Evangelion Time Loop 4
Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.
I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow me to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave. If you find any, let me know, and I will correct them and repost the chapters.
This group is based on a Groundhog's Day concept, if time was looping, and certain members were aware of this.
These are their insanities.
New Loop #1:
Thanks to Gregg Landsman for allowing me to use his version of Rei…
Shinji sighed as time began again, counting the change in his pocket as he stood before a payphone.
Well, I arrived before I wasted any change. That's good, I suppose. Sometimes when a Loop restarted, you could use a drink, and it sucked when it wouldn't accept any bills and your change didn't even come to half of what you needed.
"Ah! No, I didn't forget the pecking order Mr. Po—Rei?" Shinji blinked from the ground.
"You're funny," stated the First Child, bandage free, and a smile on her face that made him want to run. "So, what'cha doin'?"
"… Have you been into any tequila?" he asked.
"… O~kay," murmured Shinji, standing up and dusting himself off.
"You're different now," Rei continued. "You got tinier." Looking down, she hefted her chest. "So did I, weird."
Oh … shit! "Rei, mind if I ask you a weird question that would defy common sense?"
"Those are the best kind, silly," she giggled.
"For you, has time seemed to reset to an earlier point, but those you knew from the original timeline seem different in ways you can't adequately describe, almost as if the universe decided to rewrite history?"
The blue-haired girl nodded happily.
"… Well, let me be the first to welcome you, Rei Ayanami, to your first Fused Loop." With that, he began to explain the Loops, hoping this Rei was less dangerous than his Rei.
Yet, deep in his heart, he knew that hope had already crashed, burned, been buried by a volcano, and was currently being pumped into a car after turning into crude oil.
"And I'm telling you I have them both in my car!" Misato said over the phone. "So tell whoever wrote down that Rei was still in the infirmary to get off their ass and check again!"
"She seems tense."
"She always is," said Shinji in the back seat, next to the new Rei. She was listening to him at the moment, apparently trusting in his knowledge of things.
The fact he hadn't freaked out when she demolished a car with a squeaky mallet was a definite point in his favor.
"So, when do we go kill the Angel?" she asked with a smile.
"In a bit," he said heavily. "I'm still trying to figure out how to do so this time. It keeps them on their toes and doesn't raise too many questions about how my sync score is unusually high."
"Oh! I know!" Rei squealed, earning an eye from Misato off the rear-view mirror as they made their way to NERV HQ. "Kensuke suggested it when we were inside the Fifth Angel!"
Shinji was honestly shocked, but uncertain what had shocked him the most: that a Rei would hang out with the military otaku, or that he had an idea to deal with the Angel.
"What the hell was that?" yelled Misato, looking at the screen, which showed the defeated and now dead Angel on the ground, Unit 01 standing in a victory pose, before seeming to blow some dirt off the hand it had used for the one punch to breech the Angel's AT Field and destroy the core.
"Wow, he really pulled it off," smirked Rei, rocking on her feet.
"Did the Third Child just defeat the Angel with a Falcon Punch?" asked Makoto.
Shigeru shrugged. "Hey man, whatever works."
New Loop #2a:
Gendo stared at the sight before him, not sure how to take it. After all, he had come to visit the worthless gravesite given to his wife—there was no body to even bury, after all—and had expected to see his son there, a testament to his scenario to have the boy pliable and ready for when the Angels arrived.
He hadn't expected to see several JSSDF soldiers standing guard beside the child.
"Hello, Father," stated Shinji quietly as he laid down some flowers before the marker. "I am surprised to see you here without your personal protectors."
Gendo said nothing, staring at the boy, waiting for something to slip as to why his scenario was not going as planned. After all, he had no knowledge that Shinji was a Looper, nor that Shinji had started this iteration of the Loop shortly after Gendo had driven off, leaving him alone on the street.
Nevertheless, he would soon know that his needed Third Child was anything but.
"It would appear that the time I have allotted to spend within your presence has ended," spoke Shinji, turning away from the marker, the guards following. "I am quite busy at my current assignment."
"And that is?" asked Gendo.
Shinji paused, turning slightly with a smile on his face. "Now Father, wouldn't you feel better finding that out for yourself? I am sure Fuyutsuki and Ayanmai will enjoy hearing such a daring tale.'
He left his father stumped at how in-depth his knowledge of NERV was as the JSSDF VTOL took him back to his work.
Ruining a man's work was never done.
"He's what?" asked Gendo.
Kozo nodded, looking over the assembled file he had retrieved from the JSSDF. However, much of it was redacted—even with his clearance level—what remained did not paint a good picture for NERV. "He is head of some project called TRIDENT," he continued. "Thanks to the knowledge he's brought to the project, they expect to have them ready three years before the scenario calls for the Angel's return, let alone before we even have an Evangelion ready for field test."
Gendo growled lightly. No, this was not good at all. "This will not do.
"I wonder however how this escaped the attention of the Committee."
"Apparently, the project has come under budget the last three years," offered the Sub-Commander. "As such, without new requests to expand the budget, it never really surfaced as an issue that might attract their interest."
Gendo took several calming breathes, trying to reign in his anger. "It looks like they will need to be … informed of this oversight."
Gendo nodded as he stood up. "We will need to get him under our control, and to do that, it is time to announce the finding of the Third Child."
"Can't we simply use adults for this?" asked the General, grouchy over the fact that the Head of Project TRIDENT refused to let him smoke on premises.
"Once again, no," stated Shinji as he watched the three selected candidates—including the girl he occasionally met named Mana—go through the synchronization procedures. "The AI systems are very selective, requiring the brains of the pilot to learn and adapt to making contact with them. Adult brains lack that ability, which is why I chose children around my age. Until I am able to create a more adaptable AI to work with adult pilots of the TRIDENT series, this will have to do." Oddly, he was beginning to understand why his father had let the JSSDF throw everything they had at the Third Angel when it had arrived and why people referred to Military Intelligence as an oxymoron.
"I still don't like the idea of sending children out to fight," the General spat.
Shinji would have agreed, had the man not been one of the ones who when the JSSDF invaded Tokyo-3, had ordered that all personnel—including the Children—were to be executed on sight. "War is never pretty," he finally spoke. "So unless you find a diplomatic solution to the Angels, I shall do whatever is best to ensure humanity's survival."
"Doctor Ikari, incoming call from the UN Instrumentality Committee for you."
"What do those buzzards want?" spat the General.
Shinji sighed as he directed his people to continue the procedure in his absence. It was time to mess with his father again.
New Loop #2b:
Shinji drummed his fingers on the desk, waiting for his father's arrival. This was officially his third trip to NERV to meet the man. The first time, Shinji had left after waiting half an hour. When they called to complain, he informed them that his time was very precious and he did not have the leisure of being kept waiting.
The second time was fifteen minutes. Shinji 'kindly' informed them that if they could not be present when he arrived, they should not expect him to wait.
Today, he was setting the bar at five minutes. After that, if they wanted an appointment, he would have them schedule it at the Research and Development Branch of the JSSDF … and make them wait an hour with cold coffee, stale donuts, and squeaky chairs.
Two could play that game, but only one would play it right.
Damn, four minutes, fifty seconds, he internally grumbled as his father entered, followed by Dr. Akagi and Sub-Commander Fuyutsuki. It looked like there actually would be a meeting this time, after all.
"Glad you could join us today," Gendo stated, taking a seat and placing his hands in the standard position. At times, Shinji wondered if this was perhaps an action learned from having poorly spaced teeth or food in them. It seemed like Gendo never liked to let someone literally see him speak.
"I could have joined you twice before, but you insisted on wasting my time with waiting games," Shinji responded, hands on the tabletop, eyes focused on his father. "I assumed NERV was busy enough that when you scheduled a meeting, you would actually attend it. Obviously, I was wrong in that assumption."
He counted it as a victory when he saw his father's eyes narrow slightly. "Now then, perhaps you could skip any and all small talk and proceed to the reason why—including travel time—I have lost half a day's work to be here?"
"Very well," Gendo replied, before looking over at the Sub-Commander.
"Are you aware of the Marduk Institute?" Fuyutsuki inquired.
"Quite," replied Shinji. "It is the alias given to the procedures and methods used to determine candidates for … your weapons."
"Close enough," murmured Fuyutsuki. "They have already determined the First and Second Child. And recently, they have determined the Third Child."
"Really?" Shinji drawled. "At this rate, you might have five before I'm legally allowed to imbibe alcohol."
The trio ignored the shot at the Marduk Institute. "They have concluded that you, Shinji, are the Third Child."
"And?" blinked Fuyutsuki.
"It means you will be transferred to NERV to begin training to pilot an Evangelion," stated Gendo.
Sighing, Shinji pulled out a PDA, looking over his schedule. "Hmm, I might be able to schedule a two-hour block for an initial test this Saturday…"
"You misunderstand," Gendo stated. "Your tenure with the JSSDF is over. The UN has already submitted the transfer authorization."
"Well, I'm sure they'll try," replied Shinji as he stood up. "However, my work through the JSSDF is not through the military, therefore the UN couldn't order me to blink. My hiring is as an independent civilian contractor though a company I started."
"Your records do not show this to be the case," stated Gendo.
"My records are redacted for a reason," Shinji replied.
"Now then, if you'll excuse me, we have several systems to test today, and I do plan to get my early-completion bonus from the JSSDF. Feel free to contact my secretary to confirm a schedule for these … tests," Shinji said as he left.
Gendo growled lightly, trying to contain his rage. "This isn't over, Third Child."
He turned towards Ritsuko. "I want a non-redacted copy of his file by the end of business day, use the full power of the MAGI to get it."
"That may be impossible," Dr. Akagi replied. "We're not sure how, but their systems have been updated recently to counter a MAGI hack."
"I had already asked her to do such," said Fuyutsuki.
Gendo closed his eyes. That meant the only other way to get a full copy … was to ask the Committee. He will pay for this.
"He won't give up, you know," spoke the General, as the limo drove off towards Tokyo-II.
Shinji smirked as he read over the latest results from the new upgrades. "He will try."
The General could only shake his head. Kids that age weren't supposed to be that devious.
Then again, kids that age weren't supposed to Head multi-billion-yen projects and design working giant mechanoids. If it wasn't for the fact that he could likely kill the brat with little effort, he might feel worried.
Next move is yours, Father, Shinji thought with a smile.
New Loop #2c:
Entering the main entrance to NERV, Shinji did have to admit he was somewhat impressed. Nothing had changed, nothing to hint that Gendo Ikari was trying to show power, bring intimidation to bear.
Of course, having a dozen JSSDF Special Forces agents guarding him, didn't hurt his confidence any either. It wasn't as if his father would try something now.
Well, he would in all likelihood, but more mental now than physical. If not for the agents, Shinji had no doubt his father would work towards a 'he decided to join us' or a 'he left here, the fact you lost him is not our issue'. He had after all brought Project Trident to completion years ahead of schedule, under budget, and with a higher chance of successful engagement higher than the Evangelions had, even after the Fourteenth Angel.
Gendo Ikari couldn't leave that outside his control. It could disrupt his precious scenario.
Of course, that was why he wasn't surprised when the Security Door opened, revealing a four-man squad of Section-2 agents—otherwise known as Cannon Fodder to the JSSDF due to lack of training and intelligence—accompanying Dr. Ritsuko Akagi and the First Child.
"Ah, Mr. Ikari, welcome," was Ritsuko's greeting. "An honor to meet you. I read your doctoral thesis on organic-inorganic system design and implementation. Pure genius."
He smiled. Should have figured; there are only two things that turn on Akagi women: power and intelligence.
Which mean … Ritsuko was a fangirl.
"And this is the First Child, Rei Ayanami," she offered. "She's here to answer any questions you have as a pilot."
The bluenette nodded lightly.
Chuckling lightly, Shinji motioned for his group to continue on. Well, let's see what awaits us in the lion's den today, dear friend.
"How is the feed?" asked a Colonel, assigned to ensure Shinji both entered and left NERV safely.
"Excellent, sir," replied a Lieutenant, watching over a closed-circuit monitor. "Hard to believe he got the MAGI to send us a feed from a camera in his glasses."
"That kid is in charge of a project to save our country and perhaps the world, Lieutenant. I would be surprised if he couldn't do it."
It never hurt to have backup against an unscheduled kidnapping, after all. Foul play was easy to prove when you had video evidence and knew enough about the MAGI to slip a Trojan into it that Ritsuko would only find if she crawled inside of it.
Gendo stared as well at his own monitor, watching as the large group made their way into NERV. Before him was a slightly redacted file of his son—fifty percent less black marker. The fact that it was the best the Committee had claimed they could get was not a good sign.
The fact his son had an armed escort was an even bigger sign.
"Well played," he murmured, as he watched. It looked like this one would be a challenge.
"You do not trust your father."
Slowly turning his head, he stared at the First Child, ignoring the dozens of technical support crewmembers who were going about, preparing the Pribnow Box and the Simulation Bodies for a Sync Test. Neither of the Evangelions was complete, nor ready to even try a Sync-test in. "No, I do not. He has done nothing to earn such a favor."
"He is the Commander of NERV."
"I do not care," he simply replied. "He abandons that which he finds no use for. Rarely does he have the guts to do so himself, as the late Naoko Akagi could attest."
He took some pleasure when he saw Rei's usually disciplined shell crack slightly, a flash of memory playing in her mind. He had no doubt that the girl remembered her first death all too well.
"He is a man who only builds his success from the work of others," continued Shinji. "The fact he managed to convince others to follow his lemming herd does not mean I too will join.
"He abandoned me, now seeks control of me because I have shown other uses.
"I do not care about that man's approval, nor am I his doll to play with until he gets bored again.
"If you were wise, Ms. Ayanami, you would remember such a thing too."
Seeing that he had left her speechless, he maneuvered towards the test chamber. He'd done enough to shatter her world.
It was time to work on the head of the snake, not just the tail.
"Amazing," muttered Ritsuko.
"What?" asked Sub-Commander Fuyutsuki.
"His sync score is holding steady at ninety-four percent," replied the surprised Doctor. "Shinji, can you move the sim-body?" she asked over the radio.
"No problem," came the reply, as the arms of the sim-body rose from their prone position and waved at the observation area.
They were a bit shocked when the arms moved towards another end of the Observation Room and gave it the two-fingered salute.
"Um … Shinji?"
"Sorry, just delivering a message to the Commander.
Gendo glared at the monitor, wondering how the boy had learned he was watching him from that specific camera.
"I can't believe that brat asked you to inform him that," sighed the Colonel.
New Loop #3:
"It would appear the Angel is giving us as much trouble as expected," grumbled General Kongo, snuffing out his cigarette.
"Agent Omega's Intel seems to be panning out," replied General Nagato with a smirk.
"Bah," snorted General Fuso, looking at the holographic screen as the JSSDF forces were being creamed by the Angel: Sachiel. "To think we are reduced to using … them," he muttered.
Nagato smirked. "Then it is lucky that Omega is in the area, with Alpha ready for deployment."
"In the area?" questioned Kongo, before nodding. "Right, the Ikari boy, he's supposed to be stuck in Tokyo-II because of the train stoppage. Who ordered that?"
"All civilians were to disembark and head to the shelters," replied Fuso.
"And yet the boy didn't," smirked Nagato. "It would seem Gendo is already trying to set pieces for his play."
"I just can't believe our biggest and best assests to use against him are Alpha and Omega," grumbled Fuso.
"Quit bitching like a school girl on the train and authorize him," growled Kongo.
"Understood sir," replied the pilot of the huge transport.
"Damn it, I can't believe they want us so close that that thing," muttered the co-pilot.
"Hey, we drop where Omega requests, and he requested that Alpha be dropped here before those guys ever called us with approval. Therefore, we drop her there.
"Besides, we'll be over three kilometers up, no way in hell can that thing hit us."
"Well, better here than down there in the meat grinder, I guess," muttered the co-pilot, glancing back to the cargo hold and catching a glimpse of Agent Alpha.
"And that is why you need to stand up for yourself," replied the man, clinking his soda can against Shinji's.
"I-I guess so, sir," replied Shinji nervously.
"Ah, don't worry, kid," replied the man. "My Old Man, a real asshole, like yours," he continued. "It took me a while to realize, I shouldn't care about his approval, but my own happiness. That I wasn't a doormat, living under his control, and living in the past. I had to make my own way, forget about an approval I might never get."
"I … I guess I see the point," muttered Shinji.
The older man just smiled, trying to ignore the weakness in his younger analog. After all, part of him always wondered what would his life had been like if someone would have set him straight about trying to win Gendo's approval.
He paused, putting his finger to his ear to hear. "Well kid, you better ask my driver to take you away from here, they're about to drop my partner here to face the Big Bad."
"Big Bad?" asked Shinji, as a shadow loomed over them. He looked up, before his eyes went wide, his jaw dropping as—
A large figure, painted nearly all in white, gleaming in the sun, landed before them, taller than any of the nearby buildings.
Moreover, to his shock, it turned … and looked at them.
"Shinji, meet Agent Alpha," replied the man. He put his finger to his ear, as if hearing something, before sighing. "And now she's upset that she was dropped here without me."
"S-She?" squeaked the teen.
"Hey, when a giant, technorganic cyborg says it is a woman, who am I to say no?" the man asked, before the giant mechanoid lowered its hand for him to get in.
"But-but-but!" shrieked Shinji.
The man winced. Was he that skittish when he was younger. "Hey, Detail!" he yelled towards the JSSDF officers in the car nearby. "Make sure he gets to Katsuragi! You should be able to spot her, I doubt you'd miss the rack in her picture she sent him!"
"That better not be a gay-crack!" yelled the female officer below him, as part of Alpha's chest cavity seemed to slide aside, revealing a giant red orb.
"Hey, Shinji!" the figured yelled. "I gotta go kill a Big Bad! See you later, man!" he yelled, as the giant mechanoid held him close to the red orb, allowing him to seemingly walk into it.
"Who-who was that?" asked Shinji.
The male JSSDF officer smirked. "He's Agent Omega."
He seems to small and frail. It is hard to remember him as that.
Agent Omega smirked. "Because those memories were damaged when Mom left you and you became your own being.
"Now, we have our own memories to make."
Can we trust the JSSDF?
"Not in the slightest," smirked the Looping Ikari. "But for now, we can have new fun!" he chirped.
Oh, you know the way to win a woman's heart, don't you? stated the repainted and human-soul free Unit 01, smirking as it charged towards the approaching Angel.
Shinji just smirked. "Why is it all the women in my life get turned on by the sight of Angel blood?" he asked, laughing lightly.
What can I say, you learned the true secrets of getting into our inner places, Unit 01 replied as it crested a hill and saw the target.
"I hope they are recording this," smirked General Nagato. "I would love to have a permanent record of Ikari's face when he saw them."
General Fuso smirked. "Even if this fails, I want a copy, just for that."
New Loop #4:
Shinji winced as he looked at the pool of liquid before him.
"What is it?" asked Ellen Ripley, holding her rifle.
"Something more dangerous than those aliens," replied Shinji, holding his own rifle and chambering a round. If they were here…
"What?" asked Carter Burke. After all, he was here to recover specimens, not living entities.
Shinji snorted, just like the military and the corporations to lose sight of common sense. He looked around, weapon at the ready—and severely doubting it would have any effectiveness at all. "Ree."
"What the hell are Ree?" asked Corporal Dwayne Hicks,
"Heee~ey," came a cry over the colony's internal radio. "For all those still on this planet, we have a free banquet in the Officer Mess Hall. All weapons must be left in the dark closet at the end of the hall, or you can't have any of the yummy food. Entrance fee of one Shinji is required. In addition, as always, this is absolutely, positively, not a trap.
"That is all."
As the Space Marines looked at the closest speaker before them, only Private Jenette Vasquez spoke. "Did anyone else feel a strong chill down their backs aside from me?"
"We're all gonna die," sighed Shinji. Ree, especially those based on that Rei, were never conducive to a long Loop.
New Loop #5:
Shinji was out for the moment, enjoying the free non-Angel-rotting-corpse filled air of Tokyo-3, skipping school, and on a mission.
He had the munchies.
Not being high on some narcotic or as drunk as Misato on payday, he had no idea what he was craving. All he knew was that it was somewhere in Tokyo-3—just not at the school.
"Chinese? Korean? Tai? Native American?
"Huh?" he blinked, looking at the place before him. "Wow, did not know this was here." Shrugging, he went inside. If nothing else, he could get a leaflet to add to Misato's Wall of Cooking.
"Hello, welcome to… Shouldn't you be in school?" asked the man behind the counter.
Shinji shrugged. "My math teacher spends all class period droning on about how things were better before Second Impact, my PE teacher keeps staring at my butt and has less facial hair than the girl's PE teacher, three of my teachers offered to give me full marks if I bring them dirty photos of my guardian, who insist I learn recipes that include the liberal use of alcohol."
"… Right, so what would you like to eat?"
Shinji smiled as he continued down the street. Breakfast at the Native American restaurant, brunch at the French bistro, lunch at the Tai place, early dinner at the Mexican restaurant, and now a full dinner from the Russian restaurant.
Tokyo-3 had many restaurants, he decided.
He also decided where the best bathrooms to use were. Tai and croissants apparently didn't go too well.
"Let's see," he muttered. "I could go home, hear Asuka whine about how I wasn't at school nor made her lunch, or head home and hear from Misato and Asuka about how he didn't make them dinner.
"Or I could figure out what the hell I'm craving and pick up a late dinner at that Italian place," he muttered.
"Oh, hey, Rei," he said with a smile. "What are you doing here?"
"I am purchasing groceries," the pale girl replied.
"Huh? I thought the old man had Section 2 do that for you."
"They are unable to this week because of the number hospitalized from the last Angel attack."
"Oh yeah, forgot that's what my missile hit," he muttered. Damn thing missed his father's house by a mile, easily.
"You did not attend school today," Rei stated.
"Nah, felt hungry," he replied. "You ever have a craving for something, but no idea what?"
"At one point, but then Dr. Akagi prescribed medicine that I am to take to negate that craving," replied Rei.
"… Okay," said Shinji.
He paused for a moment, reaching into his pocket to silence his cell phone once again. Apparently, his minders had been attempting to contact him all day.
"Why do you not answer?" asked Rei.
"Because I don't feel like hearing Misato yelling, Asuka yelling, or cook for them," he replied. "Come on; guess I can help you shop. Worst case, we can crash at my place."
"Saying; it means stay over at my place. You can take my bed, I'll take the couch." Looking about, he tried to locate a local market. He really didn't want to try shopping at the ones near Rei's—what with his current lacking of an ability to produce an AT Field or outfitting necessary to avoid being held up.
Then … he saw it, his quest's end. "Heaven!" he yelled, grabbing Rei's hand—missing her deep blush—and rushed towards the answer to his cravings.
"This taste is quiet … enjoyable," said Rei, scooping up more with her spoon. "I do not understand why it is called Hawaiian Ice, though. I was not aware Hawaii had a large snack trade based on their small ice and snow reserves."
"Just one of those weird things, I suppose," replied Shinji, enjoying his Blueberry. "Like how most people assume pizza was made in Italy."
"I will have to come tomorrow as well," Rei continued. "I wish to sample other flavors."
Nodding, Shinji followed her. "So, should we go shopping now?"
Rei nodded, as she spotted a nearby store close to the rail lines.
"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" yelled Asuka, glaring at the Third Child as he entered the apartment.
"Having fun," stated Shinji. Section 2 had finally tracked him down—fourteen hours, a new record for them—and agreed to escort Rei home. He really needed to speak with someone in NERV to get her moved this Loop.
"What do you think you were doing?" growled Misato. From experience, he knew she was made—there was only two empties on the table before her.
"Mini-vacation," Shinji replied.
"You didn't answer your phone," Misato continued.
"Screw that!" yelled Asuka. "Where is my food, Third Child?"
Shinji handed her several flyers. "I'd go with the English place, great fish and chips," Shinji said.
Asuka stared at him, the flyers, and back at him, not used to Shinji ignoring her like that. He had after all, woken up fighting the Angel a few days ago.
"You do realize you're grounded," stated Misato.
"Really? Cool! No piloting for a week!" Shinji cheered as he headed to his room. Maybe he could finally get his hair to stop smelling like LCL.
Asuka turned to glare at Misato. "Well, do something!" she yelled. Obviously, the Third needed to be retrained.
Sighing, Misato grabbed the flyers. "Haven't had English in a while."
New Loop #6:
Shinji smiled as he continued to type on the school computer. Sure, it lacked power, lacked resources, had a narrow bandwidth—which increased dramatically after he introduced a virus to knock people off the game sites, and not even close to the level of access as the MAGI.
Luckily, Shinji had become the well-skilled code jockey during the Loops. He probably could give Ritsuko a run for her money.
Not that he would show that at the moment. It was one of the sure-thing ways to get her hot and heavy. Moreover, he didn't feel like taking his father's stress-reliever … yet.
Chuckling lightly, he executed the program he was making.
Now, all he had to do was sit back and watch.
Gendo stared. "What?"
Keel nodded. "The Ikari fortune is gone, wiped out or stolen, I cannot say at this time. Our people are working on it."
Gendo closed his eyes for a moment, attempting to calm himself. "It does not matter."
"Wrong," growled Keel. "That money was the guarantee for many of the loans acquired to build and finance NERV and its past incarnations. It was also making payments for insurance for the families of those killed during the Katsuragi expedition.
"Those funds have to be paid, or investigations will be launched that will be trouble for us."
Gendo narrowed his eyes. "The Ikari fortunes were not that vast."
Keel smirked. "So you would think.
"Yui, however, had quite the profile. It would need to be to secure the funding for Gehirn at the time. Your son stood to inherit a fortune to make him among the richest of the world."
His eyes went wide; Gendo stared ahead in shock. "… Shit."
"Shit, indeed," replied Keel. "The money will be located. This will not go unpunished.
"Until then, we have to route any transaction to the former accounts through our current accounts. This … may slow down the scenario."
Gendo nodded, understanding the hidden context. Budgets would be tightening to hide the missing money, lest some banks ask questions. SEELE's plans themselves might be affected.
He almost felt sorry for the people who stole the money. Keel would not be gentle.
Shinji hid his smirk as he read the paper. Whoops, looks like Keel didn't tell the banks about the money, he smirked, reading about worldwide UN investigations into several banks.
"I wonder what he'll do when I bankrupt several of the other countries, including a few building MP Evangelions…" he murmured, knowing no one was watching him.
That sort of initiative and attention to their job was frowned upon in Section 2.
New Loop #7:
Shinji stared about. Yep, another Loop, back in Tokyo-II.
He did feel something different, something coming from … inside him?
Looking down, he glanced at his hands.
The odd thing … they glanced right back at him. "Well … this is pretty fucked up right here."
The eyes in the palms of his hands moved as if nodding in agreement.
Turning to his left, he stared for a moment. "Adam?"
The eyes nodded.
"Then I guess that makes you … Lilith," he said, looking at his right palm.
Once again, the eyes nodded in a creepy manner.
Shinji looked up, his own eyes unfocused. "You know, I laughed as Naruto having the Kyuubi, laughed at Saotome having those Angels and Lilith Aensland.
"But they said, one day something like that would happen to me," he murmured, wanting to cry a bit. "I just hoped it never would."
Looking up, he wanted to curse the Gods for this. He now was carrying two creations of the First Ones in this universe in his body, creations meant to bring life to dead worlds. He was going to spend the Loop now trying to keep from creating Third Impact just by sitting inside his Evangelion, being near Rei, or any number of things that could set it off. He didn't want to end up landing in some massive FUBAR Loop because he scratched himself and the world ended.
"My luck, the others will be 'awake' and the Reiquarium will be filled with Ree," he sighed sadly.
"I better not find any Angels or other odd beings in my bed!" he yelled at his palms. "I had enough trouble trying to explain to Kaworu that I didn't 'love' him like that, same goes for the others.
"And you, no summoning the Rei, no turning Unit 01 into Lilith 2.0, and no odd dreams from either of you! We talk when awake! Understand?"
The eyes closed.
"… Not surprising," he said, walking off towards Tokyo-III. "This better not end up with me being female in the Eiken world again, or so help me, planets will run with the blood of … of people stupid enough to be in front of me," he finished lamely.
"STOP LAUGHING AT ME!" he yelled to his hands.
New Loop #8:
"Where did you get that gun, baka?" grasped Asuka, as Shinji stopped before a turn in the corridor, peeking around the corner.
"Asuka," he whispered, "can you shut up so we don't get targeted?" He glared at her under the red emergency lights in the corridor.
"This is against standard procedures," Rei stated, following behind them.
Sighing, Shinji turned to them, getting his weapon at the ready. "NERV has been breached by person or persons unknown. Main power is down, backup has failed, emergency barriers have failed to activate, Section 2 is looking for a donut shop to begin their standard search pattern from, and we've seen no other personnel since we got to here.
"Now, I am trying to find someone here we trust, without getting ourselves kidnapped or slaughtered," he growled. "But if you'd like to be tortured by some freak, feel free to keep talking louder and louder."
With that, he turned around, checked the hallway again, and continued on.
"Oh, now the baka shows some spine," spat Asuka. Rushing forward with Rei following, she approached Shinji. "Give me the gun, Stooge, before you injure yourself."
"I will shoot you, Asuka," Shinji whispered.
"Right," Asuka snorted.
Feeling the cold metal of the barrel placed into her temple, she slowly turned to face Shinji.
"I am not going to have some nut who likes to take pieces of his kills with him, cut off my dangly bits, because your ego doesn't want to relent to common sense," he finished.
"Now, Second Child, shut up, before I make you, permanently." With that, he moved quickly down the corridor, Rei following.
It took Asuka a few more seconds before she followed, rage and fear facing off against libido in her mind.
Hearing hurried footsteps, Shinji held a hand, signaling them to hold back. Waiting for the sounds to reach the corner he was hidden behind, he sprang forward, tripping the person as they passed him, and aiming his handgun at her.
"… Sorry, Ms. Ibuki," he replied, helping the First Lieutenant back to her feet.
"Huh? Wha? Ikari, what is going on?" Maya asked.
"Possible security breach," he replied, looking about.
"Where did you get a gun?" gasped Maya.
Shinji shrugged. "Section 2 doesn't really check their lockers.
"Now come on," he stated, making his way further along.
"Where are we going?" asked Maya.
"Ikari-kun has suggested we make our way to the Bridge," Rei whispered, "with a secondary target of the Evangelions."
"… Oh," Maya lamely replied.
The group traveled for several more minutes, before Shinji paused once again.
"What now, baka?" whispered Asuka. "Want to take out the cafeteria workers now?"
"We're being watched," Shinji replied, motioning to an air vent ahead of them. "Something knocked some dust out."
"… It's called air conditioning," muttered Asuka.
"Tell me, Ms. College Grad, what here powers the AC?" he asked, glaring at her.
Asuka flushed, turning away, refusing to give a reply.
Looking around them, Shinji slowly approached the air vent, the only one in the hallway. "Rei, watch behind me, warm me if someone comes from there. Ms. Ibuki, watch from the front, make sure if they come out, someone isn't waiting further on up ahead to support them."
Seeing them nod in agreement, Shinji made sure the safety was off, and approached the vent.
"Okay," he said, a bit louder, but not enough to alert the whole floor where they were. "I know you are in there. Come out now, gently!"
Nothing happened for a minute, before the grate was slowly pulled back into the ventilation shaft, and a figure dropped down into their view.
"… Oh shit," Shinji muttered, the gun shaking slightly in his hand.
"… Another Wondergirl?" asked Asuka.
Rei tilted her head, uncertain what to make of this development.
"Heee~ey," the figure said, bouncing on her heals. "This is fun, huh, Shinji?" she spoke with a creepy smile.
"How the hell are there two Wondergirls?" demanded Asuka, glaring at the First Child.
Gulping, Shinji steadied his grip, but didn't lower it. "Rei, are your … sisters here as well?" he asked.
"Yep," the new arrival said with a smile. "And boy, do they wanna play!"
"Do you know her, Shinji?" Maya asked.
"You could say that," Shinji replied, not taking his eye off the Rei before him. Nevertheless, he kept his senses peeled. The Ree were like a group of Velociraptor: it was the one you never saw that got you.
"Hey, is that the other me that hangs out with you all the time?" the Ree-Rei asked.
"Oh, we're gonna have so much fun!"
"What is going on here, baka?" yelled Asuka.
Shinji found himself at a crossroad: shoot himself to spare his mind the mental torture the rest of the Loop might be, or shoot Asuka and save himself having to read her the Riot Act later.