Evangelion 2.0 (Game Thread)

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--- Evangelion --

LONDON-2

Post-Impact England is a case of efficiency rising from tragedy. During the early days of the post-Impact resource wars, a nuclear weapon detonated beneath London without warning. There are many theories as to which side dealt this devastating blow, but in all the years since no one has claimed responsibility. The royal family and much of the government, including the prime minister, were killed in the attack. England found itself headless. In the ensuing chaos, an acting prime minister was appointed who prepared the country for a massive war effort to retaliate against the European enemies he was sure were responsible. One of his primary goals at the time was the reconstruction of the British navy, which had noticeably either lost or lost track of its entire submarine fleet during the Second Impact. While some ruined British submarines have since been found by salvage teams, many more are as-yet unaccounted for.

Despite the acting-Prime Minister's initial plans, it soon became evident that the real culprit was unknown and that conflict in Europe and the rest of the world was already over abundant. While the exact draw for England is unclear, it was a part of the initial transference of power to the United Nations that later culminated in the Valentine Treaty.

Modern England has benefited greatly within the United Nations, and much of the trade that runs through Europe makes a stop on the shores of England. The English government itself has, in response to the loss of the Royal family, promoted a nationalistic England full of order and working for the benefit of England first. This growing sense of manifest destiny would seem to put England at odds with the United Nations, but thus far their goals have been concurrent rather than opposed.

---

The Geofront is located under the fortress city London-2 and contains the Nerv headquarters, what you must protect from the Angels at all costs. If the Angels reach it, Third Impact is assured.

image

Kushiel's appearance was very sudden. Presumably, it was once in orbit around the planet, but no one detected it or was aware of it's existence until the day it appeared. Its entrance was rather dramatic, dropping unexpectedly from the heavens and impaling itself deeply in the streets of the city with the sheer force of its impact.

The alarms sounded. The buildings receded down into the Geofront. Nerv HQ was detecting multiple armor breaches all over London-2.

---

"Roger. Inserting entry plug."
"Direct hydrotransmission system, connection prepared."
"Plug fixed in place."
"First stage connection initiated."
"Filling the entry plug."
"Connecting main power."
"Commencing secondary contacts. A-10 nerve connection, normal."
"Set the thought configuration. All preliminary contacts established."
"Bidirectional circuits are open. Synchronization rate at 0."

Each Eva pilot was set within their plug, lungs filled with LCL, Synch tests running. The Spread Pattern of the dormant Evangelion made it look like they were flying through an endless black cloud, unable to see anything except the flashes of dissipating static electricity. Then the cloud would be set behind glowing HUD readouts as information flashed across the plug.

Then at last came the Synchronization. They could feel the air on the outside, the polymer sheathing and armor plates on the Eva. Suddenly they were not just themselves, but beings of vast scale and power. Beyond the human body was one that towered over the buildings, brings to bear a weapon greater than one thousand men could lift, and could shield itself with a field of it's own will.

"Prepare to launch."

The colossal platform raised the Evas up from their supports to the nearby deployment catapults, the shaft a tunnel going straight up. Elevators locked themselves onto the rail around their feet and back.

"Release locks."

Suddenly the Evangelions were rocketing up. Each level passed, small modules followed by the solid metal of armor plates, faster and faster until they began to blur together. The rushing darkness was now flecked with lights, streaking down. And suddenly, the darkness was gone and they breached to the surface, London-2 filling their vision.

"Christ..."

A shuddering jolt, the result of Unit-73's sudden deceleration, tore down the Eva's, and by proxy Tammy's, shoulders. The sensation wasn't painful by any stretch of the imagination, but it served as a wake-up call of sorts. It told the girl, on some basic, instinctual level, that all of this was real, that all of this was truly happening.

It told her that the Angel was actually here.

Taking a deep breath, Tammy allowed her eyes to fall shut for a bit longer than a standard blink. Then, exhaling sharply, she opened them and stared straight ahead, drinking in the perfectly rendered scenery.

It went without saying that she'd seen London-2 before. Nerv had transferred her to the city weeks ago, and she hadn't wasted too much time getting acclimated to the area. But seeing it like this, from Unit-73's perspective... This was an experience that the simulations hadn't been able to replicate.

But there would be time to enjoy the view later. Even from this distance, a good few kilometers outside of the city center, Tammy could clearly see the cloud of dust and smoke rising up from the middle of the metropolis. It didn't take a genius to figure out that that was where the Angel, Kushiel they had called it, had impacted. It was solely because of that that Unit-73 had finally been sent outside, for that and no other reason.

They were here to fight.

"Okay, okay, okay okay okay okay okay," she muttered to herself, wrapping her hands around the duel control sticks, the LCL doing nothing to impair the movement. Her eyes flicked across the HUD, her brain working feverishly to discern usable information from the seemingly nonsensical stream of letters, numbers, and other miscellaneous symbols. The training may have taught Tammy how to pick out a few bits of information here and there, but the Eva's inner-workings and displays were still largely a mystery to the girl.

Luckily, what information she could divine was positive. Unit-73 was in good condition, its systems free of flaws for the time being. Everything seemed to be responding to her inputs, and their Synch-Ratio was hovering around 54%. "We're looking good, Connla," Tammy whispered, half to herself and half to the Eva. "We're looking good."

A loud click filled the air as the locks holding Unit-73 to the platform disengaged, allowing the massive machine to slump forward slightly. Tightening her grip around the controls, Tammy leaned forward, willing her legs to move forward. But instead of her own limbs, it was Unit-73's that responded, stiffly carrying the Eva off of the platform and onto the surrounding ground. They were a little on sluggish side, but a little adrenaline would hopefully clear that up.

"Ms. Uli," she said, trying and not quite managing to keep the nervousness out of her voice, "I... Unit-73's in position. Could you have Mr. Jaeger send up the rifle, please?"

Lillian swore under her breath the whole ride to the surface. Unit-41 had been undergoing some software changes when the launch order came, which meant she had very little time to rest the HUD during the ascent. I like my readouts just the way they are...why can't the techs ever get that? She thought.

However such petty annoyances were forgotten as the lift stopped, and the clamps that held Unit-41 in place, released. "Easy Pat....' Lillian muttered, as a wave of restlessness washed over her. "We'll get to it soon enough." Without realizing, she reached across to try and scratch her new tattoo, causing Unit-41 to do the same thing. Shit...fuuck who knew LCL would make a tattoo itch so much!

Closing her eyes, she centered her thoughts, and then ran though the check list. With everything showing green across the board, Lillian 'stepped' off the lift. The sense of sheer size, and feeling of near invulnerability never got old, and she hoped it never would. Looking at her 'dance' partner, she nodded, Unit-41 following suit.

"Unit-41 is good to go, requesting my battle rifle."

The attack came at a time when Amira was in mid-run. London was far from Tel Aviv and the weather was uncomfortable at first so she donned a sweater over a shirt. She reported to her station still in her running clothes but she did manage to grab her Desert Eagle. Despite its unwieldy nature, the gun had saved her life much like how these rifles would save the pilots let alone most likely the world.

"Mr. Jaeger, I needed those arms up there yesterday." Amira commanded but with respect still in her voice. She respected the man but she knew he was a military man and military men took orders. Then she set a general order for all the pilots.

"Knowing is key here. Kushiel's already here and I want him out. Get eyes on the target, and engage. Melee units, this is your playground and we need you to close on Kushiel. I want the range units flanking its position. Once the melee units push it out of London then fire at will. If the melee units are in need of help then move in. Got that?"

Then she moved to orders for the base. "Scramble some recon helicopters I need eyes on the target at all times. I also need the turrets to hold their fire unless I say otherwise."

Amira took a deep breath as she watched the screens, watching the situation develop. She had commanded squads, platoons, agents but never something of this scale and coordination. If there ever was a time for her to pray then she would be doing so now but she wasn't religious in anyway except for believing in the actions of the people she commanded. Amira just hoped that she wouldn't disappoint them. She gritted her teeth for the events to come.

The jolting stop of the lift served as a good jump for Mark's heart. It got him focused, as he found the routine "bath" in LCL relaxed him far too much. Checking his console, he quickly sorted through all the settings for checking his sync rate. "Ah, 70%, feeling compatible today, eh Big Roger?" After taking a couple of steps of the platform, Mark looked out to the city, the first signs of the Angel's arrival now drifting miles overhead.

"Is it a new game?" Mark smiled to himself right before a comm channel opened, coming in from command.

"Knowing is key here. Kushiel's already here and I want him out. Get eyes on the target, and engage. Melee units, this is your playground and we need you to close on Kushiel. I want the range units flanking its position. Once the melee units push it out of London then fire at will. If the melee units are in need of help then move in. Got that?"

"Roger." Mark reflexively nodded and he brought up his Positron Rifle, not having to wait for the guns to arrive was a perk of his Eva's type. Using the targeting software, he tried to get a better look into the city proper. "The buildings certainly are a problem, but if I can get a bead on the target, I can circumvent them." Mark continued to mumble to himself as the operation began.

"Roger. Inserting entry plug."
"Direct hydrotransmission system, connection prepared."
"Plug fixed in place."
"First stage connection initiated."
"Filling the entry plug."
"Connecting main power."
"Commencing secondary contacts. A-10 nerve connection, normal."
"Set the thought configuration. All preliminary contacts established."
"Bidirectional circuits are open. Synchronization rate at 0."

"76%" D-18 said as the the electricity poured. It was always like this. All at once, D-18 (and by extension Unit-82) became active. She could "feel" it just as it could "feel" her. They were (mostly) one being all in an instant. While most would say the feeling of being "two" was strange, to her it was normal. Floating in LCL, surrounded by controls and displays, and one with a giant being beyond human understanding; it was all she knew and far more real than any other time. It was what she was made for.

"Prepare to launch."

"Roger" she replied, more out of habit than anything else. Unit-82 complied with her demands, roaring to life. With a single command, the power from her reactor poured into the Eva, giving it full mobility for when the Angel was in their sights. Excess energy flowed down a small umbilical cord to her weapon; readying it for the fight ahead. With another command, her A.T. Field was active, protecting her from the dangers of the angel. With a third command her Magi link was up, feeding all information back to the super computers.

"Unit-82: All Systems Ready." she said aloud, giving the pilots final clearance.

"Release locks."

"Unit-82: Launch." At that moment, the elevators fired; throwing her Eva into the breach. It moved faster than her eyes could match, but to the Eva it was as nothing. Ten seconds until Unit-82 was on the battle field. A moment later, she had her orders.

"Knowing is key here. Kushiel's already here and I want him out. Get eyes on the target, and engage. Melee units, this is your playground and we need you to close on Kushiel. I want the range units flanking its position. Once the melee units push it out of London then fire at will. If the melee units are in need of help then move in. Got that?"

Unit-82 breached the surface a second later and started running to the battlefield, drawing her Progressive Knife as she let her cannon swing around and take its usual place at her back.

The Command Center is a gigantic room with multiple tiered levels, dominated by a massive holographic display system and a video screen covering an entire wall. Operators and personnel scrambled on every section. At the center of it all was Amira Uli, flanked by her top ranking staff. She gave the order:

"Scramble some recon helicopters I need eyes on the target at all times. I also need the turrets to hold their fire unless I say otherwise."

The massive screen displayed visual data from sensor stations and observatory craft, interlayed with maps and readouts from the Evas. The MAGI supercomputers were located beneath the platform, analyzing information.

Kushiel is about 900 feet (about 274 metres) in height with a diameter of about 100 feet (about 30 metres). Kushiel's body is pillar-like, segmented horizontally and has various "eyes" distributed in what seems to be a random patterning throughout. However, more of these organs seem to be concentrated on the upper-most segment. Kushiel's body appears to have the texture of shiny stone or marble. Starting at the top, a long whip-like tentacle wraps around the body, fitting into a slight groove on the surface. It too is segmented, but the segments are very thin and up close it seems to have the texture of some sort of flexible tubing or even resemble the flesh of an earthworm. At the top of the tall pillar are a pair of what appear to be long wings consisting of some sort of gossamer-like material. These have a bit of an internal luminance which grows brighter over time.

The Angel's A.T. Field is of medium strength. Oddly enough, its AT-Field is much, much stronger at ground level than it is higher up.

image

The Angel had speared two thirds of the way into the GeoFront barrier on impact, and was going to tunnel through the surface and eventually into Terminal Dogma itself. Although the site of the Angel was the deepest penetration, there were other areas where surface armor was being destroyed. Calls were flooding in from field units, countless reports of smaller beings climbing buildings and moving throughout the city.

The Angel also seems to have ability to absorb surrounding energy, drawing in electricity from things like power lines, street lights, etc.

The Evangelions came into range. Kushiel is rather "laid back" and does not attack. It is simply the quiet, almost lifeless pillar it appears to be. It is so passive that an Eva could walk right up to it and even go so far as to touch it with no ill effects.

Gale blinked, the bright lights of the city much different than the darkened tunnels he had just emerged from. He sat at the ready, his hands already wrapped around the two hand controls on either side of his seat. The familiar click of the locks being disengaged a welcome sound. Gale glanced at the interface, all lights green as he pushed Unit-75 forward and off the lift, drawing its battle rifle from the left wing and bringing up the targeting system.

"Knowing is key here. Kushiel's already here and I want him out. Get eyes on the target, and engage. Melee units, this is your playground and we need you to close on Kushiel. I want the range units flanking its position. Once the melee units push it out of London then fire at will. If the melee units are in need of help then move in. Got that?"

"Yes ma'am." Gale said over the comm, pushing his unit forward as he noticed the other units already in action. He flicked through the system to find his synchronization rate, something he knew that the other pilots would also be doing. The system ready 75%, a miserable number based on what Gale normally could manage.

Gale pushed up behind the blue and red evangelion that he knew as unit 13-B. He made sure to keep his eyes forward and also on the surrounding buildings, his gun swaying a bit as he made sure to check his surroundings.

"Unit-13, I've got your six." Gale said into his comm, to the pilot of the evangelion in front of him.

More information was coming into the control room as images and scans of the angles were arriving.

Kushiel was some sort of pillar with multiple eyes, tentacles and segments running up and down itself. It was odd to say the least but it seemed familiar to Amira. It was at the tip of her tongue but she couldn't seemed to have the exact source. Still, despite its dormancy, Kushiel remained a threat even though they weren't exactly sure what just yet. She also read reports of electricity being gathered by Kushiel. Not only that but smaller beings as well scaling the buildings throughout the city.

Amira watched the screens once more specifically looking at Unit-82's screen because of the MAGI link. It was certainly clearer than most screens.

"Unit-82, get a clear view of Kushiel and stand-by. You're the best eyes we have on the ground at the moment." Amira ordered. Amira wanted to know what exactly Kushiel was let alone what. Then she had an idea.

"Base, fire one rocket at Kushiel." Amira ordered despite odd looks given by the other staff next to her but orders were orders.

"EVA's we have an incoming rocket. Watch for splash and approach with caution."

"Field teams, tell me exactly what those small figures are and if deemed hostile then engage with small arms."

The first moment of connection was always the sweetest, the infinitesimally small place where two souls merged and Iggy shook hands with his favorite demon once more. The youth shuddered within his plug suit, adjusting to the familiar adrenaline surge and stretching his muscles. Unit-77 moved with him, slinking off the launch platform and squatting down on to its haunches with an almost liquid sort of grace. 44 percent sync rate, it would do for a start.

Iggy blinked once as the torrent of information set in, his HUD cluttered with readout after readout, the EVAs background calculations made manifest. He could taste the English air, smell it as it coursed through the nostrils of a beast: temperaturehumiditybackgroundradiationlevelscontaminantspermillion.... Unit-77's hackles rose and Iggy felt lightning in amongst the hairs on the back of his neck: backgroundelectromagneticradiationlevelsabovenormmultipleATFieldsdetected5friendly1hostilemultiplelowlevelradiosignalsdetectedtuningtoNERVfrequencies.... Iggy rode the flood, drowned in it, and within half a heartbeat let it bleed away. Far too much information to process consciously, had to let it slide and slip into the background, taste one little stream of the river at a time and let it all flow with the Hunt. The old, familiar drumbeat started, the 'thump thump thump' of heartbeat and footstep and eye blink, a rhythm that was danced before it was felt. It was dying time.

Orders... Iggy heard Orders, heard the reins being given over to the melee units. Strange... first blood wasn't usually his, but he'd hardly complain. Unit-77 pawed out across the field, melting into a concrete jungle with practiced ease as it circled the towering angel, dashing from building to building, point of cover to point of cover, as the noose tightened. Iggy was ready, the blade that was horn was keen and ready, small for now, but for now small was useful.

"EVA's we have an incoming rocket. Watch for splash and approach with caution."

Wendigo rankled a bit at the interruption, but both he and the little one knew patience. Patience was always best, the careful waiting that birthed the moment, the striking, and the blood.

"Unit-77 in position, ready to detach umbilical and commence probing assault at your order," Iggy's words came through a bit more strained than usual, a bit more hoarse, but he'd always found speaking difficult when piloting. This wasn't the time for words, this was the time for work. They should know the pattern, know the path, and execute, why did this require speaking?

It was weird, Jamie had grown up on some of these streets. He'd walked to school down some of them or ridden in the back of the car on rainy day. But looking at the city like this... Neo-London was bigger than he'd ever imagined it was. Sprawling out under his viewwere countless parts of the city he'd never seen and plenty more he couldn't even name. Despite all the tall buildings seeming a lot smaller (and thanks to 67's healthy helping of extra eyes0 the world seemed a lot bigger.

So you can probably imagine how big the giant pillar of an angel seemed.

Between the HUD and the eyes of the EVA flooding his vision with light and information and the comm system chattered with a variety of serious, proffessional sounding people who all knew what they were doing while Jamie was left baffled at it all. He'd come to think that he'd handled being thrown up from the depths of the earth rather well, it was when his senses and 67's began to merge that things got complicated.

I can't feel my legs! I can't feel my legs! Jamie's mind and body seemed to be hyperventalting in unison, not that 67 seemed to care, it may as well have been asleep. "Help, help, help." He muttered, losing his voise to all the competing sounds and sights until he managed to calm down enough to get a clear head. It especially helped when he brought the EVA's hand up in front of 'his' eyes and opened and closed it a few times. Then he looked down in the cockpit, reaching down and tapping his knees. His legs were there and they were fine. He was feeling 67's legs - well the lack off - it was jsut like they said in his quick time in training. Now if only they'd taught him how to reel it in.

He pushed forward on his controls, willing himself forward. Just like they showed him. Somewhere he remembered being told that the physical controls did next to nothing but it helped him focus and 'talk' to 67. "Can I talk to you?" he whispered to the EVA. 67 didn't say anything.

The wheels beneath him roared to life and 67 moved straight forward, smooth as anything. The upsode fo 67 effectivly being disabled was that he didn't have to deal with all the lurching motion sickness of the other EVAs. He rumbled along, crushing a few cars under his wheels from time to time and trying to get his bearings and generally get back into the swing of being in the pilot's seat.

"Um... Unit 67 - slash - Eerr York? Reporting Sir - Ma'am - Sir. Requesting my rifle - my - A! A positron rifle please." He stumbled over himself as he tried to sound like a real army type person.

Visual data continued to rapidly flash across HQ. At Amira's commands, the massive screen set itself to visuals of the Angel's Spawn, while a holographic map of the entire landscape blinked with the areas they had already covered.

These are numerous entities that are fully mobile on their own and separate from the pillar-body. They are about the size of a compact car and have four thin legs which they use to crawl about very rapidly. Also, each Spawn has the distinctive "Sachiel face" marking on its back.

image

The Angel was continually generating them. They seem to have different purposes, though they are all identical in appearance. Some remain on the pillar-body while others will go out to explore and familiarize itself with the surrounding area, which creates an "infestation" of sorts throughout the city. These are not physically linked to the main body by means of some sort of tether or anything, though they are all technically a part of Kushiel's biomass itself. The Spawn are, however, "mentally" linked to the main body, meaning all information received by the Spawn is directly transmitted to the main body. It learns what they learn and fast.

They were massing at points of surface breaches. The Magi hypothesized that these Spawn can produce various substances inside of them. One is a substance that seems to be able to liquify solids by altering the composition of solid matter on an atomic scale. This is especially dangerous if a large enough swarm gathers in one place and begins to secrete this substance all at once.

Amassing together and eating away at London-2, they will access the Geofront and eventually, NERV. Using the Spawn to tunnel through the earth beneath it, it will eventually open a path which will enable the Angel itself to pass through the barriers in its way.

The military was already fighting a major defensive action. Columns of tanks rumbled down the city. One of the beings was fighting an APC and won. Gunships were firing from all directions.

The turret-launched missile targeted the Angel and fired. Kushiel stayed in "quiet mode", focusing on investigating through it's Spawn and as well as the continuation of its digging. Explosions blew against it's A.T. Field - but as they did, the Angel's whiplike tentacle became very flexible and moved at very rapid speeds. It shot out at the turret, channeling energy that seared through the material and cut through it like a hot knife through butter, given the speed at which it travels.

image

The turret was immediately destroyed. Sensing the threat is no longer present, the Angel became passive again. It was aware of the Evangelions, and sought to determine what is threatening and what isn't. A swarm of the beings were forming up.

"Knowing is key here. Kushiel's already here and I want him out. Get eyes on the target, and engage. Melee units, this is your playground and we need you to close on Kushiel. I want the range units flanking its position. Once the melee units push it out of London then fire at will. If the melee units are in need of help then move in. Got that?"

Ms. Uli's orders blared over the speakers built into the entry plug, the LCL serving as a more effective conduit than ordinary air ever could. As the Commander's tough, disciplined tones filled her ears, Tammy felt her back straightening a bit, more by instinct than any conscious decision. "Y-yes, ma'am!" she half-shouted in response, trying her best to emulate the Commander's strict tones. "Activating MAGI-RMD, now!"

Flicking a few switches that she'd forced herself to memorize, the girl heard the electronics built into the plug hmmmm in response, and part of her swore that a sudden spark of static electricity had just torn through the LCL. Was her hair standing slightly on end? It felt like it was.

About half a second later, the already intricate display suddenly exploded in another rush of information. Thin, orange colored lines criss-crossed the HUD in a perfect grid, and half a dozen small circles, strange symbols dancing through them, appeared over the dust cloud rising over the city. Most of it was moving too fast for human eyes to read, but Tammy managed to process the odd tib-bit.

Target Designation Kushiel: Pattern Blue
A.T. Field Detected: 144-237%
Negative Phase-Shift: 522 nm

What was more, hundreds of small dots focused on other parts of the city, none of which remained perfectly still for very long. Kushiel wasn't the only thing out there, apparently; Unit-73 was detecting other (thankfully quite a bit smaller) entities throughout the city.

"Um... Ms. Uli?" Tammy began, unable to keep a slight fluctuation out of her words. "The Eva's picking up a lot of other signatures across London; do you have any idea what those... might..."

As the massive cloud of dust and smoke that obscured the Angel began to fade away, Tammy's words simply trailed off mid-sentence. Her eyes observed the strange, utterly alien being, casually noting insignificant details like its height, width, and its collection of ocular organs, and her stomach began to churn in response. That thing was just wrong. Inherently and horribly wrong.

A slight shudder began in Tammy's hands and began to make its way up her arms and towards the rest of the body, one that only increased as the RMD received information about the "small", insect-like entities scattered throughout the city. The same sensation, only magnified a hundred fold, danced across Unit-73, setting the Eva trembling like a tree in the wind.

49%

"I... I'd really like to have my gun, right about now," the girl whispered, unable to take her eyes off of the alien abomination. "I really, really want it."

"Mr Jaeger, I needed those arms up there yesterday."

"Already in route Ma'am, I ordered the movement of the weapons shortly after the strike team left for the surface. They should be arriving at any time; however I should inform the team". Saying that Karl then adjusted his ear piece frequency and contacted the pilots.

"Strike team this is Jaeger. For those of you that need them, weapons are en route and should be coming up to you from the supply elevator not far from your position. Get armed and take this freak out and remember aim for its weak points the sooner this is over the better, good luck...Jaeger out".

Finished Karl then turned his attention to the command centres screens, taking particular interest in the incoming data of the Angel. Unsurprisingly the enemy angel was an interesting twisted creation, just like the many others that Karl had seen during his time with NERV. Like many others the twisted image of this latest angel unnerved him slightly, but as he continued reading the incoming data, the fact that this angel appeared to be absorbing electricity from the surroundings worried Karl. Eva's run on electricity as well Karl thought and if the Angel may have the ability to absorb electricity this may reduce the effectiveness of the strike team.

Concerned, Karl raised his issue with the commander

"Ma'am" Karl spoke looking at Amira "From the incoming data we can assume that this Angel may have the ability to absorb electricity from the surrounding buildings. If this is true then it may be able to absorb the power off of the team's Evas which will seriously reduce their effectiveness in combat. I would advise caution commander. CQB combat may be risky but from recent events so will range". Karl spoke gesturing to the latest images of the Angels attack

"If this angel feeds off of energy then shall we deprive it of it?" Amira asked rhetorically. She scanned the images on the screens carefully, seeing Kushiel take out the missile turret with ease. If Karl was write and Kushiel feed off of the surrounding electricity not to mention the energy from whatever attacks it then perhaps removing of its power source would weaken. There was also the thought of giving it a large amount of electricity in an attempt to overload it but that idea was incredibly risky.

"Recede the buildings nearest Kushiel. I want all the turrets to open up on the swarm with emphasis on the closest ones to the Geofront or the breaches. Ground forces, seperate the swarm in clusters. We don't want them to form up." Then she moved to the EVA's. With their arms already en route, having the long distance advantage should be in their hands soon.

"The Units that need their weapons, fetch them immediately and engage Kurhiel but keep your distance. Especially watch for that whip. Melee units if you see a chance in slicing off that whip then take it. And watch for friendly fire." Amira advised after giving her slew of orders.

Through her own telemetry links, Lillian watched the Angel in silence. During her training, and even once she was declared operational, one of her superiors biggest complaints was her lack of communication...she'd spent too much time hunting with her father to break that habit easily. Hunched over, like a beast waiting to strike, 41 shifted uneasily from foot to foot, while its hands balled into fists....'she' was getting more and more restless. Hang on just a moment girl...we'll get to it soon enough.

Lillian flinch a bit as Kushiel's tentacle lashed out and destroyed a turret at range. "Damn..." She muttered. "That might be a problem." If it could channel all that power it as leeching out of the city, this might be tougher than she'd first thought.

"Strike team this is Jaeger. For those of you that need them, weapons are en route and should be coming up to you from the supply elevator not far from your position. Get armed and take this freak out and remember aim for its weak points the sooner this is over the better, good luck...Jaeger out".

As the weapons broke the surface, they moved, snatching their rifle from its rack before it had even stopped moving. "Unit-41 engaging!" Lillian called out. Their sync ratio at 85%, they took off at a run roughly parallel to the impact site. Pushing out with their AT field, she configured it to do two things; one, reduce the air density until 41 was running in a near vacuum, and two reduce to localized gravity. The net result was an Eva running at speeds reserved for jet aircraft. At 85% sync she wasn't piloting some massive construct that was running, though Neo-London, she was running through Neo-London; devouring several city blocks with each stride.

"41, command. Springboard panel 53 Alpha!" She said. One cue, one of the 'road' panels snapped up at a 45 degree angle, just as she stepped on to it. Those, combined with an explosive push from 41s legs, lead to the Unit launching high into the air. Twisting as they flew, Lillian brought their rifle to bear, and began pouring fire into the weaker upper AT field at about a kilometre out.

"Unit-82, get a clear view of Kushiel and stand-by. You're the best eyes we have on the ground at the moment."

D-18 didn't respond; there was no need. She was made to follow orders and there was no reason to believe this was about to change. Keeping her link active, she moved Unit-82 to find a better vantage point. She found one on top of one of the taller buildings not retracted into the ground. There, she knelt down on one knee and assumed a defensive posture with her progressive knife in one hand and the other supporting her A.T. Field as a form of shield. She would remain there for until her orders changed.

While she was waiting, she read the data the Magi and the officers were sending back. Swarms of mind-controlled bugs, Powerful lower A.T. Field, Weaker upper A.T. Field. Whips, Energy Absorption, every piece of information she was given. She took it all in and filed it away for use.

She didn't need to wait long. Less than a minute later, new orders arrived. "... Especially watch for that whip. Melee units if you see a chance in slicing off that whip then take it. And watch for friendly fire."

"Priority 1: Remove Whip. Priority 2: Avoid unnecessary damage" She thought to herself before making her move. She returned her knife to its sheath where it would be ready at a moments notice. From there, she swung her weapon around to the front and took aim at the base of the Whip. When the moment was right, she would take her shot. Next came the support. "Unit-75" she said through the communication channels. "I'm going to draw the angel's attention. Please use this chance to remove the whip."

Her message away, she took the shot; firing the positron cannon at the divine-being's whip. As soon as it was done, she dropped the weapon and threw her A.T. Field into full defense. If there information was accurate, then the whip would respond. When it did, she was ready to catch it and give the others their chance.

Lagging behind the others came another Evangelion, a creamy white unit with a reptilian face. Its sluggish, otherworldly motions brought it into line by the supply elevator. A hand groped at a rail rifle, removing it from its stand. A quiet voice said on the radio, "D. Waters reporting. I'll move into position now."

Waters felt lighter than air in the amber liquid that surrounded it. A sensation unlike anything it'd ever experienced before. D. couldn't help but bounce in its seat a little as Unit-99 lumbered through the city, seeking a spot to flank this massive pillar. Even as the Eva moved, D. kept one eye on the alien tower, its lips curling into a little smile. This was an Angel then? It was so much bigger than D. had expected. It didn't look like a living being, except maybe for its eyes. "Such beautiful colors..." It reached a spot that it liked on a hill overlooking the battleground. As the others got into position, D. squeezed its grips as tightly as it could. To its glee, the massive weapon it wielded knelt down as he willed. "This is amazing!"

The rail rifle was hefted up and took aim. Information was streaming in about the creature. D. tilted its head as it skimmed through the briefing. It mused to itself, "How do they already know so much about this Angel? How do you study a big, strange thing like that?" Waters shrugged and put a finger over the trigger. It appeared that one of its squadmates was already firing off a shot to distract the large thing's whip. Strange; her name was also D. The name was familiar, and intriguing to the pilot. "Maybe we can be friends. Now," it said, attention returned to the matter at hand. "AT Field's weaker... up top? Maybe I can..."

Waters gently squeezed the trigger and began popping shots near the top of the giant lighthouse; it seemed to D. like it was a lighthouse, anyway. A few might even get through, it hoped.

"Or, at least, something cool might happen."

"Unit-75, I'm going to draw the angel's attention. Please use this chance to remove the whip."

Gale heard the girls voice over the comm system and nodded to himself, the LCL in his plug seeming to pulse as he immediately pushed up past unit-13 and toward the angel. The same chill he had felt countless times before began to seep into him, making him feel cold, yet at the same time more alert. Reaper followed his every command flawlessly, as Gale brought up his rifle and aimed at the tower. He heard gunfire and saw some of the other Evangelion's already firing up at the totem-pole like angel.

"82 this is 75, I'm moving on your position now." Gale said, urging Reaper forward in a slight jog. It took only seconds for Gale to reach his destination, and for unit-75 to climb it's way to the top of the building where 82 was located. Gale instinctively opened up his left wing, drawing his progressive knife, and dropped his rifle into the now empty wing. The knife was a large black thing, with an incredibly sharp edge and two wicked looking hooks on the backside of the dagger. With his preparations complete, Gale crouched down, waiting for the angel to strike as he stood almost beside unit 82.

Amira watched the units start to take action against the Angel which made her quite happy. Not exactly ecstatic but happy that they are competent enough to not only follow orders but also take initiative. She's read all their files, once, twice, three times over to get a feel for who these people really are. Some of them were bred for this kind of combat, others were trained and a few just so happen to be good at it. She glanced over the units to track their progress when she noticed Unit 67.

James York is his name and he is a local here which she put as a plus but the fact of the matter was that he had never seen combat before. Well, not a lot of these kids have but at least they knew exactly what they were facing. Amira felt "Jamie" didn't have his bearings just yet.

"Unit-67, I'm highlighting several condensed pockets of the swarm. Take them out. Squish them if you have to." Amira ordered.

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Bright eyes watched the misshapen angel lash out at the fleas that pestered it. A small part of Iggy hoped that turret was machine operated, that no maintenance crews or simple passer byes had been sacrificed in that failed attack. That small part of Iggy's mind registered its complaint, a fraction of a percent of protest in a great vast sea of not giving a damn! Mourn for the dead later, shed those tears later, save the melancholy for the afterglow, and for now... make the bastard bleed!

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For a few seconds Iggy could no longer understand the commands coming from HQ, paying no heed to the words or the warnings. The only orders that mattered to the beast had been given long ago. Kushiel had made its first mistake, flinched at the vital moment and thus shown weakness. Let it happen just once more and Iggy would strike, the demon would move, and the Wendigo would feed at long last. Iggy noted beloved brothers and sisters moving into action, teasing out a response from the prey and Iggy thanked them for their efforts, though in the end, they wouldn't matter. None of it would matter, only the moment would matter, an instant of time when all the universe was right and the sheer, utter joy of it all flooded Iggy's veins.

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Unit-82 and another teased the Angel, firing of a hail of bullets at its head, pricking at its weakness. They pricked and pricked and pricked and there! There the great creature flinched once more, lashing out with that strange tentacle, that most obvious target. In all its anger, Kushiel bared what might as well have been a throat for all Iggy cared. The tension in a coiled spring loosed all at once, every muscle in Unit-77's body propelling it forward, launching it at a speed that sent London-2's detritus flying. The Eva's nature tended to noticeably focus its rather energetic pilot, channeling all that excess energy into the Hunt. But in this moment, both souls found perfectly common ground, in this one beautiful space, there could be perfect, joyous, wild abandon, "OH HELLS THE FUCK YES! MINE!"

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Three great bounds and the beast was upon the towering angel, scaling it, using the resistance of the angel's AT Field to climb the creature like a tree, oblivious to the gunfire of its allies. The lashing tentacle had yet to find it's mark when Iggy found his. One mighty swipe and the progressive blades on the claws of one hand whined as they tore through what remained of Kushiel's weaker upper AT Field like tissue paper. The Eva's teeth sank home, tearing into the body of the Angel where the tentacle originated. A sound like crumbling masonry and tearing flesh echoed through the fortress city as the Wendigo took its prize, a sizable hunk out of Kushiel's towering frame, tentacle dead and dangling from it, a gout of blood spraying out of the wound.

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Without a moment's hesitation, Unit-77 pulled back, pumping mighty legs and pushing off of the angel's form, twisting at it landed, crouched, back on solid concrete and dashing away, one goal complete. It circled back towards the umbilical cord it had abandoned without a second thought, ready to reattach and wait once more. The waiting didn't bother it, the reward was always sweet. It dropped the hunk of angel flesh and licked its chops, terrible jaws dripping, mouth caught in something almost like a grin as its tongue lolled out. Inside the plug, Iggy's face played the Eva's mirror, his breath coming in giddy pants as a frantic sort of chuckle bubbled up from inside his chest, "Tentacle neutralized."

"Strike team this is Jaeger."

The sudden burst of sound cut through the LCL, the entry plug's speakers doing a fantastic job of replicating the Colonel's voice. Shaking her head, Tammy tried to focus on the man's voice, to think about something other than the fear coursing through her veins.

"For those of you that need them, weapons are en route and should be coming up to you from the supply elevator not far from your position."

A loud clunking noise, coming from the platform behind her and a little to her left, caught the pilot's attention. Twisting her (and Unit-73's) head around, she noted the massive, building sized container that had just burst up from beneath the earth. More specifically, she noted its only contents.

The Rail Rifle (MKI, to be precise) was simply enormous; there was really no other way to describe it. Easily 75 meters long, it was the product of taking an ordinary sniper rifle and increasing its scale to an incredible degree. What semi-magical properties kept it from collapsing under its own weight, Tammy didn't know. She did, however, know one little detail about it:

It packed a hell of a punch.

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"Get armed and take this freak out and remember aim for its weak points the sooner this is over the better, good luck...Jaeger out."

"Can do, sir," Tammy replied, her words finally carrying a bit of strength and confidence. "Thank you for the gun!" Striding forward, Unit-73 reached out and tore the gun from its casing. Its fingers wrapping tightly around the rifle's massive stock and barrel, the Eva began to move, taking a few cautious steps towards the city. The addition of a few thousand tons of steel, glass, and gunpowder did little to slow it down; Unit-73 hefted the weapon as easily as Tammy could have handled her little brother's BB gun.

"The Units that need their weapons, fetch them immediately and engage Kurhiel but keep your distance."

Standing roughly fifteen kilometers away from the Angel's impact site, Tammy sent Unit-73 into a half-kneeling position and brought the Rail Rifle up to the Eva's shoulder. With quick, practiced movements, she lined up with the cross-hairs and stared down the barrel of the gun, slowing her breathing until the scope was almost perfectly still.

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The girl could feel her, no, Unit-73's finger resting against the trigger. All it would take was a single motion, and she'd really be a part of this battle. She'd be doing her part to keep the world safe. But still... She hesitated. Squeezing that simple, relatively small lever was proving nearly impossible; some part of her was still afraid of actually engaging the Angel. Unbidden, images of what had happened to the turret flashed through her mind, and Tammy felt her hands trembling again.

She could hear the other pilots, all of them in their Evas and so sure of themselves, making plans and launching their own attacks. But the thought of that impossibly long, impossibly alien tendril lancing through the air and taking her head off...

"Come on, come on, come on," she muttered, trying to coax herself into pulling the trigger. "Come on, come on, come on, come on."

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"Come o-"

"OH HELLS THE FUCK YES! MINE!"

A part of Tammy registered the fact that Unit-77 was currently hurtling through the air like some kind of massive, humanoid missile, but most of her could only sit there in dumb shock. It was only after the other Eva had scaled to the top of the Angel, smashed through its defenses, and simply ripped its tentacle out with its teeth that she found herself able to properly move and think again.

Hell, it wasn't like she had anything to be afraid of anymore.

"Okay, screw it. Unit-73, firing!"

As Unit-77 jumped clear of the Angel, Tammy finally pulled the trigger. And with a report loud enough to shatter unprotected eardrums, Uni-73 sent a bullet the approximate size and at least ten times denser than a city bus hurtling towards Kurhiel's now undefended upper-segment.

Then it sent another four for good measure, each shot coming about one and a half seconds after the one before it.

Unit-82 targeted Kushiel from it's elevated position. The Angel didn't wait for her to fire, attacking as soon as she raised her weapon. The whip lashed out at her, but she raised her A.T. Field defenses swiftly enough to avoid being cut in two. Instead it wrapped around the Eva's waist, thrashing it through the air, beating it against the sides of buildings and the ground and inflicting surges until Kushiel held the Eva in an attempt to squeeze the life out of it. Positron Cannon shots flew everywhere.

Unit 41 was soaring through the air, leaping and firing downward through the lesser A.T. field at the Angels top. Though Kushiel's shell appears to be made of stone, it is really a chitinous material similar to that of an insect. It is incredibly durable and actually absorbs most of the blows by distributing the force of the impact and reducing the strain taken by direct hits. It's because of this strong, yet flexible surface that it did not crack under the incredible force of its impact with the earth. Most bullets will bounce off harmlessly.

The Battle Rifle damaged the Angel's wings and tentacle appendage. It flung Unit-82 away and struck toward Lillian' Eva. She twisted the Evangelion in midair and the tentacle went sailing past.

Gale in Unit-75 was rushing into the fray, while Waters in Unit-99 stayed back and opened fire.

Unit-77 had berserked and was swiping into its flesh in a rage. The Angel's shell still withstood them, but was cracking from the numerous attacks coming from every unit. The whip appendage was torn off, and finally a a trench was opened in the Kushiel's upper body from the firing and the Berserk Eva created a large hole in it's lower portion.

Unit-77 was now covered in Spawn. They begin to pour forth from the "wounds"; the Pillar-body could be compared to a container or incubator. The Eva roared as they swarmed over it and liquified it's armor and flesh. Others secrete a rich substance that helps to rebuild the lost pieces.

It was through the battle that he saw Kushiel's core in the lower region of it's pillar-body.

"Core spotted. I repeat the core has been spotted." Amira said to all of the pilots. Whatever the pilots were doing, it was working. The tentacle was removed but now the swarm was spilling from its open wounds both attacking Unit-77 and trying to repair the wound. She needed everyone attacking the exposed core at once.

"Ranged Units increase the fire. I want that core exposed so that one of you can plunge a Progressive knife into it." The action was frantic but Amira knew that it was best to remain composed and calm. Any slip of common judgement could mean deadly for everyone.

Gale reacted instantly, putting away his knife and drawing forth his battle rifle again to duck aside as some of the stray positron shots slammed into the building beside him. Gale could now feel the familiar chill, not from the LCL, but from the evangelion itself. Gale watched as the evangelion beside him was plucked off of the building, being slammed about like a rag doll before tossed aside like some scrap metal. Both wings closed as Gale raised his rifle and aimed at the angel, lining up his sights with the hole that unit-77 had made in the shell.

"77, can you keep tearing away at the pillar?" Gale asked through the comm, jumping down from the building he was on to a slightly smaller one beside it so he could get a clear shot on the pillar's open hole.

Gale pulled the trigger, squeezing off a few rounds at the opening and making sure to take care in not hitting the other evangelion. Gale glanced down at the system for a brief second. 77%. Gale took his eyes away from the synchronization rate, and instead opened up his comm system again.

"82, are you alright?" Gale asked, just seconds before another voice on the comm spoke up.

"Core spotted. I repeat the core has been spotted. Ranged Units increase the fire. I want that core exposed so that one of you can plunge a Progressive knife into it."

"Yes ma'am." Gale said, this time centering his aim on the bottom of the hole and firing.

"Shit" Karl spat as he watched the strike teams battle with the angel unfolding. Even with most of the strike team giving their all against the abomination it didn't seem to make much of an impact. Unit-77 was the only one who appeared to be making any serious damage, however the young fool let his Eva get the better of him and now he was off the edge. The damage that Unit-77 had done, only served to act as a hole for more of those beetle like things to crawl out of so they could swarm unit-77 and try to repair the damage he had done.

"Core spotted. I repeat the core has been spotted. Ranged Units increase the fire. I want that core exposed so that one of you can plunge a Progressive knife into it."

The commander was right, the core was exposed and all effort should be put into delivering the final blow against the abomination. However Unit-77 was still berserked and that meant that he was a potential risk to himself and his comrades. Karl had unluckily seen the damage that a berserked Eva could unleash several years ago and the results weren't pretty.

"Commander" Karl spoke addressing Amira over the noise of the Command centre "Unit-77 has berserked, which means that he is a danger to the mission and should be avoided. The team should continue with your orders; however they need to maintain a safe distance from him. If they don't...it may get bloody...I've seen what can happen".

Mark hat sat back for the majority of the fight, studying the Angel's AT field and the surrounding variables that would effect the shots from his positron rifle. By the time the core was exposed, he had all the information required.

"Ranged Units increase the fire. I want that core exposed so that one of you can plunge a Progressive knife into it."

"Roger, Unit 13-B is commencing scatter barrage." Mark left his token warning echo through the comms as he raised his AT field in small-panel form several key spots ahead of him. Taking aim, Big Roger leveled the gun, not at the Angel or its Spawn, but at one of the panels.

Then, he fired, and the beam of light hit the panel was was suddenly redirected towards another panel, which redirected it again. The beam hit one panel after another and appeared to relatively slow down, until it hit the last panel. Instead of bouncing off, the beam passed through the panel, and was split into many small beams of light, as if splitting off from a prism.

The shots, while too weak to substantially harm the Angel, saturated the area around it, causing grievous harm to the Spawn that were serving as the Angel's defense.

At first, the plan seemed to work. She didn't even need to fire to get the Angel's attention and when the whip hit, her A.T. Field held up blocking the Angel's cutting power. Then, in a split second, the plan was shattered. The Angel wrapped it's whip around her and - though her A.T. Field held - the Angel was able to life her and throw her around like a rag doll.

It's first decision was to smash her through a large building - a parking garage by appearances - and into an old apartment building. When the Eva came to a halt at the end of the swing, the angel lifted her up and repeated; this time through a different apartment complex and a shopping center. Finally, it swung once more, slamming Unit-82 head first into the pavement.

All things told, it could have been worse. Her A.T. Field absorbed most of the strikes without significant damage. At most, it was a drain on her power supply. Perhaps realizing this, Kushiel changed tactics, trying to squeeze the life from her. This was far more effective, placing ab enormous burden on the A.T. Field as well as the Eva - and herself by extension. She could feel her Eva's rib cage begin to crack under the weight of the tentacle as it tried to choke her to death. In her struggle, her fingers pressed the trigger for her weapon, sending blasts of positrons in random directions.

Fortunately for her, the others managed to draw the ire of the beast, causing it to toss her aside. She flew nearly a mile before unceremoniously crashing into the entertainment district, demolishing six pubs, two nightclubs, and a house of ill repute.

A few seconds later, her commlink sprung to life "Core spotted. I repeat the core has been spotted." the commander said, urging them forward. She complied with the demand, rising to her feet ignoring the Eva's neural feedback. She was needed back on the front line; where she belonged.

"82, are you alright?" the voice of another pilot said through the same link. "Moderate damage sustained to the torso. All systems are still operational. Returning to operation zone now" she replied, making her way back to the front.

When she arrived at the front, she made a line toward the base of the Angel, following the channel Unit-13B had carved while surrounding herself with a nearly spherical A.T. Field to protect herself from further whip attacks. She then drew her Progressive Knife in case the enemy swarm closed in and broadcasted her move to all the other units and commanding officers. "Unit-82 will attempt to neutralize the target's A.T. Field. Suggest focused attention there."

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Iggy felt the buzzing in his ears fade somewhat, the light-headed giddiness grounding itself once more in the needs of the present. His blood still felt hot, but in some things he and 77 were in complete agreement, now was no time to give into ecstatic thrill, that could come later. For now, there was a still a Hunt to be had, the prey wounded, its soft spots exposed, but far from dead and farther from harmless.

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An odd sensation came with the calm, something like... itching. Iggy scanned his arms, his legs and noticed the Swarm for the first time. He tasted panic in the back of this throat, a bitter bile and hardly helpful now. He rode the flood, just as he'd done before, let the emotion wash over him, drown him, then bleed away, "Oh this will not do."

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The beast began systematically stripping its hide of the pests. The acid burned, ate into its armor, but all burns pass and armor is thick. With finger, tooth, and foot, it tore at its fleas, snapping at them as a few fled. Unit-77 let loose a low, lingering growl, its AT Field drawing up close about its person. With one vigorous shake of its body, the AT Field inverted, bristling outwards like drying fur and impaling the few members of the swarm that lingered.

"77, can you keep tearing away at the pillar?"

Iggy perked up at the request, but could only offer a shrug, "Buddy, I'd love to, but I gotta bitch of an itch on my left ass cheek with plenty of cousins thanks to those little, squishy things. Can anyone clear-"

A beautiful bit of strategy shut Iggy down mid-sentence as 13 served up a rather glorious laser carpet bomb, burning away the Spawn clustered about the Angel's lower section. Iggy offered the tactic a hearty gale of somewhat frantic laughter, "Lovely!"

77 detached the great sword that was horn, feeling it lengthen as it tasted more and more of the Eva's AT-Field. One beastial hand grasped the curved hilt as the Eva's position shifted, the next attack would not be a lunge, but a dash, "A concern. If we ding the core here... don't we take out a chunk of the city? Maybe cut the leech out before we burn it? A couple of us can get to cutting, and it'll take at least another three to hot potato this biggun into the hills...."

Lillian could almost feel the tentacle pass as they twisted to avoid it. "THAT was too fucking close!" Watching the bullets impact with little effect, she gave a snort of disgust. Landing in a cloud of dust and small debris (cars, trucks, and one unfortunate stray dog), she dumped the now empty mag from her rifle, and took the spare from Pat's left wing. "Unit-41 requesting additional ammo to my location."

As she was doing all this, she watched as Unit-77 tore the tentacle of with its teeth. "Jesus titty-fucking Christ...." Lillian wasn't a huge fan of Berserkers, they tended to be a little unstable even at the best of times, and generally their pilots weren't much better.

"Ranged Units increase the fire. I want that core exposed so that one of you can plunge a Progressive knife into it."

"Understood." Moments later a weapon lift arrived near her, it rack loaded with spare mags for her rifle. Taking a knee beside it, she popped a new mag into her empty wing, and then sighted in on the wound. The rifle roared, pouring a stream of shells at the opening, chipping away slowly at the Angel. Simultaneously, she drove their AT field like a spike into the Angel's own, forcing a gap through which the torrent of fire thundered.

"Ranged Units increase the fire. I want that core exposed so that one of you can plunge a Progressive knife into it."

"Roger roger."

Waters upped the pressure, pouring in shots at a slowly increasing rate. The bullets seemed to impact the AT Field helplessly, but it supposed that damage wasn't the point. Unit-99 was a support unit in this operation, and existed to put enough suppressing fire down that the others might be able to get an effective strike in. The idea behind such draconic squad tactics baffled Waters from the first day of training. "To save a hundred people, you must sacrifice ten. To save a thousand, you must sacrifice a hundred."

Even in battle, D. was distracted by its train of thought.

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The Neo-Spartan's synch rate began to dwindle as it pursued its thoughts. Why do humans believe that sacrifices must be made for victory? Why are others sacrificed to "save" those deemed more important? What's the point of a rescue, if everyone isn't saved?

Like Unit-77. Coated in those Spawn, acid melting away the Eva's flesh, and the pilot shielded in its core. Chosen to take the pain so others could kill this Angel. D. watched as another pilot came to "Iggy's" aid, burning away the creatures that tried to devour him. It was a crackerjack shot, it thought to itself. It could probably have sped the process, prevented pain.

Waters kept shooting. Saving its squadmates were not its orders. The Angel had to die. "A concern. If we ding the core here... don't we take out a chunk of the city? Maybe cut the leech out before we burn it? A couple of us can get to cutting, and it'll take at least another three to hot potato this biggun into the hills...."

But Iggy didn't seem to understand that. Over the comm D. quietly explained the reality of the situation.

"Our objective is the neutralization of the Angel, above all else. Pursuit of secondary objectives to preserve civilian lives only endangers both our pilots and the overall safety of London-2. Collateral damage is acceptable in warfare. Now, focus."

Waters kept on the pressure. Unit-82 was preparing for the next push, and Waters would ensure its squadmate completed their objective.

"Make a note of Unit-77 and the pilot's lack of control during this operation,"Jacoline said calmly, the first words she had uttered since the Angel attack had begun. These pilots were children, but soldiers all the same, and no Berserker could be allowed to lose control of their monster at the mere sight of an Angel. Bringing up the pilot's information, she found he was one of the Neo-Spartans, something that would not go over well with the Operations Director. But they could afford to have a single pilot grounded. For now.

She admitted she understood little about the Evas or their special connection to their pilots, but the one thing she did know was that as much as scientists would claim something to be impossible, there would always be the lone grunt that proved the impossible possible. And for the moment, she was unsure of if it was possible that the attitude of a pilot within their Eva could transfer that same behavior outside of the plug suit. The Evas were living creatures of a sort as far as she could understand, so why would they not pass on their behavior to the ones controlling them?

"Unit-67, I'm highlighting several condensed pockets of the swarm. Take them out. Squish them if you have to."

"yes ma'am!" Jamie squeaked as the container holding his positron rifle sprang up across the street from him. 67 perked up at that and even more once he was actually holding the rifle. The HUD even seemed brighter and not just because of the splashes of colour showing where the little angel things had gathered together. Jamie could have sworn that the hair on the back of his neck was standing on end and that there was a distant snickering moving through the EVA. He remembered 67 had been like this during their brief time in training together. Jamie still wasn't sure if it was just excited or if it was laughing at him in particular.

"Well let's get going, right?!" He puffed out his chest, trying to sound commanding.

67 picked up speed and rumbled through the city streets swooping around every corner like it was on a rollercoaster. Until they came across the enarest swarm. Were...were they melting the city.

"Urgh!" Jamie recoiled from the grim site. They were everywhere! Crawling all over each other and the noise, oh the noise. He couldn't work out what was shell or face or feet in the swarming mass of moving forms. He never had liked bugs.

57% and 67 was almost growling at the sight of it all, just waiting to be let off the leash. It gave Jamie a little bit of confidence at least. The EVA held it's rifle low as the positron weapon hummed and charged, 67's excitment growing with each second.

70% And they pulled the trigger, a blast of energy went screaming towards their target.

Iggy regained control of his berserking Evangelion to realize it was being liquified. Waves of spawn out of the aperture it had opened, the smaller creatures attacking the Eva with their molecular disassembler secretions. They melted armor, burrowed into Unit-77's body and were turning it into a slush.

Unit-77 frantically reacted, shaking vigorously, smacking the beings off, crushing them in it's hands. A weak rain of positrons flowed over him, Big Roger ingeniously scattering the positron beam through A.T. Field manipulation. The berserker Eva was barely touched, but the small beings were inundated. The ones shielded from the positrons were destroyed soon after by Unit-77 turning it's own A.T. Field against them.

Behind Waters, the Provisional Unit cruised the edge of the battle, using the mobility of its wheeled frame to stop any Spawn from escaping.

Lillian deployed her A.T. Field against the Angel, neutralizing it and giving a clear path for her weapon. Gale rushed into position. They both targeted the Core with their Battle Rifles, sending a hail of fire past Iggy, through the regenerating wound. Vast bullets impacted the Core, cracking it.

The Angel is defeated. In it's death knell, Kushiel's body fractured and exploded. The shining wings erupted in a storm of lightning, while all around London-2 the Spawn evaporate into vapor.

It was only hours later, back in Nerv HQ and after extensive debriefing, that the pilots were at last brought together.

Well, that went well.

Tammy was irritated, to say the least. Irritated that she'd just had to sit through hours of people dressed up in lab coats and jumpsuits poking at her, asking her bizarre questions, and talking to her in a mixture of English and technical jargon that just had to be made up. Irritated that, instead of getting a nice, long shower, she'd been tossed into a freezing cold sterilization chamber (was hot water really that hard to come by these days?) and had nearly half a dozen layers of skin flayed off. Irritated that she still didn't understand half of what was going on around here.

Irritated that her total contribution in the fight against the Angel amounted to jack shit in the grand scheme of things.

She was hungry, tired, and wanted nothing more than to crawl back to her quarters and collapse onto her cot. She didn't even care about that paper-thin thing Nerv had the gall to call a mattress anymore; she would have gladly slept on a pile of rocks and broken glass, on the off chance that one was available.

But no. Instead, here she was, in yet another of the Geofront's seemingly infinite supply of cold, sterile, and perfectly white rooms. Here she was, effectively trapped, with all of the other pilots. The ones that were actually competent, if their performance in today's battle was anything to go by.

Tammy didn't want to be here. She didn't want to have to deal with this sort of thing right now.

However, it was a bit too much to expect the universe to cater to her every whim and desire. Some part of the girl, the sane, rational part, recognized that. So, she might as well make the best of the situation, because whining about it sure as hell wasn't going to change anything.

"Pchooo..."

Sighing, Tammy leaned forward in her seat, her eyes circling around the room and studying the other pilots. She had of course heard from her handlers that the other pilots were kids as well, but she hadn't imagined that some of them would be so young. Some of them looked to be about her age, if not older, but most of them couldn't be old enough to get their driver's licence. Christ, one of them looked like he couldn't be much more than 11 or 12.

The situation was funny enough to bring a tired smile to Tammy's face. A group of kids from all over the world, most of them probably just hitting or still going through puberty. If they were anywhere else, they might've been mistaken as some high school class going on a field trip. It was only here that they were recognized as the only force capable of taking on an Angel.

...On second thought, maybe it wasn't so funny. And the icy silence sure as hell wasn't helping things.

"Sooooo," the girl began, dragging out the word far longer than necessary. "I'm Tammy O'Neal. I'm 17, I'm from Limerick (the city, not the poem), and when I grow up I want to be a certified public accountant." Somehow, she managed to find the energy to raise one of her hands in a half-wave, and to keep that tired smile on her face. Being friendly never hurt anybody, and when you got down to it they were all in the same boat. A bit of camaraderie might end up going a long way.

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