Tsubaki S Reunion

[21:39] * Sept missed the voice at first, but eventually noticed Tsubaki, though he remained staring at the doorway. "Hi, Tsubaki. What's up?"#
[21:41] <AdEvaGM> ["Nii-saaaan." She pouted, and then suddenly he'd feel her clinging to him, luminous eyes staring over his shoulder like an overly vibrant hand puppet. "I missed you."]
[21:44] <Sept> "I'm sorry. We had to take a vacation on an island. A place called Skald."
[21:45] <AdEvaGM> ["A vacation, huh. Did you take sunscreen? And swimwear?"]
[21:47] <Sept> "No, we didn't know about it beforehand. We spent most of our time hunting and gathering supplies. And being hunted. You didn't know about the place?"
[21:47] <AdEvaGM> ["What did you say the name was again?"]
[21:49] <Sept> "Skald. It looked old."
[21:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Skald… With a c or a k?"]
[21:49] <Sept> "I… don't know? Do you recognise either one?"
[21:50] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, if you went to Scald-with-a-c Island you really would have to take sunscreen." She said, staring off into space. "It gets very hot. But I remember Skald-with-a-K."]
[21:53] * Sept finally let his eyes off the doorway. Natasha wasn't coming back. He faced Tsubaki, and nodded. "Pretty sure it was k. It was hot when we arrived, but… there was also a blizzard, so. Can you tell me what you remember about it? When were you there?"
[22:00] <AdEvaGM> ["When I was little. It wasn't a very nice place."]
[22:02] <Sept> "Why were you there? Or why were you sent there, I guess?"
[22:04] <AdEvaGM> ["Training."]
[22:07] <Sept> "Right…" Sera exhaled slowly. "I'm sorry you all had to go through that back then. And all this, now."#
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [22:08] <AdEvaGM> ["It's alright. It's not that bad. Things are better now!"]
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [22:15] <Sept> "They could be better for a lot of you. And if everything isn't the best possible way when the Angels come for their final assault, we aren't prepared enough."
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [22:20] <AdEvaGM> ["You're right. We're going to need a -lot- of milkshakes and sandwiches for this."]
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [22:23] <Sept> "I managed to upset Natasha, too. It's… probably better that she's angry than if she was just afraid, but I wonder if she can work it all out herself…"
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [22:26] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh no. What did you do?" Her tone was slightly scolding.]
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [22:29] <Sept> "She's always seemed so lonely, I was sure she'd be happier if she knew she still had relative alive, in a sense."
[19:02] <AdEvaGM> [22:29] <Sept> «relatives*»#
[19:18] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmm. Sometimes I think it's that people don't leave her alone…"]
[19:19] <Sept> "Really? Like who?"#
[19:24] <AdEvaGM> ["I don't know. Everyone, Nii-san. Natasha is very lonely, but she is also very scared of people because they only hurt her. Sometimes I think she just needs time to herself. People are always trying to tell her how to act, how to do this, that. They never let her find out for herself."]
[19:28] * Sept nodded slowly. "I see. But we don't -have- time. She needs to figure it out as soon as possible. If her skipping a few steps means we'll have one more shot at doing this right… We all have that same responsibility. You understand that, right?"
[19:40] <AdEvaGM> ["Mm, Nii-san, you can't think like that. If you try to rush her you're not going to fix anything."]
[19:50] <Sept> "She's -had- enough time!" Sera yelled, with the decency to blush afterwards and turn away. He spoke in a much quieter voice. "Then what… what do you suggest, Tsubaki?"
[19:52] <AdEvaGM> ["…" Tsubaki stared at him harshly. There was something clearly like disappointment in her eyes. "I think you should leave her alone, Nii-san. Let someone else help her."]
[19:57] * Sept glanced at her in surprise, quickly turning back away as he realised how serious she was. "…"
[20:07] <AdEvaGM> [Tsubaki let out a sleepy sigh. "Nii-san, let's go somewhere else. I don't wanna talk about this anymore."]#
[20:16] <Sept> "This might be one of the last chances we all get to spend this much time together, Tsubaki. I'm not going to waste it."
[20:19] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah. This is our time, and if we waste it it'll just be taken by mice or something."]
[20:30] * Sept looked into Tsubaki's eyes silently for a few moments, wearing a tired look on his face. "What would you like to do?"
[20:31] <AdEvaGM> [She held her arms out. "Carry me!"]
[20:31] <Sept> "Where?"
[20:31] <AdEvaGM> ["Anywhere is ok so long as you're carrying me, Nii-san."]#
[20:39] <Sept> "Hop on, then." Sera offered his back to her.
[20:42] <AdEvaGM> ["Whee~" Tsubaki scrambled on, arms around his neck. She pecked him on the cheek. "Let's go! To the land of strawberry milkshakes!"]
[20:46] <Sept> "Right!" Tsubakiflage successful, time for some recon. Sera wandered off to see if there was anyone else around to share milkshakes with.
[21:10] <AdEvaGM> [Eventually they'd find themselves in the swish parlour-slash-restaurant that was the lovely centre of the resort. It was, at this time, full-ish with people- NERV employees, mostly, the odd vacationeer.-
[21:11] <AdEvaGM> [But as they entered, one man- who was, curiously, sitting alone at a table- turned to them and waved. He was tall, with a mane of red hair and bronzed skin, and built like a mack truck. A giant mound of ice cream sat in front of him.]
[21:20] * Sept paused for a while to look at the arrangement of tables worriedly. "Want to pick seats for us while I get the shakes?"
[21:21] <AdEvaGM> ["Ok."]
[21:24] * Sept set her down carefully, sighing a little from the effort of the trip, and wandered over to the counters for a pair of sufficiently large strawberry milkshakes.
[21:25] <AdEvaGM> [Tsubaki was pretty much magnetically attracted to odd people -and- sundaes, especially when they waved at her. In seconds she found herself staring up at the man, sitting next to him. "You're very tall."-
[21:25] <AdEvaGM> ["I'm big boned."]
[21:29] * Sept spent longer than he should've looking for Tsubaki, naturally skipping over the mountain's table a time or two. Eventually, and possibly after a few waves, he found Tsubaki again, sitting down beside her and setting down the shakes. "Hello," he said.
[21:29] <AdEvaGM> ["Hi, Nii-san. This man's tall and has big bones."-
[21:29] <AdEvaGM> [He chuckled. "We meet again, Sera de Pteres. Except here, our only danger is tooth decay."]
[21:30] * Sept frowned, tilting his head a little as he scanned the man up and down.
[21:31] <AdEvaGM> ["Terence Savage. I spoke."]
[21:35] <Sept> "Terence..?" Sera blinked. "Oh, with the sword. Right." He returned his attention to the milkshake, taking a first sip.
[21:36] <AdEvaGM> [Tsubaki sipped her milkshake. "Sword?"]
[21:39] <Sept> "He helped us kill some smaller Angels a while ago and tagged along afterward."
[21:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh."-
[21:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes. After which I was given a Counterterrorism job."]
[21:41] <Sept> "Counterterrorism? What does that include?"
[21:51] <AdEvaGM> ["First, I need to keep an eye out for anyone I think could pose a threat to UN employees. Secondly, I ensure that they do not make good on that threat, intentionally or unintentionally."]
[21:57] <Sept> "I see." Another few long sips, over which Sera mulled the rest of the room. "You don't really seem like the subtle counterintelligence type."
[21:58] <AdEvaGM> ["A fair assessment to make with your information, but then again, when you're an Iron Guard, you don't need to be subtle."]
[22:00] <Sept> "Then how can you find the people who are?"
[22:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Hahaha. A fair question, but just because we don't need to be subtle doesn't mean we aren't ourselves subtle. When you're on the battlefield, you don't ignore snipers, even if you're not a sniper yourself. They chose me because one: I am constantly alert for danger, two: because I am almost certainly the most dangerous person in the room, and three: if I'm -not- then that's where I come in."]
[22:11] <Sept> "Mmh. I expect you to do your job well, then. We've got enough problems as is without terrorists after us."
[22:12] <AdEvaGM> [Terence took a mouthful of sundae. "Oh? And what problems are these?"]
[22:18] * Sept peered at the man from behind his glasses. "First and foremost, whether we can trust anyone but ourselves with our problems."
[22:19] <AdEvaGM> ["Ah, then I'm no help there." He took another delicious spoonful. "Ultimately, those problems aren't anyone's domain but your own."]
[22:22] <Sept> "Exactly. But any one of them could tear down everything we've accomplished. And I'm equally responsible for that."
[22:28] <AdEvaGM> ["Mm. They must be weighty problems."]#
[17:56] <Sept> "That's obvious. It's what we do for a living. Everyone's, in fact."
[18:01] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm, so your problems affect everyone?"]
[18:08] <Sept> "When each one of us is pushed even further past our limits with the coming Angels, yes. And -this-…" Sera waved a hand at the room dismissively. "What's its real purpose? I've been calling for more cooperation between pilots all this time, and when they do bring us together, it's to fight each other. It's dangerous. Irresponsible."
[18:09] <AdEvaGM> [He laughed. "What? Is that what you think? You do not know the true purpose of fighting!"]
[18:13] <Sept> "I -know- what it means, especially to those with NeoSpartan training. There are -better ways-." Sera scoffed and leaned back, rubbing his temples. "Convince me otherwise if you want."
[18:20] <AdEvaGM> ["Hah. I can't convince you, that's your job. Don't offload your responsibilites onto me! I don't want any of them." He twirled the spoon around in his sundae. "I offer different perspectives, instead. We Iron Guard, we fought all the time. Nothing like a brawl, of course. It was orderly, company versus company, squad versus squad, man versus man. Experience and pain make good teachers." He laughed and took a mouthful of ice cream. "You learn about your brothers and sisters, and their weaknesses and strengths. And your own, too! It's no good to practice by yourself. It teaches you how to act as a team far better than anything else. Fighting is improvement. It is always about improvement."]
[18:28] <Sept> "You don't think we've fought enough? You think this… -tournament- will change everything, bring about some grand epiphany? It isn't with weapons that the Angels will overpower us in the end."
[18:33] <AdEvaGM> ["Hahahaha." He shakes his head. "There is no such thing as 'having fought enough'." He rolled his shoulders. "Also, you should open your ears. I never said anything about grand epiphanies. All it does is open up more opportunities to make things like this a regular occurence- which is one of the components of learning. Why? What would you do instead?"]
[18:39] <Sept> "I would give everyone the truth and help them accept it. Everything else follows naturally. But I need the help of NERV, or all the pilots. Neither recognise the need to do so."
[18:40] <AdEvaGM> ["Ah."-
[18:40] <AdEvaGM> ["… I'm not sure that means a damn thing, to be honest."]
[18:42] <Sept> "…-what-?"
[18:43] <AdEvaGM> ["You can't expect them to recognise the need to do what you want when what you want to do is 'give everyone the truth'. What does that even mean?"]
[18:47] * Sept let out a frustrated breath. "All of our lives have been full of lies, told by others and ourselves. I made it to the other side at great cost. I can make sure the cost is less for the others."
[18:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, so the truth is, our lives are full of lies?"-
[18:48] <AdEvaGM> ["That's a shitty truth."]
[18:52] * Sept tapped on the table hard with his thumb and index finger as he spoke. "We all have real lives, no matter the amount of lies hiding them. NERV has followed and raised each one of us as they saw fit. They've -owned- us ever since they got our names from that report. And we can no longer trust their judgment. We must reclaim our lives from them."
[18:53] <AdEvaSleep> ["Oh, I see. So the Angels -won't- defeat us with weapons, tricky. They'll be winning because there's no one to stop them."]#
[18:59] <Sept> "That's exactly right. I've seen the Angels use those lies against us, and they will not stop doing so because they're impressed by our skill."
[19:01] <AdEvaGM> ["Actually, you seem to misunderstand. The Angels will be winning because you'll be all 'reclaiming your lives' when you should be protecting the Earth…"]
[19:07] <Sept> "How can you say that when you've just defended this farce?!"
[19:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmph. Truth, lies- what does that matter?" He shook his head slowly. "The trouble isn't that you've been fed lies. The trouble is that you're not strong enough for that sort of thing to cease to matter. What concern are such things to the duty at hand? Truth, lies, made, born- isn't your duty to protect the Earth and slay Angels? That should be enough to rely on for your conviction no matter what."]
[19:23] <Sept> "…" Sera fell silent for a long time, barely blinking as he stared at the Captain. "I see," he finally said. "We've misunderstood each other. You're right, if we destroy the Angels and ensure nothing of their kind remains, in human hands or otherwise, we've succeeded in the task set for us. But our power, and our -responsibility- extends far beyond that."
[19:27] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh?"]
[19:32] <Sept> "What do you -think- will happen to Earth once the Evangelions are no longer needed to defend mankind itself?"
[19:34] <AdEvaGM> ["Peace, probably."]
[19:39] <Sept> "What does that mean?"
[19:40] <AdEvaGM> ["No wars." Said Terence. "People lacking a reason to fight."]
[19:42] <Sept> "'Probably'."
[19:44] <AdEvaGM> [He laughed. "Yes, probably. I do not have enough faith in my predictive powers to answer such a fluid question."]
[19:49] <Sept> "Stop dancing around the point! If you could ensure peace later with sacrifices now, wouldn't you take that opportunity?"
[19:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Whose sacrifices?"]
[19:52] <Sept> "What could you sacrifice?"
[19:53] <AdEvaGM> ["Mm… My own life."]
[19:54] <Sept> "Nothing more?"
[19:54] <AdEvaGM> ["I've nothing else."]
[19:58] <Sept> "Of course you do."
[19:59] <AdEvaGM> ["Perhaps you should stop dancing around the point and get on with it, then."]
[20:05] <Sept> Sera frowned for a moment, annoyed. "You have the world. You have as much of a claim to it as I do. Your standing by and clinging to an antiquated world view while there's even a risk of everything burning down is an insult to the freedom we, and everyone else in history, have fought for."
[20:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm? You are right there." He scratched his chin.-
[20:06] <AdEvaGM> ["Neither of us have a claim to the world. Ultimately, the most either of us really have is our lives."]#
[17:01] <Sept> "Have you no ambition? No dreams?"
[17:07] <AdEvaGM> ["Self-improvement." He sat back, leaving his sundae for a moment. "However, to my eyes it seems rather that it is the world claims us. Ultimately the world does not move to our whims, but rather we shape a tiny little bit of it, and in return, the entire sum of everything else completely defines us. Are we to say, we have a fair claim to the whole world simply due to our tiny little bit?"]
[17:12] <Sept> "Not because of that. But we would never move forward if those who knew how to improve things couldn't."
[17:17] <AdEvaGM> ["Of course. But whatever we change of the world is still small compared how the world changes us." Now he scooped up a spoonful of sundae and licked the spoon clean. "I certainly cannot sacrifice the world."]
[17:19] <Sept> "And if we can? Don't you think we should have other priorities than sharpening our swords?"
[17:20] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm? Why would you sacrifice the world?"]
[17:24] <Sept> "I would not. Others might, for the chance of a better one. Which is what I've been trying to tell you! If we spend our time fighting, and not learning about each other -properly-, we can't trust anyone when it -really- matters!"
[17:26] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm…? So that is your idea? To spread the 'truth' in an attempt to learn about others?"]
[17:29] <Sept> "…sure," Sera said after a pause. "You could say that."
[17:32] <AdEvaGM> ["Hm…" Terence swept a hand across the room. "This seems like the perfect place to do such a thing, does it not? There is plenty of time to satisfy the personal goals you want as well as the practical, martial goals of your commanders, keeping in mind that for a significant number of your comrades, fighting is something that comes naturally to them and is an important part of their psyche. Trying to ignore or belittle its significance is unwise, don't you think?"]
[17:34] <Sept> "I can be opposed to it and still make use of it. I shouldn't have to wait for them to hand opportunities down to me."
[17:35] <AdEvaGM> ["So are you opposed to it because it's not something you came up with, then?"]
[17:42] <Sept> "…" Sera stared at Terence, expression flat. "Maybe. And what if I had come up with it? I'm not in any position to make it happen. That bothers me more."
[17:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Sure. Be bothered. Find ways to overcome." Says Terence. "By all means, find ways."-
[17:43] <AdEvaGM> ["But when you -do- have something like this, that can be used to further your goals, considering such opportunities are scarce you should spend more time making use of it as best you can with a full heart instead of bitching."]
[17:57] <Sept> "-You-… you don't have a fucking clue. You think I'd wasted my time here without something to gain?" Sera got up. "Tsubaki, I have to go. See you around."
[18:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Mm, have it your way." Terry waves him away.-
[18:07] <AdEvaGM> [Tsubaki frowned down at her milkshake, having not taken any mouthfuls from it once Sera and Terry had started exchanging words. There was a deeply disconcerted look on her face, and she didn't answer Sera.]

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