Komm Susser Tod 2 2 1

[18:11] <Minaplo> [The Peaceknight's arms hung by its sides. There were fins running up the side of the arm, each of which were actually mountings for weaponry. Sarasvati had spent the last few minutes opening the mounting on the right and disconnecting the Heavy Bolter within.-
[18:11] <Minaplo> [With a satisfying -click-, the Heavy Bolter came loose and Sarasvati pulled it free. The weapon was one of the larger, vehicle-mounted Heavy Bolters, and thus was about the size of Sarasvati's entire body.-
[18:16] <Minaplo> [She handled it with ease, lifting it with both arms and placing it in a large cargo trolley to her left, which already held another Heavy Bolter of the same make.-
[18:16] <Minaplo> [She looked over at Raphael and smiled. "Now for the chest mounting."-
[18:17] <Minaplo> [For indeed, it had been Raphael who had delivered the Peaceknight here- after all, removing the weaponry was a good idea considering that it was being leased out as Suzie's new wheelchair. Sarasvati had been the one to volunteer for the work, citing an interest in the unit itself.]
[19:01] * Raphael stood off to one side. He had spent the procedure watching Sarasvati work with curiosity, if not necessarily -understanding- of the technology at play. Occasionally he drifted off to one workbench or another to examine the bits of dismantled technology - weapons, power cores, what appeared to be an engine.-
[19:04] <Raphael> At Sarasvati's words he looks around from his examination of what he recognized as a New World pulse rifle and nods. "It's quicker work than I expected."
[19:08] <Minaplo> ["The equipment and construction is of high quality." She said. "And in some cases, very advanced. But the basic chassis still relies on principles that can be found even in an Assault Wolf."-
[19:10] <Minaplo> [She leapt nimbly up the front of the unit, and worked on opening the chest mounting. "What would you say about how it handled for you?"]
[19:17] <Raphael> "I didn't exactly put it through its paces, but it's incredibly responsive. The physical mapping we have on some of the D-Titans produces delays we have to compensate for, but there's nothing like that here." He leans back against workbench, watching the machine. "… if I had to say, I'd think the AI's using some sort of predictive element to smooth it out."
[19:19] <Minaplo> ["Correct." Said Sarasvati.-
[19:19] <Minaplo> ["Does it disturb you?"]
[19:20] * Raphael frowns at Sarasvati's back as she continues to work, folding his arms. "The Peaceknight?"
[19:24] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Specifically the AI element."]
[19:28] * Raphael shrugs. "With all due respect, ma'am, I've dealt with clones, cyborgs and angelspawn. I'd consider most of those part of my family. An AI might be artificial, or stronger than me, or smarter… but I'd be a hypocrite to start worrying about that now, wouldn't I?"
[19:36] <Minaplo> ["Only if it influenced your actions." Sarasvati manages to open the chest mounting, revealing not a heavy bolter but some sort of weapon that reminds him of a Maser weapon… Only it doesn't match any design he's seen.-
[19:36] <Minaplo> ["This is new."]
[19:37] * Raphael takes a few steps closer, trying to peer around her. "What did you find?"
[19:39] <Minaplo> [She moves to one side, hanging from the Peaceknight by a single hand. The weapon is long and rather bulky; he can see what looks like a -lot- of cooling systems…-
[19:39] <Minaplo> ["Portable Volcano Cannon."]
[19:40] <Raphael> "… That is not a weapon I'm familiar with." Raphael says, his eyebrows raised a little higher at that name.
[19:44] <Minaplo> ["A Thruster Unity weapon." She said. "Rare. Only one full-sized model was ever built, and only four smaller portable versions were constructed." Now that Raphael had had his peek, she returned to trying to pry it out of its mounting. "The full-sized version was conceived as the main armament of an Evangelion-hunting tank."]
[19:47] <Raphael> His eyebrows don't seem to be lowering in a hurry. "What stopped mass production? Cost factors or efficacy?"
[19:53] <Minaplo> ["Cost factors, efficacy, practicality. Firstly, the technology and equipment required to build one is infeasible outside of a Thruster laboratory. Secondly, the weapon could not be relied on to penetrate AT Fields, and too few people expected it to survive long enough to fire more than one shot. Thirdly, the weapon relies on an extremely volatile power source that requires esoteric methods to sustain and use. In fact, in our current state we cannot use this weapon here."-
[19:55] <Minaplo> ["The Unity team had hoped to receive permission to build an Eva-scale version, but the plan was scrapped once NERV recovered fusion weaponry from Brother." She buried herself into the guts of the mounting. About ten seconds later, there's a click- followed by another. Eventually about nine or ten clicks sound, and Sarasvati pulls the cannon out and makes the four-metre leap to the ground with it over her shoulder.]
[20:01] <Raphael> Even with his self-admitted experience with bioexotics, the sheer ease of the movement gives him a little jolt of surprise. "… I see."
[20:03] <Minaplo> [She places the Volcano Cannon in the trolley, straightens up and turns to face him, looking him evenly in the eye. "The Peaceknight is now technically disarmed."]
[20:06] <Raphael> "Technically?" He asks, trying to match the look and failing. AIs might not have bothered him, but strangely the one thing that unnerved him about her was the blinking - or at least the lack thereof.
[20:13] <Minaplo> ["Considering its size and strength, to describe it as truly unarmed would be a lie. Even without the guns, its fists and feet are capably lethal."]
[20:15] <Raphael> "True enough." Raphael admits. "… Still, it should be sufficient for Command's purposes. As I understand it, the Peaceknight's AI should be doing most of the work for Suzie anyway. That should mitigate a lot of potential problems, correct?"
[20:16] <Minaplo> ["Correct."-
[20:17] <Minaplo> ["What else do you need now, Captain?"]
[20:24] <Raphael> "In terms of what I need from Technical, that should be all." Raphael says, breaking her gaze in order to wander towards the trolley. "On a personal note, though… I heard that you were the one to help Roku escape from the Synfront?"
[20:29] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Do you want to talk about the escape?"]
[20:37] <Raphael> "That's part of it. I know she's in a terrible state over on the Bell, and…" A pause.-
[20:37] <Raphael> "Did you know Mary gave us a clone to mask the kidnapping? She was conditioned to try and make it to Asgard. Fitted with a beacon to try and give away the base's position. We stopped that, for whatever it was worth…"
[20:38] <Minaplo> ["Yes, I heard." Said Sarasvati. She looked away, walking to grab the trolley's handles. "My father has the clone's LCL in stasis."-
[20:38] <Minaplo> ["One more crime against Roku's person, in the end." She said, her voice carrying the barest tone of something close to anger.]
[20:39] <Raphael> "She suffered at the Synfront." The tone suggested it was not a question and, like Sara, contained a hint of anger.
[20:42] <Minaplo> ["Are you hungry?"]
[20:44] * Raphael turns away from the volcano cannon, seeming a little surprised. "I suppose so."
[20:49] <Minaplo> ["Come into my office. I can offer you an MRE to eat whilst we talk."]
[20:54] <Raphael> "Yes ma'am." Raphael says, leaving the trolley of absurdly heavy weapons behind as he follows Sarasvati's lead.
[21:05] <Minaplo> [Sarasvati's office is about as spartan as one might expect. It sits just off the main entrances to Main Engineering…-
[21:06] <Minaplo> [And as Raphael instantly realises, is freezing. Main Engineering being much warmer than the rest of the ship, the shift from warm to cold is deeply unpleasant.-
[21:06] <Minaplo> [Sarasvati hardly seems to notice, however. She walks in, pulls out one of the guest chairs for Raphael, and grabs an MRE from a small stockpile in the corner, offering it to him.]
[21:19] * Raphael actually cringes as he crosses the threshold, and for a moment it seems like he's going to step back. It brings to mind a walk-in freezer, though it's hard to tell how much of that is simply the sudden transition.-
[21:22] <Raphael> He draws the dark blue officer's coat tighter around him, and is partway towards folding his arms when the MRE is offered to him. He moves one arm awkwardly to grab the meal. "Thank you, ma'am."
[21:28] <Minaplo> ["I am sorry. The cold bothers you. Do you want me to increase the heat?"]
[21:36] * Raphael looks almost apologetic at that. "Only if you don't mind, Miss Sarasvati. I know you probably don't-…" He pauses, and gives her a contemplative look. "-Do- you notice temperature? I apologize if I am being rude."
[21:44] <Minaplo> ["I do notice temperature. In fact, I am very sensitive to high temperature. My power plant produces a great deal of heat, and beyond a certain threshold I have to reduce my capabilities or risk overloading my cooling systems." The room was already starting to warm. "To that end, I am more at home in the cold."-
[21:44] <Minaplo> [She sits down opposite him, fixing her gaze on his face. She blinks deliberately twice, slowly. "My Synfront captors purposefully increased the temperature of my room to over 40 degrees celsius to exploit this weakness."]
[21:50] <Raphael> "I see…" Raphael says slowly, nodding a little. "I apologise, then. Please don't feel the need to raise the temperature too much on my account, then - I'll adjust, I assure you."
[21:51] <Minaplo> ["Are you fine with battleship average temperature?"]
[21:52] <Raphael> "Certainly."
[21:58] <Minaplo> [She nodded.-
[21:59] <Minaplo> [She opened a small cupboard under her desk, taking out a canteen of water- handing it to him. "For your MRE heater."-
[21:59] <Minaplo> ["What do you wish to know?"]
[21:03] <@Minaplo> [22:38] * Raphael is already breaking open the MRE packaging, gratefully accepting the water when it's offered. He seems to pay the process very little mind, most of the process practically automatic.-
[21:03] <@Minaplo> [22:59] <Raphael> "It seems like you and Roku might be friends, judging by the way you speak about her?"
[21:03] <@Minaplo> [23:07] <@Minaplo> ["Yes. One might say friends of the foxhole. I do not know if Roku is anything more than ambivalent towards me, but we shared our captivity."]
[21:03] <@Minaplo> [23:10] * Raphael raises an eyebrow a little, pouring water into the heater's plastic packaging and slipping it back into the box. "I admit, I'm a little surprised Caine would allow you two to see one another. Or anyone at all, really, given what I know about your respective captures."
[21:03] <@Minaplo> [23:26] <@Minaplo> ["Some machination on her part." Said Sarasvati. "Or on the part of 'Eve', which for all intents and purposes was our true warden."]
[21:08] <Raphael> "Eve…" Raphael tests the name, frowning a little. "I don't think I know the name. An NWA officer?"
[21:10] <@Minaplo> ["I am not sure. I think she was part of the Synfront's science corps as opposed to its military wing."]
[21:11] <Raphael> "Hmm. She was manipulating you both?"
[21:12] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, although one of her priorities seemed to be gathering information on my capabilities. Copious use of espionage nanomachines were seeded throughout my domicile, with more entering through the sinks, showerheads and ventilation every day."]
[21:16] * Raphael frowns sharply at that. "… And was she successful?"
[21:18] <@Minaplo> ["Not as much as she had hoped she would be." Said Sarasvati with a small smile. "Although she learned more than I wished she had. When Eve tried to reassign me to a listening post in Alaska, I saw my opportunity to escape, but I had to bargain with Eve to allow Roku to come with me. I had to tell her of some of my capabilities."]
[21:20] * Raphael eyes Sarasvati thoughtfully for a moment, nodding a little. "… thank you for helping her get out of that place."
[21:23] <@Minaplo> ["You are welcome. I wish I could have taken her away from it faster."]
[21:26] <Raphael> "You did what you could, I'm sure." He smiles. "I'm curious about how you two did manage to escape, though. The only other escape from the Synfront I've heard of was Chancellor Zhang's, and that needed a berserking Evangelion."
[21:28] <@Minaplo> ["Shot my way out during the transit to Alaska."]#
[21:29] <Raphael> "Fine work, ma'am."
[21:29] <@Minaplo> ["Thank you."]
[21:32] <Raphael> "Was that where Roku suffered her injuries?" Raphael asks, absently removing the MRE ('Chicken Pasta Italiana', or so the box claimed) from its heater and fishing out the plastic fork.
[21:33] <@Minaplo> ["Some, but not all. Most of her injuries were sustained in captivity."]
[21:34] <Raphael> … anger blooms on his face again as he pauses his meal preparations. "They tortured her?"
[21:36] <@Minaplo> ["In a sense." Said Sarasvati. "I can tell you the same passage of events in the same way Roku told me. May I?"]
[21:37] * Raphael nods.
[21:48] <@Minaplo> ["It seems that after you defeated and captured Aksel Heiden, Roku was visited by the Director of the Synfront's defenses, Narendra Gadhavi. He told her Aksel had been killed, and tried to force her to tell him intimate details about how their relationship was formed. When Roku tried to flee, Gadhavi caught her and beat her on the spot- in Roku's own words, 'he just kept kicking me over and over'. Her injuries were much more extensive than the ones she bears now- she heals quickly. After her subjugation, however, it seems that was when they interrogated, conditioned and splintered her soul in earnest."]
[22:05] * Raphael seems /livid/ by the end of all of this, his jaw clenched tight as he roughly tears open the MRE and jabs his fork into the meal within.-
[22:05] <Raphael> "… I see." He says quietly. The name is stored away for later reference.
[22:06] <@Minaplo> ["I told Roku that Aksel was alive as soon as she told me of her ordeal."]
[22:08] <Raphael> "Thank you." He sighs. "… I suppose that means you likely know my unit was the one to capture him."
[22:09] <@Minaplo> ["Of course. I was the one to process the information regarding their location in the first place."]
[22:12] * Raphael peers at her for a moment. "I didn't know that. I suppose it makes sense."
[22:13] <@Minaplo> [She stares at Raphael for a moment, then nods slowly.-
[22:14] <@Minaplo> ["They also killed my brother."]
[22:16] * Raphael 's eyes widen sharply, caught off guard by the revelation. "… I'm… extremely sorry to hear that, Miss Sarasvati." And, for what it's worth, the words seem quite genuine. "I wasn't— I didn't know that you had siblings."
[22:17] <@Minaplo> ["His name was Luke. It is possible that you met him in my father's vault. He would have introduced him as a Lictor Slaughterdroid."]
[22:22] <Raphael> That… requires a moment of mental adjustment. He -remembers- that nightmare, and though he tries not to show it on his face it's rather hard to hide even a millisecond's pause from a synthetic human with the processing powers of a Magi.-
[22:24] <Raphael> "I didn't know." He repeats. "I'm sorry, ma'am."
[22:27] <@Minaplo> ["They opened him up." She said quietly. "To study his internal workings. His anti-tamper mechanisms activated. His components were rendered useless instantly."]#
#6[22:41] * Raphael is quiet in turn, staring down at his meal. "At least Caine's people weren't able to prolong that suffering."
[22:42] <@Minaplo> ["Truth."-
[22:42] <@Minaplo> ["Is your MRE acceptable?"]
[22:44] <Raphael> "… Erm." Raphael takes a moment to move with the change of topic. In truth he's barely touched the MRE in his distraction, but now he takes another forkful.-"
[22:45] <Raphael> "As acceptable as field rations are likely to be, ma'am."
[22:46] <@Minaplo> ["From overheard feedback it seems they are not popular."]
[22:48] <Raphael> "They serve the purpose. Better than anything we're likely to find on Mars, certainly."
[22:50] <@Minaplo> ["Technically correct." Said Sarasvati, smiling, showing those bright white teeth. "Cultivation on Mars will have to wait for at least a decade before it can be turned into acceptable field rations."]
[22:53] * Raphael smiles politely, putting away a few more more mouthfuls of his meal.-
[22:53] <Raphael> "… May I ask a question, ma'am?"
[22:54] <@Minaplo> ["What sort of question?"]
[22:54] <Raphael> "About your history."
[22:54] <@Minaplo> [She pauses for a second.-
[22:54] <@Minaplo> ["Yes."]
[23:01] <Raphael> "From what I understand, up until your capture you'd spent your entire life in the Geofront Vault." Raphael says, still picking at his meal. "That would mean you only had Surov and Luke for company?"
[23:04] <@Minaplo> ["Only in the face-to-face sense. I found company on the internet as well in various message boards and chatrooms."]
[23:06] * Raphael nods a little. "Was that difficult? You seem to enjoy interacting with people well enough."
[23:07] <@Minaplo> ["Not difficult, but not a state of affairs that made me content."]
[23:13] <Raphael> "Understandable, though this is probably not the best set of circumstances for your release into the world…"
[23:13] <@Minaplo> ["I understand your points, although I do not entirely agree."]
[23:15] <Raphael> "Oh?" Raphael asks, tilting his head.#
[23:27] <@Minaplo> ["In times of desperation, mores and established structures give way to necessity. Marginalised groups with something to offer can achieve unprecedented power and acceptance from the majority. I have been given an opportunity to demonstrate to the Federation my capabilities, allowing me to come closer to legitimising my existence and saving those who may come after me from pure servitude."]
[23:37] <Raphael> "I see… Raphael says slowly. "That seems to be what Surov is hoping for, certainly."
[23:40] <@Minaplo> ["Yes."-
[23:41] <@Minaplo> ["I do wish to help because I believe the cause is worth helping, nevertheless." Said Sarasvati. "Having experienced what our enemies have to offer, I do not doubt that ours is the worthier one."]
[23:44] <Raphael> "Mmm."-
[23:52] <Raphael> The last of the pasta is gone by this point, and Raphael neatly rolls up the foil sachet and sets it aside with the fork and box. With the warm meal gone the chill of the office becomes more noticeable again. "I should think about seeing the Peaceknight back to the Bell, Miss Sarasvati. Pilot Go wants me to assist with the recovery teams in another hour."
[23:53] <@Minaplo> ["I understand." She gets to her feet.]
[23:54] * Raphael stands as well, offering his hand across the desk. "Thank you for your help with the Peaceknight and for taking the time to talk with me, ma'am."
[23:55] <@Minaplo> [Sarasvati had at the same time held her arms out for a hug- and quickly covers for her mistake, taking his hand and shaking it carefully. "You are welcome."-
[23:56] <@Minaplo> ["Please, take the rest of the MRE with you. I have no need for it."]
Session Time: Fri Sep 26 00:00:00 2014
[00:02] * Raphael hesitates after the almost-hug, watching Sarasvati uncertainly. "I… uh, will, thank you."
[00:02] <@Minaplo> [She nods once, staring at him with those vivid green eyes.]
[00:04] <Raphael> "…" Raphael tries to hide his confusion as he collects the rest of the MRE and moves towards the door.-
[00:04] <Raphael> "Have a good day, ma'am."
[00:05] <@Minaplo> ["You as well."]
[00:05] * Raphael steps through the door and back out into the warmth of engineering.#

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