Asuka S Tournament

[07:46] <Yanmei> There was still life in the Battleship's training area in the hours before dawn broke. -
[07:49] <Yanmei> For those who had dropped by earlier, when it was packed with EVA pilots and other professional soldiers, this wasn't a huge shock. Some were bound to have adjusted, coming at later or earlier times to avoid the rush. For others, this sort of early morning training came naturally for them. For others still, well… maybe they just had trouble sleeping. -
[07:52] <Yanmei> After a while of intense running, a figure stepped off the running track that encircled the facility, patting at her face with a towel and gasping. -
[07:55] <Yanmei> She leaned against a railing, eyeballing the rest of the equipment before her with an expression that eventually settled into a dissatisfied scowl.
[08:00] <Minaplo> [A few minutes would pass before anything would disturb Yanmei's irritable silence.-
[08:00] <Minaplo> [On the far end of the training track, she'd see a door open and a figure- a very distinctive red-haired feminine figure wearing a full-body tracksuit- stamp in at high speed.-
[08:01] <Minaplo> [… Followed seconds later by a blonde-haired young man- William.-
[08:01] <Minaplo> [He was rushing to keep up with Asuka, and he grabbed her shoulder, saying something. Asuka turned, quickly punched him in the nose, and then continued unimpeded, her frame exuding anger.-
[08:02] <Minaplo> [William stumbled backwards, clutching at his nose…]
[08:08] <Yanmei> Well, that wasn't something you saw every day. Then again, maybe it was if you followed Asuka Langley Soryu around closely. -
[08:11] * Yanmei briefly wondered if she should continue watching from a distance. Eventually her curiosity won out, however, and she approached the seeminging victim of this whole interaction. "Nice morning, huh?" she began dryly.
[08:11] <Minaplo> ["God, I hate her."]
[08:12] <Yanmei> "You do?" This surprised her more than the punching. She angled her head for a slightly better look at him. "You okay?"
[08:13] <Minaplo> [He lifted his head, gingerly removing his hands. His nose was clearly bleeding. "I'll be fine in a minute, but -she- won't be."]
[08:19] <Yanmei> "What's going on, anyway? Did you insult-" she paused and reconsidered, "Did you breathe at her wrong or something?"
[08:21] <Minaplo> ["No. I'm trying to help her. The stupid idiot's insisting she be allowed to exercise, but she's not supposed to, she's still injured. I was given the task to keep an eye on her, and I'm this close to ditching her and letting her do over her lungs if she so damn pleases."]
[08:30] <Yanmei> "Oh…" she shot him a sympathetic look. Poor bastard. "She's giving you her standard nurse treatment, then. Want me to help you out?"
[08:31] <Minaplo> ["She might listen to you, so I'd be grateful."]
[08:33] * Yanmei nodded. Then she lifted her voice, letting it carry across the track, preceding her approach. "Oh Asuka~~"
[08:36] <Minaplo> [Asuka was busy at one of the benches, putting her duffel bag down and putting on special running shoes- she paused and looked over. She actually smiled at Yanmei. "Oh, it's you. You're not asleep? Why the hell not?"]
[08:40] <Yanmei> "Cause I didn't feel like it?" Yanmei tossed her hair. "And anyway, running helps me relax. What about you?"
[08:42] <Minaplo> [Asuka tossed her hair. "I'm bored, and unlike you I don't have a boy to help me relax. I want to go for a run and that's -that-."]
[08:44] <Yanmei> "Yeah, but if you do, and you blow out a lung, they'll put you back in the hospital for weeks and weeks, with no exercise at all."
[08:45] <Minaplo> [Her expression immediately became sour. "Ugh, did god-botherer put you up to this?"]
[08:46] <Yanmei> "Maybe? You know, he's just trying to help."
[08:47] <Minaplo> ["I don't need his help."-
[08:47] <Minaplo> ["Doctor Kenzo says otherwise." Said William tersely, appearing at Yanmei's shoulder. "A month of rest is what you need, he said-"-
[08:48] <Minaplo> ["Ugh, who -cares-? I've totally had worse injuries than this! I lost a fucking eye! I think I can do a run!"]
[08:57] * Yanmei very nearly winced when William reappeared. This was not helping. -
[09:01] <Yanmei> "Forget the doctors for a minute. Are running and Alex the only things you can use to blow off steam right now?"
[09:03] <Minaplo> ["We could fight!" She said brightly.-
[09:03] <Minaplo> ["Oh, that's even worse." Said William bitingly.-
[09:03] <Minaplo> [Asuka snapped something off in German, and William responded immediately. The words sounded even angrier than is usual for German.]
[09:10] <Yanmei> "Stop that!" Yanmei snapped. If they were going to bitch at each other, they could at least do it in a language she understood? "What about videogames? Or… I know! Stealth games."
[09:11] <Minaplo> ["Stealth games?" Asked Asuka suspiciously, like a child who suspects that 'hide and seek' is a maneuever to get a kid to be quiet in a room for a few hours.]
[09:18] <Yanmei> "Yeah! Like, in Australia, sometimes we would run these drills to practice masking our movements in enemy territory? Like, we'd split up into two teams, start on opposing sides of an area with lots of cover, and then we'd see which side could 'take out' more members of the opposing team in an hour without drawing lots of attention."-
[09:21] <Yanmei> "…they weren't very good at it. We didn't have lots of equipment, so it was done with lots of grabbing and grappling, which is bound to make a lot of noise? But we have lots of stuff at our disposal. Water balloons or paintball guns…"
[09:21] <Minaplo> ["Veto." Said William immediately.]
[09:22] <Yanmei> "What?! Why?"
[09:22] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, why?!"-
[09:23] <Minaplo> ["Oh, it's obvious!" Said William bossily. "This is Asuka we're talking about. Give her half a chance and she'll be chasing us down the corridors, trying to garrote us with piano wire and escalating this all into a huge mess."-
[09:23] <Minaplo> ["You're just scared."-
[09:23] <Minaplo> ["The only thing I'm scared of is that your wonky depth perception'll make you garrote Major Wellesley instead of me-"-
[09:24] <Minaplo> ["Hah, you wish you looked like Wellesley-"-
[09:24] <Minaplo> [William snapped back in German. The words were incomprehensible but the name 'Misato' seemed to surface for some reason.]
[09:28] <Yanmei> "Hey, hey!" Yanmei folded her arms sternly. "Enough of that. And anyway, since these are -stealth games- attacking someone full out like that is against the rules? Let's see…" -
[09:32] <Yanmei> "Since we're presumably doing it one-on-one, we'd have to use a simple penalty point system? Like, getting caught in the open by an enemy is a point. Getting hit by an enemy is another point. And whoever gets a certain number of points - let's say ten - automatically loses the game."
[09:34] <Minaplo> ["Why is attacking them full-out against the rules?" Muttered Asuka angrily. "Back in NeoSpartan training-"-
[09:34] <Minaplo> ["Oh Lord, see what I mean?"-
[09:34] <Minaplo> ["Grr. Screw it. I don't wanna skulk around, I just wanna beat him up!"]
[09:42] <Yanmei> "Well, if a simple little game like this is too challenging for you, we could probably come up with something else~"
[09:43] <Minaplo> ["It's not a case of challenging." Muttered Asuka. "I want to work up a nice big sweat, but… What else ya got?"-
[09:43] <Minaplo> ["Didn't you mention video games?" Murmured William into Yanmei's ear.]
[09:45] <Yanmei> "How about a fighting video game tournament?" she said, going along with the suggestion.
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["… Go on." Said Asuka cautiously.]
[09:48] <Yanmei> "Pretty straightforward? Winner takes a prize of their choosing. We could even draft more people than just the three of us into playing."
[10:00] <Minaplo> ["Who'd be awake at this hour?" Asked William.]
[10:04] <Yanmei> "I'm sure there are some people. This ship never sleeps, remember?" Yanmei nodded firmly to herself. "If they're not needed for the day's battle, we can just wake them up and kidnap them, too."
[10:08] <Minaplo> ["Kidnap…?"-
[10:08] <Minaplo> ["Alright." Said Asuka firmly.]
[10:10] <Yanmei> "All right." Yanmei nodded again. "Give me twenty minutes to find some more people. You two find a place to set this whole thing up. The dining room or some other commons area…"
[10:10] <Minaplo> ["The officers' common room?" Offered Asuka.]
[10:11] <Yanmei> "Works for me? Do you bring one of your games, or do I need to borrow one from James Riel?"
[10:14] <Minaplo> ["Compromise? I'll bring some, he brings some, we'll pick which one when we sort it out."]
[10:18] <Yanmei> "Sounds fair." Her expression darkened. "I'm just praying he has some that aren't completely gross? Anyway, see you guys in twenty minutes."
[10:19] <Minaplo> ["'Bye."]
[10:25] <Yanmei> So Yanmei spent twenty minutes dragging Isaiah out of bed, hounding James Riel, and searching for more alternate players. -
[10:36] <Yanmei> She'd had to drop Lizzie and General Bear off with a confused Isha, cutting down her time even more. Still, she arrived with quite the crowd, posing boldly in the doorway before coming through. "Let the tournament begin~~"
[10:43] <Minaplo> [Following Yanmei were, apart from the aforementioned Isaiah and James Riel…-
[10:43] <Minaplo> [Were Cornelia Archibald and Frederic Gosselin, fresh off a shift change on bridge duty…-
[10:44] <Minaplo> [Major Misato Katsuragi, who had cornered Yanmei on the way and had managed to somehow invite herself…-
[10:44] <Minaplo> [Matthias Holmstrom, looking determined, with the same air one usually kept for, say, war…-
[10:46] <Minaplo> [And the President of the United States herself, Minerva Linden, who had apparently spent fourteen hours doing paperwork without a break and decided that a brutal videogame tournament was the right way to destress.-
[10:47] <Minaplo> ["What? You got all these people?" Asked William in astonishment.]
[10:50] * Yanmei beamed proudly. "If we're going to do a tournament, we should do it right? With brackets!" She wandered over to the TV. "Afterward, people should just play each other for fun or whatever. It'll be like a party~"
[10:51] <Minaplo> ["Sure. I'll get the Silas holos to bring over some wine and beer~" Said Misato.-
[10:52] <Minaplo> [And Frederic threw his hat down on the middle table. "We should all put 50 francs in, and the winner takes the lot."]
[10:56] <Yanmei> A flicker of apprehension on Yanmei's face. "…everyone has to contribute?"
[10:56] <Minaplo> ["You're not -scared-, are you~?" Asked Asuka smugly.-
[10:56] <Minaplo> [Isaiah winked at Yanmei.]
[10:57] <Yanmei> But Yanmei barely saw the wink. She was glaring at Asuka for that remark. "Scared? Don't be absurd, we all know who will win this? I was just complaining for your sake."
[10:59] <Minaplo> ["Pfft. In that case, we should make it 100 per person!"]
[10:59] <Yanmei> "Fine!" She dug through her pocket for her wallet. This was a matter of pride, now!
[11:02] <Minaplo> [And the others followed suit. Before long, the hat was full with fat franc bills, reminding everyone of the solemn prize at stake here.]
[11:04] <Yanmei> …it was a lot. Yanmei had to force herself to stop staring at it as she wrote down names for their rough starting brackets. First up:
[11:17] <Yanmei> William v. Holmstrom, James v. Cornelia, Isaiah v. Asuka, Yanmei v. Frederic, and Misato v. Minerva
[11:18] <Minaplo> [And already Misato and Minerva were eyeing each other with the sort of grim look that promised no mercy…-
[11:20] <Minaplo> [But at this moment, the doors opened and a fleet of Silas holograms flooded in, each carrying a bottle of alcohol. Within seconds, the table was suddenly groaning under the weight of dozens of bottles of wine, sake, and beer- and glasses.-
[11:20] <Minaplo> ["Drinking game~!" Crowed Misato with a grin. "Whenever a match is played, we need to take a drink! And losers need to take two."]
[11:23] * Yanmei was eying the table - and the departing Holo-Silases - dubiously. "Always with the drinking, huh, Katsuragi~?"
[11:24] <Minaplo> ["That's right. Or would you prefer… A loser has to tell a horrible secret?"]
[11:26] <Yanmei> "Drinking will be fine!" said Yanmei promptly.
[11:26] <Minaplo> ["Orrrr the loser has to kiss the winner." Said James, shooting Cornelia a sly look.-
[11:26] <Minaplo> [Cornelia ignored it.]
[11:31] * Yanmei coughed, also deciding that that suggestion was worth ignoring. "Yeah, let's start with the first match? You two snipers are up. Let's put in the first game."
[11:33] <Minaplo> ["What game are we using?" Asked Matthias seriously.]
[11:39] * Yanmei went to the console with an unlabeled disc. "This 'Lovely Eva Fighter' thing that James so generously donated? It seems to be an obscure game, so assuming that no one's played it much it'll provide a fair and even ground for us."
[11:42] <Minaplo> [James was smiling for some reason…-
[11:45] <Minaplo> ["Alright." William stepped up to the controller, followed by Matthias.-
[11:47] <Minaplo> [They flicked through the opening screens, over to the character screen. William was a little puzzled at first to find that it was a -pilot- fighter, not an Eva fighter, yet nevertheless quickly found his digital self and locked it in. Matthias, who wasn't famous enough to warrant that treatment, settled with Yanmei. There was something oddly calculating about Matthias's choice, and in his
[11:47] <Minaplo> face, as though he'd played this before… Or something similar.]
[11:50] * Yanmei watched with interest. It was an odd choice, wasn't it? Evas were naturally suited for a fighting game, unlike their pilots. Maybe they were unlockable characters?
[11:52] <Minaplo> [The arena…-
[11:53] <Minaplo> [The roof of the Louvre. In the background, EVA-21 and 04 were fighting, whilst the pilots fought in the foreground.-
[11:53] <Minaplo> ["THE LIGHT OF THE FIGHTING SOUL SHINES! ROUND ONE!" Cried the announcer.-
[11:55] <Minaplo> [DigiWilliam was wearing a long, imposing brown coat over what looked like a black suit and blue tie, dual-wielding pistols; DigiYanmei was wearing her plugsuit and wielding a chainsword and bolt pistol.-
[11:56] <Minaplo> ["FIGHT!"-
[11:57] <Minaplo> [Matthias made the first move, DigiYanmei dashing across the Louvre rooftop, leaping into the air and hitting DigiWill with a flying kick, then following up with a flurry of chainsword strikes that took real William rather off-guard…]
[11:59] <Yanmei> Ugh, the plugsuit. Why couldn't she have been wearing a suit and tie too? Nevertheless, Yanmei leaned in to join the shouts of encouragement. "C'mon, William! Give 'im a fight!"
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["Kick his dumb ass, Swedie-wolf!" Roared Asuka.-
[12:01] <Minaplo> [For whatever reason, William seemed to be more energised by Asuka trying to encourage Matthias than anything anyone else said. DigiWill reacted with a backflip-kick, sending DigiMei stumbling backwards, giving him room to open up with short-range gun barrages that did a lot of damage. Enough to put the momentum back in William's corner…-
[12:03] <Minaplo> [… But the damage was having a side effect. As William continued the combo, DigiMei's health dropped below 75%- and with it saw DigiMei take damage to her actual plugsuit- large parts of the upper leg were starting to be revealed, now. 66% followed quickly after, and saw parts of DigiMei's stomach and the inner parts of her chest revealed…]
[12:06] <Yanmei> "…" -
[12:08] * Yanmei grew deathly quiet very suddenly. She was starting to put two and two together to create a -horrible- picture.
[12:10] <Minaplo> [Meanwhile, William and Matthias were too engrossed in this match to pay attention to Yanmei's epiphany.-
[12:10] <Minaplo> [Suddenly, Matthias hit the pause. "Hold on. Let me check out the power inputs-"-
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, that's alright"-
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["Pause on your word?"-
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["Sure."-
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["Alright, go."-
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["Wait, let me check mine, now-"-
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["On you go, then-"-
[12:11] <Minaplo> ["How the hell am I supposed to do that?"-
[12:11] <Minaplo> ["You just need to turn the stick in a quarter circle backwards twice and then go right around from backwards to forwards once-"-
[12:11] <Minaplo> ["That's not something a human being can do!"-
[12:13] <Minaplo> [They quickly went back to the game, and Yanmei would be… Perhaps mollified to note that the clothing damage went both ways. Matthias seized the initiative- after inputting a complex command, the battle screen froze, a huge pop-in portrait of Yanmei dominating the right side of the screen for a second (clothing damage included).-
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["MAGOROK!" DigiMei charged, catching DigiWill unprepared-
[12:14] <Minaplo> ["EXTERMINATE SWORD!" The Chainsword mutated into a full-length progressive sword now, slicing at DigiWilliam, striking him three times before DigiMei shot him in the chest, sending him bouncing off the wall.-
[12:14] <Minaplo> ["Look out, Will! He's gonna go for the Soul Light Finish!"-
[12:15] <Minaplo> [And indeed, so it seemed he would. DigiMei crossed the distance, and again the screen froze- and went dark.-
[12:15] <Minaplo> ["SWORD OF THE AVENGING ANGEL…" The Chainsword and pistol vanished, replaced with a sword Yanmei obviously recognised…-
[12:15] <Minaplo> ["IMPERIAL HERALD!"-
[12:15] <Minaplo> [IT swung-
[12:18] <Minaplo> [… But DigiWill unleashed his own special attack, and for some reason this meant DigiMei's attack didn't hit. DigiWill's hands were suddenly holding a huge heavy bolter, unleashing a spray of rounds that hit DigiMei ten times- exposing more of her legs, arms and breasts in the meantime- smacking her the length of the arena-
[12:20] <Minaplo> ["NON PACEM SED GLADIUM!" A huge revolver appeared in his hands. He aimed…-
[12:20] <Minaplo> ["Requiescat… IN PACE!"-
[12:20] <Minaplo> [And struck DigiMei perfectly, taking her out of the fight, announced by the Louvre exploding in flames and DigiWill jumping onto EVA-21's arm, carried to safety- leaving a mostly naked DigiMei behind.-
[12:21] <Minaplo> ["SOUL LIGHT FINISH~!" Screamed the announcer.]
[12:23] <Minaplo> ["…" Matthias dropped his controller, utterly nonplussed. "Invincibility frames."]
[12:27] <Yanmei> Yanmei stood in the same spot where she had been rooted throughout the match, eyes locked incredulously on the victory screen. Her shoulders, hands and face twitched sporatically, in the throws of some sort of bizarre apoplectic episode.
[12:28] <Minaplo> [The game returned to the character select, except the announcer… Announced something.-
[12:29] <Yanmei> …and that snapped her out of it. "-JAMES-!!!"
[12:29] <Minaplo> [Everyone else was murmuring to themselves- the… risque nature of the game not lost on them.-
[12:30] <Minaplo> [Except for Misato, who was telling people to "Drink! Drink!" and pushing sake into Matthias's unwilling hands…-
[12:30] <Minaplo> [And James of course was sitting there, trying to look innocent. "Uh… Y-Yes?"]
[12:32] * Yanmei didn't respond. She did march over to the console to snatch out the game's disc, drawing her arm back as if to hurl it at him with all of her strength.
[12:32] <Minaplo> ["Hey!" Cried Matthias. "It didn't save yet!"-
[12:34] <Minaplo> ["I'm sorry!" Said James quickly, holding his hands up in surrender. "It wasn't- It was an accident, a friend made this game and I haven't really checked it, I'm sorry! J-Just calm down, I think I can turn it off if you give me a chance oh god pleaseeeeee"]
[12:35] <Yanmei> "NO!! No second chances!" she roared. "Only suffering!!"
[12:35] <Minaplo> [Someone plucked the disc from her hand.]
[12:36] * ChanServ sets mode: +qo Minaplo Minaplo
[12:36] <Yanmei> "…?!?!" She whirled around to see who did that, furious!
[12:37] <Minaplo> [Misato was holding the disc away, smiling warmly. She offered Yanmei a drink with her other hand. "Calm down, Yanyan-chan. Let's see if he's right, and then we'll finish the tournament…"-
[12:37] <Minaplo> ["And then we'll torture him together, ok~? <3"]
[12:42] <Yanmei> "But…!" Lots of eyes were on her. She slowly felt aware of them, reluctantly turning back around as if to confront them.
[12:44] <Minaplo> [Matthias was looking at her seriously. William's blood was clearly up, and he was flush with victory, staring at Asuka…-
[12:44] <Minaplo> [Isaiah was nearby, looking a little frightened, trying to give her comforting smiles.-
[12:44] <Minaplo> [Frederic and Cornelia were shooting James dirty looks; James himself was nearly hiding under the table.-
[12:45] <Minaplo> [And Asuka's arms were folded, watching the thing with a sort of haughty arrogance that suggested that she was going to claim victory unless she was defeated tonight.]
[12:48] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei cleared her throat. "What I -meant- to say," she said silkily, "Is that we'll give James a quick chance to turn off certain, um, features in this game. If he can't do it, then we'll simply substitute one of Asuka's games instead. Does that sound fair to everyone~?"
[12:49] <Minaplo> [There was a general chorus of agreement.]
[12:50] <Yanmei> "Excellent." She moved over to place the disc in front of James on the table with a smile. Then she took a very long drink from her cup. It tasted… bitter.
[12:53] <Minaplo> ["So who's next?" Asked Misato.]
[12:58] <Yanmei> "Mr. Riel and Ms. Archibald, it looks like?" she said coolly.
[12:58] <Minaplo> ["Ahem."-
[12:59] <Minaplo> [James sheepishly reinserted the disc, fiddled in the options menu for a bit- turning the clothing damage off- and then it was time to fight.-
[12:59] <Minaplo> [Archibald sat, taking a controller, as did James.-
[13:00] <Minaplo> [James chose Aline, and Archibald chose Rei.-
[13:01] <Minaplo> [The arena was, in this case, a rooftop in Paris-2. In the background, EVA-00 was calibrating a positron cannon, aiming at 09.-
[13:02] <Minaplo> [Aline was wearing her blood-red plugsuit, her hair stark white against it. She was wielding no weapons, instead being surrounded by a faint shimmer in the air. Rei, of course, was wearing her pink dress, coated with those powerful armour plates. She was wielding a staff.-
[13:02] <Minaplo> ["Heh heh. I'll go easy on you, Cornelia." Said James. Aline dashed forward…-
[13:03] <Minaplo> [… Rei moved with shocking speed, skipping right past Aline and began to strike her from behind. Staff whack! Whack! Whack! Smack into the air! Jump whack! Whack! Air grapple- Rei threw Aline into the ground! Drop-attack! Whack! Aline got back up-
[13:03] <Minaplo> ["AYANAMI SWORD!"-
[13:04] <Minaplo> [A sword appeared behind Aline, smacking into her, knocking her towards Rei-
[13:04] <Minaplo> ["AYANAMI BLAST!"-
[13:04] <Minaplo> [Rei unleashed an energy blast, knocking Aline into the air-
[13:04] <Minaplo> ["AYANAMI BOW!"-
[13:04] <Minaplo> [A crossbow bolt thudded through Aline-
[13:04] <Minaplo> ["THE ROSE MAIDEN!"-
[13:05] <Minaplo> [The screen darkened, Rei's cut-in dominating the screen, which was suddenly surrounded by rose petals-
[13:05] <Minaplo> [Before eleven swords flew from off-screen, impaling Aline into the wall.-
[13:05] <Minaplo> ["JUSTICE AND LOVE!"-
[13:05] <Minaplo> [… And then a shimmering portal appeared above Aline, Ban-Ban jumping out, mauling her and finishing the fight.-
[13:05] <Minaplo> ["SOUL LIGHT FINISH! PERFECT~!"-
[13:06] <Minaplo> [The entire thing took about 20 seconds.-
[13:06] <Minaplo> ["You lose." Said Cornelia crisply.]
[13:09] <Yanmei> "So he does." Yanmei didn't look -openly- happy, but something in her mood had certainly lifted a little at that. "Tough luck, Riel~"
[13:09] <Minaplo> ["T-Tch. That… That was…"-
[13:09] <Minaplo> ["Drink! Drink!" Crowed Misato, passing more glasses around.-
[13:10] <Minaplo> [Cornelia stood, flicking a speck of dust off of her sleeve, then victoriously downed a glass of white wine.-
[13:10] <Minaplo> ["Who's up next?" Asked Frederic.]
[13:11] <Yanmei> "Isaiah and Asuka."
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["Oh, great."-
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["Afraid, little boytoy-chan~?" Crowed Asuka smugly, walking over to the console.-
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["Tch." Isaiah followed.]
[13:12] <Yanmei> "You can do it, Isaiah!"
[13:13] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, let's hope." Said Isaiah, selecting his digital self- wearing a doctor's outfit.-
[13:13] <Minaplo> [And of course, Asuka picked her digital self- plugsuit and cape included, wielding a pair of chainswords with a pair of bolt pistols strapped to her side.-
[13:14] <Minaplo> [The arena for this was EVA-04's body, which was on fire.-
[13:14] <Minaplo> [Asuka was a little slow to come to terms with her character, as apparently it was a little- different. One of the buttons for special moves just swapped Asuka's swords out for her pistols…-
[13:15] <Minaplo> [During which Isaiah managed to take the small lead. DigiZaizai ran towards Asuka, stabbing her several times with a knife before kicking her into the wall. But Asuka was quick to respond, leaping up and swapping to her swords- charging at him and unleashing a flurry of blows!-
[13:15] <Minaplo> [But Isaiah was grimly putting up a fight, the crowd cheering him on. Stab stab slash uppercut kick-
[13:15] <Minaplo> ["LUPE!"-
[13:16] <Minaplo> [And a cyborg wolf leapt from the side of the arena, tackling Asuka and biting her neck.]
[13:17] <Yanmei> The background… troubling. The fight itself only slightly less so. If Asuka lost, what would become of them all…?
[13:17] <Minaplo> [But Asuka was rallying once again. She threw Lupe off, and…-
[13:17] <Minaplo> [Slash! Slash! Juggle Isaiah into the air, swap to pistols and shoot him in mid air!-
[13:18] <Minaplo> [Isaiah managed to reclaim his safety, backing up against the wall- where DigiZaizai knelt down and began to bandage himself up, healing!-
[13:18] <Minaplo> ["What!? A self-healer! That's super-lame in a fighter!" Swore Asuka. Properly infuriated, she pressed the attack.-
[13:19] <Minaplo> [Leaping smack-smack-smack, all blocked- and DigiZaizai grabbed her, kicking her into the wall.-
[13:19] <Minaplo> [It was starting to become close, now…-
[13:19] <Minaplo> [And then Asuka pulled something off that no one else had done all night. A kick, kick, a punch, her energy bar full, the stars aligned, the right buttons pressed-
[13:19] <Minaplo> ["ABSOLUTE TERRITORY POWER!"-
[13:20] <Minaplo> [The screen vanished. Isaiah found himself alone, standing on EVA-04. But…-
[13:20] <Minaplo> [He looked up, to see EVA-02 towering over him, Asuka on the head. She smirked. EVA-02 pulled its leg back…-
[13:20] <Minaplo> [And kicked Isaiah into the stars, where he vanished with a twinkle.-
[13:20] <Minaplo> ["ABSOLUTE FINISH!"]
[13:21] <Yanmei> "W-what was that?! No way!"
[13:21] <Minaplo> ["Ha!" Asuka smirked, crowing insufferably. "I knew I was better than the others~ Leave it to Asuka the Great to show you nubs how it's done."-
[13:21] <Minaplo> [William watched it all in grim silence.-
[13:21] <Minaplo> ["Drink! Drink!" Cried Misato.]
[13:22] * Yanmei waited for Isaiah to come back closer to her before giving him a quick comfort-snuggle. "Next is me against Frederic?"
[13:23] <Minaplo> [Isaiah snuggled her tightly, but unfortunately briefly, before Misato forced a pair of beers into his hand, pulling him away to snuggle him herself. "Aww, next time you'll do ok, Isaiah-chan~"-
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["Heh. You ready for this, Yanmei?" Asked Frederic with a grin.]
[13:25] * Yanmei was glowering suspiciously at Misato. "Right, right," she muttered distractedly. "I'm coming…" -
[13:26] <Yanmei> And after a minute, she had stepped up to the controller. Her selector hovered over her own stylized portrait, hesitating thanks to some earlier traumas, but she finally picked it.
[13:27] <Minaplo> ["Heh."-
[13:27] <Minaplo> [Frederic's selector moved over the portraits, skipping them, one by one, until it finally hovered on the one fighter that Yanmei probably didn't want to see…-
[13:28] <Minaplo> [Grim, wearing a blue and white plugsuit, huge broadsword in his hands, his face dark and murderous. Shinji Ikari, here to ruin her day.]
[13:30] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei's eyes narrowed at this new challenge. "What? Misato's little protege? I'm so scared~"
[13:31] <Minaplo> ["Didn't Shinji take on one of those special Spawn one-on-one and win?" Said Misato conversationally, over Isaiah's head, since the boy himself was being snuggled into her chest. "Aline-chan told me about it…"]
[13:33] <Yanmei> "A-Anyone could do that!" She wasn't even watching the screen now.
[13:34] <Minaplo> ["That was the Spawn that nearly killed me." Said Frederic, jabbing Yanmei in the ribs. "It took Sera, myself, -and- Bruce Savage to take it down…"-
[13:34] <Minaplo> [Back at the Louvre…]
[13:36] <Yanmei> "Yeah, well…" She snapped around at the announcement, launching into a short combo with the chainsword.
[23:00] <Minaplo> ["Heh." Said Frederic, smirking slyly, enough to make Yanmei second-guess herself…-
[23:01] <Minaplo> [But he wasn't quite sure on the controls yet, and DigiShinji tried to grasp DigiMei, only to miss and take that combo. It hurt him- but the damage wasn't as good as Yanmei was hoping, since it seemed that DigiShinji was pretty darn tough…]
[23:04] <Yanmei> This didn't stop her from gloating about it. "Are you sure you've played these games before~? You're gonna lose at this rate~"
[23:12] <Minaplo> ["Your guarding is terrible." He said, and proved it- DigiMei got a little too cocky, and took a heavy, single blow from Shinji's sword that sent her flying into the air.]
[23:25] * Yanmei fake-yawned. "Bo-ring. I may as well be fighting in my sleep at this point?" DigiMei hit the ground, and was on her feet in an instant. "Now I'll show you how it's really done!"
[23:25] <Minaplo> ["Hm? Misato, don't kiss the boy!"]
[23:27] <Yanmei> "W… WHAT. Katsuragi-!" She swiveled at once, her face both astonished and furious.
[23:28] <Minaplo> [Misato wasn't kissing Isaiah- she -was- hugging him and ruffling his hair, but she seemed to mostly be satisfied with using his fluffy head as a headrest. She looked up in confusion-
[23:28] <Minaplo> [And this was Frederic's chance. DigiShinji lunged forward- a violent heavy stab- then a slash-slash-slash, and then Shinji roughly grabbed DigiMei by the throat and slammed her into the ground.]
[23:45] <Yanmei> "You-!" She gazed at him with big, bright eyes. Were those unshed tears there…? "How cruel can you get? As if this tournament hasn't been trying enough…"
[23:47] <Minaplo> ["W-What? Don't give me t-that-"]
[23:51] <Yanmei> A sly button-press. One explosion launched DigiShinji into the air as DigiMei switched over to her bolter, and a second one blasted him back into a wall. "Heh heh."
[00:03] <Minaplo> ["You know, you really oughta work on your lower defense." Said Frederic, as DigiShinji threw out a low kick…!]
[00:07] * Yanmei dodged it, barely, with a snicker, muttering something in Chinese that ended with 'Sophie' and the french word for 'chocolate'.
[00:10] <Minaplo> [Behind her, Isaiah laughed a little.-
[00:10] <Minaplo> ["-?" Frederic glanced at her, suspiciously, and this was enough for her…]
[00:13] <Yanmei> To pistol whip DigiShinji right in the face, following up with glowing, noisy Chainsword strike and a little digital battle cry from her avatar. "Blood and murder!!"
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["Tch-!"-
[00:19] <Minaplo> [Frederic became serious now, his eyes narrowing. He started to focus strongly on the screen, looking for openings…]
[00:20] <Yanmei> "Starting to look worried, are we~ Don't worry. It'll be over soon?" Yanmei pressed her advantage with a straightforward sword thrust.
[00:21] <Minaplo> [But he seemed to ignoring her, and Yanmei's momentum started to really slow…]
[00:26] <Yanmei> "H-huh?" She muttered something else, a mix of weird Australian sayings and Chinese, trying to throw him off his game again, but…
[00:29] <Minaplo> [But he wasn't having it, and things turned bad -fast-.-
[00:29] <Minaplo> [Slash! Slash! Crush! DigiMei bounced into the air, where DigiShinji leapt up, grabbed her, and threw her into the ground, where she bounced again…-
[00:29] <Minaplo> ["LIGHT SOUL FINISH!"-
[00:29] <Minaplo> ["POSITRON ZWEIHANDER!"-
[00:30] <Minaplo> [DigiShinji's sword began to glow with a bright blue light, and he smashed it into DigiMei's side with incredible force, enough to send DigiMei hurtling across the entire length of the arena and smash into the wall- the blow nearly killed her!]
[00:42] <Yanmei> "…!" Yanmei gasped, hauling DigiMei to her feet and pressing buttons frantically! DigiMei began to glow, leaping high into the air. -
[00:45] <Yanmei> "BLOODY ARC!" She drew her little arm back and hurled the glowing, whirring, shiny Chainsword at DigiShiji like a meteor. "SKY RENDING!"
[00:46] <Minaplo> [But Frederic was fast, and DigiShinji fell into a blocking stance- the attacks doing very little damage. He was so close to death, but…-
[00:46] <Minaplo> ["ABSOLUTE TERRITORY POWER!"-
[00:46] <Minaplo> ["Oh no! Yanmei, look out!" Cried Isaiah-
[00:46] <Minaplo> [The screen vanished. Yanmei was alone on the Louvre, now, which was on fire, but…-
[00:47] <Minaplo> [Suddenly a huge blue fist fell from the sky, crushing her into the roof. And another. And another and another and…-
[00:47] <Minaplo> [Then the fist grabbed her, threw her into the air and punched her, sending her flying high…-
[00:48] <Minaplo> [And EVA-05 roared, ripping open its mouth- and grabbed Yanmei out of the air with its maw. DigiMei disappeared, followed by numerous crunching and chewing sounds- before EVA-05 unceremoniously spat a mangled chainsword out onto the ground.-
[00:48] <Minaplo> ["ABSOLUTE FINISH!"]
[00:49] <Yanmei> "G-gross! That's an awful finishing move!" she whined.
[00:50] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yeah, that's horrible." Said Misato, her eyes wide.-
[00:50] <Minaplo> ["I still win." Said Frederic with a grin.-
[00:50] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, that's right! Drink, Drink!" Cried Misato gaily.]
[00:54] * Yanmei grumbled, although she did mutter a quiet 'congratulations' to Frederic before dealing with her refills. -Someone- had to be a good sport around here… "You're up, Major Katsuragi~ You and Madame President…"
[01:13] <Minaplo> ["Alright~"-
[01:13] <Minaplo> [Misato settled down to the controller, as did Minerva, but the game was still saving from the last bout. At the end of that, it shouted-
[01:13] <Minaplo> ["UNLOCKED: SILAS CAINE"]
[01:14] * Yanmei stared flatly at the screen. "Why is -he- in there?"
[01:16] <Minaplo> [James snickered. Asuka rolled her eyes.-
[01:17] <Minaplo> [Minerva moved to take Silas, and Misato turned to take Tsubaki.-
[01:19] <Minaplo> ["Who'll win this, do you think?" Muttered Fred quietly to Yanmei.]
[01:22] <Yanmei> "Hm. They're both pretty good at tactics," Yanmei muttered. "Hard to say? Probably the President, since I'd assume the programmers made that jerky non-pilot fairly powerful?"
[01:33] <Minaplo> ["We'll see."-
[01:34] <Minaplo> [Tsubaki- wearing a plugsuit, wielding a sword- was facing down Silas, who was wearing an LN general's uniform. He had no weapons, only his fists.-
[01:34] <Minaplo> [The battlefield? Eden Base. In the background, crowds of kids watched on and cheered.-
[01:34] <Minaplo> [Asuka's eye twitched a little.-
[01:35] <Minaplo> [Nevertheless, it was obvious from the outset that the two characters fought completely differently. Tsubaki was long-ranged, shooting AT beams across the battlefield, forcing Silas to jump around trying to avoid them-
[01:35] <Minaplo> [But of course, Minerva didn't have much experience, and so for the first half of the battle it was mostly Silas trying to catch Tsubaki- and failing, only to be blasted across the arena.-
[01:36] <Minaplo> [Minerva glowered.-
[01:36] <Minaplo> [And she started to pick up her pace. Silas dashed through the air, avoiding a series of gatling-gun blasts from Tsubaki- and landed behind her. And now they saw how he fought-
[01:36] <Minaplo> [Punchpunchpunchpunchpunchpunchpunchkickickpunchkickkickroundhousekick!-
[01:37] <Minaplo> [The burst of punches and kicks didn't do much damage individually, but together they added up, sending Tsubaki hurtling a few metres away. But she wasn't done yet…]
[01:39] * Yanmei watched the close combat with very raised eyebrows. But now there was a little more distance between them! How would Misato use this to her advantage?
[01:43] <Minaplo> [By changing it up, of course! Laser beams still rained down, but now they came from above, making it much harder for Silas to dodge…-
[01:45] <Minaplo> [And now Silas had to turn to his other powers.-
[01:46] <Minaplo> [It wasn't an attack, although it was a special move nevertheless- but now Silas was in his Brother form- permanently!-
[01:46] <Minaplo> ["BROTHER BLAST!"-
[01:47] <Minaplo> [A burning beam of light criss-crossed the field, then again, and again, forming a web of energy- and now a pair of knives appeared in Silas's hands, which he threw at Tsubaki, catching her in the chest-
[01:47] <Minaplo> [Followed by a pair of bolters, firing the entire clip-
[01:47] <Minaplo> [And then a rocket launcher!-
[01:48] <Minaplo> [A pair of prog swords appeared now, and Silas flew across the battlefield, catching Tsubaki in a whirlwind of slashes-
[01:48] <Minaplo> [And when the carnage ended, Tsubaki… Got up! Barely 1% of her health left…]
[01:50] * Yanmei stared, going tense. She suddenly wanted to switch her predictions to give DigiTsubaki the benefit of the doubt, even if it was really unlikely. Could she still turn it around?
[01:52] <Minaplo> [Flush with sure success, Big Brother hurtled across the map, leading with a flying kick-
[01:52] <Minaplo> [That Tsubaki blocked. Slash! A hit- and then-
[01:52] <Minaplo> ["I SEE YOUR LIFE!"-
[01:53] <Minaplo> [Tsubaki lit up, her hair suddenly blowing in a wild wind! Her sword began to glow- then burst into flame!-
[01:53] <Minaplo> [Slash! "ONE!" Slash! "TWO!" Slash! "THREE!" Slash! "FOUR!" Slash! "FIVE!"-
[01:53] <Minaplo> [Silas staggered, then collapsed…-
[01:54] <Minaplo> [… And stayed down!-
[01:54] <Minaplo> ["HAHAHAHAH!" Misato threw her hands into the air. "Ehehehehehe~"]
[01:57] <Yanmei> "Congratulations Major~" Yanmei chimed in. "You fought very well too, President Linden. Very impressive."
[01:58] <Minaplo> ["…" Minerva smiled, placing her controller down and applauding politely. "You did well~"-
[01:59] <Minaplo> [But there was only steel in her eyes. Sharpened into knife points. She accepted her drinks with a smile that suggested that Misato had best watch her's…]
[13:07] <Yanmei> The next round of battles - and drinks - went smoothly, pitting Asuka against Cornelia and Frederic against Misato. -
[13:09] <Yanmei> Yanmei, who had spent much of it smiling, demurely chatting with the President of the United States, and pulling Isaiah firmly away from that dratted Misato, was starting to feel lightheaded by the time they advanced into to the semi-finals. -
[13:10] <Yanmei> So she found a chair to curl up in, still clutching a glass.
[13:21] <Minaplo> [Isaiah went too! A little tipsy himself, he found himself the most comfortable chair- Yanmei's lap. He was warm and snuggly and the alcohol was making her sleepy…-
[13:26] <Minaplo> [But the contest would draw Yanmei's attention sharply. The entire crowd was screaming- mildly tipsily- as Asuka and Cornelia went at it, neither of them showing even a little intoxication. Cornelia unleashed DigiRei's storm of weapons, and DigiAsuka dodged them perfectly, leading to a violent beatdown of DigiRei finishing with EVA-02 booting DigiRei into the sky, just like it'd done to DigiZaizai…-
[13:27] <Minaplo> [And after that, Misato pulled a narrow victory over DigiShinji, when DigiTsubaki summoned EVA-03 to teleport DigiShinji into space, where he floated forever…]
[13:31] * Yanmei giggled at that last display from her chair. "Just like the Louvre! They'll have to build a new replacement Shinji~"
[13:41] <Minaplo> ["Hm~? How would they do that?" Asked Isaiah curiously.]
[13:43] <Yanmei> "Clones, I guess…" And with that her face darkened. "Coreless ones, or else!"
[13:44] <Minaplo> ["No giant robot Shinji…?"]
[13:47] <Yanmei> "Robot?" Yanmei made a slight face. "Maybe… maybe if Guillory had a brother, they could turn him into another Shinji! Using an Eva or an Angel's AT Field." Yanmei nodded to herself, pleased. "Then they'd be twins?"
[13:48] <Minaplo> ["He does have a brother, though." Said Minerva, who didn't look tipsy at all.]
[13:51] <Yanmei> "Really?" Yanmei looked happy! "Then this plan can't fail? I'll send a message to Surov about it tomorrow."
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["Oh no you don't." Said Frederic, roughly ruffling Yanmei's hair.-
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["REQUIESCAT IN PACE!"-
[13:52] <Minaplo> [By the game, Misato went down after a brutal battle with William, leaving only two people left…]
[13:53] <Yanmei> "Mmph." Yanmei tried to smooth down her hair. "Well done, William!"
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["Then this just leaves-"-
[13:54] <Minaplo> [William and Asuka were glaring at each other…]
[13:54] <Yanmei> "…oh no. Now, this should be interesting…"
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["Wanna make a side bet~?" Said Frederic, grinning.]
[13:55] <Yanmei> "No thanks, I'm out. Isaiah?"
[13:58] <Minaplo> ["Hm… Alright. Fifty francs on Asuka winning."]
[14:01] * Yanmei sat up eagerly to watch the match… which was difficult with Isaiah in her lap.
[14:05] <Minaplo> ["Hm~? Should I move?"]
[14:08] <Yanmei> "Hmmm. Just for a minute, ok? It's been building to this match all night?" She paused. "Morning," she corrected.
[14:10] <Minaplo> [He shifted- although what really happened is that he ended up just sitting at the foot of the chair.-
[14:11] <Minaplo> ["Ready to lose, Asuka?" Muttered William grimly.-
[14:11] <Minaplo> ["That's my line, God-botherer~"-
[14:18] <Minaplo> [Asuka tried a head-on charge, but William was wise by this point. He knew his best chances to win were to play keepaway- so he ran, slowing DigiAsuka down with a barrage of gunfire. He hit her a few times, but she was good at dodging- and he wasn't doing enough damage. He leapt over her, barely avoiding her attack-
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Ugh, stop hopping around, you dumb rabbit God-bothering jerkface-"-
[14:19] <Minaplo> [Another barrage of shots, but Asuka was focusing now. Dodge-dodge-dodge-flying kick! William was hit-
[14:20] <Minaplo> [Slash-slash-slash! Cut! Slash! Jump back, swap to bolters- opening fire! Just this little gap had William down to 50% HP…]
[14:22] * Yanmei was completely focused and hushed. What a great fight! Asuka was probably going to win at this point…
[14:34] <Minaplo> [But William began to fight back, reclaim ground. A few keep-away kicks, then point-blank revolver shots juggling Yanmei against the wall! And then…!-
[14:36] <Minaplo> [The heavy bolter appeared, spitting its lethal ammo…-
[14:36] <Minaplo> [… But it missed. William was vulnerable…!]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "!" Would he give up? Would he throw in the towel for the championship? Or would some miracle save him from the grinning Asuka?
[14:47] <Minaplo> [… But there was no hope.-
[14:48] <Minaplo> [Asuka was on him. "MIGHTY SWORD OF GERMANY! SOLINGEN!"-
[14:49] <Minaplo> [Her swords suddenly became much longer, glowing with violent energy- slash! A huge ribbon of energy ripped across the battlefield, catching William. Slash! Another- slash slash- two more- and a final, mighty thrust right through the chest!-
[14:49] <Minaplo> ["SOUL LIGHT FINISH!"]
[14:51] * Yanmei exhaled. Poor William! But she applauded all the same, standing up. "Good match, good match~"
[14:56] <Minaplo> ["HA!" Asuka threw the controller down and jumped to her feet, unceremoniously pushing William over. "I WIN~ I WIN~ SUCK ON THAT, GOD-BOTHERER~"-
[14:56] <Minaplo> ["Why you-!"]
[15:02] <Yanmei> "Hey!" she said sternly. "Asuka, take your money and your congratulatory drink. William…" She reached out to offer him a hand up.
[15:04] <Minaplo> ["I'm gonna kill her." He said shortly, taking the hand. "We won't miss her-"-
[15:04] <Minaplo> ["HEY! Are you saying you don't need me?!"-
[15:04] <Minaplo> ["That's right!"-
[15:04] <Minaplo> [Asuka cracked her knuckles- and began to stamp towards him, her drink forgotten.]
[15:07] * Yanmei stood between them firmly. "No fighting!" She crossed her hands sternly. "Settle your differences using that game or don't settle them at all?"
[15:19] <Minaplo> ["…Tch." Asuka glowered at them both.-
[15:20] <Minaplo> ["… Fine, whatever~ I guess you should thank Yanmei for saving your skin, God-botherer." She smirked, tossed her hair, walked towards the hat of money, and tripped over Isaiah's legs.]
[15:30] * Yanmei winced at that, and then sighed, absently patting William on the shoulder before stepping forward. "A-ahem. While the illustrious Asuka claims her prize as the winner of this tournament, let's throw open the doors and open this gaming party to everyone? -
[15:32] <Yanmei> "While we prepare for the next battle in our ongoing war, we should use this time to cherish each others' company while acting in ways befitting of pilots, officers, presidents, and gaming tournament champions." -
[15:32] <Yanmei> She raised her half-empty cup. "Now, then, let's all make a toast! To victory and glory!"
[15:33] <Minaplo> [There were cheers, and toasts, and…-
[15:34] <Minaplo> [Asuka was getting to her feet, and Isaiah had, it seemed, escaped her wrath this time by helping her up, patting her shoulder and smoothing out her hair.-
[15:35] <Minaplo> [People looked happy. Matthias looked as though he was enjoying himself; even Archibald seemed to be relaxing.-
[15:35] <Minaplo> [And James…-
[15:35] <Minaplo> [… Hey, where was James?]
[15:37] <Yanmei> Where indeed? She blinked, looking around for him. Some part of her suspected that she should leave him be after his foul game nearly ruined everything. Making her freak out like that, in front of President Linden, no less… -
[15:38] <Yanmei> "Hm? Hey," she made her way toward Frederic, "did Riel have to leave or something?"
[15:43] <Minaplo> ["Hm? He's gone?"-
[15:43] <Minaplo> ["… Huh, he skipped out! That sneaky bastard…"]
[15:45] * Yanmei swirled her drink thoughtfully. "Think we were a little hard on him? Well… Archibald, anyway, to be precise?"
[15:50] <Minaplo> ["Maybe he thought Misato was serious about torturing him and escaped."]
[15:51] <Yanmei> "Well, I'm sure we'll find him later," she said cheerfully, and drained the rest of her glass.
[15:53] <Minaplo> ["Don't hurt him too much, you two."]
[15:55] <Yanmei> "We'll take that suggestion under consideration."
[15:55] <Minaplo> ["You know he'll just enjoy it anyway."]
[15:59] <Yanmei> "…ugh. We'll have to make it -so- horrible that he won't."
[16:00] <Minaplo> ["Heh."-
[16:01] <Minaplo> ["You might want to go speak to Asuka, though. Firstly, I need my hat back, and secondly, she's looking a little… Unsteady."]
[16:02] <Yanmei> "Tsk. She's such a child~ Barely even able to handle a little drink. If you'll excuse me~" She turned, and headed over for her again. "Asuka~"
[16:06] <Minaplo> ["Mmmh? What?"]
[16:07] <Yanmei> "What'll you do with your new prize money~? Inquiring minds want to know?"
[16:08] <Minaplo> [She shrugged. She seemed more than a little unsteady- actually, she seemed pale…]
[16:10] <Yanmei> "…?" Yanmei tilted her head. "Hey, want to get some fresh air?"
[16:11] <Minaplo> ["F-Fine…"]
[16:13] * Yanmei nodded. She didn't want to cause a scene, so she took the lead, walking slowly enough for Asuka to keep up until they were out in the hallway.
[16:13] <Minaplo> [Asuka followed, still carrying the hat full of money.]
[16:15] <Yanmei> … and once they were outside, Yanmei gestured for her to sit down, right there, outside the door. "Take a minute, ok? You don't look so great?"
[16:16] <Minaplo> ["T-tch. Don't tell God-botherer or anyone, but I think I've overdone it a little."-
[16:16] <Minaplo> [It was a testament to her relationship with Yanmei that she even admitted this.]
[16:18] <Yanmei> She totally acknowledged that. But saying it aloud would possibly get her snapped at or smirked at, and there were more urgent matters. "How much is 'a little'? Want to go back to your room, or should we head to sick bay?"
[16:19] <Minaplo> ["Sick bay? With that dumb pretty-boy doctor Kenzo? No, he'll just fuss over me. My room's fine."]
[16:20] * Yanmei nodded. Without saying anything more, she reached into the the hat, and began collecting bills. "We'll put these in your pockets first. It'll be a pain if you drop it?" -
[16:22] <Yanmei> Soon, the money was put away, and the hat was empty. With that out of the way, Yanmei offered her a shoulder to lean on if she wanted to.
[16:24] <Minaplo> [Asuka wasn't quite ready to take the offered shoulder- not for awhile, at least. Eventually, after a few minutes of walking, she stumbled a little, then reluctantly, grudgingly took the help.]
[16:26] * Yanmei grinned at her. "William would never let you hear the end of it if he found out?"
[16:26] <Minaplo> [She grumbled. "Smug blonde god-bothering jerk."]
[16:28] <Yanmei> "He'd probably pray for you too~"
[16:31] <Minaplo> ["Like I need his prayers? I'm a god in my own right, you know."]
[16:33] <Yanmei> "Heh. Naturally."
[16:34] <Minaplo> [Asuka's room was in sight, now. It was an officer's room- a small one, which meant it was probably the size of Yanmei's old apartment.]
[16:36] * Yanmei opened the door and turned on the lights. Standard room?
[16:36] <Minaplo> [Mostly. Asuka had a weapon rack in here, though, and she'd hung artwork up around the room, and her sheets were red instead of the usual purple.-
[16:36] <Minaplo> [Asuka let go of Yanmei now, flopping onto the bed with a weary groan.]
[16:39] <Yanmei> "What was the fuss about, anyway?" Yanmei found a chair to briefly sink into. "Between that Doctor and William… What kind of injuries did that last fight leave you with?"
[16:39] <Minaplo> ["You know dumb Michael breached my plug, right?"]
[16:41] * Yanmei nodded, wincing. "…is it your lungs?"
[16:42] <Minaplo> [She rubbed her chest. "It was a lot of things. I don't think I got it as bad as -you- did though, with Qaphsiel. It was weird. I think I saw the energy start to vanish just after my Plug cracked open. But the air itself was super-heated, and it burned my skin and suit- did you know it actually seared some of the plugsuit rubber onto my skin?"]
[16:47] <Yanmei> "Bastard…. If it was that hot, I'm surprised you're even up at all after that?"
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["I was lucky. According to that pretty-boy Angel Emissary, Michael spared my life?"]
[16:48] <Yanmei> "Spared it…? That's really weird?"
[16:49] <Minaplo> ["That's what I said. Apparently Michael doesn't like killing or something…"]
[16:51] * Yanmei rubbed her forehead tiredly. "I really don't get it? Like, it -kind- of makes sense, because he sent that messenger to us, and he's telling us to evacuate places instead killing everyone living there. But… why?"
[16:52] <Minaplo> [Asuka began to take off her shirt, fumbling about for her pyjamas. Yanmei could see the burn scars on Asuka's chest, the twisted and malformed flesh…-
[16:52] <Minaplo> ["What, why he doesn't like killing, or what?"]
[16:57] <Yanmei> "Well… yeah? It's like it's enacting weird chivalry or something?" She tried not to stare. It made her own skin burn and itch in sympathy. "It's infuriating, almost? Like, 'oh, you guys aren't good enough, so I'll treat you with kid gloves while I take what you're protecting.'"
[16:58] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, you're right." Said Asuka shortly. "It's not like it couldn't have won that fight immediately? Did you see what it did to Unit 05?"]
[16:59] <Yanmei> "I watched the footage of it, yeah. I'm surprised Ikari was able to walk away from it too. But he did. Maybe the Angel was sparing his life too."
[16:59] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. And that Anti-AT Field should've totally tanged Aline and Sera, but it avoided them too…"]
[17:01] <Yanmei> "It'll be his downfall. Unlike him, we can't afford to pull punches? So we'll come back to take him out once and for all."
[17:03] <Minaplo> ["Yeah… But surely he knows that…"]
[17:05] <Yanmei> "So either he's super confident, or he -wants- to get killed."
[17:07] <Minaplo> ["Maybe you should speak to that pretty-boy Emissary."]
[17:08] <Yanmei> "Have you? Personally, I mean?"
[17:09] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, a little."]
[17:11] <Yanmei> "Maybe if I have time I will. He sounds weird."
[17:11] <Minaplo> ["He's easier to speak to than you'd think, but he's pretty weird. He has to eat and everything, so sometimes you can catch him in the cafeteria, but he's been eating less and less there recently."]
[17:14] <Yanmei> "Maybe they're making him take more meals in whatever prison cell they have him in. Well, whatever. If I see him, I'll say…" her teeth grit slightly, "…hello or something."
[17:14] <Minaplo> ["They're keeping him in a normal quarters."]
[17:16] <Yanmei> "What? Seriously?! Didn't they learn anything from that Gamelin stuff?"
[17:17] <Minaplo> ["Tch. I wouldn't worry so much- they've got marines standing outside his door day and night." Said Asuka. "I admit, it's risky, but the Colonel thinks that it'd be rude to keep a diplomat in a cell."]
[17:19] * Yanmei gave her a dubious look and shook her head. "I'll talk to her sometime and see what this is about."
[17:21] <Minaplo> ["You gonna try to throw him into a cell~?"]
[17:22] <Yanmei> "Maybe," she said grimly. "I'm not putting up with another invasion, or whatever it is that Micheal is planning."
[17:23] <Minaplo> ["Hm, you really think it's a trick?"]
[17:27] <Yanmei> "I don't see how that isn't the general consensus around here?"
[17:31] <Minaplo> ["It's a lot of effort to go to for a trick." Said Asuka. "Considering he could've just hit the battleship with that power he used on Unit 05 and killed everyone on the ship…"]
[17:33] <Yanmei> "…" Her gaze sank. If she agreed, it was clear that she didn't want to admit it.
[13:36] <@Minaplo> ["You know…"]
[13:37] <Yanmei> "Hm?"
[13:44] <@Minaplo> ["You could probably go speak to him now if you wanted."]
[13:45] <Yanmei> "Yeah. It's not like I have a party to get back to or anything," she said dryly.
[13:46] <@Minaplo> ["Pfft. I'm not there anymore, so what's the point, even?" Said Asuka, who was trying to sit up again and failing.]
[13:48] <Yanmei> "Well, I could always stay here and dote on you~ It doesn't look like you're able to punch any well-meaning nurses, right now, so…"
[13:49] <@Minaplo> [Asuka gave her a baleful look. "Like I need doting on? Just help me up and into bed, idiot."]
[13:50] * Yanmei snickered, but she moved to her and tried to help her out, supporting her by the arm and shoulders.
[13:53] <@Minaplo> [And after a few minutes, Asuka would be able to pull back the covers and climb in properly.-
[13:54] <@Minaplo> ["Tch. I bet Colonel Amatore's gonna grill you for keeping everyone up so late~"]
[13:58] <Yanmei> "Ha! She was probably going to keep them up late with extra work anyway? I just rescued them, that's all."
[13:58] <@Minaplo> ["Then she's gonna grill you for taking away her worker bees~"]
[14:02] <Yanmei> "She should just join them, then~"
[14:03] <@Minaplo> ["Someone has to be on the bridge." Said Asuka, snorting. "They can't all be down having fun, stealing away your boy…"]
[14:07] <Yanmei> "W-what?" Her eyes widened at the realization, and then narrowed slightly. "Ha. Hah! I don't have anything to worry about. He's totally uninterested in that dumb Katsuragi."
[14:09] <@Minaplo> ["Whoever said anything about Katsuragi?" Said Asuka, the light in her eye dancing maliciously. "That Linden's a cute girl too~"]
[14:11] <Yanmei> "It'll never happen?" she said sourly. "He's nothing like Guillory."
[14:13] <@Minaplo> ["… Tch." Asuka scowled. "Look at you, little Miss Confident. Noselling my jokes…"]
[14:16] <Yanmei> "That's because I have perfect trust in him~ Maybe someday you and your own boytoy will understand."
[14:22] <@Minaplo> [BAM.-
[14:23] <@Minaplo> [That wasn't the sound of anything in particular. It was the metaphorical sound of Asuka beating the metaphorical hunting drum. She smirked, her eye truly gleaming. "Oh, so you admit that Isaiah's a boytoy~?"]
[14:26] * Yanmei twitched. "… I -think- you've misunderstood?"
[14:30] <@Minaplo> ["You said 'your own boytoy', which suggests that you have one too, so you just said that he's your boytoy!"]
[14:34] <Yanmei> "I-I said 'royal boy'. As in royally adorable? You -totally- misunderstood."
[14:35] <@Minaplo> ["So you were calling Alex royally adorable~?"]
[14:37] <Yanmei> "What?! That complete jerkface? He's the -opposite- of adorable!"
[14:38] <@Minaplo> ["But you just called him a royal boy! Or you called him a boytoy, which means Isaiah's your boytoy~" Said Asuka, crowing, folding her arms.-
[14:38] <@Minaplo> ["So either you think Alex is adorable, or you think Isaiah's your boytoy. Which is it~~~~~?"]
[14:46] <Yanmei> "Grrr… you…" She tossed her hair desperately! "I-I don't have time for this? I have a dumb Angel agent to talk to or a party to go to or whatever."
[14:51] <@Minaplo> [She grabbed her mobile phone, still beaming, and flipped it open, starting to punch keys…]
[14:52] <Yanmei> "What?! What are you doing?! I mean… you shouldn't text while you're injured. You'll relapse?"
[14:53] <@Minaplo> [Asuka just kept punching in buttons, smirking~]
[14:53] <Yanmei> Yanmei made a desperate grab for it!
[15:00] <@Minaplo> [Asuka pulled it away! "Ah-ah, what are you doing?"]
[15:03] <Yanmei> "What are -you- doing? Who are you contacting?!" She flailed.
[15:03] <@Minaplo> ["Tch. What are you getting so worked up about?" Asked Asuka, who transferred the phone to her right hand. "I'm totally jealous that you have a boytoy~"]
[15:04] <Yanmei> "I never said that!"
[15:06] <@Minaplo> [Asuka jabbed Yanmei in the chest accusingly. "It's not a bad thing, idiot~"]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "…oh, I get it? You miss having a certain -personal- bedside nurse around~"
[15:13] <@Minaplo> ["Of course I do!" Said Asuka huffily. "It's totally unfair. Besides, he's still not willing to do anything with me, so when you're here pretending you don't have a boytoy, it's mega-insulting, so you'll have to pay."]
[15:18] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah? Like you could make me pay for anything?"
[15:18] <@Minaplo> [Asuka hit the 'send text' button on her phone.]
[15:18] <Yanmei> "W-what did you do?!"
[15:19] <@Minaplo> [Asuka beamed. She rolled over, tucking herself in under the blankets. "I'm sleepy now~"]
[15:21] <Yanmei> "Asukaaaa…."
[15:22] <@Minaplo> ["Don't worry about it~ I'm practically doing you a favour…"]
[15:28] <Yanmei> "…" she eyed her suspiciously, and then stiffened. "Whatever you did, I have to go do damage control for it now? Remember to give Gosselin his hat back."
[15:28] <@Minaplo> ["S'my hat now."]
[15:33] <Yanmei> "I'm sure he'll be thrilled to hear that? Sleep well~"
[15:33] <@Minaplo> ["I will~ You won't~"]
[15:42] <Yanmei> After one last suspicious look, she was in the hall, on her way back to the party.
[15:44] <@Minaplo> [A few other people had arrived to the party, and a few others- including, she noted, Linden and Cornelia- had departed. Isaiah was still there, sitting in a chair, out of the way of the people who were on the fighting game.]
[15:46] <Yanmei> Alone and unsmooched. But what of Asuka's text? "Isaiah~"
[15:53] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, hey!" He said, turning with a smile- and a blush.]
[15:56] <Yanmei> "Miss me? Sorry I was gone so long."
[16:07] <@Minaplo> ["Mmhmm." He said, a little shyly.]
[16:10] <Yanmei> "Hmmm?" Suspicious. "Hey. Did you just get a weird text from Asuka?"
[16:18] <@Minaplo> ["I, uh… Yes?"]
[16:18] * Yanmei held her hand out expectantly. "Phone?"
[16:30] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, er…" He held it out bashfully.]
[16:32] <Yanmei> "Really," she sighed, peering down at it. "If it's coming from her, you should know to take it with a grain of salt? She's just as sneaky as Major Katsuragi…"
[16:41] <Yanmei> "…" -
[16:42] <Yanmei> Now it was Yanmei's turn to blush. She shut the phone and handed it back over with as much dignity as she could muster. -
[16:45] <Yanmei> "Not that I'd mind heading back to our room either? We didn't exactly get much rest before getting up for this tournament thing?"
[16:52] <@Minaplo> ["W-Well, I… I mean, sure."]
[16:54] <Yanmei> "Great!" She took his arm and led the way. "What do you think? A few hours should do it?"
[17:00] <@Minaplo> ["I hope so." He said fervently, allowing himself to be led.-
[17:01] <@Minaplo> [As they approached the door, of course, Yanmei would hear the faint call of "Isaiah-kuuun~" floating towards them…]
[17:02] <Yanmei> "Tch." But she plastered a small smile on as Misato called to them. Why hadn't she passed out yet?
[17:04] <@Minaplo> [Because Misato.-
[17:05] <@Minaplo> [But Misato, beaming, clapped her hands as she caught up. Mercifully, she was quick. "Don't forget that you're supposed to go talk to Shinji-kun, tomorrow, alright?"-
[17:05] <@Minaplo> ["I… Er, I won't."-
[17:05] <@Minaplo> ["Ok. Good night~"]
[17:11] <Yanmei> "Goodnight, Major~" Yanmei pulled him firmly onward.
[17:19] <@Minaplo> [And Isaiah let himself be pulled.-
[17:19] <@Minaplo> ["S-So… How was Asuka?"]
[17:20] <Yanmei> "Injured and sleeping? She won't be bouncing back for some time either."-
[17:21] <Yanmei> "…you promised to visit Ikari tomorrow?"
[17:21] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah."]
[17:22] * Yanmei nodded. "By yourself, or with company?"
[17:22] <@Minaplo> ["Myself. Apparently he's really upset about… About the idea of piloting… I wanted to see if I could help."]
[17:26] <Yanmei> "Well, best of luck." She sighed. "Looks like I'll be finding something to do by myself tomorrow."
[17:29] <@Minaplo> ["W-Well."-
[17:29] <@Minaplo> ["I… I mean, er… I can try to make it up to you…"]
[17:31] <Yanmei> "I'm sure you can~"
[17:32] <@Minaplo> [Isaiah turned scarlet, and meekly went along with it.-
[17:32] <@Minaplo> [Perhaps Asuka was right?]

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