She Said Would You Let An Innocent Person Such As Suzanne Di

[16:16] <Raphael> NERV Elevators: A marvel of modern engineering. Designed to be so slow that they actually warp time itself, all so that the occupants can really savour the pain. The person doing the savouring today is one Group Captain Guillory - He's in a spotless, perfectly ironed dress uniform, and his expression is absolutely blank as he considers his own thoughts…
[16:24] <Ginevre> [The elevator does move slowly, but it's at this point that Raphel is hit with the other, far crueller side of the elevators- as slow as they move, they actually reach their destination far before a person is expecting it. The elevator comes to a stop and the doors open, to reveal… The office of the Chief Director of NERV.-
[16:28] <Ginevre> [A massive room with tinted glass windows- shuttered for now- with a single desk sitting in the very middle. On the roof above the desk are a collection of glowing lights, in the shape of strange, mystic symbols written in some obscure script; the light reflects onto the ground below.-
[16:28] * Ginevre is sitting at her desk. She doesn't look up from her paperwork just yet.
[16:31] * Raphael doesn't move to interrupt, either. He makes no sound as he stands at attention before the desk, simply waiting for the Commander to call upon him… in the meantime his eyes are trying to take in the room's rather bizarre aesthetic.
[16:32] <Ginevre> Eventually she looks up. "Come in, Group Captain Guillory." She stands up and offers a hand to shake- and Raphael would doubtlessly notice that she has a whole three inches on him in height.
[16:36] * Raphael steps up to the desk and gives her hand a firm shake, and he maintains eye contact despite needing to look up a little to do so. "A pleasure to meet you, Commander Fontaine."
[16:37] <Ginevre> "The pleasure is mine. Please, sit down." She gestures to the spare chair, before sitting down herself.
[16:44] * Raphael eyes the chair for a moment before sitting down a little stiffly. "I'm sorry if I'm a few minutes late, ma'am," he says after a moment, as if looking to fill the silence, "There was a bit of a hold up with the Superheavy Regiment."
[16:45] <Ginevre> "Hardly a problem." She says. "Let's cut to the bone of the matter. I've read your report regarding the Eden Base incident."
[16:48] <Raphael> "I hope there were no problems, Commander. I feel it was an even-handed report of the mission."
[16:49] <Ginevre> "Yes, it was. It was certainly very comprehensive." She clasps her hands together and peers up at him. "You must feel very worn out."
[16:52] * Raphael looks it, there's no doubt about that. Between Incident itself and the work with the Superheavy Regiment, time for recovery has been lacking. "Not enough to affect my duties, I assure you."
[16:53] <Ginevre> "Good. Because you are needed to do your duty as we speak."
[16:55] * Raphael frowns very slightly at that, breaking the look of perfect composure. "… ma'am?"
[16:56] <Ginevre> "You assaulted Dr. Riel in the Synchronisation Observation room."
[16:57] <Raphael> "Correct." No hesitation there, and no obvious signs of regret either.
[16:59] <Ginevre> "To be completely honest, Sir Guillory, it's a testament to your position as a sane and reasonable man that you didn't kill her and make it look like an accident, which would be perfectly understandable considering what you learned. And it is exactly that which I am looking for today: a sane and reasonable man. I wish to hear your thoughts on Eden Base. Just the Base for now."
[17:01] <Raphael> "Then I have permission to speak freely, Commander?"
[17:02] <Ginevre> "You may."
[17:06] * Raphael nods once. "With respect, Commander Fontaine, the perversions of morality and humanity I witnessed in that base would be enough for me to break all ties with NERV if doing so would not place even further stress on our ability to defend the people of Paris-2." He says all of this with the sort of perfect calm of someone commenting on the weather.
[17:14] <Ginevre> "I cannot blame you in the slightest." Says Ginevre sadly. "The events that occured at Eden Base are a depressing and disturbing look into what humanity is capable of given enough power and disconnect from reality. My own husband, Elisha Caine, used to be the overseer of Eden. He was the one who witnessed the Neospartan recruitment. In those days, he saw the Project as a regretable, if necessary evil that he could try to ease. To give those children -something- of their own, so that when all was said and done, they'd be able to reintegrate into society and accomplish any ambition they so desired. When he was given the order to convert them into a gestalt consciousness, he adamantly refused. After his death, the Base was turned over to Dr. Riel."
[17:24] <Raphael> "…" Raphael considers this in silence for a few moments, and his hands are tightly twined together in his lap. "… I understand this is stepping outside my purview Commander, but you'll have to forgive me: Is Doctor Riel going to receive any punishment for her role in all of this? Because I understand my report has been sealed."
[17:25] <Ginevre> "How do you believe she should be punished, Group Captain?"
[17:29] <Raphael> "She is solely responsible for the death of over seven hundred soldiers in Eden Base, Commander - Not to mention the fate of Pilot Bellamy and his wife." His lip twists momentarily into a snarl of rage that he can't quite hold back. "If either I or any other rank-and-file had committed something of that magnitude we would be facing a court-marshall and a very hard life sentence, if not
[17:29] <Raphael> worse."
[17:33] <Ginevre> "Trust me when I say that Dr. Riel has -very few- friends right now. My superiors are incandescent with rage at her actions. The other directors are appalled. Even the children she brought back to physical form with her actions do not understand her role, and still fear her as the mythical 'Piper'. Dr. Riel has angered essentially the most powerful people in the world at present. But. I do have a question for you regarding her actions."
[17:39] * Raphael is staring Fontaine right in the eye, expression still tightly guarded. "… of course, ma'am."
[18:21] <Ginevre> "I would like to hear your true, fullest thoughts on Dr. Riel, as a person, as well as on her actions both in the past and in the now."
[18:35] <Raphael> "…" Raphael’s stare intensifies as he tries to size up Ginevre and her request, but… nothing. He couldn’t read that look. "She disgusts me, Commander. I think she’s the truest standard of a coward. Not only was she spineless enough to commit whatever hideous actions NERV wished upon those children in a craven attempt to protect herself , but she ended hundreds of lives just as
[18:35] <Raphael> innocent in pain and horror - almost double those of the children recovered - purely to mollify her own guilt. Nothing about what she did during the incident was done out of any real care for those children."
[18:40] * Ginevre nods. Her face is impassive. "A fair answer, Sir Guillory. You are right, of course. What would you have done if you were in her place, being the one told to liquify those children?"
[18:46] <Raphael> "Ma'am, my loyalty to NERV is beyond question, but if I was given that order and threatened as she was then I would have chosen death without hesitation."
[18:48] <Ginevre> "I see." Ginevre nods. "As expected, but would your intent remain the same if they held a gun to Suzanne Sartre's head and repeated that order, knowing that in no uncertain terms that if you refused, she would die?"
[19:06] <Raphael> "…" Raphael continues looking her in the eye, something in his gaze going very hard indeed. He doesn't blink. "… Commander, I know where you're going with this. But regardless of my feelings on this… this "gestalt"-" He almost seems to -spit- the word out. "- with respect, if she did what she felt was necessary at that moment then she should have been ready to deal with the guilt that
[19:06] <Raphael> came with it. Nobody was holding a gun to her head when she set the events of the Eden Base Incident in motion."
[19:08] <Ginevre> "You are right, of course. Only her own guilt caused her to go down that path." Says Ginevre. "The question I wish to know is: would you let an innocent person, such as Suzanne, die, for the greater good?"
[19:11] <Raphael> "… Yes," he says finally, voice flat and cold.-
[19:12] <Raphael> "Nothing I saw in that base would fall under that definition though, Commander Fontaine."
[19:12] <Ginevre> "Certainly not, Group Captain." Said Ginevre. She slid a piece of paper towards him.-
[19:13] <Ginevre> "Which is why I know you will understand the terms of this edict."
[19:15] * Raphael continues watching her for a few moments longer before he bothers to turn his attention to the paper.
[19:16] <Ginevre> [It's an edict from NERV's command. The summary: Dr. Riel is, for crimes against humanity, morality, and NERV itself, to be sentenced to death.-
[19:18] <Ginevre> [However, concessions have been made to Dr. Riel's irreplaceable knowledge and ability, so that her execution will be delayed until after the Angel threat has been confirmed to have ended. Her ability to make command decisions, shape NERV policy and the like will be severely hampered and overseen by Fontaine herself.]
[19:22] * Raphael reads all this without any change of expression, but when he's through he makes a low, thoughtful noise and turns his gaze back towards Fontaine. "… And I can only assume that all those who gave the initial orders for such an experiment and bullied Riel into performing it will be subject to the same terms, Commander?" Watching her closely now.
[19:23] <Ginevre> "The man who ordered that experiment is already dead. And good riddance, too." She adds with a hint of genuine bitterness- her first show of any real emotion.
[19:30] * Raphael just nods slowly… there's almost a flash of satisfaction in his eyes, but it's there and gone in a heartbeat. "On a related matter… May I ask what's to happen with Pilot Bellamy, ma'am?"
[19:34] <Ginevre> "She will be given the best care NERV can provide, which is considerable, in the hope of rehabilitating her. If she is well enough to perform her duty when the time comes, she will be reinstated as the pilot of EVA-07. If she is not… Then we will release her to civilian life, with protection. Unfortunately…" She sighed. "Right now she is in no fit state to do much at all. Including act as a mother to her daughter."
[19:41] <Raphael> "… Those two did not deserve this, Commander. Adrian seemed like an excellent young man." He lets out a sigh of his own and brushes at his fringe. "Has somewhere stable been found for Elizabeth in the meantime?"
[19:43] <Ginevre> "She's being kept in Paris-2's Geofront for now where we can monitor her condition. Once she's well enough for a more civilian surrounding, I'll release her into the care of a gentleman living on the fringes of the city. His specialised staff are quite capable of making special arrangements."
[19:48] <Ginevre> -NOPE SCRATCH THAT-
[19:49] <Ginevre> "I believe Isabelle requested rather adamantly that Elizabeth be released into the care of Pilot Zhang and her partner, at least for the meantime."
[19:50] <Raphael> "… An interesting decision. Nevertheless, at least Captain Amatore-DeForest will be able to provide some supervision."
[19:51] <Ginevre> "Yes. Of that I am grateful." Ginevre was pensive. "As far as decisions go, it -is- rather odd, but I do understand the logic, as… Emotional as it is."
[19:56] * Raphael nods. "They're both good kids, and they have a rather large support network. I'm sure they'll get by."
[20:00] * Ginevre nods. "Speaking of which. How are you finding your own new ward, Sir Guillory?"
[20:12] <Raphael> "I admit to being a bit surprised that you know about her, Commander," Raphael says. "Still… we're getting by. There's been a lot of progress with her physical therapy - she's a tough kid - but she still cries a lot. She misses her parents, of course."
[20:14] <Ginevre> "Mmm…" Ginevre shakes her head sadly. "A lot of ill in this world comes of children missing their parents, and parents missing their children. In any case, she's fortunate to have you to protect her."
[20:18] <Raphael> "Thank you, ma'am. It's been quite the learning experience, that's for sure."
[20:18] * Ginevre smiles. "If I can offer a bit of advice?"
[20:20] <Raphael> "Certainly."
[20:21] <Ginevre> "Have faith in yourself first and foremost, but don't be afraid to ask for help. No one ever parents alone, and it takes a village to raise a child. Consider NERV your village."
[20:26] * Raphael nods slowly, smiling a little. "I'll keep that in mind, Commander. I've been lucky to have so many people who care about her."
[20:27] <Ginevre> "We're a caring lot." She smiles. "But I shouldn't keep you busy. No doubt you have many things to attend to, yes?"
[20:34] <Raphael> "True. As must you, no doubt." He stands, giving Fontaine another perfect salute before offering his hand out again. "Thank you for granting me as much time as you have, Commander."
[20:34] <Ginevre> "It was, again, my pleasure. Your clarity of purpose and vision is refreshing." She takes his hand and shakes it.
[20:44] <Ginevre> "You can rest assured, Sir Guillory, that there is no place for such a thing under -my- NERV."
[20:47] <Raphael> "That's a comfort, Commander. Enjoy the rest of your day." And with that he's headed for the elevator again. He doesn't look back.
[20:50] <Ginevre> "The same to you." She doesn't stop him as he enters the elevator- and the doors close.
[21:01] <Raphael> NERV Elevators: They really give you a chance to stew in your thoughts. Thoughts about children melted away. Thoughts of public executions. Thoughts of the greater good. As the doors firmly close Raphael slumps against the wall and sighs, raising one hand to cover his face…

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