Allies Break

[22:52] <Raphael> The night following Raphael's worrying discussion with Commander Ikari had been an interesting one. Wandering around Pont Royal had led him quite naturally to Lucas' apartment, which in turn had led to a few hours of fairly heavy drinking in which he managed to overestimate his shape's metabolism yet again.-
[22:52] <Raphael> And so it was with a splitting headache and a slightly sour mood that Captain Guillory arrived and the newly docked land battleship the next morning, as ordered by the Colonel. He's as sharply dressed as ever as he approaches the landing pad, but the dark circles under his eyes give away that he's feeling a little under the weather.
[22:58] <Yanmei> There was someone waiting for him there. She was similarly in uniform, the wind tearing through her twin pigtails as the VTOL landed. She lifted a hand as if to wave, and then thought better of it, making a salute instead.
[23:03] * Raphael seems to brighten a little as he catches sight of his surprise visitor, saluting in turn as he raises his voice to be heard over the engine as the VTOL powers down. "Pilot Zhang! Good to see you safe and sound, ma'am."
[23:08] <Yanmei> "Thank you, Group Captain! Hope you weren't too bored while we were away?" Yanmei grinned, stepping closer. "The Colonel's finishing up some work and asked me to entertain you for a few minutes. Hope that's all right."
[23:16] <Raphael> "Of course." He smiles, pausing for a moment to rub at his eyes. "And… well, I can't say that I was bored. It was certainly quiet without you all, though. Are you alright after the business in China?"
[23:18] <Yanmei> "Heh. Of course!" Yanmei tossed her hair. "We spent a few days at Beijing afterwards. It looks great these days!"
[23:24] * Raphael frowns slightly at the mention of Beijing, the memory of the Chengdu mission still fresh in his mind. "… I'm glad to hear it. The rebuilding efforts there were spectacularly efficient, by all reports. Do you still have old friends there?"
[23:28] <Yanmei> "Yeah. They're finally now just getting back into school." Yanmei turned slightly, leading the way to a staircase that seemed to lead to a lower portion of the deck. "Heh. I can't tell you how much fun it was to hang out with them! Pilot Himesama was there too, actually."
[23:31] * Raphael raises an eyebrow, smiling again. "… Is that so? I'm glad to hear she's getting out more. I think she's been needing it lately."
[23:34] <Yanmei> "That's what her OD said. Major Liu Lin… she was worried about her, so she asked me to take her along. Isn't she a cool OD?"
[23:36] * Raphael smirks. "From what I've heard, at least. We haven't spoken in person, but the Beijing team all seem to like her."
[23:40] <Yanmei> "Naturally~ What's not to like?" The air around them had a chill that Raphael was probably used to… but for someone just coming from balmy China, it did cause a few shivers. "With luck you'll be able to introduce yourself sometime."
[23:43] <Raphael> "Hopefully." He nods, glancing around as they delve deeper into the ship. "So this is Silas' secret weapon, hmm?"
[23:44] <Yanmei> "Yeah. He didn't end up using it in the battle, though. Um. How much did they tell you about where this thing came from?"
[23:48] <Raphael> "Not much more than the basics. I know that Pilots de Pteres, Blanc and Weiss-Xylander found it in a secret base Caine was operating out of in Italy, but that's about where my knowledge ends."
[23:52] * Yanmei nodded. "I'm sure the Colonel will give you the details, but yeah, that's right. It's totally state of the art, with a Grand Positron Cannon, Impact Cannons, and a huge drill! We were able to test the weapons system in the last Angel Battle, with the help of a new Bridge officer."
Session Time: Thu Aug 30 00:00:00 2012
[00:07] <Raphael> "Hmm, I see. Mobile fire support is something we've certainly been lacking over the years, it's true. Hopefully this will be just what we need, hmm?"
[00:09] <Yanmei> "It seems so." Yanmei eyed the sky above them a moment, almost suspiciously, as if anticipating something… and then hurried to a side door that would take them to whatever waited beneath the deck itself. -
[00:13] <Yanmei> "It's been quiet here. The only passengers were us, and the EVAs and the bridge crew and some technical staff. The scientists mostly just hung out in the hangar, and Marianne and the others just stayed on the bridge. Oh. After-hours were pretty crowded at the bar, I guess?"
[00:18] * Raphael chuckles. "I'm not surprised. There's not much in the way of night life on a navy vessel when you're off duty. I imagine you're happy to be back on dry land after that?"
[00:19] <Yanmei> "Yes and… no. Is that lockdown still in effect?"
[00:28] * Raphael nods. "Unfortunately so. They're still being careful."
[00:32] * Yanmei groaned quietly. The narrow, stark hallways she led him through seemed to open up a little after they went down a certain level and walked past a certain very heavy-looking door. There were tiles now underfoot, and the walls seemed to be painted eggshell white. "…I was hoping we'd be getting back to normal," she mumbled. "But… I least I can see Lizzie and my mom."
[00:35] <Raphael> "That's something, at least." He says, giving her a sympathetic look. "Who's Lizzie been staying with while you were away?"
[00:36] <Yanmei> "Doctor Castillo-Delgado. She's probably run him ragged by now, poor guy."
[00:39] <Raphael> "… Goodness. I hope I'm still capable of dealing with a two-year-old at his age."
[00:46] * Yanmei shrugged a little sheepishly. "I didn't think I'd be away for quite so long? And anyway, I thought he'd know enough about little kids' development to keep her from feeling too bored or lonely. You and Captain Savage were also on my list."
[00:51] * Raphael nods slowly. "Well, Captain Savage has been a little busy the past few days, so you may have made the best choice."
[00:55] <Yanmei> "Yeah, I not too surprised. What about you, Group Captain? I bet they were making you run drills and stay on alert the whole time. You look a little worn out today?"
[01:00] * Raphael coughs awkwardly. "… Yes, drills. You know how it goes, ma'am - always busy in this line of work." Certainly nothing to do with the whiskey, oh no.
[01:05] <Yanmei> "Hm… You should relax a little while you're here. And I think I know the place." They took a few more twists and turns, and arrived at a rather large, stately door. "This is where we eat." -
[01:10] <Yanmei> She threw open the doors, and they found themselves immediately confronted with the sight of a ten-foot high statue of a water nymph pouring a jug of water into the basin of a very large oval-shaped fountain. Glinty light bounced from the glass tables and gold trim in the massive marble room all around it.
[01:13] <Raphael> "…" Raphael stares at the room blankly for a moment, before glancing at Yanmei. "… Silas Caine really had no time for the concept of subtlety, did he?"
[01:15] <Yanmei> "At least it's not a statue of himself. Marianne had most of those cleared out, thankfully."
[01:17] <Raphael> "'Those'? Plural?"
[01:22] <Yanmei> "There were two in what we believe to be the captain's quarters," Yanmei moved forward, weaving past the tables and a rather large stage with the curtains drawn. "And there were some other lavish rooms - for officers or special guests that each had one." A short flight of stairs took them to a balcony overlooking the floor. There was a bar built into it. -
[01:24] <Yanmei> "And they were building some kind of library, I guess? There were shelving units, and there was a reading room with one of his statues wearing a toga."
[01:35] * Raphael shakes his head, looking rather bemused. "Well, I suppose some recreation areas will come in handy when this ship is put into permanent service. The libraries and ballrooms all tend to be rather lacking on a regular navy vessel, so I suppose it's a welcome change."
[01:39] * Yanmei primly took a seat. "I hope it'll be a while before that happens? Unless we get to go someplace where we can walk around unrestricted." She frowned a little, and something in her eyes darkened a bit. "Even in Beijing, there were cameras everywhere."
[01:54] <Raphael> "No doubt. When they were in the middle of rebuilding the city anyway there would be no reason to expand the surveillance network while they were at it." He sighs. "There aren't many places you could go these days where that wouldn't be true, sadly."
[02:00] <Yanmei> "Mm." A non-committal noise. She tilted her head back to glance at something overhead and took a quiet moment to dwell on something. "About Chengdu…"
[02:02] <Raphael> "…" Raphael lets out a breath and takes a seat across the table from Yanmei, suddenly looking rather grim. "What do you want to know?"
[02:10] <Yanmei> "I don't know if you'd be the one who could tell me." She shook her head. "They said she might have been conditioned by the ones who were holding her hostage. You don't think it's true, do you?"
[02:14] * Raphael frowns. "It's… plausible." He says, choosing his words carefully as he looks down at the table. "I don't believe it's the case here, but Silas /had/ shown a talent for subversion. The risk is there."
[02:19] <Yanmei> "But she didn't, like, act like one of those fanatics when you saved her, did she? Or do anything else worth noting since she was brought back here?"
[02:24] <Raphael> "… Well, no." Raphael says gently. "But if she -had- been conditioned, the biggest advantage would be in positioning her as a sleeper agent, especially given her position." He looks up at her with obvious sympathy. "And while I don't think that's the case, the potential security risk is too large for command to ignore it."
[02:28] <Yanmei> "Maybe they'll replace her." Her voice lifted with hope. And then visible guilt rose up in its place. "God, she'd hate that."
[02:35] * Raphael 's frown deepens a little more, and he glances out over the balcony as if distracted. "You don't like your mother working on the Instrumentality Committee, then?" He asks.
[02:40] <Yanmei> "I'd say 'yes,'" she muttered, "but it's obviously really important to her. It's… complicated."
[02:42] <Raphael> "… I can imagine." He murmurs, shaking his head. "Still, right now I hope she can be convinced to concentrate on her own recovery. She's been through a great deal."
[02:47] <Yanmei> "Yeah. She's… wasn't at her best when we last talked? But that was a few days ago." She glanced around with a frown. "Don't tell her I said that stuff, okay? About her and the Committee?"
[02:54] <Raphael> "Of course not." He gives her a faint smile. "Besides, I'm sure she'd know you were just worried about her."
[03:05] <Yanmei> "Yeah, well…" Yanmei shook her head. "Anyway, I'll be able to see her soon, hopefully, and get an update. In the meantime, let's order some drinks, shall we?"
[03:10] <Raphael> "Sounds like a plan, ma'am. And then maybe you can tell me a little more about these new pilots, hmm?" He asks, his smile widening a little.
[03:15] <Yanmei> "But of course!" Yanmei tossed her hair. "They're totally interested in you too~"
[03:17] * Raphael stares at Yanmei for a moment before letting out a long groan and reaching up to squeeze his temples. Suddenly his headache is coming back in force.

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