In The Shooting Range Of Nerv Hq

[21:38] <Yanmei> [The Date: Saturday, the 21st of February.-
[21:41] <Yanmei> A lone figure made her way slowly down several flights of stairs at NERV HQ. She was treading on unfamiliar ground, judging from the hesitancy in her stride, and the quick looks she shot around. Luckily, there were few people about to witness either, so she didn't have to worry much about her image.-
[21:47] <Yanmei> It took getting lost once or twice before she arrived at her destination, drew a slip of paper from the pocket of her jacket, and checked the directions once more. Then she pushed open the double doors in front of her, bracing herself for anticipated loud, sharp noises. In a short, gray skirt, pink hooded sweatshirt, and violet-colored pigtails, she probably made an odd contrast to the sorts of soldiers who visited this place.]
[21:50] <Leon‘Thomas> [Yanmei would be pleasantly surprised upon reaching the NERV Security Shooting Gallery and Armory. It was, in fact, mostly deserted. The layout of the room was simple: first there was an antechamber, home to the Requisitions Officer’s desk (he was, idly, sitting there, of course). To Yanmei's right was a door marked in big red letters "CAUTION: ARMORY". And straight ahead, behind soundproofed glass-
[21:51] <Leon‘Thomas> [And a closed door was the nearly-deserted shooting range. Only a single man was currently using it, and Yanmei couldn’t see who it was.]
[21:57] <Yanmei> So Yanmei approached the antechamber, pulling on a smile. She felt a little dumb. A little out of place. But if she turned back now, she was sure she would get an earful about it later. "Hello! Ah… I need to check out a semi-auto pistol? This model?" She drew out another slip of paper and offered it to the requisitions officer. Supposedly a good make for a beginner.
[22:00] <Leon‘Thomas> "Oh. Hello there, Pilot Zhang." Said the Requisitions Officer, giving her a curious but otherwise accepting look. He took the slip and peered down at it. "Mmm, yes. A somewhat low-powered weapon, but the recoil isn’t too jarring and the rate of fire is fairly good." He stood up. "One moment.-
[22:02] <Leon‘Thomas> [He returned a few moments later, holding in his hand a pistol! It looked familiar- probably from movies or books- but Yanmei probably wouldn’t be able to identify the make. In his other hand he held a small container, no doubt containing clips. "Here you go. The bullets are specifically designed for training, so you won't kill yourself if you somehow hit yourself, but it'll still hurt like hell." He also had a pair of shooting earmuffs!]
[22:06] <Yanmei> "Thank you!" She put the earmuffs on first - very effective at muffling the world around her. Then she gathered the gun and ammo, holding the former a bit awkwardly, away from her body. It was heavier than she thought it would be! Offering a slight thankful head-bob to the man, she started to make her way to the range proper.
[22:08] <Leon‘Thomas> [The moment Yanmei opened the door, she’d start hearing gun shots. They were muffled, of course, but she nevertheless heard them. Very rhythmic, very regular shots they were, too.]
[22:12] <Yanmei> Ah, there was a pro in here, apparently. Carefully selecting a target close to her starting point at the door so that she wouldn't disturb him, she opened the box that she had been given, and examined her gun. "Let's see… ah… loading, loading," she mumbled, fiddling around with the handgun. This darned thing was a mystery!
[22:17] <Leon‘Thomas> [The handgun obviously wasn’t going to load itself. What if Yanmei thought back to her Evangelion weapons training? The weapons had to be related somehow…]
[22:21] <Yanmei> "Aha! Ok…" she recalled where the clip was supposed to go. Loaded and ready! She squinted at her distant target and took aim… Fire!
[22:22] <Leon‘Thomas> [… A very dubious sound comes from the pistol.]
[22:28] <Yanmei> Uh oh. She frowned down at it, dropping her aim completely for an examination. How did clearing it go? Ah… pull back the slide, and…
[22:29] <Leon`Thomas> [… Somehow the slide is jammed too. It physically won’t move.]
[22:32] * Yanmei uttered a word or two in Chinese. She didn't just break it. Guns didn't break that easily! Even she knew that!
[22:35] <Leon‘Thomas> [The gun unexpectedly -clicks-.-
[22:35] <Leon`Thomas> [… And suddenly, a shot rings out as it bucks in Yanmei’s hands! The bullet soars gracefully across the shooting gallery and smacks off the wall, leading to sudden curses from the only other person in the room.]
[22:40] * Yanmei cringes. Not good… Hesitantly, she peeks around her divider to see if she can get a glimpse of he unintended victim. Damn it. If only there were more people here! Then it would have been harder to pin the blame on her.
[22:42] <Leon‘Thomas> Her ’victim' is, unfortunately, doing the same thing.-
[22:44] <Leon‘Thomas> He’s a -very- tall, solid looking man, with a darkly tanned, leathery face - the sort that'd otherwise be wrinkled with age, but being kept taut through sheer physical fitness. He wore a pair of glasses, which he'd covered with shooting goggles.-
[22:44] <Leon‘Thomas> He was, of course, NERV Vice-Commander Leon Thomas, enjoying his very first hour of break all day. "Pilot Zhang!" He barked. "Was that -you-?"
[22:47] <Yanmei> For an instant, Yanmei channeled the spirit of Sept with a deer-in-the-headlights expression. The only way this could have been worse was if she had accidentally struck the Commander herself… and even then she would have at least been able to derive some very slight satisfaction out of it! "I… uhm?"-
[22:49] <Yanmei> Realizing the visible awkwardness with which she was still holding her firearm, her first impulse was to hide it behind her back. Which she did. Then she bowed deeply, panic and fluster mingling in her voice. "Sorry! I’m so very sorry!"
[22:54] <Leon‘Thomas> "…" The old commander stared at her impassively for a moment with hard eyes, before -finally- allowing his gaze to soften. Just a little. She -did- seem pretty sorry, after all. He left his own booth and walked over to her. "What the hell happened, Pilot Zhang?"
[22:58] <Yanmei> "Well…" Crap, he was comming over! She tried to pull herself together. "Just a little jam? It cleared now, so…" she cleared her throat. Maybe she could still smooth this over by being personable? "What brings you to the range today, sir?"
[23:02] <Leon`Thomas> "I come to the range three times a week, Pilot. I have to keep sharp, after all." He said. Before long he was directly in front of her, all 6’1 of him towering over her. He held out his hand. "Firearm."
[23:05] * Yanmei surrendered it, reddening and still trying to smooth it over. "You too? I come here often as well. It's important for ballistics training with unit 04. Transferable skills and all that?" she smiled.
[23:10] * Leon‘Thomas takes the pistol quickly, eyeing it critically. "First time I’ve seen you here, Pilot Zhang." In a blur of motions and mechanical clicks, Leon cleared the slide, ejected the clip and had promptly slid it back in. "There. Try it now." He hands it back.
[23:14] <Yanmei> "Well, I tend to come at odd hours… Thank you." She took it back somewhat hesitantly. Did this mean that he wanted to test fire it right then and there? Oh no… was he going to watch her?
[23:15] * Leon‘Thomas promptly pulls his earmuffs back over his ears, folds his hands behind his back, and steps back to a respectful distance.
[23:16] <Yanmei> Well… maybe she would surprise herself and impress him? She took aim, holding the gun stiffly in a two-handed grip.
[23:21] <Yanmei> -Click- Her eyes widened a little. "Again?" Cue much fumbling around with the handgun to no avail. The slide again, darn it, refused to move! Maybe it was defective!
[23:22] <Leon`Thomas> "…" Leon steps forward. He holds out his hand. "Firearm. This is getting a little ridiculous, Pilot Zhang. Are you sure this isn’t defective?"
[23:25] * Yanmei surrendered it a second time. "Well, it looks like it should function? It's clean and polished, like it's been well-cared for, don't you think?"
[23:29] <Leon‘Thomas> "Even the green forest can hide a brown bear." Muttered Leon, fiddling with it. The slide remained firmly jammed for a moment before clicking open. He repeated his earlier ritual, but at a slower, more considerate pace. "May I?" He asked, nodding toward the booth.
[23:31] * Yanmei watched carefully, trying to get a sense of how he did it so that she could mimic him later. At his request, she stepped back with a little smile, allowing him to take over the booth.
[23:32] * Leon`Thomas enters the booth. Earmuffs on! He takes up the shooting stance, which… Feels a lot more confident and prepared than poor Yanmei’s. He presses the trigger… Bam! The gun actually works, taking Yanmei's target straight on the bullseye.
[23:35] <Yanmei> "Wow…" Yanmei stared in awe. The guy really knew what he was *doing*. He looked like some character in a cop movie.
[23:36] <Leon‘Thomas> "Hmf." Leon takes a step back. Earmuffs off! He hands it back to Yanmei. "Seems to be working fine now. Your turn. See if you can’t beat me."
[23:40] <Yanmei> "Yes sir!" she said cheerfully. Maybe if she imitated him, she could get in a few perfect shots herself! She gripped the pistol, trying to take up a more solid stance than before. Earmuffs on, of course. She corrected herself on that part before resuming her aim.-
[23:41] <Yanmei> -CLICK-
[23:44] <Yanmei> -BANG- The gun jumped in her hands, in a most startling manner. She nearly dropped it. It was a much different feeling than firing in her EVA. Much less… detatched, she supposed? The target in the distance didn't gain another mark, to her chagrin. She coughed. "It… seems as if I'm having an off day," she smiled.
[23:48] <Leon‘Thomas> "Hmm. So it seems." Says Leon, an unconvinced tone in his voice. "Try again, Pilot Zhang. This time, try to keep a firmer grip on your firearm. Mark the target, look down the iron sights, and spread your legs out a little more. Make sure to bend the knees."
[23:50] * Yanmei tried to follow his directions, her face reddening somewhat again. This time, she tried to take aim for a little bit longer before firing
[23:54] <Yanmei> This time, she was prepared for the recoil. A little hole appeared in the lower left hand quadrant of the target, still far off center, but at least registering. "A hit!" she sounded a little astonished herself.
[23:55] * Leon`Thomas applauds a little, smiling wryly. "Well done. First time hitting the target?" He says casually.
[00:00] <Yanmei> "Well… my aim isn’t exactly the best," she confessed. "It's why they gave me orders to come here. So that I can improve it? But Blanc is way better at long-range combat than I am, so it'd make more sense to just rely on her for this sort of stuff. Go with your strengths? That's how the saying goes, isn't it?"
[00:03] <Leon‘Thomas> "Huhn." Muttered Leon. "I see. Well, not all ranged combat involves long range, Pilot Zhang. Pistols and assault rifles, for example, are close and medium ranged weapons, used for assaults and suppression, whilst rifles are for precision." He said, stepping forward. "Keep at it, Pilot Zhang."
[00:06] <Yanmei> "Yes sir!" It wasn’t as if she had a choice. "Thank you for the advice. And I promise not to shoot anyone else on accident."
[00:07] <Leon‘Thomas> "Huhn. That would be a good start." Said Leon. He paused for a moment, before slowly sliding the goggles off of his face. He took off his glasses, wiping them on his shirt. "If you like, you could train with me."
[00:09] <Yanmei> "You wouldn’t mind?" she couldn't help but look a little surprised. The Vice-Commander always seemed to stern and busy.
[00:12] <Leon‘Thomas> "It’s not a bother to me, Pilot." Said Leon gruffly. "You need to get better, Pilot Zhang. That's the long and short of it. You're supposed to be protecting the world, but the only thing you'll be protecting with that sort of aiming is an insurance company's profit margin." He said, placing his glasses back on his face.-
[00:12] <Leon‘Thomas> And then- he smiled. "Besides, I like to teach, and you seem to have an actual talent for firearms, Pilot Zhang. You have the right… Approach, I guess you could say. I like that."
[00:19] <Yanmei> "Approach?" She tilted her head. "I don’t know about having talent for firearms? But I do want to surprise Captain Lachapelle, and I want to do well in the next battle too. If you'll have me, then… I'll be happy to train under you?"
[00:22] * Leon‘Thomas grins. "I’ll be happy to help you, then." He holds out his hand for her to shake. "I have some rules, though."
[00:23] <Yanmei> "Rules?" She goes in for the handshake. The sleeve of her sweatshirt rides up just enough to flash some colorful metallic bangles into view.
[00:26] <Leon‘Thomas> "That’s right." He eyes the bangles for a moment, his expression rather unreadable. "The first one. You call me Leon. When I'm training you, I'm just your trainer. I'm not the VC. Secondly, if you're going to train with me, I want you to get your own firearm. Something you can bring with you here, and something you can maintain at home. And thirdly." His eye twinkles.-
[00:26] <Leon‘Thomas> "Once a week, you have the honour buying me lunch. Sound good?"
[00:32] <Yanmei> "Yes sir! Ah, I mean, Leon." Lunch too? That was curious. Why wasn’t he being all distant and cold, like the Commander was? "I… may have to confer with Lieutenant Amatore-DeForest before bringing a weapon like that home. But she has one too, I think, so it should be okay!"
[00:33] <Leon`Thomas> "Understandable. Now then." He grinned, and nodded his head toward the target.
[00:35] <Yanmei> Obeying, Yanmei turned towards it and tried aiming again. Would she get to have her own holster too? How cool and sophisticated! Maybe she could show it off to the other pilots too. And that dumb Alexandre. With such thoughts filling her head, she resumed her first formal lesson.

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