Cherry Blossom Procession 4 2 41

[22:02] <Hopeplo> ["But I rather like Yanmei's office." Said Armin brightly, his left arm hanging most comfortably around Sera's shoulders. "It's comfortable but tasteful. Like me."]
[22:05] * Sept buzzered the two of them into the waiting room, having to exert effort to lift his arm under the weight of Armin's. "What does that mean, you're comfortable?"
[22:06] <Hopeplo> ["It means I am comfortable. That is, not uncomfortable."]
[22:08] <Sept> "I don't get it."
[22:08] <Hopeplo> ["Think of an uncomfortable person. Who pops into your head?"]
[22:11] <Sept> "Do you mean they're always uncomfortable to be around, or they're not comfortable being themselves or something?"
[22:11] <Hopeplo> ["Both work."]
[22:13] <Yanmei> The little light next to the buzzer had turned green after just a moment.
[22:16] <Sept> "Mmh. Whatever," Sera said, stepping in. "You just mean you're you."
[22:18] <Hopeplo> ["And other people are happy with that." Said Armin cheerfully. "Chancellor Zhang! You're positively legendary today!"]
[22:20] <Sept> "Yeah, hey."
[22:23] <Yanmei> "Eh…?" Chancellor Zhang was sitting primly at her desk with something or other pulled up on her computer monitor. She recovered quickly from the impressive entry, combing at her hair smugly with her fingers. "Legendary, hm~? Thanks. Hello gentlemen. Please have a seat?"
[22:27] <Sept> "Thanks," Sera said and sat down, finally getting a bit of distance from his eternal companion. "You've come to some decisions, right?"
[22:29] <Yanmei> "I have! About a couple of things? For example, have you talked to Freya lately?"
[22:30] <Hopeplo> [Armin did not sit. Instead he went over to Yanmei's liquor cabinet, opened it and began taking out the brightest and most colourful bottles, holding them up to the light so he could admire the hues.]
[22:34] <Sept> "Not today." Sera glanced at Armin nervously. "Just… lay it on me. I hate waiting."
[22:38] * Yanmei too glanced at Armin, but more pressing matters were calling for her attention at the moment. She folded her hands on top of her desk. "So… it turns out that it may be possible to transfer her Eternity Drive Pillar status from Freya to someone else."
[22:44] <Sept> "Okay. Good," Sera said, tapping a finger on the armrest quickly.-
[22:44] <Sept> "I think we can just make a Sera for it. We can't force it on someone."
[22:46] * Yanmei gave him an odd and slightly uncomfortable look. "Serafina Raskova has already volunteered."
[22:47] <Sept> "Oh."-
[22:47] <Sept> "That's better."
[22:50] <Yanmei> "There are still a lot of moral issues around all this. And we still don't know if it'll work? But we've agreed to at least try it. You'll be happy to know that I've lightened up their security a whole lot too."
[22:54] <Sept> "O-Of course. That's so much better. Thanks. You heard that, Armin?"
[23:01] <Hopeplo> ["I did." Said Armin. "Serafina Raskova's moral courage deserves an opera."]
[23:02] <Sept> "Sure. I think we can make that happen."
[23:04] * Yanmei looked amused at first. The contemplative. "A UEF-produced opera… Might generate some much-needed cash for us."
[23:08] <Sept> "It might be more proper if she was dead first."
[23:13] * Yanmei sighed. "Probably. And even then it can't be, like, right after the funeral or anything."
[23:21] <Sept> "Hehehe. Nah. I can take care of it afterwards, if this works."
[23:30] <Yanmei> "Speaking of stories about her life… I don't suppose she's told you any of them yet?"
[23:32] <Sept> "Um," Sera said, considering his words carefully. "Which stories?"
[23:35] <Yanmei> "Well. About Shangri-la, specifically. It's pretty difficult to get her to open up, but I've been curious."
[23:41] <Sept> "Oh, yeah. It'd be nice to hear more about it, but… I guess the same goes for everyone who knew the place. It's not pleasant to talk about it. Or maybe even constructive."
[23:50] <Yanmei> "Hmm. Maybe you're right. It was basically an entire village made up of people with superpowers, though. You can't help but wonder what it would be like to grow up in a place like that."
[23:55] <Sept> "Mmm. They weren't fun superpowers, though. Maybe it was more normal than you think."
[23:55] <Hopeplo> ["What would you consider a fun superpower?" Asked Armin curiously.]
[23:58] <Sept> "You know. Flying and stuff."
[00:00] <Yanmei> "Or super hearing. Imagine the conversations you could listen in on~"
[00:00] <Hopeplo> ["Do you know what I consider a fun superpower?" Asked Armin.]
[00:01] <Sept> "…what?"
[00:02] * Yanmei tilted her head curiously.
[00:02] <Hopeplo> ["Being able to, in an instant, inhibit all fusion within the heart of a star." Said Armin dreamily.-
[00:02] <Hopeplo> ["And then use all that immense power to show someone how much you love them."]
[00:07] <Sept> "That really doesn't sound safe."
[00:09] <Hopeplo> ["It's safe if the system's uninhabited."]
[00:10] <Sept> "But what about the person!"
[00:10] <Hopeplo> ["What person?"]
[00:14] <Sept> "That's what they'll say after they spontaneously combust!"
[00:14] <Hopeplo> ["Why would they spontaneously combust?"]
[00:18] <Sept> "Because you can't give them fusion energy?"
[00:19] <Yanmei> "I'm more curious about who the recipient of this hypothetical fusion-love would even be." Yanmei was grinning. "Is it Go?"
[00:21] <Sept> "She'd combust even without superpower confessions."
[00:23] <Hopeplo> ["It could be anyone, because I love everyone." Said Armin seriously.]
[00:27] <Yanmei> "Tch." Yanmei looked disappointed. "So you have no romantic interest in her or anyone else whatsoever?"
[00:28] <Hopeplo> ["She contributed to creating my current avatar. That would be a little strange."]
[00:30] <Yanmei> "So that would make her, like… a mom to you?"
[00:31] <Hopeplo> ["In a fashion. Not really. But the analogy works."]
[00:37] * Yanmei squinted a little bit, and glanced toward Sera with a slight air of incredulity.
[00:40] <Sept> "You think I know anything about what the hell he thinks about?!"
[00:40] <Yanmei> "You two live together! How could you not know?"
[00:46] <Sept> "He just tries to push his romantic bullshit agenda all the time, he makes no sense!"
[00:47] <Hopeplo> ["Perhaps I got that from Yanmei…" Murmured Armin.]
[00:48] <Sept> "Yeah, I feel like I was the only one on that expedition not actively trying to ship Cassius with someone."
[00:50] <Yanmei> "H-hey! I did no such thing? I was trying to focus, business as usual and such."
[00:51] <Hopeplo> ["Yes, I feel like both you and Go had a hand in this…"]
[00:51] <Yanmei> "Speaking of expeditions!" said Yanmei rather loudly. "We have another one coming up soon! How about that?"
[00:55] <Sept> "R-Right," Sera said, reluctantly letting go of the topic.-
[00:56] <Hopeplo> ["Go and Yanmei… If you fused the two, what sort of incredible entity would be born?!"]
[00:57] <Sept> "There's no way it won't be dangerous," Sera said, barely registering Armin. "Did you decide how many people we're sending down there?"
[00:58] <Hopeplo> ["What sort of powerful fantasies and dreams would she concoct within her breast? What sort of schemes would she weave…?!"]
[01:02] <Yanmei> "The actual numbers are still being worked out, but they're mainly going to be Iron Guard. Rustami wants to be a part of this too. And stop thinking about that." She glared at Armin. "If you're going to imagine fusing me with someone, it should be someone way cooler? Like another version of myself, or Liu Lin or something."
[01:04] <Hopeplo> ["Do you not like the idea of fusing with Go? I think it would suit you quite well."]
[01:06] <Sept> "Won't Kourosh die from the physical exertion?"
[01:07] <Hopeplo> ["I don't know if the fused entity would go that far… Hmm…"]
[01:09] <Yanmei> "I'd prefer to remain unfused completely, if it's all the same? And I dunno… maybe one of the Guards can carry him around, piggyback style when we're moving around in there. Rustami's going to be in charge of tactics and operations, not actually fighting, so we don't have to worry about him getting murdered too much. I hope."
[01:10] <Hopeplo> ["It's purely hypothetical!"]
[01:17] <Sept> "…Hm. Okay. If he wants to."
[01:17] <Hopeplo> ["He probably would…"]
[01:17] <Sept> "What?"
[01:18] <Hopeplo> ["What?"]
[01:18] <Sept> "Nah. Nothing."
[01:23] * Yanmei glanced between the two of them, slightly puzzled, before going on. "He wanted to bring Albus Mortens along, but I didn't think it was a great idea?"
[01:24] <Sept> "Well, an Iron Guard could probably stand up to some of the defenses we might see?"
[01:28] <Yanmei> "Yeah, but…" Yanmei frowned. "It's more of a trust thing?"
[01:33] <Sept> "I… can't fault you for that." Sera tapped his fingers together. "But if we're not throwing everyone at it… have you considered backup plans?"
[01:36] <Yanmei> "What do you mean? Backup plans in case we don't come back from it?"
[01:38] <Sept> "Well. Like if we get stuck, I guess. We can't just die in there."
[01:42] <Yanmei> "Hmm. If we don't come back in a certain period of time, of course the people left behind are going to probe the thing somehow to see how safe it is, and probably try to send out a rescue party. Did you have something else in mind?"
[01:48] <Sept> "Yeah, but you'd probably have to send in people like Albus who can deal with AT stuff better."
[01:53] * Yanmei looked slightly worried about that. "He'd be a last resort, in that case."
[01:54] <Sept> "Would you be less concerned about calling Ezra or something?"
[01:56] <Yanmei> "No. There's no need to get UN personnel involved in this, especially since we have to be careful about our communication with his group being intercepted. If it was Ezekiel though…"
[01:57] <Sept> "If you could convince Ezekiel to come after us?"
[01:57] <Hopeplo> ["Ezekiel won't go." Said Armin.]
[01:59] <Yanmei> "Too weird for him?" Yanmei guessed.
[02:00] <Hopeplo> ["I suspect that if he did, the Black Moon would too readily recognise him as an Angelic-aligned entity…"]
[02:01] <Yanmei> "Mmm. Then there would be a bunch of security measures to deal with on top of everything else."
[02:02] <Hopeplo> ["Yes."]
[02:05] <Yanmei> "I wish we had a squad of literal robots that we could just send in to investigate. Tough, combat-appropriate ones."
[02:09] <Sept> "No matter how combat-ready, there might still be AT-reliant mechanisms in there. Sending robots in would just screw the invaders over."-
[02:09] <Sept> "That's how I'd build it, I think."
[02:12] <Yanmei> "Hmph. Well, whatever we do, we need to not get stuck there unless we want Albus to drag us out again? And who knows what he'll have up his sleeve once he's actually in the Black Moon? His plans are a mystery…"
[02:13] <Sept> "Well, okay. If he's got some dumb conspiracy going, it's probably some crap about Azariah's legacy, right? That can't be so bad."
[02:15] <Yanmei> "Maybe. His current boss is pretty sketchy too? Like, there's a chance he'll make a grab for power within the UEF or betray us to Mary Caine or something."
[02:20] <Sept> "How would the Moon help them, though?"
[02:27] <Yanmei> "No idea! Maybe there's some crazy mind-controlling device in there, or a weapon of horrific destruction that they could use for leverage. Or maybe just having an opportunity to get rid of the two of us in a tidy and quiet fashion would be enough."
[02:31] <Sept> Sera gave an amused smile at that, raising his hands a little.-
[02:32] <Sept> "Okay, you've got me convinced. Those are all things that might be in there. I have… no objections to your plan."
[02:36] * Yanmei nodded firmly, looking bit more pleased. "Good. Thank you. And I probably don't need to mention this, but the stuff about Mortens stays between the three of us, okay?"
[02:38] <Sept> "Sure. Armin can keep secrets. Right, Armin?"
[02:45] <Hopeplo> ["Of course."]
[02:46] <Sept> "Great, so… you'll call me when you figure out the others, so I can complain about them?"
[02:48] * Yanmei smirked. "Sure, don't worry. I'll keep you updated."
[02:54] <Sept> "Right. Well," Sera said, starting to get up.-
[02:56] <Sept> "Keep up your legendariness, or… s-something. You know what I mean. Thanks for figuring out everything with Freya!"-
[02:56] <Sept> "Let's go,"
[02:57] <Sept> .*
[03:02] <Yanmei> "I'll see you two later!" Yanmei stood as well, cheerfully, to see them out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License