Asuka S Ennui

6[11:54] * Yanmei eyed her watch as the VTOL she was in lowered from the sky. -
[12:00] <Yanmei> Marianne had given her only so many hours here. That she had gotten -any- in response to her request was plain shocking, but here she was. They had passed most of busy Berlin-2, and were settling down at the fortress of the NERV branch resting on the edge of town. She had never actually been here before and had sat up straighter at the initial sight of it, scrutinizing it curiously.
[12:14] <AdEvaGM> [Berlin-2 had the now-tell tale look of a city that had been rebuilt using prefabricated building plans. Tall, identical apartment buildings stood over the rebuilt cathedrals and old gothic buildings that dotted the city.-
[12:18] <AdEvaGM> [The VTOL slowly lowered itself down- lower, lower- until with a familiar bump, came to a stop, the engines cooling down.]
[12:22] <Yanmei> After a moment the uniformed Yanmei emerged, twintails blowing wildly in the gusts still caused by the propellers.
[12:24] <AdEvaGM> [There was someone waiting for her- a young man wearing a crisp pressed black suit and white dress shirt, his face serious behind his glasses- Alexandre.]
6[12:29] * Yanmei nodded to him as she approached, trying to match his businesslike expression. "It's been a while."
[12:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah." A faint smile. "How are you?"]
[12:41] <Yanmei> "Same as ever? But you're looking a little miserable today." Yanmei tossed her hair, and then sighed. "Good god. What has she been doing to you this time?"
[12:45] <AdEvaGM> ["…" Alex frowned a little. "Look, you should see for yourself." He turned around and began to walk towards the elevator door.]
[12:48] * Yanmei followed. That hadn't been the response she had been expecting…
[12:56] <AdEvaGM> [The elevator moved slowly as usual.-
[12:56] <AdEvaGM> ["Did they tell you what happened in full?"]
[12:57] <Yanmei> Yanmei leaned against the side of it, arms folded. "They just told me that an assassin made it into the base and hurt her pretty badly."
[13:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah, that's what I thought. It's more than 'pretty badly'."]
[13:04] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared at him with new horrible understanding. "Permanent damage…"
[13:04] <AdEvaGM> ["… To her knee and calf muscles in both legs."]
[13:06] <Yanmei> "No…"
[13:06] <AdEvaGM> ["She'll be able to walk- eventually, but for now she's confined to a bed and it's driving her insane…"]
[13:09] <Yanmei> "She never did like bedrest." But she was troubled, not looking directly at him, half-submerged in her own thoughts. "…I'm sorry I'm only now just getting out here."
[13:10] <AdEvaGM> [He waved his hand. "It's not your fault! God knows you've been busy. I mean, all those buildings aren't going to destroy themselves." He gave her a small smirk.]
[13:17] * Yanmei narrowed her eyes slightly, playing along. "You should brush up on your slander, Jerkface. Like we were even fighting in cities this time?" Her mind drifted back to the destroyable Louvre playset she had seen in Beijing, and she could only wonder just how far said slander had spread and how much of it he was to blame for.
[13:21] <AdEvaGM> ["And yet you still managed to carve a canal through Rome."]
[13:22] <Yanmei> "Th-that wasn't even my fault!"
[13:25] <AdEvaGM> ["Whatever lets you sleep at night."-
[13:29] <AdEvaGM> [The elevator came to a stop, the doors opening into a central area. From there it was fairly easy to get another elevator down to the Medical District.]
[13:38] <Yanmei> "It really wasn't…" Yanmei grumbled, following along. There was an annoyed pause on her end, but she eventually let it drop. "I heard she was the only one hurt in the attack."
[13:41] <AdEvaGM> ["She was. She was specifically targeted by it." He walked down the hallways.]
[13:42] <Yanmei> "Has her squad, at least, been around to help cheer her up?"
[13:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah, they've been around, best they can."-
[13:50] <AdEvaGM> [They walked down another twist of hallways- towards a door. It was quiet here, like most parts of the medical district…]
[13:55] * Yanmei seemed to shush a little too as she followed along. She recognized the nurse stations and wings and even the restrooms they passed from her intimate knowledge with the Paris branch's division. Everything was the same…-
[13:59] <Yanmei> But quiet. Aside from Asuka, then, there hadn't been many to treat here lately. Maybe that was a good thing.
[14:01] <AdEvaGM> ["You ready?" He put a hand on the knob.]
6[14:01] * Yanmei threw her shoulders back and nodded.
[14:04] <AdEvaGM> [He opened the door quietly.-
[14:05] <AdEvaGM> [There were sounds in here, sounds from some sort of games console. Asuka lay in bed, her hands moving over a game controller. Her face was obscured by a monitor, which sat on a turn table.]
[14:07] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stepped forward, putting a cheerful look on her face. "Asuka! Hey!"
[14:08] <AdEvaGM> ["Huh? Who's that?"]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "It's Yanmei. Just got here." She moved around to get a better look at her. "And Fontaine's here too."
[14:12] <AdEvaGM> [She didn't look away from the monitor. "Hi."-
[14:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Asuka." Said Alex tentatively. "Have you done your exercises today?"-
[14:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Nope."]
[14:16] <Yanmei> Not good. She glanced back at Alex and tried something else. "What are you playing?"
[14:32] <AdEvaGM> ["Just some fighting game." Said Asuka. On the screen, an armored knight duked it out with an evil wizard.]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "I don't suppose you have a second controller?"
[14:40] <AdEvaGM> ["Why, you wanna play?"]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "Can I?"
[14:44] <AdEvaGM> ["If you want." She quit her battle, sending the game back to the main menu. "Other controller's in the bedside table."-
[14:45] <AdEvaGM> ["Do you want something to eat, Asuka?" Asked Alex, trying to keep the concern out of his voice. "I was about to get lunch myself, so…"-
[14:45] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah, ok."]
[14:48] <Yanmei> "I'll take something too~" Yanmei retrieved the controller and fumbled about with plugging it in, eying the one Asuka was using to make sure that it was in the right spot. She sat back, thumbs over the buttons. "You pick first, okay?"
[14:54] <AdEvaGM> [Alex gave Yanmei a scowl before heading out.-
[14:55] <AdEvaGM> ["Uh-huh." Asuka picked the knight once again.
[14:55] <AdEvaGM> ]
[14:56] * Yanmei selected a huge burly-looking person with an axe and loincloth. -
[14:58] <Yanmei> "How've you been, anyway? It's probably boring in here…"
[14:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah." Said Asuka, shrugging a little as she selected the combat arena.]
[15:00] <Yanmei> "When are they letting you out of here?"
[15:03] <AdEvaGM> ["Indefinite."]
[15:05] <Yanmei> "N-no way…" Yanmei stared. "They can't."
[15:06] <AdEvaGM> [The fight began- Asuka had obviously spent a lot of time playing this game because she started winning almost immediately. "Yep."]
[15:09] * Yanmei struggled, clearly on the ropes. She was at a disadvantage, even overlooking her clear distraction. "But why…?"
[15:13] <AdEvaGM> ["They dunno when I'll walk again." Said Asuka. "Could be in three months, could be a year. They've got some Italian doctor growing implants or something." A shrug.]
[15:16] <Yanmei> "Dr. Almerigi?" Yanmei rubbed one of her own legs gingerly - which was a mistake. "Shit-!" she latched onto the controller again, trying to recover.
1[15:17] <AdEvaGM> [But the damage was done, and in a spectacular combo in which Yanmei was unable to actually do anything for no less than 20 seconds, saw Asuka win the first round.-
[15:17] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah, think so."]
[15:20] * Yanmei pouted at the screen. "She's really good, Asuka. I got one over a year ago. Now my messed up leg doesn't even hurt much."
[15:22] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah?" Second round began.]
[15:24] <Yanmei> "Between the leg injury and the lung damage, I thought I'd never run properly again."
[10:43] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh." And her knight was off, slide-kicking Yanmei's hulk off his feet, yet managing to launch him into the air with an upper-slash before he hit the ground, then jumping into the air to pull off an air combo…]
[10:48] <Yanmei> "…" It was a combo that she completely failed to see coming. For a moment or two, she could only watch in frustration as Asuka's knight juggled her character in the air. "Are you really that opposed to talking about it?"
[10:50] <Minaplo> ["What do you mean?"]
[10:56] <Yanmei> "You -know- what I mean. You're acting weird. If you want me to shut up while we play, then why aren't you telling me instead of giving a bunch of one-word affirmations?"
[10:57] <Minaplo> [Asuka shrugged. On the screen, Yanmei's character finally hit the ground.-
[10:57] <Minaplo> ["It doesn't matter if you talk or not."]
[10:59] <Yanmei> "Thanks," she said dryly, making her character stand with what little health he had remaining. "But you, know, I'd rather hear you talk. Just for today, anyway?"
[10:59] <Minaplo> ["Talk about what?"]
[11:00] <Yanmei> "Anything."
[11:06] <Minaplo> [Asuka shrugged. "How was the fight?"]
[11:08] <Yanmei> "Which one?"
[11:12] <Minaplo> ["The first one."]
[11:14] <Yanmei> "We… lost." she said with difficulty. "In a big way. Blanc, de Pteres, and the new kid got captured. The Colonel made me retreat to plan a counterattack, and we nearly lost again when we executed it."
[11:15] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I heard. Did it feel bad?"]
[11:15] <Yanmei> "It was the worst."
[11:17] <Minaplo> ["Still, least you got to fight him." The knight caught Yanmei's warrior in a combo that ended on a huge special move, the Knight launching the warrior into the air before vaporising him with an energy beam from his sword.]
[11:23] * Yanmei stared at the images on her screen, her face now a few shades paler. "Y-yeah…" she managed. "But… it was just nasty all around."
[11:26] <Minaplo> ["He must've been really tough if not even -the- Zhang Yanmei could beat him."]
[11:32] <Yanmei> "Ha. Like you're that surprised?" she said looking down. "He was some kind of genius even back when he was normal. Relatively normal."
[11:33] <Minaplo> [Asuka shrugged. The screen flickered back to the character select screen. "Why shouldn't I be surprised?"]
[11:35] <Yanmei> "What do you mean?"
[11:35] <Minaplo> ["You're Zhang Yanmei. You're indispensible. If you lose you're just given a bigger toy to win with anyway."]
[11:41] <Yanmei> "No one is indispensible," she said quietly.
[11:42] <Minaplo> ["Sure they are. You are. I'm not."]
[11:55] <Yanmei> "Why? Don't you think they would have rolled out a replacement for leading that counterattack if I'd died or been captured?"
[11:55] <Minaplo> [Asuka shrugged.]
[11:56] <Yanmei> "And it not like they're rolling out a replacement for you while you recover? Aren't they trying to make you get better?"
[11:59] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, so? It doesn't matter. They don't need a replacement because it's not like it's a crucial thing."]
[12:04] <Yanmei> "It -is- crucial. Who was it who coordinated the German squad and maximized their potential? Even…" She scowled, and cleared her throat. "Even dumb Marianne was taking about how great your leadership is. 'Why can't you be more like Asuka?' she was saying."
[12:06] <Minaplo> [She shrugged. "Doesn't mean anything."-
[12:06] <Minaplo> [The door opened- Alex had returned, carrying a tray with a few brown paper bags on it. "Lunch is here!"]
[12:11] <Yanmei> "It means something to me. And it means something to Go and Hachi too!" Yanmei turned to the door, eyebrows knit slightly. "Fontaine, tell her!"
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["Tell her what?"]
[12:19] <Yanmei> "That she's not dispensible! That she's done important things that only she could. That we still need her around…"
[12:21] <Minaplo> ["It's true." Said Alexandre fervently. "Even without piloting you'd still be important, important to me- really, really important. And Yanmei, well, you're her best friend and she looks up to you, you know…"-
[12:21] <Minaplo> ["If I'm so important, why do I get the backwater garrison job? Why am I the one who always gets beaten down?"]
[12:37] <Yanmei> "Because…" Yanmei frowned. "I don't know! I'm not the Commander. But if you didn't matter, why was Silas Caine so determined to take you out? Why did that stupid Sixth Angel try to blow you up? The dangers you've faced are -because- you matter, and when you go down, the rest of us are always at a disadvantage."
[12:42] <Minaplo> ["I should never have to go down at all." Said Asuka, her face growing red with anger. "I should be better, I should be the best, but I can never prove it, and whenever it counts I always get beaten! I don't care if it's because I'm a threat or whatever- how can I respect myself when I keep losing!?"]
[12:48] <Yanmei> "So what are you going to do? Just give up? Would you respect yourself then?"
[12:49] <Minaplo> [Asuka hurled the controller at Yanmei furiously, snapping the cable from its plug. "What can I do, then!?"]
[12:55] <Yanmei> The controller sailed over her shoulder, thankfully - although she could absolutely feel it speed by closely enough to make her hair move. -
[13:00] <Yanmei> "If you want to mope, then fine! Do it as long as you want. If doesn't matter, as long as you get back up again and stop pretending that you're some kind of failure. You're better than that and you know it! But every time you get beaten, you forget about all the victories you collected over the years. It's not right!"
[13:01] <Minaplo> ["LIKE WHAT!?"]
[13:15] <Yanmei> "Like rescuing Jerkface from Eden Base and making sure the rest of us weren't hurt either. Like all those battles against the LN. Like that time against the Seventh. And the Sixteenth. Like making squad leader. Like surviving that horrible neospartan program. Like building people up when they feel horrible about themselves and setting an example. -
[13:19] <Yanmei> "Like that damned simulation tournament. Like all the equipment prototypes they trusted only you to handle. Like making a huge name for yourself right here in this country… A failure wouldn't be able to do -any- of that."
[13:21] <Minaplo> [Asuka didn't say anything. She just stared angrily at Yanmei- deeply furious- then sort of sullenly fell back into her bed, pulling her table over and taking a huge burger out of a brown bag, which she started to eat sulkily.]
[13:25] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei had been bracing herself for more yelling. She hesitated when it didn't come, glancing to Alex questioningly.
[13:28] <Minaplo> [Alex shrugged a little, pushing a paper bag towards Yanmei. He tentatively reached out to stroke Asuka's hair- when she didn't pull away, he continued a little more enthusiastically.]
[13:46] * Yanmei unwrapped her own burger, and found a seat in a spare chair. "Um, listen," she muttered, trying to break the quietness after her first few bites. "I know you can get recover from this, ok? Even though I'm not perfectly back to the way I was, I healed to the point that I could run again. With all the stuff you say about you being better than me, I was guessing you'd aim to go one step further than that?"
[13:49] <Yanmei> ^can recover
[13:53] <Minaplo> [Munch.-
[13:53] <Minaplo> ["I…" munch.-
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["I guess you'd lose faith and become a total wuss without me around, huh."]
[13:57] <Yanmei> "Wh-what?" Yanmei huffed and folded her arms. "Who's a wuss?"
[13:59] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, it makes sense." Said Alex, shooting Yanmei a look. "Yanmei models a lot of herself on you, so…"]
[14:01] <Yanmei> "…" On the inside, she seethed. On the outside… "So what if I do?" she grumbled.
[14:02] <Minaplo> ["Nice of you to admit it." Said Asuka with a trace of her old smugness. "So I have to do these dumb exercises, huh?"]
[14:03] <Yanmei> "That's what the doctors say, right Fontaine? It actually helps, take it from me."
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["Hmph." Asuka glowered. "Well if stupid Yanmei can do them…"]
[14:05] <Yanmei> "I did. Every day." She preened.
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["Then I can do them in half the time and be ready to walk by November." Said Asuka firmly.]
[14:08] <Yanmei> "Is that so~? If you don't, I'll totally remind you of it."
[14:10] <Minaplo> ["You won't have to."]
[14:15] <Yanmei> "Well, good." Yanmei nodded firmly, and tried to finish off the rest of the burger. "Listen. I only have another hour or two to hang out. I need to beat you both at that game before I have to go."
[14:15] <Minaplo> ["Good luck. You won't get anywhere playing slow and fat Hulkzerker~"]
[14:16] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah? That's what you think! It's all about timing."
[14:17] <Minaplo> ["I'll play you after this round, then." Said Alex. "I play Archmage, so…"]
[14:19] <Yanmei> "It's a deal." With her food quickly vanished, Yanmei stood up, retrieved the thrown controller, and hurried back to the console. "Let's go!"

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