So Many Things Seem Filled With The Intent To Be Lost That T

#6[15:05] * Yanmei was sitting down in a folding chair in as dignified a fashion as one could under these circumstances, a plush version of EVA-04 in her hands. She stared at it. It -stared- back. There were more versions of it, scattered around this soft carpeted and brightly painted place. -
[15:07] <Yanmei> She could count at least three of them, and a half-dozen other assorted EVAs. They were, of course, highly outnumbered by the number of very small children around, most of them too young for potty-training, let alone school. -
[15:09] <Yanmei> It was far from her first trip to NERV's internal daycare center, but she was the most formal, perhaps, than she had ever been, not stopping to play with the little kids or Lizzie before she left. This was because she was with a guest. -
[15:12] <Yanmei> "So." She said with the sort of very mature inflection that she knew her guest would appreciate. She leaned over and placed the plush on the ground - there were enough toys messily lying around to hinder walking, anyway - and turned it away from them more out of habit than deliberation. "First time down here?"
[15:14] <Ikari‘Gendo> ["It is. I actually don’t think I knew this place existed for awhile." Said Ariadne Delacour.-
[15:16] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Ariadne’s hair was shorter and more well-kept than Yanmei had seen for awhile. She was neatly dressed, her makeup applied finely- there was a sombre detail to her face, but the days when it had been marked with red-rimmed tears had long since passed.-
[15:16] <Ikari‘Gendo> ["I see you’re rather popular." Ariadne nodded towards a clump of kids, one of which was shaking a Zhang Yanmei plush toy.]
[15:20] <Yanmei> "I don't know why they make those?" Yanmei muttered, flinching sympathetically when another tot clumsily grabbed a fistfull of felt violet pigtail and tugged brutally. "You'd think the cutesy EVA toy line would be enough…"
[15:24] <Ikari‘Gendo> ["I guess they want the little kiddies worshipping both Eva and pilot." Said Ariadne. "It’s pretty adorable, though."]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "If it's a worshipping thing, I'm surprised none of the higher ups have their own toys. Or Mazarin. Or UN officials? How would you feel about an Ariadne plushie toy~? I'm sure we can convince PR to do it."
[15:33] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Ariadne smiled, a little. "Aha. As amusing as that’d be… Hm, this must be how you feel when you see all those kiddies playing with little plush you, huh?"]
[15:36] <Yanmei> "Hm? What do you mean?"
[15:46] <Ikari‘Gendo> ["The idea of a bunch of little kids playing with a plush me is rather weird." She smiled. "So when will our other guests get here, anyway?"]
[15:49] <Yanmei> "Any minute. I’m glad you could make it, by the way."
[15:53] <Ikari‘Gendo> ["Thanks. You sounded like you needed the favour…"-
[15:56] <Ikari`Gendo> There was the sound of a door opening. Commander Ikari entered the room, glanced about impassively, then headed to join them.#
#6[16:02] * Yanmei` smiled at Ariadne… and then turned that into her most winning, most mature smile at the Commander’s approach, as if she was meeting a client or associate at an everyday boardroom table. "Welcome, Commander~ Can I offer you a seat?"
[16:07] * Ikari‘Gendo pulled a chair out and sat down. He was far taller than the other two, and he looked a little odd sitting in that chair, in this colourful children’s daycare. But if he was disconcerted he didn't show it. He ignored Yanmei's opening statements. "What is the situation?"
[16:22] <Yanmei‘> "No changes? As you can see, she’s interacting normally with the other kids, and doesn't seem to be acting strangely." She nodded to where Elizabeth was showing off her little Marianne plushie. "I think any fears of her mom secretly doing something to her can be laid to rest. Plus she learned a new word last week~"
[16:29] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I see." Gendo looked over at Elizabeth.-
[16:29] <Ikari`Gendo> ["Jerkface~ Jerkface~" Cooed Lizzie happily.-
[16:33] <Ikari`Gendo> Ikari’s right eyebrow rose a tenth of an inch, and he took off his glasses, wiping at the lens.
[16:36] <Yanmei‘> "So." Yanmei reclaimed her own seat primly. "How much of an actual update are you looking for these days?"
[16:42] <Ikari`Gendo> "Anything you can tell me." He placed his glasses back on.
[16:47] <Yanmei`> "The three investigators seem to have the same idea. I don’t know how much we can rely on them for sure? But from what they've told me, they're witholding information from Caine too. You aware that the MAGI system and Terminal Dogma were breached last month, right?"
[16:47] <Yanmei‘> ^You’re aware
[16:49] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I am aware. I take it you had some part in that?"
[16:52] <Yanmei`> "A small part? Those three did the actual work. You’ll be pleased to know that I'm not even sure what they found." She glanced at Ariadne, wondering if she was following along.
[17:01] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Ariadne was paying attention, nodding slowly.-
[17:02] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm." Ikari nodded, staring at Yanmei behind opaque glasses.
[17:04] * Yanmei` stared back. "Of course, if even one of them is lying and leading us into that paranoid woman’s trap, I'm pretty much done for."
[17:07] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Indeed." Ikari looked over at Lizzie, who was giggling.-
[17:07] <Ikari`Gendo> "What are your thoughts on them?"
[17:10] <Yanmei`> "A pervert, an aloof but seemingly normal guy, and a hyper-competent kid who always knows the right things to say." Yanmei frowned to herself. -
[17:16] <Yanmei`> "I can believe one of them when he says he’s against Caine because of his history. I'm guessing that the Attache, though, is working for someone else completely, and I've no idea what that means yet. As for the last agent, I desperately want to believe in him. It feels like the natural thing to do."
[17:24] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Ariadne frowned a little. "To be honest… We’re not entirely sure about the Attache, either."-
[17:24] * Ikari‘Gendo stared at Yanmei. "’natural'?"
[17:28] * Yanmei‘ shrugged, a pang of self-consciousness running through her. "We’ve met before? So I feel like I know him better than the other two."
[17:31] <Ikari‘Gendo> "A competent spy would not hesitate to use that to abuse you."
[17:41] <Yanmei`> "I’m aware of that." Yanmei frowned. "I said that I 'wanted to believe in him'. Not that I would do it."
[17:45] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm. What else? Have Caine’s parameters changed?"
[17:48] <Yanmei‘> "Not much. She was full of questions when I returned from Boston, but that’s expected? I'm more interested in the other things she's been doing lately."
[17:52] * Ikari‘Gendo was silent, letting Yanmei proceed.
[17:55] <Yanmei`> "’I seriously doubt she'll do anything to harm your mother'. You said something like that the last time we met like this. Did you know that this was coming?"
[17:56] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I suspected it."
[17:57] <Yanmei`> "What led you to suspect it?"
[18:01] <Ikari`Gendo> "It’s what I'd do in her situation."
[22:25] <Yanmei> "Rather than promoting a long-time and proven ally to the Committee, you'd try to build an obedient follower from scratch?" She watched him carefully. "What am I missing here?"
[22:27] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Tell me. Who are my long-time and proven allies?"
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[22:33] <Yanmei> "For you? If I had to guess it would be the former commander and her associates. Maybe the Akagis? People who owe you favors, or who have grown to trust your judgement over the years." Yanmei frowned. "For her, though…"
[22:42] <Ikari`Gendo> "Go on."
[22:47] <Yanmei> "Does she not have anyone already like that? It’s true that she goes heavy with the blackmail and murder threats, but the Caines are the most powerful family in Europe. There must be -someone- among those they influenced who have sided with her as the head of the family instead of her brothers. Isn't there?"
[22:51] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Of course." Said Ikari, folding his hands together. "How many of them could she install in Beijing?"
[22:55] <Yanmei> "…? I don’t know." Yanmei shook her head. "I never thought that the Beijing branch was that critical to her anyway?"
[23:01] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Three Evangelions will be installed in Beijing, which is a branch that has been devastated. In essence, this allows her to justify almost any expense whilst rebuilding it- meaning she can build it however she likes. She also knows your mother is loyal to the ideals of NERV and what it represents, and hence, is easy to use."
[23:07] <Yanmei> "Loyal…" Yanmei was looking away now, at the little kiddies again. "She’s loyal to NERV, and its efforts to protect the world from destruction. If she knew what Mary Caine was really planning, do you think she'd go along with this farce so easily?"
[23:13] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I do not think so, but how would you prove it?"
[23:19] <Yanmei> "That’s the question, isn't it? Maybe something in the MAGI's files? Communication is an issue too. If I'd known about this earlier, I could have spoken to her in a broken and unmonitored part of Beijing when I visited in the winter. By now, I'm betting that whatever phone lines have been re-established at the base are being tapped."
[23:19] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Almost certainly. Think, also, of the damage you could cause your mother."
[23:22] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei’s eyebrows lowered a fraction of an inch. "It's more cruel to let her go on as Caine's plaything, isn't it? She's… strong. She'll do the right thing and then recover."
[23:31] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Or perhaps you underestimate how much Caine’s trust in her is worth."
[23:38] <Yanmei> "What do you mean?" Yanmei stared with a sick, sinking feeling. "What's Mary Caine to her? An employer, a superior in the hierarchy, yes. Someone who recognizes her talents and appoints her to a higher position when she was at her lowest. But if Caine weren't there, wouldn't Director Zhang still be able to stand on her own merits?"
[23:46] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm. I would like you to imagine yourself, alone, at the lowest pits of being. You think yourself weak, helpless, useless. Someone comes along and boosts you up, allows you to believe in yourself, but then you learn that they never cared for your talents." Ikari’s expression was impassive as he spoke. "Director Zhang believes she has merit only -because- Caine has granted her that trust.
[23:46] <Ikari‘Gendo> If she felt that the trust was linked not to her ability, but for something like political gain, Director Zhang will see her merit as not being enough- and thus doubt that she has merit at all."
[23:56] <Yanmei> "…it’s not too hard to imagine," Yanmei muttered after a long pause. "I've considered how much these promotions mean to her. What she was like after the Angel attack and how they helped her. There's no simple way to shake Caine's grip from her, is there?"
[23:58] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Unfortunately not." Said Ikari. "Not even assassination is simple. Others have tried. They underestimate Caine every time."
Session Time: Sat Feb 11 00:00:00 2012
[00:04] <Yanmei> "So I’ll just have to come up with some other way to help the Director. And quickly."
[00:06] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Ultimately, it comes down to having to persuade her that making Gabriel-Wei a pilot is a poor decision. Which will be difficult, because it isn’t."
[00:14] <Yanmei> "It's not just about that. The longer this goes on, the more obligated she might feel to that woman. The Isaiah matter is important, but it's also separate."
[00:16] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Then you want to persuade her not to trust Caine whilst somehow retaining her sense of self-esteem."
[00:21] <Yanmei> "Let me see what I can do." She glanced to Ariadne. "I’ll talk to the investigators about what they might have found on her. Failing that, a recording of any one of my meeting with her should be useful."
[00:21] <Yanmei> ^meetings
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[00:35] <Ikari‘Gendo> ["What do you want to show her?" Asked Ariadne.]
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[00:39] <Yanmei> "We can work that out later. I’m just wondering if footage or recorded audio material of that already exists somewhere. Someone flagrantly threatening her daughter and foster granddaughter will at least make her raise an eyebrow."
[00:39] * ZackAFK is now known as Zack
[00:41] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Ariadne glanced at Ikari. "Will that be enough?"-
[00:41] <Ikari`Gendo> "I doubt it, but it’s best to ask."
[00:44] <Yanmei> "It's a start, anyway. Hopefully." Yanmei frowned deeply for a moment, before letting her expression relax a little. "Now. About Isaiah."
[00:45] * Ikari‘Gendo waited.
[00:49] <Yanmei> "You said before that selecting him to pilot would be a sensible thing to do. Am I to take this as an indication of which way you’ll be voting in a few days?"
[00:50] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I think not. After all, there’s no use to alienating you. Chances are he'll be voted in without my help."
[00:52] * Yanmei blinked, taken aback. "Well, thank you, I suppose."
[00:54] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm."
[00:56] <Yanmei> "That’s more of less it from me? I'll be in touch, of course. Are there any other questions you wanted to ask me?"
[00:57] <Yanmei> ^or less
[00:59] <Ikari‘Gendo> "No."-
[01:00] <Ikari`Gendo> ["Hm. I’m a little surprised Fontaine isn't here." Asked Ariadne. "Wouldn't her opinion have been handy?"-
[01:00] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Fontaine is busy preparing for her new role as Tokyo-2’s Director."
[01:02] <Yanmei> "Interesting," Yanmei muttered. She was back to absently watching the cute little kids now. "I guess it makes sense for her to end up there, though?"
[01:06] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm."
[01:11] <Yanmei> "By the way? Alexandre Fontaine was in town earlier. I don’t know if he returned to Germany yet, but I'm guessing he'll stop by the Geofront before he does." She held her arms out to a certain little kid. "Here, Lizzie~ Come here~"
[01:14] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Really."-
[01:14] <Ikari`Gendo> [Lizzie stared, and ran over, waving her little plush Marianne. "Maamaa~"]
[01:19] <Yanmei> "That’s right. I saw him right before the Nineteenth's attack." Yanmei scooped up Elizabeth contently, and gave her little doll a pat on the head. "Ah. Miss Delacour, I'm heading to the hospital to pick something up for Isaiah. Want to come with?"
[01:24] <Ikari‘Gendo> ["Maamaaa~" Lizzie reaaaaached up, giving Yanmei a clumsy kiss to the cheek.-
[01:24] <Ikari`Gendo> ["Of course." Said Ariadne, smiling a little. "What is it?"]
[01:26] <Yanmei> "Just some books he left behind in his office the other day. I think we’re having a test in… something or other tomorrow." She nodded to Ikari respectfully in parting. "Commander. Thanks again for your time."
[01:27] <Ikari`Gendo> "Mm."
[01:28] <Yanmei> And with that, Yanmei turned and departed.
[01:30] * Ikari`Gendo looked out at the children for a second longer, then stood up and departed himself.

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