Disclaimer: Relax, it's only fan fiction. Take a deep breath, and then remember all registered works you see within belong to someone who is not me. So please, sit back, relax, and enjoy your stay. Not like you can leave...
Author stuff: Just experimenting with a different brand of fan fiction today. Don't mind me.
The Reprint and Repackaging of Evangelion
Chapter 1 The Road I Walk, is Paved in Gold
by Marik Kurakashi
Ah, smell that post Apocalyptic air, which is exactly what young Ikari Shinji did as he stepped off the empty tram. It stank with the usual big city smells, well, usual for post-Second Impact big cities anyways. Tokyo-3, the third Tokyo after the first was munched on by the sea and someone blew the second one to hell, was an eyesore to the outsider from the hills.
Granted, judging it for very minuscule amount of time he had been was a certain brand of folly, but he didn't quite care at the moment. Lonely and isolated though it was, the hills were peaceful and lacked the overwhelming crowds that Tokyo-3 was expected to have. Expected in the sense that he hadn't seen a single person since he had arrived and everything was closed.
"Just my luck," he cursed under his breath, the light suitcase bouncing gently against his left leg as he strode with a purpose for a pay phone. "I would have to come on some kind of holiday or something."
Sachiel looked up from his indomitable march through the UN forces confused, getting the sense that he was being ignored. This feeling was quickly forgotten when another V/TOL tried to shoot his face off. He felt it very rude and decided that no matter how entertaining the little pests' struggle was, it was still annoying.
Miraculously clueless to the deathmatch happening outside the city, equally ignorant of the sound of shit getting blown the fuck up, Shinji finally found his pay phone. Just as well, he had been eyeballing some of the abandoned shops like a rioter before he spotted it. It was probably just the effects of the city being such a ghost town, which is why he didn't dwell on his sudden desire to smash a window and go looting, only sliding the coin into the phone and working on finding whoever was supposed to pick him up.
They had forgotten about him obviously, hence his stroll through the town minus populous. It was the third time he had failed to connect to any of the numbers given to him when he had finally had enough. A snarl rose from his lips, well, as much of one as one so small and meek can muster, and he proceeded to bank the phone off the main body for a good minute,
Catharsis was the prescription for the young Ikari, and he worked to get it filled as fast as possible.
His wind was returning when the missiles decided to rudely interrupt his reverie by exploding harmlessly against a heretofore unnoticed by him giant alien monster thing. He promptly lost his wind again as he shrieked in terror, pausing only to grab his one suitcase and flee the area. In his flight, he missed spotting a blue hair girl who appeared from nowhere, and went right back to it before he could turn around.
As it turned out, salvation was upon him as a beat-up blue car skidded to a halt just in front of him, narrowly avoiding making a garish hood ornament out of him. He unceremoniously fell backwards onto his posterior, giving a slight "wuff" of noise like an oversized dog as he landed. The distinct sound of laughter woke him from his daze, and he shot to his feet to give the careless driver a piece of his mind.
"Oh, I'm sorry," the woman said, her tone exactly patronizing as she looked down at him as pleased as punch. "I'm late anyways, and I even set my clock early so I wouldn't be."
"Uh..." Shinji didn't respond to that, though the overwhelming feeling that he should flee this mad woman attempted to arrest him, but his feet decided to commit treason at that moment and remained rooted to the ground.
"I'm Misato Katsuragi," the woman continued professionally, well, as professionally as she could while restraining a series of snickers. The distinctly Western style introduction twanged a bit in Shinji's mind, before he reminded himself that he had no concept of what the West was outside of classes. "And you're Shinji, correct?"
"No, I'm the Pope." Shinji said bluntly, hoping the impossibility of the claim would annoy the laughing hyena some. There hadn't been a Pope since everything in the Vatican was incinerated in Second Impact. "Who the hell else would I be?"
"Well sorrrry," she drawled, eyes rolling at the uncharacteristic sarcasm. She could only make this claim on appearance alone, and he looked too scrawny to be a wise ass. "No one gave me a picture of you."
"Great, just great. Now can we get out of here before whatever that monster I ran away from comes over her and kills us?" He was completely serious about this, and had Misato not been the head of NERV operations, she'd be tempted to get a look at what it was.
"Get in, buckle down, the ride's gonna get bumpy." Misato decided she liked the kid, after a fashion. He'd better watch his mouth or someone was going to shoot him in the face.
The drive was uneventful, since the two had gotten most of the banter out of their system, they settled into the routine of Shinji staring at Misato's tits and her letting him, since it kept him quiet and let her focused on the road. Most of the men who worked with her regularly had a tough time fighting the gravitational pull of her back pain inducing rack, so a fourteen year old kid in the throes of puberty was completely knackered.
Misato pulled the car into the final tunnel to NERV when the N2 Mine detonated, buying them some precious time as Sachiel was stunned by it. Still quiet as Shinji seemed oddly melancholic about all this, Misato lead him through the loops and turns that decorated the halls of NERV HQ. After a depressing length of time, the pair ran into a blond woman wearing the curious combination of a one-piece high school issued bathing suit and a stark white lab coat. Eyes met breasts for a second time before Shinji jerked his head away when he felt the woman glower at him.
"You're late Misato." the woman intoned, bored, measured voice rolling off the wall. "Is this him?"
The sale on people who loved asking obvious questions continued, much to Shinji's dismay.
"Nope, he's the new Pope. Turns out the Angel got lost on his way to Rome-5." Misato said, cutting off any potential conflict as Shinji looked to snap out something sure to offend someone. "It's not his fault no one told the Angel it's white smoke and not burning an entire city down."
"Yeah, hi, I'm Pope Wiseass the Fourteenth. Pleasure's all mine." Shinji said, playing along as he stuck a hand out to the blond.
"Captain..." Ooo, she sounded angry.
"Oh grow up, Ritsuko, of course it's him. If I did bring back the wrong guy, well, who forgot to give me a picture of him, hmm?" Rawr, the claws were officially out now. Shit looked to be turning quite real, quite fast in these parts.
"Whatever." The scientific and well-thought out reply of Doctor Ritsuko Akagi came in the same bored tone that chirped through the halls as she spun to resummon the elevator.
"Good one," Shinji whispered to Misato, ignoring the stewing blond.
"Whatever you say, your holiness." Nope, definitely won't let him live this one down, no sir.
/-\ /-\ /-\
"I'm sorry, did you guys not put lights down here or something?" Shinji was trying to behave, but being lead to a dark room begged to be snarked at. "It's not my birthday and I don't know any of you, so a surprise party is out. Are there strippers? I'd like that, so no to that as well."
Misato's laughter came out like a bark, having blown through her attempt to suppress it.
"This is," Ritsuko said, voice growing to a reverent whisper, "Humanity's last line of defense against the Angels. Evangelion Unit 01!" The lights went up at her signal, sigh, you have to love your kohai sometimes. A distinct shudder went down the spine of Maya Ibuki, as if she knew she was probably going to be walking funny for a while.
"It's a giant robot?" Shinji, for one, didn't care for the theatrics. Maya shot him a death glare, sempai had worked so hard to set this presentation up for the little ingrate.
"In the same manner you're a little shit," Ritsuko said evenly, not all that upset when she considered his parentage. Okay, so she was pretty riled by his attitude, but she wasn't ready to whip out a gun and shoot him in the face. Yet.
"From the lack of information I'm getting, I take it I'm suppose to pilot this thing." If he were a little more self centered, he'd wail about how this was what his father wanted him for.
"That is correct!" A sharp male voice rang out from the right of the screen, before he entered the picture, a spotlight shining on him as he glared down at the boy. Was that music in the background?
"Oh hey Father." The younger Ikari was trying to be respectful here. He had to phrase things in a delicate manner to Gendo, least he get shot in the face for it. "I got a question, and I'm sure I won't like the answer, but why didn't you call me here a couple weeks ago? I'm not entirely unreasonable here, if you'd have explained it all to me, I'd be raring to go out there fly this thing."
Gendo's eyebrows climbed over his shades and waved to the world. It was a short list of things that could shock him, and his son not being a spineless coward was one of them. He kept his cool and refused to answer.
"Hey, Shinji," Misato said, trying to defuse the situation. "You have to understand-"
"Understand what exactly? That you're trying to strong arm me into doing something a five minute conversation could have done? I could understand if Father brought this up before and I gave him the finger, but FUCK woman, I didn't even know what he did for a living or that he was alive before that epic one word letter he sent me." Now Shinji was getting mad, as he had this distinct feeling that they were going to patronize him about this.
"I'm not hearing a refusal to pilot," Ritsuko said, gazing up at Gendo. Mainly because she wanted to duck for cover if he whipped a gun out to shoot the little fucker.
"Yeah, like I'd be able to say no. Do you have another pilot? One that could go out there and fight?" Silence, glorious silence greeted him. "See? This is the shit I'm talking about. I may have slight reservations in piloting something I know fuck all about, but to put a loaded gun to my head and say do it is just a bit much right?"
"Perhaps you're right." Gendo digested the surprising rant from his previous thought to be spineless coward of a son. "If you'll pilot it, then there is no further need for this discussion."
"Of course, I could already be out there fighting it but somebody decided he had to make sure I'd have no choice to. And hell, I would have even known what I was doing! But hey, what's a fight against an alien monstrosity beyond human understanding without a lot of needless complications against it right?" Shinji turned and looked up at the purple giant, hoping that he'd be able to make it through this battle.
There was only silence in the EVA cages, for there could only be after everyone realized that they were pinning their hopes of survival on a child untrained and unprepared for this battle.
/-\ /-\ /-\
Luckily, it seemed the time that was skipped with all the pointless dramatics, such as Gendo's backup plan of using their bedridden and severely injured other pilot in a sleazy way of ensuring that the Evangelion got its pilot. As it was, Shinji was getting a crash course in what was to be expected of him as he piloted it. He dutifully listened to the support staff fill him in on sync ratios and AT-fields, but it was a fight to keep his eyes from crossing as they waxed a little too nostalgic over numbers and theorems that went into the monstrosity in purple before him.
"So here I am, waiting to save Tokyo-3." Shinji muttered to himself, figuring to keep his thinking small so as to avoid thinking about the larger implications as he waited for the Eva to be activated. No sooner did he stop paying attention that an orange liquid start filling the Entry Plug. "OK, what the fuck is this?"
"It's LCL, Shinji." Ritsuko informed him in the kind of voice you'd use telling someone else something you know and they don't. "The Evangelion won't work without it. Relax, it isn't water, and once immersed, you'll be able to breath."
"Will you people quit leaving out important details like this?" Shinji called back, instinctively closing his eyes as the LCL crept over his head. He opened his eyes and suddenly knew what an ice cube felt like in a glass of orange soda. "What's that smell?"
"You don't want to know, really, you don't." Well, now, didn't she sound positively nervous at that question. "Trust me."
"Fine. Now what?" Shinji said, deciding to get back to the task at hand.
"Just sit there and clear your mind for a second. We need to get a baseline for your sync ratio so we can determine the best way to have you fight." Misato, surprisingly, provided that answer. Ritsuko gave her a bug-eyed look for the briefest of seconds. Maya shuddered some more for some reason, though she didn't seem to perturbed by the sudden onset of chills.
"Sounds easy enough." It was and it wasn't. The more he tried to clear his mind, the more crowded it got. Eventually, he amused himself with the idea of that his father genuine- hahahaha, just fucking with you. He simply managed to close his mind down by thinking about what a sync ratio was. They had explained it, in manner you would to someone who won't be around to actually learn more about it. Such faith these people had in him, which was their fault entirely.
"Sync ratio holding at 79 percent." Makoto Hyuga chimed in, finally escaping the dreaded Left Side of the Screen. "Not bad for a first timer."
"Hell, walking and fighting might not be beyond him either." Shigeru Aoba added, rounding out the bridge crew cast as well as following Makoto out of the Left Side. They had a chance, in the same vein that you'd get super powers by being struck by lightning while being bit by a radioactive animal and a nuke going off in your face. Okay, so they were still screwed but maybe he could kill the Angel with laughter.
"The Angel is still about fifteen minutes away." Maya added, not giving in to despair. If only because she didn't feel it right to try and be the one that was the morose motherfucker on the crew. Let Shigeru or Makoto do that shit, she'd be content to state the obvious about things and generally be useless when it came to the actual fighting. Like a good bridge bunny did.
"Okay, Shinji, focus for now on getting the Evangelion to move." Ritsuko commanded, getting a little too into being a bossy bitch for Shinji's taste. Not that it mattered, since he was in the damn thing and she was guiding him towards the glorious finish line of not dying like a stupid fuck.
"Alright. One foot in front of the other, yes?" He hoped that didn't sound too standoffish. To think, they could be doing this without a giant monster coming to kill them in the next fifteen minutes. The Evangelion lurched forward in the large area cleared for this emergency training session. Success! Another lurch and Shinji dared to think he was starting to see why all the kids back in the hills thought giant robots were cooler than a hooker with three vaginas.
"Sync ratio is holding," Makoto said, deciding to ignore what seemed to be a shudder from the Eva. "Seems like the kid wasn't that bad of a choice." The alternative being Rei's malformed living corpse was a small comfort in this time of physical crisis.
"Movement, while slow, seems to be good." Shigeru chimed in, as if to remind people he was still there. He really needed to speak more, or there was no point in him being on screen at all.
"Walking looks to be conquered soon," Maya tossed her hat into the opinion ring. "Maybe he should shadow box a little before we drop the AT-field generation on him." She was being reasonable here, because they couldn't afford to have a personal crisis over failure derail their ticket to not being murdered town.
"Okay, that seems reasonable enough." Ritsuko only agreed because it was Maya, which loosened the red string that was attempting to strangle her. That and the other two were assholes. Anyways, she thought over what she had seen so far from the Third Child, and found herself not entirely in dislike of his sarcastic manner. Though she wondered where he got it from. "See if you can make it do some punches, Shinji." It was still plugged in, so powering the thing wasn't an issue.
"Walking before running, hand to hand before weapons training eh?" It was almost a well thought out plan, which he could respect. Then he remembered how he got to this situation, and he found that respect was the farthest thing from his mind. The Evangelion took a bastardized boxing stance, since Shinji didn't know the proper one and only remembered this stance from a movie his guardians made him watch. An awkward left jab poked out, harmless if Shinji himself did it, but being a giant robotic monstrosity whose very existence blasphemed against the heavens themselves gave it a certain power and menace. This was followed by an equally awkward right cross, the world's slowest one-two combo being executed as though time itself had been slowed to a crawl.
"Though his form sucks, the fact he can do that is impressive." Ritsuko said, to reassure everyone else that while he looked every bit the amateur in there, he was exceeding what a first timer should be able to do. She watched as the Evangelion went through a sequence of punches and even managed a kick or two that didn't look completely horrible. It even started to dodge and weave a little, as Shinji fell into a silent rhythm and began to work the kinks out of his lack of fighting skills.
"Our chances improve." That was Misato, though it was less hopeless than she had expected it to be. While he couldn't be guaranteed to win, he could at least not be horrible boat murdered in the first minute of the fight now. Don't sweat the small stuff, just have faith in the Evangelion, it'd make up the difference for what Shinji lacked. "While it'd be nice to believe in Shinji wholly, we can't let that cloud our judgment in the coming battle. It's a small blessing he's getting this emergency training." Nine minutes before the Angel was on top of them. Nine minutes to train the kid to defend all their lives.
"Hey, I think I'm starting to get the hang of this." Shinji was lying through his teeth, but he knew that they knew that he was a pretty shit pilot at the moment. If they didn't have to rely on him, he'd still be up in the hills, not giving a shit about any of this. "I think I got this down. What's next?"
"The progressive knife." Misato was adamant about that point. It was the only weapon ready for the Evangelion at the moment, and being a little versed in the art of stabby was as important to their chances as the AT-field. "It'll only take a few minutes for him to get this too. If we're lucky, he'll be ready for the AT-field by the end of it."
"I agree." A surprise entrant to the observation, Mr. Gendo Ikari his damn self! Flanked by Kouzo Fuyutsuki, the papa of the boy in the monster machine sauntered in pleased as fuckin' punch. "The AT-field is a delicate thing, Doctor. Let's not shoulder too much more on him."
"Alright." Ritsuko relented, having the Commander come out of his hole to all but issue the order for the knife training next was enough to erase any countermand she might have. "Shinji, in the left shoulder of the Evangelion, is the progressive knife. I want you to pull it out and practice using it."
He complied without comment, and yanked free a small knife, it almost looked like a box cutter had a love affair with a switchblade.
"Before you decided to make a snarky comment," Gendo said, shouldering past Ritsuko to cut off the impending rant. "Yes, we got caught off guard by the Angel. Yes, it would have been better to have started training you a long fucking time ago. But the Angel had no courtesy to let us have these luxuries. There will be more weapons forged for the Evangelion, if the knife dissatisfies you so, then defeat the Angel and live to see them come to life."
"Holy shit, is that you Father?" Shinji was taken aback by the almost positive reinforcement from his sole parent. "Well then, I guess I can't argue against that." He so could, but fuck it, if his dad was making excuses for this shit, he knew there was something larger than the robot he was sitting in at work. "So let's get on with this." The Evangelion, however clumsy and awkward it was, began to swing and thrust the progressive knife around with earnest.
"You ever wonder why the Commander is the Commander?" Shigeru whispered to Makoto, looking at the elder Ikari with the doe eyed stare of one caught in high beams.
"At times, but then he does something like this and it's like, how do you question the guy?" Makoto whispered back.
/-\ /-\ /-\
"The Angel is here!" Maya yelled nine minutes later, the Evangelion just getting loaded into the catapult. "It hasn't attacked yet!"
"Launch the Evangelion straight away!" Misato ordered, it was go time. This was the point of no return, would they live like Kings or die like urchins? Only Shinji could answer that now.
"Hello," Shinji murmured under his breath as the Eva emerged from below ground directly opposite Sachiel. "I'm the welcoming committee. You have an appointment?"
Sachiel roared and raised its AT-field.
"Oh ho, already on the defensive huh?" Shinji chortled, before he raised his own almost casually. "Then let's get dangerous my giant alien friend."
The Angel needed no further prodding, as he charged forth with a mighty scream!
AT-field met AT-field, their wavelengths merged and disappeared. Shinji jerked the Evangelion into a swift right cross, thundering into the facial mask that he thought was Sachiel's head. His foe, caught off guard by the sudden attack, took it full on, rolling back out of the Eva's range, AT-field reblooming to life.
"Attack successful! Damage is minimal but he hit the son of a bitch!" Makoto cheered, the tense atmosphere threatening to choke them all.
"So, is that all you got?" Shinji taunted, putting the Evangelion into the loose boxing stance he had taught himself. "I'd almost dare to hope that was enough, but I'm not stupid enough for that." Sachiel gamely got to his feet, and was ready to have it out with the Evangelion right fucking now.
"I'd complain about the lack of damage," Misato said, "but I'm not delusional enough to believe a punch like that could do what the N2 mine failed to accomplish. It wouldn't have even pierced the Angel's core."
And like that, the battle for Tokyo-3 broke down to a good old fashioned case of fisticuffs. Shinji stayed active and loose, peppering Sachiel with light jabs and crosses, doing no damage but keeping the monster off balance and frustrated. By contrast, the Angel's swings seemed wild and sloppy, missing by a good margin as Shinji somehow fell into the rhythm of the fight. A swift right front kick to the chest sent Sachiel tumbling away, the civilian shelters behind the Evangelion safe for now.
Now he was mad. Before, the UN forces annoyed him, but their futile struggle only served to amuse him enough to abate his rage. Sachiel roared again, and a small part of Shinji felt that it could understand the message beneath the sound and fury.
"Seems he's feeling a bit peeved." Shinji muttered, pulling out the progressive knife and taking what he thought was a knife fighter stance. "I'm glad, I wouldn't want him to think I'm fucking around here."
Onward came Sachiel, faster than before as he sought to overwhelm the purple monstrosity before him. It was not to be, however, as Shinji ducked low and brought the knife into the right wrist, the vibrating blade slicing through the flesh of the Angel quite readily. Blood spayed from the wound, and back stumbled the once unstoppable monster, clutching his wound.
Another roar, and Shinji sighed and shook his head.
"It doesn't matter, you know." Shinji seemed apathetic at this point, but not quite bored. He just didn't care anymore. "You can cry all you want, but I'm not going to roll over and die because you're feeling pissy that I'm fighting back better than you thought I could." The Evangelion came forward, slashing the knife recklessly, forcing the Angel to twist and turn to avoid the blade.
"H-he has it on the ropes." Maya politely stated the obvious, the unnerving silence of the bridge drove her to say something to alleviate the pallor.
The end came fast and brutal, and played out like something from a movie. Shinji twirled the progressive knife into the air before twisting the Evangelion inside of Sachiel's arms, catching the blade in a backhand grip and slamming it into the orb in the center of the Angel's chest. Sachiel's dying wail was muted by Shinji pulling the knife free and punching it hard enough to clear the city bounds.
Sachiel's death throes guttered out, and it glowed in a brilliant light, before it exploded in a dazzling fashion. The flames twisted themselves into a cross pattern, as if to remind them of the origins of this creature. The Evangelion stood triumphant, covered in the blood of its fallen foe.
"And so, a young boy rises and becomes a legend..."
End chapter 1
Teaser for Chapter 2 "Your First Impression's Got to Be Your Very Best"
"Not that I mind you winning," Misato began as she drove them back to her apartment, where he'd be staying at during his time at NERV. "But why are you such a wiseass?"
"It's nothing too special," Shinji said, offhand because he was coming down from the adrenalin high he was on earlier. "When I was nine, I fell down the stairs and broke my collarbone. I was so fucked up on painkillers that I managed to have an epiphany that there was no point being an introverted loser because I thought the world was out to get me."
"How did you manage that?" Misato wasn't sure she wanted to know, but she opened this can of worms
"This the part where I'd say something inspirational, but really, it was a pep talk from the spirit of some guy named Freddie Mercury. I figure I owed it to him after he saved me from the giant purple weasels trying to eat me." There was a long pause. "I was nine and they gave me enough morphine to stun a bull elephant. I'm just glad I didn't turn into a junkie."