Taghba Base

[14:03] <Minaplo> ["VCT-07, this is Taghba Central Command. Please confirm message received, over."-
[14:07] <Minaplo> [Silence greeted Commander Benes' words. The woman at the Comms Station turned around and shook her head. "No response, sir."-
[14:14] <Minaplo> [Benes folded his arms. "Alright, stick to protocols. Hail them every half hour. If there's no response in six hours, scramble the E-Destroyers."-
[14:14] <Minaplo> ["Yes, sir."-
[14:16] <Minaplo> [Benes sighed and returned to his chair. Situations, he surmised, typically fell into three categories- the first being a perfectly normal situation, the second being a situation that was a clear-cut emergency, and nebulous situations like this.-
[14:17] <Minaplo> [Had VCT-07 suffered a communications breakdown? Reports indicated that the hull and major subsystems all seemed to be fine, so it wasn't engine failure.-
[15:01] <Minaplo> [So what had happened? A hijacking? Incredibly unlikely…-
[15:02] <Minaplo> [Either way, 385,000 km from the Earth was a terrible place to have a critical accident.-
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["Alright. No need to get wrapped up in this to the exclusion of others. Status report on the foundries?"-
[15:08] <Minaplo> [Taghba Base was in shape and form very similar to a typical NERV base. In fact, someone from Boston or Tokyo-2 wouldn't have any problems finding their way around.-
[15:13] <Minaplo> [But Taghba, despite the similarities, wasn't a NERV base. For starters, it belonged to the New World Army, loosely; it occupied the same grey area as the Dysangelions or the Solomons.-
[15:14] <Minaplo> [And secondly, there were structural changes. Necessary ones. The filtration systems were expanded, more robust; the walls a little thicker, more reinforced.-
[15:16] <Minaplo> [The base also went much deeper than regular NERV bases. In fact, past the primary operational levels, Taghba became more like the Synfront. Huge automated factories excavated and dug and expanded and maintained and produced. E-Destroyers were mass-produced, turned out in a few months in batches of five or ten. And in the most reinforced and secure part of the base were thousands upon thousands of stasis pods, insurance against the worse case scenario- an extinction event on the Earth. In that case, Taghba would become a cradle, keeping the critical people alive- for up to ten thousand years, if necessary, to be released at a later date to reclaim their planet.-
[15:17] <Minaplo> [Such a facility wouldn't be found on Earth. Taghba was, by necessity of security and secrecy, on the moon.-
[15:35] <Minaplo> [Benes had been there since the very first day, handling the very first problems. Many of them were logistical in nature, having to handle the construction of the base's rudimentary components whilst managing a large number of workers, isolated from their families, barracked in awkward and spartan living conditions, amidst the backdrop of an incredibly hostile environment. A few workers had died, Benes knew, but he took solace in the fact that the number of dead was less than the Committee's expectations.-
[15:38] <Minaplo> [Supplies were another issue, having to be ferried on large, bulky transport vessels launched from New St. Helena Spaceport, each taking two to three days to arrive. In the base's starting phase only one transport had been assigned to them per fortnight- supplies had to be strictly managed, waste and spoil reduced and mistakes eliminated- for if too many supplies were used, or the wrong supplies provided, then disaster could've been the result.-
[15:43] <Minaplo> [That had been seven years ago, however. Now, Taghba Base was secure, prospering, no longer a drain on resources. It still imported food, of course, but it exported other things. Weapons. E-Destroyers.-
[15:51] <Minaplo> [Evangelion and Evangelion parts as well, although these, to Benes's mind, weren't as pressing as the E-Destroyers. There were Evangelions stored in Taghba, or, as had been explained to him, Evangelion 'spares', copies of existing models- the Master Models, primarily- in case of massive damage or loss done to a deployed unit. They were 'empty', soulless.-
[15:54] <Minaplo> [Suited him just fine. The 'spares' were stored in sealed vaults, and weren't his concern anyway.-
[16:14] <Minaplo> ["(This is VCT-07, Captain Vinh confirming message received. Sorry about the quiet, Benes. We've got some new kids on board and one of them screwed up the transmitter.)"-
[16:18] <Minaplo> [Benes's head snapped up over towards the Comms station. Comms nodded back at him. "Voice recognition confirmed, sir. It's Captain Vinh."-
[16:25] <Minaplo> [Benes smiled, a short small smile to himself. "Good to hear from you, Vinh. I was a little worried we might have to send out the birds to scupper your bucket."-
[16:49] <Minaplo> ["A little paranoid for your tastes, Benes."-
[16:59] <Minaplo> ["Not so." Said Benes, his tone going solemn. "We've been detecting flashes of AT Field signatures in the area, often closer to the moon than it is Earth. We can't be too careful."-
[17:02] <Minaplo> ["Not the Solomon Primes?"-
[17:02] <Minaplo> ["We don't think so. We're told when they're acting, but then again, it's not impossible."-
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["Mm. Appreciating the heads up, Benes. ETA hour and a half. Will you be prepping my armagnac?"-
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["Hah. We'll see."-
[14:37] <Minaplo> [The next hour and a half passed without event.-
[15:06] <Minaplo> [All in all, it was a routine supply convoy. The freighter docked, and over the next four hours it unloaded its cargo. Vinh and Benes had a drink in the privacy of Benes's office, and then- once the goods were offloaded- the freighter gathered its crew, disengaged and plotted a course back to the Earth.-
[15:19] <Minaplo> […-
[15:19] <Minaplo> [Chief Engineer Switz wiped a handkerchief across his forehead. It came away damp with sweat.-
[15:29] <Minaplo> ["Montes!" He shouted, gesturing to a nearby technician- a latin woman with short black hair. "Why the hell is it so hot in here?"-
[15:34] <Minaplo> [She shook her head, tapping the console of a computer. "No idea, sir. Diagnostics is saying there's erratic fluctuations in the second and third A/AM manifolds, but that's because Johnson is rerouting energy through them from the fourth and fifth so he can install the new positron magnetic conduit."-
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["What about environmental controls?"-
[15:40] <Minaplo> [She tapped on the computer touch-screen several times. "… Normal readings."-
[15:42] <Minaplo> ["Hm." He frowned, unsatisfied. "Bring up energy allocation, see how much Environmental is sucking in. It takes energy to create heat, so it should be sucking in more than usual if it's the cause."-
[15:42] <Minaplo> [She did so. "… Looks like you're right, sir. Energy allocation to environmental controls is at 156%."-
[15:48] <Minaplo> ["Hnh." Switz shook his head. "Alright, Montes. Go take a main-kit and run down to Environmental and see what's up."-
[15:51] <Minaplo> ["Yes, sir." Montes left the console behind, heading over for the supply room. A large, rectangular room divided into cubicles, each cubicle holding equipment. She headed for cubicle 6 and entered.-
[15:52] <Minaplo> [Within were about twenty rectangular kits, about half a metre wide and 40 centimetres tall. Each kit was locked into a restraining booth. She unlocked the nearest one, marked it down on the requisition tablet, then took it and left.-
[15:58] <Minaplo> [Environmental Controls was situated beneath Engineering, and sealed behind a magnetically sealed vault. Environmental Controls was more or less run from the Engineering room, but the machinery, the processes in and of themselves, were kept here, safe and sound.-
[16:05] <Minaplo> [A keypad kept the vault sealed. Montes quickly punched in the code, and the vault door opened ponderously. She stepped inside- and it closed.-
[16:05] <Minaplo> ["The hell? Ugh…"-
[16:06] <Minaplo> [It was dark in Environmental. Most of the lights were out for some reason, leaving only emergency strip lighting along the walls. Montes opened the main-kit and took out a long, heavy flashlight. Turning it on to max beam, she started to look around.-
[16:11] <Minaplo> [Unlike Engineering, the air down here was cold. Enough to make Montes shiver.-
[16:12] <Minaplo> [But there was nothing for it. Montes moved deeper into the room, her flashlight's beam roving to and fro over the gunmetal room.-
[16:13] <Minaplo> [The beam crossed a strange shape- Montes did a double-take, focusing the beam on it.-
[16:14] <Minaplo> [It… Was a person. White, with brown hair, kneeling down next to a conduit, tampering with the electronics. He was wearing a New World Army technician uniform but, unlike her's, it bore a different badge.-
[16:14] <Minaplo> [VCT-07, the badge of the freighter that had just left.-
[16:14] <Minaplo> ["H… Hey! What the hell are you doing?!" She called out, sounding braver than she honestly felt.-
[16:20] <Minaplo> [The man went still. Literally -still-. His hands stopped moving, no breathing, nothing.-
[16:24] <Minaplo> [And then he stood- no, he unfolded. The man moved in a disturbingly smooth way that reminded her of a snake uncoiling. Legs unbent, his arms straightened, his shoulders back. His head- just his head- turned to look at her.-
[16:24] <Minaplo> ["…!" Montes took a step back. His eyes…-
[16:25] <Minaplo> [The man raised a hand slowly, the arm folded against the shoulder. The index finger pointed at Montes-
[16:26] <Minaplo> [And it changed, becoming metal, tapering to a sharp point. In less than half a second the finger elongated, going from a few inches to a full ten metres in an eye-blink. It ripped right through Montes's chest.-
[16:26] <Minaplo> ["Ghk-"-
[16:27] <Minaplo> [But there wasn't any blood. Instead, the metallic finger began to dissolve into her, spreading across her body, and into her body, like water. Within seconds she couldn't feel her arms.-
[16:27] <Minaplo> [It flowed up her neck and down her throat and she couldn't even scream.-
[16:27] <Minaplo> […-
[16:34] <Minaplo> ["It's still fuckin' hot." Moaned Switz, rubbing at his brow. Surely it was getting hotter? "Has anyone seen Montes?"-
[23:04] <Minaplo> ["I'm here."-
[23:05] <Minaplo> [Montes appeared, stepping out of a nearby elevator, holding her main-kit. "I figured out the problem. It can't be fixed down from Environmental- the problem isn't in Environmental itself, it's with the power regulation system."-
[23:07] <Minaplo> ["Ugh, alright." Switz nodded. "As if I didn't have enough to work on-"-
[23:07] <Minaplo> ["Sir, I think I could handle it. I'd just need your access code."-
[23:10] <Minaplo> [Switz paused. Then, ultimately, nodded. "Benes won't like it, but we've done it before. Here." He keyed the code into a computer terminal, drew Montes to it, and hurried off to grab his own main-kit.-
[23:12] <Minaplo> [Montes nodded to him in thanks, and drew her hands over the terminal.-
[23:13] <Minaplo> [Two minutes, fifteen seconds later, the lights in Main Engineering went dark.-
[23:16] <Minaplo> ["The fuck-"-
[23:17] <Minaplo> [There was a sharp, whip-cracking sound, and someone screamed, followed by the sound of a dull thud.-
[23:23] <Minaplo> [Switz felt the air move, dropped to the floor as something heavy and bulky slammed into the wall behind him.-
[23:23] <Minaplo> [It fell to his side, and he reached out to touch it. It was soft, and slick, and smelled of rust and iron.-
[23:23] <Minaplo> ["Oh god. Oh god…"-
[23:32] <Minaplo> [There was a sound, in front of him, something like a squelch, the sound of something sticky and fluid flowing over and in a soft surface.-
[23:34] <Minaplo> [The sound of things whistling through the air, something sharp and fast-
[23:34] <Minaplo> [He fumbled with his main-kit's lock. Come on…-
[23:35] <Minaplo> [Dropped it. There was a groan of agony nearby.-
[23:41] <Minaplo> ["Fuck, c'mon-"-
[23:42] <Minaplo> [Click! The main-kit sprung open. Switz reached in, grabbed around, felt a screw-driver, moved his hand- flashlight. He grabbed it, turned it on, and focused the beam up.-
[23:44] <Minaplo> [In the middle of the room was the main computer carriage, where about ten computer terminals were clustered into a single 'block'. Standing on the top of this block was Montes, holding her arms out straight at her sides. Her fingers were abnormally along, extending into the darkness.-
[23:46] <Minaplo> [Her head was turned to her left. In a single second, with the metallic -clink- of something like a hobby knife being pushed up, the fingers retracted back into her hands.-
[23:50] <Minaplo> [Montes turned to look down at him, and the light caught her eyes…-
[23:51] <Minaplo> [Her skin, hair, clothes, they all started to dissolve, like mist being cleared by a quick wind. There was no muscle beneath, nor bone, nor blood.-
[23:54] <Minaplo> [A dark metal torso, a torso of iron, perhaps, jagged and plated roughly over each other; there were clear gaps between the metal, and out of this oozed a black, thick sludge.-
[23:55] <Minaplo> [Its arms were distorted, long, disproportionate; its hands ended in sharp claws, covered in blood.-
[23:56] <Minaplo> [No eyes. Only more ooze.-
[23:56] <Minaplo> [It lifted a hand towards him, and one of the clawed fingers became long and liquid-like, curling up to face him, level with his left eye.-
[23:57] <Minaplo> [Switz dropped the flashlight. It didn't do any good.-
[23:57] <Minaplo> […-
Session Time: Sun Oct 06 00:00:00 2013
[00:01] <Minaplo> ["Chief Engineer Switz to Command. We're starting work on installing the replacement parts into the reactors, so in fifteen minutes we'll be turning off some non-essential systems. Automated weapons systems, exterior docking and airlock controls will all be affected. We might also experience problems with long-range sensors and communications."-
[00:02] <Minaplo> ["Tch. Alright, but make it quick, Switz."-
[00:02] <Minaplo> ["Acknowledged, sir. Engineering out."-
[00:03] <Minaplo> [Fifteen minutes came and went, and the aforementioned systems went dark. The comms and sensor officer sighed and turned in her chair. "Guess I'm not going to be busy for an hour."-
[00:03] <Minaplo> ["Mmm." Said Benes with a small smile.-
[00:05] <Minaplo> [Another fifteen minutes passed.-
[00:07] <Minaplo> [The door suddenly slid open, and three people entered. Two Stormtroopers and a third man- he looked to be in his thirties, with dark skin, curly hair and an engineering uniform that was ripped and torn, blood streaming down his arm. He uttered a small scream as the door opened- the Stormtroopers were dragging him.-
[00:08] <Minaplo> [Benes looked over, looked away- and his head whipped back again, his eyes wide with shock. "What in the hell-"-
[00:08] <Minaplo> ["We found this one skulking around in the maintenance tunnels near the third Hangar Bay. He seemed suspicious." Said one of the Stormtroopers.-
[00:09] <Minaplo> ["What in the blazes is going on- you! Name and rank!"-
[00:12] <Minaplo> ["N-Nathi, Nathi Zuma, Engineer 1st Rank." The sudden protocol seemed to calm him, but only a little. "S-Something- monster- main Engineering-"-
03[00:17] * Gerard is now known as Zack
[00:27] <Minaplo> [Benes didn't waste a second. "Comms, are internal communications still up?"-
02[00:30] * Minaplo (ua.ten.tenii.nyd.75-791-6-85|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.75-791-6-85|olpaniM) Quit (Ping timeout)
03[00:31] * Minaplo (ua.ten.tenii.nyd.75-791-6-85|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.75-791-6-85|olpaniM) has joined #nervfrance
[00:35] <Minaplo> ["Yes, sir, it's long-distance-"-
[00:40] <Minaplo> ["Get me Engineering."-
[00:41] <Minaplo> [Switz's voice over the comms. "Main Engineering here."-
[00:41] <Minaplo> ["Is everything alright down there, Switz?"-
[00:43] <Minaplo> ["No problems here."-
[00:44] <Minaplo> ["Alright, not a problem. Command out." Benes turned to Zuma, who was trembling, shaking his head. "What's the story then, Zuma?"-
[00:45] <Minaplo> ["N-Not Switz." He muttered. "Switz- gone. He-he… He's a spawn! Angelspawn-"-
[00:47] <Minaplo> ["What?!"-
[00:47] <Minaplo> ["I-I saw it! Metal, oozing- black-"-
[00:48] <Minaplo> ["Comms, get me Colonel Hans up here on the double." Said Benes immediately. The man might've been lying. He might've been insane. But if his suspicions were correct…-
[00:48] <Minaplo> [It was better to be safe than sorry. If he called security and there was no real threat, no harm done. But the inverse…-
[00:49] <Minaplo> [Five minutes later, Colonel Hans- a short, wiry man with a trimmed, straight beard- appeared on the bridge. "You called, sir?"-
[00:49] <Minaplo> ["Get your men, together. We've just had someone emerge from Engineering who says that Angelspawn have taken over the area."-
[00:49] <Minaplo> ["… Surely we would've detected that."-
[00:49] <Minaplo> ["His description matches only one type of Angelspawn." Said Benes grimly.-
[00:49] <Minaplo> ["Shadowmen."-
[00:52] <Minaplo> ["… Shit." Said Hans suddenly, his face becoming instantly grim. "I'll marshal the regiment."-
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Alright. Comms, send out the word. All stations to condition one- combat alert."-
[00:53] <Minaplo> […-
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Squad six in place!"-
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Squad seven in place!"-
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Squad eight in place!"-
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Squad nine in place!"-
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Squad ten, in place!"-
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Fourth Company, reporting in!"-
[00:55] <Minaplo> [Like all bases of this type, Taghba was designed to be a fortress, to supplement and aid a defending force. Narrow corridors were intersected with wide rooms for marshalling units.-
[00:58] <Minaplo> [Colonel Hans looked over the hundred men of 4th Company. Stormtroopers all, replete in pale yellow armour with white stripes. All suited, all armed. He nodded, and turned to a nearby man wearing a white suit with yellow and green stripes. "Captain Mollier, what's the situation?"-
[01:00] <Minaplo> ["We've verified that Angelspawn have taken control of Main Engineering. They've also taken control of Environmental Controls, Sensors and Communicatons, and they've sealed the passage to the lower levels- Industrial, Cradle Levels. All in all, we think they've taken decks fifteen through nine."-
[01:03] <Minaplo> ["They move fast." Said Hans. "The worst kind of enemy, this. Engaging them is no guarantee of victory- or even weakening them. They are an enemy that might get stronger with every battle- attrition is impossible here. Captain, do not engage in last stands. If you lose even ten men, or you feel the enemy are too close, retreat immediately."-
[01:04] <Minaplo> ["Understood, sir."-
[01:04] <Minaplo> [Hans nodded, and tapped his ear, where a comm-piece sat. "Hans to Command. All units standing by to engage."-
[01:05] <Minaplo> ["Acknowledged, Colonel. Umbra Protocols are in place, be advised."-
[01:05] <Minaplo> ["Acknowledged. How's the situation? Anything else I need to know?"-
[01:08] <Minaplo> ["They're trying to take control of the base's total operational systems from Main Engineering, but the MAGI systems are repelling their efforts. Their main strategic goals, we believe, will be the following areas: Artificial Gravity Control on Deck 5 and the MAGI Computer Core on Deck 2. Furthermore, we need to defend the Armory on Deck 6."-
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["Acknowledged. Hans out." He changed channels. "Firesquads, report in."-
[01:09] <Minaplo> [Firesquads- three-man teams of AC Suits. Two interceptor models and an artillery model.-
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["FS-1 reporting!"-
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["FS-2 reporting!"-
[01:09] <Minaplo> [FS-3 reporting!"-
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["FS-4 reporting!"-
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["FS-5 reporting!"-
[01:10] <Minaplo> [Hans nodded. "Acknowledged. Standby and await further orders."-
[01:10] <Minaplo> [The next ten minutes were ones of waiting.-
[01:16] <Minaplo> [The regiment, all ten companies, were in place. Hans saw the company he was closest to, 4th Company, positioned behind barrier plates that had risen out of the floor, pulse rifles trained on the door.-
[01:17] <Minaplo> [Something struck the door- and the room went tense.-
[01:17] <Minaplo> [The men were expecting the door to buckle, perhaps, to cave in, to take a few hits before cracking. It didn't.-
[01:18] <Minaplo> [There was the faint sound of metal outside the door hitting metal, like a panel had fallen over.-
[01:18] <Minaplo> [And then the door simply opened, a small crack, barely a few inches wide.-
[01:20] <Minaplo> [There was a pause, a sudden surprise-
[01:21] <Minaplo> [Spears of liquid metal shot through the gap, dozens of them. They bent in the air, flying in all directions, going through gaps in armour, throats, visors-
[01:23] <Minaplo> [Within seconds, about nine or ten men had fallen, some screaming, some flailing in silence as the liquid metal poured over and into their body.-
[01:23] <Minaplo> [The Stormtroopers wavered, then began to fire. Most of their volley hit the door, which began to melt and buckle beneath the shots, but still held firm.-
[01:24] <Minaplo> ["No! Fire on the hit! Kill them!" Shouted Captain Mollier. A soldier next to him went down, a barb in his chest. Mollier instantly pulled out his pistol and fired into the man's skull three times.-
[01:26] <Minaplo> [The Stormtroopers began to follow his orders, but too slowly. By the time they adapted six or seven Shadowmen had risen at the front lines, and began raking the Troopers around them with their claws.-
[01:27] <Minaplo> ["Fuck!" Mollier shouted. "Fall back! Retreat to deck seven!"-
[01:29] <Minaplo> [But the Shadowmen had broken through. The rear squads began to move, looking more like a rout than a tactical withdrawal. Four or five squads were tied up and unable to retreat, many of them already being turned.-
[01:29] <Minaplo> [Mollier turned to Hans. "Let's go, sir!"-
[01:29] <Minaplo> [But Hans was up against the wall, his shoulders slack, staring unfocused into the distance. "… Misha, I…"-
[01:30] <Minaplo> [Mollier stopped.-
[01:30] <Minaplo> [Shadowmen, he thought. Angelspawn. Infiltration unit. Capable of close combat. Now possesses ranged capacity.-
[01:31] <Minaplo> [Generates psychic hallucinations when in numbers.-
[01:31] <Minaplo> [Mollier turned, grabbing a Stormtrooper who's fallen over in admist the retreat. "Come on, soldier, let's go!"-
[01:31] <Minaplo> [He moved to grab Hans, snatching his arm up and starting to drag him.-
[01:34] <Minaplo> [A bard cut through Hans's throat. He stopped, gurgling, the liquid metal pouring into his body.-
[01:35] <Minaplo> ["…" Mollier shook his head, threw Hans away from him, and shot his commander twice before dashing through the door.-
[01:35] <Minaplo> [He stopped and looked back. Over half of his squad were still in there, fighting or dying or being turned. They couldn't be saved.-
[01:35] <Minaplo> [Mollier reached to the controls, to seal the door.-
[01:36] <Minaplo> [He never finished the action. A barb lashed through the open doorframe and speared through his arm.-
[01:36] <Minaplo> [Mollier staggered backwards, letting out a low scream. "No- no"-
[01:38] <Minaplo> [He dropped his pistol, pulled out a combat knife and slashed at the barb, which separated. But the metal on his arm was merely slowed, still spreading into his skin-
[01:39] <Minaplo> ["Ghk-!"-
[01:40] <Minaplo> [Mollier slashed down, his knife biting into his arm halfway down the forearm. The blood burst from it, coating his knife, and he let out a harsh, ragged, animal scream of pain.-
[01:40] <Minaplo> [Mono-edged knife.-
[01:40] <Minaplo> [Another slash, and he felt the mind-shattering pain of his bone being shorn through.-
[01:42] <Minaplo> [One final slash- his good hand was shaking now, pain coursing through his body, even in his unarmed areas- and the infected limb fell off. The liquid metal covered it- and it went black, then turned into a strange orange liquid and collapsed into a puddle.-
[01:49] <Minaplo> [Blood…-
[01:49] <Minaplo> [Dizzy.-
[01:49] <Minaplo> [He was sitting, against the wall.-
[01:50] <Minaplo> [He had tried to run, fallen… The door wasn't sealed…-
[01:57] <Minaplo> [A Shadowman was standing over him, a finger pointed at his throat.-
[01:57] <Minaplo> [It began to elongate-
[01:57] <Minaplo> [A whine reached Mollier's ears, even through the haze of pain. A metallic whine, becoming more higher…-
[01:57] <Minaplo> [The Shadowman was torn apart, a hail of actinic blue bolts raining down the hallway.-
[01:58] <Minaplo> ["Firesquad One engaging!"-
02[01:59] * Suzune (~ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.641-1-9-801-loop|un#ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.641-1-9-801-loop|un) Quit (Ping timeout)
[02:05] <Minaplo> [Something solid grabbed Mollier roughly around the middle- a large hand, mechanical. The hand of an AC Suit.-
[02:05] <Minaplo> [It hefted him up, and began to pull back, firing missiles at the door and roof to try to cave it in with rubble.-
[02:06] <Minaplo> [Mollier saw the downed Shadowman.-
[02:07] <Minaplo> [Nothing more than a pool of black, tar-like ooze and scraps of metal.-
[02:08] <Minaplo> [Slowly, the ooze began to retract, pulling the metal back together.-
[02:08] <Minaplo> [Rebuilding.-
[02:08] <Minaplo> [Mollier's eyes widened, then slowly closed, and then he saw no more.-
[02:09] <Minaplo> […-
[02:09] <Minaplo> ["Commander Benes? Captain Mollier is awake."-
[02:11] <Minaplo> [Mollier stared at the roof. He was lying… Floor? Stretcher? Didn't matter.-
[02:11] <Minaplo> [He was more clear-headed than he would've expected. He looked at his right arm.-
[02:12] <Minaplo> [Someone had applied biogel to it. A lump of flesh now ended his arm. It explained why he hadn't bled to death.-
[02:13] <Minaplo> ["Good to see you again, Captain."-
[02:13] <Minaplo> [Commander Benes, looking haggard, tired, out of his depth.-
[02:13] <Minaplo> [… Or perhaps that was how Mollier felt more than how Benes looked.-
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["Commander." Said Mollier, a little groggily, sitting up. "What's the situation?"-
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["Mess." Said Benes. "We lost 65% of our Stormtrooper forces. They can use the equipment as well, making them even worse."-
[02:17] <Minaplo> [Mollier tried to think, his head suddenly pounding as he did so. He stopped, holding a hand to his eye.-
[02:19] <Minaplo> ["The enemy has taken all the decks below Deck 6, where they've slowed. We're doing delaying tactics, but…" The Comms Officer, looking helpless and exhausted. "… That's the best we can do. It's been two hours since you returned."-
[02:19] <Minaplo> ["I see."-
[02:19] <Minaplo> ["Mollier, you're the highest-ranked member of the regiment left. That makes you in charge." Said Benes bluntly. "You have fifteen minutes to organise your thoughts, then I want you reporting to me."-
[02:19] <Minaplo> ["… Yessir."-
[02:19] <Minaplo> […-
[02:21] <Minaplo> [Mollier had dragged himself out into the command area of the bridge, lowering himself into a chair.-
[02:21] <Minaplo> ["Let's look at the facts." He said. "Victory is impossible. We can't hold the Shadowmen off."-
[02:22] <Minaplo> [This comment went down as well as expected. The bridge crew went silent and stared at him. Somewhere, Mollier could hear someone crying.-
[02:22] <Minaplo> ["Mollier, don't even think of sur-" Began Benes.-
[02:23] <Minaplo> ["That's why we have only one option." Said Mollier. "The Shadowmen have been ensuring that the base keeps reporting in to High Command, so no help is going to come until Commander Benes is required to make his personal report in 3 hours, by which they'll have taken us all over."-
[02:26] <Minaplo> ["So," he continued, "Our only plan is a last-ditch effort. A break-through."-
[02:26] <Minaplo> ["To what end?" Asked Benes.-
[02:30] <Minaplo> ["Simple. We organise the AC Suit Firesquads into single armored group and punch through, and then beeline for the main hangar. There are E-Destroyers there."-
[02:31] <Minaplo> ["The hangar's sealed." Said the comms officer.-
[02:31] <Minaplo> ["We blast our way out. Send some E-Destroyers off to report to High Command, the rest try to destroy the base. Cut through the top decks and strike at the reactor sector- it'll annihilate the base."-
[02:32] <Minaplo> ["We can't evacuate everyone, though!" Said the comms officer, a hysteric note to her voice.-
[02:32] <Minaplo> ["We're going to die anyway." Said Mollier bluntly. "The ones who aren't going on the spearhead will stay behind and fight."-
[02:32] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[02:33] <Minaplo> [Benes sighed. He reached into his coat, taking out a pocket watch. He opened the lid, taking out a small photograph.-
[02:33] <Minaplo> ["You have twenty minutes to prepare."-
[02:34] <Minaplo> […-
[02:34] <Minaplo> ["Blast door, 60 metres!"-
[02:34] <Minaplo> ["Cannon fire in three, two, one-!"-
[02:35] <Minaplo> [The railcannon tore the blast door apart. Within ten seconds, six AC Suits flew through at top speed, into a packed mass of Shadowmen, many of them wearing the shell of Stormtrooper armour.-
[02:35] <Minaplo> ["Fire!"-
[02:36] <Minaplo> [The AC Suits unleashed a wave of pulse bolts in all directions, the Shadowmen collapsing like wheat before the scythe. Already, however, some of them were stitching themselves together-
[02:37] <Minaplo> ["Incendiary missiles, fire!"-
[02:37] <Minaplo> [four small missiles flew into the room, exploding into huge fireballs. The black ooze which constituted the Shadowmen seemed to be highly flammable- it went up like a tinderbox, and soon the room was ablaze, the AC Suits protected by their armour and environmental sealing.-
[02:38] <Minaplo> ["Room cleared!" Cried Mollier, in the lead AC Suit. "Two decks to go to the main hangar! Keep it up!"-
[02:40] <Minaplo> Another railcannon bolt tore through the next blast door, and the AC Suits were off again, racing through the corridors, some of which were thick with Shadowmen. Mollier simply flew through them.-
[02:42] <Minaplo> [A group of Shadowmen fired a forest of barbs at one of the AC Suits, not to penetrate, but to ensnare and wrap around the unit's arms and legs. The AC Suit careened off-course and slammed into a wall, flipped through the air and came to a stop on the ground. The Shadowmen began tearing into the unit, the pilot screaming as she was torn from her coffin.-
[02:43] <Minaplo> ["Keep moving!" Exhorted Mollier. He grabbed a nearby Shadowman by the leg and swung it through the crowd, sending dozens flying. He slammed the Shadowman against the wall, pressing it harder into the metal surface, sparks flying everywhere- before he drove it into the next blast door, the entire body exploding on impact.-
[02:46] <Minaplo> […-
[02:46] <Minaplo> [The artillery unit had fallen on the last deck. Mollier and four other AC Suits were all that were left- they'd had to tear through the blast doors themselves, and it had been slower going. It had been this delay that had cost them so many units.-
[02:47] <Minaplo> [The door fell apart, and Mollier was through, the jets of his unit going at full speed. He was in the hangar. "We did it!"-
[02:49] <Minaplo> [The hangar was a massive room, ten E-Destroyer units restrained in the 50-metre high docking bays, mobile bridge-scaffolds connecting to the units around the middle.-
[02:50] <Minaplo> [Mollier flew up, onto the nearest unit, onto the mobile bridge. His AC Suit landed heavily.-
[02:54] <Minaplo> ["Open up." He began punching in the remote access code, signalling to the E-Destroyer's computer to open its cockpit.-
[02:54] <Minaplo> [The middle torso section of the E-Destroyer split, a modular ramp-like section slamming down in front of him, allowing access.-
[02:54] <Minaplo> [Mollier took a step forward-
[02:54] <Minaplo> ["No…"-
[02:55] <Minaplo> [Black ooze filled the cockpit, lining the ramp as well, stretched out like a membrane.-
[02:55] <Minaplo> [Mollier raised his burst cannon. "No no no no not now-"-
[02:56] <Minaplo> [The E-Destroyer's ramp closed, its eyes suddenly flaring red, the possessed machine letting out a type of horrendous shriek, a shriek of metal and something more cerebral as it distended and stretched, breaking out of the docking restraints.-
[02:58] <Minaplo> [The restraining bridge collapsed, Mollier with it. He began firing blindly, the pulse slugs smashing harmlessly into the surovite carapace of the E-Destroyer.-
[03:01] <Minaplo> [This…-
[03:01] <Minaplo> [This was too much…-
[03:01] <Minaplo> [Mollier's AC Suit hit the ground, landing on its back. He jerked forward, winded by the blow. "Ghk-"-
[03:02] <Minaplo> [He kept firing, the burst cannon starting to overheat, his missile pods dumping their munitions in a single burst. None of it did -anything…-
[03:04] <Minaplo> [The E-Destroyer lifted its hand, formed it into a fist, and brought it down on him.-
[03:04] <Minaplo> […-
[03:05] <Minaplo> ["This is Commander Benes." Said Benes calmly, sitting in his chair. "Making official commander's report, 7th March, 2018, 9:15 PM GMT."-
[03:06] <Minaplo> ["Replacement positron magnetic conduits have been installed and operational capacity is back at 100%. Nothing else to report."-
[03:06] <Minaplo> […-
[03:07] <Minaplo> [The silo's roof was divided into two semi-circles, which slid open.-
[03:08] <Minaplo> [Within was a cylinder, 45 metres tall and thirty metres wide, filled with red bakelite. The cylinder was attached to a pair of mag rails.-
[03:08] <Minaplo> [The people in Evangelion Stasis Control were completely silent. They didn't communicate with words.-
[03:09] <Minaplo> [One of them was working at a console- with a few commands, the mag rails extended out of the silo, extending a full 45 metres up. The cylinder rose as well, until it was fully uncovered.-
[03:10] <Minaplo> [On the cylinder was a symbol- a red fig leaf next to a large red NERV. Beneath it were more words- EVANGELION PROVISIONAL PRODUCTION MODEL UNIT 05-2.-
[03:11] <Minaplo> [There were other cylinders around, too. EVANGELION PROVISIONAL PRODUCTION MODEL UNIT 08-2, PROVISIONAL MASTER MODEL UNIT 09-2, 06-2…-
[03:11] <Minaplo> [The Stasis Chamber- a huge cavern as required- was suddenly filled with blinding light.-
[03:12] <Minaplo> [A presence filled the Stasis Chamber, a presence felt before it was seen and heard, a supernatural level of force pushing on the mind through walls and rock.-
[03:13] <Minaplo> [It was creation and destruction at once, a duality; it was the warmth of the stars and the chill of the void.-
[03:16] <Minaplo> [The Archangel reached out to the nearest cylinder, a hand that was harder than the earth and more insubstantial than light sinking through the bakelite, melting it.-
03[03:17] * SyntaxTerror (if.vth.pp.31282072sc|rreTxatnyS#if.vth.pp.31282072sc|rreTxatnyS) has joined #nervfrance
[03:17] <Minaplo> [Quietly, Metatron put her hand on the chest of the Evangelion.]

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