[Fic] New Perspective Evangelion 11... yes it is still going

Everything Evangelion Fanfiction related.

Moderators: Derantor, Board Staff

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:35 pm

Even though I'm almost certain nobody on this forum is reading this anymore..... what the hell. Part 11 is done.

I tried to contain myself as long as possible... I really did. I was fizzing as I crossed the schoolyard. Bubbling as I entered the girl's locker room. Asuka was giving me weird looks, while Shinji happily scarpered off to his friends.

Some of the girls were talking about the power-cut, and the Angel. That only made it harder to keep quiet. Motoko was standing by her locker, fetching her indoor shoes.

I couldn't hold it in.

“I killed it!” I erupted with a squeal.

Everyone stared at me.

“There's no 'I' in team,” Asuka called over to me, caustically, “All you did was finish it off. I did all the hard work,”

True.

But I still killed an Angel. I was entitled to some smug self-congratulation.

“Congratulations!” beamed Motoko.

“DakkaDakkaDakka, Dead!” I mimed firing a rifle at an overhead light.

“Ooh,” she boggled. “All I did was pass my English test,”

“Nice one!” I offered a thumbs up. The English language was harder to master than piloting a giant robot, I knew that from experience.

She hugged me. For a brief moment, I was surprised. Tentatively…a little unsure if I was supposed to, I returned the gesture. Her body was warm and soft against mine… nothing sexual… it was always nice to be held by someone. She sprang back a moment later, a broad grin plastered on her face.

“We are so win!” she cheered.

A few of the older girls scorned... but who cared? We both had good reasons to be cheerful, and we weren't going to waste the opportunity to enjoy the feeling.

I could hear Asuka complaining about how annoying the Fourth got when she had such a 'swelled head', how annoying Shinji was when he didn't make lunch in the morning because he didn't do his homework last night and...

Aw crap.

Motoko noticed my expression turn sour, “What?”

“I forgot my homework,” I said, my voice shrinking. “Too busy with Angel,”

“I'm sure they'll understand,” she shrugged, “You saved the world, they can't expect you to be up to date with homework,”

I... saved the world. It seemed such a ridiculous thought, I had to laugh.

“Yeah, I know...silly isn't it?” she giggled.

Yup.... but it didn't half inflate the ego. My good mood continued up to the classroom. Nobody else really cared that much… it’d been more than 6 months and summer break since Sachiel first appeared. The Angels and the Pilots had become just another part of life.

I settled down at my desk, waited for Hikari to run through her daily rise-bow-sit drill, and logged into the school’s intranet.

A message popped up from Kyonichi.

::Nice work! Might have to change a few things because they seem a little unbelievable.

I messaged back ::Like what?

:: Well, the part about the Pilot’s mother’s soul being , for one thing. The guardian stuff was good :) . Some parts reminded of Blue Aru a bit.

Real life had one advantage over fiction…. It didn’t have to be believable. I wanted to go on a long winded rant about how I was the pilot of a giant robot fighting extraterrestrial monsters, how I’d come from an entirely different universe to do the job, and how that part was actually true. But I lacked the language skills to do all of that before lunchtime.

::Point is, We have to talk about changes, so we can be consistent when talking with Sakura. Can you meet me at TG today after school? Room 204, old building.

::No problem.

Asuka would probably scoff and snort at the nerds and otaku within…if I ever told her. But up until a few weeks ago, I had been one of them. I knew I was safer in there than anywhere.

“Now,” the teacher finished his lecture, “I trust you all had plenty of time to do your assignments last night in the shelters.“…damn… “If not, well that’s something I’ll bring up with your parents this afternoon.” He scanned the Pilot’s expressions.

“ Nagato, Ikari, and Sohryu, your NERV duties are no excuse for sloppy or late work especially if Ayanami can still manage to hand satisfactory work up with the same schedule. Hand it in Monday and I’ll decide on a penalty then.”

Nuts. I barely passed the last one I got in on time, and I knew even less about the Tokugawa plan and its social consequences than I did about the Valentine peace accords. I decided not to bother with it… since it was a sure thing I’d fail it anyway, I figured that time I’d otherwise have wasted failing, could be put to better use in a subject I might have a chance with

I could hear giggles around the classroom, some loved it when the Pilots were brought down a notch.

The teacher was surprised when Shinji handed something up… He scorned Asuka for having nothing at all, was a little more conciliatory with Nagisa because he hadn’t actually been in the class when the assignment was given.

I got a nice remark about how I was already falling behind after only a few weeks, and how I’d have a hell of a time catching up with my language difficulties and how I had to think of my future and my college education. What college would accept a student with a bad evaluation from their middle school, he threatened.

If Third Impact happened tomorrow, he’d still insist my puddle hand up his assignments. The teacher’s mentality was a universal constant.

I did well enough in mathematics to pass the year in anyways. I liked going a bit beyond what was expected Calculate the speed over a distance for a given time? They just wanted us to divide by time… I made a point to integrate with respect to t.

It was a bit silly, but it was also a self-affirming thing to do. Since the rest of the class hadn’t done calculus yet, the only place I could’ve learned would’ve been in my own schooling.

I’d taken two maths tests, and scored a full twenty in each of them.

The maths teacher loved me…especially since she doubled as our science teacher. We were supposed to have a teacher for every subject, but about half the school’s teachers and students had left after the Angel’s started attacking, leaving the remaining ones to cover what was left.

Class ended at what would normally be lunchtime, to give time for parents to meet teachers. I met Motoko for a few minutes, and nearly managed to forget that I had to go to the old building to meet Kyonichi.

‘Haruhi’ was around…. But I managed to avoid her. It seemed ridiculous….how screwed up would someone have to be in order to think they were someone else…to assume an identity to hide from reality?

An identity based on a popular animé.

Her friends were doing a Goodbye Lenin act around her to save her from the truth. It all seemed a bit like the traditional goofball highschool animé plot.

It didn’t take long for me to find the room, on the second floor in a part of the building that turned into a furnace in the afternoon heat. I could recognise a few of the voices coming from inside… Shinji, Touji and Kensuke were in there, among others.

I stopped outside the door for a moment, a paper sign reading “The Amalgamated Animé, Manga, Video and Traditional Gaming club’ taped to it.

I remembered my last time going to my college game society, then knocked on the door.

“Come in!”

Kensuke’s voice. I waited a moment, taking a few moments to overcome a strange nervousness before sliding the door open.

“I am here for Kyonichi,” I stated, oddly shy.

The room was small, with a window half-blocked by a flatscreen television opposite the door, and shelves lining both walls. The shelves were loaded with a mix of DvD’s, animé, boardgames and sourcebooks, some of which I recognised. Kensuke, Touji, Shinji, Kyonichi and someone I didn’t recognise sat around a table in the centre…. With a Noriko Takaya figure in the centre.

“Noriko,” Shinji blurted, not quite believing I was here.

The unknown boy giggled. He was tall, a little lanky with jet black hair combed over to one side. Touji muttered darkly in Shinji’s ear, while Kensuke struggled with his surprise for a few seconds.

“I got the stuff printed off in my bag,” said Kyon, “We can go through it when the guys are playing…but…” he looked to the doll, and suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “…well, when I said you were coming…”

“We were wondering if you could sign this Noriko Takaya figure for us,” Kensuke finished for him, in a hurry.

Shinji sighed and rolled his eyes.

I stepped back a little, for a moment feeling a little ambushed.

“Why?”

I’d never been asked for my autograph before.

“Well, you’re the real thing. Noriko the mecha pilot,” Aida explained.

I assumed I was supposed to be angry…but didn’t really feel it. Truth be told I was a little bit flattered.

“Dude,” groaned Touji, “Have some self respect sometime,”

Shinji smiled a little. I knew what Asuka’s answer would’ve been…some colourful German, followed by a stinging red handprint on each face. I considered doing the same, but just didn’t feel up to it. For one thing, I’d always been a Gunbuster fan

I smiled a little nervously, “Sure, I liked Gunbuster,”

The dark haired one spoke up, “Can you say ‘Buster Beam’?”

I scowled at him. Shinji buried his face in his hands “I will sign,” I stated, firmly, remembering Asuka’s advice about dealing with them.

Kensuke handed the doll, and a marker to me.

“I volunteer for EVA,” I told them, “Because I want be like her. I want be giant robot pilot,”

“You’re one of us whosea real living the dream,” Kensuke said, stumbling over himself a little “I mean… I ‘d say yes in a heartbeat too, even though I know it’s hard work and…”

He was speaking so fast I had a hell of a time keeping up.

“I come here to get away from EVA,” Shinji cut him off, hard. It actually surprised me. The Third Child threw me a dark look, obviously not appreciating my intrusion.

“Sorry, Shinji,” apologised Kensuke.

“Maybe I should go,” I offered,

“It’s okay,” said Kyonichi, “We’re just not used to having someone whose so open to talking about the Evangelion. You can understand that we’re pretty fascinated by it,” I nodded. “And…well… it’s obvious from reading the conspiracy you wrote that you like animé.” I blushed a little… embarrassed.

“It kept me in touch with Japan, when I live abroad,” I responded. Another lie, but a good one.

I wrote on the figure’s stand;

“From Noriko.
Third Children. Pilot of Evangelion Unit 03. With Guts and Effort,”

I held the Noriko Takaya doll I’d just signed, staring at it. Its joyful brown eyes stared lifelessly back at me. I ran a finger along its body, tracing its figure down from its chest, over its hips and down its legs to the stand. The vinyl plastic was perfectly smooth under my finger... utterly unlike real skin. But still...

I…

I had one of these once. The exact same Bomé figure with the slightly overlong legs.

I…

I have a body just like this.

I looked up at Kyon, then Kensuke, then down to Shinji sitting at the table watching me. Something inside me just switched. Back to the doll… my signature still drying on the stand. I have a body, just like hers. I am... the same.

Again, back to the assembled boys, watching me like something was about to burst out of me.

I…

...am a girl.

Just like that. Feeling my heart race in my chest like an engine on neutral. I felt faint, a little overheated. I turned to face the wall, propping myself up with one hand.

I am a girl.

Still nothing wrong with that thought. No howls of protest from my formerly masculine mind. That was literally it. Fear flared through my body, my stomach tensing up. I... I'm …. I feel like … My thoughts just ground to a halt. I looked up at them, swallowing....

I was aware of myself... I was aware of my body. I was aware I was different to them. I was aware
how. I was aware of how attractive I was… I’d know I was a a good looker, but now I actually felt it. I feel like I'm a girl.

“Noriko, you feel okay?” someone enquired.

No…

“Overheated,” I responded, lying.

This shouldn’t feel okay, I wanted to whine. It shouldn’t be this easy. I knew it could happen… but I only figured it out five days ago. I should be screaming. I should be fighting…. It should not be this fucking easy to go from the man in the girl’s body, to just plain old girl.

“But you’re crying,”

“I am not!” I barked back, stunning everyone.

In the silence that followed, I felt a tear run down my cheek. Just one I checked my body once more, hoping for the right answer this time. I’m a girl was the answer I got back, along with a tingle in my boobs as they began to wonder why I was even asking such silly questions.

I had accepted my life as a member of club female. Whether I felt like a girl, or young woman, or whatever, I’d come to terms with the fact that I’d have to live as a man in a woman’s body for the rest of my life. I’d even thought that someday, I might finally just wake up one day and be a woman… full stop.

But not like this… and not this soon.

I wanted to feel uneasy walking into a girl’s bathroom again. I wanted to feel awkward watching Asuka undress. I wanted the concept of tampons to make me scream to the heavens. I wanted to be ashamed at the idea of even thinking about masturbating in the shower. All those little fears and shames that had dissolved over the last few weeks, I wanted them all back… every single one of them, just so I could be me again.

Nope.

Gone forever.

A moment of silence for my dead manhood please. I had my memories… I had some of my personality. I had the unique despair of knowing that they were going to be absorbed into the greater whole of Noriko and that I couldn’t stop it. I could feel myself loosing my mind…and worse, feel another one muscling in on the empty space

I had Kensuke stand up beside me, concern on his face.

“You can have my seat, if you’d like,” he offered.

He’s only offering it to you because you’re a girl, part of me warned. I thought about fighting back…about saying no. I wanted to. But Kensuke was just being kind… and I didn’t want to be rude.

“Thanks,” I offered him a soft smile, taking the seat. I had to force it.

He blushed… a light pink across his cheeks

“Ah… I’ll get you some water aswell,”

“Thanks,” I said again.

His blush deepened.

“I’ll… just… gogetit,” the last few words of the sentence ran into each other like a drunk driver into the back of a truck, as he ran off out on a hormonal rush.

The five other boys in the room just stared at the door he bombed through for a moment, before returning their attention to me… then to the door… then to the Noriko doll I’d signed.

What did I just do?

“Kensuke you cheeky git,” Kyonichi commented under his breath, Shinji was trying his damnedest not to laugh. “That was like, straight out of Trembling Hearts three,” continued Kyon. “When Kimiko feels faint in the clubroom…”

What… wait what?

“I never played Kimiko’s story,” Touji declared. “Tina’s the better ending. But I know what you’re talking about man,”

“Saya’s the easiest,” the dark haired one spoke up.

“What’s the point in playing a game on easy, Mamoru?”

“You get to the good pictures faster,” he grinned lecherously.

“But she’s fuck-ugly and her personality is horrible,” Touji argued back.

Kyon palmfaced.

“That doesn’t matter. They all look the same from behind anyway,” snarked Mamoru.

Nice tact. The four remaining males gaped, then stared at me, expecting me to go off on some feminine rage about perversion and dating sims and how Mamoru was a total friendless arsehole. Followed by female on male violence. A minute or so of expectant silence followed… they were waiting.

I was too busy trying not to have my second psychological break of the week to care.

Kensuke came back, placing the plastic cup in front of me.

“Thanks,” I smiled again, earning another blush for my troubles.

“No problem,” he said, meekly.

“So Ken, Saya’s ending on Trembling Hearts three?” Mamoru started to dig for allies.


“Why? It doesn't even count as a game completion,” said Kensuke, diplomatically “It's a bad end where she cheats on you, unless you take the time to actually help her.”

“Why bother, the fun part's over?”

I hoped he was just joking.... people weren't really that damn thick. I had to say something.

“I play dating game too,” I stated, trying to sound as cold and malevolent as possible, trying to channel Asuka. “Like fishing. Fish like Mamoru easy catch, but too small to keep.” … fish being an obvious parallel to something else… “Big fish hard but worth effort,”

It was hard not to laugh at him… there was an odd pleasure to be had from watching him fizz with anger.

“I don’t give a crap!” he roared, red faced, “You say I’m small, I’ll show ya how big I am!”

“Mamoru,” Kyon interrupted him, deadpan “Don’t antagonise the girl who pilots the giant robot.”

“Asuka would’ve killed him,” Shinji giggled.

Wow… Shinji… laughing. I don’t know how, but it helped my mood. I’d never seen him laugh like that. He was so unguarded and comfortable.

There was something I could do… It’s idiots like him that give men a bad name. No Asuka, all men are not this stupid and weird….especially nerds and otaku. They’re not creeps or weirdo’s… I should know, I used to be one. The hardest part about talking to any girl was knowing that she’d probably already dismissed you as nothing more than an obsessive weirdo, based on the actions of a couple of braindead cabbages like this.

My last manly act, I supposed. I looked to the figure. Give me strength, Noriko.

“Mamoru. You know Asuka?”

“Yeah,”

“She tell me, fanboy, gamers… otaku... are all like you. I know not true,” I took a few moments to compose in my head, “Kensuke sell girl photographs, right? But… “ I recalled our meeting on the roof, “You have good reason for pilot EVA. You want to protect, and for Shinji not to worry. You want be his friend.”… he blushed again… “Touji sell pictures too, but Hikari tell me you have sister, and you care lot for her…spend a lot of time.”

“Yeah….well,” he shuffled his feet, a little ashamed.”Family’s family,”

“Kyonichi. You care about Sakura so much, to go to the effort of…. Um…. Tolerating Haruhi, to keep her safe,”…. It took him a moment to catch up to that. I thought carefully what to say next. “And Shinji, you really are brave,”

The boy just looked like he wanted to hide under the table.

“I see their Good. Mamoru,” I steeled myself, “What good do you do?” He slid back from me for a moment, wide eyed… terrified of being placed on the spotlight. “I know type. So afraid of being seen as not man, you act like you think a man is. A…. um…” what was the word, “Stereotype,” I used the English one. “What is good about you?”

Silence reigned, while I tried to glare right through him.

“He’s our friend,” Touji answered for him, calmly

“Huh?” I blinked.

Mamoru almost seemed as surprised as I was.

“Sure he’s an ass, dontcha think we know that?” Touji continued, “But he’s still our friend,”

Kensuke slid his glasses up his nose, “I don’t expect a girl to understand it. Betrayal may come easy to women, but us men live by cast iron codes of honour,”

I ran my hand through my hair… I guess I walked into that one. Shinji just quietly watched me, not quite sure what exactly to say.

“Fair enough,” I conceded, with a resigned smile.

“But you’re still a jackass Mamoru,” Kyonichi added.

Mamoru himself just quietly sunk down into his chair, not sure if he’d won that or not. That was the proof of it, my last ‘manly act’ had only served to confirm that I wasn’t one anymore.

“Thanks guys,” he finally said, his voice barely a whisper.

I kept it out of my mind while I ran through the Haruhi sheet with Kyonichi. Most of the changes were just linguistical… sometimes I’d pulled the wrong Kanji from the dictionary. Sure they sounded the same, but they had two wildly different meanings. Great for making puns, a pain for writing.

I took a few moments to admire some of the collection…a lot of post impact seemed comfortingly familiar. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was there, hidden among Gundam ZZ and something called the Blue Aru Platinum Directors Cut Final Edition. A few of the games and sourcebooks I recognised, some of them were pretty old.

It really seemed as if pop-culture had just been put on hold for about seven years by the Impact, then started moving on where it had left off.

Kensuke was explaining the rules of some wargame to Shinji, while Touji just looked bored with it all, only hanging around because two of his friends where, and Mamoru deliberately and obviously kept his distance from me.

With that done, Kyonichi thanked me… I considered hanging around for Shinji and walking home with him, but I’d intruded enough on his life for the day so I left and walked home by myself.

Half an hour later, and I stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror. One last try.

“I am a man,” I stated, calmly.

No, you’re not, my body answered. I couldn’t even picture myself as anything but the fourteen year old girl. It felt wrong to even try…. Completely and totally wrong.

“I am a girl,” I stated… again calmly.

Yes, I am, confirmed my body.

That was it. Gone for good. I thought I should’ve collapsed into the floor, bawling in a heap for my lost manhood, but… fuck that…. It wouldn’t change anything. I’d gone past the point of no return. I mourned for a few minutes in the shower…another bit of ‘me’ gone forever…. before taking time consider what to do next while drying my hair.

“I am…a girl,” I re-stated.

The result was still the same, not that I’d genuinely expected it not to be. My probationary period was up… I’d become a full-patched member of the fairer sex. I really felt I should’ve been a crazy ball of despair on the floor… but, I really didn’t feel that bad. It was a fate I’d resigned myself to, even if it had come a little faster than I’d expected.

Maybe if I hadn’t gotten that nice little ego boost from killing the Angel…calling up that memory still filled me with a surge of pride… it might’ve been the final tipping point, but it wasn’t. Psychologically, I was still hanging in there.

My self identity hadn’t been overwhelmed.

I still preferred to dress in jeans and a t-shirt, or wear shorts if it was too hot out. I still liked the exact same things I’d liked when I’d gotten out of bed in the morning. The concept of pink frills still gave me chills. I still baulked at the idea of wearing makeup, taking Shinji as a boyfriend, becoming the traditional Japanese housewife or doing any other so called ‘girly’ thing.

I recalled what I’d said to Mamoru, about doing stereotypical manly things because he was so afraid of being seen as a girl….to the point where he’d managed to do an overrun screw on his own natural personality.

Had I been doing the same thing?

No, I concluded after some thought.

Just because my brain now considered itself female, didn’t mean I had to act like a female stereotype. After all, with a few unintentional exceptions, I’d hardly acted much like a male stereotype when I was trying to hang on to my masculinity, had I? I just tried to be myself, and do the things I liked, or felt most comfortable with doing.

Regardless of what my body insisted it was… I was still myself. I just had to act like that.

So what did that mean exactly?

Who am I?

I am a former university student turned Mecha Pilot. I like Animé, I like Manga… I used to love it for the vicarious thrill it was, the chance to glimpse an ‘interesting’ life without ever having any of the risks actually involved. I had a thing for Asimov’s short stories…especially The Immortal Bard which was something I believed every English teacher should be forced to read. I dabbled in RPG’s, considered the Amiga 500 to be the greatest gift to computation since binary mathematics, was socially awkward and had the tendency to put myself down, rather than talk myself up. I was the stereotypical Evangelion fan so. I was a regular staffer at a local animé convention. I built Gundam kits, and played Warhammer… hell, I was actually a half decent miniature painter. I could be snarky and childishly vindictive at times.

I liked most of those things, months ago… long before I’d ever considered the whole ‘turned into a girl in another universe to Pilot the big giant robot’ as anything more than a fanfic scenario. I still did… one look through the web browser cache on my own computer proved it.

Add to that a newfound enjoyment of athletics, long stockings when I absolutely had to wear a skirt and religious wearing of a steel bracelet around my wrist… these among other quirks I’d gained from Noriko.

Misato was right.

I wouldn’t lose myself. All those things I’d enjoyed… I still would. And I would gain more from Noriko…. And that still scared me a great deal. But that would still become part of this thing that is ‘myself’.

Myself was always changing, evolving as I met new people or encountered new concepts. Two months ago, myself would never have even considered facing an Angel in combat with the fate of the world on my shoulders.

I accepted this ‘myself’ as this changing person, evolving based on experience.

Long before Episode 26. There were no trophies, no congratulations on top of a big blue ball with poor bus service… there didn’t have to be.

I actually felt good about it.

To celebrate, I treated myself to boiled pasta shells in curry sauce for dinner. Nice and healthy, nice and spicy.



Originally, I'd kind of planned to have Noriko's acceptance of herself mirror her decision not to bother with her school assignment.... she wasn't going to win, so why bother wasting time on it? It ended up a little bit different, and a little bit more self affirming.... based on comments that maybe Noriko whines a little bit too much. I decided to put her psychologically into a better place instead. The original tone bleeds through in the gaming room a little... so Noriko does get a bit of mood whiplash towards the end, and ends up moving forward.

I'm not quite sure how well it works but, too much despair and depression isn't fun to read... I guess.

I suppose, if Noriko hadn't gotten the psychological armour from killing the Angel, she might still have gone off that mental cliff.

That's the end of part 11. I need to find a prereader to run through for typos and such, and then it'll go post up on FFN. 75 pages or so within about a month. That's actually pretty damn quick. Next part, I think I'll show a few of Noriko's diary entries, Misato gets promoted to Major... Noriko takes a hint from one of 'my' fanfics during the drunken celebration that follows. And the tenth Angel decides that it's not going to do what some damned animé series says it should.

(I may need someone to run through my plans for that... it's looking interesting in my head.)

Also... Bonus. What did Noriko give to Kyon? I wrote it out with the intention of having it in the story... but couldn't fit it. Oh well, here it is.

To understand what NERV is, one must go back into the past, 5 billion years to The FIRST IMPACT which created the Earth’s moon. This Impact was caused by the arrival of a life-seed, sent by a race of aliens, referred to as the First Ancestral Race, or FAR, who referred to themselves as the PROTOCULTURE. This seed was codenamed ENKI by UN researchers. It appears that under normal conditions only one seed was intended to be placed on each candidate planet. Earth was different. A second seed crashed to Earth some time later, this one codenamed NINTU.

Both ENKI and NINTU are spherical shells. ENKI was hollow on the inside when discovered, containing nothing but the ENKI seed. NINTU is mostly infilled by rock and soil, though still contains the NINTU seed approximately 35 kilometres below the surface.

NINTU was the first to be discovered, buried beneath the Hakone region of Japan. It would be determined by UN Special Enhanced Evolution Levelup Executive (SEELE) that all current life present on the planet Earth including humanity, has evolved from NINTU, making NINTU essentially the Mother of all life, similar to biblical Eve.

SEELE tasked the General Evolution Heuristic Investigation Research divisioN (GEHIRN) with analysing NINTU to determine both past and future evolution of life on Earth, and manners in which to accelerate the evolution of the Human race. During the course of these investigations, the dormant seed ENKI was discovered beneath the surface of Antarctica.

A Space Shuttle mission was launched (STS-51-L) in 1986, with the intention of deploying an orbital mapping satellite to map the extent of both ENKI and NINTU, however this mission was sabotaged, the Shuttle and satellite being destroyed on launch. A coverup blamed a defective booster seal for the explosion. Due to this, it was necessary to send a manned expedition to map and explore both seeds.

The expedition to ENKI was led by Doctor Motoko Kusanagi. The expedition to NINTU was led by Priscilla Asagiri.

Kusanagi was a previously a major proponent of the quantum over-unity zero-point power generation theory, first proposed by Canadian scientist Rodney McKay, known for his lifelong quest for Atlantis. Regarded as a quack by the respected scientific community, he persevered with his research. A base was established on the Antarctic content, within the ENKI itself in 1988, where scientists began to tunnel deep into ENKI, looking for the seed of life itself.

A second base was constructed under lake Ashino near Hakone in Japan to study the NINTU seed, however construction lagged behind ENKI due to seismic disturbances from nearby Mt. Asama.

At 09:16 hours Zulu, September 13th 2000, an attempt was made by Kusanagi to contact the seed within ENKI. At 09:17 hours, the seed destroyed itself in the event known as SECOND IMPACT. It is believed that this failure was due to the ‘Genesis’ effect of the seed, which was theorised to be part of the initial terraforming process performed by the seed on landing. This process destroyed existing life in favour of the new seed matrix. The Antarctic region was rendered lifeless

Fearing a similar explosion at NINTU, construction of the now-named Artificial Evolution Laboratory was halted until it the cause of the ENKI explosion could be determined. The ENKI investigation was notably conducted by the two current commanding officers of the UN NERV organisation, both respected in the field Metaphysical Biology. The investigation concluded that ENKI was capable of destroying humanity, and had attempted to do so with an Anti-AT field. The attempt to stop ENKI from destroying humanity led to the event known as Second Impact.

Second Impact therefore, is the least-worst outcome.

Furthermore, ENKI had not been destroyed by the explosion, merely reduced to an embryonic state. The lifeform was recovered and taken into storage. It was also discovered that the detonation of ENKI, had lead to the creation of ENKI-based life… as opposed to NINTU based life currently populating Earth. This life could only live within the Antarctic Region.

These lifeforms were designated ANGELS. ENKI and NINTU based life cannot coexist on the same planet, despite being fundamentally the same creature, merely having evolved in different paths. It was known the ANGELS would attempt to contact ENKI and finish what was started. This is the only way for the ANGELS to survive. The only way for humankind to survive was to prevent this contact.

ENKI was interred within NINTU, the Artificial Evolution Laboratory was expanded into the base known as the GEOFRONT and the city of Tokyo-3 was built as a defensive bastion around this base. Conventional munitions however could not harm ENKI based life, due to the ANGELS Absolute Territory Field. To defeat the AT-Field the EVANGELION were created using the ENKI sample as a base.

Each EVANGELION requires a human soul in order to function, due to the dictates of Metaphysical Anthropomorphic Determinacy theorem. These souls were provided by the scientific teams which constructed the EVA’s, usually women whose children had been born after Second Impact. These ‘contact experiments’ invariably led to the effective death of the scientist performing them. Metaphysical Anthropomorphic Determinism theory states that the body is determined by the presence of the self within… with no soul to form the self, the body dissolved into primordial soup like substance known as LIQUID CONNECT LIQUID.

A side effect of this decision is that the EVANGELION can only be piloted by a specific child, the daughter or son of the scientist whose soul resides within the EVA. To further enhance this effect, each individual EVANGELION was created using a portion of the child’s DNA to act as a template for the growth process.

These CHILDREN are specially conditioned and trained to operate their machines at optimum efficiency. Each individual CHILDREN is trained and conditioned to pilot, and to believe that they enjoy piloting. This is performed through natural positive reinforcement, by a GUARDIAN figure who provides care and affection in loco parentis. As each CHILDREN has no mother figure, a female GUARDIAN is appointed, with the intention that the GUARDIAN become a maternal figure to the CHILDREN, who will strive to please her and earn her affection and favour. The GUARDIAN will supply care and attention to the CHILDREN for positive actions, such as Piloting in combat, improving their duty skills or succeed in their tasks. The GUARDIAN withdraws affection for failures, incorrect actions, or a refusal to Pilot.

Furthermore, The act of synchronising with an EVANGELION acts in a similar manner to a strong opiate on the CHILDREN’s brain, further reinforcing the idea that synchronisation and combat are ‘Good Things’, while creating a chemical dependency on synchronisation. After only a few months, CHILDREN become physically addicted to piloting.

The CHILDREN’s biochemistry is slowly changed to match that of their EVANGELION over their initial training period through a regime of drugs and steroids ostensibly intended to improve their physical condition. These changes allow for the use of EVANGELION derived spare parts should a CHILDREN ever be wounded.

It must be remembered at all times that these are not children anymore. Their only purpose in life from their birth has been to act as the CORE of the EVANGELION combat system. They are tools and components to ensure humanities survival, no different from a rifle or missile. Quality of life of the CHILDREN is of secondary importance to retaining their ability to function as CORE and PILOT.

Following the defeat of the ANGELS, a human-controlled THIRD IMPACT can be triggered using NINTU, in accordance with the scenario described the DEAD SEA SCROLLS. The Apotheosis of mankind is nigh.
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:11 am

Finally updated for reading and reviewing pleasure.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3322840/11/
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Sock
Embryo
Age: 35
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 01, 2010
Location: Arlington VA
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Sock » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:35 am

I actually learned about this story from browsing TV Tropes's Self-Insert page, and it's little line about how so many EVA SIs were gender flipped. My previous experiences with SIs being from old MSTs, I was mildly curious and checked it out.

It would be an understatement to say that the quality of this fic shocked me. I've been lurking these boards for a while, but reading this story was the straw that made me register for an account so I could gush about how much I enjoyed this story. Your SI is amazingly interesting, and outright adorable at times. She fits as well with the cast as chocolate does with peanut butter, and it feels so seamless that I nearly forgot that she wasn't a normal part of the EVA cast.

This really was a joy to read, and I'm looking forward to reading more of it, if you actually feel like writing another chapter, of course. Also, I heard that this version of your story is a rewrite, but I can't find anything about the original version. Would you mind me asking for a copy of that? Thank you for your time.

Sidenote: I personally don't know why this story doesn't have it;s own trope page. It really deserves it.
This is a signature.

soul.assassin
Geezer of All Trades
Geezer of All Trades
User avatar
Age: 45
Posts: 4884
Joined: Feb 26, 2010
Location: Anywhere
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby soul.assassin » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:26 am

View Original PostSock wrote:I actually learned about this story from browsing TV Tropes's Self-Insert page, and it's little line about how so many EVA SIs were gender flipped. My previous experiences with SIs being from old MSTs, I was mildly curious and checked it out.

It would be an understatement to say that the quality of this fic shocked me. I've been lurking these boards for a while, but reading this story was the straw that made me register for an account so I could gush about how much I enjoyed this story. Your SI is amazingly interesting, and outright adorable at times. She fits as well with the cast as chocolate does with peanut butter, and it feels so seamless that I nearly forgot that she wasn't a normal part of the EVA cast.

This really was a joy to read, and I'm looking forward to reading more of it, if you actually feel like writing another chapter, of course. Also, I heard that this version of your story is a rewrite, but I can't find anything about the original version. Would you mind me asking for a copy of that? Thank you for your time.

Sidenote: I personally don't know why this story doesn't have it;s own trope page. It really deserves it.


IMHO, I take the Evafic recs section at TVTropes with a pinch of salt.

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:26 pm

View Original Postsoul.assassin wrote:IMHO, I take the Evafic recs section at TVTropes with a pinch of salt.


Indeed. You also got to take into account who's doing the reviewing and what the comments actually say.




Sock... I'm glad you liked it. Though I'm not sure I've ever heard Noriko described as 'adorable' before. Well, I suppose she was always meant to be Asuka's opposite... in a way.

I'm still not sure why Noriko fits so well... maybe because she reacts and changes based on what the other characters do around her, unlike traditional SI's which just plain act and try to change everyone else according to whim.


Tropes page... I dunno. Maybe because no tropers who usually create fic pages like it enough to bother creating one.

I pulled the original version because it reveals the plot-twist I'm working towards. And since I was starting to crank that up more and more lately and begin to work towards it, I didn't want people to read it and figure out what's actually happening far too soon.

That'd ruin the fun.
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Sock
Embryo
Age: 35
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 01, 2010
Location: Arlington VA
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Sock » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:18 pm

View Original PostDartz wrote:Indeed. You also got to take into account who's doing the reviewing and what the comments actually say.


Don't get me wrong, I normally don't take TV Trope's gushing very seriously. Infact, that particular site's gushing actually turned me off to a good deal of fanfics, TV shows, and the word "awesome". I mainly go there to read through the Darth Wiki, which I find strangely entertaining. What got me to read this story was the strange premise more than anything else. It kind of reminded me of some old Ranma fics I read, so I thought I'd give it a shot.



Tropes page... I dunno. Maybe because no tropers who usually create fic pages like it enough to bother creating one.



That is a bit of a shame, since I think this story deserves the attention. Though, I doubt I'd be able to properly write one myself, not only because I don't have a TV tropes account, but I'm not sure I could write an entry without sounding too gushy. The last thing I want is for someone to write this fic off because it's info page reads like the ramblings of a hyper-active fanboy, like so many entries there.


I pulled the original version because it reveals the plot-twist I'm working towards. And since I was starting to crank that up more and more lately and begin to work towards it, I didn't want people to read it and figure out what's actually happening far too soon.

That'd ruin the fun.


Understood. I'll just be patient and wait for the next chapter.
This is a signature.

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:17 pm

Argh. Had a hell of a time trying to start this chapter because the last one didn't really end in a way I'd expected.

Getting up in the morning on Sunday was great.

I felt…normal.

I found it hard to think of any other way to describe it. I went through my usual routine, as if I’d been doing it my entire life. The reflection in the mirror had long stopped being alien, but now I felt I was actually looking at myself.

The dark-haired girl smiled back at me.

A pang of regret hit deep. There was a time when this had been my nightmare, I knew. I’d changed. I changed yesterday.

“I am myself,” I said to her. “And myself is always changing,”

Humans are not static creatures. Our likes and dislikes change as we move forward through life. The elements that define us change from minute to minute. Maybe I could argue that the self is the whole continuity of these changes, rather than just a snapshot in time at one moment.

All that continuity still remains a part of me. Everything I am still flows from it. I’ve changed so much, especially in body, but the lineage of self still holds. Noriko’s memories and ideas add more to the self, more changes.

But I’m losing nothing. I’m just gaining more changes. I may have journeyed across time, space and the vast ocean between genders, but the self remains the same across all.

Does that make sense?

The girl in the mirror just gave a puzzled shrug. Philosophy wasn’t my strong point. Something about all that made sense, but not in a way I could write a long essay about.

Yesterday was the day I finally crossed the female even horizon. The wiring upstairs now matched the plumbing downstairs. I’d expected it to be a moment of ultimate despair. A resignation or a surrender. A moment to be spent sobbing in a pillow or rocking myself back and forward in a ball of bawling angst.

That was the Evangelion way, after all.

Instead. I took the psychological equivalent of a step forward. It was an acceptance, an affirmation of being. I stopped, thought about it, and concluded that it was okay for me to be a girl, that I wasn’t going to lose myself to my body, that the self was dynamic and changing.

Or something.

Something good.

I watched the girl in the mirror dress herself for her morning run. I was her. I would be her for the rest of her life. Hiroki Nagato was my Father. Megumi Nagato was my mother. Biologically.

And so were my original parents. On that thought, I snapped the bracelet into it’s proper place on my wrist.

On a whim, thinking back to the Noriko figure, I found a strip of cloth and used it to tie my hair back, Takaya style. Dressed in my normal sportswear, I struck a pose in front of the mirror, crossing my arms under my chest with my bare feet planted far apart.

The image of a strong, athletic young woman smirked back at me. I’d known I was a good looker, but now I felt it. Like Asuka and Rei, I had a body most girls my age would kill for. I allowed myself a few narcissistic moments, admiring my figure in the mirror. Every little synapse assured that this was my body, this was the person I was supposed to be.

Asuka slept in on Sundays, so I had plenty of time for a little self-service fanservice. The wholesome, confidence boosting and self-affirming kind.

I heard Misato come home from her night’s work, keeping quiet so as not to wake anyone. I heard Pen-Pen waddle out to meet his master. I could hear her coo and cuddle the bird like a favourite toddler.

Figuring she’d need the bathroom soon enough… I finished up and stepped outside.

“Morning,”

She looked at me through bleary eyes, pushing a few ragged strands of hair off of her face.

“‘night,” she slurred, her brain already nestled into her bed

One thing.

“Misato,”

“Huh,” she turned back to me.

“Last week. You were right,” I smiled.

She looked at me, trying to figure out what I was talking about “Oh yeah,” it clicked. “Told you so,”

I had a starchy breakfast with orange juice, before setting off for my morning run. Tokyo-3 early in the morning was almost pleasantly cool. The concrete jungle that normally blistered with heat was still absorbing the morning sun’s rays.

Cartridges bigger than myself were being loaded into one of the tower blocks by a pair of mobile cranes. Another whole building was being carefully lowered into it's socket in the ground, work crews carefully guiding into place. Mechanisms engaged, and the stiff, erect tower slid down into its snug socket.

I ran on, heading downtown towards the lake Ashi.

This was my life now, for the rest of my life. And I actually felt good about it. Until I recalled that, if some people had their way, it wasn't going to be a very long life.

I grimaced, trying to push Third Impact out of my mind. Besides, all I had to do to stop it was beat the harpies that started it. Not hard. Crush the entry plug, crush the core. Game over. Asuka nearly had them beat on her own, didn't she?

I put it out of my mind.

I felt too good to let that get me down.

It was funny though, how quickly this had actually happened. Less than two months. While it wasn't quite the 'splort followed by sex' approach taken by so many crappy wish-fulfilment web stories... it was a hell of a lot faster than I'd expected.

Anything sensible I'd looked up, told me it shouldn't have been this easy. To suddenly find yourself in another body, different from the one every spark of your being told you it was... it should've been a hell of a lot more fucked up.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure whether it was a good thing or not that it was so quick. At least I'd been spared the unique hell of spending the rest of my life in a body that most definitely wasn't mine.

That, I could be grateful for.

I guess, I was just disappointed that I didn't put up more of a fight. But biology was an irresistible force.

And what next?

Over the next few weeks or months, Noriko's memory would start to return and mingle with my own. That much was inevitable. I'd remember my friends and hers. I'd remember her parents... her father and mother.

I'd finally realise that they are dead... that I really was an orphan, not just in the way I liked to joke about. When I realised that I really had no-one in this world to turn to, that both my parents were dead and that I'd never see or talk to any of them ever again I'd...

Crap.

I shot that down quickly.

Couple that with the traditional growing pains of the teenage girl. God help me I was already wondering if I had feelings about Shinji, and what exactly they were.

Going through puberty again was going to suck.

Mattariel's remains blocked my usual route... the whole lot was hidden under a prefabricated building while it was torn apart. Another shot of pride sent me running on down to the lake again.

I wasn't just a teenaged girl. I was an EVA Pilot. The very best that humanity has to offer, standing between mankind and oblivion. One of the few upon whom the fate of so many depend... to paraphrase.

And I was allowed to be proud of myself for that. I was allowed to enjoy that. I was allowed to be proud of my running ability, and my maths. I was allowed to at least try and be more self confident. I was allowed to like myself.

And I did.

I didn't like myself because I'd been turned into a girl... don't get me wrong. None of the things I liked about myself were exclusive to the female species. Being an EVA pilot wasn't, that was a function of parenthood. Being an athlete wasn't, that was just training and little dedication on Noriko's part that I'd taken up. Physics and mathematics was something I'd learned, that was just study and time.

And yes, there were things I liked about being a young woman, the exact same as there were things I did like... and missed quite a bit... about being my old self

I smiled. I'm on a psychological roll, amn't I?

I made it to the lake shore, pausing to rest for a few minutes. A soft mist clung to the water, steadily burning off as the pirate boat was beginning it's first tourist run of the day. The black crater blown into one side of Mt Futago sparkled as the sunlight played off a million little glass shards formed as rock melted by Ramiel's blast flash-cooled.

Futagite was a popular souvenir, sold in the old city. Mildy radioactive thanks to NIGA, and with a unique marbled pattern thanks to the various minerals in the soil... it was actually quite beautiful.. Most fluoresced green in the dark, thanks to all the depleted uranium dropped into the soil.

The lake was mostly sterile and birds had long since picked off the remains which had washed up. Cicada’s made their presence known solely by the irritating sound they made, while a few rabbits hopped lazily around a clutch of shrubs… sniffing sightlessly as they went about their daily business. One of them nudged at a tarnished shell casing lying beside its burrow, wondering if something inside was edible. Most rabbits in Tokyo-3 were blind… thanks to UN tank crews mucking about with laser rangefinders. It didn’t seem to bother them much.

I turned back to the apartment. The fortress city of Tokyo-3 was waking up too, a few little human touches unfurling like morning flowers in the cracks between the brutal concrete towers. A line of washing shared space with an Evangelion power point.

At street level, colourful shopfronts started to open up for business. A yellow vespa parked up outside a bakery. A model shop offered unofficial garage kits of the EVA's, with posters in the window. I made a note to buy them some day, when they had their Unit 03 finished. There was this weird little frog thing on the footpath outside an apartment building that looked like an idol of Keroru Gunso. Another building beside it had had it’s top cut clean off.

A few more people appeared. Joggers who had no idea who I was. The odd NERV employee who did waved. I smiled back, appreciating the gesture. A balding old chef swept his restaurant entrance beneath a dirty old pelican mounted on a scaffold.

The poor sods who had Sunday jobs set off to work, some cycling, some walking, some driving jealously maintained pre-impact cars while others had to make do with the traditional post-impact tin box. Public transport was popular for a reason.

An electronics shop was busy showing the morning news on a wall of cheap TV's. It was a story about the oceans or something... a whale was involved.

The city was so much nicer when it was lived in, rather than being a concrete wasteland with a few artificially placed trees. The little touches of humanity made it feel far more welcoming. It was a place where people lived, rather than a setting for a mecha animé.

It was the only home I had.

I kept running, finally starting to feel a little tired. Section two followed from within a blacked out Toyota. I caught my reflection in some glass.

My perspective on myself had changed so much, but the world and the people around it still seemed the exact same. How was that going to change? Changes in myself would naturally bring about changes in how I felt about the world, and how I interacted with it.

It was on one level, fascinating. On another, terrifying.

It was already happening. When I saw Hikari running errands with her sister, I saw ‘just another girl’. The same as me. I waved to her from across the road, and she waved back.

There were other things too. Five kilometres had gone from a long walk, to an easy run. I defaulted to taking the stairs where possible.

My definition of ‘tall’ had changed a bit. Misato was now ‘tall’, Misato was also about a hundred and sixty centimetres. I used to be nearly thirty centimetres taller than her.

The pilots where all under one-fifty including me, and I was the eldest and tallest. That was the legacy of being born after Second Impact. Which made it all the more remarkable that I could run like a cat on fire.

And remarkably, I saw myself as being the child born after Second Impact.

That’s who I was.

That was me.

I made it back to the apartment block fresh enough to run all the way up ten floors, then finish with a rake of pushups and situps followed by a few light cooldown exercises. I bounced at the apartment door, triggering a slight Gainax jiggle before sliding my card-key through the slot.

I remembered sitting in Misato’s car, fresh out of the hospital, and just how alien and wrong that bounce had felt. Now it was just annoying… perfectly natural, but still annoying.

The door opened with a whirr, and I stepped inside. The radio was playing cheery pop-music in the kitchen, while I undid the laces on my boots.

“I’m home,” I called out.

“Welcome home,” Shinji’s voice came back. Of course, who else listens to that station?

He was reading a Manga while he ate his breakfast at the table… still in his sleeping shorts and t-shirt. What was that he was reading?

He snapped it shut and blushed red. “Morning Noriko,”

Something embarrassing. It was hard not to start giggling.

“Morning Shinji,” I responded with a cheerful smile.

He very carefully hid the manga under one of his hands in a manner he’d hoped would be utterly unnoticeable, but only ended up drawing attention to it. I remembered being in the same position more than once myself, so I just ignored it.

I watched his eyes, run down from my face, along my body before stopping at my backside for half a second. The boy gulped, and looked down at his bowl of miso…

A giddy thrill shot through me… he’d been checking me out. Followed by a rush of nervous nausea… and I’d found it exciting.

“Soup in pot?”

“Unh,” he nodded.

He was there behind me. Shinji the boy. Noriko the girl. I glanced back at him… he was quietly hiding the book, keeping an eye on me to make sure I wasn’t keeping an eye on him. He fumbled and dropped it on the floor with a yelp of fright.

I chuckled lightly to myself.

He frowned.

I could feel that same tension building in my body, that same tightness across my heart being chased up by the same fear that always followed. I am a girl it’s okay for me to be attracted to Shinji, I tried to tell myself… but I just couldn’t believe it.

The idea of finding Shinji attractive….

Of kissing him on his moist lips…

Of taking his clothes off and pressing his body against mine, both of us hot and ready.

It thrilled me. It scared the ever loving crap out of me. It disgusted me to the point that it turned my stomach in sickening loops. In a weird way, it was even reassuring… there were still some final taboos.

Or were they just the natural anxieties of a teenaged girl?

I sat opposite Shinji, still coated with sweat, sipping away at the Miso. Shinji looked up at me, then looked down at his breakfast, then up at me…. Then down. Then up. Like playing paddleball in his mind. He opened his mouth. Closed it. Looked down again. Looked up once more. Opened his mouth.

Whatever he was trying to say, it was just dying in his throat.

I figured it out. “Oh… sorry. I need shower,”

“No, no!” he waved his hands, “It’s just….” He looked at his shadow in the soup, shamefaced. ….”You seem different,”

“Huh?” I blinked.

“Since yesterday, you seem more relaxed,”

I winced. If Mister too dense to realise how bad Asuka was crushing on him could figure that out?

“Not in a bad way,” he reassured me, “It's just…you seemed so uncomfortable yesterday when you left the school.”

He was worried about me. It was warming, in a strange way.

“My memory,” I half-lied, “Come back. Was a bit shock... but I feel good now,”

“Oh.” A pause. “I don't know how you three can be so strong,” he said. “Asuka, Rei and you... you take it all in your stride,”

A week ago, more or less, I'd been sitting in a heap on the bathroom floor bawling my eyes out for my lost self identity while Misato comforted me.

I shook my head softly, “I do not.”

“But on Thursday... you seemed so confident, so calm”

No I wasn't. I glanced down into my soup, feeling a little ashamed.

“How you feel?”

He blushed again, nervously looking away from me for a moment.

“Scared,” he said, before locking his grey eyes with mine. “That I might make a mistake and get someone killed. That, because of me, everyone might die,” His shoulders dropped beneath the weight of it.

I wanted to tell him how it was perfectly natural for him to feel afraid, how I felt the exact same way, how I was stunned to find that I'd actually come across as in any-way courageous when I was just following my training and trying my damnedest not to fuck up, and that from my perspective he probably seemed just as courageous and assured in the cockpit to me as I did to him.

But, frustratingly, I hadn't a hope of being able to say that.

All I could say was a quiet “Me too,”

“Really?” he blurted out. “But I thought you liked piloting.”

“I do,” I nodded, feeling a familiar tightness grip my body “But still terrified I make mistake,”

The boy smiled lightly at me. That tightness turned to a sickening flutter. I forced myself not to lick my lips as they turned bone-dry... just in case he got the wrong idea. Another part of me started to wonder what his leg might feel like if I just brushed my own against his.

I snapped my gaze away, focusing in on the radio.

“Beatiful Boy,” it sang. “jibun no utsukushisa, mada shiranai no”

I grimaced at its treason, hoping that the song would be interrupted. No such luck, Utada Hikaru just kept on singing.

He looked up at me, wondering just what my problem was.

“It's only love” The radio continued. “nete mo samete mo shounen manga
yume mite bakka, jibun ga suki janai no”
Oh for God's sakes. It's not love. It's annoying.

“What?” Shinji wondered if it was something he'd done.

“I have to shower,” I stated, jumping to my feet. More like I had to get out there before I said something or did something to give him to wrong idea.

The boy watched me practically run to the bathroom, still trying to figure out just what the hell had happened.

I sighed, “I’m being an idiot, amn’t I?”

The reflection in the mirror didn’t answer. But, I had enough self-awareness to at least know what I was doing looked like. I knew what answer Kensuke would give him, if he ever asked. ‘Noriko is tsundere for you Shinji, just like (character) in (animé)’.

No, I’m not. I’m just acting like a child. I’m acting like a normal, ordinary teenage girl. That thought made me chuckle in the shower. Just an ordinary teenage girl, with ordinary teenaged insecurities.

With Asuka sleeping in on Sundays, I had time to enjoy myself and get all nice and clean. I think I figured out the trick to all the shampoos and things. I used the ones that smelled nice, having no idea what they actually did.

Shinji had his book again as I padded past with a towel around my body. Then hid his gaze just as quick. I hurried in to where Asuka was still sleeping, dead to the world on her bed. She was lying on her back, red hair splayed across her pillow.

A flash of memory sent a chill down my spine.

End of Evangelion. I really didn't want to think about that right now. I was in too good a mood. I dressed myself, shuffling into a fresh set of clothes. My taste in fashion hadn't changed.

I left Sorhyu still slumbering, the girl mumbling to herself. Sunday morning animé beckoned. I slid the door shut behind me.

“I guess you expect me to wash your training stuff again,” Shinji said with a bitter resignation.

I smiled shamefully at him, “I not know how,”

His expression soured, “How can you not know how to wash your own clothes?”

Too lazy to bother.

“Never done it. And you make...um... good fabric soften,”

His eyes narrowed.

“Fine....”

I probably should’ve felt guilty, but I didn’t. I sat myself down on the couch and soaked up some post-impact animated culture. Mostly re-runs… one of which caught my attention.

A mixture of Yuusha Raideen, Space Runaway Ideon and Macross, washed through Babylonian Mythology and Snow Crash, Blu Aru was to giant robot shows, what Twin Peaks was to a cop show. Something about it seemed disturbingly familiar, and yet… completely and utterly different.

I promised myself I’d download it when I got the chance, or maybe borrow the boxed set I’d seen at the school club.

Like all mecha animé these days, it was followed by a NERV recruitment ad. It asked, what are you doing for the human race? A nice quick injection of pride. I was an Eva Pilot. I saved the world. I was the pointy end of a really long spear made up of all those people giving everything they could, just to get the Evangelion to a point where I might be able to fight with it.

I was probably overdoing it.

With the washing on, Shinji slipped into the bathroom… hoping to get washed and dressed before Asuka finally awoke. From what I guessed, it was something of a passive game of chicken. How long could he leave it, so that he could finish and be done before she was out of bed? How long could he stay in there?

I could hear Sorhyu start to stir. The shower had only stopped for about a minute, Shinji was either brushing his teeth, or shaving. I started to hope Asuka would be awake before he was done.... if only for the entertainment value.

I mused to myself, since when did I become so evil?

It must've been something rubbing off from Misato. Dissapointingly, Shinji won the race, emerging with a towel wrapped around his waist, and a few spots of shaving foam under his ear... and on his leg.

“What?” he questioned.

“Nothing,”

Just a little dissappointed, was all.


That's about all so far.

Plans for this chapter:

There's some more slice of life stuff... including an aspect of Noriko's characted I'd intended to bring up at the end of the last chapter, and Misato criticising her for it. (In relation to homework).

Noriko meeting with Haruhi again, who''se been excited by the fact that all the fluff Noriko wrote was hacked and her server completely erased by 'parties unknown'. Which means all the stuff Noriko wrote must be true. Noriko warns her that she'll dissapear into the Tokyo night and fog if she pursues... rather jokingly.

Runup to the tenth Angel. Noriko does rather poorly in school, compared to the other pilots. It's another rainy day, and Noriko's finally able to have a harmonics test with the simulator system, since the data finally came in from Worcester. Noriko recognises the argument between Asuka and Shinji afterward.

The party scene follows. A scene with some stupid 'Angel Cards' foreshadows the future. Drunken EVA pilots, a game of truth or dare spurred on by Noriko, remembering a fanfic. The first inklings of a pairing fic. And Misato getting royally pissed at them for showing her up. Hangover day, After only two cans?

Angel attack. This time show the launch proceedures.... from the pilots getting alerted in class, through a race through the city. Through one of Shaquiel's first shots hitting land a bout 50 kilometres away. we get a very big bang. A couple of thousand people just got killed. (Note: Look closely at the episode, Sahaquiel does make a big crater on land before it drops, and that area is populated)

It's all very hurried until they get to the briefing room. Noriko's feeling a little cocky after the last battle, and takes the time to quote Gurren Lagaan when she finds out that the chance of beating the Angel isn't zero. And a character moment for Asuka...

Also a hurry up and wait moment. After the rush to get them to their Eva's, the pilots are left sitting with nothing to do.

Until a contact appears through the EM interferance. Multiple discreeting small contacts. Misato triggers NERV's secret never before mentioned Anti-ballistic missile defence system on the top of three mountains, and the whole lot get's blown down out of the sky.

Unfortunately... Sahaquiel's still orbiting... he'll be back in about 90 minutes. They've got nothing that'll get 400km up and they're fresh out of defense missiles.... Noriko is 'disturbed' that this wasn't in the show.

Sahaquiel is orbiting, and taking pot shots from an invulnerable altitude. Noriko needs a challenge...even a mental one.

And it'll take three days to modify enough megaton missiles to detonate in space and take out Sahaquiel., and get authorisation to actually use a weapon of mass destruction. Too bad NERV's ammunition is going to last 2.

And that's where I'll probably cut it, depending on length. Seems okay. And yes, that is a deliberate quote of the TvTropes article on Evangelion.... which tells you exactly what sort of show Blu Aru is. And probably who directed it. And what year it came out.....
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:54 pm

Not that anyone here reads this.... but I got bored and wrote out part of what might possibly be an epilogue for this. Needless to say,, there's some major spoilers in there. It's been written ten years after the fact. With deliberate untruths, coverups and stuff Noriko just "doesn't want to talk about" ommitted.

Based on something else I'm working on, that's actually rather unrelated.

Might be a little *too* depressing mind. Maybe a start of darkness for a Bond Villain with more depth than "For the evulz".

SPOILER: Show
They selected me as a pilot, straight out of the hospital. I was still dazed and disorientated... still unsure of who I was, and I was being told that I would be the person standing between all humanity and annihilation. The pointy end of a long spear, made up of many millions of people giving their level best to ensure that humanity would prevail... that there would be one more generation after this one. That we would not just wink out into darkness.

It was the truth, and it fired me up. In the entry plug of a ten-thousand ton God-machine, I felt strong and confident. I felt that no matter what happened to the little toy tanks on the ground, I was safe and secure. And I could take the angels on face to face. It was my own personal giant robot animé and I revelled in it.

The saying at the time was that Science Division declared something impossible. Operations Division did it anyway. Really... it seemed like there was nothing we couldn't do. We wired all of Japan's electricity into one big cannon... in less thn 12 hours. We held out for 3 days against the tenth.

Then Hikari died, and that changed everything. She was 14, just like me. She had a boyfriend. She had a plan for the future. She was my friend even at school.... the sweetest person you'd ever meet, with a wonderful commanding streak that only came out in class. She could've been a teacher... or anything. Instead, the called her to the principals office, and told her that she would be one of the heroes between humanity and extinction.

Of course she accepted.

Her Eva... 05... was invaded by the 13th Angel. It was corrupted and co-opted into a horrific, out of control monstrousity of a thing and she was trapped inside. The rest of us... we did everything to save her... everything. And we failed. The Angel-Eva kicked our asses and then some.

Then it exploded.

Hikari had been watching the whole battle unfold. She saw us try and fail. She knew what would happen if the Angel made it to Tokyo-3 alive. She pulled the self-destruct handle. A fourteen year old child chose to give her life to the world. It didn't hit me that she was really dead until her boyfriend called the apartment, asking if anything had happened to her.

All her hopes. All her dreams. All that future she had laid out before her. It was all gone and it wasn't coming back. She gave it all up, so that we could have ours.

What Kaji told me, after the 14th, was that we inherit the will of the dead. Of all those who died so that we live today. All those in the Second Impact, drowned, incinerated, starved, sickened or just plain vanished in the chaos. All those soldiers who stood their ground, futilly firing at the Angels, hoping to delay the monster for that one critical second upon which the fate of the world might hinge.

We inherit their will, their hopes and their dreams, and mix them with ours. Their hopes for us to stay alive, for humanity to prevail. That's our duty as the survivors... to live enough for the dead.

I tried.

We beat the Angels. We lost Kawaoru to the final Angel. We lost Rei to a JSSDF assault on the base, triggered by Seele. They told the Japanese government we were trying to trigger Third Impact. That was Seele's plan... and they needed us out of the way to do it.

Tens of thousands died.

In my Eva. I killed thousands, to keep them from triggering Third Impact. I was fifteen when I rationalised it to myself... If they won. If they took down NERV, then.... then everybody would die. They were doing no wrong.... men with families. Children. Their own future. Their only crime was that they'd been lied to by the real villains, and I killed them. Humanity had to survive.

Step. Crunch. Bang. Dead. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. God help me it felt like a videogame at the time

It was a tragedy and it wasn't our fault. If we'd let them win, we'd be all dead now. Instead they're dead and we're alive. We were the heroes who saved the world! Legends who'd go down history. The seven children who saved all mankind, and the three who didn't live to see it.

Now what? With the threat gone and mankind safe... the grand world alliances started to fall apart. With no common enemy to fight, they just got back to their old rivalries. Qusay invaded Kuwait again...anything my father can do, I can do better! Threatening to sweep into the surrounding Arabian kingdoms. Threatening to bring down the UN supply of oil.

They told us to get ready. That we were needed once more to save the world and humanity for the threat of an Iraqi dictator and his massed tank armies. We'd be heroes again, defending the freedom of the innocent from their malignant oppressors.

I was 16.

And I believed them. It was good. It was right. Freedom was the right of all humans and the UN brought freedom.

They pointed me at the Republican Guard. Gave me Pallet rifles. Gave me ammunition. Told me to go for a stroll when it all ran out. Hammurabi division was destroyed within five minutes. Over ten thousand men, squashed and blown out of existance. The news-people called it the highway of death.

The war lasted all of five minutes. The Iraqi army took one look at what we'd done and shat themselves a collective brick. They just gave up. No more fighting.

But... what threat where these men to humanity? What world-ending danger did they represent? Nothing more than a spitting spark in a madman's brushfire war that would've been left to gutter and die on it's own.

Except. Where does the world's oil come from?

They told us we were fighting for freedom. We were fighting for a twenty dollar barrel of oil. I murdered ten thousand men.... for cheap fucking fuel. But... I was 16. I was just following my bloody orders.

And I only realised how wrong that was, after the fact. It's no excuse and I know it. I should've figured it out. I should've known. Instead I let them use me as a weapon of mass destruction just to solve their own petty arguments. Thousands dead and their blood on my hands because I didn't know to say no.

And these same men who made me a mass murderer, now want their own Evangelion? These same people want me to turn over the Evangelion to them. Too much power for a private organisation! Only the Governments should have them! Only we are responsible! We can defend the world from within the United Nations of all people. No private company has need of such a terrible weapons. Just take our hands and we'll take care of you.

They can fuck off.

Who was it that gave the order to use them in Iraq against tanks? Who was it that unleashed all that God-awful power? Who was it that pushed the button after Second Impact? The same Seven security council delegates who right now, are building their own Evangelion programs and who want us to turn over ours in to their loving care.

It's well that they're so expensive to build, and difficult to get right.

it may be there's no God left in the world capable of forgiving me. It may be, I don't deserve to be forgiven.

But the least I can do... is do my damnedest to make sure that it never happens again.

We inherit the will of the dead. The will to survive... the will for there to be a future... and I'm fighting for that future. For Hikari, Rei, all those who died to get me here. All those killed. I stand for them every day.

This is my duty to the dead.


--Colonel Nagato. Operations Director. NERV HQ. 2025.


NERV Operations Director: Massacring JSSDF soldiers, 'Felt like Videogame'
--Headline, Tokyo Sun times, three days later.
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:03 pm

Since I can't delete my last post.

Been mucking around with something for this, and I want to be sure that it at least makes some sense. If anyone here's reading it... what do ye think?

“I’m Kawaoru.” Kawaoru said. “All of him.”

“Huh?”

“The Kawaoru you know is a three dimensional reflection of me, existing in a form compatible with lilin consciousness. The Angels exist wholly in a dimension beyond human consciousness, what you would know as the Fifth Dimension. Metaphysics calls it the Room of Gauf.”

Again “Huh?”

The world disappeared. Kawaoru held up a piece of paper and drew a dot on it.

“This is a point. It has no height, no width , depth or concept of time. It just is.”

“Right, right.” I got it.

“ Now… add a second point. “ he drew another dot, “And fill in the line between them. That line between points is the first dimension. It has length… and only length.”

“The X direction. Right? “ I see where this is going, “With Y and Z as the second and third dimensions, and the Fourth being time.”

“Yes,” he smiled at me, “But for now lets just stay in two dimensions. Imagine somebody who lives solely in the second dimension. They have length and width, but no height… this stick figure”… he drew a simple humanoid shape. “If he were to encounter a 3 dimensional object, what would he see?”

“Slices in two dimensions as the object transects his home plane.”

Now I knew where this was going, I could begin to sound like something more than a child receiving a lecture.

“Yes. And if he were to move anywhere? “

“He cold only move along an X’Y plane.”

“Now, what happens if we fold his two-dimensional plane in the third dimension like so,” He twisted the paper once, then took both ends so they joined up. “Now watch. Imagine the two dimensional man walking along this path.” He drew a line starting at the split…

“It’s a moebius strip.” I said, “He can move in the second dimension and never reverse his direction, but still end up back where he started, because he’s been moved in the third dimension, and isn’t aware of it.”

“Precisely.” He smiled… perhaps a little surprise. “Now look up,”

I saw him and myself. A dark haired girl who just looked like she realised something profound, standing beside another Kawaoru

“What the?”

“So you understand?” alt-Kawaoru said.

“I do,” alt-me answered. “But that’s just…weird.” She shuddered.

“Follow me,” the Kawaoru beside me directed, tugging me gently by the shoulder. I think I knew where this was going…

We walked while he talked.

“Imagine what would happen then to those who can only perceive in three dimensions, moving forward in their own dimension, who’s path is then moved within the Fourth Dimension. They themselves will not be aware of it. To them, all they see is the snapshot of the Fourth Dimension which transects the planes of the Third Dimension they perceive… the ‘now’. Now would they notice if the Fourth dimension were looped back in it’s own moebius strip? As creatures they could keep moving forward, but still end up at the same startpoint over and over again.”

I had a horrible feeling about where this was going.

“On a larger scale, this is what happens to the world. Each Third Impact is like the tape binding the moebius strip together in time. It’s a crash in the universe triggered by the sudden absence a recurrence of sapient awareness. Those living on the strip can’t tell this is happening, they just feel themselves moving forwards, even though they may be treading over the same basic therritory.”

The flaw was obvious, “But I remember seeing myself in the future…” err.. “Past. Whatever?”

“Yes, you do. Because you retain your self awareness throughout the entire trip. Third Impact doesn’t just destroy the lilin. The end of each cycle destroys the evidence that it ever existed in the first place, while laying the foundations for the next to begin.”

Ends with the Third… begins with the two. Third Impact, and Shinji and Asuka on the beach doing an Adam and Eve. A little more thought on the whole creation myth and suddenly the expulsion from paradise began to make a lot more sense.

The juice left over from Third Impact was an Eden… and the desire for knowledge, the desire to have a self which could understand right or wrong, led to the expulsion from Eden.

I think…

“Now look up,” a familiar voice said from straight infront of me.

I turned my head, and saw the expression on my own face from a few moments ago. Or right now… or … whatever.

“So now you understand?” Kawaoru beside me asked.

“I do,” I said… then remembered myself saying the exact same words a few minutes before and shuddered as a few sanity points fluttered away on the wind “But that’s just weird,”

“Follow me,” the Kawaoru beside her directed, tugging her gently by the shoulder. I think I knew where she was going…

But didn’t we already go there? And then they’d come around and see the exact same thing, and another cycle would start over…. And… my head started to hurt.

“Okay… I understand that we’re looping around in a cycle. But how do we break the cycle?”

“A system will continue in motion unless an external force acts upon it.” he repeated something I remember him saying “By knowing it exists, we can try find a route that steps off.”

He turned left and I followed him.

“So then… why me?”

“Because I am an Angel” As if that explained everything. “Lets go back to our dimensions. Think of yourself and all the three dimensions you exist in, squished down to a point. Then, think of yourself in ten minutes time, in a different position. Another point. And the line between them would be the Fourth dimension of time. For a being that perceived time above Four dimensions, that’s what you’d look like… a long, amorphous thread, extending from when you came into existence, to when the thread is cut.”

“Timeline?” For some reason , I started to think of reality in terms of derivatives. I perceive a snapshot of the Fourth Dimension delta-t in length, then the Fourth dimension is sort of the integral of the third.

“Lifeline. Everything that you are, where and will be, simultaneously. You are birth, life and death all laid out in the one space. Everything that you are and will be.”

I looked at him fearfully,

“You can see the future,”

“Possibilities.” He said. “That change with every action or thought or decision made by the lilin. I can see you dieing. I can see you living. All along the one lifeline. Decisions made act as branches along the line, forming new lines. These tangle with the lifelines of others out there, forming the tapestry of life. The Fifth Dimension is the summation of all possible lifelines originating from the origin of the universe. The Fifth Dimension is the room of gauf, it is the one where both Angels and Lilin live.”

“But we’re three dimensional”

“Lilin perceive three dimensions but are fundamentally Fifth Dimensional creatures. The fruit of your knowledge allows you to perceive the universe in a way that causes the timeline to exist as perceived. The lilin soul is a functional part of the three dimensional reality, the perception of which gives it form.”

“Eh?”

Okay… now I was confused. The little beachball in m brain was starting to twirl.

“This restricts your immediate perceptions to a single 3 dimensional plane, but the soul… that which you are…intersects each and every possible timeline you are in. And each intersection is it’s own individual person.. some almost imperceptibly different from you and some utterly unrecognisable. The desire for individuality keeps you separate from these selves, it gives them form and shape.”

I think I got that.

“Echoes of different timelines reverberate through a soul. A person who dies in a plane crash in one line, might well have a strange fear of flying in another. A writer might call it his muse which allows him to get into the mind of a serial killer. Thoughts and ideas, half-fragments of memories and ripples of emotion bleed through and then disappear.”

I looked at him, feeling a little cold.

“And in those echoes and fragment are pieces of the previous lines of this world. Now, they are inside you.”
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Alastor
Gaghiel
Gaghiel
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 388
Joined: Mar 26, 2011
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Alastor » Wed May 11, 2011 3:44 am

I read the fic yesterday, expecting 'a snarkable gender flip power fa- holy shit it's actually good.' was my thoughts.
Entertaining, interesting, if boring at times- though that's more of the amount of detailing and my teenage attention span.
"Are you suggesting Toji was nearly killed because his eva had a yeast infection?" - NemZ
"You know...pretty much everybody has a motive to kill Kaji. So let's just take this to it's logical conclusion and say Pen-Pen killed Kaji in a jealous fit of rage over Misato." - Trajan

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Sun May 22, 2011 7:12 pm

Heh.

Having trouble writing it properly right now. Trying to keep it from becoming a snarkable gender bender.

A little world-building. I like world-building.

A world where we are no longer God's children, but his equals. Grown up, standing on our own two legs before him. Our childhood has ended, and he was left us to take responsibility for our world.

Just a little disappointed, was all. I clicked the television over to the morning news. A bunch of covenanters had blocked an EVA lift. God hates NERV, read one sign. Angels are a blessing from God, read another. They learned the hard way that civil rights stopped at the city limits.

Covenanters were a weird crowd, to say the least. The last time they’d appeared on the news, Misato had gone off on ten minute rant that amazed even Asuka. They were the god-botherers who held to the idea that Second Impact was a result of mankind breaking some ancient covenant with God, so the Almighty took the good with him in the raptureous Impact War, then sealed himself in heaven, forever denying Earth his love.

A man-made hell, they called this world.

Of course, according to them, the only way to get back into God’s good graces was to give in to the Angels and let the rest of us be raptured away in Third Impact. God raptures those who rapture themselves. And anyone who got in the way of God’s good works, otherwise known as everyone who disagreed with them, well it was only Christian to rapture them too. They were the biggest threat to us… the Pilots. They were the reason we were followed by a discreet Honda loaded with agents everywhere we went.

The next story on the morning news followed a biosphere reconstruction project along the old Barrier Reef and another on the near completion of the Boston reclamation. The city council election results were out, not that it mattered. Nozomi Takahashi won the window seat with the big pension.

The Ninth Angel was mentioned solely due to it blocking a few main thoroughfares. Attacks by giant aliens had become weirdly routine.

Shinji emerged from his room dressed in shorts and an airy t-shirt that advertised it’s wearer as being a ‘Happy Fun Spirit’. That must be some sort of false advertising…. He sat beside me on the couch, startling me a little.

He was a boy. And I was a girl.... and I was suddenly very aware of that.

“What’s on?”

“The news,” I said, making a conscious effort not to look at him.

“Anything else?”

I changed channel, “Cheeky Angel?” The reason why I watched it was obvious…

He frowned. “No…. something good,”

“Like what?”

“I don't know.”

Typical. People know what they don't want... but never what they do. An awareness of his presence started to filter through my body, muscles tensing up ever so slightly.

He was a boy, and he was sitting beside me. I checked to make sure he wasn't looking at me. Nope. Just watching the box. For some reason, I was fascinated by how smooth his legs were. And how different…

Okay… focus on TV. I changed channel, flicking forward.

“Some gameshow,” The object of which seemed to be avoiding falling in the municipal sewers.

“Ew.” he cringed.

Click.

“Lum the Invader Girl,”

“No,” he sighed as if it really didn't matter.

Right. Nuts to it. We could hop through all ten channels and not find anything he wanted to watch. In fact, I was certain that's what was going to happen, so I just stuck it right back where I started, in time to catch the beginning of Yuusha Strykers.

“I don't like mecha,” the mecha pilot opined.

“I do,” I stated.

And since he'd be unsatisfied no matter what I put on that screen, well, one of us might as well be satisfied.

“I get enough giant robots during the week,”

“I like it. Good show.”

Shinji just pouted it and made it clearly obvious that I was harming his fragile psyche by not putting something else on. He still sat and watched anyway. First time pilot, and classmate of all the others, had decided to sacrifice herself with a dramatic and tear-jerking self-destruct. It was so…cheesy.

“I’m sorry we won’t make it to the lake after all Joe.”

Shinji decided to speak “Why do you like stuff like this? Why do you like piloting Eva?”

“Light No! Think of all we have to live for. We can beat it. We can rescue you. We’ll get you out. Just hold on.”

Didn’t he already ask me that?

“No… I’m already dead. This way, you’ll all live to fight on. What does one life matter when the world is at stake!?”

“Always like Mecha,” I said, “Link to home and.... awesome um.... how do you say? I like technology and machine,”

“unh,” Shinji nodded, “But Eva isn't a TV show, this is real. People really get hurt.”

“Your life matters to me, Light. It matters more than anything in the world”

I could almost have laughed at that. “I know,” I said, keeping my voice soft. “That is not all,”

“Oh?” he pushed ever so slightly for more information, his calm blue eyes asking without pressuring for a response.

“No Joe. It’s to late. Your etha-shield will protect you. Live on Joe… Live on for me,”

“Also. I am proud.”

“It givse your pride?” he clarified. I just nodded. He thought on that for a while, while I thought on him. I could feel my body tensing up, my heart starting to beat ever faster.

I took a long, deep breath and tried to cool myself off.

“I know you hate Eva,” I said, testing the water. He winced a little. “I know you were force...”

“At first. But I chose to pilot again,” he said, his voice firming again.

“Huh?”

“Light!” The TV screamed

Shinji nodded.

“Why?” I asked him, curious.

“I…. “ he paused “Don’t know.”

The mech on television exploded, incinerating the cute, innocent pilot in a flurry of flashback memories, halting at one final lingering shot of her with her boyfriend at the lakeshore, fading into white.

It was cheesy as hell.

“And that’s why I don’t like mecha animé,” Shinji said, quietly. His voice was nearly drowned out by the scream from the TV.

“Cheese?”

“No,” his voice softened.

The animated characters found the body, in the wreckage. Lifesigns negative, followed by manly tears. Next episode preview promised a funeral procession, with the coffin being carried on the back of a transport truck in through streets lined with mourners. Which promptly gets interrupted by the next attack. Can the Strykers get over their sorrow enough to save the world?

Is that why Shinji doesn’t like Mecha?

I still didn’t change the channel. Shinji eventually got fed up and left, getting back to his manga for a few minutes, before arranging to meet Kensuke and Touji. He called them, not the other way around. Motoko was busy with a doctor’s appointment today.

Despite how much I hated using social networks, I left a message wishing her good luck on her DSpora noticeboard using my phone. Then got back to my TV time.

It came to an end as Asuka emerged from our shared bedroom.

“Hey, Perry Rhodan is on the UN Forces channel,” she announced, dropping down onto the couch beside me. As if everyone wanted to watch a German Language program.

Asuka watched it religiously.

I used it as time to take care of some of the paperwork expected of us pilots, noting my diet, some 'personal matters' and my exercise regime down for Akagi's records, before taking care of some technical stuff for Unit 03. I was technically a Lieutenant....an officer, I had to sign off on maintenance logs, read a few reports from my crew chief.....and issue a few orders for work I wanted done.

I didn’t need those stupid carbon shrapnel launchers…. they were only useful for close in stuff, so I gave the order for them to be replaced with a multiple missile launcher system I’d tested out with last weekend. There was also the option to mount a set of braking thrusters, or even a pair of modified Minotaur IV rockets, with the fourth stage replaced by a warhead bus and ten N2 warheads, but that one was on Commander’s orders only, with UNSC approval.

I logged in to the intranet with my laptop, and forwarded the work order to my crew chief, along with some seat adjustments.

Shinji sat quietly beside Asuka.... Why wasn't he complaining about her stupid programs? He probably couldn't even understand it, he was just sitting beside her and....

Oh.

Had that been a flash of Jealousy, Noriko? It can't have been... I have nothing to be jealous about. I'm just annoyed that he isn't complaining about what Asuka's watching.

Because Asuka will just tell him to shut up complaining. He complains to me because he feels safe and comfortable complaining to me.

And that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I chased that feeling away with another wave of disgust. Welcome to puberty, I thought bitterly. If it wasn’t identity and self issues, the sanity monster was going to go after my sexuality next.

Little Noriko’s growing up and becoming a woman.

Bored, and waiting for the response from my crewchief, I overrode the school’s own blocking….they just used their own DNS server so it was a simple matter of pointing it to a free one….and headed out into the wild blue web.

Here also, I could see how my perspective was changing on things. It wasn’t a big thing, like suddenly seeing a picture of muscled man and squeeing or transmuting into a rabid Yaoi fangirl, it was far more subtle than that.

It meant identifying more with the heroine of the webcomic, rather than the hero. It meant looking at her costume and quietly wondering what it might feel like to wear, even if I knew I didn’t really want to. It meant finding the Yuri fanart exciting for entirely different reasons, and quickly skipping on from the more usual lemon in case my mind wandered to places I wasn’t comfortable with it going.

There were other things beyond that which just served to enhance the feeling that myself had really changed. While an argument about what GURPS stats an Evangelion would have proved that I was still myself.

It was fascinating to see what the world at large made of the Evangelions, and how wrong most of them where. There were the usual idiots who claimed to know the ‘truth’ about the pilots with all kinds of weird theories. It was an open secret that we were teenagers attending the local high school.

And going from that, any journalist worth their salt could probably figure out our names, where exactly we lived, nab our pictures and generally put together a reputation building exposé.

NERV kept them quiet by threatening to freeze out any organisation publishing ‘unwanted’ information. They’d get their one big story, but NERV’s PR department would go fully public, and make sure their competitors got the rest.

The only other occasion where NERV would go public with a Pilot’s names, was if one of us was killed in action. I didn’t want to think about that. Nobody died in the original series… not until everybody died anyway. If anyone of us died, it would be my fault.

For a moment, I had the clearest picture of it… of a graveyard so large, I couldn’t see the ends of it. Just uncountable numbers of little black markers and a single tear trickling down Asuka’s cheek while she glared at the casket, as if hoping by sheer force of will that she could bring the body inside it back to life.

Fuyutsuki gave the eulogy, followed by the last post…. And I decided that I really didn’t want to think about it anymore. I checked my mail inbox, and thanked God that my crew chief had sent back his acknowledgement.

I sent that to print, which meant sneaking into Misato’s room to get it out of the printer. Pen-Pen stood guard outside.

“Who goes there?” he warked, standing to attention.

Ignoring him, I slipped into the room. It was a bombsite. It looked like someone’d held a pay-per-view EVA battle inside. Clothes were just dropped on the floor where they’d fallen from her body. I could see the exact sequence in which she’d stripped. Jacket, blouse, skirt, socks, brassiere… panties… and then Misato herself on her bed, lying butt nacked on her back, sprawled across her bedsheets like she’d been shot dead.

I stopped and gawked, feeling a sudden hot rush,

God she was hot!

A small part of me wondered if I wasn’t looking at myself in fifteen years time. An even smaller part was busy wondering if it couldn’t figure out a way to get….closer.

I put it out of my mind and hurried to the printer, getting the sheets, then turned around to leave, carefully threading my way through the mess on the floor. The aim was simple… Don’t wake Misato.

She sat up like a zombie. “Noriko,” she said.

I winced. “Sorry.”

“Tell Shinji not to cook for me, I'll get something at work,”

“Yep,” I answered.

“And Noriko,” she said with a wink and an amused giggle “You might be quiet. But the printer isn't.”

Typical. I hurried out after another apology, sitting back at the computer while I figured out what to do with the rest of my day.

It was strange, even our hobbies helped our ability to pilot. As Ritsuko explained it to me, they reinforced the idea of myself, and who I am. They strengthened the ego border, which meant harmonics and sync tests could be run deeper in the plug where it was easier to syncronise.

There was still something affirming to me about 'debating' online with someone I'd never met over an issue as petty as to whether an Evangelion could lift a Montana class battleship or not.

The television was showing some propaganda cartoon...aren't those yokes great?

I got back to taking care of one other thing I’d been meaning to do. Familiarising myself with history. And not just of the last fifteen years. For some reason , World War Two didn’t end until 1947. Otherwise, things were pretty much the same.

On September 12th, 2000, the world had been carrying on much as it usually did, completely oblivious to what was about to happen. According to Wikipedia, at about 9am GMT, a meteoride of some sort, travelling at about 95% the speed of light decided it’d be a great idea of it ran right into Antarctica.

Scientists theorised that it may have been a supernova cast-off. It hit, dumping gigatonnes of energy into the ice sheet, then on in through the crust. The ice sheet began a fusion reaction within itself….somehow…. most scientists agreeing that it was impossible right up until it happened, even if they couldn’t now figure out how it had happened. The result was that everyone and everything below the 40th parallel was incinerated within a few seconds. With one exception sleeping in the room beside me.

Naturally, this came as something of a surprise to South Africans and Australians… the first inkling they had of a problem was a magnitude 13…. Estimated because no seismograph ever went that high…. Earthquake levelling everything. Less than an hour later, what was left costal cities were obliterated.

It was a shock so vast, it rattled windows in Sweden, and reverberated through the crust for years. Fault lines started to unzip, triggering a series of major Earthquakes, which geologists predicted would continue for at least another thousand years.

Flood waters spread North, inundating the Southern hemisphere quickly. It took days for the full flood to reach Europe, water slowly rising almost like an inexorable tide, rather than the hundred meter wall of water which obliterated Sydney. This was little more than a black tide which swept up across the land, slowly drowning everyone and everything trapped in its path.

Evacuations had begun, but millions were still left behind. In New York, most people evacuated up into the skyscrapers. They became towers of disease and filth as the US Government tried desperately to keep them supplied. The New York airlift was ingrained on the American psyche as an example of tragedy, and triumph in the face of disaster.

With billions of people on the move worldwide, especially in India and Bangladesh, it was only a matter of time before somebody did something stupid. Refugees were streaming north from Indian into Pakistan, somebody in Pakistan objected, and they objected with several hundred kiloton’s of TnT.

India, now confident that they weren’t the ones who started it, quickly responded. And missed so bad they hit China. Who responded and missed so bad they obliterated a good chunk of nothing in the Indian Ocean.

America came charging to the defence of India, and missed…. Most warheads either going off somewhere pointlessly uninhabited, or somewhere just plain unlucky. Russia and Chine let fly soon afterwards…. And promptly missed too. Missiles aimed at US missile silos hit cities. Missiles on contervalue strikes hit ocean.

What it was, was the last act of God. Star sighting systems on ICBM’s were the first to notice that the planet’s axis had shifted. Suddenly figuring they were massively off target, embedded systems within the missiles happily corrected themselves until they were massively off target. It didn’t help that 60 percent of warheads either never got to the point where they could even going off… most either blowing themselves up, or just failing to trigger entirely and embedding themselves in some Bog to be dug up by a small island nation in the North Atlantic, which along with at least 50 other states found itself possessing nuclear weapons entirely by accident.

The upshot was, most of the infrastructure that survived the Impact wasn’t nuked back to the stone age. The downside was, there were still plenty of conventional ways to incinerate cities. And it was still possible to deliver a warhead using an aircraft and dead reckoning. And that aircraft and warhead were pretty easy to shoot down. Armies marched across the land, with little grand strategy or aim beyond ‘defend the homeland’ or ‘get revenge’…. It was spasmodic, chaotic and brutal.

The resulting war lasted until February 14th ,2001, when most countries finally just ran out of ammunition to fight with, and started to focus on important things like the millions of people in decrepit refugee camps, and a mysterious fever that was going around, leaving adults sterile, but children who were in-utero at the time their parents caught it, immune.

There was a reason children like me were so prized… and it wasn’t because I was an Eva Pilot. We were the future of mankind, literally. Well, I wasn’t...
There was politics surrounding the strengthening of the UN, the usual never-agains and on September 11th, 2001 the third Versailles treaty was signed, giving the UNSC the military might to enforce peace. Proposed by Secretary General Wulfenbacher, it could best be described as “Don’t make us come over there”.

None of which really mattered to me….

But it mattered to teachers. Maybe I should just step on the school some day, maybe have a firearms accident during an angel attack.

I got back to filling my day with pointless inanities, and searching for evidence of a people I’d known in another life. Most of them were there before Second Impact, but records after Y2k were just sort of smashed. I found an old fanfic series I’d liked, by accident while I’d been searching for some help on a Math’s term. There was something about that which made me smile.

People I’d known in another universe were alive in this one.

Schoolwork was just too much effort. Translate, read. Read a load of other background stuff because I’m still missing fifteen years of cultural context, then finally get around to answering the question. Once I have the question answered, it was just a matter of translating that into Japanese again. Even the ‘easy’ ones took forever.

Maths was easier. Maths was a subject I aced. Everything else I could just do the bare minimum to pass the year and it’d be grand.

The phone rang. Shinji looked at myself, then at Asuka. Neither of us could really be bothered to answer it. I was too busy browsing through threads for poison singles on ni-chan appreciating my new perspective on the whole thing. I like to think I gave the guy some good advice.

And nobody realised I was a girl in real life. The vast majority of internet denizens I talked with assumed I was male... at first I went along with it because that was how I felt, but now there was something faintly mischievous about going along with their assumptions. And it was nice to wear the old man-shoes for a bit. It was a link to who I had been.
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Alastor
Gaghiel
Gaghiel
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 388
Joined: Mar 26, 2011
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Alastor » Sun May 22, 2011 8:32 pm

[URL=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/NewPerspectiveEvangelion]Made a page for the fic.[/URL]
"Are you suggesting Toji was nearly killed because his eva had a yeast infection?" - NemZ
"You know...pretty much everybody has a motive to kill Kaji. So let's just take this to it's logical conclusion and say Pen-Pen killed Kaji in a jealous fit of rage over Misato." - Trajan

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Mon May 23, 2011 5:28 am

Just a quiet note.

If you're going to make a TvTropes page, you have to do more than just make it. It has to at least be linked to from the original fanfic recommendations page... and probably Here Otherwise nobody on planet Earth except the 2 or 3 who maybe come here will ever see it. Or correct it.

Just saying.
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Alastor
Gaghiel
Gaghiel
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 388
Joined: Mar 26, 2011
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Alastor » Mon May 23, 2011 6:46 am

No offense taken, I just literally can't edit pages longer than around 5k on my DSi.
Laptop charger is dead as well, leaving me unable to really edit. [s:h17lvnyq]In hindsight, making the page without a real PC wasn't smart.[/s:h17lvnyq]
"Are you suggesting Toji was nearly killed because his eva had a yeast infection?" - NemZ
"You know...pretty much everybody has a motive to kill Kaji. So let's just take this to it's logical conclusion and say Pen-Pen killed Kaji in a jealous fit of rage over Misato." - Trajan

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Mon May 23, 2011 5:05 pm

Ack.... I just took care of it. :w00:

Now watch as this thing follows the path of the usual fic with a tvtropes page and steadily falls downhill.
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Alastor
Gaghiel
Gaghiel
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 388
Joined: Mar 26, 2011
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Alastor » Mon May 23, 2011 6:16 pm

Or you go EarthScorpion's route and rewrite it. ...Again. XD
"Are you suggesting Toji was nearly killed because his eva had a yeast infection?" - NemZ
"You know...pretty much everybody has a motive to kill Kaji. So let's just take this to it's logical conclusion and say Pen-Pen killed Kaji in a jealous fit of rage over Misato." - Trajan

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Mon May 30, 2011 7:55 am

Yeah. Not doing that.

The problem I have is. I have a plan for the end. Just not the middle. There's also a thread on spacebattles with more waffle than here.
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:09 pm

Rise from the grave

Alright... since there's been a little confusion among some people about what exactly constitutes Part 12 so far.... this is it.

There's been some tweaking, finishing out the scene, and adding one more. It's a total PITA to do because it's character fluff... so it has to both have a point, and be interesting. Also trimming some pointless worldbuilding stuff,... and generally flopping around like a skydiver caught in the landing gear.


Getting up in the morning on Sunday was great.

I felt…normal.

I found it hard to think of any other way to describe it. I went through my usual routine, as if I’d been doing it my entire life. The reflection in the mirror had stopped being alien, but now I felt I was actually looking at myself.

The dark-haired girl smiled back at me. A pang of regret hit deep. Not long ago this had been my nightmare. I knew I’d changed. I changed yesterday.

“I am myself,” I said to her. “And myself is always changing,”

Humans are not static creatures. Our likes and dislikes change as we move forward through life. The elements that define us change from minute to minute. Maybe I could argue that the self is the whole continuity of these changes, rather than just a snapshot in time at one moment.

All that continuity still remains a part of me. Everything I am still flows from it. I’ve changed so much, especially in body, but the lineage of self still holds. Noriko’s memories and ideas add more to the self, more changes.

But I’m losing nothing. I’m just gaining more changes. I may have journeyed across time, space and the vast ocean between genders, but the self remains the same across all.

Does that make sense?

The girl in the mirror just gave a puzzled shrug. Philosophy wasn’t my strong point. Something about all that made sense, but not in a way I could write a long essay about.

Yesterday was the day I finally crossed the female even horizon. The wiring upstairs now matched the plumbing downstairs. I’d expected it to be a moment of ultimate despair, a resignation or surrender, a moment to be spent sobbing in a pillow or rocking myself back and forward in a ball of bawling angst.

That was the Evangelion way, after all.

Instead I took the psychological equivalent of a step forward. It was an acceptance, an affirmation of being. I stopped, thought about it and concluded that it was okay for me to be a girl. I wasn’t going to lose myself to my body, that the self was dynamic and changing.

Or something.

Something good.

I watched the girl in the mirror dress herself for her morning run. I was her. I would be her for the rest of her life. Hiroki Nagato was my Father. Megumi Nagato was my mother. Biologically.

And so were my original parents. On that thought, I snapped the bracelet into its proper place on my wrist.

On a whim, thinking back to the Noriko figure, I found a strip of cloth and used it to tie my hair back, Takaya style. Dressed in my normal sportswear, I struck a pose in front of the mirror, crossing my arms under my chest with my bare feet planted far apart.

The image of a strong, athletic young woman smirked back at me. I’d known I was a good looker, but now I felt it. Like Asuka and Rei, I had a body most girls my age would kill for. We were the Pilots, we were the man characters, and fatty tissues tended to expand as they absorbed LCL. I allowed myself a few narcissistic moments, admiring my figure in the mirror. Every little synapse assured that this was my body; this was the person I was supposed to be.

Asuka slept in on Sundays, so I had plenty of time for a little self-service fanservice; the wholesome, confidence boosting and self-affirming kind.

I heard Misato come home from her night’s work, keeping quiet so as not to wake anyone. I heard Pen-Pen waddle out to meet his master. I could hear her coo and cuddle the bird like a favourite toddler. Figuring she’d need the bathroom soon enough… I finished up and stepped outside.

“Morning,”

She looked at me through bleary eyes, pushing a few ragged strands of hair off of her face.

“‘night,” she slurred, her brain already nestled into her bed

One thing.

“Misato,”

“Huh,” she turned back to me.

“Last week. You were right,” I smiled.

She looked at me, trying to figure out what I was talking about. “Oh yeah,” it clicked. “Told you so,”

I had a starchy breakfast with orange juice, before setting off for my morning run. Tokyo-3 early in the morning was almost pleasantly cool. The concrete jungle that normally blistered with heat was still absorbing the morning sun’s rays.

Cartridges broader than I was tall were being loaded into one of the tower blocks by a pair of mobile cranes. Another whole building was being carefully lowered into its socket in the ground, work crews carefully guiding into place. Mechanisms engaged, and the stiff, erect tower slid down into its snug socket.

I ran on, heading downtown towards the lake Ashi.

This was my life now, for the rest of my life. And I actually felt good about it. Until I recalled that, if some people had their way, it wasn't going to be a very long life.

I grimaced, trying to push Third Impact out of my mind. Besides, all I had to do to stop it was beat the harpies that started it. Not hard. Crush the entry plug, crush the core. Game over. Asuka nearly had them beat on her own, didn't she?

I put it out of my mind. I felt too good to let that get me down.

It was funny though, how quickly this had actually happened. Less than two months. While it wasn't quite the 'splort followed by sex' approach taken by so many crappy wish-fulfilment web stories... it was a hell of a lot faster than I'd expected.

Anything sensible I'd looked up, told me it shouldn't have been this easy. To suddenly find yourself in another body, different from the one every spark of your being told you was yours... it should've been a hell of a lot more fucked up.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure whether it was a good thing or not that it was so quick. At least I'd been spared the unique hell of spending the rest of my life as a male in a female body. That, I could be grateful for.

I guess I was just disappointed that I didn't put up more of a fight. Biology was an irresistible force.

And what next?

Over the next few weeks or months, Noriko's memory would start to return and mingle with my own. That much was inevitable. I'd remember my friends and hers. I'd remember her parents... her father and mother.

I'd finally realise that they are dead... that I really was an orphan, not just in the way I liked to joke about. When I realised that I really had no-one in this world to turn to, that both my parents were dead and that I'd never see or talk to any of them ever again I'd...

I shot that down quickly.

Couple that with the traditional growing pains of the teenage girl. God help me I was already wondering if I had feelings about Shinji, and what exactly they were. Going through puberty again was going to suck.

Mattariel's remains blocked my usual route... the whole lot was hidden under a prefabricated building while it was torn apart. Another shot of pride sent me running on down to the lake again.

I wasn't just a teenaged girl. I was an EVA Pilot. I was the very best that humanity has to offer, standing between mankind and oblivion. One of the few upon whom the fate of so many depend... to paraphrase.

And I was allowed to be proud of myself for that. I was allowed to enjoy that. I was allowed to be proud of my running ability, and my maths. I was allowed to at least try and be more self confident. I was allowed to like myself.

And I did.

I didn't like myself because I'd been turned into a girl... don't get me wrong. I didn’t like my new gender better than my old one, or immediately feel the female life was superior to the male. None of the things I liked about myself were exclusive to the female species. Being an EVA pilot wasn't, that was a function of parenthood. Being an athlete wasn't, that was just training and little dedication on Noriko's part that I'd taken up. Physics and mathematics was something I'd learned, that was just study and time.

And yes, there were things I liked about being a young woman, the exact same as there were things I did like... and missed quite a bit... about being my old self.

It was okay to be Noriko, it was okay to be this person and be proud of my accomplishments.

I smiled. I'm on a psychological roll, amn't I?

I made it to the lake shore, pausing to rest for a few minutes. A soft mist clung to the water, steadily burning off as the pirate boat was beginning its first tourist run of the day. The black crater blown into one side of Mt Futago sparkled as the sunlight played off a million little glass shards formed as rock melted by Ramiel's blast flash-cooled.

Futagite was a popular souvenir, sold in the old city. Mildy radioactive thanks to NIGA, and with a unique marbled pattern thanks to the various minerals in the soil... it was actually quite beautiful. Most fluoresced green in the dark, thanks to all the depleted uranium dropped into the soil.

The lake was mostly sterile and birds had long since picked off the remains which had washed up. Cicada’s made their presence known solely by the irritating sound they made, while a few rabbits hopped lazily around a clutch of shrubs… sniffing sightlessly as they went about their daily business. One of them nudged at a tarnished shell casing lying beside its burrow, wondering if something inside was edible. Most rabbits in Tokyo-3 were blind… thanks to UN tank crews mucking about with laser rangefinders. It didn’t seem to bother them much.

I turned back to the apartment. The fortress city of Tokyo-3 was waking up too, a few little human touches unfurling like morning flowers in the cracks between the brutal concrete towers. A line of washing shared space with an Evangelion power point.

At street level, colourful shopfronts started to open up for business. A yellow vespa was parked up outside a bakery. There was this weird little frog thing on the footpath outside an apartment building that looked like an idol of Keroru Gunso. Another building beside it had had its top cut clean off.

A few more people appeared. Joggers who had no idea who I was. The odd NERV employee who did waved. I smiled back, appreciating the gesture. A balding old chef swept his restaurant entrance beneath a dirty old pelican mounted on a scaffold.

The poor sods who had Sunday jobs set off to work, some cycling, some walking, some driving jealously maintained pre-impact cars while others had to make do with the traditional post-impact tin box. Public transport was popular for a reason.

An electronics shop was busy showing the morning news on a wall of cheap TV's. It was a story about the oceans or something... a whale was involved. Parked on top of an EVA lift was a cluster of chanting protestors, surrounded by military police while a helicopter thumped overhead.

The city was so much nicer when it was lived in, rather than being a concrete wasteland with a few artificially placed trees. The little touches of humanity made it feel far more welcoming. It was a place where people lived, rather than a setting for a mecha animé.

It was the only home I had.

I kept running, finally starting to feel a little tired. Section two followed from within a blacked out Toyota. I caught my reflection in some glass.

My perspective on myself had changed so much, but the world and the people around it still seemed the exact same. How was that going to change? Changes in myself would naturally bring about changes in how I felt about the world, and how I interacted with it.

It was on one level, fascinating. On another, terrifying.

It was already happening. When I saw Hikari running errands with her sister, I saw ‘just another girl’. The same as me. I waved to her from across the road, and she waved back.

There were other things too. Five kilometres had gone from a long walk, to an easy run. I defaulted to taking the stairs where possible. My definition of ‘tall’ had changed a bit. Misato was now ‘tall’, Misato was also about a hundred and sixty centimetres. I used to be nearly thirty centimetres taller than her.

The pilots where all under one-fifty including me, and I was the eldest and tallest. That was the legacy of being born after Second Impact. Which made it all the more remarkable that I could run like a cat on fire.

And remarkably, I saw myself as being the child born after Second Impact.

That’s who I was.

That was me.

I made it back to the apartment block fresh enough to run all the way up ten floors, then finish with a rake of pushups and situps followed by a few light cooldown exercises. I bounced at the apartment door, triggering a slight Gainax jiggle before sliding my card-key through the slot.

I remembered sitting in Misato’s car, fresh out of the hospital, and just how alien and wrong that bounce had felt. Now it was just annoying… perfectly natural, but still annoying.

The door opened with a whirr, and I stepped inside. The radio was playing cheery pop-music in the kitchen, while I undid the laces on my boots.

“I’m home,” I called out.

“Welcome home,” Shinji’s voice came back. Of course, who else listens to that station?

He was reading a Manga while he ate his breakfast at the table… still in his sleeping shorts and t-shirt. What was that he was reading?

He snapped it shut and blushed red. “Morning Noriko,”

Something embarrassing. It was hard not to start giggling.

“Morning Shinji,” I responded with a cheerful smile.

He very carefully hid the manga under one of his hands in a manner he’d hoped would be utterly unnoticeable, but only ended up drawing attention to it. I remembered being in the same position more than once myself, so I just ignored it.

I watched his eyes, run down from my face, along my body before stopping at my backside for half a second. The boy gulped, and looked down at his bowl of miso…

A giddy thrill shot through me… he’d been checking me out. Followed by a rush of nervous nausea… and I’d found it exciting.

“Soup in pot?”

“Unh,” he nodded.

He was there behind me. Shinji the boy. Noriko the girl. I glanced back at him… he was quietly hiding the book, keeping an eye on me to make sure I wasn’t keeping an eye on him. He fumbled and dropped it on the floor with a yelp of fright.

I chuckled lightly to myself.

He frowned.

I could feel that same tension building in my body, that same tightness across my heart being chased up by the same fear that always followed. I am a girl it’s okay for me to be attracted to Shinji, I tried to tell myself… but I just couldn’t believe it.

The idea of finding Shinji attractive….

Of kissing him on his moist lips…

Of taking his clothes off and pressing his body against mine, both of us hot and ready.

It thrilled me. It scared the ever loving crap out of me. It disgusted me to the point that it turned my stomach in sickening loops. In a weird way, it was even reassuring… there were still some final taboos.

Or were they just the natural anxieties of a teenaged girl?

I sat opposite Shinji, still coated with sweat, sipping away at the Miso. Shinji looked up at me, then looked down at his breakfast, then up at me…. Then down. Then up. Like playing paddleball in his mind. He opened his mouth. Closed it. Looked down again. Looked up once more. Opened his mouth.

Whatever he was trying to say, it was just dying in his throat.

I figured it out. “Oh… sorry. I need shower,”

“No, no!” he waved his hands, “It’s just….” He looked at his shadow in the soup, shamefaced. ….”You seem different,”

“Huh?” I blinked.

“Since yesterday, you seem more relaxed,”

I winced. If Mister too dense to realise how bad Asuka was crushing on him could figure that out?

“Not in a bad way,” he reassured me, “It's just…you seemed so uncomfortable yesterday when you left the school.”

He was worried about me. It was warming, in a strange way.

“My memory,” I half-lied, “Come back. Was a bit shock... but I feel good now,”

“Oh.” A pause. “I don't know how you three can be so strong,” he said. “Asuka, Rei and you... you take it all in your stride,”

A week ago, more or less, I'd been sitting in a heap on the bathroom floor bawling my eyes out for my lost self identity while Misato comforted me.

I shook my head softly, “I do not.”

“But on Thursday... you seemed so confident, so calm”

No I wasn't. I glanced down into my soup, feeling a little ashamed.

“How you feel?”

He blushed again, nervously looking away from me for a moment.

“Scared,” he said, before locking his grey eyes with mine. “That I might make a mistake and get someone killed. That, because of me, everyone might die,” His shoulders dropped beneath the weight of it.

I wanted to tell him how it was perfectly natural for him to feel afraid, how I felt the exact same way, how I was stunned to find that I'd actually come across as in any-way courageous when I was just following my training and trying my damnedest not to fuck up, and that from my perspective he probably seemed just as courageous and assured in the cockpit to me as I did to him.

But, frustratingly, I hadn't a hope of being able to say that.

All I could say was a quiet “Me too,”

“Really?” he blurted out. “But I thought you liked piloting.”

“I do,” I nodded, feeling a familiar tightness grip my body “But still terrified I make mistake,”

The boy smiled lightly at me. That tightness turned to a sickening flutter. I forced myself not to lick my lips as they turned bone-dry... just in case he got the wrong idea. Another part of me started to wonder what his leg might feel like if I just brushed my own against his.

I snapped my gaze away, focusing in on the radio.

“Beatiful Boy,” it sang. “jibun no utsukushisa, mada shiranai no”

I grimaced at its treason, hoping that the song would be interrupted. No such luck, Utada Hikaru just kept on singing.

He looked up at me, wondering just what my problem was.

“It's only love” The radio continued. “nete mo samete mo shounen manga
yume mite bakka, jibun ga suki janai no”

Oh for God's sakes. It's not love. It's annoying.

“What?” Shinji wondered if it was something he'd done.

“I have to shower,” I stated, jumping to my feet. More like I had to get out there before I said something or did something to give him to wrong idea.

The boy watched me practically run to the bathroom, still trying to figure out just what the hell had happened.

I sighed, “I’m being an idiot, amn’t I?”

The reflection in the mirror didn’t answer. But, I had enough self-awareness to at least know what I was doing looked like. I knew what answer Kensuke would give him, if he ever asked. ‘Noriko is tsundere for you Shinji, just like (character) in (animé)’.

No, I’m not. I’m just acting like a child. I’m acting like a normal, ordinary teenage girl. That thought made me chuckle in the shower. Just an ordinary teenage girl, with ordinary teenaged insecurities.

With Asuka sleeping in on Sundays, I had time to enjoy myself and get all nice and clean. I think I figured out the trick to all the shampoos and things. I used the ones that smelled nice, having no idea what they actually did.

Shinji had his book again as I padded past with a towel around my body. Then hid his gaze just as quick. I hurried in to where Asuka was still sleeping, dead to the world on her bed. She was lying on her back, red hair splayed across her pillow.

A flash of memory sent a chill down my spine.

End of Evangelion. I really didn't want to think about that right now. I was in too good a mood. I dressed myself, shuffling into a fresh set of clothes. My taste in fashion hadn't changed.

I left Sorhyu still slumbering, the girl mumbling to herself. Sunday morning animé beckoned. I slid the door shut behind me.

“I guess you expect me to wash your training stuff again,” Shinji said with a bitter resignation.

I smiled shamefully at him, “I not know how,”

His expression soured, “How can you not know how to wash your own clothes?”

Too lazy to bother.

“Never done it. And you make...um... good fabric soften,”

His eyes narrowed.

“Fine....”

I probably should’ve felt guilty, but I didn’t. I sat myself down on the couch and soaked up some post-impact animated culture. Mostly re-runs… one of which caught my attention.

A mixture of Yuusha Raideen, Space Runaway Ideon and Macross, washed through Babylonian Mythology and Snow Crash, Blu Aru was to giant robot shows, what Twin Peaks was to a cop show. Something about it seemed disturbingly familiar, and yet… completely and utterly different.

I promised myself I’d download it when I got the chance, or maybe borrow the boxed set I’d seen at the school club.

Like all mecha animé these days, it was followed by a NERV recruitment ad. It asked, what are you doing for the human race? A nice quick injection of pride. I was an Eva Pilot. I saved the world. I was the pointy end of a really long spear made up of all those people giving everything they could, just to get the Evangelion to a point where I might be able to fight with it.

I was probably overdoing it.

With the washing on, Shinji slipped into the bathroom… hoping to get washed and dressed before Asuka finally awoke. From what I guessed, it was something of a passive game of chicken. How long could he leave it, so that he could finish and be done before she was out of bed? How long could he stay in there?

I could hear Sorhyu start to stir. The shower had only stopped for about a minute, Shinji was either brushing his teeth, or shaving. I started to hope Asuka would be awake before he was done.... if only for the entertainment value.

I mused to myself, since when did I become so evil?

It must've been something rubbing off from Misato. Dissapointingly, Shinji won the race, emerging with a towel wrapped around his waist, and a few spots of shaving foam under his ear... and on his leg.

“What?” he questioned.

“Nothing,”

Just a little disappointed, was all. I clicked the television over to the morning news. A bunch of covenanters had blocked an EVA lift. God hates NERV, read one sign. Angels are a blessing from God, read another. They learned the hard way that civil rights stopped at the city limits.

Covenanters were a weird crowd, to say the least. The last time they’d appeared on the news, Misato had gone off on ten minute rant that amazed even Asuka. They were the god-botherers who held to the idea that Second Impact was a result of mankind breaking some ancient covenant with God, so the Almighty took the good with him in the rapturous Impact War, and then sealed himself in heaven forever denying Earth his love.

A man-made hell, they called this world.

Of course, according to them, the only way to get back into God’s good graces was to give in to the Angels and let the rest of us be raptured away in Third Impact. God raptures those who rapture themselves. And anyone who got in the way of God’s good works, otherwise known as everyone who disagreed with them, well it was only Christian to rapture them too. They were the biggest threat to us… the Pilots. They were the reason we were followed by a discreet Honda loaded with agents everywhere we went.

The next story on the morning news followed a biosphere reconstruction project along the old Barrier Reef and another on the near completion of the Boston reclamation. The city council election results were out, not that it mattered. Nozomi Takahashi won the window seat with the big pension.

The Ninth Angel was mentioned solely due to it blocking a few main thoroughfares. Attacks by giant aliens had become a weird routine. The first was amazing, the second was interesting, the third was boring routine.

Shinji emerged from his room dressed in shorts and an airy t-shirt that advertised it’s wearer as being a ‘Happy Fun Spirit’. That must be some sort of false advertising…. He sat beside me on the couch, startling me a little.

He was a boy. And I was a girl.... and I was suddenly very aware of that.

“What’s on?”

“The news,” I said, making a conscious effort not to look at him.

“Anything else?”

I changed channel, “Cheeky Angel?” The reason why I watched it was obvious…

He frowned. “No…. something good,”

“Like what?”

“I don't know.”

Typical. People know what they don't want... but never what they do. An awareness of his presence started to filter through my body, muscles tensing up ever so slightly.

He was a boy, and he was sitting beside me. I checked to make sure he wasn't looking at me. Nope. Just watching the box. For some reason, I was fascinated by how smooth his legs were. And how different…

Okay… focus on TV. I changed channel, flicking forward.

“Some gameshow,” The object of which seemed to be avoiding falling in the municipal sewers.

“Ew.” he cringed.

Click.

“Lum the Invader Girl,”

“No,” he sighed as if it really didn't matter.

Right. Nuts to it. We could hop through all ten channels and not find anything he wanted to watch. In fact, I was certain that's what was going to happen, so I just stuck it right back where I started, in time to catch the beginning of Yuusha Strykers.

“I don't like mecha,” the mecha pilot opined.

“I do,” I stated.

And since he'd be unsatisfied no matter what I put on that screen, well, one of us might as well be satisfied.

“I get enough giant robots during the week,”

“I like it. Good show.”

Shinji just pouted it and made it clearly obvious that I was harming his fragile psyche by not putting something else on. He still sat and watched anyway. It opened with the ending of the previous episode. A First time pilot, and classmate of all the others, had decided to sacrifice herself with a dramatic and tear-jerking self-destruct. It was so…cheesy.

“I’m sorry we won’t make it to the lake after all Joe.”

Shinji decided to speak “Why do you like stuff like this? Why do you like piloting Eva?”

“Light No! Think of all we have to live for. We can beat it. We can rescue you. We’ll get you out. Just hold on.”

Didn’t he already ask me that?

“No… I’m already dead. This way, you’ll all live to fight on. What does one life matter when the world is at stake!?”

“Always like Mecha,” I said, “Link to home and.... awesome um.... how do you say? I like technology and machine,”

“unh,” Shinji nodded, “But Eva isn't a TV show, this is real. People really get hurt.”

“Your life matters to me, Light. It matters more than anything in the world”

I could almost have laughed at that. “I know,” I said, keeping my voice soft. “That is not all,”

“Oh?” he pushed ever so slightly for more information, his calm blue eyes asking without pressuring for a response.

“No Joe. It’s too late. Your etha-shield will protect you. Live on Joe… Live on for me,”

“Also. I am proud.”

“It gives your pride?”

I just nodded. He thought on that for a while, while I thought on him. I could feel my body tensing up, my heart starting to beat ever faster. I took a long, deep breath and tried to cool myself off.

“I know you hate Eva,” I said, testing the water. He winced a little. “I know you were force...”

“At first. But I chose to pilot again,” he said, his voice firming again.

“Huh?”

“Light!” The TV screamed

Shinji nodded.

“Why?” I asked him, curious.

“I…. “ he paused “Don’t know.”

The mech on television exploded, incinerating the cute, innocent pilot in a flurry of flashback memories, halting at one final lingering shot of her with her boyfriend at the lakeshore that would just never be, before fading into white.

It was cheesy as hell.

“And that’s why I don’t like mecha animé,” Shinji said, quietly. His voice was nearly drowned out by the scream from the TV.

“Cheese?”

“No,” his voice softened.

The animated characters found the body, in the wreckage. Lifesigns negative, followed by manly tears. The episode followed a funeral procession, with the coffin being carried on the back of a transport truck in through streets lined with mourners, which promptly was interrupted by the next attack. Can the Strykers get over their sorrow enough to save the world?

Is that why Shinji doesn’t like Mecha?

I still didn’t change the channel. Shinji eventually got fed up and left, getting back to his manga for a few minutes, before arranging to meet Kensuke and Touji. He called them, not the other way around. Motoko was busy with a doctor’s appointment today.

Despite how much I hated using social networks, I left a message wishing her good luck on her DSpora noticeboard using my phone. Then got back to my TV time.

It came to an end as Asuka emerged from our shared bedroom.

“Hey, Perry Rhodan is on the UN Forces channel,” she announced, dropping down onto the couch beside me. As if everyone wanted to watch a German Language program.

Asuka watched it religiously.

I used it as time to take care of some of the paperwork expected of us pilots, noting my diet, some 'personal matters' and my exercise regime down for Akagi's records, before taking care of some technical stuff for Unit 03. I was technically a Lieutenant, an officer, so I had to sign off on maintenance logs, read a few reports from my crew chief and issue a few orders for work I wanted done.

I didn’t need those stupid carbon shrapnel launchers - they were only useful for close in stuff - so I gave the order for them to be replaced with a multiple missile launcher system I’d tested out with last weekend. There was also the option to mount a set of braking thrusters, gun turrets, ammunition bays, or even a pair of modified Minotaur IV rockets with N2 warheads.

They were intended to knock out orbiting targets only. The fourth stage was replaced by a warhead bus and 5 independed warheads. The warheads were designed to burn up safely if they ever re-entered the atmosphere. It required the Commanders authrisation to fit. He required the authorisation of the Security Council to authorise fitting the system. It'd be nice against the next Angel, but by the time the bureaucracy was sorted out, Tokyo-3 would be a crater.

Too bad. Looks like we'll have to just catch it again.

I logged in to the intranet with my laptop, and forwarded the work order to my crew chief, along with some seat adjustments and a request for a redesigned plugsuit with a bit more space up top.

Shinji sat quietly beside Asuka. Why wasn't he complaining about her stupid programs? He probably couldn't even understand it, he was just sitting beside her and....

Oh.

Had that been a flash of Jealousy, Noriko? It can't have been. I have nothing to be jealous about. I'm just annoyed that he isn't complaining about what Asuka's watching.

Because Asuka will just tell him to shut up complaining. He complains to me because he feels safe and comfortable complaining to me. And that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I chased that feeling away with another wave of disgust. Welcome to puberty, I thought bitterly. If it wasn’t identity and self issues, the sanity monster was going to go after my sexuality next. Little Noriko’s growing up and becoming a woman.

Bored, and waiting for the response from my crewchief, I overrode the school’s own blocking - they just used their own DNS server so it was a simple matter of pointing it to a free one - and headed out into the wild blue web.

Here also, I could see how my perspective was changing on things. It wasn’t a big thing, like suddenly seeing a picture of muscled man and squeeing or transmuting into a rabid Yaoi fangirl, it was far more subtle than that.

It meant identifying more with the heroine of the webcomic, rather than the hero. It meant looking at her costume and quietly wondering what it might feel like to wear, even if I knew I didn’t really want to. It meant finding the Yuri fanart exciting for entirely different reasons, and quickly skipping on from the more usual lemon in case my mind wandered to places I wasn’t comfortable with it going.

Little steps

There were other things beyond that which just served to enhance the feeling that myself had really changed. While an argument about what GURPS stats an Evangelion would have proved that I was still myself.

It was fascinating to see what the world at large made of the Evangelions, and how wrong most of them where. There were the usual idiots who claimed to know the ‘truth’ about the pilots with all kinds of weird theories. It was an open secret that we were teenagers attending the local high school.

And going from that, any journalist worth their salt could probably figure out our names, where exactly we lived, nab our pictures and generally put together a reputation building exposé.

NERV kept them quiet by threatening to freeze out any organisation publishing ‘unwanted’ information. They’d get their one big story, but NERV’s PR department would go fully public, and make sure their competitors got the rest.

The only other occasion where NERV would go public with a Pilot’s names, was if one of us was killed in action. I didn’t want to think about that. Nobody died in the original series. Not until everybody died anyway. If any one of us died, it would be my fault.

For a moment, I had the clearest picture of it, of a graveyard so large, I couldn’t see the ends of it. Just uncountable numbers of little black markers and a single tear trickling down Asuka’s cheek while she glared at the casket, as if hoping by sheer force of will that she could bring the body inside it back to life.

Fuyutsuki gave the eulogy, followed by the last post…. And I decided that I really didn’t want to think about it anymore. I checked my mail inbox, and thanked God that my crew chief had sent back his acknowledgement.

I sent that to print, which meant sneaking into Misato’s room to get it out of the printer. Pen-Pen stood guard outside.

“Who goes there?” he warked, standing to attention.

Ignoring him, I slipped into the room. It was a bombsite. It looked like someone’d held a pay-per-view EVA battle inside. Clothes were just dropped on the floor where they’d fallen from her body. I could see the exact sequence in which she’d stripped. Jacket, blouse, skirt, socks, brassiere… panties… and then Misato herself on her bed, lying butt naked on her back, sprawled across her bedsheets like a murder victim.

I stopped and gawked, feeling a sudden hot rush.

God she was hot!

A small part of me wondered if I wasn’t looking at myself in fifteen years time. An even smaller part was busy wondering if it couldn’t figure out a way to get….closer.

I put it out of my mind and hurried to the printer. Getting the printouts was easy, just don't drop to leave. I turned around to leave, carefully threading my way back through the mess on the floor. The aim was simple: don’t wake Misato.

She sat up like a zombie. “Noriko,”

I winced. “Sorry.”

“Tell Shinji not to cook for me, I'll get something at work,”

“Yep,” I answered.

“And Noriko,” she said with a wink and an amused giggle “You might be quiet. But the printer isn't.”

Typical. I hurried out after another apology, sitting back at the computer while I figured out what to do with the rest of my day.

It was strange, even our hobbies helped our ability to pilot. As Ritsuko explained it to me, they reinforced the idea of myself, and who I am. They strengthened the ego border, which meant harmonics and sync tests could be run deeper in the plug where it was easier to synchronise.

There was still something affirming to me about 'debating' online with someone I'd never met over an issue as petty as to whether an Evangelion could lift a Montana class battleship or not.

The television was showing some propaganda cartoon. Buy bonds today or something.

I got back to taking care of one other thing I’d been meaning to do. Familiarising myself with history. And not just of the last fifteen years. For some reason, World War Two didn’t end until 1947. Otherwise, things were pretty much the same, right up until the end of the 20th century. A few names changes in certain places, but the nail factor was pretty low right up until Second Impact. Our history courses focused almost entirely on the last fifteen years.

I didn't give a rat’s ass what the name of the scientist who discovered the meteor was, or what caused the Last Act of God, or what the Wulfenbach peace edict meant for international relations. It didn't matter to me

But it mattered to teachers.

I got back to filling my day with pointless inanities. Schoolwork was just too much effort. Translate, read. Read a load of other background stuff because I’m still missing fifteen years of cultural context, then finally get around to answering the question. Once I had the question answered, it was just a matter of translating that back into Japanese again. Even the ‘easy’ ones took forever.

All that work left little or no time for Maths and Sciences.

Maths was easier. Maths was a subject I aced. Everything else I could just do the bare minimum to pass the year and it’d be grand. Numbers where a universal language. I blitzed physics and sciences. I blitzed them because I knew it all already.

It surprised me when I scored the lowest of all the pilots in standardised IQ testing.

The phone rang. Shinji looked at myself, then at Asuka. Neither of us could really be bothered to answer it. I was too busy browsing through threads for poison singles on ni-chan while appreciating my new perspective on the whole thing.

“Fine,” he sighed, stepping up to answer it.

I should’ve felt guilty. I didn’t.

“Moshi Moshi,” Shinji said. There was a pause. “It’s for you Asuka. It’s Hikari,”

Now she was in a hurry. She snapped the phone out of his hand, shouldering him out of the way. He stumbled backwards “Hey!”

Asuka sneered at him. “It’s none of your business Third Child,”

He looked to me for help, but I was only ever going to stay neutral at best. I gave him a soft smile. Not my fight Shinji. He returned to his seat and started to channel-surf, Asuka chatted with Hikari, while I paid attention to the inanities of the world wide web. On most websites I had a profile, and I’d deliberately left my gender ambiguous.

Most users just assumed I was male, and a good deal older than fourteen.

I didn’t want to destroy their illusion at first, and it had been fun to slip into the old male shoes for a little bit.

; it felt like I’d be pulling the trigger on the last of the man I had been.

Asuka hung up the phone. “Hey Fourth Child. I'm going to the mall with Hikari. You want to come?”

It wasn’t really a request. I'd bet a months allowance it was more because she didn't want me alone with Shinji, than because she liked my company. Well, there was no way in hell I'd spend a few hours pouring through the latest in post-impact fashion.

I...I

A few hours later, I was pouring through the latest in post-impact fashions at a department store just south of armaments building R-34. Part of the car-park was given over to an EVA lift. A warning sign advised that owners parked their cars at their own risk.

Inside, the layout was basic, and horribly tacky. It was post Second Impact cheap efficiency-chic. The only difference between brand-name clothes, and the cheap store-brand, was literally just a label with a logo on it. All of it was made in the same factory. All of it was uncomplicated and simply cut.

I wasn't hating it. It would've been better if Motoko had been there, but I could still enjoy Hikari and Asuka's company. There was a shop selling Gothic Lolita stuff. It was a fascinating idea. I'd had friends who were interested in EGL and I liked the style.

But only on other people.

It'd be cool to wear. It'd suit my body for sure. With the dark hair, it'd look epic. It just didn't feel right the same way the pink frilly dresses, or Asuka's bipolar switching between princess girl and bare-midriff daisy-duke’d jailbait trying her best to show she’s an adult. It wasn't me.

I found myself in the sportswear section.

Asuka gave her opinion. “Oh great, Noriko's gone cavegirl again,”

“Asuka!” Hikari scowled.

“What? You do same physical training I do!”

Comebacks were never my strongpoint. Especially not in a foreign language.

“I meet the standard,” she said, with a mild sneer. “But who wants to spend all day getting sweaty and sticky?”

Depends on who with.

“I like running. I like fitness things. I like a.... how you say…Running High.” She eyed me dubiously, always inspecting me. I stood my ground. “I used to be Athletics champion. Olympic if not for crash.”

That took her back. Why did I feel like I had to defend myself to her? Why does that question matter? I have to, that’s it. Sorhyu purse her lips, thinking.

“Prove it,” she challenged.

“This isn’t the time,” Hikari advised. “But I saw you out this morning Noriko. You looked so fast,”

“Thank you,” I smiled at her, throwing Asuka a smug glance.

Asuka’s expression went black. “When we’re done here, we’re going to an internet café. We’re going to do a search on your name.” Her whole body inflated like a cobra ready to strike. “Then we’ll do a search on mine,”

You know what. I knew I’d been a champion. I remembered the trophy. I remembered running down the track with a school’s crowd cheering with the cool breeze pulling against my t-shirt. The track surface was cracked and old, soft green weeds coming up through the cracks in the pavement. It might once have been red, but the sun had bleached it. The stadium concrete was stained and blackened by years of rain and grime. Schools had come out from all over the province. There were other girls there, most taller than me.

They stretched in the school colours. Some waved to the crowd. There was a small section calling my name, chanting “No-ri-ko, No-ri-ko”. It was printed on the shining bracelet around my arm.

At the start line. My heart drilling through my chest, my body tense in the starting block, like a charge catapult ready to throw an Eva to the surface. Shoot off with a bang, and I’m in the lead from the first step. Race at speed along the track and I know I’m pulling away. Even from such a small crowd the sound is amazing. It picks me up and carries me forward and I’m suddenly the most important person in the world.

I’m going to win, I’m going to be number 1. I’m getting the trophy. The tape snaps across my chest and it takes a few moments for me to hear myself think over the cheer. I’ve got time to stop and turn around and see the second place crossing the line. I’m that far ahead. It’s astounding. My time’s better than the under-16’s by a few hundredths of a second. And they’re still chanting while that medal hangs on my neck, heavy and cold.

“No-ri-ko. No-ri-ko,”

“Hey Noriko, snap out of it Fourth Child,”

She’s clicking her fingers in front of my face. What’s Asuka doing here? Things crash together like a gearbox shifted without a clutch, just a crunch of memory being forced together with little shavings of ideas sent spinning everywhere. I stare blankly at Asuka for a few seconds, simultaneously remembering the race, while also remembering attending a similar event, looking down from the stands.

It’s not the same. In my memory the stadium is better kept. It was before Second Impact after all. I’m the one in the stands, cold and shivering and cheering. Two concurrent sets of memories, co-existing happily.

“Whoa,”

Asuka’s eyes narrowed, her expression changing from a sort of plastic irritation to genuine concern.

“I think…” I started before pausing, holding my hand up. I didn’t mean to give everything an air of cheesy melodrama. “I think I just remembered something.”

“What? That you haven’t done your homework yet?” she snarked at me.

“No,” I said, flatly. “It was…” I looked at Hikari. Hikari looked just a uneasy, leaning around the side of Asuka. She didn’t know my tragic backstory, or about my memory problems, did she? I switched languages “It was my memory coming back, of a race.”

“So you really remembered that stuff about being champion?”

I nodded. “Oh yeah,”

She smirked wolfishly at me. “Well, we’ll see what Spider says later,”

Hikari was tapping her foot. “Y’know that’s really rude to do that,”

“Sorry,” said Asuka. “It was classified pilot stuff,”

Thank. You. Asuka.

Hikari stood firm, bracing herself with “You could have told me,”

“Hey, I didn’t know until Fourth child came out with it, alright,” She glared at me. You’re the one who should apologise Noriko.

“Sorry Hikari,” I said, bowing just a little. Enough to show I knew that I was probably supposed to, but not so far that I might be either mocking her, or feel like a total eejit.

“Well, to make it up to you, the Fourth Child has agreed to buy us all ice-cream when we’re finished.”

“What?” I snapped at her.

She just smiled brightly at me, from ear to ear. “Hmmmm.” Those blue eyes brooked no argument.

“I like Vanilla,” Hikari said.

Two against one. Damn.

I put my hands up. “I surrender. I will pay,”

They smiled at me. Two cats that got their cream, and I was the mouse. I needed Motoko, Motoko would’ve backed me up if she wasn’t away with her doctors appointment. We carried on, while I started to feel more like the tail of the dog. Sure I could waggle when I wanted to, but I was still being dragged around wherever I didn’t want to go.

Sure I felt I could wear anything in the store without getting weird looks, but I still didn’t feel like I wanted to. I didn’t have to either. A tomboyish girl in sportswear was still a girl, still a member of the club. An effeminate boy was just a target for others keen to prove their masculinity.

Girls could be just as cruel, but for different reasons I hadn’t quite grasped, and in a very different way. Girls tended to attack self esteem rather than get physical, they tended to sneer and put down, rather than beat down. I think being an Eva pilot earned me a get out of jail free card from any school bullies, but I still saw it happen to others. I found myself hoping Kawaoru didn’t get the same privilege.

It didn’t seem likely.

It was pointed out to me that I couldn’t exactly go everywhere in running shorts and a t-shirt. I needed something more, girlish. After much personal debate, I decided to go for things which played up to the dark-haired tsundere type. If I absolutely had to wear a skirt and blouse, I’d wear a read button-up blouse, a dark pleated skirt and thigh-high socks because I really had a thing for zettai ryouiki and it was marginally more comfortable than going bare-legged.

A look in the mirror told me that all I needed were twin-tails to complete the stereotype. It looked classy, for want of a better description. It was unanimously agreed that it was a look that suited me to a tee.

Choosing according to animé archetypes I’d liked might’ve seemed a bit silly, but it worked. It produced something at least tolerable to wear.

It reminded me that it was okay to still like the things I used to like. It wasn’t one or the other, I could have both. I could still be a gamer and an animé nerd. As my self confidence got a little better, I might even be able to get around to trying cosplay. Well, I was already wandering around in Evangelion cosplay near daily, wasn’t I? I could make a hell of a Revvy.

I did leave the store carrying significantly less than the others. I think I reached my emotional zenith for the series about the time we passed a game’s store. It was small, non-descript, quiet.

Asuka stopped outside, rooting herself to the concrete “We are not going in there with those… those… nerds.”

I actually had the courage to shoot back with a vicious glare. “I am.” I stated, pushing the door open. A bell chimed, Hikari followed out of what must’ve been curiosity, while Asuka went in solely to avoid being the last one left outside.

There was only the clerk inside, who looked up just enough to acknowledge that we’d entered. He seemed to want to say something, opened his mouth to say it, but then decided against it. I didn’t really intend on buying anything, I just wanted to get an idea of what things were like post second impact.

First thing; there were very few post-apocalyptic sourcebooks.

I flicked around, while Hikari marvelled at the painted miniatures in a case. Asuka stuck close to me.

“It smells in here,” she whispered.

“That’s paint.” And the fact that it’s hot and humid and their aircon seemed to be broken.

“I don’t like the way that clerk is looking at us,” she muttered.

We’re probably the strangest thing to ever come into

“Hey Asuka! Noriko!” Hikari called out. “They have model Eva’s.”

Asuka lit up. “Do they have my Unit 02?”

I glanced over at the clerk, who’d suddenly taken interest. The salesman’s sense had kicked in. “We have Evangelion Orange, Evangelion Purple and Evangelion Red,” he announced. “But they’re kits, not the finished models you see there, so you have to assemble them yourself”

Her nose seemed to scrunch up. Ew, self assembly.

“Do you have Unit….” I caught myself “Evangelion Black?”

He smiled at me, “Since the body below the neck is the same as Red, we sell it as just a head,” It’s not the same, it’s no the same at all. Unit 02 only has twelve thousand plates of armour, 03 has twice that. And Unit 04 was a carbon copy of 03.

“Can I get the full set then? And two Evangelion Black kits.”

Asuka gawped a little.

“Two?” the clerk raised an eyebrow. “Know something we don’t?” he chuckled getting far closer to the truth than he ever would know.

I laughed a little nervously and shared a conspiratorial glance with Asuka.

I was encouraged to buy undercoat primers, paint sets, and some other equipment that I knew I’d be able to get by without. It was my first encounter with a well meaning and otherwise pleasant clerk who just naturally assumed I had no idea what I was talking about because I happened to be a fourteen year old girl.

Was this normal? It was bloody annoying. I’ve built resin kits before, it was my big hobby. I knew he meant well, and didn’t really mean to be annoying – I’d been on the other side of this more than once and learned that just because someone says they know what they’re doing, doesn’t mean they do.

It allowed me to be far more patient than Asuka would’ve been. She was already starting to stew.

I picked up a random sourcebook I liked the look of, solely to boggle Asuka’s mind, then left confident in the knowledge that NERV would pay for it all out of my allowance. It was good. I was affirming myself. I was a person who liked athletics. I was a person who liked gaming, who liked animé.

I was becoming a fully rounded, generally happy and psychologically stable character. Hello, I’m Mary Sue and I’ve already slept with half the cast. Platonically. It was a case of water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. And, Misato love aside, I didn’t even feel very thirsty anymore.

The PC’s at the internet café seemed to date back to before the Second Impact. A quick glance on the shipping dates printed on the back told me they were less than a year old. 2014 model Athlon. It just showed where the world's priorites were.

Hikari sat at the keyboard, while I paid for an hour's computer time, and ice-cream. Well, NERV paid for them. Asuka hovered impatiently over Hikari's shoulder, while she fought tooth and nail against a brain-damaged machine. I managed to get back just in time for her to get the browser actually working, and onto the directory page.

“Okay, do me first,” Asuka ordered.

Hikari keyed in her name. Asuka thanked me for the ice-cream. Tense seconds went by. Asuka grimaced under the force of a full blown brain-freeze. I ate slow. Hikari left hers to melt.

“Error,” she said.

Printed onscreen was 'Connection interrupted by intermediate server,'

“Try again,” I suggested, before taking a bite out of some damn-fine minty-chocolate. Mmm... decadence.

“Error” she repeated. “The same one.” She looked puzzled for a moment. “I'll try you, Noriko,”

Asuka looked annoyed. “Stupid computers,” she huffed.

“Another error,” Hikari said, softly.

“Shinji Ikari?”

“The same again, Asuka.”

“Rei Ayanami,” I said. I think I see the pattern.

“Same error.”

Hikari sighed and sat back. She glanced at us both. “You don't think NERV is monitoring the connection?”

“Try a search on your own name,” Asuka suggested. Calmly.

Hikari laughed. “As if I’d ever be a pilot,”

There were a few anticipatory moments, waiting for the servers to respond.

‘Error,’ the computer informed.

We glanced nervously at each other. Okay. That was weird.

“Try Touji,” I said, tentatively.

Hikari typed, then clicked, then frowned. “The same,”

I looked at Asuka, he looked just as confused as me. “Maybe Michiko,”

Type. Click. Sigh. “The same,”

“Our searches on everyone in our class being blocked?” asked Asuka, with an irritated snort.

“What about Motoko?” I suggested. “Motoko Hino is in 2-C”

Type. Click. Hikari let out a slightly surprised hum. “Translate“ click. “A ‘massage parlour’ in California. ”

All three of us laughed at that one. It wasn’t a massage parlour at all, it was something far more…. else. Motoko would’ve blown a gasket and then some to know she shared her name with a second generation Japanese immigrant in California who ran a ‘personal erotic massage parlour’ for men.

We tried a few other names; people we knew, NERV employees, a few random names, my old name … the one hit was ‘me’ … and a fanfic author I’d liked. All seemed to support the conclusion that searches on NERV employees were being intercepted, along with everyone in Class 2-A. Everything else went through, including some of the real crackpot Second Impact theories

“But why would they block everyone in Class 2A, then?” Hikari wondered aloud. “I understand the Five of you, but not Kensuke Aide or Ami Mizuno.”

Asuka’s gaze was sour. “Maybe it’s because everyone in the class is a pilot candidate,” I looked at her, a little surprised. Nailed it in one.

“Even the foreigners?”

“Especially us,” Asuka put a specific point on the ‘us’, “If there’re foreign pilot candidates, they go into class 2-A as well. Well, no other class in the school has non-Japanese students. Most attend the UN school across the city.”

Including Asuka and Kawaoru, there were five non-Japanese in 2A. The others were a pair of Americans and one Brit who kept their own private clique.

Hikari sat quietly for what seemed like quite a while. “Can you imagine me as an EVA pilot?” she laughed.

I smiled at her. I’d seen the fanart.

“Better you than one of the three stooges,” opined Asuka.

Pilot Horaki. Considering that I pilot Unit 03, Bardiel’s pretty much out of it unless something real screwy happens. Yes, I decided on being optimistic. I was in that good a mood. The world was getting better, even if I did nothing but be there. Everyone was happy. Nobody was a bawling ball in the corner. Angels will die. I’ll live here for the rest of me life and be happy. And tempt fate while I’m at it.

“Try search; Leinster athletics championship 2014,”

“Len Star?”

“Let me,” I said.

She nudged the keyboard towards me. It took a few moments to figure it all out before I sent the search request. The answer came back a few moments later. Three results down, beneath the sponsored links. It was a basic page, a news report from a local newspaper. The article was in English, but the picture put it beyond doubt. There it was…, there I was…. a picture of me standing on the top step of the podium.

I slipped back into the memory, feeling my way around it, easing through it. I could walk around the sights, around the smells. I could feel the grit on the old concrete under my running shoes and the sweet scent of the grass. The podium was hollow, the girl beside me jealous and bitchy at the little foreigner who runs like a rocket. The medal was cold and heavy against my chest…. That was getting tender. A photographer called me name and told me to smile.

And there I was, on the other side of that image.

It was frightening. It sent a chill through my bones. It was strangely exhilarating. It was a thrill. It was a little like those first few moments after tipping over the edge on a roller coaster.

They both looked at the picture, then at me.

“You’ve grown,” Hikari said, flatly. She wasn’t referring to my height.

“Now let me try,” Asuka grabbed the keyboard, punching at they keys. Moments later, a German webpage… a university graduation class photograph. Conspicuous among the students was one who was obviously just a little bit shorter, wore obviously long red hair, this time in a pair of braids suspended from a pair of red neural clips. “My university graduation class,” she declared, haughtily.

Hikari shrivelled up just a little bit. “I feel so ordinary,”

A perfect distaff counterpart to Shinji Ikari then.

Asuka swaggered as usual. “Well, I’m the only really exceptional one….”

“Hah!” I snorted.

“Well those two wunderkind share a genetic disease or something…. Shinji Ikari could be any boy in Japan and you…. Well you’re just weird, Noriko”

She rolled her tongue around the word weird. It sparked my sense of mischief and I tugged the keyboard away. I typed something in… just a quick curiosity of mine. A moment later, every single person in the café groaned and cursed as one. Every single one sitting at a computer, accessing via wireless.

Connection failure.

The whole café had been disconnected from the net. Wow. Suddenly feeling just a little bit paranoid, we left quickly. It wasn’t until we were well outside and halfway home that Asuka dared ask me what exactly I’d typed into the search engine.

“Just a few NERV related keywords,”

Or; Seele triggered Second Impact deliberately and destroyed the First Angel.

“That’s creepy,” said Hikari. “To know that people are watching you all the time.”

“Such is the life of an Eva pilot,”

Distant helicopters were beating their way through the air, and I began to regret doing something so stupid. We hurried back to the Katsuragi apartment, making it to the door without being run down, or bundled into secret black choppers to disappear into the night. It felt like an accomplishment.

The first thing I did was check to see how Motoko was. The only thing that would’ve made this day better, was if she’d come with us.

I…I

A week went by. A week of training. I saw Nagisa going through the same training I had. I saw him at school stalking around by himself.

A bunch of us went swimming up at Lake Takanosu. It was nice to be around other girls without feeling like the outsider all the time, or uncomfortably self-conscious, just the normal teenage self- consciousness.

I made First Lieutenant in a small ceremony, where I received a minor medal for killing an Angel. My emotional armour was building up fast.

We also did this interesting exercise, an officer training thing, where each of us was put in a single room and given a pair of television screens and our own bridge-bunny. I got Hyuuga. The screens would only show surveillance camera footage of a squad of troops we had to pass orders on to. We were given a simple objective, building a cart out of an assortment of random parts from scrap cars, then guiding them and the cart through an obstacle course.

The test was of our ability to think through a problem, take advice, then make sure that I could get my point across through a bridge-bunny with nothing more than a comm.-link. I think the real reason was to give us a little bit of sympathy for the difficulties of command.

I did alright. My initial plan of doing whatever Misato would do failed when I realised I had no idea what Misato would actually do. So I just asked the squad for ideas since they knew better, then chose which of their own ideas to implement. Mission completed, with the third best time. Asuka grabbed the bull by the horns and controlled everything, micromanaging the slightest details. She finished first. Technically she got two of her people ‘killed’ in the process, so was docked points. Rei took the same approach I did, coming in second just ten seconds ahead of me. Kawaoru was fourth, with Shinji taking the longest.

-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Dartz
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
User avatar
Posts: 1483
Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Dartz » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:56 pm

I…I

Most of the evening was spent fiddling with resin. The others were doing the last of their homework, while I’d finished the parts I’d intended to do an hour or so earlier, so I got down to my hobbies. The casting quality was alright, with a good level of detail. But I could see the differences between the real thing and the model.

The sculptor’d only had grainy photographs and video snippets to go on and had gotten the proportions a little bit wrong. For one thing, the shoulders were much too human and narrow, with a too-broad waist. I kept spotting little glitches and errors; the sort of things you only noticed if you actually piloted the thing.

It was frustrating, and more than a little distracting. Unit 01 lacked the proper frill, and the horn was shaped wrong. Lockbolts were missing, as were the comm's arrays. And the entry plug armour plating and power-socket were totally wrong. They assumed the arms were armoured, when only Unit 03's were.

Needless to say, it was no Master Grade. It was still good to get about building the thing.

“That's not how the chain rule works, stupid!”

Asuka was helping Shinji with mathematics. Oh, that question. It was easy enough. I turned my attention back to the kit, cleaning some flash off of a Unit 03 head. An ominous shadow fell across me. I looked up, right into the cheery brown eyes of Misato.

“What's that you've got there?”

“Evangelion models,” I stated, cheerfully.

She leant down on the back of the chair, her breasts brushing nicely against the back of my head. “Where'd you get 'em?”

“Games shop. Mall near...uh... Armaments R34,”

“Ah.” Misato said, putting a finger to her lips as she thought. “I know the mall. I'll have Section 2 raid the shop,”

“Huh,”

“Well,” she said with a cheery grin, “That's critical Evangelion weapon system design information.”

The feeling of treason lingered for more than a few minutes. I gave her a sour look. “Not good kit. Many mistakes,”

She just sighed, “Still, it's something we have to investigate.”

“And. Discussion online?”

“Most is on servers outside our jurisdiction.” She winked at me, “And it's a good way to spread misinformation.”

“Well shit,”

“And why are you doing this, and not that essay?”

Because, I saved the world. Because the only reason that old goit is still alive and not a puddle on the floor is because, while the others were typing away by candlelight I was hanging in an access shaft with a pallet rifle. Because it was idiotic to expect us to keep up with schoolwork when we were busy synching, training, testing, and following that up with more testing.

“Not worth doing,”

Her expression darkened, “Explain.”

“Well.” This was hard to straight in my head. “I score low on history. I pass by small amount. With late penalty, failure guaranteed. It is better…” I stopped to arrange the words in my mind. “...to concentrate on what I know and do it well and not...um…spend hours on something I fail, then lose time to spend on things I am good,”

“So, prioritising what you can do well and not wasting time on things you can't do. Then, the extra time taken with what you're good at makes up for the automatic failure.”

I nodded.

“Hmmm. As I recall, that's what the Tokugawa plan was; to prioritise those we could help and assign them rations based upon their current and future usefulness to society.”

I knew that. I knew it because it was drilled into us in school that we were the most valuable thing humanity had. We were humanity's future, even without the Evangelion. We got the best of everything, the best food and care in the refugee camps, the best medical care outside. It's why I was kept alive.

“So,” she continued. “Maybe you should just write a quick note explaining that. Especially since you've already finished your other work,”

It was time for a childish pout. There could be no other arguments. There had to be a way out.

“I will help Shinji with math,”

“Oh no you don't, Fourth Child. He doesn't need your help, since I'm already doing it.”

Asuka's green eyed monster reared its ugly head. I was just looking for a way out of wrist-aching kanji.

He frowned, “You're making it harder,”

Dirty minds!

“No I'm not. Look, I'll do it for you,” she grasped at his pen and he snatched it back. “Show some gratitude!”

“Asuka,” Misato cut in. “He has to do it by himself or he'll never learn,”

“Oh come on, now you say that?” she snapped back.

Looks like I'd be getting out of the work after all. I made a show of working while I chatted with Motoko via IM. I was actually describing what I'd bought with glee, solely because she was interested, and it was nice to have someone interested in what I’d done. She even asked for a webcam picture. Naturally, I obliged, scuttling off to get changed.

I’d happily wear a skirt for a friend, especially if that friend was likely to tell me I looked good. Mental attitude tended to work in a positive feedback loop. Feeling good made it easier to do things that made me feel better. Feeling bad meant things would just get worse and worse in a vicious cycle.

Taking out that Angel broke the cycle of despair. It allowed me to take a step forward.

It let me be more adventurous in what I wore, to have the self-confidence to start to explore and maybe find things that made me feel better.

Shinji was first to see me emerge, curiously turning around, his attention more drawn by the sound of activity rather than me specifically. Then he saw me. Then he began to gawk, the half-chewed pen in his mouth drooping down. Asuka saw him gawking. The green eyed monster reared its ugly head while I watched her expression darken like the sky before an oncoming hurricane.

It scared the crap out of me. It thrilled me. He found me attractive. Asuka saw me not as something beneath her, but as an equal rival.

“Shinji, pay attention to your work!”

Pay attention to me! She was really saying.

“Sorry,” he whined. She tried to tower over him. In short-cut denim shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt, she succeeded. Misato looked up at me, lazily eyeing me over the rim of her can of coffee. No beer when driving.

“Nice… but aren’t you supposed to be doing homework?”

Damn.

Asuka barked a laugh “Hah!” Shinji smiled at me before cowing down to work.

It took over an hour to eek out a single paragraph of an essay. That was all I could do. It was painstaking. It was physically painful. Each word felt as if it had to be hewn from a solid block of raw granite with a very small chisel. It was a royal pain in the bloody arse. It leeched away all the energy I had and left me slumped and drained, leaving a desiccated husk behind unable to do anything but consider going to bed while rhythmically rubbing my stocking’d feet over and against each other. Smooth nylon on a cool evening…. It was…soothing. It was so distracting I blanked for what felt like ten minutes before snapping out of it with a shock and a warm tingle running through my body. The idea that it might feel good to brush my leg against someone elses flickered through my mind. I shot that thought in the head… the nearest leg was Shinji, and Asuka would kill me. It was still bleeding on the floor of my mind when Motoko's response came back

“Wow! That’s a really nice outfit Noriko. It really suits you,”

It was totally worth it just to be complimented by a friend. It closed the virtuous circle with a boost of ego that had me wondering if I shouldn't try other things.

Misato, now dressed for work looked in on what I'd managed to do.

“It's better than nothing.” she said. That was about the kindest thing it would be possible to say about it, and I could tell she'd taken a long time to come up with that. “Doing nothing just because it's too difficult is the first step along the road to destruction. What do you think would've happened now if we'd listened to the scientists who told us building the EVA's was impossible?”

She stared right at us all, wearing a cold expression that sucked the heat out of the room. “If you aren't willing to try, then why are you alive?”

There's a big difference between the ultimate pan-global Manhattan project to build a weapon upon which the fate of all humanity must hinge and a poxy middle school essay set by a doddering old codger who still had impact flashbacks and insisted that we should all lionise his generation for rebuilding after a World War and a global disaster.

The way I figure it, if I'm going to be a fourteen year old girl, It's only fair that I get to be fourteen in outlook too. It's a package deal.

But, she did have a small point. I prioritised my time, then found that I still had some left over. I could at least use it to make an attempt and score a few marks.

“Ok.” I said.

“Well,” she smiled a little at each of us, bringing a small amount of sunshine into the room. “It's time for my shift. Hopefully, I won't see you three until the morning,”

Because if we saw her sooner, that meant an Angel attack. I knew there wouldn't be one.

“Goodbye,” Shinji beamed. Asuke glared. I suppressed a hearty chuckle that'd get me killed.

Misato winked at him. “Be careful Shinji. Don't let these two girls corrupt you and take your innocent purity,” she purred, suggesting she wanted him all to herself.

“You old pervert,” Asuka sneered. “He's half your age,”

“It's not as old as you are, it's as old as you feel,” she cooed dreamily, leaning over Shinji. She propped those two big breasts of hers on top of his head, squishing him down into his seat. Shinji grimaced from beneath marshmallow hell, glowering up at her, his face a grim mixture of irritation and adolescent hope.

I had a sudden flash, picturing myself in Shinji's place, going all tingly inside. A second flash, of myself in Misato's place, with Shinji's head pressed against my chest sent little tingles crawling through my chest, like the feet of a thousand little ants deep inside me. I crossed my arms defensively, feeling an odd blush begin to heat my face. I set my jaw grimly.

“I do not like Shinji,” I stated. He looked stunned for a moment. Crap! “I mean... I ..... Not like .... em...” I tumbled over myself, trying to find the right words.

Asuka sighed. “She means she's not physically attracted to you,” she clarified. “Not that she hates you,”

“Exactly,” I confirmed.

“Oh,” Shinji relaxed, and seemed to forget for a moment that he was wearing Misato's boobs for a hat. “Can you take them off? They're real heavy.”

“Try carrying them around,” Misato giggled, standing upright again. She squeezed them together into this great deep vally, before letting them drop down with a bounce.

Right. Back pains. Something else I get to grow into.

“And aren't you going to be late?” Shinji said, sourly.

“Spoilsport,” she pouted, sourly. It took a few moments for her adult composure to return. “Anyway, a long and boring night dealing with the Goddess Relief Service beckons. I'll see you three in the morning,”

Hamburg named their Magi after the Norns. Japanese members of NERV did what came natural soon after. Misato slipped quietly out of the door, for a moment leaving me with the feeling that she was just a little bit ashamed.

Asuka blew out a long, false sigh as the front door slid home, leaning dangerously back on her chair, almost daring it to slip out from under her and break her neck.

“Must've met Kaji last night. “ she declared.

“Huh?”

“She gets like this if they both were on the same shift. She always teases Shinji more,”

The boy frowned just a little bit. “It sucks being the only guy in the house.”

“Ritsuko will... do surgery, if that problem,”

He gawked at me.

Asuka groaned. “Cavegirl makes a funny,”

“I don't want to be a girl anyway,” said Shinji. “I'm a boy,” he declared with manly gusto.

I half-laughed.

It would certainly have reduced the sexual tension in this apartment to manageable level if Shinji had been a girl. Misato wouldn't be teasing her. Asuka wouldn't be going all tsundere, they'd probably even be friends, and I'd be able to lounge lazily around in my underwear rather than having to get dressed.

And it'd make for a more interesting show, if you're into the moe thing. Moe Shinjiko, hard, tsundere Asuka, softer Noriko, and Fey and mysterious Rei. I smirked at the thought. There was a Yuri doujin in there somewhere. Shinji himself got back to cooking.

It was a scene of domestic bliss. I thought about changing out of my clothes, but ended up not bothering. What did the saviours of humanity do on their off-time? What did animé characters do during the long days between episodes when the excession of the week wasn't blasting the city to rubble and threatening humanity's extinction if we failed?

The exact same things every child their age did when they had free time to spare.

We lounged around, watched TV, argued, ate snacks, complained, hogged the telephone, pirated a two-decade old animé series and some RPG sourcebooks to cconfirm a few things for myself, and finally went digging for some crisps because I felt like eating something crunchy and salty.

“Sorry,” Asuka waved her packet it me. The remaining crisps inside shuffled mouth-wateringly inside. I felt my mouth begin to perspire with desire. “Last one. Early bird, catches the worm,”.

I always preferred to be the second mouse who got the cheese myself. I shot her a dirty look. She grinned at me in victory.

“Ah bollox, I'll get some myself,”

Change clothes? For a trip to the nearest Lawson's for a bag of Doritos? I breezed out the door and out into the late evening. The sky was a stunning, burning orange, pale smoky clouds rolling over the tops of the mountains. Lights were coming on in the city. Many were aircraft warning lights or Evangelion waypoints. Some were apartments, twinkling into being on the face of residential blocks. The roads where near empty, with only a few out on the streets. There was an evening chill in the air, while concrete radiated the stored heat of the day.

A traditional-style bar was bustling as day-shift down the Geofront was beginning to end. Kaji waved at me, and I ran away. Something about him just set off alarm bells deep within. Ryouji Kaji was Bad News, my mind warned with the full flashing lights and klaxons display. It sent chills through my body just thinking about him.

I was getting into the old part of town, by which time the sun had sunk low between two mountains, which for a moment reminded me of a pair of breasts. There was a small playground on a green area just outside the supermarket. Alone, a boy was playing by himself in a diamond sandpit, slowly digging a trench with a plastic front loader that in his own imagination was five metres tall solid steel.

I remembered being his age.

I remembered being a boy his age. Clear as a bell it rang like the cicadas in the evening sun.

His mother called him away and he began to pout in that childish way we all did when we wanted five minutes more after the last five minutes more, and the bell of recollection tolled once more as I remembered myself demanding the exact same thing. I knew I'd seen this place before...

And not recently.

I stopped at stared into the pit for a few seconds. Just a diamond full of rough sand, surrounded by cracked and silvered wood.

And it was gone.

Oh well. Not every recollection was going to come as easy as that championship one. I picked up what I wanted from the Lawsons, picked up a few other things I didn't want as was the usual way with supermarkets, then set off home and a gentle amble. The great thing about being so physically active day to day, was that I could eat a little junk food without to many ill effects.

The sun had dropped below the mountains, burning like a distant fire in the west. More lights were coming to life. That's what Asuka meant, about the city seeming more alive with the lights on. It was a place where people lived, rather than the rusting ghost towns along the coast. Light was life.

I had a whole life ahead of me now. And it was my life.

Clear skies were turning to purple velvet as darkness finally closed in, the first stars winking back at me as a coda to a day which had felt revolutionary. I hiked up the stairs, finding the door to home. I remembered my first time making the journey, and how I'd come through that door to see a pair of Asuka's neural clips and Shinji's SDAT on the table and it'd all seemed so strangely unreal.

“I'm back!” I announced.

“Welcome home,” Shinji smiled. His arms where caked in suds, the boy cleaning up after dinner

That was it. If a random omnipotent being had popped in at just that moment and survived to offer me the chance to go home, chances were my answer would’ve been that I am.

Come to think of it, I never really thought much of home. At first, maybe I was too shocked to think about it. As that passed, I was too burned out from training, then came my identity issues, then… now. It never entered my mental landscape because I was too busy with other, more immediate thoughts. Now, well… here I am.

Asuka spotted the bagful of junkfood.

“So that's what all the training is for,” she said, with that foxish smirk.

I propped my leg up on the couch, stretching it straight out. Muscles went taught under dark stockings, and I slapped my thigh.

“Rock solid,” More or less.

Under my skin, the soft outline of muscle. Not bulging or anything, just me being lean, fit and toned. Her eyes narrowed. Behind me, there was a clatter, followed by a splash that sent a shock through my body. Both of us turned around to see a heavy steel pot on the floor, dishwater slopping across the tiling.

“Pervert!” Asuka accused.

Oops.

The three of us finished the night gaming, with Pen-Pen stealing crisps. I showered for the evening, while the others went to bed, lingering in the land of the waking for a few minutes because I just didn’t want the day to end.

My new life wasn’t better than my old. It wasn’t worse. Sure I got to pilot the giant robot, but it was a lot of work, and I could get killed. I could get worse than killed. I was fitter than who I used to be, but conversely, more fragile. A hard fall would shatter my leg and arm all over again. It was all swings and roundabouts really.

Asuka was still reading when I finally slipped into bed, curling up under light sheets. I waited until she was finally gone under before sneaking out again to remind myself that it was also my body.

Padding my way back to my bedroom in the dark, still feeling just a little bit flush, I glanced out the window at the night beyond. There were lights twinkling on the moon while the city beneath had gone to sleep.

Asuka was dead to the world in bed, muttering away to herself in her native language. Her bedsheets had fallen off. Striped panties accentuated the curves of her backside. My first thought was that she was going to wake up cold and grouchy, and I’d have to put up with it.

My second thought was that it was time to get to sleep myself. School tomorrow. Pain-in-the-ass teacher tomorrow. And another three hours of after-school testing and training tomorrow. Kaworu tomorrow.

Here I am.

Even if I do still dream of Evangelion fanfics
-------m(^0^)m------ Wot, no sig?

Tsachoul
Lilith
User avatar
Posts: 148
Joined: Oct 27, 2008
Location: S45

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Tsachoul » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:54 am

Oh my god this is still alive! I had all but given up hope when I saw that the last update on ff was about a year ago.
"We rode on the winds of the rising storm,
We ran to the sounds of thunder.
We danced among the lightning bolts,
And tore the world assunder."


Return to “Fanfiction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests