He Said There You Are Sir Guillory The People Have Spoken

[12:48] <Yanmei> "This… is the right hospital, isn't it?" Another busy day saw Yanmei getting more acquainted with the highways of Paris-2. The traffic was mininal, even with areas closed off thanks to collateral damage from the last battle. Marianne had been… busy again. Ariadne too. Both were likely hanging out with Dorian.-
[12:52] <Yanmei> It had fallen to her to drive everyone for this outing. Today she was wearing a simple white dress with boots and a stylish black overcoat. Her hair was down again. In the backseat of the hatchback were Isaiah and two much smaller children, the latter two dressed in new threads that she had picked up before meeting them. Next to her, in the passenger seat, however…
[12:59] * Raphael was dressed in full NERV uniform, freshly pressed and immaculate. It had taken some wrangling to get one of his own sets brought in to the hospital by Marianne, but there had been no way he was visiting in something as basic as jeans. He's still moving a little carefully, but his injuries have healed enough for the doctors to allow him a day pass to the outside world, and right now
[12:59] * Raphael he's keeping a very tight watch on Yanmei's driving…
[13:05] <Yanmei> "Don't look so worried~" She took her eyes off the road to flash him a bright smile. "I've done this sort of thing a lot lately."
[13:05] * Isaiah was sitting on the left hand rear passenger seat, dressed in a warm white coat- not too tightly, so as to avoid disturbing his bandages and the compresses that had been applied to his acid-burned chest. "This should be the right place, I think."-
[13:06] <Isaiah> [Suzanne was sitting in the middle, as awkward as it might've been. She was wearing a blue jacket over a lighter blue dress. The girl had been quiet, mostly…-
[13:07] <Isaiah> [Whilst Rosalie occupied the last seat, pretty in a pink skirt and white jumper with a red coat. She had the window down, letting the chill in- they'd learned early on that sticking her in the cramped back with the window up led to her having a panic attack and scrabbling madly to get out.]
[13:13] <Raphael> "Then you should know to keep your eyes on the road, Pilot Zhang," he says, giving her a smile right back. "You're doing fine, though, i't's just some old habits - I guess I'm too used to watching trainees."
[13:15] <Isaiah> [The hospital they were approaching, a keen observer would realise, had the rather unusual attachment of having soldiers in uniform around the entrances.]
[13:16] <Yanmei> "Well, you can watch if you want. Be sure to tell Marianne about how careful I'm being, though~ I promised her I would be." She took a hard right, swinging into the hospital's visitors parking lot and into an empty space. There weren't many empty spaces… "Let's go!"
[13:24] * Isaiah undid his belt buckle, looking over at the children. It'd be a little awkward to get Suzanne out, especially considering Isaiah's own weakness right now.
[13:27] * Raphael steps out of the car and moves right around to the rear doors, helping the two younger girls out of the vehicle. He hauls Suzanne's wheelchair out of the boot without a word - an action that would no doubt give his doctors a fit had they been around to see it - and offers the girl whatever help she requested.
[13:29] <Isaiah> [Rosalie is fairly quick out of the seat once Raphael opened the door. Being in the open does her a world of good, and she takes a deep breath and settles down a little. One of her arms is in a sling, and heavily, -heavily- bandaged, but she can walk. Suzanne, however, needed to be lifted out- arms out for Raphael to take and place in the chair.-
[13:29] <Isaiah> "Thank you for that, Mr. Guillory." Said Isaiah, opening the door and stepping out. He leaned against the car to hide his wooziness.
[13:33] * Yanmei did a quick check over everyone, pausing to pat Rosalie gently on the head. "All set? Isaiah, do you need your chair?"
[13:34] <Isaiah> "I-I think I will, yeah."
#6[13:35] * Raphael moves to help her without hesitation, putting both arms around her and beginning to lift… but the action is enough to set his wounded ribs off, and he has just enough time to get Suzanne back on the car seat before he is caught up in a painful looking coughing fit that takes a moment to pass. "… my apologies, Yanmei, but could I hand?"
[13:38] <Isaiah> [Suzanne looked up at Raphael sadly. She reached out to pat him on the hand. "Thank you, Raffy." She said gently. Even for trying.]
[13:38] <Yanmei> It was another few minutes and she pulled his out as well, and set it up, arranging herself behind it for pushing purposes… before hearing Raphael's request and coming to the rescue. "Got 'er." She folded her arms around Suzanne and lifted her, casting a slight unreadable glance at the offier. "You should take it easy too?" Suzanne went in her chair, of course.
[13:40] <Yanmei> ^officer
[13:40] * Isaiah fell into the chair gratefully. "Thanks."-
[13:41] <Isaiah> [Suzanne settled down. "Thank you, Yanyan." Rosalie headed over and grabbed one of the wheelchair handles, stretching on tippy-toes, eyeing Raphael's bandaged hand with an obvious thought in her head.]
[13:43] * Raphael gives Suzanne's hand a bit of a squeeze in return before moving aside to let Yanmei through, actually looking a little embarrassed by the failure. "The medical staff tell me as much. It's not in my nature, though." Rosalie gets a soft little smile as she moves to the wheelchair, and though he doesn't try to stop her he does position himself alongside the girl to help keep the chair
[13:43] * Raphael on the straight and narrow with his good hand.
[13:48] * Yanmei moved around to Isaiah's chair again, leaving Suzanne to the Raphael-Rosalie pair. "OK. I think now we're all set, right?" She had taken the liberty of slipping a medkit to into a large pocket on the back of Isaiah's chair before their departure. Now she eyed it, just in case. Not that… they would need it in a place like this.
[13:48] <Isaiah> "Right." Said Isaiah, cheerfully. He leaned back in his chair.
[13:51] <Raphael> "It seems so," Raphael nods, giving the two kids a quick glance.
[13:52] <Isaiah> [Rosalie gave Raphael a firm nod. Suzanne smiled a little.-
[13:57] <Isaiah> [The hospital interior was much like any other- white, with the uninspiring blueprint of one of Paris-2's ubiquitous prefabricated template buildings. A quick check-in to reception and a talk with one of the Presidential Guard- one who had, in fact, checked Yanmei into the Palace all those nights ago on Halloween when she'd paid Mazarin a visit whilst slightly drunk- saw them waived up to the 4th floor, and given a room number.-
[13:57] <Isaiah> [It was a little quieter on this floor, but there were more guards- two of them in fact were standing outside their very destination.]
[14:01] <Yanmei> "Afternoon!" Yanmei took it upon herself to get them by. "Can we go in? He -should- be expecting us."
[14:03] * Raphael gives the pair a quick salute, waiting behind the wheelchair with one hand resting on Rosalie's shoulder.
[14:04] <Isaiah> [The Guardsmen salute back and step aside. "Please enter, sir."]
[14:10] * Raphael takes the first step forward to hold the door open, stepping back to allow the people pushing wheelchairs to get past. He gives Yanmei a little grin as she passes, actually looking a little nervous himself.
[14:13] * Yanmei grinned back. "It'll be fine. He look scarier than he actually is," she said quietly as she passed. She turned to the room itself, pushing the first wheelchair in. "Mr President! How are you feeling?"
[14:13] <Yanmei> ^looks
[14:17] <Isaiah> [Mortimer Mazarin, President of the Republic of France, was lying in a hospital bed. He looked like his usual self, in fact, except somewhat paler, and one could see the various bandages he wore around his arms and chest. He was reading a children's book; the reason being, he was reading it to his daughter, who was also sitting on the bed. Henriette, however, was unharmed.-
[14:20] <Isaiah> [On a nearby round table sat a stack of pizza boxes, kept warm in their leather porta-ovens. Mortimer's neat, pencil-thin eyebrows rose slightly. "Good day, Yanmei. I see you've brought an entourage with you…"]
[14:22] <Yanmei> "That's right! Sorry to interrupt, though…" She glanced over her shoulder and then nodded. "Somewhere in this crowd is a man who you wanted to meet personally?"
[14:25] <Isaiah> ["Is that right? Well. Personally, I am touched by this outpouring of affection from my primary constitutents-" he let the pun hang in the air for a moment, eyeing Rosalie and Suzanne- "-So why don't you all come in and help yourselves to a bit of pizza. I find nothing peaks a man up like six hot ones straight from Roman Pizza- consider it a home-grown remedy. You should introduce us, Yanmei."-
[14:25] * Isaiah felt uncomfortable, sitting down in front of the president. He wasn't really sure what to do, so he nodded. "M-Mr President."
[14:26] * Raphael snaps off a second salute, much tighter this time and absolutely textbook. "Group Captain Raphael Guillory, sir. It's a pleasure to meet you."
[14:32] * Yanmei chuckled, and gave Isaiah's shoulder a little squeeze. "This-" she patted his shoulder more obviously. "Is Isaiah Gabriel-Wei. And-" She nodded over to the two girls, Suzanne Sarte and Rosalie Paget, of St Louis Private School. Everyone, this is the President of France and his lovely and mature daughter, Henriette."
[14:33] <Isaiah> [Henriette gave them a rather regal wave. "Hello."-
[14:33] <Isaiah> [Suzanne gave Henriette and the President both a little smile. "H-Hi."-
[14:34] <Isaiah> ["Psst. You're supposed to say-" Rosalie straightened up. "Hello, Mr. President~"-
[14:34] <Isaiah> ["O-Oh. Hello, Mr. President!"-
[14:35] <Isaiah> [Mortimer smiled. "President this, President that. Please, girls and boys- Mortimer will do." He straightened up a little, wincing lightly, but he kept on smiling. "So this is the famous Isaiah Gabriel-Wei. Yanmei has told me all about -you-…"-
#1[14:36] <Isaiah> "She… Has?"-
[14:36] <Isaiah> ["Oh yes. In fact, I'm surprised there isn't a Zhang's Party for Gabriel-Wei's Rights in Parliament yet, considering." He gave Yanmei a knowing look, then looked over at Raphael. "Ah! Sir Guillory. Do come in."]
[14:41] * Raphael does look confused for a split-second at the title, but obliges nonetheless. The hall doort is allowed to swing closed behind him. "How are you feeling, sir?"
[14:41] * Yanmei almost looked a little embarrassed by that. She coughed good naturedly, though. "You should give me more time," she muttered. Another glance and wink to Henriette. "And how have you been holding up?"
[14:44] <Isaiah> ["I have been fine. Father is a very tough man. How have -you- been, Zhang Yanmei?" Said Henriette, looking at Yanmei with that sort of protective "I like you but I have my eye on you' stare. "I watched your fight."-
[14:45] <Isaiah> [Mortimer chuckled dryly. "As well as a man with several lacerations and a few broken ribs can feel, Sir Guillory. Those nasty little critters hit quite hard. Would you care to help distribute the pizzas? Feel free to take some yourself, of course."]
[14:50] <Yanmei> "Correction. You watched part of the battle. What you didn't see was the struggle to get to the EVAs in the first place." Yanmei beamed at her. "And~ you should know that I'm doing just fine. I'm standing here in front of you, after all."
[14:51] <Raphael> "Absolutely," Raphael says with a nod, pulling the leather satchels open and retrieving the delicious pizza hidden within. "Would you girls like any?" he says, looking over to Suzanne and Rosalie and smiling.
[14:54] <Isaiah> ["There's garlic cheese, meat lover's, supreme, vegetarian, tandoori and fried chicken." Said Mortimer. "I'm rather partial to a slice of the tandoori right now, Sir Guillory- how about you, Henriette?"-
[14:55] <Isaiah> ["I'll have garlic cheese, Sir Guillory." Said Henriette. She turned back to Yanmei and nodded at Isaiah. "But -he's- in a wheelchair."-
[14:55] <Isaiah> ["Fried chicken~" Said Rosalie with a smile. "What about you, Suzie?"-
[14:55] <Isaiah> ["Oh, um… Meat lovers, please, Raffy."]
[15:00] <Yanmei> "Well, he had a rougher time than I did. We were actually split up for most of the events leading to the battle." Yanmei drifted to the pizzas as well, to help. Supreme for Isaiah, without thinking about it. Garlic cheese for herself.
[15:01] * Raphael quickly dishes out the orders, balancing the pizza boxes on his bandaged hand… and, after a moment's thought before finally taking a hefty slice of the supreme pizza for himself. "Let me know if any of you would like seconds, hmm?"
[15:02] <Isaiah> ["Mmfmfm." Said Rosalie.-
[15:02] <Isaiah> ["Alright, Raffy." Said Suzanne with a smile.-
[15:03] <Isaiah> [Henriette eyed Rosalie with a critical eye before taking a dainty mouthful of the pizza.-
[15:04] <Isaiah> ["Well then." Said the President, nibbling into his tandoori. "Let us not dwell on those sort of things. We should focus on this happy occasion." He said, casting a knowing look at Raphael and Yanmei that somehow incorporated a glance at the children. "Why, this is essentially a party, isn't it, Sir Guillory?"]
[15:05] <Isaiah> "Thanks, Yanyan." Said Isaiah. He didn't quite remember telling Yanmei he wanted the supreme, but he was grateful for it nevertheless.
[15:08] * Raphael gives the Mazarin a thoughtful look, taking rather… well, -dainty- bites of his own pizza in an attempt not to sully his uniform. "… I suppose it is, Mr. President," he says eventually, "If a rather small one."
[15:12] <Yanmei> "When do you think they'll let you out?" Yanmei left the eating until after she was done speaking. "Hey, Henriette. You're making sure that he actually rests instead of doing paperwork, right?"
[15:14] <Isaiah> ["Of course." Said Henriette, with a knowing smile.-
#1[15:15] <Isaiah> [Mortimer put an arm around Henriette affectionately. "She looks after her father well- I'm very proud of her. She's a little angel." He looked up at Yanmei. "A few weeks. Even then I'll have to take it easily." He glanced back at Raphael. "When will you be released, Sir Guillory? I imagine the Super-Heavy Regiment will need you as soon as possible."]
[15:17] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She glanced at Raphael. "Super-Heavy…?"
[15:28] <Raphael> "Ah, well they're estimating a seven-week recovery period, but I'd like to talk them down to five or six…" He looks over his shoulder and gives Yanmei an apologetic smile. "Apologies, Pilot Zhang, I assumed you might have been informed by now. Captain Amatore-DeForest is heading up a new mechanized unit - Thruster-designed heavy walkers - and I've been selected as the first pilot."
[15:32] <Yanmei> "Heavy walkers? Like the T-RIDEN-T?" -Nasty- memories. She was careful to keep it off her face, though. 'And… she'll be commnding the unit? Commanding you?"
[15:34] <Isaiah> ["Heavy walkers- what does that mean?" Asked Suzanne.-
[15:35] <Isaiah> "Congratulations, Mr. Guillory." Said Isaiah uncertainly.
[15:39] <Raphael> "Mmm. In terms of scale they're about half the size of the Evangelion… essentially they're mobile weapons platforms. And yes, it seems like she'll be my superior officer," he nods, glancing over at Suzanne. "Think of them like big robots, kiddo. We'll be there to protect the city before Yanmei and the other pilots arrive."
[15:41] * Isaiah shifted a little. Yanmei would find her hand quickly being enveloped by his warm, comforting own.-
[15:42] <Isaiah> ["A giant robot…" Said Suzanne, her eyes wide.-
[15:42] <Isaiah> ["Cool!" Said Rosalie. "Right, Suzanne?"-
[15:42] <Isaiah> ["R-Right."]
[15:42] <Isaiah> ["Let's hope Sir Guillory manages to keep the collateral to a minimum." Said Mortimer with a smile.]
[15:43] <Yanmei> "I'm sure you don't have to worry? The Group Captain is an excellent shot."
[15:47] <Raphael> "I'll do my utmost, Mr. President. I'm confident with the specs I've seen so far."
[15:51] <Isaiah> ["Quite." Said Mortimer. "Either way, I trust them to know what they're doing. Captain Amatore is highly recommended- wouldn't you agree?"]
[15:55] * Yanmei glanced at Isaiah. "Well… she's pretty smart. And hardworking. Right?" She looked at Raphael at that.
[15:58] <Raphael> "We actually had a rather long chat over lunch the other day, and I get the impression that she's a very bright woman. Plus she seems to have Colonel's respect. I think she'll be an excellent choice," Raphael says, giving Yanmei a firm nod and a rather bright smile.
[16:02] * Yanmei smiled back broadly. "Sounds like she's earned your respect too~"
[16:03] <Isaiah> [Mortimer smiled. "Well there you have it then." He said firmly. "I suppose she told you why I wanted you here too, Sir Guillory?"]
[16:06] <Raphael> That makes him hesitate for a moment, possibly to allow time to silently curse the Captain. "No, Mr. President, just that you requested my presence. If there was a second purpose… well, she neglected to mention it," he says with a very small smile.
[16:08] <Isaiah> ["Really?" Said Mortimer. "So you don't know why I've been calling you Sir this entire time?"-
[16:08] <Isaiah> "Yanmei." Said Isaiah quietly, tugging at her hand.
[16:09] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She broke away from the conversation between Mazarin and Raphael, leaning over a bit.
[16:12] <Raphael> "That has been a matter of some confusion for me, yes."
[16:13] * Isaiah pulled her onto his lap firmly, holding her around the middle tightly, resting his head on her shoulder and mumbling into her ear.-
[16:13] <Isaiah> ["Well, Sir Guillory, I do believe that's the prefix one gives to a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur." Said Mortimer quietly.]
[16:17] * Yanmei muttered something back. There was, again, that slight tinge of embarrassment to her manner, but it was veiled well.
[16:18] * Raphael just… spends a few moments staring at the president as if waiting for a punchline, but when none arrives he makes a valiant attempt to rally. "… Excuse me, sir?"
[16:20] * Isaiah mumbled a reply.-
[16:23] <Isaiah> ["The Legion d'Honneur, the highest decoration open to a French citizen for eminent merit? What else qualifies as eminent merit if not actively saving the lives of Paris-2's Evangelion pilots, and indirectly saving the city, the country, and indeed the world?"]
[16:26] <Raphael> "… I think that might be a bit of an overstatement, sir," he says slowly, looking a little off-balance, "The pilots performed exceptionally well on their own. I was simply happy to provide an… admittedly rather meagre extra line of defense."
[16:27] <Isaiah> ["Sir Guillory, let me ask a question."]
[16:29] * Raphael simply nods, busy trying to regain his normal composure.
[16:30] <Isaiah> [Mortimer promptly turns toward Suzanne. "Miss Sartre, do you think Sir Guillory here is worthy of the Legion d'Honneur?"-
[16:30] <Isaiah> ["Um…"-
[16:30] <Isaiah> ["Pardon. Let me put it like this. Do you think he is a heroic soldier who is worth all the respect in the world?"-
[16:31] <Isaiah> ["Um- Yes!" Said Suzanne, nodding fervently. "He's the best ever. He saved my life, and- and in the tunnels, one of those monsters was going to kill me and he caught the blade with his bare hands…"-
[16:31] <Isaiah> ["Well see? There you are, Sir Guillory. The people have spoken." Said Mortimer solemnly.]
[16:34] * Raphael considers this in silence for a few moments, maybe sensing the odds stacked against him, before giving a very small nod. "If you insist, then, Mr. President. I'm certainly honoured to be chosen for such a decoration."
#6[13:39] * Yanmei had pulled free from her conversation in time to make sense of this… at which, she applauded. "Congratulations! You deserve it."
[13:43] * Isaiah nodded in agreement. "We might all be dead if it weren't for you, Sir Guillory~"
[13:46] <Raphael> "… Thank you, Pilot Zhang," he says, smiling as he steps over to rest a hand on Suzanne's shoulder. "And without your medical treatment we would likely have lost even more than we did, Isaiah. You children are as worthy of commendation for what happened in the tunnels as I could ever be, of that much I'm certain."
[13:47] <Isaiah> [Rosalie closed her eyes for a moment. "Suzie was braver than I was…" She mumbled.-
[13:53] <Isaiah> [Suzanne was quiet. But she gave Raphael a small, proud smile.-
[13:54] <Isaiah> ["Well, Sir Guillory." Said Mazarin. "What do you suggest for these little heroines in the making?"]
[13:59] <Raphael> "Well, Mr President, if you ask me I think they're all well deserving of bravery medals."
[14:04] <Isaiah> [Mazarin nodded. "Mm. I very much agree." He said, smiling. "You were both only children, but you weathered something any adults would find difficult to manage. Your country is very proud of you."-
[14:05] <Isaiah> [Rosalie let out an embarrassed little giggle, whilst Suzanne lowered her head, blushing lightly.]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "Yay~" Yanmei found herself hovering around them proudly. "You both did so well! Congratulations!"
[14:10] <Raphael> "They did," Raphael says, a proud, almost fatherly smile on his lips. "And while they may not be here, sir, I feel it might also be worth extending the same recommendation to the other children… perhaps even to the classmates of our pilots. Not that it's my place to decide."
[14:12] <Isaiah> "Well done, girls." Said Isaiah warmly, a slightly faraway look in his eye.-
[14:14] <Isaiah> ["Mmm, no, that's a reasonable decision." Said Mortimer. "Young Mr. Gabriel-Wei here, for example, has been long overdue for a bravery award, although the last time he was eligible he was simultaneously breaking the law…" A quietly amused smile on his face. "International Law, which is even more impressive."]
[14:19] <Raphael> "Questionable decision-making skills do not necessarily devalue bravery, sir," Raphael says, barely holding back a grin.
[14:19] * Yanmei looked away at that. For a moment, it seemed as if she might begin to whistle… but instead she moved over to give him a hug.
[14:21] * Isaiah blushed a little, pulling Yanmei back towards him. "I daresay it wasn't questionable, Sir Guillory." He added with a shy smile.-
[14:21] <Isaiah> ["Nevertheless. Infiltrating the Geofront is one of those things that usually gets people shot." Said the President. "Did you ever hear about that, Sir Guillory?"]
[14:23] * Raphael gives Isaiah a sidelong glace, looking… well, almost impressed. "… there were some mutterings around the base, sir. I wasn't sure whether to believe them."
[14:23] <Isaiah> [Mortimer chuckles. "Yanmei can tell the tale better than I."]
[14:25] <Yanmei> "Whatever do you mean by that?" She muttered. But the jig was up. She settled into a small smile. "You see, ah… there was this Angel. The one that destroyed Berlin-2. It was on its way to Paris."
[14:28] * Raphael nods slowly. "I remember the one. Geofront security was on high-alert, as I recall."
[14:32] <Yanmei> "That's right. Although not quite high enough?" Yanmei shiftyeyed away. "Isaiah made it through, claiming a certain emplyee's ID. He was -supposed- to stay out of sight until the battle was over, but instead he cleverly attached himself to one of te emergency rescue crowds that were lingering around the edge of the site of the battle. Then 04 took a nasty hit…"
[14:38] <Raphael> "… I see. And Isaiah came to your rescue?"
[14:40] * Isaiah blushed a deep red.
[14:43] <Yanmei> "He was the first one to reach me. The attack that I fell to penetrated through 04's body, and struck the entry plug. The LCL - that's the oxygenated liquid inside the plug - started to heat up to really high temperatures. A few more minutes of being submerged in it, and I would have died." Yanmei frowned a little, even paling ever so slightly. She didn't like remembering.-
[14:44] <Yanmei> "But Isaiah reached in with his bare hands and pulled me free, and then got me clear of the wreckage. It was at that point that onelookers figured out that he wasn't part of the regular crew."
[14:44] <Isaiah> [Henriette looked as though she was tempted to say something of a snarky nature.]
[14:48] <Yanmei> "After that, I passed out, so…"
[14:48] * Raphael glances at Isaiah and nods approvingly. "You're a rather brave young man, Mr Gabriel Wei. Pilot Zhang is lucky to have you, I'd say."
[14:58] * Isaiah mumbled, smiling bashfully and not really sure what to say.-
[14:59] <Isaiah> ["But." Mortimer sighed, staring out the window. "Something troubles me."]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "Oh?" Yanmei stared after him.
[14:59] <Isaiah> ["You've seen the streets, Yanmei, no doubt?"]
[15:00] <Yanmei> "Y-yeah, I have." Yanmei made herself look a little troubled as well.
[15:02] <Isaiah> ["What should be done, do you think?"]
[15:07] <Yanmei> "I'm not really sure? Cleanup efforts are going as quickly as they can. In terms of preparing for next time, even though there were bunkers available, I don't think they did much good." She frowned. "Unless we were to begin housing civilians in NERV headquarters, I can't think of any preventative measures that we could take against a repeat of this incident."
[15:08] <Isaiah> [He nodded slowly. "And you, Sir Guillory?"]
[15:12] <Raphael> "I feel much the same way, sir. We've been lucky in the past in that the angels haven't shown much interest in focusing their attacks on civilians… but if more decide to take that route we're going to have trouble. We simply don't have the firepower to efficiently repel more attacks on that scale, and the angels show too much variation to effectively design universal defenses."
[15:17] <Isaiah> [Mazarin sighed. He sat up a little, wincing slightly. "We did all we could, did we not? We were not complacent, were we?" The President stared down at his lap sullenly. "Every day since the attack I have seen and heard about the losses, the deaths, the rebuilding efforts, the hurt and the misery amongst my people. I sit here and I cannot help but feel as though I could have done more." He glowered.-
[15:18] <Isaiah> ["I am not used to guilt. It is a bothersome emotion."]
[15:21] <Yanmei> "It's not your fault, though? If we had gotten sufficient enough warning with our security system, we could have arranged wide-scale evacuations, like the last time the city was in danger."
[15:25] <Raphael> "…" Raphael's face is carefully neutral as he listens to Mazarin speak, eyes slightly downcast. "Sir, Paris-2 has some of the best defenses and military forces the world has to offer. We do everything we can to protect our citizens. But… whatever the reason, this city seems to bear the brunt of this war. There will always be losses to that."
[15:28] <Isaiah> ["One hundred thousand in a single day." Mazarin's hands balled into fists. "It's too cruel, Sir Guillory…"]
[15:30] <Raphael> "… it is sir. There's no denying that," Raphael says, voice growing a little tighter.
[15:31] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei looked away uncomfortably.
[15:34] <Isaiah> ["…" There was a flash of… Something in the president's face. Grief or anger- it was hard to tell, because it was gone in half a second. "Sir Guillory, the Super-Heavy Regiment only has the one Dreadnought unit so far, yes?"]
[15:38] * Raphael nods. "As far as I've been informed. I have been asked to make some preliminary suggestions for further recruitment, though.
[15:38] <Raphael> «"*»
[15:39] <Isaiah> [The President nodded calmly. "How many units will it boast at full strength, and more importantly, how long will it be until this is achieved?"]
[15:46] <Raphael> "We're hoping to bring the regiment up to ten or fifteen units," Raphael says, "But to do that may take up to four years, at least according to Captain Amatore-DeForest."
[15:48] <Isaiah> ["I see." Said the President. "Please tell Captain Amatore-DeForest that the number of active units will reach four by the end of this year."]
[15:51] * Yanmei stared, not quite believing.
[15:53] <Raphael> "… Gladly, Mr President," Raphael says slowly, some of the grim professionalism in his expression vanishing. He almost smiles. "Thank you very much, sir."
[15:54] <Isaiah> ["You're welcome." Says the President. He folds his hands over his chest and leans back.-
[15:54] <Isaiah> ["Hey, Raffy?" Asked Suzanne.]
[15:55] * Raphael glances down at Suzanne, his hand still resting on her shoulder. "What's up, kiddo?"
[15:57] <Isaiah> ["These, erm…" She frowned. "These new robots are probably gonna be pretty dangerous, right? To fight in?"]
[15:59] <Isaiah> [Henriette, meanwhile, was not interested in giant robots. She was staring at Yanmei.]
[15:59] * Raphael actually hesitates for a moment, giving Yanmei a worried look. "… I'm sure they'll be just as safe as the VTOLs, hon."
[16:00] <Isaiah> [Rosalie frowns. "My mummy says that VTOL piloting is-" she catches herself. "…. Really brave."-
[16:01] <Isaiah> [Suzanne nodded. "That's why Raffy does it." She said wisely, nodding her head slowly. "Don't be dumb though, Raffy, ok?"]
[16:01] <Yanmei> Oh god, the VTOLs… Yanmei kept up a calm facade, at least, offering the man a slight smile. Feeling additional eyes on her, she flipped her hair and traced the gaze back to its owner. "Yes~?"
[16:02] <Isaiah> [Henriette nimbly hopped off the bed and stared up at Yanmei. "Let's go for a walk."]
[16:04] <Raphael> "I promise. I have to keep an eye on you, right?"
[16:06] * Yanmei raised an eyebrow. Intriguing. "Mr President? We'll be back in a few minutes."
[16:06] <Isaiah> [Mortimer eyed Yanmei with a small smile. "Of course.-
[16:07] <Isaiah> ["Bring him along too." Said Henriette, gesturing to Isaiah.-
[16:07] <Isaiah> ["Right, Raffy." Said Suzanne. "Hey, Raffy?"]
[16:08] <Raphael> "Mmm?"
[16:08] <Yanmei> Geeze, this kid, giving orders. "Isaiah? Feel like coming? It's completely up to you. No pressure or orders whatsoever."
[16:08] <Isaiah> "Sure, I'll come along."-
[16:08] <Isaiah> ["When I grow up, will I be able to pilot a Dredthingy?"-
[16:09] <Isaiah> [Rosalie blinked at Suzanne. "You wanna drive one of those?"-
[16:09] <Isaiah> ["Yup."]
[16:09] * Yanmei was soon behing Isaiah's wheelchair, pushing him toward the door. Into the hallway they went. The door shut behind them.
[16:10] <Yanmei> ^behind
[16:10] * Raphael goes very still for a few moments, just staring. It takes a few seconds for the surprise to pass. "That's… a long way off yet, Suzanne. But if that's what you want to do…"
[16:11] <Isaiah> [Henriette leads, of course. Once the door is closed behind them, she turned to stare at Yanmei. "-So-."]
[16:12] <Isaiah> [Suzanne nods firmly. She has a stubborn look to her eye that suggests that any life that doesn't involve her in command of a 600-ton war machine would be a waste of life.]
[16:13] <Yanmei> "So~" Yanmei smirked back. "If there's something on your mind, why don't you say it?"
[16:14] <Isaiah> [Henriette put her hands on her hips. She stared up at Yanmei, utterly unafraid. "What happened?"]
[16:14] * Raphael takes in that look for a hearbeat before letting out a low chuckle. "You really are a warrior at heart, aren't you?" he asks, shaking his head slowly.
[16:16] <Yanmei> "Mind being a teeny bit more specific? A -lot- happened. Are you talking about the protection of the city and Paris' civilians?"
[16:17] <Isaiah> [Suzanne nodded firmly.-
[16:17] <Isaiah> ["Well if you're going to be a soldier, I'll… I'll be your mechanic, Suzie!"]
[16:18] <Isaiah> ["Yes." Said Henriette. "You two were caught up in it, underground. What happened?"]
[16:19] <Raphael> A slow smile spreads across Raphael's face. "You two are going to be an undefeatable team, I'm sure."
[16:19] <Yanmei> "Long story. Your dad won't appreciate us giving you nightmares~"
[16:20] <Isaiah> ["I have to say, Sir Guillory, I'm rather impressed."-
[16:21] <Isaiah> [Henriette gave Yanmei a cold look. It was practiced. It reminded her of her mother a little.]
[16:21] * Raphael 's attention swivels back to Mazarin at that, still smiling. "Why's that, sir?"
[16:22] <Yanmei> "… how old are you again?" Yanmei stared.
[16:24] <Isaiah> ["I'm nine." Said Henriette.-
[16:24] <Isaiah> ["Am I to believe that you have accepted the role of guardianship of the young lady with the aspirations otwards commanding a Thruster Dreadnought?"]
[16:28] <Raphael> "… yes sir. Pilot Ayanami asked for my assistance, as she's still to young to take up such a responsibility," he gives Suzanne a warm look and gives her shoulder a squeeze, "Captain Amatore-DeForest is helping me with the legal arrangements."
[16:29] <Isaiah> ["Well done." Said Mazarin. He gestures Raphael a little closer.]
[16:30] <Yanmei> "Look, sweetie. It's not a pretty story, okay? We were caught out in the open without warning like everyone else, and made it to the tunnels only because there was someone with us who knew where they were and that they led to headquarters." Yanmei sighed, folding her arms. "Once inside, we had to deal with group splits, cave-ins, and monsters of all sorts."
[16:31] <Isaiah> [Henriette paused to consider this information. "There were problems at home, too."]
[16:31] * Raphael edges a little closer to the bed as ordered, only pausing to give Suzanne a quick hair ruffle as he departs.
[16:32] <Yanmei> "We figured. Your dad got pretty hurt, didn't he?"
[16:33] <Isaiah> ["You know. If you are feeling uncomfortable or worried about whether you're up to the task… I've had experience in these matters…"-
[16:34] <Isaiah> [Henriette nodded. "The monsters attacked the Palace. They broke in through the front gates and one of them landed on the roof.]
[16:34] <Isaiah> ."]
[16:35] * Yanmei winced. "Lemme guess. The security team tried to hold them at bay, but one or two slipped past them and got to his office or something?"
[16:38] <Isaiah> [Henriette frowned. "No. He decided to help fight them off, so he grabbed a gun and ran down to the front stairs."]
[16:38] <Yanmei> "What."
[16:39] * Raphael twines his hands together, leaning against the side of Mazarin's bed and lowering his voice. "It's something of a concern for me, yes. I seem to get along well with children, but I've no experience in actually caring for one.. And then there are my responsibilities with NERV…"
[16:46] <Isaiah> [The president nodded gravely. "Nevertheless, you care for her, no? That is always the first step."-
[16:47] <Isaiah> [There was a triumphant gleam in Henriette's eye. "Thought my dad was scared, huh?"]
[16:49] <Yanmei> "Running headlong into a fight like that? Isn't the smartest move for one of the most powerful leaders in the world. He managed to survive okay, though, so he probably isn't half bad with a gun."
[16:49] <Raphael> "I do," Raphael says firmly. "She saved my life in the tunnels, you know. And she's lost everything and everyone from her old life. There's no chance I could leave her to suffer alone."
[16:51] <Isaiah> ["Breaking into the Geofront to save someone from a battlefield isn't very smart either." Said Henriette promptly.-
[16:51] <Isaiah> "…"-
[16:52] <Isaiah> [Mortimer nodded slowly. "I have a feeling you'll do fine, Sir Guillory." He smiled a little. "You're a responsible young man."]
[16:55] * Raphael tries to brighten, but there's still a bit of concern showing through in his eyes. "Thank you, sir. I hope you're right."
[16:55] <Yanmei> "Oh, I don't know if it's so easy to compare the two," said Yanmei smoothly. "Where were you when this was going on, anyway?"
[16:56] <Isaiah> ["Dad sent me off to the palace bunkers." Said Henriette primly. "But I decided to try to help the medic people."-
[16:58] <Isaiah> [Mortimer smiled. "So do I." He turned to look at Suzanne and Rosalie. "I'm so sorry for being boring, my dear children. I don't have any games or anything, and pizza only goes so far." He glanced over at Raphael. "Unless the good Group Captain here has some novel idea…?"-
[16:58] <Isaiah> [Rosalie was eyeing Raphael with a keen eye.]
[17:00] <Yanmei> "You know medicine?" Yanmei blinked. "Impressive~. You and Isaiah can compete in nursing sometime."
[17:01] <Isaiah> ["Only a little. It was mostly running around carrying stuff."]
[17:03] <Yanmei> "Oh. Well, do you -want- to learn? What do you want to do with yourself, anyway?"
[17:03] <Isaiah> "Maybe you could become a schoolteacher. You sure know how to control children~" Said Isaiah cheerfully.-
[17:05] <Isaiah> [Henriette folded her arms. "Hmph. I'm going to become a -professor-."]
[17:07] * Yanmei had shot Isaiah a dirty look at the 'children' remark, but now she rallied. "Professor of what? You've got to have a speciality after all?"
[17:07] <Isaiah> ["… Of books."]
[17:08] * Isaiah giggled.
[17:12] <Yanmei> "Sure, why not?" Yanmei smirked. "I'm sure you'll be a pretty good one."
[17:13] <Isaiah> ["Of course." Said Henriette. "What about you?"]
[17:14] <Yanmei> "I don't think I'm cut out for being a professor, thanks," Yanmei grinned. "And anyway? I already have a job."
[17:15] <Isaiah> ["No, I mean, what do you want to be when you grow up?" She said irritably.]
[17:16] <Yanmei> "I -am- grown up," Yanmei pointed out. "And I already have a career. It's being famous~"
[17:16] <Isaiah> ["No you're not, and no it isn't." Said Henriette firmly.]
[17:20] <Yanmei> "Of course I am, and yes it is." said Yanmei smugly. "Although I guess it's more accurate to say that my career is piloting and doing miscellaneous things for NERV. After the Angels are defeated, I'll probably have to go on doing it a bit longer. Or at least change directions to make myself more uuseful to them. It's how it goes.""
[17:21] * Raphael had the sort of sudden, deer-in-headlights expression that looked insanely out of place on his usually impassive face. "Uh…" he gives Mazarin the sidelong look of a man suddenly ambushed. "Well… is there something you girls would -like- to do while we have a day off?"
[17:25] <Isaiah> ["You know, I think Daddy said that after the Angels are all gone, NERV will be helping out with the space program."-
[17:26] <Isaiah> [Suzanne and Rosalie glanced at each other. Then they looked at Raphael. "We should go to a park!"]
[17:26] <Isaiah> [Said Rosalie, that is.]
[17:28] <Raphael> "Well, I don't see any problem with that. Do you feel up to it, Suzanne?"
[17:28] <Isaiah> [Suzanne nodded. "If we can get a drink…"]
[17:28] <Yanmei> "Their technology really would be put to good use with something like that." Yanmei smiled a little wistfully. "But I doubt it will be a smooth transition? And I doubt that the EVAs themselves would be kept around just for that when they have such obvious applications in killing things."
[17:29] * Raphael smiles. "That shouldn't be an issue, kiddo," he says, turning back to Mazarin. "Do you mind, Mr President?"
[17:30] <Isaiah> [Henriette frowned. "What's left once the Angels are dead?"]
[17:31] <Isaiah> ["Not at all. Why don't you take Henriette with you? The girl could use a bit of a chance to unwind. I think I rub off on her a little too much when I'm bottled up like this. If it keeps up she's going to try to overthrow Italy or something."]
[17:31] * Yanmei smiled pleasantly. "It really is the most obvious answer. You could ask your dad later, if you doubt me."
[17:31] <Raphael> "We wouldn't want her intruding on your turf, sir," Raphael says, completely deadpan.
[17:32] <Isaiah> ["No, we wouldn't, would we?" Said Mortimer cheerfully. "But please, don't let me detain you. … Ah, could you pass me the pizzas, please?"-
[17:33] <Isaiah> [Henriette gave Yanmei a dirty look.]
[17:34] <Yanmei> "What was that for?" she complained, hands on hips.
[17:35] <Isaiah> [Henriette put her hands on her hips as well. "You're making fun of me, aren't you?"]
[17:37] <Yanmei> "Yes and no." Yanmei flourished a hand. "Truth is? No one knows what will become of the EVAs after they've served their original purpose. Well… no one at our level, anyway. NERV's a secrety place."
[17:37] * Raphael scoops up the remaining pizza boxes and leaves them in a stack atop Mazarin's bedside table and, after a moment's thought, gives the president another quick salute. "Thankyou again for meeting me like this, sir. And for all your kind words as well."
[17:38] <Isaiah> ["It was a pleasure. Please." He offers Raphael a hand. "Mortimer is fine. Morty, however, is a capital offense."]
[17:39] <Isaiah> ["…" Henriette frowned. "That's annoying. Secrets…"]
[17:40] <Raphael> "Yessir," he grins, giving Mazarin's hand a firm shake. "I hope you're back on your feet shortly, Mr. Presi-… Mortimer."
Using a first name for a head of state seems to have an effect on him similar to that of chewing tinfoil, but he tries.
[17:41] <Isaiah> ["Thank you, Raphael. The same for you."]
[17:42] <Yanmei> "I know, right? More fun to keep secrets than it is to dig them up."
[17:42] * Raphael gives the man another quick nod before turning on his heel and beginning to usher the girls towards the door.
[17:43] <Isaiah> "Of course, you can't always keep secrets." Says Isaiah cheerfully.
[17:43] <Isaiah> [Rosalie helps! She opens the door for Raphael and Suzie.]
[17:45] <Raphael> "Thankyou, Rosalie," Raphael says as he wheels Suzanne past the threshold. "You girls say goodbye now! And thank the President for your pizzas, hmm?"
[17:45] <Yanmei> "You can try," Yanmei pointed out. "Everyone has at least one secret that they don't want people knowing about."
[17:45] <Isaiah> ["Thank you for the pizzas, Mr. President~" Said Rosalie.-
[17:45] <Isaiah> ["Thank you, sir." Said Suzanne with a smile.-
[17:46] * Isaiah didn't say anything to that. He merely took Yanmei's hand and gave her a big smile.-
[17:46] <Isaiah> [Henriette looked up. "Are you all going?"]
[17:47] <Yanmei> "Eh? Are we?" Yanmei glanced back at those departing, a little startled.
[17:49] * Raphael eases the door shut behind him, taking the weight off Rosalie as he passes. "The girls thought it might be nice to visit the park while we had some time away from hospital," Raphael says. He glances over at Henriette, "Your father suggested we take you along, if you'd like."
[17:50] <Isaiah> ["Did he?" Henriette considers this, then nods. "Alright. I suppose this group needs a mature lady…"]
[17:50] <Raphael> "I suppose it does, yes," Raphael smirks.
[17:52] <Yanmei> "I'll take that to mean that I'm supposed to wait here or in the car," Yanmei sghed loudly. "Fine, if it's what you all want."
[17:53] <Isaiah> [Henriette smirked. "Isn't that what little kids do?"-
[17:53] <Raphael> "We could always find a taxi if you'd like to take Isaiah back, Pilot Zhang."
[17:53] * Isaiah glanced over at Henriette, then back to Yanmei.
[17:58] <Yanmei> "Acquiescing to the demands of a group? No, adults do that too." She winked at her. "I'll drive you guys, at least. Sound okay?"
[18:02] <Raphael> "It does," Raphael smiles, glancing down at Rosalie and Suzanne, "Shall we, girls?"
[18:02] <Isaiah> ["Uh-huh!" "Yeah, Raffy."-
[18:02] <Isaiah> [Henriette primly folded her hands together and smiles.]
[18:04] * Isaiah peered up at Yanmei.
[18:04] * Yanmei jingled her keys. "I know, I know. Let's go!"
[18:05] <Raphael> "I'm pretty sure I saw a park with a cafe across the street on our way here…" He takes up the handles of Suzanne's wheelchair again, still getting Rosalie's help every now and then, and starts making his way down the hall.

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