EVA Sessions: The Eaters of Sin

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Sicarius VI
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Postby Sicarius VI » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:58 pm

I am about to troll everyone by posting in here and I apologize in advance.

Gob, are you close to updating anytime soon? Is it ok for me to ask? I'm sorry if it isn't.
"I'm not going there to die, I'm going to find out if I'm really alive." - Spike Spiegel

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:21 pm

Trying to: a combination of some severe real-life incidents, high stress, and work have been preventing me from writing. Hopefully, I'll be able to break the dry spell soon. Not being able to write, due to both time constraints and writer's block, tends to have a nasty self building effect.
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 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:00 pm

Chapter 17: Caution

SPOILER: Show


Asuka gasped, jerking awake. She felt like she was falling, like the world had suddenly teeter-tottered away from her. She frantically twisted her gaze around the room. She was still in the chair. Still in the slick cling of the Plug Suit. Still in the sterile room. Shinji was still there before her, unconscious. Not awake.

She was still alone.

What was she dreaming of? She didn’t know. She couldn’t remember. She groaned, and shifted in the chair. Her heart was pounding, and she felt a small tremor of the soul. She sniffed, and glanced around. The room was painfully silent. Even Shinji’s breathing was a far-away, distant thing. She focused on the breathing, measuring it and hoarding it away. She settled into the chair, wanting to fall back asleep but no longer tired. Strangely…she felt bored.

Guilt welled up in her, a strange and odd feeling. She had no clue why she felt guilty, but she did. She shifted, being grabbed the urge to go and do…something. She didn’t know what, but she had the urge to leave the room, and the more the urge gripped her, the more guilt she felt. She stood up and began pacing. She glanced down at Shinji. What if he woke up?

Why did she care?

…did she care?

“Don’t get any ideas,” she hissed at Shinji. As usual, he had no real argument to offer. She sniffed, and gazed hungrily at the door. Then back at Shinji. “Look, I’m just gonna…I’m gonna go,” she mumbled. “Uh…don’t…I mean, I’ll…uh….” She grumbled without words for a few minutes. “I’m gonna go,” she said lamely, and hurried for the door.

Stepping into the hallway, she was surprised by the sheer lack of activity. The medical staff lingered through the corridors like ghosts, talking quietly if at all. They radiated waves of exhaustion, beating against Asuka. She watched them with an odd sense of apprehension, as though she was intruding. Swallowing a nugget of nervousness, she scurried down the hall, fleeing from this place of confusing feelings and sideways senses. She didn’t know where she wanted to go…she didn’t know where she was allowed to go. She simply went, hoping her feet knew their destination.

The more she walked, the more she was assaulted with the reality of their situation. The smells of heated metal and burning electronics, of human sweat and the sickly, sour-sweet smell of panic. That melange somewhere between excrement and vomit, of blood and breath. She hurried through the cloud, angling for some sort of familiar place, or, in the very least…so place of safety. Stability. Strength.

As it was, Asuka found herself gravitating towards the Command Bridge. As she drew closer to the areas that she knew surrounded that hub, she found it more natural to push closer and closer to the bridge. No one stopped her. No one seemed to notice her, in fact: it was as though she had faded from reality, sifting into some sort of alternate plane. She was smoke. She was water. She was nothing at all.

She approached the entrance, and the two guards gave her the most cursory of glances before she drifted between them and into the vast space. It was cooler here, not stuffy. The sick-sweet stench was gone, replaced with the smell of cold and emptiness. She slowed, feeling a slight hesitation before swallowing and pushing forward again. The space opened before her, and she looked up at the massive display screens. They all were tuned to various news channels, displaying a quilt-patchwork of information and images.

“Hey, there.” Asuka swallowed, and turned towards Misato. The woman was braced against her chair in an awkward lean. “How’s Shinji?”

“…the same.”

“I see.”

“Uh…what’s happening…out…?”

“The same.” Misato smiled ruefully. “Nothing, actually.”

“Oh.” Asuka sighed heavily, and gazed up at the screen. Half of them were images of the New Kantei, the other were just people talking. Talk-talk-talking. She rubbed her right eye with the heel of her hand, and glanced at Misato.

“You look sleepy.”

“I don’t feel sleepy.”

“I’d guess not.” Misato turned towards the only other person on the bridge. Lt. Hyuga was snoring lightly, slumped in his chair. “He’s not supposed to be sleeping, you know, but I don’t have the heart to wake him up. He keeps taking shifts for Aoba. Of course…Aoba won’t take any painkillers. He doesn’t want to waste them when there are others who might need them more.” Misato awkwardly reached for a cup sitting on the console, cautiously picking it up. “I should be yelling at them for that, you know, but I just can’t.” Asuka didn’t have anything to say to that. She drifted slowly over to one of the unoccupied chairs and sat down, putting her hands in her lap as she gazed at the monitor in front of her.

“…everybody’s waiting on everybody else,” Misato sighed.

“Huh?” Asuka turned back to the older woman. Misato pointed at the screen.

“The whole world knows, now. They all know about Seele, and the conspiracy. There’s a lot of arguing, it seems, but I can’t really tell what’s going on abroad. Here, though…everyone is just waiting. I don’t know what they’re waiting for, but I can feel it. In my gut…there’s something just lingering there, and all it will take is just a little…tip.” She sucked on her teeth. “It’s like…a boulder just sitting on the edge of a cliff. Everyone is waiting to see who’ll tip it first. No one wants to do anything until they see who pushes it.”

“…what happens when the boulder falls?” Asuka asked.

“…I don’t know.” Misato shrugged. “I just don’t know. Nothing good, I imagine. We’ll probably be in the middle of it, of course. The important thing is to try and ensure that we aren’t.”

“How?” Misato gave the girl an inquisitive glance. Asuka felt oddly naked under the scrutiny: she had the urge to snap back, but there was something about Misato’s eyes that was different. It made her shrink down in the chair. Before Misato could answer, though, all of the monitors began to flicker to the New Kantei. The synchronized flicker caught Misato’s eye, and she looked up at the screen. Something was happening.

“Makoto,” Misato snapped. The lieutenant didn’t respond. “Makoto! Mak—damn it.” Misato fished a pen from her coat pocket, and chunked it at Lt. Hyuga’s head. It hit him right behind the ear. He jerked awake, flinging his arms out in front of him.

“It wasn’t Paris!” he snapped.

“Makoto!” Misato said again. He turned in his chair, still disoriented. “Something’s happening.” Misato pointed at the screen. Lt. Hyuga looked up, furrowing his brow. He leaned over and tapped at the keyboard in front of him, drawing up one of the images. It was of roach-like, black vehicles trundling up to the facade of the New Kantei. After a second, there was a snap as the audio turned on.

“—appears that elements of the NPA have just pulled up in front of the New Kantei,” a voice said. “I’m not certain, but I think these may be the Special Assault Teams.” The vehicles began to angle themselves. Out of their rear hatches, black and armored shapes scurried out, some with shields and all of them with rifles. As soon as they did, the distinct pop-pop of gunfire ensued. The figures began to push towards the structure, huddled in orderly rows behind the ballistic shields. The pop-pop began a sudden long, solid rip of noise, heavier caliber weapons that halted, shuddered, and broke the columns. A few of the figures made it to the New Kantei, huddling against the structure. Others retreated back to the safety of the armored vehicles.

There were many that did neither, and simply lay on the ground. A few squirmed. There were a lot of bodies on the ground.

The reporter was still talking, but Misato said, “Turn off the audio.” Lt. Hyuga obliged as Misato pulled at her lip. “I’m not out of this yet,” she mumbled, to no one in particular. Asuka wondered what she meant by that, but before she could ask, Misato asked, “Did we establish that connection to the Fourth’s Field-HQ?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Misato nodded. She seemed to be torn between a decision, nodding her head to the left and then right in thought.

“Hum.” She inhaled deeply. “We’ll wait.”

“For…wait for what?” Lt. Hyuga asked. Misato said nothing, slumping against the chair. Asuka hugged herself, slouching and watching Misato. The woman had changed in the last few days. She seemed more subdued. Less reckless than she had been before, less…exuberant. That was a lie, of course: that same recklessness was still there. It seemed to have become cold, somehow. It was fascinating to watch.

Lt. Hyuga turned to his console as it began beeping. “We have a priority comm package from the Fourth Division’s Field-HQ.”

“Open it. Main channel,” Misato said, rubbing the back of her head. There was a crackle.

“Major?” a grating male voice asked.

“General,” Misato said. “How’s the weather out there?”

“Rather pleasant,” he said. “A balmy 26 degrees and sunny to boot. Why don’t you come out and see?”

“I’d rather not,” Misato said. “I have a hunch it’s going to get a little stormy.” Misato waited for a reply, and when none came, she said, “It’s not your side that’s storming the New Kantei, is it?”

“I thought we were all on the same side, Major,” the voice said. Misato smirked, sticking her tongue between her teeth while nodding to herself. She said nothing, waiting out the voice. “…no. I do not know who ordered the assault.”

“Yes, you do,” Misato said.

“I don’t,” the voice insisted, “Yet I suspect…that this may be a move on the part of Seele. Or a third player in the government we aren’t aware of.”

“Ah.” Misato sniffed. “So, why the friendly call?”

“Time to make a decision, Major.”

“I’m sorry?”

“I’m beginning to think you aren’t on Seele’s side, but I don’t know whose side you’re on,” the voice said. “So I thought it fair to put it to you frankly: to announce where you stand or…have me make the decision for you.” Misato seemed to consider that, nodding slowly. She shrugged.

“General,” she said, “Are you familiar with the Biblical story of Samson?”

“No.”

“I suggest you read up on it and get back to me.” Misato made a quick throat-slashing gesture. Surprised, Lt. Hyuga disconnected the link.

“Why did I do that, ma’am!?” he asked, mildly panicked. Misato smiled.

“Just reasserting my dominance,” she said. She turned to Asuka. “Do you know the story of Samson?”

“Kind of,” Asuka said, shrugging. “It’s the strong guy, right?” She waited. “I don’t really keep up with Bible stories. It’s not my thing.”

“Yes, he was the strong man,” Misato said. “He was tricked into a situation where he gave up his strength. A rather stupid situation, really, but it was what it was. Anyway, after years of humiliation, he was brought to the temple of his enemies for their amusement. He prayed to God, and was granted his strength one more time. He pulled the temple down onto his own head, killing himself but all of his enemies in the process.” She turned to Lt. Hyuga. “Instruct our OPs to keep a close eye on the Fourth’s positions and report any movement.”

“Ma’am.” He relayed her instructions as Misato turned back to Asuka.

“Do you understand now?” Asuka swallowed, and nodded meekly. Misato sighed, and waited. The seconds ticked by. Seconds turned into minutes. Misato seemed to drift between tension and calm, her hands flexing and grasping one moment and then relaxed and limp the next. Asuka squirmed in her chair, suddenly feeling useless. It was a feeling she was slowly becoming resigned to, and it disturbed her how she no longer felt anxious. It was just a fact: she was useless. She simply needed to accept it, and know that she would always be useless. A painful stab began to squirm through her heart, that last rebellious gasp at the unfairness of it all. She couldn’t fight it. She sighed heavily.

“Oh, be patient,” Misato hissed. “I’m ninety percent sure I know what’s going to happen.”

“That’s not very reassuring,” Lt. Hyuga muttered.

“Have faith,” Misato said. As if on cue, Lt. Hyuga leaned over his console.

“I don’t…huh.” He turned, his face devoid of emotion. “The Fourth…they’re leaving.”

“Are they?” Misato said, grinning.

“Our OPs are reporting troop movements away from the perimeter. It’s too soon to be sure, but it looks like the Fourth…may be pulling out entirely.”

“Imagine that.” Misato nodded. She turned back to Asuka. “It’s a matter of risk, you see.”

“I don’t understand,” Asuka said.

“We are a very important piece on the board,” Misato said. “We have the most powerful Evangelion in the world. And we have the means to end all life on earth, if we wanted. We have all the cards, and we’re too weak to hold them. Everyone knows it.”

“…Samson.” Asuka felt a chill. “So…what that general was saying? He wanted you to decide to work for him or…he was going to invade the GeoFront.”

“Yes.”

“…there’s something bad happening in Japan. And he didn’t want to be here: he wanted to be where he could do something.”

“Or his superiors wanted him to move. They don’t want to leave us able to move, though…or to leave us where someone else could get to us.” Misato sniffed. “So either we save them the trouble and throw in with their faction, or they invade and take what they want.”

“…unless you blow up the GeoFront,” Asuka said quietly.

Misato smiled coldly. “Yes. They would lose a good portion of the Fourth. They might not lose the Evangelion, but they would lose all the support infrastructure for them. They’d lose time trying to rebuild that, and tie up resources guarding the Evas.”

“We’re too dangerous to attack…and too weak to move.” Asuka cocked her head, impressed at the cleverness of it. “So they’ll leave us alone, knowing we can’t run, but knowing we won’t be attacked by anyone else.”

“Good girl,” Misato said. She sighed, rubbing her face. “It gives us room to breathe. A little more room. And space to plan our next move.” She turned to Lt. Hyuga. “Go wake up Fuyutsuki, tell him to get up here. Leave Aoba for the time being: if he’s sleeping, he needs to get more rest.” She shook her head. “It’s time to stop this moment-to-moment crap: we need a long-term plan.” The Lieutenant nodded, and hurried off the bridge. Misato slowly, painfully, lowered herself in the chair, shaking as she did.

“Why...didn’t you join him?” Asuka asked. “Or…I mean that…his faction, or whatever.”

“And be someone else’s plaything? No, we’re done with that. We’re our own side now, Asuka.” Misato leaned back. “I’m tired of being led around by the nose all the time. That stops now. We’re going to look out for our own.” She swallowed, her eyes drooping. She bit her lip, and Asuka felt a sense of caution at the expression. “…I suppose it means I have to do some things I didn’t want to do.”

“Like what?” Asuka asked. Misato shrugged, and smiled at the girl. She didn’t say anything else.

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 Ray » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:07 pm

Glad to see you back Gob.

How did you get to be such a good writer? Teach me! I implore you!
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Postby Literary Eagle » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:01 am

Yay! Welcome back, Gob Hobblin! :woohoo:

Wow, still so bold, even in such a messy situation... that's our Misato! Hmm, but where do things go from here? I'm definitely looking forward to finding out!

Again, welcome back!
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Postby xanderkh » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:40 am

Good to have you back Gob. :)

And this chapter is looking more epic than ever. I can't wait to see what's in store for Misato and what's to come.
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

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Postby Sicarius VI » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:22 am

Welcome back Hob!

Glad to see your story is getting even better.
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Postby gorgeousshutin » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:55 pm

Just when I thought the story couldn't get any better, it did.

Thanks for this brilliant update, Gob!
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Postby IronEvangelion » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:51 pm

Great chapter! Welcome back, Gob.
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Postby chee » Thu May 21, 2015 9:46 pm

Good shit. Need moar.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun May 31, 2015 12:47 am

Chapter 18: Strand

SPOILER: Show


Shinji had never seen water so blue. It glittered before him, sparkling like jewels beneath a pale, blue sky. Blue on blue, green between. Fat trees, greedy with leaves. The wind rustled them, like a hand across hair.

This place felt familiar.

He tilted his chin up, feeling the wind kiss his face. This place was a safe place. He didn’t know how, or from where. He just knew that this place…existed. Once, he was here, sitting at the edge of the water, and now he was again.

And he wasn’t alone.

He glanced to the right, and saw that boy again. The older one that had sat with him on the edge of a great and bloody sea. Shinji sagged. “Why are you here?” he said reproachfully.

“That’s rude,” the older boy murmured.

“I don’t care,” Shinji muttered, wanting the intruder to vanish.

“Can’t this just a be a nice moment? Can’t we just…savor it? I mean, look at that!” The boy extended his arms, as though to embrace the water. “Glorious!”

“…this isn’t real,” Shinji sighed. “I’m not really here.”

“Nope. Well, yes, but…no.”

“Yes and no?”

“It’s as real as you want it to be, but just because you want it to be real doesn’t make it really real.”

“…huh?”

“It feels safe, though, doesn’t it?” the older boy said, plowing on. Shinji closed his eyes, and leaned back. He lay down on the ground, a soft carpet of cool and inviting grass accepting him.

“Yes,” he agreed. “It does.”

“I’m thinking you’ll want to stay here, then.”

“…no.” Shinji opened his eyes. “I can’t, can I?”

“That’s up to you.”

“No, it isn’t.” He sat up. “They’ll need me again. They always do. I don’t like being needed, but…I can’t just….” He trembled, and ducked his head. “I killed him again.”

“It wasn’t him; he was already dead.” Shinji flinched. “I’m sorry, but it’s true.”

“But I saw him…I saw him again!”

“You also Rei. And Rei. And Rei, and Rei, and….”

“Stop that.”

“I’m just making a point.”

He didn't understand what it meant, and it upset him. For a moment, an image came to mind, one that he didn't remember, but felt like it was a memory. A place of many girls, nude and vacant eyed, floating in gallons of LCL. A Rei here, a Rei...all Rei.

What did that mean? He squirmed uncomfortably, and thought of the new Rei, the one that came after Rei...his Rei...had died. She had died, he knew that. He had accepted it in his heart, somewhere, while refusing it, but he knew that Rei had not survived that attack. That battle with the Angel. He knew, just...instinctively, that the girl who now said she was Rei was something else. A copy.

...why couldn’t there be copies of Kaworu? Of course there were. He was an Angel, so the body was only a shell…such a real shell….

He sat up. “Kaworu was an Angel.” The older boy looked at Shinji.

“Yes, he was. That was established.”

“No, no,” Shinji muttered. “Kaworu was an Angel.”

“…yes…he was….”

“And there…there were…copies of him. Those were…They said they didn’t have Pilots in those Evas.”

“Yes. Do you think they lied to you?”

“I saw the Pilot, it was Kaworu.”

“But Kaworu was an Angel…and he’s dead.”

“Yes, but maybe it was a copy. Like a…clone.”

“…I just…said that.” The older boy looked dejected, slumping. “That is exactly what I just said to you.”

“…what does that make Rei?”

“…what?”

“Rei died, and now she's...she's not dead. So that means she's a...a clone. And I saw Kaworu, so...that had to be a clone, right? I wasn't just seeing things. Was I?"

"Were you?"

Shinji ignored the comment. "I…and there are clones of Kaworu…and Kaworu was an Angel…what does that make Rei?” Shinji felt cold, and he didn’t want to continue that line of thought. He couldn’t help it. What did that make Rei?

The older boy stood very still, but he smiled lightly. “That is a very interesting question. And I think you should keep asking it.” Something made the boy turn, and Shinji followed his gaze. There, on the edge of the water, was a woman. She seemed very familiar, and she had a baby in her lap. Something about the woman made Shinji’s heart ache. He stood, and as he did, the lapping water slowed, and seemed to freeze. The wind halted, and the trees stopped moving.

The woman continued playing with the baby.

“There are a lot of questions that you should be asking,” the boy said, though he was no longer there. Shinji slowly cocked his head, staring at the back of the woman. So…familiar….
Her head turned slightly, black hair rustled for a moment. Her head turned…so slightly….

----

This was a new ceiling.

Shinji wasn’t exactly sure when he had woken up, or how long he had been awake. All he knew was that there was a ceiling above him that he did not recognize. He turned his head, slowly, examining the rest of the room. This was real.

There was no trees, or water, or wind, but it was real, and he didn’t like it. He wanted to be back in that safe place. He wasn’t going to get it, but he wanted it.

He was thirsty.

Shinji sat up, slowly, feeling ancient and creaky. He lay his hands on his lap, looking at the IVs piercing his hand. He gazed around the room, trying to decide what to do. He was thirsty. He didn’t like this room. He had a question in his mind…and another question. The first was clear, crystal and pure, but the second…fuzzy. Ill-defined. Hard to grasp. He flexed his hands, feeling the needles dig under the skin. He didn’t like them.

He scraped hand over the blanket to pull one away and stopped as his finger seemed to snarl something. He raised the hand to his face, and saw it..a single, almost golden strand of red hair. He blinked slowly, and looked carefully over his sheets. There were a few more, in a spot on the bed that was rumpled. His head tilted cautiously, considering this. Slowly, gently, his fingers curled protectively around the single strand of hair.

Shinji sat there, considering what he saw, for a very long time.

Last edited by Gob Hobblin on Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 ChaddyManPrime » Sun May 31, 2015 1:35 am

YOU LIED! YOU SAID THERE WOULD BE NO GRAND REVELATIONS! I WANT MY MONEY BACK! :argh:

SPOILER: Show
Another great chapter Good Sir, is the dream supposed to be young Gendo talking to him? If so, why is time so fucked up?
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Postby Sicarius VI » Sun May 31, 2015 4:51 am

^ Really?

SPOILER: Show
The first fatherly thing Gendo has done for Shinji.


Great Chapter Gob.
"I'm not going there to die, I'm going to find out if I'm really alive." - Spike Spiegel

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Postby Literary Eagle » Sun May 31, 2015 8:35 am

Awwww, Shinji found out Asuka was there! ^_^

Interesting dream as well, with some lovely descriptions. Good chapter!
The Happy Red Planet (my Evangelion fan fic)

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun May 31, 2015 7:40 pm

Thanks, guys! Things are a bit rusty, but I'll see if I can crank them up again:

Chapter 19: Sedative

SPOILER: Show


In terms of information, Tokyo-2 was now a black hole: no new information was coming from the city, and a general press blackout was in place. The major television outlets were in a holding pattern and broadcasting from secondary locations, though a few had briefly transmitted images of uniformed individuals entering their headquarters before the cameras were shut down. At the moment, three of those images were on the screen, playing in slow motion on a thirty-second loop. Aoba sucked painfully at a straw, dabbing at his lips as water dribbled between them.

“A and B are definitely police,” he mumbled. Image loop A showed a mix of individuals in tactical gear and street cop gear, all of them wearing balaclavas or surgical masks to hide their identities. Their precinct numbers were clear, and none of them were from one precinct. Their demeanor was authoritative, but almost meandering. Relaxed, not entirely confrontational. The camera capturing the images was a shoulder-mounted camera, and filming from within a locked meeting room, aimed through a glass panel. One of the cops had a piece of official looking documentation pressed against the glass, and was pointing at the cameraman, making it clear he wanted the video feed canceled. A cluster of cops were at the adjacent door, which was being blockaded by a cluster of men in civilian clothes and business suits. There was sound to accompany it, a reporter explaining what was happening, but the whole thing seemed remarkably civil. The cops were clearly limiting how much force there were determined to use in enforcing the gag order.

Image Loop B showed what seemed, in its entirety, to be a SWAT team in black body armor. Most likely, it was the Metropolitan Central Response Unit for Tokyo-2. The images in this case were very hastily captured, without the benefit of a barricaded viewpoint. These cops were much more heavily armed, but it was clear that there was still an almost detached and relaxed way to their handling of the situation. They were much swifter in occupying and shutting down the newsroom, a benefit of smaller numbers and a cohesive unit structure.

Image Loop C, however, was the tricky one. Clearly, they were looking at soldiers. They were wearing digitally patterned camouflage, wearing sanitized uniforms. They moved with about the same speed as the SWAT unit in Loop B, but without very much restraint. An unfortunate individual with a binder had strayed too close to them as they were entering, seemingly building up the courage to offer a challenge. Swiftly, a pair of soldiers converged on him, roughly pushing him down and restraining him. The rest brandished weapons, and it was very clear that they were in a confrontational mood.

“Maybe the GSDF?” Hyuga offered.

“It could be, the equipment is the same,” Misato murmured, “But the SSDF has units that use the same gear.”

“Are they working in conjunction with the police?” Fuyutsuki murmured, massaging his broken ankle gently.

“Could be,” Hyuga noted. “It’s three different towers, however: if they were hitting the same office block, then yeah. If they’re scattered across the city, however….”

“That’s not good,” Misato sighed, and glanced at Asuka. The girl hadn’t slept very well in the past thirty hours, taking fitful catnaps. The one solid bloc of sleep she had gotten was only two hours, and she had cried through most of it. She was sitting in Maya’s chair, slowly rocking it from the left to the right, staring at the screen.

She needed a task. Being made to feel useful, Misato decided, was something that Asuka needed. “Second Child,” she said, pitching her voice with a relaxed authority. Asuka turned, her expression wary but her body language perked up. The title and the tone seemed to have an invigorating affect on the girl. “I haven’t heard much from Shinji’s room. Maybe you should go check on him, see if he’s up. Take one of the door sentries.”

“…okay,” she mumbled, looking up at the screen one more time.

“If anything new happens, I’ll let you know,” Misato said. Asuka gave her oe more cautious glance, and then stood up and headed for the exit. Misato rubbed her temple, noting the brief discomfort. The girl hadn’t really developed an interest or investment in what was happening in Tokyo-2, but there did seem to be a dread, or apprehension. Misato filed it away for later, one more thing to ponder.

Still, sending the girl away reminded Misato of some other things that needed doing. She grimaced, leaning back. She needed to check up on Maya, at some point, and she did need to head down and have another look at her back. She probably should have gone with Asuka, but she had just gotten comfortable where she was standing, and loathe to moving away from the spot.

“…have the last of the prisoners been released?” she asked.

“Huh?” Hyuga turned around.

“Prisoner update.”

“The last group was walked to the outer perimeter an hour ago, and we have thirteen ‘priority’ individuals still under lock and key, not counting the Commander,” Hyuga said.

“Interrogations scheduled?”

“Not yet.” Hyuga stood up from his console, and began pacing slowly around his chair, shaking his hands. “Uh, we’ve been prioritizing other things at the moment. Water pipe ruptures, ensuring power lines are secured. Just basic utility stuff, but critical.”

“What about medical supplies?”

“We’re still figuring that out. We have enough for a while, so we might not need to ration as much as we thought, but we also have more injured personnel than anticipated: that N2 device really threw us for a loop.”

“Speaking of which, I should probably head down. I should have gone with Asuka: I need to check up on Maya, and get my back looked at.”

“Is the Major willingly submitting herself to medical review?” Aoba asked, in mock surprise.

“Don’t make me pull out your stitches, you hypocrite,” Misato sniped. She pointed at the board, with the looping images. “Go ahead and find another news station, and see if maybe any of the third-party or minor outlets are sharing anything out of Tokyo-2.” She turned, and observed Fuyutsuki leaning on the rail, rubbing his ankle.

He said that, did he? Interesting….

Misato sniffed. There was another visit she might have to make….

----

“That wire there.”

“I know.”

“…the one next to your hand.”

“I know.

“Not that one, the oth—”

God damn it, I know!

The chastened technician turned and shrugged apologetically to Misato, who shrugged back. She glanced at the door to Maya’s room, and then back down at the legs sticking out from the wall. The tech that had shrugged at her turned back towards the open panel, adjusting a mounted lamp in the opening.

“No, left,” the voice inside the wall called, and the tech readjusted the lamp accordingly. “Better.” There was the sound of clicking and grunting, and the legs squirmed for a moment against the scratched floor. “Ah! Ha-ha!” The legs kicked triumphantly, and the technician popped out of the wall like a rabbit from a hole. “Check in with Sandoval, see if that did it.”

Misato found herself idly curious as to what was going on. This was well below her pay grade, and certainly not something she needed to be worried about. The country and the world seemed poised on the edge of a very thin knife, so getting involved in basic maintenance wouldn’t do her or anybody else any good. Still, part of her really wanted to go bother the techs with more than just her presence. That idle curiosity was slowly becoming more intense, and soon she wondered what could possibly be more important than whatever was happening behind those panels.

She was saved by the approach of one of the senior medics. She actually recognized this one. “Major, I’ve been looking for you.”

“Is everything okay, Doc?” Dr. Hata was a short, plump man who moved with deceptive slowness. His dumpling appearance made it easy to dismiss the doctor, but there was a reason he was one of the GeoFront’s top medical staff.

“Just wanted to let you know the Third Child was awake. The Second Child let us know.” He jerked a thumb behind him. “They’re together at the moment. I figured it would be best to leave them be, for the moment.”

“Did you do a check up on him?” Misato asked, feeling a profound sense of relief.

“Yeah. Not thorough, but enough: we figured it would be better to let them have a moment. Cursory inspection reveals nothing serious, but I do want to give him a full scan later, to check for any potential internal injuries.”

“How was he acting?”

“Like a person who just came out of a coma,” Hata said. Misato made a face, and he spread his hands apologetically. “He is more alert than I thought he would be, which is good. Still, I’m reserving my opinion until further examination. In the meantime, we’ll monitor him and let him get some rest.”

“That’s good. Thanks, Doc,” Misato said, when an orderly popped his head out of the doorway.

“Ma’am, the lieutenant’s awake now.”

“Thanks,” Misato said, and one of the soldiers who escorted her helped her up. She made her way painfully into the room, which, in addition to Maya, had five other injured Nerv personnel resting within. Maya was at the end of the left row, and was slowly being raised into a sitting position. She was scheduled for a quick check-up, and the techs wanted her awake for that while they assessed her various injuries. Misato had shown up about twenty minutes ago, and decided to wait for the scheduled exam. Maya looked very grumpy, was a covered in a network of casts and bandages, and not entirely focused. As soon as her eyes locked on the Major, though, there was a change in her demeanor.

“Info,” she grumbled.

“What was that?” her examining nurse asked. Maya pointed a finger at Misato as she approached, and grunted.

“Wha’ happen? Mmm…up….”

“You want to be filled in?” Misato asked.

“Yum…mm-hmm.”

“I don’t think you need worry about that,” Misato suggested. “I was just coming down to check on you, tell you that we’re keeping your seat warm for you. See how you’re feeling.”

“Dun’ kar…info,” Maya insisted, looking a bit more alert. Misato shrugged, and gave Maya a rundown of all that had happened in the past few days, pausing occasionally to let the examining nurse ask a question during her overview. When Misato finished, Maya was much more alert, though her voice was still quiet and far away. When the nurse suggested Misato leave, Maya grunted.

“I need some more time, please,” Maya said. “I’ll be fine.”

“I’ll let you know when we’re done,” Misato said, and the nurse nodded, moving on to another patient. Misato turned her attention back to Maya. The younger woman tried to shift a bit, but the casts made it difficult to move. She sighed.

“My foot itches,” she grumbled.

“Which one?” Misato asked.

“The…left one. On the heel.” Misato awkwardly leaned over, flipping the sheet and scratching at the offending area. “…thank you,” Maya said, rather meekly, as Misato sat back. “I don’t like this.”

“I didn’t think you would,” Misato teased. “It’s good to see you’re alert, though. No head injuries.”

“What about your back, ma’am?”

“Nothing to worry about,” the Major said, deflecting it. “Just focused on the kids, and….”

“Has Seele tried anything else?”

“Not to my knowledge. They’re certainly behind what’s happening in Tokyo-2. I don’t know if there’s anything else happening in Japan, but I assume there is.”

“…I wish I could be more help.”

“With what? You’re banged the hell up. We got everything covered, just get better.”

“I mean as far as the general situation is concerned,” Maya murmured. “That’s outside of my purview. I’m not much help outside of the Evas, or Angelic biometrics.”

“Or computer networks and software engineering.”

“Well…yes,” Maya mumbled.

“Fortunately for us, and for you, it looks like Seele may be sitting out for a while in terms of Evangelion. And we haven’t had any Angel attacks so far…knock on wood.” Misato shrugged. “I think you won’t be needed in regards to that. There’ll be plenty of Magi issues that’ll need resolving, though, so be ready to work. Enjoy the vacation.” Maya smiled, but then looked distant.

“How’s Dr. Akagi handling all this?” Misato nodded, understanding the clipped question. Maya worked closely with Ritz, and as far as Misato observed looked up to the woman.

“…Well, I could give you a nice answer, which I really should, since you are an invalid,” Misato said. Maya smiled, but her eyes looked distant. “I think you deserve the honest one: I can’t gauge Ritz right now. I’ve been her friend for years, and I just…don’t recognize who she is at the moment. I don’t know where she sits in all this and…well, frankly, she seems to have taken a turn somewhere I can’t follow. I feel stupid for not seeing it, but I’m seeing it now. There’s something…off at the moment.”

“…Yeah,” Maya mumbled. “I thought it was just me.”

“Hmm?”

“I just…kind of….” She shrugged. “Nothing, Major. I’m sorry. Just mumbling.”

“…Okay.” Misato stood up, carefully. “They’ll probably want to put you back to sleep, make you comfortable, so I’ll let them know. Got to get a look at my back, anyway, then go check on the Third Child.”

“Sure, thing. Take care of yourself, please: we need you healthy.”

“Same with you, Lieutenant.” Misato patted the bed, and slowly made her way to the exit. She caught the nurse at the door, and let her know she was one her way out. She turned back to look at Maya one more time, a reflexive action as she spoke to the nurse. It was hard to tell from the doorway, but there was something glittering on the young woman’s cheeks.

Misato ignored it. It felt like the right thing to do.

Last edited by Gob Hobblin on Sun May 31, 2015 10:52 pm, edited 2 times 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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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 Sicarius VI » Sun May 31, 2015 7:41 pm

Man two in one day, your the best Gob. :D
"I'm not going there to die, I'm going to find out if I'm really alive." - Spike Spiegel

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun May 31, 2015 7:52 pm

^

:rei_hissyfit:

Thanks, Sicarius.

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

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 Gob Hobblin » Sun May 31, 2015 9:07 pm

Chapter 20: Orbits

SPOILER: Show


“Is it really not possible for you to do that off of the bridge?” Hyuga asked.

“I like to be near the console,” Aoba protested, peeling off the blackened lump of gauze and dropping it into the wastebasket. Fuyutsuki studied the man with a bemused expression as Aoba exposed the gnarled, zig-zagging wound on his face, the linked stitches along it poking up like electrical towers over a ragged ditch. Aoba was using a pocket mirror to try and observe the wound so he could clean it, and replace the gauze.

“Oh, Lord, stop that,” Fuyutsuki grunted, hobbling over to the lieutenant and snatching the antiseptic solution from him. Using a q-tip, he cautiously cleaned the area around the wound while Aoba sat chastised. Hyuga sighed, giving a disapproving glance at the waste basket and then turning back to his console. So far, no one in Japan had reported anything of substance. He was sifting through pieces of largely useless information, most of simply speculation. Speculation was fine if you had an intelligence staff to sift through all of it, but their staff consisted of Aoba, Fuyutsuki, and himself, and two of them were occupied. He rubbed his face, sighing.

His monitor then lit up. He blinked, staring at it. One of Nerv’s observation satellites was trying to access Magi. He cocked his head, squinting. That was…odd. To say the list. Especially because there was nothing subtle at all about the attempt.

“Uh…huh,” he grunted, shifting. It would not have surprised him if Seele attempted to regain access to Magi through one of the satellites. Magi was a completely closed network now, but it could still detect the satellites buzzing above the earth, if not send and receive information from them. In theory, they could be used as a means to force a connection into the network, but that would have been through a very tenuous connection. What’s more, it would have been very, very obvious, and easy to defeat.

This wasn’t that: if that was happening, intruder and warning alarms would be buzzing right now. This was more the equivalent of someone standing outside of a house and throwing rocks at the door.

“What is it?” Aoba asked, batting away Fuyutsuki as the professor tried to apply fresh gauze.

“It looks like GX-709 is trying to access Magi. In a…friendly manner?”

“Huh?” Aoba pulled up the connection warning on his console. “That’s…weird.”

“Should we get the Major?” Hyuga asked.
“Wait,” Fuyutsuki said, pushing the gauze down on Aoba’s face as the man protested. He then leaned forward, and studied the image. “Hyuga, what do you think this is?”

“It’s not an attack. At least, it doesn’t look like one. This was a request for permission.”

“Could it be a Trojan attack? Open the line and sneak something in?”

“Could be, but…why on this satellite?” He turned. “Wouldn’t they want to use an official comms satellite?”

“Maybe. This could be a feint.”

“If you were to open it, would you be able to scrub any incoming transmission for worms or other bits of code?” Fuyutsuki asked.

“I wouldn’t, but if Aoba’s up for it, he can watch the feed.”

“Yeah, sure,” he said, tacking at his console. “Uh…are we waiting for the Major?”

“…No. Go ahead and open it. I’ll take the ax if anything happens,” Fuyutsuki said, looking concerned. Hyuga glanced at the professor. “This might be a small window,” Fuyutsuki said. “We might not have time to see what this is, and it might be important.”

Hyuga nodded, sighed, and glanced at Aoba. Aoba held up a finger, and then nodded. Hyuga opened the line. On the main monitor, a very tan, Asian face appeared. It was difficult to tell the man’s age, but it was a handsome and distinct man. Hyuga blinked in surprise, recognizing him.

“Commander Keawe,” Fuyutsuki said, crossing his arms and leaning into view of Hyuga’s pickup. “Good to see you.” The commander of Nerv-Oahu smirked, shaking his head.

“Vice-Commander Fuyutsuki. What the hell is going on over there?”

“Not really at liberty to say. I might as well ask what the hell is going on over there.” Fuyutsuki smirked.

“What do you think? Chaos. We’ve been analyzing this packet that the Major sent out, and we have questions.”

“Who is ‘we?’”

“At the moment, most of the senior leadership. We’ve sent home all non-essential staff, and are using the Hawaiian State Police for security.” He smirked. “The Governor owed me a favor.”

“Ah.”

“We’ve submitted requests up the food chain for an explanation as to the content, but we’ve received very little back. Frankly, I’m afraid we may have just put ourselves on some sort of list. We’ve heard some stories out of the other Nerv facilities, and we may have dodged a bullet here.” That made sense to Hyuga: Nerv-Oahu was simply a communications center, essentially a massive data warehouse that acted as a relay for Nerv’s computer networks. It would be a very secure site, but fairly understaffed in comparison to other Nerv facilities. As vital as it was, it would also be under Seele’s radar in terms of critical sites, especially if they were using their own networks outside of Nerv knowledge.

“We would certainly like to know what’s going on, of course, but go ahead and ask your questions,” Fuyutsuki said.

“Well, now that we got you, I don’t even know where to start,” Keawe said. “I guess the first one is, can you tell us your status without compromising your security?”

“Does that mean you’re on our side?” Fuyutsuki chided.

“Don’t go fishing, Fuyutsuki,” Keawe grumped. “We’re just trying to figure out what’s what. At the moment, let’s say we’re on Nerv’s side.”

“We are, more or less, stable here,” Fuyutsuki said. “We have control of the situation, and are currently waiting for everyone else to catch up with us.” That was vague, but it was a good enough answer for Keawe. He nodded. “Out of curiosity, Keawe, how secure is this connection?”

“Not very, so be careful in what you say,” he admitted. “I’m taking a big risk contacting you, but it was agreed that I needed to.”

“Agreed by who?”

“Nerv, more or less,” Keawe said. “You need to know that there’s a lot of us who are on the fence about this, but we’re leaning your way. I was the closest Nerv official to you, in terms of being able to reach you, so the request was made to me to see what was going on. We’re not getting a lot of information out here.” Keawe sighed, and gave Fuyutsuki a hard stare. “I’d rather ask the Major, but I know you: so tell me, and I’ll believe it. All that stuff…with Seele and all that…is it true?”

“One hundred percent. And I speak from personal knowledge.”

“…that’s good enough for me, and if I say so, it’ll be good enough for the rest of us.” He glanced off-screen. “This connection is getting noticed. We have to try again later. Make sure nothing slid in while we were talking.” Quickly, he disconnected the feed.

Fuyutsuki scratched his head. “Misato will want to hear about that,” he said. Hyuga nodded, getting up.

“She’s probably still in the medical wing. I’ll go tell her in person. Aoba, how are we on security?”

“I didn’t see anything suspicious in the feed, but I’ll double-check everything to make sure I didn’t miss anything.”

“Good deal. Professor, can you monitor the feeds?”

“Of course. Take your time, Lieutenant.”

----

Shinji sipped at the cup of water, holding it with both hands like a toddler. Asuka sat perched on the edge of her chair, her fingers laced tightly together. Her hands were perched on her knees, and she studied him with a very intent expression. They hadn’t said but three or four words to each other for the past few hours, and Shinji found himself curiously unruffled by the intense scrutiny. In an odd way, Asuka’s presence was comforting. He appreciated the closeness.

He had fiddled a bit with the food in front of him, but wasn’t very hungry. He was very thirsty, however, and this was his third cup of water. He sucked at the straw, and glanced at Asuka again. She was still there, still staring at him.

“Do you want the pudding cup?” he asked. She blinked, her only movement. “…It’s chocolate.”

Slowly, she uncurled from the chair and crossed the room. Cautiously, she took the plastic cup and attached spoon. She studied it for a moment, turning it over in her fingers, before sitting down on the bed next to Shinji’s legs and peeling off the foil cover. She began to pick at the pudding, slowly shaving off the top with her spoon before dropping it back into the cup.

“…there’s some bad stuff happening. Outside,” she mumbled.

“What do you mean?”

“Lots of soldiers. Cops, everybody’s going kind of crazy. They’re ignoring us, right now, but I don’t know how long they will.”

“Because of the Evas?”

“Maybe. Misato also said she can blow us up.” Asuka took a bite of pudding. “I don’t she will, but she can, and that’s all they care about.”

“Who’s ‘they?’”

“Just…them. Everybody not us.” She shrugged. “I can’t follow it. I’m trying to, but it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. There’s a bunch of different sides out there, but none of them are in here. So it’s…just us, and them. All there is to it.” She sniffed, and picked out a glob of pudding. “Open your mouth.”

He did so, and she popped the spoon into his mouth. He worked the pudding around with his tongue while she continued to eat out of the cup. “You were here a bit before, right?”

“Yeah. How’d you know?”

“No reason. Just a guess.”

“Oh.”

“…I had a weird dream.”

“Hmm?” The noise was noncommittal, but he continued talking.

“I keep seeing this boy. He’s older, and there’s something familiar about him, but I don’t know what it is.”

“Have you seen him before.”

“No, and he keeps talking to me like he knows me. I always remember our conversations.” Shinji shrugged. “I don’t know if I like him very much.”

“What’s he say to you?”

“Just…weird stuff. I don’t know. I just want to know why I keep seeing him.” He closed his eyes. “I also saw a woman.”

“A woman.”

“Yeah. She was…I think she was important.” He tried to picture her, to catch a glimpse of a face. Anything. “I don’t know who she is. I feel like I should. It feels bad that I don’t know who she is.”

“Why are you crying?” His eyes popped open. Asuka was studying him. He touched his cheeks, and his fingers came away wet.

“I didn’t know I was,” he said, surprised.

“Well…don’t. You don’t have a reason to,” she said, eating another glob of pudding.

“I guess not,” he admitted.

“Open your mouth,” she said, spooning up another bite. Shinji did so.

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 ChaddyManPrime » Sun May 31, 2015 9:28 pm

WHY ARE YOU SPOILING US?! ARE YOU DYING?!

SPOILER: Show
I was going to make a post earlier asking if we could maybe get a third chapter out of you today... I got my answer :rofl:

Anyways great chapter as per usual :D

PS. Please don't die :spout:
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You know nothing, Jon Snow - Chuckman

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Postby Literary Eagle » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:31 pm

Wow, two more chapters? Awesome! You're on a roll, Gob! :D
The Happy Red Planet (my Evangelion fan fic)


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