Isabelle S Grilling

[14:47] * Aline rested her head on her arms… which themselves were resting on the table she had reserved. There was a certain entertaining ex-LN-operative probably flitting around doing… all the things his place purports to do. And waitresses, which got a few odd looks due to the skimpy outfits. Nonetheless, she lolled her head a few times around, as if out of boredom.
[14:58] <Yanmei> It would be a few more slowly ticking minutes before the rest of her dinner party arrived. -
[15:01] <Yanmei> Someone appeared at the entrance. At first, just a head and a pair of shoulders leaning past the doorframe, while her suspicious eyes shifty-glanced around. Then, apparently seeing that the coast was clear, she stepped in properly, ushering someone along with her toward Aline's table.
[15:03] * Aline suddenly perked up a little, and then lazily waved, knowing at least Yanmei would appreciate the gesture.
[15:08] <Yanmei> "Blanc~" Yanmei nodded, and then pulled out a chair for their third guest, casting one last sharp look around at their surroundings. The two Paris pilots could probably blend in well enough, but as for her…
[15:12] <@Minaplo> [Isabelle Bellamy wore a long dark purple dress that fell to her ankles, under which she wore a pair of elegant dark blue ladies' shoes. Over this she wore a dark purple shawl that fell over her eyes, leaving only her nose, mouth, chin and neck exposed.-
[15:14] <@Minaplo> [She sat down, guided by Yanmei, and then stared at Aline for a long time. "… You've been occupied."]
[15:15] * Aline tilted her head a bit. "…In… uh… many senses of the word, I suppose?" She remembered that Isabelle has the whole soul-sight thing that Shinji does, so she was prepared for something weird like that.
[15:19] * Yanmei glanced between the two curiously as she took her own seat.
[15:21] <@Minaplo> ["I mean that in the military sense." She smirked.]
[15:23] <Aline> "Touche." Aline commented idly, seemingly at a loss for a better response.
[15:28] <Yanmei> "Well." Yanmei cleared her throat, trying to break through the awkwardness. "We're all finally here, at least. Miss Isabelle, this is our way of welcoming you to our battleship~ So please order whatever you feel like. It's on us."
[15:30] <@Minaplo> ["How gracious." She said dryly. She picked up the menu.-
[15:31] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, I see. How very insightful. I've decided what I want."]
[15:33] <Yanmei> "I meant," she said, trying not to give away her impatience, "that you could order anything, not just what's on the menu. The cook will probably whip it up by request?"
[15:34] * Aline smiled softly. "I for my part am just going to have a steak dinner." As if not really wanting to be involved in the tug-of-war Yanmei was trying to initiate.
[15:36] <@Minaplo> ["A steak dinner. How very Australian." Isabelle slapped the menu down on the table. "Yanmei, in that case, I'll have a bowl of pasta alfredo, with extra bacon and pasta, along with a loaf of garlic bread, and a side of pizza bread with dipping sauces, and a glass of Champagne. Something pre-Impact."]
[15:40] <Yanmei> "Very well." She looked around, and tried to flag down one of the poor scantily-dressed waitresses.
[15:40] <@Minaplo> [They weren't -that- scantily-clad. The shirts went up to their collars, and the skirts… Were skimpy, yes, but at least the leg was covered by socks!-
[15:41] <@Minaplo> [… Which may have missed the point, admittedly…-
[15:41] <@Minaplo> [One of the waitresses came over. "Are you folks ready to take your order?"]
[15:41] <Aline> "Ah, yes. I'll have the traditional steak and potatoes dinner…" She gestured to Yanmei and Isabelle.
[15:46] <Yanmei> Yanmei dutifully repeated Isabelle's order. "…with a glass of Blanc de noir, roughly '95 or so. And… a rice and vegetable pilaf for me."
[15:47] <@Minaplo> [The waitress doubtfully wrote down the order, then walked off towards the kitchen.]
[15:55] <Aline> "At any rate, it's good to have a nice dinner, a break in things." Aline said in an obvious attempt at smalltalk.
[15:56] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, yes. The last time I had a dinner with friends like this, it sure did involve a break in things. Several breaks, in fact."]
[15:56] <Yanmei> "…"-
[15:57] <Yanmei> Yanmei didn't exactly fidget, but she did turn away. "I thought it turned out pretty well? Everything up unless I had to leave, anyway…"
[15:58] * Aline folded her arms, looking a bit nonplussed. "Eh."
[16:00] <@Minaplo> ["See? We even have a grumpy person here with us. Just like old times." She patted Yanmei's hand. "We should have the gestapo busting down the door any second now…"-
[16:01] <@Minaplo> [On the bar, Mr. Blue would leave his post to enter the kitchen- and a few minutes later the kitchen door would fly open with enough force to bang against the wall, causing many patrons to jump.-
[16:01] <@Minaplo> [Blue stared around the room, before his eyes fell on Yanmei- his gaze narrowed, and he walked over, smiling like a shark.-
[16:03] <@Minaplo> ["So." He said, staring at them all. "#So#."-
[16:04] <@Minaplo> ["Did you know the word 'Grill' comes from the word 'Gril', a French word meaning 'gridiron'? Which in turn comes from the Old French term graille to mean 'grating', which in turn comes from the Latin 'craticula', meaning, again, 'gridiron'? It means to cook food, primarily meat, using dry heat on a grid of metal."-
[16:05] <@Minaplo> ["So, now that you have had your required etymology lesson, would you like to explain why one of my waitresses was given a dinner order more suited to Roman Pizza?"-
[16:05] <@Minaplo> [He turned to Aline. "Not you, sweetheart, I know you ordered a steak as God intended."]
[16:05] * Aline bowed her head, and couldn't resist looking slightly smug. "Thank you."
[16:09] * Yanmei shot her a fleeting black look. "What's the problem? Most kitchens have at least some sort of stovetop, right~? Don't tell me you're throwing a little fit over a few noodles and a rice dish."
[16:10] <@Minaplo> ["It's the -principle- of the thing." Said Mr. Blue. "Imagined if I walked into a Chinese restaurant and asked for potatoes gratin."]
[16:12] <Aline> "Well, I suppose it depends on how ~haute couture~ they imagine you to be."
[16:16] <Yanmei> "In any case, I'm sure they wouldn't -freak out- about it?"
[16:18] <@Minaplo> ["My dear." He bent down, putting his hand on Aline's shoulder. "I know you understand me. You know that I save the haute couture for the tailor's shop. This is a -grill-."-
[16:18] <@Minaplo> ["She's very arrogant, isn't she?" Said Isabelle, turning to look at Mr. Blue. "Ordering that from your restaurant…"-
[16:19] <@Minaplo> ["Absolutely." Said Mr. Blue. "Here I am, just a humble bartender-tailor, trying to make a living, when she orders this outrageous Italian monstrosity…"]
[16:21] * Aline realized the joke, and… decided to just smile and nod. "Well, it did sound delicious, but… alas, what can you do."
[16:23] <Yanmei> Isabelle… Yanmei rolled her eyes hard. Otherwise she would have glared a great big hole in the side of her head. "For god's sake! If it's that big a deal? Let's just change the order. Pulled pork instead of noodles, and grilled vegetables instead of rice. Are you happy?"
[16:24] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, no no." Mr. Blue shook his head. "I wouldn't do this for anyone, you know, but Yanmei…" He sighed. "What can you do? I'll make an exception just for you, but only because we're such good friends."-
[16:24] <@Minaplo> [Isabelle beamed, putting a hand on Mr. Blue's arm. "You're very patient with her."-
[16:24] <@Minaplo> ["So are you."-
[16:25] <@Minaplo> ["And you're not quite the humble bartender-tailor you claim to be, Mr. Blue." Said Isabelle. "You're much more complex than some people think…"-
[16:25] <@Minaplo> ["Ah!" Mr. Blue brightened. "This is the part where you tell everyone about how, beneath my rough and irreverent exterior, is a sweet and saintly soul just crying out to be accepted and loved."-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> [Isabelle laughed. "No, deep down you're just as much of an ass as you are on the surface."-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> [Mr. Blue laughed madly, standing up. "Well said! Your orders will be here shortly."-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> [And with that, he swaggered off.]
[16:26] * Aline was barely suppressing giggles at this point. There we go.
[16:31] * Yanmei sat with her arms folded, not having forgiven Isabelle, even after that parting shot. "It's nice that you can see the truth about at least some things," she said primly.
[16:32] <Aline> "Vision is a heckuva trait, is it not?"
[16:39] <@Minaplo> ["It has its uses."]
[16:44] <Aline> "Indeed. Anyway, as you might imagine, there is a purpose to this meeting other than colorful smalltalk and fine dining. Isn't that right, Yanmei?" …Smooth, Aline.
[16:46] * Yanmei dropped her arms with a soft sigh, going along with it. "About the Ikaris…"
[16:48] <@Minaplo> ["I see. What do you want to know?" Isabelle's smile was gone, her voice more business-like.]
[16:51] <Yanmei> "They rescued you. How did they do it? Did you have any clues at the time as to… why one of them ended up dead?"
[16:52] <@Minaplo> ["I assume that it would have been due to Mary Caine stabbing him several times in the chest." Said Isabelle.]
[16:53] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes widened. "She confronted him personally?"
[16:55] <@Minaplo> ["I don't know all the details exactly. But I can tell you the general order of events."]
[16:57] <Yanmei> "Please do?"
[17:00] <@Minaplo> ["The first thing that happened was that the Synfront came under attack by an Angel. I remember them ordering to sortie the Evangelions on hand. It sounded like a destructive battle."-
[17:00] <@Minaplo> ["That's when I saw two individuals suddenly appear out of nowhere in my room- it took me a moment to realise who they were. It was Gendo Ikari, and Shinji Ikari."-
[17:00] <@Minaplo> ["They spent a few moments retching, then Gendo told me that he was here to take me away."]
[17:01] <Aline> "…That… so far makes sense…"
[17:02] * Yanmei nodded, although it probably went unseen by Isabelle, waiting for her to go on.
[17:03] <@Minaplo> ["He approached, put a hand on me, and… Then two other people came in. Mary Caine- I could see her easily. Visible from kilometres away. One of the most singular, most -pure- individuals I've ever seen, surrounded by the lights of thousands of others…-
[17:04] <@Minaplo> [She frowned. "And another person with her, someone who reminded me very much of her, yet different. There was the mark of the Eva on this person, someone permanently synchronised, I think."]
[17:05] * Aline frowned back. "There's only so many people that could be, really…"
[17:06] <@Minaplo> ["I couldn't be sure, but this person reminded me a little of de Pteres as well. There was a sense of… Fragmentation of some kind."]
[17:06] <Yanmei> Yanmei's brow furrowed. She glanced at Aline. "One of the Dysangelion pilots?"
[17:07] <@Minaplo> ["I would've recognised one of those." Said Isabelle. "They're much more fragmented, and- Angelic."]
[17:08] * Aline nodded. "Besides, all of them were accounted for at that time, if this is even remotely synchronous with other events. But fragmented like de Pteres… that's definitely a weird part."
[17:09] <Yanmei> "Hmm. What else happened after that?"
[17:10] <@Minaplo> ["They spoke. Caine told Gendo that she knew he'd be coming, that she'd already laid a trap for NERV…"-
[17:12] <@Minaplo> ["She spread an AT Field. It was a powerful one. But it'd have to be, because Gendo's was powerful as well. But he was tired, and that other person was helping as well."-
[17:13] <@Minaplo> ["That other person challenged Gendo, asking him if he 'remembered her'. It was a girl's voice, I think, but it was strange… It had a weird cadence to it."-
[17:14] <@Minaplo> ["Shinji wasn't able to do much except keep me out of the way. Gendo and Caine began to fight, but it didn't take long." Isabelle was solemn, frowning.-
[17:16] <@Minaplo> ["Caine's fast. Faster than a normal person. She leapt across the room in a single bound and knocked Gendo to the ground on landing, then stabbed him several times in the chest. The instant she was finished she leapt away, preparing to spring at Shinji…"]
[17:19] <Yanmei> Yanmei was following along, her face growing grimmer by the moment. "And then…?"
[17:20] <Aline> "Yeah… it sounds like an escape might've happened but…"
[17:20] <@Minaplo> ["Shinji cried out, and Gendo reacted, even though he should've died- he did something, and we all must've slipped into a Dirac Sea. We were dropped on some… Boat, I think, it was rocking."]
[17:23] <Yanmei> "His private yacht. He took me there once."
[17:25] * Aline suddenly looked at Yanmei. "…Huh. That's certainly interesting."
[17:27] <Yanmei> "Define 'interesting'? That visit was just one long lecture about Angels and plans and stuff."
[17:31] <Aline> "…Ah yes, I forget, you're more likely to be bored by that." An absent shrug from Aline. "…So…"
[17:33] * Yanmei rolled her eyes again. "What happened once you were on the boat, Isabelle?"
[17:36] <@Minaplo> ["Gendo said that he had to transfer the body to someone."]
[17:43] * Aline paused. "…So… that explains that part then. I assume because otherwise something terrible would happen?"
[17:50] <Yanmei> "It's much less vulnerable to being stolen if it's with another person. He didn't have much of a selection of willing bodies either? It… has to be kept away from the EVAs and Angels. Shinji was no longer a pilot, so…"
[17:52] <@Minaplo> ["There may have been other reasons- I think he was afraid the body would be taken over by the Angel soul inside it if it weren't being protected."-
[17:52] <@Minaplo> ["I volunteered, but…" She glowered, bitterly. "He gave it to Shinji, shoved it into his hand before anyone could stop him."]
[17:53] * Aline waved a hand. "Maybe he figured your use of it might've been dangerous. Or maybe he actually trusted his son for once."
[17:58] * Yanmei looked dubious, but she said nothing.
[17:58] <@Minaplo> ["In any case, he did that, and…"-
[17:59] <@Minaplo> ["He died after that, and I don't know what happened next exactly. Shinji freaked out, and then some dirac effect happened, and I found myself in Asgard- without him.]
[17:59] <@Minaplo> "]*
[18:02] * Aline …sighed rather ruefully. "Well then. So I guess that's…" She looked into the distance, towards 'outside', and slumped slightly. "Another mystery."
[18:07] <Yanmei> "Hm. Well, it's better than being completely in the dark? Thank you, Isabelle."
[14:44] <@Minaplo> [Isabelle nodded.-
[14:45] <@Minaplo> [Shortly after this, Mr. Blue returned, bearing their food. "Here you go, one steak dinner…" He placed it down in front of Aline.-
[14:46] <@Minaplo> ["Some bullshit vegetable rice dish for Captain Cantankerous…" He placed the pilaf down in front of Yanmei…-
[14:46] <@Minaplo> [He then skipped away, returning with the rest of Isabelle's order. "And a whole bunch of Italian for the blind girl. And a bottle of Champagne."-
[14:46] <@Minaplo> [He placed it down, standing by the table, not moving.]
[14:48] * Aline looked at him, then at Isabelle, then just… unslumped and dug in. "Hells yes, steak~"
[14:49] * Yanmei stared back at him as well, although she didn't touch her plate just yet. Finally, she tossed her hair and sat up straight. "Thanks?"
[15:05] <@Minaplo> ["Aren't you going to ask me?" Said Mr. Blue impatiently.]
[15:08] <Yanmei> A blank stare from Yanmei. "Ask you… what, exactly?"
[15:09] <@Minaplo> ["Tch. Amateur. This is the part where you wonder amongst yourselves…" He placed a hand on his chin. "'Hmm, we have a mystery on our hands, and who do we know is good with mysteries? Someone… Mysterious, perhaps?'"-
[15:10] <@Minaplo> ["And then you all look up and have the same idea, and then you're asking me, and I'm like, 'No no no, I'm just a simple grill, bartender and tailor', and you're all like 'Come on, Mr. Blue, we all know you're an extremely talented and super-handsome super-spy,' and I'm like 'What an outrageous accusation! But I suppose I could lend you what little assistance I can offer…'"]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "Do you eavesdrop on -all- of your customers' dinner conversations?"
[15:12] <@Minaplo> ["Would you find it flattering if I said 'only the interesting ones'?"]
[15:13] * Aline made a 'snrk' noise in the middle of eating. "…LEt's be honest, I expected something like this. Maybe not as dramatic though."
[15:13] <@Minaplo> [Mr. Blue brightened. "See, this young lady knows the script, why can't you be more like her, Captain Critical?"]
[15:16] * Yanmei caught herself scowling at both of them, and flattened it out to a neutral expression again. "Why don't you have a seat, Blue," she managed stiffly.
[15:17] <@Minaplo> [He took a seat next to Aline, almost snuggling up to her as it was. "Whyever could you need my assistance, Captain Zhang, sir-ma'am? Why, I'm just a humble tailor…"]
[15:18] * Aline finally bristled at the closer contact, but tried to take it in stride. Still, she managed to retain a level of amusement. "Well… I'm sure the good Captain could tell, no?"
[15:19] <@Minaplo> ["Sorry, am I a little too close?" He shifted graciously a little from Aline.]
[15:20] <Aline> "Thanks, yeah." She added quickly.
[15:22] <Yanmei> "Ahem." Yanmei cleared her throat, glancing between the two of them. "How much did you hear, and how much do you know?"
[15:26] <@Minaplo> ["Everything and a fair bit, respectively."]
[15:29] * Aline looked contemplative. "Not surprised you heard everything, but you know a fair bit, do you now…" She said leadingly.
[15:30] <@Minaplo> ["Yep."]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "Would you mind sharing any speculation you might have formed after hearing Miss Isabelle's story?" A long pause. "Also, would you care for some wine?"
[15:32] <@Minaplo> ["Sure." He said brightly.-
[15:32] <@Minaplo> ["But, I would, in fact, mind." He folded one leg over the other. "If I'm going to share, then this humble tailor-bartender-griller is going to need a favour from you, Miss Aline, and from you, Captain Cranky."]
[15:33] * Aline tilted her head gently. "…And that favor would be…?"
[15:34] * Yanmei watched him suspiciously. She could feel the icy cold hand of the departed NERV Marketing Department clasping her shoulder…
[15:36] <@Minaplo> ["I both need you to… You know. Speak favourably of my establishment. Tell other people about how good the food is and how excellent my cocktails are, and now amazing the clothing is. Why, in fact, what you both should do is let me make a video ad of you both, telling the Battleship about how most excellent this place is. Sound good?"]
[15:37] <Yanmei> "No plugsuits," Yanmei blurted out.
[15:37] <@Minaplo> ["Sold." Said Mr. Blue immediately.]
[15:38] * Aline raised her fork, as if mentally considering. "…Sure. I can deal. I mean, the worst you can do is dress us skimpily, and this /is/ a good steak…"
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["Exactly." Said Mr. Blue. "And don't worry, I'm not going to dress you all -that- skimpily."-
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["Lying." Said Isabelle.-
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["I am not!"-
[15:40] <@Minaplo> ["Partially lying, then."-
[15:40] <@Minaplo> [Mr. Blue nodded, looking satisfied. "So! What do you wanna know?"]
[15:43] <Aline> "On my part, I'd like to know where Shinji went after the boat…" Aline confided.
[15:44] <@Minaplo> [He looked at Yanmei, as though awaiting confirmation.]
[15:45] * Yanmei simply shrugged and nodded to him.
[15:47] <@Minaplo> ["Here's my theory." Said Mr. Blue, taking the wine glass and sipping from it. "He's suddenly got all this AT Power, and he sent you, Isabelle, to Asgard. How did he know how to use it or where to send you? My suspicion- it wasn't him using it at all. It was one last gasp use from Gendo. Maybe he poured all of his energy into that one attempt, and that's parta why he died."]
[15:53] <Yanmei> "Makes sense?" Yanmei frowned thoughtfully. "Impressive that he held it together long enough to send them all somewhere safe…"
[15:53] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm, but that's the thing. Only Isabelle was sent."-
[15:53] <@Minaplo> ["So if it -was- Gendo who sent them, he sent Shinji somewhere he only wanted Shinji to see."]
[15:56] * Aline sort of understood, and nodded her head. "…Which is just as mysterious. Maybe it's… I don't know… Somewhere special, like maybe a place that had some secret to it?"
[15:57] <@Minaplo> ["Yep. Maybe Gendo had a little cubby hole where he kept all his secrets written down."]
[16:01] <Yanmei> "But if Ikari transported them there with the last of his strength, how did they get back to the ship? Was that -Shinji's- doing?"
[16:02] <@Minaplo> ["It's been three days since the raid on the Synfront. It'd have taken him about that long to learn how under pressure, I bet."]
[16:06] <Aline> "Yeah. He's not an advanced AT user from his pilot training, so it probably would've taken some time, yeah."
[16:08] <@Minaplo> ["Yep."]
[16:11] <Yanmei> "What do you guys think? Did he plan this from the beginning?" Yanmei popped the cork on the wine bottle. "I mean, why else would he bring Ikari - I mean, Shinji - on the Synfront Raid?"
[16:12] * Aline tilted her head one way then the other. "I'll admit, it /is/ kinda odd to bring him on a father-and-son Synfront Raid."
[16:13] <@Minaplo> ["Planned some of it from the beginning, I suspect." Said Mr. Blue, a little smugly. "Like…"-
[16:13] <@Minaplo> ["Let's say you're going into a house, and this house is full of lasers that shoot off belts and zips on your pants and skirts, so they fall down, right? That's bad."-
[16:13] <@Minaplo> ["But if you wear -suspenders-, they'll stay up anyway. So it's not that Gendo was -planning- to have to use his suspenders, they were just there in case."]
[16:17] <Aline> "Yeah, nothing like a contingency plan I guess."
[16:18] <@Minaplo> ["See? Blanc used the agreed-upon name for the idea, not some bizarre metaphor involving pants." Said Isabelle acidly to Blue.-
[16:18] <@Minaplo> ["Shaddap. What next?"]
[16:22] <Yanmei> "The mystery person? Caine's new assistant. I- here," She frowned, passing the first glass of wine to Isabelle, brushing her hand with it accidentally on purpose so that she knew it was there.-
[16:27] <Yanmei> "It sounds like she actually knew Ikari? And Caine does have her pick of human souls if she wanted to experiment with one."
[16:29] <@Minaplo> ["The way I'm thinking, it was permasynch. That narrows it down to an absolute -max- of seven people. Name 'em."]
[16:30] <Aline> "Me, Isaiah… One of the Simonides, forget which… Isabelle… uh… Tsubaki…" She sorta shook her head a little.
[16:32] <Yanmei> "There's also Isaiah and…" Yanmei paled.
[16:34] <@Minaplo> ["Sophia Simonides." Said Isabelle.-
[16:35] <@Minaplo> ["Right. You, Isaiah, Sophia, Isabelle, Tsubaki… And the last two? Click click?" He clicked his fingers.]
[16:36] <Yanmei> "Elisha Caine. And Gina," Yanmei said in a low, tight voice.
[16:37] <Aline> "But… Elisha is accounted for, so it has to be… Gina's soul, doesn't it."
[16:38] <@Minaplo> ["Let's not get ahead of ourselves." Said Blue.-
[16:39] <@Minaplo> ["Of all the E-Types we know, which ones do we #know# are in Permanent Synchronisation with an Eva unit?"]
[16:40] <Aline> "… Elisha for the most part /is/ an Evangelion, and his last fragment is accounted for. I am too. As is Isaiah."
[16:40] <Aline> "…Permanently synchronized. Not an Eva."
[16:42] <@Minaplo> ["Sophia isn't permanently synchronised, and I wasn't either." Said Isabelle.-
[16:42] <@Minaplo> [Blue nodded to himself. "Which means that right now, the only two people we know for a -fact- to be E-Types are Aline and Isaiah. Aline was accounted for, but Isaiah…?"]
[16:44] <Yanmei> "Hold on! Isaiah was at the same battle Blanc was in at the time. You saw him at some point, didn't you?"
[16:44] <@Minaplo> <Synchronised E-Types*>
[16:45] <Aline> "Yeah, I did, outside of 05." Aline said.
[16:46] <@Minaplo> ["But did you keep track of him the entire time? You arrived before he did, and after you had your scrap with the Dysangelions, he disappeared too…"]
[16:46] * Aline shook her head. "No, I didn't…"
[16:47] <@Minaplo> ["Plenty of time for him to zap into the Synfront." Said Mr. Blue.]
[16:48] * Yanmei pushed another glass across the table, this time at Aline. To her credit, her hand was steady. "That's absurd. Why would he?"
[16:49] <@Minaplo> ["Why would -any- of the E-Types help her, eh? But one of them must've. Isaiah is a prime suspect, unless you can argue that it was Eugenia fuckin' Ranvier."]
[16:50] * Aline stared at the glass… and slid it back. Now was not the time for that shit. "But with a fragmented /girl/… what, would she have taken the soul and… re-bodied it?"
[16:53] <@Minaplo> ["We can't prove that it -was- female, really." Murmured Isabelle. "All I heard was a voice, and that can be faked, and Ranvier herself could shapeshift…"]
[16:55] * Yanmei shoved the glass at Blue now, not missing a beat. "If we could ask Shinji, we'd at least get an idea of what she looked like. It'd be a clue."
[16:57] <Aline> "Troublesome, because we probably can't just yet."
[16:59] <Yanmei> "No. But I need to speak to him, or at least Castillo, about something anyway. Maybe I can figure something out…"
[17:01] * Aline suddenly went 'boyfriend's keeper mode'. "…About what?"
[17:07] <Yanmei> "One of our prisoners has offered to provide more information about Caine's plans in exchange for the opportunity to thoroughly mess with several of our high-profile members." -
[17:09] <Yanmei> Yanmei sighed. "You don't have to worry? Castillo would never sanction it. But I at least have to ask him."
[17:09] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, you mean that fucker von Brandt."-
[17:10] <@Minaplo> ["How'd your first visit go, hmm?"]
[17:12] <Yanmei> "Quite well, thank you."
[17:13] <@Minaplo> ["Lying." Said Isabelle.]
[17:15] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei poured a glass of wine for herself now. "Anyway, Blanc, you should be aware that he asked for a meeting with you too."
[17:15] * Aline leaned back, having obviously been eating steak the whole time. "…Well, if it earns us valuable intel…" She was rather nonplussed at the thought of talking to the guy, though.
[17:16] <Yanmei> "Take a day and think it over carefully? It won't be a pleasant conversation."
[17:18] <@Minaplo> ["He'll fuck you sideways in the head." Said Mr. Blue.-
[17:20] <@Minaplo> [Isabelle had in fact been eating quite a lot as well, clearly hungry, but now she spoke up fully. "Something's bothering me. Gina… Wasn't there something… Unusual… With her death?"]
[17:22] * Aline looked over at Isabelle, and nodded. "…Yeah. Something like a brilliant lightshow of I /assume/ their souls escaping the Earth or something?"
[17:25] * Yanmei said nothing, but she drained her glass rather hastily.
[17:31] <@Minaplo> ["Do you know anything about it, Yanmei?" Asked Isabelle.]
[17:33] <Yanmei> "Well. I know that I was the one who killed them."
[17:35] <Aline> "Considering the circumstances…" Aline tried to say consolingly.
[17:37] <@Minaplo> [Mr. Blue nodded.-
[17:38] <@Minaplo> ["Did, er… Their souls escape Earth or whatever?"]
[17:39] <Aline> Aline sighed. "It looked like it, but we can't be certain."
[17:40] <@Minaplo> ["Right. So the choices are between Isaiah and Gina… She'd need to have synchronised with a unit, too. But which one?"]
[17:42] <Yanmei> "A new Eva? If Caine had access to Gina's soul, she probably would have access to her Adam's, since they died together. So she built a new Eva and slipped it inside in secret, the way she did with Unit 22."
[17:44] <@Minaplo> ["Possible." Said Mr. Blue.]
[17:44] * Aline nodded. "That'd be the only real way she could have, really."
[17:45] <@Minaplo> ["Well, that's settled then. Next question!"]
[17:53] * Aline took a big bite, and then sighed. "…I can't think of anything else, actually."
[17:53] <Yanmei> "…I don't suppose you know of any of Caine's weak spots, do you?"
[17:56] <@Minaplo> ["Weak spots, eh?"-
[17:56] <@Minaplo> ["Well… I dunno about weak spots, but I know a little more about what she's capable of, physically, I mean, than most folks…"]
[17:57] <Aline> "Now I'm curious." Aline said between bites of a potato chunk.
[17:57] <Yanmei> "So that stuff about her 'moving faster than any human' is normal for her?"
[17:58] <@Minaplo> ["Well yeah, because a lot of her ain't human." He grinned. "Intrigued? It's quite the tale."]
[18:01] <Yanmei> "By all means, share with the class."
[18:02] <Aline> "Totally."
[18:02] <@Minaplo> ["Let's see. Do you know where Mary Caine was during Second Impact?"-
[18:03] <@Minaplo> ["The answer, dear kiddies, is that she was in a car in France when an earthquake struck, causing massive traffic chaos. A huge truck rammed into her car…"-
[18:04] <@Minaplo> [He tapped the table. "Dear Mary was paralysed from the neck down."]
[18:05] <Aline> "…Cybernetics…" Aline mumbled.
[18:07] <@Minaplo> ["Eva cybernetics. She had to wait until they were developed, so she spent like five years in a wheelchair."]
[18:09] * Aline narrowed her eyes. "Better, stronger, faster."
[18:09] <Yanmei> "Too bad for her about those five years, though~" Yanmei cheerfully ate forkful of her rice. "But yeah. So that's what we're dealing with, huh?"
[18:14] <@Minaplo> ["That was cold, even for you." Muttered Isabelle.-
[18:15] <@Minaplo> ["Anyway, that's Caine. She is, in fact, better, stronger, and faster." Said Mr. Blue, leaning back in his chair and stretching. "It makes her tougher than the average Caine, that's for sure, and the average Caine isn't exactly fun to fuck with."]
[18:18] <Aline> "I can only imagine…" Aline shivered slightly.
[18:22] <Yanmei> "…Miss Isabelle? What did you mean by her having the most pure presence you've ever seen?"
[18:23] <@Minaplo> ["I mean… It is imprecise, but imagine everyone is something of a canvas, to my eye. You can see the different influences, the impact they've had, the direction they've been funnelled…"-
[18:23] <@Minaplo> ["Everyone has a dozen intentions, hundreds of influences…"-
[18:24] <@Minaplo> ["But Caine… So much of her, an incredible amount of her, is focused on one single intention, one goal. I tried looking for other things- seeking love, or children, or personal ambition, even. She doesn't seek any of those things, not even ambition. She has one goal and her life is dedicated to it."]
[18:29] <Yanmei> "Von Brandt might be aware of what that is, precisely." She frowned. "Or she's deceiving him? Which is equally as likely."
[18:30] <Aline> "Odd to be so 'pure' like that. I… I almost can't understand it, but yet it's there."
[18:31] <@Minaplo> [Mr. Blue grinned.-
[18:31] <@Minaplo> ["I can understand it. It's the canvas of someone whose life was never her own to begin with."-
[18:31] <@Minaplo> [Isabelle frowned, settling back in her chair. "Mary Caine- the first NeoSpartan?"]
[18:35] * Aline suddenly twitched as a thought crossed her mind. "…Or the focal point of Destiny…"
[18:36] <Yanmei> "What do you mean?"
[18:41] <Aline> "Like… What happens if Destiny has 'full power' over someone, do you think?" Aline said, gesturing with her fork.
[18:43] <@Minaplo> ["They'd be compelled to do anythin', without any choice in it." Said Mr. Blue with a smirk.]
[18:46] <Aline> "Without any choice." Aline echoed… and looked leadingly at Yanmei. "Do you know what I mean now?"
[18:48] <Yanmei> "I hear you," she said with a sigh.
[06:47] <Minaplo> ["Fascinating." Said Isabelle dryly. "It actually hurts you to hear this new angle on someone you loathe, isn't it?"-
[06:47] <Minaplo> ["Oh man, you don't -even-." Said Mr. Blue with a grin. "Here, lemme tell you the story of why she hates me. It all started just before the Geofront battle…"]
03[06:48] * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
06[06:51] * Aline actually leaned in! This sounded like it would be funny, if only because it involved Yanmei getting pissed off by a smug asshole.
01[06:53] <Yanmei> There was a swift motion underneath the table for anyone who was in a position to notice such a thing. -
01[06:55] <Yanmei> "ANYWAY," said Yanmei loudly. "I do not hate him. I do, however, hate Mary Caine, which means I need time to process this, thank you very much. I don't see what's wrong with that?"
[06:56] <Minaplo> ["It's just interesting, that's all." Said Isabelle airily.-
[06:57] <Minaplo> ["Ow!" Mr. Blue shot Yanmei a look. "So, she was out reconning the culty army, but I was out trying to find her, you see… Trying to help her…"]
01[06:57] <Yanmei> Several more swift undertable motions followed.
[06:58] <Minaplo> ["Ow- Ow, hey! If you don't want me to tell the story, just say so! You'll have to compensate me, though…"]
01[06:59] <Yanmei> "With what? More commercial work?"
[06:59] <Minaplo> ["By agreeing to be friendly with me. I saved your life, you know."]
06[07:00] * Aline sort of… glanced around. "Is it seriously that bad?"
[07:00] <Minaplo> ["No."]
01[07:02] <Yanmei> "It's a perfectly normal and harmless story." Yanmei agreed tightly. "And what the hell? Does me being friendly really matter that much to you?"
[07:03] <Minaplo> ["Man, I saved your goddamn life, and you treat me like shit! Of course it matters that much to me!"]
[07:04] <Aline> There was a semblance of a shrug, in Aline's corner. "…You lead a complicated life, Yanmei."
01[07:08] <Yanmei> Yanmei tapped her fingertips against the tabletop. "Maybe I've been a bit… harsh," she conceded after a long pause.
[07:10] <Minaplo> ["Mmmhm." Mr. Blue shook his head. "Been just tryin' to help, been doin' my best, even give you special service." He held out a hand. "But I'm willin' to put that all behind us and declare us pallies, aren't you?"]
06[07:11] * Aline made it a point to crane her head back and forth between the two of them!
01[07:15] <Yanmei> After another moment, Yanmei finally reached out and gripped the hand. There was still a tiny bit of wariness there, as if she expected this gesture to immediately be followed up with remarks about her bust size or so-called collateral damage record. Nevertheless… -
01[07:15] <Yanmei> "I will try to be more civil, okay?" she said. "And… you have my apologies."
[07:21] <Minaplo> ["Thank you very much. It means a great deal." He grinned.-
[07:21] <Minaplo> ["In that case, for today only, your meals are free!"]
06[07:22] * Aline had already planned on clasping her hands and making a beaming smile, but the fact that she didn't have to pay just made things /even better/.
01[07:23] <Yanmei> "S-seriously?" That certainly took her by surprise.
[07:25] <Minaplo> ["Seriously."]
01[07:27] <Yanmei> "Well." She seemed actually a touched flustered now, withdrawing her hand to fiddle around with her fork. "Thanks."
[07:28] <Minaplo> ["You're welcome."]
06[07:32] * Aline continued to clasp her hands and beam, eyes-closed. "Excellent~"

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