Part 17 - A Cruel Angel's Revolution
Ritsuko, currently at a really low point in her life, had decided to spit in Commander Ikari's eye and show Shinji-and reluctantly, an angry Misato, though the fact it was slightly at gunpoint didn't help much-the true face of NERV: mainly, the secrets kept within Terminal Dogma. It had culminated with her unveiling to the two of them the true secret of Rei Ayanami: mainly, that she was one of many identical clones, all of whom were kept within a large tank full of LCL. They were nothing more than empty shells, waiting to be Rei's next vessel should she perish in battle. Ritsuko revealed the circumstances behind their creation, her own role in NERV's secret conspiracy, and the real horror behind Project-E. And then, when she finished, she held up her tablet and prepared a sequence that would, once activated, dissolve the clones into nothingness, as another means of spiting the man who sold her out and used her for all these years.
Suddenly, a flash of inspiration struck her. Ritsuko gaped for a moment, and then slowly began to grin with a slightly sinister edge to her expression. You see, Ritsuko got an idea...An awful idea. Ritsuko got a wonderful, awful idea.
After strongly insisting that Misato take Shinji back up topside (to which the two reluctantly complied), Ritsuko immediately got to work, as she began whipping up a program and an entirely new set of memory uploads-ones inspired by a college class she and Misato had taken years ago...
The following mid-morning, Misato and Shinji arrived at the Geofront, and noticed something a bit unsettling:
The entire place was very, very quiet.
They looked around as they walked and noticed that not a single soul seemed to be stirring, almost as if they were afraid of something. Once the two of them entered the lobby of HQ, a voice came over the intercom:
"Major Katsuragi, Pilot Ikari, please come to the Commander's office immediately."
The two of them, surprised by this, briefly looked at each other before heading to the elevator, which took them to the level that said office was on. Once there, they walked to the doors of the foreboding space and stepped inside, where they were met by a very, very astonishing sight.
Both Ritsuko and a visibly-perturbed Sub-Commander Fuyutsuki were standing off to the side, while Commander Ikari himself had a shocked look on his face. The Commander was also tied to his chair. The only other presence in the cavernous office was the entire group of Rei clones, only the looks on their faces weren't so empty any longer. In fact, they looked very...militant in their disposition, further accentuated by the green military uniforms they were all wearing, complete with matching caps.
Misato noted how familiar those fatigues looked, but couldn't quite put a finger on just why. She and Shinji slowly, carefully made their way to Ritsuko's side, as if trying to avoid setting off the army of Reis now occupying the office, facing the Commander with very threatening stances. Once in position, Misato whispered concernedly to Ritsuko.
Misato: "Rits...What's going on here?!"
Ritsuko merely grinned before responding.
Ritsuko: "Remember our visit to Terminal Dogma yesterday?"
Misato slowly nodded while attempting to keep an eye on the Reis.
Ritsuko: "Before I sent you and Shinji back up to the surface, I'd briefly contemplated destroying these clones, just to spite Gendo for throwing me to the wolves on the Committee. But then, it hit me...I don't know why, or how, but I realized it might be better to get some payback in a more...creative way."
Misato wasn't liking the sound of that.
Misato: "Ritsuko Akagi, WHAT did you do?!"
Ritsuko kept grinning as she explained herself.
Ritsuko: "Think about it. For so long, these girls floated about in their tank, with nothing to do but wait for one of them to become Rei's new vessel. I decided they needed a new...direction. I was inspired by our college days...Remember our Cold War world history course?"
Misato [eyebrow arched]: "...Well, yes. So?"
Ritsuko: "Soooo, I worked up a program and uploaded into the clones everything about Castro's Cuba. Before I knew it, they'd really taken to everything about it. You know, Marxism, the workers' revolution...the clothing..."
The three of them and Fuyutsuki then watched as the army of Reis began to close in on Gendo, who was growing more unnerved, contrary to his usual disposition.
Shinji [wary]: "They...look like they're pretty angry with my father about something..."
Ritsuko [amused]: "*Chuckle* I know, right? After all, the Commander should be a little worried. When there's no work, and the people get restless, who do you think they come after?"
Suddenly, a group of the Reis then lifted the bound Gendo in his chair. Gendo himself visibly, nervously swallowed.
Ritsuko [pointing at Gendo]: "El Presidente. Heh heh heh..."
Misato and Shinji did a double take from Ritsuko to the Reis and back, and then looked at each other warily.
Shinji: "Misato? I'm scared."
Misato: "Me too, Shinji. Me too."
The Reis [fists raised high]: "¡Viva la Rei-volución!"
END Part 17.
And here we have a bit inspired by Kramer's situation with the Dominicans in "The English Patient". I don't remember why, but somehow the idea of Ritsuko getting her revenge on Gendo via the Rei clones-for deliberate added irony-seemed to click with that particular episode.