Zhangs Reunited

[13:25] <Minaplo> [About twenty minutes ago, the klaxons had sounded throughout the base, just as they had for Yanmei when she arrived. But this time, it was a black Evangelion- not a violet one.-
[13:26] <Minaplo> [Isha, Albus and the kangaroo had been the first to arrive after Yanmei had given Hyuga the info he needed to fetch them. Albus was off settling in somewhere, whilst Isha sat in this waiting room- soft pastel yellow walls with blue flower patterns and big enormous leather sofas you'd lose yourself in- with Yanmei and Lizzie.-
[13:27] <Minaplo> [Elizabeth and Isaiah had arrived after Isha, and Isaiah had gone straight back out to bring back the Eva. That was half an hour ago- he'd go shower and get changed before he arrived.-
[13:28] <Minaplo> [Lizzie was lying on a sofa, looking very sleepy, General Bear clutched under one arm, head resting on Daji's flank.]
[13:32] * Yanmei was more restless, standing up - although not quite pacing. Even though she knew it was necessary, she hadn't liked Isaiah going back outside to fetch his Evangelion. Suppose another ambush happened? Or he was followed back to Area 66? -
[13:33] <Yanmei> She tapped her foot a little as she waited for him to reappear. "I haven't even seen the rooms they have around here?" she was saying to Isha. "I hope Mr. Albus approves."
[13:35] <Minaplo> ["They're a step down from the house in Abluqueque, but still better than Melbourne." He said wryly.]
[13:46] * Yanmei snickered, folding her arms. "I guess you're right. What's more, he'll probably feel right at home soon enough, given the military feel of the place?"
[13:49] <Minaplo> ["So long as he gets cable…"-
[13:49] <Minaplo> [The far door opened, and Isaiah walked in, wearing a NERV coverall. "I'm back!"]
[13:53] <Yanmei> "Isaiah!" Yanmei lit up hurrying for him. "You didn't run into any trouble, right?"
[14:01] <Minaplo> ["I got ambushed by thirty or forty E-Destroyers. I beat them all up though, so no harm done.]
[14:01] <Minaplo> "]*
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Did you, now?" Yanmei smirked knowingly. "Bet 08 had fun with that."
[14:09] <Minaplo> ["Oh, well, it was really all me, you know."]
[14:15] <Yanmei> "Even more impressive~~ But, you know, they'll probably be sending more out for revenge soon, so we'd better stay down here and make ourselves comfortable for a while."
[14:16] <Minaplo> ["Mmm, I guess you're right…"-
[14:17] <Minaplo> [He glanced over at Lizzie, who had actually fallen asleep, and over at Isha, who was smirking a little. Isaiah blushed.]
[14:18] * Yanmei coughed delicately. "What I meant to say is, you still haven't gotten a proper tour of this place, have you?"
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["I haven't. Have you?"]
[14:21] <Yanmei> "Er… somewhat? It's a pretty big place, so I haven't seen everything? But I know where to eat, where some of the labs are and how to find the training rooms. And of course, there's the bridge and the cages…"
[14:22] <Minaplo> ["Oh, let's get something to eat. I'm starving."]
[14:23] <Yanmei> "Sounds good? Mr. Isha, do you want to come too?"
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["I can if you like, but would you prefer it if I took young Miss Elizabeth to bed instead?"]
[14:26] <Yanmei> "Huh, yeah, I guess she's a little worn out, huh? We can bring something nice back for you guys instead."
[14:35] <Minaplo> ["I appreciate it." He walked over, shaking the girl gently. "Come, Lizzie. Let's put you to bed."-
[14:35] <Minaplo> ["Uuuu…"-
[14:35] <Minaplo> [Isaiah smiled softly, turning to look at Lizzie and Yanmei both with obviously fond eyes.]
[14:39] * Yanmei seemed to be doing the same with Lizzie, at least. But then her gaze drifted to Daji and she frowned. "Of course, there will also be a special -seperate- fox lunch too. Let's go." She clapped a hand on Isaiah's shoulder.
[14:40] <Minaplo> [And he put a hand around her waist. "Lead on, Vixen Queen."]
[14:48] <Yanmei> So she did. They took a few wrong turns on the way, but eventually, some of the staffs' dorections would take them in front of the cafeteria. The other diners already there were a little sparse given the time of day, so it would be easy to find seating - just as she'd hoped.
[14:48] <Yanmei> ^directions
[14:50] <Minaplo> ["They any good here?"]
[14:56] <Yanmei> "That remains to be seen? C'mon!" There were assorted sandwiches, mostly, and few hot dishes to pick from. Tomato soup, delicious noodles, the odd beef curry instead of chicken… Yanmei took her pick, and grabbed one of the chilled bottles of water that were set aside as well.
[15:08] <Minaplo> [Isaiah fetched a huge Chinese beef bowl and a bottle of orange soft drink.-
[15:08] <Minaplo> ["So I've actually not been told much about what- you know. Happened…"]
[15:11] <Yanmei> "Ah. With 04, you mean?" She led him over to a quiet corner table, setting her meal down. "It was pretty straightforward. He was berserking. Don't ask me why or where he came from, but it looked like he'd taken a few hits before he got here."
[15:13] <Minaplo> ["Hm. Ok."]
[15:15] <Yanmei> "Secretary Linden and I came up with a plan to intercept him on the beach and talk him down. And it worked! Totally flawlessly and without a single hitch. And then… Joan showed up."
[15:18] <Minaplo> ["Ah…"]
[15:22] <Yanmei> "We fought. San was there too, to assist, and her Eva got pretty torn up. She seems to be okay, though? In fact, she was the one who teleported me here after the battle." She peered down at the tomato soup she had gotten, suddenly finding it too… red for her liking. "Somehow we won. We destroyed the Dysangelion that Joan was piloting. But it was all really weird. The whole thing."
[15:26] <Minaplo> ["What do you mean?"]
[15:32] <Yanmei> "04 felt different. Like he was lighter and faster and stronger and more…" she groped for the right word… "more looming?"
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["He doesn't -seem- any taller… Do you think he got upgraded in the Synfront?"]
[15:42] <Yanmei> "I guess so. But I don't see why they would do that if they were trying to get rid of his pilot?"
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["What if they weren't trying to get rid of you?"]
[15:51] <Yanmei> "You saw what they were trying to do with that trial. What else could it be?"
[15:53] <Minaplo> ["If Caine wanted to get rid of you, she would've shot you in the head."]
[15:55] * Yanmei paused. There was a flashback coming to her that was - while devoid of bullets - deeply unpleasant. -
[16:07] <Yanmei> "Maybe not 'get rid of' forever. The worst charges hanging over my head would have seen me stripped of my rank and sent to prison. That could imply a few different things. Complete control over my life without NERV as a meddling presence in it. Prolonged suffering on my part. Maybe some sort of crazy political leverage against NERV itself. But none of that would erase the fact that I'd stop
[16:07] <Yanmei> being an official pilot if I had stayed in her custody."
[16:14] <Minaplo> [Isaiah twitched a little as he swallowed down some beef.-
[16:15] <Minaplo> ["T-Then… She definitely wanted to neutralise you as a threat whilst keeping you around."]
[16:18] <Yanmei> "I don't even see how I was being a threat to her before? Well, whatever. I definitely swear I'll be one now. That'll teach her…"
[16:20] <Minaplo> ["But you said something was weird about the battle. Besides 04, do you mean?"]
[16:25] <Yanmei> "Oh." She had lifted a spoonful of the soup and now paused and let it slowly slide back into the bowl. "I killed the Dysangelion. Maybe. I kind of… got a second wind, and gave it some nasty blows to the head. And then it sort of folded into itself and turned into this spray of blood and ooze. But there was no core or anything."
[16:26] <Minaplo> ["That… Hasn't happened before to any enemy we know. Even the Dys that- that Eugenia piloted had a core, right…?"]
[16:28] <Yanmei> "Yes, that's right. It makes me uneasy. I don't really know what's going on?"
[16:31] <Minaplo> ["Hm…" He had a contemplative look on his face, as though something had occured to him.]
[16:32] <Yanmei> It took her a second to notice. She was thinking about something - or someone -herself. "Hm?" she blinked at him. "What is it?"
[16:34] <Minaplo> ["A thought occured to me."]
[16:36] <Yanmei> "About the D-Dysangelion?" She gave up on the soup and casually went for the sandwich she had gotten. What kind was it? She hadn't been paying attention before.
[16:38] <Minaplo> [Cucumber and squid with pickles.-
[16:38] <Minaplo> ["Have you seen Star Wars?"]
[16:39] * Yanmei chewed it slowly, thoughtfully almost. "Nope."
[16:40] <Minaplo> ["Ah, see, that's because you didn't grow up in a Western-style household." Said Isaiah sagely.]
[16:41] <Yanmei> "S-so what? Like it's that amazing?"
[16:42] <Minaplo> ["Listen to me, my sweet little Yangtze flower. You missed out on a lot thanks to your provincialism~"]
[16:44] <Yanmei> "What does this weird star movie have to do with anything anyway?" she grumbled, and took another bite.
[16:45] <Minaplo> ["It has Alec Guinness in it."]
[16:45] <Yanmei> "Huh?"
[16:46] <Minaplo> ["He was an old British actor. You'd like him- he's an older man, after all…"]
[16:46] <Yanmei> "-You're- not an older man," she pointed out.
[16:47] <Minaplo> ["But you know that I will be eventually…"]
[16:48] <Yanmei> "So you will." She seemed a little sad now. "You'll look pretty dashing, too, even with graying hair."
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["I know~"-
[16:49] <Minaplo> ["But I actually meant to make a point. In the first movie- Episode Four- the heroes are captured by the evil Galactic Empire and are trapped on their giant space fortress."]
[16:49] <Yanmei> "If it's the first movie, why is it called 'Episode Four'?"
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["Because they made Episode 4, 5 and 6 first, then a few years later went back and made Episodes 1 to 3 as prequels."]
[16:54] <Yanmei> "Doesn't it make more sense to start with Episode 1 instead of Episode 4, then? Or maybe they should have dropped the numbering entirely. American movie studios sure were messed up before Impact."
[16:55] <Minaplo> ["They wrote Episode 4 as a stand-alone movie, though." Said Isaiah patiently. "It was just called 'Star Wars', but when it became successful the guy who came up with it decided to expand it into a trilogy, but he also wanted prequels, see…"]
[17:01] <Yanmei> "So it's the fault of the guy who wrote it and not the studios, huh? Tch. He should have planned ahead better. What were you saying about a fortress?"
[17:02] <Minaplo> ["So anyway, the heroes get captured by the Empire in this fortress, and they try to escape, and they come across a beautiful princess…"]
[17:03] * Yanmei rolled her eyes. "So, what? They save her, right?"
[17:06] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, well, she helps out a lot, but the thing is that she's a member of the Rebel Alliance against the Empire, see. And the Empire's been interrogating her to figure out where the Rebel Base is, but she isn't telling."]
[17:09] <Yanmei> "But then the heroes come along and get her out before things escalate… right?"
[17:09] <Minaplo> ["They do. They get her out onto a space ship and flee, but… The Empire's put a tracking system on the ship. They want her to escape so she can lead them to the Rebel Base, so they can blow up the planet it's on."]
[17:10] <Yanmei> "…"
[17:14] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Isaiah. "It's possible Joan threw a tracking device onto 04 during the battle. Or on San."]
[17:16] * Yanmei stood up abruptly. "Then we need to evacuate this place. Immediately."
[17:21] <Minaplo> ["We don't know for certain." Said Isaiah slowly. "… But we need to speak to Hyuga about it."]
[17:22] <Yanmei> "Yeah, we do. I'll find him right away? Um. Would you mind taking lunch back to Mr. Isha and the others?"
[17:23] <Minaplo> ["Alright." He stood up as well. It looked as though he had barely touched his beef bowl, but actually he'd been eating non-stop, pausing only to speak…]
[17:24] <Yanmei> "Something for Daji, too. Like eggs and vegetables? Don't let Lizzie feed her at the table. It's a bad habit…"
[17:27] <Minaplo> ["But it's cute…"]
[17:28] * Yanmei gave him a stern look.
[17:30] <Minaplo> ["You're cute too~"]
[17:33] <Yanmei> "Are you flattering me for your own sake? Or for Daji's?" she huffed, and then leaned over and pecked him on the forehead. "I've gotta go. If you get lost, ask for directions to the residential wing, room D-22."
[17:34] <Minaplo> ["Got it."]
[17:36] * Yanmei spun away, then, with one last wave over her shoulder, leaving the deep red soup and her half-eaten sandwich behind. To the Bridge!
[08:45] <Minaplo> [The bridge was being crewed, of course. Hyuga was sitting in the commander's chair, flipping through a report as he did so. Yanmei's beloved Alexandre was leaning against a console.]
01[08:47] <Yanmei> Beloved nothing. Yanmei breezed past Alexandre with a slight professional nod, approaching the commander's chair and saluting. "Captain."
[08:53] <Minaplo> ["Captain." He gave her a nod in return. "Is something the matter?"]
02[08:55] * Suzune (ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.681-712-452-69-loop|enuzuS#ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.681-712-452-69-loop|enuzuS) Quit (Quit: )
01[08:57] <Yanmei> "Oh, I came by to thank you for the accomodations? My entourage is settling in and resting up nicely. I also had a few suggestions concerning security…"
[08:58] <Minaplo> [There was a snicker from somewhere behind Yanmei.-
[08:58] <Minaplo> ["Please tell me." Said Hyuga politely.]
01[09:03] <Yanmei> "Instead of prioritizing repairs on 04, I think we should search it carefully for foreign matter. Objects - either organic or electronic - that could be used to trace its location." She was going to ignore stupid Alexandre for that. He was just jealous because he didn't have his -own- entourage.
[09:09] <Minaplo> ["Oh, that's a good suggestion, Miss Zhang." Said Hyuga happily, giving her a smile.-
[09:09] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, but we've already done that." Said Alexandre innocently.]
01[09:11] <Yanmei> "Oh really?" she said in the tone of voice suggesting she didn't believe that at all. "What about EVA-10? Has NERV Boston done the same to it?"
[09:13] <Minaplo> ["Pretty sure." Said Alexandre smugly. "Not that it matters, as Area 66 is fortified with signal-blocking jammer technology, but we like to be safe."]
01[09:16] <Yanmei> "So does that includes cell phone signals too?"
[09:16] <Minaplo> ["Yep."]
03[09:18] * Suzune (~ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.681-712-452-69-loop|un#ten.nozirev.soif.lfpmat.681-712-452-69-loop|un) has joined #nervfrance
01[09:20] <Yanmei> "Oh well. It's not like there are many places I can call safely?" She tossed her hair. "But if I did want to catch up with, say, Colonel Amatore, how heavily monitored are the communication systems in this place?"
[09:24] <Minaplo> ["We monitor them pretty strictly." Said Hyuga. "What if we had spies? But if you want us to set you up with a private, priority console, I think we could handle it."]
01[09:34] <Yanmei> "Excellent. Not tonight of course, but maybe later." She nodded her approval. "But there's something I've been meaning to ask, too? What exactly is the purpose of this facility? Not that I don't appreciate it, given my circumstances and everything, but to fund an operation this big that has somehow remained hidden from Caine and her like…" She frowned a bit. -
01[09:37] <Yanmei> "It seems unlikely that we would be deployed to fight Angels from here, since the likelihood of capture or tracing by the UN is so high. So what are we preparing for as we sit around here?"
[09:38] <Minaplo> [Another snicker from Alexandre.-
[09:39] <Minaplo> [Hyuga seemed honestly surprised. "Rebellion, right?"]
06[09:41] * Yanmei sighed. "Armed rebellion. Of course…"
[09:42] <Minaplo> ["You seem surprised…"]
01[09:49] <Yanmei> "I had heard about some secret anti-UN movement that was gathering steam among NERV's leaders and personnel. What startles me is its level of preparedness and early commitment to armed conflict. As much as I despise Caine, I'm not exactly eager for outright war?"
[09:50] <Minaplo> ["Nor am I, miss Zhang, but Caine… Is."]
03[09:50] * ZackSleep is now known as ZackClass
01[09:53] <Yanmei> "Why can't we just assassinate her? What's the big deal?"
[09:58] <Minaplo> ["I thought you could tell us that." Said Alexandre smoothly. "You escaped from the Synfront with an Eva, why didn't you just smash her office up on the way out?"]
01[10:00] <Yanmei> "Well, we -did- try. Or Isaiah did, anyway. She has an AT Field. And her own personal army, apparently."
[10:01] <Minaplo> ["Ah, yes, see, that would be why." Said Alexandre. "Plenty of people have tried to take down dear Auntie Mary, but she's never so much as been wounded. The closest she came to death was a car accident."]
01[10:04] <Yanmei> "But this isn't productive! If we kill a lot of people or get a lot of people killed in order to reach her, it's just going to strengthen her!"
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["Well, our goal isn't to -actually- reach her." Said Hyuga. "This is here to hide sensitive people, and also to give us a base to work from. We couldn't win a proper war, not really…"-
[10:07] <Minaplo> ["So this place is here to give us the strength to make a single thrust at a weak spot." Said Alexandre.]
06[10:12] * Yanmei mulled it over for a moment, and then nodded. "Am I allowed to know who's running this show?"
[10:14] <Minaplo> ["Sure. Heard of Vercingetorix?" Asked Alexandre.]
01[10:19] <Yanmei> "Heard of Vercingetorix? We've been trying to get in touch with it for three weeks without any luck."
[10:20] <Minaplo> ["What, you couldn't get reception?" Asked Alexandre smugly.]
06[10:24] * Yanmei glowered at him. "It was difficult to get reception without a proper phone, yes. Shut up."
[10:24] <Minaplo> ["Oh my god, don't tell me you actually -tried- to -dial- his number!"]
01[10:27] <Yanmei> "Are you -quite- finished?" Yanmei gave a haughty sniff. "I can't believe they recruited someone so immature into this rebellion."
[10:28] <Minaplo> ["I can't either." Said Alexandre. "And to make that person -Captain-…"]
01[10:32] <Yanmei> "It's not very nice to make fun of Captain Hyuga, you know." She turned to their apparent commander sweetly. "You should totally threaten him with disciplinary action for that."
[10:36] <Minaplo> ["Huh? Wasn't he talking about you?" Hyuga looked surprised. "… Oh, I get it. Geez. Not even here can I escape Major Katsuragi's tactics…"]
01[10:42] <Yanmei> "Anyway." Yanmei gave Alexandre another dirty look and tossed her hair. "I may as well head back to my room to check on everyone. Thank you for your attention, Captain~"
[10:44] <Minaplo> ["You're welcome."]
01[10:56] <Yanmei> She offered one last parting salute, and was on her way briskly out of the Bridge. But she didn't go straight home. Instead, she wandered, trying to get a feel for the facility overall… and tried to work out a few things in her mind as she went. Mary Caine's weak spot. Did she have such a thing…?
[10:57] <Minaplo> [She'd pass a sign pointing to something called 'D-TITAN HANGAR' on the way…]
01[11:00] <Yanmei> "…?" She paused, and then followed it. Why not?
[11:01] <Minaplo> [And so onward she'd go, leading into- a security checkpoint that she'd be able to pass. Beyond that-
[11:05] <Minaplo> [She'd find herself in a massive hangar, longer than it was high- it was a space of 150 metres long, 80 wide, 80 high. The hangar had ten bays- they reminded her in some ways of the Eva cages, although less built on restraint and control. In each bay- surrounded by scaffolding, bearing crews of tan-overall technicians- were stocky, thick superheavy mecha.]
06[11:12] * Yanmei blinked, easing further into the hangar and gawking around. Not -too- surprising. D-titan sounded vaguely mechalike, after all. But who had designed these…? Was the entire Thruster team on board with this?
[11:19] <Minaplo> [She watched as a giant gun- it looked like a huge shotgun!- went past, fastened to the flatbed of a 10-metre long trolley that moved across rails she'd barely seen. It moved swiftly for its size.-
[11:20] <Minaplo> [She heard dull, heavy footsteps behind her- an AC Suit walked past, round and stocky, very brutalistic military- slightly shorter than Isha's had been.]
01[11:27] <Yanmei> "Hm." She raised an eyebrow, backing away from it slightly. It was pretty clear that it wasn't the exact same model. Would Isha still be able to pilot one? Would he want to? It wasn't like he was obligated to… -
01[11:30] <Yanmei> In any case, she went for some of the crewmembers, intent on getting some of her questions answered. "Excuse me~? Who's in charge around here?"
[11:32] <Minaplo> [The technician looked at her. He had short, sparse black hair worn under a cap and dark brown skin. "Captain Hyuga, ma'am."]
01[11:35] <Yanmei> "Well, I meant in charge designing and constructing these machines in particular? Like, they're not outsourced, are they?"
[11:41] <Minaplo> ["Huh? No… You want Director Walter-Grim."]
01[11:48] <Yanmei> Someone she didn't recognize after all. "I see! Thanks. What about staffing and recruitment? For pilots, I mean."
[11:53] <Minaplo> ["I dunno."]
06[11:56] * Yanmei nodded pleasantly. "No problem, then. Thanks anyway!" And she stepped away, skimming around for any more familiar faces before turning back toward the exit of the place.
[12:00] <Minaplo> [There was no one familiar here, sadly. Or perhaps luckily, considering the sort of people she knew who worked in Technical…]
01[12:02] <Yanmei> Thank god. That awful transparent plugsuit… Well, there was no one around here who could make her wear it. That was a plus, wasn't it? -
01[12:09] <Yanmei> And there was no Marketing Department to capitalize on it either. A double-plus! She gave a small grin and tossed her hair. Thinking of it all like that gave her a slight sense of freedom. Maybe she could even get used to it here… providing that it had shopping facilities too. -
01[12:09] <Yanmei> Still mulling it over, she started on the long, winding trek to her assigned room.

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