Marianne S Call

[08:13] <Yanmei> Yanmei fussed with Lizzie and Daji. The former had been dressed in a dark blue pair of clean overalls, her short hair smartly combed and smoothed down. The latter had spent the night in Isha's room instead of the Zhang apartment, and thus no longer looked as if she was on the verge of a little nervous breakdown. -
[08:14] * Suzune has left #nervfrance
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[08:18] <Yanmei> Her fur had been vigorously brushed, and was now more or less shining. They were standing in an office. It was surprisingly clean compared to the ones she had seen at the Geofront and in other places. Little paperwork lying around. The shelves lining the walls were neatly packed with books of all sorts, from technology-based reference materials to Albus' favorite series: "Red Tape, the System and You". -
[08:22] <Yanmei> Yanmei was dressed in a uniform signifying her rank. She didn't care for it, but it looked smarter than the other clothes she had available. "How are you feeling?" Isaiah was also standing nearby, and the question was clearly meant for him.
[08:32] <Minaplo> ["Excited." He said with a quick grin. "I bet she'll be so excited to see you."]
[08:37] <Yanmei> "I bet you're right." She tried to smile back and took a deep breath. "Right. Ready." She faced the monitor now. "…you know, even though they said this would be private, they might have lied. They still could be monitoring us internally, without our knowledge."
[08:38] <Minaplo> ["'They'? Hyuga and Alexandre?"]
[08:39] <Yanmei> "Yes. Or Vercingetorix. Get us to let our guard down so that we start talking freely, and then…"
[08:40] <Minaplo> ["What could they hear that we haven't already told them directly?"]
[08:46] <Yanmei> "Wouldn't -they- like to know," Yanmei scoffed, and fluffed her hair.
[08:50] <Minaplo> [He put his hands on Yanmei's for a second mid-fluffing, and gave them a squeeze.-
[08:51] <Minaplo> [The message would be relayed through the same monitor Yanmei had been looking at, and now it activated. A minute of warm-up, and then-
[08:56] * Yanmei stiffened slightly at the message, pulling away in surprise and clearing her throat. She took advantage of the voice-command software. "I'll accept the call."
[09:02] <Minaplo> [The flashing message dissolved, replaced with a room that Yanmei recognised all too easily- Marianne's Captain's Quarters, with its extravagant bed and huge wardrobe. The image was very wide, and Yanmei realised that Marianne's monitor must've been much larger…-
[09:03] <Minaplo> [Marianne was there as well, wearing her uniform as she always did, her hair a little longer than it had been in Yanmei's memory. She looked a little less tired, too…-
[09:03] <Minaplo> [But there was worry in her eyes and in the lines of her face. Despite that, she smiled.-
[09:03] <Minaplo> ["Yanmei! Oh, it's so good- are you alright?"-
[09:03] <Minaplo> [And around her feet was a rather large lion cub…]
[09:07] <Yanmei> "Marianne! Reggie!" She had to will herself from taking a step forward. "We're ok, we're ok! I missed you! We… we tried to call as soon as we could!"
[09:18] <Minaplo> ["Mawiemawie!" Said Lizzie, her little face lighting up, first in total surprise, then in joy. "Mawiemawiemawie! Reggie Reggie!"-
[09:19] <Minaplo> [Isaiah smiled. "It's good to see you again, Marianne."-
[09:22] <Minaplo> [Marianne's smile grew wider, and for a second Yanmei thought she sould see glimmers of tears in her eyes.-
[09:23] <Minaplo> ["I-Isaiah, and Lizzie, too… Oh, Yanmei, it's so good to -hear- from you again. I had no idea what was going on…"]
[09:25] <Yanmei> "You mean no one updated you? Not even Linden or her people?"
[09:31] <Minaplo> ["They told me you'd been found and in a battle, but- nothing before that."]
[09:38] <Yanmei> "We've been… around. We escaped the Synfront about two and a half weeks ago with 08. I understand that Caine even managed to keep that a secret…"
[09:39] <Minaplo> ["Mostly, but Vercingetorix, he found out somehow, he tried to rescue you…"]
[09:43] <Yanmei> "He did? So we didn't need to try as hard as we did to try to reach him?" Yanmei let out a laugh. It was a tired, incredulous one. "In the end we just gave up and went to the States to find Linden. We didn't even know she had ties to him? We were just looking for someone who could shelter us."
[09:48] <Minaplo> ["I'm glad you did. He was attacked before he could pull it off…"]
[09:50] <Yanmei> "Seriously? Don't tell me…" Her eyes narrowed. "Caine actually found him?"
[09:55] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yeah. Do you have time for me to talk about this?"]
[09:58] <Yanmei> "We have plenty of time." And it wasn't as if she would be telling any pesky eavesdroppers information they didn't already know. She kept that last part to herself, though.
[10:00] <Minaplo> ["Well, apparently they found Vercingetorix's base and attacked it- two of those 'Dysangelion' things, and according to the man himself, Sera was with them."]
[10:03] <Yanmei> "De Pteres? So wait. They failed to kill him right? Since he was able to tell you this himself, apparently?"
[10:05] <Minaplo> ["He lived, yes. Apparently Tsubaki and Zeruel- the Angel, he calls it that- fought them off, and that allowed Tsubaki and Sera to escape to where you are."]
[10:09] <Yanmei> "…" She looked a little troubled for a moment. "An Angel fighting a Dysangelion…"
[10:12] <Minaplo> ["Apparently it's part of what he can do. Vercingetorix has an AT Field- he often used to jaunt in and out of here to hold secret meetings…"]
[10:14] <Yanmei> "That's super creepy? He can pretty much go wherever he wants, then. He could even be… jaunting into your closet right now!"
[10:22] <Minaplo> ["Or into yours." Said Marianne immediately.]
[10:29] <Yanmei> "Hah!" Yanmei threw on her best fearless grin. "He'd regret it if he did! But. How are you doing personally? You look pretty well rested, possibilities of closet visits aside."
[10:35] <Minaplo> ["Better knowing you're ok." She said with a warm smile. "… There've been a few close calls here. Metatron's Spawn are nasty. One of them tried to hack into NERV and activate the auto-destruct, you know…? Asuka's been taking a lot of beatings, and in one battle there, we would've lost if EVA-00 hadn't gone totally berserk."-
[10:35] <Minaplo> ["I'd rather not see that again, though." Muttered Marianne. "EVA-00 fired a stream of- magma? so powerful it burned right through the armour of the Geofront."]
[10:41] <Yanmei> "B-berserked… again? Did it, um. Transform? Or anything like that?"
[10:44] <Minaplo> ["No."]
[10:44] <Yanmei> "And it deactivated after? Instead of doing anything weird?"
[10:49] <Minaplo> ["Er… It ripped off its armor, then ran off to the German Alps with a berserk EVA-05 and was found snoozing in 05's lap later, does that count…?"-
[10:49] <Minaplo> [Isaiah snickered.]
[11:00] <Yanmei> "…I don't know…" Yanmei admitted after a very long, very baffled pause. "But as long as the Alps themselves are still there, everything's ok? So let's not worry."
[11:05] <Minaplo> ["The Dysangelions tried to remedy that." Muttered Marianne. "Apparently, Vercingetorix's base was hidden beneath the Alps, and one of the Dysangelions just burned a hole right through a mountain…"]
[11:08] <Yanmei> "That's not too surprising," Yanmei muttered. "Our Evas have been known to change a few landscapes too. God, that's freaky, though?"
[11:15] <Minaplo> ["They're not to be trifled with, no."]
[11:19] <Yanmei> "No, they aren't," Yanmei agreed. "How much data do you have on them? From actual combat, I mean?"
[11:24] <Minaplo> ["Not a whole lot. We took some from San's Eva, but we'd be lucky if they all fought the same way. That said, we're converting it into tactics right now. I've even forwarded an outline to Hyuga for upgrades to your Eva units."]
[11:30] <Yanmei> "Oh? I'll try to snag a peek from him later, then? I trust that the units in Paris are being upgraded too, in light of everything?"
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["We're trying." She nodded.]
[11:34] <Yanmei> "What about news from elsewhere? …how are things in China, for example?"
[11:41] <Minaplo> ["Liu Lin launched a coup of the government."]
[11:44] * Yanmei stopped breathing for a fraction of a second. "It's Caine. Liu would -never- do that otherwise. When she and Hohenzollern were visiting, Caine brainwashed her."
[11:47] <Minaplo> ["… Er." Marianne coughed, looking sheepish. "… That was in bad taste. Sorry."]
[11:47] <Yanmei> "W-what?"
[11:48] <Minaplo> ["I-I was trying to set up some joke about all the absurd things Emperor Lin was doing, but you were totally blasé about it…"]
[11:53] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei fixed the monitor with a blank, vaguely confused stare. Then she began to chuckle. "O-oh. I see."
[11:55] <Minaplo> [There was an awkward silence.-
[11:55] <Minaplo> ["I-I do have good news, though. A-About Liu."]
[11:57] <Yanmei> "You do?"
[11:59] <Minaplo> ["We knew Caine tried to brainwash her. Liu told us herself."]
[12:02] <Yanmei> "She was aware of it afterwards…?"
[12:06] <Minaplo> ["It seemed that Liu suspected she might be brainwashed, so she took some serious countermeasures. A psychoactive drug beforehand, for example…"]
[12:07] <Yanmei> "…?! Where on earth did she get a hold of something like that?"
[12:08] <Minaplo> ["Who else? Vercingetorix."]
[12:10] <Yanmei> "And it really worked? She didn't go crazy or anything like that?"
[12:12] <Minaplo> ["She had some problems for a week or two after, but it seems that she… Shrugged it off. She's spending a good deal of time pretending to follow Caine's orders."]
[12:13] <Yanmei> "Are you sure she's not, like, pretending to pretend? What if all of this is a double-charade devised by Caine herself?"
[12:15] <Minaplo> ["We're keeping an eye on her just in case, but she seems to be doing well so far."]
[12:17] * Yanmei nodded slowly, but there was doubt in her eyes. "What about Director Zhang? Do you know how she's doing?"
[12:21] <Minaplo> ["Worried about you."]
[12:24] <Yanmei> "Someone should let her know that I'm okay. President Mazarin too."
[12:27] <Minaplo> ["I'll make sure of it. Should I tell Asuka too…?"]
[12:30] <Yanmei> "She doesn't know? Yeah, sure. I'm sure she'll be glad that her secret idol made it through just fine~"
[12:32] <Minaplo> ["She'll be dying to fight you, you know that, right?"]
[12:33] <Yanmei> "Sounds fun? But she'll have to wait a while. I don't know how long we're going to be here."
[12:36] <Minaplo> ["Do you know what you want to do?"]
[12:42] <Yanmei> "…no. No idea. She stripped away everything, didn't she? As far as the rest of the world is concerned, I'm wasting away in prison."
[12:46] <Minaplo> ["But we haven't accepted that, Yanmei." Said Marianne. "The world's still on your side. You should've seen it…" She shook her head.-
[12:47] <Minaplo> ["Princess Alexandrina was on the warpath. There were demonstrations and riots in China. Mazarin had everyone up in arms- the French, the Germans, the Americans, even the Soviets. Caine had to do a lot of damage control."]
[12:53] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei smiled faintly. "The whole world, hm?" But the light in her eyes dimmed again just as suddenly as it had appeared. "'I should rally everyone against Caine publicly' is what I want to say. But…"
[13:04] <Minaplo> ["… But it's best to keep it slow as long as we can, right? Until we're ready."]
[13:06] <Yanmei> "Are we ever going to -be- ready? They might strike before then. Did you know she has her own Landship too?"
[13:08] <Minaplo> ["… I did not." Said Marianne, her expression becoming much more serious. "Hmm…"]
[13:11] * Aline has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
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[13:14] <Yanmei> "I don't know much about it. Not even where it's located? But it must be at least as devastating as ours. All this on top of the Dysangelions."
[13:16] <Minaplo> ["And we might not be able to rely on the Ayanamis, either…"]
[13:16] <Yanmei> "What do you mean?"
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["Vercingetorix is worried. The conditioning that went into the Ayanamis to make them what they are wasn't completely designed by Ikari. There's the chance they might be controllable by Caine."]
[13:18] <Yanmei> "That… that is problematic, yes. What should do?"
[13:21] <Yanmei> ^we do :I
[13:27] <Minaplo> ["I'm not sure. Vercingetorix says that there are- failsafes. Like with Nelson, the ability to override the conditioning through sheer willpower and personality."]
[13:29] <Yanmei> "Yes, but to our knowledge he was the only person who happened to overcome the conditioning that way. I don't know if we can rely on it? Especially since they've all developed such different personalities from one another."
[13:32] <Minaplo> ["We'll have to be careful, then. Ugh. I don't want to think of fighting the Ayanamis…"-
[13:32] <Minaplo> ["…" Isaiah looked away, suddenly stricken.]
[13:37] <Yanmei> "…" She caught that. And remembered that this wasn't just a conversation between Marianne and herself. A change in topic was probably for the best. "Isaiah? Let's tell her about what a big help Lizzie has been to us on this trip."
[13:37] <Minaplo> ["Help help~" Said Lizzie, clapping gleefully.-
[13:38] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yeah." Said Isaiah, trying to smile. "Show her Daji, Lizzie."-
[13:38] <Minaplo> ["Jijiji~"-
[13:38] <Minaplo> ["… Is that a fox?" Asked Marianne.]
[13:39] <Yanmei> "It is! Her new best friend. We got her while we were, ah. Overseas. Do you want to hear the story?"
[13:46] <Minaplo> ["Sure."]
[13:48] * Yanmei grinned. Discreetly, she took Isaiah's hand and gave it a small squeeze as she began. "Ok. So we escaped Caine's prison and landed in a city in Australia…"

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