In The Company Of A Friend

[13:04] * Aline made her way through the hospital yet again… having had not one, but -two- triumphant meetings. Time to make a third one the charm~ So, so so so, Aline made her way to the part of the intensive care ward where Yanmei was being kept. If there was a door, she'd let herself in just like that, though!
[13:07] * Yanmei was alone for now, resting. Her room was probably a bit more cheerful than Asuka's had been, as there was no ominous privacy curtain draped around the hospital, and signs of activity were scattered all about. Magazines and books, mostly - Aline might recognize some textbooks from school in particular. -
[13:12] <Yanmei> There were two or three colorful plush toys about as well, mostly pushed to the foot of the bed save for one violet-and-white-colored doll, which was occupying a bedside table and carefully turned so that it was facing a wall instead of the room's occupant. Said occupant stirred, blinking up groggily at the sound of someone entering, and adjusted the robe she was wearing.
[13:18] * Aline eyed about, noting the rather clear signs of activity, attention, and -life- in the room. She also noticed that Yanmei was moving already, so… Aline politely waved. "Hi, Yan-yan. How're you doing right now? I've been making the rounds everywhere, and came to you now~"
[13:24] <Yanmei> "The rounds, hm?" She stopped herself from yawning - that would be rude. "Well, I'm glad I'm on the list? It's good to see you, Blanc." she smiled at that. She could sit up, and so she did, a little gingerly. "Already you're starting to worry me, though? I take it there's a lot of injured people here that you're visiting."
[13:30] * Aline held out a hand, waving it about some. "No, no, I don't mean -everyone-. I had actually just gone in to see you and Asuka, but then my dad was there, so it sorta does feel like rounds, doesn't it?" But she turned about to the side. "But… it's good to see that you're being pretty lively."
[13:37] <Yanmei> "Asuka… and your dad?" She blinked. "But… Berlin-2?" She couldn't quite wipe the confusion from her face, even as she distractedly tried to address that second remark. "Erm, I suppose? Their treatments are working, but it will be while until I'm completely well. Except for some tests, I haven't even been outside of this room since I was brought here…"
[13:41] * Aline nodded. "I had trouble believing it myself! But they both apparently survived! …Asuka was feeling pretty down, but my dad was in relatively high spirits, all considered." But… "It's good that you're doing okay now. I was worried that -you- died too! But… you seem much better now…"
[13:44] * Yanmei couldn't lean over far enough to pull up a chair for Aline, but she did make a polite sitting gesture to one that was standing nearby - likely last occupied by the mysteriously absent Isaiah. "Survived." She sounded amazed. "We all survived?"
[13:46] * Aline nodded, going ahead and sitting herself down in that chair. "Yeah, we really did. A lot of people still died, but…
[13:47] <Aline> "Me and Sera made sure that that was all. That there weren't any -more-. We finished it for you, no matter how hard it was. I know you were probably unconscious at the time, though…"
[13:52] <Yanmei> Was she? She tried to think back, but with a slight shudder, quickly put an end to *that*. She couldn't be sure that she wouldn't break out into another trembling fit if she did. "Thank you," she said instead, perhaps a little embarassed. She picked at a small corner of gauze just barely peeking out from beneath the sleeve of her pink, silken robe. She picked her words carefully. "I'm glad. That thing… it was… unbelievably strong."
[13:55] <Aline> "Oh yeah." Aline pursed her lip and drooped her eyelids a little at the memory of how she was -freaking out- like that. "…I mean pieces of 01 were flying everywhere, and even when I made the last shot, it blew 00's head right off!… That feels /weird/ let me tell you. To feel like your head just got melted off when it's -still there-. S'abit of a different thing from an actual wound.
[13:55] <Aline> But… er…" She sighed softly. "That reminds me. Did you know? Sera found out who 01 was."
[13:59] <Yanmei> "Huh?" She was still blanching a little at Aline's description of 00. The last bit of news leap up out of no where. "What do you mean?"
[14:02] * Aline seemed rather matter-of-fact. "Yeah, talking about 01 flying apart reminded me, but… Apparently, somehow Sera found out… you know how I had heard that they all had the personalities of someone or another in them? 01's is Elisha Caine - The commander's late husband! I mean /the/ commander, you know." She paused, though. "…I don't know if he knew what I meant, but when I asked
[14:02] * Aline him if what he felt was the same as what Tsubaki felt in 03 - love - he…" Aline's eyes widened for dramatic effect, also because she was -still- surprised at the fact. "…He said /yes/."
[14:08] * Yanmei reflected that surprised expression back as her own eyes widened a bit… but they relaxed again, after a long, reflective silence. She breathed shallowly, a little unevenly. She had been all this time, but perhaps now, in the quiet, it was a little more obvious. "Machines that are capable of hate should be capable of love too," she finally said. "And they're based on real people. I suppose it makes sense?"
[14:12] * Aline showed her assent, but… "I can't help but wonder, though, if he has a -reason- to love Sera that much. Sera's also got some kind of special relationship with the commander - I remember hearing how she let him make that sync attempt a while back… But it sounds stupid to take it to any conclusion that'd go to."
[14:16] * Yanmei shook her head helplessly. "I don't understand that myself. That woman… I always knew there was something weird going on between her and de Pteres. It was worrysome. I didn't know how to intervene, or if I even could. Now it seems even more complicated."
[14:17] <Aline> "Yeah… I mean…" She bit her lip. "It almost seems like he's more her child than Alexandre is. And if Elisha's consciousness acts the same way…" Aline got a -weiiiird- look on her face. "What if he /was/?"
[14:19] * Yanmei held up her hand with a little laugh. "That would be -quite- a coincidence, Blanc. You have to admit that."
[14:22] * Aline drummed her fingers. "I know. But it's… if it's not that, then it's even -more- confusing! Just… god. I don't even know anymore."
[14:24] <Yanmei> "Relax. How long have we been piloting these things? There's no urgency in figuring things out. Just… keep your eyes and ears peeled for things that fall into place. Or," she smiled. "You could ask Fontaine yourself. Either the Commander or Alex would know for sure, wouldn't they?"
[14:26] * Aline sighed. "I'm afraid of asking. There's a sort of… line between them knowing I'm curious, and actively prodding at them for it. I'm afraid that there's so many secrets. I know it just keeps sounding crazy to you and Sera, though…"
[14:34] <Yanmei> "A little," she chuckled quietly. "Guessing that de Pteres is the Commander's long-lost son? A longshot. But, I wouldn't discourage you from looking into things. You have a healthy sense of curiosity, so that's natural, right?"
[14:35] * Aline began to be less worried. "Ah~ Yeah, somebody's got to have it, no?"
[14:39] <Yanmei> "Well~ There are some things I'm curious about too. Like what it's like on the outside. How are people reacting to the Commander being arrested? And how is the rebuilding coming along? Do the Evas still need to be repaired? Thanks to the repair crews, they usually seem to get back in working order right away." She clenched and unclenched a hand, a little ruefully.
[14:45] * Aline started to nod frantically, trying to keep up with all those questions! "Ah ah ah right let's see… I haven't really asked everyone else, but I hear tell that the arrest is mostly an act to secure a better political situation and that Mazarin is all in the know about it. I… think Paris-2 is going to be fine for the most part, though I -also- heard that they have to spend a fair
[14:45] * Aline amount of time getting rid of that Angel's remains… and uh, I think the EVAs are more-or-less ready to go. 01's taking longer just because they have to replace an arm or so, but otherwise just fine!" Whew. Breathing.
[14:51] * Yanmei nodded along with the answers. "Hm, yeah. The Major said that was probably the case with this trial. And a whole arm? Wow…" She wondered if they were waiting on parts from China. She wondered what her own mother was doing now… "Sorry. Maybe I got carried away. Like I said, I haven't been out of this room for a while…"
[14:55] * Aline smiled gently, almost motherly. "It's okay. You're wounded, and you pay more attention to the people around you than the other pilots. It's only natural." But… "Yeah. A whole arm. He lost it trying to keep that thing's wings open, when it blew it right off. Kept going one-handed, though."
[15:00] * Yanmei almost winced at that, and a hand sort of flew to her own chest - the spot where EVA-04 had been struck hard enough the breach the plug. "It must have hurt so bad! And he kept going? It's amazing!"
[15:05] <Aline> "Yeah! It's… just amazing, it's… it's his job, and I think he was pushing into really high sync too, so he probably -felt- it pretty bad." She did know that sync and feedback seemed to be connected. "But he had to do it. To save the city, and you, and me. That's what we're all here for, you know."
[15:09] <Yanmei> "R-right." She let her hand fall back down to her side again. That spot on her chest stung now, but that was thanks to the wounds beneath the clothes and bandages. "It's our job."
[15:19] * Aline cheerfully shook her fist in a sorta 'yeah!!' gesture, maybe missing some of Yanmei's inherent… displeasure with her lot in life. "I know, and I at least think I should bear it gracefully. It's a big responsibility!"
[15:24] <Yanmei> "It's not like we can run away?" Yanmei agreed, sounding as bright as she could about it. "Otherwise… Say. Do you think we'll face another angel that was a difficult as this one?"
[15:28] * Aline pursed her lips, looking around a little, as if to dispel nervousness. But then… she stared straight-on at Yanmei. "Yeah. Probably worse. I get the feeling things have only just started. It's like… It's like you just finished this big climactic battle, put your party's still at level 5 out of 20, so you think 'there's gotta be more than this, right?' just beca-…" Aline blushed
[15:28] * Aline profusely! "Ooops, I… shouldn't make RPG analogies. But I mean, don't you think it's just not been long enough for it to be over? And moreover, for there to be another 'finale' like this?" …She then frowned, though, as her blush went down. "I actually think we haven't even begun to know the true meaning of terror from them yet."
[15:35] <Yanmei> The RPG lingo had made her eyes glaze over in confusion, however briefly, but the conclusion was the same as her own. Yanmei nodded, not dropping her smile. "I think so too. We don't know when they'll stop, and we have to defeat them all." Or die horribly. Or worse. There was no escape from any of them. "I think we're getting stronger, though? And in my case, 04 has been less hostile.-
[15:35] <Yanmei> "Well. Less hostile to me, anyway? Less openly. I think we're starting to work together more easily."
[15:38] * Aline tilted her head with undisguised curiosity. "Oh reeeeally? That's very interesting. I wonder why it'd stop being so mean to you!"
[15:42] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei looked vaguely uncomfortable. "Hey Blanc? When I'm fighting, do I seem… different to you somehow?"
[15:44] * Aline seemed surprised! "…Uh… no? Not really?" Awkward pause, accompanied with a shift to a suspicious tone of voice. "…Why."
[15:46] <Yanmei> "It's…" she laughed a little, waving it away. "It's stupid, really! I was just wondering if maybe I was earning its respect by being more bloodthirsty or something? -
[15:50] <Yanmei> "It showed me something weird a while ago. Um…" she looked up at the ceiling of the room, aware of the live feed that was probably being watched by NERV agents, and picking her words carefully. "Like, a part of its imagination? It showed me a place devoid of everything but signs of destruction. A battlefield where everything was dead except for it and me."
[15:57] * Aline shook her head, trying to parse what that would mean. "…So… …It seems to have battle deep within its soul, then. Ah, go on, as much as you can remember anyway. This seems to fit the profile so far."
[16:03] <Yanmei> "Profile? In its soul? No, no. Stop channeling Dr. Castillo-Delgado and think more literally!" she shook her head. "These were… they were things that it wanted to see come true, I think. The battlefield was pretty big." She gazed at Aline meaningfully. "Pretty -massive- in scale. And there were dead people all around, but I had been spared. I think it's a sign of trust? Or at least that it doesn't intend to kill me. That's good, right?"
[16:05] * Aline furrowed her brow, a bit frustrated at her psychoanalysis being shot down. But… "Well… I guess that is, though I'd be rather displeased if it thought the rest of us were fine fodder. But… I'm sure it trusts you now. It has to."
[16:12] * Yanmei nodded vigorously. "I know, right? Progress. I think? But it's reasons…"
[16:13] * Aline picked up Yanmei's sentence. "Are…?"
[16:15] * Yanmei hesitated, eyes flicking up toward the ceiling again. She waved Aline closer so that she could whisper.
[16:16] * Aline leaned in! Knew damn well what Yanmei was doing that for.
[16:21] * Yanmei said what she had to, and then started to pull back, nodding at Aline reply. She sighed with relief, but still looked… a little embarrassed at whatever it was she had had to confess. "I'm glad you think so too."
[16:23] * Aline smiled back, seeming far less embarassed. "I know. Don't worry, we still have time to see how They are. I'm confident that It won't be much trouble, even though we know what It could do."
[16:31] <Yanmei> "Right!" In somewhat higher spirits, Yanmei nodded. "And trust me. I won't let it do whatever it pleases again. That wouldn't be good for anyone."
[16:32] <Aline> "Mmm-hm. Anyway… you're doing alright, so… if you don't mind I think I'll take my leave?" She winked slightly. "You get better quick, alright?"
[16:33] <Yanmei> "Well~ I might if I got a few more visits from you and de Pteres first," Yanmei grinned. "Seriously, though? You're welcome back any time."
[16:34] * Aline nodded enthusiastically. "Right! Okay then, I'll bbug him to come in sometime. Later~" …And oout she went.
[16:35] * Yanmei waved her off, and then settled down again. Catching sleep again took a little longer than usual after the stimulation, but eventually, she found it again.

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