Blue S Ruse

06[08:11] * Yanmei stared at the entrance to Heaven's Purview for a good long while. It felt like ages since her last visit. -
01[08:15] <Yanmei> There didn't seem to be much surface damage despite the last Angel battle, but the windows were all dark. The neon sign above the entrance had been switched off. All around them, the streets and alleys of Paris-2 were silent. -
01[08:22] <Yanmei> It depressed her, but it set her on edge, too. She periodically reached to touch the bolter holstered at her side and shifted uncomfortably. She and her companions had tried the back door first, but that hadn't worked. Now, she was trying to peer into one of the front windows of the place, to catch a glimpse of anything that might be inside.
[08:23] <Minaplo> [The window was too dusty and grimy for her to get a proper look in.]
06[08:27] * Sept followed quietly, incognito as he was. He was actively fighting his anxieties with both hands — with a cigarette in his left for psychological comfort, and the bladed monstrosity of the power claw in his right. For an entirely different kind of comfort.
[08:28] <Minaplo> [And last was William, wearing his long coat and almost certainly armed to the teeth.]
06[08:29] * Yanmei cursed under her breath in Chinese. She pulled out her phone and peered at the message that had asked her to come here. The specified time was perfectly correct. "We wait five minutes, and then we leave," she muttered to them quietly.
[08:36] <Sept> "Right." Sera continued to glance around nervously.
[08:38] <Minaplo> ["Are we waiting inside or what?" Asked William.]
06[08:39] * Yanmei tried the doorknob, just in case.
[08:42] <Minaplo> [Unlocked…]
01[08:45] <Yanmei> "Looks like we're waiting inside, then?" She drew her bolter, nodding to the other two before pushing the door open wider, and slipping in.
06[08:49] * Sept , a bit reluctantly, put out his cigarette on the sidewalk, and headed in. Abandoned housing and fires didn't mix.
[08:51] <Minaplo> [There was a -whump- as a small flame was lit in the corner of the room. A match. It hung in the air, then was brought down to illuminate a gas lamp. The lamp filled with flame, suddenly making the room that much easier to see.-
[08:54] <Minaplo> [Sitting on a table, one leg hanging over the side, the other spread to his right, wearing his trademark coat and hat (both dusty), his left wrist bandaged up, was Mr. Blue, his jasper blue eyes catching the flame. "Yo!"]
06[08:54] * Yanmei snapped her bolter forward at once, taking aim. "You!"
[08:55] <Sept> "Oh, fuck you too, then." Sera got to work on digging out and lighting another cigarette.
[08:58] <Minaplo> [William stiffened, and reached a hand into his coat.-
[08:58] <Minaplo> ["Ah-ah-ah. No weapons. This is a safe space." Said Mr. Blue. He smiled maliciously and pointed at the floor.-
[08:59] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would see, now, the trail of liquid dashed across the ground and up the walls…-
[08:59] <Minaplo> ["Trigger warning: combustibles."]
01[09:02] <Yanmei> That made her give pause, but only for a moment. "No -firearms-, then." She reached for Excalibur with her other hand. "What do you want?"
[09:02] <Minaplo> ["Man. I just wanted to talk."-
[09:02] <Sept> Sera's lighter clicked futilely a few more times after hearing that before he stowed it back away, spitting the cigarette away. "Likewe'reafraidofalittlefire," he mumbled.
[09:04] <Minaplo> ["Fire ain't bad, no." Said Mr. Blue, with a grin. "Close neighbourhood like this, it'll probably wipe out a block or two afore it guts itself, but…"-
[09:04] <Minaplo> ["Oi, you." He pointed a finger rudely at Yanmei. "You could start with a Thank You, Mr. Blue."]
[09:10] <Sept> "Why's that?"
[09:10] <Minaplo> ["Cuz I saved her life, duh."]
01[09:11] <Yanmei> "Tch. He -might- have helped out right before that last battle in the Geofront. And I'm already showing my gratitude by not attacking you? No one's forgotten that business with the Perrinos, you know."
[09:12] <Minaplo> ["Uhh, what business would that be? The business where you guys wiped out a gang of mobsters, and I took the boss's kid to safety, or would this be the business where I let you take the boss himself down as I busted out?"-
[09:12] <Minaplo> ["In either case, I sincerely apologise for not getting in your way at all." He said sarcastically.]
[09:16] <Sept> "So why'd you do that, then? Warm fuzzies?"
[09:20] <Minaplo> ["Well yeah, obv." He shook his head wryly. "I don't exactly think seein' Zhang Yanmei die is in most peoples' interests. Especially during a Children of Adam invasion that she was tryin' to stop."]
01[09:26] <Yanmei> "Heartwarming." she said dryly. "But you're playing dumb? We know you were the one who put the mafia up to that kidnapping business in the first place. Why? What's your deal?"
[09:28] <Minaplo> ["I had a few goals…" He smirked. "But first you have to say thank you."]
[09:33] <Sept> "…"
06[09:35] * Yanmei fumed for a few long moments. "-Fine-. Thank you for the super gross, annoying and above all unnamed deeds you performed in the interest of not seeing a world without Zhang Yanmei. Now what are you planning?"
[09:36] <Minaplo> [He put a hand against one side of his mouth, as if to tell a whisper to Sera. "I made her drink my blood. Don't tell her I told you, though."-
[09:37] <Minaplo> ["Ok, you wanna know what I'm planning? As in what my actual active goal is? To somehow speak to Rei Ayanami and swear to her my eternal fealty, is that good enough for you?"]
06[09:41] * Sept scoffed at that, a shiver running down his spine. "That's another thing we don't know. What are you? Or more specifically, what did they do to you?"
01[09:42] <Yanmei> -Bastard-. Yanmei grit her teeth in silent fury… and very shortly after, confusion.
[09:42] <Minaplo> ["Nanomachines, son."]
01[09:44] <Yanmei> "Why Rei? You kidnapped her boyfriend! You're lucky she didn't kill you?"
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["Well yeah, you've sorta answered your own question."-
[09:46] <Minaplo> ["Girl thinks you kidnapped her beloved one-and-only, and she seeks you out and doesn't kill you because it just ain't in her nature? That's the kinda person I wanna give my life to! Too many people just think they can justify killin', y'know? Nothin' justifies killin', and that she knows that… Warms the heart." He patted his chest.]
06[09:47] * Sept rested his right arm by setting the clawed hand on a table with a thunk. "Working for Vercingetorix?"
[09:48] <Minaplo> ["No? I just said Rei Ayanami. That's like, the opposite of a weirdo Darth Vader guy."]
06[09:51] * Sept had a nasty twitch on one of his eyebrows. "And you think Rei's independent of him?"
[09:52] <Minaplo> ["Yep."]
01[09:54] <Yanmei> "Why do you know so much?" Yanmei was staring at him with flat irritation now. "How do you even know who Vercingetorix is?"
[09:55] <Minaplo> ["Cuz I'm really really smart, and I have a friend who graduated from the Companion Program School of Absurd Overspeccing with a Major in omniscience."]
[09:57] <Sept> "Screw you. No way it's just you and her managing this."
[09:57] <Minaplo> ["It's a boy, actually. It's ok, I make the same mistake myself sometimes."]
06[09:59] * Sept said nothing, just breathing heavily. He took a sideways glance at Will and Yanmei.
[10:00] <Minaplo> [William had been silent this entire time, but his jaw was clenched shut, his right fist clenched in fury, shaking at his side.]
01[10:01] <Yanmei> "Uh huh. Did this friend happen to tell you how unlikely it is that we're going to just whisk you off to our giant floating base to see Rei in person?"
[10:01] <Minaplo> ["He did, actually, several times. That's ok, I'm happy for her to come to me."]
01[10:04] <Yanmei> "Don't think you can get the drop on her the way you did last time."
[10:05] <Minaplo> ["You mean, my patented sit-still-and-let-her-come-to-me-and-do-nothing strategy? Yeah, God forbid, huh?"]
01[10:06] <Yanmei> "I'm -referring- to the time your goons shot her up, broke a few of her bones, and made off with her boyfriend. -Clearly- you took her by surprise, which is an advantage you won't have this time."
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["You know I killed the guy who orchestrated that?"-
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["Blew up his car and everything. I was actually pretty pissed about it all."]
[10:09] <Sept> "We're going in circles." Sera ran a mechanical hand through his hair and sighed. "We -have- time. If you want to talk, you can start with telling her everything from the beginning. Convince us."
[10:11] <Minaplo> ["… I've been talking since you fucks got in, Jesus, he's so demanding, how do you put up with him?" He asked Yanmei.]
01[10:15] <Yanmei> "Go with it? We still barely know anything. Why the mafia, and why the kidnappings?"
[10:15] <Minaplo> [Mr. Blue shook his head theatrically.-
[10:16] <Minaplo> ["The Mafia first, alright. Let's get one thing straight- my goal from the start was that I would either be working for Miss Ayanami, or I would be dead. Got it?"]
06[10:18] * Yanmei nodded once, briskly. She hadn't relaxed her body for a moment since coming in here, and that trend very much continued.
[10:19] <Sept> "I meant further back. Tell us about the Order."
[10:20] <Minaplo> [Mr. Blue barely seemed to move, yet the lamp nearly toppled over before steadying itself.-
[10:20] <Minaplo> ["Nope."]
[10:21] <Sept> "Then we're at something of a difficult situation."
[10:22] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Here I am, trying to give you all this information, and here you are actively makin' everyone's job worse. So you can either be quiet and I'll answer Zhang's questions, or you can keep making noise and then I'll have to through the trouble of kickin' your asses, tying Zhang up, -then- telling her all this shit and letting her go, and I just don't really feel up to that, y'know?"]
06[10:32] * Sept turned to look at Yanmei, frustration plain on his face as he gestured toward Blue. "And whatever enemies he still has from his past aren't going to come haunt Rei or us? -Everything- has to be on the table for this deal to work."
[10:33] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, because having powerful enemies isn't something you're used to or anything…"]
06[10:35] * Yanmei was frowning deeply. "Do you have them? Powerful enemies. Besides, well, us, that is."
[10:36] <Minaplo> ["… I saved your life and now I'm yo- no, no, don't get mad, don't get mad." He bowed his head- he seemed to be muttering to himself. "It's not her fault she thinks like Caine, not her fault, not her fault, mental rewind in three, two, one…"-
[10:37] <Minaplo> [He lifted his head, and it was as though it hadn't even happened. "Of course I do. I've been fucking with the Caine family since before you could do your times tables."]
01[10:43] <Yanmei> -Thinks like Caine-. The words rattled around in her head like little invisible hand grenades. It was a few seconds before his proper answer even registered beneath the outrage. -
01[10:45] <Yanmei> "Doing what? You're saying that your enemy right now is Mary Caine?"
[10:47] <Minaplo> [Mr. Blue made an exasperated, pained look. "Yeeeeees."]
[10:50] <Sept> "You would've got the nanomachines while working for her."
[10:53] <Minaplo> ["Yeah? That basically goes for literally every Neospartan you know as well, substituting nanomachines for gene therapy."]
[10:58] <Sept> "And we already know about -their- triggers, and know Azariah and Mary can use them to their advantage. You crossed Mary. What went wrong? -Why- are you still alive and free?"
[11:00] <Minaplo> ["Cuz I'm just that good, motherfucker."-
[11:01] <Minaplo> ["Now, Yannie-Yanmei, do you want to hear about the mafia crap, or what?"]
01[11:04] <Yanmei> "Fine. You left Caine, joined the LN, got captured, broke free, and then ended up with the mafia. How and why? Also, never call me that."
[11:05] <Minaplo> ["Whatever. Ok. As I was saying, my end goal was either join Rei Ayanami, or die. But in doing so I also wanted to take care of a few things. I had four goals- destroy the Children of Adam, reduce any allies they or SEELE might have in the criminal element, acquire resources for myself, and to make sure that Miss Rei-Rei was the person I thought she was."]
06[11:13] * Yanmei was frowning, eyes narrowing. "Now it begins to make sense? I don't know how you could have taken care of the Children of Adam with just the mafia, but you put yourself in a position to reach those other goals with your little takeover. Rei… you were, what, testing her?"
[11:13] <Sept> "…" Sera let go of his line of questioning, leaned back against the table and looked at William at length.
[11:14] <Minaplo> [William had turned his back on the conversation, his arms folded, sitting at one of the chairs, staring lasers at the opposite seat.-
[11:16] <Minaplo> ["Yup." Said Mr. Blue. "I wasn't gonna try to take out the -whole- Children of Adam group with just my Mafia punks, but if I controlled the gun trade, I could limit their access to dakka, and I could weaken and harass them so that when they hit NERV, they'd go down."-
[11:17] <Minaplo> ["As for Rei? I needed to know that Rei was the sort of person who would treat 'killing' the same way a normal person would treat walking through walls or flying. She had to be someone who believed that no one deserves to die. People like that, they're super fuckin' rare, but they're also the only way to save this dumb race of ours. They're better than monsters like you or me, Yanmei."]
01[11:24] <Yanmei> "I am -not- a monster," she said firm conviction. "It's just that Rei is exceptionally moral." -
[11:25] <Minaplo> ["Did you ever stop and think 'bout those mobsters you killed in the ghost station? Or did you forget about them the moment you climbed up that ladder?" Asked Blue, cutting in.]
01[11:30] <Yanmei> "That's not even close to fair? We didn't gun them down in cold blood. We were protecting ourselves!"
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["You couldn't have escaped? Avoided them? Non-lethal tactics? It wasn't even close to fair, it's true- they had no idea what they were getting into. You had plenty of options. You chose to kill them, and you didn't even think about it. And you still don't think about it."]
[11:31] <Sept> "Language barrier. We call those 'heroes'," Sera said, sounding incredibly not committed to lightening the mood.
[11:32] <Minaplo> ["Course you do, you speak Caine."]
01[11:34] <Yanmei> "What does that even mean?" she said bitterly.
[11:35] <Minaplo> ["He speaks Caine. Caine Logic, you know. To take someone who kills and call 'em a hero- that's exactly what Caine does. Caine thinks like that. It's how they've got the world playing along."-
[11:36] <Minaplo> ["But forget that. Answer me."]
01[11:42] <Yanmei> There was no need for posturing here. She folded her arms. "I may not have been an LN merc, but I've had to kill quite a lot. You stop thinking about those things after a while." she said coolly. "I'm working on it. It's just taking time, and I'm not very good at it yet."
[11:45] <Minaplo> ["That's good, but it's a bit late for those guys, huh?" Murmured Mr. Blue. "And I'll give you a nice juicy push- it ain't gonna help their families much either. You left behind widows, you know. And you left behind kids."-
[11:46] <Minaplo> ["So don't say you're not a monster, because you caused that, and you didn't even give a second's thought to the fact that you'd just turned a day into the worst day of a bunch of peoples' lives."]
[11:47] <Sept> "Agreed," Sera said with a nod, without looking towards Blue.
01[11:55] <Yanmei> "Thanks for the lecture," she said sourly. "You still haven't explained why we had to be involved in the first place? You could have just focused on grabbing her boyfriend from the beginning, and left us out of it?"
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["I didn't actually -personally- involve you." Said Mr. Blue. "It's not like I ever attacked you personally. It basically goes like this: I had to get the Mafia leaders on my side, but to do that I had to go with the most outrageous plan possible, first so they'd notice, and second so I could get my foot in and convince 'em it'd work. It wouldn't be enough to suggest kidnappin' any old
[12:00] <Minaplo> pilot. I had to suggest they'd go for one of the Big Three. And once they agreed on that, I could whittle 'em down to going after Rei and Tuxedo Molotov after they took a few blows."]
06[12:02] * Yanmei stared at him, clearly unimpressed.
[12:02] <Minaplo> ["What?"]
01[12:05] <Yanmei> "Convincing them to go after one of the Big Three doesn't count as 'personally involving' us."
[12:07] <Minaplo> ["Nope. You weren't ever in any real danger." Said Mr. Blue calmly.]
06[12:08] * Yanmei groaned under her breath. "De Pteres? William? Do you have any more questions for this guy?"
[12:09] <Minaplo> [William grunted.]
[12:11] <Sept> "Well," Sera said with an insincere smile. "That depends. If you're adamant on not letting him near Rei, any potential problems won't matter."
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["Uh, I… Should probably note I never actually asked. About the Rei thing. I can get to speak to her without you guys." Said Mr. Blue casually. "I mean, if you wanna help, that's be great, but yeah, that really wasn't… A thing."]
01[12:15] <Yanmei> "Then why are we even here?"
[12:16] <Minaplo> ["… So I could give you information, dumbass! Jesus, I'm lucky my nanomachines keep me in perfect health, because otherwise I'd be afraid of catching stupid off you."]
[12:19] <Sept> "Oh, yeah, and now that you've told us, we're left with no recourse and no one's going to escalate this to extremes because of unresolved feuds, right?" Sera stood up straight and pointed his gauntlet at Blue. "You bringing your baggage here and aligning yourself with Rei risks whatever little fucking cohesion remains in this faction!"
[12:19] <Minaplo> ["Oh fuck off, Caineboy. No one cares."]
[12:21] <Sept> "You preach to her and then refuse to take responsibility for your own actions? Fuck -you-, Jesiah!"
[12:22] <Minaplo> ["You're gabbling, son." Said Mr. Blue, shaking his head. "Seriously- no one cares what you think. Yanmei doesn't. I don't. The schoolboy back there doesn't. You're definitely wrong about me taking responsibility. If anyone's trying to ruin cohesion, it's you."]
06[12:25] * Sept exhaled sharply and took a step back, making a sort of shrugging gesture with his hands. "That'll be all, thank you," he said.
[12:27] <Minaplo> ["Not actually finished." He turned back to Yanmei. "Got some fun news for you, yes I do."]
06[12:28] * Yanmei pulled her stare away from Sera and eyed him warily. "And what might that be?" she said warily.
[12:29] <Minaplo> ["One sec, I got something for schoolboy. Oi, you!"-
[12:29] <Minaplo> ["Don't." Snapped William, getting to his feet, his teeth gritting together. "You're lucky you're not d-"-
[12:29] <Minaplo> [And that's when a box of condoms smacked William in the face.-
[12:29] <Minaplo> ["Walpurgis Night's in town." Said Mr. Blue coolly.-
[12:30] <Minaplo> ["Wh- you-" William flailed, catching the box through sheer luck- then tossed the box away in anger.]
01[12:32] <Yanmei> "What." Yanmei stared. "William, what is he talking about?"
[12:35] <Minaplo> ["It doesn't ma-"-
[12:37] <Minaplo> ["Walpurgis Night. Elite Nigerian mercenaries. They're called that 'cuz they're all girls- a gathering of witches." Mr. Blue winked. "Their leader done made a man out of our Schoolboy here, and our Schoolboy done made a lady out of her, yes he did, yeehaw. More importantly- you may have heard or not, but Caine's queued up another three Evas. These Walpurgis gals are gonna be the pilots."]
01[12:43] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyebrows rose sky high. That was… a lot to take in. She latched on to what was important. "The new recruits, hm? William, we'll need to talk later, ok?"
[12:44] <Minaplo> ["…" William glowered most magnificently.-
[12:45] <Minaplo> ["I'm not sure why, though." Said Mr. Blue contemplatively. "They're deffo good at their shit, and they work well together, but there's no reason to pick 'em over just about anyone else. But be careful around 'em. They're one of those types that are real fuckin' dangerous at all times. If you meet 'em, don't underestimate 'em."-
[12:46] <Minaplo> ["Aaand now I'm gonna need a private word with Yanmei."]
01[12:47] <Yanmei> "Why private?" her suspicions immediately flared up.
[12:48] <Minaplo> ["Because I don't trust the other two to hear this, to be blunt. Your ears only."]
06[12:51] * Sept lifted up his hands, though not caring was the one thing his expression was not communicating. "Entirely fair," he spat. "Long as you think you're safe."
[12:55] <Minaplo> ["Fine, whatever." William scooped up the box at his feet, punting it through the still-open door before he left.]
01[12:55] <Yanmei> "Safe. Hah. Please don't go far. Give me three minutes exactly, okay?"
03[12:58] * ZackSleep is now known as Zack
[12:58] <Sept> "Already counting. Stay close to the door." And he left as well.
[12:59] <Minaplo> [Mr. Blue shook his head. "Doctor Claw back there called me 'Jesiah'. Ring a bell?"]
06[13:01] * Yanmei stared blankly and shook her head.
[13:03] <Minaplo> ["It's what I used to be called as a kid, waaaay back in the mists of space and time, y'know." He smirked, but then his expression became serious. "Very few people knew of that boy Jesiah. And even less could match that name to me. One of those few few people is Mary Caine herself."-
[13:03] <Minaplo> ["Tell me, why the fuck would Mary Caine be telling Darth Vader about me?"]
06[13:09] * Yanmei looked perturbed. "I don't know what she tells him and why? I can make two guesses. The first is that she's setting him up for something. Spreading misinformation that will be to our detriment later on. -
01[13:10] <Yanmei> "The second is." She paused, frowning at him. "No. Why don't you just -tell- me."
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["… Man, erm." He thought.-
[13:12] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, ok. The other reason is that he's working for her and she told him about me 'cuz she knew I'd be fucking around with her shit, y'know?"]
01[13:16] <Yanmei> "Well, I can't say I'd be surprised?" She folded her arms. "So. Are you going to warn me not to trust him so much?"
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["Nope. You can do whatever the fuck you want with my information." Said Mr. Blue. "You should be smart enough to handle it."-
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["Now you should probably be going. I need to work on making Rei Ayanami the head of Western Europe's criminal underworld."]
01[13:19] <Yanmei> "I'm sure she'll be thrilled," she muttered. "If we meet again, you'll tell me how you knew how to contact me."
[13:19] <Minaplo> ["Oh shit, right." He tossed something small to her.]
06[13:20] * Yanmei caught it, barely, blinking down at it.
[13:21] <Minaplo> [It was an acrylic ID card, featuring a photo of Batman. On the side was a contact number…-
[13:22] <Minaplo> [But Yanmei would barely have time to read it before the gas lamp went out, plunging the room into darkness. But even through the gloom Yanmei would realise that Mr. Blue had gone.]

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