" Unending "

The feeling was so much like last time. That monster, Adam, and it's power to shake the Earth. This time, at least, she wasn't afraid. This time, at least, she made it bleed. That had to count for something.

" Wake up, please wake up. "

Opening her eyes, she saw a brown haired boy clinging to her, and sobbing.

For a long minute her lips moved, with no sound, until she managed a whisper.

" . . Shinji . . "

He raised his head, and she focused in on black eye patch over his left eye. He was talking but she didn't heard as she ran her hand across his cheek.

" . .Shinji . .what . . happened . . ? "

Shinji just sat there shaking in her arms, as she fought back the cobwebs in her mind. After a long while Maya entered looking disheveled, lacking in sleep, but more then a little relieved.

" I thought I'd find him in here, again. Good to see you up. "

" Why . . can't he talk. "

" Because he's been up for thirty hours, and I needed to get some tests back before I could sedate him. I'm kind of filling in since we lost . . part of the medical staff. Shinji, you have to stay in bed, or I'm sedating you. "

The boy was still clinging to Misato, and ignoring Maya.

Misato pulled her blanket back, and forced herself to stand on uneasy legs. She took Shinji's hand and stood.

" Come on. "

Maya raised an eyebrow, as she spoke.

" Are you sure you can make it? "

" To get some pants, instead of this gown, I'd . . walk home. "

--

Asuka sat in the waiting room, and checked the time on her cell phone.

" Eighteen fucking hours. "

She stood up, and felt the exhaustion in her legs, as she walked towards the vending machines.

Footsteps echoed behind her as she went, and she stopped dead in her tracks. Turning quickly, she saw the same Section Two agent following her ten steps behind.

" Do you think I'm stupid?, I know you're there! NEWS FLASH YOU DON"'T NEED TO FOLLOW ME EVERY DAMN WHERE I GO!"

Forgetting the vending machines, Asuka cut to her left, stormed into women's bathroom.

" Follow me in here, bitch! "

She turned away from the door, and fell to the ground as she collided with someone. "

" Watch where you are going ! "

The utter disgust of being on the floor of a public restroom gave way to pure annoyance as she noticed Rei was on the floor next to her.

Oh, great!

Rei stood without a word.

Asuka stood, and rushed to the sink to wash her hands after touching the floor. Not wanting to see Rei in the mirror, she stared at herself as she grabbed a towel.

Great I touched Wonder . . . Girl.

She dropped the towel and broke into a run out of the bathroom, and down the hall, following Rei.

" Rei, wait! "

The blue haired girl stopped in her tracks, and Asuka had to stop short to prevent knocking her over . . again.

She gasped to catch her breath as her annoyed body guard caught up.

" . . . Rei . . . Baka. . . . "

Rei stood there, silent as a tomb, looking at Asuka with confused red eyes.

" What? "

" Baka, I can't get up to see him. . . . contamination . . . they sealed off the whole floor. "

Rei's silence gave way to an annoyed voice.

" What are you talking about? "

" Contamination comes from unprotected contact with and Angel. Does it make sense, that you can get that? "

A rare show of emotion came across her face, as it contorted with anger.

She does this just to remind me of what I am!

Asuka spoke again before she could.

" So if you're immune, can . . you go check on Shinji for me. "

Rei's mood shifted from annoyed to stunned.

For once, I am glad she is here.

" I . . will tell him you are worried. "

" Thanks I guess. I'm not worried or anything, but have him pick up his damn phone and call me. "

" I will "

Rei walked off, and for the first time was glad to have spoken to Asuka, n. Not noticing the red haired girl following close behind her.

--

Yui sat on the catwalk overlooking the cage exhausted.

Finally, I got the spare head on. Did I really just call that rejected hunk of crap I had stowed in the basement years ago a spare head?

Damn thing was defective then, and it's defective and dusty now. Thing is, if that monster comes back with friends, we'll need numbers. The eye works; he can use a rifle. I will have to build a new one in the long term, using this as parts.

She let her eyes close for just a minute, felt herself nodding off.

So tired, have to get up early and take Shinji to the park.

She grabbed the hand rail and forced herself to stand.

" That was ten years ago, and the day after I died. Get over it. "

She began walking back to the cage lab and found Kaji waiting for her.

" Looks like you had a night. "

" Night was a day and a half ago. Are the tissues samples in?"

" Maya said soon, but she hasn't called. We heard from NORAD. After it split over Japan, each bit split four times before reentering the atmosphere. The second branch in America is trying to guess where they landed, but the system they are using was made to track nukes coming in over America and Russia on the 70's, so good luck. "

" So that's sixteen . . right? Same as last time not counting Lilith. No -- wait -- Kaworu should count either should he? We made that one too. . . "

" You, my dear, need a to sleep. Why not have someone else take over for a few?"

She started walking past him.

" The Eva we had left needed turning around, and they needed a Meta- biologist in the Medical wing for the contamination cases. Maya couldn't turn the Eva around and get the Zero into something that can hold a gun on her own. I should go look in on her."

" The head on that think looks a bit off. "

" Deformed vertebra, can't be helped, but it'll make an AT-field. "

Kaji sounded almost whimsical.

"We really thought he was coming back didn't we? He was broken, battered, and no time for the S2 organ to develop but we spent billions, just in case.

Yui stopped, and hunched over. The sound of her voice defied her body's appearance.

" We need do something, anything. If not and the worse happens, what does that say of us? That we let the world die? We made things worse again, and we really can't afford it. The last Impact cost us three billion lives, and I do not need to explain to you. Your generation had it worst. "

For the first time in a long time, Kaji smiled his roguish smile, and spoke.

" Shattered lives, and broken dreams all around. It really is enough to crush the soul, but there comes a time when we realize you have to live. The sands of time can only fall, and their comes a time when you need to move on. "

Yui smiled, making her face seem all the less Rei- like.

" The children must be lucky to have you around. "

Kaji's smile faded, as he though of Asuka.

" I'm not really that good with . . . . "

His cell phone rang interrupting his train of thought.

" Yes? Oh, really? Are the MAGI done with the tissue samples yet? OK, I'll take care of it myself."

Turning to Yui.

" They are clean. Misato is, well, still contaminated, but it's not spreading. We can go up now. "

Yui continued smiling as she turned away from the elevator.

" Good. I need to meet with the Chairman., I'll be up in half an hour. "

--

Maya triple- checked her paper work, before walking into the exam room where Misato waited.

" So what's it look like? "

" Well the cell count is up, you're contamination got worse. It looks like it's still concentrated on your scar tissue, so it's not spreading. "

Misato was silent for a long minute.

" So, it's what they told me could happen when I was 14, then. Organ damage if it gets out of control, pregnancy is out of the question, and when I die I'll need to be cremated as a bio-hazard. Is Shinji OK?"

" Yes, he is fine. The Eva was fully compromised, that means you were probably possessed by commander Ikari, and not the Angel. "

Misato broken into a laugh.

" HaHaHa! You mean all of this crap, every time I just didn't use a damn condom, and I catch something from GENDO FUCKING IKARI HAHAHAHAHA!"

Maya raised an eyebrow.

" Well, it is good you are taking it well. "

She gasped for her breath after laughing so hard.

" Maya. . . . I've been expecting this stuff . . . . to kill me for years. One question. Can you can control this shit now, right? "

" Doctor Ikari would probably be the one to talk more about it, yes. "

" Good. "

A long string of Germanic profanity came from the hall, and Misato stood.

" Sounds like we have a breach of containment. I take it I'm not infectious? "

" Not without something extreme like a blood or tissue transplant, no. "

Misato opened the door, and saw Asuka with her hand cuffed behind her back, cursing in Kaji's general direction. Misato tried to act angry.

" Report, Mr Kaji! "

Kaji saw through her act, like he always could.

" Containment breach. She knew the guys guarding the elevator ignore Rei out of habit, and jumped in as the doors shut. "

Asuka barked in Japanese.

" TELL HIM TO TAKE THESE OFF! "

Misato made a stern face and spoke as serous as she could muster.

" You know I've had Shinji clapped in irons, and locked up right? "

" So you are a damn Pedo! "

" You're in handcuffs girl, you better hope not. "

She blushed until her face matched her hair, and Miassato broke down and laughed.

" Haha, OK, you are lucky, no- one can infect anyone else. Shinji just went to bed, so you and Rei can hadve five or ten minutes with him, but thats it. "

Asuka snapped, as Kaji took off the cuffs.

" Why the hell are you so cheery? "

" I'm alive, and we all made it. I'm going to be happy while I am, time enough for the rest as it comes. "

--

Keel sat in his wheel chair, watching Misato's and company on a TV screen, as Yui adjusted his systems.

" Just worry about the visor, they always forget I'm red-green color blind, and I end up with a migraine. "

" Are you sure? If I'm seeing this right your legs are wired backwards. "

He spoke in an annoyed voice.

" For the record, my toe's move correctly, but my right and left leg's are wired in reverse, hence the chair, but it doesn't matter. Now is the time for damage control. "

She looked up at the screen.

" She's up, I should go check her. "

" You sound like you're sad about that. "

He listened to her voice, and tried to judge the woman on which so much hung.

" I want my son to be that happy to see me, but as you've already reminded me, we have an Impact to

deal with. I built the Eva's, and showed others how to make more. Worst off, I signed my son up for the front lines, so I have no room to complain."

She's changed from before, no longer as naive.

" What do her test results say? "

" Two things. One she is lucky she's had fourteen years to build up an immunity to contamination, and two we'll be taking the same medication until the day we die. "

" That much progression? "

" It's probably Gendo's fault -- Kaworu never touched her. "

" How is he? "

" Ask Doctor Jones, he's handling him. I'll be back, I'm having some one look in on you every 15 minutes. You were supposed to have a firmware upgrade before this body was installed. If you crash, life support might lock up. Try not to use your legs since we know there is a problem there."

Keel's visor focused on his box of cigars, not caring about the complaint his lungs would give.

" And the Angel? "

" On one hand it is an unknown, containing human DNA, pure Adam and Lilith DNA. On the other hand nothing ignores the laws of physics. He was broken, battered, and dieing. The S2 core he got with Adam would have needed time to recover and develop. I'm not sure, but contact with Gendo could have been as bad for it as it was for him. If so the total output of the core would have been reduced, but no way to tell. Until I see something else, I say it's like last time, sixteen potential Angels, plus the rest from before. This will be a long war."

Yui walked off, and Keel reached for a cigar.

This is what I am left to build with, then? Two women that will never be at peace with one another, because of the love of a boy. A clone . . that will never escape Yui's shadow. A girl that . . missed a miracle, and an old man that never planned to live this long.

At least, our hearts are in the right place, and whatever time I have left needs to be spent turning NERV into something that will survive me. One this is for sure, as Winston Churchill once said " This is not the end. This is not the beginning, of the end but it is the end of the beginning. "

--

End of book Two.

Author's notes No I had no idea this would be a three parter either. I have more things I want to try before coming back to this so don't hold your breath waiting.

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