Komm Susser Tod 2 4

[07:20] <Yanmei> The conference room was as cold and sparse as ever. Zhang Yanmei sat at the head of the table, arms folded, eyes tired and slightly bloodshot, a battered tablet resting in front of her. She wasn't alone. And yet, it seemed, they were waiting for one or two others to arrive.
[07:26] * Sept eventually snuck in, pausing at the doorway for a look around at the faces present before finding a spot a bit further down the table. There wasn't much to read in his expression, but that was hardly news.
[07:29] <Minaplo> [Five others were either already there, or would eventually arrive- Alphonse, Ginevre, Blue, Ezekiel and Armin.]
[07:34] <Sept> "Anything happen while I was gone?" Sera spoke up, tapping the table.
[07:37] * Yanmei nodded to the all when it was time, leaning forward now, arms uncrossing - only to find herself interrupted before she got started. "Lots of repairs," she answered with a shrug. "We're nearly ready to leave this place. We're more interested in what went on in Singapore during the past few days."
[07:37] * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
[07:42] <Sept> "Well." Sera licked his dry lips. The change of atmosphere on the ship was as jarring as one could expect. "Where can we begin. I think the first day was pretty uneventful, as we started with tracking down Blue's old contacts."
[07:48] * Yanmei nodded, glancing over in Blue's direction curiously. "So when did things start getting 'eventful'?"
[07:50] <Minaplo> ["Well if you ask that down-under motherfucker, like, an hour before we arrived." Muttered Blue.]
[07:54] <Sept> "We were identified, or at least noticed, fairly early on and had some run-ins with both local and not-local… hostiles, I guess. Some of them were from a recently-risen rival organization to the Alves that we'd identified."
[07:58] <Yanmei> "How, um, hairy did these run-ins get?"
[08:07] * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) has left #nervfrance
[08:07] * Vera (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|areV#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|areV) has joined #nervfrance
[08:08] <Sept> "Well, we didn't need to limp through the rest of our mission, so really it was just the last one. But we'll get to that. Earlier on, we had Walpurgis and the Flint gang to deal with - local gendarme was on high alert, but we avoided them well enough. At this point we were operating split into pairs, so I couldn't tell you any details about Raphael's misadventures. But they got into some
[08:08] <Sept> kind of fight negotiating with the Alves, too."
[08:13] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes narrowed slightly at the name 'Walpurgis', but she nodded. "We'll ask him and Rei about it later on and fill you both in on it."
[08:14] <Yanmei> ^you all
[08:21] <Sept> "We shared all the important findings whenever we could, of course. The victims of the murder spree were apparently mostly linked through SEELE, or at least the UEF."
[08:22] <Minaplo> ["Caine's lot were all 'well, we're here, so we might as well kill as many as possible', you know how they are."]
[08:26] <Sept> "So Flint's group turns out to be a bunch of SEELE outcasts, which would be how they were able to casually challenge the Alves, as well as why Walpurgis was after them."
[08:28] * Yanmei sighed. "That explains our new guests? You eventually joined forces with them, I see…"
[08:29] <Sept> "Yeah. We can bring them up for questioning or whatever, whenever." He tapped on the table again. "The joining of forces would've been when the Solomons caught us."
[08:31] <Yanmei> "Ugh. Which ones?"
[08:36] <Sept> "Well." A nod to the side. "The five. We -did- have to call for help."
[08:39] <Yanmei> "I'd say that -one- would be reason enough to call for help. God, Caine really did want everyone there dead, didn't she? Hmph."
[08:39] <Minaplo> ["Or rather, that motherfucker called for help before us." Muttered Blue.-
[08:40] <Minaplo> ["I was the help." Said Ezekiel plainly.]
[08:41] <Sept> "We managed to survive that, got out with those guys, and that's the short of it."
[08:47] * Yanmei nodded. "All right. First, I want to thank everyone who went down there for your hard work. You too, Mr. Ezekiel. You learned a lot and no one was killed, so I'd call this a pretty successful end overall. The SEELE members and Mr. Brown are in our custody, and are staying at a confidential location for now."
[08:48] <Minaplo> ["And of course, we recovered Liu Lin and her entourage." Said Alphonse. "Which is good."]
[08:52] <Yanmei> "It certainly is~" For a split second, she seemed actually happy. Then their present circumstances caught up with her, and she settled down again into a more businesslike state. "Ahem. Were there any additional pieces of information you picked up while you were down there?"
[08:58] * Sept paused for a moment, looking back at her critically. "Everyone here has your deepest confidence, right? You're being open about anything regarding Mary's and our endgame?"
[09:22] * Yanmei eyed Blue warily for a minute before turning back to him, eyes narrowing, this time with suspicion. "What did you find out? Everyone was either with you at the time or should know at least the basics."
[09:25] <Sept> "Agatha's informed us that-" Sera glanced at the center of the table before turning back to Yanmei. "Aline- is dead."
[09:29] <Yanmei> Stunned silence. Yanmei stared back.
[09:30] <Minaplo> [The silence was matched by the rest of the room. Alphonse sank back slowly into his chair, whilst Ginevre's expression darkened. She clasped her hands together and lowered her head.]
[09:34] * Sept didn't break eye contact and just focused on keeping his breathing even as he gave them a bit more time with it.
[09:43] * Yanmei eventually let her eyes drop, seemingly focusing on some internal for a few moments. "How," she began, and stopped herself, a very clear edge of bitterness and fury slipping through between her forced, deliberately even words. "No. No, I think we all know -hows- and -whys-. Did you have any reason to doubt Agatha when she told you that?"
[09:46] <Yanmei> ^something internal
[09:48] <Sept> "No," Sera replied without hesitation. "Agatha had - and has - no reason to lie. Whether she was tricked into that conclusion also doesn't matter. Her death wouldn't stop Mary from using her soul or body. I- don't have to tell you where this puts us. We have nothing to gain by being on the defensive."
[09:59] * Yanmei leaned back very slowly and stiffly into her chair. She was biting her lower lip hard, thinking, that deep anger still relentlessly shining in her eyes. "Caine is probably at the Synfront," she said at last. "But I don't think she will make it easy to end her."
[10:10] <Sept> "In the meantime," he continued, "I'll take over for her with organizing all our information on Seeds and Destiny, as well as looking for any indirect ways of recovering her- or activating 00 some other way."
[10:17] <Yanmei> "Right. You do that. Was… her family also killed? They went missing during the Asgard attack."
[10:27] <Sept> "I… don't know. I-" He hesitated, looking more defensive than he had so far. "I should've- I think she would've said something. Definitely."
[10:30] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, you'll forgive me if I won't share your willingness to trust, there." Said Blue. "Besides, she might not know."]
[10:38] * Yanmei gave a distracted grunt under her breath. "I'll work out a way to inform Blanc's remaining loved ones? In the meantime…" she trailed off, half-waiting for something else to come to her, and in the end just frowned down at the table. "In the meantime, let's just work hard to get back home so we can actually do something."
[10:39] <Minaplo> ["… And by loved ones you mean Ikari, right?" Said Blue. "The guy with the pet Angel and the thingy in his hand?"]
[10:40] <Sept> "…correct."
[10:42] <Yanmei> "It's better that he find out now, isn't it?"
[10:44] <Sept> "Absolutely. D'you want someone to break it to him?"
[10:44] <Minaplo> [Alphonse was grimacing.-
[10:46] <Minaplo> ["Who among us is qualified?" Asked Ginevre, looking at Yanmei.]
[10:48] * Yanmei looked around the table slowly. -
[10:57] <Yanmei> "Someone on good terms with him. Who is tactful, and who might be able to stop him if he broke down or tried something to harm himself. A messenger he isn't likely to 'shoot'." Her eyes stopped on Ezekiel. "At this table, there is one person who meets those qualifications? There is also someone else, but she is currently resting in Medical thanks to the stuff in Singapore. Shall I ask her?"
[10:58] <Minaplo> ["Oh come on." Snapped Alphonse.]
[11:00] <Yanmei> "I'll take that as 'no'?" she said dryly.
[11:03] <Minaplo> ["Wellesley, you have to admit that Ayanami is well-suited to the task." Said Ginevre.-
[11:04] <Minaplo> ["Look, Rei loved Aline too." Said Alphonse irritably. "She's going to be upset. She's also injured. And furthermore, Rei's lovely and sweet and makes everyone around her feel better, but I'll not let you turn her into some sort of happiness gun for you to point and shoot at sad people."]
[11:05] * Sept turned slightly away tactfully, hiding his mouth behind a hand.
[11:10] * Yanmei sighed. "Fine. Mr. Ezekiel, would you be up for the task?"
[11:23] <Minaplo> ["Shinji Ikari does have a mother." Said Ezekiel.-
[11:24] <Minaplo> [Armin was mumbling "Happiness gun" under his breath.]
[11:27] <Yanmei> "She's not someone who has a history of dealing with loss in a… healthy manner."
[11:28] * Sept nodded emphatically.
[11:29] <Minaplo> ["But it's not her loss." Said Ezekiel. "Nevertheless, I will do as you ask."-
[11:30] <Minaplo> ["You know, I understand what you mean, Yanmei." Said Alphonse quietly, leaning back in his chair. "But I reserve the right to be a little annoyed when you describe the creation of my beloved as unhealthy."]
[11:32] * Raphael (ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|leahpaR) Quit (Ping timeout)
[11:32] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT) has joined #nervfrance
[11:34] * Sept crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair for the first time in the meeting, looking a little tuned out from the talk.
[11:39] <Yanmei> "Rei's creation was one thing. The memory implants and her instance on treating her as if she was the late Ikari Rei was something else -entirely-." She gave a short, frustrated sigh. "But I do apologise. Insulting Rei is the last thing I want to do."
[11:41] <Minaplo> [Alphonse gave her a gracious nod.-
[11:43] <Minaplo> ["Regardless, the consequences of Aline's death are quite broad." Said Ginevre. "We'll have to adapt to the situation, but that adaptation could prove painful or complex. Sera, when you fought the Primes, did you manage to kill any?"]
[11:44] * Sept woke from his daydream and looked up at Ginevre, still in a relaxed posture. "No."
[11:46] <Minaplo> ["Damn." Said Ginevre. "If you had, then we might've been able to count on knocking a Dysangelion or two out of the count for the next few days, allow us to plan an attack. As it stands, we weren't able to inflict any lasting damage on her forces."]
[11:49] <Sept> "Mhm. I'd-" he sat up straight again and faced Yanmei. "also like to have permission to consult with Engineering and Tech on their projects, at least to study them in my own time."
[11:58] * Yanmei tilted her head ever so slightly in confusion. "That's new. How come? Do you think it will help us to come up with some sort of plan, or do you already have one in mind?"
[12:06] <Sept> "It's something to do while I get everything sorted. I arranged something with Nadiacadenza to help me unearth some of those things. To compensate for what we've lost."
[12:07] <Minaplo> [Ezekiel turned his head slowly towards Sera. "Does this have something to do with the Archivist?"]
[12:09] * Sept breathed out, a little sigh of annoyance. "That would be part of it, yes."
[12:11] <Yanmei> "Wait. What is that?" She glanced between the two with a frown.
[12:17] <Sept> "The nature of the agreement doesn't change. The Archivist's another soul under Nadiacadenza, in this case."
[12:18] <Minaplo> [Armin squinted slightly.-
[12:19] <Minaplo> ["Although not wrong, the situation is more complex than that." Said Ezekiel.]
[12:20] <Sept> "You can get it off your chest if you want to."
[12:23] <Yanmei> "Please do. It's just, like -complex- complex, right? Not complex-dangerous?"
[12:27] <Minaplo> [Ezekiel gave Yanmei a narrow look. "The Archivist is part of the Lance of Longinus, just like Nadiacadenza." Said Ezekiel, turning to face Yanmei. "Nadiacadenza is simply the spirit that was chosen as the emissary to Sera. A hierarchy should not be implied. Furthermore, although the nature of the Lance of Longinus means that an agreement with one usually means agreement with all, the
[12:27] <Minaplo> Archivist's nature is different, and so has certain provisions. Agreements made with the Archivist are not automatically binding on the rest of the Lance, and vice versa."]
[12:27] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT) Quit (Ping timeout)
[12:28] * Sept nodded at him calmly. That much had already been found out.
[12:28] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT) has joined #nervfrance
[12:30] <Yanmei> "I see. Then, to answer your question, Sera, I don't mind if you do stuff in Engineering. Just run it by Surov first, whatever you do."
[12:31] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|oaT) Quit (Ping timeout)
[12:35] <Minaplo> ["And don't forget his singularly lovely daughter, too, Sera." Said Armin gravely.]
[12:36] * Sept nodded to Yanmei. "Thank you. I'll keep you updated."-
[12:37] <Sept> "Don't- what does that mean?"
[12:40] <Minaplo> ["I mean, don't forget her." Said Armin, his tone slow and patient. "You have the opportunity to gaze into the tender, yet wondrously rich heart of a very unique individual…"]
[12:44] * Sept seemed utterly short-circuited by this, attempting at least three comeback lines, failing to form even one. Finally, he gave up with "Of course. Of -course-, I will-"-
[12:44] <Sept> "Yeah."
[12:46] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Armin seriously, nodding once.]
[12:49] * Sept covered his mouth with the back of his hand, looked at the table in front of him and wondered where his life had gone.
[12:56] * Yanmei was wondering too, although hers was an expression of genuine curiosity. "All right, then. Does anyone else want to chime in with requests or questions about the stuff we've discussed?"
[09:40] * Sept made a general gesture of dismissal as he tried to find his composure again.
[09:53] <Yanmei> "A word of warning for those returning from abroad… morale has dipped even lower while you were away? Among other things, crime, particularly among the refugees, has been getting lots worse. If you have contacts on the other ship, you may want to visit to make sure they're getting along okay?"
[09:56] <Sept> "Ah." Sera perked up again. "We plan to do something about it? Other than trust and hope?"
[10:00] <Yanmei> "We're trying to keep order as best we can, but really, we're relying on the fact that we'll be leaving here soon to raise them up a bit. The day before we depart will also be a day of rest, with extra rations for everyone."
[10:03] * Sept nodded. "Does it seem like they have a common goal, now? Peace, returning home? Destroying the UN?"
[10:07] * Yanmei sighed. "Just getting back to earth is the priority. Most are still reeling from their losses; thinking about the long term is a big ask."
[10:08] * Suzune|AFK is now known as Suzune
[10:16] <Sept> "The conflict has to be framed one way or another, eventually. A lot of people were ready to retire with Metatron gone, so it's still going to be difficult to process… but sooner, rather than later, right?"
[10:18] * Yanmei drummed her knuckles briefly against the table, frowning deeply. "You're not wrong," she admitted.
[10:23] <Sept> "You'll have chances to address the entire population before we leave. I'm sure you have people you can turn to for speechwriting."
[10:30] <Yanmei> "Naturally? But there have been… a lot of suicides. We've even temporarily lost half of our officers to crushing depression. I'm not certain how much of an effect a speech will have on those who have lost their resolve."
[10:32] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["That depends if the speech can draw on feelings that are already there." Said Alphonse. "Like a thirst for revenge, or a hope to survive. Don’t try to create new feelings, just draw on what's there."]
[10:39] <Yanmei> "Right. At this point, survival is probably the best angle? We've been badly attacked, and we'll be leaping directly into anothe war zone when we return."
[10:41] <Sept> "Are we offering the crew the chance to jump ship with the civilians? …we -are- leaving the civilians somewhere, aren't we?"
[10:54] <Yanmei> "With the Soviets. Their bases are massive and they have the manpower to protect them, especially if we send Zeruel or one of the EVAs with them. Crew members who can't take it anymore should be encouraged to leave with them, either permanently or temporary."
[11:09] <Sept> "Mm. And we'll find out how the wars settle when we get back. That's fine. And don't worry, we'll be careful on the ship for now," he concluded.
[11:13] <Yanmei> "Good. Thank you."
[11:14] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Speaking of which." Said Alphonse. "With Liu Lin back, our ability to lead the war effort has increased beyond just what I and Minerva can handle. Maybe more, depending on how you want to play this thing with Brown."]
[11:16] <Sept> "Long story short, he’s Blue with a more annoying accent. Accents, I guess."
[11:18] <Yanmei> "Very true?" Although her eyes narrowed somewhat at the mention of Brown's name. "The problem with Brown is he's such a nebulous figure that it's hard to pin down what his strengths are? Obviously he'll be key in rousing even more support from Australia, but beyond that…"
[11:19] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Being a nebulous figure -is- his strength." Said Alphonse. "You never know where he really is or what he’s capable of- and neither do our enemies. How do you expect them to neutralise his leadership if they can't find him?"]
[11:24] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Actually, do we even know if -we- have the right John Brown? Does he speak for all of his forces, or is he just a powerless double, or is he just a con artist posing as the guy?" She glanced at Blue at that, as if expecting him to provide all the magical answers about his Australian twin.
[11:25] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["… Hey." Said Blue. "Why do you think he’s like me, exactly? I've never used a body double, never led an army… Geez."-
[11:27] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Look, the key is that we don’t know. And we won't know. And that's how it's supposed to be." Said Blue. "The only thing I can imagine is that it'd be hard for anyone but the actual John Brown to pull the shit he pulled on our asses, so even if it is a conman, he's good enough for me."]
[11:29] <Sept> "Any of those options will do for us," Sera nodded.
[11:30] * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) Quit (Ping timeout)
[11:32] * Yanmei sighed before nodding in agreement. "That's just the way it is, I guess."
[11:33] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["It’ll be interesting to see what he can do." Said Alphonse. "I remember when he humiliated the Chinese…"]
[11:35] * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) has joined #nervfrance
[11:36] <Yanmei> "Right. I believe that he and Liu Lin are sharing a safehouse together right now…"
[11:37] <Sept> "That should be interesting."
[11:38] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["is that all ’bout the war and Brown and shit?" Asked Blue.]
[11:45] <Yanmei> "That's it from me. Are you in a hurry to be somewhere?"
[11:46] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Uh-huh. Say, you’re getting hitched soon, right?"]
[11:46] <Yanmei> "That's right?"
[11:48] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["When’s that again?"]
[11:50] <Yanmei> "The day before we leave for Earth."
[11:50] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Gettin’ nervous~?"]
[11:53] <Yanmei> "Hardly?" Yanmei tossed her hair loftily. "Why?"
[11:54] <Sept> "It's pretty much a formality at this point," Sera noted.
[11:54] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Just curious." Said Blue with a smirk. "Not gonna get cold feet now, right?"]
[11:57] <Yanmei> "I’ll have you know that I never get cold feet over anything. Also Sera's right? It's not like we haven't already practically been married."
[12:00] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Then why ya nervous?"]
[12:02] <Yanmei> "But I said I wasn’t!"
[12:04] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["But y’are."]
[12:11] <Yanmei> "Supposing you're right - which you are not - it seems perfectly normal to be nervous for something like a wedding even if you've already been through the married life thing before. It's like a parent who gets nervous each time they have a new kid, or a career soldier who gets nervous before a big battle."
[12:13] <Fullmetal‘Lulu> ["Uh-huh." Blue got to his feet. "Right, I’mma bail."]
[12:14] <Sept> "Heh. Alright, that it?"
[12:18] * Yanmei looked taken aback, but she nodded, after going around the table. "Yeah. Anyone else?"
[12:18] <Fullmetal`Lulu> [No one spoke up.]
[12:19] <Yanmei> "In that case, meeting adjourned."

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