Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode VII: Awakenings


Chapter 5 – Life's Blood
April 12, 2020 – Tokyo–3 Grand Hyatt

Yuki was in her hotel room. She was still getting used to being in her new city, which she still wasn't entirely comfortable with yet. It had been two days since Tokyo–2 had been destroyed, and things were in turmoil. She was still shaken from the battle, having seen the destruction wrought on Tokyo–2, having seen the Evangelions launched to intercept the Angel, defending the city from the fate that had befallen Tokyo–2.

So, as she was getting ready for another tense day with Misato, which would inevitably lead to more arguing between them, her phone rang.

"Hello?" Yuki said.

"Oh, thank god you're alive." The voice on the other end of the phone said.

"Mimi!" Yuki said happily. "Why are you calling now all of a sudden?"

"I heard about Tokyo–2… I wanted… is it true?" Mimi asked. "Are those things back?"

"Yes, they are…" Yuki replied. "But why call now? I haven't heard from you in weeks."

"Well, things have been going badly at home again." Mimi replied.

"That shit ass husband of yours?" Yuki asked.

"Yes, he's been gone for weeks." Mimi replied. "I haven't heard from him at all. He just up and left, and no one's seen him."

"I told you not to marry that asshole." Yuki said. "But you were in love or whatever…"

"Hey, not everyone can be your husband, Yuki." Mimi said. "Not all men can be like him."

"Shiro Iwasawa was a good man." Yuki replied sullenly. "But he's gone now…"

"Well, that's what happens in Tokyo–3." Mimi said. "That Third Angel surprised everyone… a lot of people died that night."

"He should have been in a shelter! There was plenty of time!" Yuki said angrily. "But he went back to try and save a little girl…"

"Do you blame Ikari?" Mimi asked.

"No… it wasn't his fault." Yuki said. "I've seen the files… he didn't want to fight, but did anyway… Shiro was just in the wrong place." Yuki sighed. "He was only a child…"

"Sorry to have brought this all up, Yuki." Mimi said.

"It's ok…" Yuki said. "I can't hide from it."

"So, how's work?" Mimi asked. "Working at NERV must be interesting."

"I'm observing them, not working for them." Yuki said. "Not that I can do much of that with Colonel Katsuragi having a go at me every few minutes."

"Well, she was always described to me as a bitch anyway." Mimi said.

"She's not that bad." Yuki said. "I wouldn't really want someone always questioning my ability to lead breathing down my neck."

"Don't sell yourself short." Mimi said. "That woman should never have been put in charge. She was a part of that old regime…"

"And your husband was a part of the regime in the U.N. that went into hiding, wasn't he?" Yuki asked. "One of the hundreds who said they had been coerced."

"He was never directly involved in anything." Mimi replied. "You know that."

"I'm not really sure Mimi." Yuki said. "You're never even taken his last name."

"That's because it's so European." Mimi replied. "That and…"

"You don't really love him, do you?" Yuki asked.

"I hate when you ask that question." Mimi replied. "I don't hate him…" Mimi paused. "Well, why didn't you change your name back after your husband died?"

"Because I still love him, and I much prefer Iwasawa to Shikinami." Yuki said.

"Such the idealist." Mimi replied.

"Look, I'm sorry your husband's an ass… but I have to go in and deal with Katsuragi and try to at least talk to the kids without getting head bitten off." Yuki explained.

"Wait, you haven't gotten to talk to the pilots yet?" Mimi asked.

"Well, I was able to say hello, but all I got was brushed off as not worth their time." Yuki said.

"So… how is my step–daughter?" Mimi said. "How is Asuka?"

"Well, she seems fine." Yuki said. "Not that I can tell or sure."

"Is she happy?" Mimi asked. "I mean…"

"I guess she is." Yuki replied. "She fights very well too, lots of conviction." Yuki scratched her head. "I didn't think you cared much for her."

"All I ever wanted was for her to like… to accept me." Mimi said.

"Mimori… you fucked her father while her mother lay comatose in a hospital room." Yuki said. "Do you expect her to forgive that?"

"Well, I was hoping that she could." Mimi, or rather Mimori replied. "Is that so wrong."

"You're the phycologist, you tell me." Yuki replied flippantly.

"Bit of an attitude big sis." Mimori replied. "But to answer your question honestly, it was a bit foolish to expect to be accepted. At this point, I'd appreciate it if she would talk to her siblings. They're quite fond of her."

"Well, I'd rather not say I'm related to you or your husband." Yuki said. "It's easier for me at work."

"How do you still have a job?" Mimori asked. "I thought the U.N Headquarters was wiped out with Tokyo–2."

"Well, apparently there was an evacuation." Yuki explained. "About a quarter million people of the city's 7 million got out… unfortunately the government wasn't that lucky."

"Where are they all going to go?" Mimori asked.

"I believe they're being shipped here to Tokyo–3." Yuki said. "This is a city meant to house far more than inhabit it."

"Well, hopefully that's the only Angel that attacks." Mimori said.

"Something tells me that wasn't the last resurgence we're going to see." Yuki said.

"Well, Yuki, just please be careful." Mimori said.

"You too, Mimi." Yuki replied.

"Why do I need to be careful?" Mimori asked.

"Your husband." Yuki replied. "He's not the nicest person."

"He's only hit me the once, Yuki." Mimori replied.

"Somehow I doubt that, Mimi." Yuki mumbled. "And that's not the point! You need to leave him!"

"And what about my children?" Mimori asked. "He will take them from me. He knows too many powerful people, Yuki. If I leave, I will become a hunted woman."

"I can't believe out of all the men you've ever met you had to choose Oscar Langley…" Yuki said.

"Ok, so I may have made a mistake." Mimori replied. "But I got two wonderful children out of it, so it's not entirely bad." Mimori sighed. "Look, Yuki, I'm glad you're ok, but next time we talk, can you not bring up Oscar? I'd rather talk about something else. It always turns into a discussion on him."

"Well, older sisters are supposed to say "I told you so" as much as possible." Yuki said. "Just stay safe, ok?"

"I will." Mimori said. "Goodbye."

"Bye, Mimi." Yuki replied as she hung up the phone and noticed the time. "Oh no… I'm gonna be late!"

–––

Maya walked to Misato's office as quick as she could. She had gotten an urgent call from Misato to come up to her office at once. When Maya got there, she was about to knock, but was called in before she even had a chance to.

"Colonel, what's wrong?" Maya asked. "I got here as quick as I could."

"I need to talk to you about something Maya." Misato said. "Something… important."

"What's it about?" Maya asked. "Is it the Evangelions?"

"It's not about work, Maya." Misato said. "Could you get the door?"

"Ma'am… is this something we shouldn't talk about here?" Maya asked as Misato flipped a switch.

"Maya, it's a SCIF room, we can talk freely here." Misato said. "And I'm asking advice from you as a friend, not as your boss."

"So, what is it, Misato?" Maya asked.

"You may want to sit down, Maya." Misato said as her face turned white. "This is… enormous."

Maya sat down nervously. "Misato, you're white." Maya said worriedly.

"I know." Misato said. "But before I say anything, I need you to promise me that what I say here doesn't go anywhere…"

"Of course, Misato." Maya said.

"Ok… so three weeks ago, I got a bit of a shock." Misato explained. "Shinji had gone out without telling anyone where he was going, and when he came back he had someone in tow with him…"

"What do you mean someone?" Maya asked.

"It was…" Misato mumbled. "It was Kaji."

"Who?" Maya asked.

"Kaji." Misato said. "My Kaji."

Maya almost collapsed from shock. "How… how is that… how is that… possible?" Maya stammered. "He's… he… he died."

"Apparently not." Misato said. "I saw him with my own two eyes, standing right in front of me… it was… it was surreal…"

"That's… wow… I mean… how?" Maya asked.

"I haven't asked him yet." Misato said. "We've only spoken twice since he came back."

"But he's alive…?" Maya asked. "Shouldn't you be… happy?"

"I… I still don't know." Misato said. "But what he came back to tell me, what he risked so much to tell me is that we're in danger."

"What did he risk?" Maya asked.

"He says he's being hunted, or tracked, or something." Misato said. "And that he hid away all these years to protect us, and to keep himself from really getting killed."

"And what threats could we possibly be facing from anything other than the Angels?" Maya asked.

"A lot of things apparently." Misato replied. "He thinks the U.N. is still out to get us, and that there's some other group that wants to take over NERV, and he figured an Angel would come and attack, which he thought was why the EVAs woke up."

"He knew about that?" Maya asked. "That was kept secret!"

"Well, he's always had his ways." Misato replied. "So he found Shinji or something and then came to tell me straight away… I didn't really believe him before, but after losing Tokyo–2… it got me thinking that maybe he was right."

"Hang on… you said Shinji brought him back?" Maya asked. "Is this why you and Asuka weren't speaking to Shinji a few weeks ago? Because Kaji came back?"

"Yeah, but Shinji knew Kaji was alive and didn't tell us, even though Kaji made him promise to keep his mouth shut." Misato said. "I… it was dumb to blame him. Bu that's not the point… I need advice on what to do with him. I can't keep him hidden away at our old apartment forever, especially now."

"Why not now?" Maya asked.

"The Angels are back!" Misato said worriedly. "The one thing we were hoping was gone for good. I'm sure this last one isn't a one off… there's got to be more."

"So, even if there are more, what can Kaji do, realistically?" Maya asked.

"He could spy again…" Misato said. "Or something like that."

"Misato… wouldn't he be better suited here, where he can help?" Maya asked. "He used to have real good ideas… and someone needs to be in charge of Tactical now that the Angels are back, you're the boss, you can't be in charge of it anymore."

"Yeah, but he's dead." Misato said.

"But was he officially declared dead?" Maya asked. "Or just listed as missing?"

"I've never bothered to check." Misato said. "I didn't want to look really."

"Well… go and check, you have command access." Maya said.

Misato reluctantly looked to her computer and searched Kaji's name. "Huh… listed as missing, presumed killed, December 26, 2016." Misato muttered. "So would that mean he's dead?"

"I don't know, Misato." Maya replied. "You'd have to ask someone in the Koseki office."

"I don't really want to bring this to anyone's attention if Kaji's right about being hunted." Misato said. "I don't want to be the one to get him killed…"

"Just go in and ask a general question, Misato." Maya said. "Then you can figure out what to do with him."

"I guess that could work…" Misato said. "I just… I still don't know what to think."

"Look, you've told me a hundred times that you wished he was still alive so you could tell him how much you love him." Maya said. "And it's kinda sweet it didn't want to put you in any danger… even if it was stupid to make Shinji lie, he did it with a good heart."

"I know, it's so aggravating!" Misato bemoaned. "I just can't get around the fact that he lied to me!"

"Misato, up until a few weeks ago, you thought he was dead and wanted him back." Maya said. "Don't let being upset cloud your feelings for him." Maya paused. "Can I tell you something I've noticed?"

"Go ahead." Misato said.

"As a friend… I noticed that you were happy when he was alive and that you've been sad since he disappeared…" Maya said kindly. "I want you to be happy… so maybe… just let go of whatever problem you've got with him being gone and just look on the bright side that you didn't lose him after all. You're going to want that if we're back under that constant shadow of death…"

"Yeah… that shadow of death…" Misato muttered. "I guess I should go make some inquiries…"

"When?" Maya asked.

"Now I guess." Misato said. "You're effectively Second–in–Command, so you can deal with little miss pain in my ass."

"She's not that bad." Maya said. "Just misguided."

"Well, whatever she is, just keep her away from the kids." Misato ordered. "I don't want her interrogating them…" Misato got up and switched off the SCIF components in her office. "I'll be back shortly, contact me if anything goes… awry."

"Understood, Colonel." Maya said with a smile.

–––

It was still early in the morning, and Mari hadn't slept. She had been up all night for the second night in a row, unable to get to sleep. Instead, all she could do is toss, and turn and think about Rei. It wasn't the first time this had happened either, but it was worse than it had ever been. With the thought of more Angels appearing being on everyone's mind, Mari couldn't help but think that maybe it was time to confront Rei about what's been bothering her the past three years. Mari slowly sat up and caught sight of herself in the mirror. Her eyes were bloodshot and surrounded by dark circles, and she looked utterly exhausted.

"Well… at least I look how I feel…" Mari muttered as she got up and went to the door.

Mari crept out into the hallway and didn't hear anything. She snuck past Shinji and Asuka's room and heard them both snoring.

"At least someone's sleeping…" Mari said.

When Mari got to Rei's door, she hesitated for minute, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and knocked lightly on Rei's door. There was no answer. Mari resisted the urge to slide the door open and look to see if was in there, but resigned herself that the talk wasn't happening today. Instead of turning back to her room, Mari walked to the living room, shaking her head.

"Figures…" Mari said. "No I don't think I'll ever get to…" Mari looked up and noticed Rei, curled up in a chair, immersed in a book. "Rei…"

Rei looked up and noticed Mari standing there, and marked the page she was on. "You're never up this early." Rei said as she closed the book.

"Can't be up early if you haven't slept." Mari joked.

"Then I will leave you…" Rei said as she got up.

"No." Mari said quietly.

"What?" Rei asked.

"I said no." Mari said. "I'm only out of my room because I wanted to talk to you, Rei."

"What is there to talk about?" Rei said as Mari blocked her path.

"Why you avid me so much." Mari said quietly as she began shaking. "And why you refuse to talk to me, why you won't so much as say anything nice to me, why you've been acting like this for three years."

"I told you already…" Rei began.

"I don't believe you." Mari said. "You're lying about something… you said you avoid me so we don't have this conversation… and I've done what Shinji and Asuka begged me to do… give you space… let you heal… but its been long enough… three years wondering why you hate me… I'm tired of waiting, we're discussing this now."

"We're not discussing anything of the kind." Rei said as she tried to get past Mari.

"I said we're discussing it now!" Mari snapped as she pushed Rei into a chair. "You're acting just like your brother did about Asuka! Always avoiding the subject, not wanting to deal with his feelings! You can't hide from this conversation forever! You might have been able to if the Angels never came back… but they're here… and if I die, I want to know why you don't love me anymore!"

"Mari, you're being unreasonable." Rei said calmly.

"No I'm not." Mari said. "It's been three years… I believe I've been reasonable enough." Mari broke down in tears. "I… I just want… want to know… why you… hate me, Rei…"

"I don't want to talk about it…" Rei said.

"Why not?!" Mari asked emphatically. "It's not fair, and I hate not knowing… its driving me insane!"

"Perhaps so, but this is not the way to make me talk about my feelings." Rei replied.

"Well, we can't wait for Fourth Impact to talk about your feelings Rei!" Mari said sarcastically. "Do you even know what it's like not knowing how someone you love feels about you?!"

"Yes, I do Mari." Rei retorted angrily. "And I have you to blame for that."

"Wha…?" Mari asked. "What did I do?"

"You don't even know, do you?" Rei asked. "You fell in love with Yui Ikari… my mother… you told us all that… that you pined after her and missed your chance to be with her. Do you know how that made me feel, Mari?"

"I don't know…" Mari said.

"I hated you after that." Rei said. "You never wanted me, you wanted my mother."

"That's not…" Mari began.

"Yes it is!" Rei shouted. "All the things you ever said about me, how wonderful I am, how beautiful I was, you weren't telling me, you were telling her!"

"No I wasn't!" Mari snapped. "I was telling you! Sure you look a lot like Yui, but you're not like her at all! You're different, like I'm different! We were in a world was foreign with us! I fell in love with you because you're special!"

"You're lying!" Rei shouted back. "You had that same look on your face when you talked about my mom that you did when you talked to me! How can I trust you if I can't believe you! I don't love you anymore because I don't even know if you ever loved me!"

"What…?" Mari asked. "What about what you told me after your fight with Armisael!" Mari shouted. "Was that a lie?!"

"Yes, because I wasn't ready to be with you!" Rei shouted. "And I'm glad I waited, because of what your feelings turned out to be! A… a fucking lie!"

"You… you don't swear…" Mari mumbled as she broke down sobbing again. "I never… I never… lied to… you…"

"How can I ever know that?" Rei asked coldly. "I can't trust you, which means I can't ever believe what you say."

"What the fuck…" Asuka muttered, startling the pair of them.

Rei looked up and Mari turned around to see Shinji and Asuka standing in the doorway, absolutely slack jawed listening to the two of them arguing.

"I… uh…" Mari stammered as she ran back to her room sobbing.

"What the fuck was that?" Asuka asked.

"How much did you hear?" Rei asked.

"Pretty much all of it." Shinji said. "From when Mari pushed you into the chair."

"You guys weren't exactly quiet." Asuka added.

"Oh." Rei said. "This is why I didn't want to tell her… I made her cry once… and once was enough for a lifetime…"

"Sounds like you still like her, wundergirl." Asuka quipped.

"I do not." Rei said. "And I don't wish to talk about this anymore!"

"She's right though, Rei." Asuka said. "You are hiding from this."

"I am not." Rei said sternly. "I told her the truth, which is more than she ever did for me."

"Rei, how can you say that?" Shinji asked. "Mari may have loved mom, but she loves you."

"I honestly don't know if she ever did, onii–chan." Rei said. "Now please leave this subject alone. That goes for you too, Asuka."

"I will if you promise to apologize to her." Asuka said. "You were mean, Rei… and that wasn't right."

"She shouldn't have forced me to discuss it." Rei said. "It would have been easier for her thinking I never loved her…"

"Rei, you're lying to yourself if you think you never loved her." Shinji said.

"I'm not lying to myself, onii–chan." Rei said as she settled herself in back in the chair. 'Or am I…?' Rei thought as she opened her book. 'This is why I hate my feelings… I wish they would just go away…'
–––

Misato had walked straight to the emergency government offices that had been set up across the street from one of NERV's surface entrances. As Misato walked in, she noticed a large JSSDF presence within the lobby.

'Haven't seen this many JSSDF here since Third Impact…' Misato thought. 'Little unnerving to say the least…'

Misato walked up to the front desk and rang the bell.

"How can I help you, ma'am?" The receptionist asked.

"I'm looking for the Koseki office?" Misato asked.

"Fourth floor, room 427–B." The reception said.

"Thanks." Misato said as she walked to the elevator and took the surprising fast ride up. When she got off the elevator, Misato followed the signs to the room she was looking for and entered to see the most chaotic room she'd ever seen. People were everywhere, waving paper around, shouting, crying, and trying to talk with the representatives behind the counter. There were at least ten JSSDF soldiers removing the hysterical people from the room, either calmly, or if needed, by force. Misato looked on as she waited for the next available person, and after a large group of angry people were moved out of the room, Misato was next in line. She stepped up to the counter and faced a shorter, older woman.

"How may I help you today, ma'am?" The woman asked.

"I had a question about a missing person." Misato said.

"You'll have to be more specific, ma'am, we've had a lot of those the past few days." The woman said.

"I was curious about what was involved in declaring someone dead." Misato asked.

"Does this stem from any of the events in Tokyo–2?" The woman asked.

"No, this is from three years ago." Misato said.

"Well, if the paperwork as filed with our office properly, we would have been notified of the person's new status. If the period of time before death ca be legally declared expires, then the paperwork would move forward." The woman explained. "However, I cannot look up any case files at the moment, our system is… experiencing some technical issues."

"What time period?" Misato asked.

"There are two." The woman explained. "One for normal circumstances lasting seven years, and for special or extraordinary situations where the time limit is only a year. This information would be on any copies of the paperwork you may have."

"So what would happen if this person were found?" Misato asked. "Alive that is."

"Well, if death had not been declared, new paperwork would need to be filed with our office to update the file." The woman explained. "And reasons would need to be given for the disappearance. However, given the state of our file system, if anyone was found now that had been declared missing, no one would notice with the influx of changes. If anything was lost, then we would still be updated, but the file would be incomplete and the declaration of death in absentia would disappear." The woman sighed. "Centralizing everything was a poor decision on the part of the government… but they wanted one central repository after Second Impact to better track the population."

"Bureaucracy at its finest." Misato quipped.

"Is that all you needed, dear?" The woman asked.

"Yes, thank you." Misato said as she left.

"Glad I could help, miss." The woman said.

Once Misato got outside, she breathed a sigh of relief. "So, I just need to check the file and find out if Kaji can just… come back to life." Misato said quietly.

–––

Kaji was sitting in the old apartment watching TV, trying to find something to pass the time. He'd cleaned his gun far too much in the past two weeks, he doubted it would need to be cleaned for some time. He had played every videogame Asuka had left behind and beaten them, and even played solitaire so much with the deck of cards he found, he knew what each one of the cards were from the back. So, he left with only the TV to watch, and he was in the middle of a decent movie about some crazy American fighting terrorists in Los Angeles at Christmas when a special news bulletin interrupted the film.

"Oh, this can't be good…" Kaji muttered.

"This is an Action News special news bulletin." The male announcer on the news said. The screen cut to a male and female anchor sitting worriedly behind a news desk.

"We interrupt your local programming to bring you breaking news on the ongoing crisis in the ruins of Tokyo–2." The male anchor said as the TV cut to aerial images of a burned out Tokyo–2.

"Ugh… this again…" Kaji muttered. "Fucking news networks…"

"The country is still reeling from the sudden loss of the second Capital city in the last 20 years." The female announcer said as the screen continued to pan over the destroyed city. "With the death toll now standing at over 6 million, with only 250,298 confirmed survivors, still leaves some one and half million or more people declared missing and presumed dead. The search effort continues for survivors, though sources, not wishing to be identified, have said the search is most likely not going to produce any survivors, only corpses."

"Who the fuck says that?" Kaji asked angrily.

"Thankfully the carnage was stopped by the timely intervention of the Special U.N. Agency, NERV." The male announcer said as the scene cut to Unit–01 and Unit–02 shooting at Iblis.

"How do they even have that footage?" Kaji asked.

"Their mechs, which were made public three years ago in an event that engulfed Tokyo–3 and the areas surrounding it in a mysterious and as of yet unexplained situation were deployed to fight the monster and successfully killed it." The male announcer continued as the scene cut back to the newsroom. "However, we don't have any more usable footage for the battle, as our news helicopters were destroyed in an explosion."

"Well, that's what happens in a battle zone, you assholes." Kaji muttered.

"Even with this monster being destroyed the crisis is ongoing." The female announcer said. "Because of this ongoing crisis, the government is in a constant state of chaos. In a surprise move by the remaining cabinet members, the former Minister of Education was unanimously elected as the interim Prime Minister. His military experience was touted as the reason for his sudden, and unexpected promotion. In a wave of decisions by the remaining government ministers, the state of emergency that was declared two days ago will remain in effect for the country until further notice. This decision was followed by naming Tokyo–3 as the new seat of government following the destruction of Tokyo–2."

"We know Tokyo–2 was destroyed, for fuck's sake…" Kaji muttered.

"In a final move reminiscent of Imperial power before World War II, the JSSDF has been given full police powers, with a state of martial law being declared throughout the country until further notice." The male announcer reported. "The JSSDF have instituted a curfew that will last from 18:00 to 06:00 and will stay in effect until the state of emergency and martial law have been rescinded. Anyone caught out after hours will be detained indefinitely at an undisclosed location."

"Oh fuck…" Kaji muttered. "This, this isn't good."

"This has been an Action News special news bulletin." The female announcer said as the scene cut to a title card. "Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…"

"Well… I think it's time to make some phone calls." Kaji said. "Martial law was unexpected… and that means the U.N. are in control now… and I think they're about to make their move…"


April 15, 2020 – NERV HQ

It had been another long day at school for the kids. While they had been able to start catching up on the work they had to accomplish, they still weren't thrilled to be there. Mari however was beginning to fall behind. After her argument with Rei, she had stayed locked in her room, ignoring Shinji's pleas to talk to with her, and even refusing to come out to get something to eat. So, when Asuka, Shinji, and Rei showed up for their sync tests, they were surprised to see her there at all.

"Oh, this gonna get awkward…" Asuka muttered.

"I'll stand next to Mari, you stand next to Rei." Shinji said.

"Sounds like a plan to me, baka." Asuka replied.

The pair of them moved so that Mari and Rei would not be next to each other. The four of them stood there in silence waiting for Misato and Maya to greet them, with nobody speaking in order to keep the peace.

Misato noticed the awkward silence when she walked in, followed closely by Maya. Misato knew that Mari had hidden away for three days, Misato wanted to find out why.

"Well, Mari, nice to see that you're actually alive." Misato said. "Do you have an explanation as to why you've been hiding for three days?" Mari shook her head silently. "Are any of you going to tell me?"

'This… again…' Rei thought as she glanced down at Mari, who shied away from her gaze. 'I should apologize…' Rei looked down at the floor. 'I shouldn't have been so harsh with her the other day… she was right, it was unfair not to tell her…' Rei coughed to get Misato attention. "Mari and I had an argument, and I said some things that were unkind to her." Rei said quietly. "I was harsher than I meant to be, and for that I'm sorry."

"Thank you for that Rei." Misato said. "So Mari, stop moping." Mari nodded her head slightly. "Good enough." Misato sighed.

"So what are doing today?" Asuka asked to change the subject.

"A.T. Field practice for you." Misato said, pointing at Asuka and Shinji. "Basic sync testing for Rei and Mari, and for Shinji, after you finish your regular test, I need a big favor. Like a huge favor."

"What kind of huge favor?" Shinji asked.

"I need you to make more S2 Engines." Misato said.

"What now?" Asuka asked. "He can't do that."

"But he already has." Misato said. "How could you forget?"

"I may have been dead at the time, Misato." Asuka quipped sarcastically.

"But Misato, I didn't even try to make an S2 Engine, I just wanted to save Asuka." Shinji said worriedly. "I don't think I can repeat that."

"Yes you can, Shinji." Misato said. "We've only got two reliable Evangelions at the moment, with two under repair, and three finishing up construction. The two under repair already have S2 Engines, and the other three need them."

"Why does it matter?" Asuka asked.

"We need flexibility, which only an S2 Engine can give us." Maya explained. "Unit–05, Unit–06, and Unit–07 all need to be able to keep up with the other four Evangelions."

"And why is this only Shinji's responsibility?" Asuka asked.

"Asuka, I can speak for myself…" Shinji muttered.

"I know that, but let me be mad for you, baka!" Asuka snapped. "Well, Misato?"

"Uh… Maya?" Misato stammered.

"Asuka, Shinji's sync score happens to be more stable at the level we need to get it to in order for this to work." Maya explained.

"How high does it need to be?" Rei asked.

"Between 250% and 300% with stable vitals." Maya said.

"Wait, he can go that high?!" Asuka shouted. "You can go that high!?" Shinji nodded. "Why didn't you tell me?!"

"Because it's dangerous to go that high." Shinji said. "That's why we keep it at 150%… for my safety… and everyone else's."

"Everyone else's?" Mari asked quietly.

"Well, we don't want a Fourth Impact, do we?" Shinji asked.

"Not particularly…" Asuka muttered. "I got a lot of catching up to do…"

"Asuka, it's not a contest." Rei said. "Your sync score is over 100% as it is."

"I want it to be higher." Asuka said.

"It'll get there with practice." Misato said. "So, Shinji, can you try to help us out?"

"I will…" Shinji said. "But if anything bad happens, force me out or something, ok?"

"What could happen?" Asuka asked.

"H could get absorbed into the Core and be trapped there again for one." Mari murmured. "Or he could die."

"WHAT?!" Asuka shouted. "Misato, is that really worth the risk?!"

"I think it is." Misato said.

"So do I." Maya added. "And there are safeguards in place to protect him. Ones that haven't been tampered with."

"How comforting…" Mari mumbled.

"Alright… let's do it." Shinji said.

"Baka…" Asuka muttered.

"Don't worry, Asuka, I'll be ok." Shinji said.

"Fine, but I'm staying to keep an eye on him." Asuka said.

"You can watch from the Command Center." Misato said. "But first, to your sync tests."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever…" Asuka muttered.

–––

After their sync tests, Asuka, Rei, and Mari were standing in the Command Center watching a view of the Cage on the main display with a separate display showing Shinji's slightly nervous face as he sat in his Entry Plug.

"Shinji, you ok?" Misato asked.

"Yeah, I'm good." Shinji said. "Can we start yet?"

"Maya, Sumire?" Misato asked.

"Evangelion Unit–01 is online and locked in place." Sumire said. "Receiving platform is in place, ready to catch the new S2 Engines."

"Sync score is steady at 155%." Maya said. "Shinji's vital are stable. He's clear."

"Ok, Shinji." Misato said. "Whenever you're ready."

"Right." Shinji said confidently.

"Just raise your sync score slowly, Shinji." Maya said. "No need to rush."

"Right." Shinji said as he closed his eyes.

"Ok… sync score is starting to go up… synchrograph is still steady… 173%… 192%… 213%… 228%… 241%… 253%… 265%… ok Shinji, you're high enough, I think we're ready to begin."

"So how do I go about doing this?" Shinji asked. "I mean… is it possible for me to do this?"

"Shinji, anytime you've done something with Unit–01, you were angry." Maya said. "But you were always focused on saving everyone… think about how creating those S2 Engines will save everyone Shinji."

"Right!" Shinji replied. "These will allow us to stop the Angels… we can fight without worrying about those stupid power cables… we'll be on equal footing with the Angels."

Unit–01 began to emit a purple aura. It slowly formed around the Evangelion and flickered in and out of existence, slowly expanding each time it returned.

"Readings are spiking, Colonel." Maya said. "It's starting."

"You're doing it, baka!" Asuka shouted proudly.

"These will save everyone, onii–chan!" Rei called out.

The purple aura had now fully enveloped Unit–01 and was fluttering like a flame around the Evangelion's body. It slowly began to condense around Unit–01's own Core, hidden beneath its chest armor.

"Sync ration is climbing…" Maya muttered worriedly. "290%… 314%… 331%… 369%… it's getting too close to 400%, Colonel…"

"We've got to stop this, now!" Asuka cried.

"We can't we're too far along… cutting him off now is too great a risk!" Misato said. "Look, we're so close!"

"Misato, this isn't worth Shinji's life!" Maya shouted.

"I can do this!" Shinji said angrily. "Just let me finish this, please!"

"Baka, don't do anything reckless!" Asuka commanded. "I'm warning you…"

"Asuka, do you trust me?" Shinji asked.

"Of course I trust you, baka!" Asuka replied.

"Then trust me now." Shinji said confidently.

The aura then disappeared into Unit–01's chest and emerged as a large ball of purple light. It hovered over the receiving platform and split in three, with the orbs slowly lowering themselves to onto the platform. The aura dissipated, leaving the three fleshy, liver colored S2 Engines on the platform to ooze. Unit–01 then slumped against its restrains, apparently taking itself offline.

"Unit–01's S2 Engine has shut down!" Sumire warned.

"Shinji's sync rate is dropping like a rock!" Maya shouted. "His vitals are crashing! We need to get him out of there now!"

"Is he buckled in?!" Rei asked.

"Of course!" Maya replied.

Rei reached over Maya and slammed several buttons on her control panel.

"Rei, what are you…?" Misato asked.

The armor plate hatch covering where the Entry Plug was situated was released with explosive bolts, flinging the purple piece of armor into a wall.

"Emergency ejection system has been activated!" Sumire shouted.

The Entry Plug was unscrewed, then its escape rockets fired, sending it careening into the ceiling of the Test Cage. It then skidded along the ceiling to the back wall where it was violently sent into the furthest corner of the room, sending sparks up along the way as it grinded against the metal surface of the walls. The ejection rockets kept the Entry Plug in place, slowly rotating in place on the wall.

"AHHHHH!" Shinji screamed from inside the Entry Plug as he was flung around against the safety restraints in the pilot's seat as it slammed into the wall and spun around wildly.

"Rei, are you insane?!" Misato shouted.

"You were not moving fast enough." Rei said. "It will save him."

The Entry Plug's ejection rockets ran out of fuel, and it stopped spinning and then began a fast decent to floor below. They all watched as the Entry Plug slowly rolled along the floor until getting to a corner and stopping in its tracks.

"Have a medical team sent to the Cage immediately!" Misato ordered. "Get him out of there, now!"

Asuka turned and tried to run out of the room, but Misato caught her arm before she could move.

"Let go of me, Misato!" Asuka shouted.

"No, let the doctors do their job." Misato said.

"I want to be down there with him!" Asuka shouted. "He's been there for me so much, I want to be there for him!" Asuka wrenched her arm out of Misato's grasp. "I owe him that much for all the times he slept next to us in the hospital!"

Asuka ran from the Command Center, and Misato moved to follow, but her path was blocked by Mari.

"Mari, move." Misato said.

"No." Mari replied. "If you don't let her go, she'll be even angrier with you about having him do this experiment."

"Yes, I hope the results were worth risking onii–chan's life…" Rei muttered.

"I… his life isn't less important than those S2 Engines." Misato muttered. "We just need them so that we can keep everyone safe…"

"Still, it was an awful dumb thing to put your best pilot at risk." Mari said.

"Misato, don't turn into Commander Ikari and disregard our safety for the "greater good" or whatever his misguided reasons were for doing what he did…" Rei said sternly.

"I… I'm not like him at all…" Misato muttered. 'Or is the power of this position corrupting me…?' Misato thought as Rei angrily left room, followed by Mari, who sulked slowly behind her.
–––

The interim Prime Minister was sitting in the conference room with the rest of the remaining Cabinet and Diet members. He was preparing to give a speech to lessen the restrictions and rescind the order for marital law. As he stood up to deliver the speech, the doors to the room were kicked in by heavily armed JSSDF assault soldiers. They pointed their rifles at everyone in the room. Two of the soldiers walked up to the Prime Minister and forcibly restrained him, slamming him into the table.

"Sir, I'm placing you under arrest for sedition against the United Nations, and of the people of Japan." The soldier said. "By the authority granted me by the United Nations Security Council, you and your Cabinet are being deposed."

"What?" The Prime Minister asked.

"The order to rescind martial law will not be going into effect." The soldier said. "We are in control of the country now."

"Who gave you these orders?" The Prime Minister asked. "Who would order something as foolish as this?"

"I'm not at liberty to discuss that information." The soldier said. "Now sit down and shut the fuck up."

–––

Misato walked town to the cold storage Cage that one housed Unit–01. It had never been repaired, as there wasn't a need for it at the time, but its cooling unit was still operational. As Misato entered, she saw the three fleshy S2 Engines being properly stored in padded crates. She walked over to Maya, who was supervising, to ask her a few things.

"Maya, got a second?" Misato asked.

"What's up, Colonel?" Maya asked.

"How are the new S2 Engines?" Misato asked. "Is everything… ok with them?"

"It appears so, except they're only about a quarter of the size they should be." Maya explained. "Other than that, I assume they'll grow to the proper size once they're put into an Evangelion."

"So what does that mean?" Misato asked.

"Well, in short, it appears that Shinji divided his S2 Engine rather than creating new ones." Maya explained. "That would explain why he got so weak… he used his uh… life force I guess… to create these things."

"So, was this really worth the risk to his life?" Misato asked.

"While these would be very helpful in the long run…" Maya said. "The risk was unacceptable and he the experiment should have been cut."

"Yeah… I was starting to think that after what Asuka said…" Misato muttered.

"What, after she said you were acting like the former Commander?" Maya asked.

"Yeah… that…" Misato muttered. "I'm not… being him… am I?"

"Can I speak frankly, ma'am?" Maya asked.

"Always." Misato replied.

"You're not like him yet." Maya said. "But if you keep this kind of stuff up, you could be."

"Oh…" Misato murmured. "I didn't know…"

"Well, at least you asked." Maya said. "So you're not anything like him, really."

"Still… I don't want to ever be compared to him like that ever again." Misato said.

"Then figure out how to apologize." Maya said. "To Shinji… if he forgives you, Asuka won't hate you as much."

"I can't believe I let things go that far…" Misato said.

"Colonel… Misato… don't let it get to you." Maya said. "One or two little mistakes doesn't make you Gendo Ikari."

"Two mistakes?" Misato asked.

"Making Shinji train." Maya said quietly. "That's all."

"Well, I guess I should go find him and apologize…" Misato muttered.

"Well, just be careful." Maya said. "Asuka's with him."
–––

Asuka was sitting next to Shinji's bed in the Hospital Wing, something she had hoped would never happen again. Being there brought back all sorts of unpleasant memories that she just wanted to go away. As she sat there, Shinji began to stir, and Asuka breathed a sigh of relief.

"Baka…?" Asuka asked.

"What is it?" Shinji asked as he slowly woke up. "Why am I in here…?"

"You passed out after your little test." Asuka said. "You took a big risk, baka. You almost died… you had me so worried…I'm so mad at you right now…"

"Asuka… I didn't think…" Shinji stammered. "I thought it would be ok."

"Well, you were wrong, baka!" Asuka said angrily. "Don't ever do that again, do you hear me?! I don't want to ever think about… about… losing you again…"

"Asuka, I'm sorry." Shinji said. "Please don't cry."

"I'm not crying baka…" Asuka said as she wiped her eyes.

"Well, it can't be onions." Shinji joked.

"Shut up…" Asuka muttered.

"Uh… sorry to interrupt…" Misato said from the door.

"What do you want?" Asuka asked.

"I came to apologize." Misato replied.

"Why?" Shinji asked.

"Because Asuka was right." Misato said. "I asked too much of you knowing you'd volunteer to do it anyway. And when things went bad… I should have stopped it." Misato sighed. "I was acting like… your father…"

"Misato, you're nothing like him." Shinji said.

"Well, she certainly acted like it when your vitals started going haywire." Asuka said.

"What you said hurt, Asuka." Misato said. "But you were right… I was being reckless for no reason… and I'm sorry I put our life at risk…"

"Was it a success?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah… it was." Misato replied.

"Then no harm done." Shinji said. "I accept your apology."

"Baka!" Asuka shouted.

"Asuka, I can't really be mad at her." Shinji said. "I could have said no."

"You should have said no." Asuka replied.

"Well thank you, Shinji." Misato replied. "Unfortunately, the doctors want to keep you overnight… so I'm sorry for that too."

"Then I'm staying." Asuka said.

"It's already been set up." Misato said. "And Rei and Mari already went home."

"What, why?" Shinji asked.

"Well, they both left after making sure you were ok." Asuka said. "I told them to go."

"Oh… I thought they just…" Shinji began.

"No, I told them to go home." Asuka said. "I'm capable enough to keep an eye on you."

"Well, I'm going to go home too." Misato said. "See you tomorrow Shinji."

"Goodnight, Misato." Shinji replied as Misato left.

–––

Misato had just gotten home and was beginning to relax when she decided to check her phone. She'd kept it on "do not disturb" all day so that she could focus on work and the S2 Engine problem, and Shinji's most recent near death experience, when she noticed she had over a dozen voicemails and about three times as many texts.

"What the fuck does he want?" Misato wondered as she left the apartment and went downstairs and knocked angrily on the old apartment's door. Kaji answered it quickly and ushered her inside before Misato could protest.

"What the fuck, Kaji?" Misato asked.

"Look Misato, we have a big problem." Kaji said.

"Which is what?" Misato asked. "That the Angels are back?"

"No, the U.N. are trying to retake NERV." Kaji said.

"Ok, you're being paranoid." Misato said. "There is no way…"

"Have you noticed the heavy influx of JSSDF soldiers?" Kaji asked. "There's more of them here then when they assaulted NERV."

"I… yeah I noticed." Misato said. "What of it?"

"Well, have you noticed that the government has stopped sending out any messages of any kind?" Kaji asked. "Like a silent coup d'état went down and no one noticed."

"Well, I haven't had any time today to really pay attention to that." Misato replied.

"Well, about seven hours ago, all communication with the government was cut off, and a large influx of JSSDF men and materiel came into the city." Kaji said. "Very suspicious."

"Not really, we're under martial law." Misato said. "It's to be expected."

"Yes, but 50,000 men?" Kaji asked. "That's a bit excessive. That's at least half of the their ground strength."

"Well… Kaji, what actual proof do you have?" Misato asked. "Because I don't really have time for this."

"The evacuation that pulled just over a quarter million people out of Tokyo–2… it started four hours before the Angel appeared." Kaji said.

"That's impossible." Misato said. "We have official records. The evacuation started when the Angel was engaged by the JSSDF."

"No, it was much sooner than that." Kaji said as he threw a stack of pictures on the table. "Look, satellite footage of the area an hour before the Angel was found. VTOLs are leaving en masse from the U.N. complex. Trains schedules for four government express trains to Atsugi, Tokyo–3, New Yokosuka, and Yokota, all departing minutes before the Angel was engaged. And there we have a mass exodus of cars from heading away from where the Angel is supposed be, again, beginning an hour before the Angel showed up."

"That… that's not right…" Misato muttered.

"Did you wonder why so many of those assholes made it out?" Kaji asked. "You can't clear out that many people with so little time."

"Well, I didn't think of it that way." Misato said. "I just thought it was lucky."

"No one's that lucky." Kaji said. "Most of the U.N. staff miraculously got out, while six million or so other people were killed when that Angel decided to explode."

"That… that makes sense." Misato said. "But the U.N. wants to take over?"

"Well, who has control of the JSSDF, above government control?" Kaji asked.

"No one else does." Misato said.

"No, per the Valentine Treaty, under Article V, they can take control of the military when there is a crisis beyond the government's control." Kaji explained. "And having a government get almost wiped out is, well… the kind of crisis that can activate the clause. Then having martial law instituted, it gave the JSSDF complete control."

"Yes, but why?" Misato asked. "Why would take NERV?"

"Because, the Angel destroying Tokyo–2 gives them leverage to assault you for not doing your job." Kaji said. "Then the U.N. will direct control over the Evangelions, because their Evangelions were all wiped out the last time."

"Why now though?" Misato asked.

"I don't know, maybe Keel is the one calling the shots, we honestly don't know." Kaji said. "What I do know is he amount of U.N. staffers who claimed they were ignorant of what the old SEELE members were doing, and I know a good portion of them were involved… but the deal that saved NERV and put Fuyutsuki away kept them safe."

"Where did you get all this information?" Misato asked.

"I've been making calls the past few days." Kaji said. "I still have my contacts you know."

"Still, how did you get all this information?" Misato said. "What does it matter?"

"Because, NERV is neutral when it comes to politics." Kaji explained. "With you in Command, you do the right thing, and won't let yourself get pushed around. With the U.N. in commander, or worse, Lorenz in command, the world would be held at ransom… or they'll try to restart instrumentality. Neither option is all that appealing."

"So, what can we do about it?" Misato asked.

"See this?" Kaji asked as he held up a disk. "It's all the info I've gathered so far, encrypted for safety, just like last time."

"Why?" Misato asked.

"Look, I just need a little more digging before we go do anything about this." Kaji said. "When I'm ready, I'm giving a copy to you. If I don't call you within eight hours of giving this to you, you are to send copies of all the information to every news network and website you can."

"What are you planning exactly?" Misato asked.

"A direct approach." Kaji said. "To sever all of Lorenz's ties with his U.N. powerbase once and for all."

"Kaji, you're going to get yourself killed." Misato said.

"No I'm not. This is actually going to be the safest thing I've one in some time. I'm going to go see the American Ambassador when I'm ready." Kaji said. "She may be a bit rough around the edges, but she's clean, no ties with SEELE whatsoever, and hates the stain those shitheads left on the U.N."

"So you're going to do what?" Misato asked.

"Make them an offer they can't refuse." Kaji replied coyly.


April 18, 2020 – Tokyo–3 Government Offices

Kaji had gotten up early that morning. He was ready to go when the government offices were set to open, and arrives just as they were opening their doors. As Kaji walked inside, he took note of all the JSSDF soldiers scattered about the room. As he got to the front desk, he put on his most charming smile.

"Good morning, sir, how may I help you?" The receptionist asked.

"I'm looking for the U.N. offices." Kaji said brightly.

"Ambassadorial or administrative?" The receptionist asked.

"Ambassadorial." Kaji replied.

"Tenth floor, a receptionist up there can assist you." The receptionist said.

"Thank you very much." Kaji said. He walked calmly to the elevator and entered, waiting to get to his destination. As he arrived at the tenth floor, he exited and looked around, seeing no one at the front desk, he looked and saw no discernable cameras and decided to look for who he needed to speak to. He leaned over the desk and flipped through the directory on the desk, and found who he was looking for, the American Ambassador.

"Bingo." Kaji said as he walked confidently toward the American Ambassador's office. Kaji walked up to the door, and fond it open. He knocked once.

"Enter." The American Ambassador said.

Kai stepped inside and closed the door behind him. "Good morning, Ambassador."

"Who the hell are you?" She asked. "You're not my aide."

"No, but I can help you." Kaji said.

"In what regard?" The American Ambassador asked.

"I hear through the grapevine that you dislike that some of your colleges were… saved from a needed purge after certain… facts came to light." Kaji said.

"Go on." The American Ambassador replied.

"Well… after Tokyo–2 was destroyed, I did some digging." Kaji said. "Turns out, there was an evacuation order in effect long before the Angel was detected."

"We were told it was a terrorist threat." The American Ambassador said. "We were moved out of the city very quickly."

"So, you were lied to again." Kaji said. "There is evidence of prior knowledge of the attack."

"What evidence?" The American Ambassador asked.

Kaji produced a disk from his pocket. "This evidence." Kaji said. "Along with a list of people with direct involvement in SEELE's schemes. And this is not the only copy."

"What makes you think that I won't destroy this?" The American Ambassador asked. "What if I have you arrested."

"Well, if I don't contact a few different people in the next seven and a half hours, this information will be leaked to the press." Kaji explained. "And prior knowledge of an attack, especially one that killed over six million people… well, if you thought the U.N. had it rough after a little bit if your last scandal got out…"

"I get your point." The American Ambassador said as she took the disk and put it in her computer. She began to skim the information Kaji had given her, and her face slowly turned to shock. "How do you have copies of the sealed incident files from three years ago?" She asked. "This is… this is all the incriminating evidence."

"Not all of it." Kaji said. "That's just a sample."

"A sample?" The American Ambassador asked.

"Yep the rest of what you want is heavily encrypted." Kaji said. "But to get the decryption key, you're going to need to agree to a few things."

"Hold on a moment while I call in a few others."

"The Japanese, Canadian, and British Ambassadors?" Kaji asked.

"And Israel's." The American Ambassador replied. "But something tells me you already knew that."

"I did, yes." Kaji replied. "I can wait."

While Kaji waited for the other Ambassadors to show up, he stayed focused, hoping for the best, yet still expecting the worse. However, when four other Ambassadors walked into her office, Kaji breathed a sigh of relief.

"Why have you called us here?" The Israeli Ambassador asked.

"You know we cannot have these kinds of meetings on the grounds." The Canadian Ambassador said.

"We weren't before." The American Ambassador replied. "However, with the new information from this man, we have the information we need to get rid of the stains of this great institution once and for all."

"This man?" The Japanese Ambassador asked. "He is a spy!"

"I was." Kaji said. "Before SEELE and my old boss from NERV tried to have me knocked off, and the old Japanese government was no help."

"So, how can we trust your information?" The British Ambassador asked.

"Look I'm a spy, and I know that information is power." Kaji explained. "So, here's some information for you. The evacuation of key personnel from Tokyo–2 was ordered hours before the Angel was spotted, directly contradicting the official account. Against all procedure, when the Angel was encountered, instead of contacting NERV, the JSSDF were ordered, by U.N. Command, to intercept and destroy the Angel. This resulted in the destruction of Tokyo–2 and the majority of its population along with the vast majority of the Japanese government. Now, the interim government of Japan has been deposed by JSSDF and U.N. forces, and are positioning themselves to attack NERV once again."

"You are being paranoid, sir." The Canadian Ambassador said.

"No, check the communiques from the government, there haven't been any in three days." Kaji said. "SEELE's remaining cronies are in control and intend to take the Evangelions for themselves, something that cannot happen."

"You do know that your name will show up in a lot of this." The Japanese Ambassador said.

"Yes, but it won't be anywhere near the big piece of information there." Kaji said. "That SEELE precipitated Second Impact."

"They what?!" The Israeli Ambassador asked.

"Ah, so they did manage to keep that one a secret from the majority of you."

"Impossible!" The British Ambassador said.

"There is data to back up all my claims." Kaji said. "And if you want to get rid of SEELE's shadow over this place, I suggest you listen to what I have to say."

"So, what do you propose?" The American Ambassador asked.

"In exchange for all the guilty parties on your end, and making sure they never see the light of day again, I want your control over NERV to end." Kaji said. "Give Colonel Katsuragi sole command of NERV, and leave all the decisions up to her."

"What else?" The Canadian Ambassador asked.

"Well, allowing NERV to command the JSSDF when the need arises would be beneficial in the long run and will keep them under better control. Give NERV a huge budget so that we can hire who we need to maintain operational readiness." Kaji said. "And that's it, no more attempts on NERV, and NERV will leave you be."

"What about our observer?" The Canadian Ambassador asked.

"She can stay on, but please direct her to not make any suggestions." Kaji said. "She is apparently quite the nuisance during a battle situation."

"That seems reasonable." The American Ambassador replied.

"And if we don't comply or keep you detained?" The Israeli Ambassador asked.

"Well, in six hours now, if I don't make contact with several different people, all this dirty laundry, Second Impact included, will be leaked." Kaji threatened. "So, you can do this the easy way or the bloody way."

"I believe we have a deal then." The American Ambassador said.

"Good." Kaji said.

"The encryption codes please." The American Ambassador said.

"Here you go." Kaji said, producing a piece of paper from his pocket. "All you need to take down the corruption."

The American Ambassador put the encryption key in and pulled up the list of offenders and printed it out. "Here they are… everyone's here."

"I'll order the guards loyal to us to arrest them all simultaneously if possible." The British Ambassador said.

"There are only a few hundred people here…"

"You'd be surprised what SEELE could do with so few." Kaji said. "It was not a pretty sight, but it's how they stayed hidden."

"Give us a few hours, and we'll round everyone up." The American Ambassador said.

"Good luck." Kaji said as he left. "And try not to fuck it up."

–––

Misato was relaxing at home after having had a long day at work. She had gotten a short call from Kaji, telling her everything was all set and that he was going to lay low for a few days in the woods while everything went down. So, as Misato was watching a love movie on TV when something cut into the normal feed.

"This is an Action News special news bulletin." The male announcer on the news said. The screen cut to a male and female anchor sitting behind the news desk.

"Oh…" Misato muttered.

"We interrupt your local programming to bring you breaking news on the ongoing crisis in the ruins of Tokyo–2." The male anchor said as the TV cut to aerial images of a burned out Tokyo–2.

"Oh my kami…" Misato muttered.

"The country is still reeling from the sudden loss of the second Capital city in the last 20 years." The female announcer said as the screen continued to pan over the destroyed city. "With the death toll now standing at over 6 million, with only 250,298 confirmed survivors, still leaves some one and half million or more people declared missing and presumed dead. The search effort continues for survivors, though sources, not wishing to be identified, have said the search is most likely not going to produce any survivors, only corpses."

"Who the fuck says that?" Misato asked angrily.

"Thankfully the carnage was stopped by the timely intervention of the Special U.N. Agency, NERV." The male announcer said as the scene cut to Unit–01 and Unit–02 shooting at Iblis.

"How do they even have that footage?" Misato asked. "Are they trying to die?!"

"Their mechs, which were made public three years ago in an event that engulfed Tokyo–3 and the areas surrounding it in a mysterious and as of yet unexplained situation were deployed to fight the monster and successfully killed it." The male announcer continued as the scene cut back to the newsroom. "However, we don't have any more usable footage for the battle, as our news helicopters were destroyed in an explosion."

"Well, that's what happens in a battle zone, you fuck heads." Misato muttered.

"Even with this monster being destroyed the crisis is ongoing." The female announcer said. "However, we finally have some good news to report. With a surprise announcement just minutes ago, the interim Prime Minister announced an end to the declaration of martial law, and the removal of the ensuing curfew. JSSDF forces are being asked to return to their bases and reduce their presence to less than 1,000 soldiers."

"Wow…" Misato said.

"However, the state of emergency declared last week is expected to remain in effect for the next several days." The male announcer explained. "We will continue to keep you updated on breaking news as it becomes available to us."

"This has been an Action News special news bulletin." The female announcer said as the scene cut to a title card. "Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…"

"Nicely done, Kaji…" Misato muttered as she went back to her movie.


April 20, 2020 – NERV HQ

Misato was coming in late to work because she had overslept. As soon as she walked in, she saw Yuki approach her in a rush.

"Colonel, may I speak with you?" Yuki asked.

"Regarding?" Misato asked.

"Your future her at NERV." Yuki said quietly.

"I'm not handing in my resignation." Misato said. "So you can forget that."

"No, ma'am this is good news." Yuki replied.

Misato led Yuki angrily to her office, brought her inside, and closed the door. "Fine, just tell me here." Misato said.

"It's, well, these are ne orders for you." Yuki said.

"For?" Misato asked impatiently.

"Why don't I just read it…" Yuki replied. "As of this morning, April 20, 2020 at midnight UTC, Colonel Katsuragi is hereby promoted directly to the rank of Commander of NERV with all the rights and privileges thereof based on her quick action against the destroyer of Tokyo–2. Because of this, direct supervision by the U.N. Security Council will henceforth cease. In addition, the new Command of NERV has direct, operational authority of all JSSDF and U.N. personnel and materiel as the Commander sees fit, if and when the need arises. Finally, Yuki Iwasawa is to safety on in her capacity as an observer for the U.N. but will not make decisions or otherwise undermine the authority of NERV personnel."

"Wait… this is real?" Misato asked.

"Yes." Yuki said. "They seem to be happy with your command style. You're being given all the money you need to run this agency."

"So, now what?" Misato asked.

"You can do whatever you like within the confines of the law." Yuki said.

"So, for U.N. stuff, I go through you right?" Misato asked.

"Yes." Yuki said.

"Good, because I need a few things done, which only the U.N. can grant." Misato said.

"What do you need?" Yuki asked.

"Oh, just some prisoners released." Misato said. "As much as I hate to say it, with our current situation, I feel that their importance out here is far more valuable than being locked up in a maximum security prison."

"That could take some time Colonel… I mean Commander." Yuki said.

"Well, we have some time to wait, but not forever." Misato said. "Now, for the vacant position, I can hire anyone I wish now, without U.N. approval?"

"Correct, we no longer can interfere with your decision process." Yuki replied.

"Good, cause there is someone I want to hire, but he's gonna be mad when I asks him." Misato said. "At least I can offer him good money this time around."

"That would be unadvisable…" Yuki began.

"You did say unlimited budget." Misato reminded her. "And no interference."

"Yes, but it is no to be abused." Yuki said. "There are limits."

"I understand that, and I intend to hire the best people, I'll need to compensate them accordingly." Misato replied. "Now… your position here."

"I am to continue to observe." Yuki said.

"Good, just remember that." Misato said. "Because if you ever contradict me in the middle of a crisis situation again, I'll have you thrown out of the Command Center and recalled to your office, is that perfectly clear?"

"Very much so." Yuki replied nervously.

"Good." Misato replied. "So when can this be announced?"

"It should be announced by the U.N. in the next few hours." Yuki said.

"So… my first act as Commander is to take the rest of the day off." Misato said as she ushered Yuki out of her office.

"What for?" Yuki asked.

"I need to go see a man about a job." Misato replied.

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% (No Change)
Asuka – 120.0% (+8.0%)
Rei – 22.2% (+10.2%)
Mari – 19.3% (+9.8%)

First off, to Yuki Iwasawa, her full name is Yuki Shikinami Iwasawa, the older sister of Mimori Shikinami, Asuka's step–mother. And her husband happened to be working in Tokyo–3 at the time Sachiel attacked the city nearly five years before. He died going back for Sakura, who was trapped under rubble from Shinji's initial attack on Sachiel. So, her motivations for meeting the kids are two fold, but at least she doesn't blame Shinji for his death.

Now, as to Kaji's "death." According to Japanese law (which is similar to other laws of this type), having a death declared in absentia requires some conditions to be met, which I looked up on Japanese Wikipedia. The Koseki (戸籍) literally translated as "family registry" deals with all family records in Japan. The onus for reporting disappearances is on the person's family for them to be taken off the register and officially named as deceased. While in real Japan, these offices are administered on a local or provincial level, after the Second Impact, everything was centralized to consolidate the information for easier access. Now, with Tokyo–2 being the governmental hub, and the chaos surrounding it's destruction, recordkeeping is the last thing people are worried about. And how this helps Kaji, who was only listed as "missing in action, presumed deceased" by NERV, he was never declared dead, and can come back to life with few consequences, and none if any paperwork filed by NERV was destroyed or lost.

Next, Mari and Rei's conversation. Mari was a little more forceful than she usually would have been. However, not sleeping for more the 48 hours, filters, subtlety, and niceties tend to go out the window. So, Mari forced Rei into a corner to talk to her, which frankly, yes, should have been done in the time gap, but Mari didn't want to upset Rei, or her chances of getting back together with her at some point.

Now, the U.N. subplot I introduced with Kaji's reintroduction has been resolved. As with many regimes, many people play ignorant to the fact they participated and claimed they were "forced" or "ordered" to do what they did, are usually full of shit. Meaning that the U.N. was still filled with SEELE loyalists, who could still exert some influence on how policy was shaped. Kaji simply gave that information to the right two people, the American and Japanese Ambassadors, who were never affiliated with SEELE, and they, using their own clout, to take direct action and have anyone still loyal to SEELE arrested without hesitation, all they had to do was cede to Kaji's demands, which for the price of ridding their ranks of SEELE members is seemingly worth it.

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