EVA Sessions: The Eaters of Sin

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IronEvangelion
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Postby IronEvangelion » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:06 pm

This was a great Christmas present, Gob Hobblin. Thank you, and Merry Christmas.
Final Fantasy VII is being remade, all's right with the world.
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"Oh no, Haruka! My butt's already split! I think my whole team's butts are split!" -Minori (Senran Kagura: Estival Versus)

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Postby cyharding » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:10 pm

Excellent chapters. I really like the fact that while both Shinji and Asuka are still in a damaged state mentally, at the same time, they're more stable than they were at this point in EoE, which could lead to a much better ending.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:36 pm

Merry Christmas, guys!

:asuka_happy:

I'm glad you enjoyed the last few chapters, and hope you will enjoy the one I have posted tomorrow.

I tried really hard to get it done today, but I have work in the morning, and this one will need some extra love and attention before it goes up.

I mean, it's only the battle with the Harpies. No big deal, right?

:harpy_liplick:

See you all tomorrow, and have a wonderful Christmas evening!

:asukahearts: [/i]
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 ElMariachi » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:49 am

Such Hype you're throwing at us Gob! :w00t:
Avatar: THE HIGHEST OF ALL HIGHS WE AAAAAAAAAARE!!!
Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
EoTV is a therapist, EoE is a drill instructor. -- Chuckman
Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:32 am

....so...rewriting the ENTIRE thirteenth chapter, because...I didn't like what I wrote.

:asuka_miffed:

The rewrite is feeling more solid, though. Let's see what I can get done in the next thirty minutes while waiting for concrete.
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 » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:46 pm

Chapter 13: Wings

SPOILER: Show


Shinji’s head ached.

It throbbed, and pounded. The headache started an hour ago, a small niggling thing that seemed to start at the Synchronization Headset clipped into his hair. It radiated from there over time, first as a sort of itching, then as a burning. Then, a dull, aching throb. It seemed to squeeze his eyes out of their sockets, and fill his sinuses with mud. He felt foggy and far-away, and wondered if this had to do with getting bumped in the head earlier.

He tried to close his eyes, to go to sleep. Sleep might alleviate the pain, but it wouldn’t come, and he whimpered to himself while digging at his forehead, as though he could scrape away the pain.
“What’s your problem?” Asuka mumbled; their line was still open, and she had watched him slowly and surely descend into the maddening pain.

“I don’t…feel good,” he whined.

“I don’t, either,” Asuka huffed, closing her eyes.

“My…head.” Her eyes popped open when he said that, and she regarded him with more interest.

“Your head hurts?”

“…yes.”

“Uh…hang on,” Asuka mumbled. There was movement on her end, and Shinji heard Misato’s voice faintly on the other end. “Shinji…he says his head hurts…no, he doesn’t look good.” A window popped up in Shinji’s view, Misato’s face filling the screen.

“Shinji? What’s the matter? Your vitals are still showing you at normal.”

“My head…is…it really hurts,” he mumbled.

“Hurts? Hurts how?”

“All over. All over…and…inside. It…just hurts.”

“When did it start?”

“A while ago…it didn’t hurt then. It itched.”

“Itched? Itched, is….” She turned to someone off-screen. “He says it itched, what does that mean? Is that normal?” As she spoke, the pain vanished with a suddenness that made Shinji jerk and cry out. “Shinji!” Misato snapped, turning back to the screen.

“It…stopped. It stopped!” Trembling fingers massaged his head, pulling at his hair. “What’s happening to me?”

“Okay, Shinji…just…calm down. Tale a deep breath…we still have an hour to wait, okay?”

“Why don’t they just shoot them down?” Asuka asked. There was a moment of silence as Misato digested the question. “The transports…they’re flying the MP-Evas in, right?”

“It wouldn’t stop the Evas from coming,” Misato said. “It would only delay them a bit, and anything we do to hold them back may mean Seele will try something else. We at least know what this threat is, so we can counter it. We can’t counter unknowns in our state right now.

“Besides, our…link in the government has informed me that it might not be diplomatically feasible to shoot down UN marked craft at this time.” She smiled. “He had to rescind an offer to us he made earlier because of that.”

“So, we wait to…fight these things…when we don’t know if we can. Because Shinji’s head started hurting, and…I….” Asuka trailed off, looking ashamed.

“Asuka, we’re going to try something,” Misato suggested. The girl gasped as her pickup swayed a bit.

“I’m moving,” she mumbled.

“Yeah,” Misato said. “We’re going to deploy you to a pad on the west side of the GeoFront. We think…we can force a residual link. It won’t be enough to actually synchronize, but it should be enough to at least activate the Plug and let you see what’s going on around you. You can at least be a second set of eyes on the battlefield for us, and maybe…maybe…that link will be enough to let you sync with Unit Two again. In time.”

“…okay,” Asuka murmured, sounding unsure.

Something occurred to Shinji, in what Misato had said. Eyes on the battlefield. “Uh…Misato? Aren’t…all of the GeoFront’s sensors and computers and stuff…gone?”

“Yeah, our sensor and surveillance array is…down and out. But, we still have the net surrounding the GeoFront’s cap, and the Fourth Division has offered their drones and other surveillance equipment to plug the gaps. It seems getting hit with an N2 warhead made them angry.” She shrugged. “At least they’re helping, right?”

“Yeah,” Shinji mumbled, still kneading his scalp. The echo of the headache…it loomed over him, glaring at him from the past. He cringed at the memory.

“Shinji?” He looked back at Misato’s face. She smiled. “Just…hang in there. Little longer.” The screen cut, and Shinji let his hands drop to his legs. He glanced at Asuka.

She stared at him, her eyes two little blue needles. He swallowed, and glanced away. “Did your head really hurt?” she asked, accusation in her tone. “Or did you just want attention?”

He swallowed, flicking a thumb over the opposing index finger. “I don’t know what it was. Just that it hurt.”

“…you really did have a headache?”

“A very bad one.”

“And it just…went away? Like that?”

“…I don’t know why.” He looked at Asuka, feeling a dull sense of panic. “Asuka, what if something is wrong in my head? I was…I was unconscious, right? Does that mean I could be…bleeding in my brain or something? Does that cause headaches?”

“I…I don’t know,” Asuka stammered, taken back by Shinji’s sudden outburst. “I don’t…maybe it would, I don’t…geh.” She flinched, and held her hand up as light broke into her Plug. Across the crater, Unit Two’s IFF appeared on Shinji’s HUD, and Unit Two rose from the ground, big enough to cover with a palm. A box appeared around the signature, and zoomed in, magnifying Unit Two. Asuka’s eyes adjusted to the light, and then she beheld the wreckage of the GeoFront.

“Oh, God…,” she mumbled. “Oh…God….” Shinji said nothing as Asuka adjusted to the wreckage before her. He lingered in the wake of the mysterious headache, kneading his forehead with a grim sense of unease. He wanted to be grateful the pain had stopped, to shake that dread that matched the fear of what was coming towards them, but it sat there laughing at him. In time, Asuka no longer balked at the ruin before her, and focused on Shinji again. “They did this.”

“What?”

“Seele did this. That’s what they said. Seele did this. We were in that, and they tried to do this to us. To kill us.” She closed her eyes, trembling. “They killed Kaji, and then they did this. And then they’ll come, and try to kill all of us. Don’t you get that?” Her eyes popped open, and she glared at him through the image. “They’ll kill us all…so we have to kill them. We have to kill them!”

Shinji swallowed, and closed his eyes. He scrubbed at his face. He couldn’t. He didn’t want to. He didn’t want to kill anyone. Not now, not ever. He didn’t like it. He didn’t want to feel that way again.

“Don’t you see that?” Asuka rasped, a tone of desperation in her voice. “You…you have to see that! You have to!” Shinji compulsively switched off the feed, trying to scrub his brain of the aching, lingering feelings of hate and guilt eating away at it. After a second, a new window opened, indicating an incoming communication from Unit Two.

He ignored it.

----

Shinji’s IFF warned him of the incoming aircraft long before Misato opened his and Asuka’s channels again. He watched uneasily as the far away signatures began easing closer, and closer. He swallowed, caressing the joysticks in a nervous motion when the comm request from Asuka, ignored but not dismissed, finally opened. The girl on the other side was staring at her lap, her jaw set in an expression that could be either furious or hurt. Shinji couldn’t tell which, and had no more time: Misato’s face reappeared.

“Your IFF should be showing the incoming transports now,” Misato said. “Remember: no Pilots. There are no Pilots on these Evas. Hit their Dummy Plugs, Cores, or S2 engines. We might…maybe…be able to highlight where those are on the MPEs once we have enough external analysis from the outside observers. Asuka, have you tried synchronizing with Unit Two?”

“Yes,” the girl muttered.

“Any succ-”

“No.”

“…okay. What we need you to do is use your Eva’s sensors to help us locate those weak-points. They’ll be tied in with Unit One’s sensors and MAGI. Shinji, it’s up to you to hit those spots until Asuka can sync again. Got it?”

“…all right,” he said, gripping the control yokes firmly. Above him, the transports were much closer now, and he could make out the secondary IFF signatures inside them. Great, hulking, man-shaped things, nestled between their gargantuan, catamaran hulls. When it seemed as though they would pass over, the giants detached, dropping like bombs towards them. His heart began pounding as they fell, and he gasped as great wings suddenly snapped open.

The things began to glide in slow, lazy loops above his head, like moths or buzzards. They grew larger as they came closer, and his heart pounded even harder. At the back of his head, that familiar itching began. He felt afraid. Was the headache returning? Why would it occur now? He closed his eyes, trying to will the itch away.

“Fifteen seconds until they touch down,” Hyuga’s voice chimed. Shinji opened his eyes, staring at the approaching Evas. They were close enough now that he could make out details: the white armor, the strange weapons they carried…the heads. The fish-heads with leering, grinning mouths, red lips…no eyes. No eyes. Something about that unnerved him.

Why would they make an Eva that looked like that?

“Touchdown in five…four…three…two…one,” Hyuga counted down, and the MP Evas landed in a neat, triangular formation in front of Shinji. Their wings folded, retracting away into their backs. They stood still, as if staring at him, waiting. He stared back. Neither side moved for at least twenty seconds.

“Misato…they aren’t moving,” he mumbled.

“They’re probably assessing the situation,” she replied. “Good thing for us, too.” As she spoke, three points of light appeared on each of the Evas. Target points: the S2 engines, the Cores…the Dummy Plugs. They were just Dummy Plugs.

“I mustn’t run away,” Shinji mumbled. “I won’t…I won’t.” The itch was insufferable.

The closest MP Eva stepped forward. The movement was lurching, uncoordinated, and the impact thundered with the weight of the Eva.

“They’re moving! At least one is,” Shinji reported.

“It’s AT Field doesn’t seem to be completely up,” Aoba’s voice said.

“Should I…attack? What should I do?”

“Wait,” Misato’s voice warned.

It dragged it’s strange weapon, something large and gray. It looked like a propeller blade, or…a sword. It looked too heavy for the Eva to lift, but it filled Shinji with a cold, nervous feeling. The itch intensified.

A second step.

“AT Field activity is intensifying!” Aoba reported. The third step seemed more natural, and it no longer dragged the weapon. It lurched forward, opening its massive jaws and letting a tongue the size of a warehouse slither out from between it’s teeth. It was actually drooling.

Then it charged.

“Shinji, move!” Misato cried out, as the blade whipped up and over. Unit One skipped back as the blade slammed into the earth where it once was. The armored giant skidded its feet into the earth as it slid towards the rim of the crater, before clawing at the earth and scrambling forward. The itch was so unbearable now, the burning creeping up on Shinji with a desire to live that outpaced his fear of killing. Like a mad, drunken animal, the Eva scrambled towards the MP model on all fours, colliding with it just as the white giant raised its weapon again.

They locked arms, wrestling on their feet for the blade. They strained and pulled, tugging against each other. The MP model, shorter than Unit One, crouched and began driving its shoulder into Unit One’s chest. Shinji gasped, feeling his chest compress from the force. He grit his teeth until he thought they would break, driving his mount forward once more.

Unit One untangled one arm and looped it around the MPs head in a guillotine choke. It pushed forward, driving its weight on the back of the neck and using its shoulders to push the blade away. It strained, and twisted…and with a great roar, it began to pull. The MP grunted and wheezed is its head was slowly pulled clean from the torso, trailing its massive spinal column. Strands of tendon the length and width of industrial steel cable snapped, sheets of muscle as wide as city roadways ripped clear, and an lake’s worth of LCL spilled down the front of Unit One’s chest. With a final, triumphant shriek, it tossed the head away, and thrust its arm into the sopping mess of the dying Eva’s throat. It grabbed for the marked S2 organ, closing its hands around it and ripping it free.

“It’s still moving,” Aoba warned.

“It’s AT Field?” Misato asked.

“Waning. It won’t fight anymore, but it’s still ‘active.’” Shinji felt the moisture from the LCL sopping onto his arms and chest and lap as it soaked and splashed onto Unit One. He swallowed, watching the writhing thing squirm, tremble, and die. He felt the meat lump in his hand, the S2 engine that was pulsing like a heart and slowly, fitfully ceasing.

He wanted to vomit.

“There’s no human Pilot,” he mumbled around gritted teeth, watching as a second MP Eva approached. “No human Pilot.”

“Why are they attacking one at a time?” Asuka asked, furrowing her brow.

“What?”

“They’re only sending one to attack Shinji again. Why don’t they attack all together?” As she spoke, the remaining MP Evas slowly realigned themselves into a new pattern. Shinji swallowed. Asuka was right: it didn’t make sense. They clearly were aware of each other, and they were clearly working as a unit. Why was only one coming after him?

He banished the thought as the second attack doubled down and leapt through the air. Shinji willed the Evangelion around him to grab the corpse of the dead MP model, and Unit One responded, using its AT Field to heft the mass of flesh as though it was a pillow. As it collided with the incoming attacker, Shinji whimpered, one hand slithering up and grabbing his scalp. The burning was intense.

“It’s starting again!” he gasped.

“What is?”

“The…headache,” he stammered. “It’s starting.” The MP Eva landed short, not far from Unit One. It roiled like a cat preparing to pounce, pushing away its dead sibling. Shinji didn’t wait, even as his heart raced from the anticipation of pain in his head. He charged forward, pressing the MP model stomach down to the ground as it tried to rise. The closest target was the Dummy Plug, beneath armor plating on the back. The plating was little better than paper as Unit One sank its teeth into it, and peeled it free. The MP Eva struggled harder, but Unit One ignored it, reaching into the soft tissues and pulling the rod of the Plug loose. Mindlessly, the MP Eva began twisting on the ground, its systems shutting down as it no longer had a ‘mind’ to direct its organs. Shinji stared at the Plug, feeling a sense of nausea at the familiar shape of the device.

“No human Pilots,” he stammered, through the burning, and willed the Eva to crush it. To prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was as Misato said it was. No human Pilots. None.

The Plug crumpled like a soda can, and liquid sloshed between the Eva’s fingers. Fitfully, they relaxed, and Shinji could see inside the Plug. There was a very human shape in their, pulverized but still recognizable. As he focused on it, the Eva zoomed in, and Shinji found himself staring at a familiar face. Beautiful and feline, with red eyes and silver hair.

He whimpered, dropping the Plug. “No human Pilots,” he repeated, but Unit One was retreating now. “No…no human Pilots.”

“Shinji? Shinji, are you all right!” Misato asked. The burning and itching were intense.

“You said…they were Dummy Plugs!” Shinji stammered.

“They are! Shinji, the MP units are being controlled by Dummy Plugs!” she pleaded. Shinji couldn’t hear her anymore. His head was brimming with agony again, so intense he wanted to pull his scalp free from his skull. It was Kaworu. It wasn’t clear how, but it was Kaworu. It was a clone, that’s all it was, like the fake-Ayanami and all those giggling little Ayanami clones that Dr. Akagi had destroyed.

That’s all it was. That’s all it was.

It was Kaworu, and he had killed Kaworu again.

“Three of them are moving!” Asuka stammered. Shinji tried to focus, but the pain had become so intense that his vision was blurring. “They’re going to throw their weapons! Baka, move!” He tried to will the Eva backwards, and it lurched and tumbled without coordination. Where was the rim? He had to get to the crater. Over the edge. Hide for a moment. Just hide, wait, think it out. It would make sense in a minute.

He felt a sudden, piercing pain in his stomach, and his left leg, and right arm. The world seemed to dip away from him, and the last thing he perceived before the pain consumed him was the sense of something…passing him on the way up as he went down. He wanted to cry out to the Something/Someone, but it was gone before he could grab it.

Shinji slipped away, into that gray place between dreaming and death.

-----

“They’re carrying Lances!” Aoba stammered, staring at the imagery on his screen. There it was…Unit One, backed up to the edge of the crater. The three Evas threw their swords and then…in mid-flight…they warped, reconfigured, and took the shape of the two-pronged Lance of Longinus. They pierced the flesh of Unit One and drove the teetering giant over the edge of the cliff and into the steaming ruin below.

“Did they hit anything important?” Misato asked. Hyuga shook his head.

“Superficial hits: they missed the Pilot, the Core, and the S2 organ.”

“Shinji! Are you still with us?” Misato asked, but Hygua waved her off.

“His readings indicate he’s unconscious.” Misato glanced at Unit Two, still on the eastern edge.

“Asuka, it’s up to you,” Misato said. “You have to try, Asuka, try and sync now.”

“…I’m trying,” the girl muttered. She was trembling, her eyes unfocused as she hunched forward.

“Please try harder,” Misato begged.
“I….” Asuka began crying. “I’m sorry,” she whimpered, covering her face. “I’m sorry!” Misato closed her mouth, and rested her head against her crossed arms. The MPs were advancing towards the rim of the crater in unison, as if one being in five bodies. They ignored their fallen companions, their destination and intent clear.

“…what do we do?” Aoba asked quietly. She glanced at him, and then the Professor. The older man faced forward, his expression unreadable. Hyuga stared at Misato with a pinched look, trying hard to stay composed.

“Nothing,” Misato sighed. “There’s nothing to do, we have…nothing to do.”

“…We…have Samson,” Hyuga suggested weakly. Misato shrugged, but said nothing. It would just be spiteful at that point. She was confident that destroying the base at this point would do little more than bury Adam, and not harm the surviving Evas. They would still extract Adam, and Impact would continue. It would be elaborate suicide at that point.

Would that be such a bad thing? To spit at Seele one last time? Misato closed her eyes, and said nothing. She listened to Asuka crying and apologizing, the heavy and pained breathing of her subordinates.

She didn’t say anything. There was nothing left to say. No more clever escapes, or last minute solutions. This was it, and she was too tired to accept it or reject it. It simply was.

The consoles began screaming. Misato sat up as Hyuga and Aoba turned back to the boards. “Good God,” Fuyutsuki mumbled. “Unit One’s AT Field is…expanding. Exponentially.”

“Sync rate is rising! How can that be?” Hyuga leaned over the monitor, sweat beading his face. “The Pilot is still registering as unconscious!” Misato stared at the main screen, now displaying imagery taken from an overflying drone. She could see Unit One lurching up, the embedded Lances hindering its movement. It whipped an arm up, pulling the Lance in its arm free. It began extracting the one from its stomach, and Misato felt a simmering hope and fear raising for dominance in her chest.
The second Lance was ripped free. The giant stumbled to its feet, and began to extract the final lance. As it slowly pulled the spear from its thigh, the first of the MP Evas crested the rim of the crater.

As though it was expecting it, Unit One arched back like a javelin thrower, and hurled the lance into the opposing Eva. It staggered, its arms jerking as it tried to grab the Lance before falling dead.
“That was a hit on the Core,” Fuyutsuki noted quietly. “That’s three MP models dead.” The remaining four began repositioning, the unarmed ones moving out to flank the two still carrying their swords. The weapons reconfigured in their hands, becoming Lances. In the crater, Unit One retrieved the two discarded Lances, and began to crouch. It then leapt gracefully in the air, beginning a long arc up and over the rim.

The armed MPs reacted, hurling their lances at the rising Eva. It twisted in midair, both lances tearing away armor plating but neither finding purchase as they passed by the now-falling Unit One. It used its AT Field to positions its fall towards one of the now-disarmed MPs, and landed with an earth-shaking crunch. Both of its Lances were driven through the MP, impaling the Dummy Plug and the Core. The Eva shuddered, and went limp.

The remaining three seemed to stare at the victorious Eva, and as one, began to unfold their wings. They seemed to gaze upward, and began flapping. Each wing-beat produced a miniature windstorm as they rose off of the ground, climbing for altitude. They circled above Unit One, and then turned towards the west.

“What are they doing?” Aoba asked.

“…cutting their losses,” Fuyutsuki sighed. “They’ve just had four of their MP units permanently disabled. They’re pulling back the remaining units.” He turned the chair to face Misato. “…we won.”

“…it’s over?” she asked cautiously.

“For the moment, I think.” Misato became aware of just how hard her heart was beating in that moment, thundering in her ears. She willed herself to relax, and watched as Unit One straightened over the dead MP model and seemed to go slack on its feet.

“I…I don’t understand how!” Hyuga gasped. “The Pilot is still unconscious! Is there a glitch in our software?” Misato ignored him, staring at Unit One. She glanced at Fuyutsuki, but he wasn’t paying attention to her. His eyes were up on the screen. Aoba was already trying to organize a retrieval team with whatever resources he could scrounge between the Fourth Division and Nerv’s personnel. Hyuga continued to try and raise Shinji.

The Pilot was unconscious. There was little doubt in Misato’s mind that it wasn’t Shinji that had dispatched the last two Evas. Had Unit One itself decided to fight on their behalf? Or defend its Pilot?
Was that…Yui Ikari? She didn’t know. Or she did, and she didn’t like the answer. It implied that the threat was still there. Unit One had acted on its own behalf. What was next? Was it simply choosing to be inactive now? Was there more to come?

Would it try to unleash an Impact event itself? “Major,” Hyuga said, cutting through her thoughts. “I still can’t raise the Third Child. I think he’s legitimately out.” Misato pushed herself up from the gurney, glancing at Aoba.

“We need to get him out immediately,” she said. “Forget the MPs, all efforts now on retrieving Shinji!” She felt her doubts vanish for the moment, as she focused on a more important task at hand. Their ability to deploy Evas remained, but retrieving them would be difficult. At this point, the best they could do was get the Pilot back, and work from there. They had to get him back, soon.

As the bridge crew went about their task, Asuka’s image remained on the board ignored. She surveyed the crater before her, the remains of the battle. The battle she had not participated in, and could only watch as she failed to synchronize with her Eva yet again.

Her eyes were empty.

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 ElMariachi » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:06 pm

Well, that's what I call a curb-stomp battle! :lol:
Momma's in the place, and she's angry! :chainsaw:
And congrats Shinji, with that first MP-Eva you downed you managed to be even more gruesome than Asuka in EoE, not a small feat!

So, there's still the problem of Shinji's recurring headaches (yeah, that screams of internal cranial damages) and when Asuka will finally reach her momma and kick some ass. Maybe she'll have some conversation with Misato or Shinji about the battle that they'll reveal to her the mother in the core thing, that could unlock her synchronization.

Finally, I noticed that there was only seven Harpies here, I wonder what happened to the last two...
Avatar: THE HIGHEST OF ALL HIGHS WE AAAAAAAAAARE!!!
Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
EoTV is a therapist, EoE is a drill instructor. -- Chuckman
Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger

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Postby amitakartok » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:21 pm

Maybe SEELE is holding them in reserve? You know, hero wins by the skin of his teeth and is barely standing, cue the bad guys playing the final card once the hero is not in the condition to fight back and narrowly snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Could also work as psychological warfare: make him think he got all of them, send in the last two to make him go "there's more?!" By not engaging in a decisive battle, the bad guys keep the hero on his toes in a state of constant paranoia (as the hero has no way of knowing when the third wave will come, or the fourth, or even how many waves there are) while the bad guys regroup and figure out what's the next move.
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Postby Sicarius VI » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:02 pm

Yui and Unit-01 should have gone after atleast one more of the MPEs.

I actually didn't realize there was only 7, now that you both above me mention it - Shinji downs 4 and 3 leave, where are the last two?
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Postby Literary Eagle » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:14 am

Making us all worry about what's up with the missing two MP Evas... this is cruel! Sadistic! Diabolical!

...In other words, it's brilliant. I love it. :D
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Postby cyharding » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:20 am

The question is whether or not Seele can still initiate Instrumentality with only 5 units. In EoE, they wanted to have more than the nine they had, so there might be a chance it won't be enough.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:54 am

View Original PostLiterary Eagle wrote:Making us all worry about what's up with the missing two MP Evas... this is cruel! Sadistic! Diabolical!



:gendoscheme:
Last edited by Gob Hobblin on Sat May 30, 2015 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MisterHalt » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:34 am

Isn't it like...nine is the "ideal" number, but they can make do with say, three if they have to? Or am I confusing canon and fanfiction?
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:42 am

I was always under the impression that because Seele's head council had 12 members, and there were 12 planned MP-Evas, the plan was for the souls of the individual members to occupy or be 'protected' through Instrumentality by the MPs (an Eva per council member). There is no indication that this was the plan in any story that I know of, primary or secondary, but the number (12) is true for both, and I like this idea of Seele's members 'fusing' to the Evas.

That, hopefully, explains a little bit why they cut their losses when they did...or not...I might explain in the story later....

...or...not...

...not sure yet.

:facepalm:
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Postby IronEvangelion » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:44 am

Well Shinji, Misato was telling you the truth. There were no human pilots on board. :devil:
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Postby Asukaner117 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:54 pm

Great fic. Had me on the edge of my seat from the very first chapter, really great storytelling. The scene with Asukas breakdown when she saw the plugsuit was very haunting and powerfull. Cant wait to read more ^_^
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:10 am

Chapter 14: Assembly

SPOILER: Show


Shinji was dead.

None of the adults were saying that. They swarmed around his body like he was alive, but Asuka knew. It didn’t matter what they did say, what pretty little words they used to lessen the blow. Asuka knew better. She stood in the hallway, staring through the door as it opened and closed. Shinji’s body was barely perceivable, little snippets between arms and torso, white smocks leaning over him. Why were they prolonging this? Who was it going to convince?

He was dead. It was a farce. It was all a farce. Shinji was dead. He was dead, dead, dead, and it was her fault. No one would say that, either, but Asuka knew. She knew very well that it was her fault. She couldn’t synchronize anymore. She couldn’t synchronize, so Shinji had to fight the MP Evas alone. He fought them alone, and somehow that had killed him, and it was her fault because she could no longer connect with Unit Two. He had died, and she had treated him terribly, and she knew it. She had cut into him, so many times. She wanted to say it was his fault. A part of her still thought it. It wasn’t his fault, though, was it? It was her fault. And Seele’s. She let him die, and Seele had killed him.

Shinji was dead.

One of the nurses exited the room, giving Asuka one more glimpse of Shinji’s body. The nurse spied her, and assumed she was there waiting for news. He stepped over to her, looking very tired. “Your friend is going to be okay,” he said. “He’s breathing again, and we have him stable. His brain activity is erratic, but there…we just have to wait and see.”

Liar, she thought, staring at him with exhaustion. She continued to stare at the nurse until he shrugged and turned to leave. “Just hang in there, kid,” the nurse called, “It’s all uphill from here.”

Liar.

She continued to linger in the hallway, like a ghost haunting a grave, until she felt the urge to walk. To get away from this place of death. She turned and followed the hallway, letting herself drift along on her feet. A leaf in the flood. She had no clear destination in mind, no purpose or function beyond cutting on herself. Eating herself.

Shinji was dead.

It was her fault.

Shinji was dead, and it was her fault.

She chewed these thoughts like gristle, chewed on them until she realized she was in a familiar corridor near a familiar door. She stared at it, trying to place it, to understand why she recognized it. She then registered the name ‘M. KATSURAGI’ on the door. She stared at it, feeling very still in the moment. It was odd to her that this should be where she would gravitate. Was it her destination this entire time? She had let Shinji die. Seele had killed him. Misato, though…Misato had put him in Unit One. Misato bore some of the blame. Asuka narrowed her eyes, and opened the door.

Misato was behind her desk, her normal chair replaced with a stool. She leaned heavily over her desk, running a brush through the barrel of her disassembled handgun. The pieces were carefully arranged on a cloth in front of her, each in the spot it was meant to be. Misato glanced up for just a moment, registering Asuka’s presence. She then turned back to her task.

“Finally got it back,” she said. “I needed to clear my mind. This helps.” She laid the barrel down, and looked back at Asuka. “How are you feeling?” The girl said nothing, and slowly drifted into the room. Misato waited patiently, as Asuka stood in the center of the room, hugging herself. “You haven’t changed out of your Plug suit yet,” Misato noted. Asuka said nothing.

“You don’t need to wear it anymore…we’re not under any kind of alert.”

“…it’s your fault,” Asuka mumbled.

“What?”

“Shinji. He’s dead. It’s your fault.” Asuka glared at the floor. “And mine. Don’t pretend it’s not your fault, either.” Misato’s mouth dropped open, and a look of panic registered on her face for a second. It then relaxed, and she leaned back with some difficulty.

“Who told you he was dead?” Misato asked.

“It’s obvious,” Asuka said. “Everyone’s trying to pretend otherwise. He’s dead, so why act like he’s not?”

“Because unless something has happened in the last fifteen minutes, he’s very much alive,” Misato replied, somewhat testily.

“Stop lying!” Asuka shrieked. She trembled for a moment, hugging herself even tighter. “I can’t stand it anymore. Everyone is always lying to me, and treating me like a little kid, and I can’t stand it! Why can’t you admit it? He’s dead, and it’s my fault, because I couldn’t, I c-couldn’t…and I tried, and…!”

“Asuka!” Misato tried to stand up, but slumped over the table. Asuka glanced up in surprise, having forgotten that Misato had been injured. She felt a strange stab of guilt she couldn’t explain, and retreated a half-step. Misato steadied herself, breathing heavily. “Asuka…,” she managed, “Listen to me…very carefully. Shinji is not dead. He’s hurt, he’s hurt very badly, but he’s not dead. Do you understand?”

“…please…stop…don’t lie to me.”

“Asuka, I’m not lying.”

“…you always lie. Everyone lies.” Misato swallowed her reply, and slowly eased herself back down on the stool. She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. Asuka stared at her sullenly, expecting an answer. The older woman sighed, and rubbed her eyes.

“How do you want me to respond to that?” Misato laid her hands on the table. “I can’t. You’ve made your decision: everybody lies. We’re all lying to you.” Misato shrugged. Asuka stared at the ground. “Is that what you want to hear?” Asuka shook her head. “We’re not…out…to get you. I’m not out to get you. I….” Misato sighed. “Asuka…what do you want me to do?”

“What?”

“I don’t want to convince you that I’m on your side, I…am so tired. I am at my limit, and I know that you are well past yours. I know that, but please know that….” Misato sighed, and shook her head. She then began to clean the handgun. Asuka studied the woman’s meticulous movements, and cautiously approached the table. She stared at the disassembled weapon, watching as Misato oiled each piece, rubbing the oil in with a cloth. She set aside the cloth, and then began assembling the weapon with quick, careful motions. She completed the process with a quick functions check, racking the slide and checking the safety.

“…can I hold it?” Asuka asked.

“What?”

“Your gun. Can I hold it?”

“…why?” Misato studied Asuka.

“I…just want to…want to see how it feels.” Misato squinted, trying to perceive what Asuka was thinking. She sighed, and, hesitantly, put the handgun down on the table. Asuka slowly reached for it, watching her fingers trembling and twitching hesitantly. She poked at the handgun, and slowly let her fingers curl around it. She picked up up, cradling it in both hands as she would a bird that had fallen out of its nest.

“…and how does it feel?” she asked.

“…not heavy,” Asuka said. “I thought it would be.”

“It’s a USP. That means a lot of light components. It’s a reliable weapon,” Misato noted. Asuka’s fingers tensed on it, squeezing the unyielding object.

“…it’s not…really my fault, right?” She swallowed. “I’m…I tried…I tried so hard. I really did.” She closed her eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I….”

“Asuka, it’s not your fault,” Misato said. “It’s truly not. It’s…I know how you’ve been trying. It was….” Misato coughed. “It was wrong…it was wrong of me to put you in this situation. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, even if I had the same choices. You have to understand, Asuka, this position…I have to do things, sometimes, that I don’t like. I simply have to. Does that make sense?”

“I think so.”

“It’s not your fault, though. You did what you could, and it just didn’t happen. That’s not your fault.”

“…it’s Seele’s.”

“What?”

“They killed Kaji. And they k…they…almost killed…Shinji.” Asuka swallowed, and glanced up at Misato.

“They did that. Right?”

“Yes.”

“It’s their fault.”

“…yes.”

“…they should die for that.”

“…they should,” Misato said slowly, concerned with Asuka’s tone, but not entirely in disagreement. The girl hesitantly put the handgun down on the table.

“…I can’t Pilot anymore.” Asuka returned her hands to her elbows, hugging herself tightly.

“Asuka, we don’t know that.”

“I can’t,” she asserted. “I…am not useful. I have no purpose anymore.”

“That’s not—”

“What are you going to do about Seele?” Misato blinked, trying to follow the girl’s twisting conversation.

“At the moment, there’s not a whole lot we can do,” Misato replied. “We’re hurt and trying to recover. We’re exposed at the moment, we’re down a Pilot for the time being…I know you’re having trouble Piloting, but I’m not sure if Shinji can Pilot again. And the Fourth Division is helping us now, but for how long? The government is still in a state of flux.”

“So you’re not going to do anything?”

“I didn’t say that,” Misato answered. “It’s just hard to think that far ahead at the moment. I do intend to do something…but first things first.” She folded her hands on the table. “We have to protect Adam. That’s our priority.”

“It would be better to protect it if we go after Seele,” Asuka mumbled.

“I don’t disagree: we just…don’t have the ability at the moment.”

“But we might, right?”

“At some point, yes.”

“…would you let me…do that?”

“Do what?” Asuka stared at the handgun meaningfully, and Misato’s eyes narrowed in thought. “That? You mean…why? Why would you want to?”

“…I need to…be…I have to…do…something….” She trailed off, unable to say what she wanted, what she felt. She shook her head, feeling silly. She swallowed as Misato extended an arm and placed an index finger squarely on the pistol. She stared at Asuka.

“I won’t say no, but you do know what you’re asking?”

“…have you ever killed anyone before?” Asuka asked.

“…yes.”

“…how does it feel?”

“I don’t really have the words to describe it,” Misato said. “It’s…one of those things that can’t really be put into words. It doesn’t feel good, that’s for certain. It feels….” She shrugged. “It feels as it feels.”

Asuka nodded, and sniffed. “I want to do that.”

“Do you?”

“Yes. I want to…whenever you decide to do something.”

“What if I say no?” Asuka glared at her, but said nothing. “I see,” Misato said. She sighed, and spun the pistol on the table, catching the grip with her thumb and guiding it up into her waiting palm. The action made Asuka flinch, and she stepped back. “I’ll tell you what,” Misato said, picking up the pistol and loading a magazine. “Let’s see what tomorrow brings. One step at a time. Once we have a better idea of where we’re going…then ask me again. In the mean time…I strongly suggest you think about what you’re asking.” Misato gave Asuka a very hard look, one the girl had never seen from the woman before. She tried to meet it, but it was withering, and too cold to keep for long.

“…yes,” she mumbled.

“Good.” Misato holstered her pistol. “You should go shower and change. Shinji might need someone to keep him company.”

“Doesn’t need me,” Asuka grumped, sneering slightly.

“Then why were you moping around his emergency suite?” Misato asked. Asuka glanced away, grimacing. “You’re one of my Pilots, Asuka: you should know I’ll keep tabs on you. And not just because I need you.” Misato crossed her arms. “I do worry about you.” Asuka shrugged, and turned to leave.

“He’ll be all right,” Misato said. Asuka froze. “He’s like you, in that way. Even when he has nothing left to give, he’ll keep coming back again and again. It’s why I worry about him. And you. I don’t know if it’s courage, or stubbornness, or fear. Maybe stupidity, I don’t know. You both share that, though. You should remember that.”

Asuka turned back as if to say something, and then shook her head and hurried out of the office.

Last edited by Gob Hobblin on Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
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Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
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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 MisterHalt » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:10 am

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:“…it’s your fault,” Misato mumbled.


I'm pretty sure you mean Asuka there, not Misato.
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Postby IronEvangelion » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:19 am

I love the way you worded that chapter. The first three words stunned me. Was not expecting to see that. :lol:
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Postby ElMariachi » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:19 am

What a scare jump with those first three words! :lol:
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