Cherry Blossom Procession 4 2 8

(13:21) * Yanmei saluted as she and her companion came upon a certain guarded door. She was dressed in full uniform, so whoever she was about to meet was almost certainly of high military or political standing. She had, nevertheless, grumbled about it under her breath the entire way there. Why were prisoners of war so picky these days?
(13:25) * Cerise is now known as Reiska
(13:25) <Minaplo> [The marines dutifully lowered their salutes and stepped aside, allowing Yanmei and Marianne to pass through the door- which was unlocked.]
(13:27) * Yanmei gave another salute once she stepped past the threshold. She tried not to be obvious about glancing around for traps, because that would have been quite rude indeed. "General."
(13:44) <Minaplo> [General Juno Winter-Lorenz was lying on her bed in a sunflower-yellow nightgown, one foot folded over the ankle of the other. She had a book in her hand, and another ten in a haphazard tower on the bedside table.-
(13:44) <Minaplo> ["My Chancellor, welcome." Said Juno with a small smile. "And my Adeptus Marshal, too. Please take a seat."]
(13:48) * Yanmei obliged, of course. "Thank you. Are you enjoying your new apartment?"
(13:49) <Minaplo> ["Yes. Perhaps you could enjoy it with me for a time?"]
(13:50) <Yanmei> "Certainly."
(13:51) <Minaplo> ["And you, Marshal?"-
(13:51) <Minaplo> [Marianne shrugged slightly. "Of course."-
(13:52) <Minaplo> ["Excellent." Said Juno lightly. "Do you remember what I suggested last time?"]
(13:58) <Yanmei> "Ah… that movie… 'Ghost of Sunlight', was it?"
(13:58) <Minaplo> ["Yes. Do you know much about it?"]
(13:59) <Yanmei> "I know that it was banned back home for some reason. That makes it pretty interesting!"
(14:01) <Minaplo> ["Forbidden fruit, hm?"]
(14:02) <Yanmei> "Something like that," she said lightly.
(14:06) <Minaplo> ["Well then, shall we?"]
(14:12) <Yanmei> "You're already all set for a viewing? You weren't anticipating us, were you?"
(14:14) <Minaplo> ["Perhaps I was."]
(14:17) <Yanmei> "Huh. Did you anticipate the sort of questions we wanted to ask while we were here?"
(14:24) <Minaplo> ["Perhaps I did, but let us not get overboard."]
(14:29) <Yanmei> "Would you mind if we asked them before we watched the movie?"
(14:38) <Minaplo> ["By all means…"]
(14:46) <Yanmei> "So! Who's your favorite ally? On the UN's side, I mean. Like, individual soldiers, like the Primes, or infantry guys who you're friendly with?"
(14:51) <Minaplo> ["That's a rather interesting question." Said Juno with a small smile.]
(14:53) <Yanmei> "Maybe. It's like a way of getting to know you better?"
(14:56) <Minaplo> ["I see…"-
(14:57) <Minaplo> ["Well of course, it would be my staff, wouldn't it?"]
(14:58) <Yanmei> "Do they impress you all the time?"
(14:59) <Minaplo> ["Not all the time, but enough. What about you?"]
(15:06) <Yanmei> "On the UEF side? There are too many to count. We're all friends here?"
(15:08) <Minaplo> ["Heh."]
(15:18) <Yanmei> "Are you on good terms with your fellow generals back in the Synfront? Like that Gadhavi fellow?"
(15:24) <Minaplo> ["I don't go to the Synfront."]
(15:25) <Yanmei> "O-oh? Why not?"
(15:29) <Minaplo> ["Because," Said Juno, finally putting aside her book, "I am a general of the Federal Republic of Germany, not a UN magistrate."]
(15:33) <Yanmei> "They haven't extended an invitation or anything…?"
(15:33) <Minaplo> ["You misunderstand." Said Juno, sitting up. "It is not my place to go to the Synfront- I'm not needed there. What does a German general have to do with a base in Kenya?"]
(15:39) <Yanmei> "Well, nothing I suppose," she admitted grudgingly. "Just because you're working with the UN doesn't mean you're close to it?"
(13:12) <Minaplo> ["Exactly." Said Juno.]
(13:16) <Yanmei> "Then the only guys you really have experience with are in the German army… and even then I'd imagine you've been out of the loop until pretty recently."
(13:20) <Minaplo> ["Not just with the German army." Said Juno. "If we won't go to Kenya then sometimes Kenya comes to us- especially Promised Land."]
(13:24) <Yanmei> "Oh yeah, those guys… they put on a pretty boisterous show during that coronation reception, didn't they?"
(13:28) <Minaplo> ["I suppose."]
(13:31) <Yanmei> "Hmm. Do you like them much?"
(13:32) <Minaplo> [She quirked a wry smile Yanmei's way. "That's an odd question to ask."]
(13:33) <Yanmei> "How so?"
(13:35) <Minaplo> ["We aren't school children, so why exactly are we gossipping about who we do or don't like?" Said Juno.]
(13:37) <Yanmei> "Because it's fun," was the immediate response. "And, also, because I was curious. Everyone has allies that they like and don't like, right?"
(13:43) <Minaplo> ["Like how you like the people on this ship, but you don't like the Soviets." Said Juno.]
(13:45) <Yanmei> "That's not true? I have nothing against the Soviets. I just wish they'd be a little more agreeable, that's all."
(13:45) <Minaplo> ["You have nothing against the Soviets? Really?"]
(13:46) <Yanmei> "You don't believe me?"
(13:49) <Minaplo> ["I don't want to believe you." Said Juno. "Two of my staff- one of whom you captured- lost their whole families to Soviet invasions. By all means, go and visit Colonel Ruotsalainen, inspect her body, see the scars for yourself, then come back and tell me you have nothing against the Soviets."-
(13:49) <Minaplo> ["Because if you truly have nothing against them, I want nothing to do with you."]
(14:05) <Yanmei> "I see," said Yanmei simply. "Well, I apologize. There's no way that I can gloss over those sorts of crimes, and I don't really intend to? Especially after their latest infractions." -
(14:10) <Yanmei> She frowned deeply. "The UEF is in a position to sanction them whenever they act up, but that's hardly enough, is it? It'd be better if we could prevent them from doing it in the first place."
(14:16) <Minaplo> ["And how might you go about doing that?" Said Juno.]
(14:20) <Yanmei> "If I knew, I would have done it already? The most obvious approach is throwing around a little economic force, but we're not rolling in money like the UN is, so we can't."
(14:28) <Minaplo> ["You seem to have some sort of solution that you're dying to tell us." Said Marianne. "So how about you spill it?"-
(14:32) <Minaplo> ["You have to understand that the German leadership are not fools." Said Juno slowly.]
(14:34) * Yanmei silently waited for her to continue, her expression faintly puzzled.
(14:40) * Minaplo is now known as Minaplo|Out
(14:46) <Minaplo|Out> ["The Chancellor and his allies know that the UN is up to something dark." Said Juno. "They don't trust Mary Caine, and more than a few of them are seeing the battle results and are chafing to wriggle out of her grasp. So there's a significant part of the government who seek an honourable peace on the battlefield- they don't want to conquer the Federation, but they don't want to be humiliated or subjugated either…"]
(14:54) <Yanmei> "An honorable peace…" Yanmei echoed. "So they'd have to put up a good fight before surrendering, correct? And… they'd have to be sure they weren't going to be mistreated in the aftermath."
(14:58) <Minaplo|Out> ["Yes." Said Juno. "In fact, if they can be convinced that the Federation intends to free the world, and not just change its masters, they might be willing to join the Federation. Such a thing would make the Federation unstoppable, but there would be conditions."]
(14:58) <Yanmei> "What sort of conditions?"
(15:07) <Minaplo|Out> ["You would have to liberate the occupied teritories." Said Juno. "And you would have to reinstate democratic elections in every country… That means Mazarin would be subjected to presidential elections as well, like he used to be before he changed the law."-
(15:08) <Minaplo|Out> ["And the power of the British monarch would have to be rolled back as well." Said Juno. "And of course the USSR would have to engage in liberal reforms. A lot of them."]
(15:23) <Yanmei> "They're asking for a lot in very little time," said Yanmei quietly. "We're already trying to liberate territories, but it's going to be years before we can settle it all. And then changing the entire national government structure of several nations - even against the will of its people, in Britain's case - is…"
(15:23) <Minaplo|Out> ["Going to lead to a few being angry enough to leave, yes?" Said Juno.]
(15:25) <Yanmei> "Of course they would."
(15:27) <Minaplo|Out> ["Still, it's a trade I would make." Said Juno. "Think of all the trouble the USSR has caused you with its paranoia, its war crimes, its constant oppression of its neighbours- Germany is a reliable ally, industrially, technologically and militarily superior, and our forces are held to the highest standards. Plus you would get all of our allies as well. If the USSR decides to not liberate its occupied territories, well… That's a war the USSR would not win, not if the Federation had Germany in it."]
(15:30) <Yanmei> "If it was just against the USSR it would be one thing. But we're still fighting the war against the UN! And if China and France turned on us as well, it would be one big hopeless situation for the UEF and Germany."
(15:32) <Minaplo|Out> ["It doesn't have to happen all at once. Germany can be patient." Said Juno. "Is it truly that hard to work to free France's and China's occupied territories? Those territories are already strategic weaknesses- if I were you I'd already be working to free them."]
(15:39) <Yanmei> "It's not a simple task? You have to first find some kind of leverage with the countries in question, and you then you have to work it in a way that won't cause instant instability or unfilled power vacuums or outright civil wars. It's like trying to lift a wobbly tower of toy blocks…"
(15:40) <Minaplo|Out> ["Then you've thought of this yourself." Said Juno quickly. "… You might even be intending to do it already."]
(15:50) <Yanmei> "Just because I've thought about it doesn't mean I'm making a move. I have to do what's best for the UEF."
(15:55) <Minaplo|Out> ["That's you." Said Juno. "But whatever the 'best' is, it would be easier to accomplish with Germany as an ally."]
[12:38] <Yanmei> "I agree with you. I'd love to see Germany as an ally, and I admire its commitment to democracy, but I'm worried about committing to a promise if I don't know when we'll be able to uphold it. We could negotiate the terms, of course. And if Germany should lose in our upcoming battles, we'll definitely protect it from other nations and we'll do what we can to help rebuild it."
[12:40] <Mianplo> ["Hm." Juno murmured in response.-
[12:41] <Mianplo> ["I… Have to agree with General Winter. Broadly." Said Marianne hesitantly; she glanced awkwardly at Juno, who was now giving her a radiant smile.-
[12:43] <Mianplo> ["In pure manpower, economic and industrial resources, Germany and its allies in the Central Democratic Alliance are superior by far to the Soviet Union." Said Marianne. "Furthermore, Germany is much more politically stable than the Soviet Union… And in the long run, I feel that Germany aligns with us more closely on matters of ethics and ideology." Said Marianne.-
[12:45] <Mianplo> ["See, between you and me, I've always felt that the Soviets were in the UEF as a matter of convenience." Said Juno. "An educated guess says that they needed a little more incentive than the others- a gift, perhaps, or special rewards. Am I correct?"]
[12:45] <Yanmei> "An incredibly large one, yes."
[12:47] <Mianplo> ["Oh?"]
[12:47] * Yanmei hesitated. "Some of our Evas."
[12:48] <Mianplo> ["…" Juno arched an eyebrow. "You're right, that is a large incentive. Large and expensive, too."-
[12:53] <Mianplo> ["That really only cements my thoughts." Said Juno. "They required a hefty incentive to help you in your war against the established order… That suggests they're really only in it for themselves. Do you want to know what I truly suspect?"]
[12:53] <Yanmei> "What?"
[12:56] <Mianplo> ["If you defeat the UN alliance with the Soviet Union at your side, you won't lead the world into an era of peace." Said Juno. "The Soviets will try to seize as much industry, tech and weapons as possible from the UN to build up their own forces, then they'll try to subvert the UEF. They'll fund LN remnants in Africa, sabotage workings with the League of Non-Aligned States, and try to exacerbate tensions between UEF members. In the long run, they'll try to paralyse or even dissolve the UEF- leaving them as the greatest power in the world."]
[13:04] <Yanmei> "I wouldn't put it past them," Yanmei grumbled. "But the problem is, none of that's happened yet. They haven't violated the terms of our agreement. At least, we have no proof of them doing something that we could use for justification. What's more, they've been looking after our refugees for months, so we absolutely have to be delicate in how we handle them."
[13:08] <Mianplo> ["I can offer a suggestion." Said Juno. "The UEF naturally intends to add new member states to its number, yes?"]
[13:08] <Yanmei> "Of course!"
[13:09] <Mianplo> ["Then propose in secret to the USSR that should the UEF campaign meet with some success in Germany- say, you take a modest amount of territory, up to the Rhine- then you will call for a ceasefire and begin negotiations for a peace treaty, in which Germany and its allies keep all of their current territory, but defect to the UEF- much like the United States did when it left the LN for the UN."-
[13:10] <Mianplo> ["I assure you that two things will happen. First, the Soviets will veto anything but total conquest of the CDA, because they want to occupy and control Germany and our allies itself." Said Juno. "Industry and resources, after all."-
[13:11] <Mianplo> ["Second, even if you do engage in peace talks and call for a ceasefire, the Soviets will ignore it and keep attacking, forcing Germany to defend itself." Said Juno. "Go ahead and make the suggestion to them in your own time- and see what happens…"]
[13:13] <Yanmei> "I see. I think I will try that, just to see what they do."
[13:14] <Mianplo> [Juno smiled.-
[13:16] <Mianplo> ["Of course this benefits Germany as well." Said Marianne. "Everyone knows Germany is the UN's most powerful member. If Germany is in a situation where it feels the wind blowing the UEF's way, then naturally they'd like the luxury of swapping sides to the winning team. Right?"-
[13:19] <Mianplo> ["Perceptive, Marshal. Of course, that's only natural." Said Juno, her smile widening. "But it's more than that. Like I said, Germany's leadership doesn't particularly trust the UN. And the UN doesn't enjoy perfect popularity in Germany either… We all know the UN has done some terrible things in the last eighteen years. It has empowered dictators in exchange for stability, starved turbulent areas of critical resources, turned a blind eye to its wealthier nations conquering and subjugating its neighbours, even facilitated it- many people were upset when they granted France a mandate over West Africa."-
[13:19] <Mianplo> ["So I think many people in Germany would be willing to join the UEF, if it can demonstrate a willingness to be better than that." Said Juno.-
[13:20] <Mianplo> ["… But Germany also has its own legacy to think about." She added, her expression becoming downcast. "World War One saw us fight the entire continent and lose, then take blame for it all. In World War Two we fought the entire continent again, committing horrible atrocities along the way, and we lost again and were punished very harshly for it."-
[13:21] <Mianplo> ["Once again, it feels like we're at war with the entire continent." Said Juno. "And again it feels like we're losing, except this time, this time we were standing up for liberty, equality and common brotherhood, even when France wouldn't."-
[13:21] <Mianplo> [Marianne frowned.-
[13:23] <Mianplo> ["We Germans… We cherish our democracy." Said Juno. "We are so happy to finally be able to lift our heads up high and say that we are fighting for good, for the rights of humanity, in the hope that it might eliminate the stains of our past. But at the same time, we're tired of everything we build up and create being destroyed by the Russians, French and Americans every twenty to sixty years."-
[13:24] <Mianplo> ["So this is sort of like a plea as well." Said Juno, her voice cracking slightly. "For all of our sakes- an honourable peace is the best way for Germany and the UEF. Because if you fight with the intent to conquer us, then we'll fight ever harder. Even if you win we'll fight. We'll use tanks and guns, and if we run out of those we'll use knives and swords, and if we run out of those we'll punch, scratch and bite you for the next twenty years."]
[13:26] <Yanmei> "We don't want to conquer you. We're looking for friends, not subjects."
[13:29] <Mianplo> ["I know. And I trust you when you say that, Chancellor." Said Juno. "If only I could trust all of your allies by as much."]
[13:37] <Yanmei> "Listen. We're going to push for your honorable peace. And we're going to do everything in our power to keep our allies in line when it's time to act on it. I promise you that it will be fine."
[13:38] <Mianplo> ["Thank you." Said Juno, relief flowing in her voice.-
[13:38] <Mianplo> [Marianne leaned over toward Yanmei. "I'm going to go back to the office and start making inquiries. Will you be alright by yourself?"]
[13:39] <Yanmei> "Yes, I'll be fine. Maybe later we can watch the movie at home." Yanmei gave her a small smile.
[13:41] <Mianplo> ["Heh, thanks." Said Marianne. "Have a good day, General."-
[13:41] <Mianplo> [With that, Marianne left.-
[13:41] <Mianplo> [Juno let out a sigh. "My Chancellor, may I ask you something personal?"]
[13:41] <Yanmei> "Certainly?"
[13:42] <Mianplo> ["Do you work with Marshal Amatore often?"]
[13:42] <Yanmei> "Heh. Of course! She's practically my right hand man after our Prime Minister."
[13:43] <Mianplo> ["I'm envious." Murmured Juno. "How do you ever get any work done? If it were me I would spend the entire day just watching her."]
[13:44] <Yanmei> "Heh. Well, she more like a mom to me than that? And also, I'm in a relationship already."
[13:45] <Mianplo> ["Even so." Said Juno warmly. "She's like a goddess. You can't tell me you haven't once imagined what it would be like to press those perfect lips against your own?"]
[13:46] <Yanmei> "Like I said before? She's like a mom. Kissing your mom like that is odd, isn't it?"
[13:47] <Mianplo> ["There had to have been a time after you met her but before she became a mother figure, though…"]
[13:48] * Yanmei shook her head. "Nope. Do you really like her that much?"
[13:55] <Mianplo> ["Is that surprising?" Said Juno.]
[13:56] <Yanmei> "Not really? She's very smart and pretty too."
[13:56] <Mianplo> ["Hm~"-
[13:57] <Mianplo> ["I think I could tolerate being a pilot if I was under her care." Said Juno cheerfully. "Life-or-death struggl as a day job, and then a thrilling, illicit hidden romance with a beautiful superior officer at night…~"]
[13:59] <Yanmei> "Pilots aren't supposed to date their superior officers," said Yanmei disapprovingly.
[14:01] <Mianplo> [Juno pulled a magazine out from her pile of reading materials and held it up.-
[14:01] <Mianplo> [The glossy cover displayed, front and center, Rei and Alphonse, arms around each other as he announced his electoral victory.]
[14:02] <Yanmei> "Th-that's… that's a little different," she stammered.
[14:02] <Mianplo> ["Is it?"]
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Because they're the same age."
[14:04] <Mianplo> ["Are they, though?"]
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Yes. Biologically."
[14:05] <Mianplo> ["Biologically… But not in other ways." Said Juno.]
[14:07] <Yanmei> "Speaking in terms of the number of years they've lived, the Ayanamis are all quite young. But they've all grown at a tremendous rate in all aspects, and they're pretty much indistinguishable from people in their biological age group."
[14:09] <Mianplo> ["Haha, that's a good answer." Said Juno. "But the same is true for you, correct? In the sense that you're mentally indistinguishable from someone, say, ten years your biological senior."]
[14:10] <Yanmei> "Well. Probably. Maybe even older?" Yanmei preened.
[14:11] <Mianplo> ["Then by that logic there's nothing wrong with you dating someone ten years your senior either?"]
[14:14] <Yanmei> "Well… maybe," Yanmei admitted slowly.
[14:14] <Mianplo> ["Now, if I had been in your place, do you think I would have achieved the same level of maturity?"]
[14:16] <Yanmei> "Maybe, yeah. It's possible."
[14:17] <Mianplo> ["Then there would be nothing wrong about me and the Marshal making sweet music together, would there?"]
[14:17] <Yanmei> "This sounds like something you've thought an awful lot about," said Yanmei suspiciously.
[14:23] <Mianplo> ["Maybe I have." Said Juno. "Listen. I spent much of my adolescence betrothed to a stranger. When I was your age, secret romances were all I had, you see. Let's just say I have a real talent for making up excuses."]
[14:27] <Yanmei> "Betrothed, huh~? Interesting."
[14:27] <Mianplo> ["Yes." Said Juno. "To Ezra Caine. It was arranged by our families."-
[14:28] <Mianplo> ["He broke it off after he went to university, so he could date Sarah Holt- he felt it was dishonest to carry on a romance without doing so first." She snorted. "Obviously I didn't feel the same."]
[14:29] * Yanmei blinked a few times. "I see. Sorry it didn't work out. At the time, it must have been… complicated."
[14:36] <Mianplo> ["It did work out, though." Said Juno. "We both got what we wanted, which wasn't each other. It was win-win."]
[14:38] <Yanmei> "Is it, um. Kinda wierd to be around them? Since they're always making kissy faces at each other?"
[14:40] <Mianplo> ["Not really." Said Juno cheerfully. "It means more nephews and nieces for Auntie Juno to spoil in the long run."-
[14:40] <Mianplo> ["On the topic of, er, 'kissy faces', could you do me a favour?"]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "What?"
[14:41] <Mianplo> ["How do you feel about perhaps setting the Marshal and I up on a date?" Asked Juno cheerfully.]
[14:43] <Yanmei> "The best I can do is pass along the request to her? She gets, um, grumpy if I try to get her to go on blind dates and the like."
[14:43] <Mianplo> ["You could be subtle about it. Perhaps encourage her to think about my finer points…?"]
[14:44] <Yanmei> "I'll try, but I can't promise results."
[14:47] <Mianplo> ["Hm~, thank you. I owe you one."-
[14:47] <Mianplo> ["But now. Shall we watch this movie?"]
[14:48] <Yanmei> "Oh! Yeah, sure. It's up to win a couple of high class awards, isn't it?"
[14:52] <Mianplo> ["That's right." Said Juno. "Make yourself comfortable and I'll get us started…"]
[14:58] <Yanmei> "Okay!" She obliged, sinking down in a chair. As she waited, she couldn't help but let her mind drift to the upcoming honorable peace treaty… a complex situation indeed.
[15:02] <Mianplo> […-
[15:03] <Minaplo> [The movie was… Intense.-
[15:05] <Minaplo> [It was, essentially, a movie about Kim Dae-Jung, the 8th and last president of South Korea. It covered his rise to power, his many challenges, and his endless attempts to promote peace and understanding throughout Asia.-
[15:06] <Minaplo> [It covered his governance during Impact as he not only contended with a damaged South Korea, but also had to absorb the broken North and repair it too. Despite all this and his own poor health, he performed well.-
[15:10] <Minaplo> [However, half the movie was given over to the Chinese invasion of Korea. The movie was determined to display it in all its harrowing monstrosity, framing it as a completely unprovoked invasion of Korea by the militarily superior Chinese. A gruelling 15 minute scene was based entirely around showcasing Chinese war crimes as they plundered a Korean city, pillaging shops and houses, violently gang-raping women and girls, executing hundreds of people on the barest of allegations and setting fire to large parts of the city for no apparent reason. It was exhausting just to watch.-
[15:10] <Minaplo> [The movie ended on a down note, with Kim Dae Jung's death in an occupied Seoul- although the movie makes it clear that although the official account was suicide, it believed that he was killed by Chinese agents.-
[15:11] <Minaplo> [The credits played, simple white on black to the tune of a gentle Korean folk song.]
[15:13] * Yanmei stared blankly at the screen as the credits rolled. No wonder the government back home hated this movie so much. She glanced to Juno curiously, half-expecting to find her moved to tears.
[15:15] <Minaplo> [But Juno's expression was pensive and measured. She looked over at Yanmei. "What did you think?"]
[15:17] <Yanmei> "They certainly did a good job of making him sympathetic. And I believe he really was striving for peace before his untimely death."
[15:19] <Minaplo> ["Mmhmm."]
[15:20] <Yanmei> "What about you? You must have a lot of opinions on it too?"
[15:31] <Minaplo> ["I do, but I'm more interested in your thoughts. After all, this is about something your country did."]
[12:44] <Yanmei> "Very well. What we've seen here is completely different than what I've been taught. I'm sure it's completely different than what most people have been taught? And honestly, I'm not sure how much of it is propaganda and how much of it is truth. Even if it was propaganda, it'd be a pretty alarming statement about how the Korean territorries see us… although, yeah, that'd also be far
[12:44] <Yanmei> preferable to these atrocities actually taking place during our history together."
[12:54] <Minaplo> ["Agreed." Said Juno with a sigh.-
[12:55] <Minaplo> ["Sadly, it seems that the tale the movie tells is true. Exaggerated in some cases- which is not surprising. But by and large, the atrocities that were carried out did happen. Not, perhaps, because the Chinese commanders were malicious. Merely incompetent."]
[13:03] <Yanmei> "Sloppy," said Yanmei severely. "How do you know that that's the truth, though?"
[13:08] <Minaplo> ["The European Union wasn't in a very good state at the time- in fact it collapsed shortly after the invasion of Korea ended- it was still struggling along nonetheless. One of the things it was still able to do was send observers to Korea- observers independent of the UN, who turned a blind eye to China's war crimes."-
[13:08] <Minaplo> ["My father worked with those observers." Said Juno. "I can give you their reports, if you like."]
[13:15] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei took a second to mull it over. "Someday it might be useful to know the details," she admitted at last.
[13:15] <Minaplo> ["I'll dig out my computer later."-
[13:19] <Minaplo> [Juno let out a sigh. "I wish I could say Korea was an isolated incident, but it wasn't. Korea, Mongolia, Southeast Asia… Finland, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria… Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Algeria. Brutal. Horrific. Do you know that 70% of the LN officer corps were drawn from people from those countries? Of the remainder, a full 25% were from other countries that had been neglected and abused by the United Nations- nations in Oceania, Africa, South America…"-
[13:20] <Minaplo> [She frowned down at her own hands. "My first deployments- as a newly graduated lieutenant- were in Africa and South America. I thought we'd be fighting warlords and local despots, but over time the number of emigres from the occupied countries grew and grew. I didn't realise it, but I was fighting against what would eventually become the Liberated Nations."-
[13:29] <Minaplo> ["Lots of people think that Azariah Caine created the LN, but it was on its way to forming well before he entered the scene." Said Juno. "Azariah just organised it and brought the parts together earlier than they would have normally. He had clout, influence… He knew about the secret little world SEELE had cultivated behind the scenes."-
[13:34] <Minaplo> ["People will do terrible things to gain safety and freedom." Said Juno. "And the Liberated Nations carried out its fair share of terrible things… But they didn't just appear in a void. They were a response, my Chancellor, to an existing situation. A situation that the UN let happen, even encouraged in some ways. I… Cannot help but wonder if I spent my early career doing the wrong thing."]
[13:44] <Yanmei> "It can't be easy. At the time it seemed like the right thing, but in hindsight… Look. NERV worked with the UN to bring down the LN, so I'm sympathetic. Maybe we were in the same position."
[13:45] <Minaplo> ["I suppose that's true." Said Juno with a wistful smile. "Did you ever consider defecting?"]
[13:47] <Yanmei> "Not at the time. I simply didn't know enough back then? Plus, leaving NERV would have been unthinkable. I would have been abandoning our bigger fight against the Angels."
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["Hm."-
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["You had a friend who did defect though, didn't you?"]
[14:01] <Yanmei> "Sort of." How did she even know about that? She tried not to glare at her. "It's complicated. Don't assume that it was all voluntary."
[14:09] <Minaplo> ["What do you mean?"]
[14:14] * Minaplo is now known as Minaplo|Out
[14:14] <Yanmei> "There were a few friends who briefly joined the LN. One case was the result of literal brainwashing. One was the result of psychological manipulation. And one was… well, I'm not entirely sure about the last incident, but that person was forcibly abducted from us."
[15:19] * Minaplo|Out is now known as Minaplo
[15:21] <Minaplo> ["So the NeoSpartans didn't go of their own free will?"]
[15:27] <Yanmei> "Some of them did, yes. They felt wronged by the UN and sympathized with some individuals in the LN."
[15:31] <Minaplo> ["I see…"-
[15:32] <Minaplo> ["There are reports that the LN successfully downed an Angel by themselves." Said Juno. "So if you consider it, you could have defected to them without jeopardising your struggle against the Angels, no?"]
[15:38] <Yanmei> "That's being really optimistic. We only made it as far as we did because all of the EVA pilots were working together? Defecting would have signicantly complicated that struggle."
[15:41] <Minaplo> ["Of course. So in essence, you only fought with the UN because they seemed like the practical option- not because you agreed with their ideology or methods. You just didn't think there was a viable alternative."]
[15:45] <Yanmei> "Yeah. I guess you could say that."
[15:46] <Minaplo> ["If the LN had provided a viable alternative, then?"]
[15:47] <Yanmei> "Then I don't know."
[15:48] <Minaplo> ["Give me a pros-and-cons, then."]
[15:59] <Yanmei> "Pros: I wouldn't be associated with the UN any longer and would be working with groups I might sympathize for. Cons: I'd be leaving my friends and family behind for a completely unknown situation with a seemingly far more insane leader."
[16:00] <Yanmei> ^ sympathize with
[16:02] <Minaplo> ["Seemingly." Said Juno with a bitter smile.-
[16:03] <Minaplo> ["Nonetheless, you and I are alike."]
[16:05] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[16:06] <Minaplo> ["I don't like the UN. Rather, I resent them. They supported the world's shift toward tyranny, ignored atrocities and suffering, and did their best to undermine democracy." Said Juno. "Much of it was Seele, of course…"-
[16:12] <Minaplo> ["And I know I'm not alone. Plenty of people in Germany, including the military, feel the same. We know the role the UN played in creating our mess of a modern world… But we don't have any alternatives, because whilst the UN enabled tyrannical regimes, it was those regimes who acted poorly in the first place- and many of those regimes are now filling the ranks of the closest alternative we have."]
[16:14] <Yanmei> "So you're hoping that the UEF will be the alternative the world needs?"
[16:16] <Minaplo> [Juno rolled over to face Yanmei properly, propping her head up on her hand. "If the UEF isn't willing to become that alternative, my Chancellor, then something else will."]
[16:21] <Yanmei> "Hmm. I guess that will always be the case, isn't it? That's why rebellions are always happening."
[16:29] <Minaplo> ["That's why it's important for you to make the UEF be what it can be. It has to be more than just an opportunistic alliance, or else it'll just be a footnote in the end."]
[16:32] <Yanmei> "Heh." Yanmei puffed up slightly. "It goes without saying that we're going to strive for that? Thank you for the advice."
[16:41] <Minaplo> [Juno held out her hand.]
[16:42] * Yanmei blinked and extended her own, going in for a handshake.
[16:50] <Minaplo> [Juno took it- then kissed Yanmei lightly on the knuckles. "Have a good day."]
[16:57] <Yanmei> That threw her off for a minute, but she ralied quickly. "Th-thanks. I hope you do the same?"
[16:58] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure I will, now."]

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