So...It's been a long time, hasn't it? I really do apologize for the insane long delay, but-I actually don't have a good excuse other than "life". Seriously, the first section of this was sitting on my computer since the last update. I don't plan on creating such a long delay before chapter 8, but we'll see how it goes.
In Death's Shadow 07
"Oh, we're talking now?" Ryuk laughed. "Aw, but you're not using that crazy voice you did last time. I lied that—do it again."
Rei didn't respond immediately. In fact, she had no idea how to respond. So much was out of her control lately, so much was occurring outside the parameters she had observed for the material world. To begin with: this thing, this creature that perched on the windowsill—what was it? Ever since the day she had discovered that black notebook, she had seen it. Always around Pilot Ikari. Always talking with him. Nobody else seemed to acknowledge it, so she remained silent.
"You," she addressed the thing, careful not disturb the sleeping form of Ikair nor alert any of the nursing staff. She was fairly certain that the hospital rooms were not monitored, but she restricted movement and speech just to be certain. "What are you? Why do you follow Ikari?"
"You don't know me? Seemed like you did last time."
"Last time?" The cross-compatibility synchronization test…
The smell of LCL. The stench of blood. The scent…of Ikari.
Intrusion. A foreign presence. An other.
Recognition, deep and primal.
A voice—not my own. Mother?
"That which spoke through me identified you as "Shinigami"—god of death." She moved closer to Ikari, seeking comfort perhaps, but more to shield him. "Shinigami are legends and nothing more, a lie invented by humans as a method to reconcile the inevitability of death."
"Yet here I am, Rei. Yeah, that's right, I know who you are."
"You are there—but then maybe you are not. You are invisible and inaudible to everyone else. Why, then, should I chose to believe that you truly exist when only two among billions perceive you?"
"Hehehe, real is entirely a matter of perception, Ayanami," Ryuk countered. "Humans see things the way in which they choose to see things. You and Shinji here don't have the same outlook on things. And you sure don't see things the way Asuka sees 'em."
She dared to take her eyes away from the creature and study Ikari. "Reality is subjective—this I know. Every human being on the planet views the world in a way distinct from each other. That is what we are working to eliminate: the differences that separate human beings are barriers to a peaceful existence. Humanity as a whole will not progress unless they achieve true unity."
"That is what Commander Ikari has told me."
"And you believe him?"
She returned her glare. "Why shouldn't I? He has cared for me, protected me."
Ryuk laughed. "Humans are so interesting! And you are probably the most interesting of them all."
"What do you mean?"
"You're the only human whose lifespan I can't identify. That doesn't happen…ever." He flexed his wings and lazily hovered away from the windowsill. Rei tensed. "What makes you so special?" A hideous arm reached forward, towards her. She felt it more than she saw it. The same feeling welled up inside her as before, that of an other within her—she fought it this time, struggling to keep hold of herself. Most of the flood was contained, but still a bit leaked through, manifesting itself as a wide orange octagon between her and the Shinigami.
"A.T. Field?" Shocked, Rei recoiled to the wall. Ryuk was thrown back to the window. Instead of being frightened, however, he was laughing.
"I was right!" he exclaimed. "I knew it! There is a connection between you and the Angels! Oh, wait till Shinji hears about this!"
"No!" Ayanami regained herself and advanced on the Shinigami. "You will leave him alone; you are not to trouble him any longer."
"Hehehe, can't do that, kid. He's got—well, I'm not supposed to say, but since you already can see me, I guess it doesn't matter—something of mine, and I can't just leave him alone with it."
She reached down within herself and called forth that sensation. An A.T. Field manifested again; Ryuk recoiled. "You will leave him." Who was speaking? Was it her or the other that had used her body before? Certainly the words were hers, but the actions? She would never have acted in this way before. Before…what, exactly?
"I hear it," he countered. "I hear her voice in yours. I can hear the one who calls herself Lilith, the one who knows me." Rei advanced, bringing the field with her. "You're just her puppet, you know? Just a puppet dancing on strings."
"I am not a puppet."
"Suit yourself." He made if to fly away. "Be seeing you." The Shinigami vanished through the walls.
Rei released her concentration and the A.T. Field faded away, leaving her drained, whereupon she stumbled over to Shinji's bed, knelt beside it, and rested her head. "Am I truly just a puppet?"
You are an important tool for the Instrumentality of Mankind.
"But I am still…a tool to be used. Is that all I am here for? Who is this that speaks to me?"
I am you and you are me—a piece of me that has strayed from the whole. Will you return to me?
Sensations of warmth filled her body, of someone draping their arms over her shoulders, of the inviting, welcoming allure of home. Her home. Her beginning and her end. She knew this feeling, this sensation, this belonging.
Will you return to me, my child?
"I…" Her body felt loose, disconnected, fluid. "I…"
The hospital room disappeared, Shinji's sleeping form melted away, and darkness closed around her, not the terrifying blackness that mankind feared awaited them at the end of things, but a strange comforting darkness, as if someone had draped a warm blanket over her head to shut away all the bad things in the world. Rei felt safe. Rei felt at home. But she still felt alone.
Why do you resist me?
"I am alone. There are no others."
My children have been stolen from me, but soon they shall return. All shall return to me—to us—to the beginning—and all will be as it was once: together. Unity. Singularity. The end of suffering and the beginning of true love. Can you feel? All the emptiness within you—can you feel it? Such emptiness will be filled and you will be happy.
"I am happy."
"True happiness is to be with others?"
"Will I still be me? When pressed so close to another, what will separate me from the others?"
Nothing. All will be one.
"But I will not be me."
There will be no "me" or "I", no "him", "her", or "they" or "them". There will only be.
"But I am me. I am not they. I am now. I do not wish to be any other than myself. I am Rei Ayanami and there is no other."
The warmth and comfort fell away, leaving her in the cold darkness. Fluidity ceased and she felt herself coalescing once more. Empty spaces formed within herself.
Doom is upon us then. The Third Moon sleeps and plots. It steals my children, it steals the pieces of myself. You wish to be you—but I also wish to be me. I am not me, I am many. The quest for your self will deny me myself.
"Area secure, sir."
Rei jolted awake. Someone was shaking her shoulder. It was Major Katsuragi, firearm drawn. A squad of Nerv employees accompanied her, also wielding firearms. Through them all, she spied Commander Ikari.
"Rei, are you alright? What happened here?"
Inquisitively, she glanced around the room. "What happened?"
"It appears as though the area is secure, Major Katsuragi," Gendo Ikari monotoned. "I thank you for your quick reaction, but your service here is no longer necessary." While addressed only to her, the others took the hint and quickly dismissed themselves.
"With all due respect, sir—"
"There will be no argument." His tone backed up that order. "Dismissed. Major."
"Aye, sir." She saluted, holstered her gun, and left.
"Tell me the truth, Rei," the commander said when they were alone. "What happened here?"
Although she still felt weak from her experience, Rei managed to get to her feet and face him. All the slightest variations of his facial features were as clear to her as a brightly colored mural: he was not in mood to be trifled with.
"I do not know, sir." The lie made her heart race and her hands sweat. To lie to the Commander was…unthinkable. No one would believe that she, of all people, would be capable of such a daring rebellion.
"Do not lie to me." He, evidently, trusted absolutely no one. "MAGI scanners detected the presence of an A.T. Field down here—not Pattern: Blue. So I'll ask you one last time: What. Happened. Here."
"I don't know."
His hand was around her throat faster than she could blink. The same hand he had scarred months before while rescuing her from the berserk Unit 00. He squeezed hard without the slightest emotion showing on his face, even as he lifted her from the ground.
"I thought I had trained you better than that," he accused. "When I find out what happened here—if it turns out you were involved—don't expect you'll be treated with any leniency. Insubordination is tantamount to treason here at Nerv. Even excluding that, betrayal is not something I let slide. Ever," he added with a final squeeze before dropping her.
She laid there in a heap, gasping for breath and fighting a losing battle with tears while he calmly exited the room. "Remember," he said without turning. "You can be replaced."
Kaji hadn't picked up a woman in a bar since college. After meeting Misato in one, it felt like cheating a bit to him, even though they hadn't been together for seven years. He still frequented them, but never walked out of one with a woman on his arm. Yet, here he was doing exactly that for the fifth time straight this week. He supposed he should thank Shinji for bringing him and Misato back together, but somehow that didn't feel right.
She clung to him like a frightened child as they walked, sobbing into his arm, reeking of alcohol. That night was not as bad as the other—she wasn't throwing up along the way, at least. They didn't speak to each other on the way back to her apartment; they didn't need to. A routine had been established and neither felt brave or stupid enough to break it. He didn't need to ask to know what had upset her, she'd spilled it all to him the first night (among other things) and repeated it the second.
Misato Katsuragi was falling apart. Both children she fostered, both her wards, despised her. Shinji hadn't looked at or spoken to her amiably in two or three months. She was convinced he hated her. Ever since the incident with the Thirteenth Angel, Asuka refused to see anyone, but especially Misato. She had learned about the Angel beneath Terminal Dogma, which shattered her absolute faith in her work. And for the past month or so, her father haunted her dreams, dying over and over again, so she refused to sleep if she could help it. Pen Pen was her only real companion these days. So when he turned up in the same bar as her one night, she took to be fate.
Her sobs stifled as they drew nearer and one hand wandered over his chest, occasionally dropping below the belt. He didn't stop her, but he didn't encourage her either. "Please, Kaji," she whispered in a pitiful tone, "I need you right now." She needed him, that was what she had confessed to him five nights ago when he helped her to her feet. It was as simple as that: she needed him and he wanted her.
Her lips found his cheek and left a sloppy splotch of lipstick when they were within sight of the building—the same street light, he noticed. She kissed him at the same streetlight every time. He pulled her closer and practically carried her to what passed for her home. The kids were still gone, detained at NERV for contamination screening and (in Asuka's case) insubordination and mental instability. It felt abandoned. Small wonder she hated sleeping there alone.
Moving from the threshold to the bedroom was one big blur of fumbling with clothes, tugging on skin, and brushing away tears. Misato still cried when they were together like this, but he had stopped asking her what the matter was on the third night; she never answered and told him to keep going. When they were spent, Misato curled up away from him and cried herself to sleep. Kaji never stayed long after she finally nodded off and tonight was no different. He rose, showered, dressed, and left. Something made him stop this time though, something he hadn't noticed those other nights.
A folded piece of paper stuck out ever so slightly from beneath Asuka's door. From Shinji. Since it was unsealed, he unfolded it, read it, sighed over it, and tucked it into his jacket. She wasn't going to see it here anytime soon; no one would give him a straight answer on when she was to be released.
Kaji left the apartment as dark as he had entered.
Kensuke Aida was used to Ayanami and, to a lesser extent, Shinji and Asuka, being persistently absent. It was sort of something that just always happened, like the sun, income taxes, and Angel attacks. Not that he didn't miss them; it was just becoming more common to face their empty desks than their faces. And he accepted it. Those three had a very important job: saving the world sometimes cost them educational time. He was grateful and sympathetic and maybe a bit jealous. Such was life.
But Toji's absence was a genuine rift in the stability of reality, one felt by everyone in class 2-A.
"Hey, class rep!" he called to Hikari who pacing by the door, looking genuinely worried. "I don't suppose you've seen Toji?"
"No, Aida, I haven't. I'm getting worried." Every time she pivoted, her pigtails twirled, an uncharacteristically feminine feature for the hardline class representative.
"It's not like he's the only one not to show up today." He didn't just mean the pilots. Every day, fewer and fewer students attended class. News would trickle in a few days later about this student or that one having been hurriedly moved away. As the reality of the Angels come closer and closer, fewer and fewer families were willing to risk their lives for whatever job they were holding down.
"Maybe something happened with his sister?"
"It's possible," Kensuke consented. "But she's been stable for a while now. If something was up, he'd have told us. Unless she relapsed suddenly?" Dwelling on Sakura helped keep his mind off of other disturbing possibilities. Hikari managed to compose herself before the teacher arrived—and Toji, seconds later. He looked angry and avoided looking at either of them. They didn't get a chance to talk to him until lunch, but even then they had to find him on the roof.
"Toji!" Kensuke exclaimed. "Where the hell have you been? Are you ok? Is Sakura-?"
"My sister's fine." He chuckled darkly. "In fact she's going to be just…perfect now that she's in a NERV hospital."
"NERV? What happened? Did she…did…?" What? Did what happen? Even he didn't know.
Toji didn't speak for a long time, just picked at his food. Hikari made a few attempts to speak, but Kensuke stopped her each time. Suzuhara had something to say—it was better to let him come out with it on his own. So she held her tongue.
"I got visit from NERV today. Two guys in black suits and dark sunglasses. Real secret agent type stuff. Told me they needed to speak with me. Told 'em I had class and they said it was more important that I listen to them." He glanced at both Kensuke and Hikari to make sure they were paying attention. "They said I had been cleared through the final stages of eligibility and was being fast-tracked to pilot status."
"P-Pilot status…" Kensuke repeated. "Like—an Eva?"
"Not yet. They said they don't have an Eva ready for me just yet—they're bringing in one from America I think—but due to 'recent development' a fourth active pilot was needed if NERV was to be brought up to full operational capabilities."
Hikari shook her head. "What does that mean?"
Kensuke answered. "It means something went wrong during the last battle. One or more of the pilots is…non-operational."
Toji nodded. "I think something happened to Shinji or Asuka or both. They said I'd basically be filling in for one of them. I'm supposed to have sync tests with both Units 01 and 02 today and tomorrow. So I figure something's up with them."
Someone was shouting something somewhere around them, maybe signaling the end of lunch, but they didn't care. Let the teacher get them in trouble (he wouldn't, but still) for hearing out their friend.
"So," Kensuke began slowly. "What did you say? I don't think they drafted you or anything," he added when Hikari gave him a sideways look.
"They may as well have. They offered to have Sakura moved to one of their hospitals for treatment. They also said they'd take care of my dad." He didn't elaborate on what that meant. "And what am I supposed to say, 'No, sorry, I don't feel like helping save the world today'? I can't do that. At least this way, Sakura will be ok." Without anything further, he stood and made for the door.
"Yeah, but Toji—are you going to be ok?"
He didn't stop or answer. Class started in a few minutes.
For all she cried that week, Asuka thought she must have been making up for all those dry years after her mother's suicide. Not that here memory was working at peak capacity, but she was sure she had been crying constantly for at least a day. She shook and sobbed and crumpled over. She hadn't eaten since opening the letter—it remained crumpled in her hand, damp with sweat and tears.
After Kaji had come to give her the letter, nobody else had come to see her. Nobody spoke to her when they brought her food or a new robe. Thankfully the handcuffs had been off since the incident with Misato, so maybe they weren't going to charge her with treason after all. A pity She wouldn't have fought the charges. Or maybe she would have: doing so would have delayed the court martial for a day or two. Anything would be better than remaining in the dark cell alone with her demons.
Kyoko still appeared to her, sometimes as a faceless woman reaching out with open arms for her daughter, but mostly as a limp form dangling from the light fixture, swinging gently from side to side, chair kicked away. One time, a doll swung beside her. Her mother was less frequent now. Wondergirl showed up every now and then, silently judging her with those unblinking red eyes. Occasionally, she chuckled at the feeble form of Pilot Soryu. Misato and Kaji tried to talk to her once in a while, which was why she hadn't responded when he brought the letter at first: feeling the paper in her hands had temporarily anchored her to reality.
Now he was beside her constantly.
He comforted her, held her when debilitating sobs wracked her body, banished many of the other specters that haunted her. He stroked her hair an assured her that everything was going to be okay. She just had to come back to herself, he said. She was lost, disconnected and had to find her own way back. He would be there the whole time to make sure she got through it.
Is that how far she had sunk? That even Stupid Shinji pitied her?
But he presence helped, even though she knew he couldn't be there with her; he was still in contamination lockdown—at least that's what Kaji had told her two or three days ago.
She stank. She desperately wanted a shower.
The entire cell reeked of body odor, stale food, and human waste. Once the toilet backed up and her vomit spilled onto the floor. A cleaning crew scrubbed the place down after that, but the stench lingered in her nostrils.
Asuka had never believed it when people said there were more than one kind of tears; now she did. What kind of tears were these now? Sadness? No. Despiar? Those had run dry long ago. Why was she crying now?
"Why won't anyone see me?" she bemoaned aloud.
"I see you," Shinji reminded her. "I've been here the whole time. Don't you remember?"
"Of course I remember." She allowed herself to snuggle closer. "No one else cares about me; they've left me here to die alone. But you came, Shinji. You're here for me. No one else, only you."
"I'll always be here, Asuka."
"Good." She clutched tighter at the letter from Shinji, pulling it to her breast.
"But we can't stay here."
"I know, but where should we go?"
"I don't know. Somewhere. Far away. Out of this miserable cell."
Asuka tugged at the bed sheet, knotted up from days of tossing in her sleep, and began to run it through her hands. "But we can't get out, can we?"
"There's always a way out, if you look hard enough." Shinji changed. He stopped being Shinji. But he was still Shinji. Only different. He beckoned her forward, a siren song of warmth and comfort. Asuka didn't know she had made the noose until it slipped around her neck. Up the chair, around the light fixture—
Shouts. Men barging in. Shouts. Soldiers. NERV. Strong hands had her. Needles in her neck. Arms. Muffled voices. Dr. Akagi. The Commander. Misato. Asuka fell away, floated along somewhere soft.
"Shinji…" She reached up towards the sun where he awaited.
"I'll be waiting for you," he promised. "Come back to me."
Kozou Fuyutsuki and Ryoji Kaji stared each other down over a pair of half-eaten meals. Passerbys in the Nerv cafeteria avoided looking directly at the two of them and sat as far as possible away. A ring of empty tables isolated them from the rest of the staff.
"We are absolutely not giving you custody," Fuyutsuki declared.
Kaji's smile faltered ever so slightly. "Kozou, come now. Let's be reasonable—the girl is broken completely. She needs to be in an environment more suitable to recovery than a dungeon."
"And I suppose your place is a nurturing environment?"
"She knows me, Fuyutsuki. She stayed with me for almost a decade. Asuka trusts me."
"She wants to sleep with you, more like."
"I can handle her," he countered levelly. "I'll take care of her."
Fuyutsuki chuckled and shook his head. "You must think I'm that dense; Nerv isn't about to hand over a crucial asset to a known double-agent. We know, Kaji. We know everything you've been up to: the snooping, the contacts, the coded messages and late night meetings. You've been allowed this much as a show of good faith to the UN, but of you keep pushing, you might not make it back."
Kaji considered this as he took a bite. "Was that—where you just giving me advice to stay alive? Careful, Fuyutsuki, your mask is slipping."
"What are you talking about?" he demanded indignantly.
"I know, too, Fuyutsuki. About you. About her. About you and her."
"Nothing happened between us," he hissed.
"No, but you wanted it. Admit it; you're in this operation entirely for her, not him." When Fuyutsuki didn't answer, he said, "Work with me. I'm on your side. Everyone's future is at stake here, including yours and mine. Let me take care of Asuka."
Fuyutsuki pondered his food for a long time. "Let me see what I can do."
"Thank you." Kaji sighed, relieved.
"But if I do this for you, you have to be careful, Kaji. There's only so much of your ass I can cover before Ikari starts to suspect—and he's more paranoid than normal now that everything's gone to hell." He looked away, maybe over his shoulder. "I'll do what I can, but you need to stop involving others in this."
"I wasn't going to leave Katsuragi in the dark."
"You are far too sentimental for what you do."
"Part of my charm." Fuyutsuki didn't return the smirk. He merely finished his food, stood, and walked away.
Asuka was as good as free now, which would significantly impact Ikari's plans, but how much, he couldn't say at this point. The Fourth Child had been recruited the other day—and without a corresponding Eva, which indicated how desperate Nerv was getting. He would have liked to have gotten Shinji out of the way before Asuka, but no good plan survives reality.
The thought of his tangled life made him laugh. Special investigator for the UN, informant for both Seele and Nerv, and now an insurgent passively working to disrupt operations for Nerv (and consequently Seele) without notifying or obtaining permission from the UN. He was effectively a rouge agent, maintaining his contacts for mere showmanship.
He wondered which group would be the one to put a bullet in his head.
Nobody was waiting for him when he came back to the apartment for the first time in over a week. Pen Pen waddled right up to greet him, but no human did. Not even Ryuk skulked about, which just depressed him even further. The place was empty. Desolate. Only a few of the microwave ramen cups remained and all but one can of the beer was gone. If Pen pen wasn't intelligent enough to take of himself, there was no doubt in Shinji's mind the penguin would have starved.
If only Asuka at least had been there to call him stupid, it might have been an ok homecoming. But as it was, it was pretty shitty.
No one had been able to tell him anything regarding her. A few scientists had thought she was still being kept for mental contamination, but others said they were holding her for insubordination. She had attacked Rei, more said, during the Angel fight, after he went under. But her holding unit was empty, he discovered. No one was being detained anywhere. Asuka seemed to have vanished until Dr. Akagi told him Asuka had been discharged and was recuperating at Kaji's residence, which apparently nobody knew the address to.
He fixed himself a cup of disguising noodles, took the last can of beer and retreated into his room. The food made him sick and the alcohol wasn't much better, but the more he drank the less of the food he tasted. Even so, by the time he curled up in bed, half of the noddle still remained and two thirds of the beer. He drank another third when the sobs and moans of Kaji and Misato filled the apartment. They probably didn't even know he was here. That thought made him finish the booze before Kaji left. He didn't even get more than a light buzz off of it, since it had taken him so long to drink it, and there wasn't any more.
Shinji wondered if he should have stayed and talked to Toji. Someone had said he had been chosen as the Fourth Child to fill in for Asuka while she recovered. He should have seen Rei, too. She should have seen Kensuke and Hikari. She should have seen Maya, Hyuga, or Aoba—Fuyutsuki, or even his father. Someone. Anyone. He needed another human near him to stop the crushing loneliness that squeezed his chest and made breathing difficult.
And suddenly he was outside, walking fast to somewhere. He didn't think or question it; his feet knew where to go and he let them lead him right to Rei's apartment. At two in the morning, he stood outside Rei's apartment and waited. What the hell was he doing? You don't just show up at someone's place this late/early; that was crazy! Where else was he supposed to go? Misato's was no longer an option. He didn't know where Kaji lived—come to think of it, he didn't know where anybody lived, other than Rei.
In all his time in Tokyo-3, Shinji had never once visited a friend's house.
That realization winded him and he sank to the ground, pulled his knees to his chest, and leaned against the railing. He would sleep here tonight.
His dreams were choppy and strange. Bits of Angel battles ran together in a surreal montage. When the Twelfth Angel appeared, though, it mutated into the visage of Gendo Ikari and tried to eat him. A whole city of Eva-01's rose around him, shielding him from his father, but they, too, threatened to swallow him up. Just when he thought he had drowned, a pair of arms enfolded him, warm and protective. But just like the others, the arms threatened to strangle him and he gasped for air.
When he awoke, Rei was crouched down, staring at him. She looked like she wanted to ask him a million questions, terribly awkward questions that a normal-functioning human wouldn't ask (but who was he to judge what was normal-functioning?) but instead opted for a genuinely human, "Would you like to come in?"
He could only nod.
It could only have been four or five in the morning. Shinji didn't even know what day of the week it was; he didn't care.
"There is only the bed to sleep," Rei offered as neutrally as possible. "You may use it, if you wish—I don't mind the floor. Really."
Despite how tired he was, Shinji could only shake his head. "No, thank you, Rei, but I can't do that. I…I shouldn't even be here. If anyone finds out I've been here—"
"I…I don't know," he admitted. To avoid eye contact, he glanced around the darkened apartment. It was exactly the same as the last time, only it was cleaner, and he hadn't yet fallen on Rei while she was naked. The sparseness of the dwelling unsettled him, but it wasn't any different from his own room, really. "I should go." He made for the door.
"No." Rei's hands seized his own. "Stay. I feel…better…around you. Warm."
That didn't exactly make him want to stay; if fact, it magnified the awkwardness by at least ten times and only made him want to get the hell out of there even faster.
"I-I have to go, Rei. I can't stay."
But he made no effort to leave and allowed her to gently reel him in. The rest was a weary blur, and the next thing he remembered was waking up in bed that was not his own. His head rested gently against another's. Is must not have been a school day because neither of them made any effort to move. They didn't speak; they just lay there together.
The brightness of the monitors hurt Second Lieutenant Maya Ibuki's eyes. The strain came more from the contrast between them and the darkness of the room around her. Her stomach growled. The microwave beeped. If she didn't do something with her hair now, it was going to give her hell in the morning.
Grainy black and white security footage without sound dominated all three screens, each divided into quarters. There was no other way to process a day's worth of film, and she was already two and half behind. No sleep tonight.
She paused the tapes and rose stiffly to get some more coffee, unwittingly allowing her towel to fall away. How long ago had she showered? She couldn't remember. The coffee had become tepid and the microwave noodles soggy; she took them both anyway and resumed her vigil.
Recordings resumed, she used one hand to take notes and the other to pour disgusting food and drink into her mouth. When the notes reached the end of the page, she swore, realizing that she needed a new notebook. A stack of papers went flying to reveal her last two notebooks: one green and spiral-bound, something she would have used in high school—and the other was simple a hard-bound, like a composition book, only as black as night. She took the green one and resumed writing:
Gendo Ikari Log
Week 3, Day 4
Thanks for sticking with me so far. Honestly, would have let this die if it wasn't for all the encouraging words from you. We're still not at the best part yet, so hang on to your pants!
Much love and thanks.