FANDOM


XI: Ireul
Summary: The countdown to Third Impact continues.
Who: Emma Kramskoi, Johnny Domino, Rei Ayanami, Leo Stenbuck, Russel Bagman, Asuka Langley Sohryu, Lloyd Asplund, Getter Team, Fiona Gureden
When: 25 April NCA 120
Where: Alaskan High Energy Research Facility, Alaska, Earth


EARLIER TODAY

From Wednesday until about six hours ago, the central area of the Alaskan High Energy Research Facility was under maintenance. Emma, who is much more safety-concious than the last director of this facility, mandated a shutdown and some basic preventive maintenance to be done in the particle accelerator and the MIDAS core. Not that MIDAS ever goes all the way off, but with the power requirements so low, it was a good time to fix some things.

That, as it turns out, was a mistake.

This morning, the High Energy Research Facility powered back on, slowly bringing everything back up. There were no problems until the systems were tested at an artificially high power level about two hours ago, whereupon Emma noted some unusual readings from MIDAS. The system was brought back down and tested.

About an hour and thirty minutes ago, Emma realized she was dealing with something she had never seen before, and that if she did not do anything it was going to be a full-bore crisis. She had the MIDAS core purged and checked.

About an hour ago, she called NERV.


JUST A FEW MOMENTS AGO

Director Emir Kramskoi refused to let anyone else handle talking to the pilots. This means that she is the pleasant face that gets put on everybody's mech's communicator, if in fact they have anything to pick up pictures. She looks tired.

"We have, as you might have heard, a situation. There is, as best we can tell, an Angel in the control system," Emir admits. "We are in contact with NERV and we are working together to attempt to purge it. However."

She replaces her face with a camera shot of a large room with a high ceiling. In the center of the room is a pillar two hundred feet tall that doesn't even get halfway to the ceiling; sixty feet across at the base, it narrows down to a small object about two feet by two feet by two feet at the top of it. Hovering over whatever it is is a sphere of pure energy, the silver-blue of a star brighter than our own.

"This is the Mass Interparticle Dissociation Antiproton Synthesizer, or MIDAS. It is a power source that uses auric radiation to provide essentially unlimited power." Emir pauses a moment. "We think the Angel is attempting to assimilate it, but the radiation is slowing its spread. We /know/ it has taken over the maintenance wanzers in the room. It doesn't have a physical form on this scale; you won't actually be able to hurt it. You need to get in and disable anything that moves so that it cannot absorb MIDAS. If you fail, we are looking at a crater perhaps a thousand miles across when MIDAS goes nova - unless it can do something else with the power we don't expect."

"We're going to put you in through the maintenance tunnels. The only problem is that they're scaled for wanzers. Some of you are going to need to duck. Good luck."


RIGHT NOW

The maintenance tunnels are, in fact, about fifty feet tall. And dark. They're unpleasant, but at least they're empty. Big robots get to crawl. Everyone in a Sutherland gets to laugh.

All of them lead toward that central room that was seen on the camera. The blast doors to the central room don't open until everyone is in place - Emma isn't sure she can override the Angel twice. Even then, they open slowly and jerkily.


Ever since the inception of NERV Order Number 3066, opinions about the special Angel fighting mercs within NERV have been mixed. Some people viewed them as a wonderous asset - a group of valiant heroes, without whom the world would be doomed. One such person happens to be Maya Ibuki. It is no secret that the young woman holds romantic, idealistic views as to the nature of NERV's 3066ers.

Others, however, are not as generous, believing the mercs to be a bunch of pigs, rampaging across Tokyo 03 and causing collateral damage even greater than any Angel in history. Not only that, but some whisper that these so-called mercs are actually STEALING the jobs of honest and hard-working NERV personnel! One such person happens to be Ritsuko Akagi.

Actually, no, that's not quite true. Ritsuko Akagi doesn't believe NERV's 3066ers are out to steal her job, for the simple reason that ever since the mercs were assembeled, the good doctor's workload has actually /doubled/.

And this is precisely why the woman holds the pragmatically negative opinion that NERV's 3066ers are a menace to society.


SOME TIME AGO

Ritsuko is sitting at her desk, the office dim and silent. The only sources of light in the room are from a small table lamp -- allowing Doctor Akagi to write the mental evaluation of each 3066 member following various Angel battles -- and the glow from the monitor of Maya Ibuki's laptop. Both women are staying past working hours, catching up on reports late into the night.

A sad cigarette butt consumes itself into oblivion in the ashtray next to Ritsuko's elbow as the doctor puts to paper her professional opinion of a one, Johnny Domino. It is a very level-headed opinion.

Once upon a time, Gendo Ikari made it clear that Akagi was to fabricate the most unflattering evaulation of Johnny Domino possible, following an incident in which Johnny and Asuka tried to kill one another along with whatever Angel was the flavor of the day. Ritsuko considered her work ethics, weighing it against the man she thought she loved and welcomed into her innermost sanctum every other night, and proceeded to conjure up a damning report about Domino being the scum of the earth.

She's going back on her words, now: Johnny Domino is a fine young man, an accomplished fighter and an experienced Angel killer. If not for the Second Child always shooting at him with reckless abandon, Domino could have become the savior of Japan!

Okay, maybe that's not /exactly/ what Ristuko is writing, but who could even tell? The doctor's handwriting is atrocious. Why she still insists on writing her reports by hand is anyone's guess. Thank god for Maya Ibuki, perhaps the one woman in the whole of NERV who can read Ritsuko's handwriting perfectly.

That's what Ibuki is doing now, sitting in another chair at the edge of the desk while typing on her laptop. With Latooni Subota's already finished report sitting snug in Maya's lap, the woman copies Ritsuko's words to the digital space.

Latooni, as it turns out, is an intelligent young girl, her IQ far exceeding that of the average person. Her battlefield expertise and analytical capabilities are remarkable, and if not for the fact that she is retardedly reserved and anti-social, she could have become the savior of Japan!

Okay, maybe that's not /exactly/ what Ritsuko wrote, but nevertheless, Ibuki's face is flushed as she copies the doctor's words. Every once in a while, her eyes dart to the little profile picture of Latooni peering at her from her laptop.

Eventually Maya is unable to contain herself any longer. "Ooh," she croons. "I wish I could just pick her up and take her home with me!"

The corner of Ritsuko's mouth twitches in wry amusement. "Be careful what you wish for, Maya," she says. "You might get to do just that one of these days, and then where would we be?"

Maya's nostrils flare in excitement as the woman fantasizes about where she would be. "Ooooooh! I'd smother her in hugs and plant tiny butterfly kisses all over her stomach and pet her and love her and buy her the CUTEST DRESSES!"

Ritsuko pauses in the middle of Johnny's report, wondering -- and not for the first time -- why Maya has to be so goddamn creepy.

"Oh, Senpai," Maya continues with a sigh. "Don't you think they're all so amazing? Fighting the Angels and protecting the earth."

"For money," notes Ritsuko.

"That Latooni is the cutest thing ever," continues Maya, oblivious. "And Leo Stenbuck is so impressive, already a Captain at his age. Heehee, you know, I'd let Akira read my mind anytime. Wouldn't you, Senpai? And Johnny's tush is so ripe--"

Maya is cut off by Ritsuko producing a sound between a horrified cough and a terrified laugh. Putting down her pen, the older woman decides that, if she is to spend anymore time around Maya tonight (which she will) she had better get another cigarette. NOW.

Except, "Damn," curses Akagi. "Out of cigarettes."

"Oh!", chirps Maya, producing an unopened package of cigarettes and handing it to Ritsuko. It's the doctor's favorite brand.

"I... didn't realize you smoked," responds Akagi, accepting this unexpected offering.

Maya beams: "I don't!"

"..."

Right. Well. Lighting a brand new cigarette, Ritsuko goes back to her reports. Finishing with Johnny's and handing it to Maya to be digitally transcribed, the doctor moves on to write about Ayato Kamina.

Akagi shuffles through various folders on her desk, pouring over medical checkups and psychological evaluations to produce her final conclusion: if not for the fact that Ayato is already a member of this lame TERRA organization, he could have become the savior of Japan!

Okay, maybe not /exactly/...

"Senpai," Maya breaks the silence after a time. "How many more Angels are going to appear?"

"I don't know," is Ritsuko's response. "I don't think anyone knows how many there are, or why they are attacking, or when they will all show up." A series of one bold-faced lie after the other. Maya believes every word.

"I just thought," the younger woman says. "How awful it would be if an Angel were to attack when none of our 3066ers are available."

Ritsuko is unfazed as she reminds Ibuki, "We have the Evangelion Units." Because, like, Jesus! Fighting Angels is WHY the Evangelions were created to begin with, hello?!

"Oh, I know, I mean," Maya frowns. "Of course we have them, but... fighting the Angels with only our Evangelions, that would be like a child fighting off a tiger with only one arm and no legs."

Ritsuko's hand stops moving, her pen leaving a blue blotch in Ayato's report. Maya's fangirling is hurting Ritsuko's pride. She needs coffee to fend off the headache forming in the back of her skull. Reaching over to her cup, the doctor is disappointed to discover that, "ugh, gone cold."

"Oh!", chirps Maya, producing a thermos. "Here you go! Brewed at 93 degrees celsius, your favorite Indonesian Kopi Luwak beans, with one sugar, except on Wednesdays when you always drink with cream instead of sugar, hee!"

Ritsuko blinks. "..I.. didn't realize you.. drank coffee."

Maya beams: "I don't!"

"..."

Ritsuko stands up. If she is to spend anymore time around Maya tonight (which she will) she had better get some fresh air. NOW.

Maya is taken aback, squeaking, "S..Senpai?"

"I'm going to hop over to my apartment for a moment," explains the doctor. Moving for the door, Akagi reaches for her purse on the way and begins digging in it. She stops three steps later, a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach.

"Shit, did I drop my apartment key somewhere?"

"Oh!", Maya chirps and immediately produces a key. "Don't worry, Senpai, I have a copy!"

"..."


SOME TIME AGO LATER WHICH IS NOT TOO LONG AGO AT ALL

A new Angel has appeared. NERV Order Number 3066 has been issued forth.

Johnny Domino is out of contact. Latooni Subota is similarly unavailable. Ayato Kamina has not been permitted by TERRA to deploy. Akira Tadokoro lacks the proper clearance to go to the facility where the Angel has manifested.

Maya Ibuki sits at her console in Central Dogma, having gone into catatonic shock. Her 3066ers -- her beloved 3066ers! Why weren't they there to fight the Angel and save the day? What went wrong? WHERE WERE THEY?! It was the end of the world! They were doomed! NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME!!

Up above, Gendo Ikari is unimpressed. "Fuyutsuki," he says to his second-in-command. "Make preparations and send out the Evangelions. And get Ms. Ibuki a broom. I hear Lilith has left... a little present for us yet again."


SOME TIME AGO

Rei Ayanami is mostly nude. She surveys her body. It's only from the neck up that the damage is really visible. The real damage, of course, can't be seen at all -- by anyone but Rei Ayanami, anyway. The blue-haired teenager has her hair clipped back out of her face. She doesn't know what prompted her to buy beauty products during the stopover at the A-LAWS Post Exchange earlier. She's had a strange few days. The image of Leo Stenbuck's bare chest is burned into her mind, slightly blurry and out of focus, too stuck on unzipping his pants to notice Asuka taking the discreet picture as she flashes a mocking peace sign. Rei received that image -- and others -- via her official A-LAWS email. And just to make sure Rei saw it, Asuka had sent it thirty times.

Standing in front of the mirror in her quarters, Rei surveys herself. Her expression is blank. Her face, still bruised and purple, is oily, a facial peel congealing, intended to help the bruising go down more quickly. But why?

Rei steps out of her underwear and sees herself completely. She thinks back to the words of Mister Bushido.

'And your face... conceal it. I know that you are not one to wear your emotions openly to begin with, but to remove yourself from others... You need that barrier.'

Rei hopes the swelling goes down quickly. She stares at herself. Her hands press against her stomach. She looks strange. She's still pale, but the relentless Top Squadron training -- the new diet -- the more focused outlook. She's changing. Her body is less noodly, more lean, more dangerous already. Rei Ayanami wants the swelling to go down because this broken visage is her true face.

She reaches up and begins to peel the sticky film off of her face. Her visage should be pure and unblemished. And unfeeling. Rei Ayanami will not wear a mask.

Rei Ayanami will be a mask.

A mask over the hell of nothing.


NOW

Rei Ayanami can feel everything. Every little scrape and ding and snag as GN Evangelion Unit-00X crawls on its belly, scrunching through a narrow tunnel to make its way into the MIDAS facility. She tries to focus. One arm. Then the other. Then scoot. Then pull. Then one arm. Then the other.

Rei catches herself drooling when the streamer of saliva rises in the LCL and drifts in front of her red eyes. And scoot. And pull. Every motion is a thunderous, confined boom that rings in her ears like a gunshot. Like the sound of a plug breaking. Like the sound of the sky. Thunder is the heavens screaming pain, Rei decides. Lightning is their wrath turned outward.

"Rei... Rei, Rei, Rei, Rei," the teenager slurs, sounding like a record being played at the wrong speed. "Rei Ayanami," she finally manages. "Lance-3. Enter. Enter. En-tuh-reeng-ah." Her Japanese accent seems more pronounced.


SOME TIME AGO

Leo Stenb-

o/` Fly me to the moon, o/`
o/` and let me play among the stars~ o/`
o/` Let me see what spring is like o/`
o/` on Jupiter and Mars~ o/`

COME ON!


SOME TIME AGO

Leo Stenbuck looks uncertainly down at the fob in his hand, and then back up at Lloyd Asplund. "This is just a flash drive," he says uncertainly.


SOME TIME AGO

Leo Stenbuck is at the front of where the Federation assault force is stacked up at the blast doors leading into the Alaskan High Energy Research Facility's - AKA AHERF's - core. "Alright," he explains to the assembled group. "If this... really /is/ an Angel, it's behaving totally differently than the past ones, so we can't be sure what to expect."

"It's possible that as soon as these doors start opening it's just going to erase all of us, and I'm not very comfortable with that," Leo admits. "That's why as soon as the doors crack, Russel and I are going to go in in these new toys Professor Asplund so /graciously/ provided us with and draw its attention while the rest of you squeeze inside."

"Ready? Good."


NOW

The doors to the core room are barely halfway open before a purple blur erupts out of them with the roar of an engine; it hits the floor and pauses for a moment, long enough to be identified as an RPI-13 Sutherland. And then it's on the move again, skimming across the floor as its landspinners haul it across the room.

Leo starts shooting as soon as he's rolling. Not really... /at/ anything, just sort of wildly into the air, to get the attention of... whatever is undoubtedly about to try to kill all of them.


Russel Bagman radios Leo back and he says, "Roger that." He's not what to think of the Knightmares as he's had some idea how they work, know they are small and fast. But that's about it. It's pretty much distraction duty? He can do that, it's like Kiting Katina away from the senior officers when she's prissy. He also opens fire for a moment but lets Leo do it, it would be bad for both of them to run out of ammo.


Of all the places in the world that Asuka could have been deployed, it had to be Alaska! What was so special about this Angel that iwa s attacking this place, anyway? Most of the other Angels attacked Tokyo-03. Not that Asuka was pleased to ahve giant aliens crushing her city Godzilla-style, but at least it made traveling to the site of the battle CONVENIENT.

Which is the exact opposite of what this is. Not only did she have to travel across an ocean to get here, but she was stuck crouched and vulnerable behind some OTHER unit in a maintanence tunnnel. The only good thing about this was that that stupid bitch Rei was stuck behind her! Though considering the events of the past couple of days, she may not want to show Rei her back.

Still, Asuka has no doubt in her mind that Rei will mindlessly obey orders, the way she always does.

"Couldn't they think of a beter way to deploy us?" Not even on the battlefield yet, and she's already bitching. Still, a girl's got to find SOME way to entertain herself until the fighting begins.

"Leo!" she calls out over the radio in the sing-song voice Asuka usually only reserves for speaking to her beloved Kaji. "Why don't we get together again after the battle?" She only wishes she could see Rei Ayanami's expression inside her little Unit-0!


SOME TIME AGO

The central part of the Alaskan High Energy Research Facility being under maintenance doesn't really concern Earl (or Professor, or Lloyd, depending on who you ask) Asplund. He's got a building that his Britannian Irregular branch basically claimed, and the surrounding area for testing purposes. He's actually quite pleased with what he's got today: further shipments from the manufacturing facility the Exemplar came from.

"Well well, this is shaping up to be a pleasant day," Lloyd chimes cheerfully, clasping his hands together in front of him and looking up at the shipping containers. "Now, all I need are Fiona and Suzaku here for the next phase, and--"

A lab aide interrupts him by scrambling up to him with a message: there is an Angel, and it is practically underneath them. A team is going to be sent to take care of it. Lloyd knows how cramped the tunnels down there are for the mobile weapons of this world, and he knows that they could use a little more leverage...

"Put me on the line with the Director," Lloyd says, leaning over the communications station in the lab with a smile everyone has grown to fear. "I think I might have something... useful."


SOME TIME AGO

That smile returns to Lloyd's face. Leo's expression is priceless.


SOME TIME AGO

Lloyd stands in front of the Knightmares. The RPI-13 Sutherlands stand in a line, open and ready for their pilots. They're identically purple. "...and don't forget to use your landspinners," he continues, having been expounding on the differences between the Knightmares and normal mobile suits for some time. "They're what will give you your edge."

"Oh, and remember: come back with your Knightmare," Lloyd adds, smiling widely, tone bright, "or not at all!"


NOW

Lloyd Asplund sits at a bank of monitors in the trailer Camelot uses to transport it's Knightmares. He keeps an eye on the ones he's lent out, sighing quietly to himself. He taps the side of his face and looks up. "I'd swear I'd forgotten to explain something, but I can't quite put my finger on what it was."


ELSEWHERE

NOW

Arthur the Cat sleeps on a pile of pamphlets entitled 'Knightmare Ejection Procedures.' He is quite content.


MEANWHILE, AT THE SAOTOME LABS

Ryouma Nagare and Musashi Tomoe are playing battle pinball. Musashi has lucked out and activated the Quad Pinball Rampage special ability. Ryouma's hands caress the paddle buttons.

"RYOUUUMMAAA!" Musashi bellows. "NOW I WILL BE BATTLE PINBALL CHAMPION! BEHOLD, THE WIND BLOWING DOWN MT. OROSHI IN THE FORM OF PINBALLS!

Ryouma has also been drinking. His thin lips part. His smile is predatory. "Musashi, the day you beat me is the day that I give up my desire to eat LSD-laced sushi off of Michiru Saotome's supple, nubile body!"

"OOOORRRAAAAAAHHHH!" The pinball machine goes flying. Ryouma lifts it up, spins it around in the air, and slams it back into the ground. Musashi, stumbling backward, can only watch while pinball after pinball sinks in to what is now his side of the board.

"Th-that's bullshit! You can't do that! That's not how battle pinball works!"

"Haha, Musashi, Musashi, Musashi," Ryouma chides. He pops his collar, looking dramatically into the distance. "There's no such thing as fairness or honor... in a battle pinball fight."

Musashi flips the table over. Ryouma is crushed, glass shattering over his head. "AGH YOU FUCKER, MUSASHI!" He can barely lift the table off himself to kick Musashi in the head when--

"We've received word relayed from NERV. Getter is launching." Michiru stands in the door, a clipboard tucked under one arm. "Suit up and launch in three minutes." She checks something off on her list. Her glasses slide slightly down her nose. "And Ryouma, I hate sushi."

"I must have her," Ryouma moans through clenched teeth.


NOW THAT THEY'RE DONE SCREWING AROUND

The trio of Getter planes, which are considerably smaller than the actual Getter (in fact how they manage to constitute enough mass to form Getter in the first place is precisely why no one except for Professor Saotome knows what the hell is going on with Getter Rays), prepare for an entrance into the facility. They are capable of slower, hovering movement, and make use of that here.

This is also annoying for everyone else because it means Ryouma is free to hover around and be an annoying asshole. Musashi has given up on following him and now keeps in formation with Hayato. Predictably, none of them are listening to Leo Stenbuck.

"So what you're saying," Ryouma transmits to the other Getter pilots while weaving around the two EVAs, "is that NERV is probably evil and we should get ready to blow them up."

"Why are they evil again?" Musashi mumbles. "Aren't they with the government?"

Ryouma continues: "He's right, Hayato! Don't you think your terrorist senses are just tingling because you're, you know, a terrorist? How many cops did you kill back during that whole coup you pulled off back in high school, anyway?"

"Be sure to observe these people closely." Hayato is not pleased. He has things on his mind, between Saotome and NERV. "I won't bother you with the details. Not over a semi-secure frequency."

"I bet it was like fifty. Maybe sixty.""


SOME TIME AGO

The particle accelerator is still down, for reasons Fiona has not yet been informed of, and right about now Lloyd is probably receiving shipments from the guys who made the Exemplar. She's expecting a call any second now, which is why she is laid out on her bed in what passes for her personal quarters (actually a repurposed meeting room in the Camelot Building) with her jacket off, staring at the TV in the wall and wondering what's taking Lloyd so long, he never lets her get this kind of time to herself.

Which is exactly when the lights turn red and Fiona discovers Lloyd rigged her bed to catapult her out the door at the push of a button.


NOW

"Goddammit, Lloyd," Fiona growls from the cockpit of Excellence Striker - a little big for this kind of operation, but Lloyd seemed eager to get her in a fight against an Angel in the Engine, due to their strange abilities. Cosmodriver needs huge tracks of open space to fight effectively, preferably in a vaccuum; none of the other Frames are any better suited, even if they were /here/. Except Striker, whose main asset is a gigantic crushing claw that Fiona can use safely even in the presence of unknown creatures from beyond human comprehension. Besides, Fiona's personal Sutherland is armed with a thing that shoots missiles like bullets, that seems like a bad thing to bring into a room with a nuclear reactor. "When did you even have time to /do/ that!?"

She grumbles, then slumps back in her harness, watching the door rise jerkily. "Excellence 2," she adds, wondering at the voices of these young kids - and wondering just what's wrong with Lance 3. "Striker is ready. Engine output steady at...huh, 48%." Hrm, she leans in and flicks the readout a little, frowning. "Lloyd, can you do anything from up there? I'm not sure I can fight a god monster at fourty-eight."


UP IN THE CONTROL CENTER

Emma remains on the phone with NERV while typing with one hand and shouting occasional orders at other people. She brings up Lloyd in a second window while doing this, and takes time from her busy schedule to note, "I hope you know what you're doing. Can you keep track of them? I'm going to need all my attention on trying to purge this from our systems."


BACK WITH THE ANGEL

The blast doors finally finish their slow, erratic opening. Inside - inside it looks a lot like it did from the camera view, except with some additions.

Wanzers.

The High Energy Research Facility uses labour wanzers controlled remotely for things humans cannot lift or touch, and there are perhaps a dozen stored in this room. Every one of them is active, and judging by the haphazard arrangement of tools bolted and welded to their arms, they have been altering each other.

One of them is shot almost point-blank by Leo; a veritable cloud of tiny reddish hexagons flickers before it, pulsing in and out of visibility, and the shot is caught on the insane amalgamated AT Field this Angel is capable of.

On the plus side, it does do exactly what he wants it to, and the entire swarm of possessed labour wanzers attempt to chase the faster Sutherlands. They brandish weapons like lifting arms, power welders, an emergency jump-start electrical kit - nothing meant to be a weapon. Everyone else can enter without too much hassle... although after a while, the doors start to stutter closed the same awkward way they opened.

The blue sun thrums, pulsing inward and then outward like it was breathing.

"Remember," Emir's voice sounds, "disable everything that moves in there - but don't damage the MIDAS equipment! Anything on that center pillar, even if you have to cover it with your mech, do not let it take damage!"


COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has attacked Leo Stenbuck and Russel Bagman. The Taken added to their queue.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck a solid hit on Russel Bagman's RPI-13 Sutherland using The Taken.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck a major hit on Leo Stenbuck's RPI-13 Sutherland using The Taken.


A grin flickers across Leo's face as the labor wanzers swarm after him. That's right, kids, follow the Knightmare Frame. He builds himself up a nice lead and then brakes, skidding to a halt with a spray of sparks; the Sutherland turns and sways tauntingly, gesturing broadly with its assault rifle.

Wait, what? Get together after the... Leo hesitates briefly, and then keys his radio, keeping an eye on the oncoming horde of wanzers. "Uh... maybe," he tells Asuka, noncommitally. "I might... I sort of have... a thing."


SOME TIME AGO

Leo Stenbuck is waiting for Lloyd to give him the key he'll apparently need to start up the Sutherland he's being loaned when his phone buzzes. He digs it out of his pocket and flips it over to look at the screen; he has a text message, which reads:

> sup kick sum ass while ur flyin 2 the moon ;) dinner when ur back?? i hear its not cheese rice 4 once ;P xx kris

One corner of Leo's mouth quirks upwards in a wry grin, and he hurriedly types out a response.

> i always do :) dinner sounds great, see you then

He hits 'send' and then stuffs the phone back in his pocket, still grinning... but the grin vanishes when he looks up and sees what Lloyd is holding out towards him.


NOW

Leo's radio broadcast is capped off with an eloquent cry of, "FUCK!" This is because a Wanzer has just come up behind him and plunged a power welder directly into his Knightmare's back. The force drives it forwards, and it collapses forwards onto its knees.

Leo's perfectly rational response to this development is to roll the Sutherland onto its back, shove its assault rifle up into the wanzer's abdomen, and fire a long burst directly into... ... well, probably into an AT Field. Purely out of spite, he also hits the trigger on the grenade launcher, consuming both the wanzer that hit him and the Sutherland itself in a rapidly expanding cloud of flame and smoke.

An instant later, the Sutherland - unharmed, save for a long, scorched black gash across its backside - rockets out of the cloud on its landspinners and continues its retreat, skimming up onto the wall like it was at a fucking skate park.


COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Combination Fire added to their queue.


Rei Ayanami is behind Asuka Langley Sohryu. The temptation enters the First Child's mind to just reach out and grab Unit-02 and break its legs. There's really nothing Asuka could do to stop her in these confined spaces. Rei's eyes are so wide they hurt as she thinks about what she could do. A hand reaches out, slowly, fingers spreading, about to close on 02's ankle--

--just as the end of the tunnel is reached. Rei suddenly realizes what she's doing as Unit-02 climbs out. She passes it off awkwardly as clumsiness, bonking a shoulder fin on the ceiling to make it look like her arm calculations were off. Rei sneers. Her face hurts when she moves it. Her skin is crawling. She feels like she has bugs moving underneath her plugsuit. Little electric bugs that light up when she looks down. GN sparkles look like fireflies. Rei wonders what would happen if she ate one. Then she remembers that she's full of the stuff right now.

Rei clambers out. Unit-00X clambers out. Rei wonders if sometimes Unit-00X pilots her. "Activ-- Activating solar furniture," Rei sputters. "Furnace. Activating solar furnasur. Activating solar -- furn -- Calico." Rei can't control her mouth. She thinks her lips are trying to get her. She reaches up and tries to pull one off for a moment, stopped only when the Eva's giant hand comes up and whacks itself in the face.

At this exact moment, orange sparkles begin spewing everywhere from vents all along the blue robot's surface. It stands tall, reorienting itself, facing the army of Wanzers. "Angels?" Rei withdraws her pellet pistol and beings firing into the crowd of robots. "To kill -- to kill an Angel, you have to -- core -- you have to core an Angel. You have to cull an Angel in the whore."


COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Pellet Pistol added to their queue.


Russel Bagman hears Emir's voice and nods once. He knows the power of Midas. It gets him back to thinking of Bradon and his final ditch move to save the Midas system from being set off. He guns the land spinnera and peels off trying to avoid the incomming, but it's too late. One of the remote wanzers is on Russel.

"Leo! Look out! The remote units are subverted!"

Russel is now locked in close combadm, he fires off the slash harkens and tries to pull back.

"Leo I know these models if they are not fully altered I know where we can take them down. If we can take out the remote unit they should keel over!" But it may be too late or things have changed, still it's worth a try as he keeps on the move. The damage is bad but he's still rolling along. "Let's keep them busy!"


COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Dual Harkens added to their queue.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "To kill -- to kill an Angel, you have to -- core -- you have to core an Angel. You have to cull an Angel in the whore."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "...getting some interference on this end. Say again?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I sincerely hope that we're not having problems with the radios now!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi sounds harried; nobody is surprised.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Angels."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "Damn. Do you require assistance?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "We can't get any in, it's sealing the doors."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "Damn. Transmit coordinates anyway; we'll send forces to contain the area in case you...well, in case."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Rei Ayanami. Lance-3. Sealing the doors."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "Yeah, you, uh, you probably shouldn't do that."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi pauses, then, more professionally: "The Alaskan High Energy Research Facility is under internal attack; no, we cannot accept more help at this point. Yes, it is an Angel."


The window that pops up on Lloyd's display with a distracted Emma in it is expected. "Of course I do; don't worry, we've got everything under controoh, that's new!" Lloyd immediately slides to the side to lean over another monitor, giving him a view from the Knightmares and the strange sights ahead of them.

"Mmm... this might be a little more complicated than we thought." Lloyd pauses a beat. "Cecile, make sure our temporary devicers don't try anything stupid with their /borrowed/ Knightmares, will you?"

"Uh--" Cecile looks startled for a moment. "Alright, Lloyd!" She turns to the equipment and switches it over to her station. She appears on video-capable viewscreens in an unobtrusive window, and considers her words carefully.

"Be careful, everyone; we don't know exactly what this can do, so keep your distance if you can."

Not what Lloyd was going for, but he'll deal with it. He waves a hand back in front of the camera, which Fiona will see, and waggles a finger in a tsking manner. "While you were out a week or so ago, the day you were late for the temporal synch test." His hand turns into a thumbs-up. "But don't worry, I have just the thing for your engine efficiency!"

Lloyd starts feeding a stream of data that would be garbage to anyone not sitting on the Heart of the TARDIS. It makes some strange noise, but output begins to rise. "There. Now, if it's rising too fast, try and use some of the excess; we wouldn't want to open a rift in space-time next to an antimatter reactor~!" The '<3' is audible in his voice.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "Short version: if we lose, Alaska goes bye-bye. Right?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "No! Don't send forces. It's attempting to assimilate MIDAS. Evacuate instead."


COMBAT: Lloyd Asplund has activated a spirit command.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Ryouma Nagare transmits, "Do we really need Alaska? Are there people in Alaska? I'm not so good with American stuff."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "MID...I'm going to assume that's not going to turn you all to gold."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Fifty-fifty odds and I'd rather not take them. I don't know what /else/ it can do with that power."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "Are you here? Then yes, there's people in Alaska."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Oh, no gold is involved."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Rei Ayanami. Lance-3. Sealing the gold."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "The Mass Interparticle Dissociation Antiproton Synthesizer. I don't have time to get into the science. It's an energy source. - Lance-3, no -"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Now, antimatter, /that's/ the ticket."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "Interpatricle dis..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "....wow."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "It's an antimatter reactor, it has been running continuously for years, it is /safe/ when there aren't Angels attempting to eat it!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "Understood. Issue general evacuation orders. Stenbuck, all of you."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi transmits, "Stay alive. But whatever else happens, I need data on that thing."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Now Fiona, if the ratio rises too fast, try and use some of the excess; we wouldn't want to open a rift in space-time next to an antimatter reactor~! <3"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "I know, I know!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "We're sending data to NERV as fast as we can get it. I don't trust the computers here at this point, but the Angel doesn't seem to be able to hitch a ride on satellite communications."


"Ah, finally!" Ryouma shouts as the end of the tunnel is reached. If it was just Getter, they could have been in here killing things already! Luckily, Ryouma doesn't mind having some faceless minions along to do the boring stuff.

"HAYATO! MUSASHI! LET'S COMBINE!"

The planes thruster upward into the air, Ryouma's first, noise pointed toward the ceiling, and then followed by Hayato and Musashi. "Just like we practiced when we got wasted that one day and tried to figure out the stupidest way--"

"Shut up and do it, Ryouma!"

"Ugh, fine, Hayato!" Ryouma cuts out the forward engines, sending his plane falling back down into Hayato's, who does the same so they can both plow into Musashi.

"CHANGE GETTER-1! SWITCH ON!"

The demonic Getter-1 lands roughly on the battlefield, its massive feet stressing up the floor. "Hahahaha, awesome, it worked! I'm like a robot scientist, but the awesome kind rather than the nerdy kind! Right, Musashi?"

"Let's use Getter-3!"

"NO GETTER-3, MUSASHI."

The Getter Rays in the area begin to increase. It's not damaging to physical structures or people (aside from anyone inside Getter Robo) at this level, but... do Getter Rays like Angels?!


COMBAT: Getter Team has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Particle Spreader added to their queue.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has struck a major hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Combination Fire.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Leo Stenbuck with her The Possessed counter attack.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Huang Qin Shi sighs. "NERV. Understood."


"'Sort of a thing'? What can be more important than me?!"

Asuka Langley Sohryu is not the sort of girl you'd ever want to get into a relationship with, let alone a one-night stand. If Leo hasn't figured it out yet, he soon will.

And when Asuka finally emerges, it's only to see Leo's unit hit and scorched. Whatever these things were, they sure were serious! The pellot pistol is immediately pulled from its place on Unit-02's back, and directed at the Wanzer attacking Leo.

She aims, and fires.

It's not until after she's let off a round of pellet pistols that she catches sight of a flashing orange sparkles from the corner of her eye. She spins around only to see--

"Another Evangelion?! B-But... what kind of Eva is /that/?!"


COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Pellet Pistol added to their queue.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "It's an Angel, /and/ they have the biggest computer I can get ahold of."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Well, it's certainly a good thing we keep our backups disconnected from the facility."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Rei Ayanami. Lance-3."


COMBAT: You have missed Emma Kramskoi with your Pellet Pistol attack.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Who's in that other Evangelion?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "The only two Evangelions I'm aware of on-site are yourself and Rei."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Ayanami, and I think she's having a problem. The Angel - I don't know if it can spread while it's fighting -"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Lance-3."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "R-Rei?! That... That unit is Rei's?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu sounds disgusted!

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "Apparently!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "When did YOU get a new Evangelion?!"


COMBAT: Russel Bagman has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Dual Harkens.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "I..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami trails off after exactly one syllable.


COMBAT: Getter Team has struck a minor hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Particle Spreader.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "What?! Answer me! Don't just say 'I'!"


COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has struck a minor hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Pellet Pistol.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "You."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Well, that's just fine! See if I care just because you got a new unit!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Me and my Unit-02 will outperform you any day!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Lance-3, I need a status report, please. Is the Angel attempting to control your Evangelion like it is controlling those wanzers?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Besides, I have something even better than some stupid new unit!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I don't know how it /could/, you're not wired in and never were."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Could you loudly not care another time, Miss Sohryu? We /are/ in the middle of an operation, and it's difficult to calibrate a time machine while you're yammering on."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "NO!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Shinn Asuka, surprisingly encouraging: "C'mon, Ayanami, you can handle it!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Well, can't say I didn't try."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Sohryu, this is hardly the time! Save it for afterwards. If we survive."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund, irrepressably cheerfully, "I'll see you all in the Cretaceous!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Lance-3 reporting. Synchronization nominal. Decisive All-Purpose Humanoid Weapon GN Evangelion Prototype Unit-00X operating within optimal parameters. Solar Fern Calico activated. Unknown."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "Man, they didn't even have any good ones back then..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Shinn Asuka transmits, "Uh..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I /hope/ you're joking."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "What?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Of course I am."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "We're far more likely to simply collapse all of time into a single point and experience it in excruciating amounts of infinity. Or, well, negative-infinity, I suppose."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Confirm secondary objective negative infinity."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Confirmed!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Lance-3, your primary objective is to stop those wanzers; your secondary objective is to protect the pillar in the centre of the room. Do you understand?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Primary objective stop wanzers. Secondary objective protect pillar. Ack--"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami pauses for a moment.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Acknowledged."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Thank you."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Rei Ayanami, always following orders!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Given the situation I'd rather you did, too."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "I'll see what I can do."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi, terse: "Thank you."


"I..." Fiona tilts her head. "I was late because /you/ asked me to go--" Her lips form into a line, and her eyes widen angrily, and she slams the console and snaps, "LLOYD!"

Whichi s about when he gives her a huge thumbs up and starts feeding her data. She looks down at the incoming feed, watching numbers scroll by and recognizing the overall shape of them, but they scroll too fast to see exactly what he's doing. She has a rough idea of the metaphors involved in the Engine, but that's the thing - it's all metaphors and half-explanations. Even as the engine's power begins to spin up, she can only mutter, "So wait is he....is that the time rudder or the flow control, or the...nozzle, or...halving the exponent on the...sandwich....I don't even know!!" She grabs the controls, yelling, "Uh, it's working! Power output rising steadily! Lunge thrusters, propulsion positive!" The cockpit begins to glimmer - faint green light sparking in the air as the Time-Flow engine warms up, before the warm green fades. "Excellence Striker, go!"

Striker is big, for this, just a hair too tall, enough so that Fiona's having to squat the machine down, which is /very hard/. But the doors spin open, and Fiona grabs the throttle, and jams it forward - the lunge thrusters swing up and clear the ceiling by a matter of milimeters, and score the roof as they blast white fire behind them, propelling Striker forward with its claw arm at the ready. The Wanzers hit the opening Sutherlands, which hopefully gives Fiona time to finish listening to the high school drama on the radio, bite out, "Is the /time machine/ the least stupid thing in the room, today!?" to nobody in particular as Striker charges toward a Wanzer and attempts to smash it aside like a toy with its ridiculously massive closed claw arm.


COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Arm Smack added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has struck a glancing hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Arm Smack.


IN THE CONTROL ROOM

Emma begins a massive data upload to NERV while giving orders to the EFA /and/ A-LAWS over the radio. At this point, based on the scans and analysis, she is no longer willing to trust her own calculations. She drags over a laptop, not connected to the network - 'donated' by a scientist, she will find out who later - and begins to laboriously type some programs out. By hand. It's like she's in the Dark Ages.


IN THE CORE

Leo finds out something new in his violent attempt to deal with the labour wanzer: it has a very strange AT Field. Rather than the solid octagonal wall, it again emits a cloud or haze of tiny hexagonal ones. It also has a flaw: there are gaps between them.

Some of the rounds strike home and make the wanzer jerk backwards, unable to rip Leo's Sutherland with its loader arm. It lurches backwards and, propelled by Asuka's assistance, all the way into a crowding swarm of wanzers. They go over like a pile of dominos; whatever benefits the Angel has from puppeting all of them, its fine control isn't very good. Rei's rounds shoot straight overhead as the group starts to rise.

Meanwhile, a couple of the 'loose' ones continue to chase Russel around. They are staggered by the Slash Harkens but not disabled; they start to chase again moments later. One of them is stopped by Fiona literally grabbing it and flinging it aside; it may have an AT Field, but an AT Field doesn't stop it from being totally surrounded by giant claw and thrown.

And then, all of a sudden, Getter Rays.

Every single one of the wanzers, plus the central pillar, is surrounded by that AT Field haze as they attempt to repel a force they don't understand. The wanzers stop dead, the field becoming thicker around them, as they hunch and cluster down.

The MIDAS core, however, drops its AT field entirely, the silver-blue orb pulsing rhythmically instead. Moments later, the entire room is flooded with rays of white, rays that penetrate and pierce without slowing down for armour, flesh, or the walls. They only penetrate about two feet past the edge of the room, though; they don't even get through the blast doors.

They don't, however, stop before that. Even if they have to pierce through entire units in the way. It even blasts through some of the maintenance wanzers.


COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has attacked Emma Kramskoi, Fiona Gureden, Asuka Langley Sohryu, Getter Team, Russel Bagman, Rei Ayanami, and Leo Stenbuck. Microburst added to their queue.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck a solid critical hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Microburst.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Leo Stenbuck with her Microburst attack.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Russel Bagman with her Microburst attack.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Rei Ayanami with her Microburst attack.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Fiona Gureden with her Microburst attack.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck a major hit on Getter Team's Getter-1 using Microburst.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck a major hit on Asuka Langley Sohryu's Evangelion Unit-02 using Microburst.


Leo doesn't even bother to respond to Asuka's question; he's busy not being killed by wanzer-- no, scratch that, not being killed by MIDA- OH GOD

The Sutherland's engine roars as Leo guns it, landspinning up and down the wall as it weaves around rays of pure white death. At one point, faced with an almost solid wall of beams, the Sutherland flips up off the curve of the wall and launches over the beams, curling it legs up like this was the God damn X-Games.

It comes down on the other side of the beamwall and shoots down off the wall and back across the floor, ducking under a fading beam as it does so. Leo's curve around the room has caught him up to Russel... but going the other direction; his Sutherland shoots past the other, and as it does, its stun tonfa snaps forwards and sparks to life, electricity crackling across its surface.

The Sutherland keeps going, zipping in between the Wanzers chasing Russel, lashing out left and right with its live stun tonfa as it does so, cracking it into wanzer's necks like there was literally no tomorrow. "Russel, back me up!" Leo barks, as he police brutality-s wanzer after wanzer, hopefully stunning them to give Russel a better shot.


COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Stun Tonfa added to their queue.


The burst of white science rays is a sort of terrible thing. It is good, then, that Rei Ayanami has her own terrible thing -- the AT Field. It activates almost instinctively, its octagonal shimmer protecting the beastly, sparkling unit from harm. Even its AT Field sparkles. Curious.

Inside the plug, Rei Ayanami asserts that she is Rei Ayanami on the radio about four billion times. The activation of the GN-Tau drive buried within the Evangelion's guts sends her mind reeling, shattering her briefly. It's only when Emma Kramskoi speaks to her that she starts to piece herself back together. Her hands come up and clutch her head as she tries to slow herself down, force herself to stop and find her center. As she does this, Evangelion Unit-00X also brings its hands up to its mono-eyed lack of a face, and seems to be having much the same problem. It still clutches a Pellet Pistol in one hand.

"Mask," Rei groans, to herself, quietly, bashing the radio off with her elbow. "Angels. Mask. Focus. Angels. Focus. Rei." It takes a long moment, but eventually Rei gets her wits back. She feels herself wanting to speak more, to just -- babble. Her speech and her thoughts have separated completely. It's only through an application of psychic force that she can stop herself from speaking.

So Unit-00X is dead silent as it wades into the wanzers. It's not moving particularly fast. It doesn't really need to. It just rolls up, towering over the smaller maintenance units, and begins firing downward, like it was trying to put down an aging dog.


COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has attacked Emma Kramskoi. We Had to Give the Wanzers Away to a Farm Family Where They'll Have So Much Room to Run and Play added to their queue.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has struck a minor hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Stun Tonfa.

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has struck Emma Kramskoi with a solid critical hit using We Had to Give the Wanzers Away to a Farm Family Where They'll Have So Much Room to Run and Play.


Russel Bagman is busy trying to keep the drone wanzers under control while others deal with the angel. He's doing what he can for the moment though he knows he's got to deal with the core sooner or later. For now he's shooting the hell out of the wanzers with the knightmare's rifle

"Let's see what this thing can do!"


COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Assault Rifle Barrage added to their queue. Leo Stenbuck has reconnected.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Assault Rifle Barrage.


Not even fresh out of the gate and Getter Robo is on the defensive! Hayato notices the fluctuation because he's the only one who familiarized himself with the Get Machines' computer systems.

"Ryouma, back away, but don't Open Get!"

"Eh? Why-- hrgh!"

Getter-1 raises its arms above its face, hunkering down slightly so the cockpits are tilted away. The burst from the core plays around it invisibly, though the eerie green light of Getter Rays burns brighter. Inside, Ryouma licks blood from his lips, his eyes looking a little crazy.

"S-shit! We can't shoot the core, huh?"

Musashi grips the deflector panel controls, keeping Getter's core safe for the meanwhile. "No! We have to... urgh, clear the area!"

"I guess I'll just have to enjoy this! HAHAHAHA! DOUBLE GETTER TOMAHAAAWWWWKKKKK!"

Ryouma's Getter stomps forward, its shoulders opening up to spit out two mace-headed axes. He catches them smoothly out of the air, slamming them together by their ends, forming a much larger double-sided polearm.

That's not what the Great Tomahawk is today, though. Today, it's a broom. A blade broom. Or maybe a scythe chopping wheat or something. The point is, wanzers are short and Getter is playing golf with them. With an axe.


COMBAT: Getter Team has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Getter Great Tomahawk added to their queue.

COMBAT: Getter Team has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Getter Great Tomahawk.


This isn't good. "W-what's that thing DOING?!"

Thankfully (or perhaps unthankfully), Asuka doesn't have to wait long to find out--the pulsing orb is overwhelmed by a white light--which flashes towards her. She lifts her arms in front of her--to try and shield the torso of her Evangelion from the brunt of the attack, but it's to little avail. The force of the attack presses Asuka backwards--and she's only just barely able to maintain her balance by digging Unit-02's heels into the flooring.

Asuka lets out a grunt of pain, allowing everyone a moment free of her loud and obnoxious voice.

That moment is regretably short-lived, as Asuka lowers her arms and lifts her head only to catch sight of Unit-00X slowly makes her way through the sea of Wanzers.

"I won't be outdone! Not by you!"

Asuka races in after Rei, her body still aching with the pains of the attack a few seconds before. Then lifting her pellet pistol, she takes aim at those units not destroyed by Rei's oh-so-special Unit-00X and fires.

Leo, for the moment, remains temporarily forgotten.


COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Pellet Pistol added to their queue.

COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has missed Emma Kramskoi with her Pellet Pistol attack.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Asuka Langley Sohryu with her Starlight counter attack.


Lloyd rolls back into sight of the camera--or, part of him does, anyway. His head appears from off to the side of the screen, frowning severely. "Am I going to have to assign you /homework/, Fiona? I /thought/ we'd been over this already." His head disappears for a moment, less stupidly fast typing commencing and more data streaming to the Excellence Striker. It's a lot more comprehensible, and essentially is a how-to guide to not breaking time while fighting an Angel.

It is all purely theoretical. Lloyd doesn't mention this.

His head pops back on-screen. Conspiratorally, he adds, "And if you want a sandwich that badly, there's one in the emergency box under the seat." He smiles, raising a hand--also sideways--and lifting a finger. "I know how much you like to eat but maybe you should cut ba--"

The feed from the camera gets shaky for a few seconds, largely because it appears that Cecile just axe kicked Lloyd to the floor, complete with a crash as his chair tips beneath him and dumps him unceremoniously to the ground. A wheel bounces past the camera's field of vision.

Cecile Croomy flounces back into her spot at her terminal, smiling as if nothing had happened, straightening her skirt out and going back to work.


COMBAT: Lloyd Asplund has activated a spirit command.


Fiona manages to get her claw around the enemy and then just pick the damn thing up and throw. Striker is surprisingly powerful, especially when its output starts to climb like this - pushing past sixty, on toward seventy... Fiona scowls. Striker doesn't really behave properly past a certain threshold - or rather, she'd rather not find out if she lets it push too far past eighty, and even going that high could be dangerous.

Right then. Time to get dangerous. The beam and ranged attacks don't seem to be working as well as Fiona's own mega claw, so she keeps up with that, though she might have to vent with a Chest Smasher soon....

...OR NOT!! The MIDAS Microburst explodes outward in every direction, and Fiona emits a startled, "GAH!" as she grabs the thruster, slamming it forward. Lunge thrusters snap into position and flare, blasting Striker across the room quickly. It has to angle up as it goes, its heavy feet slamming into the far wall and skating along its surface briefly, darting around the MIDAS bursts as it goes!

It is at about this point that she yells, "LLOYD I am--"

DE STROYED

"...thanks, Cecile!"

And then, when the burst subsides, she releases the thruster button, drops the Striker down to the ground, and craters it a little - before reaching down, plucking up a Wanzer in the expanded Crusher Arm, and holding it overhead--

And crushing down.


COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Crusher Arm added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Crusher Arm.


IN THE CONTROL ROOM

Emma has a multi-way conversation that involves a phone on each ear and typing. Occasionally someone comes up to her with paper. She usually nods at it.


IN THE CORE

The penetrating light from the core dies, the strange beams fading away. Even the central core seems to dim for a moment, then pulses back to its normal brightness. One last ray does radiate outward, a solid bar of light that hangs in the air just long enough to vaporize some of Asuka's pellets before it fades.

Even the Angel is a jackass.

The wanzers starts to move again at the change in light. They uncluster from their group, where apparently they were using the collective AT Fields as cover. Unfortunately, they become rather vulnerable for several seconds as they start to move. Rei puts a bullet in several heads after Leo stuns and disables them; they may not be piloted, quite, but they can be shocked and have systems shut down exactly as if they were. Getter Robo literally bisects one, though his second swing is caught on an AT Field and deflected. Russel gets a picture-perfect headshot and takes out the radio control system.

That particular one jerks several times as Ireul loses control, but then it reasserts itself. Apparently destroying the control box doesn't help... although the astute might spot an almost invisible red haze around where the head used to be as the Angel's component pieces substitute. That lasts right up until the point Fiona picks it up and pulps it.

"All right," Emir's voice sounds. "We've got the emergency shutdown beginning. It will still take two minutes. You need to hold out until then - and for the middle section, for about twenty seconds it will have extra power to MIDAS. I can't override that with the Angel there. Good luck."

Good luck indeed, given that the seven remaining wanzers start to lurch forward like zombies. They select targets based on who is closest; they ignore people far away, grabbing the closest few - Getter Team, Rei's Evangelion, Leo's Sutherland - and trying to tear them apart.


COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has attacked Rei Ayanami, Leo Stenbuck, and Getter Team. The Wretched added to their queue.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck Rei Ayanami with a glancing hit from their The Wretched attack!

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has missed Emma Kramskoi with her GN Progressive Knife counter attack.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Getter Team with her The Wretched attack.


Rei listens to the notices being given. Two minutes, she thinks. She has two minutes to survive. Two minutes. The phrase cycles around and around in Rei's skull, and she doesn't even notice that she's shooting 'the floor' and not 'a wanzer.' She could have sworn there was something there. Maybe that's why she gets clipped by one of the ones that lurches at her.

Unit-00X is pretty zombie-like itself. Dropping the Pellet Pistol, it spins a Progressive Knife out of somwhere or other, the blade alive with orange GN glow. Rei swings -- but the gangly arm of the beastly sparklematon goes wide, and ends up hitting perfectly nothing.

Rei takes stock of things. "Rei Ayanami," she announces to the room. "Lance-3. Launching."

'Launching' is apparently code for 'attempting to grab one of the wanzers and use terrible, ugly claw-like hands to crush it.' Rei bares her teeth. She's not sure why. "Returning to base," Rei says, as automatically as a recording, as she tries to crush the life out of the wretched thing.


COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Wanzer Crush added to their queue.

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has struck Emma Kramskoi with a solid critical hit using Wanzer Crush.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has counter attacked Rei Ayanami for a minor critical hit using The Taken!

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Leo Stenbuck with her The Wretched attack.


Russel Bagman has his opening and thanks to his comrades efforts he's also able to take down a single one. But it was clearly with style, boom head shot indeeed. He gets one of the machine down and he's checking how many are left. Then like something out of the Shinjuku razing the machines lurch at Russel's own.

He hopes that his comrades can do better. He calls to Leo ove the comm. "We need to keep the last of these things off the others!"

He fires the slash harkens again and tries to pull away.


"Rrrrghhhh! AT FIELDS!" Ryouma howls. His tomahawk glances off of one, though for a moment it sinks in, sparks flying from the blade. Ryouma's crazy eyes narrow. "The old man just has to up the gain from the Getter Rays! If Getter can channel more, we'll melt them all!"

Hayato maintains tactical control like a sensible person. He maintains information on the flow of the battle and-- "Ryouma! Open Getter and reform there!"

"Eh?! Fine then, Open Get!"

Getter-1 splits apart as several of the wanzers move in. There's not enough room for Getter Robo to fly around, but the planes serve just as well! They slam back into each other horizontally, Getter-1 flipping around and landing in a crouch, its back foot touching the wall before they stop.

Musashi shouts over the sound: "RYOUMA! They're beginning an emergency shutdown! We just have to hold out for two minutes!"

"We should switch to Getter-3. It will hold position much more easily."

"Musashi got to pilot Getter-3 last week against the Ultrasaurus Chariot! I only have two minutes to finish this up, and that's sure as hell what I'm going to do! MISSILE MACHINE GUN!"

Getter-1 raises its hands. Green light pours out from its joints and in the glow a huge weight forms. The object, almost as long as Getter is tall, is thrust out in front of it. Six barrels spin up, a few rockets ratcheting in from the feed belt.

"Look, there's an unclaimed one! It's Getter's, now!"

Have you ever seen homing missiles fired like bullets? Now you have. It is so choice. Scores of them launch, arcing into the wanzers, though thankfully the resulting explosions are not significant enough to threaten the core.


COMBAT: Getter Team has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Missile Machine Gun added to their queue.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Dual Harkens added to their queue.


As Leo brings his Sutherland to a skidding halt again, the motion in his videolink to Lloyd catches his attention, and his eyes flit down to the monitor displaying the unnervingly long scientist shortly before Cecile axe kicks him. He gets a prolonged glimpse of Cecile at some point thanks to the shakiness of the camera; when he does, his eyes widen a little, and he opens and closes his mouth several times.

/Oh my God she's so hot./

Somewhere in Leo's brain, 'impress hot girl' overwhelms 'make reasonable tactical decisions' and 'survive' on his list of priorities.

"Hey, you! The bluenette!" Leo calls into the radio; despite being distracted, he seems to have no trouble at all weaving around the lurching advances of the hacked labor wanzers, ducking and weaving underneath and around lifting arms, welding torches, and on one occasion a rapidly spinning... waxing... mop... thing.

"I don't think I caught your name," Leo continues casually, as his Sutherland tosses its assault rifle aside and unslings the huge cannon from its back. He slides backwards about ten meters and unleashes a cannon round into the abdomen of one of the wanzers, and then turns and does the same to another... this one much closer, because, of course, they're still /coming/.

"I mean," Leo continues, now holding off one of the wanzers with his Sutherland's left hand. "I like to know the names of all my support staff. It helps build a sense of camaraderie, don't you think?!" His last few words are a little strained; this is because, as he says them, he stabs the barrel of his canon into the torso of the wanzer he's holding off and pulls the trigger a third time.

He doesn't bother not making any of those transmissions on a private band; things like 'courtesy to the rest of the team' have totally fled his mind.


COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Emma Kramskoi. High-Powered Bombardment added to their queue.

COMBAT: Getter Team has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Missile Machine Gun.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Dual Harkens.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has counter attacked for a minor hit on Russel Bagman's RPI-13 Sutherland using The Possessed.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has struck a major hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using High-Powered Bombardment.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Leo Stenbuck with her The Taken counter attack.


Unfortunately for Asuka, she does find herself outdone. One last wave of light pulses from the orb, obliterating the bullets she shot at the oncoming wanzers. It's just enough to momentarily stop the EVa-02 pilot in her tracks.

"I-It vaporized my bullets?!" There's a tinge of horror in her voice--this was clearly Not Supposed To Happen.

Still, she has no intention of being outdone by Rei Ayanami--not after what Rei had done to her!

She throws her pellet pistol down, sending the weapon spiraling across the ground, then reaches behind her unit for her Battle Axe.

"What do you think you're doing?!" This is directed at Leo, whose shameless pickup lines are all but impossible to pick up on air, even admist the sounds of battle. "Do you NORMALLY hit on girls in front of your girlfriend?!"

And with one swift angry motion, she swings the weapon from behind her to the front--where a wanzer stands on the verge of attack.


Rei responds via radio: "My name is Rei Ayanami. Lance-3."

Probably not what Leo was looking for.


COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Battle Axe added to their queue.


Ryouma rubs the stuble on his chin. "I like her axe-related rage. Shinji should be dating that one! It'd man him up."

"Shut up, Ryouma," Hayato says.


Lloyd, still down on the ground, groans a little. He starts to go get his chair and get out of range. Fiona hasn't exploded yet so he's confident that he has a moment to spare for this recovery.

Cecile, resettled in her chair, looks a little surprised she's being addressed like that. "Me?" She keeps an eye on Leo and his progress; the camera shows that the Knightmare is actually holding up pretty well, and that he's doing just as well inside of it. Maybe he's a natural, handling so well in an unfamiliar mech.

"I can certainly see what you mean," she replies. "I'm Cecile. Cecile Croomy." She smiles, possibly oblivious to the fact that Leo is running in 'impress hot girl' mode because she's so used to Lloyd making dumb remarks all the time, or possibly waiting for an opportunity to remote-eject him. Probably more likely the former.

Lloyd gets back to his seat and rubs his head, wincing. He recenters himself in front of the camera and clears his throat. "How are we doing, Emma," he asks, a little pained.


Fiona picks up a wanzer and crushes it in her massive Crusher Arm. But the enemy is still around - Wanzers still alive, protected by those tiny micro-fields that Fiona doesn't really understand, but she pretty much gets what she needs to know about them, which is that they are bullshit fields that cannot stop her from crushing them with her unfeeling robot claw.

/Good things to know/.

The return fire doesn't come, but she starts Striker running anyway, which is kind of hilarious to look at because Striker isn't really meant for running - it's a loping, ugly thing, until Fiona punches the lunge thrusters again, twin turbines snapping up overshoulder and blasting behind, lunging the Striker forward across the field, Crusher Arm open. She has a stupid little grin on her face, because Lloyd got axe kicked and that makes her feel good. "Okay!" she yells, her grin turning to something rather like what Ryouma's wearing, if significantly less psychotic. "Power level approaching eighty percent...funneling power across lines to the Crusher Arm! Stabilizing, and--WHOA!"

She suddenly flips a switch, the lunge thrusters shifting to point up, diverting Fiona away from the splash of the missile machine gun. "The hell!? Don't use weapons like that in here, are you nuts!?"

(yes)

Fiona arcs around the room, leveling the open arm down and spraying plasma fire down as cover fire. She cuts the thrusters, swinging around and landing hard...then starts them up again, charging in at one of the wanzers, and grabbing at it with the Crusher Arm's claw.

But instead of just crushing it in her arm, she howls, "ANOTHER! GIGANTO! CRUSHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!" as the claw arm begins to drill, hopefully /shredding/ the wanzer in hand.


COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Giganto Crusher Arm added to their queue.

COMBAT: Asuka Langley Sohryu has struck a major hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Battle Axe.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has counter attacked for a minor hit on Asuka Langley Sohryu's Evangelion Unit-02 using The Taken.

COMBAT: Fiona Gureden has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Giganto Crusher Arm.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has activated a spirit command.


UPSTAIRS

Emma, who has spent the last little bit entering the overrides by hand, pushes enter for the last time and then inserts her keycard in a slot on a real computer. "Fifty percent," she says to Lloyd, while waiting for the shutdown to continue.


DOWNSTAIRS

"Engaging shutdown. This is the hard part." Emir sounds concerned - but then she is drowned out; all the alarms that weren't on before are on now.

It's basically a constantly klaxoning mess; red lights spin above every one of the blast doors, most of which are closed (but one of which is open about a third of the way, having jammed). The lights flicker, go out, then come back on much dimmer as Emma takes everything off MIDAS power and onto backup generators. This means that two things happen.

One: The Angel is isolated. It cannot do anything but rage as MIDAS continues its shutdown, every computer it has come in contact with isolating itself and then preparing to wipe. It is going to die, and it knows it.

Two: Ireul has even more power to play with, because absolutely nothing is drawing off MIDAS anymore.

The remaining wanzers continue to lurch around; Ireul has lost access to the room cameras and no longer can see what all of them are doing simultaneously. They try to attack; one tries to pull Rei's Evangelion's leg off, but is crushed so badly that both its arms erupt into plumes of smoke, rendering it more or less harmless. Another misses Leo by about ten feet, and then he shoots it in the back while attempting to pick up chicks.

Russel is a little less lucky, and gets one of the Sutherland's arms clamped onto by a lifting labour wanzer, wrenched around before the wanzer loses its arm to his harkens. Asuka gets headbutted several times before that wanzer shuts down entirely due to a battle axe through the entire torso. They don't even try to get to Getter Robo, and Fiona is rendered safe by crushing the wanzer before it can crush her.

The remaining wanzers - there are three, if you count the one with one arm but not the one with zero - retreat. They form up as close to the MIDAS pillar as they can and just stand, their AT Fields strong.

"I'm detecting an overload. Watch - " Emma's voice vanishes in static as the glowing orb of MIDAS becomes several times brighter in an instant, emitting enough bars of light that slowly rotate to literally start shredding the room; each of the beams leaves a long crater down whatever it hits. It's not melted or cut - where the beams touch is simply gone, disintegrated, as the antiphoton touches it.

The light fades. The room looks like someone took a grater to every wall.


COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has attacked Fiona Gureden, Getter Team, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Sohryu, Leo Stenbuck, and Russel Bagman. Second Sun added to their queue.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck Rei Ayanami with a glancing hit from their Second Sun attack!

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has struck a devastating hit on Russel Bagman's RPI-13 Sutherland using Second Sun.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Getter Team with her Second Sun attack.

COMBAT: Lloyd Asplund has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Fiona Gureden with her Second Sun attack.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Asuka Langley Sohryu with her Second Sun attack.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Russel Bagman static

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Ahhh, I can't wait until this is all over!"


COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Emma Kramskoi has missed Leo Stenbuck with her Second Sun attack.


Getter-1 tosses the Missile Machine Gun aside. It disintegrates back into whatever Getter Hell it comes from, which is possibly why Ryouma is so cavalier with leaving his toys around.

"I'm matching it," Hayato murmurs. He has been following the feed from Emma's command center from the beginning, and it's proven to keep Getter out of trouble so far. There's also the matter of weaseling a few guesses at what exactly they're dealing with.

"Ryouma! Get ready to take this! We can survive a direct hit, but will have to escape afterward!"

"Escape?! BULLSHIT!"

Ryouma plunges Getter deeper into the coming storm, its armor already smoking from proximity to the rapidly multiplying beams. Getter-1 spreads its arms, the lens in its chest opening up. The Get Machine rattles and shakes, barely channeling all the energy its master is forcing it to.

"GETTER... SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNEEEEEEEEEE!"

Another sun is born, and standing against it, Getter Robo! The anti-photons roll over the field of Getter Rays, twisting against the green glow, failing to pierce the mysterious energy! Ryouma remains, eyes fixed on the remaining wanzers and their AT Fields.

"AND NOW, GETTER WILL MELT ALL OF YOU!"

"Ryouma!" Musashi spits. "We aren't supposed to hurt the core! Don't use that weapon! If you pierce them, you'll hit it for sure!"

"IT'S TOO LATE! GETTER BEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAM!"

The shine sucks back into the emitter. Getter-1 steps forward, heat rolling off of its body. The room is again lit sharply, this time by green as the all-consuming Getter Rays war with the AT-Fields. Ryouma moves forward again, forcing a confrontation! This Getter may not be channeling as many Getter Rays as he'd like, but maybe if he overloads the emitter, the AT-Field can be pierced!

"GETTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Finally, Ryouma slams the emitter shut. He isn't fully driven to insanity-this is as much as he's willing to risk on wiping those last few out without touching the core. Luckily for everyone here, Ryouma is some sort of bizarre Getter Whisperer and can sense just went to pull back.

It's why he's not in jail right now.


COMBAT: Getter Team has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Getter Team has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Getter Team has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Getter Team has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Getter Team has attacked Emma Kramskoi. Getter Beam added to their queue.


Russel Bagman is latched on to by the Wanzer this isn't good, but he's still in the fight, then somthing happens. His machine turns mid fight as the hellish light He's not quite out of range yet, he can't get out of the way in time. He can not die here, not now, he grabs the other machine and shoves the Wanzer infront of him trying to push off against it.

Russel seems to vanish into the terrible light of Midas.

The light fades and the Sutherland looks like a large portion of it has been eat3en but Russel is still there and the machine will still function. IT's right arm was away from the terrible light and it's still got it's weapon and he opens up on the ones that remain!


COMBAT: Getter Team has struck a apocalyptic critical hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using Getter Beam.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Emma Kramskoi. High-Powered Bombardment added to their queue.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has struck a solid hit on Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul using High-Powered Bombardment.

Knock Out! Emma Kramskoi's Eleventh Angel Ireul unit has become disabled!


"Gnhh." Rei Ayanami feels disconnected. She is a mask, she tells herself. But masks don't think. So she should stop thinking. This creates something of a downward spiral. Masks don't act. Masks aren't alive. Masks are hollow tools. Rei Ayanami becomes sluggish, both mentally and in terms of the movement of her Evangelion. When the wanzer tries to tear at its leg, she barely reacts, other than to casually brush it away, like a vacationer in the Caymans getting sick of the mosquitos.

Lazy, shiftless. Useless. A shell. A shell like a mask. Angels. Angels are shells for--

Angels are masks for--

Suddenly, Rei Ayanami comes to life, or some twisted mockery of it. The GN Tau drive roars within the torso of the unholy blue monster -- when the nasty beams start flying everywhere, Rei instinctively launches her AT Field, letting out a stuttered cry: "G-G-GAAAAH!"

Beams ricochet around and hit Unit-00X from behind. Rei feels them peeling imaginary flesh from her back. She groans in pain. But she's moving again. She's going. 00X goes from a lumbering giant to something like a hideous panther. Its Pellet Rifle is drawn, and methodical fire is laid down toward the remaining wanzers once the shimmering orange AT Field dissipates.

"HHHAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!" Rei screams, her tiny voice unable to carry the force of the cry, making her sound like she's in agonizing pain as much as the throes of spasmodic GN fury.

Which she is, even if she doesn't quite realize it.


Despite Leo's intent focus on Cecile, Asuka's harpy-like shrieking manages to pierce his hormone-related tunnel vision. "I don't-- what?" he replies dumbfoundedly. "I thought you knew that she--... that we broke up," he corrects after a beat. "Besides, if you're so concerned about /her/ feelings then why-- ugh, nevermind."

He turns his attention back to Cecile, and continues, more merrily, "I'm Leo. So... you're Asplund's assistant, right? That's pretty cool. I'm trying to get into MS design, myself, but it-"

The rest of his sentence is cut off by the spike from MIDAS, which is... actually the first thing that makes Leo notice it. "Well," the young man says simply, as more white rays enclose him in a cage of death. "That's probably not good."

That's all Leo has time to say before the wrath of MIDAS sweeps over the 'camera', blocking his Sutherland from sight.

When the light clears, Leo's Sutherland is simply gone. There's absolutely no sign of it. The best guess is that he was simply disintegrated...

... at least until Evangelion Unit-00X's AT Field, rendered almost opaque by the storm of - to use a technical term - sunfucker lasers, fades, and there the Sutherland is, having taken shelter within the Evangelion's protective barrier. For whatever reason, it doesn't immediately open fire at the Wanzers again.

This is because Leo is grimacing up at the blue machine, Rei's screams ringing in his ears. He's getting better at... well, at ignoring her, especially when faced with an external threat like an Angel, but this... this...


"What are you talking about?!" Asuka's eyes narrow menacingly at his machine. Is he daft?! But her own argument is quickly interupted by Emma's own warning over the radio.

"W-what?! An overload?!" Asuka spins to face the orb again, and her AT Field flares outward. The rays of light emenating from the orb barrel towards it, and Asuka's own AT Field flickers weakly beneath the weight of the attack.

Arms bent in front of her in defense, Asuka braces for another attack--an attack that never penetrates her AT Field. The light slowly subsides, and Asuka can only watch as the Getter Team and Russel strike their final, powerful attacks.

Rei, as usual, is ignored until convenient.


Fiona shreds her Wanzer. OK. She tries to get a feel for the situation - some of the wanzers are still moving, but many of them are being destroyed pretty rapidly, so she just keeps track of what she can find, and---

Looks down at her console as it starts beeping, rapidly flashing, as the engine synchronizes, harmonizes with the increasing MIDAS output and then spikes the data to her monitors, sensors pinging, flashing wildly. "What!?" she calls. "Output like that...is this even for real!?"


MEANWHILE,

"Fifty percent. Alright; keep us informed, will you?" Lloyd smiles. It hurts.

Cecile, next to Lloyd, looks shocked. "Lloyd! I'm getting some strange readings--it's doing something new!" Lloyd stands, about to open his mouth and say that, yes, it's an Angel, it does that. He looks over her shoulder at the display, narrowing his eyes and leaning over Cecile to see it properly.

Lloyd's jaw drops. "Those are... that's..." His eyes flick back and forth, scanning over the display. His expression changes to one of disbelief. He commits what he sees to memory and practically leaps back to his own station, sliding back into view on Fiona's display.

"Fiona," Lloyd says, his horrified expression rapidly changing to an extremely excited one, "it's about to fire something /very/ big. You /need/ to put these in, /now/. No no no, just... /go/." Lloyd presses 'enter.' The data burst travels, moving marginally faster than the Angel. "You're going to read abnormalities in your system and a spike. If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight percent..."

Lloyd tilts his head back a little. A grin plays across his features, and his glasses gleam in the console's artificial light. "...you're gonna see some serious shit."

And back in her cockpit, Fiona stammers, "What!?" but knows better than to question Lloyd's commands. She slams the console with her fingers and finds the keyboard, sliding it out into her lap and tapping at it while the readings on her screens explode upward, blooming into apocalypse. She grits her teeth, entering the manual codes. Overrides, rewrites - he couldn't send the commands directly to the engine controller, she realizes, because she needs to enter her authorization password three times.

And the cockpit begins to glow, a bright, shimmering green, not unlike Getter light - no, too similar indeed - as the output spikes higher - "Seventy-five..." and higher-- "Eighty--! Lloyd, are you sure!?"

Eighty five. A new sun is born.

Eighty eight. There is an eruption of shining emerald.

When the light clears, Excellence Striker has disappeared entirely. There is no trace.

However, Excellent Cosmodriver falls to its knees, as the reactor output stabilizes at 87%, and Fiona stares around stupidly as the contextual control panel turns off the Crusher Arm controls and activates the Fairies. "...the hell!?"


The new sun in the room pulses again, brightening not long after it fades as the Angel attempts to prepare another overload like the last. This time, the room won't hold it.

It knows that its puppets are being destroyed. The Getter Team almost blasts through all of them at once; in fact, the only one that is still upright and moving is the one with no arms, which just kind of stands there stupidly. The rest are pieces on the ground.

That one becomes a series of pieces not very much later as Russel and Rei shoot it. The wanzer tips over backwards and explodes, a plume of aggressively normal-looking fire and smoke rising to the ceiling.

Fiona's green light is drowned out in blue as MIDAS swells, growing larger - and then draining out, pulling in on itself, a popped balloon. The constant thrum in the room on the edge of hearing from the machinery of the generator itself is gone. There is only the klaxons. Two seconds later, the wailing sirens go out, too, leaving only the lights.


UPSTAIRS

"Got you," Emma says, closing her eyes and finally looking away from a readout on the computer. She had been trying not to read the numbers, or more accurately not to panic when she saw them. NERV really did come through this time.

00:00:17.4


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi comes online. "...you did it. I don't know what you let out down there but we lost signs of the Angel before we were expecting to. The shutdown's over."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Of course we did! Was there ever any doubt?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Hhhhhnnnhhh! Ob-- Ob-- Objectives -- complete?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Yes. They're complete."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits heavy breathing for approximately fifteen seconds. "Acknowledged--!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Shinn Asuka transmits, "Uhh, jeez. Are you okay, Ayanami?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami transmits, "Acknowledged."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu sighs exaggeratedly loud, as if Rei Ayanami is the slow sister she's tired of having to drag around everywhere.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "So, Leo, do you want to go out to eat tonight?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I'm afraid that might not be possible. Because of the nature of the threat, I think we might want to make sure all your units are decontaminated before we let you out of the corridors."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "W-what? But I have /school/ tomorrow!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I could write you a note to say you were busy saving Alaska."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Ryouma Nagare transmits, "Look, Getter is all... radioactive... and... stuff like that. I'm sure it's fine."


And so, the day is saved. Rei Ayanami continues to shoot at the wreckage of the wanzers until Emma informs her that the mission objectives have been completed. Then, suddenly, Unit-00X throws its rifle down like the thing were burning its fingers. It makes a loud, sharp noise when it strikes the floor. To be fair, it's a pretty huge gun. Rei feels dizzy. Unit-00X seems wobbly on its feet. It takes a few tentative steps as the klaxons die out and the light of MIDAS fades.

Rei feels like she's just been in a car crash at 200 MPH involving 'her body' and 'nothing.' She feels sick. Like she might throw up. She doesn't know. It's like she has worms inside her skull. Burrowing deeper. She doesn't really know how right she is.

But then:

'So, Leo, do you want to go out to eat tonight?'

Rei Ayanami can hear nothing but Asuka's voice. It fills her head like Neo T-Pain fills stadiums. As Emma breaks the news of the necessity of decontamination, Rei doesn't even listen. She just hears Asuka's whiny bleat responding.

And that's about when Unit-00X suddenly swings a fist right up at Unit-02's face. It's a staggeringly powerful blow -- but Rei can't bring herself to follow through beyond that. After that one swing, 00X drops, collapsing to the ground as Rei Ayanami passes out.


COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has attacked Asuka Langley Sohryu. GN Sucker Punch added to their queue.

COMBAT: Rei Ayanami has struck Asuka Langley Sohryu with a major critical hit using GN Sucker Punch.


<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Ryouma Nagare transmits, "--oh shit!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu, pained, "So NOW you decide you want to fight back!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami lets out a dull groan and goes silent.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "What? What's going on, I don't have cameras down there any longer."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "W-wha...?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "This BITCH just attacked me!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden snorts, mutters, "About damn time..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Ryouma Nagare transmits, "She sounds pretty bad, maybe she just fell into you? Fist-first."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "WHAT?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "No, that was intentional! She just wanted to get back at me!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "She can't fight with her fists, so she has to use her unit!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi, quietly, "Do I need to send military police down there?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Ryouma Nagare transmits, "Oh. Better challenge her properly later."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Ryouma Nagare transmits, "That way you can call it a Gundam Fight and maybe get some merchandizing."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Challenge her?! She just hit a prone opponent! If we need the military police for anything, it's to charge her with assault!!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "No, Doc. If this goes south, I'll..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "... wait... what...?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "...figure something out."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I'm not hearing a reason /not/ to send military police in."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "... what do you mean, 'get back at you?'"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "She attacked ME, and you're just going to let her get away with it?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Musashi Tomoe transmits, "Eh, can Getter leave? Hayato doesn't do so well with police."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "No, I am going to seperate both of you."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Russel Bagman transmits, "I say send them in."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "You're going to separate us?! What is separating going to do to punish HER?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Russel Bagman transmits, "SHUT UP AND LISTEN!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Why should I?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu, conveniently not answering Leo.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Russel Bagman transmits, "If you ever want to see the inside of a mecha /again/."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "You are in a base where I am running on eight percent power after a near-apocalyptic event. If both of you cannot behave - /both/ of you, not just you, not just her - I am going to make you."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I don't normally use my rank. I have it. Stand down, Ayanami, Sohryu."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Do you really think they won't let me pilot an Eva? The Eva were MADE for defeating Angels. They NEED me!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Rei Ayanami remains unresponsive.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund, apparently oblivious to the arguing, "Fiona? Are you experiencing any... problems?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu grumbles.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck sounds confused. He repeats, "What do you mean, 'get back at you'?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "It's none of your business!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "Only related to corrective impulses, Lloyd. Engine seems to be stabilized, except, uh."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Yes? I lost my visual."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden slowly calming down but HEATS BACK UP AGAIN: "/Why am I in Cosmodriver./"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits the sound of someone scrambling around behind him, probably to check equipment.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "You're..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "...a/ha/."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "An unexpected benefit of surviving that, I assume, but... it was up /here/..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Healing Care transmits, "Don't let the man get you down, Asuka!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "What's the time?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "As if I would!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Seven seventeen local time."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden mutter, "Lost...nnn, maybe a minute? Probably less. The duration of that sunburst...?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Seconds, I'd say."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "A minor MIDAS burst lasts between five and ten seconds."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "Ten and fifteen...yeah, that'd be right. Must've just... ...skipped 'em."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "All right. Are we calm now? You all did very well."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "I AM calm!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck repeats, abruptly, after like ten seconds of silence, "What do you /mean/, /'get back at you'/?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi gives up. "Take it off the radio, please."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "What are you, stupid!?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I, at least, don't want to hear it. I really don't."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "... gnngh... whatever..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Go... I don't know, use one of the meeting rooms, we certainly have enough."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Healing Care transmits, "Oh no I think they should air all their dirty laundry out in front of everyone!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Do you actually think I slept with you because I LIKED you?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "It was all to get back at that stupid bitch, Rei!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Healing Care transmits, "This just got /amazing/."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi says, after a pause, "I think I have work to do. Get off the tactical frequency."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden head --> console. "Lloyd, are you sure you can't make this thing just skip the next ten minutes."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "She's just angry because she can't have YOU anymore!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kouduki transmits, "I'd go for an hour, personally."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden whine.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Sohryu. Off."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "... uh..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "No!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I'm still on the phone with NERV, by the way."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Sohryu. Off."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kotan transmits, "Ooooh, you did somethin' baaaaaahd!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "What, are you going to tell Misato that I've been a bad girl?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kotan transmits, "She'll get the squirt gun nehxt I bet!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Well, I don't care about Misato!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "Fine, let's try this. Sohryu, /get off the line/, or I am going to dig around in that thing until I /find/ the radio gear."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "And if you are in it /I will probably enjoy that/."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "If you think you can, GO FOR IT."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Shinn Asuka transmits, "Uh. Wow."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kotan transmits, "Thaht's not vehry nice!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Well, I'm not very nice, either!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "The military police are en route. If anyone has hit anyone else by the time they get there I will be very unhappy."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "... I, uh..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden tch. "Understood, Doctor Kramskoi."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "What, don't have anything to say now, Leo?"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kotan transmits, "You aren't? I just thought you liked bein' loud!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Fiona, please don't use the claw on NERV's pet pilot or their little toy, I hear it bleeds and it'll get into everything."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "And someone check on Ayanami; she hasn't said anything in a while."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "I don't have the claw, remember? ...wait, then I can't... ...right, nevermind."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden automatic, "Yes, my lord!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Check on her? She's the one who almost KILLED me!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "You sound fine to me."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "If I were anything less than the pilot of Unit-02, I would be!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund mmm.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck transmits, "... uh..."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Healing Care meanwhile laughing her ass off.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "What, don't have anything else to say?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Leo Stenbuck abruptly desyncs.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Asuka Langley Sohryu."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "What do you want?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "That is a very good question, actually. I want a great many things."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kouduki slow claps.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Well, that's good, because so do I!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Right now, young lady, what I /want/, is for you to either learn to be civil when speaking to your peers and your betters, or to shut your radio off and allow us to clean up this mess in peace."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Healing Care transmits, "Pfffffff."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden stunned silence.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi promotes Lloyd to Research Assistant.

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "Do you realize who you're talking to? I'm the pilot of Eva Unit-02! Without me, there would be no way to defeat the Angels!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "-00, -01, and I hear they've got one /in/ Alaska so I'm not sure why she didn't show up today."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "But I'M the one with the highest sync ratio! I'm the best pilot they've got!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "I know exactly who I'm talking to. You're a spoiled child in possession of a magnificent device."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "You're nothing more than a flawed part. I've had people bring me /breakfast/ who I value more than you."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "...!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Asplund, that's enough."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "No!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "Sohryu, I apologize, he's under my command and should not be talking to you like that."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "You don't even know me, and you think you can judge me?!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "However, in exchange I /expect/ you to show some respect. Please proceed to decontamination. /Quietly/."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "That is all."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund, mildly, "I believe I just did."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Asuka Langley Sohryu transmits, "No! I refuse!!"

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Julian Andrews transmits, "When you air the dirty laundry on open freq, you get judged. It's life."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Lloyd Asplund transmits, "Thank you for allowing us to not all die messily, Emma, I appreciate it."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "I am in favour of not dying messily."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Fiona Gureden transmits, "Yeah, Doc, you were great! I...assume, because I was... ...busy."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Emma Kramskoi transmits, "It was very busy for a while."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kouduki transmits, "I'd say I'm glad I'm in Siberia, but I also know that doesn't actually make me any safer, not really."

<Radio: D - Joint Secure> Kouduki transmits, "So thank you for not dying messily and possibly taking me with you."

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.