Sera S Solution

[14:12] <Yanmei> The trip home seemed much shorter than the trip away to Reims had been. After a short stop at one of the Geofront's offices to put Lizzie down for a nap in the care of a certain workaholic babysitter, Yanmei roamed slowly along the familiar hallways. -
[14:13] <Yanmei> Her destination: an area outside of the training facilities, as specified on the hand-written note she had found slipped under the door to her room.
[14:22] * Sept was waiting there, sitting on a railing and staring off into space as he swayed back and forth. His hair was still at the wrong end of the light spectrum, a full blonde color. It took him a few moments to register the new arrival, but when he did, he hopped down and shouted at her enthusiastically. "Yanmei!"
[14:26] <Yanmei> "De…Pteres?" She stoppped, staring as if she was having a difficult time recognizing him. "Did you decide to get a makeover?"
[14:30] <Sept> "Oh, that. Well. That's what we've been… sorting out today. We told you about Joshua. Or, you heard from Felix. Didn't you?"
[14:33] <Yanmei> "Yeah, you explained it before I left? The hair's new, though." She folded her arms and leaned against a wall. "What's up?"
[14:41] * Sept spoke a bit slower, leaning back on the railing on the other side of the corridor, foregoing any physical greeting. "Well, we found the problem. And we have something like a solution for now. Joshua -isn't- external, in any way psychology, or AT Fields, or either of us can discern."
[14:48] <Yanmei> "Well… if he's not external, then what is he? Like…" her brow scrunched slightly, "didn't you say before that he was put in your mind?"
[14:54] <Sept> "Technically, yes, that's a way you could look at it but also…" A pause. "If it was there already, and something just happened to awaken or activate it, him. Or… or it's just my personified guilt. Ei-either way, both Elisha and I did a lot of work remembering… how we got here. Maybe he slipped in from there or Raphael's world?"
[15:01] <Yanmei> "Raphael's world?" Her brow furrowed further. "I guess it could be both things, if you had something to feel guilty about in Raphael's world?"
[15:11] <Sept> "An emotional association, that… would make sense. And in there, that was the first time I saw anything like him. I was plagued by images, but those were other people, separate entities, even if they were of my own making. Joshua is me. He dyed the hair. That's what he looks like to me."
[15:16] <Yanmei> "He dyed it…?" She gave a long pause. "That doen't bother you?"
[15:21] <Sept> "It… should. He made a whole day of it. Ridiculous outfit. There's probably pictures everywhere. Made a scene at an underground gambling den. Picked a fight with the mafia there." He paused, looked up at Yanmei, and then faced forward again, toward the empty wall.-
[15:23] <Sept> "And then he turned the crowd against them. And they obeyed. They followed him. Me, for all they knew. And they weren't dangerous at all. I wasn't, hah-" A bit of laughter escaped Sera's lips, and he took a moment to recompose himself. "I wasn't afraid of them. And it felt incredible."
[15:27] <Yanmei> "Reckless," Yanmei muttered, but she was smirking a bit, watching him carefully. "When the heck did all this happen?"
[15:33] <Sept> "Just… just today. Felix was interrogating me until a couple hours ago. He wanted to make sure it wasn't a complete takeover, delayed for some reason. Not that he could've," he laughed brightly. "Hah, anyway… That brings me to that solution I mentioned."
[15:35] <Yanmei> "Right, right." She nodded. "What did you come up with?"
[15:41] <Sept> "If it's proven, for now, that Joshua isn't malignant," he glanced off to the side before turning back to Yanmei. "That the only relevant consequence is his conflict with my prior interests in Elisha's plan to kill and reunite us, which was halted by Mary either way… If all that's true, fighting with myself is pointless. So, if I'd only tear myself apart trying to please Mary and Elisha…
[15:41] <Sept> A truce. We can agree not to lie, or hide behind each other's identities. We can agree to follow you instead."
[15:47] <Yanmei> "Ehh?!" She stood up straight, dropping her arms. "That's… wow. You really want to? Um, both of you?"
[15:57] <Sept> "Yes, please. I'd like to think it's important to follow this kind of advice when you're at the end of your rope. Last time… last time brought an end to Raphael's nightmare. Another year of that madness would've, well. Likely had lasting consequences. Without Viviane, I might've never made it out."
[16:02] <Yanmei> "Viviane?" She hm'd and sheepishly scratched her cheek with an index finger, eyes now averted. "I don't really get it? But you're saying you trust me to the extent that you think I can help, right?"
[16:13] <Sept> "Yes! To the extent that we aren't directly in conflict with the Caines. That much I can promise." Sera made a salute that at least looked like a completely intentional mockery. "Sera de Pteres, Joshua Caine, and exactly one quarter of the Solemn Exarch. For what it's worth, I'll promise to follow your orders, First Lieutenant Zhang. Watcher. Yanmei." He beamed.
[16:21] <Yanmei> "At ease, soldier." She gave him a half-grin, brushing aside the slight wince she had given to the second of those names he'd addressed her by. "I'll do what I can to make sure they're good orders? And I expect you to argue back if they're not."
[16:27] <Sept> "Of course." Sera exhaled. "Well, that's definitely one less burden. Thank you. Your trip, then. I heard you met up with someone?"
[16:29] <Yanmei> "A couple of people of people, actually…" She sighed, her grin lessening somewhat. "Do you mean Simon?"
[16:31] <Sept> "…oh? No, I only heard something vague. Some people from the other bases? How was Jeanne?"
[16:34] <Yanmei> "…a little stressed, but otherwise okay. She was there to follow up on something related to the Gamelin situation. But what did you mean, exactly, if not her?"
[16:37] <Sept> "Well," Sera hesitated. "I heard about a craft from Boston - that had to be Isaiah, right? To see you and Lizzie? I noticed he hadn't been here for a while."
[16:41] <Yanmei> "R-right! We actually ended up going away with him at his request. He's followed us back here as well for a few days. His bosses said it was okay, so… Hey. Do you mind if we take a walk somewhere?"
[16:43] <Sept> "No, no. I was hoping to maybe get a workout in, but I don't have to be anywhere. Unless Felix changes his mind again."
[16:44] <Yanmei> "He's really trying to be thorough, huh?" She led the way, casually, further down the hallway.
[16:48] <Sept> "He just doesn't want to admit he finally lost."
[16:49] * Yanmei snickered at that. "Poor guy." -
[16:53] <Yanmei> It wasn't long before they made it to their destination, shifting from the stark hallways and hard floors to the wide, domed sky of the Geofront and grass and other plants. The Geofront wilderness. Yanmei peered upward, as if she still didn't completely trust it, and then led the way to a fallen log beneath a thick canopy of tree branches. -
[16:54] <Yanmei> She sat down, clasped her hands in her lap, and… fidgetted a moment, trying to get her bearings.
[16:59] * Sept stayed standing and stretched. "Miss the scenery already?" he laughed again. "What's going on?"
[17:03] <Yanmei> "I don't actually like this place? But," she tossed her hair. "It's important that no one hear this. It's extra secret, and I'm only coming to you because if anyone knew what to make about this, it'd be you. So… you'd better not tell anyone. Joshua either."
[17:13] * Sept paused, looked back at her, and sat down. He took a while considering the proposition. "It might be difficult to promise, but…" He looked ahead, chewing a lip. "I will do my best. You can tell me."
[17:18] <Yanmei> She didn't plunge right in. She examined him an extra minute or so first. "The Libido Effect," she began, "is supposed to make a person more aware of their past. Like, their distant past, if you catch my drift? That's not the primary reason for forming the bond, obviously, but it's another side effect.-
[17:21] <Yanmei> "I still don't remember anything about being Watcher, but I think some of the things he… they? other version of him did? Are starting to pop up in my dreams."
[17:22] <Sept> "Ahhh. Are you sure? What kinds of things? Because that'd be…"
[17:26] <Yanmei> "Like, ancient wars. I dreamed about being in some, except I'm not myself. Usually, I'm some guy. A general or soldier, or something like that. I think I got assassinated a few times too?" Her brow furrowed.-
[17:28] <Yanmei> "Actually… it's less that I was dreaming about being in those wars, and more like I was dreaming about remembering being in them? Memories inside of a dream."
[17:35] <Sept> "That's -remarkable-." Sera inched closer, still sitting, and adjusted his glasses. "That's much faster than Elisha got there! Do you think you forgot much of it?"
[17:37] <Yanmei> "I wish I -could- forget," she grumbled. "None of those were pleasant visions? Um. Also, the Marionette was there."
[17:39] <Sept> "The… oh, no. Yes, that would be a trigger, wouldn't it? Have you been having… problems, with it before this?"
[17:41] <Yanmei> "With what? The memories or the Marionette?"
[17:44] <Sept> "The Marionette. What is it doing in your head … or 04's?"
[17:49] <Yanmei> "…Excalibur. I think? It's been in my dreams occassionally before, usually doing violent things. You've seen it before too, even if you didn't realize it at the time. That thing we fought in the Dirac Sea? The one that came out of the Angel? That's what it looks like."
[17:56] <Sept> "-Excalibur-. I see. So there might've been a fragment of that thing in there. And, in the dream, what exactly did it… do? The same as in the Sea?"
[18:01] <Yanmei> "This time? It was calm. It -wanted- me to remember those things." She scowled now, deeply. "I don't like this. How do I turn this… remembering thing off?"
[18:07] * Sept recoiled slightly, looking lost. "Turn… uh. You've come so far. Whether or not an Angelic being was part of it…"
[18:12] * Yanmei glared at him. "I won't have that monster manipulating me any longer. And anyway, this is so not cool? The only memories I should be worrying about are my own."
[18:16] <Sept> "But they -are- yours!" Sera blurted frantically, leaning in toward her. "And Isaiah's! You could learn so much!"
[18:18] <Yanmei> "Isaiah-!" Her eyes widened and flitted aside anxiously. "That's right… I haven't asked him about his own dreams at all."
[18:26] <Sept> "Ah… yes. You should." He took a deep breath to try and collect his thoughts, retreating back to a more polite distance. "As for stopping it, if you can't reverse the entire chain that granted the Marionette access in the first place, there's no direct way. But, whether either of you want them or not, I'd recommend organising those memories. Making some sense of them. It's easy to get confused otherwise. I'm sure that thing would know how to use it against you."
[18:33] <Yanmei> "…" Her shoulders sagged a little. "That doesn't sound easy. There's really no way to reverse it?"
[18:39] <Sept> "Your soul is what it is. It's Marionette you want to pursue. Exposure to Destroyer, to 04, can't help. I tried to find a way to isolate AT Fields from outside influence for long enough to realise how unlikely it is with our technology."
[18:48] <Yanmei> "Even if we could, I guess my ratio hasn't been all that great lately? So…" She gave a faint shrug. "Anyway, thanks for the advice, I guess."
[18:56] <Sept> "Mmh." Sera looked off somewhere to the side. "Think of a place you know. A place you treasure. Elisha used the Louvre. If you can tie the lives it's using against you there… You'll have somewhere to run to. But that which you do remember, don't throw away. Think. And talk, with him. He'll understand."
[19:04] <Yanmei> "I see. So that's what he did…" She blinked down at the ground quietly. "Just talking about it now makes me feel a little less messed up from it. So it makes sense to keep talking, you're right."
[19:12] <Sept> "It'd probably be just as good for him, too. And maybe, with any luck, you won't need any more advice."
[19:21] * Yanmei nodded soberly, and then made a small grin. "There was something else I wanted to talk to you about, but it's better to do it when Blanc and William are gathered too. Tomorrow, maybe. If you could get the word out… Ah, don't worry, it's not as heavy. Not by a longshot."

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