Sera S Exercise

[20:56] * Sept had worn himself out much faster than usual on the treadmill. Something to do with turning it up to eleven right off the bat. Now he'd moved to working the punching bag, making barely any sound besides the hits themselves.
[21:02] <Yanmei> But there were more noises coming closer towards the punching bag area from elsewhere in the otherwise quiet Leningrad Minifront gym. The sound of quiet conversation. -
[21:03] <Yanmei> "So de Orleans and Ariadne are hanging out with each other in Paris for the holidays. Seems like they still have some work to finish up there anyway?"
[21:05] <Minaplo> ["I'm not too surprised. How've they been holding up?"]
[21:10] <Yanmei> "Well, he never seems to change much? But she's a little melancholy around this time of year." Yanmei was dressed in a plain black tanktop and black shorts, her hair pulled into a single ponytail for a change. There were no two-year-olds running about. She was, however, obviously with a companion.
[21:11] <Minaplo> [Isaiah was wearing a white turtleneck and long black trousers. "Yeah… That makes sense." He said sadly.]
[21:15] <Sept> Sera, just a little reluctantly, forfeited his duel with the bag and turned around to face the voices, still quiet, steadying the punching bag with one hand.
[21:18] <Yanmei> "Don't worry, don't worry. He'll find a way to cheer her up. Ah…" Yanmei lifted a hand to wave as the distance between them shortened. "Hello, de Pteres."
[21:20] <Sept> "Hello. I heard you had a… thing. What happened?"
[21:25] <Yanmei> "Thing?" She paused a moment, and then turned a little embarrassed. "Oh. The Parade? Just some seperatists making a fuss. We got bumped around a little in the chaos, but nothing serious."
[21:30] <Sept> "If you say so. They seemed to think it was important enough to pull me and Natasha off a train."
[21:34] <Yanmei> "That's… weird. We weren't even being targeted or anything, right, Isaiah?"
[21:36] <Minaplo> ["No, not that I know of." Said Isaiah quietly. "Still, I guess S2 didn't like taking chances…"]
[21:38] <Sept> "Yeah. Can't imagine any other reason. Coming in for a workout?"
[21:41] <Yanmei> "That's right~" Yanmei put a hand on a spare punching bag and gave it a little push. "It's weird how you miss these things after a few days of skipping practice."
[21:42] <Minaplo> [Isaiah leaned against a wall, his arms in his pockets, simply watching with a small smile.]
[21:46] <Sept> "I guess that's really the hardest part. Getting your body used to it." Sept exhaled deeply and sat down. "Yeah, I think I'm done. Mind if I hang out, or would you rather be alone?"
[21:50] <Yanmei> "It's up to you, I'd say," Yanmei shrugged. "No plans this morning? What have you been up to lately, anyway? We've barely seen you since we got off the VTOL together."
[21:54] <Sept> "Took a tour of the base. I was going to spend some time with Natasha, but… that was the train. Natasha wasn't happy about it. I'm not sure if it was me or just that we had to call it off, but it bothers me."
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["That depends. Did you shoot anyone on the train, or did you just stab them?" Asked Isaiah dryly.]
[22:00] <Yanmei> "Oi…" Yanmei frowned a bit.
[22:02] * Sept cast him an equally dry, unamused glance. "I only stopped on two platforms, for all I know, I murdered half Leningrad on the others. No. There was a guy demanding justice for his children that the Twelfth killed."
[22:07] <Yanmei> "Oh." Yanmei's frown deepened. "What did you tell him?"
[22:11] <Sept> "That he had a choice to either trust us or give up on living. And that he didn't know shit about dying just because his kids did."
[22:12] <Minaplo> ["Or he could… Not trust you, nor give up on living." Said Isaiah coolly.]
[22:14] <Sept> "His perspective, probably. But admitting that would hinder our cause."
[22:15] <Minaplo> ["Of course." Said Isaiah. "And we can't have that."]
[22:21] <Sept> "You'd think someone who's been that close to death, yet somehow been able to grasp happiness, would want to use every tool he can to stay that way."
[22:25] <Minaplo> [Isaiah folded his arms. "I'd rather not come close to death again, it's true. But there are limits to the kind of tools one can use. Or should."]
[22:28] <Yanmei> "I'd go with 'can', personally." Yanmei rubbed her forehead. "At some point it becomes counterproductive."
[22:34] * Sept grinned a little. "Only when it's not working, of course. But if I'm making your lives harder, I do want to know."
[22:39] <Minaplo> [Isaiah let out a little grunt, his eyes shifting coolly between Sera and Yanmei.]'
[22:48] <Yanmei> "As long as we don't get a replay of what happened with that Ambassador of Algeria - or that Christmas in Tokyo - I think we're good, thanks."
[22:51] <Minaplo> ["Or in the Tokyo Science Lab."]
[22:52] <Yanmei> "Eh."
[22:53] <Minaplo> [Isaiah shot Yanmei a dark look. "Don't forget that if he'd have his way he would've killed some of the people we now call friends."]
[22:54] <Yanmei> "Sorry, sorry." Yanmei held her hands up. "Yeah, you're right."
[22:55] <Sept> There was a surprisingly, though not entirely, sincere smile. "I got past that. I'm sorry it came to that back then. I'm much better prepared, now."
[22:56] <Minaplo> ["Does that mean, idly, that you're prepared to handle twelve hostile Ayanamis? Because if you're up for a rematch I'd be happy to watch…"]
[23:02] <Sept> "Still no. But that was much preferable to facing other truths, and making them go through the same, for all I knew. That was been the moral choice, at the time."
[23:03] <Minaplo> ["What, killing them was preferable to letting them live?"]
[23:04] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes widened. "Don't tell me you you knew even back then…?"
[23:12] <Sept> "They still weren't people back then. No one had any idea how they would turn out… And I -knew- everything I know now. But I also -knew- I wasn't ready. It's not easy to rebuild a soul. There's layers to it. Only after Raphael did I get it together. While our EVAs… all they have is time. All Elisha has is time. That's what makes it tricky for us."
[23:14] <Minaplo> ["Urgh." Isaiah covered his face with his hands. "You're not -saying- anything, those are unrelated fragments."-
[23:15] <Minaplo> ["I'm out of here. You can stay, but I can't listen to anymore of this ramble." Said Isaiah, turning and heading for the door.]
[23:25] <Yanmei> "Isaiah!" Yanmei turned as he went, but… lingered, still frowning. "Damn. He's really mad." She glanced upward, toward the ceiling, and then back at Sept. "I get it, anyway. I've heard - and, well, seen - one side of it already. But you and the Ayanamis are more private about it."
[23:31] <Sept> "There's so little conflict to the Ayanamis, both internally and between themselves, that they'll be fine either way." A pause. "I think I could've been able to fix things with Isaiah."
[23:35] <Yanmei> "I dunno. A fix may be too much to hope for?" A wry smile. "The fact that you two haven't tried to hit each other yet is enough of a relief to me."
[23:41] <Sept> "…yeah, I guess that's fair enough. I might've tried harder to convince him I'd changed, that I was better after the Almeria thing. But I don't know. Maybe it would still be like this."
[23:44] <Yanmei> "Hm." She shook her head. "Maybe it would. Or worse. Trying harder might also just make him suspicious."
[23:50] <Sept> "Yeah, you're right. With all the time he's spent with you…"
[23:52] <Yanmei> "Huh? What does -that- mean-" She blinked and stiffened suddenly. Went for her cell phone, but recalled that she had left it back with her regular clothes. Her shorts didn't even have pockets. "Something's wrong!"
[23:56] <Sept> "What do y-" A pause for realisation, and Sera jumped up, almost stumbling into a bench press. "Go," he said when he got his balance back. "I'm right with you."
[23:57] <Minaplo> [The door burst back open, Isaiah standing within the frame. "The TV." He gasped, his face white. He pointed at a TV on the wall. "Turn it on-"]
[23:59] <Yanmei> "Isaiah!" Relief flooded her. But… she followed to where he was pointing with first her eyes, and then her body. It was high up enough so that she had to stand on tiptoes to reach. "Ngh. What's the deal, anyway?"
[00:01] <Minaplo> [The television flared to life.-
[00:05] <Minaplo> ["…Eaking News: we report live to you from the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where just minutes before, a public parade being held by the mayor was disrupted…"-
[00:06] <Minaplo> [The Avenue was awash with police cars and S2 agents, leading away crouds of civilians. An area had been cordoned off.-
[00:06] <Minaplo> ["A sniper opened fire on the Supreme Commander of NERV, Mr. Gendo Ikari, who was giving a speech…"]
[00:10] <Yanmei> "You're… you're joking…" Yanmei's eyes, fixed on the screen now, widened.
[00:14] <Sept> "Shit… We knew they'd get desperate, but -this-…"
[00:16] <Minaplo> [A recording played in a smaller window.-
[00:17] <Minaplo> ["The Commander was giving a speech on how NERV valued the support and trust it received from the population." Said the newsanchor.-
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["Ultimately, NERV receives its mandate from the people it protects." Said Ikari. "We trust you to continue supporting us, just as we hope you will trust us to make the right de-" But the words were shut off suddenly as he staggered back, a burst of blood across his chest. Then another across his forehead, snapping his head back before stumbling.]
[00:20] <Yanmei> The first shot, maybe… but there was no surviving the second one. Yanmei gasped.
[00:26] <Sept> "Ngh," Sera simply said. He was captivated by the TV, but he was fiddling with his hands, betraying a working mind.
[00:29] <Minaplo> ["Medical services pronounced him dead on scene. The assassin has yet to be found or identified, but it's believed they were wielding a state-of-the-art railgun…"-
[00:29] <Minaplo> [The news mostly began to repeat after that.]
[00:34] <Sept> "Who would want -him- dead…"
[00:35] <Minaplo> ["Lots of people, surely." Said Isaiah, still white-faced.]
[00:36] <Yanmei> "The Children of Adam. Or…" Yanmei stared at the screen still. "No. There were things in place to prevent the alternative. It had to be the Children of Adam. Leftovers from the LN…"
[00:39] <Sept> "All their attacks have been on us! Taking down Gendo doesn't change our stance on them!"
[00:40] <Minaplo> ["They probably don't give a damn about that." Said Isaiah. "They'll be trying to weaken the organisation."]
[00:44] <Yanmei> "They'll treat it the same as when Fontaine stepped down. But." Yanmei turned away at last, biting her lip hard between her teeth. "This is still a problem."
[00:49] <Sept> "We could trust Fontaine and Ikari to be on the same team, in the end. Whoever's next…"
[00:56] <Yanmei> "Exactly." She tried hard not to regard the TV screen again.
[00:59] <Minaplo> ["They could bring Fontaine back." Said Isaiah.]
[01:01] <Yanmei> "They could, but they won't. This is a perfect opportunity for them to put someone more pliable in place. I doubt they'll waste it?"
[01:04] <Minaplo> ["… And in response to the assassination, the HIC is declaring an emergency session in four hours to elect a new head of NERV." Came the TV.]
[01:04] <Sept> "Mmh, any idea how long it'll take them to appoint a new one..? We could try to organise-"
[01:07] * Yanmei moaned and covered her face with her hands.
[01:07] <Minaplo> [Isaiah was at her side instantly, an arm around her shoulders, although he was just as ashen-faced. "Four hours isn't enough time for -anything-." He murmured.]
[01:15] <Yanmei> "They couldn't leave it in the VC's hands for one single day?" Her voice was muffled. "The only thing we can do is wait now."
[01:22] <Sept> "They can't just -do- that, can they? There has to be a protocol for things like these!"
[01:24] <Minaplo> ["Er… No. There really isn't. They really can just do that."]
[01:28] <Yanmei> "He's right. It wouldn't be the first time?" Yanmei looked up again. She'd managed to tuck what fury she had remaining away from the surface, regaining her composure. "Whatever they decide to do, we'll jut have to deal with it. We've no choice."
[01:28] * Sept thought on it for a while. "Assholes," he concluded.
[01:29] <Minaplo> ["Assholes." Agreed Isaiah.]
[01:29] * Yanmei nodded her own agreement.

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