"That" Launched a Thousand Ships!

By NateGold.

Standard disclaimers apply, aka I get no money from this (sigh).

A/N: Got a little bored and decided to experiment with an AU. Enjoy!

Prelude: Heir Loss.

Somewhere, on the edge of one of the galaxy's spiral arms, a small blue-white world wobbled painfully around its sun. It was night, and the stars blazed out in all their majesty. On a terrace overlooking a battered city, a young boy enjoyed the cool breeze, his trusty s-dat playing softly in his ear, stargazing. Little did he know that those stars were beginning to look back.

What's a nice probe like me doing out here in the middle of nowhere? At the moment, playing with myself…you know, "Imperial fleet command"? What'd you think I meant, anyway? Well, I was built special to search for the runaway heir to the Ikarian Star Empire. What, ya never heard of us? Not surprising…we keep a low profile despite how big we are. How big? Well, let's just say we've got no need for Jurai…they're a bunch of tree huggers anyway. But I digress.

Anyway, about 16 years back, Princess Yui flew the coop after finding out that her folks had arranged a marriage for her. She grabbed a prototype Lance-class speeder and scrammed for who knows where. At first, no one really worried; let her blow off some steam and then she'd come back like the good little girl she was. But after about a month, the warning flags went up and they started a search of the neighboring systems with no luck. Robot probes and various live searchers also came up empty. The royalty decided to go into damage control mode and hushed the whole affair up. In the meantime, they wasted even more time until someone came up with a bright idea, namely me, the ODBL9000. My friends at the lab called me Oddball for short.

I was a bright little AI. I soaked up info like a sponge. Then, they imprinted the last cortical scan of the princess into my circuitry…gave me a very strange personality. I guess one could say I was very much in touch with my feminine side, who I suspect was also carrying my inner child or something like that. They figured that by giving me her memories and a pattern of how she thought, I'd do a better job of finding her. I have to admit, I kinda liked the lady…brilliant genetic engineer. A bit of a prankster, too. She once trained a stand of Piper plants to let off with some really splatty-sounding razzberries. Things got out of hand when the Bag flower symbiotes decided to match their smell to the noise. Took a month to retrain the plants and fumigate the area! She also was kind and loving person. It was too bad she was such a lousy judge of character.

I had just finished round one billion and twelve, and it was all tied up between me and Me. The game was getting real old real fast, so I decided to call it a day. I put sensors into passive detection mode and set the drives to cruise before I started the maintenance cycle. I figured a little nap might be just the thing; I always did find the feel of a gentle solar wind relaxing…

Wha…how long had I been sleepin' anyway? I checked; only a month? What got me up? Then I heard it…a faint echo of a very old fashioned FM radio signal of all things…music of some kind…OH BABY! JACKPOT! It matched up with a memory of the princess…She seemed to really like this piece. I could see why; nice and rebellious. I ran a quick triangulation and match it up on the ol' star chart. Figures…a restricted world…place called Earth…How original! I fired up the drives and popped into tachyon space. Gotta admit, that song was growing on me…let's crank up the volume a bit;



This was not looking good. Not good at all. I popped out of t-space just outside the solar system, just far enough so I could "read" the light waves and signals coming from that world recently. Place was a freakin' disaster! Half the population dead, axial tilt radically changed, not to mention some anomalous energy readings that raised a red flag in the back of my thought nexus. I did a fast data squirt back to the head honcho. In a day, I got a response...move in and continue the investigation. In the meantime, the big boy himself, the Emperor and his lady were on their way with a squadron of battle cruisers. Seems he and the big brains back home got a positive ID...this little mud ball was under attack by Winnower-type harvesters. I thought we'd gotten rid of those things ages ago! It seems that there used to be a race of folks called Star Seeders, who spread "crops" of bio-engineered specimens on a bunch of worlds. The harvesters were supposed to test and collect the best of breeds. For some reason, the Star-seeders vanished. Without instructions, the Harvesters malfunctioned. The indigenes here called 'em "Angels. Interestingly enough, they were using Bio-mechs modeled on the Harvesters own tech to fight back. They called these fighting machines Evangelions.

I did a quick micro-jump into geo-synchronous orbit and cloaked myself. Hey, I like hide and seek! Most of the action was taking place at a place called Tokyo-3, so I cloned a copy of myself and piggybacked it via satellite uplink into the resident super-computer, running a scan of the data. Let's see...crap...crap...more cra...HOLD IT! Yui Ikari...wife of Gendo Rokobungi nee Ikari, commander of NERV...absorbed into EVA-01...dayum! Waitaminnit...SHINJI IKARI...HER SON! Oh my stars and garters...and he and the rest of those..:sputter: DARE treat the heir-hereditary like crap! Oooh, this Roko-bunghole or whatever the hell his name was had just stepped in it up to his neck! Let's not even talk about the genocide this clown was planning! The big boy had to be told about this. Did a full power Tachyon-comm burst, and then rested a while to recharge. The big man was NOT going to be happy with this Gendo character...not happy at all! Personally, I couldn't wait for all hell to break loose when His Nibs arrived. In the meantime, though, I wanted to get my own shot in. I simply spread a clip of bongo-brain (who I then dubbed Wee-Willy Winky after viewing his equipment; I won't talk about his other shortcomings) doing the nasty with a skanky blonde onto every screen in NERV! I even set it for continuous loop! All I could do now was wait; somebody's got some 'splainin' to do!

End Prelude