Cherry Blossom Procession 4 2 9

(13:40:03) Yanmei: Unlike some of her previous visits to the Dorian's brig, Yanmei didn't spend very much time today chatting with the guards they encountered as they passed through each check point. She was dressed smartly in her uniform, was fresh off the phone with officals from the Soviet Union, and was apparently in a sullen mood. At least she wasn't alone. Was her companion, perhaps, in better spirits?
(13:45:01) Sept: There had been a definite and easily explainable uptake in Sera's mood after he'd returned from his mission and managed to get some rest, but it wasn't present at this very moment. Yanmei's companion, this time, was dressed in his casuals - on-brand track jacket, jeans.-
(13:45:40) Sept: After a long while of silence, he suddenly spoke up. "You're just poking her for intel?"
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(13:53:25) Yanmei: "Yeah. Also seeing if she's settled. Her last visit here was… rough."
(13:56:28) Sept: "Sure. I think you should let me soften her up first."
(14:07:55) Yanmei: "Be my guest?" They were arriving now at the final door… the one that separated Serafina Raskova from the rest of the world. It was a normal door, not too different from the other apartment doors on the ship. There was an Iron Guard lounging around outside of it, though, to whom Yanmei gave a quick polite greeting before stating their purpose and answering a few questions and displaying
(14:07:56) Yanmei: her ID. They were allowed in; the Guard did the honors of opening the door for them and shutting it after they were inside.
(14:12:12) Minaplo: [The apartment was a standard battleship apartment, although its bookshelves were bare as was the desk. One thing that did stand out, however, was that it had apparently been used as an impromptu dumping ground for collected artworks, and apparently forgotten about.-
(14:13:22) Minaplo: [Serafina Raskova was currently holding up what appeared to be a marble bust of a stern-faced, lofty Silas Caine. She glanced over her shoulder as Yanmei and Sera entered, but spared them the honour of turning around fully.]
(14:15:10) * Sept took a few steps ahead, a shiver running down his spine from all the Silas on view.-
(14:15:19) Sept: "Hey. We need to talk."
(14:16:57) * Yanmei hung back in relative silence, letting Sera do his thing.
(14:18:55) Minaplo: ["Feel free." Said Serafina, looking back at her bust.]
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(14:25:56) Sept: "I hope you understand this is a temporary arrangement. Me and Freya are doing the best we can to get you your freedom. If there's anything you need in the meantime, please ask. But before we can go on, Yanmei and I have questions for you. Can you try your best to answer them?"
(14:28:57) Minaplo: [She tossed the bust aside idly; it smashed through a dusty oil painting of Silas being crucified by Mary Caine on its way down.-
(14:29:20) Minaplo: ["Go ahead and ask." She said, lifting up a tapestry depicting an Ayanami between a pair of unicorns.]
(14:31:08) Sept: Sera shed no tears for the pallid bust. "Easy one. Do you want me to get rid of all this crap?"
(14:31:24) Minaplo: ["No."]
(14:31:47) Yanmei: "No?" Yanmei couldn't hide her surprise.
(14:32:35) Minaplo: ["It's not boring." Said Serafina.]
(14:33:40) Sept: "Alright."-
(14:34:45) Sept: "I think Athena will know what you expect of her, if anything, but is there anything you want from me? Now, or in the grand scale."
(14:40:47) Minaplo: ["I want from you what she wants from you, nothing more." Said Serafina; she rubbed a corner of the tapestry against her cheek.]
(14:44:28) Sept: "Good. We feel the same way." Sera walked further into the apartment and leaned on a wall somewhere between the two women.-
(14:44:36) Sept: "That's all I need to know. Go ahead, Yanmei."
(14:48:39) * Yanmei glanced between the two suspiciously. "Wait a second. What does that mean? Does Ath- Freya want something from you?"
(14:50:29) * Sept shook his head sharply. "Doesn't mean anything. We just want her to be safe."
(15:03:37) Yanmei: "Hmm." She glanced between them again, and then sighed, taking a few steps toward Serafina. "First of all, welcome? I'd like to start by asking a few questions about your actions during de Pteres' last mission, if that's okay."
(15:04:00) Minaplo: ["If you like."]
(15:06:11) Yanmei: "Reports say that you helped everyone escape from a Solomon Prime. Why did you do that?"
(15:09:25) Minaplo: ["They wouldn't have managed escape by themselves." Said Serafina. She carefully rolled the tapestry up and tossed it onto her bed, before tugging a painting out of the debris. The painting looked abstract up close, but from where Yanmei was standing, she suddenly realised that it was a stylised painting of Silas's eye.]
(15:13:01) Sept: "I agree. They must've sent the Spectre because there was no way of getting through her thick skull."
(15:14:31) * Yanmei ignored the painting to the best of her ability. Or tried to. "What about your duty to the UN? Or… forget duty. You must have known that by helping them you'd be putting yourself in this difficult situation. You're a prisoner now and you're probably wanted by the UN too. Still, you did it anyway."
(15:15:01) Minaplo: ["An astute observation."]
(15:17:14) Yanmei: "It stands to reason that you did it because of your personal relationships to the people involved. Am I wrong?"
(15:20:19) Minaplo: ["You aren't, Chancellor."]
(15:22:34) Yanmei: "I understand that you're like a mother to Freya. But, um, if she actually had been taken by the UN, her life wouldn't have been in danger, right?"
(15:22:52) Minaplo: [She shook her head.-
(15:26:19) Minaplo: [She then tore the painting down the middle, threw the two halves aside, and pulled out a cracked porcelain vase, on which nude Ayanamis frolicked like Greek muses.]
(15:28:44) Yanmei: "Of course, the same can't be said for everyone else there. What are your relationships to Sera and de Orleans like? Was there anyone else there that you also wanted to keep alive really badly?"
(15:29:00) Minaplo: ["No."]
(15:31:38) * Sept nodded to himself at that.
(15:38:15) Yanmei: "Okay, then. And if de Pteres here had also been captured, would that have been okay?"
(15:39:29) Minaplo: ["No."]
(15:39:58) Yanmei: "Is that why you stepped in?"
(15:40:24) Minaplo: ["Yes. We needed him to jaunt us to safety."]
(15:41:57) Yanmei: "Did you two have any sort of a relationship prior to these events?"
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(15:57:50) Minaplo: ["No."]
(16:00:00) Yanmei: "What about de Orleans?"
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(16:00:40) Minaplo: ["Limited."]
(16:02:35) Yanmei: "Could you describe it in more detail, please?"
(16:03:43) Sept: "Christ, Yanmei, it's just about Freya! That's all there is to it."
(16:13:09) Yanmei: "How about it? Is that right?"
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(16:16:59) Minaplo: ["Of course."]
(16:21:41) * Yanmei sighed heavily.-
(16:22:35) Yanmei: "Alright. That aside, does the UN have any other prisoners who are like de Orleans? Generally presumed dead, but are locked up somewhere?"
(16:28:46) Minaplo: ["Names?"]

(16:33:23) Yanmei: "I don't have anyone specific in mind. Just world leaders or UEF-affiliated VIPs who have gone missing the way de Orleans did."
(16:34:49) Minaplo: [She mulled over it.-
(16:35:25) Minaplo: ["They have the former Premier of the Soviet Union on hand. He went 'missing' one day. Very popular. Mary was waiting to deploy him to throw the USSR into chaos."]
(16:38:16) Yanmei: "W-what the hell," Yanmei hissed. "Ok, thank you. Do you know where he's being held?"
(16:40:04) Minaplo: ["Somewhere in Russia."]
(16:42:44) Yanmei: "That's a bit surprising considering who they're allied with. Anyway, we'll look into it. Is there anyone else you can remember?"
(16:43:22) Minaplo: ["Russia is very big." Said Serafina.-
(16:43:47) Minaplo: ["No one else I can recall. I am not actually a jailer."]
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(16:44:39) Yanmei: "Yeah, I understand? And as for Russia… do you actually have any more details or hints for us about that?"
(16:45:08) Minaplo: ["Somewhere cold."]
(16:46:50) Sept: "Nailed it. Just put Raphael or the PM on it. They'll figure it out."
(16:47:01) Minaplo: ["Why don't you ask Romanov?"]
(16:47:13) * Sept laughed.
(16:53:15) Yanmei: Yanmei, on the other hand, grimaced at that name. "I suppose there are worse ideas."
(16:55:34) Minaplo: [Serafina shrugged. She reached into the porcelain vase and tugged out what appeared to be an ivory jewelry box, covered in intricate carvings depicting Silas basking in the adoration of a crowd of angels.]
(16:57:34) Yanmei: "While you're not a jailer, you are pretty much a soldier, right? Any military ambushes going on in the near future that we should be aware of?"
(16:57:55) Minaplo: ["Not a soldier."]
(16:59:25) Yanmei: "Ah?"
(17:02:17) Minaplo: [Serafina turned her head just enough to glance at Yanmei. "An inquisitor. I deal with people, not armies."]
(17:15:57) Yanmei: "I see. Pardon me for the mix-up? Is there any information on the UN higher-ups that you can give us that we don't know much about yet? Specifically Caine or von Brandt?"
(17:16:48) Minaplo: ["I don't know how much you don't know, how am I supposed to give a proper answer?"]
(17:21:49) Yanmei: "Hmm. Let's do it like this, then. Is there anything at all that you've learned about Caine and von Brandt since the rebellion began that alarmed or surprised you?"
(17:22:30) Minaplo: [Serafina turned away, back toward the box. She cracked it open.-
(17:27:45) Minaplo: [Within was a large jasper-blue sapphire on a silver chain. Serafina held it up, gazed at it for a few moments, then pocketed it.-
(17:28:53) Minaplo: ["… Mary has that same look in her eye that Elisha did. And von Brandt is worried."]
(17:29:56) Sept: "He doesn't think the end justifies all this?"
(17:30:35) * Yanmei didn't say anything at first. She just stared on in confuion.
(17:30:39) Yanmei: ^confusion
(17:31:21) Minaplo: ["He doesn't care about that." Said Serafina. "He only cares about saving Mary, but he is losing."]
(17:34:16) Sept: "Right. I see. Don't know if there's anything we can do about it…"
(17:40:34) Yanmei: "We can hurry up and defeat her so she's not a threat anymore."
(17:43:20) Sept: "That'd be the easy way to save her, too. We can dream."-
(17:44:11) Sept: "But as I see it, the best case we can hope for is a decisive, but slow victory in the war, leading her to desperation."
(17:45:10) Minaplo: [Serafina turned back toward her pile of art.]
(17:52:45) Yanmei: "Either way, the best way to help her is to beat her, right?" Yanmei smiled. "Thank you for answering our questions Inquisitor Raskova."
(17:53:26) Minaplo: [Serafina turned properly now, facing Yanmei full-on. "What do you intend to do with Athena?"]
(17:54:15) Sept: "Can't imagine we could stop her if she wants to stay active…"
(17:57:23) Yanmei: "We probably could, but we won't. She's our guest and a long-time friend of the UEF? So she'll be on probation here for a short time for security reasons, and then she can pretty much do whatever."
(17:58:52) Minaplo: ["You promise not to harm her?" Said Serafina. "For any reason?"]
(17:59:23) Yanmei: "Of course we won't! You have my word."
(17:59:45) Minaplo: ["Swear on blood!"]
(18:00:04) Sept: "The hell does that mean?"
(18:01:15) Minaplo: ["It means what it sounds like." Said Serafina. "Draw your own blood and swear on it."]
(18:02:09) Sept: "Not necessary. She knows what'll happen if she breaks the promise."
(18:02:54) Yanmei: "I don't actually mind, but it's not like I'm carrying a knife on me or anything."
(18:04:03) Minaplo: ["Out of character for you."]
(18:04:08) Sept: "Hehehe."
(18:04:31) Minaplo: [She reached back, grabbed the porcelain vase, and smashed it against the wall. She grabbed a large, sharp chunk and held it out.]
(18:06:09) Yanmei: "Unpredicatable," Yanmei huffed, still annoyed about that last remark. Nevertheless, she took the shard, and dug the sharp end of it into her thumb until a trickle of blood spilled out. "Okay. I swear on my blood? Satisfied?"
(18:06:46) Minaplo: ["Not yet. Give me the shard."]
(18:07:22) Yanmei: Yanmei cautiously handed it back.
(18:08:05) Minaplo: [Serafina took it and cut the tip of her own thumb before throwing the shard aside. Then, she touched her bleeding tip to Yanmei's own. "There. Now our blood is witness."]
(18:11:17) Sept: "Good. Tradition from your home?"
(18:11:34) Yanmei: U-unsanitary…! But Yanmei kept her face neutral. "Interesting…"
(18:12:10) Minaplo: ["Blood is a universal tradition." Said Serafina shortly.-
(18:12:29) Minaplo: [She wiped her thumb on her jacket. "If you harm her for any reason, I will take justice."]
(18:18:17) Yanmei: "I understand," Yanmei said simply, and retrieved a tissue from her pocket. "As for your own situation… um. Will you be experiencing withdrawl symptoms again sometime soon?"
(18:20:46) Minaplo: ["Probably." Said Serafina. "Von Hamburg created a new version of the drug for me that has lesser side effects and a longer duration, staving off the onset of withdrawal, but they will come nonetheless. Your scientists can synthesise the drug for me."]
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(18:22:37) Yanmei: "Good. I'll send a scientist by later today to get the fine details."
(18:26:37) Minaplo: ["Fine."]
(18:30:28) Sept: "Anything else, call for me. We'll do our best."
(18:33:01) Yanmei: "Indeed. Within reason, of course."
(18:34:10) Minaplo: ["I want to leave this room of my own will now."]
(18:36:49) Yanmei: "That's not really possible because you're under house arrest. But if there's something or someone you want, we can have it sent to you."
(18:37:21) Sept: "So when can we end this arrangement?"
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(18:38:07) Minaplo: ["Yes, I would like to not be under house arrest."]
(18:39:53) Yanmei: "That's for security to determine. Think of it like undergoing your own probation period. Just please be patient."
(18:40:27) Minaplo: ["You be patient. You're always in a rush to lock people up."]
(18:41:30) Yanmei: "Excuse me?? That's hardly true."
(18:42:43) Minaplo: ["I saved people important to your cause. Arrive here and it's right in the surovite cell with the transparent door." Said Serafina. "Ungrateful and churlish."]
(18:44:57) * Sept closed his eyes for a moment and sighed.
(18:45:33) * Yanmei glared. "It's what anyone would do! We didn't know what your true intentions were yet!"
(18:48:23) Minaplo: ["Well now you do. Send away the guard and grant me freedom of movement."]
(18:52:00) Sept: "That's enough. Didn't I say we would do our best?"
(18:56:15) Yanmei: "Within reason," Yanmei added bitterly. "Look, just sit tight for a few more days, okay?"
(18:57:55) Minaplo: ["At least move me in with Athena."]
(18:58:40) * Sept looked at Yanmei expectantly.
(18:59:02) * Yanmei sighed. "She requested the exact same thing, you know."
(18:59:31) Minaplo: ["Of course. How can I protect her if we are apart?"]
(19:05:30) Yanmei: "Hm. Here's what I can do. You two move into the same apartment, and are both assigned armed guards and certain restrictions to moving around. It's not the same as 'house arrest' but it's not the same as complete freedom either."
(19:06:07) Minaplo: ["Fine."]
(19:07:17) Yanmei: "Fine, then. I believe we're done here, yes?"
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(19:09:34) Sept: "Yes. And in the long term, I expect you'll help expedite the process with whatever telepath scans and stupid fortunetelling you might deem useful."
(19:10:33) Minaplo: ["Fine."]
(19:18:02) Yanmei: "Right, right. In any case, I'll take my leave? De Pteres, are you coming, or do you want to stay and talk with her some more?"
(19:21:52) Sept: "No, I'm good," Sera said, straightening out while looking at Serafina. "We can trade stories another time."
(19:22:56) Minaplo: [And so Serafina was already ferreting out a large painting of Silas, the lower half of his body that of a swan.]
(19:25:10) Sept: Wordlessly, Sera followed Yanmei out of the apartment, letting the door close behind him.-
(19:25:19) Sept: "I think that went well."
(19:25:49) Yanmei: "Better than expected, yeah. She was pretty calm."
(19:33:36) Sept: "I really appreciate you giving her the chance."
(19:37:41) Yanmei: "You're welcome. All three of you are welcome. I just hope that she really is an ally."
(19:40:46) Sept: "Of course. But…" Sera hesitated.-
(19:41:10) Sept: "Not everyone has a side, necessarily."
(19:46:12) Yanmei: "Oh?"
(19:49:57) Sept: "I mean, I think she's really just looking out for her. Maybe loyalty is secondary to that. Is that hard to imagine?"
(19:55:19) Yanmei: "No, I guess not. For the longest time, I just thought she was really fanatically loyal to Caine, that's all." She took up a somewhat grudging tone. "I'm willing to accept that I was wrong about that."
(19:59:04) Sept: "Right. I'm sorry if I'm not seeing straight. This is important to me."
(20:04:07) Yanmei: "No. It's not just you. There's a chance that I'm being too cautious with the UN people we pick up. I almost made a similar mistake with General Winter-Lorenz before Marianne talked me into being more friendly with her?"
(20:04:24) Sept: "…Marianne did."
(20:04:49) Yanmei: "Surprised?" Yanmei grinned. "Me too."
(20:06:59) Sept: "Hah. I'll take that as a good sign. Don't tell me if I'm wrong."
(20:11:02) Yanmei: "We won't know if you are for a little while yet."
(20:12:22) Sept: "Great."-
(20:12:46) Sept: "I should go. Contact me if anything with these two comes up?"
(20:13:44) Yanmei: "Sure thing? Same goes for you, okay?"
(20:14:23) Sept: "Of course! See you!"

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