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A Neon Genesis Evangelion story
by D.B. Sommer

Any and all C+C appreciated. You can contact me at: sommer@3rdm.net

Disclaimer: NGE was created by Hideaki Anno and the rights belong to Gainax, Project Eva, TV Tokyo, and ADV.

Author’s notes: Finally decided to try to do one of those ‘one hour challenge’ fics (though it’s not an FFIRC one). Ordinarily I wouldn’t try to do such a thing, considering none of my ideas could possibly be written in under an hour, but this one came to me recently. Not sure if it’s been done before (it wouldn’t surprise me if it has), but it might be a worthwhile read anyway. It’s simple and a lot rougher than what I usually do, probably have more mistakes than usual, but I thought it would be an interesting test to see what I could come up with. Nothing like trying something different for a change.

Ended up taking me an hour and twenty-five minutes, not counting grammar checks.

These events take place around episode 14.

Here we go!

Professor Kozue Fuyutsuki’s eyebrows knitted in concern as he looked upon the face of his superior and friend, Gendou Ikari. To others, the scene would have appeared no different from any other day, as Gendou sat behind the desk in his office with his hands steepled before him, the dim light of the room glinting slightly off the corner of his glasses. But to one that had been at Gendou’s side almost continuously for the last ten years, the man was all but waving a sign that shouted out something important was on his mind. Three times in the last hour Gendou had checked his watch. Twice he had sighed just loudly enough to be heard. And he had clenched his hand in a fist three times as well.

At first, Fuyutsuki had been confident that Gendou would open up and inform him as to what was wrong, but as the hour passed, the only subjects the duo talked about were meaningless day to day operations, and even then Gendou unbelievably tended to drift off or get basic information wrong. At the end of an hour’s time, Fuyutsuki decided he’d had enough.

“What is it that has you so preoccupied today?” he asked as caught Gendou trying to look at his watch a fourth time.

That Fuyutsuki had picked up on Gendou’s distraction seemed to surprise him. After a moment of indecision, and pushing his glasses back up his nose, he began to speak. “I’m expecting a visitor today.”

That caught Fuyutsuki’s attention. “Someone from SEELE?”

“Not exactly.” Gendou appeared uncertain whether to continue. Before he spoke another word, the loud ringing of a call came over the intercom at his desk. “What is it?” he asked with far more composure in his tone than before.

A voice over the intercom said, “You wished to be notified when that special visitor arrived, Sir.”

“Excellent. Have the visitor escorted up to my office.” Gendou gave off another sigh of relief. “Also, order Dr. Akagi to begin the special process on Unit-01 now. And notify Major Katsuragi that I want Shinji escorted there as well. Tell them I will be down within the next half-hour. That is all.”

Fuyutsuki stared at Gendou in surprise. Ikari had gone over none of this with him. “What visitor? What special process? What are you up to, Ikari?”

Gendou seemed to weigh what to say next carefully. “As you well know, the two of us organized NERV for one purpose only.”

“Of course.” There was no need to say aloud that the goal of the project was not the same as that which SEELE had been backing them for. One never knew who might hear you, even in the sanctity of one’s home.

The light seemed drawn to Gendou’s glasses, obscuring his eyes from Fuyutsuki. “But there is always a chance of the unexpected occurring and the plan not seeing fruition. That is not acceptable. To that end, I have been seeking an alternative solution.”

“An alternative solution?” Fuyutsuki repeated. He wasn’t sure he liked the direction the conversation had suddenly taken. “I thought we concluded there was no other solution.”

“With the knowledge we had on hand at the time, there wasn’t,” Gendou agreed. “But now new information has come to my attention. I have become convinced that there is another way.”

Glasses stopped reflecting light, and Fuyutsuki saw Gendou’s eyes at last. He wasn’t pleased by that, not with the dangerous, almost desperate gleam in Gendou’s eyes. Fuyutsuki found himself further unsettled. “What other way?”

“I can’t tell you at the moment. In truth, it might not work, but,” Gendou paused and gnashed his teeth together, a habit he had not indulged in since college. “I’m sure it will. I can feel it. Soon. Very soon now.”

Fuyutsuki knew Gendou had kept secrets from him, he kept secrets from everyone, but this was something altogether different. “Ikari, I have to say I don’t think I like the way this is affecting you. Why don’t you calm down and tell me—“

The rest was cut off as, without preamble, the door to the office opened. Within the doorway stood a figure, black cloak wrapped around the front and obscuring the body of the individual within. The hood on the cloak was pulled forward, allowing light to only fall upon the mouth of the figure. Fuyutsuki noted the lips were small and pert, and the skin of the figure somewhat pale, though it might just have been from the lighting in the office. Fuyutsuki noticed that the figure also bore a large carrying case of some kind, about twice the width of a normal suitcase. It held the large object in its hands effortlessly.

“Greetings, your Majesty,” Gendou said as he stepped forward to bow before the figure. When the figure did not bow in return, Gendou looked at it cautiously. “Is something the matter? Where are your escorts?”

A voice much higher than Fuyutsuki anticipated came from the figure. “I’m afraid one of your underlings offended me. Grievously. I activated his health insurance plan. His fellow men tried to help him. I doubt if it will cost as much to repair them as the first. I understood that they were just doing their duty and went easy on them.”

Fuyutsuki was shocked to hear Gendou say nothing more than, “I’ll see to it they are reprimanded later.” That seemed to put the figure at ease. Fuyutsuki, more curious than ever to see what sort of person caused Gendou to act so passively, moved forward as well, trying to get a look at the individual. He drew closer, until he was no more than two meters away, when the figure turned towards him. Fuyutsuki at last made out the face of a woman, attractive but not ravishing, somewhere in her early thirties, or so he thought.

She turned to look at him. “And you are?”

There was the sound of warning in her throat. Gendou quickly said, “This is Kozue Fuyutsuki, my chief aide. He’ll be accompanying me as we go to the unit. Do you have the package?”

“Of course.” The woman held the case up before Gendou. “You have my one hundred million dollars?”

“Fifty million has already been deposited in your account, your Majesty. The other half will be given only if the package can be utilized properly.”

“That is agreeable,” the woman replied. “When shall we make use of it?”

“Right now. After you, your Majesty.” Gendou indicated the woman should leave first. She backed out into the hallway. Gendou turned to Fuyutsuki. “Let’s go.”

Fuyutsuki grabbed Gendou by the shoulder and began speaking quietly to him, making sure the woman could not hear him. “What’s going on? Who is that woman?”

Gendou shot Fuyutsuki a warning glance. “For your own sake, refer to hi…to that person as, your Majesty. I have no time to waste explaining things to you right now. You’re just going to have to trust me.”

“Very well,” Fuyutsuki sighed, keeping a small part of his trust in reserve. This was horribly unlike Gendou, and he had a feeling that whatever was about to happen was not part of the plan Gendou and he had developed so many years ago.

The trio exited to the hall and began their rapid ascent to the cage that Unit-01 was currently housed. No words were exchanged between them. As they made their way through the building, the cloak fell somewhat away from the strange woman and Fuyutsuki could make out that she had what appeared to be white hair. He didn’t know what to make of that strange feature.

Upon arriving at the platform at the top of the holding cage, at eye level with Eva-01, Fuyutsuki saw that Misato, Shinji, Rei, Asuka, and Ritsuko were all there. Of all the people present, only Ritsuko didn’t seem completely confused.

“Commander, what is going on?!”

Angry, perhaps, but not confused. Fuyutsuki spared a glance at Unit-01. For some odd reason, it appeared the commander had had it immersed up to its shoulders in…

“Excuse me, but is that water in there?”

“Yes, it is,” Ritsuko snapped.

“It’s heated at a temperature of precisely ten degrees centigrade, yes?” Gendou asked.

“Yes,” Ritsuko said, even angrier about not being afforded an explanation.

“That’s cold enough,” the nameless woman said as she pulled her hood back fully and allowed the others to see her face.

As she spoke, the others finally seemed to take notice of her. Whispers began to come from Asuka and Misato as they tried guessing the identity of the girl.

“We need to get closer to Unit-01.” Gendou ordered one of the narrow walkways that was used to work on the Eva closer to the unit’s head. As the walkway was moved into position, Gendou moved closer to Shinji.

“Shinji,” He paused for a moment, and then laid his hand on the smaller boy’s shoulder. “Son, I want you to come forward with me. I want you at my side.”

Shinji found his heart leap into his throat, for looking into his father’s eyes, for the first time since he had been called to Tokyo-3, he saw the barest hint of affection in them. With that positive approval, Shinji felt he would accompany his father to hell if he had to.

“Excuse me!” Ritsuko shouted, “but would it be too much to ask exactly why we’re doing all of this?”

“Be silent, foolish woman!” the stranger hissed at her. The look of anger in the white-haired woman’s eyes gave Ritsuko pause.

“Be at ease, your Majesty. Dr. Akagi is simply concerned that she is able to do her job for me effectively,” Gendou said soothingly.

“Your women should mind their proper place and be silent when their betters give them orders,” the woman said, though seemed to calm down. The comment turned Misato and Asuka as crimson as the redhead’s plugsuit, and only a warning glare from Gendou kept them from telling then stranger what they thought about having to ‘mind their proper place.’

With the potential argument averted, Gendou turned back to Ritsuko. “All will be revealed in good time, Dr. Akagi.”

Gendou guided Shinji to the walkway, which had locked into position attaching itself to the platform everyone stood upon. Gendou told Shinji and the mysterious woman to accompany him, ordering the others to remain where they were. Ritsuko moved closer to Fuyutsuki, and the two began a quiet conversation, looking suspiciously at Gendou the entire time.  If Gendou noticed, or even cared, he gave no outward indication of it. Instead he and the other two made their way towards Unit-01’s head.

As they drew nearer, the woman spoke. “You do realize the water only works on biological organisms, not robots.”

“I assure you, Unit-01 qualifies as a living object,” Gendou said.

There was doubt in the woman’s eyes. “I’m keeping the fifty million. It’s not my fault you’re going to waste the water.”

“Agreed,” Gendou said calmly, though Shinji thought he detected the faintest hint of worry in his father’s eyes. And what did he mean that Unit-01 was a living object? It was just a very advanced robot, wasn’t it?

The trio stopped at the end of the walkway, no more than ten feet from the face of Unit-01. The woman bent down and opened her case. Shinji watched as she extracted two large containers of water from them. Each one had a label with different writing on them, but they were in a language Shinji couldn’t understand.

The woman held one of the containers before her.

Gendou’s voice trembled as he said, “You’re sure that’s the correct one?”

“Would you like me to test it on you?” the woman offered.

Gendou composed himself. “Unnecessary. I trust you. Are you certain that’s going to be enough?”

“The amount of water is all that matters, not the size of the creature splashed with it,” the woman assured him.

At last Shinji could keep silent no longer. “Father, what’s going on?”

Gendou looked at his son, the faintest hint of a tear forming in his right eye. “God willing, your retirement as pilot.” Before Shinji could respond to the cryptic statement, Gendou turned to the woman and said, “Do it now!”

The woman removed the lid from the container of water she held and hurled its entire contents at Unit-01. The clear liquid splashed across the surface of the Eva’s face. For a moment, Shinji stared at the purple face of the giant vehicle he piloted…

…and then it was gone.

Gendou looked in panic at the water where Unit-01 had been a moment ago. “What happened?! Where is she?!” he shouted.

“Most likely underwater. Just because the head was above water, didn’t mean she would be there too,” the woman said. She removed her cloak from her body, revealing a set of scale mail around her torso. She effortlessly leaped up to the top of the railing on the walkway. “I’ll get her, but it’ll cost you another million.”

“Just do it!” Gendou nearly screamed.

The woman dove into the water without a word. A blue glow surrounded her as she cut through the water like a torpedo.

Shinji looked down after her, barely understanding what was happening. Where had Unit-01 gone? Was there something about it being underwater? What was that water that was thrown upon it? Why was his father so panicked about it? And who was the mysterious woman?

Shinji was about to ask his father for answers when the woman shot out of the water like a dolphin, landing on the deck of the walkway, and bearing, of all things, another woman in her arms. The white-haired woman offered her burden to Gendou. As Shinji got a good look at the unconscious water-drenched form, there was a faint hint of familiarity about her.

Gendou’s reaction was instantaneous. With a cry of hope and despair that was ripped from his very heart, he took the woman in his arms.

The white-haired woman saw the man would be inarticulate, but knew what his questions were. “She is alive. I can feel it. She wasn’t down there long enough to drown. Her life is in no danger.”

As Gendou fell to the ground with the unconscious woman in his arms, crying and refusing to let go, the white-haired woman grabbed the other container of water and undid the top to it. Shinji watched in confusion as the woman smiled at him, then poured the contents of the container on the unconscious woman in his father’s arms. Some of it splashed on Gendou, but apparently did nothing to him.

The white-haired woman turned to go. “That will lock her in her current, cursed form. Go ahead and splash her with some warm water if you don’t believe me. I expect the rest of my money to be delivered into my accounts by the end of the week, or you’ll get to personally find out what it means to be splashed with that first water as well.

With her final statement delivered, the woman began to walk away, wishing she had some hot water right now. She moved to one side of the walkway, allowing the other people that had remained on the platform to come rushing past her and head towards crying Gendou and the woman he bore in his arms. She thought she caught the word, “Yui,” on the lips of the older man.

Herb, Emperor of the Musk Dynasty (and currently in his cursed form), left the strange people to their own devices. What a bargain. One hundred and one million dollars for some lousy spring of drowned young girl water and a little bit of water from Chiisuiton, and all to turn what was obviously a very expensive robot into a girl. It would have been much more practical (and cheaper) to use a simple animal. Truly, the Japanese were an exceptionally stupid people.


Author's notes: Yes, Herb is from Ranma ½ (if you hadn’t figured it out by now.)

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