15 June 2115 in neo Tokio-3.

Nadia is standing on a ledge at the top of a tall building with a clear sight on the school where the potential eva pilots are usually going to.

"She is missing again" Nadia said in a worried tone.

"I guess they are running some tests again" Trax answered. "Everything indicates that they are expecting an attack soon"

"It's strange" Nadia said. "Why should the angels attack here, why not any other NERV branch,… well or any other target for that matter?"

"The more interesting question is I think why now" Trax said. "Why would the angels wait for mankind to prepare an defense before attacking…"

"you think they are going to intentionally provoke an attack" Nadia asked.

"Well I find that highly likely, that's the only plausible explanation" Trax noted. "btw, we should head back…"

Trax and Nadia used a portable interdimensional portal to get back to their secret lair. It's a small Taelon structure hidden inside an abandoned factory building in an industrial park near to Neo Tokio-3. The Taelon technology is "organic" in nature; hence it can grow and regenerate itself. The Taelons literally can grow buildings and ships.

"Why would they intentionally try to provoke the angels to attack here?" Trax asked.

"Given the danger they pose, it may be tactics, the desire to go into the fight on own terms" Nadia speculated.

"Hmm… possibly although I would think they are rushing things" Trax argued, "they are not really ready, postponing the conflict a year or two would drastically increase the chances for success"

"Well… they may be under a 'zug zwang', waiting longer may not be a viable option, for whatever undisclosed reason…" Nadia said speculating.

Trax looked onto a computer display next to him, and made a disappointed facial expression.

"still nothing" Nadia asked.

"Yea, no mather how good of a hacker one is getting into an air gapped system is theoretically impossible" trax said disappointed, "and none of my AI bots have yet managed to find some usable side channel for a remote attack".

"We should consider physical infiltration of the system", Nadia said with a determined tone.

"Yes I know, but if they find a micro drone this may pose problems in future if we chose to get in direct contact" Trax argued.

"Well we could opt for technology that is currently state of the art on earth," nadia said. "then we could deny any involvement"

"Sure, but then this technology is very limited, after we left the technological progress stalled a lot and the recent extinction event caused a significant setback especially in the field of Nano-fabrication"

"It's a shame that the UN is not capable to getting a spy into the inner circles of NERV or SEELE"

"Liam said the last time I talked to him that they are working on it and it looks promising" Trax said.

Liam Kincaid is a vice director of the UN intelligence agency. Back in the days when the Taelons ware on earth he was a double agent working for the resistance as the bodyguard of the North American Companion Da'an. Later he became the leader of the resistance. Once the Taelons left earth he started working officially for the UN intelligence agency, making his way up to vice director.

"The old man was saying that already the last time and the time before that"

"well not quite this time he said the attempt looks promising" Trax replyed.

"Yea that's not so very convincing" Nadia argued "NERV is really good at counter intelligence."

"I guess if you kill half of earth's population possibly on purpose and get away with it you must be…" she added.

Nadia looked around the room thinking.

"We don't know that for sure, it may have been an accident" Trax said. "But in any case it appears now they are trying to prevent such an event from repeating"

"At least that's their official job description" Nadia said. "Talking about letting the fox guard the chicken"

Trax smiled.

"How about we try to take the maters into our own hands?" Trax suggested "we should get in touch with NERV officially that is"

Trax leaned back in his chair

"you see the reason why its so hard to get someone into NERV is that thay don't take job applications, if they need somebody that pick from qualified professionals by random or take people related to the already employed personel"

"You mean they can't say no to employing two Taelon envoys?" nadia asked.

"Yes, exactly!" trax replyed "Our knowhow is unprecedented making us an extremely valuable asset, no matter what final objective they are pursuing"

"How do you suggest we get in contact?" Nadia wondered? "It's not like we could just knock on the front door flash our old diplomatic passports"

"Hmm… yea that would be suspicious, especially the timing" trax said. "Although… if we wait for an angel to attack, that would take care of it"

"Indeed we could plausibly argue to have observed the events on earth remotely and decided to intervene once there ware from orbit visible signs that the catastrophe from 15 years ago may repeat" Nadia said smiling conspirativly.

Cover art : Armen MARDIROSSIAN