“Save me ma, ma…save me!”
I don't want to die! As I repeat those words in my mind I know help isn't coming this isn't unit 02 the one place I always feel warm and safe, I know I'm dying I can feel every punch even from inside as unit 04's pink first smash against the metal of unit Alpha the UN's test prototype, it feels awful every blow is utter agony.
It's so dark inside this entry plug it's like hell, I have no control over anything there are no controls anymore they vanished into nothing and my hands are not touching anything but I can see on a single screen Mari's unit as it brings out its knife and I see it flying towards the screen.
I know what's coming before it hits and it's so painful. I can't stop screaming as my left eye just becomes an explosion of pain even floating here in the black void I'm screaming, it only gets worse as it feels like my right arm is being torn off, I look down seeing that it's being twisted in the wrong angle. I'm so afraid I hate being afraid yet in my mind I'm no longer twenty three years old I'm a frightened little child wanting nothing more than to cling to my mother.
I feel the pain as the Alpha unit collides with the ground it's so hard that my spine bursts into flames as it's bent in the wrong direction enough that I hear something crack. I should have known that Mari would do this because I have no doubt in my mind that Shinji and his younger sister Rei would have refused Gendo's orders to attack this unit and when they refuse an order so does Kaworu. He does it because his loyalty is always to Shinji above all others and always has been.
All four of us we grew up here at Nerv we came here in our early teens and as the years have gone by we've all remained friends on some level, but Mari has never been part of their group.
She transferred here from Britain just over a year ago and ever since I got stationed with her she's been riding my ass like some Darby race horse and I just can't get her to leave me alone. She just wants control of this team and she thinks I'm in charge of it, I'm not in charge of scheisse, there is no leader we are a team it's about strengths and weaknesses and skills.
I learned the hard way a long time ago that it's better to be part of something than be alone even if you're that person on the very edge who does not fit in which is sadly me because Rei, Shinji and Kaworu have always been very close and I've never really been part of that. I know why that is and I can't change it so I just accept it as their company is enough.
No I'm not the leader Shinji is, he's the heart of the group, Rei his younger sister is the soul and I'm just the muscle of the group, Kaworu is the spine that fits us all together. Mari's verficktes problem is she can't get her scheisse together and find her spot in the group. Worst of all, I used to be just like her maybe that's why I hate her four eyed face at times because it's like looking back at myself in some mirror back when I was fifteen.
Oh the arrogance and delusion I had, I believed I was god but I'm not god, I'm human just like everyone else, I can bleed I can die and being an Evangelion pilot should only be part of who you are not the whole.
My thoughts are cut off as I see the screen fading in and out, it won't be long now I can feel it coming to an end as blood leaks down my face from my damaged eye, I guess its not a surprise it would end this way I knew I would always die in the entry plug of an Evangelion. It almost seems fitting but at the end all I feel is sorrow and the desire to hug my mother but she's not here she died a long time ago.
The pain is even worse now my guts feel like they're being torn out and it's not even an illusion as I feel the skin separate near my stomach as something is yanked out while I watch unit 04 jaws ripping out the guts of this Evangelion that I'm trapped in side which has turned out to be an angel. If the pain in my eye was bad this is worse I want to throw up so badly and that's when I look up and see something I didn't see before something even more terrifying.
A black shadow with red eyes creeping towards me, it mirrors the shape of the unit but the detail is all blurry it's like smoke. They say when you stare in to the abyss long enough the abyss stares back and its staring at me right now and I'm so beyond terrified. I can't stop my own bladder expelling due to the fear even though the plug suite is meant to compensate for this and turn urine to water in seconds its still an awful feeling. The taste of LCL doesn't even taste normal now it tastes and smells like rotting flesh, it's so awful.
The beings huge clawed hands suddenly move towards my face grabbing it as the red eyes widen and the mouth opens in the flickering shadows revealing masses of teeth. If the devil was real I feel this would be his true form I watch helplessly as the outside screen finally blacks out and everything turns to darkness apart from flickering shadows caused by the red flashing code screens which are so screwed up you can't even read them.
All I can feel is the sensation of something entering me through my open wounds. I can see this pulsing liquid that has glowing red and blue veins as it shifts trying to get deeper inside my body. All of sudden it becomes very clear to me why this is happening it is instinct, the will to survive. The angel's outer body is dying it wants a part of something to cling to so it doesn't die. I'm not merged with the core I'm not in that deep, so now I'm going to be a host to a parasite who wants to use the only thing it has to live on which is my wounded battered and crippled body.
I repeat the words aloud but this time openly "I don't want to die, I don't want to die!" If I thought my pain and fear was bad a moment ago it suddenly gets so much worse as the whole entry plugs is crushed around me it comes in ward like a tin can and then the light comes through in beams like a some goddess of mercy as LCL is forced out of the cracks my good eye catch's glimpses of the outside world as the entry plug is suddenly thrown through the air and everything goes in to a violent spin.
I see the animalistic form start to scream long and loud with me it suddenly it becomes very clear that everything is going to get worse as I feel the plug collide with the floor rolling as more parts are torn open and more LCL floods out as whatever was trying to get inside me fades away slowly as our connections are severed completely.
The entry plug is stopped very suddenly and through the cracks I can see a different Evangelion hand holding it before lowering it, but it's too late I know that as everything stops spinning and I come to a stop falling on my side surrounded by red LCL fluid. My good eye looks out as the entry plugs doors door handle is turned from the outside, time really doesn't mean much when your badly wounded and dieing, I can't even figure out how long I was lying here before Shinji pulled the entry plugs door open. Rei is right behind him as always as they both force there way in shouting something which I can't even hear. All I can hear is my own heart beat pulsing slowly as my only good eye closes and the world truly turns to darkness.
"Is she going to make it?"
Misato looked at the tank where Asuka was suspended and bandaged almost naked as the huge machines worked trying to filter out any part that was angel though as normal Ritsuko's face said very little as she looked at her tablet. "Assuming she's not contaminated by angel." She looked at her read outs. "Her prognosis is terrible three broken ribs fractured spine, dislocated shoulder, shattered right arm and both of her legs are broken. There was internal bleeding though that's been stopped and as for her left eye it might never see again though the eye survived the eyeball is very badly damaged and they also put a length of her lower intestine back where it belonged as it had been completely pulled out." She looked at Misato. "And that's all assuming she even comes out of the coma she's in." She looked at her tablet again "Psychologically she could be a real mess when she wakes up, there's no telling what this angel did to her mind she was just starting to be absorbed by the core before the process was stopped and she had breached safe depth."
Misato looked up the red haired woman who was floating in the decontamination tank. "I don't understand the LCL is meant to protect them from broken bones." Ritsuko breathed in deeply. "And normally it would have, but Mari broke the entry plug and she would have crushed it all the way and killed Asuka, had Shinji and Rei not stopped the attack. The problem was Shinji knocking the entry plug out of Mari's Evangelion's mouth."
She looked up. "It meant that it took a tumble and there was barely any LCL left to cushion Asuka's body. That's what broke both of her legs. She just got thrown around like a rag doll on impact; yes Rei stopped the entry plug tumbling but the damage was already done." She lowered her tablet. "She'll have some time in here, just to be decontaminated and then Maya can move her to the hospital wing there they can reset all her bones but its going to be a slow and painful process for her."
Misato looked at her for a long moment before speaking. "Yeah well I wasn't going to let Mari chew her to pieces, I made a call." Ritsuko put her hand in her black suites pockets. "No you ignored Gendo's orders and he's not happy about it that's why I'm down here, when I should be doing more important things." Misato looked at her in disgust they had once been friends but that was a long time ago and now when ever they came in contact there was always a sense of coldness in their conversations. "You had the power to stop this at any time! It could have been your word against his, he listens to you your married to him you're basically his right hand."
Ritsuko narrowed her gaze she really wasn't interested in listening to Misato's whining about her having power, yes it was true she did have power but she wasn't going to go out of her way to waste it on a pilot who was expendable.
Pilots could be replaced and though they had four central pilots including Asuka and they now had Toji as well who was upcoming pilot ,though he was still running simulations in the training unit Omega on the huge hologram platform above, but he just wasn't ready yet though the hope was that this would be very soon and would be put with the seasoned pilots once his Evangelion was complete. "I'm doing my job, since Kozo was murdered I'm just picking up the pieces and I'm the only person Gendo trusts."
Misato felt a cold sneer form. "Yet you don't care about Rei and Shinji's safety and you never ever ask after them." Ritsuko breathed in sharply. "You can't stop children doing what they do." Misato stepped closer to her. "They are not children anymore they are adults who are all over twenties, they have lives, hopes and dreams and Rei and Shinji are meant to be your children yet you don't you care about them at all you don't even acknowledge their existence."
Ritsuko looked up in disgust she was so unimpressed by her angry display and she had no time for this type of pathetic emotional guilt tripping. "Just because I signed those wedding vows does not make them mine, that's your job Misato, you mentor pilots and do your best to pretend to be some kind of cool mother while I create machines and touch the hand of god." She took a slow step back. "You get far to attached to these pilots even though they can all be replaced. You and Kaji, your both obsessed with all that greater good analogy, you forget that life is a brutal vicious cycle and no one really cares who lives and who dies."
Misato watched as she walked away the days of close friendship were truly gone Ritsuko was now as cold as Gendo, they both now viewed people in the same way in that they were just toys and expendable, granted she'd always been cold but now she was just plain un-likable.
She thought when she married Gendo that Shinji and Rei would end up living with them and that they would have value, even there father's love. Yet once again both brother and sister were just pushed aside and even more so because Ritsuko had no interest in them being under her feet.
So nothing had changed for years Shinji, Rei and Asuka had all been under her roof and she had acted as a parent to them. Later Kaworu had joined them but for a shorter time but now all she did was come back to was empty rooms because they were no longer children, they were all in their twenties and had flown the nest and some days that made her sad as she had become so used to their company.
Nerv paid them a good solid wage and they all moved out and started to live their own lives they just came to Nerv for five days to work and did the odd weekends unless there was a sound out for an angel. If it weren't for her they would have had no free time at all as Gendo had wanted so badly to make it a full seven day week which she had stopped as it wasn't fair on any of them in this time in their lives.
Rei and Shinji lived in their own apartments but they were very close to each other and Kaworu had his own place as did Toji and Mari, every one was in the city and she could visit them all in there off time and they sometimes visited her.
Though Asuka was the odd one out as she had moved far away from everyone out of all of the children she was the one she saw the least of all in her off time as she preferred to live on the rural outskirts away from people and she never let people visit her home including her.
That had always made her sad, even if Asuka wasn't the egotistic person she used to be, she was still proud, still angry as an Oni at times but she was still not a people person. She accepted being on the outside openly and it was very hard to bring her in with the others.
When she piloted, she was well behaved, she took orders she wasn't rash she had learned her lesson from past battles, but there was always an air of loneliness like a void that no one had filled yet. What it needed to be filled by she had no idea and couldn't make sense of her distancing herself so much from the others.
She wasn't even interested in dating anymore and yet once she had been so forward and out going on the subject, almost all of the others dated even Shinji but she felt that was because Rei pushed him and though it didn't always turn out for the best he was better for it in his confidence which could still be an issue at times and he really needed pushing because at times he still believed he wasn't good enough.
Rei was the only other one who didn't date but for her it was much more of a personal choice because she was finding out who she was without Shinji as they had grown up together after the accident with there mother Yui, Gendo had just pushed them both on to another family member disregarding them completely. Hence they had grown up depending on each other for support and for many years Rei had been quite in nature it was only now that she was finally coming out of that shell and being much more outgoing and it was quite a transformation to say the least if anything she had benefited the most moving away and finding her own life.
She turned back eyeing the woman in the tank who was remained still maybe this accident would be for the better maybe Asuka being here might just get her to socialize again like she used back when she was fifteen. She looked up as Maya appeared running up to her with a disc in her hand. "Okay I got everything you wanted on disc the whole battle the records everything, I still don't get why you need them though."
Misato took the disc looking at it. "Thank you." The dark haired woman who had a very short pony tail breathed in deeply. Since taking on part of Ritsuko's job it had been very hard for her and like her she hadn't really taken her marriage to Gendo well ether. "They're all asking after her, Shinji, Rei every one accept Mari, they want to see her."
Misato felt her hand form a fist when she got hold of Mari she was going to wipe that self righteous smirk of her face even in her younger years Asuka had never been this difficult. Mari was a loose canon with a hell of a lot of ego much like Asuka had once had in that she had believed that was she was superior to every one else but she'd gotten over this she'd grown up and at least found her place in the group.
Mari just wanted to be top dog so badly and she loved pushing Asuka's buttons and causing conflict. "They can't see her not until she's fully decontaminated and it could take a while we both know that." She looked down sadly. "Look just tell them that she's alive and that she's breathing and that her heart rate is strong but that she has a very long way to go."
Maya shook her head this whole event had been really awful. "Well someone will need to go to Asuka's house the one that's out in farm land, they'll need to get her things and feed her cat just until her grandmother gets here, I contacted her after this happened and she said she's getting the fastest flight possible here."
Misato blinked in surprise as she turned to her. "Asuka has a cat?" Maya looked up slightly. "You didn't know?" Misato put a hand on her face. "No I didn't." She turned to the huge decontamination tank again. "I don't know anything about Asuka anymore she doesn't talk to me about personal things, its all just small talk." She put her hand on the glass. "I don't know anything about the second child anymore…."
Maya looked at the glass and the lifeless body hanging in the air as the machine carried on working. "To be fair I don't think anyone really knows the second child anymore, it's painful that she's distanced herself from everyone in these last few years. Also how she views her Evangelion is differently to everyone else as well, to them it's a machine yet to her it's a living being, she even talks to it and she's really possessive over it. I still think when she took on Shamshel something happened I mean she wasn't the same after that, her Evangelion got so badly damaged and we all thought she was going to die but then she just went berserk and wasted that angel's AT field like it was nothing giving Shinji and Rei the opening they needed and we didn't have the beast mode protocol fully in place at the time."
Misato eyed Asuka she wasn't even going to argue this, the second child had seen something all those years ago but she had kept it to herself and she wanted to know what it was.
End of part 1