:49) * Sept looked at Aline hesitantly, then looked back down. "A… a long time ago. Some time after Qaphsiel. Elisha warned me about something."
(14:20:18) * Aline became slightly more serious… and worried. "What did he warn you about?"
(14:26:57) Sept: "Isaiah. He… Isaiah killed his mother. We think it could happen again, with Yanmei. Their relationship is s-similar. I… I thought this could be our chance. If we could use this to separate them, we wouldn't have to worry… I-I know it was horrible for the both of them, but I'm afraid if we can't do it now we'll never be able to and something even worse will…"
(14:27:56) * Aline blinked, and then blinked again hard. "Wait, /what/?"
(14:28:33) * Sept shivered. "She's in danger, Aline. She's protecting the wrong person."
(14:31:27) * Aline stared wide-eyed. "But… how did he… /why/ did he?"
(14:36:26) Sept: "There'll never be enough love… not for him. H-he'll never be satisfied."
(14:39:33) * Aline shook her head. "I… I want to believe you, but can you… can you tell me more of what he told you? Just as I explained my reasoning to you."
(14:49:33) Sept: "I… I can't explain it further. I've done all I've could to confirm everything, but… it's been so little as to be negligible, objectively, even if it did support it… I do know that it's one of the reasons why Yanmei and 04 didn't get along."
(14:54:24) * Aline slowly nodded. "…Er. Wait. 04 somehow knows about that?… Did it pick that up from syncing with him back then, or… what?"
(14:59:25) * Sept looked at Aline, confused. "N-no, I mean that could also be, but. You know how, when you split AT fields, they should be able to… 'heal', with time? With the same field in 01 and 04, it wouldn't be strange for them to, 'discuss', I guess? I-I'm sorry, you know more about the fields than me, I shouldn't…"
(15:02:41) Aline: "…So… So /that's/ what happened with the 'leftover' Elisha." Aline got a halfway-shocked, halfway-chiding look on her face. She wasn't being overly serious about said chiding though. "You forgot to tell me about 04 being him too! That makes it all make sense again, because if Elisha knew about it already… then both sides of his split soul would, too."
(15:05:38) Sept: "O-oh! I thought Yanmei..! I'm so sorry…"
(15:06:32) * Aline sighed. "…It's fine. She just gets into fights with me anyway… so I'm not surprised that she didn't think to."
(15:11:49) Sept: "Right… Oh. Aline. There was something else I wanted to ask." Sept cleared his throat a little. "Who knows about Voriel?"
(15:13:32) Aline: "Thanks to that incident… a lot of people. I told Ginevre and Shinji. Kaworu found out on his own somehow, and told Yanmei. Then when I did /that/… Now basically all of Section 2 knows, so that they can equip people to help knock me out faster if I lose control."
(15:15:36) Sept: "…Aline." Sera fixed a stern look at Aline.
(15:17:29) * Aline frowned almost immediately. "…What."
(15:19:06) Sept: "Don't trust her. Ginevre isn't on your side."
(15:20:02) * Aline blinked. "…She cornered me with it. I couldn't deny what he did with 00 easily enough." …But then Aline paused greatly. "What happened… I thought you two were… uh, close?"
(15:28:53) Sept: "She betrayed my trust." Sera simply said. "Right now, we have nothing to gain by working with her."
(15:38:14) Aline: "…Ah. I suppose not." But then Aline looked out into the distance for a moment, her tone shifting into something a bit darker, more dreary. "So… we have the pilots - you, me, Yanmei, Asuka, Tsubaki, Shinji, Natasha, and Rei with her little clone army… the Evas by and large… and to a lesser extent, possibly Kaworu and Voriel. It's funny, really. All that's left in the world to truly
(15:38:14) Aline: trust other than ourselves are Angels and demons. At least I know some people would call the Evas 'demons'." But she turned back to Sera. "So what the hell do you think we should do? If Isaiah might kill Yanmei, Gendo might kill Isaiah… and the second will hurt Yanmei and Rei but solve the first problem, yet the first will /kill/ her and still hurt Rei anyway… what even is there to do?"
(15:45:11) Sept: "I was hoping… you'd know. But… With the two of us, maybe watching over them could be possible." Sera paused, about to say something, but hesitating. "I don't suppose you could… you know."
(15:49:45) * Aline drooped. "Only in a serious emergency. Since if I lose control, he takes over, and either I get shot full of tranquilizers, or he goes…" Aline paused, but then took a breath and continued. "…And starts Third Impact. End of the world, creation of a world that only Angels can live in, all that." To which Aline further paused, though this time, she had a thoughtful look. "…I
(15:49:45) * Aline don't know if you've been told already, but we're apparently supposed to… make a new world. That is, they want us to. We may have to anyway, but… if we /know/ what to do, we might have a hope of turning it around."
(15:56:11) Sept: "I know, Aline. But the new world doesn't need broken souls. We'll take our time and figure it all out. Right?"
(16:03:52) Aline: "Right. We have to… I…" Aline closed her eyes. "If we tell her, she'll get angry or try to explain it differently. Especially if either one of us does, just because of who we are. If we don't tell her and try to get them away from each other, she'll fight tooth and nail because she protects him so hard, so much harder than even herself. Maybe we should try to get help from someone else
(16:03:52) Aline: we can trust who might know better. Though… er… I'm not sure who. Shinji's still a bit shy and doesn't understand a lot about how to deal with people, neither really does Tsubaki, Rei definitely wouldn't be of that much help since she really likes him to begin with, and… I… I don't know. You might know better than I do who to ask."
(16:11:57) Sept: "…right. That's… at least you know now. I guess the most we can do is… hope. If she finds out about it herself, there's hope. But we'll protect her regardless, won't we?"
(16:13:14) * Aline allowed herself to stare off into space somewhere near Sera. "…Yes. That'd be how it should go. So that's what we'll do, because it's right."
(16:17:23) Sept: "Yeah. Thanks for listening to me, Aline. I… I was really afraid of doing this."
(16:18:47) Aline: "Mmm, I can imagine. You… probably thought I absolutely hated you after that. Just as I thought you'd hurt me for what I had to go through. But… I guess that's what that whole pilots-are-family thing is for. To keep us from hurting each other when we don't understand each other."
(16:28:40) Sept: "That's what it means." Sera nodded and made to get up, but hesitated again. "L-look, Aline. I… I really want to keep as few secrets from you and Yanmei as I can. I… do you think I could tell you something, I-I'm not sure how everyone else would take it."
(16:32:06) * Aline shrugged her shoulders almost openly. "…If we can keep it together, sure, we can tell as much as we should. I know now that I shouldn't be so worried about /my/ secrets, like the talking to Angels thing."
(16:38:42) Sept: "I still don't like it, Aline. But I could never hurt you." Sera took a deep breath. "What Ginevre did… Aline, de Pteres, it's a made-up name, or… something. Haven't figured it out yet. But Jeremiah and Sharon… they were Caine. -I'm- Caine."
(16:42:41) * Aline blinked suddenly. "…But uh… but… Elisha had only one son? I don't know for sure, but Azariah must have, too. Was someone lying to me when they said that?"
(16:46:39) Sept: Sera's eyes narrowed. "Gendo had a different theory. But his evidence was…" He scoffed. "Flimsy, at best."
(16:47:44) * Aline tilted her head. "…And that would be…?"
(16:56:35) Sept: "Had an old picture of Elisha, he… claimed him looking like me proved I was…" He looked away. "L-like -her-. It's bullshit of course, he's just trying to get to me."
(17:00:12) * Aline shook her head, breathing deeply. This… might end up difficult. "Sera, you… maybe shouldn't be so quick on that. For starters, even if you were… she's still different. Have you…" Aline began, tentatively. "…Ever felt like just being with her felt strange? Like there wasn't something 'right' about her, or that she acted differently?"
(17:05:36) * Sept looked apprehensive, but made an effort to cooperate. "…I don't know what you mean, Aline. I never knew the other Rei, and this one has problems that would screw up a normal person's life."
(17:09:39) Aline: "I mean…" Aline tried to grasp what she was getting at. "Like something not that. Something that, if you just met her some day on the street and didn't know who she was and is supposed to be and so on… would do things like make your skin crawl or make it hard to look at her or something."
(17:14:50) * Sept nodded. "Of course. She was… 'designed' as a weapon. That, with her appearance, will do that."
(17:17:20) * Aline raised - and then wagged - her finger. "No, and I'll tell you why. Did you know, that Angels, Evas… and if I'm using Voriel's power, I as well, can sense if a being has an AT Field stronger than a human's?"
(17:19:36) * Sept frowned and nodded, slower this time. "It… makes sense, sure."
(17:24:39) Aline: "Yeah. And because of that… I looked at her when I was doing that, in the… incident. And…" Aline frowned. "I saw an AT Field no human could have. Since I have the only still-clinging-to-life soul of a fallen Angel in me, she can't just be borrowing someone else's power, so… I think she's half-Angel. They didn't just 'enhance' her to make her stronger. That wouldn't make someone seem
(17:24:40) Aline: disturbing. But… Angels don't think the same way we do. They can't feel the same feelings we do. So those little differences that having a mind halfway between our own and theirs?… Will make for a world of difference in how it feels to be around her." She then rested her hands on her upper legs. "If you /were/ cloned from Elisha's genes, you would not feel the way Rei Ayanami does to
(17:24:40) Aline: others, because you /aren't half-Angel/."
(17:28:14) * Sept rested his face in his hands. "Goddamnit, Yui… what did you -do-..?"
(17:32:14) * Aline let her voice trail softly. "…Try to bring back her daughter. They've probably wanted to create… hybrids like that for years now. So… I think she just used it. It was a mistake, probably, but it… could have been worse. Whether Rei Ikari still lived and had to deal with 7 different clones of her, all 9 years older than her and not completely human, or Yui had to waste away
(17:32:14) * Aline in sadness because her daughter was either dead, or imprisoned in an Eva, filled with hate, jealousy, and grief. She made a decision in weakness: I know how that feels."
(17:38:47) Sept: "Mmh…" Sera nodded a few times, more to himself than anything else. He stared pensively into the distance just past Aline.
(17:44:59) Aline: "I'm sorry. It's not the kind of thing that's easy to forgive. Or understand." Aline rubbed her hands together. "…But for now, as mistaken as she was… Yui's close enough to family, for me. She's Shinji's mother, she may well be the mother of the second Rei, too. That's enough for me to feel it worthwhile to protect her, unless she hurts either of her children, or hurts us more truly…
(17:44:59) Aline: Unlike her husband." …Aline had since grown rather resentful of the man…
(17:50:48) Sept: Shinji… "The only blood relatives I've known haven't had their own blood… I won't ever have a real family, will I?"
(17:54:40) * Aline had a clear note of sympathy in her voice. She… knew all too well how that would feel. "It seems like the lot of a pilot to have problems with their family. Yanmei has no dad and her mom is distant. You… either have dead parents, or one split in two between two Evas. Tsubaki only has a mother who's in /her/ Eva. My mother hardly cares that she's still alive - let alone about
(17:54:40) * Aline her family - and my dad's working all the time. Even Shinji has a dad who barely acknowledges he exists. It sucks, but it's what we have to deal with."
(18:02:56) Sept: "It's what we have to deal with," the boy repeated. He blinked a few times, as if remembering something, and spoke again. "We need to understand all that we've lost… Only then can we become whole." He was still staring somewhere far off into the distance.
(18:04:27) * Aline blinked. "…Eh?" A pause. "…That something he told you, too?"
(18:05:06) Sept: "Mmh." He nodded again.
(18:14:41) Aline: "Right… Right, that sounds… mm. But whatever's the case… we'll get by, right?" Aline pondered. "Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?
(18:23:53) » Quit: Mina‘Haplo (~ua.ten.tcennoc.irb.49-812-86-16-C|ahniatpac#ua.ten.tcennoc.irb.49-812-86-16-C|ahniatpac) (Quit:)
(18:25:58) Sept: "We’ll get by." There was a bit more confidence in his voice this time. It was a genuine reply to the question. "You can go if you want to. I'll… stay here a bit longer."
(18:39:12) * Aline looked into the sky, and for the briefest moment, it sounded like she hummed a few notes. "Mmm. I guess I have my own little fancy thing to say, then. Gendo might've been right when he said the only reason you should pilot is because you're supposed to… but what he didn't realize, is that our destiny doesn't stop there. They're wrong for thinking they can control us. The world we
(18:39:12) * Aline make will be ours, not theirs. Because we're the ones with the destiny to live up to. You're supposed to be the preserver, just as I'm supposed to be the creator. So, my saying? Mm, I want you to…" Then… a gentle little smile, as she stood up, and patted him on the shoulder. "Protect this world's hope with the light of your soul, Sera. Only then can the new world's hope grow inside
(18:39:13) * Aline mine." And with a little turn, Aline began to walk away. "Thanks for the talk."

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