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Shiro Tokita has a Weird Visitor (Evangelion Fanfic, Canon Character Protagonist, OG Eva + Rebuilds

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Repentant_Dragos, Apr 3, 2023.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Shiro Tokita has a Weird Visitor (Evangelion Fanfic, Canon Character Protagonist, OG Eva + Rebuilds Crossover)

    Prologue

    Shiro Tokita was having a good day.

    [​IMG]

    One of the newest executives in Japan Heavy Chemical Industries, which in turn was one of the largest multinationals to survive the catastrophe known as Second Impact, the man was at the top of his career.

    What were the reasons for that? Well, he had gained the backing not just of the company board, but also several investors for his pet project: the Jet Alone series of giant robots. Nuclear-powered machines built of metal and human ingenuity, no need for esoteric concepts such as the 'Human Heart' and Living Mechs of dubious stock piloted by children. NERV had reigned for too long, diverted too many resources to their self-indulgent projects, and what was the result? An entire district of Tokyo-3 had been sacrificed to defeat just one 'Angel'.

    As his chauffeur drove his limousine to his penthouse in Tokyo-2, close to the real center of power in Japan's political life, he felt satisfied with himself and how in just a few months, he was going to humiliate NERV and prove to the rest of the UN that the world didn't need those pricks at the head of their defense.

    His glow of self-confidence, which some might mistake as arrogance, lasted until he entered his luxury quarters and closed the door behind him, only to meet a flash of light that left behind a boy wearing a green jacket, which, along with his black hair and intense blue eyes, were the first things he noticed.

    [​IMG]

    "Shiro Tokita, I presume?" the boy, clearly fourteen judging from his height and appearance, said to him. "forty-seven years of age, one of the executives of Japan Heavy Chemical Industries, and just recently-approved head of the 'Jet Alone' Project, which in turn is intended to put forward a giant robot of your design as an alternative to NERV's 'unreliable' Evangelion units, one of which according to your findings, diverts enough people to feed 20,000 people in the parts of the world still-devastated by Second Impact and the massive disorder that followed."

    He smiled with confidence that echoed Shiro's earlier arrogance, but the latter was already trying to rationalize what exactly was happening, trying to come to a conclusion that made sense.

    "This... This is a practical joke, right?" the man chuckled weakly before shouting in a shaky voice that betrayed his failure to convince himself of what he was saying, "Wait, no - You're a spy! Yeah, you're working for those NERV bastards!"

    But the executive instinctively knew he was wrong even before the boy shook his head and said, "If that were the case, you'd be dead. No; I'm a fan of your work, and I have the last piece of information needed to make it a success. You know what I'm talking about, right?"

    Shiro Tokita was no fool; he got into his position through merit, not nepotism, and he showed it by coming to the conclusion the boy wanted and saying in a firm, confident tone with just the right tinge of caustic sourness, "The AT-Field, NERV's secret weapon. You're telling me that you know how to replicate it."

    He guessed right, as the boy pulled out a rectangular gadget, whose entire front was made of a smooth, soft screen with no equivalent in current communications tech - He should know, turned it on with a side button, and began touching the screen, scrolling through glossy icons with a swing of his fingers, before clicking on something called a ‘Projector App’.

    The mystery kid then pointed his device at an unadorned side wall to place a larger version of the screen’s contents onto it, contents which included blueprints for a new piece of tech called an Anti-L Barrier, which additional text said can repel Evas and thus Angels - So there was a connection between the Evangelions and those Alien things?

    This necessitated another question and an attempt to regain control of the situation as Shiro said, "Assuming that what you said is right and this isn't some sort of prank or a set-up, how can I trust you? You barge in here, expecting that fancy special effects and tech that by all rights should be in the realm of theory would overawe me, then offer me what I want after revealing your knowledge of confidential secrets. So tell me, why should I believe that you could be trusted?"

    A slight look of shock passed through the boy's face, a crack in the attitude the kid had projected so far. Then the fourteen-year-old boy’s smile fell and he mumbled as it turned to a frown, "I... I thought you'd be surprised and shocked by the reveal and you'd be... overawed."

    Shiro decided to throw the kid a bone now that he had regained control of the situation. So he complimented him, "Well, I was surprised by your show of genuine teleportation and your possession of what I see is super-tech; consumer technology that no one bothers to advance nowadays due to various countries’ focus on military tech and production plus most consumers taking a hit due to Second Impact and the wars after that. So I'm willing to listen to what you have to say; take a seat, Mr..."

    "Ken," the boy introduced himself as he took a seat on the living room's sofa chair, leaving the main sofa for Shiro himself. "You may know me as Ken. As for what I have to say, well, it's a long story, but my smartphone has all the needed information - Let me project the contents of the next few recordings and files the device memory holds…"

    ------

    Shiro Tokita could not believe his lack of disbelief in what he was being shown. NERV was doing what on the behalf of what to do what?! Ugh, it made his head hurt, and his next words were to summarize what exactly he had been told in hopes of making it less ridiculous.

    "So NERV is acting under orders of a conspiracy named SEELE to use the Evangelions to defeat the 'Angels', whom they woke up so that they can use Angelic tech to merge all Human Souls into one entity and that will allegedly guarantee utopia," It all sounded ridiculous, and if not for the fact that 'Ken' had two cardboard bowls of popcorn directly teleported into his penthouse, he would have ridiculed the very idea and called the police.

    Cheddar Cheese, Shiro thought as he chewed on the popcorn, watching the boy, who had changed seats to sit by his side, nod as though he was capable of dealing with this new world of intrigues on his own. Well, not entirely on his own, this insert had revealed that he had sought Shiro as an ally in rescuing 'this universe' - a telling set of terms - from the perils of 'Instrumentality'.

    "Are you acting alone?" this was his next question, and Ken shook his head fast, before saying in response:

    "Technically no. Dad will be angry if he finds out I used the Teleporter without his knowledge, though; I hoped to get your help and pass you the blueprints before he catches -"

    His smartphone rang. The boy put it on speaker, and a voice, clearly an adult male's, called out, "Ken Illustrious Ikari, back to your Universe this instant!"

    The boy gave a loud 'eep!', got up while holding his popcorn bowl, then bowed deeply in front of him before saying, "Sorry, Mr. Tokita - I have to go now! I'll try and get back as soon as possible with the relevant files, though; sorry!"

    And he was teleported out in another flash of light.

    If not for the remaining bowl of popcorn and the fact that Ken Illustrious Ikari (related to Nerv's 'Commander Ikari'?) had left his device behind, Shiro Tokita could almost believe it was just a dream...
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Chapter One
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Shiro Tokita has a Weird Visitor (Evangelion Fanfic, Canon Character Protagonist, OG Eva + Rebuilds Crossover)

    Chapter One

    It took twelve hours for Shiro Tokita to figure out how to use this ‘smartphone’ and play with the apps on the silky soft touch screen. While anything sensitive was carefully password-locked, the fact that the date read 2042 was a dead giveaway that time travel was also a factor alongside multiversal travel.

    Also, the fact that Ken’s phone had a family picture of an adult version of Shinji Ikari, the Pilot of the Evangelion that had gone berserk in Tokyo-3 just a week ago or so, along with a beautiful bespectacled woman with a body calculated to excite men’s base urges who was the one who got together with him in another universe, just handed him a powerful clue that could be used to blackmail the wannabe intriguer and show him what real manipulation was like.

    Now all he had to do was figure out how to record these images and pictures onto his computer and then into a floppy disk and -

    The phone rang. Shiro Tokita had learned how calls on this device worked and deactivated the speakerphone before placing it against his ear and saying with the slightest smug emphasis, “Greetings, Ikari, whatever generation you are -”

    It was neither Ken nor Adult Shinji who answered, but a woman whose delightfully cheery tone masked a shark’s sharpness underneath.

    “Greetings, Executive Tokita! I trust my son has left you feeling secure and good about yourself?” there was a hidden menace in the tone, one that pierced through his complacency regarding the threat women could pose to him.

    “You can’t pretend that him leaving his super-tech device behind was some sort of plan, Mrs. Ikari; a rookie mistake like that has gotten interns older and more experienced than he fired,” Shiro made the bad decision to tough it out, realizing that he had chosen poorly only when he had blurted out the damning words.

    “I’m taking the phone away, then,” was the response. “And no matter how much of its contents you memorized, you’ll never have the key to defeating NERV - And SEELE - ever again.”

    “Wait!” he blurted out faster than he normally would, “Let’s not be hasty; your son has a vested interest in preventing SEELE and NERV’s ‘Human Instrumentality Project’, right? Why not indulge him?”

    Note to self. Do not provoke a woman who can take away your ticket to victory. Especially as she’s psychotic enough not to care about universes not her own.

    Something in what he thought was hypocritical, wrong, and prejudiced, but he’d address that later. Right now, he needed that vital key to getting one up on NERV (and saving Humanity, obviously).

    A low chuckle followed as the woman said, “You’re lucky he needs to learn more about the world. So why don’t I send him to you again, with my husband’s agreement this time? You get a new intern and he learns to be less overconfident about his capabilities.”

    His response was, “I suppose I do most of the legwork of passing him off as a relative, or just some random war orphan of prodigious talent I picked up?”

    “Affirmative,” was Mrs. Ikari’s answer. “In exchange, I’ll keep his father off your back and even send a care package with Ken that can help with your ‘Jet Alone’ Project. As it is, Instrumentality needs to be stopped in your world for the Multiverse to be saved; that’s a free hint.”

    Shiro Tokita, again, was not blind. He was arrogant and overconfident, but he grasped the full implications of that statement and how that gave him a stake and a hand to play in this set of intrigues. So his response was, “How did I fail in your world? Or are the details of that a part of the ‘care package’?”

    Another low chuckle, one of satisfaction rather than scorn, as this mysterious woman said, “The fact that you can grasp the possibility of failure puts you above the rest of the potential partners this world offers. Of all the talented, intelligent, and driven people we could approach, you stood out as someone who can accept when you are wrong even as you got many things right in hindsight. Just curb the sexist attitude and we’ll be able to work together, okay?”

    Maybe he should do what she said, however much he bridled at it. But first…

    “So, I’ll need your son’s biometrics if he’s to have a legal existence in this universe,” Shiro Tokita said. “I’ll pass him off as a relative of mine who’s also a war orphan, but to do that, I’ll need height, weight, blood type, and any allergies.”

    The smartphone beeped, as Mrs. Ikari said, “Check the Messages App; there’s a complete medical sheet. Once you check it out, I’ll end this call; I need to talk to my husband - He’ll need my assurances if Ken is to be teleported into your penthouse.”

    Do not ask what the limits of their teleportation technology are, Shiro Tokita told himself. Curiosity killed the cat, after all. And would it hurt to listen to their implied criticism?

    He was no fool; if NERV had prevailed against JHCI in their confrontation - Or will prevail - Then he must have done something that screwed his project over. So best to begin work on making fake documents; he’ll clear his schedule to have the time to do so…

    ------

    When the boy - Ken Illustrious Ikari, right? - teleported again into the living room, Shiro had already prepared a pair of sushi platters and two glasses of tea for the both of them, complete with chopsticks.

    This time, the boy was acting more his age when he said, “Oh, hey, sushi!” before muttering the usual “Thanks for the Food!” and starting to eat.

    “So,” Shiro said as he ate slowly, “You’ll be staying with me for a while; I’ve already had the guest room prepared - I’m passing you off as a recently found relative who’s also a war orphan, and who is being homeschooled until he catches up to the optimal academic level for kids his age. As it is summer vacation in your world, it would not interfere with your actual schooling, right?”

    Ken nodded and said, “Yes. Thank you for taking me in; I’ll share the care package shortly - It took a lot of pleading and fast-talking to allow the transference of more technology from my universe to yours.”

    Shiro Tokita nodded at that, restraining a mix of curiosity and greed as he noticed a small, very thin laptop lying beside Ken with a wireless mouse - What he would give for the secrets of that! - attached. So he asked, “Are we going to watch how I lose in your universe, then? And can that machine fit floppy disks?”

    Ken chuckled, “Oh… we’ve advanced beyond those; I’ll give a demonstration once the food is done.”

    ------

    One viewing, of a video, on the small laptop later, the JHCI Executive couldn’t help but frown as he said, “So… NERV sabotaged the Jet Alone project in your universe or a previous ‘time loop’ of your universe. And if what you say about SEELE is true, they can potentially do so here and might already be making plans for that.”

    He didn’t like how he looked in that video/episode, where despite making several valid points about the Evangelions being out of control, he had failed to consider the possibility of human versus human sabotage and the further potential for Jet Alone to be used in conflicts between Humans.

    That was a genuine failure. One he can admit to himself.

    He thought of a plan, “If we announce the Anti-L System and its Evangelion and Angel-repelling barrier, that will put a target on our backs. If I act like a smug, sexist asshole at the same time, that will make them relish screwing us over.”

    Mari - Ken’s mother, Mrs. Ikari - had told him that his merit was that he was able to admit to being wrong; it was time to prove her right. So his next words were, “I hate to admit this, but if I humble myself and tone down the rhetoric against NERV and the Evangelion Units, I can open up a bit more leeway for us - Enough to sneak in the Anti-L System into the Jet Alone prototype. The best scenario would be for them to let us deploy the Jet Alones alongside the Evangelions, then deploy the Anti-L Systems at the optimal moment. Alternatively… There is another plan that does not require me to be more humble, at least for now.”

    His mind quickly went to assess the data Ken had provided, “One of Ms. Akagi’s objections to the Jet Alone is that it's a remotely controlled unit with a Nuclear Fission reactor. I despise the use of child soldiers to pilot mechs for practical and moral reasons, but I will admit that remotely-controlled machines are more vulnerable to sabotage plus attaching a Fission Reactor to a machine made for close-quarters combat was not the best idea… Good thing one of the components of your ‘Care Package’ is a relatively clean Fusion Reactor.”

    Shiro Tokita smirked, “I have a new plan. You’ll like it, but your ‘Aunt Asuka’ won’t…”
     
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  3. Threadmarks: Chapter Two
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Two

    Shiro Tokita was having a good day for real this time.

    He had managed to get people to accept the existence of ‘Ken Aizawa’, his miraculously-appeared war orphan nephew a few times removed, with only the minimum of fast-talking. He had also pushed through last-minute changes in the Jet Alone Project - Changes that some would see as a sudden break in the plan, and also out of character due to his backtracking on several ideas he had put forth as articles of faith, such as the need for ‘Jet Alone’ to be an unmanned, nuclear-powered vehicle used for close-quarters fighting.

    What were the alterations, then? Well, it was best to keep it quiet, even in his mind lest his body language reveals it. What was important was that there was a plan at all.

    A plan that required an actual, adult pilot, one with combat experience yet was not tied to a formal military force. A mercenary with links to JHCI and its affiliates and most importantly, him, personally.

    He knew where to find such a person; the executive had not just survived, but thrived in the Post-Second Impact world, and that was because he took the initiative whenever the opportunity presented itself; that’s how Japan Heavy Chemical Industries had become a power in the first place.

    Shiro Tokita just had to call in old debts.

    So as he hopped into his luxury car once more, his new ward quietly by his side, he was in a bright enough mood to ask, “So, this is your first time in Tokyo-2?”

    Ken nodded, before saying in a low voice, “Yes, but I’m no stranger to cities in general; I was born in…” He added the slightest pauses, one registerable only by someone straining his ears for it, “Some town in Southern Honshu; it was rebuilt.”

    Plausible deniability, but also a hint that wherever you were born was a good place to live in your universe and time period, Shiro grasped the hint given to him. You come from a happy ending for this entire affair, haven’t you? Will such a happy ending be given to us if we play our cards right?

    He pulled out a box of pocky sticks from his suit pocket, something he specifically bought for the boy, and offered one of the treats as the chauffeur began driving to their destination, then asked another question as his ‘ward’ eagerly took the sweet and began nibbling at it, “So, what prompted you to seek me out? We’re only distantly related, after all…”

    The chauffeur was a paid employee and can thus be bribed by unsavory parties to pass on information to SELEE, NERV, or just rival corporations, so Shiro made sure to keep to his and Ken’s cover story even here.

    “You were rich and I was desperate,” in-between small bites, the boy mumbled so convincingly that it was probably a technical truth. “Just before my parents died, they told me to go to you; they said you’d understand, that blood would call out to you no matter how thin it is…”

    This kid knows how to be melodramatic, were the executive’s thoughts as he continued, “You know, kids like you usually shed tears at the thought of their parent’s deaths.”

    Ken reacted with an angsty comment as he finished off the pocky stick, “I’ve cried so much that the tears have run out.”

    Cute, but real trauma victims don’t act like that, Shiro Tokita thought. I wonder how cushy this kid had it and why he hopped into this situation anyway…

    “So,” he ventured to ask once more, “What do you think about where we’re going?”

    “The train station?” Ken asked. “We’re getting an exclusive luxury compartment, right? It’ll feel lonely, being alone, but it also means I can gorge on all the red bean mochi and sakura blossom chocolates I want! Or do you mean Shimabara?”

    Yes, he meant Shimabara, where the Christian faith had received a major resurgence since Second Impact, and where several clergymen had objected quite vehemently to naming the alien enemy as ‘Angels’, preferring to call them ‘False Angels’ or ‘Fallen Angels’ or ‘Demons’.

    About that, he had to ask…

    “Why do you think Christian terms were used to name Aliens?” was his next question to his young ‘ward’. “You seem to know a lot for someone so young.”

    He saw the boy bridle at the remark on his age and say, “It’s fancy and ‘exotic’ and yet relatable at the same time. But there have been a few conspiracy theories; I’ll discuss them later in the private car.”

    And that was the end of that.

    ------

    In the private car of the train came more revelations as the two sat facing each other, keeping some physical distance.

    Among said revelation were that there was a mysterious set of ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ SEELE kept that predicted the Angels’ arrival, that the Angels and Normal Humans were both descended from ‘Seeds’ sent out by a mysterious ‘First Ancestral Race’, and that Humanity was descended from the ‘Angel’ Lilith.

    Shiro Tokita was not one to stay deadpan about these revelations, but nor was he the type to yell hysterically like a woma - No, best not to finish that thought - at every little bit of craziness. If he had an over-the-top reaction to every weird thing that happened to him, he’d be crazier than the infamous Bedlam Asylum from British History.

    Nevertheless, he couldn’t help but react in a slightly raised, barbed tone, “And they teach you this sort of sensitive data in school?”

    Ken shrugged off his attempt at being caustic and said, “Angels that are not Humanity and Evangelions got erased from existence anyway. By my father. After he grew up and took responsibility and, well… I don’t think the solution he used would work in this universe, so we’ll have to crush SEELE in a war.”

    A pronounced “tch,” escaped Shiro Tokita’s lips at that. “Kid, I’ve seen war and death and famine all over the world in my time in JHCI - Don’t talk about it as though it is a game.”

    He was surprised at how he was glaring at the boy, clenching his fists as hard enough his knuckles turned white. How dare he? Lecturing him about being a smug, sexist jerk when he hadn’t seen streets teeming with the broken and injured, calling out for the smallest hope of salvation. When he hadn’t seen people die from preventable diseases, from causes that required a wall of money and technology to keep away from the developed world. Men, women, and children were all degraded and reduced to the pitiful rabble in refugee camps and migrant caravans, forced to trade the last scraps of their dignity to survive another day.

    The boy shrunk away a little, saying, “I’m sorry.”

    Shiro Tokita was willing to accept the apology, but not before pressing on a little, “You should be.”

    Silence followed for the rest of the trip.

    -------

    Shiro Tokita’s chauffeur was a spy; corporate espionage paid off when you were one of the people the privileged usually ignored.

    He had been collecting information on the executive ever since the latter attained his position, and his fees had been raised when his employers had heard about the Jet Alone Project and raised further when last-minute changes had been made to said project and attempts were made to keep those discreet.

    And now his fees were to be raised further again, as he had suspicions about the executive’s new ward to report.

    But to who? He had more than one party who valued such information.

    After some thought, he decided to go with the less mysterious and the more approachable (for a given value of ‘approachable’) one.

    ------

    At the Sapporo-2 airport, where he was about to take a flight to Berlin, one Ryoji Kaji would receive an express package, one for his eyes only…
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2023
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  4. Threadmarks: Chapter Three
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Three

    Matteo Masuda was a veteran of the Post Second-Impact Wars at 28. As Second Impact hit in the year 2000 and the present day was 2015, that meant that there was a strong possibility that he had fought since his early teens in the chaotic period that broke out after that disaster shattered the past world order.

    He had lost his childhood; parents, siblings, and home, back then. This blinded him to the wrongness of taking away others’. His life had been burdened by sin and due to strange feelings that were innately part of him, he cannot fully find solace in his God, and that’s all he wished to say about that even to himself.

    So the former mercenary spent his days in Shimabara trying to atone, volunteering for charitable works, and contributing every bit of spare cash to those who still tried to rebuild the ruined world.

    And in the apartment room that he lived in, where a statue of the Virgin Mary adorned the mantlepiece along with several icons and statuettes, he waited for the God he wasn’t sure he believed in to send an opportunity, a sign, that he can save as many lives as he took.

    The letter from Shiro Tokita, the JHCI executive, saying that he wanted to see him for some ‘exclusive business’ might be just that.

    [​IMG]
    Originally Seha Lee from Closers, now Matteo Masuda

    ------

    “We’re here,” Shiro Tokita said to his ward before he rang the doorbell. “Fair warning, Ken, Matteo is… religious, so make sure to be circumspect about any opinions you may have about it.”

    The door opened as Matteo, who looked much younger than 28, though not much younger, said, “I heard that,” in a gruff tone.

    He then looked down at Ken, then back to Shiro, before asking, “Who’s the kid?”

    “Oh,” Shiro said, “This is Ken Aizawa, a… distant relative. He’s also a war orphan.”

    He was no fool; he made sure to deliberately include the delay just before ‘distant relative’ to indicate to Matteo that there was more to this business than met the eye. Matteo, having been a child soldier himself, looked at Ken, then him, with a suspicious glare before sighing and telling them to come in.

    “Don’t touch anything,” Matteo said. “You two stay near the living room table until I cook food.”

    Shiro saw Matteo give another glare at Ken - Had he really cast that big a shadow of suspicion on the boy? - before Matteo turned on the TV and left him and his ward alone to watch the news.

    Ken turned up his nose as a newscaster reported a murder, before saying, “People still kill each other over something so petty as parking disputes?”

    Shiro sighed and said, “That’s precisely why people kill each other over anything and everything, Ken. Before, it was only a small percentage of the population that committed crimes. Now it is much larger, even in our part of the world, because some people can’t handle the weight of past trauma and give up on ever building a better future once so many corpses have been piled up. You are lucky, Ken, to have come from a relatively safe place, some would even say saved.”

    This was his hint at how Ken had come from a world that his father had restored to ‘normalcy’ if one can call having residual memories of partial Instrumentality normal. Shiro Tokita had already guessed that the implied low murder rate in Ken’s world came from the trauma of that, not from Humanity freely deciding to give peace a chance.

    Ken must have learned when to change the topic to something that benefited him because the boy brazenly said, “Can you trust Mr. Masuda with our lives? More importantly, can he really be trained for what we - I mean, you - need?”

    As the scent of fish stew wafted through the air from the apartment’s kitchenette, Shiro whispered, “Don’t talk about that. Wait for Matteo to tell us that he swept for bugs.”

    He then took out Ken’s smartphone from his jacket pocket and said, “By the way, thanks for lending me this.”

    The boy smiled and handed him an identical gadget, saying, “Mom and Dad wanted you to have your own; call it a fee for taking me in.”

    Shiro looked wryly at his ‘ward’ before turning on the device and testing out the features, before texting Ken through the ‘Contacts’ App, This is great. I presume this is so that we can talk to each other in places where even the walls have ears?

    Ken nodded, and typed, Yep. My parents wanted to throw you a bone, too. By the way, the files on your smartphone have a full account of just how my world got saved. Note that that folder is fingerprint-locked, so anyone else trying to read that will just find their phone ‘bricked’.

    I see, he typed back. So, are you curious about Mr. Masuda?

    I expected someone bulkier, you know, a more typical military or mercenary type, Ken responded, then continued, Btw, you two must go way back if you don’t think he’ll freak at the two of us typing stuff when we could just be talking.

    “I’m closer to irritated,” Matteo’s voice broke in as the mercenary continued, “Lunch is ready; go to the dining room. Also, do not use electronics while eating; talk face to face like a real guardian and ward should.”

    He then paused, then added with finality, “And I keep a bug-free set of rooms - Heck, I even spent a small fortune on soundproofed insulation, just in case. Even got special permits for it from the local councilmen… Or did I just bribe them?”

    His relaxed posture and low chuckling, however, showed that he was joking about the bribery part.

    ------

    “I met him when he was sixteen,” Shiro Tokita recounted as he, Ken, and Matteo sat around the small dining room table, “I was providing logistical support to a JSSDF-run mercy mission in Peru when I and my staff were captured by local rebels and held for ransom; it was Matteo’s unit which rescued us before they gave up on the ransom and just had us killed, and Matteo himself who got to me first.”

    Matteo nodded and said, “You earned enough to buy my debt four years later and paid for my college on top of that. I am still grateful… But not enough to go up against the people who are fighting against the False Angels for free.”

    Shiro nodded and stated, “So you’ve heard about that.”

    The response was, “I keep my eyes and ears open. As for my price, tell me everything about that kid and those pieces of super-tech you guys were holding.” He then stared the JHCI executive in the eye and said, “And I mean everything.”

    Shiro Tokita, a Japan Heavy Chemical Industries executive, knew how and when to use honesty as a weapon and make it clear he was both being honest and playing it up for an advantage. And so not only did he tell everything, but used his new smartphone to project pictures, text, and even the odd video that had survived Ken’s father’s restoration of his world (it was mostly humans and animals that were affected by his reversing Instrumentality), calculating each of the reveals for maximum shock.

    “I knew I should I brought out the bottle of Bourbon!” Matteo blurted out after he had finished processing the reveals. He then continued, “Mr. Tokita, my debt to you does not mean that you can just shake my faith like that. It seems that these False Angels - Demons - are actually Aliens seeded by a ‘First Ancestral Race’ who have powers that should belong only to God. And apparently, they’re not even the true enemy, and it is NERV and their ‘SEELE’ paymasters who are. Damnit, why must we be plunged back to war?!”

    If this had been Ken, Shiro Tokita would have asked why he was assuming that it would come to war. But from Matteo… He trusted the man enough to know that if he spoke of war being likely, then it was likely.

    So he grits his teeth before saying, “So it will have to be war, then, barring a miracle.”

    Ken looked at him, then Matteo, before saying, “I’ll try my best to secure one. To be honest, multiversal transport and communications have limits, and my world is largely demilitarized, but what we can give is knowledge of what can still happen and the secrets of the Anti-L System… As well as complete personnel files of my Grandfather - Well, to be pedantic, his Parallel Counterpart - And the members of NERV, plus the Eva Pilots, both current and potential.”

    “Those are tools,” Matteo pointed out, “Tools are not the same as a plan. I know full well that you approached Mr. Tokita because the Jet Alone project can be easily repurposed against NERV, to attack it. You weren’t thinking about what if that ended up getting your father’s counterpart here killed. Or your Aunt Asuka’s.”

    Ken recoiled at those statements before blurting out, “Well, it’s too late now - The Teleporter’s limits are that they’re ‘locked in’ to a single person’s biometrics -”

    “Meaning that you can only teleport in the presence of a single person, namely me,” Shiro Tokita spoke. “Well, it means playing for the high stakes, then. If Project: LUXMAN can use the Anti-L System to eventually repel an Angel or Evangelion, then we get to topple NERV from its perch, giving us a greater advantage in war and allowing us to win swiftly and with the minimum of bloodshed.”

    He then followed up with, “Assuming there are no curveballs to our own curveballs…”

    No one knew at that time that there would be, or rather, they didn’t get that life still had surprises for them…
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2023
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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter Four
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Four

    Author's Note: Thanks to Bluepencil himself for filling in when my existing Beta Readers got busy; this meant a lot and probably saved my fic.

    The Fifth Angel, Ramiel, had attacked Tokyo-3 and met its end by the entirety of Japan’s power grid feeding its electricity into a Positron Cannon developed by the JSSDF. Having prepared for this beforehand thanks to Ken’s information, Shiro Tokita had emergency power ready so that work on the Fusion Reactor going to be used for Project: LUXMAN could not only continue, but he can comfortably work, in a well-lit office, on making a case as to why funding should be given for the development and construction of a ‘Clean’ Fusion Reactor less prone to irradiate entire swathes of land if it melted down.

    He just had to try and pass off Ken’s blueprints for both that and the Anti-L System as salvaged research from a company literally obliterated by Second Impact, thus meaning that JHCI can claim the blueprints as their own without being accused of patent infringement or corporate espionage.

    It wasn’t likely that NERV will publicly reveal that Anti-L Systems and Fusion Reactors were tech they or their affiliates had been developing. No, they’d send an assassin instead.

    And due to Matteo being trained as an adult pilot, he can only occasionally guard them and thus Shiro Tokita had to rely on his current security team and chauffeur - A state of affairs that cannot stand. When he had brought this up to Mattero, the response had been…

    “My old unit. It exists. Hire it,” Yes, that worked; Matteo’s old mercenary unit could be brought over to JHCI as ‘private security’ for himself and the project - All it took was some string-pulling.

    What bothered him was that he remembered said merc unit using child soldiers, children who should be in school instead of being handed dangerous weapons. Such behavior should not be tolerated in the developed world, where barbarity and violence were supposed to be caged by rules and consensus; not annihilated entirely because that was impossible, but where children at least had a chance to be saved.

    Hmm, judging from recent reports, it seemed that Matteo’s old unit no longer used kids in combat, but kept on several soldiers who started out at a young age. Shiro felt that was dubious, but alas, he had no other options who won’t rat him and Ken out to SEELE and NERV.

    “Your paperwork is all done, Mr. Tokita,” Ken said as the new intern walked up to him with a stack of papers neatly in hand. The boy seemed to be actually good at accounting, even a prodigy like he had implied he was in other fields. Shiro gave himself a slight grin as Ken set down the papers; how would the kid take it if it turned out that his ‘genius’ was in a field kids like him found boring?

    “So…” his ward said in a slow, clear tone, “I worked with your secretary to clear your schedule for the interview with our new security team. Once Matteo is done with his remote simulator training, we can meet with his former comrades in two hours and fifteen minutes.”

    “Do you really want to join us?” he had to ask. “You might get bored.”

    The answer was, “I know. But with the Fifth Angel dead, I think we need to hurry.”

    And Shiro remembered the stakes; this was a battle for Humanity’s right to exist as Humanity - If SEELE and NERV succeeded, then there won’t be children to worry about saving. So he said, “We will. But, Ken, can I ask a question?”

    The boy nodded at that, and Shiro pressed on, “Why did you decide to help us? Not why people from your home decided to help us, but you, specifically. Your parents didn’t want you to get involved; I know that much.”

    Ken tilted his head slightly, looking away from him for a while before deciding to answer, “There is another version of Dad here, but Mom does not exist. Mom… I love her, but she’s actually much older than Dad - She transferred her soul to a clone to get together with him, the son of her previous crush, and that’s creepy. But at the same time, Mom, for all her creepiness, did help Dad grow as a person and was instrumental to his victory over Grandfather. So… I wanted to see how a version of Dad, in a universe where Mom does not exist, can find happiness and pull off a win without her.”

    Shiro raised an eyebrow and asked, “With your help, I presume?”

    He saw the boy’s face cringe, before the latter answered, “Yes. I also wanted to meet you, who looked like you had a chance to throw off NERV’s plans for a moment. I liked the Jet Alone project - No, I admired it. You asked a question: What can a human do? And while the answer you got was ‘not much’, it was a brave question to ask.”

    This made Shiro Tokita, executive of JHCI, smile. “I chose ‘Hope’ as the password for the Jet Alone for a reason. Because I genuinely believe in hope. Hope that things will be much better than they are right now.”

    Ken blinked before his mouth opened wide and he exclaimed, “After all you and Matteo suffered? Also, you really do need to encrypt that password; your cybersecurity sucks.”

    That required a blunt, “Yes, yes it did in your universe and past time loops. Here’s a bit of wisdom from your elders, Ken: There’s a time to lose hope and there’s a time when there isn’t. And when you don’t grasp when it's different or when it's the same, that’s when you lose.”

    His own hope had been refilled by the talk, and so Shiro conceded, “Let’s go see our new security detail, yes?”

    ------

    [​IMG]
    Originally Elsword from Elsword, fanart by someone named Arubeni, now Alonso Guttierez

    “I see Old Man Lorenzo spoils you as always,” Matteo was the first to remark at his old friend (?)’s appearance. “To think he’d let you wear that awful uniform into an interview.”

    Lorenzo Cervantes Amamiya was the leader of Matteo’s old mercenary unit, composed of people who had been denied a place in society because of mixed-race or illegitimate ancestry. Shiro Tokita had learned to respect him and them in the years after Second Impact, where they played an unsung role in helping the UN restore order.

    Alonso replied, “Hey, one can say it's my trademark. But to be honest, I’ll change to a better one when on duty; there was… A dry-cleaning accident earlier.”

    Shiro Tokita looked beyond Matteo and his ridiculous-looking friend and scanned the organized lines of paramilitary personnel, all wearing traditional security suits with ballistics vests underneath the silk, recognizing old faces from the Post-Second Impact wars. Faces he hoped not to see again, not because he hated the people behind them, but because he wished they’d just retire and live happier lives.

    Nevertheless, he ventured to ask Alonso, asking the 28-year-old mercenary, “How is the old man doing, by the way? I presume that the reconstruction efforts in the Sierra Madre - The one in the Philippines - Are going well enough that people don’t bother him much?”

    Alonso replied with a nod and a smile, before bowing a little, getting up, then adding, “They are; he sends you his thanks. He also says to give him videotapes of the next Giant Mecha versus False Angel fights as he’s a fan.”

    “...I see,” Shiro Tokita didn’t quite know how to respond to that.

    Alonso then looked at Ken and asked, “So, this boy is your new intern? You sure you wouldn’t get accused of nepotism as he’s your relative?”

    “I’m taking care of him; he can’t be left home alone,” was the answer to that. “Anyway, you sure that you and the rest of Old Man Lorenzo’s unit can protect the project?”

    The response to that was another nod, before Alonso said in an even tone, “Of course, Sir.”

    ------

    Matteo returned to the simulator room to continue practicing while the latter changed into a normal suit. Then, free of distractions, the mercenary began a review of the place’s security arrangements.

    It was only an hour before the latter returned to Shiro’s office and said, “Your cybersecurity sucks. Passwords are minimal strength, employees of dubious allegiance have access to secret files, and the project itself had a security breach a while back.”

    He then turned to Ken and said, “They know about the Clean Fusion Reactor designs Mr. Tokita pulled out of thin air. Coincidentally around the same time he pulled you out of thin air as well. So it stands to reason that you might be a courier or patsy for whoever really developed a functioning Fusion Reactor and certain sub-systems and does not want to reveal themselves.”

    Shiro saw the boy glare back at Alonso and say, “Mr. Tokita is a genius; he took the designs from a Company destroyed in Second Impact and completed them himself.”

    Not very convincing, and this was confirmed when Alonso remarked, “I and Matteo have known him longer than you have; we both know that’s not true. Speaking of Matteo, with the time he’s been spending time in the simulator room you ordered installed; people have caught enough glimpses of what’s inside to know what Project: LUXMAN entails now. It’s too late to plug up the leaks; you’re lucky they have not found out about the so-called ‘Anti-L System’ they’ve installed yet.”

    He was still looking at Ken when he said that.

    At 28, Alonso is proving quite perceptive, Shiro Tokita thought. Time to pull out the ‘not in his paycheck’ card -

    “Mr. Tokita,” Ken looked at him then, “Let’s discuss the security breach Mr. Guttierez talked about. I think we can use it to feed NERV false data and make them think they’ve won.”

    Alonso nodded, turned away from the boy once more, and said, “Shiro, the kid’s suggestion is clever but I’ve already started to do it. That said, do make sure to pay attention to your company’s other executives and its shareholder base. Now that NERV knows you have access to Fusion Reactor technology, they’ll try other ways to undermine JHCI.”

    Shiro nodded at that, realizing the implications.

    “The fellow members of JHCI’s Executive Board will probably throw us under the bus at the drop of a hat…” he trailed off in a rueful tone. “I hate to admit this, but we need to keep an eye on them -”

    Then a fire alarm blared across the building.

    ------

    There was no fire, but there were signs that JHCI’s alarm systems had been hacked into. Alonso was ordering his folk to look into it ASAP and prevent any more occurrences, but Shiro couldn’t help but ask why their enemies would resort to such a juvenile prank.

    Then it dawned on him.

    “Alonso, call up Matteo in the simulator room,” he ordered, before looking at Ken and saying to the boy, “Ken, stay beside me at all times for the next few hours.”

    His hunch was proven right when Alonso said, “Mr. Tokita, Matteo isn’t responding; the other folk in the simulator room said he was evacuating as per the fire drill but heard a few employees screaming anr rushed to help, but he hasn’t been back since.”

    Shiro felt his heart sink down to his stomach as he realized that the enemy had resorted to kidnapping, and as Matteo was not in any way near Kozo Fuyutsuki’s level of importance, this meant that his employee, who was also his friend, was in danger of something unpleasant happening to him.

    And neither he nor Ken can do anything.

    ------

    Matteo’s eyes slowly opened as his body recovered from the sedative. He remembered the fire alarms blaring, some employees crying out for help, then nothing.

    Damnit, he thought as he noticed he had been tied up and frisked of all weapons, including the sharp pin he kept in a hidden pocket. I asked to know too much. They’ll torture it out of me. I need to get away.

    He was in what seemed to be a shed; it was mid-morning judging from the light that shone through the one small window. The door opened as two men clearly chosen for common, indistinguishable, even stereotypically thuggish faces entered the place, and one of them lit a cigarette, blew a noxious puff, and then said, “In this place, no one can hear you scream.”
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2023
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  6. Extras: Public Service Announcement:
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    There will be gay, straight, and lesbian content later on in this fanfic - All SFW unless I make a version exclusive to QQ NSFW.
     
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  7. Son'x

    Son'x Making the rounds.

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    Like this so far.
     
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  8. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Thank you; glad I can entertain.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Chapter Five
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Five

    In Shiro Tokita’s office, Alonso took charge by saying, “We can’t go to the police if we’re right about who kidnapped Matteo. We’ll have to rescue him by ourselves.”

    Shiro responded, “And how do we do that? Just take a group of mercenaries and shoot up Tokyo-2 or the countryside around it? We’ll be criminals if we do that.”

    Ken cleared his throat and said, “I have - I mean, we have - contacts who can help, right, Mr. Tokita?”

    Shiro saw that Ken was offering multiversal help in rescuing Matteo, even at the risk of revealing everything to Alonso. Not wanting to seem like a third wheel, even in an area where he didn’t know how he can help, he confirmed what Ken said with a nod before adding his own question.

    “Now, how can I help? Surely you do not expect me to just sit here, right? You promised a partnership, not just you doing everything while I bow my head in despair,” Like I did in a past time loop in your own universe.

    “Am I permitted to share my suspicions about Alonso, then?” Ken said. “And even my own speculation about Matteo - Don’t worry, I’m not accusing him of anything beyond being completely innocent… And marking this universe and timeline as more different from my own world and timelines than I expected.”

    Alonso was glaring at the boy now, and Shiro himself wiped some sweat from his brow with a handkerchief before saying, “Get to the point, Ken. It’s quite clear what new revelation you just had is making you more obtuse.”

    Ken sighed and said, “I assumed that Matteo was merely an individual who could have existed in my timeline, but was not important because, well, he wasn’t anywhere near Tokyo-3 or even Tokyo-2. But knowing more about his backstory as someone important to you and your personal development and Alonso’s old unit just being conveniently there, experienced in combat and some intrigue, and reliable enough to ask commonsense questions about cybersecurity that even NERV themselves fail to ask… Well, I think that Matteo and Alonso’s unit are complete natives to this universe; ‘Extracanonical’ beings who did not exist in the ‘original narrative’ yet can affect it.”

    The boy then pursed his lips and said, “Or to put it in simple terms; they’re the Mari to your Shinji only they have a crush on each other instead of you.”

    Alonso’s response to that was to deflect by saying, “Matteo’s Catholic, kid. He would never believe he sees me that way - He thinks it's a sin.”

    Shiro pierced past the deflection and got to the heart of the topic, “So you believe that Matteo and Alonso are additions to what was supposed to be the same story as the ‘Original Evangelion Narrative’, additions that have the potential to make the course of events different. That’s another reason to rescue Matteo, but that does not answer the question as to how we can do so in the first place.”

    Alonso surprised him by turning to Ken and saying, “How much have you guessed about me, Little Ikari? The plain and simple fact that you had mental defenses at all gave you away.”

    Ken whirled at the older man and said, “Plenty. NOAH thinks it can preserve its independence from SEELE through psychic tricks barely above stage magic, manipulation of oil prices, and selling precious metals, gems, and antiquties on the black market. Oh, and hiring out its folk as mercenaries in hopes of finding fellow ‘Extracanonicals’ who are not visible in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

    Shiro’s smartphone beeped at that; Adult Shinji had sent him a file detailing what NOAH was - it was a coalition of Middle Eastern groups (which included the Reborn Order of Assassins, Knights Templar, and a group of Jewish Kabbalists known as the Lions of Maimonides who wanted ownership of the secret Dead Sea Scrolls back from SEELE) dedicated to keeping SEELE out of their region. They also had psychics who can control their AT-Fields to induce low-key effects such as body language reading, hypercharged empathy and memory, and in Alonso’s case, mind-reading through eye contact.

    Note to self: Get contact lenses, he thought. All the while, it turned out he had missed Alsonso arguing back against Ken, who was now responding to that.

    “Yes, of course, I can help your organization. I can also help you rescue Matteo - You may not believe it, but your love interest is my friend too,” Ken then took out his smartphone, “Now let me ask for authorization -”

    Alonso raised his hand and said, “Save your trump cards for later as I’m rescuing Matteo myself - You need to guard your chosen partner-in-crime; put him in the center stage of the intrigues you involved him in.”

    Time for him to speak up, “Ken, trust Alonso. I know you mean well, but I’ve known him longer than you - He can manage it.”

    As Ken nodded, Shiro felt the need to give the two of them something to do, before saying to Alonso, “If you’re part of all this while Matteo isn’t, then Old Man Lorenzo - Old Man Amamiya - must know as well; he is not the type to allow in his ranks anyone who wants to use his company for someone else’s vaguely well-intentioned agenda unless he’s reviewed it first. And if he’s part of your ‘NOAH’ all along, well… I have an offer to make to them.”

    Alonso added, “I understand; in the meantime, I’ll be going out; permission to take the company’s fastest motorcycle and a map of obscure roads through the countryside?”

    Shiro Tokita nodded and said, “Make sure to avoid the police.”

    And as Alonso left, Shiro began to make a few phone calls; he had some offers to make to a Middle Eastern Conspiracy that seemed to be getting too big for its britches like he had in another universe…

    -------

    These SEELE (?) guys knew how to cause pain without leaving a mark; Matteo knew that within minutes of the interrogation. They had access to some sort of super-pepper spray, more potent than usual, that clung to the cloth of his sleeves, collar, knees, and socks, making them feel like burning shackles.

    The 28-year-old thought through the pain, Smells like Ghost Peppers. How very expensive, but not as expensive as Carolina Reapers.

    His eyes teared up and closed; at least he had an excuse to let them do so - Crying from onions and peppers was normal. Crying because he was alone? A sign of weakness.

    One of the men said through the darkness and the tears, “All right, Mr. Masuda; just tell us what we want and we’ll wash you down with saline to remove the spray before you go blind. Nod if you understand.”

    Matteo shook his head vigorously, defying his captors. In response to this, he received a kick to the center of his stomach; hard enough to hurt but the bruise left can easily be claimed as from a minor accident.

    "You know," said his interrogator, "You're quite loyal to your boss - How much of that is about how much he pays you and how much of that is because you know is what we want to ask. Now, tell us - How did he find out? How much does he know?"

    Matteo refused to talk; he cannot risk revealing any of the secrets entrusted to him. Instead, he shook his head once more, and this time, instead of kicking him, his captors grabbed him and sprayed his armpits with ghost pepper juice, making sure to soak his suit.

    He screamed, trashing against the ground like a serpent, crying, trying to resist the urge to give way.

    Somehow, Matteo Masuda found the strength to endure. He was an Adult Pilot for JHCI in a world where children were the ones tasked, by an infinitely shadier organization, to drive machines of death. Someone who believed, even now, that there was a God who cared about them, that meaning in life and happiness that was not the same as pleasure existed. That there was such a thing as Divine Law.

    A Divine Law that declares that your feelings are a sin? A Divine Law that has caused you to reject someone who genuinely loves you? You hurt Alonso when you pretended to see him only as your best friend, you know that?

    “That’s lust, not love!” he blurted out through the pain, and he didn’t realize for several seconds that he had surprised his interrogators.

    He was slapped across the face before he was hosed down with a saline solution (mixed with a bit of antacid) that washed away the ghost pepper spray while soaking his clothes, and him, to the bone.

    When his vision cleared, it was to his captors having drawn knives, and one of them, who had the look of an Ex-Yakuza down to a missing pinky finger, “So, it seems that this guy is a…" Matteo ignored the slur after that, "This makes things interesting…”

    Matteo tried to scoot away as his captors drew closer, hitting the back of the shed he was in; there were no convenient tools other than the interrogators’ torture equipment and he hose with saline solution, and he had scooted away from those.

    “So, what shall we cut first?” The Ex-Yakuza guy spoke to his companion, whose blond hair was in a military cut. “He’s not that important, so I think he loses an ear first?”

    “Let’s not play games with him anymore,” the Blond said in Japanese with a slightly posh British accent. “We’ll come after Tokita and the ward he pulled out of thin air anyway; let’s just slit his throat and be done -”

    And Matteo shook his hair at them like a dog, scattering saline solution all over the place, surprising the kidnappers. He rushed the Blond first, seeing the latter as the greater threat, headbutting the latter in the stomach so hard that even the ballistics vest the hitman wore wasn’t enough to cushion the force.

    The Ex-Yakuza cursed, but Matteo kicked out at his crotch with surprising strength; even the fact that his right foot was wrapped in a wet sock and not a shoe or that the man had a codpiece wasn’t enough to stop him from knocking away the latter’s knife out of his hands.

    Fat lot of good that would do him; his hands were still tied behind his back and the Blond had held on to his own weapon - Matteo had pegged him as the more dangerous of the two.

    “Smart,” the Blond said as he noticed that his companion had been knocked to the shed wall, moaning incoherently. “No more games.”

    Then he danced out of reach of Matteo’s legs and feet, making light, probing stabs at the JHCI Pilot as the latter in turn kicked out to clear space for him to maneuver. This caused the Blond to chuckle and say.

    “Leaving your legs free was Kijin’s idea,” the Blond said with contempt, “And look where it got him!”

    He then slashed at Matteo, forcing him to lurch back, but this advantage ended the very next second when the JHCI Pilot spat at his right eye and then kicked the man’s knife away.

    Scooting down to pick up the knife so that he can untie himself from the plastic zip-tie binding his wrists, Matteo found himself free, armed, and revising his opinion that SELEE actually hired professionals to deal with him and the others.

    “I can’t believe your superiors are so cheap, they’d hire people who don’t know how to do anything right,” Matteo picked up the other knife as he gloated and casually stabbed ‘Kijin’ in the heart so as to maintain his hard-won advantage. Hiding all signs of guilt and emotional turmoil at having taken another life after so many years, Matteo continued, “Maybe this was all some sort of test, to see if we’re really a threat as well as dispose of useless pawns before the big event?”

    The Blond dove for the only gun in the shed, the one he had taken away from Matteo and piled up with the man’s other weapons in a corner near the door, but Matteo was faster and with a lunge, shoved his knife into the man’s gut.

    “A useless pawn, then,” Matteo said as he heard the whirring of a Motorcycle just outside the shed and Alonso’s voice shouting out into the air:

    “Matteo, are you all right?!” his friend was clearly worried about him. Honestly, if the enemy hadn’t hosed him down with that saline solution so that he wouldn’t trash while his appendages were being cut off, he’d be worse off. But right now, he can take pride in himself for a job well done.

    He chuckled and said, “The enemy was stupid, but they gave out that they know more than we’d like. Now give me a change of clothes and let’s go home.”

    Looking at Alonso’s worried face, he briefly wondered if he should just accept the other man’s feelings; maybe God would understand as he did create said feelings in the first place.

    Alonso Guttierez, you do care; maybe that is love after all....
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2023
  10. Son'x

    Son'x Making the rounds.

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    I feel that their is a disconnect between chapter 4 and 5.
     
  11. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    How so? Because of False Mikael?
     
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  12. Son'x

    Son'x Making the rounds.

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    Rereading chapter 4 makes it seem that something is missing when chapter 5 starts.
     
  13. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Ah, I understand.

    Edit: How do I fix it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2023
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  14. Index: NOAH (Formerly the Outcast Council)
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    NOAH (Formerly the Outcast Council)

    For most of history, we have been revered or hated, used as pawns or weapons, or ascended to positions of rulership, open or secret. But never until now have we seen ourselves as a distinct nation, a race of man and yet distinct, part of humanity’s family and our own. This is the paradox of the Psychic, to be separate yet joined at the same time, to the rest of the species.
    — Dyrarch Judith of Kayseri


    Beginnings

    Humanity is collectively an Angel, born of Lilith and the Black Moon. Conventional wisdom has it that instead of the ability to use their AT-Fields to shoot lasers or create barriers, the ‘Lilin’/Humans instead have the ‘Fruit of Knowledge’ which gives them mastery of technology and social cooperation. And for the most part, that is true — But there are exceptions.

    History is replete with tales of great sages and miracle workers with powers over nature and their fellow man, as well as tales of witches and dealers in ‘black magic’. Most of those tales have a rational, scientific reason behind them, but not all, especially not in this cycle of creation. Psychic superhumans exist, people who are more in touch with their more overtly ‘Angel’ side.

    These superhumans have a varied history, loved, hated, feared, and finally forced into hiding as the mundane masses grew in numbers, power, and technological sophistication. Some legends (not necessarily right) say that SELEE was originally formed in order to shelter these ‘Witches’, but has since become a trap that caged them in, forcing them to serve a goal they do not necessarily agree with.

    The relevance of that? They broke free.

    Founding

    The Middle East, for all of its flaws, was an area less easy to hold by SELEE than the rest of the world — The various secret sects in the region only grudgingly joined the UN, and resented the sidelining of their interests as the 20th Century drew on. The Middle East was also a locus of psychic ability since the time of Sumer, despite attempts to persecute ‘witches’ and ‘sorcerers’ which ended up killing more innocents than actual people with powers. It is no coincidence that the Dead Sea Scrolls came from the Middle East, after all.

    With the coming of Second Impact, the secret societies in the Middle East under SEELE’s thrall, from the Catholic Knights Templar and the Orthodox Brotherhood of the Holy Spechulre to the Refounded Order of Assassins and even the Lions of Maimonides (a Jewish group that disagreed with SELEE on the interpretation of the Dead Sea Scrolls), gathered together in the Conference of Alamut, and as one, declared independence from SELEE using the chaos in the area (itself started by SELEE, ironically) as its cover.

    Proclaiming itself NOAH, after one of the most famous figures of Abrahamic legend, it seeks to hold the Middle East together, serving as the ‘Ark’ for the various cultures of the region so that they are not swamped by the ‘Flood’ embodied by SEELE, NERV, and their plans for an Impact.

    Organization

    NOAH is a loose coalition of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and even Yazidi and Ba’hai secret societies bound together by access to psychic might and secret Angelic lore. Despite this, there is no legal divide between those with psychic/angelic powers and those without — All humans are regarded as spiritually equal, despite differences in capability. Note that because they are based in the Middle East, with branches in Central Asia and India, their ability to project influence outside it is stymied by widespread suspicion, amplified by SELEE’s machinations.

    The central leadership of the Outcast Council is the Dyarchy, a male-female team of Co-Leaders, not necessarily husband and wife, who share co-equal power with one another. Under the Diarchy are ‘The Eight’, similar male-female pairs from the sub-organizations which serve as subordinates and counselors. Under the Eight is the Consultation Council, elected representatives from each sub-organization who represent their interests to the wider organization — These are not required to be physically present and can use communications technology or psychic messaging.

    Forces

    Various armed militias, rebel groups, and the remnants of the national forces of various Middle Eastern Nations. They also have influence over the UN Branches in the Middle East.

    Financial Assets

    They trade in lapis lazuli, emeralds, gold, silver, other mineral resources, oil, silk, pistachios, and coffee on the black market, and grudgingly tolerate the sale of antiquities on the said black market.

    Not just that, but they also have business partners in the US and Russian Governments through the Middle Eastern Diaspora.

    Member Sub-Organizations

    • Restored Order of Assassins (Shia Muslims)
    • Army of the Light (Bahai secret society)
    • Bektashi Order (Islamic Sufi Order, Not all are a part of the Council)
    • Brotherhood of the Holy Spechulre (Orthodox Christians)
    • Hands of Mercy (Primarily-Muslim order of Doctors and medical personnel)
    • Knights Templar (Catholics)
    • Lions of Maimonides (Jews)
    • Servants of Melek Taus (Yazidi secret society)
    Author's Note: Bluepencil recommended the name change from 'The Outcast Council' to NOAH, and pointed out that the 'Great Flood' legend made a good theme for the organization.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2023
    meloa789 and Count-Sinner like this.
  15. Threadmarks: Chapter Six
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Six

    Author’s Note:
    Note that all ships will be between people of the same age group. Only Adults with Adults and non-sexualized romance between Minors. As for Incest, it is not my thing.

    It was the day of the Jet Alone’s demonstration. Or, if one must be pedantic, the project that is outwardly known as ‘Jet Alone’ was going to have its public debut.

    And right now, Shiro Tokita was nervous; he was going to have to act exactly the same way he had in that other universe/timeline/whatever, courting a potential disaster while playing for the highest stakes in his life.

    Either way, he was feting investors and observers in the demonstration hall in the ruins of Old Tokyo, acting like the smug, smarmy, and very slightly offensive person he could be when drunk on success. And considering how Ritsuko Akagi of NERV was trying to keep calm in the face of his empty criticisms, it seemed like he, the Executive of JHCI, still had it.

    Once it turned out he had pulled the wool over their eyes, then was the time to show NERV the real scope of his arrogance. When Matteo arrived in Panama to kick Evangelion Unit-02 to the dirt, it would be the end of NERV’s reign and the beginning of SEELE’s demise.

    He glanced at his young intern, who was wearing a set of thick sunglasses that were supposed to hide his identity, but made him look more like his grandfather… And he felt his heart sink to his stomach as he realized that bringing him and Alonso/False Mikael here was a variable that Ritsuko and her companion, Misato Katsuragi of NERV’s Operations Division, might notice, making their reactions to his smug remarks less hysterical than he was trying to provoke.

    It didn’t matter; Shiro Tokita wanted to share his success with other people, and so he will. Once the real demonstration was over and NERV and SEELE had crapped their pants, he’d buy all of them some sushi and soda.

    ------

    Misato was kicking at the lockers in rage, swearing up a storm, while Ritsuko Akagi, at this point in time, would be using a lighter to burn the pamphlet detailing Jet Alone’s virtues.

    Which is why it was a notable divergence that she did not do that. Instead, she spoke evenly, with almost no hint of rage and every sign of curiosity, “That intern by CEO Tokita’s side, he looks like a little Commander Ikari, don’t you agree?”

    The response to that was for her friend to look at her, first in disbelief, then as she grasped the seriousness of her tone, she answered, “It could just be a coincidence. Maybe he’s just trying to psyche us out; after all, how likely is it for the Commander to have another child and if he did, how could that bastard Tokita have gotten ahold of him?”

    Ritsuko said in a chilly, but the unsure tone, “True. He could have dressed up some random kid and put him in glasses that made him look like the Commander. But the question is, why? Does it mean that NERV’s Intelligence Division is failing worse than we thought?”

    She had been apprised of NERV’s counter-scenario against this attempt to usurp them. Commander Ikari had planned for the fall and humiliation of Japan Heavy Chemical Industries, their project, and their representative in painstaking detail. But the child he had brought as his intern, the one by his side, not even the darkest glasses could disguise the fact that the boy had been looking at her.

    It was ridiculous. There was no way she had provoked more than childish curiosity, and even if it was something more, it certainly was not a variable that would undo the promised scenario.

    ------

    When a giant television screen, not a giant, long-armed bipedal mech, faced the group of investors and observers, Ritsuko’s fears were realized. As Misato and the other spectators began exclaiming surprise and throwing around accusations, she clenched her fingers until the nails dug into her palm.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen,” she heard Shiro Tokita’s voice waft over the seats, “I must apologize for the innocent deception, but while there is a Nuclear-powered Mech and a viable replacement for NERV’s Evangelion units, the Jet Alone Project was a dead end, a smokescreen to be replaced by the real meat of JHCI’s efforts - Lumen Humanitas, a machine made by man, piloted by adults, and with a clean Nuclear Fusion Reactor that can produce the equivalent of Japan’s entire power grid several times over!”

    The screen lit up, revealing a Mech that was not in any way the lumbering ape-like monstrosity that the Jet Alone was.

    [​IMG]
    Originally a Frame Arms Action Figure from Kotobukiya, now Lumen Humanitas.

    Even worse, from behind its back, Ritsuko could see a pillar with all-too-familiar red glyphs that seemed to be built onto the Mech itself.

    [​IMG]
    Angel-Sealing Hex Glyphs from Rebuild of Evangelion, which can hold back Angels and Evangelions, especially in the final Rebuild Movie.

    “Lumen Humanitas, by the way,” Shiro Tokita said with an echoing tone of arrogance and surety of purpose, “Has been transported all the way to the Panama Canal, where it and its Adult Pilot is to challenge Evangelion Unit-02, whose ship is sailing through all the way from Germany, for the Battle of the Century!”

    Ritsuko’s lips were pursed, eyes fixed in icy rage; how could they have been outmaneuvered so completely? Even if the Second Child destroyed this mech and its pilot for their presumption, if the Pillar, Glyphs, and the system behind them worked as planned, which they would without Commander Ikari’s sabotage… Everything NERV and the ‘old men’ behind it had worked for would go up in smoke.

    ------

    Matteo Masuda did not enjoy fighting kids, especially kids violent and skilled enough to punch his face in. As Asuka Langley Soryhu was enraged beyond reason at his challenge and the mere existence of his Lumen Humanitas, Evangelion Unit-02 leaped out of the aircraft carrier, its pilot shouting trash-talk and threats in German.

    Anti-L System, activate. Projecting Anti-Coreification Barrier.

    A red globe of energy surrounded Lumen Humanitas, causing the Evangelion’s punch to bounce off it as the machine itself flinched away. Obscenities and threats in German resumed from its pilot, amplified by genuine surprise and shock.

    Time to brawl, then.

    Lumen Humanitas did not need its Positron Cannon, which was every bit as powerful as the JSSDF’s, now that it had proven that it could repel even an AT-Field. All it needed now were the two Mech-sized Power Fists engraved with even more glyphs that can harm even an Evangelion unit… And Angels.

    Matteo hit back, launching a series of heavy punches, not letting up, punching at, then through, Eva Unit-02’s AT-Field in order to pummel the screaming girl behind it to unconsciousness - From what Ken had told him, submission was not going to be an option for his opponent.

    But although its armor plates were dented, the organic structure that formed the Evangelion was more resilient than he thought, kitting itself together even as Asuka drew back, switched to Japanese, and said as she smugly recovered her poise and the smugness Ken had told him about, “You’re a thief, aren’t you? You and your boss stole your research from NERV and are trying to beat us using it. Well bad news for you, you messed with the wrong pilot!”

    And she picked up a small fishing boat, conveniently empty of anything but fish, and threw it at him. The Anti-L barrier did not repel that.

    As Matteo shook off the fish and scrap metal from his mech, he heard Asuka laughing with justified arrogance, saying, “Ha! Can’t believe you’d give away your weakness this easily. Now let me show you the power of Unit-02 and the strength you’re going against!”

    She jumped back to the Aircraft Carrier, where an underfloor platform just opened up to raise a Pallet Rifle for her Evangelion to grab, and Matteo was running in zig-zags, trying to hide behind empty warehouses to avoid the artillery-sized shots coming Lumen Humanitas’ way. Damn it, damn it, damn it!

    Then he realized that he had no need to fear, and new resolve filled him; he was not going to let this child win against his own mech so easily - Matteo Masuda had his pride!

    Whirling Lumen Humanitas toward the Aircraft Carrier Asuka’s Unit-02 was on, Matteo Masuda leaped onto the boat’s surface, shaking a few supersonic jets as he landed. Soaking a direct volley of Pallet Rifle Fire that blew holes into his mech’s armor, he hurled another punch at the Evangelion’s face, repelling and breaking its AT-Field once more and saying, “Let me show you what a Human can do!”

    Asuka Langley Sorhyu was maddened further now, shouting, “You think you’re hot shit because you’re able to punch a girl’s face, huh?! Let me show you what a real fight between Pilots is like!”

    And she picked up a plane and hit him with it. It was a plane empty of pilots but full of ordnance, too, so it exploded in his mech’s face with the help of Unit-02’s AT-Field. As Lumen Humanitas staggered back, Asuka’s Evangelion then picked up a Mech-sized bazooka raised from another underfloor platform and fired it at his own machine, blasting off its limbs and launching what remained, including the cockpit, off the boat and into the water of the Panama Canal.

    “Ha! Pathetic!” Asuka Langley Soryhu’s words could be heard over the radio as Matteo activated a distress beacon to ask the UN Navy for rescue, a distress beacon which was also a signal of surrender…

    ------

    Back at JHCI tower, Shiro Tokita’s face was taut with shock and worry as he saw the remains of Matteo’s mech get fished out of the Panama Canal, and Matteo himself was arrested and handcuffed as soon as he got out of the cockpit - The charge was ‘Theft of Intellectual Property’.

    The only consolation was seeing Ritsuko Akagi and Misato Katsuragi’s faces scrunched up in rage and confusion as it was clear to them that if not for Asuka’s quick thinking, JHCI would have won a complete victory and even now, had proven Shiro’s point that NERV can be rendered obsolete with just the right advancements.

    As for Ken Illustrious Ikari, he took off his glasses and faced Misato and Ritsuko straight in the eye - A challenge for them to guess his identity and relation to their ‘Shinji’.

    The giant screen then switched to another ‘channel’, one showing a very displeased, yet smug, Gendo Ikari staring down at all of them.

    “It seems you have drawn my attention, Executive Tokita, you and your compatriots. Come to NERV HQ at once, you and your mysterious ward. You have a formal invitation to discuss the charges of theft and usage of stolen information to challenge NERV.”

    The implications were clear; Matteo was in their hands and Gendo Ikari was willing to play the legal game long enough to tie JHCI's hands unless Shiro Tokita played ball with him, which also entailed not trying to pin all the blame on his subordinate, which was anathema to him.

    Few people might believe it, but he was more than what he had shown; he believed in Hope for a reason, after all...
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2023
  16. Extras: PSA 2
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    I will be conducting major revisions of the fanfic to close up some plot holes and violations of common sense.
     
  17. ATP

    ATP Experienced.

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    plot holes - OK,deal with them.But common sense? we are talking about Evangelion.There is no common sense here. left.
     
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  18. Extras: PSA 3:
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Everything from Chapter Two is going to be revised; the plot holes and bad ideas went deeper than I thought. Sorry for the inconvenience.
     
  19. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Two has been revised; all succeeding chapters will be out of sync with it.
     
  20. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Three has been revised; Chapters Four to Six will be out of sync with it.
     
  21. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Four has been revised.
     
  22. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Five has been revised, and is now 2200+ words long.
     
  23. Threadmarks: Chapter Six
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Six

    Author's Note: Hiatus has ended for now.

    It was now the day where, in another universe’s first timeline, the Jet Alone would have been demonstrated to the investors and observers who wanted to see Giant Robots walking around. That was to have been the day of Shiro Tokita’s humiliation, but right now, thanks to the delays in the construction of Project: LUXMAN, Jet Alone’s successor project, the executive in question could just rest and relax in his office, playing games on the smartphone Ken had given him.

    The gadget was a work of art as well as high technology, and Shiro had been learning as much of its hardware and software as he could, hoping to reproduce the technology for the benefit of mankind and his own pocketbook; hey, an executive had to make money, after all.

    Either way, Project: LUXMAN was taking shape. Instead of being larger than an Evangelion like the Jet Alone was, it was half the size of one of those mechs. Instead of a Nuclear Fission Reactor which can leak in close-quarters combat, it used a ‘Clean’ Fusion Reactor instead, which risked less chance of contaminating the land should there be a leak after all. And of course, it had jet thrusters.

    Oh, and our trump card, the Anti-L System, Shiro thought to himself. Either way, the plan was simple: Rent a cargo ship - They cannot afford a Carrier - to bring LUXMAN close enough to where Gaghiel would be fighting the UN Navy and the Evangelions, and let the comparatively tiny mech fly in to steal their kill.

    Of course, that left the question, with what armament? The JSSDF would be breathing down their necks if JHCI tried to develop Positron weaponry for private use, so Ken had provided designs for an Electromagnetic Crossbow from his universe’s current timeline, as well as a Power Fist and a Battle-Axe covered with Angel-Sealing Hex Glyphs, one that was useful against Evangelions as well.

    This would have to be enough; the other Board of Directors and the shareholders were already expressing concerns about the delays and changes to the ‘Jet Alone Project’.

    The ball was in Matteo’s court now.

    ------

    The demonstration was going to be out at sea, and Shiro Tokita knew that NERV was suspicious about how the date of this demonstration was the same date that Shinji Ikari, Pilot of Evangelion Unit-01, had been sent to greet Asuka Langley Soryhu, Pilot of Evangelion Unit-02.

    And by that, NERV must have figured it out, but due to them (probably) not knowing about the Anti-L System, there was a strong chance that they had decided to let ‘Project: LUXMAN’ fail against an actual Angel’s AT-Field.

    “They probably know about our alliance with NOAH,” Alonso said as he and a band of picked mercenaries escorted Shiro and Ken to the docks of Tokyo-2, where the cargo ship containing Project: LUXMAN had sailed off several hours ago. “Don’t worry, though; I’ve taken countermeasures against sabotage and direct attack.”

    Shiro Tokita nodded and spoke in a plain tone, “We have fewer observers and investors coming to see our demonstration than I expected. I think that if we fail in this, our stockholders will lose faith in us and I’ll be thrown out.”

    He then stubbornly decided, “But I don’t care. At least I fought for Humanity, for its hopes and its right to retain its present form; warts and all. And we will not fail.”

    A large projector screen had been set up in the docks, where in s shaded pavilion, the remaining investors and several of JHCI’s shareholders were waiting for something to happen, a few of them muttering threats of what they would do if it turned out to be a waste of time.

    Well, he, Shiro Tokita, was prepared to give them the show of their lives…

    ------

    Ryoji Kaji was no fool. Japan Heavy Chemical Industries had made several jumps in technology, competence, and a willingness to take risks that were out of character for the private sector Post-Second Impact. That they had funded the original Jet Alone Project was merely an oversight on NERV’s part; that they had suddenly replaced said project with something impossibly advanced drew only suspicion, especially as all that was beyond the current intelligence and competence of one Shiro Tokita.

    And being acquainted with precocious geniuses himself, Kaji knew better than to avoid suspecting the ‘war orphan’ Shiro Tokita had picked up just before his uncharacteristic behavior began - Just who was this Ken Aizawa and what did that mysterious child know about what was going on?

    ------

    Matteo Masuda made LUXMAN, JHCI’s new project, stand. Then he made it walk. As he handled the control system already made familiar by countless hours in the simulations, he made the Mech’s hand wave hi at the camera crew standing behind the cargo ship’s comms room.

    Then, he and LUXMAN took off, boosting the new Jet Thrusters towards the ocean, demonstrating the machine’s capability for flight. As this demonstration was transmitted live towards the docks of Tokyo-2, Matteo made sure to fly in seemingly random directions first, as if he was learning to master powered flight in a humanoid machine that defied the laws of aerodynamics.

    All he had to do was buy time for the Angel called Gaghiel to attack so that the armament strapped to LUXMAN’s chassis and the Anti-L System built into the Mech could -

    The Adult Pilot’s heart seemed to plummet into a deep abyss, and it took all Matteo had to keep LUXMAN, his vehicle, from dropping down into the water below as he realized the great big hole in their logic.

    An Anti-L Barrier can defend against AT-Fields, but can it attack in turn?

    Warnings were already being radioed into his Mech; Gaghiel had appeared and was ravaging the UN Pacific Fleet. LUXMAN and its Pilot were being warned to turn back, but Matteo knew that it would be a blow to Mr. Tokita and Ken’s goals if they were not able to demonstrate the Anti-L System.

    He unstrapped the axe, the axe engraved with Angel Sealing Hex Glyphs on its blade and shaft, the latter connected to LUXMAN’s Fusion Reactor by a relatively thin, hyper-insulated wire.

    And Matteo sailed forward, to test the net of destiny.

    ------

    From the communications room of the US-built Aircraft Carrier Over the Rainbow, Ryoji Kaji made a strong suggestion to both NERV and the UN Navy, “Let our guest prove himself; what’s the harm in letting Eva Unit-02 have some help?”

    The response from the latter’s pilot was immediate, “I don’t need help from a kill-stealing wannabe! I’ll tear apart this Angel myself!”

    Asuka Langley Sorhyu was not going to let anyone stomp on her pride like this, especially not a metallic abomination that from her perspective, came from a different genre of mech Anime entirely. Kaji could appreciate that sentiment, but he decided that he should at least try and temper it.

    “Even so, let’s see how he fights, shall we?” was his next radio message. “Who knows, maybe he can get himself killed without your help.”

    “Hmph!” Asuka conceded with bad grace as Evangelion Unit-02 was raised up to the deck of the Aircraft Carrier in order to watch the Enemy Mech which thought itself equal to her own machine -

    “What the f-king hell?!” she screamed in outrage as Luxuman or whatever that piece of scrap was called englobed itself in a red globe of light, one that caused its opponent, Gaghiel, the Sixth Angel, to visibly flinch, allowing the mundane mech to land on one of the UN Pacific Fleet’s cruisers, sparking muted protests at the incursion. “Those pricks actually pulled some Angel Repellant out of their asses? What has NERV been doing?!”

    But she was not Asuka Langley Sorhyu, the genius Second Child, for nothing; her quick observational skills glimpsed that the barrier ‘LUXMAN’ had pulled out did not affect the people on the Cruiser’s deck, nor the surface it stood on.

    Nor did the mech’s axe, whose blade shone with glyphs she knew she had seen before in NERV-Germany’s depths, breach the skin of Gaghiel when the weapon struck it; nor was it broken by the latter’s AT-Field; both mutually repelled each other.

    “Hah!” she said in scorn, “You, wannabe Adult Pilot! Leave this to the kids if you cannot even touch the Angel!”

    She felt a tug on her plug suit; it was Idiot Shinji, the Third Child and pilot of Eva-01, who had come to the Pacific Fleet to greet her but who had to share her Evangelion’s cockpit when the Sixth Angel attacked.

    “What is it? Can’t you see -” Then she saw the same thing he did.

    Gaghiel had spotted Evangelion Unit-02, and was leaping towards her position!


    “Kyaa!” she unceremoniously yelped as she and Idiot Shinji were treated to a full show of Gaghiel’s teeth as it moved to chomp down on them…

    Only for it to be suddenly pulled away, backward, and then tossed into a space of open water - LUXMAN had grabbed the beast’s tail and yanked the much larger foe back, saving their lives.

    “Tch!” Asuka refused to admit that last part in public, at least not to that Wannabe’s face, “Guess you can be useful after all, you kill-stealing piece of shit!”

    There was a response, smooth yet curt, “Thank you.”

    “Now let me show you how a real Pilot does it!” Asuka said as Unit-02 sprinted across the Aircraft Carrier’s deck, leaping at Gaghiel as the Angel recovered its bearings and swam towards her position again.

    Her AT-Field neutralized the alien monster’s as the latter opened its maw, trying to bite her machine once more. However, Asuka was ready this time, and Eva Unit-02’s hands and feet were forcing the jaws apart, exposing the red Core at the back of its mouth.

    Then, as one arm held up Gaghiel’s upper jaw while the other drew out a short but sharp Prog Knife, Asuka grinned as she - And that Idiot Shinji, he helped - stabbed the Angel’s Core as the UN Pacific Fleet scattered to try and avoid some of the coming explosion.

    All in all, it was not such a bad day after all…

    ------

    It took every bit of political favors and debts, drawing on his investors and observers’ antipathy towards NERV, and the good offices of the UN Pacific Fleet’s Admirals and Captains (who were out to embarrass the upstart branch of the UN), for Matteo’s technically illegal intrusion to earn nothing more than a slap on the wrist. However, Shiro Tokita could not hide from the accusation that he somehow knew when the Sixth Angel would attack and that he had hidden it from everyone else to promote his products.

    Which, fair enough, was sort of the truth.

    Right now, he was making up a cockamamie story about how it was all a lucky coincidence, but NERV was already closing in on him, and several people who should be his allies, the Japanese Government, had hinted that they wanted the technology behind Project: LUXMAN for themselves.

    Right now, he was in his office, with Ken helping him sort through paperwork and bringing him coffee and otherwise making it clear that the boy was going to stand beside him for as long as it took.

    “I’m not going to run away from unintended consequences,” Ken had said earlier this morning as the piles of criticism, rumors, and thinly-veiled threats added up on his desk. “Father stopped running away and got what he wanted after much tragedy. I am not a loyal son if I abandon my friends.”

    Sentimental, Shiro Tokita thought. But then again, who am I to talk? No, we will make it through this; Matteo, Alonso, Ken and his parents, and the organization called NOAH, we will all make it.

    Then as noon shifted to afternoon, Shiro Tokita came back from his lunch break to find a note from his Shareholders and the other Executives, saying that they had sold all of their shares in Japan Heavy Chemical Industries to the United Nations, who had promptly transferred them to NERV.

    “Mr, Tokita,” Ken looked at him with fear in his eyes for the first time, “It seems Grandfather owns us now.”
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2023
  24. Threadmarks: Chapter Seven
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Seven

    Now that the UN had turned JHCI into a subsidiary company of NERV (that meant it was legally independent, and had its own board of directors, but NERV can veto its decisions at any time and was entitled to the company’s information and assets), Project: LUXMAN was out of the hands of the Japanese Government and any other companies who saw the Mechs’ potential as Anti-Evangelion weapons.

    Shiro Tokita also had to hand over his financial statements to NERV, which now had evidence that he was working with groups in the Middle East aligned with NOAH - A breakaway organization that was an enemy of NERV’s backers. The worst possible spin would be put on that, he knew.

    Days of interviews and news articles have seen him asked these questions:

    “Did you know that the [Insert Middle Eastern Name Here] mines bauxite using child labor?”

    “[Insert Middle Eastern Name Here] has ties with terrorist groups believed to be involved in [Insert Massacre Here] just after Second Impact?”

    “Is it not dubious that some of the materials for Project: LUXMAN are from an unstable region where International Law has not been fully re-established?”

    Fools, the lot of them. And now, Gendo Ikari, Commander of NERV, was inviting him to the Geofront in Tokyo-3, with the objective of discussing “The role of Project: LUXMAN in supporting the Evangelion Units.”

    The invitation was outwardly cordial, acknowledging him as a pioneer in robotics and engineering, and welcoming him as a new partner of NERV. But between the lines, it revealed that Gendo knew a lot about what they were doing to the point where it made him uncomfortable.

    Shiro Tokita – Despite my initial doubts about your competence, you have proven yourself a brilliant engineer with great potential, and Project: LUXMAN - formerly Jet Alone - acts as a testament to what Humanity can do in these trying times. If you are willing to work with us, let us save Humanity together - A bright future awaits our partnership.

    However, it has been brought to my attention that there are rumors that you have information that might threaten the safety and security of the men and women under my command and the safety of the world in general. There have been foul rumors and conspiracy theories about NERV from its very inception, and I wish to know how much of this slander has reached your ears - We both know that the initial Jet Alone Project was pitched to people jealous of NERV's influence and skeptical of its decisions and their necessity to save Humanity.

    This invitation is further extended to Alonso Guttierez and Matteo Masuda, your chief of security and your Adult Pilot, and the 'War Orphan' you have taken under your wing as an intern, Ken Aizawa.

    As Commander of NERV, it is my duty to ensure the safety and security of our organization as they work their duty protecting all of humanity, and there is reason to believe that the people in your immediate circle are presenting information slanted to put NERV in a bad light. This may hamper our collective defense against the Angel threat. To clear up this misunderstanding, I would like the opportunity to meet with you in person.

    If you refuse to meet with me, I will take it as a deepening of our misunderstandings and take appropriate action in response.


    How much did he suspect?

    “We have no choice but to go,” Alonso almost moaned as they met one more time in a private room in JHCI Tower. “And once there, we’ll be at Commander Ikari’s tender mercies - Or lack of.”

    Matteo interrupted, “I don’t think they’ll be able to torture us right away, not without raising questions. They might, however, try and get one of us to blurt out a secret they can use to justify removing our legal protections. Then we get tortured.”

    Ken then spoke, refusing to teleport out even though he was in dangerous circumstances now, “If you guys can get me inside the Geofront, there is someone I can talk to, someone who might believe me. So let’s go.”

    There was little they can do to prepare after that, except meditate, pray, and otherwise de-stress as best as they could despite the fact that one wrong move can lead to their execution - Matteo and Alonso, now romantically involved with each other, chose Filipino Brandy (after Matteo’s prayers) as their method of stress relief.

    Ken, meanwhile, spent some time in Shiro’s penthouse guest room trying to clear his thoughts and center his mind in quiet.

    As for him, he, Shiro Tokita, chose to listen to sweet jazz; he’d gained a liking for that American genre of music.

    ------

    The next day, ‘Team Tokita’ were escorted into the Geofront without much fanfare and ceremony by one Ryoji Kaji himself. Shiro could see that Ken was trying to keep himself as brave as possible; the sweat on his brow that had broken out despite the air conditioning was his ward’s only sign of fear.

    This bravery was maintained even as the sound of footsteps was heard coming towards them. It was Ritsuko Akagi, NERV’s R&D Chief (?), and two well-armed guards who brandished their guns openly. The (fake) blonde scientist then said, “We’ve been tasked with escorting ‘Mr. Aizawa’ away from here and into an examination room. We just need to run a few tests on him and maybe ask him a couple of questions.”

    For a brief moment, Ken lost his composure and looked nervously at Ritsuko, and Shiro could see his left hand tremble. Then the boy nodded and said, “All right, let’s go. After all, what does a kid like me have to fear?”

    And as Ken let himself be escorted away, Shiro Tokita felt that he, Matteo, and Alonso were even more alone than before.

    This was confirmed even more when, a few dozen meters further into the Geofront, Misato Katsuragi, now promoted to Major (he didn’t know if it was the same time as the ‘Original Timeline or if they had changed something), went up to Matteo with another pair of guards and said, “You’re to be debriefed as regards Project: LUXMAN’s capabilities; now that JHCI is a subsidiary of NERV, its assets, including the LUXMAN, must be accurately accounted for so that they can be used against the Angel threat in an optimal manner.”

    Shiro Tokita was no fool (at least not in this universe) and he saw what Gendo was doing, and it was confirmed when within sight of the doors of the Commander’s Office, several NERV Intelligence men in black suits, sunglasses, and holstered guns took Alonso aside and spoke, “Alonso Guttierez, Private Security, right? We’re taking you in for suspicion of immigration offenses and taking illegal firearms and explosives across state lines.”

    Yep, they were planning to have him confront Gendo Ikari alone, and Shiro only had raw bravado to tide him by. As Alonso was taken away, and the doors to the Commander’s Office opened, Shiro Tokita felt a surge of indignation, and walked forward smoothly, forcefully, defiantly.

    “Mr. Tokita, I am glad you accepted NERV’s invitation,” his opponent gestured for him to take the chair in front of his desk. As Shiro did so, Gendo Ikari continued with false affability, “I believe we have a good opportunity here to talk about how we can work together and create a brighter future for humanity. But to do that, I require your full cooperation.”

    He then gave a pained sigh, one that reflected genuine weariness that was nevertheless played up for emotional effect. Then he spoke, “I am the Commander of NERV, and it is my duty to keep the people under it, people who signed up to save Humanity, as safe and secure as possible. Therefore I need to know all you’ve been told - True and false - about the rumors of NERV’s inner workings and the organization called SEELE.”

    Shiro knew he must have raised an eyebrow or indicated a reaction that showed he knew what Gendo was talking about, as the latter said, “If you are willing to work with me on this, I promise you my personal protection and assistance on avoiding their retaliation.”

    Smooth, the JHCI executive thought. If not for what I know, I’d have believed him.

    He chose his next words carefully, “How are you so sure that I genuinely know… And that if I did, I am not the type of person who'd oppose what they might be planning till the bitter end?”

    Gendo’s face hardened a little, but his conciliatory tone continued, “Shiro, I am not certain. But as Commander of NERV, it is my duty to investigate every possible leak. If you do know, we must know too - For the sake of NERV and Humanity. So, do you know anything you should not know?”

    His glasses glinted in the room’s pale light and were met by Shiro Tokita’s own glint of anger as he asked in turn.

    “And what if I continue to deny that I know such... Information?" the JHCI executive thought he saw Gendo’s face further harden.

    “Shiro, you are putting the security of NERV at risk if you do such; that is not something I will allow. I will give you one last chance; either you tell me what you know now, or I will take appropriate steps. Your choice.”

    The following response was, "Would one of those countermeasures be interrogating my intern, a child who’s suffered enough already?"

    Gendo gave a sigh, a sigh with just the faintest tones of exasperation before he said, “Every one of us has suffered enough already. You are not unique, nor is he. If your ward knows anything, he has a duty to Humanity to inform us. I will do what I must to safeguard NERV and its secrets - No matter how unpleasant.”

    White, blinding rage filled Shiro Tokita for a moment before the executive said, “As said by someone who’d force his own son to pilot a weapon of mass destruction.”

    He saw Gendo chill further; the other man knew that he knew and that he was the type to risk it all for his principles. But Shiro knew not to underestimate him now, especially as his opponent was keeping his composure.

    “Mr. Tokita,” was Gendo Ikari’s next remark, “It is most discourteous to intrude upon a complete stranger’s family matters. How I treat Shinji is none of your concern.”

    Shiro took a few deep breaths, and asked, “So am I supposed to stand by when adults do the same thing they’ve been doing before and after Second Impact - Pass the burden of solving the problems they caused to their children? That has never been right and it never will be - Especially now that adults have the capability of solving their own mistakes.”

    Gendo retorted, “Do you actually believe that Humanity can solve their mistakes, then? If so, NERV and the Evangelions are the means to do so.”

    Shiro’s response was, “What do you need from Japan Heavy Chemical Industries, then, if you don’t believe we have the tools?”

    He then continued, “As I see it, the world already knows now that Angels can be repelled with the appropriate technology, and while we can’t replace the light of the Human soul, we can supplement it; support those who can emit it. And everyone understands that mass-produced mechs have become useful against Evangelion Units, maybe more so against them than against the ‘Alien Menace’ the Angels represent.”

    Then a follow-up, “The existence of the Anti-L System combined with mundane mechs means that NERV’s days on the throne are numbered - Same for the covert backers whose existence you confirmed just earlier.”

    Gendo answered smoothly, but also curtly, “Which is why we need that technology… That, by the way, NERV had been developing for the past few years.”

    NERV’s Commander continued, “NOAH is overstepping itself stealing from us and using you as their catspaw, isn’t it? A gadfly in the Middle East, too small to look beyond petty concerns and focus on Humanity’s future -”

    Shiro kept his poise as he interrupted and said, “Oh, no; I and The Insert - Ken - have been planning this long before NOAH offered to provide raw materials and security.”

    It was rare for an adult to willingly admit that a kid planned out, even inspired, the achievements attributed to him. But Shiro Tokita did just that as he dropped the bombshell, “Ken’s from another universe where you failed - He’s Shinji’s son. Ask Dr. Akagi for the DNA results, they won’t lie.”

    For a brief moment, Gendo Ikari looked like he was about to laugh at Shiro; ridicule him and his assertions. But he must have registered the truth in said assertions, as he took out his landline phone and called Ritsuko.

    Shiro Tokita appreciated how pale the man’s face became after just a few snatches of conversation.
     
  25. ATP

    ATP Experienced.

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    Well,could they cooperate at all? becouse for Gendo it is either his plan succed,or humanity could die.
    The same goes for SEELE.
     
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  26. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    I have a plan.
     
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  27. ATP

    ATP Experienced.

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    Gave him his waifu back ? But,you need her in Eva-1 for fighting bad angels,right?
     
  28. Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Let's just say that Yui not being in Eva Unit-01 anymore is a vital plot point and a challenge.
     
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  29. ATP

    ATP Experienced.

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    Thanks !
     
  30. Threadmarks: Chapter Eight
    Repentant_Dragos

    Repentant_Dragos Versed in the lewd.

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    Chapter Eight

    Ken had detected the presence of Yui Ikari, his Grandmother, inside Evangelion Unit-01 as soon as he entered NERV with the JHCI delegation. His plan, once he was close enough, was to form a telepathic connection with her; he just needed to let Ritsuko Akagi, NERV’s science chief who was in charge of his interrogation, take some samples and then get distracted analyzing them.

    That was the crucial phase of his private operation, an operation he had kept secret from the rest of his team, including Mr. Tokita. So he was going to let Ritsuko take a sample of his blood, his hair, and the cells from the roof of his mouth, knowing that when she went to analyzing -

    “You’re a clone, right?” Ms. Akagi suddenly asked. “You can almost pass for another child of the Commander and his wife, but we both know he only had Shinji. The minor variations in appearance are probably from mutations as a result of the cloning process. Now, roll up your left sleeve; an analysis should confirm who your gene donors were.”

    Ken gave a slight, “Tch,” as she gestured him to the examination chair, then continued, “A clone would be an obvious answer to the questions I present, and it fits your paradigm.”

    Ritsuko gave him a skeptical half-glare, before saying, “Your knowledge of the thesaurus aside, the Commander thinks you were made as a mockery of him and Shinji, and used to pass on stolen secrets from SEELE and NERV to Japan Heavy Chemical Industries. He has ordered me to get you on the examination chair through any means possible.”

    The boy sighed and said, “Fine. Just get on with it. I’ll even stay put if you need me to.”

    Grandmother had sensed his presence; he can pick up her mind reaching out and he just needed an opportunity to concentrate.

    So he sat down on the chair, swallowing his discomfort as he allowed Ritsuko to take the needed cells and begin the analysis. Now he can focus on -

    “The MAGI finished the analysis in 0.0001 seconds; they considered your existence a curiosity worth focusing their attention on. They also detected signatures of various particles whose radiation, though they reassure me that it is harmless, signal quantum teleportation across universes and dimensions,” Ritsuko’s face was pale as she spoke. “Their assessment… Is that you are Shinji’s son with an unknown woman with none of the genetic abnormalities of a clone? And also that the particles come from some sort of… Space in-between universes?”

    Ken glared at her before saying, “Grasp the implications yet, Ms. Akagi? Instrumentality failed where I came from, and we intend to make sure it keeps failing everywhere, everywhen. There is hope for Humanity in its current state and I intend to take it.”

    Grandmother was actively reaching out, her consciousness touching his’ with curiosity and affection. Ken now felt able to tell a shocked Ritsuko so he can confirm her findings, “Now, inform Grandfather of my nature; I’m going to commune with my Grandmother.”

    ------

    Shiro Tokita knew that Gendo Ikari was not a complete monster, just a broken man who pushed away his son due to his mad quest to reunite with a wife who had a hidden megalomaniac streak. That didn’t make him any less ruthless, but any impulse to just order Ken’s death, his own, or Matteo and Alonso’s was dampened by the realization of the threat he faced.

    This realization, of course, was met with calm dignity, as Gendo clasped his hands together and rested his chin on them, whispering to himself, “So Ken does not have the genetic markings of a clone but a trueborn human, particles indicating quantum teleportation and extradimensional origins can be found around him; full confirmation of his’ and your statements.”

    Time to continue talking; Shiro Tokita needed to drop even more revelations while Gendo’s psyche was slightly more vulnerable than usual, “Ken came here on his own, expecting to shock me into siding with his madcap plans to prevent Instrumentality in this universe and give his father’s version here a happy ending. I got the whole story out of him instead.”

    Glaring at Gendo, Shiro spoke, “He’s not as smart as he thinks he is, but he’s smarter than others give him credit for. I’m sure he had a plan for when he’s taken to this godforsaken place, a plan he kept secret from even me -”

    Alarm bells rang, and a message was played over the intercoms, saying, “Unit-01 is self-activating, repeat, Unit-01 is self-activating!”

    And in a flash of light, a flash of light that caused the Geofront’s MAGI Systems to report that they detected an “UNKNOWN PATTERN” (or was it PATTERN: UNKNOWN?), Ken Illustrious Ikari materialized inside the room, looking only a little frazzled, before walking up to Gendo Ikari's desk and saying, “Grandfather, I was able to form a telepathic connection to Grandmother. Don’t look so surprised; Father can do it as well when immersed in Unit-01’s LCL - That’s the basis of Evangelion piloting, isn’t it?”

    Gendo grits his teeth, but it was clear that his composure was breaking down as he said, “Yui…”

    Then the doors opened once more, and one Ryoji Kaji and Misato Katsuragi didn’t care that they were violating protocol by busting through the guards at Gendo’s office. Misato was the first to speak:

    “Commander Ikari, what is happening? Why is Unit-01 acting on its own?” she then looked at Ken, “And wasn’t this kid being examined by Ritsuko some time ago?”

    Ken answered the first two questions with, “I suggested an alternate deal to Grandmother. As for who I am? Well, I’m the game-changer here.”

    A few seconds passed as Gendo grasped that Ken was doing exactly as the boy had said he would, and his face lit up with a mix of hope and dread as he, despite himself, rooted for his grandson to succeed.

    Then, Ritsuko’s shocked voice sounded over the intercoms as she said, “Something is emerging from Evangelion Unit-01! It’s organic, human in shape - No, it is a human, and the description exactly matches that of…”

    She couldn’t finish, but the implications were clear.

    Ken then explained for everyone here, “Yui Ikari chose to be assimilated into Evangelion Unit-01 to make it work, turning the Angelic flesh it was made from into a working unit through the addition of a human soul. Her innermost goals were to give her son, Shinji Ikari, control of the outcome of the Human Instrumentality Project - More on that later - and transform the remnants of Evangelion Unit-01 into an eternal memorial that Humanity existed that would last till the end of space, time, and the universe.”

    The boy’s expression then turned a little smug, and Shiro Tokita was proud of him as he said, “But I offered a better deal.”

    Looking at the others inside the office, Ken said, “An eternal Ikari lineage, across multiple universes and timelines, composed of the children of various Shinji Ikaris with Asukas, the occasional Rei, Maris in worlds where they exist, and even Kaworus - The fact that Kaworu is male can be solved with artificial wombs and stem cell research. That’s what I promised Grandmother for her agreement to go back to the world, derail Grandfather’s plans and take away his motivation, and make the planned breakup of SEELE all the easier.”

    And to seal people’s understanding of what was happening, a faint, hoarse voice echoed through the intercom, a voice that was, nevertheless, unmistakably Yui Ikari’s.

    “Gendo… I’m back. Unit-01 is useless now, though…” Two coughs could be heard after that.

    And Gendo recovered his poise looked at his grandson with something resembling respect, and said, “If this is what Yui wants, then our goals align now. However, you must know that this move might result in yet another World War; the Fourth if we count what happened after Second Impact as World War Three.”

    Ken nodded and said, “As Mr. Tokita himself reminded me. Anyway, can Matteo and Alonso be allowed to come here? Matteo probably told you guys everything needed to make sure LUXMAN works well with the Evangelions while Alonso, well, there’s no risk that he’s going to assassinate anyone from NERV now that we’re all friends now, right?”

    It was Misato Katsuragi who interrupted next, lifting her hand to say, “Wait, if Shinji’s mother was inside Unit-01, and she’s out of Unit-01, and Unit-01 no longer works, does that mean Shinji is no longer a pilot?”

    All right, time to remind people of his presence. Shiro Tokita took a few steps closer to Misato and Kaji and said, “The Good news? Shinji Ikari becomes a normal person again with both his parents and his time-traveling son visiting regularly from my place. The Bad news? The time-traveling son has turned over heaven and earth to do that and NERV is likely to be at war against fellow Humans just as much as it is against the Angels.”

    Then to remind Ken that they were still equal partners, Shiro turned to the other boy and said, “Remember what I said about war - It isn’t a game!”

    In the meantime, Matteo and Alonso were ushered in, and Shiro sighed in relief at seeing the two unharmed. As he heard Misato and Kaji asking Ken questions and Ken answering them all in his slightly smug way, the JHCI executive decided to let the Ikari Family and NERV’s personnel handle things; right now, he was glad to have done his part.

    ------

    This happened a little while later.

    The Castle of Alamut, the headquarters of the historical Assassins, had been rebuilt in the chaos of Post-Second Impact warfare. Unlike before, members of other faiths shared the space, where NOAH, the Middle Eastern ragtag bunch of misfits (in relative terms) had broken away from SEELE and had been flailing against it since. Now, the more militant wing of the faction’s leadership met in corporeal form; several pairs of men and women who regarded each other as equal before the eyes of God.

    That said, the Knights Templar, now re-established in the Middle East, had the most important thing to say, with their male representative saying, “Alonso Guttierez has succeeded; his alliance with The Insert and The Executive has struck a blow to SEELE and taken the heart out of NERV.”

    Their female representative added, “The Stations of The False Cross; the plan for Humanity laid out by SEELE, NERV, and Yui Ikari before she was enticed to a new… Bargain, those have been shattered. Only the sequence of Angels remains to dictate Humanity’s path.”

    The Scholars who made up the Lions of Maimondes’ representatives then cleared their throats, before the male said, “So war it is. A war that will bring tears to an already suffering world. But to prevent the abomination that is Instrumentality and the appropriation of the names of Angels that SEELE has committed, there is no other alternative.”

    The female asked, “Of course, without the Evangelion Unit-01, how can the False Angel who usurps the name Israfel be fought? Will we lend material to JHCI to produce more LUXMANs?”

    A nod from the Reborn Order of Assassins’ female representative, saying, “Yes, and we will send more pilots too; the Suburovs might lend themselves their usefulness. Their youngest scion would like to meet The Insert.”

    Then the male representative opened his mouth to say, “Then it is agreed. War it is, and the further derailment of the enemy’s plans. They cannot dictate that Humanity is dead as a species without the informed consent of most of Mankind.”

    “Let it be so,” said all the women in the council chamber of the rebuilt Alamut Castle.

    “Let the Almighty’s Will be done,” the men responded.

    Not all in NOAH believed that there was such a thing as The Almighty, but they all believed in the importance of ceremony and custom; if The Almighty existed, he’d be honored, while if he didn’t, invoking him was harmless to their organization…
     
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