He Said Three Million People Are In Danger

[06:22] <Dorian> [[Session 29: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Date: 16th of May, 2016. Episode Title: He said, "Three million people are in danger."-
[06:24] <Dorian> [On the morning of the 16th of May, as each pilot prepared for a new day (and week) of school, they'd all feel the exact same thing- an incredible tremor ripple through the ground, following by a keening alarm warning everyone to head to cover and for the Pilots to mobilise- and their NERV phones suddenly ringing.]
[06:29] * Aline wasn't freaking out per se, but she was definitely entering a rather 'grim' mood. The feeling of disturbing clarity that comes when you know something Bad is going on. She picked up her phone almost as swiftly as she finished putting on her uniform jacket. "What's the situation?"
[06:31] <Sept> With a mixed reaction of fear and excitement, Sera dropped his breakfast and bags, and ran out the door of his apartment, answering the phone with a hurried "Hm?" in between breaths as he descended the stairs.
[06:32] <Yanmei> There were some extra parts to Yanmei's routine now that included sending Isaiah off with a pram and emergency baby bag, but she was on her way to the Geofront soon enough in a well-pressed school uniform. "Morning," she answered her phone. "I'm on the way, of course."
[06:34] <Dorian> [They'd all receive their answers, and…-
[06:34] * Aline nodded swiftly. "Right. On my way." And she departed, just in time for the scene switch!
[06:35] <Dorian> [Before long, they'd be assembled in the Operations Headquarters, the massive holographic map showing a topographical display of southern Italy, with a zoomed in square focused on Naples. Dorian was where he usually was- dead centre- tapping his fingers against the arm of his chair.]
[06:38] * Yanmei was staring at the map with a hint of suspicion behind her usual smile. This wasn't adding up. "We're deploying for natural disasters, now?"
[06:40] * Aline waved a hand slightly. "Maybe it's an especially rough one?"
[06:40] * Sept suppressed a giggle. "Do we still have those construction hats in store, Dorian?" he asked, trying his best to keep a straight face.
[06:41] * Dorian was pensive as he tapped the arms of his chair.-
[06:42] <Dorian> Eventually he turned around. "This is no joke. At 6:23 AM this morning, a massive earthquake occured beneath the Bay of Naples. The area was a source of immense tectonic activity during Second Impact, so this shouldn't be a surprise. But."-
[06:42] <Dorian> The zoomed in holographic map lit up with red- a long red line along the coast, and two other red dots around the city of Naples itself.-
[06:46] <Dorian> "The earthquake has disturbed Mount Vesuvius. We were lucky that it's stayed dormant for so long. That said, if- and perhaps, when- it erupts, the volcano is likely to spill ash and devastation across a radius that directly affects the city of Naples and other urban areas, as well as the rest of Italy and even Europe. Three million people are in danger." He looked over at Sept, then over
[06:46] <Dorian> to Yanmei. "That's in the -best case- scenario. In the worst case, the volcanic ash could drop temperatures in Europe by nearly a full degree Celsius, with further damage being caused to an already fragile eco and weather system."
[06:50] <Sept> "…oh. But, a volcano? What can we do about it?"
[06:50] * Yanmei took this in, her face carefully neutral, or at the very least, trying not to pale. "I don't understand? Do you want us to use our AT Fields to stop it?"
[06:51] * Aline shrugged her shoulders, looking at Sera. "…While I'm sure Dorian has some ideas maybe… otherwise it /is/ basically 'Magic'. Or AT Fields. Same difference, in comparison to conventional methods."
[06:54] * Dorian nodded. "Ultimately, in the worst case scenario, there's not much we can do to stop all of the environmental damage, especially if the volcano erupts as horribly as possible. However, the immediate impact to civilians and the countryside in the area -can- be prevented. And there is one other problem only an AT Field has the ability to prevent." He pointed at the third dot.-
[06:57] <Dorian> "Naples is one of the most advanced cities in Europe when it comes to technology. It's powered entirely by a state of the art Positron power plant complex which was built last year. Shortly after the earthquake, however, the plant reported extreme fluctuations in its containment fields. The only thing that could prevent a full-scale antimatter annihilation here is an AT Field, and even
[06:57] <Dorian> then, it's risky. But we have to try. NERV has a mandate to protect the people of the world, and for Paris-2, that means including Italy under our umbrella."
[07:00] <Aline> "Right!" A sort of… awkward look darted over Aline's face. "At least I have intimate experience with antimatter explosives going off in my face to qualify me for that…"
[07:00] <Yanmei> "Well, since that -is- our duty…" Yanmei flipped a ponytail and flashed a magazine-cover smile. "We'll probably be heading off soon? More details on arrival?"
[07:01] <Sept> "Right," Sera said slowly. "Any special equipment we're taking?"
[07:04] <Dorian> "No." Dorian shakes his head. "There's no need for weapons. And with the S2 Organs installed, the Evas are capable of sustained AT flight by themselves without need of the carriers." Dorian turns back to the map. "Aline, as you said. You'll be assigned to safeguard the Positron plant. EVA-01 will be assigned to observing and managing Vesuvius. EVA-04, that leaves you with the task of
[07:04] <Dorian> protecting the coast of Naples from the threat of tsunami or the like."-
[07:05] <Dorian> "… I don't need to remind you all of the danger here. Even if you're all safe in your Evangelions, the casualties here could be immense. We can't let that happen." He clapped his hands. "Pilots: to your Plugs."
[07:08] * Aline nodded firmly. "Right!" Aline didn't need to be told twice, because if nothing else, this nearly felt… refreshing?
[07:09] <Yanmei> "Yes sir~" Whatever the reasons behind it, this was preferable to dealing with an Angel anyday. Admittedly, even as she turned, she was still wondering how she was supposed to stop a tsunami.
[07:11] <Sept> "Got it. I'll do my best, Dorian." With a solemn nod to the others, Sera ran off to get changed.
[07:14] <Dorian> [Several minutes later, each pilot would be placed in their plugs, inundated with LCL and synchronised- then, launched out of their launch bays and given the coordinated and locations of their various charges. With a burst of AT energy, they'd be away…-
[07:16] <Dorian> [Eventually, after travelling- over the long green countryside, the gentle hills of south-central France and the snowcapped Alps, then down the rocky mountain spine of Italy… Marianne's voice. "We're -cough- coming up on our locations in five minutes."]
[07:19] * Aline nodded slightly as she flew, 00 just soaring through the air without a realistic care for gravity. In respect to physics, no fucks were given that day. But… nonetheless! The situation was still very dire. "Alright then! Thanks for the heads-up."
[07:21] <Yanmei> "Got it. Wish us luck, Marianne~" Still scrolling through her list of options… well. At least she wasn't the one who got stuck with the volcano.
[07:22] <Sept> "Okay, Marianne~" Sera's tone was light, carefree for now, as he carefully touched ground in between the longer periods of flight for a sprint across the unsettled landscapes they covered, unassisted. The idea was still strangely dreamlike to Sept.
[07:24] <Dorian> [The plume of smoke rising from Mount Vesuvius could be seem from kilometres away. Sera's coordinates would put him down 500 metres from the designated slope…-
[07:25] <Dorian> [… Whilst Yanmei's coordinates would put her straight down into Naples Harbour, where makeshift seawalls were already being erected over the far more solid, real seawalls…-
[07:26] <Dorian> [… And finally, Aline's coordinates would lead her toward a sprawling, massive power complex in the middle of, essentially, nowhere.]
[07:26] * Aline surveyed her landing site carefully, taking mental notes of the place's layout. "…So how much of this place is actually the reactor that's in danger?… Or whatever the case is?"
[07:28] <Dorian> [Two video windows would flick open on Aline's plug wall.]
[07:29] * Yanmei touched down gently, eyes already out to sea. There were probably quite a few workmen still around, which meant doing whatever she was doing as far away from them as possible.
[07:31] <Sept> With as much care as he could, 01's feet finally thumped onto the slope. For all he knew, a heavy step could set it off. "Do we have any idea of when it's going to erupt?"
[07:41] <Dorian> ["No. It might not fully 'erupt' at all." Said Marianne. "Best to keep on your toes."-
[07:42] * Aline was chatting idly to the people she was in contact with… and 00 began to move, cautiously hovering around the plant complex rather than just stomping all roughshod through it…
[07:42] <Dorian> [… Suddenly, the volcano seemed to flare up a little, and a tremendous belch of ash flew into the air- but with the air currents, it wouldn't stay over the volcano for long. In fact, some was heading towards other areas- specifically the seafront where EVA-04 had jurisdiction!-
[07:43] <Dorian> [… Whilst over at the seafront itself, Marianne would send EVA-04 a note, along with a visual confirmation on her console- three ships locked out at sea…-
[07:44] <Dorian> [… And finally, a sudden tremor would shake the ground near the Power Plant, as a part of the spoke connecting the central area to Reactor 1 collapsed.]
[07:58] * Aline looked quite shocked at that, and after a number of conversations and some brief waiting… she saw her plan. It required cooperation from the camera operators on multiple comms lines, but that was just a minor detail. She concentrated, and… began to /tug/ at spacetime. "…Starting now…"
[08:02] * Sept braced himself for the worst. "Just ash…" But still, he had to stop it, or it'd freeze the city! Or something. "I'll try to contain it!" A few light running steps, and up Sera went, into the sky, glorious…ly covered in ash. A flicker from amidst the black and grey. It expanded beyond the cloud, and then stood still. Increasingly slowly, on its own momentum, the ash collided with
[08:02] * Sept the translucent barrier, and began to fall like a thick, black blanket of powder snow.
[08:07] <Yanmei> A great violet blur, and 04 was hovering some 60 dm out at sea, lining up the ships with a careful eye. "Just like pool," the pilot muttered to herself. She regretted not having really played before.-
[08:08] <Sept> "I-is it working? Hello?" Sera called. It was a good thing the ash cloud was obscuring the giant figure, as it would have otherwise been seen swatting at the ash around it in a quite undignified manner.
[08:08] <Dorian> [Some of the ash would stick to EVA-01's eyes, and suddenly Sera would find himself having a great deal of hassle trying to see… The ash cleared up by itself, however, giving some lucky (and foolish) Italian amateur photographer a perfect picture of EVA-01 swatting at the air.-
[08:09] <Dorian> [… Meanwhile, Aline would hear another report from her video.]
[08:11] * Yanmei sighed and flicked on her loudspeakers, suddenly regretting not being too versed in nautical-speak either. "Attention ships! Please brace for a sudden shift in current. Repeat attention ships…" 04 was submerging now, up to its chest in the ocean. The air around it shimmered, and then…-
[08:12] <Yanmei> An invisible projectile briefly split the sea, shot parallel to the harbor and sending up perpendicular waves.
[08:13] * Aline breathed a sigh of relief, but looked rather worriedly over at the wreckage of the reactor 1 structure. That was… very much not good! She immediately asked for more information, and when she was through with that, 00… floated around that area once more (it had to land to develop the breach), and stared at it. Cautiously.
[08:43] <Dorian> [… An alarm would start going off in EVA-00's plug…-
[08:43] <Dorian> [… Whilst Sera and Yanmei would get a video message of their own.]
[08:49] * Aline twitched suddenly… but she understood. 00 set down near the troubled building, and whilst picking up and taking away some of the detached rubble, Aline focused. "…Okay. I think if I wrap a barrier-type field into a coating, then reinforce it with multidirectional layers…" 00 would, if one was watching, start to shimmer, as its field /shifted/. A similar one - actually glowing
[08:49] * Aline bright orange with rippling concentric waves - began to form around the reactor core as Aline dug it out…!
[08:52] * Yanmei stopped watching proudly over the harbor as the three ships coasted in toward them, and frowned, turning her speakers on again. "Occupants of the Giuseppe Garibaldi. Evacuate your carrier immediately. Repeat…" -
[08:53] <Yanmei> She took to the air again, and landed gently by a large aircraft carrier in the port. A shimmering transparent sphere began to form around EVA-04 and the craft.
[08:58] * Sept waded through the thinning clouds, the green-and-orange of Unit 01 looking slightly less ridiculous and slightly more Gritty and Edgy with the coat of black on it. Suddenly, it stopped. He hadn't been far from stepping -on- the crew he was trying to rescue. Sera flipped a switch for external speakers. "Uh. S-sorry. And hello. I'll get you out. Don't worry. Could you hold on? I mean,
[08:58] <Dorian> [The few remaining crewmembers of the Giuseppe Garibaldi immediately turned and fled down the gangplank…-
[08:58] * Sept to the ground. Not time-wise." He crouched down to inspect the rock briefly. "Do Italians even speak English..?" he muttered. And then, flushing, cut power to the speakers and inspecting the surface of the volcano slightly more intently. Then, the ground would begin to rumble in a very localised quake that seemed to fluctuate slightly, until getting suddenly stronger and… stopping as
[08:58] * Sept suddenly as it had began as the slab parted with Vesuvius, floating gently behind Sera as he distanced himself from the immediately dangerous area.
[08:59] <Dorian> [Whilst Aline's AT Field would successfully expand to seal Reactor One inside a bubble of energy.]
[09:01] <Dorian> [A small band of terrified Italians stared up at Sera as he -ripped the ground up- beneath their feet…]
[09:02] <Yanmei> "Thank you~ for your cooperation~" Yanmei's voice took on the distinct customer-friendly tone of a commercial airline flight attendant, and she leaned forward to inspect the ship more carefully, turning off the speaker. "Lemme see… what the hell? How am I supposed to," she muttered. What they hell did she know about reactors or nuclear bombs?!-
[09:04] <Yanmei> "Okay. So… Let's take care of this the way we take care of everything else…" There was the sound of wrenching metal, and 04's jaws came free to open and shut at will. A funny feeling, doing it on her own, and -difficult-. It took straining.-
[09:06] <Yanmei> A few moments speaking to Marianne to determine the location of the reactor, and… she leaned forward further, grasping both the front and back ends of the ship to steady it while she performed a quick surgery to extract it. With 04's mouth.
[09:07] <Yanmei> A long pause. Then an uncomfortable struggle to swallow the thing. It was -hot-.
[09:13] <Dorian> ["Did… Did she just…?!"-
[09:14] <Dorian> [The people on the coast below were pointing in awe and perhaps stupefied, pants-wetting terror.]
[09:16] <Yanmei> "Ngh." A grunt of discomfort from Yanmei, but the feeling passed and she could sigh with relief. "There."
[09:44] <Dorian> [The volcano would shudder and suddenly, a side of it would crack, the massive plume of superheated gas flowing above it suddenly starting to cave down, flowing down the side and heading for the Positron Plant…-
[09:44] <Dorian> [Whilst two video windows would flash in the plugs of 00 and 04.]
[09:47] * Aline brought 00 down to a crouch, staring at the positron reactor. The field shrouding it was moved again… and the sounds of tearing metal could be heard. Loud 'shinkt's joined those noises as… the field… what? Started to chop up parts of the reactor. Gingerly, Aline picked away the excised metal and concrete, leaving a rather gaping, vaguely-cylindrical shaft in the roof of the
[09:47] * Aline reactor. "Okay, let's see here…" Concentrating, Aline poured 00's energy - even spending extra time to pre-form the effect - into that tunnel, enfolding the endangered reactor, and the blast shaft she created, in a new, shimmering field. 00 backed off slightly. This was not something you wanted in your face.
[09:54] <Yanmei> "Attention everyone! We are issuing an evacuation to everyone along the Nepalese coast. Please evacuate to the pre-ordained safety areas." 04 floated, pulling the the aircraft carrier with it. Eyeballing a spot roughly near the center point of the coast-
[09:55] <Yanmei> , she placed it down again on land, and made a few adjustments to the gaping hole in its side. "If you are uncertain of where the designated areas are, or are too far away from the borders of them, please approach EVA Unit-04. Transportation arrangements are being made. Repeat, please approach the giant violet robot…"-
[09:55] <Yanmei> EVA-04 began making traffic-control gestures, Yanmei's voice sounding even more pleasant and customer-friendly than usual.
[09:58] <Dorian> [The people on the ground stared at the Evangelion, then started to move away very quickly. A few of them, especially those who were lost, too young or too old to travel, or the like, approached the Evangelion…]
[10:02] <Yanmei> "Please enter the aircraft in front of you and make yourselves comfortable. We'll be leaving shortly," she told crowd gathering around her. "There's plenty of room, so please enter in an orderly fashion! Repeat…"
[10:03] <Dorian> ["…" The crowd is in no position to argue, no matter how dangerous this looks. They file on.]
[10:04] <Dorian> [Meanwhile… The area around EVA-00's field would suddenly shimmer brightly as pure Positron energy burst its way through the sky, nearly breaching the field but funnelling harmlessly into the air in an incredible beam of intense light.]
[10:12] <Sept> "…shit," was Sera's only immediate reaction to the sight of the plume. He looked behind him, at the flow again… Why couldn't it just be an AT Beam? That was something Sera could work with, something he understood. Still, there was no time to waste. 01 leapt into the air, aided by his AT Field, took one more look at the strange city around him… and plummeted back down, still some ways
[10:12] <Sept> ahead of the current. The armored heels of the Evangelion dug into the surface of the volcano, digging deeper and deeper, pieces of rock being sent flying and pushed out of the way as a ditch formed behind Sera, running diagonally down the face of the mountain. Eventually, the momentum ran out, the pilot feeling the shaking even in the usually perfect tranquility of the LCL pool. Holding
[10:12] <Sept> his balance for a moment, he turned around and started running back up the slope, faster and faster in an uphill sprint. He met the advancing front of the gas, and it moved out of the way even slightly before the unit itself touched it. A glint in the air betrayed an arrowhead-like Absolute Territory effect in front of him, running against and parting the clouds.
[10:12] <Yanmei> "Thank you all for your cooperation~" Yanmei beamed from her plug as the last of the passengers climbed on. "Here at AirNERV, we strive to protect our passengers. I promise that I'll be as gentle as possible, but if you could please hold on to something, it will improve the chances of avoiding injury during this flight. Repeat…" 04 leaned over, "Departure in 3…2…1… Hold on!"-
[10:13] <Yanmei> and hoisted up the carrier again, slowly, carefully, and then began to hover away from the coast to the safety zone, where she would place it down again with tender care.
[10:49] <Dorian> [As Sept funnelled that pyroclastic cloud into a trap of air current and momentum- a trap that turned it in upon itself and killed its momentum…-
[10:50] <Dorian> [As Yanmei gently set the aircraft carrier full of people down in the emergency zone…-
[10:50] <Dorian> [As Aline stared up at the funnel of energy…-
[10:50] <Dorian> [… All hell would break loose. A moment of silence, then…-
[10:51] <Dorian> [A massive sound would -ripple- through the air as Vesuvius -shattered-, the top bursting apart, unleashing a massive gout of air and ash into the sky. Three magma streams burst from the hard rocky mantle, along with a hurricane of burning shattered rocks.-
[10:51] <Dorian> [The coastal waters would recede… And EVA-04 would see -it- approaching. At massive speeds, a 10-metre high wave that threatened to devastate Naples…-
[10:51] <Dorian> [… And by the Power Plant, nine emergency windows would open on EVA-00's Plug.]
[10:54] <Yanmei> "M-Marianne…?" The sky had been going insane for quite some time, but now it was worse than ever. And the ocean… the ocean was going to eat them all! But there were people watching. The dozens, or possibly hendred that she had just rescued using the aircraft carrier, so she had no choice. She would have to do something that looked cool.-
[10:55] <Yanmei> ^hundreds
[10:55] <Yanmei> 04 hovered again, sans-ship, and then streaked toward the wave in a purple blur.
[10:57] * Aline shook her head violently… but then, after a bit of panicked conversation over her lines… Aline made a single downwards nod. A nod of /confirmation/. "Let's do this." Much as Sera and the others had witnessed at Eden Base, 00… vanished. It was consumed by inky blackness and faded into veritable nothing. But this time… this time, the image that had not had a chance to form -
[10:57] * Aline suddenly did. A glowing crimson mass of energy(
[10:59] <Yanmei> Without hesitating, the blur crashed into it, arching its back and arms in a horizontal swan dive. And then, there was a messy explosion of water, foam, and force.
[10:59] <Aline> - energy(?) floated in the air where it was before. Tendrils moved in dendritic patterns, branching off multiple times, but it still hovered harmlessly, like some kind of alien take on a serenely-drifting (BLOOD) jellyfish. A tendril extended lazily towards the central building of the power plant… and it seemed to actually /trace/ a gap in the earth - which opened up into a shadowy black
[10:59] <Aline> pit. The building sank gently into nowhere, leaving only the glowing phantasm, a massive crater, and 9 angry positron reactors. -
[11:00] <Aline> - Meanwhile, though… the researchers and workers from the Apulia Plant would find themselves in a strange red-orange… otherworldly space. Or rather, their building (and a large chunk of the ground) was floating in it, 00 hovering in a meditative pose, watching.
[11:19] <Yanmei> For a while, the waters are an empty turbulant mass, with no sign of 04. And then… something large, with four limbs, is abruptly spit back out, crashing through part of the docks, and into an expensive-looking resort that is shaped like a glass pyramid, dazed.
[11:19] <Sept> "…I'm sorry, Naples. But I have to do this." Sera backed up to his trench, watching as one of the streams was already making its way down toward it. He stomped on the ground with his heel. The loosened rocks gave way a little. He did so again, with more force. But he needed to go much deeper for this. A plated Evangelion fist rose, and the entire body of 01 seemed to be concentrated on
[11:19] <Sept> it. With a loud cry and a -crack-, the fist dug deep into the rock, the AT Field around it spreading the cracks much wider than would've otherwise been possible. Sera took hold of the ground and pulled. With no small amount of complaints, the ancient cliff gave way, rising up from the ground in tremendous chunks. Slowly and with great effort, 01 lifted the pieces up. And soon enough, an
[11:20] <Sept> impromptu wall stood in the way of the magma flow. But two more remained.-
[11:24] <Sept> More rocks were falling from the sky as he was making his way to the second one. One of them had the perfect arc to collide with him and send him tumbling down the slope… but 01 ducked at the last moment, pushing into it with its shoulder, sending the rock itself down on a new course with renewed vigor. Sera hacked away at the ground again, this time without a trench to start with. Another
[11:24] <Sept> of the boulders caught him as he worked, but it only shook him for a few moments, and soon another wall had been erected at the expense of the citizens' ancient pride and joy.
[11:28] <Dorian> [… And indeed. When Yanmei shook away her dazedness, she'd realise that although she'd inflicted some minor property damage, the wave was in fact gone… Broken by her superior strength.-
[11:29] <Sept> The third wall came up only slightly slower as the exertion was beginning to show its consequences. With one last cry, Sera pushed the slabs of rock up, his feet slipping on loose pieces of the mountain. Yet, as he stopped to admire his work and survey the situation for a second, one more of the boulders blindsided him. The pain wasn't excruciating, but he was dazed for a moment, prone to
[11:29] <Sept> any kind of attack… Luckily, no Angels showed up to exploit that weakness, and Sera could scrambled up and retreat in relative peace.
[11:30] <Dorian> [… Luckily for EVA-00, a few brief seconds after it slipped away, the nine reactors overloaded, sending immense positron streams in all directions, inundating the area and burning massive smooth craters into the ground- the outer perimeter of these craters a good 100 metres from the edge of Naples.-
[11:30] <Dorian> [… And EVA-01's escape was quick, leaving behind a self-destructing Vesuvius that rained burning rocks down upon the area.-
[11:30] <Dorian> ["…"-
[11:31] <Dorian> ["Pilots? EVA-00? EVA-01? EVA-04? Report in! This is Captain Amatore-DeForest!"]
[11:33] <Sept> The exhausted and gasping voice of Sera de Pteres. "W..what? Is it an Angel? What's going on, Marianne?"
[11:35] <Yanmei> 04 was making an effort to upright itself, debris tumbling down from its shoulder and limbs. "04, reporting in unharmed!" She was trying hard to make her voice sound bright. "…glad we evacuated this place, though?"
[11:36] <Aline> 00 didn't respond right away. But… the glowing, pulsating shadow… /thing/ left over, eventually flashed a brilliant cross of light, and out of it, emerged 00… and a building, which it held gently in its hands… sure as hell wasn't going to set it down /here/. "Ah. Sorry about that, I'm here. All of the plant staff, as well as Doctors Gabriel and Cassano, are safe and sound. As soon
[11:36] <Aline> as I can figure out where to /put them/."
[11:41] <Dorian> ["Take them to the refugee camp." Said Marianne. "Alright. I've got reports coming in… Nearly all of the civilians are safe for now. Monitoring data suggests that the disturbances are calming, at least for now." A sigh of relief. "It looks like we actually pulled this off, pilots!"]
[11:43] <Sept> "W-we did, huh." Sera let himself breathe a sigh of his own. "Good job, everyone."
[11:44] * Aline nodded!… as 00 and its cargo were flying towards the refugee camp. "Yes~"
[11:45] <Yanmei> "So we did.' Yanmei heaved a little sigh of her own. For now, she didn't seem to be in too much of a hurry, just taking in the sights before they had to go.

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