Another Demented Work from the Deranged Keyboard
of Benjamin B. Donnelly
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Okay, it's amazing what you find funny at 1:30 AM when you haven't had much sleep and have been listening to entirely too much music. Yes, Virginia, this is my first attempt at writing a songfic...at least I guess that's what it is...anyway, enjoy. And laugh, dammit, though at places this parody gets painfully serious.
And as a matter of fact, I do own Evangelion. And all the characters. Hah! What're you going to do about that, Gainax? I...er...okay, I'm kidding, I don't really own these characters. You can call off the lawyers...
The tension was running high in NERV. An Angel had been spied in near-Earth orbit, and, if it followed its present course, it would arrive over Tokyo-3 in less than twelve hours. The three Project Evangelion pilots–Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langely Soryu, and Shinji Ikari–had been pulled from a bucolic class and rushed to the Geofront, where they had hurriedly suited up and manned their respective Evas.
Commander Gendo Ikari watched the staff carefully. At least, Gendo reasoned, the early warning had given them plenty of time to prepare.
Perhaps too much tme, he thought as he looked down over the control staff. The alert had come in at noon, and it was now nearing ten o'clock in the evening. Other than the steady progression of the Angel towards Tokyo-3 and the gradual ratcheting up of the alert status for Japan and the city, there had been little for the staff to do. The trio of controllers–Makoto Hyuga, Maya Ibuki, and Shigeru Aoba–had been on duty for twelve hours. Misato Katsuragi had been on nearly as long, and Ritsuko–Gendo wasn't entirely sure she had even gone home from the night before. He, of course, had been at NERV for the past few days. Other than catnaps stolen at hours, there was little time or inclination to sleep. No one knew if the Angel was going to accelerate and attack early. Worse, no one knew that the Angel might not this time win. All of them, in the Geofront, in Tokyo-3, on Earth itself, could be living their last hours.
Gendo raised his gaze slightly to the gigantic holomonitors projected in front of the control tower. The screens were split into a triumvirate of the Eva pilots, deployed at cardinal points around Tokyo-3, able to react quickly no matter what direction the Angel attacked from. Though Gendo preferred to project an icy demeanor and a careless attitude towards the pilots, with the possible exception of Rei, he was not entirely without feeling or sympathy. He knew that the last nine hours had been very long ones for the pilots, shut up inside their Evas with nothing to do but think. That, Gendo reflected, was never a good thing. Even Rei, apparently fearless as she was, could generate all sorts of unpleasant scenarios when the battle started. As for Asuka and especially Shinji, Gendo knew they were wondering if they were facing their own most likely gruesome death at the hands of an unknown, unspeakable foe. The control crew could take ten minutes and grab something to drink or have a smoke to calm unsteady nerves. The pilots were sealed in their entry plugs. So Gendo had little trouble agreeing to Misato's request that at least they be able to listen to music. He rather preferred the calming effect of music himself, and was somewhat reluctant when the sonorous strings of Pachebel's Canon drifted off.
"That's the end of the CD," Maya said absently, tapping away on her laptop.
"Thank God," Shigeru said. He was not the world's biggest fan of classical music. If it didn't have a bass line, he didn't like it.
"Who's turn is it to put on a disk?" Misato yawned.
"I think it's Makoto's," Maya replied.
"Yeah, it's me." Makoto got up, cracked his back, and began rummaging through the control crew's bulging bag of CDs.
"Put something on with at least a beat," Shigeru advised. "That last one was like listening to Muzak."
"Gotcha," Makoto said. "Let's see...we've got Disney movie music..."
"Great idea!" Maya said.
"No," said Shigeru and Misato.
"Aww..." Maya whined.
"Nix to that, then." Makoto pulled out another disk. "Huh. Rammstein. Isn't this Asuka's, Shigeru?"
"Yeah, I need to get that back to her...."
As if summoned, Asuka suddenly looked at the video pickup, and narrowed her eyes. "Hey," the radio crackled to life, "what happened to the music?"
"We're putting in a new disk," Maya soothed her.
"Put in something decent," Asuka growled, and the radio clicked off. Shinji glanced at the monitor, while Rei's eyes remained closed, either asleep or in meditation.
"Maybe not Rammstein then," Makoto decided. "Hmm. How about 'Fly Me to the Moon: 82 Remixes'?"
"NO," everyone, including Gendo above them, said in unison.
"Tough crowd tonight," Makoto sighed. "Hey, here's one. It's unmarked. Looks like Kaji's handwriting on it."
"Oh, God, no," Misato groaned. "It's probably a collection of his favorite porn music."
"Who wants to listen to Kaji's disk?" Makoto called out. His own and two others' hands went up. Gendo nearly rose his as well, which told him just how tired he was.
"Against?" Misato raised her hand with exhausted indifference. "Okay, in it goes."
"Bow-chicka-wow-wow," Maya giggled, which brought a chorus of laughter from the crew. Ritsuko came onto the "bridge" of the control tower, and wondered if she shouldn't call in the relief crew. It was obvious that they were staying awake through adrenalin, caffeine, and tension.
Makoto opened NERV's official CD changer and set the disk in.
Shinji Ikari had been frightened when he had jumped into his entry plug nine hours earlier. Even as his hands automatically went through EVA-01's startup sequence, his brain had been whirling. What would it be this time? None of the missions had been easy; the easiest time he had in an Eva was the Jet Alone situation, and even then, he had come very close to losing about the only family he had, Misato. Of the Angels, the less said the better. His hands had trembled, as usual, when he gripped the control sticks and marched his Eva towards the launch bays. He wondered if he'd ever have Rei's cool demeanor, or Asuka's jauntiness. He suspected that Asuka might not be quite as fearless as she let on, but at least she was good at hiding her fear.
Now, however, after nine hours of fidgeting, and playing 403 hands of solitaire on the Eva's onboard computer, Shinji realized that he was not really scared any longer. He was bored. Not so bored that he wanted the Angel to attack, or so relaxed he could sleep, but bored enough to wish for a book or even an internet connection. Something to do. The music had been a big help, but even he didn't usually listen to his SDAT for nearly nine hours straight, and he liked a change from the classical and soft rock they had been playing. He could imagine what Asuka must be feeling, since she hated being still for very long.
He heard the distinct hiss of the beginning of a song, and decided that the bridge crew had finally changed the disc. Shinji sighed, squirmed around in his seat a little, and tried to relax.
Is this the real life
Is this the fantasy
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
"Hey, this sounds familiar," Shinji said aloud.
"All right!" Shigeru exclaimed. "Queen! Kaji's the man!"
"Well, it could be worse," Maya said. "As long as they don't have that bicycle song on it. I can't believe Freddie Mercury didn't like Star Wars."
Misato groaned again. She remembered the last time she had heard this song. It had accompanied the sound of bedsprings squeaking–her bedsprings. She resolved on the spot to severely injure Kaji Ryoji the next time she saw him.
Gendo cocked his head to one side. He wasn't familiar with this tune. The three voices were harmonizing, though not as well as, say, Enya. The song was dimly familiar.
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see...
Rei opened her eyes, jolted from the light sleep she had been in. At first, she thought someone was giving her an order, and she looked up. It was dark, and no stars moved. Then she realized that it was a song, as she heard a piano in the background. She too cocked her head to one side, curious. "Queen?" she asked no one in particular.
I'm just a poor boy
I need no sympathy
Shinji nodded. "I know the feeling," he said quietly. "Oh, of course. I've heard this...Kensuke was playing it that one time." He began humming along.
Because I'm easy come, easy go
Asuka had been leaning forward, her face jammed onto her right fist in a position of utter, frustrated, boredom. She had gotten tired of solitaire after 103 games, played Minesweeper and Pinball until her eyes wanted to bleed. She hated the music that had been played. When Maya had put on Roots of Riverdance, she had to fight down an urge to march back to NERV and physically tear the CD out of the player. With EVA-02's hands.
"Oh, great," she moaned. "Queen." She sat back. "Well, I guess anything's better than Pachebel's Cure for Insomnia." She closed her eyes, and despite herself, began listening.
Any way the wind blows
Doesn't really matter to me
Maya, giddy with fatigue, began pantomiming the piano playing. Shigeru and Makoto laughed, and even Misato and Ritsuko cracked a smile.
Mama...just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Shigeru pointed his fingers like a gun at Makoto.
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Makoto grabbed his chest and slowly slumped over his station. Maya's giggles caused her to miss a few keys.
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away.
Asuka's eyes flew open. "That's not funny," she said quietly, seriously, not wanting the internal microphones to pick up her words.
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Asuka reached forward and switched off her radio. Those memories she did not need.
Carry on, carry on
As if nothing really matters...
Shinji sighed, deeply. This song was hitting closer to home than he had thought. Almost unconsciously, he began singing along.
"Too late...my time has come...sends shivers down my spine...body's aching all the time..."
Maya's hands paused in her air keyboard. "What the?"
"That's Shinji," Misato said. "He must have forgot that we have the mike pickups on."
"Say," Shigeru said, listening. "He's not half bad."
Then a new voice took up the music, so soft as to not override Shinji's voice, but to complement it."Goodbye, everybody...I've got to go...got to leave you all behind and face the truth..."
"REI?!" at least three people yelled in shock.
Asuka had glowered at EVA-02's instrument panel for a moment, then switched the radio back on. It would not do to miss a radio check, and she certainly couldn't depend on Baka Shinji or Wondergirl to let her know if something was about to happen. She could endure the song. After all, she had vowed long ago that nothing would make her cry again. Ever.
The sound of Shinji and Rei singing together nearly made her break that promise. Their voices blended well. Asuka wasn't sure to cry or laugh.
Or to join them.
"Mama...ooooh..." Shinji and Rei continued as if no one was hearing them. If they heard each other, neither gave any sign. Rei's expression was typically blank, but she was slowly moving her head in time with the music. Shinji was really getting into it, eyes closed, his facial expressions exaggerated as if he was addressing Wembley Stadium and a packed crowd. No one wanted to laugh, because they sounded good, and Maya continued her air keyboard. Ritsuko was biting her lip, trying not to snicker, knowing that if she did, the whole control crew would collapse. Misato was busily chewing on her coffee stirrer.
"Any way the wind blows..."
Misato bit through her coffee stirrer. The three technicians looked popeyed at the screen, then each other. "ASUKA?!"
Ritsuko pounded the choking Misato on the back. "That's it," she smiled, "I've gone completely and utterly insane." She looked at the images of the three pilots. "Apparently, it's contagious."
Shinji heard Asuka's voice come up under his own, and abruptly realized that Rei was singing too. Yet he didn't care. Music had always been the only way to express himself, and this song was him. Well, maybe not the shooting part.
"I don't wanna die...I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all..." Shinji put everything into the words, his voice nearly in a strangled scream.
As the guitar work started up, that was Shigeru's cue. He stood up and began going to town. It broke the tension from the sudden shock of Asuka singing–and she wasn't terribly bad–and Shinji's entirely too emotional emphasis on the last two lines. Shigeru was good, on air guitar at least. Misato, having hacked up a piece of stirrer and suddenly struck with the same sort of weirdness that fatigue had brought into the Geofront, pulled out a cigarette lighter. It was Kaji's, and she found it perversely appropriate. She lit it and began swaying in time with the music. Ritsuko, also struck with the same idea, pulled out her laser pointer and began doing the same. Makoto, by now, was convulsed in laughter.
And then the music changed.
"I see a little silhouetto of a man," Shinji sang.
"Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango," Rei added.
"THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTNING, VERY VERY FRIGHTENING!" shouted Asuka at the top of her lungs.
"Galileo!" sang out Rei.
"Galileo," answered Shinji, pitching his voice ridiculously low.
"Galileo!" returned Rei, her voice annoyingly, bizarrely, shockingly too high.
"Galileo," Shinji finished, and both combined for the "Galileo figaro."
"Magnificoooo..." Asuka uluated, her right hand between her breasts and the other outstretched like a transgendered Pavarotti.
"I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me," Shinji sang sadly.
The emotion was lost on the control room crew. "HE'S JUST A POOR BOY FROM A POOR FAMILY, SPARE HIM HIS LIFE FROM THIS MONSTROSITY!" the three techs shouted back at Shinji.
"Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?" he implored them, spreading his hands.
"BISMILLAH! NO, WE WILL NOT LET YOU GO!" Maya and Shigeru answered. Makoto was once more rolling on the floor, so Misato supplied his part.
"Let him go!" shouted Rei and Asuka.
"BISMILLAH!" Shigeru shouted.
"We will not let you go!" Maya and Misato added.
"Let him go!"
"We will not let you go!"
"Let me go!" Shinji interrupted the yelling between the Geofront and the other two Evas.
"Will not let you go!" The crew yelled at him.
"Let me go!" Shinji yelled back.
"Will not let you go!" The crew insisted.
"Let me go! Never, never, never let me go!" Shinji stretched it out.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" Rei and Asuka added their voices to the growing dissonance. Techs in the load bays and in the vast corridors of NERV were now staring popeyed at the PA speakers, as Ritsuko, being slightly demented to begin with, had opened up all channels.
"Oh mamma mia, mamma mia," Shinji intoned.
"Mamma mia let me go," Rei and Asuka finished.
"Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me," Shinji said
"For me," Rei sang.
"For meeeee!" Asuka screeched, once more doing her Dee Snider Meets The Three Tenors impression.
And Shigeru jumped up on the console and went into his air guitar mode, tossing his hair to and fro like the 80s big hair band member he dreamed of being. Misato punched her fist in the air in time with the music. Maya called a medic for Makoto, who had gone into convulsions at the sight of all three Eva pilots, in perfect synchronization, headbanging. Ritsuko made notes for future reference as their synch rates climbed. Asuka, for her part, was revealing her true taste in music by extending both hands' pinkies and index fingers.
"So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye?!" Shinji screamed. "So you think you can love me and leave me to die?! Oh, baby...can't do this to me, baby...just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here..." Caught up in the moment, Shinji very nearly pulled the Eject Plug handle, also known as the Chicken Switch, but good sense made a belated appearance and stayed his hand. Shigeru and Misato, both now doing air guitar, took it home.
The music abruptly quieted down, and Shigeru and Misato now swayed together with the music, as did Maya and Ritsuko. The paramedics would have too, had they not been busy reviving a nearly paralyzed Makoto.
"Nothing really matters...anyone can see..." Shinji crooned.
"Nothing really matters..." Rei sang sadly.
"Nothing really matters...to me..." Asuka finished.
Professor Kozou Fuyutsuki came onto the elevated section where Gendo usually sat, wondering what in the purple hell or what kind of nefarious Angel plot had seized NERV. He was taken aback by the whistling and clapping from the crew below him. Shigeru and Misato bowed, got off the console, then gestured back to the three pilots. Shinji, who had abruptly realized what had just happened, was burning red with embarrassment, but he bowed hesitantly. Rei, wearing a fey smile, bowed as well, while Asuka did her impression of the Great Karnak.
Fuyutsuki turned to Gendo, but Gendo was merely staring at the pilots, his hands folded in front of him as usual. "What just happened?" Fuyutsuki expostulated. "Gendo?"
"It was Bohemian Rhapsody," Gendo calmly explained, as if the entire NERV operations crew and pilots breaking into song was a common ocurrence.
"I know that. My Lord, Yui used to drive me crazy with that song...that one and that other about someone being a big man someday. I can't remember." He pointed at the pilots. "But why were they..."
"Fatigue." Gendo sighed and rose to his feet. "I think they've been pushed long enough. Inform Dr. Akagi to cancel the exercise."
"Very well," Fuyutsuki said. The Geofront was getting weirder by the day. "Gendo," he said to the back of the Commander, who was walking out the door.
"Didn't you and Yui used to go cruising down the Ginza with some friends of yours listening to that song?"
Gendo looked back over his shoulder and adjusted his glasses. "That was a long time ago, Professor." He turned and continued to walk, but not before Fuyutsuki noticed that his eyes were a little misty. And he wasn't so far down the hallway that the Professor didn't hear Gendo mumble, "Any way the wind blows..."
Of course, it could have been Fuyutsuki's imagination. In any case, the sound of Gendo's voice, or the aural illusion, was immediately subsumed in "FLASH! AH-AH!" blasting from the speakers.
"HE SAVES EVERY ONE OF US!" yelled the Eva pilots in unison.