Chapter 2: Hostage Situation

 
Chapter 2: Hostage Situation


The day after Zuriel's destructive arrival, life continues on Ark in shockingly uninterrupted fashion. Large swathes of the up-town area near the massive Prometheus structures are covered in warning tape and blocked off from the public by well-disciplined police crowd control teams, leaving little room for sight-seeing of the remains of the massive creature whose remains presumably still lay shattered upon the city. As near as any of you can tell, the events of the previous day aren't even part of the public consciousness yet. Apparently evacuation 'drills' are common enough in this city as to make them relatively unremarkable nuisances, and mass-media reporting has been completely blasť up to this point about the vaguely described events of the previous day. Something about a nearby threat "handled" by United Nations defense forces, further details to follow.

Amanda and Paul of course already have apartments in the city, both located around the mid-town area near the unusually-shaped civic center, which is the seat of Ark's civilian government as well as the UN liaison (or so your Social Studies class would like to have you believe). The new pilot arrivals are currently making do in temporary 'housing' (closer to basic hotel rooms) in Nerv HQ. After the battery of physical and mental tests insisted upon by Dr. Taylor the previous day, everyone is free to go about your daily routine or explore the city the next day. Perhaps disappointingly for the new arrivals, it seems like you'll all be expected to attend a school, as soon as the roads are repaired back up and the place opens back up.



If there is one thing Ark doesn't seem to lack for, it's public transit. Buses and underground train systems can take you from nearly anywhere to everywhere else. The vast downtown area beckons, with every imaginable form of distraction a big city might offer.

>Johann Fitz<

The entire week after Zuriel's destruction is a whirlwind of meetings, memorial services for the fallen, and status reports on ongoing clean-up and repair projects in the city and at Nerv HQ. Paperwork abounds. However, you have occasional hours of free time to yourself to use as you wish.

Everyone, make a choice as to your usage of Time Management in the coming week, and take a routine (+20) test for the appropriate skill or ability. Since your time is more-or-less your own for the first week, you may describe any manner of exploratory activities unrelated to the standard grind of school or training. Unless of course you seek one of those activities out. Do you try to find an apartment off-base, insist on training sessions in the base Simulation Chamber, hang out in arcades and stores around the city, hide in the library and study? Avoid or try to stay around the other pilots?

Amanda pursues, alone in her apartment whenever she's not in school, her miniature wargames hobby. She spends all of her time painting and assembling small plastic models from before the Second Impact - made by a company called Games Workshop. Unfortunately, even this doesn't seem to be doing much to help her recover from the battle, or more likely her and Pala's close exposure to the Angel.


School is something that the MacShea twins only know from pre-Second Impact Canadian dramas and Japanese cartoons. Apparently everybody wears the same outfits, there's a lot of unresolved sexual tension, and the skirts billow wild and free. It sounds like a blast. There's a hazy recollection of Daddy MacShea telling them to make new friends, so they understand what's at stake. Father was always such a hands-on person, and the kids do his memory proud by...acquiring the roster for the class they are assigned to.

It's a shame nobody wanted to let them in though; these Ark people just don't know hospitality. They also don't seem to understand sincerity: when Renton or Renny MacShea say they'll kick your door down they mean it. NERV's got money, they'll take care of the damages.


Paul

Like the angel that plagued Egypt he scoured all of Ark's bookstores, from the lowest second-hand shop to the sleekest big box stores, and like that angel he took only the eldest. No first edition copy was safe; in a rare display of initiative he haggled ancient monographs, margins full of scribbled insight, from exhausted grandmothers running garage sales, and gladly took moldy technical manuals off the hands of personnel who very recently decided that relocating was a good idea.

In the end, with a nearly full apartment and a nearly empty bank account, he had built himself a library that reminded him of his Grandmother's. Now, finding the time to read all this was the problem.


Chloe O'Rourke

Chloe was lost in such a strange world. She was lonely and knew no one. Not that she had many friends, but still, it helped to at least know someone. Here, there was no one, except the other pilots. And she...didn't know if she was going to get along with any of them. The one from the plane, Jack, probably didn't want to be around some kid, anyway. She didn't know anything about the other boy except for his name. The other two were girls, but one minute around them told Chloe that they both had nothing in common to talk about. Amanda was...angry all the time. And Renny was...Renny.

And so, the only lifeline was her mother, and her phone was going to voicemail ever since the incident. It was to be expected, Mother was across the world, and was awake when Chloe was asleep. Still, it didn't stop her from trying to call her.

Without much to do, she hung out in a trendy youth area, going shopping for a new pair of glasses. She forgot her pair back in Europe, and Mother was going to nag, or so Chloe believed. While out, she tried (awkwardly!) to introduce herself to girls about her age. She wanted to at least have one friend. But an awkward little redhead turned people off, and she basically got laughed at.


Johann was very busy, however if the most recent angel attack and it's aftermath showed him anything - it was that he needed to acquaint himself better with his subordinates. So between long tests of will with his paperwork and excessively windy phone calls, Johann attempted to schedule himself various meetings or free time throughout the aftermath to better get to know the other departments a little better - sure, he'd worked with them and had tended to his duties, but in those early days he was a pilot and had a lot more freedom then the standard workers ; besides he'd never had more then a few handful of people working for him before in his military carrier, but those were soldiers a lot of the people working here were civilians. Either way, it would be good managerial experience regardless.

He started with the pit crew's, after all he knew these people well enough - well some of the fossils, after all it was inevitable that a percentage of some mechanics would suffer from burn out and would need to be replaced. He casually inquired about the repair schedules and the few things he was interested in and of course in exchange because he believed in it, he inquired if there was anything they needed in return - get the true raw grit of the situation right from the horses mouth instead of filtered through countless layers of bureaucracy.

The following day, he met with the research and development teams for lunch at the angel clean up sight and brought a cooler of sandwich's he'd prepared that morning, as well as a plastic pitcher of tea and some random drinks he'd picked up at the gas station while refueling on the way. They may not be the greatest, but it sure beat constantly having someone run out for take-out and instant food from the convenience stores for those who forgot or simply didnt care to pack a lunch. Johann would show a true and honest interest in the angel clean-up as well as a desire to learn more about them and hey, how often are you given such a rare opportunity of one of biologies basic research methods; Dissection. Unfortunately, he knew even a crash course would take a long time and simply vied for a 'rain check' when he wasn't so busy. For now, he would get the report straight from the source and like before, listen to the people on the grounds opinion.

The third day, he sat at the podium on stage with the important military representatives for the unveiling of the Oklahoma Memorial statue at the harbor in memory of those brave soldiers lost during the first engagement with the angels. Of course, the official story was something completely different and Johann despised the cover-up but also realized it wasn't his call and it would be devastating not only for his career but for his family if he were to blow the lid off the existence of angels and the Eva's this early. Sadly, he would have to wait it until it became public knowledge somehow and was allowed to address it as such. The meeting afterwords was probably a lot less comfortable then those with people who he'd either known relatively well throughout his years, or simply respected his position as a superior - Allies and alliances were difficult, tricky. Thankfully he didnt make any critical blunders as far as he knew, but felt that it would be best to develop the relationship with the U.N.'s forces when the battle wounds weren't quite so fresh.






Weekly Activities are on a Routine(+20), so that is a success even for the males.
OOC

Jack Lewtiz

Jack spends the week exploring the city, stubbornly suffering in his leather jacket. The first day, he sees a guy standing around in front of a ruined building, doing impressive tricks with a yo-yo. Jack watches for a while before approaching him.

"Hey man... how do you do that stuff? Crazy."

The man gives him some pointers and lets him keep the yo-yo. Jack's been fiddling with it constantly in his down time.


Time Management success log
Pala - 1/4 Hobby (Ego Barrier, up to 100 Ego threshold)
Jack - 1/3 Physical Training (Agility, 0/5 max Ag benefit)
Fitz - 1/4 Social Interaction (Fellowship, 0/5 max Fel benefit)


--All Pilots--


Finally, it had to happen. Reconstruction of the road grid is complete and school begins Monday morning the week after Zuriel's defeat. Last Saturday all of you received a mandatory brief from some Section 2 agents about the protocols of behavior you should follow at school to reduce your public profile. The thing that stands out most about the brief (do not publicly reveal your status as a pilot under any circumstances, blah blah blah) is that they are going to regularly disrupt your routines by having you change your path to school randomly (such as being driven in a car rather then riding the tram). Theoretically this helps you avoid having "too regular a routine" in case somebody with harmful interest in the pilots is observing you. Nice to hear that somebody cares.

Amanda and Pala are both familiar faces at class Monday, but the other pilots are all just 'ugh new foreign exchange kids' who by a weird stroke of luck arrive after the most recent drill. The school uniforms are pretty much what you would expect from a Prep school, white shirts with ties and pants for the guys and long skirts for the girls. Apparently there is a modification of the school uniform for the so-called 'colder months' down here, which is basically a full suit jacket for the guys with a similar feminine outer-coat counterpart. Thank god you didn't have to pay for that. Everything here seems expensive and suited for the children of wealthy businesspeople, which maybe is what you're supposed to masquerade as. Section 2 probably covered your moronically obvious aliases at some point in the lecture you didn't listen to.

By now rumors have spread that the latest raid exercise was not routine at all, but had some other motivator. There are a number of anonymous blurry Youtube videos making the rounds which depict extremely distorted viewpoints of 'the battle', and the idea of some kind of major cover-up is growing momentum. Last few days the news has covered a few of the wackier conspiracy theories, most of which involve top secret government tests of alien weapons hardware or the long-awaited return of Elvis. At least one blogger has already sworn fealty to "our new Geometric Timelord Masters," which you suppose could be about the closest guess anyone has yet made.

Oh, and the week of your return to class is also that of a class trip for your Social Scholastics and Antiquities course. Through some stroke of genius forgery or another, everyone finds some way to fake up a legal Guardian. It will certainly beat sitting in mandatory study hall all day! If all else fails Dr. Taylor or a Section 2 agent would probably sign it for you. Or your Operations Director would work, but apparently the guy was tied up in budget meetings and damage assessments and war memorials all week.

The morning of Friday, you all arrive at school bright and early. A couple of you climb out of tinted-out Section 2 cars, which considering the extreme preppiness of your school is actually a whole lot less obvious of an arrival then you'd have guessed. One or two kids apparently regularly show up in limos for Christ's sake. Everyone hates those kids. The social class cliques around here suck. Social Scholastics and Antiquities is normally the first class of your morning schedule, but even if it wasn't you are going on this field trip and so that's all you have to look forward to all day. After a tense homeroom everyone bottles up into a school bus and leaves for the "Civic District."


It looks like rain today, which will be a welcome relief after the terrible humidity of the entire past week. The teacher is currently just rounding up the class at the front gate to Ark's so-called "Civic District" located in the mid-town region. The giant oddly-shaped United Nations Liaison buildings loom over everything else here, although naturally those are utterly dwarfed by the one true "Tower" of this city; a stark white sentinel leaning above all of the Downtown skyscrapers like a giant among ants. You can seriously see that thing from every single point in the city.

Apparently you are going to hit the Civic Museum of the World first, then explore some of the first floor area of the UN buildings, then go see the Pyramid-like structure that is the fortified home of the Ark City PD.

Everyone's probably already-forgotten NERV phones buzz simultaneously just as you are getting off the schoolbus.


OOC: There's the stage. It's a bit long-winded for sure but it covers a lot of useful background data to help you figure out what the mood of school, the current news, and various other elements are like. Have fun on your class trip, guys.

You may also take your Week 2 Time Management rolls. Separate them from your main post via a Spoiler, and be sure to elaborate on what your approach to making friends/joining a clique/studying for class is (even if that doesn't necessarily directly factor into your Time Management choices). It will help me frame later scenes that involve school events.

Chloe O'Rourke

Chloe hated this uniform. She hated skirts. And the shirt was starched to the point where it was stifling. Why school uniforms? She supposed that it was merciful to blend in with the crowd; many of the girls here looked like they could afford designer everything. She missed her mother. It was difficult really, for anyone to miss Morgan O'Rourke, but there it was. Chloe hadn't made any friends socializing at the malls, she ended up just spending some quarters in the local arcade.

Classes didn't appear too hard. Much of the same curriculum, and mercifully, she knew enough to not be left behind. She really didn't want to appear like a nerd. She wanted to have some friends, after all. She just...didn't know how to get them. She had been walking around with the class, paying idle attention to the group. But soon, she noticed a few people, sitting and talking, and before long, one, a tall, rather handsome boy with brown hair, came over to the skinny redhead.

"You're that new girl, Chloe, right?"

"Um...oh, yes. I am!" Chloe tried furiously to refrain from blushing.

"That's a neat name." He comments, seemingly friendly.



When she follows him back to go and chat with the rest of his friends, she trips, stumbles, and falls flat on her face. These new shoes weren't broken in, and now she had a flushed red face and a bit of a nosebleed. Trying not to cry, she runs off to the bathroom to clean herself up. She knew she wouldn't live that down.

As far as studying is concerned, she proceeds apace with the class. She's smart enough that she really doesn't need to study. Friend making...well, she's going to have a hard time of it this week, so probably not much in terms of friends.
OOC

Dark080matterAt a lunch break, Chloe finds an out-of-the-way place and hopes to call her mother. It's been a while, but this time, she finally gets through. It's funny. She had been rehearsing what to say. About how she was devastated that she was put into the front lines of a battle, piloting a giant telepathic robot to stop an horrific alien monstrosity. About how Father would never allow her to be put into danger (or so she hoped!). About how she was lonely and didn't know anybody and had no friends and hated her, oh! how she hated her! But instead...when she heard her mother's voice...all of her thoughts evaporated into her mind.

"Ummm...hi, Mom." She spoke, sounding almost unsure as what to say.




 

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