Disclaimer: Do these disclaimer things only apply to the first chapter? Because if I've gone three years without figuring that out yet, I'm cuttin' a brotha.
Chapter 4: Ikari Shinji is Ikari
The Third Child, pilot of the most epic (and only) purple Angel-killing machine he knows of, is having an interesting day so far; if he thought about it, he'd been getting the warning signs of it going sideways from the moment he woke up to the minute it took for the Angel to eat him.
Over the course of how-many hours he'd spent in the darkness, he'd rediscovered his imaginary friend, nicknamed him 'Chess', tuned up his air guitar and played it for the first time in weeks as Chess sang about cake, SCIENCE, and weapons of butt destruction.
"Taste my lightning, f_er!"
Shinji hadn't dared to ask if the song was supposed to be about intercourse or not as it kept a certain AI preoccupied with alternative lyrics, ergo him from becoming bored. Still, the song was a short one, Chess quickly changing the tune to heavy metal and deciding to take a break after he started headbanging the exit hatch.
"You alright man?"
"You sound fine to me."
"I taste blood!"
Since then, Shinji had attacked a shiny white giant with black holes for eyes, some blondish kid that could've been a guy version of Rei, and his own Eva's shadow, which shouldn't have been physically possible. He'd seen things floating by in the void that he's sure that he shouldn't have seen yet, in this life or any other. He's had conversations with himself that he honestly hoped to never have with his kid some day, were he to ever have kids, then argued with 'himself', and won.
"Objection! Neither of you knew I was the father for three whole years!"
"Okay, one? I couldn't talk and you were never around. And two... well, that really says something about your performance with Ma, doesn't it?"
"You wordy son of a bitch."
"I'll be the son if you're the bitch."
"That would be you. How did that ever work out, I will continue to wonder..."
"Shut up! I will turn this Eva inside out and laugh as we both die! IN SPACE!"
"Well, actually, only you would die..."
"Please, bitch, I'm the only one that would ever touch your mother that way! Your future? Fucked."
"... Touche, Father."
Yes, it had been an interesting day so far. Especially when he met those people he thought he knew in that place he thought he was supposed to be, tried to say 'hi' and fell out of the void and into this place... this surreal, stick a hotdog in your nose and sneeze, off-kilter place that he vaguely recognized, where apparently humans were an endangered species and Angels had a natural environment mostly made of water.
At least, that's what he's thinking when the blur he thinks is an Angel grabs him by his face and drags him into the lake of Tokyo-3.
"Is this really happening?" The 'Second Child', ex-pilot of his own mother and "Destroyer of Worlds" among daemons, was slightly -very slightly- worried. Most people would be, after falling out of an inter-dimensional being from skyscraper height through a highly-oxygenated atmosphere and slamming face-first into the primordial soup of human souls that was the LCL Sea. Of course, 'most people' would be unconscious, in shock, dead, or having a panic attack (thus somehow managing to drown themselves in a highly-oxygenated environment) at that point, so he counts as an anomaly.
Just like the German girl slicing through the water ahead of him.
"Looks like it, yeah. This is really happening. Although your definition of 'this' might be different from mine, so I'd really appreciate it if you just shut up until we figure out how to fix 'this' unless you have any better ideas than the one I'm having now, 'kay?"
Asuka, meanwhile, was only slightly more nervous than a squirrel that has just discovered cafe lattes and the BB gun. Of course, in this situation it could be taken to mean that she was saner or more shook up of the two of them, but while he was actually wondering about their safety for a moment, she was having an internal freak-out over having lost a clingy blue-haired elf somewhere between the 'sky' and 'water' part of their trip.
Really, just how did she lose the monkey when she'd been latched onto her neck?
There was also the part where neither of them should have been able to talk, let alone hear each other, through the mixture they were swimming through. Beyond that, how they were staying out of the way of two giant mechs that were sumo-wrestling underwater was beyond her. However, she did not want to question logic as, the last time she had tried to, things hadn't turned out so well and she'd gotten stabbed in the eye.
As well as her pancreas, gall bladder, liver, stomach cavity, a small bit of her spine, and spleen, her heart ironically untouched. No, she didn't want to go through anything even almost like that again.
"But it doesn't make any sense!" He pouts behind her, appreciating the trill-effect their surroundings had on his voice and now referring to something completely different from the situation; why was it that, no matter how hard he kicked, he just couldn't catch up to her speed? This might have been because he was 'floating' towards her on his back, feet barely moving, but he doesn't consider that, so let's leave the physics and lack of sense involved alone. "None of this makes sense!"
"When did anything ever make sense?"
"When being socially awkward wasn't considered cool," he offers.
"When Twinkies didn't have an expiration date," he tries again.
"... So, before either of us were even born?"
"Well, yeah, but that's whatthey wanted you to think. The point is-"
"Wait, who's they?"
"I plead the fifth," he counters suddenly, and Asuka has to wonder for a second 'are we on the same page here I seem to be lost.'
"For some reason, that sounds like something Kaji would say. Quit it." she finally says. "I don't remember exactly where you got that from, but I'm sure it doesn't apply here. Stupid."
"Of course it does! Legally, this is no longer Tokyo-3, so in this new world order, I plead the fifth!" Either she was slowing down, confused, or he was going faster. Either way, he was gaining on her and that was all he cared about. Hell, if she knew he was trying to race her, that would be all she cared about, so the less she knew the better. Although, he registers vaguely, something seems to be missing here...
"... And what the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I'm reserving my right to not answer certain questions that would be detrimental to our, rather, my, credibility," he spouts off, not really hearing what he was saying nor actually caring. He had used more than a few words he didn't recognize there, and as long as he kept talking, she couldn't interrupt to call his bluff. "Now, if you had asked that question in a different context, you would be getting a more direct answer instead of this drivel that has possibly distracted you from the fact that common sense is dead."
Asuka blinks, turning around fully in the liquid to fully focus on him. He raises an eyebrow, with an air of superiority that instead comes across as a brain-dead 'now wut.'
"That doesn't... I... never mind, just back up a minute. What?"
"Don't know, do ya," he sticks his tongue out, eyes closed and hands behind his head as he floats by, and immediately regrets it. 'Note from Ego, to Common Sense: when breathing lifeblood, don't stick tongue out by itself for any reason. Side-Note: LCL does not taste like victory-'
The kick Asuka sends to impact his flat stomach comes faster than it should have underwater, the blow softened by the LCL as he spews bubbles.
"This, stupid Second, is what I think of your 'fifth,'" she deadpans, sending her other foot to his back before kicking off of and leaving him floundering beneath her. "You say things don't make sense? Fine, they don't make sense. But if you're gonna keep whining about it then I have no choice. I will find some way to kill you, soon, and make it look like an accident. Assuming you don't die and keep pissing me off, I will rip out your heart, cut off your head, and wield them as my spoils of war. If anybody else comes back from the LCL and asks, you were a zombie and I didn't have a gun on hand."
"Ooooo 'kay," he clears his throat, having caught his breath and actually taking a minute to register what she's saying as he treads water. "... And what if I live through that?"
"You really shouldn't, but if worst comes to worst, I'll have the Stooges cut your body to pieces and I burn what's left," and why is this turning me on, Asuka asks herself as she floats back. "Still, I keep the head, if only to violate it every few days with my feet. Gotta vent somehow."
"Tsk. And this is assuming I don't bite your toes off?" She gives him a look, and for a second he thinks that she's blushing. Then she's in his face, wide-eyed and blank-faced.
"Stupid Second~, you keep forgetting that you're a pervert before anything else," she pinches his cheek and he blinks. Looks down, looks back at her, blinks again. "See? On second thought, I don't even have to kill you. I can just ban 'fun time'."
It's Shinji's turn to go wide-eyed, wondering just how he would have reacted if this kind of thing happened before the end of the world for all of a minute. Then his mouth moves. "But-but-but we haven't even tried fun time yet! Uh, please don't ban me?"
Asuka smiles for a second. "Then shut up, will ya? And get your story together if we're gonna explain this to the others, because I still don't know just where the hell we've been."
A short, pale girl lies on her side atop the surface of the lake, subconsciously using her internal AT field as a cushion to float in place as she got recently developed facts straight. After all, it was important to know who she was hanging around, and having been asleep for the trip over to this world (for that was all it could be, another world), she might as well take care of figuring things out now, before anything got out of hand.
Who was the guy that helped bring her to life? Many words came to mind when she first looked at him; brother, son, father, lover, first buddy, life-bringer, and Angel-Slayer to name a few. She had settled on 'Kami' to dissipate any confusion. His shattered experiences were in her head, as well as another's, which brought her to life.
Who was the girl that helped shape her soul? Less words came to mind in thinking of her; rival, second friend, witch, lover, Nazi, and Angel-Slayer were the biggest, that stood out the most. She had settled on 'Mommy,' knowing that was as close as she would get to a good definition. Her twisted emotions and scars were in her heart, as well as another's, which lit the light of her core.
Who was the woman in the background, hovering, silent, sending off the 'I'm not home' signal? Words came to mind, but three stood out. No-Name, Kami's Minion, and Ancient Aunt Haggis. No-Name seemed a good enough description without offending anyone. After all, she hadn't gotten a thing from her besides the too-large skirt made out of a lab coat... and she wanted for nothing more.
Whose shirt was she wearing? After a debate between Mommy and Kami... Kami ended up giving up his shirt, for which she was confused. Why, exactly, did she need all this clothing, anyway? But that question could wait for later.
Whose memories were sifting through her mind? Did it matter? They weren't hers, while at the same time, they were what defined her. But who was 'she'? Was she just a name? No, she was more than that. She is more than a name. But she didn't even have a name yet. What was her name…?
'Usually the parents give the offspring a name,' she pulls from memories that aren't hers. 'But I'm not 'offspring,' I'm... different. Mommy hasn't given me a name yet. Why not? Because… she hasn't had any time. She's busy right now. Why didn't Kami give me a name? He's busy too. They're both busy… but they're here for me, even now. They brought me here, to this place, their home, instead of leaving me back there, awake and alone right? They brought me with them. Do they care about me…? Why wouldn't they? I shouldn't bother them to make a name for me. I can do at least that much myself.'
The girl nods to herself, rolling off her side, and sitting up. She keeps her eyes shut as she yawns, then blinks into sunlight…
'… Ow. Alright. I know what this is called. 'Sun'. It kind of hurts to looks at it. I need to stop staring... right now,' she thinks, squinting daggers at the star before looking in another direction. Ironically, this is the moment a large chunk of concrete falls from above, hitting the water not ten feet away from her. She jumps as splashback rises-
When the sudden spraying wave of water clears, she's still sitting there, dry, under the shell of mist her AT-field had created at a moments notice. Curiously, she looks up... nothing but more falling rocks, and shaking buildings. She cocks her head to the side as she moves to evade, only then noticing the ripples moving across the surface of the water. Then she, instead, looks down...
And sees two large shadows tangled under the surface of the water, shifting from building to building below. And putting each other through said buildings. Oh. So that's why stuff's falling down... The girl blinks as she bends down, tapping at the surface with one finger and instinctively spreading her Overmind to get a better grip on what's going on.
'E... Evan... Evangelion?... Angel?' Words that quickly gain meaning to her as matches pop up from her memories. 'Why are they fighting each other? Eva aren't supposed to fight each other...' A flood of memories and images come to mind at the statement- giant purple fists, smashing in a dark, possessed face. Grappling with the red behemoth while the boy beside them walks on air.
'... I stand corrected. Anyway... shouldn't they run out of power soon? It would be bad if they both ran out of power underwater like this... wouldn't it? But Kami and Mommy used to do this kind of thing, too, so bad things wouldn't happen... Hmmm...'
With nary a thought beyond that, she stands up, jumps off a platform shaped by her AT field, and bounces off the surface a few times before diving into the lake.
Touji was excited, to say the least. After losing his shirt and shoes on the shoreline, it hadn't taken long at all to get to the fallen and, at that point, inactive Eva. On top of that, he'd been able to get inside easy enough, without any outside assistance at all.
These are things that should have troubled him because a normal human couldn't get this deep underwater without training or equipment, and on top of that, he was going toward an Eva. Something he'd told himself, months ago, he would never again do on purpose. But of course, things changed, and he had called dibs, so he wasn't thinking about any of the above.
The trouble actually came when he tried to start it up. Seeing as things hadn't gone so well with Unit 03 and he's tried a lot of things to just forget about it, he can't remember what was normally supposed to happen, as he'd been out cold for most of his First Ride. But things have a way of working out for one Suzuhara Touji.
Since both he and the Eva were at the bottom of a few hundred gallons of LCL, the entry plug had been flooded when he'd come in, and was full by the time he'd shut the hatch.
Since he had been able to strap himself in, and at least attempted to talk himself through the process again, Unit 04's standby processors were able to recognize the language, and set itself to recognize Japanese and reboot. Since he hadn't gotten to the "Synchro Start!" part of the setup until after the language was set, he was only slightly ecstatic when the HUD screens lit up around him.
It was at this point that Touji remembers 'hey, hey, should this thing really work when it's not plugged in?' Then he shrugs, and assures himself that this one probably wasn't infected by an Angel. Yeah, all the Angels are dead, after all. Just like everyone else, if nobody else comes back. On top of that, this thing had come out of a hole in the sky, so less and less chance of it trying to eat his face... maybe. 'Now, how do I get this thing to swim...?'
It was an honest mistake when he whacked Unit 01 in the face as he surfaced. In all honesty, he hadn't expected Unit 04 to be equipped with underwater gear, nor did he actually realize that it wasn't. The jet boosters had automatically fired up at his thoughts of swimming, and while the apparatuses were normally used for small jumps, that was for normal Evas in normal situations.
This was the fourth model of the Eva production line, and the first to be manually equipped with an S2 engine, providing power under (un)necessary conditions. This was already a break from Unit 02's model, which was to be the base for every other model from that time on, but on top of that, the 4th Eva was built in America; the land of UFOs and WMDs. Why wouldn't it be equipped for sustained flight?
Besides that, this wasn't a normal situation. At all.
Of course, Touji doesn't know this, nor does he expect this, and at that point he was just happy it activated. So when he was surfacing, he really didn't see the giant purple behemoth falling towards him.
Really. And even if he had, what reason did he have to believe his eyes? Eva-01 was floating somewhere off in space, according to Shinji. Why would it come back for revenge?
On the other hand, he hadn't expected Unit-04 to register the Evangelion Test Type as an Angel, and set attack functions on autopilot either. Didn't mean he didn't take the situation for what it was.
"Hmm? Hmm?" Touji pinches his cheek. No, he's not dreaming. Or maybe he is; where there were once simple handles that he vaguely recognized as customary for interface with the Evangelions, there are now twin joysticks rising from his armrests. Several large, colorful buttons cover the top ends, where his thumbs would go, and as he wraps his hands around them, he can feel a switch under his trigger fingers.
"... I can work with this," he tells himself. "Yeah."
And that's when he's reminded of what he's messing with. Namely, Unit-01.
By way of approximately ten-thousand metric tons of 'Fuck You' impacting Unit-04's face.
A/N: Okay, okay, at this point this one is purely for the lulz, as a rough draft. Why submit a rough draft of an entire story to ? Because if I don't do it now, I'll never get around to the real thing. If you yet question the sanity or physics of anything involved in the above, refer to various search engines OR the review button below. Assuming anyone actually read this far with their brain intact.
The irony of this chapter is that I've been trying to update it for 3 months, after misplacing my muse for half a year, while it constantly failed to save any important changes. Here's to finding frickin' loopholes.