Lin S Request

[13:03] <Yanmei> The deck of the landship was quieter than normal today… although that was no surprise, given that it was still the wee hours of the morning. -
[13:07] <Yanmei> A pigtailed figure lingered near the bow, peering into the distance. They had docked late last night, close to two in the morning, looming on the outskirts of her hometown. She could only wonder what they looked like to people getting up to go to work today. -
[13:09] <Yanmei> Well, she would find out soon enough. Marianne hadn't let her disembark last night, but today was a new day! She was already dressed to go, in fact, in plain shorts and a white blouse. Looped over one shoulder was a backpack full of delicious contraband - a surprise for those she hoped to find out there.
[13:14] <AdEvaGM> [There was the sound of somewhat muffled footsteps behind her…]
[13:16] * Yanmei turned, a distant look still on her face. "Hm?"
[13:22] <AdEvaGM> [Liu Lin was walking across the deck, wearing a NERV officer's uniform under her trademark long white coat. "Good morning."]
[13:28] <Yanmei> The vacancy was gone in a flash, and Yanmei saluted properly. Suddenly, she lamented her choice in casual clothing. "Good morning, Major!" It felt wrong to call her that, but Marianne had corrected her enough times during earlier references to her that it stuck in her mind. "You came to visit us?"
[13:32] <AdEvaGM> [Lin returned the salute. "The Colonel invited me in for dinner, and I could hardly pass up the chance to explore the vessel." Said Lin, her voice quiet, her steps measured. Before long she was standing next to Yanmei, her gaze falling on the ceramite shell that concealed the Positron Bow Drill. "What do you think of it?"]
[13:36] <Yanmei> "It's incredible," she admitted. "The firepower, that is. I do wish it was a little faster, but with its size, I guess that's not possible? Do you like it too?"
[13:45] <AdEvaGM> ["It will be very useful." Said Lin. "The ability to transport, repair, supply and then provide artillery support to an Evangelion squadron is a decisive advantage in an age where an Evangelion can win a war singlehandedly. Your technical officer Surov seems quite confident that he can enhance its speed, as well."]
[13:50] <Yanmei> "That would be nice," she said amicably. "Let's hope he can? And you're very right, judging from the support it was able to offer in the last battle. Even though the mission was a failure, it still performed pretty well."
[13:58] <AdEvaGM> ["A failure?"]
[14:01] <Yanmei> "We cleared away the Angelspawn, but the Angel itself got away. Plus, there was what happened to EVA-00." She folded her arms on the railing, growing more somber. "Did Marianne or Chiisana tell you about it?"
[14:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes. I queried command as to the nature of the event and was told it was some kind of berserker incident." She turned to look at Yanmei. "Still, a military officer needs to be able to define victory based on the strategic gains versus losses. In any case, we inflicted heavy damage on an Angel, gathered data on its capabilities, destroyed its allies, prevented the destruction of Beijing, and in return we suffered relatively few losses. The Beijing squadron were all disabled, but outside of Nana's unit, repairs will be minimal. The same could be said for Paris- long story short, the losses we incurred are relatively light and can be rectified easily, but the gains are more substantial, so I consider it a victory."]
[14:16] <Yanmei> "But the enemy will just come at us again, won't it? Or menace another city like it did this one. Isn't that troubling?"
[14:20] <AdEvaGM> ["Why would that be troubling?"]
[14:25] * Yanmei recalled the Qaphsiels that had been with it, but kept any shudders that came with it far beneath the surface of her demeanor. "It's not like we couldn't beat it if we faced off again? I just wish we could have followed and destroyed it then instead of worrying about it making a return. Suppose it hits when we're in a vulnerable spot? Or it joins up with another difficult Angel?"
[14:27] <AdEvaGM> ["Those are all fair questions." Said Lin. "But that doesn't make the result of the battle any less of a victory. Own your triumphs, Zhang."]
[14:31] * Yanmei cracked a small smile at that. "Thank you, Ma'am. I -am- glad that we were able to protect this city."
[14:36] <AdEvaGM> ["No doubt. You have friends here, after all."]
[14:42] <Yanmei> "That's right! I'm going to visit them as soon as I get the okay to disembark. It'll be a surprise." She eyed the cityscape, trying to judge how battered it still was in the early morning light. Still, more thoughts tempered her smile. "How has the atmosphere been here? With what happened to the Director Zhang and the President, I imagine it wouldn't be good? And then there was the approaching Angel right as that was resol
[14:45] <Yanmei> - was resolved…"
[14:50] <AdEvaGM> [Lin considered this for a moment. "The atmosphere in the city is one of resolve, because there is no other choice. Many of the people have houses to live in now, shops are opening, damage has been repaired- the loss of the President has been a blow, perhaps, but he was not amazingly popular. He has had little real effect on the day-to-day running of the Federation."]
[14:58] <Yanmei> "I guess he wouldn't have, no," Yanmei said after some thought. "And the Vice-president has been watching over things in his place anyway. I guess I was more worried about morale? But I'm glad it's okay. Relatively speaking."
[15:01] <AdEvaGM> ["The victory over Gabriel will lift spirits as well." Said Liu Lin. "The people will know that the battlefield is no longer on their doorstep."]
[15:07] * Yanmei grinned at that. "I hope the news spreads quickly, then. Too much has happened lately." She shifted her weight a little. "Have you been in touch with Director Zhang over the past few days?"
[15:08] <AdEvaGM> ["No."]
[15:10] * Yanmei blinked, surprised. "She hasn't called? Really?"
[15:12] <AdEvaGM> ["She has, but she speaks to the Vice-Commander."]
[15:14] <Yanmei> "Oh." Yanmei seemed to relax a little at that. "I don't think I've met the VC before. They'll probably be busy while we're here, though."
[15:20] <AdEvaGM> [No answer to that. Lin waited for a few seconds, then- "So you're going to visit your friends?"]
[15:29] <Yanmei> "That's right. We were all classmates. Because of the attack that happened here, their studies were disrupted and they were enlisted into the military reserves. I doubt that's an uncommon story around here, though?" -
[15:32] <Yanmei> "I was keeping in touch with them using handwritten letters for a while, but it's been way easier to talk with them since the phone towers were put back up. With luck, we can have lunch together at someplace familiar." She scrolled through the small list of cafes and shops they had visited while she had still lived here. "It'll be pretty nostalgic."
[15:38] <AdEvaGM> ["Would you be able to do me a favour, providing it isn't too much of an imposition?"]
[15:39] <Yanmei> "Just name it. I still owe you for what you did for me before, after all."
[15:41] <AdEvaGM> ["I would like you to take Himesama with you."]
[15:42] <Yanmei> "W-what?"
[15:51] <AdEvaGM> ["Only if you wish it. Simply put, Himesama does not know very many people in the city, and she has limited ways of spending her social time. I am concerned she may be growing bored or lonely, and I would like the chance for her to gain some proper friends."]
[15:57] <Yanmei> "I see…" She seemed to hesitate a moment longer, thinking. This wouldn't be the only day she would spend in the city. Repairs would take… what? Two? Three? Maybe even a week! "I'll see what I can do."
[16:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Thank you. Himesama is a rather social being, quite like yourself- I'm sure she won't cause trouble."]
[16:04] <Yanmei> "I'm sure she won't. Actually, I'm surprised she's not really popular already…"
[16:10] <AdEvaGM> ["The Beijing squad aren't too well-known amongst the populace- or rather they are, but they aren't nearly as publicised as the Paris squad." Said Liu Lin. "I have considered enrolling Himesama into a school, as she's learned to speak Mandarin- but I have reservations. She needs companionship, and right now she's either dealing with foolish men or fighting with Juuichi."]
[16:11] <Yanmei> "Foolish men?"
[16:12] <AdEvaGM> ["You know of her effect on men, do you not?"]
[16:16] * Yanmei nodded. She could guess at the gist of it, anyway, with the pretty face and the elegant stature.
[16:23] <AdEvaGM> ["And you can imagine the effect someone like her would have in the already hormone-dominated environs of a school." Said Liu Lin.]
[16:25] <Yanmei> "Ah…" Yanmei looked vaguely uncomfortable. "Yeah, that would be a little much. It's pretty troublesome."
[16:31] <AdEvaGM> ["Besides, if Himesama befriends your friends, they'll have someone to protect and shelter them in case of emergency."]
[16:33] <Yanmei> "… I guess that's true," she said carefully.
[16:34] <AdEvaGM> [Lin nodded, but didn't add anything.]
[16:39] <Yanmei> "I don't know if they'll get along to that extent, but I don't see the harm in introductions." Yanmei leveled a smile at her. "You really care about them, don't you? Himesama and her squad? You must if you're worried about her social life this much."
[16:42] <AdEvaGM> ["Management of an Evangelion squad has different aspects to it than to managing an army. But ultimately, it's still the same. An army needs food, water, equipment; an Evangelion squad need to be well-trained, well-equipped and supported just the same."]
[16:45] <Yanmei> "And making sure they're not sad or lonely is a part of that?"
[16:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Social interaction is a need just like any other. Humans cannot live on bread alone, as they say."]
[16:53] * Yanmei was quiet a moment, trying to remember how things had started out in Paris. Had there been extra pushes like this? Social interaction just naturally seemed to happen as they attended school. Aside from that and those vacations, there hadn't been a need for much else.
[14:22] <Minaplo> [Lin was quiet as well, apparently either not having anything to say or waiting for Yanmei to speak.]
[14:30] <Yanmei> "I've been concerned about one of those higher needs," Yanmei admitted at last. "One that goes beyond the basics, like social interaction does."
[14:31] <Minaplo> ["Go on."]
[14:35] <Yanmei> "What would you say to someone who felt powerless in his role in combat? Or even beyond that." Yanmei frowned at something below them. "Recently? I had talk with another pilot who felt like he lacked autonomy in fights because his EVA was prone to berserking and taking over. He was filled with frustration, because it's a pretty soul-crushing thing to be subjected to."
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["Problematic." She turned to Yanmei. "It's no secret that a berserking unit gets the job done, is it?"]
[14:46] <Yanmei> "Yes, but…" Yanmei shook her head. "There's a cost to that, psychologically. Having your own struggles canceled out over and over again by the unit, and becoming a superfluous accessory - or worse - a puppet."
[14:53] <Minaplo> ["Yes, I know." Said Lin. "If we could control the Evangelions remotely- have them be permanently in a form of controlled berserk- that would be most advantageous for us, strategically. That is what I meant." She turned to look at Yanmei. "Ultimately, I don't know why a unit might take control from its pilot. If the unit feels that he's not doing a good enough job, then the best he can do is try harder."]
[14:58] * Yanmei nodded. "Maybe you're right. I did tell him that his willingness to fight in a dangerous situation was enough of an effort for the people he was trying to protect… but that doesn't address the core issue the way self-improvement might. It's been bothering me for a while now."
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["It falls to the pilot to control their unit, does it not? But this doesn't always mean necessarily holding as tightly as one can onto the reins. The perfect pilot is one who understands when control is needed, and when it is not."]
[15:06] <Yanmei> "Finding a balance, right? It's a complicated relationship."
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["That's right."]
[15:11] <Yanmei> "Hm…" Yanmei took a moment to quietly mull that over. "You know what?"
[15:12] <Minaplo> [She looked at Yanmei expectantly.]
[15:16] <Yanmei> "It sounds like it's like raising kids or something? Or working out a living situation with a roommate. It'd take time and exploration to find out what works. Maybe even certain personalities."
[15:17] <Minaplo> [There was a small, rather fey smile on Lin's face. "Well, you would know more about that than I would."]
[15:18] <Yanmei> "M-maybe." Yanmei coughed daintily. "Elizabeth is doing rather well, by the way."
[15:23] <Minaplo> ["What is it like to raise a child?"]
[15:25] * Yanmei exhaled. "Exhausting. You're constantly off-balance, never knowing what to expect. But after a while you sort of hit this… groove."
[15:26] <Minaplo> ["Go on."]
[15:28] <Yanmei> "Like it's something you've been doing forever. Like you know your kid inside and out, and can even predict what they'll do. But it's something that comes and goes, because they themselves keep changing. When they move out of the house, it's impossible to keep up, but that distance also breeds a certain sort of… fondness? Respect, I suppose."
[15:35] <Minaplo> ["I see. It sounds like you enjoy it, though."]
[15:38] <Yanmei> "Maybe." She smiled wistfully, thinking of little Lizzie's face. "I'll need to buy a gift to take back to her."
[15:40] <Minaplo> [A nod. "Yes."]
[15:47] * Yanmei pushed away from the rail now, lightly. "Do you suppose the Colonel is awake now? Or Himesama for that matter?"
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["Himesama prefers to sleep through until 8 AM- the Colonel I am unsure about."]
[15:52] <Yanmei> "8 AM…" Yanmei checked her watch anxiously. "…how violent would she be if I woke her early? Did you know that she has a blade hidden in that parasol she carries with her?"
[15:55] <Minaplo> ["I do, in fact." Said Lin with a slight smile. "I do not know how violent she would be. She may simply toss you into a Dirac Sea for a few hours…"]
[15:59] * Yanmei chuckled. "Well, that's better than being stabbed. Maybe? Would you care to join me as I find out how she does react?"
[15:59] <Minaplo> ["Alright."]
[16:00] * Yanmei brightened happily and then turned to head off. "Then let's go~"

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