Ritsuko knew she had some good ideas before, but now she knew she had a great one. It was a new supplemental product... a super soldier experiment that may compliment Project-E on a smaller scale. They knew little about the angels, and it was likely that when the attacks came, they might not be the massive biblical horrors they expected, but rather more human sized. Either way, she knew it was good to have a contingency plan.
"So, Doctor... what is it you have for me today?" asked Gendo Ikari, the new Supreme Commander of NERV.
"Quite simply," she explained with her youthful enthusiasm, "it is a human level supplement to Project-E. We simply don't know precisely what we are dealing with in terms of the angels so I felt that we should cover our bases."
Gendo approached the clear plexiglass encasement about the size of a shoebox that contained a black sludgy-looking material. As he came closer, it suddenly threw part of itself at Gendo splattering against the side of the clear box. Gendo didn't even flinch.
"It is a symbiotic organism that will provide its host with a variety of combat capabilities including greatly enhanced strength, superhuman speed and senses, and several other spider-like qualities. However, I must point out that I'm uncertain at this stage as to any additional capabilities or even the current extent of the symbiote's powers, but initial DNA and biochemical tests are encouraging!"
"Impressive," Gendo replied once she finished her explanation.
"I'm ready to start human trials. I wouldn't test this on an animal since the symbiote, in theory at least, will only be as smart as its host."
"As impressive as it is however, I cannot approve of this project."
Ritsuko's heart sank. "What?"
"You've managed to create a living subject which is more than commendable, but I need those talents on Project-E. Your mother won't be with us forever, and I need you to learn everything you can. Mankind is counting on this."
"I see," she replied. Her hopes were dashed, but she knew that on some level he was right. She needed to focus on the important projects and not on playing with random DNA samples found in craters relating to the Second Impact.
"Destroy the specimen. We don't want to risk it falling into the wrong hands."
"As you wish," she replied. Gendo left at that.
A few moments after he left, she looked at the specimen which was now calmly pooling in the middle of the case.
"But I can't destroy it," she whispered to herself. "I put a lot of effort into this."
Then she got her inspiration. In the corner were tanks of liquid coolant for Project-E. She immediately decided she would freeze the symbiote so she could return to the project one day.
I'll put a backdoor program into the MAGI so that I can monitor it and make sure it stays put. Gendo won't know, and what he doesn't know won't hurt anyone...
The symbiote shuddered slightly as if to point out the inherit flaw in her theory.
Archdruid Sephiroth and Tellemicus Sundance Present
A Superwomen of EVA: Alterverse Story
It is the year 2020 and five years have passed since the event few people even knew took place... Third Impact... It was supposed to bring mankind together into a new god, one that was without the need for petty vengeance, and unite humanity in a way that could only be dreamt of...
Shinji Ikari, the Beast who screamed "I am I" at the center of the universe, rejected it. Whether it was his lack of courage, or his shattered mind, that ultimately doomed the project, no one will ever know. Select individuals in the world governments knew that it had happened, but the average citizen had no idea that it ever took place. As far as everyone else knew, the Angel Wars ended in 2015 and mankind asserted its independence from whatever extraterrestrial enemy tried to destroy them.
2020... A year that should be signaling the beginning of a new era for mankind instead puts mankind at the brink of war once more. Andrew Cartigan, a wealthy landowner from southern California managed in five years to destroy the foundation of the American Government. The Constitution was abolished, replaced with a military dictatorship that now set its sights on devouring the entire free world.
The Earth was in the process of correcting itself, its axis slowly slipping back into place for unknown reasons. It was shifting a few degrees a year. By 2025, it would be back to where it started. In a way, the same could be said for a few individuals who were now back where they started.
On the command bridge of NERV Central, a woman with long purple hair sat behind a desk and watched as the bridge technicians continued their work. Above the Geofront, the city of Tokyo-3 was almost completely rebuilt and ready to face a new adversary. It was an adversary that the purple haired Supreme Commander of NERV was not interested in fighting, but had no choice in the matter.
"Why me," she whispered for what had to be the one millionth time since 2016 when she took control. She watched NERV transform from an Anti-Angel instillation into a defensive military compound in that time period, but it didn't make it any easier. The scar beneath her uniform jacket burned slightly every day, a fading reminder of why she became a soldier. Now it was a pointless relic of a bygone era; no more did she have to worry about sending 14 year old children into combat against biblical monstrosities, instead she had to worry about sending more children against their fellow human beings in the name of national security.
"It's a bad business to be sure," her friend and longstanding comrade, Maya Ibuki replied. "Not like we have a choice though. This would be easier if Sempai were here."
"I know Maya," Supreme Commander Misato Katsuragi replied. "I wish Rits was here too. But she's still locked up."
Ritsuko came back from the dead because Shinji wished it. She had tried to do the right thing in the end and to Shinji, that meant she should have another chance. Unfortunately, because of her involvement with Project-E, the powers that be in the Japanese government took action on their own. They knew what actually happened and held her accountable for effectively murdering half the population of the world, as well as conspiring to kill the other half. Though those charges didn't stick, she was convicted on a general conspiracy charge which put her in jail indefinitely...
This was worse than it sounded though, because back in the year 2004 she perfected a symbiotic organism for use as a Super Soldier aid to Project-E, only to have the project shut down on her by then-Supreme Commander Gendo Ikari. Not wanting to give up on the program, she froze it and kept a monitoring program on the MAGI to make sure it stayed under ice. Unfortunately, she was the only one who could access that program. If someone could, they would notice a three degree shift in the temperature of the symbiote, which was a sign that the now 16-year old system was beginning to give out.
None of this information would be of any use to Rei Ayanami, a girl who for all intents and purposes, shouldn't exist. She was the focal point of Third Impact, merged into the Second Messenger Lilith and destined to become one with oblivion at the end... but Shinji wouldn't let that happen. This meek boy who wanted it all, and for the briefest of moments had the power to make it happen, decreed that she would get to live because he needed her. For the life of Rei she didn't understand why...
On some level, as she stared at her naked form in the mirror of her bathroom, she knew she should know the reason why. But so much of her memory of the time she spent with him was gone, a victim of the energy event that changed the world. Lilith must have taken those memories... fed off of them... and perhaps in a way attained true immortality though those experiences. Her brow wrinkled in dissatisfaction... She wanted those memories back and she was willing to do almost anything to get them.
She left the bathroom with only a towel draped around her neck. Sometime after everyone came back, Shinji disappeared... No one knows where he went. Commander Katsuragi has had Section-2 looking into his disappearance but they have failed to locate him. Rei knew he needed to stay away for a while, but it left her feeling empty inside... a feeling she was more than familiar with.
At the age of 19, Rei has parted somewhat with the image of Yui Ikari. Her hair is now shoulder length, a bang usually hangs over her left eye. Though the similarities to Yui are still quite visible, subtle changes in her appearance have separated her somewhat from the late mother of Shinji. Her body has filled out into perfect curves but her skin retained its pale complexion, one that seems invulnerable to the sun's radiation. Her crimson eyes have become brighter with age and her hair seems to have darkened a shade. In total, she was to die for, and many of the boys at her college apparently felt the same way.
She was now receiving the attention Asuka would have received had she been awake. Young men have tried to talk to her on a daily basis, only to find her cold demeanor to be an obstacle they couldn't puzzle through. Some try again and again, while others have long since given up, feeling sorry for a girl that seems to be incapable of expressing emotions.
Today none of those problems were on her mind as she begins to dress, wearing her usual white under-things and finishing off with a simple blue sundress. Once ready she left the apartment, locking the door on the way out, and headed for NERV. Today is the day of her activation experiment to see if she can synchronize with the new Evangelion Unit 15.
The only other current prospective pilot was in the NERV Hospital, still in a coma.
When Asuka came back to the world, she ended up on a beach with injuries coinciding with massive trauma; she had multiple injuries that made it look like she was impaled, and her right arm was split down the center. The girl was found in her plugsuit but no one could recall ever sending her into combat... especially a combat that had gone so obviously and horribly wrong. Only Maya Ibuki secretly knew what the girl had actually been through, as she was the only member of the current bridge crew who was alive to witness that event during Third Impact.
Maya, having felt sorry for the girl, took it upon herself to see that she was cared for. Every day, she would go down to the hospital wing and tend to the girl. She'd make sure she was clean, had good bedding, and was still being fed intravenously. Few believed she would ever awaken, but Maya and Misato were adamant that she be kept on any necessary life-support systems. Her body has fully healed now, with barely anything resembling a scar on her arm, and no marks on her body at all. She has also grown, though her figure is thinner and less shapely than it once was due to her body having no movement for five years. Her muscles had atrophied, though they had machines that could fix that once she awoke, so Maya had no doubt she would be the beautiful and stunning young woman she knew her to be.
For her part, Maya was a little bit in love with Asuka mostly because she had cared for the girl for so long, but also because Maya remembered what the girl had been like before all this tragedy engulfed her. She was spirited and strong, traits that Maya and her meek personality lacked. Though she had become much more sure of herself now that she had attained the rank of Major, she was still the same Maya that four years ago would become ill at the sight of blood.
But how did that love compare to the love of her Sempai? Maya knew without a doubt that if Ritsuko ever returned, she'd want to be at her side. But Maya knew that the events of Third Impact changed her. She firmly believed that Ritsuko remembered everything that happened up until the moment she was shot and killed by the man who used her for his own twisted ends. Maya hadn't even been able to see her when she returned since she was arrested almost immediately... and such a high profile individual would not be allowed visitors. She had no doubt that if the common people knew her name and what she had done in the name of humanity, that there would be a lynch gang waiting for her outside of the prison. Despite her meek nature, she knew she would do anything to protect her sempai.
After giving her commander a brief but reassuring squeeze on her shoulder, Major Ibuki returned to the bridge level. On the screen was the new Evangelion... It was much smaller than previous models being barely over two stories tall with more mechanical parts than biological. It was fitted with advanced armor and both hard point and hand-held weapons as well as levitation thrusters on the feet and propulsion thrusters on the rear unit. They still used plugs, but these were much smaller versions as the units were much smaller in size.
She looked to her old post where herself, Shigeru and Aoba worked as a team in the best and worst of times. There were new people here, and she knew them by station only. Maya was adamant about not getting to know anyone outside her personal circle again, with the exception of the head of Project-3E, Doctor Iku Amano. Anyone else was beyond her circle of caring.
Doctor Amano had proven himself to be a valuable asset to NERV as he was one of the principle members of the organization that converted Project-E from killing Angels to a more conventional military program. Renamed 3E, the new project was designed to handle combat on all three major playing fields; land, air and sea if necessary. Specialized armor add-ons were created to give the new EVA's a major advantage in warfare, though only the doctor himself knew if these new weapons of war were capable of creating the ultimate defensive ability... the Absolute Terror Field. From what Maya was told, it was possible but somewhat unlikely.
On one of the screens on the console in front of her, she saw information on the test pilot they used in Great Britain, as well as data regarding her latest results. Her EVA, Unit 00, was the prototype of the new generation of EVA's. Her Synchronization Ratio was incredible, and as a result she displayed the full capabilities of the unit, able to perform maneuvers that even the engineers didn't think was possible. Maya's eyes scanned the data, glossing over the name "Makinami, M" on the file.
"Impressive," she whispered.
"I figured you would want to see what the preliminary trials yielded," came the voice of Doctor Amano as he entered. He was dressed as a scientist, but was almost a short as she was, and rail thin to boot. His hair and mustache had turned white years ago, but he never minded that, saying they matched his work clothes now.
"Are we certain this is possible with other pilots as well?"
"We're going to find out today," he replied. "Since the system still uses organics to an extent, and the machines do seem to have something of a mind of their own at times, I'm expecting there to be a possibility of pilot rejection. We are taking every precaution of course."
"Of course. Thank you doctor."
He bowed respectfully and stood back.
Several floors below the bridge, Rei pulled on her new plugsuit. The coloring was the same as her old one, with the only real change being the increase in size since Rei grew a few inches. Yui, she knew, was taller than her by a fair bit. Why she stayed so short is unknown to her. Perhaps her angelic side wished for her to be a bit more different from the woman who's looks she inherited. In any case, she didn't lament her lack of height, there was no reason to. There was nothing she could do to change it.
Once the suit was vacuum sealed, she stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her A-14 Clips held back her bangs allowing both of her eyes to be visible, and she thought about going back to her old hairstyle. Then she dismissed that thought as irrelevant, especial since she knew Ikari would not approve of her going back on so many of her old habits again.
"Ikari," she whispered as she placed a hand over her heart. Saying the name brought feelings to Rei she didn't fully comprehend. She knew she had the answers once, knew what it was like to feel the need to be near others, but now she wanted to simply be alone. Yet when she thought of the boy, the desire to be close to him was there.
Rei had seen in a dream (memory) (alternate future) Shinji lying on the beach next to Asuka, with a red sky overhead and an orange sea lapping upon their feet. But now when she sees that scene, she desired to take the place of the redhead in that picture. Rei wasn't sure when the scene happened or if it even happened, only that it was in her mind. She didn't even truly understand the significance of the scene.
Banishing the thought for now, she headed up the cages. Anticipation was gripping her heart as she recalled what had happened to her six years ago. She remembered Gendo pulling open the superheated hatch with his bare hands, scarring him... the broken glasses... and then the scene playing out again months later when Shinji rescued her from her fallen unit after the battle with the Fifth... This time, would anyone come to her aid if something went wrong?
About 10 minutes later she stood on the catwalk in front of the new plug. It was spherical rather than shaped like a test tube. Inside was the command chair and grips she was used to seeing in an EVA plug, but the shape is where things were much different. She carefully stepped inside and sat in the chair. The form fitting cushions formed to the curves of her rear end and back, making her feel like she was melding into the plug. The hatch was closed and the ball was rolled into the socket in the back of the EVA. Though the outside rolled, the inside stayed upright. Once in place, locks and the rear unit of the EVA closed over the gap making it a perfectly sealed enclosure.
Inside the plug, red lights came on and a synthesized form of LCL was introduced into the plug. Rei remembered her training and explosively released the air in her lungs as soon as the LCL pressure equalized. It may have been artificial, but it tasted and smelled the same. It was easy for her to get back into the routine, though she knew EVA unit 15 would not have the same spirit within it. She didn't know if she could sync with it or not.
The bridge was full of activity now as the technicians began to report on the progress of the activation experiment. They were nearing the critical point now... absolute borderline. Once crossed, they would know if the experiment was a success or a failure. Rei's heartbeat quickened as she reached out and tried to contact the spirit within. At first she thought she had found it and tried to convey her will to it... but the spirit seemed unwilling to respond at first.
Rei held her breath...
"Absolute Borderline reached," one of the technicians reported. Then a second later, everything went to hell.
"Pulses flowing backwards!" another one yelled. "The EVA is rejecting the pilot!"
Suddenly, the EVA thrashed in its confines as if trying to throw off a hitchhiker. It bent forward as much as it could and the back unit released from it along with the locks.
"Oh no," Maya replied as she noticed a massive buildup of LCL pressure behind the plug. With an explosion of liquid and compressed air, the plug was literally shot out of the back of the EVA with enough force to demolish the catwalks and half imbed itself into the wall. It fell out and rolled past the EVA which was now calming down, bumping into large objects as it went before coming to rest around 30 meters from the base of the unit.
Misato was down there in a flash, pulling on heavy gloves before triggering the locking mechanism over the plug door. She took hold of the superheated latches and pulled the plug opened. Inside the LCL was only about ankle deep and Rei had both of her arms wrapped around her chest below her breasts and was trying to breathe without crying out in obvious pain.
"Rei!" Misato called as she stepped in and assessed her injuries. "Damn it, someone get a stretcher! Rei, talk to me... Can you hear me?"
"Co-man..." She tried to talk only to have to cry out in pain. It was a short cry as her breath cut before the limits of her capacity, a piercing pain assailing her chest. Some of her ribs were broken and her arm felt like it was likewise damaged. She tried to open her left eye but blood poured from an unseen injury on her head and when she did open her eye, it felt like she was being stabbed there. She coughed and blood shot from her mouth.
"Damn it!" Misato cried. "Hurry up for God's sake!"
At that moment deep in a storage area, a complex system of cryo-tanks and feed lines were leaking coolant all over the floor. With a cracking sound the central tank burst letting out more coolant and a black sludge that immediately began moving on its own. It crawled into the nearest air shaft and disappeared into the darkness within.
The medical personnel entered the chamber with a gurney and carefully, but quickly got Rei onto it. She was now crying out in pain as they strapped her in to immobilize her and keep her from causing more damage to her already broken body. They quickly wheeled her out with Misato close by trying to assure Rei she'd be okay. She was worse this time than her first activation experiment in Unit-00 five years ago, or at least it looked that way from Misato's perspective.
Misato of course was barred from entering the room where they began working on her. She paced outside the room for ten long minutes as she listened to Rei's cries worsen for the first half then finally begin to subside during the second. Mere minutes later, Doctor Amano exited the room looking relieved.
"She's going to recover then?" Misato asked.
"Yes," he replied. "Her injuries are pretty diverse but she'll recover. She has several broken bones, had a minor hemorrhage in her chest cavity, and a mild concussion, but she'll be okay."
"It sounded worse than the last time this happened," she pointed out.
"I know, but the injuries weren't as severe as they could have been. And considering her regenerative abilities, I'm sure she won't be down for too long, then we can try again."
Misato frowned slightly. "What went wrong?" she asked.
"I don't know yet, but I'll have it figured out by the time we can try again. I promise Commander, next time will be different."
"I hope so Doctor," Misato replied immediately, and with a slight inflection that wouldn't have been out of place on NERV's last Commander. "We can't afford failures like this... and I won't stand for Rei getting hurt again. That young woman has suffered enough already."
Misato looked into Rei's room as Doctor Amano nodded in agreement at her words. Rei was a mess; bandages covered half her face, her right arm was in a splint, her stomach and half of her chest was wrapped up beneath her gown, and there was scarcely a place on her body that wasn't either cut or bruised.
Misato sighed and proceeded out of the hospital wing.
Night fell over the Geofront as the light transmitting guide wires could no longer pick up the sun's rays. Rei stayed asleep in her bed, breathing evenly as her body began the processes needed to repair itself. It would still take time to mend the bones, clear the bruising and erase the scars, but it would happen soon enough. Rei never scarred, never blemished, and always looked perfect despite the most severe injuries she'd ever received.
As the hum of the machines continued, a slightly sticky and liquid sound came from the air vents as the sludge-like entity of a time seemingly forever ago pulled itself into the room. It sensed out living creatures in its vicinity and sensed one nearby. Sampling the very air in the room it tasted repression, desire and an undercurrent of anger. It was a treasure trove of negative emotions that it could tap into and open up. The repression was extremely valuable... it was a sign of so much potential waiting to be unleashed.
It made its way up the hanging sheet towards the sleeping form and took another sample of the air, quivering in anticipation as it did so. The potential host was injured... badly... oh the great things it could offer it! Offer... her.
Her... now there was a prospect. Female emotions were so turbulent a thing; so quick to change, so quick to shift violently. Desire was an important emotion that many women either repressed or refused to feel, but this one was there, waiting to be tapped. What did she desire? Was it a man? Some object of frivolous want? It didn't matter; it was another tool... another anchor... just another way to hold on to the host.
The black mass quickly crawled its way up her body reaching the bare skin of her neck and upper chest in a matter of seconds. Then it began to smooth over, coating her skin with itself. Like an enveloping darkness, it appeared to consume her, and then just as it began to cover her face...
… Her eyes opened quickly and she bolted upright. She looked at herself but saw nothing, just the bandages and the splints from last night. She felt a slight pain in her side and back but noticed she was able to move without help. Experimentally, she loosed the splint on her right arm waiting to feel the telltale pain of a bone shifting without support... She never felt it... Her arm was fine.
She looked in the direction of her window and saw it was obviously morning. But what was that she felt before? It felt like something cold crawling all over her body... but now it was gone, like it never happened.
Tentatively, she began to swing her legs over the side of the bed and put pressure on them. Finding nothing feeling out of place she stood up on her own, just as one of the nurses entered to check to see if she needed more morphine.
"Doctor! Come quick!" she yelled as soon as she saw the girl was out of bed and on her feet. Rei carefully removed the IV needle from her arm as Doctor Amano entered the room.
"Rei?" he asked with obvious confusion in his voice. "Are you alright?"
Rei began to remove the bandages over her left eye and her head. "I am well doctor," she replied. "Only a few bruises and scars to report. I'm sure they will be gone soon."
"Astonishing," he replied. "I was informed your unique nature gave you regenerative powers but this is far beyond what I was expecting."
"Perhaps my more advanced development due to age has improved my ability to heal", her deadpan voice was always something the doctor had issues with, but knew he couldn't change it.
"Yes of course," he conceded. "That must be it. I would like to run some tests however, if you don't mind."
"Of course," she replied. "Please close the blinds. I am aware that not everyone is comfortable with nudity."
"Of course," he replied and nodded to his nurse who closed the blinds as Rei began to disrobe.
Under the bed, a mass of black remained in the shadows a moment before crawling into Rei's nearby book bag.
"She what?!" Commander Katsuragi said into her phone. "I don't believe it!"
"Believe it Commander," Major Ibuki replied. "Rei is in perfect health minus a few bruises and is ready for round two. She wants to try again tonight."
"But Doctor Amano hasn't even attempted to adjust her EVA yet, 15 isn't ready."
"Nevertheless," Maya began, "she's insistent that she knows what went wrong and wants to try again. She's willing to risk it."
Misato sighed. "Alright... Let her try... but have Medical on standby just in case."
"Already on it Commander."
"Crossing Absolute Borderline in T-Minus 10 seconds," came the voice of one of the techs.
Rei closed her eyes... It was safe here... It was warm...
It is not a beast, it is a machine that thinks and knows. It desires a partner, not a master. Accept me as your partner.
"3...2...1... Borderline Reached."
"Pulses nominal, no problems detected though checklist. Pilot is syncing at... 67%! Amazing!"
Misato breathed a sigh of relief. "Yesterday, it tries to kill her. Today it wants to be her best friend?"
Doctor Amano chuckled. "It's still an EVA at heart," he replied. "They can be touchy."
"Don't I know it..."
Rei for her part finally released the breath she was holding. She gently tilted her head back and let one last bubble of air escape into the LCL. Idly she watched it float up to the top of the plug-sphere. As much as she didn't want to be a part of this project... she felt at home in the warm LCL...
Her mind drifted, she remembered the sea of LCL... Remembered her physical and metaphysical connection to the boy who held her heart... But something was missing, something was still missing from this perfect scene... but she didn't know what it was.
Will I ever remember?
She wanted to go back to the dream... She wanted to lose herself to it... and she didn't know why...
Later, she returned home to her apartment. One could see the general apathy she had for her life still. Clothing was all over the place, papers were in a seemingly random filing system and anything she didn't use in a while was covered in dust. Only the place where she conducted her homework was clean and organized, everything else made it look like she didn't care about anything at all.
She placed her book bag at the side of her desk and simply plopped down on her bed. She would undress soon and slip into the covers for sleep. Unseen by her, the clump of darkness exited her book bag and slipped under her bed. It had given her a boost to help her along. But tonight, it would get something it needed...
… All it had to do was wait...
End of Chapter I
I've felt the hate rise up in me,
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves
I wander out where you can't see,
Inside my shell I wait and bleed
Official Story Disclaimer: Venom and other entities from the various Spiderman Series are property of Marvel Comics. Neon Genesis Evangelion and Rebuild of Evangelion are owned by GAINAX. Author and other contributors claim no ownership of such material. This Fanfiction story is for entertainment purposes only and no revenue is or will ever be generated by its creation or display.
Official Song: "Wait and Bleed" by Slipknot. Song can be found on their self-titled album.