Neon Genesis Alcion
Chapter 2: A Primadonna for the New Age
Evangelion Unit 01 slouched forward after taking its first step, before collapsing forward onto its face with a great crash that shattered the city street. The culmination of Mankind's knowledge and wisdom…had fallen, without a fight.
A moment passed as the dust settled, before Unit 01 began to move. It pressed its hands and knees against the ground, attempting to stand as its arms and legs shook and its armour rattled. The giant's limbs gave out, seemingly unable to coordinate the effort of raising itself up as it plummeted back down to the asphalt. Blaring sirens sounded off in the vicinity of Evangelion Unit 01 as heavy pounding sounds slowly made their way down the street towards it.
Approaching the fallen Evangelion Unit was equally tremendous figure, broad of shoulder yet narrow in waist. It sprouted long spindly arms terminating in large, boney, claw-like appendages. It stood upon short, bowed legs that came together by a broad pelvis equally as wide as its shoulders and bearing a shimmering ruby orb in its middle. A porcelain-like object rested across the front of its torso in place of a head, resembling something of an upturned arrowhead. The otherworldly thing bore an oily black colour.
"WARNING! WARNING! APOSTOLO IN IMMEDIATE VICINITY" declared an automated voice over the surrounding loudspeakers. "EVACUTE IMMEDIATELY! EVACUTE IMMEDIATELY!"
The Apostolo domineered over the distressed Unit 01 for a moment, before kneeling down and grabbing the frost white giant in one of its gnarly claws and hoisting it up off the ground by the shoulder. Evangelion Unit 01 clawed and scratched with its free arm at the monster's grip, but to no avail.
Unit 01's clenched arm went limp. The Apostolo had effortlessly shattered the armoured giant's shoulder as though it were nothing. Unit 01 desperately flailed around as if in agony but could still not free itself from the entity's grasp, its fingers prying and prying as its shattered arm swung to and fro. The face of the Apostolo split in two, each half swinging outwards to reveal a gaping hole directly in front of Evangelion Unit 01. In an instant, a blinding light radiated from the hole, illuminating the nighttime city with a flash brighter than sunlight. The entire city rumbled with the force of an earthquake as a shrill shriek pierced the night.
A glowing, cross-shaped beam of light enveloped Evangelion Unit 01 and several city blocks directly behind the targeted Unit 01 as the Apostolo stood there, lowering its arms to its sides as it continued to emit the beam from its chest. No sign of Evangelion Unit 01 could be seen amidst the blinding light. Trees and cars near the light beam soon burst into flames as the Apostolo continued its attack. A minute later, alarm after alarm began to spread across the city as the beam began to intensify.
"WARNING! WARNING! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY ALERT! EVANGELION UNIT ONE IFF SIGNAL TERMINATED. NO RESPONSE FROM PILOT. ALL TOKYO THREE RESIDENTS BE ADVISED TO REMAIN IN SHELTER AND AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCT-"
Without warning, the Apostolo was flung backwards for several hundred meters, colliding with several buildings and toppling them. The cruciform blast ceased in an instant, returning the city back to nighttime darkness. Standing where the monster had only a moment prior, encircled in flames, was Evangelion Unit 01. It leaned forward on its right leg, its torso twisted to the right with its undamaged left arm extended into a punch. Unit 01's armour glowed vibrant orange from the intense heat of the blast and the air around it distorting.
Evangelion Unit 01's limp arm began to radiate metallic groans, before snapping back into place as though it had never been harmed in the first place while its armour rapidly cooled back down to its original frost colour. Jolting forward, Unit 01 sprinted across the street towards the Apostolo and bound into the air with a mighty vault, climbing to an airborne altitude of over 300 meters. When it came slamming down onto the Apostolo, the force generated sent a shockwave across the immediate vicinity, collapsing several smaller buildings and resulting in a large crater.
A giant cloud of ash and dust was thrown up from the impact, but was quickly dispersed by a bright iridescent burst of light, revealing an octagonal wall of light between the Apostolo and Unit 01 that shimmered and sparkled and rang with a chiming sound.
Evangelion Unit 01 paused for a moment as it inspected the phenomena, before unfurling its clenched fingers and pushing them into the shield of rainbow light, pulling outwards on it as a hole began to manifest which quickly turned to a ripping motion as the field was torn in twain with a sound like a thunderclap.
Now directly atop the Apostolo, Evangelion Unit 01 began to wildly batter the orb section of the Apostolo, resulting in cracks beginning to form upon its surface. It was now the Apostolo's turn to flail about as it scratched at the armoured terror, but its efforts were fruitless. The orb began to further fracture, causing the Apostolo to grab onto Unit 01 and discharge a cross beam directly into Evangelion Unit 01's face.
The blast once more blinded the area before steadily fading in luminescence, revealing a gargantuan burning white crucifix that rose high into the dark sky. The Apostolo's body disintegrated into the ray of light as the crucifix continued to burn until it too faded away, leaving only Evangelion Unit 01 in its wake.
A portion of its facial armour fell away. Then a section of the arm plating, then a chunk from the torso. Bits of vermillion could be seen beneath the exposed areas, but before any more could be seen, the news feed finally cut to black.
A speechless Asuka turned to Mr Kaji.
"You better get some sleep, Asuka" said Mr Kaji as he rested a strong, reassuring hand on her trembling shoulder. "You're about to have a very busy day ahead of you, tomorrow."
"…th-that's an understatement, Mr Kaji!
Three thick, fluffy comforters were layered over the twin-sized bed along with numerous stuffed animals and pillows. Somewhere under all that was allegedly a girl named Asuka, the only signs of her being a pair of bare feet and an arm that jutted out from under the poofy mountain. Her hand was draped over an open box of chocolates on the night stand beside two more empty boxes of chocolate and a phone that hadn't stopped buzzing for days. A constant aching had settled in over her body and it showed no signs of going away any time soon, but regardless, Asuka was just glad she was finally home again with Mr Kaji.
Three days had passed since the incident in Tokyo-III made headlines around the world, sending shockwaves through societies and cultures as they struggled to rationalize what had just happened and yadda yadda yadda. Armed riots blah blah mass prayer sessions blah blah conspiracy theories about another apocalypse blah blah blabbity blah. Asuka had learned quickly to tune out the sounds of the news on TV, but on her phone she couldn't do a thing without being bombarded with something relating to the Tokyo-III attack springing up like it's a game of whack-a-mole.
It...wasn't like Asuka didn't understand HOW they felt. Seeing a fortified metropolis like Tokyo-III, a place so close in appearance to Berlin-II that she could just imagine herself walking down its streets, in such a cataclysmic state that initial night made falling asleep agonizing. She loved Berlin-II with all her heart, but at the same time, she didn't want to think about the destruction or the chaos. If she were to start wasting time worrying about everything else going on in the world outside her little bubble, would she ever be able to focus on what needs to be done?
The things that need to be done...oh, that was a can of worms if ever there was one.
The girl had been dragged around all over the friggin' place in the past few days. Even if she had an interest in finding out what the rest of the world was thinking, she hardly had the energy to look into it. She did, at least, know what her own nation's government was thinking. The television portrayed an image of an in-control and unwaveringly calm Germany, but Asuka had heard enough in all the meetings she had been dragged to with heads of state to know that in the face of the present situation, they were pooping their pants.
Yeesh, these past few days were a slog for Asuka. Nothing but physical exam after physical exam, briefing after briefing for things she already knew, and more red tape than any human being alive on the planet Earth could physically comprehend. All this happened while the girl had to sit there like a lemming on her now severely sore bottom, bored out of her skull at the sound of old generals and politicians arguing back and forth with each other.
All this crap, and still no meaningful decisions came out of it. Not whether or not Berlin-II should be on standby for when another Apostolo appears, because Asuka knew another one would appear. Not whether or not the German Defence Force should be mobilized. Nothing.
And not a peep about when Asuka would finally get the chance to see her baby. All she heard about was people prattling off praises for Evangelion Unit 01 and its pilot, and it was beginning to get on her nerves.
A knock came from the door, to which a worn-out Asuka groaned out a response to without moving from the bed.
"Uuuuuuummmmmmmfmmmfmmfmm…whooff iff ifffff?"
"It is me, Sergei! Are you alive in there, Asuka?!"
Good sweet merciful Jesus, an actual human being for once! Praise the Lord!
The door cracked open as Sergei peered inside, before opening the door fully as he looked around. Against one wall was a dresser and mirror covered in makeup and skincare products. Shelves adorned the unpainted walls with books and magazines of all kinds, from books like Jayne Mansfield: The Working Man's Marilyn Monroe to fashion magazines to the odd comic or manga book. A variety of posters were hung on the walls that showcased old-timey Hollywood movie art, musicians, retro video games, and even a dingy old poster for some sci-fi anime called Uru in Blue.
Sergei peered down at the bed-bound and buried Asuka, an amused sigh of relief coming from him as her hand lazily grabbed a handful of chocolates and dragged itself under the comforters.
"Mmmmmfmmm…Serfeiiiii," she groaned. "Camf youf pullfff off thuf blankeffffssssss?"
Sergei obliged with a mighty tug, revealing a sprawled out Asuka as she lay face-down on the bed. She was dressed in a large, loose-fitting black t-shirt and…something. Some kind of bulky, weird looking nylon shorts that stretched down to just below her knees.
"Uhhh, what is you are wearing, Asuka" asked Sergei with a confused look.
Asuka raised her head up just enough to give a non-muffled response of "guhhhhhhhhhhh…sauna paaaants" before plopping her face back down. "Thefffffff feeelf sooooooooof gooooooooooooffffffffff anf steamfyyyyyyyyyyyyy. If gof themf if Amerficaaaaaa anf thef aref amafinffffffffffff."
"Well, if it works, it works I guess. I figured you would be very tired so I brought you the crap you missed from school."
"Realffyyy? Thanffffff youuuuuuuuffffff" moaned Asuka as she flopped her hand back to the chocolate box and held out the box for him. "Jusff leaffff themf theref and affffffff oneffffffffff."
Placing the bunch of papers down on the dresser, Sergei plucked a chocolate from the box and bit into it.
"Your caretaker guy, Ryoji Kaji, he wanted me to bring you your dinner. He is a good cook, you know? He should be a chef or something."
Asuka slowly raised up her head and glanced back at Sergei, bags under her weary eyes, before glancing at the tupperware container full of left-over beef soba in his hand and blinking.
"Ohhh, dinner already" she murmured as she rolled herself over. "Mister Kaji's so sweeeeeet."
"Asuka, are you okay" asked Sergei as he handed her the container and fork. "You seem just a little bit tired."
Asuka rubbed her eyes, before nodding.
"Of course I am. I've just been run through the ringer like a wet rag lately, getting up suuuuuuuuper early in the morning and going with Mister Kaji down to NERV HQ. Nothing I can't handle. But jeez, it's all juuuuust a bunch of synch testing, health checkups, briefings and crap. All I've been doing is just sitting on my numb booty all day while a bunch of nerds babble back and forth about 'committee this' and 'authority that'. Blehhhh, such a snooze-fest. When am I gonna get to actually DO something? They put me through all that training just to lounge around?"
Sergei furrowed an eyebrow as Asuka sighed.
"I mean," started Asuka. "They haven't even let me see my baby yet! Evangelion Unit One…some old hunk of junk that can barely move gets deployed with some nobody as a pilot and I, a TRAINED Evangelion pilot who is AC-TU-ALL-Y QUALIFIED to pilot, can't even see MYYYYY unit yet?! Come ON! Unit One wasn't even MEANT to fight!"
Putting his hands up, the clearly perplexed Russian boy sighed with confused frustration, before crossing his arms.
"Look, I have no clue what any of that means. Why are you not more worried about big alien man invasion? What is it you do with those 'NERF' guys, Asuka, hmm? Are you like superhero? Like Captain America or whatever? 'Captain Asuka Langley: Defender of Freedom' with big dumb shield? 'Super Soryu' or whatever? Do you go out and fight monsters and beat up Godzilla in big scary robot, is that it, huh?"
Asuka began digging into the beef soba as she shrugged, the annoyance in her voice subsiding as she filled up on Mr Kaji's heavenly cooking.
"Yeah, pretty much."
Sergei went quiet.
"…wait, you are being serious with me right now, Asuka? No pulling of my leg?"
"Yyyyyyyyup" replied the girl as she scarfed down the soba. "I'm Asuka Langley Soryu, the designated pilot of the Evangelion Unit Two. I'm Mankind's Primadonna Saviour" she said with grandiose confidence and flourish, placing a hand on her chest.
A moment of silence passed, before Sergei spoke.
"…holy shit. You ARE like superhero! I knew it!"
Evangelion Unit 01 zoomed back upwards from its prone state on the street to a standing position, before freezing in place as Asuka placed her delicate finger on the laptop screen.
"Seeeeeeee," said Asuka as she sat legs crossed on her bed, laptop on her lap and a feeling of energy once more in her voice. "THIS is mistake numero uno!"
Sergei squinted as he looked at the paused screen.
Asuka shook her head.
"What the heck was the pilot thinking?! WALKING is NOT that difficult! Seriously!"
The Russian teen scratched his head.
"So big robot DOES have pilot…INSIDE then, yes?"
Nodding, Asuka exhaled.
"Sooooo look, let me give you the rundown on all of this. So this thing's called an Evangelion Unit, right? We also call them Eva Units or Evas for short, but they're basically like big robots NERV and the UN built in secret to stop those big alien guys, the Apostolos."
Stroking his chin, Sergei asked "so why are you pilot of big robot, this Evanjelion or whatever you called it? Why not have trained soldiers or computer or something pilot robot?"
Asuka yawned as she leaned back against the bed's headboard. "Seems whatever eggheads built the darn things just CAN'T get the Evas to turn on without a suitable pilot inside. They tried adults and computers, but zippo. Nada. Not a thing. Seems only people our age can interface with them, and only specially selected candidates at that. Sounds pretty dumb if you ask me, buuuuuuuuuut I can't complain too much if it means I get to be the pilot."
"These Evas are pretty big but pretty picky, huh" asked Sergei as he looked back down at the monitor. "Like big children being picky about their food."
"Yeah" said Asuka, popping another chocolate in her mouth. "I guess you could say that. I'm officially titled 'Second Child' since I was the second ever person to be chosen to pilot an Eva. NERV took me as a kid, I found out I was compatible with Eva Unit Two, and ever since then that's all I've ever cared about. Being an Eva pilot's my destiny, and it's my life's purpose to protect Mankind's bacon and be its saviour!"
"Wooooahhh" exclaimed Sergei, listening with vested interest as his eyes darted back and forth between Asuka and the image of Evangelion Unit 01. "Aw man, you want to be like champion hero or something!"
Asuka grinned and nodded eagerly.
"If this war with alien freaks is the movie, then I am its starring girl!"
Sergei laughed, doing a little applause.
"So those funny horn things you wear, those help you pilot Eva?"
"Mmmhm" said Asuka with an enthusiastic nod, before setting down the laptop on the bed and walking over to a shelf to retrieve the headset. "These babies help synch up my nervous system with that of my Eva for maximum responsiveness. Don't want to have any lag when you're piloting a giant death machine in the middle of a big city after all, cuz that miiiight not end tooooooo terribly well…but they're just a tiny part of the ensemble I have to wear."
Thinking for a moment, Sergei looked to Asuka as she plopped back down onto the bed, before pressing play on the laptop and watching Evangelion Unit 01 struggle in the Apostolo's grip as its arm broke.
"So…you say all this gear helps to line up your nerves with Evanjelion's. Does…that mean if it gets hurt, gets a little banged up let us say, you get hurt too?"
"It does" replied Asuka nonchalantly as she reached over to the nightstand and picked up a tan folder that was sitting atop the empty chocolate boxes. "The more you're synched up with your Eva, the more accurate the thing's movements will be, buuuuut you'll feel what happens to the Eva if it gets hurt. Sooooo it's best NOT to act like a complete stooge and trip up like the twerp in Unit One did in the face of danger."
Watching Evangelion Unit 01 frantically trying to free itself after the injury made Sergei clench his teeth with a worried expression.
"Sheesh, that looks nasty…"
Asuka rolled her eyes at the footage, before shaking her head dismissively.
"Tsk tsk…the pilot was acting like a COMPLETE TURNIP!"
The boy asked in a confused voice "…a…'turnip'?"
Asuka sat up quickly.
"Uhhhhh, YESSSSSS! Hell-OOOOOOOOO, did you see how they got their butt handed to them? Jeez, I've seen wet tissue paper put up more of a fight!"
Flipping through the folder, Asuka pulled out a stapled series of papers and rummaged through them until she found what she was looking for. Scooting over, Asuka held the page up for Sergei to see. The page was loaded with various graphs and statistics, but his eye was drawn to a profile photograph in the top right cover of the paper. Staring back at Sergei was the image of a pallid-skinned girl, her facial shape and features distinctly Asian, with raven hair that fell down to her jawline. Her eyes were a deep hazel, and their cold, emotionless gaze made Sergei shift uncomfortably as he looked upon her face.
"This is Yui Ichijo," said Asuka. "The First Child was chosen to be an Eva test pilot and is the ONLY pilot at NERV's Tokyo-III branch. I've read up on her. No registered grades for Eva compatibility? Zero hours of accredited training? Nothing! Only thing she's about qualified to do is make her old clunker of a Test Type Unit scratch its butt!"
"What geniuses let this chick go fight a friggin' SPACE ALIEN?! In a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR WALKING PILE OF SCRAP, NO LESS?! Ughh, the first time the world gets to SEE an Evangelion Unit, and THIS girl and her antiquated Unit turn it into a big clown show! Hence my calling her a 'turnip' cuz that's about as useful as she is!"
Inspecting the page, Sergei looked up at Asuka as the girl huffed and cross her arms.
"…I just…I deserved to be the one out there. I've spent my entire life building up to this, and to see this moment just…squandered by some nobody who as far as I know hasn't done a thing to prove themselves a worthy Eva pilot…that's what bothers me."
"Well," said the boy as he leaned over to boop Asuka on the nose. "If big scary alien comes back, maybe then you will have chance to prove your stuff. Maybe snap HIS arm next time, hmm? Perhaps show up this Itchy Joe girl too while you are at it."
Her eyes widening, Asuka straightened up as her cheeks grew red, before a smirk spread across her face.
"Then…its war…looks like it's gonna be the rightful queen versus this nobody challenger to her throne."
Rising clumsily to her feet, Asuka stood on her bed, an expression of fiery passion spreading across her face as she raised her voice and clenched her raised fist in determination.
"You think you can just barge in and take MY moment from me, Yui?! Well, well, WELL! You got another thing coming, Wonder Girl! You're gonna be…you're gonna be Wonder BREAD once everyone sees ME and MY skills in the Eva! I'm gonna make you into a sandwich and chew you UP, WWWWonder Breeeead!"
Sergei raised up his hands and cheered.
"Eyyyyy yes! Warrior girl is coming out to play!"
"Darn straight" laughed Asuka sharply. "I'm going to kick butt, I'm going to PROVE that I deserve to be everyone's darling, and I'm going to rub Yui Ichijo's big, FAT nose in it! No one's taking away my destiny from me!"
"Good to see you two getting along so well" said Mr Kaji as he stood in the doorframe, dressed in a bathrobe.
Surprised, a wide-eyed Asuka nearly toppled over onto Sergei before managing to catch herself, her face growing awkward and embarrassed.
"Oh, uhhh, h-heya Mister Kaji! Was…I-I being too loud again?"
"Not at all, Asuka. I just stopped by to let you know that things are getting late, and that lest you forget, we have to be up early again tomorrow. You're going to see your Unit Two for the first time."
Asuka stiffened up, her pupils dilating as she let out a small gasp of disbelief.
"Th-They've given permission? Eep! Gott im HIMMEL! Ohhhh YESSSSSS!"
The girl's voice was full of child-like glee and happiness, while her eyes practically glowed.
"I've GOT to ready for this! I am NOT going to disappoint my Unit Two!"
"Sergei," said Kaji, turning to him. "I'm afraid I'll have to send you off for the night, but just know that you're always welcome around here. You're a good kid, and I'm glad to see Asuka enjoying other people's company who aren't in a lab coat or uniform."
The Russian teen grinned.
"Well, Ryoji, she is like small dog, like Chihuahua or Wiener Dog. Small, but very loud and full of energy."
"HEEEEEEY" said Asuka as she pinched Sergei's ear. "I'm not small! I'm just…teacup-sized is all!"
"Oh whatever, Lemon Head! You are like meter and half tall! You are midget! An Oompa Loompa! I can punt kick you like American egg-ball!"
Asuka pinched his other ear with a laugh.
"'Lemon Head' am I? How about I kick you in the balls so hard I make your lips pucker, Ruskie Boyyyyy?"
Kaji snickered as the two went at each other, before noticing them stop and burst out laughing at each other. Asuka's genuine laughter had an energy and life to it few people ever had the chance to see, and yet here it was, coming out around this young Russian man. Asuka leaned into Sergei, and for a moment Kaji began to smile. Perhaps, she was finally going to-
"Pssst… hey Sergei, tomorrow after I get back from Eva training, bring your PS2. I still owe you that butt-whooping session of Guitar Hero" whispered Asuka with a gleefully mischievous smirk.
Kaji sighed quietly with disappointment, though neither of the two teens noticed.
"I can do that" said Sergei with an excited nod, before he stood up from the bed and stretched. "Hey, good luck to you tomorrow, Asuka. If you can, take photo or two of your Eva Unit. It is so cool to know someone who is superhero, and I want to see more of your work."
"Can do, buckaroo" replied Asuka with a smirk and a comedic salute.
The two bid each other good night before Sergei departed. Once she had washed up for the night and gone through her routine, Asuka returned to her bed and quickly drifted off to sleep. As she dreamed, Asuka tried to conjure up an image of what tomorrow would look like, how she would be dressed for the occasion, and most importantly what her Evangelion Unit 02 would look like. Whatever it looked like, it would make for a spectacular and awe-inspiring ride back up to the red carpet once all this Apostolo business was taken care of.
And once she was done scraping Yui Ichijo off the bottom of its foot, of course.
The sun shined high over the forested valley as the car's engine hummed. Brushing her golden bangs from her eyes, Asuka stirred from her sleep with a soft mewl. Her eyes cracked open, at first blinded by the bright sun, before snapping open as they spotted something far off on the mountainside.
"Good to see you awake, sleepyhead" said Kaji as he sipped from a can of coffee. "See something cool?"
Without hesitation, Asuka shifted upright in the front passenger seat, her eyes widening.
"No way…NO WAY!"
A grin spread across her face as the girl practically bounced up and down in her seat.
"Eep! No way no way no way no way NO WAYYYY!"
Jutting out from the wooded mountainside was the titanic concrete opening to a hangar bay, currently shut tight by an equally tremendous bulkhead that must have weighed as much as a skyscraper. Adorning it was the NERV sigil of an oak leaf bisected by the organization's name, all styled in crisp crimson colour, along with a black-painted "02" directly below it. The two were still a ways off from the structure, yet even so Asuka had to crane her neck upwards to try and get a view of the top of the bulkhead from within the car due to the sheer size of the thing.
"The Secretary of Defence says once Evangelion Unit Two's completed its mandatory training regiment, the Defence Force and NERV are going to relocate it to Berlin-II to await further orders from the Chancellor and NERV Command" replied Kaji as he glanced to Asuka with a smile.
"Y-You mean we're taking it home" gasped Asuka as she took out her phone to record the spectacular sight. "Fine by me! I could do with a shorter drive to reach my baby anyways."
The thick forests that enveloped the road slowly gave way to open space as the car arrived on-base. A few security checks later and the two were cleared to enter. Armoured vehicles, various types of helicopters, and a plethora of surface-to-air defence weapon systems used by the German Defence Force filled the grounds near the hangar. Construction workers, defence force guardsmen, and engineers all scurried about the place as the car drove through the base.
Looking around at them all scampering about, Asuka felt a sense of pride as she pressed her face to the glass. Every last one of them was likely working in service of her and her Evangelion Unit. This must be how queens back in the day felt as they arrived at their castles…all she needed was the dramatic fanfare.
At last, the car pulled to a stop in a parking area near the ground entrance to the facility. The people on base exchanged curious looks at one another, everyone seemingly knowing without hesitation as to who was in the car. Snapping out of her awe for a moment, Asuka rummaged around in her hand bag for her compact and comb. Examining herself in the mirror with great scrutiny, she touched herself up a little, before exhaling when she realized her small, delicate hands were trembling.
"You look good" spoke Kaji in a warm voice.
Kaji's words worked quickly on Asuka as her hands stopped shaking. Breathing slowly in and out, Asuka looked to him with a confident smile and a rosiness to her cheeks that seemed to be happening quite often of late.
"Leeeeeeeet's do this" giggled Asuka before exiting the car.
Dressed in a navy blue tie-waist sundress with floral printing, Asuka stood there proudly as she let the base's staff take in an eyeful of her. Her blonde head was capped off with a wide-brimmed straw hat. Her shoulders and arms were left exposed by the dress, showing off her soft pale skin. Asuka's petite waist was accentuated by the cut of the dress, further adding to her small, dainty appearance. A pair of open-toe sandals completed her look.
Resting her hands on her hips, Asuka looked around to see the reactions of those around her. Many seem surprised at the sight of this tiny girl and how much of a contrast she was to the starkly utilitarian place was she was in. Others murmured to one another, staring at her. That was it.
No particularly cheery-looking faces. No friendly waves or greetings. Not a peep or hint of a smile. One guardsman even shrugged and walked off. A pit of disappointment began to form in Asuka's stomach. She may have crumbled after her first day of school went due to all the noise and constant attention, but she'd take the sensory overload and sound over…nothing.
Before she could realize it, Kaji had taken her by the hand and began leading her towards the staircase that lead towards the hangar bulkhead. Asuka took one last glance back at the onlookers, before turning back, her excitement dampened somewhat. Why weren't they excited? What's the matter with her? Was something wrong with her? She got up extra early in the morning to do her makeup and hair. Couldn't she at least get one good reaction for all her hard work and effort from these nobodies?
"…Asuka, did you hear me?"
Shaking her head, Asuka refocused herself.
Kaji paused, causing Asuka to come to a halt as well.
"They're going to open the door."
Alarms sounded in the vicinity around the hangar entry as Asuka drew her phone and began recording. Heavy metallic clinking and clanging coupled with the drone of hydraulic pistons resonated from the concrete behemoth, shaking the ground. Asuka instinctively grabbed Kaji and clung to him as the impregnable wall of metal sank into the ground. When the mountainside ceased to rumble, Kaji looked down at the small girl as he checked his phone.
Kaji gestured his head towards the now open hangar.
"I've just received word it's out of its cocoon and all fired up. It's waiting for you in the hangar."
Inhaling sharply, the anxiety once more melted away as Asuka slowly released her hold on Kaji. Thoughts of the staff's reactions and the overwhelming power of this day vanished from her head. Taking a slow step forward, then another and another with increasing speed, Asuka's mind became possessed by only one thing. In an instant, she was bolting up the remainder of the stairs, dress blowing about and hat on the verge of flying off. Her breathing quickened. Her palms were sweaty. Her heart was pounding.
Asuka gasped as she came to a stop before the open hangar. Raising her head, her jaw dropped as she stood there silently.
The technical drawings and simulation renders all failed to truly express to Asuka just how monolithic the Evangelions were in reality. Standing at 50 meters tall, shoulders broad and powerful, legs long and limber, chest strong and face beautiful was Evangelion Unit 02 Production-Type.
Unlike Evangelion Unit 01 with its bulky armour and shoulder pylons, Evangelion Unit 02 was sleek and sexy in its newly designed and crafted armour. The giant's metallic body practically rippled with shapely muscle that made Asuka's heart skip a beat as she took it all in. It was even the exact colour she had always hoped it would be: Roulette Rush Red. A perfect match for her nails. Bits of steel grey broke up the monochrome colour scheme while a glossy onyx colour picked out the under armour that could be seen between the gaps of the plate armour.
Her gaze settled on Evangelion Unit 02's head. It possessed a prominent protruding jaw with an overlapping angular mouth plate, all coming together to give something of the appearance of an infernal beard and grin. A pair of sunken-in spring green eyes contrasted sharply with the shade of red, popping splendidly. Several pairs of horns sprang forth from the giant's head. Two were on the sides of the head like pointed ears. Another pair of horns, long and flat, swept backwards from the back of the head. Finally, a small pair of bright orange horns protruded from the forehead of the titan akin to those of a fierce demon.
Asuka grinned as she removed her hat and ran her fingers over her own devil horns, which she had begun to wear regularly. The motif was one that was really beginning to grow on her since that first day back to school, and the appearance of her Evangelion served to solidify her interest. Together, the two in her mind were deliciously demonic. A little mischievous Imp and her towering, hellishly handsome Demon.
"I see you decided to look your best today too, huh baby" chuckled Asuka as she once again brushed a lock of hair from her eye. "Jeeeeez, now you're making me wish I wore red!"
Asuka finally meets Evangelion Unit 02! But will her first time behind the controls be smooth-sailing, or is trouble a brewing for the yappy German girl? Neon Genesis Alcion will return soon with Chapter 3: Dance of the Golden Spurs!