This Too Shall Pass 3 4 22

[22:17] * Yanmei pressed the little buzzer next to the door, and stood back expectantly. This was one of the standard lower-ranking officer living quarters. They tended to be grouped relatively close together for easy socializing purposes, which was especially nice because there were many Eva pilots scattered among them. -
[22:19] * Yanmei pressed the little buzzer next to the door, and stood back expectantly. This was one of the standard lower-ranking officer living quarters. They tended to be grouped relatively close together for easy socializing purposes, which was especially nice because there were many Eva pilots scattered among them. -
[22:22] <Yanmei> Yanmei was in her usual uniform, of course, as it was in the middle of the day. Her companion for the day, Lizzie, was in very casual playclothes - a yellow t-shirt and some matching shorts. Yanmei briefly beamed down at her before redirecting her attention to the door again.
[22:23] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["Who is, maamaa?" Asked Lizzie.]
[22:23] <Yanmei> "Miss Isabelle. You remember her, right?"
[22:26] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["Uuu, me ’member." Said Lizzie.-
[22:26] <Mibbit‘Haplo> [The door lock turned green.]
[22:32] * Yanmei ruffled her hair gently, and then let the door side aside so that they could pass through. "Isabelle~ Good afternoon!"
[22:36] <Mibbit`Haplo> [Isabelle was reclining on her bed. Unlike usual, she wasn’t wearing her voluminous getup today; instead she just wore a long lilac dress, her head fully uncovered. Her hair- once long and luscious- was short and sparse, having only had a month or so to grow back. Her eyes were closed. In her hand was some sort of media player.-
[22:36] <Mibbit‘Haplo> [As Yanmei, Lizzie and Daji entered, Isabelle took a pair of earphones out and turned her head towards Yanmei. "Hi."]
[22:38] <Yanmei> "Hi. How are you feeling? You’re looking pretty healthy these days!"
[22:43] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["I suppose I am." Said Isabelle. "I’m no longer near death, at least."-
[22:43] <Mibbit‘Haplo> [Isabelle looked over at Lizzie. "Hello, angel."-
[22:43] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["Hihi…"]
[22:46] <Yanmei> "You’ve met Daji the fox before too, haven't you?"
[22:48] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["Jiji!" Said Lizzie. "Jiji fox!"-
[22:48] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["I don’t think so." Said Isabelle. "I'm not good with animals. They can sometimes be hard to see, although… Yes, I do see this one. Hello, Daji."-
[22:49] <Mibbit‘Haplo> [Lizzie may have been shy, but Daji wasn’t. At hearing her name, she let out a high 'yip!', then leapt up onto the bed. She quickly ran over to Isabelle and began nuzzling her neck.-
[22:49] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["Agh!"]
[22:52] * Yanmei snickered. "Someone’s super friendly today~ You're not hiding food anywhere on you, are you?"
[22:54] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["Gah. Of course not. Why would I do that? Ah! It tickles! Stop!" Fretted Isabelle, batting harmlessly at the quick fox.-
[22:55] <Mibbit`Haplo> [Lizzie let out a shriek of laughter. "Jiji wuv!"]
[23:01] <Yanmei> "She totally does?" Yanmei agreed with a big grin. "Hey, Lizzie. Why don’t you tell her about some of the games you and Daji like to play?"
[23:03] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["Me play hide sink!" Said Lizzie happily. Now she too was running over to the edge of the bed, although she was too little to actually climb up. "And give food!"-
[23:04] <Mibbit`Haplo> [Daji finally desisted, but nonetheless settled up against Isabelle’s side and rolling over to reveal her fluffy white underbelly. Isabelle let out a sigh; she rubbed her wet neck gingerly before slowly reaching over to rub Daji's stomach. "What kind of food?"-
[23:04] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["Lots food!"]
[23:06] <Yanmei> "Pretty much all the food Lizzie eats finds it’s way to Daji somehow." Yanmei went over and helped Lizzie up onto the bed.
[23:09] <Mibbit‘Haplo> [Lizzie clambered up and sat down next to Daji. "Jiji eat! Jiji grow big!"-
[23:09] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["And does Daji share her food with you?"-
[23:09] <Mibbit`Haplo> [Lizzie paused.-
[23:09] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["…"-
[23:10] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["Jiji not share!" shouted Lizzie, her eyes wide with shock.]
[23:18] * Yanmei tsked at the fox. "Really, Daji. You have to do better with sharing your loot."
[23:19] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["Yip…?" Daji went still, eyeing Yanmei narrowly.-
[23:20] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["Me no share till you share, Jiji!" Said Lizzie firmly.-
[23:20] <Mibbit`Haplo> ["…" Daji let out a low groan.]
[23:25] * Yanmei patted the fox cheerfully on the head, but didn’t sit down. That seemed a bit too intimate somehow. "That was impressive?" she noted, eying Isabelle.
[23:38] <Mibbit‘Haplo> ["Thank you." Said Isabelle. "I have experience."]
[23:42] <Yanmei> "I see. You’d make a terrifying politician."
[08:06] <Minaplo> [Isabelle let out a sharp snort of laughter. "Oh, can you imagine it? A whole parliament with me, the woman who can sense lies and see into your soul."]
[08:17] * SyntaxPhone (~if.elibom-asile.tan-68-031-67-58|xatnyS#if.elibom-asile.tan-68-031-67-58|xatnyS) has joined #nervfrance
[08:20] * Yanmei was indeed imagining it! One could tell by her sinister little grin. "I don't suppose you'd actually be interested in such a job~?"
[08:21] <Minaplo> ["Why? Are you offering?"]
[08:25] <Yanmei> "You know what? Yeah. Maybe not in a Parliament, or in an elected position, but you could totally go to a bunch of political meetings and advise and stuff."
[08:28] <Minaplo> ["I could do that."]
[08:30] <Yanmei> "Yay~" Yanmei nodded, satisfied. "I should have asked you ages ago?"
[08:30] <Minaplo> ["I was, what's the fancy word for it?" Said Isabelle. "Convalescing."-
[08:30] <Minaplo> ["Confassing!" Said Lizzie happily.
[08:30] <Minaplo> ]
[08:36] <Yanmei> Yanmei gave Lizzie a fond little smile. "Also true. You probably haven't even had time to run into some of our… less-than-trusted new allies, I bet."
[08:39] <Minaplo> ["Do you mean those old men?"]
[08:40] <Yanmei> "Exactly."
[08:42] <Minaplo> ["I did run into them briefly…"]
[08:44] <Yanmei> "I'm sure that was pleasant." Yanmei rolled her eyes.
[08:44] <Minaplo> ["I want to describe to you what it was like, just being near them."]
[08:45] <Yanmei> "I'm all ears."
[08:46] <Minaplo> ["Have you ever been drunk? Really deeply drunk to the point where everything's a blur and the room spins."]
[08:47] <Yanmei> "Y-yes?"
[08:50] <Minaplo> ["And you've had the hangover the day after." Said Isabelle darkly. "The throbbing inside your head, feeling tired and weak and slimy. Every sound you hear is suffocatingly loud and seems to want to smother you in itself."]
[08:51] <Yanmei> "God. You felt like that just from being in the same room as them?"
[08:53] <Minaplo> ["Yes." Said Isabelle. She shook her head slowly. "It was… Unpleasant. But that wasn't the worst thing."-
[08:53] <Minaplo> ["Being around them, for me, was like getting drunk in reverse. First I felt the leaden heavy weight around me…"-
[08:54] <Minaplo> ["Then it became inoxicating… Even seductive, like if I peered a little deeper, I could lose myself to what I'd find."]
[08:55] <Yanmei> "That's very creepy."
[08:55] <Minaplo> [Lizzie was quiet, her large eyes focused on them.-
[09:02] <Minaplo> ["I've never seen anything like it before." Said Isabelle quietly. "What… What could turn people into that? They're like… Pollution."]
[09:11] <Yanmei> "Politics. Or. Well. Whatever it is that SEELE regularly does. Or maybe it's a chicken and the egg thing?"
[09:13] <Minaplo> ["You know, I don't think this is mere politics. That Mazarin is a dirty-dealing son of a bitch, but he's actually not bad to be around. This is…"-
[09:15] <Minaplo> ["Do you know what I think it is?"]
[09:15] <Yanmei> "What?"
[09:20] <Minaplo> ["I think it's what happens to you when you condemn three billion people to death and think it was the right thing to do."]
[09:26] <Yanmei> "Maybe you're right," Yanmei said quietly.
[09:27] <Minaplo> ["Yet do you know what astonishes me?"]
[09:27] <Yanmei> "What?"
[09:29] <Minaplo> ["They're so polluted, yet Mary Caine is… Pure."]
[09:30] * Yanmei frowned.
[09:34] <Minaplo> ["Makes you wonder."]
[09:35] <Yanmei> "Not really. I mean, Caine barely qualifies as human? No wonder she turned out differently."
[09:37] <Minaplo> ["Hmm."-
[09:37] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, what will you do with the old men?"]
[09:45] <Yanmei> "Keep them around for now. They're dangerous, but they can tell us all sorts of things we don't know."
[09:45] <Minaplo> ["… I don't trust it."]
[09:49] <Yanmei> "I'm not a fan of it either. I don't, however, think they're working with Caine."
[09:50] <Minaplo> ["Mmm… I'm worried. They're pollution. I don't want you to end up being lured in by what they say and do."]
[09:52] * Yanmei looked surprised. "I don't know if that'll happen? We pretty much hate each other. If they influence other people on board, though…"
[09:54] <Minaplo> ["Quite."]
[10:01] <Yanmei> "Thanks for the concern, though." Yanmei smiled a little. Maybe Isabelle was starting to warm up a little to her?
[10:03] <Minaplo> ["You're welcome. I wouldn't want you to be tainted by that, not after all the growth you've gained."
[10:03] <Minaplo> ]
[10:08] * Yanmei beamed. "So you're saying I'm super mature now~"
[10:09] <Minaplo> ["Don't let it go to your head."-
[10:09] <Minaplo> ["But you have matured. You're starting to see yourself as a leader, now, and it's showing through."]
[10:14] <Yanmei> "Well, thank you. Given some of our history, that does mean quite a lot?"
[10:15] <Minaplo> ["Really?"]
[10:24] <Yanmei> "Of course? You were always a… stern critic."
[10:24] <Minaplo> ["I was."-
[10:25] <Minaplo> ["I felt it was for the best." Said Isabelle. "You didn't always like hearing what I said, but I wouldn't have trusted you with my Lizzie if I didn't feel you were beyond improvement."-
[10:25] <Minaplo> [Lizzie perked up.]
[10:34] <Yanmei> "Speaking of which! You should come over and have dinner with us this week. You guys can play together more. That sounds like fun, right Lizzie?"
[10:34] <Minaplo> ["Funfun!" Said Lizzie. "Meet Marimari!"-
[10:35] <Minaplo> [Isabelle chuckled; she reached out and fondly pushed some of the hair out of Lizzie's eyes. "Alright, if you want it."]
[10:41] <Yanmei> "Perfect~ We do have other animals there, though."
[10:42] <Minaplo> ["You do?"]
[10:43] <Yanmei> "An old wolf, for example…"
[10:43] <Minaplo> ["Oh, I remember him."]
[10:44] <Yanmei> "And a lion. And a pet seagull who visits occasionally."
[10:44] <Minaplo> ["… Sounds like a real menagerie." Said Isabelle dryly. "Why so many?"]
[10:46] <Yanmei> "it… just sort of happened. The wolf was a rescuee, the lion was a gift, the seagull is Amatore-DeForest's friend…"
[10:54] <Minaplo> ["And this?" She said, nudging Daji.]
[10:55] <Yanmei> "Picked up in Australia for Lizzie."
[10:55] <Minaplo> [Isabelle made a face.]
[11:01] <Yanmei> "Oh. Right… You're probably not a fan of that place."
[11:07] <Minaplo> ["It's not that. I just remember what happens to animals like Daji back there."-
[11:07] <Minaplo> [Daji shifted awkwardly.]
[11:09] * Raphael (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.031-791-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.031-791-291-271-epc|leahpaR) Quit (Quit: [01:50] <Syntax> There's no laws against polygamy in space)
[11:09] <Yanmei> "Oh. Yeah, nevermind about that, Daji."
[11:09] <Minaplo> [Daji rested her head back down on the bed.-
[11:10] <Minaplo> ["I suppose Lizzie loves it, though. Don't you, Lizzie? All the animals?"-
[11:10] <Minaplo> ["Me love Jiji, love Fino, love Reggie! Big lulu, grr!"]
[11:21] <Yanmei> "She's also pretty eager to see Mr. Awala's animals whenever she gets the chance. Basically, she's a friend to all living creatures."
[11:22] <Minaplo> ["Ah… Mr. Awala's animals. I've heard things."]
[11:23] <Yanmei> "Good things?" Yanmei asked curiously.
[11:25] <Minaplo> ["Magnetic spider things."]
[11:26] <Yanmei> "Oh. Yes. That was actually gifted to me? Also from Australia!"
[11:29] <Minaplo> [Isabelle groaned.]
[13:39] <Yanmei> "Your homeland's quite a place~ Don't worry. The spider's quite friend- er. Not likely to attack anyone," Yanmei assured her.
[13:43] <Minaplo> ["Then I don't think it's from Australia." Said Isabelle flatly.]
[13:44] <Yanmei> "It's from an Iron Guard settlement. They've totally been domesticating them?"
[13:47] <Minaplo> ["Why…?"]
[13:50] <Yanmei> "For their silk. And to ride them around like horses. Which is something we will not be doing," she added, peering at Lizzie pointedly before she began asking the inevitable.
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["Uuu…"-
[13:52] <Minaplo> ["Ugh. Their silk." Isabelle's expression coiled into a cringe. "That's so very… Post-apocalyptic."]
[13:53] <Yanmei> "Well… what did you expect?" she gave her a little half-grin.
[13:57] <Minaplo> ["I thought they might be collecting them for their poison. Poisoned weapons."]
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Venom," Yanmei corrected. "And it will only paralyze you, not kill you. I guess it'd have its uses, though…"
[14:09] <Minaplo> ["Venom, sorry." Said Isabelle dryly. "Yes, I could see a few uses for a paralysing venom. Could it be mixed with a drink?"]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "Probably. Ew, though…"
[14:10] <Minaplo> ["What?"]
[14:11] <Yanmei> "Think about it. You'd probably have to force its jaws open and extract the venom by poking at some gross gland in its mouth. Who'd want to drink that?"
[14:13] <Minaplo> ["You're not supposed to let them realise."]
[14:14] <Yanmei> "Well, yeah. I'm just saying the idea of it is icky."
[14:16] <Minaplo> ["Ickick, mama?" Cooed Lizzie.-
[14:17] <Minaplo> [For a moment, Isabelle smiled down at Lizzie, a dreamy and fond expression on her face. She reached out to stroke Lizzie's hair; the little girl did not pull away.-
[14:17] <Minaplo> ["… So what else did you get up to in Australia?"]
[14:18] <Yanmei> "Lots of fighting. Little bit of trading. We've got quite a lot of followers over there nowadays."
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["Really."]
[14:22] <Yanmei> "Yeah? They helped us out with taking back the Geofront? Right now they've gone back home to build up their territories a bit."
[14:23] <Minaplo> ["Are you talking about gangers?" Said Isabelle with a scowl.]
[14:24] <Yanmei> "…yeah."
[14:34] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."]
[14:37] <Yanmei> "It's different now. Or changing. They have some kind of a truce going."
[14:40] <Minaplo> ["Yeah? How come?"]
[14:49] <Yanmei> "Because of my influence." Yanmei puffed up proudly. "Before leaving, I created a gang to rule all other gangs. And the lady I left in charge of it has whipped the others into shape and spread our ideologies about revolution and liberty among the downtrodden Runners. We're trying to establish a new system that doesn't trod on the weak."
[14:58] <Minaplo> ["Hmph. I don't believe it." Said Isabelle flatly; she turned away.]
[15:01] <Yanmei> "It's true," Yanmei frowned a bit. "I'll go back there soon personally and I'll prove it to you."
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["The gangers are savage bastards." Said Isabelle. "What could you say to them to convince them not to squeeze the Runners dry?"]
[15:04] <Yanmei> "Present them with a more effective system. Or just beat the inclination out of them. That works too."
[15:04] <Minaplo> ["… You did this?"]
[15:06] <Yanmei> "I was only there for two weeks. Most I could do was make up a gang that was actually kind to Runners. They came to us in droves."
[15:09] <Minaplo> ["Good training, huh?"]
[15:11] <Yanmei> "What's that mean?"
[15:11] <Minaplo> ["For now."]
[15:16] * Yanmei frowned, squinting at her a bit. "Maybe. I'm trying to do the same things, if that's what you mean."
[15:23] <Minaplo> [Isabelle nodded.-
[15:23] <Minaplo> ["… I don't have many good memories of the time."]
[15:27] <Yanmei> "I'm not surprised. Everyone there deserves better."
[15:28] <Minaplo> ["Not everyone."]
[15:34] <Yanmei> "Severus…" She said quietly, peering closely for a reaction.
[15:43] <Minaplo> ["King of the shits, but I never dealt with him."]
[15:43] <Yanmei> "Consider yourself lucky."
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["Heh. I don't." Said Isabelle flatly. "I had to deal with the Gangers. And I was just a Runner."]
[15:45] <Yanmei> "Also bad. I'm sorry."
[15:46] <Minaplo> ["First man I ever killed was a ganger."]
[15:48] <Yanmei> "Self defense?"
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["That's right."]
[15:52] <Yanmei> "Of course it was," Yanmei sighed.
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["I'm sure the first Ganger you ever killed started it too."]
[15:57] * Yanmei hesitated, glancing away guiltily. "They jumped us out of nowhere."
[15:58] <Minaplo> ["Of course they did."]
[16:09] <Yanmei> "It wasn't all bad. There were a few people we met at the market who weren't terrible."
[16:15] <Minaplo> ["Yeah?"]
[16:18] <Yanmei> "We met a masked vigilante. And a kind old artisan who gave Lizzie a free toy. And of course, there was the man who sold us Daji."
[16:18] <Minaplo> ["Jiji!" Said Lizzie cheerfully.-
[16:19] <Minaplo> ["Heh." Isabelle smiled a little. "An artisan, huh? A Tinkerer, you mean?"]
[16:19] <Yanmei> "Yeah. But come on, they're the same thing!"
[16:23] <Minaplo> ["Heh. Tinkerer just sounds better~"-
[16:24] <Minaplo> [But she frowned thoughtfully to herself. "Adrian's father was a Tinkerer."]
[16:28] <Yanmei> "Ah," she said awkwardly.
[16:29] <Minaplo> ["Maybe if I ever go back there, I'll be able to find him. Speak to him. Tell him about… Everything."]
[16:30] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei took a deep breath. "There was a man there who could have been his uncle."
[16:31] <Minaplo> ["…?" Isabelle turned toward Yanmei quickly. "Go on."]
[16:36] <Yanmei> "He was in Melbourne… had a shop to himself. Went by the name John Bellamy. When he heard Lizzie's name, he said that his sister-in-law had the same name… but that both her and his brother were gone now."
[16:39] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[16:40] <Minaplo> ["Oh." Said Isabelle eventually, her voice hollow.]
[16:43] <Yanmei> "But… the uncle doesn't know anything. And we don't know if there are other relatives there either."
[16:43] <Minaplo> ["…"]
[16:44] <Yanmei> "…" -
[16:44] <Yanmei> "Sorry."
[16:47] <Minaplo> [Lizzie looked up now, gazing at Yanmei before looking over at Isabelle- then back. Lizzie pouted a little and frowned. "Sad…"-
[16:47] <Minaplo> [She shuffled forward and awkwardly flopped onto Isabelle's chest. "No sad. Me here. Me hug."-
[16:47] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[16:48] <Minaplo> [Isabelle scrunched her eyes up for a moment, her face seeming to squeeze shut. She took a deep breath, and gently rubbed Lizzie's back. "Sweet Lizzie…"]
[16:56] * Yanmei stayed silent, watching the two bond. A small, quiet smile came to her.
[16:57] <Minaplo> [Lizzie turned toward Yanmei. "Maamaa hug too."]
[17:01] <Yanmei> "Heh. All right, all right." Yanmei edged forward, and slowly put her arms around them both.
[17:01] <Minaplo> [Daji crawled in between all of them, managing to wedge herself into the warmest space. "Yip."-
[17:01] <Minaplo> ["…" Isabelle let out a small sniffle. "We must look ridiculous." She said with a half-laugh.]
[17:04] <Yanmei> "Like anyone's watching? It's fine…"

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