Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Evangelion: Third Genesis ❯ Chapter 18

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

Evangelion Third Genesis: Part Seventeen

"How is he?' Misato asked softly, the dark haired woman dressed in her casual clothes and bright red jacket.

The doctor sighed softly, pushing his glasses up. "No change, General Katsuragi," he said respectfully, "he's resting comfortably, but..."

"Thanks," Misato said with a nod, going into the hospital room.

A gentle scent was in the air, something pleasantly floral. The sun shone in through the window, lighting up the hospital room and the figure who lay on the bed. His dark brown hair had grown out a bit, a calm serenity on the boy's face. The soft sound of the heartbeat monitor beeped in the background, the tubes connecting him to nutrient solutions and fluid drips.

"Good morning, Shin-chan," Misato said softly. She grabbed one of the visitor's chairs, bringing it beside the bed and sitting down.

"It's been a hell of a few months, I'm not sure you'd even recognize NERV anymore," Misato said to him conversationally. "And I sure as hell didn't expect to be put into command," she admitted. A soft laugh, "I wonder how you would have reacted to General Misato Katsuragi? We'd probably have shared a good laugh at that."

"Rei and Asuka are back as EVA pilots," Misato leaned forward in her seat. "Asuka's still recovering from her injuries, she's got some scars... but she looks interesting with the eye-patch. Her and Rei are good friends, something I wouldn't have ever expected to see."

"Rei..." Misato paused, wondering how to talk about her. The healthy, child-like and innocent girl, one so intimately connected to the sleeping boy. "Rei's becoming closer to Asuka and the rest of us, as well as developing more as a human being," she said. A wry smile, "I remember how you tried to encourage the first one, I think it would make you happy to see."

"You remember Ritsuko and Maya?" Misato asked him with a chuckle. She continued, "Not only have they moved in together, but they're now our next door neighbors." Leaning back she noted, "I'm just glad there's good sound-proofing in the suites, because from the looks on their faces in the mornings they're making each other very happy."

Misato looked up at the clock, noting it had been nearly a half hour. With a soft sigh she reached out, laying her hand on the sleeping boy's arm. "I wish you'd wake up, Shin-chan," she said softly. She got up out of her chair, "I'll see you again soon."

With that Misato Katsuragi was out the door and gone, glad that there wasn't anyone outside to see her wipe the tears from her eyes. She walked down the hall to the elevator, riding it down to the street before walking over to her little red sports car. It was a defiant gesture against the authority she now commanded, a reminder of who she was.

Though as Ritsuko had tartly reminded her, it could just be her mid-life crisis talking.

With a impish grin Misato got behind the wheel, considering all the jobs awaiting her as she headed to the command center for the new NERV. She had a meeting with Maya and Ritsuko for a progress report on the Unit Alpha, then she was going to try to grab lunch with Rei and Asuka. As commander of NERV she should be keeping a certain amount of distance between herself and her pilots, but she really didn't care.

More vehicles were on the roads of Tokyo-3, stores and shops opening up every day. With the end of the Angels crisis the city was very attractive, and incentive programs were in place to bring people in. Not a defense fortress any longer, but a place for people and families.

'Hopefully no one will regret that,' Misato thought, slowing to a stop so a group of children could cross the street.

The drive back to headquarters was pretty much uneventful, and she parked her car in the underground garage with a smooth style. Misato strode to the elevators, her key-card deactivating the security system and letting her enter. Her celphone was at her ear as she dialed up her secretary.

"Yes?" her secretary said, Himiko's voice gentle. The girl probably should have been a voice actress, not a secretary.

"It's Misato," she said crisply, "is there anything new that has come up?"

"The Secretary General of the UN asked for a teleconference tomorrow," Himiko said, "I assume due to funding requests we put in for Unit Alpha." Softly she continued, "We're continuing to compile alternate pilot candidates, a list should be available soon."

"Thanks," Misato nodded to herself as she continued, "clear the requested time for the meeting with the Secretary General, please."

"All ready done, ma'am," Himiko sounded proud of anticipating her boss.

"I'll be there in a few minutes," Misato smiled as she disconnected. Himiko was a godsend to her, a capable, organized person who was also able to accommodate her employers eccentricities. The only thing that worried Misato was the possibility someone might poach her away. 'Remind me to get her a raise,' she mused.

Misato left the elevator at the right level, walking down the hallway over to her new set of offices. The door opened smoothly to the image of Himiko working at the desk, going over files on the ash gray haired woman's screen while talking to someone on the phone.

"Hey," Asuka pushed herself off the corner of the desk, her orange hair pulled back by a set of shining hair clasps.

"You're here awfully early," Misato took off her red jacket, revealing a tight black T-shirt beneath it. She hung up the jacket on a hook before turning back to ask, "I didn't promise to take you out for breakfast, too?"

"No," Asuka shook her head, "I was wondering about Shinji."

Misato hesitated before turning to Himiko. "Here's your messages," the lady smiled handing the papers to her, "and I'll clear your schedule for a half-hour."

"We shouldn't need that long," Asuka followed Misato into the inner office as she gave Himiko a smile, "but thanks."

"Nothing new to report," Misato sighed as she walked over to her desk. She sat down, "His body's fine, but his mind?" She shrugged.

Asuka walked over to the window, looking out over the city. "Do you think Rei is right?" she finally asked. "Is Shinji really..." she trailed off.

Misato finished the sentence, "Is Shinji's mind contained in the Unit 01 with his mother and/or the original Rei Ayanami?" She sighed again, "No way to know, not unless we can actually get to Unit 01, and that's something we can't do. Yet."

"Yet?" Asuka blinked.

"Space travel is potentially within the capabilities of Unit Alpha," Misato said softly. With a smile, "Maya's already designed the booster units it would need."

Asuka took a nervous breath before saying, "You can guess that I'm interested in volunteering to pull this mission off."

Misato nodded, wondering if she should mention her concerns for the girl. "How are things going with Unit 02?" she had to ask.

Asuka closed her one eye, the black eyepatch she wore soaking up the light. "It isn't always easy," she said softly, "but I think it's getting better."

"Good," Misato flashed her a smile.

There was a soft knock on the door, and a moment later Himiko pushed it open. She carried the tray in, setting it down on top of a clear part of the desk. "Your coffee, ma'am," Himiko smiled, "did you want a cup, Ms. Langley?"

"Ah, no, that's not necessary," Asuka blinked.

"Let me know if you need anything else," Himiko smiled at Misato before leaving.

"I'll talk to Maya and Ritsuko about the Unit Alpha," Misato said, taking a sip of coffee and finding it just the way she liked it. "As soon as we're ready to start testing," she met Asuka's eyes, "we'll put your name on the list."

"Thanks," Asuka gave her a grin.

As Asuka was leaving Misato saw Ritsuko and Maya standing in the outer office, so she waved them on in. "Good morning you two," she smiled.

"You have no idea," Ritsuko smirked, while Maya blushed to the roots of her brown hair.

"Way too much information," Misato shook her head firmly while both women joined in soft laughter. She sat back in her chair, "So how's progress on Unit Alpha?"

"Because of our experience in rebuilding Unit 02 it's going fairly quickly," the still faintly blushing Maya said.

"Factoring in time for unforeseen complications," Ritsuko said, the blonde scientist smiling slightly, "a month to a month and a half."

To be continued...