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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:57 am

Yes, it's fluff, and it needs re-edits, but I like it. Sue me.

Volunteer As Follows....

SPOILER: Show


There was a place between asleep and awake that Asuka absolutely loved. The parts of her brain that tormented her in the odd hours of the night were quited and distant, diluted with the anesthesia of sleep. The muscles were in absolutely, slackened relaxation, every nerve was on end absorbing the warmth around her, and she was just awake enough…just enough…to savor it. To know she was asleep, and relish the absolute comfort of it. Somewhere in her brain, a dream was cycling through here skull, and she accepted it. She knew it was a dream, though, and that was okay.

She was happy in the moment.

It was why she found herself gravitating towards Shinji’s bed every night. It wasn’t an issue of lust, but one of comfort, of safety. It had taken her a while to realize that, and she never really acknowledged it during the day, but here…in this moment of complete comfort, of trust, she could admit that. She could let her guard down with herself. She could be unabashedly happy, if just for a moment.

Asuka smiled, and cuddled up to Shinji, purring happily. All was right with the world, and she was at peace. This moments were far and few in between, but they were there. They were here right now, in this place and moment. She nuzzled his head, breathing deeply for the comfort of his distinct, puppy smell and the strange feelings it brought.

…She didn’t remember him smelling like raspberries.

Still in that half-awake fugue, she sniffed again. The smell didn’t change, and was distinct that of raspberries. She sniffed once more. Finally, she gave a long, somewhat rude snork, burrowing her nose into the hair as if she could hunt out the smell she remembered. Shinji whimpered at the rough movement, and Asuka felt more confusion. His voice was higher, for some reason. Maybe this was part of the dream, intruding into the awake part of the brain.

Shinji’s head pushed against her, squishing her nose. Asuka grunted, and sleep left her. Groggy, she slowly willed her eyes open in the dark. As she gained consciousness, the smell of raspberries became much stronger, emanating from the source of warmth she was cuddled against. Slowly, her eyes rotated down towards Shinji’s head, which was practically glowing in the dark. It was such a strange shade of blue….

Blue….

…blue….

…Something clicked in Asuka’s brain, and slowly her eyes began to widen as her heart began to pick up pace and intensity. She inhaled a single, shaky breath through her nose and held it, gritting her teeth. Her limbs went rigid, and locked. The tension became uncomfortable for the other sleeper, and she sighed unhappily and opened her eyes. Slowly, she shifted, making a face, and seemed to realize she wasn’t alone. The ruby eyes opened cautiously, trying to assess the situation. They traveled around the darkened room, and finally found Asuka’s eyes, focusing. After a few seconds, the realization came, and Rei jerked completely awake.

For a long time, the two girls stared at each other, neither entirely sure of what was happening, how it had come about…what to do about it. Neither was entirely sure of how they felt about their current predicament, either. For Asuka, a creeping sense of panic and bewilderment seemed the best course, and for Rei, befuddled concern was the only thing she could muster. Presently, the strain of the moment was too much for Asuka, who finally let out the long held breath in a squeaking, hissing sound that could be construed as a silent scream.

It seemed to elicit the need for a reaction from Rei, who mumbled the first thing that popped into her mind.

“You’re very comfortable.”

Asuka’s left eye twitched at the statement, uncertain of how to take it. Then, like a line snapping, all the tension released. She let out the remaining air in her lungs with a noisy grunt. She broke the gaze, and let her eyes roll upwards in resignation.

“…Thanks,” she grumbled.

“…You’re welcome,” Rei murmured. Asuka sighed, weighing her options. This was an absolutely mortifying situation to be in. She could think of a dozen…no, a hundred…places she would rather be than here at this moment. She was just getting used to tolerating Rei, supporting her…she could admit friendship. Grudging and awkward friendship, but she wasn’t stupid enough to deny that she was in some sort of friendly relationship with Rei. That was a very long way from snuggling in sleep, though. It was safe to say that she was not comfortable with an arrangement like that at all.

Rei shifted slightly, relaxing and reassuming her position of maximum comfort. Asuka gritted her teeth, tensing slightly. And then ultimately surrendering.

…Damn it, Rei was comfortable, too. This was fantastically comfortable, there was no denying it. Grumbling, she hugged Rei tightly, like a child resuming it’s death-grip on a stuffed animal. Rei grunted in protest.

“Just don’t tell…anyone. At all.”

“I didn’t intend to.”

“Anyone.”

“I…won’t,” Rei grunted in confusion and a little pain. “This is not as comfortable.” Asuka relaxed her grip. “That's better,” Rei said in satisfaction, before falling very quickly back into sleep.

In a short time, Asuka did, as well.

Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:23 am

Unless you've changed the setting's metaphysics, Kaworu should be the only one who can pilot Unit 03 (or Touji, if Nerv's going that route). Rei likely can't, and Shinji and Asuka definitely can't.

That said, Misato taking pics was both pervy and adorable, and something I've run with in my own fic. It just seems like something she would do.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:14 am

Asuka did in Rebuild.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:39 am

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:Asuka did in Rebuild.


Hence "changed the setting's metaphysics." I was under the impression this was based on NGE, where the parent/child bond was crucial for successfully synchronizing with an Eva (for a normal human, anyway). NTE's a whole different animal. You are of course free to change such things, but it's something to be aware of when plotting things out.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Iuvenal » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:28 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Hence "changed the setting's metaphysics." I was under the impression this was based on NGE, where the parent/child bond was crucial for successfully synchronizing with an Eva (for a normal human, anyway). NTE's a whole different animal. You are of course free to change such things, but it's something to be aware of when plotting things out.


While this is certainly a reasonable interpretation of how the Eva works in NGE, I don't see any conclusive evidence that this is the case (if they'd done a cross-piloting test with 01 and 02 and both pilots had been at zero this would have proved your point, of course).

On the contrary, if memory serves Shinji was sync'd with Unit 02 against Gaghiel - recall that he was piloting "solo" for a bit while Asuka pounded on his back and pitched a fit [aside: this sequence is confusing inasmuch as it makes it look like Shinji's holding the control sticks is what's giving him control of the Eva, and sort of typical of early episodes where it seemed like they were only half committed to the idea of a purely neural control interface imo], in addition to the definite dual-piloting through the "Open! Open! Open!" sequence, though we don't know if this was because Asuka was unwittingly acting as a mediator, whether Kyoko was willing to play ball because her daughter was under duress, whether Kyoko wasn't feeling picky that day, etc.
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:22 am

View Original PostIuvenal wrote:While this is certainly a reasonable interpretation of how the Eva works in NGE, I don't see any conclusive evidence that this is the case (if they'd done a cross-piloting test with 01 and 02 and both pilots had been at zero this would have proved your point, of course).


Ritsuko hints at it in 23, and Sadamoto has outright confirmed it (in the author's notes at the end of one of the manga volumes).

That said, it's certainly fair to tinker with things a bit to make a story work; I've done that myself on more than one occasion.

On the contrary, if memory serves Shinji was sync'd with Unit 02 against Gaghiel - recall that he was piloting "solo" for a bit while Asuka pounded on his back and pitched a fit [aside: this sequence is confusing inasmuch as it makes it look like Shinji's holding the control sticks is what's giving him control of the Eva, and sort of typical of early episodes where it seemed like they were only half committed to the idea of a purely neural control interface imo], in addition to the definite dual-piloting through the "Open! Open! Open!" sequence, though we don't know if this was because Asuka was unwittingly acting as a mediator, whether Kyoko was willing to play ball because her daughter was under duress, whether Kyoko wasn't feeling picky that day, etc.


It only worked because Asuka was there. We know that having other people in the plug can interfere with synchronization (Ritsuko tells us this when Shinji picks up Touji and Kensuke during the fight with Shamshel), but it won't activate if you aren't the right pilot (unless you're Rei or Kaworu, because Seeds).
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Iuvenal » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:37 am

I don't think either Ritsuko's dialogue in Episode 23 is conclusive, and I don't think anybody thinks anything Sadamoto says in the manga is conclusive proof about anything in NGE. If Anno had said it you'd have an argument that I think anybody besides "death of the author" types would buy.

Your opinion that Asuka was acting as a mediator to allow Shinji to sync with Unit 02 in Episode 08 (a distinct and different phenomenon than thought noise from other people in the entry plug interfering with the pilot syncing) is certainly a respectable one (which I think I agree with), but not something we can know with certainty.
Pkunk's not dead! Shake yer Rootz!

I carved A +S forever into my left buttock with a pocket knife. My right buttock is dominated by a tattoo of James Brown. - Chuckman

Who did 9/11? The FAR. - Reichu

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:58 am

View Original PostIuvenal wrote:I don't think either Ritsuko's dialogue in Episode 23 is conclusive, and I don't think anybody thinks anything Sadamoto says in the manga is conclusive proof about anything in NGE. If Anno had said it you'd have an argument that I think anybody besides "death of the author" types would buy.


Well, Sadamoto is co-creator of the franchise, so his opinion on the matter carries just as much weight as Anno's. But if that's not enough Anno himself echoes Sadamoto's claim in the Classified Information:

"A unit called a core is used to eliminate any discrepancies in the joining of Eva, the body of a god, with that of a human being's soul. The soul of the pilot's mother, which is placed within the core, acts as a medium and makes piloting possible."

Given that we know the souls in the cores are the pilots' mothers, and that Nerv is using 13-14 year old children as pilots instead of competent adults, I think it's reasonably clear that there are no other options available.

Your opinion that Asuka was acting as a mediator to allow Shinji to sync with Unit 02 in Episode 08 (a distinct and different phenomenon than thought noise from other people in the entry plug interfering with the pilot syncing) is certainly a respectable one (which I think I agree with), but not something we can know with certainty.


That's certainly true, but given the quotes from Anno and Sadamoto I think we can say it's a pretty safe bet. We also have the evidence of the cross-compatibility experiment: Shinji gets in Unit 00, tries to synchronize, and the Eva goes berserk. It's not hard to see why things were changed for NTE, as the original setup put some hard limits on storytelling options!

With all of that said, I have an on-topic question: was Unit 03 developed in America in this story? I have trouble seeing how that would work given the whole Grendel angle, but if the Americans didn't create it who did, and why? And what of Unit 04 and the S2 experiment? That was a big part of the road to developing the MPEs, but of course that's not an issue if they aren't going to be a factor in the story.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Iuvenal » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:39 am

I kind of wonder whether SEELE could complete the MP eva series in this continuity given the
SPOILER: Show
wholesale slaughter of their people that's been going on across multiple continents
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:59 pm

Unit-04 was developed in China, in Dongfeng Aerospace City (which was consumed when the S2 was activated). Unit-03 was developed in Russia (I think I listed the location, but I can't remember off of the top of my head...I want to say Shilka, but I think I used one of the technical cities). This is covered in Chapters 53 and 55. Most of the Evangelion development in this world is happening in Asia and Europe (safe Seele territories), with research being conducted in key Seele posts within the United States (which they no longer have access to at this time).

Seele is still keen on developing the MPEs, but their resources are split at the moment. They don't care about the wholesale slaughter insofar as it affects their ultimate plans (but realistically, they play all angles: they don't like it, and are fighting the war to win given the off-chance that Instrumentality fails).

SPOILER: Show
And it's not exactly wholesale: they did clear the Group out of South Africa (a key point in the Group's international network). The Group LOOKS invincible because they hold the United States, but it's the only territory they do hold. Overseas operations have to be small, or focused in key areas. They can do a lot of damage to Seele because Seele is huge, and practically everywhere. That means, however, that while it is infuriating and exhausting, Seele is still in a position to absorb the damage like nothing's happening. The Group, on the other hand, suffered a few defeats here and there, but they were bad ones. They are more adaptable than Seele in responding to crisis, and able to shift their internal organization rapidly and at need (being a smaller organization that has more realistic goals), but it also means that a few solid hits can cripple them. This is why they are hitting Seele so hard in so many places: the more Seele focuses on the little (but violent) attacks overseas, the less likely they'll be to try and return to the Group's heartland and take them in force there.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Iuvenal » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:45 pm

I think I have a different assumption about the
SPOILER: Show
total number of scientists worldwide who are skilled enough in metaphysical and normal biology to be able to develop an Eva, and the ratio of this number to the number needed to run an Eva lab, than you do. My mental model is that the pipeline there is narrow enough that the Group doesn't need to gank that many folks to put at least some Eva-development facilities out of business or in a crippled state, since an Eva vat isn't a Ronco(tm) rotisserie grill where you can just set it and forget it. And the PhD pipeline is long enough that you can't replace the cold bodies with warm ones quickly no matter how many resources you throw at the problem.


I do need to do a from-the-top re-read sometime, since quite a bit of stuff has fallen out of my head over time vis-a-vis both the principal actors in the drama here and specifics (is Shilka a "closed city" IRL, btw?).
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I carved A +S forever into my left buttock with a pocket knife. My right buttock is dominated by a tattoo of James Brown. - Chuckman

Who did 9/11? The FAR. - Reichu

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:12 pm

I wrote an essay answering this, and the browser then deleted it. I had to get over the frustration, and come back with a shorter answer.

The Group is not going after Eva scientists or Eva fabrication facilities: they aren't concerned about the Evas. One, all the fabrication is being done through Nerv (a public institution), so attacks on Nerv would draw undue attention to their activities (which are already getting attention). Two, there's enough public support in place (in terms of laws and treaties) which prevent the use of Evangelion against humans, so it's highly unlikely Seele would do anything that blatant.

And three, they're watching the only Evangelion in the world via Grendel and the American team: if those Eva move, they'll know.

They are far more concerned about the HIP: they are willing to do anything and everything in order to stop an end-of-the-world scenario (up to and including smuggling N2 devices into key areas: they aren't the good guys), primarily because they can't agree themselves on whether it's a good idea or not. If they can't agree, it must be stopped so at least anyone not THEM implements it. It's less about ideology, and more about self-preservation and practicality. And, not to mention, more than a little bit of vanity: these are egotistical men. What little they know about Instrumentality does not appeal to them.

As for Shilka, it's not one of the technical cities: it stuck in my mind due to the proximity to China and the anti-aircraft platform named after the Shilka River. I'll clear this stuff up in the next chapter. Hopefully, without exposition, because that's boring. You want to see Evangelion fighting each other, right? Right.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Iuvenal » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:34 pm

Huh. I must have misremembered one of the early hits wiping out a group partly composed of scientists, or else badly assumed that any scientists SEELE had on their payroll were necessarily working on the Eva series (they could also be working on curing hepatic cancer in a hurry if Kihl's general practitioner notices spots on his liver!*).

I think you did a good job of making it clear in the story that the group aren't "good guys", incidentally. I don't think anybody could make that mistake.

And yes, Eva on Eva violence is great!





*I imagine there are intelligence services monitoring Kihl's health for the same reasons they forecast and monitored the grain harvest in Ukraine during the Cold War
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I carved A +S forever into my left buttock with a pocket knife. My right buttock is dominated by a tattoo of James Brown. - Chuckman

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:26 pm

Unfortunately, it might have to wait: my Internet is down in my room (been down for two days, so OF COURSE techs are going to check it out tomorrow...), so I'm typing from a public computer (which I am not allowed to transfer data onto). So...no updates. Sorry, guys.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:25 pm

Okay, so I'm posting from a Burger King, because...DAY SEVEN WITHOUT THE NETZ! Kaworu Christ....

Newfound

SPOILER: Show


“The absolute latest in Evangelion fabrications,” Aoba said, flipping through item checklists on his tablet. “Look at that beast.”

“I’m looking,” Cooper said, leaning heavily on the rail. An insistent Klaxon was blaring, warning anyone with functioning ear drums that a large and moving object was on the loading bay floor. That large and moving mass was a massive, blackish-blue, man-shaped thing: it lay on its back, trundled along by a mass of caterpillar-crawlers. The flanking technicians were tiny dots moving along the hangar floor as they moved forward.

“You look, but you don’t see,” Aoba muttered. “Seriously, 20% more efficiency to the neural network and muscle tissue than Unit-02, a topnotch electronics package, an integrated VI to manage the whole thing. No other Eva in the world can match up to this one,” Aoba said.

“…What about that one?” Cooper asked, jerking a thumb to the right. Aoba followed the gesture, and saw the gargoyle face of Unit-o1, revealed momentarily in its temporary berthing. He had forgotten that it was being transferred from its containment paddock to a maintenance yard. It stood in the massive paddock morose and patient, glaring down on the strange procession that moved before it.

“Well, what about that one?” Aoba asked.

“I mean, it has an S2 engine, right? Which is, like, an infinite power source for infinite amounts of infinite energy.”

“Stop saying ‘infinite.’” Aoba ignored Cooper for a few moments, tapping on the tablet and feeling the steady heat of Cooper’s insistent gaze. “The S2 engine is irrelevant,” he finally hissed, feeling irritable. “I mean, that’s just an issue of power, okay? It’s not performance.”

“Our giant cyborg things hop around with power cables. Don’t you think that’s kind of a big performance issue?”

“No! Up to this point, it’s never been an issue!”

“It’s been an issue, like…four times, now.”

“Why are you making a big deal about this? Man, I thought you’d be going on about how great Grendel is or some crap.”

“Hey, I can call it like I see it. Unit-01 is kind of in a class of its own.” Aoba said nothing, and Cooper began creeping slowly towards him, pressing into Aoba’s personal space.

“…What, what, why are you doing that!?” Aoba spluttered, waving his tablet at Cooper as though he was an irritating swarm of flies.

“Dude, why do you dislike me so much?”

“Why should I not? You are obnoxious—”

“I am adorable.”

“It’s that. It’s stuff like that, I absolutely cannot work with a guy like that. You’re supposed to be an officer, how the hell did you get any authority?”

“Man, I’ve watched you work, you’re like…one of the most laid-back, indifferent guys I’ve ever seen,” Cooper said, smiling casually. “So that excuse is a load of crap.”

“Can I just not like you for the sake of not liking you?”

“…well, yeah, if you want to be especially hurtful….”

“I do. Very much.”

“Ouch,” Cooper said, in a tone that irritated Aoba even further if only for it’s sheer indifference. Cooper was no longer even involved in the conversation: he was leaning over the rail, squinting at Unit-03. “Seriously, though, what makes this Eva so much better than the others? I mean, think about the last Angel we faced.”

“What about it?”

“That was barely a victory. And it got through three Evangelions' defenses. What’s more, these things here are locked down and tied in the corporeal world, bound by physics. What physics defined that Angel? None that we know, that’s for sure.”

“What other option is there?” Aoba sighed in irritation, absorbed once more in the tablet. “N2 devices? Those don’t work. Inefficient as they are, the Evangelion are the only weapons that actually give us a chance, so…you know, what else can you do?”

“…Nothing, I guess,” Cooper murmured, rubbing his face. He didn’t sound satisfied with the answer.

-----

Shinji stared at the monstrous Unit-03 from the Observation Deck. He swallowed nervously, and shifted uncomfortably. He had thought Unit-01 was a beast of a creature, with its snarling face and impossible size. This thing, though…it was bigger than Unit-01, noticeably so, and something about it just emphasized its purpose as a weapon more than Unit-01 could hope to be.

It made him uneasy.

The odd thing about Unit-01 was that he had, he realized, stop thinking of the monster as a weapon. It was, that was it’s form and function, but…somehow, it wasn’t a weapon to him. He didn’t know when or where the shift in his thinking had occurred, but it had, and it was very insistent in this moment. He swallowed again, and rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. He regretted being so fast to volunteer, but pushed the thought out of his mind.

“So that’s Unit-03,” a voice murmured next to him. He jerked, glancing at the new arrival. Asuka had entered the room without making any noise. It disturbed him, because usually she found some way of announcing her presence. That, and the tone, the body language…he chewed his tongue in thought. There were dangerous waters here, but he couldn’t determine how.

“Uh…yeah,” he finally said. “It just got installed today.”

“And the test run?”

“Tomorrow, 0900.”

“Hmm.” The grunt was a sound of irritation more than understanding. Shinji squinted, and rocked left and right.

“…Okay, what’s up?”

“Nothings up.”

“I feel like you’re irritated about something?”

“Oh, why should I be irritated about anything? I’m harmless, right?” Asuka snapped. Shinji glanced at her in surprise.

“Not…no, not really, if I had to be honest,” Shinji said. “I mean, you can be pretty lethal—”

“Shut up.” Shinji blinked at the venom in the voice, and turned fully towards Asuka. He was feeling hurt, but now he was frustrated. He had no idea what he did to deserve that.

“Wuh…wuh…What the hell?” His voice, lilting in a stammer of confusion and uncertainty, locked on the words and had a certain bite behind them. Asuka slowly and grandly turned her head towards him like a cat regarding a bird. Shinji refused to back down.

“Did you know that those pictures were going around?”

“What pictures?” Shinji blinked, and searched his mind for any sort of picture or image that….

Oh.

“What, the pictures Misato took?”

“Yes, the pictures Misato took!” Asuka hissed. “Why didn’t you stop her?”

“She’d already taken a lot by the time I woke up. I was still half-asleep when she took the others.”

“Stupid, frigging—” Asuka trailed off into a long, muttered series of creative and filthy swear words, her voice slowly rising with each one. Shinji hadn’t seen her this angry in a long time.

“She didn’t mean anything by it,” he tried to reason. She gave him a dirty look.

“That wasn’t right!” she said. “It’s humiliating, and wrong, and…no one takes me seriously now! No one will! You didn’t!”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“At what point were you going to talk to me about Piloting Unit-03?”

“Wuh…I thought you wouldn’t want to. I mean, I thought I was doing you a favor!”

“You weren’t!” she snapped. “No, I don’t want to Pilot that stupid thing, but I would have liked to discuss it!”

“That’s dumb!” Shinji said, feeling trapped and uncertain of how to extricate himself. “If you didn’t want to Pilot, then why discuss it?”

“That is…the…STUPIDEST thing you’ve ever said to me, and you say a lot of stupid things!” she screamed, whirling and pushing into Shinji’s space. He stumbled backwards, and she followed, her face barely two inches from his own. “What makes you think I wouldn’t like the option, huh!? Are you just going to start making decisions for me!? Like everyone else!?”

“Why…why are you doing this?” Shinji pleaded, no longer angry but very confused. “I’m not trying to make any decisions for you. I just thought—”

“Well, don’t,” she hissed, stomping out of the room. “You do a crappy job of it. I hope your brain gets fried tomorrow when you sync!” she snarled. As the door opened, she almost bowled over Kaworu. She made angry noises at him, but nothing specific, and disappeared down the corridor. Kaworu watched her with mild interest, and then entered the room.

“The Second Child is exuberant,” he said, smiling.

“…uh, yeah, I guess…,” Shinji muttered, feeling shaken by the confrontation. It had caught him off-guard, and he was left reeling and unsteady. He turned back to Unit-03, trying to shake the encounter out of his head. He couldn’t: Asuka was so angry, so angry at him, and he couldn’t fathom what had happened. He tried to process the words, the fury, as he felt a gentle presence drift next to him.

“You are upset,” Kaworu noted. It wasn’t a question, just an observation. Shinji felt his lip curl in something not quite a smile: maybe a sneer of recognition, if such a thing existed? It was the kind of thing Rei would have once said. Except she wouldn’t have smiled when she said it. Kaworu was, though there seemed to be nothing behind the smile. Or…maybe there was. The eyes were warm, and curious. The smile, not. It was a strange contrast.

“Yeah. I, uh…yeah.”

“Why?”

“No…no, no reason. Just…yeah.”

“…You argued? With the Second Child?”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it an argument….”

“What was it, then?”

“I….” He paused, and turned fully towards Kaworu. “I have the sense you wouldn’t know if I explained it. Does that make sense?” He squinted, surprised by his frankness. “Actually, that was sort of rude. Huh.”

“It wasn’t: I probably wouldn’t understand. I would like for you to try and explain it,” Kaworu said, edging slightly into Shinji’s space. Normally, the motion would have made him uncomfortable, and he recoiled slightly in reflex. With Kaworu, however, it felt more…inviting, perhaps? A promise of secrecy?

“She was…angry. About something. Uh…oh, pictures.”

“Pictures?”

“Yeah, we were…I mean, Rei, Asuka, and me…we were sleeping in the same place.”

“Sleeping?”

“Yeah, I mean…nothing weird!” Shinji felt his cheeks heat up. “I mean, we just…all fell asleep, and kind of…I mean, we…it was…uh….” He stared at Kaworu. The boy had a serene and innocent expression. “…anyway…Misato took some pictures.”

“Misato? The Major?”

“Yes. And, when I got up, Rei…and Asuka…they…well, they….”

“They created a compromising position?”

“…yes. Yes, that….”

“I see. And these pictures are…embarrassing?”

“Yes, they are.”

“And what did the Major do with them?”

“Showed them around.”

“Why?”

“Well,” Shinji said, shrugging, “She liked them. She thought they were cute. She wasn’t trying to be mean, she just…I don’t know.”

“What did you think?”

“I think it was probably unfair to do. I mean, Misato didn’t—”

“I mean, of the pictures. Were they cute?”

“That…um…well, uh…yeah. I guess.” Kaworu nodded, as if this was very grave news. Shinji squinted at him, and swallowed. “…Asuka doesn’t.”

“Why was she angry with you? Because of the pictures?”

“Kind of? I…I honestly don’t know.”

“Did you ask?”

“Yeah, and she said she was mad at me for choosing to test Unit-03. She didn’t want to, but she said she wanted the choice. That’s dumb!”

“I don’t think so,” Kaworu said, scratching his chin. “Choice is an important part of being human: the ability to choose where you go, what you eat, who you love and how. Choice is what makes humans human, I find. At least, it is one of the things that do. Not having a choice could be dehumanizing, in that case.”

“…huh. I guess,” Shinji murmured. He scratched his head. “That’s actually…kind of a good point.”

“Maybe. I don’t know the full extent of this issue.”

“Still, that’s kind of sharp.”

“Sharp?”

“Uh…well said.”

“Oh. Well, I watch people. I’ve learned a lot from watching people. Humans are fascinating creatures.”

“Maybe. Sometimes, I think humans are just irritating.”

“Really?”

“Not all the time. Just sometimes.”

“Hmm…,” Kaworu said, and folded his hands in front of him. Shinji sighed.

“All of a sudden, I don’t want to Pilot tomorrow,” he mumbled.

“I’m sure nothing will go wrong,” Kaworu said, calmly.

“Yeah,” Shinji agreed.

Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

Iuvenal
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Postby Iuvenal » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:09 am

Somebody might have some words she wants to take back tomorrow, yowsers
Pkunk's not dead! Shake yer Rootz!

I carved A +S forever into my left buttock with a pocket knife. My right buttock is dominated by a tattoo of James Brown. - Chuckman

Who did 9/11? The FAR. - Reichu

Folk Devil
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Postby Folk Devil » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:46 pm

"I hope your brain gets fried tomorrow when you synch"

"I'm sure nothing will go wrong."

[ONE DAY LATER]

"Great routine synch test, Shinji. You can go home now."

Is there a level above foreshadowing? Fiveshadowing?
The Creative Principle: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11251079/1/The-Creative-Principle

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Postby Iuvenal » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:07 pm

View Original PostFolk Devil wrote:"I'm sure nothing will go wrong."


[resonance cascade intensifies]
Pkunk's not dead! Shake yer Rootz!

I carved A +S forever into my left buttock with a pocket knife. My right buttock is dominated by a tattoo of James Brown. - Chuckman

Who did 9/11? The FAR. - Reichu

y3k
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Postby y3k » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:08 pm

Good thing Shinji's only two days from retirement.

BlueBasilisk
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Postby BlueBasilisk » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:49 pm

And he's going back to his home town to get married!

Asuka set herself up to eat a lot of crow if anything goes wrong during the activation test, but who knows? Everything might go smoothly. You expect something bad to happen to Eva 03 so it could all be a red herring.
Someday I hope that we'll be reunited if that is what's destined to be. Perhaps we'll discover that elusive bible. And then we will finally be free!


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