It's been more or less two years since I first published I, Rei. In that time, things have changed, my tastes have changed, my life, really, has changed.
So i'm going to revisit the story, a re-imaginging, or, Rebuild of Evangelion: I, Rei, if you will.
That said, i hope you enjoy this one as much as the first go through, it was a hell of a ride for sure.
Now, without further Ado, Chapter 1, Rebuild of I, Rei.
I'll say this much right now, I didn't remember going to sleep covered in bandages, although to be fair I didn't really remember going to sleep at all, but when I woke up I was covered in bandages and I felt like I'd been dropped down an elevator shaft.
That and the gurney, the gurney wasn't something I remembered, not that I really remembered anything, so at least it's being consistent. I opened my eyes, wait, scratch that, I opened my eye and looked up at the ceiling, the lights were moving past me quickly, I could see doctors around me, I was being moved.
Well, I thought that it would probably be a good idea to avoid elevator shafts in the future, just in case. Pain isn't exactly something I enjoy, I'd decided, so caution would be the order of the day.
They rolled me into an elevator. Crap. Well, at least I was inside the car instead of outside, which is, I decided, how I'd like things to be. Well, so I couldn't avoid elevator shafts, I'd at least make sure if I was in one, I'd also be inside the elevator car as well. A good idea if I've ever had one… I think, not that I remembered, but I'd liked to think so.
There was a fig leaf inside an upside down apple painted on the wall of the elevator, there were words too but my vision was too fuzzy to make it out. I hear the doctors talking as the elevator descended.
"They can't make her do this; she's in no shape for it!"
"Well, what choice do we have? The commander creeps me the hell out and I wouldn't want to get him pissed off at me, I don't think it would be conducive to my having a pulse."
"You got that right, still makes me feel like a criminal."
I lifted my head slightly to try to take in my surroundings and I must have startled them because they stopped talking, oh well.
There was a far off explosion, the elevator rocked, and images flashed before my eyes.
I was standing on the street corner, a child was in the street, there was a bus heading towards him, and he couldn't see it. I could see the hearing aids in his ears.
I ran, I ran with everything I had in my body, the bus wasn't stopping, I didn't know why, but it wasn't stopping. It would be close… far too close. The boy looked about nine, not quite muscled as he would be later in life, but he could take the hit. I slammed into him running full speed and knocked him out of the street, and then my vision tumbled, the bus hit me and I had the feeling that my head was no longer attached to my body.
I snapped back to reality, or what passed for it anyway. I was being rolled through a huge room, I thought of an airplane hanger when I saw the high ceiling and open spaces. I heard what sounded like a teenage boy arguing with somebody, he sounded upset. I didn't know why, and I was a bit curious, but at the moment I was more concerned with the fact that I had apparently been hit by a bus, decapitated, and that I'd been put back together, bandaged, and was being rolled through some kind of hanger.
So much for the elevator shaft theory, guess I'd have to avoid public transit from now on instead, no big shame; I think elevators are far more useful. I could feel my whole body though, so these people had to have some kind of really advanced med-tech, although I could have used some serious painkillers, so maybe that was a mixed blessing.
The boy was getting louder, and as I tried to sit up to get a look at him the entire building shook, and I fell as my gurney collapsed. This event ranks at number two on my list of 'Things That Hurt More Than I'd Like', number one being getting hit by the cross-town bus, which I remembered. At least I remembered something.
Almost as soon as I hit the ground I felt strong, yet not overly muscled arms grab me, and pick me up from the floor, it was the boy, he looked about fourteen, and I have to admit did have a certain attractive quality. He looked Asian, Japanese probably, brown haired, and brown eyed, he wasn't hard on the eyes, not that I was paying much attention, given that I'd just been thrown off a gurney after having previously been hit by a bus.
"T-thank you" I squeezed out between gritted teeth as he held me. Definitely preferred here to the floor.
He turned his head upwards towards whoever he'd been arguing with, and yelled, "I'll do it! I'll pilot it!"
I almost asked him what he was talking about when I noticed the giant purple hand over us, I followed the arm down into the pink fluid under the bridge we were on, then I looked to the other side, and I saw a huge face, a face with a horned helmet.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have just lost cabin pressure.
My eye opened wide in shock, I knew this machine, this creature. I knew what it was, I didn't know how, but I knew, and I knew what it could do, and I knew what it was going to do, and I knew its name.
"Evangelion..?" I said, right before the blood loss from my re-opened wounds gave me that extra little nudge and made my world go black.
I knew the meaning of pain.
Negative, I knew the meaning of agony, and this was that. Never underestimate the capacity for pain in the human body, because if you do Murphy will make you his bitch while showing you exactly how wrong you were.
Now, that isn't to say you can't reach a limit to your pain, a limit that when you reach it your mind shuts down and you pass out. Apparently I had no such limit, but I did have a button in my hand, and so I pressed that button.
That button became my best friend in an instant, for it gave me a shot of liquid relief in the form of morphine or some other equally lovely painkilling chemical.
I heard the door open and I turned my head to the side as my vision started to swim, it was that boy again, and then I was asleep.
The entire room was on fire. The walls, the floor, the ceiling, I looked out the window and I saw the sky on fire, it was the most beautiful and terrifying thing I'd ever seen in my life.
There was no heat, which was my first hint that perhaps the world wasn't actually in flames. The second would be the fact that there was a pale blue haired girl who looked remarkably familiar standing in front of me, and she was not burning.
She noticed me looking and smiled. That smile she smiled will stay with me until the day that I die, for nothing I had seen before had ever scared me so much. Her smile, it conveyed so much loss, so much hurt, and so much pain, and so much… other-ness, it's not even something I can fully quantify.
Her lips parted and she started to talk, "Would you believe I never knew I was going to destroy the world? I would believe he would have done it, I know he would have done it for me, but in the end, it was my hand that ended everything."
I blinked and stared at the girl in front of me, talking like she was responsible for all this fire, this fake, imaginary, cold, terrifying fire. "What do you mean, you did it? Who the hell are you and why do you look so familiar?"
The girl smiled her sad smile and laughed a sad laugh, "you'll see in the mirror when you wake up. You won't see me again, so I'll tell you now, I'm sorry it had to be you, I wanted a second chance for this, and the price was my life, but your life, well, that was something I could save, if only they knew what I was planning from the start I doubt they would have let me."
Then it clicked in my head, I knew who it was I was looking at, "You're Rei Ayanami, you're not real, how are you real!" There was no way I was talking to a fictional anime character in a slowly burning world, not happening.
She smirked, "Yes, that's right, I was wondering when you'd figure that one out. And I can assure you that I am real, or at least I used to be. There isn't much time left for me here, I just want you to know that you will have the power to make the difference that I couldn't"
As I was digesting this confusing and somewhat frightening information she started to fade away, I reached out and grabbed for her hand, "Wait, why me!"
A tear fell from her eye and dissolved as she finally faded away, I was alone in the room, the walls were falling in now, when I heard her voice one last time, "Because, you always believed, and I know you won't let me down…"
And then the roof caved in.
I woke up with a start and immediately felt my body, sure that I'd been crushed to death by that room caving in. I was quickly proven wrong, my fears unfounded, for I was in the same number of broken pieces as before my little adventure in dreamland.
Fine, I was in an anime, or at least a world that I knew about from an anime, or an alternate reality… yeah we'll go with alternate reality.
My memory wasn't what it should be, weather that is because I died under a truck, or because my mind was currently residing in a fourteen year old girl's half-human half-angel brain I didn't know, the only thing I did know that there was a lot about myself I didn't know.
The one thing I did know for sure was that I was getting out of this damn hospital bed and I was doing it immediately.
I slid as gingerly as I could out from under the thin sheet covering me and put one foot to the cold tile floor, then the other. I tested my weight and stood up. And fell down.
'So much for coming out of this looking pretty.' I thought as I pushed myself back up off the floor, grimacing as I felt the sting of my wounds protesting my exodus from the hospital bed.
I stumbled towards the door and caught sight of my reflection in it. 'Well, that settles it then.' Blue hair, one red eye, lots of bandages. No doubts anymore.
I was still wearing the skin tight suit they had me in when my gurney collapsed, so I couldn't have been out for too long. "Okay, I can do this" I said to myself as I pulled the latch on the door open and stepped out into the well lit hallway.
…and yelped as a gurney rolled completely over my foot. both wheels. Clearly this attire did not offer any foot protection.
I shot the nurse pushing the gurney a look that could have frozen lava as she continued on, oblivious. I took a deep breath as I tried again and instantly regretted it; it felt like somebody had fired rock salt into my chest. 'Okay, new to add to inventory, cracked and/or broken ribs. Magnificent.'
"Okay, step one, ibuprofen, step two get out of the hospital, let's do this" I said to myself, still more than a little creeped out about the voice I was hearing.
I walked into the hallway stumbling around like a drunken moron, likely either due to my injuries, the drugs I was pumped full of, or my massively lower center of gravity; my best guess being that I was at least a couple inches short of five feet even.
Oh the other hand, as I got used to walking down the hallway I felt like once I got used to this body, I'd be capable of some pretty impressive displays of agility, I felt light and flexible, if clumsy as all hell. I'd have to work on that.
I stepped around the corner of the hallway leading from my room, from there I ended up in a much larger hallway around the perimeter of the building, it was well lit, being that entire wall was made of windows.
Curious, I stepped closer and took a look out the window, hundreds of bodies were burning. I almost screamed, and then the bodies were gone, replaced by a beautiful landscape, pine trees and lakes, the sun shining down through a massive skylight. 'Great glorious mindfuck…' I thought to myself. This was for real.
Ten or so meters down the hall was a nurses' station, I hobbled over to it and found what I was looking for, pain killers. I rifled through the drawers and finally found unopened single serving packages of ibuprofen. I grabbed five and downed them without water, I was going to feel marginally better in about thirty to forty-five minutes depending on age, gender, and body mass. "Don't you just love vague medication directions" I said to myself.
I stumbled again when I continued down the hallway, my balance was improving, but clearly not all the way there yet. I heard a noise behind me and peeked around the corner I'd just come around to see three men in black suits questioning a nurse, they didn't look happy.
'Section 2, evade them' the thought just popped into my mind, unbidden. I listened. At the end of the hallway I was in was, from what I could tell of the kanji over the door, was a psych ward. I started to run towards the door, wincing with each step, as breathing hurt, and the stresses of rapid locomotion only made that worse.
To be fair, it was less of a run and more of a drunken scramble, but who am I to split hairs? I reached the door and thumbed the lock open, apparently they only wanted to keep people in, not out, and ducked inside.
It was sort of an airlock type chamber; there was an empty nurse's station on one end, and another locking door opposite the one I'd entered. The door lead into the common area for the psych patients, I could see several of them wandering around, some standing on chairs miming airplane wings.
The plan took shape, I slipped around behind the nurse's station and rifled through the drawers, quickly finding what I was looking for. I pulled the bottle and syringe out and stabbed the needle into the bottle, "Hmm, 4'9"-ish, average build, probably around ninty…" I said to myself as I drew up a measured quantity of the clear liquid into the syringe. How I knew the proper dosage was beyond me, but clearly whatever I was previously had some manner of medical knowledge.
That, or I'd simply gone bat-shit insane and I was having an existential crisis. Either way, I slipped the syringe into my palm, thumbed the lock on the inner door, and slipped in. I could see the suits through the glass on the other side of the airlock, but they hadn't noticed me yet.
I picked out my mark, it was going to suck to be him, but it was going to suck even more to have to explain why I got out of bed for no reason. I broke the seal on my suit and let it go slack and start to fall off of me, then grabbed an especially out-of-it looking man and grabbed him by the shoulder.
Whatever slight grasp he had left on sanity, it was surely blasted out of him when he saw me, almost naked, holding a needle. Just as the agents opened the outer door, I threw myself backwards onto the man, stabbed the needle into my thigh, and pushed down the plunger.
Immediately I started to go dizzy, and the agents burst through the door, for all they knew this guy had kidnapped me from my room and drugged me, and was trying to have his way with me. Which was exactly what I wanted them to think.
And then I passed out.
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