This is just a little project of mine, which I decided to type up on a whim, but which might actually turn out quite well (unlike anything else I write for/about).
Of course when I say 'of mine', I'm not claiming ownership of Intellectual Property which belongs to other people, such as Evangelion, or Desiderata. I also don't own the International Space Station (ISS) in any way, shape or form. However, the Characters appearing in this known as 'Jon' and 'Tom' are both of my creation.
Word, grammar and spell checking for this have, as ever, been provided by the generous and enigmatic Loki, who makes sure what I write actually makes and sense, and is written in English, not a mess of random letters. If you DO find any mistakes, that'd probably be my fault, as Loki generally has little time to go over these and you shouldn't blame him if he misses a word or two.
Also, if there's an account anywhere called Loki, that's not my spell checker. He doesn't normally go by that name, it's just what I choose to call him.
That cleared that up? Good.
On with the Show, as they say.
On another subject, I am grateful to 'amitakartok' for reviewing this and telling me to do something I should have done all along. In his words; "That said, you might want to separate your wall-o-text into paragraphs. Just saying."
Or in my words; "USE DAMN PARAGRAPHS!"
So yeah, I've TRIED to fix that one.
The trees fell as the smoke cleared. The black trail through the sky slowly dispersed, as the silhouette of a human slowly rising from the ground cut through the grey mist backlit by the burning pile of rock, wood and metal that had fallen from orbit. The man coughed, before calling out, "Tom! Are you alright? Tom?"
Another figure rose through the smoke, far taller than a human should be, and as the dirty fog cleared, the metal of his armour shone in the bright, clear daytime that the area was typically blessed with almost all year round. The mass of the upper armour only made the relatively small legs look stupid, or rather it would have, if there hadn't been four of them. "I am intact." Tom replied in flat, but human sounding English.
"Ah, good" his shorter companion replied. "Now we just need to find out when and where we are." He looked up at the helmeted and visored head of his 8 or 9 foot tall companion "Any ideas big guy?"
Tom's armour clacked and creaked as he shifted and looked around. "Well, Jon, from the look of it, late 20th, early 21st century Earth, wrong technology for any other time, right general biosphere and geological features for Earth. Tropical climate. A lot of ocean. Very natural. Seems like a small island, likely Caribbean."
The man he had called Jon was impressed, but not greatly. "Tropical, yes, Caribbean, no. You focus too much on natural elements and not stylistic choices made by the locals. The architecture says Japan, even if the latitude says not. Actually, what the hell is with that? This place is basically Japan at the equator! What, are we in some alternate timeline where the Axis won World War 2, and this is some equatorial Pacific island affected by that? And what's with the ruins of modern looking buildings? The flooded towers, the... Oh dear." Jon looked towards the young boy drawing cautiously towards the wreck, and, though he was still out of earshot by a long way, and the smoke was still clearing, suddenly went quiet. Tom slowly looked towards the boy, before replying; "I recognise him."
Jon turned to face him, and quietly said "Yes, as do I. We'll have some trouble if this goes badly. Also, we should probably switch into Japanese now, before he approaches us and gets suspicious."
Tom stepped back slightly. "While I understand some words of that language, I am not well versed in it's order, grammar, structuring and other such bases of linguistics."
Jon smirked at a joke that only he knew the punch line to. "Not that different from your own. If in doubt, run it through a translator. Preferably one that actually works."
Tom backed off "Right. I should be out of sight anyway given my nature."
Jon nodded. "Indeed, old friend."
An eight year old Shinji Ikari slowly walked towards the burning pile of debris that had crashed behind the house he was living in, but that he was reluctant to call home. He'd been dumped there, and while the town was a nice place to live, with nice people, he'd still been dumped there. He'd been shaken from his Cello practice by the loud explosion and the sensation of the world shaking. He hadn't thought that that actually happened during explosions until now. Or maybe it was just a meteorite thing. Who knew? Walking around the back of his residence, remembering that his caretaker had told him to make sure nothing bad happened to himself or the house while they walked to the local shops, and watching the smoke trail fade, Shinji assured himself that he was safe from being blamed for a so-called 'Act of God' and assumed that whatever crashed was just some space-junk from before the second impact that had happened to choose now to fall. When he got close, he realised that he was wrong. The hunk of rock and metal that had ruined a perfectly good portion of forest wasn't from before the Second Impact. The stark red, flaking paint of the metal didn't look like any pre-impact space station he'd ever heard of, and the rock it was embedded in looked like it had been in space a long time, the side of it that had been shielded from the heat of re-entry by the sheer mass of the rest of it was covered in craters from smaller debris impacting on it.
Shinji looked up towards the top of the lump of blackened brown rock and red metal, and it was at this moment the figure resting atop the boiling hot space junk dropped down, and promptly started to converse, with him. "Hello. This might sound a bit strange to you..." Shinji stopped for a moment, before his curiosity got the better of him. "What will?" The figure smiled back at him. "I was hoping that you'd say that. Because the answer is everything that I am about to say, this included. But that part was just due to the strange structuring and the fact that I'm not used to talking in your native language." The crazy-haired but smartly dressed man before him stated in a strained and poorly constructed spiel of Japanese. "The rest is because I'm a half-British half-alien that rambles madly instead of merely talking, and travels, or rather falls haphazardly, through time and alternate dimensions. Really, when I say it like that, all I'd need is a large blue, spatial logic defy box and I could almost be... No, no, no, I'm diverging from my intended subject."
Shinji just stared silently at the pacing figure for a while as they both thought, before something clicked in Shinji. "Wait. Run that by me again. Half alien? And half British?" The man turned and smiled at him, slightly madly, but also in a knowledgeable yet somehow endearing way. "Yep. I am in roughly half-parts scarily adaptable alien compatible with human life, and human. Don't let my human appearance fool you, that's just because a race that is adaptable and compatible with other forms of life generally has to be willing to lose dominance over general function in hybrids, or crossbreeds, or whatever you want to call me, so that they actually work, that is to say live, survive, as a being."
Shinji ran that through his brain again, trying to sort the weirdness and bad phrasing out. After a moment of silence, he realised that it was impossible, and tried for a basic summary."So you're a half-human, who happened to end up here because you happen to be randomly flung through time?"
The man nodded slowly. "Pretty much. Well time and space. In this case that lump of junk behind me was responsible for the space part, and who knows how I ended up travelling through time."
Shinji let it mull for a bit, before trying to compose his response into a more polite form, and failing utterly. But then again, why should he extend common courtesy towards someone that had just ruined the forest behind his house? "And why is this a more credible story that you being a mad man?"
The man laughed at this. Not rudely, not loudly, not softly, just laughed. It seemed a good-natured laugh. "Oh, I am a mad man, but not very mad, and not very man. So not a very apt descriptor, but what is an apt descriptor for me, or at least me as I would have you believe I am?"
After he cut through the tangle of grammar, Shinji started to think of something, anything. "I... There is none." he conceded, before the other man got ready to start up with his disordered spiel again, and continue swerving all over the place linguistically. "Exactly. But besides that... You know, this sounded a lot better as contingency 12 in my head."
That one got Shinji. The man had always talked seriously, but not in any order, just when his mind got round to thinking about it. Not like he'd planned it. "What do you mean?"
The man just sighed. "I mean, I have some set scenarios pre-designed for hypothetical events. Falling through dimensions is one of these events, and one scenario is basically: I have just fallen onto an alternate version of a planet that I have been to or know about, on an asteroid or some such thing, and I am now conversing with a person, or several persons, that I know the fate of due to the virtue of being from a universe where knowledge that transcends time, so to speak, has allowed me to see their future."
The man just glanced at Shinji's stunned look. "No, really, that is the outline of one of my scenarios. And let me tell you, you are going to be a great person some day. Not that anyone will ever appreciate it, but you will be. And when the time comes, though you might run away, you will always return. I hope you have a good life. And while I have seen a version of your future, I believe that nothing is pre-determined, especially as I didn't see this happening to either of us. Good luck, go placidly and all that."
Shinji took a while to soak all that information up, and the man just waited for a reply, which Shinji provided, in the form of a question. "Go placidly?"
The man sighed again. "You've never heard of Desiderata? I'll print you off a copy. It was created in English, so I'll translate it for you. Actually, you know what, I'll leave you with a copy in English and Japanese. You know how stuff tends to get lost in translation, with one wrong arbitrary word choice leading to a host of misconceptions and... Well, sometimes it's good to keep the original, incase someone who knows how to read it gives you new insight to the original meaning. I hope our meeting has been surreal enough to prepare you for what will come. You will be a slayer of monsters, no matter how ridiculous that sounds right now. A hero among men. Just remember that even if you have to run away, you mustn't ever give up." He walked off to open a hatch on the red metal part of the wreck, and typed on a terminal for a bit. After a few seconds, a print out was ejected and fell into his waiting hands. Returning to him, the man placed the paper in Shinji's hands before turning to leave. After a few steps he stopped and turned back. "Oh yeah, and if you ever feel compelled to request a sword for your self-defence, do yourself and everyone else a favour, and ask for a Claymore and not a Katana."
Despite not knowing what a claymore was, Shinji just nodded. Walking back to Shinji, the man continued; "I'll write the original word, the English translation, and it's pronunciation, relative to your language, on the back of that piece of paper, just in case." Which he proceeded to do, with a pencil that he seemed to have drawn from nowhere.
While he was writing, he changed track with what he was saying "And the 'Without surrender' part of the poem? If you do not obey that I will personally find you and break your kneecaps." He smiled, but in a friendly manner, not maliciously. "Now I just have to figure out how to get this damn thing back into space and replace it with a part of the ISS before your parents or guardians get home. How long do I have exactly?"
Ignoring the dubious part about breaking kneecaps, largely due to the overall air of self-mocking the man had put on during that segment, Shinji replied like he was talking to something this man was clearly not, that is to say a normal human being. "About five minutes."
The man frowned slightly. "Well then, I guess I'd better hurry. Go on then. Shoo!" Shinji turned back and walked back into his house, wondering what the hell had just happened. Still, afterwards, he went back to his Cello. To his amazement, four minutes later, there was another shaking, and when he went out back to check, the remains of the inter-dimensional time-traveller's ride to Earth had been replaced with a large chunk of classically designed pre-impact satellite. But his printout was still here, so Shinji was left to suppose that what had just happened really was what the spaceman had said it was. Turning to the paper, Shinji started reading...
Meanwhile, far, far away from him a tall man with crazy hair turned to his taller, heavily armoured companion. "You know, it's funny, most of the time I leave people with Battleaxes, but I supose that in this context a poem is better."
A.D. 2015 (6 Years later)-
Shinji was relatively happy. He'd studied hard and quietly for the best part of five or six years, graduating high school around three years early. He had continued with higher education on and off for the past half-year or so as he tried to find an honest profession, that required hard work, be it physical or mental. Carpentry, building, electronics and plumbing were important, but widely popular and less intellectual fields of honest work. Shinji had tried his hand at each, but electrical wiring made him scared he'd get himself, or worse, someone else, electrocuted, and plumbing was a dirty job. The carpentry had gone well though, but in the age of glass and steel few wanted someone skilled in woodwork. Shinji had also found himself good with an anvil, if a little lacking in the strength he'd acquire as he grew older, but once again, who needed a blacksmith in these modern times? He'd worked in some shops, but in the end the managers tended to agree with him that he just wasn't a people person. He was good at taking inventory of things though, but while that would have been useful pre-impact, now it just reminded him of how empty the world was. It seemed that there was no place in the world that he could fill. 'No place that I've found yet' Shinji consoled himself as he returned home after studying casually at a local library. He had decided that he'd try to get further through education before he tried to get a job, and in the rest of the year before any college or such would open to new students, he could browse available places to study in the area, apply, and build his knowledge in an area of his taste. Pre-impact world history seemed appropriate, especially history ranging far back. Feudal Japan, the Kings of England, the empires of China, and Rome, the discovery of America, the civil wars, Russian, American, French, Spanish and English, The Great War and World War Two. Humans just kept on making mistakes, ones he didn't intend to repeat. He also needed to build up his physical abilities. He hadn't let them become dull as he studied, but honing his mind had been his focus.
As he opened the door to his room, he noticed the envelope on his table, with a note left by his guardian. 'This arrived for you while you were out studying this morning. It looks pretty official, so you'd probably do well to open it quickly. See you this evening after work, if this is as important as it seems, we can discuss it over dinner. I trust your Judgement.' Happy with the note, Shinji turned to reading the letter itself, and his attitude changed from quiet contentment, to quiet contempt. Still, he owed his father for this attempt to make social contact, even if it seemed that his father had only been asked to write the message personally by virtue of the fact that his work happened to require his son. Shinji scoffed, before going out behind his house to quietly meditate on what this meant. He sat in the now green crater, looking at the various styles of statue and sculpture he had crafted from the trees around. He'd even cut some of them down himself, but that had made him feel bad for the trees, and afterwards he just found fallen trunks and worked with them instead. 'As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.' Even now, thinking about that line cheered him up and he heard in his head, as clear as day; "If you do not obey that I will personally find you and break your kneecaps." Still, it helped him choose a course of action, his father may have abandoned him, but he was still a human. And as a human, he deserved some measure of respect, no matter how small. And so that respect would be as good a reason as any for Shinji to leave for New Tokyo 3. He started to pack right after his decision, and readied a fair well speech for his teacher, guardian, and, once Shinji had gained enough experience of the world, friend.
He put down the phone that was reminding him that some sort of state of emergency was in effect, as if the sirens and deserted streets hadn't been enough. It would have been a good measure to provide basic information along with the generic alert the phones gave. He'd have to see about getting them to change that, it could save lives. He sat on the ground by the phone. His Rendezvous was late and while he looked up and down the road before he closed his eyes, he saw a girl with red eyes and light blue hair. Though the wind rattled the grates around him, and the birds called out and flew off, he kept eye contact. He saw two missiles whistle past him, but he still watched her. She hadn't been there a moment before. Then, as he watched, the girl simply stopped being there. What did it mean? He exhaled deeply, closed his eyes for a second. 'And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.' He decided to find out just how exactly the universe was unfolding. Screw the military, a spectral girl was more important that some live-fire drill or... Then the roar happened. He turned for a second. That roar was... Unearthly. Turning his head, he saw...
"You will be a slayer of monsters,"
Oh by the Gods.
"...no matter how ridiculous that sounds right now."
That was it.
"A hero among men."
What he'd meant.
"Just remember that even if you have to run away,"
The time was coming.
"...You mustn't ever give up."
He would have to stand.