This Too Shall Pass 3 4 17

[15:24] <Yanmei> The new presidential suite had a dull history behind it. Once a large storage area, it had been virtually destroyed during the Dorian's crash landing on Mars. Too full of debris and too cut-off from the ship's main hub of activity during those long, cold days to even serve as a barrack, it had been completely neglected until the UEF's return to earth. Since then, it had had gone through a
[15:24] <Yanmei> hasty patch job, a somewhat more serious remodeling effort aided by the ship's nanomachine tech, and finally had been appropriated for use by the Chancellor of the UEF herself.-
[15:34] <Yanmei> Compared to her old room, it was spartan, with a bleak warehouse-like feel to it due to the bare, hard floors and unpainted walls. It, was, however, much bigger, and thanks to the efforts of some of the ship's engineers, it also had appropriate plumbing and wiring. Moving in furniture had also helped with the look of the place: thick floor rugs, a couch and recliner, kitchen appliances,
[15:34] <Yanmei> tall, movable dividers to section the space out into actual rooms, and of course a large dining table that could be used for parties. -
[15:34] <Yanmei> Parties like this one. -
[15:38] <Yanmei> Lizzie had long ago fallen asleep on the couch, still in view of Yanmei and her guests, huddled under a gray wool blanket with her pet fox sleepily watching tv at her side. The sound of the evening news echoed slightly around everyone. -
[15:43] <Yanmei> But it was little more than petty background noise in the face of the very tense game of poker going on. Zhang Yanmei peered cooly down at her cards, and then looked around the table, trying to get a feel for everyone else's fate.
(14:48) <Minaplo> [There were six other people around the table.-
(14:49) <Minaplo> [To Yanmei's left was Zhengsheng. Her cousin was sitting back in his chair, holding his cards with his right hand whilst with his left, he picked up a little cheese sausage from a wide platter sitting on a wheeled table to his left.-
(14:50) <Minaplo> [To her right was Ariadne, who constantly glanced down at her cards, then up at her competitors, then down at her cards…-
(14:51) <Minaplo> [To Zhengsheng's left was Cornelia Archibald; she leaned forward, elbows on the table, holding her cards up high enough and close enough to her face that it obscured her mouth and nose.-
(14:52) <Minaplo> [To Ariadne's right was Isaiah, who had no cards at all and was instead watching, cheerfully digging into a plate of barbeque chicken wings. Isaiah had been barred from playing after their first game, where he and Yanmei silently coordinated to beat the others before Yanmei crushed him herself.-
(14:54) <Minaplo> [To Archibald's left was Frederic. He wore a cocky smirk, his eyes narrowed lazily; he glanced slyly at his fellows.-
(14:55) <Minaplo> [And finally, opposite Yanmei was Marianne, who held her cards close to her chest with her right hand; with her left, she habitually tapped on the wooden tabletop with her knuckles.-
(14:55) <Minaplo> ["You're drumming again." Said Ariadne.-
(14:55) <Minaplo> ["Damnit." Marianne quickly pulled her hand back.]
(15:06) * Yanmei snickered. "Someone's nervous~~~"
(15:09) <Minaplo> ["Shut it. Pass the kiev nuggets, Zhengsheng."-
(15:11) <Minaplo> [Zhengsheng pushed the food trolley toward Frederic, who pushed it to Archibald, who pushed it over to Marianne.-
(15:12) <Minaplo> ["If there's anyone who should be nervous, Yanmei, it's you~" Said Ariadne. "No boy to help you win this time~"]
(15:16) <Yanmei> "Pfft. I don't need help!" And then, as if to prove it, she laid a generous 10 francs onto the center of the table. "Ante up, subordinates."
(15:19) <Minaplo> [They did so; Fred quickly, Archibald reluctantly.-
(15:20) <Minaplo> ["Interest you in a spinach pastry, sis?" Asked Zhengsheng.]
(15:22) <Yanmei> "Huh? Ah, sure… thanks."
(15:24) <Minaplo> [Ariadne watched Yanmei and Zhengsheng curiously. "You know, I heard something interesting from our team in Brazil."]
(15:26) <Yanmei> "Did you?" said Yanmei brightly. Clearly this was about long lost lovers reuniting with all the smooches.
(15:36) <Minaplo> ["The UN sent their own team. Promised Landers, it seems… Led by Sarah Holt and Wu Yuanzhang."-
(15:36) <Minaplo> [Zhengsheng's eyebrows rose.]
(15:58) <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei's face flattened out, not quite worried, but… wary. "Wu Yuanzhang… What the hell is he doing with them?"
(15:59) <Minaplo> ["Promised Land seems to take all kinds of strays." Said Marianne. "Guess an old warlord's not out of the question…"]
(16:01) <Yanmei> "General Liu's going to be upset," Yanmei muttered.
(16:11) <Minaplo> ["I'm missing some context, sorry. Why would she be upset?" Asked Archibald.]
(16:14) <Yanmei> "They used to butt heads in the old days, after impact, before she reunited China under a central army? Idealistically, not to mention on the battlefield." Yanmei traded one of her cards for a fresh one, and beamed, briefly.
(16:19) <Minaplo> [Like dominoes, the others traded theirs too, one by one.-
(16:21) <Minaplo> ["So he's an old enemy of General Liu. I see now." Said Archibald.-
(16:23) <Minaplo> ["But… There must've been dozens of warlords at the time." She continued. "What makes him different to any of the others she defeated?"]
(16:27) <Yanmei> "He was the one who said that her ideals weren't possible to achieve, and offered her a chance to rule alongside him. Since… things didn't turn out perfectly in China after the war, she wondered for a while if he was actually right?"
(16:30) <Minaplo> ["But he can't be that much of a danger, can he?"]
(16:33) <Yanmei> "Maybe. Considering how highly she thinks of him…" She started the second round of betting.
(16:35) <Minaplo> ["She's not alone in that." Said Zhengsheng.]
(16:36) <Yanmei> "Heh. You too, huh…?"
(16:37) <Minaplo> ["Haven't you heard the song?" Said Zhengsheng.]
(16:40) <Yanmei> "Which…? Oh. Not in person, anyway…"
(16:41) <Minaplo> ["It's long, don't feel like translating it all." Said Zhengsheng. "But the chorus goes…"-
(16:41) <Minaplo> ["'Liu Lin broke the heart of Shu at the battle of Mianzhu'."]
(16:42) <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyes widened. Quickly, she looked away, coughing delicately.
(16:46) <Minaplo> [Zhengsheng frowned at her slightly before he turned back to the rest of the table. He took a bite out of a cheesy sausage before continuing.-
(16:50) <Minaplo> ["… Song's about all the bad she brought to Sichuan." Said Zhengsheng. "Lost a good leader for a bad government."]
(16:54) <Yanmei> "Right. Er… Right."
(16:56) <Minaplo> ["It makes sense that he's working with Promised Land then." Said Frederic. "Probably relyin' on them helping him take it all back, huh."]
(17:02) <Yanmei> "He's giving them too much credit."
(17:02) <Minaplo> ["Oh?" Said Ariadne.]
(17:04) <Yanmei> "I'll admit to them having an okay record? But I doubt they're a match for us."
(14:28) <Minaplo> [Ariadne grinned. "There's the spirit."-
(14:29) <Minaplo> ["On the topic of displaced monarchs," Began Marianne. "Have we decided on how we're going to handle that Princess Catherine?"]
(14:33) <Yanmei> "Peacefully? No one's getting overthrown or eliminated. I'll just talk to her…"
(14:34) <Minaplo> ["And…?"]
(14:38) <Yanmei> "And maybe she'll start to see us more favorably. We have her sister with us, after all."
(14:47) <Minaplo> [Marianne nodded. "What's our long-term goal?"]
(14:53) <Yanmei> "The citizens love her? Best case scenario, she helps us to turn the UK's public opinion in our favor. Then we can count on them as allies. Worst case scenario… the opposite happens. She and her people support Caine and the UN instead. The country is weak; unlike the UN, though, we need all the help we can get."
(14:59) <Minaplo> ["How do we get to that point, though?"]
(15:01) <Yanmei> "Well, it won't take just a single meeting? We'll have to talk to her several times. And we'll have to show off Remy's latest invention a bit. Clear out some Spawn for them."
(15:10) <Minaplo> ["But… What's our stance on her claims?"]
(15:16) <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei frowned a little. "I think it'd be wise to at least ask for some verification. Make sure she's not a UN puppet. But… my understanding is that the real Catherine would be a better match for the job than Alexandrina, who has been inches away from a breakdown for ages."
(15:19) <Minaplo> [Archibald winced.-
(15:19) <Minaplo> ["That's… Fair." Said Marianne delicately. "Do we have any concrete plans for winning her to our side beyond hunting Spawn?"]
(15:21) <Yanmei> "That's the gist of it, really. I'm open to more ideas, though?"
(15:23) <Minaplo> ["I think the major problem here is that she wants to quit the Federation." Said Ariadne. "Gonna have to convince her it's worth it in ways only we can do…"]
(15:29) <Yanmei> "That's the thing, though. What do we even have that she'd be interested in besides the Spawn-control thingy? Maybe we need to break down each reason she's stated for disliking us and refute them carefully."
(15:32) <Minaplo> ["There we go~" Said Ariadne with a grin. "Preparation and analysis, that'll win it for us."]
(15:33) <Yanmei> "More hard work," Yanmei grumbled.
(15:34) <Minaplo> ["Aw, hey." Said Fred. "Hard work sucks, but think of the payoff. Bet you felt great after that rally with Cartier…"]
(15:39) <Yanmei> "Mainly, I kept thinking about how lucky you guys are to have me~"
(15:39) <Minaplo> [Isaiah beamed, but Frederic scoffed.-
(15:40) <Minaplo> ["Here we go. One little success and she thinks she's Jesus." Said Frederic with a quick grin.]
(15:41) <Yanmei> "You can't argue with miracles. Speaking of which~~" Yanmei wagged her hand of cards. "Ready to show 'em?"
(15:41) <Minaplo> ["Yep!"]
(15:53) * Yanmei proudly put her hand down, peering around excitedly. Was hers the best?
(15:54) <Minaplo> [… Archibald showed her hand, a 3-4-5-6-7 of diamonds. No one else had managed to match the straight flush.-
(15:54) <Minaplo> [There were groans around the table.-
(15:54) <Minaplo> ["Damnit." Muttered Frederic.]
(15:55) * Yanmei frowned at her, disappointed. "Lucky…"
(15:55) <Minaplo> ["Skilled." Said Archibald. Finally, she grinned.]
(15:59) * Yanmei pouted. "Hmph. The night is young? Let's go again!"
(16:00) <Minaplo> ["Could play something different." Said Zhengsheng.]
(16:03) <Yanmei> "Like what?"
(16:04) <Minaplo> ["One game I learned." Said Zhengsheng. "From Blue, actually."]
(16:06) <Yanmei> "Is… that right?" Caution. But curiosity, too. "Why don't you lead us through it?"
(16:07) <Minaplo> ["Sure. It's called 'are you there, Moriarty?'. Game of chance and skill." Said Zhengsheng. "First, you blindfold two people."]
(16:09) <Yanmei> "W-what? Is this game actually safe?"
(16:21) <Minaplo> ["'Course. Up you get, Cornelia, Yanmei…"-
(16:21) <Minaplo> [Archibald eyed him, her brow set low; she nonetheless paused in emptying the pot and rose.]
(16:25) * Yanmei frowned deeply, but she did the same. Surely, Isaiah would warn her if trouble was about to befall her?
(16:26) <Minaplo> ["Anyone got any blindfolds?" Asked Zhengsheng.-
(16:26) <Minaplo> ["Oh, one sec." Said Isaiah. He quickly got to his feet-
(16:26) <Minaplo> ["Ooh, kinky." Said Fred with a laugh.-
(16:26) <Minaplo> ["Oh shut up-"-
(16:27) <Minaplo> [A few seconds later Isaiah returned with a handful of thick tea towels. "Here you go."-
(16:27) <Minaplo> [Zhengsheng instantly took one (a pleasant gingham-patterned one), strung it out tight and threw it around Yanmei's eyes. She felt it tighten a second later.]
(16:28) * Yanmei was still grumbling a bit. "You're not going to spin us around next, are you?"
(16:29) <Minaplo> ["Nah." Said Zhengsheng. "Now we need something rigid enough to take a few blows, but not so hard as to actually cause harm…"]
(16:33) <Yanmei> "…"
(16:35) <Minaplo> ["Perfect! Thanks, Ms. Delacour." He said.-
(16:35) <Minaplo> ["Ariadne's fine, Zhengsheng."-
(16:35) <Minaplo> ["Right."-
(16:35) <Minaplo> [Yanmei felt something shoved into her hand… It felt strangely glossy. Like a rolled up magazine.]
(16:36) <Yanmei> "A… weapon?" she guessed.
(16:40) <Minaplo> ["A bat." Said Zhengsheng. "Now, walk over here…"-
(16:40) <Minaplo> [She felt his hand on her shoulders, guiding her away from the table (or at least she assumed as much).-
(16:40) <Minaplo> ["Now we lay you down on the ground."]
(16:45) <Yanmei> "H-hey!" Yanmei resisted a little. "This'd better not be weird…"
(16:46) <Minaplo> ["S'cool, s'cool. On your stomach." Said Zhengsheng, lowering (or at least trying) her to the ground.]
(16:48) * Yanmei went along with it uneasily.
(16:48) <Minaplo> ["Okay. You too, Archibald."-
(16:48) <Minaplo> ["Eh-"-
(16:49) <Minaplo> ["You're now facing each other." Said Zhengsheng.-
(16:49) <Minaplo> ["You're ready, Yanmei, you say 'are you there, Moriarty?'. You say 'yes', Archibald."-
(16:49) <Minaplo> ["What then?" Asked Archibald warily.-
(16:49) <Minaplo> ["Then you try to hit each other with your bats. First one hit loses!"]
(16:53) <Yanmei> "…that's it?"
(16:55) <Minaplo> ["You can also roll to one side or the other."]
(16:56) <Yanmei> "This does seem like the sort of thing someone would play after hours in a bar," Yanmei smirked.
(17:08) <Minaplo> ["Yeah yeah."]
(17:10) <Yanmei> "Ok. Ready. What about you, Archibald?"
(17:13) <Minaplo> ["Mmhmm."-
(17:13) <Minaplo> ["You gotta say the words." Said Zhengsheng.]
(17:13) <Yanmei> "Are you there, Moriarty…?"
(17:14) <Minaplo> [Archibald sighed. "Yes."]
(17:16) <Yanmei> And so Yanmei flailed out with her magazine, trying to follow her voice.
[15:25] <Minaplo> [Her newspaper connected with something with a firm -thud-.-
[15:25] <Minaplo> [All around, Yanmei could hear her companions laughing. Ariadne's loud cackle, Zhengsheng's 'hehehe', Marianne's snort…-
[15:25] <Minaplo> ["Ugh." Muttered Archibald. "You win."]
[15:27] * Yanmei beamed and began to sit up, reaching for her blindfold. "I guess all of my combat training wasn't for nothing~"
[15:29] <Minaplo> [Archibald tore her blindfold off as well; her hair, which had been neatly combed, was now something of a mess. "So it seems."-
[15:29] <Minaplo> ["That was funny." Said Zhengsheng. "Drinks?"]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "Drinks," Yanmei agreed, hopping to her feet and wandering back to the table. "Is it ok for you to sneak these away from the bar? Won't Blue notice when he gets back?"
[15:35] <Minaplo> ["Charged it to the Fed account." Said Zhengsheng with a grin.]
[15:38] <Yanmei> "H-hey. Don't just do that. You'll make my accountants come after me…"
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["How much could it be?"]
[15:42] <Yanmei> "Not much for a group like this, but every little bit adds up? I even got scolded for agreeing to pay for all of Asuka Langley-Soryu's meals there for a while."
[15:44] <Minaplo> ["He he he."-
[15:44] <Minaplo> ["Oi, Yanmei." Said Fred. He was holding a glass of scotch.]
[15:48] <Yanmei> "Hm?" She eyed him. The glass specifically. Already helping himself, eh?
[15:53] <Minaplo> ["Heard Sarasvati woke up recently."]
[15:55] <Yanmei> "Yeah…" she sobered a bit. "Surov's been light on the details? But he wants her to 'rest up' a bit while they sort out the damage she's taken."
[15:59] <Minaplo> ["Hmm."-
[15:59] <Minaplo> ["What about Iruel?" Asked Archibald.]
[16:06] <Yanmei> "Iruel is awake, aware and is currently isolated. We're planning to transfer it to a new robotic vessel soon, after which we'll loosen the restrictions a bit on who can or can't interact with it. It's… friendly. No threats or attempted attacks or anything."
[16:07] <Minaplo> ["It's pretending." Said Archibald flatly.]
[16:14] <Yanmei> "Maybe. It's also possible that it's still being controlled by Caine."
[16:24] <Minaplo> ["Are we sure we should be loosening restrictions, then?" Asked Isaiah.]
[16:34] <Yanmei> "Mmm. It's all a bit touch and go at this point? Really, we need to take this chance to learn everything we can about it. We're not going to have it freely roaming around the ship until after we're positive it won't - or can't - harm anyone."
[16:37] <Minaplo> [They didn't reply, but instead glanced at each other worriedly.]
[16:39] * Yanmei was quick to pick up on it. She sighed. "You think I'm being way too lax, huh?"
[16:40] <Minaplo> ["This thing nearly destroyed the ship." Said Marianne. "I agree that it mgiht be useful, but…"]
[16:54] <Yanmei> "I'm hoping that, eventually, it might turn out to be the kind of relationship we have with Ezekiel. Assuming that we can trust it after all. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself."
[16:56] <Minaplo> [Marianne walked over and with one hand offered Yanmei a glass of wine; with the other she smoothed down Yanmei's hair. "I'm willing to trust your judgement. Just… I don't want this to end up being a mistake we make because Surov's really curious or whatever."]
[17:00] <Yanmei> "He won't be the only person in contact with Iruel?" She tried to smooth her hair down hastily before taking the glass. "We've got the Riels, and quite a few other scientists too. More specialists mean that we're less likely to make a terrible mistake like that."
[17:09] <Minaplo> ["Hmm…"-
[17:09] <Minaplo> ["So you spoke to it. What did it say?"]
[17:20] <Yanmei> "Well, it remembered a lot about how it came into our custody? But it was from the perspective of someone who had been imprisoned a lot and was shuttled from place to place without any real clue of what was going on. To the Angel, the MAGI system was a vast, open place that it could explore freely for the first time in ages, so that's what it did. It also, um. Learned a lot from Sarasvati
[17:20] <Yanmei> after it was trapped inside her."
[17:22] <Minaplo> ["… A lot?" Asked Isaiah.]
[17:24] <Yanmei> "From her memories. It vaguely understands the war, and even knows some faces. It recognized me as an Eva pilot, for example."
[17:29] <Minaplo> ["So it knows who we are… What our weaknesses might be." Said Marianne.]
[17:36] <Yanmei> "It knows who we are, anyway."
[17:55] <Minaplo> ["If it is on our side, what do we do with it?" Asked Fred.]
[17:58] <Yanmei> "I'm sure Caine has some computer systems that we could stand to take over," Yanmei said airily. "Or, at the very least, some of the UN's nice state-of-the-art vehicles."
(15:14) <Minaplo> ["Hrm…" Marianne frowned; she rubbed her chin.-
(15:14) <Minaplo> [Fred flopped down on his chair. "And Surov's ok with all of this?"]
(15:20) <Yanmei> "It was his idea to use this situation to 'give Caine a taste of her own medicine', as he put it."
(15:21) <Minaplo> ["Does he have any hard feelin's over what Iruel did to his little girl?"]
(15:25) <Yanmei> "He's professional as anything; you all know how he is? But there are little things. Quick little reactions. He's not at all happy with the Angel, no."
(15:27) <Minaplo> ["That's the other thing." Said Marianne. "This is one of those rare occasions where most people will agree with Surov. What should we do to handle that?"]
(15:35) <Yanmei> "We keep an eye on those most affected by this stunt, and keep the Angel itself guarded." Yanmei rubbed her eyes. "I would rather keep it a secret too, for good measure? But that would be violating some pact or another. Not that the UN gave us that courtesy when they were throwing it at us in the first place," she added bitterly.
(15:36) <Minaplo> ["They sent it to us before the pact was written." Said Ariadne. "… Hah. Now looking back I think we were played in that pact a little."]
(15:40) <Yanmei> "No kidding. Making us out Zeruel like that…"
(15:41) <Minaplo> ["And now Iruel too…"-
(15:42) <Minaplo> ["In any case, I'll put my trust in Technical that it'll go alright." Said Marianne with a sigh. "I suppose there's some way Tsubaki can shut it down or something…"]
(15:47) <Yanmei> "Let's hope she knows how to. She been experimenting a bit in the Eva, but…"
(15:48) <Minaplo> ["Experimenting…?" Asked Archibald slowly.]
(15:49) <Yanmei> "Like making isolated blizzards inside the ship in order to prank people." Yanmei shrugged. "She's pretty bored these days."
(15:53) <Minaplo> ["Bored, huh." Said Zhengsheng.]
(15:54) <Yanmei> "We're working on that. I'm trying to get more visitors down there to keep her company? And we're giving her video games and stuff as soon as James can manage."
(15:58) <Minaplo> ["Weird to think of being bored in a superweapon." Said Zhengsheng. "Guess she's couped up in that lozenge all alone for a long time, though…"]
(16:00) <Yanmei> "Yeah. That's something I wanted to ask you about actually…"
(16:00) <Minaplo> ["Huh?"]
(16:02) <Yanmei> Yanmei's hands curled into fists underneath the table. "Seems you guys had a couple of conversations she liked recently. She asked if you'd be among the people coming to visit her during the day."
(16:05) <Minaplo> ["Really…? Me?"]
(16:06) <Yanmei> "Yeah. She asked if you'd bring drinks for her too. Fruit juice and milkshakes. Not drink drinks."
(16:07) <Minaplo> ["Oh." Zhengsheng scratched the back of his left hand idly. "No problem."]
(16:11) * Yanmei scrutinized him carefully for a moment before peering back at the rest of the table. "You guys should go too, whenever the opportunity comes up. Just pop in, and say hello."
(16:18) <Minaplo> ["Got it." Said Marianne. "I owe her that much."-
(16:18) <Minaplo> ["Did she agree to spy on the old men, by the way?" Asked Ariadne, who'd fetched herself a glass of wine.]
(16:22) <Yanmei> "!" Yanmei peered around the table hastily. "W-what do you mean? The Chancellor of the UEF would never spy on 'allies' even if they were enormous jerks…"
(16:23) <Minaplo> [Marianne, Zhengsheng and Fred rolled their eyes practically in unison. "Gawd." Muttered Fred. "Was she like this back home, too?"-
(16:23) <Minaplo> ["Worse." Said Zhengsheng solemnly.-
(16:23) <Minaplo> ["How…?"-
(16:24) <Minaplo> ["C'mon, Yanmei." Said Ariadne, nudging her in the shoulder.]
(16:29) * Yanmei was glaring at Zhengsheng "Hmph. Fine. I don't know how, but everyone seems to know about this." She folded her arms. "She gave me such attitude at the mere mention of doing any sort of work that I dropped it. I'll be speaking with her tomorrow, though, so I'm going to bring it up again."
(16:40) <Minaplo> ["Ok, good." Said Ariadne.]
(16:58) <Yanmei> "Speaking of hard work…" she peered at Fred. "How are Sophie and the baby doing?"
(16:59) <Minaplo> ["They're doing good." Said Fred with a grin. "Little babe sleeps half the day away. I think Sophie's starting to get restless, though…"]
(17:00) <Yanmei> "She could always come back part-time," Yanmei suggested.
(17:01) <Minaplo> ["It'll be good to have my veteran comms back." Said Marianne fondly. "Casey's… Not the same."-
(17:01) <Minaplo> ["Casey's alright." Said Fred.-
(17:01) <Minaplo> ["She's not Sophie, though…"]
(17:05) <Yanmei> "Hehe…" Yanmei took a sip from her cup… the very first of the night. -
(17:10) <Yanmei> It wouldn't be the last either. By the time the party had died down and she had started the clean-up effort, her head felt all floaty and she was all warm inside. "That was fun~~" she chirped happily, as she dumped some dishes into the kitchenette's sink.
(17:12) <Yanmei> ^kitchen's
(17:23) <Minaplo> ["You know, I don't think I've had a housewarming before." Said Marianne, who was drying up.]
(17:24) <Yanmei> "We should have parties all the time? Not just housewarmings…"
(17:25) <Minaplo> ["Just for fun?"]
(17:26) <Yanmei> "Of course!" Yanmei nodded firmly. "Next time let's invite Asuka so I can drink her under the table again."
(17:29) <Minaplo> ["Veto." Said Isaiah from the other side of the room; he had just put Lizzie to bed ("Uuu, bear-bear…") and was clearing up the tables.]
(17:30) <Yanmei> "Hmph. Killjoy."
(17:32) <Minaplo> ["An Asuka party sounds intense." Said Marianne with a small smile.]
(17:35) <Yanmei> "C'mon. You all could invite whoever you want too?"
(17:37) <Minaplo> ["Misato?"]
(17:40) * Yanmei frowned a bit. "Now who's going for an intense party?"
(17:43) <Minaplo> ["She's not that bad. Nowhere near as bad as Asuka." Said Marianne.-
(17:43) <Minaplo> ["Next time, we need to bring Rei." Said Isaiah.]
(17:49) <Yanmei> "Hm. Well, that's one we could all probably agree with?"
(15:14) <Minaplo> ["And maybe Sarasvati too. Perhaps that can be our next party theme- welcome back Sarasvati?" Offered Marianne.]
(15:17) <Yanmei> "We'd probably have to invite Surov too," Yanmei pointed out with a little grin.
(16:46) <Minaplo> ["He'd probably refuse, though…" Said Marianne slowly.]
(16:52) <Yanmei> "Maybe. Maybe not. I doubt he'd want Sarasvati to leave his sight after what happened to her?"
[16:26] <Minaplo> ["You don't think he'd stop her going…?" Asked Isaiah.
[16:29] <Yanmei> "No. He probably spoils the hell out of her? So if she really wanted to, she'd convince him to let her go. He'd just probably hover over her in some fashion after doing so."
[16:30] <Minaplo> ["Creating a carnival atmosphere in the process no doubt." Said Marianne.]
[16:33] <Yanmei> "Pure Surov." Yanmei sighed. "Oh well."
[16:36] <Minaplo> ["Worth it, do you think…?"]
[16:38] <Yanmei> "Maybe. Her recovery should be celebrated? And maybe afterward he'll be a bit nicer to everyone."
[16:38] <Minaplo> ["Mm, possible…"]
[16:40] <Yanmei> "Likely," Yanmei corrected. "He and Guillory are already buddy-buddy. It's probably for the same reason."
[16:41] <Minaplo> ["Buddy-buddy?" Asked Isaiah.]
[16:42] <Yanmei> "Like, Surov actually tried to cover for him following the Iruel incident."
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["Oh really…?"]
[16:52] <Yanmei> "It's true? And Guillory has defended Surov before too." Yanmei folded her arms thoughtfully. "Since they're friends now, I need to pair them up more often whenever I get the chance."
[16:56] <Minaplo> ["Let's not jump to conclusions…" Muttered Marianne.]
[01:58] <Yanmei> "Rei would approve," Yanmei pointed out, glancing to Isaiah for validation.
[02:03] <Minaplo> ["Well… That's true…" Said Isaiah slowly.-
[02:03] <Minaplo> [Marianne gave Yanmei a long look.]
[02:06] * Yanmei gave her a triumphant one in return. "See? It must be the good, moral and kind thing to do."
[02:09] <Minaplo> [Marianne reached over and ruffled Yanmei's hair with a soapy hand. "You dork."]
[02:12] * Zackv2 is now known as Zack
[02:12] * Zack is now known as Guest23051
[02:12] * Guest23051 is now known as Zack
[02:13] <Yanmei> "H-hey!" She smoothed down her mussed, damp hair. "Hmph. Is this the thanks I get for trying to boost morale?"
[02:15] <Minaplo> ["Sorry. I should be more grateful." Said Marianne- before quickly wrapping both soapy arms around Yanmei tightly.]
[02:19] <Yanmei> "Nngh!" Yanmei squirmed, trying to slip free. "Not fair! Isaiah, help me!"
[02:21] <Minaplo> ["Rei wouldn't approve." Said Isaiah dolefully as Marianne squeezed ever tighter.]
[02:26] * Yanmei shot him a look of utter betrayal. -
[02:26] <Yanmei> "All right! What do I have to do to convince you to let go?"
[02:29] <Minaplo> ["Nothing." Said Marianne gently. "Got you now. I don't want to let go ever again."]
[02:31] * Yanmei whined, poking her a little in the ribs. "You'll have to some time!"
[02:38] <Minaplo> ["Mmph."-
[02:39] <Minaplo> [Marianne slowly pulled away, although even then she still kept her hands on Yanmei's shoulders. "Tonight was… A good night for me, hon."]
[02:46] <Yanmei> "Yeah?" Her expression softened a little now. "I'm glad. It's good to be back together, isn't it?"
[02:48] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, it is. Just us again…"-
[02:48] <Minaplo> [Isaiah smiled softly.]
[02:59] <Yanmei> "Want to stay up the rest of the night? You know, talking and watching TV and stuff?"
[03:01] * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
[03:02] <Minaplo> ["Sure~"]
[03:07] * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) Quit (Quit: )
[03:09] * Yanmei happily picked up a dish towel and handed it to her. It was going to be a long, fun night, so she would have to start it off right. "Let me tell you about the tongue-lashing I gave Dr. Akagi for comparing me to Katsuragi the other day…"

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