New Age Gospel

Title: New Age Gospel
Premise, or Lack Thereof: Yet another New Pilot With Problems joins the cast
Reason for Banishment: Rebuild of Evangelion did a much better job than I could ever dream of


Gospel of a New Era
a story by Dot


Disc Two: According to Genbu


1. HASSHIN (Launch)/In the Beginning

Panic gripped Shinji as he tried to maneuver his Eva through the Sea of Dirac. “I don’t want to die,” he muttered to himself over and over again, each repetition getting louder and more desperate. “I DON’T WANT TO DIE!”

/Shut up./

Shinji reopened his external sensors, but all he got was static. “Is—is someone out there?” he asked into his speakers as he began the sequence to attempt contact with any and all channels of communication.

/I said shut up./

A chill ran down Shinji’s back as his Eva’s sensors indicated the distant opening of an AT field. Was he about to be attacked? He had long ago used up all of his ammunition, and he doubted that the Progressive Knife would be of any use.

A rush of voices, echoes within echoes, flooded him from all directions.

/Shut up go die kill you destroy enemy enemy enemy ENEMY—/

And then there was light.

***

The bridge had little time to react as the zebra-striped Angel began to crack. Moments later, just as Units 00 and 02 scrambled into action, it exploded in a shower of gore. Unit 01 fell out of the resultant mess, landing on its back in an undignified manner. Misato was about to ask Shinji whether he was alright when a second Evangelion punched through the remainder of the Angel.

“Unit 05,” Fuyutsuki breathed in recognition.

“ENEMY! ENEMY! ENEMY!” The unseen female pilot raged in frenzied English, punctuating each declaration with a vicious stomp over the Angel’s lifeless corpse. In the time it took for Misato to gain the presence of mind to contact the pilot, nothing but splattered bits remained.

“This is Major Katsuragi Misato, NERV Japan branch.” Misato spoke in her best neutral tone, but her voice bore notes of anxiety. “Unit 05, please stand down and identify yourself.”

“Who the fuck is Katsuragi? I’m not standing down for anybody, you hear?” Unit 05 swiveled its entire body as it searched for the source of the sound, crashing into the surroundings in the process. This was about when the internal cameras came back online, revealing the face of a young girl with frizzy, short black hair matted with sweat, her features twisted in pure fury.

Ritsuko went to work at once. “Murasame Hisako,” she reported, bringing up a matching photograph on the Magi. “Daughter of Doctors Lenore Michelle Anderson and Murasame Ichirou, NERV American branch.”

Gendou pushed his glassed back to the top of his nose. “She was the pilot in the failed S2 engine activation trial?”

Hisako seemed to hear him. “Who’re you calling a failure?” She screamed, rushing towards the apparent source of the voice without any heed of what might be in her path.

“Incapacitate her at once,” Gendou ordered.

“Don’t you dare—” Hisako’s screaming became garbled as the bridge sent a remote command to raise the pressure of the LCL in her plug unit. Unit 05’s thrashing grew frenzied as Hisako fought unconsciousness, and then quieted as the lack of oxygen took effect.

Shinji let out the breath he’d been holding, relinquishing his grip on the controls as well. If the signal hadn’t gotten through, then he might have been asked to take down the other EVA unit, and he wasn’t sure he could bring himself to fight a fellow pilot.

***

Misato stood on the other side of the one-way glass separating the pilot of Unit 05 from the rest of the world, the bruise marks on the girl’s arm testifying to her attempts to break free of her bindings. Even under so much sedation that the doctors feared for her health, the girl’s sleep seemed uneasy, as if she was attempting to wake by sheer force of will.

Beside her, Ritsuko studied the files requisitioned from the American branch, frowning. “Look at this. Previous to the activation trial, Hisako had been forbidden from taking the field with the EVA.”

Misato scanned the notes on Hisako’s psychological evaluation and whistled. “Yeesh, poor kid’s a total basketcase.” She looked at the unconscious pilot again. “And we have to play babysitter for her?”

“At the moment, we don’t have much of a choice,” Ritsuko replied, leaving the obvious alternate solution—putting the poor girl out of her misery before she wakes up and causes another disaster—unspoken.

***

Though Fuyutsuki remained silent, Gendou could tell that his second-in-command had strong doubts about even the possibility that the girl who more or less fell into their laps could be a potential pilot, but he was confident that his plan to bend her will to his would succeed. Besides, every current attempt to restart Unit 05 with the Dummy Plug system had ended in disappointment, and Gendou was not about to allow what amounted to a free Evangelion slip from his hands.

Having finished securing his new guest to Rei’s birthing chamber (she wouldn’t mind, he reasoned; she wasn’t using it today anyway), Gendou initiated the sequence to wake her, and then assumed his usual poker face while he waited for her to stir.

Her eyes snapped open, glaring with such force that Fuyutsuki might have flinched. But her gaze was focused on Gendou, having identified with a single glance that he, not Fuyutsuki, was the one in charge.


Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
This was inspired, of all things, by a dream where I was piloting an EVA. While grappling with the enemy, I was knocked to the ground, forcing all of the air out of my lungs—at which point I woke up.

Genbu, for those of you who have never seen Fushigi Yuugi, is one of the four Guardians of Heaven and Earth and translates approximately as “Transcendent Might”. According to Chinese mythology, Genbu sprung from the corrupted intestines of a particularly nasty butcher, who then experienced a drastic change of heart (literally!) and conquered the monster that had come out of himself. It is usually depicted as a snake wrapped around a turtle, both locked in fierce combat but neither gaining the upper hand. Genbu rules the element of water, the direction of north, and the season of winter, among other things.

As for the new character’s name: the Murasame is an active ship on the Japanese Marine Self Defense Force’s fleet, while Hisako is a name I pulled out of an online J-E/E-J dictionary using the kanji for “eternal” and “child”.

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