This Too Shall Pass 3 2 15

[08:28] <Yanmei> [There was one part of the Dorian's prison area that was fairly popular with the crew. -
[08:31] <Yanmei> At one point, Staff Sergeant Remy Fabien Awala had been the caretaker for quite a few animals who had been displaced or who were too large or unpredictable to roam freely throughout the battleship during the weeks after the Mars crash landing. -
[08:42] <Yanmei> Many of those animals were gone now, having been reunited with their human families after UEF command had made it back to Earth. The few remaining, however, were curious enough to give the area where they were housed something of a positive reputation; a small, secure zoo, where exotic animals dozed contently behind transparent Surovite walls. On this paricular day, Zhang Yanmei had shown up unannounced, peering around curiously for the caretaker himself instead of the animals. She wasn't alone, either…
[08:46] <AdEvaGM> [Standing in the middle of the room, unmissable, was Albus Mortens. He turned as Yanmei entered.-
[08:47] <AdEvaGM> ["Most beatific day to you, Chancellor Zhang." Said Albus warmly. "Your visage is effulgent."]
[08:53] <Yanmei> "Yours too, Mr. Albus." She smiled back at him. "I hope things around here haven't been too boring for you."
[08:59] <AdEvaGM> ["Perish." He said, shaking his magnificent head slowly. "Are you seeking our sagacious zoologist?"]
[09:03] <Yanmei> "That's right? Have you seen him?"
[09:06] <AdEvaGM> [One of the heavily-reinforced doors to cell to Yanmei's left slid open- just a tiny bit. Remy slipped through and jabbed the 'close' button on his way out. "Here I am!"-
[09:08] <AdEvaGM> [He was wearing a black, rubbery, tight bodysuit of some kind, sitting snugly against his fine form. Yanmei dimly recognised it as some sort of environmental protection suit…]
[09:14] * Yanmei blinked at his new wardrobe in obvious confusion. "What's all this, then?"
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[09:20] <Minaplo> ["It's pretty bullshit, hey?" Said Remy. "Alexandre told me to wear it."-
[09:21] <Minaplo> [He cleared his throat. "Ahem. 'I don't care if you think you can handle the bloody cubs, I can't afford to lose a pilot to an accident!'"-
[09:21] <Minaplo> ["So now I gotta wear this fire-resistant crap." Said Remy darkly.]
[09:21] * Minaplo is now known as AdEvaGM
[09:27] <Yanmei> It was a smart move. Yanmei nodded in approval. "Don't think of it like that. He's obviously just really worried about you?"
[09:28] <AdEvaGM> ["They say the same about the Testsuits, too." Said Remy lowly.]
[09:35] * Yanmei scowled. "No one ever says that about Testsuits. Completely unheard of."
[09:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Then what's the purpose, huh?"]
[09:40] <Yanmei> "To torment us. And me specifically. Because Technical's full of jerks."
[09:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Exactly." Said Remy. "Don't you see? Alexandre is tormenting me by mocking my abilities, hey! We're on the same side!"]
[09:47] <Yanmei> "He'll probably force Asuka to wear the same thing when she takes her cub home," Yanmei pointed out.
[09:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Allies!"]
[09:57] <Yanmei> "Hmm." Things would happen like that, wouldn't they? Asuka and Remy finding common ground in their misery… and then scheming together to get back at Fontaine. Yanmei smirked to herself. "How are the little guys, anyway?"
[09:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, they're great. Not so little anymore, heh. Come take a look, I'll make the cell transparent for you."]
[09:58] * Yanmei came a little closer to the cell in question. "They -were- growing pretty quickly the last time I was here," she admitted out loud.
[10:13] <AdEvaGM> ["Yep."-
[10:14] <AdEvaGM> [The walls quickly 'faded' away- soon only the glare of the light against the surovite was left.-
[10:15] <AdEvaGM> [Within were two cubs, down from three… But the two seemed to have made up the difference with aplomb.-
[10:18] <AdEvaGM> [The one nearest to the wall was about three feet tall at the shoulder- at this point, nearly as tall as Lupe… Who was considered a pretty big wolf.-
[10:18] <AdEvaGM> [And furthermore, this cub(?) had more… Presence. It seemed heavier, more filled out, more powerful, its head seemingly oversized to the rest of its body.-
[10:19] <AdEvaGM> [Both cubs were at rest, tearing hunks off meat off a bone they'd each been given. Their metallic fur gleamed in the light.]
[10:24] <Yanmei> "G-geez," Yanmei muttered, staring. It had only been a few weeks since she had dropped that little one off with Eevi… oh god. Was it growing up just as quickly as these guys? She waved at the barrier, as if trying to cheerfully attract the closest lion's attention.
[10:28] <AdEvaGM> [It glanced up at her for a brief moment, then looked back down at its meat.-
[10:28] <AdEvaGM> ["Aren't they gorgeous?"]
[10:37] <Yanmei> "Y-yeah. They're something! Uh. Have you checked up on Eevi and her own cub recently?"
[10:38] * Minaplo (~ua.ten.tenii.nyd.651-352-602-302|olpaniM#ua.ten.tenii.nyd.651-352-602-302|olpaniM) has joined #nervfrance2
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[10:39] <Minaplo> ["'Course." Said Remy cheerfully. "She's fallin' in love, you can tell…"]
[10:50] <Yanmei> "Oh good. At least they're getting along? And… she's taking care of it properly, right?"
[11:06] <Minaplo> ["Yep yep." Said Remy. "The cub loves her, loves being up close to her, hey. And she really respects it- you can tell…"]
[11:15] <Yanmei> "I've got to hand it to you? You were right about them. Things really worked out."
[11:17] <Minaplo> ["Mmmhmm." He beamed.-
[11:17] <Minaplo> ["Oooh, that reminds me. Got something of your own you should look at."]
[11:18] <Yanmei> "Oh…? Oh! That's right. The spider?"
[11:26] <Minaplo> ["Mmmhm. Wanna come in and give the little guy a hold, hey?"]
[11:29] * Yanmei felt a shiver go down her spine. "Do you think I should?" she said cautiously. "It's probably massive by now. And spitting all sorts of venomous acid at people…"
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["It's venom's paralytic, and besides, I've been keeping its sacs tied, hey." Said Remy. "And it's not that big. Only about a foot and a half across."]
[11:35] <Yanmei> "That -is- big. It's a -spider-."
[11:35] <Minaplo> ["Yep." He said, heading for the door.-
[11:35] <Minaplo> ["Oh, you got any metal on you?"]
[11:37] <Yanmei> "I might be carrying a weapon or two," she admitted. "Why?"
[11:38] <Minaplo> ["Magnetic spurs in its legs." Said Remy. "Uses 'em to propel its long homing jumps."]
[11:41] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei carefully unbuckled and pulled off a holster, finding a spot on the floor somewhere out of the way to place it. Then she eyed Remy's back, waiting worriedly to see what he would do next.
[11:50] <Minaplo> [He didn't have any metal, so he just walked over to the door.-
[11:50] <Minaplo> [Albus was watching this with great interest.-
[11:50] <Minaplo> ["Ready?" Asked Remy.]
[11:51] * Yanmei squared her shoulders like a proper fearless Chancellor and nodded. "Of course?"
[11:55] <Minaplo> [He nodded slowly- then opened the door and swiftly stepped inside. "Quickly!"]
[11:55] * Yanmei followed!
[11:56] <Minaplo> [The door snapped shut behind her.-
[11:57] <Minaplo> [The great spider was sitting in a roof corner on the other side of the room. It was huge; a glossy black carapace glinted in the light, and Yanmei could see the great dozen eyes staring soullessly out.-
[11:57] <Minaplo> [It didn't move. Its long legs- each long enough to reach her face from her stomach- did not even twitch.]
[12:05] * Yanmei stared back, unmoving. "W-what do we do now…?"
[12:06] <Minaplo> ["Well, you gotta go pet it."]
[12:07] <Yanmei> "It doesn't look like it wants to be petted," Yanmei observed.
[12:07] <Minaplo> ["It needs to get a feel for you."]
[12:18] <Yanmei> "…" She checked briefly to see if Albus was also watching this before she squared her shoulders yet again and slowly advanced on the terrifying creature.
[12:20] <Minaplo> [It didn't react to her.]
[12:26] * Yanmei slowly reached for it, the other hand held up in front of her to demonstrate that she was unarmed.
[12:28] <Minaplo> ["You're doing good." Said Remy. "Make sure to go for the underbelly."]
[12:33] * Yanmei was barely listening. Suppose it used those long legs to leap at her face? Very awkwardly, very briefly, she touched its back.
[12:37] <Minaplo> [It reared back suddenly for a second, its legs bending, before it went still again.]
[12:48] * Yanmei had pulled back a bit at the movement, watching, her brow furrowed. There was no face-jumping. She was safe. So she tried it once more.
[12:50] <Minaplo> [It was still this time. Its chitinous plate felt hard and cold.-
[12:50] <Minaplo> ["Alright, you're good now, hey." Said Remy.]
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[13:00] * Yanmei exhaled. "Ok. So we've bonded, right? Time for us to leave its habitat and let it sleep or whatever?"
[13:00] <AdEvaGM> ["Right."]
[13:02] * @Oat (~971.15.291.271|02tahCdnA#971.15.291.271|02tahCdnA) Quit (Quit: Bye)
[13:03] * Yanmei nodded. She eyed the creature. "So long, King Spider," she said, and backed away for the door.
[13:04] <AdEvaGM> [The spider stared as she went.-
[13:04] <AdEvaGM> [It pulled its legs back, and slowly, like a book slipping off a bookshelf, tumbled.-
[13:05] <AdEvaGM> [Mid-fall, the tips of its legs split open; Yanmei caught a split-second gleam.-
[13:06] <AdEvaGM> [It tore across the room in a clean, unerring flight.-
[13:06] <AdEvaGM> [It caught against the wall, not crumpling or bouncing off, but adhering to it, once again as still and unmoving as a sleek, malevolent statue.]
[13:12] <Yanmei> Yanmei's jaw had dropped open. That was -fast-. If they were even just a little careless while opening the door, it could soar past them and out to freedom in an instant! Was it, perhaps, waiting for the right opportunity? She watched it extra warily for signs of scheming.
[13:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Magnetic leaping." Said Remy. "I've seen an adult do that, smash right into a car…"]
[13:15] <Yanmei> "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it," Yanmei muttered. "Come on. Let's go before it gets even more excited…"
[13:17] <AdEvaGM> […-
[13:17] <AdEvaGM> ["Fascinating." Said Albus, as they emerged from the cell.]
[13:24] <Yanmei> "Isn't it? Have you ever encountered a wild one before, Mr Albus?"
[08:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, yes." Said Albus. "Just the once."]
[08:04] <Yanmei> "What happened? Did it attack you?"
[08:07] <AdEvaGM> ["No no. I was visiting the Great Spider Clan. Their beasts are very placid."]
[08:13] <Yanmei> "Ah, I see. I wonder if they kept them penned up like this too? Seems like a free-roaming spider would be a happy spider."
[08:14] <AdEvaGM> ["They kept them in fields and barns as appropriate."]
[08:26] <Yanmei> "Ahh. I knew it. Before long, it'll get too big for a cell like this one."
[08:33] <AdEvaGM> ["Almost certainly." Said Albus. "Perhaps now would be a serendipitous time for our perspicacious sovereign to invest in a manse?"]
[08:36] <Yanmei> "Like… an estate or something? I guess so. But I can only see it becoming a target and getting bombed or set on fire on by a Dysangelion or something."
[08:37] <AdEvaGM> ["A clandestine locale, then."]
[08:38] <Yanmei> "Yeah. I'll have to think about someplace clever."
[08:41] <AdEvaGM> ["So then!" Remy slapped her on the back, hard. "You need something, Yanmei?"]
[08:44] * Yanmei jumped slightly, whirling around at him. "Hey!" she complained, and then frowned. "Hmph. Have you two heard the news? About what's going on with the Angelspawn living in Africa lately?"
[08:50] <AdEvaGM> ["You mean their organised behaviour?" Asked Remy.]
[08:50] <Yanmei> "Well, that's one thing. But now it looks like they're breeding too."
[08:52] <AdEvaGM> ["How perturbatory." Said Albus solemnly.-
[08:53] <AdEvaGM> ["Hrm." Remy frowned. "Yeah, I heard that too…"-
[08:53] <AdEvaGM> ["So you've come to ask what I think, hey?"]
[08:57] <Yanmei> "Yeah. I mean, let's face it? You're our resident wildlif expert. So…"
[08:57] <Yanmei> ^wildlife
[09:03] <AdEvaGM> ["You hungry?"]
[09:13] <Yanmei> "Huh? Are you? We could get something to eat if you want."
[09:21] <AdEvaGM> ["I've been workin', hey."-
[09:22] <AdEvaGM> ["I, too, will partake of your convalescence." Said Albus.]
[09:31] <Yanmei> "Right, then. We'll go to the cafeteria or Blue's or something. I'll leave the two of you to pick?"
[09:37] <AdEvaGM> […-
[09:38] <AdEvaGM> [The Brother-waiter placed their meals down. A spicy red lentil curry for Remy, and a three foot high plate of spaghetti bolognese for Albus. And for Yanmei…?]
[09:43] <Yanmei> Stuffed peppers and a glass of soda. She happily started on the soda at once.
[09:57] <AdEvaGM> ["So the Angelspawn're reproducing, organising and making a big old mess, hey?" Said Remy. "Did you speak to Ma and Pa?"]
[10:02] <Yanmei> "Um… whose Ma and Pa, specifically, are you talking about?"
[10:04] <AdEvaGM> ["Sorry. Ezra and Sarah." He said, wincing. His cheeks were red.]
[10:06] <Yanmei> Curious! "Oh. Yes, I did. They were the ones who discovered this and publicly revealed it."
[10:10] <AdEvaGM> ["What'd they think?"]
[10:15] <Yanmei> "They didn't give a concrete explanation about why. They seemed more concerned with containment. What happened is that they found a large feral impact snake corpse with a lot of Annihilator egg sacs laid inside it."
[10:26] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmmmm. Egg sacs…"-
[10:26] <AdEvaGM> ["This is new behaviour, is it not?" Asked Albus.-
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[10:27] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah. We didn't even know they had the capacity." Said Remy. "Hrm. Doesn't make sense…"]
[10:31] <Yanmei> "It really doesn't?" Yanmei agreed. "I mean, we would have noticed if they'd had that capability, right? Even if it was dormant?"
[10:36] <AdEvaGM> ["It's more than that." Said Remy. "It has to do with the AT Field."-
[10:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, I see." Said Albus. "Perhaps you'd prefer if I explained what good Mr. Awala means?"]
[10:37] <Yanmei> "Certainly."
[10:39] <AdEvaGM> ["What is an Angelspawn, soul-wise?"]
[10:46] <Yanmei> "Soul-wise? Isn't it, like, an offshoot of the parent's soul? A fragment or a sliver of it?"
[10:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Correct." Said Albus. "Each Angelspawn is a sliver of the mother's own soul. Usually a miniscule amount… A drop in an ocean, perhaps."-
[10:49] <AdEvaGM> ["Let's compare it to actually producing a child." Said Albus. "When a human being conceived, do you know what happens, spiritually?"]
[10:51] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Two souls mix together to form a brand new one that's different from the two parents'."
[10:57] * Eli (971.15.291.271|ilE#971.15.291.271|ilE) Quit (Quit: [01:50] <Syntax> There's no laws against polygamy in space)
[10:59] <AdEvaGM> ["Almost." Said Albus with an indulgent smile. "The connection forms a spark, but our AT Fields aren't powerful enough to form whole new souls, so Lilith provides the rest."-
[11:00] <AdEvaGM> ["However, souls also return to Lilith when they die, and so sometimes instead of creating a new soul, Lilith dispatches a departed soul instead. AT Fields being what they are, though, usually the soul was created by one or both of the parents…"-
[11:01] <AdEvaGM> ["Although the reincarnated soul is still marked indelibly by its new parents."-
[11:01] <AdEvaGM> [Remy was frowning slightly.-
[11:02] <AdEvaGM> ["So a very old soul like yours, my dear Chancellor, has probably mothered or, indeed, fathered thousands or tens of thousands of souls over the years… And in turn you've probably had thousands of parents, too."]
[11:09] <Yanmei> "Right." She looked a little uncomfortable at the idea of fathering all those souls, and literally tried to shrug it off. "I think I remember some of those details from the AT Field lectures I've gotten over the years. So where do we go with this in relation to these new Angelspawn?"
[11:18] <AdEvaGM> ["The reproductive methods of Angels are unknown to us." Said Albus. "Is it asexual, where they split? Is it sexual? Does it vary from Angel to Angel? Maybe it is just a sheer act of will. The only thing we know is that no Angel was ever able to produce another full Angel. Only Adam did that."-
[11:19] <AdEvaGM> ["So it follows that these shards of an Angel, the Angelspawn, would not be able to produce either. Such tiny shards wouldn't possess the presence of soul. At best, they might be able to divide a sliver into two tinier slivers, or hijack a full AT Field like Shadowmen or the Metatron Virus do."-
[11:20] <AdEvaGM> ["But they are." Said Remy, interjecting. "There were hundreds of eggs in that snake, hey?"-
[11:20] <AdEvaGM> ["Correct." Said Albus. "So the question is this: where do the slivers of the offspring come from?"]
[11:29] <Yanmei> "Hold on, now. Metatron had an insane talent for imagining and creating 'life'. Maybe some of the spawn she made had bigger than normal chunks of her soul in them. Like, big enough to allow them some limited reproduction capabilities of their own."
[11:41] <AdEvaGM> ["So you're suggesting that these special Angelspawn can create new souls?" Said Albus. "Albeit very weak ones by an Angel's reckoning?"]
[11:44] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Although the timing is a little weird if that turns out to be the case? Why have they only now just started to do this if they had the ability all along?"
[11:51] <AdEvaGM> ["It would be most advantageous for Metatron to have used this ability instantly, you're right." Said Albus.-
[11:51] <AdEvaGM> [Remy was rubbing his chin thoughtfully…]
[11:58] <Yanmei> "Maybe, instead, something happened to Metatron's soul when she died? Like, instead of returning to Adam, it went into some of the Angelspawn."
[11:59] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh that's bad, hey." Said Remy. "I just had a terrible thought."]
[12:01] <Yanmei> "Yeah?"
[12:16] <AdEvaGM> ["What if it is shards?" Said Remy. "Like you said, some of her soul goes into the Angelspawn, and they can now reproduce. But let's say she did… something to her soul, something tricksy, and now these Spawn are drawing shards from her core soul in Adam?"-
[12:17] <AdEvaGM> [Albus's eyes narrowed. "That would mean Metatron's soul is slowly bleeding back into the real world, assuming that's true."]
[12:22] <Yanmei> Yanmei frowned down at her relatively untouched meal. "It wouldn't be the first time someone's yanked a soul out of Adam. But the fact that it was initiated by an Angel or its spawn… that's really weird. Why would Metatron do that?"
[12:23] <AdEvaGM> ["Because optimally, once the number of Angelspawn reach critical mass, it is possible they could merge." Said Albus. "Back into Metatron."]
[12:27] <Yanmei> "We are -not- fighting her again! There must be a way to block this before the Angelspawn population gets that high. If we talk to Surov and Vercingetorix, we'll be able to figure out a solution."
[12:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Hopefully." Said Albus. "Presumably bombing the Angelspawn to kingdom come will help somewhat too."]
[12:45] <Yanmei> "Well, yes. Every bit will help." Yanmei sighed. "Although I'd rather we use our resources for fighting Caine if we can help it."
[12:51] <AdEvaGM> ["Agreed. Perhaps Metatron predicted this predicament."]

(19:56:46) Yanmei: "I'm really starting to hate her," Yanmei grumbled, and quickly drained the rest of her drink.
(19:59:49) AdEvaGM: ["Of course, there's one problem with all this, hey." Said Remy. "It's still just a theory without any…"-
(19:59:52) AdEvaGM: [His eyes lit up.-
(19:59:55) AdEvaGM: ["Evidence."]
(20:01:11) Yanmei: "What?" Yanmei's eyes narrowed. "What's with that look?"
(20:02:28) AdEvaGM: ["The best way to gather evidence would be to find Angelspawn and capture them, hey!"]
(20:06:17) Yanmei: "Don't you have enough strange creatures to take notes on? Who's going to look after the Armored Lions while you're off doing that stuff?"
(20:21:15) AdEvaGM: ["Well, we can capture 'em and bring 'em back here…"-
(20:21:48) AdEvaGM: ["I could handle the Lions." Said Albus magnanimously. "There are a few remarkable bon vivants amongst my number who have some zoological aptitude as well."]
(20:26:07) Yanmei: "I don't like the idea of us housing a live, hostile Angelspawn on the ship?" Yanmei said frankly. "I will concede that we need to study them up close, so I will speak to Technical and come up with a proposal that is safe for everyone involved. If you can convince Fontaine to give his approval, then I'll put your name down as one of the specialists for the trip."
(20:33:00) AdEvaGM: ["C'mon, Chancellor, you know I gotta be on it. Who else would you take?"]
(20:41:04) Yanmei: "Yeah? That's why I said I would put you down for it? But you're also on active duty, so your team leader needs to approve it too. Fontaine will totally be okay with it, too."

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