Lover S Hope

[06:41] <Yanmei> She was squandering the precious time she had with him, but… she couldn't help it. Her chin dropped lower and lower and her eyelids grew heavier. She sagged against the backrest of her chair.
[06:59] <Minaplo> [Time passed, and the weariness grew and grew…-
[06:59] <Minaplo> [It grew so heavy that it became heavier than the entire world, and now she lay upon it.-
[07:00] <Minaplo> [Her weariness bore her away to a new place. And there it left her. It left her with the smell of fresh apples on the breeze. The fresh purity of clean water…]
[07:10] <Yanmei> The soft, rolling fields of rich grass rippled in the breeze, dotted by bright flowers. The lake sat within running distance, so clear and pure that it looked like glass beneath the sun. Something like a stirring of hope went through her, and she unfurled quickly, expecting to find someone else in this pristine place.
[07:13] <Minaplo> [And there was someone else.-
[07:13] <Minaplo> [The Marionette stood on the bank of the lake, staring at her with those empty eyes. Excalibur was held in its hands. It said nothing.]
[07:17] <Yanmei> That… was not the someone she had hoped to find. She scrambled back a few steps, but stopped when she realized that it wasn't lunging at her just yet. Other more recent events in which she had remained unattacked by it rose to mind. -
[07:19] <Yanmei> In the end, she tried to settle her nerves with a few deep gulps of air. She approached. "You… you want to talk with me?"
[07:23] <Minaplo> ["You are terrified. But not of me. You are terrified of what I represent in your mind. You are terrified of death. Of his death. Am I correct?" Its voice was dry and monotone.]
[07:27] <Yanmei> Yanmei stared. Very slowly, she began to regard the lake. "He won't die," she said quietly. "He -can't-."
[07:28] <Minaplo> ["He can." Said the Marionette. "And he will."]
[07:30] <Yanmei> "No! Not like this! I need him!"
[07:35] <Minaplo> ["Come." He gestured to her. "Come to the lake and see what lies within."]
[07:41] <Yanmei> The lake…? She peered between it and the Marionette, clearly baffled. Still, she approached further, tried to peer beneath its surface close up.
[07:42] <Minaplo> [The lake, the beautiful perfect lake. it was so calm, like glass. She could see her reflection perfectly…-
[07:45] <Minaplo> [But it wasn't her reflection, she realized. it was an image, as though she were watching a movie. She saw herself, standing over Isaiah's bed.-
[07:53] <Minaplo> ["He lay beyond the means of mortal men. And so his mind remains silent, already dead, his soul shackled to the living corpse. You cannot bear to be without him, but you cannot bear to let him exist in this half-life." The scene showed doctors entering, pulling out the plugs, the heart monitor flatlining, a sheet pulled over his head. "And so he fades, and you are alone."-
[07:54] <Minaplo> ["He is more than a lover to you. He makes you whole, he fills the yawning chasm within your soul and with him you are able to do anything. Without him you are crippled beyond repair." The gantry is pushed away, and Yanmei now stands alone next to a grave.-
[08:02] <Minaplo> [It reads- Isaiah Gabriel-Wei. 2000-2018. Peaceful beyond compare. Faithful lover. Guiding father. There are flowers on the grave.-
[08:03] <Minaplo> ["And so you live a cursed half-life, ever alone, with nothing to heal your emptiness. Your very mind calls you worthless for not doing whatever you could to save him. You never love again."-
[08:04] <Minaplo> ["And so the years pass, and one by one, all the others who loved you and you loved pass away." More graves. Zhang Mingzhu. Devoted mother… Mortimer Mazarin, President of France, caring father… Marianne Amatore-DeForest, protector of the weak…-
[08:04] <Minaplo> [Elizabeth Bellamy. Kindest and most loving daughter any could ask for.-
[08:05] <Minaplo> ["And the food in your mouth turns to ash and the sunlight on your skin turns to bitter chill as the days grow long and into shadow. The gleaming light of your youth turns into the grey cloud of bitter emptiness."-
[08:06] <Minaplo> [The world is grey. Yanmei stands alone upon a wall, the sky turbulent and disturbed. The wind howls.-
[08:06] <Minaplo> ["You are alone. It is a terrible existence. None can lessen your burden. You do not die so much as fade away into nothingness at the end. Zhang Yanmei ends, alone and forgotten."-
[08:07] <Minaplo> ["This is the destiny you now face. This is the path your feet now tread upon."]
[08:09] <Yanmei> "Why…?" She was quickly loosing a battle against welling tears by this point. She swallowed hard. "Why show me this? Is there a way to save him? There must be!"
[08:24] <Minaplo> ["Ever does the one left behind cry the words of desperation. Do you think yourself the first to lose a loved one? You will not be the last. How many have you taken, Zhang Yanmei? How many of those who were reduced to nothing by your actions leave behind lovers and children?"]
[08:35] <Yanmei> She spun, wounded and shocked. "I can't just…" The swirl of unwanted memories. She pushed them back, hard. "You just don't understand! I have to try whatever I can?"
[08:38] <Minaplo> ["You cannot accept it, can you?" Asked the Marionette. "Your mind simply cannot accept life without him."]
[08:42] <Yanmei> "There have been times when… when I was certain he was gone. But he survived! He was okay. This could be the same."
[08:48] <Minaplo> ["Do you believe that in your heart?"]
[08:50] * Yanmei fell uneasily silent.
[08:52] <Minaplo> ["You do not. And that is why you are afraid. You are right to be afraid. He is going to die."-
[08:52] <Minaplo> ["What will you do to prevent his death?"]
[08:55] <Yanmei> "I don't know! I'm not a doctor. There must be some treatment somewhere… I just have to think."
[08:56] <Minaplo> ["What if keeping him alive were simply a matter of willpower?" The Marionette bent at the waist, lowering its head to Yanmei's height. "What if it were simply a question of how far you were willing to go?"]
[08:59] <Yanmei> The motion was… disturbing to say the least. Yanmei resisted the urge to back away. "If it was that, then I'd go as far as I could? But I don't understand. Are you saying you know some way to help?"
[09:02] <Minaplo> ["Perhaps."]
[09:03] <Yanmei> "How, then?"
[09:06] <Minaplo> ["What are you willing to do?"]
[09:12] * Sept has quit IRC (eraniss.tx.us.lunarnet.org rpgcafe.ca.us.lunarnet.org)
[09:13] * SyntaxTerror has joined #nervfrance2
[09:14] <Yanmei> "I'd risk my own life. If there was a way to make sure that he would still be him when he woke up, I would shake off my hesitation and turn to less savory aspect of science. Make a deal with the devil?"
[09:15] <Minaplo> ["Would you turn him into an Evangelion?"]
[09:16] <Yanmei> "What?!"
[09:17] <Minaplo> [The Marionette stared at her, that smile not fading. It simply waited for her answer.]
[09:22] <Yanmei> "He'd go mad in that state! Even if I had the authority to, I wouldn't do it to him."
[09:22] <Minaplo> ["Then would you turn him into an Angel?"]
[09:23] * SyntaxTerror is now known as Sept
[09:24] <Yanmei> A long, puzzled pause as she tried to work out how that would work. "If there was some way he could still be with Lizzie and me, then yes."
[09:25] <Minaplo> ["If that is what it took, would you turn mankind into Angels?"]
[09:31] <Yanmei> She felt a little sick. Angels, her hated enemies! "That crosses the boundries of mortal kingship, you realize? To change the lives of many so drastically for a single person. I would… change myself. The others would have to decide for themselves."
[09:36] <Minaplo> ["Then perhaps you would turn yourself, Isaiah and Elizabeth into Angels?" The Marionette gestured at the lake. An image appeared. Three glowing entities of light. "And exile yourselves from the human race?"]
[09:38] <Yanmei> "Yes." Her eyes fixed on the lake. "That might be best."
[09:40] <Minaplo> ["And you would leave behind many who love you."-
[09:43] <Minaplo> [The lake shimmered, showing loved ones- Her mother, Marianne, Alexandre, Asuka, Rosalie, Liu Lin, and beyond that, the great mass of mankind who saw her as a hero.-
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["Throughout many lives you lay claim to the title of King of Man. A King cares for his subjects and does things even if they do not wish it. If you were to make this one decision…"-
[09:45] <Minaplo> [The lake shimmered, and showed all those people as beautiful Angelic figures…-
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["You could have Isaiah, your beloved Isaiah, and your family, and all the human race…"]
[09:54] <Yanmei> "A true king knows the difference between making decisions for her subjects out of necessity and doing so for personal gain. This is a petty, selfish desire, Marionette."
[09:55] <Minaplo> ["To give your people eternal life and freedom from pain? What is Mankind's ambition if not these things?"]
[10:04] <Yanmei> "Even if the end result lines up neatly with something that benefits humanity? I couldn't go through with it. I would be making the decision for myself and not them. Now, if I were to do it because I wanted to free them from the control of Lilith or that horrible Bitchface's soul-trapping device, then that would be another matter."
[10:06] <Minaplo> ["So you have a solution that would free mankind from Mary Caine, heal your beloved, and you will not take it?"]
[10:17] <Yanmei> "You're misunderstanding?" Yanmei frowned. "The line between doing something that benefits a kingdom for personal gain and one that ruins it is painfully thin. If I do resort to doing this it will be because I -want- everyone to be free from Mary Caine. Not to fill the loneliness in my heart."
[10:17] <Minaplo> ["So you do not want to free mankind from Mary Caine."]
[10:18] <Yanmei> "I do."
[10:20] <Minaplo> ["A king understands true wisdom, not false wisdom dressed up as a philosopher. To deny the good due to fear of personal gain is mindless asceticism. You know already that you cannot undo Caine's control. The only solution is to bring the light of Angelkind of humanity."]
[10:27] * Yanmei looked visibly irked. False wisdom! She tried to shrug it off. Pride wasn't going to help matters much either. "It's the same conclusion that someone else came to. I can't contest it this time either?"
[10:27] <Minaplo> ["Then you agree that the true path is the light of Angelkind."]
[10:30] <Yanmei> "It's not an palatable path? But I see no other alternative."
[10:30] <Minaplo> [The Marionette stared.-
[10:30] <Minaplo> ["There is a way to save Isaiah. A way that I know. It will require great bravery on your part. And sacrifice."]
[10:32] <Yanmei> "Ah?" She blinked and then leaned in slightly, in spite of herself. "What is it?"
[10:36] <Minaplo> ["The Eves have the unique ability to achieve a state of permanent synchronization." Said the Marionette. "There is a way to infuse Isaiah with the strength of the Evangelion. It would allow him to heal, to come back from the brink. He would possess an AT Field that could do wondrous things. He would be confused at first, disorientated. He may change. But he will always be your Isaiah."]
[10:39] <Yanmei> "The Evas can really do that? How can I get it to work with him?"
[10:39] <Minaplo> ["You must, just once, synchronize with his Evangelion. Beyond that, you must spend every day with him, focusing on him, urging him to heal, to borrow that strength."]
[10:43] <Yanmei> The difficult part would be synching. In Paris or Boston, where there were more friends, she would have had an easier time getting authorization. Here, however, was a different story. Then there was the fickle mother-in-law herself… "I see. I'll try it."
[10:44] <Minaplo> ["It is your only choice." Said the Marionette, rising to its full height. "What are you thinking about now?"]
[10:48] <Yanmei> "I'm trying to work out the details? Who I can trust in this place, and who would allow me to synchronize with Isaiah's Eva. And… how he would change with synching with her. She's not a calm being by any stretch of the imagination?"
[10:50] <Minaplo> ["You should be focusing on how much you want him to heal. Try it now. As hard as you can."]
[10:51] <Yanmei> "…?" She shut her eyes, trying to focus, yearning for some activity on Isaiah's part to reflect back at her the way it always did before.
[10:54] <Minaplo> [There was a whisper of wind across her neck. It smelled like him. It had its warmth. For a split second she could see a faint outline, wandering the other side of the lake, a faint warmth that hung in the air… Then vanished.-
[10:54] <Minaplo> ["Do you see?"]
[10:55] <Yanmei> Yanmei gaped. It worked. "I can… bring him back."
[10:56] <Minaplo> ["Yes."]
[10:57] <Yanmei> "I'm grateful. You've been assisting me a lot these days."
[11:02] <Minaplo> ["I am a being of power. It is the role of those in power to assist the weak."]
[11:04] <Yanmei> That irked feeling came back to her quickly. "You're too kind," she said dryly.
[11:05] <Minaplo> ["I am what I am."
[11:05] <Minaplo> -
[11:05] <Minaplo> [… And Eden began to fade. The smell of flowers vanished…]
[11:07] <Yanmei> And that strong madicinal smell took its place. She was back at Isaiah's side, sitting up abruptly in her chair with a faint gasp.
[11:07] <Yanmei> ^medicinal
[11:11] <Minaplo> ["You're awake." Said the head doctor. Doctor Stimms, his name was.]
[11:13] * Yanmei blinked at him and rubbed the back of her hand across her mouth. This guy again? "So I am," she muttered sleepily. "Hello, doctor."
[11:13] <Minaplo> ["Hello, Zhang. You seemed like you were having a good dream."]
[11:15] <Yanmei> "Did I?" Her gaze swept from him to Isaiah, but he was still comatose, on the same bed. Her face settled into a more carefully neutral expression.
[11:16] <Minaplo> ["Oh yes. It was rather embarrassing, shall I tell you the details?"]
[11:18] <Yanmei> "W-what? What do you mean?"
[11:24] <Minaplo> ["Oh, you know." Stimms walked around Isaiah, peering, taking notes. "Young person stuff."]
[11:26] <Yanmei> "…" her mouth hung open for a moment. "It wasn't like that, you know. It was a perfectly proper dream."
[11:28] <Minaplo> ["I don't really care either way." Stimms peered at one of the monitors. He gaped.]
[11:29] * Yanmei jerked in her chair slightly. "W-what is it?" Oh god, oh god…
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["I don't believe it. Apparently he had major brain activity two hours ago… That's impossible."]
[11:33] <Yanmei> "Major…" she thought of the outline on the banks of the river. Could it be…? "He's… getting better, then?"
[11:34] <Minaplo> ["I won't be convinced until he's walking and talking, but apparently… So it seems." He looked up at Yanmei. "Are you sure it was a proper dream? You Libido Effect types can do weird things… Maybe you seduced him out of his coma."]
[11:37] <Yanmei> Yanmei raised an eyebrow at the word choice. "I was just kind of thinking about him? In a very platonic fashion, of course. Maybe it helped."
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["Then maybe you should do it more, then." Said Stimms. "I don't believe this. Are you using strange voodoo dreams to heal my patients? I didn't give you permission to invalidate modern science." But he seemed to be actually smiling.]
[11:40] <Yanmei> "Begging your pardon. It's not like I set out to do it?" She was smiling back. Eagerly, she searched Isaiah's bandaged face for more signs of life.
[11:45] <Minaplo> [His eyes were still closed… Bandages still covered much of his face.]
[11:46] <Yanmei> "…" Maybe soon, she thought to herself, nudging away at the deep disappointment that followed. Soon she would see his calm blue eyes agan.

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