Mazarin S Stalker

[13:03] <Yanmei> Crying over something wasn't good enough. -
[13:07] <Yanmei> Yanmei carried this in her mind when she appeared in front of the amazing Palais de l'Elysee, her face drawn into a determined expression. She was dressed in one of the few suits she owned, and she wore her hair out. Finding her way there hadn't been a problem… she was as familiar with this district as she could be, and could blend in relatively well if she wanted to. -
[13:11] <Yanmei> It was early morning. Marianne had left for the day, leaving her to her devices in an empty apartment. If she couldn't slip away to Chengdu, she could at least do something about her worries for the people left here in Paris. -
[13:11] <Yanmei> And so here she was, grimly moving through the security checkpoint.
[13:16] <Minaplo> [She was quickly carded and waived through- after all, the guards knew her.-
[13:16] <Minaplo> [Before long, she'd find herself walking through the corridors, heading towards a certain place…]
[13:20] * Yanmei practiced what she was going to say in her mind. Yesterday she had made people uncomfortable or worried or both. Today would be different. It had to be. Mazarin only knew the charming side to her, after all. -
[13:20] <Yanmei> She moved quickly for his office waiting room.
[13:24] <Minaplo> [It'd be about ten minutes, she was told by the secretary, before the President would be ready to receive her.-
[13:27] <Minaplo> [Footsteps. "Oh. It's you."-
[13:29] <Minaplo> [A ten-year old girl with black hair had green eyes had appeared, apparently having walked the same path as Yanmei had towards the office. This was, of course, none other than Henriette Mazarin.-
[13:30] <Minaplo> [… A Henriette that Yanmei hadn't seen in twenty-three years. The same Henriette who had, instead of breaking down at her father's death, had been tempered like steel in a furnace, developing into a hard, cold determined thorn in Mary Caine's side- and one of Yanmei's strongest allies.-
[13:30] <Minaplo> [This little girl would one day become the near-legendary 'M'…-
[13:30] <Minaplo> [Or at least, that's what Yanmei had dreamed.]
[13:34] <Yanmei> But now, Yanmei smirked a little at her. She was so small and harmless now~ And knowing what her potential could be only made it that much better. "Henriette~ Shouldn't you be heading off to school?"
[13:38] <Minaplo> ["I'm on holidays." Said Henriette loftily.]
[13:39] <Yanmei> "No summer camps this year?" Wasn't that usually what rich kids went to?
[13:41] <Minaplo> ["It's only a weekly holiday. Besides," Said Henriette with a mildly condescending tone, "It's Autumn."]
[13:43] <Yanmei> "…" Now she remembered why she hadn't liked this kid at first. Yanmei tossed her hair. "So it is~ Silly me." She faced the office door with deeply veiled hope, but it remained closed. "Are you taking care of your dad these days?"
[13:44] <Minaplo> ["He can take care of himself quite well, you know." Said Henriette, sitting down next to Yanmei with one leg daintily crossed over the other.]
[13:44] <Yanmei> "You can never be too sure," said Yanmei. "Terrorists are getting bolder and bolder these days?"
[13:48] <Minaplo> ["They wouldn't be able to harm him." Said Henriette, tossing her hair in a perfect imitation of Yanmei.]
[13:49] <Yanmei> "I hear he can handle a gun pretty well. Has he ever given you lessons?" A pause and a chuckle. "Well, probably not? You're still so little~"
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["Of coursehe has."]
[13:51] <Yanmei> "Aw, don't be so-~" A pause. "What?"
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["Of course he's given me shooting lessons."]
[13:51] <Yanmei> "W-why?"
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["Because it's important I know how to protect myself."]
[13:54] <Yanmei> "… I… see. But don't you have bodyguards for that?"
[13:55] <Minaplo> ["So?" Henriette scowled. "Father says that if you're a Statesperson who is so important that they need bodyguards, not knowing how to fight is just pathetic."]
[13:59] <Yanmei> This guy… Now she remembered why dealing with his successors had been so unsatisfying in comparison. Tyrant or not, the guy had class. "That's a pretty decent point? Do you both wear protective gear too?"
[13:59] <Minaplo> ["Only sometimes."]
[14:02] <Yanmei> "It's pretty ugly, though, right?" Yanmei shook her head. "Scientists can make Evangelions, but they can't design a bullet-proof vest that actually looks cute. What's with their priorities?"
[14:02] <Minaplo> ["You'd need some pretty good scientists to makeyoucute."]
[14:06] <Yanmei> A flat stare. An adult didn't have to stoop to a little kid's level when it came to things like this. "And you'd need a pretty good -miracle-~" Wait, what?
[14:08] <Minaplo> [Henriette merely smiled.-
[14:09] <Minaplo> ["What's this about miracles?" Came a voice from the office doorway- a voice that, for two decades, Yanmei had only heard on audio clips and documentaries.]
[14:11] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei turned slowly, eyes widening.
[14:13] <Minaplo> [He was standing in the doorway, as tall as she remembered him, with his hawkish, lean body and shrewd, pointed face, sharp icy blue eyes; but he was smiling dryly. "I must ask you to refrain from tormenting my daughter in the halls, Miss Yanmei."]
[14:19] <Yanmei> "That… she…" The impact of all of that mental practice died a horrible death, and she just stared, stammering, trying to convince herself that what she was hearing and seeing was real. It'd be weird if she hugged him, wouldn't it? She couldn't bring herself to do it while Henriette was there anyway, and it'd be -weird- even if she wasn't. "M-M-Mr. President. What… ah, quiet footsteps you have?"
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["Quite." He took a step back and gestured inside. "Why don't you come in, Miss Yanmei? Henriette, stop tormenting the poor pilot- you should go to your studies."-
[14:21] <Minaplo> ["Yes, father." Henriette smiled sweetly and gave Yanmei the curtsy of superiority. "Do have a good day~"]
[14:22] <Yanmei> "You too." She had the presence of mind not to shoot her a dirty look, at least. Still a little red, she hurried into the office.
[14:24] <Minaplo> [He closed the door behind her. "May I interest you in a drink?"]
[14:25] <Yanmei> "Y-yes, please." She sank into a chair. Deep breath. Get it together. He was her friend, so… "I thought I'd stop in and see how you're doing? It's been a while."
[14:26] <Minaplo> [A glass of wine was poured for Yanmei, and a small glass of brandy for the President. He sat down, eyeing her curiously. "I'm quite fine. I hear you've been in quite the harrowing experience recently."]
[14:28] <Yanmei> "News travels fast." She accepted the glass with a wry smile and slightly shaking hands. "Just how much have your contacts told you."
[14:29] <Minaplo> ["That you and your comrades suffered greatly. Enough that some required sedatives."]
[14:31] <Yanmei> Couldn't exactly deny that or downplay it with a hairtoss. "We're… recovering. Some with less aid than others. William's really bad off…"
[14:31] <Minaplo> ["Mm. And how are you going with recovery?"]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "I made it all the way here without help." Yanmei did toss her hair this time. "That should tell you a lot, right?"
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["It tells me you're a lot worse off than you care to admit." Said Mazarin with a subtle smile.]
[14:40] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei gripped the glass a little tighter and scrutinized him. "You can't know that for sure."
[14:41] <Minaplo> ["I can build a fairly compelling case for my being right, though, and that's good enough for a judge." There was a twinkle in his eyes.]
[14:43] <Yanmei> She went with it, dropping into a sigh. Bluff, not-bluff, what did it matter? "That's hardly fair. Compared to yesterday, I'm a lot better at this."
[14:44] <Minaplo> [He nodded. "I'm glad to hear it. But how are you feeling now?"]
[14:48] <Yanmei> "Glad. Overwhelmed? It's been twenty years since I was last here, and now I can't ignore just how shiny this room is."
[14:50] <Minaplo> [He let out a chuckle. "I'm glad you still like it."-
[14:50] <Minaplo> [He folded his hands together, however, and frowned slightly. "Twenty years… So it's true, then."]
[14:58] <Yanmei> "Yes." She finally took a sip. "Twenty-three years. For me, at least. I was only able to come back after I died."
[14:59] <Minaplo> ["That seems… Unspeakably awful."]
[15:01] <Yanmei> "A lot of people died long before it got to that point…" Her voice was controlled, careful, and her gaze didn't waver or flit around nervously.
[15:02] <Minaplo> ["… Ah. I was one of them."]
[15:03] <Yanmei> "I never said that…"
[15:04] <Minaplo> ["But it's true."]
[15:06] <Yanmei> "…yes."
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["I'm not surprised. It only makes sense, after all."]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "Um. How's your security these days, President Mazarin?"
[15:09] <Minaplo> ["Ah, so it was an assassination."]
[15:10] <Yanmei> "You're taking this awfully well."
[15:18] <Minaplo> [He chuckled. "I'm sorry. You have my condolences- it must've been a terrible thing to live through…"]
[15:24] <Yanmei> "It kicked off a lot a massive changes in the world, so…" Yanmei frowned. "Well, anyway. I actually came here to make you an offer today."
[15:25] <Minaplo> ["Oh?"]
[15:26] <Yanmei> "I'd like to help out around your office. As a volunteer."
[15:28] <Minaplo> ["A volunteer? What would you like to do?"]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "Research? Security detail, writing and proofreading reports. Holding press conferences to distribute information. Greeting ambassadors… you know, things like that?"
[15:33] <Minaplo> [His eyes narrowed. "Do you actually have the time for all of this? Don't you have school?"]
[15:35] * Yanmei stared at him blankly, as if this as an utterly alien concept to her. "School?"
[15:35] <Minaplo> ["Saint Louis, class, learning…?"]
[15:37] <Yanmei> "Right. Well," she gave him a convicing smile, "at this point, it won't make a difference if I attend classes?"
[15:40] <Minaplo> ["Oh?"]
[15:44] <Yanmei> "I don't think you fathom how many missed days I've accumulated during the past three years…"
[15:44] <Minaplo> ["That's no excuse." He frowned.-
[15:44] <Minaplo> ["Still, I'm sure if I speak to your guardian we can work something out."]
[15:48] <Yanmei‘> "Maybe…" Would Marianne actually go for that? She… had her doubts. She frowned. "Thank you for at least considering~"
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["Not a problem. No doubt you want to make sure I’m properly protected…"]
[15:51] <Yanmei> "W-what makes you say that? This is a mutually beneficial career opportunity? That's it."
[15:52] <Minaplo> ["Be honest."]
[15:54] * Yanmei straightened her shoulders. "It never hurts to have an extra set of eyes, Mr. President."
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["No, I guess you're right."-
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["… So what -did- happen when I was killed?"]
[16:01] <Yanmei‘> "Huge conspiracy. Someone mean, nasty, and powerful put a weaker puppet President was put in office. Your daughter became a military vigilante. There were other pockets that resisted this powerful person’s sphere of influence, but they were way too weak individualy, and needed a nudge to get started."
[16:02] <Minaplo> ["Henriette became a vigilante?"]
[16:05] <Yanmei‘> "She gathered a bunch of people who were loyal to you and created her own army. It was inspiring?" She’d lowered her voice significantly now, panning the room almost without thinking about it.
[16:05] <Minaplo> ["I'm impressed." He said with a rather proud voice. "Not that I doubt she'd be capable of it…"]
[16:08] <Yanmei‘> "Yeah." Yanmei shifted anxiously, not quite giving up the search yet. "She’s got the nerves for it. I'd… rather you not tell her I said that, however."
[16:08] <Minaplo> ["Of course not." Said Mazarin.-
[16:09] <Minaplo> ["And besides, since I have no intention of being assassinated, I hardly imagine it'll be an issue."]
[16:10] <Yanmei‘> "Well, that’s a relief to hear." She smiled.
[16:12] <Minaplo> ["I noticed you were reluctant to note who this powerful person was."]
[16:13] <Yanmei‘> "I’m still reluctant, Mr. President."
[16:13] <Minaplo> ["I see." He smiled.]
[16:14] <Yanmei‘> "In any case, thank you for hearing me out. If you have other appointments, I won’t keep you…"
[16:15] <Minaplo> ["Well, you're welcome to return whenever you like."]
[16:17] <Yanmei‘> "Why thank you!" She grinned at him. "I may just hold you to it?"
[16:17] <Minaplo> [He gave her a smile and a nod of the head as he drained his brandy.]
[16:19] <Yanmei`> And soon Yanmei was gone. But not for long. -
[16:21] <Yanmei`> The next day she returned, bright and early, a representative for an orphan adoption campaign that was missing its two real representatives due to one of them still being hospitalized. -
[16:22] <Yanmei`> The following day, she waited in the waiting room in a clean professional-looking dress. She’d noticed that the previous day's security check was a little lax, and that he should be careful. Had he heard about Linden's trouble with terrorists recently? -
[16:25] <Yanmei‘> And after that, she came to discuss an excutive branch report that she had read. Nice stuff? But were a few troubling implications that she wanted to talk about.
[16:28] <Minaplo> ["And what would they be?" Asked Mazarin, his face a mask that only barely hid a sense of amusement and a little bit of exasperation.]
[16:35] <Yanmei`> "You’re really spreading yourself thin, you know? Granted, it's due to issues with that new cult growing in French territory, but it'd be better to redirect resources more strategically?"
[16:36] <Minaplo> ["Like how?"]
[16:37] <Yanmei‘> "Hard to say. But I bet you could talk your ministers into getting more data for you so you can figure out how?"
[16:38] <Minaplo> ["But you seem to be so good at it already!"]
[16:41] * Yanmei` was taken aback. "Eh?" She glanced down at the document with a chuckle. "I admit that budget allocation isn’t really my forte? I just thought it was interesting, that's all."
[16:42] <Minaplo> ["Yanmei, do you not have any hobbies?"]
[16:42] <Yanmei‘> "Of course~ But I’ve been a little busy recently…"
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["Busy harassing me, yes."]
[16:51] <Yanmei‘> "Harassing, sir? I don’t know what you mean."
[16:54] <Minaplo> ["Three days ago, Yanmei, you came here hoping to find a volunteer position on my staff to 'help out', during which you informed me that I would be assassinated and my daughter would become a military vigilante."-
[16:54] <Minaplo> ["Two days ago you came in hoping to recruit my assistance in finding accomodating parents for a little girl called Fleur. I acquiesced, of course."-
[16:55] <Minaplo> ["Yesterday you came in to inform me that my security detail was a bit lax, and then asked me whether I'd heard about the terrorist problems besetting the head of the state of some backwater, unknown tiny little placed called the United States of America."-
[16:57] <Minaplo> ["Today you're in with issues about my budget. My dear Yanmei, I happily count you as a friend, and I am more than willing to spend time with you, but you have never visited me four times across four consecutive days about four different topics."]
[17:00] <Yanmei‘> "The timing is just coincidental, that’s all." She summoned her all skill as an actress - fine tuned from years of BSing other diplomats and being BS'd in turn. "I -assure- you that had any of these topics reached my attention at any other time I would have sought a discussion about them then as well."
[17:02] <Minaplo> [He stared at her doubtfully, but he couldn't- this time- tell if she were lying or not.-
[17:02] <Minaplo> ["You have my phone number, Yanmei. Is it really that hard to call?"]
[17:03] <Yanmei‘> "You’d prefer to do it that way?" She frowned, troubled by something.
[17:04] <Minaplo> ["I would, in all honesty, prefer for you to keep this sort of behaviour until you're actually employed by my office, or at least keep visits to once a week. I can't shake the feeling that you're trying to mother me in some way."]
[17:09] * Yanmei‘ broke into light laughter. "Me? Mother? Since when do I do things like that? You’re so funny!"
[17:10] <Minaplo> ["I see." He took a sip of brandy.-
[17:11] <Minaplo> [And then, as nonchalantly as he could, he asked her a snap question. "So how is your daughter anyway?"]
[17:12] <Yanmei‘> "Really well! You know, she’s about to get married to…" She trailed off. "…"
[17:13] <Minaplo> ["Forgive me. But I feel my point is made."]
[17:15] <Yanmei‘> "… maybe it is," she muttered quietly. She collected the report, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. "Fine. You win. …this time. I’ll see you later, okay?"
[17:19] <Minaplo> ["Say, Yanmei. I have a favour to ask."]
[17:19] <Yanmei‘> "Yes~?"
[17:21] <Minaplo> ["Would you mind looking after Henriette next Saturday?"]
[17:22] <Yanmei`> "Henriette?" Oh god, no… "Sure! We totally get along, so it should be fine?"
[17:22] <Minaplo> [He smiled. "She can be a tad fussy about her food, but I’m sure it'll go well. She really is quite fond of you, even if she doesn't show it."]
[17:24] <Yanmei‘> "She is?" Yanmei grinned. "That’s so sweet… I'll make sure to make the very best for her, then."
[17:24] <Minaplo> ["Thank you."]
[17:26] <Yanmei‘> "It’s my pleasure. Now, then…" She began to depart. "I guess I'll be off? Have a good rest of the day~"
[17:27] <Minaplo> ["The same to you."]

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