Hello, readers. Since we left you with a cliff hanger last chapter, and sometimes we take a while to update, we decided to get another chapter out ASAP. it's either going to be our best so far attempt at capturing EVA, or a horrible failure that will fall screatching to the ground of mediocrity like a literary Hindenburg.
Anyhow, here we go.
Chapter 10: Oh the humanity!
"Shut up, you little brat!" Rei's eyes shot opened to the more than unsettling feeling of her trachea being crushed by a large, shaking hand, slowly focusing in on the snarling face of a brown haired woman. "He'd never say that about me!" The young girl reached up, her hands scrabbling to get a grip on the older woman's, just for a moment of air, before her vision began to dim, the image before her swimming out of focus.
When it was gone, so was the pressure on her neck, though now she floated in a featureless mass of blue. Her memory also seemed to return. The simple assignment of destroying the seventh Angel in its inactive state, the surprise attack, and her last ditch attempt to fight the thing, even with no armor and only one weapon. Shortly after her first ever attempt to mimic one of Ranma-san's Chi attacks, alarms had started going off, and a sensation of dislocation had swept over her.
"Where am I?" she asked, her words sounding dead in the air, as though there was nothing for them to echo off of, and possibly not even any medium for them to travel through. Apprehension began to claw up in the usually calm girl's chest, but she suppressed it, trying to think, to concentrate on exactly what had gone wrong.
"Unit 00 has been locked down and the signal block's in place," Hyuga reported, his voice cutting through the tense atmosphere of Central Dogma like a progressive knife.
"Eject the plug and..." Ranma started, before Commander Ikari interrupted him.
"Don't eject the plug, bring up a camera view from inside of it," the older man said, his hands crossed in front of his face.
Ranma looked mildly annoyed, though the techs carried out the commander's orders with no comment, bringing up a view of Unit 00's plug's interior. It was bathed in red light, due to the fact that it was on auxiliary power, but what was inside was clearly visible. Rei's empty, free floating plugsuit, its former occupant nowhere to be found.
"Ritsuko, what happened?" the pigtailed man asked, turning rapidly to the brunette, who was studying her read outs carefully.
"It looks like her synchronization rate increased so high that the Evangelion absorbed her," the woman responded. "There has been one recorded instance of this happening before, with Unit 01 and its original test pilot." She abruptly closed her mouth, looking up to Commander Ikari, whose hands hadn't moved.
"Does the report on that incident say anything about how to get her back?" the Strategic Operations Officer asked, looking up for a moment at the disconcerting image of the plugsuit before looking away. "And could someone get that image off the screen?"
Maya complied with her superior's last order so quickly that the other two techs didn't even get a chance to move their hands, with a noticeable sigh of relief, while Ritsuko frowned. "The previous attempt... didn't work," she admitted, reluctantly.
Ranma and the three techs winced, before the room descended into an uncomfortable silence. After a few seconds, the pigtailed man broke it. "Well then, let's make sure it works this time."
Shinji yawned, sitting up in bed and noting that the sun was surprisingly high in the sky. Usually, if he slept this late, Ranma would be by to bang on his door, but the house seemed unusually inactive this morning.
He briefly, ponderously, thought over the fact that it was about 9:00 in the morning, according to a clock next to his bed, before his brain managed to slough off at least some of its sleep induced fog, and he realized that it was a work day. That tidbit of information ran through his mind for yet another few seconds, before his eyes widened and he shoved his legs out of bed, bolting to his feet and grabbing random bits of clothing out of his dresser drawers as quickly as he could.
Ten minutes later, after the fastest shower he'd ever taken, he was on his way out the door with a slice of toast between his teeth when he noticed the answering machine light on the phone that hung from the kitchen wall was blinking.
His new guardians had told the Ikari boy to always check messages on the machine, just in case something had come up and they needed to give him a message. Deciding that Mrs. Ryoji was probably already as pissed at him as she was going to get, he stopped and picked up the handset.
"Hi, Shinji. It's Ritsuko. Sorry, but Ranma and I are going to be working at NERV for a little longer than we expected. The emergency funds are hidden under my desk lamp, use some of it to buy supper tonight, all right?" As the machine beeped, the Third Child looked at it quizzically. The older woman's voice had sounded tired and a little stressed, and he wondered if something had gone wrong. He was jolted out of that thought process, however, when he caught a glimpse of the time on the microwave and remembered he was late. The Angel sirens weren't ringing, which meant it wasn't his problem until he was told something.
The light was blurry, and she wasn't sure where she was as her eyes opened once again. Still, although her vision wasn't quite up to snuff yet, her hearing was fine, and she could hear two people talking nearby, a man and a woman. "Why in the world are we even dealing with some young kid down here?" the man asked, irritably. "I thought this was supposed to be a secure facility."
"She's the girl Ikari adopted, remember?" the woman responded, sounding a little less annoyed and more worried. "A shame what happened to her, Doctor Akagi, too."
"You ask me, the old lady was always kind of nuts," the guy cut in. "Though yeah, if she did that to the kid..." he trailed off. "Maybe it's a good thing she took a header off that ledge."
"Roshi!" the female voice scolded. "That isn't funny."
"Yeah, whatever," the man said, noncommittally, before she lost consciousness again.
Asuka sat in her school desk, trying not to fidget. She had been told, when she came into work that morning, that Ranma had called Ukyo and informed her that the Children were to continue attending school. This probably meant that the Angel had been defeated, though she hadn't really had time to ask about it, especially since Misato had taken off to some place called Matsushiro early in the morning.
"Where's Ayanami?" she muttered, as she did her best to tune out the history teacher's incessant prattling about Second Impact. Earlier in the day, she hadn't really been worried, as both Rei and Shinji had been missing, and she'd thought they'd grown some spines and skipped to celebrate the defeat of that irritating Angel. She'd been contemplating ways to make them regret not inviting her along, after all, it had been her who had come up with the idea of just stabbing the thing while it was down, when Shinji had run into class, apologizing profusely and panting as though he was going to bring up a lung.
Still, it had been half an hour since then, and Rei's seat next to the window was occupied by nothing but the rather depressed look of that nerd who was always hanging around her. Looking up to the front of the room, she saw that the teacher was sitting in his chair, his eyes fixed on a ceiling tile as he recounted his family's travels during the first few years after Second Impact... again. Slipping a hand into a pocket on the front of her school dress, she pulled out her cell phone and began to dial.
The phone rang a few times, before it was picked up by Misato, though the call was broken up by a bunch of static and loud noises. "Hey Asuka, what's up?" the purple haired woman asked, casually.
"What in the world is going on behind you?" the redhead asked quietly, hearing what sounded like a large truck backing up.
"What? I can't hear you," the NERV officer called back, loudly enough that the class rep, who sat next to the EVA pilot, was giving her a strange look. Asuka gave her a pleading one in return, and the other girl frowned, but nodded.
"I said, What's that noise?" the Second child tried to say it slightly louder without alerting the teacher.
This apparently worked, as Misato responded. "We've just taken delivery on a really big package, that's all," she said, giving the German images of giant particle cannons, or maybe rocket booster packs for the EVAs to use. Still, she wanted to know about Rei. "Is Ayanami there? How did stabbing that Angel in the face go?"
"What? Speak up a little, would ya?" the Katsuragi woman yelled, as there was a loud crash behind her. "Hey, be careful with that thing!"
"I said, how did Rei's mission yesterday go?" Asuka tried again, only to get another 'what' from her guardian. "I asked how the mission went?" she said it much louder this time, and was suddenly reminded once more that she was in a classroom as she heard the teacher clear his throat loudly.
"Miss. Langley, is there something you would like to share with the class?" the old man asked, giving the girl a disapproving look.
"Uh, um, nothing, sir," the redhead said, rapidly hanging up her phone and slipping it into her pocket, before sheepishly looking around at the rest of the class, who were staring at her in curiosity.
On the other end of the suddenly disconnected line, Misato shrugged. It couldn't have been all that important, something about prices of admission. She decided to pick up a few tickets to something she figured Asuka would like on her way back to Tokyo-3. Seeing something that irritated her, she scowled. "Would you idiots be careful with that thing?" she snarled, striding up to a pair of workmen who were quickly securing an entry plug on the back of a transport, the number 03 clearly visible on its top.
"Unit 03 has arrived in Japan," one ominous black obelisk seemed to produce a human voice, as it and 11 others floated in a ring, the words "Sound Only" written on them in bright red lettering.
"Now, of course, we need the final item which will complete it," another voice spoke. "Has Ikari made any selections from the candidate pool?"
"No, and I have no intentions of letting him. If we give that man enough rope, he'll hang us all." the first voice cut in. "Though I have no particular preference for the pilot, we all know what will occur."
"How about this one?" a third voice said, a holographic photo appearing in the center of the group, oriented to each observer as though he were staring face on into it.
The group paused for a moment, before each man answered "No" in unison.
"All right, then the best way to do it is likely the simplest," another new voice cut in. "We've waited for a long time for core material to present itself, perhaps it's time to persue somewhat more... direct action?"
"With the number of angel attacks, it's statistically improbable that none has shown up already, however you're right. we will need to dispatch someone to make the proper arrangements. Whichever agent is given the first opportunity to come across an 'accident' without implicating us is to take it immediately," Chairman Keel's voice affirmed, before the last speaker spoke again.
"By the way, chairman, I approve of the increased security, but why have we changed our meeting method recently?"
Keel grimaced. "It was necessary," he said, turning to look into the hole in his viewing chamber wall, a few wires still sparking from where the remains of his very expensive holo-camera dangled by one bolt. "If there is no other business, our meeting for the day is adjourned." No one spoke up over the next thirty seconds, and the monoliths faded away.
"Hello, Rei." The woman who stood before her was familiar. Actually, Rei knew perfectly well who she was, Ritsuko Akagi being someone she saw every day, however the sense of not knowing who she was, but still recognizing a familiar face persisted. "My name is Dr. Akagi, how are you this morning?"
She found herself flinching as she heard the name, and the brown haired woman tilted her head. "Are you all right?" She asked, worriedly.
"Dr. Akagi is dead," the blue haired girl said, her voice very quiet.
"Yes..." The woman swallowed once. "She was my mother. I'm Ritsuko Akagi." Rei didn't respond verbally, only nodding. "Commander Ikari wants me to examine you and do some tests, is that all right?"
"Yes, Ma'am," the girl said, obediently, though still in her flat, quiet voice. Rei saw a look on the woman's face that she now recognized as discomfort, but she still lead her out of the room, smiling and attempting to keep up a good bedside manner.
The visit seemed to blend together, into dozens of examinations that had taken place, an uncomfortable sensation always present in the pit of her stomach as she met the eyes of a face that she now realized she'd stared into an older version of as she died.
"Hey, Ritsuko, I was wondering... woops!" The blue haired girl's attention snapped back to the parade of tests as she heard a voice that wasn't Dr. Akagi's, and noted that Ranma-san was standing in the room with them, his head apparently shoved into a medical supply cabinet. "Shouldn't you have a sign on the door or have this place locked or something?"
"I usually do," Dr. Akagi was actually grinning. "And the one time I don't, you walk in. This innocent man act is getting kind of thin, you know."
"Ritsuko, she's nine," Ranma-san replied sharply, "And I ain't the old freak."
The doctor just sighed, handing Rei a robe that she put on. "Well, you can look now," she said, and the martial artist removed his head from the cabinet. "This is Rei. Rei, this is Ranma, my husband."
"Huh, so this is the First?" Ranma-san asked, looking at the girl curiously.
"I am the second," Rei replied, without really thinking.
"Huh?" was Ranma-san's only response, and Dr. Akagi's expression turned uncomfortable.
"It's sort of above your clearance level, sorry," she muttered, apparently not wanting to explain the whole situation right now.
"Well, First or Second, it's good to meet ya." It didn't seem to bother the older man much that he'd just been told to mind his own business, as he and his wife just shared a look for a second before he returned his attention to Rei. "I'm the Strategic Operations Officer, so once you're old enough and we've got the kinks worked out of Unit 00, we'll be working together."
"Understood," Rei responded, obviously not in a way that Ranma-san had expected. He shared another confused look with his wife, who just shrugged back.
"Well, I should probably let the doc here get finished with your examination," the martial artist said, rather awkwardly, before telling Dr. Akagi that he would see her later in the day and leaving the room.
"So, who's winning?" Makoto Hyuga walked across the catwalk in the EVA cage, handing his superior officer a can of coffee.
"Very funny," Ranma grumbled, though he accepted the can, popping the tab and guzzling it like a man dieing of thirst.
"Well, sir, unless there's something you've learned from glaring at it for eight hours, all I can think of is you're trying to stare it into releasing Pilot Ayanami."
"You'd be surprised," the martial artist said, mysteriously. "Have any of you guys figured out Unit 00's grown an S2 engine yet?"
"About half an hour ago, actually," the tech said, deciding that he didn't really want to question the martial artist reguarding how he'd found out.
"I can see her, Hyuga," Ranma sighed. "I've got to concentrate to do it, and wading through Unit 00's usual confused aura's not a picnic, but I can see her... and can't do a damned thing about it."
"Dr. Akagi's got a good lead from the files we pulled from the last attempt," the bespectacled man replied. "We're going to get her back, but..." He took a deep breath; the last time he'd said something trying to hint at this, it had been a joke, and his superior had let it slide. This time, though, he might be committing career suicide. "You aren't going to help us by sitting here making the cage techs nervous. There's still a threat of Angel attack, and we need you sharp to command Units 01 and 02 if it happens."
Much to Hyuga's relief, the pigtailed man nodded. "Yeah, you're probably right," he admitted. "Just... notify me if something happens, all right?"
"First thing I'll do, sir," the bridge officer replied, masking his sigh of relief.
"Oh, and Hyuga?" Ranma asked, as he started out of the room. "What do you mean I make the cage crew nervous?"
"You were glowing, sir."
Shinji and Asuka walked along the sidewalk towards the apartment building, the latter looking up into the telephone lines, tracing them with her eyes. "So you didn't see her today at all?"
Shinji shook his head. "Last night, after you talked to Ranma, he and Ritsuko-san took her in to NERV. Sometimes she's there for a long time, though. I think she's sick, or something."
"Hmm?" the German asked, curiously.
"I don't know, I've never seen her coughing or anything, but with what she looks like, and all the times she and Ritsuko-san go in for medical exams," the Third child shrugged. "Plus she was pretty banged up when I first arrived."
"Yeah," Asuka said, nodding decisively. She knew that albinos often had health complications, and that was probably what it was. She told herself to stop worrying about it. Not that she was really worried about the First, but it had been her idea, and...
"Hey, who's that?" Shinji didn't know that he was interrupting Asuka's train of thought, but she was at least somewhat grateful to him for it as she traced his pointing finger to a person apparently camped out on the front steps of their apartment building.
"No one I know," the Second child replied. "If Section 2 hasn't gotten her to move along, she's probably a tenant who forgot her keys or something."
Shinji nodded, walking up to the woman and smiling nervously. "Hello, miss, is there something wrong?"
The woman looked up from a small laptop computer she'd been working on, blinking as she caught sight of who was talking to her. It was the waitress from Ucchan's. "I'm fine," she smiled back. "I'm just waiting for Ranma Saotome, I heard he was one of the owners of this building. Do you know when he's going to be home?"
"If he's not home, he's probably still at..." Shinji started, before getting a kick to the back of the ankle from Asuka.
"Still at work," she cut in, giving the Ikari boy a warning look. "He works some pretty irregular hours."
"Yeah, I know," the woman said, seeming to come to a decision. "Being a Captain in NERV will do that to you." Both children's faces gained surprised expressions, and the woman smiled. "I'm guessing you two are Evangelion pilots, right?"
"Sheist," the redhead grumbled. "Hasn't anyone around here heard of operational security?"
"If they had, you would have just blown it," the brown haired woman said, smirking like a particularly satisfied cat. "My name's Nabiki Tendo, I'm an old friend of Ranma's."
"Oh," Shinji said, some of the training his uncle had instilled in him taking precedence over common sense. "If you want, you can come inside and wait. I could get you something to drink."
Asuka rolled her eyes, and decided to follow as the other two entered the building, turning to the only apartment door on the first floor, rather than the stairs up to her own place. After all, Misato was probably still out of town and she would never complain about free food cooked by someone else.
As she entered the apartment, the girl whistled. "This is a pretty nice place, Ikari, maybe I should move in and kick you out. I'm sure they'd rather have me live here than you."
"That isn't funny," Shinji grumbled, giving her an irritated look. Still, it was better than how he had reacted to her jabs a week earlier. Then, he probably would have thought she was serious, and actually started packing his things.
"No, I think she's right," Nabiki responded. "If she doesn't do it, I might." Shinji ignored this, opening the fridge and rummaging around for some bottles of water.
"Here you are, Tendo-san," the boy said, giving Nabiki the bottle of water, before slumping down at the kitchen table and taking off his backpack, withdrawing a pile of school work that he'd managed to miss over the past five days.
"Great, Shinji, you had to remind me," Asuka grumbled. "All that language homework."
"You two do homework?" Nabiki asked, actually surprised.
"...yeah," Shinji said, looking at her oddly. "We had to skip school recently for..." Asuka mimed kicking with one foot, and he shut his mouth for a moment before continuing, "Some tests."
"It's kind of weird though, isn't it? I mean you two pilot giant robots, I didn't really think..." The brown haired woman trailed off, shrugging.
"When I asked, Misato said something about 'maintaining a normal environment' while we weren't in combat or training," Asuka said. "It's stupid, though. I graduated from university over a year ago."
"You did?" Shinji seemed surprised. "Then why do you have so much trouble with language?"
"Because having three systems of writing is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of," the redhead complained, slumping down at the table next to the Ikari. Nabiki decided to keep quiet, observing the two pilots. After all, she could still work on her report here, and it was a lot more comfortable than the front step.
About three hours later, Nabiki's attitude had changed somewhat. Granted, she'd eaten a quite good meal, cooked by Shinji, but she had a feeling that Asuka had realized she was trying to pump them for information, and was preventing Shinji from giving her any.
The boy was really too trusting, and she felt kind of bad for exploiting that, but at the moment, she was hoping to get as much information about the EVAs as she could, and then get the heck out of the city. She'd heard about the Angel attack a week ago, an then, the night before... For a moment, her eyes fell on an envelope that was peaking out of her computer case, but she jerked them away quickly.
She was pondering just leaving, calling Ranma to make an appointment to meet with him later, when the front door opened. She looked up to see Ranma staggering in, looking as though he'd spent the entire day and night before hunting Happosai. He didn't even seem to notice them, barely nodding as Shinji and Asuka said hello to him. As an experiment, she chipped in as well. "Hey, Saotome."
"Hey Nabiki," he responded, shambling out of the room and down the hall.
"Is he usually like that when he gets home?"
Both Children shook their heads. "Ritsuko-san's usually with him, too," Shinji chipped in. Granted, Asuka hadn't really talked to the man much outside of tests or pilot meetings, but he usually sounded friendly, really energetic, and kind of like a hick when he let his concentration slip.
Nabiki nodded, standing and sticking her laptop into its case next to the chair she was sitting in before extracting the file folder from it and heading into the hallway. Immediately after she'd left the room, Asuka struck.
Maya Ibuki heard a long, sustained beep coming from the other side of the control room, which was quite distracting while she was attempting to translate 10 year old records from a different operating system with little enough margin of error that it wouldn't turn Rei into particularly chunky pea soup.
Looking over, she saw Dr. Akagi slumped over her keyboard, a long string of the letter E being appended to her current line of code. She sighed. The central control crew had cycled twice since this incident began, and apparently, Hyuga had just come back from hyperventilating after telling the captain to go home and get some sleep. The sad part was, Captain Saotome was actually the more reasonable of the two when it came to putting in long hours, and Hyuga had the benefit of the fact that the pigtailed man really couldn't do anything about the situation.
If she woke Dr. Akagi, on the other hand, even to try and get her to go home, she would immediately continue her work. Wondering if it was just a natural law that people became more obsessed as they climbed the ranks of NERV, the computer operator stood from her seat, walking over to a locker on the wall that contained an emergency hazmat suit. Taking off the body section, she eased her superior off of her keyboard, and wadded the cloth-like material up under her head.
Looking down at the doctor's screen, she wondered exactly what aquariums had to do with the program she was running, but still saved it before shutting down the machine.
"'Suko, lemme sleep," Ranma muttered, batting Nabiki's hand away.
"How are you even asleep so fast?" she grumbled. She'd just seen him enter the bedroom about three minutes ago, and now he was acting like he'd been passed out for hours. "Damn it, Saotome, wake up!" She would try and slap him, but unfortunately she knew that he'd just dodge that, so she reached out and shoved him again.
"Told ya lemme sleep," he grumbled again, so Nabiki pushed him once more. It was at about that moment that she found things completely impossible to track. Ranma had grabbed her wrist while she pushed him, and she'd spun, she thought maybe upside down for a moment before finding herself in the bed and under the covers. When the pigtailed man threw one arm over her and wrapped it around her back, she growled and kicked him in the stomach.
This succeeded in waking him up, but much to her annoyance, didn't seem to hurt him that badly. "Nabiki?" he asked, his eyes blurrily flickering. "Why'd you sneak into my bed? Your old man's not trying the marriage thing again, is he?"
The middle Tendo's eyebrows twitched, and she desperately wanted to grab the closest thing to hand and cave his skull in with it, but she bit back that impulse, reminding herself that she needed information. "I didn't sneak into your bed," she said, throwing his arm off and rolling out from under the blankets. "I only wanted to ask you a few questions."
"Well, could ya come back tomorrow?" the pigtailed man asked, starting to lower his head back to his pillow. Nabiki's eyebrow twitched again. Sure, earlier she'd thought about doing just that, but at the moment she was annoyed, and didn't particularly feel like agreeing to Ranma's request. Still, she didn't say this, instead opening the folder she'd brought, dropping a single image out of it and onto the bed. Ranma's eyes shot open as he processed what he was seeing, Unit 00 in its unarmored state, perfectly lit by its own pulse of orange AT energy, the gash on its leg bleeding copiously. "Where did you get this?" he asked calmly, all tiredness seeming to leave his expression and form as he sat up, holding the image in one hand.
"I took it last night," the brunette replied. "It seemed kind of suspicious that NERV would black out a whole section of the city, so I went out and took a look around."
""So that's what we saw on the ground," NERV's Strategic Operations Officer was now frowning deeply. "Nabiki, you've got to destroy any copies of this you've got."
"You've got to be kidding me," the reporter said, her voice deadpan.
"I'm not," Ranma returned, ripping the image in his hand to pieces. "It wouldn't be safe for you to distribute images like this. NERV would stop you, and even if we didn't, I'm pretty sure there's people higher up than us who would do it instead."
"Yeah, like you'd let that happen," the brown haired woman smirked, shaking her head. "I have no idea what this image is of, but it does show there's something strange going on in Tokyo-3 and NERV. Damn it, the thing was bleeding, don't tell me you don't want to know about that."
"I know about it, the EVAs are biomecha, created using Angelic and Human genetic material, and guided by the pilot and the armor they wear."
"Why would you tell me that if you want me to back off?" Nabiki asked, somewhat mystified and wondering if the martial artist was still half asleep.
"Nabiki," Ranma stopped talking for a moment, before meeting her eyes directly, his own expression rather hard to read. "I didn't say NERV would stop you even if I tried to stand up for you, I said it because NERV would stop you, and if I needed to, I would hunt you down, capture you and even kill you to keep that information from reaching the public. I can tell you what the EVAs are because you already know too much."
"Y... you're threatening to kill me," the reporter stuttered, her voice laced with disbelief.
"No, I'm promising to kill you if that information gets out," Ranma responded. "NERV is the only thing standing between Humanity and destruction."
"You're really serious about this, huh?" Nabiki shook her head.
"Think about it, what was your first reaction when you saw Unit 00 tear into that Angel? When I told you what it was made of?" Ranma continued.
"Well, I... I was horrified. I still am, how could we create something like that?" the brown haired woman asked, actually sounding somewhat shaken.
"We did it because it works, and it's all that works," the pigtailed martial artist sighed. "And what do you figure will happen when the rest of the world, who think just like you do, like I did when I first found out, finds out about this?"
"You'll be shut down in about five minutes," the middle Tendo grumbled, beginning to realize what he was getting at. "You know you're going to be put up for war crimes, hell, maybe even crimes against humanity for this when it finally breaks, right?"
Ranma shrugged. "Probably, and when it's all over, feel free to cover as much of the story as you want, but until then..."
"I got it," Nabiki nodded. "You've changed a hell of a lot since highschool."
"For your sake I hope you have, to," he responded, causing her to flinch. She nodded shortly, before tossing the folder with the rest of her pictures on the bedside table. Of course, she had copies on her computer, but disposing of the hard copies, at least until she decided what she was going to do, was probably a good idea.
As she entered the living room, she saw that the two EVA pilots looked rather nervous, the girl rapidly exiting from what looked like a first person shooter video game and grabbing a pencil. "Don't worry," she smiled at her. "Ranma's passed out, and I won't tell."
The girl smiled in gratitude, and pulled out a network cable, hooking her computer to the one the boy had next to his own work as the older woman left the house.
"What were you thinking?" Rei almost flinched as she heard the angry exclamation from within the commander's office. She had just come back from the room where all of her other clones were stored, in her first synchronization since Dr. Akagi, the new Dr. Akagi, had arrived, and wanted to report her status to Commander Ikari.
It seemed the commander was busy, so she decided to wait outside of his office. Unfortunately, his office's other occupant was very loudly displeased about whatever they were talking about. "The building is a wreck," the female voice yelled, followed by the low, steady base of commander Ikari's, which she couldn't make out.
"Budgetary concerns? Look, we're supposed to have this girl pilot one of the most dangerous machines on the planet against creatures we know nothing about; she should probably have a pretty high spot on the budget." Rei blinked as she realized that the conversation was evidently about her, but felt no need to stop listening. In truth, she wasn't even really actively listening, just letting the words drift to her. "Well, what about at least giving her a guardian, she can't be expected to live alone like that." Gendo spoke for a moment and the female voice came back, now sounding even more irritated. "Motherly? You..." The woman cut off abruptly, as she left the office, the door swinging open so rapidly that it almost hit Rei in the face.
As she stepped back to avoid it, apparently unseen by the person who had come through, she blinked. Dr. Akagi rapidly moved down the hall, turning around a corridor, though her heels could still be heard for almost a minute after she'd left easy eyesight.
Hope you liked it, please R&R.