I do not own the rights to Neon Genesis Evangelion, or any of the characters, equipment, or locations written in this fanfiction. The purpose of this fanfiction is merely for the non-profit enjoyment of other readers. If requested by Gainax, Hideki Anno, or other parties which represent aforementioned objects in this story, I will remove it promptly.
This kind of story seems to be very popular. You know, the self insert where the obsessed oktaku guy ends up in the Eva world as a female pilot, having to deal with learning Japanese, the difficulties of the opposite gender, and somehow trying to stay alive through the Angel War. I've seen at least two takes on this style. One I've been reading so far does this really well, and inspired this take on the concept. The other, however, is a little too whiny, too soft and emotional for my kind of taste. Also, the latter was started at least a year ago, and still hasn't been completed.
In both of those stories, however, the author writes as how he would deal with the problem, all written in past-tense. But what if we take that past-tense to a further extent, writing the story from the point of view of a person reflecting on their adventure?
I can't remember anything specific about how it all started. Perhaps it was like those dreams you experience in vast details, down to the very shade and smell of smokeless powder, and then you forget them the minute you wake up. All I can deduce is that it happened sometime while I was in my sleep. The mechanism is still foreign to me, and even if I experienced some key symptoms, I can't recall them now.
The one thing I do remember, though, is the splitting headache, high fever, and waking up on the steel grating of the cold, dark structure I would later know as Cage Seven. The air was cold and crisp, but lacked the typical scent of the winter air. Instead, the air had that peculiar scent left behind of passing through the vanes of a condenser.
That was the first hint something was wrong. While I was still groggy from sleep, I'm always alert to my surroundings, regardless of how horrible I feel. The next hint something was wrong involved a lack of clothing, and the steel grating of the catwalk digging into my left side. I've never slept in less than sweat pants and a t-shirt, and the fact I seemed to be in a cold industrial structure ruled out the possibility of sleep walking. The town my university is located in is a good 20 to 30 miles from anything bigger than a Wal-Mart. The campus population more than triples the locals' in town. No, I had definitely not walked to any nearby industrial structure, especially in my sleep during the winter.
The third, and most disturbing aspect I observed was the fact certain parts were missing, and others were present I wasn't supposed to have. The last time I checked, I was male, in my early twenties, and a natural blonde of European descent. While I was trying to exercise to improve my upper body strength, I didn't want my chest to grow in that particular fashion. Though I had to admit, at least I wasn't as "big" as some girls I knew through high school, so back pain wouldn't be a problem. I did my best to lie in a fetal position, hiding as much as possible, as well as keep this new form warm. The air conditioning was definitely doing it's job.
I discovered later I at least kept my haunting green eyes. They're the kind that remind you of Clint Eastwood. Sometimes they look gray, other times blue, and sometimes even take on a shade of dark hazel. They worked great for intimidating various people in authoritative positions, but much to my disappointment, in this new female form, all they did was bring more stares and drooling idiots coming my way.
I found those eyes of mine rather useful when I encountered the fourth and final factor which led me to realize something was very wrong. I heard some indistinct shouting, though I had watched enough subtitled anime to realize it was in Japanese, even if I couldn't make out any of the words. I guess I was at a disadvantage. Unlike most anime fans, I never did get into it that much. My interest in Evangelion was equivalent, dare I say, to my interest in SeaQuest DSV or modern radio shows.
The voice rose in amplitude, and I suddenly felt the jab of a small cylindrical object against me. I saw the shadow cast on the grating, and immediately identified it as a soldier with an AR-15 type rifle. My eyes, of course, were open this entire time, but just a crack to let me see. I was playing opossum at this point. Honestly, lying naked in what appeared to be a giant military installation with a guard shouting at me, jabbing me with his rifle, and me of all people in the wrong body, I couldn't think of anything better to do. I doubt anyone reading this would tell me to do something differently.
I felt an increasing number of reverberations in the steel catwalk, meaning more people were coming. The number of voices increased, all shouting at once. There was nothing left for me to do, and when one of the soldiers jabbed me in the back again with his rifle, I stirred, faking that I had just awoken. As soon as they thought I heard their voices, I raised my hands above my shoulders, parallel to the floor in a typical surrender posture, then spoke slowly and clearly in English. "Relax," I said. "I'm a United States citizen. I do not know where I am. Does anyone speak English?"
Of course, I had been thinking up that response since I had awoken, far longer than when the first soldier found me. It wasn't a phrase that came naturally, but had to be thought up. At least they knew why I spoke only English, that I didn't mean any harm, and they needed to get a translator as soon as possible. Though I doubt they believed me, as I later found out I was in a female Japanese body aged approximately 14 years.
The guards certainly didn't act like they wanted to believe me. The minute I raised my hands above my head, my body still lying limp in a fetal position, two men jerked me to my feet, bending my arms forcefully behind my head. I suppose it wasn't that serious of a mistake, but I grunted from the pain silently, more like one would expect a man to. Thankfully the guards escorting me down the catwalk didn't notice.
"Can I at least get some clothes first?" I asked. I was more angry than embarrassed. Granted, they didn't know I was a risk to whatever classified stuff they were doing, but I hardly saw anything, and it should at least be expected someone found in such a state as mine would be given the courtesy of clothing before being arrested. It wasn't until we reached a t-junction on the catwalk that a short-haired brunette woman stepped forward. She was dressed in a tan uniform jacket, and held out a wool fire blanket for me. I couldn't place the face properly, but the minute I saw the uniform, and looked at the face once again.
While I thought it, I knew immediately that I should keep my mouth shut, at least for now. The faces definitely looked different compared to the over-stylized renditions in the anime, but compared to what I'd expect from well-done cosplay outfits, the uniforms were a perfect match. Immediately I considered how I was going to explain this situation, especially seeing as I knew precisely who I wanted to talk to about it. However, if I mentioned a Major Misato Katsuragi, especially the day before her promotion, I'd be screwed.
The cover I had been working on during the escort down the catwalk went something like this: I was a Japanese-American girl who somehow ended up targeted by slave traders, and most likely drugged with GHB or some other amnesia-inducing date rape drug. How I ended up here could be chocked up to some shady characters involved in the U.N. pulling their typical criminal activities, and any inquiry would take so long to go through all the proper channels, I'd be long gone before any evidence for or against my claim could be found.
However, I hadn't counted on ending up in the Evangelion dimension. It was just a television series! It wasn't supposed to be real. Even if there were various alternate realities that mimicked fictional stories, why couldn't I have ended up in the world of Knight Rider? A talking '82 Pontiac Trans-Am and his driver fighting crime would be far more believable than trying to defend myself against both Angels and corrupt organizations all planning to turn mankind into a puddle of goo.
I couldn't make out what Lieutenant Ibuki was saying, but I guessed from the excited shouts from both her and the soldiers, it involved her disgust at escorting my nude form through the cage for everyone to see. Briskly, she wrapped the fire blanket around me, my arms still held behind my head. She gave me a reassuring smile, and said something in Japanese. "I do not speak Japanese," I replied. "I can only speak English." I guessed she wasn't too comfortable with my native language, as I wasn't comfortable with hers. I thought for a minute of the chances she knew at least some Spanish, which I could possibly piece together after taking three years in high school. But that wouldn't be likely.
Though I didn't have to worry much, because she appeared to know at least some English. "Who... are you?" Maya asked. This, however, brought up a whole new batch of problems. I surely couldn't use my real name. I thought that very moment how I was either 32 years old and having at least some form of permanent employment, or I had died at 16 in the Second Impact. Either way, my real name wasn't going to work, at least not just yet. "I... do not know," I answered, trying to limit my use of complex words and contractions.
Ibuki stared back at me, either in confusion, pity, or disbelief. I must explain at this point I've never been able to read human body language or facial expressions. Perhaps it's the result of limited social interaction, but as I explained to some friends of mine, I can about as much emotional content staring at a human's face as I can staring at a tree or a rock. This would prove a great disadvantage, but there were other thoughts which took priority.
The minute I realized where I was, and who I was talking to at this point, I knew immediately who I should be talking to. But like I said, I couldn't use names or titles without bringing up suspicion. If that happened, I wouldn't end up talking to Misato, but rather Commander Ikari, and who the hell knows what he'd do with me. I wouldn't put it past him to defile this new body just before he put a bullet in my new head. Then it came to me how to resolve the problem. "Can I speak to someone in charge of operations?" To help reinforce the idea, I then added, "Or can I speak to your boss", all with appropriate hand gestures.
Ibuki nodded, and looked up to some tinted windows of what appeared to be a control room for confirmation. I couldn't make out the faces behind the glass, mainly due to the glare of the fluorescent lights overhead, but there was some kind of movement, followed by someone speaking on the public address system. It was definitely a feminine voice, but out of all the personnel who could have been working different shifts, as well as the portions of NERV's organizational structure not covered in the series, I had no idea who it could be. As it was, she was not known to me until later on the following day.
Not having watched the series in a long time, the corridors and offices were new to me, though based on what I had seen so far of the people and equipment, anyone who had seen the series or read the manga would never have realized where they were until some obvious NERV insignia, personnel in uniforms, or even an Eva showed up. I mentioned before I had ended up in Cage Seven, the typical resting place for Unit-01 in it's cryogenic stasis. I don't know how I managed it, but not once did I see any of the Eva units during my escort to the awaiting cell.
Maya, to my gratitude, protested against this, but she did not have the authority to make my stay more pleasant. Honestly, I can't blame them, as the appearance of someone in the middle of a highly classified facility would usually result in death. Just on a field trip during high school to the local Air Force Base, we were made perfectly aware crossing the red line on the tarmac during our guided tour would mean the snipers would have a field day. But you'd expect better treatment with my bizarre arrival.
At least nothing had happened to me now, and the brunette lieutenant was kind enough to stay by my side. "Do not worry," she said over and over, the words coming very slowly at first, but with greater speed as she developed more comfort with the language. The cell was as I expected, though not as dark. I sat down on the wall-mounted folding cot, leaning forward, still wrapped in the wool fire blanket Ibuki had given me. It wasn't until this time I really knew it was Maya, as she introduced herself, simply pointing at her face, and saying "Maya." From the first time we met in the cage, she just seemed to be the most likely candidate for Maya Ibuki. Then she nodded towards me.
"I do not know," I replied. "It is... very... hard to explain." I wanted to say "difficult," but I didn't know how much Maya remembered, and with everything that was going on, I was too upset to think. Why I hadn't thought of it before, I'll never know, but I realized now would be the perfect time to ask some questions. Granted I knew where I was generally, but to keep with my story, I'd have to play the part. "Where am I?" Maya clearly didn't know how to say "classified", but settled for the next best thing. "That is... secret," she managed after a few moments. I nodded in understanding. "Military base?" I asked. When she looked in confusion, I pretended to salute, hold and fire a rifle, getting a nod in agreement. "Okay," I said.
Maya Ibuki, for those wondering, and more for her own defense, was not precisely the same character one sees in the series. Rather, the best way to describe her is the big sister or young aunt in her early twenties who still wants to be more of the pal who'd sneak you into a bar rather than be all motherly. She wasn't as shy as in the series, either. There is some of the typical college graduate chick in her, but mostly she seemed more like the studious professional, just doing her bit in the military to cover college expenses. I knew at least one girl like that once, but she had gotten out of the ROTC after a couple weeks, due to moral conflict. I think that's the best way to sum Ibuki up.
"How you not know... who you are?" she asked. I had to admit, she was getting far better at English, and much faster than I would ever learn her language. That thougth made me feel a tad guilty. I'd never be able to truly repay her, but as I later discovered, I think I managed to at least cover the difference. But back to the problem at hand, I was starting to run out of ways to dodge the questions. Section Two would most likely have interrogators far more intimidating and effective than a woman who would stick by me and offer comfort.
Suddenly, almost out of nowhere, I thought back to the The Terminator, with Michael Biehn. "What year is it?" I asked. Maya blinked, stunned at the question. Obviously she knew what I had asked, but was curious as to why I would ask such a thing. "To me," I said slowly, "it is 2006 A.D." Ibuki's face paled. Then came another thought. "I do not know where I am." Okay, it wasn't the truth, but back to The Terminator example.
If, in the film, Michael Biehn's character of Kyle Reese simply cooperated with the police, and said "Hey, there's some psycho professional foreign assassin out there trying to kill this lady, and he's built like a rock, very hard to kill," he'd be far more credible and less likely to be held as a suspect. Rather, he says, "Hey, this guy is really a robot in disguise trying to kill the mother of the future resistance leader." I, however, would not make that mistake. Well, at least I wouldn't mention it to Maya just yet.
Ibuki, who had been standing by my side in the cell at this point, sat beside me, and wrapped her arms tightly around me. There was some discomfort, and I thanked the wonders of probability that I had originally been born male. At least I was still thinking as my old self, the lack of testosterone and high quantities of estrogen having little effect on my hard-coded responses of aggression and cold, calculating ruthlessness. Those would be important traits later on, as I would be facing off against Gendo Ikari. Granted, I could easily avoid conflict with him, and simply follow my self-interest to live comfortably until the Third Impact came. Of course, the series was set in stone in my world, but here, the timeline could do anything. Shinji, my thoughts finally turning to him, could easily crumple under the strain, and Gendo could kill Rei, forcing her to fuse with Lillith. There were many possibilities.
But now they had a nutcase who had been handling guns since age 8, using assault rifles since 16, and been studying everything from U.S. Government manuals on improvised demolitions to wilderness survival manuals in their world. If I didn't succeed, I'd at least have some fun talking to Kensuke, if I ever met him. Though I'd have to remind him to treat me more like one of the guys rather than a set of nice goods, though I'd think more along the latter if I were in his shoes.
I had a general idea of my goals, given the nature of this alternate reality. First was to acquire the basics for survival, meaning a source of steady income to pay for housing, food, and clothing. Next would be a little more tricky, though, and would mean making the right connections with the black market. I wasn't going to run around Tokyo-3 with NERV on my tail without at least an Ithaca Model 37 12 gauge pump with removed disconnector, fed with tungsten-bismuth based double-ought buckshot 2 3/4 inch shells.
As I said, I'm a survivalist nut.
But back to Maya, she had just sat beside me, wrapping her arms tightly around me. "I am... sorry," she said. I guess that's all she could think of at the time. I was considering if I should tell her the reason for my discomfort, especially when she noticed how I was flincing, trying to draw away. There was no other choice. "One more problem," I said. "Until today, I was a man."
Maya never really did appreciate how well I was taking this scenario until I had told her everything, but at this point, she was getting a good idea everything I had ever known had been royally screwed over. "You... cannot be real," she said, but I think her real meaning was "you can't be serious." Slowly, however, the thought dawned on her I wasn't lying.
"I am telling the truth," I said.
Later that evening, when I found the room had a hidden CCD camera mounted high in the corner of the ceiling, just left of the barred door, I would regret everything I said to Maya.
End of Chapter I
Okay, first time I've ever written author's notes to any of my work. Yes, it's another one of these perverted self-insert stories, but I'll avoid as much of the perverted nonsense as possible. If anyone reading this knows who I am, the facts I give about myself are true, including being a gun nut. So, you can expect:
•Excessive aggression and testosterone-driven violence
•More "cloak and dagger" games with Gendo Ikari, NERV, and myself
•More analysis of the logistics of the Eva series
•The unusual case of the female self-insert character being a sexist male pig (yes, this will make interaction at the junior high school rather interesting).