Back on the horse and with another chapter done! Sorry for the delay, but I have a decent sized volley coming this time around. Grad school sucks, and its left me with a bunch of unfinished chapters that I have only found a break to finish now. That, and my muse has turned to the darkside of S&M, and I can't do anything to goad her into doing something productive without her spazzing out and either deluging me with plot bunnies, or with scenes that require brain bleach to get rid of.
The scene with Hikari was kind of rough, I'll admit. It was hard to get her to react how I wanted, and I'm not sure that it came out right. Still, I'll try and do better if I can in the next chapter.
If this seems a bit short, yeah, my muse stopped a bit earlier in the chapter. However, it is a great place to end at, ne?
Addendum: In the past two months, I broke my collarbone, made it through my first year of Pharmacy school by the skin of my teeth, helped my mother move stuff out of my dead grandmother's place, went to my brother's graduation, and volunteered for VBS. Rough two months, I know. This should be one of four chapters that I'm spitting out all at once, two of them being things that I wrote up just to get rid of a thread. I'm working on more as we speak, but life has a habit of getting in my way, and my muse's fetishes keep getting weirder and more traumatic. I promise I will do what I can though.
And for the record: I own nothing!
She stared at the screen in horror, watching the Third Child's head lull as the Angel continued it's assault. The boy had already fallen unconscious, his face showing how much pain he was still in.
"There's a crack on the front of the braincase!" she heard Maya yell.
"The armor can't take much more!" Ritsuko replied, also worried.
Suddenly, the Angel's lance speared right through the Eva's head, slamming the purple giant back against a skyscraper while it was at it. It's massive head hung limp, spewing blood Iike fluid from the crown and back of it's head.
"The head is damaged! Extent damage unknown!"
"The control nerves are breaking off!"
"We're not getting any readings of the pilot!"
"Misato!" she jerked around to glare at the faux blonde, but she knew what was coming.
"We've got no choice! Abort the operation, we've got to rescue the pilot! Eject the entry plug!"
"We can't!" Maya yelled back, the pressure getting to her, "It's completely out of control!"
"What did you say?" It was then that she became aware of a low growl over the speakers. At first she thought it was static, but as it got louder she began to think otherwise. Suddenly, the screen showing the satellite image of the Eva showed it's eyes light up and it's mouth open.
"The Eva is reactivating!"
"I don't believe it! It can't be!" Maya yelled, stunned.
"My God," she gasped, a chill running down her back.
She only had time to hear Ritsuko's quiet whisper of "Berserker," before the Violet Behemoth roared, deafening everyone.
Eva 01 lunged at the Angel, running fast and low to the ground. Before the giant creature could react, the Eva slammed into it with enough force to knock it back several kilometers. The purple machine roared again, throwing a punch at the Angel, only for a hexagonal field of energy to block it.
Misato was aware of how everyone was trying to yell at once, but she honestly couldn't hear a thing; their connection to the third child at allowed the roar into the command center, temporarily deafening everyone inside.
It was then that the Eva held it's broken arm up, healing the wound in seconds. However, that was not the main shocker. No, it was how the Eva's hand glowed with energy that stunned them all.
It slashed through the AT Field like it was butter, slicing the Angel's core while it was at it. It followed through with a side kick, which raised cracks in the red orb and knocked the giant back.
As the Eva lunged at the beast's core, spearing it through with it's other, light covered hand, the Angel made it's last move. Shifting it's form into a gelatinous ball, it tried to self-distrust. The Eva, sensing this, leapt into the air. The resulting explosion lit up the sky, knocking the satellite feed off.
Minutes later, as the video screens cleared, Misato saw an image that caused her to wonder just what Evangelion was.
It stood there, armor blasted off, roaring it's fury to the heavens. Two white pinpricks of light marking where it's eyes were. Those eyes . . .
Misato awoke, barely stifling her scream of terror. Even now, Ritsuko had yet to come up with a reason for the Eva's bestial reaction. In theory, the doctor had told her, an Eva's Berserker state was supposed to be an extension of pure human rage and power. It wasn't supposed to react like an animal.
What was even worse was the toll it took on Shinji. The poor boy was unconscious when they retrieved him, and stayed that way for nearly there days!
The boy had shown no signs of mental trauma, and he bounced back pretty quickly. Still, no one in the Command Center could shake the image of raw power that the Eva had presented to them.
Smelling the sweet scent of pancakes, the violet maned woman shook the nightmare off and started getting dressed. If you could say one thing about Ikari-Harris Shinji, it's that he makes a meal fit for royalty!
"Good morning Shinji, how's it going?"
The Third Child rolled his eyes, "Well gee, I'm sitting in a tampon shaped tube filled with hyper-oxygenated Type O blood, wearing what amounts to a padded leotard, and I skipped breakfast. How do you think it's going?"
The faux blonde felt her eyebrow twitch, "It is LCL, not blood. It shouldn't even taste like blood!"
The adopted Harris snorted, "I beg to differ. Take it from someone who has trouble telling when his adopted Uncle has left his surplus supply of blood in sterilized gatorade bottles."
Maya, who was monitoring the VR test, felt her stomach roll, "Y-you mean you've actually drank blood?"
"I don't drink it," the boy sighed, "I just have problems telling the difference between blood, tomato juice, and red Gatorade until just before I spit it out."
"So when you say it tastes like Type O blood . . . " Ritsuko asked, despite her growing sense of disgust.
"I mean it tastes like the time my Uncle collected too much Type O blood for his medical tests, and decided to store the excess in several bottles he had sanitized," he growled, "And I'm not the only one who has learned to differentiate Blood Types by taste. So can we please get on with this?"
Ritsuko opened her mouth, but was forced to close it several seconds later when nothing came out. She repeated the process several times before she managed to ask, "Have you managed to memorize the positions of all the Eva emergency locations?"
Judging from Shinji's snicker and Maya's wince, she didn't manage to say it without a stutter.
"So all we've really got is a giant rifle and a giant safety knife?"
Ritsuko winced at the dry tone. It had been half an hour since the test ended, but the Third Child had been less than impressed by the basic Eva equipment. In fact, instead of washing off the LCL, he came straight up to the observation deck to grill her on the Eva's parameters and it's basic equipment, things that weren't exactly in the manual.
Maya cut in, "Unit 01 is only the prototype. Unit 02 has some more weapons that were specially designed for it, but we are still limited in regards to weaponry and armament. The knives, for example, have a relatively small power cell that gives it the ability to vibrate, increasing it's damage potential. The research department is still working on infusing that with a larger blade, but their still in the pre-experimental phase right now. Something about making it easy for pilots with little to no skills in swordsmanship to use."
Ritsuko took up the briefing, " Ayanami has had extensive training in hand to hand combat, but the only weapons training she has had was with the Bo staff. The Second Child, Pilot Sohryu, has also had some hand to hand training, but her tutors have focused more on strategy, tactics, and advanced Eva Piloting. Whereas you-"
"Have two weapons fanatics as adopted parents," The Ikari scion deadpanned.
The two scientists barely had time to catch themselves before face-faulting, "Huh?" Ritsuko gasped, stunned.
Shinji only rolled his eyes, "Dad-not Rokubungi, but the man who took me in as his own son-is a bit of a gun fanatic. You name it, he can shoot it! Why else could I have done so well on your virtual firing range?"
"To be honest," Maya supplied weakly, "we were kind of assuming that had to do with the relationship between teens and video games."
The boy snorted, "Nah, I suck at those things; keep getting my ass handed to me by my housemates. Dad just took me out hunting a lot." Left unsaid was that they spend more time shooting at the undead and the supernatural than any wildlife.
Ritsuko, having already heard from Misato about Shinji's odd home life, put two and two together, "So one of your mothers knows how to use a sword?"
"It would be safer to say that Faith-kaa-chan is more of a weapons master than a simple sword expert," the boy said, ignoring Maya's confused look. "Daggers, swords, crossbows, axes, maces . . . You name it, she can use it! She collects them like most kids, collect cards. Hell, she even got me into it!"
"You . . . collect weapons?" Maya asked, finally getting a grasp on what he was saying.
"My collection should be here in two days. If you want to see it, drop by Misato's place some time. I'll even cook you dinner!"
"So what you're saying is that you know how to wield a sword?" Ritsuko cut in before her assistant could be made to blush a deeper shade of red.
"Yep," the boy said proudly, "Give me a month with Ayanami and Sohryu, and I can teach them how to swing a sword like an intermediate. Give me two bokken, and I can even do it without hurting them too badly!"
He snickered at their horror filled looks, "Relax. The way I learned how to fight was more hands on than anything else. Faith-kaa-chan is an expert swordsman, so my first real lesson was against her, my wooden training sword against her steel sword. Only got one small cut and a bunch of bruises, and she wasn't even sweating!" He grinned ruefully at the memory, "The cut was more an accident on my part than anything else, and she nearly freaked. Dawn-kaa-chan had to slap her just to keep me from being carried into the emergency room!"
"Anyways, I'm not sure about Ayanami-San, but I'm sure a guy like Sohryu should be able to take a hit, right?" Shinji asked, then blinked at the older women as they shifted around uncomfortably. "She's a chick, isn't she?" When they nodded, he sighed, "Well, I'm not one to complain about being surrounded by pretty girls. Still, give me a few weeks and they'll be decent enough to swing a sword."
"We'll take that into consideration," Ritsuko dryly replied. "In the meantime, shouldn't you wash off the LCL? It's harder to wash off when it dries."
"Meh, can't be as bad as some of the stuff I've had to wash off," the boy muttered, "Just send me some info on the sword you guys are working on; I'll need to find a few practice swords of the same design so I can train the girls."
He then bowed foppishly to both women, turned around, and left.
Horaki Hikari didn't feel like going to school that day. Normally, the girl would be excited to show up, as not only was school important, she was also the Class President. It was her duty to show up.
However, for the past week and a half, something strange had been happening to her. Suddenly, she was a lot stronger and faster, and she kept breaking things and tripping over her own feet. Her older sister just claimed she was having a growth spurt, but shouldn't that involve, you know, growing?
Then there were the dreams, or nightmares, to be exact. Monsters with horrific, wrinkled faces and yellow eyes. Shadowy beings that preyed on your darkest fears. Things with too many tentacles for comfort. Every night, they stormed into her mind and caused her to wake up, crying in terror. She refused to tell her family of them.
Then there were the others. Faceless girls who fought and died against these beings, often in rather horrific ways. Then there were the victors, girls who won the fight, only to wade back into battle again.
Finally, there were the non-female fighters. A redheaded girl who directed waves of power. An older man who often read from ancient tomes. A brunette girl who glowed green. And two men, one older and Caucasian, the other Asian and around her age, who seemed to shine with an inner light.
Finally, there were two of the warrior girls, one short and blonde, the other tall and sultry, who reeked of power and strength. On different sides they stood, one dark and the other light, but both carved through the hordes of evil monsters like knives through butter.
She was frankly terrified of what was going on.
"Hey Horaki, the Principal wants to see you in his office. You got a new kid," Shigure Sosuke, the class president of 3B called out to her. .Nodding absently, the brunette walked quickly up to the main office. Opening the door, she opened her mouth to announce herself as was befitting her position . . . And froze, a pit of fear climbing into her chest.
Before her stood a moderately tall Japanese boy, wearing the school uniform, white shirt and black slacks. His short brown hair was spiked, and his bright blue eyes seemed to shine.
He looked almost exactly like the boy in her dreams.
"Horaki-San?" Hikari jumped, realizing that the Principal was trying to get her attention. Blushing horribly, she tried to stammer an apology, but was interrupted by the odd boy.
"Don't worry, about it, I get that reaction a lot. Ikari-Harris Shinji, at your service, Horaki-sempai." he bowed and gave her a rakish grin, taking her hand and kissing it as he did so. Normally, she'd have blushed or tried to brush it off, but . . . he was there, the boy from her nightmares. Her weird dreams that tortured her at night. Her . . . was that ring glowing red?
On Shinji's left hand was a small silver ring with a white opal. Only, it wasn't white anymore; instead, it seemed to have a luminescent red filling it, glowing softly as he held her hand. Part of her wanted to faint, but she didn't. She simply nodded and allowed herself to be led out into the empty hall.
As the door closed behind them and they were alone, Shinji frowned, "Let me guess, you've been having strange dreams of demons and things at night, right?"
Hikari jumped, "H-how'd you . . . "
He grinned ruefully, "It tends to happen sometimes. I don't have time to properly explain it right now, but I can cover the basics after class today. Let's just say those things in your dreams aren't as imaginary as some people would like, and leave it at that for now; got to get to class after all . . . "
The Harris scion sighed and glanced out the window again. Normally he enjoyed history, especially since there was always a hidden twist in the past, if you knew the truth about the real world, that is. However, this guy kept droning on and on about Second Impact. Shinji could have sworn he had repeated himself four times today.
Several seats to the left of him, he noticed Ayanami Rei doing the same, Glad I'm not the only one who is this bored in the room . . .
Suddenly his computer blinked out an IM: Are you the Pilot?
He blinked, and glanced behind him at two giggling girls, who waved at him. However, he also noticed that the geeky brunette in front of him was watching. He glanced again at the computer and rolled his eyes. A bit of a trick question isn't it?
He grinned as several people in the class started giving him weird looks. I knew it . . .
I could say yes, but if I did, I could just be lying and trying to hog the glory. Or, I could say no, but my supposed involvement as a pilot might be top secret. Either way, you would never know if I was lying or telling the truth!
He hit Send and grinned at the confused whispering occurring around him, the teacher ignoring them for the most part. Suddenly, he felt a sudden glare at his back, and looked only to find a muscular, dark-haired boy glaring at his back.
Soon, the bell rang, and Shinji finally got up. Thinking that he could try and talk to Horaki-san during lunch, he looked around only to find the boy in front of him. "Hey, new kid, are you the pilot or not?"
"Suzuhara-san!" Hikari yelled at the boy, but he ignored her. When Shinji didn't answer, he reached out and grabbed the front of his shirt.
"Huh? You gonna answer me, punk?"
Shinji's eyes narrowed, "Why would it be any of your business, eh?"
The larger boy growled, "My sister was injured during that attack, THAT'S why it's my bus-" Shinji sucker punched him in the gut, getting him to let him down. He growled and looked up, but the smaller boy rolled to the side, grabbing his phone and making a call while he was at it.
"Hey, Mom, need a favor . . . Yeah, I've fine, but the sister of a new friend of mine is in the hospital because of that attack . . . That's what they told me, but you know the old bastard does what he wants . . . Family name is Suzuhara, not sure what her name is . . . Found her? Cool, can you . . . Yeah, you guessed it . . . Cool, thanks! Love you Mom!" He hung up, and grinned at the confused boy. "Your sister's name is Akane, right?"
When the boy nodded, Shinji's grin grew wider, "My family has connections in the medical business. They'll be looking into her health, no matter if I am at fault for it or not. Now, why don't we just calm down, relax, and try and get things settled down in a way that won't have me bringing out the three black belts I've already earned."
The boy paled, but before he could say anything, Rei stepped towards Shinji, "Ikari-san, NERV is calling us in."
The Third Child frowned, "Great, now what?" He turned towards the rest of the class and grinned goofily, "I have some business to take care of, so I'll be back later." As he walked out the door, he nodded to Hikari, "I'll try to find you after this is over with. I'll explain myself then, 'K Class-rep-san?"
Hikari could only nod in shocked silence.
Next chapter: The fourth angel strikes! Hikari gets caught in the crossfire . . . and is that fanservice I see on the horizon? Stay tuned!