Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction / Transformers Fan Fiction ❯ Death is Never the End ❯ Chapter 5

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

1940 hr, Tokyo Time. Kensuke sat before the console, wearing a RAF uniform, body armor, elevated shoes, a fake mustache, and a computer chip to alter his voice. The boy received the disguise from a RAF officer, who didn't hide his revulsion at the idea that M would enlist someone so young. When he realized that Shiro was serious, Kensuke was terrified; he suppressed this emotion as he used the MAGI supercomputer to hack into the JSSDF mainframe.

"Jesus Christ!" he cried, using an expletive his mother frequently used. According to the records, two MC-2s, transport planes that were modified to air launch ballistic missiles, were specifically ordered to target Evangelion Unit 04 during the last battle. The pilots weren't ordered to launch the missiles, but... 'Why?' He used the passwords Shiro gave him. 'Nothing. The crews of two JSSDF planes were ordered to target a USAF Eva... for no reason! What the hell is this?! A red herring?!' He saved the suspicious files onto a disk.

"Good evening."

"Ahhhh!" Kensuke turned rearwards, unintentionally covering the monitor.

"You too?" asked Misato in English.

Kensuke remembered that he was impersonating a British officer. "Say again?" he asked with an English accent the chip provided.

"Working late?"

"Ah, yes."

"You look familiar. Have we met?"

"Ah, no."

"Let's meet. Coffee or tea?"

Although Kensuke was tempted to take a break, to have a drink with this beautiful woman, he was more interested in what he uncovered. "Ah, no, I'm not thirsty."

"Are you gay?"

Kensuke was advised to act like a homosexual, to make the "American psychos" ignore him. He raised a hand, palm down, as if he expected Misato to kiss it. "Yes."

Misato laughed. "I wish Shiro was like you, Lt,"-- she read the nameplate on Kensuke's uniform-- "Jones," the maiden name of Kensuke's mother. Misato exited the office.

Kensuke sighed in relief as he turned to the monitor. "Shit!" He terminated his session before someone at the JSSDF traced him back to NERV Japan's 2nd branch. 'That was close!' He waited ten minutes before he began another session. The files on the MC-2s had been edited; the crews reported that they'd targeted the Archangel. 'What the hell...? Was I meant to see those files? Is someone conspiring against the JSSDF? Is Shiro?'

Unanswered questions were seeds of the paranoia now planted in Kensuke.


"Can you launch a successful attack on the factory?" asked Osato Kenshin, the Japanese PM.

"It will be difficult," answered the Afghan. "Many of our comrades in ETIM were martyred in the recent crackdowns." The East Turkistan Islamic Movement's goal was to establish a separate Islamic state in China's Xinjiang region. "We've been unable to contact our operatives in that godless land; we cannot tell if this is because they've gone into hiding, or because they've been captured."

"Have you seen NERV's recent battles with the aliens they call, 'Angels'?"

"Yes. Allah has sent his angels to punish the crusaders for opposing his will." The Afghan had assumed the Transformers were also Angels.

"Then you've seen how destructive the Evangelions are. If the Chinese deploy such a weapon in support of the Americans..."

The Afghan was unable to suppress his terror; he needed three seconds to change his expression into one of grim determination. "We won't let them."

Osato shut off his computer and turned to his side. "Do you agree with my course of action?"

The woman lowered today's edition of the 'PLA Daily', revealing a photo of senior government and military officials in front of the Eva with forward-swept wings. Captioned, "President Wu examines the H-8 Flying Sword," the photo showed the Eva was now coated with radar-absorbing material (RAM).

"Yes, Osato-sama," she answered, using a respectful honorific. "An Eva can defend Beijing; an Overtechnology-equipped Eva can defend all of China against our limited arsenal. If they arm the H-8 with nuclear weapons..."

"Which is why Japan must gain her own Eva. Will you help me?"

"Yes, Osato-sama, but I fear it may be too late. According to the article," describing the Eva as the PLAAF's next-generation bomber, "the H-8 prototype made its first flight ten days ago; mass production is likely to begin soon."

"Then we'll capture one of the American Evas." Osato didn't know of any other options. In 2004, the US proposed a resolution restricting Evangelion technology to the UN and permanent members of the Security Council; the resolution was approved in 2005.

"That will compromise NERV's efforts against the Angels."

"The Angels are but stinging bees; while we swat at them, the Chinese and the Americans wait like wolves, ready to devour us."

"I understand, Osato-sama." The woman kneeled, placed her hands upon the floor, and bowed until her head touched her hands. "May I return to the laboratory?"

Osato was pleased to see the woman perform a zarei, a formal, if archaic, gesture of humility. "Yes." He smiled, lust in his eyes as the woman stood up.

"Thank you, Osato-sama." The woman exited his office.

Osato didn't know the OT was acquired through espionage; there was no Sino-American conspiracy to destroy Japan. He didn't know his actions would harm his nation more grievously than such a conspiracy.



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.


Day 20, Wed. 1200 hr. "Yes, it's lunch time!" Toji approached the door, thinking of the sandwiches the cafeteria sold. (He spent the morning sweeping up the broken glass from the windows that shattered when the N² bombs detonated.)

The speakers buzzed. "Suzuhara Toji of Class 2-A, Suzuhara Toji. You are expected in the principal's office immediately."

Toji turned to his best friend. "What the fuck is that about?"

"Did you do something?" asked Kensuke.

Toji shook his head. "No, nothing I can remember." He approached the office, as tense as a bowstring.

Knock, knock! "Come in," ordered the principal.

"Excuse me, I'm Suzuhara Toji."

Misato and Asuka studied the 14-year-old boy. "Good afternoon, Toji-kun," greeted Misato.

"Capt K-K-Katsuragi!"

"He looks like a sports jock," commented Asuka in German. "I hope he's smarter than he looks."

Misato smiled, trying to put the boy at ease. "Don't be afraid." She stood up and extended her hand. "Call me Misato." The boy was frozen in fear. Misato suppressed a sigh, took Toji's hand, and shook it.

"Soryu Asuka Langley," greeted the 2nd Child.

"P-pleased to m-meet you, Misato-han." 'Why's she being so nice to me? Does she want something from me?'

"Are you hungry?" asked Misato. "Let's go to Macrossnald's." She turned to the principal. "Mr. Wada, we'd like some time with the boy."

"Yes, Ma'am." The principal turned to Toji. "Suzuhara-kun, you're excused for the rest of the day."

"Thank you, Sir." 'Something's wrong,' thought Toji.

Misato led Toji to her car and, after a short argument with Asuka, sat him in the front passenger's seat. "How's your sister?" she as she started the engine.

Toji frowned. "She's alive, no thanks to your Evas. Ow!" he cried as Asuka struck the back of his head.

"Show some respect!" demanded Asuka. "We risk our lives every day to save yours!"

"Asuka!" cried Misato.

"Do you think it's easy to forgive his attitude after the Valkyrie attacks?!"

"Do you think it's easy to forgive NERV after Evangelion Unit 01 tore through downtown Tokyo like a chestburster?!" replied Toji.

"Like a what?" asked Asuka.

"The thing that popped out of Sigourney Weaver's boobs in 'Alien'," explained Misato. She frowned when she realized the boy had witnessed the Incident. "What did you see Unit 01 do?"

"Don't you know?" Toji's suspicion was deep enough to drown Misato.

"No, I was in Matsushiro at the time," explained the woman. "Electromagnetic radiation, generated during the Incident, destroyed all records of what happened after Unit 01..." Misato winced, unable to finish the sentence.

"That monster was followed by a big black ball, which destroyed the rest of New Tokyo-3. The monster touched the ball. Boom!" Toji extended his arms as far as he could in the cabin. "The ball disappeared in a flash of light. Unfortunately, only the monster's right hand disappeared with it. The monster just stood up, grew a new hand, and disappeared."

"Sounds like someone directed Unit 01 to do... something... and failed," guessed Misato. "The individual who took control of Unit 01, who caused the Incident, may try again. That's why we need you..."

"To do what? Save the world?" Toji didn't bother to hide his disgust. "You don't know who or what caused the Incident. You don't know how or why it occurred. What can you do to stop that monster?"

Misato stared at Toji, silencing him with the resolution in her eyes. "I'll do everything within my power, however limited it may be."

"Misato, watch out!" warned Asuka.

The car had drifted into the path of incoming traffic. Misato and Toji simultaneously screamed as the woman turned the steering wheel, avoiding a collision. "Oh, there's Macrossnald's," noted Misato, straining to control her breathing. "Let's discuss this over lunch."

"O-okay." Toji was too shaken by the Angel of Death's touch to protest.


1600 hr. "All rise! Bow!" The students bowed to the teacher, suppressing the urge to scream, "Hurry up!" as the man exited the classroom. "Dismissed!"

As Kensuke packed his laptop and his books into his book bag, he heard someone shout his name, and turned to the door. "Toji? What...?"

"We need to talk." Toji ignored the giggling girls as he led his best friend away from school. He scanned the sidewalk to make sure no one was eavesdropping before he asked, "What kind of contacts or connections did Tanaka give you?"

"What do you mean?"

"You've been spying for Tanaka, a.k.a. Lt Bond, right?"

"He's not a lieutenant, he's a pilot officer," corrected Kensuke. (Misato was unfamiliar with British military rank; an Air Force Pilot Officer was the equivalent of an Army 2nd Lieutenant.)

Toji impatiently growled, "Whatever. Anyways, I need you to spy for me."


"I've joined NERV; they promised to transfer my sister to the hospital at the 2nd Japanese branch, the one that serves the Eva pilots."

"You're an Eva...!"

Toji forcefully placed his hand over Kensuke's mouth. "Eva pilots have been targeted for assassination, so you must not let anyone know about this." He saw the shock in Kensuke's eyes. "Anyways, I don't trust the people at NERV, so I need you to warn me about any suspicious people, things, or events."

'Someone's trying to kill the Eva pilots?! Is it the JSSDF? Or is NERV using the threat of assassination to undermine the JSSDF and impose martial law?' "I will," answered Kensuke.



2215 hr, Pacific Time. "What's a Jurai?" asked Holly as she stared at the x-ray.

Shiro wore knowing smile. "What do you think it is?" he playfully asked.

"Pilot Ryoko's home planet," guessed Holly.

'I may as well tell her.' "According to Ryoko, Jurai is a galactic empire and the name of her capital. The Jurai draw energy from special trees, which they used to conquer and to rule 55% of the known galaxy."

'Wasn't this in one of the 'Star Wars' movies?' "Are they a threat to us?"

"Ryoko doesn't know," answered Shiro.

"You keep telling about what Ryoko knows," stated Holly with controlled anger. "Tell me what you know."

Shiro was unaffected by the force of her voice. "I only know what Ryoko knows, and she only knows what her late master told her."

"Sigh." Holly waved her hand. "You're dismissed."

Shiro put on his shirt and tie. "Good night, Doctor." He exited the examination room.

The x-ray was taken one hour ago; it suggested nothing unusual about Shiro's cardiopulmonary system. Holly laid the x-ray over one that was taken four days ago. "Fascinating." Holly estimated that Shiro's heart and lungs each had a 11% increase in volume, his floating ribs each had a three centimeter increase in length, and his liver...

Ring, ring! Holly picked up the phone, which used a secure line. "Dr Goodhead."

"What do you think?" asked Russhon, who had eavesdropped on the interview through the hidden microphones.

"He's either telling the truth, or what he thinks is the truth. Anyways, I want more time..."

"We don't have more time. He's returning to Japan in two days."

"With Unit 04?" Holly interpreted Russhon's silence as an affirmative. "But what if the Valkyries attack us?! Do the damn Japs expect us to fight off those oversized Terminators with sticks, stones, and strong words?!"

"I said the same thing to the Secretary of Defense. He gave a lecture on... It was too full of shit for me to remember the details, but it basically said we're the UN's bitches. Fortunately, I have an ace up my sleeve."

"Good luck. In the meantime, I want to accompany Plt Off Bond to Tokyo."


"I want to study evolution."

The phone was silent as Russhon considered the word's implications. "I expect a detailed report, delivered each day, over a secure line."

"Yes, Sir."


Day 21, Thu. 0729 hr, Tokyo Time. Kensuke watched Toji enter the room. "So what were you issued?"

"What do you mean?"

"What weapon were you issued? A MK23? A M9? A M1911A1?"

Toji sighed. 'I should've expected this.' "I'll get a SIG P229 in .357 SIG, the same weapon the US Secret Service..."

"All rise!" interrupted Hikari. "Bow! Take seat!"

The teacher led a red-haired, blue-eyed girl into the classroom. "Students, this is..."

Asuka wrote her name on the blackboard. "Hello." She turned to the class. "I'm Soryu Asuka Langley."

The teacher hid his anger at Asuka's arrogance. "This is her first visit to Japan. I expect you all to help her understand our glorious culture." He turned to the blackboard, but the girl had taken a seat before she was given permission to do so. "Sigh."

Kensuke noticed that Asuka wore a business suit, like Shiro. 'Is she an Eva pilot? Is she wearing a shoulder holster under her coat? Body armor?' He typed, "Are you the pilot of Evangelion Unit 02?" and sent the message to Asuka's computer.

The girl replied, "What's an Angel Unit?"

"Sigh." Kensuke typed, "Never mind."


1800 hr. "Take a deep breath." Asuka put her hand over Toji's. "Don't panic. Unit 02's control system has been proven; it won't go berserk." 'It won't do what Unit 01 did,' she didn't say.

Toji closed his eyes as the entry plug was inserted into Unit 02. 'Be cool, be cool, be cool...'

The technicians' announcements filled the control booth. "Injecting LCL." "Beginning 1st stage connection."

"Toji-kun," called Misato. "How do you feel?"

"It smells like blood," answered Toji, who was wearing Asuka's helmet.

"Get used to it," ordered Asuka.

"Data received. Verifying. Pattern: green." "Turbines are at military power." "All restraints nominal." "Beginning 2nd stage connection."

Misato turned to Makoto. "How is it?"

"The filter is suppressing the noise in the nerve pulses," which was caused by Asuka's presence. "The harmonics are within tolerable limits."

Misato glanced at the monitor. "A 29 to 30% synch rate." She smiled. "The kid has potential."

"Release the 1st lock bolt!" "Released!" "Release the 2nd lock bolt!" "Remove the 1st and 2nd restraints." "Disengage safety locks one through 15." "Evangelion Unit 02..."

"It's ready for launch," declared Makoto.

Misato nodded. "Asuka-chan, Toji-kun, you may begin the training."

"Okay." Asuka turned away from the booth, towards Toji. "Don't do anything until I tell you to, understand?"


Asuka frowned. "NERV is a military organization. You're expected to know military customs and courtesies. The correct reply is, 'Yes, Ma'am.'"

'Was she born a bitch, or did NERV change her into one?' "Yes... Ma'am."

The frown disappeared. "Now,"-- Asuka put Toji's right hand on the right control stick-- "this controls the right arm, and this,"-- she put his left hand over the center control stick-- "controls the left arm. I want you to push the right control stick and step on the left pedal, which will order the Eva to swing its right arm forward as it steps forward with its left foot."

"Yes, Ma'am." Unit 02 stepped forward.

"Good. Now push the center control stick and step on the right pedal."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Good. Now..."

'I feel funny,' thought Toji, 'like my body's melting. I can't feel myself... I feel someone else. Who's there?' He looked up. The girl was leaning over him, allowing her to see what's in front of the Eva and allowing Toji to see her figure. 'Asuka...'


2030 hr. "Let go," ordered Asuka. She saw Toji's skepticism. "The autopilot will land Unit 02."

"Yes, Ma'am." Toji reluctantly released the right control stick and the throttle. The Eva landed vertically beside the cage. After its armor was cooled down, the pilots exited the cockpit.

Misato approached them. "Good job." She took Toji's hand and shook it. "We'll begin weapons training tomorrow afternoon. I'll get you an early release from school. Get some sleep; you'll need it."

"Yes, Ma'am."

The woman playfully patted Toji's head. "You don't have to be so formal. Just call me Misato-san."

"Yes, Misato-han."

"Come on." Asuka grabbed Toji's left hand and dragged him towards the men's latrine. "Wash up; we can't leave here if we smell like raw hamburger patties." She released her grip, but Toji didn't release his. "Hey...!" The boy pulled her close and brushed her lips with his own. Slap! "What do you think you're doing?!"

Toji's right hand touched his swollen cheek. "I-I'm sorry. I don't know why I did that."

"If you do that again, I'll kill you." Asuka forcefully freed her hand and approached the women's latrine.

Warmth spread from Toji's cheek, to his entire body; a fire had been ignited within him. "Yes, Ma'am." He wore a hundred-mile stare as he approached the shower stalls.


"Mama! Mama! They picked me!" Toji ran towards his mother's room, eager to tell her the news. "I'm now an elite pilot, a guardian angel for all mankind!" That was what the nice people from Gehirn called him. "I'm the best! It's a secret to everybody, but I'll tell you, Mama! Everybody's so nice to me. I'm not lonely anymore. I'm okay, even though Papa left us. Look at me! Me!"

Toji opened the door. His mother hung from the ceiling, a noose around her neck and a smile on her face. A rag doll, with red yawn for hair and blue buttons for eyes, hung beside her.



Day 22, Fri. 0005 hr. Toji tore open the sleeping bag as he sat up. 'What the fuck was that?!' The woman in his dream wasn't his mother; Toji remembered the blood that stained the hospital bed because his mother was hemorrhaging, giving her life in exchange for his newborn sister's. He remembered his father's crying and his grandfather's fierce argument with the doctors.

'Asuka's mother?' The doll's hair and eyes were the same colors as Asuka's. 'Did Asuka's mother go insane? Did she try to commit double suicide?' Toji heard sobbing. (For security, he was placed in Asuka's condo, in the spare bedroom.) He sensed that Asuka needed someone to talk to, and approached the door.

Knock, knock! Toji's hand froze three centimeters away from the doorknob. "Yes?"


The boy opened the door. Although Asuka had wiped away her tears, Toji knew she'd been crying. "Good morning, Ma'am. Um..." He scratched the back of his head, trying to find the right words to say. "Want coffee?"


"Okay, um, let me get some clothes." As he approached the clothes on the table, he heard the door close. "Ma'am...?"

The girl silenced him with a kiss. "Call me Asuka." She pushed Toji onto the sleeping bag and pulled his shirt over his head.

"Okay, Asuka." Toji's obedience was rewarded with another kiss, and another, and another...


1650 hr. "Keep it within an arm's reach at all times," advised Asuka. "It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

"Yes, Asuka." A fully loaded P229 weighed 918.5 grams; Toji felt like he carried 918.5 kg in his shoulder holster. The pistol was a reminder that he must be ready to kill or be killed.

Asuka playfully punched Toji's shoulder. "We're at work. Here, you're supposed to call me Ma'am."

"Yes, Ma'am."

Misato intercepted the couple as they approached the mess hall. "Hi, Asuka. I think you're doing a good job as an instructor, but there's room for improvement. Can I speak with you in private?"

Asuka knew what the woman really wanted to talk about. "Sure." She turned to Toji. "Suzuhara, please go to the mess hall and save a seat for me."

"Yes, Ma'am."

Misato watched Toji enter the mess hall. "Don't you think you're going too fast?"

"What do you mean?" asked Asuka with feigned innocence.

"Due to the terrorist threat, NERV Security is keeping the pilots under 24-hour surveillance." 'The pilots they can do this to, anyways.'

"Ah." A bitter smile appeared on Asuka's face. "Did they enjoy the show?"

Misato frowned. "I'm serious! There's a reason the military has rules and regulations against fraternizing. As Toji's superior officer, you need the guts to order him to his death."

"Does this mean I can't have a heart? That I can't care about the people around me?"


"Do you have a heart? Do you care about me as a human being? Or am I like the Evas, a weapon for you to use?"

The words pierced Misato's heart like a dagger. "I..." She was unable to answer them.

Asuka interpreted the silence as confirmation of her assumption. She walked past Misato without another word.

"Asuka!" Misato followed the girl into the mess hall. "Wait...!" She reached for the girl's shoulder.

Asuka pushed away the hand as she focused on the TV. CNN was showing a video, taken by a security camera in the Matsushiro command center.

"Fuck you!" The video had been carefully edited; Clifton didn't draw his pistol, he simply pointed his index finger at Fuyutsuki's head.

Makoto reached for his pistol. An SP aimed a rifle at Makoto and ordered him to stand down. A UN peacekeeper aimed his rifle at the SP, another SP aimed his rifle at the peacekeeper, and so on.

"Put down your weapons." Fuyutsuki's dialogue had also been edited. "Lt James, I am giving you a direct order."

"I don't answer to you!"

Misato watched herself enter the command center and salute Fuyutsuki. "Sir! Pilot,"-- a beep replaced Bond's name-- "is..." Click! She watched herself turn to the SP. "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!" said a male voice.

"Unit 01A, ready!" added a female voice.

"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!"

Asuka felt the passion in Shiro's voice. 'Does he still... care for me?'

Thermonuclear turbines roared. "Pilot Beep, you're not cleared for takeoff!"

"Yes, you are!" interrupted Clifton.

Misato watched Makoto turn to herself. "What do we do?"

She heard herself say, "Nothing. We can do nothing."

Beep, beep, beep! "Wavelength pattern: blue," noted Makoto. "It's an Angel." A pause. "Wavelength pattern: blue. Another Angel?" Another pause. "You've got to be kidding me!"

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

The video ended. A 50-year-old man with blue-gray eyes, identified as "Sen. James Galore, R-NV", faced the US Defense Secretary. "Mr. Zorin, you've been emphasizing the need to cooperate with the UN throughout your term as Secretary of Defense..."

"A term that'll end very soon," commented someone.

Misato didn't view the rest of the US Senate's interrogation of the Secretary; she was drawn to the rage in Asuka's eyes. "That's not what happened," she weakly whispered.

"Did Commander Fuyutsuki order Unit 04 to stay in Matsushiro and leave Lee-Figueroa Air Force Base undefended?"

"We didn't leave the 2nd US branch undefended," protested Misato. "You..."

"Hypocrite." Asuka walked away from the woman, towards her new boyfriend.

'I do care. You're like a little sister, for whom I'll do anything. That day, I'd have disobeyed the Commander and...' Misato didn't say those words; Asuka wouldn't believe her. The woman could only sit down and bury her head in her arms, covering her tears and muffling her sobs.


'This can't be a coincidence,' thought Kensuke as he read one of the files that Shiro asked him to retrieve.

According to the records, Tanaka Tetsuji was a JSS intelligence officer who was ordered to help Gehirn Intelligence investigate an attempt to hack into MAGI and steal Unit 01's blueprints. Tanaka reported that the hacker attack was launched from New Tokyo-2. He believed the hackers served a foreign intelligence service, possibly the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS), and proposed a plan to entrap the hackers. The day after he delivered this report, he was assassinated; the records didn't state whether or not his plan was implemented.

The photo showed a man with dark eyes, but Kensuke remembered that Papa's eyes were blue-gray, and that he wore tinted contact lens... 'No! These are Shiro's memories, not mine! This is Shiro's father, not mine!' He saved the files onto his disk. 'Who has seen this report?' He read a list. 'Gehirn Intelligence, the JSS, and... the DIH?!" Defense Intelligence Headquarters, a word that shocked Kensuke. 'Impossible! The Japanese Self-Defense Force," which supervised the DIH, "is served by honorable men!" His father served in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) before he joined the United Nations Security Forces (UNSF), and continued to speak glowingly about military service. 'They'd never...!'

Kensuke fell back in his chair, collapsing under the weight of his own suspicion. 'Shiro, do you think the JSDF sent the assassins who killed your parents? Are you plotting to destroy the JSDF and avenge your parents? Did you plant these files to make me believe you?'

Shiro would arrive at 1900 hr. Kensuke was determined to make him answer these questions.


Di da di! "Hush." Asuka raised her cell phone to her ear. "Soryu Asuka Langley."

"Asuka," called Elise.

"Mutter!" The girl gripped the phone like a lifeline. "Are you okay?!" she asked in German.

"I'm fine, Asuka. The doctors found no signs of physical injuries." Psychological injuries were difficult to find. "Asuka dear, I'm concerned about your relationships with the other pilots."

Asuka frowned. "What kind of relationships?"

Elise needed three seconds to find an approach. "Romantic relationships."

"With Ryoko?" she sarcastically asked.

"With Mr. Suzuhara. I think you're making a mistake."

"No, you don't. Father thinks I'm making a mistake, and he's using you to convey the message. Am I right?"

Elise shuddered at the girl's rage. "Asuka, your father only wants you to be happy."

"No, he wants me to be under his control. He thought I was making a mistake when I began dating Shiro..."

Toji gasped. 'She had a relationship with Tanaka?! How can I know this? I don't speak German!'

"... ordered me to break up with him, a decision I made on my own. Now Father wants me to seduce him."

Misato heard the rage in Asuka's voice, and approached their table. "Asuka, what's wrong?"

'That's what I wanna know!' thought Toji.

Asuka ignored the woman. "Well, I'm not his whore! I'm not going to let him violate me, the way you let Prof Engels violate you, you stupid...!" She heard Elise cry. "I'm... sorry. You sound tired. Get some sleep."

"Y-yes. Goodbye, Asuka."

"Goodbye, Mother." Asuka pocketed the phone. "Now, where were we?" she asked Toji.

"W-we w-were talking about German food."

"Ah, yes. German chocolate..."


1900 hr. Misato watched the transport plane land. 'How can I regain Asuka's trust? Recent events have made her as paranoid as Shiro. Like him, Asuka doesn't trust me because I serve NERV, and they don't trust NERV. How...?'


Misato turned rearwards, towards the speaker. Kaji smiled as he approached her. 'He looks so pale, so thin! What did that robot do to him?!' "Kaji! Are you okay?"

"The doctors think I am." He became conscious yesterday. After the medics performed a thorough physical and psychological exam, they reluctantly released Kaji from the hospital. "You now command four Evas and their pilots. You must be proud."

Misato shook her head. "I command nothing. Asuka doesn't trust me. Toji, Unit 02's new reserve pilot, won't trust me because Asuka will warn him about me; they're in love. Shiro doesn't trust me, but he still wants to sleep with me."

"Do you want to sleep with him?"

"No!" protested Misato. "Shiro tried to seduce me! He hid his identity and...!" Shiro looked older than he was; when Misato first met him last year, he hinted that he was one of the foreign military personnel who were stationed at NERV Germany's 1st branch, and invited her to dinner. The woman accepted, not knowing he was the 4th Child until Ritsuko saw them together in the restaurant. (Shiro unsuccessfully tried to seduce the doctor as she examined him that morning.) "I'm not like that!"

Kaji raised his arms in surrender. "Okay, okay! I believe you!" He lowered his arms after Misato calmed down. "Would you like a drink?"

"Later." Misato watched NERV technicians download Unit 04 onto a flatcar, which a train would tow into the Eva cage. Holly, escorted by SPs, approached the door. 'Where's Shiro?' "Good evening, Dr Goodhead. How was your flight?"

"Noisy," answered Holly. "Ryoko had teleported into the plane to say, 'Hi!' to Plt Off Bond. They're still in Unit 04's cockpit."

Kaji watched Holly walk through the door. "Nice legs." He turned to Misato. "Does she have a boyfriend?"

Misato frowned. "Don't even think about it! Dr Goodhead had a relationship with Gen Russhon, although they both became too focused on the Evangelion Project to maintain it."

'So are you,' thought Kaji, remembering the relationship he had with Misato. 'So am I.' "What are you going to do now?"

"My job."

Kaji suppressed a tear as he watched his ex-girlfriend walk through the door.


1920 hr. Misato led Shiro and Ryoko towards the garage. She unsuccessfully tried to ignore Ryoko's purring; it filled her with envy, an emotion she disguised as outrage. Shock replaced envy when she saw Asuka and Toji walking towards them. 'Oh, shit!' Misato tried to think of an excuse to keep Asuka out of sight, afraid that Shiro would react with violence.

"Guten Abend, Shiro, Frau Ryoko."

"Good evening, Milady, Mr. Suzuhara."

'Shit, shit, shit!' "Hello, Asuka, Toji-kun." Misato's phony smile hid her fear; she could sense Shiro's jealousy. 'I hope he remembers that he's an officer and a gentleman, that he can fight for a woman, but not over her.'

Ryoko sensed the same emotion. 'Why is he jealous?! I love him more! I can make him happier!' She hid her own jealousy as she turned to the 2nd Child. "Hi, Asuka! I didn't know you were dating Mr. Suzuhara. Are you happy together?"

"Yes," answered Asuka.

"Hey, Tanaka." Toji hid his fear as he faced the 4th Child. 'Oh, shit! He still loves Asuka, he thinks I've stolen his girl, and he's gonna kill me!' "How are you doing?"

Shiro answered, "Fine," in the chilling tone he'd used to threaten Toji.

"I'm going to take them home," stated Misato. 'I must keep them apart.' "Do you need a ride?" Asuka's condo was across the hall from Misato's.

"No," answered Asuka. "I have a car." 'I don't need you.'

"Great!" Suspicion replaced relief. "How did you get a car?"

"I bought it," answered the girl.

"With what?"

"Cash," which Asuka inherited from Soryu Kyoko Zeppelin-Langley, her biological mother.

"But you need a driver's license to..."

"I have a driver's license."

"A forgery?" Misato interpreted Asuka's silence as an affirmative. She angrily turned to Shiro. "Pilot Bond!" 'Shit!'

Toji had taken four steps backwards, retreating from the killer's cold eyes. Shiro put his hand on the boy's shoulder; he felt Toji's muscles tighten, preparing the boy for battle. "Take care of her; she deserves someone who can make her happy." He sighed, letting his jealous rage dissipate with his breath, as he led Ryoko towards Misato's car.

'Victory!' Ryoko's smile became genuine; Asuka was no longer a romantic rival.

'Thank God!' Misato turned to Asuka. "We'll talk about this tomorrow morning." She had only taken two steps when the lights went out, submerging the garage under darkness. "What the...?"


"... public humiliation!" screamed Maximilian Zorin, the US Defense Secretary, former Chief Executive Officer of Zorin Industries, and Seele 03. The other members allowed Zorin to direct his rage at Fuyutsuki, curious at how NERV's acting commander would defend himself.

"We still have an unedited record of the incident," stated Fuyutsuki. "We can release it to the media..."

"That will only make this a contest of words, and you are not giving this colony a reason to believe you!"

"I..." Suddenly, the lights went out. Zorin's image, projected by the hologram projector in Fuyutsuki's desk, disappeared. Fuyutsuki scanned the interior of his office. 'Strange. Even if the main electrical system failed, the two standby systems should have maintained this line. Were the circuit breakers...?'


1930 hr. Kaji ran towards the fission reactor that powered the base, his NOD hiding the rage in his eyes. 'Fools!' He saw two men exit the reactor control booth, and drew his pistol. "Freeze!"

"Kaji?" The men turned to him. "What are you doing?"

"That's my line, Shimada."

Shimada Hajime's frown was visible through the NOD. "We are doing our job. Are you?"

"There's more to this job than trying to plot the base structure from MAGI's recovery procedures," the reason the reactor was sabotaged and the supercomputer crashed. "What if an Angel attacks Tokyo at this moment?"

"The Angels, or Valkyries, are attacking NERV branches. Tokyo is not their target. In fact, by luring the Angels to Japan, NERV has become a greater threat to our nation."


Shimada shrugged at Kaji's doubt. "That is the Minister's opinion."

Kaji heard approaching voices and footsteps. "I advise you to leave while you can." He holstered his pistol before he ran away.

After Kaji left, the men began walking in the same direction; the NERV uniforms they wore shielded them from suspicion.


Suzuhara Maiko hid beneath her blanket, afraid of the things whose cries haunted the hospital, things she believed were ghosts.


The eight-year-old girl raised the blanket slightly, allowing her to see Toji approach her bed. "Bro!" She threw away the blanket and raised her hand.

Toji held Maiko's hand. "I'm taking you to a safe place."

"Why? What's wrong?"

Toji smiled to comfort Maiko. "Nothing serious." He awkwardly pushed the bed and the IV stand toward the door.

Ryoko glanced at her watch; time was flying. (The watch, an Omega Seamaster, was a gift from Shiro.) "Why don't you just carry her?" she impatiently asked.

"I can't!" cried Toji. "Her spinal cord was injured during the Incident. If I move her the wrong way..."

"Then I'll heal it." Ryoko removed the IV needle and the catheter before placing her hand on Maiko's abdomen.

"Gasp!" Maiko thought her guts were on fire. She involuntarily kicked the air. 'I can feel my legs?!' She tried to stand up; she succeeded. "I can feel my legs! Yay!" She jumped with joy, and was caught by Ryoko.

"Hush!" ordered Ryoko.

Maiko stared at the yellow-eyed girl. "Are you an angel?"

Ryoko frowned. "I'm not a monster."

"Oh. Sorry."

Toji took Maiko from Ryoko's arms. "Let's go."

Ryoko made them intangible, before carrying them to the control booth for the Eva cage.

"Wow!" Maiko turned to Ryoko. "You're amazing, Miss!"

"Call me Ryoko." She smiled, pleasantly surprised that a child would find her amazing instead of terrifying, as children did when she served Kagato.

"Toji!" Asuka embraced her boyfriend.

Maiko stared at the blue-eyed girl. "Are you my brother's girlfriend?" She saw Toji blush. "Bro, I thought you liked Hikari-neechan?" referring to the other girl as an older sister. (Hikari had accompanied Toji when he visited Maiko in the civilian hospital.)

Asuka turned to the girl. "Hello! You must be Toji's sister. I'm Asuka." She extended her arm.

Maiko shook Asuka's hand. "I'm Maiko."

Misato cleared her throat. "Asuka, Toji, board Unit 02. I want you ready to defend the base or, if necessary, to evacuate the Evas."

"I will not run away," declared Asuka.

Toji didn't share Asuka's grim determination. "What about my sister?"

"Don't worry; I won't let her come to harm," promised Misato.

Toji knelt before his sister. "Mai-chan, I want you to stay with Misato-han."


"Don't worry, Mai-chan, " assured Asuka. "I won't let anyone hurt your brother." She took Toji's hand. "Let's go."


SPs flanked Holly as she approached the control center. She noticed that the door didn't automatically open, and knocked on it.

"Who goes there?" asked Misato.

"Holly Goodhead." She heard Misato grunted as the woman turned a wheel to manually open the sliding door.

"Hello," greeted Maiko.

"We still don't know why the reactor shut down," stated Misato. "Where's Shiro?"

"In Unit 04's cockpit. Can you communicate with Units 01A and 02?"

"Yes." Misato raised the field radio's handset.

Holly raised her own radio handset, which she used to communicate with Unit 04. "When will power be..." The lights suddenly came on.

The loudspeakers buzzed. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers," declared a haunting voice. "For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

"Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."

Holly and Misato angrily turned to a security camera. "Identify yourself!"

"I am Iruel, the Angel of Fear," declared the voice. "Tell me, Dr Goodhead, Capt Katsuragi, are you God fearing women?"

"I fear nothing," insisted Holly.

"I fear God," confessed Misato, "but I have no reason to fear a monster like you."

The loudspeakers emitted a pulsed sound, like laughter. "Then I shall give you a reason to fear."

An alarm flooded the control center with red light and blaring sounds. "Control rods are retracting," noted Makoto. "Core temperature is rising." He typed commands to the computer that controlled the reactor; the computer replied with error messages. "The reactor will meltdown in 30 minutes!"

Misato heard Iruel laugh. "Why are you doing this? What do you want?"

"I want..." An alarm with a higher priority replaced the radiation warning. "No!" cried Iruel. "I will not be denied!"

"Wavelength pattern: blue," noted Makoto. "It's an Angel." More alarms appeared on his monitor. "The defenses are engaging the target... Target's AT field is at 99.6%... 99.2%... 98.8%... Target has deployed an energy weapon..." He turned to the loudspeaker. "Iruel..."

"False prophet! I shall cast you into the lake of fire and brimstone!"

Another haunting voice answered Iruel's. "You open your mouth to blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. You..."

Holly unsuccessfully tried to make sense of the argument. "What the hell...?"

"The Angels are accusing each other of being the Antichrist," explained Misato.

"They speak?!" Holly reached for Misato's shoulder. "Why weren't we informed of this?!"

Misato pushed away the hand. 'Hypocrite.' She pressed the "transmit" button on her handset. "Asuka, an Angel is approaching Matsushiro from sector Alpha Five, at a velocity of 70 km/h. I want you to intercept it. Be careful; the computer malfunction has put the defenses out of our control."

"So I may become a blue-on-blue casualty," stated the girl. "What else can go wrong?"

Another warning appeared on the display. "Wavelength pattern: blue," noted Makoto. "Not again!"

Asuka sighed. "I should've known."

Misato released the button, so Asuka couldn't hear her ask, "How much time before the reactor meltdowns?"

"28 minutes, 39 seconds," answered Makoto.

Holly controlled her anger at NERV's secrecy; she had a job to do. She waved at Maiko. "We should evacuate the noncombatant."

"I agree." After a SP carried Maiko out of the control center, Misato pressed the "transmit" button. "Ryoko, I'm going to the reactor control booth. I want you to follow me."

"Yes, Madam."

"Dr Goodhead..."

"We'll take care of Iruel," declared Holly. She watched Misato nod as the NERV officers exited the control center.


1940 hr. Shiro stared at the yellow lines on his helmet visor, which traced the unidentified objects' trajectories. They created pillars of water as they fell into the ocean. "What is it doing?"

"Using its own tissue to attack you," answered Russhon. (Holly was concerned that Iruel may exploit any transmissions between Matsushiro and the Evas, and asked Russhon to communicate with the pilots.) "The first shot hit the Pacific Ocean, way off target. The second shot hit closer." The LCD displayed a map. "The third shot... As you can see, its accuracy is improving. We think it'll eventually use its main body to bomb Tokyo."

"How's Asuka?"

"She's doing fine. Just concentrate on your task," providing air defense.


Unit 02's AT field was powerful enough to block the Angel's energy bolt; it wasn't powerful enough to block 30 bolts. "Ahhhh!" screamed Asuka and Toji as the Eva was blown backwards, overwhelmed by the Angel's firepower. "Bastard!" As Unit 02 reached for the progressive knife, its pilots saw the Angel's knifelike leg stab at its S² engine. "Shit!" The Eva rolled sideways to dodge the attack, before slashing at the leg. The pilots heard Matariel, Angel of Rain, shriek as they tried to stand up. The fact that first blood was theirs didn't comfort Asuka or Toji; Matariel only gave them a split-second to catch their breath before it attacked again.

Misato tried to ignore the loudspeakers as she entered the booth; Iruel was obviously trying to use the pilots' cries to break her will. "Dr Shimada!" The booth was vacant. "Shit!" Misato pointed at the reactor, which illuminated the booth through the observation window. "We must reinsert the control rods. Can your AT field..."

"Light Hawk Wings," corrected Ryoko.

"Can your wings shield you from the radiation?"

Ryoko examined the reactor. "Yes." She became intangible, and flew through the window.

Misato opened the locker that stored a protective suit. The gauge indicated that the suit's integral air tanks were full. After Misato put on a helmet, she heard the radio buzz.

"How do I reinsert the control rods?" asked Ryoko.

"Makoto?" called Misato.

"Just push them!" screamed Makoto, too frantic to remember that Misato was his commanding officer.

"Okay." Ryoko shined like a light bulb as subatomic particles struck her wings. She didn't see the sparks that flew as an electrical cable was severed; she didn't know she was in danger until Iruel's AT field neutralized her wings, allowing the cable to strike like a viper. "Howl!"

"Shit!" Misato exited the control booth, determined to help Ryoko fight off the live wire, despite her own mortality.


"I admire you, Iruel," claimed Holly, who constantly talked to distract the Angel from Makoto and Clifton's efforts to recover control of MAGI. "A colony of microorganisms, each one the size of a bacterium, which, within hours, have evolved into an intelligence circuit, and which continues to evolve in search of the optimum solution to a given problem.

"How did you attain these powers? Where did you come from? Who...?"


"Lt James!" Makoto took off his jacket and used it to drag Clifton out of the service tunnel beneath the MAGI hardware. Although Holly couldn't see the burns through Clifton's uniform, she could smell burnt flesh. "Help!"

The Angel ignored the SPs who rushed to Clifton's side. "I am the Sword of God," insisted the Angel. "Remember this, as I cast you into the lake of fire and brimstone." The monitors seemed to burn as MAGI consumed more power, fueling Iruel's evolution.

Iruel ignored the warnings on the monitor, but Holly didn't. "Tell me, Iruel, where will you get the strength to cast us into the lake?"

"I... Ahhhh!" The monitors flickered; the reactor no longer powered them. "Harlot!" They exploded. Holly to raise her arms, shielding her face from the flying glass. "You shall be utterly burned with...!" Iruel became silent as it starved to death.

Holly thought the control center had become a tomb, cold and dark. 'Thank God, it's not my funeral.'


Ryoko raised her arm off the control rod, to wipe sweat off her brow. "Missy?"

Misato grunted as she tried to untangle herself from the wire web Iruel had used to defend itself. "I'm okay. Go help Asuka and Shiro." She watched Ryoko teleport out of the reactor room. "Sigh. I can imagine the amount of paperwork I'll do afterwards."


Boom! Two AMRAAMs intercepted the "submunition" over the base. Shiro hid his fear as a red light approached him; Sahaquiel, Angel of the Sky, had begun its descent. Unit 04 rose to meet it. Sahaquiel's AT field burned the Eva's palms; the pilot's legs shook as the turbines strained to arrest the Angel's descent. Shiro bit his lower lip, imprisoning an anguished howl within his throat.

Unit 02 slid on its back, between Matariel's legs, beneath its thorax. Rails guided its pistol-- a 203 mm automatic cannon resembling the P229-- from the weapons bay in the Eva's right vambrace, to its hand. Asuka and Toji screamed as they emptied the pistol's 12-round magazine into the Angel's thorax. Acid gushed out of the wounds, eating through the RAM that coated Unit 02's armor, but it not through the Cybertronian alloy that formed the armor. Matariel collapsed onto the Eva, twitching as it died.

"Get off of me!" Asuka grunted as she pushed the Angel off of Unit 02. She gasped when she saw Sahaquiel fall, pushing down Unit 04. "Shiro!" When Asuka tried to move, error messages covered the LCD. 'Thought noise?!'

Toji watched the falling Angel. 'Why does she care about him? He's a killer; he'll only hurt her. Why can't she...?'

Asuka turned rearwards, towards her boyfriend. "Toji, concentrate! If we can't stop that Angel, it'll kill everyone at the base, including Maiko!"

Toji gasped, remembering his sister. His jealousy faded away with the thought noise. Unit 02 flew to Unit 04's side. The pilots shouted, "Come on!" as they fought gravity and the Angel's weight. The Evas looked like stray animals, pushing against a truck's bumper to avoid being run over. "Come on!"

"Victory!" Ryoko flew over Sahaquiel, slashing her sword downwards.

Sahaquiel altered its path, moving away from NERV HQ's ruins; it knew it was at a disadvantage. As Ryoko turned sideways to avoid hurting her friends, Sahaquiel hovered over Matsushiro. Matariel's corpse rose from the ground to be assimilated.

"Shit!" "Damn." Ryoko and the Evas raised their AT fields to counter the Archangel's.

As Makoto handed Misato a canteen, they heard someone sing, "Onward, Christian soldiers! Marching as to war..."

"Who's singing?" asked Misato.

Makoto scanned the control center interior. Holly, Clifton, and the SPs were in no mood for singing. "I don't know."

Misato raised her head, as if she could see through the ceiling. "If the Angels sing the next time they attack, I'd rather die right now."

"Onward, Christian soldiers! Marching as to war,

"With the cross of Jesus..."

The sound waves shook Makoto like a jealous girlfriend's arms. "I concur," he added.


Day 23, Sat. 1000 hr. Kensuke approached the hospital room, where Shiro was kept overnight for observation. "Plt Off Bond," he called.

The bed was vacant. "How may I help you, Sir?" asked the nurse.

"I'm looking for Plt Off Bond."

The nurse became dreamy as she thought of the handsome young officer, an expression that made Kensuke envious. "Plt Off Bond is in the arcade, Sir."

"Thank you."

Shiro was playing 'The Killer', a light gun in each hand. Although his back was to the door, he called, "Good morning, Flying Officer Jones," as Kensuke entered the arcade.

Understanding replaced surprise when Kensuke saw his reflection in the monitor. "Looks fun. Mind if I join you?"

"No." After Kensuke slid Kenneth Jones' credit card across the scanner, Shiro asked, "What have you found?"

"Nothing concrete." Kensuke fired his light guns at the assassins onscreen. "Who do you suspect?"

"Of what?"

"Of killing your parents."

Shiro's expression didn't change. "The records I have list the North Koreans as the primary suspects, the Chinese as the secondary."

"Do you believe them?"

"I have my doubts."

"Why? The Chinese certainly wanted Evangelion technology..."

"The Chinese didn't need Unit 01's blueprints. Unlike NERV Japan and Germany's branches, the China branch is under PLA control; the Chinese already had Unit 02's blueprints. What the Chinese wanted was the Overtechnology..." Shiro saw four men in the doorway, holdings Type 64 7.62 mm submachine guns (SMGs). He drew his MK23 as he turned rearwards, surprising the assassins. (Patients were ordered to surrender their weapons when they checked into a hospital.) "Halt! Put down your weapons!"

Kensuke thought Shiro was talking to the game sprites. "I am invincible! Ha, ha... Hey!" Kensuke shouted when Shiro pushed him away from the machine. He didn't hear the sound-suppressed SMGs, but he heard the bullets strike the machine. He screamed as falling glass bounced off of his glasses.

Click, click! As the first and second assassins paused to reload, Shiro shot the third and fourth. Although the first assassin didn't see his comrades die, he knew what happened; he charged, swinging the empty Type 64 at the pilot's head. "Oomph!" As Shiro doubled over from the blow, the second lunged at Shiro's legs, slamming him onto the floor. The first locked the pilot's arms to his sides, so Shiro couldn't strike back.

"Why don't you be a good boy and die?" asked the first assassin. The pilot answered him by biting his nose. "Ahhhh!" He shifted his weight to lessen the pain, pushing away his comrade. Shiro freed a leg and kicked the second, breaking his nose and knocking him unconscious. The pilot freed an arm and assumed the guard position, locking both legs around the first's torso. They rolled upon the floor, trying to overpower their opponent.

Kensuke watched the second assassin become conscious. They both dived towards the Type 64 a dead assassin had dropped; Kensuke reached it first. "Freeze!" The second put one hand on the gun, one hand on Kensuke's wrist, and tried to wrench the gun from Kensuke's hand. The boy pulled the trigger; he didn't realize he'd killed a man until he'd emptied the magazine. "Jesus Christ!"

Finally, Shiro overpowered his opponent, aiming his MK23 at the assassin's head. "Surrender or die!"

Blood gushed from where the assassin's nose was torn off. He smiled; his face became a death's head. "Banzai!" He pressed a button on his wristwatch, detonating the 4.6 kg bomb he wore beneath his jacket.


1015 hr. "... connected to New Tokyo-2. We must rely on the capital's power grid until the base reactor is repaired," stated Fuyutsuki. "This limits our power use to..."

Misato and Ryoko struggled to stay awake as they listened to their commander. 'I hope Kaji's not busy tonight,' thought Misato. 'I'd like to have a drink with him.' Di da di! "Excuse me, Sir." Misato raised her cell phone to her ear. "Katsuragi Misato."

"Where are Ryoko, Asuka, and Suzuhara?" demanded Shiro.

"Ryoko's with me. Asuka went shopping with Toji..."

"We have a Golden Bullet," the codeword for an attempt to assassinate or kidnap the pilots. Shiro heard Misato gasp.

Ryoko grabbed the phone. "Don't worry, Shiro, I'm on my way." She returned the phone before she teleported.

Misato returned the phone to her ear. "I'll get Asuka and Toji." She turned to her commander. "Sir, we have a Golden Bullet. I'm going with SAR Team One to bring back Pilots Soryu and Suzuhara." She exited Fuyutsuki's office without asking to be dismissed.


Shiro pocketed his cell phone as he stared at the red X where the assassin was. 'What happened?' Although Shiro was straddling the assassin, the blast and the shrapnel didn't injure him. "Fg Off Jones?"

"I pissed in my pants," confessed Kensuke.

Shiro checked the boy for injuries. "I'll have them dry-cleaned."


To be continued...


A helmeted Shiro rides a Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa motorcycle down a road; four ninja on GSX750F Katana motorcycles pursue him. Shiro sees the ninja in his side-view mirror; he smiles and squeezes a trigger on the handlebar to deploy smoke grenade launchers from the Hayabusa fairings.

White smoke envelops Shiro's motorcycle as it approaches an intersection. The ninja drive through the smoke; when it clears, Shiro has disappeared, but a tractor-trailer is driving into the intersection before the ninja.

NINJA: Ahhhh!

They drive past the Hayabusa, now parked in front of a convenience store before the intersection; they crash into the tractor-trailer as Shiro greets the clerk.

SHIRO: A six-pack of Whoopass, please.

Shiro straps the six-pack of Whoopass Cola behind the Hayabusa seat, looks down the road, and sees a MV-1 special operations aircraft. The MV-1 pilots frown at Shiro, who smiles, puts on his helmet, and drives towards the MV-1.

The MV-1 uses its M197 20 mm Gatling gun to shoot at the Hayabusa, which maneuvers to dodge the shells. Shiro's right hand shakes a can of Whoopass; his left thumb presses a button on the clutch to deploy a booster rocket from the Hayabusa rear fender.

The Hayabusa jumps over the MV-1 and rolls upside-down. Shiro drops the can of Whoopass into the intake of the MV-1's left engine; the Hayabusa continues rolling to land on its wheels.

The MV-1 engine explodes.

MV-1 PILOTS: Ahhhh!

The MV-1 crashes. The pilots scramble out of the aircraft before it explodes.

Shiro stops the Hayabusa in the middle of the road. He takes off his helmet, tilts his head back, and empties a can of Whoopass down his throat.


He smiles and holds the can before the camera.

SHIRO: Never fear to intake more than you can handle. Open a can of Whoopass.