Disclaimer: I do not own Evangelion, or anything associated with it. I have written this story solely because I enjoy writing.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything belonging to Marvel Comics or anything associated with it. I have written this story solely because I enjoy writing.

Chapter 1: Zapped!

Maya Ibuki was a woman who worked well under pressure. A technical engineer of exceptional competence, she had readily found a place in NERV, applying her skills to the fight against the Angels.

However, when she had first come to this place, she had never imagined that she would be fighting an Angel herself. Nor could she have ever envisioned the form that such a battle would take.

It had all started with some routine tests on the pilots in the pribnow box, having them in the test plugs completely naked in order to get precise readings to be used for the creation of the Dummy Plug System, which could pilot the Evangelions instead of the Children in case of an emergency. However, even as they had been working, some kind of contamination had been detected in the level above the pribnow box. A contamination that had proved to be an Angel invading NERV, and that was now attacking the MAGI themselves.

We don't have much time! Maya found herself thinking as she pounded away at her keyboard, aiding Dr. Ritsuko Akagi in reprogramming the MAGI. It was their only chance to destroy the new Angel, an entity composed of billions of nanites that had crept its way unchecked through NERV, quickly infecting two of the MAGI. Now they had mere minutes before it infected Casper and was able to use NERV's self-destruct protocol to blew them all straight to hell!

While Maya worked, Major Misato Katsuragi was aiding Ritsuko in cutting into the techno-organics of Casper's inner workings. The technician remained focused even as she listened to the two older women talking about the MAGI, about how Ritsuko's mother's personality had been implanted upon the MAGI…

"Balthasar is being taken over!" Makoto shrieked. "It's happening!!"

"MAGI self-destruction sequence has been confirmed," the computer announced over the intercom, causing everyone to tense up. "Self-destruction will occur twenty seconds after all three MAGI consent."

"It's started?!" Misato demanded, popping out of Casper with an outraged look on her face.

Maya continued to work, ignoring the computer's description of how far the destruction would extend, ignoring Shigeru's panicked words. "Balthasar is invading Casper!"

"Twenty seconds until self-destruct," the computer intoned, spelling their doom.

"Casper will be taken over in eighteen seconds!" Shigeru Aoba shouted.

"Hurry, Ritsuko!" Misato ordered, helpless to do anything but watch as the doctor worked frantically.

"Don't worry! I'll have a whole second to spare!" Ritsuko replied, cool as can be under fire.

That's right, sempai, Maya thought, confident even as Misato complained about the faux-blonde's estimate. Ever since she had come to NERV, she had been impressed with the doctor's genius, her ability to outthink virtually any situation, and her take-charge attitude. We'll beat this thing! Just watch!

As the doctor called for her attention, Maya called out, "We can do it!"

With only three seconds to spare, Ritsuko shouted, "Hit it!" Even as the doctor punched the enter key, Maya did the same, sending a special program flowing into Casper…even as the countdown reached zero. For a time, everyone stood silent, watching and waiting, wondering if their best…had been enough.

Then, almost miraculously, the red that showed the contamination of the MAGI on their status screen was washed away, leaving a cool blue behind. "Auto-destruct sequence has been canceled," the computer announced over the intercom. At this, both Shigeru and Makoto Hyuga erupted in relieved shouts of triumph, even as Maya clutched her laptop to her chest, laughing out loud. Misato came out of Casper smiling while Ritsuko heaved a deep sigh. "MAGI system returning to normal mode. Red alert is now canceled."

"Whew…that did it," Ritsuko breathed, setting down her small computer before crawling out as well. "Good work, Maya."

Maya fairly glowed at the praise. "Thank you, sempai," the brunette replied, just before she winced in pain, dropping her laptop in the process. "Ouch!"

"What is it?!" Misato asked, some of the fear they had just felt returning to her face.

"Oh, it's nothing!" Maya assured them even as Ritsuko looked at her in concern. The techie waved her hand in the air a bit, shaking the remaining sting from her hand. "I think I just pinched my finger on something, that's all."

The two other women looked at Maya in disbelief before exhaling the renewed tension. "Please, Maya! I think I'm getting too old for that sort of thing!"

"Not a chance, ma'am!" Maya countered with a laugh…completely unaware of the slight discoloration on her laptop, one that faded away as quickly as it had appeared. Unaware of a similar mark that had briefly appeared on her hand.

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As was usual for Angel battles, the cleanup was almost worse than the battle itself. The pilots had been launched away from NERV during the course of the Angel's invasion, and were left stuck naked in their Entry Plugs in the middle of a small lake within the Geofront. Eva Unit 01 had been launched from NERV in order to protect it from being contaminated, and had to be retrieved. In addition to all of that, there had been considerable damage done to NERV itself.

Still, Maya did her best to do everything she could, even soothing the pilots themselves. "Here you go," she smiled, bringing three mugs of hot chocolate for the Children as soon as she could. She looked at them, now completely dressed and very much annoyed after their ordeal.

Well, Asuka is certainly annoyed! Maya thought, amused as the fiery German grabbed her mug, frowning hatefully as she sat back and started drinking it down.

"Careful! That's hot!" Maya cautioned.

The response Maya got was Asuka looking at her loftily. "Please, this is not hot!" she declared, despite the fact that the mug was steaming nicely.

I swear, that girl is just like a demon. First she survives being dunked in a volcano, and now she just gulps this stuff down like there's nothing to it? Maya thought ruefully before giving the remaining mugs to Shinji and Rei.

"Oh, thanks, Maya," Shinji smiled, gratefully taking the mug in hand, blowing on it before carefully sipping the sweet brew.

"Thank you," Rei replied calmly. As she drank, Maya almost missed how the albino's mouth curled slightly up, like she was laughing at some private joke.

"It sure was close, wasn't it?" Shinji asked, looking about his surroundings nervously.

Not that I can blame him, Maya admitted, smiling ruefully at just how close a call it had been. "Don't worry about it, Shinji. Everything's fine now," the brunette stated, noting how Asuka humphed in irritation. "Besides, no one was hurt, the three of you are okay…"

"Yeah, I know," Shinji answered, still disquieted by the events of today.

Then again, I guess it must feel pretty unusual, being the ones away from the fighting, Maya noted. She couldn't stand the thought of combat herself, and had always been more of a thinker than a fighter. I wonder how they can do. Go into battle, do what they do… As this thought ran its course, Maya staggered slightly, placing her hand to her forehead as the room tilted.

"Maya! Are you okay?" Shinji asked, standing to look at her as the other Children looked at her in surprise.

"I-I'm fine, Shinji," the brunette answered, regaining her equilibrium. Her smile returning to her face, Maya placed her hand upon his shoulder. "I'm just a little tired, that's all."

"Well, okay," the boy answered uncertainly. "Why don't you go home, then? Get some sleep?"

"Believe me, that's exactly what I'm going to do," Maya answered earnestly with a small laugh. She was gratified to see him smile in return. He's always so nervous, so uncertain… Then another wave of dizziness hit the techie, who decided it was time to take Shinji's advice, and pack it in for the day.

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I'm definitely getting older, Ritsuko noted sourly as she worked to put the MAGI back into working order. Either that…or Misato's coffee has gotten worse since the last time I tried the stuff!

Having had her fill of shit for one day, the doctor made her way up from the MAGI core, followed closely by Misato. As the two of them arrived on the bridge proper, Ritsuko performed a few more tests, just to make sure everything was in working order. "Looks like everything checks out," she reported, taking a deep breath as she looked at the readouts with a scientific satisfaction.

"That's good," Misato noted. "This was about as close as I want to cut it!"

"Tell me about it," Ritsuko agreed sourly. "I'm a doctor, not a soldier."

Misato just smiled at this, right before an alarm sounded. "What the – what's happening now?!" the Major cried out, looking wildly about.

Urgency spurring her on, Ritsuko dashed over to the controls, blanching as she read the data on them. "The MAGI have detected another blue pattern!"

"WHAT?!!" Misato shrieked, her voice like that of a wild animal. "Are you sure?!"

Ritsuko stabbed at the controls quickly…before her face settled in relief. "False alarm," she reported with a sigh. "The energy signature appeared only for a few seconds, and then it disappeared."

Misato was not satisfied by Ritsuko's assurances. "Better check it out, just to be sure. If even a part of that Angel survived, we could wind up right back where we were!"

"Already on it," Ritsuko nodded, frowning unhappily at the thought. "You better get some more coffee, though. This is going to be a long night…"

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What a night, Maya thought, mopping her brow, noting the heat coming off of her skin. I hope I'm not coming down with a cold!

As she rode the bus back home, Maya looked at the people that were riding along with her. There weren't very many; the population of Tokyo-3 had been declining since the very first Angel battle. They have no idea, she mused, shaking her head in disbelief. No idea how close we all came today! As a member of NERV, Maya took a certain pride in the work she did. They were the first, last, and only defense against the Angels, and the fate of the world regularly depended on the efforts of herself and everyone around her. However, having so much riding on one's shoulders did have a way of tiring a woman out.

I guess that's why I'm feeling like this right now, Maya guessed, feeling more exhausted every moment. It was like her body was getting heavier with each passing second. I can't wait to just get home and get to bed!

It wasn't long before the bus got Maya where she wanted to go, but it did require some walking before she was finally able to get to her door and let herself in. The instant she was inside, she let a deep sigh as she leaned back against the wall. Smiling as she looked at the cozy apartment, Maya crept over to her bedroom, and soon allowed herself to crash down upon the mattress, succumbing to her exhaustion. Completely unaware that nanites from the 11th Angel had followed the line from the MAGI to her laptop, and from there, into her. That they were now integrating with her cellular structure, obeying part of the program that they had been infected with; to co-exist with their host, to become one with it…

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"Hmmmm!" Maya stretched the next morning, her vertebrae cracking somewhat as she sat up and became more awake. Then, looking about her room, she smiled deeply. "Oh, I needed that…!" the brunette declared, feeling much better.

All I need is some breakfast, and I'll be ready to face the day! Getting to her feet and shedding her uniform, Maya took a quick shower, turning the heat up as far as it would go, the scalding water feeling especially good that day. As soon as she was done, she put on a bathrobe before preparing a cup of coffee, along with some pancakes and sausages. Though the techie didn't normally indulge in such foods, she decided that she deserved a treat after everything that had happened, and she was hungry. So very hungry!

Chugging down a glass of juice, Maya was soon devouring her breakfast with a reckless abandon that would have shocked those who knew her. She was usually very fussy about keeping in shape, and not eating too much, too fast. And yet today, she just couldn't stop herself. I'm going to hate myself the next time I get on the scale, Maya decided, but she really didn't care at the moment. Her stomach would hate her even more if it didn't get more in it, and fast!

When her appetite was finally satisfied, Maya sighed, the sensation of being full having never felt quite so good before. Stifling a small belch, the brunette set about getting dressed when the phone rang. "Who could that be?" she wondered before went over to the phone and picked it up. "Hello?"

"Hey, Maya! Hope I didn't wake you!" came the cheerful voice on the other end.

"Natsume!" Maya smiled, picturing the slightly older woman on the other end. "No, you didn't wake me up. So how's my favorite sister today?"

"Nervous," Natsume replied, a girlish laugh to her worlds. "You see, Jiro and I've been talking it over, and, well…we've finally set a date!"

"Really?" Maya got out, her eyes wide with pleasure. "So you two are really getting married?!"

"For real!" Natsume assured her. "Oh, it's just such a relief! I just had to tell you right away!"

"I understand," Maya murmured, feeling an edge of envy at her sister's good fortune. "So how's Mom taking it?"

"I…I actually haven't told her, yet," Natsume confessed, some of the pleasure ebbing from her voice. "I'm sorry, but…I'm almost afraid that she'll do something to mess things up for me again, just like last time! I mean…you know how mother is when it comes to men."

"Don't remind me," Maya groaned at this, recalling how their mother went on and on about what horrible monsters all men were, and how they should never be trusted with anything. Recalling a childhood where she and her sister had been punished for any interaction with people of the opposite gender.

"Just because things didn't go well between her and Dad doesn't mean she had the right to mess up our lives," Natsume went on, Maya practically seeing the rueful look on her sibling's face. "Remember what happened with Hojo? How she actually went after him with a baseball bat, and threatened to kill him if she ever caught near me again?"

"Again, don't remind me," Maya shook her head, recalling the frightened look on the poor guy's face when he was sent running for his life before their wrathful matriarch. "Well, anyway, I hope things go better for you this time."

"I hope so, too," Natsume agreed. "So, anyway, how're things at work?"

"Oh, the usual," Maya responded effortlessly.

"In other words, you'd tell me, but then you'd have to kill me, right?" Natsume joked.

"Something like that," the technician responded, once again feeling an edge of hunger. Annoyed with her stomach, Maya decided to slip into the kitchen and grab a banana. "So, when's the wedding going to be, anyway?"

"About a month from now," Natsume answered. "Do you think you can make it?"

Shrugging, Maya shook her head. "I don't know. I'll have to clear things with the command, but Major Katsuragi is pretty understanding about things like. Still, it depends on just how cooperative the Angels are feeling."

"I hear you," Natsume replied, honest sympathy in her words. "Anyway, take care of yourself, Maya. And please, try to find some guy for yourself! Trust me, you'll feel a lot better for it!"

"The problem is, finding a guy who's worth the time!" Maya countered, eliciting a laugh from her sister that she quickly returned. "Anyway, I'll talk to you later! And please, give my regards to Jiro!"

"I will! See ya when I can, little sis!" Natsume promised.

"Right, big sis!" Maya answered before hanging up. Shaking her head, thinking of how happy her sister sounded, Maya munched on the banana and headed back to her room.

It's not like it's that easy to find a guy, Maya thought ruefully as she headed back to her room. I mean, sure, there's Makoto and Shigeru, but they're both such…flakes! Then there's Ryoji Kaji, the womanizer from beyond! I swear, Dad was nowhere near as bad as that jerk! Sometimes, I think the only guy worth anything at NERV is Shinji!

Taking a moment to make a private joke about why the Major liked having the 3rd Child around, one that had nothing to do with her infamous cooking, Maya swiveled about to look at herself in the mirror…and froze. Just froze at the sight of the mirror that reflected her bedroom, her bed, the window, and even her bookshelf. A mirror in which Maya herself did not appear.

Stunned into stillness, Maya felt the banana slip from her hands, not noticing how it reappeared before it fell to the floor.

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Author's Notes: At last, Maya Ibuki joins the ranks of the Superwomen of Eva! Please, read and review! And check out my other stories as well! Please?

Now, as I was writing this, I was struck with inspiration. Yes, all the major ladies of Eva have now been done, and even one of the video game girls, too. But what about the women whose presence is mostly unseen, but undeniable, nonetheless?

I am talking, of course, of the mothers, the women whose souls are trapped within the Evas. Who would like to see some SOE one-shots where Yui, Naoko, and even Asuka's mother, Kyoko, embrace their inner hero and kick serious butt? Please, tell me what you think off that idea!

Anyway, until next time!