Ritsuko sat in the front seat of the jeep puffing on a cigarette. Her mind was racing. 'Just what the hell was that girl thinking.' she thought.
"Umm, Sempai?" Maya said in her mousy voice.
When Ritsuko looked at her, the girl pointed towards the ashtray, which had another cigarette burning in it. "Oh hell.." she muttered.
*** a few hours ago ***
"SHE DID WHAT?" Ritsuko shouted into the phone. "But we're not capable of dealing with that." she said. "Well I don't care what the commander said."
Maya continued to watch the older woman from her console.
Ritsuko slammed the phone down after a minute and huffed. "Maya, get your gear, we're going out." She said as she turned and walked off.
*** On the car ride to the pier ***
"What do you mean she caught an angel?" Maya said, shock evident in her voice.
"Just what i said. She caught the angel using some kind of trap. I don't know all the details. The real problem is we don't have the facilities to handle something like this." she said taking a drag from her smoke. 'and god only knows what would happen if we brought a live angel into the base with Lilith.' she thought.
"But isn't this a good thing? This would give us a chance to study a living specimen." Maya said, trying to point out the good in this operation.
"True, but headquarters was never designed to house something that large as a captive. I just don't know what the we are going to do." she sighed again as she took another drag.
"But if the Commander said it was okay, we don't have much room to argue do we?" Maya asked, knowing the answer already.
Ritsuko just shook her head and continued to drive.
*** Back at the dock ***
The two watched as the fleet moved as close as it could to the dock. Only two ships moved close enough to dock. One ship had Unit-02 laying prone on the deck. The other had a barely moving behemoth on deck. Ritsuko just stared at it thinking 'what the hell am I supposed to do with this?'
As the gangplanks were extended to the dock, the four guests started to walk down. The kids kept a respectable distance from each other, only so they didn't raise eyebrows with the doctor. Kaji had that trademark smile plastered across his face, and Misato had a look of pain written across her face. She was the one that made the call to the Commander, then Ritsuko. She knew the kind of hell she was about to deal with when she hit the bottom of the plank. 'maybe I could jump over the rail and swim out to sea.' she thought for a minute, before deciding it was better to deal with this now and get it done.
"Ritsuko, How's it going?" Misato said with a wave as they reached the bottom.
"You know damn well how it's going." The older woman said.
"Well, your always saying how you wished we had a better materials to research. Looks like it doesn't get any better than this." Misato said, trying to sound pleased.
"You know this means one of the Eva's will have to be on station at all times in case this thing decides to make a break for it." Ritsuko said as a matter of fact.
"Actually, considering how it moved, I'd say as long as you keep it out of water it should be fine. It hasn't really done anything since I caught it." Asuka spoke up.
Ritsuko turned her head sharply to acknowledge the girl for the first time since making shore. "And who the hell gave you authorization to capture it? The Evangelions were created to DESTROY the angels, not capture!"
"First, you can take the attitude and shove it. Second, as an active pilot in a combat situation I did what seemed like the most logical choice." Asuka said with her hands on her hips.
"Oh, you just wait till I talk to the commander about this insubordination. Not to mention the details are a little vague on exactly how you caught it." Ritsuko said crossing her arms in front of her.
"Sorry, that's classified." Asuka said with a smirk on her face.
"What do you mean classified, I have the second highest clearance in this organization. There is nothing that goes on here that I don't have access to." The older blonde shouted.
"Well, you better check on that when we get back to headquarters." Asuka said as she turned towards Shinji. "Come on, why don't you show me around a bit before we head to town?" She said with a smile.
"It would be my pleasure." he said as he extended an elbow towards her. She giggled as she took it and they walked off towards the truck where Unit-02 was being loaded.
"You know Rit's, that shade of red just doesn't suit you." Kaji said for the first time.
Ritsuko was steaming mad, and her face showed it. "Oh shut up Kaji!" she screamed as she stomped off towards the jeep.
*** On the car ride back to base ***
Misato was driving down the road, keeping it under the speed limit. Kaji sat in the passenger seat, enjoying the view and having a casual conversation with Misato.
The kids were sitting in the backseat, Asuka leaning against Shinji. "I think she was a little pissed." Asuka finally said.
"Oh, yeah, yeah she was. Especially with the whole classified thing." Shinji said with a grin.
Asuka giggled as she put her hand on top of his. "Do you think you can pull that off?" She asked.
"Oh yeah, I just have to have a talk with the old man." Shinji said. "I mean, we do technically know more classified information that even SEELE. But for know, just rest." He said as he gently rubbed her arm.
*** At Headquarters ***
Gendo sat at his desk, hands stepped in front of him. He just looked over the report given by the Captain of the American Fleet. "Well, she definitely shows promise." He said.
"Am I disturbing you?" Shinji said as he walked out of the shadow.
If Gendo was taken by surprise he did not show it. "Explain why you are in my office." He said.
"Well, remember how I said if I needed anything else I would stop by and let you know? Well guess what, I need something else." Shinji said as he took a seat across the desk from his father. "And I am really hoping you will see that we can both gain from what I will be asking."
Gendo was not new to the game of target manipulation, some would say he was a master of it, and therefore knew that something in the tone of the boys voice said that he was not going to like what he was about to hear.
"I have access to information that is considered... hmm.. more than highly confidental, and I would like to strike a deal with you." Shinji said.
"There is nothing you might know that would interest me. Now leave before..." Gendo started.
"Oh, I'm pretty sure there is. How about the real reason behind the creation of NERV? Or how about your plans to reunite with mother? Oh I know, how about the reason for Reis' existance?" Shinji replied with a smile.
Gendos eyes shot wide, 'Not even SEELE knows about that.' He thought. He could do nothing but sit and listen.
"Good, now first things first. You will keep Dr. Akagi in check and out of my hair, and to do this I need top level clearance for Asuka and myself." Shinji started, "And in trade for this I can show you how to meet with mother again, though only temporary at first."
Gendo couldn't believe his ears, "How is that possible?" he asked.
Shinji smiled before speaking "Believe me, that's not even the beginning of whats possible for me. Secondly, and this is where I'm going to give you an IOU because I'm not sure exactly how to repay this, but I need to have a meeting with SEELE." he let it sink in for a minute before he continued. "I have... a few things I need to say to them."
Gendo could only stare at his son in disbelief, "You know a lot about things you shouldn't. How do I know that I can trust what you say is not the ranting of a spy or SEELE plant?" He was trying to think of anything that could explain what was happening.
"Really? That's the best you can do?" Shinji asked while rolling his eyes. "Okay, how about this, let's take walk down to the cages and I'll prove it... and keep in mind this is a show of extremely good faith, cause you still owe me the security clearnence."
Gendo nodded slightly as he stood.
"Are you sure this will work?" Asuka said as she peeked out of the door way again.
"Would you relax? I have all the video feeds set on a continous loop. The only one who would even notice is Ritsuko, and thanks to Misato they are out drinking. Now would you please just relax? This is why Shinji and I decided the night shift was the best time to pull this off." Kaji said as he leaned against a rail, his back to the large purple machine they had come to see.
"I know how things are supposed to be going, but I also know how things can go." She said as she looked out the doorway again.
"If I didn't know any better I'd say you either don't trust me, or you don't trust Shinji. Now normally this wouldn't bother me, but you trusted me enough to show me your secret, and Shinji gave me this." He said patting his shirt pocket. "So..." Asuka cut him off.
"It's not that I don't trust either of you, but we've all seen what lengths SEELE is willing to go through to get to us. Now that doesn't mean they will, but I do not like the lack of information we currently suffer from." She said with worry in her voice.
"Oh don't worry, if this goes how Shinji plans, and I don't see why it wouldn't, then SEELE will not be a concern of ours for much longer." Kaji said. He could hear two people walking down the hall, he knew who it was long before they got to the door. Part of his real job was being able to detect things like this.
As Shinji and Gendo walked into the cage area the older Ikari was surprised to see Kaji, though Asukas presence did not suprise him, given the intel he had accquired from the German branch. "Everything good?" Shinji asked.
Kaji nodded and motioned towards the corners. "All surveillance cameras have been over-ridden for the time being, As long as this doesn't create any major noise I do believe we will be left in peace down here."
"Good. Alright father follow me." Shinji said as he walked down the catwalk towards Unit-01. As they got closer Shinji could feel the air around him change, it was subtle but he could pick it up, he figured Asuka could as well. His mother was more than well aware of their presence, she too had been waiting for this. Shinji stopped in front of the chest plate. "Alright, are you ready for this?" Shinji asked, Gendo simply nodded.
Shinji laid his hands on the chest armor and closed his eyes. 'Mother, it's time' There was a low rumble and the Evas' chest plate slid open along the sternum to reveal the core of the unit. It shone a beautful but blood red color that seemed to ebb and flow within itself. "Now before we continue, we do have an agreement correct?" Shinji asked.
Gendo spoke quietly, "If this works as you say, I'll not only give you what you asked for, I will give you much more."
"Okay, just place your hand on the core, I'll give you thirty minutes, then the connection must be broken for a time. After your visit we will discuss things further. Understood?" Shinji said.
Gendo could only nod as he slowly reached out to touch the orb that took his wive so many years ago. As he placed his hand on the core, there was a visible increase in the flow of fluid contained within. A bright flash filled the cage area, temorarily blinding everyone in the room. When they did manage to open their eyes again Kaji and Asuka couldn't believe what they saw. Where Gendo once stood there was nothing more than a pile of clothes.
"Where?" was all Asuka could muster.
Shinji simply pointed at the core. "He and mother are currently having a discusion, though I don't think he's going to be happy with the outcome." he said with a slight grin.
"What about the half our time limit? How exactly do you plan to get him out?" Kaji asked, slight concern evident in his voice.
"Oh mother is in control of that. She said she would only need a half hour to convince him to change his ways and pretty much give us what we need." Shinji said as he crossed his arms. "We just need to figure out how to deal with Ritsuko. I have a bad feeling that if things don't work right she will have father removed from his position due to medical reasons. Kaji is there anything we can do to... keep a short leash on her?"
Kaji thought for a moment, "Not really, but if things do take a turn I think I have a way of keeping her in check. What about SEELE?" he asked.
Shinji chuckled, "That's something we will deal with after this." he motioned towards the core "and have a chance to talk to father. Though actually dealing with them will be left to you."
Kaji nodded, "I talked to my people, they are carefully set up at all the locations you gave me. When I give the word they will make their move"
"What are they going to be charged with?" Asuka spoke up.
"Well, actually they won't be charged at all." Kaji said, rubbing the back of his neck. "See, it's a known fact that these people have major connections all over the world in all governments." Kaji pulled a cigarette out and lit it. "So it's was decided long ago, that if we ever got the chance that we have been given, the orders are to kill on sight."
Asuka nodded her head in agreance, "Good, those old men pissed me off."
Kaji was kind of surprised by Asukas acceptance of the plan, but then he remembered that she had lived through this all once before. Plus she did describe how SEELE was the reason for the invasion of NERV HQ in the previous 'play-thru'.
Shinji checked his watch then stood straight and walked towards the core. "Alright guys, get the blankets ready. No one needs to see whats about to happen." he said with a smirk. Asuka and Kaji unfolded two large blankets and stood on either side of the core while Shinji stood between them. He placed his hand on the core and closed his eyes, and after a few seconds there was another flash of light. When the light died down Shinji was still standing in between the two, but slumped in his arms was one Gendo Ikari.
Gendo was able to wake up enough to whisper in Shinjis ear, then passed out again.
"What did he say?" Kaji asked.
Shinji was just smiling, "He said 'Deal, and thank you.'"