Komm Susser Tod 2 1

[21:02] <Minaplo> [END OF EVANGELION. Date: 7th of May, 2018. Location: Peace Vallis, Aeolis Quadrangle, Mars. "Komm Susser Tod" 1.1-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [I know, I know I've let you down-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [I've been a fool to myself-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [I thought that I could-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [Live for no one else-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [But now through all the hurt and pain-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [It's time for me to respect-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [The ones you love-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [Mean more than anything.-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [So with sadness in my heart-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [I feel the best thing I could do-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [Is end it all-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [And leave forever-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [What's done is done, it feels so bad-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [What once was happy now is sad-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [I'll never love again-
[21:03] <Minaplo> [my world is ending…-
[21:05] <Minaplo> ["There."-
[21:05] <Minaplo> [Asuka tossed the notepad onto the desk for Yanmei to see. There were a few lines' worth of numbers, written hastily in blue ink.-
[21:10] <Minaplo> [The first night on Mars had been trying. The final sleeping arrangements had not been made, and so Yanmei and Isaiah had bundled in with the rest of the bridge crew in Marianne's (heavily trashed) quarters. They had retrieved Sera from EVA-01, leaving them practically defenseless; the temperature had been murderously cold, and the room had been filled with the sounds of shuddering and chattering teeth. Marianne's wardrobe had been cannibalised to use as extra blankets, and many of them- Yanmei included- had yet to be given a chance to shower, giving them all a grimy, raw, ragged feel.-
[21:14] <Minaplo> [And all the while, Marianne lay a few metres away, still oblivious to the fate of her family.-
[21:19] <Minaplo> [Eight hours later and with little real sleep, the bridge crew stumbled back into their stations, and were provided each with a litre of drinking water and a single Meal, Ready-to-Eat ration pack.-
[21:19] <Minaplo> [Yanmei had been given one that had promised a chicken fajita, whatever that was, and had been rewarded with the single foulest meal she'd ever tasted. It had actually made her slightly nauseous.-
[21:19] <Minaplo> [And now, more good news.-
[21:20] <Minaplo> [Asuka, Isaiah and Go stood in her 'office'- actually the conference room- having completed their 'head count'. Asuka had tossed their working-out pad down in front of Yanmei.-
[21:21] <Minaplo> [On it were seven numbers. The first six: 3211, 3209, 3206, 3199, 3195, and 3190- were all crossed out. The last one- 3188- remained untouched.-
[21:23] <Minaplo> ["3,188 out of 11,050." Said Asuka. "Not including an extra 511 prisoners we took from the boarding raid. Of that 3,188, we have 813 battle-ready soldiers and marines, down from the 4,400 we'd started with. Of the 3,188, 912 are injured, including 254 with severe life-threatening conditions."]
[21:29] * Yanmei started down at the notes with bleary red eyes. What painfully low numbers… "There were miscounts?" she asked, her voice almost approaching hope. She tapped an index finger amidst the crossed-out numbers.
[21:29] <Minaplo> ["Nope." Said Asuka.-
[21:30] <Minaplo> ["We originally had 3,211." Said Isaiah. "23 people have died since we finished counting."]
[21:37] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared at him a moment before returning her gaze to the notes. "Thank you for all of your hard work," she said numbly. "I know that the groups clearing out the debris have been tasked with rescuing anyone they come across? Do you know much about their progress on that front?"
[21:55] <Minaplo> ["We've established a sort of 'central reporting system'." Said Asuka. "Any and all reports are to be sent to us or someone we've set up to take the reports, telling us about any deaths or recoveries."-
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["We should hopefully hear from them soon." Said Go. "I spoke to Tsubaki and she said there were more souls than she felt like counting on the ship, but I've been directing some of my sisters to go from blocked section to blocked section, pinging for souls and focusing our recovery efforts there when we get positive hits."]
[22:09] <Yanmei> "All right. That's good? Maybe we'll see some more recoveries by the time we leave this place. Ah, some things to be aware of: Sleeping assignments will be in order by this afternoon. Also, we're continuing to transfer the worst of our injured to the Bell while they send us more solldiers to help with the debris. We're also inevitably going to end up asking for civilian volunteers."
[22:10] <Minaplo> [Isaiah's expression darkened, whilst Asuka nodded firmly.-
[22:12] <Minaplo> ["What do we do with the prisoners?" Said Asuka.]
[22:16] <Yanmei> "For now, just make sure they're secure. I don't want to run the risk of one of them breaking free and hurting someone or sending an SOS to Caine."
[22:17] <Minaplo> ["We're gonna share our supplies with 'em, huh." Said Asuka coolly.]
[22:23] <Yanmei> "We aren't going to let them starve to death? But they're low priority, which means they get fewer rations than the average UEF personnel until we come across a surplus."
[22:24] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."-
[22:26] <Minaplo> ["T… That reminds me." Said Go, stepping forward. "There were reports that certain areas of the ship that've since been cordoned or blocked off are actually not holding survivors from the crew, but escaped enemy units that may try to attack or raid reclaimed parts of the ship." Said Go. "I've ordered the clearing teams to inform Marine units if they're close to a breakthrough in the rubble, so they can sweep forward and clean out any such threats."]
[22:31] <Yanmei> "Thank you, Go. That's good thinking."
[22:33] <Minaplo> [Go nodded several times, smiling a little.-
[22:35] <Minaplo> ["Speaking of limited resources." Said Asuka. "Final tally of our current food supplies says we have just enough food on the Dorian to feed everyone on the ship for… About four days."-
[22:40] <Minaplo> ["We have the equivalent of 15,000 meals- one a day- in storage." Said Isaiah. "We can add the 30,000 MREs the Bellsent over to that, and that gives us a total of about 12 days…"-
[22:40] <Minaplo> ["Except that the Bell itself is currently carrying just over 5,500 people." Said Asuka. "So it works out, at best, to maaaaybe 5 days worth of food total."]
[22:41] <Minaplo> [Go muttered something about the MREs under her breath.]
[22:45] <Yanmei> "That's fine. If we stay on schedule, we'll actually be out of here by the time we run out? That being said, we're going to try to bring back some actual food on the first raid. Morale is bad enough without relying on that… horribleness."
[22:47] <Minaplo> ["We have some proposals for that." Said Isaiah. "Maximising benefit for effort. There's an idea we had that might be… Uh, interesting."]
[22:47] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[22:48] <Minaplo> ["Ever since I've been told about Daji being an Impact Feral, I've been combing archives trying to find more examples." Said Isaiah. "I spoke to… Uh. Surov's daughter."-
[22:48] <Minaplo> ["Sarasvati." Said Go.-
[22:48] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I know her name, s'just weird is all."]
01[08:49] <Yanmei> "Tell me about it," Yanmei muttered. "But, uh, yeah. What about the ferals? "
[08:55] <Minaplo> ["There's been some interesting cases where impact ferals and ocean gigantism have cross-pollinated." Said Isaiah. "Apparently, the Bell ran into a giant squid a few months ago that was bigger than an Evangelion, and get this- a cargo ship off the coast of New Zealand sank a few years back. The official report blamed it on pilot error, but the 'real' report said the culprit was an Impact
[08:55] <Minaplo> Feral. A gigantic blue whale, over a hundred metres long."-
[08:56] <Minaplo> ["Whale, huh." Asuka looked over at Go, her eyes narrowing. "Bet you're getting homesick already."-
[08:56] <Minaplo> ["… What?"]
01[09:01] <Yanmei> "Asuka." Yanmei tsked. "But, no. That's a good idea. A whale of that size could feed us for weeks? It's the prepwork that concerns me, though. An Eva can do most of the cleaning an gutting, but where to we get the resources to cook it? Or the manpower, for that matter?"
02[09:12] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.36-02-791-94ap|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.ap.36-02-791-94ap|oaT) Quit (Ping timeout)
[09:12] <Minaplo> ["Wait." Go frowned. "Was that a Japanese thing…? That's racist!"-
03[09:13] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.032-57-632-022d|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.032-57-632-022d|oaT) has joined #nervfrance
[09:19] <Minaplo> ["You're racist." Snapped Asuka. "Besides, mum was Japanese, doesn't count?" She turned back towards Yanmei. "Look, think of our current supplies as a trust fund. We have enough to last us for a bit, but we need to use that time to set up our resource base. Here's the first idea we had: the ship has a -huge- amount of food prep space. Kitchens and the like. If we dedicated a group of people
[09:19] <Minaplo> to do nothing but cook whale meat all day long, we could have a small group of people provide for the majority. We spoke to Surov and Miss Fembot about power supplies, and we came up with the idea of seeing if we can use the power cores of Stormtrooper power armour, as well as damaged suits of our own, to increase our power supply enough for us to use the electric cooking stuff in the
[09:19] <Minaplo> kitchens."]
01[09:26] <Yanmei> "Don't suppose they were able to come up with a way to heat the rest of the ship and cook stuff at the same time?" Yanmei muttered.
[09:27] <Minaplo> ["Surov thinks he may be able to refine the whale oil into a sort of burnable fuel."]
01[09:36] <Yanmei> "What a relief. A terrible-smelling one, but still!" She grinned. "Don't spread the news about the whaling trip just yet. The Evas have never done it before, and we don't want to disappoint people if it doesn't work?"
[09:36] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, we're playing this pretty close to our chests." Said Asuka.-
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["… You speak like an American, and always support Germany at the football." Muttered Go. "And you never even eat with chopsticks! In fact, whenever we eat at your place its always the same German stuff… You don't get to play the Japanese card unless you actually do something Japanese!"-
[09:46] <Minaplo> ["Yeah? What're you suggesting?" Asked Asuka, clearly irritated. Perhaps she hadn't been expecting such resistance. "Want me to put on a dumb mask and costume and scare children?"-
[09:46] <Minaplo> ["You scare children easily enough." Muttered Go.-
[09:47] <Minaplo> ["You could always run a maid cafe. Raise morale." Said Isaiah airily.-
[09:47] <Minaplo> ["Pervert."]
06[09:59] * Yanmei coughed daintily into her fist. She was compelled to act in a way that kept the peace… but this was fascinating. Since when was Go able to snap at Asuka? "Was there anything else you three wanted to report?"
[10:06] <Minaplo> [They all shook their heads- all except Asuka, who suddenly looked indecisive.-
[10:06] <Minaplo> ["Er, I have something I need to report in private." Said Asuka.]
01[10:11] <Yanmei> "All right. You guys take five for a little while, ok?" She nodded to Go and Isaiah.
[10:14] <Minaplo> [They nodded, both of them departing.]
06[10:19] * Yanmei regarded Asuka, then, waving to one of the open chairs at the table. "What's up?"
[10:20] <Minaplo> [She flopped down into the chair heavily, lifting her legs and plopping them on the table. "So, remember when you told me my dad's alive?"]
01[10:21] <Yanmei> "Yeah?"
[10:23] <Minaplo> ["I actually dunno how I feel about that."]
01[10:23] <Yanmei> "Ah…?" Yanmei blinked slowly. "You're not happy?"
[10:28] <Minaplo> ["It's kinda hard to put into words. I know a bunch of people've lost family." Said Asuka. "I know a lot have, as a matter of fact. I should be one of the lucky ones, but… Neh. I should explain. I never really told you about my dad, right?"]
06[10:31] * Yanmei shook her head.
[10:37] <Minaplo> ["Ok. You remember how we all learned that my mama ended up put into EVA-02, right?"]
06[10:39] * Yanmei nodded, frowning a little awkwardly at the memory.
[10:40] <Minaplo> ["I dunno the specifics, but it seemed the first contact process only put half of her into the Eva at first. It left what was left behind a little disturbed." Said Asuka quietly. "They gave me special dispensation to go visit her in Germany."]
01[10:44] <Yanmei> "R-really?" Her frown turned more troubled now. That sounded awfully familiar.
[10:51] <Minaplo> ["Well, I was in there, trying to speak to my mama, who was… Pretty out of it. She kept talking to a weird doll she'd made that looked like me, and…"-
[10:52] <Minaplo> [Asuka paused for a moment, grimacing, reaching up to scratch slightly at her eyepatch.-
[10:52] <Minaplo> ["Guess where my dad was during all this?"]
01[10:57] <Yanmei> "Buried in research?" she guessed optimistically.
[10:58] <Minaplo> ["Oh, yeah, he was buried alright. I wouldn't call it research, though?" Said Asuka bitterly. "He was next door, pumping what ended up being my little brother into my mother's doctor."]
01[11:02] <Yanmei> "A-ah. No wonder you're not close?"
[11:04] <Minaplo> ["No kidding. Guess it's also kind of why I hate hospitals." Muttered Asuka. "S'why I always hope for a male doctor- that's kind of fucked up, isn't it."]
01[11:07] <Yanmei> "Well, once bitten…" Yanmei folded her arms. "You're not the weird one here. Well, not that you aren't weird? But it's not for that reason. What are you going to do now?"
[11:11] <Minaplo> ["I dunno. See, he's apparently on the Bell. With his wife- my mum's old doctor- and their three kids." She scratched the back of her neck. "I've never met my half-siblings. Kinda never wanted to. If we're being honest, I didn't give a damn if he lived or died. I dunno how to act about any of this. I was kinda hoping you might be able to maybe sort of give some advice?"]
01[11:18] <Yanmei> "Hmm." Yanmei glanced down thoughtfully. "Keep it under your hat, but… my grandfather showed up just a little while before we went on this mission. We'd never met before? But apparently he abandoned me and my mom after Impact."
[11:23] <Minaplo> ["Dick. Did you kick his ass?"]
01[11:28] <Yanmei> "No. We talked and got to know each other. My mom still hates him, though. Thing is that he was the one who came to us, not the other way around. Like, he was the one asking for forgiveness? If he hadn't done that, I think he wouldn't even exist to me as far as I was concerned."
[11:29] <Minaplo> ["So what you're saying is, I should ignore my dickhead of a dad until he comes to me!" Said Asuka, brightening. "Man, this is easy! Thanks, Yanmei!"]
01[11:36] <Yanmei> "There is one exception you should consider." Yanmei pointed out. "This might be your last chance to go to him and punch or yell at him. It shouldn't be hard to get him to meet you alone for that if we go through Linden."
[11:40] <Minaplo> ["Hmm." Asuka considered this. "I do wanna punch him…"]
01[11:41] <Yanmei> "Wanna take a day to think about it? Neither of you are going anywhere."
[11:42] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, true enough." Asuka sighed.-
[11:43] <Minaplo> [Asuka swung herself off the table and onto her feet. She walked over to Yanmei, turned around, and sort of flopped right into Yanmei's lap.]
01[11:47] <Yanmei> "Wha-?!" Yanmei jumped, clearly not expecting that. "You already had a chair, you know?"
[11:48] <Minaplo> ["Man, don't make a big deal out of it." Muttered Asuka. "It's just you and me in here, so it's not like it's something you need to worry about?"-
[11:48] <Minaplo> ["I just kinda wanted a hug, is all." She added in a small tone.]
06[11:55] * Yanmei blinked and then smirked. Still, she put an arm around her and hugged, going along with it. "I get it."
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["I know you're trying to put up a strong face." Said Asuka. "So you can hide just how bad things are, and how bad you feel, from everyone else. That's right, right?"]
06[12:08] * Yanmei froze for a second, and then chuckled. "Come on. It's impossible for anyone to hide how bad things are?"
[12:09] <Minaplo> ["But you're trying to. Or at least, trying to show that it's not affecting you. Right?"]
01[12:22] <Yanmei> "I'm fine, Asuka, really. It's a little stressful, but I'm not gonna die from it?"
[12:28] <Minaplo> ["Hm."-
[12:28] <Minaplo> [Asuka lolled back now, falling into the hug and resting her head against Yanmei's shoulder. "You're putting on a brave face even for me? Pfeh. Now I feel insulted~"]
01[12:39] <Yanmei> "Baka." Yanmei gave her a little nudge. "My family's still alive? I'm one of the lucky ones, so I don't get to complain."
[12:43] <Minaplo> ["S'true."-
[12:43] <Minaplo> [Asuka let out a sigh. "Y'know, fuck him. If he wants to meet with me, he can, but I don't feel like going to him. I might see if his brats are anything worthwhile, but meh."-
[12:44] <Minaplo> [She turned a little towards Yanmei. "My real family's right here."]
01[12:53] <Yanmei> Surprise. And then… her expression softened a little, even with the imminent teasing. "Does this mean you're gonna start calling me 'big sis'?"
[12:59] <Minaplo> ["Only if it means you start drinking a whole lakeful of milk." Said Asuka immediately.]
01[13:06] <Yanmei> Yanmei's face soured. "That's just a dumb wivestale. Also, it's a lucky thing you consider me family, because we're moving in together for the next few days."
[13:11] <Minaplo> ["… Eh?"]
01[13:14] <Yanmei> "It's part of the new sleeping assignments. All the officer bedrooms are being converted into, like, dorm rooms. Some of them, like ours, are big enough to fit half a dozen people in."
[13:14] <Minaplo> ["Wait, so… It's not just us, is it? Who else is in there?"]
01[13:18] <Yanmei> "Fontaine. Isaiah. Ayanami Rei and Wellesley."
[13:19] <Minaplo> ["Ah. A-haaa." Asuka smirked. "So you and your boy, me and my boy, and that Rei and her pet OD, huh…"]
01[13:22] <Yanmei> "Figured it'd be good for morale if the couples stayed together. All the other pilots will be sharing rooms too, naturally?"
[13:22] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh."-
[13:22] <Minaplo> ["Hm~"]
01[13:26] <Yanmei> "'Hm~' What? What are you planning?"
[13:38] <Minaplo> ["Nothing. Just figure it'll be as good a time as any to get to know that Rei that everyone keeps going on about. Haven't really spoken to her much."-
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["And of course, I have logistics to plan."-
[13:42] <Minaplo> [She leaned back against Yanmei, and seemed to headbutt Yanmei's cheek slightly before hopping off. "I'll see you 'round, fearless leader."]
[13:39] <Yanmei> "Sure thing?" Yanmei rubbed her cheek once or twice, and then leaned back in her chair. "Be nice!" She called after her, as an afterthought.
[13:40] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, yeah." She paused near the door, turning around. "Oh. Do me a favour?"]
[13:41] <Yanmei> "Yeah?"
[13:42] <Minaplo> ["Give Go something. A position, or a special rank or something… I dunno."]
[13:43] <Yanmei> A slow grin started to spread across her face. "She impressed you, huh~?"
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["What, and you weren't?"]
[13:54] <Yanmei> "She did all right," she replied, doing her best to sound cool about it. "Anyway, I was thinking of giving her a promotion anyway."
[13:57] <Minaplo> ["What about a special honour? Tell that princess to make her a knight or something, too."]
[13:58] * Yanmei blinked. "I… guess I could do that? Would it be cooler than a promotion or a special medal?"
[13:59] <Minaplo> ["Do both, baka."]
[14:02] <Yanmei> "The knighthood thing is the Princess' decision? But I will talk to her about it once we get off this rock."
[14:08] <Minaplo> ["Hmph, ok." Asuka tossed her hair imperiously, then gave Yanmei a quick wave. "I'll be out on the bridge if you need me."-
[14:08] <Minaplo> [And with that, she stepped through the door and left Yanmei alone.]
[14:14] <Yanmei> Five minutes until her next appointment. It was one she had been dreading all morning… and so she spent to time leading up to it on her feet, pacing around, idly nudging around the chairs.
[14:16] <Minaplo> [Chairs were nudged.]
[14:18] <Minaplo> [When those five minutes were up, however…-
[14:19] <Minaplo> [The door would open, and Marianne would walk through. Looking tired and worn, but apparently holding it together for now. "Hey."]
[14:20] <Yanmei> "H-hey!" Yanmei was, of course, already standing, so she gestured to a chair. "How are you feeling today?"
[14:27] <Minaplo> ["Tired." Said Marianne with a small smile. "Overworked. Grimy. Hungry." She took the offered chair. "I'd forgotten how terrible American field rations tasted."]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "Yeah, we're gonna try to do something about the food? It's pretty… urgent."
[14:34] <Minaplo> ["Yeah?"]
[14:36] <Yanmei> "Asuka, Isiaah and Go just pitched me an idea to try during our first raid. Have you ever tried fresh whale meat before?"
[14:40] <Minaplo> ["… We're hunting whales, now?"]
[14:42] <Yanmei> "It'll pay off, big time."
[14:50] <Minaplo> ["I hope so…"]
[14:55] <Yanmei> "Yeah…" A long, awkward pause. "Um. So, listen. There's a lot to do today, and I know that? But I think maybe you should take the rest of the day off."
[14:56] <Minaplo> ["Huh? But what about all hands on deck?"]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "We can make some exceptions…"
[15:00] <Minaplo> ["Make them to Sophie, instead." Said Marianne. "She's carrying a baby- it'd be pretty lousy if she went on working, and I lazed about."]
[15:03] <Yanmei> "N-no. There's a reason why it's you."
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["What do you mean?"]
[15:10] * Yanmei …fought to collect herself, quietly, before going on. "There's some bad news specifically for you. Caine did a lot of bad stuff when we were on the moon yesterday. Stuff that's worse than attacking all the bases."
[15:15] <Minaplo> [Marianne stared at Yanmei, her eyes narrowing slightly.]
[15:17] <Yanmei> "…she went after your family, Marianne."
[15:21] <Minaplo> [Marianne froze. Her jaw dropped slightly, her mouth hanging open. She wasn't breathing.-
[15:21] <Minaplo> ["What?"]
[15:26] <Yanmei> "She… she just… Marianne, I'm so sorry…"
[15:27] <Minaplo> ["Don't. Say that." Said Marianne, letting out a shallow little breath. "W-which ones?"]
[15:30] * Yanmei inched closer, but her next words seemed to catch in her throat. She just shut her eyes and shook her head. "I'm -so- sorry," she whispered again.
[15:31] <Minaplo> ["No."-
[15:36] <Minaplo> [Marianne began to wrap her hands together, fingers entwining and wringing one another. Her breaths became both shallower and faster.-
[15:37] <Minaplo> [She got to her feet, her shoulders and hands shaking violently. "I-I should go."]
[15:38] <Yanmei> "Marianne?" Yanmei rose after her, hastily, reaching out.
[15:43] <Minaplo> [Marianne pushed her hand away. She turned on her heel and began to stalk to the door. "Frederic- Frederic will be in charge." She said, bursting through the door.-
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["Gosselin, you have the bridge." She shouted, storming towards the elevator.-
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["Huh? But-"-
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["Reports every thirty minutes, ensure the repair work continues." She began jamming the elevator button.-
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["But Captain-"-
[15:46] <Minaplo> ["JUST DO IT!" She roared, slamming a fist into the elevator console. "Just do it, for fuck's sake."-
[15:46] <Minaplo> ["The elevator jammed a few minutes ago, Captain." Said Frederic gently.-
[15:46] <Minaplo> [Marianne squeezed her eyes shut for a second.]
[15:59] * Yanmei had dazedly wandered out after her in time to catch that. Her eyes darted between her and the lone stairwell leading off the Bridge. "Captain… Marianne," she called. "I'm giving you back the conference room for the day. So, please come back?"
[16:01] <Minaplo> [She slammed her hand into the elevator console again. And again.-
[16:01] <Minaplo> ["Fuck. Fuck."-
[16:01] <Minaplo> [She turned to look at Yanmei, and the conference room behind her… She took a single step towards it, but nothing more.]
[16:05] * Yanmei stared back. For a second, she was rooted to the spot… but she broke free, determinedly, striding for her, hand out again. "Please?"
[16:07] <Minaplo> [Yanmei's hand was finally met with one of Marianne's own- shaky and weak…]
[16:12] <Yanmei> And so Yanmei guided her back to the room, silently, ignoring the looks around them and shutting the door firmly behind them to keep any sound from getting out. She led her back to one of the chairs…
[16:13] <Minaplo> [She collapsed into the chair, absently rubbing the back of her right hand, where her knuckles were sore and red. She was just… Staring off into space.]
[16:20] * Yanmei sort of… latched onto one of her arms in a comforting hug. She hadn't asked, but it was probably what Marianne would have done had the situations been reversed. "I'm here," she murmured. "So please, tell me if you want to talk or if you want to be left alone."
[16:24] <Minaplo> ["I want- I want to see my family."]
[16:27] * Yanmei didn't pull away. "I'm sorry," she said again gently.
[16:29] <Minaplo> [Marianne simply hung her head.]
[16:37] <Yanmei> "I know I can't replace them, b-but, you've been like a mom to me ever since I left China. You accepted me warmly, without strings attached, and Isaiah and Lizzie too? S-so, as far as I'm concerned, you're part of my family too."
[16:49] <Minaplo> [Marianne lifted her head, staring up at Yanmei blankly.]
[16:56] <Yanmei> "So… I mean. You don't have to be a ship Captain right now? You can yell and scream, and no one will hear us on the Bridge. And I won't mind either, because it hurts, and I know it hurts, and I'll stay with you until you tell me to leave. Okay?"
[16:58] <Minaplo> [Beads of tears began to gather in Marianne's eyes. She let out a small stream of wordless sounds before reaching out to tug at Yanmei's clothing, trying to pull her closer.]
[16:59] * Yanmei obliged, quickly moving into a full hug now.
[17:03] <Minaplo> [Marianne- broke. She pulled Yanmei against her, and began to cry- no, wail and scream and sob into Yanmei's chest, her grip sometimes becoming so tight as to be genuinely painful.-
[17:06] <Minaplo> ["Not fair…"]
[17:09] <Yanmei> "It's not." Tears were gathering in Yanmei's own eyes at this point too. She fought it away, rubbing Marianne's back. "It's really not. I'm sorry…"
[17:21] <Minaplo> [Marianne held her there like that for… Some time. Ten minutes, half an hour, more…-
[17:21] <Minaplo> ["When- When they clear the elevator, I'll… Go to my room and sleep." She mumbled. "C-Can't think like this. No good to anyone. Just want to sleep forever."]
[17:27] <Yanmei> "All right," said Yanmei quietly. "Take as much time as you need."
[17:29] <Minaplo> ["Ok."-
[17:31] <Minaplo> [… Nine minutes later, there was a sudden shout from the bridge. Yanmei heard rapid footsteps, and someone beating on the conference door. It opened a second later, revealing Frederic. "Uh, Cap, Yanmei-!"]
[17:32] * Yanmei stood, pulling away a little reluctantly. "What's the problem?"
[17:35] <Minaplo> [Behind him, Yanmei could see Asuka slamming on the elevator console, before trying to kick the door.-
[17:36] <Minaplo> ["So-so-so-Sophie- the baby-"]
[17:39] * Yanmei stared. Gradually, her eyes grew rounder and rounder. "NOW?!"
[17:40] <Minaplo> ["YES!"]
[17:44] <Yanmei> "Marianne, I…" She glanced back and forth between the two, feeling a little dizzy somehow. "You stay here and take that time you need. I'll handle this!" And she was rushing to the door, to take a quick assessment of the situation. Elevator was still down, going by Asuka's reactions. And as for Sophie herself…?
[17:55] <Minaplo> [She'd gotten up out of her chair when it had started- she was now slumped on the floor against the wall, taking short, shallow breaths. James Riel was crouching down next to her, waving a folder in her face ineffectually.]
[18:03] <Yanmei> "O-okay. Um. We've called someone, right?" she turned to Frederic. "From the nearest medical station?"
[18:05] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yes." He said. He'd gone pale, and was moving a little too fast, speaking too fast- he looked like a cat on a hot tin roof. "Trying to get the MAGI to tell us how to deliver a child."-
[18:05] <Minaplo> [Sophie let out a groan of pain, and Frederic whipped his head around to Yanmei. "What do we do?!"]
[18:12] <Yanmei> "You! Take a deep breath. Go to her, hold her hand and make sure she's as comfortable as possible? Labor can sometimes take hours, so we don't know even know if we're in a bad situation yet." That was right, wasn't it? Yanmei stripped off her jacket, and immediately wished she hadn't. The Ship was still frigid, after all. "Only options are fixing the elevator or the stairs to make sure they
[18:12] <Yanmei> make it." She walked to the stairwell and peered down it.
[18:14] <Minaplo> [Supports and girders had given way during the fighting, making the stairwell a dangerous prospect. Yanmei could've made it with her acrobatics, but getting someone up or down…?-
[18:15] <Minaplo> ["Uhh, right." Frederic snatched the jacket from Yanmei's hand and ran over to Sophie's side. "Shh, shh, I'm here, I'm here, I'm holding your hand…"-
[18:18] <Minaplo> ["Whadda we gonna do?" Shouted Asuka over at Yanmei. "Elevator's busted, stairwell's more dangerous than a D-Titan cockpit…"]
[18:21] <Yanmei> "They're not getting up here unless there's an Ayanami who can float them up? Go was just here. I'm trying to contact Isaiah to see if he can catch her." And she went silent for a minute, eyes closed.
[18:30] <Yanmei> "… he doesn't know where she is," she said finally, opening her eyes. "He's sending some guys our way. -Dammit-."
[18:31] <Minaplo> ["What about that kabuki idiot Shinjitorix?" snapped Asuka.-
[18:32] <Minaplo> ["No good. He went back to Earth to see if he could locate Liu Lin." Said James.]
[18:35] <Yanmei> "What?! I told him not to… grrr…!" Yanmei shook her head vigorously and stalked over to the Captain's chair. "We'll call someone over the speakers, then."
[13:40] <Minaplo> ["Got it. The chair's ready for you to use, Yanmei!" Shouted James.]
[13:52] <Yanmei> So Yanmei got to it, plunking down and pushing the special button. "Ayanami Rei, please report to the Bridge immediately! Ayanami Rei, your presence is -urgently- needed on the Bridge…" It took everything she had to keep from babbling about babies and emergencies. Wouldn't that alarm and confuse the crew?
[13:55] <Minaplo> ["Tell her to take the stairs." Said Asuka.]
[14:01] <Yanmei> "The elevator to the Bridge isn't working," Yanmei added. "So advance up the stairs? Any medical personnel approaching the Bridge should also gather at the stairs without advancing." A pause. Fuck. She'd mentioned the medics. "T-to everyone else listening, everything is fine? No need for alarm."
[14:09] <Minaplo> ["Smooth." Said Asuka dryly.-
[14:09] <Minaplo> ["Yanmei, can you still speak to Isaiah?" Asked James.]
[14:11] <Yanmei> "Yes, but he's, um. Assisting another patient. He'll get back to me when he can?"
[14:22] <Minaplo> ["What, he can't even walk you through the basics?"]
[14:25] <Yanmei> "Wh-what?" The implication was just -there- plain as day. If he was walking her through it, she'd be the one handling the… the actual baby stuff. "Weren't we going to ask the MAGI for help?" she demanded, peering around.
[14:36] <Minaplo> ["Er, shit." James got to his feet, running back over to his console.-
[14:37] <Minaplo> ["Right, right. Er. Ok. I have the instructions." He paused.-
[14:37] <Minaplo> ["Yanmei, you need to get yourself some soap and water."]
[14:43] <Yanmei> "I have some leftover water from breakfast," she said hopefully, rising from the chair. "As for soap… damn. If there are medikits around here, there should at least be some antiseptics in there?"
[14:46] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, one sec." Said Asuka, bolting over to the corner. She kicked at a small sliding door built into the wall, slid it open, and pulled out a somewhat battered-looking medikit. She chucked it at Yanmei.]
[14:47] * Yanmei opened it up right then and there, peering inside. What did they have in there?
[14:47] <Minaplo> [Well, one thing they did -not- have was biogel.-
[14:51] <Minaplo> [What they did have, however, were several types of bandages, dressings, swabs and a pair of surgical scissors. They also had alcohol wipes, an antiseptic spray, two shots of morphine, and a dozen other different things that weren't very useful right now.-
[14:52] <Minaplo> [On the other hand, Yanmei would find, standing to her left, was Cornelia Archibald, who had silently ran off to fetch a bundle of blankets, several pairs of sterile gloves, a bucket of water, and… A bottle of whiskey.]
[14:56] * Yanmei yanked out one of the wipes, beaming at her own ingenuity. "Now we're in business~" She scrubbed at her hands hastily and looked up… just then noticing Archibald's haul. "What. …when did you get all that?"
[14:58] <Minaplo> ["I've been gathering this together the moment Sophie went into contractions."]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "O-oh. Do you know stuff about delivering babies?"
[15:00] <Minaplo> ["No. I'm a Companion, not a midwife."]
[15:04] * Yanmei deflated. Too much to hope so, she supposed. "What's next, James?"
[15:05] <Minaplo> ["Uhhh, has anyone been keeping track of the time between contractions? We sort of need to do that." Said James. "Hold on, I can get a stopwatch up on my computer-"-
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["Oh my goddddddd." Moaned Sophie. "You sons of bitches, where is my doctor?!"]
[15:11] <Yanmei> "Don't worry, Sophie." Yanmei put on her most confident face. "We can at least hold out until a doctor gets here. After all, we have morphine?"
[15:16] <Minaplo> ["Nnnnngh-"-
[15:17] <Minaplo> ["Ok, we need to prepare a space for her." Said James. "Take those blankets, all the medical stuff, everything we need and make sure it's all laid out for her. Sophie, when we do that, you're gonna need to undress from the waist down once we get you onto your blankets."-
[15:17] <Minaplo> ["I brought a privacy sheet." Said Archibald.-
[15:18] <Minaplo> ["… Where did you even get all this stuff?" Asked Asuka suspiciously.]
[15:23] <Yanmei> "That's what I want to know," Yanmei muttered. Still, she helped out, spreading the blankets down to create a makeshift bed and then bringing the medkit close.
[15:24] <Minaplo> ["Ok. Yanmei, can you help me shift her over?" Asked Frederic.]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "Right." Yanmei crouched next to her, taking her shoulders for support. "Ready?"
[15:37] <Minaplo> ["Ready."]
[15:41] * Yanmei lifted, half-guiding, half-carrying her toward the blankets spread out just a few inches away.
[15:41] <Minaplo> [As did Frederic.-
[15:42] <Minaplo> [Sophie let out a groan-hiss of agony as they shifted her, and by the time they placed her down she was breathing a lot of quick, shallow breaths through her teeth.]
[15:46] <Yanmei> "All right. Bottoms off? Help her with that, okay Gosselin?" Yanmei, in the meantime, got the privacy sheet ready, draping it over her.
[15:48] <Minaplo> [He nodded, quickly removing the garments and tossing them to one side.-
[15:48] <Minaplo> ["Don't let her hyperventilate." Said Archibald.-
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["Right, right." Frederic turned around, grabbing Sophie's hand again. "It's all right. It's all right. You're ok. Just listen to my voice-"-
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["Where is the fucking doctor?!"-
[15:49] <Minaplo> [Sophie's words were bitten off by another cry of pain.-
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["Ok, contractions at 4 minutes 47 seconds." Said James. "That's… Uh…"
[15:49] <Minaplo> ]
[15:51] <Yanmei> "That's what? Good?!" The hope in her voice was somehow also desperate and terrified.
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["It's getting closer to birth-time." Said James grimly.]
[15:59] <Yanmei> "How close?" She let her eyes dart around again. Where was Rei?!
[15:59] <Minaplo> ["One or more hours."]
[16:02] <Yanmei> "O-ok. That's not too bad?" Yanmei reassured herself with a firm nod. Yeah. Holding out for another hour would be a cakewalk. "What else should we do?"
[16:02] <Minaplo> ["Now we wait until she crowns."]
[16:11] * Yanmei nodded vigorously, staring at the privacy sheet intently. With a minute or two left to think to herself, she gathered her confidence together again. A good rebel leader would be able to deliver lots of babies if it came down to it. But, fortunately it wouldn't. Rei and the doctors were probably nearly there, so it wouldn't be long before reinforcements arrived. They would all be
[16:11] * Yanmei okay.
[16:11] <Minaplo> [Half an hour passed.-
[16:12] <Minaplo> [Sophie's contractions continued to grow in intensity and length, and the time between each one slowly became shorter…-
[16:12] <Minaplo> [… Still no Rei. No doctors. Not even a medic.]
[16:18] <Yanmei> "Asuka. You have my permission to use the chair intercom. Call Rei again. And… call someone else, just to be safe. Someone who can fly. -Anyone- who can fly."
[16:18] <Minaplo> ["Tch, ok." Asuka leapt onto the chair.-
[16:19] <Minaplo> ["This is Colonel Langley-Soryu? Could you Ayanamis get your fucking asses into gear already?!"-
[16:19] <Minaplo> [The reply came quickly.-
[16:20] <Minaplo> [("We're -trying-!") Came Rei's voice, tinny over an intercom. ("Someone accessed the MAGI during a recalibration cycle and shut down the elevators! And half the staircases are blocked!")-
[16:20] <Minaplo> ["Oh shit." Muttered James. "Shit shit shit…"]
[16:21] <Yanmei> Yanmei was still watching Sophie, her face now drenched in sweat. "What? What does that mean?! Who accessed the MAGI during what when?!"
[16:22] <Minaplo> ["Shit shit shit." James coughed. "I forgot, ok? I forgot we had a recal cycle going! So I hit it up when the baby started coming and I must've forgotten all about it…"-
[16:22] <Minaplo> ["Oh my god." Growled Asuka.]
[16:25] <Yanmei> "Oh my god," moaned Yanmei. "Okay. Okay okay. We're still okay? Still have at least another half an hour. Asuka, tell Rei that she has permission to use any explosives she has in her possession to break through the stairwell blockages."
[16:26] <Minaplo> ["That is a terrible idea." Said Archibald. "Don't do that."-
[16:26] <Minaplo> [Asuka looked lost, turning from Yanmei to Cornelia then back again. "Eh…?"]
[16:27] <Yanmei> "What do you mean terrible?" She huffed a bit. "I mean… oh. I guess it would actually damage the stairs more, huh?"
[16:28] <Minaplo> ["If stairwells are blocked, then it is because structural integrity elsewhere has given away." Said Archibald. "Vessels like this are full of structural pressure points, and using explosives-"-
[16:29] <Minaplo> ["Yeah yeah yeah." Muttered Asuka. "We get it."-
[16:29] <Minaplo> [Another fifteen minutes passed… With no doctor or help.]
[16:35] <Yanmei> More sweat. Yanmei continued her vigil in resigned silence. Next to her were the pair of rubber gloves Archibald had found with the other supplies. "Still a bit of time left," she muttered to herself.
[16:35] <Minaplo> [Frederic had long since discarded his panic- perhaps inspired by Yanmei's own coolness- and was still holding onto Sophie's hand, wiping at her forehead and murmuring to her in a low, gentle voice.-
[16:35] <Minaplo> [Then a loud -Thunk- made them all jump.-
[16:36] <Minaplo> ["What was-?"-
[16:36] <Minaplo> [They turned towards the elevator, where a large dent had been made in the door.-
[16:36] <Minaplo> [-Thunk!- Thunk!-
[16:36] <Minaplo> [The dent became larger…]
[16:40] * Yanmei jumped at that! Unfortunately, the previous day's battle was still fresh in her mind. It was probably help… but she reached for her weapon just in case and cursed out loud.
[16:41] <Minaplo> ["What? What's wrong? What's happening?!" Said Sophie.-
[16:41] <Minaplo> [-Thunk-. Thunk. Thunk.-
[16:42] <Minaplo> [There was the ear-killing sound of metal tearing, and the faint acrid smell of burning iron. Something punched through the surface of the elevator door-
[16:42] <Minaplo> [A tridactyl claw, the sharp surfaces glowing with energy.-
[16:43] <Minaplo> [The claw retracted, and a second later two claws appeared in the breach and -pulled- outways, tearing through more metal. Within ten seconds, a workable breach had been formed, and the strange being within climbed out.-
[16:43] <Minaplo> ["Please state the nature of the medical emergency." Said Ban-Ban, hefting a medikit.]
[16:46] * Yanmei exhaled, lowering her gun. Never before was she so relieved to see one of Ban-Ban's terrifying displays of strength. "Baby." She gestured to Sophie. "We're almost out of time."
[16:47] <Minaplo> ["I am perfectly qualified to deliver a child!" Proclaimed Ban-Ban, leaping across the bridge in long hopping bounds. "Make way!"-
[16:47] <Minaplo> ["What? No." Frederic turned to Yanmei. "The fuck are you doing? I'm not having one of those things deliver my child."]
[16:48] <Yanmei> "He has medical knowledge. We -need- him."
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["Get someone else."]
[16:50] <Yanmei> "Who?! No one else has made it up here!"
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["We can wait for someone else!" Shouted Frederic.-
[16:51] <Minaplo> [Ban-Ban had reached the privacy curtain now. Sophie's eyes alighted on him-
[16:51] <Minaplo> [She let out a small groan. A groan of pain? It was hard to say.-
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["He's doing it." Said Sophie.-
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["What? Sophie, no-"-
[16:52] <Minaplo> ["S'my decision." She growled.-
[16:52] <Minaplo> ["I'm not letting him-"-
[16:53] <Minaplo> ["Fred." Sophie began squeezing his hand tightly. "Fred. Listen to me. Look at me."-
[16:53] <Minaplo> [Fred did, a smouldering -rage- in his eyes.-
[16:53] <Minaplo> ["Ban-Ban didn't- ugggh- ugggh- he didn't kill Patrice." She said, groaning. "That wasn't -him-."-
[16:54] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[16:54] <Minaplo> [Ban-Ban glanced over at Yanmei, a little awkwardly.]
[16:59] * Yanmei shoved the surgical gloves toward him. "The baby will be safest if it's delivered by someone who knows medicine," Yanmei insisted quietly.
[17:00] <Minaplo> ["…" Fred hung his head. "Fuck."-
[17:01] <Minaplo> [Sophie let go of his hand, reaching up to stroke his face. "Fred, I love you. But if you don't let Ban-Ban deliver my baby, I'll hit you so fucking hard you'll think you never left space."-
[17:01] <Minaplo> ["Fuck me. Ugh." Fred rubbed his face. "Alright… Alright…"]
[17:05] <Yanmei> "Thank you," Yanmei breathed. She nodded to Ban-Ban, her eyes intense, nerves still rather rigid from the stress of all this. "Tell us what we should do to help?"
[13:47] <Minaplo> [Ban-Ban slid the sterile gloves over his long, thin-fingered hands. "We still have some time. Keep focused, Sophie. You two, help keep her focused. No panicking. Long, deep breaths. Everyone's eyes-" He lifted a single long finger, and brought it down gently on Sophie's belly. "Here."-
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["Now we don't want to wear our new mother out." Said Ban-Ban, smiling. Sophie recoiled slightly. "We won't ask her to start pushing until the pressure becomes unbearable. We wait until after a contraction eases, then… Have we been keeping time on the contractions?"-
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["Three minutes fifteen between." Said James.-
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["Oh, good."]
[13:53] * Yanmei nodded her approval at James, as if it had all been her idea to do that. "Pretty good for a group with no training, huh?"
[13:55] <Minaplo> ["Pretty good for a group with access to a MAGI, sure, we'll go with that, auntie."-
[14:00] <Minaplo> [The minutes continued to tick away, the gap between contractions gradually eroding, just as Sophie's pain continued to intensify. It was clear on Fred's face that the idea of just -waiting- as his lady love suffered caused him no end of grief, although it still wasn't as painful as actually having to deliver the baby, so he gets to count himself a little lucky.-
[14:01] <Minaplo> [Two hours had passed- the last few minutes punctuated by Sophie's short screams- before Ban-Ban's eyes narrowed. "Here we go."]
[14:08] <Yanmei> Yanmei tried, but she wasn't as good as muttering calming things to Sophie as Frederic was. Mostly she'd just blurted out statements that sounded as if they were more appropriate for psyching someone up before an important battle or a football match. Now, she doubled her efforts. "Only a little longer? We'll have some of that whiskey when you're done, okay?"
[14:13] <Minaplo> [Sophie nodded quickly, hissing through her teeth.-
[14:14] <Minaplo> ["Oh. Oh my." Murmured Ban-Ban. "I can see a head-"-
[14:15] <Minaplo> [Sophie let out a scream, her muscles convulsing-
[14:15] <Minaplo> ["No no no, don't- wait- shhh… Alright. Push, Sophie!"-
[14:18] <Minaplo> [It wasn't long to establish a rhythm. Ban-Ban's confidence never wavered, and his sure, firm tone helped them believe he knew what he was doing.-
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["A shoulder- nearly there, Sophie, push-"-
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Nnnnggggh!"-
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Nearly there-"-
[14:19] <Minaplo> [A minute later, a new sound began to fill the air- the sound of a crying baby.]
[14:23] * Yanmei immediately peeked over, unable to help herself!
[14:25] <Minaplo> [It was a newborn baby, tiny and fluid-coated, particularly fragile-looking in Ban-Ban's long, powerful hands. An umbilical cord still connected it to its mother. Or rather, his mother: he was a boy.]
[14:27] <Yanmei> "Eee~ Bring a towel, quick!"
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["And a bowl." Said Ban-Ban.-
[14:28] <Minaplo> [Archibald was already there, holding out a towel for them.]
[14:29] * Yanmei passed it on to Ban-Ban, apparently expecting him to do the honors of presenting the tot to his new parents. "What's the bowl for?"
[14:32] <Minaplo> ["The placenta." Said Ban-Ban. Before he took the towel, however, he held the baby over slightly, letting birthing fluids drain out of its nose and mouth- before wiping at the baby with the new towel. "Sophie?"-
[14:32] <Minaplo> ["Y… Yes."-
[14:32] <Minaplo> [Ban-Ban held his long arms out, baby held securely in his hands. "It's a boy."-
[14:35] <Minaplo> [Sophie stared at him with a dazed, uncomprehending expression. "My… My baby-"-
[14:35] <Minaplo> ["Perfectly healthy." Said Ban-Ban. Delicately, he placed the newborn in Sophie's arms. "Congratulations. He's the first human being to be born outside of Earth."-
[14:37] <Minaplo> [It seemed to -click- in Sophie's head, now- the worst was over. Where she'd spent several hours in abject pain, she now held… A little baby boy.-
[14:38] <Minaplo> [Her baby boy.-
[14:38] <Minaplo> [She let out a little moan, somewhere between crying and laughing, and held her child to her chest. "Oh my god…"]
[14:39] <Yanmei> "Congratulations~" Yanmei was beaming. "Do you guys have a name in mind?"
[14:44] <Minaplo> [Sophie nodded slowly. "Patrice. After my grandfather, and- Fred's brother."-
[16:02] <Minaplo> ["Patrice." Said Ban-Ban with a wider smile.]
[16:14] <Yanmei> "Fine name." Yanmei stood up, dusting off her knees. She peered around for reactions.
[16:17] <Minaplo> [James and Archibald were standing next to each other. James looked vastly relieved, whilst Archibald was smiling the confident, satisfied little smile of someone who wasn't expecting any other result.-
[16:18] <Minaplo> [Frederic had little tears in his eyes as he held Sophie- and his own little son. He was crying, but he was nearly choking on his own relief and joy.-
[16:18] <Minaplo> [Asuka was… Gone.-
[16:19] <Minaplo> [However, there was someone else watching- Marianne had emerged from her conference room and was staring at them, a hand over her mouth, her eyes wide…]
[16:23] * Yanmei hadn't expected that. It had been hours since she had left Marianne alone, and with everything that had happened, she could have just remained in the conference room all day and no one would have blamed her. -
[16:24] <Yanmei> She smiled at her, a little worried, and then gestured to her to come closer.
[16:27] <Minaplo> [Marianne did, taking cautious little steps closer to the scene. Before Yanmei knew it, she was next to her, gripping Yanmei's hand tightly.-
[16:28] <Minaplo> ["C-Congratulations." Said Marianne, with a teary smile.]
[16:34] <Yanmei> "He's amazing?" Yanmei chimed in, still a little distracted by Marianne and by the stupendous vanishing Asuka. She patted the hand of the former, and peered around one last time for the latter.
[16:34] <Minaplo> [She saw Asuka emerge now from the conference room.-
[16:35] <Minaplo> ["H-He really is. He looks so beautiful." Said Marianne, sniffling- she tried to wipe the tears away from her already red eyes.-
[16:36] <Minaplo> ["Marianne." Sophie beamed, a tired but lovely smile. "Why don't you hold him?"-
[16:36] <Minaplo> ["I…"-
[16:36] <Minaplo> ["We still want you to be his godmother." Said Frederic. "It's only fair, Marianne."-
[16:37] <Minaplo> [Marianne clapped her hands over her eyes and began to sob, a messy, wet affair. Ban-Ban tactfully took off his fluid-coated gloves before patting Marianne gently on the shoulder.]
[16:42] * Yanmei gave her a small hug, and then backed off a bit to give her room to approach the 'bed'.
[16:44] <Minaplo> [And Marianne took that opportunity, kneeling down next to the tired, but radiant Sophie, holding out her arms- and accepting little Patrice.-
[16:44] <Minaplo> ["Oh, he's so light…"-
[16:44] <Minaplo> [Asuka, meanwhile, kicked Yanmei lightly in the shin. "Oi."]
[16:45] <Yanmei> "Ow! What?" she hissed.
[16:46] <Minaplo> [Asuka smirked, and held something out to Yanmei. "I want to report an update?"-
[16:46] <Minaplo> [It was the notepad Asuka had been using for the headcount. The 3,188 had been crossed out- replaced with a 3,189.]
[16:49] * Yanmei couldn't help but grin back at that. "That'll do, Asuka," she said the sage dignity of someone befitting her position. "That'll do."

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