Neon Genesis Evangelion
Third Genesis: Prelude
Whatever happened at Tokyo-3 set off alarms all over Japan, which was funny because most people seemed unaware that Tokyo-3 even existed. It was like there had been a big mental blind-spot situated over Tokyo-3 and the surrounding area, causing everyone to simply be unaware of it. And it was a strange, selective unawareness, as government funding and resources had poured into Tokyo-3 over the years, even though no one seemed to know any details about it.
But a near-nuclear detonation changed all that. Alarms rang across the country as the explosion went off, and worse strange objects appeared in the sky. Government officials scrambled to respond as divisions of the JSSDF attacked without orders, mysterious flying mecha converged on the site and satelites observed strange energy bursts.
Only hours after the madness ended emergency response teams found a deserted city, mangled, shredded mass production Evangelions and a strange, unearthly lake of what was later described as 'LCL.' At the edge of the lake two teenagers had washed up, both at far extremes of health. The boy was unharmed but physically unresponsive, staring up at the sky blankly, while the girl was in a torn plugsuit, covered with wounds and somehow blind in one eye.
"Let me go!" Asuka roared as she punched the medical technician, sending him staggering backwards. A knee to the nuts sent a young man sprawling back, then with a bestial yell she charged the rest of them, eyes blazing.
Doctor Ami Mizuno dodged, the thirty something woman moving with surprising agility as she side-stepped the attack then karate chopped her across the neck, catching her as she slumped. "There," she said as she gently laid the girl down.
"How did you...?" Saki blinked in astonishment.
"A friend of mine does martial arts," Ami said as she looked the girl over. She carefully pried the one eye open and flashed a light into it, frowning. "No automatic responses," she noted, frowning. She waved over the interns, "Get them to the medical tents, we need to check her over once she's conscious."
A alarmed cry drew their attention to the lake as a figure stubled out of the ooze, bare-assed naked as he collapsed to the ground. The brown haired young man shuddered and moaned as he lay on the ground, medical staff rushing over to help him.
"Sir, don't move," Sakura Yamagishi said, the light brown haired nurse helping him roll onto his back, faintly shocked at the look of wide eyed horror in his gaze.
"Shigeru Aoba," he mumbled, "NERV serial number...."
"He's NERV?" Ami murmured, wondering what could have happened to inspire such terror in him. Putting a hand on his shoulder she gently asked, "What happened here?"
Aoba looked at her blankly a moment, then quietly murmured, "WE were attacked... military forces invaded... guns firing, no control, the center cannot hold."
"And then?" Sakura pressed.
"Rei," Aoba's mouth twisted in a rictus grin, "Rei. Rei. REI! REI! REII!"
Aoba began to thrash wildly, jerking and twisting as the staff scrambled to hold him down. "Someone trank him!" Ami yelped, pinning one arm as a nurse scrambled with a needle.
"Oh hell, here come more of them," Sakura sighed as more people began to emerge from the lake of mysterious goo.
No one, thankfully, was as traumatized as Aoba, in fact the emerging people had wildly different reactions. Misato Katsuragi seemed the most uneffected by the experience, borrowing some clothes and swiftly helping the teams taking care of the emerging people. Others were shell shocked, stunned, and in quite a few cases almost possessed of a... religious experience.
The lake seemed to 'shrink' as people emerged one by one, dwindling away as people pulled themselves out. People described the experience within the lake like a 'group mind' or 'oversoul,' as if all barriers between people had broken down and they were united as one. Some people had adapted to it well, others... not so much.
More than a week after the 'event' Misato looked down at the now calmly sleeping Aoba, her expression gently sad. "He was... a very independent person," she mused, "is that why he reacted so badly to this?"
"We've gotten some descriptions of what happened with others," Ami noted quietly, "they all described friends and loved ones appearing."
"I saw Kaji," Misato admitted, "so?"
"If I understood his description," Ami said, "he didn't have anyone close to him, so the Rei just... overwhelmed him, somehow."
Misato visibly winced. "Do you think he'll recover?" she asked gently, looking down at the man she had served beside so long.
"The more time that passes, the calmer he gets," Ami answered her evasively, "other than that, I do not know."
The two women left the medical tent, standing out in the bulldozed area near what was the LCL lake. Parts of Tokyo-3 were being brought back up and running by engineering teams and rebuilding was proceeding, helped in part by the ongoing mystery of what the hell happened. Researchers were combing through the Magi files and other sources, but figuring everything out was going to be a long term project.
"So it was all a hallucination?" Misato guessed as they looked out over the wreckage.
"We don't know," Ami admitted. "As best as we can determine, SEELE found or captured the Lilith entity, which in turn sought to free itself. It convinced people around it that Second Impact happened, as well as caused the 'angel attacks' to try and free itself."
"Then mix in all of SEELE and Gendo's plotting," Misato added wryly. She shook her head, "I suppose it doesn't matter what was real and what wasn't, right now. We still have the consequences to deal with."
What Misato was referring to was the arrival of military forces attempting to 'take charge' of the situation. Misato had quite thoroughly cowed them by sheer force of personality, but they were still trying to run things. They had taken one of the returnees into custody based on recovered files from the Magi, charging Ritsuko Akagi with murder.
"Have you decided how you're going to handle this?" Ami asked curiously.
"Going over their heads," Misato answered, smiling grimly.
Ami smiled wryly, "Does this relate to why you've been using a secure line to contact the United Nations?"
Misato just smirked.
As they talked Sakura came over, the nurse carrying a clipboard. "I got the list of returnees you wanted, Major," she said, handing over the paperwork then excusing herself.
Watching her at work Ami was struck by how powerful the force of personality Misato had. Whatever part of the experience that had broken poor Aoba seemed to have strengthened Misato, giving her a depth she apparently hadn't had before. She seemed to instantly know what to say and how to say it, but without the edge of being a obvious manipulator. It was fascinating, and Ami wished she could remain to observe more closely.
"I'm surprised how many people and families want to stay for the rebuild," Misato noted as she read through the list. She frowned occassionally too, then looked over at Ami, "Does anyone know why some injuries were healed and some not?"
"Mass, I think," Ami offered. "You and some others went into the LCL mostly intact, while others did not."
"That explains Toji," Misato sighed.
"I'm sorry to be leaving," Ami added quietly, "the medical teams are mostly pulling out, now that everyone is stabilized and the hospital in the city is back up and running."
"Thank you for your help," Misato shook her hand firmly as she added, "your teams have done marvels." Wryly she added, "Unlike those quacks at the hospital."
"Asuka?" Ami guessed, having heard of the difficulties the extremely traumatized girl was having.
"Can I ask you to consult with us later?" Misato asked hopefully. "You seem to have a real insight into all of this."
"I'll come when I can," Ami offered.
"That's all I can ask," Misato agreed, then excused herself to see to some other task.
Ami paused outside the tent as she took in the ruptured Geofront, the headquarters of NERV exposed to the sky and the city rising up from the rubble. This would be a rebirth for the city and it's people, and while she wouldn't be a part of it she still wanted to know what would happen next.
To be continued....
Notes: This is a first draft, and is shorter than I planned. I'll try to boost it up later, once I reread the earlier Third Genesis chapters. I'm currently debating working on a rewrite of the whole story, since my opinion on certain characters and plot bits have really changed since I first wrote this.