Unable to react in time, Asuka screamed as the spear flew towards the head of her Evangelion. She blinked and suddenly saw another of the white beasts had now jumped directly in front of her, its back turned to her. There was a flash and the spear veered off to her right and out of her sight.
Shaking her head to get re-oriented, she looked at her battery clock and saw that it now said “0:00.” At the same time the lights dimmed inside the entry plug as a whining sound was heard: Her EVA had run out of battery power at the worst possible time.
The white EVA in front of her turned on her opponent, the Mass Production that had thrown the spear. The EVA in front pointed a large, multi-barrel cannon and fired several long bursts at the toothy beast in the distance. The Mass Production unit tried to evade the gunfire but after a series of shots the beast was cut down in a bloody mess.
Asuka saw the unit in front of her and noticed that it didn't look like the others. It wasn't hunched down like an animal but stood more upright. The new EVA had no wings, but rather a “Y” shaped metal frame on its back. The head was more like her own with a visible set of eyes, and its white color was silvery and metallic in appearance.
“Asuka,” a voice came over the commo link, panting as he spoke. “Are..are you alright?” The voice was that of another teenager, with an American accent.
“Who the hell are you?” she shot back, and then she gasped as she realized exactly who was speaking to her.
Maya's laptop flashed new information on her screen as she monitored the battle between Unit 02 and the Mass Production units. She saw the incoming data and immediately worked to confirm, then also gasped in disbelief.
“EVA-04!” she shouted at the top of her lungs. “UNIT 04 HAS APPEARED IN THE GEOFRONT!”
“Impossible!” Aoba said to her, sitting on the floor reloading his magazine.
Hyuga was firing over the side again at the intruders. “Oh, man! Now it's really getting crazy!”
The Vice Commander slid over to where Maya was seated and looked at the display, raising his eyebrows high as he saw what she did. She looked at him and asked “How? Nothing could survive a Sea of Dirac like that.”
“I see EVA is full of surprises,” he said in return.
“There's something else too,” she said. “It appears to be another unit EVA unit but it's unidentified.”
Futsuyuki looked at the video display. “Green...It's not the British one, is it?! But we took that one apart for spares. How...”
“The spy kid!” Asuka called out. “What are you doing here?”
“Trying to save your sorry ass!” Patrick retorted.
To his left he saw a blaze of smoke and rocket flares coming down from the top opening of the GeoFront. As the smoke cleared, it revealed a green-painted bio-mechanical monstrosity. Its head and torso resembled an Evangelion but its natural limbs were missing. In their place were a pair of mechanical arms with weapons mounted on them, and four extended metal legs with rocket motors attached at the ends that looked like it belonged to an insect.
Patrick switched his communications link to the Alliance channel. “Mari, is that you?”
“Yes, I'm afraid,” her voice came on his speaker. “Sorry it's such a mess!”
MANTIS, indeed. “As long as it all works, you look fine to me.” He took a deep breath and switched channels again. “NERV command, this is Unit 04. Do you require help?”
An older voice came on the speaker. “Whom am I speaking to?” It was the Vice Commander.
“This is Patrick Forrestal, sir. I've brought a few new friends along with me this time.”
“Your timing couldn't be better!” the old man replied.
In the EVA cage Shinji stood up as he heard the new voice on the speaker. “F-Forrestal-kun?!” he said out loud. “But, how?!”
Patrick heard Maya's voice in the background of the audio feed. “Unit 02's internal batteries have run out!” He looked over to the stationary red EVA and noticed the power cable wasn't attached.
“Asuka, can you move at all?”
Asuka struggled with the actuators. Over the speaker he could hear Asuka say “Mama! Mama! Come on!” After a few seconds of futile effort she said wearily “it's no use! We've run dry!”
“Vice Commander!” Maya shouted in the background. “The Mass Production EVAs...they're regenerating!”
Patrick looked around. All around him Patrick saw the white EVA start to slowly pick themselves up off the ground. As they moved their wounds began to disappear, healing rapidly. Some were growing limbs back. He even saw one unit grow its head back.
“Pats!” Mari called out. “We've got trouble!”
“Oh, shit,” he said under his breath.
“What the hell?” Asuka said. “I just killed these guys!”
Maya came on the speaker. “The S2 engine is enabling the Mass Production Series to regenerate. They're building up power...”
Patrick looked around and tried to determine his next move. There were nine of the Harpy-like beasts in all against him, Mari, and Asuka, but Asuka was unable to move.
“NERV command, I need a power cable for Unit 02!” Patrick called out.
Hyuga now came on the speaker. “Nearest cable is at grid point 448989.”
“Where is that?”
“It's right over by the pyramid!” shouted Asuka testily. “Don't you know anything!”
“Give me a break!” Patrick defended. “I was only here for a week!”
“Northward about five thousand meters from your current position,” Hyuga corrected. Patrick saw the black pyramid in the distance and tried to judge how long it would take him to get the cable. “Mari!”
Mari was already shooting at one of the Mass Production units that was closest to her. “Here!”
“I need to plug Asuka back in again. Can you hold these guys off until I can get back?”
“Whatever you're going to do, do it fast!” she replied back.
“Copy that.” he switched back to the NERV channel. “Asuka hold on. I'll plug you in as soon as I get the cable. Where is Shinji, anyway?”
“Hell if I know,” the redhead angrily replied. “He's probably sitting somewhere crying in his milk!”
Patrick ran EVA-04 as fast as he could towards the pyramid, as Mari began to attack the Mass Production series. She engaged each one in turn, trying first to get the ones closest to EVA-02. In combat she found she could use EVA-05's rockets to good effect, enabling her to hop over one of the EVAs, and then ram it with the power lance.
“Got you!” she shouted as she attacked with the lance. As she plunged the lance into the EVAs midsection, the lance shaft started to rapidly rotate, grinding the lance into the flesh of the EVA. Power taken from her EVA then added to the attack and bolts of electricity shot into the white beast. Under enormous pressure the EVAs head popped open and it collapsed.
Mari didn't have time to celebrate as another of the beasts approached her from the rear. She spun around Unit 05 and then fired the cannon at point blank range. It went down in a mess of blood.
Asuka had no choice to stand and watch as two other pilots she either didn't know or didn’t’ trust attempted to defend her. She kept shaking her actuators to get the EVA to move even though she knew it was useless.
Dammit, this is humiliating! I hate being a sitting duck like this! Shinji if you don't come out this time I will never forgive you for as long as you live!
Asuka saw one white EVA running straight towards her. She kept shaking the controllers hoping she could get something out of the EVA. As the Harpy was about to throw its lance at Asuka, she saw the green Unit 05 fly over and hit the EVA from the side. When the white unit struggled to get up off the ground, Mary drilled him with the lance and he exploded in a mess of bone and tissue.
Mari spun around and positioned herself between Unit 02 and the rest of the Harpies. She noticed that there were more of them now and they were moving closer to the two of them. Looking in the distance she could see that Unit 04 had just reached the power station next to the Pyramid.
“I've made it to the power cable,” Patrick called out. “Lusty! How are we doing?”
“Not good!” Mari called back. “They're starting to gang up on us here!”
“I'm coming. Just hold them off!”
“Do hurry along, Pats!” she replied as she parried with another oncoming EVA. “They're getting very uncivilized!”
Mari looked at her power clock and saw that she was now under two minutes of battery life. Seeing at least six of the white EVAs now in front of her, she knew there wasn't much more she could contribute to the fight. She also knew that if she held back now one of the beasts might get to Unit 02 before she could fight it off. Mary took a deep breath and made one critical decision.
Not the way I wanted to go out but it gives them the chance they need, she thought. She then flared her rocket engines and tilted her lance towards the Harpy closest to her. “COME ON AND GET ME, YOU BASTARDS!” She rammed her EVA straight into the enemy and impaled it on her lance. She then swung it around, hitting two other white beasts to her left. Mari spun around Unit 05, trying to get their attention and in response several other of the Mass Production units began to chase her and run at her from all sides.
Seeing Mari was in trouble, Patrick ran Unit 04 at full speed towards the melee, still holding onto the power cable. “Lusty, I'm coming to help you!”
“Don't!” she shouted back. “Get her plugged in or it's all for naught!” Patrick thought to go to her anyway but knew the truth of it, and sprinted towards Unit 02 as quickly as he could.
Now closely surrounded by six of the beasts, and seeing her clock run down below one minute, Mari performed her coup de grace. As the Harpies plunged on top of Unit 05 with their spears, she rammed the power lance again into one in front. She was so close to it that the EVA's white razor teeth filled her helmet's view screen.
“Oh, grandma! What big teeth you have, eh?” she said with determination. “Let's fix that, then, shall we?” Mari then pulled a large handle underneath her control throne and quickly pushed herself to the back of her seat. For a second she saw the screen on her helmet visor read SELF DESTRUCT ENGAGED, then felt the entry plug violently lurch backwards.
Her last thoughts were directed to the EVA. Sorry, old girl, but we gave it our best shot, didn't we?
As the Harpies began to tear into Unit 05, ripping off its limbs and biting its head and abdomen, something blasted out of the unit's back. A second later the entire unit itself exploded in a massive explosion that encompassed the six Harpies that surrounded it.
Patrick didn't have time to look. He focused his concentration on getting to Asuka and plugging the power cable into Unit 02's back. It wasn't until he had finished shoving it in that he saw the remnants of the explosion. Mari....Oh, no....
Onboard the Liberator, Mari's controller saw her unit go dead on the display. “MANTIS! MANTIS! Come in MANTIS!” Wellington called into her headset. “Mari, come in please!” There was no response on the audio.
Moira turned to Dr. Viraat at the station next to her. “Did she eject?”
The Indian scientist checked his own terminal. “Possibly. Unit telemetry is incomplete so I can't tell for certain, but if the entry plug was able to eject we should be able to see its locator beacon momentarily.”
Wellington didn't wait for the signal. “Control to SAR, ready a rescue team for MANTIS. I'm on deck in one minute.” She then threw down her headset and raced to the back door of Liberator's tactical action center. Viraat watched her run out of the room and then turned his attention back to his station as he tried to determine what was left of EVA-05. “Years of work and it's all gone to hell in four minutes,” he sighed. “Don't know how I'll be able to scrape her back together after this...”
Patrick saw the remains of Mari’s sacrifice in front of them, as the gigantic cross-shaped blast momentarily filled up the GeoFront’s interior. He just stood there and watched as the blast dissipated.
As power was restored to Unit 02, Asuka looked up as the internal lighting in the plug changed from red to white, and the clock reset to the “Constant feed” setting. “Ah, finally!” she said and let out a deep breath. Looking in front she saw the charred remains of EVA-05 and several white bodies surrounding it. Some of the white bodies were starting to move again.
“What?” she said incredulously. Two of the Harpies had now gotten up again, as their limbs were growing back their original shape. Others were already moving towards them.
“Geez! What the hell does it take to kill these things?” she asked. Patrick saw the white beasts start to get up again and groaned in despair. “Oh, no…”
“Fine,” Asuka said. “We do this the hard way. Control,” she called out to NERV command, “I need a weapon!”
“Weapons storage point 500 meters to your right,” Maya replied back. Asuka promptly ran EVA-02 to the spot and stomped on a large bunker-like object on the ground. Out of an underground silo a long spear-like weapon shot out. Nearly thirty meters long, it was pointed on one end, and had a seven-meter long blade on the other, resembling a halberd. Asuka grabbed the weapon and spun it around in EVA-02’s hands to gauge the weight.
Patrick sized up the opposition and saw several white EVAs start to move towards him and the red Unit 02. “Mari,” he whispered, “I swear you’re not going down for nothing!” He found the Harpy nearest to him and pointed his rotary cannon at it, firing a long burst and knocking it down. Another white EVA ran towards him as he fired and it fired another salvo at it as well, taking several seconds until enough rounds entered its body to force it down. He pointed the cannon at a third and found it only fired for a moment and then stopped. Panicked, he pulled the trigger repeatedly until he noticed on the screen in front the words “AMMO OUT.”
As the EVA ran towards him with spear in hand, Patrick jettisoned the rotary cannon and then called out “Missiles!” From the Y-Frame attached to EVA-04’s back several dozen missiles launched out from behind him and shot towards the white EVA in front, exploding in a cloud of smoke and fire as Patrick ran to the side. He turned to look to his left and saw the Harpy was still there and turning towards him.
“CAWS!” Patrick called out and a weapon popped out of the Y-Frame. The CAWS, or Combat Assault Weapon System, resembled a giant shotgun. Catching it with Unit 04’s right hand, he quickly pumped the action and ran towards the oncoming Harpy.
As he met the Harpy head on, the white beast raised its spear to strike at him. Patrick used the stock of the CAWS to swiftly bash at its head and force it to drop the spear. He then swung the weapon forward and shoved the barrel through the mouth of the EVA. “Eat this, Asshole!” he said as he pulled the trigger and a hundred red blasts came out of the Harpy’s skull in all directions. Patrick saw the beast collapse downwards, but noticed that now two others were moving towards him.
Another two Harpies ran at Unit 02 as Asuka made a fighting stance. Both brought up their spears and Asuka swung up the halberd and parried with one of the spears while kicking the other EVA in the groin to knock it down. She then swung up her halberd to its blade end and in one motion sliced off the head of the beast in front of her.
On the other side of the field Patrick charged at the two EVAs blasting away with his CAWS. One went down, but the other survived two blasts and kept charging, unfurling its wings and bounding upwards as EVA 04 ran at it.
“We need help with this!” Patrick shouted as he struggled with the white EVA above him. “Call Shinji out here! He’ll listen to you!”
EVA-02 speared a Harpy and then pivoted to find two others now flying on their way towards her. Asuka sighed to herself and then called out on the audio. “Baka Shinji! Don’t make me fight all of these freaks by myself, you idiot! Get the hell out here or I am going to personally rip you from head to tail when I see you tonight!” As the two pilots fought their respective opponents there was silence on the audio.
“Nice going, Freud!” Patrick said to Asuka cynically. “Now he’s more scared of you than anything else!”
“It’s not my fault he’s such a wuss!” she replied under her breath.
“Shinji!” Patrick called out, “Rei…your mother…They gave themselves up for you! Don't let it end like this!” While he said that another two Harpies came at him along with the one he was already fighting. Overloaded by threats and unable to get control, Patrick yelled out a battle cry as he kept blasting away point blank with the CAWS. He was able to gun one down but the other two kept at him. Patrick pointed the CAWS at one of them and saw the display flash in front of him “LAST ROUND.” With that he fired one shot at the Harpy’s face and then flung the CAWS aside.
The third white unit grabbed Unit 04 with his hands and started to bite into her shoulder. Patrick screamed in agony as the nerve relay reflected the pain his own Evangelion itself felt in the attack. Raging with fury, he grabbed the hand flamer strapped to Unit 04’s left forearm and shot it in the EVA’s face. The White EVA screamed in terror.
“Oh! You don’t like that, do you!?” he shouted at the beast and then kept up his attacks with the hand flamer. The Harpy’s skin started to turn black as it caught on fire.
Patrick saw two other Harpies flying towards him and shot the flamer upwards in a wide arc around both of them. Both screamed and backed off a considerable distance from his attack. “Asuka! Asuka! They don't like fire!” he shouted out as he finally pressed his advantage.
“Got it!” she replied, dodging another spear as she hopped from a ridge to a block of wrecked buildings while trying to avoid being attacked. “Control, I need flame rockets!”
In Central Dogma, Maya frantically worked on her laptop to try to get Asuka the weapon she needed. She pounded the floor in frustration as the computer reported an error. Hyuga quickly ducked down from the edge of the deck and looked at her screen.
“I can't get them to you,” Maya reported back. “The weapons conveyor is inoperable from battle damage.”
“Can you get to the Southeast weapons station?” Hyuga asked.
On the speaker they heard Asuka's voice. “You're kidding, right? That's all the way on the far end of the GeoFront!”
“If you need flame weapons, there's no other way!” Hyuga replied. “The whole weapons delivery system is malfunctioning, we can't send them to you.”
“What about Unit 01?”
“We can't get it to the cage either, I'm afraid,” the Vice Commander said. “The Bakelite release blocked everything off.”
Damn, Futsuyuki thought. We finally have an advantage and we can't use it.
While his pilot tried to keep a safe distance between the battling giants and themselves, Vinson watched from the cockpit of the Thunderbolt as Units 02 and 04 continued to battle the Mass Production series. Listening in on EVA-04’s audio channel, he was also able to monitor the action.
Fire…These things don’t like flame. What could we do to turn the tables here? Vinson called out to his assistant. “Put me through to NEPTUNE.” A moment later Admiral Gato came on the line.
“Do you guys have any thermobaric weapons?”
“Only a few,” the naval commander replied. “I can have bombs mounted up on a couple of Hornets and get them out to you. ETA 20 minutes.”
“Not fast enough, I need it right now.”
“Wait one,” the voice went off line and then came back after a few seconds. “One of the subs has TLAMs with FAE warheads, but only two.”
“It’ll have to do. Fire at these coordinates…” ZEUS put in the target data and sent it to the naval forces.
“ZEUS, this is right on top of you!”
“Doesn’t matter at this point. Get those things out here now or we’re all dead!”
“Aye, Aye, sir. ETA 5 minutes to impact.”
50 kilometers off the Japanese coast an attack submarine received orders from NEPTUNE to fire two of its cruise missiles at the target coordinates provided. At risk of being detected itself, the submarine blew its ballast tanks to quickly reach launch depth. Once it reached just below the surface of the ocean the submarine opened two launch tubes in its forward superstructure and first one, then another missile blasted from the open tubes and towards the surface.
Go to Chapter 20