Disclaimer: Still don't own it or any other elements used from other material.
General Xavier glared for the seventh time at the man seated next to him.
The trip from Washington had been a long one and the General's companion had not made it any shorter. Currently, the duo was seated in the passenger section on a converted military cargo plane which had left the U.S. capital about seven hours ago. Escorting them was a pair of F-24 Phoenixes that flew side by side with the cargo plane.
Following them was a small fleet of transport ships that carried military equipment for the base.
As the military cargo plane began making it's preparations to land, a section of the cliff opened up and a landing strip appeared inside the crevice. The plane shook all over due to the turbulence. Though Xavier had long gotten used to such turbulence from other flights he had flown in, his companion was new at it and clutched the arms of his chair until his knuckles went white.
"Can't the pilot do something about this shaking?" asked Harold Melbourne as he gritted his teeth and had his eyes closed. Dressed in a dark suit, he had raven black hair and brown eyes. He was young for his position as Director of Homeland Security and was only in his early thirties.
"No, not a thing," Xavier answered, smirking at the younger man's discomfort.
Though the meeting with the President had gone well and he got what he wanted, there was unexpected baggage that he had to deal with; specifically the head of Homeland Security. The General had to work with him in the coming war, something that did not sit well with him given the Director's former allegiance.
The cargo plane slowed its speed considerably as it entered the side hanger. The wheels touched down, jerking the aircraft and those within it. After a minute, it finally stops just a few hundred feet away from the end of the runway.
"Finally," said Melbourne as he unbuckled his seatbelt and stood up. Taking a minute to stretch, he raised his arms in the air.
Xavier took the opportunity to escape and quickly made his way to the exit hatch which was already opened. As he exited the aircraft, he found the members of his command waiting for him at the bottom of the steps.
"Welcome back sir," Colonel Riley greeted as he saluted; Celeste and Major Simmons also saluted the General as well.
"Thank you; I am calling for a staff meeting ASAP. Make sure Ms. Ayanami is informed; I want her there as well," ordered Xavier.
Two hours later, after refreshing himself from the trip, Xavier sat down at the head of the table in the base's conference room. His senior officers were present along with Rei and Melbourne.
The room was located next to the CIC and was only big enough for a small group. The walls were made of metal as was the floor. There were lights built into the ceiling that were never upgraded from the Cold War and they were partially lit. The only thing that was actually new was the large monitor on the far wall to the right of the table.
"I want to introduce Harold Melbourne, the new head of Homeland Security. We will be involved in joint operations with his agency from now on as ordered by the President," the General stated as neutrally as possible. The assembled officers looked at one another in dismay.
"I wish to assure you that I am no longer with SEELE since the death of the leaders in North America. I am also partially the reason why the organization's hold on our Government no longer exists. The President, in his wisdom, appointed me out of need for my services," Melbourne informed with a smirk. The grin seemed to piss off everyone in the room with the exception of Rei who remained unmoved.
None of the General's staff knew what to make of the information. They knew that Harold Melbourne had been highly placed in the leadership of SEELE in North America, high enough to have had a place on the Council if there was a seat vacant. There was much curiosity to why Melbourne would have given all that up.
"The President has placed this command as the head of operations in taking down SEELE and the McGregors. We will have access to all available resources that the US can muster. Within a few hours, we will be receiving some of those resources," said the General.
"What will we be getting?" asked Simmons, giddy.
"Some new weapons for Unit 01 as well as two Tridents and their hardware," answered Xavier.
"Tridents? As in the Jet Alone units?" Riley inquired, confused.
"Yes; after being humiliated by NERV, the company was bought out by the Azreal Conglomerate. They continued the research and development of the models in the United States," Melbourne informed the group.
There were nods from around the room. It was well known that the current President's family owned and operated the company which one of the most powerful corporations in the United States. Since most of the family had members within the US Government, it made the Tridents part of the US Military.
"Are the Tridents remote operated or do they need pilots?" asked Celeste.
"They need pilots; we have managed to acquire the services of a few reserve pilots from NERV," Harold answered.
"Children then; why am I not surprised?" wondered the woman, disgusted.
"There was no other choice; we needed the pilots immediately. The children managed to adjust to the combat systems of the Tridents within a few weeks and are ready to go," said Xavier who was also disgusted as well. He hated having children fighting on the battlefield.
"If I seem to recall, the Tridents are supposed to be nuclear powered; won't this be a risk to our own forces if something goes wrong?" Colonel Riley asked. He was still nervous about the newly installed nuclear reactor underneath the base.
"The engineers were never able to solve the problems with the nuclear reactor so they opted for a compact battery instead. Under full power, a Trident can operate for about two hours on its own before it needs to be recharged. On low, it can push an extra three hours. While it's much faster to recharge at the base, there are a number of solar panels equipped so that the Trident can be revitalized on its own in case of emergencies. However, this process does take a while," Melbourne informed.
"Why are we only getting two?" Celeste asked.
"Building a Trident takes a good amount of time and money; we can only spare a couple while the rest must go to our national defense. The President has assured me that we will have more when the assembly plants complete more units," answered Xavier.
There was a call from the phone on the table and Simmons picked it up. After a minute of listening to the voice on the other end, he hung up and looked to the General.
"Sir, the ship you told us to expect has entered the harbor. The cargo is being off loaded now," informed the Major.
As the cargo ship was depositing its precious shipment, its actions were being observed by a submarine that lay hidden a few miles away.
Captain Malt Stone watched as the crew of the cargo ship went about their work at a leisurely pace. He smiled at the notion that his vessel had yet to be detected. He was also happy that intelligence had been right after all and not had sent him on a wild goose chase.
"Send a message to Lord McGregor; tell him that the target has been sighted," the Captain ordered. His comm. officer nodded and relayed the message through the radio.
In Ireland, Zeruel was woken and rose from the ocean where he slept. The Angel of Might made full speed towards his target in the North. A spy Satellite belonging to the United States Military picked the Angel and relayed in to the Greenland Base; which then went on full alert.
As Unit 01 was elevated to the surface, Rei not only felt nervous but a sense of fear as well. This would be her first battle in a long time and in a different Eva as well.
Rei knew that she was only an adequate pilot at best. She was no where near the level of performance of Shinji and the Second Child. Her kill ratio was only an assist which Shinji had completed the actual kill.
Now, she was about to face an Angel; one of the most powerful if what Melbourne said was true. The Director had been privy to some of the knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls during his time with SEELE and was able to only identify the Angel and its designation.
"According to the data, your sync ratio is reading at 69.56; I am guessing that is a good thing from what little we know of NERV's operations. How do you feel?" Celeste asked from her station in the CIC.
"Scared," Rei answered truthfully; she felt uncomfortable lying to her new friends.
"That's very understandable; but you must be brave or you will be killed," stated General Xavier firmly, but respectable at the same time.
Rei nodded and gripped the weapon that her Eva had been given. It was from the cargo ship and the only thing available on short notice.
The weapon itself was a type of pistol, but much larger and bulky than any normal handgun that NERV ever gave her. The trigger handle was behind the ammo clip that curved away from her hand outward and the barrel was short. The weapon actually felt a little heavy and slightly strained the Eva's arm.
"The weapon you carry is call a Bolt Pistol; a variant of the Boltgun which you will use if we all survive this. It fires an explosive rocket propelled round that detonates milliseconds after contact. It houses twelve rounds so you must be careful because you will be unable to receive more rounds if you run out," Director Melbourne informed from his position at the General's side. Rei could tell that the Director was nervous, if not flat out scared from the sound of his voice.
"Guns have been useless against the Angels before; what makes these Boltguns so different?" the Eva pilot asked in a calm voice.
"The rounds used by the Bolt Pistol are laced with the same metal that the Lance of Longinus is made out of. They yield a weak Anti-AT field which would easily penetrate any barrier enacted by the Angel," answered the Director.
Rei felt a little more assured with that information. She was curious to how the material from the Lance of Longinus was replicated but decided to leave that question until after her fight was won.
Inside the CIC, Simmons turned to Director Melbourne and asked "Aren't these weapons….," before he was cut off.
"Yes; the engineers behind the development are geeks and nerds; they named just about everything they have developed after some sort of television or game series," answered the man, rolling his eyes.
Finally reaching the surface, Unit 01 took its first steps onto the icy surface and almost slipped. The ground was more covered with ice than snow which made it slightly hard to walk without tumbling down. Rei wished Unit 01 could be equipped with snow shoes.
Rei looked about, examining her surroundings. There were few surface buildings, mainly due to the fact that the base was more underground. There were also a few medium sized hills about which would make good cover. Walking up to the closest one, Unit 01 kneeled behind it so that she could try and ambush the enemy.
After five minutes, Zeruel appeared off into the distance. It lumbered slowly, floating above the surface. Rei focused in on the Angel to get a better look at it to see what could be used against her. The arms looked to be silky whip like appendages, which was the only immediate threat she could see.
However, Rei knew from experience that appearances alone were nothing in regards to the Angels. The fifth Angel taught her that.
As Zeruel got closer, the bases defenses went online; Missile and gun batteries rose up from there hidden locations under the ice throughout the area, targeting the enormous foe. Once the Angel was in range, the emplacements let loose with a heavy barrage.
"Why are we bothering with out own firepower when it is obvious that it will have no effect on the Angel?" Melbourne asked in confusion, turning to the General.
"We are trying to gauge its strength and capabilities; if we can trick the beast into showing everything it can do, then it would a tremendous help to Ms. Ayanami," answered Xavier as he looked up at the main monitor that show what was going on above ground.
Zeruel stopped just a few hundred meters from the weapon batteries. It hovered there for a minute, letting the barrage impact its AT-Field.
Suddenly, there was a flash from its eyes and several of the gun emplacements exploded. Fire rose from the wreckage and burned on the surface. Zeruel repeated its attack until every gun emplacement was on fire and completely useless.
Rei, realizing that it was now or never, rose slightly from her position behind the hill and took aim at the Angel. Pulling the trigger, her arm recoiled and the round slammed though the AT-Field. But it missed Zeruel just over the right shoulder.
The Eva pilot cursed out loud and readied to fire again when one of the Angel's arms surged forward and slammed through the barrier, shattering it into pieces and knocking Unit 01 to the side. The bolt pistol went flying and skidded away from the Eva.
Unit 01 rolled sideways, dodging another strike by the Angel's arms. It climbed up and quickly ran forward as Zeruel's eyes flashed. The ground where Unit 01 had previously occupied exploded.
Rei headed towards her fallen weapon and lunged for it, just barely missing the handle as she was hit by the Angel's razor sharp arms. The whippy appendage pierced her left shoulder, causing the teen to cry out in pain. She gritted her teeth and tried to use her other arm to grab the bolt pistol but was prevented when her hand was sliced off by Zeruel. Liquid spurted from the wound and the hand went flying.
The Eva pilot screamed as she clutched her hand in pain. Rei tried to tell herself that it was the Eva and not her real hand as countless times she was told the same thing during simulations. However, it felt too real to the teen.
Unit 01 was slammed again in the chest, which brought Rei back into focus. She tried to move but the Angel's appendage was still lodged in her shoulder which prevented the action. Zeruel's other arm kept hitting the chest, trying to get at the core. The Angel's face seemed to leer down at Unit 01 as it continued to pound at her.
Just as the Angel was about to make another strike, a blast breached its AT-Field and Zeruel was flown back as it was hit in the chest. The Angel's grip on Unit 01 was softened and the Eva painfully removed itself from its hold. More liquid spurted out from the shoulder wound, but Rei ignored it as she concentrated all her effort into using her remaining hand to reach over and grab the bolter.
Gripping the handle, Rei brought the pistol up just as Zeruel regained its composure. The Angel loomed over Unit 01 to renew its attack but the Eva aimed the pistol point blank just meters away from the beast and pulled the trigger.
Round after round exploded into the chest of Zeruel, pushing it backwards. Flesh and blood erupted from the Angel as Rei continued to pound at its chest until the core was exposed. Using her last three shots, Unit 01 aimed for the core and the shots struck S2 organ which blew it to pieces after impact.
The Anti-AT Field managed to suppress the S2 from exploding and Zeruel went down onto its back. The Angel was dead before it hit the ground and its eyes went dark. Blood poured out from the holes in its chest and leaked all over the ground under it.
Rei breathed heavily as she laid back and let her arms hang loose. She could hear the various shouts from the CIC in her communication's monitor but paid no attention to them as she began to lose consciousness. With one last turn of her head, Rei closed her eyes.
Mana Hiroshima breathed heavily herself as the arm of her Trident lowered to its side. Smoke still rose from the barrel of the Mega Vulcan Bolter that was attached to the top of the right arm.
She was happy that the single shot had managed to hit its target. The Trident was a great deal distance away and had only a single round. Mana was glad that whoever had screwed up and left the round in. Otherwise, it was more than likely that the Eva pilot would have been killed.
Opening the hatch to the cockpit, Mana climbed out and shivered once again at the cold air. She was still dressed in her civilian fatigues which consisted of a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Looking downwards onto the ground, she was greeted by a pair of thumbs up from her brother.
Mana waved back and watched as a group of vehicles emerged from the ground and made their way to the fallen Eva. There was an ambulance among them and the Trident pilot hoped that whoever piloted the Eva was all right.
She headed to put some warmer clothing.
Author's Note: Well I hope you liked the chapter; it took longer than I thought since I had some personal issues to deal with which prevented this chapter from being released earlier. Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors but my pre-reader is incognito at the moment.
I apologize if the battle with Zeruel was short and one-sided. This was my first time writing an Eva battle and wanted to show a more IC Rei in regards to her experience with Eva combat. Rei, unfortunately, is the weakest of the three children and would not fare well against the Angel of Might on her own. Well, at least in my opinion. I am sorry if any of you readers disagree.
The Bolter weapons are from Warhammer 40k; when I was trying to come up with for armaments for Unit 01 and the Tridents, I was inspired from my games with the Dawn of War series. I happen to like the variants of the Bolter and decided to use them in LWD.
There will be NO love triangles between Rei, Shinji, and Mana; a little hard with Shinji being in a coma. Mana will be an important friend though to Rei, in fact becoming her best friend.
I have no clue when the next update will be released other than to say it will be out hopefully by the end of May. The chapter will deal with some more combat as well as interaction between Mana and Rei.