Neon Cognogenesis Omega
Chapter 01

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Be-beep be-beep be-beep!

A sleep-logged Shinji covered his head with his pillow, in an attempt to shut out the cacophony that was currently assaulting his ears. After a few failed tries, he managed to slam his hand in the precise spot necessary for shutting off the damned machine. Precision was usually his strong point, but he knew that his skills had little to no effect while sleeping off a 30 hour debugging spree. Strangely, he continued his habit despite this. He wondered this to himself, whilst he groggily and slothfully shifted his legs off his bed and into his pale blue bedroom slippers. He barely managed a lazy yawn, stifling it halfheartedly (primarily with his hand, as if putting it in front of the opening would somehow lessen the need for oxygen instead of making him, say, choke to death on his own fist), and after a few moments of blinking, he stood up.

Today is going to be my day.

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Misato waited (un)patiently by the green phone booth in the center of the city. Tokyo-2, her fingers seemed to drum, as if her one hand was typing on a strange ellipsoidal bit-paired keyboard instead of on the dingy black rubber steering wheel that at the very moment was slowing burning a festering hole in her other, more tightly-gripped hand. Damn it! Why'd I have to be so damn early? She knew the answer. She was keeping up appearances. Her clothing alone proved it: she was currently clad in a tight black dress, with a high slit in one side. On top, dangling from her neck, was a pure white cross, more like a plus sign in bold Impact font than anything anyone could practically be hung from but nonetheless a pleasing shape. The story behind the shape was somewhat less pleasing, but she continued to wear it, trying to extinguish from her concious mind the nagging idea that perhaps she still loved him.

She noticed a presence beside her. She looked quickly to the open window, affirming the fact that there was a face.

"Misato-san desuyo ne?"

"Shinji-kun desuka?" The boy nodded slilently. "Get in."

The boy walked dilligently to the other side, unlocking the door by reaching through the crack in the window after he found it to be latched. "So how'd you like my invitation?"

Blue eyes smiled through carefully misplaced strands of dark brown hair. "It was... Interesting." Although he kept a straight face, his eyes continued to beam, and the occasional and subtle involutary ticking of some deeply-buried facial muscles hinted towards the supressed inclination to burst into a hearty and jovial laugh (though whether this somewhat scrawny and lanky, feminine-looking teen with such elegance and politesse in his style was actually capable of just a thing imposed a question in of itself). Ignoring this, the purple-haired woman answered slyly.

"I knew you'd appricate it." She grinned mischeviously.

Shinji looked her in the eyes with a knowing glance, and then nodded slightly, saying in an explanitory and slightly condisending tone (as one would speak to a child just old enough to understand the reason wrongs are wrong) "But you know, if I were you I wouldn't use that method with anyone else. It might send the wrong message."

Internally furious, she decided to lead him on. "What kind of message do you think I wanted to send?" She saw him blush and squirm in his eyes, although his face never changed except for a slight, untelling frown. "Come on, I know you have it printed out on your bedroom wall..."

"Actually, my point was primarily that, due to its explicitness, it might be tagged as spam by potential employees." He intentionally left out the "male" before employees, largely unaware of the range of his new employer's "functions", and in lack of proper and complete documentation, aware that it is safer not to assume and instead leave out all unnecessary parameters. "I very nearly did so, until I saw the company name. You're not selling that stuff, are you?"

She was ready to see the payoff of her coyness. "Why? Are you in the market?" She emphasized "the market" and syncronized it with a double eyebrow raise.

She did not have the desired effect. "No. In fact..."

"In fact?"

"N-nothing. It was just-- nothing." He blushed slightly, a tinge of bright pinky red accenting his cheeks irregularly.

"Come on, you can tell me..."

His blush turned scarlet, and his body stiffened. "It-- it was just a passing whim. Nothing to be-- concerned about." He kept looking straight ahead, his shoulders raised slightly in defiance with his muscle tension.

Convinced that she was getting somewhere, Misato leaned forward, saying softly, "come on." She chuckled inside, but part of her wondered if she really had to be so cruel.

"It's just that... I had the passing thought that I had-- met the girl I love... today." With the "today", he let his breath out quickly, so that it was mangled into more breath than phonome.

"Oh." She was rather dissapointed. What a boring guy. What a boring, romantic, sensitive guy. I guess he isn't all that bad, when you come to think about it... "It didn't happen to be me, did it?"

His body relaxed, and he let out (ironically enough) a hearty, jovial laugh. It sounded like he had kept it in for years.

"I guess that's a no then."

"I met her in the library. I was checking it out since I happened to get into town early and figured you wouldn't get here until later. She had the strangest colour hair..."

The pause became extended and awkward, and then Shinji started again, abruptly asking the most obvious question. "Why aren't we moving?"

"Oh. Well, I was dropping off a friend who needed to do a few errands around here. She's your new co-worker, by the way. Oh! There she is. Rei!"

Shinji turned to look as a girl about his age with short, cropped blue hair and thick square reading glasses stared startledly at him and dropped the heavy pile of books she was carrying.

"It's you!"

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Ok, first chapter done. You might notice that it cuts off a little abruptly. That's because it's 11:51pm and I have school tomorrow. Anyway, I hope you all will review (and maybe read the next chapter). I'd love to hear your comments on this (rather strange) story thus far.

Oh, and thanks to the blue-haired girl (the real one) who inspired (and will probably continue to inspire) the Rei character and this story in general. You know who you are. Yes, you. Thank you. Also, thanks to Red Bull, xsublim, pwim, the Pi R Squared music video, and school vacation, for making this whole state of mind possible. You accelerate me.