Minerva S Hunting Safari

[14:35] <@Minaplo> ["1500 hours report, all stations normal, systems optimal, conditions normal." Said Lieutenant Archibald.-
[14:36] <@Minaplo> ["Atmospherics report a light rain coming in at 1700." Said the Sensors Officer. "Short-range interceptions read negative, long-range interceptions picking up usual British signatures."-
[14:38] <@Minaplo> ["Very good." Said Colonel Amatore. She was sitting in the elegant command chair, surrounded by consoles and readouts. A small platform suspended next to her by a robotic arm held a cup of tea on a saucer.-
[14:39] <@Minaplo> [Gambolling at her feet was a rather large lion cub, occasionally rolling back and forth on its back, paws in the air.]
[14:59] <Raphael> There's the sound of faint footsteps above the buzz of noise around the command deck as another figure appears just behind the Colonel's shoulder. "Ma'am." A familiar voice, although one being kept rigorously professional. Raphael Guillory waits for a response with his hand raised in salute.
[15:10] <@Minaplo> [Misato gives him a look as she steps up next to him and salutes as well. "Major Katsuragi reporting with… Captain… Brigadier General… General de Brigade… Sir Guillory. Ma'am."-
[15:11] <@Minaplo> [The entire command apparatus that Marianne sits upon swivels around, Regulus eagerly running around it now. She stands up and salutes. "At ease, Major, Captain Brigadier General de Brigade."]
[15:17] * Raphael lowers his hand, and gives Marianne a faintly bemused look. "At least you're able to say it without laughing, Colonel."
[15:19] <@Minaplo> ["The first night on this battleship I went to sleep in the Captain's Quarters. After I climbed onto the four metre wide bed and dug my way through four layers of velvet, I found that the drapes at the back weren't drapes but portrait coverings revealing a giant nude Silas Caine in oil on canvas."-
[15:19] <@Minaplo> ["The portrait was labelled 'Emperor of the Human Heart'. It was gold."-
[15:19] <@Minaplo> ["Nothing seems ridiculous compared to that anymore."]
[15:20] <Raphael> "… Point taken."
[15:27] <@Minaplo> ["So, what brings you to the Dorian Lachapelle today?"]
[15:38] <Raphael> "We were wondering if you were available for lunch, actually." He says, gesturing towards Misato.
[15:38] <@Minaplo> ["Archibald, can you keep things in check here?"-
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["Of course, ma'am."-
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["Very well." Marianne stood. "Come, Regulus. The on-deck bar sound good?"-
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["I haven't seen it yet." Said Misato brightly.]
[15:59] <Raphael> "Neither have I, come to think of it." Raphael says, looking down at the figure at Marianne's feet. "… Should I ask why you're travelling with a tiger, ma'am?"
[16:01] <@Minaplo> ["Lion. It doesn't have stripes." Said Marianne. "It was a gift to Yanmei from James Riel. Apparently he 'knows a guy'."]
[16:10] <Raphael> "Mmm." He murmurs noncommittally. And then… a vague memory a recent conversation with Yanmei surfaces, with her dodging the question of just what it was that he was meant to be taking care of. That… made too much sense, really.-
[16:10] <Raphael> "Well. Shall we go?"
[16:10] <@Minaplo> ["Let's."-
[16:12] <@Minaplo> [The bar is as sumptuous as ever and as gaudy as ever, the scantily-clad nymph still residing over a tinkling fountain. Off-duty crewmembers sit at tables, drinking, eating and laughing.-
[16:12] <@Minaplo> [On a stage against one wall, a handful of Brothers in full armour are operating a string quartet.-
[16:13] <@Minaplo> [Marianne glowers, and shoots a look at the bartender. "I thought I had Maintenance turn the holoquartet off?"-
[16:13] <@Minaplo> ["Ma'am, you also had them turn the holotender off, and the holomasseuse, but they all keep coming back on."]
[16:20] <Raphael> "… at this point I think trying to iron out the eccentricities of this ship is something of a lost cause, ma'am." Raphael says slowly, nursing a fresh beer in one hand as he stares blankly around at his ridiculously oppulent surroundings.
[16:21] <@Minaplo> ["I love it." Says Misato with a grin. "It's nice to work at a place that has ~personality~"-
[16:21] <@Minaplo> ["Quite." Says Marianne, heading for a large table near the middle of the room.]
[16:28] * Raphael rolls his eyes at Misato as he follows Marianne. "'Personality' nothing. You just like the holomasseuse."
[16:30] <@Minaplo> ["Pfft. I have my own masseuse."-
[16:30] <@Minaplo> [Marianne made subtle gagging motions.]
[16:33] * Raphael blushes and coughs, quickly moving to change the subject as he takes a seat. "… s-so, Colonel, how have the conferences been going?"
[16:35] <@Minaplo> ["They've been going." Said Marianne, ordering a drink and food from the computer menu built into the table. "Leningrad Squad's in a bad way. Orlov's taken Volkova's loss incredibly hard."-
[16:36] <@Minaplo> ["Too hard." Said Misato. "Not to say that we don't form bonds with our pilots, but Orlov's loss is more like a parent losing a kid."-
[16:36] <@Minaplo> ["Or that of a widower." Added Marianne.]
[16:37] <Raphael> "Is he still fit for duty?" Raphael asks, frowning slightly.
[16:41] <@Minaplo> ["We aren't sure." Said Marianne. "High Magistrate Hauptmann- the one in charge of the E-Destroyers- wants Orlov removed and replaced with one of his men. He also doesn't feel very confident regarding the pilot selections for EVA-06."]
[16:41] <Raphael> "Why is that?"
[16:45] <@Minaplo> ["It looks like it's down to Princess Alexandrina." Said Misato. "Hauptmann wanted Windsor-Yamato, but he doesn't get that it won't work for him."-
[16:46] <@Minaplo> ["And Clement's been removed from testing for some reason." Said Marianne.]
[16:52] <Raphael> "… Alexandrina." Raphael muttered. "They're really planning to place a VIP of that stature into the Pilot program?"
[16:55] <@Minaplo> ["It seems weird at first, but it makes sense." Said Misato. "Most pilots go from normal to VIP, but Alexandrina will go from VIP to VIP. Plus, it sounds horrible but she'll be safer in the program than without."-
[16:55] <@Minaplo> ["Natasha's death was terrible." Said Marianne. "But it was the second loss we've had in three years of fighting, and the first to open combat."-
[16:56] <@Minaplo> ["And… Alexandrina practically jumped at the chance." Muttered Misato. "I've never seen a civilian so enthusiastic about the job."]
[17:00] <Raphael> "… She'd already made enquiries with me about receiving SOS training in combat and small unit tactics." Raphael admits slowly. "She's committed to retaking the UK. To be honest, I think you should take that enthusiasm as something of a concern."
[17:00] <@Minaplo> ["Oh?"]
[17:03] <Raphael> "Not that I can blame her for her feelings, but the sort of pathological drive she's exhibiting would worry me in one of my own soldiers. Especially so if she's still burying whatever emotions she's been left with after the fall of the UK."
[17:05] <@Minaplo> ["I don't think she's been -burying- them, exactly…" Said Misato.]
[17:06] * Raphael nods. "Then perhaps I'm wrong, ma'am. Simply a concern."
[17:07] <@Minaplo> ["Raffy's not used to people who bottle up their emotions." Says Misato dryly to Marianne.-
[17:09] <@Minaplo> ["Mm… The Princess asked you for SOS training?"]
[17:11] * Raphael nods, pointedly ignoring Misato. "Immediately after the initial debrief. Vice-Commander Raskova approved it when she heard."
[17:21] <@Minaplo> ["She did?"]
[17:22] <Raphael> "I was as surprised as you."
[17:24] <@Minaplo> ["Consorting with princesses?" Asked a voice behind Raphael suddenly. A warm, young female voice that would probably send his hairs standing on edge.-
[17:26] <@Minaplo> ["You've definitely been busy, Mr. Guillory~ <3"]
[17:30] <Raphael> As his back is turned to the speaker, only Misato and Marianne would have the pleasure of seeing Raphael's face turn sheet white in the space of a heartbeat. "… President Linden. I'm… surprised to see you so soon."
[17:31] <@Minaplo> ["And I'm so surprised to see you here, too!" A pair of lovely pale arms are thrown around his neck. "I was wondering when you'd come visit, and you never ever came…"]
[17:39] * Raphael blushes scarlet. He gives Misato an apologetic look, and avoids looking in Marianne's direction completely. "It's… been a rather hectic few months I'm afraid, ma'am. I haven't even had the time to visit Rei in Boston."
[17:45] <@Minaplo> [Marianne isn't looking at either of them, as she seems to have gone rather red herself.-
[17:45] <@Minaplo> [Misato is torn between annoyance and amusement at Raphael's predicament.-
[17:46] <@Minaplo> ["Aww, that's no good!" Said Minerva. Raphael can feel her silky-soft cheek against his and her hair tickling at his ear. "I'll have to invite you over for a few weeks. Presidential decree. You can have all the nicest food and bedrooms…"]
[17:57] * Raphael shifts slightly in his chair, glancing away as he manages to go even more red. A way out. He needed a way out. -Any- way out…
[17:57] <Raphael> "President!" He said, his voice coming out far too loudly. "W-why don't you… erm… come and take a seat?"
[17:57] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I can join you? What a lovely invitation." And she glides down to the free chair and sits.-
[18:00] <@Minaplo> [Now that he can look at her face-on he sees that she's changed, a little. She's taller. Even moreso due to heels. Her hair's a bit longer, too, and her eyes seem brighter. She's wearing a crisp, very impressive-looking business suit with a tight skirt and stockings.-
[18:00] <@Minaplo> [After Minerva sits, a hand falls on Raphael's shoulder. "Captain Guillory. It's a pleasure to meet you again." Says a strong male voice.]
[18:04] <Raphael> "… And you, Captain Linden." Raphael manages, restraining the urge to bury his face in his hands.
[18:08] <@Minaplo> ["Might I join you, Colonel?" Asked Tobias Linden gently. Marianne murmurs an affirmative, almost shyly- and Linden sits down.-
[18:08] <@Minaplo> [Immediately, Regulus leaps up at him.-
[18:09] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, a lion cub!" Says Linden brightly, reaching down to hoist Regulus up onto his lap. "I had no idea you owned a lion cub, Colonel."-
[18:09] <@Minaplo> ["I like lions."-
[18:09] <@Minaplo> ["Indeed?"]
[23:22] <Raphael> … somehow in the few seconds the most direct attention is off Raphael, he seems to have materialized just a little closer to Misato. He seems in no hurry to gain that attention back either, judging by the way he's eyeing the other occupants of the table as though gauging threats and making tactics on a battlefield.
[23:35] <Minaplo> [Of course, he'd find that once he looked at Minerva, her eyes were on him anyway- she smiled warmly for a second, showing off white even teeth, before she looked away towards the tiny little computer menu to make an order.-
[23:35] <Minaplo> [Misato leaned over. "God, is she like this all the time?" She whispered.]
[23:36] * Raphael nods minutely. "It's… not her fault."
[23:38] <Minaplo> ["It's not?"]
[23:42] <Raphael> "My pheremonal nonsense, ma'am."
[23:42] <Minaplo> ["I think it's more than just pheromones." Murmured Misato.]
[23:44] <Raphael> "…" Raphael looks slightly horrified by the idea. "… I couldn't say."
[23:50] <Minaplo> ["But look at Marianne, look~"-
[23:51] <Minaplo> [Marianne was holding a slightly breathless conversation with Tobias, and from the red in her face it was clear that she was torn between a desire to run or a desire to stay.]
[00:00] * Raphael smiles a little at that, regardless of his own problems. "Goodness. I never expected to see her looking quite so -nervous-."
[00:12] <Minaplo> ["Tobias Linden could make Ginevre Fontaine blush when he's on his game."]
[00:13] * Raphael raises an eyebrow. "Is that so?"#
[00:20] <Minaplo> ["Mmhm." Said Misato casually. "He's just able to be very… Comfortably smooth. Gentlemanly without being patronising."]
[00:21] * Raphael 's eyebrow creeps a little higher.
[00:21] <Minaplo> ["What?"]#
[00:32] <Minaplo> ["It could be worse." Muttered Misato into his ear.]
[00:37] <Raphael> "Ah?"
[00:37] <Minaplo> ["Look up."]
[00:39] * Raphael does so, as subtly as possible.
[00:41] <Minaplo> [Painted in a rotunda in the middle of the room is a glorious fresco in the style of Michelangelo. A painting of the Battleship, glowing with divine light, was cresting a huge mountain range… And straddling that range, bathed in holiness, a shining halo around his head, was Silas Caine.-
[00:41] <Minaplo> [Nude, of course.]
[00:43] <Raphael> … and whatever attempt at subtlety he was attempting to make is ruined by the sound of him spluttering through a mouthful of beer.
[00:50] <Minaplo> [This draws the attention of everyone at the table. "What is it?" Asks Minerva sweetly.]
[00:52] * Raphael looks down quickly, still coughing and spluttering despite his best efforts to clear his throat. "N-nothing, ma'am." He manages. "I swallowed a little too fast, that's all."
[01:12] <Minaplo> ["I do that sometimes, too." Said Minerva brightly. "It doesn't go down very well, hm?"]
[01:19] <Raphael> "Not at all." He replies as he wipes at the corners of his mouth with one of the napkins from the centre of the table.
[01:23] <Minaplo> [Tobias gives the two of them an odd look, before he takes a sip from his glass of wine. "So, this battleship. A remarkable design, but you wouldn't guess its martial nature from within the beast, would you, Guillory?"-
[01:23] <Minaplo> [Tobias is a #good#man.]#
[21:43] <Raphael> "Certainly not." Raphael smiles as he sets the napkin aside. "It makes me wonder what more could have been done with the space wasted on luxuries, quite frankly."
[21:45] <Minaplo> ["I don't think it was #wasted#, exactly." Said Minerva, entering the conversation once more. "I think Silas Caine had a practical purpose for all of this."]
[21:47] <Raphael> "Such as, Madame President?"
[21:48] <Minaplo> ["Look around you and tell me what you see."]
[22:01] <Raphael> "A space that I could -perhaps- conceive of being appropriate in a military battleship using twice the space it needs to due to the frankly alarming ego of its original owner, I'm afraid." Raphael says carefully, before glancing over at the quartet onstage. "… Along with tens of thousands of francs in woefully misapplied holotech."
[22:05] <Minaplo> ["Exactly." Said Minerva. "That's the entire point. This is a battleship but it also isn't. To me it feels like a palace, to overawe people. I can drape even my war machines in extravagant luxury. But it's not ego. Well, it is, but it's ego with a message. A point."-
[22:05] <Minaplo> [She lifted the table cloth and pulled it sharply, knocking Raphael's beer across the white surface.]
[22:12] * Raphael snatches up the glass as quickly as he can, but it's a lost cause by that point with alcohol already forming a puddle in the middle of the table and dripping onto his pants as he pulls away. "Ma
[22:12] <Raphael> "Ma'am!" He mutters sharply, arching an eyebrow at her.
[22:13] <Minaplo> ["Minerva!" Linden's voice is stern and reprimanding. "What are you doing?!", he asks, having safely whipped his drink (and Marianne's) off the table before Minerva's stunt.-
[22:13] <Minaplo> [Misato's drink was in her hand, so no harm done.-
[22:14] <Minaplo> ["No, no, look!"-
[22:14] <Minaplo> [Minerva pointed at the table cloth, where Raphael had spilled it. The fabric, damp, was rapidly cleaning the stain and drying itself. Within seconds it was back to perfect.]
[22:17] <Raphael> "… You likely could have shown me that in a slightly more controlled fashion, Madame President." Raphael says coolly, dabbing at the far from self-cleaning fabric of his pants.
[22:18] <Minaplo> ["It was more dramatic this way- but I'm sorry." She said, seeming genuinely apologetic. "I thought you'd catch it in time, your reflexes have always been perfect."-
[22:21] <Minaplo> ["In any case." Minerva grabbed her end of the table cloth and roughly ripped it. She pushed the mangled edge onto the table and within seconds it had spun itself whole. She then set out to lay it out flat once more. "This table cloth feels like it's linen but it's actually a self-cleaning self-repairing fabric that -feels- like linen. It's the same reason why your maintenance teams keep wiping the holobrothers and they keep coming back. It's why my Rangers have found their power armour AI suddenly hijacked by clones that look like Brothers, sound like Brothers, and pontificate like Brothers. This entire battleship interior, from the paints to the sheets, screams 'I am eternal.'"-
[22:22] <Minaplo> ["I… I didn't notice." Said Marianne, looking a little stunned. "How'd you find out?"-
[22:22] <Minaplo> ["I spilled something on my bed this morning by accident…"]
#6[22:35] * Raphael looks considerably more bothered by these revelations than impressed, especially when it comes to the mention of hijacked AI. "… While I can acknowledge your points, ma'am, I'm still not sure that makes the decisions practical in what is supposed to be a military design. I would rather safe overawing others to something I -wasn't- preparing to use in major combat situations."
[22:36] <Minaplo> ["If you were the all-powerful ruler of the world, where would you put your palace? in a large static building, or a flying heavily-armed battleship?"]
[22:42] <Raphael> "Mmm. Perhaps."
[22:43] <Minaplo> ["The engineers told me," Said Tobias, breaking into the conversation, "That this ship can achieve spaceflight?"]
[22:48] <Raphael> "… Surely you're joking?" Raphael says flatly, turning to stare at Marianne with wide eyes.
[22:48] <Minaplo> [Marianne blinks, putting her drink back down. "Y-You didn't know? It can submerge, fly, and enter space, all of it. It's all-terrain, literally."]
[22:55] * Raphael shakes his head, going silent for a few moments. "… it depresses me that we're tied up in this war at a time when we're capable of so much." He says slowly, going for his beer before his memory catches up with him and he's forced to settle for ordering a new one instead.
[22:56] <Minaplo> ["There's not much we can do." Said Tobias solemnly, looking downcast. "If the Angels knew how to negotiate, sue for peace, even offer terms, then perhaps…"-
[22:58] <Minaplo> ["Come on." Said Misato, slapping the table. "Look at these two. Black haired and mopey. It must be the air force. 'Oh I slip the surly bonds of whatever but I am still all frowny-face'…"]
[23:06] * Raphael snorts softly, rolling his eyes. "My greatest apologies, Major." He says with a faint smile despite himself.
[23:06] <Minaplo> ["The Major's right." Said Minerva warmly, leaning on one arm. "Have you ever been to space, Captain?"]
[23:15] * Raphael laughs. "Oh, I'm afraid not." He says mildly. "Even back when the spaceflight programs were still functional, they required more than just a bit of air force experience. I would have loved to have been, though."
[23:18] <Minaplo> ["Really?" Her eyes light up. "I thought so. I'm actually rebuilding the American space program- a lot of the technology the LN developed and we kept around is -veery- good for space travel, so we're adapting that to space craft, maybe even something like a space-worthy T-RIDEN-T. You'd be given the offer of first refusal for piloting and crew positions, of course."]
[23:38] <Raphael> "A-ah, thank you, Madame President." Raphael says, looking genuinely taken aback by the offer - perhaps even a little honoured by it. "Obviously with my duties with NERV I couldn't take the time away, but still…"
[23:42] <Minaplo> ["Well, of course not." She said warmly. "By default this a post-NERV position, since we'd need your lovely Major as well-"-
[23:42] <Minaplo> ["W-Wait, what?"]
[23:47] <Raphael> "What?" Raphael repeats along with Misato, looking just as shocked.
[23:48] <Minaplo> ["Why so surprised?" Asked Minerva, openly baffled. "They'd need someone to direct mission control- and what, do you expect me to get #Wellesley#to do that?"]
[23:49] <Raphael> "Well… yes?" Raphael ventures.
[23:52] <Minaplo> ["No thank you. I'd rather keep Big Boots Wellesley in the military, where he belongs." Said Minerva huffily, tossing her hair. It wasn't as impressive as Yanmei's manoeuvre, but it did flounce magnificently.]
[23:54] * Raphael exchanges a wordless glance with Misato.#
[00:02] <Minaplo> [Misato is grinning openly as she looks at Raphael.-
[00:03] <Minaplo> ["I'm not so sure he's -that- one-trick," Said Marianne blindly. "I mean, he seems to be good with people, and-"-
[00:06] <Minaplo> ["Oh -sure-, he's good with people, and giant apocalyptic robots, and pretty girls with blue hair, and slavering beasts bred for mankind's destruction, but oh no, he doesn't have time for Minerva Linden!"]
[00:17] * Raphael winces, turning back to the others to assist the Colonel. "… Miss Linden, it's as I've told you, you're just going to have to give hime time-"
[00:18] <Minaplo> ["I was his best friend for seven years! Now I spend half my day talking with AI!"-
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["Mouse, you -did- see to it that Congress be managed by Thrusters for your first term-"-
[00:20] <Minaplo> ["… And it's never worked better! But I deserve more than to be brushed off by that shiny-cuff-wearing pretty boy…"]
[00:26] <Raphael> "Perhaps not." Raphael looks her in the eye, and though his voice is firm there's sympathy there. "But ma'am, you're not a fool. You know exactly what his reasons are, and it's not fair to ignore them and act as though he's being willfully cruel."
[00:32] <Minaplo> [But this only seems to make her angrier, and worse, hurt. "I've tried everything in my power to mend the bridges between us, and each time I've been rebuffed, knocked back, and not nicely, either. So -don't- tell me I haven't been brushed off, because that's exactly what has happened."]
[00:39] <Raphael> "I didn't tell you that, though." He says mildly. "Unfortunately, ma'am, sometimes kind words are just -not enough- for people who have been on two opposing sides of a war. And I know that sounds laughable considering the people at this table, but…" He shrugs.
[00:40] <Minaplo> ["I-"-
[00:41] <Minaplo> ["He lives with a #banshee#!" Says Minerva in exasperation.]
[00:45] * Raphael 's eyes narrow. "Excuse me?" He says, tone taking on a faintly dangerous edge.
[00:47] <Minaplo> ["A banshee! He lives with a creature that was -literally- spawned by an Angel! It's designed to- to eat people! Claws, teeth, it spits acid!"]
[00:48] <Raphael> "… oh." He says quietly, realization setting in. Yes, that was actually true…
[00:49] <Minaplo> ["… Did you think I meant Ayanami?" Asked Minerva, looking genuinely horrified.]
[00:50] <Raphael> "…"
[00:51] <Minaplo> ["Oh my God, I'm sorry, I'd never say that- she's so adorable! And she's always so kind, and she's been trying -really hard- to get Alphonse to listen…"-
[00:51] <Minaplo> ["Ahem." Tobias broke in. "Raphael is right. Wellesley isn't being willfully cruel, he's clearly as hurt as you are by this ordeal, but he -is- being obstinate. It's starting to affect the working relationship between the US and NERV in Boston."-
[00:56] <Minaplo> ["Oh yeah, that happens all the time." Said Marianne brightly. "Fontaine quarreled with Mazarin all the time, and I know for a fact that Colonel Lachapelle personally insulted three fourths of France's staff officers. Each time a unique insult." She seemed to be remembering an extremely fond memory. "He once told General Foret that if he wanted '"A giant woolly idiot that ran at the first sign of trouble and couldn't navigate a broken wire fence, I'd buy an effing sheep"'."-
[00:56] <Minaplo> [Minerva went pink.]
[01:03] * Raphael coughs. "… Yes, Colonel Lachapelle could be somewhat…"-
[01:06] <Raphael> Apparently for lack of a suitable descriptor, Raphael attempts to shift the conversation back on track. "So you'd like me to speak to him, then? If it's as bad as you say, it would seem that I should."
[01:09] <Minaplo> ["If you feel you can do any good." Said Tobias.]#
[01:11] <Raphael> "I'm not sure that I can, if Rei still hasn't gotten through to him." Raphael says. "I'm happy to try, though."
[01:12] <Minaplo> ["Thank you, Raphael." Says Minerva earnestly.]
[01:13] * Raphael shakes his head. "Not at all, ma'am."
[01:14] <Minaplo> ["You know, Minerva is fine-"-
[01:14] <Minaplo> ["Don't." Said Misato, laughing. "Not a chance. I've been trying to get him to stop calling me by rank since we met and it has never ever stuck."]
[01:15] <Raphael> From the faint smirk Raphael would seem to be almost proud of that fact.
[01:17] <Minaplo> ["I daresay it's easier than the other way 'round." Said Tobias, with his own faint smirk. "What ranks do you hold now, Captain?"]
[01:34] <Raphael> "General de Brigade within the army, Brigadier General under the Air Force and a Captain's rank within NERV, sir." Raphael says, and if he looks sheepish it's -mostly- down to the fact that he knows how terribly amusing Misato finds it.
[01:34] <Minaplo> ["You missed one~" She says in the most irritatingly smug sing-song voice she can muster.]
[01:36] <Raphael> "… And Chevalier within the Legion d'Honneur." Raphael adds smoothly as though he hadn't forgotten in the first place.
[01:39] <Minaplo> ["Well done." Says Misato, applauding.-
[01:39] <Minaplo> ["Yes," Added Tobias, more sincerely. "You've done much to earn it."]
[01:42] <Raphael> "Kind of you to say, sir." Raphael says, ignoring Misato's round of applause.
[01:42] <Minaplo> ["Do you think they'll build any more statues of you?" Asks Minerva innocently.]
[01:46] <Raphael> "Oh, I believe I'm still some way from earning one of those, Madame President." He replies with a small smile.
[01:50] <Minaplo> [There's a short pause at that.-
[01:50] <Minaplo> ["… When you say 'one' you actually mean 'one more', right?" Asks Minerva awkwardly.]
[01:51] <Raphael> "… I'm sorry?"
[01:52] <Minaplo> ["… Minerva, you didn't tell him?" Asked Tobias.-
[01:52] <Minaplo> ["I sent him a letter!" She protested. "It wasn't even my idea!"-
[01:53] <Minaplo> ["Wait, you're-" Misato looks at Raphael wide-eyed.-
[01:53] <Minaplo> ["Oh God, how could you not know? If you ran a google search on yourself…"]
[01:54] <Minaplo> [Said Minerva.]
[01:55] <Raphael> "Why would I ever do that?" Raphael says, growing increasingly alarmed.
[01:55] <Minaplo> ["I dunno! You're bored, you want to find out what people are saying about you-"-
[01:56] <Minaplo> ["They placed a statue of you in Boston." Said Tobias cleanly. "A nice statue, too. It's bronze."]
[02:00] * Raphael looks wide-eyed and stunned. "But… Boston, of all places? I'm not sure that I've done anything to deserve a…"-
[02:01] <Raphael> "Especially not in bronze!"
[02:13] <Minaplo> ["What's wrong with bronze?" Asks Marianne, alarmed.]
[02:16] <Raphael> "No, I mean-" Raphael lets out a sigh and squeezes his temples. "All I mean is, a statue cast in precious metals is… -surprising-, to say the least."
[02:17] <Minaplo> ["It has topaz gems for eyes." Says Minerva.-
[02:18] <Minaplo> ["Now you stop that." Says Tobias. "The man's shaken as is. Any case, Sir Guillory, you've done more than enough to deserve it. You did help free Boston from a siege. I know, I was there." He says dryly.]
[02:31] <Raphael> "I was a very small part of it." He shakes his head. "I would have rathered the attention went to the Pilots, as it should."
[02:35] <Minaplo> ["The pilots have had plenty of attention." Said Marianne. "Yanmei has several parks, three or four types of plane or tank named after her or referencing her, and an aircraft carrier. Aline has a university named after her in Orleans… You deserve some too."-
[02:35] <Minaplo> ["They have statues of Paul Revere all around America," Said Misato, "And he was just a guy with a lamp, so."]
[02:38] <Raphael> "… Mmm." Raphael says, although from the look on his face suggests he's only conceding due to realizing this is an argument he will not win.
[02:40] <Minaplo> ["It's a very handsome statue, though." Says Minerva, warmly. "You're really rather tall and dashing in your normal shape, aren't you~?"]
[02:50] <Raphael> "I-…" He hesitates and frowns fractionally. His first instinct was to deny it, but the more he thinks about it the harder it is to -remember- his old shape, at least as something outside of a photo. The memory is there, but foggy, and doesn't possess the feeling of 'self' that it should.-
[02:50] <Raphael> "… I really couldn't say, ma'am."
[02:50] <Minaplo> ["I could." Said Misato brightly. "You looked-"-
[02:51] <Minaplo> ["Delicious!" Said Minerva brightly.]
[02:55] * Raphael goes red and glances away. Unfortunately this only has the effect of bringing him eye to eye with Tobias. "… Erm."
[02:56] <Minaplo> [Tobias… Grins a little at this. And the reason is obvious why.-
[02:57] <Minaplo> [A second later, a beaming waiter- he has a stupid little moustache and a vest with a star pattern- appears. "Mmmm! I have your ordered delicacies, mademoiselles and monsieurs! For the young gentleman here~"-
[02:58] <Minaplo> [The Etoile Waiter places a plate down in front of Raphael. Upon it is a huge slice of-
[02:58] <Minaplo> ["Freshly baked cherry pie, with whipped cream-"-
[02:58] <Minaplo> [Two scoops of vanilla ice cream…-
[02:59] <Minaplo> ["And maple syrup~!"]
[03:09] <Raphael> "… I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I didn't order this." Raphael says, even as he understands who -did-.
[03:12] <Minaplo> ["Then you are a very. Lucky. Boy." The Waiter gives him an overblown wink that lasts a full four seconds.-
[03:12] <Minaplo> ["And for your lovely companion~" The Etoile Waiter floats around the table, placing down-
[03:12] <Minaplo> ["A strawberry sundae with hot caramel fudge!"-
[03:12] <Minaplo> ["Thank you~"]
[03:16] * Raphael sags down in his chair, his ears burning deep crimson. He eyes the slice of pie speculatively, wondering if he could choke himself on it in an attempt to end the pain.
[03:18] <Minaplo> [There is no solace in the pie. Only sweet, sweet, sweet sugar. And cherries.-
[03:18] <Minaplo> ["Look on the bright side." Says Misato happily.]
[03:19] <Raphael> "Mmm?" Raphael says, knowing there is just as little solace in whatever the Major has to offer.
[03:19] <Minaplo> [And yet, perhaps, just as much sweetness inside.-
[03:20] <Minaplo> ["There are far worse pies you could get." She says with a smirk. "Shall I order you some?"]

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