Yanmei S New World

[14:39] <Yanmei> A blank white wall. No… it was a ceiling, judging from the attached light fixture. Something beyond her immediate field of vision was making a noise. A digital beeping. A heart monitor? The radar on an old-fashioned submarine? It was nostalgic. -
[14:42] <Yanmei> Zhang Yanmei continued staring upward without moving. She couldn't tell how long she had been doing it for, nor did she feel especially pressed to search for a clock so that she could tell. This was reality, wasn't it? If she was alive, it had to be.
[14:43] <Minaplo> [She lay there undisturbed for awhile- a clock on the bedside table suggested about ten minutes- before the door opened.]
[14:45] * Yanmei blinked. Her eyes lingered on the light fixture for a few extra precious moments, and then she turned her head at last. Clock. Wall. Figure standing by the door…
[14:46] <Minaplo> [It was Marianne, or at least, what Marianne had looked like decades ago. Younger, her hair still blonde, not tinted with grey; a smooth face and a colonel's uniform. "Hey."]
[14:49] <Yanmei> "…" A pause. Yanmei was processing. "Hello -" Captain? Major? Was this before Lachapelle had died? She eyed her uniform. "- Colonel."
[14:51] <Minaplo> [Marianne walked across the room, sat down on the edge of the bed, a gentle hand reaching out to smooth Yanmei's fringe. "… I'm sorry."]
[14:52] <Yanmei> "…?" That was right. She used to do things like this and give hugs, too. "Sorry?"
[14:53] <Minaplo> ["I've had a work with Aline. About what happened."]
[14:54] <Yanmei> "Oh." Yanmei's brows knit a little. "What did she say?"
[14:55] <Minaplo> ["Well, we had to sedate her for her own good- same with William. But it seems as though the Archangel trapped you guys in a very powerful illusion. Lasting… Years, to your eyes."]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "Years," she confirmed, and suddenly looked exhausted. "Years and years. It's… still 2017, isn't it?"
[14:59] <Minaplo> ["Yes, that's right."]
[15:03] <Yanmei> "2017," she said again. Her gaze returned to the ceiling. "I keep telling myself that. 2017. I'm seventeen. I'm an Evangelion pilot with NERV. Marital status: engaged. I live with you and William." … "Marianne?"
[15:05] <Minaplo> ["Yes, sweetheart?"]
[15:06] <Yanmei> "Are we insane? Me and Blanc and the rest?"
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["What do you mean…?"]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "Why do I have to keep reminding myself of those things? I… don't feel seventeen."
[15:10] <Minaplo> [She continued to stroke Yanmei's hair. "Sweetheart, I can't… I don't know what to do here." Marianne's face was indecisive, pained at her inability. "… To me, it was only a minute or so. But whatever you guys experienced was long and it was real… That isn't your fault."]
[15:15] <Yanmei> "It was the Angel's. But we took care of him, even though it didn't fix things." For a moment, there was a very real glint of malice in her eyes.
[15:16] <Minaplo> ["That's right." She put an arm around Yanmei's shoulders. "I'm here, though. I'm here for you. This is real…"]
[15:22] <Yanmei> "Real." Yanmei moved into the comforting gesture a bit awkwardly, her mind clearly elsewhere. She found her own hands and gazed down at them. "This is real."
[15:28] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. That's right." Marianne kissed Yanmei's forehead. "Hey, why don't we get something real into you? We should have lunch."]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "All right. Yeah. Lunch would be good?" She tried sitting up on her own and started to pull the sheets off of her.
[15:31] <Minaplo> ["I brought you some clothes, earlier." She nodded to a chair in the corner.]
[15:33] <Yanmei> "All right. I'll be right out?" She went to investigate said clothes. A trip to the cafeteria. She suddenly felt nervous about it.
[15:35] <Minaplo> [Marianne nodded, and with a worried, but hopeful smile, she left.]
[15:40] <Yanmei> Yanmei stripped out of her hospital gown and… stared down at herself. She moved an arm experimentally. This was her body. Hers. It felt like hers. It looked different, but it was hers. No… the body in the illusion had been the false one. She pulled on the t-shirt Marianne had brought. -
[15:42] <Yanmei> When she moved, it felt like she was moving, no matter whose body she was in. Pants on next. Simple, clean, sweatpants with an elastic waistband. The old NERV logo was on one leg. No… the -regular- NERV logo. No nostalgic associations. -
[15:46] <Yanmei> She could do this. Yes, she… She worked her hands through her hair. It fell well past her shoulders. Twin-tails or wear it loose? She didn't have any elastic bands. She could remember the feel of pigtails, how to part her hair the right way. Simple things. Deep breath. Right. Here she went. -
[15:48] <Yanmei> She emerged, finally, in the t-shirt and sweatpants, her feet clad in thin sandals. A pause and she peered around for Marianne.
[15:53] <Minaplo> [Marianne was standing a little distance away, talking to Terence Savage- who still looked exactly the same…]
[15:58] * Yanmei brightened at that, moving forward quickly. "Premier Savage!" She met him with a big grin. "How are you doing?"
[15:58] <Minaplo> [His eyebrows rose, and he reached out to ruffle her hair. "Mmm, flattery will get you no where. I may be premiere, but I'm no premier."]
[16:02] <Yanmei> "Ghk…" She tried to smooth down her hair again, her face twisted in utter confusion. Why did he…? "Oh… oh, right. You're… a Captain, right?" Yesss, she remembered! No matter what her mind was telling her, it couldn't have been that long since they'd last spoken. It was just… ugh, confusing…
[16:12] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Sounds like you've had quite the ordeal." He said, his heavy brow furrowing in concern.]
[16:13] <Yanmei> "I'm fine. It's fine!" She gave him a joking smile. "It's better than being dead, right? Heh heh."
[16:14] <Minaplo> ["Methinks it would be a little worse." Said Terry gravely.-
[16:14] <Minaplo> ["Come now." Said Marianne a little crossly. "Let's get you filled up with some of NERV's finest."]
[16:17] <Yanmei> "Yes, Marianne." She bobbed her head politely to Terry. "Will you be joining us, Pre-…. Captain?"
[16:18] <Minaplo> ["I will."]
[16:20] <Yanmei> "Ah, good. We can talk politics. Shall we?" She nodded to Marianne, as if trusting her to lead the way.
[16:22] <Minaplo> [Marianne nodded, and led them away, to the cafeteria. It wasn't too crowded today, but she could see Frederic and Dr. Clement talking nearby.-
[16:22] <Minaplo> ["You can have whatever you want. I'll pay." Said Marianne.]
[16:25] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei was trying not to stare at the conversing pair. Dr. Clement. She remembered him. Frederic too. He looked like a slacker, but could use a gun like a pro. "Hm?" she glanced back at Marianne with large, dazed eyes. "Oh. Right. Food."
[16:26] <Minaplo> [Marianne smiled, that same warm, but concerned smile. "You should eat a -lot-, though."]
[16:28] <Yanmei> "Why?" She was turning to a displayed overhead menu that featured what they had available for the day. "Was I out for a long time?"
[16:29] <Minaplo> ["A fair bit, yeah."-
[16:29] <Minaplo> [Some of her old favourites. Big bowls of hot noodles with meat and sauce; curry chicken, curry pork. Pasta, big steaks, t-bones…-
[16:29] <Minaplo> [NERV cafeteria was a qualitycafeteria.]
[16:31] * Yanmei went for a plate of noodles. "Should… should I be remembering the battle?"
[16:32] <Minaplo> ["W-Well, EVA-04 was berserk, so…"]
[16:37] <Yanmei> "Yeah. There was bright light everywhere. And the Angel kept reforming, even though we kept beating them to death. It was seriously frustrating?" She eyed a second plate with a large wiggly gelatin square on it.
[16:37] <Minaplo> ["I'm surprised you remember that… But, you guys managed to win, and we captured the Angel's core. Doctor Surov is looking at it right now."]
[16:38] <Yanmei> "Ugh. I bet he is."
[16:38] <Minaplo> [Marianne's eyebrows rose.]
[16:40] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei hastily took the wiggly dessert, looking away. "What else happened while I was sleeping?"
[16:41] <Minaplo> ["Not a lot." Said Marianne. "it hasn't been that long."]
[16:44] * Yanmei nodded, moving on to get a drink. Heh. An old fashioned drink dispenser! Look at that. Eagerly, she held a cup beneath it. "About that core…"
[16:47] <Minaplo> ["Yeah?"]
[16:49] <Yanmei> "We were going to do something bad with it, right?" Her brow wrinkled. "Something bad with in and Isabelle Bel- oh." She remembered. Her gaze sank a little. "The Chantry Operation…"
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["That's right. So we can find the Angels more easily."]
[16:51] <Yanmei> "Does she know it's going to kill her?" She was frowning. "We should tell her."
[16:52] <Minaplo> [Marianne's face was one of shock and alarm, looking at Terence. "What? I- Yanmei…"]
[16:54] * Yanmei pulled away from the drink dispenser, sadly frowning down at the very thick layer of foam that was at the top of her cup. "Won't it? Ikari said once that it was lethal. I -remember-."
[17:01] <Minaplo> ["Um… I'm not sure that's true, Yanmei." Said Marianne patiently.]
[17:03] * Yanmei eyed her dubiously.
[17:05] <Minaplo> ["Listen. We'd do our best to make sure Isabelle is safe from any harm. She'd be in an Eva unit, it'd just be a core…"]
[17:07] <Yanmei> "But… she lost her vision just from contacting the Chantry for a few seconds. If she tries it for any longer than that…"
[17:08] <Minaplo> ["She did it without an Eva, Yanmei." Said Marianne, still in that patient tone. "We're not even letting her do that- we're going to give her all the shielding and protection we can."]
[17:09] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei rubbed her head, but it felt too foggy to allow for a bunch of counterarguments. "I don't know. I have a bad feeling about it?"
[17:10] <Minaplo> ["I understand. But we'll be doing our best. You shouldn't think about that stuff for now…"]
[17:11] <Yanmei> "Sorry. I'll try not to?" She glanced around for a table.
[17:11] <Minaplo> [There were plenty free. Terence had already occupied one, shifting aside the chair to sit on the floor. It didn't impede him at all.]
[17:17] * Yanmei waited for Marianne and then made her way over to the table, trying not to be too obvious about looking around at their surroundings. "Wish I had my laptop. I want to read today's news…"
[17:19] <Minaplo> ["Do you want me to fetch you a laptop?" Asked Terence.]
[17:21] <Yanmei‘> "It’s all right. It can wait until later." Could it? There was something she'd been horribly anxious about before and during the battle. Something… terrible… She stared blankly down at her noodles as though she wasn't sure what to do about them. -
[17:23] <Yanmei‘> "…" The silence was getting a little weird. She tried to adapt and push on to another topic. "Th-the rest of my squad. Have you guys been checking up on them? How are they doing?"
[17:23] <Minaplo> ["Well, Aline and Will are sedated, Sera’s being treated for wounds…"]
[17:25] <Yanmei‘> "Wounds? That’s it?" Minor ones, it had to be. 01 had been standing at the end of the battle.
[17:26] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Effects from the battle. Ah…" She glanced at Terence worriedly.-
[17:26] <Minaplo> ["William was not taking… This well."]
[17:28] <Yanmei‘> "No?" He’d always been a little sensitive. Yanmei shifted uncomfortably.
[17:28] <Minaplo> [Marianne did the same, picking at a bowl of pasta. Next to them, Terence heartily ignored the awkwardness and began enthusiastically tearing into one of the largest T-bones Yanmei had ever seen.]
[17:32] * Yanmei‘ picked up her fork - they mainly had European cutlery around here, did they? She hadn’t looked hard for alternatives. - and picked at her noodles. "What should we do? Will he be out of it for a while?"
[17:33] <Minaplo> ["We'll see. I'll have a word with him later." Marianne's eyes momentarily focused on something beyond Yanmei.]
[17:34] * Yanmei‘ turned briefly to follow her gaze.
[17:36] <Minaplo> [Sophie, heading quickly though the cafeteria, sending a wave to Fred.-
[17:37] <Minaplo> ["She’s probably off to make her report to Mazarin." Murmured Marianne.]
[17:38] <Yanmei‘> "M-Maz…" Yanmei swallowed hard, staring. "Mazarin? He’s still… still alive?"
[17:38] <Minaplo> [Marianne shot a nervous glance at Terence, who gave her a noncommittal 'what did you expect' glance in return.-
[17:38] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yeah, of course he is." Murmured Marianne.]
[17:40] <Yanmei‘> "Huh. 2017…" She was thinking about something, rotating her fork slowly. When she looked up again, her eyes were bright. "What about my mother?"
[17:42] <Minaplo> ["Guillory’s on a mission to bring her back."]
[17:44] <Yanmei‘> "Mission?" It hit her hard. The waiting. Eyes glued on television screens. The constant sick feeling in her stomach. Was that why she wanted a newspaper so badly? "Ch-Chengdu…"
[17:47] <Minaplo> ["Don’t worry." Terence reached out and patted Yanmei on the shoulder. "I'm leaving in a few hours, once I've cleared something with command- I'll be meeting up with Guillory and together we'll bring her back."]
[17:51] * Yanmei` nodded mutely. It felt like her throat had all closed up, and her view of Terence began to waver at the edges. She looked down at her meal hastily again and clenched her jaw desperately.

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