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NEON GENESIS EVANGELION was created by GAINAX.
Space Sci Fi influences from various sources.

NEGEV
Chapter 1: Wuss Boy/Zombie Girl
by E.L.Toh
contact: teloong@cwcom.net or toheel@singnet.com.sg
archive: http://www.teloong.mcmail.com/

A.D. 2118. Galactic core outer rim planet 'Reuben'
First Expeditionary Force

   Vice Admiral Jakob Van Heemskerck was grim as he relayed the news
to the ExFor Commander. The battle of control of this first planet was
going badly. "AJAX to ARIADNE. We've just lost the HECTOR." 

   "Acknowledged, AJAX," came the response from the command carrier,
"This is Admiral Bearn to Destroyer and Frigate Group 3. Fill the
breach and press on with the attack."

   "We're hitting it with everything we've got! N2 warheads and our
main guns are having no effect at all! Request..." The transmission
from the Group 2 lead destroyer PLUTO was abruptly cut off as a 
particle beam sweep across it and its two flanking ships. Their hulls
were torn apart as easily as tin foil, disgorging twisted wreckage and
orange flame.

   "ARIADNE to all main battle cruisers. Concentrate your forward
positron cannon fire on these coordinates! On my mark!"

   'Jean Bart Bearn is trying to break through the enemy's defensive
field with a coordinated burst of firepower,' thought Van Heemskerck
as his bridge crew linked their targetting computers to the flagship.
A hellish red nimbus of heavy energy built up in the front of each
surviving battle cruiser, including his own.

   "FIRE!"

   Nearly two dozen surviving battle cruisers simultaneously poured
forth their rage, the red beams streaking towards a single point. 

   The resulting collision of energies momentarily flooded the AJAX's
sensor arrays with white noise. As the interference cleared away, Van
Heemskerck's eyes widened in disbelief. 'This is impossible!'

   Their enemy was unscathed. 

   Van Heemskerck watched in horror was another particle beam shot 
right through the ARIADNE. The super-structure of the once proud 
flagship folded and fused like candle wax in a furnace before erupting
in a huge ball of fire.

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

Present time. A.D. 2124. The United Nations Defence Force spacedocks
in geo-synchronous orbit around Europa, the ice moon of the gas 
giant, Jupiter. 

   Milling around the docks were mining vessels and freighters. 
Mixed detachments of missile frigates, ungainly hammer-headed battle
cruisers and escort carriers held formation, awaiting the coordinates
of their next designated staging point.

   In contrast to the busy humdrum of the main spacedocks, the 
installation on the dark side of Ganymede was much more subdued.
Laser turrets and hunter-killer probes made sure that ordinary 
commercial and military traffic did not stray into the vicinity of
this classified shipyard.

   It was therefore more than a little unusual when a prowler dropped
out of warp just a few hundred klicks from the installation. Half a
dozen security and weapons systems immediately locked on the newcomer. 

   With a mental command, the pilot sent his clearance code which 
disengaged the defence systems. 

   As the fighter approached the installation, it became clear that
the shipyard was really a girder-like exo-skeleton encasing a massive
warship. It resembled an old style aircraft carrier without the 
conning tower. Part of the propulsion systems jutted out prominently 
from the stern in the form of massive triple barrels which were 
complemented by huge arch-like folds flanking the starboard and port,
extending their way to a third of the ship's length from the stern. 
He could easily see the ship's name which was spelt out prominently 
on its port bow.

   "Wussboy to NEGEV, permission to dock."

   There was a brief pause in the radio comms, interspersed by mild 
crackling from the background cosmic radiation.

   "Wussboy, this is NEGEV. MAGI will adjust your approach vector. 
Docking will be in the Seventh Cage."

   "Understood."

   With that, the prowler veered to the right, entering the command 
carrier via the opening double doors of a hangar within the port arch.

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   Shinji 'Wussboy' Ikari removed his helmet and stowed it in the 
cockpit before disembarking from the prowler. Hangar techs and DRDs 
had already started their maintenance runs on his fighter craft as he
threw a jacket over his skin-tight blue-white flight suit and made his
way towards the exit where there was someone waiting to receive him.

   "Lieutenant Commander Ikari Shinji, reporting for duty," he said,
saluting formally.

   "Welcome aboard," replied his superior officer as she returned the
salute, "and I see you're still as much of a tight-ass as ever!" 
Misato broke into a grin. 

   "Oh, come on, Shinji! 'Lieutenant Commander Ikari Shinji, reporting
for duty,'" she imitated in mock serious fashion, "Really! It's not
like we're complete strangers, you know. Still, it's great to see you
again!"

   Shinji rolled his eyes. "Well, I suppose it's good to see you too
... Hey, cut it out!" he protested as she mussed his hair.

   "Awwww..." pouted Misato, arms akimbo, "you're no fun. You know,
you used to be such a cute kid. Well, at least you're grown into
something quite yummy." 

   "And you haven't changed a bit," sighed Shinji, his expression 
between annoyance and amusement. "I can't believe someone as 
irresponsible as you was promoted to Commodore. With your very own 
command! High Command must have gone completely off their rockers!
Nice uniform though."

   "Congratulations accepted!" said Misato cheerfully, as she twirled
around once to give him the full benefit of her red jacket, black 
blouse and short red a-line skirt. Well, make that very short red a-
line skirt. "It's not reeeally my own command though. This is an 
Admiral's flagship after all. I'm more like the XO."

   "I thought the only XOing you do is from a cognac bottle."

   "Oh yeah, that reminds me! I've got to show you something really 
great! This baby may not be my command but I still got to do some 
really nifty modifications to the ship!" winked Misato.

   "Oh no," groaned Shinji, a hand over his face, "not some new 
private beer stash again..."

   "Nope! It's even better! Come on! Let me show it to you. Gotta 
see it to believe it!" Misato grabbed his arm and began to pull him 
down the corridor.

   "Hey! Let me go! I've got to..." 

   "Your girlfriend can wait! She's waited six months since you were 
assigned to a tour on deep space patrol! However... the wonder of the
universe that is Commodore Katsuragi's Onboard Microbrewery cannot!"

   "What about reporting to the Admiral?!" offered Shinji rather 
lamely, even to himself.

   "Your dad's in a meeting. Man, you must be desperate to get away 
if you want to use him as an excuse. Don't worry, the beer's good! I 
promise!"

   "Misato!"

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   Earth. A globe of blue interspersed with swirls of white and 
brown-green patches.

   Around the moon is a continuous metal ring of uneven proportions.
The Lunar Orbital Defence Ring.

   An asteroid hurtling towards Earth from the depths of space.

   A frantic volley of fire from the positron cannons on the LODR
impact against the asteroid, breaking it into several chunks before
those are, in their turn, reduced it to space dust.

   The holographic replay of these events fades.

Present: 
General Secretary, United Nations

United Nations Security Council Representatives for
North America
Central & South America
Europe 
North Africa & Middle East
Sub-Saharan Africa 
Central Asia, 
South Asia, 
East Asia & Oceania

Admiral of the Fleet, Fleet High Command
Assistant Chief of the United Nations General Staff, Planning
Assistant Chief of the United Nations General Staff, Intelligence
Assistant Chief of the United Nations General Staff, Operations
Assistant Chief of the United Nations General Staff, Logistics 
Commanding Officer, Planetary Defence 
Deputy Commanding Officer, NEGEV

Observer Status:
Committee for Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX)

   "That was too close," remarked the monolith carrying the voice 
transmissions of the United Nations Security Council Representative
for North America.

   "There was no risk to Earth. We had land-based and Earth orbital
defence systems locked on this latest asteroid," said CO, Planetary 
Defence.

   "Even though our defences at Ursa Major, Proxima-Centauri and 
Jupiter intercepted most of the asteroids in this latest attack, that
one still managed through and come within several thousand kilometres
of our home world," noted UNSC Rep East Asia & Oceania.

   "We may not be so fortunate next time! If there is a concerted 
strike against us, an even larger swarm of these asteroids could 
overwhelm the defences. If even one got through, we could have a 
repeat of the Second Impact of 25 years ago!" protested UNSC Rep 
North Africa & Middle East.

   "We should strike at the source of the problem and eliminate it 
once and for all," stated UNSC Rep Central Asia.

   "No one can fault that logic. But although the Committee for 
Planetary and Lunar Exploration has managed to narrow down the star 
systems in the galatic core that have been the source of the
asteriods, the total loss of our First Expeditionary Force - dozens
of capital ships and tens of thousands of personnel - represents a
serious setback to our efforts," opined ACUNGS, Planning.

   "If that wasn't bad enough, there are strange and powerful 
entities guarding the key planets that bar our route into the 
galatic core. These 'Angels', as designated by COMPLEX, are unlike
any foe we faced before. If these entities were to venture out of 
the galatic core, the results could be devastating for us!" noted 
UNSC Rep Central & South America hotly.

   "Which is why COMPLEX and UN Fleet High Command have been working
on NEGEV," said ACUNGS, Operations. "Vice Admiral Fuyutsuki will 
explain the proposed strategy."

   Star charts and schematics began feeding through to the other 
members of the meeting.

   "The NEGEV is the largest command carrier ever built, over 1,600
metres long and laid down according to the Amagi class aspect ratio.
It is able to operate without support ships as it incorporates
features of a warship, research vessel, production facility and so 
on. Ideal for deep space missions, the NEGEV will reconnoitre and
clear the way - enabling the spearhead elements of the Second 
Expeditionary Force to secure lines of communication for the main 
fleet. We expect Project E will provide the solution to our Angel
problem..."

   "We expect a white elephant, built to satisfy the megolomania of
Ikari Gendou, to be able to face an enemy that decimated an entire
fleet of our finest ships?!" interrupted UNSC Rep South Asia.

   'Damned Gendou always sticks me the most tedious tasks,' groaned
Fuyutsuki mentally. Taking a deep breath, he then drew on his 
scientific expertise to fend off the opposing arguments. And failing
that, to browbeat his opponents into submission with obtuse technical
jargon and sheer obfuscatory long-windedness.

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   "Have you heard about the pilot that just transferred in, sempai?" 
asked Maya as she looked up from the vast array of engine room 
instrumentation before her.

   "You mean Shinji?" responded Ritsuko who was keying code into 
Melchior at lightning speed. With one hand. The sound of her 
keystrokes were almost musical, set against the soft constant hum of
the air scrubbers in the ventalilation system.

   "Yes, that's right. He and Commodore Katsuragi seem to know each
other really well. Do you think they're...? Well, not that there is
anything wrong, in principle, with someone older seeing someone much
younger," winked Maya with her last comment.

   "Haha," laughed Ritsuko dryly as she continued to type, "it's not 
like that at all, Maya dear. Misato was his mentor and guardian at 
the Academy since his early teens. You could say she's like a big 
sister to him."

   "Oh, I see. I didn't notice that in his file," nodded Maya.

   "And now that he's here onboard, you won't have to chance to
harrass you-know-who." Klak-klah-klak-klak-klak.

   "Hey! I do not harrass!" protestd Maya. "And besides, who cares 
about her? You're the only one for me, sempai!"

   "Yeah right," snorted Ritsuko, "now, let me see, what were those 
fusion reactor calibrations again?"

   "But you are! My heart belongs to you and you alone!" declared 
Maya as she glomped onto Ritsuko's arm.

   "Just keep that in mind the next time another skirt crosses your 
path," harumped Ritsuko who finally gave pause to her keying in of 
commands. Brushing a stray lock of blonde hair aside, she reached for
a ready mug of coffee, fresh from her own customised Cup'o'matic.

   "Oh sempai, you're not being fair! I..." Maya's voice trailed off 
as she blinked once in surprise. Then, slowly, she shifted her gaze to
the instrumentation around the two science officers.

   Ritsuko's visage scrunched up into the sourest of grimaces as she
took a sip of her coffee. 'Uugh, this tastes more like toothpaste.'

   "Sem-pai..." Maya enunciated the honorfic slowly with just a dash
of nervousness creeping in.

   "What is it now, Maya?" asked Ritsuko absent-mindedly as she 
began to disassemble the coffee machine while muttering to herself
about configuring the damned thing right this time and why it was
important to humour Maya by allowing her assistant to address her
by that honorific.

   "Sempai, I think we have a problem," said Maya who was sporting
a huge sweatdrop.

   "Hmmm? Oh, that. Don't worry about it. My little tweak to 
Mother's algorithms will give the propulsion systems a 2.5% boost
in efficiency! All those red lights, dials and indicators should 
return to normal riiight aaabout... now."

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   Shinji threw his arms against the right bulkhead of the corridor
for support as the whole ship suddenly seemed to spasm violently. All
the lights went blacked out for a second. And with the return of
illumination, came the sound of alarm klaxons. 

   "What the..." 

   And then from absolute chaos, it reverted to 'A-O-Kay' before he 
could even complete his thought.
   
   "..."

   Shinji shrugged and continued along his way. After a lot of 
trekking around the expansive interior of the command carrier,
he finally found himself at his desired destination.

   Entering the holodeck, he noted that the simulation portrayed the
setting as a large hall filled with pillars that were spaced widely 
apart. Illumination was provided by occassional circles of light
beamed down from an unseen ceiling far above, creating intermittent
areas of deep shadow. A low mist crept around the floor - just to
add to the atmosphere. 

   'Hmm. An armed melee combat training scenario,' thought Shinji.
"MAGI, load Wussboy melee weapon beta."

   He gripped cold steel as a glaive appeared in his hand. He hefted
the broadsword and, satisfied with its weight and balance, swept it
in a wide motion from his shoulder to his waist. Poised with the tip 
of the blade pointing at the ground, Shinji awaited the attack.

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   "The activitation of Unit Zero was successful. A satisfactory
synchronization ratio was achieved by Zombie when Unit Zero was
assimiliated with a prowler and then later, a combat mech," reported 
Admiral Gendou Ikari, hands steepled just under his nose, as he
addressed the single monolith before him.

   "And what of Unit One?" asked Lorenz Kihl, his holographic image 
towering over Gendou's seated figure.

   "I have been informed that the pilot and his prowler has just 
arrived. We should commence the preliminary trials in a few hours
time."

   "From the reports, I've gathered that this pilot, call-sign
'Wussboy'..." Kihl paused momentarily.

   'I'm sure that stupid boy must have deliberately chosen that 
call-sign so that he could find a new way to embarrass me.' Unbidden,
this thought surfaced in Gendou's mind for the umpteenth time over
the past few years.

   "... this pilot," resumed Kihl, "is your own son. Aside from the
suspicion that you're packing the crew of NEGEV with your relatives,
and former colleagues, he has got quite a disciplinary record. Three
counts of insubordination. Among other things."

   "We have been through this before. And you've seen all the test
reports," said Gendou flatly.

   "Yes. But it still remains to be seen whether the selected pilots
or EVA Units will prove their worth in combat," noted Kihl gravely.

   "And for the Units to be operationally ready for combat, we will 
need the Dreieinigkeit Combine's S2 engines. The limits of battery 
technology mean that, at present, EVA Units Zero and One cannot 
function for more than fifteen minutes at a time without an external
power source. Umblical cables are fine for experiments but are barely
acceptable even for limited land operations."

   "I am well aware of that," replied Kihl, "the Combine is in the
final phase of its testing of the S2 engine production model in
concert with EVA Unit 02 at the Ursa Minor facility. My question to 
you is whether you can keep continue to keep the plebians on the 
Security Council at bay without our intervention."

   "I am sure you and I both have supreme confidence in Fuyutsuki's
ability to defend Project E," said Gendou whose lips curled into a 
smirk, hidden by his hands. "You yourself insisted on bringing him 
onboard. I have secured the qualified support of East Asia & Oceania,
Europe and North America. Besides, ours is the only weapon that can
defeat the Host."

   "Indeed," said Kihl as he acknowledged Gendou's points. "And to
ensure that we stay within the schedule, NEGEV should launch and then
proceed to rendevous at Ursa Minor in 72 Earth Standard Hours. There,
you will take the S2 engines, Unit Two and Valkyrie onboard."

   "That is acceptable."

   "Ikari, you and I both know that what is at stake here. We cannot 
fail." With that, Kihl's monolith vanished.

   Gendou remained seated, motionless, amidst the darkness and his
own thoughts.

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   Shinji whirled around just in time to parry a blow aimed at his
neck. He barely had time to recover from the force of that strike. Or
even to register the physical presence of his assailant - save for the
flash of two blood red orbs - before she retreated, with a backwards 
leap, into the shadow and mist.

   Gripping the glaive with both hands, he held it before him in a
guard position. He was starting to have to take deep breaths but 
hadn't broken into a serious sweat. Yet.

   Suddenly his six senses screamed at him. Right! Right! He spun 
towards that direction, swinging his sword to counter the rain of
thrusts and slashes that emerge from a humanoid-shaped blur of white.
His opponent pressed with her attack, making this the most sustained
encounter of the duel thus far.

   Shinji smiled to himself as he recognised the weapon she was using 
 - an extremely wicked sword favoured by the Ancient Egyptians. They
used the hooked end of the blade to puncture the shields, armour,
helmets and, subsequently, various body parts of their enemies. Then
he saw an opening. 

   His attempt to exploit it was countered at the last minute by that
hooked sword. Now with swords crossed at about shoulder level, he 
could just make out her person. Even so, it still shimmered and swayed
like a distant mirage. Shinji grunted and pushed forward with all his
strength, hoping to throw his opponent off balance.

   She had other ideas. With a subtle shift in her weight and a deft
twist of her weapon, Shinji found that not only was his glaive pried
from his grip and was taking a trip into the far reaches of the hall,
one way, he also realised he was over-extended and off-balance. In
other words, he was going to land flat on his face.

   Until an arm intercepted his waist on its way down and set him
back on his feet. As that left arm moved to encircle his back, the
right found its way around his shoulders as the Egyptian blade 
clattered onto the floor. A head of light blue hair nestled against
his left shoulder and Shinji found himself overwhelmed by a flood of
sensory and emotional signals. The fragrance of her hair, the warmth
of her body through her (snugly fitting) white flight suit, the 
sensation of her nuzzling his neck. He embraced her tightly for a few
long moments. Brushing back a stray lock of hair from her forehead, 
he gently stroked her chin and then lifted her face towards his. 

   "I missed you," she said quietly, those strange red eyes speaking
of wistful longing. Her right eye was framed, above the eye brow and
edge of her temple, by a metallic rim complete with tiny ports and
indicators.

   "I missed you too, Rei. It's been six months. Six months too long,"
sighed Shinji.

   Rei cocked her head slightly to one side. "Your swordsmanship has
slipped."

   "Well, it's a bit difficult to train when you're stuck in a 
cockpit. The result of Dad kicking me onto the deep space patrol
shift. By the way, I see you've been training hard on your cloaking
technique. Nice work," smiled Shinji.

   "You could still sense me," pointed out Rei who nonetheless blushed
slightly at his praise.

   "Only just barely. I..." 

   "Lieutenant Commander Ikari, come in please," announced the 
communicator, on the wrist of his flight suit, which had come online.
Shinji shrugged in vague annoyance.

   "This is Shinji. What's up?"
   
   "Please report to the Third Cage immediately," declared the 
disembodied female voice. While the request was worded strongly and
officiously, the tone of its delivery was surprisingly meek.

   "Acknowledged. On my way," stated Shinji as the transmission
was terminated. 

   "Anything on right now, Rei?"

   "Just this flight suit," she said with a completely straight face.

   "..." Shinji scratched his head and chuckled to himself. Despite
having a strong and long-standing relationship with her as well as
his ESP ability, sometimes he still couldn't tell if Rei was joking
or not. 

   "Come on," he said, taking her hand, "let's go for a walk."

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   "Excuse me, just *WHAT* are you doing to *MY* prowler?!" demanded
Shinji.

   Maya straightened her hair after Shinji's verbal onslaught. "Well,
what we did was to remove the old command module from your long range,
deep space fighter and replace it with a core and plug that forms the
nexus of EVA Unit One."

   "It looks disgusting!" protested Shinji, pointing at the outgrowths
from the new cockpit that had spread throughout the body of the 
prowler. They looked like a cross between varicose veins and tree
roots. A gnarled and bulbous cable snaked its way from underneath 
the Unit to a power source in the hangar.

   "That can't be helped. The EVA Units have a substantial biological
component that we can't completely modify to suit all of our tastes."

   "And what are these EVA Units anyway?" asked Shinji, still rather
distressed at the changes to his pride, joy and penis extension. Rei
patted him on the back lightly in an effort to comfort him.

   "Well, it's hard to explain simply," began Maya, "these Units are
designed to, theoretically, counter the protection of the targets of
the coming operation. They're designed to be transferable between 
existing UNDF weaponry, most importantly the deep space prowler and
the combat mecha, as it is anticipated that they will be deployed in
ground, atmospheric and space operations. This also allows for 
combined arms deployment as well." Her fingers were crossed behind 
her back.

   Shinji frowned at the number of caveats, explicit as well as 
implied that he heard in Maya's explanation. Unusually, he couldn't
sense if she was telling the truth. "This is part of Project E, isn't
it? The plan to penetrate the galactic core. This is my father's 
work."

   "Correct," boomed the voice of Admiral Gendou Ikari as he looked
down on all of them from the observation deck, high above. Drawn up
to his full height, his posture nonetheless indicated his sense of
ease. He was framed in the light from the deck's ceiling illumination,
casting most of his features in some shadow but not enough to 
completely obscure his slightly mysterious but definitely smug and
all-knowing smirk. "It's been a while."

   "Hi, Dad," Shinji responded without much enthusiasm as he winced
internally. 'He can be *such* a drama queen.'

   "You have been designated as the pilot and operator of EVA Unit 
One. The activation test will commence shortly. Doctors Akagi and 
Ibuki will oversee the experiment." The smirk had faded, replaced
with an icy, professional air.

   "Yeah, I'm fine, thanks for asking. Oh, by the way, I like the
beard."

   Gendou's non-response was to turn around and walk out of sight.

   "Alright,we're ready to start the experiment. Please enter the 
Unit now, like you would a normal cockpit," announced Ritsuko from
the control room of the hangar.

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

    'Oh marvellous,' thought Shinji sarcastically as the entry plug of
the EVA Unit filled with a viscous orange fluid. 'Well, at least the
controls are pretty similar to my prowler specs.'

   "So how do you feel, Shinji?" asked Ritsuko as a holo-screen of
the faux blonde scientist appeared before him.

   "Like I'm being prepped for cyro or stasis," replied Shinji, who
swallowed some fluid in the process.

   "Don't be such a baby, Shin-chan," said Misato as her image
appeared next to Ritsuko's. "Rei had to spend a lot more time in an
entry plug for the development of the prototype."

   "That was just an observation, not a complaint, Misasto-san," noted
Shinji, "so what am I supposed to do in this test?"

   "For starters, we've started taking readings of your synch ratio,
that is, how responsive the EVA Unit will be to your mental commands,
very much on the same principle as your original prowler, except this
is more biological than mechanical, and it's much more sophisticated.
Right now, you're doing very well, over 60% on your first try. You
might like to know that the LCL, besides supplying you with oxygen and
other goodies, helps reduce any interference between you and the EVA.
I'm trying mint flavour this week. So what do you think?"

   "Errr... it kind of tastes more like coffee," came Shinji's 
slightly hesistant reply.

   A light bulb lit up figuratively over Ritsuko's head as she slapped
her right fist over her left palm in a 'Oh I get it now!' fashion and
her holo-image vanished abruptly.

   "Ritsuko, just *what* are you doing, wandering off like that?!" 
asked Misato, an eyebrow twitching.

   "Sorry," said Ritsuko, who had the good graces to look a little
embarrassed, as her image reappeared but this time she was carrying
her coffee machine, "I just realised something."

   "Oh man," sighed Misato, "don't you ever learn? Remember the
last time you got distracted and resulted in Rei's little accident?"
 
   "What happened to Rei?!" demanded Shinji, by now, rather anxious.
"No one told me she was injured!"

   "Oh, don't worry, kiddo," purred Misato reassuringly, "our great
scientist-engineer-doctor-rolled-in-one accidentally tapped into my
micro-brewery together with the LCL plant. Rei drank quite a few pints
before anyone realised what was wrong."

   "I never realised just how many bawdy drinking songs Rei knew!"
chipped in Maya.

   "Needless to say, Rei got a little tipsy and she totally trashed 
the hangar when she stumbled around with her combat mech," said
Misato.

   "Okay. Okay, rub it in, alright?" grumbled Ritsuko as her hands
absently fiddled with the Cup'O'Matic.

               -NE-              -G-              -EV-

   'I still can't get to sleep,' thought Shinji as he stared at the
ceiling, 'must be Ritsuko's coffee-spiked LCL.'

   'Well, this sure beats deep space patrol. Even if this outfit is
run by a total jerk who happens to my Dad. The XO is a lush and the
Chief Science, Engineering and Medical Officer is a scatterbrain but
they've both got their hearts in the right places. But most important
of all...'

   "What are you thinking about?" asked Rei quietly, her head resting
on his shoulder, her red eyes softly curious.

   "Sorry Rei, did I wake you?"

   "No," she replied and continued to gaze at him expectantly.

   "I was just thinking about how happy I am to be with you again."

   Rei smiled faintly while snuggling closer to Shinji.

   And sleep eventually stole over them.

      
APPENDIX A: International Law in Space

   International law in space had traditionally been governed by
the under-mentioned conventions, as agreed by the superpowers with
space programs at the time:

1967 UN Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in
the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other
Celestial Bodies (henceforth the 1967 Outer Space Treaty);

1979 UN Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and
Other Celestial Bodies (henceforth the 1979 Moon Agreement);

   The key aims of these agreements was firstly, to declare outer
space to be the part of the common heritage of all mankind - i.e.
no state was allowed to exert sovereignty over any part of outer
space, the moon or other celestial bodies. A corollory of this was
that the exploration and use of outer space was, in principle,
supposed to benefit all human nations and not simply those with the
capacity to do so.

   The second key aim was to prevent the militarisation of space
with explicit guarantees that it was forbidden to test or deploy
weapons in outer space. This was agreed upon by all parties as a
means to limit the spiralling costs of maintaining offensive and
defensive capacities.

   However, due to technological and political changes, pressure to
reform the legal regime in space finally coalesced in the form of 
the two under-mentioned treaties: 

2079 UN Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of Commercial
and Corporate Entities in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space,
Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (henceforth the 2079
Corporate Space Treaty);
	
2100 UN Treaty Establishing the United Nations Defence Force - Fourth
Protocol for Establishing a Fleet High Command for the Defence of 
Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (henceforth
the 2100 Fifth Protocol);

   The principle of outer space as the common heritage and province
of all mankind was abandoned in all but name as territoriality and
sovereignty crept into the picture. The technological capacity to
exploit mineral and other resources in the planets and asteroids of
our solar system (mainly due to the discovery of warp speed travel)
meant that commercial activity in space needed to be regulated.
A system of auctioning various surveying and mining rights to 
corporate entities was developed. These entities, which were often
had governments as shareholders, then had legal personality in the
national courts of the state where they were incorporated. The 2079
Corporate Space Treaty merely codified what had, by that time, become
accepted if haphazard practice.

   The formation of a Fleet High Command for outer space (alongside
the Army, Navy, Air Force and General Staff arms of the international
and supranational United Nations Defence Force) marked the decisive 
end of space as non-military - although one must acknowledge the 
presence of armed para-military units formed by governments and 
corporations to enforce a semblence of order in the colonies and 
space stations. The new Fleet and its Space Marines Corp was deployed
to put an end to the massive outbreak of piracy and insurrections in
the outer star systems, percipitated by the temporary collapse of 
authority in the wake of the Second Impact. The last major holdout
against recentralisation was only reclaimed as recently as 2117 with
the fall of Proxima-3 in the Alpha-Centauri system to UNDF forces.

   The most significant development has been the Second Impact when
Antarctica was struck by a huge asteroid. The Earth was knocked off
its axis. The immediate blast, followed by widespread flooding and 
famine wiped out nearly half the human population. Various regional
and world powers were able to organise relief and recovery through
inter-state, inter-regional and international cooperation. The final
result was the reorganization of the world according to regional 
blocs - North America, Central & South America, Europe, North Africa
& Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, East 
Asia & Oceania - to which states transferred theirs power of decision
with respect to outer space, especially when it was determined that
the Second Impact was the work of a threat external to Earth. For 
reasons of history and resources, outer space (and its attendant
organisations) continues to be dominated by the blocs of North 
America, Europe and East Asia & Oceania and the corporations that
span them. Thus, most of the colonies and installations will subject
to their legal codes as well as the relevant UN directives.

End of Chapter 1

AUTHOR'S NOTES
First off, disclaimers and acknowledgements. I know about >.< this
much about astronomy. If there are any factual errors, do let me
know. I'd be most grateful. Influences for this chapter consciously
include Starcraft, Star Trek, Starship Troopers (the movie), Farscape,
Babylon 5 and Revolutionary Girl Utena as well as Joyce Wakabayashi's
fic 'Urusai Asuka!'.

Secondly, almost the entire cast has been tweaked in (hopefully)
unexpected ways as compared to the original series. I was hoping to
write about Shinji without his usual hangups and to have a Shinji x
Rei story!

16 Oct - 1st draft.
18 Oct - 2nd draft: removed Gendou vs. Shinji slapstick to out-takes.
         Inserted activation test and current WAFF end scene. Title
         of Ch 1 changed from Gotterdammerung.
25 Oct - 3rd draft: New opening scene. Prowler entry scene trimmed.
31 Oct - 4th draft. Small but impt plot changes. 
14 Nov - Finally final. I hope. Plus HTML version.

My thanks to Harold Ancell, Rocci Cirone, Glazius Falconar, Alain 
Gravel, Jerico Mele, D.B. Sommer, Long Tsun, Darth C Wader and 
Jonathan Wang for c&c.