Disclaimer: This One (Toriano Flacko) does not own NGE.

01: After the Fallout

As I open my eyes on the first night of the Apocalypse, I come to the decision that I hate humanity. I mean, first we come up with lights so we have no reason to be scared of the dark, then hundreds of years later we come up with horror movies; for those of mankind with any kind of imagination, an actual reason to be scared of the dark. Several reasons as time moves on, at that.

What kind of screwed up, backwards logic made things happen in that order?

This is the year... what, 2017? I don't know, I've officially been dead for a while; a while because I don't have any way of knowing how long I was. Dead, that is. Along with the rest of the world, but hey, I'm one of those first ones to wake up, so there's your sign.

So, back to why I now hate mankind; this is almost a hundred years since the first movie was made, according to Takeshi-sensei's rants about 'before Y2K...' Over three-hundred years since the first actual light bulb, I remember him saying. Yet we still have no way to prevent GD power outages?

Back when he first started using 'GD,' it only took me a minute to figure out what he meant the first time. On that note, that's the biggest rendition of 'f_ you' I can actually bother noticing that nature's been giving us for years. And then, at some point in the 20th century, it became common rumor that by at least this year, mankind would either be fighting killer robots for survival, or have faster-than-light travel. According to Takeshi-sensei, again.

I hadn't figured out how Misato's TiVo worked by the time everything went to hell, and I'm supposed to be the kid of two of the smartest people on the planet. The hell? Really? We're supposed to be off conquering the universe by now? But I'm way off-topic.

As I open my eyes on the night of the day the world ended (not that I knew that), I come to the conclusion that I hate humanity. Why else would I have ended it? We expected way too much from ourselves before we had the technology or moral standards to make it happen. On top of that, we did the stupid stuff backwards; you give people reason to fear the dark before inventing a reason not to be, geniuses. And even then, you make sure that reason doesn't go out every time some idiot messes with a power grid. Even I've figured that much out, and this is from a teenager that has five nicknames that roughly equal 'stupid' in another language.

It's the first night of the end of the world's noisiest, pettiest, and most violent creatures. The sky is clear. There's a slight breeze blowing, carrying the scent of blood, processed maple syrup, salt, and smoke. I can count the stars if I actually put my mind to it.

Oh, wait, I can't. Because my eyes are scorching from the sudden environmental change of dark sleep to really-freakin'-bright nighttime. Seriously, what the hell? Mankind made ads for years, so I heard, about light pollution affecting nature, just a little while after Second Impact.

In my opinion right now, we had the right idea there, if nowhere else. Without the bright lights of Tokyo-3 or other towns further off, glaring in the distance and whiting out the horizon, it hurts to look at the sky. Especially with a way-too-close full moon glaring at full power, even with a band of red crossing it.

Ow. That hurts. I roll over, sleep thankfully still crippling my overall ability to move. Maybe I'll be able to go right back to sleep with my darkness, even if I actually kind of feel like getting up.

... Bitchnuggets. On the one hand, my nose is now crushed into what might be sand, on what might be a beach, with the rest of the front half of my body in the same condition. On another hand, the weird sound-effects breathing in that position reminds me of choice killers from the ancient horror-flick fests Asuka often got me, Misato, and Rei to take part in with her.

On the other hand, I am now breathing in dirt. Bitchnuggets. I try not to cough up a lung as my eyes tear up, rolling over onto my hands and knees before hacking up- yuuuuck. That does not look right. That doesn't even look like it belongs inside a human body. I dry heave for a few minutes, having nothing in my stomach to bring up, before leaning back, tilting, and rolling onto my ass, breathing evenly. Staring blankly into the edge of the world would have to do until I felt like finding somewhere else to sleep.

That's when I hear the rumble. It's not a deep one, like the kind I used to hear before there was an earthquake back when I lived with my uncle and aunt. It's almost a soft one, kind of like a big cat growling; slightly comforting, slightly sending me into a panic. It's actually pretty loud. Close by. Gurgling a little bit. Hey, is someone else besides me breathing in this wasteland?

It's an effort, but eventually I turn my head, wiping my face clear of sand absently, and eyes focusing on a shining... red. No, pale orange. Two mounds a little bigger than my palms, from what I can see, press up into, a red background, flattened against the dark sand below. The red trails up, then back down in three lines - the ones on the sides small and the one in the middle, above the mounds, larger. On the sides, the red is interrupted by bent black patches, then back to red. In the middle, a scarlet mane scatters over all of this, slowing at a hill of more red and two lines coming off of it, scratches of black twisting around them.

Oh. Wait. Those aren't mounds, those are tits. Above that, those two lines are arms, that middle one is a torso, and that's hair. And that's an ass, and those are legs. Long legs. Legs that, for some reason, don't end in shoes, but bare feet. That's a strange thing to notice- holy crap it's Asuka.

Beyond that thought, 'oh, good, she's in her plugsuit.'

Then 'aw, dammit, she's in her plugsuit.'

It all comes back to me, as if I'd somehow forgotten. My name is Shinji Ikari, Third Child of Project E. I should be either 16 or 17 sometime this year, assuming my birthday wasn't a lie that my relatives made up to spite me for their own kid... what was his name, Timmy? On the sly, I've probably lost the running bet I had with the other pilots, Ayanami and Asuka, by now, about who would die last.

Although now that I think about it, Rei gave us a major handicap up until Dr. Akagi went nuts and killed her clones. Still no excuse.

On top of this, maybe a day ago now, I may have gone 'Posterboy for Teen Angst' and, you know, got everybody in the world killed. I mean, really, who expects an all-powerful killing machine (which is funny, because the girl who's face she took used to act like a machine, and pilot an actual killing machine) to ask them to make a wish? And for the people out there who actually do expect that kind of thing, who expects to have that 'wish' carried out to the fullest extent?

Sure it's not that hard to interpret 'I wish everybody would just die.' At the time, though, I was actually thinking less symbolism with people turning into goo, and more 'a stake through every heart and a cap in every ass.'

What can I say? The woman I spent the last year or so imprinting on as my surrogate mother (who had a "shoot first, ask why there's so much paperwork later" mentality) got shot and killed in the process of saving me, kissing me, shoving me into an elevator and therefore doomed all human life on the planet. And I didn't realize that she was dead until I was halfway to my Eva. That was some seriously depressing shit right there.

Then it hits me again. Holy crap I killed everyone. And it's not like a 'dude, I totally owned everybody, I'm so f_ing badass' thing. It's more of a 'What the f_ was I on when I said that?' thing.

It doesn't have as much impact as I thought it should have. More importantly, I'm apparently hearing Asuka's stomach growling, which is amazingly loud from more than ten yards away, even considering the silence… hey, didn't I try to kill her a while ago? Before and after dragging her out of Instrumentality with me? Hmmm… must be some reason she's still alive. Don't know what it is, but I can put money on it being really f_ing important.

Man, memory-loss sucks. Especially when it gets in the way of figuring shit out. Man.

I don't bother wondering why she's on her front, head turned to the side and looking like she was crawling towards the road; I can distinctly remember her being on her back and still, with my hands around her neck. I can remember wondering why she doesn't fight back. I can also remember thinking something like "Tell –me- to 'get back in the kitchen,' will you? Die and -stay- dead this time, trick!"

Really need to figure out just what that was all about sometime. And I can honestly hope I didn't do something I'd regret later. Considering that she hadn't bothered to kill me in my sleep, instead using any energy she had to move away from me, I guess not… I hope I get my memory back soon. Until then, I guess it would only make sense to keep myself sane with some company.

So, I pick Asuka up, throw her over my shoulder when she half-consciously growls at me, and against my better judgment, move towards a growing tail of smoke in the distance. After all, where there's smoke, there's fire. And where there's fire, there's… uh, obviously clean water?

Damn my short attention span. Damn history classes for giving me half-assed quotes that I can't completely remember and I'm sure wouldn't help me anyway. And damn this redhead for being heavier than she looks.

But God's in his Heaven. And all is f_ed up with this world.