Cherry Blossom Procession 4 2 26

[13:02] * Yanmei switched off her monitor and rubbed her eyes, leaning back in her comfy, comfy office chair. It was time for a break. It was rapidly approaching noon, and she had been cooped up in her office since five in the morning, looking over secret reports and conversing with even more secret people in the Soviet Union. Now, she had some options in front of her. She could sneak home and see
[13:02] * Yanmei if Isaiah would be willing to have lunch with her. She could take a walk and grab a bite to eat on her own at the Promenade. Or… -
[13:07] <Yanmei> She stood, stretched, and slipped rolled up the sleeves of her blouse. Slowly, she approached the coat rack where her jacket hung, grabbed the garment, and neatly folded it over the arms of one of her guest chairs. The coat rack… was not a coat rack at all! It was a rack of a different sort. One supporting a small punching bag with a crude drawing of the Russian flag taped to it. Yanmei
[13:07] <Yanmei> cracked her knuckles, and began to wind up for some good old-fashioned stress relief…
[13:09] <Minaplo> [The door trilled.]
[13:12] * Yanmei flailed. She snatched her jacket from its perch and hastily threw it over the rack again, concealing its true form once again. Then she threw herself over her desk and into her chair again, hunching over a few sheets of paper that miraculously remained on her desk. "*Ahem* Who is it~~~?" she trilled.
[13:14] <Minaplo> [("Prime Minister Rustami.")]
[13:15] <Yanmei> "Oh. Please come in!"
[13:19] <Minaplo> [The door opened, and Kourosh entered. His hair was relatively neat today- apparently Go had been merciless in her ministrations.-
[13:19] <Minaplo> ["Good morning, my Lady. How are you today?" He said politely.]
[13:21] <Yanmei> "Could be worse. Are you okay yourself?" She eyed his new look cautiously.
[13:21] <Minaplo> ["I'm… Fine." He said. "As you can see, Go is adapting."]
[13:23] <Yanmei> "The two of you have an odd relationship, don't you?"
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["The relationship of predator and prey." Said Kourosh darkly. "It's mostly her doing."]
[13:25] <Yanmei> "I should have a talk with her."
[13:26] <Minaplo> [Kourosh took a seat. "She seems impervious to reason. I've told her several times that I'm happy to go along with it if she joins me in the bath, but all that does is make her angrier, and then I have to run even faster than usual…"]
[13:32] <Yanmei> "Actually, I'm kind of impressed with her? Not too long ago, a comment like that would have turned her into a stammering puddle of mortification. That said, don't tell her that anymore if you value your life."
[13:33] <Minaplo> ["That doesn't seem very fair." He said with a frown.]
[13:35] <Yanmei> "What do you mean?"
[13:43] <Minaplo> ["As I've tried to explain to her, most of the time I take my baths with other people." Said Kourosh. "But now it's just Go washing me by myself- just me, all alone and naked in the bath." He said with a shudder. "It makes me feel like a child."]
[13:45] <Yanmei> "… I see. I can't promise that I will ask her to shower with you, but I will, nevertheless, have a talk with her. Maybe get her to be less pushy and more considerate?"
[13:48] <Minaplo> ["Thank you."-
[13:49] <Minaplo> ["But that isn't why I'm here." He said. "I came to tell you that I've made progress in finalising my staff. In fact, I recently secured my chief logistics and political officer."]
[13:50] <Yanmei> "Oh! That's great." She grinned. "They're going to be brilliant ones, I'm sure."
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["Well, I brought my political officer along today. He's intelligent, crafty and knows how to stir up trouble…"]
[13:52] <Yanmei> "No need to keep him waiting outside, then," said Yanmei brightly. "Go ahead and call him in?"
[13:56] <Minaplo> [Kourosh tapped his comm bead. "You can come in now."-
[13:56] <Minaplo> [The door opened.-
[13:58] <Minaplo> [In walked a Chinese man of average height. He had short cropped black hair, narrow brown eyes, and rather large ears. He had thin, wide purplish lips, the corners of which curled upwards rather aggressively, not helped by a rather protruding jawline.-
[13:59] <Minaplo> [Yanmei recognised him immediately.-
[13:59] <Minaplo> ["Good morning, my dearest Chancellor!" Said Prefect Han, his tone simpering.]
[14:00] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared. She turned, eventually, to Kourosh, stunned.
[14:00] <Minaplo> [Kourosh gave Yanmei a pair of hopeful thumbs up.-
[14:03] <Minaplo> [Prefect Han entered the room; he gave Yanmei a wide smile, the same smile had that haunted her nightmares for weeks on end.-
[14:05] <Minaplo> ["What a lovely office you have. Why, it's perfect for someone of your calibre. A little austere, but with just a touch of luxury…" Said Prefect Han, pawing at one of the bottles of brandy in her alcohol cabinet.]
[14:06] <Yanmei> Yanmei didn't answer at first. She was counting silently to ten as she watched the man, her eyes narrowed into cold slits. "Prime Minister Rustami…" she managed. "I thought this man was in prison."
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["He had a change of heart." Said Kourosh.-
[14:08] <Minaplo> ["I had a change of heart!" Said Prefect Han without missing a beat. "I decided, gosh, you know, it's such a big world out there, what would my dear mother and father think if I spent it wasting away in some miserable, cold, drab prison cell? No no no, I had to go out there and see the world! More than that, I needed to make it better! I had to redeem all of my naughty naughty deeds unless Karma decided to reincarnate me as a cockroach or a Russian in my next life."-
[14:10] <Minaplo> ["So really, I'm here out of a sense of, ah… Civic… Duty. Where I absolutely help the world without any expectation of reward or recompense, because if I help make the world a better place, why that's all the benefit I really need isn't it? I'll be making my life better too, because I live in the world, so it's rather an ontological sort of proposition, so here I am, ready to do my best for this exhiliariating, brave experiment that is the Federation, and of course to do my part in making China great again."-
[14:10] <Minaplo> [He took one of Yanmei's seats. "Gosh, you know, Chancellor, up close, you really are just a peach."]
[14:15] * Yanmei turned her stare from him to Kourosh again. Why… why would he do this to her? "While that is indeed noble, most inmates don't just get the opportunity to walk out of prison and into a comfortable job just because they want to. Either they have to wait out their term, or someone on the outside pulls the strings for them."
[14:16] <Minaplo> ["I figured his talents could be useful on the outside, so long as he was carefully watched." Said Kourosh.-
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["I have many talents, you know." Said Prefect Han. "I would be rich in Ancient Rome, you know. That was a joke."-
[14:19] <Minaplo> [Prefect Han leaned toward Yanmei now, his eyes narrowing curiously. "My finely honed sensitivity to the fairer sex tells me that you're feeling a little angry, Chancellor. Might I interest you in a decilitre of panda milk?"]
[14:21] <Yanmei> "You should stop talking. Now." She glowered at him. "In fact, please leave my office before I do something that I could be put in jail for."
[14:22] <Minaplo> ["… So that's a no to the milk?" Asked Prefect Han. "Are you sure? Rub a little on your mosquito bites every night and they'll soon become lovely plums! 100% guaranteed!"]
[14:24] <Yanmei> "Out!" She stood up from her chair and pointed to the door.
[14:24] <Minaplo> ["But I'm comfortable!"]
[14:28] <Yanmei> But that would not stand. Yanmei pursed her lips together and then… reached out, lightning fast, and gripped his right ear with her fingers. She gave it a sharp twist.
[14:30] <Minaplo> ["Owwww!" His composure shattered; his smile dissolved into a grimace. "Owowowowowow-"]
[14:34] <Yanmei> "Are you still comfortable, Prefect Han?" She said loudly over his yelps. "No? Then let me please escort you into the next room." And she did just that, tugging him toward the door by the ear, opening said door, and tugging him into the waiting room where her undoubtedly startled secretary was working. "Do enjoy the rest of your day on my ship, won't you?" She released him just past
[14:34] <Yanmei> the threshold.
[14:38] <Minaplo> [And so the door closed, hiding his horror-struck face.-
[14:40] <Minaplo> ["If I'm being honest, he's kind of a pig in person." Said Kourosh idly.]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "You don't say?!" Yanmei wheeled around at him, her face flushed with rage. "What are you doing? Surely there's someone - anyone - more suitable than him for this job!"
[14:45] <Minaplo> ["I agree. Or I would if it were just politics and logistics." Said Kourosh. "However, Prefect Han knows a dizzying amount of people in China- both politicians, business leaders, academics and criminals. He also has an excellent memory, so I'm able to tap him for information on these people- usually enough that I can create a simulacrum of them."]
[14:47] * Yanmei fumed, balling her hands into fists. "Did you predict what would go down in this meeting? Why would you think that it was a good idea to bring him within a hundred feet of me?"
[14:51] <Minaplo> ["He was kind of pissing me off, so I hoped you'd kick his ass, my Lady."]
[14:55] <Yanmei> "I won't do your dirty work for you!" she snapped. "Not even the enjoyable bits."
[14:57] <Minaplo> ["It wasn't dirty. Actually, it was very cool."]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "I'm not going to fall for your flattery? I'm still furious."
[15:00] <Minaplo> ["It's not flattery!" Said Kourosh sincerely. "I mean it. You're very beautiful when you're angry, or beating people up."]
[15:02] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei glared and glared. Finally, she rubbed her face with her hand. Cool and beautiful, huh…? "Who else is on your team?"
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["Malachi Ansel-"]
[15:04] <Yanmei> "What?! What the hell, Rustami?!"
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["He's useful!"]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "He's a sneaky pest! Granted, he's not as bad as one of your other picks-" she glared at the door, "-but still!"
[15:10] <Minaplo> ["Of course he's a sneaky pest, that's why I chose him. Anyone who can sneak their way into the Caine Mansion has to be good, right?" Said Kourosh.-
[15:11] <Minaplo> ["Besides, he's also the son of Theodore Washington, so that's handy too." He added.]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "He… excuse me, what?"
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["He's the son of Theodore Washington?" Said Kourosh, slower this time.]
[15:13] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei shook her head. "Huh. No wonder he's a sneak?"
[15:17] <Minaplo> ["That's right." Said Kourosh. "He has connections too, probably, which I can exploit."]
[15:18] * Yanmei looked a little less angry now. "You're going to keep an eye on him, right? On all of your people?"
[15:24] <Minaplo> ["Of course."]
[15:25] <Yanmei> "I'd like to hear a concrete plan about how you plan to do that. At least go talk to Simon about it…"
[15:29] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure I can handle it."]
[13:08] <Yanmei> "Hmph." Frowning deeply, she slumped back in her chair again. "Have you picked up anyone else I need to be worried over?"
[13:09] <Minaplo> ["Well, Isabelle?"]
[13:10] <Yanmei> "Yeah, I knew about that. Please don't put her in any danger, okay?"
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["She'll mostly be with me anyway."]
[13:13] <Yanmei> "I guess that should be fine, then," she hazarded. "Anyone else?"
[13:13] <Minaplo> ["Actually, I was going to ask your advice."]
[13:14] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah?"
[13:15] <Minaplo> ["I've got my logistician, my spy, and Isabelle. What am I missing, do you think?"]
[13:22] <Yanmei> "Someone who's good at managing, leading and calming down large groups of people, even in unorthodox situations? I know just the person, too…"
[13:23] <Minaplo> ["Oh?"]
[13:25] <Yanmei> "An old war dog from Australia, Anthony Albus. He's a bit of a technophobe, so you'll have to get him an assistant to help him out with tablets and computers and the like, but he's very good at what he does."
[13:25] <Minaplo> ["Oh, him?"]
[13:26] <Yanmei> "Yes. You've met him?"
[13:27] <Minaplo> ["I had to work with him when I was sorting out my accounts." Said Kourosh. "He's… Okay, for a guy who spends half the time trying to play peepers on the Ayanamis."]
[13:28] <Yanmei> "Please tell me he isn't actually doing that…" Yanmei rubbed her forehead tiredly.
[13:29] <Minaplo> ["Well, not literally." Said Kourosh. "At least, I think not literally. Is he peering through gaps in change room doors? No. But he probably wouldn't avert his gaze if an Ayanami accidentally flashed everyone either. It's… Probably not a problem, so long as I don't have to play Cyrano for yet another failed attempt to ask one out."]
[13:30] <Yanmei> A worried expression suddenly began to creep over her face. "How did things work out with the Empress, by the way?"
[13:31] <Minaplo> ["Oh, you know. Okay."]
[13:31] <Yanmei> "Okay?" she echoed dubiously.
[13:33] <Minaplo> ["Yeah."]
[13:34] <Yanmei> "So she's on board with being on your team."
[13:34] <Minaplo> ["Well… No, not really."]
[13:35] <Yanmei> "What actually happened?"
[13:37] <Minaplo> ["We had a talk. She seemed to almost recognise me, which was creepy." Said Kourosh. "I talked about her being on my team, and she gave me a fairly decent answer."]
[13:38] <Yanmei> "Which was 'no'," she guessed.
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["Well, yes. Kinda. She said that she refused, because at the moment she felt the rest of command distrusted me too much, and so long as that happened, they'd endeavour to have me posted to assignments of secondary importance, and she felt she was too valuable an asset to waste on those sorts of things."]
[13:41] <Yanmei> "…I see." Yanmei frowned a little. She wasn't wrong. But command didn't trust her all that much either…
[13:46] <Minaplo> ["So I figure that once Command grows to trust me a little more, she'll be right on side."]
[13:48] <Yanmei> "I'm sure it'll be only a matter of time. Even Katsuragi hasn't been grumping about you much lately."
[13:48] <Minaplo> ["That's because I threatened to reassign her and Guillory to Alaska if they kept it up."]
[13:49] <Yanmei> "They'd probably enjoy it. A romantic, isolated getaway~~"
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["I'd send Prefect Han to keep an eye on them too, at all times."]
[13:55] * Yanmei burst out laughing. "Even better! It'll make her hate you all over again, though."
[13:56] <Minaplo> [Kourosh grinned. "See? He has his uses. But I'm joking, I never said such a thing to her."-
[13:56] <Minaplo> ["… But what isn't a joke is the sense of mistrust from Command. I thought winning a battle decisively would be enough to quell their suspicions and win their respect, but I think I misread them slightly. What do you think?"]
[14:04] <Yanmei> "They just need a bit more time. You've definitely got their attention, to the point where they can't deny your abilities? I think the stuff that's keeping them distant is more… interpersonal. They just don't know you well enough yet, and you're not military so they don't know where you came from or why you're so good."
[14:11] <Minaplo> ["… Mmm, I suppose. But I figured they'd respect my talents enough to see past that." Said Kourosh. He twisted around in his chair so his legs were hanging over an armrest whilst he rested his back against the other armrest. "If I wanted to hurry the process along, though, what should I do?"]
[14:17] <Yanmei> "I'm pretty sure that running along after them, trying to make friends, is not going to work with most of them." Yanmei drummed her fingernails against her own armrest. "For now, keep your head down and focus on doing a good job in China? I'll do some digging and try to help."
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["… Alright. Is there anything I could do in the here and now, though? Anything that might help?"]
[14:21] <Yanmei> "Open up a bit about your past? But doing that will open the floodgates for questions about your motivations and Shangri-la and your relationship with the Caines."
[14:21] <Minaplo> ["… Mmm." Said Kourosh dubiously. "And I can't tell those stories without telling other peoples' stories. It's- discomforting."]
[14:23] <Yanmei> "Yeah," she agreed with a sigh. "I mean, you could just lie, too, but that would make things more complicated."
[14:24] <Minaplo> ["Yeah… It's a shame your vouching can't just make it all go away."]
[14:27] <Yanmei> "At least it helped you get your foot in the door?" she smiled, hopefully. "Don't worry. We'll figure it out. I'll give you a heads up on any projects or opportunities that will help you to look good."
[14:41] <Minaplo> ["Thank you." Said Kourosh.-
[14:41] <Minaplo> ["… Speaking of Shangri-la, though, would you be averse to me speaking with Serafina?"]
[14:42] <Yanmei> "Hm? Er…" Yanmei frowned a little bit. "I don't mind? But please be careful."
[14:43] <Minaplo> ["Careful?"]
[14:44] <Yanmei> "I still think she's a little dangerous."
[14:44] <Minaplo> ["I can handle it."]
[14:45] <Yanmei> "There will be guards nearby, of course. So if anything happens, just yell?"
[14:46] <Minaplo> ["I can handle it." Stressed Kourosh. "Eighteen years have passed, but we're still Shangri-la."]
[14:52] <Yanmei> "Mmm. All right. I'll let your handle it, then."
[14:56] <Minaplo> ["Good."-
[14:57] <Minaplo> ["There were a few other things I wished to discuss with you as well. Namely, China and the Black Moon."]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "So you're curious about the Black Moon, huh?"
[15:00] <Minaplo> ["Well, it sounds like we're going to be investigating it soon."]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "Well, yes. No one's sure what it'll be like there, so I can't give you much gossip about it?"
[15:09] <Minaplo> ["Yes, tragic. Do you have a team put together?"]
[15:11] <Yanmei> "Still forming it. De Pteres, and myself are going, and we need some tough guys too. Do you have a recommendation?"
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["Take me, too."]
[15:19] <Yanmei> "Ah…?" She tilted her head to the side and squinted slightly as if sizing him up.
[15:24] <Minaplo> ["You need someone to coordinate the expedition, no?"]
[15:25] <Yanmei> "Oh! Well, of course. Heh. For a second, I thought you were volunteering to be one of our tough guys~"
[15:25] <Minaplo> ["You need smart guys too."]
[15:26] <Yanmei> "Yes, we do."
[15:27] <Minaplo> ["So who else have you got in mind?"]
[15:32] <Yanmei> "Probably troops. A bunch of regular footsoldiers. But I've got mixed feelings about it. What if the place is swarming with Angelspawn or killer robots or something?"
[15:33] <Minaplo> ["Then they'll probably be killed." Said Kourosh. "But you don't want to take too many in case there's a disaster and they block your path. Why not just take a squad of Iron Guard?"]
[15:38] <Yanmei> "That would make sense too," Yanmei admitted after a long, thoughtful moment.
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Have you considered any AT Field users?"]
[15:40] <Yanmei> "De Pteres and I are both AT Field users now," Yanmei pointed out.
[15:40] <Minaplo> ["Sorry, have you considered any good AT Field users?"]
[15:43] * Yanmei glared at him a moment. "If you're referring to the Ayanamis… we're not sure how they're going to react once they're even down there. That leaves the other Albus and Ezekiel."
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["I was considering suggesting Isaiah, but I suppose he's not much good either nowadays. Hrm. Ezekiel might too 'Angel' for the Black Moon either…"-
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["I'm not sure I trust Albus much either, but he's not a bad option."]
[15:54] <Yanmei> "I'd rather not bring him," said Yanmei quickly. "Who knows what he could be plotting? But, um. Who else…? There's that guy from my Honor Guard, I guess…"
[15:55] <Minaplo> ["He doesn't have a real AT Field." Said Kourosh. "Otherwise… Gosh, it's funny how many of our AT Field users aren't allowed in unless they trigger a billion-year-old nuke, huh?" He added cheerily.-
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, Albus should be fine. With you and Sera there, I'm sure you can handle him if he does anything tricky."]
[16:01] <Yanmei> "Of course, we're a pretty formidable pair too," she added, puffing her chest out a bit. "It's just too much trouble to deal with someone like that when we've got a bigger mission to worry about?"
[16:06] <Minaplo> ["Of course. Nonetheless, I'll be on hand to guide you. We can handle him."]
[16:08] <Yanmei> "You're awfully confident. Do you know his weak spot or something? Is it his hair?"
[16:09] <Minaplo> ["His weakness is that he's a big, powerful AT Field user who will be trapped in a room with two of the world's three greatest Angel hunters."]
[16:15] <Yanmei> "True. But I still don't know if the risk is worth it."
[13:32] <Minaplo> ["Then just make sure to stick him at the front so the defenses kick his ass first."]
[13:33] <Yanmei> "Why are you so insistant about this?"
[13:34] <Minaplo> ["Insistent about what?" Said Kourosh.]
[13:36] <Yanmei> "About bringing him."
[13:37] <Minaplo> ["I'm not, I'm just offering suggestions on if you did." Said Kourosh. "Don't take him for all I care. Take Bruce if you want."]
[13:41] <Yanmei> "Oh. Yeah. Him. I forgot about him." She paused, frowning. "…are you sure we need an AT Field user at all?"
[13:43] <Minaplo> ["I think we can handle it if we don't, but they're useful." Said Kourosh. "It would be nice if we could find more users who weren't Ayanamis, god-vessels or suspicious blonds, though."-
[13:43] <Minaplo> ["If none of those options appeal, you could always take one of the lower-level Iron Guard apostles with you."]
[13:44] <Yanmei> "That might be the safest choice at all!" Yanmei nodded.
[13:47] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I suppose. Oh well. I'm sure we can handle it."]
[13:47] <Yanmei> "Of course we will? I'm going to be there, after all."
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["That's the spirit, my Lady."]
[13:52] * Yanmei beamed. -
[13:53] <Yanmei> "Now, then. You had a few things to say about our plans in China too?"
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Primarily about the question of leadership after we clean house, and Liu Lin's role in it."]
[14:10] <Yanmei> "We'll need to take a look of all the young, promising uncorrupted leaders that are being overlooked at the moment, won't we?"
[14:12] <Minaplo> ["Yes, to fill out government positions and the civil service, but the question I'm wondering about is the top one, that of president." Said Kourosh. "I've been analysing the troop deployments for our forces in China, and something has struck me as curious…"]
[14:13] <Yanmei> "Go on…"
[14:15] <Minaplo> ["There's a Chinese infantry division that's been deployed rather close to Beijing-2. This division is well-equipped and made up of veterans who are personally loyal to Liu Lin. However, such a powerful unit is being kept back instead of being deployed to the front?"]
[14:24] <Yanmei> "That's unusual? I guess the current people in charge don't truct them much."
[14:26] <Minaplo> ["Except Liu Lin was the one who handled the deployments. She put them there."]
[14:26] <Yanmei> "…even weirder. Should we give her a call and ask for an explanation?"
[14:29] <Minaplo> ["That depends. Why do you think she's put the unit there?"]
[14:30] <Yanmei> "Maybe they're guarding something important?"
[14:31] <Minaplo> ["Maybe. But what? The capital?"]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "Too obvious. It's probably some secret. Maybe a weapon or a hidden factory?"
[14:35] <Minaplo> ["That we don't know about?"]
[14:38] <Yanmei> "Maybe it's somehow tied in to her personal fortune or… I don't know!"
[14:39] <Minaplo> ["You do know, you just don't want to say it."]
[14:44] <Yanmei> "…" -
[14:46] <Yanmei> "Look. Whatever happens in the coming weeks, she's going to act in a way that's noble, okay? She'll probably use them to step in and make sure no one gets hurt?"
[14:47] <Minaplo> ["Oh sure. But she's also probably going to take over the palace and execute the President." Said Kourosh. "And a few other people too. It's what I'd do."]
[14:48] <Yanmei> "Or imprison them."
[14:50] <Minaplo> ["I'm prrrrretty sure she's going to execute them." Said Kourosh. "Consider that Zhou Xunhan is essentially a child rapist at this point. Once the news breaks, people will be calling for his blood. Honestly, he's lucky if she doesn't put his head on a pike in the middle of Tiananmen square with his genitals stuffed in his mouth."]
[14:53] <Yanmei> "Ugh. That was quite graphic? For some reason you don't seem too worried about it, though."
[14:59] <Minaplo> ["Eh."-
[15:01] <Minaplo> [Kourosh shrugged. "I'd be worried if she decided to slaughter half the city, but she won't. And I'd worry if I felt she was going to turn herself into dictator-for-life, but she won't do that either. She'll march in, restore peace, establish a provisional government, then run elections when the war's over. The lives of a few snakes don't really matter to me."]
[15:13] <Yanmei> "I'm worried about what it looks like to the other countries sticking by us right now. Other than the stupid Soviets, of course, who will probably be cheering. It's going to send a message?"
[13:13] <Minaplo> ["It might. But that message might be positive. Once it comes to light just how corrupt these people are, hopefully the other countries will realise that this means a stronger China. And again, Liu Lin has pedigree: she's taken power before and let it go, so maybe she'll do it again."-
[13:14] <Minaplo> ["I'll be blunt- it's true that this is the coup of a democratically elected government, but it's a thoroughly rotten government. The countries we're working with have turned a blind eye to that sort of thing before. When the Turks executed their old president, no one cared. They actually boosted trade with Turkey because he was an asshole."]
[13:20] <Yanmei> "Sometimes I worry about the integrity of ALL of our friendly nations," Yanmei muttered. "But I guess we have no room to talk either."
[13:29] <Minaplo> ["We have some room to talk. We've been a damn sight better behaved than nearly all of our allies."]
[13:33] <Yanmei> "Heh." She glanced at one of Lizzie's framed photos gloomily. "I've never been a part of an assassination before. I may just need to… sit with this a while, you know?"
[13:36] <Minaplo> ["Don't think of it as an assassination. Think of it as summary justice." Said Kourosh.-
[13:37] <Minaplo> ["Besides, you won't even be involved."-
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["And remember, this man took bribes and turned a blind eye to the criminal gangs that kidnapped your schoolmate Cao Ling, then decided to publicly throw his support behind a massive publicity campaign about her, knowing all the while that he'd enabled her being sold into sexual slavery. It's good that you're having concerns about taking life, but giving this man any consideration at
[13:39] <Minaplo> all is charity."]
[13:43] <Yanmei> "No. You're right. There's no way I'd forget that," her eyes hardened a bit.
[13:53] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure she won't be able to either, assuming she's still alive. And I hope she is." Said Kourosh quietly. "I can't blame Liu Lin for her anger… I just hope she doesn't blame herself."]
[13:56] <Yanmei> "She's more level-headed than that," said Yanmei confidently.
[13:56] <Minaplo> ["Is she?"]
[13:59] <Yanmei> "Ok. So, she was a little hard on herself even before this particular scandal broke? But she has a supportive crew that can definitely snap her out of it if she gets too depressed."
[14:01] <Minaplo> ["Mmm, well. That's good."]
[14:02] <Yanmei> "Two of my own best friends are a part of her group too. I should introduce you to them soon."
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["Ahaha, wow. You'd let me meet your best friends? I'm honoured."]
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Sure. I mean, you'd probably run into each other sooner or later anyway? They're on this ship."
[14:05] <Minaplo> ["Sure, but it's still nice. Maybe… We could have a dinner?" He asked hopefully. "I miss being asked to dinner."]
[14:06] <Yanmei> "Maybe tonight, before things get hectic for everyone?"
[14:08] <Minaplo> ["Oh, that'd be nice!" He said enthusiastically.]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "I'll call them up, then, and find out what time they can go," she said with a nod.
[14:11] <Minaplo> ["Great." Said Kourosh. He sat up. "I suppose I should look into getting ready…"]
[14:19] <Yanmei> "You don't have to dress up formally. This'll be light and casual? Probably at Blue's too."
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["Okay, I'll keep that in mind…"-
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["I don't think I have any really formal clothes either." Said Kourosh. "Maybe I could ask Blue to make me an official robe?"]
[14:24] <Yanmei> "Interesting. May as well ask? The man's always up for a challenge!"
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["That much is true." Said Kourosh, standing up.-
[14:26] <Minaplo> ["Well, I suppose I should go get ready, as well as booking an appointment with our mutual friend, the Ayanami-Fancier. This was a good talk, my Lady." He said with a bow.]
[14:27] <Yanmei> "I agree! Thank you for coming." She stood up to politely see him out.
[14:27] <Minaplo> [And with that, Kourosh left.-
[14:28] <Minaplo> [Prefect Han appeared just as the door opened. "Chancellor! Chancellorrrrr-"-
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["Lucille, can you throw this guy out?" Said Kourosh just as he left Yanmei's sight.-
[14:30] <Minaplo> [A moment later Han fell over- someone was dragging him away, but he latched onto the doorframe.-
[14:30] <Minaplo> ["You're- missing a big- opportunity! Please- Chancellor-!!!"-
[14:31] <Minaplo> [His cries echoed down the hall… Before the door shut, silencing him.]
[14:34] * Yanmei glowered furiously at the door, even though she could no longer see him through it. -
[14:43] <Yanmei> Eventually, she reached into her desk for two things. The first was her cell phone and the second was simply some tape. She quickly dialed a number on the phone and briefly hunched over her computer to print something out from one of her files - a photograph a certain asshole Prefect. "Hey Lanfen! Are you free tonight~~?" -
[14:44] <Yanmei> The printer spat out the image rather quickly, and with an air of determination, she picked it up, grabbed the tape, and approached her not-coat rack.

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