April 30, 1997

  My first non-Ranma fic. And, of all things, it's Evangelion. Of
course, considering how little I've seen of it, it's not plot driven.
Right, another introspection piece.
  Shin Seiki Evangelion and its characters are the property of Gainax,
Inc. and translated to English by ADV Films (I think).

And now, Oddzilla Productions presents....

"Risen" by Andrew Huang


  Shinji sighed. It was one of those days again. Sensei started to
ramble on days like these, when it seemed that very air was sapped of
energy. And he was further draining it with his monologues.

  Second Impact...the destruction...heck, he knew more than Sensei about
this stuff, as did two other members of class. Eva pilots. The elite.
The admired. The few, the proud...the few. The lonely.

  He never asked for it. Never did. Never wanted it. In the heat of
battle, it was damned agonizing. No, agonizing was an understatement. It
was a rending of the soul to fight in the Eva.

  But that was just him. Asuka reveled in it. She gloried in the fight,
seemingly fueling the Eva with her fierce enthusiasm just as much as the
power plug did. How she could do that was beyond himself. Just.... Well,
Shinji couldn't find the words to describe it.

  Then there was Rei. Who knew?

  The bell blasted Shinji out of his reverie.

  "Rise!" Hikari's voice rang. The students rose to their feet in
deference to Sensei. Shinji sighed. Their day was over, but he had some
test sequences to run. How fortunate.


  "Nothing much today, Shinji-kun. We're just recording the progress
you're making with synch rates. Sit tight, and tell us if anything feels
wrong." Ritsuko paused. "All right?"

  "Yes." Was it ever all right?


  The LCL flooded the plug. Shinji felt his body suddenly lighten, as
the fluid buoyed him up slightly.

  All right....

  "Begin synchronization."

  In battle, only pain.


  "Synchronization proceeding smoothly. Critical point in thirty

  As he sat he just sat here, doing nothing else....

  "A womb...."

  "Shinji? What was that?"

  "Nothing." Everything. The plug. It was almost womblike, snug, warm,
with even its own amniotic fluid sustaining him, surrounding him.

  "Twenty seconds...."

  It smelled of blood, this place. And yet....

  Comforting. Ironic beyond belief...when he wasn't fighting in this
thing, it was comfortable.

  Hmm, should be.... "Ten seconds." Right.

  But it was more than a womb. He could feel--

  "Critical point...reached and passed."

  There. This...critical point. Shinji still wasn't exactly sure what it
was, but he sure knew it when it came.

  "Synch rate is...59%. Excellent! It's gone up 4% since last time.
Congratulations, Shinji-kun."

  "Yeah." Shinji wasn't listening...but then, he wasn't all there. He
never was, not after that point. It was like....

  "Anything off in there?"

  "Nothing wrong." Indeed.

  "Well, then, let's keep going."



  These plug suits were nothing like anything he had before. Had he been
one to note such things, Shinji might even think they looked like pretty
nice battle armor.

  But he wasn't the type to notice that. He gingerly pulled it off,
wiping a few last drops of LCL from his brow as he did so. He began
pulling on his clothes.

  Rei. What did she feel when she got into the plug?

  "It is my link." Shinji's head jerked up, and he looked around,
scrambling to cover himself. Only after a few seconds did he realize
that it had been his imagination.

  No, his memory. The Fifth Angel. It was her the world, to
everyone else. So she said. Of course, there was also that bit about his
father, he could tell it was relatively minor when it came to actually
being in the Eva.

  Yes, it was a link, Shinji supposed. But to the world? No.... Not
really. To others? Definitely not. He was most alone when in there.

  What was that feeling, though, when he reached the critical point?
When he synchronized with that...that...well, golem.... And why, after
disengaging, did it feel like something wasn't there anymore?

  Shinji finished dressing, and blew out a soft sight, before leaving
the locker room.

  A few hundred yards away, a giant purple humanoid creation of the
hands of men loosened its jaws slightly and released a gentle blast of
air. It startled the engineers considerably.

  There you go. Confused? Well, so am I. :P Heh.

>From Andrew Huang, Taiwanese-American-German-Scot Harvard Student :P
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