OCC Shinji, unedited, first time writing MOSTLY first person Point of view story. So grammar mistakes may be abound. Set 3 years after the End of Evangelion. Long chapter. Prepare for a lot of readings.
Edited with some minor changes.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything
"BAKA NO SHINJIII!!"
Ikari Shinji woke up as his girlfriend, Souryuu Asuka Langley, a quarter Japanese-three quarter German, hot tempered and redheaded girl screamed at him from the front gate of his house.
Within a record time of 3 minutes, he dressed up, pick up his bag, swallow a whole toast in one gulp, and meet her right on the front door. And there she was, standing in all her glory, her blue eyes blazing at him like a beast staring at her prey.
"15 MINUTES! YOU MADE ME STANDING HERE FOR 15 GODDAMN MINUTES! DO YOU WANNA GO TO SCHOOL OR NOT!"
"To be brutally honest? No. Do you?"
Asuka thought for a moment… and then answered with a smile. "To be brutally honest? No."
The two lovebirds chuckled like mad. "So… where do you wanna go?"
"I don't know. You tell me!"
"Arghh… I don't actually have any plan on where to go…"
"What kind of boyfriend are you?"
"Well… the one you fell in love with?"
"Shut up. I'm breaking up with you. Can I break up with you?"
"Well… Not anymore. You broke up with me at least twice a day. I lost count on how many times you-mmmmh…"
Her lips glued on his. Her tongue slithered into his mouth, playing with his. 10 seconds of foreplay, and they both let go, catching their breath. "And I've lost count on how many times you've 'managed' to get me back."
"Well… I… Well… I just can't lose without a 'fight' now can I?"
She smiled seductively. "Come here."
She grabbed Shinji's hand and literally dragged him halfway across town, straight to the red light district.
In a hotel…
"Ah… Ah… AAAH… Shinji… Shinji… AH!" Asuka was moaning without a care of the world as Shinji humping her from behind, doggy style. "Harder… harder… AAAH!"
Their clothes loitering everywhere, and lovejuices from both lovers are splattered allover their naked body and on the bed.
"Ah… Ah… AAAARRRGH!" Shinji raised her girlfriend and have her facing the window. Asuka's breast pressed to the surface, smothering it with lovejuice splattered on her breast and saliva pouring from her gaping, smiling mouth. "Harder! HARDER! Ah! AH! AAAAAAAAAH!"
Haa… Haa…" The boy's hip movement is getting faster and faster and then, with one final thrust, he unloaded his semen for the umpteenth time into her womb. Shinji heaves and wheezed. He fell and let his head rest right next to Asuka's.
"Hey… that's not fair… you came by yourself!"
"I came for the third time in 45 minutes. Give me a break, you too came 5 times."
"Yeah… and my target was to come at least twice that number."
"Ooohh…" The boy fell down to the floor. "Give me a break girl."
"Shut up. Punishment time." This time, she's the one on top. The redhead started by sucking his manhood.
"You know… if you noticed… we've been doing this every day for a week… yesterday we even do it at school!"
"Slurp… ah… You started it."
"What's the big idea wearing that goddamn undersized swimsuit right in front of me? That's just criminal!"
"Shut up!" She kissed him again as her hand massaging Shinji's already erect manhood. Once she measure it was hard enough, she placed it right in front of her trickling vagina, and then slid it in. And as the two lovers going at in, again, and again, and again…
…I watch them right next to them, and they don't even have a clue.
I've watched myself fucking Asuka at least once, every day, for a week. And I don't feel aroused. At all. Not one bit. Hm. I wonder why.
Maybe, because after the instrumentality, I was choking that girl 'I' was humping right now.
Or, there's simply something's wrong with me, and that I have an erectile dysfunction.
Or, maybe because I watched this before, in some other lifetimes.
One of many other alternative lifetimes I've seen.
All the grim possibilities, I was hoping it was the first. But my fear told me, it was the second. Funny thing is: reality had a brutal, but effective way of blowing all that worry and all that hope away. My mind keeps telling me it's because of the third. I've seen this scene, probably a millionth time, in some other lifetime.
After I rejected Instrumentality and somewhat reversed Armageddon, I found myself on a beach, with Asuka next to me. The first ingenious idea I can think of, is choking the only partner I have, and endure a possible eternal solitary life. Hmph. Gee… real smart move you Mr. Mental Breakdown.
Luckily, I did stop… and then I lost consciousness… probably on her lap. And then, I'm here. In this… well… I'm not sure what this is.
I suppose a cycle of nightmare that refused to end, and repeated itself over and over and over again, is a good way to describe it.
I watched myself, from a third person perspective, living a life that I wanted to be. I watched myself living a lifetime in an alternate possibilities of never-ending cycle. A world created by my mind. A lifetime long puppet show, and the people I know is the character, and I'm puppeteer and the only spectator. I can alter the way 'I' will live my life. Choices, that 'I' in that lifetime, will and can make, creating an infinite possibilities of worlds. And then there's the fact I can also determine how others will act or react.
The first lifetime I saw… or I wished for, was a lifetime where I lived a normal live. I go to a normal school. I befriended my friends. Asuka was my neighbor and my childhood friend, and she also had a crush on me. Ayanami Rei was my cousin. Asuka and I became a couple, we married when we're of age, and we lived happily ever after, until the day we die. End of story.
If only… it was that simple.
That lifetime end… only to have another lifetime took its place, with another different possibility. And then when that lifetime end, another followed, and another, and another, and so forth, and so forth. In each lifetime, I can affect the way things will happen. I'm the lord of this universe and my word is the commandment.
Well, hate to break it up, but let me tell you: it is hell. Or just a little piece of it, reserved by Satan just for me.
Watching your lifetime flashes before you over and over again has a funny way screwing up your psyche. You can affect the way things are, but you can't do any other damn thing once it unfolds. It gets worse when you can explore the possibilities. I can make 'myself' do whatever I've failed to do in real life. I can make people do what they don't do in real life. Even the most unrealistic ones. In one lifetime I once made myself fucked Asuka over and over for weeks until she's screaming for mercy-and she still loved me back after that. I even once-or several times I think-couldn't keep track; made myself a girl, and I watched myself getting raped by a bunch of thugs. In one other lifetime I was a psychopath who burned my parents when I was ten. I never know how sick something is until you see it yourself.
But the worst of it all? Is to make myself do things that I could've or should've done in the real world. And this is where my real hell begins. It began as an experiment on one lifetime, where I dare myself to imagine what if Angel still appeared. What if I did everything right. What if this, what if that, what if, what if…
There. That's the switch: What if.
My mind keeps shoving these what-if scenarios. But, like I said before, reality had a way to crush all that wishful thinking. What if… turn into If-Only. If only I had done this, if only I had done that, if only I was this, if only I was that. All that possibility of what could've been and what should've been rolling pass me with every lifetime, colliding with the memories of the reality I had lived in.
And there's another lifetime, and another, and another…
Each lifetime passed… and it kept repeating for what seem to be an eternity. Watching your ideal life unfold from the sideline as 'you' of that lifetime played them up for you, while the real you are perpetually burdened by the facts of your own fucked up screwed life? And watching it infinite times to boot? It's a wonder how on earth-if there's any earth left- I didn't go insane.
Or maybe I'm already insane.
Or, maybe in this world they don't want me to go insane. This world wants me to stay sane, so I can watch as I wire-pulled my life and screw them in every lifetime. Here's a little demonstration.
"!!" Asuka screamed her lungs out as she came. Her juice sprayed allover 'my' dick. I watched 'myself' smiling in satisfaction.
I mutter quietly. "Just shoot everybody…"
And then, just like that, the 'me' of this lifetime suddenly pulled out a gun, pushed Asuka to her back, shove the gun on her vagina and pull the trigger. And then 'I' start on a shooting rampage, killing everyone.
"Cops will arrive…" I mutter again.
Hordes and hordes of cop surrounded the 'me' and who was still holding the gun on his hand.
"Just shoot yourself and get this over with."
'I' aimed the gun at my own head, and bang goes the grey matter.
"And here comes the new lifetime…"
The sound of crying of a baby pierced the medical ward of NERV facility. I watched my mother smiled happily and my father smiled in relief from a window. Ikari Yui held 'me' in her arms and giving 'me' breast milk. Funny. I never remembered how they tasted and here I am watching my mother giving them to 'me'. "So… how should I screw myself in this lifetime?"
"Now, now. Don't to be too hasty."
I looked at mother… and found she was staring right at me. Did she just say that to me? And then she turned back to 'me' in her arms. Just then, my Father rushed past through me to my mother.
"It's a boy. What should we call him?"
"Just like you said. If it's a girl, we named her Rei, if it's a boy…"
"Shinji. Ikari… Shinji."
Of all the parts of my life I screwed up in every lifetime, this is one part I've screwed less. Sure, locations changed. But the events are untouched. While funny is that I never actually had any recollection of how they named me when I was just born but… maybe subconsciously I do heard what they said when I was baby. For some reason… or another… I suddenly decided to keep this one lifetime… unscrewed. So I begin re-imagining things, back from the start in its original lifetimes. Probably a little reminder, a harsh call of reality to my own failing psyche.
In a blink of an eye, 'I' was 3, watching my mother disappear on the cockpit of Eva-01.
Another blink of an eye, and 'I' was 7, when my father left me.
Another blink of an eye, and then there 'I' was. Standing idiotically in the theatre of battle when an Angel came. Third Angel, Sachiel. That's what they call it. And then, Eva-01 appeared, futilely trying to fight it. Got beat back. In a short order, 'I' was in the cage, watching myself moaning like crybaby that 'I' was, and then, after watching an injured Ayanami being forced to get up, being the gentlemen that 'I' was, 'I' volunteered. And then… here goes the show.
Sachiel broke Eva-01's left arm and then grab hold of its horned head. The spike on his elbow began sliding in and out as the Angel's hand send a series of energy bursts which were thumping the purple-green Eva's right eye. After sufficient amount of blows, one burst of energy finally went through the Eva's head, sending him flying to a building. Blood burst out from the Eva's eyes. I watched, bored out of my skull, as I've known the outcome of this match. "And then mom goes berserk, save my skin, and beat the crap out of him."
Funny thing is? She didn't. The Eva remained still. I found myself, for the first time in God knows how long, curious. And then, all the sudden, I found that angel staring at me. Is it another coincidence or…
The fact that the supposedly gigantic Angel shrinks to my size (or I grow to his size) further irked my curiosity. And then, to top it all… it grabbed my face. Back then… I would scare the shit out of me. But now… I found myself interested. "What now?"
And then, the spike on his elbow extend. A preparation for his signature attack. I smiled even further. "Oh great. This is interesting." I grabbed the Angel's arm and positioned his four long fingered palm hole so that the attack will hit me right in between my eyes. "Come on. Do it."
And as the spike sink in, the blast came and hit me full. The impact sent me flying. And it hurts like hell. And all the sudden, I jerked up and saw Eva-01 went berserk, destroying Sachiel. '…now… what… was that? Just now?'
'…was I… imagining things? Or… that's new…' Back then I would be pissing in my pants when something like that thump on my head. To think that just now, I made it aim at my head. I must be getting insane. At last. For some reason, I suddenly let this lifetime to go exactly how it was like the original. And I kept watching, half hoping, that something like that will happen. The fight with Shamshel, Ramiel, Gaghiel, all other angels. Nothing weird happen. And then came Zeruel, I sort of lost patience. So I try to alter this one. I altered it so Asuka won the first encounter. Nothing happened. And then enter Tabris/Kaworu, the Mass Produced Evangelion, and finally the third impact. The end. 'I' died… And then restart again.
This time, I tried to narrow my changes. I narrow it to the first angel that made the difference, Sachiel. No dice. So I killed 'myself', and then try again. I keep repeating that event probably a few dozen times. The fervor of wanting something that is completely out my control keeps me going. And I keep repeating that one part of my life. Until finally…
Eva-01 was slammed to a building for the nth time. Blood burst out from his head. I brave myself to do not let the Eva-01 not to go berserk. And then, I wait and see. But the angel simply destroyed the Eva-01 remains and move on. I sighed. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was just a subconscious wishful thinking from my end. I restart my whole life again. And silently watched. I guess this is it. This is my new reality. I had to deal with it. Time to start screwing up my own lifetime again.
'We're coming for you.'
Or not. I jerked as that voice whisper directly into my head. What the hell was that? Another subconsciously wished occurrence? Or my hallucination? Or, at last, I have gone mad? And then as I watch myself being born in the medical ward of a general hospital, 'they' appeared. They're all white. Bright white and two black holes that serve like eyes staring at me. 7 of them in total. I narrow my eyes. What's this? I've never imagine anything like this? I wish them to disappear, they did not. Instead they come at me. Ignoring the crying three old 'me' as they walk. One of them outstretched their pearly hands and grabbed my wrist. At this, I am, for the first time ever, shocked. First because this is the first time anything in this world had actually made contact with me. The second thing is that the moment they touch me, a flood of emotion suddenly burst into my mind. Or to be more precise, robbed of me. When those pearly white creatures touched me, it was as if a part of me was sucked right into them.
And I don't like it. At all.
Suddenly, the feeling of constant boredom just disappear, and like reigniting a flame, emotions that I once thought had disappeared, resurface once more. And much to my contempt, it was fear. And so I ran past my 9 year old self playing with a 9 year old Toji and rush away. Those white beings chased after me and boy, were they fast!
Fancy that. One of them spoke. If only the tone weren't so horrifying. I kept running and running. And then I watched as one by one, they disappeared. "…w… what's the big idea?" I rest my hand on a wall to support my body. I looked to the wall and found it's not a wall; it was Zeruel being eaten by Eva-01. "Oh hell… Bon Appétit." I walk away calmly.
When I asked something out of my control, whatever those white creatures are, they fulfilled that request all out.
Suddenly screwing my own life no longer matters anymore. The first white creatures I ran away from shown that they are not affected by their surroundings. So I can only run.
'We're coming for you Shinji.'
Well… what do you know… they know my name. This voice echoing in my head apparently herald the arrival of those white creatures. The next batch appear shortly after 'I' killed Tabris, and they run after me, walking on thin air as they did so.
"Okay…" I ran again. But then, suddenly, another batch coming at me from the front. Damn. They're smart and their numbers seem doubled. A Mass Produced Eva in a crucifix position suddenly fell in between me and them. Lucky me. And I ran to another direction. What do they want with me?
'We're not leaving until we get you, Shinji!'
Oh. So they want me in a literal sense. Riiight. All the sudden, three more of those pearly creatures appeared in front of and others covered my back. For a moment I thought of cowering in fear as they outstretched their skeletal hand at me. But then, the memory of how it felt when they touched me rushed back in, and suddenly I found their presence unwelcome. I think the history teacher in my school once told me about it. The basic principle of human aggression:
Civis pacem parabellum.
Want peace, ready for war.
"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!" Letting out a roar I never thought I had, I jumped right at one of them. I grabbed the creature's neck and squeezed hard. The creature's head popped off its shoulder. Another come at me from the back and I thrust my hand as hard as I can to its chest. My fist bust through it like wet tissue. Then I realize that the sensation does not occur when the act comes from me. Good for me, bad for them. And so I start rampaging among them. I found them to be extremely fragile. One punch from someone like me can actually break one to pieces. But then again, this is my world. In here, I'm God. I destroyed another three of these creatures without much of a problem and the other ones seemingly terrified since they paused. And then, one by one they disappear. I smiled in satisfaction. The excitement. I haven't felt that sensation for the longest time. So I kinda understand when a part of me was a bit unwilling to let those white creatures to just disappear.
"AHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!" I laughed and rest my back on the ground. No, wait. This is not a ground, it's an N2 mine ready to explode. I looked up and saw the twins: the Israfels looming over me. "Oh… hell."
The blast literally went through me and burned the angels off. I walked out of the blast unscathed and saw 01 and 02, both in their respective pathetic position: one on the sea, one on the ground. Both sank upside down with their legs jutting out.
"I wonder what's next though."
Several lifetimes later, I got my answer.
I was watching 'myself' pounding at Sachiel when the voices echoing in my head again. Louder and stronger than before.
'We're coming now Shinji! We ain't gonna leave till we get you back! Hang in there! But for the love of God don't fight it!'
"Don't fight it… yeah right." I cracked my knuckles as those white creatures appeared before me again. The voices continue to boom in my ears and those white creatures are coming. Seeing their numbers, I can already tell, this time it's their final push. "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!" I charged at them, yelling as I did so to drown that maddening booming voice in my head. I destroyed every single one in arm's reach, but their number soon overwhelmed me. Three of them grab hold of my back and that sensation of being taken piece by piece flooded my nerves. "LET GO OF ME!" I struggled and spin around, breaking free and nailing a few more of them as I did so.
'Don't fight it, Shinji! We're trying to help you!'
"Look, I'm all for conversation, but will you please shut up for one second!?" One of them hugged me from behind while another two actually stabbed me on the stomach. And again I felt more and more of me was taken away. I roared, broke free, and then proceed to destroy the last of them. One of them was raising its hand, begging to stop, but I clenched my fist, raising it, but then something, or someone grab me. I looked and gasped. The 01, who had shrunk to my size, grab hold of me. "Oh great, not now!" I tossed her away towards the white creature. And my knees chose that time to gave up on me. And then I realized the full extent of the damage these white creatures had done. I looked at my hand and realized it was transparent. I felt, quite literally, thin. T…They're killing me! One piece at a time they're taking me away!
A few lifetimes ago, suicide as an escape of this maddening hell did sound like a good idea. But now, in the face of this kind of death… I suddenly found myself very much want to be alive.
"S…Someone… H… Help…"
'We're almost there! Just one more push!' The voice in my head grew more desperate.
And then, all the sudden, another white being came before me. This time, unlike the beastly appearances of the others creatures, this one quickly take a form of a woman.
I gasped. Other than Asuka, I also envisioned many versions of her. As a sister, as a girlfriend, as a close friend, as an enemy, as many things.
A pure white Ayanami Rei was staring at me. And then, suddenly, the memory of that gigantic Rei during the third impact came into my mind, and the first act I did was screaming in terror.
'WE'RE LOSING HIM! WE'RE LOSING HIM! REI! WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO, YOU BETTER DO IT NOW!'
I tried to run but suddenly, Sachiel and 01 grab hold of me. I was too scared to even fight back. Like silvery ghost, she glided over me, cupped her pearly hands on my cheek, and then her lips meet mine. And then, I finally gave up and watched, slowly, as my body disintegrates and everything went black. The last thing I heard before everything became black was the last boom in my head:
'We got you buddy. We got you now. Welcome back.'
Ayanami Rei rose up from her chamber as she quickly ran towards the medical bay, housing a certain Eva pilot. "How is he?"
"He's fine. He just needs rest now. He hasn't been using his body for three years ever since we found him on that beach." Maya Ibuki replied.
"But he'll be alright… right?" A relatively large teenager wearing a black plug suit asked. His legs were supported with mechanical implants.
"I can't guarantee that, Suzuhara-san. We just peeked into what happened inside his head. Body wise, he'll be fine. But his mind… well… that's a different story altogether."
Touji Suzuhara banged the wall. "God damn it all… what the hell was that thing we saw in his head?"
"I believe that's his mind. I think he has been re-imagining his life over and over again in different alternatives." Rei replied in her usual monotone voice.
"Well… I can guess that. What I'm saying is that, he's been like that for three fucking years!?" Toji roared. "His life was already that fucked up and you're telling me he's been reliving something like that over and over?"
"Touji-kun…" His girlfriend, Hikari Horaki clasped her hand beneath her waist and bowed down in concern.
Just then the intercom rang. "What is it?"
"Commander Ayanami, your presence is requested on the bridge immediately."
Rei knew exactly who called her and why. "Hai. I'll be right there." The blue haired girl, now 17 years old, supported a commander suit, reminiscent to the clothes once worn by the father of the Eva Pilot lying in bed in front of her. She threw one last look at the unconscious Shinji and then walks out.
Moments later, Ayanami Rei was brought before a podium. Sitting on top, were three generals of the JSSDF-or what's left of it. And then, standing next to Rei in support, was none other than Misato Katsuragi, supporting a subcommander clothing.
"Commander Ayanami Rei, please step forward." One of the general started.
The Commander complied.
"Osaka was attacked last night. 10% of the facility was destroyed."
Rei waited for the next statement, though she already knew what came next.
"Well? Don't you feel anything at all?"
"…Generals, are you questioning my decision of repositioning the Angellion Bane and its pilot, Toji Suzuhara here on Tokyo-4? Osaka is a strategic military position and has sufficient resources to afford such losses. Tokyo-4 on the other hand is a bit undermanned at the moment and as you well aware, my personal Angellion, the Rook, is currently being repaired."
"Are you out of your goddamn mind!?"
"I'm speaking in an objective sense. And there's also the fact the new Angellion had just been completed. The Fallen will surely try to-"
One of the generals, the calmer of the two cuts in. "Commander Ayanami. Let's stop beating around the bush. This man, we know you've been on his case for your entire military career of three years after the Third Impact. This recently awoke comatose patient. You sent dozens of people to Hospital just to wake him up."
"No. He had indeed been comatose for 3 years. However it wasn't until the newest Angellion was first activated three weeks ago, he started showing signs of trying to wake up. For the next three weeks, the Angellion continue to receive brainwave pattern from this man. Because of this, we dare the attempt to wake him up directly via mind interface."
"Your point being?"
"I do not believe in coincidence. Sir."
Another general asked. "Who is he?"
Rei allow herself a small, almost unnoticeable smile. "He's the same as me and Toji Suzuhara. He's the Third child, pilot of Eva-01… and quite possibly, the pilot for our newest Angellion, The Spear. And if you're asking why Touji, Touji and the Third Child were close friends. I figure he can help speed up the Third's recovery."
The generals looked at each other and began talking among themselves.
Misato whispered in Rei's ear. 'Oi, so he finally woke up?'
'But his mind is another story?'
After a while, the commander finished their discussion. "I recall." The center General started. "You disregard our summoning several times before to focus on this person's this… former Eva Pilot's case. Seeing you answer our call in this occasion… does this mean, that man's case is over?"
"He's awake from coma… and presently under intensive care on the medical ward."
"Very well. We would like you to reassign Toji Suzuhara and the Bane back to his post in Osaka as soon as he is no longer needed. That is all." The generals rose up, preparing to leave. Before the center general leave though. "And… Commander Ayanami?"
"Yes, General Fuyutsuki?"
Now general of the UN army of Japan branch, Kozo Fuyutsuki sighed. "On a more personal note, I dearly hope for your sake, this effort of yours worth someone, somewhere, something. We're quite stretched thin as it were with the Fallens continue attacking us in every corner of the globe."
"Yes sir. I hope so too, sir."
The first feeling my sense of touch administered after countless lifetimes of not feeling anything was a pleasantly warm bed. If only my smell sense can experienced similar sensation, for the first scent I caught was blood and medicine. I tried to open my eyes, but to my chagrin, I cannot. Were my eyelids were always this heavy? Not just my eyelids. My whole body felt like they're layered in led. My effort clearly shown on my exterior as a firm hand rested on my chest and a voice spoke to me for the first time since many lifetimes.
"Hold still, Ikari-kun. We're not exactly done yet." A girl voice replied.
This voice. It's rather familiar. And I tried to speak. "C…" Apparently my mouth had a little trouble functioning as well.
"Eh?" The voice show a tone of being startled.
I muster every effort I can get to open my mouth. This is the first time someone actually spoke to me and I intend to respond properly. "Cl… Cccclass…r… r-r-rrrep…"
No reply. Since my eyes were shut I couldn't see her expression, but the sound of clattering steel signify something had fallen. I realized the silence is a reply came of shock, and so I mustered every effort and let out a voice as audible as I can. "Class…rep…"
There's no mistaking it. That voice is Hikari Horaki. My class rep.
"Ikari-kun! Ikari-kun! Y… You're awake!? Y… You're listening right now right!?"
Judging by how her voice breaking up, she must be in tears. "…y…yuh…"
"TOUJI-KUN!! TOUJI-KUN!! COME HERE QUICK! IKARI-KUN! IKARI-KUN…!"
"WHAT? What happened? Hikari? What happened to Shinji?"
I heard the sound of running and a door slammed open. It took me some time to administer the name Hikari had been yelling out: my best friend that I nearly killed, Touji Suzuhara.
"Shinji? Ikari Shinji! It's me, Touji! If you can hear me, please say something, anything!?"
I mustered a single "Yuh."
And someone just turn up the volume cause the next thing I heard was a very loud cheer exploding from Toji mixed in with class rep's crying. And then I heard a lot more footsteps and people coming in. I heard Hikari tried in-between her tears, explained that I responded to her calls.
And then, another voice came in, and I would've jumped in excitement if I could. "Shin-chan? Can you hear me? This is Misato."
"Mifaooo…" I vainly tried to even mumble her name, but no coherent word came out.
"Look, it's alright. You can't move right now because you haven't been using your body for three years. We'll patch you up in a jiffy. I'm sure you have a lot of questions in your mind right now, but we'll get to that. I promise."
Three years. Wow. I went through countless alternative lifetimes in three years. Wait. Three years? Then, what happened to the Third Impact? Was it all just a dream? The realization made me mumble again. I was trying to ask questions, but I realized it will have to wait. So I muttered: "Yuh."
I woke up in a bed, staring at a dirty ceiling, reminiscent to my own room. I dearly hoped this is not another imaginary lifetime. And then I realized my whole body felt quite light, unlike before. I raised my arm and start flexing my fingers. I never knew I was this pale. And then I noticed an IV cable linked to my arm. I pulled it out and look around. This is definitely not NERV. On second thought, I don't think NERV still exist at all after what they've done to the planet. Which brings me to the second question, if the third impact did happen, how come I'm still here?
Just then, the door behind me opened up. I turned around and saw the startled yet happy Maya Ibuki. "Ibuki-san?" This marked the first of many first times I will experience after –what they said- three years long imprisonment in my own world.
"Shinji-kun! You're awake!"
"Ibuki-san… Wh…Where am I?"
"You're in Tokyo general hospital. Or at least, formerly, it was Tokyo General Hospital."
"Formerly?" I frowned at the choice of words.
"Well… a lot has happened since… the third impact was averted."
"Wait a minute… averted? I thought I caused it?"
"You did… but… what was it that General Fuyutsuki said… oh yes… you rejected instrumentality so most humans reverted back from being LCL."
"…yeah… including me. But… well… not everyone."
"What do you mean?"
"Those who were already dead before they turn to LCL… they don't come back."
She looks pretty sad as she said it. Someone important to her must've died. "Erhh… I… I'm sorry."
"Ah it's alright. Well, first thing first. Ikari-kun, are you hungry? We've been feeding you nothing but intravenous drip for three years."
And my stomach answered that.
"We'll fetch you something."
"Wait, before you do that, could you please explain what is going on, and what have I missed in 3 years?"
"I would love to answer that… but there are people better suited for the job."
And with that, she left. I ruffled my hair. And then I realized they've grown pretty long-long enough to cover my face and my back. Of course they are. I didn't get a single haircut for three years. And then I heard footsteps. Lots of them. Hikari, Aida Kensuke, followed by the remaining two of the former NERV employee trio, Shigeru Aoba, Makoto Hyuga. My eyes widened as they all suddenly jumped at me. "WAAAAAAAAARGH!!"
Having two teenagers and two full grown men piling on me is not exactly a fun experience, but I found myself smiling. It hurts. I can feel their masses. The warmth of their bodies piling on me. I'm back. This isn't just some world in my head anymore. This is real. The real deal. These people, I've watched them repetitively in the lifetime loop, but never for once they communicate with the real me. And then, when I'm finally back, their faces are definitely on the top on the list of people I want to see and getting piled on.
"Ikari-kun! Ikari-kun! This is really you right!? You speak, you're hearing me! Right? RIGHT?"
"Y… yeah…" after three years speaking to myself… speaking to someone does felt good.
"SHINJI-KUUN!! I'M REALLY GLAD YOU'RE BACK!!!" Kensuke got waterfall literally streaming from his eyes.
"Yeah… glad to be back too." I looked at Hikari and Kensuke. They both grow taller. Hikari still have her hair on pigtails. Kensuke had some of his hair cut, and he's wearing a military gear. Well, as I remembered it, he was a military otaku. So I'm not that surprised. Nice to see some things haven't changed. But… others do change. So. "I hate to break the good mood… but which one of you is going to fill me in on what I've missed?"
"We will." I looked at the speaker and my heart leapt. Both in fear and in happiness.
There standing on the door, my source of joyful heartleapt: Misato Katsuragi, my former guardian.
Next to her, my source of both joyful and horrified heartleapt: Toji Suzuhara. My best friend, one that I nearly killed as well.
And finally, the true source of terror in my heart. A blue haired, red eyed girl by the name of Ayanami Rei.
I can feel some color disappeared from face. But I calmed myself. Well… I suppose… I had to start with the easiest one first. "O… Okay… before you guys said anything… erhh…"
Everyone looked at me. "First… Misato-san… I'm glad you're still alive. And then… Toji… I'm really… really… erhh… what was it… sorry ain't gonna cut it… what was the word…" That's right. Repeating your life over and over in your mind had some uses. You can always rehearse what you will do, in every possible what-if scenario. The frustrating thing is, I probably had rehearsed this probably a million times in the what-if scenario of if-I-made-it-back-to-the-land-of-the-living-and-meet-everyone-alive-and-well scenario. Here they are now… and I'm lost.
Toji chuckled at my expense. Yep. Right. Laugh it up. Damn you. "…I'm sorry… about Eva-03 accident… it was…"
"Yo, Shinji. Chill out. I'm alive. That's what matters."
"I… I don't know… I…"
Misato smiled. "Anyway, I'm sure you have a lot questions. We're here to provide the answer."
A sigh escaped my lips. Yeah. Toji's right. He's still alive. I'll have all the time in the world to catch up. Now, first thing first. "I guess… well… my first question is… how did you guys survive the… well… the third impact?"
Misato whistled at the heavy question. She gave Maya the stare, and the women realize the need of privacy. "Alright. Hikari-chan, Kensuke-kun."
The two nodded and left after Kensuke gave me a final. "See you around soon, Shinji!"
I nodded before turning back to the three people who claimed will answer my questions.
Rei answered them. "We survive… well we exist as we were because you rejected Instrumentality, Ikari-kun."
I looked at her with fear evident in my eyes. I just couldn't wipe the image of the huge white version of her decapitated head from my mind.
"You see, when you did what you did, the process was reversed and the AT field of the mankind were re-established. And some of us did recover our true form. But it's a process that takes time. But currently, most of the humans did regain their original form."
Yes. Just like what Kaworu said back then. Those who had the will and the potential to go back will recover their original form back. That would mean most humans were probably never agreed with the instrumentality project. "…so… most of the humans returned back to their original state… just like that?"
"An oversimplification… but yes. They returned back to normal." Rei answered this time. I dared myself to look at her.
"…did they know?"
The three looked at me.
"I… I was at the center of it all. When that happened, every thought, every information became one. The humans that turned back, won't they remember the sensation?"
"No. It seems, the information was too much for them to absorb. Most didn't remember what happened. They returned along with all their individual memories." Rei continued. "Some exceptional few, though, did retain some bits of memory of that place."
I frowned. "Really?"
"And me." I was quite taken back when Touji pointed at himself. "I retain some memories. And I was like you too, I was a bit… shocked… with that shitload amount of info flowing into my head."
"We assume-" Rei continued. "-that was because Touji-kun's close contact with Eva… and Angel."
"Bardiel, the thirteenth Angel."
"Yeah. I was just like you too. I was in coma and vegetable for like a year. When I woke up, I'm just… well; you're in my shoes right now, so."
I nodded. And then I brought the next question. "Errhh… you said mostly come back… so what happened to those who don't come back?"
At this, they hesitate to answer. I knew right away I won't like the answer. I looked at the remaining three. They seem a bit unnerved at my stare.
"How do we start this… alright… let's start with… the Invasion." Misato sighed.
"You asked what happened to those who do not revert back. Well… in actuality, some of them did come back… but apparently they don't come back as humans." She pulled out a disk from her pocket and tapped a few buttons and then a holographic image appeared. "This image was taken… a few weeks after the Third Impact. Back then, some of the crosses were still around. We know it apparently had something with human souls… but then… See for yourself."
I looked at the holographic video showing the crosses in the skies. Given the amount of shaking, it seems the video was taken with a handcam and then all the sudden, the crosses turned red… and then dozens of… creatures in myriad sizes and forms just burst out of the cross. The smaller ones, they seem pretty relatively small and their shape and size are varying. But the larger ones… I frowned at their somewhat similarity with the EVAs. Though their limbs were enlarged or malformed. And then there were the red cables, or veins that connected them all with the crimson crosses, floating on the sky. On the EVA lookalike, the way they're connected were similar to the umbilical cables. And then there's the fact that all of them had mask. Not dissimilar with the Angels I fought.
Except their masks were all black and eyeless.
I frowned as I watched the sound of people screaming when those creatures rampaged. The video ended when one of the large Eva-lookalike stared at the camera, and then it went static. "They start appearing worldwide a few weeks after the Third Impact. Invading what's left of the various countries in the world. We call it the Invasion. We've been at war with them ever since."
"No. The smaller ones are Legions… and the bigger ones, we call them Daemons. They're subspecies of the Fallens."
"Of the what?"
"The Fallen. That's what we call them anyway." Touji replied.
Misato followed. "The crosses… which we assume were humans that have yet to resume their human form, suddenly transform into these… creatures. At first we thought they were angels, like the one we've fought before… but… we studied their corpse and then we realized, they're something completely different."
I stay silent and the three took that as a sign to continue talking.
"For one… their numbers are numerous, unlike the Angels who appeared singular. Appearing dozens… hundreds at a time, worldwide. They have AT fields. But they're not as powerful or as resilient as the Angels. Intense barrage of conventional weapon can actually penetrate the AT field and take them out but… not exactly it's quite effective given their numerous numbers."
I outstretched my arm, wanting to see the holographic image a little better. I looked at the creature. "What's with the name…the Fallen?"
"Well… their DNA construction, for one, is a complete reverse to that of Angel. But they're quite similar in the substances that construct them. But they're not exactly Angels. It was as if these beings are a complete opposite of Angels. So we designate them the Fallen."
"So." I concluded. "First humanity had to face Angels from Heaven… and now the devils come to add the suffering too?"
The tone on my voice shut them all up. I'm not surprised. Because I'm angry. I'm pissed as hell. Reality. They have a way of toying with you. In the dream world, I did envision a world where everybody came back and live happily ever after. But I knew that was just a sad happy made up dreamworld. A happily ever after does not exist in reality. Makes me wonder what's the point in all that people dying, all that people suffering in fights against Angels, only to have these… these Fallens take their place as the new tormentor? I'm starting to regret of coming ba-
NO! You stop that train of thought right there you farking idiot! Back during the instrumentality, I said it myself. People had to get hurt to progress. I wished this world to be the way they are when I made the decision to reject instrumentality.
I jerked up and looked at Misato. Now that I get a better look at her, I noticed some wrinkles in her face and she looked a bit thinner.
"You need some time alone? You look like you're… well…"
I thought for moment and then I looked at Rei, again. But… I just couldn't muster the courage to talk with her. I need to speak with each of them. In private. The things I wish to ask them… Right now, I need to talk with someone I'm quite comfortable with, but most importantly, had a good knowledge in world situation. So. "I'd like some time alone… with Misato-san, if you guys don't mind."
Rei nodded and Touji looked at me and nodded. "Sure."
As the two walked out of Shinji's room, Touji sighed. "…he changed."
"That… expression on his face when we told him the Fallens… back then that kind of expression is the last thing I would expect from someone like him."
"…he had undergone the same thing you did, Touji-kun."
"Well… to me it only happened for one year…"
"But the Instrumentality changed you, it surely changed him too."
"Ah… I knew things. Some things I never even heard of. The angels, the Evas, Seele, NERV, the instrumentality… and him, being at the center of it all… Every waking hour he spent must be Hell for him during that period."
Rei sighed. "…yes."
"You know… that day… I thought you were dead."
"I was dead. My heart flat-lined for 5 seconds, before a Rei image turned me into LCL. The next time I regained consciousness I was in the hospital, paralyzed." And with that she showed me her thigh. I was ready to blush, but instead… I frowned. I saw… mechanical implants?
"Misato-san… this is?"
"The bullet missed my heart but hit my spinal cord. I lost function on my left leg and left arm. They put the same cybernetic implants that allowed Touji-kun to walk again."
"Oh… I see."
"Ah, and…" She cheerfully showed me the necklace. "Thanks for leaving this on that grave you made me."
"You know… Shin-chan. Look, I know, you're here to ask questions to us… but I need to ask…what exactly did happen during the Instrumentality?"
"…the first things are… images. Pictures of events. First from people I know. You, Kaji, and a flood of information. A whole bunch of it."
Misato clasped her hands together. "What did you learn?"
I frowned. So she knew what happened. I put my hands together by the fingers. "I was at the core of when every human knowledge and thoughts became one. Now I know that I was piloting and battling angels with a clone of one. I know the names of every Angel. The people responsible for Third Impact, the Seele and the fact that they've been using me as the conduit of the impact. S2 engines. AT Field. A whole bunch of things. At first I thought my head is gonna explode… but then… l…look I'm not gonna talk about it- i-it's not a particularly a good experience."
"W… We just wish to compare your experience… with Touji's."
"Touji. He was one of those who remembered the knowledge from the moment of instrumentalization."
"Yes. Every surviving NERV members all remembered how the instrumentality goes. But, Touji also gain… more knowledge than he initially knew. He was in coma and vegetable for one year. And when he wake up he started blabbering about… believe it or not, some ancient quantum physics theory from some professor who died 300 years ago."
"Instrumentality is a unification of human souls." And Misato suddenly staring at me. "There's a theory that said humans souls transfer in cycles. A Chinese ancient reincarnation theory. A theory said one day in heaven is 1000 years in human world. If a human died… the theory stated that… a human who died… need a few celestial days to be reincarnated. Assuming this scientist died 300 years before the instrumentalization, this scientist's soul is probably is still in transition and mixed into the flow of souls absorbed to the black moon…what?"
Then I noticed Misato was staring at me like I'm some freak. "D…Did you just hear yourself?"
"…w…oh…" Then I noticed as I covered my mouth. Back then I wouldn't even understand a single word I just said. And then all the sudden… I started blabbering about some ancient Chinese reincarnation theory…
"That's what we thought." Misato chuckled. "Touji spent only a single period of time trapped in an Eva infected by an Angel. We had to assume that every children who piloted an Eva and had contact with Angel, direct or indirect… had their… well… knowledge expanded due to Instrumentalization. YOU, spent so much more time… of all the EVAs, EVA-01 had the best victory record over Angels. And… above all else, you have the most contact and proximity with them, both physical… and mental. Given these facts… quite frankly… we kinda gave up hope you'll ever wake up."
"But I'm not the only children… there's Ayanami… and there's…" The memory of a certain red haired girl spiked my mind and made me stopped short. And then I remembered what I've done to her. I choked her. Thank God I lost consciousness before I could finish. I… I fantasize about her… could she know that too? I tried to save this one for later. My discomfort clearly showed in my face, as the next thing she said:
"I'm sorry. It's just well… tell you what, let's get a change of atmosphere. Let's continue this talk over a… haircut session."
I looked at her through a flock of my overgrown hair. Point taken. I. Need. Haircut.
I was sitting as Misato sat behind me, a scissor in hand and she starts cutting my hair. She's pretty good at it. "I never knew you can be quite a barber."
"Hey, who do you think cut Kaji's insanely wild hair, hm?"
"Oh… s…sorry… I shouldn't have."
"Pish posh. It's been three years. I got it over."
I nodded silently. I had to change the subject soon. At first, I thought of my father… but then, I changed my subject to something more closely related to him. "…What happened… to NERV?"
"Don't you mean your father?"
"Okay. All I can say… is that your father is one of the few that's quite content on staying in LCL form. We never actually found him. Not even a body."
I felt empty. Neither remorse nor regret. I guess I never truly cared for him. "Who else who… doesn't come back from NERV?"
"A lot. Most of the worker in NERV was killed before they turned into LCL… Ritsuko too."
"Yeah. Like your father, we never recover any body. So we kinda assume… she died… before she turned into LCL."
"…so… Rei takes Father's place as the head of NERV now or… did you?"
"Oh this?" She touched her clothing. "No. NERV no longer exist. We're… let's say, absorbed into the new UN. We're now officially an independent force specialized on fighting the Fallens under UN."
I chuckled bitterly. NERV, in sense, caused the Third Impact. Having brought the world one step away from Armageddon clearly didn't put NERV in humanity's good graces. "I'm surprised they didn't execute you guys for crimes against humanity, after the things we did." That's right. If I were to think about it, my father was the mastermind behind Third Impact. But everyone has a hand in this, one way or another. Especially me.
She laughed bitterly. "We have to thank Fuyutsuki-san… and Rei."
Misato gave me a matter of factly look.
"She used her expanded knowledge to improve the Evangelion, now we call them Nero-Angellion, and she offered that up to the UN to buy our stay from the execution ground. Fuyutsuki, now general of the UN Japan branch use his influence to act as the intermediary. Rei's now a commander of the Fallen Hunter squad, Japanese Branch."
I don't give a rat's ass what they are called. Nero-Angellion… Evangellion, same thing, different names. I lost so much because of those things… my Dad obsessed over it, my mother disappeared because of it. I crippled my friend because of… Wait a minute. "You said… Touji was in the same condition like me… how did you guys… wake him up?"
"He woke up by himself. Of course he was a little bit… well… upset."
"…and how did I wake up… unless…" And then I remembered the white pearly creatures chasing after me. And the white Rei… and then all this add up to what I truly want to ask: "How exactly did you guys wake me up?"
That question brought me to a trip across the new military fortress known as Tokyo-4. As I watched this fortress is so much different than Tokyo-3. In Tokyo-3 you can still find civilian buildings, houses (which serves as cannon fodders for Angel attacks). I don't find such thing in Tokyo-4. From what I can tell from the windows of the elevator, this place is purely a military fortress. They don't hide enormous defensive turrets underground, no missile silos that are camouflaged, or any subterranean barbed concrete walls. And unless my eyes mistaken me, I saw, not just one, but several, smaller, more portable version, of the same Positron beam cannon I used as a rifle, and now serve as a defensive turret. This place is twice bigger than the previous Tokyo, and with the amounts of guns I'm seeing, makes me wonder how they pay all this.
After a 10,000 feet journey to the underground, the trip brought me to a cage, not dissimilar with the Evangelion cage… except they don't dip those gigantic humanoid machine-creature things in LCL. But their sizes sure don't change. Probably even bigger. "I forgot just how big they are." My head bent backward just to catch a glimpse of the Nero-Angellion's head. "There are… two of them."
"Yes. This one is the Bane. The other is the Spear. Our newest unit."
"The Spear? The Bane?"
"Development Codenames. And the name just sort of stuck. Some people think it's cooler than just giving them numbers." Misato flashed her ID on a security lock and then we got on to the lift that brought us to the level where we get face to face, literally, with the Angellions. I frowned as Misato brought me to the place that woke me up. The cockpit of the Nero-Angellion, The Spear. As I noticed it… Spear had a black, white and purple color scene. Mostly purple. And the head, which mostly white, has a single horn, almost reminiscent to 01.
"You… put me in here?"
"Yes. The Spear was our newest Nero-Angellion. We completed it three weeks ago, and we attempt to activate it and…" Misato showed several dozen dents and torn holes on the wall.
"Yes. But during those same times… medical ward reported your first higher brainwave function activity. At first…we thought it was coincidence. And then, we start receiving brain wave signals… from you."
"From me?" I don't remember I did something as cool as that…
"That's when we decided to brave the attempt to actually wake you up. We synchronized several minds into the Spear, put you inside…"
"The white pearly creatures that sucked up parts of me… it were you guys!"
"And you sent a bunch of us to medical bay." Just then some harsh voice flowed from the back. Misato and I turned and saw some men wearing UN clothings. A grey haired middle aged man with a healthy dark grey moustache walked in with some other tough looking people. All Westerner.
"Oh not now, Granger-san."
Americans. What are they doing here?
"Look, with all due respect sub commander Katsuragi. Waking up that kid sent no less than 27 of my best men to the hospital on a coma. I want to know if it's worth it." He looked at me. He shoved Katsuragi away and come at me, face to face. He looked at every inch of my face. "You certainly got the eye."
"The kind of eyes that have seen Hell."
Well. At least he got that right.
"Have you been trained in use of firearms?"
Center the target and shoot. That's all I ever been taught, and even that was through an Eva's eyes. "…no."
"Advanced hand to hand combat?"
The only time I did use hand to hand combat was… when Eva-01 went berserk. And then when I fight Zeruel… I'm not even sure I'm in control. "…no."
Granger took one look of disbelief to Misato. One of the soldiers lost his patience. "So… are you telling me my brother go into coma for some fucking kid who couldn't even shoot a fuckin' gun!?"
Misato seem trying to talk to them but apparently my ears don't work much anymore. Brother? I sent his brother to coma? Well probably not just brothers. Probably sisters, friends… who knows?
"I ought to just shoot him myself-"
"I dare you to do that!" Just then, Touji rushed in. "Just try that."
"M… Major Suzuhara…" The soldier's stopped at the sight of Touji. Wait. MAJOR!?
"Come on Shinji. Let's talk."
I let Touji grabbed my wrist and dragged me away from all those angry soldiers. We stopped in front a black Angellion. Pitch black one. "Sorry about that. Days like this… people are on the edge."
"You were also in a coma, like me."
"Only a year."
"What was it like?"
"…kinda weird. I… felt like I was walking and saw… every people I care about. My sister, my friends-that includes you-… and then I saw a whole bunch of people. But… one thing I do realized during all that… is the people I usually take for granted… and that's when I realized I loved them. I want to see them. And then… just like that I woke up. Disoriented. Angry. and I ended with a crawling psychopathic rampage that only stop after I met Hikari." Touji snickered. "Not a particularly memorable time of my life for my first kiss moment."
I chuckled. "Congrats. By the way… they said… Major?"
"Yeah. I've been serving some time in frontline… with Bane." He tapped the Angellion several times like patting a puppy.
"…you like it?"
"Like it? Are you kidding me? I could get killed many times, I could leave Hikari heartbroken… no. I don't like it at all." Touji sighed. "…I've been inside your Eva-01 only once in real combat. You know that. I've been inside my own Eva for only one day."
"And then I crushed your leg."
"Not a problem anymore." He showed me his legs. Some cybernetic implants seem had been incorporated into them. "Misato-san told me about all of this." Touji grabbed hold of my shoulders. "He told me how your father used some sort freaky autopilot. That thing broke my leg. Not you."
"Touji… I…" Before the words came out of my mouth, an alarm roared.
"Warning, warning, warning."
"Well… kicking some Fallen's asses seems like a good way to make this day perfect. Meeting you, talking with you in flesh. I'm as happy as I can be now."
I looked around and then I saw everyone was running around, panicking. Granger was shouting orders to his men while Misato rushed to the elevator, presumably to the main command room.
In the main bridge…
Rei was sitting in the commander's chair with Generals of the UN, Fuyutsuki included, and sit in their seats. Granger and Misato were also present.
"Incoming. DNA pattern, black. It's the Fallen."
"They're covering the radar; they're all over the place!" Shigeru gulped as he looked at the numbers of spots appearing in the radar.
Rei remained calm. "Prepare the dummy plugs. Activate Tokyo-4's AT field."
Deep within the bowels of the Tokyo-4 base, several dummy plugs were inserted into the slot, and the engines connected to them start roaring.
The areas around Tokyo-4 were slightly distorted. The entire fortress is now protected by AT field, as soldiers run along the base, alarms roaring, and guns, cannons, missile launchers, all kinds of artilleries and defensive turrets went online. On the distance, several large red crosses appeared on the skies. And, as the red crosses disperse away, black masked crimson creatures appeared in myriads of shapes and sizes. And there are hundreds of them. Some of the crosses sprouted 2-3 giant malformed Eva-like creatures, also with black eyeless masks. All of them had crimson umbilical cables attached to their back, connected to the floating red crosses floating on the sky.
"Oh shit…" One of the soldiers got into the coms. "We got several Daemon class. I repeat we got several Daemon class. We need an Angellion support now!"
The Daemon's black masks suddenly opened. And the whole area around them was slightly distorted.
A hailstorm of bullets, cannon shells, missiles, and positron blast burst out, raining upon the enemies. The attacks just bounced off the AT-fields generated by the Daemons, even the Positron beam blasts bounced off. And then, a series of flashes came from the opposing side.
"COVER!!" Kensuke roared.
Just like that, a series of huge explosion occurred all over the place, creating a blaze in the image of a reversed Christian cross. The AT field managed to protect the soldiers and the buildings within its protective field.
"The enemy's AT fields are growing ma'am. They'll try to negate ours."
Rei pressed the button on her chair. "Touji-kun, we need you and the Bane immediately."
I heard Ayanami's announcement at the hangar. I looked at Touji. "Touji, you really gonna fight in this thing?"
"I get it. Every waking hour you spent in this monster is a nightmare. I understand that so much better now. But I do understand… that we have to do it. You've been fighting for the whole world… me… I'm just fighting for Hikari."
He grabbed my shoulder. "You protected me. You protected us all. And then you saved the world from certain apocalypse. Even if the whole world refused to see it… humanity owes you… a great debt. I guess… it's my turn… to return the favor."
And with that, he entered the Bane's cockpit from the chest. Several soldiers took me away from the vicinity. And the machinery starts moving as I watched the binders of the black giant were removed. I get the better look at this… Nero-Angellion-or just Angellion. It's pitch back, bottom to top. Evangellions were monotone in design. The only differences I remembered were mostly on the chest armor area and head part. But this one. Misato told me Rei using her expanded knowledge she made some improvements… If that's true… she really went all out. I see no resemblance whatsoever with the Evangelions I used to know. This Angellion is more armored, probably relatively bigger too… The Bane had several black long cylinders protruding from several parts of its body: 6 encircling its neck, three on each fore-arm, and three on each leg. The shoulders are heavily armored and it still had that small similarity with the long shoulder blades of the traditional EVA units, albeit it's thicker. On the chest I saw a red core, and then a shell covered the core, sealed it tight. The black giant is put inside a large capsule like cage, where it then moved to the launch pad. And then I noticed one last big difference: no umbilical cable.
And, like the EVAs, the Angellion were launched upwards all the way to the surface.
Hikari nervously monitor Touji's vital signs.
"Synchronization rate… 40... 43... 55... 65 percent! Touji's in good condition." Maya tried to alleviate Hikari's nervousness.
The Bane burst out of the ground. Inside the Bane, Touji looked at the enormous number of the Fallens.
"Releasing the final binders. You have control, Touji-kun."
The circular cage detached itself from the Bane. The black giant lightens up to life with crimson pulse flowing all over the body.
Inside Touji licked his lips and cracked his knuckles. "Guess what guys… one of my friends just come back to the land of the living, and you guys had to show up, ruinin' my day. I'm gonna have some fun pounding on you guys."
Down below Kensuke heard everything from the radio and whistled. "Oh men… they are so gonna get it."
"Touji, we need to neutralize the AT field."
"Activating AT field. IKUSEEEEE!!!" The area around the Bane distorted slightly, a sign that the Angellion's AT field was activated. Having done that, the black giant charged towards the army. The Fallens began barraging the incoming enemy, but the Bane dodged them all. The Bane's AT field collided with the opponents'.
The Bane's AT field are corroding the Fallens'"
"Activating Progressive Claws!!" Two pairs of chainsaw katanas burst out from in-between its fingers. The claws glowed bright red. The cylinders on the Bane's forearms sank in, and the said body part enlarges before Touji/Bane slammed them to the opposing AT field. The blades quickly tore through a small portion of the barrier. The Bane split open the small opening only to be welcomed by a horde of Legions. Their masks start glowing for a barrage.
Before Touji can react, a hailstorm of bullets and Positron burst flow through just beneath his armpits, destroying the Legions. Touji/Bane looked back to see the sneering and cheering Kensuke.
"Can't let you have all the fun!" Kensuke bellowed over the radio.
"Wait until I hock down the Daemons, then you can have your fun." Bane force himself in, sending a roundhouse horizontal slash that tore down all Legions in range. He stabbed a Legion, tossed it to another group before proceed to cross slash them to ribbons. One Legion managed to get to close, but the Bane shoulder blade opened up and sent a hail of jet propelled Kunais that went through the first Legion, hitting and nailing another group on the back. The mini N2 bombs within the Kunais explode, taking them and all other enemy in vicinity. At this, the Daemon approached the Bane. Touji stared at them. "7 Daemon class… if I don't take them all out, the AT field won't dissipate. Okay." He tightened the grip on his controller.
In the hangar, I watched in awe through the monitor. Back then, it took a full effort of an Eva (sometimes to the point of going Berserk), or a combined strength of two or more Eva to take down just one angel. And now one Nero-Angellion can actually do that? But wait a minute, those things called Legion ARE cannon fodders. Now the enemy has this Eva-lookalike, which they call Daemons. And there are 7 of them. And unlike Angels, they don't have cores… so there's actually no weakness he can exploit. Will one Angellion be enough?
Touji/Bane began the fight by charging head on to the first Daemon. Like before the AT field blocked his attack. But the katanas went through the AT field and score a vertical cut that slice through the Daemon's right arm. The Daemon seems a bit fazed by this as it aimed its left arm at Bane. The arm morphed into gun barrels with varying sizes, and fired a salvo of bullets.
Bane re-enact it's AT field a little late. One of the bullets scored a hit on his shoulder, but the other bullets were repelled. "What was that!? I never knew they can do that now!" The Bane landed safely, ready for battle, but the shoulder Kunai launcher on the left is busted.
"Touji, you're okay!?" Came Hikari's concerned voice
"I'm fine. A little caught off guard, but I can still fight!"
On the ground, Kensuke roared. "Come on! The Daemons are distracted! Get the tanks here! Gave Touji some support fire!"
"Yes, Lieutenant Colonel!" The ground forces continued their attack. But they mostly focused on the weaker, yet more numerous Legions.
With Legions given to the ground forces, Touji/Bane can concentrate on the bigger Daemons. He enlarged his arms again and sent a straight stab with its right arm at the closest Daemon, breaking through their AT field. The stab burst through the first target, tearing off a quarter of its body and nailed another one behind it. The first Daemon still lives though, and using its remaining arm, it began pounding on Bane. The black giant grunted and stabbed the Daemon with the Katanas on the left arm and raised its mangled body up. Three Daemons rushed on his from the right, and the last two rushed from left, and so he tossed the daemons stuck on his blades at them. Right one goes to the left, the left on goes to the right. The Bane crawled on a starting position. The rods on his legs sank in, the ground cracked as the feet expanded. The two Daemons from before rose up just as the Bane spring forward, all four of its claws pointing at them. The blades stab through them both, tearing a portion of their body. Four Daemons rose up and aimed their black masks at Bane and it flashes. The Bane jumped to the side, just as a large explosion occurred on the spot. The black giant jumped towards the red ones, and landed on them, blades first. One of the Daemons tried to stare directly at his face, but before the red monster can fire, Bane slammed his face at it first. He grabbed one of them and shoved their chest to his Kunai shooter, and Touji unload all his N2 Kunais at him. Bane jumped away, a second before the bomb riddled Daemon explodes, burning out the other three Daemons in vicinity.
"Yosh. With this, three more to go!" But just as Touji/Bane intend to fight on, a horde of Legions suddenly flocked his head. "Hey what…?" 'I thought Kensuke and the land forces are concentrating on them?' He looked below and saw that the land forces were indeed giving all they got. But the Legions were too numerous. '…there are simply too many of them… but… where did they come from?'
The command bridge was in chaos. Shigeru panicked when he saw a new set of crosses showing on the radar just behind the previous ones. "We got another readings! DNA pattern black! It's another attack! Bigger than the first!"
"So the first attack was to attract Bane out in the open and exhaust our men and provision." Rei commented. "They're evolving… and they're getting smarter."
"N… Nanni!?" One of the general gulped.
The newly appeared Crimson crosses drop another 8 Daemons, all ready to fight. Inside his cockpit Touji gritted his teeth. Meanwhile, the newly arrived Legions encircled around what remained of the first 4 Daemons Touji/Bane had taken out. The legions rushed towards them, and then start merging. Minutes later, the Daemon was resurrected, not a single shred of wound is visible. The Bane is now surrounded by 13 Daemons.
"T… THAT'S CHEATING!!" Misato banged her table with her cybernetic enhanced fist, crushing it to pieces.
I looked at the situation from the monitor and I realized, Touji will never make it at this rate. What should I do now? Meanwhile, as I ponder on, I can hear the chaos in the bridge transmitted to the speaker.
Outside, exhausted and ridded of most of its arsenal, the Daemons start making a punching bag out of Bane. Of course, Touji refused to become one, and he tried to fight back. But there are simply too many of them. He punched a daemon, sending him flying, but then, three of them sent their own punch to his abdomen. Inside the cockpit, Touji felt the hit and spat some blood.
At the bridge, Hikari gasped when she saw Touji's chest suffered a minor fracture. "Touji-kun!"
The Bane was smashed to the edge of Tokyo-4's AT field. Touji gritted his teeth. "I… won't… let you…"
The thirteen Daemons stared at him, and then their faces flashed.
"AT-FIELD MAXIMUM OUTPUT!!"
The blast from the Daemons were enormous and blinding. And it hit the Touji/Bane in full, burning some of the Angellion's skin. The pain transmitted to its pilot. "!!"
Upon hearing Touji's roar I snapped.
'And you just sit there… doing nothing.'
Kaji-san's words echoed in my head like a thousand speaker roaring in my ears all at once and I snapped. How can I be such an idiot!? What's the point of going over your life infinite times on all those what-Ifs and If-only scenarios? I reached out to a communicator and look for the number to dial the central command.
Once the burst from the thirteen Daemons ended, The Bane is still standing, but smokes puffing out from its externals.
"The Bane is still standing! Its AT field managed to block them all off… but it can't take a hit like that too often! Touji! You hear me? Get inside Tokyo-4's AT field!" Hikari cried frantically to the com.
Just then, a transmission arrived. Makoto took it. "Anti-Fallen Squad, main bridge what is it?"
"This is Ikari Shinji."
"Get me Misa… no… get me Ayanami."
Makoto looked at Ayanami. He covered the phone. "It's Shinji-kun."
"Put it on the screen."
Makoto did so, and Shinji's voice echoed on the hall and his face appeared on a window. "Ayanami… no… Commander Ayanami… Touji won't be able to fight them all for long. Is there any other weapon you can use to support him?"
Rei thought for a second. "We're hard pressed as we were, Ikari-kun. And there-"
"If there's none… How long will it take to get the Spear ready to launch… with me at the helm?"
Granger gasped at the outrageous request. "That's unthinkable! The Spear is not a toy that can be-"
"Every second we waste, Touji's a step closer of being butchered. You put me into that thing, connected 27 able bodied men or so just to wake me up from a coma. How much longer are we going to pretend you haven't planned for me to pilot it in the first place?"
"…standard Nero-Angellion battle preparation for new pilots is 30 minutes. Maya-san."
"Go to the cage. I want the Spear ready to launch in 15 minutes."
"I'll make it 10!" Maya brought some tools with her and rushed out of the main bridge.
Hikari yelled at the com. "Touji! Help is coming! You need to hang on and stay alive for 10 minutes okay!?"
6 minutes later, in the Cage…
Maya appeared from the lift and quickly rushed towards me. "Ibuki-san."
"Alright, we're gonna do this quick. Shinji-kun, turn around please."
I turned around and Ibuki-san quickly injected something into my spinal cortex. It felt a bit ticklish. "What was that?"
"Nanomachines. Normally it takes 15 minutes for the Nanomachine to settle but I added up some accelerator. You felt nothing at first but it'll hurt a few hours later, so finish the fight fast, you won't like it when it hurts. We don't use plug-suit anymore, Ikari-kun. Interface with the Nero-Angellion had been greatly simplified. You still need a high synchro rate and you still need this." She gave me the white headpiece I used to wear to pilot 01. That's one nostalgic item.
"So… it's that it? I can go in now?"
"No, wait! Listen, the Angellion is a bit different than the Eva-"
"Just explain to me on the field, Touji haven't got much time left!" I jumped into the Spear's cockpit. I sit on the chair, get the safety lock on, and grasp the controller as the cockpit hatch closed. And then, like before, LCL flows in. I'm no longer surprised by this though. And then, I felt a small sting on my back and windows start appearing right in front of me.
"Okay… Shinji-kun, can you hear me?"
"I hear you."
"The OS of the Angellion is generations more advanced than the Evas. We used ocular motion detector. Which means…"
"The pointer will follow my line of sight. I get it. What else?"
"Okay. We'll begin the synchronization immediately."
At the bridge
Makoto noted the Synchro rate of The Spear and Shinji. "Synchro rate at… 35 percent…" Makoto was a bit perplexed. If he remembered correctly, Shinji used to score the highest in the Synchro test.
"It's alright. He can still move that way. Makoto-san, monitor his vital signs."
"Ready the Spear for launch!"
The first binders on the Spear were removed, revealing its form. Like Bane, it is mostly black in color, but with a combination of purple parts and near transparent white shoulder armor. It has no shoulder blades like Bane, and its chest are well armored. A crimson pearl in its chest sank in as the chest armor closed in, protecting it. Its right arm is relatively bigger than the left, with sharp bladed claws for fingers; longer than the other arm and more armored, and an extension was attached just below the elbow. There's an exhaust hole on the extension. The Angellion itself had several exhaust holes throughout its body. And the head is less monstrous than the EVA-01, somewhat, it still has eyes as well and it still has a single long horn. The Spear was moved to the launch pad, and put to the circular cage.
Inside the Spear…
"Shinji-kun? Are you ready?" Come Misato-san's voice.
"Nero-Angellion: The Spear! LAUNCH!"
The jerk from the rail launcher. I never get used to it. I watched as the lights flashes before the monitor. In a few seconds, I reached the surface and stopped. I looked at the battlefield before me silently.
"Releasing final binders! Shinji-kun! You have control!"
The final binders are released, and the black-purple-white Angellion is ready move. But I didn't move. Not yet.
"What's wrong with him?"
"Urgh… I have no idea… the synchro-rate is just fine… Don't tell me it's malfunctioning…"
"Shinji-kun! This is Ibuki. Listen! That Angellion haven't been tuned for combat purposes. It only has 30 percent output. So be careful, its AT field are not as powerful as it should!"
I took a deep breath of the oxygen in the LCL. I never liked them, but well, it's the only thing we have in this cockpit. To think I was actually breathing in Angel's blood. Best try not to think about it. I gripped my controller. The Spear flashed to live as green pulse appeared on the Angellion's surface. The Spear/I took a step forward and walk slowly. From behind the AT field I saw the Bane stand his ground. The Daemons were preparing to shoot him again. I grabbed the Bane and pull him inside Tokyo-4's AT field. The black giant looked at me, and I know, Touji was looking at me. A screen popped out with Touji's pale, yet smiling, face on the window.
"Oh, that's one hell of a reinforcement… Shinji!"
"A bit battered, but I'll live!"
"Stay here." I put the Bane down and walk out of the AT field. There, the Daemons and the remaining Legions welcomed me. I want to taste something first. Something to really ensure I'm really up to do this. An act of declaration of intent. The Daemon's looked at me. They seem trying to assess what the hell am I? And then one of them flashed. The explosion hit the chest, and the pain went straight to my heart. "AAAAAAARGHH!!"
"Heart-rate increasing!!" Makoto gulped.
"Shinji-kun! Shinji-kun! What are you doing? Is he alright?"
"The AT field holds."
It hurts… but I've been through a lot worse. I know. I remember. Come on! Is this all you got!? With that in mind, I pushed the controller and returned the Spear to an upright position, enticing them to do worse.
"What the Hell is he doing?" Granger growled.
"He's trying to remember." Rei calmly stated.
"Remember? Remember what?"
The Daemons realized just one blast will not be enough. And then all 13 of them flashed. I braced myself for the pain and the impact. The blast hit every inch of the Spear, and it literally boils the LCL inside the cockpit. Every inch of my cells felt like it was burned. "!!!" The blast tossed the unit all the way back to Tokyo-4. The Spear crashed to the buildings on its back.
"His synchro-rate dropped below the minimal zone! 3 percent!"
"START THE EMERGENCY TREATMENT!"
Inside the cockpit, I can feel my heart stopped. And then I remembered. The blast on my right eye. The burn on my palm. The searing heat that penetrates to my heart… and all other injuries, all other pain I've experienced when I fought the Angels. In three years I've seem to forgotten them all. Now I remember. This pain. The kind of pain that can only be inflicted by Angels. Now inflicted by a different version of their kind. It doesn't matter. Now I remember what I'm fighting against.
And my heart starts beating again as I opened my eyes. As I saw screens of Touji and Misato yelling at me. I can hear the latter screaming over the com.
"Shinji-kun! Thank God you're alive. Take route 41! Retreat! We have to treat you-"
"I have no intention of retreating!" I roared. "…I remember now."
"Then what the hell are you doing? What, you became a Sadomasochist or something?" Touji gasped.
"What?" Misato twitched.
"Heheheh… I… never liked this cockpit." I chortled. "Touji, there's something I want to tell you. You were wrong."
"First… that accident with the Eva-03? It's not my father activated the Dummy plug. He told me to fight. And I disobeyed his orders. I didn't fight. If I had done something… it might've been a different story. But I didn't. And so he activated the dummy plug."
"Secondly… I'm not that incredible. You fight for the woman you love. Back then… I didn't fight for the world. I don't even care about the world. I fight for the recognition from a father I will never get… and now probably will never ever gonna get."
Touji smiled lightly. "Then why are you here?"
"A lot of a bad things happened because I didn't do anything. I didn't even try. So at least… this time… I'll do something." And with that I grasped the controller, ready to fight.
Shigeru blinked when he read the Synchro-rate indicator. "What in the world? 5 percent, 15, 48, 75, no 76… 83… 97 percent!?"
"What the?" Granger checked his ears. "97 percent? Is it berserk?"
"No! All the controllers are working!"
"So you're saying the pilot had been holding back?"
Rei smiled and silently whispered to herself. "As expected."
I/Spear started the battle with a long jump. The giant landed right behind the group of Daemons. I swung the fist and it went through a Daemon, but it stuck in there. The Demon roared in pain and start swinging around. The Spear was carried along with it. "Ibuki-san! What's with this right arm?"
"Ah… Erhh… Right… Stupid manual… Where is it, where is it… Ah here it is. The Spear is a high performance close-to-mid-range combat purpose Nero-Angellion! It has built in weapons, but also capable of using other weapons."
I/Spear barely missed a blast from one of the Daemons. "The Arm, Ibuki-san! The ARM!"
"Here it is! Nero-Angellion Spear's right arm is a bleeding edge close-mid-range test-type weapon, codenamed AT Spear-shooter. First, its fingers are armed with a unique type of heat-transfer progressive blades."
"Progressive blades? Okay, I can use that." I pushed the trigger, and the claws of the Spear glows hot blue. The claw cuts and burns the first Daemon, splitting it to two. The pieces burns in blue flame as it landed to the ground. Like Misato-san said, the Fallens are not as resilient as the Angels. Simple dismemberment or heavy damage on humanly vital spots such as head or chest is enough to actually silence them. Their multiple numbers are a bit troublesome. But this Angellion clearly lives up to its specification-even though Ibuki-san told me this is only less than one third of its true capability.
First it slices through the next daemon's leg, and before the red creature fell, the next attack bust through its chest. Two Daemons charged, but I/Spear sweep the hand, and slashed their black faces, cutting the upper portions of their heads. Their blood didn't come out as the wounds are burned as well as closed and the Legions around can't regenerate them. The Fallens changed their strategy. The daemons fall back as they took their distance. Their arms turned to gun barrels and shoot. I/Spear activated the AT field. The bullets collided and stopped midair and pulverized themselves as they can't go through the field. The smaller Legions charged from the other side, but I sweep the Angellion's hand, and activated another concentrated AT field. The AT field blocked them all. "Ibuki-san! What else this thing have!? Does it have long range weapon or something I can use?"
"Wait… here's something… the AT Spear shooter is a unique type of weapon that condense and focus the AT field of the Angellion. Generating a field that will converge surrounding AT field-"
I struggled under the pressure as they start ganging up. "I…Ibuki-san!!"
"Just hold the button to charge and then push the trigger when the targeting marks overlap! You have to aim the arm first!"
There, that's more like it. That I understand. I looked at the screen, the AT field's already there, and I hold the button. A special gauge appeared on the controller showing the energy level. I go with max power. I raised the arm and then I saw a long spike slid out from the exhaust hole on the said arm. I saw a relatively small, but dense, AT field forming on the Spear's palm. I aimed the arm at the hordes of Legion, let the targeting mark overlap… pressed the trigger. The spike quickly sank in, and the AT field was somewhat skewed at the center, and form an extremely sharp, and long, conical spike. It stabbed through the Legion's AT-fields and pierced through several of them in one go-like a spear. I whistled. But that small sense of triumph quickly died out. So I took down about a dozen of them -big deal- there are hundreds more!
All the sudden, a barrage of attacks burst out from the direction of the base. I looked and saw the ground soldiers, led by Kensuke, had started open fire again at the Legions.
A screen appeared, with Voice only. But I know that voice. "Ikari-kun! Leave the small fries to us! You and Touji take care those big-bosses!"
The Daemon's on my left were suddenly barraged by a series of large Kunais. Following, the Bane, fully armed; with some extra N2-Kunai launchers on the shoulder blades, and a pair of heavy assault carbines in hand; and reloaded, came crashing into the field, colliding with a bunch of Daemons as it goes. It gave some distance between them and us. And then, another transmission from Touji.
"Shinji. Back then, you didn't fight… was it because you know I was in there?"
"Well… then it's not your fault. You've made your choice. You chose to sacrifice your life for my sake. Your father chose to save you, but chose to use that accursed system anyway. If you think about it… it's not everyone's fault. Shit happens. That was just ain't my day." He smirked at me through the screen.
"Let's say we save the chitchat for later and let's kick their asses."
I smiled. "Yeah. Let's." We charged together towards the enemies. I jumped first, locked on one of the Daemons and shoot the AT spear. Unfortunately, the spear didn't manage to penetrate the Daemon's AT-field and bounced off. "Even at max, it's not enough?"
"Uh, Shinji-kun? This is Ibuki! I forgot to tell you, the Spear-arm is actually incomplete, so it may not be able to be used on a stronger AT field. If you want to penetrate them, you might have to go point-blank!"
"…" I groaned inwardly. Point blank it is. The Daemons seem determined not to let me get close at all cost, and so they turn their arms into those gunbarrels, and shoot together in conjunction with their flash beam attacks! I roared over a comment by Makoto-san that my Synchro-rate skyrocketed. The Spear moves exceedingly fast, avoiding all the bullets and the beam blast. At this speed, I could even almost see the projectiles used by those Daemons! Soon, I closed my distance, pierce through their AT field, and grab hold one of them by the face, and then pressed the trigger. The blast went through its head, and black blood burst out. So they do bleed. As I let go the dead Daemon, another Daemon tried to make some distance, but using Spear's speed, I closed that distance and crashed Spear's claw through its gut. The claw stayed inside, and I pushed the trigger like that. The red giant's head exploded. That's 4 down. 9 more to go!
The Bane only had jury-rig repairs, so as far as I can tell, it seems to focus itself on long range support. Good. That way, Touji's chance of survival is assuredly high. The problem now is that we cannot go on a prolonged combat. And my weapon had to be shot up-close since it can't generate power strong enough to… wait… what was it that Ibuki-san said? Not exactly power… the Arm focus and converge AT-fields into spears, it didn't produce the AT-field-per se. The Nero-Angellion did that… the Angellion… and the Daemons. The Spear is only 30 percent output so his AT-field isn't exactly strong enough… But it's still strong enough to elicit an AT field response from the Daemons. I jumped before Touji/Bane and rush forward. Touji understood that I want to go up close and personal and so he provided long range support.
The Spear rushed through the barrage of bullets and beam attacks. They're more intense, and I probably wouldn't be able to dodge them all if it weren't for Touji/Bane covering me by shooting some of the projectiles away. I generated the AT-field, and focus them on the AT spear-shooter-arm. The distance quickly closed down and our AT fields collides. I smirked as the plan going smoothly. The other Daemons gather together, to strengthen the AT field. Ha. It's getting even better than I expected. I smashed the Spearshooter to the conflicting AT-field. Max power. The spike slid out. The giant AT field suddenly shrunk. Overlap the targeting marks. Trigger pressed. "AT-SPEAR-SHOOTER! FIREEEEEE!!" The spike sank in, and the result: a large, long AT-spear that burst through all the targets, tearing all 9 of them apart, and the Spear shooter shattered due to the stress. The giant spear went through the daemons and hit several crimson crosses in the sky. Upon contact, the crosses exploded brilliantly in a chain reaction, taking out other crosses, which also exploded. The explosions formed a series of Christian crosses.
At the bridge, Fuyutsuki was on his feet when he saw Shinji's fight.
Misato smiled. "Wow…well… Granger-san… you asked me… was the child worth the effort. Does THIS answer your question?"
Granger didn't listen. He was too preoccupied staring at the monitor.
Rei smiled lightly. "And thus the counter attack signal is honorably raised."
I looked around from the cockpit. There are still a few Red Crosses left on the battlefield, but all the Daemons have been taken out. All that's left is just the numerous amount of Legion swarming allover the battlefield. The battle's far from over. I took a deep breath and grasped the controller tightly.
My father destroyed this world with his instrumentality. I rejected it and in doing so, in a manner of speaking, I created this world. People have to hurt to change. That's what I said. And if that's the case then I will hurt. I will hurt more than anyone and share their pain. Maybe when I've changed myself enough, I can change this world.
This time, for the better.
This time, I will sit and do nothing…no more.
This is an experimental fanfic. One to defeat my Writer's Block, two: I try to write a story from mostly a first person perspective in this case, Shinji's. Critics, flames… anything I can use to improve is very much welcome. So please… review.
Chapter 2 will come… but it may take a while.