Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction ❯ Evangelion: Third Genesis ❯ Chapter 26

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

Evangelion Third Genesis: Part Twenty-Five
The EVA Unit-00 moved hesitantly, the giant purple figure slipping from it's restraints to take one step, then another. The single eye gazed about intently as it moved through the underground chamber, jerky motions eventually being smoothed out.
"Incredible," Yui Ikari murmured, the young boy's body she wore dressed in a NERV uniform and a borrowed labcoat. Brown hair fell into bemused eyes as she watched the EVA move, standing there slightly apart from the others.
Maya focused on her job, ignoring their guest for now as the black haired young woman crisply asked Rei, "How does it feel, Rei?"
Rei's red eyed gaze was calm as she looked out at them, "So far everything feels fine."
Misato sat on a higher lever, Ritsuko at her side as they watched the latest in a series of reactivation tests for Unit-00. "So what else did Prof. Fuyutsuki say?" Misato asked, the red jacket she wore suiting her black hair.
"If Shinji is operating under a delusion," Ritsuko said wryly, "it's a remarkably consistent one." She pushed blonde hair back from her face, "According to the Professor, Yui Ikari knows all the details of her school years, along with information that Shinji would have a very hard time getting."
Misato had her hands folded under her chin in a very familiar looking gesture as she murmured, "Remarkable."
"Hmm," Ritsuko agreed.
Yui had moved forward slightly, studying the controls in front of Maya curiously. There was a look of exited interest on that normally impassive face, eyes twinkling, and softly talking to Maya. The smile was probably the oddest thing, a warm, gentle look that seemed entirely different from the sort of expressions Shinji would have.
"I'm still surprised that Yui couldn't even move the Unit-02," Misato said thoughtfully, "since Shinji had used it before."
"The synch rates were completely different," Ritsuko sighed softly, "I can almost believe that there really is someone different inside that head."
"And what do the Magi say?" Misato questioned.
"It's possible for the body switch to have happened," Ritsuko answered, "but Mom calculates the odds as extremely remote."
"Mom?!" Misato raised her eyebrows and Ritsuko blushed.
Standing not far away Asuka watched, a slight frown on her face. 'Guess she's still a little concerned for Rei,' Misato mused, 'she hasn't been in her EVA for awhile.' Once Rei completed her practice run she backed into the cage, the entry plug sliding free to release the young woman.
Asuka reached out, helping the still damp Rei step out onto the catwalk. "Thank you," she squeezed Asuka's hand warmly, a gentle smile on her face.
"You're welcome," Asuka blushed faintly as they began walking.
"It feels different than being in the simulators," Rei noted softly once they reached the lift, "not actually bad, but... different."
"I know what you mean," Asuka agreed, pointedly not mentioning the occasional panic attacks she still had inside her own EVA. Thankfully continuing to pilot Unit-02 seemed to help, the frequency of attacks slowly decreasing.
"So what do you think of Ikari-san?" Rei asked once they emerged from the elevator and went out into a hallway.
"Odd," Asuka made a face, "I keep expecting to hear her say something more Shinji-like and then she doesn't. Not to mention how smart she seems to be."
"True," Rei admitted.
Maya smiled as Rei and Asuka entered, Misato, Ritsuko and Yui standing nearby. "Both of your synch ratios are steadily improving," she revealed, "good work."
"I think Rei is ready for field work again," Misato agreed, "it's nice to know if there's an emergency we have two pilots."
Yui had the oddest look on her face, her black hair falling to the base of her neck. "I thought that the Angels had been defeated," she frowned.
"It's not quite that simple," Ritsuko said wryly. Choosing to keep things as general as possible she said, "The United Nations has designated NERV to be the first line of defense against a possible alien invasion."
"And boy were we thrilled to hear that," Asuka said impishly, just ignoring the scolding look that Rei gave her.
"I was wondering if I could speak to you privately?" Yui asked Misato quietly.
With a nod the two of them left, the much taller Misato leading Yui out. "I don't envy Misato having to deal with her," Maya softly said what everyone was thinking.
Misato looked at Yui as they walked to a small meeting room, one set aside for conferences relating to NERV activities. A woman in a young man's body, the personality boldly changing expression and stance into something almost entirely different. Waving Yui to a seat she took the seat at the head of the table, a unconscious position of authority. "How can I help you?" Misato asked crisply, looking into those oddly familiar eyes.
Yui ran a hand through black hair, her expression tired. "From what Ritsuko and I can tell my condition isn't going to be easily curable," she said, "so while we're working on it I'd like to offer my assistance to NERV."
Misato smiled wryly, "And normally I'd leap at the offer."
"But?" Yui raised an eyebrow in a very un-Shinji like gesture.
"I have to be certain of your mental state before I can bring you into NERV," Misato said frankly, "or show you confidential materials."
"You still think I'm operating under a delusion," Yui looked angry, "despite what Prof. Fuyutsuki has said...."
Misato held up a hand to stop her, "I hold Prof. Fuyutsuki in the highest regard, but he is not a psychologist." She took a deep breath, "There's an outside expert we've called on before, one who has the needed clearance to interview you. Once she checks you out, you'll be free to go to work."
Yui didn't look very happy with the idea, but she nodded before asking, "So who is this expert I'll be seeing."
"Ami Mizuno," Misato said, "she'll be here tomorrow to interview you."
"That was fast," Yui blinked, "I've been awake less than a day."
"Once I sketched in the situation she was eager to see you,: Misato answered. She added, "She interviewed Rei and talked to Asuka, both of whom only say good things about her."
"Asuka, yes," Yui looked oddly guilty as she asked, "Those scars she has, the eyepatch, those came from piloting the EVA?"
Misato felt a moment of vertigo, realizing that in a way she was sitting in front of one of the original creators of Evangelion, one who apparently felt responsible for how it was used, She debated lying to her but Misato decided against it, "Yes, injuries that she suffered which were compounded by feedback through the EVA."
Yui winced visibly as she confessed, "I never thought that would happen."
"Once you're cleared for work we could use your help with the problem," Misato said, "of developing a shield to protect a pilot from similar effects." Mentally she added, 'Not to mention helping with the Archangel.'
"I'd be honored to help," Yui said firmly. She hesitated a moment, "I'm not comfortable staying in the hospital, is it possible I could have a suite assigned/"
Misato really wasn't sure this was a good idea but she forged on, "Actually, I have a spare bedroom at my place you could use." She hesitated, "It used to be Shinji's, however."
Yui thought about that a moment. "If you wouldn't mind?"
Misato shrugged, "You're welcome to join the crowd."
"Crowd?" Yui looked confused.
'She really doesn't seem to know anything Shinji would,' Misato thought. "My other spare room has Rei and Asuka in it," she said, "oh, and there's a penguin."
"Your home sounds like a very interesting place," Yui said diplomatically.
Misato just laughed, "Wait until you meet the neighbors."
To be continued....