Chapter 4

Dr. Ritsuko Akagi sat in a non descript exam room, ogling all the electronics in the room. To say she was in heaven was an understatement. She wished she had time to look at them before Dr. Halsey came back. After about 10 minutes of waiting, she got up and began to examine a set of controls on the wall. She was still looking the control panel over when Halsey walked in.

" Well looks like… umm, why are looking at the door control panel?" Halsey asked.

" Oh!" Ritsuko exclaimed, " I'm so sorry, this is a door control?" She asked. Inwardly she cursed herself. Of course this was door control panel, it was right next to the door.

" Yes, it is. Any way, you checked out ok, no health issues or negative side effects from the prolonged Cryo Stasis. Your free to go." Halsey said.

Ritsuko nodded and thanked the Doctor. Outside the room she ran in to Misato Katsuragi. She was wearing a military fatigues, same as Ritsuko was. The UNSC had taken their old clothing and discarded it for fear of contamination.

" Hey Ritz, they let you out to?" she asked happy to see her friend again.

" Yes they did. What do you think of all this?" She asked, gesturing all around her.

" I don't know, I cant understand half of what the people are saying around here." She complained. Misato hated not understanding what people were saying, almost as much as she hated not having beer on hand.

" Well, I'd love to get a chance to look at all the tech they have, its fascinating."

Misato was about to reply when a tall man in his twenties came around the corner flanked by Toji, Asuka, Hikari, and Kensuke. He looked at the two women and smiled.

" Misato Katsuragi and Ritsuko Akagi?" he asked. Both women nodded, stunned at his impressive size and bearing. While he seemed friendly, he spoke with an air of authority and had a spine of steel.

" If you'll follow me, there is some one who wants to see you all."

He led them down the corridor to a recovery room.

" Hey Captain, you have some visitors."

The man on the hospital bed looked up from the food he had been eating. What ever it was, it didn't look edible. The man stepped aside and allowed the six them in the room. When he came into view, every one gasped. On the bed before them sat Shinji Ikari, though not as they remembered him. He was as tall as the man who had led them here, and a lot stronger by the look of him. He also, even lying in a hospital bed, had a air of confidence and authority about him.

" Thank you Colonel." Shinji said.

" Hey, you don't have to call me Colonel, Shinj, you're off duty and were brothers." Colonel Garmin said.

" Okay, Matt, fine. So this is every one?" He said looking over and waving to the assembled group, who was still getting over the shock of seeing him alive.

" Yes. I heard the doctor is planning on releasing you later today. Rei as well, seeing as her Augmentation was successfully completed." Garmin said. The assembled group looked at Garmin. He knew where Rei was? No one had seen her since their rescue and her being put on the medi-vac Pelican. Ritsuko was curious, what was Augmentation?

" Good, that means I can get back to active duty. I hate hospitals, freakin boring as all hell in here." Shinji said. Garmin nodded, he to hated hospitals. In fact most Spartans hated hospitals. Usually ending up there meant you screwed up somehow.

Garmin was about to say something when a voice came over the PA.

" Colonel Garmin, please report to Director Haverson's office. I repeat would Colonel Garmin report to Director Haverson's Office."

" Ah Crap, well looks like I got to go. Ill see you later Shinji. Hopefully I'm not getting sent on a suicide mission…Again." Garmin joked.

" Yea me to." Shinji said to him as he left. Shinji then turned his attention to his visitors. He thought he would be happy to see them, and he was, but it felt off. He didn't feel like he related to them any more. It was strange, he interacted well with the other Spartans, but these people he'd know and fought next to, felt like strangers. Have I changed that much? He asked himself. Finally, deciding it would be better to say something than sit there looking like moron he said

" Hello…. How is everyone?"

He winced inwardly, after not seeing each other for 500 years, that's the best he can do? How ever, it was enough to break the ice, next thing he knew, he was being strangled by Misato as she hugged him.

" Misato, cant breath!" he said through choked breaths. He'd forgotten how well hard she used to hug to people.

" Oh my God! I cant believe you're alive! This is a miracle!" She exclaimed while sobbing into his shoulder.

" Back then, we thought… we thought we had lost you, for good."

Shinji was still struggling for breath when Misato's choke hold was broken by Ritsuko.

" Geez, Let the poor kid breath Misato." She said. Misato let go and apologized for her out burst. Shinji looked over to see Asuka and Toji still looking at him. He saw a flash in Asuka's eyes remembered she'd get that look just before deciding to ridicule him, or beat him. Good thing he was a lot stronger now.

" So, you're alive Third? " She asked Contempt in her voice.

" No, your just imagining this. Obviously I'm alive." he said sarcastically. He really wasn't in a mood to deal with her crap. Again every one was shocked, Shinji normally would have cowered before her, instead he talked back. She was struck dumb by his talk. . She couldn't respond.

" Asuka? You ok? You look like you've seen a ghost." Shinji asked her. Asuka got up and ran from the room, leaving everyone stunned, including the blue haired girl who just entered the room.

" What got into her?" Rei asked

Shinji looked at her and felt that familiar sensation

" Beats the hell out of me." Every one else nodded, confused as he was.

Director Haverson's Office.

Garmin sat in the Directors office reading over series of files that had been handed to him. The files all regarded ONI's own Evangelion project and it completion. Currently he was looking at updates on the refit and repair of units 00 and 02. He also had a list of potential pilots in front of him.

" So these are the pilots?" he asked, most of them were Spartans, except for the two pilots Sohryu and Suzahara. He wasn't surprised by the choice of those two as pilots. He had read the Nerv reports and knew Toji had once been a pilot. They had even found a partially rebuilt Unit 03 in the old Nerv head quarters.

" Yes, they are. They will all be briefed on their new assignments tomorrow morning. You will deliver the briefing, as you are their new Commanding Officer."

" I understand sir."

" Good. Captain Ikari will handle their training, seeing as he has experience with this."

" Understood sir. Sir? Do we have any leads on the where abouts of Gendo Ikari?"

" No, but you'll be the first to know if we do. While finding him is priority, getting our Eva's up and running is top. We need them if the Covenant are going hit us again. Especially if they to have Eva's."

" Yes sir I understand. Sir what about the elites that captured him? I thought they were on our side?"

" They are Colonel, but, the Sangheli are in the middle of a civil war. Some side with the prophets, others with the arbiter. I'm afraid we cant count on their help with this one."

Garmin nodded, it made sense. a lot of things had changed since the wars end. Many of the Elites hadn't approved of the schism when it had originally happened. The only reason so many had gone along with it in the beginning was because of the flood threat. Haverson's phone rang.

" Yes, this is Haverson. I understand, thank you."

" Looks like you're gonna meet your new unit sooner than I thought."

" Sir?"

" We lost contact with our research facility on Solaris Prime. I'm sending your new squad to investigate."

" Sir what about the two non Spartans and Rei? They aren't trained."

The director thought about it. " Your concern is noted Colonel, Sohryu and Suzahara will remain here and begin training under CPO Klienman. Rei will go with you, she has enough experience."

" Understood sir."

" Good. Assemble your team. Wheels up in twenty."

A/N: Gotta love a good Cliff hangar! J till next time! Please read and review!