This Too Shall Pass 3 4 27

[13:25] <Minaplo> [Within the FCB's secret base was a very special room indeed: the Interior Garden. Unlike most of the base, this one burst with nature: a flowing stream of clear water divided the room into halves, with both halves overflowing with green, tall trees and thousands of bright flowers of every type of colour from every type of continent. The air in here was cool and refreshing, and there were even birds as well, singing and flying about.-
[13:25] <Minaplo> [As might be expected, the Interior Garden was a popular place for breaks and special occasions.-
[13:26] <Minaplo> [Right now, one of the FCB's special guests currently sat on a little bench in the garden- Sarah Holt-Caine, one of the UN representatives. She was reading a book projected from a handheld holo.]
[13:31] * Vera was soon to wander in, though, knowing some of what was to come, in uniform still, fresh from her duties, but taking a break all the same. "Ah, hello there. Enjoying the facilities so far?"
[13:34] <Minaplo> ["Hello, Colonel." Said Sarah, getting quickly to her feet. She smiled. "Yes, very much so- there's nothing like this in the Synfront, and the aboveground's pretty desolate too."]
[13:40] * Vera frowned slightly. "Desolate… Well, that's probably a consequence of many things, up to and including Metatron's attack. Though there's no excuse for such a dreariness of the Synfront!" She insisted.
[13:42] <Minaplo> ["I agree. They try, of course- the people assigned there, I mean. They put on shows, they play lots of music in the big gathering areas, they run their own shops, like a really big market. And they come from all over the world, so at least you can always find something new to look at, or wear, or eat…"]
[13:49] * Vera nodded her head firmly. "Then all is not lost, as it were."
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["Hah, you could say that. Would you like to sit?"]
[13:56] <Vera> "Ah, certainly~" Vera said cheerily, sitting at the bench and folding her arms.
[13:58] <Minaplo> [Sarah sat back down as well.-
[13:58] <Minaplo> ["Do you enjoy your work, colonel?"]
[14:03] * Vera thought about that for a second, knitting her fingers slightly. "I believe I do. It isn't quite a secret that I was forged to do it as much as anyone else was in my position. Most of the NeoAlexander mentors were my peers, only a bit older than the children they were supervising."
[14:05] <Minaplo> ["What was that like?"]
[14:12] <Vera> "…Interesting, mostly." Vera began. "Like… working with them, seeing the… weird things, the… erm, counter-honeypot methods… the rigorous training and education, the constant battles and feuding…"
[14:21] <Minaplo> ["Any stories that stick out~?"]
[14:36] * CakeyCake is now known as Yanmei
[14:39] <Vera> "…Uh." She said, a bit wrongfooted. "Well, I think maybe there might be some appeal in how my resources officer started an entire black market economy as a schooling project…"
[14:40] <Minaplo> ["… Wow."]
[14:46] * Vera scratched the back of her neck. "…She was one of the savant-type prodigies good at one thing, you see. She's… something of a 'Dark Lord of Economics' now."
[14:49] <Minaplo> ["Did they punish her for it?"]
[14:51] <Vera> "…Like, a little? But not completely. It was just too audacious not to praise." Vera remarked with amusement.
[14:58] <Minaplo> ["So it was that sort of climate. Break the rules in a cool enough way and you got lauded for it…"-
[14:58] <Minaplo> ["Did that apply to you too, hm? Were you a troublemaker~?"]
[15:01] * Vera let a mild flush appear. "…I got into trouble, but it wasn't approved trouble…" She seemed slightly wrongfooted about it.
[15:02] <Minaplo> ["… Ah. I won't ask."]
[15:07] <Vera> "Mmm. Sorry about that, but there are some things that are deeply embarrassing, still." Vera said.
(15:13) <Minaplo> ["No, no. I understand."-
(15:13) <Minaplo> ["Still, it doesn't seem to have slowed you down any." Said Sarah brightly. "Single mother and in command of a top secret military base!"]
(15:14) * Vera chuckled. "Yes! And they all are very supportive of it, too. Gifts of puzzleboxes from the head scientist, daycare…"
(15:15) <Minaplo> ["Does she have daycare on site?"]
(15:19) * Vera nodded her head. "Yes, actually. It's quite handy!"
(15:20) <Minaplo> ["Should we go say hi?"]
(15:26) * Vera smiled softly. "I don't see why not, really!"
(15:26) <Minaplo> ["Hehehe."-
(15:29) <Minaplo> ["Actually, there's something of an ulterior motive at play here, colonel. See, I myself am expecting."]
(15:30) * Vera …smirked. "Oh I /see/. So you're curious about what it's like, aren't you?~"
(15:30) <Minaplo> ["Of course! Teach me your ways~"]
(15:34) <Vera> "Oh, but I'm not entirely sure just how wondrous my ways are. But we shall see, we shall see~" Vera chirped.
(15:47) <Minaplo> […-
(15:48) <Minaplo> [The base daycare was moderately busy- Vera was hardly the only parent on base, after all, who couldn't (or wouldn't) find anywhere else.-
(15:48) <Minaplo> [And what would Vera's little bundle of joy most likely be doing right now…?]
(15:52) * Vera imagines Sol is probably playing in a playroom at roughly this hour, maybe hanging out with some of the other kids, perhaps. It was probably adorable.
(16:13) <Minaplo> [And so she was, shaking a toy hammer at a table threateningly.-
(16:13) <Minaplo> ["Which one's yours?"]
(16:15) * Vera thus pointed to Sol, who was currently showing that table what-for! "Over there, the bright eyes and black hair, in the red t-shirt."
(16:18) <Vera> (Auburn!)
(16:23) <Minaplo> (Feel the auburn)
(16:30) <Minaplo> ["Oh! What's her name~?"]
(16:32) <Vera> "Sol Freitas, it is." She said it quietly, so as to not set the little girl off with calling her name! We must observe them in their natural habitat.
(16:33) <Minaplo> ["Aw. That's a sweet name. She looks so serious with that little hammer…"]
(16:34) <Vera> "I admit not being sure what she's doing…" Vera admitted, looking on. "Maybe she's playing a pretend game? …Or maybe she hates that table."
(16:38) <Minaplo> [It was then that Sol clumsily tugged something out of her pocket: a wooden wedge, like the sort one might use to jam a door.-
(16:38) <Minaplo> [She reversed the wedge, digging the point down into the plastic of the table; then she proceeded to whack it with her hammer as hard as possible.]
(17:03) * Minaplo is now known as MInaplo|Out
(17:09) * Vera …smiled lopsidedly. "Really hates that table."
(17:32) * MInaplo|Out is now known as Minaplo
(17:36) <Minaplo> [But Sol's expression was screwed up into one tight with concentration.-
(17:36) <Minaplo> ["She looks focused, though. That's a little scary." Said Sarah with a chuckle. "What's she like to handle?"]
(17:39) * Vera waved a hand. "She's spunky and obviously smart, so she's sometimes a bit of a handful. …She's /just/ old enough that we got past the ridiculously defiant stage, but she's still pretty headstrong. Probably figured some stuff out early, like how to get what she wants or… that sometimes silly excuses aren't really the best?"
(17:53) <Minaplo> ["Mmm… You sound like you've really got it together, though."]
(17:54) * Vera shook her head a bit. "I do what I can? If anything, the kind of hardcore education… IT almost helps? It doesn't have any practical benefit, but the research and teaching skills do. I mean, I managed a literal army of 7-year-old officers before…"
(18:04) <Minaplo> ["Haha. So a baby's easy after that, right? I know how that feels."]
(18:05) <Vera> "Sssort of." She said cautiously. "A 7-year-old doesn't, um. Mess their undies all the time. Or scream and howl at offensive hours of the night."
(18:08) <Minaplo> ["You obviously haven't met the right 7-year olds." Said Sarah drily.]
(18:10) <Vera> "…Does your husband have some horror stories about his colleagues in the other program? I mean…" A sigh. "The Alexanders /were/ chosen for ability to internalize tactics, general intelligence, and assumedly ability to take pressure." Beat. "The Spartans, possibly not in exchange for ability to tolerate the physical demands."
(18:13) <Minaplo> ["He has a few, yeah." Said Sarah. "Or a few I've heard from the others. Stories of poor little girls finding themselves strung up by the roof by a murderous fellow Spartan, for example."]
(18:15) * Vera frowned. "Yyyyeah. The problem I had was largely more the elaborate feuds and… Indiscretions, when they got old enough for that. Because /to hell/ with their counter-honeypot methodology. Idiots."
(18:16) <Minaplo> ["You mentioned that before. I've only heard a few things about it from our own…?"]
(18:18) <Vera> "Well. They wanted not just officers, but spyproof officers." Vera began, frowning. "…Apparently they thought by training them to be used to the opposite sex's bodies, that that stunt wouldn't work. If you're half the mother I expect you to be, you'll know how poorly that would work on real teenagers." Pause. "…Though at least someone actually stopped them when they began resorting to
(18:18) <Vera> gelding."
(18:31) <Minaplo> ["Gelding! Like horses?!"]
(18:32) <Vera> "It's… er. I suppose? Chemical, uh… castration is for males, right? But they sterilized and altered boys and girls both." She admitted. "Only a few."
(18:35) <Minaplo> ["That's barbaric."]

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