This Too Shall Pass 3 1 14

[22:36] * Yanmei had only just moved into her office, and there had been little time for it to accumulate clutter. Nevertheless, she tried to clean up a little with some dusting and some slight furniture rearrangement before placing her call. -
[22:39] <Yanmei> It helped to calm her down, but only marginally. Really, the best fix for stress was a good punching bag or a bit of sparring, but there was no room for such things in her tiny office. Even if there had been, she had to uphold a certain professional image. -
[22:45] <Yanmei> Eventually, she plopped down into her chair with a sigh, and made the video call, fluffing her hair in the most professional way as she waited for it to connect.
[22:52] <@Raphael> The line would eventually connect to a fairly chaotic comms station in the newly recaptured Leningrad-2 Geofront, with a comms officer taking her call and putting out the word to its intended recipient. It took nearly fifteen minutes for Raphael to arrive, looking worn, short on sleep and still wearing a flight suit instead of a more formal uniform.-
[22:54] <Raphael> "Madame Chancellor," he said, taking a seat in his chair and smiling at the screen. "I didn't know to expect a call. I apologize for the delay."
[22:58] <Yanmei> "No worries~ How are things in Leningrad? A little disorganized, I'll bet."
[23:03] <Raphael> "Disorganized is a word for it." He chuckled. "UN forces attempted to do what damage they could to the base before they evacuated. The essentials remain, but we're still working to bring certain pieces of infrastructure back online."
[23:07] <Yanmei> "Hmm, I guess we should have expected that? It's still a huge gain for us, though. Thank you for your help in the battle to secure it."
[23:08] <Raphael> "Of course, ma'am. Our losses are much lower than they could have been, by my understanding. President Linden seems pleased."
[23:13] <Yanmei> "Heh, I'll bet she is. Please give her and Mr Isha my regards if you get the chance."
[23:16] <Raphael> "Of course. I'm sure you'll hear from the President sooner rather than later." He said.-
[23:18] <Raphael> "… All that said, I assume there was something else you needed me for, ma'am? Is R-… is everything alright at home?"
[23:23] <Yanmei> "Right as rain~" Yanmei beamed. "Actually, I have an invitation for you. To attend a less combat-oriented event in a warmer vacation spot."
[23:26] * Syntax is now known as Sept
[23:33] <Raphael> The silence stretched on a little too long for it to be solely a fault of the connection. Was he watching her a little more closely? "… Of course, ma'am."
[23:41] <Yanmei> "There's a conference coming up. Really, it's more like a negotiation meeting between us and the UN. I'm putting together an entourage for it, and I'd like very much for you to be a part of it."
[23:44] * Raphael nodded once, less hesitantly this time. "I see. A security team?"
[23:48] <Yanmei> "Yes. And no. We'll have security with us, but your job is a little different? There's one person we'll be bringing along that we need to keep an extra eye on. I'd like you to help with that."
[23:50] <Raphael> He gave her a shrewd look, even as he answered. "… And who might that be?"
[23:51] * Yanmei was starting to look a little uncomfortable now. Daintily, she coughed into her fist. "Sera de Pteres."
[23:56] * Raphael fell silent, continuing to stare as the low murmur of talk and work elsewhere in the comms station filtered through the line. "May I ask why, Chancellor?"
[00:16] <Yanmei> "It's a long story? Sera's presence was one of the conditions for Ezekiel's involvement in the negotiation process. We're going to be gone the entire day… possibly for more than one day, if things get complicated. After recent events, Ezekiel was apparently unwilling to leave him and Longinus out of his sight for that long? So they're coming with us. Thing is, while Ezekiel can monitor
[00:16] <Yanmei> their metaphysical activities at short range, even during the talks, it's going to be hard to keep them from, for example, slipping off and accidentally saying things to someone in private that might cause an international incident. You're one of the few we're considering for the this specialized task. Frankly, I think you're one of our best candidates…"
[00:19] <Raphael> "I'm entirely capable of doing it, ma'am, but so is Blue - who, if I may add, is not one of our active superheavy pilots."
[00:32] <Yanmei> "Yeah, he was also on our list? But you have more tact and are less… unpredictable while in polite company," said Yanmei delicately.
[00:35] <Raphael> "… Granted." Raphael admitted. He let out a short, resigned sigh. "What precisely do you want me to do with him?"
[00:41] <Yanmei> "Neither one of you will be involved in the actual talks, although watching should be fine. Just stick near him. Escort him from place to place if he leaves the building. If you think he's about to say something incident-causing to an important-looking rep, grab him by the ear and pull him away."
[00:41] <Raphael> "If I may speak freely, ma'am?"
[00:42] <Yanmei> "Certainly."
[00:43] <Raphael> "You would be best served locking the pair of us in a safehouse as far away from the talks as Ezekiel will allow and leaving us there for the duration." Raphael said flatly.
[00:44] * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) has joined #nervfrance2
[00:47] * Yanmei seemed to consider this carefully. -
[00:51] <Yanmei> "I'm not sure if that's going to be a good idea. Mainly because I don't know if we have safehouses in Istanbul. It's sort of a neutral zone in this war? We could bar you guys from coming to the talk, though. Maybe you could stay at the hotel, or like, sightsee a bit."
[00:57] <Raphael> "Right, yes. That's more or less what I meant." He said, shifting uncomfortably as visibly tried to collect his thoughts.-
[00:57] <Raphael> "… To be blunt, if it were not a direct requirement of Ezekiel's attendance I would view letting Pilot de Pteres anywhere near those talks to be a tremendous mistake. It still might be."
[00:59] <Yanmei> "Yeah, I've heard that before. A lot. Marianne was pretty vocal about it?"
[01:01] * Raphael nods, smiling just a little. "I can't say I'm surprised."
[01:05] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Um. If you'd like, you can bring one person to help make the job a little easier. Anyone you want. Also, we'll pay for any attractions you guys want to see while you're there."
[01:13] * Raphael was beginning to look properly bemused now. "I appreciate that. In this case I think it might be best if I devoted my full attention to Mr. de Pteres, though."
[01:21] <Yanmei> "Are you sure? Not even a combat buddy?"
[01:24] <Raphael> "Hmm. May I have some time to consider it?" He asked, politely ignoring the phrase 'combat buddy'.
[01:26] <Yanmei> "Certainly. If you do go that route after all, please remember to tell the person you picked that de Pteres is now AT-capable."
[01:29] * Raphael stared at the camera, his face utterly frozen in place. The next stretch of silence proved to be the longest yet.-
[01:29] <Raphael> "Pardon me?"
[01:32] * Yanmei blinked, and her eyes widened a little. "No one… told you? It manifested after Operation Pollux. Like, just randomly."
[01:35] <Raphael> "Chancellor Zhang, if an AT-capable Sera de Pteres wishes to spit in the face of every UN delegate in attendance what exactly do you hope for me to do?" Raphael asked, managing to keep his tone polite and relatively calm.
[01:45] <Yanmei> "What do you mean? Ezekiel could easily nulify his AT Field if he tried to use it anywhere near the delegates. If you're staying away from the negotiations, however, you'll have to fall back on someone else with that ability. Maybe one of the Ayanami sisters?"
[01:49] <Raphael> "Yes. Evidently." Raphael said coolly.
[01:52] * Yanmei cleared her throat, trying to adopt her own poker face. "Are you reconsidering?"
[01:55] * Raphael sighed. "You should know I'll follow my orders, Chancellor."
[01:59] <Yanmei> "Thank you. Please think carefully about who you would like to bring. In the meantime I can… pass along any messages if you have any for personnel on board to Dorian Lachapelle?"
[02:06] <Raphael> "I appreciate that, ma'am, but I'll send some messages home when I have some more time. Our comms infrastructure should allow for that much."-
[02:07] <Raphael> "If I can ask one more thing regarding the talks, though - who else will be in attendance aside from Mr. Ezekiel and yourself?"
[02:22] <Yanmei> "Two or three reps seems to be the norm for this sort of thing. It's mainly going to be us, the sneaky Soviet Premier, plus a small security team headed and organized by Presidential Security Chief Jean-Baptiste Vimes. I have also given an invitation to President Mazarin for this event, but I have yet to hear his response."
[02:26] * Raphael nodded slowly. "If Security Chief Vimes requires any extra resources, the SOS is obviously at his full disposal."
[02:27] <Yanmei> "Thank you. I'll be sure to let him know about it?"
[02:30] <Raphael> "Of course. I'll see to planning for the trip immediately. When will we be leaving?"
[02:34] <Yanmei> "We leave in about 6 days from now."
[02:36] <Raphael> Another nod. His expression had settled back into one of calm, the earlier outrage either faded or simply masked. "Understood. I'll make the arrangements."
[02:41] <Yanmei> "Wonderful." Yanmei smiled at him. "Thanks again. I'll let you get back to the stuff you were doing. Oh. Please call Rei when you get the chance? She's been feeling a little better during the past few days."
[02:44] <Raphael> That made him smile a little, at least. "She has? That's fantastic - I'll call her tonight, if I'm able."
[02:54] <Yanmei> "Great! She'll really like that." She paused and gave a little parting salute. "I'll see you later, then"
[02:56] * Raphael returned it, the gesture made slightly awkward by the remote conversation. "Stay safe, Chancellor."-
[02:56] <Raphael> A moment later, the connection closed.

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