For The Love Of Life 1 2 1

[22:33] <Yanmei> It had been a quiet day so far. Yanmei was hunched over her desk, scrolling through her latest report with a distracted frown. There were many things on her mind: The strangeness of Mary Caine; the situations of the prisoners they were holding; Metatron…. -
[22:37] <Yanmei> And there was something on the corner of her desk that kept catching the light in the most distracting manner, almost as if it was winking at her. It was the pendant that she had taken from the Grotto the day before, with its sleek elegence and its smooth red stone. Yanmei physically turned her head away from it with a grunt.
[22:41] <Minaplo> [It gleamed in the light, little patterns playing on its radiant surface…]
[22:57] * Yanmei found herself sloowly rotating back toward it. She cursed herself. -
[23:03] <Yanmei> -Technically- there was no one around. If she wanted to give it a closer examination, she could probably do it without making a fool of herself. Still, the prospect of seeing those forms of her she supposedly used to be made her nervous. Watcher had been there too… she could sense her. Yanmei frowned more deeply. -
[23:03] <Yanmei> She reached out and grabbed it, pulling it a little closer.
[23:04] <Minaplo> [It continued to gleam invitingly.]
[23:08] <Yanmei> Finally, she shook her head and tossed her hair. It would be all right. She had to remember her enemies… how much contempt would they hold her in if they found out that she was worried over some simple little stone? Would any of them laugh at her? She tossed her hair again, this time with a vengence, her eyes narrowing coldly. She would show them… -
[23:08] <Yanmei> Slowly, her hand shaking slightly, she pulled it around her neck and fastened it.
[23:19] <Yanmei> There was no mirror this time, but there was the glossy surface of the televison sitting on the other side of the room. She could see her entire office reflected in it… Her own desk, shoved near the opposing wall, a large conference table soberly dominating most of the space, the mini fridge in the corner. Her eyes darted from the table to the screen, clearly anxious, and then back again. -
[23:19] <Yanmei> "Hello again?" she said politely.
[23:28] <Yanmei> "Well, I'm sorry for the previous reaction. You can imagine how shocked I was."
[23:37] <Yanmei> She started to look a little annoyed now. "There are some things that -warrant- being shocked regardless. Surely you agree?"
[23:40] <Yanmei> "For the record, I'm normally extremely calm under pressure?"
[23:44] <Yanmei> "So…" she said, trying to look cheerful again. "I feel compelled to introduce myself? I am Zhang Yanmei, Chancellor of the United Earth Federation."
[23:56] <Yanmei> "We're a new faction, you see… Ah, in the 1940's, something called the UN was created. It's a global organization that has traditionally promoted cooperation and mediation among countries all over the world? This was especially crucial in the last few years, because humankind has been facing a common alien threat. Unfortunately, certain… tensions between the people running the UN and its members have caused a bunch of countries to split off from it and form their own global organization: the United Earth Federation. The Chancellor is the head of the Federation."
[23:58] <Yanmei> "That… I'm the head of the Federation?"
[00:10] <Yanmei> "Certainly? But I'm more concerned with the responsibility aspect? I have to work out how this thing is organized, lay down the basic policies, and get us in a position to sucessfully fend off our enemies. Plus, there's the end of the world."
[00:34] <Minaplo> [There was the chime of the door button. "Madame Chancellor?"-
[00:35] <Minaplo> [Lucille's voice. "Marshal Amatore, Admiral Katsuragi, Air Marshal Wellesley, President Mazarin and Emissary Ezekiel are here for the situation report meeting."]
[00:37] <Yanmei> "Not -that- Wellesley…" she assured him quickly. "Please send them in, Miss Lucille."
[00:38] <Minaplo> [The door opened, and they all filed in- Marianne, Alphonse and Misato all in their splendid new uniforms. "Good morning, Chancellor." "Chancellor." "Hi, Yanyan~"-
[00:39] <Minaplo> [Mazarin was next, along with Ezekiel. He gave Yanmei a respectful nod. "Good morning."-
[00:39] <Minaplo> [Ezekiel smiled. "Zhang Yanmei."]
[00:41] <Yanmei> "Hello, everyone~ Looking good! How is everyone doing today?"
[00:49] <Minaplo> [There were general murmurs to the tune of 'yes'.-
[00:49] <Minaplo> [They all took their seats around the meeting table…-
[00:49] <Minaplo> ["That's a pretty pendant, Yanyan." Said Misato cheerfully, eyeing it.]
[00:55] <Yanmei> "Thanks~ It was something that was left to me in Ikari's base."
[00:59] <Minaplo> ["Oh, huh. What was it like in there?"]
[01:06] <Yanmei> "Gloomy. Filled with deadly traps and unexplainable biohazards? He was expecting us, and us specifically - we were split up a lot and put in scenarios that tested us in order to continue. I'm writing the report on the specifics as we speak."
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["Why?" Asked Alphonse, frowning.]
[01:11] <Yanmei> "Why?" She was gazing in his direction with an odd expression. "Why did he expect us?"
[01:13] <Minaplo> ["Why… Everything."]
[01:23] <Yanmei> "I don't know. A simple code with the location of the Lance would have been a lot easier? But… during the parts where we were all together or partnered up with someone, he seemed to be promoting cooperation amongst us, too. Maybe that was his other goal."
[01:24] <Minaplo> ["Co-operation with Caine?" Asked Marianne distastefully.]
[01:25] <Yanmei> "Yes," she said glumly. "To his credit, we did come to an agreement or two, given the extreme threat looming over us both."
[01:32] <Minaplo> ["Agreement? Such as?" Asked Mazarin.]
[01:33] <Yanmei> "She's offering us aid with reconstructing the Lance, and has said that she's open to a prisoner exchange."
[01:37] <Minaplo> ["A… Prisoner exchange?" Asked Misato. "Who?"]
[01:40] <Yanmei> "She's interested in getting the Primes back, of course. As for us, we'll have a pick of any of the souls in the Eternity Drive or living prisoners that are in her possession." For a split second, her face became stern and disapproving, her gaze aimed slightly above Misato's head.
[01:41] <Minaplo> [Misato blinked, seemingly self-conscious. She smoothed out her skirt awkwardly.-
[01:42] <Minaplo> ["How feasible is that?" Asked Marianne.]
[01:47] <Yanmei> "Those are separate- Ah. Well. That is, we can separate with maybe one of the Primes? But we still have some work to do with the Spectre and Augustine."
[01:49] <Minaplo> ["You mean… Project Love-Love." Said Misato mischievously.]
[01:52] <Yanmei> "Y-yes," Yanmei's cheeks colored slightly. "It's taking some time."
[01:53] <Minaplo> ["Project… I'm not sure I follow." Said Mazarin, frowning.]
[01:57] <Yanmei> "The objective was to allow those two to get closer in the hope that they'll establish a libido effect that will counteract at least some of the effects of Caine's conditioning on them."
[01:59] <Minaplo> [Mazarin's eyebrows rose.-
[01:59] <Minaplo> ["Rei named it." Said Alphonse quietly.]
[02:02] <Yanmei> "A-anyway, even without Project Love-Love, it'd be a terrible idea to release all the Primes back to her unless we had an extremely good reason?"
[02:07] <Minaplo> ["Agreed. They're too powerful, and with three of them locked away, Caine's Dysangelions are limited." Said Marianne.]
[02:14] <Yanmei> "Looking at it from our side… how many prisoners do we need back from her urgently? Like right this minute?"
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["I can't think of any," Began Misato, "But a lot of people would want their family, or the like…"-
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["There's Ikari." Said Alphonse. "Caine's not likely to give him up, though."]
[02:18] <Yanmei> "I want to try for him anyway, even if she doesn't accept. In the Grotto, she said that his soul had been damaged, so it's likely she hasn't gotten much information from it yet?"
[02:19] <Minaplo> ["That damage will be undone eventually." Said Ezekiel.]
[02:20] <Yanmei> "Which is why we need to get him back as soon as we can? Or, alternately, make the conflict between us and Caine pointless before he's restored."
[02:22] <Minaplo> ["Fair enough." Said Marianne.]
[00:04] <Yanmei> "On the topic of her actually helping us with the Lance… do we need her?"
[00:09] <Minaplo> [Ezekiel shook his head. "I cannot be sure. I do not think she is strictly necessary, but her assistance will greatly increase our chances."]
[00:10] <Yanmei> "Where do we even begin, anyway?"
[00:15] <Minaplo> ["With the physical reforging of the shards."]
[00:19] <Yanmei> "It shouldn't be a problem?" She glanced to her other officers as if expecting confirmation.
[00:21] <Minaplo> ["We're not actually sure how that's done." Said Marianne.]
[00:24] <Yanmei> "That's a problem," she said stiffly. "Ikari didn't exactly leave clues behind in that base of his?"
[00:27] <Minaplo> ["I believe he expected me to be able to guide you." Said Ezekiel.]
[00:32] <Yanmei> "Oh. Then, what should we expect?"
[00:38] <Minaplo> ["I can help. The difficulty is in balancing success against…" He frowned. "Risk."]
[00:38] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[00:43] <Minaplo> ["I know of different methods to achieve our goals. Unfortunately, the safest methods take time. The most powerful and quickest methods come with dangers that I will explain- later."]
[00:48] <Yanmei> Yanmei's brow furrowed. "All right," she said. "Then, when you've decided on which of those methods will be best, will you let us know what you need in terms of materials and equipment and such?"
[00:52] <Minaplo> ["I wish to discuss with you about my methods. Preferably with you, Aline Blanc, Sera de Pteres and some other Evangelion pilots."]
[01:04] <Yanmei> "Yeah, completely agreed?" she murmured, glancing casually at the silent TV screen and then back to him directly. "I'll set up a meeting before the end of the day."
[01:05] <Minaplo> ["Very well."-
[01:06] <Minaplo> ["Is there anything else we should cover about the reforging?" Asked Marianne.]
[01:07] <Yanmei> "Yes. Like how we actually wake it up once it's back together physically?"
[01:14] <Minaplo> ["I can explain that," Began Ezekiel.-
[01:14] <Minaplo> ["Later." Muttered Alphonse.]
[01:20] <Yanmei> "…fine, then." Yanmei was frowning, but she shook it off. "Later. Is there anything else we should talk about today?"
[01:21] <Minaplo> ["We may be in a truce with Caine for now, but that's not going to last." Said Marianne. "She's using the truce to push a good deal of reinforcements into Germany and its sphere…"]
[01:24] <Yanmei> Yanmei's frown returned and her eyes narrowed. "Both Ikari and de Pteres seemed like they were hoping this experience would change her mind about her goals. I guess there's no way it would?" -
[01:24] <Yanmei> She folded her hands on the desk. "So! We should start setting up our own counterattack."
[01:37] <Minaplo> ["And so we enter another world war with the Germans versus West and East." Muttered Alphonse.-
[01:38] <Minaplo> ["I don't think Germany can hold us off forever." Said Marianne. "But so long as Germany threatens us, then our European forces can't move into Africa, giving Caine time to build up there."]
[01:45] <Yanmei> "Her forces there are already almost impossible to break through with our current manpower. Even without the threat from Germany, I wouldn't risk it yet?"
[01:54] <Minaplo> [General consensus.-
[01:57] <Minaplo> ["Still, a quick solution to our German problem is best." Said Alphonse.-
[01:57] <Minaplo> ["Ideas?" Asked Marianne.]
[02:01] <Yanmei> "Route more troops to France. Coax the Soviets into helping us out. If we can turn the tide, we'll end up battering Germany from both sides."
[02:05] <Minaplo> ["Fairly standard practice." Said Marianne, nodding.]
[02:08] <Yanmei> "But they're our allies!" Yanmei paused. "I mean, they're our allies now, but we -could- get even closer to them…"
[02:08] <Minaplo> ["… The Soviets?" Asked Marianne, unsure.]
[02:11] <Yanmei> "Yeah. But it's not a plan I really like, because it involves wooing Vladimir Romanov away from the UN and onto our side."
[02:20] <Minaplo> ["Why do we need to get closer to them, exactly?" Asked Misato, frowning.]
[02:26] <Yanmei> "Are there any disadvantages to it?"
[02:27] <Minaplo> ["I suppose not," Said Misato slowly. "Just wondering if it's a priority or not is all."]
[00:00] <Yanmei> "Not a massive one? You're not a fan of it either, huh?"
[00:02] <Minaplo> ["It's not… That, exactly, kind of is, but… Our priority really should be handling Germany right now, right?"]
[00:04] <Yanmei> "Of course."
[00:17] <Minaplo> ["Then let's try to stay on topic for now."]
[00:27] * Yanmei briefly pursed her lips together. "All right? Let's go over the details, then. We're already in a good position to defend from them. We can even send out some EVAs to match any that she might have on her side… or Dysangelions."
[00:34] <Minaplo> ["Repairs are still taking some time." Said Marianne. "We currently have 11 operable units, with another 8 in the shop. If we assume… A quarter of our units will be defeated during the attack on the Egg, that leaves us with a total of about 8 units to play with the moment hostilities resume. It should be enough, unless Caine's managed to produce another one or two Evas of the model we
[00:34] <Minaplo> saw in the Synfront."]
[00:41] <Yanmei> "Good. If all EVA-like enemies are quickly defeated, and Caine's army realizes that it's surrounded, we could force an early surrender instead of dragging things out to the very end? Something troubles me, though…"
[01:12] <Minaplo> ["What's that?"]
[01:15] <Yanmei> "Caine's troops, overall, vastly outnumber us? So what if she has another army waiting off in the wings to double-turn the tide? Or worse, what if she attacks one of our bases halfway across the world while we're focused on Germany?"
[01:26] <Minaplo> ["It's to be expected." Said Alphonse. "If I were her, I'd probably attack the United States…"]
[01:30] * Yanmei frowned at the TV again in clear disapproval. "This is serious! We'll have to divide ourselves even further to defend the States…"
[01:33] <Minaplo> [There was confusion on everyone's faces, except Ezekiel's. a few of them glanced at the tv…-
[01:36] <Minaplo> ["It -is- serious, yes." Said Marianne. "Covering the US will require thinning our forces elsewhere. It makes it harder to achieve a decisive breakthrough in Europe, for sure."]
[01:43] <Yanmei> "…will they be attacking the country's capital, do you think? Or just our bases?"
[01:45] <Minaplo> ["I suspect they'll prioritise places of value. Boston for example. Asgard if they can find it." Said Alphonse.-
[01:45] <Minaplo> ["That's a good point." Noted Mazarin. "To be blunt: how much of the US can we afford to lose before it starts affecting us strategically?"]
[01:51] <Yanmei> "Boston itself was badly mangled in the fight against the Angel Michael? We could remove or destroy any remaining sensitive equipment or data. Temporarily relocate the remaining employees. To them, it will look like we've abandoned it."
[01:52] <Minaplo> ["But this would set back our industrial reconstruction efforts in the United States by months." Said Alphonse.]
[01:55] <Yanmei> "If we actually take Germany instead of just defending from it, we can make up for that."
[01:56] <Minaplo> ["And, it means we can link up with the Soviets." Said Marianne.-
[01:57] <Minaplo> ["Don't forget the political aspect." Said Mazarin. "I've been speaking to some foreign contacts, and from what I can tell, most of the currently non-aligned European states are adopting a 'wait-and-see' approach, intending to ally with whoever can deal the decisive blow. If we defeat Germany, and do it quickly, most of Europe should sign onto the Federation."-
[01:58] <Minaplo> ["And if we're not quick about it?" Asked Alphonse.-
[01:58] <Minaplo> ["Then we deploy the secret weapon of the British Empire." Said Mazarin dryly. "The Golden Cavalry of Saint George."-
[01:58] <Minaplo> ["Ah."]
[02:04] * Yanmei seemed slightly cheered by that… or at the very least, amused. "So we could gain money and manpower in one move… and then immediately use it to strike back and secure the US bases properly, especially if we've won Brazil over by then."
[02:05] <Minaplo> ["That's right." Said Mazarin.-
[02:06] <Minaplo> ["I should note," Said Alphonse, "That practically every war fought on multiple fronts begins with a strategy going something to the tune of 'if we bunch up all of our forces here, we can knock one front out really quickly before the other front goes to hell'. We need to be cautious."]
[02:10] <Yanmei> "I understand that? It -is- risky, but we lack alternatives right now."
[02:14] <Minaplo> [General, if silent assent.-
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["What are the Eastern members focusing on?" Asked Misato. "China and Australasia…"]
[02:26] <Yanmei> "Australasia needs to sit this battle out? They should keep building their strength up for when we need them - be it the eventual attack on Africa, or the battles to retake the States." -
[02:30] <Yanmei> "They also need someone to cover them while they're doing that? China, for example…" She frowned slightly. "If anything goes wrong on the Eatern front, or with Germany, we could have them send reinforcements."
[02:32] <Minaplo> [General assent.-
[02:32] <Minaplo> ["We couldn't reinforce the States with Chinese forces?" Asked Alphonse.]
[02:41] <Yanmei> "Keep Caine from at least getting close to Asgard, you mean?"
[02:46] <Minaplo> ["That's what I'm thinking, yes."]
[02:54] * Yanmei lapsed into a brief thoughtful silence. "It has to be one or the other, to keep them from spreading their own troops too thinly. They can't protect both Australasia and the States at the same time?"
[02:56] <Minaplo> ["Then the States." Offered Alphonse. "The same argument for securing Germany over the US applies for securing the US over Australasia."]
[03:03] <Yanmei> "It makes more sense for Caine to attack the States than weaker Australia." She glanced curiously at the rest of the officers to read their reactions.
[23:52] <Minaplo> [General assent.]
[23:56] <Yanmei> "Very well. We'll have them send reinforcements before the battle? Make sure that Linden knows? She'll want to make sure her Cabinet members are secured in safe places for this as well."
[23:57] <Minaplo> [More general nods.]
[23:57] <Yanmei> "Were there any more business items to talk about today?"
[00:03] <Minaplo> ["Actually." Marianne swivelled around to face Yanmei full-on. "I heard an odd report the other day."]
[00:04] <Yanmei> "Oh?" Yanmei blinked at her curiously.
[00:11] <Minaplo> ["That apparently you decided to fight a prisoner in her own cell… And were taken captive." There was a stern look in Marianne's eye.]
[00:13] <Yanmei> "Th-that… Ahahah… It -sounds- a lot more dangerous than it actually was?"
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["Lilly Norling pinned you to the ground and admitted that she planned to use you as a human shield to blow up one of our positron reactors! If it weren't for Ban-Ban, it could've been a disaster!"]
[00:24] <Yanmei> "I managed to talk her down from it before he made his presence known," she insisted. "In fact, she'd already untied me before he stepped in?"
[00:29] <Minaplo> ["It was still far too risky!" Said Marianne sternly. "What were you thinking?"]
[00:33] <Yanmei> "I was trying to get through to her! Words weren't doing the trick - a rarity, I assure you - so I sought less traditional ways of doing it?"
[00:40] <Minaplo> ["I suppose being beaten up -is- fairly unorthodox." Said Alphonse, his voice heavy with amusement.]
[00:44] * Yanmei shot him a Look. -
[00:45] <Yanmei> "In any case, I apologize for making everyone worry. I positively assure all of you that it's the first and last time I'll lose to her."
[00:50] <Minaplo> ["I want promises that this is the first and last time you'll pick a fight with a prisoner in their own cell." Said Marianne.]
[00:54] <Yanmei> "…" -
[00:54] <Yanmei> "Yes." she said simply. "I promise."
[00:56] <Minaplo> ["And I want you to promise you'll start taking hand-to-hand combat training sessions with Rei." Said Alphonse smugly.]
[00:59] <Yanmei> "But I've already taken hand-to-hand lessons?"
[01:04] <Minaplo> ["You haven't taken hand-to-hand lessons with Rei, though."-
[01:04] <Minaplo> ["I bet you have~" Said Misato, a gleam in her eyes, leaning forward towards Alphonse's chair, a smirk on her lips. "Full-contact, no-holds-barred, throw-down wrestling training~"-
[01:04] <Minaplo> ["Hush." Muttered Alphonse, going pink.]
[01:19] * Yanmei smirked, feeling a little twinge of triumph~ "Anyway, she's going to be teaching my security detail a thing or two soon. That's practically the same thing?"
[01:21] <Minaplo> [Alphonse's expression was stern. "I'll tell Rei you don't want her help…"]
[01:23] <Yanmei> "She'd understand." But Yanmei actually looked a little uncertain.
[01:25] <Minaplo> ["Oh, she'd -forgive- you." Said Alphonse. "Of course she would. Since she loves and trusts her big sister Yanmei so much… And just wants to make sure that big sister is safe…"]
[01:28] <Yanmei> "Uuugh." She briefly rubbed her temples. "One lesson. And no one else gets to watch."
[01:35] <Minaplo> ["Very well." Said Alphonse, looking pleased.-
[01:35] <Minaplo> ["Are all you Companions inherently manipulative?" Asked Mazarin with a small smile.-
[01:36] <Minaplo> ["Of course."]
[01:45] * Yanmei grumbled under her breath. She could be manipulative too… -
[01:49] <Yanmei> "Are there any other 'odd' reports you wanted to discuss?"
[02:02] <Minaplo> ["Ah, actually." Marianne nodded. "It's about Aline's… New friend."]
[02:03] <Yanmei> "…oh. Her pet… creature."
[02:04] <Minaplo> ["Yes, that." Said Marianne awkwardly. "We've been able to sedate it and place it in a storage bay, but Surov's saying that it might take awhile before he can begin producing spare parts for it."-
[02:05] <Minaplo> ["On the other hand, we've found it's… Erm. It's Eva compatible. That is, it has certain connections on its body that let it act as a sort of Entry Plug."]
[02:06] <Yanmei> "-Why-. And why is Surov making -spare parts- for it?"
[02:09] <Minaplo> ["Well, if it gets damaged…"]
[02:14] <Yanmei> "No, I mean… what is its function? Isn't it dangerous?"
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["It seems to actually be a… Vehicle for Aline. A miniature tactical-scale Evangelion. She can ride in it and control it like a normal Eva, except it's… Tiny."]
[02:18] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei tried to suppress a shudder. "How is… I mean. How self aware is it?"
[02:21] <Minaplo> ["We aren't really sure…"]
[02:22] <Yanmei> "…I'm glad it's sedated."
[02:27] <Minaplo> ["Agreed." Said Marianne. "That said, I believe Aline would be quite happy to use it for any on-foot engagements. It… Suits her."]
[02:31] * Yanmei nearly smirked, but a certain wariness about the situation prevented her from doing that. "I guess. If our people can determine that it's safe and everything."
[02:32] <Minaplo> ["Understood."]
[02:33] <Yanmei> "De Pteres was given a weapon too… although it's more conventional. I'm sure it's already being examined?"
[02:41] <Minaplo> [There were nods.-
[02:41] <Minaplo> ["And of course, there's your pendant." Said Marianne.]
[02:43] <Yanmei> "It's not a weapon," she assured them with a little grin. "So don't worry?"
[02:50] <Minaplo> ["What is it, exactly?"]
[02:58] <Yanmei> "Hmm… don't be alarmed? But it makes me experience certain benign hallucinations that let me work through certain things more easily. Like military tactics and some administrative stuff, probably."
[03:03] <Minaplo> [There were awkward glances at each other.-
[03:03] <Minaplo> ["It is quite safe." Said Ezekiel. "And beneficial."]
[03:09] <Yanmei> "Yeah. See? I've been wearing it this whole time without anything bad happening. In spite of the annoyances…"
[03:14] <Minaplo> ["… Annoyances?"]
[03:16] <Yanmei> "The hallucination is an extremely grumpy one? It's like he's convinced that I'm unprofessional or something. Can you believe it?"
[03:21] <Minaplo> [There were yet more awkward glanced around, along with a few eyerolls from Marianne and Misato.-
[03:22] <Minaplo> ["How presumptious." Murmured Mazarin.]
[03:23] <Yanmei> "Indeed," she said firmly. "On the other hand, it has repeatedly praised me for my wit and cunning, so it almost balances out~"
[03:31] <Minaplo> [Marianne snorted.]
[03:34] * Yanmei raised an eyebrow at her. "*Ahem*. I'll be happy to answer any questions about the pendant, since I've spent so much time experimenting with it?"
[09:02] <Minaplo> ["Well… Where do we even begin? I'm not even sure… S-So they speak to you?" Asked Marianne, shifting in her seat.]
[09:09] <Yanmei> "Well, yes," she said simply. "It's kind of like having OTIS nearby."
[09:18] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, but everyone hates OTIS." Said Alphonse.-
[09:18] <Minaplo> [Marianne gave him a black look.]
[09:24] <Yanmei> But Yanmei seemed pretty triumphant about that. She cleared her throat again, smugly. "They aren't as infuriating as Otis, no. And I can stop listening whenever I want to just by removing the pendant?"
[09:27] <Minaplo> ["How many are there?" Asked Misato.]
[09:30] <Yanmei> "I'm not sure? At least two. Only one of them has been speaking to me consistantly."
[09:40] <Minaplo> ["What's it like, besides grumpy?"]
[09:45] <Yanmei> "Very proud? And familiar. He knows how to read people very well, apparently."
[09:49] <Minaplo> ["Familiar…?"]
[09:53] <Yanmei> "He reminds me a little of myself~ Only less charming."
[09:56] <Yanmei> "That's a compliment," she added, seemingly to no one in particular.
[09:56] <Minaplo> [There were more nervous glances around the table.]
[10:05] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei smiled warmly at them all. "Was there anything else?"
[10:09] <Minaplo> ["Where… Is he? Right now?"]
[10:19] * Yanmei lifted a hand and pointed… straight at the empty chair at the head of the table.
[10:22] <Minaplo> [They all, like clockwork, turned to stare at the chair.-
[10:22] <Minaplo> ["Creepy." Muttered Misato.]
[10:34] * Yanmei laughed softly. "Yeah. I guess it would be? He's harmless, though."
[10:39] <Minaplo> ["Well… Normally this would all be a cause for alarm." Said Marianne slowly. "But since Ezekiel is sure…"-
[10:39] <Minaplo> ["I am."]
[10:42] <Yanmei> "I'll try not to wear it too often," she decided. "It's probably unsettling?"
[10:48] <Minaplo> ["A-A little…"]
[10:53] * Yanmei nodded. "Still, I wanted to thank everyone for their understanding. You all took the explanation better than most people would have."
[10:56] <Minaplo> ["We know you better than most people." Said Marianne.-
[10:56] <Minaplo> ["And I'm sure the one who knows you best will be thrilled~" Trilled Misato.]
[10:59] * Yanmei hesitated. "I'm… sure it won't actually effect him, right?" She glanced to Ezekiel.
[11:07] <Minaplo> ["It's possible if you allow it."]
[11:11] <Yanmei> "Wh-what?!" -
[11:15] <Yanmei> "Of… of course, I was already planning on telling him about it? But that doesn't mean there's a reason to let him see the same type of hallucinations."
[11:17] <Minaplo> ["It could be useful."]
[11:22] <Yanmei> "How…?"
[11:27] <Minaplo> ["The same way it could be useful to you." Said Ezekiel.]
[11:31] <Yanmei> "…" Her brow furrowed. "We'll… talk about it, anyway."
[11:32] <Minaplo> [He nodded.]
[11:42] <Yanmei> "In any case, if that's everything, let's adjourn this meeting?" Yanmei rose from her seat. "Thank you, everyone, for your hard work."
[11:47] <Minaplo> [They all murmured their replies, filing out…-
[11:47] <Minaplo> [Leaving the room empty, except for Yanmei…]
[11:48] <Yanmei> "Don't give me that look. There wasn't a single thing that impressed you?"
[11:51] * Yanmei sighed. -
[11:52] <Yanmei> And then blinked. "Was there?"
[11:52] * Yanmei preened. "Because I'm a good leader?"
[11:55] <Yanmei> "…just what are you getting at?"
[12:09] <Yanmei> "Well…" She puffed up. "Of course, I knew that~ And the title -will- be significant in years to come. Just you watch."
[12:13] <Yanmei> "So we will?" She reached for the pendant. "Thank you for your hard work as well."
[12:18] <Yanmei> "What?"
[12:33] <Yanmei> "You're going to love our global monitoring system, then~ It's in 3D. That means it'll make you, like, doomsday-level dangerous."
[12:43] * Yanmei beamed, going for the pendant again. "I'll see you later, Mr. Bonaparte."

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