Neon Genesis Evangelion is the creative property of GAINAX, who created this wonderful anime/manga series. Anything not attributed to GAINAX belongs to their respective owners, such as references to Rozen Maiden that is the creation of Peach-Pit, Full Metal Panic! is the creation of Shikidouji and Shouji Gatou, Shakugan no SHANA is the creation of Yashichiro Takahashi, The Karas is the creation of Tatsunoko, and vice-versa. This story is written purely just for fun, guys; please for God's sake, don't sue me! I'm just a college student with too much free time on his hands! On the other hand, any specific author created characters I created for this fic (despite how unoriginal they may be at times) are mine. So without further adieu, let's get on with the show!

The Surgeon General's Warning:

Read at your own risk. Multiple pairings inside folks, not to mention some definite parts for Mayumi Yamagishi, Mana Kirishima, and more to come.

Where Infinite Time Stood Still, The World Consumed in Flame

Ore wa jankku ja ne/ I'm not junk!

Chapter 01:

The Reunion in the Machine City

A Super-sized NGE fic by James "Ray" Edwards

Ten years ago, it all started ten years ago on that day, the day where the sky cried --- and screamed. It was probably part of the reason why he never did like the rain, reminding him always of that time, that place. He was not always alone, or so he thought. Once, he thought he might have had a family, a mother and --- father, but that too was a dream, was it not?

He had been abandoned that day.

Why? he had asked himself many times.

Why did Father abandon me? Was I not good enough for him? What did I do wrong? Where was mother? Where did she go? What happened to her? Why was this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?

It was then that "That Man" appeared before him in the pounding rain. Lightning flashing, tall and dark, he was an awesome presence of malevolence and power. Bathed in the concealing darkness, a single smoldering silver eye, like a lit flame, gazed out from the shadow of his cowl.

"Stop crying," That Man said to him.

"B-But-!" he sniffled pitifully, his knees weak and trembling at his shattered heart.

"A grown man does not cry."

"B-But --- But I-I-!"

"You're not a broken child."

"But O-Otou-san left me!"

"It means you're a grown man now."

He blinked, his young mind uncomprehending of the cloaked figure's cryptic words.

"Do you want power?" That Man asked him.

"P-Power? For what?"

"A grown man does not cry because he has these two hands."

"Two hands?"

"Two hands to grasp the dream. Two hands to grasp the future. Two hands to take whatever he so pleases. He will not cry because everything is his."

"Everything?" he murmured as he stared down at his two tiny hands.

"Whatever he pleases."

"'Whatever he pleases.'"

"Do you want power?"

"...Yes. Yes... Yes! I want power!" he shouted up at the man with knuckle-clenched fists.

"Very well, but know this: what was once taken, cannot be given back."

It was the day everything changed.

The sky was blue. White clouds hung peacefully up there in that blue yonder, so close in his eyes that he could reach out and touch it. At least, it was the principle of the idea, not that he knew if it was practical or not. However, it was comforting to know that even within this fortress of steel, flesh and blood, and buildings reaching into the heavens like guard towers, he could still see the sky.

Ikari Shinji sighed wistfully, gazing disinterestedly at his bland utilitarian surroundings, just another street to him, in the metropolis of Tokyo-3.

Yes, this was the city his --- father --- built, the reputed last haven of humanity. This was said to be the safest city in the world in the event of an "Angel Attack." It was protected by NERV, a top-secret organization --- father --- founded and funded by the nations of the world under the banner of the United Nations.

"And the guardian of this city is the Evangelion, a giant bio-mechanoid, more powerful than the world's most advanced Arm Slave..." he murmured, idly fidgeting away with his new school uniform. It was plain: a white shortsleeve shirt, black trousers, and a pair of equally plain, white sneakers. "Or at least that's what it says in the brochure they sent me."

After ten long years, he had received an official government letter just a week ago telling him to come to Tokyo-3 right away. Inside, a steamy picture was enclosed of a buxom violet-haired woman, beautiful and vivacious, along with a street address and a time he should be at the rendezvous. Paper work was filled, his belongings far and few gathered into a single box, and he came just asked.

In appearance, Shinji was a strange boy of fourteen years. He was lean and lithe, almost frail looking in fact, with short neatly cropped black hair and a relatively healthy complexion. By all standards, he was an unremarkable boy, easily lost in a crowd.

However, those features were irrelevant.

What really mattered were three important details: First, he carried nothing on him. No luggage. Nothing. Second, his eyes were blue, a strange pigment considering his Japanese heritage, but they were blue, apathetic, and wanting. He cared about nothing and wanted everything.

Last but not least, something silvery was glinting off his left hand. It was an exquisite silver ring, worn on his ring finger, wrought with vines and thorns that sprouted seemingly from a single golden rose. The craftsmanship was beyond comparison, a masterpiece, but an a odd choice for a boy.

"Hm, I wonder where that woman is?" Shinji murmured as he observed a flock of birds, just across the way at the intersection ahead, frolicking about on the road in the absence of traffic. They must have been having a good time without people to bother them.

Yes, people could really be bothersome, just like that girl over there with snow white skin, azure blue hair, red eyes standing...

Wait, a girl?

Suddenly, the ground shook with a thunderous roar, sending the birds scattering, their wings fluttering in flight. The albino girl was gone, an ephemeral mirage that had apparently never been there. Shinji scowled and shook his head, wondering if he was starting to hallucinate, even when he was not on Mercury.




He needed more of it. He wanted it now. The cravings were becoming more persistent. However, Suiguntou was not here at the moment with him. She was on the way, still traveling somewhere out there. Indeed, the little black angel was the second best thing that had ever happened to him, but she could not be here with him right now...

...and it was all Father's fault.

A second quake shook the ground, snapping out of his dark thoughts. Restraining the urge to snarl, he shot his gaze about, trying to see if he could locate the source when an armed VTOL battlecopter came screaming by overhead guns blazing. The deafening shriek of its rockets was audible over the roar of its own twin engines, forcing Shinji to clap his hands over his ears to block out the noise. It was just in the nick of time too as the thunderous blast of explosions came funneling through the street like a cyclone.

What was going on around here? It sounds like a battle, a war!

His blue eyes blazed with life for the first time since he arrived in the outskirts of this empty city at the grim gravity of the situation. He whirled towards the scene of the battle. More VTOL battlecopters emerged from a hillside, buzzing in retreat like bees from the ominous presence of something massive. A gigantic humanoid appeared moments later, a fantastic creature the likes he had never seen before, clearly existing outside the laws of nature.

It was well over thirty meters tall (roughly a hundred feet), and every impossible part of it was distinctive, but what really drew his attention was the red sphere protruding from its chest. There was something odd about it, like it was magnetic, calling out to him. He could feel his right hand reaching out to grasp it, even though it was well beyond his reach.

What was it? A youkai? A giant mikura? A Rinne manipulated by Tomagara in such a way so that it can manifest in this space? Or was it a real angel? Of course, not that any of these tiny details mattered to him.

He wanted it.

This simple desire of wanting was all the provocation Shinji needed, and he had a hunch that the real prize lay in the red sphere of that angel. He wanted it bad enough to kill the thing without hesitation, to grind its bone to dust, to rend its flesh to ribbons, and to burn its bloody corpse in a beautiful bonfire.

"Dust to Dust and Ashes to Ashes," he murmured, a grotesque sneer creeping up his face as his blue eyes seemed to turn hollow for an instant. It was like a hungry void devouring all that lay before it, and even then, it was still not satisfied. It wanted more and more, an endless insatiable desire.




If only Suiguntou were here, he could claim his prize now!

"Oi, kid! Get in!" a voice called out to him suddenly, accompanied by the pitched roar of a sports car's high-performance engine.

The light in his eyes died, and Shinji shuddered involuntarily as he felt a familiar docile air settle upon his shoulders again. Burying his disappointment deep down, he questioned why his little black angel insisted on such a farce. Everything belonged to him, so why did he have to pretend that he was so weak, so weak that he needed the approval of others just to live? He already had her, and as long as she loved him, he was invincible.

Nothing in this world could stop him from claiming what belonged rightfully to him, not even himself.

"Yes, ma'am," he snapped to attention timidly and hurried into the passenger's seat of the sports car.

They quickly sped off into the clear, not even giving him enough time to buckle down before the woman slammed her foot on the accelerator. A sidelong glance at her revealed that she was the same buxom violet-haired woman from the photo, introducing herself in a rapid-fire fashion as "Captain Misato Katsuragi." He replied timidly to the pleasantries, gasped in wonder at the sight of the hopeless battle taking place, and gave a somewhat girlish squeal when Misato wrestled him into her lap.

The overwhelming roar of the N2 mine was like music to his ears, a white noise that drowned out all other sounds.

"So this is what my father built, his masterpiece?" Shinji asked aloud, his gaze affixed on the purple demonic visage of the beast before him.

Purple: oh, how much he was starting to hate that color. From Misato with her nearly ever-present smile and her violet hair to this beast, they were all mocking his beloved little black angel. He was barely holding back the impulse to tear its face off and see what it really looked like underneath this garish disguise.

"Correct," the new woman in the lab coat spoke up automatically, a "Doctor Ritsuko Akagi." She had blonde hair, but even he could tell it was fake, and personally, it disgusted him a little. They had met her on the way to the "EVA Cages" as Misato had gotten hopelessly lost in the underground headquarters of NERV. "This is the bio-mechanoid designated as Evangelion Unit-01, Mankind's ultimate weapon against the angels. I trust, you've read up on it in the dossier we provided, Sh?"

Psshh, it was more like a brochure, but whatever, he scoffed privately to himself, while making an affirmative groan with his throat.

Shinji stood there seemingly captivated by the sight before him, ignorant of the presence of the two women nearby on the gantry. The smell of this place reminded him of a hospital: sterile air with the faintest hint of lemon and the coppery effervescence of blood. It was everywhere and it was driving him crazy. However, nothing could compare to the incomprehensible abomination before him.

Father --- Father had left him for this piece of JUNK? This thing was more valuable than him? The "Evangelion" was so much more valuable than him that Father deemed him to be unfit, worthless --- junk to be cast aside in the trash? How absurd!

I hate you, thought the black-haired boy acidly.

It was now taking all the willpower he had to keep his schooled countenance and not leap forwards from this gantry in screaming fury to begin tearing the garishly colored abomination to pieces. He hated it. He hated it almost more than Father! His rage trickled past his guard into his hands, causing them to ball up ever so slightly into fists.

"So where's my father, Doctor Akagi?" Shinji asked in the same timid voice, never taking his blue eyes off of the Evangelion.

"Right here, Third Child," rumbled the booming voice of an all too familiar man, the power of his cold, terrible baritone amplified by the speakers in the Evangelion cage.

The two women straightened to attention, and even Misato with her easy-going attitude looked a touch embarrassed as he followed her gaze upwards towards the observation room across from the Evangelion. Gendo Ikari: the sight of his wretched father did not raise terror or awe at the imposing sight of him, not at all, not in the slightest sliver of a fraction. It was all Shinji could do to repress the grotesque, leering smile that threatened to break his timid, useless character.

Kita. There he is.

"Hello, Otou-san. It's been a while, hasn't it?" the boy repeated the lines he had been rehearsing for years to say to this man.

Kita! There he is!

"That is irrelevant, Third Child," Gendo admonished him crisply, just like he knew the wretch would.

Mitsuketta! I found him!

And you brought me right to you, Shinji cackled maniacally in the ecstasy of his private thoughts. The excitement bubbled inside his hot blood, bringing him nearly to tears. "Why, Otou-san? Why. Why did you bring me back after all these years?"

You fool.

"Because I have a use for you now, Third Child. You've been scouted as a potential pilot and you are to defend this city using the weapon NERV has devised at the costs of trillions in funds."

You fool!

"That's it? You brought me back just to pilot this?" he shrieked in anguish, an act made all the more authentic as he vented his hate and sorrow into every word.

You know what this means, don't you?

Gendo stood completely unfazed by the emotion of his son. The women below had schooled their calm expressions well, as to be expected, but he would not be surprised if Katsuragi had a new set of private reservations against him. She always had been much too soft. "If you will not pilot, a suitable replacement can be found, Third Child."

Shinji gasped, as if struck by a punch, his blue eyes quivering with hurt beyond comprehension, all the while he was rolling in gales of laughter inside. Everything was going exactly as planned. His act was a success, a complete success!

"W-Wait! Otou-san! I --- I-I'll --- I'll do it," he capitulated pitifully, hanging his head low in shame. Even though he could not see it, he could feel the heat of the hidden smirk of triumph radiating from the wretched bespectacled man.


I'm going to take everything away from you, Father. Kukukukuku! When you have nothing left for me to take, I'm going to strip every last piece of flesh from your still living body, and then --- only then...when all you have left is your ruined life, I'm going to let you live, to feel the same the pain I did! You were wrong about me. Everyone was wrong about me!

I'm not junk!

To Be Continued...

Author's Notes:

Well, and there you go that's episode one for you all. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue this considering I have two other fics running, but I probably will, except it'll be on my really low priority list. If Shinji seemed really OOC, bear in mind this is a pretty huge AU fic by just looking at the credits, and I understand perfectly that the little teaser backstory I gave does nowhere near the justice to justify his character yet.

Don't worry too much because everything will become clear in time, and please, do try to enjoy the story and imagine the potential it can generate. Is Shinji a villain or a hero? Will he stay with Misato-san? What's going to happen with his relationships with all the other characters? And what the heck is he going on about? Who or what is Suiguntou, this "person" that loves him? What's Mercury got to do with it? Is Shinji out of his mind?

Well, we'll just have to wait and see, eh?

For those of you who have tuned in, I'd like to thank you all very much for your patronage, and I always encourage each and everyone of you to feel free to comment, review, and/or discuss the story. Your comments can really make a difference, I assure you, and if you're up to it, feel free to ring me up on AIM, or even send me an e-mail (although you really don't need to boost my ego too often).

Well, that wraps it up, folks, so until the next time we meet: Rock on! Because Winter Break is right around the corner!

P.S. If y'all like my style, feel free to go read my other stories. New and old: I think they all got something to offer, although it's only the Naruto AU fic and the huge 30+ chapter Love Hina AU fic that I'm presently writing.