He watched her run. Mikhael pondered his possible actions. But before he could even decide, his heart had taken command from his mind. One foot forward, then the other. Back and forth, back and forth... in a moment he was running. He was sprinting. He was catching up.
Beads of sweat and blood rolled down his skin. He wasn't prepared for this. He was still supposed to be in bed. He shouldn't be standing. But he stood. He stood, and he ran, and now he was chasing after a beautiful girl he had just met, who had fled from him like she'd seen the devil in his eyes.
He thought of his partner, his midnight beast. Maybe she had seen the devil.
His muscles reached their peak quickly, and she still eluded him by several feet, as their forms dashed down the halls of the hospital. He needed something to give him an edge.
She ran into the stairwell. This was it. As she began her flight down the steps, Rev propped himself on the edge. This would hurt.
As she passed underneath him, he dropped. Almost ten feet, directly on top of her. He jammed a finger into her side on impact, breaking it. Nothing compared to the pain he had endured thus far. But, that did nothing to dull the pain any.
The two lied there for a moment, silent. He was on top of her, this time, staring down at her red eyes. They looked like they were about to cry. She was actually afraid? Rev took a deep breath, fresh pain filling his lungs.
"Please..." he began. Blood fell from his face onto hers, red contrasted against the pale white. "Don't go."
His strength was sapped, completely. It was clear that he couldn't stop her from leaving anymore. Not if he tried.
"How's the American boy?"
"He got here yesterday. Champ couldn't wait to see his unit. Thinks he knows more about it than the scientists, the ones who grew the damn thing."
"Maybe he does, at least about the things that matter."
"Spare me. So in the judgment of the committee, he's combat-capable."
"And the new clone?"
"Something spooked her. There was an incident with the berserker pilot. Dumbass is lucky he didn't break her neck. They've arranged a field trip this morning. It's important to introduce subjects to the outside world and avoid extreme introversion."
"She's only a week old."
"But physically mature. A normal human would already have had years of sensory exposure before they begin training. We have an intuitive sense of how reality functions, that manufactured pilots learn at an accelerated rate. 13 has been sensitized to the environment- she understands the physical world and is socially proficient. 15 must do the same."
"People are going to think she's weird."
"Fortunately, it's the city on a Saturday morning. It'll be full of weird people."
"Not this weird. It could be trouble."
"As long as she has empathy we're okay. I mean, what's the worst she could do?"
"Jack, I don't want to think about the worst she could do."
"Fair enough. But if I happen to be right, make sure I get a medal from Nerv."
"For keeping an idiot like you from screwing things up."
Ice Cream Shop
"Okay everyone, we need to plan this out. Has anyone come up with an idea for how to get to Owen's computer?"
Aiber was unpacking in his belongings when w buzz came over the intercom.
"Mr.Bla- er, Aiber. Colonel Blake is here to see you."
Aiber's face hardened. The nerves of that man to come here was almost astounding, almost.
"Don't let him in. Tell him I'm not here." Aiber said coldly.
"Well...he is already on his way to your room, we don't have the authority to stop him."
Aiber slammed his fist into the wall with a swear and exhaled deeply.
"Never mind, we'll be fine." he said in a tone that indicated "fine" was the last thing they would be.
The door opened and there stood the very picture of American military poise. The Colonel was tall with straight posture, broad shoulders, a strong jaw, perfectly combed thick brown hair, and immaculate decorated uniform.
"Hello son." The colonel declared.
He stepped confidently inside the room and the door closed behind him. He simply looked around for a moment, inspecting the room, the same way he would inspect the quarters of one of his men.
Aiber plopped unceremoniously into the chair at his desk, turned it around and said the first words he had spoken to his father in months.
"What do you want dad?"
"That's how you greet your father? I came to see how you are doing and where you'll be living."
Aiber chuckled for a moment before responding.
"Wow, I know I'm a huge disappointment to you," the boy said as he took off his hat and put it on the desk. "but I figured that after I showed you I'm smart enough to get out of that prison you had me kept in that you would at least respect me enough to be up-front with me."
"I've always known you were smart Aiber. That's why I pushed you so hard, that's why I put you in the neo-spartan program. You're my son, nd you are destined to do great things."
Aiber tensed visibly and his hands curled into fists. "Oh of course, I'm a Blake greatness is in my blood, isn't that right? I'm so damn special because you happened to be my dad that now I have no choice but to spend my life fighting giant monsters."
"And where would you be if you weren't an Eva pilot? Rapidly working your way through high school, so you can go on to get a job in the military that will never be as significant as what is happening here and now?"
Aiber bolted up from his chair with a look of concentrated fury boiling on his face, he and his father were the same height so they were staring into each others eyes.
"You want to know where I would be if you hadn't turned me into a government funded lab rat? Huh!? I'd be with mom."
At this point Colonel Blake's face contorted into an equal picture of rage as his son's. He put his right hand on the nape of Aiber's neck and pulled him in close to the point where they could feel one anothers' breath on their faces.
"Like it or not son, you will live up to your name. You may hate me now but that is to be expected; I never made you any promises that this would be easy, but when it is all over and your name is known across the world, you will thank me Aiber. Because I. Made. You. Strong."
There was a quiet few moments where neither of them moved and the tension between them was like a brick wall. Then Aiber yanked his father's hand off of his neck and exited the room without a word, leaving the man alone. He was going to go find the head scientist and request some sync testing. He wanted to be with Charlie.
"Yes, it's a room down in NERV's lower levels, doesn't appear on any of the blueprints or schematics. ...No, I wasn't able to figure anything out, that's why I'm asking you! ...Fine, you're the best, just tell me whenever you find anything, alright? Thanks Pal, you know where to find me."
Exasperated, David hung up his phone, glaring at the device as it entered its sleep state. Damn kids, give them a bit of talent and they think they're God's gift to the world.
Still, despite Pallas' lack of social civility, the ...guy? Girl? Was one of, if not the, best information brokers on Earth. The youth always operated in total anonymity, never speaking directly to David or his other clients, but they always got the job done. If someone needed to know, well, ANYTHING, odds were Pallas knew how to get the information.
Though David had initially been reluctant to utilize someone he knew nothing about, especially someone with prices that high, the hacker had never failed him, and always had the utmost discretion for confidentiality. Given enough time, Pallas could dig up the dirt on any person, place, or object named. Even if their attitude was exceedingly obnoxious, you don't just turn away an asset like that.
Hopefully said asset would be able to figure out the mysteries behind that door. After finding Dr. Laurence collapsed, writhing in what must have been agonizing pain, David had been left with little time to analyze the room itself. The poor lighting didn't exactly help his search; it seemed as though the entire place was shrouded in unnatural darkness, hiding clandestine secrets and arcane knowledge.
The only things David had been able to identify had been a series of large monoliths, forming a circle in the rooms center. Massive, smooth, they had towered above him, their surfaces devoid of markings or symbols of any kind. Clearly, they were important, but their purpose was an utter mystery. Given more time, David might have been able to find something, but it was clear that the doctor needed help. Curious as he was, David couldn't just leave the man alone to suffer.
After planting a small bug on the back of one of the monoliths, David had awkwardly lifted Dr. Laurence into a fireman's carry, lugging him out of the room. Upon their exit, the steel gate swung shut, locks sliding into place with a loud clang. Taking a moment to affix another bug outside the door, David then carried his passenger to the medical bay, a small smile spreading across his face as he saw the pilots celebrate their victory with trash talk and vulgar gestures. Mankind wasn't dead just yet; the end was not quite nigh.
Leaving the scientist in the capable hands of the medical team, David had finally stumbled home, collapsing into his bed as soon as he entered the apartment. His exhausted mind quickly fell into the abyss, dreams of Angels and doors and stars filling his thoughts.
Upon waking, several hours later, David had made his next move, contacting Pallas. Though the hacker had mocked him for not knowing the inner workings of his employer, a few insults would hopefully be worth whatever information Pallas managed to turn up.
Now then, let's see if the good doctor is in a mood to chat.
He awoke with a start, his breathing heavy as though from exertion, his head pounding with each beat of his heart. He had dreamed of the destruction of everything; angel, human, animal, plant; in his dream, all had died a horrid painful death. As the dreams faded from his mind, his heart rate returned to normal and his breathing calmed, giving Owen a chance to take in his surroundings. Somehow, he had found his way to the medical bay and now lay prostrate upon an extraordinarily uncomfortable bed. He could not recall how he had made his way here, his last memory of passing out in Seele's comm room.
Or was that a dream as well?
"It was not a dream doctor" the all too familiar voice called out in his mind. Owen was less surprised this time and his stomach was fortunately still empty. "I have thought of your question doctor, you may call me Alastor; it seemed appropriate"
Owen vaguely recognized the name; some Judo-Christian demon if memory served and highly appropriate if that were the case. "You have a flare for the dramatic" Owen said, his worry growing. He tried to hide his unease from the creature, but it proved to be a lesson in futility. "If the name bothers you, I can pick another" Alastor responded coldly.
"It's a good name. After all, what better ally to have against the angels than a demon" Owen sputtered out, trying to compose himself. Owen could feel Alastor's skepticism through their link as Alastor tried to dig into his mind. Owen, fearing the effects of further mental connection, pushed a line he had read when he was younger to the forefront of his mind.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet."
The trick seemed to work; Alastor's mind withdrew from his. "Well, Alastor; It is a pleasure to meet you." Owen communicated, his mind conjuring an image of an olive branch. If they were to share a mind and body, best to stay on good terms. "And the same to you Dr. Laurence . Owen, on the verge of asking the creature to drop the formalities, was ripped from his conversation by the arrival of an assistant.
"Director, are you feeling well? Mr. Ashford said he found you unconscious downstairs. the medical staff were quite worried." the assistant said with a combination of false concern and apathy, entirely tired of being here. Owen could imagine how the assistant would be thrilled if he were removed as he would be all assured a promotion.
"I'm quite alright Mr..." Owen paused, searching for the mans name "Raymond" the annoying voice said in his head, a feeling of amusement passing through the bond. Owen could not help but raise an eyebrow at the curious answer [/i] "How in the bloody hell do you... never-mind, thank you" [/i] Owen passed through the bond.
"Mr. Raymond I believe" Owen continued. The assistant looked a little shocked, clearly he though Owen was incapable of remembering names. Which was true until his recent "upgrade." Owen did not wait for the shock to end, but rather continued. "I'm sure there is a reason you are here and I assume it has nothing to do with standing there slack-jawed. If you would be so kind as to get on with it, I would be most grateful" Owen couldn't help but smile; he was rarely this quick on his feet in conversation.
"Ah.. yes.. er, Yes sir rather." Raymond sputtered out frantically. "The new pilot from America just arrived. He requested to meet with you." the man finally stammered out. "His father, Colonel Blake, has also arrived and is awaiting your orders. I believe Mr. Ashford also wishes to speak with you at your convenience" The man continued. His message delivered, the man turned and readied to leave before he was scolded for being "slack-jawed" again. As he did so, He uttered the a quick good-bye of "If that is all sir, I will be leaving."
Owen was going to let him go, but Alastor interrupted him. "Mr. Raymond" Owen heard in his own voice, "Could you please arrange for the Blake's to meet me in my office as soon as possible and Mr. Ashford thereafter. Also, would it be possible to get a different shirt;, this one is in particularly bad shape? Thank you". Owen was horrified, Alastor had controlled him. When Seele had all but suggested they were going to make him into a puppet leader, he had not been expecting such a literal usage of the word puppet.
With just a slight chirp of "Yes Sir" the assistant left, the sound of his running echoing through the corridor. Owen found himself unable to move of his own free will. Mind control was nothing like watching a movie, it was like being chained to a wall, unable to move, as the world moved past you, unaware of your presence, while your shadow was mistaken for the real you. It was wrong, it was violating, it was horrifying, and it itched like hell.
Moments later, his body was returned and Owen gasped, releasing the tension in his chest. Owen said nothing to Alastor. it was too shocking an experience and he refused to give Seele the pleasure of his reaction. He steeled his mind against the creature's intrusion until the reaction passed. He buried the words he had wanted to say as deep in his mind as possible, with all of his most personal thoughts, where he though even Alastor could not see, and exited the room, making his way to his office.
"Okay everyone, we need to plan this out. Has anyone come up with an idea for how to get to Owen's computer?"
Piggy got right to the point, and simply asked if anyone had an ideas. Addison sat opposite Piggy, steadily piecing away a small sundae. Rev was to Piggy's left, still quite pale and slightly dejected. Something involving Addison's sister, simply saying he didn't want to talk about it. Alexander had a bit on his mind, mainly all he'd seen a bit earlier that day.
He'd gone to HQ, looked around and seen what he'd expected. Alexander had asked a few guards about NERV's security, simply saying he was a bit curious. They gave him the basic stuff: A couple cameras here, a few key cards for stuff they couldn't talk about, etc. After awhile, Alexander realized he didn't need to know any of this. It was just a guys laptop. Getting to wherever it was Owen kept his laptop might be a bit of a hassle, but a few hacked keypads, broken doors, or a "random theft" wouldn't hurt anyone. They'd probably just return it. But, Alexander didn't think it was that easy.
He was now in the eva bay, checking the new plug suits laying on a table. They looked a hell of a lot more comfortable than what they had now. He then turned his attention to the evas. Waiting around for a fight must be boring. Dioscuri at least had plenty of things to think about. How an eva that had Rev as a pilot could stay still though, was beyond him. He looked at the other evas. Lisa's was where Piggy's eva would be. He was hoping he hadn't sent a message to her. Not because she was a bad person or anything, but because she was a commander. Here, Alexander and the rest of the team didn't really care about ranks, and if they had any, no one was telling them. However, she might not be so keen on just taking valuable NERV equipment for our own petty inquiries. Then again, he didn't know much about her. Rev had barely even got a chance to shake hands with her before they were all thrust into a life threatening situation.
Then he noticed another eva, one he'd never seen. Who the hell did this belong too? None of the engineers honestly knew who the pilot was, all they knew was that it was Unit-7.5, from America. Decimals? That was knew. Alexander was walking, in thought when he heard voices coming from a room.
"Like it or not son, you will live up to your name. You may hate me now but that is to be expected; I never made you any promises that this would be easy, but when it is all over and your name is known across the world, you will thank me Aiber. Because I. Made. You. Strong."
There was a quiet moment, with only heavy breathing. Alexander wasn't sure if he should check what was going on in that room or if he had to put a stop to it. A few moments later, an America kid, probably only a year younger than Alexander, walked out of the room frustrated and ran right into Alexander.
"Oh, sorry about that. I was just looking for the head scientist. I need to do some sync testing with my eva."
"Oh, so I guess that makes you the newest pilot. Cool eva." Where the hell are these guys coming from, thought Alexander. And then he had a minor brainstorm. Owen typically handles things like this, he'd already created new plug suits. Alexander could easily take the new guy to see Owen and while they were messing around, Alexander could get at Owen's laptop. Perfect.
"Hey, you don't need to see the head scientist. C'mon, there's a guy who can handle this easily. Just follow me."
Alexander learned the boys name was Aiber, though he was sure he'd heard whoever he was talking with in the room call him that. He'd also called him son. It sounded like they'd been having an argument of sorts and Alexander noticed the minor redness on the American boy's neck. He didn't want to prod, so he decided to simply continue with small talk. "The names Alexander, but you can call me Pollux. All my friends do."
Eventually, they were at Mr. Laurence's place of work...and he was nowhere to be found. Alexander looked around the room. No laptop either. Alexander and Aiber asked around, but no one had seen him. He was supposed to be doing some diagnostic test on Unit-7.5. In fact, they hadn't seen him for a while either. Eventually the boys gave up and Alexander decided to leave the new guy with a few engineers. They were sure, that in time Owen would pop ups somewhere somehow.
"Where the hell are you Owen?" Alexander figured it would be a good idea to meet up with the team at the ice cream shop and actually come up with a game plan.
A few moments after Alexander left NERV, Owen apparently arranged to meet Blake.
"Hmm, where was he earlier?" Aiber didn't think much of it, and simply headed where he was told.
Piggy was simply looking around the table, waiting for a response. Alexander decided he'd give him one.
"I have a few minor ideas but something might be up with Owen."
"Doesn't matter, we just need that laptop." Piggy said quickly.
The surveillance equipment broadcasted a heated voice to the assembly of monitors and uniformed men. "Isn't that right? I'm so damn special because you happened to be my dad that now I have no choice but to spend my life fighting giant monsters."
"Nothing is predetermined. There's always a choice." A colonel said sullenly.
"You can just forget what you learned in the program. And forget what you saw. And as the Angels get closer and closer, you can just ignore it. We can all just go along and grow up in a world where humans are nothing but cowering insects. But that's not our decision. Because if one of us has to be destroyed, let's make damn sure we're the ones alive at the end. Our genes won't let us decide any other way. Nature can't evolve a species that hasn't a will to survive. Individuals are conditioned to sacrifice themselves, but the race as a whole can never decide to cease to exist."
"So, what are you going to do?"
"Persuade him that he wants to follow us more than he wants to follow himself."
"How will you do that?"
"I'll tell him the truth. We're allowed to do that."
The medical operator smiled very nicely and tousled Lisa's hair, saying "Madam, I suppose by now you're sick of being naked on a bunk and wired up. Well, I have good news for you. Your ego is intact and there appears to be no permanent psychological contamination. You're being released today. We're going to just take these right out, and it won't hurt a bit."
It was a lie, of course, that it wouldn't hurt a bit. But you have to understand: This was just minor pain. To an Evangelion, a cracked skull is nothing serious. We ate "hurt a bit" for breakfast now.
Addison thought for a moment. It would be quite an endeavor trying to get to Owen's laptop but she didn't have that manufactured mind for nothing. Her mind got to work, recreating what she remembered about where the computer was located, all the halls and corridors on the way down.
"We need something to draw him out..." Addison said curtly. "Maybe a false alarm. Just a way in. Once he's not there... a few... no one of us needs to go into his office. Security will notice if there's more than one person entering his room, I think. Wait, a key." Addison thought. For a man like Owen to function, there would at least be a few passwords to the computer but most importantly a key to his office. Piggy could deal with the passwords.
"I don't know. Maybe a lookout outside of the room while others are busy cracking computer." Addison said, thoughts racing by.
"I don't know. Maybe a lookout outside of the room while others are busy cracking computer."
Alexander listened to Addison's plan. It sounded so simple. Get a key to his office, crack a few passwords, bing bang boom, done. But would it really be that easy, there were so many ifs.
"Addison, that sounds great and all but I'm still a bit worried. For one, what happens if Owen figures out his laptop has been tampered with? Surely NERV will get antsy and try to figure out why someone was messing around with his computer. Plus there's a new pilot and-"
Alexander stopped as the rest of his team sat up and stared at him, Piggy's face with the most interest.
"Yeah, there's a new guy. Aiber, about Rev's, Addison's and my age. Nice guy. Aside from that, another question is what if he doesn't have what we're looking for?"
Alexander was angry with NERV. They had the nerve to hide the truth about something that could possibly ruin his entire life. He wanted to get back at them, he was tired of plenty of their crap, but...
"Piggy, why did you actually message all of us? What exactly are we looking for? Hell, what prompted you to even get an idea like this?"
Lisa, confused, listened closely to the other pilots. It might have been because she was new, but she didn't exactly understand why that scientist's laptop was so important. As far as she could tell, it wasn't their business. The doctors their jobs and the pilots had theirs. Lisa wanted to fight the Angels. They were the enemy of mankind, they were what mattered, fuck the scientists. If her Eva could move, she was happy with them.
Regardless, she leaned against a wall and listened in. The rest of them were eating ice cream, but that wasn't part of her Neo-Spartan diet. Drugs weren't either, but she'd figure that she'd win the battles she could. Suddenly she got a craving for something, anything, so she fished in her pocket for a nameless pill, which she instinctively took. She didn't really know what it would do, but enjoyed the idea of a surprise.
They all talked as her eyes glazed over and her sense dulled. On her mind was nothing but two simple things, fighting and sex, one or the other to get her endorphins pumping into her body.
Aiber managed to talk the technicians into letting him engage Charlie after a few white lies about testing for glitches. He suited up and stepped into the entry pod which was carefully loaded into the back of the Eva's neck.
"Everything's good in here." Aiber told the man at the controls in the monitoring station.
The man hit the lever and Charlie came online.
"Hey Charlie, hows it going?" Aiber said.
"Mr.Blake, who are you talking to?" The scientist asked.
"Oh, just myself. Beginning test." Aiber said.
The young pilot's muscles loosened as he eased into the same routine he had done literally, hundreds of times.
Right hand, left hand, right hand, left hand. Two steps forward, two steps right. Turn around, two steps backward. Assume combat stance, slash, slash, duck. Block, slash, parry, lunge...
Aiber and Charlie moved together perfectly. Each step, each weaponless practice attack performed fluidly, as if they were both cogs in a clock.
"Mr.Blake," the scientist chimed in with an alarmed tone. "You are on the verge of breaking through 95% percent sync, are you still okay?"
"I'm just fine sir," Aiber said honestly. "nothing feels different."
"Well Unit 7.5 is functioning perfectly and if I may, you are quite in-tune with it. Now then, diagnostics are complete and there are no software errors either. Testing complete, preparing to dis-engage."
"See you later." Aiber whispered to the massive machine as the cockpit went dark.
About twenty minutes later, Aiber re-entered his room. He collapsed lazily onto his beadwith a sigh.
I wonder what the other pilots will be like. I wonder if they'll want to be my friends.....friends....
He let his head fall to the side where he saw a note that had been left on his desk. He worked his way into an upright position and picked it up.
I will be staying nearby for the next few days to oversee
your transition. By the time you read this I will likely be
in a meeting with Director Sandor about keeping my associates
and I updated of your progress. I hope to see how you preform
in your first real combat situation. Stay strong Aiber.
"If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes."
-Alexander the Great
Col. William Blake
Aiber crumpled the note in his hand which tightened to the point that his knuckles turned white. He hurled the crumpled up paper across the room in a gesture that backfired infuriatingly when the paper, as light as it was, only went 3 or so feet.
Aiber slammed his hand down on the receiver of the intercom.
"I have reason to believe my father, Colonel Blake, plans to attack me or cause me harm in some way. For my safety, you are required to have security take him into custody."
"Major, please sit down. I understand you have come to me about a matter of some urgency."
"Ordinarily, I would not presume to psychoanalyze the subjects of Nerv. Blake requested an internal investigation. He feels threatened by his father, and that our your neglect of such a situation is more than negligence - that it borders on conspiracy to cause injury to him."
"Hardly a matter to bring the chief of Internal Affairs here for."
"I do not think it unreasoned that they take some interest in preserving and protecting the pilots. Do you?"
"Go to hell. I know what I'm doing."
"Oh, that is obvious, since nobody else has the faintest idea what you're doing. You have a claim that an Evangelion pilot, an inestimably important international resource, will be placed in danger, and during the investigation you propose to do-"
"You can see how this excites our puzzlement."
"When a pilot holds an Evangelion in their control, when they must make the decisions that bring us victory or destruction, will there be security guards to save him if things go wrong? An Eva pilot must assume that, no matter what happens, no one else will ever step in to help them in any way. When they're out there going head-to-head with an Angel, there ain't gonna be nobody to help them if they call. If a pilot does not realize that, then they will never reach the peak of their abilities."
"He will also not reach the peak of his abilities if he is dead or crippled."
"He won't be."
"I declare your orders nonwithstanding."
"You can't do that!"
"When an officer has become incapacitated due to injury or condition, his subordinates may disregard irrational orders, subject to majority discretion and subsequent review." The major quoted from the regulations.
"Stupidity." He said harshly.
"God help you if you're wrong."
"God help us all if I'm wrong."
"Piggy, why did you actually message all of us? What exactly are we looking for? Hell, what prompted you to even get an idea like this?"
Piggy was focused on the issue at hand. He felt a lust for the potential information, and a fear that it when he finally knew it, he would wish he hadn't. But the question caught him. A vibe, something in his A.T. Field drawing him on? Fate or God or evolution, or just an alien. He tried to find the words.
We belong to Nerv, whether we are made for it in a lab or get there by hard training, or are just a face in the crowd that the Eva soul is compatible with. The survival rate for Evangelion pilots is zero. There is no final objective, no return vector. We must fight until the end. We're supposed to have nothing else to live for. But here's the thing: Nikolai was okay with that. He accepted it, even embraced it. And in doing so realized that the world can be a good place- It's the same world, but there are new parameters now. There's Pollux and Rev, and 13- even the arriving pilots, to some degree. And even the director and Addsion's "sister". They're all caught up and I'm caught up, all of us connected, drawn together, linked, even though the connections are tenuous and almost invisible.
And at the end, here they were: called the miracle kids, who the leaders controlled like puppets on a string but everyone else embraced. For every Evangelion, there's a million soldiers with lives and goals of their own who'd follow it to the end of the universe. I want to go there, Piggy thought, but I don't know where it is. It's not too late, and if we don't grab it for ourselves, Nerv will use us up until we're broken, dead, or turned into fuckin' tang. Now is the only chance we'll get to come alive.
An enormous whirling echo cut him off. The sound pulsed from amplifier stations, blaring all over the city.
- 'Attention Please, there has been a report of an emergency. Please remain calm, stay where you are. Await further instructions.'
The siren grew louder, until the vibrations rung in your ears. It makes the heart stand still and then start pounding furiously. It makes the hairs on the back of one's neck stand to attention, and the skin on the arms crawl. It releases memories of past Angels- the aftermath of N2 bombings, screams of children and parents hushing them, tears and fire, all neatly punctuated with flashes of the otherworldy thing- a being that sees a race with the Fruit of Knowledge as one single union, and that independence makes humans no different than individual mold spores. Lilim is who they understand- To them, killing a few thousand people would be like clipping your nails.
- 'Attention please, this is a general evacuation alarm. Please leave the area immediately. Proceed calmly to the nearest available shelter. Do not use lifts or escalators. Do not return to your cars. Make your way to a designated safe zone as directed by civil personnel. Await further instruction.'
Hyperaware, Piggy smelled exhaust, flowers, and decaying palm fronds. All the traffic stopped, and within a few minutes (which seemed like hours) the sound of helicopters and VTOL planes arrived to compete with the huge, echoing wail of the Angel siren. Uniformed ground crews appeared from nowhere, ensuring that all traffic came to a complete standstill. Jeeps containing soldiers patrolled the streets, which were rapidly filling. Outside the shop, a bus turned off the engine and the over-excited passengers clamored out. A kindly-looking man in a Nerv uniform touched their arms. Don't be worried, he told them, we have Evas being prepared to launch. The Angel won't reach us.
Jeeps containing soldiers patrolled the streets, which were rapidly filling. Outside the shop, a bus turned off the engine and the over-excited passengers clamored out. Helicopters wand VTOL's were flying overhead, nearly sounding out the Angel siren. A man in a NERV Uniform comforted the people around them.
Don't be worry, we have Evas being prepared to launch. The Angel won't reach us.
"Ah, fantastic!" Alexander yelled sarcastically. "That's just what we need right now. Welp, time to put our plans of treachery aside for now, lets fight the good for!"
Alexander jumped out of his seat, and began to run towards his moped when he noticed someone off to the side of a wall. It was a girl who looked to be about 18 or 20. He soon realized that was the commander from Jolly Ole England. How long had she been there? What had she heard? Lisa was also getting ready to get to NERV, but Alexander noticed something was off. She seemed kinda...drowsy? subdued?
"Miss Leonidas, are you alright? We have to go now!"
"Fuck..." Lisa blurted out. She wasn't expecting a threat this soon. Usually she had some time to get everything through her system before a battle. The wailing sirens seemed far off, but a voice cut into and brought her back to reality. "Miss Leonidas, are you alright...?" Her hand immediately dipped into her other pocket, where it grabbed a pill she immediately took. The first pill she took was from her 'downer' pocket, this one was from her 'upper' pocket. That would make everything balance out, clearly.
She finally got around to answering the boy. "Alexander... Right? Like the Great? I'm good. Fine. You're right. Lets go." She grabbed his wrist and began to sprint. He quickly broke off but matched her pace so that they were running side by side. She felt her body begin to accelerate. The weariness vanished. Her eyes narrowed as she mentally steeled herself to fight the Angel.
Then something came into her mind. She needed to fight with these other pilots... Who she knew nothing about. She had ought to learn about some of them, any of them; her job as a Pointman was to direct the team. So she turned to Alexander, "Hey... What exactly do you on the battlefield? I'm a Pointman."
He opened the door to find his office in shambles. The sudden extraction of most of the Eva pilots when they collapsed had proven a rather chaotic affair. His desk was now moved to the far corner, the papers he had been working on were scattered across the floor. His chair had been broken by the medic teams when they had all but thrown it across the room to aid the pilots. His laptop sat discarded on the floor. He cast it a glare; it was a reminder of his oh-so-wonderful meeting with Seele. Upon the wall, hung several pictures - of scientists he had met, of places he had been, and of advances he had made. No family graced his wall.
Owen was nearly lost in his own memories when the voice returned "Brother approaches" it said calmly through the link, before retreating into it's own mind, severing the link. Owen could not understand what it meant; was there another person infected with a similar creature? His thoughts would have continued, until the sirens rang through the whole of the base - another angel was here.
'Attention please, this is a general alarm. All NERV personnel report to battle stations immediately. This is not a drill. I repeat. All NERV personnel report to battle stations immediately. This is not a drill.'
Owen understood the ramifications, but the incoming threat had to take priority - he would have deal with the demon in his head later. Owen grabbed his phone, already dialing the extension for Command Ops, and ran for the elevator. When the other side connected, he began to speak, ignoring all normal pleasantries. "This is director Laurence, I need a status update immediately." he said as he pressed the call button for the elevator.
Lisa pulled Alexander down the street, quickly separating him from the rest of the team. They were all probably finding their own way to HQ. Alexander figured that Aiber would probably be the first person on the field and the he'd need support quickly. The angels were getting progressively powerful and figured that someone couldn't simply go one-on-one with an angel. He broke off from Lisa. He didn't fancy being dragged around, commander or not. She quickly caught up to him and began to question his role.
"Hey... What exactly do you on the battlefield? I'm a Pointman."
Alexander honestly had to think about it. He was an A.T Tactician but he never really held up his end of the bargain. He never truly utilized the power of the A.T field, or at least voluntarily. That was gonna change today. After their last angel encounter, he had formulated a couple of new ideas and techniques he wanted to try out. Time to do his job.
"I'm an A.T Tactician. You know, the guys who are supposed to exploit their true potential and whatnot. I'm usually more of a support, rarely get a chance to take out an angel, I just sorta try to wear it down. Don't worry commander, Alexander Gemini has got your back." He picked up that pace a bit but then remembered something. "Oh, and call me Pollux. All my friends do."
She smiled at him. He wasn't sure whether it was an, "Alright, you check out" or an "Oh great, this is what I have to work with." Didn't really matter to him. Alexander just wanted to beat the angel, go home, and perhaps work on his mo-wait a second. Alexander stopped and in turn, so did Lisa.
"Why are we running? I can just use my moped."
Suddenly a loud, metal screeching sound was heard coming down the road. The both looked back to see a NERV jeep dragging Alexander's blue moped down the road, still relatively intact but with a mass of crumpled metal bits to accompany it. Alexander's eye twitched.
"Ursa Minor..." Alexander said painfully under his breath. "...well, we better keep running."
When the alarm sounded, Addison bolted off like the rest of the pilots with the exception that she used the buildings rather than the streets. She scampered up a building and began hopping the gaps in a hurry to get to the building.
Addison jumped another gap when she heard a horrible screeching noise that sounded a bit like nails on a chalkboard except it was on the pavement. She looked down to see Pollux, the new pilot, and a hunk of metal that was his blue moped. She didn't have time to mourn nor did she care. Instead she called out to them from above.
"Hurry up!" She yelled. Before they could catch a glimpse she was already off.
The panic about the streets were more organized chaos. The looks on their eyes, the relative uncertainty that made an air around them that you could just see. The approach to the HQ was no different. Soldiers were heading to their station, staff and scientists doing the same as well. Pollux had mentioned a second new pilot but she had yet to see him as well.
Addison went to look for Owen who was the new Director as it seems. Not only would it serve to get a heads up on what was to come but also it was to recon a bit of the heist. Addison knows about Mr.Laurence but doesn't know quite enough to track his movements. So Addison went about the facility searching for him in the meantime until her other teammates had arrived.
Alexander had noticed a voice. Addison's, pretty far ahead by the sound of it. Who knew someone could be so fast just because they knew parkour. Alexander decided he needed to get to HQ quickly, he wanted to end this as soon as possible. He noticed the jeep with his moped on it was slowing a bit, but appeared to be on it's way to HQ. He grabbed Lisa's hand.
"Alright, follow my lead, we're hitching a ride."
He picked up speed, lunged at the jeep, and held onto the frame in the back. Lisa did the same and was a few inches away from him. A few startled soldiers looked up to see Alexander and Lisa holding onto the back.
"Hello gentlemen! Mind telling the driver to speed up and get to NERV HQ quick!
"Don't worry, I heard you." The driver yelled from up front."Though this crappy blue moped I hit seems to be slowing us down. I wonder what girl left this thing lying around."
Alexander just sorta stared straight ahead, putting on his best poker face. "All of my hate, sir. All of my hate."
The driver picked up speed and they were at NERV in no time.
"Attention NERV personal. Report to your positions immediately; hostile target is inbound. Repeat: Report to your positions immediately; hostile target is inbound."
As his cell began projecting the familiar signal, blending into the all-encompassing drone of the sirens overhead, David strolled through NERV's main entrance, flashing his ID at the guards. Once inside, his pace quickened, his breath coming more and more rapidly. Slowly, a smile crossed his face, a wide, toothy grin splitting his mouth apart. Oh, things were getting exciting.
There was little David could actually do in a combat situation; his field of expertise was information control, not tactics or strategies. As such, though he had access to the Command Center, he forwent it, choosing instead to spend the attack entrenched in his office. Here, he could draw camera feeds from all over the city, painting a perfect picture of what was going on outside. Here, he could watch mankind fight for its very existence against the Warriors of Heaven, and enjoy every last moment of it. Judging by the fact that this next Angel had seen fit to attack the pilots beforehand, assaulting them in their very thoughts, it seemed likely that this fight was going to be a good one.
Unsurprisingly, his secretary's desk was empty, as were the other offices and cubicles in the PR department; most of David's subordinates would be spending the rest of the day in the shelters, waiting, hoping, praying that they would live to see the next sunrise. He was alone, entirely alone.
Dimly, he recalled that he had planned to meet with Dr. Laurence, to discuss what had happened in that room yesterday. However, that now seemed unimportant; what were mysteries when compared to man's fight for survival? If tomorrow still existed by the end of the day, so would the good doctor. He wouldn't be going anywhere.
Entering his office, David flicked open the blinds, allowing sunlight to pour into the utilitarian room. Though the office may have been lacking in aesthetics, it possessed what David really needed; a desk loaded with enough state of the art computing hardware to calculate up to several trillion digits of pi, a wall of plasma TVs connected to the surveillance systems of NERV, New Mausu, and several nearby towns, and a hidden vault containing... a few precious items.
As he collapsed into his chair, David's fingers flew across the keyboard before him. Monitors and screens flickered to life, displaying images of deserted streets and empty rooms. A few deft keystrokes later, and David had a perfect view of the area surrounding the city. Wherever the Angel was coming from, David would be ready.
"Come on then... let's get this started, shall we?"
"Right, got the target... sitting in his office. Poor bastard hasn't got a clue."
"You kidding? You paid for the best, you're gonna get the best. I don't miss. I'll contact you when he's dead."
The cameras and satellite feeds located the Angel- a great black sphere, seemingly distorting space around it. It was a Dirac Sea, the pocket dimension of negatively charged matter sustained within an inverted A.T. Field. It was within this structure that Ohotorael was hiding. One of the screens started to pixelate and was cut. In it's place was this:
The logo was that of a snake curled around an apple in between multiple sets of eyes. On the apple the name SEELE is written, and beneath this the words:
‹berm Sternenzelt richtet Gott, wie wir gerichtet
A quote from the poem "Ode to Joy", which translates as "We judge, as God judges from the starry expanse." On the rims of the screen were the subtitle: "God's in his Heaven, All's right with the World".
The image began to speak.
"Greetings, Director David Ashford. The human race calls out for direction. They want to know why they're here, what they're meant to do, well... we're going to tell them."
"In your breadth of information, in your travels across the internet, you have no doubt heard rumors of the New World Order. It is real. Seele, we call it. You will never learn much more about Seele other than that it exists. We came into being during the medieval Dark Ages as, originally, a religious order. But our beliefs were shattered upon our discovery of extraterrestrial life, and that the Seed of Adam was the original craft to arrive to Earth. Humanity is the false successor of the planet, the occupiers. Original Sin was not the fall from Eden- it is because we should have never existed at all."
"We maintained the pretense of Christianity, but what we learned served as our new holy text- a manual on the use and purposes of the relics, detailed descriptions of Cores and A.T. Fields, and even a map of the stars. But there was still so much we didn't understand, so many pieces lost. It would be a thousand years before technology advanced to the point we needed, and before Adam was uncovered."
"Now is a truly exciting time. We have the power to accomplish what had been the pipe dreams of our ancestors. The miracle of divinity is within our sights, our ultimate goal of uniting the human race as one, creating God in our image and bringing mankind to the pinnacle of it's existence."
"A pity, then, that you will not live to see it."
The sniper was taking position on the executive floor of a nearby 15-story building, adjacent to an open window. He could hear it, of course, the Angel warning. You'd have to be deaf not to. He would have to work fast, or risk being caught outside if the thing were to pass over here. Crouching on one knee, he opened the plastic case and pulled out his weapon- a Bora JNG-90 rifle and ten rounds. The man steadied the gun against a burly shoulder, and flipped up the thick telescopic sight. The scope's magnification gave an eagle-eyed view into David's office. A symbol was visible on the screen, and a glimpse of his scalp. He centered the scope on David.
A reverberating sound stopped him dead in his tracks. A streak shot upwards from below him. He scrambled backwards to see a huge reinforced shutter close off the window. It continued up the building, armoring it against the assailant heading towards them. In an instant, the room was dark, the walkways showing illumination to guide inhabitants below. The sniper's eyes widened- no; there were exits- roof access, emergency shafts, ways to navigate the building when it went into fortress mode.
Quickly, he stripped the weapon's rail and removed the scope, turning it to night-vision and holding it to his face while he ran to the hallway.
Synch Ratio: 10%
Unit-02's head was back, it's injuries fully healed, but otherwise nowhere close to restoration. The Evangelion was 'naked', with no armor plate and only weaves of polymer sheathing. Grey flesh was clearly exposed everywhere on her body. The head was uncovered, with none of it's fins or faceplate. Instead was Unit-02's real face- flat and bulldog-like, with a thick jaw and lipless mouth showing a row of enormous sharp teeth. It was covered in cybernetic ports and controls, with sockets in the back and nape of the neck, wires and interface jacks on the head and limbs.
Synch Ratio: 30%
The synchronization grew. It was electric, like a slow-motion explosion. Piggy could feel the Eva rising inside him. He could feel the air on the outside. The arms quivered, coiling- the power! The sheer, incredible power!
I was afraid of NOTHING!
Synch Ratio: 50%
Piggy was immersed in the Evangelion, the sensations of the creature that bore him rippling through his own body, the soul at the edges of his own, the separation becoming vague while he was filled with new vitality. Nikolai reeled, urging the synchronization closer still!
The launchpad seized his attention. Still synching with Unit-02, Nikolai reached the low 80's as he broke out onto the surface.
Aiber was sprinting for the locker room and he his the door hard. He bounced back slightly before remembering to swipe his security card. With the door now opened, he entered and began to change into his suit, but a hand appeared in the doorway and held the door from closing. Aiber just assumed it was another pilot until he saw the finely polished shoes and heard that regrettably familiar voice.
"Honestly son, the world is on your shoulders and you choose to play juvenile pranks on your father? I thought I raised you better than that."
"You barley even raised me." Aiber said, still changing.
"If you want to impress me, your going to have to do better than that, but fortunately you are getting the chance as we speak. You've trained for years for this moment Aiber. Make me proud."
Aiber pressed the button on his wrist to make the suit tighten around him, then he turned to the man he called his father.
"That's right dad, I'm going to go fight the Angel that plans to detroy evry human being on earth, and I'm doing it to make you proud."
"What is a champion without cause?"
"Goodbye dad. I'll be happy to continue this conversation later if the world doesn't end."
Then Aiber left to enter his Eva, leaving his father alone for the second time in one day.
"Engaging entry plug." said a the technician as the plug was loaded into Unit 7.5
"Coming online." Aiber replied as the cockpit lit up.
David sat there, staring at the screens before him, now blank and empty, void of light and power. The message that had been scrawled there, the words that had delivered his death sentence, they had long since faded away, just after the shutters and steel slammed shut. Whoever SEELE was, it seemed that they had not planned on NERV's automated defenses activating at that critical moment. David had no doubt that he would be dead, an empty sack of flesh and blood, if not for these defenses, if not for the steadily approaching Angel.
If not for the Will of God.
For a moment, David merely sat at his desk, his fingers locked together, contemplating this development, thinking, plotting, planning. Then he moved.
A few clicks of the mouse, and NERV's internal e-mail network sprang to life.
Fans whirred and bits flew this way and that as David created a new message. His response would be swift, his words short. They had threatened to kill him. He would tell them the truth.
Body: Hello. I should be dead right now. I'm not.
Considering this rather unexpected development, and the problems it no doubt causes you, I'd like to offer you a few words of consolation.
First, though you are more than welcome to attempt to organize my death, I personally do not understand why you would bother to take this course of action. As you so succinctly stated, I know little about your organization; in fact the only things I know for certain is that you exist, and that you have access to quite a few resources. As it stands, there is nothing I can do to hamper your goals, or to endanger any of your members. If, however, you feel that my death will somehow further your ambitions, then I encourage you to, as the saying goes, "try try again."
You won't succeed.
Now, not to seem arrogant or conceited, but there is one simple fact that I believe you have overlooked: I will not die until God ordains it. Whether you believe it or not, He does have a plan, one which we all play a part in. While I do not know what my role is, nor when I will accomplish it, I am quite certain that I will not die until I have. Simply put, until you have the ability to alter the Will of God, you cannot kill me. Now, once I complete my task, whatever it is, feel free to slaughter me. I promise you, at that point, I will not care what happens to my worthless collection of cells and neurons. Do with it what you will.
Moving on, your words, though certainly impressive and dramatic, are empty and meaningless. Original Sin? Seed of Adam? Creating God in your own Image? Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I do not give a damn what you plan to accomplish. I have my own Truth, one that has existed since the beginning of time. What you believe, at this stage, is meaningless, both to me and to everything. Play your magnificent games, make your millennium long plans, scheme and plot and strategize to your heart's content.
The end is nigh. The Angels are approaching. The Seals are breaking, the Trumpets are blowing, the Bowls are emptying. Mankind is finished. We are done. I encourage you to stop wasting time, trying to subvert God's will, and to simply enjoy the show.
We are privileged enough to watch as God wipes us from this shell of dust and dirt, as He judges His children. I will watch as His warriors attack, as they grow stronger and stronger, as they come closer and closer to finishing it. That is what I care for, not for your little plots and schemes.
Simply put, do what you will with me. I do not care. Nothing you could do could possibly harm me, not until my time arrives.
Have a nice day.
Well, that's taken care of. Now, where is that Angel...
Alexander was finally in his eva. He was honestly starting to hate breaks because they either featured days in the hospital of time wasting. The life of an eva pilot wasn't as glamorous as one would think. Alexander stretched a bit and it actually felt pretty good. The new plug suits were a hundred times better than their old ones. He'd have to thank Owen sometime, before going through his computer for their own vague and nefarious purposes.
"Synch Ratio: 15%"
Aiber was just getting in his eva and Piggy's franken-eva had just launched. He wondered how well Unit-02 would do without as much armor plating. Alexander then began to think about his own eva. Unit-31 would occasionally pull off strange things with A.T. fields but whenever such things happened, Alexander rarely caused them. It was more like, Alexander would do something and Unit-31 would do something crazier. That was gonna have to end today. Alexander was an A.T. Tactician, and he couldn't let his eva do all the work. If it did, what could, what would be the point of him being a pilot.
"Synch Ratio: 35%"
Alexander felt Unit-31 shutter a bit. He was finally waking up from his slumber. Time to go to work.
"Morning big guy, we've got a long day ahead of us. Listen up, I know you like pulling tricks out there on the field, but you've got to share some of them with me. I've got a few ideas of my own, and I plan to use them. Now, show me what you got."
Alexander closed his eyes and sat there for a few moments waiting for something, anything.
"Synch Ration: 55%"
And then they hit him. Thousands of plans, procedures, and other amazing...tactics. Just what Alexander wanted. He shared some of his own. A giddy tingle of intrigue and excitement traveled down his spine. Looked like Unit-31 approved of plenty of his own ideas and tactics. Alexander sent a minor pulse from his head. He could still slightly sense the A.T fields around him. He barely ever used this ability, it wasn't really that useful to him in regular or against evas he could see, but he figured it could prove to be of some use in this fight.
"Synch Ratio: 70% Unit-31 Initiating final prep for launch. Everything you wanted is in place Mr. Gemini."
Unit-31 was fully awake now, ready to take on anything these angelic bastards and see they had up their sleeves. They were nearly at the top of the lift and were ready for action. Somewhere a couple of eager engineers sat behind control panels, ready to activate their own transports. Alexander had come to them earlier with a request. After learning that the angel that attacked them mentally was still around, he figured it was finally coming down to fight like a gentlemen. He wanted to get back at the bastard and try out a few new tactics. Samuel, typically sitting in the recesses of Alexander's mind, finally came forth.
"I've seen a few of the things you've got planned. Interesting, cool, awesome, and a bit out there, but otherwise they all check out. I'll be your wingman for a bit by the way. Oh, and I'm giving you a little something."
Alexander felt a tingle in his head and squeezed his eyes tight.
"Gah! Castor, what the hell did you-" Alexander stopped as he opened his eyes. He noticed that the world around him had a bluish tint and that strange waves appeared to be around everything. He squeezed his eyes again and all was normal.
"What-What the hell was tha-"
"An upgrade courtesy of Unit-31 or Dioscuri, as you call him. This is what he sees at times. Helps him manipulate them. Hmm, Dioscuri, the combined name of Pollux and Castor. Not bad, not bad at all. I'll be here if you need me. Good luck, Pollux. Or should I start calling you Alexander the Great? I hear he was a great tactician."
He faded away before Alexander could ask what was going on. How the hell did he-why would Unit-31-what the hell is he even talking about.
"Synch Ratio: 75% Unit-31 is clear! Go!"
Alexander didn't have time to worry about it, he simply took off, a bit behind Unit-02. Just another day at work.
On this day, Alexander the Great and Unit-31 were going to defend their world against an all powerful enemy. Meanwhile, Pollux and Dioscuri simply wanted to see what they could really do.
"Sync Ratio: 20%"
"Hey Charlie, we've been working together for a while now. I guess it's time to see how much it was all worth."
A feeling of confidence rose in Aiber, whether it was his or Charlie's he couldn't tell.
"Lets get this started then!"
"Sync ratio is 75%, launching Unit 7.5!"
The Eva and it's piloet were lifeted up the shaft and emerged to look over the city, if grave death and the end of the world wasn't on it's way it might have been a sight worthy of appreciating.
"HA HA HA HA HA" Alastor laughed out through the link "Yelling at the Doomsayers about God. He has courage I'll give him that." He continued, his laugh neither stopping nor diminishing.
Owen, now on the elevator on route to Ops could only raise an eyebrow at the sudden change in demeanor. Care to explain? asked, curious as to the context of the clearly inside joke. "Nothing that should concern you, just a little... unexpected interference. nothing of any real importance." he responded, a hint of amusement evident through the link.
Owen dismissed the monsters laugh at that; he had little other choice. If the creature would not tell him, his only options would be to ignore it or go mind-to-mind with an angel - a fruitless endeavor beyond all others. Besides, He had greater concerns on his mind. The status report had informed him that the angel was closing fast and still hiding within it's Sea of Dirac; whatever it was up to, they would not know until it was on their doorstep. Owen could not help but think it the smartest angel yet; save the one in his head of course.
Owen looked at the digital display beside the elevator's doors: 15 more floors. 14 more floors to come up with a plan to fight an angel still hiding in it's egg. 13 more floors before his first real test as commander began. by floor 9 a plan was starting to form.
"Alastor; what can you tell me about your brother?" He questioned. Seele had offered aid against the angels and Owen was unwilling to ignore the one benefit of the devil's deal he had made.
The display changed to 8
"Only that Ohotorael communed with your warriors, pushing you to deal with the Doomsayers. They pushed back the word of god, at your behest, but even they cannot push back his prophet; their magics are nothing before the power of a child of god"
It took a moment for Owen to translate the angel to terms he understood, but to his great regret, it failed to aid him. "How did they do even that? Without an Eva I can think of no way to fight an Angel." Owen called out, his last hope
7 became 6
"They used a remnant of god: the Horn of Jericho they call it. 'And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.'"
The display ticked down to 5
Owen grimaced; this was going nowhere.
and thus 5 became 4
Nowhere except to the next floor he corrected. "Ohotorael must have a weakness; I need to know it" Owen called out in desperation.
The floor count decreased once more: 3
"Ohotorael is the most arrogant of the sons of god: he believes himself the equal of god, which none can be. He will toy with your warriors. I have heard from the doomsayers that this is a weakness of all angels. If true, his weakness is greatest. The doomsayers believe he should be killed in his shell - destroy his egg and the child will never be born."
The floor became 2
A moment passed before the information was processed. The plan was born, hopefully before the angel. Owen had but one question left "Alastor; why is an angel working for Seele?"
1 floor to go
Silence came through the link. Before Owen could ask once more, the door opened and Thirteen entered the small metal box. Owen, surprised to find her away from the upcoming combat, tilted his head to the side in confusion. "Siting this one out Addison?"
They surrounded the Dirac Sea, the gargantuan black sphere that was slowly advancing on New Masau. Turrets were unleashing a hail of fire.
<You are forsaking the Lilim. Drop your armament and leave, and your species will be given salvation.>
"Come on, Motherfucker! Time to rock and roll!"
The A.T. Field shifted polarity, not imploding on itself but facing outward, collapsing as the Angel was released from within.
Nikolai didn't know what to expect, but it certainly wasn't this. It was not the most frightening-looking Angel we'd ever encountered, but it was definitely not even slightly humanoid.
Ohotorael was bizarre. Like nothing on Earth, that's for sure. It looked like a vast, bright yellow stingray. Like a living pancake, flat and oblong. It sort of flew by slowly flapping its sides. There were two stalk-mounted red orbs on top, and two long, trailing antennae below.
All along the back it had spears. They were lined up flat. You know how a fighter jet has missiles tucked up under the wings? That's how it held the spears, only they were on top. But all neatly in a row, facing forward. The spears - there must have been twenty of them - were each 200 feet long and as thick as 50 telephone poles. They had irregular striping, yellow and green and bits of blue. The whole creature was a patchwork of yellow and tan. It was probably camouflage back on whatever planet the being had come from. But here on Earth, it seemed gaudy and too bright.
It soared through the air. The A.T. Field pressed into the ground, repulsing the Angel up while a second Spread Pattern was locked in place in front of it, spreading the air away to give no resistance as it flew. It was fast, faster than a plane, and only the Evangelion would have any hope of catching it. Then . . . The Angel began to swell up. It seemed to inflate like a balloon. It slowed . . . slowed . . .
A spear fired from the Angel's mouth! Like a rocket, it lanced through the air. Chris didn't have time to even think about dodging it.
The spear went through Unit-03, piercing the armor near the hip. It howled in pain. Blood billowed out into the street. It seemed ridiculous. It was just stuck right through him! The spear crackled and flashed with lightning, before shattering in an explosion that ripped Unit-03 apart. Organs and viscera went flying, mixing in the air with large shards that exploded themselves, breaking into smaller and and smaller bits and inflicting mass slaughter on any infantry below. Vehicles flipped, the street cracked and buildings were shredded like they were made out of blocks.
One of the spears stored on the Angel's back rolled into a flap. Then it began to swell again, ready to fire.
More spears flew straight for The Evas. Unit-31 kicked hard and the spear missed by inches. No, it had been hit! Piggy could see the cut across the Evangelion's back where the spear had opened the flesh. A split second slower and Unit-31 would have been impaled. Ohotorael was forming Spread Patterns around the spears, guiding them as they shot out. They fired fast, like a machine gun.
Unit-02 rolled onto her back behind an armored barrier. The blasts shook the ground and threw shrapnel over the wall. Suddenly, Ohotorael's claim that Nerv could not stop the Angels didn't sound as dubious as it once had. They couldn't even move an inch without being bombarded with electrified explosive poles!
The skin of the creature was morphing in color and pattern, like the chromatophores of an octopus. It levitating up and up, approaching the barricade.
"POLLUX! DO SOMETHING!"
His ratio was skyrocketing. The men and women of NERV could only watch in fear as the last pilot to enter his Eva had already caught up to the others. Whatever fueled him, they did not know. To an extent they did not care. All they knew was that he was strong. Strong in his determination. They did not care what he fought for. Only what he could do for them.
But he knew what he fought for. He fought for her, whether she wanted him to or not.
He hadn't spoken once at the meeting. He had been lost in thought. Still was. A feeling he had not felt in years.
He doubted himself. He doubted his own abilities. He doubted whether he was a worthy champion, if this was all it took to cripple him.
"I don't care."
The lift went up. He knew she was listening. He didn't want to believe she wasn't.
"I don't care if I'm not good enough. I'll win at any cost."
Pollux watched Piggy get forked. He'd figured Piggy was in shock but relatively okay. Suddenly, the the crystal spear had arced with electricity and violently exploded. Goddamn, this angel was strange and brutal. Honestly, Ohotorael was not what Pollux had expected. He'd planned on seeing a giant, complex, powerful being, not some overgrown sting ray. Yet, he had to admit, this overgrown stingray might have some moves on him.
"POLLUX! DO SOMETHING!"
That was his que. Time to see what he could do. Let's start simple.
"Hey, you yellow bastard!" Ohotorael rose above Piggy and began to take aim. "You're not the only one good with spears!"
Ohotorael inflated while morphing and fired multiple shots. Pollux felt Unit-31 waiting for a response, and Castor giving him a suggestion. He squeezed his eyes tight, opened them, and was gone in an instant. He dogged the first few shots, moving at incredible speed. It was like he was bouncing off his own A.T field and the fields around him. He was, in fact. He could see the A.T fields and now he could truly use them to his advantage. This was how his eva saw the world and truly fought. It was great. At this rate, Unit-31 almost look like it was skipping. Pollux pushed downwards on the A.T field, sending him skyward, above the angel. It wasn't getting over that barrier.
"Take this you bastard! Sonic-"
Unit-31 twisted it's arms as the two rods that formed the Sonic Guillotine rocketed out, causing them two start rotating at high speeds. Then a third rod rocketed out from Unit-31's chest. It headed straight for the angel.
The two rods spun towards the ground, as the third was right above the angel. Pollux pushed his A.T field down at the angel, in the process, in an attempt at adding insult to injury. The destructive resonance of the spiraling blender caused a cyclone like sonic boom, destroying the foundation below the angel and kicking up a chaotic spiral of debris, buffering the angel even more. A flattened, spun around, assaulted angel. That must've done something. Pollux laughed at the destruction he'd caused. Now THAT was a tactic.
The two rods embedded themselves in the ground as Pollux landed. He was quite proud of himself. Piggy might have even let out a cheer. Though, it sounded more like a shou-
A barrage of spears came flying out of the clearing dust. Pollux pulled the A.T. fields towards his forearms, combining the two separate star patterns, forming Gemini constellation.
The shield held for a few seconds, but it fractured and the shards of the spears arced for a few seconds before exploding. He was still new at this and the shield wasn't as think as it should've been. Pollux was sent flying back, the remaining fractals sprinkling him with pain. Unit-31 landed with a loud, painful thump.
When the dust finally cleared, the angel's A.T. field formed a halo above it. Within the halo was the third rod, simply floating there, slightly smashed at the end that should've pierced the angel. Ohotorael had taken a beating from the debris and resonance, but if it had done any actual damage, the angel didn't show it.
"Oh crap." Pollux got back up and cracked Unit-31's neck. "Alright, we'll just have to wear you down. That's alright though. I've still got plenty of things waiting for you."
A midnight-tinted form leaped up and into the fray. Rev charged headlong into battle, straight past Pollux, unaware of Piggy's warnings. He wasn't paying much attention to what they said. He attempted to swing his knives at the creature, but all it did was float up and away from him.
With a leap, Rev flew up and at the beast. But as he flew, he was impaled. Four arrows, one in each limb, thrust themselves into the mechanical flesh of the Eva. Rev screamed in pain and shock as his beast crashed into the ground. He wanted to take a moment to rest, but another arrow pierced his abdomen. It came close to his plug. He cried out in surprise, and rolled. Unit-27 followed, and scrambled to its feet, dashing away as a hail of projectiles crashed into the ground around him.
This would not be simple. How had he ever thought anything could be so simple.
"Rev!" Pollux watched as Rev slashed at the beast in vain, and was quickly smacked back down. They were gonna need a plan, strategies, anything. Lisa wasn't there yet, her eva was still being prepped, Aiber was in the motions, and Addison was nowhere to be seen. "'Hurry up', she says." Alexander curses to himself. Rev rolls quickly and get back up.
"Okay, Rev. Your knives aren't gonna do much against this guy, nothing will do much against this guy unless we break down this defenses. And even then this may be a challenge. But listen, can you distract him for a bit? Piggy and I will flank him and we'll go from there. Can you do that?"
"I've got a plan too, hey uh..." Aiber realized he didn't know anyone accept the one who had brought him to the dock earlier.
Then out of nowhere, the Angel launched another rocket at him. Aiber and Charlie made a clean dive roll out of the way and rolled into a firing position behind a building. He drew the Hand Canon and shot at the angel three times, each time it his the enemy A.T. Field to no apparent affect.
"Your right about it's A.T. Field uh...Pollux."
Aiber holstered the Hand Canon and drew his spear. He rolled out of his previous hiding place and leaped behind a very sturdy looking concrete building, then concentrated his A.T. Field into a shield like the Angel's, but that wasn't all he did. He began rotating the spear around in a circular rotation, and as the speed of the spin went up, so did his sync with Charlie.
"Sir!" one of the people in the control room said. "Aiber's sync rate is rising rapidly! And that's not all! He's using his A.T. Field to raise the oxygen concentration and density within his reach!"
"What is his sync rate at right now?"
"91% and counting!"
"What the hell are you doing kid?"
At that point the door opened and Colonel Blake stepped in. He was straight faced and professional as ever, even while watching his son in a life or death battle with an alien.
"He is making and artificial meteorite." he said plainly.
"What the hell dose that mean?!"
"He simulated it in the American facility before but never outside testing, so I'm not even fully sure how it will work out if at all." His tone of voice was still emotionless and calculating, like an exam proctors calling out the remaining time.
On the screen, the spear spun faster still and a visible whirlwind formed around it, like a tornado being contained by it's own velocity.
"I hope you know what you're doing Aiber." Blake said to his son.
"Shut the hell up dad!" Aiber yelled, then he got what he was waiting for, the building behind him took a direct hi from one of the Angel's spears and exploded, in that moment Aiber let the A.T. Field Barrier around him drop.
In one deft motion, he spun around and let the spear fly straight for the Angel. The wind current built up around made it fly faster than sound, and at the same time made a massive column of flame from the ignited oxygen. When it hit the Angel's A.T. Field, the fire roared outward and the spear made a massive impact, the shockwave of heat and wind could be felt for miles.
When the fire cleared and the dust settled, the Angel was unharmed, but it's A.T. Field was down at least for now.