Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction / Transformers Fan Fiction ❯ Death is Never the End ❯ Chapter 4

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

"A static test of the thermonuclear turbines is scheduled for 0900 hr, Greenwich Mean Time, today," reported Kagato. To an outsider, the youth was apparently sleeping vertically in the glass tube, like the clones within the LCL tank behind him. In fact, Kagato was using the clones to increase his telepathic powers and communicate with his new ally.

"And what of the Cybertronian Eva?" asked Unicron. Her voice was eerie, distorted by the Astral Plane, where she was hiding.

"There has been no sign of it since the cyborg dived into the Atlantic Ocean. I have been monitoring reports from the navies of the various European Union members, as well as the data that has been gathered by their satellites; they reveal nothing."

"Could he have escaped into hyperspace?"

"No; I would have sensed the resulting time-space distortion. I suspect that the cyborg has simply dived deep enough to defeat the humans' sensor technology."

"Then I shall give you the sensor technology you need." Unicron downloaded the blueprints into Kagato's mind, as forcefully as she'd thrust a sword into his heart.

"Ahhhh!" The youth bit his lower lip to suppress the scream; he still took pride in the strength of his mind, and refused to acknowledge that Unicron's was stronger.

"You will build the sensor and install it within Evangelion Unit 05A," which was under construction at Hannover, NERV Germany's 2nd branch. "You will use it to hunt down the Cybertronian Eva, and you will kill it."

"Yes... Master." Kagato wasn't delusional; he knew he needed Unicron's aid, and endured the humiliation of addressing another being as his master. Fortunately, he wouldn't need to endure it much longer. Soon, he'd gain the Ultimate Power, and Unicron would be forced to address him as her master. "And what of Evangelion Unit 04?" he asked, reinforcing his sense of superiority by referring to something Unicron couldn't control.

"I will take care of it." Unicron terminated communications without another word.

'You will fail.' Kagato smiled; the smile disappeared when he directed his mind to a personal problem. "Ryoko..." She wouldn't answer his telepathic summons, and Kagato seethed at the fact that she was now beyond his reach. He first sensed her when she had recovered her gems, then lost her. The Master Key, the Sword of Heaven and Earth, was jamming his control over Ryoko's gems and, through it, his control over Ryoko. Kagato recovered his control over his anger. He'd learn to counter the Master Key's jamming; it wouldn't interfere with his plan, which was advancing at a satisfactory rate.

Yosho had attempted to destroy the Soja, Kagato's ship, and had crashed the clone replication plant's control system. Kagato's old body was destroyed before he could repair the damage; he had to wait 700 Earth years before the system was rebooted, and he could gain a new body. The body was still in puberty, but it was getting stronger. Soon, Kagato would control one of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy, whose power rivaled that of Jurai's Royal Trees. He also had access to the Dead Sea Scrolls; once he deciphered its secrets, he'd have the power to create his own galaxy, his own stars, his own planets...


"Mental contamination is affecting the mnemonic indoctrination phase of clone replication," warned the technician. "Shall I terminate the phase?"

"Not yet. I will enter the plant to observe its effects. Await my orders." Keel exited the control booth and marched down the 100 meters that separated it from the Ark, the alien spaceship that was discovered the day the 2nd Impact occurred. He approached the electromagnetic (EM) cage that contained the Ark, typed his access code into its keypad, and allowed the security system to scan him. Once his identity was confirmed, the system opened a door, whose frame shielded his cybernetic implants from the cage's EM field. Keel entered the door; behind it, he saw a jagged hole in the Ark's side, the reason the Ark had crashed in Hannover 700 years ago. He walked through the hole, past the shattered statues that once flanked the entrance to the bridge, and through the passage that was once hidden behind a pipe organ.

The passage led to the clone replication plant. A glass tube stood in its center, where Nagisa Kaoru, the Fifth Child, was downloading his memory into the clones. "Kaoru," called Lorenz. "Mental contamination is affecting the mnemonic indoctrination."

Kaoru opened his eyes. "I'm... sorry to have worried you... Father." He paused before he used two of the words; Keel assumed it was due to fatigue, the human need to catch one's breath. "I'm fine."

Keel turned to Kaoru's clones, whose skin and muscle tissue had become transparent, exposing their skeleton and internal organs. He knew from experience that the wraithlike appearance was the result of a psychological or neurological problem in the individual whose memories were being downloaded into the clones. "Do not lie to me." Although Keel's visor covered his eyes, Kaoru could sense his disapproving frown.

The boy sighed. "I was... afraid."

"Of what?"

"The Valkyries."

"Do not be concerned. Langley is negotiating with the Americans for access to Overtechnology. Once all of the Evas has been equipped with Overtechnology armor, they will no longer be a threat."

"Thank you... Father." An angelic smile, loving and caring, appeared on Kaoru's face. "I won't let it affect my performance anymore."

The clones became dark red, and then pale gray, as their muscle and skin tissues became opaque. "Excellent." Keel smiled, believing that everything was as it should be, under his control. He turned away from the tube, towards the passage.

Kaoru continued to smile as he watched Keel leave, but the smile had become predatory, bloodthirsty and cruel.



An Evangelion crossover by Sidewinder (, 2003, last revised 2007. Based on Ian Fleming, Kawamori Shoji, Fujishima Kosuke, AIC, Gainax, Hasbro, Marvel, and Takara's works.


Fuyutsuki stared at the LCL tank that once sustained the clones manufactured at NERV HQ. The LCL's color was no longer a lively yellow-orange; it was stained red by the blood of the mutilated corpses within it. The clones no longer had a geisha's classical beauty, like Rei; they no longer projected a childish innocence and purity. They had mutated before they died; some grew demonic horns and fangs, some had a bat's leathery wings, some had swollen stomachs that opened to become a shark's toothy, elongated jaws, some had talons... "God have mercy upon us."

"God has no mercy," said Agent Smith. (The Seele agent didn't give Fuyutsuki his full name, and Fuyutsuki didn't ask for it.) "How else do you explain this?"

"God's punishment for our arrogance, for daring to think we can become gods," answered Fuyutsuki. "What will you do with them?"

"We will recover them for accounting purposes. In the meantime, secure the plant and protect its secrets."

"Why won't you demolish the plant and destroy the clones? We can simply explain the shock wave as a result of Ramiel's attack, a seismic..."

"Chairman Keel specifically ordered us to preserve the plant. I assume he wants to study the clones, to learn what caused this and what we can do to prevent a repeat of this."

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." The line from 'Hamlet', Act One, Scene Five, had haunted Fuyutsuki since he joined NERV.

"Then we shall dream of a new philosophy." Smith waved at the technicians, ordering them to drain the LCL.

"I'm returning to the command center." Fuyutsuki left before Smith could give his permission. He didn't want to stay in the crypt that the plant had become.

No one in the plant had ever seen Unicron. If they had, they'd have been shocked by how closely the clones resembled the Chaos-Bringer.


1900 hr, Pacific Time. The night sky quaked and thundered as a red fighter, the union of a viper and a forward-swept wing aircraft, and gray bomber, the union of a crocodile and a delta-winged aircraft, exited hyperspace. The fighter turned to a stealth probe. "Report," ordered Starscream, hungry for the info it had gathered after Astrotrain placed the probe in orbit ten Earth days ago.

The bomber transformed into a 44-meter-tall robot. He stood guard while Starscream downloaded data from the probe. "Is this wise?" asked Ramjet. "Shockwave..."

A humanoid arm extended from the red fighter to grab Ramjet's throat. "Shockwave is not your commander! I am!" Starscream violently shook his hand, threatening to break Ramjet's neck. "Shockwave is a coward who hides in Cybertron's core, crying, 'We're not ready,' while Unicron and the accursed humans conspire to destroy us all! Shockwave is a fool who chose an Autobot to become a guardian, instead of a Decepticon!" Shockwave had allocated 90% of Cybertron's remaining energy to support his research, and refused to convert more warriors before his research was completed; Starscream had to steal the energy he needed to convert Ramjet and himself. "Shockwave is,"-- 'more qualified to lead us.' He released Ramjet. "Return to your post."

"Cough, cough!" Ramjet caught his "breath." "Yes, Sir."


"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

"Because..." Asuka suppressed a sigh as she read 'The Song of Solomon' to her stepmother.

"Look not upon me, because I am black," 'with loneliness,' "because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept." 'I hate myself because I couldn't protect the people I care about.'

"Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?"

"Good question."

Asuka instinctively jumped out of the chair and threw the Bible at the intruder. As Holly caught it, Asuka drew her SIG P229 .357 SIG semiautomatic pistol.

"Your speed's not bad,"-- Holly lowered the Bible-- "but your situation awareness needs work. If I was an assassin, you'd be dead already."

Asuka returned the P229 to her shoulder holster. "What do you know about assassins?"

"I served in the Air Force before joining DARPA; I've worked with the CIA. We used smart bombs and guided missiles; not pretty, but they're at least as effective as golden bullets."

"Do you know who tried to kill Shiro? Who might be trying to kill me?"

"Not yet. And about your boyfriend..."

"Ex-boyfriend," corrected Asuka.

"Ex-boyfriend. Have you ever noticed him behave strangely? Has he ever heard voices in his head, or seen things that you couldn't see, et cetera?"

"No, but the fact that he gave up his chances with a beautiful and intelligent woman like myself is probably a sign of mental illness."

"I'm not asking if he's psycho, I'm asking if he's psychic."

Asuka frowned with skepticism. "Are you sure you're not psycho yourself?"

"He achieved a 40% synch rate the first time he stepped into Unit 02's cockpit." Asuka needed seven months' training to synchronize with the Eva. "He effortlessly activated Unit 04's S² engine, a feat that was considered unachievable." Asuka was unable to activate Unit 02's S² engine. "He's the only human who's able to use the AT field as a sword, an offensive weapon... and I'm only assuming that he's human."

"What else can he be? A Jedi? A Dark Lord of the Sith?"

"I'd have laughed at that if I hadn't seen the alien weapon you call, 'Evangelion Unit 01A' in action."

Asuka shook her head. "I don't have the answers. Maybe you should ask Yosho."


"Do you know Shiro's grandfather owns a castle in Scotland?"

"Lionheart." Holly had access to the CIA's files on James Bond.

"There's a legend that a knight-errant, named Yosho, imprisoned a demon beneath the castle's old chapel. According to Shiro, Ryoko is the demon." Asuka saw Holly's eyes widen with surprise. "That makes you wonder who Yosho is, doesn't it?"

"Yes." Holly approached the girl. "Please tell me more." 'The legend probably contains some truth, some clues.'

Asuka sat down, grateful for the distraction. "The legend goes like this: about 700 years ago, Shiro's ancestor, Roger I..."



1215 hr, Tokyo Time. A girl with red-brown hair and blue eyes approached Shiro's desk. "Um..." She paused, uncertain of what she should say.

Shiro turned to the girl. "Yes, Miss?"

Kirishima Mana blushed. "Everyone's been talking about you, Tanaka-kun, and I was wondering... is it true?"

"I'm single, but,"-- Shiro stood up and moved his head towards Mana's, as if he was about to kiss her-- "you can change that if you have the heart." He smiled.

Mana was intoxicated by the boy's attention. "No, I,"-- 'wonder what his lips taste like? Will his kiss be sweet, like candy? Or will it be hot and spicy, like a red pepper? Will...' She shook her head to clear away the distracting thoughts. "I want to know if you're the pilot of that robot."

Shiro laughed. "Silly girl, I..." He turned to the door. "Hello, Aunt Missy."

"Shiro-kun! Your grandmother just had a heart attack! We have to go to the hospital!" Misato turned to Mana. "Give this to the teacher!" She grabbed the girl's hand and placed a note in it.

After Misato and Shiro left, Mana exited the classroom. She scanned the hallway to make sure no one was watching her, then growled.

"Tower, this is Iron Maiden, over."

A video of a JSSDF officer was projected onto the lower left corner of Mana's eye. "Iron Maiden, this is Tower, over."

"The Queen of Hearts reported a Heart Attack." She knew what the codeword meant. "She's transporting the Jack of Spades to the Hospital, over."

The officer turned to his side; Mana knew he was contacting another Sea Dragon to confirm the report. "Heart Attack has been confirmed at Blue Two. You are not in danger. Return to class, over."

"Tower, this is Iron Maiden. Returning to class, over."

"Iron Maiden, this is Tower, out."


1225 hr. "Deploy Unit 04!" ordered Clifton.

"Cancel that order," countered Fuyutsuki. "Unit 04 will stay here and defend this base."

"What?!" Clifton looked into Fuyutsuki's eyes; the man was resolute. "Unit 04 belongs to us, to the United States Air Force, and it'll do what it's designed to do: protect America!"

"Any Eva assigned to Matsushiro is under my authority. I am ordering Unit 04 to stay here and defend this base."

"Fuck you!" Clifton drew his M9, disengaged its safety lever, and aimed it at Fuyutsuki's head.

Makoto reached for his pistol. An SP aimed a M8 5.56 mm combat rifle at Makoto and ordered him to stand down. A peacekeeper aimed his G36 at the SP, another SP aimed his M8 at the peacekeeper, and so on. 'Oh my God...'

Fuyutsuki looked past the barrel of Clifton's pistol, into the USAF officer's eyes. "Put down your weapon." The M9 was still aimed at his head. "Lt James, I am giving you a direct order."

"I don't answer to you!" countered Clifton.

Misato entered the command center and saluted Fuyutsuki. "Sir! Pilot Bond is..." Click! She turned to a SP who had aimed his M8 at her. "What the hell are you doing?!"

"The 2nd US branch is being defended by Unit 02," claimed Fuyutsuki.

"All communications with Lee-Fig have been cut off! We don't even know if Unit 02 still exists!"

"Unit 04, ready!" interrupted Shiro, who had entered the cockpit four seconds ago.

"Unit 01A, ready!" added Ryoko.

"Get your ass to Lee-Fig!" ordered Clifton.

"Negative. You must protect Matsushiro," ordered Fuyutsuki. "We can't afford to lose the research facility. The future of the human race depends on it."


"If you won't make up your minds, I will!" declared Shiro.

Fuyutsuki felt the floor shake; Unit 04's turbines had been started. "Pilot Bond, you're not cleared for takeoff!"

"Yes, you are!" interrupted Clifton.

Makoto turned to Misato. "What do we do?"

"Nothing," answered Misato. "We can do nothing." She was frustrated at her inability to resolve the situation. Fortunately, she didn't have to.

Beep, beep, beep! The alarm drew everyone's attention to the tactical display. "Wavelength pattern: blue," noted Makoto. "It's an Angel." Another warning appeared on the display. "Wavelength pattern: blue. Another Angel?" Another warning appeared. "You've got to be kidding me!"

"Shit," cursed Clifton. "We shouldn't have dismantled the nuclear rounds," for the M65 280 mm cannon, which Unit 04's pistols were based on.

"Pilot Bond, launch Unit 04 and destroy the Angels," ordered Misato. "Pilot Ryoko, fly to the 2nd US branch and support Unit 02."

"Don't worry, Shiro," assured Ryoko. "I'll take care of Asuka." She exited Unit 04's cockpit and put her hand on Unit 01's helmet, which disappeared with her.

"What the hell did she do?!" demanded Misato.

"She jumped into hyperspace," deadpanned Shiro. "Now where are they?"


Asuka cautiously looked through the broken window.

"What do you see?" asked Holly.

Smoke, fire, concrete chunks and chips that had been shattered and scattered, and the steel skeletons of the base's buildings. Above the ruins... "Two aircraft are flying towards the A-12 hangar," answered Asuka. "I see purple insignias... don't know whose air force they belong to. They're landing... they've transformed into humanoids, about 40 meters tall. How many Evas can transform into jets?"

"Two, and Unit 04's the only one that should be flying."

"Shit. That dinosaur must've called for reinforcements."

"What are they doing now?"

Boom! "They just blew a hole in the hangar... they're going in..."

"Good." Holly dragged the improvised litter towards the door. "Give me a hand."

Asuka turned to the engineer. "What are you doing?"

"Getting us to safety."

"What about the robots?!"

"Plt Off Bond will take care of them when he gets here."


Click, creak! Holly instinctively drew her own P229 and turned to the door.

"Is that a gun in your hand, or are you happy to see me?" asked Russhon.

Holly returned the P229 to her shoulder holster. "I'm happy to see you. Now what do we do?"

"We get Oblt Langley to Unit Two," answered Russhon. He saw Holly's skepticism. "It still exists because the Valkyries don't know it exists. The money we spent on countermeasures," to hide the test facility where Unit 02 was, "wasn't wasted."

"Let's go!" Asuka grabbed litter poles so she could help Holly carry Elise.

Russhon sensed Asuka's desire for revenge, and put his hand on her forearm. "I'm not putting you in the cockpit to fight the Valkyries, I'm putting you in to evacuate the Eva."


"You're outnumbered and outgunned, and both of you are too valuable to be put on a suicide mission."

Asuka slapped Russhon. "How dare you! Don't you know what that robot did to her?! It raped her mind! And it made me listen to her scream, watch her writhe in pain as she...!" Tears flowed freely down her cheeks. "Can you imagine how that made me feel?!"

"No. Now unless you want to be crushed like a bug, burned into ashes, or blasted into atoms, I advise you to... Gasp!"

"What...?" Asuka turned rearward. An intangible Ryoko had walked through the wall, into the room. "Hello, Ryoko."

"How did you do that?!" asked Russhon.

"I phased into subspace," deadpanned Ryoko. She turned to Asuka. "Come with me if you want to live."

"Where are you taking her?" asked Russhon.

"To Tokyo."

"No, you'll take me to Evangelion Unit 02," demanded Asuka.

Ryoko smirked. "What's it going to do? Spray its blood onto them? Scatter little pieces of itself upon their shiny armor?"

"Respect the Eva!" demanded Asuka. "Respect its OT armor, which gives it the power to crush those Eva-jets!"

"Together, they have a chance," declared Holly.

"Very well. You're now authorized to engage in combat with the Valkyries," said Russhon. He watched Ryoko grab Asuka's hand, make them both intangible, and drag Asuka through the wall. "Can an Eva be modified to... what did she say? Phase into subspace?"

Holly stared at the wall Ryoko had walked through. "I have no idea."


Starscream used his cannons to tunnel towards the main OT research facility; the elevator shaft wasn't wide enough to accommodate him. Ramjet followed closely behind him, guarding his rear.

"Something's not right," whispered Ramjet. "The humans haven't used their most powerful weapons, their guardians. I think we're walking into a trap."

Starscream turned rearwards and aimed a cannon at Ramjet. "Silence! I won't tolerate your defeatist comments any longer!" He turned forwards and continued tunneling. "The humans are simply too cowardly to face us, now that we've demonstrated how powerful we are." His cannons cleared away the remaining rock, revealing the steel that lined the lab interior. "Finally." Starscream carefully reset his cannon to emit the minimum amount of force necessary to cut away the steel, before using it to gain entry to the lab.

Although the equipment were examples of what humans considered to be cutting edge technology, they were downright primitive by Cybertronian standards. This only increased Ramjet's sense of dread; they were medieval, barbaric instruments that altered whatever they were studying, inevitably damaging the subject. He suppressed a terrified scream when he saw the Transformer on the floor.

"Skyfire..." Starscream's new optics were biological, equipped with tear ducts to clean them, and they became wet with grief. "My guardian, my mentor, my lover..." He crawled towards the wreckage and embraced it. Soon, tears rained upon Skyfire's red and white armor.

Ramjet noticed the computer consoles that surrounded the wreckage. He decided to scan their memories, distracting himself from the tragedy. "According to these records, the Transformer had crashed in this planet's north pole 6,000,000 Earth-years ago. That's,"-- he calculated-- "5,475,000 SC. The humans found him, in this condition, 71.17 SC ago. Then they began studying him." He turned to Starscream. "They didn't kill him; they didn't have the technology to do so. Let's go; there's no need for vengeance."

"Have you forgotten Dirge and Thrust?" Starscream gently lowered Skyfire onto the floor. "Don't you see that the humans had raped Skyfire's wreckage, exploited him for the technology they now use to arm their guardians? For this, they'll pay." He blasted the wreckage with a cannon, until the metal ignited, illuminating the lab with a blazing fire. "Rest in peace, my love."

Within the emergency command center, Russhon witnessed the lighting of Valkyrie's funeral pyre. He shut off the monitor that was showing videos the lab's security cameras had taken. "Unit 01A..."

"My name is Ryoko. I am a woman, not a machine."

'Why did Fuyutsuki give the weapon such a bad attitude?' Fuyutsuki told Russhon that Ryoko was "a weapon system, like your Valkyrie, that was left on Earth by an alien race. It has been reactivated and reprogrammed." "Correction, Ryoko, can you seal up the tunnel?"

"Like this?" 600 energy bolts rained down the tunnel. The sound of their impact drowned out Russhon's scream. The lab became a grave, and Ryoko was the one who buried it. "That was easy. I'm going back to Tokyo."

"Not yet." Russhon climbed onto his feet. "We have to confirm that they're out of action."

"They're buried..." Ryoko measured the underground chamber's depth. "400 meters underground. Unless they can move a mountain... Whoa!"

The earth shook violently as a pillar of light emerged from lab's former location. Starscream rose from the volcano he'd formed, molten rock dripping from his LH Sword. Ryoko and Asuka simultaneously cursed, "Shit!" as null rays struck Ryoko's LH Wings and Unit 02's AT field.


1240 hr, Tokyo Time. Flash, flash, flash, flash, flash! As Shiro parried the energy bolts, Gaghiel, Angel of Fish, flew out of Tokyo Bay. "Howl!" Unit 04's arms were bound to its sides as it was trapped between the Angel's jaws. Shiro launched the AMRAAMs, the only weapons he could use. Gaghiel didn't even blink as the missiles detonated upon its armor. Shiro changed tactics and increased the turbines' thrust. Gaghiel's head was violently pushed to its side, followed by the rest of its body. Shiro kicked the Eva's legs towards Gaghiel, pushing the Angel towards the ground. Crash! The jaws opened slightly when they hit the ground, allowing Shiro to free himself. He quickly formed a LH Sword and thrust it deep down the Angel's throat. Gaghiel's S² organ exploded when the sword impaled it.

Boom, rumble, rumble! Shiro heard these sounds through the tactical radio; the base was under attack. "Pilot Bond, stop playing around and stop Target Three!" ordered Misato. Sandalphon, Angel of Embryos, was extending a volcanic tunnel to reach the base.

"Patience, Missy." Shiro smiled. "The night is only six hours away. In the meantime, why don't you chill some champagne?"

Misato growled. "If the Angels don't kill him, I will!"

As Shiro flew towards the base, dozens of energy bolts struck Unit 04's AT field. Israfel, Angel of Music, ran towards him as the Eva spun out of control. By the time Shiro managed to recover control and avoid crashing, his altitude was low enough for the Angel to reach him. "Damn!" Shiro fired three shells at Israfel's head. The Angel raised its AT field to protect its upper body. The fourth shell, aimed at Israfel's unprotected lower body, threw it off its feet. Shiro charged, using his sword to slice the Angel in half. "Is the champagne ready, Missy?" He turned away from the inactive Angel, towards the base. The Eva had only flown 20 meters when a new Angel, formed from one half of Israfel's body, jumped into the sky. Shiro screamed with surprise when it locked its arms around Unit 04's neck and pushed it towards the ground, where another Angel, formed from the other half of Israfel's body, was waiting.


"Move, damn you!" screamed Asuka. She didn't know what was happening outside the cockpit; the LCD could only display warnings, one of which was "STARTER CELL 60%". Starscream's null ray had shut down all of Unit 02's electrical and electronic equipment, with the exception of the life support system, which was powered by the entry plug's internal fuel cell. Asuka pressed the start button again, trying to start the turbines that powered the Eva. The starter motors whirred for five seconds before they were silenced. The cell warning now read, "40%". "Move!" Whirrrr! "20%". "It's not fair." Her tears dissolved in the LCL. "I'm supposed to die in battle, a warrior's death. I can't enter Valhalla if I die like this, like a puppet whose strings have been cut. I'll never see Shiro again if I..." Asuka punched the start button. "Moooove!" Whirrrr! The cell warning read, "1%" as the motors drained it. It read, "5%", and then, "13%", as the turbines recharged it. "Yes!"

The kaleidoscopic light show that accompanied Unit 02's activation resolved into the concrete runway. Asuka raised the Eva's head. 300 meters away, Ryoko and the red robot were dueling. 100 meters away, the gray robot was crawling out of the artificial volcano. It turned its head towards the duelists. Unit 02 and the robot simultaneously stood up and ran toward the duelists.

"Commander!" Ramjet had only taken three steps before the Eva tackled him. "Eat this!" His machine gun cracked Unit 02's mask, but the resulting pain made its pilot more determined to defeat him. Steel fists hammered Ramjet's back, drawing more curses from the seeker. "Shock you!" He started his turbines to free himself, throwing the Eva off his back. Below him, Unit 02 drew its knife from a weapons bay beneath the AMRAAM launcher. As Ramjet circled the Eva and prepared to strafe it, Unit 02 unfolded its wings as it rocketed towards him. Ramjet narrowly avoided the knife blade. "Shock me!"

"Ryoko! Oblt Langley!" Russhon's calls weren't answered.

"That weapon must have projected an EMP," electromagnetic pulse. "That would explain why their radios weren't working," stated Holly.


A pararescue jumper (PJ), a member of the Air Force Special Operations Command who was to rescue the Eva pilots in case of an emergency, raised a radio handset. "Shall I call for close air support?"

"We've lost eight Raptors and five pilots to these things." The four fighters that were flying patrol over the base were the seekers' first targets; the four fighters in the hangars were their second targets. "That's five pilots too many."


"The only weapon powerful enough to destroy the Valkyries will also destroy the base and everything on it."

'Shit.' The PJ lowered the handset. "What can we do?"

Holly put her hands together. "Our Father which art in heaven..."

"What are you doing?" asked the men.

Holly turned to Russhon. "Praying." She saw his skepticism. "Do you have a better idea?"

Russhon remembered that the base's laser and missile defenses, and the armory that once stored the Evas' weapons, had been destroyed. The base's radio antennas were destroyed, the telephone lines were severed, and the field radio that replaced them couldn't be used as a weapon. "No."

The men put their hands together. "Our Father which art in heaven,"-- they said the rest of the Lord's Prayer together-- "Hallowed be thy name..."


Misato watched the one-sided battle between Shiro and the new Angels. Target Two Alpha was holding Unit 04's arms behind its back, and Target Two Bravo was tearing off pieces of the Eva's armor. "This is bad," she deadpanned.

"Ma'am, distance to Target Three is 49 km!" warned Makoto. "48.8 km... 48.6 km..."

"Makoto, what effect will an N² bomb detonation have on that tunnel?"

Makoto turned to her. "Ma'am?!"


Makoto obediently turned to his console. "It'll collapse the tunnel, but the resulting tremor will..."

"That's better than letting the Angel reach the base. Order the Air Force to drop the N² bomb on this coordinate." She pointed to the map on Makoto's monitor, to a point 20 meters behind the Angel.

"Yes, Ma'am!"

Misato pressed the "transmit" button on her headset. "Pilot Bond, we are deploying N² bombs against Target Three. Time to detonation is..." She stared at the map. Two green triangles, UN Air Force Tu-22M6 bombers, were approaching the target coordinate. Each bomber pilot reported that a cruise missile had been launched. "Three seconds. Brace yourself." Shiro answered her with an anguished howl; he could feel Target Two Bravo's claws tear into Unit 04's flesh. "Godspeed." She braced herself against the 20 kilotons of energy the missiles would deliver together.

Boom! The torrent of claws paused as Bravo steadied its feet. Shiro quickly slammed Unit 04's heel against Alpha's knee. When Alpha loosened its grip, he broke free, pushed the Angel in front of Unit 04, and put Alpha in a chokehold. Shiro used Alpha as a shield as he fired a salvo at Bravo. Bravo returned fire, and Shiro felt its bolts penetrate Alpha and hit Unit 04; both of them knew the Angels' ability to regenerate would allow Alpha to survive. When Shiro felt his grip loosen, he kicked his "shield" towards Bravo. As they crashed together, he charged and impaled both Angels' S² organs.

Buzz! "... you okay? Shiro?" called Misato.

Shiro's chest felt tight; he knew that blood was filling his lungs. "I'm fine."

Misato knew Shiro was lying. "Return to base. You will receive a medical evaluation while Unit 04 is being repaired. Don't worry about Target Three, it's been silenced..."

"Target Three has gone active!" warned Makoto. "It's approaching Target One!"

"Shit!" Misato remembered Unit 04's first battle, when Shamshel assimilated Sachiel's corpse to become an Archangel. "What's its ETA?"

"Estimated time of arrival is,"-- the red triangle, Sandalphon, was 210 meters away from the red X, Gaghiel's corpse-- "now." Makoto sounded like a vampire's victim, drained of all will to live, all hope for the future.

A volcano erupted beneath the corpse, swallowing it. Sandalphon attached Gaghiel's head and tail to its body, becoming a cross between a crab and a shark. The earth continued to quake as the Archangel climbed out of the volcano, showering lava upon the trees and burning down the forest.

"Pilot Bond, Targets One and Three have combined! You..." Misato noticed the warning "CODE BLUE" on the monitor; Shiro was having a heart attack. "Shiro!"

"The Archangel is..." interrupted Makoto.

"Send a SAR Team to Unit 04's location! The pilot needs immediate medical...!"

The warning disappeared, reappeared, and disappeared again. "Where... is... the Target?" asked Shiro.

'A computer glitch?' "Are you okay?"

"Why, Missy..." Shiro tried to control his breathing, to sound as if he was in perfect health. "I didn't know you cared."

"The Archangel is..." Misato glanced at the map. "15 km from your nine o'clock position, and approaching at a velocity of 70 km/h."

Clifton reached for Misato's headset. "Ma'am." After Misato handed him the headset, he radioed, "Plt Off Bond, inflate the suit's integral floatation device. It'll provide some protection against the thermal radiation the Archangel is generating."

"Thank you." Shiro inflated the two air bladders that encircled his shoulders, shielding his chest and upper back. Unit 04 focused its AT field into a sword, and turned to the Archangel.

Misato removed her headset before she leaned over Makoto. "Keep the medics on standby," she whispered. "When Pilot Bond has returned, I want him to undergo a cardiopulmonary exam."

"They found no problems last time," noted Makoto.

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence."

Makoto understood. "Yes, Ma'am." He couldn't tell if he was shaking because of the earthquake the Archangel was causing, or because he feared what the exam would reveal.


2125 hr, Pacific Time. Ryoko retreated as she blocked Starscream's attacks, listening to him shriek in anger and hatred. 'Damn, he's noisy!'

'This is taking too long,' thought Starscream. 'I have four more constructs to raze, and at least three more guardians to kill.' "Ramjet! Hurry up and finish the red guardian!"

As Ramjet engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Unit 02, he acknowledged that he wasn't as adept as the guardian's pilot. 'Easier said than done.' "Yes, Command-- Oomph!" His armor cracked; the flesh it protected was bruised and bleeding. Ramjet kicked at Unit 02's head. When the guardian leaned backwards to dodge it, the seeker increased the output of the turbine in his extended leg, blinding Unit 02 and pushing Ramjet a safe distance away.

Unit 02 quickly recovered. Although the pain had enraged Asuka, it didn't blind her to the fact that this was taking too long, that the Eva only had 30 minutes of fuel left. 'Damn, he's persistent. Where's my knight in shining armor? Must I slay this dragon alone?' She glanced at the clock. 'Yes.' She screamed with bitter anger as she charged, imagining Shiro's face upon Ramjet. The seeker gasped with surprise as his weapons failed to stop the Eva, and then with pain as Unit 02 landed blow after blow upon him, as Asuka used him to vent her rage upon the man who abandoned her.

"Die!" Starscream's turbines blazed as he lunged. Ryoko turned sideways to dodge the sword. When the Decepticon Air Commander's forearm passed over her shoulder, Ryoko slashed diagonally from Starscream's right hip to his left shoulder. Shattered pieces of metal rained upon the ground.

"Skyfire..." Starscream's optics dimmed, like a dreamer's eyes, as his sword dissipated. "Don't leave me alone! Take me...!" Both duelists disappeared in a flash of light as Starscream's S² engine exploded.

"Commanderrrr!" Ramjet slammed his forehead against Unit 02's nose, stunning Asuka and allowing himself to escape. A split-second later, Ryoko reappeared before the Eva. She had used the explosion to conceal her teleportation, but because Ramjet was no longer facing Unit 02, Ryoko ended up launching her surprise attack against the Eva.

Ryoko lowered her arm, pointing her sword away from Unit 02. "Get out of my way!" Crash! "You idiot!"

"Get off of me!" shouted Asuka, matching the other girl's anger. "Hey!" Ryoko roughly pushed Unit 02 to her side, before lunging at Ramjet. "Bitch!" Asuka also lunged, determined to kill the seeker herself.

Scattered pieces were all that remained of Starscream. Although Ramjet had detected the girls, he continued to stare at the wreckage. 'I'm the last seeker; all of my comrades are in the Pit,' the netherworld. 'Now I'll join them with a blaze of glory.' He turned to face Asuka and Ryoko. "Decepticons...!" The missiles that detonated in front of the girls interrupted his war cry.

A pteranodon, armed with missile launchers, transformed into a robot and landed before Ramjet. "Decepticon Starscream!" called Swoop.

"He's dead," stated Ramjet.

"Decepticon Ramjet, Shockwave has ordered you to return to Cybertron." Swoop grabbed Ramjet's forearm. Ramjet allowed Swoop to lift him into the sky, away from Starscream's grave.

"Cough, cough, cough!" Ryoko waved her arms to scatter the smoke. "Where is he?" She heard turbines roar, and turned to the sound.

Asuka imitated Ryoko, and saw Swoop and Ramjet escape. Both girls simultaneously shouted, "Cowards!"

15 minutes later, Unit 02 landed and Ryoko changed out of her demon form. Four CV-22 Osprey tiltrotors landed in the base. (They had hovered a safe distance from the battle.) PJs rushed out of the tiltrotors; as one PJ team formed a perimeter around Unit 02, another team secured the emergency command center. Holly ran towards Unit 02, escorted by four PJs. "Oblt Langley!" she screamed, hoping that Unit 02's passive sonar would allow Asuka to hear her. "The base is secure! Exit the cockpit!"

The entry plug extended from Unit 02's neck. After Asuka opened the hatch, a PJ helped her climb down the prone Eva's shoulder. "How's my stepmother?"

"She's fine. We're loading her onto an Osprey; she'll be medevaced to Nellis," the nearest AFB. After Russhon sent PJ team to secure the wreckage, he approached Unit 02. "Any news from Tokyo?" asked Holly.

"While the Valkyries were razing the base, three goddamn Angels attacked Tokyo. I don't think it was a coincidence."

"What?!" Asuka grabbed Russhon's shoulders; she didn't notice him wave at the PJs, ordering them to leave her alone. "What happened?! How's Shiro?!"

"Unit 04 defeated the Angels, but it was severely damaged in the battle. A SAR team is on its way to pick up Plt Off Bond."

Asuka laid against Russhon and cried. 'I'm sorry, Shiro. I didn't know...'

Holly put her hand on Asuka's shoulder. "Don't underestimate him; I'm sure he survived." She turned to Russhon. "Where's Unit 01A?"

"She said she was going to take care of Shiro," answered Russhon. "Then she teleported, warped, or jumped into hyperspace."

"She vanished?"

Russhon nodded. "I'd love to know how she does that."


"Oh my God..." Misato gripped her cross as the MV-1 special operations aircraft approached the Eva. The field had become a chopping block, covered with blood and pieces of skin, muscle, and bone. Unit 04 knelt in the middle of the carnage, crowned with one of the Archangel's heads and draped with its entrails. A pulsing red light, generated by the Eva's S² engine, was visible through its ribcage. Although Misato knew the Evas were cloned from the 1st Angel, she was still disturbed by this sight. "What have you done?" she asked, unaware that she'd spoken aloud.

"I disagreed with something that ate me," deadpanned Shiro. The Eva stood up, shaking off the Archangel's head and entrails.

"Pilot Bond, this area has been declared a biologically contaminated area." Misato, the peacekeepers, and the gunship pilots were wearing protective suits. "After you exit the entry plug, you'll be subject to a medical quarantine and a full body examination. You'll be released once the medics determine that you haven't been infected."

Shiro laughed. "Are you afraid I'll change into an Angel?"

"Just do as I say." Misato watched the entry plug extend.

"Wavelength pattern: blue!" warned Makoto.

"Another Angel?!" Misato instinctively reached for her USP.

Makoto paused. "It's gone." Beep, beep, beep! "Wavelength pattern: blue!" Silence. "What the hell...?" He shook the monitor. The warning disappeared, reappeared, and disappeared again. "Must have been a computer glitch or a sensor malfunction."

'Was it?' As Misato watched the peacekeepers lift the pilot out of Unit 04's cockpit, she thought about Shiro's words.


416 hr, Cybertron Time. "... later, Autobot Swoop arrived," stated Ramjet, finishing his report.

Shockwave didn't move as Ramjet gave his report, or as Grimlock, Slag, and Snarl celebrated Swoop and Sludge's homecoming by roaring. Finally, he proved that he had been paying attention by asking, "I had ordered you to recover examples of our technology, to prevent the humans from capturing it. You have disobeyed me. Do you have an acceptable explanation?"

"What...?" The monitor behind Shockwave played a video, transmitted by a probe. Human soldiers guarded the engineers who examined a severed leg, the thermonuclear turbine that Starscream designed.

Shockwave paused the video. "Do you have an acceptable explanation for your failure?"

The accusation angered Ramjet. "Why don't you ask the Autobot?" he defiantly replied.

"As Swoop's commander, I accept responsibility for his failure to recover Starscream's left thruster; I did not order him to recover examples of our technology. As Starscream's accomplice, you share responsibility for his mistakes."

The statement pierced Ramjet like a needle, deflating his bravado. "I..."

Shockwave silenced him by opening three 50-meter-tall hatches in the laboratory wall. "You will enter the stasis chamber until further notice."

"What?!" Ramjet raised his fists, ready to fight.

"Swoop! Sludge!" called Shockwave. The cyborgs immediately approached his command console. "I am concerned about errors in your accelerated conversions. You will enter the stasis chamber, so I can examine your systems and correct any and all detected errors."

"Yes, Commander!" Swoop and Sludge expressed no fear as the hatches closed, locking them within the chambers.

Ramjet noticed that Grimlock, the warriors' commander, didn't protest the fact that they addressed Shockwave as, "Commander." The violet robot turned to him, expecting obedience. Ramjet knew his physical strength was greater than Shockwave's, that he could crush the violet robot with ease. This fact didn't overcome the fear that Shockwave's cold and calculating aura aroused, or his commanding presence. "Yes... Commander." Ramjet entered the chamber, suppressing his claustrophobia as the hatch closed.

Grimlock and Alpha approached Shockwave. "We have three guardians," stated Grimlock. "They can destroy the Evangelions and defeat the humans."

"They cannot defeat Unicron by themselves." Shockwave studied the data the chambers' sensors had extracted. "As I expected, accelerating the conversion process has caused errors in the cyborgs. Sludge is most severely affected; his nervous system is degenerating, and will fail in 18.2 hr."

"Can you save him?"

"By placing Sludge in stasis, I have halted the nervous degeneration. I am injecting stem cells and repair micromachines into the cyborgs' systems. Sludge will be restored to operational status in 36.9 hr, Swoop in 0.7 hr, Ramjet in 4.3 hr. I will begin upgrading their mission systems once they are repaired; they will remain in stasis until the upgrades are complete."

Grimlock left without another word; he accepted Shockwave's position.

Alpha stared at Shockwave for 10 seconds before he returned to his station. 'Are we doing the right thing?' His monitor displayed Optimus Prime's portrait, reminding him of one of many noble Transformers who gave their lives in Cybertron's defense. 'Do you agree with what we've done, what we're doing, and what we will be doing?'

Prime did nothing to dissipate Alpha's doubt.


2345 hr, Pacific Time. Langley stood behind Asuka, watching the transport plane land at Edwards AFB. "When Shiro sees you, I want you to act..."

"Like a whore?"

Langley frowned at his daughter's defiance. "If necessary. However, my records state that he is..."

"I've studied your records; they're full of shit." Asuka watched 10 SPs rush to the plane, ready to protect Shiro from any act of terrorism that may occur here. "There are only two people in this world who he trusts, people who he'll obey without question. One of them is himself. The other one,"-- she turned to her father, a bitter smile on her face-- "is not you."

A tractor parked behind the plane, ready to download Unit 04. (Like a conventional aircraft, Unit 04 had landing gear, which retracted into the greaves and pauldrons.) Asuka suppressed a sigh as she approached a second plane, which would take her to Matsushiro.

The SPs approached her. "Good evening, Milady." Shiro theatrically took Asuka's hand and kissed it.

Asuka laughed. "Don't you have anything better to do?"

"What could be better than to bask in your beauty?"

Asuka's smile became sad. "We can't just let things be the way they were."

"Why not?"

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a woman, I put away childish things." She gently freed her hand. "Goodbye, Shiro."

No one could see the heartbreak in Shiro's eyes. "Farewell, Milady."

Langley watched the SPs escorted the 4th Child to the hangar. 'There is nothing in this world that is beyond my control. You will not escape me.'


Day 19, Tue. 0500 hr, Tokyo Time. Asuka sighed as she stared at her new alarm clock; jet lag had denied her a night's rest. She gripped the P229 beneath her pillow, put on her shoulder holster, holstered the pistol, and exited her bedroom. 'Coffee or tea?' she asked herself as she approached the kitchen.

"Good morning, Asuka-chan," greeted Ryoko, using the intimate honorific Misato often used with the girl's name.

Asuka suppressed a gasp as she turned rearwards, facing the intruder. "'Asuka-chan'?" Mocking laughter permeated the room. "You're being too intimate. Are you a lesbian? Poor Shiro; you're breaking his heart."

Ryoko frowned. "Shiro warned me to keep my friends close, and my enemies closer."

Asuka stopped smiling. 'Yes, that's something he'd say.' "How close are you keeping me?"

Ryoko took one step forward. "Very close."

"You don't have to; I'm not your enemy."

"Really?" Ryoko's suspicion filled the room, as noxious as a riot control agent.

"Are you thirsty?" Asuka saw no change in Ryoko's expression. "Let's discuss this over some tea." She poured two cups of water. "Why do you love Shiro?"

"I love the way he sees me."

Asuka was surprised. "How does he see you?"

"Shiro sees me as a sentient being, with thoughts and feelings of my own." Ryoko's voice became soft, tenderized by her feelings for the young man. "The Sword of Heaven and Earth took him inside my mind. Shiro knew I was a monster-- he knew why I was a monster. The Sword advised him to enslave me. Shiro refused." She lowered her head, hiding the tear that formed beneath her eyes. "Before I met him, no one... Sniff!" She wiped away the tears. "No one would trust me with such freedom. How can I not love him?"

Asuka thought about her father. 'I envy you.' She sighed as she put a teabag into each cup. "I met Shiro in Berlin, where he was trained as a reserve pilot." She put the cups in the microwave. "I hated him at first, because I thought he'd replace me. At the time, I thought the Evangelion Project was something to live for. Unfortunately, it was the only thing I lived for." She turned to Ryoko as she waited for the water to boil. "My mother worked on the Evangelion Project; she spent more time on the project than she did with me, and I thought she loved her work more than she loved me. After she... died, I felt betrayed and abandoned. In anger, I strove to become better than everyone else, so I wouldn't need anyone else. My role as an Eva pilot was proof of my superiority." Ding! Asuka removed the cups from the microwave. "I don't know why I opened my heart for Shiro," 'or why I'm opening my heart for you,' she didn't say. "I guess I saw him as a kindred spirit. One lump, or two?"

"What?" Ryoko saw Asuka place two sugar cubes in her cup. "Two."



Asuka stirred the tea. "Unfortunately, Shiro never opened his heart for me-- he never trusted me. I couldn't live with someone like that. One night, at dinner, I told him how I felt, how we were better off as friends. He said nothing; he just finished his dinner, paid the bill, and left... as if the time we spent together meant nothing."

'It meant a lot to him,' thought Ryoko. 'But for him to admit this will be revealing a weakness, and he can't afford to do that.' "Do you still have feelings for him?"

She sighed as she drank the tea; Ryoko couldn't tell if it was from the water's temperature, or from wistfulness, a dream of what could have been. 'I do, but...' "I can't. Shiro's changed; he now sees assassins in every shadow, and I don't want to live like that. I don't want to live in fear."

"He doesn't have to be afraid," declared Ryoko. "I'll protect him."

Asuka sadly smiled. "Good luck."


1310 hr, Pacific Time. Shiro wore a peaceful expression as he sat in Unit 04's cockpit, undergoing another synchronization test. Holly stared at the monitors. "Oh my God."

"What have you found?" asked Russhon.

Holly turned to the general. "You know how an engine needs a starter motor to start it?"


"I've found the starter motor for Unit 04's S² engine: it's Shiro's own S² organ."

"What?!" Russhon moved to Holly's side, so he could see the monitors. "How...?"

"Bond's grandfather owns a castle. According to the legend Oblt Langley related to me, the castle was attacked by a demon 700 years ago. A knight named Yosho appeared beneath a shooting star and defeated the demon. Yosho imprisoned the demon beneath the castle chapel, and left after a three-day stay at the castle.

"Langley claims that the alien weapon, Ryoko, is the legendary demon, although she has no evidence to support this claim." The monitor displayed a DNA molecule. "I've analyzed the blood samples we took from the battlefield; Ryoko and the Evas share the genes that allow them to generate AT fields.

"If the legend's true, then Yosho may also an alien, and the source of Bond's powers." Another DNA molecule was displayed beside the first one. "I've compared Bond's DNA to Ryoko's; he has x-factors that may allow him to generate an AT field, although the probability of him doing so is only 3.08%."

"So Bond is part alien." His expression became one of suspicion. "Is there any evidence that Yosho, or another alien, is communicating with Bond?"

"No, Sir. However, if Bond's a telepath..."

"That boy has some explaining to do." Russhon turned on the radio. "Plt Off Bond, the test has been concluded. I'd like to discuss the results with you in my office."

"Why are you out here alone?" asked Shiro in the Jurai language.

Russhon and Holly's fluency in Japanese allowed them to understand the words. "What do you mean, why we're out here alone?" asked Russhon with controlled anger.

Shiro laughed. "When you grow up."

Holly ordered her console to display Shiro's life signs. "He's asleep."


"A royal teardrop?" added Shiro. "This flower shouldn't be used for happy occasions."

"Flowers for happy occasions... Is he gay?" asked Russhon.

Holly sighed, remembering Shiro's constant flirting with every woman at Edwards, including herself. "I wish."

"Plt Off Bond!" called a technician.

"Let him sleep," ordered Holly. "Believe me, you don't want to bother him."

"Yes, Ma'am."


To be continued...


"On the Wings of Angels" by Hayashi Meimi.

He's the boy with the gun barrel eyes, the giant robot pilot who's making girls all over the world swoon with his killer looks. He's James Tanaka, better known as Shiro Bond from 'Death Is Never the End'. Find out what he has to say in our exclusive interview!

Robotech (R): Good morning, Mr. Tanaka.

James Tanaka (J): Please, call me Jet.

R: Jet?

J: My friends know me by this nickname.

R: Okay. Good morning, Jet.

J: Good morning, Miss Hayashi. You look stunning today.

R: Really?

J: (Smiles.)

R: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

J: Certainly. I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. My hobbies include fencing, martial arts, and flight simulators. I especially enjoy meeting beautiful young women like you.

R: Thanks. Does the "Death" miniseries mark your first appearance onscreen?

J: No, but it's the first time I've garnered such attention. I was in some commercials, including one for the 'Beast Wars' toy line, which caught the director's attention when he was looking for a male lead.

R: What's it like to work with stars like Orikasa Ai, Mitsuishi Kotono, and the legendary Sean Connery?

J: Great. I'm grateful for their advice on the many facets of acting, especially Sir Sean, who's been helping me on stunt work.

R: Stunt work?

J: In my opinion, the most difficult aspect of my role. Mocap, motion capture, is especially demanding. When the script calls for air combat, we actors must put on skintight suits and allow the animators to suspend us from the ceiling-- we must be puppets and allow them to pull our strings.

R: That's...

J: Meg says it's perverted.

R: Meg?

J: The lovely Hayashibara Megumi, who has a giant role in the next four episodes. Please applaud whenever you see the Evas move-- it's the product of up to ten continuous hours of hard work.

R: I will. What inspired your portrayal of Shiro Bond?

J: Sir Sean's portrayal of James Bond 007. Chow Yun-Fat's portrayal of Mark Lee in 'A Better Tomorrow', and Brigitte Lin's portrayal of East the Invincible in 'Swordsman II', were also major influences.

R: Brigitte Lin?

J: Lesbians know the secret to gaining a woman's favor, knowledge that all men need.

R: Gotcha. What's the best part about being in "Death"?

J: The gifts Hasbro sends to the cast. (Displays a 35-centimeter-tall Transformer with a lion's head for a left hand.) This is Shiro's nemesis, who he'll fight in the finale.

R: It's so cool! I want one!

J: Don't play too roughly. Its worth €50 now-- it'll be worth €400 in 2015.

R: Thanks for the tip. What are your long-term goals?

J: I intend to join the Royal Air Force and become a fighter pilot. I flew in a Eurofighter Typhoon as part of the military training I was given to prepare me for this role. Words alone cannot describe the freedom, the power one feels in the air.

R: You mean you'll stop acting when you turn 18?

J: Yes. Don't be sad, the girls will have another pretty face to worship by then.

R: Before that happens, can you answer our readers' most pressing question: how will 'Death' resolve the love triangle between Shiro, Ryoko, and Asuka? Who'll you choose?

J: Why not both?

R: Are you serious?

J: (Laughs.)

From 'Robotech: the Giant Robot Magazine' issue 162, July 2004. Reprinted with permission.