Just as an advance note this chapters title is "Deadlights"
Across from him Asuka shrugged, her mouth half full of food. She waited a moment to finish her mouthful of food before replying to him, "I'm sure they'll be fine. If anything bad is likely to have happened we probably would have heard it from Karim by now."
"I guess you're right." Shinji admitted before resuming his meal. It had been two days since they had arrived in the village. In that time not much progress had been made on locating the Tower Of Babel. Karim and his people had taken a look at Misato's necklace and had identified it as being one of the artefacts that was discovered along with the Dead Sea Scrolls. What this actually meant no one knew, it was assumed that there was some secret to it but uncovering it was another matter.
Whilst they worked to figure things out it left Asuka and Shinji to just wander the village and spend time on their own. It wasn't an attractive option for either of them, they wanted to resume their journey as soon as possible.
Shinji sighed as he finished what was left on his plate, he pulled the necklace out to look at it again. Turning it over in his hand he brought the necklace up to his lips and whispered quietly to it. As he expected nothing happened, he lowered it again to see Asuka staring at him.
"What... the hell are you doing?" She asked him.
Shinji laughed, "I don't know, I just thought... if this was a movie or something that would have worked right? So maybe it was worth a try."
Asuka just glared at him, "You're an idiot."
"I know... I just don't want to be sat around doing nothing. It doesn't feel right, not when we know what is out there!"
"I feel exactly the same way Shinji but there isn't much we can do. They said they had another idea but they need to bring something in."
Asuka leaned back in her seat and took a look towards the entrance to the underground laboratories. Stood behind it was Evangelion Unit 02 and beyond that she could see the boundaries of the village. Where the rich desert sands ended and faded back to the weirdness of the Post Third Impact World.
According to Karim the village they were in had marked the first successful usage of the terraforming equipment they used. It had managed to transform an area of five square miles into how it appeared before the Impact.
Several more tests had followed with them attempting to perfect the equipment each time and the area that was repaired improving. As it stood they had managed to recover an area of ten square miles in one location but on a subsequent attempt to replicate that an accident had occurred. Not many details were given but it had resulted in lives being lost and the area being marked as uninhabitable.
No further uses of the equipment had been granted until they were certain of what had gone wrong and how to repair it. Time had been spent since then on other preservation projects not dissimilar to the type of project that Kaji had taken them to see so many years ago.
"Do you think one day the world will go back to how it used to be?" Shinji suddenly asked, "You know... with everything looking how it used to?"
Asuka gave a shrug, "Karim and his people are confident that one day they can perfect the terraforming tech to return it all and there are still areas on the world that weren't turned when the Impact happened so who knows? If it does it does, if not then... I've lived in it like this for just as long as I didn't. I'm used to it now."
"I-I guess... I suppose I'm still getting used to it. I've only been here for a couple of months."
Suddenly Asuka stood up, there was a loud thud as she hit her knee off of the table. She shot Shinji a glare that instantly told him to say nothing about it. Instead she tried to recover by smiling, "I know what we're going to do. If we can't contribute in the labs at the moment we may as well contribute in other ways."
"Huh, how do you mean?" Shinji asked.
"Dangerous world out there Shinji, we're going to go and patrol it."
"Patrol... you mean..."
She nodded, "We're going to take Unit 02 and have a walk around the area. Maybe get Karim to throw out some training targets or something. Gotta stay sharp haven't we, and besides you still have a lot to learn about operating the rear of the Eva."
Asuka grabbed his hand and pulled him up onto his feet. The boy staggered slightly and stumbled as he tried to get his balance and also move forward to keep up with his enthusiastic girlfriend. He wasn't going to disagree with her, he was fed up of sitting around too.