Disclaimer: I own neither Star Wars nor Evangelion. Now that that's out of the way...
AN: Before I start, I should let it be known that this story will be continuing from the last chapter of the first fanfic, omitting the epilogues completely. No Xanatos, no Tahl, no Keel being a Sith Lord (although that may come up in this; I haven't decided) I wanted to continue a certain way and the epilogues kind of got in the way of that. So this story will completely ignore them and continue anew. I just believe it will make more sense that way.
Anyway, here we go again...
Neon Jedi Evangelion
Children of the Force
It has been nearly a year since the failed assault of NERV and the near destruction of mankind. NERV continues his former operations, however, with the absence of the Angels, the Evangelions have little purpose now and NERV itself faces disband. The only thing keeping the organization in place is the three Children, whose power and abilities in the Force are steadily growing.
Ravenhold Maximum Security Prison
Ravenhold Maximum Security Prison
Walking silently through the white hallway, Shinji Ikari strode toward the exit of the prison. His visit with his father, Gendo, had gone on as it did the last couple of times he visited; quietly. After his first visit, Shinji had decided to make a habit of it and thus visited monthly. Two visits later, a chess set was allowed in for the two and it has been that way ever since. Shinji, while not exceptionally skilled at the game, picked it quickly enough to where he would get a nod of approval from Gendo every now and again.
Strange that he would receive his father's approval when he no longer needed it...
Words were rarely exchanged between the two, but neither person minded. They simply went on in silence until time ran out. At times, Shinji wondered why he would visit at all. This was the man that had caused him and his friends so much pain in the past and nearly destroyed the world. But with that knowledge, Shinji understood why he did it.
Though his actions were irreprehensible, it was brought about by love. Shinji wondered that if he was in his father's position, would he do the same? No. There where no what if's. There was only the present and your actions within it. Shinji learned that lesson both from Qui Gon and his own life experiences.
Living in the past would only hurt a person.
Lifting his eyes, Shinji found that he had walked a good distance from the prison. Closing his eyes briefly, he took in a breath of air and allowed his senses to take in the environment. It always calmed his mind when he did this. Despite all the changes that happened to him over the past, he still felt like the same fearful, anxious Shinji Ikari that first arrived to Tokyo-3.
Funny what meeting a Jedi would do to you…
'My strength it the crystal. It is the center of my focus.'
'My strength it the crystal. It is the center of my focus.'
In the midst of delicate hands, various metallic pieces hovering about in the air. Within the metal fragments was a shimmering blue sapphire crystal, also hovering in the empty space. Slowly, the metal pieces began to converge on each other, encasing the glittering gem within a metal cylinder. Various clicks sounded within the device, sealing it.
'The crystal is the Force. Calmness that is centered with clarity.'
The cylinder slowly settled down onto the hands beneath it. One of the hands tentatively closed around the metal in a light grip. From one end of the device, a stream of light emerged and stretched out a few feet in a blade of blue energy. The hand flexed lightly and the device along with it, twirling it slightly.
'The Force is my strength. It is my ally against the darkness.'
Another flex, this time bringing the blade upright and illuminating the face of the one who constructed it. Delicate features were aglow as crimson eyes searched about the device in examination. Everything seemed to be in place, in accordance with her sensei's instruction. The device... the lightsaber, was complete.
As was her training...
Deactivating the weapon, Rei Ayanami rose up from the floor she had been working on and turned around toward the man standing near the doorway behind her. Clad in long robes, his large form seemed imposing, but his blue eyes showed only gentle wisdom.
"Well done. In completing this, you have finished your Jedi training. The rest will be up to you now, Rei."
Outside in a forest area, a young woman stood still in the middle of a glade within the trees. Her fiery-colored hair fluttered lightly in the wind and eyes were closed. However, she was more than well aware of her surroundings and now, her mind was in search of something, someone. Waiting...
Opening her eyes, one of her hands reached down and took hold of a metallic cylinder that had been hooked to her side. At the same time, another figure emerged from behind her through the trees. Slowly, she began to turn to the new comer, a grin forming over her features.
"What kept you?"
The newcomer smiled, albeit sheepishly. "Sorry, Asuka."
"Again with the apologizes?" the German girl replied, shaking her head. "But then, you wouldn't be you if you didn't, would you Shinji?"
Shinji shrugged in return, stepping out into the clearing fully. Seeing what was in her hand, the young man reached back and unclipped a similar device from his back. Asuka's smile turned into a grin and she activated the device; a crimson beam of light shimmering forth from it. Shinji did the same, producing a violet beam from his. Both teens fell into stance and a silent moment passed between them.
Asuka moved in first, becoming a silent blur that rushed at Shinji and soon becoming a flash of sparks as her lightsaber clashed with Shinji's. But that was only the start of it as Asuka pressed on, whirling about and bringing her saber toward his mid-section. Shinji stepped back, whirling with her and catching her blade before it could come to him. But again, Asuka spun again, bring her saber in from higher up. Shinji ducked just under the crimson blade and moved away, bringing his saber back in a defensive position while Asuka turned to face him.
"Come on. Don't wuss out on me now."
Again, Asuka went on the offensive, attacking with two quick slashes before cart-wheeling around the boy's side. Shinji managed to track her and met her lightsaber swing as she let it out again. But instead of letting her back away again, Shinji stepped forward, forcing their blades to lock. Asuka almost lost her balance in this, but managed to hop back and break the lock.
Now Shinji went on the attack, lifting his saber high and bringing it down forcefully. Asuka blocked, but strained under the pressure as their blades locked again. Shinji then pushed forward, this time causing Asuka to lose her footing entirely. But Asuka easily rolled of the grassy floor and flipped back to her feet without missing a beat. A grin came over her face as she looked over at her sparring partner.
"Now that's more like it."
Shinji smiled back in return and held his lightsaber in defense, but Asuka lowered her own blade and deactivated it. Shinji was confused for a moment, but that was until he sensed the presence of the Jedi master as well as Rei. Shutting his lightsaber down, Shinji turned around to see the two walking toward them through the trees. His gaze lowering, Shinji saw the completed lightsaber hooked to Rei's side.
"You completed your lightsaber, Rei. Congratulations."
Although a year had passed, Rei was still a bit unaccustomed to responding to words of gratitude. However, she had noticed that Shinji seemed to be always looking for a time to say them to her and for that, she was truly grateful. Qui Gon continued to walk as Rei stopped just behind him and the Jedi master was now standing in their midst.
"You three have all done well, and I'm proud of you for that." he began. "But now the time has come to find your own paths."
The statement surprised all three of them and Asuka was the first to ask. "What do you mean?"
"You're not going to teach us anymore?" Rei added quietly.
"I know it has only been a year, but the three of you have improved beyond my expectations." His voice lowered somewhat. "There is very little more I can teach you now."
There was a moment of silent as the teens contemplated over his words, after which Shinji spoke up. "I don't understand. I thought that the apprentice was to stay with their master until they became a knight."
Qui Gon nodded. "In the past, that was true. But now I see that the situation is different and that changes are needed."
That was truer than anything, Qui Gon had realized. Since his meeting with Shinji, he saw that if the Jedi were to ever rise on this world, a different manner was needed for them to do so. Even though he remembered the Jedi Code, he was never strict in following it in his past life and neither would he do so in this life. And he knew that his meeting with Shinji as well as Asuka and Rei, all of whom were strong in the Force, was no coincidence. He was basically at the beginning, the start of the foundation and he wanted it to be a good one.
"You are still padawans, but now you have to start doing things with what you have learned, but without me over you. Only then could it be determined if you are truly Jedi Knights."
"In short, you're saying we have to grow up now." Asuka replied bluntly.
The Jedi lifted an amused eyebrow at her comment. "From a certain point of view, yes. This doesn't mean that I'm abandoning you. But just as you have to 'grow up', I have to take a step back and let you."
Silence again as they thought over his words. Qui Gon said nothing and let them do so. And once again, Shinji broke the silence. "Will we see you again?"
Qui Gon smiled. Out of the three, his bond with Shinji was the strongest as he was the first apprentice of this lifetime that he had taken up. But Shinji possessed another bond, a stronger bond; the one that connected Shinji with Asuka and Rei. It would be a bond they would soon need more than ever. He felt that a change was coming, a disturbance in the Force. He didn't know what it was, but he wanted the three to be ready to face it together. But even still...
"I have no doubt of that, Shinji."
A honking of a car horn broke the somber mood. Eyes widening, Shinji then scratched the back of his head embarrassingly, realizing that he had forgotten that Misato was waiting for them. He had said he would go get the others after she had picked him up from the prison, but it looks like it had been a little longer than he thought.
"Oh, I guess we left her waiting too long." Asuka chuckled.
"Well then..." Qui Gon replied. "You three best be on your way then."
Standing together, the three began to move in the direction of the car, but they stopped, turned about and bowed to Qui Gon.
"Sayonara, Qui Gon-sensei...and thank you for everything."
The Jedi mater returned the gesture to his apprentices. Apprentices... To think that he would think of having more than one student. Not that he never considered it before. But the realty of it still felt new to him. No matter. On this world, he was not bound to the Jedi Code. Although he lived by it, it wasn't the final say on his actions. And if he remembered correctly, in another lifetime, such rigidness led to the fall of the Jedi in part. It was time for a new way and to hope for its success.
To hope in these Children of Eva...
"May the Force be with you all."