She Said We Are The Ground Defense Task Force

[15:44] <Asuka‘> [Captains Misato and Marianne waited in the briefing room, which was built like an ampitheatre, a large computerised display monitor occupying the wall with a holographic table on a raised dais in front of it. They waited for the key individuals for the Ground Defense Task Force, now- in order to begin their briefing.]
[15:46] * @Aline tried to arrive as early as she could manage. Interesting people were going to be defending alongside her, and… the stakes were high. Very high. This Angel could destroy cities with a casual ease that even the previous attempts couldn’t live up to. She arrived in uniform, as if to underscore the seriousness of the situation.
[15:49] * Raphael is already sitting at towards the front of the briefing room, having arrived with Marianne from the Superheavy base some ten minutes ago. His own uniform shirt is actually unbuttoned, with a few light wrinkles that might suggest he'd fallen asleep without changing at some point in the last few hours. He seems busy with his own thoughts, staring fixedly at the display panel as Aline
[15:49] * Raphael arrives.
[15:59] <Asuka‘> [Shinji entered a little while later, looking mildly grouchy and tired. He quickly headed over and took a seat next to Aline, reaching over and patting her hand. Behind him came Natasha, who looked around the room and tucked herself into a corner.-
[16:00] <Asuka`> ["Alright. Everyone’s here." Misato nods and steps forward. "We are the Ground Defense Task Force. As you can obviously expect, our job involves protecting Paris-2 and other NERV assets on the ground during the battle. To this end we have assigned three Evangelions- EVA-00, EVA-05 and EVA-06- as well as the two Thruster Dreadnoughts of the Superheavy Regiment. Before I begin the briefing, does anyone have anything to say or add?"]
[16:03] * @Aline shook her head to indicate 'no'… but clutched Shinji's hand gently. She muttered a bit under her breath to him. "Hey… you okay?"
[16:04] <Asuka‘> ["Y-yeah, just a little worn out. Synch tests."]
[16:04] * Raphael glances around as the voices snap him out of whatever thought he was lost in and shakes his head quickly. "No, ma’am."
[16:06] * @Aline nodded. "Mmm. I gotcha." But then she folded the remaining arm a bit in front of herself, and entered a waiting pose.
[16:10] <Asuka‘> [Misato nods. "Alright." She nods to Marianne, who fiddles with one of the consoles; the display monitor flares to life with a topographical map of Paris-2.-
[16:13] <Asuka`> ["This is Paris-2." Says Marianne. "As we’ve observed in China, Ramliel has the ability to launch Angelspawn from space at immense speeds. These Angelspawn then land, and detonate, causing massive destruction to the area around them. However, Ramliel also has immense Dirac Sea manipulation abilities. For those of you who aren't aware, a Dirac Sea is essentially a rift in space to a 'pocket' dimension. Things within the dimension are invulnerable to external attack, but furthermore, one can use a Dirac Sea to rip a 'shortcut' in space from one point to another. In this case, we believe Ramliel to use Dirac Seas to immediately ferry exploding Angelspawn to the target location without a chance of interception."]
[16:15] * @Aline scratched her chin a bit. "So… how exactly do we make them not explode, so we can shoot and/or beat them into submission? Or is that covered later on?"
[16:17] <Asuka‘> ["That comes next." Says Misato.]
[16:18] * @Aline nodded. "Right then, thank you~"
[16:18] * Raphael has drawn a notepad from his breast pocket and is jotting a few quick points down as Misato speaks.
[16:25] <Asuka`> ["Observations show that the Angelspawn themselves have a 2.2 second delay before it self-destructs. However." She holds up a hand, and Marianne fiddles with the holographic table. An image of an Angelspawn appears- it’s thick and bulky, with an armoured neck and helmeted head, with a red orb in the centre of the cranium. Its left arm is craggy and bulging, as though covered in eggs; the right arm forms an obvious large cannon. The readouts show it to be about 55 metres tall. "The Angelspawn is more than a bomb. It's armoured and armed. So we can expect it to act as a sort of deep-striking soldier as well. The opinion of Tactical is that it's likely to try to destroy us first with its weapons before it self-destructs, meaning we have a window open to destroy it."-
[16:26] <Asuka‘> ["That said." Marianne pipes up. "The Angelspawn’s AT Field acts as in the same manner as a kinetic impact weapon. Meaning if it's dropped from space and it lands, it'll create an explosion anyway. So try to intercept them before that happens."-
[16:26] <Asuka‘> ["Right!" Adds Misato. "Aline, Shinji-kun, Natasha?"]
[16:30] * @Aline thought on that. "Well, that makes sense… hm. It /looks/ like they have a ranged weapon, obviously, though the other arm looks… suspicious. I can’t put my finger on it completely, but it might pay to avoid close engagements without a raised AT Field or a personal shield or similar. I mean, it looks like it's got parasitic eggs or something. But… I /did/ have a question."
[16:30] * @Aline Aline squeezed Shinji's hand nigh-unconsciously. "Am I to imagine that our best option for arresting their fall would probably be a barrier-spread AT Field?"
[16:36] <Asuka‘> ["Yes, that’s right." Says Misato, nodding. "On that same note. Captain Guillory?"]
[16:37] * Raphael glances up after jotting down "parasitic eggs" followed by a long string of question marks. "Captain?"
[16:43] <Asuka‘> ["Your Dreadnoughts are fragile compared to the Evangelions. Because of that, EVA-00 will be protecting her emplacement with a continual Barrier Field." She turns to Marianne.-
[16:44] <Asuka`> ["I want the Regiment to stay behind that Field and grant covering fire as necessary." Says Marianne.]
[16:46] * @Aline turned to Raphael, then Marianne. "I’d like to note that I'm on hand to answer AT-Field, Evangelion-related, or 00-specific questions posed by Superheavy members, in light of that."
[16:49] * Raphael nods without hesitation. "Yes ma'am. Do you have any particular preference in regards to our loadouts? I'm pretty sure the Thruster teams has finally worked out the power-supply issues with those positron weapons." He cranes his head around to face Aline and smiles slightly. "I think we're up to speed right now, but if there are unexpected issues in the field we'll direct them your
[16:49] * Raphael way."
[16:54] * @Aline nodded. "Thank you, at any rate. I know I'll be wanting to add a positron rifle to the larger emplacement for mobility reasons. Otherwise… yes, AT penetration'd probably be good. I actually know that trying to maintain a barrier /and/ enhance that cannon for orbital firing is going to take a lot out of my field strength - it'll be down to the other two EVAs to neutralize until
[16:54] * @Aline and unless the situation becomes too dire to continue artillery fire. However… I /am/ pretty happy that 00's latest biological improvements are quite a help. Flight without expending field energy, and broadcast capabilities… long-range neutralization will be of great help - even the 200 meters or so added would make a big difference."
[16:55] <Asuka‘> [Marianne nods. "Positron weapons will be the order of the day, considering the AT Fields of our enemy. I’ll be wanting at least a Positron Cannon and a Positron Assault Cannon."-
[16:57] <Asuka‘> [Misato nods. at Aline’s words too. "Fortunately, EVA-00 isn't alone in being able to perform sustained flight without AT energy." She turns to Natasha. "Natasha, you'll be using your Heavy Bolter to intercept and destroy Angelspawn. And once the coast is clear, EVA-02's Heavy Railgun will be at your disposal to assist the Space Force."-
[16:57] <Asuka‘> ["Er… Er! Right, right!"-
[16:57] <Asuka`> ["Shinji-kun… Stay close to the other two. Protect them from any Angelspawn that come close. I don’t need to tell you much more than that."-
[16:57] <Asuka‘> ["Y-yes, Misato-san."]
[17:01] <@Aline> "Yup! 05 is the best close solution, and while I haven’t read up on a Heavy Bolter's specs juuuust yet…" Aline shot a smile at Natasha. "I know a simple funnel effect is enough to make a Heavy Railgun orbital-capable, too. Really, the order of the day is going to be suppressive fire, anyway. …Mm. One of you two should probably remind Sera that that artillery-spotting training he's been
[17:01] <@Aline> taking is going to become extremely important for this mission."
[17:04] <Asuka‘> ["We’ve already informed him of what he needs to be told." Says Misato. "For now, focus on your own front."]
[17:05] * @Aline nodded. "Sorry, ma'am."
[17:08] <Asuka‘> ["No need to apologise." Misato shakes her head. "Aline, thanks to your experience you’re being designated as acting team leader for the ground-based Evangelions."]
[17:09] * @Aline nodded again, this time more firmly. "I'll act responsibly for that, then." A peeeer over at Shinji and Natasha. "The two of you are cool with that, right?"
[17:10] <Asuka‘> ["No objections." Says Shinji with a timid smile.-
[17:10] <Asuka`> [Natasha peered over the top of the seat she was unconsciously hiding behind. "Uh… N-Nono, A-Aline should b-be the one…"-
[17:11] <Asuka`> [Misato nods. "Good."-
[17:12] <Asuka`> [Marianne turns towards Raphael. "Captain Guillory, you also have one other special task granted to you and the Dreadnoughts specifically."]
[17:23] <Raphael> "Yes, Captain?"
[17:23] <Asuka`> ["In the event of an Evangelion unit going berserk- and I mean any unit, but especially EVA-05- you and your Dreadnoughts are tasked to destroy it immediately."]
[17:26] * Raphael sits up a little straighter, mouth pressed in a tight line, but he nods quickly in response. "Of course, Captain."
[17:28] <Asuka`> [Shinji had an odd look on his face, sort of like he’d just been smacked in the face by a soccer ball that he saw coming but couldn't dodge. "Eh- well… T-There's no guarantee EVA-05 is going to attack any allies. So can't they leave it until then?"]
[17:31] <Raphael> "… not to presume to speak for the Captains, sir, but I'm not sure we can leave it to chance in this situation. The odds aren't exactly in our favour without a berserking Eva in play."
[17:32] <Asuka‘> ["I-I guess so…"-
[17:33] <Asuka`> [Misato smiles. "Don’t worry too much, Shinji-kun. I know EVA-05 is supposed to be the Berserk Evangelion, but there's too much at risk this time, around such fragile targets. Still, let's leave it to the situation as it arises, ok?" She turns to face the others. "Any questions?"]
[17:36] * Raphael pauses just long enough to turn and give Shinji and Aline a sincerely apologetic look. "Just one, I believe: Has our experience elsewhere provided us with enough data to approximate a… rate of fire, I suppose, for this Angel's spawn deployment?"
[17:36] * @Aline slowly nodded. "…Best to keep the Dreadnaughts only in a respectable distance from 05… And." Aline smiled. "If she looks like she wants to hurt allies… let me take the first shot. Berserk EVAs prioritize Angels… then aggressors. 00 can't stop a berserker in defensive combat, but it stands a better chance of guarding than either of the dreadnaughts do - and it frees up
[17:36] * @Aline Natasha to operate along her specialty. Even further! The two of us can attempt to force 05 into aerial combat, which may help the Superheavies out. But… do continue, sir Guillory."
[17:41] <Asuka‘> [Misato nods. "I’ll keep that in mind, Aline. Anything to neutralise the threat it poses with miniml damage whilst maintaining our defenses will be helpful." She turns back to Raphael. "Early estimates suggest a maximum rate of one Spawn every six to twelve seconds."]
[17:49] * Raphael frowns for a moment as he considers this, but again… what else is there to do but nod? "High, but not impossible to deal with so long as we ensure combined fire. I… think that should answer all of my questions, then."
[17:49] <Asuka‘> [Misato nods and turns to Aline. "Anything else?"]
[17:51] * @Aline thought. "…I don’t believe I have any more. The only not-heavily-covered area is our role as artillery, but I'm pretty sure that's a very simple 'get targeting data, fire on Sentinels when possible, then against the main Angel when possible."
[17:52] <Asuka‘> [Misato nods. "That’s right. In that case- dismissed."]
[17:59] * @Aline stood up, and gave a little bow… and kept a hand on Shinji's, nonetheless…
[18:02] <Asuka‘> [Shinji looked up at Aline and rose as she did, giving Misato a bow of his own before turning back to Aline. "Let’s go."]
[18:04] <@Aline> "…Yes." Aline didn't need to be asked twice!
[18:06] <Asuka‘> [Shinji was quiet until they proceeded outside. His hand was clenching and unclenching as he spoke. "We have to win this, huh?"]
[18:15] * @Aline nodded nigh-grimly. "Absolutely. Even if the world isn’t at stake - as it is with /every/ angel… It'll just kill everything it sees until it breaches and gets what it wants. Voriel himself said it, that the standard strategic plan for his kind was to blow iup everything and sort it out later."
[18:16] <Asuka‘> ["Yeah…" Shinji murmured quietly. He looked away for a moment, then back to Aline. "It’s alright to be afraid, isn't it?"]
[18:18] <@Aline> "Yup! Totally alright." …She looked at him, though. Rather… Significantly. "Treasure being scared. I'm getting that beaten out of me slowly. It's… wrong, somehow. I can just feel it."
[18:22] <Asuka‘> ["… Beaten out of you, huh. I guess that’s what happens to soldiers?"]
[18:23] * @Aline pursed her lips as she walked. "That's how it feels. I guess I'm on a fast-track because it was done by spooky AT magic, but same difference. But at least you know, while we're still fighting, I'll do my best to anchor you in reality." …Oh har har, Aline.
[18:24] <Asuka‘> ["… I wouldn’t trust anyone else with such a task." He said quietly, giving her a little smile.]
[18:27] * @Aline smiled back. "At least we'll have some time together before and after… That's a little bit of a benefit."
[18:29] <Asuka‘> ["Yeah… L-Let’s hope everyone comes back alive. And that nothing goes wrong." He said, smiling, although it was obvious in his eyes that he didn't believe it would come true.]
[18:32] * @Aline then looked serious. "…We've never had an in-EVA casualty against Angels. Close calls, but no deaths. I don't /think/ that statistic is going to change. We might get hurt, we might get hurt bad, but…" She put a hand on his shoulder. "I believe every pilot will survive. Even the ones deployed into space. Even if I have to extend a big damn wall of AT force and catch them myself!"
[18:34] <Asuka‘> [He covered her hand with his own. "I don’t have the heart to trust what I say, but it's easy to trust yours, so I'll do that from now on."]
[18:38] * @Aline squeezed at his shoulder. "I know how that can feel…" She certainly soundedd glum enough to be believable.
[18:38] <Asuka‘> [Shinji nodded, hanging his head. For awhile he was quiet, before he wordlessly moved in and embraced her.]
[18:39] * @Aline didn’t need to say more. She returned that gesture, and very much so!

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