This Too Shall Pass 3 4 14

[00:06] * Yanmei was busy tidying up her office. It had been a long time since she'd had actual guests who weren't on a monitor. She had to do something about the mountain of paperwork piled on her desk…-
[00:12] <Yanmei> Still keeping an ear out for anyone approaching the door, she opened one of her desk drawers and began to very hastily cram document after document inside. Out of sight, out of mind~
[00:17] <Minaplo> [Yanmei would soon hear muffled footsteps, then-
[00:17] <Minaplo> [A series of beeps. Someone had pressed the doorbell.]
[00:22] <Yanmei> "!" Yanmei quickly shoved the rest of them in, and then brushed at the surface of her desk with her hand hastily. Then she sat down, primped briefly, threw on her most refined and imposing face, and pushed the button behind her desk that unlocked the door.
[00:23] <Minaplo> [The door opened with a light 'shunt'.-
[00:23] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko Akagi stepped inside. "You called?"]
[00:25] <Yanmei> "I did. Please, have a seat?" Yanmei gestured to the stuffed chair sitting on the opposite side of her desk. "Thank you for coming."
[00:28] <Minaplo> ["Always happy to entertain the woman paying my salary." Said Ritsuko, taking a seat.]
[00:28] <Yanmei> "Heh. How are things over in technical these days?"
[00:32] <Minaplo> ["Flat-out busy as all ways. How are things in Command?"]
[00:38] <Yanmei> "Same." Yanmei almost sighed. "Are you guys okay without Surov around?"
[00:39] <Minaplo> ["We're… Managing, but we're getting a lot less done without Surov and Sarasvati." Said Ritsuko with a sigh.]
[00:45] <Yanmei> "Hm. I'm sure they'll be back any day now. Try to hang in there?"
[00:45] <Minaplo> ["I had an idea, by the by, on how to make hanging in there easier." Said Ritsuko casually.]
[00:45] <Yanmei> "Yeah?"
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Double our funding?" Asked Ritsuko lightly.]
[00:57] * Yanmei laughed. "'fraid not. Good try, though."
[01:02] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."]
[01:05] <Yanmei> "Sorry. You know I would if I actually had the extra money around…"
[01:07] <Minaplo> ["Yeah yeah, we have to steal and borrow as is."]
[01:10] <Yanmei> "Not 'steal'," Yanmei said, lowering her voice and looking around self-consciously. Not that there was anyone else in the room with them.
[01:16] <Minaplo> ["Well we do." Said Ritsuko. "A third of the lab's made with UN equipment."]
[01:21] <Yanmei> "That equipment was abandoned by them, that's all." She folded her arms stubbornly. "We just happened to give it a new home."
[01:37] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, what'd you want?"]
[01:39] <Yanmei> "Mmph. There's something I'm curious about. How well do you know Sera de Pteres?"
[01:45] <Minaplo> ["Well… Decently, I suppose." Said Ritsuko slowly.]
[01:51] <Yanmei> "Oh. Well, what do you think of him? Like, in general."
[01:52] <Minaplo> ["That's… A kind of hard question to answer. I dunno, I think he's got a kind heart."]
[01:54] * Yanmei paused. She seemed vaguely puzzled, as if she was expecting something else. -
[01:55] <Yanmei> "Have you guys talked much since we got off Mars?"
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, a fair amount."]
[02:23] * Yanmei nodded. "I know he's been spending a lot of time in technical lately, so I thought that might be the case? No problems or concerns with the stuff he's been doing?"
[22:56] <Minaplo> ["He grates on some people, and has a gift for saying the wrong thing, but he's not a bad worker." Said Ritsuko. "And he's not so stupid as to go around touching what he shouldn't."]
[23:00] <Yanmei> "Okay, then. No erratic behavior or anything like that? And he's keeping his AT abilities under control for the most part?"
[23:00] <@Minaplo> ["Yes. And he's not being any more erratic than is usual for him. Why?"]
[23:03] <Yanmei> "Just curious? I figured it wouldn't hurt to check up on him now and then, given what happened with Ayanami Rei and all…"
[23:21] <@Minaplo> ["You mean the happiness vampire thing?"]
[23:22] <Yanmei> "Is that the scientific term for it?" Yanmei grinned. "But yeah, exactly."
[23:23] <@Minaplo> ["Do we know what that was all about?"]
[23:27] <Yanmei> "Not the details, no. It was something one of his lances did on her own. You know, the weird one? Surov has more information about it."
[23:28] <@Minaplo> ["Hm."]
[23:32] <Yanmei> "Also…" She hesitated. "Don't tell him, okay? But I think he's more than just 'grated' on a few people."
[23:34] <@Minaplo> ["Oh?" Ritsuko smirked.]
[23:35] <Yanmei> "It's true," she said solemnly. -
[23:37] <Yanmei> "In all seriousness, he's made some people suspicious with his attitude toward Mary Caine? I figured I'd ask around a little, keep an eye on his current projects, and all that."
[23:38] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm, well. Not everyone knows they're 'family', do they?" Said Ritsuko. "Sera's got really sacred ideals about family, you know…"]
[23:41] <Yanmei> "So he does." She hesitated again. "Does he consider you family as well? I mean, with Tsubaki and all…"
[23:42] <@Minaplo> ["Uh, let's say it's a grey area." Said Ritsuko.]
[23:44] * Yanmei raised her eyebrows. "I see~"
[23:45] <@Minaplo> ["… What?"]
[23:48] <Yanmei> "Nothing," she said quickly. "Let's go back to what you were saying about family, because I agree with you about it. I haven't wanted to approach it, but I'm not blind to his delicate position in this war or anything?"
[23:50] <@Minaplo> ["Uh-huh."]
[23:53] <Yanmei> "Truth is, some of the people he's pissed off who are also in the know about it consider that to be an additional reason not to trust him."
[23:54] <@Minaplo> ["Well, that's understandable too."]
[23:58] <Yanmei> "Honestly, I've considered locking him in a room with them - one on one - and having them stay there until they come to an understanding. My secretary tells me that'll be dangerous, though."
[00:00] <@Minaplo> [She snorted. "That's what we have Skald Island for.']
[00:03] * Yanmei frowned. "Not exclusively? The Parisian pilot team was sent there even though our teamwork was top notch."
[00:04] <@Minaplo> ["Hah!"]
[00:05] <Yanmei> "W-what do you mean 'hah'?! What have you heard?"
[00:07] <@Minaplo> ["Look, I don't want to get bogged down in stories about the Parisian team and their legendary capacity for 'teamwork'."]
[00:08] <Yanmei> "The world didn't end, so it's not like we ever screwed up that badly."
[00:09] <@Minaplo> ["That doesn't suggest 'top notch', though."]
[00:17] <Yanmei> "Hmph. Anyway, you're sure you haven't seen him being weird or suspicious?"
[00:19] <@Minaplo> ["Objectively weird or suspicious, or weird and suspicious by the special standard we set him?"]
[00:21] <Yanmei> "Special standard, please."
[00:24] <@Minaplo> ["Mmmm, don't think so…? I mean, the Lances put a different skew on things."-
[00:24] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I guess he got into a fight with Maya the other week, but…"]
[00:31] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah… what was that about again?"
[00:38] <@Minaplo> ["She felt he was being a cad with Tsubaki's feelings."]
[00:39] <Yanmei> "…" -
[00:40] <Yanmei> An angle she hadn't considered before. That Maya was sharp! "Was he?"
[01:01] <@Minaplo> ["Well… It's complicated."]
[01:11] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah?" Her eyes were bright with curiosity.
[01:21] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Ritsuko bluntly.]
[01:23] <Yanmei> "…"
[01:23] <@Minaplo> ["…"]
[01:24] * Yanmei sighed. "Fiiine. I won't pry."
[01:25] <@Minaplo> ["Ta." Said Ritsuko, leaning back in her chair.]
[01:31] <Yanmei> "Speaking of Tsubaki… I was planning on talking to her soon. How's her mood been lately?"
[01:34] <@Minaplo> ["Well, there was that little tantrum the other week, you remember?"]
[01:34] <Yanmei> "Yes, the fire."
[01:39] <@Minaplo> ["Right. Well, good news is, she's past that now."]
[01:41] <Yanmei> "Oh good. But, being in an Eva everyday for so long has to be stressful for her, right?"
[01:41] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, it is. She's… Very bored." Said Ritsuko. "And when she becomes bored, she tends to make her own entertainment."]
[01:42] <Yanmei> "Well, that sounds ominous. Nothing too worrying, I hope?"
[01:46] <@Minaplo> ["I've found her looking where she shouldn't a few times. That's kind of what happens."]
[01:51] <Yanmei> "Oh. Yeah, she actually admitted to that once? I gave her a firm lecture about it."
[01:51] <@Minaplo> ["Heh."]
[01:59] <Yanmei> "Would you mind if we walked over and paid her a quick visit?"
[02:01] <@Minaplo> ["Hm? Now?"]
[02:02] <Yanmei> "Sure. I mean, unless you had any questions for me that you wanted to bring up?"
[02:08] <@Minaplo> ["Uh… No."]
[22:24] <Yanmei> "Alright, then~" Yanmei stood up. She grabbed her phone to make sure that she would be easy to reach if anything happened, and then let Ritsuko lead the way.
[22:30] <@AdEvaGM> […-
[22:31] <@AdEvaGM> [("This is a surprise.") Said Tsubaki. She clapped her hands on her cheeks and opened her mouth into a perfect 'o' to underline the point.-
[22:32] <@AdEvaGM> [Tsubaki of course was within her Entry Plug and was talking through the bank of viewscreens that made up the EVA-03 Monitoring Station. EVA-03 itself was directly in front of Yanmei.-
[22:32] <@AdEvaGM> [("What brings Her Excellency all the way to the hindquarters of the ship?")]
[22:39] <Yanmei> "I'm surprised you don't already know," said Yanmei dryly. She folded her arms. "Let's have a chat, shall we?"
[22:42] <@AdEvaGM> [("Okay, guilty as charged~") Said Tsubaki with a grin. ("What's up?")]
[22:47] <Yanmei> "The topic of the day is Sera de Pteres. The two of you have made up since your last fight, right?"
[07:57] <@AdEvaGM> [("… Sure.")]
[07:59] <Yanmei> "So you've been hanging out and stuff when you get time?"
[08:03] <AdEvaGM> [("A little, yeah.")]
[08:11] <Yanmei> "Has he talked about Ezra Caine much when he's with you? Or Mary Caine?"
[08:20] <AdEvaGM> [("Only in a roundabout way.")]
[08:24] <Yanmei> "Hasn't said anything, like, alarming or anything concerning his relationship with them?"
[08:32] <AdEvaGM> [("Nnnnot really. Sometimes it seems like he feels frustrated because of how he's treated due to his connection with them though.")]
[08:36] <Yanmei> "Mm. Since the Massacre, people have been incredibly on edge about it? And he probably isn't coming across very well on top of all that."
[08:38] <AdEvaGM> [("The burden of loving Prince Asaka.")]
[08:41] * Yanmei winced at that. -
[08:43] <Yanmei> "*Ahem.* Do you think that we should try to ease tensions? How bad is it, exactly, from your perspective?"
[08:48] <AdEvaGM> [("Nah, I'm happier when everything's super tense.")]
[08:49] * Yanmei tsked. "This isn't a tv drama, you know."
[08:49] <AdEvaGM> [("Well of course it's not. That was sarcasm.")]
[08:50] <Yanmei> "Er. Right." Yanmei coughed lightly.
[08:50] <AdEvaGM> [("Anyway, let's see. If it's hard for people to work with Onii-chan, then it's a major problem.")]
[08:56] <Yanmei> "No one has outright refused to work with him yet, so that's one upside? But the resentment is very much there, especially in the upper ranks. Marianne, for example…"
[08:57] <AdEvaGM> [("Yeah, there's a sapling planted long ago.")]
[09:00] <Yanmei> "I know, right? Correcting that is going to be hard. But I think I should try to somehow?"
[09:04] <AdEvaGM> [("Have you considered locking them in an elevator?")]
[09:09] <Yanmei> "Very funny?" Yanmei gave her a rather sulkily glare before looking away. "It's not even that bad of an idea," she grumbled defensively.
[09:10] <AdEvaGM> [("I was being serious.")]
[09:12] <Yanmei> "You were?"
[09:13] <AdEvaGM> [("Yeah.")-
[09:13] <AdEvaGM> [Ritsuko sighed.]
[09:22] * Yanmei rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Your sister suggested Skald island earlier. Seems like the sort of thing an OD should experience at least once?"
[09:23] <AdEvaGM> ["Revenge is a bad motivation." Said Ritsuko quickly.-
[09:23] <AdEvaGM> [("It's only revenge if you drop Frederic on it too.") Said Tsubaki. ("Hmm…")]
[09:26] <Yanmei> "Believe me, I want to? But his wife would rend me limb from limb. He's on baby duty nowadays after all…"
[09:27] <AdEvaGM> [("But… He is close to Sera.") Said Tsubaki. ("The three of them together might be able to help solve your problem.")]
[09:33] <Yanmei> "That's… actually true," she admitted. "Hmmm…
[09:33] <Yanmei> ^"
[09:34] <AdEvaGM> ["You're actually considering this, aren't you?" Said Ritsuko slowly.]
[09:37] <Yanmei> "A mediator changes things so that there's less chance of bloodshed," Yanmei said cheerfully. "It might actually work?"
[09:37] <AdEvaGM> ["But Skald Island is a wasteland." Said Ritsuko.-
[09:37] <AdEvaGM> [("There are other places. I'm preparing a list.")]
[09:38] <Yanmei> "Ah, thank you. That'll be helpful?"
[09:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh my god."]
[09:39] <Yanmei> "What?"
[09:50] <AdEvaGM> [("Onee-chan's just being boring. Okay, so I've narrowed it down to six locations, varying by terrain, climate, richness and lethality.")]
[10:06] <Yanmei> "We don't want it too leathal," Yanmei pointed out. "We'd be in a huge fix if one of them was injured? Someplace peaceful, and pretty, with only a couple of animals around that they'd have to punch through."
[10:11] <AdEvaGM> [("But they'd need an impetus to work together, so it can't be too gentle, right?")]
[10:17] <Yanmei> "We could handcuff them together?" Yanmei suggested.
[10:19] <AdEvaGM> [("Kinky.")-
[10:19] <AdEvaGM> [Ritsuko let out a sigh that was almost a snort.-
[10:19] <AdEvaGM> [("… But probably not what you're going for. In any case, removing Finland and Siberia from the list.")]
[10:23] * Yanmei nodded - and then paused. "Sibera? God, that's intense."
[10:28] <AdEvaGM> [("Nice and cold, so they'd have to snuggle together naked.")]
[10:31] <Yanmei> "What sort of trip do you even think this will turn into?" She tried not to look at Ritsuko, who was undoubtedly fuming with jealousy.
[10:31] <AdEvaGM> [Ritsuko was not fuming with jealousy. Her eyebrows were simply raised very high.-
[10:31] <AdEvaGM> [("Well, you wanted them to put their differences aside…")]
[10:37] <Yanmei> "Yeah, that's true? But snuggling together naked…" she blushed, and then shook her head. "Anyway, what's left?"
[10:48] <AdEvaGM> [("Alaska, Indonesian Australia, Dakota and Tibet.")]
[10:57] <Yanmei> "We could do Indonesian Australia? Maybe send them there under the premise of some mission, like finding more territories willing to join us."
[10:57] <AdEvaGM> [("And then we dump 'em in the rainforest and run.")]
[11:00] * Yanmei nodded, clearly pleased with herself
[11:01] <Yanmei> ^.
[11:11] <AdEvaGM> ["… You're not really doing this, are you?" Said Ritsuko.]
[11:15] <Yanmei> "You seem to have some reservations about this, but you haven't actually stated what they are," Yanmei pointed out.
[11:15] <AdEvaGM> ["You're dumping the marshal of the AE Corps in foreign territory with her XO and one of our key Eva pilots." Said Ritsuko.]
[11:20] <Yanmei> "Just for a few days! The chances of being attacked in that time are pretty small, right?"
[11:20] <AdEvaGM> ["But…"-
[11:21] <AdEvaGM> [("They dumped the entire Parisian Eva corps on a dinky little island with wolves and bears for one week. It would've been two if the island hadn't been nuked by a solar-beam Angel.") Said Tsubaki. ("This is like, way better.")-
[11:21] <AdEvaGM> ["Mmgh…"]
[11:30] * Yanmei nodded in agreement. "And, of course we can modify the plan if needed? Have a craft nearby waiting to whisk them back at the slightest provocation. Or, if we're -really- hard-pressed we could try to create our own mini Skuld Island here on the ship. Holographs and giant spiders and armored lions…"
[11:33] <AdEvaGM> [("I could create localised weather patterns!")]
[11:34] <Yanmei> "You can do that inside the ship? Huh…"
[11:35] <AdEvaGM> [("Yep. If you ever want me to make it rain on someone…")]
[11:35] <Yanmei> "Like the old men from SEELE?"
[11:36] <AdEvaGM> [("No reason why not!")-
[11:37] <AdEvaGM> ["No causing miniature weather anomalies." Said Ritsuko firmly. "Three times is too many!"]
[11:38] <Yanmei> "Three times?! When?"
[11:46] <AdEvaGM> ["She caught Maya in a tiny snowstorm a few days ago." Said Ritsuko darkly. "And then last week, she sent rains after Alphonse and drenched his dress uniform."-
[11:46] <AdEvaGM> [("Heehee.")-
[11:48] <AdEvaGM> ["And then before that, she dropped a hurricane on Chii and Go…"-
[11:48] <AdEvaGM> [("Poor Go was so embarrassed~")-
[11:48] <AdEvaGM> ["And Chii was murderous." Muttered Ritsuko.]
[11:50] * Yanmei laughed. "I can imagine? Chii's scary sometimes, so you need to watch out. I guess you've got to get your entertainment from somewhere, though, right?"
[11:55] <AdEvaGM> [("Hahaha, see? Yanmei gets it. If you could, who would you storm on?")]
[11:56] <Yanmei> "I told you, those two old men? Maybe Lilly Norling too."
[11:58] <AdEvaGM> [("Hmmm… Maybe, a freak rainstorm on Norling, leaving her wet and cold, then I lock her door so she can't change…")]
[12:05] * Yanmei laughed. "That's too perfect? I bet it'd be easy for you too."
[12:06] <AdEvaGM> [("All too easy~")-
[12:06] <AdEvaGM> ["Enough." Said Ritsuko, sharply jabbing Yanmei in the ribs. "I never expected the two of you bonding over misuse of godlike power, but now that I think about it I should've seen this coming."]
[12:12] <Yanmei> "It's not abuse if it's just a prank," Yanmei mumbled, rubbing her ribs.
[12:13] <AdEvaGM> ["Well then, I'm sure you won't mind when Tsubaki inevitably decides to 'prank' you by trapping you in a snowstorm or blowing your clothes off or something…"]
[12:14] <Yanmei> "?!" Yanmei peered at the monitor with a worried expression.
[12:14] <AdEvaGM> [Tsubaki gave her a wide-eyed innocent look.]
[12:22] * Yanmei coughed lightly. "Anyway, since we're on this topic… I'm wondering if there's stuff we can do to make your time working here less tedious in general."
[12:25] <AdEvaGM> [("Hmmm… Well, a lot of the time I'm here by myself with no one to talk to and nothing to do.")]
[12:33] <Yanmei> "So maybe if you were given actual tasks to do, like research, with frequent communication with other researchers, it might help?"
[14:27] <Minaplo> [("Maybe.") Said Tsubaki. ("So long as it's not boring research.")]
[14:32] <Yanmei> "Hmm. I'm sure technical has lots of exciting projects on the backburner, right?" she peered at Ritsuko
[14:32] <Minaplo> ["… Sure." Said Ritsuko slowly. "They'd be work, though, not just a fun hobby. You'd have to stick with them constantly."-
[14:32] <Minaplo> [("Meh.")]
[14:34] <Yanmei> "I might have some other short-term projects for you to work on too?" Yanmei added casually. "Matters of UEF security and all that."
[14:40] <Minaplo> [("More work…")]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "It's just watching people. You do that already."
[14:42] <Minaplo> [("Don't you know that if you take someone's hobby and make it work, they grow to hate it?")]
[14:47] <Yanmei> "Geez." Yanmei frowned. "I said 'short term'. What do you even consider not-boring?"
[14:51] <Minaplo> [("Reading, chatting with friends, being told stories, watching other people, playing pranks… Other things.")]
[14:54] <Yanmei> "Oh. Easy then? We'll put an e-reader function in OTIS if it isn't already available, give you more frequest breaks so you can hang out with people, and send more people to hang out with you in between."
[14:57] <Minaplo> [Tsubaki frowned.-
[14:57] <Minaplo> [("More breaks? You know why that doesn't work.")]
[15:00] * Yanmei sighed. "Yeah, sorry. I forgot?"
[15:06] <Minaplo> [("Lucky you!")]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "I said sorry!" Yanmei huffed. "We'll forget the breaks, okay?"
[15:15] <Minaplo> [("Fine. Keep the people hanging out with me, though, that I like.")]
[15:16] * Yanmei nodded firmly. "Also, you basically have control of the ship's comms? You could talk to people through that whenever you wanted. Although, yeah, during emergencies you're probably going to get bumped off."
[15:21] <Minaplo> [("Yeah, but it's different when they're actually here.")]
[15:25] <Yanmei> "Okay. I think I understand."
[15:28] <Minaplo> [("Also, OTIS here has an e-reader and a reference computer and all that, but do you know what it really needs?")]
[15:28] <Yanmei> "What?"
[15:30] <Minaplo> [("A better internet connection and a library of modern video games.")-
[15:30] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko sighed.]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "I'm surprised James Riel hasn't already been on top of that?" Yanmei muttered. "That said, I'll asked him to fix that on the condition that he doesn't provide access to his sort of games."
[15:33] <Minaplo> [("No need for that!") Said Tsubaki quickly.]
[15:34] <Yanmei> "Good. If you can think of anything else that'll make the time go by faster, please let me know?"
[15:36] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko coughed lightly and leaned in to whisper in Yanmei's ear.]
[15:47] <Yanmei> "…" -
[15:47] <Yanmei> "Just for the record," she clarified, "There will be no cgi naked pilots floating about in OTIS's databanks now or ever."
[15:55] <Minaplo> [("Hmph.")-
[15:55] <Minaplo> [("Oh, there is one other thing.") Said Tsubaki. ("Drinks. I would like drinks, in special LCL-proof flasks or whatever, delivered to me every hour.")]
[15:56] <Yanmei> "Like… non-alcoholic, right?" she said slowly.
[15:57] <Minaplo> [("Yeah, mostly milkshakes and stuff. If you could get the cute guy from Blue's to deliver it, that'd be a plus~")]
[15:57] <Yanmei> "Cute… guy?"
[16:03] <Minaplo> [("He's looking after the bar whilst Blue's away~")-
[16:03] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko rolled her eyes.]
[16:03] <Yanmei> "Zhengsheng?" Yanmei's eyes narrowed dangerously.
[16:07] <Minaplo> [("Ooh, that's it!")]
[16:07] <Yanmei> "That idiot is so fired."
[16:13] <Minaplo> [("What?! Why?")]
[16:17] <Yanmei> "Let me guess. You went in for a drink and got all the flirting in response?" She rolled her eyes. "I told him he'd be in trouble if he went around bothering pilots like that."
[16:18] <Minaplo> [("Oh please. It wasn't like that at all.") Said Tsubaki with a huff. ("He just has pretty eyes and a cute smile. Trust me, he's too smart to try flirting with the other Tsubaki.")]
[16:19] * Yanmei frowned suspiciously.
[16:20] <Minaplo> [("He clearly had more eyes for Ni, after all~")]
[16:22] <Yanmei> "What?! Disapproval!!"
[16:22] <Minaplo> ["Stop teasing her, Tsubaki." Said Ritsuko with a sigh.-
[16:23] <Minaplo> [("Alright, alright… Still wouldn't mind seeing him around here though.") Said Tsubaki airily. ("I could… Share your concerns with him? In a totally subtle way.")]
[16:23] <Yanmei> "I'm sure," she said dryly. -
[16:24] <Yanmei> "Whatever. He's busy with the bar now? But when Blue gets back, we'll see."
[16:24] <Minaplo> [("Hm~")-
[16:24] <Minaplo> ["Is that all, Tsubaki?" Said Ritsuko irritably.-
[16:24] <Minaplo> [("Well. Actually, there is one other thing.")]
[16:26] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah?"
[16:27] <Minaplo> [Tsubaki tapped her fingers gently against her control sticks.]
[16:29] * Yanmei stared blankly. "Huh?"
[16:30] <Minaplo> [("Picture a man on an island.") Said Tsubaki. ("He's trapped on the island by himself, although the island is very lush and beautiful and full of trees.")-
[16:34] <Minaplo> [("Picture a man on an island.") Said Tsubaki. ("He's trapped on the island by himself, although the island is very lush and beautiful and full of trees.")-
[16:34] <Minaplo> [("The man has the power to turn into a bird and fly away, but whenever he does, he gains the brain of a bird as well, so not only does he not know where to go, he doesn't even remember what he was supposed to do. All he can do is return to the island, which is when he remembers. But the same thing just happens over and over.")-
[16:35] <Minaplo> [("Right now, Yanmei, I have incredible power. I can create weather, read minds, make things burst into flame- but I can't walk around, touch other people, even be near them unless they come to me. For all that power, I'm basically trapped in here. When I'm not, I'm stupid and vapid.")-
[16:35] <Minaplo> [("How long am I gonna be like this?")]
[16:37] <Yanmei> "I don't know," she admitted after a long pause. "I wouldn't even know how to look for a cure…"
[16:38] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko was quiet as well- not even looking at Yanmei or Tsubaki.-
[16:39] <Minaplo> [("It sucks.") Said Tsubaki, her voice hard. ("I'm actually really smart, you know. Super smart. I know lots of stuff, and I like having fun and talking to people, but I can't be that out there. I just become a space case. I mean, look at you. You're surprised that weirdo little Tsubaki turned out to be someone you can have jokes and fun with, aren't you?")]
[16:42] <Yanmei> "A little," she admitted quietly. "And I'm sorry for thinking that way. It really does suck, and I'm sorry."
[16:49] <Minaplo> [("Yeah.")-
[16:50] <Minaplo> [She sighed.]
[16:52] <Yanmei> "Look, I can't promise much, because I'm not a scientist or an AT wizard, or whatever, but I'll try to start up something that can provide some answers. Maybe, once we know the cause, we can come up with solutions."
[16:53] <Minaplo> [("Okay.")]
[16:56] * Yanmei gazed at her a moment longer and then stretched her back a bit. "I'd better get going," she said quietly. "But it really was good talking with you. I'll visit again soon?"
[16:57] <Minaplo> [("Okay. See you.")-
[16:57] <Minaplo> [She then cracked a smile. ("Bring your cousin next time~")]
[16:58] <Yanmei> "Hmph. Gotta punch him a few times first."
[16:58] <Minaplo> [("Avoid his face~")]
[17:02] * Yanmei snorted. "Let's go, Doctor Akagi."
[14:31] <Minaplo> [Ritsuko led her back to her lab in Engineering.-
[14:31] <Minaplo> [She sighed and flopped down at a table. "What a mess."]
[14:35] <Yanmei> "I'll say?" Yanmei muttered. She stood standing, not really looking around, but not really focusing on Ritsuko either. "I guess if technical had many ideas about how to help her, I would have already gotten a proposal for it on my desk."
[14:36] <Minaplo> ["Here's the thing. We know why it's happening."]
[14:37] <Yanmei> "…you do?"
[14:40] <Minaplo> ["It's 03." Said Ritsuko. "Since day one, whenever Tsubaki's synchronised with the Eva, it's flooded her with bursts of overwhelming sensations of love."-
[14:41] <Minaplo> ["At first this made her hyperactive, but the sensations were so powerful that she quickly became addicted to it. Removing her from the Eva is an extremely… Uncomfortable experience for her, and the withdrawal symptoms are so potent that she becomes… Well, you've seen her." Muttered Ritsuko.-
[14:42] <Minaplo> ["Over time she's built up a tolerance for it, so she's just her usual self in the plug. But now she's in there twelve hours a day, and the withdrawal symptoms have been becoming steadily worse."]
[14:44] <Yanmei> "Doesn't that mean we should have someone take over for her? I know we're short on candidates, but this can't go on."
[14:54] <Minaplo> ["Who exactly?" Said Ritsuko.]
[14:57] <Yanmei> "I don't know? One of the Ayanamis…?"
[14:59] <Minaplo> ["03's temperamental." Said Ritsuko. "There's no guarantee it'd accept her. And consider that it treats Tsubaki with overwhelming love."-
[15:00] <Minaplo> ["Tsubaki is a half-sister to the Ayanamis. Gendo was her father. My mother… Loved him quite a lot. How do you think she'll react to his 'other' children?" Said Ritsuko.]
[15:00] <Yanmei> "…"
[15:02] <Minaplo> ["And we can't just tear 03 out and put another Eva in without giving it a lot of thought." Said Ritsuko. "03's a stable Eva in most other ways, and only Evas with unlimited S2 Organs are able to give out enough energy. The only units with such a trait are 01, 03 and 04. And you and Sera just aren't as good at AT Field manipulation."-
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["So… Yeah, search me." Said Ritsuko.-
[15:03] <Minaplo> [There was a slight hydraulic hiss as the lab door opened. "Hi, Senpai. Hi, Chancellor."-
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["Hi, Maya."]
[15:05] * Yanmei turned, blinking. "Hi," she said distractedly.
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["… Everything okay?" Asked Maya, her cheerful smile turning into a concerned frown.]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "Just finished paying a visit to Akagi and 03," Yanmei sighed. "We're trying to come up with ideas about her situation? But it's not going smoothly."
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["There's not a lot we can do, is there?" Said Maya.]
[15:17] * Yanmei frowned thoughtfully. "Permanent synch…?"
[15:19] <Minaplo> ["Is that such a good idea?" Said Ritsuko with a frown.]
[15:23] <Yanmei> "Probably not? We want to get her back to a point where she can function normally without the Eva. I just can't think of any more ideas…"
(15:24) <Minaplo> [Maya sidled up a little closer. "We could rush S2 Organ funding." She said lightly.]
(15:25) <Yanmei> "We could… if we had money," Yanmei agreed.
(15:28) <Minaplo> ["We could… Get more money?"]
(15:29) <Yanmei> "From where?"
(15:30) <Minaplo> ["We could sell Korea." Said Maya.]
(15:33) <Yanmei> "China would have something to say to that." Yanmei shuddered at the thought. "Actually, I was thinking more about going into mass food production instead?"
(15:34) <Minaplo> ["It'd take too much time." Said Ritsuko.-
(15:35) <Minaplo> ["Besides." Maya gently brushed something off of Yanmei's shoulder. "We don't really need money for research."]
(15:36) <Yanmei> "That's not what I've been hearing. You guys are a complete money pit?"
(15:39) <Minaplo> [Maya huffed. "That's not my point! We don't need money, we need equipment and materials, it's just that money is what gets us all of that. If you could figure out how to cut out the middle-man, that is, money, you could keep your money and we could do our jobs."]
(15:42) <Yanmei> "Like… taking over more equipment 'abandoned' by the UN. Or acquiring one of their bases filled with equipment."
(15:44) <Minaplo> ["Exactly." Said Maya. "We capture their scientists, take over their bases and equipment, raid their laboratories… Oh, and we could maybe capture a Dysangelion too and cut it up to study."-
(15:45) <Minaplo> ["Heh. Easier said than done I'm sure." Said Ritsuko.]
(15:47) <Yanmei> "Not impossible, though? We could lure them into a trap. They already don't think much of us?"
(15:52) <Minaplo> ["Dysangelions seem to be able to dissolve on command, though. Wouldn't get much." Said Ritsuko.]
(15:53) <Yanmei> "Maybe not a Dys, then. But what about those Devas~?"
(15:57) <Minaplo> ["Hmmm…"]
(15:59) <Yanmei> "Just leave it to me!" Yanmei tossed her hair. "We'll pin one down for you in no time?"
(16:00) <Minaplo> ["I see. What's your plan?"]
(16:01) <Yanmei> "That's… top secret right now. At least until after I bring in my generals on it."
(16:02) <Minaplo> ["Top secret~" Said Maya brightly.-
(16:02) <Minaplo> ["Hush, Maya." Said Ritsuko gently. "Won't you need Technical's help on this?"]
(16:04) <Yanmei> "Possibly. I'll hold off inquiries into that until after the next meeting?"
(16:06) <Minaplo> ["I see…"]
(16:13) <Yanmei> "Hey, why don't you tell me about the projects you've been working on in the meantime? Like, Maya, you were working on that de Pteres' Eva project, right?"
(15:39) <Minaplo> ["Yeah…?"]
(15:40) <Yanmei> "Any… disagreements happening on the project? Or even outside working hours?"
(15:42) <Minaplo> ["Nothing major…?" Said Maya cautiously.]
(15:44) * Yanmei tried hard to avoid glancing over at Ritsuko in confusion. "So that means you're all getting along perfectly fine."
(15:51) <Minaplo> ["I dunno what you're going for, but nothing's getting in the way of our work."]
(15:52) <Yanmei> "I'm not going for anything. I just thought there would be friction, given the makeup of the team…"
(15:54) <Minaplo> ["Langley kinda weirds me out, and Sera's… Sera, but nothing getting in the way of our work, as I said."]
(15:55) <Yanmei> "But didn't you hit him the other day?" Yanmei blurted out.
(16:00) <Minaplo> ["That was before the Eva project even began."]
(16:02) <Yanmei> "Hence my concern about friction," she said smoothly. "What happened back then anyway?"
(16:04) <Minaplo> ["Nothing that interfered with our work." Said Maya stubbornly.]
(16:05) <Yanmei> "…"
(16:07) <Minaplo> ["…" Maya stared back at her, brow twisted into a firm little scowl.-
(16:08) <Minaplo> [Ritsuko stared on, smirking a little.]
(16:11) * Yanmei folded her arms with a very loud "hmph!"-
(16:14) <Yanmei> "Whatever. I wasn't even curious?"
(16:15) <Minaplo> ["Curious?" Said Ritsuko. "I thought this was a professional matter, not one to satisfy your curiosity."]
(16:17) <Yanmei> "By 'curious' I meant 'curious in a really professional manner because this is all work related'… of course."
(16:21) <Minaplo> [Ritsuko laughed.-
(16:21) <Minaplo> ["Oh boy. You should come around more often." Said Ritsuko. "I've been missing Misato lately, after all!"]
(16:24) * Yanmei reddened, her frown growing more fierce. "I assure you that I have no idea what you could be implying."
(16:26) <Minaplo> ["Sure thing, Mini-Misato."-
(16:26) <Minaplo> [Behind Yanmei, Maya suddenly giggled.]
(16:33) <Yanmei> "!!" Yanmei looked away from them both, seething. "That Hyuga's just earned himself a one-way ticket to the Brig!"
(16:34) <Minaplo> ["You'll have to go through Chii first~" Said Maya brightly.]
(16:35) <Yanmei> "I can handle her!"
(16:36) <Minaplo> ["Ooh, I'd like to see that." Said Ritsuko.-
(16:36) <Minaplo> ["We can sell tickets!" Said Maya.]
(16:38) <Yanmei> "You're as bad as the Old Men from SEELE," Yanmei grumbled.
(16:39) <Minaplo> ["Ouch." Said Maya.-
(16:40) <Minaplo> [Ritsuko smirked. "That reminds me… Did you still want Tsubaki to keep an eye on them?"]
(16:40) <Yanmei> "Yes. She didn't seem at all enthusiastic about it, though?"
(16:43) <Minaplo> ["Well, you never actually told her anything specific."]
(16:50) <Yanmei> "True. Would it really change her attitude that much, though?"
(16:51) <Minaplo> ["Well, it might. I think so long as we give her someone interesting to spy on…"-
(16:51) <Minaplo> ["We may just have to tolerate her peeking at other people too." Added Maya dolefully.]
(16:57) <Yanmei> "I don't think she'd stopped even if I ordered her to, honestly."
(16:57) <Minaplo> ["True." Said Ritsuko. "At least she seems to be fairly well-behaved with it…"]
(16:59) <Yanmei> "That we know of. Think about it. She could be watching us right now, and we wouldn't even know it!"
(17:01) <Minaplo> ["That's true…" Said Ritsuko slowly. "But her Eva is deeply integrated with the MAGI, which monitors the use of 03's AT Field. It gives us some data on how she uses her powers."-
(17:01) <Minaplo> ["That's how we know she's, say, trapped Maya in a blizzard-"-
(17:01) <Minaplo> [Maya scowled-
(17:02) <Minaplo> ["And how we know she hasn't been too peeping-tom about things."]
(17:05) * Yanmei smirked. "Well, that makes me feel a little better? Bad luck, Maya."
(17:06) <Minaplo> ["Hmph."]
(17:09) <Yanmei> "Don't worry. We're putting a bunch of videogames in there with her, so she probably won't have time to do it again for a while."
(17:11) <Minaplo> ["Well, that's a relief." Muttered Maya.]

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