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A Time for War

"Are you sure this is wise?" An almost mechanical voice asked, resonating throughout the entire chamber.

The robed figure stood in the center of the simple circular dome; his attention focused on a gleaming blue orb that pulsed steadily, bathing the rather dark chamber in an eerie blue light every 4 seconds.

"Yes." The robed being replied, not taking his gaze off the orb.

"Just this very action will cause the time flow to be disrupted. The resulting actions could cause irreparable damage…"

"I know… I shall monitor the activities myself." The robed being answered, "If it appears that things are getting out of hand, I shall end the project."

There was silence for several seconds, then finally the disembodied voice asked, "Why are you doing this?"

The robed figure dropped its head, and said, "Because… I care for the people on that planet. I can't stand the sight of them suffering needlessly. If there is some way that I can help them understand what we are doing, perhaps… they can accept the transition that much easier."

After Colony 196…

Heero took the controls of Wing Zero for what he hoped to be the last time. He opened a communication channel, and said simply, "I am on my way."

From the other end, Quatre said, "Thank you, Heero. Today is a new day for the Earth and the colonies."

Gently, Heero rose Wing Zero out of its hangar, and inputted the coordinates where it would be launched into the sun. This was truly, as Quatre put it, a new day for everyone.

However, as soon as he started to take off for his destination, his sensors started to wail in alarm. Glancing over at his sensor display, he quickly tried to process the data as the console ran it by.

"A heavy quantum flux… neutrino concentration increasing 500%…" Heero muttered, "Gravity well forming… dead ahead." Heero decided to put on hold contemplation as to why this was happening for the moment. Getting out of the situation was more crucial.

Looking ahead, he could see the space in front of him warp from the effects similar to a black hole, the very fabric of space and time being ripped at the seams just ahead. Not even Wing Zero's powerful rockets were capable of freeing itself from the increasing pull of the gravity well.

However, something happened as Wing Zero was pulled past the event horizon. His cockpit was flooded with a dim blue light, and a soft voice echoed through Heero's surroundings.

"Greetings… Heero Yuy." The voice said gently.

"Who are you, and what is the meaning of this?" Heero demanded.

"I will explain in time. There is a situation more important at the moment. When you emerge from this flux, you will immediately distinguish two giant objects on your sensor array. However, one of them will have a higher theta band emission ratio. That is the object you must eliminate. Can you do this?"

Heero was silent for a second, before he finally muttered, "Mission… accepted."

"Thank you. Be careful…"

The light faded away, then Wing Zero shook violently as the flux ended. For a moment, Heero gathered data from his new surroundings. He appeared to be flying over an underground city, and judging from the damage that was splattered throughout the metropolis, it had been through quite a battle… or still going through one.

Sure enough, his sensor array beeped, picking up data on two distinct objects about as large as Wing Zero. Turning in the direction of the objects, Heero saw one of them slammed against a barricade, its power output dropping steadily. The other was hunched over somewhat, as if it was a stalking beast, ready to make the final kill.

"Theta band emissions… 72 PPM. That is the target I am to acquire." Heero said simply, and began to make his move."

Central Dogma, NERV Headquarters

"What did you say?" Misato Katsuragi demanded of the male technician in front of her.

He gathered his thoughts, and repeated, "Another unit has emerged from the quantum flux we were monitoring. It is heading for the battle line."

"Is it another Angel?" Misato asked impatiently.

"Unknown… We can't get any solid data on it yet. I've never seen sensor readings like this before." A young woman, Maya replied.

Ritsuko approached the panel Maya was looking over. The doctor shook her head, and muttered, "What the hell…?"

"Could someone give me something besides 'I don't know?'" Misato wailed in frustration.

"These sensor readings… I'm sorry, Misato, but I can't make anything out of them. For the moment, we can only wait… and hope to God that the thing's friendly…"

From his office, Gendo Ikari examined the same data that was baffling everyone else in the tactical center. His hands, normally folded just in front of his face, had dropped slightly.

Vice-Commander Fuyutski asked, "Could this be SEELE's doing?"

"No…" Gendo replied, "I would have at least had some idea that they were planning something. This is totally unexpected, not a part of my plan at all…"

Tokyo 3 Geofront

Shinji finally gave up trying to get his Eva to move when from his increasingly hazy vision he saw a gleaming white blob. As it approached, its features became clearer; some sort of white jet-like object was coming his way.

"Another Angel?" Shinji asked himself depressingly, "Just what I need right now…"

The form suddenly seemed to stop in mid-air, and various parts started to move and twist. Legs suddenly became distinguishable, as did two metallic arms. Finally, a head appeared, and the now humanoid robot touched the ground.

"What is this…?" Shinji asked. "Is it an Eva?"

There was a roar from the angel that had been attacking him, and the creature turned in the direction of the new visitor. With inhuman quickness, the angel charged at the white mecha, however, the unknown robot was equally quick, thrusting straight up, back into the air via the enormous rockets on its back.

The angel rushed right underneath the Eva-like unit, but wasn't fooled for long. It too jumped to intercept the object that had just dodged it. Yet once again, the newcomer was one step ahead. It spun in midair, at some point taking a small metal rod in its giant hand. Suddenly one end ignited in a flash of green energy, at the same time swinging in a wide arc, catching the angel across the side of its hideous face. The angel slammed against the ground with a sickening thud, and the unknown unit once again landed, waiting patiently for the angel's next attack.

Back in Central Dogma

Maya whistled in awe. Ritsuko muttered, "Damn…" Misato couldn't say a thing. Her jaw decided that it liked its current position on the floor. After several moments of silence, the Major was finally able to speak.

"Did anyone else just see that?" When the assembly inside the tactical center nodded, Misato sighed in relief, "Good. I didn't want to think I was going crazy."

"The speed… that unit… displayed…" Maya stammered, unable to string her thoughts together properly.

So Ritsuko did it for her. "It was unreal, I know. And it smacked that angel away like I would swat at a fly."

Makoto from another one of the tactical consoles then yelled, "The power output of the unidentified object is increasing! 30 terrawatts… 40 terrawatts… 50! And it's still rising!"

"Bring it onscreen again!" Misato ordered. The view screen lit up with scenes from the battle once again. The angel had regained its footing, albeit somewhat dazed. The Angel's A-T field had just barely managed to keep the angel from having its head severed. It then leaped into the air preparing to tackle the unknown mecha.

In response, the white object raised a menacing looking, double-barreled rifle. Wafts of energy started to spiral into the barrels, then finally shot forth in one massive beam that blasted through the ceiling of the Geofront. The angel didn't even have a prayer, its dark silhouette ripped apart by the intense swath of destruction.

Maya gasped, "The angel… blue pattern… gone. The angel has been totally… vaporized…"

Misato was able to shake herself out of her awe-struck stupor long enough to ask, "Can we eject Unit-01's plug? Let's get Shinji out of there before our friend decides that one fight isn't enough…"

"Ejection code accepted. Ejecting entry plug." Maya sighed.

Makoto cut in excitedly, "We are receiving a transmission from the unidentified unit! It's requesting permission to dock somewhere…"

Ritsuko led Misato to the cargo bay that had been unceremoniously transformed into a hangar for the strange red, white, and blue mecha. Looking up at the monstrosity, Misato was overrun with the sensation that she was seeing something her eyes were never intended to witness.

"Is this some form of Eva?" Misato asked.

"Ha!" Ritsuko snorted, "This thing makes our Eva into jokes. Did you see the readouts we received on this thing's battle?"

Misato didn't need to read the reports. She had seen that mecha in action. The angel that had totally disabled all three Evas had been in effect bitch slapped by the unit towering over her now. It hadn't even been a battle… it had been a farce.

"What is it then?" Misato queried.

"I wish I knew. The only person who could possibly know that isn't talking." Ritsuko replied.

"Speaking of which, where is our… pilot… now?" Misato asked. The pilot's name eluded her for the moment.

"HEERO…" Ritsuko smirked, "Is looking over the data files of NERV. The unsecured ones anyway. He seems to think he can figure out what happened that brought him here."

"I need to find out as much as I can about where I am. Perhaps I can figure out what I need to do to return." Heero muttered, "I'd rather not wait for some phantom voice to tell me later." He then pulled a few tricks he knew, and started examining some not-so-unsecured files.

A pair of footsteps caught his attention, and he spun around to see the redhead female pilot, Asuka, being tailed by the male pilot, Shinji. Heero then turned his attention back to the screen, deciding to ignore them. Unfortunately, they did not ignore him.

"Well, well, well…" Asuka said, a hint of a snarl sneaking out of her voice, "If it isn't our almighty savior, the one who bailed us out when we needed it most."

Heero merely turned his eyes in her direction, and said blandly, "Had I known how much of a venomous demeanor you possessed, I would have done this world a favor and NOT intervened."

"Oh boy…" Shinji meekly whispered, "This is gonna get ugly."

"Oh SHUT UP!" Asuka hollered, whirling around to face Shinji, "Your input isn't needed, Third Child!"

Heero then stood up, and it drew the attention of the two Eva pilots. With a blank expression, he replied, "If you two don't have anything meaningful to say, I suggest you get out of my way. I have been asked to meet your commander in 5 minutes."

With that, he pushed himself between the two pilots, and strode down the hall, disappearing eventually around a corner. Asuka found all of the anger that she had been prepared to unleash on the strange man suddenly drained away.

"What is with that guy? He's worse than Wondergirl." She asked.

"I don't know." Shinji answered.

Asuka then smacked him across the back of his head, and screamed, "It was a rhetorical question you idiot! God! I don't know how I stand you sometimes!"

Gendo Ikari watched cautiously as the one called Heero Yuy strode into Gendo's office, finally stopping right in front of the NERV commander's desk. He had come to expect a certain amount of intimidation when people encountered him, a feeling he didn't get coming from this stranger. Gendo could have chalked it up to Heero not knowing who Gendo was, but the commander had the feeling that it wouldn't have mattered.

"Did you find your examination of our records… informative?" Gendo asked simply, his voice hanging on every word almost menacingly.

If Heero was rattled, he didn't show it. "Unfortunately, I did not." Heero replied, his eyes narrowing slightly, "It appears that the timeline that I am in is radically different from the one I can recall."

"You think you are from some… alternate future?" Gendo queried.

"Most likely." Heero answered, but refused to elaborate.

"So, when will you return?" Gendo asked, "CAN you return to wherever you came from?"

"I will need to analyze the data on the rift that brought me here more before I can make a statement one way or the other on that."

"Then I take it that you will be here more than one night." Gendo sighed. It was evident to Heero that the commander was none too keen with Heero's presence. "I suppose I shall have to arrange a place for you to stay…"

"He can stay with me, Commander." A gentle, near emotionless female voice interrupted. A thin, pale, young girl with short blue hair stepped forward from the shadows behind Vice-Commander Fuyutski.

Gendo seemed a little perturbed, but recovered quickly. "Mr. Yuy… this is Rei Ayanami. I believe you both have met."

"Briefly." Heero agreed, nearly glaring at the girl, analyzing her carefully. "If you have room, I suppose it would be acceptable."

"I do indeed." Rei replied.

Gendo seemed a little taken aback by the blue-haired girl's statements. Heero wasn't sure just what to make of it yet. Perhaps she wasn't one to normally make requests. His first impression of Ayanami was one that didn't suggest she was prone to conversation.

"I'm not sure that is wise…" Gendo said.

"Are you afraid that we will engage in sexual intercourse?" Rei asked. Fuyutski nearly fell over, and it was mere willpower that kept Gendo from jumping through the roof. Leave it to Rei to be EXTREMELY blunt.

Glancing at Heero, Gendo swore he could notice a slight smirk, obviously keying in on Gendo's sudden discomfort. "It has nothing to do with that at all. It's just that he is an unknown factor from an indefinite time that could drastically effect the course of time itself. It might not be wise for him to greatly intermix with this scenario."

"In other words, you don't want me interfering with your plan." Heero stated.

The accusation caused Gendo to lean backwards in his chair slightly, his hands falling away from his face for the first time since the meeting began. Gendo made a note to himself to be careful around this Heero character. He was a smart one.

"I haven't gathered all the details, but I will tell you this. I knew a couple people like you; people who tried to create a future by sacrificing others."

"What is your point?" Gendo nearly hissed.

Heero refused to back down, instead leaning over Gendo's desk to stare at the commander through his shades, "The point is, those two people were willing to sacrifice themselves to make the future they desired. Are you prepared to do the same?"

The glare that Gendo made could have caused a normal man to spontaneously combust. However, Heero was no normal man, and he had received his share of murderous stares.

Finally, Vice-Commander Fuyutski broke the silence, "If you are to be residing with Pilot Ayanami, I suggest you leave soon. It is quite a trip to her apartment. Also, we would like it if you had a routine physical from Dr. Akagi. It is merely for precautions sake, you understand."

"Right…" Heero drawled, not at all convinced.

"Anyway, shall we be going. I am sure that we can get your physical in now, and then we can proceed to my residence." Rei interceded again, effectively ending the meeting, and probably quite fortunately…

"What have you to report, Dr. Akagi?" Gendo asked.

"He's in perfect health. There's nothing in his system that could harm anyone from the looks of things. That's kinda the problem actually…"

"Explain."

"He's almost in TOO good of shape. There is an amazing lack of genetic flaws in Heero as well. The chances that all this genetic perfection occurred naturally is… infinitesimal."

"I somehow expected as much." Gendo admitted, "He seemed… unnatural. What about the unit he rode in on?"

There was a deep breath as Ritsuko began, "The thing that struck me first off was the lack of a umbilical port. I'm not sure how, but it is evident that this unit is able to supply power for itself for extremely extended periods of time."

"Needless to say, the advantage of having just THAT technology would be enormous. Have you been able to discern how that unit does it?"

Ritsuko laughed slightly, "Not at all. Any attempts to get inside the suit that Heero calls the Wing Zero have failed dismally. The door that leads to the suit's cockpit appears to be sealed with some form of sensor. When active, I think only Heero can open the panel."

"Did you try to force your way in?" Gendo asked.

"We drilled seven diamond bits to the nubs trying to get in. Other than a nice half-inch chip in the paint, there was no effect. Even laser drills were ineffective."

"How is that possible?" Gendo questioned suspiciously.

"I am not sure. The material that this unit is made of is absolutely incredible. We couldn't even run X-ray scans through it. It can repel all sorts of high-wave energy, and appears to be more than 3000 times more resilient than our titanium alloys."

"Very well. Thank you, Dr. Akagi." Gendo sighed. He terminated the connected, and turned to his Vice-Commander. "I need to talk with the council now, and I doubt they will be pleased with that report."

"You are going to tell them everything?" Fuyutski said in disbelief.

"I have no choice." Gendo answered, "We are entering the critical stages in our plan. If they think that I have something to do with all this, it could ruin everything. It is imperative that SEELE hold off just a little longer."

"So… do you plan to assist us in fighting the Angels?" Rei asked as she led Heero through the streets of Tokyo-3.

"That might not be wise. I do agree with your commander on one thing. My interference here could be catastrophic." Heero retorted.

"But you have already interfered." She shot back.

"That was a reaction to a battle scene, and probably not the best thing I could have done." Heero refused to be baited, "Why do you care anyway?"

Rei whirled around, her blood red eyes clashing with her pale complexion. "You have been chosen for some great task. I do not believe that your appearance on this world is coincidental."

For a moment, they stared at each other, Heero trying to gauge if Rei was implying anything more than she was saying. "I am curious as to how you reached such a conclusion." He finally stated.

Rei frowned ever so slightly, and answered, "Your actions in that battle were too well thought out. You instantly knew what your target was, as if you had been briefed as to what you were supposed to do beforehand. The commander recognized this as well, which is why he is concerned about you."

Heero was silent. They were also quite observant. He would have to proceed with better care from this point onward. "I can not say anything about my actions both past or future until I gather more information."

"I see." Rei commented, then began to walk again, with Heero quickly following in step behind her. From that point, it was an uneventful trip to a small apartment complex for various staff of NERV.

As they approached the entrance, two people exited. One of them was Shinji, along with one other that he had not met before. Shinji looked over at Rei and quickly approached her.

"I'm so glad I ran into you. I wanted to make sure you were all right." Shinji said with a great deal of concern in his voice. "When I saw you attack that Angel with an N-2 mine…"

"I am relatively undamaged." Rei replied.

Shinji then seemed to notice Heero for the first time. "What are you doing here?"

"He will be staying with me until he can return." Rei answered.

"WHAT?"

"I fail to see what was so unclear that it needs repeating." Heero stated blandly.

"I never knew Rei had a boyfriend!" The young boy with Shinji shouted, a light haired kid with glasses and a video camera.

Shinji watched Kensuke's actions warily. There was a lot about Heero Yuy that Shinji wasn't too certain about. He wasn't sure how Heero would react to a confrontation with some of Shinji's friends.

At the moment, Heero didn't seem bothered, even when Kensuke shoved the video recorder into Heero's face. As a matter of fact, Heero hadn't even acted like he even acknowledged the young man's existence.

"Come on, say something to the camera!" Kensuke chirped.

As if he was looking through Kensuke, Heero reached forward, and grabbed the lens of the camera. Then with his bare hand, crushed it.

Kensuke jumped back with a shocked squeal, and Shinji was stopped dead in his tracks. Heero looked at the very startled Kensuke, and said softly, "I'd appreciate if you didn't record my stay here. There is a lot going on that you would never understand."

"Hey!" Shinji finally shouted, "Just… take it easy. He didn't mean any harm!"

Heero raised an eyebrow in the pilot's direction, then said, "I know. Which is why I didn't kill him."

Shinji froze again. The way Heero said that, with such unerring calm, was simply disturbing. Heero talked about killing a man in the same way that the Tokyo-3 meteorologist gave the morning weather report. Just the very thought sent shivers down his spine.

"Kensuke, maybe you should just go. I'll meet up with you later." Shinji said softly, but his friend heard him clearly. Kensuke didn't waste much time taking off, leaving Shinji alone with Heero and Rei.

Finally, Shinji said to Heero, "What the hell is WRONG with you? 'That's why I didn't kill him.' Who says things like that?"

"A person who cares little for pretenses." Heero answered.

"I mean, would you really have killed him just for recording you?"

"Yes. It is imperative that I remain inconspicuous for the moment."

At this moment, Shinji figured that he might as well just lay down on the ground with all the times he had been floored in the past few minutes. There was little doubt in Shinji's mind that Heero meant what he said.

"You can't just kill people!" Shinji shouted.

"You're right. You need a reason." Heero replied, almost as if he was goading Shinji into an argument.

It wasn't clear if Rei stepped in at that moment intentionally to break up any further confrontation, or if it was sheer coincidence, but she took Heero's arm gently and led him up the steps of the apartment complex. As they passed Shinji, she said softly, "I shall see you in school tomorrow, Ikari-kun."

Katsuragi's Apartment 30 minutes later…

Shinji quietly opened the main door to the apartment. 'If I'm lucky, I can sneak into my room without Asuka seeing me.' He thought as he took one step inside.

"Where the hell have you been, Third Child?" Asuka sneered. Shinji jumped, and noticed that she had been waiting just to the left of the entrance, most likely in anticipation of Shinji's return.

"A…A…Asuka… I was… at Rei's…" He stammered.

"Why were you with Wondergirl?"

"I was… just wondering if she was all right."

"Oh… I am sooooooooo sorry! Mr. 'I'm the Greatest' Shinji Ikari going over to check up on those under his boot. I should admire you for that, shouldn't I?" However, hearing Asuka's tone made it clear that NO admiration was forthcoming.

"Heero is staying with Rei until he leaves." Shinji replied.

Asuka's eyes bulged, and she asked, "Whose insane idea was that?"

"I don't know, Asuka, but I am worried about Rei."

"And why is that…?" Although Asuka really didn't seem that concerned.

"That man Heero… he just scares me. You wouldn't know what I am talking about… but he just does. I don't know what will happen if he thinks Rei is interfering with something he's doing."

For once, Asuka seemed to share Shinji's concern. "I… agree, as much as it pains me to say it. Heero just simply freaks me out. I can't put my finger on it, but something about him seems… wrong."

Unfortunately, Shinji COULD put a finger on it. The first time he had met Heero, Shinji had noticed how cold the stranger had looked, how his eyes just simply didn't have the same glow, that love of life that it should have. Now that he actually had a chance to see Heero in action, Shinji figured out why.

Heero was a killer… and most likely VERY good at it.

Back at Rei's apartment

Had Heero not been used to the smell of blood by now, he would have probably vomited. Even after thoroughly cleaning the apartment, and removing the bloody rags and bandages, the smell lingered in the air, most likely due to the terrible ventilation.

Heero laid on the small futon that had been laid out in the living area with his eyes open, staring at the ceiling, wondering when he was going to get some answers.

"Ask, and you shall receive." That eerie voice that started it all stated. However, this time, the utterance came from a specific direction. Quickly sitting up, he saw a figure, covered in a light brown robe and hood.

"Who are you?" Heero demanded.

"That is one question I cannot answer at the moment, though it will become apparent in time. As promised, I will reveal why you are here."

"Then do so."

"I assume that when you were looking over the records found in the NERV headquarters, you came across something called the Second Impact?"

"Yes."

"That event is the single most important moment that separates your world from the one you are in now. In this world, mankind tried to harness Adam's power, and it led to an explosion of power that eliminated much of humanity. THAT is the Second Impact."

Heero nodded, this he had uncovered studying NERV's files.

"However, for reasons that not even I am sure of, in the reality you normally inhabit, mankind left Adam alone. One choice by one person somewhere down the chain of command changed the very course of history. The Second Impact never occurred in your world, and humanity continued on its way, unimpeded by the power of the Angels."

"So I take it that my reality got lucky."

"I wouldn't say that. Without the influence of God's messengers, humanity continued to deteriorate, to the point where over a millenium in the future, your true reality, mankind has become very… corrupt. The brutal war that you and thousands upon thousands of others engaged in for the sake of peace, ironically, is a testament to the lost nature of humanity."

"You have to admit that our struggles worked in the end. The ends are the same despite the means."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that if I were you. In your reality, nefarious schemes are already being hatched to demolish the precarious peace that so many gave their lives for."

"And I take it a world decimated by the Angels is better?"

"Like your world, some struggle is necessary. However, I intend for this reality's future to be a little brighter, and you can help me."

"How so?"

"Just by being you." The mysterious being said, "Shinji is already recognizing the difference between you and every other person he has met. He is the key that I shall use to give humanity a new hope."

"I see…" Heero answered, "I suppose I can help you however you wish, since I doubt that I can return to my world without your aid."

"Thank you. I want you to attend Shinji's school tomorrow. There the seeds that you unwittingly planted will sprout. It will all eventually lead to the critical point that I have designed."

"Tell me more about this… critical point…" Heero requested. He wanted to make sure EXACTLY what he was getting into before he stepped in over his head…

Tokyo-3 Academy, the following day

Shinji walked just a half step behind Asuka, hoping to stay out of her line of vision just in case something went unexpectedly wrong. Which was quite fortunate, because something DID go unexpectedly wrong. Rei started to walk towards them, followed by Heero.

'At least Rei survived the night.' Shinji thought with a hint of relief. Then asked suspiciously, "I thought you wanted to remain unnoticed, Heero."

"I realized that the best way to 'remain unnoticed' was not to act like I had anything to hide." Heero answered, almost too quickly, "If I act as if I was a normal transfer student, I should be able to avoid most prying eyes."

"Emphasis on the word, 'normal'." Asuka whispered, then said to Heero, "Do you honestly think that you can just walk up to our school, and declare yourself a transfer student?"

"It's already been taken care of." Heero replied, but didn't divulge any further information. The pair's eyes then followed to Rei, but one shrug sent the message that she wasn't sure what Heero meant either.

The group walked the rest of the way to the school in silence, all but one of them wondering just how he had 'taken care of' the situation involving his going to their school. However, Shinji had the added worry of just who might have been hurt, or killed, in the process.

Finally leaning over to Heero, Shinji whispered so no one else could hear, "I'm not gonna hear on the news about several officials at Tokyo-3 academy being found dead, am I?"

Heero replied just as quietly, "Of course not."

"That's a relief."

"I don't leave those sort of loose ends."

From the smirk on Heero's face, Shinji couldn't be sure whether Heero meant that he didn't kill anyone, or just didn't leave any bodies.

Heero said, "I need to stop by the front office, and report. I shall see you later."

Asuka laughed, "HA! I wanna see this!"

The three dutifully followed Heero to the front office, even though he already seemed to know where to go. With a hint of exasperation, he said, "Your presence here is not necessary, and you might be late."

Shinji was the first to reply, "No. I'm gonna stay just to make sure you…" When he noticed Asuka looking at him with a puzzled look, he added, "Never mind…"

Asuka then asked, "Why do I feel like I have been left out of the loop?"

With an almost bland tone, Heero retorted, "Your friend Shinji is afraid that my tendency to kill my enemies will cause me to do something drastic and unnecessary."

Asuka at first started to chuckle, but then noticed the angry glare that Shinji was giving to her. Even Wondergirl was looking at Asuka with a distasteful glance. Finally the realization hit her like an Eva… "Oh my God…" She drawled monotonously, "He's serious… ain't he?"

"HOWEVER…" Heero stressed, "No one HAS to die today, since I have no REASON to do so." He kept his tone just quiet enough so that no one else could hear, but the three could easily detect the growing frustration in his voice. "But I could be convinced to make three certain exceptions…" his last words died off into a type of threatening growl that caused even Rei to jerk back.

Without saying anything else, he strode into the front office, followed at a safe distance by Rei, Asuka, and Shinji. He approached the desk confidently, and said, "I need my schedule printed."

The receptionist dropped her glasses slightly, and said, "And you are?"

"Duo Maxwell… transfer student number 1036550." His left eyebrow raised just a hair (no pun intended), and the corner of his mouth twitched upward ever so slightly, as if he was remembering a personal joke.

"I never received anything about a transfer student." The receptionist said suspiciously.

"Check your computer. I can assure you that it's there."

The receptionist shrugged, "Why do I doubt that, hmm?" Nonetheless, she turned to her terminal, and said ruefully, "Although WHY you would WANT to sneak into this school is beyond me…" At that moment, the glasses that were in her hand dropped to the desk, and her jaw tried to join them.

"I told you." Heero said with an ever so small triumphant smirk.

As if she was merely going through motions, she pulled a sheet of paper off the printer, and handed it to Heero, her eyes remaining plastered on the terminal screen. "Very well, Mr. Maxwell… enjoy your enrollment here… I think…"

Heero motioned for the three behind him to leave, and they did in a type of silent bewilderment. Once again in the hall, Asuka managed to stammer, "What the HELL… was… that? How did you…"

"Last night, I used Rei's computer terminal to hack into this academy's database. By the way, Shinji, I'm not just a cold-blooded warrior, I'm also a world-class computer expert." Heero explained.

"Yes… I see now." Shinji managed to utter.

Heero finally looked down the hall, and said, "Well… I suggest we get to class. Being abnormally late would NOT be in any of our best interests."

For once, it appeared the group of four was in agreement.

Heero entered the classroom first, and smirked as he instantly recognized a face, of which instantly recognized him. Kensuke yelped, and fell out of his chair, muttering something about being too young to die. As Heero was about to step forward, a young woman with freckles and pigtails entered his line of vision, directly in Heero's path. "And who are you supposed to be?"

Kensuke started to stammer something incoherent, but Heero's patented death glare (#37003211 to be exact) more than efficiently silenced the bespectacled boy.

"I am SUPPOSED to be Duo Maxwell, and I'm a transfer student from Saint Marcia's Academy in Okinawa." Heero answered, showing her the slip, "But if I am supposed to be someone else, I'd like to know."

"Very funny, Mr. Maxwell…" She replied, "I am Hikari, the class representative. I suggest you remember that. You are fortunate that the sensei is late himself, as he strongly disapproves of tardiness. You have an excuse I suppose, but the three behind you DON'T."

Heero interceded, "Actually, if it wasn't for them, I would probably not be as fashionably late as I was. If it is anyone's fault for our delayed arrival… it would be me."

"Oh…" Hikari nodded, "Well… at any rate, get inside before the sensei gets here." She motioned the four to enter, and then said to Heero, "Just find an empty seat anywhere, Duo."

Heero did indeed spot an empty seat, and Shinji could swear he saw a maniacal grin creep across Heero's face. Then Shinji figured out why. Much like a bee to its hive, Heero wound his way around the multitude of desks to sit where Touji used to… right next to Kensuke.

Heero smiled almost sweetly, and said, "Hello, my name is Duo Maxwell, what's yours?"

Kensuke's lips flapped up and down, but no sound seem to emerge from his throat. Finally, the young blonde boy manages an "ehhhhhhhh…" followed by an, "ahhhhhhhh…" and finally an, "eep."

"You are very eloquent." Heero replied, then leaned over with a grin that was about as disarming as a nuclear silo on full alert, "I like you…"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" Kensuke finally screamed, and rushed out of the classroom. Hikari glanced at the exit, then finally at Heero, who shrugged innocently.

Kensuke appeared in the doorway again, being pushed back into the classroom by his teacher. "NO! You… can't make… me… I DON'T WANNA DIE!"

"Kensuke! That is enough of that nonsense!" The sensei shouted, "If it will calm you down, you may sit in a different seat."

Kensuke seemed a bit mollified by this, and did indeed select a different seat, WELL on the other side of the room, glaring at Heero accusingly every three seconds.

"I apologize…" The teacher began.

"Duo Maxwell." Heero placed to respond.

"Thank you. As I was saying, Mr. Maxwell, I apologize for Kensuke's actions. He tends to have a bit of an overactive imagination at times."

"Think nothing of it. I have encountered my share of unusual people."

Shinji could help but wonder whether Heero meant unusual in a normal sense, or unusual in relation to Heero. Shinji sincerely hoped that it wasn't the latter.

The lesson drew on the same fashion, long, tedious, and about the same damn topic. Asuka sighed, and started playing with her pencil. From her laptop, a message flared on the screen.

    • Does he always prattle on about this?

It didn't take a 15-year old college graduate to figure out who that was. With a grin, Asuka typed back.

    • Unfortunately yes. Class here is often a struggle against unconsciousness.
    • Does he ever say anything significant?
    • Not often.
    • And I thought Duo was annoying…
    • I noticed that you are using his name. Is he a friend of yours?

There was silence for several seconds, as if Heero was analyzing the question. Finally, he sent a reply.

    • I suppose that is an adequate way to describe my relationship with him. We're more battle comrades then friends though…
    • Do you have any real friends?
    • I have people I am comfortable with, that I enjoy being around, but I'm not sure I am comfortable enough with any one of them to really call them friends.
    • What do you mean, you aren't sure? Is there a special someone that you aren't too keen about mentioning?

Once again, there was a silence. Asuka smirked, thinking she had hit a nerve somewhere, that she had found a chink in the soldier's armor.

    • Perhaps…
    • What do you mean, "Perhaps?" You either do, or you don't.
    • Once again, it's something that is hard to explain. She is…
    • Ah… A lady friend, huh?
    • She is someone that I admire. She is someone who has a type of courage that is impossible for me to possess. One of the few people who despite what I am, is willing to accept me as who I am. That I am a soldier, a warrior is… irrelevant… to her. I have never met a woman like her.
    • Sounds like love to me.
    • Perhaps… Only time will tell. Speaking of love, what about you? I've noticed that you seem to have an infatuation with someone.
    • LIKE WHO?
    • Shinji.
    • THAT IDIOT? NO WAY!!!
    • The sort of contempt you appear to hold for him is something that is very inconsistent to the fact that you are always sitting with him at lunch, and the fact that you can't go ten minutes without looking in his direction. You have all the appearances of someone in denial of their own feelings. I suspect that this entire class can see that.

Asuka was blown away. All of a sudden, Touji's little comment about the newlyweds fighting made a lot of sense. Now it was Asuka's turn to be silent as she pondered her own emotions. Was she really so transparent? Was she in denial, or just trying to cover up how she really felt?

    • Heero, what's the name of the girl you were talking about earlier?
    • Why do you want to know?
    • Just curious.
    • Her name… is Relena.
    • Thank you, Heero.

Asuka then terminated the conversation, thinking deeply. Once again, her glance turned towards Shinji, but this time it was a voluntary act. With a breathless sigh, she thought, "Relena… I think we are so alike without even knowing it. Both of us drawn to a person who we just can't seem to touch…"

When at last the school day ended, Heero joined the three EVA pilots on their walks to their respective homes. The four continued to the intersection where they would part ways in silence, the three EVA pilots not sure what to say, and Heero (well, come on, everyone knows he's not exactly an expert conversationalist…) However, Shinji did notice that the street was unusually empty for this time of day…

The intersection got even nearer, when four figures in ski masks and black suits emerged from the alley. Shinji, Asuka, and Rei were momentarily frozen. Fortunately, Heero was not.

"DIE, YOU ABOMINATIONS OF GOD!" One of the unknown assailants shouted, and the four figures pulled out various weapons of projectile harm. They obviously hadn't been anticipating Heero's quick reaction. He struck the shouter on his gun hand, then followed with a brutal shoulder bash to the man's sternum. From there, Heero jumped, kicking out and struck the assailant to his right across the side of the head. The attacker crumpled from the blow, his head striking the concrete of the sidewalk with a loud thwack.

While the remaining two were stumbling to retaliate from the sudden and vicious counterattack by Heero, the Gundam pilot swiftly turned, pulling his pistol smoothly from his hip in the process. Two shots later, the remaining pair collapsed to the ground, bullet holes placed perfectly on their temples, just above the eyes.

Shinji's mind finally began to comprehend the scene, and he could feel his throat fill with vomit. Three puddles of blood were forming around the heads of three of his would-be murderers. The fourth started to get to his feet, when Heero grabbed him roughly by the shoulder, and jammed three fingers into the injured man's sternum, in the exact place where Heero's shoulder had struck earlier. The attacker wailed in pain, and Shinji found himself paralyzed witnessing this impromptu torture.

"Who are you, and who sent you?" Heero demanded emotionlessly. When his victim didn't reply, Heero gouged his fingers a little deeper. The man screamed even louder, and his body began to rack with sobs of agony.

Finally, the man spoke, "I can't tell you… I'd be killed…"

Heero replied by jabbing even further, and the attacker was too tired to even scream anymore, his body trembling in torment. Heero then added, "Oh… you're going to die anyway, but I can make it quick and painless."

Still shaking in pain, the man finally whispered, "SEELE… SEELE sent me…"

With a cold, calculated move, Heero thrust his fingers forward, snapping the already cracked sternum, smashing the trachea and spinal cord less than a moment later. With a bloody gurgle, the man collapsed dead at Heero's feet.

Finally, Shinji was able to move, and the anger in his voice was only equaled by his disgust, "YOU MONSTER!" He shouted, "HOW IN HELL COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING?"

Heero didn't rise to Shinji's volume, but his voice carried just as much weight, "It's a sad truth about war, Shinji. These people were going to kill us. You have to be prepared to do the same."

"WE AREN'T FIGHTING A WAR, YOU JACKASS!" Shinji screamed in protest, and his overpowering tone left little doubt that he had indeed inherited some of his father's commanding demeanor.

Heero merely glanced at the man he had been torturing just seconds before, and he said simply with a motion of his hand, "According to him… you are."

That night, Rei's Apartment…

Rei opened the door to find Shinji waiting on the other side. But the sorrowful expression that Shinji normally had wasn't there, all that she could see was a deep and powerful determination. Even to someone who had never met Shinji, it would have been obvious he was Commander Ikari's son.

"Ikari-kun, why are you here?" Rei asked softly. She had never seen Shinji like this, and it disturbed her.

"I need to speak to Heero." He said simply, "In private."

Rei analyzed her fellow pilot's expression, then decided that it was probably best to allow him what he desired. However, that didn't quell the fear that something might happen when the two met each other.

"I… have some errands to run anyway." Rei thought up a quick excuse, and strode outside. "Just… don't do anything foolish, Ikari-kun."

"The reason I am here will cause no violence, Rei." Shinji replied, "We've had enough of that today."

Rei said no more, and walked down the hall to the complex entrance. Shinji took a deep breath, and stepped inside. Heero was on the other side of the room, sitting cross-legged on a futon, his attention turned to a computer terminal that had been rather messily connected just in front of the futon.

After a few more typed commands, Heero seemed to recognize Shinji's presence. He stood up, and glanced at the EVA pilot expectantly.

"I'm sorry Heero… I know you were just trying to help us…" Shinji admitted.

"It is understandable. For a person untainted by killing, to witness what you did, I admire that you didn't totally lose it." Heero answered. He seemed a lot more personable all of a sudden. If Shinji hadn't thought it to be impossible, he could have sworn that he had heard a hint of regret in the young man's voice.

"It's just the way that you dealt so… coldly… with those men. The way that you hurt them mercilessly until they gave you what they wanted, it reminded me of my father."

Heero nodded, then commented, "You really don't like your father, do you? Don't worry, I'm not to fond of his people skills myself."

"I hate him." Shinji replied, nearly fuming.

"You shouldn't hate him, Shinji."

"WHAT? He abandoned me! He uses people to get what he wants all the time! He doesn't care about me, or anyone!"

Heero stood, and looked at Shinji face to face, "That's not true. Ironically, the reason he did what you despise him for so much is BECAUSE of how he cares for his son."

"WHAT?" Shinji repeated. This was absolutely absurd.

"Gendo Ikari discovered a plot that he wasn't to keen on following, made by a group known as SEELE. That same group hired the four people who attacked us this afternoon, by the way. They are trying to cause what they want to call a Third Impact on their terms, at the expense of the rest of humanity."

Shinji nodded, and Heero continued, "Your father decided that he had to… edit the plans of SEELE, and since the time of Second Impact has been running a type of covert rebellion against the people who reside above him. He couldn't let what SEELE planned to do happen. However, he needed to devote all of his time and energy to divert the bull rush of fate, which is why he had to leave you. In order to create a future that his son could enjoy, he had to sacrifice the love of the person he cared for the most."

Heero sat back down, and motioned for Shinji to have a seat as well. "I'm not good at showing my feelings, but it has helped me grow accustomed to identifying the hidden emotions of others. Every time Commander Ikari sees how much you hate him, a part of him dies. The pain that no one else can see is obviously tearing the man apart. However, he presses on. His desire to see you happy continues to fuel his desire for his plan to succeed."

Heero then sighed as he concluded his interpretation of the events he had seen, "In other words Shinji, it isn't that he doesn't care that leads him to do what he does… it's that he cares far too much."

Shinji was silent, contemplating this drastically different idea of his father than any of the others he had ever heard. Could it possibly be that everyone was wrong? Could it possibly be that the man who cared for nothing was really a man willing to sacrifice his own happiness so that others could live that way?

"I'm sorry, Heero… I just have a hard time believing that. You don't know my father the way I do."

Heero nodded, "You're right, I don't. I see him in a totally different light."

Days later… Another attack…

Shinji watched helplessly as the Angel, in what he considered cowardice, remained out of range of the EVA's attack, content on raining down a mental bombardment of Asuka's increasing ravaged mind.

"GET OUT OF MY HEAD!" The redheaded pilot screamed. From the display, Shinji could see that she was in a great deal of trouble. One of the technicians muttered something about Asuka's brainwaves faltering, but Shinji was too busy focusing on his father.

"FATHER!" He shouted in a commanding plead. He didn't have to say any more for Gendo to understand what his son wanted.

"Out of the question. Unit 01 will remain under freeze until we can analyze why it rejected the dummy plugs." Gendo replied.

For a fleeting moment, Shinji saw something different about his father that caused him to rethink what Heero had said. 'Could he be refusing me because he doesn't want to see me harmed?' Shinji thought, but then decided that he couldn't ponder any further. Asuka was in trouble… and Shinji HAD to do something.

Shinji rushed out of the control room, heading for the hangar. There HAD to be a way to get 01 out of that freeze. He had to save Asuka, before it was too late. He couldn't bear to continue if something were to happen to her…

In Shinji's blind rush to the hangar, he didn't even see Heero until he ran into him. They both stumbled, but managed to keep their feet. Heero looked at him with that unnerving bland glare, and simply ordered, "Take Zero."

"What?" Shinji asked.

"You want to help your friend, right? There is no way that you could use your EVA. I just looked it over, it's locked solidly in place. Your only chance is to borrow my mobile suit."

"Then why don't you do something?"

Heero shook his head. "I promised not to interfere with the events on this reality. However, I didn't say anything about my hardware." When he noticed Shinji's uncertain expression, he added, "If you want to save the girl you care about, you have to go now."

That seemed to be the trigger that made up Shinji's mind. "Lead the way…"

Shinji quickly hopped into Wing Zero's chest cavity, and looked despairingly at the controls, "I don't know how to operate this!"

Heero looked at the console from outside the cockpit, and replied, "Zero will show you how. It has a knack for that sort of thing."

"Are you sure I can do this?" Shinji asked.

"I KNOW you can." Heero answered, "The beam cannon on Wing Zero has MORE than enough power to take out that beast in orbit." He turned away, and said, "You don't have much time. I'll open the cargo doors." With that, he jumped down, and rushed to the controls that open the giant doors.

Shinji felt something… unnatural… enter his mind as Wing Zero came to life. Sure enough, he instantly knew which lever operated the movement, which button activated the comm, which panel delivered combat data, and so forth. Without any sense of trepidation, Shinji sent Wing Zero at full speed out the now open cargo bay, and into the streets of Toyko-3.

"Don't worry, Asuka… I'm coming…"

Heero dropped his head in concern. He was not certain that this action was wise, but the unknown being was convinced that this was necessary.

"So… off he goes into the fray, huh?"

Heero looked up, and there the figure was, his trademark robe and hood covering all of his features. "Yes. I trust you know what you are doing. If Shinji can't handle Zero… the results could be catastrophic."

"I know… but it's a risk we have to take." The figure replied, "So much depends on what he sees…"

Shinji quickly made up the distance between Asuka and himself thanks to Wing Zero's powerful rocket boosters. Once there, he wasted no time, aiming the beam rifle, and allowing for the computer to calculate all the different factors, fired.

The burning swath of energy did indeed rip through the atmosphere, and into outer space without a problem, catching the Angel up in its unstoppable rush in the process. With a deep satisfaction, Shinji examined the destruction relayed by Wing Zero's combat computer.

However, without warning, that strange presence that had pressed into his mind when Wing Zero turned on started to push heavily into his thoughts. Shinji shook his head trying to clear it, but without success. His vision blurred for but a moment, and when it cleared, he saw something that couldn't be.

Five EVA like creatures were suddenly in view, as if appeared out of thin air. His head spun as he tried to examine the combat computer, but it eventually confirmed what Shinji was seeing. The white creatures, all with strange maniacal grins on what would be their faces started to close in. Behind them, he could see the shredded remains of what was Unit 02.

"Asuka… how can this be?" Shinji gaped. "I saved you… but… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" The scream came from the pressure in his head increasing, and he had to fight to keep from blacking out.

But maybe he did, as it no longer seemed like he was himself anymore. Instead, images rushed past his head, people he didn't recognize, events that he had never seen. All around, destruction loomed. Masses of metal, suits similar to the one Shinji was piloting, were in various degrees of damage, some nothing more than smoldering piles of metal. Large black suits tromped across the earth, units without souls… obliterating everything programmed as an enemy.

The scene changed to outer space, where two large armies were just about to collide in what Shinji seemed to know was thought of as the war to end all wars. The death toll grew increasingly staggering… a large battleship prepared to ram itself into the Earth, plunging everything into nuclear winter.

A noble looking man jumped onto an energy lance, sacrificing himself for a world that he feels he no longer belongs to.

Two mobile suits battle on even as the fighting stops. One is the Wing Zero, the other a red and black suit that seems to be just as powerful. They rush through the gigantic halls of the battleship, never giving up, refusing to submit even if they die in the process.

The last scene Shinji saw involved Heero. He stepped out of a suit that looked similar to Wing Zero, and pressed a button in his hand. Unexpectedly, the unit exploded, sending Heero into the air. Shinji somehow knew what Heero had done. He was willing to kill himself simply to prevent his enemies from taking his weapon…

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Shinji screamed again as his conscious self plunged into darkness…

"Shinji…" A voice called to him, "Wake up…"

Shinji tried to ignore the voice, but somehow he could not. He opened his eyes, to find him in a strange circular room. In the middle, a large blue orb gleamed erratically, casting azure light on a figure completely covered by a brown robe.

"You did all this…" Shinji said, "You brought Heero here." He wasn't sure how he knew this. He just did.

"Yes." The figure admitted, "And it was a terrible mistake to do so."

Shinji jumped to his feet, and replied, "NO! I know what you were trying to do now. You wanted me to understand WHY the Angels were attacking us. I see it now. Without you… we'll turn into what I saw."

The robed figure nodded slightly "Yes… it appears I succeeded in that… but at the expense of everything else. I have succeeded, yet I have failed."

"What do you mean?"

The figure motioned at the orb, which grew ever more erratic in its glowing. "Look… and see what I mean."

Shinji approached the orb, and looked inside, squinting as the light hit his eyes…

What he saw was a nightmare. Toyko-3 was a smoldering ruin. The mountains that held sentinel over the city, existing for millions of years, were now nothing more than burned rubble. NERV headquarters was exposed to the light of the sun, its halls charred and black. It was obvious that nothing had survived.

In the center of all the destruction, was the Wing Zero, seemingly untouched by the cataclysm around it. At its feet, a bloodied Heero had laid out an unconscious Shinji.

"What the…"

"You were unable to handle the power Wing Zero gave you, and you went berserk. With my help, Heero was able to remove you from its control, but it was too late for Tokyo-3."

"You mean… everyone…"

"Is dead. Yes."

"My father?"

"Dead."

"Misato?"

"Dead."

"Ayanami?"

"She died trying to stop you."

Shinji gulped, imagining Unit 00 trying to halt the attack of Wing Zero, only to be severed in two by the Gundam's beam saber. Finally he asked with sadness, "Asuka?"

"She was your first victim actually."

"No… this can't be…" Shinji moaned, falling to his knees. "I've killed them… I've killed them all."

"Do not blame yourself, Shinji. This is my fault. I was the one who tried to alter the will of God." The figure replied, "Now I realize how terrible of an error I made, but I can fix the damage. I can return things to the way they were… it will be as nothing had happened."

Shinji nodded, but he asked, "Will I ever learn what I did now?"

The robed being, "Knowing what I do, I cannot doubt it. God is eternally wise, and I have realized that everything that happens is for a reason, part of God's plan to give humanity a greater future."

"Like my father tried to do?"

Shinji couldn't explain how he knew, but he was sure that the robed figure smiled. Finally, the being answered, "Yes… like your father. You see; God too is fighting for people who have come to hate Him, but His love for them beckons him to continue fighting. That I know… and that I should not have interfered with."

Finally, the being helped Shinji to his feet, and they both looked at the orb that glowed wildly. A small hammer mysteriously appeared in the robed figure's hand, and he said, "Let all that is done… be made anew." With that, he brought down the hammer, shattering the orb into pieces…

Heero was back in Wing Zero's cockpit, and he was surrounded by the darkness of the flux yet again. The familiar voice then toned through the small space, "I am sorry, Heero, for dragging you into this worthless attempt."

"Your intentions were honorable. I do not blame you."

"I kept your memory intact, because what I am about to tell you is vital to your future. You deserve at least this much. Your friend, Relena, will be kidnapped soon, and that is how that those who would destroy what you had done will go about it. You must be prepared for when that happens."

"Why are you telling me this?"

"Because… maybe we shouldn't have abandoned this reality. People like you can create something greater than anything we could have ever expected out of you. I would like to see that happen."

The voice stopped, but picked up shortly thereafter, "Your reality has taught me something, Heero. That sometimes… sacrifice is necessary for the greater good. One must be willing to give everything, even their life, for what they know must be done."

"Who are you?" Heero asked with a smile, "I know that you are an Angel, you have to be, but what is your name?"

There was silence for a moment, before the voice finally replied, "There… are some who call me… Kaoru…"

Finally… after a tragic accident, and miraculous recovery, Shinji was finally cleared from the hospital. Supposedly he had been lost in the LCL after a 400% sync ratio, and somehow in a manner that defied logical explanation, was recovered, and allowed to go back home. Asuka didn't seem to miss him, but he was glad to see her anyway. As Misato left the room to get something for Shinji to eat, and Asuka retreated to her bedroom, Shinji noticed a small book lying on the couch.

"It's a Bible…" Shinji recognized, but he had never seen this particular one before. "I guess it's Misato's…" He noticed a bookmark between the pages of the tome, and he opened it to where the mark lied. In yellow highlighter, someone had marked the following passage.

1.To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

For a moment, Shinji thought over the section, and something connected in his mind, but it was unclear, like a moment far in the past that he had forgotten. Nonetheless, that connection seemed satisfied by what he had just read, and Shinji's view on life got just a little bit brighter…

THE END

My word… 21 pages…Quite a bit of work for someone who hadn't planned on writing a crossover, huh? Actually, this particular story was one that I entertained for some time, it just that I had never felt I had the energy to do something so…mentally engaging.

I felt challenged in writing this, because of the way I was able to develop the characters differently than the way that they are normally interpreted. I tried to give Heero some feeling and insights that people normally don't give him because they view him as so unemotional, yet at the same time, keeping that cold, emotionless aura that he has.

Another character I had fun giving a different spin on was Gendo Ikari. Every fiction on this character I have read has been pretty much the same: that of the cold, calculating, heartless, manipulative monster. What if the monster was really more human than anyone could understand? The various actions he takes in the series "Evangelion" seems to reflect that there is MUCH MORE than meets the eye with this enigmatic character…

And yes… I know how utterly sappy it was making Kaoru being the robed character that started it all, but such is my technique. I love to tie things together, making pieces fit that one wouldn't normally do. It keeps readers on their toes… ;-)

Until next I write again, and with all God's Speed;

Thomas Knapp

"Chemiclord"