Yanmei And Aline S Chess Game

[14:52] <Yanmei> The Dorian Lachapelle had many rooms. -
[14:57] <Yanmei> Most had been occupied during the weeks that NERV had taken it over. Of course, they couldn't do too much remodeling. Bedrooms and bathrooms, storage places and conference rooms - every place that the pilots, officers, technicians and civilians aboard had seen clearly had an intended original purpose. The same was true of the room that Zhang Yanmei led the way too. -
[14:57] <Yanmei> ^way to
[15:01] <Yanmei> The doors she paused in front of were identical to the doors to most of the officer quarters on the ship. She glanced over her shoulder. "Here it is?" she said. "I thought this place was just a rumor, but it turned out to be real after all."
[15:04] * Aline walked along behind her, and shook her head rather lazily. "Eh, it's not that big a thing… Compared to what /could've/ been in the ship. I don't even know what, though."
[15:07] <Yanmei> "I guess?" Yanmei opened it, the lights switching on automatically. "I'm just surprised they thought they'd have this much time for recreation, though." -
[15:10] <Yanmei> It was massive - easily the size of the ship's Captain's quarters, if not a little larger. -
[15:15] <Yanmei> The light glinted sharply off the surface of the gold-flecked marble tile floor and large glass panel seemingly comprising the far wall. There were shapes behind that window - swimming shapes, and rushing bubbles, all blurred a bit by the pace of the Battleship. -
[15:20] <Yanmei> There was velvet, too, everywhere. On the curtains framing the window-wall, the deep red wine colored cushions of the elegant Baroque-style arm chairs and settees, and covering the tops of the stools at a small, gold-trimmed, fully-stocked bar set off to the side. -
[15:27] <Yanmei> Computer consoles lined another wall yet, a jarring sight among the finary, although somewhat camouflaged by their own gold trim and the digital works of art displayed on them. Familiar works, seen all around the ship, and a few omnimous new ones too. -
[15:29] <Yanmei> There was a casino-style card table, and elegant dark-wood tables with little squares carved into them and chess pieces already set up. -
[15:32] <Yanmei> Yanmei wandered further inside. "The Brothers' rec room…"
[15:35] * Aline walked in behind her, taking in the sights. "Well, they certainly don't spare expenses even on this. But… well. They definitely liked their chess, so…" She gestured at the table with the chesspieces. "This is what we came for, no?"
[15:38] <Yanmei> "That's right~ Let's take a seat, then?" Yanmei did just that… and frowned down at the chess pieces. "Hey…"
[15:41] * Aline let out a little "Hm?" and looked at the pieces in more detail, before sitting down as well.
[15:47] <Yanmei> They weren't the standard design, that was for sure. One side was carved out of clear crystal, the other out of what was probably onyx, and some had noticably familiar, albeit stylized, faces. Evangelions. Big Brother. Gendo Ikari. A few Valkyries…
[15:48] <Aline> "Ooh, a themed set~"
[15:52] <Yanmei> "Ugh." Yanmei shook her head. "It's creepy."
[15:55] * Aline vaguely handwaved. "Ehhh. Maybe the inclusion of Big Brother's kinda bleh, and a few recognizable faces represented are a bit weird, but otherwise it's a decent enough set. You're just brittle."
[15:57] <Yanmei> "-Excuse- me?"
[15:59] * Aline blinked. "Eh, it's nothing. You're just easily put off by those kinds of things. It's not like /marketing/ made it."
[16:02] <Yanmei> "Did you ever consider that you're weird one for not being put off by it more than you are?"
[16:03] * Aline just smirked. "Ma~ybe."
[16:05] <Yanmei> "Hmph. Just hurry up and make your first move so that I can beat you?"
[16:08] * Aline stretched, her hands and fingers joining her arms in the gesture. There was a light crack. "Let's get this moving, then." She considered, and eventually chose a piece, moving it forwards… before not releasing it, and putting it back to instead move another. This continued for a few seconds.
[16:08] * Aline eventually made a final move, though.
[16:30] * Yanmei promptly moved one of her own Stormtrooper pawns further onto the board. She showed none of the thought or hesitation that Aline had seemed to. "So, that Warmaster…"
[16:40] * Aline considered her moves briefly, but not long enough to really be that much in the way of deep thought. "Yeah. What of him?" She advanced one of her own pawns - Banshees, making this a sort of odd Angel-Brother vs. NERV-UN set.
[16:58] <Yanmei> "Where do you think we screwed up. Originally?" Another pawn ventured out.
[17:01] * Aline quickly moved… almost entirely unrelatedly to Yanmei's motion, probably a setup for something. "I was taken out pretty early, so I'm actually not too sure. Going over it though, we may have just been dancing around too much and didn't put on enough pressure. Maybe we even needed more units?"
[17:06] <Yanmei> "Dancing around? He was the one leading. The rest of us couldn't keep up. At all." She frowned at that move deeply. "And then he took out all our long range units…" She moved again, finally, probing her way further out.
[17:11] <Aline> "Ah. Well, I guess that's why they feel more confident about Wellesley's people. The long-range business, that is. Not that I think it'll really make that much difference." Aline briefly sighed, before again pushing forward some pawnage, forming a little front. "I know I could've done some things better. Better defenses on my part at least."
[17:25] <Yanmei> "It would've taken something more drastic than extra armor or a tough AT Field?" She pulled out her rook.
[17:28] * Aline wasn't quite picking up on the deception Yanmei was weaving with her pieces, but she managed to keep cool, confident in her strategy so far. "…Force nullification. You saw how much he used energy attacks, right?"
[17:34] <Yanmei> "Sounds like it would work?" She slipped her pawn out further. "But I wonder if he would have seen it coming."
[17:36] * Aline was busying herself with her bigger pieces now. She seemed to have the momentum, but was running against something she didn't quite expect. "…Probably. Maybe would've even just been like 'you know what, screw you' and blast someone else."
[17:41] * Yanmei moved suddenly, gunning for one of Aline's said larger pieces with her rook. "Maybe we'll get lucky this time and Wellesley's plan will work."
[17:44] * Aline was taken by surprise and lost of one them - a Valkyrie, a Knight - but sighed. "I doubt it'll work, but not for any rational reason."
[17:51] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei leaned back in her chair. "How's Ikari?"
[17:54] <Aline> "Not good. He's got this… AT thing, now. Sees people differently or something like that, and he's been stressed in other ways as-/is/."
[17:57] <Yanmei> "Isabelle was like that too, the last time I saw her."
[18:02] * Aline raised a brow, as she continued to play. "…Oh. I haven't /really/ met her since all of the junk happened, so I didn't know."
[07:27] <Yanmei> "You might want to contact her then? Someone around here must know where they're holding her and how to reach her. She's learned to cope with it. In her own way. Maybe she can offer some advice?"
[07:29] * Aline tilted her head this way and that - it was hard to tell whether she was mulling over the game or over the conversation. "That might be… interesting? I've heard all sorts of weird scuttlebutt about death glares and magic powers, but most of that's probably bull."
[07:31] <Yanmei> "Those are rumors that have sprung up around her seeing strange things, yes. Her ability to navigate the chantry probably hasn't helped them much either? Plus she dresses a little strangely these days."
[07:35] <Aline> "I wouldn't doubt. On a /number/ of those accounts, no. But well. She's certainly fit a bunch of coincidences that come together into one big mythological status."
[07:41] <Yanmei> "So she has. It would be nice if more people talked to her, just in general," Yanmei muttered, half to herself.
[07:44] * Aline shrugged her shoulders. "I guess you have a fair reason to want that - you know her."
[07:48] <Yanmei> "Probably not all that well? But yeah, I've tried to keep up with her for obvious reasons." She peered at the board with a slight frown. "It's your turn."
[07:51] * Aline nodded. "Well yes, obvious." She lingered on that word. "Obvious…" Suddenly, one of Yanmei's offending pieces - maybe something high-ranking like possibly even a Queen - was gone.
[07:55] * Yanmei tried to keep her eyebrows down. "…the part about her harvesting souls for her witchcraft is true, though," she added casually.
[07:57] <Aline> "You have her confused with Mary Caine, I think, there." Aline chuckled, not really suspecting a thing. She was in the lead, right?
[08:01] <Yanmei> She was. "Trust me, I'm not. I've seen it. It happened at a small dinner party I was holding while I was stuck at that Synfront. When Security came to clean up and take a report, they said it happened all the time? Poor Lizzie was traumatized…"
[08:03] * Aline stared at Yanmei. Then stared again. "…That…" She looked down at their board and her pieces, and just rolled her shoulders. "If you insist…"
[08:05] <Yanmei> That distraction, incredulous or not, was all she needed. A swift move of two, and another pawn fell to her. "Just kidding~"
[08:14] * Aline shrugged again. "Cheap."
[08:17] <Yanmei> "No need to be a sore loser, Blanc."
[08:20] <Aline> "I could be Asuka, so ehhh. Fine, I'll let it slide." Aline did stick out her tongue, though, and winked at the same time as it. At first, her next move looked stupid - she was going right for a dangerous piece!… in fact, it was an obvious feint.
[08:24] * Yanmei snorted under her breath, ignoring the bait. She shifted one of her pieces, creating a tidy little formation on the board.
[08:27] * Aline shifted another in turn. She couldn't really hide the setup now, but… "Mm." There were threats all abound, but no check yet.
[08:28] * Yanmei moved out another piece, adding to her perfect offense. Almost there…
[08:31] * Aline shuffled her own. She had yet to use her own queen, but had previously 'opened the door' for it a number of moves earlier. It was unsubtle, like a club to the head, but Yanmei may have been too busy forming her own lines. "Check."
[08:32] <Aline> (It is worth noting, in a similarly unsubtle happenstance, that the "Brother Side" Queen was none other than Rei Ayanami.)
[08:35] <Yanmei> "What?" Her gaze shifted sharply back to her own lacking defense, and her fingers flew to the King. She paused for a long time, noting the limited spaces to move it, and the various traps set up. Surely there was a way to… -
[08:36] <Yanmei> "I think you mean 'Checkmate'," she muttered after a while.
[08:37] * Aline peered over the board, and actually waved fingers over imaginary movement lines. "…Huh. My rook… Interesting."
[08:39] <Yanmei> "Whatever." She leaned back in her chair. "Do you want-" -
[08:41] <Yanmei> But at this point, she was interrupted by clapping. A small crowd of Holo-Silases were flickering to life around the table. Yanmei jolted, visibly alarmed. -
[08:43] <Yanmei> "Congratulations!" "Congratulations!" "Congratulations!" They chorused, multiple identical voices overlapping. Aline would feel something rumbling beneath her chair…
[08:45] * Aline stood up rather suddenly because fuck no, not the chairs. Not the chairs.
[08:50] <Yanmei> Without a passenger now, the chair rose up several inches via a concealed hydraulic platform as elegant music played. The window along the wall of the game room had changed too, displaying a holographic image of an approving Big Brother with a champagne glass.
[08:52] * Aline didn't know whether to be happy or disappointed that she dismounted. "…You know, doing this - or anything - somewhere else suddenly became a lot more attractive just now."
[08:54] <Yanmei> "I think I hate chess now," Yanmei muttered, balefully eying the window. "Want to find someplace else to go?"
[08:58] * Aline sidled away from the chair, as if afraid it'd grow arms and insist on her being seated on it. "Sounds like a /smashing/ idea."
[09:01] * Yanmei stood up, all too happy to lead the way through the holo-crowd to the door. She paused when she got there, wondering about the security of the place in comparison with the rest of the ship. "Look, before we go, can I ask you something?"
[09:02] * Aline tuuuurned. "…Yeah?"
[09:05] <Yanmei> "EVA-00 hasn't been acting weird, has it?"
[09:10] * Aline looked around suddenly, conspiratorily, and then, only then, replied. "Define 'weird'?"
[09:11] <Yanmei> "Sudden drastic Synch Ratio declines. Weird images when you're in the entry plug. Berserk incidents? You know, weird."
[09:15] * Aline tapped her fingers. "No, Yes, No." Aline was quick to summarize the list, and looked on expectantly.
[09:18] * Yanmei stared back a second. "Whatever. I don't actually feel like prying? But you should at least know that de Pteres has been completely rejected by 01. We're talking aboout a Synch Ratio that's below 1% now."
[09:21] * Aline /tilted her goddamn head/. "That's… unusual. Very unusual."
[09:23] <Yanmei> "Very unheard of? It happened practically overnight, with no warning signs that we can think of. They're working on a fix now, but who's to say if it'll actually work?"
[09:27] <Aline> "…He's… uh… Idiosyncratic to say the least. I'm surprised it happened? But…" Aline sort of mildly shrugged. "I'm not surprised it happened to /him/, after the initial surprise wore off."
[09:32] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei eyes narrowed, but she seemed to be thinking about something else now. "Well. Just know that we can't rely on him for a while. Akagi either."
[09:34] * Aline focused her gaze on Yanmei a little tighter now, but considered her words. "Wait, why not Tsubaki?"
[09:36] <Yanmei> "Because she's in hiding? So no matter what the circumstances, she can't fight alongside us."
[09:37] <Aline> "…Right. I forgot about that with the recent change of your 'status'." Aline said as she absentmindedly rubbed the back of her head.
[09:39] <Yanmei> "I'm a little more expendable, you see," she said dryly. "But yeah. Any questions about, well. Anything?"
[09:42] * Aline drummed her other hand's fingers against her thigh methodically. "Speaking of weird images… did /you/ get any from /04/?"
[09:45] <Yanmei> "Yes, but that's not saying much? 04 is always weird," Yanmei muttered. "There was this lame Death Drive guy hanging around."
[09:48] * Aline suddenly smiled for some reason. "Oh! Right. So you've met him. Thanatos, right?" Go go Illusion World education. "I met his opposite, I just figured maybe you were referring to something that happened to you with the weird images. A hunch."
[09:50] * Yanmei raised an uneasy eyebrow at that. She knew what she was talking about? Moreover, she had met Eros? -
[09:55] <Yanmei> "I guess it's not that serious if everyone is meeting, um… psyche manifestations, like that. Something's been bugging me, though. Did you hear giggling before you started having those visions?"
[09:57] * Aline shook her head. "N… no. Before? Well, there were ambient whispers…"
[10:04] <Yanmei> "Hm." Yanmei nodded to herself. "It was different from the usual berserking, so I guess it took me off guard? But it sounds like it was just something our minds made up to handle the transition or something."
[10:06] * Aline nodded. "Well, in my case, it later became part of the uh… scenery. But yours is a fair theory."
[10:07] <Yanmei> "…" -
[10:09] <Yanmei> Yanmei scowled, glaring at the rest of the room. The Silases had dispersed back into the ether, although the smug window projection remained. "I'm sure it was just a mental transition. There was a little kid there in that dream, so…"
[10:13] <Aline> "Uh-huh." Aline almost-absentmindedly said. But she caught herself in the midst of defocusing, and redoubled her efforts again. "Mine was messy. Riot of random bullshit, really. I even /said/ as much during it - or something like that."
[10:19] <Yanmei> "…not exactly what I would have imagined when thinking about a Life Drive. But then again, it was -your- imagination."
[10:22] * Aline sighed. "Is that supposed to be some kind of dis?"
[10:24] <Yanmei> "Hardly? A lot of the stuff we saw was influenced by what's in our own minds. At least, that's what I was told. There's no way we'd come up with the same setting, even if we were dreaming about the same Drive."
[10:26] <Aline> "I /guess/." She still felt vaguely put-off, but only vaguely. "Whatever the case, it's definitely a Thing that happened."
[10:32] <Yanmei> "Yeah." Yanmei shrugged, reaching for the door. "There are heavier things to worry about, anyway."
[10:34] * Aline waited politely for her to work le door. "Oh, I don't doubt."
[10:43] <Yanmei> It opened, of course, freeing them from the game room and allowing them to seek less ostentatious backdrops.

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