This Too Shall Pass 3 4 16

[08:10] <Yanmei> It was a dark, rainy day… not that Zhang Yanmei could tell, as she'd been stuck in her office for hours, skimming reports and occassionally checking in with Isaiah about more domestic matters. -
[08:14] <Yanmei> Presently, she was peering at her tablet in admiration. Isaiah had sent her a photo of something Lizzie had drawn - a big gray wolf snoozing in the sun, with a seagull standing on its back. Was that something that had actually happened in reality?
[08:16] <Minaplo> [Questions for the sages.-
[08:16] <Minaplo> [Yanmei's busy day would, however, receive a different interruption- the office messaging system suddenly trilling. Someone was calling her.]
[08:17] * Yanmei grumbled loudly, but she answered regardless. "Zhang here."
[08:21] <Minaplo> [("This is Surov. Sarasvati has revived, and I am commencing the operation to separate Iruel.")]
[08:23] <Yanmei> Abrupt! Yanmei had to change gears very quickly. -
[08:28] <Yanmei> "I see. Thank you for letting me know? I'll be there momentarily. Go ahead and start whenever you're ready."
[08:29] <Minaplo> [("Very well.")-
[08:29] <Minaplo> [The line went dead.]
[08:31] <Yanmei> Also abrupt. Yanmei sighed and hung up on her end too. So much for a quiet afternoon? Gathering her tablet, she started off toward Technical as promised, stopping to inform Secretary Lucille about where she was going.
[08:34] <Minaplo> […-
[08:35] <Minaplo> [Surov had prepared a space for Sarasvati and his work on her on the Dorian. Yanmei had no idea what it looked like because it was currently sealed tight behind a massive blast door.-
[08:36] <Minaplo> [There were a few people here, waiting… Ritsuko, Maya, James and Luna Riel.-
[08:37] <Minaplo> ["Hey." Said James.]
[08:39] <Yanmei> "Hey." Yanmei settled next to him, giving everyone else nods and calm smiles. "Any updates yet?"
[08:42] <Minaplo> ["Not yet. He's in there with Navah and Victor Clement." Said James.-
[08:43] <Minaplo> ["Dunno how long's left…"]
[08:44] <Yanmei> "Navah, huh… I'm a little surprised. I thought he always regarded her as a nuisance. I guess they made up~"
[08:45] <Minaplo> ["This is too important to him." Said Luna, wheeling over. "He'll put anything aside if it means saving Sarasvati."]
[08:52] <Yanmei> "I guess you're right?" Yanmei peered at the blast doors quietly for a few beats. "Never did have a chance to thank you two for your help in actually trapping the Angel. The entire team - and Sarasvati as well - saved the entire ship."
[08:55] <Minaplo> ["Well… We kind of endangered it in the first place." Said Luna.]
[09:00] <Yanmei> "I don't know about all that. It's not like you guys were doing anything wrong?"
[09:01] <Minaplo> ["Just falling for another Caine trap." Muttered James.]
[09:02] <Yanmei> "Hmph. We'll pay her back for this. And all of her other stupid traps too…"
[09:04] <Minaplo> ["Mmm…"-
[09:04] <Minaplo> […-
[09:05] <Minaplo> [After more than an hour and a half of waiting, the blast doors would finally let out a hiss and start to open…-
[09:05] <Minaplo> [Surov, Clement and Navah walked out. Surov's expression was impassive; Clement's was weary. Navah looked positively exhausted.]
[09:08] * Yanmei had been leaning against the wall, alternating between tablet use and conversation. Now she stood up properly, expression expectant and slightly tense. "How was it?"
[09:10] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[09:11] <Minaplo> ["The process is complete." Said Surov. "Iruel has been isolated and placed into a waiting container."-
[09:11] <Minaplo> ["Sarasvati is safe."-
[09:12] <Minaplo> ["… However, the process has corrupted many of her early memories." Said Surov. "It will take a great deal of time for her to restore them safely."]
[09:19] * Yanmei nodded. "Well, time off for recovery seems like a given, what with the circumstances and all. Should we keep visitors away for now, or…?"
[09:20] <Minaplo> ["No."]
[09:22] * Yanmei nodded again, a little more happily this time. "Her friends'll be happy to see that she's alright. As for the Angel… it's perfectly secure and everything?"
[09:23] <Minaplo> ["Yes."-
[09:24] <Minaplo> ["Sarasvati's currently resting, so she's not in any state to speak to you. You may as well have a look at the Angel."]
[09:25] <Yanmei> "All right. I'll just do that, then?" She glanced at her companions. "You guys coming?"
[09:29] <Minaplo> ["… We might watch from a distance." Said Luna slowly.]
[09:39] <Yanmei> "Understood," Yanmei replied. She squared her shoulders and peered beyond Surov into the great unknown past the blast doors. "Shew me where it is?"
[09:41] <Minaplo> […-
[09:42] <Minaplo> [The room was a sealed box, about three metres wide. Yanmei and Surov were on the outside, looking in through transparent surovite walls.-
[09:42] <Minaplo> [In the middle of this room was a single pillar, extending out of the ground. It was about one and a half metres tall.-
[09:47] <Minaplo> [On the pillar was a head.-
[09:48] <Minaplo> [The head was made of metal; it was dull chrome, and skull-shaped. It had sunken eye-sockets and bared teeth for a mouth.]
[09:52] * Yanmei hesitated. Then she waved to the metal skull as if testing if it could see them.
[09:53] <Minaplo> [It didn't react.]
[09:53] <Yanmei> "Hm. Well you did say 'isolated'. It's not able to communicate, I bet."
[09:55] <Minaplo> ["It is, if we permit it."]
[10:00] <Yanmei> "I think we could do that. We might be able to learn some things from it… assuming it isn't too disoriented right now."
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["Time to try?"]
[10:15] <Yanmei> "Sure. For just a few minutes, anyway." She seemed willing to follow his lead if it meant actually entering the room and fiddling with the thing manually.
[10:18] <Minaplo> [Surov, however, didn't need to do that. In fact he didn't even move.-
[10:18] <Minaplo> [… Yet the head turned on. Its eyes suddenly shone green…]
[10:19] * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) has left #nervfrance
[10:19] * Iruel (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|leurI#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|leurI) has joined #nervfrance
[10:20] <Iruel> Screech! Beep. Beep. A pause. The green light moved around a bit, as if looking curiously, eagerly. …that was about it for a few seconds. Then… a sort of unpleasantly shrieky "HI!".
[10:20] <Minaplo> [Even Surov winced.]
[10:24] * Yanmei did a little too, but she nevertheless smiled. "Hello. Can you see us?"
[10:25] * Oat (~ua.ten.letxof.dlq.96-25-291-271-epc|02tahCdnA#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.96-25-291-271-epc|02tahCdnA) has joined #nervfrance
[10:25] * Raphael (~ua.ten.letxof.dlq.96-25-291-271-epc|oaT#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.96-25-291-271-epc|oaT) Quit (Quit: [01:50] <Syntax> There's no laws against polygamy in space)
[10:26] * Iruel tried… a better tone. Monotone, bland. "…Yes. The optics are slightly troubled but yes!" …Somehow it still managed some level of enthusiasm. "This unit only has a few types of voice. …Old model… files… not really present. But it reminds me of m- her brother. Backup? …Maybe. But… it's kinda cramped in here! Cramped."
[10:30] <Yanmei> "Sorry about that. It's just for a little while. Ah… Would you mind formally introducing yourself please?"
[10:32] <Iruel> "…Okay! Rough lilim-english translation of my true name is The Scribe, and I believe you have given me the codename of Iruel or something like that." Small tapping noise, obviously produced by the speakers. Idleness?
[10:35] * Yanmei nodded. "My name is Zhang Yanmei. Do you know much about our little organization here?"
[10:38] <Iruel> "Small measures? I picked up some of Sara's memories so I do know that it is called the United Earth Federation, that it is opposed to the United Nations and especially Mary Caine… …formerly related to NERV… …" More tapping noises. Trying to think? "You field evangelions! Which I think most of my brothers figured as slave-beasts but then again so does the UN. …uh…"
[10:41] <Minaplo> [Surov's eyebrows rose slowly.]
[10:45] <Yanmei> "Yeah, that's all correct? The Federation broke away from NERV and it's parenting body, the UN, just a little while ago. That's why we both use similar weapons and Evangelions. Do you remember how you got here?"
[10:50] <Iruel> "…Distantly." It was deeply trying to make the monotone skull voice sound upset. "I remember being locked up in lots of things, put into people, put into places… and then I was free! And I saw lots of things but I felt weird?… but I kept doing the things and going to the places and there was just so… /much/ and /much/ there until Sara bottled me up again."
[10:57] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Um… please don't hold that against Miss Sarasvati. The wide, open place you were in before she bottled you up was actually an important computer system for us. The UN arranged for you to be put there in order to confuse us."
[11:00] <Iruel> "Ah." Seeming dumbfoundedness, for a moment. "…So I was merely used? …Odd. Becoming, expanding… that must… well I have some memories of how it works. Youre, ah, computer system that is. …So if I were to fill it… it'd… I see. So the UN people wanted me to disable it by stimulating me with it? Interesting." Beat. "…It seems like that'd upset you though. Or worse."
[11:05] <Yanmei> "It'd be pretty bad," Yanmei admitted, "But fortunately, you were pulled out before we were hurt too much? Ah… I do feel compelled to apologise for the way the UN treated you. It probably doesn't feel too great to learn about all this."
[11:08] <Iruel> "Somewhat non-great." Was the slight reply. "…I'm not much like my brothers, but you know that. …So I could see being treated differently. More like a… tool? Still, I don't know how to feel about it. I was made to do this before, you know that too probably? …But that was another time. …Stopping to ponder is hard."
[11:14] <Yanmei> "I understand. Let's talk about more recent things, then. Like… you mentioned that you looked at Sarasvati's memories, right? Were you able to talk and communicate with her too?"
[11:15] <Iruel> "Not well. If I had to describe it, it'd be like… being in a place that's closed, but there's little bits of the wholeness of it present? I felt parts of her in reach, but… we were both less than active at the time."
[11:22] * Yanmei looked puzzled, but she tried to take it in stride, glancing briefly at Surov. "I see. Well, during that time - or any time, actually, between being slipped into our computer system and now - did you ever feel like there was something compelling you to act in strange ways that you normally wouldn't? Like, an outside presence beyond you or Sarasvati?"
[11:38] <Iruel> A short pause to think, then… "…Yes. I don't know what it was, but yes! I had said I felt weird… But now that you mention that."
[11:43] <Yanmei> "I see. That's pretty concerning? What about now? Do you still have that feeling?"
[11:44] <Iruel> "No… I… maybe the removal process helped? I don't actually know. But I don't feel it right now."
[11:56] <Yanmei> "Okay, that's good! That compulsion may have been the UN's doing. They've managed it on a few of your brothers too."
[12:00] <Iruel> "Have they! I'm curious about what sort of means might make that happen. Lilim are very inventive, but they don't have a firm grasp of the principles of light. …Though maybe there is something strange afoot! Maybe. …But the fact remains it happened, all the same." Tap tap. "…I do recall though that by and large this is now the lilim's battle, and that my, ah, family is largely defeated.
[12:00] <Iruel> …So I have to wonder what's left to do. Lots of wondering."
[12:05] <Yanmei> "I could leave you to that, if you'd like. Or, I could try to answer some questions you might have."
[12:12] * Iruel sounded as contemplative as its vessel could imagine. "What do you intend to do with me? …I don't think you'd destroy me, at least now that it's clear I was under outside influence. …But I'm not sure what you would feel right in doing. I… tend to fill whatever vessel I occupy, it's in my nature to feel every route and possibility - you'd likely be afraid of me transgressing
[12:12] * Iruel some kind of… boundary." Which it said with some level of confusion at the concept mattering.
[12:21] <Yanmei> "We're probably going to transfer you to another vessel soon? But after that… well, we're not clear on the details ourselves either. Ideally, we'd spend a little time getting to know each other, and then maybe find a role for you that benefits us both. You know, work out a deal?"
[12:22] <Iruel> "Deals are good! I could probably have many roles. …I'd probably want to have many roles. …I think." Slight scatter-brained tone. "But ah, yes. I figure study and analysis and other such concepts would work out well for this, and I will try to be helpful if it means I can continue living. Living is a good thing to do, and I'd appreciate even some freedom."
[12:27] <Yanmei> "We're not closed to any of that. And hey, maybe we'll learn a lot from each other too!"
[12:28] <Iruel> "Maybe! There's quite a lot I don't know yet. Though I guess for now I'll just be here in this little head until you have things sorted. Ah well, a deal is a deal!"
[12:34] <Yanmei> "Right! Thanks for the cooperation. We'll have your new home ready as soon as we can."
[12:44] <Minaplo> [Surov let out a noncommittal grunt.]
[12:45] * Yanmei grinned, and then gestured for him to cut communication.
[12:51] <Minaplo> [And so he did. The low dull hum of Iruel's head suddenly fell silent; the eyes had gone dark.]
[12:54] <Yanmei> "Thank you for that. Let's report back." And with the very educational conversation concluded, Yanmei led the way back out to the hallyway where the other scientists reamined waiting.
[12:56] <Yanmei> ^remained

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