Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode VI: Return of Reality


Chapter 7 – Battle Stations
December 31, 2016 – NERV HQ, Living Quarters

Asuka woke up and felt cold. She didn't feel Shinji's warmth beside her, just a cool spot where he had been the previous night. She rolled over and looked around his room, looking to see if he was in the bathroom, but she didn't see him.

"Shinji?" Asuka called out. "Where are you?"

Asuka didn't hear a response and sat up in the bed, letting the sheet that was covering her fall to her lap. "I'm ready to try again, if you want to, baka." Asuka called out and started to get nervous. "Baka, I was only kidding about you hurting me… it felt good having you inside of me, didn't you enjoy it?"

Asuka rolled out of bed and looked around. 'Where the hell is he?' Asuka thought. 'He couldn't have left me here… he promised… he promised to stay…'

Asuka walked expectantly into the bathroom, hoping Shinji was there and saw that he wasn't there. She looked around the small quarters, and even looked under the bed to see if he was playing a cruel joke on her.

"Why… why isn't he here?" Asuka asked herself as she sat on the bed and began crying. "He said he loved me… " Asuka sobbed. "He… he's supposed to love me, but he used me and left…" Asuka held herself tightly. "Was I… as I not good enough? Did I do something wrong…? Why doesn't Shinji love me… why would he abandon me… don't I deserve to be loved? My momma abandoned me… then my boyfriend… it's like I don't deserve to be loved… like I'm not worth anything to anyone…"

–––

In the Command Center, everyone was waiting for the inevitable, the coming attack. Gendo had received word that several large transport planes had launched early the previous day from Germany, headed on a direct course to Tokyo–3. The lockdown had been enacted the previous evening and the AIS was deployed and waiting for an enemy to fire at, whether it be human or Angel.

In the meantime, the skeleton crew in the Command Center consisted of Gendo and Fuyutsuki in their usual place high above anyone else, Misato, Maya, Hyuga, and Aoba on the main level and about two dozen armed security guard near the entrances, just in case anyone tried to storm the area.

"So, we're just waiting now?" Aoba asked. "For what?"

"A mass attack by the JSSDF and U.N. forces." Fuyutsuki explained. "They want to shut us down and take the Evangelions and their pilots. We cannot let that happen under any circumstances."

"But… humans?" Hyuga asked. "We're going to have to kill humans?"

"To keep those kids safe, we'll do just about anything." Maya said. "What would the U.N. want with them, though?"

"To run tests and figure out how to make more Evangelions." Fuyutsuki said. "At least that's what intelligence has told us."

"So they want to experiment on them?" Aoba asked.

"Doesn't sound much different than what we were doing though." Maya said.

"Well, under Dr. Akagi it was more akin to torture." Hyuga quipped.

"Speaking of, where are all the pilots?" Misato asked.

"Mari was spotted yesterday by Asuka as being on base. We have no current information on her whereabouts. Asuka is still in Shinji's room as far we can tell, but Shinji left several hours ago in the middle of the night and hasn't been seen since." Maya explained.

"And Rei?" Gendo asked.

"Rei swiped onto base several days ago and hasn't been sighted at all." Maya replied.

"So, when things go south, we won't have any pilots ready to go…" Misato muttered. "Just perfect…"

"Is the defensive perimeter secure?" Gendo asked.

"As far as we can tell." Aoba replied. "External security feeds are active, we have every proximity sensor set to the highest sensitivity, and every security team has been strategically deployed inside the base. We have the city in battle formation and the AIS is armed and ready for action."

"And the internal defensive systems?" Gendo asked.

"Armed to bare." Hyuga replied. "Anyone that isn't recognized will be shot on sight."

"Good." Gendo replied.

"It looks like we're ready." Misato said.

"But for what?" Maya asked.

"An invasion." Gendo replied.

All of a sudden, alarms began going off all over the place. The proximity sensors detected an approaching force aircraft and ground vehicles outside the city limits. The aircraft were still over two hours away, but the vehicles were fast approaching.

"Commander, we've got hostiles inbound." Hyuga said. "ETA is three minutes on the ground forces, heavy air forces are at least an hour away, attack helicopters and light fighters are fifteen minutes out."

"Bring internal defenses online." Gendo ordered. "Contact all defensive positions and inform them the attack is imminent. Have the incoming air forces set as hostile units and shoot them as soon as they are within range."

"Already done, sir." Hyuga replied.

"Lieutenant Colonel, I'll leave this in your hands." Gendo said as he left. "I have some more pressing matters to attend to." Gendo lowered his voice. "Fuyutsuki, I suggest you find a safer place to stay."

"I intend to see this out while you search for your son." Fuyutsuki replied quietly.

"Very well." Gendo said as he left.

Fuyutsuki looked down and saw Misato beginning to pace. "Colonel, perhaps it would be best do protect the pilot we have left."

"Right…" Misato said. "We need to get Asuka to Unit–02. She'll be safer in there if the defense perimeter is breached."

"Why?" Aoba asked.

"You said planes are inbound, which means there will be bombing." Misato explained. "And we may need her to fight."

"But what if she can't sync?" Maya asked. "Her score was pretty low the last time she was tested."

"Deploy her to the Geofront Lake, it'll keep her safe and out of sight." Misato said. "Do you have her yet?"

"A recovery team just got her from Shinji's room." Maya said sullenly. "She's… uh…"

"Just spit it out, Maya." Misato replied. "What's wrong with her? She was fine yesterday…"

"She was naked and curled up in the fetal position on the floor." Maya said. "She just keeps repeating "why did he leave me all alone" and other than that, she's totally unresponsive."

"Wait, you found her in Shinji's room with no Shinji?" Misato asked. "Naked?"

"Yeah…" Maya said.

"What the fuck did Shinji do now…" Misato said. "I have to find him…"

"Colonel, there's a lot of a situation going on here." Hyuga muttered. "You can't just leave…"

"Look, Hyuga we have three missing kids, and if Shinji's being himself, he needs to be dragged to safety." Misato said. "Sub–Commander, permission to go search for Shinji."

"Granted, Colonel." Fuyutsuki said. "I will take over the situation here. Be wary, Colonel, the perimeter will most likely be breached."

Misato pulled out her gun out as she left the room. "I intend to be careful sir."

"Sir, the JSSDF has made contact and blown through the outer perimeter." Aoba reported. "They're currently trying to breach the employee entrances on the south side."

"Put all guards on alert." Fuyutsuki said. "Divert response forces to the east and north sides."

"But they're attacking the south." Aoba said.

"How large is the force?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"About a hundred." Hyuga said. "Judging by the amount of vehicles."

"And there were far more vehicles than that, correct?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"Significantly more." Aoba replied.

"So, they're trying to divert us." Fuyutsuki said. "It's the art of war."

"Sending the troops to the other entrance points now." Aoba said.

"What about the west entrances or the central entrance?" Hyuga asked.

"Those are covered by the automatic defensive weapons." Maya replied. "And the smaller entrances are locked down."

"So, we should be fine then." Aoba said.

"No, but we can at least make them fight for every inch of space they take from us." Fuyutsuki said. "Lieutenant Ibuki, can you put me on the intercom."

"Ready sir." Maya replied.

"To all personnel, this is Sub–Commander Fuyutsuki." Fuyutsuki said. "The attack by the JSSDF has begun. They are currently trying to breach our inner perimeter, so I will make this message short. Expect no mercy to be given, the soldiers have shoot on sight orders for anyone they come across and I am clarifying that under Commander Ikari's directive, everyone is to shoot to kill all invading enemy combatants with no exceptions. If you see one of the pilots, get them to safety, they are the prime targets and will either be captured or shot on sight by the JSDDF. Good luck, and stay vigilant." Fuyutsuki made a motion to cut the transmission.

"You're off, sir." Maya replied.

"So now what?" Aoba asked.

"Call in the rest of our security forces and seal this room." Fuyutsuki said. "This room cannot be breached." Fuyutsuki sighed. "Has Asuka been launched yet?"

"They were able to get her into a plugsuit and into Unit–02." Maya explained.

"Bring Unit–02 online and get it launched." Fuyutsuki said. "What's her sync score?"

"Her sync score is 5.2%" Maya said. "She can't move the EVA at all."

"Deploy to the Geofront Lake as Colonel Katsuragi suggested." Fuyutsuki said. "If she can't move, they at least can't reach her from there."

"Understood, Sub–Commander." Maya said. "Unit–02 launching in sixty seconds."
–––

Mari woke up late that morning. After speaking with Yui after almost killing herself, she decided to hide in a break room and get some sleep on the dusty floor. She woke up to the sounds of the alarms going off indicating they were under attack and of Fuyutsuki's voice giving a dire warning, and then she heard the sounds of gunfire from all around her.

"What the fuck is going on?" Mari muttered. "Angels don't use guns… he wasn't kidding… humans really are trying to kill us…"

Mari saw a dozen armed security guards rush by where she was, armed to the teeth. "I should probably go somewhere else…" Mari muttered. "The hospital should be safe… right? No one attacks a hospital… right?"

Mari snuck out into the hallway and ran towards the elevators, finding them to be locked down. "Motherfucker…" Mari muttered as she angrily kicked the door. "How am I supposed to get there now, walk?!"

Mari looked around for an access ladder and began climbing down towards the hospital's connection corridor. "Why do things have to be this way anyway? Why does this have to be happening? Why can't whoever this is leave us the hell alone…"

Mari heard a large explosion above her, which shook the shaft she was in and sent some debris down past her. "Son of a bitch! What the fuck is going on? They're really trying to kill us!"

Mari found where she could get off and cracked the hatch open to see men running around shooting at each other with assault rifles. There was blood all over the walls and serval dead bodies of both NERV and JSSDF personnel lying motionless on the ground. Mari closed the hatch up tight as she saw a grenade get thrown towards her and locked it just in time to hear the explosion on the other side.

"Well, I'm not going to the hospital…" Mari muttered. "Maybe I should go find my Evangelion. I know that thing's all but indestructible. Hell, it took an Angel to almost kill me and destroy it, definitely safer than going anywhere else in this hell hole. But first, I should probably get a plugsuit on… in case I need to launch or something."

Mari began climbing down the ladder slowly, listening for signs of fighting from outside each access hatch she passed. When she reached the level she was pretty sure the locker rooms are on, she heard even more serious gun fighting from the hallway and decided to stay where she was.

"No need to get shot trying to get to a barely functioning Evangelion… unless… I steal Unit–02. But Asuka may kill me if I do that…"

–––

Shinji was still wandering around NERV. After having left Asuka that morning, Shinji was beginning to question his decision. "Maybe I was wrong to leave Asuka like that…" Shinji muttered. "I might not deserve her… but she deserves better than that… right? She must hate me by now if she's even up yet… I have to go back and apologize… what happens if we die, what happens if the last thing she remembers is that I left her…" Shinji shuttered. "I… I need to find her…"

But as he started to head back towards his room, the alarms went off. He heard Fuyutsuki's announcement and realized what was happening, instrumentality was right around the corner.

"So, everything was definitely true… they're here to try and end the world…" Shinji said. "Which… which means that I'm gonna have to pilot again… and I don't want to. Every time I pilot the EVA, something bad happens. And this time… if I pilot I could end the world… what kind of responsibility is that for a kid? I don't want to have to protect the world, the world sucks, and I don't want to be the one responsible for ending it…" Shinji sighed deeply. "I can't go find Asuka now… I need to go find somewhere to hide… especially if they're going to try and kill me…"

Shinji rounded a corner and found himself in a stairwell. There were doors on both ends, but there was space under the stairs where he could hide, in the darkness, and out of site. "I just have to wait till this is all over, and then I can go back to the way things were… I just don't want the responsibility of having to protect the world anymore… I just want to be a normal kid… is that too much to ask…"

–––

Gendo was walking around NERV, looking for two people he needed. His plans, while so close to fruition, were now missing the two keys he needed most Shinji to pilot Unit–01 and Rei to merge with Lilith. He clenched his right hand several times as he was walking around the battle scarred hallways.

"Why would Rei do this to me?" Gendo muttered to himself. "She knows she's important, why is she hiding? I need her to bring Yui back… I need her and Shinji to bring Yui back… after all these years… I simply can't wait any longer. Shinji will be easy to find, and Rei will remember her duty… she'll be naturally drawn to it when its time…" Gendo sighed. "But Shinji will avoid it, he doesn't like responsibility… and he doesn't like to get involved… but I can convince him if I promise Yui will come back… he'll finally have his mother, and more importantly… I'll have my wife…"

–––

Back in the Command Center, things were getting pretty bad. All the entrances had been overrun, but the invaders were having trouble getting anywhere very fast. Between the self–defense weaponry installed everywhere, the heavily armed defenders, and the Bakelite flooding, the invasion was partially stalled. While the invaders had taken several corridors, they did not have a strong foothold and were having trouble getting to the main areas that needed to be captured, mainly the Command Center and the Evangelion Cages.

"Defense Squad 3 is in trouble, Sub–Commander!" Aoba reported. "They're being overrun at the inner defensive perimeter."

"Send Squads 10, 11, and 14 to reinforce them!" Fuyutsuki ordered. "If we lose that, they'll be on our doorstep within minutes!"

"The teams are moving as fast as they can, but Squad 3 can't hold out too much longer!" Aoba said. "We're about to lose it!"

"We're also having trouble on the western side, sir!" Hyuga reported. "Some of the defensive weapons are running low on ammunition. Without backup, the position will be totally overrun"

"Send Squad 8 and 15 to rereinforce that point." Fuyutsuki ordered.

"Sir, if we do that, we won't have any backup anywhere else." Maya said frantically.

"I am aware of that Lieutenant, but I'd like to hold off on calling back or forces until we absolutely can't hold them back any longer." Fuyutsuki said. "If we can hold them off a few minutes longer, we can solidify our positon." Fuyutsuki sighed. "Do we have any of the other pilots yet?"

"They are all still MIA, sir." Maya said. "But we have a new problem now. They're trying to hack the MAGI."

"How?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"Using all the other MAGI systems to eat away at our firewall and shut us down." Maya said. "We have maybe twenty minutes before the MAGI are offline."

"Is there anything you can do?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"Short of getting Dr. Akagi from the dungeon, there is a program she was setting up to block things like this from happening again after the Angel had infiltrated the system."

"How long to get it online?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"I'll need a few minutes sir." Maya said. "She had the Code 777 program completed, I just need to access it and bring it online."

"Do it." Fuyutsuki ordered.

"Consider it done, sir." Maya replied. "Just keep the enemy out until I can get it done."

"Sir, this seems like a distraction." Hyuga said.

"No, it's not." Fuyutsuki replied. "They want access to our security lockdown so they can override it and make their job easier, and the MAGI are the only way to do that. They can shut all our defenses down. Unless we can stop them, we'll all be dead within the hour."

"I'm working on it sir." Maya replied. "I just need more time…"

"I'll cut the power for 15 seconds." Hyuga said. "It'll reset the communications lines and force them to reestablish contact."

"Will that work, Lieutenant Ibuki?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"It should." Maya said. "We won't know till we've tried."

"Do it." Fuyutsuki ordered. "And let's hope it works in our favor."

–––

Keel Lorenz was sitting angrily in his office in Berlin. He was watching a live feed that was tapped into the JSSDF soldiers that were currently assaulting the Geofront. Keel saw that more defensive weapons had been installed than previously estimated, and he was also watching the hacking of the MAGI unfold rather successfully until the system went dark and gave a triple digit lockout code "777". Lorenz slammed his intercom and called two people angrily into his office, Oscar and Wilhelm Langley.

"What is going on?!" Keel demanded. "You said everything with their budget was unable to have defensive weaponry on this scale!"

"Cousin, I did the calculations myself." Oscar said defensively. "They didn't have the money for this at all, everything in their budget…"

"You trusted Ikari's budget?!" Keel roared. "Idiot boy nothing that man says is true! And you! You said the MAGI could be overpowered by all the other MAGI working in tandem!"

"They should be able to overpower it." Dr. Langley replied. "We have the numerical superiority, and the original MAGI System is no different than any of the others. It should have fallen by now."

"None of this is happening the way it should!" Keel shouted. "We have no other choice but to go in directly with our final solution!"

"Lorenz, it's far too soon to send them in." Dr. Langley said. "We aren't even sure if they can fight."

"Are you hesitating because your granddaughter is out there?!" Keel shouted.

"No, she will be collateral damage, and I was never particularly fond of her." Dr. Langley replied. "It would be better if she were imply gone."

"And you, do you care if I give the order to breach Tokyo–3?" Keel asked as he rounded on Oscar.

"I could care less if that little cunt died." Oscar said. "I would be better off completely forgetting her and her whore of a mother."

"Then I'll inform the Prime Minister of what he has to do." Keel said. "This ends now."

–––

The Prime Minister of Japan was sitting calmly in his office. As of the last report he received, the hack of the MAGI had failed, however, all NERV personnel had been called back to defend a smaller perimeter. As he was waiting for a further update from his commanders on the ground, he received another phone call.

"Hello." The Prime Minister said.

"Execute the final breach protocol." The voice said on the other side of phone.

"But the battle is nearly won." The Prime Minister replied. "And I would like to take that city away from Ikari and use it as my new capital."

"Those plans will have to wait." The voice said. "Just do as you're told, and you will be compensated as promised."

"It will be done." The Prime Minister replied as he hung up. He then picked up a red phone and called the forward command post.

"Prime Minister, this is General Hitsugaya." General Hitsugaya answered.

"General, send in the heavy bombers, then send in all the reserve forces." The Prime Minister said. "I have new intelligence informing us they have a cache of N2 weaponry that was not disclosed. They need to be put down with extreme prejudice."

"Sir, with all due respect, we are winning the fight." General Hitsugaya replied. "I see no need to do more damage than need be done."

"This isn't a conversation, general!" The Prime Minister replied angrily. "Carry out your orders, or I will relieve you of command and find someone who will carry out the orders they are given."

"Understood, sir." General Hitsugaya replied. "I will give the order."

"Very well…" The Prime Minister said as he hung up the phone. "And may Izanagi forgive us all…"

–––

Back in the Command Center, thigs were getting very ugly. The defenders were losing ground, as more reinforcement troops arrived, even after the attrition made with the AIS enough new troops landed to give a clear numerical advantage to the JSSDF and U.N. combined forces.

"Sub–Commander, we're being completely overrun!" Hyuga shouted. "We've got maybe half of our security forces left! There are just too many of them!"

"Recall everyone to defend Central Dogma and the Evangelions Cages." Fuyutsuki ordered. "Nothing else is of consequence. Lieutenant Ibuki, are the MAGI secured?"

"The 777 lockout protocol is holding, sir." Maya replied. "It should be fine for several days before the other MAGI can find a way around it."

"Good." Fuyutsuki said. "One less problem to worry about."

"Sir, one more problem!" Aoba reported. "The heavy bombers we've been tracking the past few hours are changing course! They are taking up a wide formation and heading straight for us."

"What kind of bombers, Lieutenant…" Fuyutsuki asked.

"They're squawking as Seraphim Squadron, sir."

"My god…" Fuyutsuki muttered. "They're going to breach the city…"

"As in?" Maya asked.

"They're gonna nuke Tokyo–3 out of existence…" Fuyutsuki replied.

–––

A large mass of bombers was slowly approaching Tokyo–3. Their bomb bays were filled with one massive N2 bomb a piece. A new design meant to be used against the Angels that had even more destructive power than the previous models, and there were 75 of them heading straight for the unsuspecting city. As they got closer, they encountered some resistance from the AIS, which began to fire rapidly towards them, but the planes stayed defiantly on course.

"This is Seraphim Leader to Seraphim Squadron." Seraphim Leader said solemnly. "We have been given the order to breach Tokyo–3 with our N2 payloads. Take up our attack positions and watch out for that weapons fire. We've got no escorts, so we're on our own."

As the planes approached their final position, their bomb bay doors opened up, revealing the massive N2 stored within. The 75 bombs dropped towards the city with amazing grace and serenity until they hit their detonation altitude in tandem. All 75 N2 bombs went off at once, creating a massive white fireball on the surface that engulfed anything and everything within the city limits.

As for the Geofront, there was a bright glow on the rim of the cityscape held high above them, and then the blast finally vaporized all 25 armor belts and ripped into the now unprotected Geofront below. The fireball expanded to its proper size and decimated the vegetation in the Geofront. The edge of the blast ripped the top of NERV's pyramid of, and damaged a great deal more of it, leaving it heavily damaged wreck. As the fireball dissipated and the steam from all the vaporized material faded away, there was nothing left of Tokyo–3 save for the gaping hole where it once proudly stood.

–––

Inside the Command Center, the lights were flickering on and off, and everything was shaking so violently, everyone was knocked out of their chairs onto the floor. The holographic main screen kept cutting in and out, and the sounds of the explosion could be heard echoing throughout the Geofront and NERV HQ like some sort of sickening alarm bell. When the sound stopped and the lights came back on, many of the camera feeds that were being monitored were either completely cut off or were giving blurred videos.

"Status report." Fuyutsuki said weakly as he dragged himself off the floor.

"The city is totally gone." Hyuga reported. "All but a few of our AIS batteries are still up there, let alone functional."

"The sensors are still fuzzy, but I think there is another inbound force of attack craft." Aoba reported. "Best estimate is five minutes from contact."

"Reports are coming from the defense teams, the JSSDF are consolidating their forces in preparation for another attack." Maya reported. "Unit–02 is still in Geofront Lake, but it won't be safe for long. Unit–01 and Unit–XP are still secure in the Evangelion Cages"

"They must be awaiting reinforcements." Fuyutsuki said. "How much of the base do they have control of?"

"All of the A–Level structures and levels B–1 through B–5." Maya replied. "They have a much larger attack force, we won't last long."

"We'll give it our all." Fuyutsuki said. "Otherwise we don't have a chance in hell."

–––

Gendo was still walking around, trying to find Shinji. He was in yet another bloodstained hallway, with bodies lying all over the place. Gendo stepped over them without a second look. As he was looking around, he heard one of the heavy hatchways open and quickly turned around to see Mari crawling out from the emergency ladder access shaft. When she saw him, her eyes went wide, and Gendo's narrowed. They glared at each other for a moment before Gendo walked towards her.

"Makinami…" Gendo muttered.

"Rokubungi…" Mari grumbled in reply. "What the hell was that noise?"

"The JSSDF most likely vaporizing the cityscape." Gendo replied coldly. "But what are you doing down here?" Gendo asked. "Shouldn't you be with Shinji?"

"Nope." Mari said. "Shinji hates me now because he found out who I am."

"I didn't think you'd be stupid enough to tell him." Gendo said coldly. "You must have known his reaction would be less than ideal."

"Well, he inherited that detestable trait from you." Mari grumbled. "And I didn't tell him… Fuyutsuki did."

"Fuyutsuki…?" Gendo said with a note of surprise.

"Is that surprise I hear, Rokubungi?" Mari asked. "Who knew it was possible."

"It happens on occasion." Gendo said. "I never thought Fuyutsuki would speak to him."

"Well, not everyone is your brand of asshole." Mari quipped. "Plus, after being kidnapped, people begin to reevaluate their priorities…"

"Still, what are you doing down here?" Gendo asked.

"Getting to a plugsuit." Mari replied. "So I can go help."

"There is little you can do." Gendo replied. "Unit–XP is barely functional."

"Can it hold its Gatling guns?" Mari asked.

"Yes, the arms have been repaired, but the legs still need…" Gendo began.

"Then it'll be fine." Mari said. "Shinji might hate me, but I won't leave him alone… I know what that's like, and something tells me even inside that thick head of yours, you know how shitty being alone is."

Gendo pulled out on of his pistols and pointed it directly at Mari. "Don't presume to understand my pain."

"What, you're gonna shoot me now?" Mari asked sarcastically. "Ritsuko wasn't enough of a freak with that shit already?" Mari smirked. "But wait… you can't shoot me, can you Rokubungi? Not if you ever want to look Yui in the face again. Not if you want her to ever speak to you again. Not if you want her to keep loving you… you ungrateful bastard…"

"You're not wrong. I never deserved her, but she loved me anyway. Even if she had feelings for you, Yui was the type of person who had enough love for two people… perhaps if things had worked out differently, you two would have ended up together… and perhaps I would have stayed with Kyoko…" Gendo said as he flipped the gun in his hand and held onto the barrel, the handle pointed towards Mari. "But we'll never know, will we, Mari? Perhaps you need this more than I do." Gendo stretched out his arm towards Mari. "Go ahead, take it."

Mari reached out and took the gun cautiously from him. "Uh… thanks?"

"Get your plugsuit and get to Unit–XP." Gendo said. "Perhaps we still have a chance if you're involved…"

"A chance with what?" Mari asked.

"Defending ourselves against a new breed of Evangelion." Gendo replied. "Go to Isolation Cage 4, your EVA is in there along with its weapons."

"How do I launch?" Mari asked. "I don't exactly have the authority…"

"Manual override code Omega–15." Gendo said. "It will give you control of the system."

"Thank you…" Mari said as she turned to leave.

"Don't thank me." Gendo said. "It makes me uncomfortable."

"Man, you are more fucked up then anyone knows, aren't you?" Mari asked.

"Ever since Yui." Gendo said. "I haven't been alright since Yui was taken from me."

"At least you had her." Mari said. "You were lucky enough to have her."

"She changed when you died." Gendo said. "She was heartbroken when she heard about your death… she still loved me, but a little less than before."

"That's a surprise…" Mari muttered.

"Just be sure not to die." Gendo said. "If we ever get Yui back, she'll be unhappy I didn't stop your death the second time around."

"I'll do it as a favor for her, not for you." Mari said. "Out of love."

"With her it's always out of love." Gendo replied as the two parted ways.

–––

Shinji was in a panic after the explosion. He could feel the floor around him still reverberating several minutes after the explosion.

'What the hell are they doing?!' Shinji thought frantically as he tried not to make a sound. 'Maybe I shouldn't be hiding from all this… the gunfire, the explosions, the enemy… a human enemy… if I stay here much longer… everyone will die… and I could have tried to stop it… Misato, Asuka, Rei, even Mari… none of them deserve to die because of my inaction.' Shinji heard footsteps approaching. 'But maybe I'm already out of time…'

"Well, well, well." A JSSDF Sergeant said. "What do we have here?"

"Looks like an Evangelion pilot, Sarge." A JSSDF Corporal replied. "All alone and without any weapons."

"Call it in them Corporal." The Sergeant replied. "Tell them we have located the Third Child and have him in our custody."

'So this is how I die…' Shinji thought as he blankly looked up at the soldiers.

"So, kid, you have two options." The Sergeant said. "Either come with us, or you end up like the rest of these NERV assholes out here."

"Go to hell." Shinji said. "I'd never help a bunch of murders like you."

"Well, it's your call kid." The Sergeant said. "Hope you're not leaving anyone behind…"

Shinji closed his eyes as he felt the solider put his gun to Shinji's forehead. Shinji heard him cock the trigger and waited for the end.

BANG

Shinji opened his eyes slowly, having not felt and pain and expected to see nothing, but was surprised at seeing the Sergeant dead on the floor. He looked around and saw his father standing in the doorway, gun in hand still smirking from the single round he fired. The Corporal was stunned momentarily before he remembered he had a rifle and turned it on Gendo. Gendo raised his right hand and Shinji saw an eye embedded in the palm. And orange octagonal field erupted from it as the Corporal opened fire, only for the rounds to bounce uselessly off of it.

"An… an A.T. Field?" Shinji said. "What the hell…"

Gendo fired two more rounds and the Corporal dropped where he stood. Gendo turned to Shinji and glared at him. "What are you doing here? You have a job to do, Shinji."

"What job?" Shinji asked.

"Piloting EVA." Gendo said. "You're shirking your responsibility."

"So what!" Shinji shouted. "It's too late to do anything now! I waited too long, and now everyone's probably already dead!"

"That is incorrect, Shinji." Gendo said. "No one you know has died. But if you wait any longer, that may no longer be the case. You'll end up just like me if you keep waiting, losing the light in your life like I did."

"What the hell are you talking about?!" Shinji said. "You never just talk to me! It's all riddles and shit! Just talk to me like a father would to his son!"

"What should I say?" Gendo said mockingly. "I believe in you? I love you? Is that what you mean? Unfortunately Shinji, I never loved you." Gendo grabbed Shinji by the collar and dragged him to his feet. "Ever since you were born, you took your mother's attention away from me, I envied you because of that, and despised you for it at the same time."

"What…?" Shinji muttered.

"Your mother's love took me out of the darkness that was my life… she saved me." Gendo explained. "And then, she was gone in an instant, and I cursed the SEELE for interfering in her experiment, and then I realized that I could do what they wished to do. I could make myself a god and bring her back, and make it so I never lost anyone again. It could be that way for you too, Shinji, everything in this world exists to be taken away, but you can stop that. The human race is meant to become extinct, and someone needs to lead it… I need to lead it. Go to Unit–01, go to your mother, and avenge the world so that nothing can be taken from us again."

"Why would I do that?" Shinji asked. "Why the hell would I help someone that never loved me!"

"Because I need you to, Shinji. Your mother needs you!" Gendo said. "You are the only one that can do what needs to be done!"

BANG

"Commander, step away from Shinji!" Misato shouted after her warning shot whizzed by Gendo's head. "Leave him alone and bac away slowly!"

"Or what, Colonel Katsuragi?" Gendo asked as he leveled his gun at Misato. "I can always finish the job that Second Impact failed to accomplish."

"Go ahead and try." Misato said.

"We found the source of the gunshots!" A soldier shouted as a group of them ran at them from both sides.

"Shinji, get down!" Misato cried as she shoved Shinji out of the way and shot at some of the approaching soldiers.

Gendo raised his hand and put up his A.T. Field, much to Misato's surprise. Gendo blocked the rounds from one side of the hallway and reflected the bullets back to them, cutting them to pieces as he did. While Misato emptied a clip into the soldiers approaching from the other side, scoring three headshots and four additional kills.

"That will undoubtedly draw more of them." Gendo said. "Shinji, we must go."

"He's not going anywhere with you, Commander." Misato replied. "I'm not letting him go off with a madman!"

"You cannot stop me." Gendo replied as he turned to Shinji. "Come with me Shinji." Gendo said as he raised his Adam hand towards Misato. "If you want to live and save your friends."

"Shinji, don't do it!" Misato said threateningly as Misato levered her gun on Gendo. "He just wants to use you! Come with me, Shinji, I'll get you out of here if you want to go."

Shinji looked between them and was completely unsure of what to do, of which path he should take. 'I can't believe this…' Shinji thought. 'What the hell am I going to do?'

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 – 92.5% (No Change)
Mari – 22.5% (No Change)
Rei – 20.0% (No Change)
Asuka – 5.2% (-7.3%)

And that is the first part of this story arc's ending. I've been wanting to write this segment of the story forever, because I've had a lot of time to put into thinking about this ending the chapters may a lot shorter than usual (around 2,000 – 4,000 words), but there will be a lot packed into to those short lengths.

As for the chapter itself, can't really go into too much detail about anything specific for fear of giving away what happens next. However, where Mari ended up sleeping was near where the JSSDF were trying to break in through, so she heard the gunfire first. Shinji happened to be father away, and Rei is safely tucked away deep enough that no one will find her until she wants to be found.

As for the standoff, I did get that from the manga, but its conclusion will be vastly different and be the opening scene of the following chapter.

And a side note about the new squadron name. Seraphim are higher ranking angels known as "the burning ones" which have six wings (not unlike God/Burning Gundam), so it seemed only appropriate that a squadron of "angels" are the ones that dropped the N2 payload on the city and set it ablaze and proverbially open the gates to hell.

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