Cherry Blossom Procession 4 1 20

(13:38:21) <Sept> A lot of new and exciting projects had sprung up in Technical because of the recent developments. Great strides were being made as to the nature of the Evangelion, Angels, piloting and all manner of AT magic.-
(13:41:02) <Sept> And Sera didn't have any kind of part in it. They needed him piloting again, and to be useful, he would've had to pull at least three all-nighters to study and catch up to the newest theories. So now he was just emptying his desk, sorting his papers into piles (the vast majority going in the shredder).
(13:45:00) <Yanmei> Eventually, he would be interrupted by the buzzer to the door to the office he was in.
(13:47:44) <Minaplo> ["Someone at the door, Sera." Said Maya, not looking up. She was nibbling on a chocolate bunny, which had arrived with yet another hamper this morning.]
(13:49:59) <Sept> "Mhm." Sera didn't turn around, but an invisible finger reached out and hit the panel. The door slid open gracefully.
(13:55:45) * Yanmei stood in the doorway dressed in her regular uniform, primly clasping a tablet filled with Very Important Things to her chest. As this was her first visit to this particular office, she peered around curiously for a moment or two before stepping past the threshold. "Hello everyone~"
(13:59:35) <Minaplo> [Maya shot to her feet. "G-Good morning, Chancellor!" She chirped, throwing in a sharp salute.]
(13:59:57) <Sept> "Oh! Hey!" Sera spun around, shoving the last stack of papers haphazardly onto the not inconsiderable shred pile and leaned back on the side of the desk, almost as if hiding it.-
(14:00:17) <Sept> "Maya, could we have the office for a moment?"
(14:03:05) <Minaplo> ["Uh, oh, sure. Yes, sir. Ma'am." Said Maya, marching out of the office.]
(14:07:36) * Yanmei smiled and waved goodbye as she went. And once she was out of earshot… "Strange. She seems a bit tense, doesn't she?"
(14:09:08) <Sept> "Mm. She is a bit," Sera nodded. "Help yourself to her secret admirer's chocolates if you want? She gets a ton of them."
(14:11:58) * Yanmei blinked at Maya's desk where the evidence of this secret love remained, and promptly went over for an inspection. "Hmmm. This is curious? Why would Akagi suddenly start sending her chocolates? I'm assuming it's Akagi, by the way."
(14:12:31) <Sept> "Why?"
(14:16:49) <Yanmei> "Because it makes sense? A forbidden romance that can't blossom openly because of workplace conventions. Although I suppose that could apply to quite a few people…" She eyed Sera himself thoughtfully.
(14:18:51) <Sept> Sera gave her a moment before his retort. "Would I point it out if it was me?"
(14:24:08) <Yanmei> "Maybe. If you wanted to throw me off the trail, that would be a great way to do it?"
(14:27:05) <Sept> "Yeah, you're right," Sera admitted. "You could also just ask me, but that doesn't seem like you."
(14:35:59) <Yanmei> "Hmph. All right." She tossed her hair. "Are you the secret admirer?"
(14:38:52) <Sept> "Hehe, curiosity. I like her, but no. You can still have the sport of figuring it out. Did you mean Ritsuko or Tsubaki?"
(14:39:39) <Yanmei> "Ritsuko, of course."
(14:42:03) <Sept> "Riiight. I get it."
(14:45:50) <Yanmei> "I bet Tsubaki knows all about it, though." Yanmei smirked. "She can see everything. Everything~~"
(14:49:17) <Sept> "Uh huh. It's a good thing no one has anything to hide here," Sera smiled. "I guess you never managed a satisfactory deal with her? To stop her snooping around?"
(14:52:27) <Yanmei> "Yeah. We gave her a lot of distractions, but we couldn't stop her if she was absolutely determined to snoop."
(15:01:32) <Sept> "She couldn't do that in Japan, though. I heard you disappeared somewhere during the reception."
(15:05:22) <Yanmei> "Just went out in the garden a little to have a chat with someone. It's not that big a deal?"
(15:06:20) <Sept> "Cool. Is everything else alright?"
(15:11:38) <Yanmei> "Yes and no. Everyone's still pissed after today's meeting? Especially Katsuragi."
(15:19:54) <Sept> Sera's brow furrowed at the mention, his hands gripping the edge of the desk behind him. "I noticed. I resent that you made such a public stand for this new guy and not me. That attitude among your officers has to go, but if he's worth it, this is a step forwards."
(15:28:46) <Yanmei> "Excuse me? I've been bitched out plenty of times for defending you. Just because you're not around to see it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. And he is worth it. He'd better be after the trouble I went through to find him."
(15:33:22) <Sept> "Alright," Sera shrugged with a sympathetic look. "I'm not satisfied yet, so I'm working at being accepted, too. Are you sticking to the story you gave us in the meeting? Did he really know Dorian?"
(15:36:18) <Yanmei> "Everything I said in the meeting was true. He really did work with Dorian. He… met Elisha and Mary Caine too. Before Impact."
(15:36:57) <Sept> "How?"
(15:40:33) * Yanmei sighed, and sat on the edge of Maya's desk. "Do you know much about the Shangri-La settlement?"
(15:43:42) <Sept> "Maybe a little. Assume I know nothing."
(15:50:08) <Yanmei> "Before Impact, A-types from all over the world settled in Shangri-La, which was this quiet mountain village in China. They all had special abilities back then, so this place was kind of like a refuge from persecution and a place for them to learn how to manage those abilities constructively. We already know a couple of people who lived there. Von Brandt was one of them. So was Serafina
(15:50:09) <Yanmei> Raskova. And so was Kourosh, although he was much younger than those two at the time. Just a little kid."
(15:51:14) <Sept> "How old is he now…?"
(15:55:18) <Yanmei> "Late twenties." She smirked. "I know, right? He's a total shrimp."
(15:57:25) <Sept> "Hehe. So that's where they met?"
(16:00:49) <Yanmei> "Yes. For some reason - I haven't been able to pry details from him yet - Mary and Elisha showed up in Shangri-La one day. Kourosh and Elisha didn't get along at all. But he liked Mary well enough."
(16:05:10) <Sept> "Seems likely. If he's not forthcoming with the details, I can help verify it. But it'd be easier if he just cooperates."
(16:06:30) <Yanmei> "Yeah. He promised that he'd explain more later. I think at the time he just wasn't in the mood to go into it."
(16:09:38) <Sept> "Alright. Would it be a problem if I talked to him about it?"
(16:10:37) <Yanmei> "Feel free. There are a few more things you should know if you're going to do that."
(16:12:00) <Sept> "What kind of things?"
(16:17:15) <Yanmei> "The first thing is that Shangri-La no longer exists? It - and the people living in it - were left defenseless after Impact, and it was violently wiped out by Russian forces. It looks like the few survivors were taken by the military and made into soldiers - although Von Brandt seems to be the one exception that I know about." -
(16:18:04) <Yanmei> "The second thing is that he… blames Elisha for Second Impact and probably its effects on his childhood."
(16:22:04) <Sept> "For Impact? On what grounds?"
(16:34:47) <Yanmei> "Erm. So. Elisha had abilities too. Pretty impressive ones? Like the ability to toy with chance. Brute force certain situations into existence that were advantageous to him, no matter how unlikely they were. Kourosh thinks that his fixation on physically unearthing Lilith led him to do… something that caused earthquakes big enough to do that. And the only earthquakes we've had in
(16:34:48) <Yanmei> recent years that were big enough to do that were the ones that happened during impact."
(16:37:24) <Sept> "…"-
(16:37:51) <Sept> "That's quite serious," said Sera after a long pause.
(16:40:19) <Yanmei> "It is. I still need to talk to 04 about it. See if it actually happened that way."
(16:41:55) <Sept> "Good. I'll have a long talk with myself to see what the hell I'll do if it's true…"
(16:44:41) <Yanmei> "Yeah. Let's keep it quiet too, for now. As far as I know, there are just a handful of people who know about it now. You, me, Kourosh, Isaiah, Hachi, Asuka and Go. Maybe Fontaine. I haven't asked her yet either."
(16:49:11) <Sept> "Yeah, I get it. I'll keep it safe." His tone had a sour note to it.
(16:56:23) <Yanmei> "Thank you. Kourosh implied that Elisha's plan is to redeem himself as well as humanity somehow. He. Ah. Kourosh's ability has weakened a lot, but it's not completely gone. You'd probably find it pretty interesting."
(16:58:13) <Sept> "Ah?" Sera raised his head to look across the room at Yanmei again.
(17:05:06) <Yanmei> "Before impact, it was basically his job to predict where and when thousands of ancestral souls would be born? So he knows a lot about our past lives, and he can also run scenarios in his head that let him predict ways we'll react to something based on what he knows about our behavior and personalities."
(17:06:53) <Sept> "He's a computer person," Sera summarized. "That is interesting!"
(17:10:27) <Yanmei> "See?" she smiled. "Even if he doesn't turn out to be a great military leader, he's still a huge asset."
(17:12:56) <Sept> "Hahaha! You should've told Misato that!"
(17:17:43) <Yanmei> "Hmph. Don't underestimate how unreasonable she can be!"
(17:18:20) <Sept> "Oh, but I wouldn't. She's going out with Guillory, after all."
(17:28:45) <Yanmei> "Hah! Good one. I take it you guys aren't getting along so well these days?"
(17:32:40) <Sept> "Oh, not at all. He's got beefs with me in the past, me now, that thing with Rei, probably Caines in general," Sera counted them off with his fingers, "but I don't know what kind of crap the Ikaris have been feeding him. Too much beef for one man with rationing in effect."-
(17:33:06) <Sept> "All pretty much justified, of course."
(17:36:10) <Yanmei> "Justified, huh…? Do you want me to talk to him about all this?"
(17:42:42) <Sept> "I don't know if that's necessary," he said, shaking his head. "He's taking care of the Ayanamis, and I'm sure we can work together if we need to."
(17:49:16) <Yanmei> "…alright. I'll leave it between you two, then?"
(17:50:50) <Sept> "Yeah, that's alright. It's not harming either of us."
(17:54:51) <Yanmei> "Speaking of Ikaris, though…" she looked a little uncomfortable. "If all goes well with Guillory's latest mission, we might be getting a new one."
(17:55:15) <Sept> "Um. Why?"
(17:58:00) <Yanmei> "Because he's trying to track down Dr. Ikari's father to keep him from being captured by the UN. The crafty old guy's been completely off the grid for months, so it's going to be a complete pain to find him? But he might have a lot of information we could use. Like details about the earliest Eva projects and such."
(18:02:15) <Sept> "Oh, you meant an old one. I hope he's found, then. Possible lead to the Eternity Drive?"
(18:03:52) <Yanmei> "That's what we're hoping."
(18:08:20) <Sept> "Huh. That would be great! Who's going with him?"
(18:09:16) <Yanmei> "Ikari. That is, Shinji. Also San, and Surov for some reason."
(18:10:11) <Sept> "Well, that's… some kind of team. I'm sure they thought it through. Hope for the best," he repeated.
(18:12:51) <Yanmei> "Yeah. If it pays off, you'll have another person around who can talk science with. Seems like those Eva studies you were involved in were pretty fruitful?"
(18:16:57) * Sept nodded enthusiastically and smiled.-
(18:18:47) <Sept> "I don't know what kind of credit I can take, but I'm so, so glad it wasn't a waste of time. It's like I was provably right for once."-
(18:19:41) <Sept> "I'm not saying we haven't been played with something or other that'll try to destroy us, but there's real, undeniable progress that we made."
(18:29:01) <Yanmei> "Agreed. Of course, if you want to look into some other additional projects in the future, I think that's probably something we can do."
(18:32:51) <Sept> "That might be fun. Thanks."
(18:36:24) * Yanmei nodded and pushed away from the desk… although not before snagging a little chocolate for herself. "Alright. I'm going to go ahead and leave you to finish your present work. I've got a few more people to see today. We'll catch up again later, ok?"
(18:39:51) * Sept stood up straight in front of his desk, too, fiddling with his glasses a bit. "Yep. Take care out there."
(18:42:16) * Yanmei gave him one last smile and a nod, and then made her way from the room.
(18:45:13) * Sept turned back to his desk in silence, and immediately broke that silence with the grinding and scrunching of the shredder.

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