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Old 20-07-2000, 07:59 AM   #1   [permalink]
DeadManSeven
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Bahz...more of my fanfiction...say what you think. If anyone is willing to take the time and really pick my work to pieces, I'd _love_ it. Anyway...here's the first part (in a reletively long series) of one of my pieces called New Mynds...takes place at the time of Asuka Strikes!...I think I'll just leave it there. I'll try and make this a regular sort of installment thing. That's enough of me, on with the writing...just one more thing before I post. I like Rei. I like Rei better than Asuka. I do not, however, believe that Rei should end up with Shinji. That may be the direct opposite of what's written here, but I'm just stating my views as they stand now. 'Kay.

------------

*With One Flashing Accord/To Remove What Hides Our Heart...*

Commander Gendo Ikari had just finished reading a large document that sat in front of him. It contained information about the next Evangelion, the production model. Ikari placed the sheets back into a folder marked ‘Top Secret’ and addressed the man standing behind him.
“So Unit Two will not be ready for another two weeks?”
“I’m afraid so,” said Sub-Commander Fuyutsuki. “There’s just too much red tape. Also, we’re having trouble finding a large enough fleet to transport the Eva.”
“Understood. What’s the repair status on Unit Zero?”
“It’s going quite well. If all goes to plan, Unit Zero can be running in ten days.”
“So we have no other protection but Unit One?”
“That is correct. But it seems to be working so far.”
“Yes. But not without its share of problems. The old men of Seele are still sore about that stunt Katsuragi pulled with the last Angel.”
Suddenly, a loud siren sounded. From the area below him, Ikari heard Lt. Ibuki call out, “Blue reading off the East Coast. It’s definitely an Angel!”
“The next Angel, hmm?” said Fuyutsuki.
“Call Captain Katsuragi and the Third Child here. Now!”

The phone rang at Misato’s apartment. Shinji answered it, as Misato was in a comatose state on the floor in her room. He hoped it wouldn’t be important.
“Uh, hello?”
“Shinji?” Shinji tried to place the voice, but couldn’t. He decided it was too early in the morning for his recall to be working properly.
“Who is this?” he asked, still not at full alert because he had been woken by the ringing phone.
“This is Lieutenant Aoba. There’s been a state of emergency declared. We need you and the Captain down here now.”
“But, Misato’s still...sleeping...”
“Well, wake her up! This is important!”
“Yes, okay.”
Shinji hung up the phone and steeled himself to do one of the tasks he hated most: reviving a hung-over Misato.

“Well?”
“The Third Child may not arrive here on time, Commander. His guardian...”
“I suspected as much. Very well. Brief Rei and have her on stand-by at the holding cage. Be prepared to re-write Unit One’s personal data files if necessary. I want this Angel stopped before it reaches the land.”
“Yes, sir!”

Shinji walked into Misato’s room, to find a crumpled heap lying on the floor, just as he had thought. Oh well, he had done this before...
“Misato...Misato, wake up...”
He got a response: a mumbled, “Just five more minutes...”
Dammit, why did she have to be like this?

Shigeru sped through the streets of Tokyo-3. Without any of the traffic due to the evacuation, he could make the trip to Misato’s apartment in perhaps one-third of the time. The Third Child wasn’t necessary for this mission (or so said the Commander), because they had Rei, but Misato should be at Nerv to oversee everything. Protocol. And seeing as they would need to configure Unit One for Rei if Shinji wasn’t there, why not kill two birds with one stone?, thought Shigeru, swinging the wheel to turn a sharp corner.

Shinji heard the tire skid, even from the apartment, because of the large scarceness of cars in Tokyo-3 this morning. However, he didn’t really begin paying attention to the sound until he heard his name being called from below.
“Shinji! Shinji!”
Shinji ran to the balcony and looked down. There was a car, and someone standing by it that he couldn’t identify from this level.
“Shinji! Get Misato down here now!”
Well, getting her to the elevator might be easier than trying to wake her up.

After a few rounds of instant coffee and some jerks from Shigeru’s reckless driving, Misato came out of her totally unconscious state. Shinji just looked out the car window and tried to hold on if the Lieutenant tried to do something stupid, like taking an intersection without braking. Lt. Aoba, throughout the whole trip, had his head close to the wheel, as if he was a racecar driver. Shinji thought to himself, _He must have other hobbies, besides playing the air guitar._

After suiting up, sitting in the entry plug and experiencing the odd sensation of LCL filling his lungs and supplying them with oxygen, Shinji waited for his instructions on the intercom. At the moment, all he heard was Misato and Ritsuko arguing mildly about Misato’s coffee.
“Shinji, can you hear me?” Good, they’ve stopped, thought Shinji as he heard Misato’s voice directed toward him.
“Yes, I can hear you.”
“This Angel is coming in from the sea. It’s important that you try and stop it before it reaches the land. Do you understand?”
“Yeah, I get it. Not to fight near the people, right?” An unpleasant memory flashed through his head: Toji hitting him, because of his injured sister.
“That’s one of the reasons. Just remember all of the simulations and you should have no trouble. Ready?”
“I’m ready.”
“Launch Eva!”

The Evangelion shot up the tube to the surface. After the initial jerk of stopping, Shinji surveyed his surroundings; a scattering of buildings to his left, and in front of him, the open ocean.
And the Angel.
It looked more like the first Angel he had fought; that is, it was vaguely human in shape, as opposed to the other two Angels he had seen. At first glance, the large greyish blob didn’t look like it was capable of destruction on a citywide scale, but (as Shinji had learnt well in the past month or so) appearances could be deceptive. He gripped the controls, feeling the Positron Rifle his Eva held instead of the metallic grips, due to the LCL, synchronising his thoughts with the Eva’s actions. He charged.
The Angel twisted it’s what-could-have-passed-for-a-head, seemingly looking at the running Unit One. Before giving it time to attack, Shinji raised the rifle and fired.

Underground, Misato and Ritsuko watched the screen with an almost hypnotic intensity.
“He can’t miss at that range, can he?” asked Misato.
“I shouldn’t think so. But still, we know almost nothing about the Angels,” Ritsuko replied, not lifting her eyes.
_Except that they have the same DNA as us,_ Misato thought but didn’t dare speak.
On the screen, the smoke was beginning to clear. Shinji had learnt from his mistake with the second one, Misato saw. She could make out...two? Were there two shapes in the smoke? Had Shinji split it down the middle?
Then a glowing green light began to pulse in the smoke. The Angel was still alive!
“Shinji! Look out!” Misato yelled into the intercom.
Before the Eva had chance to move, Misato saw the light flash, and heard Shinji’s scream, and knew this battle was over.

“The Angel appears to have split into two divisions following the attack on Unit One. It currently is in a state of regeneration, after being wounded by Unit One’s Positron Rifle, which we have calculated to end in eight days. Seeing as we only have Unit One at full repair status...”
“What about Unit Zero?” Misato asked, interrupting Maya’s report.
“Unit Zero cannot be repaired in that space of time, Captain.”
“Actually, it can,” Fuyutsuki said from the back of the small projection room. “The Commander likes to have flexibility on the repair projects, in case of situations like this.”
“So can Unit Zero be ready before the Angel has healed?” Misato asked Fuyutsuki.
“It’s possible.”
“What for, Captain?”
“Unit One won’t be able to handle both Angels. I believe we should use both Evas in a simultaneous attack, eight days from now.”

Gendo Ikari opened a drawer in his desk with a telephone inside it. He picked up the receiver and rapidly dialled a mobile phone number.
“Hello,” a pleasant male voice answered on the other end.
“It’s me.”
“Ah, yes. To what do I owe the honour?”
“When will you arrive in Tokyo-3?”
“When you send over the new Unit. All of the documentation is in order, I believe.”
“Correct.” A pause. “You have it with you?”
“I’m looking at it now. You seem to be very anxious to get this into your possession, Ikari.”
“I told you not to use my name on this line.”
“Sorry.” The man’s voice suggested that he wasn’t at all. “Until we talk again...”
“Goodbye.”

“How do you feel, Shinji?”
“My head still hurts...but it’s been worse.” Shinji replied to Misato, and mentally added to himself: _being on this noisy train doesn’t help._

Shinji’s headache had been getting better after he got off the train, and just walking back to the apartment seemed to help as well. He decided to take his mind off it by talking.
“How are we going to defeat this one? If there are still two of them...”
“I’ve thought about that. Shinji, you and Rei will both be attacking the Angel in eight days. But seeing as both parts are controlled by the same mind, you will need to attack simultaneously, in order to catch it off-guard.”
“That doesn’t sound like a bad idea, Misato.”
“Well, you should actually thank Dr. Akagi for it. But there could be one or two...problems...”
“What sort of problems?” Shinji asked cautiously.
“Your sync ratio has to rise significantly for you to be able to pilot the Eva with enough precision. But the tests should take care of that. You’ll going to have to be pulled from school for a week. Rei too. But I’m sure you catch up.”
Shinji sighed inwardly. He didn’t exactly dislike the sync tests, but if he had to go through a whole week of them...
“What’s the other problem?” he asked, not really wanting to know. They had reached the door of Misato’s apartment.
“The mission needs you to be not only in tune with your Eva, but in tune with your fellow pilot as well. Seeing as we can’t get the same results from anything like the sync tests...”
Misato’s door slid open, and Shinji saw who had opened it.
“...You and Rei will be living together.”

After his initial objection (which he never voiced), Shinji saw that maybe Rei being at the apartment might not be such a bad thing. After all, he decided over the evening meal, she was a far better cook that Misato was. And not nearly as embarrassing.

“These aren’t quite the readings we’re looking for, are they?” Misato asked, glancing at the various displays over the screen looking in on the tank of LCL.
“No...Shinji isn’t doing as well as we expected. And it’s been three days,” Ritsuko replied. “Maya, lower the plug depth for Unit One another point three percent.”
“Is this really helping him? Trying to force his synchronisation?” Misato said, not without some compassion in her voice.
“We’re on a tight time schedule. It can’t be helped.” Ritsuko pressed down on a button on the control panel, activating the intercom.
“That’s all for today. You two can go and get cleaned up now.”
The various displays shut down, corresponding with Maya flipping off switches across the panel.
“How are they getting along? At home, I mean?” Ritsuko asked out of interest.
“I think Shinji’s gotten used to the idea. As for Rei...well, she never really changes.”

Shinji lay awake in his room, staring at the ceiling. The day’s sync tests had really worn him out, but still sleep did not find him. He was in the middle of considering drinking one of Misato’s beers to knock himself out when he heard a noise from the living room.
_Rei,_ he thought. _Is she awake too?_
Shinji, deciding that at the moment anything was better than the silent agony of waiting for sleep to come, quietly crept out of his room and slowly tip-toed his way to the living room.
In the darkness, he saw Rei’s short-haired shadow played across the wall by the faint glow of the streetlights below. She was sitting cross-legged on the makeshift bed, seeming to Shinji that she was having a greater difficulty sleeping than he was.
“Uh...Rei, why are you still up?” Shinji asked as he moved to sit next to Rei, who never flinched, not even to see who spoke to her.
“I find it hard to sleep somewhere that is not my room,” was her reply.
“Can I talk to you? I...can’t sleep myself.”
“If you wish, Pilot Ikari.”
Pilot Ikari. He hated being called that. It reminded him of his father, and of Eva, both as mysterious and frightening as the other.
“Rei...could you call me Shinji?”
“Why?”
“Because...because here I’m not a pilot.”
No response.
In the darkness, Shinji felt a question rise to his mind. If he asked it, he felt...he _knew_ that he would almost kick himself for asking it, but the old habits _do_ die the hardest.
“Rei, how do you feel about my father?”
“How am I supposed to feel?” Rei asked in her simple monotone.
“You mean you don’t know?”
“No...what does it look like I feel, Shinji Ikari?”
Shinji recalled the time he saw Rei and his father talking in the holding bay.
“You look...happy, Rei.”
“Happy...” She paused, as if rolling the very concept around in her head, trying to fathom all of its implications. “What is happiness?”
Before Shinji could think of a response, Rei turned her head to look at Shinji, moving for the first time in the conversation.
“Could you show me...happiness?”
Shinji would later try to analyse what had happened at that moment. Maybe it had been the pale light on Rei’s face, the soulful longing behind her soulless words, or maybe it had just been his chronic lack of sleep. But these thoughts didn’t come until later. Now, he only reacted.
He leaned over and kissed her on the mouth.
To Shinji, the kiss seemed to last forever. He felt he almost choked on his own tongue with the realisation that Rei was kissing him back.
To Rei, it was as if the kiss had set off a blinding light, a radioactive flare in her mind, seeking out all the emotional experiences in her memory up until now and burning them with its very brightness.
When they finally broke, Shinji realised that his hand now rested on Rei’s shoulder. He stared into her deep, red eyes, and for the first time, he thought he saw compassion in them. Later, he would think he saw even amazement.
“Thank you, Shinji,” Rei whispered in the darkness, and lay down to sleep.
After a moment of self-deliberation, Shinji lay down beside her.

“Are these readings correct?” Maya asked in disbelief. When she didn’t get a response, she glanced at Ritsuko, who was still staring at the screens.
“They all...look right. But a five-point jump, overnight...maybe it just took time before Shinji began to show results.”
“Those aren’t the readings I’m talking about, Doctor...”
Ritsuko, not quite comprehending what Maya meant, thought about other readings. _What_ other readings? _Rei?_
But Rei’s sync level never changed...
The display next to Shinji’s told her otherwise.
Five points higher.
“What happened to those two last night?” Ritsuko asked in disbelief.

Later that night, Shinji watched the floor of Misato’s apartment intently. Misato was absent from the apartment, having gone back to Nerv to talk in detail with Ritsuko about him and Rei showing something after four days of sync tests. Both of them had been congratulated, but no one had noticed that Shinji was trying to avoid talking to Rei, feeling too awkward to say anything.
Rei had come to sit next to him on the couch, and he had been so deeply absorbed in thought that he almost jumped a little when she spoke.
“Shinji...,” Rei said, seeming to Shinji to be as nervous as he had been feeling. That was the second time he had heard her say his name like that, and he was beginning to realise what it was that made him kiss her that night.
“Y-yes?” he asked, stumbling over his words and looking up from the floor, into Rei’s eyes.
“Would you...kiss me again?”
For a second Rei thought that Shinji was going to refuse, so she was almost surprised when he jerked forward quickly and pressed his lips against hers.
She thought he had only intended the kiss to be short, but it changed rapidly into something else. Rei closed her eyes, lost in the moment, letting Shinji’s warm breath play gently across her cheek. She clasped her hands around the back of his neck, drawing herself close to him, feeling his heart beat rhythmically. New emotions were beginning to clarify themselves in Rei’s mind, as she felt Shinji’s hands nervously touch her back, and then grow confidence, tightening and holding her close. She was, for the first time in her life, feeling a sense of self, a sense of _being,_ and...
_It is very...pleasant,_ she though to herself, as the pair separated, still in each other’s arms.
“Hello! I’m home! You two had dinner yet?” Misato’s voice and the sound of the closing door broke the silence in the apartment.

Shinji watched the analogue counter slowly click over as the elevator descended. The events of yesterday played over in his mind: Rei...he wondered how he really felt about her. Did he like her? Did she like him? He glanced over to her, and was about to say her name, when she beat him to speaking.
“Shinji?”
“Yes, Rei?”
“I feel...strange. There is no physical discomfort, but it seems like there is something missing. I feel an...emotion towards you that I don’t know how to describe. It is not respect or admiration, but it seems similar, yet different. Do you know what I feel, Shinji?”
Shinji stepped closer to Rei and said, “I think that’s...love, Rei.”
“Love...” She paused and considered. “Do you feel...love too? Do you...love me?”
“I...think I do.”
Rei turned her gaze away from the elevator doors and towards Shinji. For a second, they stayed unmoving, until Rei held out her hand to Shinji. He took it, his nervousness beginning to fade, and she felt herself smile at him. He smiled back, and knew that he truly was in love with her.

Over the next three days, both pilots trained, synchronised, amazed Ritsuko and Maya, and got closer. The operation to destroy the Angel was carried off perfectly.

Rei got off the train, thoughts clouding her mind. _Is this over? As I am returning to my room, will this stop what has begun?_

In her barren apartment, Rei felt all the old, familiar, lifeless emotions come back to her. She couldn’t go back to this room. She would go back to be with Shinji.
But...
The Commander’s glasses, the pair that had broken when he had saved her life, and smiled at her, lay on the desk next to her bed. She had attached such importance to them, but for what? Had not the exact same thing occurred with Shinji, the only difference being that the second time, she had smiled back?
She picked up the glasses, an object that just a week ago was the only window she had to any emotion, and swept them into the rubbish bin that sat beside the desk, along with several old bandages and scraps of paper. It was the last time she would see them.

Ten minutes later, Rei had boarded a train to Misato’s apartment.
Fifteen minutes later, she stood in front of the apartment door.
Twenty minutes later, she was in Shinji’s arms.

Shinji sat on Misato’s couch, with his arms around Rei, hardly paying attention to what was on the television. He tried to think how this had come about, him and Rei, and decided the same decision he always had: they had just ‘found each other’. They weren’t ‘going out’, or ‘an item’, they were just...helping each other with the fact that they were Eva pilots. He wondered what Toji and Kensuke would say...and realised that he didn’t care.

Rei sat on Misato’s couch, with her arms around Shinji’s waist and her head resting on his shoulder, hardly paying attention to what was on the television. She was trying to cope with all these new thoughts...new emotions. Love, to Shinji...satisfaction, at the completion of a successful mission...fear, at what else she may feel...anticipation, for much the same reason.

Misato sat in a chair, holding a beer in one hand and watching the new couple with some interest and faint amusement, hardly paying attention to what was on the television. Rei and Shinji had ‘come out’, as it were, two days ago, and still she was amazed at how much they had changed. Shinji had been quiet, and Rei had been downright reclusive, and in Misato’s mind, neither of them would have had any contact at all with the opposite sex if they could avoid it. Well, maybe Rei...if she was ordered to. But now...it was as if Shinji had found a way to ‘unlock’ Rei from her apathy, and they had then both found something to cling to at the torrent of Nerv and the Angels washed them downstream.


__________________
-DM7

"Man fears the darkness. And so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire."
-Rei Ayanami

Live fast, die hard, and most importantly...leave an impressive stain!

We must be swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Astronomy: a star...
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Old 22-07-2000, 04:39 AM   #2   [permalink]
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I think it is good. I also like the way you have twisted the character interaction between Shinji and Rei.
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Old 23-07-2000, 01:26 AM   #3   [permalink]
DeadManSeven
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Interim stuff...

---------

Shinji stared out of the helicopter window down at the wide blue ocean. There was something very calming about not seeing any signs of man below him - and the fact that Toji and Kensuke weren’t yelling “Shinji loves Rei!” at every viable opportunity, on account of them practically drooling over Misato and the helicopter, respectively.
They had, obviously, been stunned at first, and there were several times Shinji would have laughed out loud, if he wasn’t so embarrassed - like on their first day back at school, after the operation, when Kensuke almost fell out of his chair after reading the ‘I love you, Shinji’ printed at the bottom of a message Rei sent him. Or when Rei had kissed him - wolf whistles and shouts of “Alright, Ikari!” had flow across the classroom, but Shinji was sure Toji and Kensuke almost had brain embolisms.
He turned his focus to inside the helicopter, and began to wonder just why Misato had decided to bring them. Shinji thought they would be in the way...well, maybe not Toji, who would just follow Misato around, but certainly Kensuke - anyone could be irritated by a fourteen year old with a video camera and a love of war machines.
<Beginning of ‘Asuka Strikes!’>

“Is this correct? This reading?”
“I believe so, Commander.”
“Are you sure these readings came from Rei?”
“Quite sure. Is there something wrong with them?”
“They have an unusually high amount of thought noise in them. Rei doesn’t _have_ thought noise. It’s almost as if she’s becoming more...human.”
“Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed, Commander.”
“Noticed what, Fuyutsuki?”
“Rei...and your son.”
Ikari paused for a moment, in thought, running through the ramifications and implications of what could happen.
“Can this affect her in any significant way?” Fuyutsuki asked in Gendo’s silence.
“Yes...but this shouldn’t be a problem anymore. With Unit Two and the Second Child, we no longer have a need for a constant backup.”
“There is also the matter of where the Second Child is to be located. Seeing as Rei has taken up residence with Captain Katsuragi...”
“Make it so. But...clear out all of her possessions and take them to Dogma before the Second Child is located.”
“What for, Commander?”
“Personal reasons.”
<End of ‘Asuka Strikes!’>

Ikari sifted through the objects ‘recovered’ from Rei apartment in Terminal Dogma. He came across something he never expected to see again.
His old pair of glasses.
Did Rei..._keep_ these? To remind her of him?
Then why did she get rid of them?
_Because now she has Shinji..._
“So...,” Ikari said to himself, “It’s begun.”
<Beginning of ‘Magma Diver’, which now follows ‘Asuka Strikes!’ due to the new Angel order>

__________________
-DM7

"Man fears the darkness. And so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire."
-Rei Ayanami

Live fast, die hard, and most importantly...leave an impressive stain!

We must be swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Astronomy: a star...
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Old 23-07-2000, 09:54 PM   #4   [permalink]
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Exclamation

Good to see that your posting your stuff here as well.
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Old 23-07-2000, 09:57 PM   #5   [permalink]
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hi ya blue2 and welcome to my forum..

take it you know DM7 already ?
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Old 24-07-2000, 01:38 AM   #6   [permalink]
DeadManSeven
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Cool Heya!

Yes, I know Blue2, an Australian who knows something about Eva (something I thought was a rare breed indeed until I came here), like myself. I'm still madly posting away with my fanfics...in fact, here's part II...

------------

*Angelic Invader/The Ghost of the Machines*

Ritsuko paced around the large collaboration of Nerv staff from various technical divisions, thoughts flowing freely through her mind about any one of the thousands of things that could go wrong. Central Dogma was much more crowded than it normally would be, and was for a good reason and important task; the diagnostic checks on the Magi system. It would be a much simpler operation if all three of the giant computers could be shut down - or at least put off-line - simultaneously, but that would be far too great a risk; if the Magi were inoperable during an Angel attack...
“What’s the status on Melchior?” Ritsuko asked Maya, clearing her mind.
“Forty-four percent of the diagnostics completed. If all goes to plan, we can switch the testing to Balthasar in a little over an hour.”
“That gives us enough time to work in the test, if the children arrive here on time, doesn’t it?”
“Plenty of time.” Maya looked up from her screen for a moment and turned to face Ritsuko. “This isn’t as big a job as you made it out to be.”
“Well, it’s not a small job either, so don’t make any mistakes.”
Maya nodded sharply and restored her focus on the screen.

The door leading out of the kitchen in Misato’s apartment slid open, to reveal a dishevelled, yawning Misato.
“Good morning, Misato.”
“Good morning, Misato.”
“G’morning, Shinji, Rei,” she yawned as she walked (staggered, Shinji thought) further into the kitchen. “You’re up early.”
“We have to be up early. There’s a experiment this morning,” Rei pointed out.
“Oh, right...aren’t the Magi being shut off for today?”
“Yes, but if they can take time out of our day, they will. They’re so _demanding._” Shinji, after finishing his statement, got up from the table to take his dishes away, moving past Misato, who was currently rummaging in the fridge for a beer. Rei soon got up to follow him, and as Shinji turned around, he saw that Misato had found what she was looking for.
“Now, what can I have with this? I think there’s some food left over from last night...” Misato proceeded to search through her freezer, a can in each hand, for anything edible among the collection of instant frozen dinners.
“I made breakfast. There’s still some left over, if you want it...,” Rei said.
“Oh.” Misato pulled herself out of the freezer. “Don’t you think I can make myself a meal?” she asked the pair, giving each of them a stern (for early in the morning) look.
“Well...” Both pilots suddenly found small spots on the wall very interesting.
“I’m _kidding!_ What did you make?”

Misato, after a few drinks and the remains of Rei’s breakfast, got prepared and left for work, with Shinji and Rei sitting the back seat of her car, cuddling. From the glances Misato took in the mirror, she thought they were a really cute couple. However, she later thought as their group descended into the Geofront on a car-train, there were some people that didn’t share the same opinion...

“Guten Morgan, Misato!”
“Hello, Asuka,” Misato said as she noticed the young girl standing near one of the escalators.
“Hi, Asuka,” said Shinji, arms around Rei, following behind Misato.
Asuka instantly lost her morning zest as she saw her fellow pilots together.
“I’ll leave you three to get to the changing room on your own. See you all in ten minutes!” Misato quickly hurried off: she wasn’t late, exactly, but from what Shinji could gather, after she stopped and talk to everyone she knew, she would be. At least she wasn’t like this in emergencies...
“Stop standing around, idiot! We have a test to get to!” Asuka proceeded to half-storm off in the direction of the changing room. Shinji and Rei, after exchanging a glance, sighed and followed her. It was going to be a long day, thought Shinji.

Ritsuko stared at her reflection in the mirror, thinking over the testing and processing of Melchior, and how swiftly the time has passed when she wasn’t being worried. She knew that there wasn’t really anything that could go wrong, on the wide scale of things that could go wrong at Nerv, but still, there were no countermeasures she knew of that she could take to alleviate her stress.
She shook her head slowly. Ritsuko hated knowing that she was possibly the only one who saw the Magi as more than the computers that ran almost all of Tokyo-3, but it also gave her a sense of pride, of self...
“Too many conflicting emotions...I always get like this during mother’s checkups,” Ritsuko said to herself, as she left the bathroom to head off to the simulation room.

“Hello, Ritsuko!” Misato exclaimed, appearing in Central Dogma with a cup of coffee she had...borrowed from someone she passed on the way there.
“You’re late again,” Ritsuko said with her custom dispassion, not looking up from the screen she was observing over Maya’s shoulder. Misato only grinned meekly; both of them knew it was a situation that wasn’t changing. Misato changed the subject, deciding to skim past pleasantries until a later date.
“How are the Magi tests going?”
“They’re almost finished for Melchior. Things ran on time, for once. Where are the children?”
“They’re getting changed. They’ll be here any moment.”

Shinji felt the air suck itself out of his plugsuit as he compressed the trigger on his left wrist. It was a sensation he could never get used to, much like most of the tasks he had to perform at Nerv; being surrounded by LCL, feeling things he knew didn’t come from his own mind, synchronising with the Eva...
He slowly became aware of Rei’s shadow showing up against the partition; standing close to the thin wall, one hand resting slightly on it, near her face. Shinji could imagine her over the other side, her pert nose almost touching the material of the partition, both of them being so close yet so far...
Shinji stood and in doing so, saw Rei’s shadow move to track his own movement; she was watching him, probably much to the disgust of Asuka, if she had noticed. He slowly moved over to the partition, and raised his own hand to touch the shadow. Due to the thickness (or lack thereof) of the false wall, he could feel Rei’s fingertips respond to his touch. There was something deeply intense about this; not being able to see or feel fully what each other was doing, yet knowing on some level they were strongly connected...
“_Hey!_ Would you two knock it off? We’re _supposed_ to be getting ready here!”
Asuka began muttering about how much the pair of them were idiots to herself as the intensity between Rei and Shinji was shattered.

Shinji looked to either side of him; Rei on his right, Asuka on his left, half-obscured by a shoulder-level partition. He depressed his thumb on a button marked as the intercom switch, and spoke.
“We’re here.”
“And not pleased at all about being naked and standing next to this..._pervert!_” Asuka, as usual, voicing her objections in the bluntest manner, all while managing to call him a pervert. That had come about after Asuka had found out about that incident when Shinji had to deliver Rei’s new ID card...and Rei had somehow been able to avoid the full wrath of Asuka, leaving him to try and explain, which he did rather poorly. Shinji decided he would let it go, this time, as he happened to agree with her. The sooner he could get into the entry plug, the better, as he wasn’t entirely comfortable being without his plugsuit, either.
“Don’t call Shinji a pervert!” Rei.
“What would _you_ like me to call him, then?”
Shinji was sure that Asuka had been about to make a suggestion, until Ritsuko cut her off.
“Stop bickering. We’ve got a test to run, and we’re on a tight time schedule.”
“Sorry, Doctor Akagi.”
“Yeah, sorry.”

As Rei felt the air around her become replaced by liquid, she instantly sensed that something was wrong in the entry plug. It could have been due to the fact that they weren’t using the Evas for this test, but rather large mock bodies suspended in one of Nerv’s large Eva testing rooms. She wasn’t completely sure on where these new...objects had come from, and didn’t want to be; what she did know about the secrets Nerv held made all the more certain that she didn’t want to know the rest of them. But that part of her mind was closed now...
The wrongness still remained, and Rei was sure that she would be reassured if she could just place where it-
“Rei, can you hear me?” The intercom.
“Yes, I can hear you.”
“I want you to try and move the left arm.”
Rei’s hand went to the metal grip, and the alien sensation increased. Regardless, she tried to raise the grip to correspond with the command Ritsuko gave her.
The grip stuck solid, and the LCL felt like it was condensing around her. A sharp, stabbing pain came over her arm, and she knew from long experience that this test was going to be aborted.
Something was definitely wrong.

“Her input isn’t registering. There’s something wrong with the calibration, maybe,” Ritsuko thought out loud.
“No, I don’t think it’s that,” Maya replied. As if on cue, a siren went off. A message showed simultaneously across every display screen in Nerv: Alert!
“An Angel? Where the hell did that come from?” Ritsuko, shocked by the fear in her own voice, suddenly saw all the situations she had been thinking of this morning coming true.
“It’s disrupting readings across the entire system! We can’t get a trace on it!”
“Find it! We can’t let this happen! Not now!”
“There’s too much interference!”
Rei’s scream over the intercom and a loud crash, muffled by the liquid in the holding bay, gave away the Angel’s position.
“Eject the pilots! We can’t allow them to be contaminated!’ yelled the Commander from above them.
As Misato released her breath seeing the three entry plugs being jettisoned from the thrashing body in the tank, she was, for one of the few times in her career in fighting the Angels, completely blank about how to beat it.
“Use the lasers! We can’t let it get out of the tank!”
Several wall-mounted lasers swivelled to target the simulation body, warmed up, and fired. The red beams hit the body, and bounced off what looked like small, glowing shields.”
“That’s an A.T. Field! Cease fire!”
“Something’s trying to access the test data!”
“Oh my God! The Angel’s hacking into our system!”
“Initiate total isolation! We can’t let it infiltrate!”
Makoto pulled a manual lever beside his control panel, and all displays, lights and anything else electrical in the testing room shut off. In the silence that followed, everyone watch the large test body, which now looked like it was covered in some alien virus, giving off a pale yellow glow.
As everyone in the darkened room stared at the giant tank, Misato noticed a rapidly flashing light on a control panel near Makoto. The intercom hail light.
That would be...
“Hey! Somebody go and do something about the pilots!”
A group of orange-suited technicians jumped to their feet and hurried out the door. Silence once again followed their departure.
“Why isn’t it moving?” Ritsuko asked, to no one in particular.

“This Angel is like no other we’ve encountered before. Unlike all of the previous ones we’ve intercepted, this Angel contains no biological elements at all. This means that...”
“No biological elements? Does that mean it’s not alive?” asked Misato, interrupting Maya as she so often did. Maya, unperturbed, continued here short report to Misato and Ritsuko in the small conference room.
“This means that it can be likened to a computer virus, and that it is currently using the simulation body as its host. We’ve taken into account the need to protect the Magi and...”
“What about the Evas?”
“They’re on a separate system,” Ritsuko replied, speaking for the first time in the conversation. “This will possibly be the only Angel where the Evas aren’t an issue.”
“But with the high degree of protection on the Magi, they have been put on temporary standby, so they cannot be infected,” Maya stated, emphasising the beginning of her sentence to try and keep Misato and Ritsuko’s minds on the task at hand. “The trade-off for the loss of the Magi is that all of the other systems in Nerv are currently open to the Angel.”
“So we have no protection?”
“That’s right.”
“Well...what do we do?”

“Just _watch_ it? _That’s_ your idea? Just _watch_ it?”
“Yes. It’s a perfectly good idea; the Angel seems to be in a stationary position, and we need to observe it if we are going to eliminate it.”
“It has access to the workings of this entire facility, and you want to let guard down and watch it?”
“Would you be reasonable about this?”
“I don’t believe Commander Ikari would have given you power over this mission if he knew all you were going to do was watch it!”
“Believe what you want, Misato. I’m in charge of destroying this Angel, and I believe this is the most effective way of doing it.”
Misato glared at Ritsuko for a moment, and then walked off.

“Rei?”
Shinji stepped slowly into the room unaware of what reaction he would get from the balled-up Rei in the corner of the changing room.
“I...I lost control. I...felt it in my mind.” She spoke slowly, seeming to almost go back to her previous emotionless state. He hated hearing her speak like that...without any emotion but fear.
“Rei...it’s okay...you didn’t do anything.” Shinji moved over to Rei and sat down beside her.
“I know...it’s just...”
“Rei...I don’t know what to say.”
She turned her head towards him, and Shinji could see the impact this event had made on her.
“Then don’t say anything. Just...hold me, okay?”
Shinji, obligingly, put his arms around her.
“I hate it...when it’s in my head,” Rei said in a voice barely above a whisper, and began to cry quietly.
The two pilots stayed in the same position for what seemed like hours.

A telephone in the Commander’s desk began to ring. The line from the Committee.
“Yes?”
“Ikari!” came Keel’s voice from the phone. “What happened down there?”
“Malfunction in the simulation. One of the bodies gave off an entire range of odd readings.”
“Is there any record of this?”
“All the data was lost due to a system shutdown.”
“You had better not be lying to us, Ikari...”
“There is no Angel,” the Commander said bluntly, and hung up.

Makoto walked into the lunchroom and turned on the coffee maker, although not entirely of his own volition. He had been walking down a hallway, and he had seen Misato looking not quite in the best of moods, and so he asked her what was wrong. She promptly responded by yelling out a stream of incoherence accusations, most of them aimed at Ritsuko, and the only thing he could make out clearly was at the end of her spiel, about getting her something to drink. And, seeing as Nerv didn’t allow alcoholic beverages (mostly for Misato’s sake, Makoto thought sometimes), he thought the next best thing was some coffee.

“The Angel is showing some signs of activity, Doctor,” Maya reported, conveniently as Ritsuko passed by her.
“What’s it doing?”
“It seems to be accessing the control for the video surveillance...and the drink dispenser in the lunchroom.”
Ritsuko’s brow furrowed. “You’re joking.”
“No, really. Take a look for yourself.”
After a brief moment of scanning what Maya had on her screen, Ritsuko was convinced, but not certain about what anything would want with control over a soda can dispenser.

Makoto, in an effort to alleviate boredom from waiting for the so-called instant coffee, sat one of the tables in the lunchroom and humming a song he had heard on the radio in the morning. In his rendition, he failed to notice that one of the drink dispensers was ejecting cans for no reason, until one struck him rather forcefully in the leg. He then looked up and saw the machine in the corner fling out a can, which hit the wall behind him, making a small dent in it.
Had Makoto not been so surprised by the extreme oddity of this event, he perhaps would have reacted with a little more caution. He got up from his chair, and walked closer to the drink machine.
The last thing he could remember coherently on that day was a bright orange aluminium can flying out of the machine’s slot in his general direction.

“Makoto? Are you awake?”
“Mmm...yeah, I think. What happened?”
“You got hit in the head with a can of soft drink. You’ve fetched yourself quite a nasty bruise.” A short giggle, and Makoto felt a hand pass lightly over his forehead.
“How...how did that happen?”
“It doesn’t matter. Just rest.”
He stopped trying to place the voice that spoke to him, and let himself be consumed by sleep. Misato looked at him for a moment, and left the room.

“The Angel seems to be doing something again.”
“Anything like the last time?”
“No...it seems to be disengaging itself from its host...and taking hold in the security camera system.”
“I don’t like this.” Ritsuko paused to look up at one of the thousands of scanning cameras in Nerv. “It’s watching us.”
After a brief moment of thought, Ritsuko spoke to Maya again.
“Send down some technicians to the main power supply.”
“What for, Doctor?”
“I have an idea.”
“Whoah! Something’s searching through all our files!” Shigeru, from his terminal, almost fell out of his seat.
“What? Is it the Angel?”
“It has to be...no human can move this fast! What do we do?”
After a second, Ritsuko regained her composure. “Nothing. It can’t do anything. We need to know what it’s looking for.” She walked over to Shigeru’s console.
“It’s going for all the document encryption codes...every one of them.”
“Those files have the highest security...but what could it use them for?”
Shigeru’s screen went blank.
“What the hell?” Shigeru asked to the blackened screen.
Random numbers and symbols appeared on the screen rapidly. Slowly, the symbols became only letters, and then began to break themselves up from one continuous string.
_Is it trying to communicate?,_ Ritsuko thought, as three words appeared on the screen, separate from the rest of the letters, confirming her thought and fear.
<Where is Adam?>
“What...what is this?” Shigeru craned his head to look at Ritsuko, who was finding it very hard to accept what she saw before her. More words appeared on the screen.
<Where is Adam? Where is Adam? Where is Adam?>
Faster.
<WhereisAdamwhereisAdamwhereisAdamAdamadamreturntoadamr eturnbecomeOnewithAllWhereIsAdam>
Faster still, until the letters became a blur.
The screen exploded, causing both Ritsuko and Shigeru to jerk backwards, and snapped them both back to reality.
“What _was_ that?” Shigeru asked, rubbing his eyes but not managing to remove the expression on them.
“I have no idea.” Ritsuko turned to the panel of technicians behind her. “Find out what just happened down here! Trace everything!”
A chorus of, “Yes, ma’am!”

“You may want to have a look at this, Commander.”
“What is it?”
“Doctor Akagi sent it straight from the testing room...she said it was important.”
Fuyutsuki handed the Commander a folder marked with the custom security notices. Inside, however, was nothing as elaborate. A few sheets of paper sat inside the folder, all except one being recorded movements the Angel had made in the last twenty minutes. However, sitting on top of these was a handwritten note, signed by Ritsuko. Strictly against protocol, but he was planning on destroying all evidence that this little incident had ever occurred. The Committee might not be able to replace him, but they could certainly remove him from a position of power if they didn’t trust him enough. He glanced over Ritsuko’s note.
_’The Angel appears to have found record of Adam, and tried to make contact with Lt. Aoba and I via our own computer system. Is Terminal Dogma secure, Commander?’_
Ikari thought to himself. All of the key systems for Instrumentality were separated from the main system of Nerv, and from each other: Seele had covered themselves well in case of all events. If Ritsuko didn’t realise that...she must be in a great state of shock.
“Tell Ritsuko that there’s no need to worry. Everything is secure.”
“Yes, Commander.”
As Fuyutsuki left, Ikari glanced over the envelope. It was an express type, marked as being able to be hand-delivered without being filed officially first. Good. That meant it could be run effectively through the shredder before it could be filed officially.

Asuka, as she walked back to the changing room, decided that she was not in the best mood she could be in. It had taken forever for the technicians to get them out of the entry plugs, she hadn’t been able to find Kaji anywhere, the new plugsuit they had given her was over-starched, or something, and she had hit her head trying to put it on inside the entry plug, and was sure that there would be a bruise there in the morning. The whole test was a stupid idea, anyway. What was the point of getting test results, if they weren’t from when they were in their Evas? She just wanted to change into some clothes with room to move, and be left alone for the rest of the day. However, Asuka thought, all hopes of her being left alone went down the drain when she saw _them_ in the changing room.
“Well, isn’t this cosy? How long have you two been here?”
“Asuka? What are you doing here?” Shinji recognised well the look in Asuka’s eyes (which he often mentally referred to as the Devil’s Glint), and know she was not going to handle being aggravated further very well.
“Why do you think I’m in here? To change, idiot!”
“Then do it on the other side,” came Rei’s voice, faint and slightly muffled by her knees, which were pulled up close to her face.
“Oh, I’m _sorry_. Am I intruding on something?” Asuka asked sarcastically.
“Just go over the other side, and leave us alone.”
“What’s the matter, Shinji? Are you-”
“Dammit, can’t you think about anyone else for a change?”
Shinji and Asuka locked eyes. Asuka could clearly read the message written in his eyes: leave her alone.
Asuka, intent on leaving with some face, spun around sharply, never lowering her eyes, and changed silently over the other side of the partition.

“Are you in position? Can you see the breakers?”
“I can see them. Why does it have to be so dark here?”
“We went through a lot of extra security to prevent anything like the blackout that happened before. We don’t want anyone being able to shut us down that easily again.”
Ritsuko cupped her hand over the small microphone bud suspended from her headset and walked over to Maya’s console.
“How much of the Angel is left in the simulation body?”
“Two point seven percent, Doctor.”
Ritsuko removed her hand. “Shut off the power.”
Through the speaker in her ear, Ritsuko could hear a large lever being pulled. The diminished yellow glow over the body in the tank faded.
“What’s the status of the Angel?”
“The two point seven percent left in the simulation body has been removed from the system.” Maya looked up from the screen. “That means we can beat it, right?”
“We’ll see about that.” Ritsuko spoke into the headset again. “Turn it back on.”
The changes in the test body reversed itself.
“The removed section of the Angel has returned.”

Ritsuko sat at Shigeru’s terminal, as Shigeru was occupying Makoto’s area due to his screen no longer working, trying to figure out a way of removing the Angel from all of the primary systems. The figurative bulk of it was residing in the security cameras, which they had lost control over about an hour ago. It was then spreading itself throughout the system, possibly trying to acquire information on Adam. They could just leave it be, as it was unable to access any of the important facilities of Nerv; the LCL plant, the Dummy System, the Evangelions...the Magi. But no one in Nerv would be willing to accept that.
“If we isolated it in the cameras...passcoded off everything else...we could shut off power again...,” Ritsuko thought out loud. As her train of though gathered steam, she became certain that this way would work.
“Maya, mind my post. I have to go talk to the Commander.”

“And what are you doing, gorgeous?”
Misato was so absorbed in scanning the surveillance camera screens that she hadn’t heard Kaji come into the room. She almost cringed at the sound of the familiar voice. “_Don’t_ call me ‘gorgeous’.”
“Okay...gorgeous.” Before Misato could talk back to him again, he said, “You look upset.”
_Because you’re here, maybe?,_ she thought, but didn’t bother saying, as she always seemed to come off worse when she argued with Kaji.
“Is it because you’re not allowed to work on this Angel?” he asked in her silence.
“Funny _you_ should talk about work. What have you been doing here, Kaji?”
“Odd jobs.” He then directed his attention to the wall of television screens Misato had been intently staring at. “Looking for anything in particular?”
“If you must know, I was trying to find the children, before you so rudely interrupted me.”
“Oh.”
Kaji walked over to the chair that Misato was sitting on, and rested his hands on the back of it. Fine, let him keep his hands there, thought Misato, but if he moves them _anywhere_ he’s receiving a swift backhand to the face.

“You propose the total removal of the video surveillance system?”
“That is correct, Commander. I see it as the only possible way of defeating this Angel.”
“It is a small price to pay: you have full authority to go ahead with the operation.”
“Thankyou, Commander.”

“How do you feel, Rei?”
“Better, I guess.”
Shinji gave her a loving kiss on the forehead, and she responded by holding him closer.
“Thankyou, Shinji.”
“For what?”
“For being here.”

“Is that them?” asked Kaji, leaning over Misato and pointing to a screen. Misato looked at the monitor that his finger rested on, which showed an overhead view of one of the changing rooms. Sitting in a corner were Shinji and Rei, in each other’s arms. Misato and Kaji looked on as Shinji kissed Rei.
“Ah, young love. You know, we were like that once, Katsuragi.”
“Don’t get any ideas, Kaji.”
From the shifting weight on the chair and the feel of his breath when he spoke next, Misato could tell that Kaji was leaning close to her.
“What, not in the romantic mood?”
“I said don’t get any ideas.”

“Prepare for system encryption.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
Maya began typing on her keyboard, inputting the necessary motions to place all of Nerv under total shutoff.
Ritsuko watched the graph of the Angel’s inhabiting space slowly increase, as it’s various dispersed parts were barred from entry to systems all over Nerv. The small percentage bar at the bottom of the graph reached seventy.
“It can’t be this easy,” Ritsuko said to herself, watching the graph climb.

It wasn’t.

Simultaneously, all of the Commander’s desk phones began to ring. As Ikari picked each of them up, all he heard was electrical exchange signals. Several lights in Central Dogma began to flicker on and off. The wall of television screens Misato and Kaji were watching showed up a broken transmission signal for a second, and then restored themselves.

The graph reached eighty.

All of the drink dispensers in the lunchrooms fired off a volley of aluminium cans. Fortunately, this time no one was in the rooms to get injured. One of the coffee makers in the test room was hit with a surge of electricity, and exploded in a rain of burnt plastic, causing all of the technicians around it to cover their faces with their arms.
“Keep going!” yelled Ritsuko. “We can’t let it stay in the system!”

The graph reached ninety.

One of the mounted lasers in the simulation tank activated itself, and rotated to face the glass panel looking in on the tank. Ritsuko, alerted by the coffee maker and the only person in the room not focused on a screen, saw it move and begin to power up.
“Put everything on automatic encryption. We have to get out of here.” Her voice seemed calm, but inside her head, a very uncomfortable mental image was coming to her; a small rock, the key to holding a landslide, slipping painfully slowly.
The laser fired, focusing on a small spot on the screen and starting to turn it red.
“Go, go, go, go, go!” Ritsuko yelled out as the glass began to crack. The various programmers began to move from their seats and run for the door. Ritsuko, after a momentary glance over the room, turned and ran as well. She heard the glass crash behind her.
As Ritsuko ran through the already closing doors, she turned to see the water filling the room be sealed into the test room by the airlock doors.
Several glances were exchanges among the escapees.
“It is...gone?”
“We’ll just have to find out.” Ritsuko turned on her headset and spoke into it. “Shut off the power.”

The switch was thrown for the surveillance power, and the wall of screens, the lights, and all other electrical devices were shut off in the surveillance room.
_Whap!_
“Ouch! What was that for?”
“Like you don’t know!”
“My hand slipped.”
“Oh, sure!”

“Begin the scanning.”
The Nerv technicians, now relocated to the large display room that housed the Magi, began to check the system for any traces of the Angel.
“System check...clean.” Maya looked at Ritsuko. “We got it.”
A cheer went up from the programmers.
“Reactivate the Magi! Begin assessing damage on the simulation room!”
The technicians dispersed themselves to where they were needed.
“Good work, Maya.”
“Thankyou, Doctor.”
__________________
-DM7

"Man fears the darkness. And so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire."
-Rei Ayanami

Live fast, die hard, and most importantly...leave an impressive stain!

We must be swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Astronomy: a star...
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Old 24-07-2000, 08:58 AM   #7   [permalink]
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The storyline for this is proceding very nicely. I am enjoying the reading immensely. :B:
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Old 24-07-2000, 09:02 AM   #8   [permalink]
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Cool

Well, I'm glad someone is... Stay tuned for part 3...

More interim stuff...

------------

“How does it feel, Shinji?”
“...Different.”
“Is there anything wrong?”
“No...it’s just...different.”
Even though a casual observer might see his perception of change as simply being in a different entry plug, Shinji could tell it was something more...something deeper. The Evas were more than just weapons...
“Commencing activation now.”
Shinji could now hear something, though not with his ears - in his head. It sounded like a million voices speaking in a large room - there was something being said, but it was impossible to tell what.
An image flashed in his mind - him and Rei. Another, same coupling. Another, same again. The images came to him faster, and now he thought he could hear sounds that were linked to the images as well. But there was something different in these images, different to the ones he held in his own mind. Could these be...
Rei’s?
The voices, images and sounds stopped, and in the second before Unit Zero shut itself off, Shinji thought he heard Rei’s voice whisper softly to him in his head: “Shinji...”

Rei, in the changing room, tried to make sense of how the exact same incident could have occurred in both Evas. There was a lot more to them than met the eye...or the mind...
Rei, as she had in Unit One, heard a voice in her head: Shinji’s voice.
“I love you, Rei.”
She looked up, and saw his shadow gazing at her through the partition.
“I love you too, Shinji,” she thought, and knew that he had heard her. Rei quietly smiled to herself. She and him were now possibly the closest two humans on the planet.
<Additional scenes; ‘Seele, Throne Of Souls/Weaving A Story I’.>

Rei sank into Misato’s couch, tired out from repeated accuracy drills at Nerv. She closed her eyes and exhaled deeply, her blue hair falling into her face as she did so. In the quiet of the apartment, a noise became apparent to her. Sounded like...
_Music,_ Rei thought, _A string instrument._
She got up and walked slowly to where she thought the sound was coming from, which turned out to be the kitchen. Sitting on one of the chairs, which had been pulled away from the table, was Shinji, his hands moving over the string and bow of his cello, which Rei was surprised at. She had never noticed a case in the apartment before, and it was quite large.
She stood in the doorway, simply listening to Shinji play. His eyes were closed, concentrating on his tune, ignoring everything else. As he slowly began to wind down, Rei involuntarily began to clap her hands, softly. Shinji’s eyes opened, to see who had been watching him, and then he smiled at Rei when he saw her.
Rei smiled back, wanting for this moment to stay forever.
<Replacement scene; ‘Lie And Silence/Those Women That Denied Others Their Lips And Thus, Invited Their Kisses’.>

Rei watched from a distance as Unit One slowly began to sink into the shadow that had appeared under its feet. She began to move her Eva, lumbering towards Shinji’s Eva as his cries for help surrounded her in the entry plug, almost foreseeing her effort would be futile.
Her Evangelion dove into the street, grabbing the purple Eva’s hand before it sank into the Twelfth Angel. As her hand gripped tighter, Misato’s voice came through Rei’s radio, drowning out Shinji, but she paid it no attention.
She felt the force that was dragging Shinji down suddenly intensify, and as the giant purple hand slipped out of her Eva’s grasp, Unit Zero’s hand making a metallic crunch when it snapped shut, Rei began to hear Misato’s subdued voice break the silence that hung over all the Nerv staff.
“Rei...pull back...that’s an order.”

Asuka stared at the city, or where the city had been. From her vantage on the building outside of the Angel’s range, she could see clearly the area that had fallen into the Sea of Dirac. Just like Unit One.
“It’s his own fault for being so sure of himself,” Asuka said to herself.
She became aware of a sound coming from behind her. Was that...crying? _Rei_ crying?
Asuka turned and saw she was right. Rei, leant up against the brick box that housed the building’s elevator, sobbing to herself.
_I should go talk to her,_ Asuka though, unsure of what sort of response she would get.
“Rei...he didn’t know,” she said, walking over to Rei. “None of us could of...it wasn’t his fault...”
Rei suddenly stopped crying and jerked her head up to stare at Asuka, tears still on her cheeks. Her red eyes bore into Asuka’s, and for the first time in her life, Asuka was genuinely scared of another human being.
“It’s your fault!” Rei yelled, the tears still not out of her speech.
“What? Me? What do you-”
“You and your stupid rivalry! You urged him to do it!”
“Well, you didn’t exactly try to talk him out of it,” Asuka said, feeling forced to defend her position.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Rei’s voice was now cold and calculating.
“The way you worship the ground Shinji walks on! It’s disgusting, watching you _moon_ over him!”
“At least I’m not a heartless bitch!”
“At least _I’m_ not a mindless doll!”
_Whap!_
The two pilots locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity to both of them after Rei delivered a slap to Asuka’s face. Asuka finally broke the tension, walking past Rei, without lowering her eyes, and took the elevator to the ground.
<Replacement scenes from the Twelfth Angel’s attack; ‘Sickness Unto Death, And.../The Splitting Of The Breast’>

Shinji lay awake in the hospital, staring at the ceiling. He felt that he must have memorised every little crack and dent in it by now. Not that he didn’t _not_ like being here; it was often very calming to be away from Nerv, especially after an incident that would hospitalise him, and just listen to the low clamour of people elsewhere in the ward.
He could remember being inside the Eva, and it slowly getting colder and the LCL slowly getting thicker. Then he had begun hallucinating...he _thought_ he had begun hallucinating, and then he woke up in the hospital bed. He figured that he had simply passed out due to the fading life support, and had a weird dream brought on by being sealed in his Eva for so long. He had dreamt of his mother...and his Eva going wild. But was that only a dream?
Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t notice Rei in the doorway, and only realised she was in the room when she knelt down next to his bed.
“Rei...”
“Don’t you ever go doing anything that stupid again.” Her voice was soft, and Shinji could hear the remnants of fear when she spoke.
“I won’t, Rei,” he said, and reached out to brush his hand over her cheek. “I’ve got too much to lose, now.”
<Additional scene after the Twelfth Angel’s defeat; ‘Sickness Unto Death, And.../The Splitting Of The Breast’>

------------

And some images...I took the current Pic Of The Week to make one of them...hope nobody 'mynds'...(dear God, hit yourself for that awful pun).





{Edit]: Eh? What the...coulda sworn that other UBB code worked...ah well...just cut and paste the links into your browser location, they'll work the same.

[Edited by DeadManSeven on 24-07-2000 at 11:12 PM]
__________________
-DM7

"Man fears the darkness. And so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire."
-Rei Ayanami

Live fast, die hard, and most importantly...leave an impressive stain!

We must be swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Astronomy: a star...
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Old 25-07-2000, 06:29 AM   #9   [permalink]
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This is getting very absorbing, can't wait for the next instalment. :B:
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Old 25-07-2000, 07:45 AM   #10   [permalink]
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I like.....I like.....

More Rei and Asuka gets her comeuppance. You can't lose really.....
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Old 28-07-2000, 01:30 AM   #11   [permalink]
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Small clarification: the story in this post (New Mynds) is finished. I'm just posting it up bit biy bit, 'cause all up I have this _tiny_ feeling that the bulletain board would abuse me for a stupidly long post (even if the memebers didn't ). The other thread (Beyond) is unfinished...but if you want to know where its going, I can tell you...it just won't be a well-written as the final version.

Time for chapter 3...

------------

*Replacements/The Fifth Child*

“The Eva is not responding to our commands. It seems to be being blocked...from inside the entry plug.”
Makoto spoke into an intercom microphone. “Shinji? Can you hear me?”
“Yes.”
There was an eerie coldness to his voice, a dispassion that Makoto had never heard him speak with before, and it was so different from his normal tone and so similar to the Commander’s, it almost scared him.
“Shinji, you have to release the Eva.”
“No.” The coldness remained.
“Shinji...your father has ordered you...”
“My father?” The coldness in his voice began to break, and now Makoto saw what it hid: pure rage.
“That bastard! He made me try and kill Toji! He did it using my own hands!”
A beat.
“Can you hear me, father? Are you there?”
“Increase the pressure in Unit One’s entry plug,” Ikari said, somehow seeming to ignore his yelling son.
“But...,” Maya protested weakly. “That could bring serious damage to-”
“Do it! I have no time to waste on an insolent child.”
“Yes, sir,” Maya said reluctantly, and pressed a button.
In the entry plug, Shinji felt his lungs and his brain fight a battle of which organ could burst out of his body first, as his skin seemed to want to implode on itself. He fought, both with his mind and his body, for control of the Eva, repeating over and over through gritted teeth, “I mustn’t run away...I mustn’t run away...I mustn’t run away...I mustn’t run away...”
A heaving feeling in his stomach disrupted his mantra, and he knew he was going to lose control. He vomited into the LCL seconds before he lost consciousness.

“Shinji?”
Shinji turned his head to the hospital room door, wincing as he felt pain flit across his neck from when Toji’s Eva had choked him. He saw Rei standing in the doorway, hesitant.
“Come in...I’m awake.”
Rei slowly walked over to Shinji’s bed and knelt beside it.
“How do you feel? I heard someone say you were injured pretty badly...”
“I don’t know. I feel pretty sore all over.”
There was a long pause in the conversation, and when Shinji couldn’t catch Rei’s glance, he knew that there was something she was avoiding saying.
“What else do you have to tell me?” he asked, fearing it would be bad news.
“Shinji...,” Rei started, not looking up from the floor. “I don’t want to be the one that tells you this...the Commander wants to see you...us.”
“Oh.” He turned his gaze toward the ceiling again. “I’m going to tell him I’m leaving. I mean it this time. He’s gone too far.”
Rei looked at Shinji, and placed her hand on his.
“Shinji...”
The hospital door opened, and two members of Nerv security entered the room.
“Shinji Ikari? You have been summoned to explain your actions to the Commander.”

“I quit. I don’t want to be a pilot anymore.”
Shinji’s words hung in the air of the Commander’s room. For the first time since he was brought to Nerv, Shinji didn’t feel any awkward emotion toward his father.
“You disappoint me, Shinji. You’re running away again.”
“This time, it’s for the right reasons.” He turned and began to walk away.
“You’re aware that you lose all of your privileges at Nerv, aren’t you?” Gendo’s voice was threatening, even in a question that was meant for the tone of concern.
“Yes, I am. Goodbye, father.”

“Into the tank, Rei.”
“No.”
“Rei...”
“Is that what I am for? The fuel for an instrument of destruction?”
“You know that’s not how the plug works.”
“But it is. Why do you need pilots now, anyway? I’m sure the DummyPlug would respond better to your commands than some of the current pilots.”
Ikari suddenly realised how close he was to witnessing Nerv falling apart, because of a simple error in judgement.
“I’m leaving, Commander.”
Damn.

“Things are not looking good, Commander. Seele never expected the pilots undergoing a mutiny.”
“What concerns Seele are the Angels, not the pilots.”
“But if we have no pilots, we cannot fight the Angels.”
“The loss of three pilots...we will just have to wait for the fifth child.”
“We cannot rely on the DummyPlug, Ikari...”
“We cannot rely on Unit Two, either. Perhaps this time, Marduk must be forced to deliver.”

“What? You quit? _Both_ of you?” Asuka, despite the hospital sedatives, seemed to be her regular, loud self to Shinji.
“That’s right, Asuka.”
“So I’m the only one left...,” she said to herself. “Well, I guess this must prove my superiority to _you,_ Third Child.”
“I thought you’d say something like that.” Shinji turned to leave, but stopped when he reached the door.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you, Hikari might come here to see you soon. Right now, she’s in with Toji...”
“That figures.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“What? _Nothing!_ It doesn’t _mean_ anything.”
“I’ll let you catch up on your rest. Goodbye, Asuka.”
“Goodbye, Shinji.”
After Shinji had left, Asuka felt the fear creep in.
_I’m the only one left. It’s all up to me, now._

“Ikari, your request to move up the selection for the fifth child is unjustified. We see no need for another pilot at Nerv without an Eva to be piloted.”
“My request is justified. Units One and Zero are both undesignated.”
“What?”
“What happened?”
“How did you lose another two pilots, Ikari?”
“They left. Of their own free will.”
“But they can still pilot.”
“They would refuse. A motionless Evangelion is of no use to me, or to you.”
“But the DummyPlug...”
“...Is still too unstable. Rei is gone: the project cannot advance. Without another pilot, your scenario of the Dead Sea Scrolls will fall apart.”
“Given one more reckless action like this, Ikari, and your position as Commander will be revoked!”
“I will expect the file on the fifth child tomorrow.”
The various screens of Seele shut off, and darkness filled the room.

“Misato’s working late again, isn’t she?”
“Mm-hmm.”
“So it’s just us for a while?”
“Mm-hmm.”
Shinji looked up at Rei, to see her cooking something in Misato’s kitchen.
“Rei, do you want any help with that?”
“No, I’m fine.” She checked around the kitchen to see that everything was going as it should. “I’m finished anyway.”
“Did we do the right thing? Leaving?” Shinji asked as Rei sat down beside him.
“The Commander has no regard for human life. He believes the end justifies the means. Tell yourself that whenever you doubt your decision. That’s what I do.”
“Asuka’s still there...but I don’t think either of us could persuade her to leave.”
“Neither do I. She holds too much importance to her position as an Eva pilot.”
“Yeah...say, Rei, what are you doing tonight?” Shinji asked, changing the subject to get his..._their_ minds off the day behind them.
Rei smiled and moved closer to Shinji. “I think I may already have plans.”
“Then we’d better make out now,” he said, placing his arms around Rei.
“That sounds like a good idea to me...”
_RIIINNNGGG!!!_
Rei’s eyes widened. “Dinner!” She quickly jumped us off the couch and hurried into the kitchen.
“Can’t it wait?” Shinji called after her.
“Only if you like burnt food!” Rei called back.

Over an unburnt meal, Shinji asked Rei, “So...can your plans be cancelled?”
“For you...any time.”

“What the hell is wrong with them, turning down the opportunity to pilot an Eva? Do they _like_ evacuation drills and hiding in the ground? Why would _anyone_ want to be _demoted?_” Asuka quietly ranted to herself as she walked to her apartment. “I don’t understand those two...they spend too much time with each other to _comprehend_ how important being an Eva pilot is!”
Asuka’s train of thought shifted slightly as she reached her door.
“I wonder if they’ve got a replacement yet? ...I hope he’ll be cuter than Shinji...I don’t know _what_ Rei sees in him.”

“Shinji? Rei?” Misato called softly into the darkened apartment. No one answered her. “Pen Pen?” She sighed. “Is anyone awake?”
As she walked past Shinji’s room, she saw where they both were: Shinji asleep on the floor, on the spare mattress that Rei slept on, next to Rei, their arms around each other, both of them looking very peaceful.
Misato smiled to herself. It was good to see that Shinji had someone to support him, to comfort him...and that she had been right about them. No one could stare that long at a photograph and not be interested.

Shinji, in the dimness of the morning, was faintly aware of three things: his proximity to the floor, his proximity to Rei, and a dull ringing. Ringing?
_The alarm!_
Shocked into alertness by the realisation that he was late for school, Shinji began to shake Rei awake.
“Rei...Rei, we’re late.”
“Hmm?”
“We’re late for school!”

“Where are they?” Asuka wondered to herself. She had been waiting for Shinji and Rei to arrive for a good ten minutes, and usually she had to be waited for by them. She was under the impression that she had gotten up too early.
She heard a noise coming from the top of the hill. Faintly, but clearly being yelled.
“Asuka! Asuka!”
Shinji, yelling, and Rei, both running.
“What happened to you two this morning?” she tried to ask as they got close. However, they both just ran past her. Shinji looked back and yelled, “No time to talk! We’re late!”
“Late? Hey, wait for me!” Asuka started running after them.

“Answer your names accordingly. Ayanami, Rei? ...Ayanami, Rei?”
“Here!” Rei, Asuka and Shinji appeared in the doorway, flushed and out of breath.
“Ayanami, Sohryu, Ikari, you’re late!”
“We know,” the trio said simultaneously to Hikari, the class rep.
“Take your seats. And don’t let it happen again!”

Near the end of a lesson on history that Shinji knew to be covered up by Nerv, a message came for one of the members of his class to report to the principal’s office.

“Are you Kensuke Aida?” the tall man with the dark glasses asked.
“Yes...” _Who is this?_ thought Kensuke. _He’s definitely_ not _the principal._
“You have been chosen by the Marduk Organization to be the Fifth Child in accordance with the Human Instrumentality Project, and the designated pilot of Evangelion Unit One. If you could familiarise yourself with this document...” He proceeded to pull a small book out of his suit pocket that Kensuke recognised as a Nerv handbook; he had seen Rei and Shinji reading them sometimes.
“I’m...I’m an Eva pilot?” he asked, taking the handbook and hardly believing that he had woken up this morning.
“That’s correct, Pilot Aida. Your briefing and basic training will begin after your classes have ended for the day. Look for the black car.”
“I’m an Eva pilot...” Kensuke repeated to himself, and suddenly, it clicked in his mind.
“I’m an Eva pilot!”
After the Second Sector agent watched the new pilot run out of the room, yelling for joy, he took out a mobile phone from his other pocket.
“He’s been told, sir -- he was slightly more...enthused than the last pilot -- yes sir, we’ll be there to collect him for training.”

“I’m a pilot! I’m an Eva pilot!”
“What?” Shinji was glad that he, Rei and Kensuke were the only ones in the room. Everyone else had gone elsewhere for lunch.
“Yeah! I’m one of you now!”
“You’re joking,” Shinji said rather flatly. This was too much to take in, in a short time.
“I’m not! I got a handbook!” Kensuke flashed a Nerv handbook in font of Shinji’s face.
“Huh.”
Kensuke finally realised how disinterested Shinji was. “What do you mean, ‘huh’?”
“I mean, Kensuke, being a pilot isn’t all it cracked up to be.”
“Why else would we have left?” asked Rei plainly, joining the conversation.
“But...being an Eva pilot has always been my dream...I didn’t know you _quit_...”
Shinji, seeing how much he could have ruined Kensuke’s ability to pilot just by telling him that he and Rei left, had to tell him something positive. He couldn’t think of a single thing. Rei, however, could.
“Kensuke, you’ll be defending the human race from the Angels. That’s an important job.”
“So why did you and Shinji leave?”
“We...just couldn’t take the strain anymore.”
“Well...I guess it can’t be too bad on my first day, right?”

“Has Unit One’s personal data been recorded?”
“Fully recorded, sir.”
“Prepare for clearing of Unit One’s memory files.” To himself, Gendo thought, _I’m sorry, Yui._

“This is just going to be a standard activation test. The entry plug will begin to fill up with a liquid called LCL. It’s designed to give life support and boost synchronisation with the Eva. You have to relax; you can’t actually drown in LCL. Have you got that, Kensuke?”
“Yeah, I think,” Kensuke replied, and thought to himself: _Why would Shinji turn down a job like this?_
The LCL began to gush into the plug, and although Misato had told him not to fight it getting into his lungs, he couldn’t deny his natural response. After he felt he couldn’t hold his breath any longer, certain that despite what he had just heard, he _would_ drown in the LCL, he released his breath...and found he could breath while submerged in the liquid.
“There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“No ma’am.”
“You can call me Misato, Kensuke.”
“Alright...Misato.”

“He’s synchronising quite well for his first time in an Eva. It’s not as impressive as Shinji, but still...”
“They all should sync well, Ritsuko. All of the children in his class are Fourth Level candidates.”
Ritsuko glanced across at Misato. “You’ve been talking to Kaji again, haven’t you?”
“No...”
“If you play with fire, Major Katsuragi, you will get burned.”
“Is that a threat?”
“It’s a warning.”
Several moments passed in silence.
“It is quite impressive,” Ritsuko said after the silence.
“He did seem pretty eager to pilot an Eva. Maybe that why he was selected ahead of any others; he wants to be a pilot.”
“Maybe.”

“What’s this question here about?” Shinji asked Rei, handing her his notebook.
Rei looked at the page for a moment, took Shinji’s pen, and made some quick strokes on the page, then handed them both back to Shinji. “This should help.”
Shinji, after a quick glance over what she had wrote, realised it did. “How do you do that, Rei? This kind of thing never sticks with me.”
“Natural aptitude, I guess. Like you and your Eva.”
“Not anymore. It’s Kensuke’s Eva now.” Shinji thought for a moment about what he had just said. “Rei...” he asked, disliking distracting her from the book she was reading.
“Hmm?”
“What do we do when the next Angel attacks?”
At his words, a klaxon siren sounded, followed by a recorded voice.
_”A state of emergency has been declared. Please evacuate to your designated shelters. A state of emergency...”_
Shinji and Rei looked at each other.
“I guess we find out!”

“Dammit, not now!” Misato yelled at the red ‘Alert’ screens. “Find Asuka! Get her to the cage!”

“Wh-what’s going on?” Kensuke asked from inside the plug, a jolt of fear sent into him from the siren and the commotion of people over the intercom.
“It’s an Angel attack,” he heard Misato say. “We need to get you out of the Eva, Kensuke.”
“What for?”
Misato was taken aback by the question. “You...you haven’t even been through basic weapon’s training yet...”
“But Shinji fought, his first time in an Eva!”
“Kensuke, it’s not safe to-”
“Let him go out,” Ikari said from above her. “We need to be able to intercept the Angels before they reach the Geofront.”
“But he hasn’t had any training...”
“Do it! We need the time!”
“Yes, sir.” Then, louder: “Launch the Eva!”

Up on the surface, Kensuke saw the Angel immediately. It looked like a floating torso. With no regard for tactics (but in actuality, an intelligent move, distracting the Angel from breaking through to the Geofront), Kensuke raised his rifle-
“Eat _this!_”
-And fired.
Small explosions rippled across the Angel from the bullets of the Positron Rifle. The Angel was slowly turning toward Kensuke’s Eva, but Kensuke was unaware of that fact. He was only aware of the headrush of being inside an Eva, inside combat.
The rifle stopped firing.
The Angel began its offence.
In place of arms (using the torso model, as Kensuke saw it), there were what appeared to be two short ribbon strips. These strips now unfolded, and to Kensuke, looked like whips. These whips flew through the air toward Kensuke’s Eva at an amazing pace.
Kensuke was almost knocked cold after the first hit. As he tried to move the Eva, the other whip hit him again, knocking him to the ground. Certain he was going to die, Kensuke began to panic as the Angel started slowly drumming on the Eva’s armour plating.
Then the Angel stopped.
Kensuke opened his eyes, and saw a gaping hole in the Angel. It was the last thing he saw, until he woke up in the same hospital that Rei, Shinji, Asuka and Toji had woken up in, except for the blinding light of the Angel exploding.

The light on the screens cleared, showing a fallen Unit One, and a victorious Unit Two.
“Way to go, Asuka!” Misato yelled.
Asuka’s reply came over the intercom: “That was too easy.”
“Get a rescue crew to Unit One!” Ritsuko yelled to the various technicians in Central Dogma, wondering how they could have forgotten about the pilot. “Now!”

“You can’t go on using the children as decoys, Ikari.”
“It worked, didn’t it? He’s still alive, isn’t he?”
“Yes...but still, one day, you will overestimate their ability.”
“Or underestimate it...”
“What was that, Commander?”
“Nothing. Prepare a repair crew for Unit One, Fuyutsuki.”
“Yes, Commander.”

“Hey, Kensuke...”
Kensuke slowly opened his eyes, to see Rei and Shinji standing beside his...bed? Was he in a bed? _Why_ was he in a bed? _Where_ was he?
“Where am I?”
“In hospital. You kinda got knocked out in the Eva.”
“The Eva! What happened?”
“Asuka shot the Angel from behind, and it blew up. Or that’s what we heard, anyway.”
“Congratulations on your first battle, Pilot Aida,” Rei said, shifting the subject slightly.
“What am I being congratulated for?”
“Surviving.”
Kensuke was silent. He now realised (as he had before he lost consciousness) how close he had been to death.
“Are you going to stay on?”
A long pause from Kensuke, then: “Yeah, I guess.” He smiled slightly. “After all, this is what I waited for my whole life.
“But I can understand why you guys quit, now.”

__________________
-DM7

"Man fears the darkness. And so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire."
-Rei Ayanami

Live fast, die hard, and most importantly...leave an impressive stain!

We must be swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Astronomy: a star...
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Old 29-07-2000, 08:01 AM   #12   [permalink]
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great stuff

....

what else can I say really?
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Old 29-07-2000, 10:22 PM   #13   [permalink]
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This is excellent writing. :B:
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Old 29-07-2000, 10:27 PM   #14   [permalink]
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Thanks for all the ego-inflating comments. It's good to know people are reading my stuff.

I think it's about time for the side story...


*Untitled/Part 3.5*

Gendo Ikari sat overlooking all of Central Dogma, observing the various technicians checking various levels on various screens. This test could be crucial turning point in Nerv’s battle against the Angels: to see if the DummyPlug could be used in an Evangelion without a pilot.
He had told Seele that the DummyPlug was far too unstable, which was true; it was capable of bringing grievous harm to the pilot, something they would be concerned with. However, if there was no _pilot,_ there was no problem. In Seele’s eyes, this should make all the difference when he had to explain this action to them.
“What’s the status on Unit Zero?” he heard Ritsuko ask one of the Lieutenants.
“All systems nominal. DummyPlug is ready for insertion.”
“Commence activation!”
The sealed plug slowly twisted its was into Unit Zero. Lights and displays came to life on the screens in Central Dogma, following the plug’s activation. Nothing went red.
Good.
Ikari smiled behind his hands. Perhaps this could mean the end of the pilots...
“Abort test! Unit Zero is refusing the DummyPlug!”
As the plug un-inserted itself from the Eva, Ikari thought to himself, _We need Rei back here._

In Terminal Dogma, Kouzou Fuyutsuki stared at the display that Ikari had set up in Rei’s room. This _is why he wanted Rei’s stuff_, he thought to himself. And, shortly after that: _This has got to be stopped._

“Good to see you back, Fuyutsuki.”
“What the hell are you trying to pull?”
Silent surprise from Ikari.
“What is wrong with you? Setting up Dogma like her room, you could be declared mentally unfit, do you know that? You have to _stop thinking about her!_”
After a long silence following the Sub-Commander’s almost-whispered words, Gendo said, “You’re right. Clear it out. All of it. And...”
“Yes?”
“Arrange something for Rei and Shinji...get them out of the city...away from here.”
“I’ll see what I can do...we need to keep our focus here, Commander.”
“I know that.”
“Don’t forget it.”
As Fuyutsuki left, Ikari could only think of one simple phrase: out of sight, out of mind. Maybe this was too true in his situation. Maybe if they were gone...
Ikari shook his head. This wasn’t how he wanted it to be.

“A...holiday? What for?”
“Well, Nerv figured that, seeing as you two aren’t needed on permanent standby anymore, and school is out for a while, you could use some time to...unwind.”
“And...” He could see Misato was holding something back.
“The Commander specifically requested that you be relocated for a while...away from the city.”
“Oh.”
“Here are the tickets. Remember to tell Rei that...”
Shinji began to zone out after Misato’s comment about his father. Away from the city? Away from the _Angels?_ Did he actually...care for their safety? Or...
_Or was it a way of getting rid of them?_
“...You call this number. Have you got that, Shinji?”
“Yeah, I guess. I’ll go tell Rei.”

As Shinji heard Misato’s car take off back to Nerv, he thought over just why his father would get the two of them out of the city. He had narrowed it down to three reasons; one, he wanted to forget about the mistake of the two pilots that left by getting them out of the entire city; two, deep down in his heart, he really did care whether he and Rei lived or died; or three, he was suffering some kind of mental breakdown due to extreme stress brought on by constantly being alert for the next Angel attack. In the midst of his considerations, a thought occurred to him; strangely, yet fittingly, it had Asuka’s voice.
_You’re getting a holiday with your girlfriend, all expenses paid! How could you_ not _want to go?_
“Yeah...what am I, stupid?”

“Hey, Rei...”
“Hmm?” Rei slipped a bookmark into the book she was reading and looked up at Shinji standing in the doorway.
“Wanna take a vacation?”

Shinji stared at the large hotel in front of him, thinking how long it had been since he had seen any building that even resembled this one. Almost a year, now. In Tokyo-3, all buildings were either retractable apartment blocks or weapons storage for the Evas. He had also noticed, on the taxi drive from the airport, that there were no weapons disguised as statues or fittings or whatever. It was something he had gotten used to, but now in its absence, he could fully appreciate it.
Rei simply stared. She hadn’t been outside of the militant area around Tokyo-3 in her existence, or at least, no time that she could remember. It was a relief to her, as it was to Shinji, not to see giant sliding plates on the ground marked “Eva Socket’.
The plane trip was a unique experience for both of them. Shinji, who had spent plenty of time in the helicopters that Nerv used, but never actually in a plane, was quietly thrilled by the whole experience. Rei, on the other hand, seemed to have developed a mild fear of flight from somewhere, which Shinji found odd. He thought that she must have been in one of Nerv’s helicopters, at one stage or another. Had he seen her in one? He may have, but the memory had faded. Anyway, Rei had almost clung to Shinji during the entire flight. Not that it wasn’t a hard task to endure, being close to her, Shinji had thought (on several occasions throughout their time in the air), and he had secretly wondered to himself if this was a pretext for her to get close to him. Possibly...
They had both been told to pack light, and that they had done; they only carried three moderately sized bags with them, containing items that couldn’t be bought on the unlimited budget that Nerv had supplied them with. Neither Shinji nor Rei could remember exactly all the items that they had packed. Mainly because they had gotten...distracted halfway through, thought Rei, remembering how Shinji had embraced her while she was looking for something in her closet. That had led to one of their heavier make-out sessions...the remnants of which she could still feel on her lips.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Shinji asked, breaking the silence as the two of them stood in the shadow of the hotel.
“Nothing, I guess...I wonder if we got a room with a good view?”

Nerv had gotten them a room on the second highest floor...not quite the penthouse suite, but close. They had a good view from the hight; unfortunately, most of the view was the vast cityscape. Not that the city wasn’t something to be impressed by, Shinji thought to himself, sitting out on the balcony, idly watching the assorted vehicles pass below him.
He heard the glass door slide open behind him, and Rei came out to join him.
“How long do we have until school is back in again?” Rei asked.
“Five weeks, if I counted right...why?”
“We’ve got five weeks here...wow.”
“Five weeks without having to think about Nerv or the Angels.”
“Yeah, and five weeks to do this...”
Rei gave Shinji a passionate kiss.

An incredibly attractive man, who happened to be a spy for the American government, was in the midst of kissing an incredibly attractive woman, who happened to be a spy for the Russian government.
“I don’t get it. Is she a spy?” asked Rei.
Shinji, who had been trying to follow the movie, without much success, replied, “I think so.”
“Then why is he trying to get information from her?”
“He changed sides about halfway though. Didn’t you see that?”
“No. Too busy concentrating on other things, I guess...” She ran her hand up Shinji’s arm, and went back to resting her head on his shoulder.
A few moments later, halfway through Shinji trying to figure out why the attractive American man had shot someone, Rei asked, “Is this making _any_ sense?”
“No...not really.”
Rei extracted herself from Shinji’s embrace and announced, “I’ll be in my room, reading, if you want me. This movie is making my head ache.”

During yet another car chase involving the American spy, Shinji decided that he _did_ want her.

Rei, as she had said, was in the separated bedroom, sprawled out on her bed, reading the book Shinji had seen her reading for a while. From what he could gather, it was a romance novel, set before the Second Impact. Life, it seemed, was easier then. Maybe that was the reason she became so attached to reading: escapism. He noticed absently that Rei had changed her clothes to her sleeping attire: in Shinji’s eyes she looked unimaginably cute in the shorts and top she slept in.
Shinji lay down in his bed, intending to sleep, but instead ended up mindlessly gazing at the ceiling and absorbed deeply into his thoughts. So deeply, in fact, that he didn’t realise Rei had stopped reading her book and now lay beside him, until he felt her breath on his neck.
“Why did you move?”
“I’m cold,” she replied, moving to embrace Shinji further. This was definitely a pretext; she didn’t feel cold at all. Still, what concern was it of his? This was just like on the plane.
“What’cha thinking?” Rei asked.
“I was just thinking how much I’d like to do this.” Shinji lent over and kissed her on the cheek.
“That’s funny.”
“What do you mean?”
“‘Cause I was just thinking how much I’d like to do this.” Rei kissed Shinji, strongly, on the lips.
After a few moments spent in comfortable silence, Rei asked in a voice that was barely above a whisper: “Do you love me, Shinji?”
“Of course I do, Rei.”
She moved in closer to Shinji, which he hadn’t thought was possible, and kissed the nape of his neck. She spoke again, an in that single moment, Shinji felt that all noise, even the beating of their hearts, had stopped.
“Make love to me.”
He began to kiss her back, and asked, “Do you want that?”
“Yes...yes.”

Rei lay awake, thinking of the night she and Shinji had just had. Images flashed in her head in rapid succession; his lips over hers, her hands through his hair, his hand at her breast. Rei smiled to herself in the darkness, and thought, _We are now truly one: one body, one mind, one soul._

In the morning, Shinji woke, feeling as though something was off-centre, and realised where he was: no longer in Tokyo-3 in the apartment, but in a hotel room with Rei in his arms.
A sleeping Rei in his arms.
A _beautiful,_ sleeping Rei in his arms.
He lent over to her, and kissed her in her sleep, thinking of how much she was an angel, not those beings that he had fought in the Eva. He slid out of the bed to get dressed.

“I wonder what Asuka would say about this?” Shinji mused out loud, later in the day.
“_Asuka_ doesn’t need to say anything,” Rei replied, stopping any further musings with a deep kiss.
__________________
-DM7

"Man fears the darkness. And so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire."
-Rei Ayanami

Live fast, die hard, and most importantly...leave an impressive stain!

We must be swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Astronomy: a star...
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Old 03-08-2000, 07:18 AM   #15   [permalink]
gaspacho soup
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nice to see that kensuke FINALLY got a chance to pilot eva
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