Shinji S Pain

[06:44] * Yanmei walked through the hallways, still in her ruffled red blouse and jeans, a thin brown jacket tossed over the whole outfit. She was tired today, but entirely too reluctant to show it. -
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[06:49] <Yanmei> And anyway, she'd been through worse nights, hadn't she? Lizzie was under someone else's care for the next hour or so, leaving her free to talk about serious things and punch a few things in the gym afterward. Both were very necessary right now. So onward she went, to the briefing room.
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[06:52] <AdEvaGM> [The briefing room was a sharp contrast to the hallways. The Geofront was bustling with people- it hadn't been this busy since Ramliel had appeared in orbit.-
[06:53] <AdEvaGM> [The briefing room was quiet, a sort of dreadful silence filling the room. The Sisters sat on one end of the table, next to Rei; Shinji sat about half a table length away from the girls, pale and detatched.]
[06:55] <Yanmei> "…" This was not a good start. Still, she tried, settling into a small smile. "Good morning everyone. Sleep okay?"
[06:57] <AdEvaGM> [A sort of noncommittal murmur of assent. Shinji sat up a little straighter, but he didn't meet Yanmei's eye.]
[07:01] <Yanmei> Seeing Shinji reminded her of some things that had been plaguing her for the last two nights. Had Blanc's family been told yet? What about William's priest group? She nearly looked away herself. -
[07:04] <Yanmei> "We're all clear on why we're here? I'm here to give a rundown of the situation in Italy. You guys are here to get to know each other before the mission proper as well. We have two new people with us today, and we have to come together quickly in order for this to work."
[07:05] <AdEvaGM> [Nods and another murmur…]
[07:13] <Yanmei> "We'll start with an overview of the plan?" She slipped into a chair and opened a folder that she had brought with her. "This is a rescue and recovery mission. This is also a mission to eliminate the anamoly known as Big Brother, and to shake the grip of the Children of Adam cult group from Italy."
[07:13] <Yanmei> ^anomaly
[07:15] <AdEvaGM> ["How do we do that, then?" Asked Shinji bluntly.]
[07:24] <Yanmei> "By cornering, disarming, and overwhelming him in close range combat. Three EVAs working together should be enough to slow him down, while a fourth destroys the hordes of spawn that he's using as his support. The speed of the fourth unit in doing so is critical, as they gave us a very difficult time in the previous battle."
[07:28] <AdEvaGM> ["Who's doing what?" Asked Elene.]
[07:33] <Yanmei> "07 will be critical in crippling his AT abilities. Without those he should be unable to teleport, use ranged attacks, or enhance his melee attacks. We also need 09 to stop his movements and 05 to put him on the defensive. Due to it proficiency in crippling the hordes in the last battle, 04 has been singled out to weaken and destroy the mobs." Yanmei was frowning. -
[07:36] <Yanmei> "At least, that's the initial setup. I anticipate him catching on at some point, so we need to be flexible in switching roles if something happens."
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[07:43] <AdEvaGM> ]
[07:43] <AdEvaGM> [The girls nodded; Shinji merely frowned at the floor. "Put him on the defensive, huh."]
[07:47] <Yanmei> "Yes, that's right. We need you to hit him as much as you can, as hard as you can?" Yanmei maintained her own frown. "There is one complication. If he is armed with a conventional weapon, it needs to be destroyed or taken away immediately."
[07:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah?"]
[07:53] <Yanmei> "If we don't, he'll be too dangerous to manage at close range as well. We have a few ways to do this, of course? The most obvious is having 09 grapple him, while 07 and 05 disable the arm holding the weapon, destroy it, or wrench it away for storage."
[07:59] <AdEvaGM> ["What do we need to look out for?" Asked Rei.]
[08:03] <Yanmei> "Speed and natural strength. We haven't tested him so he may be strong enough to reverse a hold or hold onto the weapon even with others trying to pull it away by force. He'll also chain punching and kicking attacks together - making your role in grappling especially dangerous, Rei."
[08:09] <AdEvaGM> [Rei nodded. "Understood. I'll keep him under control."]
[08:14] <Yanmei> "Thank you." Yanmei nodded, although she didn't look too happy about it. "If starts to take too long and you start to get hurt, I'll try to pitch in at a distance. I still have my Bolter, after all? The last time he took damage from it, so we know his defenses aren't insane like some of the other Angels we've faced."
[08:19] <AdEvaGM> [A general nod.-
[08:19] <AdEvaGM> ["I guess we'll soon know how tough he -really- is." Muttered Shinji.]
[08:24] <Yanmei> "There's one other thing." Yanmei sighed. "The higher-ups are inisisting that we use Excalibur. Rei, you probably remember it from that fight in Boston?"
[08:26] <AdEvaGM> [Rei's face immediately darkened. "Yes."-
[08:26] <AdEvaGM> [But the twins looked confused. "Excalibur?" Asked Elene.-
[08:26] <AdEvaGM> ["Is that some kind of code name?" Asked Sophia.]
[08:31] <Yanmei> "It's the name of a weapon. A dangerous one. If anything can get by Big Brother's defenses, that would be it. Unfortunately, it also hurts whoever is using it?"
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[08:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Is it some kind of overpowered cannon?" Asked Elene.]
[08:40] <Yanmei> "It's a sword. Weird, huh? That's not the sort of power you'd expect from a melee weapon."
[08:41] <AdEvaGM> [The twins looked at each other, then back to Yanmei. "I see." Said Sophia.]
[08:43] <Yanmei> "My understanding? Is that right now the Tech Division is hurrying to make it less dangerous for the user, so there's hope in that."
[08:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Who's getting it? The twins?" Asked Shinji.]
[08:54] <Yanmei> "No. That'd be way too dangerous." Yanmei shook her head. "They seem to think that I'm the best candidate for it."
[08:59] <AdEvaGM> ["But Meimei, that sword-!" Rei nearly shot out of her chair.]
[09:04] * Yanmei smiled wryly. "It will be okay, Rei. Isaiah managed to use it before, so I could theoretically do the same."
[09:06] <AdEvaGM> [Rei frowned dubiously and settled back down. "… Alright."-
[09:07] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji was glowering at the table.]
[09:08] <Yanmei> "Were there any other questions?"
[09:10] <AdEvaGM> ["We gonna have any sort of group exercises?" Asked Elene.-
[09:10] <AdEvaGM> ["Why bother?" Muttered Shinji bitterly.]
[09:12] <Yanmei> "You doubt our chances, Mr. Ikari?"
[09:13] <AdEvaGM> ["It's not that, there's just no point to that sort of thing." Said Shinji, not looking up. "Unless it's just you all training together. What am I gonna do in the battle, anyway? Pilot it for a minute, and then lose control and wake up ten hours later in a hospital bed."]
[09:18] <Yanmei> "That's not fair. No one knows what will happen. Besides, don't you remember the Thunderdome, when your team whipped ours and won first place? That was all you, wasn't it?"
[09:22] <AdEvaGM> ["That was just a simulation. It doesn't matter- once a real fight's on, 05 -always- takes over." Growled Shinji. "It always happens."-
[09:23] <AdEvaGM> [A groan from the end of the table. "If you're going to mope, fuck off elsewhere and do it." Snapped Elene.]
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[09:36] <Yanmei> "That's enough," said Yanmei sternly. "We're supposed to be helping each other out, not sniping at each other. That said?" She glanced to Shinji, "05's consciousness isn't something that we can fix? I know it's frustrating, especially right now, but please try to keep a cool head."
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[09:42] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji frowned at the floor, and ran a hand through his hair. "… Sorry."-
[09:43] <AdEvaGM> [Elene was still eyeing him with dislike, but Sophia had a hand on her shoulder- the redhead settled back into her chair quietly.]
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[09:51] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei glanced between them, sensing that lingering tension, and held back a sigh. "If you're going to bicker, at least do it constructively? Like, use sparring or something. With pads," she added, glancing at the mafia twins.
[09:57] <AdEvaGM> [Elene shot to her feet again. "Done."-
[09:57] <AdEvaGM> ["Fine." Shinji shot to his feet too, genuine fury in his features. He was glaring at Elene.]
[10:00] <Yanmei> "All right." Yanmei started to stand as well, a look of mild approval now taking hold. "Let's go punch each other! Rei, Sophia, you come too, okay?"
[10:01] <AdEvaGM> [Rei was looking worried, glancing between the two. "… Alright."-
[10:01] <AdEvaGM> [Sophia nodded, and stood up, smiling a little. "I hope you can fight, Mr. Ikari."-
[10:01] <AdEvaGM> ["I can give it a shot."]
[10:02] * Yanmei collected her folder, and briskly led the way toward the training facilities. "This way, this way."
[10:04] <AdEvaGM> [The group followed her out…]
[10:10] <Yanmei> Before long they were there, surrounded by practice mats and a handful of military guys doing their own sparring and drills. A nearby cabinet held foam padding and foam weapons, and Yanmei eyed it speculatively as Shinji and Elene suited up, her own hands opening and clenching just a bit.
[10:11] <AdEvaGM> ["What are the rules of engagement?" Asked Elene, who only put on the bare minimum of armour.]
[10:12] <Yanmei> "Don't kill each other," said Yanmei. A pause. "And no hitting below the belt."
[10:14] <AdEvaGM> ["Lame." Said Elene. "But everything else is fair game, right?"-
[10:14] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji was eyeing the weapons cabinet speculatively.]
[10:15] <Yanmei> "Right. Use whatever you want, switch weapons, go without, whatever."
[10:16] <AdEvaGM> [Elene raised her fists, whilst Shinji grabbed a short wooden dagger and a thick glove.]
[10:18] * Yanmei settled back with Sophia and Rei to watch, giving the fighters their space. "Whenever you're ready," she called out to them. "Go!"
[10:36] <AdEvaGM> [Elene was off almost before the word was out of Yanmei's mouth. she leapt forward- jab to the eye- then a solid strike square to Shinji's sternum.-
[10:36] <AdEvaGM> [He coughed, staggering backwards-
[10:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Oniichan, look out!" Shouted Rei, clearly worried-
[10:36] <AdEvaGM> [But Shinji came back, growling with anger as he lashed out with his wooden dagger, catching Sophia on the arm.]
[10:36] <AdEvaGM> <Elene*>
[10:38] * Yanmei patted Rei lightly on the shoulder to show that it was going to be okay, and then eyed the fight again. That was odd. She'd thought Shinji would have more power behind him…
[10:46] <AdEvaGM> [And as though the thought itself summoned something up out of nowhere, Shinji let out a massive scream- and lunged.-
[10:46] <AdEvaGM> [A hiss of pain, the splash of blood- the dagger had ripped through Elene's armour and into her stomach.]
[10:48] <Yanmei> "STOP!" Yanmei's hand had dropped away from Rei's shoulder, and she was starting to approach. "Holy cow… Simonides, are you okay?"
[10:54] <AdEvaGM> [Elene seemed to pause, to take it in, then-
[10:54] <AdEvaGM> [Sophia groaned. "Elene-"-
[10:55] <AdEvaGM> ["I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!" A shattering kick straight to Shinji's groin, followed by a lightning-fast palm smack into his nose, blood flying everywhere. He cried out in pain.]
[11:01] <Yanmei> A curse. Yanmei was sprinting to the sparring match. Toward Shinji in particular, before this could escalate more. "Rei!"
[11:01] <AdEvaGM> [But Rei was already moving, almost tackling Elene to the ground. Shinji was easy to grab, and once grabbed didn't seem able to pull away. "Lemme- go!"]
[11:05] <Yanmei> "I said -not- to kill each other! -Not-!" Yanmei wasn't letting go anytime soon. She frowned over at Elene and Rei.
[11:06] <AdEvaGM> [Rei was clearly the strongest person in the room, keeping Elene easily pinned despite Elene's martial knowledge. Rei wasn't exactly a slouch herself.-
[11:06] <AdEvaGM> ["Elene, calm down." Said Sophia, walking over. "He didn't mean it- Shh…"]
[11:10] <Yanmei> "We're stopping the match to check for injuries," she said with a deep breath. "Ikari, are you okay?"
[11:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Ghh-"-
[11:12] <AdEvaGM> [He was growling in pain, but suddenly all the muscles in his body went slack. His growls turned into… Sobs. Tears poured down his cheeks messily- his words were garbled.]
[11:18] <Yanmei> "…" For a moment, guilt was etched plainly across her face. She let him go… although not completely, letting a hand rest against his shoulder.
[11:21] <AdEvaGM> [He sank to his knees, his hands covering his face, his entire body wracked with awful, painful sobs. The other military guys had stopped even pretending to not pay attention.-
[11:21] <AdEvaGM> [Elene had calmed down now- she wasn't looking directly at Shinji. She seemed… Ashamed?-
[11:21] <AdEvaGM> ["Meimei, Elly-chan needs to go to the medical district." Said Rei quietly.]
[11:22] <Yanmei> "Will you and Sophia take her, Rei?"
[11:22] <AdEvaGM> [Sophia nodded. "I'll do that."]
[11:28] <Yanmei> "Thanks." Yanmei was crouching now, next to Shinji, seemingly waiting for the downpour to subside a bit. The stares were… impossible to ignore. "Hey. Let's go to a lockeroom for a minute, okay?" she murmured.
[11:29] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji nodded, barely keeping it together as he followed her.]
[11:34] <Yanmei> The locker room was deserted… for now. There were civilian clothes about, indicating that people would be returning eventually, but for now it was quiet. Yanmei went through her pockets and turned up a tissue, which she held out to Shinji as they approached a semi-cluttered bench. "I'm sorry," she muttered. "I didn't say it before, but… I'm really sorry for what happened."
[11:41] <AdEvaGM> ["S-She can't be dead." Groaned Shinji.]
[11:46] <Yanmei> "I'm sorry," she said again, eyes downturned. "It's the worst thing in the world to lose someone you love. And it's not fair to drag you here and not gve you time to… well, do what you're doing."
[11:50] <AdEvaGM> [He gripped his hands together. "D-Don't. Please. Not until I know for sure."]
[11:52] * Yanmei stopped and then nodded. "I understand. Can you hold out until we do find out for sure?"
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[12:05] <AdEvaGM> ["I… I'll try. It's all I can do." He wiped at his eyes. "I-I can barely pilot 05 without it going berserk! I feel so powerless…"]
[12:08] <Yanmei> "It's totally frustrating. And invasive too, right? But worse, it feels like you're not doing anything to help during the battles, like you said before. Still."-
[12:12] <Yanmei> Yanmei folded her hands. "Being there is a powerful thing, don't you think? To the enemy, and - if we do save her, and she looks up and realizes that who's fighting for her - to her too. If it was Isaiah coming for me, I think I'd be relieved, even if he wasn't in control, because it'd show his resolve."
[12:13] <AdEvaGM> ["Y… Yeah. I guess you're right." He wiped at his eyes with Yanmei's tissue, which was quickly becoming damp. "S-Sorry."]
[12:15] * Yanmei shook her head and smiled softly at him. "Don't apologise. It's really rough. I think I would have broken down a while ago, if I was in your place."
[12:16] <AdEvaGM> ["Y-You would've done it in private though, I bet." Another sniffle.-
[12:17] <AdEvaGM> ["D… Does it feel good to be connected to him? Knowing all the time that he's safe or whatever?"]
[12:20] <Yanmei> "… the downside is that I also know when he -isn't- safe. Intimately." Her voice quieted a little. "It's scary. But… it's also scary in that I can't imagine living without that connection now."
[12:27] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah. I think it's better to know than to not…"]
[12:30] <Yanmei> "You're not alone, though. I've… had my own laspes into rage or tears when there was something hurting him. Sometimes in front of everyone, in the middle of missions." She looked around the locker room and frowned, half-expecting some idiot eavesdropping soldier to have made himself visible. "Don't tell anyone, though?"
[12:31] <AdEvaGM> ["I-I won't. I don't think anyone would hold it against you, though." Said Shinji. "I-It's pretty well known how close you two are, and how you worry…"]
[12:34] <Yanmei> "W-what do you mean well known? It's not like I baby him or anything…"
[12:35] <AdEvaGM> ["You don't see it as often here, but the NERV merchandising's a lot stronger in Japan, especially after the movie. You and him are almost always sold as a set, with all sorts of costumes…"]
[12:36] <Yanmei> "Costumes?" Yanmei colored. "Damn it… that marketing department!"
[12:42] <AdEvaGM> ["Wedding outfits, swimsuits, accurate school uniforms, various career outfits- business suits, tennis outfits, fast food joint…"]
[12:43] * Yanmei groaned and rubbed her forehead. "Is that the standard treatment for Pilot dolls? What sort of outfits have they put you into?"
[12:45] <AdEvaGM> ["Plugsuit." Said Shinji, shrugging. "Shirt and pants…"]
[12:45] <Yanmei> "Eh?! That's totally unbalanced!"
[12:46] <AdEvaGM> ["I don't make the money. I'm not the one the kids care about."]
[12:49] <Yanmei> "Still," she grumbled, still reeling at the injustice. That a "Fast food worker Yanmei" doll even existed when there was no such counterpart for even the Tokyo pilots… her eyes blazed. "Maybe I should call my legal advisor. Well… in any case. You contribute around here a lot, no matter what the PR says, so don't forget that."
[12:50] <AdEvaGM> ["T-thanks, Yanmei." He smiled a little. It was very damp.]
[12:53] * Yanmei patted him on the shoulder. "Hang in there, alright? Ah… I'll give you some time of course, if you need it. Maybe coax Elene into making an apology." She shook her head. "I said no shots below the belt…"
[12:54] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah, it hurts a little." He winced, and got to his feet.-
[12:54] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh. I had an idea, on the topic of marketing…"]
[12:54] <Yanmei> "Hm?"
[12:55] <AdEvaGM> ["You should arrange to send a dakimakura of you to Isaiah."]
[12:56] <Yanmei> "Dakimakura? All right! That's like a… hanging poster or a toy or something, right?"
[12:57] <AdEvaGM> ["It's a hug pillow."]
[13:00] <Yanmei> "Hug pillow?" Like a plush toy? But larger? Or a combination between a plush toy and a pillow. She imagined a giant version of the plushies she'd seen around NERV's daycare center. "Do we manufacture something like that…?"
[13:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Er…" Shinji coughed. "You should see one for yourself before you send it on, although I'm sure he'd like it."]
[13:03] <Yanmei> "I'll just do that, then. Thanks for the tip!"
[13:03] <AdEvaGM> ["No problem."-
[13:04] <AdEvaGM> [A broadcast over the PA. "Zhang Yanmei, report to the OD's office. Zhang Yanmei…"]
[13:05] <Yanmei> "Hm. Colonel's calling. Guess I'd better go?" Now it was Yanmei's turn to stand up. "I'm sure Rei is looking around in concern for you too. Better go catch up to her~"
[13:05] <AdEvaGM> [Shinji nodded. "Yeah, I'll do that."]
[13:06] <Yanmei> "See you later, Ikari." She parted with a wave, and went through the door.

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