Komm Susser Tod 2 4 3

(13:23:08) * Sept slid his card over the reader and entered the dorm room, knocking on the doorframe absent-mindedly as he walked through and towards his slice of the martian dream.
(13:27:41) Minaplo: [There was only one other occupant- Armin, sitting in his usual spot, hands behind his head. He looked quite content.-
(13:32:06) Mianplo: [A few things were different today, though. Different even from this morning. The other occupants' spaces- Tsubaki's, Chiisana's and Go's- each had an incongruous object on their beds- a small pile of various objects bound together with ribbon. From a glance, Sera could see clothes, books, chocolates… Each pile different, similar only in that they were all a pile of different objects.]
(13:35:23) * Sept glanced at them, walked over to his bed… and turned around again to look at them. "What's that?"
(13:35:57) Sept: …his voice was slightly louder than was strictly necessary.
(13:35:58) Mianplo: ["Gifts. Picked them up in Singapore. All things they wanted."]
(13:37:57) Sept: "Oh. I thought I'd missed a day. That's… really nice of you."
(13:38:55) Mianplo: ["Little touches of better times can help a flagging spirit." Said Armin. "Also, they deserve it."]
(13:46:53) Sept: "Uh huh." Sera sat down on his bed, hands on his knees. "It'd be cool to get the entire ship something. Say, heating."
(13:48:54) Mianplo: ["Did you get one of those thermal undercoats?"]
(13:54:10) Sept: "Nope. I don't think that's what they've been prioritising with their manufacturing. I'm fine, though."
(13:55:07) Mianplo: ["Hey, what's that?"]
(13:55:41) Sept: "What?"
(13:56:37) Mianplo: [He was pointing at something behind Sera.]
(14:00:58) * Sept turned around, half expecting Longinus shenanigans.
(14:03:38) Mianplo: [There was a cylinder behind him, a mechanical doozy made up of opaque cylinders behind a grille, all of which sat on a flat platform.-
(14:03:54) Mianplo: ["Portable heater." Said Armin with a grin.]
(14:05:22) Sept: "…huh. What's it run on?"
(14:06:41) Mianplo: ["Battery."]
(14:11:43) Sept: "Man." He picked up the heater and set it in front of him, leaving it off. "This is really cool."
(14:12:08) Mianplo: ["That's because it hasn't been turned on yet." Said Armin, his face completely earnest.]
(14:12:36) » Quit: Raphael (ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|leahpaR#ua.moc.tensutpo.dlq.108ldr.2-61-601-85d|leahpaR) (Quit: <Minaplo> I like Louis XIV, because he seems like this incredibly wasteful extravagant partyboy, but beneath that double chin, jowls, fourteen ermine capes, moustache, 15 pound wig and 18th century parachute pants is a cunningly machiavellian mind.)
(14:12:53) Sept: "Goddamnit, Armin."
(14:13:01) Mianplo: ["What?"]
(14:13:33) Sept: "I wasn't talking about the temperature."
(14:13:43) Mianplo: ["Oh."-
(14:14:13) Mianplo: ["Oh, I see." He said after a second, suddenly beaming. He held his hands up in a peace sign.]
(14:16:11) Sept: "Uh huh," Sera said, still not looking up from the thing. "Thanks. You didn't have to."
(14:17:05) Mianplo: ["I chose to."]
(14:18:02) Sept: "You did."
(14:19:28) Mianplo: ["I did. So how was work?"]
(14:21:17) Sept: "Loud. Unsatisfying. New," he shrugged.
(14:21:50) Mianplo: ["Want to do something satisfying?"]
(14:27:20) Sept: "Um. Yes?"
(14:28:01) Mianplo: ["Cool. What?"]
(14:31:17) Sept: "I…"-
(14:31:32) Sept: "I sincerely hope this isn't being recorded."
(14:35:57) Mianplo: ["Oh, so it's something bad." Said Armin. He eyed the girls' spaces protectively.]
(14:36:49) Sept: "No! When you ask if someone wants to do something, it means you're suggesting that something!"
(14:37:22) Mianplo: ["Well I am!" Said Armin. "I'm suggesting you do something that satisfies you, but you know what satisfies you better than I do!"]
(14:47:01) * Sept whined. "I get that now! And I appreciate the -thought-, but the way you talk is very misleading!"
(14:47:36) Mianplo: ["I don't think it's very logical for you to expect me to speak like other people."]
(14:52:02) Sept: "Other people from the 19th century, maybe…"
(14:55:00) » Zack is now known as ZackSleep
(14:55:08) Mianplo: ["Rude."]
(14:57:57) Sept: "…well, yeah. I apologise."
(14:58:43) Mianplo: ["Accepted. Now, what do you want to do?"]
(14:59:19) * Sept paused, setting the heater aside again. "That mystery deal with Ezekiel's been bothering me."
(15:00:01) Mianplo: ["Why?"]
(15:02:58) Sept: "I don't get what he's up to, to begin with. What kind of code lets him make 'just a single exception'?"
(15:03:40) Mianplo: ["A code that lets people make an exception?" Suggested Armin.]
(15:05:27) Sept: "Yeah. The fuck's up with that?"
(15:05:50) Mianplo: ["Lots of codes do that."]
(15:07:55) Sept: "Like what?"
(15:08:11) Mianplo: [Armin took a moment, his eyes closed.-
(15:15:05) Mianplo: ["Many of your societies have codes against certain types of behaviour." He said, his eyes opening. "And if you perform these behaviours, it is considered valid to punish you. Yet the enforcers of those codes often break those codes in the process of enforcing them, but are considered exempt from punishment. For example, if a man is about to kill another, then your law enforcers may kill
(15:15:06) Mianplo: that man and not be punished. It is the same act, but the circumstances are different. Similarly, some of your societies believe in liberty and a government by consent of the people, but their government codes also allow for temporary periods where government by consent is suspended due to emergency situations. It is not just limited to legal codes. It is considered unethical to tell a lie,
(15:15:06) Mianplo: but there are many people in your history who are considered to be heroes because they lied in order to protect innocents from evil. Very few codes are actually absolute in their enforcement. Instead they try to consider the circumstances and the context."]
(15:18:51) Sept: "And -this- is the kind of stuff you know like the back of your hand. I can agree on exceptions and exempt individuals, but… Doesn't it feel like Ezekiel's being more than a bit contemptuous towards us with this 'choose wisely' scheme?"
(15:19:19) Mianplo: ["Explain why you feel like that."]
(15:22:37) Sept: "Even if he's also bound to protect his secrets, it seems to me like a single exception both already violates the rule and isn't guaranteed to be the decisive factor in our fight."
(15:23:02) Mianplo: ["So you would prefer it to be all or nothing?"]
(15:24:41) Sept: "I can see why a construct wouldn't be able to make that decision. But if I talk to him and try to understand or help him look at it differently, there's really no harm, right?"
(15:27:10) Mianplo: [Armin was silent for a moment. His expression was joyless, and his eyes had narrowed slightly.-
(15:27:28) Mianplo: ["If that's how you feel, then speaking to him should help." Said Armin neutrally.]
(15:27:57) Sept: "What?"
(15:28:20) Mianplo: ["Better you hear it from him."]
(15:34:48) Sept: "Come on… It's not a foreign concept to me, I just want to know -his- reasons!"
(15:35:41) Mianplo: ["Then let's ask him." Said Armin, getting to his feet. "He's on the Liberty Bell. I can take you there."]
(15:36:39) * Sept got up as well, still looking dubious, not entirely sure what he'd caused. "Alright."
(15:36:57) Mianplo: [He held out an arm.]
(15:37:27) * Sept took hold of it.
(15:37:39) Mianplo: [A moment of darkness, then-
(15:38:35) Mianplo: [The hangar bay, the single largest space on the Bell. About eighty metres high, the walls lined with bays, currently filled with Superheavies such as the D-Titans and the G-Defiant.-
(15:39:24) Mianplo: [The first thing Sera would notice was that the air was much warmer here. As he breathed, he'd notice that the air had a strange, slightly stale taste, a 'lived' feel to it.]
(15:43:36) Sept: It took him a few deep breaths to get reoriented. The air was more to be expected of a civilian ship, he realized, where the circulation area was much smaller. "Ah." He walked around a bit, looking at the hangar. "This is new."
(15:44:34) Mianplo: ["It is." A pause. "Looks like Ezekiel has just finished a meeting with the majestic Minerva Linden. Let's go."]
(15:45:53) Sept: "I- alright." He took another look at the neatly lined war machines before following.
(15:55:37) Mianplo: [The corridors of the Bell were cramped and unadorned compared to the Dorian. Furthermore, the passageways were constantly bustling. Or choked with people as it were. Progress was slow. Nonetheless they found Ezekiel some twenty minutes later, in a refugee dorm. A room crowded with tired people and children and their pitiful possessions; Ezekiel stood out easily with his bright clean
(15:55:38) Mianplo: form. He carried a red medikit with him, and went from person to person, checking for injuries.]
(16:00:37) * Sept followed along, not looking entirely comfortable here. "He looks busy."
(16:01:02) Mianplo: ["Then ask him if now is a good time for if you can select another time." Said Armin patiently.]
(16:05:51) * Sept bopped Armin in the side as he passed by him, navigating past the commoners. "Hey, Ezekiel?"
(16:06:48) Mianplo: [Now who was speaking like someone from the 19th century?-
(16:07:03) Mianplo: [Ezekiel turned, giving Armin and Sera a neutral nod. "Do you need something?"]
(16:08:49) Sept: "Not really. I was hoping to have a word - entirely personal matters."
(16:09:44) Mianplo: ["Give me thirty minutes."]
(16:10:23) Sept: "Alright. I'll wait in the hangar?"
(16:10:33) Mianplo: [He nodded.]
(16:12:45) * Sept nodded back and headed out.
(16:14:54) Mianplo: [Thirty minutes later, Ezekiel would appear next to Sera, having emerged out of thin air, a whipcrack-like sound rippling around him.]
(16:16:39) * Sept reacted with a start, immediately laughing at himself and forgetting everything he'd been planning to say when he showed up. "How are you, Ezekiel?"
(16:18:16) Mianplo: ["I am fine." Said Ezekiel. "How are you?"]
(16:21:28) Sept: "Not bad. Can't complain after a trip away from here."
(16:24:19) Mianplo: ["Yes, I imagine that the warmth and food of Singapore had a rejuvinating effect."]
(16:28:40) Sept: "Not that actually relaxing wouldn't have killed us, but. Still, yes."
(16:31:06) Mianplo: ["Good."]
(16:32:43) * Sept turned to face him squarely. "Why… are you still helping us?"
(16:40:59) Mianplo: ["Because the Lilim have merit. I value order over chaos. I believe assisting you leads to a better outcome than assisting Mary Caine. The people here have been mostly kind to me. I choose to help you."]
(16:47:14) Sept: "I heard about your offer, though. I found it, well, curious you're willing to sacrifice part of your hoard of secrets that way."
(16:47:31) Mianplo: ["Why?"]
(16:54:20) Sept: "You left the specifics up to us," Sera said, scratching his neck. "Like… like it's a test. You're in most of the high-level meetings and have all that information, but you don't start with a specific offer you know would help."
(16:56:25) Mianplo: ["Not a test." Said Ezekiel. "But a choice. I know of many things I could offer that would help. However, having participated in those same meetings, I know that what you and your leadership consider to help the most could differ greatly between individuals. Instead of my presenting a specific option, I placed that choice in the hands of your leadership. Whatever they consider to be most
(16:56:25) Mianplo: useful."]
(17:02:46) Sept: "Uh huh." He tilted his head a bit. "But you're now parting with only one of those secrets. Why is that?"
(17:03:04) Mianplo: ["As opposed to more than one?"]
(17:04:03) Sept: "Yeah. What is it you're protecting with that?"
(17:05:34) Mianplo: ["The secrets, others, and yourselves." Said Ezekiel. "My knowledge is not something to be granted lightly, and even this one boon is done in such a way that I am 'loaning' it to you- once I am gone, your ability to replicate it will go with me."-
(17:08:56) Mianplo: ["Ultimately, it is important for the wellbeing of your people that you face your challenges, now and in the future, from a base formed of your own strength. I can help, but to make your people reliant on what I can grant is harmful."]
(17:13:11) * Sept considered that for a while, looking away at the rest of the hangar. "Even if we end up building societies on top of pre-Lilim technologies, you'd prefer we do it ourselves? You think there'll be something 'inherently human' about the way we do it."
(17:15:38) Mianplo: ["When the Great Reincarnation occurred, we knew that the secrets we had discovered were the same ones that the descendants would discover. But one's origins, perspective, context and culture can change how that secret is used and explored. So yes, your experiences would shape that outcome in a different way and thus have unique value."]
(17:18:13) Sept: "..mm."
(17:24:34) Mianplo: ["Any other questions?"]
(17:26:34) Sept: "You've been grumpy. I was curious if it was related."
(17:29:01) Mianplo: ["Grumpy." Said Ezekiel flatly.-
(17:30:22) Mianplo: ["My physical form here is weakened because of the distance between it and my root form. It is frustrating when I have to exert greater effort to accomplish what I need to accomplish." Said Ezekiel. "That frustration might be construed as 'grumpy'."]
(17:33:50) Sept: "-Huh-." Sera took a thinking pose. "You're sure."
(17:35:38) Mianplo: ["Quite sure." Said Ezekiel. "Such a state causes cascade effects. The distance limits my power, which is what I use to broaden the physical limitations of the lilim form. At this distance, I feel the cold or the heat to a much greater degree, I become very hungry, I even need to occasionally sleep."]
(17:38:33) Sept: "I don't suppose we can help beyond getting back as fast as possible, huh?"
(17:40:37) Mianplo: ["No."-
(17:41:13) Mianplo: ["Wait." Armin, who had been gazing off into the distance, suddenly turned on his heel. "You're more susceptible to the realities of your lilim form?"-
(17:41:30) Mianplo: ["That's correct." Said Ezekiel slowly.-
(17:41:33) Mianplo: [Armin stared.-
(17:41:39) Mianplo: [Then a huge grin spread across his face.]
(17:43:04) Sept: "-What-." This time, Sera sounded genuinely cross with him.
(17:44:07) Mianplo: ["You've been spending a lot of time around the wondrous Minerva Linden recently." Said Armin. "Perhaps that's the real reason behind your sour mood?"-
(17:44:39) Mianplo: ["And I'm done." Said Ezekiel. "De Pteres, I'm going to assume you're handling your Longinus issues. If you aren't, let me know."]
(17:46:24) Sept: "Very good," he responded quickly. "If you have Minerva issues, you'll handle them. Mutual indifference."
(17:46:51) Mianplo: ["No no no no." Said Armin quickly. "This is an opportunity! Ezekiel, listen-"-
(17:47:00) Mianplo: [With a whipcrack, Ezekiel was gone.-
(17:47:15) Mianplo: [Armin stared at the spot for a second, then turned to Sera with a disappointed grumble.-
(17:47:19) Mianplo: ["You scared him away!"]
(17:51:09) Sept: "-Nope-."
(17:51:29) Mianplo: ["It's you. You're the grumpy one." Said Armin.]
(17:54:36) Sept: "Ezekiel's personal life, if he has one, is of literally no relevance to me. You made me think there was something actually wrong here!"
(17:55:49) Mianplo: ["There is, though." Said Armin.]
(17:56:45) Sept: "Haha, nope."
(17:59:30) Mianplo: ["Ezekiel could be in love!" Said Armin. "We're required to guide him through this!"]
(18:00:45) Sept: "Hire an Ayanami!"
(18:01:07) Mianplo: ["It's like you didn't even want to cure his grumps."]
(18:01:59) Sept: "Maybe if it'd been an ideological grump, I'd be remotely interested."
(18:03:37) Mianplo: ["Maybe… His problem and yours are the same. Maybe you're so reluctant to face this because your heart is full of denied love, too."]
(18:09:38) Sept: "I don't understand how that's supposed to motivate me."
(18:09:59) Mianplo: ["It probably isn't, but it will motivate me to 'hire an Ayanami' to investigate you first."]
(18:12:12) Sept: "…I'm fine, Armin."
(18:12:44) Mianplo: [Armin beamed.-
(18:12:52) Mianplo: ["Well, was that satisfying enough?"]
(18:14:32) Sept: "I'm not bothered about Ezekiel's motivations anymore."
(18:16:11) Mianplo: ["Progress. Do you want to do something else?"]
(18:20:28) Sept: "While we're talking about relationship issues, you're sure you have no issues working with Longinus?"

-cont'd-

(13:46:46) Mianplo: ["You're working with the Archivist for now?"]
(13:52:58) Sept: "Yeah?"
(13:58:09) Mianplo: ["I have no issues with the Archivist, but holistically I have serious problems with Longinus." Said Armin. "I'll work with it for now, because I have to."]
(14:04:11) Sept: "Good. What are the problems?"
(14:09:59) Mianplo: ["Longinus is duplicitous."]
(14:13:17) Sept: "And everything else stems from that?"
(14:18:05) Mianplo: ["Yes."]
(14:22:31) » Zack is now known as ZackSleep
(14:22:42) * Sept looked at him, considering. "Yeah, I can allow that," he shrugged. "I'll let you make your own conclusions regarding her when I'm in this form."
(14:23:52) Mianplo: [Armin nodded tersely.]
(14:30:45) Sept: "Duplicity's easy to expect. And easy to accept in our circumstances."-
(14:31:30) Sept: "And when it's packaged so cutely." He looked slightly away from Armin casually.
(14:32:05) Mianplo: [Armin's eyes narrowed.]
(14:34:12) * Sept looked back at him, smiling with one eye closed. "That's where you draw the line?"
(14:34:36) Mianplo: ["Which one are you talking about?"]
(14:41:56) Sept: "Both? Nadiacadenza does get grandfathered in, no?"
(14:46:45) Mianplo: ["Don't try anything with the Archivist."]
(14:49:50) Sept: "Haha, you don't say."
(14:51:39) Mianplo: [Armin wasn't laughing.]
(14:53:48) Sept: "Who's being the grump now? What do you think I'm gonna do?"
(14:54:15) Mianplo: ["I'll trust you for now."]
(14:57:09) Sept: "Thanks," Sera said, nearly entirely sincerely.
(14:58:09) Mianplo: ["Now, what do you want to do?"]
(15:07:28) Sept: "I should catch up with Tsubaki when she gets back. I missed her after the meeting yesterday."
(15:07:46) Mianplo: ["A good idea."]
(15:13:05) Sept: "And Ginnie and Alex. But I should try and sleep before I go back to Sir Yells-a-lot. And I should sort out my work status, because Surov's sure as hell not doing that."
(15:14:59) Mianplo: ["All good ideas. Also, Viviane."]
(15:23:59) Sept: "Mm." An unsatisfied noise.
(15:24:56) Mianplo: ["What first?"]
(15:31:11) Sept: "Eh. Well, we're here now, so we may as well see who we can run into on the Bell."
(15:34:21) Mianplo: ["Alright. Maybe we should say hello to Minerva Linden too…"]
(15:35:11) Sept: "…"-
(15:35:15) Sept: "Yeah, why not."
(15:36:09) Mianplo: […-
(15:37:06) Mianplo: ["Sorry, President Linden is occupied at the moment," Said the young man outside the door to her quarters. He was a tall, graceful-looking man with blonde hair done up in a complicated wrap-around bun.]
(15:41:37) Sept: "Of course. You'll probably keep trying until she's free, Armin?"
(15:43:32) Mianplo: ["That seems counter-productive." Said Armin. "We could just ask when she'd be free and come back then."]
(15:46:15) Sept: "Does Miss Linden have any openings in her schedule for today?"
(15:47:01) Mianplo: ["She might have time for you in an hour." Said the young man, scowling slightly.]
(15:52:21) Sept: "Yeah, alright. We'll be back then."
(15:53:36) Mianplo: ["By the way, don't bother coming back if you're trying something underhanded." Said the man sharply. "There's no room for frivolous playboys in Madam President's life."-
(15:53:58) Mianplo: [Armin stared at him, mouth open slightly in surprise, then looked at Sera with a scowl. "I cannot take you anywhere."]
(15:55:50) Sept: "I'm neither of those things! I don't even care about the two of them!"
(15:57:12) Mianplo: ["Not you," Began the young man.-
(15:57:23) Mianplo: ["Outrageous." Murmured Armin. "Come on, Sera."]
(16:00:00) Sept: "Oh my god. You have a -reputation- already!"
(16:03:05) Mianplo: ["My association with you seems to have tarred me with the same injustices." Said Armin. "Worry not, my friend. I'll stick by you nonetheless."]
(16:04:17) Sept: "How could I be both grumpy and a frivolous playboy?!"
(16:05:39) Mianplo: [Armin closed his eyes for a second.-
(16:05:42) Mianplo: ["Batman."]
(16:10:05) Sept: "But that's not true!"
(16:19:35) Mianplo: ["But he is both grumpy and a frivolous playboy."]
(16:21:01) Sept: "He alternates. When have I- When have I acted like a frivolous playboy?"
(16:22:57) Mianplo: ["You haven't." Said Armin. "That's why it's an injustice!"-
(16:23:33) Mianplo: [Something tiny smacked against Sera's shoulder, before falling to the ground with a loud, metallic rattle.]
(16:25:19) Sept: "You're being ridi-" Sera looked around, first for the source of the projectile and then for the projectile itself.
(16:27:38) Mianplo: [The projectile was a small golden coin, clear with some investigation to be a single US dollar.-
(16:28:06) Mianplo: ["So your Abbott and Costello routine is really great." Said the young man with the hair bun. "But this isn't a comedy club. Go do it somewhere else."]
(16:35:11) * Sept looked at the man for a moment, shook his head and started to walk away.
(16:35:42) Mianplo: [Armin grabbed the coin and followed.-
(16:35:47) Mianplo: ["Rude." Murmured Armin.]
(16:38:20) Sept: "Also, right."
(16:42:15) Mianplo: ["We are not Abbott and Costello."]
(16:43:31) Sept: "You keep dragging us down pointless rabbit holes, so that's what we look like."
(16:45:34) Mianplo: ["Me?" Said Armin, his voice tinged with hurt. "Look, someone out there is spreading horrible stories about you being a frivolous playboy, which is absurd. We need to figure out why they'd do this… And who they are."]
(16:47:36) * Sept stopped walking, deeming the distance sufficient, and turned around to face Armin again. "-He was talking about you-!"
(16:49:17) Mianplo: ["What? You know who it was?!"]
(16:53:14) Sept: "No! It's you! You're the frivolous playboy! You flirt with everything you see, of course someone's going to take it badly!"
(16:54:28) Mianplo: ["What? I do not flirt with everything I see."]
(16:56:20) * Sept covered his face with a hand, utterly exhausted.
(17:02:12) Mianplo: ["I'm sincere in what I say." Said Armin. He closed his eyes for a second. "And I think I should be able to say what I say without you thinking I'm expressing a romantic or sexual interest. That might be because you associate the sort of things I say with the behaviour of other human beings you've met or seen."-
(17:02:59) Mianplo: ["Just looking at me, you might think I'm human, but I'm not. And in the same way, you might think that what I say is flirtatious, but it's not."]
(17:05:03) Sept: "I… could get used to it," Sera admitted. "But you also can't expect other people not to react to it…"
(17:06:37) Mianplo: ["No, I can't, that's true." Said Armin. "I will simply have to explain my actions to everyone who thinks ill of them. Should I go back and explain myself to our passionate presidential protector?"]
(17:10:15) * Sept nodded slowly. "You can if you think it'll help. I'm having no part in it."
(17:10:46) Mianplo: ["I'll be back."-
(17:11:03) Mianplo: [Armin returned fifteen minutes later.-
(17:11:16) Mianplo: ["That went well. I think we reached an understanding." Said Armin. "Where to now?"]
(17:17:15) * Sept was still there, leaning on the wall and tapping on it with a heel. "…right. Well. I'm not sure where we'd find Viviane, so I think we should regroup at the dorm for the moment."
(17:17:37) Mianplo: ["Alright." He held out an arm.]
(17:18:21) * Sept stood up straight and took the hand.
(17:20:34) Mianplo: [A moment later, they were standing outside the dorm, its door closed.]
(17:22:22) * Sept took a breath and closed his eyes for a moment before going for his card, this time knocking on the door first.
(17:23:03) Mianplo: [He heard a faint voice- ("Come in!")- Tsubaki.]
(17:29:26) * Sept was already halfway through the door by then. "Hey?"
(17:31:15) Mianplo: ["Hi, Onii-chan, Armin." Said Tsubaki happily. She was lying stomach-down on her bed, the pile of goodies left for her dismantled and thoroughly explored. A manga sat in her hands.]
(17:36:07) Sept: "Good to see you. Everything okay while I was gone?"
(17:36:38) Mianplo: ["Uh-huh!" Said Tsubaki. "What about you?"]
(17:42:50) Sept: "Yeah. It was refreshing to be out." He sat down in his domain. "Even if it was in a weird place with weird people."

-unfin-

(14:18:01) @Mianplo: ["Hi!" Said Tsubaki happily.-
(14:18:17) @Mianplo: [Nadiacadenza gave Tsubaki a curt nod, before looking back at Sera with a frown.]
(14:24:14) Sept: "Hm?" He looked back at the more garishly dressed girl.
(14:41:49) @Mianplo: ["What do you want?"]
(14:45:47) Sept: "I wanted you to meet Tsubaki like this, formally. It'd be inconvenient and… impolite, if she didn't at least have fair warning about your existence."
(14:48:50) @Mianplo: ["We have met, then. Is that all?"]
(14:53:58) Sept: "That'll be all," Sera said with an amused smile. "Thanks."
(14:55:56) @Mianplo: [And then she was gone.-
(14:56:11) @Mianplo: [Armin nodded once in solemn approval.-
(14:56:33) @Mianplo: ["Huuh. She seemed grumpy." Said Tsubaki. "Was I cuter somehow?"]
(15:01:17) * Sept shook his head. "I don't think that's something she considers. Even if that wasn't her normal demeanor, she was, and is, on Metatron's side, as well as stuck living with me. That'd make a lot of people grumpy."
(15:06:15) @Mianplo: ["That's true…"]
(15:09:25) Sept: "Not jumping to my defense? No 'You don't make me grumpy at all, Onii-chan'?"
(15:10:18) @Mianplo: ["Nuh-uh. That's why I'm special, 'cuz you don't make me grumpy. That's what Rits-chan says."]
(15:12:23) Sept: "…she does, huh."
(15:13:51) @Mianplo: ["She calls it my Absolute Tolerance Field!" Said Tsubaki proudly.]
(15:16:53) Sept: "She's got a way with words, Ritsuko does."
(15:19:09) @Mianplo: ["Does she?" Asked Armin, his voice rich with curiosity.]
(15:21:49) Sept: "I was being sarcastic. But that… doesn't mean she'd ever be wrong about anything. I value her input greatly," Sera shrugged by way of an answer to Armin.
(15:25:19) @Mianplo: ["Careful. That sort of talk gets you accused of philandering around here."]
(15:26:12) Sept: "E-Excuse me?!"
(15:28:32) @Mianplo: ["Philandering." Said Tsubaki slowly. "That's when you give to charity, right?"-
(15:28:58) @Mianplo: ["That's right." Said Armin- to Sera. "Playing loose with such compliments to a lady…"]
(15:32:00) Sept: "That's philanthropy, and- and are you making fun of me for earlier?"
(15:33:08) @Mianplo: ["But Armin said I was right-"-
(15:33:37) @Mianplo: ["I wouldn't say making fun of you. Maybe trying to laugh with you?" Said Armin.-
(15:34:30) @Mianplo: ["Isn't philanthropy about being nice to insects and bugs?" Asked Tsubaki, squinting into mid-air as though asking of some invisible teacher.]
(15:37:10) Sept: "Those aren't the same things at all!" he replied to the both of them.
(15:40:08) @Mianplo: ["Well of course not. You're not laughing." Said Armin.-
(15:41:08) @Mianplo: ["Wait, wouldn't it make more sense for philandering to be about doing the washing…?"]
(15:45:30) Sept: "Nope. There's no way I can deal with the both of you at once. I… can I concede? Surrender?"
(15:47:15) @Mianplo: ["If you surrender, that means we can do whatever we want to you, right?" Asked Tsubaki.]
(15:49:10) Sept: "…"
(15:50:50) @Mianplo: ["I want to tickle him." Said Tsubaki, her voice dark and gleeful.]
(15:53:43) Sept: "Two on one isn't fair at all…"
(15:55:51) @Mianplo: ["Then you better run." Said Tsubaki dangerously.]
(15:58:06) Sept: "I'm… not making a fool of myself out there. I'm prepared to face my death here."
(15:58:45) @Mianplo: ["We could wait for Chiisana to return." Said Armin. "To even the odds."]
(16:00:35) Sept: "And make me wait for my fate? Cruel."
(16:01:44) @Mianplo: ["Like a Samurai."]
(16:02:24) Sept: "I… okay."
(16:04:55) @Mianplo: ["Or we could go and meet Minerva Linden." Said Armin.]
(16:08:36) Sept: "Oh! Oh, yes, you had that. Maybe it's best I don't interfere with that quest of yours? We'll just stay here."
(16:12:47) @Mianplo: ["We."]
(16:14:44) Sept: "Why's it important now?"
(16:15:13) @Mianplo: ["Because the alternative is a double-tickle."]
(16:17:02) * Sept blinked at him twice. "I see. The President it is."
(16:17:52) @Mianplo: [Tsubaki giggled.]
(16:20:35) Sept: "There's probably a word for that, too," Sera told her with a weak smile.
(16:21:02) @Mianplo: ["Onii-chan?"]
(16:21:42) Sept: "No, that laugh."
(16:22:04) @Mianplo: ["That was clearly a giggle." Said Armin.]
(16:22:54) » Quit: Vera (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|areV#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|areV) (Quit:)
(16:27:25) Sept: "Nevermind," Sera shook his head again. "Do you want to go straight away?"
(16:28:28) @Mianplo: ["We can detour if you want."]
(16:37:42) Sept: "No, that's fine. You're going to be here, right, Tsubaki?"
(16:52:55) @Mianplo: ["Uh-huh."]
(16:54:39) Sept: "I'll see you if we get back, then," he nodded.

-cont-

(14:33:00) Sept: And so, Sera had found himself chaperoning for his Lance Spirit, who was going to have a discussion with the US President about her love life. For… educational purposes? Let's say so. The two walked along the corridors of the warmer ship. "Should be about time. Not that the guy promised anything, remember."
(14:43:09) @Minaplo: ["True." Said Armin.-
(14:43:46) @Minaplo: [On arriving at the door to her quarters, they'd find their young man from before. He had a stony expression on his face. "Abbott and Costello." He said flatly. "She's waiting. For you."]
(14:44:37) Sept: "Ah. Thank you," Sera replied, equally flatly, as he approached.
(14:57:42) » Join: CakeyCake (~ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.73-601-2-801-loop|ekaCyekaC#ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.73-601-2-801-loop|ekaCyekaC)
(14:59:26) @Minaplo: [He grunted, stepped aside and opened the door for them.-
(15:04:26) @Minaplo: [Minerva Linden was inside, sitting behind her desk. She was wearing a thick, warm-looking quilted navy military jumpsuit with a white woolly scarf. Her hair had the look of having been recently curled, yet had been allowed to fall wherever it wanted. She smiled at them as they entered.-
(15:04:55) @Minaplo: ["Hello, Pilot de Pteres." Said Minerva. She turned to Armin. "And hello, Mr. Ansgar. I don't believe we've talked face-to-face before, have we?"-
(15:05:08) @Minaplo: ["A situation we were desperate to remedy, my lady." Said Armin solemnly.-
(15:05:12) @Minaplo: [Minerva giggled.]
(15:08:51) Sept: "President," Sera said with a bit of an amused smile as he avoided eye contact, trying to signal he wasn't the active party in that effort.
(15:24:07) @Minaplo: ["Why don't you take a seat?" She offered, gesturing at her bed. "Can I interest you in a drink or something to eat?"]
(15:24:46) » CakeyCake is now known as Yanmei
(15:27:27) * Sept accepted the makeshift seat, looking around at the rest of the room. "I wouldn't say no to something that isn't distilled water. Thank you."
(15:32:12) @Minaplo: ["I have some brandy left?"]
(15:36:49) Sept: "Hah. I think you'd better save the expensive stuff for buttering up Morty." He looked over at her at that, by accident.
(15:49:06) @Minaplo: [She was still Minerva Linden. Petite, lovely, held herself with a good deal of self-confidence. She was staring back at him!-
(15:49:33) @Minaplo: ["Why bother? His drinks cabinet is greater than anyone could aspire to possess. He's drunk everything there is to drink."]
(15:51:54) Sept: "In that case," Sera shrugged and turned away from her again, "I won't refuse. Armin?"
(15:52:53) @Minaplo: ["Are you sure you want to waste it on me?" Asked Armin seriously.-
(15:53:20) @Minaplo: ["Absolutely." Said Minerva with a smile. She placed a bottle of amber liquid on the table, with three small glasses. She filled the glasses halfway then returned the bottle to wherever it had been before.]
(16:00:38) * Sept got up again, crossing his arms and taking a few steps toward the table. He didn't want to seem like he was just waiting to be served, regardless of who actually had business with Minerva.
(16:04:58) @Minaplo: [Minerva invitingly pushed the glass towards him.]
(16:07:35) * Sept took up the glass, gesturing for Armin to follow if he already wasn't. He held it up halfway with a questioning look at Minerva, just following her lead with the ceremony.
(16:22:40) @Minaplo: [Armin had his glass. He was already heading back towards the bed with it.-
(16:22:47) @Minaplo: [Minerva took her glass. She watched Sera curiously.]
(16:26:57) Sept: "Á votre santé," he muttered, raised the glass a bit more and drained half of it.-
(16:27:55) Sept: Seeing Armin manning the bed, he just took a few steps back and remained standing, the other arm supporting the one with the glass.
(16:36:04) @Minaplo: [There was enough room for two on that bed, Sera~-
(16:36:40) @Minaplo: [Minerva took a sip from her own glass and then set it aside. "So what brings you here?"]
(16:46:46) Sept: "His idea and concern," Sera nodded towards Armin. "I'm accompanying him for what I could call educational purposes."
(16:56:32) @Minaplo: ["Yes." Said Armin.-
(16:57:14) @Minaplo: ["Ah, I see." Minerva turned. "You were here earlier- I hope Albert St. Francis didn't give you two much of a hard time?"]
(17:00:49) Sept: "Not at all. He does his job well, if you ask me."
(17:01:26) @Minaplo: ["Good, good. I'll pass that on." Said Minerva.-
(17:01:46) @Minaplo: [She looked at Armin, her expression shrewd. "But I was a little surprised to hear that you made advances towards him, Mr. Ansgar."-
(17:02:01) @Minaplo: [Armin had been about to take a mouthful of brandy. He stopped, squinting suspiciously.]
(17:06:53) * Sept couldn't hide his triumphant smile. "He can be misconstrued," he cut in. "That's not what he meant by that, but whatever. He likes to comment on the good things he sees in people."
(17:25:46) @Minaplo: ["Yeah." Said Armin. "I don't understand. All I did was come back and try to explain that to him, that I wasn't a philanderer, I just- what Sera said. So to show him that I wasn't a philanderer, I told him all about the good things I saw in him, that's all."]
(17:34:27) * Sept just seemed happy to be able to inflict this discussion on someone else for a moment, even if it had to be the head of a state.
(17:35:30) @Minaplo: [Minerva stared at Armin for just a few seconds before she beamed. "That's adorable."-
(17:35:51) @Minaplo: [Armin blinked a few times, a gormless smile on his face, before turning to Sera. "See? I'm -adorable-."]
(17:36:06) Sept: "Excuse me?"
(17:43:01) @Minaplo: ["Well, you think I'm annoying." Said Armin. "But now you see, you should think of me as adorable."]
(17:52:43) Sept: "I would do no such thing. I could put you up for adoption and she could become a magical girl with your help."
(17:59:23) @Minaplo: ["I'm not sure if magical girls should be presidents." Said Minerva.]
(18:06:55) Sept: "Neither am I. Though the rumors about you are close enough. You really think any misunderstandings like this would be harmless?"
(18:09:29) @Minaplo: ["I didn't say harmless." Said Minerva. "But I have a weak spot for earnestness."]
(18:19:19) Sept: "Yeah, got it." Sera finished his brandy after a few more sips and placed the glass back down on Minerva's desk, nodding to her before returning to his previous place. "But there was something else we- Armin was concerned about, regarding a certain grump. Right?"
(14:52:25) @Minaplo: ["Yes." Said Armin. "We were curious about Ezekiel."-
(14:53:07) @Minaplo: ["I would've thought you'd know more about him than I would, Mr. Ansgar." Said Minerva.-
(14:58:15) @Minaplo: ["I do." Said Armin. "Rather, I meant more specifically about your recent interactions with him."-
(14:58:44) @Minaplo: [Minerva leaned forward, curling her left hand and resting her head against it. "Oh, I see…"]
(15:04:54) Sept: It was good someone did. Sera eyed the two of them, trying to discern some kind of yet-undiscovered wavelength they were communicating on.
(15:20:22) @Minaplo: ["I'm afraid we've been occupied with the survival effort." Said Minerva. "He often acts as a courier, you know, taking people from one ship to the other, or even back to Earth. He's taken me back to the United States several times as needed."-
(15:20:53) @Minaplo: ["And of course he volunteers wherever he is needed." Said Armin. "We saw him tending to the sick."-
(15:25:31) @Minaplo: [Minerva beamed. "Yes, that's right. He's very useful. In fact, I'm not sure why you two think he's grumpy…?"]
(15:32:23) Sept: "He's definitely showed he's not fine with how we've been handling… certain paranormal issues. Not that anyone's going to take offense to that. Armin's theory is he's not grumpy around you, to put it simply."
(15:37:45) @Minaplo: ["Paranormal issues?" asked Minerva.]
(15:39:44) Sept: "Things we've had him consult on," Sera handwaved.
(15:47:11) @Minaplo: ["Like what?"]
(15:51:43) Sept: "Everything pertaining to the Lances we've been dealing with. You know his areas of expertise."
(16:09:23) @Minaplo: ["Well, not all of them. He seems to have a lot." Said Minerva.-
(16:09:41) @Minaplo: ["He does." Said Armin brightly. "I could tell you some stories of how he was in the good old days."]
(16:16:14) * Sept cast a curious look at Armin before turning back towards Minerva for her reaction. It did seem like Armin might be on to something…
(16:19:37) @Minaplo: [Minerva was still watching Armin, her expression one of genuine, but polite curiosity.-
(16:19:47) @Minaplo: ["… But I won't." Said Armin. "It would be improper."-
(16:20:20) @Minaplo: [Minerva's brow creased, and she slumped back in her chair. "Well that's just you being a tease." Said Minerva, huffing.]
(16:28:46) Sept: "Hah, cute. So you're actually interested in him?"
(16:39:46) @Minaplo: ["Wouldn't you be? He's impossibly old, extremely powerful…"]
(16:46:18) * Sept gave her an amused smile. "In your situation, sure. I wouldn't describe him as my type."
(16:46:59) @Minaplo: ["So he doesn't interest you at all? You don't want to know what sort of stories he could tell?"]
(16:56:10) Sept: "Frankly, no," he shook his head. "I've spent enough time worrying and thinking about the olden times. We'll get back to it after, anyway."
(17:13:49) @Minaplo: ["Hmm, well. As you like."-
(17:14:40) @Minaplo: ["Anyway, I don't think you've seen him when he's at his most relaxed." Said Minerva. "Sometimes he'll sit down, give him a drink or something, and he can just start talking about all kinds of things, constantly, in this constant quiet voice of his. Just reminiscing about things he remembers."]
(17:23:58) Sept: "Of course. We weren't questioning that." Sera went back over his words and turned to Armin. "Were we?"
(17:26:15) @Minaplo: ["I'm not sure that can really be questioned." Said Armin. "We can't very well tell her that she didn't see what she saw, that would be rude, Sera."]
(17:32:24) * Sept winced in reaction for just a moment. "I -believe- what he was trying to say was Ezekiel being in a better mood generally would be beneficial to everyone, and pointing to you as the best source for that mood."
(17:45:15) @Minaplo: ["Well, it's gratifying to hear that." Said Minerva. "Although it doesn't sound like it's carrying beyond our own personal interactions if he's grumping at you…"]
(17:50:25) Sept: "Armin? You had suggestions to somehow… amend this?"
(18:07:12) @Minaplo: ["What? Spend more time with him, for our sakes?"-
(18:07:53) @Minaplo: ["I'm not so sure that's the answer." Said Minerva. "Considering the situation, you might simply have to put up with a grumpy Ezekiel. My time is limited, and I can't afford to expend any more than I already am on him."]
(18:16:30) Sept: "Of course," Sera nodded. "Thanks for the insight, in any case. Even though it's this personal."
(18:21:38) @Minaplo: ["Have you tried talking to Ezekiel about this?" Asked Minerva.]
(18:37:13) Sept: "Briefly," Sera admitted. "We may not have been too subtle about it."
(18:38:32) @Minaplo: ["Imagine." Said Minerva brightly.-
(18:38:48) @Minaplo: ["I detect sarcasm." Said Armin. "I'll have you know I can be extremely subtle when I feel like it."]
(18:48:42) Sept: "Yeah. I-" Sera lost his words for a moment before recollecting himself. "How do we make this not look like Abbott and Costello," he asked himself.
(18:49:11) @Minaplo: [Minerva began giggling.]
(18:54:47) Sept: "There was a time when I could hope to be taken seriously one day! He's a weapon of mass destruction, why is this the only situation this ever ends in?!"
(18:56:37) @Minaplo: ["I am not a weapon of mass destruction." Said Armin sternly. "I am in fact just a very special person who is merely capable of mass destruction as a byproduct of being me."-
(18:57:23) @Minaplo: [Minerva's head sank into her hands. She began to laugh harder, her shoulders shaking, her voice going silent as she ran out of air, letting out little paroxysms of silent laughter.]
(19:02:24) Sept: "I obviously know that, and -you're- fucking welcome! Christ. To think for a moment…"
(19:04:21) @Minaplo: [Minerva finally managed to breathe long enough to give her laughter a sound. A loud, joyous sound…-
(19:05:12) @Minaplo: [Armin was grinning. "See? Look how happy she is." Then his face became solemn. He frowned, and rubbed his chin with his right hand, his eyes narrowing. "Now, if we could adapt our talent to work on Ezekiel…"]
(19:14:22) * Sept breathed out slowly, eyes closed. "…thanks again, President, for your time. Armin, I'm taking a walk alone for a moment. Where can I find you afterwards?"
(19:16:19) @Minaplo: [Minerva managed to pull herself together just in time, even though she clearly had to fight the urge to laugh again. "Y-You're going already?"]
(19:21:34) * Sept gave her a smile and shrugged. "Yeah. I've got some other business on your comfortably warm boat I can get up to. You've been really hospitable..?" He offered.
(19:25:41) @Minaplo: ["Thank you~"-
(19:25:52) @Minaplo: ["I'll stay here a while, if that's okay." Said Armin. Minerva gave him a nod.-
(19:26:04) @Minaplo: ["So if I'm not here, Sera, I'll be back at the dorm."]
(19:30:45) Sept: "Got it. I'll see you." He waved to them both casually before heading for the door.
(19:40:01) @Minaplo: [St. Francis was still out there, standing guard loyally. He waited until the door closed behind Sera before speaking.-
(19:40:22) @Minaplo: ["Sounds like an encore reception in there." He said dryly. "Where're you touring next?"]
(19:46:24) * Sept had a retort for him. But he could see into that future, and it would never simply end there. "Fuck right off," was what he settled on, instead. And he was perfectly happy with that.
(19:50:37) @Minaplo: [Rekt.]

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