Out, in the deep, blue-green oceans, something awoke. Sediments billowed up, the being slowly rising from the sea floor. Skin, dark and verdant, sheathed its massive form in an impenetrable coat. Armour, white and chalky, flashed the faint glimmers of sunlight off its surface. And among this darkness and paleness, a gleaming gem glowed, one single point of light sparking in its heart.

.

It rose, a dual set of fins breaching the surface and rushing towards the shore.

Giant.

Demon.

Devil.

Monster.

Daikaiju.

These were all words that sprang to mind, in the heads of the soldiers waiting on the beach. But they were not its true name.

Up ahead, on the shoreline, wave after wave of tanks, MLRS systems, and assault VTOLs sat and hung, weapons trained on the advancing shape, waiting to open fire.

.

Waiting for the Angel.

Neon Genesis Evangelion:

(Not) the End

Chapter 001: This is (Not) a Good Idea

- 2017 AD. T+17 years, Second Impact.

"We're sorry," came the calm reply of an automated voice. "Your call can not be brought through, due to the ongoing state of special emergency. Please try again later."

Click.

.

The boy sighed, and hung up, stuffing the useless cell phone back into his pocket. First the pay phone, now his personal one as well?

"'Special emergency'?" he asked aloud. "What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do now?"

Irritated, the sixteen-year old Shinji Ikari shoved his hand into his other pocket, rummaging around.

The boy, at first glance, seemed… rather average. Brown eyes, dark brown hair, and a fairly lithe build weren't exactly uncommon phenotypes in Japan. A small, red half-leaf charm was pinned up on his left breast- a gift from two years ago.

Shinji's hands finally came up, the contents of his pockets in tow. They weren't very impressive; a wallet containing some meager cash and his ID card, a small key ring, two hard candies, and several neatly folded pieces of paper. Among the latter was the reason why Shinji was in this mess; a letter from his father. The boy flipped it open, and read the message once more.

.

Shinji, I have need of you.

Come to the third-to-last stop on the train as soon as you can; a woman by the name of Katsuragi will be there to pick you up.

Do not worry, everything will be explained later.

- Ikari Gendo

.

Shinji let out a breath, folding up the slip of paper once more.

~"Have need of you." That's just as bad as this nebulous "special emergency".~

This day could not get worse.

.

With a mechanical scream, a pair of jet fighters swooped over top! Missiles and cannons fired, the supersonic roar of the planes' engines shattering windows and forcing the boy to cover his ears!

"Gah! Wha-what the hell? What's going-"

Moments later, an unearthly howl cut over the weapons fire, as a giant monster loomed above the buildings, visible even from where the boy stood. It must've been truly giant- fifty or sixty meters at least. Its skin was smooth, dark green- and somehow completely unscathed by the weapons peppering it. Fins ran down its limbs and back, terminating in a whip-like tail that lashed out at the offending aircraft. A face like a bird's skull protruded from the front of its torso, just above a ribcage covering a shining red sphere.

Whatever the hell this thing was… it looked pissed.

And it looked even more pissed when a missile the size of its arm slammed into its back, throwing the monster face-first into a building. The cloud of shrapnel stopped barely a block before Shinji, but the shockwave knocked him off his feet. Hands smashing into the remains of the building, the monster reared up against the fiery backlight, howling ag-

-a car screeched to a halt between Shinji and the thing, side door flung open in an instant.

"Get in!"

Panicked, Shinji scrambled into the vehicle, shutting and locking the door behind him as fast as he humanly can. The driver put the pedal to the metal, and the car tore away down a side street.

.


The boy had questions. And now, in the relative safety of the vehicle, he could finally ask them.

"I-who are you? What is that thing?! What's going on here?"

The driver- Shinji noticed- was a woman somewhere in her late twenties, with purple-accented hair and an outfit that his teenaged mind can't help but notice is a bit tight in certain places. However, giant monsters and repeated explosions put a considerable damper on the boy's hormones. Instead of her figure, he focused on her face, desperate for some answers.

"Misato. Misato Katsuragi," she grunted, just barely steering her Alpine around a gunship crashing into the middle of the road. "That big monster back there? We- NERV, that is- call it an Angel. That one back there's the Fourth Angel, to be precise. Codenamed 'Sa-"

Katsuragi. NERV.

"W-wait, NERV?" Shinji interrupted. "Where my father works?"

Misato nodded. "Yep. Your dad sent me to pick you up; you're needed."

Shinji blinked. Well, that's one mystery solved. "Sorry, but... needed? I know we've talked a bit, but what does father need me for?"

"He- oh, shit!" Misato's eyes widened. The woman slammed on the brakes- just as the Angel's foot smashes into the pavement, its unearthly howl echoing through the air! Luckily for Shinji, he'd buckled up about halfway back. Unluckily for him, the giant, airplane-killing, missile-proof monster is right in front of them.

The two shrunk back from the monster, hoping that it doesn't look their way, doesn't notice them, just keeps moving along.

As if the universe were trying to spite them, the Angel turns their way, its empty eye sockets twisting to look down at the small, blue car.

.

In unison, Misato and Shinji swallowed.

"Well, kid…" the woman muttered, half to herself. " I'm not entirely sure what the technical term is for this situation, but I'm going to go with 'absolutely fucked'. Unless a miracle drops from the sky, I'd say we're kinda done f-"

*ring ring*

Misato's eyes dropped to the electronic tablet set into the dashboard. Displayed on it was a telephone number. For her, a very familiar telephone number.

"...Shit."

The woman's eyes shot up, past the top of the Angel.

"Shinji," she said. "We might want to duck and cover. Backup's here."

.


High above the city, a Delta-wing aircraft more than twice the size of the Angel soared. Clamped to its underside, an elongated, mechanical shape.

"First stage activated. Plug depth set at 3 meters. LCL Ionization beginning."

An intake of breath. The primordial liquid tastes deliciously like iron-rich blood, the electric crackle sending a shiver up her spine. God, she loves this feeling. It's been far too long since she's indulged herself like this.

"First stage successful. Prepping for secondary stage connections. Neural language set to English. Enhancement equipment activating."

The wire frame inside her garment buzzes from the conductive charge, the thick red visor clears from the inside. Pupils in a sea of turquoise dilate, electric green flickering in the coloured ring of muscle.

Here it comes.

"Secondary stage successful. Final stage connections activating in three… two… one…"

.

Awake returned you're back you're here I'm so happy are we going to do it yes god yes we will me and you and us we'll kill it together rip it apart rip it apart bones and blood and meat and metal claws and teeth and blades and feet and now as one

WE ARE ONE.

.

The pilot shudders, the green cables clipped along her arms igniting along their lengths with an inner fire. Red letters ignite on the surface of her helmet. Lips draw back in a predatory grin.

"Final stage successful. Synchro holding at 76.1%."

Explosive bolts in the carriage detonate in sequence, and the mechanical shape drops down, unfolding spider-like limbs in preparation for combat.

"Evangelion Unit-05..."

.

"...has activated."

.

.