She Said That S The Little Princess

[20:32] <Ikari‘Yui> [[Session 32: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Date: 10th of August, 2016. Episode Title: She said, "That’s the 'Little Princess'."-
[20:36] <Ikari‘Yui> [In the depths of the NERV Geofront, Rei Ayanami stood next to a certain door. She was wearing a long pale yellow dress and heels; someone had tried to tame her hair, much to her gentle dismay. She was waiting for her guests- the other pilots of Paris-2.]
[20:46] * Yanmei joined her at the door with a smile. She had been inside, talking with the music providers for the evening. Her own dress was white, its frills half-concealed by a warm gray sweater with a heart-shaped design on it. "Hm? Any more guests yet?"
[20:49] <Ikari`Yui> ["Not yet, Meimei. Seesee-chan should be here soon… Is Zaizai coming?"]
[20:52] <Yanmei> "He should be along shortly. I just called him a little while ago." Involving another failure to convince him to wear a bullet-resistant vest. She almost sighed.
[20:52] * Sept was looking uncomfortable in his moderately formal suit. He was tugging at the sleeves and hem with uncomfortable flashbacks to a certain ballroom. He waved to the two girls upon noticing them, and approached.
[20:54] <Ikari`Yui> ["Right. Welcome, Seesee-chan~"]
[20:55] * Sept nodded. His smile didn’t quite make it through the veil of nervousness. "Hello, Rei. Yanmei."
[20:56] <Yanmei> "De Pteres." Yanmei nodded and smiled. "How're you feeling?"
[20:58] <Sept> "I'm alright, Yanmei." He wasn't. "Slept well." He hadn't.
[20:59] <Ikari‘Yui> [A blonde woman in a pale green dress- Freya- showed up at this. "It should be fun, right?" She said cheerily, clapping Sera on the shoulder and giving Yanmei a look of mild dread.]
[21:03] <Yanmei> "Heh heh. Well, you know, just try to have fun. I doubt they’ll remember what happened last time much, and you should know most of people on the guestlist already."
[21:03] <Sept> "Right!" The intonation worked, but both ends were a few tones off.
[21:04] <Yanmei> "We also have lots of wine?" She added hopefully.
[21:06] <Ikari‘Yui> ["What about food?" Asked Freya. She put an arm around Sera’s shoulders, ruffling his hair.-
[21:08] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah showed up at this point, wearing a snappy white shirt, shite trouser and white coat ensemble. "Sorry I’m late…"]
[21:10] <Ikari‘Yui> [And a little black bow tie.]
[21:15] <Yanmei> "Late? Things haven’t even kicked off yet, you know?" Yanmei cheerfully pecked Isaiah on the cheek in greeting. "So don't worry!"
[21:16] * Aline wasn't much later herself, in her rich blue dress. "…She's right, you know. You're not even as 'late' as I am."
[21:17] <Sept> "Yeah, we wouldn't start anything without everyone! So there's no reason to worry, right?" Sera offered a smile to Isaiah and Aline as they arrived.
[21:18] * Aline made a bit of a mock-curtsy at arriving, but then nodded to Sera. "None~"
[21:23] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Ah, right…" Said Isaiah a mite uncomfortably. He smiled at Yanmei, however, and gave a little wave to Aline.-
[21:26] <Ikari`Yui> [Rei nodded and clapped her hands. "Let’s go in, ok?" She turned around and opened the door.-
[21:29] <Ikari‘Yui> [A large empty space of some kind had been commandeered by Rei and Yanmei. Within sat a series of tables, laden with bottles of wine, water, soft drink and various finger foods; colourful streamers adorned these tables, as well as balloons.-
[21:29] <Ikari`Yui> [A large shiny banner sat along the far end of the room, reading, "NERV WELCOMES THE NEW AYANAMI PILOTS!"-
[21:32] <Ikari`Yui> [There were thirteen people within the room. One of them was a stick-thin tall blonde man in a labcoat and glasses sitting behind a music table, playing music and reading a comic book. In the opposite corner sat the one and only Yui Ikari, in a white dress with a blue floral pattern.-
[21:33] <Ikari`Yui> [And finally, in assorted outfits and hair colours were eleven teenage girls- all of them pale and red-eyed, and all of them extremely similar in appearance and build. The room was quiet except for the mild techno blaring from the DJ.-
[21:33] <Ikari`Yui> "…" Yui stood up. "H-Hello everyone! Welcome to the Ayanami Series Welcome Party!"
[21:37] * Aline was right there, politely clapping. Truth be told, she was mostly fine with all of this. Besides. Creepy clone army or not, it was /their/ creepy clone army. Nothing would change that! (<3)
[21:39] * Sept just stared, unable to react in any polite way. One hand covered his chest for a few moments before he caught himself.
[21:39] * Yanmei clapped too, beaming. A quick glance at Rei, as if anticipating that she would say something too.
[21:42] <Ikari`Yui> [Rei stepped forward into the room. Everyone’s eyes- especially her sisters'- were on her. She turned around towards the pilots and their assorted partners.-
[21:44] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Everyone here is my friend." She said gently. "I want you all to be happy, so I will love you all equally- so please, everyone, come in and be friends. Because it’ll make you all happy if you do."]
[21:45] * Aline paused… and smiled. She wasn't really sure how to react, but hell. It was requisitely childlike. She could be trusted to be like that. "For friendship~"
[21:48] <Yanmei> "Well put!" Yanmei's smile didn't waver. She was still chiefly focused on checking out the reactions around her, though.
[21:50] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah was smiling, charmed by Rei’s simple and heartfelt plea. Freya was giggling silently.]
[21:50] * Sept nodded, only slightly comforted by the speech. He still stuck close to Freya and kept glancing around the room nervously.
[21:53] * Aline for her part glanced back at Sera, and… seemed honestly surprised. Like she was watching him now… but only /just/ long enough for some people to register that she did so.
[21:59] <Ikari‘Yui> [Rei smiled. "Why don’t we all introduce ourselves?"]
[22:02] * Aline was one step ahead - or really on the same step. "Yes, let's~" Best to make a move before the other Paris-2 pilots sink things with veiled awkward.
[22:03] <Sept> "I-in what order..?" Sera managed to utter.
[22:04] * Yanmei stepped forward primly. "I guess I'll start? Zhang Yanmei. Let's see… I'm 16, and am the pilot or Unit 04. My favorite things include Chicken Curry, sports, and parties! It's good to meet you all~" she flashed a charming smile.
[22:04] <Ikari‘Yui> [One of the Ayanamis- one with violet hair- took out a notebook and wrote this down.]
[22:06] * Aline peered over. "Oh, doing that way, huh. Well, I’m Aline Blanc, I pilot 00, and my hobbies include in-depth gaming, reading, violating physics, and amateur xenopsychology."
[22:07] * Sept glanced at Aline, and then at Freya, with a brief, not-quite-dignified pleading look on his face.
[22:08] * Aline countered with a 'doo eeeeet' smirk.
[22:09] <Ikari‘Yui> [Freya patted him supportively on the arm! Whispering into his ear.]
[22:12] * Sept whispered something back, then looked down for a few moments, blushing furiously at Freya’s reply. He made his best effort to reassemble his thoughts and speak audibly. "H-hello, I'm Sera. I'm from Paris-2, I pilot One, I… yeah." He looked away as casually as ever.
[22:13] <Ikari‘Yui> [A red-haired Ayanami’s gaze -zeroed- in on Sera with alarming rapidity.-
[22:15] * Ikari‘Yui floated over to the front of the group, smiling at them all. "Thank you all for coming. Now, why don’t we introduce our wonderful little Aya-chans~?"
[22:18] * Sept took a hasty step backwards and stared back at the Ayanami.
[22:18] * Aline just beamed, now. Maybe seeing him squirm amused her? Because she certainly was glancing slightly at Sera…
[22:21] * Yanmei waited calmly, patiently, still smiling.
[22:24] <Ikari‘Yui> [An Ayanami stood forward. She had bright blonde hair; she nodded. "I am Sho Ayanami. I am trained in defensive melee techniques, just like Rei Ayanami."-
[22:24] <Ikari`Yui> "Tell them about your hobbies, dear."-
[22:25] <Ikari`Yui> ["…" She nodded. "I like to play with fabric and make clothes. Little Princess wears them for me so I have the right proportions." She stood back.-
[22:26] <Ikari`Yui> [Rei smiled and did a little clap, before pointing at one of the Ayanamis, who had very long blue hair. "That’s the Little Princess." She said.]
[22:29] <Yanmei> "Oh really?" Yanmei glanced to the long-haired one with a smile. "Do you want to go next?"
[22:29] * Aline would've made some kind of adorable wordless chirp, but just settled for grinning like an idiot.
[22:30] <Ikari‘Yui> [A few other Ayanamis peered at the Little Princess, who stared back at Yanmei before nodding and stepping forward.-
[22:31] <Ikari`Yui> ["I am Shi Ayanami, but I prefer to be called Little Princess. My area of expertise is AT manipulation."-
[22:31] <Ikari`Yui> "Come on, dear. A little more?"-
[22:32] <Ikari`Yui> [Little Princess gave Yui a mild frown and stepped back.-
[22:32] <Ikari`Yui> "No? Well…"-
[22:32] <Ikari`Yui> [The redhead staring at Sera stepped forward now, still staring at him. She walked across the room until she was literally a foot away.]
[22:33] * Sept was at least glad some of the attention had moved on from him. But he still struggled, in vain, to take his eyes off the red-haired clone. As she approached, he managed through some divine miracle of willpower to keep himself from retreating.
[22:34] <Ikari`Yui> ["Do you remember me?"]
[22:36] <Sept> "I…" A pause. "I r-remember all of you…"
[22:36] * Aline suddenly tensed. Oh crap.
[22:40] <Ikari`Yui> ["Good. It’s only fair, because I remember you as well. Do you like food, Sera de Pteres?"]
[22:43] <Sept> Sera's hands twitched as his instincts screamed at him to defend himself. "Y-yes. I do…"
[22:44] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Good. I also like food. Since we share an interest, this makes us friends."]
[22:45] * Yanmei relaxed at this a little. Although, didn’t most people like food…?
[22:45] * Aline was totally not compiling notes based on hair color stereotypes. Nope nope. This also meant that she was in no way a mysterious stranger and/or villainous type. …nope. Stereotypes!
[22:45] <Sept> "I-it does..?" A hint of helpless, unhidden hope in his voice.
[22:46] <Ikari‘Yui> ["It does."]
[22:47] * Sept nodded quickly, and offered a slightly sweaty hand hesitantly. "S-Sera."
[22:49] <Ikari`Yui> [She took his hand and shook it. "Roku Ayanami."]
[22:54] <Sept> "R-Roku. You’re… I-I'm. I'm sorry a-about last time. You…" Deep breath. "You don't n-need to forgive me." He looked down at his feet. "I'm sorry."
[22:55] <Ikari‘Yui> ["It’s fine. Since I helped beat you into unconsciousness, we're even." Roku took a step back and headed towards one of the tables.-
[22:58] <Ikari‘Yui> [Another Ayanami stood forward. She wasn’t wearing a dress, instead having worn a NERV dress uniform. She stood straight, as though she were at attention. She had red hair of a gentler shade than Roku. "Ni Ayanami. I am trained in defensive melee techniques. I aim to serve to the best of my ability."-
[22:59] <Ikari‘Yui> [Another, with light green hair. "San Ayanami. AT manipulation is my specialty."-
[22:59] <Ikari`Yui> "And what do you like to do in your spare time, sweetie?"-
[23:00] <Ikari`Yui> ["… I watch people."]
[23:00] <Ikari`Yui> ["…" Isaiah glanced sideways at Yanmei.]
[23:01] * Aline stood calm~
[23:01] * Sept breathed a sigh of relief and gripped Freya’s arm tightly, entirely missing the next introduction.
[23:01] <Ikari‘Yui> [Freya smiled and patted Sera on the shoulder. "You did really well!"]
[23:02] * Yanmei caught the glance, but didn’t make a big deal of it. "You know, there are a couple of places here in Paris that are good for that sort of thing? Not including this base itself."
[23:04] <Ikari‘Yui> ["I might not have time to indulge in my pastime here." Said San. "But if I do, I will ask you for locations."-
[23:06] <Ikari`Yui> [An Ayanami stood up from her chair, with mild grey hair. She didn’t look at all comfortable. "I-I am Go Ayanami. I… Read." She sat down quickly.-
[23:08] <Ikari‘Yui> [The violet-haired Ayanami from earlier stood forward. "I am Nana Ayanami, and I am trained in close-range combat." She held up her notebook. "This is my hobby. It is a list of facts and notes about Zhang Yanmei."]
[23:08] * Aline was mostly spending time to look on approvingly at Go. Nana was a bit… er. Weirder.
[23:11] <Yanmei> "…ah?" Yanmei’s smile twitched a little, her eye blanking out in bewilderment. "That's… nice?" She tilted her head a moment. "Like… what sort of facts?"
[23:11] * Sept even managed a bit of a smile at the introduction, now that the elephant in the room was out of the way. Or at least had been moved to a less crowded corner.
[23:17] <Ikari‘Yui> ["You were born in China on the 28th of November in the year 2000. You pilot EVA-04. You fight with a combination of ranged weapons equipped with melee attachments for all circumstances. Your mother is Zhang Mingzhu, head of NERV China’s Technical Division. You like chicken curry, sports, and parties." She flipped a page. "Misato Katsuragi has promised me further details if I complete certain tasks for her."]
[23:18] <Yanmei> "Wh-what tasks?! What details?"
[23:18] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Classified."]
[23:18] <Ikari`Yui> [Isaiah was gawking.]
[23:19] * Aline was just giving a dull stare.
[23:20] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei calculated something in her head. "We’ll talk later. But I'm sure I can make you a better offer?"
[23:21] <Ikari‘Yui> ["You would have more facts than Misato Katsuragi."]
[23:22] <Yanmei> "Of course I would." Yanmei beamed. "But like I said? We can work it out after your other sisters have talked about themselves too."
[23:23] <Ikari`Yui> [She nodded.-
[23:25] <Ikari`Yui> [An Ayanami with light brown hair stepped forward. "I am Hachi Ayanami, trained in long-ranged tactics. I study the arts of war and aim to master them and myself."]
[23:34] * Yanmei nodded, trying to look impressed. So she liked looking up tactics…
[23:34] <Ikari`Yui> [A tinny sound would ring through the air as Aline’s phone vibrated!]
[23:35] * Aline twitched slightly… and blushed as she went to grab it from her purse (yes she had a purse. It was blue with silver decoration.) "S-sorry. Just a sec." And pop~ "Hello?"
[23:37] * Aline stared into the phone. Then… "Oh… oh. Family emergency! I can handle it, but I gotta go quick." She did, though, quickly bow towards the Ayanamis. "It was a pleasure to meet you, even if I'll have to get some introductions later." …There was a slight moment of hesitation, if only to see reactions. But Aline was already starting to head out…!
[23:38] <Sept> "A-Aline..! Be careful! Are you sure you can handle it?"
[23:40] * Aline called back to Sera. "Sera! It's… my mom's having the baby. You'll be /fine right here/. I promise!"
[23:41] <Yanmei> "Baby…?" Yanmei muttered under her breath. Her confusion seemed to lighten a bit.
[23:42] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Oh!" Isaiah brightened. "Congratulations~!"]
[23:43] * Aline nodded, barking into the phone a quick "On my way, just explaining it.". But she nodded. "Yeah, I guess I’m not an only child anymore. I… I'll catch up with you guys later, I just… Prep time. Moped. Y-y-you understand!" …And she was off, actually. Swiftly!
[23:44] * Sept waved quickly. "Goodbye, Aline! Be careful!"
[23:44] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Bye-bye, Leenie-chan!"-
[23:45] <Ikari`Yui> "Ah…" Yui waved. "She’s gone. Well, ah… On with the show, haha…"-
[23:45] <Ikari‘Yui> [Another Ayanami stood forth with a disconcertingly familiar shade of brown hair- similar, in fact, to the shade…-
[23:46] <Ikari`Yui> [She glanced up at Yui, then smiled a little. "I am Ikari R-"-
[23:46] <Ikari`Yui> [Rei gave her a stern look. "Kyuu, -no-."-
[23:46] <Ikari`Yui> ["…"-
[23:46] <Ikari`Yui> ["Kyuu…"-
[23:46] <Ikari`Yui> ["… I am Kyuu Ayanami."]
[23:47] <Sept> The cheer drained from Sera, as it likely did for much of the room. He looked at the girl with a strange expression, somewhere between melancholy and hope.
[23:49] <Ikari`Yui> [Kyuu stepped back, looking upset and also rather browbeaten.-
[23:49] * Ikari`Yui was smiling fondly, however.-
[23:50] <Ikari`Yui> [Another Ayanami stepped forward. She had light blonde hair. "I am Juu Ayanami, trained in offensive close quarters combat."-
[23:50] <Ikari`Yui> "And what are your hobbies?"-
[23:51] <Ikari`Yui> ["… I am-" She glanced at Yui then back towards Rei and the others. "Intrigued by romance."]
[23:53] * Yanmei raised an eyebrow at that. She had started reaching for Isaiah’s hand at the previous Rei's intro, but now it halted and went back to her side, possibly unseen.
[23:58] <Ikari‘Yui> [Rei beamed. "Romance? What have you found out, Juu?"-
[00:00] <Ikari`Yui> ["I’m not sure. From what I've seen, people who conduct romance- who feel like they love each other- like to hold hands and kiss, but I'm not sure why. I'm also not sure what that does for a person, and so far I haven't been able to experiment…"]
[00:03] <Yanmei> Experi- oh. Yanmei repressed a little giggle. "A delicate subject indeed~"
[00:03] <Ikari‘Yui> "Yanmei and Isaiah here are in a romantic relationship, Juu." Said Yui happily. "Maybe you can ask them about it~"-
[00:03] <Ikari`Yui> [Like clockwork, Nana’s notebook flipped open, and she started to write away.]
[00:05] <Yanmei> Ack! "R-really, though, it's more interesting to experiment with it first-hand?" She eyed the scribbling Ayanami warily.
[00:05] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah was blushing pretty hotly at this point.-
[00:06] <Ikari`Yui> ["I will keep that in mind." Juu turned towards Sera and Freya, and pointed. "Are you two in a romance?"]
[00:08] * Sept just smiled on at the healthy interest in normal human activities. At least there was no way the subject could turn to him… or maybe there was. "No!" Sera waved the accusations away with a hand. "We aren’t inaromanticrelationshipsoyoushouldn'tbecause oh! Y-you know what you should look into you should look into curry people say it's a romantic food you can ask R-Roku about it…
[00:08] * Sept c-can't she, Roku?"
[00:10] <Ikari‘Yui> [Roku stared at Sept suddenly in a moment of clear deer-in-the-headlights before she adjusted. "Curry is… Romantic. I did not know that."-
[00:11] <Ikari`Yui> ["So if it’s a romantic food, then that makes Zhang Yanmei a romantic person?" Asked Nana curiously.-
[00:11] <Ikari‘Yui> ["She must be." Said Juu.-
[00:11] <Ikari`Yui> [Nana scribbled obediently.]
[00:11] * Sept nodded to himself and offered Yanmei a smile. He’d defused that well, hadn't he? Learning every day~
[00:12] * Yanmei actually glared at Sept a moment. "Curry is only romantic in certain contexts. I'm sure Doctor Ikari could tell you more about it…"
[00:13] <Ikari‘Yui> "Let’s not dwell on that." Said Yui, trying to quiet down the murmuring Ayanamis. "We still have one more Aya-chan to introduce~"-
[00:15] <Ikari‘Yui> [The last Ayanami stepped forward. She had dark green hair. "I am Julie Ayanami. I am trained in long-ranged combat, and act as the effective leader of the Ayanami Series."-
[00:15] <Ikari`Yui> [… The light brown-haired one from earlier, Hachi, stepped forward. "Your name is Juuichi, not Julie. And you are -not- our leader." She was scowling.-
[00:15] <Ikari`Yui> [Juuichi scowled in return. "You are out of line, Hachi."-
[00:15] <Ikari`Yui> ["You have no right to tell me that, Juuichi!"]
[00:21] <Yanmei> "Now, now," said Yanmei cheerfully. "No need to fight, right? It’s a pleasure to meet you." she nodded to Juuichi, and then let her gaze fall around to everyone else too. "It's good to meet all of you!"
[00:23] * Sept observed the words exchanged not with shame or sadness, but with a strange interest. He turned to whisper to Freya again.
[00:24] <Ikari‘Yui> [She whispered in return~-
[00:25] <Ikari`Yui> [Juuichi and Hachi stared at each other angrily for another second longer- Go was in the middle of them, making meek placating gestures- before the two of them broke off their gaze and turned back towards Yanmei. "Yes. A pleasure."-
[00:26] <Ikari`Yui> [Rei looked worried before glancing back at the pilots. "Now that we all know each other, let’s finally enjoy the party, alright?"-
[00:26] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Did someone say ~party~?" Crowed the DJ- Julien, head of the Thruster development team. The volume of the music immediately tripled.]
[00:29] * Sept was taken aback by the sudden noise. "Um. Freya? What do we do now?"
[00:29] <Yanmei> "Yay! Go Julien!" Yanmei’s cheers were half-drowned out. She had to shout now! "He takes requests, too! Or so he says! Have fun! Mingle! Enjoy the food!"
[00:29] <Ikari‘Yui> [Freya beamed. "Now we eat food and mingle."-
[00:30] <Ikari`Yui> [The Ayanamis looked baffled and confused. Yui and Rei moved in to shepherd some into action, but that still left a good five or six paralysed.-
[00:30] <Ikari`Yui> [Isaiah smiled. "Why don’t we go educate these poor kids, Yanyan?"]
[00:30] <Yanmei> "You seem pretty at ease." She grinned at him.
[00:31] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah smiled. "Things… Went a little better than I expected."]
[00:32] <Sept> "M-mingle? Why don’t you lead the way…"
[00:32] <Ikari‘Yui> [Freya gleefully took Sept’s arm and pulled him off towards Roku, who was analysing a slice of garlic bread.]
[00:34] <Yanmei> "I know, right? I'm glad." She panned around, checking on the state of food, including a large covered something or something in the very middle of the display before stepping toward the remaining girls - hopefully with Isaiah in tow.
[00:35] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah was indeed following- off towards Go, Nana and Juu Ayanami.-
[00:36] <Ikari`Yui> [Meanwhile, Rei had taken Ni, San and Juuichi to Julien, who was explaining requests to them. "You tell me to play a song you- you all like-" He glanced at Rei. "This is some serious science-fiction bullshit here, Rei."-
[00:36] <Ikari`Yui> ["Sorry, Juju-chan."-
[00:37] <Ikari`Yui> ["It’s not a -bad- thing. Clones are awesome. But here, why don't I show you how it's done? Here, let me put on a song for you- any of you girls like 'Fly Me to the Moon'?"]
[00:40] * Sept swallowed and accepted his fate. "H-hello again, Roku. Is the bread good..?"
[00:40] <Yanmei> "Hi~" Yanmei beamed at the three. "You only just arrived here a little while ago, right? How are you like NERV Paris?"
[00:41] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Garlic is a good taste, except when it’s spread too thickly, but this is well done." She held a slice of bread up to Sept's mouth.-
[00:52] <Ikari‘Yui> ["We haven’t seen much of Paris." Said Juu. "It's called the City of Romance, though, so I believe I will find it of great interest."-
[00:52] <Ikari‘Yui> [Nana stared at Yanmei politely, whilst Go shrank back a little.]
[00:53] <Sept> "Ah-" Sera pulled back a little at the offer of baked goods, but took a hesitant nibble regardless. "Mmh," he opined noncommittally.
[00:53] <Ikari`Yui> ["What is your opinion?"]
[01:00] <Yanmei> "Hm. You know what we should do? City tours! There are a lot of you guys, so you might have to break up into groups to do it. Ah… speaking of that? I imagine that you’ll be broken into smaller groups and be assigned to different places, right?"
[01:02] <Ikari‘Yui> [Nana nodded. "We’re being sent to Boston, Hamburg, Leningrad, Beijing, Algeria and Japan to bring those branches up to full strength."-
[01:02] <Ikari‘Yui> ["I-I don’t want to be broken up…" Said Go.]
[01:06] * Yanmei gave Go a sympathetic look. "That's no surprise. You've all been together from the beginning…"
[01:11] <Ikari‘Yui> [Go nodded.-
[01:12] <Ikari`Yui> ["But I’m sure you'll find a lot of new friends wherever you go, Go."]
[01:13] * Yanmei nodded hopefully, but her eyes were a little distant.
[01:15] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Isn’t that right, Yanyan?" Said Isaiah, slipping his hand around her's fondly.-
[01:16] <Ikari‘Yui> [… Juu was observing this gesture with utmost attention.]
[01:18] <Sept> "It’s… good? I don't really like garlic, though." Sera said carefully.
[01:19] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Oh." Roku promptly finished off the rest of the bread. "I’m learning to cook, but I'm not very good. Are -you- good at cooking?"]
[01:20] <Yanmei> The touch seemed to startle her back to the present, and she squeezed his hand gently. "That's right! You're already off to a good start. You're making friends with us after all~" Her gaze fell on Juu by chance, and self-consciousness rippled through her. She nearly dropped his hand again…
[01:24] <Sept> "N-no, I'm not that good. Freya is better, though, I'm sure she can tell you about..?"
[01:27] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Oops, gotta go! You two keep each other company~" Freya essentially flash-stepped across the room towards Julien. Twelve seconds later, the party was subjected to Holy Diver, accompanied by a bopping Freya.-
[01:28] <Ikari`Yui> [Roku watched her go, before turning her gaze back to Sera. "What do -you- like to eat?"-
[01:29] <Ikari`Yui> [The next two hours were passed in moderate amusement as Julien continued to play his music, and the Ayanamis continued to wade their way through the quagmire of social interaction they had been mired in.-
[01:29] <Ikari`Yui> [Eventually, of course, it was time for Yanmei to reveal dessert…-
[01:31] <Sept> "F-Freya..!" But the pursuit was deftly interrupted by Roku. "O-oh. I, I like c-curry, curry is pretty good, though not in a romantic sense I just like it as a food!"
[01:32] <Ikari`Yui> [Rei was at this point trying to teach Go to dance, to which the meeker Ayanami was much averse; Little Princess, Hachi and San were seated at a table as Freya taught them how to play cards; San was staring at -everyone-; Yui was attending to Kyuu, who had at some point fallen asleep; and Roku had doggedly besieged Sera, bringing Juu over to teach her the difference between romantic curry and unromantic curry, to which Juu had only the barest understanding.]
[01:32] <Ikari`Yui> <Hachi and Ni* :I>
[01:39] * Yanmei surveyed the room calmly as she chatted with Isaiah and Nana. It seemed like a lot of people were enjoying themselves, but it didn’t look as if much of the food had been touched. She could fix that, though~ "What do you think? Time for dessert?" She glanced to Isaiah.
[01:40] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Bring it on, Yanyan~"]
[01:44] <Yanmei> "Right!" She breezed toward one of the center tables, where a strange lump was covered by a white cloth, and cleared her throat loudly. "Excuse me! Excuse me, everyone! Julien, take five, okay?"
[01:45] <Sept> "S-so the more candles you have in the area, the more likely it is th- O-oh! Yanmei wants to say something! Sshh!"
[01:47] <Ikari`Yui> [The current song playing- which was a song from a video game that Julien particularly enjoyed- came to a stop.]
[01:47] <Ikari`Yui> [The Ayanamis and Yui turned to watch obediently.]
[01:51] <Yanmei> "Okay! So! We wanted to show how much we appreciated everyone coming out here today, and to cement all of our new friendships with a spectacular symbol of goodwill." She gestured to the lump. "As you all probably guessed? Our geofront has a number of really talented people working here in all of its departments, from Administration, to the Technical Division, to the Kitchen.-
[01:54] <Yanmei> "We hope that all of you - as our guests - feel comfortable with going out and exploring this place a bit and learning from the people here during your visit. What’s hidden underneath here is just a small symbol of all the hard work they've put into making sure this organization works, and we hope that you'll partake of it."-
[01:57] <Yanmei> She pulled the end of the cloth and it slid off the "symbol" easily. "Presenting! Le Chocolat Eva!"
[02:00] <Ikari‘Yui> [It was… A Master Model Evangelion, made of a combination of white chocolate with milk chocolate in the shaded areas. It was about four feet tall, and it was, as far as models go, basically perfect as a copy.-
[02:00] <Ikari`Yui> [The first person to cut into the Entry Plug would find themselves a delicious white chocolate log oozing with hot caramel.]
[02:01] <Sept> "…wow. It looks really nice. Shall we, Roku? …Roku?"
[02:03] <Ikari`Yui> [Roku stared at it. Actually, all of the Ayanamis were staring at it.-
[02:03] <Ikari`Yui> [Rei clapped. "Yay! It looks really good, Meimei! Alright, let’s go~-
[02:03] <Ikari‘Yui> [Roku turned to Sera and stared at him solemnly. "It is imperative that we sample this."]
[02:05] * Yanmei beamed at their reactions. They were all so surprised! "There’s plenty for everyone! So~" She twirled aside. "Please help yourselves!"
[02:10] <Sept> "Yeah! It looks delicious! I wonder if I can have the core~"
[02:13] <Ikari‘Yui> [The Ayanamis- along with the other guests- swooped in upon the ChocolEva, taking away a finger there, a toe there, a wing or a bit of head, slowly but surely chipping away at the monolithic dessert. A mild hubbub of chatter descended upon the group; somewhere, Go had overcome her fear enough to ask Juu to ask Julien to put Fly Me To the Moon back on.-
[02:14] <Ikari`Yui> [… It was during this sweet spot in the party that the alarms began, loud and keening. The Geofront Emergency alarm. "All pilots, report to the Command Centre immediately!" Came the voice of Frederic Gosselin.]
[02:17] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei’s head jerked back. "Seriously? Right in the middle of the…?" She almost huffed. Instead, she put on her professional face and nodded to Sept. "Let's go. Please excuse us everyone!"
[02:18] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah looked deeply worried, but he nodded quietly, standing next to Yanmei and resolving to follow her.]
[02:19] <Sept> "Yanmei!" Sera immediately forgot about the party and went for the door, waiting for his colleague to pass through with her escort first before following.
[02:22] * Yanmei broke into a jog as soon as they were out the door. "And just after Blanc left too. Well… they should have no trouble tracking her down?" Elevator. She waited for Sept and Isaiah to get on and then hit the button. Up to Command!
[02:22] <Ikari`Yui> [Isaiah quickly got on!-
[02:23] <Ikari`Yui> [The elevator trundled its way up to the Command deck. the doors opened, revealing a scene of frenzy. Dorian was on duty, and his face was ashen and pale. Fontaine was present as well.-
[02:23] <Ikari`Yui> ["You three! Get over here!" Said Dorian.]
[02:24] <Sept> Sept’s face was lined with worry at the sight. "Dorian! Ginevre..? What is it?"
[02:25] <Yanmei> Yanmei's pleasantries are muted, but she refused to -act- worried. With her smile fading into something more neutral, she walked forward.
[02:27] <Ikari‘Yui> ["An Angel appeared in orbit." Said Dorian. An image appeared of a flickering, warping… Area on a starfield.-
[02:29] <Ikari`Yui> [Object: Sixteenth Angel. CODENAME: Ramliel.-
[02:30] <Ikari`Yui> ["It’s using a massive Dirac Sea to mess with our sensors." Said Dorian. "But early estimates put it into the size range of five to six kilometres wide and growing."]
[02:31] <Yanmei> "How do we fight something that's in orbit?" Yanmei squinted at the monitor. "We don't have the technology for that. …do we?"
[02:32] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Paris has two E-Type Modules prepared in circumstances for this, but…" Marianne shook her head.]
[02:32] <Sept> "Floating there would take a long time, wouldn’t it?"
[02:33] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Achieving spaceflight would involve using rockets- or Blanc’s own Dirac capacities." Said Dorian. "There's more. The Angel isn't above Paris-2- yet. It appeared elsewhere- over Beijing."]
[02:35] * Yanmei snapped a look back at him at that. The expression he had been wearing when they arrived jumped back into her mind at once, and following that, memories of the attack on Berlin-2. A hard lump formed in the pit of her stomach.
[02:36] <Sept> "It… what did it do, Dorian?"
[02:39] <Ikari‘Yui> ["We lost contact with the Beijing-2 branch quickly after it appeared." Said Dorian quietly, shakily. "It used… orbital bombardment. Bombs that breached the Minifront’s defenses, and… Destroying the city, more or less. Then it struck secondary targets in the area- NERV reserve caches and bases in Tianjin, Zhangjiakou and Chengde. Those cities have been destroyed as well. Now it's using some kind of massive scanning beam on the areas below it, and it's slowly moving these beams west. It's looking for something."-
[02:39] <Ikari‘Yui> ["We have roughly a week before the beams hit Paris-2." Said Fontaine.]
[02:42] * Sept nodded, slowly and solemnly, at the news. "What do you want us to do?"
[02:42] <Yanmei> "Don’t…" Yanmei was staring blankly at the screen again. She swallowed. Grasped slowly for something. "E-Evacuations?"
[02:46] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Unconfirmed." Dorian took in a deep breath. "Judging from reports and information, I think it’s safe to say that no one in Beijing had time to evacuate."-
[02:47] <Ikari‘Yui> [Fontaine stared down at the screen, then looked down at Sera. "Sera. You lament that you cannot fight your enemies with the full force of your brothers and sisters behind you, yes?"]
[02:49] * Sept looked back at the woman. "Of course, Ginevre." He said sincerely.
[02:49] <Ikari`Yui> ["Then you will, this once, have your wish granted."-
[02:49] <Ikari`Yui> [Dorian stiffened, looking around. "Commander…"-
[02:50] <Ikari`Yui> ["I’m ordering every available Evangelion unit to be redeployed to Paris-2 immediately."-
[02:50] <Ikari‘Yui> [Next to Yanmei, Isaiah was hiding his face, his head bowed, his hands reaching out to Yanmei gently.]
[02:55] <Sept> "Ginevre… Thank you. Thank you, you won’t regret it. They'll hesitate ever to come here again!"
[02:56] * Yanmei was unresponsive. Breached the Minifront. No evacuations. Her gaze went… hollow. Ignoring the rest of the conversation, she turned, as if on her way back to the elevator.
[02:59] <Sept> "Yanmei… did you hear that?" Sera asked carefully, turning to her.
[02:59] <Ikari‘Yui> ["Don’t thank me just yet." Said Ginevre. "I have deployed NERV's Extraordinary Situations emergency orders. In doing so, I can ignore the Vatican Treaty limit on Evangelion postings. However." She took a deep breath. "This comes with a price. It's a price I'm willing to pay, because this is a fight where if we hold back, we will lose. Thus, in fifteen minutes, I will no longer be the Director of NERV. I will stand down from my position. Provisional authority of Paris-2 passes to Vice-Commander Leon Thomas until such a time as Ikari Gendo can arrive, at which point all executive authority will transfer to him."-
[03:00] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah wasn’t listening to anyone. A horrible chill had run through him, and he followed Yanmei as she walked back towards the elevator…]
[03:04] <Sept> "It's alright, Ginevre. Gendo will do just as good a job, I know it! Just… don't worry, alright?"
[03:06] * Yanmei was making it to the elevator. Pressing the call button. Waiting for the doors to open.
[03:08] <Ikari‘Yui> [Fontaine stared at the picture of the Angel, then nodded slowly. "I won’t, Sera. Will you handle this one for now?"-
[03:09] <Ikari‘Yui> [The elevator doors opened.]
[03:10] * Yanmei stepped through. Pressed a button seemingly at random, and waited for the doors to close on their own.
[03:11] <Sept> "Yes. I will, Ginevre. -Thank you-."
[03:12] <Ikari`Yui> [Isaiah slipped through as well. The elevator doors closed, and it started to slowly move. They were alone.-
[03:12] <Ikari`Yui> ["Good man, Sera." Said Ginevre quietly, hollowly. She seemed very tired.]
[03:16] <Yanmei> Yanmei’s shoulders shook. She seemed as if she was on the verge of doing something… but she didn't. Not yet.
[03:17] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah didn’t say anything. He just stepped forward, wrapped his arms around Yanmei tight and drew her to him.]
[03:25] <Yanmei> A reaction. Her body jerked, and the pain that she had been working on damming up poured loose. "T-talk… talk about unprofessional." She smiled. Her cheeks were suddenly wet, but she wasn't sure when it had happened.
[03:28] <Ikari‘Yui> [Isaiah held her tighter, a hand reaching up to caress her hair. Tears started to pour down his own cheeks. "I’m here." He murmured quietly. "I'm here, sweetheart."]
[03:38] <Yanmei> "I know," she mumbled. "I kn…ngh…" She didn't fall into sobs. Her throat just refused to make noise for a while, and her knees felt… cottony. Insubstantial. Was that shock, or the effect of the shock lifting to something much more terrible?
[03:40] <Ikari‘Yui> [The elevator came to a stop, but Isaiah subtly pressed the close-doors button before they could open. He whispered to her quietly.]
[03:46] <Yanmei> A noise finally, in return. Her arms folded around him and her hands gripped the back of his shirt. It was like… drugs wearing off after surgery or a battle gone wrong. Hurting in places she hadn’t even discovered and others she forgot about in day-to-day life. Aches in small places joining a more serious wound, winding together to become unbearable.-
[03:48] <Yanmei> "M-mom. She can't….!"
[03:52] <Ikari‘Yui> ["I-I’m so sorry…"]
[03:55] <Yanmei> They were the last words she made. For a long time, she only made short, ugly noises as she wept for her home and family.
[03:58] <Ikari`Yui> [Somewhere in the NERV Geofront… Somewhere, in a now quiet and forlorn corner…-
[04:01] <Ikari`Yui> [Julien played his one last song, one last spin of Fly Me To The Moon, as he stood; as he packed up. As across Paris-2, alarms and alerts rang out. As across cities and towns from France to China, people evacuated, millions upon millions swarming out of the cities and into camps and caves.-
[04:02] <Ikari`Yui> [And in the cold depths of space, Ramliel glittered, existing only in a gouged wound in reality, searching the Earth…]

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