Obligatory comments, as per fanfic regulations:
This is my first ever attempt at an Evangelion fic, so do *not* go easy on me. I want flames, insults, questions regarding my parentage, etc.
Warning, warning, warning. I am breaking my own rules on this one. While I like to think that I'm fairly knowledgeable about Sailor Moon, I realize that I have seen exactly 4 episodes of NGE, and the rest of what I know comes from fanfics and FAQs. With that in mind, I'm going to give continuity a break. I don't know *exactly* how things proceeded in the original story, and I don't care, because I'm ignoring it. Purists may howl at this. I don't blame them.
Sailor Moon characters belong to Naoko Takeuchi, Toei, Kodansha, the works. Evangelion characters belong to Gainax, Anno Hideki, and others. Pretty much everything in here is used without permission, but I'd rather not be sued as I'm in enough debt as it is.
There, that should be enough preamble. Let's begin, shall we?
For Unto Us a Child is Born
A Sailor Moon / Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic
by LeVar Bouyer
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a daughter is given."
Soryu Asuka Langley walked moodily down the street. Just her luck, she thought, to be saddled with a bunch of amateurs. She'd shown them how to take care of an angel on the way over, and they still doted on that idiot Shinji.
She was rather wrapped up in these matters, and didn't notice when she came to a curb. Unprepared for the sudden change in ground level, she stumbled and flailed wildly to maintain her balance. She managed to do so, and stared for a moment at the spot her head had been about to hit.
"Phew, that was lucky."
If she hadn't spent so much time congratulating herself, she probably would have noticed the large supply truck that was bearing down on her. But she didn't. Such, as they say, is life.
"It's been confirmed," said Fuyutsuki grimly. "The Second Child has been killed in an automobile accident. She was rushed to our medical facilities, but it was too late."
"I see," said Gendou pensively, looking at a random spot on the ceiling of his office. "Her remains?"
"Taken care of."
"Who has been informed?"
"Not too many, I think. We managed to keep things relatively under wraps. Only a few know, but they'll keep quiet."
"Ah." There was a pause. "You realize, Fuyutsuki, that we have to have a pilot for Unit-02."
"But who? The Fourth is still unknown."
"We will have to find one."
"Okay now, just relax. The fluid now surrounding you is oxygenated. It'll take some getting used to, but you'll be fine."
The girl in the plug scowled. "Yeah, I can get used to drowning real fast," she snorted, but she obediently took in a gulp of the LCL. It had an odd taste to it that she could never place. Not wholly unpleasant, but hardly tasty, either.
"Good, you're doing fine," encouraged Ritsuko Akagi, looking at a monitor and reading the girl's life signs. Everything about this girl stunk to high heaven, frankly. There was no way she could be an adequate replacement for Asuka. But all the reports said she was good. That didn't mean she couldn't worry, though....
Then an entire bank of lights turned green, and she breathed a sigh of relief. The plug was now completely filled with LCL, and the girl was breathing normally.
Behind Ritsuko, Gendou Ikari watched as well. "She seems to be adapting well," said the commander softly.
"Hai. She'll probably be ready to make her first trial in the Eva by next week." She paused. "Are you still going to use Eva-02?"
"That is the plan."
"Hm." She punched another button, and on the console before her a closed-circuit TV picture of Eva-02's holding bay appeared. The enigmatic machine stood silent, supported by braces.
They both watched the screen silently. "She's only fourteen."
Both knew the answer to that statement.
The girl stood in the shower, trying to rinse the LCL from her long ponytails. They reached all the way down to her knees, and met her head in a curious junction that wasn't described easily. It had taken a lot of arguing for her to keep her hair that way when she entered the plug, but now, as she tried to get the stuff out of her hair, she had to admit that perhaps the techs had had a point.
She never heard the footsteps approaching. "Tsukino-san."
"Call me Usagi, please." She turned around and saw her. The blue haired girl...Rei, wasn't it? The one with about as much personality as a wristwatch?
She stood in her school uniform, unheeding of Usagi's nudity. "Usagi-san...you are to pilot Evangelion Unit Oh-Two." Rei then turned and left, leaving Usagi standing shocked.
"Um, congratulations, I guess." She continued to shower, towel off, and dress, all in silence. It took a bit of work to do up her odango without the usual hair implements, but she managed.
Coming out of the locker room and turning a corner, Usagi ran into a boy. Literally: they met forehead to forehead, sending both reeling back.
Usagi rocked back, clutching her forehead. The other boy did the same.
"Uh, gomen nasai...Tsukino-san?"
Usagi sighed. "Call me Usagi."
"Bunny?" Shinji Ikari had had enough trouble dealing with the death of Asuka; meeting a bunny child was leading to more confusion.
Usagi groaned. "No, Usagi. Look, I didn't pick my name, okay?" Is this what being the new girl in town is going to be like? she asked herself. It wasn't as if she'd asked to join NERV, after all. Given how anti-military her mother had been, if she had still been alive Usagi would probably be safe somewhere else.
Then again, that was the point, wasn't it? As long as the angels were around, there was no safe place, not anywhere on the world. It was up to the Evas to defend Earth, and she was now apparently an Eva pilot, through whatever crazy system they'd come up with to pick them. Sometimes she wished she were queen, just to tell them how things should be run....
"Gomen," said Shinji, breaking in on Usagi's thoughts. "Well, I should be going," he said by way of apology, "I have some tests to perform in my Eva, and...."
"Oh, of course," said Usagi, stepping out of the boy's way. "Ja," she said, waving and going on her way. As Shinji walked by, however, he couldn't help but notice her eyes. Just like Ayanami Rei's, they were a shade of red...but he had to admit that they looked sort of cute with her pink hair.
Usagi lay slouched in a couch in a waiting room in the most well- defended and technologically advanced rabbit warren the world had ever known. She was idly flipping through a manga put out by Kodansha, called Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. She had to admit that the title character looked a lot like her mother...or at least her memories of her mother. Her mother had died in childbirth, nine months after the Second Impact, when the world was still picking up the pieces.
She put down the manga. While Sailor Moon was entertaining, she had other things to attend to, like the NERV employees' manual. It definitely wasn't light reading, but with another hour to wait until Major Katsuragi got off, there wasn't much else to do. She read it aloud.
"'Section 4: Appearance and Conduct. All NERV personnel shall at all times present themselves in a professional and dignified manner. NERV uniforms are to be considered required at all times unless otherwise ordered.
"'Subsection i: Evangelion pilots are considered exempt from this section under general order 1-146-18-B.
"'Subsection ii: Uniform. The uniform shirt will be tucked into the uniform pants at all times...' kami-sama, can this be any more boring?" She tossed the manual on the floor, where it landed with a satisfying thud. "I hate studying," she whined.
She looked up at the clock. The hands read six hours and forty- five minutes. Another fifteen minutes to wait until Katsuragi showed up.
She got up and looked at the books that lined the walls. Most of them were rather technical: Jane's Fighting Ships, a few bound volumes of psychiatric journals...actually, there were a lot of journals, about everything from nanotechnology to artificial intelligence to theology to extraterrestrial life to...theology? She walked back. Yes, an entire section of the bookshelf devoted entirely to treatises of Christianity and Judaism. Not a scrap of Shinto or Buddhism...except there, a tiny volume of a comparative studies textbook that had probably been snuck in by someone who had close ties to Shinto.
-her eyes flashed violet as her long black hair blew in the wind-
Usagi blinked. "Nani?" she asked softly. But there was no-one else in the room. It had seemed so real...but what had it been? Where? Calm down Usagi, she thought, you're just getting jitters. Just because you will be getting into a giant biomechanical robot which is the last hope of humanity is no reason to be nervous, ne?
She decided to sit down. Very comfy chair. Almost as comfy as the one back in-
"KONBANWA! Anou...did I frighten you?"
Usagi looked up from behind the couch, which she had leapt behind. "No," said the pink haired girl acidly, "not at all," knotting her eyebrows together.
"Oh, good," said the woman who had just walked in. She wore a rather tight uniform with a bright red jacket thrown on top. Her hair seemed to be very close to purple, and she looked like the type of woman who liked to have fun. She also seemed to be the type of woman with a deranged sense of fun.
"Hi! I'm Misato Katsuragi, and you're...Usagi Tsukino, ne?"
"Um, hai," said Usagi reluctantly.
"Oi, oi, lighten up! We're going to have fun, okay?"
Usagi gave Misato a look much like one would give an overenthused camp director (or, rather, a camp director). The kind of look that said "Look, I don't want to be here in the first place, so take your cheery crap somewhere else." Misato either knew that look and chose to ignore it, or genuinely didn't know it and plowed right ahead. With Misato, it was often hard to tell which was which.
-brandishing the crystal, her clumsy personality being cast aside-
"Hm? What's wrong?" Misato bent down in front of Usagi, giving the pink-haired girl a view that most men would have given a large sum of their weekly paycheck for, but which Usagi merely glanced over.
"Nothing much," said Usagi. And it wasn't anything, really, she told herself. Two brief flashes of...something...wasn't anything to be concerned about at all, was it? "I suppose you're taking me to a place where I can sleep? It's been a long day, you know."
Behind the shining eyes, Misato frowned slightly. A long day, huh? she thought. My dear second child, you haven't known the meaning of a long day until you've stayed here awhile. Asuka never had a chance to learn that. "Is that so? Well, we'll have to get you to my apartment right away, won't we?"
"Your apartment?" Surely Usagi was old enough to survive on her own, wasn't she?
"Hai! You'll be with Shinji and I. Oh, and Pen-pen, too."
After a few minutes, Usagi was forced to admit that the Katsuragi household was perhaps the strangest place she had ever visited. And given that she had been at NERV for the past several hours, that was quite a trick.
For one thing, she had never known anyone to have a need for so much alcohol. It seemed like one side of her refrigerator was completely occupied with cans of beer. The other side, she'd found, was apparently occupied by a penguin.
"So this is Pen-pen, ne?"
"Hai," said Shinji in a resigned tone. The two sat at the kitchen table, killing time until dinner, such as it was, was served. Then again, thought Usagi, have I ever heard him use anything other than a resigned tone? "Oh, I guess we'll have to work out another arrangement for the chores, won't we?"
"Oh, you have to have done chores before!" interjected Katsuragi, bouncing into the room in a tank-top and shorts.
"Not really. You see, back at-"
"Never mind, never mind. We'll get to that. First," she said, heading for the refrigerator, "we get you settled in. And then," she added, pulling out a beer, "it's liquid refreshment time!"
Usagi facefaulted. This would be an interesting dinner.
School. This one was different from her last one, a bit south of Tokyo-3. It had been decided that Usagi should go to the same school and class as Shinji and Rei did. And so she sat in class 2-A, pointedly ignoring the glances thrown her way by some of the males in the class. She was rather used to them. After all, it wasn't easy being as cute as she was.
Across the room, Touji and Kensuke watched the newcomer sit next to Shinji and Rei. "Ne, you know what that means," said Kensuke. He gestured at the group. "Another pilot."
"That makes what, three?" asked Touji.
"Hai. And this one's sort of cute, you know?"
"She has red eyes like Rei does. Not that I'm complaining," Touji added.
"Hai, hai. You think everyone's cute, don't you?"
A few desks away, Usagi was chatting with her fellow pilots. Or rather, trying to. Rei was being her usual taciturn self, and Shinji didn't know nearly enough about the latest anime and manga that Usagi liked. So it came down to Usagi talking to a wall and an echo chamber. Not her idea of fun.
All things considered, it was probably for the best when three cellular phones rang simultaneously.
Misato walked into the control room briskly, still shaking off last night's sleep (and boozing). "Angels make a crummy breakfast," she muttered to herself. Then she forced herself into a professional manner. "What do we have this morning?"
"Appeared out of nowhere, sir," said one of the techs.
"They always do," she muttered.
The tech hadn't heard her. "Coming from the northwest...we have visual confirm. Putting it up now."
Gendou entered in as the image appeared. He looked up at the screen. Yep, something that looked like an object from a child's demented coloring book. It had to be an angel, even if the MAGI hadn't agreed upon it. Its destination was rather clear: the Geo-Front.
For a moment the two watched as the taller skyscrapers of Tokyo-3 retracted into the ground.
"Target is designated the seventh angel, named Israfel. Are the Children ready?"
"On their way," said Misato tightly. "You aren't sending Usagi out, are you?"
"We didn't give her Unit Two to use as a playtoy."
"Hai." There was no getting around it; they'd sent out Shinji with far less training than Usagi had now.
Usagi fought to keep her heart rate steady. Her hands fumbled several times as she pulled the zipper on the plugsuit, which hung around her in its baggy state. Rei carried on mechanically with taking off her uniform and putting on the suit, almost as if changing to take a swim.
"Aren't...aren't you nervous?"
Rei looked up at the pink-haired child in the white and pink plugsuit. "No."
Usagi stood silently and watched as Rei finished changing. "I see. Nothing fazes you a lot, does it?"
Rei didn't answer.
Once more down the hallway, once more through the gantry, once more into the plug. Once more she felt the LCL fill the plug, oozing up from her feet to her head. Once more she fought the fear of drowning, breathed in the gulp of warm liquid, marveled at the fact that she didn't die. Once more she felt the neural connection, and once again she felt herself become part of the entity known as Evangelion Unit Zero-Two.
But this time, she was going to be fighting for real.
"Usagi-chan, are you there?"
"Um, hai," said Usagi to Ritsuko, trying to calm herself. Dammit, they had her vital signs in the control room, they could tell if she was nervous or not....
"She's nervous," said Ritsuko. "but she'll be fine." She had to be. There was no hope for any of them if the pilots decided to get cold feet.
"Ah," said Gendou. He merely glanced over at Misato. Time for her to get to work.
"Very well." Misato looked at the status board again; the angel was closing in on the city. "Units 00 and 01 will move in for the kill from different axes, north and south. 02 will hang back here," pointing to a spot on the map, "and assist only if necessary. I don't think she's quite ready to go all out her first time." Past events at NERV seemed to indicate that whatever could be done only as a last resort turned out to be what in fact was necessary at the earliest possible time. For Usagi's sake, she hoped the pink-haired girl had a satisfyingly boring first day in the field.
I'm going to die.
She repeated that to herself again and again as the techs completed their final checks of the Evangelion. Inside the plug she could hear a dozen voices on a dozen channels, completing the preparation of the most expensive and most advanced weapon on Earth.
I'm going to die.
"Usagi-chan, you'll be launching in 90 seconds. Are you ready?"
"An-n-n-nou...." She began to hyperventilate.
"Usagi-chan, this is Misato. Just relax, okay?" Please, don't fold up on me now, Usagi-chan. She knew that at this point Gendou would be perfectly willing to launch 02 even with a shell-shocked pilot.
"Relax? RELAX?!? Kami-sama, I'm in a bloody machine that I've never piloted before, off to-"
"Usagi, calm down. You've done more simulator time than any of your partners, you've got more experience than either of them had their first time. Just take some deep breaths and think about the training exercises." And don't think about the marauding Angel out there that's ready and willing to kill us all.
In the control room, Misato watched the big board. Usagi's vitals were slowly dropping back to acceptable levels. Good.
"30 seconds to launch," sang out Maya from her console.
"Eva Unit Zero reports ready."
"Eva Unit One reports ready."
"Eva Unit Two reports ready."
Misato looked over it all, silently absorbing, fully aware of Gendou's stare bearing down on her. Twenty seconds, and once again the dance would be played out.
She hated waiting.
"Jugo. Jushi. Jusan. Juni. Juichi. Juu."
Usagi listened to the countdown to commence. Despite her outward appearance, inside she was all butterflies. She felt like she was going to faint and throw up and laugh all at the same time. At the moment she was a billion nerves all firing at once.
-in a white dress, she turned her head, her face the picture of serenity-
Serenity. Somewhere that struck a chord in her. It reminded her of her parents: her father, who she had only seen pictures of, dead since a couple weeks after Second Impact. Her mother, dead from complications during Usagi's birth, but who had managed one word upon seeing her daughter for the first and last time.
Her mother, Usagi Tsukino. Her father, Mamoru Chiba. Her surrogate aunts: Ami-san, Rei-san, Makoto-san, Minako-san.
She remembered her birthright.
"Shi. San. Ni. Ichi. Zero!"
"HASSIN!" cried Misato.
Eva-02 rocketed through the maze of launch tunnels that lead from the Geo-Front to the surface. It and Usagi emerged a few kilometers distant from the approaching Angel. The other two units were already closing in.
Inside the plug, Usagi watched, and smiled. Sure, she hadn't asked to be a pilot, but damned if she was going to die her first day on the job.
It was the least a Messiah could do.
"Synchronization on Zero-One now at 50% and holding. Zero-Zero at 45% and climbing slightly. 33% on Zero-Two."
"Better than expected," said Ritsuko, hovering over Maya Ibuki. "Perhaps this wasn't as haphazard a choice as I thought."
It was at that point that everything went to hell, of course.
Some time ago on #moonscribe, I noted that by the time Second Impact came around, Mamoru and Usagi would be just old enough to have a socially acceptable child. And I'd already written a story with a grown up Chibiusa, so it wasn't terribly hard to do that part. After that, things just fell into place.
I realize that this story is a mess continuity-wise. I've twisted the Eva storyline to a degree that even I can't recognize. But seeing as how I was writing this on a near-continuous basis in a single night, I don't really mind.
SM haters will flame me for this. I don't mind; I can use the amusement. Cliffhanger haters will also flame me for leaving this unfinished. I've left it unfinished for one good reason: I don't know enough about the series to give any future parts the attention to detail that they deserve. If anyone wants to pick up where I've left off, you're more than welcome. I doubt I'll ever write another Eva fic anyway.
Thank yous to Victor Naqvi, who told me to go ahead with this even though I didn't have enough time, and to Sailor Alpha, who put up with my newbie questions about things any real fan should have known by now. --
LeVar Bouyer -who likes flames, and will therefore probably be satisfied after this clears the queue.