There S One Thing Must Be Done You Know What Thing

[20:18] <W> The elevator again, its low hum completely drowning out what little sound the headphones leaked. W leaned on the cane in front of him with both hands, and waited.
[20:20] <Ikari‘Gendo> [The elevator continued its slow ascent, before finally coming to a stop. The doors slid open, revealing a familiar office- one that was a little colder than W had remembered.]
[20:27] *W entered and approached where the desk had last been, each of his steps preceded by a ’clack'. He came to a halt at a polite few meters' distance, glancing at the books he had studied last time. He hadn't had time for ancient languages in his schedule yet…
[20:35] *Ikari‘Gendo looked up from a book he was reading -one of the books, in fact, written in that language. "Good. You’re here."
[20:38] <W> "As requested. I assume you have new work for me, considering no attempt on my life has been made."
[20:40] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I am not the sort to kill frivolously. Nevertheless, I still have a use for you."
[20:44] <W> "I’m listening."
[20:45] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I do, in fact, have three tasks for you. The first is simple. Counter-espionage. Be wary of infiltrators and possible sabotage and, should such a thing occur in NERV HQ again, you will investigate."
[20:48] *W quirked an eyebrow. "I’m not in the habit of making deals for the indefinite future, but I can keep an eye out while I solve your other problems."
[20:59] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Good." He folded his hands. "I take it that by now you are quite familiar with the various foibles of the Parisian pilots?"
[21:00] <W> "That would be fair to say, yes."
[21:01] <Ikari`Gendo> "Brief me."
[21:21] <W> "Very well." W rapped his fingers on his cane for a few moments, looking for the right words. "Several things have changed since I started my investigation. Zhang’s relationship was fast-tracked notably by the aftermath of the Eden Base incident, of course, making her even more pliable than before. You will, naturally, want to be on top of that situation, but with how drastic measures you
[21:21] <W> should do so, I can't say. De Pteres -used- to be a much simpler case to follow, but with the condition he's developed in direct response to the various trauma sustained during the Ramliel battle… Well, he's taking after Mr. Caine in secrecy. Whether that's desirable for you or not… And to add to that, there's no telling when he'll -actually- break down, or worse.-"
[21:23] <W> "Blanc, on the other hand, seems to be progressing rather steadily compared to those two. If you keep dropping those bread crumbs for her, she'll be satisfied and you can distract or guide her to a sufficient extent, for the needs of any plan you might reasonably want to implement. Was there anything specific you were looking for?"
[21:25] *Ikari‘Gendo was quiet for a moment.-
[21:26] <Ikari`Gendo> "Are you aware, then, that Zhang was conscripted as an informant for Mary Caine?"
[21:27] <W> "I had no evidence, but I wasn’t entirely unprepared for the eventuality. How long ago was this?"
[21:29] <Ikari‘Gendo> "She informed me in mid-December, but in reality she was in the position far earlier, since at least September."
[21:33] <W> "Right. So she moved in pretty much as soon as she could be sure of her influence. NERV must be sure of its hand, or you’d be keeping the pilots on a tighter leash."
[21:38] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm. In reality, the hand is one Caine and NERV share. What matters is for whom the card decides to play for when it is based- and in that, I feel confident. You, however, are something I do not need to share."
[22:04] <W> "Indeed? Then, you can provide me with more than just the promise of my survival, should I solve these cases for you?"
[22:04] <Ikari`Gendo> "I can."
[22:05] <W> "How many of them?"
[22:08] <Ikari`Gendo> "Should you perform well? All of them."
[22:11] <W> "…" The boy sized up the NERV Director for a while. "The case, then?"
[22:22] <Ikari`Gendo> "The case is twofold. Firstly, you must observe Zhang as best you can. Most critically, find out what she’s been tasked to uncover, and what she's actually providing to Caine. She's an unwilling investigator, but she's still being successfully coerced. With that settled, it will be your task to then hinder her as much as possible. Move evidence, distract her, or especially useful, feed her
[22:22] <Ikari‘Gendo> false information. So long as the evidence is believable, whilst being false, that is all I need."-
[22:22] <Ikari`Gendo> "Secondly- you are aware of the Ayanami sisters?"
[22:26] <W> "I am. A remarkable success so far, in many areas. No match for my people in their fields, of course, but still, commendable work."
[22:26] <Ikari`Gendo> "Naturally, since they share no fields in common."
[22:31] <W> "I would disagree on the point of a certain Sun-Tzu-shaming someone."
[22:38] <Ikari`Gendo> "I would hardly call that sharing. Two or three of the sisters have shown an interest in tactics, but nothing more than out of a hobby to complement their adequate tactical training. They excel at personal combat, not tactical acumen- that was how we designed them, and if we -had- made them to excel at tactics then your companion would be quite obselete."
[22:49] <W> "But you didn’t, and he isn't. What is it about the Ayanamis, then? Someone with plans to act against the clone brigade?"
[23:02] <Ikari‘Gendo> "That is the worry. In all actuality, the Ayanamis are quite capable of handling themselves in any conventional situation, such as an assassination or kidnapping attempt. However, one need not actually kidnap them in order to extract information. Whether through exploiting their sense of naivete or by means of threats and blackmail, there are more than enough ways to obtain that information-
[23:02] <Ikari`Gendo> information that the Ayanamis, due to their unique psychology, may not even realise is important."
[23:07] <W> "And my responsibility will be..?"
[23:09] <Ikari`Gendo> "Your responsibility will be to investigate the Ayanamis. To discern the state and nature of any dreams they have had, which is where the most sensitive information may rise to the surface. Any and all findings you gain should be brought back to me."
[23:13] <W> "And based on my findings, you will take measures to ensure no one else gets their hands on this information?"
[23:14] <Ikari`Gendo> "Correct."
[23:20] <W> "I’ll need personal transport to be able to cover both cases sufficiently, of course - As well as a line to my colleagues, and some other minor assets, but I'll have to see about those on-site with the individual clones. If you can provide me with those…"
[23:20] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Done."
[23:23] <W> "You may consider your cases covered, then. Anything else?"
[23:24] <Ikari`Gendo> "No. That is all."
[23:26] <W> "A question, if I may?"
[23:26] <Ikari`Gendo> "What?"
[23:26] <W> "What’s in those books?"
[23:26] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Words."
[23:27] <W> "Mind if I borrow a few?"
[23:27] <Ikari`Gendo> "Why?"
[23:29] <W> "I’ve been led to believe several of the Ayanamis are not, in fact, residing in the next block over. I'm fresh out of new material, and I'd hate to spend a flight without a good book."
[23:30] <Ikari‘Gendo> "You may, although I’m not sure you'd comprehend the material."
[23:32] <W> "That just means it'll last longer, doesn't it?" The boy grinned. "Thank you for your hospitality."
[23:33] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm."

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