New Age Gospel

Title: Gospel of a New Era
Premise, or Lack Thereof: Shinji gets a literal guardian Angel
Reason for Banishment: lost steam


Gospel of a New Era
a story by Dot


Disc Three: According to Seiryuu


1. HASSHIN (Launch)/In the Beginning

“Good morning!” Haruna Tatsuhiko–called ‘Tatchi’ by his friends for short–threw the blinds open, letting in a flood of light. “Ah, perfect weather for your first real launch!”

Shinji groaned and pulled the covers over his head. “Five more minutes.”

Tatchi chuckled. “So much for sleeping like a rock, hm? I’ll bet you stayed up all night.”

Shinji threw a pillow in the general direction of the sound. “Go away.”

“Come on, Shin-kun! If you get up now, there’ll still be time to have breakfast and catch the train.” Tatchi poked a finger into Shinji’s side. “Unless you prefer letting Miss Katsuragi drive you to the Geofront.”

That got Shinji out of bed in a hurry. “I’m up, I’m up!” He changed out of his pajamas, and was dismayed to find that his roommate had yet again made the bed in the meantime. “You don’t have to pick up after me, Tatchi. I’m not a kid anymore.”

Tatchi laughed again and ran a hand through his pale hair. “Sorry, old habits die hard, y’know.” He made a face. “Not to mention you can be a real slob!”

Shinji shook a fist in mock anger. “Take that back, you!”

***

Shinji fought yawns as he ate a light breakfast of thin porridge and pickled plums while Tatchi munched on a piece of buttered toast washed down with black coffee.

“Don’t fall asleep now,” Tatchi teased, rinsing his mug in the sink.

“Mrgh,” Shinji replied in between sips. When he was finished, Tatchi made a move to help him with the dishes but Shinji waved him off. “Let me do that. Today’s my turn to do the chores, isn’t it?”

Tatchi checked his watch. “All right, but hurry up or you won’t have time to brush.”

Shinji groaned. “It won’t kill me if I skip that.”

“It’s a matter of habits,” Tatchi lectured. “For someone who hates the needle and the drill so much, you’ve pretty much paid for your dentist’s retirement fund.”

Shinji rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

Tatchi sighed. “You’re not listening to what I’m saying, are you?”

“Not a word.”

***

Ritsuko was at the entrance to meet them when they arrived at the Geofront. “Morning, boys.” She nodded at Shinji. “You must be excited about today.”

“You bet!” Shinji agreed.

Tatchi dialed Misato on his cell phone again. “She’s not picking up,” he reported. “But I hope she’s already headed here and just forgot to turn her phone on.”

“Go ahead and get ready. I’ll keep trying.”

“Yes, doctor.”

The two headed for the lockers, where Shinji wriggled into the plug suit while Tatchi slipped his on with practiced ease.

“I don’t know if I want to get used to this part,” Shinji confessed as the air pump pulled the suit inwards to fit every contour of his body. “I feel so naked in it.”

“Well, be glad they scrapped the design where you’d have to sit in my lap,” Tatchi replied, smirking.

Shinji felt his face alternate between hot and cold. “You’re kidding.”

Tatchi winked. “I might be, I might not.”

Shinji shook his head. “You’re hopeless, Tatchi.”

***

Shinji stared.

The Manmade Cybernetic Test Type Evangelion Unit 01 stared back.

“Is this—” he drew in a breath, daring not to speak above the slightest whisper. “—my Eva?”

“She is.” At some point, Tatchi had caught up to him and was now standing next to him. He, too, gazed up at the gargantuan mecha, but he smiled as if he was looking at an old friend. “Come on. The ramp to the Plug Unit is this way.”

Shinji let Tatchi lead the way, keeping his eyes fixed on Unit 01, unable to shake the inexplicable sensation of Deja Vu. This would be his first time in the Unit proper instead of a simulator, and yet he was certain he had been on that walkway before.

Meanwhile, Tatchi had already jumped into his side of the Plug Unit and had begun to strap himself in. “Are you gonna stare all day, or are you gonna pilot?”

“Coming, coming, geez.” Shinji ambled in as well and began fiddling with the controls as soon as he was secured.

Meanwhile, Shinji could hear Tatchi donning his equipment and typing rapidly on his control interface. “The knobs are just there for balance. Just concentrate about walking and the Eva will take care of the rest.”


Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
I’m not sure of what Anno’s actual beliefs are, but NGE’s world is closer to a Kabbalistic outlook, only using the occasional Christian motif. So I decided to throw my own two cents into the mix after brushing up on my theology.

Seiryuu, for those of you who have never seen Fushigi Yuugi, is one of the four Guardians of Heaven and Earth. Japanese for “Green Dragon”, Seiryuu rules the element of wood, the direction of east, and the season of spring, among other things.

As for the new character’s name: the Haruna is an active ship on the Japanese Marine Self Defense Force’s fleet, while Tatsuhiko is a name I pulled out of an online J-E/E-J dictionary using the kanji for “rapids” and “brilliance” and was inspired by an online friend who had an EVA self insert named ‘Tatchi’.

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