Mingzhu S Wakeup Call

[08:38] * Yanmei stared up at the stars above Paris. They were easier to see when there were no streetlights, glowing signs or stoplights around. The countryside was peaceful and still for the most part, but she didn't have time to kick back and rela. Nor did she really want to, without luxuries like couches or tv's. -
[08:40] <Yanmei> She did have one luxury with her, however… She stared down at the glowing lcd of one of her cell phones, examining the photo she had used for its wallpaper. Then she dialed.
[08:48] <Minaplo|Sleep> [Ring. Ring.-
[08:48] <Minaplo|Sleep> [Ring. Ring. For a minute it seemed as though it wouldn't pick up…-
[08:52] <Minaplo|Sleep> [Finally, the click of a phone being answered. "… Lo? Z'drector Zhang."]
[08:55] * Yanmei brightened. For a moment, she'd started second-guessing herself, but now… "Hi Mom! How are you doing?"
[08:55] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Zat you, Yanmei? Whazamatter? Didsomething happen?"]
[08:59] <Yanmei> "No, no, I just… Um. Sorry for waking you up. I'll try to be brief? It's about the gift I sent you. The one you're using to talk right now?"
[09:03] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Oh, right, the… The phone. Sorry, Yanmei, I'm a little-" There was the sound of someone standing up, shuffling about.]
[09:06] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei tried to press on. "I was waiting for you to call and stuff about it, but you never did. It's okay, though! You're totally busy. But, um. There's a reason I sent you something so odd."
[09:07] * ZackSleep is now known as ZackAFK
[09:09] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I had a few ideas…"]
[09:11] <Yanmei> "You do?" Yanmei blinked, surprised. "Do you know about all the phone tapping that's going on at NERV-Beijing?"
[09:11] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Of course I do. Is this phone water-proof?"]
[09:14] <Yanmei> "I used the most durable materials I could get…" She sounded a little uncertain. "I wouldn't try to submerge it for too long, though?"
[09:27] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["A shower would be bad, then?"]
[09:34] <Yanmei> "I never tested it under those conditions," Yanmei muttered, and she felt a flash of embarassment. "But I would chance it. If it gets a little wet or steamy, it should still work, but I'd try to limit the shower to fifteen minutes."
[09:35] <Minaplo|Sleep> [There was silence, except for the sound of footsteps and the sudden rush of water.-
[09:35] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["There. I'm starting to feel a little more human."]
[09:36] <Yanmei> "I'm sorry for the late hour. Although I'm… a little surprised that you're actually sleeping. And relieved!"
[09:36] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I've had the opportunity moreso recently. I'm also having to wake up early today anyway- long trip."]
[09:37] <Yanmei> "Oh? Where to?"
[09:38] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Chengdu. Big politics meeting- the President will be there."]
[09:39] <Yanmei> "Oh, I see. I hope it goes okay?"
[09:42] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["So do I. Do you want me to pick up some souvineirs for you? We were going to hold a special presentation at Wuhou Temple midway through the week."]
[09:44] <Yanmei> "Souvineirs?" She was touched, somehow. And… ooo, Wuhou Temple? Directors got to do all sorts of cool stuff. "If it's no trouble. Thank you."
[09:45] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Would my little tactician daughter like a feather fan?"]
[09:46] * Yanmei snickered a little. "Sure. I don't know if I'd call myself a tactician just yet, though?"
[09:47] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Why not?"]
[09:50] <Yanmei> "I think there's a big gap between the theories that I've been learning, and their execution on the battlefield. Let me pull off something impressive before I start using titles like that one."
[09:51] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I see… I suppose you can't rush these things."]
[09:53] <Yanmei> "It'll try harder," she said firmly. "Maybe we'll see something like that for the next battle."
[09:53] <Yanmei> ^I'll
[09:54] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["That'd be good. Try your hardest!"]
[09:56] <Yanmei> "I will!" Yanmei nodded, although it was a gesture that went unseen. "But. Um, due to the shower time limit, I guess I should go on with it and bring up the stuff that I really wanted to talk to you about."
[09:56] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Yes. What is it, blossom?"]
[09:57] <Yanmei> "What's your impression of Chairman Caine?"
[09:59] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["She's a competent leader. Very stern." Said Mingzhu. "She's authoritative, sometimes even authoritarian."]
[10:00] <Yanmei> "So you respect her."
[10:00] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I do. I don't always agree with her, but I do."]
[10:03] <Yanmei> She relaxed a little when she said that she disagreed with her at times, and her deathgrip on her own phone loosened. "I think you should be wary of her, Mom."
[10:03] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Any reason beyond the obvious?"]
[10:10] <Yanmei> "Eden Base. There were tests going on there that suggest that the Human Instrumentality Committee's goals don't fall in line with the preservation of the world. Problem is, that information is locked to the average NERV employee."
[10:12] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Eden Base? What sort of tests? How do you know this?"]
[10:15] * ZackAFK is now known as Zack
[10:18] <Yanmei> "You'll recall that during the spring of last year, the Parisian Evangelions were deployed to Eden Base to deal with a massive AT Field disturbance. While we were there, we discovered a lot of things. Tests that had been conducted on children, and implications about what the ultimate goal of that may have been."
[10:23] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Weren't the tests discontinued with new management?"]
[10:28] <Yanmei> "They were. But recently there's been a lot of …bustle around the devices that made those experiments possible in the first place. It may also be related to the Ayanami project."
[10:29] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Go on."]
[10:33] <Yanmei> "There's talk about those devices - the Disciples - being used on a grander scale than it was in Eden. I don't have much on details, but Ikari Yui was a key scientist in the Eden Base experiments, and, well… we already know what her role was with the Ayanamis. If you could get a hold of her and ask about what what's going on…"
[10:36] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I see. But it's not like I can simply fetch a scientist from Japan at will- besides, isn't she in Paris right now anyway?"]
[10:38] * Rynol has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[10:38] <Yanmei> "She is. With that phone, however, you can talk to her covertly. If she has fair warning, I'm sure she and her husband can do something about the security here as well, so that her side of the conversation isn't picked up either."
[10:39] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["What about your phone?"]
[10:40] * Rynol has joined #nervfrance
[10:41] <Yanmei> "Mine? This one isn't being monitored, no. Do you want me to loan it to her?"
[10:41] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Well, I'm just wondering. How do you know your current conversation isn't being monitored?"]
[10:45] <Yanmei> "I'm not one-hundred percent certain." She looked up toward the sky warily. "To my knowledge, however, the only party to have monitored conversations from this phone has been dead for a long time. And even then, it was sporadic. And even then, said party wasn't doing so at the behest of Mary Caine, who's the one person we really need to look out for."
[10:46] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I don't mean phone wiretaps. I mean- environmental bugs, cameras."]
[10:50] <Yanmei> "That's where the uncertainty comes in. I'm… way out in the boonies outside of Paris, and I've put enough distance between myself and my car so that I think that any cameras in it won't pick up on what I'm saying. This area has been a dead spot for surveillance in the past but…"
[10:52] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["The trouble is that all the clean phones in the world won't help if both sides are in tapped areas. I don't think I'll be able to find that. But you…"]
[10:54] <Yanmei> "… me?" Yanmei frowned. "You want me to talk to her and then convey the information to you?"
[10:55] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I want you to just find the information for now, we'll see about the rest later. What you need to do is find a properly diagnosed black spot; failing that, create one."]
[10:57] <Yanmei> "Yes. Yes, I think I can do that." Yanmei straightened her shoulders.
[10:58] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["What I think you need to do is find someone used to technology, someone who's dealt with bugs and the like before…"]
[11:01] <Yanmei> "I had one of those. Who do you think I got to teach me to build phones?" Her shoulders started to sag a little. "This is the sort of stuff I've been trying to learn, but I guess I need more expertise, huh?"
[11:04] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Or people to know."]
[11:05] <Yanmei> "I'll see what I can come up with. There are a few people I can consult."
[11:06] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["That's good."]
[11:08] <Yanmei> "I'll get back with you as soon as I'm able. In the meantime… please watch out for Caine."
[11:09] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I will. Be careful too, alright, Blossom?"]
[11:10] <Yanmei> "Of course I will!" Yanmei nodded again. "I'll let you go back to bed. Good luck with your trip!"
[11:11] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Thank you, blossom. Hopefully we'll be able to see each other soon. Good night!"]
[11:13] <Yanmei> "Night!" Yanmei heaved a sigh as soon as she hung up. That went so much better than she'd feared it would. And… she felt a lot better as well.
[11:13] <Minaplo|Sleep> [Above, the stars twinkled. It was quiet out here on the outskirts… Where to next?]
[11:16] <Yanmei> Into the car, once she had her fill of the quiet, and back into town, driving for a good hour and a half before she reached her destination - home.
[11:18] <Minaplo|Sleep> [Marianne was out.-
[11:19] <Minaplo|Sleep> [William, however, was home, sitting at the dining table, murmuring prayers and psalms as he cleaned his guns.]
[11:30] <Yanmei> "…" There were still some things that she needed to get used to with this guy. Those strange prayers again… "Hello, William!"
[11:32] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Oh, hello, Yanmei. Did you have a nice trip out?" His hands didn't stop moving.]
[11:34] <Yanmei> "I did! Did you get up to anything much yourself today?"
[11:36] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I helped conduct a pancake sale for one of the local orphanages." Said William. "Other than that…" He let out a sigh.]
[11:37] <Yanmei> "Pancakes? Then… I guess you've eaten already."
[11:37] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["No, actually. I haven't really been in the mood."]
[11:38] <Yanmei> "… you okay?" She studied him carefully.
[11:39] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I'm in a bit of a pickle, actually."]
[11:39] <Yanmei> "Want to talk about it? C'mon, I'll treat you to coffee or something."
[11:40] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["Yes, I'd quite like that. Allow me to fetch my coat, and I'll be with you."]
[11:43] <Yanmei> It wasn't long before the two were pulling up to a nice cafe, just a few blocks from the school. After ordering a small fruit bowl and some decaf, Yanmei sank back against the seat of the booth they were in, and smiled at William. It was a quite place. Clean… maybe even a little sparsely decorated. "I think we have a few more hours until this plae closes Let's take our time, okay?"
[11:48] <Minaplo|Sleep> ["I understand." He ordered a cup of hot chocolate.]
[11:51] * Yanmei waited for the waitress to politely drift away before refocusing on him. "So what's this problem of yours?"
[11:51] * Minaplo|Sleep has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[11:55] * Minaplo|Sleep has joined #nervfrance
[11:55] * Minaplo|Sleep is now known as AdEvaGM
[11:56] <AdEvaGM> * Yanmei waited for the waitress to politely drift away before refocusing on him. "So what's this problem of yours?"
[11:57] <AdEvaGM> ["Well…" He stared blankly down at his chocolate, seemingly lost in thought. "You love Isaiah Gabriel-Wei, am I right?"]
[11:59] <Yanmei> "Naturally~"
[12:00] <AdEvaGM> ["Why? What led you to that state?"]
[12:02] <Yanmei> "Why?" She hmm'd, and looked away thoughtfully. "It's hard to explain. Like, the exact point where it turned from friendship to romance is… hazy. I think it had to do with him knowing the real me."
[12:02] <AdEvaGM> ["The real you?" He looked thoughtful.]
[12:05] <Yanmei> "Like, my bad sides and good sides alike. I felt like I could trust him to see those, and he wouldn't get freaked out and run away."
[12:05] <AdEvaGM> ["I see. So it was familiarity, intimacy…?"]
[12:06] <Yanmei> "Yes! That's right."
[12:08] <AdEvaGM> [He frowned, purturbed. "But does that mean that anyone who shared that level of familiarity with you could be your lover? If Gabriel-Wei never existed and Windsor-Yamato knew you instead…"]
[12:10] <Yanmei> A shudder went through Yanmei "…ew! Don't say things like that!"-
[12:13] <Yanmei> She leaned in a bit, rubbing her arms. "Look, Isaiah is different. He's special? He's… Isaiah."
[12:13] <AdEvaGM> [William gave her a small smile. "What does that mean?"]
[12:17] <Yanmei> "Well." She went quiet again for a moment, trying to figure out how to say it. "We've beenn through a lot together. But even if we hadn't, there's a certain… thing about him. I don't know what that thing is, but it's there."
[12:20] <AdEvaGM> ["What would you do if you couldn't have him?"]
[12:22] <Yanmei> "I don't know," she admitted, frowning. "What's with all the romance questions? Is Elena giving you the cold shoulder?"
[12:22] <AdEvaGM> ["Huh?" He looked up, wrong-footed.]
[12:23] <Yanmei> "Aren't you and she…?"
[12:23] <AdEvaGM> ["What?"]
[12:23] <Yanmei> "Romantically involved?"
[12:24] <AdEvaGM> ["… What gave you that idea?"]
[12:26] <Yanmei> "Well, you know. She seems like she's drawn to you, you know? And there's word going around that you two are dating."
[12:26] <AdEvaGM> ["…" William looked away with a pained expression. "You really don't know what you'd do?"]
[12:30] * Yanmei tried to think. To get past the imagined hurt associated with imagining him dead, or barred from being with her, or married to someone else.-
[12:32] <Yanmei> "I don't know. But… I think, if something did happen to him, he would want me to be happy somehow. That same sentiment would apply to if he suddenly wanted to break up. It would be too hard to be friends in that case… but I could try to go off somewhere to be alone and think for a while."
[12:33] <AdEvaGM> ["And in the long-term?"]
[12:40] <Yanmei> "One day at a time," Yanmei muttered. "I'm pretty sure that's what I could handle. Long-term plans would come in when it hurt less and I could think clearly. If there was an actual obstacle between us… well, there would be less sadness and acceptance and way more attacking."
[12:40] <AdEvaGM> ["An obstacle?"]
[12:41] <Yanmei> "Like, if someone decided to take him away somewhere unwillingly. That sort of thing."
[12:42] <AdEvaGM> ["Ah, I see…"]
[12:44] <Yanmei> "Or if, say, Major Katsuragi started getting all smoochy with him." Her eyes darkened a little bit. "I might -lose-, but it wouldn't stop me!"
[12:45] <AdEvaGM> ["M… Major Katsuragi? But she's…"]
[12:48] <Yanmei> "I know, right? She should stay with her own boyfriend. Or maybe find one that's actually her age?"
[12:51] <AdEvaGM> ["…" He seemed confused, but pressed on. "A… Anyway. I've been preoccupied about a similar problem of my own…"]
[12:53] <Yanmei> "I can tell." She winked at him. "No one asks this stuff unless something's happening."
[12:54] <AdEvaGM> ["Please try to take this seriously, Yanmei…"]
[12:55] <Yanmei> "Ah? Sorry. Was just trying to lighten the mood a bit? Please, go on."
[13:00] <AdEvaGM> ["It's about Aline." He looked down at his chocolate, his voice quiet. "I-I thought, once the two of us met again, the stars would align and it'd all be straightforward from there, but…"]
[13:02] <Yanmei> "…" The confusion was plain on her face. "…met again?"
[13:03] <AdEvaGM> ["We knew each other, once, when we were very young. We made promises…"]
[13:04] <Yanmei> "So that's why…?" Her eyes widened. "How long has it been?"
[13:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Years. A decade… Maybe one or two less."]
[13:10] * Zack is now known as ZackLunch
[13:15] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei looked away, sober. "That's… and she's in another relationship right now, so you can't exactly do much…"
[13:15] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes. I… I was foolish. I expected her to drop everything, and…"]
[13:16] <Yanmei> "What has she said about it?"
[13:17] <AdEvaGM> ["She said… That she was happy where she was." He looked very glum.]
[13:23] <Yanmei> "I'm sorry, William." Yanmei gave him a sad look. "It must have been awful hearing that."
[13:23] <AdEvaGM> ["It was." He sighed and took a mouthful of chocolate.-
[13:24] <AdEvaGM> ["It's… I'm not sure what to do."]
[13:30] <Yanmei> "It's no wonder. A decade…" she trailed off, and shook her head. "I don't have many answers myself? But if you want an ear to vent into, I can offer you mine. Maybe we can figure out what to do together?"
[13:33] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah, maybe. See, I… Have other problems, too."]
[13:34] <Yanmei> "You do?"
[13:37] <AdEvaGM> [He nodded. "You weren't exactly wrong when you mentioned Elena. You weren't exactly right, either. I…" He shook his head. "I have very little experience with girls, Yanmei. I thought… I thought when it came down to it I'd exist in a void of sorts, that if I only acted on my feelings for Aline, that'd be it. I never thought someone else might even consider falling for me unless I tried
[13:37] <AdEvaGM> to pursue that."]
[13:40] <Yanmei> "How do you feel about her?"
[13:41] <AdEvaGM> ["I like her." Said William. "She's very sweet, and very intelligent. But… I'm not sure what to do. There are so many things to consider."]
[13:42] <Yanmei> "Like your feelings for Blanc."
[13:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes, partly. But there are other things to consider as well. I- I would prefer a long term relationship. Elena- I suspect she would, too, but I'm not sure she's really considered all the ramifications of that."]
[13:47] <Yanmei> "Why do you say that?"
[13:57] <AdEvaGM> ["I'm a pilot. It's dangerous and risky, and by its very nature wrapped up with NERV and the UN. Who knows what I might need to do- or what might happen to me." He shook his head. "I don't know what to do after the war. I can't mince words- I've been trained to fight, to kill. It's my greatest ability…" he shook his head. "Even little things which might seem innocuous now could have a
[13:57] <AdEvaGM> lot of effects. I'm Catholic, and she's Jewish- I don't want to have to force her to make difficult choices."]
[14:05] * ZackLunch is now known as Zack
[14:07] <Yanmei> "I think the religious differences could be worked out? I know that the two of you are hardly the first to come across that conflict. The rest is troublesome, but I think she's bright enough to comprehend much of it if she hasn't already. But, I think in either case, you can't rush into this. You're in a weird place with Blanc, after all?"-
[14:09] <Yanmei> She took a drink of her coffee, which was quickly growing lukewarm. "I would tell her the truth about your feelings on that. Then it would be up to her to decide how to approach it next. There's something troubling, me, though."
[14:09] <AdEvaGM> ["What's that?"]
[14:10] <Yanmei> "Do… you really believe that the ability to fight and kill is your greatest skill?"
[14:13] <AdEvaGM> ["Isn't it?" He asked, surprised. "I've been trained in those skills since I was eight or nine years old. I've seen and fought in dozens of warzones…"]
[14:15] <Yanmei> [What about that career day thing? Do you think it's impossible to transition into another field that you would enjoy? Just because we're brought up one way, doesn't mean we have to stay that way for our entire lives."
[14:16] <AdEvaGM> ["… A person can be whatever they wish to be." He said, smiling- then he frowned.-
[14:17] <AdEvaGM> [It seemed… Brighter, all of a sudden.]
[14:18] <Yanmei> "Did Martin really not talk to you about…?" She trailed off a moment, bewildered, blinking.
[14:22] <AdEvaGM> [He looked up at the street light above. It was positively glowing, far beyond its usual luminosity; as were the lights within the cafe, and at other stores…]
[14:25] <Yanmei> "What is this supposed to be?" She spoke evenly. Hearing her own normal voice offset the weirdness… but not by much. She reached for something in her pocket.
[14:33] <AdEvaGM> [The air started to grow cold… And all of a sudden, the entire street went pitch-dark as every light blinked out.]
[14:34] <Yanmei> "…Not again…" She pulled out whatever it was… which turned out to be a phone. Was it drained? "Will! Grab your gun and let's go!"
[14:36] <AdEvaGM> [It was completely drained. Will shot to his feet; his gun was already in his hand. "What's causing this…?"]
[14:38] <Yanmei> "I don't know. But it happened before, and when it did…" She lowered her voice to a hiss, "…people were murdered. Our people." She scrambled for the exit, taking whatever she bumped into or knocked over in the darkness in stride. "This way!"
[14:42] <AdEvaGM> [William followed, reaching out and grabbing hold of her shoulder as he went.-
[14:43] <AdEvaGM> [Suddenly, there were clicks all around. Like the sound of guns being cocked. A second later, dozens of guns fired- not the loud crack of bullets, but the 'phut' of something else… Which, in a few seconds, turned out to be flares. The entire street was quickly illuminated.-
[14:45] <AdEvaGM> [Men and women had emerged out of nowhere, people who, seconds ago, had been apparent civilians, had now revealed to be S2 agents- firearms in hand. Many carried pistols; others carried rifles or machine guns. "Secure the area! Get the pilots to safety! Try to find the source!"]
[14:47] * Yanmei had stopped short, first in alarm, hand going for her own seemingly pitiful sidearm… and then staring in disbelief. These people… how long had they been here?!
[14:50] <AdEvaGM> ["Come on! Out!" It was Jean-Baptiste Vimes, one of the agents dedicated to Yanmei's security; he was urgently gesturing out.-
[14:50] <AdEvaGM> [In the distance- above, apparently- there was the sound of disruption- combat?]
[14:51] * Yanmei didn't stick around to see what was fighting. She caught Will's arm and resumed the mad run to relative safety.
[14:54] <AdEvaGM> [Just in time. There was a mad roar from above- a human roar, if deep and loud- as the part of the roof they had just recently been above them totally caved in, something heavy and solid smashing into the ground very hard.]
[15:00] * Yanmei swore under her breath and tried to shield her head from flying dust and debris. She spared only a short glance backward as she kept running, not expecting to see much until said dust settled.
[15:03] <AdEvaGM> [As they were shepherded into the street, however, there was a low electric sound; a few seconds later, the lights returned all at once, and the roof-ruining projectile raised his head, shaking it furiously, red mane flying in all directions. Captain Terence got to his feet. "Damn. It got away…"]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "-What- did?" Or rather, what in the -hell- could do that to Captain Terence Savage? Yanmei took a step toward the ruined building. "Captain?"
[15:10] <AdEvaGM> [He shook his head. He had a few minor scratches and gashes that were quickly healing as they spoke. "It was too fast, I couldn't see it properly- but whatever it is, it's about 5'3, 5'4, and female-ish." He tried to work out a crick in his neck. "And has the strength of an Iron Guard, to boot."]
[15:15] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei tossed her hair. "At least we know what it looks like? Kind of. Do we have to come in for questioning again?"
[15:16] * Zack is now known as ZackNap
[15:16] <AdEvaGM> ["Did you see anything?"]
[15:17] <Yanmei> "'fraid not."
[15:18] <AdEvaGM> ["Questioning over." He said shortly. "Let's take you two back to your apartment. I'll stand watch tonight."]
[15:19] * Yanmei nodded, and then glanced to William. "You okay?"
[15:20] <AdEvaGM> [He nodded slowly, his gaze raking the rooftops quickly. "Let's go."]
[15:21] * Yanmei followed his gaze a moment, and then put her gun away and turned to do just that, losing herself in thought.

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