Title: Messing With The Scenario

Author: Knife Hand

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Spoilers: All of Neon Genesis Evangelion (just covering my basses)

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Do not own Eva. I would buy it but I am broke.

Summary: AU. One interpretation of the series where Shinji has a backbone. Set in 2017, because the Angel attacks are delayed for two years.

AN: Major deviation from Eva Cannon. Timeline elements ignored. Characters are OOC for the series. If you don't like this then stop reading now. You have been warned.

AN2: In this Rei is not a Clone and she is not related to Shinji in any way.

AN3: Virtual Cookie to anyone who recognises the name of the Cruiser without Googling it.

" " denotes speech

' ' denotes thought

Asuka Langley Soryu stood by the railing high on the island of the Super Carrier. She would have liked to have worn one of her sundresses but with the high wind gusts that would have often raised the skirt of her dress she had elected not to as she did not fancy flashing her panties to half the crew. Instead she wore a pair of black cargo pants, a white blouse and a military green jacket. As she watched two Chinook heavy lift helicopters landed on the flight deck while two Apache attack helicopters hovered in position flanking the flight deck. The second the Chinooks landed, the occupants immediately disembarked, most of them taking up defensive positions around the choppers outside of the rotor wash, kneeling on one knee with rifles in hand but not raised. Asuka was impressed, as they were more competent and efficient than the Kommando Spezialkräfte, German Special Forces, that Asuka had done some training with back in Germany

A few were handling a large crate out of the second chopper, but there were two who were calmly walking towards a pair of Officers from the Carrier. One of the two was dressed differently from the others, dressed in black pants and a red jacked with a red beret, while the other, like the rest of the soldiers, was dressed in mottled grey camouflage with a bone white beret. That beret was famous; it was only worn by Academy Troops. After a brief discussion between the two newcomers and the officers, the Academy officer signalled to the other troopers. The ones with the crate, accompanied by another ten soldiers, moved off to the aircraft elevator while the rest fell in behind the officer and entered the island. The transport choppers lifted as soon as everyone was clear and the attack choppers flanked them as they flew off.

Asuka pushed away from the railing when the radio bud in her ear chirped.

"Lieutenant Soryu. Please report to the bridge." Came the voice of the ships' Executive Officer.

"On my way, Commander Ryan." She replied into her throat mic.

Just as she turned, she saw a fleet of smaller Blackhawk helicopters and another Chinook chopper approach, again escorted by Apache Attack Choppers. The transports split up, one going to each of the ships in the fleet, with the Chinook going to the cargo ship that was transporting her Unit 02. As the choppers hovered, soldiers slid down repelling lines from the choppers onto the ships decks, and then the choppers and their escorts all flew off after the first group of choppers.

Asuka made her way inside and quickly through the maze of corridors to the bridge. When she arrived she was directed to the Admiral's office just off the bridge, where there were seven people waiting. On one side of the room stood the Admiral, the Captain and the First Officer, while on the other side stood four figures from the transports. One she recognised, dressed in the red jacket and beret, was Captain Misato Katsuragi who had worked with Asuka for a time in NERV's Third Branch in Germany. The other three were all about her own age and were in urban camouflage and the Academy's bone white beret. The single male had the rank insignia of a Colonel while the two females had the single chevron of a Private.

"Ahh, Lieutenant Soryu. Thank you for coming." Commander Ryan said. "May I introduce Colonel Ikari."

"Whose presence is not required." The Admiral added grumpily.

"Admiral, we have a viable threat." Shinji Ikari replied, before turning to Asuka. "Lieutenant, intelligence has uncovered a plot against your person and Unit 02."

"What's the timeframe?" Asuka replied.

"Twenty-four to forty-eight hours. We have elements tracking down the other side. We are here for close order protection." Shinji said, and then gestured to his two privates. "This is Watson and Wright. They will be with you until we reach port. Where you go, they go. You use the head, they wipe."

"Understood, Colonel." Asuka replied.

"You can't be serious." The Admiral almost screamed.

"Sir, last time someone made an attempt on Unit 02 and me, over seventy Scientists and UN Military personnel died." Asuka replied, with both pain and anger in her voice. "They died because someone not unlike yourself did not believe there was a threat."

"You really have no idea what the Eva's really are, do you?" Shinji asked.

"That child's plaything?" The Admiral scoffed.

"A child's plaything that can destroy your entire fleet in under two minutes? Or an entire city in under five?" Shinji countered. "Or, given the right attitude, can stand as an effective defence against the Angels while risking a single life rather than loosing thousands of lives to no effect."

"And who decides who that single life is, Colonel?" The Captain said in an even tone. "You, from the safety of your base?"

"I have no control over who is selected to Pilot, Captain." Shinji replied, earning a smirk from the Admiral. "But I will be leading them into battle."

This got a confused look from the three Navy personal.

"I'm sorry, I thought you were aware." Shinji said. "Allow me to properly introduce myself. Colonel Shinji Ikari, Snow Leopard Regiment, The Academy and Pilot of Eva Unit 01. One of my Lieutenants is the Pilot of Unit 00."

"Am I interrupting something?" a voice said from the door.

"Mr Kaji, must I keep reminding you not to keep inviting yourself into private meetings?" The Admiral chided.

The instant that Shinji and the two privates saw Rioji Kaji, they all snapped to attention and saluted.

"Major Kaji." Shinji said with formal discipline. "It is an honour to meet one of the legendary Death Stalkers Regiment."

"Major?" Asuka asked.

"You were Academy?" Misato added.

"Most famous regiment in our history." Watson said.

"The Regiment graduated in 2002 and was retired in 2004. Excuse me." Kaji said quietly, before leaving.

"What does he mean by retired?" the Captain asked.

"Once graduated, the Regiments never get reinforced. In fact it is rare to have any new recruits after formation." Shinji explained. "If we get below effective combat strength then the Regiment is retired rather than being issued a new mission or theatre of operation."

"And what is classified as below effective combat strength?" Commander Ryan asked.

"Usually about half a Company, maybe three Platoons. Sometimes a lot less." Shinji said.

"For the Death Stalkers it was five." Wright added.

"Five Platoons?" Misato asked.

"No." Wright replied. "Five Troopers."

"Holy shit." Asuka said.

"Why send them in with so few?" Misato asked.

"They went in with three Companies. It was the Angola Mission." Shinji said.

This earned whistles of awe from everyone in the room. The Angola Mission was renowned as some of the bloodiest fighting in the Post Second Impact Wars where a coalition of African nations under some ruthless warlords fought against UN forces. The death toll from that one theatre was estimated in the tens of millions.

That final comment effectively ended the meeting.

It was three am and a pair of troopers were on station at the back of the bridge of the Cruiser 'Alecia Moore'. The Colonel had brought most of Foxtrot Company on this escort mission, assigning one or two squads to most of the ships, depending on their size, with two Platoons on the Carrier and one Platoon on the freighter. The squads' primary job was to maintain a presence on the bridge, or CIC, and to perform roving patrols around the ships for security purposes.

When the watch officer called out a minor course correction, no one really paid much attention to the actions of the helmsman. It was almost a minute latter that one of the troopers noticed that the Cruiser was going faster and was now headed directly towards the freighter that carried Unit 02.

"Hey!" the trooper called out.

At the shout, the helmsman gave the ship full power, putting it on a collision course with the freighter while seaman manning the radar station blindsided the watch officer then charged at one trooper while the radio operator lunged at the other trooper. Ten seconds later the three enlisted attackers were dead, while one trooper slowed the ship to a stop and the other reported the attempted suicide attack to the Colonel.

When the call came in, early in the morning, it came from an unidentified crewman who told Asuka that the Captain wanted to see her. Wright had been on watch and had woken Asuka for her to take the call, and then proceeded to wake Watson. When all three were dressed and armed, the two troopers with their assault rifles, side arms and close combat weapons (a Kukri Knife for Watson and a Roman Gladius for Wright) while Asuka had a pistol in a concealed holster in the back of her pants.

They exited the bunk room and proceeded down the near deserted passageway. It was not a shift change so most of the crew were either at their duty stations or in their own bunks asleep. They saw a female crewmember disappear out of sight around a corner and a mechanic walking down the hallway towards them. Watson took the lead, but as she passed the mechanic, she felt a strong pain in her side.

The man disguised as a mechanic pulled the narrow bladed dagger out Watson's ribs, as he 'helped' her from her stumble. Wright was not fooled as she knew Watson never stumbled. Watson was one of the most graceful members of the entire regiment. Wright's first instinct was to go on the attack, but her mission was protection, so she grabbed Asuka and pulled the pilot to a safer position behind her. This gave the assassin time to recover from his ruse and go on the offensive. Wright was tired, having been on watch after a short sleep, and did not have time to draw any of her weapons. The exchange of blows was rapid and precise as both sides were well trained and they both scored several hits. Wright managed to get the slim dagger away from the assassin, after he had extended half a centimetre too far in a thrust that grazed her ribs, but the next second a small thrusting dagger appeared in his hand courtesy of a spring loaded sheath strapped to his wrist. As the assassin adjusted his stance to better suit his new weapon, he cried out in pain.

The assassin's initial thrust into Watson's ribs was supposed to pierce her heart and kill her instantly; however the angle had been slightly wrong. The blade had punctured a lung and nicked an aorta, causing serious injury, but had not killed Watson. While Wright and the assassin were fighting, Watson slowly managed to draw the famous curved blade of her Kukri. Just as the assassin shifted his stance, she swung the blade at his ankles; not being able to reach much higher from her position slumped on the floor. The blade sliced through his Achilles tendons on both feet and severed the arties in his ankles. He dropped to his knees, his feet no longer functioning. Wright took no chances and, quick as a flash, drew her Gladius and plunged it point first into his neck with a precision and speed that would have made a Roman Legionary jealous.

The second he was dead, Wright called for a medic, not just for Watson with her serious injuries but also for the four cuts she had sustained, two of them quite deep. Both the medic and backup arrived almost immediately, Watson having been able to tap out a distress message on her radio during the fight, being lead by Colonel Ikari himself. Watson was whisked away to the infirmary while Wright was treated on site. Asuka has sustained no injuries but was worried over Watson and felt helpless. Even with the training she had received, Asuka knew she could not have taken the Assassin.

The fleet pulled into harbour and they were greeted by a long column of armoured transports. Asuka had spent the remainder of the voyage, only another eight hours, locked in her bunk room with four troopers outside. Wright had been there when she had been escorted off the ship, along with to whole squads of Academy troopers, accompanied by Colonel Ikari, Major Kaji and Captain Katsuragi. Wright had told Asuka that Watson had been evacuated to a shore based medical facility but was expected to survive.

Once down the gang plank, Asuka was huddled into one of the armoured transports with Shinji, Kaji and Misato, while the rest of the troopers split up along the convoy. Asuka was so introspective that at first she failed to notice the other occupant of transport, until Shinji started speaking.

"Major Roji Kaji, may I introduce my second in command. Major Hans Soryu." Shinji said.

At that Asuka's head snapped up and she looked at her cousin.

"Honour to meet you Major, but excuse me." Hans said. "I think my cousin is about to appropriate me."

Hans had just enough time to smile before Asuka engulfed him in a hug.