Cherry Blossom Procession 4 1b

[02:19] <AdEvaGM> [Within a few minutes, the Federation guests would be led to a large audience hall; a long, wide space of fine wooden floors and a light, airy feeling. The sun shone through open doors and windows, gleaming off the myriad wine glasses that had been laid out on ornate wooden tables for the benefit of the guests.]
[02:28] * Sept took the opportunity to stretch out his arms as he lagged behind the rest of the group, resisting the temptation to beeline for the wine.
[02:33] <Vera> » Vera was around, and seemed both uncertain what some of the fuss was about the UN delegation - as much as she /knew/ the source of the obnoxious creepy crawly feelings was Mary Caine - and… relieved to no longer be smushed up against Kuzmin. Instead, she was carefully guarding what wine the Brazilian delegation was near.
[02:34] <AdEvaGM> [No need for that; Rosamund was eyeing the wine as though it had been a backstabbing ex-friend.-
[02:34] <AdEvaGM> [Kuzmin, meanwhile, had rushed outside, taken out a cigar, lit it and had begun puffing away happily.-
[02:41] <AdEvaGM> [Sera, meanwhile, would get the odd feeling that he was being… Watched.]
[02:47] * Sept caved, grabbed a glass of wine and made a retreat toward the windows to at least get away from the center of things. Old habits?
[02:48] <Vera> » For the same of poetics, Vera and gang were closer to there. Didn't want to look like a literal part of the UEF.
[02:50] <AdEvaGM> [Rosamund took the moment to nudge Vera and nod towards… "Hey, look."-
[02:51] <AdEvaGM> [Eufemia- a slim girl with jaw-length straight brown hair- had taken a glass of wine, stared at it for a moment, then downed it in one quick gulp. After that, she had started staring at Sera… Something which became very obvious to him as he approached the wine table.]
[02:52] <Vera> » "Ohshit." Vera muttered, fairly out of character, and as quietly as she could imagine. This might end poorly. Or amusingly. …Except she wasn't /trying/ to turn Eufie off of liquor like she was Rosamund.
[02:57] * Sept had been halfway through the action of finding a glass, but for now he was frozen, staring back at the girl with one hand awkwardly hanging in the air between him and the table like he was some World Order performer.-
[02:57] <Sept> "What?" he said.
[02:58] <AdEvaGM> [Eufemia stared at him with large brown eyes. Without looking away, she put her glass down, picked up another and downed it smoothly.-
[02:58] <AdEvaGM> ["You…"-
[02:58] <AdEvaGM> ["You and I are the same."]
[02:59] <Sept> "…"-
[02:59] <Vera> » Vera's lower lip twitched.
[02:59] * Sept looked around for signs that other people could see this person, too.-
[02:59] <Sept> "What?"
[03:01] <AdEvaGM> ["You and me." Said Eufemia softly. "We're the same."]
[03:03] <Vera> » …Vera was now moving like a grim spectre over the room, looming over Eufemia as much as she could manage with only being a modest bit taller. "…Consider your words carefully." She intoned. "Carefully."
[03:04] <Sept> "I'm going to drink one of these now, Eufemia," Sera said without taking his eyes off her. "Then I'll try to follow you. Alright?"
[03:07] <AdEvaGM> ["Sure." Said Eufemia, shrugging a little. She turned back towards Vera with a vacantly questioning expression.]
[03:09] <Vera> » Vera… patted Eufemia on the head. That'll do, pilot. That'll do.
[03:09] * Sept took a step closer to the table and away from Eufemia and slammed a glass down in a way that might've made Ezra proud.-
[03:10] <Sept> "Okay," he said, facing her squarely. "I don't understand. We're both pilots. That's not what you mean."
[03:16] <AdEvaGM> [Eufemia had taken the pat on the head in her stride, gently reaching up to smooth down her hair. Nonetheless, lessons had been learned. "I'm not a real pilot. In that sense. Superheavy corps." She added.-
[03:17] <AdEvaGM> ["But you and I are still… The same. I don't know what to say…"]
[03:18] <Vera> » At this juncture Vera actually tried to be helpful, now that the necessary Open Secret bit was done. "…Is this some kind of uncanny thing? de Pteres, maybe there's a personality… trait." She had trouble saying that completely straight.
[03:23] <Sept> "Uh huh." Sera gave Eufemia a moment, turning his stare towards Vera. "Sorry, miss? We haven't been introduced, I think."
[03:27] <Vera> » "Colonel Vera Hiroko Freitas Kuromiya, of the Brazilian Armed Forces. Director of Superheavy Operations, to be precise. This is one of our ace pilots and a veteran of the Brazilian-Colombian war, Captain Eufemia Eliana de Franco Salazar."
[03:28] <AdEvaGM> [The UN delegation had caught up. They began filing into the room, again Ezra and Sarah first, followed by von Brandt and Mary- arms linked- and then Aline, the Ayanami, and Agatha. Finally at the back came Gadhavi and the others.-
[03:29] <AdEvaGM> [Eufemia wasn't paying attention to them, though; she instead gave Sera a proper salute.]
[03:34] <Sept> "I see." Sera brushed his hair back behind one ear, and responded with his imitation of a salute as best as he could. "Sorry. I don't have the memory of other people."-
[03:36] <Sept> "So what is it we're the same about, Eufemia?" Sera shifted his footing, taking a glance at the wine glasses. But he definitely had to pace himself for today. "What have you heard about me that makes you think that?"
[03:46] <AdEvaGM> [Eufemia, however, shook her head. "… I don't know. But… The look in your eyes is the same one I see in the mirror."]
[03:52] <Sept> "I'll keep that in mind." Sera was more than briefly distracted by Mana's defection as the UN contingent arrived. He decided it was time for the second glass.-
[03:53] <Sept> "So, what are you? You don't mind talking about yourself, do you?"
[04:00] <AdEvaGM> ["…" Eufemia frowned. Her eyes were large and honest, and she had a cute little nose; when she frowned, her eyes narrowed and her nose twitched upwards slightly, giving her the air of a mildly perplexed little owl. "I don't, but I don't know how you want me to answer that question."]

(15:35:15) Sept: "You know, like…" Sera tapped on his elbow, holding the flute of wine up in front of his mouth as he thought it over.-
(15:37:43) Sept: "Well, whatever kind of pilot you are, you're an ace who's not even twenty years old, and clearly highly regarded by a probably globally significant fighting force." A nod to Vera.-
(15:37:59) Sept: "Why… are you that?"
(15:38:47) * Vera loomed passively, not trying to be as 'intimidating' now. "What I can easily say, is she has a history. …But it's her place whether to tell what that is or not."
(15:39:52) @Minaplo: ["I won a war." Said Eufemia simply with a shrug.]
(15:41:42) Sept: "Why'd you do that?"
(15:44:08) @Minaplo: ["It was in the way."]
(15:44:28) Sept: "Of?"
(15:45:07) @Minaplo: [She shrugged. "Peace. Home. We were caught up in the middle of it. Ended up winning it on the way to getting out."]
(15:45:09) * Vera was, for her part, lingering. And trying not to look as entertained as she was, if only at Sera's flailing.
(15:48:36) Sept: "Huh. Is that what you're famous for?"
(15:49:46) @Minaplo: ["Yeah."]
(15:50:45) Sept: "Sounds to me like you deserve it. Military education?"
(15:52:55) @Minaplo: ["Please place that question into a fitting sentence structure."]
(15:53:35) * Vera …smirked.
(15:56:05) Sept: "Hehe, sorry," Sera laughed, scratching the back of his head in a most clichéd way. "Had you learned to fight or pilot things before the war?"
(15:57:58) @Minaplo: ["My mother taught my sister and me how to fight and drive." Said Eufemia. "My father taught me how to maintain vehicles and understand their construction."]
(16:00:35) * Vera snuck in slightly. "Both are currently officers. Of her parents, that is."
(16:01:37) Sept: "A very successful education, then."
(16:02:15) @Minaplo: ["It served us well enough."]
(16:05:33) Sept: "But you're still a soldier, right? Do you still feel like there's things in the way of your goals?"
(16:06:29) @Minaplo: ["I've vague goals." She said quietly. "Serve well. Protect my country."-
(16:07:08) @Minaplo: ["I usually manage that pretty well. What about you?"]
(16:07:52) * Vera was sipping some wine gently, seeming to cant her head curiously.
(16:12:52) Sept: "Well, France is still there, mostly," Sera said, pointing at it over his shoulder to demonstrate. "I like to think I look out for them, even if I'd rather do that for everyone. We've let, well, a lot of suffering come to an unacceptable amount of people. Worst of all, we lost a crucial pilot and Eva unit to the UN."-
(16:13:36) Sept: "Can't say I've done too well, even with those vague standards."
(16:14:08) @Minaplo: ["True. Good self-assessment."]
(16:15:09) Vera: "If it's any consolation, setting more concrete short-term goals can give a swift stimulation of reward." Vera added, unbidden.
(16:19:31) Sept: "Yeah. Suppose that's true. Um."-
(16:21:10) Sept: "So when you-" Sera hesitated, considering who exactly he was posing the question to. "When you start using her as a real pilot, you'll stay in touch, right? You don't need to run into all our old obstacles, even if you're staying independent."
(16:22:09) * Vera wore a cryptic smile, suspecting that Sera was playing into the Public Secret (honestly who didn't know at this point). "I'm sure we'll consider resources like that if they're needed."
(16:23:12) @Minaplo: [Eufemia was doing something completely different, though.-
(16:23:24) @Minaplo: [She turned her back on Sera, fumbled with her coat, and then a second later turned back around.-
(16:23:47) @Minaplo: [She held out a little slip of graph paper, on which she'd scrawled her name, address, phone number and email.]
(16:25:59) * Vera …carefully weighed her options, and leaned in between the two pilots to whisper. "Keep this between the two of you. And use encryption. I already know everyone knows, but for the sake of my boss, please."
(16:27:00) @Minaplo: ["I'll be careful." Said Eufemia firmly.]
(16:31:25) * Sept grabbed the piece of paper, immediately folded it and stowed it away in an inside pocket.-
(16:32:23) Sept: "Sure. I don't have one on me, but I'll get you an address you can reach me at in a day or two. Is that okay?"
(16:32:52) @Minaplo: ["Sure."]
(16:38:49) Sept: "Great. Anything you wanted to ask or talk about while we're here?"
(16:40:06) @Minaplo: ["Tell me stories."]
(16:40:28) * Vera smiled softly. "It'd be interesting to hear, at any rate."
(16:41:07) Sept: Sera looked taken off guard. "Hm? Like what?"
(16:41:26) @Minaplo: ["Whichever. Let's go outside, too."]
(16:42:11) * Vera …did something. Her hand moved in the distance near a table but she somehow made it explicitly deniable. ODs. "Sounds like a plan."
(16:43:44) Sept: "Uh. Sure! I didn't realize that was an option."
(16:43:59) @Minaplo: ["Let's go."-
(16:44:22) @Minaplo: [Eufemia grabbed another wine glass, then promptly made a beeline for one of the doors; she didn't check to see if the others followed.-
(16:45:31) @Minaplo: [She stopped in one of the gardens enclosing the reception hall; this particular garden was full of vibrant and lush green, pink and orange flowers, sitting beneath a tall tree.]
(16:46:45) * Vera had apparently gotten not more wine, but a small plate of sandwiches. Just as Pan-ned. But she soon wandered further out… "More privacy also means more freedom to talk."
(16:50:48) Sept: "Mhm. No objections from me." Sera bent over one of the flower patches and eyed it for a while before turning back around. "So?"
(16:51:30) @Minaplo: ["So stories." Said Eufemia. She lowered herself onto the ground and sat with her legs crossed.]
(16:52:49) Sept: "War stories? Happy, sad, creepy?"
(16:53:04) @Minaplo: ["Your call."]
(16:54:30) * Vera briefly looks upwards, as if aware of something…
(16:54:49) * Vera then winks at whatever it was.
(16:55:19) Vera: (( pending redaction ))
(16:58:55) * Vera did due diligence to look around, but… the image was fleeting. Instead, she settled on Sera. "Honestly, I'd be interested in the True Eva Experience, but it's, indeed, your call."
(17:05:06) Sept: "Well, I could tell you about all the weird shit that goes on with Evas, but they're not much of a story. When you get them to talk, it's rarely good for you. At least in the short term."
(17:05:26) @Minaplo: [Eufemia watched him expectantly.]
(17:07:02) Sept: "What about the time Malchediel attacked Paris? Would it ruin the mood?"
(17:07:31) @Minaplo: ["Not mine."]
(17:07:37) * Vera …shrugged. "I expected horror in at least some of the stories, so I'm fine."
(17:11:10) Sept: "Twelfth Angel it is. It was one of the few times we didn't get an alarm before things went to shit."-
(17:12:46) Sept: "We were out on a class trip, and… do you know about Banshees? How Malchediel spread them out across the city?"
(17:13:04) @Minaplo: ["Not enough. Fill me in."]
(17:15:23) * Vera shook her head. "I've done my reading, but it'd help."
(17:16:57) Sept: "Well, Banshees are… a mess of claws and acid and stuff. Black-purple kind of Spawn. Rend metal pretty easily, like to kill people. They fell into Paris in these- like pods of LCL that they Terminatored out of, and started spreading terror immediately."
(17:17:22) @Minaplo: ["'Terminatored'?"]
(17:17:37) * Vera tilted her head. "…Like the movies?"
(17:18:08) Sept: "First they were mostly goop, and then they were solid creatures," Sera explained.
(17:18:51) @Minaplo: ["Haven't seen them. Go on."]
(17:20:07) * Vera nodded. "Oh. For some reason I was thinking of the other movie with the monsters bursting out of people. …But ah, yes, please continue."
(17:20:39) Sept: "Well, anyway, it happens with LCL all the time. Part of the True Eva Experience."-
(17:22:28) Sept: "So we lost our teacher - well, not our teacher, someone else's teacher - straight away, but fortunately we still had Rei Ayanami and some old-school NeoSpartans in addition to the three of us pilots and some younger students we were paired with."-
(17:23:22) Sept: "But we were still a bunch of kilometers away from anything close to the Geofront safe zones. With me so far?"
(17:23:55) @Minaplo: ["What were you doing with younger students? Where were you exactly?"]
(17:24:17) * Vera hadn't been quite curious about that, but nodded her head. "I follow, though."
(17:25:39) Sept: "Class trip. Just wandering about some… I don't know, the museums are all the same after a while?"-
(17:28:11) Sept: "The younger kids were sort of… assigned to us earlier. Like a mentorship program kind of thing. Mine-" Sera hesitated. "We were supposed to bond with them and help them out, so obviously they assigned my backup clone as my ward?"
(17:28:38) @Minaplo: ["Feels a little tasteless."]
(17:29:24) Sept: "It does, doesn't it!"
(17:31:45) * Vera blinked. "Backup clone."
(17:32:11) @Minaplo: ["It's like having a twin, but artificial." Said Eufemia humourlessly.]
(17:33:08) Vera: "No, I get that, it's just… As much as we know /that thing/…" Vera began. "…It's sort of weird to have multiple clones running around like that? Especially as a… backup? I… …Please continue."
(17:34:11) Sept: "No, but he was like the spare of the spares we otherwise used. If the soul got damaged, which was unlikely, it would've just been easier to use a living host that," Sera looked away and slowed down his speech as he himself started to get confused.-
(17:34:24) Sept: "That I'd already been passing down values to, to-"
(17:34:29) Sept: "Yeah, you get what I mean."
(17:34:39) Vera: "…Clearly."
(17:34:56) @Minaplo: [Eufemia watched them silently.]
(17:35:41) Sept: "Where was I?"
(17:37:32) @Minaplo: ["Near some museums, group of children."]
(17:38:29) Vera: "Yes."
(17:42:51) Sept: "Okay. So there's tunnels in Paris. Whole bunch, for recessive architecture maintenance and emergencies like this. So we stopped by my place to stock up and rendezvous with Raphael, who- do you know Raphael Guillory? He came with us here."
(17:43:31) @Minaplo: ["Breadstick Guy."]
(17:44:28) Sept: "Yeah?"
(17:44:50) @Minaplo: ["Yeah."]
(17:45:56) * Vera …sniggered. "It's a long story related to one of my officers embarrassing herself in Istanbul."
(17:48:16) Sept: "Hehe. You can tell me that next! So Raphael's there, and one unit of weaponized teenagers, and a bunch of regular kids. And we mostly only had conventional weapons - we were relying on the black market, and bolters and positron weapons weren't in fashion yet. So after we had to split up, things started going bad pretty quickly."
(17:55:50) @Minaplo: [Eufemia nodded.]
(17:56:20) Vera: "…Bad in a different action and/or horror movie fashion, I imagine." Vera… slightly deadpanned.
(18:02:03) Sept: "Mhm. Vents, dead lights, malfunctioning doors, all of it. And more and more Banshees the whole way. I forget if they have heightened AT senses or if they just smell you… But we lost a couple of the kids and one of the older NeoSpartans. She was one of those leading by example types. The type you wouldn't really call a leader, but whenever things went bad, they did?"
(18:02:38) @Minaplo: ["I know the kind." Said Eufemia softly.]
(18:04:25) * Vera nodded. "As do I. …I remember a few program meet-ups myself."
(18:07:42) Sept: "My Petite survived by a stroke of luck after we lost him for a while. Felt terrible, even in the middle of all the other badness. So after… it must've been an hour or more in the tunnels, we got to a working service elevator and met up with the other group. They'd barely made it, too, all because of Rei's AT use."
(18:08:31) @Minaplo: ["An Ayanami would be a strong asset."]
(18:08:52) * Vera nodded. "…This was very early, so Ayanami AT Fields were likely still unfamiliar to you, too."
(18:10:24) Sept: "Yeah, but I wasn't there to see it. I've gotten plenty of opportunities since to see them at work."
(18:17:21) @Minaplo: ["What are they like up close?"]
(18:20:28) * Vera remembered photos, but quietly urged Sera onwards.
(18:22:30) Sept: "Combat-wise? Really scary. I mean, my first experience with an Ayanami was her breaking two of my ribs. I was armed, she wasn't. If they're not angry, they're usually really fluffy. Until you slight their passions somehow. And they're really passionate about their passions."
(18:24:05) Vera: "'Passionate about their passions', huh." Vera said.
(18:25:04) * Sept winced, but didn't say anything.
(18:28:04) @Minaplo: ["They sound like fun. Tell me more, what do you mean?"]
(18:28:27) * Vera smiled softly, willing to hear actual nice things about Ayanamis.
(18:34:24) Sept: "Well, because of the way they were created, their interests tended to be, especially earlier, pretty singular. They'd pick one thing and devote all their free time to it. But as far as I know, which isn't a lot, they're all good people. Rei, most definitely."
(18:35:30) @Minaplo: ["Passionate, good, fluffy yet scary…" Said Eufemia thoughtfully.]
(18:38:42) Sept: "Yeah, I think that covers them pretty well."
(18:39:28) @Minaplo: [She shuffled around, turning her back on Sera; she fumbled with her coat. A minute later she turned, holding a page out to Sera.-
(18:39:35) @Minaplo: ["Their names, addresses, numbers and emails, please."]
(18:40:44) * Vera …raised a brow. "…We could maybe leave it at name and email? For the sake of proper consent to be identified…?"
(18:43:59) @Minaplo: ["Sure."]
(18:44:32) * Sept smiled and shook his head.-
(18:45:14) Sept: "I can't give them to you directly, but Chiisana and Roku are here. I can ask them for you if you want to. Or you can do it yourself?"
(18:46:32) @Minaplo: ["I'll ask those two, then." Said Eufemia. "You speak to the other ten about me."]
(18:46:40) Sept: "Uh-"
(18:47:14) @Minaplo: ["So, tunnels. You got to the end."]
(18:47:26) Vera: "…This might be slightly d-" Vera stopped. Topic changes!
(18:47:51) Sept: "…yes. Alright. Yes, we did."-
(18:55:22) Sept: "So I was pretty dead by that point, and we had to get past a Reaperspawn to get out. And somehow we did? It nearly killed all of us, but I guess we had just enough ammo left to bring it down together before that happened."
(18:55:45) * Vera nodded. "Only mostly dead, then."
(18:56:25) @Minaplo: ["A reaper spawn. Big one, right?"]
(18:57:56) Sept: "Yeah, huge. Well, biggest Spawn we'd seen at that point. Dorian brought us some help at the last minute, too."
(18:58:46) @Minaplo: [Eufemia turned to Vera. "Did you ever work with General Lachapelle?"]
(19:02:40) * Vera nodded her head, after a long time of thought and memory. "…In a few cases. I was never a direct subordinate of his, but we had spoken once or twice on working with NeoAlexander trainees under my charge, and corresponded on the subject as well."
(19:03:38) @Minaplo: ["Tell me of your impression, Colonel."]
(19:05:41) Sept: "I barely even registered he was anything but an Eva OD back then. I'd really like to hear that."
(19:07:43) Vera: "Well… General Lachapelle was never an overly soft sort. He was genial, but firm. The 'father to his men' epthitet you usually hear bandied around was a reasonable one for him, he was… not an idealist, but a good man. He took care of my students, and was firm when needed. …As for /himself/? He struck me as driven to some distant horizon, but not in the dreamy sense a lot of Project
(19:07:43) Vera: Eva figures are reputed to be. More… someone with a cause. With a rationale for what they did and a firm conviction that it'd be seen-to."
(19:10:02) * Sept nodded gravely.-
(19:11:17) Sept: "That sounds true. Definitely the kind of guy who enjoys kicking guys like me for not doing better."
(19:18:00) @Minaplo: ["Wanting to bring out the best." Said Eufemia with a firm nod.]
(19:18:30) Vera: "…So he gave you a hard time…" Vera said, almost… wistfully.
(19:20:34) Sept: "More than once. I trusted him, of course."
(19:24:17) @Minaplo: ["Do you not know much about what he did before the Project?"]
(19:26:00) Sept: "Not really. I know there's some war stories in there."
(19:26:35) @Minaplo: ["We'll tell you after. So he helped you with the Reaper. What way?"]
(19:29:42) Sept: "I'm not sure what exactly it was," Sera shook his head. "But it was some kind of huge gun. It's a bit blurry at that point. He must've gotten down on the elevator…"
(19:30:42) Vera: » "Big gun? …If positron and bolt weapons weren't in extensive use, it would've had to have been either a pre-Angel-war-tech crew-served weapon, or possibly a heavy maser."
(19:31:25) » Quit: Raphael (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.88-591-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.88-591-291-271-epc|leahpaR) (Quit: <Suzune> don't be silly <Suzune> DnD doesn't have sex crime laws)
(19:34:48) Sept: "I guess. Anyway, he stopped it long enough for us to kill it with our high-caliber weapons."
(19:55:20) @Minaplo: ["What happened next?"]
(19:55:42) * Vera smiled. "What indeed? If Dorian was in position you had to be near the Evas by then."
(19:57:45) Sept: "Oh, that's when we really had to start improvising. Since everyone was in terrible shape to take on a full-scale Eva battle, they shot us up with a cocktail of stimulants and used two pilots per unit."
(20:03:22) @Minaplo: ["…" Eufemia frowned. "How does that work?"]
(20:04:03) Sept: "You consult your charts to find ones that are even vaguely compatible, put them in the plug and hope for the best."
(20:04:09) * Vera tilted her head. "…I think Eva-07 has a dual-plug? …I forget how that works myself. I only know it exists."
(20:10:39) Sept: "Ah. I'm not certain if 07 is just a more sophisticated version of the same technique. It might be, but our way definitely wasn't sustainable."
(20:11:02) @Minaplo: ["Who pilots 07?"]
(20:13:49) Sept: "Only certain kinds of people were considered for it. I don't know if I can talk about them?"
(20:14:24) @Minaplo: ["Their identity is that much of a secret?"]
(20:15:01) * Vera nodded. "…That at least is understandable. As much as…" She cleared her throat. "There are certain Public Secrets involved… the fact remains that it might be something proprietary and, for lack of a better word, 'spooky'. Typical Eva stuff."
(20:16:12) Sept: "Yeah. It's probably not important to anyone else, but it's at least a matter of privacy…"

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