For A Meeting Of Quiet Ambition

[23:45] <Yanmei> The door to Isaiah's room at the hospital was left slightly ajar, though it didn't take much to imagine who had left it that way, judging from the voice drifting beyond it at a steady rate. It was an early morning, and it was still mostly quiet, save for the occasional nurse wandering past. "The formula that a taxi company uses to charge its customers is x = $2.00 + $.90d."-
[23:47] <Yanmei> "X is the total cost of the ride, and d is the distance charged. The $2.00 is the company's minimum charge for a ride. What would they charge for someone who needs a 6-mile lift." The voice paused. "Why would they use dollars instead of francs," it wondered after a while.
[23:49] <Ariadne> [There was a knock at the door.]
[23:50] <Yanmei> "Yes?" Yanmei shut the math book that she had been balancing on her knees, and threw a warm smile toward the door.
[23:50] <Ariadne> It was Ariadne! The always-presentable woman… Was still presentable, but she looked tired. She peeked in through the open gap. "… Hi."
[23:53] <Yanmei> "Good morning Miss Delacour." Yanmei rose a little out of her chair. She was still wearing those blue sunglasses, but she managed a somewhat sympathetic look regardless. "It's a bit early, huh?"
[23:54] <Ariadne> "It's never too early to give my energy and time for NERV." Said Ariadne, delivering the line with a pitch-perfect PR manner than Yanmei'd envy… Only to ruin the effect by rolling her eyes. "I came to see how you were…"
[23:58] <Yanmei> "Oh, I'm okay. Just getting a bit of reading in." She made a vague gesture with the textbook. "Isaiah likes numbers, so I thought he'd like this. For him, it's probably too basic, though."
Session Time: Sat Jun 18 00:00:00 2011
[00:06] <Ariadne> "You said he was something of a whizzkid, yeah." Said Ariadne. "I'm not interrupting, am I?"
[00:08] <Yanmei> "Not at all. I would have had to stop soon anyway. I have to take care of Lupe's food before he wakes up, otherwise he growls at me." It was harder to see, but she rolled her eyes now too. "So demanding…"
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[00:12] <Ariadne> "Lupe? Oh right, Pilot Lupe, the wolf. You have to look after him? You can’t get a janitor to do it?"
[00:14] <Yanmei> "Well, there's one of them that keeps an eye on him at nights. The day shift guys keep complaining how they don't get paid enough to handle a full-grown wolf, though."
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[00:19] <Ariadne> "Hah. I guess they've got a point." Ariadne entered the room fully, sitting down in a spare chair and looking over at Isaiah. "How long has it been?"
[00:22] <Yanmei> "Ten days." Yanmei sat back in her own chair now. "…I'd hoped he would have woken up by now."
[00:28] <Ariadne> "…" Ariadne looked sad. "I'm not sure what to say. I guess I could offer you my condolences, or… You know. But I don't think that's worth much." She folded her arms. "I just want to cheer you up, girl."
[00:33] <Yanmei> "I'm okay. Really." She offered her another warm, calm smile, and leaned over, placing the math book on a stack of other books next to her chair. "Buuut. You know? There's something you could help me out with."
[00:34] <Ariadne> "Yeah? What's that?"
[00:36] <Yanmei> "I want to know more about the UN. The Human Instrumentality Committee, in particular. And, I'm curious to know what you're up to as well these days! How are things here? What sort of work are you getting done?"
[00:39] * Ariadne lets out a low whistle. "That's an odd request. Just curious?"
[00:41] <Yanmei> "Mostly." Her smile grew a bit more cryptic.
[00:43] <Ariadne> "I see." Ariadne gave Yanmei a placid smile. "Sure, ok! I'll start with what I've been up do first, but… Ah, don't worry about it. I was gonna ask if you wanted to grab some coffee, but…"
[00:45] <Yanmei> "Well." She glanced over at the slumbering Isaiah, and stashing away her regret, started to stand. "Sure!"
[00:47] <Ariadne> "Maybe we can take care of Lupe first, eh?"
[00:49] <Yanmei> "Or… take him with us?" She led the way to the door with a smirking backward glance to her. "He probably needs some exercise anyway."
[00:52] <Ariadne> "Is that ok?" Blinked Ariadne. "He's… Not gonna hurt anyone, is he?"
[00:53] <Yanmei> "Ah. Well. He hasn't hurt anyone so far?" That was sort of an answer, wasn't it?
[00:54] <Ariadne> "… I see. If you say so~ But you can walk him. I'll keep you between us."
[00:58] <Yanmei> "Such a scardy cat~ Fine. I'll do all the work." She led the way. Snagged the key from the reception desk, and waiting with a 'thank you' for the nurse who retrieved the small steak from their staff fridge that she had politely asked them to store when she had come in earlier. "The trick, you see, is to distract him with food. And then to slip a leash onto him," she said with the air of someone who had actually tried it out.
[00:59] <Ariadne> "Oh? And he doesn't become protective of his food? I used to have a dog that'd snap at you if you even went near him whilst he was eating~"
[01:02] <Yanmei> "W-what, really?" No way. She was just trying to scare her. Right? "It must be a difference in temperment. Pilot Lupe is even-tempered, you see…"
[01:04] <Ariadne> "… Even-tempered for a wolf, or even-tempered for a dog?"
[01:07] * Yanmei coughed discreetly. "Well…" Having reached the short distance to Isaiah's office, she slipped the key in the lock, turned it, and swung the door open. "I suppose you'll have to see for yourself~"
[01:08] * Ariadne snickered, but carefully tried to hide the nervousness in her eyes.-
[01:09] <Ariadne> [The room was… Empty?]
[01:10] <Yanmei> "Huh?" Yanmei took a few cautious steps inside. She undid the wrapper on the steak she was carrying as she did so, frowning, clearly puzzled. "You couldn't have gotten out on your own, could you…?"
[01:12] <Ariadne> [Yanmei would suddenly find a wet nose sniffing at her right hand as Lupe emerged from behind the door- where he'd been sleeping.]
[01:15] <Yanmei> "Ah! Hehehe, there you are!" A certain tension in her laugh betrayed her own nerves. At least she didn't jump, though. Slowly, she started to move the steak over his dinner plate.
[01:16] <Ariadne> [Lupe has no time for this. he snaps the steak straight out of Yanmei's hand with a speed that belied the wolf's bulk.]
[01:17] <Yanmei> "Gah!" This time, she did jump a little. "W-Wait! Eat it slowly so that I can…"
[01:18] <Ariadne> [Grrrr. Lupe stalked away from Yanmei, steak in hand, and started wolfing (ahaha) it down.]
[01:18] * Ariadne watches in amusement.
[01:21] <Yanmei> "…" For a moment, Yanmei hung her head with something akin to shame. But she wasn't done just yet. With determination, she strode over to a hook by the door where a rather oversized leash hung. There was a certain stiffness to it suggesting that it had never been used, but it looked as if certain leather parts on it had been chewed on quite ferociously.-
[01:23] * Yanmei took a deep breath, and… a charming smile, exuding as much calmness as she could. "C'mon, boy. Don't you want to go for a nice walk to the canteen? We can get coffee, and you can get more steak. Sounds nice, huh?"
[01:23] <Ariadne> [He was certainly distracted…]
[01:26] * Yanmei slipped closer, holding the leash ready, trying to get in arm's reach. Veeeery slowly, she reached forward, prepared to fasten it around the wolf's neck!
[01:29] <Ariadne> [The wolf was distracted sufficiently that Yanmei would go… Surprisingly unhindered!]
[01:30] * Yanmei breathed a sigh of relief, and sped up enough to finish the job. Then she stood up and beamed at Ariadne, the smile of someone who -clearly- knew what they were doing when it came to animals like this one.
[01:31] * Ariadne folded her arms, clearly impressed. "Not bad. I'm surprised! You're alive and everything~"
[01:32] <Yanmei> "Like he would harm me. I told you that he was even tempered." She waited for him to finish eating before trying anything else, though. "By the way. Have you seen the Major around lately?"
[01:33] <Ariadne> Ariadne's smile faltered. "Ah… Yeah…"
[01:37] <Yanmei> "… Don't tell me he's still being cold." She sighed. "I'm sorry I haven't talked to him about it. I know from the nurses that he's been around here but we keep missing each other."
[01:38] <Ariadne> "It's…" Ariadne scratched the back of her neck. "It's not that."
[01:40] <Yanmei> "Hm?" Yanmei blinked behind her sunglasses a few times.
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[01:42] <Ariadne> "He keeps visiting me. Sometimes at odd times? But he… It's weird. He never opens up, but I can sort of sense that he wants to."
[01:44] <Yanmei> "Hm." Yanmei looked down at the feeding wolf. "After the… the incidents, he seemed really worked up. I only spoke to him by phone, but…"
[01:46] <Ariadne> "He gets pretty worked up about this sort of thing. He blames himself every time…"
[01:50] <Yanmei> "This 'sort of thing' has happened before?" She tried to think back. "I know that Aline Blanc had something terrible happen to her because of terrorists. That was before she joined NERV."
[01:51] <Ariadne> "Well, not specifically terrorist attacks… Eh, let's talk about it when we get to the cafeteria, ok?"
[01:52] <Yanmei> "All right." She made an effort to tug Lupe into motion.
[01:55] <Ariadne> [It didn't take long for them to travel. It was… An interesting walk. One of the advantages of walking a wolf is that -no one- was willing to stay in front of you- Lupe's fierce face and piercing eyes only exacerbating the issue.]
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[01:57] * Yanmei glowed. She should do this sort of thing more often! Hopefully he would make quick work of any lines in the canteen itself too.
[01:59] <Ariadne> [It certainly had -quite- the effect. Otherwise hungry employees suddenly decided they weren't so hungry after all…]
[02:01] <Yanmei> So Yanmei had a bowl of fruit, a cup of cocoa, and a dish of raw chicken in record time. The last one she placed on the floor when she and Ariadne found a table for themselves. "Good boy."
[02:02] <Ariadne> [Lupe was away! Chow-chow-chow-chow.-
[02:02] <Ariadne> "Man. -I- should walk this guy." Said Ariadne admiringly. "I'd get service everywhere."
[02:04] <Yanmei> "It's amazing, right? I mean, this is something I do all the time, so I'm used to it, but it's pretty neat the first time."
[02:07] <Ariadne> "Huh? Didn't you say this was your first time?"
[02:09] <Yanmei> "…" Change the subject! "About the Major…"
[02:10] * Ariadne started to laugh. She reached over and poked Yanmei in the forehead. "What're you trying to pull, Yanmei? Geez. you -didn't- say it was your first time at all- I just guessed."
[02:13] <Yanmei> "I know that!" She flushed a little, rubbing her forehead. "I just. Mph. It's not nice to tease people who you invite out for coffee, you know."
[02:13] <Ariadne> "It's not nice to lie~"
[02:15] <Yanmei> "I wasn't lying! I was just making the truth a little ambiguous."
[02:16] * Ariadne poked her again. "Y'know, you could at least spare me the guff. I've had a lot more time and a lot more practice turning it into my career, you know."
[02:18] <Yanmei> "I don't think I'm -that- far behind you," she complained. At this point, her blush was starting to fade a little.
[02:20] <Ariadne> "Now you're just lying to yourself." Said Ariadne with a grin, sipping at her cup of coffee. "Anyway, what were you saying?"
[02:21] <Yanmei> "About Dorian? Or about the UN?"
[02:22] <Ariadne> "About Dorian."
[02:24] <Yanmei> "Well. I was just asking what you meant earlier. If it's not terrorist attacks that he's reacting badly to, then it must be… the more obvious things." She toyed with her food without tasting it, hating to bring the mood down, and feeling it terribly herself. "The kids at school and little Rei…"
[02:26] <Ariadne> "… Yeah. I mean, he hates that, like anyone would, but… It's more personal." Murmured Ariadne. "Has he ever told you about his sister?"
[02:27] * Yanmei shook her head. "Didn't know he had one…"
[02:32] <Ariadne> "Yeah. A sister named Lucille." Said Ariadne. "She was younger than he was. She ran a perfume shop. She would've been… 19? About that."
[02:33] <Yanmei> Would've been. Yanmei picked up on that right away. She tried to keep her face neutral.
[02:34] <Ariadne> "Dorian was on holiday, staying at his sister's house in Bordeaux. It was September, 2000…"
[02:35] <Yanmei> "Second Impact."
[02:35] <Ariadne> "That's right." Said Ariadne softly. "An earthquake struck the city, and the house collapsed. He was pinned under rubble for two weeks, his legs crushed."
[02:37] * Yanmei winced. So those were the details to what he had told her earlier… "His sister?" She already had a feeling that she knew.
[02:39] <Ariadne> "She was pinned under rubble, too, her body broken. She'd been using her house as a kind of warehouse at the time, so it was full of lavender perfume, and a lot of it smashed…" She sighed. "She screamed for hours, maybe even days- Dorian can't remember. All he remembers is the smell of lavender and her screams, and trying to move- before they stopped."
[02:43] <Yanmei> The wince had become a full-blown cringe, now. "I think I'm seeing a connection between this and the carnage ten days ago…"
[02:44] * Ariadne nodded slowly. "He blames himself, because… Whenever someone dies, someone he feels protective of, he hears her screaming again. He hasn't been sleeping…"
[02:49] * Yanmei nodded too, shutting her eyes briefly. "If he talked to you, would he feel better, do you think?"
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[02:52] <Ariadne> "I… I don't know." Said Ariadne. "I think he's scared…"
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[02:57] <Yanmei> Logic dictated that of course Dorian would get scared sometimes, since he was human, like everyone else. It was still somehow really hard to believe, though.
[02:58] <Ariadne> "I don't suppose he ever mentioned how we broke up, did he?"
[03:00] <Yanmei> "That's not the sort of thing he would talk about willingly," she said a little wryly
[03:01] <Ariadne> "No. I guess not." Replied Ariadne with a smirk. "… It was just a mess. He… he really took it hard, you know? He clamped up. Refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong. Pretended that everything was fine… But it wasn't. Everyone knew it wasn't…"
[03:03] <Yanmei> "And confronting him about it only made things worse," she guessed.
[11:07] <Ariadne> "Well." She smiled humourlessly. "I can't say I acted perfectly. I… I felt scared for him, but I felt a little hurt, also. He was so busy trying to ignore the problem that he ignored me, too…"
[11:11] * Yanmei nearly winced again at that. No wonder things went bad, but she couldn't exactly blame him, either. "What did you do back then? Did you yell at him a lot?"
[11:13] <Ariadne> "I… Not exactly." Ariadne looked ashamed. "But I got angry with him… And upset, too. And he just snapped. Said that he blamed himself- that's when he told me about what had happened. About what he'd heard. But…" She shook her head. "He was so bitter and angry at that point that he started going on about other things… Things I'd done to upset him. Ways in which I'd aggravated him…"
[11:15] <Yanmei> "Hmm." She gave the attache a sympathetic look. "And I guess after that it was too late to take back what had already been said…"
[11:17] <Ariadne> "Yeah… I-I was going to try to help him, but I was so upset and angry- I'd lost my family, too- that I just couldn't confront him. By the time I had the courage to speak to him again, he was on deployment."
[11:22] <Yanmei> How long was he gone for? Long enough to make the rift more permanent, she guessed. She frowned a little thoughtfully. "So he needs help again now, and you want to give him a hand, but you're not sure how…"
[11:24] <Ariadne> "Yeah…" Ariadne rubbed her hands nervously. "He needs help. He -wants- it, but he's scared, just like I am. We don't know what might happen once he starts spilling…"
[11:29] <Yanmei> "Mediating could be tricky," she murmured to herself, leaning back in her chair. "But I could try talking to him? See if I can't give a little push without giving this little conversation away. Only thing is, I'm not sure if he'd fall for it."
[11:29] <Ariadne> "Well… It's worth a shot, isn't it?"
[11:30] <Yanmei> "It is." She lifted her cup with a nod. "Just in case, I'll bring along some wine for him. Lots of it."
[11:32] <Ariadne> "Haha." Ariadne snickered, drank a bit more of her cocoa. "He always did like his liquor."
[11:38] <Yanmei> "Well… he appreciates it," she said, putting it delicately. He was still her boss, after all. "Appreciates it a lot. Say. Does he have a type that he really can't resist?"
[11:49] <Ariadne> "Hmmm. He always did like scotch."
[11:53] <Yanmei> "Right!" She made a mental note. "I'll ask Marianne to get some. Ah… wh-when she gets released, I mean." Her enthusiasm quieted. Thoughts drifted back to her hospitalized guardian before she could stop them.
[11:55] <Ariadne> "… H-How is she, anyway?"
[12:01] <Yanmei> "Getting better." Still not one for smiling much yet. Still so sad… For all of her efforts, not one of Yanmei's own smiles could stir up a more than a faint, pained one from her in response. She tried one out now, on Ariadne, a serene, confident one. "She'll be released in just a few days. After that, I'll come home with her."
[12:05] <Ariadne> "A-ah. That's good." Said Ariadne, pausing for a moment to try to match Yanmei's smile. "I… I was going to ask if you wanted to stay at my place. I found an apartment, you know? But it's been so gloomy…"
[12:08] <Yanmei> "It… wouldn't be a good idea to leave Marianne and Isaiah." Her shoulders almost sank, but she caught them and straightened her posture deliberately. "We still need to throw that party, though, huh? A housewarming celebration!"
[12:08] <Ariadne> "Yeah! Maybe we can bring Dorian along…"
[12:10] <Yanmei> "Oh? I thought you didn't want him there~" she teased. "Change your mind?"
[12:11] * Ariadne blushed. "I mean, it might help! Or something."
[12:14] <Yanmei> "Uh huh." Smirking, she drained the last from her cup. "I'm sure it will make the place -much- less gloomy for you~"
[12:15] <Ariadne> "W-What do you intend to imply?!"
[12:18] <Yanmei> "Imply? Me?" Yanmei looked simply -shocked- at the notion. "Why would I do that? It would be improper of me, wouldn't it?"
[12:18] * Ariadne leaned forward, eyes narrowed. Then, she reached out and ruffled Yanmei's hair. "Cute."
[12:20] * Yanmei made a slight face, and gave her best to smooth her hair down again… which… never worked. Why did people keep doing that? "Speaking of parties, about the UN and stuff…"
[12:20] <Ariadne> "Ah, yes. That's right. What did you want to know?"
[12:23] <Yanmei> "Well. I think… I've become curious about who it is that the hardworking people of NERV answer to. Marianne said it was the UN, and within that, the Human Instrumentality Committee. She also said that they were your direct bosses - the people you answer to as opposed to Commander Fontaine, like everyone else around here."
[12:26] <Ariadne> "Ah… Well, ok. Sure." Ariadne rolled a hand. "I sort of am a go-between between the Committee and Fontaine, but I do work for the Committee, yes. I'm not on NERV's payroll." She took a mouthful of cocoa.
[12:29] <Yanmei> "What are they like? As people, I mean. For that manner, are there a lot of people on the committee? How are they selected?"
[12:32] <Ariadne> "Well, they're five of them. Each of them are chosen by the UN Security Council, and each represents a nation. Germany, France, the UK, the US, and Russia. They basically get chosen like any other official- by the heads of state and the governments. They're… An ornery bunch."
[12:33] <Yanmei> "Ornery?"
[12:34] <Ariadne> "They like to grouse a lot about the budget and how much NERV eats up." She rolled her eyes. "They like getting their own way, too. The head of the Committee is a right and proper bitch."
[12:36] <Yanmei> Well, this wasn't sounding too promising. Yanmei repressed a sigh. "I don't suppose they hold public meetings, or anything?" Yeah right.
[12:36] <Ariadne> "Not really." A smirk.
[12:37] <Yanmei> "Presumably, though, they would answer to the UN Security Council, right?"
[12:38] <Ariadne> "Yeah."
[12:42] <Yanmei> "Interesting." Yanmei stopped thoughtfully picking at her fruit and gave Ariadne another bright grin. "I want to learn more! About the UN, and how it's run, and how their officials address problems that effect everyone, especially us."
[12:42] <Ariadne> "Haha. Man, that's a lot of stuff to cover. We need to start somewhere."
[12:48] <Yanmei> "Welll, how about a who's who sort of thing. It'd be more fun to meet these guys in person, at a party or something, but they probably don't throw them."
[12:50] <Ariadne> "A who's who?" Ariadne rubbed her face. "Do you want to start with the Security Council or the Committee, then?"
[12:51] <Yanmei> "Let's do the Committee, since it's a lot smaller."
[12:52] * Ariadne nodded. "Alright. The Council, as noted, is made up of five people- and the head of the Committee is the representative of Germany, Mary Caine."
[12:53] <Yanmei> "Caine, huh? That's the… erm. Less than pleasant person you mentioned earlier?"
[12:53] <Ariadne> "Yyyyyyup. Have you ever seen Fontaine on a bad day?"
[12:54] <Yanmei> "I'm afraid so."
[12:54] <Ariadne> "She's basically like that all the time, except worse, and a lot more scary."
[12:55] * Yanmei gave Ariadne a rather sympathetic look. "Sorry. It must be hard…"
[12:57] <Ariadne> "It's not that bad. She rarely speaks to -me-, really, and I can just keep my head down."
[13:00] <Yanmei> "Well, good, then. I guess?" She wasn't sure if it was or not. Talk about stressful work environments. "I guess she spends most of her time frowning at other Committee members, then?"
[13:22] <Ariadne> "Hah, sort of. If you're lucky. There's one person she absolutely hates, though."
[13:23] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[13:24] <Ariadne> "Put Caine and Fontaine together in a room and you'll have to replace the room."
[13:26] * Yanmei stirred a little in surprise. And amusement. "Is that so? Ah…" she grew a little more serious again. "I may have an idea why. She… wouldn't happen to be related to Fontaine's late husband, would she?"
[13:26] <Ariadne> "A-ha-. I see you've connected the dots. Mary Caine was Elisha Caine's sister."
[13:28] <Yanmei> "Familial fighting. It's no wonder." She did sigh, then, keeping the additional things she wanted to say to herself. "Even if she's against Fontaine, she seems like the sort of person to avoid."
[13:31] <Ariadne> "Oh yes. Prolongued contact with Mary Caine is never a good thing." Ariadne winked.
[13:33] <Yanmei> "But you seem to have survived it somehow," she joked. "impressive!"
[13:35] <Ariadne> "It's all about being quick on my feet and never screwing up." Said Ariadne with a grin. "The others are all fairly formidable in their own right, like Nigel Shardlake."
[13:36] <Yanmei> "Shardlake? From… the UK?" She made a guess based on the name.
[13:38] <Ariadne> "That's right. Quiet, but sharp. Always chooses his words carefully and never forgets anything. Literally."
[13:39] <Yanmei> "Well… that could be either a good thing or a bad thing, right? Remembering employees' successes along with the bad stuff?"
[13:40] <Ariadne> "Oh, he's -very- carefully measured, yes. But he's extremely critical. If Shardlake were a set of scales, you could put 99 kilograms of good on one end, 1 kilogram of bad on the other, and if you're lucky, they -might- equalise."
[13:42] <Yanmei> "How depressing," she complained. "Isn't there someone among them who's… less 'ornery', somehow?"
[13:45] <Ariadne> "You mean, one you could befriend?" Asked Ariadne with a twinkle.
[13:49] * Yanmei refused to be flustered. She hadn't exactly been graceful about her inquiries. It was actually a little surprising that Ariadne had humored her so far. "I'm asking out of curiosity for your well being. A reprieve among the bitter and calculating faces of your bosses."
[13:52] <Ariadne> "Hahaha." Ariadne chuckled. "Cute. I guess the least dangerous one is Gilles de Orleans."
[13:54] <Yanmei> "Oh? What's he like?" Furthermore, what did 'least dangerous' mean among this cast of cutthroat politicians?
[13:55] <Ariadne> "He's… Diplomatic. Caine threatens, Shardlike criticises, but de Orleans persuades."
[13:59] <Yanmei> "Well, imagine that. Someone who plays civily with others." She paused. "Unless by persuade you mean… persuades through less conventional or legal means?"
[14:01] <Ariadne> "Well." Ariadne chuckled. "I mean he can convince people to see things -his- way. And… Look, it's a little hard to say these things without coming off as euphemistic, so- what can I say? He might not use -legal- means sometimes, or conventional ones, but he doesn't kill or harm people. He makes them work for their best interests, or the greater good."
[14:03] <Yanmei> "Or what he percieves as their best interest." Yanmei smirked.
[14:06] <Ariadne> "Well, yes." Said Ariadne dryly. "His most dangerous quality is that he is so very persuasive, really."
[14:07] <Yanmei> "…when you put it like that, he actually sounds more dangerous than the others."
[14:09] <Ariadne> "Ahaha. I guess you have a point. But at least he's accessable, no?"
[14:11] <Yanmei> "I suppose so. Less intimidating?" She peered down to see if Pilot Lupe was finished with his chicken breakfast
[14:17] <Ariadne> [The wolf had long since wolfed down his chicken and had been staring at Yanmei rather unblinkingly for a few minutes.-
[14:18] <Ariadne> "Yes. And unlike the others, he's more likely to actually attend parties."
[14:21] * Yanmei stared back at the wolf, slightly unnerved. "Well. I'll keep an eye out for him, I suppose. If there are any more important parties that we're invited to, that is…" Maybe… he wanted to be petted? With a lot of hesitation, she stretched out a hand toward him.
[14:23] <Ariadne> [The wolf stared at the hand. Didn't move.-
[14:24] <Ariadne> "Yeah… Our last one didn't go too well, did it." Said Ariadne sadly.
[14:25] * Yanmei tried to bring the hand down on Lupe's head for an awkward pat in silence. Berlin-2. It made her feel sad too.
[14:26] <Ariadne> [Pet pet. The wolf… Didn't seem to mind it, but it was still quite stiff.-
[14:29] * Ariadne leaned back in her chair. "Now, anything else? I guess you want to know about the Security Council, huh? … Say, did you ever hear the details about the hearing? With Fontaine and all."
[14:31] <Yanmei> "I heard… some of it. It got back to us while we were on vacation. Fontaine also visited when she was finished." Yanmei drew her hand back. It was unbitten, so the petting was clearly a success! "It was basically just a public showing held by the President that solified Fontaine's power, wasn't it? Clever."
[14:33] <Ariadne> "Essentially. Although I think he… Probably went off the script a little."
[14:34] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She looked up at her, curiously.
[14:35] <Ariadne> "He brought up the infiltration of the Geofront. You know, by those kids? And Isaiah, too. He wasn't supposed to."
[14:39] <Yanmei> "Someone in his cabinet probably brought it up. It still served the same purpose as the other questions asked." She echoed the words that she had heard before on the matter, and frowned. Someone powerful wanted to see Isaiah shot for the security infiltration. Any flickers of emotion in her eyes were dulled by the sunglasses she wore.-
[14:41] <Yanmei> "I'm a little confused about how he even got a hold of that information? It doesn't seem like the sort of thing Fontaine or Section-2 would broadcast."
[14:41] <Ariadne> "A spy." Ariadne smirked.
[14:43] <Yanmei> "The same one who leaked information on our personal lives to the seperatists, I would assume?"
[14:44] <Ariadne> "Oh no. A different spy this time." Said Ariadne. "There's a spy that sends info about NERV to the President… And sends info about the President to NERV. Both the President and Fontaine know about the spy, and the spy essentially knows that they know, so she's less of a spy these days and more of a sort of conduit. Ah… That reminds me. Have you spoken to de Pteres yet regarding his little tiff with an Ambassador?"
[14:54] <Yanmei> "Sophie told me. She's one of our tactical operators. Apparently she was there when de Pteres explained things… and got into a quick scrap with the Major." Exasperation. Stupid fifth child. Er… Poor clueless de Pteres, rather.
[14:55] <Ariadne> "Hah, yes. I hear it was rather one-sided. Do you know he insulted Dorian's disability?"
[14:56] <Yanmei> "That I didn't know. I just heard that they were arguing!"
[14:57] <Ariadne> "Oh yes. de Pteres said that if NERV didn't try to get his girl back, he and EVA-01 would revolt or something. So Dorian threatened to shoot him if he said it again- and de Pteres said he'd spend the rest of his life at the top of a flight of stairs."
[14:59] <Yanmei> "-De Pteres- said that?" Yanmei blinked. "Mild mannered Sept?"
[15:00] <Ariadne> "Yes. Dorian… Was not amused. He basically broke de Pteres."
[15:01] <Yanmei> "W-what do you mean, 'broke'?"
[15:03] <Ariadne> "From what I was told, de Pteres said that other people had tried to shoot him- and failed, and so would Dorian. Dorian said those people had failed to shoot de Pteres because NERV'd been watching him for most of his life. He basically crumpled at that."
[15:07] <Yanmei> "It's no wonder. Hearing something like that for the first time is…" she trailed off, a little sympathetic, a little sad.
[15:09] <Ariadne> "Yeah…" Murmured Ariadne. "Well, what can I say? Don't piss off the Destroyer."
[15:12] * Yanmei gave Ariadne a brief glance. "Say. Miss Delacour?"
[15:14] <Ariadne> "Call me Ariadne."
[15:16] <Yanmei> "Ariadne," She echoed complacently. "Have you figured out why I want to 'make friends' with members of the Human Instrumentality Commitee yet?"
[15:16] <Ariadne> "Hmmmmmmmm." She leans forward. "I can see… Four reasons."
[15:17] <Yanmei> "That many?" Yanmei laughed, a little surprised. "What would those be?"
[15:19] <Ariadne> Ariadne started listing them off of her fingers. "The first one is the simplest. You have political ambition and you want to make contacts early." Finger two! "Secondly, there's the reason you stated earlier, even if I don't think you're telling the truth- you're just out for my wellbeing, which is nice." A wink, finger three. "Thirdly, you want to screw with Fontaine. A worthy goal." Finger four. "And fourthly… I'm imagining you want to influence pilot decisions."
[15:23] <Yanmei> "Not bad!" she smiled. "Do me a favor, though? Don't let the Major in on those, okay? He'll probably figure it out soon, but… I have this feeling he'll try to discourage me."
[15:25] <Ariadne> "Why's that?"
[15:27] <Yanmei> "The reasoning… might be something he warned me against doing before." She shify-eyed aside.
[15:29] <Ariadne> "Yeah?"
[15:31] <Yanmei> "I'm pretty sure you'll figure it out soon too. You'll promise me, though, won't you?"
[15:31] <Ariadne> "Hmmm. That depends."
[15:31] <Yanmei> "Huh? On what?"
[15:32] <Ariadne> "On what your offer is." Ariadne smirked.
[15:34] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei clasped her hands together and rested them on the table. "I would have thought that speaking to Dorian about his feelings for you would make us square?"
[15:35] <Ariadne> "And then you want me to keep something from him, which unsquares us~. But I know what you can do for me."
[15:35] <Yanmei> "What's that?"
[15:36] <Ariadne> "Come to my housewarming party…"
[15:37] <Yanmei> "Of course I will~" This was a pretty easy deal. She beamed at her.
[15:37] <Ariadne> "… With Alexandre Fontaine~"
[15:38] * Ariadne grinned and preemptively shook Yanmei's hand. "Of course you will. Excellent! Thank you!"
[15:38] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared, uncomprehending, handshake like a limp doll's. "What."
[15:39] <Ariadne> "Thanks! Here's the address." She shoved an address into Yanmei's hand.
[15:40] <Yanmei> "Wh-" she blinked down at the paper slowly. "What." she said again. "W-wait a minute…"
[15:40] <Ariadne> "Tomorrow night, say… 7 PM? Bring a drink?"
[15:42] <Yanmei> "Wait. How could you…" Stunned betrayal coming onto her face. "What sort of deal is this?"
[15:44] <Ariadne> "The best kind of deal." Ariadne winked. "An unfair one. See you tomorrow, ok?"
[15:45] <Yanmei> "Who put you up to this?" she demanded. She stared down at the paper earnestly now, in clear dismay.
[15:46] <Ariadne> Ariadne gave Yanmei a hug. "Cupid. Tata, sweetheart~" And… She started walking away!
[15:48] * Yanmei stared after her, and slowly coming back to her senses. "We've been had Lupe," she said after a long while of silence. "But this isn't the end. Oh no. I will -learn- from this."
[15:49] <Ariadne> [Lupe stared up at Yanmei, before shaking and getting to his feet. His only response was to start hungrily licking her hand… Hey, hadn't that been the hand with the steak in it…?]
[15:50] <Yanmei> "Oh." So that's what he had been staring at her for. A little unnerved, she pulled her hand away, and started to rise. "C'mon. Let's get some more for you."
[15:51] <Ariadne> [Lupe growled enthusiastically.]

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