[Fic] NGE: Nobody Dies

Everything Evangelion Fanfiction related.

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GreggHL
Lilith
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Postby GreggHL » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:51 pm

“The lines were cut in twelve places. Someone knows the layout of our power systems, and decided to sabotage us. The list is a small one, and none of them are people I want angry with us. The other alternative, of course, is that an Angel has hijacked the MAGI and did this to mess with us.”

The late day sun silhouetting him, Gendo Ikari looks over the photos as his wife leans on his desk, half sitting on it in that way she does when she wants him wrapped around her finger.

“You think it’s the old men?”

“Kihl has a fondness for Sohryu,” Yui says, “Mainly because when she was in Germany, he could keep an eye on her. He could be paying us back for taking his pet.”

Hands tented in front of his face, Gendo Ikari grimaces. The Scenario, as the Committee referred to it as, was the Sword of Damocles that hung over all their heads. No doubt, the frightened old men that they reported to would keep tabs on them somehow. A reminder of how powerless they were one day, then one of Kihl’s pet agents another day.

“Sohryu,” he says, looking at the folders, “He sent Sohryu here.”

“Pieter’s bright, but not that bright,” she responds, shrugging, “If Kihl sent him here to watch us, he doesn’t know. He’s an administrator and tactical advisor. But we should see if we could keep him.”

A small chuckle from the most powerful man in the Far East.

“To keep him around his daughters,” he says, “And to see if you can sway him to our side. Eventually, Shinji is going to get upset when he realizes you’re playing mother to everyone but him.”
-
-
Chapter 11: The Situation of Asuka Langely Sohryu
-
-
“Am I the only sane person here?”

Shinji has found himself asking that question with alarming regularity. Of course, he is. In the entire breadth and depth of Tokyo-3, he is indeed the only sane man. It is not just that he has to deal with problems with his room mates and fellow pilots. Now, he has to put up with his classmates.

The target of his question is one those. A little shorter than him, dark hair in twin pigtails and someone who greeted him by slapping him, hard, Hikari Horaki and he have a complicated relationship built on mutual guilt. The problem is that she is also something of a friend, or at least someone he can stand behind around constantly. So, the situation is awkward. As much as he wants to just go to town on her verbally, he also knows she didn’t do it to hurt him.

“Why did you do that?” he asks, whispering.

Outside of the classroom, while everyone else is on lunch, the conversation started. Hikari caved to a request from her sister, Kodama.

“It’s nothing major,” Hikari says, hands up defensively, “He’s a medical student who’s a long time friend of my sister. He’s something of a…fan, I guess, of the Pilots and asked me if there was some way he could date one.”

“Asuka’s not a pilot,” Shinji says through clenched teeth.

“She’s the sister of one and she’s the daughter of one of the designers,” Hikari responds, “Besides which, she was recruited.”

“Which she loves talking about,” Shinji seethes, “Doesn’t she? Always going on fondly about how her mother yanked her out of the program?”

Sighing, nervous smile disappearing, she scratches the back of her head as the reality of the situation hits home with neither subtlety nor grace.

“I guess I didn’t think it through.”

“Great. So call it off, tell Asuka she doesn’t have to go-”

“Well, she wants to,” Hikari says, rolling her eyes, “Look, her face just lit up when I told her. She agreed. I’m not press-ganging her into this. Someone wants to show her a nice time. So?”

Muttering something, he turns from her, running his hands furiously through his hair.

“Hey,” she says, “Two things.”

He turns on her, eyes narrowed. She could almost swore they glowed.

“First off,” Hikari says, poking his chest, “She’s not going to wait forever. Although, from your blank expression, I’m pretty sure you have no idea what I mean. Second, if it bothers you so much, why don’t you go out and make sure she’s safe?”

He nods. She smiles, satisfied in her victory. Which is short lived when he ducks back into the classroom, where only a handful of students remain, including one in particular.

“Hey, Touji!”

Suzuhara looks up from the mop bucket.

“I need to borrow the Class Rep, tonight,” Shinji says, “Is that alright?”

“You gonna try anythin’ dirty with her?”

“No, I’m leaving that to you.”

“S’alright.”

Shinji nods, salutes, and ducks back into the hallway. Hands balled into fists, Hikari levels two glaring eyes on him as he smiles.

“It’s a date,” he says.

Inches from his face, eyes narrowed, he blanches under her gaze.

“You are so dead.”




It enters the atmosphere at somewhere along Mach 14. The outer shell burns up, the inner layer shifting, reforming, swirling to redirect heat and flame until it crashes off the coast of northern Russia.

NERV-Bethany’s alerts go off, reading a pattern orange as VTOL craft are dispatched, a mass of red and black cooling underneath the shallow waters. Numbering two dozen craft, they hover, laser sights trained on the sphere as it moves along, clearing the water.

Missiles swarm out, cannons firing. The mass bubbles, screams, and chunks of black rock shoot out, two VTOLs sputtering and exploding before the mass explodes.




Pushing his glasses up his nose, Sub Director Pieter Sohryu, executive office of NERV-Germany, folds his hands behind his back as Dr. Ikari counts out stages. In the Plug entering Unit 02, Mari grins, hands tightly gripping and rolling over the butterfly controls.

“Okay, we’re taking her to minimal depth,” Yui says, “Mari, just breathe slowly. Maya, take it away.”

Stepping back, she stands next to Pieter, favoring him with a small smile. He grins back, turning back to the screen.

“I’m surprised,” she says, “I would have thought you would have gone back to your old name. Langely, wasn’t it?”

“We parted on bad terms,” he sighs, “But it wasn’t all bad. She…well, she’s a driven woman. I kept the last name because I didn’t want to lose everything we had.”

“I see,” Yui says, “Asuka and I will be having lunch tomorrow. You’ll join us.”

“I’ll check my schedule-”

“No,” Yui says, narrowing her eyes, “You’ll. Join. Us.”

The screens light up. In the distant view of the Cage, Unit 02’s eyes light up, dimly glowing green. Mari’s grin goes wider, and Yui walks over to Maya’s console, glancing at the numbers.

“Alright,” she says, “Synchronization’s holding at 38%. Not the same level that Uri has, but good enough that we can start training her as Unit 02’s backup pilot.”

She turns to Maya, patting her on the shoulder.

“Okay, bring her out,” she says, “Forward all the data to my office.”

“Not to interrupt,” Pieter says, “But why yours? I thought Unit 02 was Kyoko’s fiefdom.”

“Do you really think Doctor Sohryu would allow us to test your daughter in Unit 02 without me overruling her?” Yui asks with a smirk.

Motioning to the lifts in the back of Dogma, she walks towards them, Pieter following. He clears his throat as they stand next to each other, the doors closing as he thrusts his hands in his pockets and sighs. Looking up, looking at the buttons, looking at the clicking floor numbers.

“You wanted to speak to me?” he asks.

“Am I that transparant?”

“Would ‘yes’ involve me stationed at NERV-Australia for the rest of my life?”

“Yes.”

“Then you are opaque and complex without a single hint of transparency.”

“Good boy,” Yui says, pulling out her PDA, “I’m concerned. When was the last time you spent some time with your other daughter?”

Pieter snorts, smirking.

“If Kyoko had her way, I wouldn’t know she was even born.”

Yui turns, a smirk on her face, and she pushes her glasses up her nose.

“Can you tell me anything?” she asks, “Her height? Favorite toy? Her third grade report card?”

“Not my choice, Doctor Ikari.”

Yui snorts, clicking off her PDA.

“Tell yourself whatever helps you sleep at night,” she says as the doors open, “If you’ll excuse me…”

Walking through, she enters the floor of her office, sneakers clapping on polished metal floors. He watches her go, tipping his head. Doors closing, he leans back, rolling his head back as he groans and gives off a soft, muted swear.

“Damn it.”

And he mashes the button for the locker rooms.




She doesn’t own anything that could actually be counted as revealing. It just isn’t what she has. She doesn’t dress up often, so the best she could find on short notice was a white long sleeved blouse and red skirt. It makes her look old, but the date is about twenty years old, so she guesses it fits. Maybe.

She borrowed some of Misato’s lavender perfume, has a nice set of gold hoop earrings, and holding her bag, she walks with her date down one of the upscale shopping districts of Tokyo-3.

Ducking out from a fast food stall, Shinji narrows his eyes, sneaking along to a light post. Walking up behind him, standing next to him and visible in plain sight, Hikari folds her arms and glares at them, then back at Shinji.

“Oh, yeah,” she says, “Nefarious plot.”

“Don’t blame me, I didn’t set up the blind date.”

Grabbing her by the arm, he pulls her along, trailing behind Asuka and the young man as the two chat and walk, never touching hands. Muttering to herself, she walks in plain sight as he tries to hide, rolling her eyes as he stops and pretends to check out a cell phone stands while Asuka and the med student discuss where to eat.

“What do you hear?” Shinji asks.

“Sorry, can’t hear it over the paranoia.”

“I’m serious, Hikari.”

“Wow, what a coincidence,” she says, with folded arms, narrowing her eyes as he wilts under her glare, “You drag me out here, and you expect me to be enthusiastic?”

He turns to her, gritting his teeth to argue. The tirade and resulting argument, which could reveal their position, is averted by the cloth coming over his mouth and his eyes rolling up, before a pair of black suit clad arms dart out of the alleyway behind Hikari and pull her in.

The cell phone vender hefts up Shinji, nodding to two vagrants on either side of the alleyway. Standing up, shedding their worn coats to reveal the crisp black suits underneath, they grab the legs as the vender takes out his cell phone.

“Agents reporting in. Matchmaker and Third acquired. Ready to begin Operation: Cockblock at your discretion, Commander.”




The boy, Hoshi, seemed nice enough. He was worshipful of NERV, and not too bad to look at. Dark brown hair, blue eyes, nice build. Older than her by four years, but she imagines this is what Shinji will look like at twenty. At least, what he will look like assuming he isn’t killed by the next Angel, or the one after that, or

Stop thinking that, she tells herself. Just enjoy the moment. She smiles, admittedly forced as they sit down at the karaoke bar he is old enough to bluff his way into for the both of them. He smiles, a smile that looks innocent to her at least, but mainly she likes because it’s directed at her.

“So,” he says, “Do you talk with the pilots, a lot?”

“I do,” she says, throat tight, going over the words again and again to keep her stammer down, “The pilot of Unit 02 is my brother, Uri. I like with Shinji…um, h-he’s the Third Child, and I used to p-pen pal with Rei.”

“Really?” he asks, smirking, “You’ve been pretty deep in it, haven’t you? Your mom made Unit 02, didn’t she?”

“Y-yes,” she says, eyes darting away, looking to the side, to the karaoke machine, “I-I didn’t r-really help…”

“Did she ever tell you how she programmed it? Must’ve been a programming miracle…”

“N-no.”

Sucking her lip, clenching her hands into fists, she looks away as the waiter finally comes with their drinks. A soda for her, a drink for him. The bar is nice, she tells herself. A nice wood grain floor and a very nice series of decorations of pre-Second Impact bands on the walls. Maybe it is nerves, and that’s why she seeing things. Like people she should recognize walking around, or sitting near.

She never went on a date before.

Mother never allowed it.

She’ll pitch a fit when she hears about this. She will. Just another distraction when she should be prostituting herself towards Shinji like Mother said. Sighing, fighting back the coughing and wheezing these thoughts always point her towards, Asuka turns back to her date and forces a smile.

Taking her drink, she downs half of it in one gulp. She smiles, again, trying to keep her eyes open as the lids become heavier and heavier. Her hands become sluggish and stiff and fat as she brings them up to her face, and her vision of her date doubles, then triples, and…




Asuka leans on her hand, slurring her words before collapsing, face resting on the table. Grinning, Hoshi clears his throat and takes out his wallet, waving to a waiter.

“Hey, over here,” he calls, “I’ll take the-”

“We’ll take a green tea, hot, and two diet sodas.”

Someone’s been singing at the karaoke machine, a german pop song about the nuclear apocalypse.

Hoshi looks to his right. Hikari smiles, a forced, angry thing on her lips as she pulls up a chair and sits. Across from her, the kid her recognizes from photos as Shinji Ikari sits across from her.

The song finishes, and the singer hands off the mike from his white gloved hands. For some reason, a disco beat begins playing as he walks across the karaoke bar, fixing his black jacket and adjusting his amber glasses.

Pulling up a chair, he sits down, tenting his hands into a bridge underneath his nose and staring at the young man.

“Hello.”

He takes the glass from the sleeping Asuka, sniffing the contents.

“Rohypnol,” he says, “Classy. Do you know who I am?”

Hoshi nods. Swallowing down his dry throat, Hikari and Shinji take the same pose as the Commander pushes the glasses up his nose. The small hissing sound confirms the desired outcome of Hoshi wetting himself.

“The lady you have drugged,” Gendo Ikari says, “Is the daughter of one of my scientists. Allow me to introduce you to her security detail.”

Every patron stands.

Coats and other clothes are discarded to reveal a wall of black suits and sunglasses. Hoshi shivers in his seat, looking from side to side, trying to figure out an egress point.

Which become moot when three darts hit the back of his neck and he collapses.

Standing, Gendo adjusts his coat again. As the last bits of consciousness begin to leave Hoshi, the Supreme Commander of NERV walks over and yanks him up by the hair.

“I am making an exception,” he hisses, “I would normally not hesitate to have you killed for what you tried. But you are going to serve as an example. Have a nice trip.”

He lets go as the boy’s eyes roll up and close, turning to Shinji.

“Take her back to the apartment,” he says, “We will handle things from here.”

Shinji nods, taking one arm, draping it over his shoulder as Hikari takes the other. They exit, quickly, Asuka’s feet trailing on the floor. Watching them go, turning on a bluetooth and nodding as he ehars the regular updates from Section 2 personnel regarding their safety, he points to Hoshi. Two Section 2 agents grab him, dragging him out.

His deed done, Gendo Ikari turns. He walks, solemnly, to the other end of the bar. Pausing, considering his options, he reaches into his pocket and withdraws several coins. A selection clicks, and a loyal Section 2 agent hands him the mic.

“Play that Funky Music, White Boy” begins playing.

All is going as according to plan.




There is only darkness around him. The darkness is moving, along with the crate as it gets loaded into the shipping container, but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t a lot of things, right now.

He wakes up in a darkened room, sitting on a comfortable chair. Eyes opening, he peers around, unable to penetrate the haze as the drugs wear off. His body feels stiff, painful and sluggish, like he’s just wearing off a sedative. Rubbing his brow, rubbing his nose, rubbing his face with both hands, he looks up and sees only the dim lightbulb.

Side to side he peers, nothing. In front of him, nothing.

“Uh…where am I?” Hoshi asks.

His answer comes from two red eyes in the darkness behind him.

“Heee~ey.”

esselfortium
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Postby esselfortium » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:19 pm

His deed done, Gendo Ikari turns. He walks, solemnly, to the other end of the bar. Pausing, considering his options, he reaches into his pocket and withdraws several coins. A selection clicks, and a loyal Section 2 agent hands him the mic.

“Play that Funky Music, White Boy” begins playing.

All is going as according to plan.

10/10

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Postby Tabasco » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:04 am

*Ominous Music plays*

And that, is how professionals do business. Also, I can't decide which is creepier. Your Rei threatening to 'befriend' someone, or the canon version. I suppose some questions just shouldn't be answered.
---
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one insists on adapting the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw

GreggHL
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Postby GreggHL » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:54 pm

The door to Asuka’s room closes and Shinji rests against the wall next to it. Groaning, he picks himself up and walks down the hallway into the living room. Hikari stands up from the couch, opening her mouth…and thinking better of it, bows her head. She sighs, scratching the back of her head as he leans on the couch.

“I am going to take my sister apart,” she seethes.

“It’s not her fault,” he says, “She had no idea he’d try…that with her.”

Hikari nods. Walking forward, she wraps her arms around Shinji, patting her hands against his back as he sighs, resting his chin on her shoulder.

“Thanks for coming,” he says.

“Didn’t have a choice,” she responds with a chuckle, “You take good care of her, Ikari. Alright?”

He grunts a response. Leaning back, holding at arms length, a smile comes across her face. The lights are out in the living room, the only sounds traffic and pedestrians in the late night. No distance is between them, and for a moment they both consider the possibility.

“Don’t keep her in suspense,” she says, leaning in and pressing her lips to his cheek, “I’m heading home.”

Breaking away, she walks through the door. Slumping his shoulders, finding himself able to breathe again, he slumps onto the couch. He is there in the morning when Misato arrives.




With a splash of vaporizing water, the red and black sphere hit off the coast of China. NERV-5, based in Beijing, mobilized a tank regiment in response, fighter jets back at the central base prepping for launch. Reports from NERV-Bethany told them what to expect.

Turrets aimed, shells were loosed, exploding on the puddle. Blocks of solid matter shot out in response, savaging the attacking force as a red eye opens at the center, just in time for the fuel air bombs from the fighter wing to impact.




“Send it up,” Misato says, staring at the images of Bethany and NERV-5. The central screen flashes and becomes a view of the Eastern Hemisphere as seen from space. Except, obstructing the view is a large black sphere.

“Fire away,” she says.

Surrounding the sphere, a half dozen weapons satellites come to life. Spinning explosive rods fire out, silent in their travel in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. In Dogma, Misato, Ritsuko, and Sohryu watch as the rods shoot out by the dozens, by the hundreds, each one containing enough high explosive to take out a fortified military bunker.

“Three,” Misato counts, “Two…one. Boom.”

The rods glow, a flash filling the screen. 3600 sub-nuclear munitions detonate, filling the sky with shrapnel and flame. Watching, waiting, the three highest ranking officers present wait as the light clears.

A small, resigned breath escapes Misato’s mouth as the screen prominently displays the orange glow around the object and the shredded, ripped apart remains of the obscenely expensive satellite missile launch platforms.

“Well, that was a wonderful waste of our time,” Kyoko mutters.

“I’m shocked and appalled that I agree with Dr. Sohryu,” Misato groans, hands on her hips as she glares at the screen, “Maya! Send up the alert!”

All throughout Tokyo-3, in the early hours of the morning, the shrill whine of the alarm rings throughout the streets. And on the PDAs of every ranking member and pilot, and on the screen at the heart of Central Dogma, four lines of text display the situation at hand:










ALERT
AT FIELD DETECTED
BLOOD PATTERN TYPE BLUE: CONFIRMED
9TH ANGEL: CONFIRMED


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Postby BattleMonkey » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:35 am

Shinji the playa

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Postby GreggHL » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:05 am

Rubbing her eye, Asuka stumbles out of the bedroom. Waving a muted greeting to Shinji, she slumps against the kitchen counter, both eyes shut against the light of the kitchen.

“You alright?” Shinji asks.

She mumbles something, stumbling out and walking to the couch, half falling on it.

“W-what happened?” she moans.

“Your…date tried something,” he responds, already next to her, hands on her shoulders, “He put something in your drink. It’s probably upsetting your stomach and-”

Her face turns green. Puffing her cheeks, she runs to the bathroom, Shinji on her heels just in time to see her bent over the toilet and vomiting. Softly, silently, gently, he gets down to his knees, gathering her hair and pulling it from her face and the bowl. Her hands grip the porcelain with renewed fever, her shoulders shaking as the contents of the last two days empty.

He sees it, then. Narrowing his eyes as her shoulders hitch, he sees the back of her neck. There are a series of red marks, a set of six half circles and three full circles. Haphazard and random, faded against the pink skin, he reaches out with his other hand to touch them and confirm what they are.

The chance passes when she pushes off of the can, stumbling to the sink and spitting. Swinging open the medicine cabinet and pulling out the mouthwash, she takes a deep pull and begins gargling, spitting with enough force to cause some of the bubbling blue liquid to splash over the side.

Hitting the flush button on the toilet, he stands, waiting as she braces her hands on the sink. Closing the cabinet, he watches as she stares at her reflection. Her fingers curl, knuckles turning white, her shoulder shaking as her lip trembles. Moving on instinct, he moves to her and pulls her from the sink, pulling her into his arms. Her entire body shakes as she presses her face against his chest, a muted cry her only sound.

For minutes, maybe more, they stand in the silent embrace. Questions swim through his mind. On the marks, on what is going through his mind. Questions, he realizes, he can ask later. Right now, this is important. The only important thing right now is being here, letting the last night drain away.

“Thank you,” she whispers.

He grunts an acknowledgment, tightening his hold with a gentle squeeze. She manages a shaky smile as she moves away, his hold releasing on her as she runs a hand through her hair, fresh tear lines moving down her cheeks. She sighs, biting her lip, wringing her hands.

“I-I remember some of it,” she says, “He p-put something in m-my drink, didn’t he?”

He nods.

“F-figures,” she sighs, “F-figures, d-doesn’t it? F-first time someone a-a-asks me out, and h-he t-tries…”

Her face twists. A small, low moan escapes her lips, her arms wrapping around her. Fresh tears run down her cheeks as her lip trembles, her palms leaving red dots along her white sleeves.

“I’m s-sorry,” she stammers, “I’m s-sorry you h-have to deal w-with me.”

“Don’t be,” he says, his hands laying on her arms, turning her to face him, “Don’t be. He’s a piece of…don’t be.”

He surprises himself with the vitriol in his voice. Clenching his teeth, closing his eyes, for a moment silence passes between them. Gently, her hand touches his, a sad smile crossing her face.

“T-thank you,” she says, “F-for putting up with me.”

“I don’t ‘put up’ with you,” he says with a small laugh, “If he hurt you, I would have killed him.”

“Why?” she asks.

His eyes go wide, mouth hanging open at the question. Composing himself, the small grin returning to his features, he finds her face almost blank. Except for one small emotion which he can’t place.

“What?”

“Why would you do that,” she says; her voice small and soft, almost afraid of being heard, “Why for me? I’m not worth sacrificing over-”

“No,” he snaps, “You are.”

She stops in mid sentence. Her eyes probe, her gaze upon him one of borderline desperation and need. Her lip trembles and her shoulders shake, her instincts burning in her mind to pull away, but she can’t get to the door past him. So, she takes the second option.

“Why?”

“Because you’re fun to be around,” he says.

She nods.

“Because you’re smart,” he says, “Because you have a great smile when you show it. Because you have a really nice laugh and because…”

He bites his lip. No time like the present, he thinks. Besides which, his mother’s probably watching this all from her office, so he can either go ahead with this and do what’s right or get lectured for the rest of his life.

“Because you’re beautiful,” he says.

A shaky, unsure smile crosses her face.

“R-really?”

He nods.

“P-please don’t lie to me,” she whispers, “Really?”

“I have never seen anyone like you,” he says, “It…I can’t explain it without sounding stupid. It…your eyes are just the clearest blue I’ve ever seen. Your face is pretty much…flawless. Tell me to stop any time if you think I’m being sappy.”

Her smile becomes wider. Her shoulders shake as her eyes tell him to continue.

“Your…well, I can’t say I’ve ever met any redheads outside of Mana, and she’s a little too over eager,” he continues, “But I’ll admit, one of the reasons I asked Misato to take you in is I don’t mind waking up to see you every morning. I don’t know what anyone else has told you, Asuka, but you turn heads. Everyone about you is just-”

She leans forward and presses her lips against his. Eyes close and the world stops, his arms wrapping around her. The kiss is soft, and almost chaste, their lips pressing against each other in a simple moment that seems to go on forever. Her breath tastes of mint and old soda, her arms wrapping themselves around his back as her breath tickles, the edges of her lips curling upward.

Any moment has to end, though. The lips part and her eyes meet his, probing for something, and her face splits into a smile as she finds it. Wrapping her arms around him, she lays her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes as he holds her for the long, silent aftermath.

“Thank you,” she whispers.

“Thank you,” he responds, “I thought I’d have to go on about your legs.”

She stares at him, raising an eyebrow.

“I said that out loud, didn’t I?”

She laughs, and his phone rings. Sighing, he takes it and stares at the number, clicking it open and bringing it up to his ear.

“Please tell me you don’t have cameras in Misato’s bathroom.”

“I have cameras everywhere,” Yui responds, “And I saw everything. Good boy. Now get to base. There’s an Angel.”

He nods, closing the phone and turning to her.

“We have to go,” he says.

“Okay,” she says, moving out of the embrace, “Thank you.”

He nods, smiling, and waits as she walks out to change. Slumping against the wall, running a hand through his hair, he grits his teeth and growls.

“I’m going f___ing murder that Angel.”




High in the stratosphere, the great black Sphere identified as the Angel turns. It is time, it thinks. It is time to begin. Turning towards its target, the source of its hunger and reward, it begins to link its Mind to that of another already There.

A form is chosen. A symbol that shall serve It as it begins its Plan.

Dozens of small black spheres break off from its Form and accelerate into the atmosphere.

It is Time for the Trial.










I AM
THROUGH LICENSE OF HE WHO IS CALLED “I AM” I HAVE COME
THOUGH I SHALL ONLY ONCE TOUCH THE BASE EARTH ON THIS BLESSED QUEST, I HAVE COME
MY FORM SHALL BE VAST AND NUMEROUS
NEW TRUTH SHALL BE FORGED WITHIN MY PASSING
AND THE NUMEROUS FORMS THROUGH WHICH I SHALL SCOUR THE LILIM OF THE EARTH SHALL BE WRIT DOWN IN THE WAY OF PRAYER AND LEGEND
I AM THE INGENUITY OF GOD
ANGEL OF THE SKIES
I AM SAHAQUIEL
I AM COMING

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Postby esselfortium » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:35 pm

:nyao: Adorable!

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Postby Amras Felagund » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:22 pm

I don't dislike Asuka from the original series, but I think that this Asuka is a nice refresher. And frankly, given her openness to Shinji, I don't blame Shinji here for wanting to bleeping kill the invading Sahaquiel.

And those marks on Asuka's neck... Are they like this - ( ( ( O O O ) ) ) - or something else?
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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Postby Kaname Langley » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Those Marks?
And Oh thats... Beautifull!
Only losers consider the possibility of defeat without even trying.

GreggHL
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Postby GreggHL » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:04 pm

The smile she wears is genuine. After the incident in the apartment, Asuka finds herself standing with her shoulders straighter, walking with a more confident stride and eyes almost alight as she walks down the catwalks of Cage Three, the holding area for the purple behemoth of Unit 01. Of course, now is not the time to focus on that.

The Angel is coming.

They can focus on it after he saves the world. Odd, she muses. She is already crediting him with saving the world, not thinking about her brother, Rei, or Mana.

A blush flushes her cheeks as she realizes why, quickly walking up stairs and into the hallways spiraling around the Cage. The technicians are working at their normal, frantic pace, checking servos and coolant lines, making sure the LCL pumped into the exoskeletal frames of the Evas are at the right temperature.

All is going according to specs, she can report to Dr. Ikari with confidence, and hopefully avoid any awkward questions about what she was doing with her son.

“Asuka.”

Freezing, eyes snapping open, as the same high heeled shoes stab the metal hallway. Her hand tightens over the status reports on Unit 01 as she locks eyes with her Mother, toes curling in her shoes.

“We need to talk,” Kyoko Zeppelin Sohryu says, lips a thin line across her face.

Stammering, knees, shaking, Asuka ducks her head and darts to the side.

“Excuse me,” she whispers, “Doctor Ikari needs these files.”

The hand lashes out, grabbing her arm with nails digging through the shirt. Asuka yelps, whimpers, eyes wide as Kyoko holds her fast.

“Of course,” she says, “You do a good job.”

“I-I do,” Asuka says, swallowing down her dry throat, “I do. Dr. Ikari values me as her assistant.”

“She gave you that job out of pity,” Kyoko says, “Don’t hold yourself that high, leibchen. She has you here for her reasons, and I will remind you the only reason I even brought you over was out of doing a favor to her son.”

Nails dig into her palms again, lips trembling. Biting back, trying to pull her arm free, finally succeeding in yanking free of her and leveling her eyes on her mother.

“Don’t give me that look,” Kyoko says, her voice lower, softer.

She finds herself facing her, now. Fingers trembling against the files, another teeth in the back of her mouth cracking as her knees shake. Kyoko folds her arms, raises her brow, and peers down through her glasses, a smirk gracing her features.

“You’re a good worker,” she says, and sighs, “Shame that is all. I always hoped you inherited a fraction of my intelligence, but for all your study and tuition, here you are. Doctor Ikari’s errand girl. A shame.”

Asuka clenches her eyes shut, breathing slow, ragged, shaking her entire body. It could be called an argument if she actually was able to respond. Instead, her legs go limp like jelly, the fight leaving her the moment her mother’s eyes narrow.

Instead, the argument ends when the full wall window turns purple. Glass cracks and shards go flying, and both Asuka and her mother are thrown to the floor by the impact.

“What the HELL just happened?!” Misato’s voice screams over the speakers.

“There’s a servo error in Unit 01’s right arm,” Maya responds, “An error signal was sent from the onboard systems. We’re correcting it now.”

Blood is already streaming down Asuka’s forearm as she picks herself up, the purple receding from the window as Unit 01’s arm is returned to its place, her mother on the floor, face down and groaning as several technicians run in.

“W-We’re fine,” Asuka says, holding her arm, and she shuffles away to find some gauze, “Someone should call a doctor for my mother.”
-
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Chapter 12: Catch the Sky
-

BattleMonkey
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Postby BattleMonkey » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:35 pm

Did unit 1 try to smack a bitch?

Tabasco
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Postby Tabasco » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:12 am

I believe it just did. :grin:
---
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one insists on adapting the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw

esselfortium
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Postby esselfortium » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:16 am

Damn, Kyoko. That's cold.

;_______;

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Postby GreggHL » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:25 pm

The table beeps. The polished metal surface fades, becoming transparent as a soft blue light plays over it, forming into a grid outline of the Far East. Those familiar with pre-Second Impact maps who were not already insensate to the horrors of the Second Impact would be, for lack of better terms, horrified. Indonesia, for example, is missing half of itself. Several low lying islands are gone.

There is also a hole in Japan where Tokyo-1 should be, but that’s a different matter entirely.

“Here’s what we’ve got,” Misato says, the holographic map panning upwards to a large black sphere, “The Angel has taken the form of a 7-kilometer wide black sphere in high Earth orbit. NERV-Bethany in Russia and NERV-4 in Beijing have both registered impacts outside their city limits. The impacts take the form of…take it away, Ritsuko.”

The hologram shifts into a pulsing black and red sphere.

“These projectiles serve two purposes,” Ritsuko says, pushing her glasses up her nose, “First, they serve as mobile platforms and traps. While relatively fragile and vulnerable to high explosives, they do seem to be numerous. The second purpose is course correction.”

The hologram returns to the Angel itself. Bracing hands on the table, Yui stares out at the pilots.

“The Angel intends to enter the atmosphere and crash into Tokyo-3. A surprise, I know. Lieutenant Colonel Katsuragi and I both agree the best way to deal with the Angel is to attempt to catch it before it hits. We have been monitoring the rate of projectiles and have determined a…”

A ring appears around the hologram of Tokyo-3 and the surrounding towns.

“250 mile radius of possible impact points. Evangelions 00, 01, and 02 will be deployed in a triangular trajectory and will take off in a run when the Angel begins its descent.”

Standing across from her, across the table, the four pilots nod.

“What about Jet Alone?” Mana asks.

“Jet Alone will be given the task of clearing the possible landing zone,” Misato explains, “The Angel launches the correction missiles regularly. We’re launching Jet Alone Prime ahead of time to clear the area.”

Ritsuko nods, then bites her lip and taps Misato on the shoulder.

“How are we getting it there?” she asks, “The Angel has a tendency of shooting down any objects coming towards it. NERV-4 launched an ICBM at the Angel, and both that and the observation plane were shot down.”

“It traces exhaust,” Yui responds, tapping a button and showing an arching trajectory from NERV-1 towards the center of the circle, “We’re going to overclock the launch catapults and throw Jet Alone.”

A hand comes up.

“Yes, Mana?”

“So I’m getting tossed, hammer first, into a horde of mini angels?”

“Yes,” Misato responds.

“F___ing metal.”

Another hand raises with a cough.

“Yes, Shinji?”

“What hammer?” Shinji asks, easing slightly from Mana.

The hologram shifts into an image of the Jet Alone Prime. Next to the Prime is a hammer as big as it with a spinning disc at the center of the head. They turn towards the direction of the delighted squeal, and Rei, before turning back to the hologram.

“The JSSDF has sent us Jet Alone Prime’s primary Melee weapon,” Misato explains, “The High Impact Acceleration Hammer, or HIAH, basically converts speed and distance into kinetic force before impact. The hammer is about the same height as Jet Alone and weighs somewhere in the 75,000 ton range. We are all thankful it is not called Mjolnir.”

“We call it Sigmar,” Mana says, “The designer was a game geek. I’m all for this plan.”

Uri stares at the girl, shrugging and folding his arms as Rei stares longingly at the hammer. The hologram shuts off, the lights in the room fading on as Misato folds her arms and grins.

“Time to save the world, kids,” she says, “Saddle up. Lock and load.”




Tightening the bandages and gauze around her arm, Asuka does not look up as the elevator door opens to admit her, simply preparing for her trip to Dr. Ikari’s lab. It was an unfortunate detour to bandage herself, but she can’t get blood on her uniform. That would be bad. Very bad.

“Hi, Asuka.”

Looks up, finds Mari looking back at her. Asuka smiles, forcing it to the surface, and looks past her to find Pieter in the car as well. Her father grins, hands folded behind him, and swallowing but not loud enough to alert them, she steps into the car.

“Small world,” Pieter says.

“I know,” Mari responds, adjusting her glasses, “It’s such a big place that I thought we’d never run into you, ‘Ska. How’s NERV treating you?”

“Fine,” Asuka says, toes curling in her shoes partially because she hates this girl so much just wants her to f___ingdie “Dr. Ikari thinks I am a good worker.”

“Good to hear,” Pieter says with a grin, “So…I think this is the first Angel I’ve seen. Does it always get tense when they arrive?”

“I’d think so,” Mari responds, turning to her father, “They do run a tight ship around here, from what Uri tells me.”

“Uri?”

“He’s a nice boy,” Mari says with a shrug, “If a little stand offish. But he’s dedicated and he doesn’t mind having to train me.”

Asuka says nothing, staring at the elevator floor ticker, clenching her tight fist as the bandages strain.

“Did you hurt yourself?” Pieter asks, “Asuka?”

She turns. Looks at him, looks at the bandages, pulls the sleeve down.

“Asuka, answer me,” he says.

“There was an accident with Unit 01,” she says, “I was hit by some glass. I am fine.”

“No, you’re not,” he says, grabbing her wrist, “This isn’t bandaged properly. We’re going to the infirmary and having you checked out.”

The doors open. Asuka yanks her hand back and glares at her father. Biting back a comment, biting back a statement about now is a wonderful time to show actual concern, she turns and quickly walks out. The doors close behind her as she turns the hallway and finds herself at Doctor Ikari’s office, empty as it should be as the preparations continue for the sortie.

She doesn’t come out for a while.

She makes sure everything is put back in its place when she does.




Settling back in the seat, Mana winces as the connections are made through the Suit. Resting her hands on the twin globes, they glow as her mind links with the AI of her chariot, the gold wall display in front of her clearing, honeycombing out into the Cage set aside.

“Biolink established. Meta Encapsulated Granule Awareness System: Online. Jet Alone Prime at full activation.”

The mecha stands straight, eye visor glowing as the blue circle at the center of its chest ignites. A quick mental check off tells her the weapons systems are at full go and the mecha is operating with maximum efficiency. The other Evas are gone, already carted off to their prep sites, leaving her alone in the Cage as the cradle her glorious deliverer of Angelic Death rests in is rolled towards the rails lining the back of the launch area.

“Mana, we’re at t-minus 15 minutes to launch. You ready?”

“Lemme at’em, Kaji,” she says to her handler, “Jet Alone Prime’s all green, and I’m lookin’ forward to painting the hills black and red.”

“Don’t overdo it, Mana.”

“Of course, Kaji,” she says with a smirk under her helmet, “I am, of course, known for my restraint.”




Her knees were scraped and her shoulder will bruise, but otherwise she went through Unit 01’s malfunction without a mark. Kyoko counts herself lucky for things such as this and with a handful of aspirin and an icepack went back to her office to continue her work.

Stupid. It was stupid of her to focus on that girl. She isn’t worth side-tracking this over and she will get an earful from Ikari for that.

Like she always said, she’ll happily go to some sort of group therapy and repair the relationship with the girl after the Angels are gone, but right now she is busy. Slamming the files down on her haphazardly arranged desk, she takes a moment and stares at the ornaments. Her Nobel prize for Psychology sits next to the single portrait she has, of her, the girl, her Uri and whatever blind date she was set up on.

Swatting them aside, she opens the folder and stares at the numbers going down the graph page. To the layman, it is gibberish, but to her it is musculature data from her masterpiece. Leaning on the desk, sitting on it, she goes over the data with a careful eye, snapping out a pair of turtle shell eye glasses and sliding them on. Her lips purse, her eyes focused.

“Has anyone ever told you that you are so hot when you’re studying?”

A muffled German swear and she looks up, narrowing her eyes as she stares across the Spartan office to the doorway.

“What do you want, Pieter?”

Knocking on the door, her ex-husband grins, swaying back and forth on his heels.

“Can I come in?”

“Might as well,” Kyoko sighs, “You never listened to me, anyway.”

“You never told me what you wanted,” Pieter says with a shrug, “Or do we really need to go into why we broke up?”

She rolls her eyes, snapping off her glasses as she hops off the desk. Walking around it, she retrieves her PDA from the desk draw, swiping away the sticky used candy wrappers and placing it in her lab coat pocket.

“As much as I love twisting your metaphorical testicles in my hand,” she says, folding her arms and pursing her lips, “We are busy. And why aren’t you Germany yet?”

He snorts, leaning against the door. The smile grows wider, a cocky grin on his face as he gives off a short, knowing laugh.

“So eager to have me gone?”

“What was your first clue?”

He sighs. The smile disappears, fades as he runs his hand through graying brown hair.

“Actually,” he says, “I’m staying. I’ve transferred over here as Sub Director.”

“What?” she asks, looking up from her desk.

“Fuyutsuki’s getting old. NERV has enough of a budget to have two people handle his responsibilities and take care of the executive paperwork and duties. So, I’m here to stay, and to watch over Mari.”

Kyoko sighs, rolling her eyes.

“I’m sure your paramour misses you.”

He sighs, again. Pain is behind the sound, his teeth grinding.

“She left me,” he says, smirking slightly as she whirls, “For another woman.”

She sucks her teeth, shrugging and shaking her head.

“My condolences.”

“I had it coming,” he mutters, “A bit of a blow to my ego, I assure you. If that makes your day better.”

He bites out the last words. Clearing his throat he stands up straighter, folding his arms and making that ticking sound with his tongue he makes when he is thinking. She waits, turns to him, and folds her arms as he enters the office.

“Kyoko,” he says, “How did Asuka cut her arm?”

“Unit 01 had an accident,” she responds, “Some glass cut her arm.”

He nods. Her eyes narrow, forehead wrinkling before her face turns into a scowl.

“You don’t believe me,” she says, “You think I did that to the girl?”

His teeth grind and his eyes narrow. Leaning forward, she backs up, eyes wide as his accusing gaze locks on her.

“No,” he respond, “No, I don’t. Because that sort of implies you care enough about her to touch her.”

An intake of breath and the open hand hits his face with enough force to make him stumble back. Blood leaks from the small cuts on his cheek as her face turns red and eyes narrow, her knuckles cracking as her fists clench.

“Get out of my office,” she growls, “You f___ing HYPOCRITE!”

One push and he’s out on the floor outside the office, looking up just in time to see the door slam shut. Grunting, wincing as he touches the cheek, he climbs to his feet and starts walking to the lifts.

He has to have a chat with Dr. Ikari.

GreggHL
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Postby GreggHL » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:44 am

The starting point, the kickoff point, was a dam 120 miles outside of Tokyo-3. The sun was high in the sky, a scaffolding was put up to make sure everything checked out, and Shinji was still running the scenario through his mind that he had to run and catch an Angel about as big as Tokyo-3.

Right.

Nothing can possibly go wrong with this. In his left eye, Rei has her eyes closed, relaxing in the plug. She looks like she is meditating, her mouth moving with some unseen rhythm.

Another screen opens up. Uri is looking at him, face stone as it tends to be. Shinji, realizing that the channel is two way, closes Rei’s window and sighs.

“Good luck,” Uri says, “It would upset my sister if you died.”

With that, the channel closes. Gritting his teeth, cracking his knuckles, he reaches his hands into the butterfly controls and closes his eyes. The indicator in the chest of his plugsuit glows blue in tune with the two indicators on his gloves. The plug turns clear as the mecha lurches, and once more, he feels the familiar, happy presence in the back of his mind.

“Third Child recognized,” the voice calls out, “Synchronization holding at 78%. Unit 01 has activated.”

“Okay,” he breathes, “Ready to go.”




“Unit 01, Unit 02, and Unit 00 reading activation,” Maya calls out, “All batteries at full charge!”

Arms folded at the center of Dogma, Misato nods. The screen is still focused on the black sphere hanging miles overhead. A second screen lights up, showing a swarm of black and red spheres burning through the atmosphere.

“MAGI has calculated their landing trajectory,” Aoba shouts, “We have a landing sight!”

“Launch Jet Alone,” Misato says, “Pilots! We’re almost ready!”




The catapult comes to life. For those with open audio channels, the sounds of Mana Kirishima whooping as the Jet Alone goes from 0 to Mach 1 in three seconds flat fill the air.

From the perspective of someone on ground level, the sight instead is of a series of plates at the edge of Tokyo-3 retracting before the cradle of Jet Alone launches with a sonic boom out of the street, careening through the air with the sparks of molten steel trailing it like exhaust.

The side compartment of the cradle opens, the massive metal fist of Jet Alone Prime gripping the handle of Sigmar as it reaches the zenith of its traveling arc.

The cradle cracks and breaks apart, jets’ firing on the arms and legs before it slams into the ground. The eye visor glows, the giant rising and the disc at the center of the hammer’s head spinning.

Two dozen red and black spheres impact all around it. The butt of the hammer slams into the ground. Around Jet Alone’s left hand, lightning gathers. Bracing its size 300 heels on the ground, inside the cockpit, Mana grins.

The black spheres rise. They hover, and on each a single red eye opens. On either side, a stubby, three fingered arm juts out, two stubby legs popping out from underneath. Red angry lines run along the black surface, a single black pupil burnt into the red sphere of the eye. Without hesitation or warning, Mana swings, the hammer of Jet Alone driving into the eye core and launching one into the sky before it explodes, red bursts of energy deflecting off the armor of the mecha.

Before one of the black monsters shatters, forming into a wall of rock which begins pelting Jet Alone, the others following suit.




“We have movement!”

Misato looks up at the screen. The Angel has started to move. Biting her lip, she turns to the up high command center. If there is an expression on Fuyutsuki or Ikari’s face, she doesn’t see it.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” she says, “Pilots, in positions.”

Three screens flip open. Each Evangelion bends forward, resting on one knee in a runner’s sprint position, massive servos and hydraulics groaning in support of the weight of the 200’ tall mechanical beasts.

“We have one shot at this,” she announces, “Head towards Mana’s position. Units: On your marks.”

Three acknowledgements from her pilots, and not a single sign of fear. If she were any of their mothers, she’d be proud enough to burst. Shame she has to send them off to their deaths.

“Since our estimates are based on unreliable data, we’re trusting on you to rely on your instincts. Head towards where you think the Angel will land. Mana is just the most likely spot.”

A red aura appears around the Angel as it enters the atmosphere. Fire burns against it as the air protests its presence.

“It’s time to begin the operation,” she says, “Ready.”

On the three screens of the three Evangelions, three power cables pop off with timed explosives.

“Go!”




Unit 02 takes off first, throwing up metric tons of forest floor as 15,000 tons of giant red robot kicks off into a sprint. Unit 01 follows, kicking off the side of the dam, sending up pulverized concrete as the will of the pilot translates to forward momentum. Unit 00 is last, a split second behind its siblings, kicking off a city street and running into the downtown heart of Tokyo-3.

To the layman’s perspective, it is spectacle. Watching as the purple behemoth, in perfect runner’s form, dashes down the street. Hands slicing through the air and knees pumping, only those at a distance can see the giant as it speeds through the city. Those too close would be carried along by the bow wave.

From the three starting point, three trails of dust and carnage spread, three giants accelerating the distance between the edges of the impact zone and the melee at its heart.

Firing off arcs of lightning from its gauntlet, Jet Alone dodges a flurry of flying rock, spinning the hammer in its hand before slamming it into and through the body of one of the probes, silhouetted by the explosion before turning, swinging the hammer up and launching another into the distance.

The left hand opens up, parting all the way up to the elbow, the hand receding in place of a focusing crystal before it lets loose a blast of arcing plasma, vaporizing two of the probes before a focused blast evaporates a third.

One jumps on its back. In the cockpit, Mana laughs. Vents on the back open up, spiked missiles jamming into the skin of the probe before exploding, throwing it off of it as Jet Alone turns, its eye glowing before a blast of white light calcifies three of the probes, a swings of the hammer pulverizing them.

“This is a challenge?” she asks, “C’mon! I’ve beat up kids for Milk Money tougher than you!”




“Unit 01 is clocking at 370 mph. Unit 02 is at 375 mph. Unit 00 is at 355 mph.”

“Target is shifting its AT Field!”

On the main screen, the Angel’s black shell cracks, breaks, and disintegrates, revealing a massive sphere of shifting colors. The colors flow over it from the red eye at the center, the flames around it forming into a shield.

“The Angel’s increasing its descent speed,” Makato announces, “We have a projected impact site!”

The map folds, an area highlighted with a circle. Misato swears, stamps her foot, and turns back to the screen.

“It f___ing played us!” she shouts, “Uri! You’re closest! Rei!”

She turns to Yui. Yui nods.

“You have permission to let loose!”




In Unit 00’s entry plug, a small, manic smile spreads on Rei’s face. Her eyes glow red as her hands wrap around the butterly controls, the plug glowing red, then blue, then white. The connectors on her head flash, crackle and go silent.

“Understood,” she says, with a slow, happy drawl, “Ready?”

Unit 00’s run begins to speed up. As it leaves the city limits, it bends forward, arms behind it, legs pumping as the surface of its armor begins to glow red. As the dust in its trail becomes a plume, the air in front of it compresses, the single eye of the orange mecha flashing as the sonic shockwaves begin buffeting the ground in its wake.




In Unit 02’s entry plug, Yuri’s mouth hangs open.

Did Ayanami just go supersonic? He asks himself.

No time to worry about that, he thinks as he watches the fireball descend, willing his Eva faster, This is MINE.

Unit 02 runs. It runs over the hills and trees, in perfect form. It leaves a bow wave in its wake as its speed clocks over 400 mph, leaving a trail of debris for miles behind it.




The purple foot slams into the overpass, launching Unit 01 over the mountain as Shinji sees the two mile drop ahead. Curling into a ball, the Eva glides through the air before landing in a crouch and continuing its run. Gritting his teeth in the Plug, he wills it on.

you don’t want to fail them

Eyes snap open, nodding. What was that, he asks himself, as he clears the city limits, his conscience? Well, of course he doesn’t want to fail them. If he fails them, they die. Right?

yes they will. do you want to protect them

“Yeah,” he growls.




“Unit 01 picking up speed…it’s at 600 mph,” Makato calls out, “Unit 00 at Mach 1. Unit 02 at 420 mph. Angel at 12,000 meters and dropping!”

The heat shield around the Angel flashes and disperses. Flesh colored flame cracks through the skin of the rainbow ball, the entire sphere spinning and unfolding. Within seconds it goes from a sphere into a massive flower, a central circle flanked by two unfolding hands of five fingers. The colors rotate, folding out as a halo of red surrounds it, great and mighty fingers of silver and rose waving like hairs.




Red boots dig into the ground. Throwing up plumes of debris behind it, Unit 02 skids to a stop as it stares up at the Angel descending directly towards it.

“It’s huge,” Uri whispers. His Eva could fit in the center red eye of the thing before it. But, as it realized from his endless training in Eva, size matters not. And there is but one way he could halt the descent of such a beast.

“AT Field at Maximum!” he shouts.

Unit 02’s arms extend out fully. As the sky becomes the Angel, it pauses, pressing against an orange hexagonal field running the entire length of the beast. Gritting his teeth, nostrils flaring, Uri extends his mind as far as the Eva will let him go, the angry presence beneath him fighting him for every inch.

Then the eye opens. It parts like a rotted melon, a face like a bird skull extending out, followed by a comically thin body as large as the Eva, extending long, two fingered hands which reach through the AT Field like it was plastic wrap and grip Unit 02’s hands.

They squeeze, and Uri grits his teeth as he feels every bone in his hand snap like dry wood.

“Heee~ey.”

The AT field of the Angel flashes as Unit 00 clears the hill, the orange mecha landing in a crouch before launching itself through Sahaquiel’s own barrier of protection and wrapping its hands around the head. Blasts of light slam and bloody red spikes dig into Unit 00, and in the entry plug itself her face contorts, baring fangs and eyes alight with red.

Orange boots brace against the surface of the Angel, and Rei pulls. The body of Sahaquiel tears, moving past the reed thin waist as the hairs on its wings folds up. Sprays of red issue forth, Unit 02 bent to the knees, digging into the ground as the wings begin folding back.

“Uri! I’m right here!”

The AT Field flashes. The Angel is forced up as Unit 01 stands next to Unit 02. Uri growls, gritting his teeth and fighting the pain as it releases in a strangled whimper. His arms feel like they are on fire, and his hands feel like they have had time with a power saw.

“The Core! Where’s the Core?!” Shinji screams.

Rei squeezes, crushing the head. Orange LCL spills out, the body pulled past the waist. A flash of red that they can see past the body and they see it, almost as big as them.

“About f___ing time!”

One of the black probes slams into the body and explodes. A chunk of the skin burns off, exposing the core completely as massive foot steps mark Jet Alone’s arrival, bits of black rock flaking off it as boot jets fire and it launches towards the core, the disc in the hammer’s head spinning to life as Mana laughs maniacally through the comms.

“Hammertime, mother f___er!”

Jet Alone spins, two full rotations as it careens through the air, before 15,000 tons of forged mecha hammer slams into the core. Bits and pieces of core rain down, the struggling form in Rei’s grasp goes limp. A hairline fracture runs down the surface as LCL begins to drip, then flow.

The body, the miles long form of Sahaquiel goes limp, before folding in upon itself and with a low, pained moan, the struggle is over. Inch by inch, it becomes thick, orange and red liquid, raining down in a torrent down the hill, over them, and flooding into Tokyo-3 itself.




“Target is silent,” Maya says, “Blue pattern is gone!”

Cheers erupt from Dogma. Shoulders, relaxing, Misato chuckles as Ritsuko slaps her on the shoulder.

“Good work,” Akagi says, “Your asinine plan worked.”

“Our asinine plan,” Misato snickers, “You get partial credit whether you like it or not. Okay! Good work, pilots. Mana, I guess you get an Angel kill on your record. Now let’s see if we can clean up this city!”

Four muted protests as Ritsuko begrudgingly goes about the task of ordering the large scale water pumps to be sent up, as Unit 01 already wades into the flooded quarter of Tokyo-3 to start picking up stranded roof top watchers.

Pieter Sohryu enters Dogma as Misato watches, walking up to Yui and whispering something in her ear. The brow of the unflappable head of Project E knits with confusion, then concern, nodding and patting Sohryu on the shoulder. On her heel, she turns, and walks out of the command center without a word, Sohryu on her heels.




The purple hand lowers towards the yellow tinged street level, and the six year old girl on the pad of its index finger extends her arm as the yellow tinged cat jumps out of the tree and into her arms. Raising her back to rooftop, she hops off to her parents as the cat mews in protest and embarrassment, something in cat language about there being fluid where fluid should just not be.

“Sorry for the inconvenience,” Shinji’s voice booms through the loudspeakers in the Eva’s neck, “We’ll have the streets dry in a couple of hours.”

The parents wave back as Unit 01 turns and continues down the main street, Unit 02 manning the LCL pump that is currently vacuuming Sahaquiel’s remains.

In the Entry Plug, Shinji starts as Uriel’s face appears in his right eye, a scowl crossing the german pilot’s features.

“This is embarrassing.”

“It’s the least we could do,” Shinji responds, shrugging, “We flooded the city when we killed the Angel. NERV made the problem, so NERV should fix it.”

Rei’s face appears in his other eye, and Shinji begins craning his neck to get a clear view of the street.

“Well, this is sort of the first Angel that went gooey,” she says, “It’s not like it’s our fault-fault, but yeah. We kind of have to clean it up in our Evas or we clean it up out of our Evas. ‘Kay?”

Uriel shudders and cuts the connection. Leaning back in the chair, Shinji wills Eva on, grinning. Not a bad day’s work. They saved the world, right?

yes you did

His eyes open with a start. He leans forward, peering over his shoulder.

“Who said that?”




The Section 2 agent behind her says nothing as Asuka enters the infirmary. The white, sterile walls are bereft of decoration, the only things that stand out from the endless white the table, the window, and the hanging florescent lights. Standing in front of the examination table, Yui folds her arms, Maya standing next to her as Asuka stands at attention.

“Your father wants us to look at your arm,” Yui says, “We need to make sure it is dressed properly.”

She nods. Her hand clench at her sides and her breath catches in her throat. The gentle, motherly smile on her face, Yui gestures to the table.

“Asuka. Sit on the table.”

“Y-yes ma’am,” she says, walking across the room and doing as she is told, taking off the beige uniform jacket. She rolls up her sleeve as Maya walks over, looking at the bandage with a sigh and a warm smile.

“We need to redress this,” she says, turning to Yui, “We should check the whole arm, to.”

Yui nods, folding her arms and sighing.

“Very well, I trust your judgement,” she says, “Asuka. Take off your shirt.”

Hands clench the ends of the table underneath her.

“W-what?”

“Don’t worry,” Maya says with a smile, “It’s just to see how bad the cut it. We thought we might, which is why it’s only us girls in here.”

“R-really,” Asuka says, teeth chattering as her eyes dart around and the door closes, “I-I…c-can’t we t-t-take off the s-sleeve or-”

“Asuka,” Yui says, hand on her shoulder, “Take off the shirt. That’s an order.”

Slowly, eyes half lidded and her breathing shallow, Asuka bows her head. She swallows down her dry, painful throat, lips parted in a low, scratchy breath. She nods, slowly, a motion barely noticeable.

“Yes, ma’am,” she whispers.

Starting at the bottom button of the blouse, she moves up. Unbuttoning the top button, she releases the buttons on the cuffs of her other sleeve, and gritting her teeth, grinding her teeth as she clenches her eyes shut, she shrugs off the blouse, leaving her in her bra as she pulls her hair over her right shoulder and exposing her back and neck to the two women.

Yui’s face turns blank, arms folded as she stares. Maya turns pale, her hands slowly coming up and covering her mouth as the younger woman’s eyes go wide and her breath catches in her throat as the words leave her.

“Oh my God,” Yui breathes, “Oh dear God. What did she do?”

She extends her hand, fingers hovering over the back of her neck, over the three even circles and half circles flanking them. Her fingers curl, clenching into a white knuckled fist as her normally warm expression leaves her, her eyes focusing with cold fury as her eyes trace down the first of the long, grooved scar running from Asuka’s shoulder to the small of her back, still angry and red. She mentally counts them, nostrils flaring as her breath comes in short, angry spurts.

“Get. Sohryu,” she says, her voice low and filled with a cold fury Maya recoils from, turning to Yui and back to Asuka, “Get her to the Commander’s office. I’m going to take that f___ing woman apart.”

A low, pained, steady moan escapes Asuka’s throat. She begins to rock back and forth, her eyes open and unblinking. Maya steps over, hands on her shoulders.

“Asuka?”

The girl screams. It isn’t anger, or rage, or even surprise, just a scream. Pushing Maya away, she pushes off the table, darting to the door and yanking at the locked handle. Her eyes are bloodshot, wild, turning and pressing her back to it as Maya approaches slowly, hands out and open, palms up. Asuka slides against the wall, fingers digging grooves into the plaster as she retreats towards the corner.

Which is a distraction, Asuka realizes a moment too late, as the almost invisible closet door opens and a hypospray presses against her neck. Sedatives rush through her system, and Asuka’s eyes roll up before she collapses into Ritsuko’s arms.

“Good timing,” Yui says, “Maya. Get Kyoko. Now. Get everyone.”

Maya nods and runs out, her quick footsteps breaking into a run when the door closes. Yui walks over, cupping Asuka’s face as even in drug induced sleep, ticks and grimaces cross it.

“Well,” Ritsuko asks, “Now what?”

Yui grimaces. Her normal, placid demeanor leaves her. Her face twists into that of cold, determined rage.

“Now?” she asks, “Now I’m going to kill someone.”

Standing, smoothing out her labcoat, she turns and begins walking towards the door.

“Get her to a bed,” she says, “Get her restrained. Doctor Akagi, I leave the rest to you.”

And with that, she exits.

BattleMonkey
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Postby BattleMonkey » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:00 pm

Restrained? Poor girl.

I look forward to the ripping apart.

esselfortium
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Postby esselfortium » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:44 pm

Holy wow. Looking forward to the wrath of Yui.

A hand comes up.

“Yes, Mana?”

“So I’m getting tossed, hammer first, into a horde of mini angels?”

“Yes,” Misato responds.

“F___ing metal.”

Highlight of this story today for me ;)

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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:08 pm

I will say that Kyoko dying in the regular cannon was, perhaps, for the better
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Postby Tabasco » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:11 am

Given that in the manga she appeared to have created Asuka as much as a eugenics project as anything, it's hard to argue.

So what's the verdict? Failed attempt at improving Eva control? Like Pieter said, its not like Kyoko cares enough to bother physically abusing her.
---
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one insists on adapting the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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Postby GreggHL » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:43 am

A start, a sharp intake of breath as the world comes back into focus. Muted struggle in a vain attempt to sit up, feeling hands gripping the metal bed frame and the wrists up to the forearms wrapped in leather.

Asuka stares at the ceiling, her only sounds choked panic and sobs. They know. They know. They know and they are going to kill Mother.




The Section 2 agent does not leave the elevator with her. Snorting, Kyoko dusts off her lab coat, checks her PDA for any messages, and strides down the white metal hallway towards the double door of the Commander’s office, or Mausoleum as it is more commonly referred to.

She does not have time for this. The entire problem was that Unit 02 got its hands mangled. It means at least a week of induced regeneration and re-plating the armor over the fingers and palms before it can even hold a Progressive Knife. The logistics are a nightmare, as no Eva has suffered this level of digit damage before.

The message was just to come to the office, there were things to discuss. Huffing, grinding her teeth, she swings open the door and strides in. The other bridge command staff are already there. They have been waiting. Ikari is behind is desk, Yui sitting on it, and the three bridge staff, the lieutenants, are talking with Katsuragi.

“I still have paperwork to file on Unit 02’s repairs,” Kyoko says with a groan, rubbing the bridge of her nose as she walks towards the desk, “It needs the forearms regenerated and hand armor replaced. Please, quickly, what is it?”

Her eyes snap open as the pair of hands come just short of her neck, stepping back as the three lieutenants collectively struggle to hold back Misato.

“You sick BITCH!” Misato screams, “I’m gonna take you apart like a CHEAP F___ING WATCH!”

“Katsuragi!” Yui shouts, “You can do that later.”

“You did get her gun, yes?” Gendo asks.

“Of course,” Yui responds, “We did…we didn’t take yours, though.”

“What the Hell is going on,” Kyoko shouts, turning from Misato’s murderous gaze to Ikari, “I have better things to do than be threatened by your tactics commander!”

An almost animalistic growl from Katsuragi before she pulls free from Makato and Maya, arms folded and teeth bared as Yui takes the file folder from her husband’s desk. She stares at the pictures inside, walking from the desk, slowly, to Kyoko. Raising her eyes and meeting Kyoko’s furious, insulted gaze, she waits.

Her eyes narrow. The corner of her lip curls into the smallest resemblance of a snarl.

“Kyoko,” she says, “Did you really think I would never find out?”

“Find out what?” Kyoko says, “Stop playing the damn game, Ikari. What in God’s name are you talking about?”

Grunting, snarling, Yui shoves the file folder into Kyoko’s hands. Snorting, she opens it. Her eyes go wide as she stares at the pictures, face twisting in confusion and then disgust, sneering at the images before closing the folder and staring at Yui.

“Is this,” she starts, “This…is this some sort of sick joke, Ikari?”

“I’ll show you sick you sadistic little-”

“Katsuragi,” Yui snaps, Misato going silent under her gaze, “The Pilots are returning from sortie. Debrief them.”

A grumble from Katsuragi and a dirty look directed at Sohryu.

“Yes, ma’am,” she says, “Save some of her for me.”
-
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Chapter 13: Kyoko
-
-
His hands clench and unclench as Misato relates the events of the last couple of hours. He expected to find her waiting for them, but instead he hears…this. This report about what was done to her by her own mother. Part of him wants to climb back into Unit 01, find the woman and squeeze.

“~Flyyyyy me to tha mooooon/ And let me sleeeep among the staaaars~”

“Will someone turn that God damn Muzak off?!” Mana shouts.

“Don’t worry about it,” Misato grumbles, running a hand through her hair, “It helps the Evas sleep. I tend not to argue with the God-killing mecha about what constitutes easy listening.”

“Sleep?” Mana asks.

“As Dr. Ikari said, better safe than sorry.”

Uri’s expression is blank, as if his brain is trying to process what they have just told him, and failing miserably. Mana is tense, her helmet removed and dripping link goo on the floor, and Rei is…

Rei’s expression is completely blank. There is no hint of emotion on it whatsoever.

“Where is she?” Shinji asks, teeth gritted, just above a whisper.

“She’s in isolation,” Misato responds, “Look…I have to get back to the office to help with…well, to help with the situation. Shinji, she’s in isolation because your mother’s afraid she might attempt suicide.”

Misato turns and walks back into the lift. Swearing something in English, Mana turns and walks towards the showers, Uri walking after her. His face looked deflated. Like the air, the will had left it. But that isn’t important to him right now. Instead, he turns and begins walking towards the medical wing.

He has a plan.




Dr. Akagi was here to check up on her. There is an IV drip to keep her hydrated while she discusses things with someone, an assistant. It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. Everything will fall apart now. Mother is going to die because she couldn’t tell them the truth. She failed her, failed Mother, like she’s failed everyone else every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of her miserable uselesslittleLIFE.

The voice, again. Now she recognizes it. Papa is outside with the Girl. He wants to see her, but Dr. Akagi says it isn’t a good time. She needs to recover, Akagi says. She is on suicide watch, Akagi says.

She tries to shift in the bed. Her ankles are restrained, to. She has to find someone, make them listen. Make them understand about Mother, that it wasn’t Mother’s fault.

The struggles cease, muted as they were. The futility of this struggle, like every struggle over the course of her life, sets in. Tears begin streaming down her face as she closes her eyes, chest hitching with every sob. Silence reigns as once more, like she has done for almost every night since she was five, Asuka cries herself to sleep.




“I have limits,” Yui says, “I have my limits. Kyoko, you have managed to cross every single one of them.”

Kyoko says nothing, flipping between the pictures. Her face is unreadable, stoic, only her eyes having any expression as they trace down the lines, over the circles. The scars down the back start at the shoulder, red and deep grooves running down past the small of her back. There are five major ones, worked over as far as they can tell for a number of years until they went from cuts to full on depressions, into muscle but stopping before the bone.

“This…is not possible,” Kyoko breathes.

“Believe it,” Yui says, snatching the pictures from Sohryu’s hands, “I’m had my doubts, Kyoko. Believe me, I’ve had my doubts. I always knew how valuable your Eva project was for you, but I never thought you’d be capable of this.”

She cycles through the pictures, holding up the shot of the back of the neck.

“Tell me why, Kyoko,” Yui says.

Sohryu narrows her eyes, grabbing the picture, staring at it.

“No, no,” Yui says, folding her arms as she circles her, “I can see why. It makes sense. At five years old, you go around my edict against human testing in the Contact experiments. You take your five year old daughter, shove her into the Entry Plug and fry her brain. Then you discard her, belittle her, let her grow into a broken shell while you lavish your gift from the Old Men with your praise and attention.”

She leans forward, Kyoko’s face unreadable.

“Am I right?”

Knuckles crack as Kyoko’s fist clenches. She turns, eyes narrowed as the picture crumples in her hand.

“Do you really think I would use that girl in my Eva?” she asks.

She grabs the pictures, walking over and slamming them on the desk, turning back to Yui and snorting. Arms folded, Yui blinks, confused as Gendo takes the folder and begins perusing the pictures.

“An interesting fantasy,” Kyoko says, pushing her glasses up her nose, “But that girl has never been inside an Entry Plug. I made it a point that she was not be be allowed to pilot, so why do you think I would use her, her of all people, to base my masterpiece on?”

She grins, squaring her shoulders, and waits. The response comes in the form of a closed fist to the face which sends her to the floor, and she looks up to find Aoba and Makato holding Maya by the arms, the girl screaming profanities as she kicks, held off the ground by the two struggling lieutenants.

The phone rings, and sighing, Gendo presses the intercom.

“Yes?”

“Commander, the Third Child is here and demanding entry into the isolation ward. We were given orders by Dr. Ikari and Dr. Akagi to not allow entry to Ms. Sohryu’s room.”

Yui swears, walking over to the desk as Kyoko picks herself up.

“Excuse me?” Shinji asks, “But I happen to know the password that allows me entry to any part of the base.”

“Yeah? And what is that, Pilot?”

“Rei.”


A sound of a dropping ventilation grate on the other side of the intercom and feet landing lightly.

“Wait, what does that-”

“Heee~ey.”

“Oh, F___ SHE’S BEHIND US!”


Sounds of something hard hitting heads, unconscious security guards dropping and the intercom cutting off.

“Well,” Gendo says, “This is interesting.”




She wakes up in a cold sweat. She never cared much about appearance, was never given a reason to. The last time she even did something like going to a spa was only on Uri’s insistence when she graduated. Her hair is sticky on her scalp and her face is wet, and her nose is stuffed. Her throat is dry and her body is sore, she can feel the cuts on her wrist from her previous struggle.

She doesn’t mind being alone. She is used to being alone. Whenever Uri had to do tests for mother, mother would leave her alone. It is as it always was, but now she does mind. She does mind being alone. She doesn’t want to be alone.

“This is the room?”

She has to be hallucinating. She could have sworn that was Shinji’s voice. She really, really, really hopes it is him, but she doesn’t want it to be him. She doesn’t want him to see her like this, see her this weak, this useless, this pitiful.

“Crap. It’s locked!”

“I have the key.”

“Really, Rei? Where is it?”

A white clad fist bursts through the steel reinforced door. Feeling around, the owner hums a tune before grabbing the latch doorknob and yanking it down. Light creeps into the white, darkened room as the door opens, and she hears footsteps, hurried before skidding to a stop at the bed. Latches around her right wrist release first, and blinking away the tears, she stares into blue eyes.

“Hey,” Shinji says.

She croaks a whispered greeting, fresh tears streaming down her tears as her left wrist is freed.

The ankles are next and he helps her sit up, sitting on the bed next to her, still stinking of the LCL and still in his plugsuit, and she realizes in that moment he headed here straight from the Eva. He rests his hands on her arms, Asuka noticing for the first time she is in a hospital gown, her body tired, her wrists and ankles sore, and he still came here first.

“I came as soon as I could,” he says, “The cleanup took longer than we thought and…oh, God. Misato told me and…”

She lunges forward, wrapping her arms around him. Her face buries itself in his chest and her shoulders hitch, her entire body shaking as miserable, wracking sobs force themselves out of her mouth. His arms tighten around her, the material of the plug suit creaking as his arms encircle her, one hand resting on the back of her head, the tears and snot mixing with the LCL as he closes his eyes, burying his nose in her hair.

Rei is at the bed now, her hand resting on Asuka’s shoulder. Her face is almost expressionless, save for the small downward twinge of the corner of her lip. She squeezes the shoulder once, smiles to Shinji, and walks out.

The cries turn to sniffling and Asuka pulls back a little, the pained smile on her face as he helps her sit up, helping her to her knees.

“I’m sorry,” she says, her voice hoarse, painful.

“Don’t be,” he responds, “I swear, Asuka, if there’s anything of your mother left when Mom is done with her…”

Her eyes snap open, hands over her mouth.

“Oh Gott,” she whispers, “We have to talk with her. We have to stop them before they hurt her!”

“Stop them?” he asks, “Seriously, stop them? After what she did to you?”

“S-she,” Asuka starts, and shakes her head, “Shinji, please. Y-you have to understand. Mother d-didn’t do this to me.”

He turns her to her. Scenarios start running through his mind, none of them pleasant, and Asuka squeaks in surprise when she sees the cold anger in his eyes. It is no surprise to anyone that he has indeed inherited the Look from his parents.

“Who did this to you?!” he demands.

Her eyes clench shut, head pitched forward.

“I did.”




“They’re what?”

“These wounds,” Gendo says, holding up the picture of the scars, “Are self inflicted.”

“What?!” Yui and Kyoko shout.

The two scientists stop, turn and stare at each other, then turn back to the Commander with scowls on their faces.

“The wounds are self inflicted,” he says, narrowing his eyes and frowning, “All of them. The angle of impact and dragging is all wrong, especially with the back scars. Look at the shoulder marks. This suggests the back wounds were done over the shoulder, so the belt that was used couldn’t be used by someone behind her.”

He adjusts his glasses, chewing the inside of his cheek as he spreads the pictures out. The three bridge bunnies are behind him, Maya looking faintly nauseous, Makato and Aoba wearing their concern on their faces.

“I’ve beaten enough people to know what the marks would look like,” Gendo continues, “These are all done from the front, over the shoulder.”

“What about the neck,” Yui says, “Did she just drag herself into an Entry Plug?”

Gendo pauses, turning to his wife. He pushes his glasses up his nose and gestures Kyoko forward with two fingers, grabbing her wrist and jamming his thumb down.

“Did you ever perform a contact experiment on your daughter?”

“No,” she answers.

“Have you ever beaten your daughter.”

“No.”

He lets her go, turning back to the pictures, arranging them to the circles on the neck.

“This aren’t electrical burns,” he says, “This are made with an AC cigarette lighter. Look at the angle of the middle burn. The right is more faded than the left, which means this was done at an angle. If anything, I would say she was trying to emulate the effect of a Contact Experiment on herself.”

Yui scowls, rubbing the bridge of her nose, Kyoko folding her arms and scowling.

“Why would she do that?” Maya asks.

“Attention,” Yui sighs, “Psychosis. Abandonment issues. She gets yanked from her mother’s big project and gives herself the mutilation that the experiment would have given her as a badge of honor. It gets worse over time, and…”

Yui shakes her head, grinding her teeth. Rubbing her temples and biting back swears and threats, she takes a deep breath and turns to Maya, staring directly at her, her back to Sohryu.

“There’s scarring over her palms from just digging her nails into them. We knew she had issues…abandonment issues and confidence issues. She stutters, she seeks praise and she is slow to really bond to people, but we underestimated the full extent of what this has done to her. In all honesty, I think Asuka would be flattered if her mother beat her.”

Footsteps leading away and they turn, finding Kyoko swearing teutonic curse words as she mades a beeline for the door. She gets halfway across when the door swings open and Misato walks in, her right hand clenched into a fist as she glares at the woman.

“Katsuragi!” Yui shouts, “Let her pass!”

“Give me a reason,” she growls.

“I said to let her pass!”

“I wasn’t talking to you, Doctor Ikari,” Misato says, narrowing her eyes as she glares at Kyoko, “Come on, Dr. Sohryu. Give me a reason.”

A smirk crosses Misato’s face, and she walks past Sohryu, walking past her and to the desk. As she approaches and she listens, Kyoko walks out, breaking into a run as she heads for the lift doors.




Sitting next to each other on the hospital bed, her knees up against her chest, his arm wrapped around her shoulders, they wait. She hasn’t said anything since the admission. She waits for him to leave, to yell at her, to curse her but he doesn’t. His hold on her becomes tighter, if anything.

“I don’t know why it started,” she says, her voice hoarse, squeaky, “I don’t know why. I don’t know why. I’ve been so bad, been so useless. I can’t tell why I did it. I thought it would be like she wanted me to be, if I was burned like the Eva was supposed to burn me.”

Closes her eyes, takes more deep, shaking breaths.

“She’s been bad,” she says, “We’ve been bad. I’ve been bad. I’m sorry. I’m s-sorry.”

He pulls her closer, pressing his lips against her forehead, tasting the sweat and fear.

“I’d alright,” he says, “It’s alright. Do you want to go home?”

“Y-y-yes,” she chokes, “I want to go home.”

“Okay,” he whispers back, rubbing her back, “I’ll clear it with my Mom after we get home.”

“You’ll clear it with me now, young man.”

Silhouetted in the doorway, flanked by Dr. Akagi and by Misato, Yui folds her arms and glares at her son, who does not flinch or hesitate as he stands up. He meets her gaze with his own, standing in front of Asuka out of instinct, hands clenching into fists and scowling.

“What are you thinking?” Yui demands.

“I can ask you the same thing, Mom,” he shouts back, “I’m taking her home. I’m not letting you stick her in a dark room and just tie her to a bed like an animal!”

“It’s for her own good,” Yui says, rolling her shoulders, arching her eyebrows to stare down at him, “She could have been a danger to herself. Tell me, what if I refuse to release her?”

“Then I think your pilot corps’ going to go on strike.”

A sideways glance and Yui frowns, her tactics commander grinning.

“Katsuragi?”

“I’m siding with Shinji,” Misato responds, “If it’s okay. Ma’am.”

Yui rolls her eyes, glancing at Ritsuko. Akagi shrugs, turns, and walks down the hall.

“Very well,” Yui says with a smile, “I leave the responsibility to you, Shinji. Asuka, get dressed and Misato will take you home. We’ll talk tomorrow. Is that alright?”

“Yes ma’am,” Asuka whispers.

Another glance between Yui and her son, and the head of Project E turns on her heel and walks away, her frown turning into a smile as she clears the hallway, out of earshot and sight.

“Good boy.”




He waits for minutes before he makes up his mind, standing outside the door to her office. He wants to charge in, screaming righteous indignation…but it would be hollow, wouldn’t it? He has no moral high ground. Yes, her actions lead to this, but if he spent more than a couple hours in his daughter’s life over the past sixteen years he could have helped.

Fingers rapt on the door, and there is no response. He hears creaking, the moaning of a swinging light fixture. The door is unlocked, he finds with a testing push, and he opens the door. The first thing that catches his eye is the nobel prize, broken and at his feet, having been thrown across the office and against the door.

The second he sees is Kyoko, sitting at her desk and staring at photos, a bottle of scotch and empty shotglass next to them. He knows what the photos are, of course. The entire command staff knows what they are, and until they found out the truth he had to convince Fuyutsuki not to order security to drag her out and shoot her.

“Hello, Pieter,” she says, “Come for your pound of flesh, as well?”

He sighs, walking in. Not invited but not unwelcome. She is leaning on her elbows, intent on the pictures, whispering oaths to herself as she stares.

“Well, you’re too late,” she says, “Everyone’s gotten their fill. Katsuragi wants to shoot me. I owe my life to Commander Ikari.”

“And you?” he asks.

“I want to just hang myself and call it a day,” she whispers, face contorting, eyes wide as she stares at the photos, “Guter Gott, Pieter. What have I done to this girl?”

He doesn’t respond, doesn’t say a thing. Hands folded at his waist he watches as she takes up the picture of the back of Asuka’s neck, looking at it in detail, in intent before dropping it and slumping back in her chair.

“Do you know why?”

“Why what?” he asks.

“Why I yanked her out of the program,” she says, “I was afraid. I took her out because she could have ended up like that: Having her soul sucked out of her through the back of her neck!”

Face buried in her hands, she moans, running her hands through her hair as he watches, biting his lip and waiting.

“God,” she moans, “God damn it. I kept telling myself I could fix things when the Angels were dead. I kept rationalizing it, but the truth is that it’s f___ed up. I’ve f___ed up so badly, haven’t I?”

“Is that what you think?” he asks.

“Yes,” she says, “Yes, it may be. I have no idea how to approach her, but…it is like my presence hurts her by me even being there. I need to…think. Do you think I need that?”

He sighs, shaking his head, not out of disagreeing but out of the lack of words to convey. Waiting, watching, he lets her sit back in her chair, looking at him, maybe past him.

“God help me,” she says, “I’ve turned into my mother.”

She pushes herself up, shakily standing, eyes bleary and blurry as she tries to circle the desk and fails, nearly falling and finding him catching her. She chortles, slapping him on the shoulder as her groans collapse into giggles and laughs.

“You’re drunk,” he says.

“I’m f___ing hammered,” she laughs, “Just get me to my car, manservant.”

He grunts an acknowledgement, throwing her arm over his shoulder.

“Fine, but I’m driving,” he says, and starts carrying her out.




The lift door opens, and Yui stares at the sole other occupant. Raising an eyebrow in appraisal, she takes a step in, turning and standing to the front and right of her husband as she presses the button leading down to the sub-command levels, just above the Limbis Zone and Terminal Dogma.

“So,” she says.

“So,” he responds, “Shinji is even more protective of Asuka. Katsuragi has become maternal towards the both of them. Uriel is wavering in his loyalty to his mother and Sohryu will be less likely to try anything as she knows we are watching her closely.”

“Yes, indeed,” she says, a small chuckle as she folds her hands behind her.

“Pieter will be easier to keep around,” he continues, “As he is now concerned for his daughter, given the circumstances. And Kyoko now owes me her life, giving me ownership of a human being.”

Yui grins.

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

His white gloved hands begin rubbing her shoulders as a grin crosses his features.

“Did you plan to have Maya punch Sohryu?” she asks.

“I set up the placement of people in the office,” he responds, “If she wasn’t actually attacked, she would have suspected it was for show. And your going into full outraged maternal mode? Brilliant.”

A grin crosses her features, fingers adjusting the glasses on her nose.

“I only channeled what I felt before I recognized they were self inflicted,” she says, “But you…you played every member of the command staff like a fiddle. And you still left them thinking you are nothing more than my arm candy.”

She turns around, resting her arms on his shoulders.

“I only did that,” he says, “Because in all aspects, my skills pale to yours.”

“And you’re still doing it now,” she says, “Playing with me to get what you want.”

Her grin becomes wider, showing teeth before her foot slams the emergency stop button.

“You magnificent bastard.”

And things go from there.




The doors to the elevator open in the garage, and Pieter and Kyoko stare at the space where her car should be.

“You had it shipped over from Berlin?” he asks.

She nods.

“Shame.”

The air is still hazy where the car was parked, and steam still lazily hovers from the fire suppression system. Tentatively, he walks over, Kyoko standing in the entrance of the elevator and staring as her ex-husband stares at the scene, stares at the thing which at some point in the recent past was a car.

It was a nice car, to. He remembered seeing it in the garage. It was European, kind of sporty, and had a nice stereo. Right now, it has none of those things, at least nothing that wasn’t mostly melted by the fire.

He stares at the hood, reaches out, and picks up the stand out object.

A squeaky mallet.

“Someone doesn’t like you anymore,” he says, “Let’s take a car from the motor pool.”




Security quickly caught the people responsible for the arson of Dr. Sohryu’s car, and as such, Shinji, Asuka, and Misato had to detour from the drive home to the local NERV precinct to post bail for all seven culprits.

“I had nothing to do with this!”

“You came along.”

“Because you tied me up, Kirishima!”

“Aaaand you didn’t complain.”

“Because you gagged me, Ayanami!”

Misato rubs her temples, Asuka sighs, and Shinji rolls his eyes. Showing solidarity was one thing, but trashing someone’s property was another. Touji shrugs, Hikari shrinks on the bench next to him, and Mana and Rei are both beaming at what they believe is a productive night’s work.

Uri is fuming but stops when he sees his sister, even if he is sitting a little too closely to Mari, and Kensuke resembles a lost dog at a pound.

Asuka leans over to Shinji, staring at their glasses wearing friend, who is rocking back and forth and muttering something.

“Shinji,” she says, “Why is Kensuke worried about being…a ‘prison bitch?’”




Buttoning her collar, Yui rolls her shoulders with a sight, sitting against the elevator wall as Gendo takes a chilled bottle of red wine from the hidden compartment underneath the button facing and two glasses, pouring for her as they share a smile.

“Well, this worked for the best,” she says, “I must say, you are like a fine wine. You get better with age.”

“I think half the reasons I run these gambits is because they turn you on,” he chuckles, sipping his wine as he sits down next to her, “They’ll thank us for this, in time. When should we move to the next phase?”

“Let them cool down,” she says, shuffling next to him, hand on his knee as she rests her back on his chest, “Shinji and Asuka should be returning to their apartment after bail is posted. Let Pieter pursue his ex wife. And, of course, Rei knows the truth about the situation with Asuka and her mother.”

“Of course,” he says.

“Because you told her.”

His face screws in confusion, raising an eyebrow.

“I thought you told her,” he responds.

She sits up, stares at him. They stare at each other, and their eyes go wide before she starts digging through her discarded lab coat for her cell phone.




One thing lead to another. A muted thanks lead to an invitation into the apartment, which lead to sharing a drink which lead to a muted asking to not be alone after a day this disastrously bad. Which lead to the first read contact she had in sixteen years, not counting one night stands, and two very lonely people sharing a bed.

He is out like a light, and she is snoring, despite the occasional tick of muted guilt crossing her face. Her face is mashed up against the pillow, him behind her, arm wrapped around her, as Pieter and Kyoko are well and truly drifted off into sleep. It would take a good bomb blast to wake them, which is why they don’t see it or hear it.

Two eyes open in the shadows of the room, flat against the wall, glowing crimson and watching them.

Surrounding the two eyes, another eight eyes open, also blood colored.

Around them, another thirty two eyes open, also colored like a deep, vengeful tide.

“~naaaa/na na na nana na na/nananananananaaaa~”

A phone clicks open.

“Hellooo~oooo…”

“Rei, it’s Yui. Sohryu’s not responsible for Asuka’s scars. Asuka just has more emotional problems than we thought.”

The phone clicks shut. The eyes narrow, every other one opening wide in tune with a possible eyebrow raising to consider the information. The thirty two eyes blink shut first, followed by the eight. Then the two remain, and they sag, lowering, before closing and disappearing.


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