The following day was intensively busy as preparations were made for both Units 01 and 02 to be transported outside Japan to a secret staging point. Unit 04 would be tasked with the responsibility for defending the GeoFront, with the still-under repair Unit 05 working as a backup. As more of the Alliance's military assets came to the GeoFront the defense network around the base and what remained of Tokyo-3 was supplemented with additional radars, monitoring posts and hastily set-up missile and gun emplacements. Fortunately the presence of extra men and equipment allowed EVA-04 to be put on a “standby alert” basis and not on constant patrol, which meant Patrick could spend less time in the field and more on resting up and preparing for the upcoming battle.
Misato herself was rushing back and forth between managing the pilot's preparations and all of the other operation details of her plan to trap SEELE's EVAs. To come off successfully complete secrecy was in order and the destination of both Evangelions and their pilots was not divulged to nearly anyone. Thankfully Misato knew someone who was an expert in arranging such matters.
“So, how do we stand?” she asked Kaji on the satellite phone.
“The staging base is mostly complete. Colonel Burke has his own team here and has already secured the location. The airfield should be prepared momentarily. Katsuragi, are you sure this will work?”
“Do you doubt a woman's intuition?” Misato replied in mock surprise.
“I never doubt your own, but I wonder if they'll take the bait.”
“Considering that they're trying to smash every big military target they see, I don't think SEELE can avoid missing what I'm going to throw in front of them.”
“I would agree with that, but I'm concerned that we're leaving the GeoFront too exposed.”
“Dr. Viraat's got something worked out on that issue too. It's risky but if we pull this off we can eliminate the remaining Harpy threat and focus on getting at their base.” She paused for a moment to see if anyone around her was listening in, and then spoke into the satellite phone in hushed tones. “Anything on Unit 06?”
“No. It was picked up by a stealth aircraft and left no sign of a destination. I did access Chinese air defense records and they were unable to track it themselves.”
“So even if we clear off these two Harpies we have that one to worry about.”
“As we haven't seen it yet it's possible it's being used in defending SEELE's hidden base, assuming they’ve been able to make it functional.”
“We'll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Misato resolved. “If we can get four EVAs actually in the field the odds are a lot better. Anyway, I'll see you there tonight.” Then still at a whisper she teased Kaji. “I got something for you!”
“It's black and made of lace!”
She could practically hear Kaji's smile over the line. “I see I have more undercover work ahead of me.” Something in the background distracted momentarily and then he spoke again. “I need to see to something, I'll see you when you get here. Ciao!” and the line cut off. Misato smirked to herself and went about the remainder of her preparations.
After packing a small suitcase to take him on the deployment, Shinji walked across the floor of the section where the pilot suites were located and over to the girls' suite. Ringing the doorbell, Shinji waited until someone opened the door. That someone was Mari.
“Hello, Puppy-kun!” she said cheerfully. Mari was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, while Shinji wore a blue and white camoflague uniform that looked about three sizes too big. “I see they've finally made a soldier out of you!”
“Um, yeah,” Shinji said in an embarrassed manner. “This was the smallest uniform they had. It's only because we're supposed to be on a secret deployment so they don't want us to look different from the others. Is Ayanami here?”
“She's in our bedroom,” Mari replied and allowed him to come in.
Dropping his duffel bag on the floor, Shinji quietly walked over to the pilots' bedroom and saw the door opened half-way. He gently pushed it open and found Rei standing next to the dresser, seemingly lost in thought. She wore her old school uniform, barefoot on the room's carpet.
“Ayanami,” he said. She turned to face him. “Ikari-kun.”
“I just wanted to say goodby to you before we go. We'll be leaving really soon.” Rei didn't say anything but just nodded. Shinji walked over to where she was standing.
“We're only gone for a few days. Hopefully everything will go OK.”
“Are you worried?” Rei asked him.
Shinji couldn't hide the expression on his face. “Yeah, it's my first real time back out in the EVA. At least it's not an Angel but it's scary enough.”
“As long as the two of you are in sync together you should do well.”
“I hope so. Anyway, you'll be OK by yourself, right?”
Rei nodded gently, but to Shinji she didn't look happy either. Will she let me do it now? Shinji wondered. Without saying anything further Shinji leaned forward and gently put his arms around her, holding her tightly against him. To his relief Rei didn't push away, but instead let her be quietly held by him for the next few moments. He kept holding her until they heard the sounds of others entering the suite.
“They're here. I'd better go.”
“Take care,” Rei said with some sadness in her soft voice.
Shinji turned to go when Rei said something further to him.
“Forrestal-kun has asked me to go on a date with him.”
The boy smiled a little at her. “You should go, then.”
“I've accepted, but...” she paused for a moment. Shinji could sense some conflict within Rei, if that's what it was. He took a couple of steps towards her. “He's a nice guy, really,” he said. “Besides, it's just one date, right?”
“I know,” she replied.
“Maybe the others didn't tell you this, but if you're really not comfortable you can always change your mind.”
“But I've already told him yes.”
“Girls change their mind all of the time,” he told her. “Asuka does it about a dozen times a day. Anyway, just do what you feel you need to. It's OK.”
Rei considered what he said. “Thank you.”
“Don't mention it. I guess it can be difficult to learn how to be a girl sometimes, I mean if no one taught you this before.”
“I understand it.”
“Anyway, I'll be back soon, OK?” Shinji smiled at her, but Rei didn't smile back.
After he left the bedroom, Rei looked down on the top of the dresser that all three girls currently shared. On top was a black portable case. She unzipped the case and reached inside, seeing the syringe of LCL. It was the ultimate symbol to her of her inhumanity: that in the end she was not like the others, and never would be.
I must tell him.
Shinji stepped out of the girl's bedroom and saw Misato and Asuka. Both were wearing camouflage uniforms like his. “Ready to go?” Misato asked.
“Yes,” Shinji said, putting his best face forward.
“Where are you all headed out to?” Mari asked.
“That's a secret, I'm afraid. We need to keep this as confidential as we can for my plan to work. Don't worry, we're back in a few days.” Misato turned to Asuka. “Are you packed?”
“Of course,” she said, motioning to a set of several duffel bags piled against the wall.
Misato frowned. “Asuka, it's a military deployment, not a vacation.”
“Well,” she said smugly, “I just want to be prepared for everything.”
The officer sighed, then turned to Mari. “You'll be OK without us?”
Mari motioned to the cast on her leg. “I get this off in a few days, and the eye's looking better. Just as long as my EVA gets her arms back on too, we'll be fine.”
“Good. We'll see you soon then.” To Asuka and Shinji she ordered “Let's go, kids!”
Asuka looked narrowly at Shinji, “Get my bags, will you?” The boy rolled his eyes a little and then went to the wall to get the duffel bags for Asuka. Coming back with the bags Asuka grabbed the smallest one for herself, letting him carry the other two along with this own.
Just before they left, Mari told the others “Good hunting, everyone!” Then she stood right in front of Shijji. “Please be careful, Puppy-kun!” Before he could react the taller girl quickly embraced him, shoving his head between her breasts.
Asuka's face went red in anger as Misato worked to suppress a giggle at Mari’s affectionate send-off. The redhead quickly pulled away the hapless Shinji from Mari's bounty. “We will!”
Several hours later, Commander Vinson stood on the operations deck in Central Dogma, observing the giant holographic display in front of them. On the display were several arrows and other graphics indicating the movement of Alliance forces and also of suspected enemy formations. Standing next to him was Sheffield. They both quietly observed the screen as several units changed position, and two new purple and red data indicators went on display, showing the assumed positions of Evangelion Units 01 and 02.
“Let’s hope this works,” Sheffield told him. “We’re taking a big risk by leaving Tokyo-3 exposed like this.”
“I’m tired of getting nibbled at,” Vinson replied. “It’s about time we showed these SOBs who’s the new boss around town.” Vinson turned to the controllers. “Status on units?”
Hyuga turned around and reported. “Unit 01 and 02 are in motion with the fleet,” he said. “Unit 04 is on standby alert within the GeoFront, and Unit 05 is on secondary alert.”
“How about the Japanese?” Vinson asked.
There was a pause and then Aoba was the one to reply. “Japanese Navy reports fleet is in position, troops are embarked and moving towards target area.”
Sheffield raised an eyebrow. “The Japanese government is on board with this?”
Vinson shrugged. “Well, our dear Mr. Kaji gave them a generous offer on technology-sharing before he left for China. It seems the potential to line their pockets with the future profits of biotechnology derived from the EVA program overrode any fears they had about another attack on the islands.”
“Just as long as we can provide them a sufficient defense,” the British general mused.
“No one said this was going to be easy,” Vinson responded. The commander punched his palm with his other hand. “Excellent. Look sharp, everyone! If they’re going to try and hit us, they’ll give it everything they’ve got. Be ready for it!”
Vladivostok, Far Eastern Russia
At dawn they struck, and they struck hard. Over one hundred aircraft and just as many armed drones flew low towards Russia’s far eastern capital and released a hellstorm of iron and fire. Tounges of fire and masses of smoke trails spat from the ground against the eastern sunrise as dozens of Alliance fighters and bombers found their targets on the ground. As buildings and fuel bunkers burned and UN troops rushed to man defenses, the Alliance kept up an intense level of firepower on the city and also the adjoining peninsula. It was only the first act however, the preparation for what was about to come.
As aircraft soared overhead the Liberator and the rest of the Alliance fleet disgorged their troops, with dozens of helicopters and amphibious landers headed towards the beaches on the peninsula. To the fleet’s right, joining the attack was the Japanese Navy (the new government had dropped the title “Maritime Self-Defense Force”) which also launched their own assault craft and helicopters towards the target. Continuing to watch the battle from the conning tower, Admiral Gato noticed the position of two large amphibious docks that were moving towards the beach along with the rest of the assault force of over ten thousand men. When the dock landing ships were almost in position Gato reached into his pocket and got his satellite radio.
“HUNTER, this is NEPTUNE. You’re almost in position.”
A young Japanese woman’s confident voice came over the speaker. “Roger. Launching Units 01 and 02 now!”
Gato looked out the windows and saw two large bodies slowly disembark from the landing ships close to shore. When they were fully erected, each stood over forty meters tall and looked strangely menacing. One colored purple, one colored red, they moved slowly like demons come from the netherworld, their large frames moving steadily towards the beach.
Standing in an observation bunker far from the other side of the beach, a UN commander looked through his own set of electrobinoculars at the escalating threat that was emerging on his shoreline. Seeing the image of the two Evangelions moving amongst the Alliance troops as they fought their way through the defensive lines at the shore set his heart racing. My God they’ve got balls, he thought to himself. First they land where our troop strength is highest at the capital, and now they roll out their secret weapons. Either they’re incredibly stupid or just as overconfident. The Russian UN general called his communications officer.
“Get a hold of Special Command, now! Tell them we have a highest priority target.”
Moving along the beach with the rest of his men, Colonel Burke crouched behind a building as the marine squad that was providing him protection engaged another UN machinegun nest in the next building. They had been at this for an hour as they slowly chewed through the UN’s defense lines, running through mines and obstacles as well as an increasing number of enemy troops that were being rushed in from the west to throw them back into the sea. Putting aside his carbine for a moment, Burke called his radioman over and quickly grabbed the receiver as he called upstairs.
“NEPTUNE, this is ARTEMIS. How the hell long we gotta stay on this beach?”
“Just enough until they spring the trap,” NEPTUNE responded. “Given how big of a demonstration we’re putting on, they should be here any minute.” Burke heard commotion as one of the marines pointed at the sky, looking up at two new aircraft that were approaching from the east. Both were black-painted large bat-winged stealth bombers with a large object mounted under their bellies.
“I think they just showed up,” Burke reported to Admiral Gato.
“We see them,” NEPTUNE replied. “Hold your position and keep your men steady. The show’s just about to begin!”
Gliding swiftly down to the battle area, both of the black bombers detached their payloads and then climbed rapidly back upwards. From each of the two aircraft dove a large white object that looked at first like a bird, their wings stretched out as they flew towards the battlefield. As the two units got closer their whole bodies became noticeable, landing with violent thuds as they swiftly dropped on the ground.
“Harpies on the ground!” a lookout exclaimed on the Liberator’s bridge. Gato spoke into his satellite phone again. “They’re here, HUNTER.”
“Roger,” Misato’s voice came back. “Engaging now!”
On the shore the purple and red giants turned and began to move towards where both of the white giants had landed. Picking up speed, both of the units began to fire with pallet guns and rockets that were mounted on their arms and backs. Several kilometers away, the harpies retracted their wings and grabbed their long spears. With salivating toothy grins, each of the eyeless white demons began to run towards the Evangelions that were in front of them.
Burke, his radioman and the marines they were with took cover behind their building and watched as the giants began to fight it out. Sounds of the battle began to taper off as soldiers on both sides found themselves distracted by the EVAs as they closed in on one another. Loudly over the radio Burke could hear Misato’s voice giving orders to the two EVAs on the shore. “Unit 01, Unit 02, release all firepower now!” At her command each of the EVAs let loose a massive salvo of flame rockets at the Harpies in front of them.
Briefly stopped by the wave of explosions caused by the flame rockets, the two Harpies continued to close in to them. Once they were within two thousand meters of EVA-01 and 02, each of the two white EVAs took their spears and thrust them towards the purple and red units.
Screaming at the speed of sound, each of the giant lances transformed in flight into the distinctive double-helix of the Lance of Longinus, the only object in the world that could immobilize an Evangelion. With debilitating force the two lances quickly found their targets. Before the red and purple EVAs could move out of the way, the lances struck them dead center in the chest. A massive wave of destruction emanated from each of the impacts. Watching the battle as it unfolded, Burke and his team dove for cover inside the building as the shockwave barreled over them.
After a moment as the dust cleared Burke slowly pushed himself off the floor and looked outside of the building’s broken glass windows. Searching towards where the “friendly” EVAs had been, he now saw only open sky. The colonel looked carefully and saw massive amounts of wreckage where the purple and red EVAs were just standing a minute ago. The ground around them was cratered and everything around them for a kilometer was coated black and grey. The marines and his radioman also spotted the result of the Harpies attack on the EVAs.
“Holy shit, colonel!” one of the marines shouted, “They wasted the EVAs!”
“We are so fucked,” another of the marines said in dread.
Indeed it seemed like the marine’s observation was accurate. After striking down Unit 01 and 02, the two Harpies began to go after the Alliance troops on the ground, indiscriminately stomping on tanks and other vehicles as the remaining forces on the beach tried to engage the giants with whatever they had left.
Burke’s radio came on, and Jeff his radioman handed him the receiver. “ARTEMIS,” NEPTUNE asked, “Can you locate the spears those things just threw?” The colonel took a minute and saw the silvery objects floating in the water within a few meters of the beach. “Affirmative,” Burke replied, “They’re within reach.”
“Get some units on top of them now,” Gato ordered, “it’s time to raise the curtain.”
From the ground Burke got on the radio and ordered two groups of engineers to move towards the large spears in their tracked armor and try to latch on to them. To the rest of the landing force Burke then admonished his units to hold their ground and wait for reinforcements that were coming. One junior commander who had also seen the Harpies destroy the two EVAs shot back at Burke over the communicator: “You saw what happened! You think we’re gonna last against those guys?!” The colonel was about to respond angrily when he heard more voices on the radio.
“HUNTER, this is NEPTUNE. You are go for launch.”
“Roger that, NEPTUNE. Keep them busy, we’ll be there in just a moment.”
“Aye, aye,” the admiral said, and then turned to his gunnery officer. “Target all weapons on Harpies One and Two. Fire!” Second later dozens of missiles and cannons engaged the two Mass Producton EVAs. Gato watched again as all of the fired weapons bounced off the two EVAs, leaving large plumbs of smoke and fire. He knew it didn’t matter if they actually hurt them, Gato thought, just as long as they had them distracted.
The two white monsters were both put into a rage, as they took fire from ships, aircraft, and whatever other Alliance weapons were close by. None of the weapons were able to actually harm the two EVAs but being fired at from all directions annoyed the Harpies greatly and each of them swung around rapidly to try and crush anything that was close by. Neither of them could see what was speeding towards them from the direction of the ocean.
Skimming just over one hundred meters over the sea, three aircraft sped towards the landing site at over Mach one. One of the aircraft was a Thunderbolt tactical VTOL, the other two were large B-1 Lancers, and riding on top of each of the giant bombers was Evangelions Unit 01 and 02. This time it was the actual EVAs.
At the controls of the Thunderbolt was Kaji, with Misato sitting in tandem behind him. She would be commanding the EVAs while monitoring the battle from her console.
“Looks like they took the bait,” Kaji reported.
Misato used an infra-red camera to observe the wreckage of the EVA decoys on the beach. NERV had designed the automated decoys to visually simulate an Evangelion, even mounting functional weapons on them to give them a more realistic appearance. Using them here was convincing enough to SEELE to draw out both of their remaining EVAs, and that fit right into the rest of Misato’s plan.
“Shinji! Asuka!” Misato called into her microphone. Both pilots quickly reported back. “Here!”
“We’re going to go in fast and right on top of these things. The Alliance troops on the beach are trying to get control over each of their lances. Move to defeat the Harpies quickly before they can grab them back.
“Yes, Colonel,” they both said in unison.
“Get ready to launch, on my mark,” Misato called out.
The Thunderbolt flew swiftly over the beach and moved right in between both of the Harpies as they continued to attack anything they saw like monsters in a Japanese movie. About one minute behind Kaji’s Thunderbolt were both of the bombers, and at the point they crossed the beach the Evangelions that were riding them ejected braking parachutes and then pushed off of the bomber’s spines. The B-1s quickly gained altitude, climbing nearly vertically straight up into the sky as they lost the massive load of the EVAs against their thrust.
Moving in tandem both Evangelions landed on their feet, skidding several hundred meters along the ground as they broke their speed. The Harpies looked at their new opponents, bearing their toothy smiles.
“Well, look who we have here,” Asuka called out, not sure if the SEELE EVAs could hear her or not. Strapped to Unit 02's back was another Lance of Longinus, the same synthetic kind that was used by the Mass Production series. She drew it out of its brackets and slammed it against EVA-02's other palm. “You should pick on someone your own size!”
Misato called instructions into her microphone as Kaji pivoted the VTOL in a 180 turn. “Unit 01, Unit 02. Attack now!”
“Here we go,” Shinji said as he pulled out his own lance. It had been a while since he had last fought in the EVA and admitted to himself that he was very nervous about where he was now. That was, at least, until he saw the Harpies. Memories of being strung up and helplessly hung over the GeoFront by the white things that were again in front of him were all the motivation he needed. Both he and Asuka charged their EVAs at the Harpies with battle cries, lances pointed in front of them.
As the purple and red EVAs came towards them, both of the Harpies spread out their wings and started to move upwards. “Oh, no you don't!” Asuka yelled, and she forcefully threw her lance straight towards the white Harpy in front of her. Not sure if it would have an effect on the EVA, she watched as the lance sailed towards the beast as she quickly ran Unit 02 over and closed the distance as much as she could. Despite the fact that the Harpy could fly the lance was faster than it and struck it on the shoulder, bringing it back down to the ground.
Shinji did the same with his target, throwing the lance as he aimed for the center of its chest. He was rewarded with success as the Harpy was dropped from the sky, plunging down and bouncing on the ground in front of him.
Asuka quickly rushed the fallen Harpy in front of her, pulling out of her arm holder a squat barrel-type weapon. As the Harpy rushed to pick itself off of the ground, Unit 02 got within a few meters and readied her weapon.
“Don't think I don't remember you,” Asuka snarled. “Payback's a bitch, isn't it?!” A second later the EVA pulled the trigger to the flamethrower and long tongues of flame shot out. She made several long pulls of the flame gun in quick succession and then waited for the smoke and flame to die down to see the result of her attack.
What she had expected to see was the same result as what happened in the GeoFront battle, that the high-intensity flames would burn the Mass Production series units up until their skin became black, like they did then. Unfortunately the Harpy that she fought now seemed nearly impervious to the flame attacks, and now lunged at her with the spear that she had previously thrown at it.
“Shit,” Asuka cursed as she dodged the spear. “Unit 02 to control, flames don't work anymore on this thing!”
Misato received the message and countered. “Then take it down with melee weapons! Quickly”
“Upgrades,” Kaji quipped. “SEELE's been busy.”
“We've got a few new tricks of our own,” Misato replied with a smile.
Asuka pivoted in front of the Harpy and quickly gave it an axe kick, then twisted forward and grabbed the lance from it's hand. Both EVAs fought for control, tumbling down to the ground and rolling over buildings and tanks that were strewn along the peninsula.
To EVA-02's right was EVA-01. As the Harpy pounced upwards off the ground, Shinji was waiting with his own lance, swinging it hard like a bat against the white EVA as it tried to get up. He did that twice, forcing it to backpedal against a hill until the Harpy used its leg and pushed EVA-01 upwards and several hundred meters towards the bay. Unit 01 splashed hard into the water as Shinji tried to regain his bearings.
Misato watched Shinji's battle unfold and directed Kaji to fly the Thunderbolt over to where EVA-01 was landed. “Shinji, get up!” she shouted. He worked to get his EVA out of the water as the other Mass Production EVA started to move quickly towards him.
Raising its hand the Harpy emitted some sort of energy and its own lance immediately lifted in the air and flew towards it. Some Alliance engineers had tried to put on chains to tow it away, but the force of traction energy was so strong it immediately broke the chains. As the lance landed in the White EVA's palms it ran towards the beach where EVA-01 was getting back up out of the water.
“Distract it,” Misato told Kaji. The pilot complied by flying the Thunderbolt right by the face the Harpy and letting loose with two entire pods of FFAR rockets before rapidly dodging the giant fist that came their way. “All units, engage fire on Harpy #2!” Misato ordered and in the next moment gunfire from both naval vessels in the bay and units on the ground again fired into the Harpy to distract it.
For her part after rolling on the ground directly into the other side of the peninsula, Asuka's Unit 02 wrestled control over the spear and she immediately lunged at the Harpy again with it. Dodging the thrust her opponent also raised its hand and summoned its own spear, and within a moment it flew into its open hand, still with multiple chains attached to it. The white EVA moved to strike Asuka with the spear but she was quicker, grabbing her Prog Knife out of its holder and immediately pressing forward against it with the knife in one hand and her lance in the other. She rotated around and struck the Harpy in the back with the Prog knife, then when it tried to spread its wings and fly off she pushed off the lance and vaulted Unit 02 in the air, kicking at the Harpy as she went airborne. Again it went down with Asuka following it to the ground.
Shinji shook his head to clear himself and saw the other Harpy as it looked for things to kill while the Alliance continued to fire a barrage at it. He saw the Harpy pick up a tank that firing at it from the ground and then quickly crushed it with its other hand. In the video monitor of the EVA he could see the crew in the tank try to escape it. One man climbed out of a hatch to jump out, but the Harpy lifted it high in the air before he could escape. He lost his balance and plunged to his death below. Another crew member tried to get out of a second hatch and was crushed to death as the harpy tightened its grip. Grinning with salivating lips, the Mass Production EVA turned to another tank, lifting it in the air and crushing it and its crew as well as they tried to escape.
The graphic images of men dying by being squeezed to death shocked Shinji. This thing is so powerful...why does it even bother with these little guys when it can fight me. It just wants to kill anything it sees. He then saw a white-painted Thunderbolt spinning around and just barely avoiding being crushed by the white beast. Misato and Kaji. Those men on the ground...
No way I can let it harm them.
Unit 01 pulled one of its Progressive Knives from his holder. Holding the knife in attack position in front of him in one hand, and the Lance in another, Shinji screamed a battle cry and raced towards the Harpy at full speed.
As Shinji moved Unit 01 into a charge Unit 01 roared right along with him, and when the Harpy turned its head to see what was coming the purple beast was already right on top of him. Screaming with anger, Shinji struck with both lance and knife, pushing the EVA to the ground and repeatedly punching holes in it until it stopped moving. Once it stopped, Shinji stood up Unit 01 above it, blades at the ready.
“Good job, Shinji,” Misato called over the speakers, “do the entry plug, now!” Shinji realized that the Mass Production EVA would regenerate without the Coup de Grasse, and quickly dove down to roll it over and tear out the flesh in its back. He could feel it squirming as it tried to regenerate and avoid being killed, but after ripping through its thick back Shinji found the red-colored entry plug and quickly plunged his lance right through it. A large splash of LCL doused Unit 01 in red as it struck the plug, and the battered milk-white giant, covered in sickly red liquid, permanently stopped moving.
“About time you got yours,” Asuka chided. “I got mine a minute ago.” Shinji looked to his left and saw Unit 02 standing tall over a white EVA lying on the ground, a progressive knife sticking through its chest. “So, what do you think, Misato? Do I get first prize this time?”
Misato was about to reply when she saw the white EVA below Asuka moving slightly. “Asuka, did you get the plug?” She hurriedly asked.
“Yep, stuck the knife right through it. It's not going any...” Just as she spoke the Harpy suddenly lunged up at EVA-02, knife still embedded in its chest cavity. Asuka screamed as the Harpy attacked her again with the lance in its hand.
“ASUKA!!!” Shinji shouted. Acting quickly, he threw the lance that was in Unit 01's other hand at the Harpy and hit it directly in its back. As the lance plunged deeply into the Harpy it was paralyzed in mid-attack, hand still in the air. Asuka quickly saw the opportunity and swung around with her Prog knife, slicing its head clean off its shoulders in one fluid motion. LCL spouted out of the neck in all directions as the white body fell backwards and rolled to the side on the ground. Realizing her mistake Asuka immediately jumped on top of the Harpy, this time taking no chances and ripping its abdomen to shreds as she dug for the entry plug. Once she found it she again plunged her knife it in several times and then ripped it out in pieces from the body of the Harpy.
Asuka panted heavily as her EVA knelt on top of the dead carcass. Damn, I'm getting soft.
“Asuka, are you OK,” she heard on the audio. She looked up at Shinji and was momentarily angry at him.
“I could have handled that, you know?!” she shot at him.
“I know,” he calmly replied, expecting her response.
“Then why did you get in the way?!”
Looking at her without expression, Shinji said simply “I hate Harpies.”
“I hate them too!”
“Then I guess we're in the right place, then.” he answered her.
Left without anything else to say, Asuka looked like she was going to blow up at Shinji. After a moment her face changed from anger to smiling, laughting at the stupidity of their situation. Before they could say anything else to each other, Misato's face came on their video screens. “Good job, both of you. Asuka!”
She groaned as she answered, knowing what was next. “What!?”
“You did well,” Misato said gently. “Just be more careful please.”
“Sure,” Asuka said quietly.
Looking down below him, Shinji could see the Alliance troops on the ground as they regrouped after being stomped on by the white giants. Dozens of tanks were smashed and crumpled, with men wounded and dead strewn all around. On the ground, Colonel Burke was directing men, ordering some to go to the wounded while rallying the survivors to press forward against the remaining UN troops that were in front of them.
From his EVA Shinji saw the large number of wounded and dying, watching the efforts of medics and others troops as they worked on each man lying down on the ground. Looking around he didn't see a hospital or even an aid station were they would be taken.
“Misato?” he asked. “There's a lot of wounded. Where can they go?”
“There's a hospital on board Liberator,” she answered.
“Then let me help, please.”
Misato thought for a moment. The plan was originally once the Harpies had been defeated to pull back the EVAs, holding them in reserve and removing them as a target in case SEELE had anything else to send after them. She realized that Shinji was taking initiative by asking to help on the battle field, and she couldn't see anything wrong with that.
“Unit 01,” Misato ordered, “Assist the Alliance with evacuating their wounded.”
“Yes, ma'am” Shinji answered.
“You're assigned to the Alliance tactical forces. Use the EVA to keep the remaining UN forces from escaping!”
“Asuka” Misato called again, “Don't use lethal force unless you have to. EVAs are for fighting other EVAs, they're not killing machines.”
The redhead sighed at first but the realized the point Misato was making. “Understood.” She immediately picked up her weapons and began to run EVA-02 towards the rear lines of the UN forces.
Colonel Burke continued to direct his forces, regrouping men at the beach and sending them northward towards the UN front. Standing above them was the purple EVA-01. From the EVA a boy's voice called out on loudspeakers. “Excuse me! Are there any wounded that need to be evacuated?”
One of the marines in Col. Burke's escort was incredulous at the voice coming from the Evangelion above them. “Is that a kid in there?!Who's piloting that thing, anyway?” The colonel gave the marine a stern look and then replied back himself at the pilot. “We've got groups of wounded inside these two armored personnel carriers,” he shouted, pointing at two armored vehicles close to him. “Can you get these men to the Liberator?”
“I'll do it!” the voice responded, and then the purple giant reached over and gently lifted up both of the green and gray camouflaged vehicles. Turning for the bay, Unit 01 then quickly ran over towards the beach. Plunging into the water, EVA 01 waded through the shallow bay and made its way to the carrier several kilometers away towards the ocean.
Racing the EVA north towards the back end of the UN forces, Asuka ran Unit 02 for several kilometers up the peninsula towards where the UN postioned their command and logistic support units. Finding a large clump of command vehicles with large antennas and satellite dishes, she identified it as the UN command post and immediately ran over and just behind it.
At the command post there was chaos as the UN command staff hurriedly packed up their computers and equipment in order to evacuate their position. They had watched as the Harpies came swooping down and destroyed the Alliance Evangelions, only to find that they were decoys instead. When the real EVAs came into the battle and made short work of the Mass Production EVAs, the UN commander had called a general retreat.
The Russian general was about to give orders over his command network for the artillery to use N2s to cover their escape when while running out of the tent to his waiting VTOL he saw the red giant standing over the encampment.
Among her many other talents was speaking passable Russian, and Asuka put it to good measure here. “Hey, you there!” she said over the EVA's loudspeakers at the group of officers below. They froze as they all saw the forty-meter giant above them. One missile team next to the HQ launched a salvo at the red giant but all of the missiles bounded off the EVA, exploding in air harmlessly.
“I demand you surrender your army, now!” Asuka called out to the officers. When several of them tried to run to an armored vehicle to make their escape, Asuka used Unit 02's flame gun and spread a wall of flame between their vehicle and the road ahead of them.
“Ah-ah-aah!” she said coyly. “No one's going anywhere!”
“What the hell?” one of the commanders on the ground said with disbelief. “It’s got the voice of a little girl!”
The UN generals and officers below stood in fright as the red giant proceeded to stomp on every vehicle that in the encampment. Making sure each had no men inside of it (in one case she waited until they all ran outside), Asuka proceeded to squish each tank, VTOL, and other vehicle until only the group of men were left standing outside. She was about to scoop up who she thought looked like the general in charge of the men when she saw Kaji's VTOL fly over to where her EVA and the UN command post stood. The VTOL quickly landed and both Kaji and Misato exited the vehicle, weapons at the ready.
As Kaji pointed a submachine gun at the group of men, Misato walked over directly to the UN general with a cold look in her eyes. The general tried to back into the crowd of officers but Misato forcefully collared him, dragging him over to where another UN soldier was standing with a radio on his back.
“Call them off, now!” Misato ordered in English. “Order your men to surrender, or we'll use the EVA on them just like you tried to do to us with those white things!”
The UN general stammered in broke English. “I had nothing to do with that! We just wanted them to kill the Evangelions!”
“Call them off then!!” Misato ordered.
“I suggest you do it,” Kaji said casually, waving his sub-machine gun at the red EVA next to them. “We have a hard time keeping her temper under control, and right now she's really on edge.”
The general looked up at the red Evangelion. She looked right back at him, with her flame gun's pilot lite lit at the end of its barrel. Unit 02 then quickly bared its very large teeth at the man below.
The Russian pushed Misato out of the way and grabbed the radio receiver, hurriedly ordering his men to stand down. Afterwards he looked at Misato with anguish. “My family will not survive this.”
“Then you need to pick better employers,” Misato answered coldly.
Go on to Chapter Eleven