Komm Susser Tod 2 2 3

[23:49] <Minaplo> [There weren't any tears, not at first. Mana simply stared at him, her mouth and eyes wide, a look of shock as much as anything written all over her face.-
[23:49] <Minaplo> [Then a second later she nearly folded in on herself, sagging at the knees, bending over, one hand on her mouth, eyes squeezed shut, letting out nothing more than a muffled whimper.]
Session Time: Sat Sep 27 00:00:00 2014
03[00:35] * CakeyCake is now known as Yanmei
06[01:26] * Raphael shuts his eyes in turn, reaching out to lay a hand on the girl's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Mana…"-
[01:26] <Raphael> They're seated in one of the of the less battered meeting rooms, beneath a full-wall fresco of a spear-wielding Silas charging a menacing-looking Annihilator in the style of Ahab and the White Whale. Raphael is in full dress uniform, seated in a chair opposite Mana with a coat wrapped around him in a meagre attempt to shut out the chill.-
[01:26] <Raphael> The day has been a trying one. Asgard base had housed the family of the bulk of the battleship's personnel, and with civilian losses estimated in the 50% range and almost 75% of the staff, everyone had lost someone. And those people had to be informed.-
[01:27] <Raphael> Every meeting had been difficult, but this one held a particular sickening sting. Mana's loss had been one of her few friends - Julien Lafabre.
[01:30] <Minaplo> ["S… Sick. Gonna be sick…"]
06[01:33] * Raphael finds his feet, reaching for a wastebasket beneath the desk and holding it underneath Mana's head. "Just breathe, Mana. Take as much time as you need." He murmurs, putting a hand against her back in a vain attempt at comfort.
[01:45] <Minaplo> [She clutched at it, bowing her head over it- breathing wasn't enough, and a few seconds later there was a horrible, wet -thud- as she threw up into it.-
[01:46] <Minaplo> [Shakily wiping at her mouth, pale and trembly, Mana lifted her head weakly to stare at him. "He can't be…"]
[01:49] <Raphael> "He…" A pause, and for a moment he seems lost for words. "… He was a hero at the end. He saved Suzie's life, and gave up his escape pod so that Pilot Langley-Soryu's father could live. We… -I- owe him a lot."
[01:57] <Minaplo> [Mana slumped back into the chair, staring past Raphael now with a weak, distant look.-
[01:57] <Minaplo> ["He accepted me." She said smally.]
[02:00] <Raphael> "… Yeah." Raphael said, crouching a little to be down on Mana's level. He slides the sick-filled wastebasket aside with on foot. "He… was a good man. I never told him that. That I appreciated what he'd done for Rei, and Suzie… and the rest of us. I treated him poorly, and I wish more than anything that I could apologize for that. He deserved better."
[02:07] <Minaplo> ["He- He's always wanted to be your friend." She said, shaking her head slowly. "He never hurt anyone. Why…?"]
[02:08] <Raphael> "… I don't know." Raphael says quietly.
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["…" She didn't say anything after that. She just hung her head.-
[02:15] <Minaplo> [Mana didn't even cry.]
[02:18] <Raphael> "You've been cleared to take some personal time." Raphael said, after a few long, painful minutes of quiet. It was the usual spiel, at least for those judged to be high psychological risk. "Minimal duties. We'd ask that you transfer to one of the cleanup of rescue crews but that would be your decision. We also have counselling available, if you need it."
[02:19] <Minaplo> ["Okay." She said dully.]
[02:21] <Raphael> "And you know the rest of us are here for you. My door's always open, as is Euphrasie's or any of the others. We're a team in this, alright?"
[02:24] <Minaplo> ["D-Did Euphrasie's little boy come out ok?"]
06[02:26] * Raphael nods. "He's shaken, but ok. He's with Euphrasie now."
[02:27] <Minaplo> ["Okay. That's good." She said, nodding slowly. "And Suzie's okay too."]
[02:28] <Raphael> "She is." Physically, at least. He bit back a sigh.
[02:29] <Minaplo> ["And Katsuragi's going to make it, too."]
[02:30] <Raphael> Another nod.
[02:35] <Minaplo> ["Do you know about Holmstrom?"]
[02:37] <Raphael> "Safely on the Bell with Princess Alexandrina, last I heard."
[02:38] <Minaplo> ["Are we allowed to go to the Bell?"]
06[02:41] * Raphael hesitates. "… No, strictly speaking, but I'll see if I can call in a favour with Vercigentorix if you really need it."
[02:43] <Minaplo> ["Okay."]
[02:46] <Raphael> "Do you want some time to yourself?" He asks, watching her carefully. "Maybe you should try and find Pilot Akagi."
[02:52] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yeah. Do you know where she is?"]
[03:04] <Raphael> "Not personally, but I'll make a couple of calls. Go and Chiisana ought to know where to find her."
[03:04] <Minaplo> ["Okay."]
[10:49] <Raphael> It wouldn't take too long, all told. Calls were made to Logistics and the makeshift command post Go had been operating out of, and between the two of them he managed to track down Tsubaki. Even better, he was able to convince the pilot to come to them instead of sending the still-shaking Mana into the halls alone.-
[10:51] <Raphael> Mana had slipped back into silence by this point, and Raphael seemed unwilling to rouse her. He just sat close by, trying to provide comfort or, at the very least, company.
[11:03] <@Minaplo> ["Sir?"]
[11:07] <Raphael> "Mmm?" He asks, shaken out of his own daze.
[11:07] <@Minaplo> ["We've lost, haven't we?" She asked softly.]
[11:16] <Raphael> He wished he hadn't felt the moment of doubt, the niggling uncertainty at the question. Maybe then it would have made it easier to give her the answer she needed.-
[11:16] <Raphael> "No. Not yet." Raphael says gently. "So long as we can stop ourselves from giving up."
[11:18] <@Minaplo> [She stared at him. It was hard to pick any one emotion out of her expression- sometimes her face was blank, in other times anger and grief and fear fought for the right to be displayed.-
[11:18] <@Minaplo> [She gave him a single nod. "Okay."]
[11:38] <Raphael> "… okay." He agrees. His eyes scan her face, trying to look for any more of that emotion. And then… with considerable care and more than a little awkwardness, he reaches out to put an arm around her shoulders.
[11:42] <@Minaplo> [She seems to slump a little at that, some internal mechanism breaking. She doesn't cry. But she leans against his shoulder, staring with empty eyes down at the floor.]
[11:49] <Raphael> And that was how things would stay until Tsubaki arrived - Mana lost and broken as Raphael did what little he could to comfort her in silence, trying to hold his own dark thoughts in check.
[11:56] <@Minaplo> [And Tsubaki would arrive shortly, walking through the door, her eyes wide. "Nacchin?"-
[11:56] <@Minaplo> [Nana looked up, an empty look on her face.-
[11:57] <@Minaplo> [Tsubaki walked around the table, taking Nana's hand with both of her own and pulling on it. "Come on, you can stay with me and mama for now, ok?"]
[11:58] <@Minaplo> <Macchin*>
[11:59] <Raphael> <Mana*>
[12:00] <Raphael> "Thank you, Pilot Akagi." Raphael gives the girl a thin smile. "Take good care of her, alright?"
[12:01] <@Minaplo> ["Uh-huh."]
[12:02] <Raphael> "Look after yourself, alright Mana? You know where to find us if you need anything at all."
[12:02] <@Minaplo> ["Okay."]
06[12:04] * Raphael removes his arm and lets Tsubaki pull Mana to her feet, watching the two leave without interrupting further.
[12:06] <@Minaplo> [Tsubaki puts her own arm around Mana, and before long they are indeed both gone.]
[12:30] <Raphael> … Raphael would wait for them to be gone and the door to be firmly shut behind them before he allows himself to sigh, burying his face in his hands. He'd remain that way for a few minutes before finally standing and busying himself with cleaning up the bin. It was a brief allowance for procrastination, but one he couldn't deny himself. He knew who he would have to talk to next.-
[12:31] <Raphael> When the offending basket had been emptied and sent away, all that was left to do was to make the call to summon Hugues.

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