Disclaimer: I do not own Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hideaki Anno and Studio GAINAX do. And you should be thankful, because if I did... well, I would completely ruin it. Trust me.

Author's Note: Forgive the intense amounts of OOCness. Or not, because it's my story, and that's how it is. If you don't like it, you don't have to read this fic. There are plenty that make an effort to stay true. I'm gonna do what it takes to make the story I want to write, work properly. And if my quotes aren't exact, that's fine, that's not something I'm gonna fuss over. The story itself is hard enough! OK, enough rambling from the Author. On with the show!



{intercom or telephone}

Chapter One

{Due to the state of special emergency, all lines are currently unavailable. Please try your call again later. This is a recording.} Shinji slammed down the phone in frustration. 'Special emergency, my ass. What the hell is that supposed to--wait a minute, what was that?' Another tremor ran through the street, then Shinji saw exactly what that was, moving out from behind the hills.

It was some kind of gigantic, humanoid creature that he'd never seen before, and it was wreaking havoc on everything in its path; currently, UN air forces. They appeared to be doing no good. Shinji shook his head to clear it and thought, 'I need to get out of here! Now!' Luckily for him, at that moment, a cool little blue car came whipping around the corner to stop right in front of him. It could only be one person; who else would be out at a time like this?

The door popped open to reveal a purple-haired woman; specifically, the woman who was supposed to pick Shinji up, Captain Misato Katsuragi of NERV. Misato said quickly, "Sorry! Hurry up and get in!" Shinji did, and they just barely avoided being squished by the creature's foot as the car took off like a shot. He turned to her and said irritably, "Well, you sure took your time, Miss Katsuragi. I was about to start walking."

She replied, "I said I was sorry, what more do you want? And just call me Misato please, Shinji." Misato looked over at him and thought, 'I guess he's kinda cute for his age. I hope he'll get along with Rei. She needs a friend her own age.'

The entire ride to NERV, Misato kept trying to strike up conversation with Shinji and draw his attention to the scenery, but he didn't really seem interested. When they reached the Geofront, he took one look out the window and went to his bag for something. After a few moments, he found what he was looking for; his prized white tiger katana. He carried it with him everywhere, but had only ever really used it one time, and he prayed that he would never need to again.

When Misato saw it, she raised her eyebrows and asked him, "... How good are you with that thing, anyway?"

Shinji closed his eyes, lost in his own memories, and softly replied, "Not good enough. Not yet."

Misato recognized that tone and wisely let the topic go. 'There's just one thing that makes a man talk like that. He failed to protect her. I shouldn't press him about this.' After that, a heavy silence fell over the car until they reached NERV.


Shinji sighed as he asked Misato, for what had to be the fifteenth time in ten minutes, "Are you certain you know where we're going? I'd swear we've seen that door four times already..."

Misato just groaned and threw her hands up in the air. "FINE! I have no clue where we are! We are completely and utterly lost! Okay?!... Heeeyy, is that...? Well, what do you know, this is the place, right through here. Come on."

As they entered the room, Shinji was struck with the feeling of having walked into a super-high-tech, futuristic-type mechanic's garage. They were greeted by a blond woman in a lab coat. "Well, you finally made it, Misato. Lost again, I presume?" Misato suddenly developed a great interest in the floor, and the blond woman moved on to Shinji. "I am Doctor Ritsuko Akagi; I'm the head of NERV's Science Division. And you must be Shinji Ikari, right?"

Shinji had to tear his eyes away from the giant robot face he'd been staring at since he entered the room in order to respond. "Yes, I'm Shinji. But I thought I was going to see my father. Is this... thing... his work?"


Shinji recognized that voice immediately. "Father..."

Gendo Ikari, Supreme Commander of NERV, stood behind a glass wall high above them. He looked down at his son with a nigh-imperceptible smile, then said in a voice well-befitting the Supreme Commander of anything, "We're moving out!"

Misato interjected, "Moving out? But Unit-00's still in cryo-stasis!" 'gasp' "You're gonna use Unit-01?!"

Ritsuko just nodded, as if that should have been obvious.

Misato continued, "Now wait just a minute! Rei can't do it yet, can she?... We don't have a pilot!"

Ritsuko calmly told her, "We just recieved one."

Misato frowned. "You're serious."

Ritsuko turned to Shinji, who had been staring at his shoes. "Shinji Ikari, you will pilot it."

Misato is about to say something again when Shinji interrupts her. "Why, Father? Not one card, letter, or phone call in ten years. Now you want me to... what? Take this giant robot-thing..."

Ritsuko cut in, "... it's called Evangelion. A synthetic lifeform..."

Shinji continued, "... thanks. This... Evangelion... and go out there and fight that alien-thing?"

Gendo replies, "Yes, Shinji. You will destroy the Angels. The Evangelion is your weapon."

Shinji stands silent for just a moment, then says in an almost chillingly calm voice, "I see. You don't want Shinji Ikari, son of Gendo Ikari. You want Shinji Ikari, pawn of Gendo Ikari, someone who will obey your orders without thinking. I will not do it."

Gendo was slightly taken aback by the way Shinji was speaking; he was not used to being disobeyed. "What did you say?"

Shinji remained calm. "I said, I will not do it. I have a life of my own, and I believe I'll be returning to it."

Gendo grimaced. He needed Shinji, but could not afford to let the boy think he was irreplaceable. Fortunately, he knew something important about Shinji that could help. He stepped over to the intercom. {Fuyutski.} An older man, Gendo's right-hand man in all things and Sub-Commander of NERV, responded. {Sir?}

{Wake up Rei.}

{Can we use her?}

{She's not dead yet.}

{Understood.} The older man, Fuyutski, transferred Gendo's communication line to Rei.



{Our spare is unusable. You will do it again.}


Shinji was watching this, but he couldn't hear any of what was said. He burst out, "I know you're plotting something, Father! You use people when it suits you, and kick them to the curb when that suits you! I don't know what exactly you're up to, but I refuse to be a part of it!" Then he calmed himself down enough to say, "I'll be leaving now, Father. I expect we'll not see each other again." Then he turned around and walked away.

When he got as far as the doors, Shinji had to step aside to make way for a hospital gurney coming the other way. On it lay a blue-haired young girl wrapped in bandages. As they passed by Shinji, he heard her speak a few words, so softly he was sure nobody else heard.

"No... please... don't make me... hurts so bad... not again..."

It pained Shinji to hear it. That was the thing about him; he never could leave a girl in distress, even when it would be better for him if he did. Shinji understood exactly what was happening here. His father intended to have someone pilot that thing, and if he wouldn't do it, then this girl would. Never mind that she looked ready to fall apart.

Shinji sighed heavily to himself, thinking, 'Why can't I ever just walk away? I know I'm gonna regret this...'

Then Shinji turned back around to face his father again and said in a loud, yet controlled voice, "I'll do it. I will pilot it. Alright? But understand, that I'm not doing this for you! I could care less about whatever you're up to! I'm doing this," and he motioned toward the hospital-girl with his head, "for her. Got it?"

Gendo smirked and said to himself, "I see. You refuse me, but for the sake of some strange girl, you accept." Then, loud and clear, "Dr. Akagi, Captain Katsuragi, prepare Shinji and Unit-01 for battle!"


'I can't believe this,' Shinji thought as the massive Evangelion shot up the launch tube and was freed from its restraints, for its first real battle. With him in control. 'I guess this is pretty cool, but what do I do? Dr. Akagi said, just think of it as an extension of my own body, but what exactly does that mean? I don't really think about most of what I do, I don't concentrate on walking... maybe that's it. Just think it.' So Shinji thought hard about the process of putting one foot in front of the other, and felt the behemoth mimic the motion. 'Okay, I think I've got that part down.'

Then he remembered, 'there's an enemy here somewhere. I can't afford to be caught off-guard. So... where is it, then?' His periphery was clear; the Angel was obviously hiding. He heard Misato's voice over the intercom, saying "You'll need a weapon, Shinji. There's a progressive knife, kept in your right shoulder, and that tall building to your left contains a pallet rifle. Grab it and find some cover. You don't want to give the enemy an easy target."

"Alright," he replied, slipping behind the armament building and reaching his hand back around to the open side to retrieve the weapon. To the Commander and bridge crew, he seemed so smooth and comfortable about it that he might as well have been training with the Evangelion for five years, rather than five minutes.

Then the Angel came out from behind a taller building next to him, and nobody had time to think about anything else. Misato called out an order, "Shinji, maybe it hasn't seen you yet, but let's not bet on it. Fire a volley, then get back behind your cover to observe its reaction. Copy?"

Shinji didn't respond. His mind was suddenly being flooded with memories, dreams, visions... all of this place, and this thing. He had never really understood them, thought they were a metaphor of some kind. Somehow, Shinji already knew this Angel. Had fought this battle a hundred times, a hundred different ways. In not all of them was he victorious. But now, he had an idea. In the dreams... he didn't know about the progressive knife.

Misato yelled, "Shinji?! What's wrong? FIRE!"

He deployed the progressive knife, grasping it in his left hand with the blade up, threatening the enemy. If the Angels felt fear. Then he told Misato, "I don't know how it's possible, but... I know this thing. And I've got an idea of my own. You'll see." Then he switched off the comm. He didn't normally disrespect authority figures, but she wouldn't like what he was about to try. He climbed up on top of the armament building, then... dive-tackled the Angel, making first contact with his knife, slicing open its throat before reaching up with his other hand to tear it open wider as they slid up the street. When they collided with the next building, though, the Angel was able to use the collision to get flipped over on top of Shinji and grab his arms, squeezing hard. It felt like his arms were being crushed in a vise, only much worse.

He flipped the comm back on and screamed, "Misato! Ritsuko! What the hell? Oh god!"

Ritsuko called back, "Calm down! You're just feeling what the Eva feels. You are perfectly alright. Just distance the feeling that originates from the Eva."

He tried, but god, it hurt so bad! "Now I know why that girl didn't want to do it," he said. Thankfully, he had managed to hold on to the knife the whole time, and was able to flip it around in his fingers to slice down the arm that was holding his.

This caused the Angel to let go and back off, that one arm hanging down at its side. Shinji didn't give it a chance to breathe. As soon as he could get up, he gripped the knife in both hands and lunged for the glowing red ball in its center...

And never made contact. He was halted by some kind of force field surrounding the Angel. He commed back to HQ, "What?! What's this field? Forget that, how do I penetrate it?!"

"It's called an AT Field, Shinji. It's the Angels' defense. As for penetrating the Field... we honestly don't know," one of the bridge techs, Lt. Ibuki, told him. "We haven't exactly had one to study."

Shinji was mad, now. "So you sent me out here to fight something with defenses we don't know how to counter? That's real good. Alright, I'll figure something out. Guess I have to... oh, shit!" The Angel had caught its second wind while he was talking, and was back on the attack. It grabbed his head and proceeded to pound on his face with an energy ram coming out of its arm, preventing Shinji from thinking of anything other than pain, let alone a battle plan.



Cracks appeared on his monitor, and the comm was screaming, "Shinji! You have to get out of there, NOW! That's gonna go right through your head!"




The last one didn't stop when it hit his face. It continued through the back of his head, carrying him along with the force of the blow. When the ram retracted, blood began to shoot out of the hole in Eva's head.

HQ went crazy. Ritsuko and the techs surveying the damage to Eva, Misato yelling into the comm, "Shinji! SHINJI!" And the Commanders, as usual, the very picture of composure and control. Gendo asked, "What is the Eva's status?"

Ibuki answered, "Not good, sir. It's repairable, but that hole in the head's pretty nasty. And the crushed arms. They still work, obviously, just not well."

He nodded. "I see. And the pilot?"

One of the other techs, Lt. Hyuga, responded this time. "Unknown, sir! We're not getting any signal!"

Just then, Hyuga's computer gave an alarm and Ritsuko came over to see what was happening. When she saw the screen, she gasped, "Oh, my god... Sir, we have no signal on the pilot, but the Eva is still fighting! It's... what...? It's tearing through the Angel's AT Field!"

Misato jumped at hearing that. "What do you mean, tearing through? Isn't that good? Oh, forget it." She went back to the comm. "Shinji? This is confusing as hell, but if you can get through that Field, go for the core---that's the glowing red thing. It'll just regenerate anything else!"

Shinji came back, "Misato? What the hell is going on here?! Eva has gone completely out of my control!"

"Out of your control?" Misato wondered. "Then that means that Eva... is doing this... on its own?! But that's impossible!"

"You're absolutely right, Captain. It should be impossible, but obviously isn't." Ritsuko added. "This will require extensive testing of both the Unit and the Pilot."

Commander Ikari just smiled his thin smile and watched.

Evangelion Unit-01 proceeded to rip off one of the Angel's own ribs and use it to hammer on the core. The Angel must have realized that this battle was over, now, because it wrapped itself around Unit-01 in a giant ball and self-destructed in an attempt to take the Eva with it.

The bridge went silent for a few moments. Misato was the first to speak again. "Is Unit-01...?"

Hyuga shook his head. "The shock from that explosion must be blocking our signals. I'm not getting any readings, one way or the other!"

Ibuki looked back at the main screen and saw a sillhouette walking. She turned and asked, "Is that... Unit-01?"

Misato let out a breath she hadn't even realized she was holding, and ordered, "Recover the Eva immediately. This battle has taught us much and shown us many things we need to fix, and we don't know how long we'll have to get it done before they come back again."


Shinji was unconscious when they got him out of the entry plug, so they called a med team to take him down to Medical. Just as a precaution.

As they took him to a room, they passed (though he didn't realize, obviously) that same blue-haired girl for whose sake he had agreed to pilot in the first place. She watched him roll past and down the hall.

Then, for some reason she couldn't have pinned down with words if asked, she turned and followed him.


Author's Note: This is the last time I'm gonna update a single chapter that's already posted. All future updates will be in complete chapters, so expect them to take a long, long time, at least to start. I'm talking probably 4-6 weeks per. I need prereaders! Badly! If you would like to beta-read for me, put it in a Review, please. Constructive criticism welcome and needed, ideas for where to take this desired but not really needed, flames not welcome and senders thereof will be Blocked, blah blah blah... Thanks for all the Faves and Reviews! I'm just glad someone's actually reading this!