Simon S Threat

[12:59] <Yanmei> The apartment was truly quiet now, as it was wont to be when most of its occupants were gone. The previous evening, spent dealing with a giggly sugar-rush-addled Lizzie, only made it that much more noticable. -
[13:02] <Yanmei> Yanmei was sprawled on the apartment's cozy loveseat. The magazine in her lap had glossy photos of the latest fashions in it, but she barely paid attention, just numbly flipping through them all. When she reached the back cover, she sighed and set it aside. No good. It would be several hours before Lizzie and Isaiah returned. Surely she could do better than this?
[13:04] <Minaplo> [Knock knock knock. Sharp raps at the dor.]
[13:04] <Minaplo> <door*>
[13:06] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She rose. She smoothed her hair down on the way to the door. Visitors to pass the time? "Who is it~?"
[13:07] <Minaplo> ["Open the door, Zhang."-
[13:07] <Minaplo> [Simon.]
[13:12] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stopped short, eyes flicking around to other features of the apartment before returning to the door. She resumed her approach, and threw it open with a smile. "This is unexpected? Hello, hello, please come in. Can I offer you a drink?"
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["You can give me the phone."-
[13:17] <Minaplo> [She had come with a squad of S2 Agents. They were armed. Simon wasn't smiling.]
[13:23] <Yanmei> She briefly eyed the Agents, not bothering to hide the touch of apprehension that was starting to manifest. "…ma'am?"
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["The phone you gave Vimes was a fake." Said Simon, clearly angry. She entered the room, the agents flooding in behind her. There was the sound of metallic clicks as guns were readied.-
[13:24] <Minaplo> ["Give me the real one. Now."]
[13:27] <Yanmei> Yanmei exhaled slowly. She reached into her pocket, and pulled something out - a phone quite similar in design to the one she had handed over earlier.
[13:30] <Minaplo> [Simon snatched it away. "And your others. All of the phones you have. You're suspended from telecommunications for two months."]
[13:36] <Yanmei> "-What-?!" Yanmei turned white. Two months? She could not… it was like conceptualizing life without oxygen. "You can't just-"
[13:39] <Minaplo> [Simon raised her pistol- an old-style revolver- until it was level with Yanmei's eyes. With an ominous -click- Simon pulled the hammer back.-
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["This order does not come from me. It comes from Colonel Amatore herself. I think she's being far too soft."-
[13:39] <Minaplo> [Simon's eyes gleamed with anger. "If it were up to me, the punishment would be -far- more severe."]
[13:45] * Yanmei stared back at her without moving. "Right. Then…" For a moment, she faded into silence, and then she rebounded, glancing toward the bedroom door. "They're in there. My purse."
[13:46] <Minaplo> ["Search the room. Confiscate the phones. Search the wardrobes, cabinets, anything else."-
[13:46] <Minaplo> [Two Agents broke off and headed into the room.-
[13:46] <Minaplo> ["Why did you do it, Zhang? -Why-?"]
[13:50] <Yanmei> "You'll figure it out when you've analyzed the phone. It wasn't premeditated. I… I hate to admit it, but I panicked."
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["Panicked." Said Simon darkly.-
[13:51] <Minaplo> ["Did you know I lost three men not two days ago? Lost them. Vanished without a trace. Probably dead. There could've been information on this phone that could've saved them."-
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["When you 'panicked', did you ever stop thinking about yourself? Did you ever stop and think about the men and women who keep you and everyone you love safe? Who have looked out for you for years? Who have fought for you and died for you?"-
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["What if more of them die because we don't have time to figure this information out, Zhang?"-
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["I would've thought you of all people would want to avoid any more blood on your hands, but at this point, maybe you're just used to it."]
[14:07] <Yanmei> "You don't know anything!" she snapped, breaking her uneasy quietness at that final remark. "How -dare- you! How dare you presume those things because of one mistake! How dare you lecture me as if I'm some… idiot -sociopath-!"
[14:10] <Minaplo> [Simon reacted immediately, striking Yanmei square across the cheek with her balled fist.]
[14:17] <Yanmei> It sent her stumbling aside, and would have sent her sprawling completely had she not crashed against an accent table, hip-first. She glared back at her, breaths ragged, hand against her jaw.
[14:18] <Minaplo> [The two Agents returned. "We've secured the phones, Ma'am."-
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["Time to leave." Said Simon. She turned to go- but stopped, looking back at Yanmei. She grabbed Yanmei's collar and wrenched her forward.-
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Do you know where Section Two gets its name from? The NERV Charter. Section Two, Paragraph One: And NERV shall rely on no one for its security both internal and external, but hereby creates its own security force that will execute its mandate to protect NERV, its assets and its people by any means necessary."-
[14:19] <Minaplo> [Simon leaned forward and whispered something in Yanmei's ear.]
[14:25] <Yanmei> Whatever was said had some effect on her. She made an attempt to pull free, shoulders stiffer now, a grim mask sliding into place over her face.
[14:35] <Minaplo> [Simon let go with a violent jerk, then turned and left abruptly, the Agents following after. The last one closed the door behind him.]
[14:39] <Yanmei> And Yanmei was alone. For a time. She stood there, perhaps a half an hour, perhaps longer, before she went to see if they were really gone. -
[14:43] <Yanmei> And she didn't stop at the hallway. She wandered down to the first floor of the apartment building, and out the door, not exactly sure of where she was going until a taxi let her off in one of the ritzy sections of Reims not too far away. -
[14:46] <Yanmei> The establishment she wandered into reminded her of a nicer, mood-lit Heaven Purview, and she was able to find a shadowy booth alone, out of the way of prying eyes.
[14:48] <Minaplo> [It wouldn't be long before a waiter arrived and asked if she wanted anything to drink or eat.]
[14:51] <Yanmei> "Soda. No. Wine." She had enough francs, didn't she? She performed a mental check. "No. Vodka. Small bottle. Thank you."
[14:51] <Minaplo> ["Yes, ma'am."-
[14:52] <Minaplo> [A little while later the waitress would return, giving Yanmei her small bottle as well as a glass.]
[14:54] * Yanmei accepted with another 'thank you' and poured some out for herself. It tasted… just as horrible as she remembered it. When she was finished, she stared down at the glass with dead eyes, and then poured herself another.
[14:55] <Minaplo> ["Vodka is strong." Came a quiet voice next to her. "Are you sure you should be drinking it so fast?"
[14:55] <Minaplo> ]
[14:57] <Yanmei> "I don't tell you how to drink, do I?" she said flatly without turning.
[14:57] <Minaplo> [Matthias Holmstrom was sitting there, holding several bags of what looked like fast food. His spiky gelled hair was starting to dissolve back into curly ringlets.-
[14:58] <Minaplo> ["I am simply asking yourself to question how you drink."]
[14:59] <Yanmei> She decided to dodge the issue. "What are you doing here, anyway?"
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["Can I sit down?"]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "Please go ahead."
[15:09] <Minaplo> [He sat down. "Would you like some of my food? I have burgers- hamburgers, bacon, chicken, hot chips with gravy, fried chicken wings…"]
[15:10] <Yanmei> "Not hungry, but thanks. That can't all be for you, can it…?"
[15:11] <Minaplo> [Matthias looked around at the other chairs.]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "…?" Yanmei followed his glance.
[15:13] <Minaplo> ["They're empty." He noted quietly, and began unpacking his food. The smell of hot delicious fast food reached Yanmei's nose.]
[15:14] <Yanmei> "Huh." Yanmei took another gulp from her glass. "You never did answer my question."
[15:15] <Minaplo> ["I wanted a drink."]
[15:16] <Yanmei> "Oh."
[15:16] <Minaplo> ["What about you?"]
[15:17] <Yanmei> "I also wanted a drink," she said with a small chuckle. "And some privacy."
[15:17] <Minaplo> ["Am I intruding?"]
[15:18] <Yanmei> "You can stay. It's not even really privacy if it's in a public bar, is it?"
[15:20] <Minaplo> ["I guess not."]
[15:22] <Yanmei> "I didn't even realize that you and Norling came to Reims too? Enjoying your stay?"
[15:24] <Minaplo> ["Norling didn't. And yes, thank you."]
[15:26] <Yanmei> She raised her eyebrow. "Did you come to meet the other pilots, then?"
[15:32] <Minaplo> ["I'm actually on my way to Japan."]
[15:32] <Yanmei> "Really? What's happening over there?"
[15:33] <Minaplo> ["Can't say, I'm just being sent there. Some special operation, I think."]
[15:34] * Yanmei nodded slowly, but she kept further questions to herself. "Good luck, then?"
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["Thank you. How about you? You haven't been having a good holiday, have you?"]
[15:40] <Yanmei> "You can tell?"
[15:42] <Minaplo> ["You're not used to drinking vodka. I can tell that. You drink vodka because you probably want to get drunk."]
[15:46] <Yanmei> "You're a perceptive man." She smiled faintly to herself. "It won't help anything? But I don't know what else to do right now."
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["You can talk about your problems. I'm a quiet man. I won't tell anyone."]
[15:53] * Yanmei gazed at him uncertainly. "Some of it I can't put into words. For everything else, it'd give you reason to hate me as well."
[15:54] <Minaplo> ["I've never hated a human being yet."]
[15:55] <Yanmei> "Impossible."
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["Try me."]
[16:10] * Yanmei fixed a skeptical gaze on him, but after a while, it tapered off in confusion. Strange guy… "Fine," she said at last. "I've done something foolish. Without realizing it, I may have gotten people killed because of it, and - maybe rightfully - there are those within the organization who will probably stop trusting me because of this incident."
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["You made a mistake?"]
[16:11] <Yanmei> "I was trying to protect someone," she said through gritted teeth. "But the cost of that… yes, I guess I did make a mistake."
[16:18] <Minaplo> ["Well." He takes a huge bite out of the burger, yet manages to look totally composed doing so- even as his focus shifts entirely to that burger, absorbing all its taste and texture. He swallows.-
[16:18] <Minaplo> ["That's ok then."]
[16:20] <Yanmei> "It's -not- okay." Yanmei reached for her bottle again. "How is that okay?"
[16:21] <Minaplo> ["You didn't kill them yourself. The main thing you did was make a mistake, a bad mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. The best thing you can do is redeem that mistake in some other way."]
[16:26] <Yanmei> "I don't know how to do that," she muttered. "And it still won't erase what happened?" She took a longer pull than before, and rubbed her head. "It always happens. People dying because of me, because of following me, because they're in my path. Just… goddamn it…"
[16:33] <Minaplo> ["A great man once said, when in need of guidance, turn to me." Said Matthias quietly.]
[16:34] <Yanmei> "He sounds pretty full of himself?"
[16:34] <Minaplo> ["Dorian Lachapelle was a fairly self-confident fellow, yes."]
[16:38] <Yanmei> "…" Her face shifted slighly, as though it might crumple, but it stayed smoothed out somehow. "How can I turn to someone if he's not here anymore?"
[16:40] <Minaplo> ["Well, you can turn to me instead." Said Matthias. "I might know what to do."]
[16:49] <Yanmei> "That's… mph." Yanmei played with her glass, rolling a finger along the rim. "I don't suppose you know how to stop it?"
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["Well, what are you trying to stop?"]
[16:54] * Yanmei stopped, as if she needed to consider that herself. Her mouth moved soundlessly for a moment before she found the words for it. "I don't want to keep making mistakes like this one."
[16:58] <Minaplo> ["Then the first thing you do is make amends to the people the mistake affected. Secondly, you put an idea in your mind, you take the people you know are on your side and you commit yourself to being open with them. Thirdly, you take whatever that mistake damaged and you fix it."]
[17:04] <Yanmei> "Make amends…" she muttered. And fixing damage, too. "I don't even know where to start. I can't even call home to talk about it."
[17:04] <Minaplo> ["That's easy to solve. You know people who will let you do that unconditionally."]
[17:06] <Yanmei> "Yes, maybe." Her shoulders drooped. "They took away my phones as punishment, you know."
[17:07] <Minaplo> ["That's rough, buddy."-
[17:07] <Minaplo> ["This mistake you made. You had a good intention behind it, right? Even if you were foolish."]
[17:09] <Yanmei> "They don't know that yet. When they learn the truth of the situation, it will probably make me look even worse?"
[17:09] <Minaplo> ["You didn't answer my question."]
[17:12] <Yanmei> "Yeah. I guess?"
[17:13] <Minaplo> ["Well, that's a start. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but a great man didn't believe that. He believed that good intentions, so long as they followed your morals, led to Heaven itself. Did you betray your morals with this mistake?"]
[17:14] <Yanmei> "No, I didn't."
[17:15] <Minaplo> ["Then you acted with good intention, following your set of morals. It would've been worse if you'd acted and betrayed those morals, but you didn't, so I don't see how you really made a mistake against yourself. You were doing what you think was right, and there's no shame in that."]
[17:21] <Yanmei> "Maybe not." She was trying to digest that. "…thank you."
[17:26] <Minaplo> [He surreptitiously acquired the vodka bottle, but he kept talking. "So I think it's best for you if you find Mr. Gabriel-Wei and use his talents to sort things out with your allies. After that…"-
[17:27] <Minaplo> [He smiled a little. "If men are going missing, you should probably try to find them. With help, of course."]
[17:30] <Yanmei> "That Gamelin." Yanmei scowled. "You'd help me out if you had the opportunity, right?"
[17:31] <Minaplo> ["Of course. But unfortunately I am needed elsewhere. But you have others who can help you. And you have the tools. You can't use phones, right?"]
[17:32] <Yanmei> "Yeah," she said glumly.
[17:33] <Minaplo> ["That means you can't be tracked."]
[17:33] <Yanmei> "Wait. What are you suggesting?"
[17:34] <Minaplo> ["You want to find Gamelin, you have the weapons, the equipment. You can find and take him, without being found. But you shouldn't go without help."]
[17:36] <Yanmei> "Help from HQ, right? It'd be tremendously dangerous otherwise."
[17:36] <Minaplo> ["HQ won't, or shouldn't, help."]
[17:42] <Yanmei> "That narrows down my options quite a bit? And… suppose I do something wrong? If I scew up their investigation it will just make things worse?"
[17:43] <Minaplo> ["Things could go bad -without- your help. What do you feel like doing? Sitting it out, or going in?"]
[17:50] <Yanmei> "I feel like going in, of course! But what I want to do and what I should do aren't always the same thing." She rubbed her head for a moment. "I need to think and coordinate, and plan it out? Don't you agree?"
[17:51] <Minaplo> ["Yes, but don't take too much time. And call on people you can trust. Emotionally, mentally, physically- start with Mr. Gabriel-Wei."]
[17:52] <Yanmei> "Yes, I will. He's always been by my side…"
[17:52] <Minaplo> ["And you should take him with you as well."]
[17:52] * Yanmei hesitated at that.
[17:54] <Minaplo> ["He can take care of himself in a fight, to a degree that might surprise you. If you want, I can set him up with some of my surplus equipment. And he has equipment of his own that you don't know about. The two of you fight that much fiercer when you're together, you can protect each other without distraction…"]
[17:57] <Yanmei> ""If anything were to happen to him, though…" She frowned deeply. "I'll talk to him about it? I'll do that much, and decide where to go from there."
[17:58] <Minaplo> ["Here's the thing. Why should he stay behind when you go into danger? It's fair to say you should either both go or either both stay."]
[18:00] <Yanmei> "He'll probably say the same thing?" she said sourly.
[18:02] <Minaplo> ["Trust him to protect you, and he'll trust you to protect him, and you might actually get through this."]
[18:06] <Yanmei> "Someone's been digging through our personal history." Yanmei's mouth quirked into a small smirk. "You're.. you're an interesting fellow, Holmstrom."
[18:08] <Minaplo> ["Heh."]
[18:13] <Yanmei> "You knew about those missing men even before you stopped by to talk with me, too?" She reached for her wallet. "I guess it must already be big news back home."
[18:15] <Minaplo> [Matthias was chomping through another burger, too busy to respond.]
[18:18] * Yanmei pulled out a few francs, and then reconsidered, sliding them back in. "I guess I'll stick around so that you don't have to eat alone? But, um. Thanks again."
[18:18] <Minaplo> ["Mmf." Thumb up.]

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