Komm Susser Tod 2 5 C A

Continued from 2.5.c

[12:40] <Minaplo> [Sarasvati looked at Sera with those big, wide eyes of hers. "No. It is a faux pas to dance before the newlyweds." She said. "And after the newlyweds are the man who caught the garter and the woman who caught the bouquet."]
[12:42] <Sept> "Huh. That makes sense. We'll settle for mingling and food in the meantime."
[22:28] <@Minaplo> [Sera would soon notice someone else near the rather crowded buffet table- bespectacled Alexandre Fontaine, loading up two plates.]
[22:31] <Sept> "Oh. You'll survive here if I go say hi to Alex? We'll find each other when the dancing starts."
[22:31] <@Minaplo> ["Yes."]
[22:37] <Sept> "Great." And with a nod to her, Sera headed for the buffet, followed by approximally zero to two spirit beings.
[22:40] <@Minaplo> [Alex piled up his plates, heedless to the people around him doing their own thing- when suddenly he paused, peering down at his foot, where a lovely little fox vixen sat, pawing gently at his leg. "Oh no, what?"]
[22:44] <Sept> "Made a friend, Alex?"
[22:45] <@Minaplo> ["An admirer more like." Said Alex. "This is… Daji? I think? Zhang got it in Australia as a pet for her little girl, but the damn thing won't leave me alone."]
[22:47] * Sept took another scrutinizing look at Daji. "It doesn't look Australian at all to me."
[22:57] <@Minaplo> ["What would make it look Australian in your eyes, Sera?"]
[23:00] <Sept> "Creepy-ass poison barbs. Did you know platypuses are poisonous?"
[23:04] <@Minaplo> ["Yes." Said Alex. "Yes, I did. Did you know NeoSpartans once spent nearly eight months on survival training in Australia?"]
[23:07] <Sept> "Yeah. Anyone get poisoned by a platypus?"
[23:08] <@Minaplo> ["Actually, platypi deliver their toxin through their spurs, so that makes it venom." Said Alex. "And yes, one kid did."]
[23:09] <Sept> "Make it?"
[23:10] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah, he was fine. Tried to kill himself because of the agony, but he was fine." Said Alex. "I can't say the same about the kids who were eaten by spiders, though."-
[23:10] <@Minaplo> ["Anyway, you're right, foxes aren't native to Australia." Said Alex. "But this one's special nonetheless."-
[23:10] <@Minaplo> [Daji was sitting back on her hind legs, making a begging motion at Alex with her front paws.]
[23:14] <Sept> "Yeah? AT fox? It needs to work on its foraging methods."
[23:15] <@Minaplo> ["Not AT, but it's extremely intelligent. Daji, three times three."-
[23:15] <@Minaplo> [The fox stared at him. Then eyed his plate.-
[23:15] <@Minaplo> [Alex sighed, grabbed a meatball and tossed it down towards her. She grabbed it, placed it between her rear legs, then clapped her paws nine times.-
[23:15] <@Minaplo> ["See?"]
[23:18] <Sept> "Parrots could do that before Impact. What was the famous one called?"-
[23:18] <Sept> "Oh yeah. Alex."
[23:30] <@Minaplo> ["Cute." Said Alex dryly. "Either way, she seems to like me a lot, no idea why though."]
[23:35] <Sept> "Huh. Anyway, how was your day? Busy?"
[23:36] <@Minaplo> ["You could say that. Helping Isaiah with preparation."]
[23:41] <Sept> "Oh, how was he?"
[23:42] <@Minaplo> ["Nervous. Excited, but nervous."]
[23:42] <Sept> "Who wouldn't be. Was she helping Yanmei, then?"
[23:43] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah. You saw me and her on the stage, with the newlyweds? All the women were Yanmei's bridesmaids and the men were Isaiah's groomsmen."]
[23:47] <Sept> "I saw some of you," Sera nodded. "It's a pretty impressive show."
[23:47] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah, it went really well." Said Alex. He'd finished gathering up his hoard, and was now moving away from the buffet, Daji loyally following.-
[23:49] <@Minaplo> ["Considering what we had to work with," He glanced over at the nymph and the roof, before down at the whale-based food in his hands, "I think we did pretty damn well. I saw you watching. Well, I saw Sarasvati watching, she was hard to miss."]

-cont-

(15:54:57) * Sept followed by him, hands halfway in his pants pockets. "She was taking pictures, we're probably going to go through them later. Reminisce."
(15:55:20) @Minaplo: ["What, later today?"]
(15:55:49) Sept: "Yeah."
(15:56:32) @Minaplo: ["Seems a little early for reminiscing."]
(15:57:41) Sept: "The past's the past. I've had to get someone to help me with my memory, too. Must be getting old."
(16:00:50) @Minaplo: ["Who might that be?"]
(16:03:47) Sept: "More spirits poking around. This one's appearance doesn't cast doubt on my judgment, though."
(16:04:14) @Minaplo: ["Oh. Oh, right, this is the rickshaw arsonist…"]
(16:06:21) Sept: "Tch. -One tiny fire- and everyone knows about it. No, this is the oth- not that one."
(16:07:23) @Minaplo: ["So it's a third spirit." Said Alex. "And here I was thinking you were a wine man."]
(16:11:11) Sept: "I like to mix it up," Sera replied dryly. "Think Mazarin's been waiting to get to make speeches again?"
(16:11:45) @Minaplo: ["Well, if you're gonna get someone to make speeches, might as well go for the best."]
(16:14:41) Sept: "What was your impression of him in Paris? When you were in school and whatever."
(16:17:49) @Minaplo: ["Ahh, hmm. He was impressive." Said Alex. "He knows how to run a nation, especially post-Impact ones. He always seemed like he wasn't that interested in -politics- per se, as in the deal-making, the backstabbing, the compromising, plotting… He seemed to think it was a sideshow that he'd rather skip. Or if he couldn't, he'd do it as rapidly as possible so he could get back to running
(16:17:49) @Minaplo: the country."]
(16:21:49) Sept: "…yeah. Even though he was basically a dictator, it was difficult to vilify him. We definitely tried, though."
(16:24:41) @Minaplo: ["At the end of the day, I reckon a lot of people are okay with a little autocracy, so long as they get the job done and don't infringe too much on social freedoms." Said Alex. "It's not like Mazarin went around censoring the papers or banning public meetings… He understood that the stronger a tyrant squeezes the more slips through their fingers."]
(16:28:01) Sept: "The things I'd give to be able to one-up him."
(16:29:50) @Minaplo: ["Oh?"]
(16:31:58) Sept: "France'd -really- be fucked then, huh."
(16:33:55) @Minaplo: ["Depends on how you one-upped him, I suppose."]
(16:34:34) Sept: "Well, taking his job was implied. So."
(16:35:03) @Minaplo: ["Oh, now this I need to hear. How would you do that, pray tell?"]
(16:36:40) Sept: "You can work with me on it. Is assassination necessary? Would he be able to lead a rebellion?"
(16:40:42) @Minaplo: ["Yanmei would kill you before you had the chance to finish your plan, so no, I can't work with you on it, because life is sweet and your plan sucks."]
(16:42:01) Sept: "Need someone else for a VP…"
(16:42:42) @Minaplo: ["Talked to any Algerian ambassadors recently?"]
(16:43:32) * Sept paused for a while, blinking. A sore spot. "Nah. I think they got the message. I'm very strict about my foreign policy."
(16:44:41) @Minaplo: ["Sounds like you have a lot in common with Mazarin."]
(16:49:19) Sept: "Ugh. He'd never have let that happen if he wasn't prepared for the fallout, but…"
(16:51:06) @Minaplo: ["Uh oh."]
(16:52:40) Sept: "Yeah. I mean, what?"
(16:53:08) @Minaplo: ["Asuka's giving me a look. She wants me to hurry up." He muttered. "Talk to you later?"]
(16:53:54) Sept: "Like the one on stage?"
(16:55:24) Sept: * "Like the one she gave you on stage?"
(16:56:33) @Minaplo: ["Nnnnno, not this time." He said, already starting to pick up the pace.]
(16:59:34) * Sept laughed. "Have fun," he said. "You too, fox. Don't steal any babies."
(17:00:42) @Minaplo: [Daji stared at him.-
(17:01:07) @Minaplo: [She slowly shook her head. She was a fox, but Sera knew that fucking gesture.-
(17:01:17) @Minaplo: [Then she ran off to the stage after Alex-senpai.]
(17:22:14) * Sept turned to head in the opposite direction - back to the buffet to get some hors d'oeuvres de whale. Filling his plate - and stomach - up a bit, he headed for the bar.
(17:30:42) @Minaplo: [There were a few people at the bar. Obviously Blue was there, managing everything. Sitting on stools in front of him were Akagi Ritsuko- wearing a black dress and stockings underneath several layers of coats- and Matthias Holmstrom, wearing his military uniform, a pile of food eight inches high in front of him.]
(17:38:17) * Sept slid his plate onto the table between them and hoisted himself onto the stool. "Hey." He glanced at Ritsuko and Matthias in turn before turning to Blue.
(17:38:33) @Minaplo: ["Hey." Said Blue.-
(17:38:37) @Minaplo: ["Hi." Said Rits.-
(17:38:46) @Minaplo: ["Mm." Mumbled Matthias through his food.-
(17:38:55) @Minaplo: ["Getting buzzed already, wise guy?" Asked Blue.]
(17:41:27) Sept: "Never being sober again," he declared jokingly. "That's how these parties work, non?"
(17:42:24) @Minaplo: ["Yeah, you drink two litres of beer and end up doing Akagi here doggie-style in a cabinet."-
(17:42:44) @Minaplo: ["No thanks." Said Ritsuko dryly. "Once was enough, and Tsubaki would kill me."]
(17:47:11) Sept: "She would, too. What do you have, Blue?"
(17:52:30) @Minaplo: ["Mostly got some cheap beer, some low-cost red wine, vodka and whiskey." Said Blue. "Courtesy of our friends on the Liberty Bell. We have some good shit, but it's rare and'll run out, so it's first come first serve."]
(17:58:49) Sept: "I'll take the wine. Don't intend to get too drunk." He began snacking on his whale pie.
(17:59:14) @Minaplo: [A glass of wine was quickly poured for Sera.-
(17:59:29) @Minaplo: ["So." Said Blue. "How'd you like my masterpiece?"]
(18:02:10) Sept: "Your masterpiece?"
(18:02:48) @Minaplo: ["Yanmei's dress."]
(18:03:12) Sept: "Ah. It was pretty beautiful."
(18:04:13) @Minaplo: ["You should see it up close. -Feel- it even. It's grand."]
(18:11:26) Sept: "Not sure if I'll get the chance." He tried the wine, not expecting too much. As long as it wasn't recycled LCL.
(18:11:46) @Minaplo: [Everything alive was recycled LCL if you wanted to think about it.-
(18:12:51) @Minaplo: ["Make the effort."]
(18:13:16) Sept: "Sneak into her wardrobe?"
(18:13:27) @Minaplo: ["Just ask!"]
(18:13:43) Sept: "Oh, yeah."
(18:14:46) @Minaplo: [Ritsuko snorted.-
(18:14:58) @Minaplo: ["So, what's your plan for tonight, Sera? Besides getting ever so slightly drunk."]
(18:20:33) Sept: "Mingling. It's a potentially new situation for Archivist, but I'm not expecting anything to go wrong. You?"
(18:22:14) @Minaplo: ["Drinking, maybe dancing if someone asks, but I don't think they will. Mingling sounds nice, I suppose. Be keeping an eye on Tsubaki in case anything goes wrong."]
(18:28:43) Sept: "Sounds good." Sera leaned on the counter with one elbow and turned around. "Holmstrom, right? You gonna be at that all night?"
(18:29:29) @Minaplo: [Holmstrom paused, glancing at Sera.-
(18:29:42) @Minaplo: ["Been on single rations for week and a half." He said shortly. "It's food time."]
(18:30:15) Sept: "I don't think human anatomy works quite like that. Ritsuko?"
(18:30:42) @Minaplo: [Ritsuko waved her hand. "He's fine. Has an eating thing. Metabolic, I think."]
(18:36:07) Sept: "Alright. I -am- glad to get away from the MREs for a while, though." He chomped down the rest of his whale pie to demonstrate.
(18:37:20) @Minaplo: ["Those things are awful." Agreed Ritsuko. "Hey, did you ever end up getting the Mexican fajita?"]
(18:38:19) Sept: "I don't think so. There were a lot of Mexican Somethings, I might've missed it."
(18:38:45) @Minaplo: ["Lucky you. Tsubaki had one once and threw it up."]
(18:42:26) Sept: "Mm," Sera said sympathetically. "Is it really that tough to make the meal part of an MRE?"
(18:43:01) @Minaplo: ["Well, the rest of them aren't that bad, so I guess the fajita is just doubly awful."]
(18:47:13) Sept: "But you wouldn't have any of them over a whale sandwich, as bland as that may be."
(18:47:35) @Minaplo: ["Hah, like we have bread for a sandwich." Said Matthias.]
(18:48:08) Sept: "…indeed. It'd be whale on whale on whale, I guess."
(18:49:28) @Minaplo: ["Take it from me, it's easier to spice up whale than it is an MRE." Said Blue.]
(18:49:55) Sept: "The whale's a blank slate, the MRE's nothing but spice to begin with?"
(18:50:30) @Minaplo: ["Something like that."]
(18:50:56) Sept: "Yeah. How long did you have that dress ready, Blue?"
(18:53:24) @Minaplo: ["Finished it like two days ago. I needed materials from Singapore."]
(18:55:40) Sept: "Further motives emerge. I'm sure she appreciates it."
(18:57:11) @Minaplo: ["Hahaha, she hates me for it, I can tell."]
(18:57:59) Sept: "I'm sure of it."
(18:58:14) @Minaplo: ["Both. She hateppreciates it."-
(18:58:31) @Minaplo: ["Ah, that brings back memories." Said Ritsuko. "Hateppreciation…"]
(18:59:27) Sept: "E-Excuse me?"
(19:01:21) @Minaplo: ["I think that's how I felt about Gendo Ikari in the end." Said Ritsuko. "He did a lot to help us, but he was such an unlikeable asshole that I couldn't help but hate him."]
(19:03:55) Sept: "That must've been a hell of a situation…"
(19:07:29) @Minaplo: ["It was." Said Ritsuko flatly, draining the rest of her drink. Blue automatically refilled it.-
(19:08:07) @Minaplo: ["So, Sera." Said Blue. "Got any plans to make like a vandal and cut a rug?"]
(19:11:50) Sept: "Cut a rug. Dance? I did already promise to."
(19:13:58) @Minaplo: ["Who?" Asked Ritsuko.]
(19:15:14) Sept: "Sarasvati." Sera nearly finished off the wine, nudging the glass towards Blue.
(19:15:29) @Minaplo: [Refill!-
(19:15:40) @Minaplo: ["The android, huh? Interesting." Said Ritsuko thoughtfully.]
(19:17:03) Sept: "Surov was making a big deal out of… I don't know, android rights or something. But have non-biotypicals ever had an issue surviving in NERV?"
(19:17:40) @Minaplo: ["Bioexotics." Said Ritsuko. "And if you want to be glib, sure. That's why we have replacement Ayanamis."]
(19:22:58) * Sept openly laughed, setting the wine glass back down as he'd been about to take a drink. "And why we replaced the rows of replacement Sera tanks with the one sentient one? Sure. But we just haven't had time for, say, Ban-Ban to try and take up the Chief Med Officer's post. It's inevitable. Rare to see him so excited about something."-
(19:23:00) Sept: "Getting old?"
(19:25:19) @Minaplo: [They took a moment of shared confused glances before Ritsuko cottoned on.-
(19:26:09) @Minaplo: ["Oh, Surov? He loves Sarasvati like any father should love a daughter. Dotes on her. He wants the best for her." Ritsuko swivelled about a little to face Sera.-
(19:29:12) @Minaplo: ["For context, Sera, don't approach this as thinking of Sarasvati as just another bioexotic like an Ayanami or an Iron Guard." Said Ritsuko. "Obviously there's very little about her that's truly 'bio', but more to the point, UN laws don't say anything about Ayanamis or Iron Guard because the laws weren't made to police artificial life forms." Said Ritsuko. "But there are laws that govern
(19:29:13) @Minaplo: Artificial Intelligence, and Sarasvati breaks those laws. Surov is right to be concerned about her rights."]
(19:32:48) * Sept studied Ritsuko's face at that, pausing his dining for the moment. "Could become complicated. I see."

(14:22:28) @Minaplo: ["Quite. So if you've ever wondered what Surov's stake in all this is, there you have it- he hopes the UEF will support his daughters' quest for rights."]
(14:29:07) Sept: "And even if drawing the line is tough, we can all agree Sarasvati stands a safe way away from it."
(14:30:41) @Minaplo: ["Quite. I admit there are some legitimate concerns about AI, but I've seen the way she treats her father. Anyone who could love him is no threat to humanity."]
(14:33:03) Sept: "Agreed."
(14:35:41) @Minaplo: ["Hell, with a bar that low, she might even be convinced to love you." Said Ritsuko sweetly.]
(14:38:46) Sept: "Please. Armin's already complicated things enough with that talk," Sera said, the last word partly drowned in the wine.-
(14:38:50) Sept: "You just haven't seen my moves."
(14:41:39) @Minaplo: ["Maybe you should've come to more DDR parties, then."]
(14:42:21) Sept: "That where you met Gendo?"
(14:43:00) @Minaplo: ["No, pretty sure I met Gendo after he began sleeping with my mother for science."]
(14:46:55) * Sept made as if to cough awkwardly, even though he was also clearly laughing. "Of course. 'Honey, I want you to meet someone'?"
(14:47:21) @Minaplo: ["Something like that."-
(14:47:28) @Minaplo: [Blue and Matthias were paying very close attention now.]
(14:50:09) Sept: "Fantastic," Sera said to himself, returning to his food.
(14:56:18) @Minaplo: [Ritsuko took a gulp of her wine.-
(14:56:42) @Minaplo: ["You know, this must be the fifth or sixth wedding I've been to between two NERV and ex-NERV employees."]
(14:59:20) Sept: "You can't ban workplace romance when work is nearly all you have, huh?"
(15:00:39) @Minaplo: ["Something like that. There're other reasons too, I think."]
(15:03:18) Sept: "Well, the Libido Effect. And the libido effect caused by near-death experiences. What do you figure?"
(15:07:29) @Minaplo: ["I mean the non-Zhang-Wei marriages." Said Ritsuko. "Simply put, it's easier to trick yourself out of acting on attraction or feelings for one another when you think you have all the time in the world, but people in our line of work don't have that luxury."]
(15:08:45) Sept: "I agree. Even though I managed to turn that concept upside down at some point, but."
(15:09:11) @Minaplo: ["Go on." Said Blue instantly, topping up Sera's drink.]
(15:11:39) Sept: "Last one, Hendricks." Sera begrudgingly accepted the glass back into his hand and onto his lips.-
(15:19:26) Sept: "The more I found out about 01 and Elisha, the more I began to get this sense of urgency about everything. But then- my end isn't definite, absolute. The one life, the one city was limiting me when I started out, when I had Freya, and worried about school and Viviane. But what if I could have eternity?"-
(15:19:47) Sept: "It's the same thing. Push things to the side because I -might- have all the time in the world."
(15:20:19) @Minaplo: ["Right, exactly." Said Ritsuko.-
(15:20:31) @Minaplo: ["'Death destroys a man. The idea of death saves him'." Said Matthias quietly.]
(15:22:36) Sept: "Fuck the afterlife?" Sera suggested as an ending to the haiku.
(15:24:02) @Minaplo: ["E.M. Forster." Said Matthias in response.]
(15:26:06) Sept: "Oh. Well put."
(15:36:15) @Minaplo: ["So what happens next?" Asked Blue.]
(15:38:02) Sept: "I was gonna sit here for a while longer, and maybe see to my promise about the dance. Howso?"
(15:39:00) @Minaplo: ["No, I mean after… Everything. For you. Like." He took a step back, held his hands in the air. "My dream is to become the first Space Bartender."]
(15:39:32) Sept: "Aren't you already?"
(15:46:06) @Minaplo: ["Sadly, I spend our time in space on deployment."]
(15:46:28) Sept: "You're arguably tending bar right now."
(15:46:42) @Minaplo: ["Mars, though, s'not actually in space."]
(15:47:52) Sept: "Absolutely is," Sera insisted with a little shake of his head. His food was gone by now, with half of his wine remaining.
(15:48:37) @Minaplo: ["It's not. It's not in space. That's earthocentrism, and I'll not have it in my fine galactocosmopolian establishment."]
(15:49:34) * Sept stuck his tongue out at him and went to finish his wine glass, having succesfully deflected the question.
(15:51:12) @Minaplo: ["Sera's thinking of running for President of France." Said Matthias.]
(15:52:46) * Sept squinted at him.
(15:53:12) @Minaplo: ["You were talking to Alexandre about it." Said Matthias. He took a meatball and ate it, staring at Sera as he did so.-
(15:53:46) @Minaplo: ["Oh God, Sera in politics." Muttered Blue. "Can you imagine it? 'A knife in every drawer!'"-
(15:54:05) @Minaplo: ["A spirit in every home?" Offered Ritsuko wryly.]
(15:55:05) Sept: "Ain't no one running for- anything," he said, a bit shaken.
(15:55:45) @Minaplo: ["True. You suggested a coup." Said Matthias.-
(15:55:54) @Minaplo: ["Oh God, that's even worse." Said Blue. "Now he's Napoleon."]
(15:56:15) Sept: "What's wrong with Napoleon?!"
(15:56:22) @Minaplo: ["He lost."]
(15:56:52) Sept: "Grmm."
(15:57:03) @Minaplo: ["And he was short."-
(15:57:20) @Minaplo: ["Actually, that's just a common misconception due to the difference between the French and English inch." Said Matthias.-
(15:57:41) @Minaplo: ["Wow, you must be super fun at parties." Said Blue.-
(15:57:52) @Minaplo: [Matthias silently looked around at the reception, then back at Blue.]
(15:59:24) Sept: "Doesn't look like you attract the finest of crowds either, smug fucker."
(16:00:32) @Minaplo: ["Give me time." Said Blue. "You'll see. Everyone's having fun now, lots of hot sweaty fun on the dance floor, but when the time comes, it's here they'll come back to for some quiet time." He cleared his throat.-
(16:00:40) @Minaplo: ["Sera, it's about time I let you in on a secret."]
(16:01:12) Sept: "Wh-What."
(16:01:49) @Minaplo: [He leaned forward, his expression as solemn as a priest's. "The word 'bartender', you see, has a special meaning." He said gravely. "And with that comes a duty. You see, it's an old word meaning 'a gentle perch'…"-
(16:01:57) @Minaplo: [Ritsuko groaned, covering her face with her free hand.-
(16:02:09) @Minaplo: ["… So I owe it to my customers to nurture them when they need it."]
(16:03:01) Sept: "Th-That's not true at all!"
(16:03:40) @Minaplo: ["Maybe it should be, though." Said Blue quietly. "Maybe it should be…"]
(16:09:23) * Sept breathed out evenly to try and move past. "Yeah, I have any number of things I can do. What about you, Wolf?"
(16:10:31) @Minaplo: ["Bodyguard to the Queen of England." He said instantly.]
(16:11:12) Sept: "What, Alexandrina?"
(16:11:22) @Minaplo: ["Mmm."]
(16:11:45) Sept: "Why?"
(16:12:16) @Minaplo: ["Good pay, job security, I'm good friends with her and she needs the companionship."]
(16:13:15) Sept: "Sure? I gather England's pretty short on taxpayers."
(16:13:41) @Minaplo: [He shrugged.]
(16:14:02) Sept: "Sounds nice," Sera assented.
(16:14:42) @Minaplo: ["It does."]
(16:18:40) Sept: "I could retire, I suppose."
(16:21:54) @Minaplo: ["And do what?" Asked Ritsuko.]
(16:24:49) Sept: "Relax?"
(16:27:13) @Minaplo: ["And after that?"]

(14:07:34) Syntax: "Someone will miss me and find me out in the middle of nowhere, and we'll reminisce and laugh."
(14:08:01) Mianplo: ["What about hobbies?" Asked Blue. "Y'know, to relax."]
(14:11:25) Syntax: "Yeah, like what?" Sera said, a tad defiantly.
(14:12:07) Mianplo: ["What what? That's what I'm asking you!"]
(14:13:05) Syntax: "Well maybe I'll put up some kind of shop, is that good enough?"
(14:15:46) Mianplo: ["Ooh, business. What kinda shop?"]
(14:18:34) Syntax: "You're being nosy. That's all you're gonna get."
(14:21:23) Mianplo: ["Oh, so I can tell you my dream, but if I ask for yours I'm being nosy."]
(14:22:32) Syntax: "Your dream was being a space bartender!"
(14:27:25) ยป Syntax is now known as Sept
(14:28:20) Mianplo: ["Oh, I am so sorry that my dream doesn't reach the lofty heights of 'Some kind of shop'." Said Blue, making yap-yap gestures with his hands. "That could be anything from carpets to christmas cards to collections of nude sketches."]
(14:40:29) Sept: "Well, your imagination isn't my business, is it?"
(14:40:56) Mianplo: ["Well, it could be. Y'know, if that's the business you're going to operate." Said Blue.-
(14:41:30) Mianplo: [Ritsuko chuckled.-
(14:42:07) Mianplo: ["I was actually imagining Tsubaki's reaction." Said Ritsuko. "Being all enthusiastic to visit her big brother's shop, maybe even work part time… But I'm not sure that's going to work out if you're going into the nude sketch industry, Sera."]
(14:50:39) * Sept groaned. "Well, maybe it's a bakery, right? A bakery -completely devoid- of nude sketches. Fine?"
(14:51:00) Mianplo: ["Thought you were French." Muttered Blue.-
(14:51:20) Mianplo: ["A bakery, huh…?" Murmured Ritsuko quietly.]
(14:52:18) * Sept sat in silence for another moment before poking his glass towards Blue again.
(14:53:06) Mianplo: [Blue topped it up.-
(14:53:18) Mianplo: ["Why a bakery?" Asked Matthias.]
(14:55:35) Sept: "I appreciate bakeries," he said, getting started on the fresh glass. "Maybe I want to try seeing how I'd do running one."
(14:55:47) Mianplo: ["Sounds good to me."-
(14:56:30) Mianplo: ["You gonna make cakes?" Asked Blue.]
(14:58:37) Sept: "I'm more familiar with croissants."
(15:07:06) Mianplo: ["What about pies?"]
(15:08:42) Sept: "You're assuming the wrong level of detail in that dream. Of course there's going to be different kinds of things there."
(15:12:21) Mianplo: ["Okay, cool." Said Blue.-
(15:12:27) Mianplo: ["… What about sausage rolls?"]
(15:13:42) Sept: "Fuck sausage rolls," he said determinedly.
(15:14:00) Mianplo: ["How dare you."]
(15:14:23) Sept: "The door's right there."
(15:17:05) Mianplo: ["A sausage roll over a croissant any day of the week."]
(15:22:02) * Sept didn't respond, just calmly looking past Blue, turning his glass around and around on the table.
(15:25:57) Mianplo: ["Well, I for one hope it goes okay, Sera. No matter what you sell." Said Ritsuko.]
(15:26:52) Sept: "Thanks. I hope we get there."
(15:31:30) Mianplo: ["Yeah." Said Ritsuko. "Hm. Wonder what I'll be doing." She murmured, shoving her free hand into her coat for a second- before pulling it out empty-handed with a frown.]
(15:39:07) * Sept looked at her, unbuttoned his coat and fished around for an inside pocket. Producing a crumpled pack of off-brand cigarettes, he held it out to Ritsuko. "Out?" he said.
(15:39:24) Mianplo: ["… Where did you find those?"]
(15:41:04) Sept: "It's a souvenir."
(15:41:15) Mianplo: ["… From where?"]
(15:44:30) Sept: "Singapore. You probably won't like 'em, but."
(15:44:58) Mianplo: ["Hm." Ritsuko eyed them speculatively, then with her free hand, beckoned Sera closer.]
(15:46:15) * Sept let go of his glass and turned around on his stool to face her, suspicious.
(15:47:29) Mianplo: [Ritsuko let go of her own. With her right hand she grabbed the smokes, and with her left she grabbed the scruff of Sera's neck, pulling him much closer. At the same time she quickly leaned in and kissed him full on the mouth, holding him in the grip for a good five seconds before letting go, swivelling around on the stool and getting to her feet.-
(15:47:43) Mianplo: ["You're my new favourite person today." She declared. "Gonna smoke these dry. Later!"-
(15:47:58) Mianplo: [And with that she walked off, leaving behind mostly empty space and the lingering taste of strawberry chapstick.]
(15:48:14) * Sept blinked.
(15:48:30) Mianplo: [Blue and Matthias both stared at him, the latter letting out a low whistle.-
(15:48:39) Mianplo: [Then in unison, they leaned towards Sera.-
(15:48:54) Mianplo: ["Awww yiss." Said Blue, grinning, holding his hand out for a high five. "Two of a kind, brother, two of a kind!"]
(15:52:19) * Sept raised an eyebrow at Blue and turned around, hopped off the stool and walked off, a smile on his face. It took him a bit before it occurred to him to wipe off his mouth.
(16:01:21) * Sept navigated through the room back to where he'd last left Armin and Sarasvati. Promises to keep, that sort of stuff.
(16:17:24) Mianplo: [He would find Sarasvati sitting down with… Archivist! The two were sitting opposite each other, chairs pulled away from the table. They were staring at each other, and after a few seconds Sera would realise what was happening.-
(16:19:57) Mianplo: [Sarasvati blinked once. A small light shone from her eyes, and a holographic image flickered into life in the air between the two. It was an image of a passenger pigeon.-
(16:21:21) Mianplo: [After a second of observation, Archivist held out her left arm, and with her right, made strokes with that brush of hers. After a minute or so, a 'realistic drawing' of a passenger pigeon sat on her arm… Before coming to life, fluttering its wings once before starting to clean itself.-
(16:21:24) Mianplo: [Sarasvati beamed.]
(16:24:50) Sept: "Hey." Sera stopped closer to Sarasvati's chair, slightly worried he'd cause a Thing if he spooked the imaginary bird. "Having fun?"
(16:26:11) Mianplo: ["We're communicating! Sit down." Said Sarasvati.]
(16:28:54) * Sept walked around Sarasvati to pull up another chair, its back facing in between the two of them. He sat down on it, leaning his arms and head on the back.
(16:33:36) Mianplo: ["I have shown her an image of a passenger pigeon, a bird that went extinct in the early 20th century." Said Sarasvati. "And she has recreated not the image, but the subject." She stared at the pigeon intently.-
(16:35:01) Mianplo: [The bird took a few jerky steps towards Archivist's hand, before flapping its wings several times. It took off, circling around the two of them before landing on the table, walking awkwardly around, poking here and there looking for food.-
(16:35:56) Mianplo: ["So far, the behaviours, colours and movements seem to match the descriptions of living passenger pigeons." She turned to Sera. "I would need more data, but do you know what this means?"]
(16:37:24) Sept: "She's a wizard?" Sera offered, voice slightly muffled from the lean on his arms. "No, what?"
(16:39:12) Mianplo: ["For her to duplicate the image I presented would be easy." Said Sarasvati. "But the image was a black and white photograph. It had no data on colours or behaviours, yet somehow that knowledge is known to her. She did not receive it from just my image- so she must be drawing her knowledge from somewhere else."]
(16:40:29) Sept: "Yeah. She has books of her own."
(16:40:46) Mianplo: ["And where does the knowledge in those books come from?"]
(16:42:03) Sept: "That I don't know. Direct observation, detailed second-hand reports or divine knowledge are the options, I think. The latter two overlap a bit."
(16:45:27) Mianplo: ["I need more information." Said Sarasvati. "Are you having fun at the party?"]
(16:47:12) Sept: "Yeah. It looks like you both are, too."
(16:52:52) Mianplo: ["Yes." Said Sarasvati with a smile. "Archivist has been telling me about your operation in Singapore."]
(16:55:19) Sept: "How's she been doing that? I guess she doesn't need to rely on as pedestrian methods with you."
(16:57:48) Mianplo: ["Moving pictures." Said Sarasvati. "For example, she showed me a scene where you were speaking to the other entity, Nadiacadenza, before she removed a pair of Singapore law enforcement agents from the timestream."]
(17:01:22) Sept: "Yeah," Sera said hesitantly. "Singapore was a test run in many ways, for both of us."
(17:02:24) Mianplo: ["Please continue."]
(17:09:13) Sept: "The trip also gave me a chance to work out an agreement with Archivist. Help me with sorting out my memory, that kind of thing. That's also why I came to you about the R&D data. Helps expedite the learning."
(17:09:43) Mianplo: ["Understandable. Has it born fruit?"]
(17:11:57) * Sept shook his head with a smile. "Obviously NERV's already tried nearly everything. But it's been… refreshing, definitely."
(17:12:15) Mianplo: ["I am glad to hear you say that."]
(17:20:12) Sept: "That's nice of you to say. Would you still like to dance? We can do it later, too, if you two'd rather keep chatting for now."
(17:23:54) Mianplo: ["I would like to dance." Said Sarasvati, getting to her feet.]
(17:25:36) Sept: "You know how to, I'm sure?" Sera got up, too, pushing the chair back by the table.
(17:26:12) Mianplo: ["I promise to avoid dislocating any joints on your person." She said with a big smile.]
(17:26:45) Sept: "Well," Sera smiled back, "That makes one of us."
(17:27:36) Mianplo: [She held out her hand.]
(17:29:03) * Sept took it gently, leading towards the dance floor.
(17:29:51) Sept: "We'll be back in a couple minutes if you'd rather wait," he noted to Archivist.
(17:30:27) Mianplo: [Archivist beamed, leapt to her feet, coaxed the passenger pigeon into a book, and followed.]
(17:35:07) Sept: "It's been a while since I danced. Not a lot of formal events these days."
(17:37:33) Mianplo: ["Please tell me about your previous dancing experiences."]
(17:41:20) Sept: "Well, the one time my suit didn't fit and there was an earthquake."
(17:41:44) Mianplo: [She stared at him, waiting for him to continue.]
(17:45:58) Sept: "But I think she enjoyed the dance part. And the other time we were supposed to, but Gendo got shot."
(17:49:53) Mianplo: ["You were in Leningrad-2 at the time." She said. "You were supposed to go on a dancing date with Natasha Volkova."]
(17:54:08) Sept: "That's a bit too detailed, Sara."
(17:55:24) Mianplo: ["Forgive me. I should have kept my deductions to myself."]
(17:56:13) Sept: "You're right, though. There's… records of me being picked up with her?"
(17:59:15) Mianplo: ["Of the three pilots at Leningrad-2, the only one with which you shared meaningful interactions with previously was Natasha." Said Sarasvati. "Ayanami Ni was busy at the time organising the squad as team leader. And because Isaiah Gabriel-Wei was in the city at the same time, it was logical to assume that Ayanami Kyuu would rather spend her time stalking him than dancing with you. So your
(17:59:16) Mianplo: dancing date with Volkova was the most likely option."]
(18:00:44) Sept: "So the level of information you have is limited to who was stationed where?"
(18:03:53) Mianplo: ["No. I clearly have access to psychological profiles as well."-
(18:04:12) Mianplo: [The dance floor was rather busy at the moment. The current song was a rather flighty, happy and smooth piece.]
(18:07:53) Sept: "Right, right," Sera said.-
(18:08:28) Sept: "I'm… more familiar with classical pieces? Maybe I should take your lead on this?"
(18:10:23) Mianplo: [She nodded.-
(18:10:39) Mianplo: [It helped that she was a few inches taller than he was as well.-
(18:11:18) Mianplo: [And so she began to lead him, a fast but simple dancing pattern moving in a general oval shape. Her eye-catching red dress fluttered in her wake.]
(18:18:36) * Sept followed along to the best of his ability, still in a good mood, letting the music carry him for now.
(18:22:32) Mianplo: ["You are good with heights?"]
(18:27:35) Sept: "Sure. I've taken the Parisian highw-"
(18:33:56) Mianplo: [And the next second, Sera was flying into the air…-
(18:35:00) Mianplo: [It was totally surreal. Everything felt off- how high he travelled, the speed, and even the way he fell was off. But he was never in any danger- Sarasvati caught him perfectly well and instantly, smoothly, transitioned into a dip, holding him horizonally with his head three feet away from the ground, her right arm planted firmly into his back for support.]
(18:40:08) * Sept caught his breath for a moment, his stomach catching up and lurching to object as he stared up at her. "Oh," he said. Then, he began to laugh, finding his grip on her arm again to help stand upright again, to return to the dance. "I-I'm afraid I can't return that favor. Unless you want to be launched by an Evangelion."
(18:42:24) Mianplo: ["Alright."]
(18:50:34) Sept: "'Alright'?"
(18:51:05) Mianplo: ["I want you to launch me with an Evangelion."]
(18:57:08) Sept: "…alright. That may be difficult to arrange. Remind me if we have a calm enough deployment?"
(18:58:33) Mianplo: ["I promise I will." Said Sarasvati with a smile. "Again?"]
(19:00:01) * Sept took a breath. "Again," he nodded.
(19:05:37) Mianplo: [And this time she didn't hold back.-
(19:06:20) Mianplo: [He must've easily one five or six times as high as last time. he was attracting some real attention from the crowd this time! Everyone looked small- at this point, she'd tossed him so high, she could've thrown him onto EVA-01's head from its foot!]
(19:15:15) * Sept was ready this time, taking the initial momentum into what he at least hoped was a double backflip as all sound vanished with the roar of air in his ears. He let the spin subside at the apex, feeling โ€” wonderful, like the first time he'd really got the hang of his grapple harness. With just half a steady rotation on the way down, he was well on his way to breaking a bone or a dozen.

-cont-

(15:26:05) Minaplo: [And once again he fell into Sarasvati's secure arms… Earlier than he had expected. She'd taken the time during his ascent to run a few metres away, turn, then run towards him- leaping through the air to catch him mid-air, about 13 metres off the floor. She landed safely, the hem of her dress falling around her like a cloud, Sera held in a secure princess-carry.]
(15:31:33) * Sept was breathing heavily, with a wide grin on his face. "W-Well, you can let me down. That was… something."
(15:32:16) Minaplo: [And so she did! At this point a lot of eyes were on them and their antics- which was to be expected, really.-
(15:33:28) Minaplo: ["Well, I see someone's still addicted to thrills." Came a voice. Sera would look around to find- Hyuga, standing off to one side, smiling wryly.]
(15:42:26) * Sept laughed. "While we still can, Hyuga. Besides, it was completely her idea." He let his grip on Sarasvati's hand lax and glanced over to her.
(15:44:34) Minaplo: ["It is true." Said Sarasvati with a smile. "Hello, Colonel."-
(15:45:01) Minaplo: ["Hi, Sarasvati." Said Hyuga, giving her a short nod. "This is a little dishonest for you, isn't it?"-
(15:45:07) Minaplo: ["I'm not sure what you mean, Colonel."-
(15:45:27) Minaplo: ["You haven't told Sera about how totally out of his league you are yet?"-
(15:45:30) Minaplo: [Sarasvati smiled.]
(15:49:16) Sept: "I'm sure you're jumping to needless conclusions, Hyuga," Sera said patiently, crossing his arms, partly to mask the unsteadiness of his right hand. "It's fine."
(15:52:32) Minaplo: ["Right, right. Good to see you guys having fun anyway." Said Hyuga.]
(15:57:01) Sept: "You enjoying the wedding, then?" Sera wiped the sweat off his forehead, trying to find a more natural pose amidst the adrenaline.
(16:00:02) Minaplo: ["Yeah, it's good so far. You wanna sit down?"]
(16:01:16) * Sept turned to Sarasvati, first. "Is that sufficient? I- think I need a moment, too."
(16:02:05) Minaplo: ["That's fine." Said Sarasvati. She wasn't sweating.]
(16:06:33) Sept: "Thanks. That was- really, really fun." And he'd follow Hyuga off the dance floor.
(16:07:07) Minaplo: ["I'm glad. One day I will take you flying." Said Sarasvati.-
(16:07:30) Minaplo: [Hyuga's table was not actually deserted. Another guy was sitting there, with long, greasy-looking black hair that fell to his neck. "'Ey."]
(16:11:40) * Sept gave him an eyes-closed nod. "Sera." He dragged a chair out with a bit of noise, plopped down and breathed out extensively.
(16:16:28) Minaplo: ["Aoba Shigeru. Part of Katsuragi's Ops."]
(16:18:34) Sept: One more deep breath before Sera refocused on the conversation. "What do you do there?"
(16:21:14) Minaplo: ["Chief Logistics Officer."]
(16:22:35) Sept: "Acquisitions, supplies and stuff?"
(16:25:56) Minaplo: ["That's right. They've got me working down managing the supply situation around here. But back at NERV Japan, I was in charge of making sure the Eva techs had the right tools and materials. And then making sure we found the most efficient way of getting that stuff… So on." He made a dismissive wave with his right hand, which was also clutching a whale chop.]
(16:27:31) Sept: "Cool."
(16:27:49) Minaplo: [He shrugged.-
(16:28:26) Minaplo: ["If you'd come over here 10 minutes ago, you would've run into Maya." Said Hyuga. "But she said she had something to take care of…"-
(16:28:45) Minaplo: ["You looking forward to going home?" Asked Hyuga.]
(16:31:28) Sept: "Some creature comforts, at least. I don't know about home."
(16:31:37) Minaplo: ["Earth, then."]
(16:32:12) Sept: "Yeah. Can't wait."
(16:33:54) Minaplo: ["It's gotta be better than Mars at any rate." Said Aoba. "We're probably going to die, but at least Earth's warm."]
(16:35:55) Sept: "Exactly! Miles to go, so we'd better get back to it."
(16:38:49) Minaplo: ["Heh, not that there's many creature comfort's waiting for us." Said Hyuga, chuckling. "We won't be around the Dory once we get back."]
(16:39:50) Sept: "You'll be stationed back on the ground?"
(16:52:11) Minaplo: ["Nope. USS Enterprise."]
(16:54:32) Sept: "That thing's still around?"
(16:54:41) Minaplo: ["Yep."]
(16:55:17) Sept: "Hm. With Katsuragi back in command?"
(16:57:32) Minaplo: ["That's right."]
(16:57:43) Sept: "Looking forward to it?"
(17:01:13) Minaplo: ["Well, it's no Dory." Said Hyuga. "Say goodbye to big beds and spa baths, haha."]
(17:07:12) Sept: "I've never tried the spa…"
(17:08:03) Minaplo: ["What, not even once?"]
(17:09:29) Sept: "I mean, water's just not the same after you've tried LCL."-
(17:09:42) Sept: "I'll do it for you once we get back, though."
(17:11:41) Minaplo: ["Well, I dunno if the spas will still be around when we get back."]
(17:13:00) Sept: "If the Dorian's spas never get fixed, I'll visit the one on the Damocles."
(17:13:36) Minaplo: [The two of them squinted at him.]
(17:14:00) Sept: "The other battleship."
(17:14:13) Minaplo: ["Yeah, we know." Said Hyuga.-
(17:14:19) Minaplo: ["I didn't." Said Aoba.-
(17:14:37) Minaplo: ["The Damocles doesn't have spas." Said Sarasvati.]
(17:15:00) Sept: "Well, then, why even live? We have no more battleship spas."
(17:16:32) Minaplo: ["Maybe you should open one." Said Aoba. "I hear they might be leasing empty lots on the promenade."-
(17:16:44) Minaplo: ["Sera's Spas, huh." Said Hyuga, frowning slightly.]
(17:17:22) Sept: "Nah."
(17:19:19) Minaplo: [Aoba shrugged.]
(17:20:35) Sept: "I- might open a bakery when I retire, though."
(17:22:03) Minaplo: ["A bakery?" Asked Hyuga. "Really? Now that's interesting. My uncle used to be a baker."]
(17:23:27) Sept: "Cool. Used to?"
(17:26:09) Minaplo: ["He retired to let my cousin take over." Said Hyuga. "Family business and all that."]
(17:27:00) Sept: "Heh. Very traditional."
(17:32:06) Minaplo: ["My father wants to do the same thing." Said Sarasvati earnestly.]
(17:32:39) Sept: "Not bake, surely."
(17:32:53) Minaplo: ["No. Take over his position."]
(17:36:30) Sept: "Oh, yeah. I heard. He treats your future with a seriousness that… befits him, I suppose. I wasn't sure what he was so worried about, at first."
(17:43:31) Minaplo: ["Please explain."]
(17:45:55) Sept: "Mm." Sera straightened himself out in his chair. "We were talking about this earlier. It seemed odd to me because- no one's trying to limit your freedoms, right? So Surov pushing for you to take over felt like him shouting at windmills."
(17:47:05) Minaplo: ["The UN is." Said Sarasvati.]
(17:47:57) Sept: "Yeah, but. That's the UN."
(17:49:22) Minaplo: ["Please elaborate on what you mean."]
(17:50:47) Sept: "The UN isn't us. Their laws don't apply."
(17:53:56) Minaplo: ["She's got a point." Said Aoba. "The same states that called for those laws, or drafted them, or supported them or whatever, probably belong to the Fed now, too. There's plenty of reason to assume they might want to keep that part."]
(17:56:14) * Sept frowned at that for a moment before deciding to let it go. "Yeah, fine. I can see that."
(17:58:25) Minaplo: ["There's going to be a lot of that." Said Hyuga. "Not just with you, Sarasvati. But with other groups too. Iron Guard, Ayanamis, even Solomons if any end up surviving. Redefining humanity, because only humans get human rights."]
(18:05:17) Sept: "Even though on the surface, no one thinks Go or Terry or Joan aren't - persons, whatever that means."
(18:07:59) Minaplo: ["If you meet with them face-to-face and get to know them, sure." Said Hyuga.]
(18:09:35) Sept: "I believe in people more than that."
(18:15:19) Minaplo: [Aoba snorted. "What, humans have spent centuries hating other normal humans for things like skin colour or culture, you think they won't hate bioexotics just as harshly?"]
(18:16:16) Sept: "If they do, this race is over," Sera stated matter-of-factly.
(18:17:20) Minaplo: ["Well, we're already on track for the apocalypse."]
(18:18:26) Sept: "And Mary's well on her way to fixing it. So people'd best get to it."
(18:20:13) Minaplo: ["Causing it, you mean?"]
(18:21:46) Sept: "Causing the apocalypse, fixing humanity."
(18:22:57) Minaplo: ["Well yeah, I guess a dead patient doesn't have a disease, do they?" Said Aoba sarcastically.]
(18:24:07) Sept: "Hmh," Sera said, scratching his neck, eyes closed.
(18:27:46) Minaplo: [Aoba took a bite out of his pie.-
(18:28:00) Minaplo: ["Colonel, would you like to dance?" Asked Sarasvati.-
(18:28:16) Minaplo: ["Uh, sure." Said Hyuga, getting to his feet. A second later the two of them had left the table behind.]
(18:28:54) Sept: "Don't break your neck!"
(18:30:05) Minaplo: ["I'll try not to as I break your heart." Said Hyuga with a dorky wink.]
(18:32:42) Sept: "Hmh. Well. I give him a minute, tops."
(18:34:06) Minaplo: ["What, before he hurts himself?" Said Aoba.]
(18:34:47) Sept: "Well, I trust Sarasvati, so I'll lower the bar to 'screams like a girl'."
(18:35:02) Minaplo: [Aoba snorted.-
(18:36:12) Minaplo: ["Man, these things taste like crap."]
(18:43:15) Sept: "The pies? Don't be picky, those were fine."

-cont-

(13:27:02) Minaplo: [Aoba shrugged.-
(13:28:56) Minaplo: [About a minute or two later, however, something on the dance floor would catch Aoba's eye. "Huh."]
(13:30:27) Sept: "Sup?" Sera followed his eyes, scooching around on his chair so it faced more towards the dance floor.
(13:32:46) Minaplo: [Hyuga had been dancing with Sarasvati- quite without incident- when suddenly the android went into a spin, sending Hyuga away from her- and in a fit of perfect timing, directly into the path of Chiisana Himesama.-
(13:33:05) Minaplo: [Chii caught his arms through pure reflex, the two of them suddenly making eye contact.]
(13:34:29) Sept: "-Oh-." Sera steepled his hands on the table, partly masking the amused grin as he watched the scene intently.
(13:39:33) Minaplo: [Aoba took a swig of beer as he watched.-
(13:40:28) Minaplo: [Chii and Hyuga didn't seem to know what to do with themselves. They stood still for a few seconds, holding onto each other, until Sarasvati sidled up to them, saying something. This seemed to shock them into action, and they began to awkwardly, stiffly dance.-
(13:41:28) Minaplo: [After about a minute of this, Chii abruptly stopped, nearly sending Hyuga toppling. Her form bristling with authority, she firmly grasped his hand, turned and marched off the dance floor. They walked right through the door out into the corridor- the door closing behind them and blocking off Sera's view.-
(13:41:47) Minaplo: ["Welp." Said Aoba, taking another swig.-
(13:41:54) Minaplo: ["Wanna follow'em?"]
(13:44:16) Sept: "What? No. I'm washing my hands from that one."
(13:44:59) Minaplo: ["Your loss."-
(13:45:04) Minaplo: [Aoba got up and walked off.]
(13:48:07) Sept: And Sera was left to his own devices once more. Surely he was the last person Hyuga and Chiisana would want disturbing their privacy?-
(13:48:34) * Sept took a moment to properly assess the situation as he continued to idly look over the dance floor.
(14:00:18) Minaplo: [There were of course still groups out dancing- he could see Asuka and Alex for example- although a lot of the people were ones he didn't know.]
(14:07:58) * Sept tapped on the table idly for a bit, glancing after Aoba. He settled for the compromise of fetching another light snack plate, trying to think of a new plan.
(14:37:43) * Sept found his horse-doovres soon enough, pondering his next move. A glance towards the bar โ€” Ritsuko was still gone. The table was still unmanned. He relented and headed for the peripheries and away from the bustle of the dance floor, on a different vector than Aoba. He refused to stick his hand in that grinder.-
(14:38:40) Sept: There were still people he hadn't had the chance to catch up with before the ceremony, and Sera De Ptective was on their case. Now, where had he last seen them..?
(14:52:44) Minaplo: [He could see them- Alex and Asuka had taken a temporary break from the Big Table to catch up with some friends. Alex and Asuka were sitting at a table- Asuka on Alex's lap, again- along with Edgar and Evangeline.]
(14:56:22) * Sept approached with his snack plate โ€” more a prop than anything. He gave them a silent wave, not wanting to interrupt whatever they had going on.
(15:03:13) Minaplo: ["… So yeah, it's probably for the best." Said Edgar. "You know how she is about Liu Lin."-
(15:03:21) Minaplo: ["About Chinese in general, really." Said Evangeline.]
(15:05:02) Sept: "Hey, mind if I sit in?"
(15:07:23) Minaplo: ["Go ahead." Said Alex, gesturing at a free chair.]
(15:14:33) * Sept pulled back a a chair, leaving a space between him and Alex and Asuka. "Chinese?"
(15:15:06) Minaplo: ["Tham Thi Tien." Said Edgar. "She's one of us. Eagle Squadron, I mean."-
(15:15:12) Minaplo: ["She hates them." Said Eve.]
(15:15:44) Sept: "How come?"
(15:16:30) Minaplo: ["She's Vietnamese." Said Edgar. "The Chinese took it over by force way back in the 2000s."-
(15:16:59) Minaplo: ["When the NeoSpartan Program ended, Tien went back to Vietnam and started waging a guerilla war." Said Alex.]
(15:18:15) Sept: "Oh yeah, now I remember. Has it been a problem?"
(15:18:39) Minaplo: ["Ah, little bit." Said Alex. "She got into a fight with Yanmei the first time they met…"]
(15:19:58) Sept: "I don't think Yanmei was involved in that war."
(15:21:17) Minaplo: ["Well, Tien's not exactly… The calmest person ever." Said Alex.-
(15:21:45) Minaplo: ["Did she attack Yanmei on sight?" Asked Eve.-
(15:22:33) Minaplo: ["No, actually." Said Alex. "I guess that's something. If I'd been speaking to Liu Lin instead it would've been a fight the instant Tien walked into the room."]
(15:24:52) Sept: "So what happened?"
(15:26:04) Minaplo: ["Well, Tien ran over, began grilling me loudly over something, and Yanmei told her to be quiet. Tien told her off, then Tien started swinging until I broke it up." Said Alex airily.]
(15:28:46) Sept: "Hm," Sera said concernedly. "How'd they take it?"
(15:33:45) Minaplo: ["They shook, y'know, grudgingly." Said Alex. "So no harm no foul."]
(15:34:50) Sept: "Lucky you were there, though?" Sera smirked.
(15:35:04) Minaplo: ["That's true all the time." Said Alex.]
(15:36:17) Sept: "'course. We all enjoying ourselves?" He glanced around at Edgar and Eva.
(15:37:12) Minaplo: ["Yeah, it's a good shindig." Said Edgar. "Had some dances, some grog, some food. Shame Juu ain't around yet…"]
(15:39:53) Sept: "Agreed, on everything. I hear the party's being well documented, though. Maybe that's some consolation."
(15:40:29) Minaplo: ["Well documented? Whaddya mean?" Asked Eve.]
(15:42:46) Sept: "Pictures, video. On top of the regular surveillance. You know, what people do."
(15:43:32) Minaplo: ["Well the way you said it, I was expecting to be interviewed or something."]
(15:45:08) Sept: "Heh. On a scale of one to ten, how how hopeful for the future of the Federation were you before and afer the wedding?"
(15:47:06) Minaplo: ["What, are you a journalist now?"]
(15:48:28) Sept: "If you want."
(15:49:37) Minaplo: ["Well, I don't want, so there."]
(15:51:02) * Sept laughed. "Not that you guys won't be with us to the bitter end."
(15:51:29) Minaplo: ["Like I'm gonna skip out durin' the rematch." Said Edgar.]
(15:53:01) Sept: "'xactly. Right, Evangeline?"
(15:54:09) Minaplo: ["Of course." Said Evangeline. "We even have a heap of Iron Guard. It's practically old times."-
(15:54:27) Minaplo: ["Except this time you're not fighting me, so you've got an actual hope of winning." Said Asuka, tossing her hair into Alex's face.-
(15:54:45) Minaplo: [Eve sighed, waving Asuka away dismissively. "Like you were that decisive."-
(15:55:21) Minaplo: ["There was that time I stopped an invasion single-handedly~"]
(15:56:18) Sept: "That doesn't sound very true."
(15:57:31) Minaplo: ["You know, you did fight in that war, you don't need to act like you weren't involved." Said Asuka huffily. "Remember? When the LN invaded Greece, and I dropkicked their HQ into a mountain, decapitating their leadership and ensuring their total annihilation?"]
(16:00:54) Sept: "No, I'm pretty sure I'd remember something like that."
(16:01:44) Minaplo: ["Wow." said Edgar. "-I- remember that, and I wasn't even required to be near Asuka at the time. What's your excuse?"]
(16:09:58) * Sept shook his head. "I'm joking, of course I saw it afterwards."-
(16:11:00) Sept: "My excuse at the -time-, though, was I was feeling less than solid after saving pretty much everyone."
(16:11:31) Minaplo: [There were groans at the table.]
(16:13:06) Sept: "She started it!"
(16:14:42) Minaplo: ["Well don't continue it." Said Alex. "Goddamnit."]
(16:15:33) Sept: "What, she's the only one entitled to heroic feats?" Sera huffed.
(16:17:38) Minaplo: ["I'll knock you off your heroic feet if you keep making puns." Warned Edgar.]
(16:18:18) Sept: "Okay, no, this is getting out of hand now. Truce."
(16:24:00) Minaplo: ["Truce? You'd better sur-" Began Asuka.-
(16:24:06) Minaplo: ["Truce is fine." Said Alex hastily.]
(16:26:35) Sept: "Tired of whale pies yet?" Sera filled in.
(16:31:30) Minaplo: ["Food's food." Said Edgar. "It it heats, then I eats."-
(16:31:44) Minaplo: [Eve and Asuka both rolled their eyes at the exact same time.-
(16:36:56) Minaplo: ["I admit I've probably gotten a little soft in the past few years." Said Alex grudgingly. "These whale pies are not exactly Monsieur Beauregard's Creme de la Creme, is it?"]
(16:40:13) Sept: "They're really not. I'll live off anything, but it's gonna be nice to get back to the old favorites."
(16:45:26) Minaplo: ["Chicken soup." Said Edgar, nodding slowly.]
(16:47:50) Sept: "Curry, fresh bread. The dead don't need to worry about missing out on adventures on Mars, at least."
(16:49:36) Minaplo: ["What's there to miss out on? Freezing your tits off and eating crap food? You can get that on Earth easy." Said Asuka.]
(16:50:52) Sept: "Hah. Sure. Not everywhere, but you've got a pretty good shot, on average."
(16:51:22) Minaplo: ["Skald Island on a bad winter…"]
(16:53:29) Sept: "Getting on Skald is far from easy."
(16:54:03) Minaplo: ["Easier than Mars." Said Asuka.]
(16:54:43) Sept: "Yes."
(16:55:33) Minaplo: ["Better food than Mars, too." Said Edgar. "Got like, boar and deer and stuff."]
(16:57:38) Sept: "Yeah, you can learn to live with Skald. Less so with Mars."
(16:59:46) Minaplo: ["We'll have to make Mars learn to live with us." Said Asuka smugly.]
(17:00:53) Sept: "Y-Yeah. Whatever that means."
(17:04:09) Minaplo: ["Terraforming, idiot."]
(17:04:24) Sept: "Sure. Whatever you want to call it."
(17:05:02) Minaplo: [Asuka frowned, whilst Alex settled for rubbing the bridge of his nose.]
(17:06:46) Sept: "You figure there'll be permanent colonies soon?"
(17:07:26) Minaplo: ["Maybe not 'soon'." Said Asuka. "But once we win the war and put old bag's head on a pike, I betcha we'll start looking to see if we can do something with this ice ball."]
(17:10:15) Sept: "We're not putting anyone's head on a pike," Sera said, a tad tiredly.
(17:11:05) Minaplo: ["You can try and stop me if you want. You'll fail, but you're free to try."]
(17:11:49) Sept: "Heh. You're on."
(17:14:25) Minaplo: [Alex sighed, taking off his glasses. "It doesn't really matter what either of you think." He said. "Asuka, I really don't think they're literally going to let you put her head on a pike. Sera, Asuka's not the one you'll want to stop- it's Yanmei you need to have a word with. Either through execution or combat, Mary Caine will be dead by the end of the war."]
(17:24:32) Sept: "Yeah, I get that," he said seriously. "It's something we'll have to figure out."
(17:25:04) Minaplo: ["Figure what out?"]
(17:28:21) Sept: "How we'll deal with her. How we'll behave as a people. You know."
(17:29:26) Minaplo: ["I see." Said Alexandre. "Well, I don't really care either way…"-
(17:29:52) Minaplo: [Eve leaned back in her chair, looking squarely at Sera. "What would you do then, if you could have it your way, Sept?"]
(17:32:27) Sept: "Try to talk. If she ended up as far gone as Azariah, I- admit it becomes more a formality than anything."
(17:35:22) Minaplo: [Eve glanced at the others before turning back to Sera.-
(17:35:40) Minaplo: ["If talking with her doesn't work now, then it won't work in the future, Sept."]
(17:39:18) Sept: "I'll be a lot more willing to talk when she corners us. I expect the same of her."
(17:46:46) Minaplo: ["Then you don't know her, Sept." Said Eve, shaking her head.]
(17:53:29) Sept: "Then maybe there's another reason I refuse to simplify the issue and insist on doing it right."
(18:00:49) Minaplo: [Eve turned back to her part of the table, which consisted of a glass of wine and a plate with a small amount of meatballs and steak on it.-
(18:01:31) Minaplo: [Alex eyed her for a second, then started a little, as though trying to reach out towards Eve.-
(18:02:49) Minaplo: [Whatever he was doing wasn't fast enough, however; in one fast motion Eve grabbed up the wine glass and hurled its contents at Sera, the chilly wine splashing into his face and chest and clothes. She shot to her feet so fast her chair toppled over; shetossed the glass away, where it bounced a few times on the ground.-
(18:03:52) Minaplo: ["You haven't ever done anything right, you miserable gutless cowardly cunt of a man!" Shouted Eve, her voice rising in crescendo until it was a scream of rage. Her hands were balled into fists, her face was reddening, and tears were forming in her eyes.-
(18:04:09) Minaplo: ["It was your job to protect Aline!" She screamed. "Your fucking job! And you fucked it up! She's dead because of you!"-
(18:04:37) Minaplo: [With a final shriek, Eve kicked her chair away and ran off into the crowd, the eyes of the entire room on her as she went.]
(18:11:32) * Sept only had time to bring his hand up in time, which didn't do a lot to protect against a spread-type projectile. He shook the wine off his hand straight away, looking back at Eve with an impenetrable hardness for her outburst. "I'm going after her," he finally said, getting up and discarding his coat on one of the chairs.
(18:12:41) Minaplo: ["Leave her alone." Said Asuka, getting to her own feet. "Just let her go."]
(18:13:36) Sept: "She's going to do something stupid."
(18:14:10) Minaplo: ["Then I'll go after her." Said Edgar, getting to his feet too. "You stay here."]
(18:18:45) * Sept seethed for a moment, the redness creeping onto his face to replace the wine dripping off it. "Thank you," he managed, turning back around and roughly grabbing the coat to wipe his face with.
(18:22:20) Minaplo: [With that, Edgar ran off in Eve's direction, and the two were soon out of sight.-
(18:22:41) Minaplo: [Alex- the only one who had remained sitting- sighed, wiped his lenses one last time, then placed them back on his face.-
(18:23:35) Minaplo: [Asuka scratched the back of her neck a little awkwardly, staring off at where she'd last seen Edgar for a few seconds.-
(18:25:10) Minaplo: [Obviously their altercation had not gone unnoticed, and a few seconds later, with a tell-tale clop-clop of hard shoes on hard ground, Albert St. Francis- the snarky young man who'd compared Sera and Armin to an Abbott and Costello duo- would approach their table, his expression carefully neutral. "Is there a problem?"]
(18:32:29) * Sept took a quick glance at the man before setting his coat back down. "Oh, fuck off to your president, we're just fine." He set to arduously removing his soaked gloves, airing the half-skeletal hand.
(18:34:32) Minaplo: [There was a low hiss from Alex.-
(18:34:44) Minaplo: ["… I'm going to have to ask you to come with me, sir." Said St. Francis sleekly.]
(18:43:35) Sept: "That's -fine-, Francis. I'm not here to trouble you. Moment." He tossed the gloves down onto the coat, picked up the whole bundle and turned towards Alex and Asuka. "Is there -anything- I can do?"
(18:46:27) Minaplo: ["Sure." Said Alex calmly.-
(18:46:35) Minaplo: ["Stay away from Eve for awhile, for one." Said Asuka.-
(18:49:19) Minaplo: ["Obviously." Said Alex. "But otherwise? Humble yourself, or risk being humbled by others. Try thinking like other people do every once in awhile, so you understand what's going on."]
(18:55:00) * Sept paused, the collar of his shirt sticking to his skin uncomfortably.-
(18:57:31) Sept: "How can you not know I care, and am sorry?" he said slowly, weighing his words.
(19:08:05) Minaplo: ["Are we supposed to know?" Said Alex. "Maybe you assume people just know anyway, but if so you're wrong. Most of the time, all we see is you saying and doing whatever you want without regard for anyone else's feelings. You wear that like a mantle of rightness around you, and to everyone else it feels dismissive, as though you don't know or don't care that others have arrived at their
(19:08:06) Minaplo: outlooks via paths that are perfectly natural for them. So either you don't care, Sera, or you do care but don't know how to show it. Either way, it evens out to the same point- understanding, learning, how to start living with the rest of humanity."]
(19:18:53) Sept: "You could as-" he started, bristling at the suggestion, but stopping himself too late for it to have any meaning. "Yeah. You're right. Sorry for this."
(19:19:54) Minaplo: ["Apology accepted."]
(19:21:06) Sept: "You just want me out, yeah, Francis?"
(19:23:06) Minaplo: ["We'll take you to Security first." Said St. Francis. "You can explain what happened there."]
(19:26:59) Sept: "Uh huh. Let's go. See you two later."
(19:28:08) Minaplo: ["Later." Said Alex, raising a hand in a half wave.-
(19:28:21) Minaplo: [Asuka gave Sera a short nod before slowly settling back into Alex's lap.]
(19:32:41) * Sept left with the diligent bodyguard, keeping up in pace to stay by his side and never look like he's simply following him. "Can you believe people could find me heartless, Francis?"
(19:33:23) Minaplo: ["I'm dying with shock on the inside, sir." Said St. Francis stoically.]

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