Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion is a Studio Gainax production, its characters created by Hideaki Anno. They say the word, and this story ceases to exist.
Unanimous Critical Acclaim for MidnightCereal's In the Dark Room!
"Even in Post-TI Tokyo-3 I am not a fan of a poorly developed ACC."
"Just remember the number one rule about ACCs and Pilots, and everything should be fine."
"DOMESTICATION OF EROTIC CAT"
"Egads more damn Mary Sues!"
"I didn't really find interest in this part of the story."
"Hm. So Shinji killed again in Third Impact? Hard to swallow."
"Oh God...I was hoping against it, given the title, but this is going to turn into some sick torturefic, isn't it? sigh"
"This has to be the worst fic ever...Take this fic out of the net because you will make more people sick and pissed."
"So, to be clear, I will never, ever, ever ever ever...ever...ask anyone to ever review my fiction. Ever."
"I'm only doing this because you were bitching about the number of reviews."
Shinji Just Snaps and Totally Wales on Everything: I Have No Idea What You Are Talking About, So Here Is a Penguin with a Waffle On Top of Its Head
Shinji Ikari felt none of these things as he delicately clutched the remains of his only valuable material possession. Oh, people would listen to him play the cello, and applaud him and laud his hidden musical talent, but that wasn't important to him, and the young man knew better; compared to real cellists, his sessions were analogous to a thousand pregnant cats being bludgeoned by a thousand rotary phones, which was to say, he sucked. And also that rotary phones were pretty heavy and often given to jagged edges.
He needed no talent to curl into a ball of self-pity on his bed and thumb his SDAT to track number twenty-five, just a thumb. And a memory stick. And some batteries.
And a SDAT that was not in a million fucking pieces.
It didn't make any sense…he had suited up and brought it with him to relax before the briefing on today's field exercises began. He had left it intact in his seat when he went to search for a vending machine. The vending machine deducted one-hundred credits from the debit strip on his Nerv ID. The vending machine failed to dispense his apple juice, and thanked him for his patronage. He returned to the conference room only to find that his SDAT had apparently been lynched.
No, Shinji Ikari was definitely not feeling love.
The plastic and rubber and carbon composite shifted as he tensed his palm. It was like holding a mortally wounded bird, one that had been bludgeoned by a pregnant cat.
"Who…who broke my SDAT?" He did not bother to look up as the question left his chapped lips. That was quite alright, as no one in the briefing room –not Ritsuko or Maya, Hyuga or Aoba, or Rei or Commander Fuyutski- bothered looking up, either.
After about twenty seconds of being ignored he readied a louder, more direct inquiry when the door opened and something infinitely louder and more direct stormed through.
"-and you're letting them go ahead of me! It isn't enough that I have to work with the Queen of Dolls and King Dork over here, but now I'm backing them up?"
"For the last time, Asuka," Misato warned as she came in after the petulant German, her voice weighted with all the patience of a rabid badger, "stop thinking of this as a mission, okay? It's a field test, and you can only go one at a time, and we picked who went first and second and last completely at random!"
"If it doesn't matter, let me go first, then," Asuka whined in the periphery of Shinji Ikari's vision.
It's in so many godforsaken pieces…
"I am not going to wait in this…tomb a second longer than I have to, Misato!"
"I am not the Queen of Dolls," someone said to his right.
"Asuka…don't be a Nazi about this," Misato darkly intoned.
The Second Child gave a gasp. "I can't believe you just said that!"
"I only said it because I want you to shut up!" their loving guardian snapped. "If it's bothering you so damned much, go get Ritsuko to change the order."
"Or better yet," the blonde doctor smoothly interjected, "you just let it go and act like the adult you keep telling everyone to treat you as."
Timing had always been one of Shinji's strong suits, like marathon sex and molten glass eating.
"What," was the response from three separate, caustic female voices.
Miraculously, the young man overcame years of programming to weakly ask, "Do you know who broke this?" He held out the grisly remains of the most important thing ever given to him.
"What the heck did you do to your SDAT?" Misato asked. Why would she even ask that? Wasn't she listening?
"No…it was…I came back here after getting something to drink from the vending machine, and-"
"Wait, you didn't go to the machine in block D-12, did you?" Ritsuko asked as she looked away from her digital clipboard. "Because that one's been broke for almost a month now."
"I knew there was something wrong with that machine!" Major Katsuragi exclaimed. "I probably lost six-hundred credits trying to get some coffee out of that thing. Why doesn't anybody just put a sign on it?"
"It's always like that here," Hyuga chipped in. "This place has the latest high-end computing, Super Doppler radar, six-gigawatt linear induction catapults, but no one ever bothers to take a piece of paper and just write 'out of order'."
This elicited a short laugh from Asuka. "You people are retarded, that's all that's wrong with this place."
"Look, all I want to know is-"
"Asuka, can you ever just go five minutes without insulting everyone within a ten kilometer radius?" Someone tiredly asked. Shinji didn't know who. They all sounded the same at the moment.
"I'm just saying; they should let me have a go at running this place. I'd probably have that bathroom on the eighth level fixed in a day."
"Oh, I know! I hate that bathroom!"
"Why does it always smell like a graham cracker my baby cousin just slobbered on?"
"I am not the Queen of Dolls."
"All I want to know is who BROKE THIS!"
Everything in the room stopped talking, stopped blinking and stopped breathing. Everything in the room snapped to the shouting, furiously blinking, heavily breathing young man.
"Look," Shinji began, feeling buffoonish and awkward now that he finally had everyone's attention. "I just want to know…I-I won't be mad. I just want someone here to be honest, once."
"How do you know someone here wrecked it?" Ritsuko coolly asked.
"Are you serious? Who else? No one else had been in here."
Someone snorted and muttered, "Probably broke it yourself, fishing for sympathy, of course." Asuka. Of course.
His free hand clenched and unclenched. Clenched and unclenched.
"That's not true...I wouldn't break it for anyone. And it had to be someone in here. I don't want to accuse anyone, but I KNOW someone here did it and I just wish they'd own up to it. I'm not stupid."
Asuka snorted again. Ritsuko smirked for some reason. A pretty young female tech turned to whisper conspiratorially to an even younger, even prettier tech. Then they grinned at him and cackled.
Clenched and unclenched.
Misato was the only one regarding Shinji with a look anywhere approaching sympathy. "Shinji…try not to worry about it for now, okay? I'll…I'll get a new one for you. We'll drive out to that new Sony outlet when the test is ov-"
"I DON'T WANT A NEW ONE! I WANT TO KNOW WHO TRASHED THIS ONE!"
Asuka tensed, whirled on him. "All I want to know is why you think anyone cares! No one's thinking about you so they don't' have any reason to break it. No one's scared of you, so even if they did, they wouldn't have a reason not to tell you." She stomped into his personal space, her expression matching the indignation that pulled at his wide eyes and frowning mouth and creasing brow. "GET. OVER IT."
"Subtle, Asuka," Misato groused, "real subtle."
"I'm just telling it like it is," the Second Child volleyed back, still virtually nose to nose with her choleric flat mate. It was odd; when the roaring tide of righteous anger and self-pity periodically subsided, something else was washing over him. Why else would he be able to stare back, unflinching?
"I don't believe I'm saying this, but…I agree with Asuka," Shinji did not hear Ritsuko say.
This thing had a new taste to it, a flavor unfamiliar to him…
It tastes like…
"C'mon, Shinji," the young pilot would have heard Hyuga softly appeal, had he been listening. "Be a man about this."
"For once," said the smirking face before him.
"Asuka, shut the hell up!"
…like a plane crash. But it crept through his brain like an ice-cream headache, diffusing to a bundle of nerves around his eyes…
"Why's your eye twitching?" Misato asked, regarding him as though he had his head amputated. Then her face was blanketed with an absurdly terrible recognition. "God, it's not those spiders again, is it? Because I promised myself I'd never view another colonoscopy for as long as I lived…"
It is a little known fact, possibly because it's not true, that carpenter ant colonies occasionally fall victim to regicide. The culprit is almost never the Black Bear or birds or the North American Hobo, natural enemies of the carpenter ant, and the most obvious suspects. Rather, it is rogue worker ants that, for reasons known only to the author, betray her exalted segmented majesty.
In an act of cruelty found mostly in nature and short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, the traitors to the colony secrete Exocytotic Epoxy –a substance largely unknown to the scientific community due to its made-upness- which has the consistency of wood cement. Treacherous mandibles work from the edges to the center of tunnels to block off all entrances to the queen's chamber with the glue, effectively sealing her off from all sources of food, mates, and her monthly subscription to Cosmo.
One would think the less insane members of the colony would come to their queen's aid, which is unfortunately not true. No reason will be given for this, as the author is splitting his time in between writing this story and watching Justice League: Unlimited, and cannot be bothered to provide a suitable explanation. If anything, it had something to do with honey. Or perhaps marmalade, as it is the sexiest of preserves. And maybe a weasel of some sort or another got up in there but the POINT is that the queen's fate is quite literally sealed. To wit, she is screwed.
Shinji Ikari was about to screw the queen.
"I hate that thing."
Ritsuko Akagi glanced up from behind Lieutenant Ibuki to view the profile of the woman that just spoke. Standing beside Ritsuko in Central Dogma was Misato, darkly glaring at the video feed from the test cage; or rather, she was glaring at the purple behemoth slowly being loaded into launching position.
Ritsuko reminded herself she was a respected, experienced, patient professional scientist, and that responding to Misato by rolling her eyes would be exceedingly childish and serve only to infuri-
"Stop rolling your eyes at me!"
"I don't know what you're complaining about, Misato. It's not like you have to get in that thing."
"Okay, so…where was this sympathy when he was asking about his SDAT?"
The blonde doctor ignored the peeved look Major Katsuragi threw her and said, "Not sympathy. I'm just stating the facts, Major. And it wasn't time for it, anyway. Compared to Eva how is his SDAT important?"
"It's important to him!" Ritsuko shrugged at that. "And if it keeps him happy it's important to you."
"Evangelion Unit-01 is at Route Three," Maya informed them. "Secondary, tertiary locks engaging."
Ritsuko sighed. This is ridiculous. "You know, I can't tell who this whole thing bothers more, you or Shinji. Since when did you become so invested in this kid?"
"I'm not invested, I…" The Major folded her arms across her stomach and paused just long enough to glance upward to Commander Ikari. Even without her glasses Ritsuko could tell the man was sitting, fingers interlaced before his mouth, doing his best impression of a wax figure of himself. She wished someone would melt his ass. "There's this feeling that I got looking at Shinji, you know? I got this…thisburning sensation."
Dr. Akagi smirked. "I told you Kaji was screwing around with that Mido girl in Engineering."
"There is no cure, but that doesn't mean you can't live a full and produc-"
"Not that kind of burning!"
Ritsuko noticed Makoto Hyuga exhaling for some reason. Behind him, Shigeru Aoba ate a delicious sandwich that wasn't there.
Poor Aoba. Ever since he had been struck by lightening while listening to Adam Sandler's revival comedy album, he had never been the same. The doctor at Nerv Cranial said he could return to normal if he was allowed to explore the places that had encompassed his past daily routine. The problem was that the man would perform the right task at the wrong time, as if his internal clock had been set a few hours too fast.
By Ritsuko's count, he had played his electric air guitar at the bottom of the LCL lake in test cage four, tossed a two-hundred and forty volt power transformer with a pair of copper salad tongs, and tried spelunking the underside of Unit-02's foot then argued with the chamber of a pallete rifle about the increased interest of his student loans. Ritsuko (and Second Lieutenant Takeshi Suzuki, for reasons the officer vehemently refused to elaborate on) hoped he returned to normal. And soon.
"Did someone say Kaji?"
"I wasn't being serious, AsukaaaaAAHH!" Ritsuko used the seond she took to look the Second Child up and down to regain her composure. "When did you even get in here?"
Asuka shrugged. "When did you mention Kaji? Is he here?"
"No," Ritsuko said.
"Because there is a God," Misato said.
The German girl ignored her guardian and cursed. "Damn. It's like he vanishes every other week! I call his cell phone, he doesn't pick up. He doesn't answer at home. His pager's off. His car's still parked outside of his apartment, but when I go up and knock no one ever comes to the door-"
"Maya, patch me into Unit-01," Ritsuko requested.
"-but he usually doesn't lock his windows on Sunday. Why would he lock his windows if he wanted me to come in? You know how long it takes to bypass a biometric alarm syst-"
"Shinji, when you're ready to launch, just say the word. Go through the checklist when you get to the surface-"
"-rivate eyes charge per hour. By the hour. I didn't know that. You can't convince me it wasn't worth it, though. I never realized it until I got all the pictures, but Kaji sure does bend over a lot for a guy."
"-and a palette rifle is going to be available in district twenty-seven and we'll take it from-"
Suddenly blue tendrils of electricity replaced Unit-01 at the base of the launch platform, the audio feed from the cage dominated by the roar of something massive rocketing upwards through twenty-three layers of armor.
"…there." Ritsuko shut her mouth and triumphantly looked at Misato. "See? He's enthusiastic today."
"He's mad at you," Major Katsuragi countered.
"Well I think you're not giving him enough credit. I think he's gotten over it."
The last Katsuragi shook her head of dark violet hair (She told her not to drink that washer fluid. Some things just aren't worth a Klondike Bar), and regarded the blonde woman (Lots of things aren't worth a Klondike Bar) with a superior air. "Ritsu, you haven't been living with him for the last year."
"Well I have," Asuka loudly interjected. Ritsuko inwardly cringed at Asuka's downright creepy, lecherous leer; she shouldn't be allowed to smile like that for another ten years. "You ever wonder what he's doing alone in his room while he's listening to his SDAT?"
Misato shrugged and blinked. "No."
Asuka's grin vanished. "M-me neither," she stuttered, but recovered from her lie like a politician, pivoting towards the exit to Central Dogma to save her reddening face. "But you can't tell me it's healthy for someone to obsess over something like that."
Ritsuko spared the Second Child's retreating back a second-long glance as the girl muttered something. About Kaji. And marmalade. And then it sounded like Kajilade, but Asuka was pretty far away by then.
Apparently Misato had overheard the red head, too. "Can you believe the fate of the world depends on her?"
Naoko Akagi's daughter hummed in concurrence. "Almost as hard to believe that we depend on a borderline lush to give her orders."
"You are so lucky I'm sober now!"
Of course you are, it isn't two o'clock yet. "Stay that way. Construction costs for Unit-03 ran eighty billion yen over budget. I don't think the Second Branch will appreciate you wrecking their export because you made it fight a giant rabbit named Fred."
Misato's indignation was shamefully obvious. "For the last time, her name was Frank, okay? And she kept trying to get me to taste Maya's brains! Aren't you ever going to let that one go?"
"One day," Ritsuko peered over he kohai's shoulder. "Not today."
"Ritsu, I'm not going to break it…whenever the hell it gets here. Can you imagine it, though? I like our chances with a foursome."
Ritsuko Akagi could not help but shiver. The last time Misato had used the word 'foursome', she hadn't been able to see straight for weeks. She needed to forget. Now.
She did, but in exchange was reminded of her intense hatred of hexagons, red, six-sided claxon-accompanied digitized polygons of death. And suddenly they were everywhere.
"So many pentagons…" Aoba observed.
She will not stop talking.
Rei Ayanami was a patient girl. Or so she thought. Commander Ikari rarely bestowed gifts on the Child under his guardianship, and those he did present to her were never mere material possessions. It was always knowledge or a skill, utilities that unfailingly facilitated the purpose for which she was created.
Will she not close her mouth? Is this an impossibility?
One day, when she was very young, when memories and dreams still bled into one another, the gift had been discretion.
I do not believe she has taken a breath. It defies logic.
Discretion was a founding pillar of life experience for the First Child, and from it she soon learned efficiency, the ability to discern when and when not to talk, to act or not to act, to calibrate her actions for maximum affect with minimum effort.
Her mouth is a universe unto itself.
Patience was relatively new to Rei, though due to the circumstances of her unique existence (Irony was still lost on her) it came naturally, and was seamlessly incorporated into her vast stores of precisely cultivated discipline. Or so she thought.
For what reason am I being punished?
Because since the alert had sounded and she had met up with the Second Child in a hallway adjacent to the women's locker room, the red head had not-
Rei had wasted a second attempting to decipher Asuka's ceaseless, shrill, and ceaselessly shrill ramblings, and instantly regretted it. As they approached Central Dogma for their status update and eventual sortie orders, the waif-like albino now could not summon the discipline to block out all of the German's monologue. Singular words gnawed at her subconscious like a starving tic: Shinji. Kaji. Wondergirl. Gott. Synch rate. Shinji. Ferret. Wondergirl. Kaji. Wondergirl. Wondergirl.Wondergirl.
I am just going to snap.
They passed a cold water pipe, and for some reason –some loud, obnoxious, foreign red-headed reason- Rei wondered just how much strength it would take to wrench a section of it loose. Yes…if she was discreet, and efficient in her motions, she could catch Asuka off guard. All she needed was to be patient.
Bludgeoning her…would be agreeable.
They approached the threshold of central command, and Rei was able to at least take solace in the fact that very soon Asuka would have to shut her face. She would soon have her quiet.
Or so she thought.
No sooner had the automatic door to Central Dogma slid open with a mechanical whoosh, did two lower-level technicians tear past her as though engulfed in invisible flames. Had Rei Ayanami been a girl of more liberal conventions, she might have described the piecemeal anarchy infecting everyone in headquarters as several flavors of horseshit being hurled by monkeys into a supercharged turbofan. Rei Ayanami was not a girl of liberal conventions.
Asuka was saying something. "-bofan!"
Lieutenant Ibuki was saying something. "-plosions in districts twenty-three and thirty-one! And twenty-eight! Thirty, twent-ni-"
Lieutenant Hyuga was saying something. "-SDF VTOL's have engaged Unit-"
Ibuki again. "Forty-seven, thirty-two…nineteen, twenty-six…"
"-TOL's are fleeing from Unit-"
"Stuff get blowed-up real good everywhere!" Aoba yelled.
"Yes, thank you, I can see that!" Major Katsuragi loudly informed the brown-haired officer. "Now how do we stop him? Come on, Maya! Use that big, juicy brain of yours!"
Dr. Akagi whirled from the five-story monitor feeding headquarters images from the surface city. Why is everything on fire? "Will you please get your hands off my student's scalp? And getting him to stop is your problem, Misato!"
"Stop who?" Asuka asked as she numbly stood at Rei's side.
The two most powerful women in Nerv finally noticed the girls as a ten-thousand ton Takanami-Class destroyer casually arced across the screen before silently floating out of view. There was the sound of a spectacular explosion and the video feed shuddered.
"Maya," Dr. Akagi said. Lieutenant Ibuki flicked a switch.
"-FULL OF LUMBERJACKS! SOCKO ERFERGUM SNAFU ON THE BLUE BABOOOOOOON! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I RUSN'T MUN AWAY! YOU THINK YOU CAN PLAY ME, YODA? THE DONKEYS KNOW, THE LIZARD QUEEN ALWAYS KNOWS! I AM THE OLLIN! I WILL ATTAIN YOLTEOTL, BITCH! POPSCOKLE REMAMSLURP SNIPPER! ROAR. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-"
Lieutenant Ibuki flicked a switch.
"Wait. Wait…baka Shinji's blowing the shit out of the city because someone trashed his tunes?"
"Your guess is as good as mine, Asuka," Misato said.
Why not just override his control circuit and raise the LCL pressure? Rei thought. Asuka said it, more colorfully and with a surprising quantity of spittle.
"That's the first thing we tried," said Misato as she wiped her face off with a sleeve of her red jacket, then turned slightly to glare at the blonde woman. "And it would've worked, too, if somebody hadn't given him the ability to block our override command!"
"And if you had bothered to pay attention at the briefing today," Dr. Akagi lethally countered, "you would've realized that was part of the test, Major, in case one day security in Central Dogma is compromised, in case one day Tokyo-3 comes under attack from hostile terrestrial forces!"
Major Katsuragi chanced a look at the monitor. Tucked in a lower corner of the giant screen was live footage of Tokyo-3 Junior High.
Tucked in a lower corner of the giant screen was live footage of the crater that had been Tokyo-3 Junior High. Misato jerked a thumb at the giant smoldering bowl, smiling jauntily. "Is that terrestrial enough for you, Ritsu?"
And that was when the Project E. Chairperson finally lost her composure.
He watched Ritsuko Akagi roar something at Misato Katsuragi and gesticulate wildly. He watched the Major rear back wide-eyed before shouting back, stepping forward and violently stabbing the other woman in the chest with an index finger. Then she used another finger to express herself. Meanwhile, something else in his city happily detonated.
He had enough of this.
"Everyone will immediately conduct themselves in a manner befitting professional Nerv officers…" Even from his lofty position above all but one of his bickering, panicking, hopelessly incompetent subordinates, Gendo Ikari could sense the shift in mood, the return to order swift like the shadow of a falcon. He would always sense it, from a thousand feet above, a mile above…"or be relieved from duty. Indefinately."
His most valuable lamb found herself, and her green eyes were sharp as she turned to him. He absorbed Dr. Akagi's silent apology. So utterly predictable. Gendo let himself feel for a sliver of a second. Here, he knew everyone. Everyone and everything. Completely.
"Sir," began Major Katsuragi, her professionalism now wholly reconsolidated, "we're…we're still evaluating the situation, but have yet to determine the most effective means of resolving the matter."
Oh, how he wanted to cut her down in the middle of her self-serving lie. But to openly dress down a woman who relied so heavily on the respect of her (present) charges to be effective would be…imprudent. He settled on a calculated smirk, smoothly sliding his dark frames up the bridge of his nose and saying, "Perhaps your 'evaluation' should include the option of removing Unit-01's umbilical cable?"
"You're coy today, Ikari," Fuyutski said as he stood at ease by Gendo's right-hand side.
"But Commander," said Dr. Akagi, "Unit-01 doesn't have an umbilical cable." Gendo was sure her eyebrows lowered as she spoke, filed it under 'insignificant'.
"Then his internal battery will be depleted any second now. The crisis will be at an end and the pilot will be removed-"
"Commander," Ritsuko Akagi intoned in a low, almost dangerous voice. The file was upgraded to 'uh-oh'. "I know that you could only attend the briefing though video-conferencing, but…weren't you listening to what I was saying?"
"Don't be coy."
"We were testingregenerative batteries! If he keeps up this level of activity he could be moving eight hours from now!"
Major Katsuragi gasped. Pilot Sohryu gasped. Lieutenants Hyuga and Ibuki gasped. Lieutenant Aoba tuned his air guitar. Gendo's dark frames smoothly slid down the bridge of his nose. And he was not smirking as he glared down, momentarily speechless, at Dr. Akagi. She shook her head as the whole of Central Dogma was treated to the sight of the purple-armored Test Type furiously jump-roping with the cable of a suspension bridge which was, mysteriously, no longer suspended.
"Everyone, I'm just curious," the blonde woman began, "was anyone listening to me earlier when I was detailing the test today? Anyone at all? Because I spent seventy-eight hours on those PowerPoint slides!" She looked up at Gendo, no, to his right. "Commander Fuyutski?"
The old man was standing…
"I had…um…more pressing matters to think of."
…but certainly not at ease.
Ritsuko Akagi's pleading eyes snapped to her protégé. "Maya…"
"Sempai…my younger brother's getting married and I'm figuring out all the catering arrangements. I'm sorry…"
The blonde doctor looked at the two comparatively sane pilots. "Asuka, give me some good ne-"
"I was thinking of how much I dislike eating meat. And also of red…the color I hate. And for a moment, turquoise, a color I discovered towards which I bear no particular animosity…unless it is turquoise-flavored meat."
Dr. Akagi emitted a sound completely devoid of humor. "Hyuga?"
"Well, I can tell you what I wasn't thinking about…pornography. And Misato."
"DON'T ANY OF YOU MONKEYS KNOW HOW TO LIE?" Desperate, Ritsuko gulped in air and turned to her last bastion of hope. "Aoba…please."
The man in question crossed his arms over his chest, his mouth a flat line as he returned her intense stare. For the first time, his dark eyes hummed with his old intellige-
"Asuka, Rei, suit up," Katsuragi ordered as she pried Dr. Akagi's fingers from Aoba's windpipe. "You two are going Shinji huntin'."
"Sir?" The Major shot him an intensely puzzled look.
"Commander?" Ritsuko said.
"Gendo?" Fuyutski managed.
"Narf?" said Aoba.
Did I stutter?
"Dr. Akagi, I assume that all civilians were sent to evacuation shelters before the field tests commenced?"
"Yes sir. Of course, sir."
"Units-00 and 02 arenot to engage Shinji. You are charged with finding a way to regain access to the control circuit of Unit-01's entry plug. I trust that this task is not above someone of your exceptional talents, doctor?"
A little flattery to grease the wheels; Ritsuko validated him even as her green eyes betrayed disapproval. She knew what he knew. The city was replaceable. The Second Child and Rei were replaceable. Major Katsuragi, too. She was replaceable.
Unit-01 was not. Yui was not, and he would not risk her unnecessari-
It should have been just another explosion signifying the conflagration of yet another replaceable surface building. It wasn't.
Hyuga gasped. "SIR! WE JUST LOST THE BASKIN ROBBINS ON IMAEDA AVENUE!"
It was as if Central Dogma had been renovated as a mass grave.
Subtly, Fuyutski leaned towards his only superior officer. "Ikari…that's thirty-one flavors…waffle cones…rainbow sprinkles…"
"Did they have," Gendo paused, "Butter Pecan?"
From the corner of Ikari's eye, the old man's deathly-ill profile darkened as he slowly nodded.
The Supreme Commander of Nerv rose from his Laz-E-Bastard. "Unit-00 and Unit-02 will proceed to cage four. Once at the surface they will intercept the Third Child and initiate a Level-Three Old School Beatdown."
Next Chapter: Rei and Asuka Get Their Shit Ruined
A/N: Hello again. Um…as you could probably tell from the summary of this story, it's not really going to be a oneshot. I don't know what happened. I just started writing…and writing…and writing…and realized that I had written a lot. I couldn't really expect anyone to read all that in one sitting. Well…I could…but not in good conscience.
Random A/N: I'd like to thank my pre-reader, MidnightCereal, for depriving me of sleep and making me write the entire effin' story freehand before I put a single word to a computer screen. Thanks for the arthritis, asshole.
Thank you for reading and your criticism. Ja.