Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode VII: Awakenings


Chapter 2 – Roar Evangelion
March 17, 2020 – NERV HQ

Maya was down in the Evangelion Cage, doing the duties she inherited from her predecessor, Ritsuko Akagi. Even thought they had been dormant since the Rejected Third Impact, they still required regular maintenance to keep them ever ready in case anything involving Angels were to occur again. So, as Maya was running standard diagnostics on the sleeping Unit–01 and Unit–02's dormant Cores, she felt the room shake suddenly.

"No…" Maya muttered as she remembered the last time she felt shaking like this. "It… it can't be…"

She looked up and saw Unit–01 and Unit–02 struggling against their bonds, something she had not seen in a long time. Their chests were glowing at the approximate site of of the Cores buried beneath the armored plating. She saw Unit–01 snap its jaw restraints and crane its neck as it tried to break free, as she let out a mighty roar. "ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!"

And then Unit–02 followed with its own roar moments later, mirroring Unit–01's defiance. "ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!"

Maya scrambled to grab the button for the intercom and pressed it to contact the Command Center. "Uh… Colonel, its Ibuki. You'd better get down here." Maya said. "They're awake."

"I had to say it… I had to say could it get any worse…" Misato bemoaned. "Fucking wonderful…"

"What else is going on, Colonel?" Maya asked. "What's worse than this?"

"The 2nd Branch just reappeared from its interdimensional tomb." Misato said. "I'm ordering a team to secure the area and look for signs of life." Misato sighed. "Nevada reappearing suddenly might explain why they're awake."

"Maybe…" Maya said. "But I don't get why. They're really trying to break free."

"Is there anything else going on down there besides just the two very angry EVAs?" Misato asked. "And I mean anything out of the ordinary… a flickering light… something…"

"Well… there's been a spike in Pattern Orange activity from our internal sensor network." Maya replied as she looked at her diagnostic screens. "The Cores of Unit–XP, Unit–00, and Unit–03 are all exhibiting a massive sympathetic power increase."

"But they don't have S2 Engines!" Misato said worriedly.

"Unit–03's does, but the other two don't." Maya corrected. "Still, they're reacting to something… and those three shouldn't even be able to activate given that they aren't even installed in Evangelions…"

"The problem is we don't know what they're reacting to." Misato replied.

"I'll try to find out, ma'am… but as of right now we've still got two angry Evangelions trying to break free." Maya said.

"I think I know how to fix that." Misato said. "Hold down the fort, I'll be down shortly."

"Understood, ma'am." Maya replied as she shut off the intercom and looked over at the still struggling Evangelions. "So what made you decide to wake up now after all this time?" Maya muttered aloud.

"Ma'am… do you have any orders?" A technician asked nervously.

"Clear out all non–essential personnel until further notice." Maya said.

"Yes, ma'am." The technician replied as Maya continued looking at the Evangelions.

"I wonder what this means for our future…" Maya muttered.

–––
Misato was in a panic, on the first day in over three years, all the shit was hitting every fan. She could see on the main holographic display in the Command Center that Unit–01 and Unit–02 were still restrained, but they were putting up a good fight.

"Sumire, I need you to call the kids in." Misato said.

"Ok, I can call Shinji." Sumire replied. "His number should be here somewhere…"

"No… all four of them." Misato ordered.

"But… isn't that a bit extreme?" Hyuga asked. "Shinji's the only one that's been consistently training…"

"It doesn't matter anymore." Misato said. "They're awake, which means the contingency plans have to be activated."

"Which plans are those?" Aoba asked.

"Call up all the separate branches and inform them of the situation and that all assets are to be reactivated immediately." Misato said. "And I have to notify the Security Council about this… nightmare."

"Understood, Colonel." Sumire replied.

"And Sumire, make sure you don't mention anything about Shinji having been training here, got it?" Misato ordered. "I don't need Asuka in a bad mood because of that."

"I won't say a thing ma'am." Sumire replied.

"Hyuga, I want you to take command while I'm calling the U.N." Misato said. "Can you coordinate things from here?"

"Yes, ma'am." Hyuga replied. "I'll get the other branches on the line… and I'll have the other American branch prep a team to inspect Nevada…"

"No, tell them to secure the site only." Misato ordered. "I'll have a specialist team move in to search for survivors and to recover Unit–04."

"Do you think it's still there?" Hyuga asked.

"Only one way to find out." Misato said. "Order Captain Amagi to assemble a team to go and recover Unit–04, and have Captain Takao assemble a search and rescue party."

"Understood, Colonel." Hyuga replied. "Is it wise to send both of them though?"

"Well, we need separate teams to go, and Kotomi has worked with Unit–04 in the past, so she's the most qualified, and Takao helped build the Second Branch, so he knows the layout and where people would be." Misato explained. "Do I need to elaborate on anymore of my orders, Captain? I do believe we are under a time crunch."

"No, ma'am." Hyuga replied.

"Good" Misato sighed. "Aoba, I need you to run a discrete test of all the AIS building weapons and their magazines." Misato ordered. "If we need them, they should be ready."

"Can do, Colonel." Aoba replied. "What about setting the city into battle mode?"

"Can't risk it yet… might cause a panic if we move people to shelters." Misato said. "Run a test on the emergency broadcast system however, just to make sure it's still active and capable."

"Got it." Aoba replied.

"Anything else we can do?" Sumire asked.

"Just make sure we're not gonna be surprised by some Eighteenth Angel." Misato said flippantly. "We really don't need to deal with another problem on top of everything else right now."

The trio nodded in agreement as Misato left the room, and they began their extensive tasks.

"And here we thought this was over." Sumire said.

"Yeah, we all did." Hyuga said. "But… the dream's over now. We're back to reality now… the reality of the EVAs and Angels."

"Well, at least it's only the EVAs." Aoba said.

"For now." Sumire replied. "You guys know this better than I do… whenever something happens in this place, it's all downhill till we end up almost dead…"

"Did something happen Sumire?" Hyuga asked.

"I was bleeding out just before Third Impact started." Sumire said. "I don't want to end up like that again…"

"Weren't you evacuated?" Aoba asked.

"No, I was a good shot, so I was on one of the defense teams." Sumire replied. "I was hit and left behind while we were falling back, then I don't remember anything until someone woke me up, and I was fine."

"Shit…" Hyuga said. "I didn't know that."

"I don't like talking about it." Sumire replied curtly. "That's all."

"Well… not to change the subject or anything, but we have a lot of work to do." Hyuga said. "Let's get to it."

–––

Shinji and Mari were driving back to Tokyo–3. It was a nice, relaxing drive. Mari was relaxing as the wind whipped through her hair, while the sun was shining on her face. But all that was broken when Shinji's phone started to ring.

"Mari can you get that?" Shinji asked.

"Why?" Mari asked. "It's your phone. What if it's Asuka?"

"Tell her I'm driving." Shinji said. "And that we'll be home soon."

"I'll just put it on speaker." Mari said as she reached the phone and answered it. "Hello?"

"Hello?" Sumire said. "I'm looking for Shinji."

"Well, this is Mari." Mari replied. "He has a girlfriend, so you better stop calling."

"Makinami?" Sumire asked.

"Mari, stop." Shinji said exasperatedly. "Hello, this is Shinji." Shinji replied. "Who is this?"

"Sumire Nagara, from NERV." Sumire replied. "We have a situation."

"Oh… Maya's replacement." Mari said.

"Mari!" Shinji exclaimed.

"It's good I caught both of you." Sumire began.

"I didn't miss a sync test, did I?" Shinji interrupted. "If I did, please apologize to Maya for me."

"You totally did, didn't you?" Mari joked. "She's gonna be so mad…"

"I'm afraid it's far more serious than that." Sumire said. "Both of you need to get to the base immediately."

"What's wrong?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, stop fucking around with the secrets and shit." Mari said.

"I not authorized by the Colonel to give out that information." Sumire said. "Just get here as soon as possible, it's very important you understand that…"

"Is it an Angel?" Mari asked.

"Is it the EVAs?" Shinji asked.

"I really can't say." Sumire said. "Please, just here quickly. The Colonel will explain everything to you when you get here. I will contact the others and inform them to come in at once."

"Wait, you're not going to tell her about my training are you?" Shinji asked.

"I've been ordered not to." Sumire said. "See you soon, Shinji."

"Well fuck." Mari said as she hung up the phone.

"I hope it's not an Angel." Shinji muttered.

"Really, they call us in for an emergency, it has to be an Angel, or the EVAs, or both." Mari said. "That's the only reason Misato would call us all at once."

"Yeah, but why now?" Shinji asked. "I mean, we're still safe right?"

"Shinji, you've been training for this moment for three years." Mari said. "What's the problem?"

"Training is one thing… but I was hoping I'd never have to fight again…" Shinji said. "Asuka's gonna be so pissed when she finds out…"

"Stop worrying about that now and focus." Mari said. "Just drive faster, and we'll figure out how to break that news to her later, right now we've got a world in some deep shit."

"And let me guess, we're the only ones that can stop it." Shinji quipped as he accelerated.

"Nope, it's just you and the princess." Mari replied. "You're the only ones with Evangelions after all, dormant or otherwise."

–––

Rei and Asuka had just finished lunch and had been talking about Asuka and Shinji's relationship for over an hour, and were preparing to head back home when Asuka's phone started to ring.

"Shinji's probably gonna ask us what we want for dinner." Asuka said as she reached for her phone. "He's the only one that calls… everyone else just texts."

"If onii–chan does ask, I don't mind just ramen." Rei said happily.

"Why not eggplant parmesan?" Asuka asked. "It's vegetarian I think… he likes cooking!"

"I really don't mind what he makes." Rei said. "I'm too full from lunch to think about dinner anyway…"

"Oh, you're no fun… huh, it's not him." Asuka said as she grabbed her phone. "Hello?"

"Is this Miss Soryu?" Sumire asked.

"Yeah, who the hell is this and how did you get my number?" Asuka asked.

"This is Lieutenant Nagara from NERV." Sumire said. "You need to report to NERV HQ immediately."

"What the hell would I do that?" Asuka asked. "I don't work there anymore."

"Miss Soryu, it's very important that you get here immediately." Sumire said. "I can't explain why, but you are officially being recalled to base along with your friends."

"No, you're fucking lying." Asuka said.

"Asuka, what's the matter?" Rei asked.

"We're being recalled to NERV." Asuka said. "It's some kind of emergency."

"Is that Miss Ayanami?" Sumire asked.

"Her name's Ikari now, but yeah." Asuka said. "Why does it matter?"

"We need all of you here." Sumire said. "I've already been in contact with Mister Ikari and Miss Makinami, we need you both here as well."

"Why should we?" Asuka asked. "I don't see an Angel, I don't think it's really our problem."

"I'm not at liberty to discuss the reasons for your recall, all I'm allowed to say is that you're needed here at NERV HQ immediately."

"Well, what if I don't want to?" Asuka asked. "I really don't see why I need to come back."

"It's an emergency, and it would be better to come of your volition." Sumire said. "Mister Ikari said that he would bring you in if need be."

"I need to know why before I come anywhere near that place." Asuka said sternly. "Otherwise I'm not going."

"Everything will get explained to you by Colonel Katsuragi when you arrive." Sumire said. "But you need to get here."

"Why can't Misato tell me this herself?" Asuka asked. "I want to hear it from her."

"She's in a meeting but will be free when you get here." Sumire said, her tone getting more annoyed.

"Fine." Asuka said as she hung up the phone.

"Asuka, are you ok?" Rei asked.

"No." Asuka said. "We're getting called back in there. That wasn't supposed to happen again… we were supposed to be free from this."

"It was only a matter of time." Rei said. "Happiness is not everlasting."

"But it should be." Asuka said as she angrily dialed her phone.

"Who are you calling?" Rei asked.

"Shinji." Asuka said as the phone rang. "I'm telling him where to pick us up."

"I thought you didn't want to go?" Rei asked.

"No… I just want to get this over with." Asuka muttered.

–––

Misato was standing in a darkened room. The same room Gendo once used to communicate publicly with the Human Instrumentality Committee, and secretly with SEELE during the his time in command of NERV. As she sat down at the table, fifteen people appeared around her, the U.N. Security Council.

"Hello, Colonel." The American Ambassador said. "To what do we owe this pleasure?"

"Yes, we are usually not called here by you, ma belle Colonel." The French Ambassador said.

"These are very unusual circumstances Ambassadors." Misato said. "We have… a pair of serious situations."

"A pair?" The Russian Ambassador asked. "Vhat could have happened?"

"The Evangelions have awakened." Misato said. "Including the disconnected Cores we have here at NERV HQ."

"Do you have a cause for this insanity?" The Japanese Ambassador asked.

"It's been three years, we thought we were past this." The American Ambassador said.

"Apparently not, ma'am." Misato replied. "We believe the other situation we're experiencing is a cause of the… awakening."

"And vhat is this ozer problem?" The Russian Ambassador asked.

"The Second Branch has reappeared from its interdimensional prison." Misato explained. "It reappeared 187 minutes ago, making contact through its emergency beacon."

"What is the status of the base?" The British Ambassador asked.

"The base's perimeter is being secured as we speak." Misato said. "Once the perimeter is secured, we will be sending in two teams… one to search for any survivors, and the other to try and recover Unit–04, if anything still exists from the missing Evangelion."

"What is your containment plan?" The Chinese Ambassador asked.

"A heavy military presence, borrowing from the U.N. Forces stationed on the West Coast, and any NERV assets we have available." Misato explained. "Until the base can be deemed safe for use, it will stay empty."

"You plan to utilize the base again?" The British Ambassador asked.

"Yes I do, sir." Misato said. "It was a research facility, and by all accounts from surveillance photos, it appears to be intact. Why wouldn't we use one of the assets we deemed irreplaceable back then?"

"It seems rather… uncouth." The British Ambassadors said. "People died there."

"We still use the HQ in the Geofront… and as I recall on a certain New Year's Eve, people died here too." Misato said bluntly. "So, should we find another HQ, Ambassador?"

"Enough." The French Ambassador said. "Arguing will not get us through this."

"No it won't, but my intention to use the base is not going to change." Misato said. "And I intend to refurbish and activate Unit–04 if at all possible."

"You don't seriously think you'll need another Evangelion?" The Chinese Ambassador asked. "Don't you have enough already?"

"After the last time we went through this, there really can't ever be enough to use." Misato said flippantly. "You should all know that if you actually read the reports I'm required to send you."

"We can cross that bridge if an Angel actually attacks." The American Ambassador said calmly. "As of right now, you have no confirmation of Angelic activity, correct?"

"As of right now, no." Misato said. "But I have reactivated our four pilots, and we'll get them back into fighting shape."

"Are you assuming that there are other Angels?" The French Ambassador asked.

"That is the assumption I'm going off of." Misato replied. "The Evangelions have to have awakened for a reason, and Angels appearing from somewhere would be the most likely reason for them to come back online."

"So you're preparing for the worst." The Japanese Ambassador asked.

"Yes." Misato said. "I don't know if a Fourth Impact is even possible, but I'd like to avoid it at all costs."

"We all would." The French Ambassador. "But we need to discuss direct oversight."

"Why do I need direct oversight?" Misato asked. "I thought I was put in command here so that I could do my job to the best of my ability."

"Based upon past experience, we believe that having someone there to report to us directly would save us time and headaches down the road." Their American Ambassador said. "Your predecessor did many things without our knowledge."

"And I believe some of your predecessors were also part of that large conspiracy, Ambassador." Misato said angrily. "So I'm not seeing why it's my responsibility to have someone here who's going to get in the way."

"The observer won't be in the way." The American Ambassador said.

"Sure." Misato said. "How can I trust that they won't try and interfere with any of our operations?"

"They will be instructed only to observe and advice you of your limitations as the Provisional Commander of NERV." "Until we are satisfied with your performance, you will be under our supervision as a division of the United Nations."

"When will they be sent out then?" Misato said gruffly.

"They'll be arriving in the next days." The American Ambassador replied. "Until then, do nothing else until you get our direct go ahead."

"And my current plans?" Misato asked sarcastically. "Do they get your seal of approval?"

"Just a moment." The American Ambassador said. "All those in favor of approving Colonel Katsuragi's plan?" Eleven people raised their hands, including all five permanent members and Japan. "All opposed?" Four people raised their hands. "You have our approval, Colonel. Until next time."

The holographic transmission cut off, leaving Misato alone in the room once more. She left the room in a huff and walked out of her office and went to the Command Center.

"Bunch of self–righteous assholes…" Misato muttered. "I need supervision? I wasn't plotting to start Third Impact… but no, they think I need to be controlled. How will I effectively lead when some pencil pushing dick hole is gonna tell me what I can and can't do? What a fucking joke…"

The intercom then came on, and Misato heard an announcement.

"Colonel Katsuragi, please report to the parking bay, Colonel Katsuragi please report to the parking bay."

"Great… this should be interesting." Misato said. "Now I have to tell them why we've dragged them in here again… this is the worst day I've had in a long time…"

–––

Asuka was livid. After Shinji had picked her and Rei up, it had been a very quiet and awkward ride to NERV. No one wanted to talk about why they had been called in, but they all knew, deep down, exactly why they'd been called there, the Evangelions had awaken.

As Shinji called at the main gate to get access to garage and has his car brought down to the Geofront by car train, Shinji flashed back to the first time he came here and remembered how awe inspired he was back then.

"You know… it's still beautiful every time I see this." Shinji said.

"Still, I don't like being here again." Asuka said. "I liked it when we didn't think we'd ever come back here."

"So did I, Asuka." Rei said. "But we're here now, and there isn't anything we can do about it. It's apparently important enough for us to have been called here."

"Princess, it could be worse." Mari said. "I didn't see anything that looked like an Angel on the drive here… so at least it shouldn't be that bad."

"Yeah, whatever…" Asuka mumbled as the car train stopped and Shinji drove into the main parking garage, and parked next to Misato's car. As the four of them got out, they saw Misato walk out to see greet them, and she didn't look very happy.

"So, why exactly are we here Misato?" Asuka asked.

"It's about time the four of you got here." Misato said gruffly. "It's been three hours since this mess started, and we need to move."

"Where are we going?" Mari asked.

"The Cage." Misato replied. "The Evangelions are awake, and they are very, very angry."

"What do you mean by awake?" Shinji asked.

Asuka and Mari both went slack jawed at the news, then Asuka's own face showed a flash of fear, hearing something she never thought she'd hear again.

"You're lying." Asuka said in a shaky voice. "You just wanted to test how quickly we'd get here…"

"Yeah, she's just kidding, right miso?" Mari asked.

"Afraid not kids." Misato said. "You're here because they're awake and trying to break free, and I need your help to calm them down."

"What do you mean trying to break free?" Shinji asked. "You said it had been three hours, shouldn't they be wandering around by now?"

"No, the restraints have been improved in the past three years." Misato said. "But they won't hold out forever."

"Something tells me there is more to this story." Rei said.

"There is, but first, you two need to calm down your mothers." Misato said as she led the group out of the garage. "But you don't seem shocked by that, Rei."

"It was inevitable that this would happen." Rei said. "It was only a matter of time before it did…"

"Yeah, well I was still hoping it wouldn't happen." Asuka mumbled.

"Ditto…" Mari added.

"And here I thought you two would get your blood lust back if they woke up." Misato joked. "Like the old days."

"Nope… that got left behind after I was ripped to shreds thank you very much." Asuka replied. "Or it was ripped out of me or whatever."

"And after meeting Lilith again, I'd rather avoid the whole situation entirely." Mari added.

"Huh… shocking to say the least…" Misato quipped. "And what about you, Shinji, are you surprised?"

"No, just disappointed we won't be able to live regular lives anymore." Shinji replied. "It was nice trying to act normal."

"Baka, we are normal!" Asuka exclaimed.

"Asuka, we piloted Evangelions… we're not normal people." Shinji retorted.

"Asuka, onii–chan is right, we can't deny that we have some unique life experiences." Rei said. "We're not normal… but we're certainly not abnormal."

"Just stop!" Asuka said. "I am normal!"

"Princess, your best friend is clone of your boyfriend's mother, I knew your mother before I travelled through time, and you've died and come back to life, not to mention your mother is trapped inside a humongous Evangelion… you're not normal."

"I… but… gottverdammt…" Asuka muttered.

As the group arrived at the Evangelion Cage, they could hear the distressed creaking of metal slowly ripping itself apart, and the growling and roaring of the pair of Evangelions restrained within.

"Wow, you weren't kidding about them being upset." Mari muttered. "They sound pissed."

"Do we have to go in?" Asuka asked.

"Asuka, I know you're not happy right now…" Misato began.

"I'm not just unhappy, I'm fucking angry." Asuka replied. "Not that I'm not happy that my momma's ok… but, I was hoping she'd finally be at peace."

"Regardless, you're the only ones that can calm them down." Misato finished. "Their flesh and blood."

"So, can we go in now?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, by the sounds of it, the restraints are starting to have a problem holding them in place." Misato said.

As they walked inside, the four of them looked up to see both Evangelions writhing in place, trying to break free. The restraints on the walls were holding, but just barely. Cracks in the heavy metal sides of the Cage were beginning to form, and were slowly beginning to expand.

"Maya, how's it going in here?" Misato asked a flushed Maya.

"Not so good." Maya replied. "The activity from everything down here hasn't subsided at all in the past three hours."

"Ok kids, do your thing." Misato said.

"Which is what exactly?" Asuka asked. "Yelling at them?"

"Yeah, we were inside the Entry Plug when we talked to them." Shinji added.

"It works you know." Mari said. "They can hear you if you talk to them."

"How would you know?" Asuka asked.

"Yes, that's very odd, they're trapped inside the Core, they should be unable to hear you." Rei said.

"I used to talk them when I was feeling lonely…" Mari murmured. "They would flash their eyes to yes or no questions."

"So they can hear us?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, if you talk loud enough." Mari replied.

"Why have you not mentioned this before?" Rei asked. "You've told us so much more inconsequential information."

"I didn't think this was relevant." Mari said. "They were asleep."

"Wow… and I was only hoping that you guys being here would make a difference." Misato joked. "Looks like this might actually work."

"You didn't think that this would work and you brought us here anyway?!" Asuka asked angrily. "What the fuck, Misato?!"

"Well, I had to come up with something." Misato said. "Just like old times, plans by the seat of my pants, eh?"

"I don't miss them all that much…" Asuka muttered.

"We're all glad it was in the past, princess." Mari quipped.

"So, Mari, you're sure this will work?" Misato asked.

"Yeah… I'm sure." Mari said as she approached walked between the two Evangelions, facing them. "Hey, Yui! Hey Kyoko!" Mari shouted. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" Unit–01 and Unit–02 stopped struggling and looked directly at her. "Yeah, you heard me! Stop trying to break free, there aren't any Angels!"

Both Evangelions opened their mouths wide and roared at Mari, drowning out the next thing she said. "ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!"

"Real mature you two!" Mari shouted. "You're setting a fine example for your children!" Unit–01 and Unit–02 began looking around and settled their gaze n their respective children. "Oh, you see them now, eh?" Mari asked. "If you weren't throwing such a temper tantrum, you'd have noticed them sooner!"

"Mother, stop!" Shinji pleaded. "There's nothing out there to fight, please calm down!"

"Asuka, say something to your mother." Rei prodded.

"But…" Asuka muttered.

"Onii–chan can't do this alone." Rei added.

"Fine…" Asuka muttered half–heartedly. "Momma, please!" Asuka shouted. "Why are you doing this? There isn't anything wrong, just go back to being at peace!"

"ROOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!"

"Stop it!" Shinji shouted. "We're here now, there isn't any need for this!"

Unit–01 paused, but Unit–02 kept struggling. "Momma, stop it right now!" Asuka shouted. "Listen to me, everything is fine, just stop! We don't need to fight anymore!" Unit–02 finally stopped struggling and stared at Asuka with its four eyes. "See, was that so hard?"

Unit–02 looked as though it were glaring at Asuka and then shut down, with Unit–01 following suit.

"How anti–climactic." Misato said. "So… is that all Maya?"

"The other Cores are calming down, and there doesn't seem to be any lasting damage." Maya said. "But… I wonder why they were trying to escape."

"Probably to see us." Asuka said. "We haven't seen them in three years, they're probably upset or something."

"Or perhaps they sensed a greater threat and tried to warn us." Rei said.

"Why would you say that?" Shinji asked.

"Misato said that there were multiple things she was dealing with." Rei said. "Something external would had to have woken them up. It's the only logical explanation."

"Yeah about that…" Misato said. "Follow me to my office, and I'll explain everything's that's going on."

–––

Back in the Command Center, all eyes were on Nevada. The perimeter was being secured, while the staff in the Command Center were doing basic recon using the satellites available to them to try and find any evidence of survivors.

"Anything?" Sumire asked.

"Still nothing." Hyuga said. "Switching to max–res mode, maybe I can pull something more out of this sensor package."

"But if you do that, you'll lose the wide scope." Aoba said.

"I know that, but I need the resolution to see any heat signatures inside." Hyuga replied. "Coming into range now… all I have is a thirty second target window…"

The feed from the satellite was put on the main display, and as the image passed over the base, everyone looked as closely as they could, but they couldn't see anything.

"Damn it!" Hyuga said. "Still nothing."

"There has to be someone…" Aoba said. "They can't all be dead, there were plenty of supplies."

"Guys, be realistic." Sumire said. "We don't know what a different dimension does to a person, they could have all committed mass suicide or murdered each other in fits of rage."

"Or, they could be hiding somewhere the sensors can't pick them up from the outside." Hyuga retorted.

"Look, I want to find some survivors too, but I don't want to full myself with false hope." Sumire replied. "Just tell the Colonel we couldn't find anyone without breaching the perimeter, I'm sure she'll understand."

"Well, it'd be nice to give her some good news on a day like today." Aoba said.

"Why?" Sumire asked. "The only thing that could possibly make this any worse is fi an Angel attacked or Unit–04 broke free and started rampaging in Nevada."

"Don't say that!" Hyuga said loudly.

"Why not?" Sumire asked.

"Because when we say stuff like that, it tends to come true." Hyuga said frantically. "Almost like were jinxed!"

Sumire paused and waited. "Sounds like you're just being paranoid." Sumire quipped.

"Just because someone sounds paranoid doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth." Hyuga said. "Mark my words, this will get worse. I don't know how, but it will."

–––

The kids had followed Misato to her office, leaving the now calmed down Evangelions in Maya's care. When they entered Misato's office, Shinji was shocked to see that Misato had not taken his father's office, as he'd always assumed, but rather, she had taken over Fuyutsuki's smaller, yet still impressive sized office.

"Misato, why aren't you in my father's old office?" Shinji asked.

"Well, I thought it was too ridiculous to continue using." Misato said. "And I felt uncomfortable in there. Fuyutsuki's office was nice enough though, not as grandiose."

"So, what else do you have to tell us?" Asuka asked angrily. "Get to it, I don't want to be here all day ya know."

"Asuka, this isn't something that can be rushed." Misato replied. "Just sit down and I'll explain everything."

"Whatever." Asuka said gruffly as she sat down angrily in a chair.

"So, what other things have happened this morning?" Rei asked as the rest of them sat down.

"Alright… there isn't an easy way to say this, but NERV's Second Branch has reappeared from the Dirac Sea it was trapped in three and half years ago, at 11:25 Japan Standard Time today, or 18:25 Pacific Standard time for those folks in the States. "

"So it reappeared, out of the blue?" Mari asked.

"With absolutely no warning." Misato said. "It's the most fucked up thing. The base looks completely fine from the outside, but we have no idea if there are any survivors."

"So for all you know everyone's still alive in there?" Rei asked.

"Either that or they're all dead." Misato said. "And honestly, I don't see any way for anyone to have survived, given our past experiences."

"You're really gonna be that pessimistic?" Shinji asked.

"Shinji, did anything that happened when we were fighting the Angels somehow lead you to a different conclusion?" Misato asked.

"No… I just… maybe it'd be nice if we didn't always think the worst would happen." Shinji replied. "Maybe things will get better."

"Shinji, right after the Second Branch reappeared, is when the EVAs woke up. Not just Unit–01 or Unit–02 either, the Cores of Unit–XP, Unit–00, and Unit–03 also started glowing like crazy." Misato said. "And the Second Branch had to have some reason to come back… that sort of thing doesn't just happen."

"I… I guess…" Shinji muttered.

"So that happened and it awoke the EVAs." Rei said. "How intriguing…"

"Yes, very." Mari muttered. "Why would that wake them up?"

"We don't know yet." Misato said. "Once we get inside the base, we'll be able to search for some answers about what happened to there."

"What do you mean?" Mari asked.

"Unit–04 may still be intact." Misato said. "That is what we need to search for, the test of its S2 Engine caused this… it may have also brought it to an end."

"Wait, you think after the accident, Unit–04 is still intact?" Shinji asked.

"That's the hope." Misato replied.

"Why would we need another Evangelion?" Mari asked. "Isn't two enough?"

"I honestly don't know…" Misato said. "We just don't know what's going to happen. We honestly can't expect things to end here… and I hate to say this… but we have to recall you all to active duty."

"Absolutely fucking not!" Asuka shouted.

"Seriously?" Shinji muttered.

"You've got to be joking!" Mari shouted.

"Why?" Rei asked.

"Look, I honestly don't have a choice." Misato said. "That was the plan the U.N. put in place if the Evangelions were to ever awaken. Either I do this by asking you, or they force you to do it…"

"But why me and Rei?" Mari asked. "You've only got two Evangelions, three if you count the half torn up hulk that Unit–03 was. Ours kinda blew up if I remember correctly."

"Not exactly…" Misato said. "The last three years haven't been entirely without change."

"What are you talking about?" Shinji asked.

"We have Unit–01 and Unit–02 here." Misato said. "But we've also been refurbishing Unit–03 as well, to get it ready just in case anything happened."

"Ok, so that still leaves us one Evangelion short." Mari said. "How do you know we have enough?"

"We've been building three more Evangelions from the unfinished samples before they were cancelled." Misato said. "Unit–05's being built in the United Kingdom, Unit–06 is being built in France, and Unit–07 is being built in Israel."

"Wait, you're building more of those things?" Asuka asked. "Three fucking more?!"

"Yes, three more." Misato said. "The U.N. decided we needed more Evangelions, so they ordered more Evangelions and funded more research to improving their armor and weapons. They really want to avoid a Fourth Impact, and they are throwing more money at the problem than I thought was possible."

"So, you're building more Evangelions, and you want us all to get ready to pilot again?" Asuka asked. "You really expect us to fight again?"

"Yes, I do." Misato said. "If it comes to that."

"Why?" Asuka asked. "You have all these Evangelions now, so why don't you get some other assholes to pilot!"

"Because I need my experienced pilots to be here, because you know how to fight!" Misato replied. "Asuka, we can't do this without the four of you."

"I don't want to fight either Misato." Mari said. "I'm fine not being a pilot anymore."

"Well, I can't lose two of you!" Misato said. "Don't you realize you don't have a choice? The U.N. will forcibly conscript you if you don't do this willingly! I'll lose custody of you if you don't do this!"

"Why would you lose custody?" Asuka asked. "They can't reverse that!"

"They can to punish you and keep me from interfering by becoming your legal guardian." Misato said. "And I don't want that to happen."

"I fucking hate this!" Asuka shouted. "If I don't fight, I'm going to fight anyway, and if I agree to this… I'm stuck fighting again, it's just not fucking fair! Haven't we done enough fighting for one lifetime? Why are we stuck doing all this ourselves?!"

"Because as long as the Evangelions exist, you're stuck piloting them." Misato said. "I'm sorry Asuka, but we need you… you used to love piloting. Can't you just find some way to do this again?"

"No." Asuka said. "I don't want to fight anymore. I'm tired of fighting… I died out there, and I don't want that to happen again."

"Onii–chan, you haven't said anything about fighting again." Rei said.

"I know." Shinji replied.

"Why not, onii–chan?" Rei asked.

"Look… I don't really want to fight either." Shinji said. "But… what if there are more Angels… we can't just leave the world defenseless. Even if we don't like it, we do have a responsibility to fight."

"I think you are right." Rei said. "We should fight if we are able."

"Are you two insane?" Asuka asked. "Why the hell should any of us fight? Why should we risk ourselves again? Why risk death?"

"Because we must." Rei said. "We were entrusted with protecting the world once, and it falls to us again."

"But we could die!" Asuka said. "And I don't want any of us to get hurt again! I don't want to die again, all alone… with no one there beside me…"

"Asuka… you wouldn't be alone. I wouldn't ever let that happen again." Shinji said. "If we do this, we have to do this together. We either all fight, or none of us do. But we have to fight, to protect everyone from whatever is looming out there… it's our only hope for this to end one day."

"You mean it's our last hope." Asuka muttered. "I just don't know if I can do it again…"

"You can, Asuka." Shinji said. "I know you can. You know you can, you're not afraid of anything… that's not who you are."

"You… stop being so insightful." Asuka muttered. "I can be afraid of stuff."

"No, you just don't like being in second place." Shinji said harshly.

"Fuck you, baka." Asuka said angrily. "If I fight, I'll make sure I'm better than you!"

"That's more like the Asuka I know and love." Shinji said as he grinned.

"You tricked me, baka!" Asuka shouted. "That's not very nice!"

"Asuka, it needed to be done." Shinji said. "I wouldn't want to fight without you there by my side."

"Awww… puppy love at its best." Mari quipped. "I'm in if the princess is going too."

"I guess I can't be the only one not fighting…"Asuka said nervously. "I'll do it… just to prove I'm better than Shinji."

"Whatever works." Misato replied. So… we still need more pilots… but that's not your problem. That's mine alone.

"Who would you choose?" Mari asked.

"No idea." Misato said. "I'm not even sure why you guys were chosen beyond your mothers' souls being in the Cores." Misato sighed. "But I'm not sure what made it possible for Mari or Rei to sync… for obvious reasons."

"Does it matter?" Mari asked.

"Not right now." Misato said. "We still have to see if you can sync or not…"

"Don't say it…" Asuka muttered.

"So you need to start sync tests again." Misato finished. "Not right now, maya needs to ft you with new plugsuits first."

"Wonderful." Mari said. "I kinda missed wearing those."

"Why?" Asuka asked.

"They really made me look sexy." Mari said. "Showing off every curve…"

"Weirdo…" Asuka muttered.

"So, may we leave, Misato?" Rei asked.

"I don't see why not." Misato said. "But after you see security to get new IDs issued. Your old ones expired."

"Then we can go home?" Asuka asked.

"Yeah, but we can talk more there if you want." Misato said.

"No, I'm tired of talking about this today." Asuka said. "I just want to go home."
–––

After waiting at the security office to have their new IDs issued for their return to active duty the kids finally went home. It was a quiet ride, with Asuka brooding silently in the back seat next to Rei who just kept staring soulfully out the window. As Shinji was parking the car, Asuka bolted and went straight to their apartment, leaving the rest of them to follow her inside.

"Puppy, maybe you should turn the child locks on and keep her from doing that." Mari said. "Maybe keep her from pulling that stunt again."

"There isn't a point when she's upset like this." Shinji replied as he locked the car.

"I don't understand why she's so upset." Rei said. "She's told me she misses being near her mother."

"I don't think she wanted to fight again though." Shinji said. "But I can't believe she's afraid."

"Puppy, she's allowed to be afraid." Mari said as they got into the elevator. "She did die once."

"Aren't you afraid, Mari?" Shinji asked.

"Not anymore." Mari said. "I just… I thought it would be nice to be normal… guess that's not going to happen."

"I've died twice." Rei said. "I'm not afraid of getting in an Evangelion… it is not the scariest thing in the world."

"What is?" Shinji asked.

"Being alone." Rei replied as they got out of the elevator. "That is worse than anything… including death."

The three of them arrived at the apartment and went inside cautiously and found Shinji and Asuka's room was locked.

"Asuka…?" Shinji asked.

"I'm not in the mood, Shinji." Asuka said. "Go away."

"Asuka, I'm not leaving." Shinji replied.

"We're not leaving." Rei corrected him.

"Can't I just be alone?" Asuka asked. "Is that so much to ask?"

"Yes." Mari replied flippantly. "If we're going to fight together again, we need to know what you're feeling."

The door swung open and the three of them were faced with a very upset Asuka. "You want to know what I'm feeling?!" Asuka asked forcefully. "How about the normal life we've been building for the past three years getting ripped out from under us. The fact that we don't even have a choice after everything we sacrificed the last time… I can't fucking believe that we're going to get stuck fighting for something we shouldn't be responsible for! We're fucking teenagers, we shouldn't be responsible for protecting this whole dysfunctional fucking planet!"

"Asuka… we don't have a choice." Shinji said.

"We should have a choice!" Asuka shouted. "We were dragged into this against our will! I was so fucking stupid to be excited about piloting when I was so young, but I was so proud my mother built what I was going to pilot… but that's what took her away from me, that's why I was stuck with abusive father!"

"Asuka, we're not debating that you had a poor childhood." Rei said. "We all did… but is it because of your mother you don't want to fight anymore?"

"Of course it's because of her!" Asuka screamed. "She's trapped in there because her test was sabotaged! She can't be at peace stuck inside that fucking machine!"

"Asuka… what if we could find a way to free them?" Mari asked. "I know your mother's research better than anyone… except maybe Fuyutsuki. What if we could free her."

"When?" Asuka asked. "Before we have to fight again?"

"No… once this is all done." Mari said. "Then we can set them free."

"But I'd still have to fight." Asuka said.

"Asuka, do you really want your mother's sacrifice to be in vain?" Rei asked.

"Of course not!" Asuka said angrily.

"Then fight." Rei said.

"How would that keep her sacrifice from being in vain?" Asuka asked.

"When your mother was absorbed into Unit–02, she thought she was creating a weapon to protect the world… to protect you…" Rei explained. "Use that weapon and protect the world from evil."

"That's a bit over the top, Rei." Shinji said.

"Well, she can fight to protect everyone she cares about." Mari suggested. "Or is that still too over the top?"

"No, I'll do that." Asuka grumbled. "I'll protect everyone I care about."

"You still don't sound happy." Shinji said.

"Would you be happy finding out your last year of high school is going to be ruined by more Evangelion bullshit?!" Asuka shouted.

"Oh shit…" Shinji muttered.

"Fuck me…" Mari murmured.

"Yeah, forgot about that, did you?" Asuka asked. "Honestly… how are we going to enjoy ourselves when we're back doing this shit? I just want to get good grades and go to a good college… how can I concentrate with this?"

"We'll work through it." Shinji said. "I doubt maya would make us do a million sync tests like Ritsuko did."

"How do you know it would be Maya?" Asuka asked.

"Just a guess." Shinji replied quickly.

"It's the most logical choice." Rei added. "And she is more than qualified."

"Fine, but what if we have to fight?" Asuka asked. "I don't want to miss school anymore because I'm in the hospital… I'm tired of hospitals."

"We're all tired of hospitals." Mari said. "Maybe if there's more of us, we won't get injured."

"Yeah, or we all end up in the fucking hospital." Asuka muttered. "Because we're all really bad at dodging." Asuka sighed. "Do… do you guys really think we can handle this?"

"I don't know." Mari said. "Maybe?"

"No, we can." Shinji said. "We have each other this time around. It'll be a lot better this time."

"What if something attacks?" Asuka asked.

"Let's just hope nothing happens." Shinji said. "And if it does, we can handle it together."

"Like we should have three years ago." Mari quipped. "This time, we're actually all getting along." Mari smiled. "Imagine how well we can do as an actual team."

"Well… maybe we won't get our asses handed to us." Asuka said. "That'll be nice."


March 21, 2020 – NERV HQ

Misato was going to the lobby to meet a newcomer. She had been informed by a very gruff and brief meeting with the U.N. Security Council that the U.N. Observer would be arriving shortly. When she got the call from Sumire that the woman had arrived, Misato was less than thrilled. Maya was walking with her as a show of support, and to keep Misato from flying off the handle.

"Figures…" Misato muttered. "Now my new overseer is here…"

As Misato got to the main lobby, she saw a smartly dressed woman with a large briefcase waiting impatiently. She was taller than average for a woman, had long dark hair, a slender build with a moderate bust, and wore glasses. "That must be her." Misato said. "This should be interesting…"

"Just stay calm." Maya said. "You need to be on your best behavior so you can get out from under this stupid shit."

"I'm aware of that, Maya." Misato replied. "I want to be free from their oversight as soon as humanly possible."

"Then just do a good job." Maya said kindly as they walked up to her. "And don't get angry…"

"Only if she starts it…" Misato whispered as she stopped in front of the woman. "Good morning, I'm Colonel…" Misato began.

"I know who you are, Colonel Katsuragi. And I see you brought your presumptive Second–in–Command, Captain Ibuki as well." The woman said as she set down her briefcase. "I am Chief Inspector Yuki Iwasawa of the Asia Pacific Region, the U.N. Observer assigned to oversee and advise this post."

"Hello." Maya said kindly.

"Kinda figured that." Misato said.

"Well, it took you long enough to come get me." Yuki replied. "I don't have time for pleasantries when time is of the essence. Now, let's get down to business…"

"Why is time of the essence exactly?" Misato asked. "There is no new crisis going on right now that I'm aware of."

"Misato…" Maya whispered.

"Of course there is." Yuki said. "Your teams should be entering the Second Branch any time now to begin their search."

"No, they began their search over ten hours ago." Misato replied. "Obviously you've got some jet lag."

"I don't get jet lag, Colonel." Yuki replied.

"Well, Inspector…" Misato began.

"Chief Inspector." Yuki corrected, much to Misato's chagrin.

"Well, Chief Inspector, getting a ten minute lead time from your bosses doesn't give me much time to come find you if you're already here. Perhaps you can blame the time wasting on them and their infinite wisdom." Misato retorted.

"Excuses will solve nothing, Colonel." Yuki replied. "And I'm sure you don't like my being here, but you don't have any choice in the matter. Because of your predecessor's complete disregard for human life and safety, you need to be monitored very closely to avoid another potential word ending mistake."

"And as I reminded the Security Council a few days ago, their own predecessors also had a heavy hand in what transpired not only with Third Impact, but their direct responsibility for Second Impact as well." Misato replied angrily. "So don't go putting the blame squarely on NERV's shoulders. The U.N. is just as culpable for all this bullshit."

"Colonel…" Maya whispered.

"That may be, but the general public doesn't know that, and they never will." Yuki retorted. "So in the interests of keeping the huddled masses as pacified and clueless as possible, I'm here to ensure the Security Council and General Assembly's directives are carried out to the letter. Am I being clear enough for you to understand, Provisional Commander?"

"Crystal." Misato replied.

"Now, my first order of business." Yuki said.

"Really?" Misato asked. "I thought we just went over that."

"No, I was explaining exactly why I was here." Yuki said. "Any command decision you make is subject to approval by the Security Council, and my opinion will sway their decisions one way or another."

"I'm already more than aware of their control over my decisions." Misato said through gritted teeth.

"Good… now onto that business I mentioned." Yuki said. "The pilots, have they agreed to fight, or do other measures need to be taken?"

"They've all agreed." Maya replied. "I am synthesizing plugsuits for them now."

"How long will that take?" Yuki asked. "I'd like their training to begin as soon as possible, with them receiving as much training as possible."

"That's not going to happen." Maya replied calmly. "The amount of sync tests my predecessor put them through was exorbitant, excessive, and vindictive. They will be tested once a week as to not interfere too heavily with their school schedule, and combat simulations will be conducted once or twice a week for the same reason."

"Unacceptable." Yuki said. "Four times a week with combat simulator training six days a week. No exceptions."

"I don't believe this falls under your jurisdiction, ma'am." Maya replied. "This isn't a command decision, it's a personnel decision."

"I beg to differ…" Yuki began.

"No, I beg to differ." Maya said, cutting her off. "Those kids went through enough last time. This time will be different, their time will not be abused because someone thinks more testing is going to change anything. Am I being clear?"

"Fine." Yuki said curtly. "I would like to meet with them to discuss their…"

"Absolutely not." Misato said.

"You can't stop me from meeting with them." Yuki said. "That isn't your decision as their Commanding Officer."

"It is my decision not only as their Commanding Officer, but also as their parent." Misato retorted. "You're not meeting with them. They don't need to be analyzed by some half assed pencil pusher who doesn't know the first thing about them."

"I've read their files…" Yuki began.

"Good for you." Misato replied sarcastically. "Obviously your bosses neglected that I already told them that wasn't going to happen. Perhaps they were sitting up on their high horses and couldn't hear me properly when I stated my objections earlier."

"Be that as it may, but I will meet those children whether you like it or not." Yuki said. "And this will be going in my initial report to my superiors."

"Go ahead." Misato said. "You can veto every decision I make, but you can't change that one, it's beyond your power."

"We'll see about that." Yuki said. "Now, I'd like a tour of this facility immediately to access its readiness. Then I want to see the Evangelions, and then I want to see the state of your defense system."

"What about warning the public?" Misato asked.

"About what?" Yuki asked.

"About the EVAs being awake." Misato said.

"It is not important to disclose at this time." Yuki replied. "Now will someone show me what I need to see."

"Yeah, follow us." Misato said gruffly.

"And as soon as the report comes in from Nevada, I want to present for whatever findings they've made." Yuki demanded.

"Well… that can be arranged." Misato said angrily. "Now follow us if you want your tour out of the way before the report from Nevada comes in."

"Very well, Colonel." Yuki said. "Lead the way."

–––

The kids were getting ready to go back to NERV for the first time since they were told they'd been brought back to active duty several days ago. Before they left for the afternoon, Shinji was cleaning with Rei's assistance as he had sent Asuka to get the mail, and told Mari to take out the trash. As Shinji and Rei were finishing up, Shinji heard the door open and saw Mari looking very unhappy.

"What's wrong?" Shinji asked.

"Why does the garbage incinerator have to smell so fucking bad?" Mari asked. "It burns the garbage… it shouldn't smell like its sitting there!"

"Well, some of our neighbors forget to turn them on to vaporize the garbage right away, you know that leaves a stench…" Shinji retorted.

"I liked it when we didn't have stupid neighbors…" Mari grumbled. "And when we didn't have to smell their stupid garbage."

"Mari, stop." Shinji said. "It's garbage, it doesn't smell nice."

"Whatever." Mari said. "I hate doing garbage."

"Well, do you want to get the mail instead?" Shinji asked.

"I'd rather not do anything." Mari replied as Asuka walked in.

"Typical." Asuka said as she put the mail on the counter. "You're fucking lazy."

"Am not!" Mari said. "I just like sitting down!"

"Anything come in the mail?" Shinji asked to change the subject.

"What do you think all this is, baka?" Asuka asked as the pointed to the mail.

"Mail." Rei replied.

"Yeah, just a bunch of bills and junk." Asuka said. "And a few magazines."

Shinji started ruffling thought he mail and saw the magazines she meant. One was wrapped in an opaque gray plastic, one was a Popular Mechanics, and the last one was Gramophone Magazine. Shinji reached out to pick it up and look through it.

"So, are we ready to go?" Asuka asked. "I want to get this shit over with."

"Yeah, I'm ready." Mari said.

"As am I." Rei added.

"So am I." Shinji said as he dangled his keys. "Let's go." He put the magazine down with the rest of the mail. 'Huh… I don't get this magazine… even if it is addressed to me…' Shinji thought as the group started to leave. 'Whatever, I'll deal with it later…'

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 – 150.0% (New)
Asuka – N/A
Mari – N/A
Rei – N/A

So, a lot to go over this chapter. Firstly, the Evangelions are awake, something the title alludes to nicely. Now, between that massive change and the fact the Second Branch suddenly reappeared from the Sea of Dirac it's been trapped in, NERV is now right back where it was, in the middle of a crisis. I thought showing how the U.N has taken over command, dictating how Misato runs NERV, doing their best to avoid another Gendo situation, which justifiably angers Misato because she never did anything wrong. And then sending an observer to tell her whether or not she can do something will only cause issues going forward, especially considering their first meeting.

As for Asuka losing her blood lust… once you've had your bod ripped apart by the enemy after fighting them all alone, one tends to question entering battle again. Not to mention that Asuka is upset that her mother is trapped in Unit–02 and just wants her mother to be able to live at peace. Mari shares some of Asuka's sentiments, due to her being tortured by Lilith briefly before Third Impact began, but her tune changed when Shinji and Rei reminded them all why they fight. Rei's own thoughts on death were also needed, as she has a unique perspective, having died twice, or three times if you count her being absorbed into Lilith right before Third Impact.

Finally, the additional Evangelions that were mentioned being made from existing samples. When SEELE cut finding to the Evangelions, the samples for the other ordered Units were not all destroyed. Some were kept in a larval state to be used later on if the need arose. The U.N., afraid that more Angels existed, and that SEELE was hiding even more, decided to expand Evangelion production. How this will play in later chapters I won't say, but I promise it will add a lot to the story having three extra EVAs at their disposal.

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