Spectre S Introduction

[17:16] <Raphael> The crisp sound of bootfalls on linoleium signals the approach of a new visitor to the quiet halls of the Geofront hospital's secure wing. They're the purposeful, no-nonsense footsteps of a figure who knows where they're going and plans on wasting no time along the way.-
[17:16] <Raphael> Of course, for Raphael the question of what he would do when he actually -arrived- was still an open one. Nothing he had been told so far had given an idea of what to expect from his next appointment, but what it had managed to do was set his teeth firmly on edge. Still, he holds himself as confidently as possible as he rounds the final corner towards his destination…
[17:22] <Minaplo> [A hospital room with a solid door- far too solid for a normal patient. This was a room kept for -dangerous- patients.-
[17:22] <Minaplo> [Within he'd find possibly the most dangerous patient the hospital had ever seen. Within was the Spectre- and her guard, Terence Savage.]
[17:32] * Raphael steps up to the door, breathing deep and squaring his shoulders as he reaches up to knock.
[17:37] <Minaplo> [The opens just a fraction, Terence staring through the crack. He nods at Raphael, and opens it wider, allowing him in.-
[17:38] <Minaplo> [The Spectre is lying in bed, eyes closed, but in such a stunningly -rigid- way that Raphael knows instantly that she isn't asleep.-
[17:38] <Minaplo> [Blue hair, the same pale skin- she looks identical to Rei…]
[17:44] <Raphael> His hands - hidden carefully behind his back - flex and twist reflexively, his stomach feeling like it's worked itself into a knot. He's silent for a time, his expression held almost as rigidly as the Spectre before he looks over at Terry.-
[17:44] <Raphael> "Does she use a name, Captain?" He asks, trying to force away his frown. "I don't feel right using 'Spectre'."
[17:47] <Minaplo> ["Nothing she responds to as far as I know." Said Terry. He settled back into his chair, which resembled something akin to a steel chariot.]
[17:48] <Raphael> "Has she communicated at all?"
[17:49] <Minaplo> ["No." He said, frowning, folding his arms. "She hasn't really been properly awake for long, mind, she only finished healing properly yesterday. She had a lot of injuries, this one."]
[17:53] * Raphael nods fractionally, turning his attention back to the figure on the bed. She's certainly awake. Indeed, he gets the feeling that she's not merely awake, but holding herself -ready-, although for what he couldn't hope to guess…-
[17:54] <Raphael> "Ma'am?" The formality in his voice is held carefully in place like a shield.
[17:57] <Minaplo> [The Spectre doesn't respond.]
[18:03] <Raphael> He hadn't expected much else, in truth. He presses on through the silence.-
[18:03] <Raphael> "Ma'am, my name is Raphael." He says, leaning on the metal foot of the bed. "I'm a friend of Pilot Zhang-" He frowns, hesitating, "Or Yanmei, depending on how you know her. You've been in contact with her before, correct?"
[18:05] <Minaplo> [She moves so fast and so suddenly that Raphael doesn't have time to respond. She sits up, the bedsheets falling back- she's wearing a hospital gown- and her hand, like a blur, jabs Raphael in the chest. All of this would be grounds for a violent response…-
[18:05] <Minaplo> [But all he feels is a mild electric shock and his phone suddenly beeping, as though it had received a text message.-
[18:05] <Minaplo> [Terry had leapt out of his seat, and was now hovering over Raphael, a bolt pistol the size of a toaster in his hand. "Oi!"]
[18:16] <Raphael> His hand -did- move, but his response time was an eternity compared to that speed. By the time he's even begun react in any meaningful way she's already made contact, leaving his arm hovering uselessly.-
[18:16] <Raphael> He doesn't move or breathe, not for for a long moment. Finally he swallows hard, licking suddenly dry lips as he lets his hand return to his side. "I'm going to reach for the phone now. Not a weapon. You understand, I trust?"
[18:19] <Minaplo> [She stares at him. She has red eyes- not the brown-red of normal humans, but the bright, pure red eyes of an Ayanami. But somehow Rei was able to make hers look gentle and unthreatening. The Spectre's were hard and firm and had no love for Raphael.-
[18:19] <Minaplo> [Those eyes flick towards Terry's pistol before back at Raphael. She withdraws her hand, and continues to stare.]
[18:25] <Raphael> For perhaps the first time ever, Raphael understands the discomfort some strangers feel when encountering an Ayanami. It's a troubling realization. With careful, deliberate movements, Raphael lowers his hand to his pocket and removes a new, disposable cell phone, checking the new message.
[18:33] * Raphael nods to the Spectre first, then Terry. "She would have visited you in person, but I'm afraid she's been away from the Geofront since the battle." He says, forcing himself to relax slowly. "Which I should thank you for. Your help kept a great deal of people alive."
[18:38] <Minaplo> [Terry backs off, now, settling back into his chair.-
[18:38] <Minaplo> [The Spectre touches Raphael's chest once again.]
[18:44] * Raphael stares at the screen, the frown returning in earnest before he finally seems to understand. He looks back up, eyeing her curiously. "… Yes, I think you're right. You want to avoid that?"
[18:45] <Minaplo> [Another touch, another shock, another message.]
[18:52] * Raphael nods slowly. "Do you know where you are right now, ma'am? Why we're keeping you here?"
[19:01] * Raphael watches her closely for a few seconds. "I suppose you might be right." He agrees eventually, forcing himself not to glance back at Terry. "If that happens to change, I'd only ask you to let someone know before you attempt to use force. We're not attempting to lock you up, but when you were injured there were some who were unsure what to do with you given your actions in the past."
[19:08] <Raphael> The next message seems to bring him up short. "I'm… not sure who that is, ma'am."
[19:18] * Raphael stares at the message quietly for a time, reading and rereading the two words as a series of emotions flicker through his expression too quickly to name.-
[19:18] <Raphael> "… I see." He says eventually, looking up. "We haven't seen a cat here, ma'am. Is he yours? Do you have a place where you left him? I'd be happy to bring him here for you myself."
[19:21] * Raphael frowns. "… I'll do my best, although I doubt security will be pleased." He says slowly, scratching his cheek. "I take it this isn't quite a normal cat?"
[19:25] <Minaplo> [Terry is attempting to surreptitiously peer over Raphael's shoulder at the messages.]
[19:30] * Raphael glances back at Terry disapprovingly before returning his attention to the Spectre. "And who do you hunt?"
[19:35] <Raphael> "Under whose orders?"
[19:36] <Minaplo> [The Spectre withdraws her hand and stares at him, those eyes becoming -much- harder. The very air around Raphael seems to drop several degrees.]
[19:40] * Raphael holds the stare for a while, even as the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. "… I see." He says mildly, nodding. "Forgive me. I didn't mean to offend you."
[19:41] <Minaplo> [The Spectre places her hand back on Raphael's chest.]
[19:44] * Raphael offers her a small, tight smile that barely reaches his eyes. "I've already asked Captain Savage this," He nods meaningfully towards the Guard as he speaks, "But he didn't seem to know. Do you have a name? I'd prefer to call you something other than 'ma'am' or 'The Spectre' if I could."
[20:00] <Raphael> "Sophia." He nods again. "I'll pass that along."-
[20:00] <Raphael> "If I may ask, Sophia, why do you communicate through these?" He says, raising the phone.
[20:05] * Raphael considers this, but seems to accept the answer as easily as the ones that came before. "It's harmful?"
[20:10] <Raphael> "Mmm." He rolls his shoulders, looking thoughtful. "I understand. I appreciate you answering my questions, ma'am, but I'll try not to take up too much more of your time. Is there anything you need, or would like to ask before I go?"
[20:19] * Raphael shoots a glance at Terry before looking back again. "What's confused you?"
[20:29] <Raphael> Faintly - very faintly - the corner of his lip twitches. "Does it bother you, ma'am?"
[20:38] <Raphael> "Terence can be… Hard to explain. Although as I understand it, part of it likely comes from his admiration of your skill in combat." He says carefully.-
[20:38] <Raphael> "Perhaps it would be best to allow him to answer you himself. I could leave this phone with him so that you could communicate, if you would like?"
[20:39] <Minaplo> ["Hey now, what's this about me being hard to explain?"]
[20:41] <Raphael> "Then it's settled." He nods, turning to offer the phone to Terry. "The young lady seems to have some questions regarding your singing, I believe."
[20:47] <Minaplo> ["Oho!" he takes the phone. "Excellent. I was starting to get bored of the ol' Portable." He takes a game console out of his robe.]
[20:50] * Raphael raises an eyebrow but says nothing more as he looks back at Sophia. "Thank you again for your time, ma'am. Please let Captain Savage know if you need anything more, and he'll know how to reach me."-
[20:51] <Raphael> … and he seems ready to leave it at that, but after a second he reaches out to offer the girl his hand.
[20:52] <Minaplo> [She stares at it.]
[20:55] <Raphael> "A handshake." He offers. His tone is still carefully formal, but slightly gentler than before. "Are you familiar with the gesture?"
[21:01] <Minaplo> [She stares at him a little more before slowly taking his hand.]
[21:03] * Raphael shakes it firmly. "It was very nice to meet you, Miss Sophia."
[21:09] <Minaplo> [She nods slowly, then relinquishes his hand. The way she holds herself is definitely very different to Rei, just the posture and the tenseness, like a cat permanently ready to spring.]
[21:12] * Raphael watches for a moment and remembers that burst of speed, before he lets out a quiet sigh and turns towards the door. "I'll speak with you later I'm sure, Captain." He says, giving the other man a respectful nod.
[21:16] <Minaplo> ["Don't doubt it for a second." Said Terry. "Send one of your goons down here when you can. I need to make a few orders."]
[21:23] <Raphael> One last nod and then Raphael is gone. The heavy door shuts behind him, accompanied by the muted thud-click of magnetic locks.

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