This Too Shall Pass 3 2 5

[15:35] <Raphael> In The Ermine - the relatively posh bistro Raphael had found himself in during his brief stint away from Sera de Pteres - time marched on. He'd remained there for some time after his brief chat with Monica, drinking (Though less than he appeared to) and eating… but mostly for a lack of anything better to do. He'd been ordered away from his posting, with strict orders to not be back for
[15:35] <Raphael> at least three hours.-
[15:35] <Raphael> But he was in a foreign city, surrounded by at least three separate security teams. Sightseeing did not seem like an option.-
[15:35] <Raphael> Now and then he'd fiddle with his phone - a rugged, bulky looking thing designed for security - but otherwise he seemed a little lost.
[15:40] * @Vera was with Rosamund and quite possibly was bored herself. With the bureaucrats working on the treaties… it left her not a whole lot to do until the signing. So there she was in the Ermine, and… she noticed something that Did Not Add Up. …Soon, Raphael would see the modest-sized Brazilian Colonel purposefully marching towards his table, and… "Strange to see you around here…
[15:40] * @Vera UEF sent you for some kind of backup or a much-needed vacation?"
[15:46] <Minaplo> [Rosamund is not quite there because she's ordering booze, and a little bit of food to make the booze seem socially acceptable.]
[15:47] <Raphael> Raphael looked up quickly, seeming a little surprised to have yet more unexpected company. Still, the phone was quickly put away. "I'm here with security, ma'am. Colonel… Feritas, correct? I apologise if I'm mispronouncing it."
[15:50] * @Vera nodded. "Frei-tas." Sounded like a long 'a' at the beginning. "Feritas sounds like some kind of bizarre shorthand of the latin 'in ferro veritas'." She chuckled. "May I sit, Pilot Ikari?"
[15:55] <Raphael> Raphael's wince was slight, but noticeable.-
[15:55] <Raphael> "Ah. I'm not Pilot Ikari, I'm afraid. You're welcome to take a seat, though," he said, gesturing to one of the unoccupied places. "I forget to make it clear sometimes during introductions. It's a bad habit. I'm Captain Raphael Guillory, of UEF SOS."
[15:59] * @Vera sat, now, and her head sort of… canted vaguely, as if processing. "…Oh. …oh. It's you, the… aha. The one the Guard keep talking about. I forgot the whole…" She wagged her hand over in his direction, actually, as while sitting she set down her stuff - a glass of sparkling wine and a plate of what looked like… sphagetti? Hm. "…thing. Very sorry, Captain Guillory."
[15:59] * @Vera Beat. "You looked bored, in case you were wondering. Deathly so."
[16:04] <Raphael> "You forgave my slip with your name, so there's no reason for me to be bothered by yours," He smiled, taking a quick sip of his drink - water this time. "I suppose I was a little bored. It's been a busy few weeks, and taking a moment of quiet feels… wrong, I guess."
[16:07] * @Vera scrunched her face. "Problems with relaxing? …Sounds almost too career-soldier if you ask me. But I'd hardly be right in taking that out of you. Nor capable, ahaha." It was a light, almost nonpresent laugh. "Maybe talking shop within reason might be better? Or perhaps about the daily life, if not that? Something to get our minds off of waiting."
[16:08] <Minaplo> ["Speaking of, hope you didn't wait too long~" Said Prescott.-
[16:09] <Minaplo> [She brought a bottle of white wine for herself and Vera, as well as a plate of turkish bread with dipping oils.-
[16:09] <Minaplo> ["Company account as usual." She said cheerfully, placing the bottle down in front of Vera before turning to Raphael.-
[16:09] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[16:10] <Minaplo> [Her eyes lit up.-
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["Oh hello." She said sweetly, bending over to look at him. "What's a cute underage pilot like you doing in a dive like this~?"]
[16:11] * @Vera nigh instantaneously cringed.
[16:13] <Raphael> Raphael's smile held, but he glanced at Vera in what was clearly a request for assistance.
[16:14] <Minaplo> ["Did you slip away from your security~?" Purred Rosamund, sitting down… Next to Raphael.-
[16:14] <Minaplo> ["Don't worry. I'll take good care of you…"]
[16:15] * @Vera slowly turned to Rosamund. "Lieutenant Rosamund Prescott, that is UEF SOS Captain Raphael Guillory. I made that mistake myself, but I did not attempt to seduce him." Beat. "Besides, he has to be in his late 30s by now, mentally."
[16:16] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[16:16] <Minaplo> ["C-C-Captain Raphael 'Vampire' Guillory?!" She said, going pale. "The man who slaughters Guard and feasts on their hearts?!"-
[16:16] <Minaplo> ["Oh my god!" She clapped her hands over her mouth. "I just hit on a crazy old man…"]
[16:19] * Raphael pressed two fingers gently against the corner of his eye, managing to restrain himself to a -quiet- sigh. "I never ate their hearts, Lieutenant Prescott."-
[16:19] <Raphael> "… and it's mid-thirties." He added, a touch defensively.
[16:20] <Minaplo> ["I'm so sorry." Said Rosamund, looking mortified. "I could just die…"]
[16:21] * @Vera was sort of managing a rueful giggle, not very mature on her part. "Your reputation is interesting, surely. That you became such a legend is only fitting considering what you're formally documented to have done." Sudden turn to Rosamund. "Only with the correct paperwork, dear."
[16:25] <Minaplo> [Rosamund just mumbled.]
[16:26] <Raphael> "I have an interesting line of work," he admits, leaning back in his chair. He glanced at Rosamund. "Don't concern yourself with it, Lieutenant. I understand reports about me can become a little… jumbled."
[16:27] <Minaplo> ["So you never wore a bear's head and hide into battle?"]
[16:27] <Raphael> "Not that I can recall."
[16:28] <Minaplo> [She looked crestfallen.]
[16:28] * @Vera thought. "Wasn't that the Parisian pilots?… I think I recall something about that…"
[16:29] <Minaplo> ["Tech Guard Anthony down in Materials said that Zhang Yanmei bathes in six litres of armored lion blood before every battle."]
[16:30] <Raphael> "That would be a -shocking- waste of resources, ma'am."
[16:31] <Minaplo> ["I absolutely agree!"]
[16:31] <Raphael> "I'm not even sure where we'd source that," he said, frowning a little now.
[16:32] <Minaplo> ["If she's interested, I could set up a regular supply chain for a small fee."]
[16:32] <@Vera> "…Yes, that level of decadence sounds a bit sil- NO. There is no use for that anyway!"
[16:32] <Minaplo> ["There's always use for money!"]
[16:33] * Raphael coughed. "That's a… erm, kind offer, Lieutenant, but I'm not sure the Chancellor would be interested in taking up the habit."
[16:33] <@Vera> "The blood!… Why don't we just… not start offering deals or potentially talking about Brazilian resource pools…" She looked a bit exasperated.
[16:33] <Minaplo> [Rosamund coughed. She began hastily working on her bread.]
[16:37] <Raphael> Raphael seemed to be exerting a great deal of effort to avoid laughing as he turned his attention back to Vera. "So, Colonel Freitas-" Correct pronunciation this time, "- are you happy with the talks so far?"
[16:39] * @Vera nodded. "I am, actually. I'm glad Brazil's measure went through, and while some of the other measures seemed to have a few oddly hamstringy clauses, the two parties mostly got everything under control and accepted the humanitarian premises without too much… stupidity or trickery." Then a distant smile. "Ezra was as nice as always, too."
[16:42] <Raphael> "You're familiar with the Marshal?"
[16:43] <@Vera> "Yes! I once worked alongside him during the /very/ rare crossovers between the NeoAlexander and NeoSpartan programs. We were in similar positions, though there was more of my kind, as compared to his one-and-only or near-to."
[16:45] * Raphael raised his eyebrows a little. "You were a NeoAlexander, then? Forgive me if I'm being rude."
[16:49] <@Vera> "Ssssort of." She said. "Too old for it by a few years. I'm actually a former NeoAlexander /mentor/. I and the other, like… 19 or so mentors worked on training the others. I worked with a number of people you probably know… and others you only sort of know. Lieutenant Prescott here was one of my students, too."
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["Yep." Said Rosamund. "Sucked at tactics, rocked at logistics. 499 losses, 1 draw."-
[16:52] <Minaplo> ["No wins. Although that draw was a win all of its own." She said smugly.]
[16:53] <Raphael> "How did you force a draw?"
[16:54] <Minaplo> ["Well, uh… So I had to fight Minerva Linden, right? You know her. Course ya do."-
[16:59] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, so the battle begins the way it always begins. With me losing. Except way faster. I was gonna suffer a three minute loss." Said Rosamund dramatically. "So, I could either sit there and watch myself lose, or I could think outside the box."-
[16:59] <Minaplo> ["So I figured, my actually being here commanding my forces wasn't gonna change anything. Instead, I left."-
[16:59] <Minaplo> ["Walked right out the door." She said solemnly.-
[17:00] <Minaplo> ["Then I ran over to Linden's command centre, kicked open the door and, before any of her schmucks could react, tackled her ass to the floor, tugged on her hair and told her to cry uncle!"-
[17:00] <Minaplo> ["… She didn't and the match got suspended for misconduct, but fuck it, that's a win in my book!"]
[17:01] * @Vera chuckled quite firmly. "Probably the best story one can get from the Alexander program that's rated for mixed company."
[17:15] <Raphael> … it didn't take long for Raphael to start -laughing-, properly this time - not even limiting himself to a chuckle. "She would have been -furious-."
[17:16] <@Vera> "Doubly furious at being reminded of it, probably~" …Did she just give Raphael blackmail material for a constant thorn in his side without realizing it? Maybe.
[17:17] <Minaplo> ["Triple furious if I did it again." Said Rosamund. "I could still totally take her."]
[17:17] <Raphael> "She has better bodyguards now, I assure you."
[17:17] <@Vera> "And admittedly, while it was impressive in the program…" Vera let that trail off.
[17:18] <Raphael> "A good story, though."
[17:18] <Minaplo> ["Thanks!" Said Rosamund. "And yeah, it's totally different if I'm tryin' to floor the President of the US…"-
[17:19] <Minaplo> ["She goin' ok though?" Rosamund leaned forward. "Treating you ok?"]
[17:20] <Raphael> "As well as one can be in a situation like this," Raphael said, smiling again. "Should I pass on a hello?"
[17:20] <Minaplo> ["From me at least…" She said, turning inquiringly to Vera.]
[17:21] * @Vera nodded. "Or maybe from both of us, really. I mentored for her too. It was honestly hilarious to see that given that." Her player is totally establishing that the mentors probably rotated students every now and then to teach different things~
[17:22] * Raphael nodded firmly. "I'll do that, then."
[17:23] <Minaplo> ["So she still have that grumpy-faced jerk around?"]
[17:24] <Raphael> "… I'm not sure who you mean."
[17:25] <Minaplo> ["Um… What's his face. St. Fraction. Oops. That's not it…"]
[17:25] * @Vera shook her head. "I know who you mean but his name isn't supremely memorable to me either. But St. Francis would be a less mocking name, sure…"
[17:28] <Raphael> "St. Francis is still with her, yes," Raphael said carefully, aware that he might be stepping into an unfamiliar minefield. "We haven't spoken much, but we've met in passing."
[17:29] * @Vera seemed to detect Raphael's unease, and… "Oh, don't worry too much. He's just been consistently stiff throughout much of his life, is all."
[17:32] <Raphael> "I see."
[17:32] <Minaplo> ["Especially around Linden, hoho- sorry."]
[17:34] * Raphael gave her a mildly disapproving look, sensing a change in topic might be useful. "Your proposal for bioexotic rights during the talks was a good one, Colonel. It's sorely needed."
[17:35] * @Vera instantly grimaced. "Now now. Don't think /everyone/ hasn't dipped their Lance of Longinus into a waiting Sea of Dirac, Rosamund." The sudden topic shift caught her off-guard and brilliantly redfaced. "…Y-yes."
[17:35] <Minaplo> ["Wow. Time to get drunk."-
[17:35] <Minaplo> [Rosamund started on that wine.]
[17:36] * Raphael gave her an extremely strange look.
[17:37] * @Vera cleared her throat. "That was a reference to the NeoAlexander program's extremely horrible record vis a vis fraternization. A very tasteless one on my part. I got… in the moment."
[17:37] <Raphael> "… It's fine," he said, a little too hastily. Topic change, topic change.-
[17:39] <Raphael> "In any case, may I ask what brought about the proposal? I know you've accepted a good number of Iron Guards after the fall of the LN…"
[17:40] <Minaplo> ["You're not allowed to eat them." Mumbled Rosamund under her breath.]
[17:40] <Raphael> Another Look Rosamund's way.
[17:40] * @Vera tilted her head. "…Well it was in… lieu of… uh, what?"
[17:41] <Minaplo> [Rosamund mumbled and returned to her wine.]
[17:42] * @Vera turned back to Raphael. "AHEM. It was in interest of the Guard we picked up, and honestly? There's always some benefit to these kinds of things. In our case, better treatment of Guard and other bioexotics tends to return significant morale and respect interest. And it probably indirectly benefits the UEF and UN, but well…~"
[17:43] <Raphael> "It benefits everyone, if we leave the factional politicking aside," Raphael said.
[17:46] * @Vera nodded. "If we do, if we do. There's a lot of people who'll appreciate those granted rights…" Then a smile. "In fact, if you heard that you must've been watching the proceedings… Did you notice something about when I asked a question during the AI debate?"
[17:47] <Minaplo> ["She was dying to know if someone noticed." Said Rosamund sagely as she poured another glass of wine.]
[18:20] <Raphael> "Asking about the internment? I noticed. I wasn't sure whether you were asking out of curiosity or whether you were playing an angle, though."
[18:30] * @Vera smiled. "Yes, but I used the pronoun 'her'. I was trying to give some empathy to the struggle because… well. I'm sure you know Dr. Surov, yes?"
[18:32] * Raphael smiled faintly. "I didn't pick up on that. Well done. And yes, I'm familiar with Surov."
[18:34] <@Vera> "Well… Brazil's superheavy defense program inherited one of his colleagues, a Dr. Adler. Who… let's say…" She had a strangely uncomfortable expression on her face. "Considers himself, and for legitimate reasons, a co-father of Sarasvati."
[18:37] <Raphael> His eyes widened a little, not able to mute all of his surprise. It took him a moment to voice a reply. "… I see."
[18:40] * @Vera then quickly added. "…Don't tell Surov that. Adler is hardly an endearing man, for the exact opposite reasons that I've heard Surov is, from him."
[18:42] <Raphael> … that triggered a frown, if only as Raphael tried to imagine what the exact opposite of Surov's unpleasantness could be.-
[18:44] <Raphael> "I see," He said again, with a little less certainty this time. "Well, my lips are sealed. On that note, please understand if I'm unable to confirm or deny any details regarding the AI."
[18:47] * @Vera nodded. "I know /that/ well enough. It's enough to know that I know, and you know what I likely know." A wink. "But yes. The LN's bonds seem to tie our nations and/or… transnational entities… closer than one thinks. Just as the Neo- programs give me a link to Ezra and no doubt a number of UN magistrates."
[18:56] * Raphael nodded. "Inevitable, given the way the LN ended. Too many talented individuals without a cause to cling to."
[18:59] <Minaplo> [Rosamund had spent the time washing her shame away in the sweet embrace of sparkling white.-
[19:00] <Minaplo> ["Dr. Adler's totally weird." She said slowly. "'Barzy Baby, Barzy Baby~'…"-
[19:01] <Minaplo> ["He hit on me once." Said Rosamund. "Told me my market manipulation was like a sweet symphony, only he was trying to say it in French so he was all…"-
[19:01] <Minaplo> [She leaned in close to Raphael and closed her eyes, pouting her lips out as though seeking a kiss. "Foux da fa fa ma cholie hurrrr."]
[19:03] * @Vera …turned. "…Rosamund, his vulnerable underage looks are deceiving. Not /every/ heart he eats has to be Guard."
[19:05] <Minaplo> ["R-Right. Right. Crazy old man, crazy old man." Rosamund slid away, going back to her drink. "Crazy old man…"]
[19:05] <Raphael> "… I should speak to whomever is telling you these things," he muttered sullenly, eyeing his empty glass with longing.
[19:06] <@Vera> "You say that." Vera began. "But do you /really/ want to talk to the kind of man who freely proclaims his disdain for 'metal boxes' by stomping them and then beating them apart with their own turrets?"
[19:07] <Raphael> "Apparently I'd just eat his heart, ma'am, so it would probably be fine."
[19:07] <Minaplo> ["I'm sorry…"]
[19:08] <@Vera> "And you without chianti, just an empty glass of water." A hand reached out to pat pat Rosamund on the head without even skipping a beat.
[19:09] <Raphael> "Quite."
[19:09] * @Vera waved a hand. "Either way, you just seem a bit too professional for that kind of personality."
[19:10] <Raphael> "Oh yes, until the battle rage takes hold," he said mildly.
[19:11] * @Vera nodded. "At which point you channel the fury of the legendary berserker maiden. Slurp. Sluuuurp." She was seeming to enjoy this.
[19:12] <Minaplo> ["Oh shit, that's why you look like him!" Said Rosamund with the tone of someone making an incredible discovery.]
[19:12] <Raphael> "… Yes. Yes, that's right, Lieutenant."
[19:13] * @Vera conspiratorily stage-whispered. "We don't have the intel on the real reason why, so I will /spare your honor/ and not pry."
[19:13] <Minaplo> ["Heehee, we rhyme."]
[19:15] <Raphael> "Appreciated, ma'am," he said, talking around Rosamund. "As you said earlier, some stories aren't for mixed company."
[19:17] <Minaplo> [Rosamund was content to shamefully return to her boozing.]
[19:19] * @Vera nodded. "Very much so."
[19:23] * Raphael gave Rosamund a glance. "… Will she be alright, Colonel?"
[19:23] <Minaplo> ["Your face is alright."]
[19:24] <Raphael> "You implied that earlier, yes."
[19:24] * @Vera eyed Rosamund. "…I think she has been too eager to get drunk. My only concern would be…" She thought. "His face is, dear, but that is hardl- You know what." …she reached for the bottle.
[19:25] <Raphael> "… Possibly for the best, ma'am."
[19:28] <Minaplo> ["You know who else looks… alriiiiight?"]
[19:28] <Raphael> "…"
[19:29] <Minaplo> ["That… That guy." She said. "The white-haired guy. Next to Ezra. He had pretty eyes."-
[19:29] * @Vera grabbed. Locked. Clamps engaged. "I shall evoke the eternal words of 'you have had enough, missy'. And from you I shall take, as it is only my duty to, and in so I-" She started to snig-… then. Then. "…You mean the…" Totally derailed.
[19:29] <Minaplo> [Rosamund fluttered her eyelids at Raphael, dunked a piece of turkish bread into some olive oil, then proceed to try to eat it seductively but mostly managed to jab it into her chin.-
[19:30] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh. I mean the…"-
[19:30] <Minaplo> ["The that guy."]
[19:31] * @Vera had by then removed the bottle. "You should be glad your drunken ramblings about members of Neo-NERV distracted me from Kant. Kant was so bland."
[19:31] <Minaplo> [This sent Rosamund into an endless cycle of breathless giggles.-
[19:32] <Minaplo> [For the next good five minutes, Raphael and Vera were free of her youthful indecency.]
[19:35] <Raphael> "… Well," he said finally, having been remarkably short of things to say after witnessing the… whatever Rosamund had been trying to achieve with the bread. "Yes. Yes."
[19:36] * @Vera bridged her hands. "Are you not entertained, Raphael?"
[19:40] <Raphael> "Surprised how similar this is to speaking with those from the UEF, actually. I thought we were just a product of NERV's… specific environmental requirements."
[19:41] * @Vera nodded her head, almost wishing she had some kind of lens to brightly glint at him with and not quite knowing why. Or maybe knowing exactly why. "…I get the sense that it's all the colorful LN personalities conflicting with NeoAlexander alumni."
[19:48] <Raphael> "I wouldn't be at all surprised, ma'am."-
[19:49] <Raphael> He was quiet for a moment, the sounds of conversation replaced with Rosamund's giggling fit. "… So did you work with all of the NeoAlexanders? I get the impression it was most of them, at the very least."
[19:51] * @Vera nodded. "I at least taught one class with each one in it. We did mentoring individually and then some group classes. I happened to have a unique perspective that I think left an amusing legacy on its own."
[19:51] <Raphael> "Oh?"
[19:57] * @Vera nodded. "Yes! Namely… I may have been part of a shortsighted proto-Alexander officer project centered on the use of philosophy to produce unorthodox tactics…"
[20:05] <Raphael> "… I shouldn't be surprised to find out there were more of those programs," Raphael said, but he still sounded a little disappointed. "Two… semi-successful ones inevitably means a hundred poorly thought out iterations."
[20:06] * @Vera …didn't nod, instead just smiling softly. "Oh yes, but I'm among the few that came out remotely coherent from it. Mr. Guillory, how much do you know about… Taoism? This is not a preface to a long rambling diatribe on the subject, I assure you."
[20:07] <Minaplo> ["Deception~~~"]
[20:08] * Raphael glanced Rosamund's way, but didn't seem to pay it much mind. "Not a tremendous amount I'm afraid. My parents were lapsed Catholics, and I didn't even inherit that."
[20:13] * Syntax is now known as Sept
[20:13] <@Vera> "Ahaaa. The long and short is that a lot of what I took from it into my tactical style is the art of 'flow' and letting one's subordinates become honed enough to know what your intent is at the exact moment you know it. I won't lecture on it, and that'd be telling anway~" Beat. "But I assume you have developed a more pragmatic style based on your squad-tactical experience, yes?"
[20:23] <Raphael> "Hmm. I don't know that I've ever given a great deal of thought to my style, exactly," Raphael says, scratching his cheek. He glances at Rosamund again. "Other people seem to have done that for me."
[20:24] <Minaplo> [She jabbed his chest with her bread.]
[20:24] * Raphael eyes the new oil stain on his jacket with some distaste and set to dabbing at it with a napkin.
[20:24] <Raphael> «eyed*»
[20:25] * @Vera …peered at Rosamund. "Ssso they have." She didn't facepalm. She was more mature than that by far. "I imagine if the stories are true, heartfeasts aside, then you must have more of a… spiritual presence. Something that inspires men to face the impossible." She didn't at all read your character sheet, no.
[20:27] <Minaplo> ["And women too~"]
[20:27] <@Vera> "Hush, dear."
[20:34] <Raphael> "… I'm afraid it would seem a little egocentric if I agreed with that, but I appreciate you saying so," Raphael said politely. "As is often the case, the team matters as much as the commander."
[20:37] * @Vera smiled. "On that, we agree."
[20:42] <Minaplo> ["Vera's the best though." Said Rosamund dreamily.]
[20:43] * @Vera chuckled a little at that. "Though she has reason to be thankful, I headhunted her specifically to be my resources officer…"
[20:43] <Minaplo> ["I crashed the South 'Merican gold market to get us cheaper prices!" Said Rosamund cheerfully.]
[20:44] * Raphael raised an eyebrow. -Slowly-.
[20:44] * @Vera smiled winningly. "She is also very drunk, Mr. Guillory."
[20:56] <Raphael> "Of course."-
[20:58] <Raphael> "May I ask what work you do for Brazil, ma'am? Given your history and your colleagues, it doesn't strike me as though you're working in one of the ordinary branches."
[20:59] <Minaplo> ["We're working in an extraordinary branch!" Said Rosamund. "Like… Like lemme tell you…"]
[21:00] * Raphael smiles just a little. It's as though he were wishing for glasses to glint with…
[21:01] * @Vera actually walloped Rosamund firmly. "Experimental superheavies, a rarity among the League powers! I could wax poetic about the Dragaos, but little miss drunken master would probably give you the full specs without trying, which my superiors would Dislike."
[21:02] <Minaplo> ["Ow!"-
[21:04] <Minaplo> [Rosamund whined, rubbing the struck area with one hand and reaching for the wine Vera had cruelly stolen with the other.]
[21:19] * Raphael chuckles. "Of course, I can understand that. Apologies for putting you in an awkward position."
[21:22] * @Vera pondered something. Looked around - likely noticing her security detail around there /somewhere/. …and slid the bottle back to Rosamund. "It's nothing major. You probably already know half of it if you've looked at your intel." But then she winked. "Of course the other half is where I get to have fun~"
[21:27] <Raphael> "And that would be where you used that Doctor Adler you mentioned, I imagine," Raphael chuckled.
[21:28] <Minaplo> ["Wheeeee." Rosamund began pouring herself a glass of wine.]
[21:28] <@Vera> "Oh, definitely. We might not have the research manhours that the UEF or UN has, but we've a significant edge in Brazil." She said with a grin.
[21:35] <Raphael> "I don't doubt it," he said, trying to avoid looking -too- worried at Rosamund's return trip to the bottle. "An old colleague of Surov's, you said…?"
[21:53] * @Vera noticed him looking, and conspiratorily actual whispered, "She's nearing her tolerance. We have wastebins in the hotel." But then… "Yes. From the LN days? Honestly, he's a multidisciplinary like Surov is, but beyond that, I mostly know him for his… ah… personality."
[21:55] <Raphael> "How so?"
[21:55] * Raphael does not a little at her aside, though.
[22:02] <@Vera> "Put simply… he's very excitable, a hopeless romantic, and hopeless at romance. Seems to like anyone smart enough to be considered a genius in their field, too." Vera explained. "Regardless of nearly any other trait. …Also gleefully crosses the line at times when it comes to… guh, research, socializing, anything."
[22:04] * Raphael was squinting at her, at least as much as politeness would allow. "… And he survived working with Surov?"
[22:04] <@Vera> "A mystery deeper than the deepest Angelic lore." Vera intoned gravely.
[22:05] <Minaplo> ["Yu… You get it wrong." Said Rosamund accusingly.-
[22:05] <Minaplo> ["S'not 'surov'. S'Barzy Baby'."]
[22:06] <Raphael> "It is not," Raphael said with absolute certainty.
[22:06] <Minaplo> ["S'though."]
[22:07] * @Vera paused. "I do not at all put it past him to refer to him as such. Adler acts like they're still a couple, and I hear about Sara in the same conversation that I talk about Sol in - my own daughter."
[22:09] * Raphael kept his attention on Vera, having lived with Suzie long enough to avoid being dragged into that particular mire. "… -Were- they a couple?" He said - more curious than judging. The idea of Surov being capable of a relationship at all had likely never occured to him.
[22:10] <Minaplo> ["S'how they make robobabby!"]
[22:10] <Raphael> "…"
[22:10] * @Vera …made a long sigh. "Th… the way Adler sells it, you'd almost think they were. But realistically probably not. I'm sure Surov is deeply disturbed by the man. As evidenced." She mouthed 'Soon' at Raphael.
[22:11] <Minaplo> ["S'makin' it that's the fun parrrrrt." She said, purring at Raphael.]
[22:11] <Raphael> "…" He nodded once at Vera with utter solemnity.-
[22:12] <Raphael> "Surov is… difficult to comprehend if you have not met the man, and even then it is a struggle."
[22:19] * @Vera looked just as grim right back. "I will say so. My /guess/ is that he is - all due respect to your organization - an asocial madman with a surly streak thousands of klicks wide. …If Adler's indirect testimony is anything to go by."
[22:28] <Raphael> "No offense taken. And that is… not incorrect." He paused, clearly trying to find a polite way to phrase his own sentiments and coming up short. "He's been shockingly reasonable with my own daughter, and I happily give him credit for that, but that tends to be the exception."
[22:29] <Minaplo> ["Oh my gosh." Said Rosamund.-
[22:29] <Minaplo> [She leaned in close to Raphael and in doing so, tapped into the Hivemind.-
[22:29] <Minaplo> ["Raffybabby."]
[22:30] * Raphael sighs, wincing. "-Adopted- daughter. And hardly a baby."
[22:31] <Minaplo> ["Dopty Raffybabby."]
[22:31] * @Vera almost looked impatient, as if 'SOON' wasn't soon /enough/. "I wouldn't be surprised! For some reason little kids seem to disarm the two of them. Adler just gives me puzzleboxes to give to Sol every now and then. Ones even with interlocking parts so they don't pop out as a choking hazard - which is thoughtful enough."
[22:34] <Raphael> "I believe Surov only tolerates Suzanne because of her fascination with machines," Raphael chuckles.
[22:36] * @Vera slowly nodded, as if appraising new information. "Oh, is she? I can't really speak for Sol, she's still pretty young yet to show clear interests."
[22:37] * Raphael nodded. "May I ask how old she is? Young enough to be worried about choking hazards, clearly…"
[22:40] <@Vera> "Almost three. She turns in July." Vera noted with a gentle smile.

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