EVA Sessions: The Eaters of Sin

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:57 am

Shinji can never die, so there's no reason to be scared! But yes, this was nicely presented. The reversal of roles between Shinji and Asuka (relative to EoE) is intriguing to me.

I wonder if this is enough to switch Asuka back into action, or whether she's heading for oblivion in that bath. She didn't connect with her mother when in the Evangelion and desperate, so what will make it possible after this?
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Postby NemZ » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:06 am

Well I think that does the first job, Gob. Time for a timeskip? :tongue:
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:26 am

View Original PostMisterHalt wrote:I'm pretty sure you mean Asuka there, not Misato.


Thanks for the catch! Corrected and updated.

^

Mmmmmmmaaayyyybbbeee. I think there's still some stuff to squeeze out here before progressing forward a bit. :shifty:
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
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Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
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We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
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Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby ElMariachi » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:39 am

But the most important question is: is Misato still in her hospital gown? :shifty:
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Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 am

^

One of the first versions of Chapter 13 addressed that, but it got edited out when I switched the initial perspective to Shinji. Misato had her uniform during the battle...she would not have been that together if she was afraid of popping out every 5 minutes. :tongue:

:misato_service:

EDIT: I needed that Service, Service emote here. Had to change it.
Last edited by Gob Hobblin on Sat May 30, 2015 11:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby ElMariachi » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:07 am

^
It's :misato_service : (remove the space between the "e" and the ":")

You're welcome! ;)
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Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
EoTV is a therapist, EoE is a drill instructor. -- Chuckman
Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:52 am

:misato_service:

Huzzah! Many thanks, Spaniard!
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Literary Eagle » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:39 pm

Oh my, Asuka's mind went in some very dark places here. Poor Asuka. I wonder what she'll decide to do next?

Shinji's brain activity is erratic? Hmm, is he going to have another strange dream like in Chapter 3?

Anyway, great chapter! Looking forward to more!
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:29 pm

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:I was always under the impression that because Seele's head council had 12 members, and there were 12 planned MP-Evas, the plan was for the souls of the individual members to occupy or be 'protected' through Instrumentality by the MPs (an Eva per council member). There is no indication that this was the plan in any story that I know of, primary or secondary, but the number (12) is true for both, and I like this idea of Seele's members 'fusing' to the Evas.


It's actually a Kabbalah thing. I don't understand the details, but supposedly 12 MP Evas is ideal for creating the Sephirot/Tree of Life configuration using their anti-ATFs. I don't know why, since the traditional Sephirot has ten cardinal points, but then again that's based on the DSS so maybe the SDSS go into more detail? No clue. But anyway, that's why they wanted twelve MPEs and made due with nine.

Also, the MPEs were considered disposable from the start. Lilith/Unit 01 was always Seele's goal. And Yui's goal was godhood, so I'm not sure why there'd be a fight here, but eh. It's not like the fight with Asuka in EoE was any less forced.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
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I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:13 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Also, the MPEs were considered disposable from the start. Lilith/Unit 01 was always Seele's goal. And Yui's goal was godhood, so I'm not sure why there'd be a fight here, but eh. It's not like the fight with Asuka in EoE was any less forced.

I always got the feeling that Yui's goal was godhood while screwing SEELE's plans, after all what's the point of making an eternal monument to mankind if mankind get warped into some sort of immortal hive mind?
Avatar: THE HIGHEST OF ALL HIGHS WE AAAAAAAAAARE!!!
Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
EoTV is a therapist, EoE is a drill instructor. -- Chuckman
Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:20 am

View Original PostElMariachi wrote:I always got the feeling that Yui's goal was godhood while screwing SEELE's plans, after all what's the point of making an eternal monument to mankind if mankind get warped into some sort of immortal hive mind?


Well, since her goal involved transferring power from Lilith to Unit 01 before she left for parts unknown her plan would necessarily derail Seele's plans, yes.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:37 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Well, since her goal involved transferring power from Lilith to Unit 01 before she left for parts unknown her plan would necessarily derail Seele's plans, yes.

And here we bump on one of (IMHO) Eva's plot big flaws: the lack of information about Yui's plans. It's not clear what part of what happened in the series was even going according to her plan or not.

I hope that at least her plans in NTE will be more explained.
Avatar: THE HIGHEST OF ALL HIGHS WE AAAAAAAAAARE!!!
Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
EoTV is a therapist, EoE is a drill instructor. -- Chuckman
Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:23 am

View Original PostElMariachi wrote:And here we bump on one of (IMHO) Eva's plot big flaws: the lack of information about Yui's plans. It's not clear what part of what happened in the series was even going according to her plan or not.

I hope that at least her plans in NTE will be more explained.


I think it's pretty clear, actually, though I admit that's pure fanwank. Still, it's possible to construct a coherent and consistent set of goals for her, so I don't think this can be said to be a major flaw per se. It IS something fanfic writers routinely gloss over or ignore, though, since many of the changes they want to make necessarily involve derailing or ignoring her plans -- which is funny, since they drove most of what happened in the show.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:07 am

Thanks for the reminder of that - I'd completely forgotten about it! I need to read it again before continuing my new story...
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
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Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:49 am

Oh, the webs one can weave while taking a mid-morning shower....

Thoughts on what happens to Nerv-Tokyo, the nature of the Voice himself, and the Long Game for Nerv. A lot of the major problem with Misato is that she has jumped first and not taken the time to think strategically. She didn't have time, and had to 'shoot from the hip,' but now that she has this vast moment of quiet, she realizes she has no clue what to do next. This is a major hump tactical planners usually have to push over when moving to the next level (strategic planning). To put it into perspective: the training equivalent of a military officer transitioning from a tactical to strategic planning role in the civilian world is a Master's Degree. Misato is very much out of her element, and she's having to learn fast.

I think another common trap writers fall into with Yui is assuming she is immutable: that once she has her plans set, they stay the same no matter what. This can speak of resolve, but it can also indicate incapability in certain circumstances. That's one of the primary reasons I thoroughly enjoy Nobody Dies and its various incarnations: the fact that Yui did blink in the face of her decision, and tends to second-guess herself in a very human manner. Where she stands firm, it makes sense, and where she blinks, it also makes sense.

As much as Yui seemed to sell herself about becoming a mother, I find it hard that, even with her indomitable will in becoming the Monument to Humanity, she would fail to recognize and act on the suffering of her child (which it's clear she does: the Evangelion tends to rampage not just because of Shinji's drives, but because of Yui's desire to defend Shinji). This can be argued, I suppose, by stating that, in transmuting into the Evangelion (becoming it's 'soul,'), Yui's method of thinking has become so warped and alien that it makes perfect sense to her to spend an isolated eternity as this monument (the body shapes the mind as much as the mind shapes the body, after all).

Still, to say that her agency is completely lost in this is something I like to ponder. How many chances did Yui have to 'blink,' or stop and consider the long-term ramifications of her actions. Or, more specifically, did she have any moments of weakness where regret gets the better of her?

As for the MP Evas and their attack on Unit One, this can be explored later, but bear in mind that they didn't attack en masse: Asuka observed something critical there. The MP Evas were obviously connected in a tactical net, and operating as a single unit. So why send one Eva at a time?

Remember, we haven't seen anything from Seele's perspective: we've only seen the story from Nerv's, and the actors don't have all the information (the only one that does is Gendo, and he's currently unconscious. Is it a fractured skull? Is it not? Don't know. Still deciding.). This isn't saying don't poke holes in the story (it helps in the long run to shape it: plot holes are great motivators!), just remember that our perspective in this is purposely limited.

After all...who overthrew the Prime Minister? Why? How complicated is the situation on the outside? Did Kaji himself have ulterior plans? Where does Pen-Pen figure into all of this, and what is Hikari planning on doing with that unsettling amount of hair she collected from Asuka during sleepovers?

...sorry, that last one there is nothing for you to fret about.

Nothing at all!

:kaworusparkle:
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:42 pm

Chapter 15: Dice

SPOILER: Show


“Well done, all things considered,” the Voice said. “We lost an entire detachment of CRF troops, a few SF teams, and several of the hardest hitting reporters in Japan’s new media community…oh, and their news crews, of course.” He sniffed. “I have yet to hear your casualties, but I imagine there were a few.”

“There were a few,” Misato mumbled, rubbing her eyes. Unit One had finally been stowed, the Fourth had returned to their former positions around the GeoFront, and Fuyutsuki was taking the sole watch on the bridge while Aoba and Hyuga napped. Maya was asleep as well, despite being on virtually no painkillers: they were waiting for a surreptitious re-supply from the JGSDF, by way of the JSSDF…it was all very complicated, very hush-hush. The hostage situation in the Foundry had resolved itself rather anti-climatically, with the hostage takers simply walking, unarmed, to the picket and surrendering. No questions asked.

Shinji had not woken up.

“It was unfortunate, in the long run, but you repulsed Seele and gave them a bit of a scare, I warrant. They weren’t anticipating having any of their Evangelion permanently disabled, did they?”

“No. And I think they want to reassess what to do now that we have access to those carcasses.”

“Why do you think they didn’t attempt to initiate Impact?”

“Perhaps they felt they couldn’t control the event with only three Evangelion. Maybe there’s a minimum requirement. Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Ah.”

Misato sniffed, and drummed her fingers on the table. “If they come back, we might not be able to stop them.”

“That’s a problem for the future. We have enough issues for the present.”

“How has the UN responded to the battle?”

“Not well. They want to know why a Nerv Evangelion attacked and repulsed their Special Response Team. They’re upset. We may take some flak for this.”

“May?”

“Certainly will. China is very eager to jump on the bandwagon, as are several other East Asian countries. The United States is uncertain how to act, but we can trust them to hesitate: one of the benefits of a strategic alliance.”

“This means you’ll be presenting evidence of Seele’s crimes to the UN, correct?”

“In time.”

In time. Misato’s lips curled up in a silent snarl. Of course, not yet, maybe later. The Voice was clever, and it was holding all of the cards close to the chest. It would sit on the evidence for as long as it needed to, to increase the benefit to themselves. That, of course, did Nerv-Tokyo no favors whatsoever. The longer that information was held, the more the Japanese government of the moment could deny involvement with what was happening. And worse, the GeoFront was open and exposed, and the Fourth still had enough troops and equipment to be combat effective.
Misato felt very vulnerable at the moment. It made her angry.

“Of course,” she grumbled.

“In the meantime, I suggest you see to your defenses. They took a nasty knock, so be sure to line ‘em up again, yes?”

“Took the words out of my mouth,” Misato hissed. The line clicked, and she dropped the phone on the desk. She was frustrated, and furious, and still scared. They were exposed. The world had yet to learn what was happening.

Shinji had not woken up.

Cautiously…against the advice of everyone she had seen in the last several hours…she pushed herself to her feet. Her back felt like a crimped straw, and just as sturdy. She hissed, feeling her legs tremble as her weight settled. She tried to move away from the table, but it felt too tenuous to attempt. She lowered herself rapidly, back to the chair. She put her forehead down on the table, covered her head with her hands, and began crying. Bawling, actually. It was the last straw, and she had held it together long enough.

Shinji wouldn’t wake up. Kaji was dead. Her GeoFront was in ruins. Her best friend couldn’t be trusted. Asuka had all but asked her permission to go and kill people. The one person who was protecting her through this was a faceless puppet-master that had just carried out a successful coup against her own government, and she couldn’t even be certain that that very government wasn’t just a dupe like the rest of them. She had no idea of the Angelic attacks were over, no idea if Seele would try again, no clue if there wasn’t some other trick waiting around the corner: some extra N2 device, some agent-in-waiting with a knife in the dark, something, anything. It was all piling up faster than she could handle, and to top it all off, she couldn’t even stand up because something…something…had gone wrong inside. Something was off, something was broken, and she couldn’t stand anymore, and she probably would never be able to stand again.

And Kaji was dead.

She bawled like a child, saliva and mucous puddling under her face as she hugged her head and wept openly. She was so damned tired. She wanted to give up and go home, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t take three steps beyond the perimeter of what was left topside, or she would be target by who knows how many agencies that Seele had crawled into.

As she leaned on the desk, the stool beneath her tilted and slid sideways. She tried to catch herself, but her useless legs dragged her down, and she landed hard on her rear end. So there she sat, legs splayed under her desk, hands hesitantly propping herself up, bawling up to the sky with all the weight of the world on her. And her nose, chin, and ass all hurt. Life was unfair, and she was done with it.

“…Major?” She opened her eyes. Fuyutsuki leaned over her desk, his brow furrowed. She stared at him, snuffling, and he stared back, clearly unsure of what to do. Misato opened her mouth to try and explain the situation. To try and put on the command face, to take charge of it again.

I fell down!” she warbled, “And I’m through with it! I can’t take it anymore, and Kaji’s dead, and I can’t stand up and—” At this point, her words became quite incomprehensible, and Fuyutsuki swallowed, glancing back at the door. He teetered for a moment, listening to Misato blubber herself into hysterics, before grabbing a free chair and sliding it over to her.

“Now…Maj…Katsu….” He coughed. “Misato.” He leaned over. “You haven’t slept very much in the last forty-eight hours.”

I know!”

“And you have had to put on the brave face for a lot of people, and it is a lot of stress.”

I know!”

“And…I know you’re feeling a little…scared at the moment, for—”

I KNOW!”

“…Just breathe,” he said, extending his hands with his palms out. Misato heaved awkwardly for a few minutes, each loud gasp a shaky rattle in and a quivering whimper out. Fuytuski’s expression was blank, but his lips pinched together. After five minutes, Misato grabbed the fallen stool like a sullen child and propped it next to her. Using the table for leverage and only the strength of her arms, she hoisted herself up and placed herself carefully on the stool. “Do you feel better?” Fuyutsuki asked.

“I don’t feel anything,” she mumbled. “I’m so tired. I’m so…tired.” She glanced up at him. “How do you manage it?”

“I’m not the one in charge, for one,” he said, “And I’m sixty, for another. You’d be surprised the difference time can make.”

“On what?”

“Many things. Suffice it to say that it takes a lot to get me worked up these days.” He rested his hands on his knees. “It wasn’t always that way, you know.”

“If you say so.” She snuffled. “Why are you here?”

“Lt. Hyuga finished his nap and took over. I came to check up on you.”

“Oh.”

“…So what’s next?”

“Huh?” Misato squinted at him.

“We have a moment to breathe. Where do we go from here?”

“I don’t know!” she grumbled. “I’ve tried so hard to avoid an Impact scenario, and now that I have…I don’t know what to do next. I have no clue where to go from here. What if Seele comes again? We can’t stop them. Not a second time, and I don’t think our Mysterious Benefactor is going to make things easy for us.”

“Not releasing the Seele findings?”

“No.” She rubbed her eyes. “No.” She swallowed, and looked up towards the ceiling. “And we have the Fourth just breathing down our necks. Whose side are they on, anyways?”

“That’s the big question,” Fuyutsuki noted, crossing his arms and closing his eyes in thought. “It’s JSSDF: they go by their own rules, their own command structure. There could be any number of Seele agents in their organization pulling the strings. Not to add stress to your situation, but they could come at any time.” He glanced up, and saw Misato staring at the ceiling, her eyes glazed. “Misato?” he asked. “Did you hear a word I just said?”

“…whose side…?” Misato mumbled. She glanced down at Fuyutsuki, and the older man flinched in surprise by how hard and determined her eyes were. “I’ve gambled every single throw of the dice up to this point.”

“What?”

“Every Angel attack, every…difficulty…I’ve just run with my instincts, right?”

“You planned your way through those situations, Misato, don’t sell yourself short.”

“That’s not what I’m saying.” She gripped at the table for stability. “Just…I know there was planning, but I always followed my gut. Then and now. That’s right, right?”

“That’s…correct. I will admit that.”

“And I generally gamble right when it counts. Don’t I?”

“I can’t answer that—”

Don’t I!?”

“…yes. Generally.” The woman nodded, her intensity growing.

“…if I make one more gamble, do you think it might pay off?”

“What are you saying?”

“…do you trust me, Kozo?” He was taken aback by her familiarity, and the racing note of desperation and eagerness in her tone.

“…I never stopped trusting you, Misato,” he answered. “You were always a reliable subordinate, and I think you’ve made a reliable leader.” Misato nodded, grateful for the words.

“I hate to make you walk on your leg,” she said, gesturing at his taped ankle, “But this is important…and I need to talk to Hyuga face-to-face. And you.”

“I’ll go wake Aoba, then….”

“Forget the Bridge for a moment!” Misato snapped. “It’s not important! Just get Hyuga here.” She swallowed, and grinned. It looked mad for just a moment, before settling into a sneer that was downright audacious. “I think I can buy us one more day.”

----

The Fourth Division, like any respectable forward-deployment reserve, maintained a sizable fleet of aircraft. The majority of them were modern YAGR-model aircraft, in both gunship and troop carrying varieties, with a number of forward observation and command and control variants. They still utilized rotary wing aircraft, though, specifically OH-6s, CH-47s, and a number of ‘Super Soft’ UH-60s. None of them matched the original specifications of their parent models, and were modified to the point of being entirely separate aircraft, ideal for the Fourth Division’s strategic role. Especially in regards to insertions.

Five of these rotary wing craft cut towards the center of the blasted GeoFront, two CH-47s with medical personnel and a trio of OH-6s outfitted with combat and electronic warfare packages. They cut through the simmering dust clouds and residual smoke columns, aiming for a landing zone designated near the Command Center’s pyramid. The OH-6s took up an over-watch position in orbit above the CH-47s as they began to descend, waved in by Nerv personnel and hemmed in by red smoke grenades marking the limits of the zone. They landed with a precision and grace that belied the mass of the double-rotor helicopters, and their hatches opened to disgorge JSSDF personnel in their tell-tale body gloves. They hurried forward with crates of basic medical necessities, followed by personnel carrying briefcases and assault packs crammed with the gear necessary to set up a very temporary command point for their assessment. They hurried across the hot earth, guided in by armed Nerv security troopers, and disappeared into a recently repaired access hatch.

The troops marched to a suite set aside for their purposes, with an ever present security watch following their every movements. They began setting up their equipment and opening crates with a detached practice, checking through their items and arranging them for rapid set-up or easy distribution. As this occurred, a cluster of JSSDF officers began to funnel through the GeoFront with Nerv handlers, to determine what was needed and how rapidly. They dispersed in ones and twos, with electronic pads to mark their observations and take notes.

One Captain followed his handler towards the command decks, further from his JSSDF colleagues and away from damaged areas. He marched steadily behind the Nerv trooper, not inspecting or observing. His eyes were locked forward, and he moved with purpose. He knew where he was going, and what he was there for.

The pair approached a conference room door. “In here, sir,” the Nerv trooper said, and stood aside to allow the officer access. The Captain did not acknowledge him, but waited for the trooper to open the door, and stepped through.

Inside, a woman sat slumped over the main table. A young Nerv lieutenant with glasses, and an older man in a Nerv command uniform flanked her. The ‘Captain’ waited for the door to close behind him, and removed his helmet and goggles. He regarded the room, sniffed, and approached the table.

“You must be Katsuragi,” he said, putting his helmet on the table. “We have a whole dossier on you. It was theorized you were one of the ringleaders of this farce. I am under the impression, however, that you are actually the one in charge.” He glanced up. “Am I right?”

“Fishing will get you so far without your identity,” the woman replied. The ‘Captain’ shrugged, and removed an ID card from a chest-pocket. The Lieutenant circled the table and took it from him, and brought it to Misato. She studied it for a moment, and nodded. “I recognize you, now. You’re a little grayer in the temples, and I think you broke your nose since I last saw you. You were also a Lieutenant-Colonel, then.”

“We’ve met, I take it?”

“No, but I observed you. I was a Lieutenant in Nerv’s Tactical wing at the time. That was at the UN conference in Jakarta, on refugee populations and security concerns. You were one of the keynote speakers.”

“Hmm.” The ‘Captain’ raised an eyebrow. “Flattery gets you so far, Katsuragi.”

“It wasn’t intended to be: I thought your points were redundant,” she said. “And it’s ‘Major.’” She stood awkwardly, and the Lieutenant was poised to assist her. After she straightened as best she could, she eyed the ‘Captain.’ “Welcome to Nerv, General.”

“…Major,” he conceded, and relaxed slightly. She flicked the card across the table with a finger, and squashed it with his own, slipping it off the surface and back into his pocket. “So…you have me here. What do you want?”

“To tell you what’s going on,” she grunted, lowering herself down again. “I figure you would like to know.”

“I have a fair idea already. Don’t let that stop you from telling me your side of things.”

“My side?” Misato smiled, and relaxed. “I’m trying to stop the end of the world.” The General snickered, and Misato’s smile became wooden. “What’s funny about that?”

“So melodramatic. ‘The end of the world.’ More to the point, I’m more concerned with you starting it.”

“Why would we do that?”

“You tell me: I have it on authority that there is a ‘sickness’ here. That you all have been so corrupted by constant exposure to what’s downstairs…” He stamped a foot for emphasis. “…that you all think you’re doing the right thing.”

“…you don’t believe that.” It wasn’t a question or denial, and the General shrugged.

“Of course not: the events of the past forty-eight hours are too convoluted to believe that crap. You had plenty of opportunity to make things go your way before this, and you haven’t. You have my curiosity.” He pointed a finger at her. “Mildly. I’m still wondering why I shouldn’t come down here and handle the whole situation just to be safe.”

“Still confused about your orders?” Misato asked. “Two conflicting sets, and you aren’t clear which way to jump.” The General didn’t reply, but Misato shrugged. “If it’s any consolation, I have no more trust for the new bosses in the New Kantei than you do.”

“Coups are funny like that,” the General said. “And I don’t like being cooped up here dealing with this while that is happening.”

“Why haven’t you, then? You as in…the JSSDF. You’re not the only unit here.”

“It’s complicated.”

“…The Self-Defense Forces are preventing you from doing so.” Misato nodded. “I see…bring the country to the brink of civil war, and let it hang for a moment. No one wants to make the first move, which buys time. That’s clever.”

“I’m sorry?”

“A long story. Here: how would you like to be in a position to affect the outcome?”

“Huh.” The General crossed his arms, and waited.

“This is deeper than a mutiny in Nerv,” Misato said. “You were right: there is a group in Nerv trying to initiate an Impact event. But it’s not us.” She glanced at the Lieutenant, and the young man produced a data disk. He approached the General and handed it over.

“What’s this?”

“Have you ever heard of Seele, General?”

“No.”

“Now you have, and you’re in it.” Misato folded her hands together. “There were certain people in the Defense Ministry pushing very hard for you to strike, right? A few voices: bureaucrats or consultants insisting that we needed to be handled.”

“Yes.”

“I would avoid contact with them for the time being. At least until you’ve had a chance to see that.”

“So this a smoking gun?”

“Something like that. I can tell you it’s the reason we are in this situation right now.”

“…Seele,” he muttered.

“Yes.”

“What is that?”

Misato traced a shape on the table with her fingers. “They’re the organization that runs Nerv. They also ran Gehirn back when that was around. They’ve been planning a long time for an eventual Impact event. We never knew. We were helping them to that end, and…we never knew.” Her face tightened, and she grimaced. “We know now.”

“…that’s a story,” the General rumbled. “And that’s all it is. You can tell any story you want in these circumstances.” Misato didn’t reply, but merely pointed at the disk. The General regarded it, and then looked back at Misato. He was pondering something, and he smiled in a strange and unpleasant way.

“I am considering a unilateral sweep of this facility in twelve hours,” he said. “I am very aware that you have no defenses to stop me.”

“No.”

“What do you say to that? Knowing that now?”

“I have nothing to say,” Misato said. “I’ve tried everything I can to hold off what’s coming. I can’t trust the people who brought me this far to carry it on.” She shrugged. “I’m taking a gamble on you, General.”

“You’re holding something back,” he said, pocketing the disk. “You’re being honest, I think…about wanting to hold off Impact. I don’t know why, but you clearly seem to think that.” He put a finger against his forehead. “I can read people: it comes with the territory. You have to network and know people to get that first star, after all.” He squinted. “You…have something else in your mind. Another reason for this. You want me to take a look at this, Major, you needed to be open with me.”
The woman studied the General for a moment, and grimaced. “You know who our Pilots are.”

“Yes.”

“…Children…shouldn’t be soldiers.” Her hands tightened at that, a small grasping motion. The General studied her for a long time, and nodded to himself.

“I’ll see what’s on this disk. You have twelve-hours, Major. Starting when I leave.” Misato shrugged, and lowered her head. The General studied her body language, and snickered. “You’re that confident I can be convinced?”

“I expect to hear your apology in five hours,” Misato said quietly. The General studied her a moment more, glanced at the two other Nerv members present, and shrugged. He turned, and left without another word.

----

Hyuga was the first to break the silence. "I don't like this," he mumbled. "They've had an opportunity to observe the GeoFront firsthand. This was nothing more than a recon for them." Fuyutsuki said nothing, studying the table in front of him.

"Major," Hyuga insisted, but the woman waved him off.

"There's no point in keeping them out," she said. "We can't stop them, we wouldn't even stall them. It's amazing we've made it this far." She shook her head. "We have one last throw of the dice, and we're either going to win big with this, or lose hard. That's been the game up to this point: win big, or die trying."

"There has to be other options."

"This is our last option. It's out of our hands, so we just need to...wait." She sighed, and closed her eyes. "Has...Shinji woken up yet?"

"No, ma'am."

"...okay. Could you both excuse me for a moment? I just need some...time to process." Without a word, Hyuga and Fuyutsuki exited the room, leaving the Major alone in her thoughts.

One more gamble. One more throw of the dice. Just...one more shot. She swallowed. Maybe they could make it to one more day. And a day after. Keep your head down and keep moving. Maybe things would pay off. Maybe.

And maybe Shinji would wake up soon. Misato didn't know, and continued to trace shapes with her fingers on the table-top in silence.

Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:19 pm

Aww man, I was hoping for a trippy ass dream sequence with Shinji :sniffle: If you do a dream sequence do some creepy shit, like Trainspotting, Clockwork Orange, or Twin Peaks.
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Postby pwhodges » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:24 pm

Well, obviously Misato can't lose all on this throw of the die, because then you wouldn't have any more story to write!
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Postby Literary Eagle » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:19 pm

^
Exactly! This gamble will surely buy them enough time for Pen Pen to arrive and save the day with his amazing penguin powers! :penpenatf:

Okay, seriously now... this chapter was an interesting development, and I look forward to finding out where it goes from here. Also, just wanted to mention that I liked Misato pulling herself back up after she fell, instead of Fuyutsuki helping her up. With so many things outside of Misato's control, I think she really needed to do this for herself, and it's nice to see that Fuyutsuki understood this. (Or it could simply be that he didn't feel up to doing it since he's also injured, but I like the other interpretation better. Heh.)
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Postby NemZ » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:10 pm

Certainly a way to go. If you can't fight em, get em to join you! Plus it has potential to get out to people who matter and pressure "mr. voice" to follow through rather than hanging them out to dry for his own gains.

I'm wondering if Gendo might be able to ask to see Rei (who should be starting to fall apart now) and kickstart the whole mess under Misato's nose anyway. :emogendo:
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