Evangelion: Children of Men

Episode 9

A week has passed since the disastrous (compared to their victories so far, at least) battle with Tahriel. Spencer and Daas have been released from medical care, and the four pilots with their NERV father figure have been swept away into a visit to the USS Halsey by Captain Redford, commander of the vessel that had been of instrumental help during their first sortie. Spencer, somehow, had managed to locate a pair of ridiculous aviator glasses before the helicopter lifted off to take them aboard the vessel.

Daas: Daas turns back from the window, where he’d just snapped a couple of pictures. Sometime since being released from the hospital, he’s picked up a slim digital camera. “Spencer, you look like the cops in that ridiculous old TV show you were watching a couple weeks ago.” Daas chuckles; the idea of Spencer as a cop is just too amusing.
Spencer: “Call me ‘Maverick’.”
Marina: She glares at him. “He reminds me more of some of the worse instructors I had. They wore terrible shades like that.”
Daas: “But were any of them named Maverick?”
Spencer: “See that’s crucial.”
Spencer: “I’d also accept ‘Iceman,’ ‘Goose,’ or ‘Fish Eye’.”
Marina: She sighs and resumes looking out the window, the first airborne view of Seattle she’s had yet.
Nadya: “I have no idea what any of you are talking about.”
Spencer: “That’s it Nadya, tommorrow I have some important instruction films to show you.” Turning and looking at Morgan, “Any chance I can borrow the briefing room?”
Nadya: “Why do I feel impending doom?”
Morgan: Morgan chuckles. “As long as it isn’t in use for anything you can use it for your remedial american culture class.”
Spencer: “I prefer to just call it good culture.”
Daas: “Iceman? Are you cold?” It’s getting hard to tell sometimes whether Daas is actually obtuse or just screwing with people; you’d think he’d have started assimilating the culture. “I believe you’ve just earned one of Spencer’s ‘Cultural Education’ nights. Don’t worry, he force-fed me about 12 episodes of something called ‘The A-Team’ when we first arrived.”
Marina: She just sighs. What a terrible first impression they were going to make.
Spencer: “Daas, I’ve caught you whistling that theme more than once.”
Daas: “It’s a catchy tune, what can I say?” Daas leans back in his chair. “Relax, Ensign, I at least know enough not to go calling the Captain by her first name, or start hanging off the ship by a boom arm or something.”
Marina: “I know you will, but…”
Daas: “But this is the first time in a while you’ll be back among your own people. Relax. You’re a hero, remember?”
Marina: She simply looks back out the window, at the cleanup and reconstruction efforts proceeding at the edge of the bay.
Spencer: “Actually, do they know what’s up?”
Daas: “I imagine they’ll guess when the Major shows up with four teenagers, one of whom is in an NAU uniform.”
Nadya: “Wait where are we going?”
Morgan: “Of course, Spencer. This was Captain Redford’s idea in the first place.”
Daas: “I believe we’ve been invited aboard one of the ships we’ve been fighting alongside the past few months, or weeks in your case.”
Spencer: “I mean the crew.”
Marina: “The Halsey, which participated in the battle against Sachiel. Tour sort of thing. CSG9’s been a large aid to NERV-07 in the past months so the least we could do is accept a tour invitation.”
Morgan: The USS Halsey’s one of very few non-Evangelion weapons on earth that can claim to have actually hurt one of the monsters. That’s why they’re getting the first delivery of that." Morgan points out the left side of the helicopter to where a pair of Chinooks are lowering a large gun barrel into place.
Nadya: “And what, exactly IS that”
Marina: “It looks familiar.”
Morgan: “That’s because it’s a miniaturized version of the railguns you’ve played with in the sims.”
Marina: Her eyes downright shine. “They’ve worked out enough of the issues for it to be combat deployed on a destroyer?”
Spencer: “Meh, I’m sure they are useful for things like aircraft carriers and destroyers.”
Morgan: “Section 3 recently managed to get the power requirements down enough that military vehicles could be equipped with them. The Halsey’s getting the first production model, but the Stryker MGS are going to be getting them as fast as we can turn them out.”
Daas: “That… will be very helpful.” Daas was less familiar with the weapon than Marina, but he knew enough about the physics to know that this would be a useful addition to their arsenal.
Marina: “Are they gonna test fire it today? Or is it merely being transported back up to Everett for that?”
Morgan: “You’ll have to ask her when we arrive, I don’t actually know. More importantly for you all they’ve got the first working prototype of one scaled for the Evas, so it’s only a matter of time before it won’t be a simulation pipe dream anymore.”

In front of the chopper, the figure of the Halsey and her two attendant frigates, the Ingraham and Davis loom large in the harbor. As the Blackhawk descends, the figures of sailors going about their duties on the deck can be seen, as well as two figures waiting in the open door of the Halsey’s helicopter bay.

Touching down, the two figures come out to meet the chopper as its engines spin down. They’re a man and a woman in Navy uniform, Captain Redford and a man whom Major Ward can presume is her XO, one Commander Williams.

“Major Ward!” the captain says, extending her hand in greeting as the side door opens. “Glad you could make it, welcome aboard the USS Halsey.”
Morgan: Morgan grabs the hardshell case sitting next to him and steps onto the deck, shaking her hand and nodding to the Commander. “A pleasure as always, Olivia, Robert.”
Marina: Marina barely shoves down the urge to salute, given that she technically didn’t need to, waiting to be addressed all the same.
“And these must be the pilots, eh?” she asks, turning her attention back into the chopper.
Marina: “Yes, mamm!”
Daas: Daas waits for Marina’s lead; not only did she know more about the protocols, she was their Team Leader, at least on the org chart, despite Spencer’s protests to the contrary.
Captain Redford’s eyebrow goes up as she spots Marina in an Army uniform, then dashes off a formal salute. “It’s good to finally meet you all. I’m told that I shouldn’t ask for your names for security reasons, but I’m Captain Olivia Redford, and I’d like to welcome you all to my humble vessel.” Commander Williams, out on the deck, eyes the orbiting Chinooks with a smirk. “Morgan, you didn’t say you were bringing gifts…”
Daas: After waiting a moment, Daas removes his straps and moves to the door, pausing for a moment to make sure the others don’t need a hand disembarking. It might look like chivalry, but really, he’s worried about Spencer ending up kicked into the ocean on this trip more than anything.
Marina: She salutes back, before watching the railgun from a lower angle as she steps onto the deck of the ship.
Nadya: Nadya quietly unbuckles herself and makes her way out of the helicopter.
Morgan: He smiles and responds quietly. “I could swear I mentioned it.” He hands the case over to him. “This one’s for you and Olivia.”
A deck crew rushes out to the Blackhawk, sidelong glances at the pilots obvious as they hook up the tow wagon to the Blackhawk’s front wheel to haul it into the empty hangar on the Halsey. “Morgan,” Williams laughs, taking the case, “you know we can’t accept bribes, even from NERV.”
Daas: Daas quietly takes in the barely contained chaos of the ship, smiling a little. It was his first encounter with non-NERV military. Hell, it was just refreshing to see different uniforms.
Ushering the pilots out onto the deck, Captain Redford continues speaking to the pilots. “You’ll have to pardon the crew — we couldn’t tell them you’d be coming aboard… and, well, let’s just say you’ve all been the objects of a little curiosity.”
Marina: She rocks on her heels for several seconds, before following the captain. “Understandably, I think, sir.”
Daas: Daas spends a few moments trying to cultivate a mental connection with Spencer, the whole content of which would probably be ‘no, stop, police, murder’. Sadly, no flash of insight reaches Spencer, and so Daas moves on. “We’re glad to have the chance to meet you, after working together so long.”
Spencer: He’s practiced a special smile using the aviator glasses
Nadya: nadya just kind of tries to be unobtrusive
Joining her XO and Morgan, Olivia nods to Morgan. “Sorry about abducting your chopper, but we have, ah, another visitor coming in on the ship’s Seahawk.”
Morgan: “Is that so? May I ask who?” Morgan frowns, having a bad idea.
Marina: “There’s another VIP coming in?”
“Yes, Admiral Kennedy decided that today was a good day for an inspection.” Captain Redford squints at the horizon. “Frankly, I’m surprised he’s not here by now… generally he sends his notifications about ten minutes before he arrives.”
Marina: “Is he going to be inspecting the new rail weaponry personally once he arrives?” She’s sort of failing to keep the eagerness out of her voice when she mentions the guns.
Morgan: Morgan nods and looks slightly relieved.
“He will be now. It’s as much of a surprise to us as it was to you.” She looks towards the bow, where the railgun is slowly getting lowered to the deck. “Let’s get the tour started while we wait for His Highness to show up, eh?”
Nadya: Nadya whispers to Daas, “They’ll be able to have it firing ready today? It just got there.”
Daas: “It’s probably mostly assembled already; if I understand the system, all it needs is power.” Daas whispers back. “Assuming they didn’t make any mistakes with the power connection, they could have it ready very quickly.”
Marina: “Roger, mamm. I’ve never seen the inside of a navy ship before, I’m eager to do so.”

Leading the group through the hangar, Captain Redford takes them into the underdecks of the ship. Making their way below, the group passes single-file, crewmen splitting around them as they pass, snapping off salutes at the captain and letting them linger as the trail of officers and pilots passes behind her. She rattles off some of the ship’s history as they pass, relating some of the notable incidents — service in peacekeeping during the 1990s, the turmoil after Second Impact, anti-piracy activities and brushfire wars in the decade following.

Marina: Marina listens to it all with rapt attention
Daas: “The ship is in remarkable shape, considering such a long service history. Your crew must work very hard.”
“We just all do our jobs, Pilot. To be frank, the ship’s looked better in recent years — ever since the Angelic War kicked off, we’ve had a lot more money to spend on maintenance.”
Daas: “I can imagine.” Daas, to his credit, manages to keep his tone neutral."
“First stop is right up this ladder. Mind your heads… and no pictures, please, Pilot.”
Daas: “Ah, I was going to ask.” Daas slips the camera into a pocket. “Security, I know.”
“Not that we don’t trust NERV, but the US Government still has restrictions about these things.”
Marina: She follows the others up the ladder after letting them go first.

The Captain leads the way up the narrow stairwell, coming out in front of a door marked CIC. She pushes her way through the hatch, leaving it open behind her. A quick bosun’s whistle sounds, followed by a called “CAPTAIN ON DECK!” as the group steps onto the bridge.

Spencer: Spencer trails behind watching everything with interest.
Daas: Daas takes the scene in, subdued. He manages to keep his mouth shut though; he has a feeling the Captain is waiting to say something.
The crew snaps to attention as they enter the cramped CIC, snapping off salutes, even as they look surprised at the teenagers following her. “As you were, crew. Welcome to the Combat Information Center — where everything comes together.” Outside the bay windows, the new naval-class railgun is getting lashed to the deck outside, stowed away for passage.
Daas: “I suppose you stopped calling it the Bridge some time ago?”
“Navy didn’t think it sounded professional enough,” Commander Williams interjects. “But that doesn’t stop anyone.”
Marina: She eagerly looks around, eyes shining. If it was possible, she’d be radiating tiny sparkling lights.
Nadya: Nadya is also looking around curiously.
Daas: “I can imagine. Tradition, and all that.”
Redford takes them around the bridge, starting with Navigation. The professionalism of the sailors is admirable – faced with a bunch of kids who are, presumably, the pilots of the local Evangelions, they manage to keep doing their job with a minimum of gawking. “Among other things, yes. It’s also snappier.”
Morgan: Morgan follows behind the pilots, looking a bit twitchy.
The Captain stops at Gunnery. “… and, actually, this is someone who’s been wanting to meet you for a while.” She gestures to the man in the chair at the station, a young blond. “This is Lieutenant Cole. He was in the CIC and acting as Gunnery Chief during Operation Bulwark. Lieutenant Cole, these were the pilots you were supporting.”
Marina: Marina salutes him.
Daas: Daas offers his hand. “A pleasure, Lieutenant.” He doesn’t do salutes; he can never keep straight when to do them.
Spencer: “Excellent Shooting Lieutenant”
Marina: “Yes, it was incredibly helpful during the fight.”
Nadya: “we appreciate it a lot.”
Marina: She blinks before nodding.
Lieutenant Cole seems to be surprised by the fact that a teenager in Army dress greens is saluting him, but returns a professional one before shaking Daas’ hand. “Oh, uh, don’t just thank me, I’ve got a dozen NCOs and enlisted under me actually doing the grunt work, I just call the shots. I’m just glad to see you’re all alright, we haven’t been able to participate in the last couple of engagements and, uh, frankly a lot of us have been keeping an eye on you folks since Bulwark.”
Marina: "You have? Howso?
He shrugs, scratching the back of his head. “Well, uh, there was talk about taking leave to help with the recovery after the second fight… and we were watching the feeds from a week ago, even if y’all were outside our engagement envelope.” Lieutenant Cole cracks a bit of a smile. “I guess we’ve just been in it together since the beginning, yeah?”
Marina: She blinks again, before smiling widely. “Yes! Hopefully the new armaments allow you all to assist from farther at range, so you all aren’t in as much danger during engagements.”
“We’ll see, it’s direct fire ordnance either way… but we’re not gonna turn our noses up at an upgrade, that’s for sure. Looking forward to stretching that baby’s legs, that’s for sure.”
Marina: “I wish we’d be able to stay for your return to Everett and watch the test firing.”
Lieutenant Cole smirks a little. “Well, I’m sure that if we’re getting one now, you folks will have your own soon enough.”
Spencer: Audible whipser: “I think you’ll do better with it.”
Daas: “Some of us will, I’m sure.” Daas smiles; his EVA didn’t really do guns. Luckily, they probably hadn’t seen his embarrassing performance with the Pallet Rifle last engagement.
“We just have the benefit of a more stable firing platform, that’s all.” “Captain, signal from the Seahawk,” the woman at the comms station calls out. “Admiral Kennedy is three minutes out.”
Marina: “We’ve been told that’s the case, yes. And indeed, we’ll need a special stabi-” She stops herself, half realizing that perhaps that’s classified and half because of the announcement.

And, in fact, an incoming helicopter can be seen on the horizon, angling in from Seattle!

Captain Redford straightens up, brushing at her uniform. “Well, I need to go roll out the red carpet – care to join us, or do you want Commander Williams to show you around the batteries?”
Marina: She looks torn, before looking to Morgan.
Nadya: Nadya also looks to morgan, with a somewhat confused “What am I supposed to do here?” look on her face
Daas: “Perhaps we might split up? I dare say some of us would find the guns fascinating, but I imagine we should meet the Admiral.”
Nadya: because we need to compare, you see
Morgan: Morgan shakes his head. “Let’s all go ahead and meet the Admiral first.”
Marina: “Understood, sir.”
“Right, then. Technically, he didn’t know you were coming… but if this is a coincidence, I’ll eat my pretty little hat.”
Nadya: “It is a very pretty hat.” Nadya says quietly
“Why, thank you.” Captain Redford leads the NERV group back out, detouring out along the deck of the ship. They can see the Seahawk pull up alongside and come in for a landing on the now-cleared deck.
Morgan: Morgan cracks a smile at that exchange.

They make their way up onto the helicopter deck as the Seahawk touches down, the side door sliding open as soon as the wheels hit deck. Out of it, an older man steps, clearly past middle age, but looking good for it all the same. He holds onto his cap as he stries across the deck to meet the welcome wagon.

“Captain Redford! Permission to come aboard?”
The naval officers exchange salutes. “Yessir, welcome aboard. Another surprise inspection?”
“You could say that. But I heard through the grapevine you were having a NERV delegation aboard, so I thought I’d do a meet and greet. Major Ward I recognize, but the rest…?”
Marina: Marina salutes as well, frozen at attention.
Nadya: Nadya also salutes.
Daas: Daas hasn’t been doing it up until now, no point starting. He stands respectfully straight, though.
Spencer: Spencer adjusts his Avaiator glasses to a more cocky position.
“… and when did we start letting the Russkies aboard our boats?”
Morgan: Morgan doesn’t salute, but hadn’t saluted to anyone else, instead offering a handshake. “We felt it’d be a good idea for the pilots to see how the other side lives, Admiral.”
“Ah! That explains the civvies. Good to meet you all.”
Marina: “Likewise, sir!”
He sticks his hand out to Morgan first, then the pilots.
Daas: “A pleasure, Admiral.”
Marina: She shakes his hand with some trepidation
Spencer: Spencer performs a manly shake
Nadya: Nadya also shakes the admiral’s hand
“Hope y’all don’t mind, but I brought along a guest with me today. Been remiss on Bring Your Granddaughter To Work Day for a few years now, and, hell… it was such a nice day for a helicopter ride. Kate! Get out here and meet the pilots!”

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Episode 8.5

As the Evangelions engage yet another Angel heading for Seattle, DCT Third Team is rolled once more into action to assist and evacuate two shelters in the shoreline area that are not responding to evac signals, the NERV personnel inside apparently unwilling – or unable – to retreat to safer areas. One is entirely black, the MAGI unable to reach it at all, and thus it’s the first one the team heads toward.

Sandris: As an after thought, Sandris trots back to the briefing area and grabs a pair of cases, brings them aboard. Opening one, he passes out odd looking batons. “Stun batons. The other case is flashbangs; everyone grab at least one. We’ll be dealing with panicked civilians, and I want us able to respond if it comes to that.”

As the chopper lifts from the hillside hangar, the team gets a good look at the city below them. It’s oddly peaceful — no cars on the highway, no activity on the streets. The sight is as if everyone had just packed up and left in an orderly fashion.

Down in the harbor, the sight of umbilical cables running out into the water can be seen, the Strkyer batallions deploying to prepared positions and the helicopter squadrons hovering on station. The ride to the downtown core takes only a few minutes, the Blackhawk swinging low over the city.

As it descends, the serene image of Seattle is shattered. Cars seem to be left wherever the driver could stop them before bailing out. The streets are abandoned… but the debris of civilization was left behind, dropped bags, garbage, newspapers, and so on strewn across the sidewalks.

Sandris: Then he sees the non-NERV personnel shelters. “Control, this is Actual-3. Report on evacuation of non-NERV shelter occupants.”
“Roger that, Sandris,” the commander replies, “Keep me updated. Civilian shelters in the harbor zone have not been evacuated, but don’t worry about them. Focus on your job.”
The helicopter drops to the deck, hovering over the LZ before touching down.
Sandris: “Shit.” Sandris turns back to the pilot. “Orbit close. I may need you on the deck again shortly.” He spits. “They haven’t told the mundanes.”
Bowman: Her eyes narrow. “Why?”
Guiseppe is up and out in a flash, checking the LZ and takes point, running for the shelter.
Claudia: “Standard OpSec I assume”

As the helicopter lands in the street outside the first office building/NERV shelter they’re investigating, all is silent.

Down the street, the harbor can be seen, and in the middle of it, water seems to be rushing out and away from something lifting out of the Puget Sound…

Sandris “God in heaven. It must be huge…” Sandris shakes it off. “Inside, folks. Let’s get this thing open and get out of here.”
Claudia “…would you look at that…”
Guiseppe: Guiseppe shoves the doors the rest of the way open. “Let’s not, I’d rather be out of here before it decides to come over here.”
Bowman: “We gotta hurry, yeah.”

The tech specialist accesses what systems she can as they enter, and find that the initial estimates are correct: The facility’s dead, entirely powerless, stairwell door wide open and emergency lights dimly glowing.

Bowman: “Everything’s out, sir. MAGI seem to be right.”
Sandris: “Bowman, stow that. Power’s out, anyway.”
Bowman: “Roger, sir.” She folds up the laptop and slips it back into the carry holster, frowning. “We have signals from every other shelter in the area, just not this one.”
Sandris: “Well, the power’s out…in…damn.” Sandris goes for his pistol. “Bowman, Seattle’s been on a smart grid since the Rebuilding, right?”
Bowman: “Yeah. Part of the fancy ‘cities of the future’ shit. I worked on the system down in New Orleans myself.”
Sandris: “So why in the hell is this the only building without power? Weapons up. Safe ‘em, but weapons up. I don’t like this.”
Guiseppe: “System fault maybe, terrorists maybe? Good call.”
Bowman: “Either complete failure of all ingress routes for it, or deliberate disabling of the system, is all I can think of.”
Sandris: “Take it slow. Clear the doors.”

As they reach the hallway down to the bunker proper, the group stacks up. Guiseppe throws a single flash grenade, ready to follow it and take down any foes within. For a second, there’s the sound of the grenade bouncing across the floor, then a flash of light and noise from the doorway. And that’s when the earth shakes. Dust falls from the ceiling as the ground quakes and the sound of explosions can be heard from above.

Claudia: “Guiseppe!” Claudia hisses, “what did you do?”
Bowman: “W-what the hell?!”
Guiseppe’s too busy clearing the next room, knowing if there is something on the other side it’d be incredibly dumb to give it time to recover after stunning it
Sandris: “Move in!” Sandris waves them in; they’d be safer with the shelter’s entrance armor over them. He then follows Brombal.

The chamber on the other side of the door is a concrete-lined corridor, big enough for a couple of men side-by-side. After Guiseppe’s treatment, the emergency lights flicker, their already dim light now becoming unsteady. At the end of the short corridor, a set of stairs leads down, presumably into the bunker. No one can see inside yet, but it’s already obvious: this one won’t have to be breached.

The door is open.

The lights on are inside — whatever cut the power to the building didn’t touch the bunker’s internal systems, it’d seem.
bq. Bowman: Marylou curses under her breath. “Captain, s-shouldn’t we let command know what’s going on?”
Sandris: “No point.” He’s just tried. “Comms are out. AT field interference.”
Guiseppe: Guiseppe continues through the hallway for the bunker. “We’ve got to get anyone here out asap.”
Sandris: “No question this one was opened. Safeties off. Move slow. Check for planted tech. Bowman, any chance you can splice into the interior cameras from out here?”
Bowman: She glares at the panel by the door as she pulls the laptop back out. “I can try. Someone forced this open via the access panel, and did a really unsubtle job of it.” In moments she’s typing, concentration on her face. The laptop connects to the bunker’s internal security systems as her emergency passwords are accepted. And on the screen…

Blood.
Blood everywhere.
Blood on the walls. Blood on the camera lens. Blood on the ground.
Corpses strewn around. Some in lab coats, some in business clothes. But there’s no one inside the bunker. No one living.

Bowman: She immediately recoils, the rugged laptop falling onto the ground as she covers her mouth and instinctively looks away.
Sandris: Sandris moves over to check on Bowman when he sees her face go white. “What is-?” Sandris picks up the laptop. “Hell.” Sandris sets the laptop down and walks over to Bowman, shaking her shoulders gently. “Bowman? You still with us?”
Guiseppe: “Boss, what’s it?”
Bowman: “No, no, no, I can’t go in there please don’t make me go in there.” Her face is white, eyes closed as she shakes.
Sandris: He catches the last bit of her prayer, and mutters an ending with her. “Amen.” He looks up. “There’s no one left alive in there. It’s OK, Bowman, you don’t need to. You can stay out. Stay here.”
Bowman: She stays quiet, not looking at the laptop, only a slow nod in response to Sandris’ answer.
Claudia: “I’ll handle this, you go on ahead. Let me know… if there’s anything I can do in there.”
Sandris: He had to go in to confirm the loss of the shelter, but no need to traumatize his whole team. “Pyotr, Brombal, plot us a route to the other shelter. We move when I come back. King, with me.” He disconnects the laptop and passes it back to Bowman, clasping her shoulder before rising and taking up his weapon again. “Let’s go.”
Claudia: “Okay” She gets up and dusts herself off reflexively heading to Sandris’ side.
The earth shakes, a constant, low rumble as Sandris and King head for the door to the shelter. In a corner, Brombal and Ivanovich consult a street map.

Pushing the thick metal door to the vault open, the medic and captain step inside. It’s readily apparent to King that there aren’t any surivors in here. Some of the corpses have been torn apart by the initial blasts. The rest have neat little holes drilled in their foreheads.

Claudia: “It’s clear to me that there’s no survivors. I’ll see what I can find out.”
Sandris: “I know, but we had to check. Take a minute and get pictures and samples. This was human-made, and I want whoever did this. I want them dead.” He sees one execution victim and starts looking for expended cases or bullets. After a minute or so, he taps King. “We need to move. Forensics can make a better sweep later with any luck.”
Guiseppe: Guiseppe talks over the radio “HQ needs to know about this. Whoever did it knew where NERV shelters are. That’s all kinds of bad news.”
Sandris: “Agreed. When we get topside I’ll try again.”
Claudia: “They’ve been dead for hours. Probably right after the lines were cut.”

A quick search of the floor turns up a few shell casings. 5.56 NATO rounds.

Sandris: “We have evidence and images. We have one more to check, move out.”
Claudia: “Anyway we can get a preliminary contact with the occupants on this one?”
Sandris: “If comms are up, maybe. We’ll try when we hit topside.” When they re-emerge, Sandris clicks his comms on again. “Actual-3, comm check. You hear me, Control?” Sandris only gets static on the comms. Five AT fields deployed — comms might be dead for the duration. “Comms are still dark. We’re solo.”

As Brombal makes it out of the lobby entrance, the ground shakes as if it was hit by a hammer. Running out into the street, what caused that last quake becomes obvious. One of the Evangelions — the dark blue one — lays against a wall of armor that has sprung up around the harbor. In the middle of the Sound, Taharial is ascendant, and weapons fire flickers all around the Angel’s clockwork body. Missiles scream by overhead. Cannonfire streams out from the shore. NERV-07 is fully engaged.

Sandris: Sandris frowns. “Move, 3rd! If it’s this close and those kids get zealous again, we don’t have hundreds of feet of rock between us and them!”
Bowman: Marylou simply stares, aghast. “H-how the hell does it even?…” She resumes following the route, clutching the laptop to her chest like some sort of blanket.
Guiseppe: “You know I thought those monsters were just a bunch of kaiju but whatever that thing is ain’t even describable.”

As Brombal leads the squad down an alley, one of the Evangelions moves into close combat with the Angel, and as the thing counterfires, stray lances of coherent light burn across the sky, bright as the sun as they lance into the Seattle skyline. Packing light because you’re on home turf has its advantages. For one, it means you can tear ass in a hurry. And as the combat in the harbor rages on, 3rd DCT nears Site 2: Bunker 93-delta-5. The entrance is in a similar building, one of the many NERV facilities that sprung up across Seattle.

Sandris: “It goes without saying, but weapons up, folks.” Sandris raises a fist swiftly and drops into cover. “Cover down, contacts! Bowman, get a line into the shelter and warn them!” Sandris pulls free a flashbang. “I want prisoners, damnit, not corpses! We don’t know a damn thing about them, and there could be more!”
Bowman: As she ducks, she turns the laptop on once more, trying to get into the shelter’s systems. “S-sir, they haven’t breached all the way yet, fifteen people inside!”
Sandris: “If it stands, shoot it! Try to leave something for Section 2!”

A short gun battle ensues with the terrorists, their skills and equipment not a match for one of NERV’s more proven DCT teams equipped with the latest body armor system that the organization’s pumped out. It ends when half the team enters melee, stun batoning one man and taking him alive, if wounded, another one slowly bleeding out from bullet wounds. The fight continues outside, the street flashing bright white for a second as a plasma lance sails overhead!

Sandris: Sandris quickly kicks away the terrorists’ weapons, turns to Bowman. “Get that shelter open! Ivan, pop flares, get our ride in here! Brombal, get that asshole tied up, make sure he’s not going to go all Hydra on us! King, if you can stabilize the wounded, do it fucking fast!”
Bowman: She stares at the man and then the baton in her hand, before shaking and nodding. “Y-yeah.” She rushes into the building proper, heading down to let the trapped scientists out of their not so safe prison.
Claudia: “Roger. Any of us need attention first?”
Sandris: “We can move under our own power, King, they can’t! That lance was too damn close!”
Guiseppe: With every advantage over the guy, Guiseppe knocks a bitch out. “I’m still ambulatory so it can wait for the fucking chopper. Keep that one from bleeding out and we’ll have two prisoners, but if you can’t this one’s just fine.” Guiseppe ties the guy’s hands and feet, takes his rifle and searches him for other weapons.
Claudia: One’s gonna make it… the other, no…"

As King stabilizes one of the attackers, Sandris and Brombal can see that these guys were well-equipped. Body armor, FAMAS rifles, equipment harnesses, the whole nine yards. Bowman leads the freed scientists upstairs to the descending Chinook, the access code working handily after the obstruction the attackers had put in place was removed. Above, Giuseppe and King prepare to carry their wounded prisoners into the chopper as well. And then…

For a moment, King, Brombal, and Bowman taste blood in their mouths. The scientists following Bowman seem to sway for a second, but stay on their feet! Sandris, however…

Sandris sways for a moment.
Then collapses limply to the floor.

Bowman: “What in the fuck?”
Guiseppe: “Shit! Bowman, Ivanovich, grab the boss. Everybody in the chopper!”
Bowman: “S-Sir, y-yes!” She hefts Sandris over her shoulder with Ivanovich, and heads slowly into the chopper, shaking from exertion and the events of today.
Sandris: Sandris is only just conscious, and Bowman can hear him muttering. “Not, no, not going to fire…”
Bowman: “S’okay boss, it’s okay, come on..”

The NERV staff streaming behind the DCT, the crowd boards the Chinook. As the helicopter lofts, the copilot looks back over his shoulder and shouts “Hang on! We’re in for some chop!” The heavy transport helicopter lifts off the ground, rear door sealing as it makes for open air and the safety of the other side of Seattle’s hills.

Through the windows, the battle in the Sound can be seen, energy fire being traded by both sides as two Evangelions fight the angel in close combat. White waves and froth are thrown up from blasts seeming to come from under the water, invisble streams of force striking at the Angel as the combat continues. The Chinook clears the downtown city core as the orange Evangelion, IOT displayed proudly on a shoulder takes aim…

And the fight comes to an apocalyptic crescendo.

A beam of microwave energy shoots out towards Taharial.
Through Taharial.
For a split second, everything is calm.

And then a new sun dawns on the Seattle coastline. The Chinook lurches wildly. And everything goes white.

(And the Chinook managed to land relatively okay due to crack piloting so everyone got home safely.)

View
Episode 8

Not long after the disastrous end to Spencer and Marina’s Excellent Adventure, the 3 non-injured pilots visit their steadfast companion in the hospital, relieved to hear that he won’t need to be put down ahead of his time because of any broken legs. He’s finally formally introduced to Nadyezhda Zeemovna Ivanova, and given the all clear to leave by Dr. Ibuki. Unfortunately, not moments later the 4 pilots are paged to the command center. Marina realizes that it’s Condition 2 due to the busywork, and Morgan confirms there’s unknown sonar contacts off of the convoy transporting Nadya’s Evangelion to Seattle. Something of non-man make.

Not long after that, the contact is confirmed to be a Pattern Blue, proving Morgan’s hunch and choice to evacuate the civilian danger zones and alert the military a correct one. Using the heavy lift aircraft still in the area from the dig-out that took place after the combat with Makatiel, Morgan has Eva-R03 airlifted into Seattle ahead of schedule, the Angel pursuing it instead of the convoy. The first Angel to show a deliberate targeting of an Evangelion unit.

The combat plan is to deploy using the three C-type equipments available to NERV-07 at the moment, with Daas’ unit lacking one due to inherent all-terrain combat abilities given to it. Marina voices her displeasure with the setup, primarily with the potential lethality of the Pallet Rifle and the dangers of engaging a water-based Angel in its element. Morgan shuts her down and Daas reveals that it may not even be a water-oriented Angel, merely one moving beneath the surface. The group deploys ahead of time to intercept it, having a nice conversation about the viability of using microwave weapons underwater and the reasons to bother with fishing.

The angel finally arrives.

Parker: “Sir! The MAGI have collected enough data to designate the Angel!”
Marina: “Bet it’s another fucking useless reference from some dusty book.”
Parker: “They’re designating it… Taharial. The angel of purification.”
Spencer: “I would have gone with joe”
Nadya: “I prefer Ivan”
Parker: “It’s surfacing!”

The waters of the Sound rush away in a torrent, waves of salt water churning into a froth as the AT Field, and the Angel encapsulated inside it pushes towards the surface. The first sign of it to show above the waterline is a spike, grey, and shiningly metallic. Then another.
And another.
And another.
And another and another and another and another and another and another…

Spencer: “I hate spikes”

A whirling halo of metal spikes presses itself above the sound’s surface. Hundreds, if not thousands of gleaming, metallic pins swirling around a core, planes of horrific spears rotating opposite one another in a maddening dance of geometric insanity.

Nadya: “I can’t help but notice we are underwater. it is not”
Daas: “Trust the Major, Nadya. He has a plan.” Daas closes his mic. “I hope.”

It is hovering serenely over the surface of the sound.

Spencer: "Man, Marina’s never going to let Morgan live it down
Parker: “AT FIELD SPIKE!”
Marina: “Everyone in this GODDAMN BASE IS FUCKING INCOMPETENT.”

A second later a volley of blue, energetic blasts tear out from the Angel, screaming across the water.


Morgan: “Magi Code R!”

For a moment the ocean seems to recede from the coast as spires of solid armor plate flash into place along the coast an instant ahead of the swarm of unnatural energy beams, intercepting the blasts and ablating before the attack and leaving the city behind intact. Behind the coast additional plates deploy from pylons near major buildings, hiding the vulnerable cityscape behind the aegis of NERV’s most cutting edge defenses. As the plates spring out of the ground, the energy beams play across their surfaces, burning away paint and armor.

Lieutenant Takamichi at the defenses station calls out, “Armor plates holding with minor damage! It doesn’t look like the individual beams have enough force to punch through in one go!”
Morgan: “We’re not here to die without a fight! Spencer, Nadya, the underwater equipment allows you to auto-surface, you can leap at it. Marina, use the same method to fire from the surface. Daas, you know what to do to get them and you out of there. I need it’s AT field neutralized asap!”
Spencer: “Roger…..Oooouuuuuggggaaa”
Marina: “Roger, sir! Daas, we’re counting on you!”
Morgan: Morgan looks over at Parker. “Send the go-code for Fortress Mode. We’re going to have to join in this time.”
Parker responds to the order in her usual clipped, professional tone. “Aye, sir. Signalling all defenses to make ready for close-in operations.”
Daas: Daas, who didn’t get fitted with a floatation pack, nods grimly. “Understood, Major.” He’s already got the enemy waveform on his screen. “I’m going to need everyone’s power, this time.”

AT Field analysis results stream across Morgan and Daas’ screens — long story short, it’s going to take at least two, possibly three Evangelions to bring down Taharial’s AT Field.

Daas: “Ensign, to neutralize this field, it will likely take all three of you. This waveform is much more potent than the last.” Daas’s screen flashes up with new options. “And don’t count me out of the fight just yet, either.”

At the commander’s words, she keys in the commands to ascend, the C-Type armor quickly venting ballast water and rising up, AT Field flickering faintly as it starts to corrode Taharial’s. The HELIOS is shouldered as she starts to aim, trying to figure out the rotation patterns of the spikes so she can shoot the core directly.

As Marina surfaces, the Angel comes into full view, the sight of an impossible clockwork living thing looming large in her vision. It shouldn’t exist. It can’t exist.

And yet there it is.

Spencer: “So nothing but our native wits to keep us out of trouble eh Daas? Looks like you are out of luck Marina. Of Course, me and Mohican aren’t one to talk.”

The in plug viewscreens show a dangerous gleam in his eyes Are they glowing?

Must be a trick of the light.

What is not a trick is the way his muscles strain against the controls and the snarl that contorts his face. He may be making a noise, but it is not carried through the microphone.

Daas’ field takes on a new shape, one unfamiliar to Morgan or Yarrow; it seems to extend a tiny tendril of AT power to the enemy, and strike it, like a child testing the solidity of a glass wall. The result is startling; a rebound of power so easily measurable that even Morgan’s pretty sure he learned something.

Daas: “Ha! It worked!” Daas’ surprised cry is not confidence-inspiring. “AT Field Strength confirmed at 12-point magnitude! Field is in a standard deflection mode!” But this has led Daas to a new problem; it would likely take all four of them to be certain of neutralization, and Spencer seemed to have… well, hulked out. Daas therefore turns his field to neutralization as well. “Moving to keep the enemy target in range!”
Morgan: Morgan inputs a quick command to the magi to unlock several arms lockers in military vehicles near the coast. “Stryker teams, Stryker teams, you are authorized to use COLOUR ammunition! Fire at will! Marina, your combat information uplink should be receiving laser designating data from the Kiowa flights now.”
Marina: “Understood, sir. I’ll put it to good use.”

The Stryker MGS stationed along the coast all scream out at once, launching a barrage into the air that explodes into a cloud of iridescent gas around Taharial. It seems to seep into the thing and slowly turn it grey. Taharial pauses as the Evangelion surfaces and a barrage of fire comes from shore. And that’s when the spines circling its core endlessly start to glow…

A wide spray of energetic beams lance out from the Angel! Water flashes into steam around Marina’s Evangelion as streams of plasma impact the water! Explosions wreathe the tank battalion on shore! But…

“Sir! Second barrage, no damage!” Lieutenant Takamichi calls out. “Forces reporting all green!”
Morgan: “Remind me to thank the science team, it looks like the COLOUR rounds worked better than expected.”
“Aims like Spencer…” She doesn’t even need to move, the computers correcting for the ocean’s momentary agitation as the water roils and flash boils around her.

It is then that the team’s newest member jumps into action. She rises to the surface in a wave of bubbles, deploying a gigantic hammer with some rather strange looking fiddly bits on it, and charges the angel, swinging the hammer with Russian gusto!

Morgan: “Parker, expel all the ballast as a thruster, she’s going to miss!”
Parker: “Aye, sir!”

The hammer slams into the angel’s spines with a solid blow as the sudden burst of ballast throws the Russian evangelion forward! The hammer blow shatters the delicate metal spines with a solid blow, and all of a sudden, Nadya is up close and personal with an Angel.

And then. There is a sound. Like that of a horn blowing on Judgement Day. Morgan’s grip on the console in front of him tightens until his knuckles shine white.

Marina: “What the hell?!” The sound alone almost makes her recoil.

All of a sudden, Nadya is flying. Then. Falling.

Whatever hit her wasn’t visible in and of itself, but a circular wave, a dozen meters high, ripples out from the water around Taharial. And Nadya’s Evangelion is thrown what must be 150 meters straight back, slamming into the defensive wall ringing NERV-07. There’s an alarm in the CIC and in Nadya’s entry plug as the internal battery onlines as the umbilical cable reaches the end of it’s length and ejects in midair.

The alarm pops up in Marina’s cockpit informing her that a teammate’s switched to battery, but she ignores it. Nadya’s Eva was the toughest among them, and she’d get to an umbilical in time. More importantly, the pulse and reaction had given her a clear shot at the one target on an angel that matters worth a damn. There’s little more than a silent click in the cockpit as she depresses the trigger, a beam of light lancing towards the core!

The confusing motion of the Angel’s spines isn’t stopped by Nadya’s blow, making it harder than it seems to target the core directly, and Marina’s shot passes between two of them!

Marina: “God-damn spikes! GREY, GET UP HERE.”
Spencer: “…On…the….WAY!”
Daas: “Spencer! If you can still hear me in there, neutralize the damn Angel!” Daas is making ready his own maneuvers.

Mohican surfaces much as IOT had, a disturbing sound like shattering glass as the Angel’s AT Field is reduced further. On Marina’s video feed, she gives a grin. They’d take this one too.

Daas: Daas nods as he watches Grey’s field add to theirs. “That will be more than enough, Spencer.” His EVA is sprinting across the ocean floor, reaching back to unlatch the least effective weapon ever held by a massive Evangelion. But with the Deflection Field reduced in power, he might have a chance. As he rushes forward, one of the most infamous weapons in NERV’s arsenal is brought to his Eva’s shoulder, and fires.

Somewhere in the deeps of Nerv-07, a woman in a blue jumpsuit sighs as she watches the video feed.

The Pallet rifle round dings harmlessly off the Angel’s armor.

Morgan: “The AT Field is down! All Fortress assets, fire! Apache Battalion, supress the target with missiles!” From seemingly every plate of armor, intersection, hill and cliff throughout the city panels open up to show tube artillery and rocket batteries in abundance not seen since the Great Patriotic War, all of which open fire with deadly MAGI-guided precision!
MAGI report coordinated turret fire at marginal effectivness!” the defense Lieutenant reports, “We’re doing some damage.”
Morgan frowns as several of the National Guard helicopters are forced to peel away out of munitions and one screws up it’s attack run and slams into the armored side of a skyscraper.
Marina: She curses as the shots do almost no damage. “Fucking conventional forces.”
“Sir! The Angel’s AT field is shifting! It’s… it’s resonance frequency is matching the Evangelions!”

Daas can do nothing but watch on his display as Taharial’s field shifts… expands… and reaches out towards him and Marina! Even as images unbidden stream through their heads, the pilots keep themselves together and in the fight! And in the distance, a thick and bulky Evangelion shoves the rubble off itself and stands…

One of the CIC technicians turns around. “Ivanova’s Synch Rate just jumped to 65%!”
Marina: She forces the thoughts as far away from her as she can, the digital reticule coming into view once more as IOT pivots and shoulders the mas rifle again. There’d be time later to think about things. Not right now. Once more the trigger is squeezed, the focused energy lancing out. Hairline fractures appear on the Angel’s core, but it doesn’t seem in danger of cracking yet! She grins triumphantly as the shot strikes home, the zoom easily making the fractures visible. “Spencer, follow it up!”
Morgan: “Great shot, Marina!”

D01 leaps up from the water with his progressive knife fully extended and leaps at it with a fiercsome blow. The prog knife skitters across the spines surrounding the angel’s core, leaving a deep gouge, but not a fatal wound!

Spencer: “Daas….your…turn….”

The memory is an old one, but this Angel must be desperate to be using such an old sanskara against him. It’s unpleasant, but Daas shakes his head and sets the memory aside, as he was trained. As he does so, he reaches out for a new control, sets it. His status displays all flash AT WAVEFORM MALFORM ERROR, but it doesn’t matter, he’s off-book at this stage. Time to give Yarrow another headache. Daas’ Eva has done a very odd thing. Near as anyone could tell, it had shot the Angel with its’ finger. The blast slams into the Angel, widening the damage that Spencer just caused!

Daas’ comms crackle open. “Stay… out… of my head!” Daas being angry was also a new one.
Dr. Yarrow spins from his station as the AT blast erupts from the water under the angel, cutting through the spines surrounding the core. “Did you know he could do that, Morgan?”
Morgan: “No I damn well did not, but I suspected.”
Marina: “What the… hell?”
Morgan: “You won’t have much more cover, the apaches are almost out of missiles!”
Marina: “Understood, sir. We’ll make do!” Daas was upset, the first time she’s seen him that way.

Indicators go black across the master display as the national guard pilots run increasingly out of munitions and two crash into the side of the angel on faulty attack runs. There were too few missiles left to keep up a distracting barrage.

The trumpet’s blare sounds again, but this time Spencer is ready for it, bracing against the wave of force! Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily help, as Taharial’s spikes begin to glow…

Morgan: “Eject spencer’s right pauldron!”

The sudden movement throws Mohican in a completely unpredictable direction, as a barrage of high-energy emmissions lash out from Taharial, and engulf it entirely.

Marina: Her attention refocuses on the battle, just in time to see the Evangelion become immersed in the beams. She watches the smoking unit as the beam retreates. “Spencer, report! Now!”
“Marina…. you… you….you’re not the boss of me…”
She sighs in relief.
Nadya: “I am going to charge the thing. And hit it again.”
Marina’s grin re-appears as Spencer tells her off and the newcomer slams hard into the Angel, hammer once more shredding through the spines of it. Once more she shoulders the MAS Rifle, taking aim at the now much more exposed core. The lance of light again impacts, the rapidly spreading web of cracks now obvious.
Marina: “We’ve almost gotten it! Spencer, go!”

And he does, Mohican leaping once more at the floating monstrosity, Progressive Knife a whirl of white hot heat as it cuts swathes through the rapidly diminishing needles, the Angel showing the severity of their loss, movements becoming sluggish and simple. Marina stares, something between admiration and mild disgust on her face.

Daas cries out in anger as he raises his EVA’s arm again and shoots.
Morgan: “Emergency power to the neural connections, amp his AT control to maximum!”

The strange blast strikes true again on the Angel. They were wearing it down.

Morgan: “Nadya, get ready to receive a spare battery! Analyze the core cracks and forward the ideal target position for the prog knife to Spencer’s computer!”

It’s then that once more, the angel reaches forth, yet again trying to touch the pilots’ minds. Nadya shakes it off. Daas does not.

The technician’s eyes widen. “Daas’ synch rate just jumped to 94%!”
Marina: “What?!”
Nadya: “I vill hit with hammer.” And she indeed does, the Angel’s wounds stacking rapidly as it finds itself outclassed in a close quarters pounding with close fire support.
Daas’s hands are frozen on the controls, and his comms left open, allowing everyone to hear his manic, whispered recitation of something in Hindu, over and over again.
Marina: “Daas, snap out of it!” IOT pivots once more, the rifle zooming as a beam lances out towards the core once more and hits true yet again, the red globe fragmenting and shaking.

Mohican again leaps into the fray, the enraged pilot yet again striking true as his companion on the seafloor stops speaking. His mantras cut out abruptly and leave only silence. Suddenly, an inhuman scream breaks through the quiet as the typically calm young man unleashes his fury on the Angel. Yet another bolt of AT energy slams into the creature from beyond, spikes seizing in their rotations, otherworldly mechanisms and organs finally starting to fail from the massive accumulation of damage.

Nadya: All that can be heard over Nadya’s comms is monotone cursing in Russian. “Фуцк. Фуцк. Фуцк. Фуцк. Фуцк. Фуцк. Фуцк.”
Morgan: Morgan looks around the CIC, which has gone deadly quiet at Daas’ scream. “Let’s see if that weakened it! All forces, fire!”

Every cannon, rocket, machinegun and missile in the city opens up on the thing, blasting shards of vile stuff in every direction. Once more, the Angel grasps forward, striking out towards Nadya and Daas’ very being, horrific images and memories surging fourth. Nadya recoils from the alien creature as it pelts her mind.

The Technician speaks with quiet fear. “Daas’ Synch Rate has reached 112%.”
Morgan: Morgan blanches. “Cut Nerve Connections 2-4!”
“The connections are refusing our commands, sir!”

There’s nothing on Daas’ comm now; it’s open, but if not for the white noise of the mic and the slight whirring of the LCL pumps, one could easily think he was dead. But the in-plug camera can see him, and his eyes are aglow.

Morgan: “Damnit. Yarrow, do we not have any defenses against mental attacks at all?”
Yarrow: “Short of shouting at the pilots, no!

The angel begins to rush for Seattle’s shoreline, EVA-IOT shouldering the HELIOS Rifle once more. A dangerous determination shows in the pilot’s eyes, if you look close enough. And then, the energy strikes out for the final time at the core of Taharial, striking a hole deep into it with the power and accuracy of the shot. The core shakes, the shards already turning a painful white as they start to fall.

Spencer: “Hey Marina….”
Marina: She’s silent for a moment. “What, Spencer.”
Spencer: “If after this is all over we’re alive, there’s something I want to tell you…”
Nadya: “We may not live through this, just tell her for fuck’s sake!”

Taharial’s core erupts, a massive cross of pure energy flying into the sky, the shockwave and energy of its last strike at humanity slamming into, and effortlessly through, the barriers that had kept Seattle safe from its initial attack. The structures on the shore are shredded instantly, the wave continuing downtown, the glitter of millions of shattering windows reflecting the light from the suicidal last attack. On the land surrounding the bay, Stryker vehicles and support systems overturn and roll wildly, ammunition caches exploding. What few Apaches are left airborne are ripped from the sky by the force of the winds and heat, spiraling downwards after the force of the explosion tears critical systems and armor to shreds.

The 3 pilots closest to the angel are not spared either, the white hot energy melting through armor and AT Fields alike. The already damaged Mohican takes the worst of it, the already deformed and weakened torso armor giving way entirely, the blast stopping just short of breaching the plug entirely. It instead settles merely for starting to boil the pilot within alive. The shockwaves and raw heat slam into Evangelion R-03 as well, the sturdy unit taking the hits well. Underwater, the blast is amplified and crushes down into IN1, the unit’s body taking the massive hits and failing to shield the pilot entirely. There’s another scream from inside Daas’ plug, but this is not a scream of rage, or power. This is the scream of a young man strapped into a plug full of LCL getting his ass handed to him on an ornate silver platter.

And in the distance, untouched by the event, floats EVA-IOT, the unit suddenly curling oddly and sluggishly, the rifle dropping into the bay.

Morgan: “Ensign Marina. You need to return to base.”

Operation UNBREAKABLE concludes.

View
Episode 7: The Social Engagement

LATER THAT NIGHT

Alicia: Anyways Alicia pulls you aside and into their room!
Alicia: “Hey, sis… you okay?”
Marina: She forces on a fake smile. “Of… course I’m not.”
Alicia: “Yeah, I know, it was a rhetorical question. You want to sit down and talk about it?”
Marina: “Not particularly, because it’s extremely dumb on every possible level. But sure, let’s.”
Alicia: “So, uh, was that what I thought it was this morning?”
Marina: “It’s just a social engagement thing I swear.” She smacks her head into the wall and stares at it. “I was just trying to scare him out of sneaking in here without our permission again I didn’t think he’d be crazy enough to actually go through with it. Or even remember it after the past few weeks.”
Alicia: “Wait he did wha— no, no, later…”
Alicia: Alicia sighs, sitting on her bed.
Alicia: “Sit.” She points at the other bed. “That little bombshell aside… what’s the problem?”
Marina: She sits down. “I have no idea how to handle this and what if people see us and what if Daas finds out or Morgan finds out there’s got to be regulations against this sort of stuff in the NERV regulations books!”
Alicia: “So? Who cares what they think?”
Marina: “I’m supposed to be the team leader! I can’t just… let them think I’ll give that idiot preferential treatment during battle or prioritize him over the city or something!” She buries her face in her hands for a moment and groans.
Alicia: “Marina…” Alicia shifts over, moving from her bed to yours, laying a hand on your shoulder. “No one who knows you or has even read your file would think that for just a moment.”
Alicia: “And, you know… you’re human. You have to let your hair down sometimes, everyone does it.”
Marina: She sighs before glancing at Alicia. “You’re… certain? I just can’t have something… stupid like this put everything in jeopardy.”
Alicia: “Of course I am!” Her lips quirk up in a smile. “If anything, I think Morgan would be happy at the news… better unit cohesion, or something like that.”
Marina: “That’s… basically how I framed it when I sprung it on him. He was complaining about not knowing me well enough to work as a team.” She glances down, thinking for a few moments. “Yeah. It’s nothing bad, we’re just ironing out quirks so we can work together better. That’s all.”
“That’s the spir— WAIT, you asked HIM?”
Alicia: “Why didn’t you TELL me about this SOONER?”
Marina: “IT WAS JUST TO FRIGHTEN HIM I didn’t expect him to get all… gusto about it! Before this morning he hadn’t even brought it up again!”
Alicia: “Well, there’s only one thing to do, then…”
Marina: She stares at Alicia
Alicia: “You’re going to have to get control of the situation back, put Spencer on his back foot. I’ll get the credit card. We’re going shopping tomorrow.”
Marina: “What? What?!”
Alicia: “You heard me! None of your clothes will do and frankly if you want to be the team leader, you’re going to have to catch him off-guard.”
Marina: She sighs. No way out of this now.
Alicia: Recognizing the signs of defeat, Alicia beams.


Alicia: LATER THAT DAY
Alicia: Alicia pulls Daas aside in the afternoon, crumpled note in hand!
Daas: “You know, I imagine if the Ensign finds out I’m reading that, she’ll throw me off the roof.”
Alicia: “Then it’ll just be our little secret. Want to have some fun Sunday?”
Alicia: ‘Marina, the promised time has arrived and there is no longer any avoiding it. I will meet you Sunday at the fountain on State Rd at 10:00 am. Be prepared. Don’t be late.’ – Spencer
Daas: “…we’re going to watch her kill Spencer? Is that really what’s going on here?”
Alicia: “… they’re going on a date, Naarad!”
Alicia: “And I bet Spencer has been planning this for a while, too.”
Daas: “…a date?” Daas looks a bit confused. “Then why did the Ensign look as though she’d been asked to kill him barehanded or something equally distasteful? I thought dates were opportunities for fun and also hijinks?”
Alicia: “Well… it’s Marina. And Spencer.”
Daas: “I am rather surprised she didn’t refuse him outright.”
Alicia: “So am I, but… ohhh, do you think he’s… blackmailing her??”
Alicia: She seems more excited than disturbed by the idea.
Daas: “I’d be surprised if Spencer could manage anything so devious. What would he blackmail her with, in any case?”
Alicia: “I don’t know… well, I suppose he could have found that…”
Daas: “‘That’? Wait, no, better I don’t know.”
Alicia: Alicia nods in silent agreement.
Daas: “So what did you have in mind? So they’ll be on a date.”
Daas: “I don’t imagine Spencer planned to invite me.”
Alicia: “They will! I think we should follow them… you know, make sure everything goes all right.”
Alicia: “And not murder-y.”
Daas: “As if we could stop her.”
Alicia: “Well, the surprise of seeing us might. You know, twitch reflexes and all that.”
Daas: “If we did this, it would be a… what was that term? A ‘sneaking mission’. Yes.”
Alicia: “Yes! Tactical espionage action.”
Daas: “Because otherwise, your sister is going to make death and reincarnation look attractive to me.”
Alicia: “Yeah… I don’t think she’d ever forgive me for at least six to eight weeks if we got caught. So let’s not.”
Daas: “You really just want her to have a good time, don’t you?”
Daas: “Even if it’s with Spencer Grey, Master of Annoyance.”
Alicia: “Of course! And also take some pictures, because she won’t.”
Alicia: “And hey, Spencer isn’t that bad of a guy.”
Daas: “No, he’s not, but I have to wonder how badly this will end up for him if he’s not careful.”
Daas: “He has a way of getting on her nerves.”
Alicia: “He certainly seemed to be pulling out all the stops this morning. Maybe this is a gentlemanly side we just haven’t seen yet?”
Daas: “I certainly hadn’t. He was clean. I swear to the gods I heard him showering while I was in meditation this morning.”
Daas: “Alright, I’ll help you. But carefully. And I’m blaming you completely if we’re caught.”
Alicia: “Yeah, and his clothes… they were clean and pressed, almost formal. Plus that white shirt would have showed bloodstains neatly for the medics if things went wrong.”
Alicia: “Deal. Marina’s less likely to kill me anyways.”
Daas: “Exactly my thoughts.”
Alicia: Alicia nods seriously and sticks out her hand. “Partners in crime, then.”
Daas: Daas takes it, shakes. “Until our inevitable deaths, or worse.”
Alicia: “So it is sworn.” Alicia even manages to look serious for a few moments before giggling after saying that.
Daas: Daas can’t help himself, and laughs with her, for once.


Daas: oh hey UJ you can assume at some point in these days that Daas has delivered his report
Daas: basically just a play by play of the situation from each pilot’s viewpoint, no editorial
Morgan: if daas put no conclusions or editorial (presuming it involves the shared dream) in then morgan will ask him when he hands it over “What’s your take on this?”
Daas: “Honestly, sir? I haven’t any idea. For one, how did we all share the same experience? For another, why were you and Alicia present in there at all, and for all of us?”
Daas: “My best guess would have to be some kind of shared communication between the EVAs, and with minimal comm power and the units in Emergency Mode 7, I don’t know how it was done.”
Daas: “I don’t know enough to even know what questions I should be asking, sir. But I did want to ask for a favor.”
Morgan: Even Daas can tell from Morgan’s expression that he knows something. “Go ahead.”
Daas: “The time I spend with Doctor Yarrow has shown me that there’s a great deal we haven’t been told about how the EVA system even works. Just knowing what I know about the AT Field systems is proof enough. You know I can use the MAGI, that I can interpret information. Give me more data.”
Daas: “If this phenomenon is a threat to myself and the other pilots, let me find out how to stop it, or how to use it to our benefit.”
Morgan: Morgan thinks for a long moment. “The best I can say is I’ll think about it, Daas.”
Daas: “That’s all I can ask for, sir.”
Morgan: “Do you mind if I mention this request to the Doctor?”
Daas: “Not at all. It’s been nice to have a chance to spend time with someone well and truly smarter than anyone else I’ve known.”


Morgan: daas wants more clearance, what is yarrow’s opinion: can he handle The Truth
Lacroix: Are you delivering the request personally, or just mailing it over?
Morgan: personally
Morgan: there’s gonna have to be a chat about it
Morgan: on the one hand daas seems to have some serious talent with at field manipulation that might be helpful in developing more tools to disseminate to the other branch pilots
Morgan: on the other hand it might drive him batty
Lacroix: and on the grasping hand it’s basically turning over highly-classified information to a 14-year-old
Morgan: exactly
Lacroix: Doctor Yarrow is normally a cheerful man, but his smile fades as he reads the request.
Lacroix: He’s… cautious but not entirely adverse to the idea, Morgan’s logic is sound.
Lacroix: But it’s not his call, he’ll have to kick it up to the Director. In his opinion, he’s not sure if it’s wise, but Daas and the other pilots are exposed to the Evangelions on a regular basis — we can either tell them, or they can figure it out.
Lacroix: He’s willing to handle it personally, and he’ll take it to the director himself.
Morgan: Worse, Daas knows there’s something to find, so if he’s blockaded then he might well stop trusting us entirely. That’s not an impossible situation to handle, but it isn’t a good outcome
Lacroix: Exactly. So how’s Morgan going to play it with Director Lacroix?
Morgan: I think the potential gains of figuring out what the hell happened and Daas having more information for developing new AT field techniques outweigh the security risks. He’s damn likely to keep looking for an answer even if he’s turned down and he might find out on his own, or come to a completely wrong conclusion that makes him act erratically.
Lacroix: So he’s taking it upstairs himself?
Morgan: There’s a contingency plan if he tries to leak any classified information, and he has a good relationship with Yarrow and can talk with him in order to share his worries and relieve psychological stress
Morgan: yeah
Lacroix: You pass the inspectors leaving as you come in. Katsuragi is all smiles and pleasantness as she leaves, offering a brief hello, while Inspector Ayanami is customarily silent.
Lacroix: Raising the matter with the Director, she stonewalls you entirely.
Lacroix: Flat-out refusal, which isn’t usually the case with her — she’s at least willing to listen to reasoning, but now she just shuts you down.
Lacroix: It’s raining that night when you get a knock on the door. Director Lacroix is on the other side, bundled up in an overcoat.
Lacroix: “May I come in?”
Morgan: Morgan opens the door to let her in. “Of course.”
Lacroix: “Thank you,” she says, stepping inside. “I shall try not to take up too much of your time.”
Lacroix: She reaches into a coat pocket, pulling out a small black box — Morgan recognizes it as a bug jammer, Section 2 issue — and clicking it on. “I wanted to speak with you about the matter you raised this afternoon. In private.”
Morgan: Morgan raises an eyebrow “Things have gotten that bad?”
Lacroix: “I… know Inspector Katsuragi. I am fairly certain she hasn’t discovered anything damning yet, but around her, I shall not be using half-measures.”
Lacroix: She looks at you seriously. “Do you think Pilot Daas can handle the information he wants?”
Morgan: (need to ask: are your evas made with human sacrifice like canon)
Lacroix: Not so far as you’re aware
Morgan: but of course~
Lacroix: do you need a less evasive answer?
Morgan: morgan would honestly never consider the idea if he didn’t know
Lacroix: true
Morgan: so if he doesn’t know then he doesn’t have to consider that in answering the question
Lacroix: I mean, who wold
Lacroix: would
Lacroix: Actually I will put a firmer point on it: there have not been incidents like those on Eva activation in the series
Morgan: “Very probably. He’s got a good relationship with Dr. Yarrow, so he’ll have someone he can talk to about it. It’s…shocking, but I don’t think it’ll be bad enough to qualify as trauma or harm his ability.”
Lacroix: “And do you trust him not to speak about this information to anyone?”
Morgan: “Anyone other than us and Dr. Yarrow, yes. I’ll impress upon him the critical importance of not letting the other pilots know; he’ll agree that Spencer and Marina are both too much of security risks, albeit in different ways. If it gets to the point where I think he might leak in the future, I have a contingency plan ready.”
Lacroix: “Good.” She sighs. “As Director of NERV-07, I authorize Pilot Daas’ access to certain files regarding the Evangelion Project and AT Fields, on the condition that it remain absolutely secret.”
Lacroix: “And… unofficial.”
Morgan: Morgan nods. “He already works closely with Dr. Yarrow on AT field theory, so that continuing won’t raise any suspicions, and the doctor of course has access to those files.”
Lacroix: “Indeed. I shall pass word to Doctor Yarrow. Please inform Pilot Daas of the terms of this agreement somewhere you are certain people aren’t listening.”
Lacroix: “Now then, I shall take my leave. Good evening.”
Morgan: in order to minimize suspicion i think daas will end up being informed the next time he works with yarrow and hey there’s more information than usual


Spencer: Friday Evening Spencer appears at Morgan’s doorstep. “Hey Morgan, can I crash here for a few days?”
Morgan: Morgan blinks a few times when he answers the door, looking a bit surprised when Spencer doesn’t vanish. “Did something happen?”
Spencer: …“not…yet.”
Spencer: “see I think things might be weird at our place for a couple of days”
Spencer: “besides I figure we could have a guys night out or something. Gets some steaks and watch Diehard.”
Morgan: “I can see why you’d think that, but don’t you think you ought to go back and let it be weird?”
Spencer: “absolutely not”
Spencer: “see it’s all about the style and effect”
Spencer: “too much would ruin it now”
Morgan: “Sounds like you’ve got a pretty complicated plan going.”
Spencer: “I like to think of it as an intervention”
Morgan: Morgan opens his door the rest of the way so Spencer can come in if he likes. “Definitely a complicated plan, then.”
Spencer: Spencer walks inside
Morgan: “I’m afraid there’s not much steak or Diehard to be had, but you’re welcome if you need a place to stay.”
Spencer: “don’t worry, we can fix that”
Spencer: over the next two days Spencer spends most of his time outside walking around or at the library.
Morgan: Morgan’s house is packed with things. A shitload of things, lining the hallways, under shelves and in closets, all of various utility and largely military
Spencer: he tries to get Morgan to buy steak and watch diehard
Morgan: He has no beds, but one of the many things is a spare cot
Morgan: He also has no television
Morgan: only a magi terminal which is locked down on account of having a secure connection
Spencer: “Look it’s got a monitor and sweet internet access, why can’t we watch it on there?”
Spencer: anything else you want to do during that time?
Morgan: Morgan will talk to him plenty over the weekend, obviously worried about spencer, but is not around most of the time
Morgan: he’ll offer to take spencer along to the hq for work
Spencer: he’ll tag along one day and spend his time at the EVA bay if possible
Spencer: bugging the engineers
Morgan: it is
Spencer: “you know american made EVA parts are more reliable”
Spencer: perhaps not that obnoxious though
Morgan: does spencer take any of morgan’s many things, btw
Spencer: no
Spencer: unless offered
Morgan: nope
Morgan: it is definitely obvious that everything is in a very particular place, nothing is haphazard and it is a sort of low level creepy, really
Spencer: after a brief exploration Spencer seems too preoccupied to notice
Morgan: spencer would be the first one to know that morgan’s got a prosthetic leg
Spencer: Spencer may crack a joke about how they both get the best parking
Morgan: haha


The Fated Day

04/12/2015

Despite being late, Spencer does eventually show up, groomed and properly dressed, at the place where he told Marina to meet him. While she can’t shake the feeling of being watched, she and him head off to the first stop he has planned, an old bookstore by the name of ‘Castle Books’. A place with a nice atmosphere and specializing in used books, Marina finds a wealth of romance novels there and ends up accidentally making Spencer buy her one, stomping out after the clerk gets the wrong idea. She’s still unable to shake the sensation of being followed, but chalks it up to Section 2 having been extra cautious today.

Spencer drags her to his next location, a small cafe in the center of the city. However, the visit is stopped before it’s started by Marina spotting an incredible betrayal occurring inside, and directs Spencer to take her elsewhere, anywhere. For steak. Which is how the two end up at a maid cafe in downtown Seattle, Spencer managing to duck once more under Marina’s exasperated fisticuffs. It’s also there that they run into none other than their class rep, Kate Kennedy, fulfilling her part time job.

“Konnichi-wa, goshujin-sama! May I take your or— Marina? Is that you?”
The waitress straightens up.
It’s Kate Kennedy, your class rep!
“… Spencer?”
“Hello Clas re…I mean Kate.”
Spencer makes a little jaunty wave motion with his hand
Marina’s face freezes and goes red in a combination of horror and rage.

She manages to control her fight or fight harder reaction though, and after a mutual agreement to keep this meeting between the three of them, Kennedy heads off to have their food prepared.

She glances around again before staring at him, face blank. “You honestly enjoy… the costume thing?”
“It’s not the costume thing as much, though it’s fun seeing people in different clothing. This is a place where everyone is having fun. The customers, the waitresses, the staff everyone. Otherwise they wouldn’t work here. This is where I go to remind myself about that.”

The two also talk about Marina and Alicia’s lives before coming to NERV-07, revealing the two have suspected that they were selected for the NAU’s Evangelion project in its early stages, and her telling Spencer about their parent’s death in a fire before the NAU military took them in. Spencer reveals a little about his own history as well.

“Still it must be nice living with your sister all these years. I have a sister you know, two actually.”
She raises an eyebrow. “Really? And you didn’t bring them here with you?”
“They died.”

The two eat, Marina nearly managing to complete the ritualistic sacrifice of a level of cow that’d potentially make Daas implode, before she pulls aside the class rep and has a private conversation with her. Afterwards, Spencer drags her to the movies for a silly flick with people in spandex suits punching other people in bad rubber costumes. It’s enjoyable in a dumb sort of way.

What is not enjoyable in any manner of way is the Tilt-A-Whirl, which leaves Marina in the bathroom looking at the sacrifice again. Afterwards, Spencer proves he’s getting handy at dodging her assaults, but not handy at remaining on his feet and not falling down a hill and getting hit with a boat in the Tunnel of Love. With nary a park employee to be seen, Marina slides down and attempts to help him up, failing between his weight and the vicious assault on her stomach by the Tilt-A-Whirl.

At this point, a new girl she’s never seen and a betrayer who will be dealt with later hop the fence and come to assist, the three of them and a not so subtle Section 2 agent managing to drag the now non-breathing Spencer out of the water, Daas starting first aid while Morgan directs him via ear-piece and Marina assists with less kosher elements of it so that Alicia doesn’t need to.

After they manage to get the idiot breathing again, the girl is introduced to them as Nadyezhda Zeema Ivanova, a new Evangelion pilot who will be joining the group as a permanent addition to NERV-07’s roster.

Daas starts helping Spencer out to the SUVs. He’s done his bit; after all that effort, Spencer and Marina deserved their kiss. So to speak.
Marina feels a sudden cold shudder down the back of her neck, for no identifiable reason.

The day ends, as stupidly as it began.

View
Episode 6: 100 Meters Below

Fiasco Summary

Notes: NERV-LA participated in the recovery of the Pilots and Evangelions buried in the cave-in.


“Unacceptable,” the voice snapped. “Your clever plan to neutralize Makatiel has jeopardized everything — the pilots have made contact too soon. Events were already proceeding out of time with the plans laid out in the Scrolls, and you have simply served to widen the gyre.”

Director Lacroix merely sighed and leaned forward in her chair, concealing a frown under folded hands. This was easily the part of her job she hated the most. If one plotted her position on the chain of command in NERV, officially, she would report directly to the NERV High Commissioner’s office. What the world saw was clear and direct, an unbroken line of accountability from her, to NERV, to the UN, and from the UN to its constituent governments. The chain of command was almost beautiful in its simplicity.

Pity, then, that the beautiful lies were the most heartbreaking.

Sitting alone in a private conference room, the Director looked at who she really reported to: twelve holographic monoliths, jet black and engraved with a simple identification in red letters:

“You know — you all know — as well as I do that the contents of the Scrolls are oft vague at best,” Lacroix replied, calmly. SEELEE-05 had a tendency to wear on her rapidly — his voice was masked by a filter, but she had a feeling she knew who was behind that monolith, and they’d never gotten along well, not since they’d first met at Gehirn. “We are still in the early phases yet. Error can be corrected for later — I was presented with a plan that, had it succeeded, meant that she would be in the least danger. All we risked were the lives of the pilots, and those are replaceable anyways.”

“True,” 03 cut in. “But the risk is still outside of tolerance. We are able to put events back on track with careful manipulation, but that does not mean we should deviate from the plans laid out fifteen years ago — it has guided our actions so far, and we have reaped much benefit from them.”

Lacroix repressed a snort. If this was success, failure must truly be a terrible thing: much of Asia was in ruins, large parts of the globe were nearly unlivable, and the definition of ‘stable nation’ now had a great amount of wiggle room for internal disturbance, especially given the latest rumblings out of the American Southwest. She was privy to Seelee’s machinations, having gone from unwitting puppet during the Katsuragi expedition to one of the key players outside the Inner Circle and the Human Instrumentality Committee. Just as there is no one more zealous than the convert, however, there was no one who doubted more than one who had fallen from the faith.

“Very well,” she replied, nodding and swallowing her pride. “I shall encourage my subordinates to exercise… more caution. In any case, I doubt that after the last incident, the pilots will be willing to pull any stunts like that for a while. Being buried under a mountain for days tends to dampen one’s enthusiasm for heroics.”

“Good,” the voice of 01 boomed out. “It is settled, then. In truth, we cannot argue with success, but we must ensure that the cost of victory is not too high a price to pay. Monitor the children. Ensure there is no… cross-contamination, by any means necessary. We have come too far to risk our prize escaping from our grasp now, and you know what contact could do to our plans.”

The Director knew very well indeed. It might cause the course of future history to spiral out of the grasp of the old men with their ancient scrolls, ending in something that none of them, with their laser-like focus on their prophecies, could anticipate. What a terrible fate.

“We are finished here, then,” 01 concluded, the monoliths winking out, starting at 12 and moving downwards in order. “Do not fail us.” The last one to go was the first one in line, SEELEE-01. It remained for a moment, and Lacroix imagined whoever was behind it studying her. What did he see, she wondered? Did he see a tool, a cog in their giant machine, carrying out its predetermined role? Or did he see what actually existed?

Finally, the last monolith winked out, and the lights came on again. Pulling out a handkerchief, Adele Lacroix lifted it to her mouth, spitting out the mixture of blood and saliva that had collected in her mouth. Her teeth had dug into her lip as she forced herself to say what the Inner Circle wanted to hear, and not what she wanted to say — but one of these days…

Forcing those thoughts aside, she stood, retreating into the adjoining office. Taking a seat in her chair, she reaches down and opens a drawer, pulling out a bottle of cognac. This was the first time she’d seen the old men running scared. Those pilots shouldn’t be alive by any right — they should have suffocated hours before the rescue teams unearthed enough of the rubble to link fresh power supplies to the Evangelions. Yet, there they were, bruised and battered in mind and body, but alive. They had been saved, and if that was enough to send those old men into a panic… it was something to be celebrated. Sipping on the cognac for a while, she leaned back in her chair, contemplating her next move. Then, finishing her drink, she set the empty glass down, pressing a button on her phone.

“I would like to see the pilots and Captain Ward,” she stated into the intercom. “At their earliest convenience.”

View
Episode 5: What Lies Beneath

0947 April 6th 2015

“500 meters!” Lieutenant Parker calls out over the comms, a verbal confirmation of what the pilots and Captain Ward can see on their screens. On the surface, it was raining, but down in the hole, as the work crews had dubbed it, the only sign was the barest trickle of water flowing down the access ramp. Daas had worked a minor miracle with his adaptation of the Angel’s AT field, and while it was not quite as effective as the Angel’s ability to burrow, it had turned weeks worth of work into days.

“400 meters!”

The chamber was hewn from the stone of the earth, a hemisphere buried a hundred meters under the surface. The mobile support structures were set up in an antechamber just outside, armored against attack by thick walls of rock. Not that it’d stop the Angel, given the way it could swim through bedrock like it was water, but at least it’d probably stop a friendly fire incident. That’s where the N2 mine was, as well, along with the charges that would collapse the tunnel mouth if the Evangelions had to make an escape.

“300 meters! No course varian— wait, it’s speeding up! Thirty seconds to contact!”

Right now, though, the battlefield they’d carved for themselves looked like nothing more than a tomb, plain and unadorned. Except, that was, for the signs on the wall. The crews said they weren’t there, of course, nor did anyone else. Just the pilots could. They were like art, or writing, it was hard to tell. In either case, they were faintly glimmering white lines along the walls of the chamber that shimmered and burst into rainbows of color at the brush of an AT field. They weren’t always there, though — they were only visible, it’d seem, through the eyes of an Evangelion. Outside of the cockpit, it was like they weren’t even there — though Daas, once, could swear he saw them out of the corner of his eye while leaving after a long shift of digging…

“150 meters! 100! Ten seconds!”

Makatiel could be felt before before it was seen — first there was a slight vibration in the LCL, like ripples in a cup of water when a door slams, then they can feel it in their feet, the ground shaking beneath them. The lines on the wall begin to twinkle and shimmer, twisting around a single point, and a second later, the stone itself begins to glow orange, dully at first but increasing in brightness with every heartbeat.

“Five! Four! Three! Two! One!”

The orange glow is pure white now, the stone pouring away from the wall and pooling on the ground. It ceases to glow as it flows along the cave floor, but expands into a puddle like a liquid nonetheless, a dark hole forming in the wall. Two spindly legs push through the hole, widening it, finding purchase on the other side, and pulling itself through. As it slides into the light, the pilots catch their first good glimpse of Makatiel. It resembles a spider, in a way, eight legs growing out from a bulbous, elongated body, jet black with white, chitinous plates along its back and running down its legs. Its face — if it could be called a face — looks almost like a plain, white mask, with two black holes for eyes, and a third, larger hole for a mouth. As it draws itself up, it becomes plain that it’s larger than an Evangelion, larger than Sachiel by a head or three, and the pilots catch glimpses of two things. The first is a glint of red on its belly — clearly the Angel’s core.

The second is Makatiel’s mouth, a hole in the underside of its head, lined with hundreds of moving, chitinous talons, dripping with something that smokes as it splashes against the cave floor. As it points towards the Evas, the talons move faster, and the Angel screams, a challenging shriek.


As the angel attacks, Morgan’s plan goes into action. Spencer almost panics but is kept in line, with him and Marina leaping forward to engage together in a simultaneous assault while Daas holds back, ready to use his skills with the AT Field as long range support.

Morgan grins and pounds a fist against a panel in hope. (off comms) “Jesus christ, their synchronization rate is through the roof. Maybe they’ll pull it off after all”

Marina and Spencer charge Makatiel, flanking it with disturbing synchronicity. Their weapons strike as one, tonfa and axe slamming through the thin wisps of the Angel’s AT field.
Both strike true, sinking into the Angel’s sides, precisely opposite each other, sprays of thick black blood gushing forth as the Angel screams again.
Marina’s completely silent, all her concentration on staying in sync with both IOT and Spencer, eyes focused and unblinking even as the blood sprays over her viewfeed.

Spencer: “Is it dead?”
Morgan: “Pattern is still active!”
Marina: “Fixing that.”

Spencer and Marina’s Evas move in sync, weapons rising and falling at the same moment.
Spencer’s axe impacts on the Angel’s body again, but a leg interposes itself between the Angel and Marina’s tonfa, the chain teeth gaining purchase on the chitinous armor and piercing the leg.
New spurts of blood flow forth, painting the Evas’ armor jet black — but now the Angel rears back to strike.

Marina draws back into a more advantageous stance, tonfa posed to try and block if needed. “Still moving, command.”

A wickedly pointed claw at the tip of one of Makatiel’s forelegs misses Spencer… but not Marina.
She flips around the blade, slamming forward with equal force and trying to push back the alien limb.
Marina deflects the attack, the claw sliding harmlessly to her side!

Spencer: “Nail it Daas!”
Daas’ EVA has its’ arm cocked back, a gleaming spear of metal in its’ hand. “AT Field charged. Firing!”
Makatiel lurches as the spear lodges itself in one of its legs. It’s hanging a little lower, but it’s still up.

“Target impact; leg. Recharging.” Daas’ EVA reaches back to one side, where several similar spears have been set for him.
Morgan: “M777 teams, we’re passing MAGI targetting data to you now. Target the wounds and fire!”

IOT drops low, giving the artillery squads more room to fire and less room to shoot her instead by mistake.
Unfortunately they overcorrect to avoid plastering the EVAs and blow holes out of the cavern wall instead

“Battery one reports misfire, sir!” Lieutenant Parker calls out. “It’ll take them a minute to clear it!”
Morgan: “Damn. Understood. Reroute that targetting cycle to the IN1!”

The cave shakes under the barrage of missed artillery shots!

Marina: She glances upwards as the shots go wide. “Shit.”
Daas’ screen lights with new data. “IN1 confirms data feed. AT Field charge at 20% and rising.” This trick of pushing objects with AT force is new to Daas, but a logical use of the Field, especially after the digging of the past week.

The melee duo strike out in tandem once more, EVAs spinning elegantly around the multi-legged monster as it struggles to deflect their blows.
Marina’s tonfa strikes home again, but a claw flicks out to turn aside Spencer’s axe. It flares red for a second as it meets the axeblade, and Spencer can feel the axe shudder unnaturally. Whatever it just did, it barely failed to shatter the blade.

Spencer: “Oh now I’m pissed”
Marina: Taking advantage of the angel’s focus on her squadmate, the tonfa drives deep, IOT putting much of its weight behind the blow. “Come on, fall down so we can finish you off you piece of shit.”

The Angel shudders as Marina leans into the blow, the tonfa digging deep into the Angel’s bulbous body, and slumps to the ground. For a brief second it shudders and twitches…

She dares to hope.

Then, howling, its body begins to shake. The blood seeping out of Makatiel begins to bubble and boil, receding back into the Angel as its wounds close. For a moment, the Angel tenses up, then as its wounds heal, spikes of white chitin erupt from the Angel’s body, ripping through its skin to menace the Evas. Getting close enough to hit it just got a little harder.

Marina: “Son of a BITCH.”
Daas :“AT Field waveform is still nullified, Ensign! The pattern’s changed, but you’re still supressing it!”

Makatiel lunges at Spencer, claws raised high to strike at the Eva.

Marina: “GREY!”

…but while its wounds seem to have healed, it doesn’t meet any more success in melee combat, the claws skittering across the stone floor harmlessly.

Spencer: “Hey Boss, what’s with all these spikes?”
Morgan: “Be advised, and commended, the Angel just did for you what we’ve only seen it do for direct N2 detonations and undergone an adaptive mutation to compensate for your attacks. Consider its danger in close combat to have increased dramatically.”
Daas: “Keep your neutralization going, you two; it may have gained powers as well, though I can’t tell what with all the interference.”
Marina: “Shit.”
Daas: “Field charged! Firing!” A second spear is flung outward, following the data he’d been fed.

The flung spear flies through two of the Angel’s legs, severing them. It lurches to the side as the limbs fall to the ground, but remains standing.

“Impact; legs! It’s crippled!” Daas’ EVA, perhaps too closely synced, can be seen to briefly pump its’ fist before grabbing a new spear.

Morgan crosses his arms as a nervous tick as the still functional battery takes aim. A lucky shot from the artillery battery sends the Angel reeling back onto legs that are no longer there!

Spencer: “Boss you want me to continue to hack at this thing? I can nail the hell out it, but it’ll probably ding the paint”
Morgan grimaces, knowing he’s putting the kid into direct danger. “Now’s our best bet to attack the core. Keep on it, Spencer.”
Marina takes aim, the carbine laid across her supporting arm, every shot fired impacting the already down alien monster as she grits her teeth, muttering to herself. “Go down, die already, don’t explode…”

The force of the gunshots drives the Angel back against the wall, slammed against the stone with each impact. The bullets open up new wounds on Makatiel’s limbs and body, the chitinous armor cracking. The facemask splinters under the barrage, and Marina can see a bullet spark off the Angel’s core.

Spencer: “We just blowing this one up or do you want me to try to rip it out?”
Daas: “Warn me if we’re blowing it up.”
Morgan: “MAGI is not reporting it is inactive. If it detects that we’re trying to capture it then it might self-destruct. Destroy it.”

Rushing forward, D-01’s axe slams towards the core, ignoring the deadly spikes impacting the EVA’s armor. The Angel attempts to fend off the blow, but Spencer pushes past its flailing claws! The blow strikes true on the core, the axe scraping off some of the protective armor. Screaming in pain, the ground begins to shake as Makatiel’s AT field flares!

Marina: “Shit!”
Daas recognizes this pattern — it’s trying to tunnel out. Spencer can see the stone under the Angel flow around it as it starts to sink into the rock. “AT Field aspect change! Power spiking! It’s trying to escape!”
Morgan picks up the nearby phone linked to the USMC artillery batteries. “This is a priority order! Evacuate immediately!”
Artillery: “Roger that! Batteries one and two, packing up and rolling the hell out!”
Morgan: “Leave the guns, evacuate immediately. NERV will take responsibility.”
Artillery: “Yessir! Moving!”
The pilots can see the artillerymen scrambling into their vehicles and heading for the exit.
Marina: “Are we going to try to stop the escape, sir?”
Morgan: “Stop the escape and kill it at all costs, Pilot! We cannot allow it to return later!”

Once more, unit IN1 looses a deadly AT powered spear at the now retreating angel. It passes low under the arch of the Creature’s legs, impacting the wall and digging nearly all the way into it

Morgan: “Daas, close in and see what you can do about keeping it from collapsing the tunnel behind it!”
Daas: “This thing must project the movement field innately! Even at total neutralization it can still tunnel!”
Spencer: “I could try to pull it back toward us”
Forgoing words, Marina attempts to end the battle with overwhelming force, sending another barrage at the deadly invader. She curses as the spray goes wide. “Spencer, try to immobilize it if you can!”

His axe flies once more, and the Angel howls as the axe strikes true on the core, a long, deep crack forming in the thing’s material — but it’s still moving. It sinks further into the ground. Daas gets one last shot.

Spencer: “You can do it Daas!”
Morgan calls up the MAGI targetting array and personally feeds it to Daas’ machine.
Daas’s hand trembles on the controls as he cocks back to throw one last spear. “AT Field, MAXIMUM CHARGE!” Focusing sheer will into the actuators, he breathes a muttered prayer in Hindu, and lets fly the spear, AT field coiling around the shaft to accelerate it as it leaves his hands.

He can hear the crack as the thing goes supersonic, aimed well and flying true. It sails through the Angel as if it isn’t even there, going through the core and Makatiel’s body in a spray of gore, shattering into a hundred shards as it impacts on the cave wall. For a moment, all is quiet.

Then the core glows an incandescent red, painful to look at as it goes critical. For the pilots, the world plunges into fire and darkness.

“Captain!” Parker cries out from her console, a note of panic in her voice. “Base team reports heavy seismic activity! The cave’s collapsing inwards!”
Morgan pales in understanding and hopes there’s still a connection to the EVAs. “Pilots, the cavern is collapsing! Switch power supplies to life support mode!”
Marina reflexively drops the weapons and attempts to cover her chest, before everything goes red.

Morgan’s message gets through just before a rock hits the hard line to the surface.

Morgan: “Parker, contact the excavation teams. It looks like their contract just extended.”
Parker: “R-roger that, sir. Should we contact NERV-06 for assistance?”

Daas has only enough time to set his EVA to a low-power Life Support mode before he loses all conciousness.

Morgan: “Yes. If they can spare a unit we can teach it how to dig.”
Parker: “I’ll get them on the line, sir. I’m… I’m starting the timer.”
Morgan picks up the phone to the USMC artillery’s radio again. “2nd Battallion this is NERV Ops. Do you read?”

On the tactical display, a countdown timer flashes up in the corner, 24:00:00. It promptly begins counting down the pilots’ lifespan without rescue.

“Sir, Second Batallion here — or what’s left of us. We lost Battery Two in the collapse, they didn’t make it out in time.”
Morgan: “Damn. I hate to demand more, but we’re sending in the excavators again to dig out our pilots. Previous angels have shown the ability to carry man-sized creatures inside them and they’re going to need an escort. If your men are still combat effective then those tractor drivers are going to need marines to keep them alive.”
Artillery: “Can do, sir, but be advised, we’re at 50% capacity.”
Morgan: “We’ll be sending the NERV DCTs that handled the last outbreak there on VTOLs to back you up.”
Artillery: “Roger that. We’ll be at the base camp in 10 mikes.”
Morgan: “We’ll need you on station for 24 hours. One way or the other the mission will be over by then.”
Artillery: There’s a brief pause on the other end of the line. “… Understood, sir.”

There’s a click as the Marine switches comm channels, presumably to radio his men. The clock relentlessly ticks downwards on the display, counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until the pilots’ battleground becomes their tomb.

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Episode 4: A New Day

PART 1

Our intrepid triple pilot team and one sibling are directed to their new home in West Seattle and start to get settled in. They get their paychecks, their card-keys, and their mandatory 24/7 Section 2 surveillance team right across the street. Spencer finds out he gets to concealed carry agents, Daas finds out he gets to open carry his genetics, and Marina can carry her gun out in public, god save us all. In addition, Marina and Spencer immediately start to go at each other’s throats more or less, to everyone’s shock and perhaps awe. Morgan lays down the law regarding their schedules and times to report to NERV, their incoming EVA simulator asswhuppings, and their touchy-feely therapy sessions. He then gets the hell out of dodge as fast as he can.

Alicia reveals her discomfort around Morgan, and Spencer gets to work bothering his superior officer as fast as he can by suggesting a party to celebrate their arrival at home. He also proves his inability to operate a smartphone for text message purposes and Daas shows that UN Relief food isn’t exactly delicious, especially when it’s named after a roofing object. Alicia shows her mastery of odd knowledge by regaling them with the story of their new suburbs, Daas makes everyone uncomfortable by mentioning how half the world is still a massive relief-ridden shitball, Spencer buys party supplies, and Marina buys chocolates. In between, Daas and Alicia buy actual food products. The trip home goes well… until they arrive home to a cryptic message on the home’s pc.

sed et serpens erat callidior cunctis animantibus terrae quae fecerat Dominus Deus qui dixit ad mulierem cur praecepit vobis Deus ut non comederetis de omni ligno paradisi

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” And the woman said unto the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” And the serpent said unto the woman, "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. -Genesis 3:1-5

No physical intrusions; merely a ghost from the network sending them a message.

Or a warning.


PART 2

Time passes quietly until the pilot’s first day of school, beyond Marina engaging in the first (of many to come!) corrective assaults on Spencer when he’s busy being an ass. She does get reprimanded by Morgan though, and their commander informs them of the message’s origin: Somewhere within NERV’s own systems. It’s with this knowledge in their heads the group gets to go to their first day of school.

Their Section 2 handlers are kind enough to give them a ride to school, and they’re forced to sign papers and read rulebooks. And their own fake histories, crafted lovingly by NERV hands. After that they meet the head of their classroom student body, Kate Kennedy.

Kate – “Oh, wow! Arrived just in time for the, uh, excitement, then.” She shivers a little at the thought. “When we were told that wasn’t a drill…”
Spencer – "Pretty freaky huh?
Daas – “Yes, it was quite a shock.”
Marina – “Terrifying stuff.”
Daas’ eyes betray him, for a split second, as memories of a sudden urge to flee and a screaming Ensign Maynard flood his mind, before he can banish them back to their place.
Kate – “Yeah! Lucky we have those Evangelions here, eh?”
Marina – “Yep.”
Daas – “Lucky, and then some.”

They find out St. Jude’s is one of the primary NERV-approved schools in Seattle, so there’s a lot of kids there with connections to the group, be it parents or something else. After their tours, Spencer forces the three to introduce themselves to their new class. Marina makes an ass of herself, just as planned. Daas learns once more to hate our first world lives because of complaints about cafeteria food, and the group already apparently has a few false targets for the identity of the EVA pilots, thank god. Meanwhile, Morgan has a discussion with Director Lacroix about training, simulations, and worst of all, cross-branch training exercises. Because god knows NERV doesn’t waste enough money as it is.


PART 3

Spencer does something really fucking stupid. He sneaks into Marina and Alicia’s room and roots through their shit. Since he’s a clumsy idiot, he gets caught. Marina, being decidedly un-Marina-like, gives him both a chance to explain and also to grovel. If he wants. Choosing to opt out of using the underwear excuse, he honestly admits to simply wanting to know more about her and her sister so that he can trust them better. Marina calls his bluff and offers to let him get to know her better some weekend they’re not busy training, and the situation ends without bloodshed.

Things less important occur with the MAGI though, as they detect an odd seismic source heading slowly for Seattle. Before long it’s identified as a Blue-Pattern, and it’ll arrive in a month. The pilots are called in for a briefing, the MAGI are all but useless once more beyond assigning it a name: Makatiel. An angel burrowing under the seabed at 3mph, continuing ever onwards towards NERV-07.

MAGI believes this angel, capable of such a feat, will surface when they reach the shore and give up that advantage. Marina calls bullshit, Spencer calls N2 Mine Shindig, and Daas is actually useful and figures out how the thing is doing it. Via AT Fields superheating rock and legs shoving the Angel forward through the molten slag. Morgan actually smiles for once and explains his incredibly stupid idea to build a battlefield in the thing’s path.

And his incredibly stupid idea to force Spencer and Marina into close quarters for extended periods of time so they can learn how to fight together in melee effectively.


Morgan and Yarrow

Yarrow: The door swings open, revealing Dr. Yarrow. “Got a minute, Morgan?”
Morgan: “Sure, nothing critical at the moment.”
Yarrow: “Good, figured you’d want this.” He drops a folder onto your desk, taking a seat and kicking up his feet. “Preliminary biological report on Sachiel and its attendant Angelspawn. You want to read it for yourself, or do you want me to skip to the good bits at the end?”
Morgan: “I’ll read it in detail later, but I’ll take the Cliff’s notes now, sure.”
Yarrow: “Well, first off, thanks for the speculation as to the purpose of that cyst Dr. Waters reported. We haven’t a lot to back that up yet, but I put it in anyways. Best to get it out. Don’t worry, you’re credited properly.”
Yarrow: “But I’ve been spending the last couple of days examining tissue samples recovered from Angelspawn that made it outside the primary containment zone, and so weren’t, uh, burned to cinders.”
Morgan: “To be honest I’m rather hoping my speculation about the cyst is wrong, as we’re completely unprepared for a weapon like that, but please continue.”
Yarrow: “And there were some… interesting results. Between the recovered corpses and first-hand reports, it’s fairly evident that these things were not fully developed. They, ah, probably weren’t supposed to hatch for another 24 to 36 hours.”
Yarrow: “At about which time, the corpse of Sachiel would have probably been inside Seventh Branch Headquarters.”
Yarrow: He sighs, rubbing his forehead. “And while I should probably write that off as coincidence, well…”
Morgan: “God in heaven, if that had happened…did they register as pattern blues on our detectors?”
Yarrow: “The Magi registered them as Blue, though they didn’t have much of an AT field to speak of. That may have been one of the things that was underdeveloped, it’s impossible to tell.”
Yarrow: “Needless to say, Research is revising SOP. Heavily.”
Morgan: “I’m putting together my recommendation on this subject right now, doctor, I’d appreciate Research’s support in pushing the threat this represents to the Commander and above. We need equipment designed for dealing with these mansized threats, which is going to require a revolution in how we deal with the local military. And not just us; everybody.”
Yarrow: Dr. Yarrow nods in agreement. “I’m with you, Morgan, it’s my people in danger now as well.”
Yarrow: “We’ll have revised specimen handling procedures within the next week — beyond that, well… what sort of equipment were you looking for?”
Morgan: “The reports from surviving DCT members show that these angelspawn were quite lethal to people and took a lot of killing with pistols or rifles, but weren’t a serious threat against armored vehicles and machineguns. That says to me we need mechanized infantry or armor presence to have any reasonable chance of stopping large numbers of them without resorting to carpet bombing.”
Morgan: “Which means we, and all the other branches, need better relationships and better support from our host nations or our own army.”
Morgan: “And uh,” Morgan chuckles “the US military isn’t likely to be very friendly to the latter.”
Yarrow: “Hm.” Dr. Yarrow scratches his chin. “That’s… not quite up my alley. Sounds like you’ve got some chatting to do with the director.”
Yarrow: He laughs as well. “No, really, I hadn’t noticed. God knows prising young miss Maynard from their grasp was simple enough.”
Yarrow: The sarcasm is thick enough to cut.
Morgan: Morgan raps his fingers on the desk for a bit. “One thing that would help is if you could figure out some way to lighten the new railgun projects down to something a ship or tank can use. Far too much of their firepower just bounced off the hide of Sachiel, and it might help as a peace offering besides.”
Yarrow: “Might be able to adapt some of the materials projects we’re working on for the Evangelions, too. Size them down, use them as man-scale body armor.”
Morgan: “Be damn helpful for if those angelspawn ever happen to get inside the base, and for your teams doing the next angel dissection.”
Yarrow: He nods. “I’ll talk to some of the boys over in Weapons, see what they can cook up. It’d help if we could lay hands on the USN railgun projects that were worked on pre-impact — those were designed for smaller-scale work anyways.”
Morgan: “I’ll talk to the Commander about getting some kind of information sharing initiative started.”
Yarrow: “Good idea. Oh, thought — what about the captain of that ship you were so pleased with? Might talk to him.”
Morgan: “He’d probably be the best voice of reason about it in the military, yeah. They’ll be more willing to listen to one of their own who actually pulled it off about how hard it was to accomplish with their current weapons.”


Morgan & Lacroix

LaCroix: An e-mail hits Morgan’s inbox when he gets to the office: the Director wants to see him at his earliest convenience.
Morgan: That’d be immediately then
LaCroix: Pretty much!
Morgan: well immediately it is then, Morgan’ll head over without delay
LaCroix: Morgan doesn’t have to wait very long in her reception room before Director Lacroix’s secretary ushers him in.
LaCroix: The Director’s office is large and well-appointed — it looks like something ripped out of a mansion in Europe, which might even actually be the truth, given the Director. Wooden paneling and bookcases dominate the walls, interspersed with oil paintings.
LaCroix: “Ah, Captain.” She motions towards one of the plush chairs in front of her desk. “Have a seat.”
Morgan: Morgan does so, doffing his beret in the process. “Good morning, Director.”
LaCroix: “Quite. How are the pilots settling in?”
Morgan: “Quite energetically from all reports. Their personalities are not particularly good matches but at least they are not particularly ill ones, apart from the heated rivalry between Maynard and Grey.”
LaCroix: “Excellent. We can use rivalry, so long as it pushes them to excel.”
Morgan: “Given Maynard’s advantage in training I think it’ll push Grey hard to keep up with the harsh training schedule planned out for them.”
LaCroix: “Good, they’re going to need to excel.” She pushes a folder towards Morgan. “Director Ikari from Second Branch has proposed cross-branch training exercises to the Commissioner’s office, and it looks like he’ll approve them. Given your team’s performance on their first defense, I am preparing to nominate them for the first round.”
Morgan: “Cross-branch training exercises, hrm” Morgan flips through the folder. “It might help them establish elan, giving them someone to compete against other than themselves. I certainly approve.”
LaCroix: “Excellent. I expect approval in a manner of weeks, and I rather imagine we will be going up against Second Branch to start with.” The Director smiles, just a little. “It will be nice to see if Yui’s pilots are up to the task.”
Morgan: “In the meantime I have a course of simulations I intend to run, testing possible responses to the angelspawn threat.”
LaCroix: Director Lacroix nods. “Of course. Containment, I assume?”
Morgan: “Accomplishing that will be difficult if the next encounter is not in such a stable environment. Right now my nightmare scenario is the next Sachiel shows up launches the angelspawn cysts while we’re still fighting it. If that’s anywhere near a populated area we’ll need troops already in place.”
LaCroix: “Yes, I suppose the Evangelions are… uniquely unsuited to search-and-destroy operations in urban terrain.”
Morgan: “If this isn’t above my pay grade, director, why did Nerv assume the enemy would only be gigantic?”
LaCroix: The Director is silent for a long moment before speaking.
LaCroix: “If you captured an animal, and it was the only member of its kind you had ever seen before, would you assume that it was the average, or an outlier?”
LaCroix: “The situation is roughly analogous.”
Morgan: “I understand. Still, we need to play catch-up fast, before they wisen up. If a reasonable amount of those angelspawn escape the net at any point, it’ll be damn near impossible to root them out, and a handful could destroy a small town bereft of any automatic weapons.”
LaCroix: “Yes, fortunate for us we are in America, no? But the point is taken. Get updated troop quotas to my office as soon as possible, but I warn you: you will not be the only one thinking the same thing. I imagine ground forces are about to be in great demand.”
Morgan: “Are we going to be trying to handle the ground mission in-house, or bringing in more of the military? My preference would be for the latter, if they can be convinced to lend us the assistance.”
LaCroix: “We shall be handling it in-house as much as we can. The United States Army is well-equipped but… politically unreliable. Those in charge during Second Impact weren’t completely rousted. None of them ever cared for the UN beforehand, and now… well, it hasn’t gotten any better.”
LaCroix: “If you wish to try and make inroads, you are welcome to do so under my auspices.”
Morgan: “Sounds good. I spoke with Dr. Yarrow about this earlier, but I’d like to propose a research sharing initiative with them. If the US Military can miniaturize our railgun designs to fit on military platforms they might be more effective at penetrating Angel scale armor, they have a lot of old research on the subject from pre-impact naval projects and most importantly they may just be more willing to allow ‘inroads’ if they feel like they’re getting something out of it.”
LaCroix: The Director frowns a little at the mention of technology transfer, but ultimately nods. “All right. Send me an official proposal and I shall approve it for this railgun project.”
Morgan: Morgan decides not to push his luck given the armor project would work just fine in-house and nods. “I’ll put it together shortly, then. Is there anything else you needed me for, Director?”
LaCroix: “I would like you to start putting together the cross-branch exercises. We have likely around six months, so the sooner we start, the better off we shall be.”
Morgan: “What sort of exercises is Director Ikari looking for?”
Morgan: (I would probably know from the folder actually hurr, but is this a battal tournament or cooperative skirmishes or what)
LaCroix: “The proposal was for a series of competitive skirmishes pitting the branches against each other both in and out of the cockpit, but I am certain that if you have any clever ideas to insert, it could be managed.”
Morgan: Morgan smiles at that. “I’m sure I can think of a thing or two that might spice up the event.”
LaCroix: “Good. Try and keep them off balance.” The director smiles a little as well. “I’d rather like to win.”
Morgan: “As would I but…six months of training and combat and who knows what those kids will look like. Certainly not me.”
LaCroix: Lacroix shrugs. “They will perservere. They will have to.”

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Episode 3: White Moon, Black Blood

Thanks to decisive and quick thinking by the DCT teams on station, they manage to help extract several of the science security teams and even one living scientist from the disaster site before NERV fast response fighter-bombers rain hellfire on all that moves, leaving the corpse and park a shattered and burning crater.

Also, Rifleman Guiseppe Brombal does the unthinkable: He plunges a standard combat knife into an angelspawn at close range and lives to tell the tale. Unfortunately he does not get to keep the memento past their return to base.

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Episode 2: Night of Fire

With the pilots sequestered away and learning what life in a NERV controlled Seattle will be like, the duties regarding Sachiel’s remains fall to NERV’s personnel. As science teams set up shop around the dead god’s corpse, DCT teams set up around them for the public’s safety. And not a moment too soon, given that KING 5 moves in for the mass media kill on our brave NERV personnel. Sergent David Sandris expertly gives her the ‘no comment’ and deflects her, leading to quiet times until nightfall.

And then technician Marylou Bowman gets a hit on their seismic sensors of two people crossing the line. A short while later they’re apprehended, revealed to simply be two kids out for a bit of law-breaking fun. Unfortunately, that’s about when Sachiel’s split open like a bad egg and starts to spit out hellish abominations.

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Episode 1: Day of Beginnings

While the three pilots and their EVAs are en-route to their new homes, trouble strikes in the form of the Northwest’s first Code Blue. Due to Morgan Ward, their new commander, and his quick thinking, they’re able to reach the city in time to mount a coastal defense against ‘Sachiel’, the angel given an odd name by the MAGI. Despite it being the first time the three have worked together, or even operated their Evangelions under combat conditions, the outcome is better than anyone could have anticipated:

One incapacitated angel corpse, no exploded core, and only one damaged arm.

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