Pilots Paranoia

[13:19] <Yanmei> There were some businesses in Paris-2 that had reopened to the public promptly after the city's latest devastation. Understandably, these places were swamped with customers, given recent and sudden declines in competition. -
[13:23] <Yanmei> The Petite Turkey Cafe was one such business. It was here, in one of the corner booths, that a recognizable figure sat with an oddly bulky white coat drawn around her, its hood drawn up to obscure her pigtails. She was staring quietly at the small bowl of fruit she had just ordered, waiting.
[13:29] <Aline> Another figure emerged not too long after the initial stare, leaving scant little time for those eyes to drink their vaunted details in. She was in a coat, too, but certainly not an all-concealing one. In fact… "…I take it this is some kind of fashion statement?" Aline said sort of sarcastically.
[13:34] <Yanmei> "If it was, I wouldn't expect you to know." Yanmei made as if to toss her hair out of habit, and stopped. Sighed. Shook her head. "No, wait, sorry. Let me start over. How are you today, Blanc?"
[13:38] * Aline wasn't sure whether to be insulted… or, given the failure at hair-tossing, amused. She settled for shrugging and going with the reboot. "Okay enough?"
[13:45] <Yanmei> "Good to hear it. Between our last talk and the stuff the Colonel mentioned to me, it sounded like you were having a rough time lately?"
[13:48] <Aline> "Mmmn…" Aline began, waving a single hand in the air a few times. "I was, but… It's not like it's that new. There were tight moments, but it's no worse than what I've already been through."
[13:50] <Yanmei> "I see. Still kinda scary?" Yanmei's gaze lowered. "We'll have to be careful for a while."
[13:57] * Aline nodded. "Of course. Within reason, anyway…" Another shrug. "Either way, you seem to be doing fine enough."
[14:01] <Yanmei> "More or less. There's just been a lot to think about lately. For example…" She flourished a hand at Aline in particular.
[14:13] * Aline tilted her head, perhaps not quite getting /which/ thing about her Yanmei meant. "…Me?"
[14:14] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Like you. And William. You know?"
[14:21] * Aline furrowed her brow mildly, though it looked more weary than angry. "…Oh. /That/."
[14:26] <Yanmei> "How much do you guys know about the Libido Effect? Not the, um, process for forming it. That presents its own complications, absolutely." A bit of discomfort flickered across her face. "I'm talking about the long-term pros and cons of being bound to someone that way."
[14:28] * Aline slowly nodded, and Yanmei might've been able to pick out a slight bit of relief on her face that this wasn't going to be a sell like Sera would do it. "The most I know is that it's an intimate link of feelings… and apparently Sera thinks it'll protect me?"
[14:34] <Yanmei> "It will, to an extent. I'm finding that I'm able to withstand some forms of trauma a little better than I'm used it. Like… When I'm panicking over something, I can feel him and he can calm me down. The reverse is also true. The problem is that same link can also transmit pain." Yanmei toyed with a strawberry on her little plate. -
[14:37] <Yanmei> "There were times when Isaiah suffered badly because I was caught up in an Angel's mental attack. Like, it overwhelmed what protection we could offer each other? And let's not even go into the distractions in mid-battle…"
[14:39] <Aline> "…Right. But then, you have to remember that with William, it'd be in the same battle at the same time. I'm not entirely sure what that changes… It sounds like at most it'd just be more risk of overwhelming - especially because, uh." Aline looked shiftily from side to side. Her tone became almost conspiratorial. "I think he's a bit less hardened against it than I am."
[14:46] <Yanmei> "Yeah." Yanmei sighed. "I think he's getting better? But… yeah. That is a problem. Something like that would get to him deeply after the fact, too. He really wants to protect you."
[14:52] * Aline frowned. "I can tell. I /really/ can tell. It kind of reminds me of a certain other bonded pair - not yours, though."
[14:54] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She cocked her head slightly. "Who would that be?"
[14:56] * Aline sighed, realizing her subterfuge was ruined. Oh well, it was crowded anyway. Who would notice? "…Voriel and Gabriel."
[14:59] <Yanmei> "…oh." She should have seen that coming. "Did he mention the compulsion aspect of his… relationship with his Eve?"
[15:03] <Aline> "He didn't /mention/ it." Aline said, but she quickly continued. "…But it did sort of smell that way to me."
[15:04] <Yanmei> "Yeah?"
[15:06] * Aline made a little "Mm." before she actually said anything of substance, leaning back a little in the chair she had obviously seated herself in sometime earlier. "Extremely devoted, spoke in absolutes, that sort of thing."
[15:12] <Yanmei> "It's weird associating romance with that thing," Yanmei muttered half to herself. She paused, deeply, and focused rather hard on her fruit. Her voice lowered to a churlish mumble. "But you know… an Eve can theoretically force an Adam to do whatever they want through the Libido Effect. The same applies to us."
[15:13] * Aline sort of… twisted her face into a very strange scrunch. "I'm not sure… I like the idea of having that kind of power over someone."
[15:15] <Yanmei> "I'm glad. It bugs Isaiah, too."
[15:18] * Aline paused. "…Come to think of it, I'd probably notice if he abused that power anyway, so I should've guessed as much."
[15:25] <Yanmei> "Who, Isaiah?" Yanmei blinked up at her again. "That little side effect is something that's supposed to develop gradually with time, so we're not even sure if he can do it yet? There are other factors too."
[15:31] <Aline> "Right." But that won another rather poignant pause. "…'other' factors?"
[15:33] <Yanmei> "I guess you could call them psychological or social factors. Using the Libido Effect like that? Would require the person to treat their significant other as a tool or a thing instead of considering their feelings or respecting them as a person. In other words, it takes a certain type of jerk to abuse it like that."
[15:40] <Aline> "Ahhh." Aline nodded. "For a second I thought you meant something else's factors, but I'm not sure what."
[15:45] * Yanmei nodded as well, and propped her elbow on the table. "So, that's about everything I can think of right now. Good to know before you and William start making little kids, huh?"
[22:48] * Aline narrowed her eyes a little. "…Where do you even stand on that whole thing anyway? I'm still unsure about it. It's like on one hand, it's based on suppressed things-" A glance around herself, as if to show a bit of requisite paranoia. "-on the other hand I have an entirely different life and one that will become /disastrous/ if said little-kid-making happens… and on the gripping
[22:48] * Aline hand I'm not sure if I'd even be comfortable with such a bond."
[22:53] <Yanmei> "Then don't do it? Baby factors aside, a bond that forces you to constantly feel what your partner's emotions are is not something that should be formed if you're even a little unsure. I personally don't even think it's necessary for you guys."
[22:55] * Aline nodded. "Likewise. I've trained and trained and trained to prevent the very things Sera wants to 'cheat' with this. It felt a bit insulting, honestly, when he suggested it for my protection."
[23:00] <Yanmei> "Considering that we'll eventually be going up against Metatron herself, I can almost see why he suggested it? But, god, I don't think the protection payoff is enough to offset some of those side effects."
[23:04] <Aline> "Mm." Aline leaned back, chewing on that mentally. "Then again, he seems to forget that not everyone lives like him, either parkouring their way across the urban jungle like some kind of monkey, or holing up in their apartment most of the time."
[23:08] <Yanmei> "Sera is Sera," Yanmei sighed and formed a grim little frown. "Did you hear about Natasha?"
[23:09] * Aline quirked her head. "Very briefly. First actual pilot death…"
[23:12] <Yanmei> "William was the one who pulled the trigger. He says he's okay, but…"
[23:16] <Aline> "Signs of grief?" Aline said, and she thought a bit further on that. "…He certainly is soft-hearted."
[23:21] <Yanmei> "Well, I think he's been really private about grieving. Like, he just went off by himself for a while? So I don't really know if he's okay or not. And de Pteres was friends with Natasha, so you'd expect him to be freaking out or something." -
[23:22] <Yanmei> "A situation like this should be a landmine, if you think about it? But they're both so… composed about it."
[23:24] * Aline waved a hand. "William has probably lost before. Fighting in the wastes of wherever and anywhere, no? But Sera… for how much I've ragged on him, the kid basically has nothing already. Even his connections with his friends are probably a bit halting and artificial. I get that feel from him."
[23:29] <Yanmei> "Halting and awkward as fuck, yes, absolutely. I have my doubts about the artificial bit, though? Which brings to mind the question of how he thinks about us."
[23:33] * Aline bit her lip, looking slightly apprehensive. "It's like, he protects us, but I don't know whether it's because he actually cares - in some sort of way - or if it's because it's expedient to him to. Not that his 'protection' is really the kind that is necessarily comforting…"
[23:41] <Yanmei> "Hm." Yanmei looked a little unsettled herself, and then tried to move on. "You should talk to William. Not about the Natasha thing necessarily, but I mentioned before that he wants to protect you too, right?"
[23:48] <Aline> "Yeah, you did." Aline said, less apprehensive, but more… something else. Distant? "I see. I kind of have been awkward about him, because… Well, between suppression and other stuff… and that I already guessed our connection from that, even if Sera was dismissive before new information surfaced. I kinda am nervous about getting too close to him /because/ of that. It's… not going to
[23:48] <Aline> get any easier."
[23:54] <Yanmei> "I guess not." Yanmei nodded thoughtfully. "Ugh. It's not like I can make you two clear the air or anything? Just… remember that he's around for support and stuff, when you feel comfortable about it."
[23:57] <Aline> "Sorry. I'm not making it any easier for you with this, am I?"
[23:58] <Yanmei> "Forget about me. This is about you two, period."
Session Time: Fri Nov 30 00:00:00 2012
[00:03] * Aline sighed softly, thinking a bit more. "…Right. I suppose I shouldn't be so terrified of it… of him. I…" She began, but stopped short. "Ngh… I'll… try."
[00:07] * Yanmei bit daintily into a slice of pineapple. "I'm surprised that he's the one you're worrying about. Isn't Ikari's reaction to this stuff also a huge concern?"
[00:11] * ZackAFK is now known as Zack
[00:11] * Aline knit her fingers, staring a bit at the pineapple because she needed /something/ to focus intensely on. "I don't want to make him think there's 'something', if that makes any sense. Shinji going ballistic is… going to be a problem if I were to go ahead with anything. But I don't want to string along William and actually make things escalate even more, you know?"
[00:17] <Yanmei> She thought of Shinji's meeting with the Simondes twins, briefly. "Yeah, I get it. Could turn into a messy situation. Messier, rather," she corrected herself.
[00:20] * Aline wasn't quite thinking of that, but she /knew/ what Shinji was capable of when sufficiently pissed off, /and/ his slight psychological dependancy on her. Oh well. "Yeah. I just… wish it didn't fall like this. But I can't control the past, and the past is a lot of why this is happening /now/." Now was not the time for further elaboration on just /what/ aspects of the past unless
[00:20] * Aline she got a masterstroke of an inspiration on how to manage it.
[00:28] <Yanmei> "The past. Hm. Just do the best you can for damage control? You're right in that's all you really can do for now."
[00:29] <Aline> "Yeah, I know, I know…" Naturally, Aline was now a bit frowny - who would blame her?
[00:35] * Yanmei was frowning too, a bit more distantly. With the passing of a few seconds, however, she shook her head. "Anyway, good luck with it."
[00:37] <Aline> "Y… yeah. Sorry." Aline was beginning to stand up, gently.
[00:40] <Yanmei> "What are you even apologizing for?" Yanmei tossed her hair, this time successfully. "Oh. One more thing before you go, Blanc."
[00:41] * Aline tilted her head to the side. "Mm?"
[00:42] <Yanmei> "If you're not already? Make sure you carry a weapon with you when you're walking around town, okay?"
[00:43] * Aline nodded at that. "Got it. It's probably a good idea, yeah. Anyway, 'bye." …And so Aline moved off into the distance.
[00:44] <Yanmei> "Later." And left alone once more, Yanmei slowly tended to her fruit bowl.

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