Three year old Shinji Ikari sat outside in the loby of a certain hospital room. The boy was really too young to process what was going on around him. Terms being thrown about such as "Contact Experiment" and "Deadly repercussions."
Instead, he sat in a chair, a small cassette tape Walkman player in hand, and bright blue headphones over his ears, listening to the mix-tape that his mother had given him just before she'd gone in to perform some 'tests.' At this age, he couldn't quite understand the true meaning of the words to the song, and it would likely be some time before he did.
It was then that his father stepped out of the room, a hollow look on his face like such that Shinji had never seen before....and likely never would, given his current fixation on staring at his shoes- laces lovingly tied up into giant bunny ears by his mother that very morning.
Gendo Ikari put on a solid look to his face. He had to be brave. He couldn't let the kid see him be afraid...
"Shinji," He voiced, hopefully loud enough to speak over the music. But it wasn't. For a moment, Gendo felt his throat choke up, and then he walked over to his son, kneeling down and reaching out to press the stop button on the walkman. "Shinji," he repeated, getting the boy's attention as the song stopped.
"What?" Shinji asked, looking up with that child like innocence... "Is mommy alright?"
God, and all the Angels beneath him, be damned- Gendo's heart clenched up. His mask nearly broke. So much love in that kid's heart, so much concern...
And here he was about to shatter them all.
"Your...mother would like to speak to you," He had to force it out- clinically cold. Devoid of emotion. Had to. If he didn't he would break down and...
"'Kay..." And with that, Gendo led his son in to see his mother...Yui Ikari...for the final time.
And it wasn't just that the boy's mother was in there- Yui was his wife, damn it all! How could she have been so reckless to throw herself into the Evangelion like that?? She knew the risks and now...!
"Hey, Shinji-kun...." Yui smiled at the boy as he entered the room. She looked horrible. Head half-bandaged up in formerly white pieces of cloth that were stained orange, and slowly turning red. At Shinji's angle, he couldn't see it, but her legs were gone completely. "C'mmere for a second, 'kay...?"
"'Kay," Shinji stepped up to the bed, and then Yui smiled at him as she motioned to Fuyutsuki, and he quickly handed her a small wrapped present.
"Shinji-kun, I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll be able to give you this on your birthday like I planed...." Yui handed him the present... "I've...got to go away on a trip. For a very long time."
"To where?" Shinji asked.
"I've got to..." She giggled in a way that rang hollow to Gendo, "have a few words with a Spirit in the Sky." She tapped at the box. "Open it for me, please? I want to see your smile before I go..."
"Okay..." And the boy opened the packaging- the small box fell away to reveal a small silver key, something that looked ornamental but Gendo knew it held so much more significance. Why would Yui--?? "What is it...?"
"It's a necklace," Yui said, moving her hand to point at the chain that the key was attached to. "Whenever things get tough...tougher than you'd ever thought possible...that key will open the way for you to get past it. So keep it close, okay?"
Shinji nodded, and took the key-turned-necklace out of the box. Yui smiled, observing him with one visible eye as he put it on. "The chain's a bit big..." Shinji said.
"Of course it is," Yui smiled, "you'll grow with it. I know you'll be so dashing with it in a few years...I can't wait to see you then." Gendo's heart tore at him. The boy had no clue what she meant and by the time he figured it out...
"Do you really have to leave?" Shinji asked, frowning in that sad way that only children could pull off.
"I do..." she nodded, "but I'm....I'll always be with you, Shinji-kun." She eyed the headphones around his neck, and she said, "Whenever you listen to that tape, I'll be there. So take care of it well, okay, Shinji-kun?"
"Okay, I will," he nodded.
"Now can you smile for me, Shinji?"
"Thank you, Shinji."
And then Yui Ikari's eye closed, and her breath left her.
"Mommy...?" Shinji blinked- and somewhere in that young, innocent mind of his, he understood what had happened. Tears began to well up in his eyes....
Gendo allowed himself to break just that once as he swept his son up into a mighty hug.
XROS MUSIC EVANGELION.
"Everything Under the Sun"
THIRTEEN YEARS LATER...
_The service you are trying to use is currently out of servi--*TAh-RIING!*_
The payphone was curtly put back up before it's out-of-service message could even play all the way through.
"Arrra....so much for that," Shinji Ikari (Age Sixteen) turned away and began walking down the empty streets of Tokyo-3.
Sirens blared distantly, and the wind skimmed through the void, carrying the sound past the teen's ears in a way that made him shrug his brown-leather jacket on tighter. Presently, he reached into his pants pockets- the worn jeans that had seen better days, and pulled out a set of folding headphones. With a slight twist of his messily tied shoes as he walked, he put the headphones over his ears and then reached into the other pocket side, on his jacket this time, with the cord from the headphones.
There was a faint click, and then a motion of his hands a moment later caused a louder 'clack' sound of a large button being pressed.
Then the music began to play.
With a sway of his hips, Shinji Ikari began to dance down the street.
_Hee~eeell! (Heee~eeell) What's the mater with your head? (Yeah)_
As he skipped down the street, he tore out a post card from his pocket, and began rolling it up into a mock microphone- obscuring the simple text "Come to Tokyo-3."
_Hee~eeell! (Heee~eeell) What's the matter with your mind and your sign and-a-ooh-ohh_
And as Shinji sang, he danced past a ghostly image of a girl with blue hair, and red eyes, wearing some kind of strange, green colored skin-hugging suit...
And he completely ignored her.
_Hee~eeell! (Heee~eeell) Nothin's a matter with your head, baby, find it. Come on and Find it._
The girl disappeared in a blip of static.
_He~eell... with it, baby,_
Shinji continued to even ignore the various pieces of litter in the street, instead kicking them away with time to the music.
_'Cause you're fine and your mine...and you look so diviiiiineee~_
One such random piece of litter was a small tub of powdered orange juice of a certain tangy brand, being straight in Shinji's path. KICK! It went soaring high into the air- tumbling end over end higher and higher than seemingly possible- over the edges of the nearest rooftops...
_Come and Get your Love!_
We could now see why the city was empty- a giant monster of some vague humanoid design with rather beak-y appendages.
_Come and Get your Love!_
The tub came soaring back down towards the ground- landing in a puddle with a splash, only to be crushed a second later by a car tire squealing to a halt ontop of it.
The driver, Misato Katsuragi, just stared out as the child she'd been sent to retrieve just continued to dance down the street, completely unaware of the car now blocking his path.
_Come and Get your Love!_
Shinji, however, did quickly notice upon finding that his foot had met an obstacle that it couldn't clear away.
And with a confused look on his face, he reached into his jacket pocket and moved for the pause button, ending the song on one final _Come and Get your Love!_
Misato regained her composure, and rolled down the driver's side window, "Uh...are you Shinji Ikari, by any chance?"
"Yup, that's me," the teen nodded, taking off his headphones as he moved over to the rather bright red sports car's passenger side. "What? No 'come with me if you want to live'?" He asked after a full few seconds of awkward silence that were especially noticeable once he was actually in the car. "Fiiine," He let out a slight groan, which seemed forced given the smirk on his face. "Take me to your leader!"
Dancing....that had not been on Misato's briefing, and neither had the snark, for that matter.
She focused on the drive instead.
_Eagle Sixteen to Ground, we are engaging the enemy._ Eagle Sixteen's squad had become known as "Nova Squad" through their rigorous training of flying through dangerous situations and taking risks that most others wouldn't, and this certainly counted.
The fighter jets flew over the city of Tokyo-3, aiming for a pass at the monster that had already slain the last wave of attackers with ease.
"Damn it, I hope those things aren't nuclear..." Misato grumbled, glancing over at her passenger as those jets flew over head.
Shinji had completely ignored the briefing folder she'd handed him, and instead was listening to music yet again, singing along quietly to the music that was playing. "oooh, child...things are going to get easier...."
At least in the car he couldn't dance.
They all knew this was a suicide run- but this monster, whatever it's beaky faced name was, marched through Tokyo-3 towards the heart of the city, where it was suspected the last hope Humanity had lay in wait- and though the UN had given orders for it not to be launched yet, it's defense was preferable to the destruction of everything.
Even if that meant the lives of a few fighter jets.
None of this meant anything to the Angel who simply turned around and swatted them out of the skies like gnats.
Unfortunately for the Angel, the "Nova Squad" Was known for one other thing.
...Their jets were powered by N2 Reactors, and were completely remotely operated due to that simple fact.
The Angel's upper body exploded with the blinding white light of a Super Nova as it's arms hit the fighter jets- some exploding then and there, while others dove in for a more direct attack against it's body.
The flashes of light shone over and through the gaps of the buildings as Misato drove towards the nearest Geofront entrance.
"Oh, sure, like those are going to do any good," Misato grumbled.
"Things'll be briiighterrr...." Shinji continued to sing.
One of the surviving jets held back at a distance, waiting for the light show to end...
_This is Eagle Twenty.... Reporting in that....target...._ the smoke cleared- revealing that a massive portion of the Angel's torso had been exploded away, but was already begining to grow back. _Has Not, I repeat has NOT been eliminated._
They reached what appeared to be a giant elevator for a car inside a mundane looking parking garage.
Well, 'appeared' is a loose term, considering that it actually was one. Once they'd parked, the car suddenly began descending rapidly.
"Can you stop singing for a moment and actually read the briefing now?" Misato asked, reaching for the headphones to pry them off of Shinji's ears.
Surprisingly, his reflexes were faster than she expected, and he slapped her hand away with ease, even while sending a slightly angry glance her way.
"Alright alright, I get it," She grumbled, "No touching the headphones."
"Or the Walkman." Shinji pulled his headphones off of his own free will, though he hadn't stopped the song from playing, leaving it to play out faintly from the speakers into the cabin.
"Or the-" Misato sighed, "got it. Don't touch your music stuff."
"So you want me to read all of this stuff then," Shinji asked, opening up the folder and looking through it. "Isn't there a cliff notes version?"
"I could give you one, but everything you need to know is in there," Misato replied. "And by the way, I never introduced myself yet. I'm--"
"Lieutenant Colonel Misato Katsuragi," Shinji read off of the first page of the folder. "Says here you're my handler... Like a spy handler?" He then asked, looking rather serious, "If I become a spy, you've got to promise not to burn me and dump be off in Miami."
Misato raised an eyebrow, had he really just said that? "Something like that," She said as she watched the lights pass upwards while they descended downwards. "I'm basically the self-appointed kid-wrangler. I make sure every one of you under my watch is well adjusted and happy with life in Tokyo-3, well...as well adjusted and happy as you can be in this crapsack world."
"So there's some other motivation for my dad calling me back then?" Shinji turned the page and made an "Ah" sound. "Giant Robot Pilots. Say no more."
"You sound strangely comfortable with the idea of piloting a giant robot," Misato remarked.
"My aunt and uncle had a lot of old shows recorded on VHS pre-impact," Shinji said, "me and my cousin watched them all the time growing up. Those tapes, plus the songs my mom left me, pretty much made up my childhood." Shinji hit the stop button on his Walkman with practiced ease before the next song could start.
"I was told you were going to be some shy kid waiting at the bus stop," Misato noted. "And then you weren't there."
"Ah, yeah, sorry about that," Shinji replied, eyes scanning down the pages rapidly, taking in the info that was there. "I wanted to call ahead to let dad know I was here, but there weren't any payphones near the station, and then the first one I found didn't even work so..." he shrugged, "I figured I'd just walk." He then saw a certain line, "So this says I'm supposed to be the 'Third Child'? If you've got two other pilots why call me in?"
"The Second is at our sister-base with Unit-02 in Germany," Misato explained. "And The First...well, you'll be meeting her shortly."
"Second, got it," Shinji nodded. "What about the first exactly?"
The Car reached the bottom of the shaft- and begun being pulled forwards along a track with a sudden jerk that gave Misato the time to try to figure out what was need-to-know information.
"To say that Unit-00 has anger issues would be putting it mildly. Ritsuko thinks that the AI that got installed has a loose zero and one set somewhere. We tried synchronizing it and the First once already, to see if we could maybe direct that anger at the Angel..." Misato shook her head. "It didn't end well. Honestly, we're amazed Rei's still awake after that thrashing, let alone walking..."
There was a pause, an expected "What?" of surprise.
"Makes sense," Shinji said, "I can't imagine someone would like being a giant robot all that much." He then jokingly said, "Hey, maybe if I play it some of my music, it'll calm down?"
Misato's eye twitched subtly as she tried to understand this. "What gives you the idea that a giant robot would like music?"
"Who wouldn't?" Shinji replied earnestly. "Just because you're a thousand feet tall and have ears made out of metal doesn't mean you can't enjoy a few cool songs every now and again."
Their path took them from the garage through the locker rooms.
"Normally, you'd suit up here in a Plug Suit, but we don't have one ready for you yet- since we need physical measurements to make sure it works right," Misato explained. "So put anything in here that you don't want getting soaked and ruined, for now at least."
"That oxygenated liquid the briefing mentioned, right?" Shinji nodded- making sure to stow away his walkman and headphones, as well as his jacket and shoes, in the locker that was simply labled "3RD." He hesitated on his pants, and then shrugged, saying, "They're ruined enough as it is. Why not let them die with honor?"
That finished, they continued up through the hallway with a sign reading "EVA DOCKS."
As they emerged up into a massive room, cross crossed with walkways, Shinji paused for a moment as he took in the sight before him.
There were three giant cylinders that went from the railing height down all the way to the floor- at least a skyscraper in height beneath them! Inside two of the cylinders were two giant Robots, one was a cyclops with a scratched up white and orange paint-job. ("Unit-00," Misato helpfully informed); and the other was a horned behemoth of purple and green.
"And that's what you'll be piloting," Misato said, "Evangelion Unit-01."
As if on command- the robot's vibrant green eyes flared open and turned dramatically towards Shinji.
The motion was enough to send technicians all over into a startled panic- some people in an observation deck were hurriedly making sure to record whatever data was being put through. Even Misato had jumped and let out a squeak of surprise at the event.
Shinji just met its gaze, almost as if feeling a distant connection to that robot in some way he couldn't quite place.
Then, Unit-01's eyes closed, and it seemed to settle down in content.
"Oh god, that thing creeps me out sometimes," Misato fought to catch her breath.
"I get the feeling it's just lonely," Shinji replied.
"With Mr. Orange-creamsicle over there for company?" Said a woman's voice from across the railing- "I can believe that."
Misato smiled as the owner of the voice stepped out into view, "Shinji, this is Doctor Ritsuko Akagi. She works on the Eva tech and the MAGI computer systems that NERV runs on. Ritsuko, meet Shinji Ikari, our new Pilot."
"Pleasure to meet you, Third," the bottle-blond haired woman said, offering her hand to Shinji. "Hopefully Misato's driving didn't scare you too much."
"Hey! I'm a wonderful driver, thank you very much!" Misato protested.
Shinji just said a simple "Nice to meet you," in return as he shook her hand.
"So then," Ritsuko smiled, "are you ready to get in the giant robot and kick some Angelic Ass?"
"About as ready as I'll ever be, I think," Shinji replied, looking at Unit-01 out of the corner of his eye.
"Well, that's good and all, but you can't go fighting without an Interface Headset," Ritsuko then yelled out across the catwalk. "AYANAMI! GET OVER HERE!"
There was a motion of blue hair across the way- too far for Shinji to see who it was.
"I read about that, I think the briefing called them A2 connectors or something?" Shinji asked for confirmation.
"Some of my staff informally calls them A10's," Ritsuko frowned, "Never heard of an "A2" Before though..." She waved it off, "Probably a typo. Someone was in a rush writing it, I'd guess. I'll take a look at it later."
The room containing the Evangelion Robots was large- the walkway connecting the two Evangelions and the third, empty canister was at least a city block wide. Whoever Ritsuko had called over seemed to be hobbling over with a crutch under the left arm at an impressive speed.
"So the Briefing didn't mention what it is we're fighting, did it?" Ritsuko began fact checking.
"It left it at 'giant monsters'," Shinji said.
"Ah, good. So at least they didn't screw that much up." Ritsuko explained, "The enemy we face are called Angels- and they're the cause behind Second Impact."
"Really?" Shinji asked.
"The First Angel arrived on earth a long time before anything lived here and seeded life here," Ritsuko explained. "Then, around the time of the Dinosaurs, there was an event the world knows as the First Impact. I personally think it might have been a colonization attempt, but nobody's accepted that theory so far..." her hands clenched into fists, "even though there's plenty of evidence about the nature of the Geofront's interior matching the other one--!"
"Ahhem, Ritsuko?" Misato coughed. "You're meandering again."
"Right, right, sorry," The Doctor apologized, shaking her head. "So, about twenty or so years ago, we discovered in Antarctica a giant white spheroid structure- a matching twin to this very base that we're in now."
"We're what?" Shinji replied, blinking in surprise.
"Ah, That'll have to wait until after we save the world," Ritsuko chided him. "Anyways- inside that place, scientists discovered the Second Angel- but they called the First becaue they didn't know about the older one- stuck in hibernation. The idiots there mismanaged the entire thing though, accidentally woke it up, and damn was it mad." She then said rather loudly in the direction of a group of technicians, "Which is Why I say First Impact was a Colonization attempt!" Those technicians just groaned, and tried to ignore her as they focused on their work, whatever it was. "Anyways, the official cover story was that the event that followed was the "Second Impact", after the first one that exterminated the Dinosaurs. Nobody had any clue how right of a term it actually was, though. We now know for sure that that place in Antarctica was the same object that impacted and killed the Dinosaurs out!"
"You now know," Misato rolled her eyes slightly. "Everyone else here with a degree thinks you're a conspiracy nut, Ritz."
"Hey, it all fits, they just can't see--" Ritsuko cut herself off, having done this particular samba already, "Annnyways, this brings us to the present. What they called the First Angel then split up into many, many different orbs of DNA- which scattered across the globe during the Second Impact. It's taken those decades for the first of those eggs to mature and hatch into what everyone can agree on as the Third Angel- Code Named "Sachiel"- but in the mean time, we prepared for this." She turned backwards to motion wildly towards the Evangelions- "The Evangelion Project was launched, and NERV founded! Now we can fight back...!" She then added quietly, "Hopefully."
"You're not instilling a lot of confidence in me here, Doc'," Shinji replied.
"Well... I'm just trying to set the mood here," Ritsuko said. "If the Third Angel- or any Angel for that matter- succeeds in reaching the core of the Geofront, it would initiate an event we're preemptively dubbing Third Impact; because theme naming, why not?- that would finish the job Second Impact didn't do."
"So basically, pilot the giant robot, kill the Angel, save the world, and be home in time for dinner," Shinji nodded. "Got it." He then looked over as the girl- for it was a girl, maybe at least a year or two younger than him- with blue hair finally made it over to them, clutching what looked to be a white headband with...were those cat ears?...in her right hand. "Hello," He nodded in her direction.
Then he did a double take as he caught a glimpse of her eyes. 'Red??' The girl seemed to be looking him over curiously-
"Ah, just on time, Ayanami," Ritsuko motioned for the girl to hand over the head band, which she did. "Pilot Ikari, meet Pilot Ayanami. Ayanami, Ikari." Ritsuko then fastened the Interface band over Shinji's head. "I'm sure you two will have plenty of time to get to know each other after the world has been saved from another colonization attempt." Nobody wanted to argue with her this time.
"Rei," Misato said then clarifying, even though the name was being directed at the girl, "why aren't you in bed?"
"Doctor Akari said I could--" "A-Ka-Gi." "--be here in case something went wrong with the synchronization attempt," The girl said in a matter of fact tone, continuing on uninterrupted even despite the mis-pronounced name and the correction that had been shoved in just after it. In fact, she seemed strangely okay despite the fact that her lower left leg was wrapped up in what appeared to be a cast, and her upper left arm, even, was heavily covered in bandages.
"Really now," Misato sent Ritsuko a strange look.
"Pilot Ikari," Rei then turned her attention to Shinji, a faint look of appraisal on her face as she spoke. "Good luck against The Third Angel."
"Thanks," Shinji replied, wincing even as Ritsuko continued to meddle with the connectors on his head. "I get the feeling I'm going to need it."
The metal seat of the Entry Plug was strangely warm through his clothes, even as the entry door was sealed shut, leaving Shinji in darkness.
_"Shinji, we're setting the Entry Plug into Unit-01."_ Misato's voice echoed out over the intercom. _"You're going to feel a jerk, and then a slight spinning sensation, don't worry, it's normal."_
"Alright," Shinji nodded- wondering if they could see him at all in the darkened metal chamber.
And then he felt the sudden jerk and then---
"YOU CALL THIS 'SLIGHT'!?" Shinji yelped out as the entire Entry Plug felt like it was spinning end over end like a giant record on a single axis into position, which it wasn't, in reality.
Instead, there was a mechanical screw attached to the bottom of the plug that was screwing the giant capsule into the base of the neck of Unit-01.
--There were some faint murmurs over the radio, which vaguely sounded like, "Never seen that strong of a reaction before."
_"Er, yeah, that's perfectly normal. We didn't want you to freak out."_ Dr. Akagi's lie was so bold faced that it was practically underlined with italics at the same time.
Shinji took a deep breath, and exhaled. The air was starting to feel a bit stale in there...
_"We're starting the LCL pump now,"_ Misato said, _"Remember to breath normally."_
Rei then helpfully added, _"I'm told the Taste of Blood is normal. Try not to gag."_
"Wait- what?" Shinji glanced around in surprise as a glowing orange liquid began to fill up the metal chamber rather quickly now- oh wow, it was already getting up to his knees and past up to his hips now and--- "WOOOOAAAH! THAT IS COLD!"
Shinji quickly tried to work past the panic that was bubbling up about just as quickly as the LCL levels in the Entry Plug. So...he did the only thing he could do....
He closed his eyes and started singing, "There ain't no mountain high enough...ain't no valley low enough..."
After a few moments, the blackness of his vision seemed to turn red with the blood in his eyelids.
_"Shinji, you can open your eyes now."_ Dr. Akagi said.
And so he did.
He quickly realized that he hadn't even noticed when the LCL had entered his mouth, or forced its way down his lungs...nor when had the entire chamber suddenly become filled with glowing holographic screens of data readouts?
_"Shinji, if you're ready, we're going to attempt a synchronization with Unit-01,"_ Misato said.
"Alright," Shinji spoke normally- though there was a faint warbling echo to his voice that he picked up on right away. Was this what it was like to talk under water?
_"Opening connection pathways....beginning synchronization in three...two..."_ And then Dr. Akagi's voice dropped out as Shinji's vision of the entry plug suddenly began stretching out into forever and turning a blinding shade of white...!!
It was like watching a security camera replay its footage in fast forwards.
People walking and running across the catwalks at blinding speeds....
The image of Unit-00 suddenly thrashing in it's chamber, a sensation of...fear?
Then he saw himself from the outside- that moment that Unit-01 had had looked at him and then he felt as if the Evangelion was now viewing that same moment from his own perspective.
There was a nagging, curious thought- "Do I really look that stupid?" -neither were sure who had thought it first.
Then Shinji felt himself reliving his own recent past, only in reverse- despite being in forwards motion- there was an intense focus on the music from the walkman as he made his way through Tokyo-3.
And then Shinji was staring out at the walkways as people ran past yet again, but this time there was something...something...
_Ain't No Mountain High enough..._
And then Shinji gasped as he returned to the present- both looking through his own eyes into the Entry Plug and yet also out of those same emerald orbs that were Unit-01's.
There was a nagging presence- an itch at the back of his mind- and Shinji knew that Unit-01 was seeing the exact same dual-vision that he was.
There was a comforting hum of emotion- a feeling that if transcribed into words could possibly be the sentence, "You feel familiar."
_"Neural Handshake established!"_ Dr. Akagi was calling out in delight and surprise. _"Holy shit- is that a Synch Ratio of 40%!?"_
_"Great job, Shinji,"_ Misato congratulated him. _"Just hold it stead for a moment while we record your psychographs..."_
There were all sorts of murmurs that Shinji could now hear, people talking that weren't on radio.
The technicians outside?
"Didn't the orange one dive into a negative number?"
"Holy shit, Forty percent!? On a first try?!"
"Thank god it didn't go berserk like DoubleZero did..."
Shinji felt a slight tremor of- what he thought could be- "They're scared of me."
Shinji blinked, was that him that had thought that, or had it been the Evangelion...? No, definitely the Evangelion. Unit-01 was feeling afraid of - upset by- them being scared of...!
_"Ratio's dropping! Shinji, what's going on in there?"_
He didn't care who spoke that line, instead he closed his eyes, and sent out a comforting thought.
"I'm not scared of you."
There was a curious thought- was he really not scared? -and then, if there was a face attached to a thought, it could have been a smile of gratitude.
_"Looks like it was just a subtle drop. It's risen back up to 40% and holding steady..."_
Shinji took a deep breath, then exhaled again. "Alright, then," He spoke finally. "Are we going to go kick some Angelic ass, or are we just going to sit here all day doing nothing?"
Gendo Ikari had planned for every possible outcome of this day.
Gendo Ikari had planned for the possibility that Shinji would refused to pilot. Rei would have to take his place, or appear 'coerced' into doing it to get Shinji to Pilot.
That had not happened.
Gendo Ikari had planned for the possibility that Shinji would pilot, but would not be able to synchronize. Contingency: Rei would have to take his place.
That had not happened either.
Gendo Ikari had planned for the possibility that Shinji would have an exceptionally high Synch Score due to the soul inside that Eva being that of his Mother's and that tragic final moment they'd shared together.
That....had not happened exactly according to plan.
Gendo Ikari's wife had died outside of the Evangelion's Entry Plug- she had not been absorbed into the Core as she had suggested as a plan.
The question now remained- just what had Shinji synchronized with and what was it that gave them such an abnormally high first-time synchronization?
As Unit-01 was loaded into the launch tube, Gendo steeped his fingers in a trademarked pyramid, and hid his mouth behind it.
Given the troubles with Unit-00- the AI of Unit-01 had been expected to have a similar reaction.
Gendo Ikari had planned for that from that experiment, and had the Eva gone berserk in the chamber like it's predecessor, the power cable would be ejected this time within mere moments, rather than the two-and-a-half minutes it took to undo the Eva's over-ride of the controls.
Thankfully, that had not happened either.
Cameras watched as Unit-01 was sent hurtling up into the city above, another camera observed Shinji inside the Entry Plug...
...Gendo Ikari had not planned for the boy to come out in this way.
The mix tape full of pre-90's music, it seemed, had been a more positive influence on the boy than they had expected.
He couldn't argue the results, however. It seemed that Yui had been right.
"We power them with love- the kind that makes you smile."
Those had been her words, and it seemed that everything pointed in that being the right direction.
Unit-02's costly delays had definitely been due to not following that particular path, and as for Unit-00...the less said about that the better.
But surely, surely a single mix-tape given to a single boy couldn't have been enough to cause such a massive first-time synch-score of Forty Percent!
Unit-01 appeared on the streets of Tokyo-3, long since having been put into battle configuration, a fair distance away from the Angel.
It was to be a crash course in getting the Evangelion to even walk let alone---
_"Wait. Is that....music?"_
It was, and it wasn't just any old music either- Shinji was actively singing along with the singer in the music that should not have been playing over that radio frequency at all.
_"Ain't no mountain high, Ain't no valley low, Ain't no river wide enough, baby,"_
Unit-01 took a tentative step forwards- smoother, quicker, faster than could have been expected.
_If you need me, call me. No matter where you are, No matter how far_ But Shinji wasn't singing on the female's lines- almost but he was mouthing the words along regardless, even as Unit-01 began moving into a quick walk.
_"Don't worry, baby,"_
The Evangelion's walk began to speed up into a run...
_Just call my name, I'll be there in a hurry, You don't have to worry_
And then someone shouted out- _"Unit-01's external speakers are turned on!"_
Wait- did that mean that--?
_"'Cause baby, There ain't no mountain high enough!"_ Unit-01 suddenly jumped through the air as Shinji suddenly sang loud and proud- racing towards the Third Angel, who was suddenly turning around to face the incoming Eva with surprise.
If the Angels could speak- the Third would be yelling- "WHAT IS THIS NOISE!?"
And then Unit-01's feet landed on Sachiel's chest, sending it flying backwards in a burst of sound that quite possibly could have been the start of a sonic boom.
_"Ain't no valley low enough! Ain't no river wide enough!"_
With that- however- Unit-01 landed on it's feet and began running towards the still flying Angel, all the while it and it's pilot singing along... They caught up, and then with a massive swinging fist- sent the still air-borne Third Angel flying upwards from a giant upper cut.
_"To keep me from getting to you!"_
Wait. Gendo's eyes blinked at that thought. Yes. There was something like a secondary female voice overlapped on top of the one from the song that was playing. Wasn't there?
_"Remember the day, I set you free? I told you, You could always count on me."_ Shinji sang, as Unit-01 reached up for their left shoulder, and then...
_"He delpoyed the Prog. Knife!?"_ Dr. Akagi cried out in surprise as a small knife ejected from a holder.
_"From that day on I made a vow, I'll be there when you want me, Some way, some how"_ Unit-01 got into a position, holding out a glowing vibrating blade in a way that looked like a baseball batter ready to hit an oncoming ball....Well, if that oncoming ball were coming back down from it's upwards trip.
_"How did he know about that?!"_ Misato asked. _"We never told him!"_
_"'Cause baby, There ain't no mountain high enough! Ain't no valley low enough! Ain't no river wide enough! To keep me from getting to you, babe!"_
And then Unit-01 leaped upwards- not even noticing the umbilical cord from it's back stretching out to the max limit and nearly popping out as they swung with the small knife and slashed through the Third Angel's thick hide.
Orange goop went flying in all directions as the Third Angel hit the ground- and then Unit-01 kept going up.
_"Oh no, Darlin'!"_ Shinji let off a grin as the cord suddenly yanked them back down from it's maximum stretching range and...
_"No wind, No Rain...! Nor winter's cold, can stop me, babe...!"_ With a twist of their hand, Unit-01 brought the Prog-Knife down straight on the Sachiel's chest, digging down through straight the Third Angel's rib-cage and piercing something vital- it's many eyes, some of which were merely decorative, all widened in surprise and the Angel began thrashing in a desperate attempt to get Unit-01 off of it.
_"Oh, no, if you're ever in trouble, I'll be there on the double! Just send for me..."_
And then it's wriggling just dug it's own grave- the wound was widened, and then a massive gush of orange liquid went flying everywhere like a paper-meche volcano erupting.
Of all the things Gendo Ikari had planned for....
This had definitely not been one of them.
_"My love is alive, Way down in my heart, Although we are miles apart."_
In the NERV command center, everyone just stared with slack jaws at the lyrical dissonance to what they had just witnessed.
Rei, meanwhile, just blinked, and then simply said, "Impressive strategy."
_"If you ever need a helping hand, I'll be there on the double, As fast as I can!"_
Meanwhile- the Third Angel's body began to dissolve away, joining the massive flood of liquid that threatened to overwhelm the city streets and turn Tokyo-3 into an Orange-colored Vennice.
_"Don't you know that there ain't no mountain high enough!
Ain't no valley low enough!
Ain't no river wide enough!
To keep me from getting to you!"_
Inside the Evangelion's own little mental landscape, however, Shinji and the presence in his mind that he'd come to recognize as Unit-01, just continued to sing, even after there was nothing left of the Angel, leaving their giant form kneeling there in the streets, Prog. knife digging into the city pavement, and generally looking rather heroic.
_"Don't you know that there ain't no mountain high enough...
Ain't no valley low enough...
Ain't no river wide enough..."_
And so the Third Angel had been defeated....by singing.
Gendo Ikari closed his eyes and tried, and failed, to hold back a laugh of amusement.
The council of old men would not like this development one bit.