Requiem 3
From: akaroth <>
To: <>
Subject: [Eva Fanfic] Requiem Three
Date: 10/23/98 8:11:00 PM


Author's Note:  This is another re-interpretation of NGE.
It will, admittedly, begin in pretty much the exact same
way as the actual series; expect that to change quite a
bit as time goes on.  That's about it..

The entire series thus far can be found at


        The first time Shinji climbed into a plug suit, he hated the
way it felt.  It was a large, unusual piece of clothing that expelled
the air within it when a small button on the wrist was depressed.
This allowed the suit to conform to the body of the wearer.  It felt
cloying and restrictive and manipulative.  He hated it.
        Now, as Shinji climbed into the entry plug for what felt like
the thousandth time, it no longer seemed that way to him.  It was
still a burden, but no more so than his natural layer of skin.  It
felt natural for him to wear it, acceptable.
        But he still hated it.
        "Good morning, Shinji!" Ritsuko greeted him warmly through the
speakers of the entry plug.  Shinji sat dejectedly in the seat, not
looking up or in any other way reacting.  "How are you?"
        Shinji spoke in a voice that he did not recognize as his own.
"I'm fine.  I'm used to it, now."  He swallowed nervously.
        "Well, that's good," Ritsuko replied.  "Ah, appearance
positions, emergency power sources.. locations of weapon depots and
recovery spots - have you memorized them all?"
        Shinji went over each item in his mind, straining to visualize
the information correctly.  "I think so, yes," he replied.
        "Well, then," Ritsuko said, "Shall we continue with the
        "I guess so," Shinji said quietly.  He didn't much want to use
the simulator again - he didn't much want to pilot Eva again.  But he
had no choice.
        Suddenly the display monitor in front of Shinji flared into
action.  It portrayed an image of Tokyo-3 in bright daylight, the
buildings retracted and the city in a state of emergency.  The
piercing sound of evacuation warnings was barely discernible in the
distance, but hinted at the terrible conflict to come.
        When the Angel appeared, it did not creep forth from the
horizon but flew upwards from the ground, suddenly and unexpectedly
arriving in Shinji's view.  It was, cosmetically, virtually identical
to the Third Angel, or was at least as close a computer simulation
NERV could manage.  Shinji had become desensitized to the vision of
this dread enemy by now.
        Instantaneously, Shinji aimed his Eva's weapon at the monster
and pulled the trigger.  The powerful gun fired a large volley at the
creature, the force of the recoil surprising Shinji and throwing his
aim off.  The weapon's fire sailed harmlessly over the Angel's head.
        "Don't be so impatient, Shinji," Ritsuko chided.  "Wait until
the onboard computer has a lock on the target before firing.  Wait
until the Evangelion declares a target.  Then aim the at the target
and pull the trigger."
        "Aim at the target and pull the trigger," Shinji repeated
monotonously.  He stared fixedly at the two target indicators that
moved into the center of the display, ultimately converging on top
of the Angel, overlapping and locking.
        Shinji grit his teeth and squeezed the trigger.  The huge
piece of weaponry once again released an incredible spread of bullets
- but this time Shinji's aim was true and the projectiles sank into
the unreal monster's flesh, flinging it backwards and leaving it
collapsed and motionless on the ground.
        "Well done!" Ritsuko said, but even as she said those words
another mock Angel rose from the retracted city, silent, unmoving but
somehow deadly.
        Shinji was tempted to fire upon the it the instant it came
into view, but restrained himself, remembering Ritsuko's words.  The
computer locked, and Shinji aimed carefully before firing.  The Angel
was defeated, but another instantly rose to take its place.
        "Aim," Shinji reminded himself.  Again the Angel fell, and
again another viscous apparition was summoned.  Again.  Again.  Again.
Again.  Again.  Again.  Again.  Again.
        "Aim the target in the center.. wait.. pull the trigger,"
Shinji repeated to himself, over and over, like a benediction.
        Again.  Again.  Again.  Again.

        Maya Ibuki watched, fascinated, through the glass of the
observation chamber at the Eva down below.  To her, it appeared to
be standing in a blank room, a fake weapon in its hands, firing it and
behaving as if it was real.  A series of thick, black, cables ran from
the chamber into the Evangelion's frame, transmitting the elaborate
signals that made up the simulation.
        "I'm amazed," Maya said, her short brown hair touching the
glass, her brown eyes gazing beyond her own reflection.  "How can he
cope?  He's so young."
        Ritsuko sighed.  "I'm afraid that all he does is whatever
others tell him to do," she said.  "That's how he survives - not
questioning his orders, not listening to his feelings."  She stared,
plaintively, into the glass.  "We're killing him, you know.  Eva
destroys those who pilot it."
        The Eva fired its empty, useless weapon into space.

        Misato lay, prostrate, in her room, tucked deep within her
covers.  She felt herself on the edge of sleep, teetering on the verge
of darkness and peace.  She sighed relaxedly, allowing the feelings
of comfort and silence to overwhelm her.
        Suddenly, her world of silence was shattered by a harsh,
discordant banging at her door.  In actuality, the sound was more
similar to Shinji's meek, quiet knock, but it had the same effect
upon her sleep-deprived mind.
        "What is it?" she screamed, thrusting her head out from
beneath the covers.  She saw nobody around.  "What?!"
        The door of Misato's room slid open a minute amount, allowing
Shinji to peer past it and into the room.  "Er.. it's morning, Miss
        "I don't care," Misato moaned, placing her pillow over her
head.  "I worked the late shift last night and I only got in a few
hours ago.  I don't have to be back again until this evening.  Please,
let me sleep!"
        Shinji nodded and closed the door.  Misato sank back into her
lazy refrain, withdrawing deeply and solemnly beneath her sheets.  The
next thing she knew, she had been awoken by the incessant ringing of
her phone, and the clock had been set about five hours ahead.  Or
perhaps five hours had actually passed, though she was still tired as
hell!  Sighing, she reached over and grabbed the receiver, knowing she
couldn't afford to miss an important call.
        "Yes?  Hello?" Misato murmured.
        "Misato?" Ritsuko replied, on the other end of the phone.
        "Oh, it's you, Ritsuko," Misato said, yawning.
        "How've you been?"  Ritsuko asked, a note of concern in her
voice.  "Are you getting along with him?"
        "Him?  Oh, Shinji," Misato tried to clear her sleep-addled
mind by rubbing her eyes.  Actually, just talking on the phone was
helping her to regain consciousness.  She stood up, supposing she
should be waking up around now anyway.  "Well, he's been at school
for a few days now, but I don't think he's getting used to it."  She
pulled on a robe and she spoke, crossing the room and opening the
door.  She walked into the kitchen, still holding the portable phone
against her ear.  There she stopped.  "Oh, no.."
        "What is it?"
        "Oh," Misato sighed.  "Nothing, really.  It's just that Shinji
left the phone I gave him here," she said, staring at the black,
unused portable phone lying on the kitchen counter.  "I guess he just
doesn't use it.  I'm not sure, but I think he has no friends."
        "Hmm.." Ritsuko pondered, considering the situation.  "I can
believe that.  Shinji doesn't seem like the type who'd make friends
easily.  Have you ever heard the story of the hedgehog's dilemma?"
        "Hedgehogs?" Misato asked. "The thorny ones?"
        "Yes.  If a hedgehog wants to give his warmth to other
hedgehogs, the closer he approaches, the more they injure each other.
It's the same with some types of people.  The pain he feels makes it
difficult for him to enter any relationship where he might be
        Misato nodded.  "In time, as he grows up, he'll learn to
handle others' feelings more carefully.  This will be the most
difficult part."
        Ritsuko was quiet a second before she spoke again.  "Misato,
these children aren't going to grow up.  They probably aren't going
to live longer than another year."
        Misato's body went rigid.  Her mind went blank.  She had
known that, of course - but, now, after taking Shinji under her wing,
it hurt to be reminded of it.  A lot.
        "Don't ever tell me that again, Ritsuko," Misato whispered.

        Shinji stood upon the sidewalk, staring upwards at the large
building that was his destination.  The school was well-constructed,
and brightly lit by the sun, but it was an object of mortal terror to
Shinji.  Still, he supposed, it was better than being inside Eva.
Sighing, he faced forwards and advanced up the path into the large
        There were not nearly as many students in this school as there
has been in Shinji's last.  As Shinji walked through the halls, he
would occasionally pass classrooms that were entirely unused, the
population insufficient to fill them.  This was due to people fleeing
the city, a trend began ever since the attack of the Third Angel.  No
amount of cover-up initiated by NERV could prevent knowledge of the
monstrous invader from becoming public.  Why, there were even rumors
that the second impact had not, in fact, been caused by a meteorite at
        Just then, Shinji was suddenly jostled by a student as they
passed each other.  The larger child, traveling with two other
friends, laughed as Shinji fell to the ground, reeling from the
purposeful blow.  Shinji grit his teeth and ignored them.  He was used
to this kind of behavior.
        When Shinji arrived at his classroom, the lesson had not yet
started.  The students within were undisciplined and rowdy, screaming
and shouting and fighting.  One boy was making planelike noises and
moving a model airplane through the room - an event being videotaped
by another boy with glasses.  There was no sign of the teacher.
        Shinji sat down in the desk he had occupied yesterday.  On top
of every desk, there was a small, red computer used primarily for
schoolwork.  However, they could also be used for communications, and
students often used them to carry out extended conversations in the
middle of class.
        Shinji placed his chin on his hands, staring around the
classroom  Out of the corner of his eye he could see Rei - Rei
Ayanami was her full name.  She was like him, sitting alone, without
friends.  She still bore the bandages that marked her as wounded, but
seemed to be in better shape, staring vacantly out the window her desk
resided by.
        Shinji wondered if he should talk to her.  He wondered if she
would want to talk to him.  Shinji turned his head to the side,
scanning the classroom, wondering where the teacher was.  Suddenly,
the boy with the videocamera was stopped by an imperious-looking girl,
demanding something or other.  Shinji listened to their conversation,
unconsciously at first.
        "Kensuke!" the girl screamed, trying to attract his attention.
        The boy with the videocamera - Kensuke - reluctantly put it
down.  "Yes, class rep?" he responded, grudgingly.
       "Did you deliver Suzuhara's homework, as I asked?"
        "Uh, well," Kensuke faltered, "There didn't appear to be
anyone at Touji's house."
        The class rep was indignant.  "Then why didn't you just drop
it off?  I-" she halted abruptly, seeing Kensuke lower his gaze, and
she seemed to realize something.  "Kensuke," she began again, more
softly, "I thought you were Suzuhara's best friend!  Why don't you
want to see him?"
        "I-I.." Kensuke stammered.  "I'm not sure, but he could be
badly hurt."
        The girl's eyes widened.  "But they said that no one was hurt
in the giant robot incident!"
        Shinji looked up.  Giant robot incident.. they were talking
about Eva!
        "Impossible!" Kensuke maintained.  "You saw the explosion,
didn't you?  The units of not only Iruma and Komatsu, but of Misawa
and Kyushu were mobilized.  I'm sure there were at least ten or
twenty people injured, and at least one casualty-"
        Shinji turned away.  He had never even considered that people
might have been hurt in the conflict!  The buildings his Eva had
callously destroyed - what if there had still been people in any of
them?  And the explosion - how much of Tokyo-3 had been damaged by
that?  Had it hit any evacuation shelters?  Oh, Christ.. had it?
        "Touji!" Kensuke suddenly cried.  A tall, well-built student
with short black hair stood in the doorway.
        "Suzuhara!" the class representative shouted.
        "Where's everybody gone?" Touji Suzuhara said.  "There's been
a drop in attendance since I've been away."  He strode into the
classroom and sat on a desk beside Kensuke.
        "Can you blame them?" Kensuke asked.  "There was a real war in
this city!  I'm surprised the whole district hasn't evacuated."
        "Hm.." Touji mused, staring out a window.  "I would have
thought you'd be pleased to see a real war."
        "Well, I am, sort of.  How've you been, though?  You've been
absent for a while.  Were you involved in the incident?"
        "Not personally," Touji said, and his voice dropped audibly
in tone.  Only Kensuke was close enough to make out what he was
saying.  "It was.. it was my younger sister.  She was buried under a
pile of rubble during the incident.  She's alive, but she's been in
the hospital ever since." Touji swallowed and looked at the floor.
        "That's terrible," Kensuke murmured.
        "I'm the only one she has," Suzuhara said.  "My father can't
desert his post now that this has begun.  If I didn't stay with her,
she would've been all alone."  His voice grew darker, furious.  "I
found out it was the goddamn pilot of the robot that knocked down the
building.  He totaled an entire section of the city.  Our own
defender killed over twenty and injured over forty."
        Kensuke drew in a breath.  "That many?"
        "The pilot must have been drunk," Touji sneered.  "How the
hell did he ever get chosen?"
        "Mmm.." Kensuke said.  "That reminds me.  Have you heard about
the new transfer student?"
        "Transfer student?" Touji asked.
        "Yeah," Kensuke replied.  With a flick of his wrist he
indicated Shinji, his head on his desk and enfolded in his arms.
"That's him there.  He transferred here while you were gone.  He came
here just after the incident!  Understandable that people are leaving,
but why would he want to come here _after_ the battle?  Don't you find
that strange?"
        Touji was about to reply, but then the teacher finally
        "All rise!" the class rep shouted.

        The lesson passed slowly for Shinji.  He listened attentively
to the teacher's explanations, but the man was long-winded and seemed
completely oblivious to whatever else was going on in the class.  All
around Shinji, students were laughing and giggling and holding
detailed conversations through their desktop computers.  The sole
exception was Rei, who didn't seem to be paying attention to anything
but the view outside her window.
        "That was when the hardest trials of the human race began,"
the teacher noted, sketching out a vague timeline on the board.  "In
the last year of the twentieth century, a meteorite from outer space
collided with the Antarctic continent.  It melted the polar ice caps,
causing terrible consequences that altered the state of the planet
earth.  The water level in the oceans rose, burying part of the world
beneath them.  The earth's axis fluctuated, causing abnormal weather
patterns throughout the world.  Fifteen years later, the human race
is still in danger of extinction.  The massive amounts of currency
spent by governments worldwide to repair the damage has been
responsible for economic instability and even anarchy in smaller
countries where millions go starving."
        Some of the things the teacher said sounded vaguely important,
and Shinji tried to pick up on them.  However, just then his computer
displayed a small symbol in the upper right hand corner Shinji knew
indicated an incoming message.  Shinji stopped listening to the
lesson and moved trembling fingers to acknowledge the message.  Who
wanted to speak to him, and why?
        A moment later the computer posed him a question.
        Shinji's eyes widened.  How did they know?  How _could_ they
know?  His gaze darted around the room, trying to find possible
senders of the communique, but the only responses he received were
girls giggling and pointing.  He turned back to the screen, blushing.
Were they trying to embarrass him?  Because he'd come in so recently,
and after the conflict - they'd tease him for that.  They couldn't
possibly suspect a child would be responsible for such a task!  No,
they were trying to humiliate him.. that was all anyone ever wanted.
        But they won't this time, Shinji thought, almost smiling.
        YES, he typed.
        Immediately several students in the class stood up, shouting
something in amazement.  The class began to completely ignore the
teacher, talking, arguing amongst themselves.
        "I told you!" one student screamed.  "My father told me they
get kids to pilot those things!"
        The only student unaffected by the response was Rei, who sat,
as before, with her chin propped up on one had, staring out the
        "Settle down, please!" The teacher raised his voice,
attempting to remind the unruly students of his authority. "Please,
be quiet!  I don't know what's gotten into you, but we have a
lesson to complete!"
        The students obliged, whispering and giggling and staring at
Shinji.  Somehow Shinji felt even more humiliated now.  Looking back
at his computer screen, he saw he now had five or six messages, with
more appearing quickly.
        I'M NOT SURE, Shinji replied.  THEY ONLY USE CHILDREN
        There were many, many messages, but Shinji responded to them
all.  It was the first time he had ever had people in the school want
to talk to him - and he was enjoying it.
        Shinji sat back and blushed again.  They must not know about
Rei, then, he thought.  Maybe he shouldn't have told them.  Maybe he
wasn't supposed to.
        But he didn't care.  The feeling he possessed right now was
one of the greatest feelings he had _ever_ possessed.  He was liked;
popular.  He had to suffer in the Eva, so there had to be some reward,
some payback.  And this was it.  He actually felt happy.
        He was about to look it another message when a loud, piercing
noise signaled the end of the class.  The students immediately leaped
forward from their seats, talking, laughing and oblivious to the class
rep, who was screaming at them to wait for the teacher's dismissal.
        "Where do you live, Shinji?" A girl asked him.
        "Do you live in the old section of town?" another specified.
        "Umm.." Shinji said, rising from his seat.  "I live with the
Operations Captain.  I'm not sure what section it's in.  I haven't
been around much."  He carefully departed, surrounded by a throng
of students all asking him questions.
        At the back of the class, Touji Suzuhara stared at the
withdrawing figure, hatred in his eyes.

        Shinji quickly became frustrated with the constant questions,
and when lunchtime came around he only wanted to be alone.  He felt
liked, popular, but also pestered and violated.  He stole through
the empty halls of the school, looking for a quiet spot to eat and
        As he rounded one corner, he noticed two students stepping
from behind another corner to follow him.  Shinji carried on more
hurriedly, but it seemed like they were keeping pace to match with
him.  Or was it just his imagination?  There was a door leading
outside, and Shinji made for it.  He fumbled with the handle for a
few seconds before realizing it was locked.
        Shinji turned around and went back the way he came, but the
two were already there.  The larger one caught Shinji's shoulder,
and then, without warning or provocation, punched Shinji on the face.
        Shinji collapsed on the ground, terrified and a agony.  Tears
were escaping from his eyes, which he wiped with the back of his hand.
        Touji Suzuhara looked, satisfied, at the child lying on the
floor.  "Sorry, transferee, but I had to hit you.  I owed you one."
He said, smirking.
        Kensuke Aida stepped beside him, staring at Shinji as he rose
to his feet.  "Sorry but his younger sister was crippled by your
robot.  That's how life is, I guess.  You hurt someone, you eventually
end up getting hurt back."
        Shinji choked, unable to believe what they were saying.  If
they knew.. if they had any idea.. he stood, facing the boy who had
hit him.
        "I didn't want to pilot the damn thing!" Shinji screamed.
        Kensuke opened his mouth to say something, but Suzuhara
instantly thrust his arm forward and hit Shinji once more.  Shinji
fell back, sprawling against the wall.  Touji walked away, not looking
at the crumpled form again.  Kensuke took a final, uncertain look at
Shinji, then followed his friend.
        Shinji clutched his jaw, shivering and agonizing.  He couldn't
believe it.  There was no escape, was there?  He was meant to suffer.
Shinji Ikari, the boy God took out his frustrations on.  He was
bleeding from a cut on his lip, so with unsteady movement he got up
and moved towards the bathroom.
        Inside, he sat down and wept.

        Shinji didn't go to any of his other classes that day.
Instead, he remained in the small room, slumped against the wall,
only once moving to wash a small amount of blood off his face.  In one
sense, this felt worse than piloting Eva.  These were the very people
he had suffered to protect.  He had been pushed to the brink of death
- he had been pushed further than he had ever imagined he could be
pushed.  And for what?  There was still a bit of blood on Shinji's
        It was near the end of the day, or so Shinji figured when
he heard a harsh, blaring siren that sounded not at all similar to
the ordinary school bell.  Shinji had never heard the sound before,
but he instantly knew what it was.  An evacuation siren.
        Another Angel, he thought, burying his head in his hands.
        He wondered what would happen if he didn't rise, if he just
stayed there.  They'd probably send someone to look for him, he
thought.  Or maybe they wouldn't.  Maybe they'd just make Rei fight
the Angel.
        Would Rei do it?  He couldn't do it, if he was Rei.  But she
didn't even seem like a human being, the way she was treated - the way
she acted.  She almost seemed as if she had been brainwashed.
        Suddenly Shinji thought of himself after about a month of
this, and wondered if he would be the same.  He could already feel
himself breaking.  Would he still be an individual at all?  He was
crying again, but he was angry, angry at Rei, but more angry at
whatever had done this to her.  What was doing this to him.
        Finally, after maybe ten minutes since the siren had started,
he got up and left the bathroom.  He couldn't let Rei suffer - and he
couldn't let her die fighting that Angel.  If the Angel won, Tokyo-3
would be destroyed, surely.  A voice at the back of Shinji's mind
told him he wasn't in any better condition to fight the Angel than
Rei, but he didn't care.  As long as he was the first to die.
        He stood in the hallway outside for only a second before he
heard the voice of an older man calling his name.
        "Shinji Ikari?" The tone was questioning, uncertain.
        Startled, Shinji spun around.
        "Shinji Ikari?" The speaker was an adult, but not that old.
Late twenties, perhaps.  He wore a suit and sported a day's growth of
beard and a perpetual smile.  "You _are_ Shinji Ikari, aren't you?"
        "Uh.." Shinji paused a moment.  Was this man from NERV?  "Yes,
I'm Shinji Ikari."  Hurriedly, he wiped his eyes.
        "I've been looking all over for you!"  the man said.  Suddenly
he stopped and stared at Shinji.  "Did someone hit you?" he asked.
        Shinji turned away.  "Um.. well.." he didn't know what to say.
"Yes," he finally whimpered.
        The man stooped to examine Shinji's face.  "Looks pretty bad,"
he said, gravely.  "You should put something cold on that.  I'll get
you something before we leave."
        "Leave?" Shinji said, jerking his head around.  "Where are we
going?  Who are you?"
        "I'm sorry," the man said, standing.  "I should have
introduced myself."  He offered his hand to Shinji.  "The name's
Ryougi Kaji, but my friends usually just call me Kaji.  I work for
NERV, as you probably guessed."
        Shinji took the hand somewhat miserably, though Kaji smiled
at him.  "Then there's another Angel," he stated.
        "Well, yes," Kaji said, nodding grimly.  He stared with
concern at Shinji for a second.  The young boy before him was
frightened and in pain.  "If you're not up to it, Shinji, you don't
have to do it.  You can just back away."
        "No, I won't!" Shinji screamed.  "If I do, the people here
will be slaughtered by that thing!"  He started shaking, and stared at
the ground.  "I'm the only one who can do it," he whispered.
        Kaji drew a deep breath.  He stooped down beside Shinji.  "I
don't know what it's like to pilot Unit-01.  I can't pretend to know.
But it must be terrible." He put his hand on Shinji's shoulder,
reassuringly.  "If you're determined to do this, Shinji.. have you
ever had a beer before?"
        "What?" Shinji asked, looking at Kaji with surprise.
        "A beer.  Have you ever had one?"
        "Well, uh.. no," Shinji said, confused.
        "Look.  After this is over, once you've defeated the Angel -
I'll take you somewhere, just the two of us, and buy you a beer."
        Shinji stared, shocked, for a second.. then smiled.  He hadn't
meant to, but he couldn't help it.  "I - I guess so," he said.
        Kaji grinned.  "I find that no matter what your problem, it
can be mended - at least temporarily - with a drink or two."  The
siren was still blaring - it seemed strange to Shinji that they were
both standing here, oblivious to the entire crisis, when Kaji had been
sent to fetch him!
        "Ah.. shouldn't we be going?" he asked meekly.  He didn't want
to go - in fact, he quite liked Kaji - but he had no choice, and was
feeling a bit more confident now anyways.
        "Ahm, I guess so," Kaji said, rising and stretching relaxedly.
"But only," he said, casting a stern eye on Shinji, "If you're feeling
up to it."
        "I'm feeling better," Shinji replied.  He stood beside Kaji,
the siren's wounded cry reburvirating through his head.
        "Well, let's go then!" Kaji said, and led Shinji out of the
school and then to the front of it.  He walked beside Shinji, careful
not to fall ahead or behind.  Shinji was amazed.  He hadn't imagined
he'd ever meet a NERV employee like Kaji.  Even Misato.. Misato was
too messy.  And too loud.
        "Where's.. where's Ayanami?" Shinji asked, looking up at Kaji.
        "She's gone on ahead," Kaji replied.  He gestured to a car
parked in the school's driveway.  "You'll be taking that car to NERV,"
he said.
        "You're not coming?" Shinji asked, surprised and slightly
        "No, I'm sorry," Kaji said, stroking his chin absently.  "I'm
supposed to stay behind and make sure the evacuation is complete.
Good bye, Shinji," he said, taking the young boy's hand a final time.
"And don't forget about that beer!"
        Shinji shook the hand uneasily, but found it in him to smile.
"Thank you," he said quietly.
        Kaji looked surprised.  "Why, you're welcome!" he said, and
waved a final time at Shinji as he walked away.  Feeling much better
about himself, Shinji climbed into the car and shut the door.  The
driver automatically began his journey towards the underground complex
of NERV headquarters.

        The Fourth Angel varied greatly in appearance from the black,
humanoid Third.  How it had arrived in Tokyo-3 was general uncertain;
the assumption was that it had traveled through the atmosphere like
the Third.  However, it bore no legs, nor any arms.  It was largely
red, blood-red; not pitch black as the Third.
        Subcommander Fuyutsuki stared at the viewscreen in the UN
headquarters, contemplating.  NERV was now in command of the military
operations - but Commander Ikari was absent, preoccupied with other
business.  A terrible coincidence that the Fourth Angel should arrive
on this day.  It was also surprising that the Fourth Angel had
arrived so soon after the defeat of the Third.  If they had to
intercept Angels at this rate, they needed Units Two and Three, and
they needed them quickly.
        "Status of noncombatants and civilians?" Misato Katsuragi
asked, standing grimly behind Fuyutsuki.  She kept her gaze fixated
on the viewscreen, observing their dread opponent.
        "Reports indicate that the evacuation has been completed,"
a technician replied.  "We can now begin the transformation of
        "Do it," Fuyutsuki commanded.
        Almost the instant the order had been given the bright and
shining towers of Tokyo-3 began to retreat into the ground, sheltering
themselves from the destructive power of the Angel.  The strange thing
was, at this point, the Angel didn't seem to have any destructive
power at all.
        "It's strange, but it almost looks to be.. searching for
something," Misato said, staring intently at the Angel.  "It must be
drawn to NERV somehow.  The last one attacked Tokyo-3 as well."
        Fuyutsuki nodded.  He knew exactly why the Angels were drawn
to NERV, of course, even if Misato didn't.  "Are we ready to launch
an Eva?"
        "Almost, sir," Misato said.  "Unit-01 should be ready for
launch shortly."
        "Just make sure it launches," Fuyutsuki remarked dryly.  "I'd
rather we engage the Angel _before_ it reaches NERV.  Just to be on the
safe side."

        This was the second evacuation in as many weeks, and the
students in Shinji's school were already getting tired of it.  They
stood at the shelter, taking, laughing, giggling.  Or, Touji thought,
perhaps it's their fear that makes them this way.  Maybe they just
want to forget their fear.
        Touji was scared.  Deathly scared.  He had just hit the pilot,
for God's sake!  Just an hour ago!  He couldn't imagine his timing
being any worse.
        A voice crackled over the speakers installed in the walls.
"Primary and Junior High School students, please group yourselves
by class.  Resident, please group yourselves by block."
        Some people moved in response to the orders, but not many.
Touji remained by Kensuke, who stood taping a news broadcast playing
on a monitor.
        "At noon today," the anchorwoman stated, "a state of special
emergency was declared for the Kanto and Chubu districts, near the
Tokai district.  More detailed information will be reported as it is
        Suddenly, the screen went black.
        Kensuke put his camera down, disappointed.  "Great, another
news blackout.  I wonder what goes on out there that they don't want
us to see?"
        Touji shrugged.  "Beats me.  Two robots fighting.  I can't
imagine why they wouldn't show it.  If we're going to die, shouldn't
we be the first to know?"
        Kensuke paused for a minute, nodding.  Then he turned to
Touji.  "I have to see this, you know."
        Touji turned around, surprised.  "See what?"
        "The battle?"
        "But the news channels are blocked."
        "Then I'm leaving the shelter."
        Touji stared, stunned.  "You can't go out there!  You'll be
        Kensuke shrugged.  "If he loses we'll be killed in the shelter
anyway.  I might as well see it first."
        "You're a fool," Touji cried.  "We're not going to die.  What
do you think NERV's sole purpose is?"
        "And what do you think NERV's fighting machine is?" Kensuke
asked.  "It's the robot the transferee pilots.  Last time he protected
us, and you punched him for it.  Twice!"
        Touji winced.  "Don't remind me!  You think I don't know that?"
        "If he didn't want to pilot that robot, we'd all be killed,
Touji!  Don't you feel obligated to watch his struggle?"
        Touji sighed.  "I don't suppose I have a choice.  You really
want to see this thing, don't you?"
        Kensuke grinned.
        "Class rep," Touji called.  "Class rep!"
        A stern-looking class rep came over to the two, expecting
trouble.  "Yes?" she asked.
        "We need to go to the bathroom."
        The class rep looked in disbelief.  "Both of you?"
        "Yes, that's right."
        "It's too late  Why didn't you go before?"
        "Didn't need to then.  We really need to now."
        The class rep sighed.  "Ah, all right.  But be quick about it."

        Twenty minutes later, Touji and Kensuke were running up a
series of stone steps set into the side of the mountain the shelter
was built under.  The view from that height - a view neither of them
had ever laid eyes on before - was breathtaking.  The dying sunlight
cooled and glimmered off of the sullen form of the fortress city, and
sparked deeply upon the bloody form of the Angel.  Kensuke shivered
with excitement, struggling to bring his camera's focus upon the
pristine, haunting image.
        At the top of the staircase, there was a large, grassy knoll
which the two perched upon, breathing heavily.
        Touji stared transfixedly at the image of the Angel.  "So
that's what the enemy looks like, huh?" he murmured.
        Kensuke stared in the same direction.  "Yeah.  I wonder how it
attacks... I suppose we'll find out, though."  His voice was unsteady,
betraying the intense excitement the experience was bringing him.
"This is amazing.  It was well worth the struggle to get here!"
        Suddenly the lights on a large building - one of the few
remaining in Tokyo-3's submerged form - glimmered incessantly,
drawing both boys' attention.  A huge sliding door on one side of the
construction retreated, and the Eva's gigantic, devilish form was
        "Wow," Kensuke murmured, keeping his camera focused as best he
could.  "It doesn't look like I expected it to."
        Inside the entry plug of Unit-01, Shinji sat calmly, his
attention focused entirely on the coming conflict.  His jaw no longer
hurt - he no longer felt any sense of Shinji Ikari at all.  He was one
with Eva.
        Shinji raised his enormous rifle.  The Angel before him didn't
seem as fearsome as the Third had.  It behaved like the Third,
confused by his arrival, apparently staring directly at him - though
it didn't have a discernible head.
        Shinji remembered Ritsuko's words to him.  Her lesson, now
that he was back in the entry plug, lingered within his mind like a
benediction.  He waited calmly, breathing deeply, as the targeting
cursor in front of him obtained a lock on the Angel.
        He strode forward, weapon in hand.
        The cursor locked.  He fired.
        The Angel crumbled before the fire, blood vessels rupturing
and showering the city.  Touji and Kensuke watched, stunned, as the
Angel thrashed violently before collapsing to the ground.
        "They're organic," Kensuke murmured, horrified.
        Shinji crept closer, weapon in hand, attempting to examine
the remains of the fallen Angel.  It had collapsed across a street,
and demolished several sets of buildings - but they were evacuated.
They had told him so.  Shinji waded through the wreckage and the
rubble, and stared at the Angel.
        Shinji raised his weapon, aiming directly for the monster's
chest.  As the target locked, he heard a second to consider its
strange appearance.  It was almost like an insect, or perhaps an
undersea creature, standing as if it were human.  Instead of arms,
it bore stubby protrusions that didn't seem to be of any use at all.
How had it planned to attack him?
        A split second before Shinji fired again, the Angel recovered.
>From its shoulderlike protrusions two beams of energy materialized,
their appearance like that of lasers by their movement like tentacles
or feelers.  Just as Shinji pulled the trigger, one swept fiercely
through the weapon, shattering it and causing an explosion that
impeded Shinji's vision for a second.  Before he could even recover
from the shock the monster wrapped its feelers around the robot and
flung him through space.
        "My God," Kensuke screamed.  "It's coming right for us!"
        The robot landed heavily in the grassy hill Touji and Kensuke
were perched upon, its joints screaming with the impact.  The two boys
could only stare in mortal terror at the enormous fighting machine
which had landed twenty feet from them.
        "Shinji!" Misato cried through the plug's speakers.  "Shinji,
the Angel has severed your umbilical cord!"
        Shinji looked up in alarm.  The umbilical cord was the Eva's
power supply.  Attached to the back of the robot, it ran all the way
back to NERV's power source.  But now that he was not longer receiving
that power-
        "You're on internal battery power," Misato explained, her
voice shaking.  "But you only have five minutes of it."
        Shinji glanced down at a new display that had appeared.  It
was a numerical readout - four fifty three.  Four fifty two.  Four
fifty one.
        Five minutes.  It would have to be enough.
        Shinji struggled to his feet.  However, as his view scraped
the horizon, his eyes came to fixate upon a tiny pair of figures
huddled on the mountainside.  For a second, he was unable to believe
what he was seeing.  Students.  Students from his class!  Right in
front of him!  And he recognized them..
        The realization was like the blow to the face he had suffered
at their hands.  One second, he had been someone better than Shinji
Ikari - an avenging angel fighting for the good of humankind.  Now,
seeing this before him, he was reminded of who he was - a small,
frightened boy trapped in a larger shell that was not his own.
Without the Eva, he was nothing.  A target hated by all he came into
contact with.
        Gritting his teeth, he slowly forced himself back into the
mindset of his Eva.  If all he was was Eva, then Eva was all he had
left.  It was his job to save the lives of the citizens of Tokyo-3 -
no matter what they thought of him or did to him.  If he let that
get in his way, he knew he would break.  This was all he had left.
        Suddenly, Unit-01 hurtled into action.  The giant robot
ran at the Angel, blocking its path to his two classmates.  He
grappled with the grotesque creature, trying to force it away from the
hill, push it back into the city.  At this close range, the Angel
could easily strike the robot with its feelers - and maliciously
inserted them into the chest of Unit-01, the energy weapons cleanly
emerging on the weapon's other side.  Two thin streams of blood seeped
out from the wounds.
        "What's he doing?" Touji shouted, shaking with fear.  "He
can't fight that thing at close range!  He'll be killed!"
        "He's trying to keep it away from us," Kensuke whispered,
lowering his camera.  "He's trying to protect us."
        Shinji was in agony once more.  He felt as if the Angel's
tendrils were inside his stomach, writhing and cutting and burning.
It was all he could do not to vomit.  Slowly bringing his torso
around, he turned in the direction of the two children and pointed
with his left arm, begging them to run.
        But they only stood there, gazing in mute horror at the
conflict.  Then a tendril removed itself from the Eva's body and
instead wrapped itself around its outstretched arm, constricting around
it, and finally crushing it with a sickening snap.  Unit-01 reeled
beneath the blow; the arm fell limp, useless.
        The two onlookers ran.  For the first time Shinji could ever
recall doing so in Eva's cockpit, he smiled.  But it was a pale,
sickly smile and bereft of any hope or innocence.  Two minutes, five
seconds remaining.
        The Eva reached down with its right arm - its only remaining
arm - and withdrew from a compartment situated on its leg a long,
gleaming knife.  The weapon was called a progressive knife, and was
the robot's deadliest weapon.  It, when activated, vibrated with
ultrasonic frequency, creating shockwaves to assault whatever it came
in contact with.  In one swift, deadly move, Shinji drew the knife,
activated it, and shred open the chest of his enemy.  The severed
flesh hung limply to either side of the separation, blood oozing from
the wound. There was a faint glimpse of a red crystal beyond.
        Over the entry plug's speakers, Misato was saying something.
She might have been telling him to retreat.  He had one minute and
twenty-six seconds left.  If he ran out of power before the Angel
died, he would be rent limb from limb by this creature.
        Both feelers were back in his body, writhing and bleeding and
hurting.  But it only fueled Shinji's rage.
        Screaming, he swung the progressive knife in a murderous arc,
the knife penetrating the Angel's core with a metallic scraping sound.
The Angel made a sharp hissing noise as the blade entered its chest.
The orb began to shudder under the ultrasonic wave, chipping and
cracking beneath the assault.
        Fifty-three seconds.
        The Angel writhed wildly, understanding now the deadly embrace
it was caught in.  Its tendrils whipped wildly around, cracking and
dissolving metal plating but, more importantly, slicing through muscle
tissue and striking vital organs.  Shinji fell to his knees, vomiting
blood.  But he would not give up consciousness.
        Forty-two seconds.
        Shinji's mind corroded in that foul embrace.  Everything,
absolutely everything within him was pleading him to stop, begging
him to slip into the darkness.  But he would not stop.  He would
not give in.  He would hold onto this pain like a beacon, use it to
direct his assault.  If it would be the death of him, so be it.  He
had nothing left.
        Twenty-six seconds left.
        Misato was screaming at him, but Shinji couldn't hear her.  He
didn't care.  All he heard, all he felt was the blood roaring in his
veins.  He plunged the knife farther still into the creature's chest.
Its core shuddered and cracked - but did not give in.
        Ten seconds left.
        Shinji screamed - he had just enough energy left to scream.
        The creature was eviscerating him from the inside.
        Nine seconds left.
        Shinji let out a final, heartbroken wail and collapsed, his
mind unrecognizable to himself.  He had failed.
        Neither creature moved.  The Eva remained motionless, with its
knife penetrating the Angel's core.  The Angel's tendrils had vanished
into the air as if they had never been.  It's core was finally,
utterly breached, killing it.  But Shinji never knew it.

        The rain fell softly on the streets of Tokyo-3.  It came
quietly and thoughtfully, not hard but enough to create a noticeable
cascade streaming down the street.  Touji Suzuhara stared miserably
out into the rain, searching it for the answer to his dilemma.  He
felt twisted inside, bent out of shape.  He felt empty, and he didn't
know what to do to fill the void.
        "It's been three days," he murmured to no-one in particular.
        Kensuke, typing maniacally on a keyboard behind him, looked
up at the sound of his friend's voice.  "Yeah," he now replied,
sadly.  "We were really raked over the coals for that.."
        Touji interrupted him.  "Since he's been at school, I mean."
        "Who's he?"
        "The transferee, of course!  Who else would I be talking
about?"  Touji sighed, retreating back to his melancholy thoughts.
"I wonder how he's doing.."
        Kensuke stared at Touji, surprised.  "You're worried about
        Touji stood up.  "Of course I'm worried about him!  That..
that things nearly tore him apart!"  He stopped, suddenly, as Kensuke
handed him a small piece of paper he had just printed.  "What's this?"
        "The transferee's address," Kensuke replied.

        Misato had gone to visit Shinji in the hospital every day
since his battle with the Fourth Angel.  But he hadn't woken up.
After three days, he was still unconscious, his mind still on the
verge of collapsing.  Even so, she wasn't sure what she'd say to him
once he woke up.  How could she comfort him?  Or was he beyond
comfort now?
        On the fourth day, she opened the door to Shinji's room and
found it empty.
        "He left some time last night," the nurse on duty explained
her hands spread across her desk.  "He took his clothing and just..
left.  It's not like we could stop him.  I didn't even know who he
        Misato didn't know what to say.  What was there to say?  She
called NERV, of course.  They said they would start to look for him.
But she didn't really believe they would find him.
        It was Ritsuko who had told her Shinji wouldn't live another
year.  When Misato got home, she locked herself in her room and cried.

End of Part 3