Komm Susser Tod 2 4 6

[22:24] <Minaplo> [The safehouse was a modest affair. It had solid wooden floors and solid wooden walls, with a solid wooden table taking up half of the living room. In fact, most of the building was either made of solid wood, or held objects of solid wood.-
[22:25] <Minaplo> [The one visible electronic object was a simple lightbulb hanging from the roof, although this was currently off. Instead, the dark rook was lit by the bright, crackling, flicking fire in the (stone) fireplace.-
[22:30] <Minaplo> [A squashy sofa sat a few metres from the fireplace, adjoined by two matching armchairs. The one major ornament to the place were the mounted heads of dead animals- a stag, a snarling bear, wolves…-
[22:32] <Minaplo> [There were two men sitting in the armchairs. One was tall and stick-thin, with sunken, gaunt features, a sharply-angled nose and long white hair tied into a pony tail. He held a cane between his legs, and was fiddling with the handle absent-mindedly. This was Vladimir Romanov.-
[22:34] <Minaplo> [The other was shorter, but just as thin, although he possessed a wiry, grapply sort of look. He had prominent eyebrows and a rather short nose, narrow eyes and a pair of eyeglasses. His short, cropped hair was grey. He was wearing several layers of clothing and was rubbing his hands vigourously in front of the fire.-
[22:34] <Minaplo> ["Oh, stop going on so." Said Romanov curtly. "You act like you've never seen cold."-
[22:35] <Minaplo> [The other man- Nigel Shardlake- gave him a single black look, but said nothing.]
[22:48] <Yanmei> There was a sudden flash - a swirl of light and a strange distortion of of air and color around it, concentrated in the very center of the room. Then, in the next moment, the two gentlemen would find that they were no longer alone. -
[22:53] <Yanmei> A very familiar Eva pilot was standing there. She was wearing the blue and white uniform of the new rogue faction, her violet hair pulled back into a single long braid, her back straight. She gave them a calm nod in greeting, as if this mode of transportation was an utterly pedestrian occurance for her now. "Gentlemen." -
[22:53] <Yanmei> She wasn't alone. There was the blonde construct who had originally taken them to the safehouse in the first place was also there, and beside him was the even more familiar Ginevre Fontaine.
[23:04] <Minaplo> [Shardlake looked over at her. If her entrance alarmed him, he wasn't going to show it. "Zhang Yanmei." Said Shardlake. "Or is that Chancellor Zhang now?"]
[23:06] <Yanmei> "Chancellor, if you please, Mr. Shardlake."
[23:09] <Minaplo> ["Chancellor, then." Said Shardlake.-
[23:10] <Minaplo> ["Welcome." Said Romanov, turning his head. "By all means, Chancellor, Miss Fontaine, Ezekiel, join us here in the house of the defeated." He gestured at the sofa.]
[23:17] <Yanmei> "Thank you for the hospitality?" Yanmei moved for the couch. Something at her throat glinted red as she did so, catching the light of the fireplace. "Although, I can't help but notice that you've picked a pretty final-sounding nickname for the place."
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["Would you prefer a comforting lie?" Asked Romanov.-
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["I'm surprised you didn't go for 'Dunschemin'." Said Ginevre coolly.-
[00:20] <Minaplo> ["Oh, ha ha." Said Shardlake sarcastically.]
[00:42] <Yanmei> "We heard the reports about Singapore? Obviously you thought you still had a shot at accumulating resources and doing something with them - even if it was using them to comfortably retire from the public's eye."
[00:44] <Minaplo> ["Pure survival." Said Romanov.]
[00:45] <Yanmei> "Still an option," Yanmei pointed out.
[00:47] <Minaplo> ["As opposed to victory, yes."]
[00:58] <Yanmei> "Um. Technically, lying in wait isn't so much survival as it is patiently waiting for her version of doomsday to come to fruition."
[22:10] <Minaplo> ["Assuming you choose to wait on this world."]
[22:14] <Yanmei> "You were planning to flee to another one? Live out the rest of your days with only each other for company?"
[22:14] <Minaplo> ["Oh, please." Said Shardlake. "I think I'd prefer to die."-
[22:15] <Minaplo> [Romanov glowered at him, then turned to Yanmei. "No. After all, you're the one with the battleship."]
[22:19] <Yanmei> "Our battleship is not at its best currently," said Yanmei delicately. "And we were planning to use it to actually fight her."
[22:19] <Minaplo> ["A waste of a good battleship." Said Romanov.-
[22:20] <Minaplo> ["I, for one, do prefer fighting." Said Shardlake. "I'm not quite so predisposed to believe that the outcome is unchangeable."]
[22:24] <Yanmei> "If she had won for sure, she wouldn't be spending as much time as she has tracking down her enemies and making sure they were captured, dead, or too broken to fight."
[22:28] <Minaplo> ["Not exactly, no." Said Romanov sardonically. "But every battle has the stage of combat and the rout. We just happen to be in the rout, and it's now when most of the casualties happen."-
[22:29] <Minaplo> ["Most casualties do happen during the rout of a battle, he's not wrong." Said Shardlake. "In their attempts to flee and save themselves, an army only ensures their own destruction."-
[22:29] <Minaplo> [He gave Romanov a pointed look.]
[22:42] <Yanmei> "Withdrawing from a single battle doesn't mean that the entire war is over with? No one side has been defeated yet." Yanmei said firmly.
[22:44] <Minaplo> ["Really." Said Romanov, sounding unconvinced.]
[22:47] <Yanmei> "That's right! We're gearing up for a massive comeback in Europe in just a few days."
[22:53] <Minaplo> ["And you think it'll work."]
[22:56] <Yanmei> "Absolutely. This time we'll be the ones doing the ambushing!"
[23:00] <Minaplo> ["I'm convinced."]
[23:03] <Yanmei> "You are?"
[23:04] <Minaplo> ["No, fool girl." Said Romanov instantly. ]
[23:08] * Yanmei switched to a glare at that! "Just what are you so hung up on?"
[23:09] <Minaplo> ["You aren't convincing me. What are your plans? Your resources? Your argument for how your supposed victory will come around?"]
[23:11] <Yanmei> "And if I tell you that information, can I be sure that you won't use it to barter with Caine for your life?"
[23:17] <Minaplo> ["I thought you were the one who said that survival equates to waiting for her version of doomsday?"]
[23:34] * Yanmei folded her arms, leaning back a little. "Theoretically, it wouldn't be impossible to grab hold some loophole if you had enough leverage. Something that would give you enough of a foothold to participate in her schemes as something other than a victim, unlike the rest of the world's population. It is -unlikely- that you'll get her to agree, even with your wits and power, but not impossible. I want to be sure that you won't try it in a moment of desperation."
[23:35] <Minaplo> ["Ah yes, the old 'Scheme together, rule together' chestnut." Said Romanov. He turned to Shardlake. "Didn't we try that once? What was it called again…?"-
[23:35] <Minaplo> ["I think we called it 'SEELE'." Said Shardlake dryly.-
[23:35] <Minaplo> [The two men then began laughing bitterly.]
[23:44] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei bristled just a little, but she calmed herself again just as quickly, glancing at Fontaine for her own reaction. "You've made a fine point," she said reluctantly.
[23:45] <@Minaplo> [Fontaine's arms were folded, and she was smiling slightly in spite of herself.-
[23:46] <@Minaplo> ["I'm annoyed that I had to make it in the first place." Said Romanov. "Think of how many favours I've done for Caine, only for her to try to kill me. One more won't help."-
[23:47] <@Minaplo> ["Besides, we know what Caine's like." Said Shardlake. "If we did go to her with this information, she would take it, and then kill us. Her mindset pursues her goals with no deviation, and we cannot change that. It's admirable, in its own way."]
[23:53] <Yanmei> "That's not what I'd call it," Yanmei muttered. "Anyway, I'll let you in on at least the gist of our plan."
[00:02] <@Minaplo> ["Go on."]
[00:14] <Yanmei> "It hinges entirely around recovering the Geofront? So we'll teleport in and deploy a handful of Evas to reinforce French and Soviet troops that are struggling against the German invasion. The key here is speed. We won't have long before Caine sends her own Evas - or her Dysangelions - in response to us, so we have to disable human-sized troops in just a few minutes. From that point on, we'll be dealing with a nasty Eva-sized brawl."
[00:18] <@Minaplo> ["The sort you lost last time." Asked Romanov.]
[00:20] <Yanmei> "When we were badly injured and exhausted."
[00:31] <@Minaplo> ["And you aren't now?"]
[00:33] <Yanmei> "We've had plenty of time to rest and repair our Evas. For that matter, we will not be entering the battle immediately after fighting our way through waves and waves of Angel enemies?"
[00:35] <@Minaplo> ["And you think you can take on her Dysangelions and the Divine Evas."]
[00:40] <Yanmei> "Better to do it this way than relying on traditional ground troops."
[00:41] <@Minaplo> ["Well, obviously, but do you think you can actually defeat them?"]
[00:45] <Yanmei> "I'm confident that we can."
[00:45] <@Minaplo> ["Can you defeat her Dysangelions, the Divine Eva, an army of E-Destroyers and the Sword of Damocles?"]
[00:53] <Yanmei> "…we were counting on her not bringing her ship in, to be honest."
[01:07] <@Minaplo> ["Tactical genius." Said Shardlake at home. "I'm sure Villeneue would've won at Waterloo of Nelson had left all of his greatest assets at home, too."]
[22:14] <Yanmei> "We were planning on it being tied up elsewhere? Germany isn't the only place we'll be targeting."
[22:27] <Minaplo> ["Oh?"]
[22:36] <Yanmei> "That's right? An awesome decoy team will be carrying out an assault on one of her high-priority bases at the same time? She's had a few days to plunder what she wants from the Geofront, so she'll probably reserve some of her forces back to deal with the threat to the other base instead. Likely the Battleship, some Dysangelions, or a combination of the two."
[22:37] <Minaplo> ["Which base is this?" Asked Romanov suspiciously.]
[22:39] <Yanmei> "Her favorite one? We need to attract her attention after all~"
[22:43] <Minaplo> ["You do enjoy the coy game, don't you?" Said Romanov. "Do you mean the Alaska Base?"]
[22:46] <Yanmei> "Eh? Is she that attached to this Alaska Base? I meant the Synfront."
[22:56] <Minaplo> ["Oh, so you did mean the Synfront." Said Romanov. "I had to make sure you weren't attempting to bait me into revealing what I knew- or worse, that you didn't actually know what her most important base was and were hoping you could bait me into revealing it."]
[23:03] <Yanmei> "But if you did know some important information about her bases, you wouldn't keep it to yourself, right~? There'd be no benefit to it."
[23:04] <Minaplo> ["No." Said Romanov. "But there's no benefit to you acting coy, either, so why don't you drop the cute act?"]
[23:11] <Yanmei> "What do you mean by 'act'~?" She smiled sweetly at him. "But I will, in any case, strive to be more direct?"
[23:11] <Minaplo> ["That would be good!"]
[23:15] <Yanmei> "Then, I'll ask outright? You're sure nothing's going on at the Alaska Base?"
[23:22] <Minaplo> ["Nothing important. It's just a listening post."]
[23:23] <Yanmei> "Hrm. All right, then."
[23:24] <Minaplo> ["So to understand you," Asked Shardlake, "You intend to launch a decoy attack against the Synfront, then at the same time retake the Geofront and Paris with your Evangelions."]
[23:26] <Yanmei> "Yes."
[23:27] <Minaplo> ["Won't she be expecting an attack on the Synfront?" Asked Romanov.-
[23:31] <Minaplo> ["She will. Your lot," Said Shardlake, nodding towards Yanmei, "Attacked the Synfront several times in the past. They haven't been decoy attacks, though- they've definitely been intended to gain some sort of resource, and they've used that pet Angel of Vercingetorix's to do so. She'll keep at least some of her forces in reserve, although whether she'll keep enough back to make the France
[23:31] <Minaplo> attack work is up in the air. I think it has merit."]
[23:39] <Yanmei> "That's right?" A smug grin. "If things go really well, we'll even knock one or two Dysangelions completely out of commission before the whole affair is over."
[23:44] <Minaplo> ["Don't get ahead of yourself." Said Shardlake severely. "Your main goal is to retake the repair facilities, isn't it?"]
[23:44] <Yanmei> "That's right."
[23:45] <Minaplo> ["So you'll probably be re-establishing your control over Boston and Leningrad as well."]
[23:49] <Yanmei> "Eventually. Of those two, Leningrad will be the more immediate concern."
[23:52] <Minaplo> ["Makes sense." Said Shardlake.]
[23:59] <Yanmei> "The truth is, we have an alarming number of refugees with us? We'll need the Soviets to help us house them. Morever, they're in a better physical location for us to assist them."
[23:59] <Minaplo> [Shardlake nodded. "I see."]
[00:04] <Yanmei> "We can't rely on this safehouse remaining undiscovered, so~ You'll probably be moving there soon too."
[00:11] <Minaplo> ["You don't intend to keep us with you?"]
[00:15] <Yanmei> "-I'm- going into constant combat for an undetermined period of time. I can't promise any safety for civilians."
[00:17] <Minaplo> ["What about your Battleship?"]
[00:18] <Yanmei> "The Battleship needs repairs. Badly. Once those are completed, it will also return to the battlefield."
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["I see." Said Shardlake simply.]
[21:37] <Yanmei> "And so that's the gist of our plan. I don't think I left anything out, did I, Vice Chancellor?"
[21:38] <Minaplo> ["You covered everything of importance, yes." Said Ginevre.-
[21:45] <Minaplo> ["This plan still relies on you achieving your goal with as little damage as possible. Even moderate damage could have a knock-on effect which ruins everything." Said Shardlake. "Still, it seems like it has some chance of success. I accept it."]
[21:46] * Yanmei preened before glancing at Romanov. "And what's your opinion on it?"
[21:48] <Minaplo> ["Well, it seems like I have no choice." Said Romanov icily.-
[21:48] <Minaplo> ["You don't." Said Shardlake. "But you might as well tell them your plan anyway, Romanov."-
[21:48] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."]
[21:50] * Yanmei found herself glancing between the two curiously. Eventually she leaned back, folding her arms expectantly.
[21:56] <Minaplo> [Eventually Romanov turned towards not Yanmei or Ginevre, but Ezekiel. "You. Do you still represent the First Federation?"-
[21:56] <Minaplo> [Ezekiel folded his arms and eyed Romanov speculatively.]
[22:00] <Yanmei> Yanmei's own eyes became a touch sharper now. "And that would be…?"
[22:01] <Minaplo> ["The translated term for…" Romanov waved his hand at Yanmei. "Do you know about the First Ancestral Race, girl?"]
[22:02] <Yanmei> "Chancellor. And yes," she said primly.
[22:04] <Minaplo> ["The First Federation is what they made." Said Romanov. "They formed it with the other early species. And as far as I know, this one acted as an emissary during that time."-
[22:05] <Minaplo> [Ezekiel nodded slowly. "Your question is difficult to answer." He said. "I cannot give you an absolute yes, since it is presumptuous to claim to represent something which has not existed for so long. On the other hand, I cannot give you an absolute no, since it is true that I might be the closest thing to a representative, if such a thing can claim to have one."-
[22:06] <Minaplo> ["Humf." Romanov huffed.-
[22:07] <Minaplo> ["My plan had been to leave." Said Romanov. "To find other descendant races. I had hoped that this one might have the authority to make them listen, to mobilise them in order to destroy Mary Caine."-
[22:07] <Minaplo> ["Of course, such a plan leaves little open for humanity." Said Shardlake.-
[22:08] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure humanity is doomed anyway." Said Romanov. "At least this way, Caine can be stopped before she endangers others."]
[22:11] <Yanmei> "I, for one, would like to see humanity survive," Yanmei said slowly, "even if it means fighting it out with Caine unassisted?"
[22:12] <Minaplo> ["If you wish." Said Romanov blandly. "You seem to be calling the shots."]
[22:23] <Yanmei> "That's right?" Another firm nod. "Anyway, we have pretty much no way of telling where the races are or if we could even reach them."
[22:24] <Minaplo> ["We'd find them sooner or later." said Romanov.]
[22:31] <Yanmei> "The universe is big. I think we'd at least need directions of some kind."
[22:33] <Minaplo> [Romanov went back to eyeing Ezekiel, but said nothing.]
[22:47] <Yanmei> "I guess it shouldn't surprise me that you'd be so quick to give up on humanity, though. It's not like your SEELE hasn't made a habit of casually trampling over lives and murdering people," she added flippantly. "Children, in particular, but they're probably not alone?"
[22:57] <Minaplo> ["Oh, please. Spare me the morality lecture." Said Romanov.]
[23:04] <Yanmei> "Why should I? Should I pretend that I don't hold grudges over that business in Eden Base? Or the fact that you murdered my husband's mother and forced him to live out his childhood in some creepy lab? Sorry, but I haven't forgotten any of it."
[23:13] <@Minaplo> ["Would you have preferred we let the vessel of Adam roam free?" Asked Romanov, glowering.-
[23:15] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, yes. That's exactly what she means." Said Shardlake. "Let it live out its happy, carefree existence. It could go to school and study to become a doctor like a normal person."-
[23:16] <@Minaplo> ["I wonder what that would've been like." Said Romanov. "What do you think would've happened, Shardlake?"-
[23:17] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, humanity would've been wiped out during the first, maybe second Angel battle." Said Shardlake dryly. "Guaranteed. Assuming he hadn't woken before then."-
[23:18] <@Minaplo> ["What do you mean, Shardlake?" Asked Romanov, his tone heavy with sarcasm. "Do you mean trusting the fate of humanity to whimsy, luck and the chance for some random child to 'live a normal life' might actually trigger the apocalypse?"-
[23:18] <@Minaplo> ["Don't be ridiculous, Romanov." Said Shardlake. "That would never happen and all of the precautions we took over the last eighteen years were for our own sick amusement."]
[23:35] <Yanmei> "That's adorable," she said coldy. "Pretending that Adam just happened to end up inside of him naturally instead of because of Second Impact. Which is -another- damned thing on its own."
[23:36] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, of course. Do you remember that meeting, Romanov?" Asked Shardlake.-
[23:37] <@Minaplo> ["The one where we agreed we would sent that moron Katsuragi to Antarctica to deliberately devastate half the planet?" Said Romanov. "As opposed to being an unforseen consequence?"-
[23:37] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, that would be the one." Said Shardlake.-
[23:37] <@Minaplo> ["I'm not sure if I do." Said Romanov. "I remember the one meeting where we discussed our plan for sterilising China with chemtrails, but planning Second Impact…?"]
[23:44] <Yanmei> "But you -did- send them in the first place? And you admit that if you hadn't gone poking around it, billions would still be alive and humanity wouldn't even be in this mess?"
[23:47] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, we admit our actions had unintended consequences that led to the deaths of millions." Said Romanov.-
[23:49] <@Minaplo> ["Not that you'd have any experience with that sort of thing." Said Shardlake archly. "You weren't the one who slew multitudes of Brothers during the Brother Insurrection, knowing full well they were still human beings…"-
[23:49] <@Minaplo> ["You weren't the one who left thousands of refugees behind, leaving them ripe for slaughter…" Said Romanov.-
[23:49] <@Minaplo> ["You weren't the one who started a war…" Said Shardlake idly.-
[23:50] <@Minaplo> ["You weren't the one who killed Atticus Nelson…" Said Romanov coldly.-
[23:51] <@Minaplo> ["You weren't the one who nearly killed Viviane Fournier, either." Said Shardlake, folding his hands together. "Except that you were. Every time. Not even counting the repeated cases of collateral damage, which has in fact led to destroyed lives and deaths of civilians…"-
[23:53] <@Minaplo> ["If you want us to admit that we made a mistake, then we did." Said Romanov. "But if you are going to hate us for Second Impact, then you had best be prepared to be hated for every single negative consequence that occurs when you try to make the world a better place." He turned to look Yanmei in the eye.-
[23:54] <@Minaplo> ["I lost my family in Second Impact." Said Romanov, his tone biting. "Don't ever accuse me of orchestrating that."]
[00:21] <Yanmei> Rage initially fogged Yanmei's own eyes as she stared back. They cleared, however, bit by bit, and something she had been on the verge of blurting out just then was pushed deliberately aside for something else. -
[00:34] <Yanmei> "I don't need help remembering those losses or the consequences, thanks," she said tightly. "And since I'm already prepared to take the heat for them, I won't apologise for, similarly, holding SEELE responsible for -its- mistakes."
[00:55] <@Minaplo> ["Then perhaps you're cut out for leadership after all." Said Romanov.]
[00:57] * Yanmei scoffed, folding her arms. "I didn't come here for your endorsement."
[01:09] <@Minaplo> ["Well in that case, you're a thin, strange-haired Chinese with a poor attitude and a lack of discipline." Said Romanov.]
[01:19] <Yanmei> "And you're-!" RESTRAINT. She pulled back again, pursing her lips briefly together. "I believe we're done here," she said with as much primness as she could force.
[01:20] <@Minaplo> [Ginevre coughed lightly into her hand.-
[01:22] <@Minaplo> [Both of the old men began chuckling smugly.-
[01:22] <@Minaplo> ["So it goes." Said Romanov.]
[01:23] <Yanmei> "Where is your strange Australian housemate?"
[01:25] <@Minaplo> ["I moved him to a different safehouse." Said Ezekiel. "He needed certain things."]
[01:26] <Yanmei> Wary now. Also, trying hard not to shoot Fontaine a look for her reactions. "What sort of… things?"
[01:27] <@Minaplo> [Ginevre was busy hiding any impertinent emotions behind a cool mask.-
[01:28] <@Minaplo> ["His entourage, for example."]
[01:31] <Yanmei> Suspicions deepened. "I see?" she said slowly. "I guess we're off, then."
[01:32] <@Minaplo> [The two old men had already turned away back towards the fire.]
[01:34] * Yanmei glared at them one last time. "I'll be in touch to send you additional information later," she said in parting, and then stood up, going to Ezekiel.
[01:37] <@Minaplo> [He held out his arm, and a moment later he, Yanmei and Ginevre were gone.]

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