Disclaimer: I don’t own Warhammer 40,000 or Neon Genesis Evangelion.
To read the entire “New Chaos” series, go to http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1443555/Academia_Nut
Tokita Shiro was beside himself with grief and shame. The Jet Alone project had ended in a terrible disaster, with the prototype having gone amok and nearly reaching the outskirts of the city before coming to a stop just before its reactor had miraculously shut down. Or rather, the virus that had infected it ran its course, having sought to irreparably embarrass the Jet Alone program rather than cause a major nuclear disaster.
It was obvious to everyone that NERV was behind it, or at least parts of NERV, but who cared? A weapons system that easy to hack was useless.
Worst of all though was the fact that NERV had volunteered to scramble their own Evas to stop the out of control Jet Alone… if not for the fact that they were still refitting their own machines after the savage beating they had taken at the hands of the last Angel. Someone in their PR department was a genius at spin control, making it not only sound like this was entirely their fault; that the Jet Alone had been a waste of resources that could have been better used elsewhere.
Namely on NERV and the Evas.
Putting aside the imported pre-Impact whiskey, Shiro began to consider his options. The company had already been hurting lately, the Jet Alone project looking rather lacklustre in comparison to the insane stunts being pulled by the Evas, and today was supposed to have been their moment to shine. Now everything was in ruin.
The phone rang.
Picking it up, Shiro asked angrily, "What?"
"Do not hang up Tokita Shiro, we have things to discuss," an electronically distorted voice on the other end said.
Shiro blinked and then asked fearfully, "Who is this?"
"Your new corporate overlord. The takeover has yet to be complete, but it is inevitable at this point," the voice replied.
Shiro was a very smart man and he suddenly blurted out, "You're from NERV aren't you?"
"Very good Tokita-san. Now, I want you to listen to me very carefully and obey my instructions. The company's stock is falling in value faster than waterfront property in Old Tokyo after Second Impact. The investors are jumping ship as quickly as possible, inevitable after something like this, but the company still has a great deal of value not represented in its stock," the voice explains.
"You ruined us just to loot us, didn't you?" Shiro says before slumping down in response to the depths NERV would sink.
"Loot is such a pejorative term. I prefer the phrase 'hostile takeover with extreme prejudice'. Now, if you want to see looting, you should ask for an inquiry into the behaviour of your corporate executives. One could almost claim that they started selling their stock before full news of the disaster became apparent. And their refusal to give a shut down authorization? Suspicious, no? One could almost say that they wanted something like this to happen," the voice explains, causing Shiro to perk up.
There was laughter on the other end, and the voice says, "That got your attention, now didn't it? If you play our game you will come out of this as the hero Shiro. The poor, mistreated head of the engineering department, a scientist ordered to build the Jet Alone while your masters plotted a disaster. While you desperately tried everything you could to stop an out of control robot, they played golf and refused to give the shut down authorization. Go public with 'your' theory and demand a full audit. Something will turn up if you kick over enough rocks, and you'll have a convenient scapegoat that isn't you. Throw your support behind NERV and claim that the design team always envisioned Jet Alone as a 'supplement' to the Evas, but it was greedy, short sighted bosses who demanded it be marketed as a 'replacement'. Can you do that Tokita-san? Can you swallow your pride? Will you replace one set of overlords for another?"
The line went dead.
Ah, precognition, telepathy, and remote viewing were such wonderful things when you wanted to make a killing on the stock market. It wasn't even considered insider trading as he had no known means of getting the sort of information he did. It wasn't like anyone knew that one Tokita Shiro would lead an anti-corruption crusade and rescue his company from the brink of annihilation, being promoted to President and leading a strong stock market rally, especially after the announcement that the entire Jet Alone team was willing to work with NERV to improve the operation of the Evas.
Life was sweet right now.
Rei was steadily learning new methods and techniques for controlling and expanding her powers, and Shinji had managed to convince her to wash up at least occasionally so that no one commented too much on her lack of hygiene. Her abilities seemed to rapidly be developing along the lines of personal shielding and regeneration, with active telepathy and precognition being almost nonexistent, and telekinesis only barely present.
And now was the day of the big reveal for the new L-Type equipment on Unit 01. After the pounding it had taken at the hands of Shamshel and Ramiel, Unit 01 had no reserve armour left, so it was decided to move directly to the heavier equipment that had been on the drawing board since the first fight with Sachiel.
When the lights came up, all Shinji could say was, "Sweet…"
The purple and neon green and orange armour had been completely stripped away, primarily by Ramiel's particle beams, and replaced with significantly heavier armour painted Egyptian blue and gold. The horned and frilled helmet had been replaced with a heavily reinforced version that resembled an elaborate pharaoh's burial mask, although significantly more fearsome. The shoulder fins had been replaced with large shoulder pads that now bore the NERV symbol on one shoulder and a scarab on the other. Painted on the left side of the breastplate was an enormous Star of Chaos, while on the right there was a stencilled "Unit 01".
On racks next to the new and improved Eva were the new and improved weapons available. The bolter had been rebuilt in a new and sturdier frame, and the AT-staff had been fixed and strengthened, with extra capacitors and back-up emitters to try and avoid a burn out like had happened in the battle against Ramiel. There were also several armour mounted weapons that could be added if the mission required them, such as the progressive claws that were to replace the too easily lost prog knife and that could also be useful for climbing, or the missile pods designed to strap on to the new shoulder pads. Finally, NERV had appropriated the JSSDF designs for their positron cannon and were using them to build a new and more powerful positron rifle. The new design philosophy was that the Eva should be capable of taking on any mission profile, be it melee combat or long range fire support.
Unit 00, having taken a much worse pummelling with its lighter armour was still only half done its refit. When asked how she wanted her Eva decorated, Rei had responded that she was quite proud of the wounds her Eva had sustained. Thus it was much barer, but had scar markings incorporated into its plain, off-white armour, which combined with the helmet fin now standard made the Eva look kind of like a decaying mummy rose from the grave to do battle with those who had disturbed its rest.
And curiously enough, one of the empty Eva bays was being activated and a suit of the new L-type equipment being built. Raising an eyebrow, Shinji caught the attention of Misato, who smiled and said, "NERV-Germany is shipping Unit 02 out here, so we wanted to make sure we were ready for it."
"Ah. Is there a pilot for Unit 02 yet?" Shinji asks.
"Yes, the Second Child, Asuka Langley Soryu, who has been training with Unit 02 for the past ten years. I was actually involved with her training before I moved to Tokyo-3," Misato explains.
"Ten years? She must be very good with her Eva then," Shinji notes.
"She has the most extensive combat training of all three pilots, although obviously she hasn't been in any actual combat yet," Misato says.
"That will change shortly though, won't it?" Shinji says, his tone suddenly going dark.
"Shinji, I know that…" Misato begins.
"We have some form of bait, don't we?" Shinji asks before looking out over the Evas contemplatively.
After several seconds of silence, Shinji elaborates, "The world is a big place, but the past three Angels have all zeroed in on this one tiny corner of it, which also happens to be the most fortified position on the planet. Their stupid, but the Angels do have a degree of cunning. They wouldn't be coming here if there wasn't something they wanted. Something they wanted badly."
Misato sighs and says, "It's classified above my level, but there is something that draws the Angels, I know that."
"Probably the Evas or whatever they're based off of. I mean, the Evas are mostly biological in nature… a lot like the Angels, no? And while I'm sure Ritsuko would say I'm just daydreaming, but every time I get in the entry plug, I can feel that Unit 01 has changed just a little bit more. The Evas can evolve too, just like the Angels," Shinji says coolly.
Misato was quite at this revelation before she said, "Do you care?"
"Nope. Just an observation. Good strategy too. If you know and can control where your enemy will be, then you have already won half the battle. It's why sieges are such brutal affairs," Shinji replies with a smile.
Misato shivered. Sometimes Shinji was too damn smart for his own good.
"Well, starting tomorrow the fight will be a little easier for us. That's when Unit 02 and the Second Child are scheduled to arrive. I'll be going out to meet them and deliver some supplies. Care to join me?" Misato suggests.
"Can Kensuke and Toji come as well?" Shinji asks.
Her smile beaming, Misato says, "Of course!"
"Wow! A Mi-55D transport helicopter! I never thought I would get to see one, let alone ride in one!" Kensuke says while rapidly panning his camera around to get a good look at things.
Any chance to secure you more tightly to me my friend. And of course it would be just rude to leave Toji behind.
"I'm glad you're having fun on our little date," Misato says happily while glancing back at the boys in the rear seat of the helicopter.
Toji was very quiet, trying to control his blood pressure. Not only was Misato pure hotness, but every time he looked at her in that red jacket with that tight red dress on his mind kept superimposing Hikari's face at which point it drifted into bad thoughts. It was taking every ounce of his willpower to not explosively exsanguinate through his nostrils. It would be a good death though.
"Wait until you see where we're going Kensuke," Shinji notes slyly.
"Where are we going?" Toji asks.
"Oh, just for a cruise on my cute little boat," Misato says as the helicopter clears a cloud bank and the fleet below becomes visible.
Kensuke nearly went insane with a joy overload as he counted off all the various ships present below. Shinji just shared a knowing look with Toji, which Toji returned. Friendship was a beautiful thing.
Settling down on the deck of the super-carrier Over the Rainbow, Toji followed after Kensuke to make sure the military nerd didn't have a stroke from excessive stimulation, while Shinji slouched behind; content to watch the two of them go at it. He wanted to appear to be the calm one in this situation.
And then he felt her. It could only be Asuka, because Shinji had already figured out that being a psyker was a prerequisite for piloting the Evas, and other than the latent buzzing of Toji and Kensuke, there were no other psykers aboard the ship. Plus the mind had a taste to it somewhat like Rei's when he first met her in that Eva piloting apparently opened up certain aspects of the mind.
This mind however, was as different in character from Rei's as night and day. Rei was soft and quiet and passive, but this Asuka, she boiled. She was bright and active and so filled with beautiful rage and pain and confidence and so many delicious emotions to experience. It was a banquet as far as Shinji was concerned.
And then she came into view, tall and proud, long red hair and a yellow sundress billowing in the wind, a blue ribbon tied about her throat while A-10 nerve clips were worn in her hair as both decoration and declaration. She radiated certainty and arrogance even to those not blessed with warp sight, and her eyes burned blue like the heart of a fusion reactor, filled with boundless fury and energy. Shinji wanted to drink her.
So this is what lust feels like. I wondered when those hormones would start doing their job. If the Eldar had women a quarter this good, no wonder they blew up half the galaxy and spawned Slaanesh.
"Well hello Misato! How have you been" Asuka said out happily, her voice dripping with pride and arrogance.
"Just fine. Goodness, you've grown so much since I last saw you, haven't you?" Misato asked, almost like a distant aunt.
"Uh huh! And I'm not just taller, I've filled out too as well," she replied boastingly, showing off her curves.
"Let me introduce you all. This is the designated pilot of Eva Unit 02, the Second Child, Asuka Langley Soryu," Misato announces to the boys.
Precognition and simple knowledge of physics let Shinji foretell what was coming next, but he made no attempt to prevent it, even though a bit of telekinesis would have avoided the whole situation. He did not interfere though because he enjoyed the path already laid out.
As was inevitable on an aircraft carrier at sea, a strong breeze was kicked up by… well the fact that it was an aircraft carrier at sea! It was freaking wind central! Who wore a sundress, or any sort of skirt for that manner, in this sort of environment and didn't expect to have to do a Marilyn Monroe impression?
Toji and Kensuke got slapped in the face in short order for seeing Asuka's little white cotton lace panties, but when she got to Shinji, both boys let out a vengeful smirk as they saw what was about to happen.
Shinji caught Asuka's hand, a smirk on his face. He could drink that fury all day and it would never get old, and he found the expression on her face that he had dared to stop her priceless. When he caught the other incoming slap, the look on her face became twice as priceless. The paler complexion associated with red hair made the angry blush stand out all the more, and if looks could kill, Asuka could have shot down Ramiel.
"I don't like to be hit," Shinji says coolly, a smug smile on his face.
Particularly glad of his pattern recognition and precognitive abilities, Shinji caught the kick aimed for his groin with his leg, and wrapping his ankle about hers so that he had control over her leg. Reversing his grip with one hand while shoving forward, he caught her by the small of the back so that they were in a rough approximation of a dance dip.
Asuka barely had time to react before Shinji gave her a peck on the nose before dropping her flat on her ass and legging it across the aircraft carrier. Several crewmen wearing ear protection looked up as Asuka's scream of absolute outrage made them think that an alarm had gone off.
Chaos! Such pure, wonderful Chaos! I haven't had this much fun since… EVER! I so need to get her a chain-axe.
For their parts, Toji and Kensuke watched in stunned silence at the audacity of their friend, while Misato laughed her ass off. After a little while she just shook her head and ran down the two athletic teens and subdued them with a sound tongue lashing.
Still giggling at the shit-eating grin on Shinji's face and the outraged twitching of Asuka, Misato just said "I see you two are going to get along just fine."
"Get along? Who is this pervert anyway?" Asuka whined.
"The Third Child," Shinji replied smugly.
"WHAT?" Asuka cried out, again causing the deck crew to check their equipment for transmission errors.
"It's true Asuka, this is your fellow Pilot, Ikari Shinji," Misato said while holding the two of them apart.
"You know, for someone who was so offended by flashing all of us, you sure don't act very lady-like," Shinji says just to stir the pot.
"Ich zerreiße Ihren Gott verdammten Kopf weg!" Asuka cried out in German while trying to get at Shinji.
Rolling her eyes, Misato knocks their heads together and says, "Alright, fun is fun, but now is the time to put this behind you and shut up. Now, Asuka, stop trying to kill Shinji, and Shinji, stop encouraging her to try."
"Okay Misato-san," Shinji says brightly.
"Fine," Asuka spits out.
Letting them go, no one watching is surprised when the two teens bolt off again like a lioness and a particularly cheeky gazelle.
A few minutes later the two of them were looking rather sullen on the bridge, especially in comparison to the still ecstatic Kensuke. The large lumps on their heads probably had something to do with that.
"…and here we have the transfer orders for you to sign off on," Misato says, handing over the last of the paperwork to the American commander.
"No, we will not sign off on this until we get to port and we can unload this toy and this scout troop of children," the admiral growls, still not happy with having his fleet assigned to what he saw as an inglorious escort mission.
Shinji had suffered through enough degradation of his person and the Evas. Yeah, he could tolerate being called a bratty kid after his little display on the flight deck, but now he was tired of it all.
"Admiral, tell me, what would happen if this fleet took an N2 mine at point blank range?" Shinji asks out of the blue, drawing everyone's attention.
"No look here you-" the admiral begins to go on a tirade but is cut off by Shinji forcefully asserting himself.
"Whatwould happen?" Shinji growls, stopping the man in his tracks with sheer confidence.
After a moment the admiral says, "All the ships were designed during the Cold War and are somewhat hardened against nuclear, and thus N2, weapons, but a point blank detonation would sink most of the fleet and disable the remainder."
"The Third Angel, after walking through more firepower than the Battle of Kursk like it was rain, took a direct hit with an N2 mine, as in the mine actually made contact before detonation. Approximately three hours later it continued on its way to Tokyo-3, the mine having only stalled it," Shinji says, letting it all sink in before finishing off with, "One minute thirty-two seconds after engaging Unit 01 the Third Angel self-destructed in a vain attempt at victory. The Angels and Evas have powers you cannot comprehend, and if one should show up, your fleet would be a glorified meat shield. So show some respect to us pilots and that Eva."
There was stunned silence for a moment before Misato shooed the kids off the bridge.
"Well that was smart Third Child," Asuka says sarcastically.
Shrugging, Shinji says, "You're just jealous that I said it first."
"Dude, I swear the bulkhead behind you is melting," Toji comments quietly.
"Shut it monkey," Asuka said, twitching her stare at Toji for a moment before focusing back on Shinji.
"Shows she has poor aim," Shinji comments dryly.
"Oh, you downplay both her aim and your ability to weather her fire," a warmly humorous voice says.
Asuka's attitude suddenly changed from "Old Norse berserker" to "giddy schoolgirl" with such speed that all three boys had to rub their necks from mood whiplash.
"Kaji!" She said in a high pitched, overly excited voice.
"Kaji!" Misato shouted out angrily upon leaving the bridge.
Shinji took one look at the man's well cultivated rugged handsomeness along with Misato and Asuka's reactions and made a quick mental note.
Note to self: kill the competition at earliest convenience.
"What are you doing here?" Misato growled while glaring daggers at the man.
"Oh, just a little business trip for the NERV Third Branch, helping to transport Unit 02 and all that," Kaji says before offering, "Care to join me for some coffee?"
One overly cramped elevator ride later and they were all sitting at a table sipping coffee and tea. Kensuke, Toji, and Misato sat on one side of the table, which left Kaji, Asuka, and Shinji to the other side. Asuka was not happy about having to sit next to Shinji, but it was the only place left for him so there was really nothing she could do if she wanted to sit with Kaji.
Sipping at his coffee, Kaji set it down and asked Misato, "So… are you seeing anyone?"
"None of your business," Misato replied while turning up her nose in disdain.
Smiling, Kaji set down his coffee and turned to Shinji to ask, "So I hear you live with Katsuragi-san now?"
Nodding, Shinji says, "Yes."
"Is she still wild in bed?" Kaji asks from out of the blue, causing everyone but Shinji to recoil in shock and horror.
Rolling his eyes, Shinji says, "I barely got any sleep at all the first couple of nights. All that thrashing and moaning…"
The beet red colour of Misato's face changed from outrage to absolute embarrassment, and now it was Kaji's turn to gape in shock.
Shaking his head, Shinji just points at Misato and cries out, "See a damn doctor woman! Snoring like that should not be heard through walls, and if I hadn't invested in ear plugs I would be an insomniac by now!"
"I DO NOT SNORE!" Misato cried out angrily in protest.
Shinji pulled a small tape recorder out of his pocket and hit the play button, filling the small mess hall with the sound of… something that may have been snoring. Misato stared at it with abject horror for several seconds before screaming out, "That is not me! That's a wood chipper!"
Kaji fell out of his chair he was laughing so much at the exchange, and when he recovered from the floor he was wiping mirthful tears from his eyes. "Oh… wow. Damn kid that was… wow. Why do even have that on you?"
Picking up the recorder before Misato has the sense to snatch it up, Shinji says, "You never know when an opportunity like that might pop up, and it pays to be prepared for any eventuality. It only looks like improvisation if you plan it out well enough."
Turning to Misato, Shinji then grins and says, "Incidentally, that was the sound of a wood chipper. The fact that 'the lady doth protest too much' proves my point, no? 'The play's the thing' and all that?"
Misato went very, very quiet as she stewed on that little bit.
Still grinning from ear to ear from the whole exchange, Kaji says, "I can see why you defeated the Third Angel so quickly."
Waving his hand to the side, Shinji said dismissively, "My Eva went berserk, I don't even remember what happened."
"Yes, but the fights with the Fourth and Fifth Angels, those were all you," Kaji points out.
Oh Asuka, your jealous rage is to my palette like a sweet summer's wine in comparison to the various emotionally repressed idiots I have been subjected to. Dare I?
"The Fifth Angel was a team effort and it would be impolite to take credit there, and with the Fourth Angel I was just making it up towards the end," Shinji replies with self-depreciatingly humorous false modesty.
In the kitchen a coffee pot that had been left on way too long exploded in a shower of glass and boiling water. Or at least, that was what the official report would say, as it was the only reasonable explanation.
Good! Use your aggressive feelings, girl. Let the hate flow through you. Strike me down in your anger!
Asuka stormed out of the mess while everyone else was on edge from the loud bang, and Kaji immediately chased after her. Eventually he caught up with her sulking on one of the railings, looking out over the Pacific Ocean.
"So, what do you think of the Third Child?" Kaji asks, leaning casually on the rail.
"He's an idiot and a jerk and he really isn't much to look at. How did he ever get to be a pilot in the first place?" Asuka asked angrily and sullenly. To Kaji's experienced ears, he could hear a hint of wistfulness to her tone. He somehow suspected that she already had a crush she wasn't even aware of yet.
"Oh, it probably has something to do with the fact that when they first put him in Unit 01 he achieved a synchronization ratio of 48 and has since been holding steadily at 55," Kaji notes idly.
"Gott in himmel!" Asuka cried out, nearly falling off the railing if not for the fact that she had her legs wound around the bars of the railing. She then disentangled herself and stormed off to find Shinji.
Shaking his head in good humour, Kaji doesn't know which one of them to feel sorrier for. After a moment's thought, he decides that whoever got in their crossfire was the one deserving of pity.
"Huh… red. Wasn't expecting that," Shinji notes when Asuka pulls up the tarp to reveal Unit 02, all trace of sarcasm ruthlessly purged from his voice. It would be best to play it straight right up to the punch line. Plus she wouldn't get why he would think red was suitably fitting.
"The colour isn't the only thing that's different you know," Asuka replies, ducking under the tarp to rush down to the Eva and then clamber up on top of its head.
Shinji held his tongue about whether or not Asuka cared to dance again. He swore that the girl wore skirts just so that she could get pissed at people when she invariably flashed them.
Invest in some pants bitch! That or just admit that you like to pound on people for no good reason and go with it.
Turning about to face him, she says proudly, "Unit 00 and 01 were the prototype and test-type, respectively. The fact that Unit 01 synchronized with an untrained pilot like you is proof of that. However, Unit 02 is a little different. My Unit 02 is the world's first real Evangelion! Created for actual combat, it's the final production model!"
Let's see how far I can push her. This will be sweet.
Taking it all in, Shinji comments, "A pity it's using obsolete equipment."
A pin could be heard dropping in the huge bay, it went so deathly silent. Asuka just sort of quivered with building rage while a malicious smile crept over Shinji's face.
Continuing, Shinji explains, "A combination of simulation and actual combat proved that Type B equipment was utterly inadequate for extended combat with the Angels, so both Unit 00 and 01 have been upgraded with new Type L equipment."
"Oh, well obviously that's because the pilots are incompetent and need extra toys to fight effectively," Asuka ripostes brilliantly, although there was a large tint of bitterness in her arrogant tone.
Ah, the berserker does have a brain between that mop of hair!
"Perhaps, although perhaps the inherent difficulties in piloting experimental war machines have been the cause of that. Prototypes and test types tend to be so finicky with regards to the controls," Shinji retaliates, turning her own boasting against her.
Before Asuka could formulate an appropriate response, Shinji continues on by saying, "Ah well, probably for the best anyway. The colour scheme is rather plain."
"Plain?" Asuka growls, not taking the insult to her machine lying down.
"Yes, plain," Shinji states, letting the word sink in for a second before he says "The Evangelions are testaments to humanity's undying defiance of the Angels. They bestride the Earth like primordial Titans of ancient myth and legend. They deserve the appropriate appearance, for all to know their true might."
Pausing to appraise the still Eva while Asuka's mind works over the conflict of her pride actually coming into agreement with this cheeky monkey that so enjoyed insulting and tormenting her, Shinji finally says, "Bronze. It needs bronze, or at least bronze trimming of some sort. Unit 02 is the combat production model, the mightiest warrior of the group, no? It deserves to be as mighty Hercules or Achilles, or better yet the Egyptian war goddess Sekmet, blood stained and victorious lioness. Yes, bronze and red, flashing gloriously in the sun, for all to see and fear and love. Perhaps some black highlights to help such bright colours stand out even more."
Finally Asuka says with uncertain contempt, the temptation already seeping into her, "Why would I care about useless gilding like you?"
Chuckling, Shinji replies, "Why not? I did not even ask for the decorations, my ground crew just found them appropriate. At first they were going for the idea of the Evas representing the rebirth of humanity and hit upon the Egyptian iconography, but eventually after so many thrashings at the hands of the Angels they decided that it should be my rebirth they were representing."
Asuka burst out laughing at Shinji's expense at that, to which he just smirked to say, "Considering that I'm still here, you really should have seen the other guys."
Before Asuka could retaliate with another sarcastic barb, the entire ship rocked with an undersea shock wave, which caused both pilots to immediately leap to the, ultimately correct, conclusion that they were under attack.
Rushing out of the cargo hold, they peer out over the rail to watch one of the escorting ships sinking beneath the waves, and then for a dark object to pass beneath another one, a huge knife-like wave rising up out of the water to cleaning slice through the ship, detonating fuel and munitions.
Asuka got a smile on her face as she saw a chance for glory, while Shinji frowned while he took apart the situation for analysis. Before Asuka could say anything, Shinji ordered coldly, "Inform the captain we need to move closer to the Over the Rainbow."
"What the hell are you blathering about?" Asuka asks irately.
"Over the Rainbow has the power socket, correct? The one Unit 02 needs to move for more than five minutes, correct?" Shinji points out.
"And, why can't you do it yourself idiot?" Asuka demands.
Face palming in frustration, Shinji asks rhetorically, "What language are we speaking and what nationality is the crew?"
Asuka scowls and says, "Fine."
Shortly after finding a phone to call the bridge and relay the command, Asuka met Shinji carrying a large waterproof duffel bag and pulled out a plug suit. Descending down a stairwell until she was around a corner and out of sight, she pops her head back into view and says, "Peek and I rip your head off."
Rolling his eyes, Shinji says, "Will you add it to your throne?"
"Yes!" Asuka cries back in frustration before ducking back behind the turn to change.
When she finished, she had a slight pout on her face. What a boring, unexciting boy! He didn't even try to peek on her beautiful body.
Mmmm… remote viewing, it's a beautiful thing!
Tossing a spare plug-suit at Shinji after looking oddly at his funny expression, Asuka says, "Here, put this on."
Holding out the plug suit, Shinji just shakes his head in disgust at what he would be forced to wear before sighing and walking off with it to change. He quietly did not make any fuss when he noted Asuka peeking around the corner. He figured one show should pay for the other.
Asuka for her part goggled at the muscles wrapped about Shinji's scrawny frame. It looked like he was made of steel cables wrapped around a skeleton. He also had numerous and extensive bruises across his torso and limbs, fading to yellow and green with age. She had read reports on the brutal beatings Unit 01 had taken in combat, but it was one thing to read a dry, stale post combat debriefing and another thing to actually see the damage done to the pilot.
Looking rather displeased with the rather feminine fit of the red plug suit, Shinji just waits patiently for Asuka to get the entry plug open before quietly getting in with her. Once sealed and filled with LCL, Asuka begins to go through the start up procedures in German, but the test patterns quickly devolving into bright red error messages.
"Damn it! You're generating thought noise! If you have to think, do it in German," Asuka demands angrily of Shinji.
"Jawohl Mein Fuhrer! Seig heil!" Shinji retorts sarcastically, throwing his arm up in salute.
"Dummkopf!" Asuka growls before ordering the system to switch the operating language over to Japanese.
As the system rebooted, Shinji felt the nature of the spirits bound to this Eva. The daemon was, ironically, far more constrained and mentally stable than Unit 01's had been initially, although it still had the same basic berserker attitude. The other, restraining spirit, was significantly diminished from the one in his Eva, but perhaps more concentrated in its focus. That focus seemed to be entirely upon Asuka.
Deciding not to interfere, Shinji let his own mind flow about the daemon and let it know under no circumstances was it to go nuts without his permission. The daemon growled in his mind, not just that there was a mortal that dared tell it what to do, but that it was a mortal it didn't know and didn't like. Still, after taking one look at Shinji's mind, the beast quieted down. The other spirit found itself less distracted and gave its thanks to Shinji before redoubling its concentration on Asuka.
The other spirits in the Evas were troubling for Shinji, in that he did not know where they came from, and he felt as if there was a memory, long buried, scratching at the back of his mind, but it was like the wind. Every time he tried to concentrate on the thought it slipped away, and his mind instinctively avoided it in meditation. Somehow Shinji knew that if he ever figured out what the memory was, he would be pissed beyond reason. Probably at Gendo too, considering that all repressed memories from his childhood stemmed from the bastard.
"All right! Unit 02 ready for launch!" Asuka finally declares, willing the enormous war machine to rise from its transport coolant, lifting aside the tarp to see the devastation the Angel had done to the fleet. The sudden activation of its AT-field drew in the Angel, which extended its own AT-field into its hull slicing blade.
Asuka leapt from the transport seconds before it was sliced in two, clearing the shortened distance from the transport to the Over the Rainbow in a single bounding leap that ended with a crumpled flight deck and Kensuke weeping over the loss of several beautiful war planes. Grabbing the power cable on the deck, Asuka plugged in and the power count immediately went to 8:88:88.
Shinji immediately sized up the situation and said, "We need to get into the water now."
"What are you, stupid? B Type equipment doesn't work in water," Asuka points out angrily.
"Yeah, and that was a particularly stupid decision. Who thought that transporting a war machine that would be a major military target and not giving it the proper equipment to fight with in an emergency was a smart idea? Anyway, while we're on the Over the Rainbow it's a major target, and what would be the smart thing for that Angel to do? Rise up out of the water where we can stab it, or cut away the ship beneath us, destroying our power source and any means of retrieval?" Shinji points out.
For all her often seemingly undeserved bluster, Asuka was a university-level educated combat pilot with a decade of training. It made a certain sort of ironic sense that the only place where they could safely engage the enemy was in its territory where their equipment would work poorly.
Asuka dove in.
Shinji expanded his awareness outward. The Angels were always a pain in the ass to detect, for their presence was somewhat like a mountain up close: it was so damn big you couldn't get any proper impression of it because all that could be seen was rock.
Soon enough the Sixth Angel became visible on the screen, a titanic monstrosity that dwarfed the ships above with its enormous bulk. Clearly a being of pure aquatic origin, it had the sleek likes of a predatory cetacean, although on a significantly more massive scale and with some older aquatic predator features thrown in as well.
Struggling to get the Eva to move in the crushing marine environment, Asuka shouted at Shinji, "This was a really bad idea you idiot!"
Slipping in behind her so that he could also put his hands on the controls, Shinji says, "No, this one isn't as smart as the others, I can feel it. We have it right where we want it now!"
The Angel opened its mouth wide to reveal rows of pointed teeth nearly as big as an Eva.
"Teeth!" Asuka screeches as the Angel catches them in its mouth, the Eva wedging between the teeth as the Angel dove with it, ramming through the aquatic graveyard of Old Tokyo. Inside the entry plug the two pilots were slammed about forcefully, although Shinji took the worst of it as he had moved such that Asuka was basically sitting in his lap.
This however caused a bit of a problem.
Asuka whirled about and tried to slap Shinji, screaming, "Pervert!" but he just caught her hand and glared at her.
"Take it as a compliment and shut up. We've got more important things to deal with right now," Shinji replies dryly while gesturing to the view of the inside of the Angel's mouth. He then smiled and said, "Ah! Perfect! Look, there's its core. We just need to get a little closer and we can take it out."
Treasonous bastard. I definitely inherited you from father.
Bringing up the comm. systems, Shinji asks, "Misato, do you have many munitions left up there?"
"Plenty," Misato replies cheerfully. "I convinced our admiral friend up here that firing would be futile. The thing is too fast to target, and even lucky hits would just bounce off its AT-field."
"Okay, good, I think I can help you with both problems at the same time. Give me a second," Shinji replies before closing his eyes to concentrate.
"Now what are you doing you idiot?" Asuka demands.
Plunging into the links, Shinji grabs the daemon and begins to modify Unit 02's AT-field to neutralize the Angel's. The Angels had incredible physiology that defied standard theories on biology and engineering, but without their AT-fields they were still mostly constrained by the laws of physics.
Up until it was neutralized, the sixth Angel was using its AT-field as its primary form of propulsion. The sudden loss left it to deal with a sudden, enormous drag problem, and the fact that at any speed greater than "sluggish" moving with its tail created sonic booms in its flesh.
His eyes still closed in concentration to maintain the AT-field, Shinji says, "Okay Misato, if the UN would like a little revenge, now would be the time to take it. You can reel us in and it will be like shooting fish in a barrel."
As the power cable began to retract with the Angel in tow, Shinji said to Asuka, "When the torpedoes and depth charges start hitting, this bastard is going to spit us out and retreat. We're not going to let that happen. If you can, hold its mouth open so we can get a couple high explosive treats down its gullet, otherwise you have to use your prog knife to take out its core. I'll maintain the AT-field."
Asuka grumbled at Shinji, but began to stubbornly move the limbs of the Eva, first unsheathing her progressive knife, and then inching it forward towards the red core at the back of the mouth. She would be damned if this perverted, idiotic, cheeky monkey would embarrass and humiliate her, would steal her thunder and glory.
Huh… I may have overdone things there a bit.
A whole day's worth of frustration and wrath hit a lifetime of suppressed fury, resentment, and bitterness like a white-hot spark struck in a room filled with gasoline fumes. Overwhelming rage exploded out from Asuka in a frenzy of hatred. The spirit, so closely connected to her, raged with her, and the daemon gave Shinji a sour look before it broke its bonds of him and exploded too. The entry plug was filled with incoherent screaming, war cries from a wounded heart that sought to destroy everything else to soothe its pain. The Eva roared with its master beneath the waves, just in time for dozens of torpedoes and depth charges to strike simultaneously.
Designed for breaking hollow hulled ships and submarines, the weapons had minimal effect of the tough hide of the Angel, but it did rear back in pain and open its mouth. Grabbing one of the teeth, the berserk Eva surged forward, one hand extended with the now humming prog knife trailing bubbles as it shot forward towards the crimson sphere that was the core. The weapon plunged in effortlessly and the Angel gave a final shake before its core shattered and the alien monstrosity went silent.
Asuka and Unit 02 continued to rage, a dam within having burst. Everything has to die! Die for your sins! Die! Die like momma died! Die and leave me alone! Always alone! Die!
The nearest target was Shinji. The one person who was probably the worst target to attack while in a blind, incoherent berserker fury. In the close confines of the entry plug, it quickly came down to a grappling contest. Mindless struggling had nothing on planned action, and besides, in a contest of raw strength, Shinji was stronger. Only barely though. Asuka had been training her mind and body for just as long as he, just in different ways and with very different teachers.
With all her limbs pinned, Shinji fixed her with a concentrated glare and shouted, "You won! Calm down!"
Asuka glared up at him, and slowly the anger seeped out of her body… for now. Shinji could still feel it burning beneath the surface, ready to explode once the time was right, like how a burning room without flame could flashover when oxygen was introduced, producing a super hot fireball.
The smoke that covered up this fire however was sadness, the half burned fuel for her frenzy. Peering into her soul, Shinji could feel a near infinite well of sorrow hidden behind enough fortifications and trenches to make a World War One general wince at the thought of assaulting it.
She began to cry, and Shinji let go of her to allow her to regain her composure. She was more fragile than he had first thought. He would either have to repair her damaged heart or break her completely so as to rebuild her. If the situation continued, she could, and probably would, break in an undesirable fashion, most likely becoming useless.
And that was something Shinji would not tolerate. His attraction to her, and he had to admit to himself it was attraction, was based on her spirit. He had cultivated a mask of quiet introversion, only coming out of his shell when he felt it important enough to warrant his voice. But Asuka acted the way he often wanted to. To truly let others know how beneath him they were, to crush their pathetic feelings and lives like the bugs they were. It wasn't smart in the long run, but oh how sweet it would feel. And unlike so many other arrogant braggarts, this girl, nay, young woman had earned her swagger. She who had walked as a god for the past decade was well deserving of her arrogance and pride.
Asuka abruptly surged forward again and grabbed a hold of Shinji, but before he could wrestle her away their lips connected. There was no love there, just tremendous passion, one soul desperately grappling about for human contact with the closest available target. The LCL interfered with the moment, along with the feeling that it wasn't real.
Still, the contact caught Shinji off guard, and swept him away as his brain struggled to adjust to this new and unexpected input.
And then he took a brutal open palm/backhand combination to the cheeks and Asuka crowed, "HA! I finally got you, you freaking pervert!"
The fluid mechanics of slapping someone in an entry plug filled with LCL minimized the damage, but Shinji still felt the sting on his face, and in his heart. He could not help but wonder that if he had returned her passion if she would have still rejected him like that, or at least abandoned her plan in favour of continuing the moment.
He could feel that this one would be the greatest puzzle Tzeentch had given him yet. Over the months since his arrival in Tokyo-3, Shinji come to realize that he was being granted what he truly wanted: a mother in Misato, and a sister in Rei. He wanted a family, to fill in the holes in his heart left by the death of his mother and the abandonment by his father.
Love was his greatest desire, making it little wonder he could tolerate Rei taking up the cause of Nurgle over Tzeentch. Platonic and familial love was better than emptiness, but there were so many varieties that demanded exploration in the human condition.
He could live with and love like a mother a woman who was the closest thing to a Slaaneshi princess this world had. He could work with and love like a sister a girl who had embraced Nurgle after only a few days preaching for Tzeentch.
Could he romance this wounded Khorne berserker?
Of course, anyone who looked at these two would consider it a very strange romance considering the fact that they were still slinging barbs and insults at one another when they were fished out of the ocean.