Neon Genesis Evangelion: Kanako

Chapter 1: Prologue – "In the beginning before God, there was nothing but Chaos"

It has been said one thousand times, and yet it will still be said one thousand more, that "If a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world, the ripple effect could cause a tempest on the other". Chaos in of itself would have no effect if time were not of consideration, but this is the truth of the matter, for each effect, there is a cause. But how significant does the cause have to be before an effect is detectable, and how long would it take for those effects to become irreversible?

--

Year 2000 – Thursday night, September 12

"Ahhhh!" There was a scream of joy before she collapsed on her partner and held him close to her body, shivering in the aftermath.

He gave a grunt as he too reached climax and relaxed under her.

They both lay together intertwined for a while, each listening to the other breathe. It felt like hours, but after a few minutes she finally looked up at the time and blinked.

"Oh damn," She said.

He glanced over at the clock glowing in the darkness. "You've still got time. In fact, we could go again if you want."

She thumped him lightly on the chest as she drew herself up.

"No, I know what'll happen if we go again," she said then held a hand over her mouth to stifle a yawn. "I'll probably fall asleep, and then I'll really be screwed." She said with a wry smile even though he couldn't see her in the darkness.

She fumbled in the dark for a moment before she snapped on a light, causing them both to squint.

"This is very important," she said, as she looked about the bed for her underwear. After a moment, she found her panties and stood up in front of a large photo of a Menelaus Blue Morpho Butterfly.

He smiled for a moment, as she stood somewhat hunched over with the wings of the butterfly directly behind her. "Like an angel," he said.

"Like a what?" She asked.

"Nothing," he said. "Just admiring your beauty."

"Hmph. Well, I better have a shower otherwise I'll be getting stared at during the entire flight," she said as she entered the bathroom.

"April, how long is the flight?" he asked.

"About 15 hours to Osaka including the layover," she replied as the sound of water started.

--

Year 2000 – Wednesday morning, September 13. On board an Airbus A330, flight JL5114 bound for Osaka.

The seat belt lights had just been turned off, and April flicked off the belt, pushing herself up from her seat and looked about the cabin, trying to locate the toilets.

"Excuse me," April said, as she squeezed past the knees of the passenger in the seat next to her.

She headed down the isle, and entered the first vacant one she could find, pushing the latch closed firmly.

She lifted the toilet lid in preparation before turning to the sink, and dispensing a large amount of soap on her hands. With special attention, she cleaned her hands, making sure they were thoroughly clean before drawing her travel pants and underwear before sitting herself down.

With a sigh she placed one hand between her legs and slowly inserted a finger.

Damn, I hate this, she thought to herself. Where's that damn ring?

The aircraft jolted suddenly causing her to jab herself painfully with her finger. "Fuck!" she yelled, drawing out her finger.

She glanced at it but didn't see any blood. Starting again, she put her hand between her legs again.

When she thought she had found the edge of the diaphragm, a low vibration in the aircraft started to build up, forcing her to grab the safety rail next to her as she tried to get a finger on the ring.

A sharp rapping sound almost shocked her as she looked up at the door.

"This is the cabin attendant. The Captain has turned the seat belt sign back on," came the voice of a woman through the door.

April glanced up, noticing the seat belt sign lit up inside the cubicle.

"Damn," she hissed lowly. "I'll be just a moment," she said to the voice.

"Thank you miss," replied the cabin attendant.

During the conversation, April realised her finger had found the edge of the ring. With some satisfaction, she was able to get the edge and start pulling at it, feeling it move.

That was when the aircraft violently dropped.

April gave a scream as she felt herself fly into the air before smashing down, smacking her head against the cubicle wall.

Her vision swam for a moment before steadying itself. It took a few moments before she looked at her hand and noticed part of the torn diaphragm around her finger.

"Ah, shit!"

"Hey, are you all right in there?" asked another female voice from the door.

"I'm fine, just give me a moment, damn it," April snapped.

"Look miss, you'll have to come out. The Captain is advising everyone to remain seated and strapped in. There is some unusually violent jet streams."

"Look, just give me a damn minute," April replied. "Your fucking captain just broke my diaphragm."

"Your diaphragm? Are you all right Miss?"

"If you can call getting pregnant all right!" April yelled.

--

Year 2001 – Friday Afternoon May 18.

Kozo Fuyutsuki had never felt under so much pressure before in his life as he did at that moment. Two lives hung in the balance, and his decisions would either keep them alive, or consign them to death.

Since he had started the clinic in Toyohashi City, he had helped a few local women give birth, but the woman who lay bleeding on the makeshift table was by no means local with her blonde hair and Caucasian features.

"Matsuyo, make sure her mouth is clear," Fuyutsuki said over his shoulder to one of the men who had brought the woman in.

"I am," Matsuyo replied as he was trying to carefully wipe clean the new born infant in his arms.

Fuyutsuki finally tied off the umbilical before cutting it with a pair of shears.

The other man who helped Matsuyo carry the woman came running into the room on board the ship.

"I found it," Takahashi declared out of breath.

"Hang it up there," Fuyutsuki said, pointing the shears at a hook on the wall above the table.

"I think I got it," Matsuyo said right before the child in his bloodied arms let out a small wail.

Fuyutsuki was happy at least the child was breathing unassisted though it appeared underweight, perhaps a few weeks premature at least. The mother however was still unresponsive since she had been brought in.

Fuyutsuki left what he was doing, and set up the canula for the blood transfusion.

"Matsuyo, if you can, lay her on her mother and see if she'll breast feed."

"What?" Matsuyo exclaimed with a red face.

"Doc? Are you sure she can breast feed?" Takahashi asked, pointing at the baby.

Fuyutsuki didn't look, intent on getting the needle in right. "It's part of the normal birthing process, and required if she's to survive the haemorrhaging."

"If you're sure," Matsuyo said.

"Absolutely."

Matsuyo nervously approached the woman lying unconscious and nudged at the edge of the top she was wearing with his free hand.

Takahashi frowned at the other man before stepping forward. "Let me. You act as if you haven't touched a woman before."

"I have too!" Matsuyo replied hastily. "Just never anyone besides my wife."

Takahashi grinned at that personal revelation before focusing his attention on the woman.

Fuyutsuki glanced over at the man trying to peel the t-shirt out of the way. "If you can't unbutton it, just cut it away. At the moment her life is more important that her modesty."

As Takahashi grabbed the shears and proceeded to carefully cut up through her shirt, Fuyutsuki returned to check her blood flow and found it had subsided.

He frowned a moment before realising something. "Damn!" He rushed up beside Takahashi, shoving him forcefully out of the way, putting two fingers against her neck as he put his ear down against her chest.

"What is it?" Matsuyo asked.

"Shhh!" Fuyutsuki snapped.

There was silence in the room for a few more second before Fuyutsuki snapped up. "She's gone into cardiac arrest."

He went through all the steps in his mind as he double checked the blood bag before placing his hands on her chest and started resuscitation.

He went through one cycle of mouth-to-mouth before returning to her chest to resume compressions when Takahashi spoke up. "Is there anything I can do?"

"You know CPR?" Fuyutsuki asked between counts.

Takahashi nodded emphatically. "Our office used to run courses all the time before Tokyo…"

"Take over here then," Fuyutsuki said before moving to continue mouth-to-mouth after several compressions and checking for a pulse.

Matsuyo stared nervously for a while, holding the infant carefully in his arms that she seemed to settle down. He stared down at the little infant's face more to distract him from the two men trying to save her mother, and after a while found himself simple staring at the small features of the little girl.

His attention was only broken after what seemed like twenty minutes when Fuyutsuki said to stop.

"Doc?" Takahashi asked, his hands were sweaty but ready above the woman's chest in case he had to continue.

Fuyutsuki held his fingers against her neck again, before shaking his head.

"I'm sorry, but she's gone."

"Are you sure? There isn't anything else you can do?" Matsuyo asked in shock.

Fuyutsuki looked at the man whose eyes were reflecting the tears in his eyes. In a properly equipped hospital perhaps, he thought. "There's nothing more we can do."

He looked up at the blood bag wondering if he should turn it off, but considered on the off chance that some miracle would occur, he decided to leave it. It's been out too long. No point in putting back into cold storage.

"What was her name?" Fuyutsuki asked, having already heard that the two men had simply found her collapsed out on the ground.

"Wait," Matsuyo whispered, as he reached his free hand behind him. "These fell from her when we were bringing her here."

Fuyutsuki took several pieces of paper from Matsuyo's hand. All of which had seen better days. In amongst them was a small blue book with the words Australian Passport stamped on the front in gold.

Opening up the front, Fuyutsuki looked on the face of the woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. The very woman who lay on the table before him.

"April Harley," he said.

--

Year 2015 – Sunday August 9

Gendou Ikari looked at the schedule displayed on his desk, outlining the prophecies of the Dead Sea scrolls.

"It's time," he said as he pressed a several buttons, making changes to the scheduled activation test of Unit 00 in four days.

Kohzou Fuyutsuki, the Deputy Commander of Nerv glanced at the screen.

"Are you sure this course of action is wise Ikari?"

"If we don't move soon, the committee will step in for us," Gendou replied. "If we are to retain control, then we must dictate the schedule."

"They will come as soon as they sense the activation of Unit 00."

"As we have known all along, and we have prepared for them."

"We haven't a pilot for Unit 01," Kohzou pointed out.

"That's being taken care of. Send Captain Katsuragi in."

Kohzou took the command as a dismissal and headed out of the large room that Gendou used as an office.

Gendou busied himself for a moment with the computer to print out a standard invitational letter that was used when ever Nerv head hunted new personnel. He looked at the letter and wondered for a moment whether his son would understand what it meant. Reconsidering, he took out a large marker pen and wrote in large letters in the empty space "Come" and signed it with his name. He was just printing a report on his son and a photo of what he looked like when the far door opened and a woman strode in.

"You requested my presence Commander," Misato said in clipped tones.

"Captain, I need you to arrange transport for my son to Tokyo-3 as soon as possible," Gendou said, pushing the papers across the desk towards Misato.

She walked across the long room to fetch the papers, looking at the photo of Shinji. "Commander, is this an urgent request? Should I organise a HELO?"

"That shouldn't be required Captain. Public transport will be adequate. That is all."

Misato drew her feet together and gave a salute before turning less sharply to head towards the doors. She looked down at the papers in her hand as she moved.

What kind of job is this, organising transport for his son? She thought to herself. Well, hopefully he isn't as stuck up as his father is She looked at the papers. Oh, he's just turned 14. Well just have to make sure he doesn't turn out like his father then.

--

Chapter 1: Part 1 – "An unexpected change"

Year 2015 – After midday, Friday August 14

"Yes I know there's a special emergency," she said into her phone. We're the ones who called it. "Just tell me where the train has stopped."

Misato nodded and rolled her eyes. "Are you sure, the Odawara Shinkansen? Thank you for that."

She thumped the phone down next to the hand brake. "At least it's close by," Misato said to herself as she entered the Odawara train station into the GPS.

Satisfied that she knew where to go, she popped her 1971 Renault Alpine into drive before jamming her foot down on the accelerator and screeching off down the road.

"Thirteen kilometres," Misato complained as she looked at the distance. "You're too nice for your own good Misato. Going to get the Commander's son personally. Feh. I should have asked Aoba or even Hyuga to do this."

--

Misato ran down the stopped escalators from the JR station and sprinted through an open gate to her waiting car.

"Not at the Shinkansen or the JR either," She snapped as she looked down at the GPS. "Could he have gone the shelter or did he try heading to Tokyo-3?"

Misato traced her finger along the screen. "Perhaps he went this way. It's worth a try."

The car squealed as she turned it about and headed down the road, turning her head to look in all directions as she drove, hoping to spot the boy. "Damn. How could I lose him at a time like this?

That was when she spotted the MH-AV3's coming around the nearby hill. The thrust vectored gunships made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries were backing away from something that kept easy pace with them as it followed them into view.

"It's here already?" Misato yelled.

Several of the gunships fired their missile, several going wide until their laser tracking brought them back to their target, detonating loudly.

Misato barely saw a figure on the street, crouching while covering themself from the falling debris.

"I'm sorry to have kept you…" Misato paused as she realised the kid before her wasn't Shinji Ikari. It wasn't even a boy, especially with the long blonde hair and black dress. "Damn," was all she could mutter at her stupid mistake.

"Miss Katsuragi?" The girl asked.

Misato was stunned for a moment that this girl knew her name, until there was an explosion down the street where one of the MH-AC3 exploded after the giant landed on top of it, causing a nearby building to collapse.

"Get in quick. It's not safe to stay here." Misato called to the girl.

Glancing at the fire surrounding the giant figure just down the street, the girl accepted the invitation and quickly rounded the car, jumping into the passenger seat with the box she held.

Misato backed the car away from the giant as several power poles fell to the ground around them, forcing the girl to buckle up her seat belt.

"I don't suppose you could tell me your name since you obviously know mine?" Misato asked, still looking about the streets for her lost charge.

"I'm sorry Miss Katsuragi," the girl said with a slight bow. "I'm Kanako Harley. I'm here because I thought it would be best if I gave Shinji Ikari's remains to his father personally."

There was a loud screech of tyres as Misato braked the car suddenly. Lifting her sunglasses, she stared at the girl with wide eyes, looking into her bright blue eyes.

Blinking several times, she realised then that Kanako was holding a small box quite protectively, large enough to hold someone's remains.

"Is that…" Misato asked.

"Yes Miss Katsuragi," Kanako said, lifting the lid on the box to show the urn and a few papers inside. "These are Shinji's ashes."

Misato leaned back and pulled out the photo of the boy she was supposed to be picking up. The boy that was the Commander's one and only son.

"This is Shinji Ikari?" She asked, holding out the photo.

"Yes," Kanako said, taking the photo and pursing her lips. "That's his last school photo."

Misato turned to look ahead, gripping the steering wheel. This is completely screwed. I'm completely screwed. The commander's going to chew me a new hole, and then he's going to fire me.

Quite unconsciously Misato gripped the gear stick and dropped the car into drive. Turning it about, she headed for the main road back to Tokyo-3.

"Tell me what happened, Kanako. When did he die?" Misato asked.

"Well Miss Katsuragi…"

"Misato," Misato said, cutting the girl off. "Misato is just fine."

"Well… Misato. I think it was because of the letter from Shinji's father. I was there when he read it, but Shinji said he didn't want to come. I'm not entirely sure why. Shinji… he never really liked confrontation. And I suppose he held some sort of grudge against his father for abandoning him after his mother died."

Kanako shook her head and sniffed back the developing tears. "I… blame myself. I tried to talk him into coming, and instead he ran away from me." She rubbed her face, removing the tears. "I chased him across the field, and... I couldn't do anything to stop him. He ran across the road in front of the truck… If I hadn't have chased him…"

Misato looked over at the girl, wishing she could comfort her, but she knew she didn't have it in her. The pains she carried inside of herself were just as deep. "Look, when we get to Commander Ikari, we'll explain everything. I'm sure he'll understand it was just an accident, and nobodies fault."

"Thankyou Kat… Misato."

Misato smiled at the girl for a moment before noticing the giant figure strolling across the countryside.

She could tell that there were dozens of MH-AV3's still tracking it at a distance by the hovering specs around it. Misato slowed the car to a stop to get a better look without running the car off the road. She leaned over Kanako, when she noticed the MH-AV3's dispersing.

"No way. They're using an N2 bomb? Get down!"

Kanako felt the weight of Misato press her down. She was about to ask what was happening when a bright light seemed to fill the car. A few seconds later she felt her stomach lurch as the car seemed to lift from the road. She let out a scream as her whole world suddenly spun about as the car was tossed up and then battered across the road, rolling several times.

Kanako slowly let out a breath when she realised the car had stopped rolling and cracked open her eyes to find herself hanging somewhat from her belt.

"Kanako, are you okay?" Misato asked.

"I… I think so Misato."

"If I hold you, do you think you can climb out?"

"I think so."

Misato braced herself under the girl as she unbuckled her belt, allowing her to climb up out of the passenger window.

After a moment, Misato followed her, jumping down on the ground disturbed by the nearby explosion.

Kanako looked down at the box she held, finding a line of gray ash across her dress. She looked at the box she held for a moment before lifting the lid. Inside she found the urn had opened up and emptied some of its contents all over the inside of the box. "Oh no," she said, snapping the box closed.

She looked again at the gray mark on her black dress.

"Are you okay?" Misato asked again.

"I… yes. I'm fine," Kanako said. "Just a little dirty."

"I understand," Misato said, glancing at her own clothes. These were my good clothes. And my car… I just finished getting it restored.

"Misato, what are we going to do?" Kanako asked.

"If you can give me a hand, we'll push my car back onto its wheels, okay?"

Kanako nodded and carefully put the box down out of the way before joining Misato at the car.

"Well... are you ready?" Misato asked, putting her back against the car.

Kanako joined her, leaning back.

"And, push …" Misato said, getting the car to rock. "Push!" she said again. After one more attempt the car dropped onto its tyres with a loud bang.

"Thanks a lot. Good job," Misato said, clapping some of the dirt free of her driving gloves.

"Thank you Misato."

"Let's see if it still works before you thank me too much," Misato said, grabbing the door handle and pulling on it, only to have the mirror fall off. "Ahhh!"

--

"Look I'll explain when I get there," Misato said into the phone. "Prepare a train car for us." There was a pause as she listened in to the voice on the other end. "Yes, well I volunteered to do this so it's my responsibility. 'Bye."

Misato hung up the phone quickly and glanced at her dirty dress. I was in such a good mood this morning. I really should have gotten one of the other's to come.

"Misato?"

"Eh? What?"

"Misato. We'll see Shinji's father soon?" Kanako asked.

"It's um… well he's a very busy man. But I'll take you to see him directly." Misato looked over at the expression on Kanako's face. "I'm sure he'll make some time to see you if it's about his son."

"Thank you Misato."

"You're um, quite thoughtful for your age aren't you?" Misato asked.

"I wouldn't know," Kanako replied. "I think I caused pain to everyone around me. It's probably why I went to so many different foster homes."

"You didn't know Shinji for long then?"

"Where I live currently with Sensei… It's the longest I've lived anywhere. I think it was about two years ago when I arrived. Shinji had lived there for quite a while before I came."

Two years is a long time to get to know anyone, Misato thought as memories of a particular man flashed through her mind.

Unconsciously she pressed harder on the accelerator.

--

"We're not going to the city?" Kanako asked as the large doors in front of them opened up.

Misato eased the car though before stopping it on the rail car.

"No. This is where Shinji's father works. I'm probably going to get into big trouble for bringing you here, but I was charged with brining Shinji back." Misato glanced at the box. Dead or alive wasn't stipulated.

"And Nerv?" Kanako asked as the light in the room changed colour and the car seemed to start moving again.

"Ah, that is the name of the organisation that Shinji's father works for. Just don't mention it to anyone. It's supposed to be secret."

"It's a secret that he works?" Kanako asked.

"Ah, no. Nerv is. It's a secret organisation. Just um… forget about it. It's probably better that way."

"Okay Misato."

"Actually, do you have that ID card for Shinji?" Misato asked.

"It's in here," Kanako said, producing a thick envelope that she'd been holding underneath the box.

Misato recognised the envelope with her hand writing that she had sent out with the Commander's simple letter. She glanced inside of it before tucking it inside the folder of documents behind her. "I'd better hold onto this too."

Kanako nodded understanding. There were a quite a few things she didn't understand, and the way Misato was acting, it was obviously best not to ask too much, but there were some things she just had to know.

"Misato, how do you know Shinji's father?"

"The Commander?"

"Commander?"

"Ah, yeah. I suppose you could say he's my superior officer." The cold bastard.

"You work for the protection of humanity?" Kanako asked. "That's all Sensei would tell me about him when I asked at the funeral," she admitted quickly.

"You could say that. But we shouldn't talk about that," Misato said.

Kanako nodded understanding. She was trying to think about a topic that wasn't off limits when the light around the car suddenly changed, and it appeared they were outside again. She couldn't help but sit up and look outside, noticing the distant walls and the odd ceiling with light streaming down across a landscape far below.

"Is this what I think it is?" Kanako asked with wide eyes. She looked at Misato who held her lips closed at the question. Instead Kanako attempted to answer it for herself. "A Geo-front? I had read about them in school, but never imagined seeing one, especially this big!"

Kanako turned back to the glass after seeing Misato's grin in reply. "Above us, aren't they buildings?" She didn't expect an answer this time, but still felt somewhat privileged to see this view.

--

Misato lifted the print out again and looked at it. "That's strange. Is it this way, or the other way?" she said.

Kanako glanced over her shoulder at the paper. "How do you know which corridor is which?" She asked.

Misato stared at the map trying to figure that out herself. "Um… I'm not sure. I'm not used to this place yet. I've only been here a couple of weeks myself."

"Then where is R-06?" Kanako pointed out on the doors they were about to pass through.

"That's here… I think," Misato held the map down for Kanako to look and pointed to a spot.

"Then, um… what's this?" Kanako pointed to another spot that had R-06 printed on it

"Ahhh… I see. This is a smudge. No wonder I couldn't read it."

The doors whooshed open and they passed over a large void.

"Ahhh," Kanako yelped as her dress billowed out around her. She ignored it as she held tightly onto the box.

"That's why I'd really rather not wear a skirt in here," Misato said with a little sympathy for the girl.

She looked down at the map again. So if this is actually R-06, and we passed through here, then if we turn here and head down here we'll reach the command centre. Misato grimaced internally at what the commander would say when she brought an unknown girl in, but she felt that she didn't really have a choice in the matter.

--

The level indicator on the elevator clicked over several floors before slowing as it chimed at reaching a floor.

Misato stared in shock as the face of Ritsuko Akagi appears on the other side of the opening doors.

"Ah! H… hi, Ritsuko…" Misato stammered as the doors opened up further, revealing her in a lab coat over a casual outfit.

Ritsuko's face was impassive. "What were you doing, Captain Katsuragi? And who's this?" She said turning to the blonde girl holding a box protectively to her chest.

"This is…"

"Kanako Harley," Kanako said with a slight bow of respect.

"Captain, I hope you have a good explanation for this," Ritsuko said. "I was under the impression you were bringing back the Commander's son."

"I… um… did," Misato said, looking at the box.

Ritsuko looked a the girl, trying to figure out if this was some strange joke, that perhaps this was the Commander's son dressed up as girl.

"I was with Shinji when he died," Kanako said under the strange look she was getting. "I just want to return Shinji's remains to his father and explain… um, how he died."

Ritsuko blinked a few times before lowering her eyes to the box the girl held protectively to her chest.

"The remains of the Commander's son?" Ritsuko asked, pointing at the box.

"Yeah, that's right Ritsuko," Misato said.

Ritsuko let out a breath. "We should take her to see the Commander directly then," she said turning about and pressing a button.

"That's where I was headed," Misato explained.

Ritsuko refrained from telling Misato was lost again in front of the unknown girl. But from where they were currently the quickest way would be through the Evangelion cages. I'll have to go there anyhow if we're to re-equip Unit-01 for Rei. "He's not in the command centre," she said.

"Then… where are we going?" Misato asked.

"He's headed for the cages. He probably expected you there with his son."

"Then…" Misato glanced at Kanako with wide eyes.

"We'll have to cut through there to see him," Ritsuko finished.

Kanako looked from Misato to this other woman that was called Ritsuko, but couldn't quite tell what was going on, but chose not to ask.

Ritsuko looked down at the girl beside her, remembering her manners.

"I'm Doctor Ritsuko Akagi," she said.

"It's nice to meet you," Kanako said.

--

Chapter 1: Part 2 – "Meetings and shocks"

"Are you sure this is the right way?" Kanako asked again.

"I'm sure," Ritsuko said in exasperation. She glared at Misato who had a look on her face. Don't you dare say anything or I'll make you regret it!

Misato pursed her lips and looked elsewhere as they arrived in a room with cat walks hanging over a large pool of fluid stretching across to the far side.

Damn, Ritsuko thought. I really should have ignored Misato's suggestion. This isn't the way I wanted to come.

"Come on, we're headed in this direction," she said, heading over to some stairs.

They headed across one of the catwalks along the wall before descending again on the other side. Ritsuko swiped her card and a door opened onto a dark room.

Kanako hesitantly stepped after the two women, staying in the light coming through the doorway.

A few seconds after she stopped, the doors closed, leaving them in absolute darkness.

"Ritsuko, are you sure about this?" Misato asked from the darkness.

"I'll take personal responsibility for this, Captain, as you will for bringing her here in the first place," Ritsuko said. There was a clunk as strong lights overhead snapped on.

Kanako stared at the head and shoulders of a large figure rising out of the dark waters beside the walkway.

"This way Kanako Harley," Ritsuko said, heading to the other side of the room where another door waited.

Kanako followed the soft clicking of heals of the woman in the lab coat, only glancing once at the large face beside her.

Misato followed after the girl, noticing she kept her face firmly in front of her after looking at the purple face of Unit-01 once. As it was, she was glad they hadn't run into the Commander yet. She was feeling somewhat relieved they were almost out of the room, when the voice echoed from the speakers above.

"Who is this girl!?" Snapped an angry voice.

Ritsuko and Misato froze, then turned about slowly to look up at the lit window above them where Gendou Ikari stood.

Kanako turned too, looking about for the voice before realising that it was above them.

"Well you see when I went to pick up your son in Odawara, because that's where…" Misato said, before Kanako spoke up over her to make her voice clear to the man high above her. "Are you Mr Ikari? Shinji Ikari's father?"

Gendou ignored her, and stared down at Misato. "This girl should not be here. You'll be punished for this severely Captain Katsuragi."

"Shinji… your son died three days ago," Kanako yelled out, caused the man above her to flinch.

"Dead?" Gendou asked in shock. His voice had lost the edge it had in it from just before.

"After we received your letter, there was an accident and he um…" Kanako said, feeling uncomfortable as she tried to explain what happened to the man above her.

Gendou leaned over to press a button beside him. "Fuyutsuki. Wake up Rei."

"Can we use her?" Fuyutsuki replied from the screen.

"She isn't dead," Gendou replied.

"Understood," Fuyutsuki said.

The screen went blank as Fuyutsuki transferred the connection.

"Rei," Gendou said simply.

"Yes?" A young girl's voice responded.

"A replacement isn't coming. You'll do it again," Gendou responded.

"Yes," Rei replied.

The room seemed to shake, causing the lights hanging from the ceiling to swing about.

Kanako yelped as she stumbled with the box in her hands, not seeing the fine spray of dust escape its lid and float through the air. "What's going on?" She asked looking at the two women who were looking about a little uncertainly.

"It seems to have found us," Gendou said looking up at the ceiling himself. He turned his attention back to the cage below him. "Your presence here is unauthorised. Captain Katsuragi will assist you to a civilian shelter, won't you Captain?"

"What? You mean to put Rei out there?" Misato cried.

"Doctor, you know what to do," Gendou said.

Ritsuko nodded. She pressed a couple of buttons on the wall near her before talking into it. "Reconfigure Unit-01's core unit to L-00 Type."

Before Gendou could turn away from the window, Kanako yelled up at him. "Is that it? Are you just going to walk away? Don't you want to know what happened to your son? Don't you want to see what's left of him?"

She held up the box towards the window, in front of Unit-01.

Gendou stared down at the blonde haired girl and the box she held. There was a feeling deep inside of him wanting to get out, a feeling well attached to a particular woman.

The genetic likeness to that woman appeared right at that moment, wheeled into the cage on a gurney, wrapped in bandages.

"What the…" Kanako said as the bed wheeled past her attended by hospital staff.

She saw the pale skinned girl with blue tinged hair wrapped in bandages assisted to a sitting position before the hospital staff headed out of the room again. The girl appeared in pain before she moved on the bed, attempting to stand on her own. She coughed, obviously in pain just from moving.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" Kanako demanded of the man above her, unable to fathom what was going on around her, but she couldn't ignore the blue haired girl on the gurney.

"Captain, you will remove this girl now." Gendou called again, reminding Misato.

The whole room suddenly shook violently, causing one side of the gurney to collapse under Rei. Kanako stumbled to the walkway, protecting the box with her body as she landed.

Above her a large light that had been sent swinging, suddenly swung down as the support wires snapped.

"Watch out!" Misato yelled, noticing the light as it ripped free from the ceiling, power cord and all, falling directly towards the walkway.

Kanako was facing up as saw the block of lights darken as they fell from the ceiling, only able to stare up in shock.

Only the thought of protecting the box in her arms was on her mind, as something dark shot across her vision, knocking the lights aside before they could strike, splashing harmless off to the side.

"It moved!" Misato said, with wide eyes.

"That's impossible!" Ritsuko yelled. "The entry plug has not yet been inserted. It can't move!"

Gendou looked to the figure of Unit-01, staring at its visage. After a moment he looked again at the blonde haired girl just crawling out from underneath the monstrous hand. Yui.

"It reacted without the interface... Or rather, did it protect her?" Ritsuko asked aloud.

Misato went to Rei's side to see if she was all right.

"What… What is that?" Kanako said, staring at the large hand and then at the face.

"What is your name girl?" Gendou asked.

Kanako climbed to her feet, to look up at the man above her. "Harley. Kanako Harley, sir."

Gendou turned from her to the screen next to him and pressed a button.

"Fuyutsuki. What do we have on Kanako Harley?"

"Harley? Kanako Harley?" Fuyutsuki repeated as if he hadn't heard properly.

He didn't look turn to his own console, as memories flooded back to him. "I haven't heard that name in quite a while."

"You know this girl then?"

"I personally birthed her," Fuyutsuki replied. "But I haven't seen her since I helped foster her out as a baby."

"Then you know her candidacy potential?"

Fuyutsuki felt ill at ease at the suddenly line of conversation. "I know what you're thinking, even if she has the potential, Selee won't like this. It won't match their prophecies from the dead sea scrolls."

"They would have realised sooner or later that we weren't going to match their prophecies exactly," Gendou replied. He turned back to the window. "Captain, get Unit 01 ready. This girl will pilot."

"What!?" Came the shocked response from both Misato and Ritsuko.

Kanako just stared up at Gendou, still in the dark about what was going on. "Pilot what?"

"You will pilot the Evangelion," Gendou said. It was obvious enough to him that she didn't know anything.

"Why should I pilot it, this Evangelion?" Kanako asked.

"To fight the Angels."

Kanako glanced at Misato with a frown. She had heard a new word, and now she was expected to fight some mythical heavenly creature.

"Was this why you called for your son, Shinji?" Kanako asked of the man above her.

"Correct."

"Then why can't you find someone else?"

"Because no one else can," Gendou replied. He could see the girl hesitating. "If you're not going to do this, then leave. Captain Katsuragi will escort you to a civilian shelter."

"I'll do it," Kanako said after a few long moments. "But not because you asked me."

Gendou stared at the girl, expecting more of an explanation, but none was forthcoming. It was enough that she agreed to pilot the Evangelion.

"Doctor," Gendou said. "Please take care of my son's remains while you explain to Miss Harley what we require her to do.

"But it took Ayanami a full seven months for her to synchronize with Eva," Misato said.

"We only need her to sit in it and try. We don't expect anything more from her," Ritsuko explained.

--

Fuyutsuki sighed as he read down the screen, feeling all those emotions come back as he himself wrote this original record.

"Kanako Harley. Her name is spelt with the characters, flower south child. Born May 18, 2001. Mother's name, April Harley. Father unknown. Mother was an Australian resident here on a Business VISA during the second Impact, and was granted an emergency permanent residency under the Humanitarian Asylum registrar because of her country's status. Currently 14 years old, blood type A, height 1.58 metres, weight 43 kilos, 85-56-82 since her last school check-up."

He looked to the next section, something he wasn't so familiar with.

"Was fostered… to quite a few families over the years. In and out of several homes and schools. Disciplined by schools and the police after getting into trouble on several occasions. The last occasion was in 2013 before she moved to another foster home. The last was with a teacher which has lasted two years, living alongside a boy named…"

"Enough," Gendou said. "What about her genetic profile."

"The MAGI have commenced an analysis on the sample Doctor Akagi took. They have nothing negative to report at the moment."

Gendou was silent as he continued to look at the screens before him.

Operations staff down on the floor below them were busy making preparations, whilst one of screens showed the entry plug locking into place in the back of Unit-01.

"The plug has been fixed," Maya Ibuki said.

"Flooding entry plug," Ritsuko said.

--

Kanako leaned back into the seat, trying to not to think about falling out. She was still unsure about what either Ritsuko or Misato had told her as a strange fluid started filling up the capsule. "What is this?" She asked before it quickly rose up around her, covering face. She grasped at her dress as it started to float up around her, trying to hold her breath at the same time.

"It's all right," Ritsuko's voice came though the liquid clearly. "Once the LCL fills your lungs, it will provide oxygen directly to your blood. You'll get used to it."

I have to breathe this? Kanako thought.

She slowly let out her breath, watching the air bubbles stream past her face, before trying to breath in the LCL. For a moment she choked, convulsing as the feeling of drowning forced her to gulp down some of the metal tasting liquid before she found herself breathing somewhat normally.

"Are you all right Kanako?" Misato asked.

Kanako opened her mouth experimentally, mouthing the words she wanted to speak. "Y… Yes. It just feels strange to breathe liquid and talk in it too."

Kanako listened to the voices outside for a short while as they spoke about contacts and power circuits.

"Doctor Akagi, how am I…" Kanako started to say.

"Kanako please be quiet for a bit longer," Ritsuko said. "Establishing connections for a new pilot can be delicate."

"Kanako, just try to empty your mind and don't think about the voices around you," Misato said.

"Like meditation?" Kanako asked.

"Ah, yes, just like meditation," Misato replied a little bewildered that the young girl knew about such concepts.

--

"Starting second contact," Maya reported. "Establishing interface. No problems detected in A10 nervous system."

"LCL levels nominal," Ritsuko said. "Japanese has been fixed as primary mode of operation. No problems detected with initial contacts."

"Communication lines open. Up to 13 hundred, 1380, 1405 clear. Synchronization rate at 38.6." Maya said.

"Amazing," Ritsuko said as she turned to look over May's shoulder at the display.

"Harmonics are all in normal levels. Everything is under control," Maya replied in relief.

Ritsuko turned to Misato. "It's going to work!"

"Prepare to launch," Misato ordered.

--

Kanako couldn't feel the movement of the Evangelion through the LCL as its restraints were removed and it was transported up to a launch pad.

She only opened her eyes when Ritsuko finally reported "Launch preparations complete."

"Understood," Misato replied. She turned to the platform behind her. "Are you sure?" She asked, feeling ill at ease. They were about to send a fourteen year old child with no knowledge of what was going on, into combat with something that had the potential to wipe out the country.

"Of course," Gendou replied. "We must defeat the Angels, or we will all die here."

Fuyutsuki stared up at the screen with Unit-01 stationed on the launch platform, holding the girl he had helped deliver into this life. "Ikari, is this really the right thing to do?" He turned to glance at the man but got no response.

Gendou merely stared at the screen, hiding the look of concern behind his gloved hands and glasses.

"Launch!" Misato called out.

--

Kanako felt an immense jolt from underneath before a sudden pressure pushed her down into the seat. Around her, she could see brightly lit walls flying past as she rocketed upwards.

There was another jolt when she hit the surface however, and as she looked about, she saw the city covered under the blanket of night.

In front of her however, stood the giant figure that she had seen that afternoon, staring back at her through a white mask.

--

Chapter 1: Liner notes

The biggest focus of the Evangelion story is Shinji Ikari. He's the 14 year old boy who's the focus, and the driving force. However, he's a pain in certain ways, because he's much of a wimp, doesn't stand up to his father, runs away, etc, etc. My idea was to replace Shinji with someone else. Some stories have tried this, but they changed the original Shinji with and OOC Shinji. He acts and reacts different, and that irks me. Why bother writing a fan fiction, where you mess with the main character, but not any of the others? You change their emotional context, their personality, their attitude, but not their past, which is what is supposed to reflect upon all those things! Especially with a character such as Shinji, there are all sorts of traits, that make him, him. Changing those, make it hard for the reader to understand him any more. Which is why in my stories, I like to keep my characters close to the original, and not go OOC. So, if I wanted to change the main character so much, why not just replace Shinji, and not change Shinji? Thus, I have to wind the story back a little. Actually, I'd start with the event that made the story occur. The Second Impact.

Please use the forums for any questions if you expect feedback.