In Light of the Sky (Refit)
Written by: Advantage
The Eye of the heavens
"...It's a rather unusual celestial phenomena that we've been tracking for the past week or so. We didn't know what to make of it, but you're the first people we thought about contacting."
Gendo Ikari ignored this statement to study the pictures the Doctor brought in.
Standing beside the official desk and peering down at the photographs was the face of Fuyutsuki, the second most important person in the organization.
"Strange," Asked the older man, "These pictures look like an ordinary comet. What makes you think we would be interested?"
"Well, sir, that's normal light. Take a look at the same picture under an infrared lens." Replied the Hawaiian Astronomer and flipped through the documents in her grasp before placing one on the table.
Gendo adjusted his glasses as he picked up the photograph and asked, "What is this?"
"It's a spherical object, roughly fifty meters in diameter, imbedded in the core. It was also giving off strange radio signals which the Jet Propulsion laboratories in the states have yet to crack. What's really strange is that this comet is continually changing it's velocity- at one point it was aimed squarely at earth."
"And now?" Asked Fuyutsuki.
"It's headed for lunar orbit. The astrophysicists think it might use the lunar gravity to slow itself down. From then, we don't know what would happen."
"Thank you Dr. Yamana," Muttered Gendo as he collected the photos, "You were most wise in coming to us first...and I must ask that you keep some of these discoveries out of the hands of the public."
"The unusual oddity at the center," Fuyutsuki explained, "We have reason to believe this object is dangerous. But do not worry, we have ways to counter it."
"I see. Strict government stuff huh? Is it some sort of new H-bomb?"
"Of a sort. Once again, thank you."
Almost immediately after the doctor left the HQ, a more dedicated type of satellite turned it's attentions to the heavens to scan the object in question.
The results were appearing in the main control room of NERV, buried underneath a city known as Tokyo-3.
"I was afraid of this. It's a deep space entity." Said Ritsuko as she studied the prime display screen.
"So?" asked a lavender-hared woman standing beside her, "Don't we have weaponry that can hit targets that far away?"
"Not in our current arsenal. Not even the particle cannon can hit that from the ground with enough force to destroy it. Actually I don't think anything we have in our confidential arsenals could hit it either..."
Misato wondered briefly what Ritsuko considered classified to an already classified organization.
"So what do we do?" Asked Misato, "We have a month or so before it gets here. What could we possibly do to destroy it before it gets into position?"
Ritsuko just watched the screen for a moment, then turned her head down to say, "We'll have to consult MAGI on this... I don't see any possible way for us to destroy what I think this is..."
Misato crossed her arms as she looked at the scientist, "You have an idea?"
"It's not a pleasant one," Ritsuko replied, "But...if this thing is not an angel or any extraterrestrial entity then it might very well be a comet that could initiate another impact- similar to the one that wiped the Dinosaurs from the planet."
Misato didn't think about that, but as she did she looked at the massive image of the approaching comet on the main screen.
An hour later a meeting of the NERV high staff was called to order in the Video room located beneath the main command deck.
Gendo Ikari was standing across the room from Ritsuko as she clutched a clip board in her hands and examined the data. Misato had her arms crossed as she stood some distance away from Ritsuko and looked over at the scientist when she started to speak.
"MAGI has run a list of possible plans, but after filtering through them it found only three of them to be feasible given the restrictions." Ritsuko turned her eyes to the list and read, "Our first strategy is to bombard the target with long-range nuclear weaponry and advanced positron cannons. We don't have anything in the scale of high-definition particle weaponry needed to demolish targets that far, however, so we may have to rely on the UN's assistance to carry out this plan.
"The second option is to wait for the entity to clear the moon and enter striking distance. However, we estimate that we have ten minutes until it escapes the moon's gravity and enters range of our particle cannons. This means any changes and developments will too late to implement- and we may be too late to prevent the impact."
Fuyutsuki, also standing in the room rubbed his chin, "These options seem to rely on the target being in firing range..."
"The third, however," Resumed Ritsuko, "Is to position our prototype type-7 Positron cannon in orbit to fire at the target. The additional Evangelion units would be positioned in orbit to defend the firing unit while it is making calculations. This is the last feisable option we have available to us given the restrictions."
It was a moment before Fuyutsuki said something to break the silence, "Was funding one of the restrictions Dr. Akagi? NERV doesn't have the necissary funding to perform this sort of action."
"Yes, we do." Replied Ritsuko, "We just need to know who to ask."
"I doubt the United States could simply lend us their space program to launch three Evangelion units into orbit- let alone the publicity concerns." Fuyutsuki replied.
Gendo spoke at last, "And this is the most optimal?"
Ritsuko adjusted her stance and said, "Solutions one and two wait for the target to enter striking distance of the ground-based military platforms. Given the target's variability, I don't believe it's wise to allow it to possibly gain speed when coming out of Lunar Orbit."
"I see." Gendo agreed.
Misato turned, "You mentioned something about a prototype Positron cannon...don't we have those already?"
"Not the prototype." Replied Ritsuko, "The one requisitioned from the JDSSF labs during the third attack was a type-12 positron cannon. The type twelve was cleared for atmospheric use with the modified shielding properties to prevent the Positrons from detonating the surrounding air. The type-12 was deemed sufficient enough for Evangelion use, so the JSSDF allowed us to use it."
"And types 1-11?" asked Fuyutsuki.
Ritsuko folded the clipboard under her arm, "The first four detonated in their testing labs when they were fired. When number six was fired in a complete vacuum it was a success, and up-scaled and re-designed for the type-7. It wasn't until later developments that the focusing field was added- thus all the earlier models could only be fired in a vacuum to prevent them from detonating the atmosphere."
"So why number seven then?" Misato asked.
"Because out of all the Positron test cannons we have it has the highest yield and destructive capability. It was never tested at full capacity, but it's believed to have a focused destructive capability of 600 megatons- so long as no sizeable amounts of elements are in the way for a matter/antimatter reaction."
Misato was visibly shocked at this and gasped, "A weapon like that exists?"
Ritsuko turned her head to look at Misato, "It's housed in a warehouse in the Matsushiro development branch. It can be called out and completed under a week."
Gendo nodded approvingly, "And what about deployment?"
"The cannon's mostly complete already- but there will be some assembly needed if the cannon is to be downsized enough to be placed in the payload of any modern space rocket." Ritsuko mentioned.
Gendo considered the motion there, and then said, "Very well. I will leave you in charge of the direct operation Dr. Akagi. If this plan does not work we will use the others as backup."
"Very well sir." Agreed Ritsuko.
"What?" Asuka exploded at breakfast the next morning, "Space!? Eva isn't designed for space!! What are you thinking?!?!"
"We don't have any other choice." repleid Misato with a beer in her hand, "The next angel, or whatever it is, will be here in less than a month. We have that long to do whatever we can to destroy it before it gets into position."
"Why don't we just shoot at it from the ground? Can't we hit lunar targets with the main guns?" Asuka retorted.
"We can, but most of the energy would be dissipated when it goes through the atmosphere. The only way we can destroy lunar targets with accuracy is to put an Eva in orbit with the sniper cannon."
"So I suppose NERV's asking everyone to help?" Asuka replied.
Shinji listened patiently as he continued to eat his breakfast.
Misato hesitated before replying, "Well...yes and no. The United States is still trying to rebuild their own space program after the second impact...they're still reconstructing many of the shuttle support systems at Vandenburg AFB- and they only have one shuttle left. The only other nations still launching rockets are the Russians and the Chinese."
"...We're doomed." Asuka said slumped in her seat, "How do we know this thing won't just stop over earth?"
Misato replied, "Because if it decides to use a different trajectory it could become the largest object to hit the earth- including the same thing that wiped out the dinosaurs."
"Aye! No wonder! Okay, so when do we start training?" Asked Asuka.
"Tomorrow afternoon. Your Evas are also going to be undergoing a refit for space operations." Misato replied.
While the two were talking Shinji remained seated at the table. Now he was looking out the window into the blue sky- and the distant pale surface of the Moon.
"Space...." He murmured absently in thought.
Days later their training had begun.
Shinji was just starting to get used to the feeling of weightlessness. In his first session of null gravity he very nearly vomited from the experience. Now he could at least hold his lunch during the sessions. Asuka on the other hand took to it like a fish in water- which made Shinji think that Asuka must have spent too many hours on theme park rides. Rei didn't have any complaints about the absence of gravity- but then again she never said much...
The gigantic 747 was preparing to make another dive again in this latest session, and Ritsuko was making notes on her clipboard while the three children were huddled at the back of the plane.
"You guys ready?" shouted Misato over the rumble from the pilot's cabin.
They felt and saw the horizon start to tilt again and the feeling of weightlessness returned.
Shinji made a moan and it became a scream as he dove into a wall.
Asuka laughed as she kicked off a wall, "Hey, this isn't so bad!"
Rei was just drifting in the zero gravity without any reaction or indication as to weather she enjoyed it or not.
Asuka laughed again as she performed a roll in the air and landed on the roof, kicked off and made another somersault.
"Where did she learn to do that?" asked Shinji, half to himself, before he too tried a trick- and ended up as a confused mass at the other end of the plane.
"HA! You'll never get this down!" Laughed Asuka.
"Hang on back there," Said the voice from the cabin.
Gravity suddenly returned and Asuka hit the floor of the plane with an ungrateful thud.
It was Shinji's turn to smile and Asuka complained from her sprawled position on the floor, "Give me a better warning next time!"
It was one of the only other alternate uses the large lake in the bottom of the geofront would have.
Large pieces of equipment- a dummy sniper cannon, were being deployed in the water as Eva 00 with Rei at the controls worked in the almost Zero-G conditions.
"Connecting barrel." She announced as the blue Eva's hands slid over the metal and locked the long barrel into place.
"You're fine so far Rei," Congratulated Ritsuko, "Now try powering it up."
"Powering." Repeated Rei and touched a part of the cannon.
The simulated power flow increased, and Ritsuko nodded approvingly, "All right, now try disassembling it."
Misato had watched the proceedings with half interest, and then remarked, "It's a wonder how we're going to get the reactors into space to power the main cannon, and the Evas for that matter."
"Eva's power problem is solved by the Space gear and it's support pod." Said Misato, "It's supposed to be equipped with large battery packs and a pair of solar panels on the hull- as well as a set of Venire thrusters for moving around."
"What about the main gun?"
"A separate reactor will be orbitally lifted into space. If that doesn't work, we'll find the International Space Station and use their power supply to help out."
"You mean the ISS is still up there? After all that's going on?"
"Where do you think most of the satellite images from the second impact came from?" asked Ritsuko and turned back to the testing.
Come the end of the week, Gendo Ikari was in Russia.
He clasped at the heavy jacket and walked across the white-covered pavement to stare up at one of Russia's remaining rocket launching platforms.
Unlike the Americans, Russia had it's launch and recovery facilities located in the deep Siberia. Where else? After all it already seemed that the great Siberian wastes were the intergalactic target-board of the universe whenever a meteorite passed.
"Ah," Said the Minister of the Russian Space Program and approached Gendo Ikari, "My apologies," He spoke in heavily accented Japanese, "I didn't know you would be so fast. You caught us off guard."
"We don't have much time." Said Gendo and asked, "Are your facilities ready?"
"Yes, we are getting them underway as we speak. You realize however, Buran hasn't been flown in over four decades..."
"I know. But it's the biggest payload-carrying orbiter you have available."
"Yes, that being a benefit from copying the American design. I suppose it's all the better that it can run a pre-programmed flight, eh? No matter, the bay's too small to house one of your units, anyway, unless you wanted to ride on the back."
Gendo smirked slightly at that phrase. He had no idea...
Two weeks had passed, and all was almost ready.
Out somewhere in China were three rockets days ahead of preparing to launch. Two of them were armored with large hand-holds, while the last one was already preparing to launch early into orbit.
Likewise, propped and ready to launch was one of the world's only remaining orbiters left in existence. The Russian Space Shuttle Buran, after many years of abandonment, was preparing to once again go into space. This time, it was occupied with the folded-up components of the Particle cannon and also had a battery pack ready.
They were all finishing preparations, while in Tokyo-3 the three Evangelion units were finishing modifications.
When the opportunity came, the three children were taken to the cages to see what exactly had happened.
"Aha!" Gaped Asuka, "What happened to my Eva?"
"At least it's not as embarrassing as the lava gear." Remarked Shinji.
The three Evas had lost their color to dark grey plates of armor that sat over the original plates. The sectional parts were insulated with opaque hexagonal webbing between each section, and no doubt the entire armor was pressurized.
Gaping on some locations; around the shoulders, fins, and legs, were holes with marked off red triangles. If one were to read the labels, they said WARNING THRUSTER EXHUAST.
The armor had been expanded at the back of Each Evangelion unit, which held an additional battery, thruster cluster, and cable connection.
In all, the Evas were looking ready for space.
"I wonder what the plug suits look like." Pondered Shinji.
Come that day, Shinji found out.
The special-issue space-suit plugsuits were vastly different from their normal plugsuits used on earth. They weren't as ridiculous nor as bulky as Asuka's balloon-like lava suit, but weren't form fitting anymore. The back part of the suit had to be removed and carried, which held the compressed oxygen tanks and a square-like thruster assembly. If the pilots needed to go outside they would have to put this on first. The chest part had a blocky instrumentation and status pack, which was made simple on a button-press control pannel on the right arm. Lastly the helmet wasn't the round bowl Shinji always assumed space helmets had- these versions had a more of an oval profile at the top, which narrowed to almost a beak near the faceplate. Lastly, the legs and arms of the suit were ribbed for texture, and NERV patches were placed on the various bits and pecies of the suit to identify the organization. They also came in the colors of the Evangelions each pilot was using.
Thus when Rei emerged from her locker in a blue suit with Asuka in red, the latter couldn't help but exclaiming, "You're purple!"
Shinji looked down at his suit to see that yes, the ribbed sections of the arms and the gloves were the same color as his Eva. "I didn't want this uniform just so you know!" Shinji complained afterward.
Ritsuko, who was waiting just outside the fitting room added, "We have a pink one just in case."
Asuka imagined Shinji in that one and cracked up again.
"You're not helping." Shinji added in a flat tone.
Ritsuko interjected, "We don't have much time anyway. The object's path has become variable in the last four hours...it could take anywhere from two weeks to eight hours to reach us. We have to launch by the end of the day. I suggest you three get some sleep en-route to your launch points."
The long flight to each location was enough to get some sleep, at least.
While Asuka and Shinji continued for China, the bomber carrying Rei's Eva and Rei herself banked for Russia to ride Buran into space. Shinji and Asuka, of course, would be riding Chinese made constructions into the atmosphere.
"The Chinese should know what they're doing," Started Shinji, "They made the first rockets, right?"
Asuka added in a subtle tone, "Yeah, but they're communists."
Shinji made a small nod and decided to get some rest. Some countries had their own ways of government...
When he awoke two hours later, Shinji was ready.
Even in the LCL-filled environment, it wouldn't matter if something went seriously wrong. In space, the only effect LCL would have on him is shock absorbent. If in the unlikely event the plug was breached, the LCL would only remain liquid for a limited amount of time before it froze and trapped him in the cockpit.
As for his suit, it would be the first time he used an air supply in an Evangelion cockpit. There was no telling what kind of pressure effects and other reactions the human body would have in the zero-gravity of space while dunked in LCL, so NERV decided not to risk it and instead outfitted the pilots with their specialized space suits.
Shinji took in a deep breath and stretched his neck, feeling the control nodules and the electrodes taped on his scalp as his head moved in the helmet. Even though there was LCL connection, his thoughts had to get conducted through the material somehow- either by direct contact or through the transmitters at the back of his helmet.
His Eva was unloaded some distance from the tarmac, and beside it was Asuka's own Eva. Down at their feet were power trucks to supply them precious energy before the mission started. Both Evangelions were approaching the half-open rocket silos and exposed the large missiles on their launching pads.
"Okay Shinji," Misato's voice spoke over the radio, "You know the drill. The rocket should already be adjusted to your Eva's total weight, just try not to shift a lot."
"O-Okay..." Replied Shinji and reached one heavy boot up to lock it into place on the rocket surface. Then he stepped up on that foot to reach the giant hand out to the first circular hand-hold and grasped it tightly. The process was repeated for the other limbs, and Eva-01 looked ready to ride the tower of flammable material up into space. Below them, the power trucks were already disconnecting and pulling away for safety.
Asuka didn't make any comment about the posture as her own Eva climbed up and secured itself to the rocket nose.
"Okay, Evas one and two are docked. If it's any consonance to know, Rei's already heading up there."
"What?! Wondergirl is getting into space before us?!" Shouted Asuka in anger.
"Relax Asuka, it's not a race." Said Ritsuko, "In any case, she needs more time to set up the sniper cannon and rendezvous with the reactor module."
There was a moment of silence, save the chatter of the Chinese, before a countdown started, "Okay, this is it.... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... one... launch!"
Shinji held onto the hand holds as the rocket ignited, and slowly the scaffolds fell away to propel the monster and it's sender up into the sky. Not too far away, Asuka was riding her own rocket up into the heavens.
Shinji had sometimes wondered what astronauts felt when they went into space. Now he had some idea of how much buckling they went through. He had been assured that the rocket would do all the work, so he wouldn't need to perform any special operations- just sit in the Eva until they reached space.
Soon he felt and heard the rocket start to come apart as the first stage fell away. The rocketing continued, and Shinji peered out of the side of his helmet at the falling earth below. The blue was disappearing, forming the haze that covered the entire planet- the same one he had been born, and perhaps the same he would die.
Unless he died up here in space, and that thought made Shinji consider the gravity of the mission.
This was the first time any combat vehicles were deployed in space, he told himself. As he thought about it he pictured this as all some sort of sci-fi movie about mecha going into space...
Another jolt knocked him out of his dreams, and only the steady roaring of the last stage was heard to propel him out of the atmosphere and finally into space.
It was now that he felt complete weightlessness. The LCL never granted him his wish before, as the liquid wasn't usually enough to slow his motions. Now, it was like no other experience he felt before. He was falling, yet not.
The rocket motor behind him continued to ruble for a moment, pushing Shinji finally out into a parking orbit before it finally cut.
He glanced out to his right to see Asuka's motor also die away and eject- leaving only the battery and thruster package of the nose section.
The radio crackled for a moment before Ritsuko's voice came through the silent and eerie void, "Shinji, Asuka, do you read?"
"Yes," Answered Shinji, "I hear you."
"Good. You two can ease off the hold now, but you'll need to manually attach the battery cables to your Evangelions. It should be right in front of you."
Shinji nodded and slowly moved the Evangelion, letting go of one of the recessed hand-holds and finding the locked panel. He turned the crank open and the door slid to the side to expose the familiar fuel-pump looking umbilical cord.
He reached in and pulled it out, and after some difficulty connected the cable to his Eva and heard the battery chime.
"Set." He remarked, and looked up to see Asuka's Evangelion give a thumbs up in the bulky space glove.
"I'm set." She replied and grabbed the power module again.
"You two should be able to see Rei in a few minutes. You'll need to course-change to link up with Buran...Rei reports she already has a majority of the cannon assembled."
"Okay." Agreed Shinji and looked out into the stars.
From Earth they were nothing more than pinpricks, but as the Evangelion pair fell into the night side the sky seemed to be full of them. He lost count as his eyes and the Eva's sensors adjusted to the darkness and revealed the true extent of the night sky.
The only thing that stopped them was the moon, shining and reflecting the radiance and power of the Sun. But even that too still held secrets that mankind had not yet found...
And he turned to look around to see if he could spot the unusual thing. Yes, there it was. Brighter than a star but not as big as the moon, a dot had formed in the background of space. It seemed motionless, but as Shinji had been told this was only a deception. It was already travelling thousands of miles, and they would only have four hours to stop it before it did something.
Shinji took a deep breath in his suit and the radio buzzed again, "Ikari-Kun...this is Ayanami. Do you read?"
"I read you Rei. Are you all right?"
"Yes. I have the sniper cannon assembled." She remarked.
Shinji looked around, and then looked up.
Approaching at a slow rate was Buran, the Russian mimic of the American shuttle. It's bay doors were open, and seated on it in a humorous image was Eva one. It's cable ran into another cylindrical satellite connected to Buran's manipulator arm, as well as the power lines to the main gun.
"Huh, already set up shop." Remarked Asuka.
"Almost." Responded Rei.
Asuka and Shinji adjusted their battery packs according to plan, and before long they were hovering beside the seemingly motionless Buran in it's orbit.
But once again, this was a deception. The three Evas and their company were all falling towards earth, but at a trajectory to make it seem insignificant. At the rate they were falling they would miss the earth and continue to fall until gravity or some other force got the best of them.
"So when are you going to shoot that thing?" Asked Asuka.
"It still needs time to finish charging. And I need the firing co-ordinates." responded Rei.
Shinji blinked as he thought about something, then asked, "So what are we doing up here?"
"Protection." Replied Ritsuko over the radio, "Rei's power is going to be significantly drained while she's in orbit, and you two need to generate your AT Fields to deflect any attack that might come at her."
"Dandy." Asuka remarked, "defense duty again...."
"In the event that Rei is incapacitated, you're to fire the main gun Asuka." Misato's voice added.
"And what are the chances of that happening?" asked Asuka.
"None." Replied Rei.
Asuka made a grimace in her helmet, "I wasn't talking to you."
"In any case, we're still trying to get targeting telemetry on the target. So hang tight up there." Said Ritsuko.
Shinji went silent, and then looked up at the Moon again as it swept past.
"Hey," Asked Shinji, "Do you ever think we'll go to the moon again?"
"Who cares?" Asked Asuka, "There's nothing up there except dust and craters...and some U.S. Space junk."
"Yeah....But it would be nice to be there..." Shinji said in a wistful tone as he examined the impacted surface of the dead moon. Maybe there wasn't anything up there...but it would be nice to bring home a souvenir...
Then just as suddenly as it came the moon left, and with it went the dot of the incoming intruder.
Was this the first sign of intelligent life outside our planet? Shinji asked himself as he brooded in his cockpit. Perhaps so, perhaps not. In a matter of hours it might not matter, the sniper cannon would do away with any answers that the mysterious object could reveal.
He crossed his arms in the liquid LCL, then looked out the side of the Eva's vision at the passing terrain below.
They were going fairly quickly in orbit. Dropping below them were the plains of Africa- since changed by the second impact that destroyed much of the low-land areas exposed to the coast. As he understood it, Cape Canaveral and most of the coastline on the United States was also flooded by the tremendous detonation of the south pole. It was a pity they wouldn't be passing by there, Shinji thought, to see the amount of damage the explosion caused. Then he would be able to see it with his own eyes, instead of textbook pictures.
His eyes scanned further up to see if he could see Europe, but it was to high on the horizon. Instead he looked back at the coasts of Africa, now passing beneath them as the ship passed into sunlight once more.
The Atlantic Ocean looks so peaceful from here, he thought, as he looked across the blue oceans stretching beneath him. Never in his life had he expected to see this...
"I wonder how my father's doing." Mused Asuka as she adjusted her seat on the large battery pack, and then she stepped off of it to float in space hundreds of feet away from her lifeline.
Shinji remained clutching on his manmade asteroid and asked, "Is something wrong with him?"
"No, but he said he would be taking a trip to South America..."
As if on cue, the upper part of South America started to show, as well as the coastal united States.
"Yeesh, they weren't kidding." Asuka said, "That's a great flood."
Shinji's eyes scanned the lands decimated by water. Nothing was left of Florida, the only things that could signify it's presence were the barely visible outlines of a once wide coastline. Mountains peeked up from the ocean, as well as land. Fortunately, the lands were high enough to prevent the water from draining into more of the inland areas of the United States. Somewhere down there was the remains of another NERV branch, having passed into disaster from that mysterious detonation. Where were they now, he wondered.
Now the west coast of the United States was visible, going below them and glittering as Silicon valley greeted them. Radio waves were buzzing over the channels, and Shinji turned it down to listen for orders, but not allow them to interrupt him in the silence.
The eerie silence of deep space didn't bother him so much anymore. He had been raised on science fiction movies, where even sound was heard in the blackness. In reality this was far from true- it was completely devoid of any sound outside the small cabin of the Evangelion unit. It was like watching the TV on mute, he realized, as he expected to hear the thumping of Asuka's unit back on the reactor pod but nothing was heard from it.
"Okay," Said Ritsuko's voice as it broke the silence, "Rei, we're getting targeting data for you now. Countdown should be up on your timer. Shinji, Asuka, get ready for this."
"Right." They both nodded and slowly released themselves from their reactor pods and thought over the AT Field forming. It was starting to manifest, an invisible barrier, just meters away. Rei's helmet was lit with the targeting information and she raised the barrel as the shuttle remained a stable platform.
The timer was also clicking down to the final second...
"Count down is two minutes." Said Rei emotionlessly.
Shinji was still wincing as the AT field remained in place.
The pale blue dot in deep space was still visible in the faint background, and it was approaching the Moon as believed. If Rei was on the dot, she would hit the thing as it came around the Moon.
She was patient when the dot disappeared around the moon, already close enough to watch the trail.
"Here it comes..." Asuka said in a whisper.
The grey armor of the Eva's shoulder fin parted and excess oxygen puffed out and resolved into crystals. This didn't stop the massive heating coils in the armor from glowing red-hot and allowing the bearings on the Heat knife to function and move the knife to be grabbed and drawn by Eva 02. The knife's imbedded coils came to life and started to heat up the knife to the best of it's ability.
Shinji likewise had his own knife ready, but he didn't know how to best use it. If he lost the knife, he felt sorry for whomever was on the ground when it made re-entry. He then wondered if anyone would come to retrieve it if he did loose it...
Shinji was tense as he saw the dot start to re-emerge from behind the moon.
Rei was correcting her position, thrusters firing to compensate for the thing's motion as it approached...
Sweat was forming in the inside of Asuka's helmet, but she couldn't do anything about it- something that made her even angrier.
Shinji waited, and then without warning and without sound the main cannon fired.
Shinji had to cover his eyes when the fat beam distcharged, and when he could look again he saw the barrel emitting a huge, fat beam of sparkling blue-white energy tipped with a moving star of it's own.
Seconds ticked by as the beam crossed the space between Earth and the heavens.
Then the incoming comet moved out of the way.
"It missed!" Shouted Asuka, "It's coming straight for us!"
Shinji braced himself as the comet approached with greater speed and determination.
"I need another ten minutes for a charge." Rei announced.
"Keep that barrier up!" Ritsuko shouted.
Asuka hissed a word between her teeth and the two Evas threw their barriers into existence. The huge pair of hexagonal fields materialized just as the comet-thing came into clear visual range and slammed into the field.
Shinji saw it for only a second as it hit the barrier and resisted it for only an eyeblink. In that time, he did see the core of the comet- a translucent sphere with something solid inside...it reminded him of a great eye.
A second after hitting the field the whatever it was fired charge after charge of high-definition electricity into one of the fields, and after a moment Shinji's field cracked into loose orange energy and permitted the comet to go straight for him.
Shinji screamed when he saw the barrier break and then was jolted in the cockpit when the object contacted the Eva and yanked it away from it's conrads. Asuka spun and watched Eva 01 being carried off by the target, shouting, "SHINJI YOU IDOIT! GET OUT OF THERE!!!"
"SHINJI!!!" Screamed those on the ground.
But he could neither hear nor see them. It appeared as if the Eva had vanished moments after hitting the surface of the comet...
At first Shinji didn't know exactly what to make of his surroundings.
It was as if he had awoken from sleep- with no lasting memory of ever falling asleep, nor an exact recount of the dreams he had had.
Was this all a dream? Going into space, being places and everything...was it all a-
No. It wasn't. He could see the glass of the helmet only inches in front of him. But...how the heck did he get out of his Eva?
At least his efforts to put on the back part of his suit weren't in vain, the space survival package was safely secured to his back.
But where was he? He could see a white-tiled floor, with one-by-one-foot tiles stretching seemingly out into infinity. He could also make out a roof with similar tiles. Other than that, the space he was standing in had no walls...
Yet, something was there. He could feel it...
He spun around to come face to face with the first sign of alien intelligence.
Or rather, something completely opposite of his expectations.
Standing on the tiles, imperious and unmoving, was a solid black rectangle. The ebony surface didn't even bother to gleam back at him, but nevertheless the black ambassador didn't say anything.
Shinji looked at the avatar, transfixed with wonder at the simplicity of the shape. What was he looking at? What was this thing?
Slowly, realizing he could move, Shinji took a precious step forward, reaching out a hand and breathing in his helmet to make contact with the surface.
His fingers seemed to brush against the featureless surface...or rather, something stopped him from touching it. He recalled his hand and sought to look deeper into the surface. Nothing. No sign of any reflection of anything other than the black ebony interior of the shape.
He took a step backward from it in confusion. What was this thing?
"A messenger, if you will."
Shinji spun around with some fright to look at the strange man standing feet away. Like Shinji, this person was in a helmet less space suit, with piercing eyes and a calm smile.
"W-Who are you?"
"I am...an ambassador." Said the man.
"That is not important." Said the man.
In an eyeblink, he was looking at an aged man, perhaps in his nineties, cloaked in white and with an aged, wrinkled face. It was the same man, Shinji was sure, but somehow...different. Older, but...something else...
"It is...remarkable...and sad to learn what you have done to your world." Said the old man in the same voice, holding his shivering hand by his side, "We would have expected you to greet others in kindness...but it seems we have....overestimated the human potential for understanding. It was disastrous to introduce you to another species before you were ready."
"So you're saying we've been fighting aliens?" asked Shinji.
"In as much of a primitive sense as you can understand, yes." Answered the old man, "The creatures that have come for the first ambassador are nothing more than mindless manifestations- created out of your own imaginations to combat you. In time, it may escalate to where you combat an enemy as resilient as yourselves."
"But...why? Why all this?" asked Shinji.
"I...cannot be certain." Said the old man.
In another blink he was the space-suited man again, saying, "What you have done, you have brought onto yourselves. But even so, there is a greater danger among you."
"Who? Where?" Asked Shinji.
"You cannot possibly understand who or what they are." Answered the ambassador, "You do not know them. They are even secret from themselves. But we do know that what they seek will destroy the greatest gift of life- life itself."
"How can we stop them?" Asked Shinji.
"That I cannot disclose," Said the old man once more, "Only....you must be watchful of what services are asked of you....and you must keep yourself accountable...and in check...of your own actions...if you wish to survive. In time, perhaps, we may come again to resolve the conflict that has destroyed your planet."
The head of a baby looked back at him in silence, encased in a translucent globe of energy.
Then he was gone, and with this Shinji spun to the black rectangular slab that seemed to stretch to infinity.
In that moment awe streatched into him, filled him completely and made him shudder as his consiousness awoke to a greater power. As he was beginning to feel that power inside him his mind seemed to snap out of it-
Shinji was panting when he returned to consciousness.
"Shinji! Shinji do you read me? SHINJI!!!"
Shinji looked outside the cockpit and made a sudden gasp as he realized where he was.
Evangelion one slowly stood up in the Geo front, still in it's space armor, and had seemed to have been dropped right in front of the pyramid and facing the side with the NERV logo painted on it.
Shinji remembered that he had been connected to something and looked down at the cable. He pulled the length up to it's end and discovered the frayed wires and smaller cables. His battery timer on his Eva had also just clikced on, and with the additional time In his suit the timer read 5:35...
That meant somehow he had spent five minutes, twenty-five seconds somewhere other than here or in deep space.
"Shinji! Do you copy!"
"I'm here Misato."
"Where are you?"
"...Standing underground...in front of NERV HQ."
"What?" Asked Misato, "What happened? Wha..."
"I don't know." Recounted Shinji, remembering the strange conversation, "It's weird...."
He stared into the blood red stain of an insignia printed on the top of the pyramid, gleaning back at him like a wound.
What was all this? He asked himself, what was that warning?
"We lost sight of you shortly after that comet thing contacted you and disappeared instantly after that thing hit!." Announced an astonished Misato, "We thought you were a goner! Then your beacon showed up again and everything...."
Shinji was breathing slowly in his cockpit.
"Shinji, do you remember anything that happened?"
"Yes," Shinji replied, "I was given a warning."
"By who?" asked Misato.
Shinji didn't know. Somehow, he didn't think he would be able to find out, either. At least for the immediate future.
"I don't know," Replied Shinji, "Someone from outer space...someone old...and wise...."
Monitoring the radio transmissions, Gendo frowned heavily at his desk.
"The old men won't like this." Said Fuyutuski beside him, "Especially how this blatantly defies the scrolls and their predictions."
"Let them complain." Replied Gendo as he focused on some distant thought.
"You aren't going to take this seriously then?" Asked Fuyutsuki, "What if contact was established between him and the makers of the monolith? Do you think it's wise to let him keep the information?"
Gendo didn't respond. He was still thinking about what was going to happen, and a similar warning he had been given- but chose to ignore.
In the silence, buried deep under thirty meters of moon rock, another similar shape still waited for the dawn of the Sun. It was a dawn it would not see, unless humanity could turn aside it's own self-centered struggle and once again turn to the stars...
But still, the black slab of unknown would wait, and the door would remain closed.
Disclaimer: Evangelion doesn't belong to me. The infamous black slab isn't mine, either.
This version has had the grammar refit.