Hentai Shinji Chapter 19: Planned and Unplanned Activities
With power requirements for the positron rifle being roughly equal to the output of the nation of Japan, Gendo Ikari had put through an order requesting exactly that. The logistics involved were nightmarish, having to run massive numbers of huge cables across the entire length of the island, connecting to monitoring stations and connection hubs every few dozen miles. All these ran to a preselected location on the north face of Mount Fuji.
The place was chosen for several reasons. The first of these was the approach angle of the Angel. It was expected to come from the east, meaning that to attack required a flat platform with a clear view of the enemy. Constructing the platform at the site was unnecessary, since there was already one present, a left over relic from the time just after second impact. I large faction of the Japanese military had pooled their resources and constructed the bunker to use as a highly fortified and very defensible position from which they could restore order to the island nation.
The second reason for the placement was the roughly centralized location of the site. This allowed them to minimize the amount of power loss due to the inefficiency of waste heat and energy bleed. They were already border line on having enough energy without losing too much to preventable sources.
With all the preparations ready, all that remained was for Unit-02 and Asuka to arrive. Much of the site crew members were unsure why the most unruly of the pilots, if their information was accurate, had been selected for this mission. Their hero, Shinji, would have been their choice, given his disposition and charismatic personality. Unfortunately, for them at least, they were not consulted.
The younger Ikari actually had a good reason for the assignment. The red headed pilot had been training with this kind of equipment; specifically the MAGI assisted targeting, for the majority of her life. This meant that she would be the most comfortable, ensuring the best results.
Suddenly a red shape came blurring out of the sky, hitting the ground near the installation hard enough to tear a shallow furrow out of the hard granite. Unit-02 stood out of the dust cloud and began making its way toward the sniping position.
All of the site personnel were expecting some flourish or performance from the brash pilot, and had to reconsider those assumptions with the clipped and precise movements the lumbering form of the Eva used to slide in directly behind the weapon.
As soon as Unit-02 was settled, Asuka locked the position and opened the com link, "This is Pilot Soryu, ready for umbilical attachment. And hurry it up."
"Keep your plug suit on Asuka." Misato answered from the on-site command post. "The umbilical is almost in place. Then we'll start charging the rifle to fire. Remember, we will only get three shots before the Angle is out of position."
"Yeah, I know. Let's just get this started already." Asuka whined.
The various electrical connections were made, beginning the charging process and bringing the massive weapon to full power for the first time. Steam began forming around the cooling towers as the enormous flow of electricity coursed through the huge cables.
Asuka leaned back on her control couch while the targeting system deployed to cover her head. The information was streaming in too fast for her to follow, but complete comprehension wasn't absolutely necessary. The only thing she had to do was wait for the two targeting symbols to come together and then squeeze the trigger. The MAGI were handling the micro adjustments to the hydraulics used to line the barrel up on the target they were also tracking.
It actually annoyed the redhead that this operation didn't require more skill, keeping her discomfort to herself for a change. In situations like this you followed orders without question. One slip up could cost the lives of those she cared for, though she refused to call the emotion love. Rei, Misato, Ritsuko, Maya, Lina, even the Baka, Shinji, and her Mother. They had all come to mean so much to her, finally giving her a reason to fight. 'For Family' She thought, 'That's why I do this. For them'
"Are you ready Asuka?" Misato called quietly over the comm link.
"As ready as I'll ever be." She enthusiastically answered.
The targeting reticule that represented the enemy, a small triangle, cleared the horizon, though it still had another millimeter before it would line up with the other one, three double lines radiating from a single point, that indicated the path of the beam at intercept.
Asuka ran through a quick checklist of the procedures that were about to be initiated. Fire the rifle, reload the fuses, begin charging for next shot, wait for the indicators to merge, fire the rifle again. Given the distances involved with this attack, there was a very good chance that she would fire the third shot before the first one even hit the target. The scientists and engineers on the project had said that the velocity of the beam was high, but they were unsure what effect such a long trip through the atmosphere would have on the beam's electro-magnetic containment or what kind of drag they could expect from all sorts of sources, including the Earth's magnetic field. The containment failure worried Asuka, since it would lead to a line of matter-antimatter explosions streaking across the sky, possibly all the way back to her position. Her AT field would protect Unit-02, but Misato was here. She would not allow any harm to come to her family, even if it cost her own life. The pilot just wished that she could have met the right guy so that, if she died, it would not be as a virgin.
The indicators merged and a new symbol blinked. Asuka barely thought about squeezing the trigger in her hand, reacting out of rote training more than conscious action. There was a fraction of a second's delay and then the world went white.
The glare filters on the optical sensors kicked in to keep it from being a blinding flash, but it was hard to make out any details while the weapon was firing. As soon as the light started fading she was changing out the fuses. Now came the waiting again.
A little bit faster than she had expected, by about a full second, the reticule began blinking again. She squeezed the trigger again and the process repeated.
One more shot and she thought it would be over, but the targeting system didn't retract and the power was building again for a fourth shot. Again by reflex, she squeezed the trigger at the right moment, having mechanically replaced the fuses without realizing it.
This time the headset did pull back, allowing her to see the seemingly transparent skin of the entry plug. She called up a video feed from the satellites monitoring the Angel. It showed nothing out of the ordinary until a lance of energy slammed into an area of folded space, revealing the telltale octagonal pattern.
The two titanic forces warred with each other for a few moments, until the beam petered out and the shield configured AT field faded from view. Then it happened again, this time seeming to be marginally more violent than the last. The third shot caused some fluctuations in the defensive barrier, almost as though it would decide that this was the time to get through. The fourth, and much unexpected, shot caught the shield and began raking down its surface before expending the last of the massive amount of energy on open space.
Asuka sighed, "Well," She said as the comm window opened, "It was a long shot at best. Wasn't it Misato?"
"Yeah it was. Hopefully the N2 barrage will be more effective." The operations director answered with the sound of frantic motion behind her. "We better get ready to go kiddo. They'll need all of us back in Tokyo-3 if it doesn't."
"Just curious, how was it that we got that extra shot, I thought there was just barely enough time for three." The pilot asked as she began the trek down to the special train they would use for the return trip.
"The numbers were just barely short of four, I suppose it got garbled in transition, and no one took into account the boost that two fully active S2 organs would provide. Shinji and Lina transformed to give us the best chance of this phase working by lending what they could to the energy flow."
"That sounds like Shinji, always trying to save people." There was an uncomfortable silence that stretched before Asuka spoke again. "Misato?"
"Do you think that's why he took me in, to save me?"
The older woman sighed, "He saw someone else that suffered a grievous loss as a child, and he can't just turn a blind eye to that. It's not so much that he wanted to save you, as he wanted to give you the environment where you could save yourself. When you're ready."
Asuka considered this for a moment, "Not just yet, but I feel it coming. And thank you."
Deep within Unit-02 a human consciousness stirred, rejoicing at the fact that her daughter had people that loved her. The experiment that caused Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu to exist in this state was the worst day of her life. For a long time she had raged against her prison, knowing that the chances of her getting out were remote. The knowledge that her little girl would grow up without her broke the woman's heart, making her fight all the harder. In the end, she had resigned herself to the position of physical guardian over her own child, protecting the pilot when they would go into combat.
Still it hurt, not being able to hold her child and comfort Asuka through this process. It hurt so much, and this too motivated her to protect that girl so that she would have the chance to get through it.
The next part of the operation wasn't very far away. Since they had a solid track on the enemy's position, NERV operations had been able to get a large fraction of their stock of N2 mines directly into the Angel's path. The wave of death would soon envelope the target in the energy released by the strongest non-nuclear explosive ever developed by man.
Ritsuko was overseeing this phase of the operation, as the commander and sub-commander were busy tending to the minutiae of keeping the Eva project running. She had already run the numbers three times, checking all the figures as new data came in. In a few seconds, the blond scientist would push a button and watch as they tried to erase an advanced life form from the face of reality.
In those few moments, waiting to unleash death at its most pure, she considered all the arguments against taking a life that had been drilled into her during her early education. In this case, while the life was in some way still sacred, it had no right to wipe humanity away to accomplish its goals. And she was the right hand of God that was going to make sure it didn't get the chance.
The button press surprised her, as she thought it would be harder to detonate that large a mass of explosives. The slight light speed lag resulted in a half second between the press and the video feed washing out with light and noise. It was like watching a new sun being born, only this was a sphere of annihilation, not matter restructuring fusion.
The signal was interrupted as the satellites were momentarily blanketed in electromagnetic energy. When it came back, the shape of the enemy was still discernible amongst the huge background of charged gasses left behind.
The picture resolved as the energy cloud dissipated, revealing the shape of the Angel completely intact, with its AT field flickering back into position.
"So much for plan B." The science director sighed, "Let Shinji and Rei know that it's on them now. And get the MAGI started on probable impact zones so they don't have to tear up half the city to get into position." Ritsuko was very happy that they could track the Angel, as it gave them at least some predictive ability.
"Acknowledged." Shinji responded to the update, "Open the relay to the MAGI so we can get started refining our position as soon as they know anything."
"Already on it, Shinji. Be careful out there, both of you." Ritsuko replied before severing the connection.
Rei spoke over the cockpit comms, "It looks like the deployment zone they already have is on the south side of the city."
"Probably expecting Asuka to get back before all the fun starts" He commented, "And they expect me to be able to cover half the city on my own, damn machines."
"It is within your abilities, as you're the only one among us who can fly."
"I know, but it might be nice, just once, if they didn't assume that I wanted to push myself that hard." He raised a hand to forestall the coming argument, "I know that I volunteered to go up and fight the thing while it was still in orbit. That's different though. I don't have to worry about holding back up there, unlike on the ground. Down here I have to be careful or half the buildings could be flattened."
There was a mild hiss of static as Rei encrypted the channel, "You do know that there is nothing they can do to keep you on the ground?"
"It would worry the others." He responded. "And dad would be pissed at me for making mom worry. I'll admit that I might keep the fighting out of the city, but there's no guarantee that I would stand half a chance against that thing, especially not after all those N2 mines failed to make a scratch."
"The difference between a scalpel and a hammer. Each has its uses, but only one can be used for such precise work as surgery, even though it would never work to drive a nail into a wall." Rei spoke calmly, but Shinji could tell that she really wanted him to do this.
"I know that I have a better chance with an AT field, but that still doesn't mean I want to risk it not working. It would be bad for my image after all. And while we're at it, when did you decide to start living out your rebellious impulses vicariously through me?"
"Until I can accomplish the same feats I have little choice, though I do intend to start doing it myself soon."
"So it doesn't really matter if we decide to disobey orders or not? Great, it's a good thing we were planning to do this anyway." The sound of sighing could be heard over the link, "Tell the others that we'll be okay and we'll be back in time to help if this doesn't work."
"I will." Rei answered.
With that, Unit-01 crouched down, ejecting the power cable that had allowed Tokyo-3 to tap it for extra power, and reality seemed to charge around it. The launch was impressively non-destructive, with only a few household power lines fluttering from the force.
Shinji and Lina rode the jump for just over a thousand feet, coming to rest in mid-air as gravity fought their ascent. The giant black form didn't fall after stopping, instead curling into a ball as it's back rippled. Suddenly a pair of glowing gold energy wings sprouted through the flesh and armor, making the Eva resemble a dark angel of death.
The merged consciousness flexed the new appendages experimentally, getting a feel for them as they hung above the fortress city. Then the wings raised and seemed to catch in the very fabric of reality on the way back down, causing the light to distort around them, and Unit-01 shot skyward once more at an even higher velocity.
It took almost ten minutes to reach their objective, speeding up as they continued through the thinning atmosphere. The Angel seemed to take notice of them as they approached, slowing its advance to feed more energy into defense. Shinji aimed for the central eye that housed the Angel's core.
The strength of Sahaquiel's AT field was a little surprising, even after the N2 detonation, as it stopped the black Eva cold. The two areas of folded and compressed space clashed with a titanic release of energy, neutralizing each other while reality seemed to protest. Shinji ran the numbers quickly and found that their field would be the first to go, leaving them vulnerable to attack until they disengaged.
Then the Angel took the initiative, whipping one of its long arms around and sending a small piece flying straight at its assailant. They pulled back, both fields snapping back to full power, and the projectile impacted on the Eva's barrier. The explosion would have been enough to end Unit-01 if not for the quick reaction, as the projectile held a weak AT field around its surface.
Lina roared in challenge at their enemy, drawing two of the shoulder blades that were a natural part of their armor. 'No, Lina.' Shinji thought, 'It won't work. This thing is too powerful for us to take on our own.'
'What are you saying Shinji? We can't just give up.' She answered through their bond, 'What about the others? We have to try for them.'
'I want to protect them as much as you do, Love. But I still don't think this will work, Sahaquiel's field is just too strong for our power to harm it.'
'I'm still going to try. Even if it doesn't work, we'll know we did everything we could.'
The small blades began charging during their almost instantaneous dialogue, coming to full power a few seconds later. The low particle density of the region would limit the overall effectiveness of the charged particle beams generated by the attack, but it would still be powerful.
As the containment fields reached their failure point two pencil thin beams shot out at nearly the speed of light, striking the field only inches apart and angled to hit the monstrosity behind dead center. The energies at work here warred with each other for an eternity of a few seconds. Finally, the blasts faded, their energy spent, and the Angel's AT field still held.
Lina triggered another charging cycle, refusing to give up on killing the enemy. Shinji resigned himself to letting this go on for a short time longer, as long as it didn't endanger them. Sahaquiel had other plans though.
Just as the weapons were coming to full charge again it launched two more projectiles, one from each arm, at them. They were forced to waste the energy weapons on defense to keep from being the gooey filling in an explosion sandwich.
The next cycle drew even more power, as both the minds of Unit-01 were becoming agitated, Lina with her adversary and Shinji with Lina. This time it was too much, as their glowing wings flickered momentarily.
'This is the last chance Lina. We won't be able to maintain this position if we commit any more energy.' Shinji commented as they fired again.
The energy release was once more spectacular, but yielded the same result.
Lina began to succumb to her former nature, raging impotently against Sahaquiel. Shinji concentrated on cutting through her anger, finally reaching her, 'Lina love, it's time to go back now. We can't do this without the other's help. Calm down please.'
He felt his other half sigh in resignation, regaining control of her emotions, 'I know. I just hate to let this thing any closer to our home.'
Unit-01, unsuccessful but not beaten, turned and began the descent back to Tokyo-3. The beat of its wings seeming somewhat less enthusiastic as the Angel launched a single projectile into the atmosphere on a ballistic trajectory.
"Okay everyone, Shinji and Lina are heading back and the Angel has started lobbing test shots at us." Ritsuko said from the command deck. "We know where it is and can figure on an attack once it finishes correcting its error ratio, so be ready to handle any damage it might cause in the mean time."
Everyone in Central Dogma nodded and hustled back into action. Maya glanced at her lover and asked, "How much trouble are Shinji and Lina going get into for their actions?"
The blond scientist sighed, "If they hadn't mentioned the plan before hand, and it hadn't been shot down, they probably could have gotten off with a slap on the wrist. But since they were specifically told no and did it anyway, it will depend on how forgiving the Commander is."
"You know," Shigeru Aoba said, "A few months ago I might have been worried about that, but since he got his wife back he seems much mellower."
"True enough, and the fact that Shinji is the one that brought her back will probably help too." Ritsuko replied, "But that doesn't excuse those two for disobeying orders. I'm tempted to throw the book at them myself."
"You were worried, weren't you?" Maya asked, receiving a nod from her housemate, "So was I. But this is the way he is. Even if he does take risks, he is always doing it because he cares, try to remember that Ritsuko."
"I know." She whispered. "I just wish we didn't have to keep sending our loved ones out to fight this damn war."
A screen flashed on, displaying Unit-01 coming in for a fast landing somewhere in the city. Ritsuko was sure they would plow into the ground, and probably through several layers of armor, at their current speed.
The black Eva spread its wings, tearing to a stop just a few meters above the ground. Unit-01 fell the final distance and landed lightly on the ground, something thought impossible for an object its size.
The comm channel opened and the duel voice could be heard again, "I know you're gonna be pissed at us Ritsuko, but you know we had to do it. Anyway, we failed to stop it, mainly due to power restrictions, so the ground plan should work. No damage incurred on the attempt, so we're ready to redeploy."
"You're not going to get out of this by talking fast, you two." Ritsuko shot back. "Get to your assigned positions and I'll let Misato and Gendo deal with the punishment."
"Thanks, Ritsuko. Just throw us to the wolves why don't you?" The combined consciousness said back sarcastically.
"Just get to your post." The blond said, her voice softening, "And thanks for coming back in one piece."
Sahaquiel finished correcting its error ratio, after having dropped over a half dozen smaller projectiles on Japan. It was now ready to destroy those keeping Lilith from them. This type of attack was a departure from the Angel's usual tactics, as it involved one of them sacrificing itself for the good of the others, but it was a necessary step in wiping out the Lilim infestation of the planet.
The abomination that had come to directly challenge the large orbital creature had been a perfect example of that infection. The vile creatures had first perverted the Angels, and then corrupted themselves as well. The creature was powerful, but too generalized to be truly effective in a frontal assault.
Now all the resistance would be erased, in one last act that Sahaquiel would perform to ensure the victory of the rightful owners of this world.
It was time.
Shinji and Lina felt the sudden change in the Angel's output just before the announcement came over the channel. "Do you have an impact zone yet?" they asked, itching for action.
"Sending projection updates now." Both the Eva's received the data and sprinted toward each other.
Unit-00 was jumping over obstacles, such as houses and concrete walls, while Unit-01 just somersaulted into the air and spread its wings again. Unsurprisingly, the black Eva was the first to reach the designated coordinates, raising its hands toward the falling enemy.
The air wavered as golden wings faded into nothing and the merged beings that made up Unit-01 pushed their AT fields into the heavens, forming a shallow cone between themselves and the Angel.
Rei arrived a second later and merged her own field into the energy matrix. She was surprised at how easy it was to tune and control her field now that she didn't have to concentrate on keeping her sync ratio down below the safety threshold. The combined field seemed to vibrate with power, sending reverberations out into the area surrounding Tokyo-3.
Finally their prey came into sight, seeming to hover as it fell toward them at a speed in excess of its terminal velocity. Then the sonic boom hit the energy barrier and they realized how fast the creature had been going a short time ago. A cloud dissolved in the shockwave directly proceeding the monstrously large shape, acting as further proof.
The angel swelled, filling their vision with the orange of its body, followed by the red of it's exposed core that resolved as it fell.
Suddenly, the creature stopped. It hung in the air directly above the octagonal pattern of an AT Field interaction. A voice came over the comm channel, "Hey, wonder boy, haven't you dealt with that thing by now?"
Unit-01 smiled broadly as their sensors indicated the approaching ally and friend. "About time you showed up, rookie." He called back playfully, "Grab a spear, hightail your red ass over here, and stick this thing."
"Roger." The professional side of the fiery pilot responded before she could even think. She sent the mental request for the weapon, indicating what port it should appear at. Unit-02 didn't even slow down as it snatched the long handled blade from the rack, only slighting twisting the metal of the structure in the process, and continued toward the engagement point.
Theoretically, she could attack any location where the target's field was weak enough for the point to penetrate, but practice told her otherwise. When the progressive device left her hand it would immediately begin losing power, meaning that it's penetration would be extremely limited. She was only going to get one shot at this thing, and to maximize effect, she would need to be directly beneath it.
As the red Eva came to a halt next to its comrades the tip of its spear began to glow. That glow became a blinding light as Asuka pushed more power through the device, exceeding the specifications for proper functioning by at least fifty percent.
Just as the weapon was about to overload, already showing the beginnings of stress fractures, it shot skyward. The cancelation phase-space that marked the interaction between the massive defensive fields rippled briefly with its passing, though this quickly vanished. Replacing it was the huge form of the Angel, now dead with a hole through its core, coming to rest on the combined fields from Units-00 and 01.
It hung there for a moment, seeming to be almost peaceful after the death dive it had taken from the heavens, before exploding. The energy of the blast was directed mostly upward by the curved surface it rested on. This had the effect of causing no collateral damage, with even the smallest pieces of the alien life form being vaporized in the explosion.
Unit-01 glanced around, making sure that there was no damage from the blast, when he noticed the power levels of Unit-02 dropping quickly. The black form moved to support its comrade, catching the listing form.
Setting the disabled mecha on the ground, something caught Shinji's attention. He focused their sensors on a building with the traditional architecture of a temple, with its door half open. Inside he could see the form of a bronze statue, and his enhanced senses allowed him to make out the details of the shape.
"I'm so gonna kill those two." Unit-01 growled in Shinji's voice.
"What was that Shinji?" Rei asked, not quite sure what she had heard.
"Direct your sensors toward that temple up on the hill. Toji and Kensuke are dead as soon as I see them."
Shinji could feel Lina suppressing a giggle in the back of their mind. He directed a thought at her, "You think this is funny? They even managed to get you in there."
"I think it's flattering that they think of you as some sort of sex god defender of the city. I find it hilarious that you are taking offense at the prospect." Unit-01 let out a girlish giggle, or as girlish as you can get with a giant, sentient, bioweapon.
Rei was smiling from ear to ear, but Shinji could tell that she wanted to burst into tearful laughter, especially at the antics of the female half of the fused psyche.
He opened a com line to headquarters and was dismayed to hear more laughter as his response. "Can someone please open a retrieval hatch?" His irritated tone made it clear that he was less then amused by the situation.
"Sure thing." Maya answered after taking a moment to compose herself.
Oh, Shinji was so killing those two as soon as he could. To hell with the regs about killing civilians, they could just be the two casualties of this fight. They hadn't had any of those in a while.
Lina nearly caused Unit-01 to double over with how hard she was laughing at her lover. She said mockingly, "A hero's work is never done."
Shinji stood over the begging forms of his two friends. They had returned to their temple following the attack to find the pilot waiting for them with a can marked "Thermite" in his hands.
"We're so sorry Shinji." Aida said, nearly bursting into tears at the rage in Shinji's eyes.
Toji looked up, "It's not what you think anymore man. It's more of a fan club now."
The furious pilot just continued to glare at his former classmates.
The spectacled youth decided to try one more ploy, "We've been trying to help out, making sure that people are staying safe during an attack and stuff like that."
Toji held his hands up and pleaded, "Please don't burn down the place, it's great for all sorts of things."
Shinji couldn't keep his face straight any longer and started laughing at their antics. Something seemed to break in Kensuke as he held up his hands defensively, "He's snapped. We're all gonna die. Game over man."
This only made the pilot cackle harder, falling to his knees in the cathartic release. He finally got himself back under control, and addressed the pair, "I'm sorry guys. I was really pissed a couple hours ago, when I first learned about this place, but it's okay now. I took a peak at the Section 2 files and found out what I could. I heartily approve."
"You mean that you never intended to torch the place?" Toji half screamed, so relieved that his anger couldn't even get a good start.
"Not really, but the thought of making you two suffer had a lasting appeal to it." The smirk on Shinji's face had softened, letting his friends know that they were safe now.
The Eva pilot took a seat with the statue behind him, deliberately not mimicking the position of the bronze. He looked quite different now, having aged physically by a few years, but his eyes shone with the same confidence. "So tell me how you've been. It's been a while since we had a chance to just sit and talk."
Thanks to Birga for proofreading this for me.