AN I feel like I should be asking permission # shuffles nervously #. Basically this is me intruding on the most excellent Superwomen of Eva series done by Mike313 and Orionpax09. Their stories are most awesome and I wanted to add my own story to their world. I'm feverently hoping they don't take offense.
To my normal readers, I'm almost done with the next TIA. It'll be worth the wait trust me, Shiratori's just being difficult.
Ten was really too young to die. Mari Suzuhara knew this, but didn't see anything she could do about it. When the alarms had sounded, she was ran from the giant monster and hid in an old parking garage instead of one of the shelters. It had been a fatal decision as the N2 mines had brought the parking garage down on top of her. She had almost managed to avoid the wreckage, but as she was leaving a shockwave caused by the Monsters footsteps had dislodge a piece of debris, which had fallen on her, both pinning her and crushing her legs.
It didn't hurt though, she at least had that small mercy. And she had a wonderful distraction in the battle between the monster and the giant purple robot that had come out to fight it.
"Such foolishness," came an elderly voice from behind her. Mari couldn't quite twist herself around to see where it came from. Fortunately she didn't have to as a cloaked figure walked in front of her.
"The boy has potential, that much is obvious. But to pull him green as the trees of Alfenheim and expect him to be Riddari?" The old man shook his head, obviously disgusted with what he was seeing.
"What's a Riddari?" Mari asked.
The old man seemed to notice her for the first time. Her eyebrows widened at her predicament, before his face fell into a sad smile. "Poor Dear. There was a time when I could have helped you. Oh for the days of youth. Now, all I can do in answer your question. Riddari, little one, is a word from the old tongue. A rough translation would be a title given to a valiant warrior or protector, a knight of sorts."
"So the robot's like a knight in shining armor?"
The old man shook his head. "Perhaps one day he could be. Right now he is just a child they threw in that machine to save their own skins. Trapped in a mechanism he doesn't understand, forced to feel the armor's pain is if it were his own."
Mari winced as she saw the monster twist the robot's arm in a way that must have broken it. "That poor boy..."
Again the old man's eyebrows rose. "At death's door yourself and yet you feel sympathy for another's plight. You are truly a little marvel, young lady. Might I ask your name?"
"Suzuhara Mari. What's your name?"
"My name... well why not? I think you are the one I came here to find." He grinned at her. "My time is coming soon, Little Marvel. I came to this country hoping to find someone to teach my secrets to before I die. If you would let me, I would like to teach them to you."
"But I'm going to die too, aren't I?" asked Mari.
"Destiny has brought us together, Little Marvel. If you can, would you follow in my footsteps? To take on the mantle of one who will protect humanity. Time is short, if you would stand against the forces of darkness, then speak my name. Shazam."
"Shazam?" As soon as the word left Mari's lips her body surged with power. She could feel her legs again, though there was still no pain. She flexed her legs and the piece of concrete pinning her went flying.
Mari jaw dropped at the tremendous feat of strength she had just exhibited. Not only that but her legs were longer than they had been. Looking down on herself she realized that she had grown, now she was even older than Toji! "Wha-what happened to me?!"
"The Speed of Sleipnir, the Wisdom of Har, the Skill of Alfid, the Courage of Ziu, the Power of Aegir, and the Strength of Magni. These are this gifts once given to me by the gods to protect this world. I now pass them on to you. Speak my name to summon and dismiss the power. Make me proud, Little Marvel."
It was then that Mari heard a bloodcurdling scream. She turned to see the monster - Sachiel- attacking the robot – the Evangelion- with some sort of piston in it's arm. The Evangelion's helmet was protecting it for now, but it obviously wouldn't last long. Without even thinking about what she was doing, Mari pushed off the ground and flew towards the battle.
"Such a kind heart, yet holding so much strength. Thank you Odin, for allowing me to find her." Watching the battle, he did not notice the dislodged piece of granite that fell, ending the life of the wizard who was once the mightiest of mortals.
Shinji had wondered what it would be like to die on many occasions. He wondered if it would hurt and for how long. He wondered if he would see his mother as an angel. He wondered if it was just like going into a dreamless sleep and never waking up.
As the Third Angel pounded through his skull he knew, yes, it hurt, and a lot. The damned people who put him into this thing were telling him the pain wasn't real. Easy for them to say, they weren't here to feel it. At this point he almost looked forward to the monster killing him, just so the pain would end.
And it would come soon, as Sachiel pulled back his piston for the final blow.
"Ego border going critical! His synch ratio is off the charts!" various bridge bunnies screamed about, trying to find some way to salvage the situation.
"Please Shinji, don't die," Misato pleaded as her heart was torn in two. She had brought the boy there, talking him into the machine. Now it was her fault a fourteen year old boy was going to die while she was safe in an underground fortress. Someone, anyone, help him.
Misato stared, not at the sight of the Eva's helmet breaking, but of the Angel's mask. Something had interceded of their pilot's behalf and probably saved his life. The camera's around the city instantly focused in on the new element.
"I don't believe this," whispered Misato, "It's a ..."
A girl? Shinji's eye's went wide at the sight of the figure who saved him. She was cloaked in vibrant red, her long sleeved, leggings and boots all the same hue with golden trim and bracers. She wore a long cape of the purest white with the same gold trim along the bottom. Her long hair was reddish brown and when she turned to look at him, he could see a golden lightning bolt on the from of her tunic.
"Are you alright?" she asked, looking at the Eva in concern.
"F-fine,"answered Shinji, a blush spreading to his cheeks. While not as well endowed as Misato, she was still incredibly beautiful. "Thank You".
His embarrassment gave way to horror as the Third Angel rose again, this time, targeting the girl who had saved him.
This is so awesome! thought Mari. She was flying, flying, as easily as breathing. Before she had even realized it, she was between the two combatants and socking Sachiel with a punch that would have made Thor's teeth rattle. She felt fragments of it's mask fly past her as the monster flew back. With a loud crash the Evangelion it had been holding dropped to the ground.
"Are you alright?" she asked, not sure if the pilot could hear her or not.
"F-fine," came the tentative reply over the robot's speakers. "Thank You".
Before she could do anything else, a large arm swatted at her like an annoying mosquito. It was no problem for her to dodge it, but when she tried to return the favor, her fist pounded harmlessly on some red energy shield. Dodging another blow, she tried to swerve behind it, but the shield was all-encompassing. For all her strength, she couldn't make it budge an inch. What now Shazam? How can I protect people if I can't even touch this thing?
To her surprise, she heard the old man's voice surrounding her. "A final lesson, my Little Marvel. You have great power, but sometimes the greatest strength is in those around you."
"Final? I barely got a lesson out of you." Mari muttered. "Okay then, what do I need to – That's it! The shield wasn't up when I hit the thing before; it must have been because of the Evangelion!"
She turned her head towards the fallen bio-robot. "I need your help, I can't take down the shields."
Shinji felt his heart skip a beat. She needed his help? What could he do?
"That's an AT field." Misato's voice in the cockpit reminded Shinji of all the Nerv personal who were probably watching. "The only thing that can neutralize it is your Eva's own."
Shinji nodded and tried to make the Evangelion stand up. That girl had saved him and now he had to help her. He mustn't – no, he wouldn't run away.
Gripping his prog knife tightly in his good arm, Shinji let out a war cry as he charged towards the enemy. Flaring his AT field to full battle he plunged the knife into the monster, partially penetrating it's core.
Mari felt the strange barrier ripple, then shatter as the giant robot crashed into it. With a whoop of triumph, she flew into where the prog knife's handle was jutting out of Sachiel's chest. With one punch the knife flew through the creature, bisecting it's core.
"WOOHOOO!" Mari pumped her arm in the air, "WE DID IT WE DID IT WE DID IT!"
Shinji didn't trust himself not to start screaming if he opened his mouth, so he just nodded, unconsciously making the Eva follow suit. With a wince he grabbed his arm, which with the battle rush leaving, was still hurting like the dickens.
Mari patted the Eva on it's horn, between the arm and head damage, that boy had to be in a lot of pain. "You get some rest. You've earned it."
Then she tilted her head as if she heard something only she could hear. "I've got to go now. I look forward to our next battle." Giving a slight bow, she flew away from the battlefield and back to the parking garage. "Shazam!" she whispered forcefully, relieved that her body hadn't returned to the crippled and dying state it had been in before meeting the old man. She was just as she had been before, eleven years old with no sign of powers. Filled with glee she ran out of her hiding spot.
"I did it, Wizard, I..." Mari cut off at the pile of rubble where she and the wizard had stood talking only a few minutes ago. There was no point in digging the rubble, she knew. He had told her, hadn't he, that he had come here because he was dying. "Oh, wizard..."
It was there, crying in front of a pile of stone and concrete that Toji found his sister two hours later.
"I ought to take you for a stint in Helheim for making that little girl cry," The Valkyrie on duty informed Shazam.
The old wizard shrugged. "I would have loved to have had more time, to train her properly, but it was not for me to decide. Besides, I doubt it will take long for her to figure out how to summon me."
"And exactly how is a young Japanese girl going to know about and be able to get to an enchanted brazier in a cave in Norway?"
"Speed of Sleipnir, Wisdom of Har," answered Shazam simply.
The Valkyrie sighed and shook her head.
"This is not according to the scenario," Kozo Fuytsuki commented, slightly nervous.
"It is of no matter." Gendo proclaimed. "As long as that whatever-she-is cannot produce an AT field, she cannot interfere with the scenario or our budget. She does, however, warrant keeping an eye on to make sure that does not change. She seemed quite friendly with the Third Child, have him questioned to see if he knows anything about her."
"Your son is in the hospital with a concussion and dislocated elbow," Fuyutsuki responded, hoping to awaken some fatherly instinct.
He was disappointed. "It doesn't matter. I want to know everything there is on this individual, and I want that information last week."
Mari loved her brother, really she did, but he could be so clingy. She knew it was wrong to be so annoyed (She had been shocked to see the tears running down his face when he found her after the battle), but she needed time to think and decide what to do. She had at least managed to dig up a little on the names Shazam had mentioned while surfing the net.
Sleipnir was a demigod horse who had eight legs. She was amazingly strong and fast, able to travel to the underworld within a day.
Har was one of three 'Wise Ones" who together held all the knowledge in the world. Some believed the Wise Ones were actually Odin (god of Wisdom and King of the Gods) in disguise.
Alfhild was a swordswoman of such skill that she never found a man who could defeat her in battle.
Zui was a god of warfare and battle. He was the only god brave enough to put his hand in Fenrir's mouth so the other gods could bind him.
Aegir was a bit of a mystery. Some claimed he was a jotun (a giant) and some claimed he was something older than the gods. He represented the power of the sea, something the Norsemen respected above almost anything else,
Magni was the god of strength and more powerful than even his father, Thor.
The only thing the Internet brought up when she inquired about Shazam was a brand of kitchen cleanser.
Now her dad was finally home though, and keeping Toji from checking up on her every three minutes. Locking the door to her bedroom, Mari pulled a small white fragment out of her pocket. She had found it tangled in her hair when she showered.
It was a piece of Sachiel's mask. And it was the only thing that convinced her that she hadn't hallucinated the whole thing. She looked into the full length mirror hanging on her door. It was the same reflection she had known all her life. Short auburn hair framed a freckled face that still held some baby fat. She was of average height for her age and a bit on the scrawny side.
Mari took a deep breath. Okay, let's try this out. "Shazam!"
A feeling of vertigo overtook her as her perspective suddenly changed from a height of around four feet to being close to six feet tall.
I can't believe that's really me. The reflection that looked back at her was in either her late teens or early twenties. Her hair was the same color, but much more silky and flowing halfway down her torso. Her heart-shaped face was now freckle free and her figure was one she knew most girls would kill for.
"I wonder if it's the magic doing this, or if this is how I'll look growing up normally," she mused, slightly surprised by the sound of her grown up voice. You could see the similarities between her two selves, but probably not unless someone pointed them out. "I'll need a new name though. I don't want to bring the wrong attention down on Tou-san and Toji."
The first thing that popped i her head was the pet name Shazam had given her. Marvel's good, but I'm definitely dropping the 'Little' part. It doesn't fit and it's embarrassing. Hmm Mari Marvel's way too obvious. Lady Marvel, Marvel-dono, Miss Marvel...
The knob on her bedroom door turned and Mari had just enough time to whisper a hasty 'Shazam' before her father entered.
"Daaaaad, can't you knock!" Mari complained, hoping her whiny tone would disguise the fact that she almost had a panic attack.
Tomoya Suzuhara shook his head. He had been working double detail at Nerv and didn't have the willpower to deal with this. "Toji's at Kensuke's house, helping his mother move some things. I have to get back to work and I want you to promise to behave yourself while you're alone."
Her eyes lighting up at what he took to be a chance to be responsible (or get away from her brother's motherhen nature) Mari nodded vigorously. "I promise Daddy."
Her father smiled and patted her on her head before leaving.
"Good thing he didn't make me promise to stay here. Shazam!"
Less than five minutes after Tomoya backed out of the driveway, a red-clad figure flew towards the part of the city destroyed in the battle.
"I don't think we should be here Jiro." a small child of five whispered nervously.
"Geeze Daisuke, have a sense of adventure." the eight year old scolded his brother. "Our playground got smashed and we have to play somewhere."
Daisuke looked up nervously at the half collapsed building around them. "But what if it decides to fall the rest of the way?"
"Hey, if it survived that big battle, it'll survive anything." Jiro demonstrated his point by kicking one of the support beams. The entire building shuddered and began to drop down around them.
"I told you so!" screamed Daisuke as the two were buried alive.
"You have to let me through! Please for the love of all that's good, I have to save my boys!" A frantic woman struggled against the police line.
Officer Miwako Takagi sighed. She wished she could do something for the woman. She had left her children with her ex-husband while she went to search for her sister in the aftermath of the battle. She had returned to find the bastard had let her babies play in the ruins of the city and her Jiro and Daisuke were now trapped in a partially collapsed building. And since any rescue attempts might bring the rest of the building down around them there was noting to be done but pray for a miracle.
A murmur from the crowd grabbed her attention. Takagi had just enough time to see something red fly into the building. Before she could even question what it was the foundation shook and the rest of the building finally fell.
The poor mother screamed. This couldn't be happening. Her sister hadn't survived the battle, she couldn't lose her babies too!
Mari coughed as some of the dust got into her lungs. This was the second time within as many days she had a building collapse on her and she really didn't like it. The two boys, both younger than her, clung to her legs as she held several tons of debris over her head with one hand.
"Are you alright?" she asked.
The two boys nodded. "Are you an angel?' the younger one asked.
Mari shook her head. "Nope, I may be able to do some cool things, but deep down I'm just as human as you."
The older boy blinked. "B-but humans can't do stuff like that!" He pointed to how much weight she was holding up.
"Well, I'm the exception to that rule, aren't I" Mari pointed out. "Do you want to argue with me, or get out of here?"
"Get out of here!" The younger sibling insisted before his brother could say anything.
Mari knelt down and grabbed the two boys with her free arms. Bending her knees slightly, she took off flying through the debris, her body shielding the boys from any damage.
Still despite her powers, it was as much a relief to her as them when they emerged into sunlight.
The crowd of people that had gathered were silent as they watched the strange girl floating seemingly unaided above the disaster site. One of the children in her arms whispered something to her and she flew down to the distraught mother.
"Your children," she said simply, handing the over.
The mother looked at her children in shock, as though she didn't believe they were quite real. Tentatively she took them into her arms. "Jiro? Daisuke?"
"I told Jiro we shouldn't be in there!"
"MY BABIES!" The woman bawled, squeezing her children so hard they lost their breath. A roaring cheer emerged from the crowd and Mari was suddenly swarmed with people thanking her and asking her questions.
Overwhelmed, she started to fly away when the young mother called out to her. Like the red sea, the crowd parted, letting her approach Mari. "You've given me my children back, please, is there anyway I can repay you?"
Mari shook her head. "To accept payment for what I do would cheapen it. It is my duty and honor to protect those in need."
"At least tell me your name." The woman pleaded. "I want to know who protected my babies when no one else could.
"I'm not a baby," Jiro protested.
She had to ask about the name... Wait, she said I was a protector -I know! "My name is Marvel. Riddari Marvel".
And I've started another one. After reading the SOE stories, I wanted to write one (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.) Mari was the only female character from Eva I could think of that hadn't been done, and I didn't want to step on any toes (at least not more than I'm already doing.) And yes, the officer's name is an amalgamation of my two favorite Detective Conan police officers, Wataru Takagi and his love interest, Miwako Sato.
Why the Norse theme? The original Captain Marvel used Greco-Roman deities and heroes while Black Adam used Egyptian ones. I wanted to do something different and I'll openly admit to knowing nothing about Japanese mythology and love the old Norse Gods, so I went with those.
As fun as tying Mari Marvel in with Mary Marvel would have been, the name was simply too obvious. Originally I was going to call her Miss Marvel before I remembered there was a completely unrelated superhero with that name. Almost accidentally I came across the term Riddari, and it stuck in my mind.