Creation began on 06-20-19
Creation ended on 08-30-20
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Immortal Ikari: Retaliation
"Akira! Takuya! Where are you?!" Shinji called out as he searched for his guardians in the massive hoard universe The Demoness owned.
It must've been an hour after he found Toji and his sister, Kensuke and Hikari, but as they were in a pocket universe, time was a confusing factor if it was irrelevant around here.
"Shinji!" He heard Akira's voice nearby on the street. "Over here!"
He looked further down the street and saw the Prius.
"Are you alright?" Takuya asked him when they got closer.
"We're fine," answered Kensuke to him. "I still can't believe that this is all inside a pocket dimension that The Demoness has to store all her…stuff."
"I think it's safe to say that The Demoness is clearly from an ancient-but-advanced civilization," Hikari expressed as she looked up at the sky, or rather, the artificial sky.
"Ancient-but-advanced?" Kensuke questioned. "You actually believe in such places like Atlantis and Mu?"
"Well, how would you explain what this woman has been able to do ever since she showed up in Tokyo-3?" Toji suggested; even as much as he didn't want to believe they were here, there was no denying any of it.
"I doubt she's some Atlantean or a Muan?" Shinji told them as he went in the Prius and pooped the trunk to retrieve his bike. "She's either from an older civilization or there's something we're missing."
"What could we be missing?" Akira asked him as she pulled his bike out and set it on the ground for him.
"Besides what The Demoness hasn't divulged?" He responded as he climbed onto his bike and started the engine. "This woman has an issue regarding her mother. Find this Tristezas and you find The Demoness."
"Tristezas?" Takuya asked. "The Lady of Sorrows?"
"That's what The Demoness called her. Whatever name she actually goes by is likely either too long for us to pronounce or just too advanced for us to comprehend, so says The Demoness."
"Wait a minute, Shinji," Hikari stopped him before he could ride off. "How do you know where to find either woman? And what do you intend to do if you find either woman?"
"He'll do," went Akira as she reached into the back of the Prius and pulled out Shinji's Jian and gave it to him, "whatever he can do."
"You can say that again," Shinji told her as he placed the sheathed weapon on his back. "Stay together and away from danger."
He then accelerated and rode off, reminding them that despite his diminutive size as a result of his first death being premature at the hands of his maternal aunt, Shinji was still impressive in other areas, including the use of a minibike that clearly gave him an edge in terms of getting around places he couldn't just run to on foot.
"Be careful out here, Shinji," Akira sighed.
Where are you, Mother? The Demoness wondered as she flew over the displaced buildings of Tokyo-3 that were scattered among her sanctuary for various people that were to be part of her new world order once the Game ended.
She reached up to her choker on her neck and got a bad feeling that someone was digging into her possessions that were more close to home than everything else she obtained over the ages; she had many different sets of possessions, and places where she kept them. And there was this feeling that her mother was near one such possession that, while had some association with, no longer had much to do with it. And so, she turned southwest in the expansive hoard, towards where she had salvaged most of her former home. If her mother was there, she would only be home for a brief stay. Home was where the heart usually was…but neither mother nor daughter had much of a heart that was there.
"…Hmm?" Shinji went as he came across a building that didn't look like it belonged to Tokyo-3…or any other city, for that matter. "That's an unusual building. It's nothing Zen or anything, but it screams at you for some reason."
He rode over to it…and saw a man step out of it.
"Whoa," he gasped, seeing the green tentacles that moved for the aged man, who turned towards him. "No way."
"A little boy on a bike," the man uttered. "So, you must be the one she's after, but can't go after just yet."
It was the way the man said what he said that made Shinji suspect that he was associated with The Demoness. Getting off his bike, Shinji held up his tanto defensively, just in case the man tried something with him.
"Are you affiliated with The Demoness?" He questioned, and the man stopped walking.
"Not by choice," he answered.
"Not by choice? What do you mean? You either have some relation to her or you don't."
"Nothing is ever as simple as you want to believe, young man. And…The Demoness is not here. She is out there (one of the man's tentacles raised up and pointed towards the vastness), looking for the woman that is responsible for condemning her people."
Shinji lowered his tanto and responded, "There's some feud between The Demoness and a woman she calls Tristezas, who's supposed to be her mother, but even if I find either one of them, there's no guarantee that the matter will be resolved. But this woman attacked me without any provocation…and she dragged my friends and family, along with several others in this city I had to put up with protecting for a time here into The Demoness' little…hoard, and I gotta make sure she knows she tried to kill someone that will make her regret her actions."
"If I know this Tristezas the way I know The Demoness and…my late granddaughter, Angelus, this woman has no remorse for many of her actions."
Then Shinji pointed to the building and asked, "That's not a modern building, is it?"
"It may look modern, but it's actually older than anyplace you have probably heard about."
"I've been to a few places outside of my country…but much of the world I'm from has been devastated by a disaster that people of the previous generation caused."
"This so-called Second Impact. Only people that desire too much for the sake of achieving their ambitions will unleash horrors upon others…who pay the ultimate price."
"Yeah…and I want the Prize to undo as much of that price that was paid."
"According to The Demoness, the Prize can be used to do whatever the winner desires, however they desire. If you two are the last of the immortals, the Prize will only go to one of you."
Shinji then moved away from the building and noticed something else nearby. It was a large, silver block surrounded by nearby shipping containers and some cars.
"What's that block over there for?" He asked the man.
"That…is where The Demoness lives when she comes here to reminisce," he answered him. "It's her room."
Shinji then walked over to it. He found the door and stepped inside, thinking he'd find something of significance, but found it to be very sparse, like a regular bedroom that had yet to be decorated to accommodate the person living in it. There was a medium-sized bed, a rectangular dresser, a wall-mounted mirror, and small figurines adorning a nearby desk, but there was nothing Shinji could see that indicated that The Demoness was someone that lived here. If anything, this room belonged to a girl that no longer resided here. There was a light on, but he saw no lightbulbs or switches; it felt as though the walls were the lights, giving a dimly-lit background, making it look like a fire was on at night, but not in sight.
Then, Shinji looked at the bed and found that it was tidy, its sheets clean and made of silk and cotton. It was like he was looking at a new bed or something, except this thing had to be as old as he was, give or take.
"I take it you like her room?" He heard that woman from before, and turned around, brandishing his tanto at her. "Although, I'd find it a bit embarrassing for you to be in here."
"Yeah, I'd be embarrassed, too, if The Demoness found me in here and decided to bounce me around the walls like a ball."
"Don't you mean, Angelus?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Oh, you don't know yet? You've met them. Well, you've met her. What is it with members of these different generations trying to distance themselves from who they are or were?"
"You take another step towards me, and I'll make sure you're unable to jump for joy."
Tristezas tilted her head to the left and raised her sword higher.
"Immortal children are all the same," she sighed, "unable to respect those that made it possible for them to gain all that they have."
Whoosh! Shinji felt the presence of another immortal nearby; it had to be The Demoness, as she was the only other immortal left in the Game besides himself.
"She's coming," he warned her.
"One way or another, one of you is going to be dealt with," Tristezas threatened him, and then disappeared from sight.
Shinji, with possibly only seconds to hide, got on the floor and rolled under the bed; it was the closest place that offered some measure of refuge against the woman that was his only enemy in the Game in this room. He saw a pair of sandal-wearing feet walk over and stop near the bed.
"You might as well come out from under there, Immortal Ikari," he heard The Demoness say, "I can tell you're trying to hide from me in my own room. I was expecting a woman to be here, not you. The Game will have to wait for both of us to resolve the outcome until after I've dealt with that woman."
Shinji crawled out on the other side of the bed and looked up at The Demoness, seeing her with her sword held back.
"Was she even here?" She asked him.
"She was," he answered her, "and then she disappeared."
"Like a ghost or she had something that could make her invisible or something. She said this room belonged to someone named Angelus and that I met her before. How crazy is she, anyway? And that guy out there with the green tentacles, he said something about his granddaughter being dead because of you, said her name was Angelus."
"It's in the past, Immortal Ikari. Leave it alone."
"I would if I wasn't suddenly curious."
"There's nothing to be curious about."
"You can say what you will, The Demoness, but I have to ask… Did you kill that man's granddaughter…or are you his granddaughter…and you two have a strained relationship?"
The Demoness looked around her room and saw nothing out of place. Then, she picked up one of the small figurines on her desk.
"My past is nobody's business when it comes to my identity," she tells him. "Who I used to be no longer exists. She fell from grace because of that disgrace…and she'll pay like she was supposed to all those millennia ago."
She turned and left out, but urged him to vacate the room, as it was her domain, her place of solitude in a loud world.
He followed her out, but then he looked at the elder that seemed to have a difficult relationship with The Demoness.
"Hey," he got his attention as The Demoness left. "I need some clarity on what you said."
"If she told you to leave the past alone, you should listen to her," he responded to the boy.
"Except you lied about something. When you said your granddaughter was dead, I assumed it was because at some point in the past, The Demoness killed her. But that's not true at all, is it? She never killed your granddaughter; she is your granddaughter. So…why lie about your relationship status?"
"It's not as simple as you would like to think."
"I can't think of a simple solution to a problem unless I know a little more about it. Yes or no, is your granddaughter The Demoness? And, if so, what's with the name she used to go by?"
The man was carried over to one of the shipping containers by his tentacles and he sighed when Shinji followed him.
"My granddaughter…was once known as Angelus," he revealed, "and her mother, my daughter-in-law…disgraced her in ways that there was no forgiveness for doing. She caused a series of unfortunate events that led to many broken hearts and ruined lives. When the worst came and shattered society, the woman that became immortal…ceased to be Angelus because of her mother and became from that day forward The Demoness. When that happened, the woman I knew as my granddaughter was dead to me. So…what I told you was the truth, even if it was only from a certain point of view."
Shinji could've said that this man was being cruel to say such a belief, that it wasn't fair to either of them, but was reminded of his own strained relationships with two of his family. There was no difference between having a strained relationship with someone that went by a different name and a strained relationship with someone you couldn't risk accepting back into your life due to the fear of being let down by them all over again.
"My parents are dead, too, in a sense, so my relationship with them is strained," he told him. "Technically, they're still living, but for all intents and purposes, due to past choices that I can't overlook their transgressions for committing, they're as dead to me in a sense in almost the same way your granddaughter is dead to you."
"What transgressions have they committed that have estranged you from them?"
"Attempted genocide, aggravated mayhem, ecological and environmental devastation, multiple counts of unnecessary manslaughter, leaving grieving families comprised of tormented parents and orphaned children left in a world that was severely maimed and nothing that science and technology currently in existence can undo what destruction was wrought upon them all. And worse was how my parents tried to play God with something beyond themselves and trying to use me to decide everyone's fate…when I can barely decide how my own day's going to be like when I get up out of bed."
"People that force other people to make tough decisions because they're unwilling or unable to make such decisions themselves."
"They can decide how to deal with their own problems, just leave me out of them. I don't have a god complex or a desperate need to defy the natural law any further than I already have with my unwanted immortality."
"And yet human beings can't help but defile the world they live in. Why they defile the world? Because they don't know their limitations…even when they should accept them for what they are. At some point in the past, we all thought we were made in the image of some divine being…when we're just a result of our environments with absolutely nothing to do with any religious faiths or ideals."
"So, you don't believe in the existence of deities?"
"Whatever deities made you and The Demoness…made you different. I believe in morality more than I believe in people we have never met before…and never will until after we take our final breath of life."
"Amen to that."
With the newfound knowledge that he had needed to answer his curiosity about The Demoness, or Angelus, or whoever this deadly immortal was, Shinji turned away and got back on his bike. He ended up find out more about his enemy than he expected to in that conversation. She used to go by a different name, her mother was responsible for her immortality, probably the cause of the Game, and practically everything The Demoness had done with her long life had been the result of her mother's harsh decisions on her, for better, for worse or for other reasons unknown to him.
If we find her mother, he thought as he rode down the street, seeing the people trying to make sense of what was going on around them, I'll just stand by and let her get what she's got coming.
Landing on the roof of one of the unwanted buildings belonging to Tokyo-3, The Demoness looked through the eyes of everyone around her, trying to find Tristezas, but seeing no sign of her. First, her mother tries to hide her existence from the one she hurt the most in life and in death, and now she tries to hide from the very end she has avoided.
"Your mother," she remembered the love of her life say to her back then, "she doesn't seem very…happy that we're dating, does she?"
"She never seemed like she was happy with anything I did for her or for myself," she expressed to herself. "Tristezas, there's not a memory in my recollection where you were proud of my achievements, major or minor. Were you that discontent with all around you that you were willing to do what you chose to do to me?"
"I…I just want to know, Angelus," he had asked her long before she was taken from him, presenting her with her prized choker, "no matter what happens to us in the future, and we have our whole lives to figure what the future will be like…will you marry me?"
She reached up to her choker and traced her fingers along the twists and turns the metal took during its creation.
"I was really looking forward to that day," she told herself. "Even if I win the Game, I can't undo what was done to us. I can't give back the lives that were ended that day. So, what would be the point of winning the Game…if it keeps me from you?"
She found it difficult…and infuriating at the same…to play the Game against the other participants…despite knowing deep down that no matter what she did, she would be unable to undo the worse that had been done. Even if she defeated the boy and claimed his head and all of his power, she would only end the Game on a sour note. But her mother probably knew that before she set everything in motion. She had to have known about it all before she even became a false victim of her first Quickening that altered the world they used to know.
"Do you honestly believe that killing me will resolve anything?" She heard Tristezas' voice from behind herself. "Do you even believe you can?"
The Demoness slowly turned to face her, letting her facial expression contort to show her contempt towards her mother. Such a question seemed beneath her to answer; for thousands of years, she thought her dead ever since she fell into the chasm.
"I think you already know the answer to that question," she told Tristezas.
"How dare you speak to me in such a tone."
CLASH! Their swords connected and The Demoness looked at the blade her mother wielded with such grace that rivaled her own.
GASP! She felt mental recoil at the sight of the sword she was using, wanting to get as far away from it as possible because of what it represented.
"What's wrong, daughter dearest?" Tristezas asked her, pushing her back. "Are you scared of my sword? Surely, it doesn't compare to yours, right?"
But if The Demoness could speak her feelings about her mother's sword, it would be outright contempt and the desperation to escape. The sword was just as large as The Demoness' sword, but black and silver, heavily ornate in terms of its four-sided guard and spiral-themed hilt (A/N: Think of Asta's Demon-Dweller Sword from Black Clover, only cleaner). But what threw the deadly immortal woman off slightly were the arcane markings that adorned the blade's edges.
"Where…where did you get this sword?!" She demanded.
"We all have secrets worth keeping. How many secrets do you have that you've never divulged to anyone? How many secrets do you suspect I'm holding onto?" Tristezas asked her, and the markings on the blade started glowing. "I'll tell you one thing about this sword, though. It was made to ensure people like you were kept in line."
People like me, Tristezas? There are no people like me. You made certain of that.
The Demoness suddenly felt slightly weakened for a moment, but only for a moment. She knew it was because of the sword Tristezas had, her little insurance policy against immortals. If she had to take a guess, her mother couldn't be taken on as easily as she wanted to believe so long as she had that sword.
"Damn you, Tristezas," she cursed at her, and released her wings to fly off the roof and levitated to the roof across the street; as soon as she was away from the sword, her physical unease ceased. I need to know where she got that sword. Whoever forged it gave her a sort of key to target immortals. But anything made for a specific purpose can be countered by something else with a purpose meant to go against it.
"Running, Angelus?!" Tristezas yelled at her. "That is so not lady-like, coming from you!"
Except you're hardly a lady, Tristezas. You're just a disgrace to the past and future.
Tristezas looked down at her sword and felt impressed that her sword was able to make her daughter back away.
The Demoness spread her wings again and took flight over the buildings. It wasn't something she was proud of having to do, what with her personal agenda, but she had to accept if she was going to do away with her mother; she…needed the aid of another immortal. She needed the Immortal Ikari to help her in disposing of her mother and her sword that was dangerous to them so long as the Game was still in play.
Where are you? She wondered as she gazed through the eyes of those below on the streets. There you are.
Shinji had to stop his bike as a woman walked out onto the street in front of him.
"What's the big idea?!" He demanded of her.
"Don't bother looking for that disgraceful woman, Immortal Ikari," she expressed, possessed by The Demoness. "She is not someone we can face on our own."
"What, she's an immortal that's stronger than you?"
"No, she's as mortal as everyone else on the planet, but is dangerous on account of that sword of hers. It's a failsafe against us because it draws power from immortals."
"It draws power from immortals?" He felt confused. "Like a leech?"
"Yeah," she answered. "I'm not one for saying this to someone that is an enemy because of the Game, but my mother is hindering us both because she should be dead and isn't, so… I need your help to send her to her grave."
Then, Shinji saw The Demoness fly down on the street beside him and the woman, who she then released from her possession and had walk away.
"It's actually going to take the both of us to deal with your mother?" He questioned, wanting to make sure he understood correctly.
"We're all that's left of the Game, but she's an intrusion upon us and our ability to end it on our own terms," she assured him. "Right now, I can't even consider doing away with you while knowing she's alive. So, I'm asking you, Immortal Ikari…even if it means I must beg of you… Will you help me deal with Tristezas, please?"
Shinji couldn't believe that The Demoness, the deadliest immortal in the Game, the only person that stood between him, the Prize and restoring the world to its pre-Second Impact state…was asking him for his help to kill her mother. If it had been his father, he would've refused. If it had been his mother, he would've questioned everything she had done. But this was The Demoness, a woman whose own mother had deliberately attacked him earlier. Attacked him…and tried to kill him…and she needed to pay for that.
"Does your plan include getting everyone that doesn't belong out of here?" He asked her.
"Yes," she answered. "If you want, we can get everyone that doesn't belong out of here right now, because we need to go somewhere I hope was not where she got that sword."
"The Luna Ebony Sanctuary…on the moon."
Shinji's eyes widened as he thought he misheard her say what he had wished was just a falsehood claim.
"Believe me, the remnants of my society, we were more than capable of living beyond the Earth…and we did. You people of today's societies can't rival what mine did back in the past."
To be continued…
A/N: I'm trying to get back to these, but motivation and inspiration don't come well.