Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode IV: The Last Hope


Chapter 4 – Third Child vs. Third Angel; Sachiel Appears
July 15, 2015 – Tokyo–3

'I've never had any cherished ambitions. I don't aspire to any future profession or career. So far, in the first fourteen years of my life, things have always happened as they had to. And things will probably continue the same way. That's why I've never really cared whether I got into an accident or something and died.' Shinji thought as he sat quietly on the train heading into Tokyo–3. 'Those words are the ones my teacher was so upset about, and then he failed me on the assignment for not taking it seriously. But I was telling the truth, I really don't care what happens to me. Jushiro might care, he's always been kind to me, but father pays him very well to be nice, so how can I be sure of what anyone wants from me. I don't even know why my father as called for me, all he said was "Come" and signed his name so I knew it was him.

All of a sudden , the train's lights turned red, and a message came on over the loud speaker "A state of emergency has been declared for the Tokai Region, for your safety we will be stopping at the next station and allow all passengers to get to emergency shelters. We repeat a state of emergency had been declared for the Tokai Region…"

"What the hell?" Shinji said aloud as the train came to a halt at the nearest station with its doors suddenly opening.

The loud speaker reiterated itself as the train stopped. "A state of emergency has been declared for the Tokai Region. We have now arrived at the nearest station, please disembark immediately and move quickly and calmly to emergency shelters in the area. We repeat a state of emergency had been declared for the Tokai Region…"

"Fine, I guess I'll get off here, stupid train…" Shinji said sarcastically as he grabbed his duffel bag and backpack and gruffly left the train. "I hope this day doesn't get any worse."

–––

"Generals." Hyuga said looking back at the three generals behind him. "The enemy is moving closer to shore, and its projected course is has it heading directly for Tokyo–3!"

"All naval units report that the enemy was too close to shore to get a meaningful weapons lock, pursuit has been abandoned." The naval admiral sitting on the right side said. "Prepare all naval search and rescue squadrons for launch."

"As soon as it pops out of the water, have all tank brigades open fire with high explosive shells." The army general sitting on the left side said. "And prepare all PATRIOT Missile trucks at the outer edges of the city to move into the most likely path of the enemy to intercept. When they see the enemy, they have authorization to engage."

"Launch four of the VTOL attack squadrons to intercept." The air force general seated in the middle said. "Leave the other two in reserve. As soon as they intercept, have them open fire with all ordinance, and make sure the VTOLs have been loaded with explosive bullets."

"Right away generals." Hyuga and Aoba replied, relaying the orders to the respective branches.

"Ikari… it's been fifteen years, hasn't it?" Fuyutsuki asked quietly as they looked at the massive monitor in front of them with the projected path of the enemy headed directly for Tokyo–3. "SEELE was correct were they not?"

"Yes, Fuyutsuki, it has been 15 years, but there can be no mistaking it, it's an Angel." Gendo replied quietly. "The day has finally arrived, Fuyutsuki, the trials humanity cannot avoid, there is no turning back now, the War of the Angels has begun."

–––

The hot air and humid air was filled with the constant sounds of cicadas' chirping, however that serene state of being was about to be disrupted.

Just offshore from Japan, at New Yokosuka, a large beast was gliding motionless through the water in ruins of Old Odawara, passing by leaning and half submerged buildings. The beast in the water was roughly humanoid in shape, and roughly the size of an Evangelion.

The creature didn't look threatening but was heading to shore to try and find something it was searching for. It wasn't sure what it was, it was simply being drawn there by an unknown force.

Awaiting the massive beast on shore was a line of several hundred tanks, all pointing their cannons towards the slow moving target. As it moved closer to shore the tanks' line of fire slowly converged.

"All units." The tank commander ordered. "Load high explosive rounds and prepare for a full barrage as soon as the enemy shows itself! Don't let up, not even for a moment!"

The ripples in the water could be seen getting closer to shore, and were coming to the outside edge of the tank cannons' range.

"Hold your fire… hold… it's almost within range… hold…" The tank commander said as the dark shape could be seen under the water now with the naked eye. "HOLD… NOW! WEAPONS FREE! I REPEAT, WEAPONS FREE! ALL UNITS OPEN FIRE!"

All the tanks cannons' burst to life as a dark shape came out of the water and was shrouded in a cloud of fire and smoke from the barrage of exploding ordinance it took, and then, suddenly there was silence once more, only broken by the sound of cicadas chirping.

–––

"Just great." Shinji said, plopping down on the train station's stairs. "I'm two whole stops from where I'm supposed to be, and I have no idea where I'm going from there. I guess my best bet is to just walk the last two stations, and meet up with the weirdo picking me up."

Shinji pulled out a photo of a young women dressed in a yellow t–shirt and blue cutoff shorts, leaning over and showing off her ample cleavage, winking and giving a peace sign. There was a kiss mark on the photo in lipstick, presumably from the young woman in the photo. The note on the photo was short and read:

"To Shinji, I'll be coming to get you, so wait for me. Misato."

A smaller note underneath had an arrow pointing to her breasts noting. "Attention here please!"

"What an oddball…" A Shinji said. "I still don't get why she sent this…"

Shinji approached the nearest payphone and picked it up. He put in a coin to activate the line and he tried to dial, but got a message instead.

"We're sorry, due to the state of special emergency currently in effect, no lines are currently available. Thank you for using AT&T. This is a recording."

"Stupid bullshit." Shinji said angrily. "They make it sound as if a war has been declared…"

Just as Shinji turned around to pick up his bag, he saw something off in the distance on the road in front of him. Two figures, both were wearing a school uniform and looked quite odd. The shorter one, the girl, had a white shirt, a pleated light blue dress, a thin red ribbon, dark shocks and white shoes. The boy was dressed like Shinji, in a white short–sleeved button up, dark pants, and white sneakers. From what Shinji could tell, she had pale blue hair and he had silvery white hair, and they both appeared to have crimson eyes, and they were both staring blankly at him.

"What the hell…" Shinji muttered.

A flock of birds taking off from a telephone pole started Shinji and looked for the source of the disturbance, and when he looked back, the two mysterious figures were nowhere to be seen, as if they had vanished into thin air.

Shinji felt a huge gust of wind and braced himself as the metal shutters on the closed businesses rattled furiously around him.

Shinji turned around to see a dozen or so VTOLs flying in the distance in reverse against an advancing enemy. A massive advancing enemy. As it entered into view from behind a hill, Shinji stood there in frozen in shock.

"What the fuck is that thing…" Shinji muttered to himself. "I've got a bad feeling about this…"

The beast appeared to be unaggressive, as it was being barraged by the VTOLs' rockets, missiles, and machine guns. It kept getting knocked back, but no visible harm was coming to the beasts, as every single missile had impacted, and caused massive collateral damage, but there was simply no effect.

The beast itself was colored black, with white pieces of what looked like bone on its shoulders and upper thighs, and an encasement of the bone like structure on its back that wrapped around to its chest like ribs. Situated underneath the terminus of the ribs was a large, glowing, blood red orb. The beast's long arms had rods coming out from its elbow with long skinny fingers, three to a hand like some sort of living mutated skeleton. It had a face like a mask, with to beady eyes and a long beak like thing coming off from the bottom of the mask.

Sachiel had arrived.

It raised up one of its hands and shot a glowing rod out of it as the rod sticking out of its elbow shot inwards. It took out one of the attacking VTOL fighters that were still sustaining an attack with continued rocket and machine gun fire. The VTOL careened out of control and crashed a few meters from where Shinji was standing. Suddenly, the beast glowed bright orange and lifted itself off the ground, and landed gently near Shinji, crushing the VTOL it had just downed, causing it to erupt in a fiery explosion, and knocking Shinji to the ground Shinji covered his face and could hear metal hitting metal, and tires screeching…

When he looked up, he saw a blue sports car in front of him with beautiful woman inside of it. She threw the door to reveal herself. She was wearing stylish sunglasses, gold earrings, and a short black dress with white trim, wearing a silver, Greek style cross around her neck. She had long, deep purple hair. She pulled down her sunglasses to reveal beautiful hazel eyes.

"Sorry about that, Shinji." Misato said. "Am I real late?"

Shinji sat there in a stunned silence looking at the beast and then back at the car. "Ms. Katsuragi?" Shinji asked.

"The name's Misato, and we don't have a lot of time for idle chit–chat, get in the car, we have to get out of here!" Misato implored. "Come on, Shinji!"

The VTOLs pressed their futile attack, continuing to barrage Sachiel with ordinance. Shinji decided it would be best to get the fuck out of the way.

Shinji ran to the other side of the car as shit exploded all around them, sending shrapnel raining down on them from Sachiel standing right above them. As Shinji closed the door, metal could be heard raining down on the poor sports car as Misato slammed the shifter into reverse and slammed the gas.

"WAHHHHHHH!" Shinji screamed, not expecting the sudden acceleration.

"Sorry, hold on, Shinji!" Misato exclaimed as she did a J–turn and accelerated forward into second gear, away from Sachiel's foot, which landed where they had just been moments ago.

"What the hell is that thing?!" Shinji asked loudly. "Why is it being attacked?!"

"Shinji, that's a good question." Misato said. "We at NERV call it an Angel, and our sworn duty is protect the world from them."

"It's… an Angel?" Shinji asked.

"Correct. What you just witnessed was the Third Angel, Shinji Ikari." Misato said proudly as she continued speeding off into the distance. "Congratulations on surviving your first Angel encounter."

"Yeah, I'd really rather not have to do that again." Shinji said sarcastically.

–––

"Reports are coming in from the Search and Rescue teams." Hyuga reported. "No survivors were found on the shore defense line, all tanks were destroyed. Red–5 has taken command of the aerial strike forces and reports the VTOL attack is still ineffective, and that the enemy has suffered no visible damage. IFF confirms that Red squadron has lost seven aircraft, with Yellow, Blue and Green squadrons having all lost nine aircraft each. We only have 11 VTOLs left in the air sirs, and they report they are running low on ammunition and fuel. What are your orders, generals?"

"Launch the reserve squadrons immediately! Call in all reinforcements from the surrounding airbases in Atsugi and Iruma, fighters and VTOLs! I want the remaining VTOLs to draw the target away from the city. And then scramble Thunderbird squadron to launch cruise missiles at this bastard!" The air force general said.

"Have the PATRIOT Missile trucks lock in and fire on target, then haul ass out of there!" The army general shouted.

"Get us a goddamn visual!" The naval admiral said. "We need to assess the situation properly."

"Notifying the Atsugi and Iruma airbases to launch all available units, unknown ETA. Mobilizing Orange and Purple squadrons immediately, ETA will be 3 minutes." Hyuga said. "And mobilizing the Thunderbird squadron as well, ETA is 7 minutes."

"Battle is now coming into visual range, standby." Aoba said, tapping the console in front of him. "Putting it on the main screen."

On the massive holographic command screen, a visual popped up of Sachiel wiping out several more VTOLs with its spear hands. The sensors then came online and began to scan Sachiel, and then an alert popped up on screen identifying the beast to those in Central Dogma at long last.

"Commander Ikari, the sensors are finally giving us a response, it's Pattern Blue, sir." Hyuga said gravely. "It's… an Angel…"

"Designate it as the Third Angel and continue to follow the orders of the generals, Lieutenant Hyuga." Gendo ordered. "Until they concede they cannot handle such a mighty creature and transfer command of this operation to NERV."

"Ikari, shut your mouth, the JSSDF and U.N. forces can more than handle this thing you call an Angel!" The air force general said angrily. "We'll show you how to deal with these monsters. Put Archangel–1 on emergency standby for immediate launch! If the cruise missiles don't work, we'll use our ace in the hole."

"Right away general." Hyuga said. "Archangel–1 is reporting launch and standby status, it'll hold 2 minutes outside of Tokyo–3 airspace."

–––

The assault on Sachiel continued. The remaining VTOLs were firing everything they had at the monster, still with no effect. The PATRIOT Missiles were being launched from the ground to distract Sachiel from the small swarm of VTOLs around it.

"This is Red–5 to all remaining units. Our orders are to stay and fight and draw this thing away from the city at all costs. Two more VTOL squadrons are moving in, and reinforcements are being confirmed now. All we have to do is distract it until Thunderbird squadron arrives to take this fucker out. Let's move, and try to avoiding dying, shall we?"

24 fresh VTOLs moved into range from an air base not far from Tokyo–3. They opened fire in unison on Sachiel with all their missiles and rockets impacting Sachiel directly, and still causing absolutely no damage. Sachiel raised both its hands and shot out its spears, cutting down several of the new VTOL in fiery explosions.

"Jesus, this thing is some kind of fucking demon!" Red–5 shouted. "All units, continue harassment of the enemy, and avoid its hands at all costs! Start moving on heading 010 away from the city!"

Sachiel became distracted by the VTOLs harassing it, and decided it wanted to destroy them for being so bothersome, and followed them as they moved him away from the city.

"This is Thunderbird–1, we have four cruise missile carriers inbound to your position, we'll be in firing range in 45 seconds, all harassing units, move away from the creature, and prepare for the blast wave." Thunderbird–1 ordered. "Thunderbird Squadron, get eyes on the target, lock on, and prepare to fire on my mark."

The four large, slow moving strike aircraft spread out from each other and armed the large missiles slung underneath the aircrafts fuselages' and slowed to a more appropriate attack speed. Two of the planes took the lead to open up the strike.

"Thunderbird–2, Thunderbird–4, fire in… 3… 2… 1… mark!" Thunderbird–1 ordered.

Both aircraft dropped their respective cruise missiles and then flew off towards their targets, with the planes breaking up and left to fly back to base. Sachiel saw the missiles coming, and cocked its head and blinked as the VTOLs moved away. Sachiel put up both of its hands and bulked itself up, and caught a missile in each. The missiles were split down the middle into three segments by Sachiel's long fingers and exploded when the rocket motors wear impacted by his hand spears. The explosion was massive, and left nothing behind but a massive fireball.

"Thunderbird–3, prepare to fire!" Thunderbird–1 ordered. "3… 2… 1… FIRE! Thunderbolt–1 Fox–3!"

The other two cruise missiles fired towards the massive fireball, and the planes broke off and followed their companions back to base. The cruise missiles hit with an even bigger display of fire and creating an even larger shockwave, which knocked out the visuals in NERV HQ.

–––

"We've lost visual!" Hyuga shouted. "The explosion knocked out the cameras!"

"Rebooting the cameras now." Aoba said. "Reinitializing… feed is now back up."

On the main monitor all inside Central Dogma could see that the fireball had cleared, and Sachiel was standing there, completely unfazed by the massive explosion.

"It must be an A.T. Field, right Ikari?" Fuyutsuki said.

"Yes, Yui was spot on with the power an A.T Field could possess." Gendo said slyly. "No conventional weapons they have could possibly harm Sachiel."

"Very true, Ikari." Fuyutsuki said. "I just hope they don't do anything rash…"

"That was a direct fucking hit!" The naval admiral shouted. "With four fucking cruise missiles! How is this possible?!"

"We've thrown everything we got at it, and it hasn't done a fucking thing." The army general said, throwing his fist onto the table. "We're out of options!"

One of the phones rang in front of the military commanders, the air force general swiped his card to answer the phone. After a moment, he hung up the phone gruffly.

"No, we're not. We still have our ace in the hole." The air force general said with his hands folded in front of him. "Lieutenant, I'm authorizing Archangel–1 to fire its payload. Authorization code is, Alpha–Michael–Foxtrot–one–niner–four–five."

"Roger that, general." Hyuga replied. "Archangel–1, you are now authorized to use lethal force. Authorization has been authenticated by U.N. central command."

"Roger that command, Archangel–1 moving into attack."

–––

Misato saw a massive fireball off in the distance. Out of which, Sachiel emerged, still advancing towards Tokyo–3.

"Hey, Shinji, I'm sorry, we have to pull over." Misato said, pulling off the road several miles from where the battle was happening. "I need to see how the battle is going."

"God, why?" Shinji said. "Should we be driving, I don't know, far, far away from that thing?"

"Come on, Shinji." Misato said pulling the e–brake on the car. "Where's your sense of adventure?"

"Pick somewhere." Shinji replied sarcastically. "I left it back there when that VTOL crashed, or when that thing crushed it when it landed on it, or when those missiles…"

"Enough, I get it already." Misato snapped as she leaned over Shinji. "Now be quiet, I need to check something." Misato said as she pulled out her binoculars. "Hmm, that thing looks pretty healthy, even after that assault." Misato mused as her boobs kept poking Shinji in the face. 'His nose tickles.' Misato thought playfully.

'Could you get your tits off my face?' Shinji thought. 'I barely know you… that and I'm wayyyy too young for you.'

Misato could see several small dots still flying around Sachiel, then all of a sudden they scattered.

"What the fuck?" Misato said. "No… no, no, no… they're going to use an N2 Mine!" Misato grabbed Shinji and tucked him under herself to protect him. "Get down and cover your eyes, Shinji!"

–––

"This is Archangel–1, we're dropping the Spear of Destiny, clear out everyone."

A large rounded cylindrical device dropped from the bomb bay of Archangel–1. As it leveled with the Core of Sachiel it exploded in a bright flash of light. A massive mushroom cloud erupted around Sachiel, obscuring it from view, and then a massive shockwave moved outward from the epicenter of the blast.

The shockwave moved outwards at supersonic speed. It approached the small Alpine A310, whipping wind around it and pushing it sideways, until it started rolling over.

"WAHHHHHHH!" Shinji screamed as the car kept rolling over as the shockwave passed around them, and as it dissipated, the car eventually settled on its left side. Misato had ended up awkwardly on top of Shinji, with her ass in Shinji's face.

"Cam ew et ff ma!" Shinji muttered unintelligibly.

"Oh, I'm sorry Shinji." Misato said. 'So glad I wore panties instead of a thong today…' Misato thought as she pulled herself away from Shinji. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine Misato." Shinji said. "Just feeling shitty."

"Very funny…" Misato said darkly. "Some men would love to get a view like that, ya know."

"I'm a kid, not "some men", Misato." Shinji replied. 'Weirdo…' Shinji thought.

"You're no fun." Misato pouted. 'So, he's not a degenerate pervert then, just a good kid.' Misato thought. 'And you have the same name as a man I once had a huge crush on… I wonder if you're related at all?'

–––

"What's the status of the target?" The air force general asked.

"The electromagnetic pulse knocked out our equipment, sir." Maya said disapprovingly. "We'll be back online in a few minutes."

The main screen in Central Dogma was nothing but static while most of the room cheered, save for Gendo, Fuyutsuki, and Ritsuko.

"Haha!" The army general said gloatingly. "Looks like you won't get a shot at that thing after all, Ikari."

Gendo laughed silently. "If they only knew, Fuyutsuki, they wouldn't be so happy."

"I'm sure they'll find out momentarily." Fuyutsuki replied. "The blast should be clear enough soon so they can see how ineffective man's ultimate weapon actually is."

"Sensors have been restored." Aoba said.

"We have readings of the blast zone." Maya said. "It's… it's an energy reading! Pattern Blue reconfirmed, the Angel… it's still alive!"

"Impossible!" The army and air force generals shouted.

"I won't believe it till I see it." The naval admiral shouted.

"Attempting to bring visuals back online now." Hyuga said. "External cameras online."

The screen came back online, revealing a devilish figure surrounded and illuminated by hellfire. Sachiel had survived the N2 Mine. A close up on Sachiel revealed its long beaked face had been scarred and cracked and pushed aside, and a new face was popping out from beneath where the old one had been. It was covered in bluish–purple blood. The only damage that Sachiel sustained was minimal, as she was still standing.

"It's regenerating, Ikari." Fuyutsuki said. "It's healing itself."

"Well, looks like Dr. Katsuragi was right, the S2 Engine is capable of regenerating whatever organic material it's attached to." Gendo said. "It's a shame he's not here to witness this event in person."

There was a flash of light from Sachiel's new eyes, and the camera went dead again.

"It seems to have gained a new power as well." Fuyutsuki said curiously. "How intriguing."

"My God…" The army general said sadly. "We only made it stronger…"

"That was everything we could throw at it…" The air force general said in disbelief.

"We should make that phone call now, gentleman." The naval admiral said solemnly.

All three of them swiped their I.D. cards at their respective phones and picked them up. They chatted on the phone for a few moments, saying only "yes" or "no" and then hung up.

"Commander Ikari." The air force general said. "We're now transferring command of this operation to you. The success of this operation now hinges on those multi–billion dollar weapon systems you people created."

"We now see that all the weapons in our arsenal have no effect on these creatures." The naval admiral said. "You're our only hope now."

"Do not betray our trust." The army general said threateningly.

"Yes, gentleman, I'm glad you've finally seen reason and given up your futile efforts." Gendo gloated, pushing up his glasses. "That is why NERV exists. It's our last hope for survival. We will defeat this Angel."

"I pray that you're right." The air force general said as the three military men disappeared from view.

"The U.N. forces are exhausted, Ikari." Fuyutsuki said. "What are your orders, Commander?"

"Prepare Unit–01 for launch immediately." Gendo replied.

"Unit–01… for launch?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"Yes." Gendo said. "I want it ready immediately."

"But, Ikari, we have no pilot." Fuyutsuki replied in disbelief. "Rei is injured, and Asuka is in Germany. Unless…"

"Yes, Fuyutsuki." Gendo said as he turned around. "The Third Child is inbound to NERV HQ as we speak. I'll be supervising the preparations for Unit–01 personally. You'll be in operational command until Captain Katsuragi returns."

"Yes, Commander." Fuyutsuki said. 'Well, well, well, the first meeting of father and son in three years, I wonder how that will go.' Fuyutsuki thought.

"Sub–Commander, it appears the Angel is moving again." Hyuga said.

Fuyutsuki turned around to face the main screen. "Hyuga, activate the Angel Intercept System and the outer defensive perimeters. Aoba, get all staff to Level–1 battle stations. Ibuki, use the projected path of the Angel to determine at least four Evangelion egress points to intercept the Angel."

"Setting alert status to Level–1 battle stations." Aboa replied. "All levels report combat readiness."

"AIS is online, armed and at 87% readiness." Hyuga replied. "Outer defensive perimeters have been activated."

"Computing all probable Evangelion intercept points now, Sub–Commander." Maya replied. "Calculating 17 points where Unit–01 can intercept, and clearing them all now."

"Excellent work everyone." Fuyutsuki said. "Let's keep it up."

–––

"Alright Shinji, help me flip the car back over." Misato said, looking sadly at her car. "Push when I say go." The two put their backs against the sideways car. "Alright, push!"

With some effort, the car flipped back, hard onto its wheels. It was damaged quite severely, dented and scuffed up from all manner of poor treatment since Sachiel began attacking.

"Thanks, Shinji, you're pretty useful." Misato said

"I should thank you, Ms. Katsuragi, for saving me from that thing." Shinji said pointing off into the distance.

"Oh, please, Misato is fine. Now come, I have to get you to HQ before they try blowing us away again." Misato said, getting back in the car. "We don't have all day, Shinji!"

"Yeah, yeah, hold your horses." Shinji muttered, getting into the car as Misato sped off again without allowing Shinji time to buckle up. "Can you hold on a sec!?"

"No time, Shinji." Misato replied. "We have places to be."

"Yeah, whatever." Shinji said, buckling his belt as Misato sped dangerously down the road.

'Man, today sucks. My car got messed up, my sunglasses got ruined, my favorite dress is filthy and has a tear, and this kid is being so annoying!' Misato thought. 'I wish he wouldn't be so damn sarcastic.'

"Hey, will you pay attention to the road!" Shinji shouted as he grabbed the wheel and turned it. "Are you trying to kill us?!"

"No, I was just… preoccupied." Misato said. "God, you're not anywhere as cute as your picture suggests."

"Well, you're about as mature as your picture suggests." Shinji said snidely.

"Why you…" Misato said, jerking the wheel hard to the left making the car swerve across the road.

"Hey, will you learn how to drive!" Shinji shouted as the car entered a tunnel.

The drove down the tunnel at high speed, and Misato slammed the brakes as they approached a hatch with NERV's emblem on it.

"Hey, Misato, where are we?" Shinji I asked as they pulled onto and empty train car.

"Oh, we're at NERV HQ, we're boarding an express car train now." Misato replied.

"Please stand clear the hatch is now closing." A voice said as Misato pulled the e–brake.

"What is NERV exactly?" Shinji asked. "You keep saying it like I should know the name."

"Well, NERV is a semi–secret organization under the supervision of the United Nations." Misato explained. "Our public mission is for the prevention of a Third Impact, while our secret mission is to fight the Angels. It's pretty straightforward."

"With politics involved, nothing is straightforward, Misato." Shinji said. "And this… place… is where my father works?"

"Of course, silly." Misato said jokingly. "Don't you know you're father is in command of this place?"

"No, all I was every told was his work was important to survival of mankind…" Shinji trailed off. "Misato, are we going to see my father?" Shinji asked.

"Of, course." Misato said as she powdered her nose. "Of course we're going to see him."

Shinji grimaced and remembered the day his father left him in Atsugi. 'Father…'

"Hey, did your dad send you an I.D. card? We can't get you inside without one." Misato said.

"Oh, yeah…" Shinji fished around inside his bag and pulled out the taped up letter. "Here it is. It came with this letter."

'What the hell?' Misato thought. 'This is what his father sent him to come here? Poor kid.' Misato reached into her door and grabbed something and handed it to Shinji. "Here, start reading this."

She handed him a manual saying "Welcome to NERV" on the cover. "NERV? My father's agency? Am I going to be working for him?"

"I'm not sure exactly." Misato said, leaning back against her seat.

"Yeah, that's right, my father wouldn't have sent me a letter unless he needed something from me." Shinji said. "It wouldn't just be to say hello."

"Hmm, sounds like you don't get along with your dad." Misato said woefully. "You sound just like me with my own father."

"Huh?" Shinji asked as the car was illuminated with what looked like the setting sun, even though they were deep underground. There were dozens of buildings hanging from the ceiling, and below, there was a pyramid and a litany of other, smaller buildings, and an artificial lake with a destroyer floating on it.

"What, what is this?" Shinji asked, before answering his own question. "Is this the Geofront? It is isn't it, a real Geofront!"

"Yep, this is NERV's headquarters, deep underneath Tokyo–3, which is what you see hanging from the ceiling, or at least the central part of the city anyway. This city is humanity's last hope for survival, a citadel meant to defend against and destroy the Angels." Misato said. "We'll be arriving in a few minutes, so just enjoy the view, alright?"

–––

Ritsuko was in the LCL pool of Cage #7. She had just finished a check of Unit–01's chest plates, and had deemed them ready for combat operations. As she was surfacing, a message came over the intercom.

"Attention! Would Doctor Ritsuko Akagi, Scientific Division Director, please contact Captain Misato Katsuragi, Probationary Tactical Division Director immediately."

"Hell, Misato's lost again?" Ritsuko muttered as she took off her diving gear. "She must get lost in her own apartment, she's got no sense of direction whatsoever."

"Dr. Akagi." Gendo said from the observation room. "Please go retrieve Captain Katsuragi and the Third Child, we don't have any time to waste."

"Yes, Commander, right away." Ritsuko replied as she pulled on her lab coat and put on a pair of slip–on canvas shoes and scurried from the room.

–––

Shinji and Misato were on moving walkways suspended over a deep shaft that went down what looked several hundred meters. They had been going around in circles from Misato's inability to navigate the complex that was NERV HQ. It also didn't help that she had been there less week. As they entered back into the dep shaft, Misato's skirt blew up slightly.

"And that's why I hate riding these things in skirts. It's like The Seven Year Itch…" Misato said as she looked at the map in her hands.

"Misato, are you lost?" Shinji asked while he had his head buried inside the NERV welcome guide she had given him. "We've passed this same spot twice already." He pointed to signage that said "R–105 Sublevel 20" on the hatch in front of them.

"We're no lost." Misato said looking at the map she had in her hand in utter confusion. "I'm just not used to this place yet, I haven't even been here a week."

"Excuses, excuses, excuses." Shinji muttered.

"Can't you read quietly?" Misato snapped.

"Can you be not lost?" Shinji replied as he flipped the page.

Misato made a face at Shinji which went unnoticed. "Oh, thank god, an elevator." Misato exclaimed.

"About time." Shinji said stepping on behind her, and going to the rear of the elevator.

The elevator began its decent deeper into NERV while Misato stood patiently in front of the door. On level B–29, the elevator stopped. When the doors opened, a cross looking Ritsuko was standing there.

"Oh, hello there, Ritsuko." Misato said.

"Why are wasting my precious time, Captain Katsuragi." Ritsuko said angrily. "Don't you realize that we are short on both time and manpower?"

"We're always short on time, Ritsuko/" Misato replied.

"That's not the point!" Ritsuko snapped. "I don't have time to waste finding you and guiding you where you need to go!"

"Sorry…" Misato said with a giggle.

Ritsuko turned to Shinji. "So, is this… the boy? The Third Child?"

"Yep!" Misato said happily. "Ritsuko Akagi, meet Shinji Ikari."

'Third Child?' Shinji thought. 'What kind of bullshit is that? I'm an only child.'

"It's a pleasure to meet you." Ritsuko said.

"Oh, sure, same to you." Shinji said with his head buried in the welcome guide.

"Sorry, Ritsuko." Misato said. "I forgot to warn you, he's an awful lot like his father, or at least the standoffish part of him anyway."

The Elevator dinged again, and the trio got out of the elevator and walked to a separate lift that took them by a hand poking through the wall.

"So, Ritsuko, what's our current situation?" Misato asked.

"Unit–01 is being prepped for activation, and the Angel was subdued for a few moments by that silly N2 strike, but otherwise, we're gearing up for battle." Ritsuko replied.

"Good, I guess I'll get to put my skills to the test." Misato said.

"Really, Misato, that's what you're worried about?" Ritsuko asked.

"Well, yeah." Misato replied. "I'd like to get rid of that probationary status I have ya know."

The lift stopped near what looked like a dock. There was a small, inflatable speedboat nearby. The three got in, while Shinji still had not looked up from the welcome guide. The boat sped across an orange looking pool to another dock, which had a purple and neon green something contained in it. They went through a door into a darkened room, with only light coming from the door they just came through. The door then shut, plunging the trio in to total darkness.

"The fuck…?!" Shinji exclaimed. "Why is it so dark in here?"

"Hold on a second." Ritsuko said as she clicked something and the lights came on. As they did, Shinji was now place face–to–face with a giant purple head staring straight back at him

"What the hell is that?!" Shinji exclaimed. "A giant robot head?!" Shinji started frantically looking through the welcome guide to see what he had missed.

"You won't find this in there, Shinji." Ritsuko said. "This is known as man's most magnificent creation, named the Ultimate AllPurpose Humanoid Decisive Battle Weapon: Evangelion. This is Unit–01, the Test–Type Evangelion. It was built here in secret, and is man's last hope of survival."

"So, this is what my father has been working on all these years?" Shinji asked.

"That is correct." Gendo said from the observation room. "It's been a while…" Gendo said.

"Father…" Shinji said, with his face contorting in sadness and his eyes widening in shock.

"Shinji… listen carefully to what I'm about to tell you." Gendo said. "You will be piloting Unit–01 in battle against the Angel."

"But, Commander!" Misato shouted. "Even Rei took seven months just to sync with her EVA, and Shinji has no formal training, it's not possible or safe for him to go!"

"Captain Katsuragi, our only concern right now is stopping that Angel, anything else is secondary until that threat has been neutralized." Ritsuko said.

"All he has to do is sit inside of the Entry Plug, Captain." Gendo said. "I'm not expecting any miracles right now."

"But…" Misato started.

"Unless you have any other alternatives, Captain, this is our only option." Ritsuko replied. "Now, Shinji if you'll just follow me…"

"Wait…" Shinji said with his fists clenched and his body shaking. "So, you expect me to ride this thing to fight that giant monster we saw that apparently survived a direct hit by some kind of super weapon? Am I the only one who finds this plan insane?! There's no way I'm capable of doing something like that!"

"Just accept this explanation, Shinji. You're the best candidate we have." Gendo replied gravely. "No, you're the only candidate we have, Shinji. You're our last, best hope to defeat that Angel."

"But, why me?!" Shinji shouted. "It doesn't make any goddamn sense!"

"You don't need to understand, Shinji." Gendo said angrily. "Just get inside the Evangelion, and we'll deal with the rest."

"NO!" Shinji screamed. "You expect me to just get in that fucking thing? This is what you called me for?! To order me to my death against some crazy fucking thing?! You ignored me, walked out on me, and left me alone after my mother died to work on this fucking machine, and you think I'm just going to do as you say?! Are you fucking insane?!"

"If you don't do as I say, all of humanity will cease to exist." Gendo said sternly. "As of this moment, the survival of the human race rests squarely on your shoulders."

"NO, I REFUSE! YOU WON'T CONVINCE ME FATHER, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!" Shinji roared. "YOU CAN GO TO HELL FATHER, AND TAKE THAT FUCKING EVANGELION WITH YOU!"

Shinji was still shaking and he started crying and sniffling loudly as all the people in Cage #7 looked on with concern.

'I understand, Shinji…' Misato thought. 'You hate him for what he's done to you as much as I hate my father for what he did to me.'

Inside the observation room, even though no one was close enough to see it, for a single moment, Gendo's stony face didn't show his usual emotionless look. In fact he looked quite dejected or even disappointed.

"I see." Gendo said in his usual harsh tone. "Alright then, I have no further need of you anymore. Go back to Atsugi, you coward."

'Maybe this will force him into it, I'll manipulate that kind heart of his…' Gendo could see Shinji's face fall. "Fuyutsuki, wake Rei and get her in here."

"Ikari, can we use her?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"She's not dead, is she?" Gendo said plainly. "Have her transported here immediately."

"Right away, Commander." Fuyutsuki replied, cutting off the channel.

Back on the catwalk, Shinji was still crying silently, with Misato trying to comfort him the best she could. Ritsuko however was barking orders to the workers in the room who were still distracted by Shinji's outburst to the Commander.

"Cancel initialization! Prepare to recalibrate the system of Unit–01 for Rei!" Ritsuko shouted. "Get Rei's Entry Plug up here, now!"

Shinji was still crying and shaking with rage. "So, you don't have a use for me anymore, and you're sending me away, just like before!" Shinji shouted. "You call me a coward when you can't even stand to be near me!"

"Enough, Shinji." Gendo said. "You said you will not pilot Unit–01 under any circumstances, so shut up and leave, and never return to this place. I have no time for a petulant child having a temper tantrum."

As Shinji was turning to leave, he saw a hospital bed being wheeled in by two doctors. As the bed got closer Shinji could see it was a girl about his age with pale blue hair and crimson eyes. She had an IV drip in her left arm. She was dressed in a marble white, skin tight suit, the sleeves of the suit were missing, and her left arm, chest, and head were wrapped tightly by bandages. Her right arm was in a cast, and there was a bandage over her right eye. She was clearly in a great deal of pain, and was having trouble breathing. Her gaze was fixed upwards towards the ceiling, and her uncovered eye looked blank. And all Shinji could do was just stare at her.

'There is something familiar about her… she looks like the girl I saw in the road with that boy…' Shinji thought.

"Rei, our backup is useless. He's a useless coward." Gendo said. "You must pilot Unit–01 against the Angel."

"Yes… sir…" Rei said weakly.

Shinji watched as Rei struggled to get up from the bed. She started to roll over and onto her good arm and tried to push herself up. She cried out in pain as she began to get up, sweat dripping from her face as a noise from above them broke the silence of Rei's ragged breathing.

Up above them, Sachiel was at the outer edge of the city, not far from the central block that was retracted into the ceiling of the Geofront. It fired off a blast from its eyes towards the city, setting off a large, cross–shaped explosion.

The explosion rocked Cage #7 and the rest of NERV HQ.

"The Angel, it's found our location!" Gendo shouted from the observation room. "I'm returning to Central Dogma…"

Another cross–shaped explosion was set off above them, rocking the Cage even more and knocking loose some of the buildings hanging high above them, sending them crashing down into the Geofront. The quakes caused by this explosion knocked Rei's bed over, slamming her into the ground, and Shinji lost his balance and fell over as several heavy lights broke free of the ceiling and fell towards him.

"SHINJI!" Misato shouted. "LOOK OUT!"

Shinji covered his head with his hands and crouched down. The eyes of Unit–01 glowed brightly, and its right arm broke free of its restraints and covered Shinji from the falling debris, the lights bouncing harmlessly off the large armored hand, sending one of them careening into the observation window, where Gendo could be seen smiling very smugly.

'Excellent.' Gendo thought happily. 'I knew you were in control in that thing, Yui.'

Shinji uncovered his face to see the massive hand hovering above him.

"No, that's not possible, how could it have moved!" Ritsuko shrieked. "The Signal Termination Plug is still engaged, and there is no pilot, it can't just move on its own!"

"Was it trying to protect Shinji?" Misato said loudly, picking herself up off the ground.

Shinji ran over to Rei, who was still lying on the ground. He picked her up gently in his arms. "Are you ok?" Shinji asked. "You'll be ok…"

All Rei could do in response was cry out in pain. Shinji could feel his hand was wet, and looked at it. It was covered in Rei's blood.

'How could my father put someone in her condition inside that thing?' Shinji thought. 'She can barely even breathe or move, it's not right…'

"Shinji, do you see now why we need your help? She'll have to pilot if you leave." Misato said softly. "But if you aren't going to pilot, your father is right, you need to leave, you'll just be in the way."

Shinji moved the hair out of Rei's eye to see her gaze fixed on him instead of the ceiling.

"Shinji, you're not naive, you knew this visit wasn't for something happy, right? You knew he needed you for something, didn't you?" Misato continued. "So are you going to be the coward your father says you are, or are you going to prove him wrong and get in Unit–01?"

"Enough, Captain Katsuragi." Gendo ordered. "We've wasted enough time on him as it is."

Misato just stared blankly at Shinji while Shinji kept holding and staring at Rei.

"Shinji! If you're leaving, don't dawdle." Gendo shouted. "Get out of here!"

'I mustn't run away… I mustn't run away. I mustn't run away!' Shinji thought. 'Goddamnit all, what am I about to get myself into?' Shinji looked up at the observation room. "Fine, I'll pilot Unit–01, I won't let you hurt anyone more than you already have, father!"

Gendo smiled approvingly. 'I knew you get in Unit–01 Shinji, and all to protect Rei, how noble.' Gendo thought. 'You're almost too easy to manipulate.'

"Shinji…" Misato said sadly.

"Alright then, Shinji." Ritsuko said. "Follow me, and I'll give you a basic overview of the operating system for Unit–01 so you're not left flapping in the wind."

Father and son caught sight each other as Shinji followed Ritsuko. Shinji glared at his father, while Gendo smiled down on him like God above.

–––

The LCL around Unit–01 was being drained. And Shinji was sitting inside the Entry Plug for Unit–01 in his street clothes, wearing a set of pale blue A10 connectors in his hair.

'What the hell was I thinking, agreeing to this shit?' Shinji thought as he waited patiently inside for whatever was coming next. 'I must be nuts.' Shinji saw a seatbelt thingy attached to the seat he was and put it on. 'The seatbelt concerns me, why would I need it in here? I hope this doesn't get too rough…'

In Central Dogma, Maya was monitoring Unit–01's preparations for launch.

"Now removing Signal Termination Plug." Maya said.

"Inserting Entry Plug now." Hyuga said. "Entry Plug is now locked in place.

"Connecting Entry Plug to Unit–01." Aoba said. "Primary connections have been established… connection complete."

"Flooding Entry Plug with LCL now." Maya said.

The Entry Plug lit up from its darkened state, Shinji looked around and blinked, readjusting to the light. Then, below his feet, he saw an orange liquid start to fill the Entry Plug. "What the hell is this shit?!" Shinji shouted. "Are you trying to drown me or something?!" Shinji then held his breath so he didn't breathe in the liquid.

"Relax, Shinji." Ritsuko said. "It's LCL, once the Entry Plug is filled with it, it will be oxygenated, and you will be able to breathe with it. Just relax and take a deep breath."

"Shinji, don't panic!" Misato said. "You'll get used to it eventually."

Shinji took a deep breath and gagged. "God, this tastes awful… what is this shit made out of?"

"Entry Plug flooding is complete." Maya said. "Booting primary systems now… life support online… internal data recorders are running."

"Connecting main power cable." Aoba reported. "Opening all circuits… internal battery is fully charged… all circuits transmitting… power input is optimal and steady."

"Now establishing secondary connections… electrolyzing LCL now… secondary connections established… A10 nerve connections online and nominal… LCL pressure and charge are within normal operating range." Maya said.

The Entry Plug lit up in a dazzling array of colors, then it was lit up further by a brilliant flash of light, followed by a rainbow of swirling color, then more colors flashed on the walls around Shinji until he could see the inside of Cage #7 displayed all around him. The control panel in front of him lit up and showed that it was ready for use. Shinji looked around himself in amazement. 'Wow, this is so awesome.' Shinji thought. 'It's like some sort of science fiction movie.'

"Configuring language logic interface for Japanese… all preliminary contacts have now been established… performance is nominal… opening bi–directional circuits… communication with the Entry Plug is open on a two–way channel." Maya reported. "Bi–directional circuits are now open and transmitting… transmission strength and modulation is within normal parameters… brain wave pattern and harmonics are normal… pilot life signs are optimal… pilot synchronization ratio is at 42.0%."

"Amazing!" Ritsuko said. "On his first try, he's got the highest sync score on record. He's not even wearing a plugsuit!"

"His patterns are steady, and I'm not seeing anything that would keep him from safely piloting Unit–01, as subjective as that statement is." Maya said. "Nerve connections are clear though 2460… 2770… 2990… absolute borderline passed… nerve connections are steady… Evangelion Unit–01 is online and ready for combat."

"Misato, we're clear here!" Ritsuko shouted. "Transferring command to Tactical Division."

"Alright!" Misato commanded. "Begin launch sequence!"

"Beginning launch sequence now, Captain." Hyuga said. "Releasing primary lock bolts… primary lock blots released… retracting umbilical bridge… disengaging secondary lock bolts… releasing safety locks 1 through 15… all safety locks have been released, Unit–01 is free from lockdown and ready for transfer."

"Roger that." Maya said. "Moving EVA Unit–01 to the launch pad."

Unit–01 moved slowly into position under the launch doors. The lock bolts sealed around the base of the launch pad as the doors above Unit–01 began opening.

"Launch pad locked in place… closest intercept point has been selected… launch path is clear and open… all systems online… board is all green." Maya reported. "Evangelion Unit–01 is ready for launch."

"Understood." Misato said as she turned to Gendo. "Commander, do we proceed to launch?"

"Of course, Captain." Gendo replied with his hands folded in front of him. "The fate of humanity rests on our success this day. If we fail to defeat the Third Angel, humanity and the Earth will be destroyed. Proceed to launch Unit–01, operational command is now yours, Captain Katsuragi."

"Yes, sir." Misato replied.

"Ikari, are you absolutely certain of this?" Fuyutsuki asked as Misato turned back around. "He is your son after all."

"I'm aware of that, and I won't let our relationship cloud my judgment on the matter." Gendo said, smirking slightly. "I'm quite certain, Fuyutsuki."

"Evangelion Unit–01… LAUNCH!" Misato ordered.

The locks on the base of the pad beneath Unit–01 were released with explosive charges, and the pad shot upwards suddenly with great speed.

"WAHHHHHHH!" Shinji screamed once again, not expecting the sudden acceleration up into the path to the surface of Tokyo–3. The force of the sudden acceleration was so strong, it had pressed him quite hard into his seat.

–––

Sachiel was wondering around a building when an alarm sounded. It caught her attention, and she looked around for the source of the disturbance.

The road opened up and two rails shot up from the ground and locked into place. Followed moments later, Unit–01 emerged from the gate and stopped suddenly at the top, and Shinji finally stopped screaming.

"Shinji, are you alright?" Misato asked over the comm line.

"Yeah, let's get this over with." Shinji said, glaring at Sachiel standing imposingly a few blocks away from him. 'I think this might turn into a bad life choice.' Shinji thought. 'I am crazy for getting into this thing, I'm going to die!"'

"Release final safety locks!" Misato ordered. "Evangelion Unit–01 is clear to engage the enemy! MOVE OUT!"

Unit–01 slumped forward into a slightly hunched position but stayed stationary.

"Shinji, just try and concentrate on walking now." Ritsuko said. "It will respond to focused thought, so just clear your mind and think."

"Yeah, that's easier said than done, Dr. Akagi." Shinji said. 'Come on, now… walk.' Shinji thought as hard as he could.

With a creak of metal, Unit–01 lurched forward and began marching towards Sachiel.

"He did it, he's moving!" Ritsuko exclaimed.

"Alright, Shinji, just be careful." Misato ordered.

"Alright, slow down, big guy." Shinji said. "Come on, slow down, I'm not ready yet!" Shinji implored the Evangelion, but it would not slow down its pace. "Fine, you want it this way, let's do it…" Shinji gripped the control yokes tightly and pushed them forward. "CHARGE!"

Unit–01 took off in a full tilt run several blocks towards a curious and unprepared Sachiel.

"Shinji, wait!" Misato ordered. "You don't even have a weapon yet!"

"YAAAAHHHHH!" Shinji screamed as Unit–01 neared its target.

Sachiel's eyes glowed and a field went up around her and spread out, creating a shockwave. Shinji raised his arms and shielded his face. By not keeping an eye on his target Shinji shot right past Sachiel.

"Shit!" Shinji exclaimed. "Turn around, damn it!"

Unit–01 responded, turning on its heel, right into a focused blast coming from Sachiel's eyes. The blast was powerful, and set off another cross–shaped explosion all around him, and knocked Unit–01 a few blocks away right on its ass. Several buildings around him collapsed as he crashed into them, sending debris all over the place.

"Main power cable has been severed!" Hyuga reported. "Ejecting power cable connector… internal battery backup online… five minutes of power remaining!"

A timer inside the Entry Plug appeared displaying "5:00:00" and a separate message saying "INTERNAL POWER SELECTED" and then the clock began counting down. "Ahhhh! Why are you counting down? Stop counting down!" Shinji screamed as he turned towards Sachiel staring at him from several blocks away. "What the hell was that?! A sacrilegious laser beam?! What the hell did I get myself into?!" Shinji looked around and saw that the building had collapsed, and yet the sensors were indicating a small heat signature underneath the rubble. "Someone's trapped, Misato! Send someone out to help them!"

"Shinji, you don't have time to worry about civilians!" Misato yelled. "Focus on the Angel!"

"No, I'm clearing the debris off of them!" Shinji yelled back. "I'm not letting someone else die if I can save them!" Unit–01 and Shinji ignored Sachiel and carefully moved the rubble of the small heat signature. "Ok, nice and easy, I don't want to crush whoever is under here." After clearing it, he saw a little girl underneath the rubble covered in blood. "No, it's a little girl! Misato send help, NOW!"

"We can't Shinji!" Misato yelled. "Protocol dictates civilians are on their own in this kind of crisis, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few!"

"Do not quote Star Trek to me, Misato!" Shinji shouted back. "All lives matter, even this little girl's! I'm not leaving her!"

As Shinji was yelling, a boy in a black track suit came out of a semi–collapsed building and ran over and saw the girl lying on the ground. He looked up at Unit–01 and glared. He picked up the girl gently and ran off.

"Shinji, look out!" Misato screamed. "You have to get up!"

"What?" Shinji asked. 'I hope that little girl will be ok… this is all my fault. I'm not a good enough pilot…' Shinji thought as he saw the boy disappear into the distance. 'I'm just hurting people, why did I even bother to do this?!'

Sachiel had advanced on Unit–01 while Shinji had been occupied. Shinji had just enough time to register Sachiel's left hand shoot towards his face. He couldn't dodge it, and Sachiel grabbed Unit–01 by the head and lifted it off the ground and into the air. Sachiel's right hand shot out and grabbed Unit–01's left forearm in a vice grip.

"Damn it all!" Shinji yelled. "Someone, help! I'm trapped!"

"Shinji, get the hell out of there!" Misato shouted. "Fight it off!"

Sachiel began pulling Unit–01 by the head and arm in opposite directions. She began twisting the captured arm like it was meant to move that way. Inside the Entry Plug, Shinji felt immense pain in his neck and arm. His arm was lit up like some sort of sparking LED light.

"What the hell, why I can feel this?! It hurts!" Shinji shouted. "My arm, it's gonna break!"

Sachiel snapped Unit–01's arm like a twig, and Shinji felt like his own arm had been snapped. "AGHHHHH!" Shinji screamed. "MY ARM, IT'S BROKEN! "

"No Shinji, it's not you're arm." Ritsuko said. "It's just nerve feedback from your connection to Unit–01!"

"Shinji, calm down and listen to me." Misato said. "Your arm is fine, just ignore it."

Sachiel began twisting the arm like a motorcycle throttle, causing blood to spurt from below the armor, and something from beneath the armor sounded like it was straining to stay together.

Back in Central Dogma, alarms were going off from almost every console. The display screen for Unit–01 was showing extreme strain in the left arm and the neck.

"Left elbow has been dislocated… disconnecting nerve connections and rerouting connections." Maya said.

"Ritsuko do something!" Misato shouted. "Help him, or he's going to die!"

'What is going on?' Ritsuko thought as she looked at the sync chart. 'The synchronization ratios are going to into hyper–oscillation. His sync ratio is rising and dropping rapidly? How is that even possible? If they get any higher, he could get seriously injured, or worse…' Ritsuko grabbed the back of Maya's chair in a panic. "Maya, lower the neural feedback a few levels. Quickly, Maya!"

"I'll give it a shot, ma'am!" Maya said as she frantically typed at her console. "It's not working!"

"Try cutting off the bi–directional circuits, try cutting circuits one through fourteen, hurry!" Ritsuko ordered.

"No effect, ma'am!" Maya said. "The signal is being interrupted by something. Ot won't respond!"

"SHINJI!" Misato shouted.

Sachiel had stopped playing with the limp and bleeding arm, and was now focusing her attention on Unit–01's head.

Shinji could see on his display screen, Sachiel's hand in full view, with the hole in the middle of its hand beginning to glow.

"Shinji get out of the way!" Misato shouted over the comm line.

"How, I'm trapped!" Shinji shouted. "OH, SHIT!"

Sachiel's spear shot out its hand, and went right though Unit–01's right eye and out the back of its head. Blood began violently spraying from the wound in all directions.

"The cranial area is going into paralysis!" Ritsuko shouted. "The hemorrhaging is out of control!"

"AGGGGHHHHHHH!" Shinji screamed, clutching his eye. "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! IT HURTS! WHY CAN I FEEL THIS? THE EVA IS TAKING THE DAMAGE, NOT ME! RITSUKO HELP ME! MISATO HELP ME! SOMEONE HELP ME!"

Sachiel repeated the attack, sending the spear though the wound again, causing Shinji even more pain. "MAKE IT STOP! I WANT IT TO STOP!" Shinji screamed. "I'M SCARED, I DON'T WANT TO DIE!"

Sachiel sent a blast through its hand instead and extended its spear outward, sending an unresponsive Unit–01 flying backwards into a building, and being shish kabobed to the building by the spear, and being held in the air by the wound in its eye.

On the main screen in Central Dogma, Unit–01 was slumped against the side of the building as Sachiel released its spear from Unit–01's head, as blood poured out from the wound and stained the armor red.

"NO, SHINJI!" Misato screamed.

"Cutting all nerve connections… emergency shutdown!" Maya shouted. "The signal pulse is… feeding back?"

"Pull the circuits manually, sever all connections, now!" Ritsuko ordered.

"Negative, ma'am!" Maya replied. "All signals are being rejected. Unit–01 is refusing all external inputs!"

"What about Shinji?!" Misato asked. "Is he alive?"

"The monitors are not responding, we can't tell you his status, Captain!" Hyuga shouted.

"Captain, for all we know, Shinji is dead!" Aoba said. "We lost contact before the spear pierced the eye, and with that kind of shock, it could kill a person."

"But some of the signals were already being terminated when that happened." Maya shot back. "He could be fine, but we can't do anything from here…"

'Shinji…' Misato thought. 'This is all my fault, I brought you here, I told you to pilot… im sorry, Shinji…'

"Captain! Unit–01's internal power will run out in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Unit–01, total shutdown!"

"Fine, I'm rescinding all battle orders!" Misato said. "Pilot recovery is our only priority, force eject the Entry Plug!"

"We have no input, contact with Unit–01 has been lost!" Maya shouted. "We can't eject Shinji!"

"No…" Misato muttered. "What have we done?"

–––

Shinji woke up in a white space, surrounded by light.

"What the hell is this?" Shinji said into the void. "Where am I? What happened to the Angel?" Shinji looked around him. "Am I dead? Did I fail?"

Shinji saw a figure approaching him from the light, someone he recognized, someone who felt familiar.

"Mother, is that you?" Shinji asked as the figure flew towards him with outstretched arms. The figure then changed to a mottled gray one, bleeding from its right eye and having a mangled left forearm. It looked like some abomination that shouldn't exist. "What the hell are you? You're not my mother! GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!" The figure grabbed Shinji and pulled him into a tight embrace. "NOOOO!"

"You're a Shinigami aren't you?" Shinji screamed. "I don't want to die yet! I have to stop that Angel." Shinji began to struggle. "HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME!" Shinji screamed. "FATHER! MOTHER! ANYONE… HELP ME!"

'I've missed you my sweet boy… but I guess you can't recognize me yet, or even hear me, Shinji.' Yui thought as she hugged her son in the form of an unarmored and injured Unit–01. 'Your heart isn't open yet, so I guess that means I'll have to take over from here seeing as you're asking for my help. Just know that if you ask for my help, I'll do what I can to help you my sweet son. I couldn't be there for you when your father left you, but I'm here now, whether you realize it or not, I'll protect you.'

Unit–01's eyes lit back up and its head jerked up, and Shinji awoke sitting in the Entry Plug, which was now in low–power mode. Shinji could see everything around him, but couldn't do anything as his controls were dead. "How are you moving, it says the power is out…" Shinji looked around. "Well, I guess beggars can't be choosers…"

The jaws of Unit–01 strained against the bolts holding it shut. The metal strained and creaked against the muscles flexing underneath the armor. Unit–01's head moved about and its neck joints popped in anticipation of fighting. The bolts finally snapped after a massive amount of effort on the part of Unit–01.

Unit–01 let out a very primitive, reverberating sound from its now free and open mouth. "ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!"

Unit–01 leaned forward and stretched its arms out and leaned forward as it growled a low, reverberating tone and it stared down Sachiel.

"Holy shit, this is about to get messy." Shinji said. "I better hold onto something…"

The scene in Central Dogma was one of complete shock as the video feed kept coming in showing a very angry looking Unit–01.

"Unit–01 has reactivated?" Maya said. "The frontal shut–off joint has been broken open!"

"But, the power is out!" Ritsuko shouted in utter disbelief. "The synchrograph is in the negative zone, Unit–01 can't activate, it's not even theoretically possible! Unless… no, that's not possible at all…"

Unit–01 charged forward into a full run, and then, as Unit–01 got close to a still stationary and curious Sachiel, leaped into the air and flew towards her. Sachiel raised her hand and shot out a glowing spear. Unit–01 shifted its weight to dodge it and threw its feet forward to impact the Core and knock Sachiel on her ass. Sachiel activated her A.T. Field and expanded it outward, throwing Unit–01 off. Unit–01 flipped around and landed on all fours. Sachiel fired one of her spears towards her, and Unit–01 rolled to dodge and prepped for its on counter assault. Unit–01 snarled at Sachiel, and its eyes appeared to narrow.

"Oh, shit…" Shinji said as he gripped the control yokes and tried to do something. "What… I can't control it? How are you…" A look of terror crossed Shinji's face. "Oh no, if I'm not in control… what is… what have I done…"

Misato was staring at the main screen in utter disbelief.

"Is Shinji controlling the EVA?" Misato asked. "Is he doing this?"

"He can't be." Ritsuko said. "This level of combat maneuvers is impossible for him to know, the Second Child doesn't even have reaction times this good in the simulator!"

"It looks… angry…" Maya said. "Like a wild animal…"

"It's out of control!" Ritsuko shouted. "It's gone… berserk!"

"I knew you were in there, Yui. I knew you'd protect our son…" Gendo chucked quietly to himself. "Now show me what you've got, dear, send that Angel back to hell."

'Yui… you are alive in there.' Fuyutsuki thought. 'Please… be careful…'

"ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!" Unit –01 roared as it charged Sachiel again at full speed. Sachiel deployed its A.T. Field in response to hold Unit–01 at bay and to protect itself from another assault. Unit–01 impacted the field with an impressive display of orange colored hexagons, and was knocked back, but kept its balance and pressed against Sachiel's A.T. Field.

Shinji was hanging on for dear life inside Unit–01, trying not to get whiplash from all the wild movements Unit–01 was making. "WAHHHHHHH!" Shinji exclaimed. "I know you want to kill the Angel, but try not to kill me in the process!" Shinji saw the A.T. Field crackling in front of him. "What?! It has a fucking shield? That's bullshit!" Another look of terror crossed Shinji's face. "I'm going to die aren't I?! If you can't kill that thing, I'M GOING TO DIE!"

The scene continued to unfold on the monitor in Central Dogma. Where various cameras were tracking several angles of the battle raging above them in the streets of Tokyo–3.

"It's an A.T. Field ma'am, a strong one!" Maya reported. "It's blocking Unit–01's counterattack."

"So the Angels do have them…" Ritsuko said. "And there is no way we know of to counter them effectively… Unit–01's A.T. Field is far too weak to counter that… it's all over…"

From the multiple views, Unit–01 pushed its damaged arm against the A.T. Field, and then the injured arm began to glow the same color as the A.T. Field was, as it appeared to siphon energy off of it. All of a sudden, in a bright white flash, the arm no longer looked mangled, seemed to be completely healed. Unit–01 flexed its repaired left arm and then a barely noticeable glimmer moved outward from Unit–01.

"The arm… restored itself?" Hyuga exclaimed. "Just like it wasn't crushed?"

"A second A.T. Field has been detected… its being deployed by Unit–01!" Maya shouted. "It's neutralizing the Angel's A.T. Field! Field collapse is imminent!"

Unit–01 shoved its hands roughly through the A.T. Field and began trying to tear a hole through it. Sachiel's A.T. Field began to spark at the strain it was under, and slowly turned from an orange color to a strained bluish color around the area where field was being pulled. Finally, Unit–01 tore a massive hole in Sachiel's A.T. Field and then the field suddenly disappeared, as though it were no longer up.

"ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!" Unit–01 roared proudly as the A.T. Field collapsed, leaving Sachiel exposed to its primal fury.

"Nice. I almost died, but its shield thingy is down, so we're all in pain…" Shinji said from inside the cockpit weakly. Shinji saw Sachiel's eye glow again, ready to strike with another energy blast. "Seriously, not again!" Shinji shouted. "Look out… get out of the way!" Shinji shouted to his Entry Plug. "DODGE!"

The blast radiated outwards in a focused beam of yellowish light, but Unit–01 threw up its hands and reflected the attack back towards Sachiel, where it impacted her chest near the Core and sent her flying off her feet for several blocks crashing through several building as she went until Sachiel came to a stop and lay spread–eagle on the ground with bluish–purple blood spraying from several wounds all over her body. Unit–01 leapt forward into the air and landed on top of Sachiel, slamming its knees into Sachiel's Core, causing it to fracture and crack.

'Whoa, that was awesome…' Shinji thought as he rubbed his head. 'That looked like it hurt a fuck ton, and for some strange reason my knees hurt now…' Shinji then turned his attention to his chest which was throbbing painfully. 'These seatbelts suck, they aren't very good at restraining the wearer at all. Someone should fix that…'

Unit–01 was now straddling Sachiel and had its two hands balled up into tight fists. Unit–01 then brought it fist in for a flurry of powerful punches to kill the Angel, with each hand alternated the attack. One hit with the left fist shattered off several shards of Core, a second hit caused the Core to crack all across the visible surface, a third hit caused Sachiel's body to helplessly twitch, a fourth hit left a deep crater in the Core, exposing its inside, and as Unit–01 brought its hand down for what should be the final strike, Sachiel counterattacked.

Sachiel's eyes glowed her Core began to pulsate slowly as she threw her hands up to grab Unit–01. However, Unit–01 reacted quickly, grabbing Sachiel by one of her outstretched arms and spinning her around like a slingshot. Sachiel's Core continued to glow more furiously, until it looked like a solid stream of light.

Shinji could hear an alarm bell going off around him as he vomited violently. The alarm was flashing "14.7g – Excess g–force Load Detected – Reduce Immediately" and the bells and flashing only made Shinji being able to stay conscious even more difficult. "Just let the damn thing go!" Shinji shouted as he puked once again into the fluid floating all around him as he then struggled to stay conscious from the g–forces exceeding 15g.

Unit–01 let go of Sachiel and she flew high into the air above Tokyo–3 before exploding in a brilliant, fire–orange cross–shaped explosion. The shockwave that came off the explosion was more powerful than that of the earlier N2 Mine. It rattled the buildings still standing, but caused no actual damage to the city beyond shattering some windows.

Unit–01 lifted its head up into the air and let out a triumphant sound for all the world to hear. "ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!" Unit–01 walked forward out of the area that had been flattened by the last part of the fight, and stood imposingly, reflected by the cross still burning in the night sky, with blood still seeping from its wounded eye.

Shinji sat in the Entry Plug in utter shock at what had just happened. "What are you… how did you survive that blast?" Shinji said, staring up into the sky at the now fading plasma cross. "That thing tried to blow us up, and you threw it away like some sort of live grenade, how did you know?"

Unit–01 then slouched over and shut back down, losing whatever power had been guiding it in the fight, while Shinji passed out as well, completely exhausted from a fight he barely participated in.


July 16, 2015 – NERV HQ, Medical Wing

Misato was marching down to the medical wing to check on Shinji, who had been unconscious for most of the day since being recovered from Unit–01 after the battle.

Misato walked right into his room to see Shinji still asleep in bed.

'Poor kid.' Misato thought. 'What happened to him in that thing? Ritsuko says the data recorders overloaded and shut down. I just hope he wakes up soon.' Misato stood there silently, trying to look as professional as possible in case anyone walked by. 'I hope he'll tell us what happened when he wakes up.'

Misato sat down next to Shinji and patted his arm. "Heya, Shinji. I just came down to see how you were doing. I guess you're still out cold from whatever happened out there last night. I have to get to work soon, so I told them to notify me the minute you wake up." Misato said awkwardly. "I just wanted to tell you before I go upstairs, that I'm proud of you for getting in Unit–01 to fight. You are far braver than anyone gives you credit for, including your father."

Misato stared at Shinji, recognizing something. 'He does look an awful lot like Colonel Ikari… I wonder if he was his uncle or something?' Misato rubbed his arm tenderly. "Your compassion for others reminds me so much of someone I met once with your name. He talked to me about forgiveness and did it to help someone he barely knew. I remember that day, he was so kind to me. You did the same for Rei. You put yourself in grave danger to help her and did something you didn't want to do. I know you hate your father for the way he treats you, but that Shinji gave me two good pieces of advice that day."

Flashback

"What was the point of that story?" Misato asked, quite irritated at the ramblings of Shinji.

"That life is short, and there's no time for regrets or grudges." Shinji said.

"Well, I guess you're right, I can talk to him, but I don't have to like it." Misato said. "Why did you want to help him out anyway? What do you get out of it?"

"Well, all I get is the ability to help out a friend, and maybe get him a second chance with his daughter. Now buckle up, we're going to be landing in a minute." Shinji said with a smile. Shinji turned on the intercom "All right passengers, we'll be landing in a few minutes, so please take a seat and buckle up."

Shinji gently landed the plane on the cold hard tundra. He pulled the plane towards the maintenance hangar so his passengers could disembark. As Misato got up, Shinji stopped her. "Hey, remember what I said, second chances are something everyone deserves."

"Alright, thanks Shinji." Misato gave him a small kiss on the cheek. "For the talk and everything."

End Flashback

"Don't hold the grudge against your father forever, I can tell you it will ruin your life, and you'll lose the best thing that ever happened to you…" Misato trailed off thinking of happier times. "You don't have to give him a second chance, but everyone does deserve one, just remember that. I have to go now, but I'll see you later, Shinji." Misato said as she left the room.

–––

Gendo walked into his holo–conference room, and was greeted by five men awaiting him.

"Gentleman." Gendo said. "To what do I owe the pleasure of a visit from the United Nations Human Instrumentality Committee for the Betterment of Mankind?"

"Don't act stupid, Ikari, you know why we're here." Ambassador Godot said. "We want you to explain these massive repair bills for Tokyo–3 and the Geofront!"

"The use of these machines could be more efficient should they not?" Ambassador Jackson said angrily. "First, Unit–00 goes berserk and damages an isolation room and almost kills the pilot, and then, Unit–01 damages several square block of Tokyo–3 in its uncontrolled rampage against Sachiel!"

"For Christ's sake, Ikari. The repair bill alone is going to cost as much as a small country!" Ambassador Bayuski shouted.

"Gentleman, as you are well aware, Sachiel was sent to Tokyo–3 to begin this war of ours. There will be extensive damage to things, it is unavoidable. Your U.N. military buffoons wasted resources trying to prove that NERV was not needed." Gendo said. "So, as for wasting money, you should blame them for not allowing quicker action to be taken, considering we could have interested the Angel outside of Tokyo–3's city limits."

"Regardless of those idiot's actions, you are focusing too heavily on these Evangelions of yours." Keel said. "You should be focused on the Human Instrumentality Project, as it is our one true goal, fighting the Angels is only a means to an end!"

"I have Dr. Akagi working on that project first and foremost." Gendo replied. "She is trying her utmost to get it back on its original schedule, and I will have a report on that in a few months."

"Just remember, Ikari." Keel said. "Any deviation from the apocrypha or our plan for Instrumentality will result in serious consequences."

"I understand perfectly, Chairman Lorenz." Gendo said with a glint in his eye. "There will be no deviations from anything as long they can be avoided."

–––

Shinji was running down a deserted highway. He was running from something that was chasing him down.

"Stay the fuck away from me!" Shinji shouted as he kept running from the unknown being. Shinji kept looking behind him, and neglected to notice the road in front of him disappear until he felt a rumble. A massive, mottled grey creature came out of the ground. It looked almost human, and its right eye was missing, and was gushing blood. It's hands encircled Shinji, as it tried to grab him.

"Unit–01?!" Shinji screamed. "Get away from me!"

"Shinji, why can't you hear me?" It said in a demonic voice. "Is your heart really that closed off? I just want to protect you…"

"Leave me alone!" Shinji screamed. "I don't want your protection!"

"You're not ready yet, Shinji." It replied in it demonic voice. "Just ask for my help if you need it my sweet boy…"

"GET AWAY FROM ME YOU MONSTER!" Shinji roared. "I'M NOT YOUR SWEET ANYTHING!"

The beast opened its mouth again, and instead of words, the only thing that came out was a blood curdling, bone shaking roar. "ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!"

"AHHHHHHH!" Shinji woke up with a start, covered in cold sweat, with his heart racing. "What the hell was that?" Shinji muttered as he slowly sat up and looked around. "Looks like a hospital room… I wonder why I'm here? The last thing I remember is the EVA beating that Angel, then it getting thrown in the air and that cross–shaped explosion…" Shinji felt himself for any wounds and couldn't find any. "I guess I'm fine…" Shinji looked around the room again and pinched himself. "So that was just a dream?" Shinji asked aloud as he began staring at his left arm. "Why was it saying it wanted to protect me?"

Shinji saw a pair of slippers on the floor and decided to take a stroll. Light was streaming into the corridor from what Shinji realized was the Geofront. "So I'm back down here again…" Shinji muttered as he came upon a waiting area with the TV on.

"…Thank you Toshiro. I'm here live at the scene where some of the damage took place yester afternoon and into the late evening. Reports indicate that the military exercises yesterday used live ordinance mistakenly, instead of the low power training ordinance they were supposed to use. Damage outside the city is rumored to have been caused by live cruise missiles and an N2 Mine being deployed. The JSSDF and the U.N. military liaisons for Japan have refused comment. U.N. Special Agency NERV is one site for cleanup of the classified materials, and released a statement that said, in short, they had no idea what happened, and they were simply instructed to clean up the mess and repair the city ASAP. I'll be here live at the scene and report any new details as they become available…"

Shinji leaned against a window in the room as the TV continued chattering in the background. He kept staring at his left arm. 'The news didn't say anything about EVAs or Angels… was that all a dream too… did I really get in an Evangelion?'

As if fate or destiny was trying to tell him he did get in an Evangelion, a girl with pale blue hair was rolled by him. As she went by, her uncovered crimson eye was fixed on Shinji until she was out of sight.

"Rei…" Shinji muttered. "Then… it is true… I did get in Unit–01… it wasn't a dream."

Shinji saw his father standing down the hallway, and he greeted Rei warmly. Gendo noticed Shinji out of the corner of his eye and stood back up. Shinji's face fell as his father glared at him as he turned and followed Rei's bed to wherever she was being wheeled to.

'Why is he so nice to that girl?' Shinji thought. 'What does she have that I don't?'

"Such a cold and distant man…" Misato said from behind Shinji. "He didn't even bother to say hello. He just gave you… that look."

Shinji tuned around. "Misato?"

"Hiya!" Misato smiled. "They said you were up and about, so I came down to pick you up! I'm glad you're feeling better, Shinji."

"Yeah, I guess…" Shinji muttered.

"Hey, do you want me to take you to your place?" Misato asked. "It's down here in the Geofront, you've been rated for private quarters, and I hear they're kinda nice!"

"Sure… thanks…" Shinji said.

"Would you rather live with your father?" Misato asked. "I know living alone isn't the best thing in the world. I could get you a petition so you could stay with him if you want."

"No its fine, I'd rather be on my own. It's easier that way." Shinji said sullenly. "That and I doubt my father wants his coward son around him."

"No, I'm sure he wouldn't mind, parents and children should be together." Misato said. "Just let me know you if need me to do anything for you. Don't be afraid to tell me…"

"Just leave me alone, Misato!" Shinji shouted. "It's none of your business, so just butt out!"

"Shinji…" Misato said in a hurt tone. He's acting like I did with Shinji 15 years ago…' Misato thought. 'Maybe it's time I paid back that debt of being helped…'

"You don't have to worry about me, Misato." Shinji said angrily. "I'll be just fine on my own, just like always."

"No, you won't be fine on your own." Misato said.

"What do you know?" Shinji shouted back.

"That as your Commanding Officer, your well–being is my top priority, so you'll be living with me now." Misato stated.

"You can't do that!" Shinji shouted.

"Watch me!" Misato said. "Commanding Officers of underage persons can decide where to house their subordinates, so I'm making an executive decision, deal with it. Go get your stuff, and I'll clear this with my boss." Misato pulled out her phone and dialed.

Brrring… brrring… brrring…

"Hello?" Ritsuko said.

"Hey, Ritz, listen, I'm taking Shinji to live with me!" Misato replied. "So I need you to get me the proper approval from Fuyutsuki, got it?"

"Misato he was assigned private quarters for a reason!" Ritsuko shouted. "He's not going to become some teenaged fuck toy for you!"

Misato laughed. "Ritsuko, do you really think I'm that desperate to get laid, I'd jump some helpless 14–year–old boy? I'm not some dirty old pervert, Ritz." Misato said. "Maybe you just want his nubile body all to yourself."

"How dare you insinuate anything like that, Misato!" Ritsuko screamed.

"Yeah, yeah, just get the approval, ya cougar." Misato quipped "See ya later!" and Misato clicked the phone to hang up. Shinji just stared at her. "Get going, Shinji! We don't have all day!" Misato ordered. "Move it!"

–––

Shinji was staring out the window of Misato's car. 'Great, now I'm stuck living with this one, Ms. Commanding Officer–san.' Shinji thought.

"Jeez, can you smile at all?" Misato asked. "You haven't smiled at all since I met you."

"Can't imagine why is, can you?" Shinji muttered.

Misato grimaced. "Fine, I'll make you smile! Just a short detour before we head back to my place." Misato turned the wheel hard to the right and pulled off the highway.

The damaged car approached a lookout area near a hill. There were binoculars so people could look towards the city, which was still in defense mode, as the buildings were still missing from the city center. Misato shut off the car and got out.

"Well, are you coming or not?" Misato asked.

Shinji reluctantly followed suit. "What are we doing here anyway?" Shinji asked. "This is just a big waste of time…"

"Just wait, it's almost time." Misato said looking at her watch. "Go ahead, Shinji, take a look."

As Shinji glanced out over the landscape, he heard an alarm sound. Hatches all over the ground began to open, and all at once, buildings sprang up from the ground like Atlantis breaching the surface once again. Within moments, the proud skyscrapers of Tokyo–3 were set against the backdrop of the setting sun.

"Wow…" Shinji said quietly. "It's so beautiful."

"Yeah, Shinji." Misato said proudly. "That beautiful sight is still there because of you. You protected our city from being destroyed. When an Angel attacks, they'll be lowered into the ground to minimize damage. It's designed as a citadel to repel and defend itself from the Angels. You saved everyone in that city Shinji."

"It wasn't exactly a heroic decision." Shinji said. "I didn't do it to save Rei, or those people out there, it was just to prove my father wrong… I'm not that noble."

"Whatever your reasons Shinji, you saved the city." Misato said kindly. "That's all that matters. No one can tell you differently either." Shinji began to tear up at Misato's kind words. "Shinji are you ok?" Misato asked. "I didn't mean to upset you…"

"You didn't Misato…" Shinji said tearfully. "It's not you at all… I just wanted to hear those words… from him…"

"Oh, Shinji." Misato said pulling the crying boy into a tight hug. "Let's get you home."

–––

Misato pulled up to large apartment building and parked in the vacant lot. By the time they arrived it was dark out, and the apartment was void of any lights.

As the two got out of the car, Misato grabbed her coat from the back seat. "Do you want me to take your duffel bag?" Misato asked.

"No, I got it, thanks." Shinji said.

The two quietly took the elevator up to the twelfth floor where Misato lived. When it dinged, Shinji followed Misato out of the elevator into the open air pathway to the apartment.

"With any luck your stuff is here already." Misato said as she approached the door, there were four boxes all marked "Atsugi to Tokyo–3" stacked next to the door. "See, I love it when I'm right."

Misato opened the door and walked inside. "Don't mind the mess, I only moved in last week." Misato said she grabbed the boxes and brought them in. "What's wrong Shinji, come on in!"

Shinji stood frozen in the doorway, hesitating on entering the room. "I just… don't want to intrude or anything." Shinji said shyly.

"Don't be silly, Shinji." Misato said. "This is your home now too."

Shinji stepped cautiously over the threshold and into the apartment. "I'm… home." Shinji said with a meek smile on his face.

"Welcome home, Shinji." Misato said happily. "Do you want anything to eat?"

"No, I'm just tired." Shinji said as he yawned. "Where can I sleep?"

"There's a room over there you can sleep in." Misato said as she went to the cabinets and pulled out an instant meal. "We'll have to get more food in a few days, I'm running low…"

'Holy crap…' Shinji thought. 'What happened here? She only moved in a week ago, and caused all… this?' Shinji saw the pigsty all around him with discarded clothes, boxes, and instant meal containers mixed with garbage and empty bottles and cans all over the place. 'How does she live like this… she's a total slob!'

Misato led Shinji to his room, which was clean, and flipped on the light. "This is your room Shinji, now get some sleep, and I'll see you in the morning." Misato said. "Goodnight, Shinji. Sleep tight."

"Goodnight… Misato." Shinji said as he put his stuff down and lay on his new bed. As Misato turned off the lights, Shinji started drifting off to sleep while staring at the unfamiliar ceiling above him.


July 17, 2015 – Comfort 17 Apartments

Shinji awoke to light pouring through his window, and the smell of half– burned food coming from the kitchen. "What the hell?" He muttered.

Shinji grabbed a quick change of clothes and went out to see where the awful smell was coming from. He saw Misato in the kitchen near the microwave.

"Misato… what is that?" Shinji asked.

"It's breakfast, silly!" Misato replied, showing him two plates of what looked like lumpy curry over rice.

"Bre… breakfast?" Shinji asked. "Is that edible?"

"Are you insulting my cooking?" Misato asked.

"No… just questioning it." Shinji replied. "Why are we having all this lunch for breakfast exactly?"

"Cause its after 12:00p." Misato said as she stirred her food.

"Why didn't you wake me up?!" Shinji asked.

"You were snoring so much, I figured I should let you sleep. Now, come on and eat before it gets all cold!" Misato said, setting the two plates down and plopping into a chair. "Hey could you get me a can from the fridge before you sit down?"

"Yeah… sure." Shinji said, crossing the room to the fridge. He opened it to reveal nothing but beer and snacks. 'It's amazing she's so thin if she eats all this junk!' Shinji thought.

Shinji grabbed a beer for Misato and walked over to the other fridge in the room, hoping for something other than beer. "Hey, Misato, what's in this fridge over here?"

"Oh, that one doesn't have food in it, just leave him alone, he might be sleeping." Misato replied nonchalantly. "Now, can you give me that beer or what? I'm thirsty!"

"Leave who alone…" Shinji wondered as the fridge popped open, revealing a short penguin. He had a towel in one flipper and a bowl of bath supplies in the other. He waddled off to the bathroom, and then Shinji heard the water running.

"Wh… wh… what was that?" Shinji stammered.

"Oh, him?" Misato said, her mouth full of food. "His name is Pen–Pen. He's cute right?" Misato asked.

"Uh… yeah… I guess…" Shinji said.

"He's a new breed of hot springs penguin, I've had him for a few years." Misato explained. "He pretty friendly, and will eat pretty much anything at all."

"But why is he going to the bathroom?" Shinji inquired.

"Well, he likes taking hot baths." Misato chuckled. "He thinks he's people."

"He thinks he's… people?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, he's really smart!" Misato exclaimed. "Now, enough about him, bring me my beer, no make it two, I'm dying of thirst!"

Shinji sighed and grabbed another beer from the fridge, and handed them both to an impatient Misato. As Shinji sat down, Misato cracked one open and chugged it down whole. "WHOOO YEAH! That's some good stuff! You know life doesn't get any better than this!" Misato looked over at Shinji. "Are you not hungry? You haven't eaten at all since yesterday, right? Don't worry, just cause its instant, doesn't mean it's not good."

"I'm just not used to food like this." Shinji said. "I've never really had instant food before."

"Are you being finicky?!" Misato shouted, leaning over the table threateningly. "You know it's impolite to refuse food just because you've never had it before!"

"That's not what… what I mean is… I'm sorry." Shinji stammered. "I'll try it… Misato… I'm sorry."

"Awww, isn't that sweet." Misato said. "Eating with someone else sure beats sitting alone, right?"

"Yeah… I guess…" Shinji said as Misato sat back down, and he took a bite of the food in front of him. 'Holy shit… this is awful!' Shinji thought. 'It's amazing she hasn't burned something down or died from eating this… I guess I'll have to cook like I did at sensei's, but here it'll be for my survival. But I don't want to be rude, so I'll eat this… bleh!'

The two ate in silence until they had both finished all the so–called food in front of them. Misato had chugged four beers since breakfast started, and was now feeling quite good, and Shinji decided to take a chance.

"Hey… Misato?" Shinji asked. "If it's alright, I don't mind cooking, I'm really good, and can make lots of different stuff…."

"Hmmm." Misato said. "Well that does bring up something important, I guess we do have some chores to split up." Misato had a sly smile on her face. "And there's only one way to do that fairly…"

"How, exactly?" Shinji asked.

"Stick out your hand Shinji." Misato said. When Shinji did Misato started. "Rock… Paper… Scissors!"

After several rounds of play, the chores had been split, with Shinji, thankfully being wholly in charge of cooking and cleaning, with a few sporadic chores

"So, now that that's settled, why don't you move your stuff into your new room?" Misato said as she grabbed another beer.

"Alright, Misato." Shinji said. "But then I guess I have to start cleaning in here, seeing as it's my day for that."

"You're such a good boy Shinji!" Misato said happily. "Oh, and another thing, Shinji, I've been named your guardian by NERV."

"Really, you're my guardian now?" Shinji said. 'Well, at least she's livelier then sensei… but she's so immature, can she actually handle taking care of a kid?'

"So as my first official act as your guardian, and because you're still a kid any everything, I enrolled you in the local junior high school, how's that sound?" Misato asked.

"Shitty." Shinji said. "Why do I have to go to school, doesn't being an EVA pilot exempt me from that?"

"Shinji your well–being is my top concern, and that includes your education." Misato said. "I would be remiss if I didn't make sure you went to school. Also, being an EVA pilot doesn't exempt you from school, Rei goes."

"Great, a dangerous job with no perks." Shinji said sarcastically. 'How nice… more people that won't want to be my friend that will want to make fun of me…'

"Stop whining so much, Shinji. It wot be that bad." Misato said. "Seeing as today is Friday, you'll have the weekend off, and you start on Monday."

"Wonderful…" Shinji said sullenly as he grabbed a garbage bag and started throwing out some of the garbage. "Just wonderful…"

To Be Continued


A/N: I do not own Evangelion or any of the characters, GAINAX and the other distributors of NGE related material do. I am simply using them as a backdrop for my fanfic.

Sync Score Rankings!
Shinji – 42.0% (New)
Asuka – 35.7% (+0.9%)
Rei – 15.1% (No Change)
Mari – N/A

It's time to officially welcome everyone to Tokyo–3! It's a pleasure to be here with you all after all this time! Please watch out for cross–shaped explosions, falling Angel pieces, N2 Mines, and any other hazard listed in your travel brochure. This is it folks, this is where Angels will fall, love will be gained and lost, plots will be hatched, and where the fate of the world and humanity itself lay in the balance. This is Tokyo–3.

So, this chapter is based on Episode 1 and 2 of the anime, if you couldn't already tell. Also based heavily on the manga as well.

As for the name of this story, Episode IV: The Last Hope, it can refer to several things mentioned in this chapter, NERV, the Evangelions, the pilots in general, or Shinji. Whichever way you take the title, it's meant to be interpreted in different ways.

So, Shinji has met his father again, gotten in the fucking robot, and witnessed Unit–01 berserk the fuck out of Sachiel. As for Shinji's attitude, it's based more on the manga, where he's a lot more sarcastic and less whiny than the anime (and way less whiny than rebuild). I've turned that sarcasm up a bit to fit how I think Shinji would act, while making sure he's still insecure and unsure of himself, a little wary of the EVA.

As for Shinji resisting such high g–forces while Unit–01 was tossing Sachiel out of the city, it is an inherited trait from his uncle, who, without training was able to hold out from passing out against 7g of force. Shinji, being fit, and having this genetic oddity, even without training, Shinji has picked up his namesake's ability to pretty much pilot anything he wants to, including an Evangelion. That and the EVA was only spinning for a minute or so, so it was not a sustained 15g throughout. Boom, science.

Now for the scene where Yui speaks, the EVAs in my story will try communicating with the pilots from time to time, however some of the pilots aren't ready to learn the truth yet, like Shinji isn't ready to know, which is why she shows up as the EVA in his vision.

Now, the girl and the rubble and the track suit wearing boy, you all should know who they are without being told, as no one is that naïve.

As for why I chose to make this chapter so long, in fact it clocks in at over 17,000 words, and why I didn't break it up into two separate chapters? Well, episodes 1 and 2 (and the manga's first volume) chronicle Shinji's arrival in Tokyo–3, as does this chapter. Breaking it up didn't feel right, so by the end, Shinji is living with Misato, and she tells him he's being enrolled in school. Also, by not breaking things up by episode, Chapters 5 and 6 will do the same thing, by combining the two part story of the 4th and 5th Angels (episodes 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 respectively), which has been gone over in three official media formats (anime, manga and the entirety of 1.11) I can tell my story without adding unnecessary chapters to an already recognizable story. Essentially, I don't want to just copy the anime, so I'm doing something a bit different.

Some stuff you may have noticed has been changed already, and the same will happen going forward, minor changes to start with, but as the story goes on, there will be big splits from canon in key events in the series that will shape the characters a bit differently, especially when Mari arrives and begins to wreck her special brand of havoc in the characters' lives.

Finally, a note. Mari may have returned in the last chapter of Episode III but as of right now in Episode IV, she is still trapped with Lilith for the time being. She won't be arriving until after Ramiel tries back–dooring its way into the Geofront, so in Chapter 7, she will arrive, in typical Mari fashion, spectacularly.

As I said before, and will always say at the end of chapter, please leave comments, as I would like to try to improve the story going forward any way I can. And, hell, constructive criticism is a good thing.


つづく