This Too Shall Pass 3 1 11

[22:56] <CakeyCake> Zhang Yanmei stood in the middle of her new office, alone, quietly inspecting it. The small conference room located next to the Bridge had served her well during the past few weeks, but it was time to abandon it to its original purpose and move back to a proper workspace. -
[23:02] <CakeyCake> It was smaller than the original one they carved out for her when she first became the UEF's Chancellor, and sparsely decorated with a simple desk, chair, and more cushioned chairs for visiting guests. A small, circular mirror hung on the wall opposite of the desk, and propped up on the desktop was a simple monitor for video calls and other miscellaneous computer work. -
[23:09] <CakeyCake> Also, there were two doors. One led to a reception area, with couches, wine, tvs and a workspace for her secretary, and the other led to another conference room that was in the middle of being renovated. The sound of power tools periodically roared through the wall. Grumbling, Yanmei took her seat and rested her tablet on the desk. Her office was the smallest of all of these three areas,
[23:09] <CakeyCake> and yeah, she absolutely noticed it. And that -noise-. She rubbed her temples.
[23:31] <Yanmei> "It's fine," she muttered aloud, looking up enough to peer at the mirror hanging across from her. "After this meeting I'll go to my room and finish my work there? Or take a nap. I don't want to look at any more casualty reports…"
[23:39] <Yanmei> "Course it does. It was different when we were fighting Angels. Things were simple back then." She opened the lone desk drawer. There was no brandy, wine or sweets in sight, just a few pens and some notepads. Pah. They'd stocked Lucille's workspace better than they had hers! And even Mazarin's guest room now had a fully stocked mini bar in it.
[23:42] <Yanmei> "Y-yeah. But we could say that we saved people too? Other innocents that would have also died unfairly. Who are we saving now?"
[23:54] <Yanmei> "Thank you." A soft chuckle. "You're so understanding. Unlike a lot of other people on this ship? I'd get eaten alive - possibly literally - if I went around openly lamenting like this."
[23:59] <Yanmei> "Agreed. They're total war-loving jerks?"
[00:03] <@Mianplo> [The door to the reception area opened.-
[00:03] <@Mianplo> ["Madame chancellor." Said Lucille. "You have a visitor? Euphemia One?"]
[00:06] * Yanmei jolted out of her chair to a standing position. No, she had -not- been talking to herself or anything suspicious, of course not. "I see," she said calmly. "I'll meet her in the reception room, if that's ok? It'll be hard to talk in here with the all the noise next door?"
[00:07] <@Mianplo> ["Of course, madame."]
[00:14] * Yanmei straightened her outfit - standard issued again - and tucked the red pendant she had been wearing under the collar of her shirt before walking over to the door. She was using her posture to try make herself look as tall and impressive as possible as she greeted her guest. "Ms. Euphemia One! Welcome!"
[00:15] <@Mianplo> [Try as Yanmei might, Euphemia One towered over her even without armour.-
[00:17] <@Mianplo> [Euphemia was wearing a multi-layered robe of white and grey. She was about seven and a half feet tall, muscular and built, with fingers that seemed almost as thick as Yanmei's arm. She had silver-white hair kept short and blue eyes.-
[00:17] <@Mianplo> [Although the image was distorted by the gargantuan proportions, Yanmei could still see the facial features of Eugenia Ranvier in this Iron Guard…-
[00:17] <@Mianplo> [Euphemia One bowed, a fist over her heart. "Madame Chancellor."]
[00:30] * Yanmei hesitated for a fraction of a second. Her Euginianess was a little disturbing, especially when coupled with that gesture of actual respect. "No need for formalities," she said cheerfully. "Why don't you make yourself comfortable and tell me a little about yourself?"
[00:31] <@Mianplo> ["Of course, Madame." Said Euphemia One, sitting down on the reception couch.-
[00:33] <@Mianplo> ["My name is Euphemia One, an Iron Guard Prime. I was awoken on the 19th of January, 2016. I fought in many battles for the Liberated Nations. Before it fell, I was assigned to dear Eugenia as a guard. She bid me serve the Wizard Army, so I did."-
[00:34] <@Mianplo> ["Since then I have fought for the Wizard Army as the leader of its Iron Guard contingent, much of which I have personally recruited."-
[00:36] <@Mianplo> ["My kill count stands at an estimated 1,800 to 2,000 human beings, 600 to 700 assorted smaller Angelspawn, 145 Ferals, 23 Annihilators, 21 Reapers, 21 Mark 1 Iron guard, 14 Mark 3 Iron Guard, 11 battle tanks, 8 infantry fighting vehicles, 7 armoured personnel carriers, 3 Apocalypse Engines and a Thruster Solace."]
[00:44] <Yanmei> "That's a really impressive record. You weren't kidding when you said you'd fought in a lot of battles." Yanmei sank into a chair that was right next to the couch while Lucille went about her business in the background. "After being with the LN, though, it must be a little weird to be fighting alongside former NERV soldiers."
[00:49] <@Mianplo> ["Somewhat, Madame, but I've grown used to it. After all, what has really changed? My enemy is the same."]
[00:57] <Yanmei> "I suppose so. Well, I'm glad you're getting comfortable, at least. Has the rest of the Wizard's army been fitting in, do you think?"
[00:57] <@Mianplo> ["No major problems, Madame."[
[00:57] <@Mianplo> ]
[01:04] * Yanmei nodded. "Good. There haven't been any major incident reported? But that doesn't mean there haven't been tensions or interpersonal problems, especially with the stressful things everyone went through on Mars and everything."
[01:05] <@Mianplo> ["Of course not, Madame. Iron Guard desire stress relief just like typs."]
[01:07] <Yanmei> "Right. Well. What do you, personally, do for stress relief? Or for fun?"
[01:07] <@Mianplo> ["Fight, Madame."]
[01:09] <Yanmei> "Well, there's no shortage of batlles coming up." She gave her a small grin.
[01:10] <@Mianplo> ["Quite right, Madame."]
[01:12] <Yanmei> "Is there a battlefront… or actually any location at all that you like best over all the others you've been to?"
[01:13] <@Mianplo> ["I enjoyed the North African Offensive, even if we lost." She said. "Few civilians, few urban settlements. Much of it was fought in remote desert. War in its purest form."]
[01:19] <Yanmei> "I see! I'll try to send you guys someplace similar if I can. Have you been to Australia before?"
[01:20] <@Mianplo> ["No, Madame."]
[01:23] <Yanmei> "There are some urban centers, but there's a lot of wilderness too? It'd be in our best interest, of course, to route battles away from innocent civilians and to have them in the outback instead. Um. The wildlife can be pretty crazy there, though."
[01:24] <@Mianplo> ["I'm not worried, Madame."]
[01:25] <Yanmei> "There are giant spiders," she warned her. "And also kangaroos."
[01:25] <@Mianplo> ["One of your Honour Guard says he's tamed some, yes, Madame. I'm still not worried."]
[01:37] <Yanmei> "Did did you hear about our adventures there too? From Isaiah, maybe?"
[01:37] <@Mianplo> [She beamed. "We neglected to discuss Australia, madame."]
[01:46] <Yanmei> "A lot of animals down there were feral and dangerous. Not that we encountered the giant ones? But we were attacked several times by dogs, cassowaries, rats… mostly, though we were fighting other people. Violent gangs they had in the area. We even managed to create our own!"
[01:46] <@Mianplo> ["You created a gang, Madame?"]
[01:49] <Yanmei> "The mighty Lions." Yanmei beamed. "Underdogs, of course, since we were just starting out, but we were a haven for a lot of the low-ranking guys that had been mistreated by the bigger gangs. Most of our time was spent training the new guys and trying to build up their strength and endurance."
[01:50] <@Mianplo> ["A firm foundation, Madame."]
[01:51] <Yanmei> "Thank you. Maybe you'll get a chance to meet some of them. They're helping us out in this war too."
[01:54] <@Mianplo> ["Then I'm sure I will sooner or later, Madame."]
[01:58] * Yanmei nodded, smiling, trying to figure out how to make the next subject transition not-awkward. "I understand that one of the things you -did- talk about with Isaiah was his relation to you."
[01:59] <@Mianplo> ["Yes, that's right, Madame. I don't know how knowledgeable you are about the topic, but Isaiah is a genetic relative. A first-generation paternal relative, that is."]
[02:08] <Yanmei> "Yeah, I heard. If what I've heard about Euginia is also true, I guess it makes him a paternal relative to all the Iron Guard as well."
[02:09] <Yanmei> ^Eugenia
[02:10] <@Mianplo> ["They can trace some element of their biology back to him and dear Eugenia, yes, Madame."]
[02:10] <Yanmei> "And Blanc too, I guess."
[02:11] <@Mianplo> ["Yes, Madame."]
[02:18] <Yanmei> "What should he do? As a father, I mean. Um. -Do- you consider him a father?"
[02:21] <@Mianplo> ["Uhm…"-
[02:21] <@Mianplo> [She looked away awkwardly, tapping the tips of her fingers together. "I've never had a father, Madame, but I feel happy when I'm close to him and I feel like he knows the answers to my questions. Does that count?"]
[02:30] <Yanmei> "Yeah! I think it does." She shifted her weight around a little in her chair. "I'm not too clear on what fathers do myself? So I thought I should find out what exactly you wanted."
[02:38] <@Mianplo> ["Well, firstly I hope I'm not making you uncomfortable, Madame…"]
[02:40] <Yanmei> "Not at all? I'm the one who called this meeting after all."
[02:41] <@Mianplo> ["I understand. I just want to make it clear that I expect nothing explicit from you, Madame."]
[02:49] <Yanmei> "Right, of course," she nodded. "Um. Do you know if the other Guards regard Isaiah in the same way?"
[02:51] <@Mianplo> ["Not exactly, Madame. But I think it's a matter of degree, not kind. They often seem at ease around him and if he asks them for something, they are quicker to comply than is usual. They're quicker to accept him."]
[03:00] <Yanmei> "He's a calming guy even without the paternal link? I think even if I don't do anything for you and your fellow Guard directly, I'm going to do everything in my power to protect him. *Ahem* Not that I don't have my own reasons for doing that…"
[03:05] <@Mianplo> ["Of course. He speaks very lovingly about you, Madame."]
[03:12] * Yanmei colored slightly. "Heh. That's normal for a husband, I guess? Heh heh…"
[03:13] <@Mianplo> ["Is it, Madame?"]
[03:16] <Yanmei> "I think so? At least, it is when the husband is Isaiah."
[03:17] <@Mianplo> ["I'll take your word on it, Madame."]
[03:20] <Yanmei> "Now, then. Do you have questions for me? About, like, anything?"
[03:21] <@Mianplo> ["Anything?"]
[03:23] <Yanmei> "Anything." She straightened her posture. "I'll do my best to answer you or to fulfill and requests you have."
[03:27] <@Mianplo> ["Is it true that you once broke the back of the criminal underground in Paris-2 in personal combat whilst setting fire to the Notre Dame?"]
[03:34] <Yanmei> "Uh. Erm. Those were separate, unrelated events. And the fire wasn't on purpose, you see. I did punch out some mafia heads, though~"
[03:34] <@Mianplo> ["Continue, madame."]
[03:40] <Yanmei> "Well, the fire happened when I was searching for someone. A rogue NERV Security Agent by the name of Charles Gamelin, who was suspected of leading a cult against us and also stealing my phone. I tracked him to Notre Dame and was ambushed by some cult goons? And there was a huge fight, and the church caught fire, because of bombs and maser fire. A big important stained glass window was
[03:40] <Yanmei> destroyed as well? And everyone was furious, but like I said, it wasn't on -purpose-."
[03:41] <@Mianplo> ["I see, but I was interested in hearing about your fight with the mafia, madame. Please…"]
[03:49] <Yanmei> "Oh! Well. The mafia had been hassling me and the other pilots for a while. Following us and picking fights. There was a big one, in an abandoned subway, while we tracking Gamelin? The Mafia boss's son was involved, and we totally wrecked him and his little underlings. Flashbangs, and then charging in for the attack. Super easy. We would have gone even further, but an unexpected element
[03:49] <Yanmei> showed up and saved the Boss son."
[03:54] <@Mianplo> ["Oh?"]
[03:55] <Yanmei> "Mr Blue. Have you met him? He's a popular bartender on board nowadays. Back then, though, he was working with the mafia. Or controlling them like a puppeteer. Who knows?"
[03:56] <@Mianplo> ["I see. And you fought him, too?"]
[03:58] <Yanmei> "Nnnooo. I mean, we probably could have taken him on with how strong we were~ But I'm pretty sure he would have taken out at least one of us in the process. So we let him leave with the son, and assumed that was that. Unfortunately, it wasn't the end."
[04:01] <@Mianplo> ["Please, continue!" Said Euphemia eagerly.]
[04:05] <Yanmei> "The Director of NERV back then invited me out to dinner a few days later. It was the opening of a fancy new restaurant? And wouldn't you know it, the Mafia Boss and his son were both there! Blue too. If they'd left us alone, we could have eaten peacefully and ignored each other, but the son had to be an idiot and tried to to abduct me. So I beat him up. Again."
[04:10] <@Mianplo> ["And everyone could bear witness to your martial supremacy!"]
[04:11] <Yanmei> "Yeah! They even started clapping. The mafia goons and the Mafia Boss with him were so intimidated that they dropped their weapons and were taken in by our security. Blue got away, though."
[04:14] <@Mianplo> ["What happened next?"]
[04:18] <Yanmei> "Well, we tossed them into prison, and Blue took over the mafia properly for a while. He showed up again during the battle with Gamelin and his cult army, but only for a second. We happened to be hiding from some cultists in the same alleyway. He spewed a bunch of insults after the danger passed and then acrobated away like some sort of inane Batman. I was too cool to be ruffled by him
[04:18] <Yanmei> much, though~"
[04:20] <@Mianplo> ["How petty!"]
[04:21] <Yanmei> "I know, right? But that's totally his style. The story of how he joined us is an interesting one, even though it's more Ayanami Rei's tale than mine."
(14:28) <Minaplo> ["I see. But you fought during the cult uprising- what was that like?"]
(14:35) <Yanmei> "Completely unpredictable? The enemy was really mysterious. Even with all of our searching and detective work we still didn't come up with much on them until they were actually marching through the streets of Paris to get to the Geofront. And when we -did- face them, they were incredibly strong?"
(14:45) <Minaplo> ["Please continue."]
(14:54) <Yanmei> "There were so many of them. Biotypicals who were crazy or super fanatic or something, and angelspawn, and at least one Apocalypse Engine that could shoot lasers out of its mouth. Gamelin himself was the worst? It took five of our strongest to incapacitate him, and even then most of us were badly hurt by the end of it. It was like he'd become half-Angel or something himself…"
(15:03) <Minaplo> ["That sounds like a truly epic clash." Said Euphemia, her hands clasped tightly together over her chest.]
(15:09) <Yanmei> "It was -rough-. Isaiah, Surov, Pilot Chiisana and myself all ganged up on him at once and he still came back swinging with… with all sorts of AT tricks. We had to actually cut his throat before his possession subsided." She frowned a little. "That was the tragic thing, though? He wasn't evil. He was being controlled like a puppet by a force he couldn't resist."
(15:18) <Minaplo> ["That's no way for a man to face death…"]
(15:19) <Yanmei> "Yeah, agreed. Fortunately Isaiah managed to patch him up long enough for proper doctors to arrive and help him."
(15:19) <Minaplo> ["He's a skilled medic, isn't he?" Said Euphemia warmly.]
(15:20) <Yanmei> "He is. He's been studying for a long time with the best?" She beamed proudly.
(15:21) <Minaplo> ["Considering your battle history, you've probably had to use his abilities many times yourself."]
(15:21) <Yanmei> "W-well. I don't get hurt -that- often."
(15:23) <Minaplo> ["Pardon me. I did not mean offense, madame."]
(15:37) <Yanmei> "No, no, it's ok! The people he helps the most are the other military guys. Like during the Mars Crash? He was the best nurse ever and saved a bunch of people with his skill. He's always been like that, even if it was scary for him too."
(15:39) <Minaplo> ["I'm glad to hear it." She said with a smile. "You're very proud of him…"]
(15:43) <Yanmei> "Always! You should stick around and see why for yourself~"
(15:44) <Minaplo> ["What do you mean?"]
(15:51) <Yanmei> "Like, he's super talented about all sorts of things, but he doesn't brag, so you wouldn't know it. The best way to see his talent is literally to watch him. Maybe we could have the Wizard Army stick close the the ship for a few months…"
(15:58) <Mianplo> ["I'd like that!"]
(15:58) <Yanmei> "I'll see what I can do, then? Maybe we could have more talks too."
(16:06) <Mianplo> ["I'd like that too. Do you have time for more now?"]
(16:10) <Yanmei> "Of course! You know, I could tell you about the time Isaiah and I fought off wolves together on a freezing mountaintop."
(16:15) <Mianplo> ["Please do!"]
(16:19) <Yanmei> And so Yanmei happily started on her harrowing tale of scavenger hunts, hungry wolves, and the meeting between a boy and his pet.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License