Annie S Guardian

1[16:00] <Minaplo> [There hadn't been enough time to give the room the proper baroque feel.-
[16:01] <Minaplo> [Oh, the wardrobe was full of lovely gowns. There was an ornate tea set, and chintz arm chairs. Chiisana was sitting in one now, sipping from a cup of tea.-
[16:01] <Minaplo> [But all in all, it was just a battleship bedroom, and the battleship was too fussy to let Chiisana get away with too much redecorating.]
[16:03] <Yanmei> There was a knock at the door.
[16:03] <Minaplo> ["Come in."]
[16:06] <Yanmei> The doors slid open - yes, slid - to reveal two figures. One was holding a laptop and was dressed in a plain white shirt and uniform pants. "Hello Himesama~ Hope we're not intruding~"
[16:07] <Minaplo> [The other was Rei, wearing her full uniform and holding a clipboard. She waved happily at Chiisana from over Yanmei's shoulder.-
[16:08] <Minaplo> ["Not at all." Said Chiisana happily. "I was expecting you, in fact. Please, come in and sit down."]
[16:10] <Yanmei> "Expecting us?" Yanmei moved further into the room, taking a chair for herself. These quarters… didn't have as many ruffles or hanging non-Silas paintings as she had thought.
[16:10] <Minaplo> [Rei sat down as well. "Can I have some tea, Chiicchin?"-
[16:12] <Minaplo> ["Of course." Said Chiisana magnanimously, before turning to Yanmei. "I was in the corridor a few minutes ago and ran into that crazy cat lady of a sister of ours. She said she'd sent you to me, so I came back here to prepare."]
[16:13] <Yanmei> "I see? Did she mention why we were coming to see you?"
[16:13] <Minaplo> ["She did not." Said Chiisana stiffly.]
[16:16] <Yanmei> "Then, we'll fill you in. Thank you very much for the tea, Miss Himesama. You're unbelievably gracious and elegant."
[16:21] <Minaplo> [Chiisana inclined her head. "You must not have run into much grace or elegance today…"-
[16:22] <Minaplo> [Rei tsked. "Chiicchin. You and Ni are still fighting? Isn't it time you put that behind you?"-
[16:23] <Minaplo> ["We are not 'still fighting', Rei. We fought once, I broke her leg, that is the end of that." Said Chiisana, a tone of finality in her voice. She turned to Yanmei. "Please, continue."]
[16:27] <Yanmei> "Well…" -Broke her leg-?! "We were thinking that someone as refined as you were would be an excellent candidate for taking an innocent newborn disciple under your wing." She nodded at Rei, a cue to show the photos she was carrying.
[16:30] <Minaplo> [Rei beamed, and held the pictures out to Chiisana.-
[16:30] <Minaplo> [Chiisana brightened. "Oh, he's cute."]
[16:31] <Yanmei> "…" -
[16:32] <Yanmei> "You see," she went on quickly, "He was recently created by Dr Surov. The person who requested him, however, is refusing to look after him now. Isn't that horrible?"
[16:33] <Minaplo> ["That -is- horrible." Said Chiisana firmly. "Look at that innocent face… I just want to hug him…" A light blush came to her cheeks.-
[16:33] <Minaplo> [Rei giggled. Her idea of taking pictures had really paid dividends!]
[16:37] <Yanmei> So it had. Yanmei chuckled along. "Er, yeah! Totally cute. He's pretty docile too, apparently? Capable of being trained to speak and to help whoever he's bonded with. And of course, he's completely loyal, too?"
[16:39] <Minaplo> ["I see. I would love to take him…"]
[16:41] <Yanmei> "You would?" Hope blossomed in Yanmei's eyes.
[16:42] <Minaplo> ["… But I am unsure as to how dear Makoto would react."]
[16:44] <Yanmei> "Doesn't he like 'cute' things?"
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["He does. Of course he does! But a baby is cute, too, but it is still a big decision to accept it. Let's see…"-
[16:49] <Minaplo> ["Do you have other people you intend to ask? Here is what we will do. Go ahead and ask the others. If no one accepts, come back to me and try again- by then I will have Makoto's answer…"]
[16:51] <Yanmei> "That sounds fair." Yanmei reached for a cup of tea herself. "May I ask you a question before we go to do that?"
[16:52] <Minaplo> ["Of course."]
[16:53] <Yanmei> "If you two did decide to accept, what sort of values would you teach your new… Annihilator?"
[16:55] <Minaplo> ["Honesty, decency, protection of the weak, respect, and of course, equality." Said Chiisana, her tone dignified.]
[16:55] <Yanmei> "Equality? May I ask you to explain that one in further detail?"
[16:57] <Minaplo> ["Why, equal treatment of all races, all sexes, all cultures- including Angelspawn."]
[17:00] <Yanmei> "Including…" … "Very interesting."
[17:02] <Minaplo> ["You have an issue?"]
[17:06] <Yanmei> "None!" She smiled broadly. "It's important for the little guy to have high self esteem, correct? But if you'd ask around in this organization, you might find that attitude toward Angelspawn to be rare."
[17:07] <Minaplo> ["I'm not sure if I care, to be honest." Said Chiisana coolly. "Any argument against them is born from irrational reactions and can be argued away easily."]
[17:12] <Yanmei> "Hm. So, let's say one of your superiors ordered you stop being sympathetic to them. Would you would disregard that command?"
[17:13] <Minaplo> ["I would. A superior has no place deciding my thoughts or outlook on things."]
[17:16] * Yanmei seemed to relax a bit further at that statement. She took a long sip from her teacup. "I'd expect that from someone as strong and awesome as you, Himesama~"
[17:16] <Minaplo> [Chiisana preened.-
[17:16] <Minaplo> [Rei giggled. "You two get along so well~"]
[17:18] <Yanmei> "No surprise there? It's not like either of us are all that disagreeable in general."
[17:21] <Minaplo> [Rei beamed.-
[17:21] <Minaplo> ["Should we be going, Meimei? We have lots of other people to ask."]
[17:22] <Yanmei> "Certainly. We'll be back later, okay?" She set the teacup and saucer aside and stood, going for the door. "Thanks for the resfreshments?"
[17:22] <Yanmei> ^refreshments
[17:22] <Minaplo> ["You're welcome~"-
[17:22] <Minaplo> ["Bye, Chiicchin!"]
[17:24] <Yanmei> Once they were in the hallway again, Yanme gave Rei a knowing look. "I knew she'd show some interest. But let's see. Who's next on our little list?"
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["Juuichi-chan."]
[13:18] <Yanmei> "Hrm." An Ayanami that she wasn't as familiar with as the others she'd seen today. She'd have to be careful. "Let's go find her, then." She started off.
[13:22] <Minaplo> [A quick walk over, and… "Here we are, Meimei."]
[13:23] * Yanmei did the honors by knocking.
[13:23] <Minaplo> [No response.]
[13:24] <Yanmei> "Hello? Pilot Juuichi? Are you in?"
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["Try the buzzer, Meimei."]
[13:27] <Yanmei> "…" She pressed her lips together. If she thought about it, installing doorbells for each quarter on a warship was a teeny bit absurd, wasn't it? Nevertheless, she pressed it.
[13:28] <Minaplo> [The electronic console had a 'Locked' light which flicked to green- the door unlocking. Presumably Juuichi had done that…]
[13:29] <Yanmei> And Yanmei took that to be their sign to enter, throwing on a big warm smile. "Hi!"
[13:32] <Minaplo> ["Mmmh."-
[13:34] <Minaplo> [Ayanami Juuichi was a green-haired girl; she hadn't bothered to decorate her room. It was clean- except for the bed, which was a little mussed up, mostly because Juuichi was still in it.-
[13:35] <Minaplo> [She was wearing a pale green silky chemise; a pair of spectacles sat on the bedside table, next to the door controls that Juuichi had been blindly hammering.-
[13:35] <Minaplo> ["Whozit?"]
[13:37] <Yanmei> "Captain Zhang and Rei. Er… sorry for waking you?"
[13:37] <Minaplo> ["Apology accepted." Juuichi yawned, flopping back down on a pillow for a second. "I just need a second. F-Feel free to siddown…"-
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["Aww." Rei giggled, leaping onto the bed and hugging Juuichi around the middle. "Since when do you sleep in, Julie-chan?"-
[13:40] <Minaplo> ["Since your slave-driver of a beau keeps me up to 4 AM on synch testing and weapon systems calibration. He's so -harsh-, sweetie, how do you ever stand it?"-
[13:40] <Minaplo> [Rei beamed. "I have my ways~"]
[13:43] * Yanmei repressed a snicker, clinging to a serene, polite expression instead. "I guess this means you'll be helping out with the counterattack in Boston too?"
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["So it would seem. Apparently dear Major Wellesley is going for the subtle strategy of biggest guns firing at once. I'm Beijing's resident marksman, you see."-
[13:51] <Minaplo> [Juuichi rolled over, bundling Rei up with a hug properly now. A thought crossed her mind, and she brightened.-
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["Hey, if I land the killing shot, do you think Colonel Amatore will promote me?"]
[13:52] <Yanmei> "You'd have to ask her. How come?"
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["I hope to make Captain soon. Don't suppose…" Juuichi smiled sweetly. "You could put a nice word in? I'm sure the Colonel would listen to such a well-respected veteran…"]
[13:55] <Yanmei> "Hmmm, I'll see what I can do? You've been protecting my home, after all~"
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["That's right~ I spend a lot of time rebuilding the city, of course." She sat up a little, gently pushing Rei back so she had some room. She grabbed those spectacles and put them on.-
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["It's such a lovely city. The people are nice, too." Said Juuichi.-
[14:03] <Minaplo> [She winked- then started to speak in Chinese. "I've even picked up the local language?"]
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Nicely done?" Yanmei switched over as well. "I'm impressed. How long did it take you?"
[14:06] <Minaplo> [Rei blinked, looking between the two of them in polite confusion.-
[14:06] <Minaplo> ["Oh, about six months~" Said Juuichi proudly.]
[14:08] <Yanmei> "Six-!" -
[14:10] <Yanmei> She took a long pause, and then switched back over to French with a little laugh. "Now I'm even more impressed? It took me a year to get used to French, even with total immersion and extra tutoring. I guess some people are more suited to learning languages…"
[14:14] <Minaplo> ["A year is still a great result." Said Juuichi warmly.-
[14:14] <Minaplo> [Rei was still hugging her sister, and now she started to muss up Juuichi's hair. "Julie-chan has bed hair~"-
[14:17] <Minaplo> ["Hmph." Said Juuichi ruefully. "Sweetie, you just wait. Only half the team was tested last night; you'll get your own soon enough, and then who'll have bed hair, hm?"]
[14:19] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei coughed delicately. "Say Pilot Juuichi? Why do you want to get promoted to Captain so badly?"
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["Call me Julie, hon."]
[14:28] <Yanmei> "… all right, Julie. Heh."
[14:34] <Minaplo> [Julie beamed.-
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, isn't it natural to want to be promoted? It's how you climb the ranks of an organisation like NERV, and they have lots of perks, too. Captains can apply for private cars, they receive invitations to all the biggest social events, so you can meet and network with important people… Captains also earn four million francs when they leave, and NERV pays a 10,000 franc tenure to their accounts for fifty years afterwards. My children will be able to go to the best schools, and I, of course, will be able to use my rank and my experience to my advantage when I run for public office~"]
[14:45] <Yanmei> "You're really thinking long term, aren't you?" she smirked. "But if all that's true, what's the rush? You could easily wait a year or two for the promotion without it making a massive difference~"
[14:48] <Minaplo> [Julie chuckled.-
[14:49] <Minaplo> ["What if the war's over by then? Only two Angels left, I was told. If I'm going to make my mark, I need to do it now- what if NERV is downsized after the war? Or disbanded? Then I won't be able to qualify at all. And besides, the sooner I hit Captain, the sooner I hit Major…"-
[14:59] <Minaplo> ["Hm." Rei frowned a little, contemplative. "Things after NERV… I haven't thought about money much. Should I start doing something too?"-
[14:59] <Minaplo> ["Sweetie, you don't need to worry. Since you'll be marrying Major Wellesley, he'll be able to keep you, so you can do whatever you want~"]
[15:04] <Yanmei> "Eh? Come on. People with power should do something grand with it."
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["I don't know what I want to do, though." Said Rei awkwardly. "I want to do something, of course. I want to be a mum, too, but a career would be nice. I'm just not sure what."]
[15:09] <Yanmei> "Hm, well. You still have a lot of time to decide?"
[15:18] <@Minaplo> ["Right!"-
[15:21] <@Minaplo> [Julie beamed, and turned to Yanmei. "Don't you wish to be promoted as well, hon?"]
[15:24] <Yanmei> "Well, I've already been promoted a few times. It'd be nice to climb higher? But I don't know if I'd want to stay in a military organization forever."
[15:26] <@Minaplo> ["What do you want to do as a post-NERV career?"]
[15:28] <Yanmei> "Hmm." Yanmei shut her eyes. "I've been thinking about that for a long time? Maybe this time I can make it to the Presidency."
[15:28] <@Minaplo> ["The Chinese Presidency?"]
[15:30] <Yanmei> "Probably. France sounds pretty good too, but it's more complicated for me to accomplish that one?"
[15:38] <@Minaplo> ["President Meimei…" Murmured Rei, smiling.-
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["I wish you luck, then." Said Julie. "If you find trouble with that, you could always end up helping to resettle and repopulate Africa…"]
[15:41] <Yanmei> "There's work to be done all over the world. So much rebuilding… What's your ultimate goal, Julie? Have you figured it out yet?"
[15:43] <@Minaplo> ["Maybe running the UN?"]
[15:44] <Yanmei> "Heh. Interesting." She grinned. "Don't let all that power corrupt you, now."
[15:50] <@Minaplo> ["I'll try not to, hon~"]
[15:51] <Yanmei> "You know what would help to keep you grounded? Your own little awestruck apprentice~" She nodded at Rei. "The photos…"
[15:52] <@Minaplo> ["Right!" She held the pictures out to Julie.-
[15:53] <@Minaplo> [Julie took them, looking down. "Hm? An angelspawn?"-
[15:53] <@Minaplo> [Her face lit up. "Oh, he's cute!"]
[15:54] <Yanmei> …that reaction again. Yanmei quickly continued. "He's an orphan. Dr. Surov created him in a lab at the request of Misato Katsuragi, but she doesn't look like she'll be able to look after him. So we're looking for someone to take him in?"
[15:57] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I see. You want me to take him in?"]
[15:58] <Yanmei> "Would you consider it?"
[15:58] <@Minaplo> ["Hm…"-
[15:59] <@Minaplo> [Julie rubbed her neck. "I don't know… I'm kinda busy these days. Hm… Mmm… Can I have some time to decide?"]
[16:01] <Yanmei> "Yeah, absolutely. It's a big decision? If you want more information about him, Surov's the guy to ask." Yanmei stood up, stretching. "Chiisana is also thinking about it, just so you know."
[16:09] <@Minaplo> ["Understood. I'll see what I can do, hon."-
[16:09] <@Minaplo> ["Bye, Julie-chan~" said Rei, snuggling her sister warmly.-
[16:09] <@Minaplo> ["Goodbye, sweetie. Oh, Rei?"-
[16:09] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm?"-
[16:11] <@Minaplo> ["I couldn't help but notice that the EVA-09 plugsuit wardrobe has a Testsuit in it now…"-
[16:11] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, um…" Rei looked away, reddening.]
[16:18] <Yanmei> "…" For a moment, Yanmei wondered if she would have to clap a hand over her own mouth to keep from laughing out loud. "C-c'mon, Rei… Just think of it as wearing a bikini instead of a boring normal plugsuit."
[16:49] <@Minaplo> ["I-I don't mind…" Mumbled Rei.-
[16:50] <@Minaplo> ["Sweetie…" Julie sighed, shaking her head. "Really, if I were you, I'd wonder what that OD of yours was up to, dressing you up like that."-
[16:50] <@Minaplo> ["H-He says it's to protect me, because my ratio gets dangerous…"-
[16:51] <@Minaplo> ["Of course he said that, dear…"]
[16:55] <Yanmei> "Really, that Wellesley…" Yanmei sighed. "It's a pretty dirty trick…"
[17:10] <@Minaplo> [Rei puffed up in indignation. "Al doesn't -need- tricks. He just has to ask." She snapped, giving Yanmei a defiant look.]
[17:19] <Yanmei> Yanmei broke down into giggles. "We're just teasing, Rei. Although… that was a pretty bold response~"
[17:24] <@Minaplo> ["…"_
[17:24] <@Minaplo> [Rei's face was suddenly burning. She held her hands over her face. "I-I was just trying to get you to stop teasing him…"-
[17:25] <@Minaplo> [Julie grinned. "Off you go, sweetie. But…"-
[17:25] <@Minaplo> ["Hmm?"-
[17:26] <@Minaplo> ["Not even a question about my boyfriend? Darling, I feel slighted!"-
[17:26] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I'm so sorry, Julie-chan, I was so occupied with the-"-
[17:27] <@Minaplo> ["I'm teasing again, sweetie. Go on. Leave me alone so I can go back to sleep."]
[17:31] <Yanmei> For a split second, Yanmei was torn between her curiosity and the request. But the rest of the morning stretched before them, along with all of the plans they had made to fill it. "Goodnight, Juu- ah, Miss Julie."
[17:33] <@Minaplo> [Julie took off her spectacles and put them back on the bedside table, before falling back onto her pillow and dragging the sheets up to her neck. "Goodnight, Captain~"]
[17:35] <Yanmei> And soon enough, they were back outside.
[23:18] <Minaplo> ["Julie-chan's always been awesome." Said Rei warmly. "You should spend more time with her, Meimei."]
[23:19] <Yanmei> "Yeah…" Yanmei smiled back, and then briefly looked down toward the ground. All those Captain perks and bonuses…
[23:23] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would feel a sudden weight on her right arm as Rei latched on, resting her head on Yanmei's shoulder affectionately.]
[23:24] <Yanmei> Yanmei's smile became a little more genuine now. She patted Rei lightly on the head. "Ready to see the next interviewee?"
[23:25] <Minaplo> ["Mmhmm. Who do you want to see next?"]
[23:32] <Yanmei> "The Commander's next," she decided after a moment. She tugged Rei along. "We'll go back to your place and call her up? We can make a few more calls too, while we're at it."
[23:35] <Minaplo> ["So we're going to the Geofront now?"]
[23:36] <Yanmei> "Yeah! We'll contact all the people we can't talk to in person on this ship?"
[23:37] <Minaplo> ["Alright, Meimei. But…"-
[23:38] <Minaplo> ["Let's go to your room, and I'll hide some of your weapons inside my Dirac Sea. Ok?"]
[23:45] <Minaplo> ["The Commander… Who else?"]
[23:46] <Yanmei> "There's Julien, and Guillory's people, and the Princess, and anyone else we can think of went we get underway. Do you think Castillo could use a Friend-Type too?"
[23:54] <Minaplo> ["Of course!"]
[23:55] * Yanmei nodded firmly. "Let's go, then." -
[23:59] <Yanmei> By the time they made it back to Yanmei's room, she was focused again. The inside of it was more chaotic than Rei's had been, even though it had been abandoned, save for the lone, grumpy wolf snoozing in a corner. -
Session Time: Tue Jul 16 00:00:00 2013
[00:00] <Yanmei> The desk had white papers with all sorts of crayon drawings on them, and even a few letters of the French alphabet clumsily and sloppily scribbed out. One of the suitcases had been rifled through, and was resting open on the bed, showing its contents to the world. Yanmei huffed before closing it. -
[00:01] <Yanmei> Isaiah had been the one to leave it like this, right? Not… not just anyone would brave a fierce guard-wolf to go through their belongings. -
[00:02] <Yanmei> "Please have a seat. Let me get the monitor up and running too."
[00:08] <Minaplo> ["Alright." Rei sat down. "Here, Lupie-chan~"-
[00:09] <Minaplo> [The wolf cracked one eye open, then, with far more grace than he awarded Yanmei, he ambled over to Rei and rested his grizzly head in her lap.]
[00:12] * Yanmei eyed them both briefly, feeling slighted somehow, and quickly finished up the cleaning. Soon she was resting on the edge of the bed, straightening and smoothing her shirt as a call went through to the Commander's office.
[00:16] <Minaplo> [The call took a few seconds for the signal to resolve- and then several more for it to be answered.-
[00:17] <Minaplo> [Commander Hohenzollern was sitting on her couch. Her uniform was neat and tidy, but her left arm was in a sling- and Yanmei would notice the conspicuous bandage around her far smaller little finger now…-
[00:17] <Minaplo> [The woman herself had an air of mild neglect about her, helped not at all by the generous glass of brandy in her good hand. "… Oh, it's Yanmei…"]
[00:18] <Yanmei> "Commander…" she hesitated, and then saluted properly. "How have you been? I've been worried about you?"
[00:21] <Minaplo> ["I want to go home."]
[00:26] <Yanmei> "Home? A-ah. To Cologne, then." She dropped her hand slowly. "I'm sorry."
[00:28] <Minaplo> ["Don't be." Mumbled Hannelore. "You're not… You're not…"-
[00:28] <Minaplo> [She bowed her head, and for a moment it sounded like she'd let out a sob; but a second later, she took a deep breath, lifted her head and threw back her shoulders.-
[00:29] <Minaplo> ["… No, I'm the one that should be sorry. You've been through a lot to get out of that mess, and I don't want to bring you down because I can't handle a little stress."]
[00:33] * Yanmei tried very hard not to look at the bandages. "You should try to rest, Commander. I know things are critical right now, but…"
[00:36] <Minaplo> ["I can handle it." Said Hannelore firmly. "I still have a good arm."]
[00:39] * Yanmei nodded uncertainly, she glanced briefly at Rei, trying to measure her reaction. "I was hoping we could catch up, for just a few minutes. Pilot Rei Ayanami is here with me too."
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[02:32] <Minaplo> [Rei stood up, bowing- disturbing Lupe in the process. "Commander Hohenzollern, ma'am."-
[02:32] <Minaplo> ["Lieutenant Ayanami." Hohenzollern nodded in response- and Rei sat back down, Lupe quickly reclaiming his headrest.]
[08:47] <Yanmei> "So, have you heard about Dr. Surov's latest problem, ma'am?" she began conversationally.
[08:48] * SyntaxTerror is now known as Sept
[08:50] * Minaplo is now known as Fullmetal‘Lulu
[08:53] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["I can’t say that I have. Has he managed to split his soul again? Is there a 'Scientist Surov' and an 'Asshole Surov' running around now?"]
[08:58] * Yanmei snorted with laughter. "He doesn't need to split his soul to create an 'Asshole Surov'."
[09:08] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["True enough. What’s he up to, then?"]
[09:10] <Yanmei> "He created something. A mini-angelspawn. And he's been trying to find a home for it."
[09:11] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["… Why would he even do that?"]
[09:15] <Yanmei> "Well, you see," she was slipping into her gossipy voice, leaning forward slightly, "Katsuragi apparently asked him to? She was messed up and on painkillers at the time. Now she doesn’t want it anymore, so Surov's been searching around for someone to take the little guy off his hands."
[09:17] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Oh, Katsuragi…"]
[09:19] <Yanmei> "I know, right?" Yanmei giggled. "It’s pretty ridiculous?"
[09:21] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["H-He’s really cute, Commander." Said Rei, hopefully. "I-I have some pictures if you'd like to see…"-
[09:21] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Oh, fair enough."-
[09:22] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [Rei held them out for Yanmei to take, since Lupe was still resting his head in Rei’s lap…]
[09:22] <Yanmei> So Yanmei eased over and took them from her, and then held them up so that Hannelore could see.
[09:23] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Hm? Did Surov put blankets in that box?"]
[09:24] <Yanmei> "Ah…? Well, yeah, I guess he did? Since it sleeping and all."
[09:24] <Yanmei> ^it was
[09:25] * Oat has quit IRC (Quit: Bye)
[09:25] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Hmm, alright. So what do you need me to do?"]
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[09:26] <Yanmei> "Hm? You want to help?" She looked surprised.
[09:26] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["I thought you wanted my help…?"]
[09:30] <Yanmei> "Well, I’ll take it if you're offering?" she said cheerfully. "We're helping to look for a new home for him. He can apparently imprint on people, making him super loyal to his new caretaker. He can become a gentle playmate or a tough bodyguard or both depending on how he's trained. Do you know anyone who might have a use for a friend like that~?"
[09:31] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["… You weren’t thinking of me, were you?" Asked Hannelore shrewdly.]
[09:36] * Yanmei cleared her throat. "W-well, if anyone could provide for little mini-Annihilator, it would be the awesomely influencial Director of NERV? Besides, isn't he, er, cute?"
[09:41] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Hm… Is this your way of trying to matchmake for me? I’m not that desperate, you know."]
[09:49] * Yanmei scoffed. "Oh please. If I were going to that, I'd try to set you us with, like, Mazarin or one of the ODs or something." A long, thoughtful pause. "Hm…"
[09:49] <Yanmei> ^up with
[09:49] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["One of the ODs?" Asked Rei curiously. "Which one?"]
[09:56] <Yanmei> "Well, unfortunately there are only so many guy ODs?" She said matter-of-factly. "And Alphonse is already taken. Narendra - the guy at the Synfront - isn’t to be trusted. That would leave Harken and Orlov."
[09:58] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Hmm… Harken is in his seventies, but he’s still a rather sexy fellow, don't you think~? he has that silver fox look going for him." Said Hannelore with a grin.]
[10:02] <Yanmei> "Silver fox, hmm~?" She smirked. "So that's your type~"
[10:04] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Well, it’s not exactly a broad field. In a choice between Harken and Orlov, I'd take the distinguished widower over the drunken Russian screwing one of his teenage pilots anyday." Said Hannelore darkly.]
[10:06] <Yanmei> "…so you heard the rumors about that too, huh?" Yanmei's grin faded slightly.
[10:08] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Rumour nothing. Lieutenant Ayanami Ni made the official statement to me, and I started the investigation- and have been following it. Whatever you heard in rumour is nothing to what I’ve seen in reports."]
[10:10] <Yanmei> "I see." She shifted uncomfortably. "But if it's true, we still couldn't remove him from his position, right?"
[10:12] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Mmm, the other ODs seem to not like that idea, so…"-
[10:12] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Still, it’s a shame that Rei here took the cutest OD. Are you sure you couldn't let me borrow him…?"-
[10:12] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["No way!" Said Rei, managing to both sound defiant -and- going red somewhat at the same time.]
[10:18] <Yanmei> "You’d have to pry him away anyway, with all the cuddling they always do~"
[10:18] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["I can imagine- they’re both so cute…"-
[10:19] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Rei’s blush became much more pronounced, and she looked down silently at her lap.-
[10:19] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["But it’s an interesting offer. Useful, too." Murmured Hannelore, becoming serious once again. "I could definitely use a perfectly loyal bodyguard."]
[10:21] * Yanmei nodded, still cheered a little. "Do you need any time to think about it? Maybe to get the full details of the creature from Surov himself?"
[10:23] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["That might be a good idea…"]
[10:25] * Yanmei nodded again. Her face sobered ever so slightly. "You should try to make sure he’s not withholding any information about the Angelspawn too."
[10:26] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Also a good idea, although in my experience, Surov never lies unless someone has ordered him to do so…"]
[10:30] <Yanmei> "Hmph!" Yanmei disdainfully tossed her hair. "That doesn’t make me trust him any more."
[10:31] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Can’t really blame you for that…"]
[10:34] * Yanmei nodded again, still frowning. She sighed. "Listen, we'll leave you to your work. You're probably pretty busy?" She tried not to look at her cup of brandy. "But you know if you need anything you can just call, right? I have all my cell phones back now too~ So I'm always available."
[10:38] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["I’ll keep that in mind. You're such a darling, do you know that?"]
[10:45] * Yanmei laughed it off lightly. "I'm just doing what anyone would do? Any messages you want passed on to anyone on board?"
[10:45] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["No, no messages…"]
[10:49] * Yanmei nodded. "All right. In that case, we’ll see you later, Commander. Again, try to get some rest…"
[10:52] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [She smiled wryly. "Maybe. We’ll see. You two should make sure to keep rested as well- you're the ones between us and armageddon…"]
[10:56] <Yanmei> "Of course! We'll both stay in good shape, right Rei?"
[10:59] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Right." Said Rei, nodding enthusiastically.]
[11:02] <Yanmei> "See you later, Commander. Let us know if you definitely decide to accept the Spawn?"
[11:03] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["I will."]
[11:06] <Yanmei> And soon, it was just Yanmei, Rei and Lupe again, in a room with a blank monitor screen. Yanmei sighed.
[11:13] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["We’re not getting many solid answers, are we, Meimei?"]
[11:14] <Yanmei> "Lots of maybes, yeah. But since it's an important decision, it's fine if they take some time to think about it? Do you want to keep going?"
[11:15] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Rei nodded. "There’s still the Princess left…"]
[11:16] <Yanmei> "So there is?" She stood up. "Let's find her."
[11:17] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Where do we look first? Her room?"]
[11:19] <Yanmei> "The training facilities, probably…" Yanmei muttered.
[11:23] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [Rei nodded. "Alright, let’s try there… Off you get, Lupie-chan."-
[11:23] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [The wolf stubbornly continued to rest his head in her lap.-
[11:23] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["I’ll come back and play with you later. Meimei- help."]
[11:27] <Yanmei> "Lupe, down," she commanded.
[11:29] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [The wolf gave her a baleful eye, and sullenly lowered its head.]
[11:32] <Yanmei> "Good boy. Rei, you have to make good on your promise to come back later or he’ll sulk the rest of the day."
[11:33] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["I will." Said Rei warmly, patting Lupe on the head fondly.-
[11:33] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [She wasn’t able to leave without Lupe latching onto her uniform skirt and trying to keep her from leaving, however- once again Yanmei had to browbeat him.-
[11:34] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Lupie-chan really likes me." Said Rei brightly as they walked towards the training facilities. "We played a lot when Zaizai still lived in Boston."]
[11:36] <Yanmei> "No wonder. He’s nicer to you than he is to most people, you know."
[11:36] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Hm, really?"]
[11:39] <Yanmei> "They said he gave everyone else in Boston a hard time after you and Isaiah were gone? And he’s always grumpy around me too for some reason…"
[11:43] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Maybe he’s jealous of you."]
[11:45] <Yanmei> "Because of Isaiah?" She frowned to herself. "That silly wolf…"
[11:47] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Or maybe Lupe really likes you, but doesn’t want to show it because you might get ideas…"]
[11:49] <Yanmei> "Yeah, sure," Yanmei snickered. "Maybe we should rename him Asuka-2 in that case."
[11:50] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["That’d just make him meaner."-
[11:56] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [It’d take them a relatively short walk to the training facilities- which were extensive, and in use. Just by walking through, Yanmei would see, on the hand-to-hand mats, Hachi delivering what looked like a vicious elbow into Chiisana's gut, only for the latter to seemingly shrug it off and retaliate with a sweep of the leg. It was strange to see Chiisana out of her usual elaborate dresses-
[11:56] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> she and Hachi were both wearing sparring gi.-
[11:56] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [Several battleship marines were running relays and beep tests in the sprinting area…-
[12:04] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [And in the firing range, there were a few people of interest. On the far right of the room, Matthias Holmstrom was practicing with a rifle; a few booths away, Ayanami San and William Weiss were working together on their shooting; and of course, Princess Alexandrina was here, completely composed, not erring even a little.-
[12:04] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [And walking back and forth, overseeing them all, was Alphonse, looking tired, his hair a little less kept than usual.-
[12:04] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Ah, it’s Al…" Murmured Rei, her cheeks going pink.]
[12:10] <Yanmei> "Damn it. They all look really busy," Yanmei muttered, hands on her hips. She eyed the focused Princess in particular. "Maybe we should come back later?"
[12:12] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["L-Let’s wait. And watch."]
[12:17] * Yanmei side-eyed her with clear amusement. "Enjoying the view, are we~?"
[12:20] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["M-Maybe. Is it that obvious…?"]
[12:21] <Yanmei> "You’re blushing."
[12:30] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["A-Am I? Um…" Rei put her hands to her face. "I wasn’t- I mean… I'm just happy to see him!"]
[12:31] <Yanmei> "Obviously~" she smirked.
[12:32] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["S-Stop that. Let’s just hurry up…"]
[09:02] <Yanmei> Knowing better than to walk up behind someone on a live firing range, Yanmei circled around until she and Rei were visible from the side. Then she waved, trying to attract the Princess' attention.
[09:10] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [The princess saw them, but didn’t stop- not yet. She fired several more rounds before putting her gun down on the counter in front of her and slipping off her sound-proofers, finally turning to face them with a curious expression on her face.]
[09:14] <Yanmei> "I knew we'd find you here?" Yanmei grinned, coming a bit closer at that. "Working as hard as ever, I see."
[09:16] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Next to Yanmei, Rei gave Alexandrina a very polite bow.-
[09:17] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Of course." Said Alexandrina solemnly. "We’re on the eve of a critical battle. When else would one prepare?" She asked rhetorically- before returning and saluting Rei.-
[09:17] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [It was obvious that this action threw Rei off a little.]
[09:19] <Yanmei> "Fair enough." She, professionally, kept herself from giggling at Rei’s reaction. "How do you feel?"
[09:26] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["I feel fine, Captain Zhang, ma’am." Said Alexandrina simply. "My skills have much improved, our battle-plan is sound, and-" she turned to look at Alphonse, who had not yet managed to see them- he had wandered over to a wall-mounted video console and was conversing with the head of Evangelion Maintenance. "Our leader is superb. I have every confidence in our success."]
[09:30] <Yanmei> "I'm impressed, Pilot Wales." Yanmei was gazing over at Alphonse too, now. "I think you've grown a lot while I was away."
[09:41] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Thank you. I’ve grown a full inch since we last spoke."]
[09:44] * Yanmei chuckled. "I was talking about your confidence and inner strength? But come to think of it…" she stared a moment, and then nodded firmly. "You do look more stately!"
[09:46] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Thank you." Said Alexandrina graciously.-
[09:46] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Would you care to properly introduce us, Captain Zhang?" Asked Alexandrina, turning subtly to face Rei as she did so.]
[09:50] <Yanmei> "Ah, I didn’t realize this was you first time meeting. How rude of me…" -
[09:52] <Yanmei> "Second Lieutenant Rei Ayanami, this is Alexandrina Victoria Elizabeth, Princess of Wales and the 23rd Child. Or, Pilot Wales for short, if you would."
[09:58] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["H-How do you do." Said Rei, warmly.-
[09:59] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Very well, thank you."]
[10:00] * Suzune has joined #nervfrance
[10:03] <Yanmei> "Rei will be joining you and the others on this next mission. Isn’t that right?"
[10:08] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Right." Said Rei, nodding. "I’ll be helping to keep you and the others safe."-
[10:10] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Alexandrina nodded. "I understand. Thank you."]
[10:16] <Yanmei> "We wanted to ask you about something unrelated to the battle today."
[10:17] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Indeed?"]
[10:18] <Yanmei> "Yes, but -" she eyes flicked back to the rest of the trainees. "Some privacy might be called for."
[10:18] <Yanmei> ^her eyes
[10:20] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["This is a large facility, and many of the people training here are wearing sound proof earmuffs. Nevertheless, if you wish to go to, say, the break area…"]
[10:23] * Yanmei thought about it for a second. "No. No you’re right. And we wouldn't want to take you away from your training any longer than we must." -
[10:26] <Yanmei> "With that in mind, I'll ask this straight out: Pilot Wales, would you happen to be in need of a bodyguard?"
[10:26] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["I doubt it."]
[10:27] <Yanmei> "Really?" she looked a little disappointed. "… I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this point?"
[10:31] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["NERV protects me well." Said Alexandrina with a small shrug.]
[10:32] <Yanmei> "And what about after the war? NERV might disband or become another entity altogether."
[10:36] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Then I suppose by then I will have returned to England, and be protected by the people whom I will lead."]
[10:41] <Yanmei> "That doesn’t seem as if it will be a simple matter," she said slowly.
[10:48] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Perhaps, perhaps not." Said Alexandrina, shrugging.-
[10:48] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [Rei seemed rather distracted. In fact, she was staring out towards Alphonse longingly…]
[10:55] <Yanmei> "Anyway, you must know that traditional bodyguards won’t cut it anymore? The war with the Angels has given humanity a reason… no, a pretense to create all sorts of new things to fling at each other. Iron Guards, superhumans, Angel-human hybrids…"
[10:56] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Alexandrina stared.-
[10:56] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [And then she did the logical thing, turning to Rei and putting two and two together.-
[10:56] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["You want me to accept Lieutenant Ayanami as my bodyguard?"]
[11:01] <Yanmei> "H-huh?" It sent her spinning off guard. "The Lieutenant’s already… I mean, we were both recently made aware of an unconventional bodyguard that is looking for a new home? So we've been asking people if they want to adopt it."
[11:08] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Indeed? I am listening."]
[11:08] * Yanmei nodded. "Mind you, I did say unconventional." She nodded to Rei. "The pictures, please?"
[11:09] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [Rei wasn’t listening, still staring dreamily at Alphonse's back.]
[11:11] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei tapped her firmly on the shoulder. "Dr. Surov apparently created it in his lab. You'll be able to figure out where he got the genetic blueprints for it right away," she explained as she did so.
[11:11] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Rei jumped, and turned around quickly. "Hm? S-sorry?"]
[11:13] <Yanmei> "The photos~?"
[11:15] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Oh, right!" She said, blushing.-
[11:15] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [Alexandrina’s eyebrows rose… Quite high, as well.-
[11:15] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Rei held the photographs out to Alexandrina, who took them.-
[11:15] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["…"-
[11:15] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["It’s an Annihilator." Said Alexandrina flatly.]
[11:17] <Yanmei> "Yes." Yanmei sighed. "Yes it is. A small one, heavily programmed to co-exist with humans."
[11:25] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Annihilators slaughtered my people. They killed my family. They tried to kill me."]
[11:34] <Yanmei> "You’re not interested," she confirmed, holding her hand out for the photos. "I believe the reasoning behind making you the offer was to 'fight fire with fire'. Appropriating enemy weapons to use against the enemy, or against another enemy as the case may be?" -
[11:35] <Yanmei> "But there's no way that you could feel safe with an Annihilator, huh? So it doesn't really work out."
[11:42] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["That isn’t what I meant."-
[11:42] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Alexandrina didn’t return the photographs.-
[11:43] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["What I meant was that if I were in your shoes, and I wanted this creature cared for properly, I would not risk giving it to someone who might try to exact vengeance on it."]
[11:55] <Yanmei> Now it was Yanmei’s turn to raise her eyebrows. "If you must know… we've been struggling to find someone who will give us a definite yes or no on the matter. We thought that if it was with someone as level-headed as you, we could take the risk."
[11:56] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Alexandrina stared down at the photographs.-
[11:56] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["… Perhaps… It will help in time." She muttered. "Allow me to be more at ease… Alright. I accept."]
[11:57] <Yanmei> "…"
[11:57] <Yanmei> "… come again?"
[11:58] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["I accept."]
[12:00] <Yanmei> "I… see." Yanmei scrutinized her, clearly at a momentary loss. But then she remembered the details that she was supposed to give people who were considering it. "You should talk to Surov, then, to get the full details of the Annihilator’s conditioning and physiology, then. Do you have his contact information?"
[12:02] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Y-"-
[12:02] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [But the Princess wasn’t able to finish her line, as Rei, a huge, broad smile on her face, leapt forward and bundled Alexandrina up into a tight hug. "Thank you~ I knew someone would say yes eventually, I knew it~ <3"-
[12:03] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["-!"]
[12:06] <Yanmei> "R-Rei, come on! Act like a proper Social Services agent?" She shot the Princess an apologetic look. "Sorry. We’ve been looking for a while, like I said…"
[12:06] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["No harm done." Murmured Alexandrina- but the shock was written all over her face.-
[12:07] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Hm? What’s all this now?" Came a new voice- Alphonse had finished his call and had clearly noticed the commotion.-
[12:07] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [And as quick as a flash, Rei had left Alexandrina and had thrown herself into Alphonse, almost tackling him. "Hi~"-
[12:08] <Fullmetal`Lulu> ["Hi yourself, kitten." He said, pausing to give her a kiss. "What’s all this…?"-
[12:08] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> [Alexandrina watched the two of them silently, her eyebrows inching ever higher…]
[12:10] * Yanmei decided to distract her. "Pilot Wales," she said quietly, turning her body slightly as if to give the couple a teeny bit of privacy, "are you completely sure about this?"
[12:21] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [Alexandrina tore her eyes away from the scene, and back towards Yanmei. "Yes, I am."]
[12:26] <Yanmei> "But… why?"
[07:53] <Yanmei> "If you’re willing to give it? Of course."
[08:01] <Minaplo> ["A queen… Ought to be able to see past these things when it comes to the right decision. I need to be able to be around Angelspawn without losing my nerve, to understand them, to confront and face them boldly. And if what you say is true, this miniature Annihilator might prove useful…"-
[08:02] <Minaplo> ["… It takes a great deal of will for me to admit this. My instincts, my memories, my feelings all scream at me that these creatures deserve to die, but… I need to learn now to rise above my emotions, so I can fulfill my duty later."]
[08:08] <Yanmei> An… odd shadow fell across Yanmei's face as she listened. "What happens if you can't rise above it after all?"
[08:10] <Minaplo> ["Not an option."]
[08:12] <Yanmei> "Well," she said after a minute or two, "I think I get it. You're very strong, Pilot Wales."
[08:21] <Minaplo> ["Thank you. Of course, if you feel that my reasons are not appropriate, I will not mind if you take your offer elsewhere."]
[08:24] <Yanmei> "Your reasons are fine?" Yanmei shook her head. "Like I said, you should go ahead and get information from Surov about the creature first and foremost. After that, if you still want it, it's yours."
[08:32] <Minaplo> ["Very well."-
[08:33] <Minaplo> [Alexandrina's eyes strayed towards Rei and Alphonse again; Rei was telling Al all about her day, her eyes shining and her gestures very energetic and animated. Alphonse was listening attentively, smiling gently, his long hair framing his delicate face in an almost perfect way…-
[08:33] <Minaplo> ["…"]
[08:35] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei glanced at Alexandrina. She glanced to Alphonse, and then back again. If she wanted to smirk, she did no such thing. Instead, she gestured back toward the firing range. "Shall we get some more practice in? We could have a small marksmanship contest~"
[08:37] <Minaplo> ["S-"-
[08:37] <Minaplo> ["Did someone say contest?" Asked a voice at Yanmei's shoulder.]
[08:38] * Yanmei swiveled, startled.
[08:39] <Minaplo> [Matthias Holmstrom was standing there, cool as you please, his rifle slung over his arm.]
[08:41] <Yanmei> Should have known… "So you're interested too. Not a problem?" Yanmei tossed her hair. "Let's make it a three-way competition~"
[08:47] <Minaplo> ["Done."]

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