Isaiah S Home

[07:48] <Yanmei> [The trip overseas was shorter than Yanmei would have liked. She hadn't gotten any sleep the night before, and could have used the opportunity, cramped conditions of the entry plug aside. -
[07:54] <Yanmei> But soon enough, 08 came to a rest in the harsh, rocky deserts of New Mexico, throwing up a massive cloud of orange dust as it did so. Isaiah walked it into a small, stripey canyon to hide it from sight, and then -thankfully- floated them all out of it rather than see them climb out on their own. -
[08:01] <Yanmei> There was a car too, borrowed from their temporary home in Melbourne, that made the trip to the city more bearable. Isaiah knew where to go once he had his bearings straight. Yanmei took the wheel. It was hot and dry and dusty, but surprisingly colorful. Even that wore thin after a while. -
[08:04] <Yanmei> They switched places in Albuquerque and Yanmei hunched over with her hood drawn up over her head warily. By the time they reached their destination, she was on the verge of nodding off again, holding an equally sleepy Lizzie, while Albus and Isha talked quietly in the back seat behind them.
[08:11] <Minaplo> [The sky above them was a perfect, unbroken light blue. Around them sat stylish, colourful houses with carefully manicured and irrigated lawns.-
[08:14] <Minaplo> [But it wasn't all like this. Yanmei had seen her fair share of dilapidated houses, abandoned with boarded up windows and yellowing or overgrown lawns; and also common were simply empty plots where houses had collapsed, been demolished- and no one had ever built it up again.-
[08:20] <Minaplo> [But eventually they came to a sudden stop.-
[08:20] <Minaplo> ["We're here."-
[08:22] <Minaplo> [They were outside a neat, clean house, a little larger than Yanmei's old house in Beijing; the yard was definitely bigger, with a tidy little flower garden under a bay window.-
[08:25] <Minaplo> [In fact, the house seemed very well-kept.]
[08:28] * Yanmei stirred, peering tiredly out the window. "I didn't expect it to be so nice?" she mumbled, rubbing her eyes. She gathered Lizzie and opened the car door. "Do you have a key?"
[08:31] <Minaplo> ["Uuu." Lizzie rubbed her eyes, flopping against Yanmei tiredly.-
[08:31] <Minaplo> ["We hired a housekeeper when we left." Said Isaiah, getting out of the car. "I don't have a key on me, but…"-
[08:35] <Minaplo> [He headed off into the yard, out of sight behind the wall around the property; when he returned he did so holding up a tarnished-looking house key.]
[08:39] * Yanmei grinned at him. A housekeeper for all this time. The Gabriel-Wei family really was wealthy. Maybe Dr. Gabriel had planned to return at some point?
[08:51] <Minaplo> [He quickly unlocked the door and beckoned for them to come inside.]
[08:52] * Yanmei tried to juggle her luggage and Lizzie, and followed along with Isha, Albus, and Daji. And Skippy.
[08:59] <Minaplo> [The house was a little cooler than the hot outside- clean white warm walls with picture frames depicting landscape paintings; yellow couches around an old television; an untouched kitchen with a standard set of appliances- oven, microwave, refrigerator…-
[08:59] <Minaplo> ["God, it's hot." Muttered Isaiah. "Way hotter than it used to be. The volcanic cloud's gone, so…"-
[09:00] <Minaplo> ["Wait."-
[09:00] <Minaplo> [Albus had been mostly quiet for the entire trip, but now he was speaking up with a hoarse voice. He was staring at something on the wall.-
[09:00] <Minaplo> ["Is that… What I think it is?" He asked with a voice approaching awe.-
[09:00] <Minaplo> ["…" Isha looked over. "It's an air conditioning unit."-
[09:00] <Minaplo> ["Praise God!"]
[09:03] <Yanmei> "Heh heh. Civilization, huh?" Yanmei set Lizzie down on a couch. "We'll be able to sleep like kings tonight~"
[09:05] <Minaplo> [Isaiah picked up a remote, turning the air conditioner on, allowing sweet cool air to blow over Albus.-
[09:05] <Minaplo> ["Yanyan, here, this way."]
[09:06] * Yanmei set her bag down and followed. "Hm? What's up?"
[09:12] <Minaplo> [He led her down a hallway and into a bedroom.-
[09:13] <Minaplo> [The bedroom had a double queen-sized bed with clean linens; a large walk-in wardrobe on the south wall, and an en suite on the north.-
[09:14] <Minaplo> ["This was my parents' bedroom." He said quietly. "We can probably sleep here. The wardrobe might still have some of my mother's clothes in it so you have something clean to wear…"]
[09:14] <Yanmei> "…" She eyed the waredrobe in question worriedly. "Are you sure that's okay?"
[09:20] <Minaplo> [He smiled roughly. "I'm afraid she's outgrown them."]
[09:25] <Yanmei> "…I guess so," she mumbled. "It's only for tonight, anyway. Is there a washing machine?"
[09:27] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, there should be." He said, nodding. "…"-
[09:27] <Minaplo> ["Maybe we should stay here for a few days or so? Just to get our bearings."]
[09:32] <Yanmei> "Eh?" Her head snapped up in alarm. "What if they… …" Something in his expression made her stop, and she glanced aside, a little sheepishly and cleared her throat. "No, that's fine, actually? It'd be a crime to drag Albus out of here after only one night. Anyway, we have to prepare. The capital is a long way from here and we need to figure out the trip."
[09:38] <Minaplo> ["Ah…" He smiled.-
[09:39] <Minaplo> ["I-I need a bit of time to access the dummy identity my dad set up anyway, so we might as well relax. I think it'll be good for your nerves, too, and it gives Lizzie a chance to settle down for a bit…"]
[09:42] <Yanmei> "I'm alright. But you're right about Lizzie. She could use a little rest?" Yanmei moved to sit down on the bed, but she remembered how filthy her clothes were and stopped herself. "A dummy identity… Like a fake one?"
[09:44] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Dad's always had a bit of a paranoid streak, so he set that thing up back when I was a kid."-
[09:44] <Minaplo> [He walked over to her, patting her side. "Man, your clothes are terrible."]
[09:45] <Yanmei> "Like yours are any better?" She made a face at him. "I hope you have a change of outfits for yourself too."
[09:47] <Minaplo> ["I… Don't, actually."-
[09:51] <Minaplo> ["Hopefully there'll be something in there I can wear anyway." He said, quickly pulling off his shirt.-
[09:52] <Minaplo> [His body… A lot more toned and fit and tight than when she'd first met him, but also more scarred. Recent and old battles had given him scar cuts and burn scars in all sorts of places.]
[09:57] <Yanmei> Old wounds. She hated them, the times he'd been shot at and slashed at and acided. She caught his hand, wrapping her fingers through his. "Worst comes to worse, you and the other guys can shower and wrap yourselves in spare blankets and towels until we do a load of laundry."
[10:11] <Minaplo> [He gently lifted her hand over his heart, where a smallish scar sat.-
[10:11] <Minaplo> ["Hm. Do you want to use the en suite shower first? Perhaps you can take a long bath instead and have a sleep whilst I try to work things out."]
[10:15] <Yanmei> "Sure. I'll get Lizzie cleaned up and put down for a proper nap while I'm at it?" She eyed the wardrobe speculatively. "She's so little, but we'll find something for her too?"
[10:16] <Minaplo> ["I'll look into buying us some new clothes when I'm out."]
[10:20] <Yanmei> "If you do, be careful, ok?" she frowned lightly. "You're a famous face in this country too, after all?"
[10:21] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, but I can hide my face pretty easy. You…"-
[10:21] * Raphael has quit IRC (Quit: )
[10:21] <Minaplo> ["What are we gonna do about that hair, sweetheart?"]
[10:22] * ZackSleep is now known as ZackAFK
[10:22] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei ran a hand through said hair. "A hat?" she said hopefully.
[10:22] <Minaplo> ["I think we might need to get you a haircut." He said sombrely. "And dye."]
[10:23] <Yanmei> "W-what?! Now wait a minute! Let's not do something we'll regret, okay?"
[10:26] <Minaplo> [An indecisive look crossed his face.-
[10:26] <Minaplo> ["W-What, you're scared…?"]
[10:28] <Yanmei> "What if we used… like, a wig or something? That would be okay, wouldn't it? I'll let you pick out the style~"
[10:32] <Minaplo> ["A wig…"-
[10:32] <Minaplo> [He frowned to himself. "… I suppose we could, but it'd have to be really convincing."]
[10:34] <Yanmei> "That shouldn't be a problem? I mean Albuquerque's a decent sized city? So they should have a few shops that sell quality wigs."
[10:35] <Minaplo> ["Alright. I'll keep an eye out for it." He pondered. "Perhaps long and red like Asuka?"]
[10:37] <Yanmei> "Like I'd want to look like dumbface Asuka?" Yanmei tossed her hair… and frowned. "Wait. You're not saying that you prefer redheads, are you?"
[10:38] <Minaplo> ["Redheads are pretty cute…"]
[10:42] <Yanmei> "Maybe if you like -bossy- people?" Yanmei huffed and folded her arms. "I bet you've been waiting for the opportunity to dye me red for ages. You're more diabolical than NERV's Marketing department!"
[10:42] <Minaplo> ["Hm?" He giggled. "Redheads are cute, but do you know what's cuter?"]
[10:43] <Yanmei> "Wh-what?"
[10:43] <Minaplo> ["Blueheads~"]
[10:43] <Yanmei> "What?! Damn it. That Rei!"
[10:45] <Minaplo> ["Rei's cuter, but do you know what's cutest?"]
[10:46] <Yanmei> "What?" she huffed.
[10:49] <Minaplo> [He put an arm around her waist and drew her in, giving her a full, proper kiss, the sort he hadn't done in weeks, not since Melbourne, not since before all that…]
[10:52] * Yanmei started slightly since she was not expecting it, but she happily accepted it, kissing back. It really had been a long time. Maybe this break was a chance for him to unwind too~ -
[10:52] <Yanmei> "Maybe you do have good taste after all~"
[10:55] <Minaplo> ["And what about you? What type of boy do -you- like, hm?"]
[10:57] <Yanmei> "Well, you know, I always did have a thing for doctors. Like that handsome Dr. Clement…"
[10:59] <Minaplo> ["Ah, well it just so happens that I happen to be a doctor." He reached up, stroking the nape of her neck. "Want to know the best thing about this doctor?"]
[10:59] <Yanmei> "Hm?"
[11:00] <Minaplo> ["He has quite a bit of experience with madame's form…"]
[11:02] <Yanmei> "So he has~" Yanmei snuggled next to him.
[11:03] <Minaplo> ["Hey…"]
[11:03] <Yanmei> "Hm?"
[11:05] <Minaplo> [He pulled her close, squeezing her with every ounce of his body. His hands held hers…-
[11:05] <Minaplo> ["… Thank you. For… Well."]
[11:12] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei put her arms around him too, a little bewildered at first by the sudden surge in emotion that was coming from him. "You don't have to say anything," she said. "I already know."
[11:15] <Minaplo> ["Let's… F-For a few days, let's forget about Evas or the UN or Angels and just pretend to be you and me. Ok?"]
[11:19] <Yanmei> "A few days," she agreed. "I think I can try?" Because he needed it, didn't he? After everything that had happened. "You and me. And Lizzie. And the other two. And the kangaroo…" An amused smile came to her. "It'll be hard to forget about them if they're staying here too?"
[11:20] <Minaplo> ["Just family friends." He said with a smile.]
[11:21] <Yanmei> "Sure they are," she chuckled. "All right. No stressing out for the next few days. I'll boss them into doing the same?"
[11:28] <Minaplo> ["Good."-
[11:29] <Minaplo> ["… C'mon. There's plenty of room in the shower for two, and they won't suspect anything whilst Albus is still in the cult of the air-con."]
[11:31] <Yanmei> "Lead the way." She undid her cloak and let it fall on the floor alongside the bed.
[11:40] <Yanmei> Showers happened. And later, laundry and naps. A now-clean Lizzie dozed in the master bedroom for a while, dressed in an t-shirt from the wardrobe that was so big on her that it fell well past her knees and couldn't stay up on her shoulders without special adjustments. -
[11:43] <Yanmei> Yanmei had found an old denim skirt and blouse to wear, and after a load of laundry Albus and Isha had some of the spare clothing Dr. Gabriel had packed for them to pick from. -
[11:46] <Yanmei> Yanmei had taken a short nap of her own, had poked around the kitchen to take stock of supplies or lacktherof, and had shooed Skippy briefly into the fenced-in yard to do whatever it is that kangaroos did with their spare time. -
[11:51] <Yanmei> Isaiah had gone out some time ago, much to her worry. For now she sat on the living room couch, sorting through their rations, warily watching Daji scamper about on the furniture, playing. The TV was going on and was turned to the news.
[11:57] <Minaplo> ["… And at 3 AM this morning, a Mr. Robert Freeman says he saw a UFO flying over his property out west of Albuquerue today." Said the shiny-faced newsman, turning to his female co-presenter. "What do you think Anne?"-
[12:02] <Minaplo> ["I think he's getting a bit over-excited." Said Anne indulgently. "Roswell's on the other side of the state, after all~"-
[12:03] <Minaplo> ["It could be an Angel." Said the man, chuckling smugly.-
[12:03] <Minaplo> ["It couldn't be, or else our studio'd be levelled by now."-
[12:03] <Minaplo> ["By an Angel or an Eva?"-
[12:03] <Minaplo> [They both laughed.-
[12:03] <Minaplo> [The front door opened, and Isaiah entered, his arms full of bulging bags. "I'm home!"-
[12:04] <Minaplo> [Daji ran over to Isaiah's legs, sniffing at them curiously.]
[12:05] * Yanmei stopped bristling at the TV and turned around to face the door. "How'd it go?"
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["Well. Wait 'til you see what I got for us." He struggled over to the kitchen, putting the bags down with a sigh.-
[12:10] <Minaplo> ["Oh, you're home?" Asked Albus, appearing from down the hall. He had had a two-hour long shower and was looking far healthier for it. "What'd you get? Real food? Say you got real food."-
[12:10] <Minaplo> [Isaiah grinned. "Wait til you hear what I got, Yanmei."]
[12:15] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She was bit less excited at the prospect of real food, having had the opportunity to indulge in it on a day-to-day basis save for recent events. That wasn't to say that the thought of steak didn't make her mouth water… "Let's see it?"
[12:16] <Minaplo> ["Albuquerque's gotten a lot hotter without the volcanic cloud, -but-, it's remained just as delicious." He grinned. "I got… Spicy mexican crumbed chicken pieces…"-
[12:17] <Minaplo> ["Garlic nan bread we can use for tortillas…"-
[12:17] <Minaplo> ["Fresh mozarella cheese, ready to melt…"-
[12:17] <Minaplo> [Some fresh lettuce and tomatoes…"-
[12:17] <Minaplo> ["Barbeque and sweet and sour and chili sauce…"-
[12:17] <Minaplo> ["Sour cream…"-
[12:18] <Minaplo> ["And herbs to go with it~"]
[12:23] <Yanmei> "You're amazing, you know that?" It wasn't steak, but her eyebrows were held high and her stomach almost rumbled its hunger for the world to hear. "Let's get it on the table right away!"
[12:23] <Minaplo> ["Real food…"-
[12:24] <Minaplo> [Albus stared, his eyes watering. He bowed his head and covered his face.-
[12:24] <Minaplo> ["And tonight that fat fuck Severus will be eating some bloody roasted hog they found in a sewer! Ahahahahaha! Sweet justiiiiiiice!"]
[12:26] * Yanmei held back her own bark of laughter. That -was- a pretty nice thought! "You can have first dibs, Mr. Albus~ Let me wake up Lizzie and get Mr. Isha."
[12:27] <Minaplo> ["Let me cook it up!"-
[12:28] <Minaplo> [And so, some time later, they'd find themselves seated around a table- Lizzie still sleepy, but rousing at the sight of delicious food.-
[12:29] <Minaplo> [Melbourne and its events seemed like a world away… And indeed it was, but this was just so different…-
[12:30] <Minaplo> [They were seated, with proper food cooked on a proper oven. Outside, the stars were twinkling, the temperature dropping, and the sound of gunfire was completely absent.-
[12:32] <Minaplo> [Isaiah had even bought some wine and a pack of soft drinks. Albus was having plenty of both.]
[12:38] * Yanmei ate slowly. After the past few days of cooking without so much as salt, the seasoning on the chicken was beyond intense. And the atmosphere… it -was- strange. Like something out of dream. -
[12:39] <Yanmei> She chatted a little, telling them what little she had seen on TV since they had gotten in.
[12:39] <Minaplo> ["What." Isaiah stared at her flatly. "They… A UFO?"-
[12:39] <Minaplo> ["Ugh, New Mexico, why?"]
[12:40] * Yanmei giggled. "They weren't too far out there, anyway? I'm sure everyone will forget about it in a day anyway."
[12:41] <Minaplo> ["Let's hope." Said Isha. "We picked the best state, really. No one is going to investigate UFO sightings here too closely."-
[12:43] <Minaplo> ["Oh yeah, I also heard something weird today." Said Albus.]
[12:44] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[12:44] <Minaplo> ["The news. It was… Talking about something called the 'Thruster Congress'?"]
[12:52] <Yanmei> "Oh. Well. There's been a lot of changes in the U.S. government, especially recently. Their Congress is now, essentially, a group of AI units. Computers? It's a temporary thing, supposedly, until they hold another proper election. They're called the Thruster Congress."
[12:53] <Minaplo> ["AI! Are you serious?"]
[12:53] <Yanmei> "Yes. I understand it's working out pretty well for them? The old human Congress was really corrupt…"
[12:54] <Minaplo> [Isha chuckled.-
[12:55] <Minaplo> [Albus frowned, staring down at the table. "… In Melbourne, I thought I was well-informed because I knew of people like you, or the Evangelions, or the LN, but there's a great deal I haven't heard about. How'd they end up putting AI systems into Congress? Isn't that unconstitutional?"]
[13:01] <Yanmei> "Probably? But that doesn't matter. There was an invasion. A forced takeover of the government by a LN Commander who declared herself president and basically made a lot of changes. It's been a year or so, but other countries have acknowledged her as the legitimate President of the country. -
[13:03] <Yanmei> "Mind you, she doesn't intend to stay in office forever, so it's not like she's a dictator? And she's doing an admirable job cleaning up corruption and making life more bearable for the plebs? That's the person we're going to try to see, by the way. President Minerva Linden."
[13:03] <Minaplo> [There was a short silence.-
[13:04] <Minaplo> ["… B-Blimey." Muttered Albus. "Back in my day, the idea that anyone could touch the US, let alone overthrow them was alien."]
[13:06] <Yanmei> "Impact made them a lot weaker. And anyway, the LN was full of military geniuses? Linden was no exception." Yanmei reached for some more lettuce. "She's my age."
[13:06] <Minaplo> ["Your age! A teenage girl's running the United States of America?"]
[13:08] <Yanmei> "That's right. Like I said, she's a genius?"
[13:08] <Minaplo> ["The world's gone mad."]
[13:10] <Yanmei> "Hey." Yanmei's brow creased and she sat up a little straighter. "I bet -I- could run a country too. If I felt like it."
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["You were the Lions' leader." Said Isha sagely. "Of course you could run a country."-
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["Ah, the fiery devil returning from exile to rule the world? Little Chinese Napoleon?" Mused Albus.]
[13:13] * Yanmei preened~ "If I could, I'd take Germany. And raze the Caine estate to the ground."
[13:15] <Minaplo> ["Germany? A large population, a powerful industry, a mighty military, but why not start with France and conquer Germany from there?" Mused Isha, his voice tinged with amusement.]
[13:16] <Yanmei> "Well… I probably could? But Mazarin might not like that."
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["Make him your Prime Minister." Said Isha with a grin.]
[13:19] <Yanmei> "Hmm," Yanmei stroked her chin. "Maybe. He could be bored with being president by now anyway? He'd probably appreciate it." She nodded. "Lizzie, you could play in that shiny gold palace all day if you wanted to."
[13:20] <Minaplo> ["Play play!" Lizzie nodded happily, clapping her slightly messy hands.-
[13:20] <Minaplo> ["Oh." Isaiah chuckled. "I managed to sort out our identity problem."]
[13:21] <Yanmei> "That's good news!" Yanmei cheerfully went for a napkin and tried to clean off Lizzie's hands.
[13:22] <Minaplo> [Lizzie kept moving her hands around, making it hard…-
[13:22] <Minaplo> ["My father…" Isaiah paused, staring at his food for a quiet second.-
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["… My father was distrustful of the UN, so he set up little 'rainy day' plans wherever he went. He taught me what to do as well. It required a bit of verification and work, but I managed to access one of his 'dummy' accounts, with a hundred thousand US dollars in it and identity papers."]
[13:25] <Yanmei> "Hundred-!" Yanmei stopped ineffectually flailing about with the napkin and stared. "…" She frowned, looking down. "He was that prepared for something like this?"
[13:26] <Minaplo> ["He was always prepared." Said Isaiah. "Remember, we still got access to my mother's royalties and Hero of the Federation payments for medigel, so we could afford to invest some emergency cash."]
[13:28] <Minaplo> <Biogel*>
[13:30] <Yanmei> "Right. Well… we really owe him. If not for his preparations who knows how long we would have lasted in Melbourne? And if things did turn out the same way, we'd be camping out in the dessert right now instead of in a place like this, stranded."
[13:31] <Yanmei> ^desert :I!
[13:32] <Minaplo> [He nodded.-
[13:33] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. With that I was able to buy us some new clothes. They're in the bags, they should fit your measurements- I'm pretty good with measurements, aren't I, Yanyan~?"]
[13:33] * Yanmei coughed delicately. "You really are."
[07:34] <Minaplo> ["I also… Got you your wig."-
[07:34] <Minaplo> ["Wig?" Isha looked up.]
[07:36] <Yanmei> "Because my hair's too distinctive," Yanmei explained, the slight redness on her face lingering. "It'll look less suspicious than wearing a hood everywhere?"
[07:37] <Minaplo> ["Why don't you just get a haircut and dye it?" Asked Albus.]
[07:38] <Yanmei> "Because I don't want to?"
[07:39] <Minaplo> ["What do you mean, you don't want to?" Asked Albus, his brow creasing. "You might have to!"-
[07:39] <Minaplo> ["It's fine." Said Isaiah cheerfully. "The wig I bought is top quality."]
[07:43] <Yanmei> "Thank you, Isaiah. I'll try it on after dinner." She poked at her food a little grumpily now. "Did you guys know that the person who attacked us in Melbourne with that Dysangelion looks exactly like me?"
[07:45] <Minaplo> [There was an awkward silence.-
[07:45] <Minaplo> ["So that explains it." Murmurs Isha. "Your confession…"]
[07:47] * SyntaxTerror is now known as Sept
[07:50] * Suzune has left #nervfrance
[07:50] * Aline has joined #nervfrance
[07:50] <Yanmei> "Yes, exactly." She hacked at her tortilla with a knife, scowling. "I -like- the way I look. I'm the original! She probably doesn't give a damn beyond using her appearence to get at me. If anyone should change how they look, it should be her."
[07:58] <Minaplo> [The silence returned, more awkward than ever.]
[08:01] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei slowly put her knife aside, glaring down at her mangled meal. She didn't say anything.
[08:02] <Minaplo> ["It'll be alright in the end." Said Isaiah quietly, confidently. "She might look like you but in the end she can't really compare."]
[08:04] <Yanmei> "…yeah?"
[08:09] <Minaplo> ["She isn't as mature as you are. Couldn't you tell?"-
[08:09] <Minaplo> [Isaiah smiled. "She holds herself a little too rigidly, like you did when you were a lot younger."]
[08:13] <Yanmei> "Is that so?" Yanmei frowned, thinking back. "Maybe that's true. She was a lot lamer, too."
[08:32] <Minaplo> ["She was." Said Isaiah sagely. "Don't worry. I wouldn't confuse her with you for a second."]
[08:34] <Yanmei> "I know you wouldn't." she smiled at him warmly, and went back to her plate, salvaging the delicious tortilla pieces with a fork.
[08:39] <Minaplo> ["Cute." Snarked Albus.-
[08:39] <Minaplo> ["Alright. What's our ultimate plan here?" Asked Isha.]
[08:49] <Yanmei> "Our plan? We stay here for a few days to recover and then make a trip to Washington D.C. to get in touch with the President. She knows us both personally, so I think she'll see us? We just need to figure out how to get there."
[08:52] <Minaplo> ["Any ideas?" Asked Isha.]
[08:56] <Yanmei> "If we went by plane, we would get there in a day or so. It's risky, though? We'd risk standing out because of the cost associated with those tickets. I think the security is also a problem? That leaves two methods. Car and rail."
[09:04] <Minaplo> ["Car might be safer." Said Isha. "The less people who get a chance to see you, the better."]
[09:07] <Yanmei> "That's very true. Train seems like it would be a lot faster, though?"
[09:36] <Minaplo> ["Safety over speed, I think." Said Isaiah quietly.]
[09:39] <Yanmei> "… all right," she conceded. "I'll try tuning up the car tomorrow in preparation. It's pretty battered? But we can't do anything about its dents and paint job."
[09:40] <Minaplo> ["We can't use that thing." Said Isaiah.]
[09:41] * Yanmei eyed him in surprise. "You want to buy a new one?"
[09:41] <Minaplo> ["Might as well. Driving in that old piece of crap will just draw attention."]
[09:42] * Raphael has quit IRC (Quit: )
[09:47] <Yanmei> "Then… we'll need something with lots of leg room. It has to look nice, but not too nice, if we're worried about attention. I hate to say it but… maybe some type of, ugh, used van or something?"
[09:51] <Minaplo> ["What about a four-wheel drive?" Asked Isha. "Something rugged and all-terrain."]
[09:52] <Yanmei> "We should be traveling on paved roads the whole way, won't we?" It hadn't occurred to her that that wouldn't be the case, and now she frowned.
[09:57] <Minaplo> ["There might be areas where the roads are torn up. Or areas where we have other reasons to ditch the road." Said Isaiah. "Like military patrols…"]
[10:04] <Yanmei> "Ugh, patrols." Yanmei shook her head. "All right. Just get what you think is best for that, Isaiah."
[10:07] <Minaplo> [He nodded with a smile.-
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["So… That just leaves the last big question." Said Albus tentatively.]
[10:08] <Yanmei> "Yes?"
[10:09] <Minaplo> ["… Who's going?"]
[10:15] <Yanmei> "Why would any of us stay behind? To keep an eye on the Eva?"
[10:21] <Minaplo> ["… Yes!" Said Albus, nodding. "And to, you know. Keep an eye out."]
[10:23] <Yanmei> "I see. The house's AC unit might need protecting too," she deadpanned.
[10:31] <Minaplo> ["… Tch." Albus frowned. "I would only stand out anyway. Gawking at every- jetpack or whatever…"]
[10:35] * Yanmei chuckled quietly. "It's actually a really good idea? There are certain things that'd look suspicious if taken with us. The animals, for example? And, yeah, the old car." -
[10:37] <Yanmei> "Whoever stays behind should keep an eye on them too. And, yes, relax and adjust to things in this country without the hassles of a long road trip."
[10:58] <Minaplo> ["I think I might stay behind as well." Said Isha.]
[10:59] <Yanmei> "Ah? You too?"
[11:02] <Minaplo> ["To keep this one out of trouble, and also to see if I can't tap into what's happening in the world and keep you posted by cell."]
[11:03] <Yanmei> "I understand." Yanmei nodded deeply. "Then it's you and me, Isaiah. Should we leave Lizzie here too? It will probably be safer?"
[11:07] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[11:07] <Minaplo> [They turned to look at Lizzie, who was sneakily feeding chicken to Daji.-
[11:07] <Minaplo> [Lizzie looked up, suddenly pulling her hands up to her face to hide her crime. She beamed at Yanme innocently.-
[11:07] <Minaplo> ["Love maamaa?"]
[11:15] <Yanmei> "Lizzie." Yanmei gave her a stern look. "Don't feed pets at the table."
[11:39] <Minaplo> ["We should bring her." Said Isaiah quietly. "I don't want to leave her out of my sight."]
[11:41] * Yanmei glanced at him from the corner of her eye. "It won't be safe. It probably won't be comfortable for her either? We'll have to come up with a disguise for her too."
[08:54] <Minaplo|Out> ["Give her a haircut and make her look like a boy." Said Isha.]
[08:56] * Yanmei sized up Lizzie's hair thoughtfully. It wasn't too long to begin with, and would probably grow back quickly. "I think we can manage that? We'll have to do more shopping for her, then."
[08:58] <Minaplo|Out> ["I can handle it." Said Isaiah.-
[08:58] <Minaplo|Out> ["I'm surprised you didn't think of disguising yourself as a man, Yanmei." Noted Albus.]
[08:59] <Yanmei> "Hm? You think I could pull it off?" She glanced down at herself.
[08:59] <Minaplo|Out> ["With your boyish figure? Easily." Said Albus unhesitatingly.]
[09:04] <Yanmei> "…" She looked up again with a sharp frown. "I don't know what you're talking about, Mr. Albus. My figure is perfectly ladylike!"
[09:08] <Minaplo|Out> ["What? It's true." Said Albus, frowning in reply. "You wanted an answer…"-
[09:08] <Minaplo|Out> ["I like your figure, Yanmei." Said Isaiah sweetly.]
[09:12] <Yanmei> "Thank you, Isaiah…" She was looking down at herself again, frowning. Boyish? Hmph! "We'll have time to play around with the disguises anyway. If we stay for three days and then stort out on the fourth, we'll make it to D.C. around a week from today?"
[09:12] <Yanmei> ^start out
[09:13] <Minaplo|Out> ["Sounds good to me." Said Isaiah with a grin, finishing off his tortilla.-
[09:13] <Minaplo|Out> ["Who wants to wash up?"]
[09:17] <Yanmei> "Here. I'll help." Yanmei rose a little out of her chair. -
[09:19] <Yanmei> They had an early night, all of them. Yanmei, Lizzie and Isaiah took to the master bedroom, Albus found himself in a smaller bedroom, and Isha took the fold-out couch. -
[09:21] <Yanmei> Yanmei did more thinking than sleeping at first, staring up at the dark ceiling worriedly, but eventually she too drifted off. The next thing she knew, it was morning. -
[09:25] <Yanmei> After another -amazing- shower and a breakfast of coffee and toast, she tried on the things Isaiah had gotten for her, emerging in a pair of simple wire glasses and a long, black wig with thick bangs that almost touched the top of the frames. "Tada?" she announced.
[09:29] <Minaplo|Out> [Isaiah and Isha looked.-
[09:29] <Minaplo|Out> [Isaiah nodded slowly, an impressed look on his face. "I can still tell it's you, but I think you look good. Kind of scholarly. What do you think, Isha?"-
[09:30] <Minaplo|Out> ["It looks strange to see you with black hair, but it works."]
[09:32] * Yanmei nodded slowly. "Today I'll get my hands on some makeup and try to see if I can make myself look even more different? And of course, I haven't tried on the clothes you got yet."
[09:34] <Minaplo|Out> ["I bought clothes that aren't quite your thing- I hope that's ok."]
[09:39] <Yanmei> "No, that's perfect. If it was stuff I'd normally wear, it wouldn't work? What about yourself, Isaiah?"
[09:41] <Minaplo|Out> ["My clothes?"]
[09:42] <Yanmei> "Yeah. And your hair. What are you planning?"
[09:47] <Minaplo|Out> ["Something nondescript. Brown and medium. My clothes will be a little old-fashioned, a bit rugged."]
[09:53] * Yanmei nodded, satisfied. "I guess this is blending in, huh?" She ran her hair very gingerly through her new black hair. It all felt so odd… "I might go out a bit today. Just into town or whatever."
[09:54] <Minaplo|Out> ["Oh yeah? Want me to come along?"]
[09:55] <Yanmei> "Sure. We'll take these disguises for a test run? Maybe you should come too, Mr. Isha. You'll need to know your way around? At least know where to buy food for yourself and Mr. Albus while we're away."
[09:57] <Minaplo|Out> [He nodded.-
[09:57] <Minaplo|Out> ["And Lizzie?" Asked Isaiah.]
[09:59] <Yanmei> "She can stay here for the afternoon. We'll get her some boyish things while we're out and we'll cut her hair when we return."
[10:01] <Minaplo|Out> ["Alright."]
[10:03] <Yanmei> "We're lucky. Things seem pretty quiet around here?" Yanmei chuckled. "Why Alburquerque, anyway? Did your dad do a lot of research at a school around here or something?"
[10:10] <Minaplo|Out> ["I dunno. I think it was some kinda military job, but he wasn't supposed to talk about it."]
[10:11] <Yanmei> "Military…? Like actual military, or an organization like NERV?"
[10:12] <Minaplo|Out> ["He wasn't supposed to talk about it, not even to me…"]
[10:15] <Yanmei> "Hmm… I see…"
[10:15] <Minaplo|Out> ["What, you think he was working for NERV?"]
[10:17] * SyntaxTerror has joined #nervfrance
[10:18] <Yanmei> "No clue? Maybe. The U.S. military hasn't exactly put positron research to use."
[10:20] <Minaplo|Out> ["They do use maser weapons a great deal." Said Isha. "However…"-
[10:20] <Minaplo|Out> [Isaiah frowned. "Wouldn't we know if there were a NERV base somewhere nearby?"]
[10:22] <Yanmei> "Yeah, we would. On the other hand, is there a U.S. military base around here either?"
[10:33] <Minaplo|Out> ["Plenty." Said Isha. "Probably in various states of disrepair. This is New Mexico, after all. They needed a strong military presence here after 2I…"-
[10:33] <Minaplo|Out> ["And lots of empty land out there to test artillery and bombers."]
[10:35] <Yanmei> "Hmm." Yanmei shrugged. "Going out there to investigate them would just draw attention to ourselves, unfortunately."
[10:45] <Minaplo|Out> ["Want me to have a poke around on my own?" Asked Isha. "I'm a lot less of a risk than you are."]
[10:49] <Yanmei> "Do you think you can do it without putting yourself in much danger? It's no good if you get caught and taken in for questioning either."
[10:49] <Minaplo|Out> ["I probably won't leave the city yet. I'll prod about for soldiers on leave or something like that. Buy them a drink, so on and so forth."]
[10:50] <Yanmei> "That seems harmless enough? Thanks."
[10:54] <Minaplo|Out> ["So where will we go today?" Asked Isaiah.]
[10:56] <Yanmei> "The shops, of course? Pick up some kiddie clothes, and maybe we could swing by someplace where we can get a car too."
[10:57] <Minaplo|Out> ["Good idea." Said Isaiah. "Care to eat out a little? Catch a show, even?" He asked coyly.]
[11:02] <Yanmei> "We'll see what they have to offer." Yanmei winked at him. "C'mon, get dressed."
[11:06] <Minaplo|Out> ["Care to help?"-
[11:07] <Minaplo|Out> [A few minutes later, Isaiah was dressed, looking…-
[11:08] <Minaplo|Out> [Well, he had slicked-back brown hair now, and a pair of long grey pants held up with a belt. Over this he wore an uninspiring grey-blue shirt under a grey sweater vest. He had a hat as well, a broad-brimmed affair…]
[11:12] * SyntaxTerror has quit IRC (Quit: Bye)
[11:12] * SyntaxTerror has joined #nervfrance
[11:12] * Yanmei had changed into some of the clothes bought yesterday as well. A very simple, long blue and white floral-patterned dress with a white collar and black slip-on shoes. The black wig and glasses, of course, also remained. "You really weren't kidding about the nondescript thing?"
[11:23] <Minaplo|Out> ["Too far, do you think?"]
[11:24] <Yanmei> "Well, the plan -is- to blend in? I think we'll be ok."
[11:29] <Minaplo|Out> [He nodded, giving her a smile. "You still look pretty."]
[11:32] <Yanmei> "Aww." She gave him a kiss on the cheek. "That's sweet. You look good with brown hair."
[11:32] <Minaplo|Out> ["Better than I do blonde?"]
[11:33] <Yanmei> "Not quite. But close~"
[11:34] <Minaplo|Out> ["Hm~"-
[11:34] <Minaplo|Out> ["Alright. Time to head out. Want to take the bus in?"]
[11:39] <Yanmei> "Yeah, that's fine." She glanced over at couch; Albus was glued to the TV, while Daji romped around next to him seemingly ignored for now. "We'll be back soon?"
[11:45] <Minaplo|Out> ["See you. Don't get into trouble." Said Isha.]
[10:05] <Yanmei> They didn't. The bus ride into town was uneventful. Yanmei stuck close to Isaiah, feeling awkward about not knowing exactly where she was headed and what she looked like to the people around her. -
[10:07] <Yanmei> Before long, they had made it to one of Albequerque's strip malls, and were going wild. -
[10:10] <Yanmei> Little boyish shorts, pants and shirts for Lizzie, dangly earrings for Yanmei, at least two weeks worth of food for Albus and Isha. There was a toy shop too, but Yanmei sharply steered clear of it when she recognized some of the Eva plush toys being displayed in the window. Before long, it was time for lunch.
[10:11] <Minaplo> ["Man, that was a sharp bend." Murmured Isaiah teasingly to her as they stood in a quietly bustling food court.]
[10:19] <Yanmei> "Don't laugh." Yanmei huffed. "It's like that dumb Marketing department is determined to haunt me wherever I go. I'm surprised there weren't any NERV stores in Melbourne."
[10:22] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I could really see Severus loving it up with a plush Eva. Or a love pillow…"]
[10:24] <Yanmei> "Bleeech. If you're trying to ruin my appetite, mission accomplished?"
[10:25] <Minaplo> ["Oh~? Are you saying you don't want me to pay for you?"]
[10:28] <Yanmei> "Hey, that's not fair!" She poked him in the side. "So mean~ I'll be glad when this is over and I can access my own cash again."
[10:38] <Minaplo> ["When we're living our lives as multi-millionaires on the French Riviera? Sunbathing all day, soaking in the spa all night…"]
[10:39] * Yanmei chuckled wistfully. "If only…"
[10:41] <Minaplo> ["Well, you'll be sunbathing and soaking. You know what -I'll- be doing…"]
[10:44] <Yanmei> "Studying, I bet! The resorts need a new policy: No mathbooks allowed at the French Riviera."
[10:52] <Minaplo> ["Studying? Oh no no." He chuckled, heading towards a seafood-mexican hybrid shop.-
[10:52] <Minaplo> ["I'd be giving madame cocktails, or back rubs, or looking after her ten- no, twenty children…"]
[10:58] <Yanmei> "Twenty, huh?" she followed along, amused. "I do like the backrub part. And the cocktails."
[10:59] <Minaplo> ["And that's what leads into the twenty children, see…"-
[11:00] <Minaplo> [The seafood-mexican shop was quiet, the occupants waiting with bored expressions for people to show up.]
[11:02] * Yanmei chuckled at that and made her order. The presence of more people around and the quietness all around them made her want to slip into silence again. Maybe they should stop talking about Rivieras and NERV stores in a place like this… -
[11:05] <Yanmei> "Scallops, rice and broccoli, please~" she said, once they were seated. "And a mug of coffee? With sugar and cream?"
[11:10] <Minaplo> ["Make that two, please, with a coke instead of coffee."]
[11:16] <Yanmei> "About Isha and Albus," she said, when their server had departed. "Do you think they'll be okay by themselves?"
[11:22] <Minaplo> ["Absolutely. Isha has his head together, even if Albus is giddy with the delights of the Future." He said wryly.]
[11:26] <Yanmei> "If you're leaving an emergency allowance for them - and I think you should - give it to Mr. Isha, okay? Albus has some restraint, but I've a feeling he'll blow it all on steak and beer as soon as he gets the chance?"
[11:28] <Minaplo> ["I couldn't blame him for it. We only spent a week and a half in Melbourne eating kangaroo and dog and all that, but he's been doing it for nearly eighteen years…!"]
[11:31] <Yanmei> "Yeah. The tempation is too great. I'm almost starting to feel bad for being here and eating this stuff knowing that most of the people we were spending our time with back there… are still back there."
[11:32] <Minaplo> ["We'll have to keep them in our thoughts." He said quietly. "So we can make the world better for them after all this."]
[11:34] <Yanmei> "Yeah…" But how? "Think Hermione and my army'll hold out until then?"
[11:35] <Minaplo> ["Let's hope."-
[11:35] <Minaplo> [Isaiah looked around the area, sighing. He seemed… Unsatisfied, somehow.]
[11:36] <Yanmei> "…?" Yanmei reached out and patted his hand. "You okay?"
[11:37] <Minaplo> ["Huh? Oh, yeah…"-
[11:37] <Minaplo> [He rubbed his neck. "It's just… Weird. I lived here for a few years, yet I don't think I remember much of this place at all. I guess… Well."-
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["It doesn't feel like home, really."]
[11:40] <Yanmei> "Hmm. Well, it has been a while, I'm guessing? How old were you when you were staying here?"
[11:40] <Minaplo> ["I dunno. Eight or nine?"-
[11:41] <Minaplo> ["But that's nothing new. We've always been moving around a lot, so…"-
[11:41] <Minaplo> ["I don't really have any memories of a home at all."]
[11:46] <Yanmei> "What about… well. You know. more recently? Before you moved to Boston?"
[11:49] <Minaplo> ["I remember a lot of that." He said warmly, fondly. "I don't really feel attached to the place, though. Just the people who made it special… Maybe that's it?"]
[11:53] <Yanmei> "Maybe! It's like when L- ah, when our little Elliot kept crying about home all the time, it wasn't the place itself that he missed, but the people there. And animals."
[11:53] <Minaplo> ["Yeah…"-
[11:54] <Minaplo> ["But you had some place before all of this. I didn't." He took her hand and held it tight. "So- I mean, uh. It…"]
[11:56] * Yanmei gazed at him quietly, head tilted slightly.
[11:57] <Minaplo> ["I-I just really… Appreciate it. Being given a- a place."]
[12:03] * Yanmei squeezed his hand. "It was a pleasure. I only wish it could have happened sooner."
[12:07] <Minaplo> ["So do I."-
[12:08] <Minaplo> [Another customer waddled in, now. An old- very old- woman, with a bent back, thick glasses, a head of grey hair, and a walker. There was a distinct chance of her remembering the Second World War.]
[12:11] * Yanmei glanced at her, but only briefly. Just another customer…
[12:12] <Minaplo> [She walked over to their table, very slowly. "E-Excuse me… D-Do you mind if I sit down here?"]
[12:13] <Yanmei> "Hm? Not at all, ma'am." Yanmei shifted some her bags aside to make room and drew out the chair slightly. "Please."
[12:15] <Minaplo> ["Thank you."-
[12:16] <Minaplo> ["F-Forgive me, but my eyesight isn't what it used to be, w-would you be able to order something for me?"]
[12:17] <Yanmei> "Certainly. What foods do you usually enjoy?" Yanmei reached for the menu.
[21:33] <Minaplo> ["O-Oh, well, I-I enjoy anything, really, b-but I suppose I-I'm feeling in the mood f-for some nice pumpkin soup and a b-bit of pork roast…"]
[21:36] * Yanmei waved the server over and made the order accordingly. As she closed the menu and handed it over, she stole a quick look at Isaiah for reactions.
[21:40] <Minaplo> [Isaiah didn't seem all too purturbed, looking at her casually.-
[21:40] <Minaplo> [The server nodded, and but a minute later, Yanmei and Isaiah's own orders arrived…]
[21:43] * Yanmei politely refrained from eating until the old lady had her meal brought to her as well. "What a nice day out. Are you here to do some shopping too?"
[21:47] <Minaplo> ["O-Oh, yes. I was looking to buy something f-for my grandson…"]
[21:48] <Yanmei> "How nice! Do you get to see him often?"
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["Oh, n-no. N-Not for some years now. H-He's in the army…"]
[21:57] <Yanmei> "Oh, that's a shame. But you must be proud of him? For protecting his homeland like that?"
[22:02] <Minaplo> ["W-Well, I would rather he just come home already…"]
[22:06] * Yanmei nodded understandingly. If it had indeed been a few years… "Maybe he will, eventually."
[22:08] <Minaplo> ["Maybe."-
[22:08] <Minaplo> [The television in the corner was playing some bland quiz show, but it took an ad break for the news.-
[22:10] <Minaplo> ["… The Federal government is intending to lodge a formal complaint to the General Assembly on Friday, with a condemnation of the conviction and cashiering of ex-pilot Zhang Yanmei, intending to take it all the way to the Security Council if necessary…"]
[22:14] * Yanmei turned, blinking in surprise at the news. "The government's getting involved in that…?"
[22:25] <Minaplo> ["O-Oh yes, it's been all over the news…"-
[22:26] <Minaplo> ["The conviction," continued the news report, "made in suspicious circumstances, has proven deeply unpopular in several countries, with the Chinese Government and the French both lodging official complaints…"]
[22:28] <Yanmei> France too? Well, of course Mazarin would push for efforts to help her~ -
[22:30] <Yanmei> And China… touched, she briefly looked away, toying with her fork.
[22:34] <Minaplo> ["I-It's awful, what they did to that poor girl." Muttered their old companion.]
[22:38] <Yanmei> "I agree? And after she worked so hard, too. I hope Linden and the rest will do something about it."
[22:40] <Minaplo> ["So do I. Z-Zhang Yanmei helped s-save my grandson. A-And I know l-lots of folks who feel the same…"-
[22:40] <Minaplo> [Isaiah was watching this with curious interest.]
[22:44] <Yanmei> "She saved him?" Yanmei tilted her head slightly. "Was that during a battle against an Angel, or against the LN?"
[22:45] <Minaplo> ["A-An Angel, I think…"]
[22:46] * Yanmei nodded solemnly. "Either way, I'm glad."
[22:58] <Minaplo> [A moment later, the old woman's food arrived…-
[22:58] <Minaplo> [The food wasn't bad. It was a lot better than wild dog meat.]
[23:04] <Yanmei> But then, what wasn't? Yanmei ate happily, although her real satisfaction came the the implications from news report and the old woman's words.
[23:05] <Yanmei> ^from the implications from the news report
[23:07] <Minaplo> [Eventually, their meal ended, and Isaiah rose to leave.-
[23:07] <Minaplo> ["C'mon. We should go look for cars…"]
[23:08] <Yanmei> "Yeah. You're right." YAnmei rose to go too, nodding to the old lady. "Thank you so much for the company, ma'am. Give your grandson my best wishes."
[23:10] <Minaplo> ["I-I will. Thank you so much, dears…"]
[23:14] <Yanmei> "Have a great day, now." She grabbed her bags, and after they stopped to pay the bill, they were off.
[23:15] <Minaplo> [A quick twenty-minute trip later would find themselves in…-
[23:16] <Minaplo> [It was a bit like a market street, except instead of shops you had car dealers. A fair few of the lots were empty, their offices closed and boarded up, the concrete cracking and dilapidated- but some were still doing business.]
[23:20] * Yanmei took her time strolling past each lot, eying the vehicles in each one. "Do you have a dealer in mind? Or will anyone do?"
[23:22] <Minaplo> ["So long as they're not sharks, sure."]
[23:26] <Yanmei> "Then…" she eyed a lot just up ahead. The bright pink all-terrain vehicle in it, to be precise… and a few less conspicious ones lined up near it as well. "How do you feel about that one?" she smirked.
[23:27] <Minaplo> ["You mean the extremely visible one?"]
[23:27] <Yanmei> "Yes? Well, the car model, anyway."
[23:27] <Minaplo> ["I like the model. I think it's exactly what we need."]
[23:31] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Let's get one like it and then start on our way back home?"
[23:31] <Minaplo> ["Hm… How does it feel to be able to buy a car just like that~?"]
[23:36] <Yanmei> "Heh. Don't get ahead of yourself? We still have to close the actual deal. You're the one with the ID and the money, so it's obviously going under your name. I can help with the negotiations, though~"
[00:47] <Minaplo> ["Oh?"]
01[00:53] <Yanmei> "Of course! Did Mr. Albus ever tell you about how I bartered for his freedom from the vile Severus back in Melbourne?"
[00:55] <Minaplo> ["He told me he offered you a generous deal and you haggled at him, yeah…"]
01[00:59] <Yanmei> "…if by 'generous' you mean completely beyond our ability to meet?" she grumbled. "You have to know your limit when you're haggling."
[01:00] <Minaplo> ["Well right now, sweetheart, our limit is about seventy thousand dollars."]
01[01:05] <Yanmei> "Well, then! That gives us a lot of elbow room, doesn't it?" Yanmei beamed. "Let's go at it."
[01:18] <Minaplo> [They were the only customers, and the agent seemed honestly happy to have them there. He was young, fresh, probably in his early twenties, and it was obvious he was a total rookie.-
[01:19] <Minaplo> [… It was weird, because he was older than they were, but it didn't feel like it. He was pretty much a helpless cub to them.-
[01:19] <Minaplo> [They got an excellent deal, and about an hour later, Isaiah was dangling the keys to their new four-wheel all-terrain jeep over Yanmei's head teasingly.]
06[01:26] * Yanmei eyed the keys enviously, but for the sake of her dignity, she didn't flail for them. "So~ I take it this means you want to drive home, hmm?"
[01:28] <Minaplo> ["Me? Nah. You can do it~"]
06[01:29] * Yanmei held out a hand expectantly.
[01:31] <Minaplo> [He grinned, dropping them into her outstretched hand. "Don't break this one, ok?"]
01[01:35] <Yanmei> "Like I've ever broken a car before?" Yanmei smirked. Happily, she hopped into the front seat… and adjusted so that she could see more clearly.
[01:41] <Minaplo> [He chuckled coyly as he got into the passenger front seat.-
[01:42] <Minaplo> [The rest of the day was spent on test drives and other things related to the car- Isaiah bought a satellite GPS, a bunch of toys and DVDs for Lizzie, and a special seat for her too.]
01[01:48] <Yanmei> They also bought two prepaid cell phones. One for Isha and Albus, and one to take along with them. Also make up! And special scissors to snip Lizzie's hair with. -
01[01:52] <Yanmei> They did just that soon after they got home. Then there was dinner, and rest, and all too soon, at the crack of dawn, they were putting their few belongings in the back of the car.
[01:58] <Minaplo> ["Uuuu…"-
[01:59] <Minaplo> [Lizzie was altogether not happy about the early departure, and her head was constantly dipping continually against Isaiah's shoulder.-
[01:59] <Minaplo> [Isha was there to see them off, along with Skippy the Kangaroo. It was an odd sight, but…-
[01:59] <Minaplo> ["And so we finally part ways, at least for now." Said Isha warmly… A little wistfully.]
01[02:01] <Yanmei> "It's only for a few days? If we're successful I'm sure someone will come to move you guys to a safer place. We'll probably be reunited."
[02:04] <Minaplo> ["Let's hope so. But if we aren't- and don't say it's not possible, many things can happen- stay safe, alright?"]
01[02:07] <Yanmei> "We will. You too, okay?" Yanmei extended a handshake.
[02:11] <Minaplo> [He took it firmly, shaking it. "We'll be here when you get back. Thank you for everything, Yanmei."-
[02:11] <Minaplo> [A small smile.]
01[02:17] <Yanmei> "I should be thanking you. You're the one who's been looking out for us." She grinned at him broadly. "Call us if anything happens? Goodbye to you too, Skippy."
[02:20] <Minaplo> [The kangaroo nudged Yanmei's face with its hairy, wet nose.-
[02:21] <Minaplo> ["Off you go." Said Isaiah, a concerned look in his eye contrasting with his smile. "Godspeed."]
01[02:30] <Yanmei> "Give Mr. Albus our regards too, when he wakes up." She glanced at Isaiah to make sure that he was ready to go too, and started for the driver's seat.
[02:31] <Minaplo> [Isaiah put Lizzie in her seat, buckling in her firmly, giving her General Bear to play with.-
[02:31] <Minaplo> [He held the door open, allowing Daji to leap up next to Lizzie. "Yip!"-
[02:32] <Minaplo> [… And finally, Isaiah, GPS in hand, hopped into the passenger seat. "Let's go."]
01[02:36] <Yanmei> "Right." She backed out the driveway, giving Isha a last wave. "Something going wrong, huh? Let's hope not?" she muttered to herself.
[02:37] <Minaplo> ["Let's."-
[02:37] <Minaplo> [And…-
[02:37] <Minaplo> [They drove down the street, the odd sight of what seemed like a part of their family- the handsome Indian soldier, once a bounty hunter, next to the kangaroo…-
[02:37] <Minaplo> [Eventually fading away.-
[02:37] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[02:38] <Minaplo> ["O-Okay. … Let's get on our route. Do you want me to lay it out for you?"]
01[02:39] <Yanmei> "Yeah…" Her eyes lingered on the rearview mirror for just a moment longer, and then turned to the road ahead.
[02:46] <Minaplo> ["Alright…"-
[02:46] <Minaplo> ["…" He coughed.-
[02:46] <Minaplo> ["Ok. The path I've taken loops about a bit. I'm trying to avoid Texas."]
01[02:47] <Yanmei> "What's so bad about that place?"
[02:49] <Minaplo> ["Impact, remember? Mexico was pretty much wiped out, and the border was flooded with refugees- but Texas took a lot of damage too. There was a lot of chaos in Texas and New Mexico. New Mexico got off pretty lightly in the end, but for years Texas was just a total mess of gang warfare and chaos. It's different now, but there's a -huge- army garrison in Texas and I really want to avoid the
[02:49] <Minaplo> Army if at all possible."]
01[02:55] <Yanmei> "Perfectly reasonable? So no Texas. Are there any other places we should avoid?"
[02:57] <Minaplo> ["No, we should be fine on the route we're taking. We're taking Route 25 out of the city's north, idly…"]
01[03:00] <Yanmei> "Right." Yanmei turned appropriately and before long, they were on that very highway. "…there are a few things I've been meaning to ask you since we came here, by the way?"
[03:01] <Minaplo> ["Go ahead."]
01[03:07] <Yanmei> "I'm not saying we're going to run into them again? But when we were facing that Dyangelion and that horrible stupid witch, how did you know how to do that thing? With Excalibur?"
[03:10] <Minaplo> ["Ah…"-
[03:11] <Minaplo> [He scratched the back of his head. "I… Er, I don't remember. It's kind of hazy, honestly. I remember parts of it. I remember that I needed to grab the Excalibur you own, so I used your memories of where you left it to bring it to us. But changing it…"-
[03:12] <Minaplo> ["I think EVA-08 had more to do with that than me, because I don't really know. I think Dirac was involved…"]
01[03:17] <Yanmei> "I see…" she said, although she didn't really. "Well, don't worry about it too much. I slipped it right under your seat when we were loading our things earlier? So if anything happens…"
[03:17] <Minaplo> ["… Man, I hope we don't get pulled over. That'll be hard to explain."-
[03:19] <Minaplo> [He put on a deep voice with an outrageously broad American southern accent. "'You have anythang to declair'? 'Yes, sir, one psychic replica of an all-powerful weapon of a godlike being, would that be filed under 'dangerous object', 'weapon of mass destruction' or 'top-security state secret'?"]
01[03:20] <Yanmei> "You're forgetting that I don't have a drivers license in this country either," she said cheerfully.
[03:21] <Minaplo> ["Yes you do."]
01[03:24] <Yanmei> "Got it taken care of yesterday, huh~ Good call."
[03:26] <Minaplo> ["I put it in your purse. If anyone asks, by the way, you're twenty years old."]
01[03:30] <Yanmei> "Oho. An age that suits someone of my maturity~"
[03:38] <Minaplo> ["Let's not get carried away~"-
[03:39] <Minaplo> [And so they drove, leaving the light urban centre of Albuquerque behind them.-
[03:41] <Minaplo> [The next few hours were… Uneventful. They spent their time chatting about random things, delighting in a smooth car that had no problems and had a functioning air conditioner. Lizzie fell asleep again after the first hour, and Daji continually napped as well.-
[03:42] <Minaplo> [They passed through Santa Fe- a small city, the capital of New Mexico- stopping briefly for a drink and a bit of food before heading off again.-
[03:43] <Minaplo> [The terrain changed, slowly at first, and then much more quickly. What greenery there was began to subside, replaced by miles and miles of arid wasteland, dry and unending. Just looking at it sapped the will.-
[03:45] <Minaplo> [About two and a half hours had passed since they left New Mexico when they came to a smallish town called Springer- dilapidated and nearly empty, a faded courthouse dominating the centre of the town, a huge, crumbling sculpture of the Ten Commandments directly outside. They didn't stay long in Springer before Isaiah directed them east, down Route 412- off to Oklahoma.-
[03:45] <Minaplo> ["Three hours down. Another… Seven to go." He said cheerfully.]
01[03:50] <Yanmei> "Hmpf. Hang in there." Yanmei was watching the road tiredly. "We'll take another break soon?"
[03:56] <Minaplo> ["Yeah… Makes you kind of appreciate an Eva's speed, huh?"]
01[04:00] <Yanmei> "Completely. Ugh. Maybe we could play a game to pass the time?"
[04:00] <Minaplo> ["A game, huh…?"]
01[04:06] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Like seeing who can spot the most cars or… something." She glanced at the back seat with naked envy. Lizzie had her toys and her little dvds to keep her entertained.
[04:08] <Minaplo> ["You want me to take over driving for a bit?" He asked, catching the look. "You can take a nap in the back or the like…"]
01[04:12] <Yanmei> "No, it's fine. I can keep going for a while?"
[04:16] <Minaplo> [He nodded.-
[04:16] <Minaplo> [The road kept going for them, kept going for another long hour and a half. They pulled into a small town called Clapton, probably the last stop they'd get in New Mexico.-
[04:16] <Minaplo> [The sun was blazing strong overhead now…-
[04:17] <Minaplo> [And Lizzie was becoming fussy in the back from thirst and from wanting to stretch her legs. A quick stop, an icy-cold bottle of soft drink for them, and away they went…-
[04:17] <Minaplo> ["And on we go to Oklahoma City. Should be another five hours from here." Said Isaiah. "We'll probably stop there for tonight."]
01[04:20] <Yanmei> "Pretty good idea." Yanmei kept at the wheel. Stopping for the night! That sounded so nice. -
01[04:22] <Yanmei> Her mind had started to wander to other times and places between conversations and the sound of the radio. She was learning to handle the boredom a bit better now, it seemed. "You know who I'd like to talk to again, if I got the chance? That Gamelin guy. Just for a minute or two?"
[04:23] <Minaplo> ["Gamelin? Why's that?"]
01[04:24] <Yanmei> "Because I didn't really get the chance to ask him stuff after we took him down. Like, about Mina and how it controlled him, and the warning signs he saw for it before it actually, well, happened."
[04:25] <Minaplo> ["That's a good idea. So we can identify other people who are at risk, right?"]
01[04:26] <Yanmei> "Exactly." She hesitated. "Mina wasn't a spawn, you know."
[04:33] <Minaplo> ["He wasn't?"]
01[04:34] <Yanmei> "It was a sentient weapon. I think."
[04:35] <Minaplo> ["A… Sentient weapon? Like Excalibur?"]
01[04:38] <Yanmei> "That's right? Except maybe not as powerful. I can't recall who originally used it, and I don't know how it got to Gamelin or what its real form is. Did we even really defeat it?"
[04:38] <Minaplo> ["I don't think we could really permanently destroy any of these things…"]
01[04:39] <Yanmei> "Yeah…" She resisted the urge to glance at Isaiah's seat.
03[04:43] * ZackGraduation is now known as Zack
[04:44] <Minaplo> ["We'll add it to the list of things to do, then- talk to Gamelin about it. I dunno if he'll know anything, but he might. Damnit- the Angels seem to have some really amazing things…"]
01[04:48] <Yanmei> "Excalibur has been known to do some amazing things too? But… I mean, isn't it a little suspicious? It's sentient, and yet its allowing itself to be used by humans."
[04:50] <Minaplo> ["An Eva's supposed to be a super-powerful demigod, too… I dunno. These things are weird. Perhaps it thinks it can use you somehow."]
06[04:53] * Yanmei frowned at that. "I think so too. It's… manipulative? Using people is absolutely something it would do. But why me?"
[04:55] <Minaplo> ["Maybe you're just the most convenient. I mean, if I were a hellish sentient weapon hellbent on using mankind for my own nefarious ends, and I had to choose between Aline, Sera, and you, I'd definitely pick you, and not just because you were the cutest."]
01[04:59] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[05:02] <Minaplo> ["You have the most authority, your Evangelion is the most aggressive of the three, Sera's…"-
[05:02] <Minaplo> [Isaiah made a dark face…-
[05:02] <Minaplo> ["And goodness knows what's up with Aline, but supernatural weirdness follows her like a bad rash. You're the safest, sanest option."]
01[05:07] <Yanmei> "Assuming that it what? Wants eventual control or something? Uggh, we don't even know what it's after! It's seriously frustrating?"
03[05:14] * SyntaxTerror (if.atsiakajaal-asile.732-61-451-19a|rreTxatnyS#if.atsiakajaal-asile.732-61-451-19a|rreTxatnyS) has joined #nervfrance
[05:14] <Minaplo> ["We can probably assume that it wants to at the least wipe out mankind and establish Angelic dominance. But that doesn't really tell us much about the interim."]
01[05:19] <Yanmei> "Yeah… Well. Just keep an eye out for it, okay? And if I start acting weird… like, possessed, or whatever, knock some sense into me fast."
[05:19] <Minaplo> ["…" He shot her an alarmed glance.-
[05:20] <Minaplo> ["… I'll do my best, but let's hope it doesn't come to that."-
[05:22] <Minaplo> [The sun was setting when they arrived in Oklahoma City. Compared to places like Clayton or Springer, or even Santa Fe, Oklahoma City was practically a metropolis.-
[05:22] <Minaplo> [… Actually, it was probably bigger than Paris-2.-
[05:23] <Minaplo> [They found a motel for the night and rested up, working off some steam from the onerous twelve-hour drive in the meantime. Lizzie was definitely happy to be free.-
[05:23] <Minaplo> [They hid Daji well.-
[05:23] <Minaplo> [And then… Up again the next day at the crack of dawn, piling into the car.-
[05:24] <Minaplo> ["R-R-R-Route 40 to Little Rock, Arkansas, sweetheart. East." Said Isaiah, yawning, chewing on an egg and burger roll.-
[05:24] <Minaplo> [In the back seat, Lizzie was furtively slipping handfuls of her hash browns to Daji.]
01[05:26] <Yanmei> "Lizzie, you know better than to feed her at the table! Er…" She paused in mid-scold. That didn't quite apply here.
[05:27] <Minaplo> ["Maamaa." Lizzie tsked. "Not at table, maamaa!"-
[05:28] <Minaplo> [Isaiah snickered.-
[05:29] <Minaplo> ["We'll need to detour north-east at Little Rock so we can bypass the New Mississippi Gulf, though…"]
01[05:30] <Yanmei> "Another detour? How come?" She said sullenly.
[05:32] <Minaplo> ["Impact, again. When Impact happened, a hell of a lot of earthquakes happened in the southern US. And all over the US, I mean, but especially in the south. The huge rise in ocean levels and the earthquakes splitting open a lot of the land around the Mississippi meant that practically the entire state was swallowed by the ocean, along with parts of other states too. Arkansas is practically
[05:32] <Minaplo> a coastal city now…"]
[05:33] <Minaplo> <Little Rock*>
01[05:37] <Yanmei> "Oh…" Yanmei exhaled sharply and reached for the large coffee that was in the driver's side cup holder. "Well, that makes sense? How are we doing so far, anyway? Making good time?"
[05:39] <Minaplo> ["Not bad time. One state down, four more to go. If we push ourselves today, we should be able to arrive in eastern Tennessee, just in time for our final rush to Washington."]
01[05:42] <Yanmei> "Heh." She took a long drink and set it down again. "Right! Here's goes nothing!" She gave the accelerator an extra little push, as if to make the car match her sudden vigor. "Tennessee or bust!"
[05:44] <Minaplo> ["Bust bust!" Chimed Lizzie happily.-
[05:44] <Minaplo> ["Yip yip yip!"-
[05:45] <Minaplo> [Oklahoma City faded into the distance behind them, along with its buildings, its people, and corn as high as an Iron Guard's eye.-
[05:47] <Minaplo> [They made good time, even if the expansive land of the United States seemed to go on forever. It took them a full three hours to leave Oklahoma state behind them.-
[05:48] <Minaplo> [Here, the air became a little cooler, the terrain a little greener as they passed into Arkansas, breezing through the border town of Van Buren on their way to Little Rock.-
[05:48] <Minaplo> [About forty minutes out of Van Buren, Yanmei would notice the low fuel indicator blinking… And, to her luck, find a petrol station ten minutes later, looking rusty and run-down, but still clearly in use.]
01[05:52] <Yanmei> So she pulled over, despite her offended sensibilities. It looked dirty and dusty, and there could be all manner of snakes or spiders or - what else was there in U.S.? Wolves? - lurking about out of sight. "Let's get out of here as soon as possible," she muttered.
[05:54] <Minaplo> ["No kidding." He said, and yet he was smirking a little to himself.-
[05:54] <Minaplo> ["Alright. You fill up, I'll go pay? Want anything to eat or drink?"]
01[05:57] <Yanmei> "I'm okay for now? Take the kid to the restroom for a minute, though, okay? And give me a minute to do the same once I'm gone filling the car."
01[05:57] <Yanmei> ^done filling
[05:58] <Minaplo> ["Sure. C'mon, Lizzie. Let's take you to the bathroom."-
[06:02] <Minaplo> [And so the two of them wandered off, leaving Yanmei alone with Daji and an empty, spooky old petrol station.-
[06:03] <Minaplo> [The squeak of wheels and the growl of an engine reached her ears- she'd see a dirty white utility vehicle rocking up, the back full of tools and wood…]
01[06:05] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei slipped a short glance to the side at it, and then quickly looked back at her car. "Damn." People. She was on high alert now. What if they recognized her?
[06:06] <Minaplo> [What indeed.-
03[06:13] * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
[06:19] <Minaplo> [The two inhabitants got out. One was thin and sharp, wearing a grey-blue t-shirt and shorts under a bright yellow roadwork vest. The other was burly and large, rather hirsute. He took a cigarette out of his breast pocket and lit up- Yanmei could smell the tobacco from here…]
01[06:24] <Yanmei> Yanmei continued pumping her gas after one initial polite nod in their general direction. Nothing to see here. Just a regular person stopping to fill up her regular car…
[06:27] <Minaplo> [Clunk, clunk, clunk.-
[06:27] <Minaplo> [The sound of footsteps as the smoker walked over, resting casually against the back of the car, watching her fill up the tank.-
[06:28] <Minaplo> ["You look like an out-of-towner, girl."]
01[06:30] <Yanmei> "Just passing through?" she replied.
[06:30] <Minaplo> ["That so?" He chuckled darkly.-
[06:30] <Minaplo> ["Looks like a nice ride."]
01[06:32] <Yanmei> "It's a rental." She refused to look at him now. Why was he nosing around?
[06:32] <Minaplo> ["I bet it is."-
[06:32] <Minaplo> ["Or did you mean the car?"-
[06:32] <Minaplo> [The thin man came over, now, kicking his friend in the shins. "Dude, you're making us look like hicks. Cut it out."]
01[06:36] <Yanmei> "Indeed." Now she -was- looking at them, with a withering glare. First Severus, and now these assholes? She thought of Excalibur, still tucked away under the passenger seat.
[06:44] <Minaplo> ["What? I'm only having some fun with this here pretty young lady. You gotta play about a bit with these Asian girls-"-
[06:44] <Minaplo> [Another kick, this time a little harder. "Dude, just shut up and go pay…"-
[06:45] <Minaplo> [With a final dark look, the irritating guy left- leaving the thin man to shrug apologetically at Yanmei before listlessly wandering off.]
06[06:47] * Yanmei scowled at the thin guy too, until he turned his back to her, and then finished filling up. She then waited for Lizzie and Isaiah to return before going in to pay and to use the restroom.
[06:48] <Minaplo> [To Yanmei's annoyance or relief, Daji seemed to insist on escorting Yanmei at least a part of the way…-
[06:48] <Minaplo> [And before long, they were back in the car, rested and refuelled and ready to go, Isaiah sipping on an absolutely massive lime slurpee, and Lizzie sipping on a smaller one.-
[06:49] <Minaplo> ["No trouble?"]
01[06:51] <Yanmei> "Grrr…." Settling behind the wheel, Yanmei scratched Daji behind the ears briefly before letting her slip into the back seat with Lizzie. It was somewhat soothing and made her feel a little better. -
01[06:52] <Yanmei> "More drinks, huh? We're not stopping again until we get to someplace nicer."
03[06:52] * SyntaxTerror is now known as Sept
[06:53] <Minaplo> ["Sounds good to me."-
[06:53] <Minaplo> [And so they left the gas station behind. Good riddance.-
[06:54] <Minaplo> [Another two hours passed… But this time they became surprisingly less boring.-
[06:54] <Minaplo> [As they approached Little Rock they saw more… Things. More grass, distant forests, the air became damper and lighter. Yanmei could smell… The sea?-
[06:56] <Minaplo> [And they saw cars. A lot more cars. And towns…-
[06:56] <Minaplo> [And eventually they came upon Little Rock. They saw it way before they actually arrived.-
[06:58] <Minaplo> [In the years after Impact, Little Rock had changed, actually benefitting from the massive cataclysm that had wiped out two US States and ruined others. Where the southern US coast had once been dotted with rich and fairly prosperous coastal cities such as New Orleans or Mobile, now that wealth and prominence flowed into Little Rock- a once-landlocked city that now had a coast.-
[07:00] <Minaplo> [Where a great deal of the country outside of the coasts had been neglected in the last 18 years, Little Rock hadn't. Yanmei could easily see that this was a city that easily dwarfed Paris-2… And could probably give some of the great cities a run for their money.]
06[07:04] * Yanmei tried not to gape. It was flashy and exciting, and scent of salt water was a powerful if not nice change. "Look at all the clothes stores… Jeez, it's so vibrant compared to Albuquerque?" -
01[07:07] <Yanmei> She paused at a stop light to wistfully watch a parade of odd but colorfully-dressed Americans stroll across the crosswalk. "Hm." She looked down at the super plain navy dress and brown jacket she was wearing and sighed.
[07:09] <Minaplo> [Isaiah smiled, putting a hand on her leg and patting it supportively. "Soon, sweetheart."]
01[07:11] <Yanmei> "Heh. Yeah, I know." She smiled back at him, and had to stop herself from leaning against him lovingly. "There are more important things to worry about?"
[07:19] <Minaplo> [And so they passed through Little Rock, travelling on the periphery to avoid the crowds- but even then they passed roads crowded with glamorous shops and bustling food courts and internet cafes.-
[07:20] <Minaplo> [And then onwards, to the northeast, following the I-40…-
[07:21] <Minaplo> [Following the New Mississipi Bay up until it narrowed down into a massive river, which they crossed over on a gargantuan bridge.-
[07:24] <Minaplo> [Two hours total had passed since they'd left the metropolis of Little Rock, and now they were passing through Memphis, Tennessee.-
[07:25] <Minaplo> ["Wanna check out Graceland?" Asked Isaiah with a coy grin. "The home of Elvis Presley, if you're not sure…"]
01[07:26] <Yanmei> "Do we have time for that?" she looked over at him curiously.
[07:29] <Minaplo> ["Eh, I'm not -that- interested. Also, the less we're seen around famous tourist attractions, the better. Especially Elvis's. Nothing but trouble there."]
01[07:31] <Yanmei> "Oh? What kind of trouble? 'Graceland' sounds so nice and serene~"
[07:34] <Minaplo> ["Young, impressionable innocent ladies like you have been known to go a little wild in the presence of the King."]
06[07:35] * Yanmei snorted. "Are you serious? I -am- a king. Nothing this guy has can be all that impressive?"
[07:37] <Minaplo> ["My apologies, mon Empereur. Fine. Let's come back after we're done, and we'll see if you go a little wild…"]
01[07:39] <Yanmei> "Maybe we will." Yanmei tossed her wig-hair. "Now. Let's hurry and find a place to stop for the night."
[07:41] <Minaplo> ["We've got a few hours left first. C'mon, let's try to get to Nashville at least, hon."]
01[07:43] <Yanmei> "All right, all right. Lemme know when we get close?"
[07:45] <Minaplo> ["Sure thing."-
[07:45] <Minaplo> [The final leg of today's trip was three hours. Onward to Nashville…-
[07:46] <Minaplo> [Home of a whole genre of people crooning on old guitars about losing their dog to their wife, who was crushed by an Angel just after the divorce.-
[07:46] <Minaplo> [Another stop in a motel…-
[07:47] <Minaplo> [… When horror struck as Yanmei was preparing for bed. There were only single beds, but they were on wheels- she'd have to push them together to make a double for herself and Isaiah. That wasn't the horror. The horror would appear when she moved the bed…]
03[07:47] * Minaplo|Out (~ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM) has joined #nervfrance
02[07:48] * Minaplo (~ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM) Quit (Broken pipe)
03[07:49] * Minaplo|Out is now known as Minaplo
06[07:49] * Yanmei moved it, grunting slightly at the effort as Lizzie and Isaiah played together with Daji. Why was she doing all of the work around here? Hmph…
03[07:52] * Minaplo|Out (~ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM) has joined #nervfrance
02[07:54] * Minaplo (~ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.622-68-051-421|olpaniM) Quit (Broken pipe)
02[07:56] * Raphael (~ua.moc.odod.lsd.citats.122-511-841-221|leahpaR#ua.moc.odod.lsd.citats.122-511-841-221|leahpaR) Quit (Quit: )
[07:56] <Minaplo|Out> […-
[07:56] <Minaplo|Out> [The entire carpet under the bed was -coated- in…-
[07:57] <Minaplo|Out> [Eggs. Little moth eggs, that had cracked, along with moth shells and skins that had been shed and allowed to sit, ignored by the cleaning staff. There had to be dozens- hundreds of them.]
06[07:58] * Yanmei stared. She felt goosebumps prickle her arms, and a touch of bile on the back of her throat. "Right, then…" she managed. "Right. Well. Get your things. Isaiah, Go to the desk and get your money back. We're sleeping in the car tonight?"
[08:40] <Minaplo|Out> ["Huh? What's the proooooogodwhat."-
[08:40] <Minaplo|Out> [A quick debate with the front desk saw them quickly refunded, and bundled back into the car.-
[08:40] <Minaplo|Out> ["We still have time to find another motel. I'll do a quick search for good places…"]
01[08:42] <Yanmei> "All right. This time, we check under the beds before we get comfortable?" Yanmei rubbed her arms, still feeling to goosebumps there. "Ugh. I don't believe that place…"
[08:43] <Minaplo|Out> ["Madame sure has gotten used to sleeping in a proper bed again." He said teasingly as he pulled up a list of respectable inns.]
01[08:48] <Yanmei> "I don't remember sleeping on moth-infested floors even in Melbourne," Yanmei pointed out.
[08:49] <Minaplo|Out> [He chuckled.-
[08:49] <Minaplo|Out> [Eventually, however, an inn was found, a respectable one without horrible moth shells or other problems.-
[08:50] <Minaplo|Out> [They tucked Lizzie in- the little girl totally exhausted- Daji curled up at her side, and retired…-
[08:50] <Minaplo|Out> [… And again, the next day, up at the crack of dawn, ready to leave Nashville and the South behind on their last leg.-
[08:50] <Minaplo|Out> ["Ready?" Asked Isaiah, cutting up the last of Lizzie's maple syrup-and-hot-butter-coated hotcakes for her to eat in the car.]
01[08:52] <Yanmei> "Yeah," Yanmei was with her coffee again, rubbing at her eyes. "Last day, huh?"
[08:52] <Minaplo|Out> [In the backseat, Lizzie was sneakily feeding hotcake morsels to Daji…-
[08:53] <Minaplo|Out> ["Last day. Washington awaits, sweetie~"]
01[08:55] <Yanmei> "That's right~ Lizzie, -no-" she said sternly. "Eat your breakfast properly!"
[08:56] <Minaplo|Out> ["But maamaa!" Said Lizzie hotly. "Jiji not get brekkie! Jiji -hungry-!"]
01[08:57] <Yanmei> "You are a growing girl, and you need to eat. We have other food that Daji can enjoy."
[08:58] <Minaplo|Out> ["…" Lizzie pouted rebelliously, but grumpily began eating her hotcakes herself.-
[08:58] <Minaplo|Out> [Daji simply curled up next to her, giving Yanmei a suspiciously smug 'yip yip'.-
[08:59] <Minaplo|Out> ["All ready to go~?" Asked Isaiah, a clearly delighted look on his face at his adorable little girl~]
06[09:00] * Yanmei frowned at him. Also at Daji. She was ready to go, though, and began to drive.
[09:03] <Minaplo|Out> [And so they put the sun to their front and set sail for the coast.-
[09:04] <Minaplo|Out> [Nashville fell behind them, and then Knoxville, and eventually- the entire state.-
[09:04] <Minaplo|Out> [At top speed they drove past a large green sign saying: Welcome to Virginia.-
[09:06] <Minaplo|Out> [By the time they hit their first major Virginian city- Roanoke- the sun had moved across half the sky and burned directly above.-
[09:09] <Minaplo|Out> [After a quick stop in Roanoke for coffee and snacks- during which Lizzie somehow got lost and was found by Daji, who dragged her back to a frantic Yanmei- they piled back into the car and began their final leg of this marathon. Next stop: Washington, D.C.]
06[09:12] * Yanmei drove on, now a little more shakey than before. Every now and then, she glanced in the backseat as if to convince herself that Lizzie was still there.
[09:19] <Minaplo|Out> [The fox was still there, licking Lizzie's hand occasionally…-
[09:21] <Minaplo|Out> [The hours passed, continually slowly, as Yanmei could -feel- their destination approaching, so close, so close…!-
[09:21] <Minaplo|Out> [The sun was burning in the west when they came within sight of the Potomac River. And beyond that- the capital of the United States.]
01[09:24] <Yanmei> "Glorious," Yanmei murmured. Her body was tense now, however, her nerves bunching together tightly. This was it. It had been a long way, but they were finally there. A long but… oddly smooth way.
[09:27] <Minaplo|Out> ["Here we go." Said Isaiah with a huge grin.-
[09:31] <Minaplo|Out> [They passed over the Arlington Memorial Bridge- and into Washington D.C proper.-
[09:31] <Minaplo|Out> ["Alright then, Mon Empereur. Where to now?"]
01[09:33] <Yanmei> "We get a hotel room. It doesn't have to be a flashy one. It will be our base of operations, a place where we can hide out and rest. I'm going to pay a visit to an old friend as soon as I get a map of this city or something."
[09:41] <Minaplo|Out> ["Sounds like a good idea to me."]
01[09:42] <Yanmei> So Yanmei drove on the edge of the city, searching for such a hotel.
[09:44] <Minaplo|Out> [And they found one, of course- the New America Hotel, a rather respectable, middle-upper-class place. Not big enough to be super-exclusive, but enough to give her a bit of clout if she needed it.]
01[09:45] <Yanmei> Perfect. She parked, hauled their meager things out of the car - including the disguised Excalibur - and herded the rest of her little family in to check in.
[09:53] <Minaplo|Out> [It was a nice hotel room. A large bed for them, a single bed for Lizzie, their own kitchen, two bathrooms, a balcony, air conditioning, television, room service, a gym on the same floor and a pool and spa on the ground floor…-
[09:53] <Minaplo|Out> [Isaiah flopped onto the bed. "Oh my god. I never want to do that again."]
06[09:54] * Yanmei flopped next to him. Instead of relaxing, however, she went through his pocket until she found his phone. "Aha~ While you two take a break, I'll say hello to someone and set up an appointment for tomorrow. Now let's see…" -
01[09:55] <Yanmei> It took some fumbling around, but at last she was able to look up and dial the number she wanted to. "Hello? Mr. Freeman's office?"
[09:58] <Minaplo|Out> ["May I ask who's speaking?"]
01[10:01] <Yanmei> "This is Liang Xiaofan. We haven't met, but I've heard of you through a mutual acquaintance. I was in town this week, and I was hoping that we could arrange to meet."
[10:02] <Minaplo|Out> ["My schedule is very busy right now, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask for more than that."]
01[10:10] <Yanmei> "Very well? The first acquaintance we have in common is President Minerva Linden. The second is Zhang Yanmei, formerly of NERV. In fact, I was hoping to meet to discuss the formal complaints that United States are going to lodge in her behalf against her recent criminal charges."
[10:15] <Minaplo|Out> ["…"-
[10:15] <Minaplo|Out> ["Alright, when do you want to meet?"]
01[10:16] <Yanmei> "Tomorrow morning? The earlier the better. Perhaps we could have breakfast someplace quiet?"
[10:17] <Minaplo|Out> ["Alright. Does the Hamilton Street Cafe sound good to you?"]
01[10:19] <Yanmei> "Yes! That would be wonderful." She had never been, of course. It sounded like she would be underdressed for it. "Thank you so much for your time. You won't regret it."
[10:19] <Minaplo|Out> ["I had better not. Goodbye."-
[10:19] <Minaplo|Out> [A click.]
06[10:20] * Yanmei hung up too, and sighed. "…is he normally a stiff like this to other people? Oh well~ Mission accomplished?"
[10:21] <Minaplo|Out> [Isaiah was staring at Yanmei with slight suspicion. "… You got an appointment with that ambassador guy?"]
01[10:22] <Yanmei> "That's right. I can't just go up to the White House and demand to see the president now that I'm someone else? So I have to go through someone more accessible."
[10:24] <Minaplo|Out> ["Not like the old days, huh." Said Isaiah with a grin. "'Oh Mr. Mazarin~'"]
01[10:26] <Yanmei> "Huh?! I so didn't sound like that." She shoved his arm, playfully. "Our relationship was more businessy?"
[10:26] <Minaplo|Out> ["You totally palled out with him and his little daughter, Mon Empereur… Oh man, you were probably after his job, too!"]
01[10:28] <Yanmei> "How…?! I mean, of course not!"
[10:35] <Minaplo|Out> ["Mmm… One country not enough? I see how it is…"]
01[10:36] <Yanmei> "I said I didn't! Anyway, building an entire empire's a lot more impressive than ruling just one, right?"
[10:37] <Minaplo|Out> ["I dunno about that. It's really easy to conquer an empire, but try holding it all together…"]
01[10:39] <Yanmei> "That's a fair point. But it can seriously be done? Even in today's political climate. Anyway~" She stretched, and flopped over. "All that driving's made me tired. Let's order a pizza, ok? And relax with TV a little."
[10:40] <Minaplo|Out> ["Maaamaa." Lizzie trotted over. "Pizza pizza? I hungry!"]
01[10:42] <Yanmei> "I know sweetie." Yanmei stroked her short, short hair, hoping it would have the same calming effect as before. "Do you want yummy pepperoni?"
[10:43] <Minaplo|Out> ["Yummy peppynonny!"-
[10:44] <Minaplo|Out> ["Maamaa, jiji get pizza too?"]
06[10:45] * Yanmei eyed the fox disapprovingly, and then sighed. She couldn't stay mad after Daji's heroics today. "Only a little, okay? It can't be good for her to eat too much people food…"
[10:45] <Minaplo|Out> [Daji ran about Lizzie delightedly. "Yip yip yip!"-
[10:46] <Minaplo|Out> ["I'll have a supreme, and a meat lovers." Said Isaiah contentedly, sinking into the bed with a huge sigh.
[10:46] <Minaplo|Out> ]
01[10:48] <Yanmei> "Lazy." She poked him in the side. Still, she went to the local handbook left out for the room occupants to use, and dialed the closest pizza joint.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License