Cherry Blossom Procession 4 2 37

[12:12] <Minaplo> [It had been twenty minutes since Raphael had been summoned to a meeting with Marshal Amatore. The twenty minutes had been productive- they reviewed recent gains and performance by SOS and determined areas of improvement.-
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["With that done, I want to turn to a different topic." Said Marianne abruptly. "The Prime Minister and I are in agreement that the Gendo Ikari should be placed under the command of General Thomas."-
[12:15] <Minaplo> ["Because of the roles you both possess in SOS, he would like your assistance in establishing the battleship as an operational HQ for SOS, logistically at least, until we can secure a lighter, faster vessel for its purpose. He'd also care for your advice on certain matters, including selecting an Eva to be interred within the Ikari's S2 chamber."]
[12:26] * Raphael looked rather tired a late night at the dinner party, but he'd been engaged, relatively bright throughout, and he was quick to rattle off figures or justify choices.-
[12:26] <Raphael> The abruptness of Marianne's pivot seemed to surprise him, but he was quick to nod. "Yes ma'am. That shouldn't be a problem."
[12:28] <Minaplo> ["Excellent. Between the two of you, you'll have almost total control over how the Ikari functions." Said Marianne.-
[12:28] <Minaplo> [She allowed herself a sly smile. "I know you've been craving a properly professional culture for three years, so here's your chance to make good."]
[12:36] <Raphael> He beamed at a wattage that could do the Peacecraft's weapons systems proud. "A professional culture…" he repeated, appreciating the shape of the words.
[12:41] <Minaplo> ["You're beyond saving." Said Marianne with a dry shake of the head. "That's all. Take your time to research Eva options and meet with Thomas at 0900 tomorrow."]
[12:47] <Raphael> Well beyond saving. "Understood, Marshal!"
[12:59] <Minaplo> […-
[13:00] <Minaplo> [At 8:59 AM, Raphael's VTOL landed within the Ikari's 2nd hangar bay, which was bustling- yet a lot less so than the Dorian's.-
[13:01] <Minaplo> [As the VTOL landed and lowered its access ramp- revealing Thomas standing about 20 metres away- Raphael would have a chance to review who he'd brought with him before going out to meet with the Marshal.]
[13:23] <Raphael> Thomas had a clear view into the cabin and the four people inside. There was Raphael, obviously - He was already standing as the ramp began to lower - but around him were the figures of Ritsuko Akagi, San and Alexandrina Wales.-
[13:23] <Raphael> Lexie had joined them only minutes before the VTOL had been due to take off. She'd been loitering in the hangars, clearly bored.-
[13:23] <Raphael> Raphael descended the ramp and saluted. "Marshal Thomas, sir."
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["General." Said Thomas, returning the salute. "Pilot, Pilot, Doctor." He said, from San to Lexie to Ritsuko in turn.-
[13:33] <Minaplo> ["So which of these are gonna be my resident household god?" Asked Thomas.]
[13:38] <Raphael> "Ayanami San, sir," Raphael said with a gesture towards her as she descended the ramp. "She's an excellent AT manipulator, she's trustworthy and she has experience in surveillance for our counterspy needs."
[13:39] <Minaplo> [San beamed.-
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["San, huh." Gruffed Thomas. His eyes narrowed. "Aren't you that one peeping tom Ayanami?"-
[13:39] <Minaplo> [San promptly stopped smiling; her cheeks went red. "N-No!"]
[13:43] <Raphael> "We've had an extensive conversation about the responsibility inherent in the job, I assure you. Correct, Pilot?"
[13:43] <Minaplo> [San puffed up her cheeks indignantly- but let out a long sigh a moment later. "Y-yes, we have. I'm not going to-to watch anyone like that."-
[13:44] <Minaplo> ["Again." Added Lexie lightly.-
[13:44] <Minaplo> [San shot Lexie a deeply filthy look.-
[13:45] <Minaplo> ["Good. See that it doesn't." Said Thomas flatly. He turned and began to walk, expecting the others to follow. "Now this ship's more or less like the Dorian in layout- at least everything important is where it's supposed to be. The dormitories are relatively spartan and also smaller, except for the squadron quarters. There's fewer amenities and less decorative shit around too."]
[13:51] * Raphael followed without a second thought, thoroughly used to the pace of meetings with Thomas. He gave San a surreptitious pat on the back as he went. "That works for our purposes, sir. More space for the necessities."
[13:55] <Minaplo> ["Yep." Said Thomas. "We're installing a system of autodefenses throughout the ship as well in case of boarding, but if peeper there does her job they won't be necessary-"-
[13:55] <Minaplo> [San fumed.-
[13:55] <Minaplo> ["But it never hurts to have redundancies, does it?" Mused Ritsuko.-
[13:56] <Minaplo> ["Nope." Said Thomas.-
[13:56] <Minaplo> [The first place Thomas took them was the bridge.-
[14:00] <Minaplo> [The bridge was almost identical to the Dorian's, but the captain's chair was more higher placed by comparison.-
[14:01] <Minaplo> ["The bridge." Said Thomas, waving a meaty hand toward it. "It's where I'll spend most of my time- and yours too, peeper. If you're on duty, then you're in here, got it?"-
[14:01] <Minaplo> ["Yup." Said San, scowling.]
[14:05] * Raphael winced a little. "… have you made a start on the bridge crew, sir, or should I look into that as well?"
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["If you've got some recommendations, submit 'em."]
[14:12] <Raphael> "Certainly. I'll look through our options when we get back."
[14:24] <Minaplo> ["Good. Prioritise a weapons officer and a chief engineer." Said Thomas. "The sooner the better. The Arabs did a good job on fixing the hull, but there's a buncha systems still in need of a total overhaul."]
[14:25] * Raphael glanced at Ritsuko with a small smile. "I don't suppose you're interested in a promotion, ma'am?"
[14:28] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko chuckled. "The idea has some appeal, I admit, but I don't think it'd be too clever, what with Tsucchin and all."]
[14:29] <Raphael> "Of course, that's understandable. And Surov and Colonel Surova are tied down… hm. I'll do some research."
[14:30] <Minaplo> ["Surova'd be a good choice, but she'd be off on deployment and I'd rather have a dedicated chief engineer." Said Thomas.-
[14:33] <Minaplo> ["If you like, I can ask Henri." Said Lexie brightly to Raphael.]
[14:36] * Raphael snorted. "Please don't suggest that to him, I'd never, ever hear the end of the pleading."
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["I know."]
[14:39] * Raphael rolled his eyes.-
[14:39] <Raphael> "There'll be someone promising, I'm sure. I'll speak to Colonel Surova."
[14:40] <Minaplo> ["Try to find someone with prior experience." Said Thomas. "Don't want to waste my time on some egghead gettin' to grips with it all…"-
[14:42] <Minaplo> ["Let's go. I'll show you the two types of dorms we have here."]
[14:42] <Raphael> "Yessir."
[14:52] <Minaplo> […-
[14:52] <Minaplo> [The first dorm was… Not a Dorian dorm.-
[14:52] <Minaplo> [It was half the size and contained two double-bunks bolted into the wall, along with four lockers on the far side of the room away from the beds.-
[14:52] <Minaplo> ["Cozy." Said Lexie.]
[14:58] <Raphael> "It's not too bad. A little better than the standard dorms on the Liberty Bell, I'd say…" Raphael said, casting an appraising eye over the place. "Plenty were accustomed to this sort of thing before we lived on a giant floating palace, I'm certain they'll adapt."
[15:25] <Minaplo> ["Not much privacy." Said Lexie critically. "But I suppose pilots are in one of the other rooms?"-
[15:27] <Minaplo> ["Yep."-
[15:28] <Minaplo> [The other rooms, as it turned out, were much more spacious in a sense. They lacked the sheer overly-soft comforts of the Dorian, but compared to the spartan rooms they were luxurious.-
[15:29] <Minaplo> [Each dormitory had a single bed, wardrobe and desk; they were grouped into bunches of five, built around a single common room. The common room itself had a dining room table, a sofa, a television and a kitchen.-
[15:29] <Minaplo> ["The idea here was for Superheavy squads and the like." Said Thomas. "Supposed to build cameraderie, all living together in a roomie situation."]
[15:33] <Raphael> "Perfectly reasonable," Raphael said. He'd taken it upon himself to peek into the kitchen and one of the bedrooms. "What do you think, Pilot Wales? More tolerable?"
[15:43] <Minaplo> ["Yes, this seems quite fine." Said Lexie. "So long as I'm not expected to change where others can see, I'm pretty happy."-
[15:43] <Minaplo> ["Not much luck on this ship anymore, then." Said Ritsuko, nudging San in the ribs.-
[15:43] <Minaplo> [San scowled. "Uuuu-"-
[15:46] <Minaplo> ["Ideally, I want a mix of six customs and Evas posted to this ship." Said Thomas. "The ship's not hurting for firepower, so close range units are preferable."-
[15:46] <Minaplo> [Lexie promptly tuned out of the conversation, wandering off into the kitchen.-
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["Which brings us back to you." Said Thomas, turning to Raphael. "Ideally I want to keep SOS together wherever possible. Agreed?"]
[15:48] <Raphael> "That seems best," Raphael said as he returned to stand by the dining table with the others.
[16:11] <Minaplo> ["I'd like to post your ground squads here full-time, but as for the superheavies…" He shrugged. "To be blunt, until the Ikari gets proper fixed the most important battles will see the Dorian up front, and if we need the Dorian we'll need SOS nearby. What I'm hoping to do is turn the Ikari into a siege vessel."]
[17:23] * Raphael nodded. "I had the same thought. So your Superheavy compliment would be for close support and interception rather than independent assault…"-
[17:24] <Raphael> "I'd recommend Fox regiment, sir. It tends to excel at shorter ranges." He paused, momentarily glad Lexie was gone. "… I know your feelings on the younger auxiliaries, but they've served well in the Pacific and their CO knows how to keep them in line."
[17:33] <Minaplo> ["Hhhn." Thomas let out a low sort of resigned growl. "I don't suppose I have much choice, do I?"]
[17:37] <Raphael> "Probably not, sir. We're ruling out SOS and Eagle are the same age but with a less suitable composition for the job," Raphael said. He shrugged. "Wolf is probably what you're looking for, but as you said yourself I doubt you'll be able to get Colonel Surova here full time."
[17:39] <Minaplo> ["If it's any consolation, General, Fox is made up of volunteers, not conscripts." Said Ritsuko. "They were given incentives, of course, but they knew what they were getting into."-
[17:39] <Minaplo> [Thomas scowled, his bushy eyebrows knotting together into one big furious monobrow for a few seconds.-
[17:41] <Minaplo> [Finally he sighed. "Fine. Fine. It isn't like the average fucking age of political power hasn't dropped by a decade since Impact anyway…"-
[17:41] <Minaplo> ["If you really wanted to balance the scales, you could go into politics yourself." Said Alexandrina sweetly, returning from the kitchen.-
[17:44] <Minaplo> ["That's enough of your cheek, missy." Said Thomas flatly. "C'mon. May as well continue the grand tour."]
[17:47] * Raphael followed along, trying and failing to hide a smile.
[17:47] <Minaplo> ["You fucking watch yourself, Guillory-"-
[17:47] <Minaplo> […-
[17:48] <Minaplo> ["Now we're coming up on the promenade." Said Thomas. "S'like the Dorian's, but it's empty. Doesn't have all that shop crap about it. Did you hear someone's opening up a newspaper over there?"-
[17:48] <Minaplo> [San winced and buried her face in her hands.-
[18:02] <Minaplo> ["I think it's a shame, really. Even without the luxury of the Dorian, I liked the liveliness of the old promenade." Said Ritsuko.]
[18:10] * Raphael , still walking a pace ahead, missed San's freakout entirely. "Mm, it has its merits. It probably takes up too much space, but there's value in some community space in a ship of this scale…"
[18:18] <Minaplo> ["The same factors that led to people opening stores on the Dorian will apply here, surely. There will be bored soldiers looking to make extra money with their time…" Said Lexie. "Especially if Rustami encourages it with those fairs of his. Speaking of, are you going to the peach banquet, Raphael?"]
[18:19] <Raphael> "Word's really getting around about that, hm?" Raphael asked. "I am, yes."
[18:20] <Minaplo> ["Excellent. And you, General?"-
[18:20] <Minaplo> ["Huh." Thomas glanced back at her. "In a sense."-
[18:20] <Minaplo> [Lexie quirked an eyebrow, but didn't say anything more.-
[18:23] <Minaplo> [They walked out into the promenade proper, now. Instantly Raphael could see the structural similarity- it was like a family resemblance. The same bones were there, the same wide pathways were there, as were the overlooking levels above, girded by railings; there were empty storefronts after empty storefronts, the lone exception being Blue, standing outside of his Bar and Grill; there were
[18:23] <Minaplo> the same elevators, the same staircases, some of which wound up to the top level; and of course here and there were a few benches for sitting.]
[18:35] * Raphael took it all in with a curious eye. There was beauty to the architecture of these promenades, even in the less gaudy Gendo. There was a high, arched ceiling, but none of the ridiculous frescoes or unnecessary columns that tended to dominate the Dorian before the refit and-
[18:35] <Raphael> While most of his brain was quite happy to continue along that track, his amygdala spotted the real concern and seized direct control of his tongue. "wholetBlueonboard"
[18:40] <Minaplo> ["Huh-?" Lexie and San turned-
[18:40] <Minaplo> ["Howdy, folks." Said Blue lazily. "Y'all enjoyin' the amenities?"]
[18:41] * Raphael was mute, jaw hanging open, gesturing from Blue to the facade of his Bar and back again with increasing amounts of ferocity and hand flapping.
[18:46] <Minaplo> ["Well I missed you too, mon amee." Said Blue, tipping his head toward Raphael.-
[18:46] <Minaplo> ["I… How did he-" Lexie turned toward Raphael, as though hoping he'd explain, but his expression said it all. "… Are you alright?"]
[18:47] <Raphael> "aaa"
[18:47] <Minaplo> [A moment later he felt a sharp pain in his face- Ritsuko had slapped him, hard.]
[18:48] * Raphael blinked and worked his jaw. "W-what happene-…"-
[18:48] <Raphael> "… why is Blue here?"
[18:50] <Minaplo> ["Well this is my bar, isn't it?" Said Blue, gesturing to the bar behind him.]
[18:51] <Raphael> "No it's not."
[18:54] <Minaplo> ["It is."]
[18:56] <Raphael> "It's a carefully constructed facade," Raphael said insistently. "I'm… not sure how you did that, but we've only just received this ship and we've barely begun staffing it. You didn't somehow build— secretly build a bar."
[18:57] <Minaplo> ["Yep. They installed it 'round the time they were fixin' up the impact cannons, they were." Said Blue.]
[19:02] <Raphael> "No they didn't."-
[19:03] <Raphael> "You couldn't run two bars on different ships anyway."
[19:04] <Minaplo> ["Sure could."]
[19:05] <Raphael> "Why, so Roku could bankrupt two locations instead of one?"
[19:06] <Minaplo> ["No Rokus on his ship, baby." Said Blue gleefully. "You're all in the Double Bar-reled Blue Zone!"]
[19:08] * Raphael's lip curled in an unconscious snarl and he turned and marched towards the door of the 'bar' to uncover the ruse himself.
[19:08] <Minaplo> [Inside, Raphael would see…-
[19:09] <Minaplo> [Polished, wooden floors. A beautiful dark bar, fully stocked with liquor. Comfortable chairs with soft blue cushioned linings sitting around circular tables. At the far end was a pool table and several arcade machines…-
[19:10] <Minaplo> [There was even a door leading to the tailor's, and a stage for performers.-
[19:10] <Minaplo> [It was Blue's Bar.]
[19:11] <Raphael> "Holograms," Raphael announced to the empty bar, and promptly attempted to drive his open palm through one of the 'tables'.
[19:13] <Minaplo> [Thwack! The wood answered him with a stinging hand.]
[19:15] <Raphael> "…" For a while he just stood there and mournfully regarded his palm.-
[19:15] <Raphael> "… ow."
[19:17] <Minaplo> ["Poor Raphael." Said Lexie mournfully. "Years of live combat and what truly breaks him is realising that he'll never, ever buy alcohol from anyone but you again, Mr. Blue."]
[19:19] <Raphael> "I will personally ensure Roku burns all his ventures to the ground," Raphael muttered, apparently to himself.
[19:22] <Minaplo> ["Shouldn't you be usin' Favager for that?" Said Blue lightly.]
[19:22] <Raphael> "It's good to have a fallback."
[19:23] <Minaplo> ["That's true." Said Blue.-
[19:23] <Minaplo> ["Now this here place, you see, I hear is gonna be used as a sorta SOS HQ. So I'm givin' it over to Medea to act as your liaison."]
[19:29] <Raphael> … a horrible kind of awareness dawned on him.-
[19:30] <Raphael> "This was Marshal Amatore's doing, wasn't it? She knew."
[19:32] <Minaplo> ["… So, funny story." Said Blue. "Remember how way back when, I asked the good Marshal if I could buy a plot o' land on the ship and she got all smart and asked me to pay in cash?"]
[19:33] * Raphael brought up both hands and started massaging his face. "Yes."
[19:34] <Minaplo> ["Well in the contract I stipulated that I wanted a plot of land on the Federation's Achaemenes-class ships." Said Blue. "With an 's'. Ships…"]
[19:37] <Raphael> "Goddamnit."
[19:38] <Minaplo> ["It could be worse." Said Blue.]
[19:39] <Raphael> "Probably. My mouth could be filled with wasps right now."
[19:41] <Minaplo> ["Or it could be owned by Brown, who was, I hear, very very interested in buyin' up over here until Marianne told him the space was taken. By me."]
[19:46] <Raphael> "Unless you are Brown and you worked out a way to infuriate me more than normal."
[19:47] <Minaplo> ["I ain't Brown, geez."]
[19:48] <Raphael> "… Probably not. This seems like something Blue would do."-
[19:49] <Raphael> He frowned. "But then Brown would know that…"
[19:49] <Minaplo> ["It's Blue." Said San.]
[19:50] <Raphael> "Fine. Fine."
[19:50] <Minaplo> ["Why don't you have a drink and settle your nerves?" Said Blue.]
[19:52] <Raphael> "No thank you," he muttered. "I'm on duty right no-"
[19:52] <Raphael> He froze as that information seemed to return to his brain and swivelled slowly towards the figures behind him.
[19:54] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko, San and Lexie stared at him- Thomas notably did not, standing outside with his arms folded.-
[19:54] <Minaplo> ["Raphael." Said Lexie seriously. "You should know that Blue's alcohol is duty free."]
[19:57] <Raphael> He fixed Lexie with an absolutely filthy look and then marched right back out the door again, not bothering to say another word to Blue.-
[19:57] <Raphael> "I am so, so sorry, sir," he said as he returned to Thomas, thoroughly shamefaced.
[19:58] <Minaplo> ["You're fine, Guillory." Said Thomas gruffly. "I understand that the Dorian has a rather unprofessional atmosphere."]
[19:59] <Raphael> "We can… quarantine him here, I'm sure. It'll be better this time."
[20:00] <Minaplo> ["If you say so, Guillory." Said Thomas.-
[20:02] <Minaplo> [After that, the tour continued. They visited Main Engineering, which was busy with crew as per usual, although the door to the S2 Chamber had been sealed off.-
[20:02] <Minaplo> [A tour of the main fire control rooms, including the new impact cannons…-
[20:04] <Minaplo> [And finally the stellar observatory, which offered an unfettered view of- the sky, which at this point was blue and sunny. However, Thomas demonstrated that the observatory's ceiling could be changed to present a holographic view of the night sky, with the constellations highlighted; it could also project that hologram around them, offering a 360 degree awareness of where they were in
[20:04] <Minaplo> space.-
[20:05] <Minaplo> ["And that is that," said Thomas, shutting off the hologram just as San was reaching out to pet a miniature Earth. "The work I need from you lot will be done with or without me, and I have things to do. Any questions?"]
[20:12] <Raphael> Raphael had been visibly impressed by the holographic simulations. He dimly recalled hearing that the Dorian had one as well, but he couldn't recall a time it'd been used…-
[20:12] <Raphael> "Not from me, sir. I'll have options for the bridge crew to you by tomorrow morning at the latest."
[20:14] <Minaplo> ["Very good. Your time is now yours. Dismissed."-
[20:14] <Minaplo> [With a final salute, Thomas turned and left.]
[20:17] <Raphael> Once he was out, Raphael absently flicked the holomap back on as he checked his watch.-
[20:18] <Minaplo> ["Yay!" San batted at the Earth.]
[20:19] <Raphael> Raphael's smile did a good job at masking the growing sense of dread in the pit of his stomach. "So. It'll be two more hours before the VTOL's ready to take us back."-
[20:20] <Raphael> "… who wants lunch?" he sighed.
[20:21] <Minaplo> […-
[20:22] <Minaplo> ["And one plate of curry chicken wings." Said Blue sleekly, placing the plate down in front of Raphael next to the bottle of English beer.]
[20:28] <Raphael> Raphael had looked sullen since their destination had been decided, and once they'd arrived one of the others had occasionally caught him assessing flammable items around the bar.-
[20:29] <Raphael> "Thanks," he said gruffly, twisting open his beer. It hadn't escaped his notice that - despite the place being empty but for them - Blue had seated them at the table Raphael assaulted.
[20:33] <Minaplo> ["Interesting, the difference in the decor." Said Ritsuko eventually- she was eating some Langley-Soryu pizza. "Between the Dorian and the Ikari, I mean."-
[20:33] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, there isn't even a hint of lewd frescoes around." Said San, who had gone halves in a large plate of cheesy fries with Lexie. "Weren't they made by the same people?"]
[20:39] <Raphael> "To the best of my knowledge," Raphael replied, once Blue was back behind the bar. "But yes, I noticed that too…"
[20:42] <Minaplo> ["The Dorian wasn't finished by the war's end." Said Ritsuko. "Silas- in his Angelic 'brother' form- found it and completed it with his powers, albeit… In a rather, er, twisted fashion."-
[20:42] <Minaplo> ["Ew." Muttered San.]
[20:43] <Raphael> "That seems to be a fair assessment."
[20:43] <Minaplo> ["I rather liked the frescoes." Said Lexie.]
[20:46] <Raphael> "That you weren't in them might help, ma'am."
[20:48] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said San firmly. "Why don't you go pose nude for someone and they can paint you across a military base?"-
[20:49] <Minaplo> ["Maybe I will." Said Lexie haughtily. "Besides, I didn't mean that. The paintings of you and your sisters were wrong, but in general, skill-wise and layout… I appreciated them. Usually."]
[21:03] <Raphael> "Hm. I can't really speak to that, I suppose," Raphael admitted, then picked up a wing and took a bite.-
[21:03] <Raphael> It was rather good, which didn't seem to improve his mood.
[21:29] <Minaplo> ["In any case, I'm hoping we get more use out of this ship than the Dory." Said Lexie idly. "We haven't yet rammed anything with that drill."]
[21:32] <Raphael> "I really don't know what they expected to do with that thing," Raphael said with a shake of his head. "The only valid target is another battleship, and we can hardly be expected to barnacle ourselves to something with more guns than an Angel-readied Paris-2."-
[21:35] <Raphael> "This ship, meanwhile, is built around one of the most powerful energy weapons mankind's ever produced. That's a proper CSW."
[21:38] <Minaplo> ["Agreed." Said Ritsuko. "It's only ever been properly fired once, and 01 absorbed it… I'm morbidly curious to see what it's really like."-
[21:38] <Minaplo> [San, meanwhile, was frowning. "What if the drill is like… A Freudian thing?"]
[21:40] <Raphael> Raphael's wince formed with agonizing slowness, as if he were losing some mental battle. "That's… probably a safer bet than I would like, ma'am."
[21:41] <Minaplo> ["Yeah… A guy who'd fill his ship with naked Ayanami paintings would totally make that ship be a giant phallus." Murmured San.-
[21:42] <Raphael> The wince deepened even further.
[21:45] <Minaplo> ["… Sorry to disrupt your citizen-scientist escapades," Began Ritsuko, who failed to hide a smile at Raphael's pain, "but Silas Caine had nothing to do with the drill plans. Those were drawn up before any of the battleships' keels were laid down."-
[21:47] <Minaplo> ["From what I've read, the drill had two purposes- sorry, I'm good to continue?"]
[21:47] <Raphael> "Mhmm."
[21:49] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko nodded. "The first intent was that it was supposed to be used to penetrate into the Geofront-"-
[21:49] <Minaplo> ["So Freudian." Murmured San, eliciting giggles from Lexie-
[21:50] <Minaplo> ["Not to destroy it, though- this ship's cannon would be overkill," Said Ritsuko, ignoring the two pilots. "Once it was through, the drill could open up and launch boarding craft or torpedoes into the Geofront-"-
[21:50] <Minaplo> [San covered her suddenly burning face-
[21:51] <Minaplo> ["-Filled with Iron Guard." Said Ritsuko, finally shooting San a dark look. "That was purpose number one."]
[21:55] <Raphael> Despite his best efforts Raphael had begun to laugh silently and helplessly, one hand over his face.
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["Oh come on."]
[21:58] <Raphael> "I-I'm sorry." He uncovered his face, formed a fist and coughed gently into it. "Please blame San, Doctor."
[21:59] <Minaplo> ["Oh, but I am." Said Ritsuko darkly.-
[22:00] <Minaplo> ["I'm just pointing out the facts!" Said San hotly. "The Geofront is home to Lilith's egg after all-"-
[22:00] <Raphael> "Oh no."
[22:00] <Minaplo> ["The second purpose," Said Ritsuko quickly, "Was mole mode."]
[22:02] * Raphael kept his attention on Ritsuko, doing his best to hold his composure.
[22:02] <Minaplo> ["It could be worse." Whispered Lexie. "What if the Dory penetrated the Geofront and nine months later a giant Matthias came out?"]
[22:09] * Raphael sputtered on a mouthful of beer, shoulders shaking.
[22:11] <Minaplo> ["Whereby the external hull of the Dorian would recess into itself, forming a long, smooth surface-"-
[22:11] <Minaplo> [San was visibly biting on her knuckles, tears starting to form in her eyes-
[22:12] <Minaplo> ["… Then use the drill to tunnel through the ground, moving unseen then emerging in a surprise attack." Finished Ritsuko with a sigh.]
[22:14] * Raphael just laid his head down on the table, still coughing and laughing hard enough that his eyes watered.
[22:15] <Minaplo> [Which made three of them.-
[22:16] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko let out a world-weary sigh. "I just described an incredible system by which a nearly two kilometre long warship might tunnel beneath the earth, but sure, it's a giant flying phallus."]
[22:18] <Raphael> "I-It can be *cough* more than one t-thing, Doctor."
[22:18] <Minaplo> [San gently nudged Raphael.]
[22:19] * Raphael lifted his head enough to peer at her and wiped at his eyes.
[22:19] <Minaplo> ["T-Tunnel mode." She said.-
[22:19] <Minaplo> [She coughed, and then- "D-Did the earth move for you too…?"]
[22:20] <Raphael> The heavy clunking sound his forehead made as it reconnected with the table could be heard throughout the bar.
[22:21] <Minaplo> [("Oh there goes Raphael again, accostin' my furniture…)"-
[22:22] <Minaplo> [At this point not even Ritsuko could hide a smile, if only at the sight of the three of them crying with laughter.-
[22:23] <Minaplo> ["G-Goodness me." Mumbled Lexie, at this point obviously out of breath.]
[22:27] * Raphael gradually worked himself back to a more normal, if red-faced, state. When he had, he folded his hands primly on the table and gave Ritsuko a very serious and professional stare.-
[22:27] <Raphael> "… That was a very informative story, Doctor Akagi, thank you."
[22:33] <Minaplo> ["You're welcome." She said, shaking her head ruefully.]
[22:38] * Raphael cleared his throat.-
[22:39] <Raphael> "So has anyone been working on anything interesting?"
[22:39] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[22:39] <Minaplo> [Lexie met Raphael's gaze. A second later she had to clap her hands over her mouth to stifle the giggles.-
[22:40] <Raphael> "… that one's my fault, yes."
[22:40] <Minaplo> ["G-Geez." San shook her head. "I-um, I think I've been doing something kinda interesting…"]
[22:40] <Raphael> "Oh?"
[22:42] <Minaplo> ["W-Well, that jerk Thomas made fun of it earlier." Said San with a scowl. "But I was trying to get a-a Dorian based newspaper up and running."]
[22:45] <Raphael> "That was-… ugh, I'm sorry, San. Don't take it personally."-
[22:46] <Raphael> "… also please don't call my CO a jerk."
[22:46] <Minaplo> ["W-Well he was!" Said San hotly. "He was mean to me the entire time! Calling me a peeping pervert and all that!"]
[22:48] <Raphael> "San…" he said delicately. "He shouldn't have been calling you that, but you can't deny there's some factual basis for-"
[22:52] <Minaplo> ["I wasn't trying to be a peeping pervert! It just happened, okay!? It happened and I was too stunned to react!"]
[22:54] <Raphael> "… San, it was five minutes."
[22:57] <Minaplo> ["I didn't realise what was really happening at first! I'm innocent and young!"]
[22:58] <Raphael> "I haven't magically forgotten the last few minutes, ma'am."
[22:58] <Minaplo> ["That's different!"]
[22:58] <Raphael> "Uh-huh."
[22:59] <Minaplo> ["This is gonna be a hell of a newspaper." Said Ritsuko cheerfully.]
[23:02] <Raphael> "… right, yes," Raphael said, remembering what they'd actually been talking about. "Newspaper. Tell me about that."
[23:04] <Minaplo> ["Not if you're gonna keep being mean." Said San in a tiny voice.]
[23:07] <Raphael> "I wasn't being mean," he said patiently.
[23:09] <Minaplo> [San gave him a tearful look.]
[23:10] <Raphael> "Well alright then." He gave a little shrug and focused on his beer instead.
[23:11] <Minaplo> ["…"]
[23:12] <Raphael> "…"
[23:13] <Minaplo> ["…"]
[23:14] <Raphael> "Have you been up to much, Pilot Wales?"
[23:15] <Minaplo> ["Just apologise and get it over with." Said Lexie.]
[23:19] <Raphael> "What have I been doing?" He asked, looking surprised. "Well, I can't say it's particularly thrilling, but we're in the process of testing refits to the Superheavy power plants that should up efficiency by 7%, according to the Thruster technicians."
[23:22] <Minaplo> ["It's a dumb idea anyway." Mumbled San.]
[23:34] * Raphael stared at here for a moment, checking for the signs and tells he'd begun to learn… and then let a little sigh. He stood up enough that he could lean across the table and tousle her hair with his clean hand.-
[23:34] <Raphael> "It's not a dumb idea, San," he said gently. "I really wasn't trying to be mean, I'm sorry."
[23:36] <Minaplo> ["I-It's okay." She said, patting at his hand. "I just- Thomas was mean, and now I'm afraid if I do my newspaper idea everyone's just gonna call me a pervert even more."]
[23:40] <Raphael> "Marshal Thomas… probably wasn't trying to be mean either, he just has a particular way of interacting with people," Raphael said as he retook his seat. "I'll speak to him."-
[23:40] <Raphael> "Come on, tell me what you have planned. I really do want to hear, you know."
[23:41] <Minaplo> [Lexie meanwhile had cocked her head curiously.-
[23:44] <Minaplo> ["W-Well." San squirmed. "The basic idea was… Lots of people move through the Dory all the time, soldiers going to or from somewhere. So they might've seen or heard things, so I could write it down and people who haven't can read it. It could be news from battles or just little stories…"]
[23:53] * Raphael smiled a little. "Historians would love you for that, too."
[23:54] <Minaplo> ["R-Really?"]
[23:55] <Raphael> "Those stories are important, and they're things that're harder to immortalize now that so few are keeping journals or writing letters."
[23:56] <Minaplo> ["W-Wow. When you put it like that…"-
[23:57] <Minaplo> ["Don't forget the sort of people with whom you have ease of access." Said Lexie. "On this ship, you have free access to everyone from a Starfleet Marine recruit all the way up to the first Chancellor of the Federation."]
[23:58] <Raphael> "Exactly," he nodded. "See? Not dumb at all."
[23:59] <Minaplo> [Something seemed to light up in San's eyes. "R-Right. I'm… I'm covering it from the ground!"]
[00:00] <Raphael> "That's right."
[00:02] <Minaplo> ["And since every story is important, your first one should be recounting what just happened here, with the flying phallus." Said Ritsuko happily.]
[00:02] <Raphael> "… now I didn't say that."
[00:06] <Minaplo> ["Oh, but it'd be incredibly humanising." Said Ritsuko. "Think of the future generations, learning that the seemingly granite-like Guillory, or the dignified Princess Alexandrina, could enjoy a nice, long, hard… Joke."]
[00:07] <Raphael> "Outlining the technical details of our flagship would be a real security concern, ma'am."
[00:08] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure it's nothing our enemies don't already know…"]
[00:09] <Raphael> "I don't know, ma'am," he said gravely. "It was a secret project before we captured it, we've kept the details out of UN hands and we've never displayed the… uh, tunneling capacities."
[00:10] <Minaplo> ["Unfortunately, if they have access to the Damocles they almost certainly have access to those files." Said Ritsuko easily.]
[00:13] <Raphael> "It'd still need to be subject to ISF review."
[00:15] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure Jeanne Simon won't mind at all…"]
[00:16] <Raphael> "Director Simon has enough of a workload without personally vetting newspaper articles in a timely manner. I'll speak to Agent Munir and see if he's willing to help."
[00:18] <Minaplo> ["It's like they're flirting." Murmured San to Lexie.-
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["Director Simon wouldn't agree to that- Munir's more useful in the field. She'd ask Savage to vet it." Said Ritsuko, taking a mouthful of her beer.]
[00:21] <Raphael> "Maybe, maybe."
[00:21] <Minaplo> ["And of course, Savage is… Predisposed to listen to San." Said Ritsuko.-
[00:22] <Minaplo> ["I admit, it's rather intriguing." Whispered Lexie to San.]
[00:24] * Raphael blinked for the first time since their exchange had begun. "… is he?"
[11:45] <Minaplo> ["Of course." Said Ritsuko. "He's a Brother, she's an Ayanami."]
[11:51] <Raphael> "Well… that's a concern."
[11:51] <Minaplo> ["D-Don't worry, Raphael." Said San. "I'm not really gonna publish that story for awhile."]
[11:52] <Raphael> "But you are going to publish it," he noted.
[11:52] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. But I'll change the names around."]
[11:54] <Raphael> "Gaphael Ruillory," he nodded. "An indestructable cipher."
[11:56] <Minaplo> [San squinted.-
[11:59] <Minaplo> ["Gaphael Ruillory…" She murmured to herself.-
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["That sounds like an anime name." She said eventually. "An anime about mecha pilots."]
[12:02] <Raphael> "What fresh thematic ground for it to break."
[12:02] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."-
[12:02] <Minaplo> ["I'd just name you George, anyway."]
[12:02] <Raphael> "… George?"
[12:03] <Minaplo> ["George."]
[12:03] <Raphael> "Why George?"
[12:04] <Minaplo> ["It doesn't even sound like a word, now." Muttered Ritsuko.-
[12:04] <Minaplo> ["I dunno, you look like a George." Said San helplessly.-
[12:05] <Minaplo> ["No George." Said Lexie coolly. "George was the King's name."-
[12:05] <Minaplo> [San eyed Lexie with a combination of caution and concern.]
[12:15] * Raphael tore some meat from one of his wings. "Try Nicolas," he said easily.
[12:17] <Minaplo> ["Nicolas…" Murmured San.-
[12:17] <Minaplo> ["Or you could call him Taro." Said Ritsuko.]
[12:23] <Raphael> "…" He gave her a narrow stare, chewing his food as though it'd personally wronged him. "… I really don't know where Misato finds the time."
[12:25] <Minaplo> ["It was Rei, actually."]
[12:30] * Raphael wilted and let out a weapons-grade sigh.
[12:32] <Minaplo> ["O-Oh, is this about you being Japanese on the inside?" Asked San brightly.-
[12:32] <Minaplo> ["Hm? You're Japanese now?" Asked Lexie curiously.]
[12:33] <Raphael> "No."
[12:38] <Minaplo> ["He's a little Japanese." Said San.]
[12:48] <Raphael> "No I am not," Raphael said, switching to rapid, indignant version of his native language. "I am French. I was born in France, I was raised in France, I didn't even leave France until I was nine. My ancestry is French for at least seven generations, and I can recite the entirety of Le Marseillaise - the full version, not just the national anthem."-
[12:48] <Raphael> "I am not Japanese."
[12:53] <Minaplo> ["Really? French for seven generations? No German or English or what-have-you?" Said Lexie in French.-
[12:55] <Minaplo> ["I know France desperately wants to own the world's lingua franca, but my French is rusty, what did he say?" Asked Ritusko.-
[12:55] <Minaplo> ["He said 'My ancestors were all French, but my children will be Japanese'." Said Lexie.]
[13:05] <Raphael> "That's-… I don't-…"-
[13:05] * Raphael tried one more time to open his mouth, but found no response bar, "Hm."
[13:08] <Minaplo> ["French-Japanese." Said Ritsuko gently. "They'll be able to sing the Le Marseillaise in two languages. That makes them even more patriotic, right?"]
[13:10] <Raphael> "Y-yes. Yes. That's absolutely right," he gripped onto the idea like a life preserver and gave a firm nod.
[13:12] <Minaplo> ["And they'll be more worldly and tolerant and make friends easier." Said San warmly.]
[13:19] <Raphael> He shifted a little, suddenly uncomfortable as the indignancy began to fade and let him process what they were actually talking about. "… Sure, San."
[13:19] <Minaplo> ["Plus, your daughters will have that Eurasian look that sends men like Kuzmin wild," Said Lexie before digging into her fries.]
[13:21] * Raphael looked absolutely aghast. His jaw shut so hard and so fast that there was an audible clack.
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["Wow." Said Ritsuko, her own expression twisted into a grimace. "That's one of the most repellent ideas I've ever heard voiced by someone outside of Technical."-
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["… Kuzmin has a mixed race fetish?" Asked San curiously.]
[13:28] <Raphael> "Why would you do this to me, ma'am?" Raphael asked in a small voice.
[13:30] <Minaplo> ["Seriously. Apparently the threat of monarchy was the only thing keeping you in check." Muttered Ritsuko.-
[13:30] <Minaplo> [Lexie beamed. "Just stating the facts. You have to admit, it's an attractive mix."-
[13:30] <Minaplo> ["Hey, I can publish that in my newspaper, right? That Kuzmin has a fetish?" Asked San excitedly.]
[13:31] <Raphael> "Absolutely not."
[13:31] <Minaplo> ["W-Why not?!"]
[13:33] <Raphael> "Didn't you want to avoid building a reputation?"
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["Having your first two story ideas be an extended phallic joke and a tale about the Soviet ex-Premier's sexual fetish is a bad way to start off, yes." Said Ritsuko.-
[13:39] <Minaplo> [San coloured. "W-Well, I… Erhm…"]
[13:43] * Raphael shook his head, still rather stunned. "Stories freely offered from the source are more useful for everyone than rumours, ma'am. Technical already provides the latter."
[13:47] <Minaplo> ["It's true, we already have rumour mills, we don't need a literal one." Said Lexie.-
[13:47] <Minaplo> ["O-Okay. I'll… I'll keep it to primary sources then." Mumbled San.]
[14:00] <Raphael> "That might be best…"-
[14:00] <Raphael> "In any case," he said firmly, "I'll thank you to leave all of that… that theorizing at home in future."
[14:02] <Minaplo> ["Or you could theorise with James Riel." Said Lexie.]
[14:03] <Raphael> "I was mostly aiming that at you, Pilot Wales."
[14:05] <Minaplo> ["Oh, I've been meaning to tell you." Said Lexie. "You can't call me that anymore."]
[14:06] <Raphael> He quirked an eyebrow. "Oh…?"
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["It stands for 'Alexandrina, Princess of Wales', as the Prince or Princess of Wales is the heir to the British crown. But since Catherine's now the heir- and will transfer the title to her children I'm sure, when she becomes Queen- then simply 'Pilot Windsor' will do."]
[14:16] <Raphael> "Oh, I see…" He said slowly, nodding a little. "My apologies, ma'am. I will do my best to remember."
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["On the topic of name changes…" Said San; she leaned toward Raphael and beamed.]
[14:20] <Raphael> "…" Raphael frowned and leaned back a proportional amount. "What?"
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["When are you and Misa-bachan gonna marry?!"]
[14:41] <Raphael> "When we're ready, San."
[16:27] <Minaplo> ["Hmmmm." San frowned.-
[16:37] <Minaplo> ["Where you gonna live?"]
[16:42] * Raphael scratched his neck. "The US, perhaps? President Linden gave us both a fairly strong job offer for when our work here's finished…"
[16:42] <Minaplo> ["Did she really?" Said Ritsuko in surprise.]
[16:44] <Raphael> "Mm. She… err, she offered us command of NASA," he said rather sheepishly.
[16:49] <Minaplo> ["… Really? NASA?" Ritsuko's eyebrows rose. "That's pretty impressive. I'm a little jealous."-
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["I wonder if NASA will just end up being absorbed into the Star Fleet anyway." Wondered Lexie.]
[16:58] <Raphael> Raphael's brows drew a little closer together. "… it might. I don't really know."
[17:02] <Minaplo> ["Space is big. The Federation might use the Star Fleet as its space-based military arm, but what about exploration, or surveying, or all that?" Said Ritsuko. "That'll probably go to private companies or civilian organisations like NASA. They might work with the Star Fleet, but only so far as NASA works with the Air Force."]
[17:10] <Raphael> "Mm, maybe," Raphael said as he toyed with his last piece of chicken. "I can't really see the Federation turning over the reins of a new age of exploration to private interests, but there'd be some room."
[17:13] <Minaplo> ["They might let private companies mine space rocks." Said Lexie.-
[17:13] <Minaplo> ["Which isn't exploration." Said San. "Geez."-
[17:13] <Minaplo> ["It could be. Space geology." Said Lexie, her cheeks going pink.-
[17:14] <Minaplo> ["Well, when you're heading up a space exploration programme, Raphael, keep your old pal Rits in mind, eh?" Said Ritsuko.]
[17:18] <Raphael> "Absolutely," he grinned. "It doesn't exactly sound real to me yet, but it's nice to think about."
[13:41] <Minaplo> ["It is." Said Ritsuko.-
[13:41] <Minaplo> ["It has me thinking, though. I wonder how many of us have plans- different careers or employment or such- waiting until the war ends?"]
[13:53] <Raphael> "Plenty, I'm sure."-
[13:53] <Raphael> He looked towards the Pilots. "How about you two? Particularly you, Pilot Wa-… Windsor," he corrected, "I'd imagine you've got a wealth of new options now."
[13:56] <Minaplo> ["I do. So many that I'm not sure which to choose," she said. "Perhaps I'll just spend the time taking up painting again."]
[13:59] <Raphael> "Oh, you paint?"
[14:01] <Minaplo> ["Yes. I've always loved art." Said Lexie brightly.]
[14:10] * Raphael nodded. "May I ask what other options you were considering?"
[14:16] <Minaplo> ["I suppose I could always remain in the military." Said Lexie. "Or I could go into politics. Alternatively, I could just explore for a few years."]
[14:21] <Raphael> "It must be nice to have those choices back, if you don't mind my saying so."
[14:23] <Minaplo> ["It really is." Said Lexie. "I feel as light as air ever since they chose Kitty to be Queen."]
[14:34] <Raphael> "I don't blame you," he said. He leant back in his chair, casting a momentary glance in Blue's direction. "… Princess Catherine is well, I hope? Her story was quite miraculous."
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["Yes, she's quite happy." Said Lexie. "Although I'm sure you'll be able to ask her that yourself soon enough."]
[14:39] <Raphael> "Oh, she's visiting with us?"
[14:40] <Minaplo> ["No." Said sweetly. "You're going to her coronation with us."]
[14:43] <Raphael> Raphael paused with his beer partway to his mouth. As silence fell, a few drops of condensation dropped onto his shirt. "… to what possible purpose?"
[14:44] <Minaplo> ["It wouldn't do for me to attend a coronation without having a date at least of General rank." Said Lexie, her eyes wide and innocent.]
[14:47] <Raphael> Raphael's eyes narrowed and his jaw clenched, but when he spoke his voice was mild. "Why don't you ask Prime Minister Wellesley, ma'am? I'm sure he'll be attending."
[14:49] <Minaplo> ["He is. With Ayanami." Said Lexie lightly.-
[14:49] <Minaplo> ["Stop teasing him, Lexie." Said San, nudging her in the ribs.-
[14:49] <Minaplo> ["Hmph." Lexie nudged her back.-
[14:51] <Minaplo> ["Fine. It was only a joke." Said Lexie. "I'm really going with Matthias, but I did discuss it with Wellesley and we came to the conclusion that it might be useful to have you there. Apparently there's a delegation from Japan attending, and they're bringing certain individuals you may be interested in- individuals who are part of the PSB's effort to rebuild…"]
[15:11] <Raphael> "Alphonse would handle that better than I could."
[15:13] <Minaplo> ["Ordinarily yes, but Alphonse is now Prime Minister. He has many, many obligations that take away his time. Since you had experience in the field at Japan, you're naturally our best option."]
[15:14] <Raphael> "…" He gave San a speculative look.
[15:15] <Minaplo> [San nodded. "I think she's right. I really wish I could come with you, though." She added enviously.]
[15:15] <Raphael> "You could go instead of me, ma'am."
[15:40] <Minaplo> ["Why are you so eager to wriggle out of this?" Asked Lexie irritably.]
[16:08] <Raphael> "An aversion to feeling desperately out of place," he said. "If it's a necessity then fine, but you didn't spring it on me like that thinking I'd enjoy it."
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["True." Admitted Lexie with a wave of her hand. "Perhaps you could find some other desperately out of place people? Then you could all fit in by not fitting in."-
[16:10] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko rolled her eyes. "We've heard that Sarah Holt's also attending." She said. "So you might find that useful as well, Raphael."]
[16:13] <Raphael> "Perhaps. Suppose I may as well make the best of it…"
[16:13] <Minaplo> ["That's the idea." Said Ritsuko sympathetically.-
[16:14] <Minaplo> [("You know, many people would be appreciative of being asked out by a princess.")-
[16:14] <Minaplo> [("Don't worry, Lexie, he's just used to it.")-
[16:15] <Minaplo> ["I don't envy you, though, being stuck with all that pomp and nonsense." Said Ritsuko.]
[16:17] <Raphael> Raphael pointedly ignored the Pilots. "Mm. It's all so… stuffy."
[16:17] <Minaplo> [Lexie and San instantly broke out into giggles.]
[16:19] <Raphael> "… What's so funny?"
[16:21] <Minaplo> ["Stuffy!" Said Lexie, a dainty hand over her mouth. "That's like a fish complaining about water being wet!"]
[16:23] <Raphael> "… I am reserved," he said heatedly. "There's a considerable difference, thank you."
[16:24] <Minaplo> ["Oh, you're reserved? Really? What does that mean?"]
[16:31] <Raphael> "I prefer to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself, that's all."
[16:32] <Minaplo> ["Y'also hate funny," Shouted Blue.]
[16:39] <Raphael> "Now that's just a lie!"
[16:46] <Minaplo> ["It's true, he laughed a lot earlier." Said San firmly.]
[16:48] * Raphael gestured towards her. "Thank you. I don't think Misato would put up with me if I lacked a sense of humour…"
[16:49] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure Raphael is humourous and open in private," Said Ritsuko.-
[16:49] <Minaplo> [Then added, "Just like every good Japanese husband."]
[16:57] <Raphael> "I give up."
[16:58] <Minaplo> ["Ahaha. I'm sorry, Raphael. But you have to remember that I've been around Misato longer than you have." Said Ritsuko lightly.-
[16:58] <Minaplo> ["I'll make up for it by paying for your bill, how about that?"]
[17:06] <Raphael> Raphael's sullen expression held for a few seconds longer, then cracked to make way for a smile. He waved his hand. "It's fine, Doctor. I'm not that worried."-
[17:06] <Raphael> "Although I have a sneaking suspicion you have a stereotype to fit anything I do," he smirked.
[17:08] <Minaplo> ["Keep things up and soon you will be a stereotype." Said Ritsuko. "The scowling French ace…"]
[17:11] <Raphael> "I don't see a problem with that. We'll teach the Americans some respectable French stereotypes yet."
[17:22] <Minaplo> ["Don't they have good French stereotypes?" Asked San curiously. Then her eyes narrowed. "Are Americans racist?"]
[17:34] <Raphael> "Well, no. They're still rather hung up on World War 2, though…"

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