Switching Places/Eva!

by Greylle

DISCLAIMER: Original series belong to someone else.
NOTE: Okay, this is a "crack fic" - it's not meant to be taken seriously. We're just out to have a bit of fun with a bizarre idea. Originally the idea was mine, taken in one direction by Matdeception, and then taken in an entirely different direction by myself and Kender.

Chapter Two: Ain't no fun bein' in Evangelion.


Ranma stared at the phone in one hand, then around him.

Deserted streets. It all looked vaguely familiar somehow though.

Glass in windows began vibrating, the phone and electrical lines overhead rattled. The familiar-feeling intensified.

"Damn it, Nabiki, I paid you everything I had!" said Ranma into the phone.

THOOM!

"Waitaminute," said Ranma, dropping the phone and turning ever so slowly towards the source of the sound. "It couldn't be. No way. Nabiki likes the series, we watched it, but even she's not so mean as to..."

A gigantic foot came down. Strange aircraft came zipping up to unleash missile doom upon the giant humanoid, to absolutely no effect.

"Neon Genesis Evangelion," identified Ranma. This was followed by several swear words he'd been saving for just such an occasion.

Ranma Saotome sulked. This sucked. This sucked big time. He knew a bit about Evangelion. He knew how it ended. He'd had to listen to Akane, Nabiki, and KASUMI debating the end movies and go over the thing. It was one of Nabiki's favorite series for whatever weird reason. Maybe because it was so completely different from life in Nerima. Whatever.

"Get in! Am I late?" asked Misato.

"No, but you will be if you don't MOVE!" declared Ranma, grabbing the woman and running.

"Huh? What? HEY!" said Misato, completely surprised by how she was suddenly accelerating and her shoes were somewhere behind her.

Ranma glanced back. Yup, he'd been right.

KRUMP!

Maybe it was because of that dumb genie. Maybe it was because of his being not exactly from around here. Whatever it was, the Angel was coming after him.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" said Misato, as she looked behind her and saw a massive foot lifting off of the wreckage of her car. Still with her waist under Ranma's arm as she was being carried away at high speed, she managed to look up at the big hand reaching down towards her. "!"

Ranma glanced back, saw it, and invented a new speed technique out of sheer motivation. "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"


"That's odd, it was coming directly towards us," said Fuyutsuki as the big blip on the map started meandering all over the place.

"This was not foreseen," admitted Gendo. "Though it won't make any difference."

"I've got a visual from one of the gunships," said Hyoga. "It looks like... Captain Katsuragi?"

"Why would it be chasing the Captain?" asked Makoto.

"That young man carrying her seems to be pretty fast," said Fuyutsuki after a few minutes of watching the feed.

"Good hang time on those jumps too," agreed Makoto.

"It might just be panic and adrenalin," pointed out Hyoga.

"He caught a train at least," said Fututsuki. "Though usually people don't chase the train down the tracks and catch up to it."

"Most people usually don't have an Angel trying to catch them," said Hyoga.

"Hmmmmm," hmmmed Gendo.


Ranma wheezed. Ranma gasped. Ranma belched as he gulped air and it went down the wrong tube.

Misato STARED as her mind tried to wrap itself around what had just happened. She had bruises where Ranma had gripped her, not because of his grip - but because of the g-forces that had come from the sudden accelerations and course changes that she had just gone through. She KNEW he had just run fast enough to outrun a number of cars she'd driven over the years. She hadn't been on a whole lot of roller coasters, but she didn't think any of them would ever impress her at this point.

Ranma finally caught his breath and glanced back at where the Captain was apparently in shock.


The train continued to chug merrily along, passing through a tunnel and then continuing on - the Angel growing more distant as it continued.

Clik!

Ranma found Misato pointing a gun at him. Did his life suck or what? "WHAT?"

"You... what you just did wasn't human! Are you an Angel or something?"

Ranma stopped, began to grin, and then had to settle for laughing.

"Sorry," said Ranma between laughs, "it's just the thought of some of the people I used to know - and what they'd do if they heard someone accusing me of being an 'angel'."

Misato tried to shoot a few inches from Ranma's head. She was really rattled and hadn't even considered what might happen if she did that inside a gently rocking train where the freightcar's walls (even if the doors were open) were made of metal.

sping spang bing btang pong

"Geez," said Ranma after ducking his head throughout that. "No wonder you and Kajii broke up."

Misato FROZE for a few moments. "How the hell do you know about HIM?"

"I'm psychic," said Ranma, drily.

"I don't believe in psychics," said Misato, glaring at the boy.

"No, ya just believe in 300ft tall Angels stomping your car flatter than a poker chip," countered Ranma.

"AGGHHHH!" remembered Misato. "My car! It's flattened and I've still got two years of payments ahead of me!"

"Yer car insurance didn't have 'kaiju' coverage," guessed Ranma. "Don't worry about it. I think when ya get promoted to Major you'll get a better salary. It ain't like ya got very long to drive it anyway."

"Why not?" asked Misato, beginning to go into shock.

"Cause if you don't start questioning things about NOW," said Ranma, "start figurin' out what's really going on, and get yer act together - you're gonna be shot when the last Angel is beaten and the UN comes charging in to take over NERV. Then things are gonna get real nasty."

Misato was about to say something dark and nasty and unladylike but considered her wild ride of only a few minutes ago. Psychic powers eh? "Okay, you want me to listen to you? Show me something."

"Hmmmm," hmmmed Ranma, still wondering how he was going to explain any of this to Misato. "Let's see. Maybe..."

Over his years of training with his father, Ranma had learned that it would always be a good idea to know how one's enemies did things. If he could, and it was worth it, he'd try to imitate whatever move that the other person had, and would attempt to make it his own. However, even if that wasn't possible, he knew that being aware of what moves were possible, so that not only could attacks be recognized quickly during battle, but counters could be worked out ahead of time.

Such was the case with Mousse's Hidden Weapon style. He knew that it would give him the advantage of being able to carry things during a fight, but it also gave him other benefits as well. Even though he didn't own much, it was occasionally a pain to hold on to. That was mainly because he didn't have much with which to hold onto his stuff, and keeping his stuff his did have a problem with the sorts of things that had happened around him. The 'Hidden Weapon' techniques helped him in that, and he was able to bring out plenty of things when he needed them. Hopefully, it would help him this time, in letting him pull one of the things about the series that the sisters had gotten for him.

"Now, let's see," he murmured to himself as he sat down and started to pull things from his pockets. "Dagger, packet of instant spring of drowned chicken, antacid, comb, pictures... handlight, map of hot springs course..."

Misato simply stared as she saw the amount of stuff that he was pulling out.

"Mushroom... copy of 'Romeo and Juliet'... bag of candy... iron corset... ribbon from Ucchan... bokuto that I took from Kuno... passport..."

In the captain's opinion, this was getting to be absurd.

"Incense... One of Shampoo's bells... Akane's shinai... Yuck, one of Pop's bandanas... One of Ryoga's bandanas..."

Had she not been too surprised by the amount of junk that he was pulling out to think, the purple haired woman would have wondered who all the people he was mentioning were.

"Feathers... dragon whisker... Video game that 'Roshi lent me... Newspaper... That math assignment from last week. Wondered where that went... Copy of 'Dragonball Z'... A futon..."

At the moment, the last thing that he pulled out was actually looking good to her at the moment, as she really needed a moment to lay down.

"Panties from Akane and her sisters that the old fart stole. Can't give those back without gettin' blamed... box of condoms that Mom's so sure that I'll need that she got 'em for me... That... is a really perverted dojinshi from Dai..."

She really hoped that this didn't signal that he was a pervert.

"Novel that I actually like... Warm jacket... lighter for making campfires... tape of that song that Akane likes..."

Just staring dully, Misato watched him as he pulled out more stuff.


Ranma continued to pull things out of his pockets, some of which he recognized. Some he had absolutely no idea how it got there. Had he been the retrospective philosophical sort, he might have realized that his passage through Mihoshi's lamp and the involvement of not only a ditzy and enthusiastic novice genie but a whole council of djinn - that he was lucky he hadn't ended up with something truly nasty in there.

"One of Shampoo's bonbori that she left in the dojo that time... three of Mousse' katanas though why duck-boy was using Japanese swords is kinda beyond me... gymnastics ribbon... rubber chicken - no idea where that came from..."

Misato merely stared as her proof of vast 'psychic powers' accumulated.

"Marked cards from that Gambling King idjit... math notebook... some girl band named 'Bond' on CD? Never heard of 'em. Towel. Always handy."

Misato's eyes tracked over to the discard pile.

"Some of them explosive chicken eggs Mousse was always throwin' at me, one of Miss Hinako's coins, extra chopsticks, swiss army knife..."

Misato estimated that the pile massed more than the boy himself did.

"School ID card, tanuki statue, Evangelion: Death & Rebirth, hapiko from that hot spring, Dragonquest famicom game cartridge? Don't remember that."

Misato looked at the ID card before it could get buried. Ranma Ikari, all right. That was a younger version of his picture there and everything. Except that she'd never heard of 'Saint Doreamon Junior High School'. Waitaminute. Was that REI on the cover of this DVD box?

"Four leaf clover. Some kinda weird pen. Scarf. Tea set from that idjit Tea Ceremony Martial Arts thing. Didn't think I'd hung onto that. Huh. Spare teakettle. Xbox 360, whatever that is. Colonel Sanders statue? I know I didn't have one of those."

Misato twitched as she read the back of the DVD box. Angels. Evangelions. Forbidden knowledge? "I ought to show Ritsu this..."

"Nah, she talks about killing you if you get to close to the truth in one of the early episodes. She's in the conspiracy up to her hair dye." Ranma said absently while pulling out a pinata shaped like Woody Woodpecker. "Lessee. Souveneir wood animal carving from Ryugenzawa. Bottle of something pink. Don't know what it is, ain't opening and finding out. Bottle of 'freeze dried monsters - just add water'? Gotta remember to bury that."

Misato stared, trying to make sense of this.

"Bag of chips... toothpaste... menu from the Nekohanten... menu from Ucchan's... some kind of crystal thing... that little fish thing that some guy gave me... that 'occur' whistle flute thing..." Ranma continued on, still pulling things out of his pockets.

Misato considered all that she was seeing and knew quite simply that this was getting beyond absurd. She needed some sense out of all of that she was seeing, and she knew that if he just continued yanking things out, then she'd be using a cane to make him finish. So, she slipped the DVD under her jacket to keep it for later viewing, and did the only thing that she could at that moment.

She grabbed him by the collar and started shaking him. "Stop it with pulling out all this crap and start explaining!"

"Huh? Gah..." he asked, his eyes rolling with each shake that she gave him. "'Xplain what?"

"Everything! How do you know all this? How can you do these things? And what happened to a sane set of events?"

"That last one's somethin' that I'd like an answer for..."

"Not funny! I need answers, not more jokes!"

"But... But..."

"You don't answer me, and I'll just have to haul you in front of the Commander!"

"Not a good idea. Guy's not exactly the nicest person 'round," Ranma choked out.

"Right now, it's between you and him, and I'm not getting answers from you! Now, give me some rational answers!"

"Okay, okay..."

"You'll give me a rational explanation?"

"I'll give ya the truth. Don't know how 'rational' it'd be."

"That'll do. For now," the captain told him as she stopped shaking him. "Start talking."

"Well, I'm not the person that you expected."

"That is true enough."

"Yeah, I know. But ya see, I'm from another universe where all this is just an anime."

"An 'anime'?"

"Television show and movies. And some games. Oh, can't forget the manga."

"You're not serious."

"I am. Ya see, I'm a martial artist there, the best one 'round. 'Course, I've got a lot of problems, but still... Anyway, I found this lamp with a genie in it, who would give me a wish. I took it ta this smart girl that I know, and asked her for help. She wound up makin' it so that the wish wasn't quite what I wanted. 'Tween her and that genie, they got it so that I got switched with the guy who was supposed ta be here."

"You were switched?"

"Dropped in right where ya found me."

Staring at the boy who had just told her this really bizarre story, Misato considered what she should do about it, and quickly realized that she would have to take him to the Geofront regardless. Maybe he was just crazy? Maybe this was all just a bad dream? She could hope, couldn't she?

"Yeah, right," said Misato aloud, thinking the psychic powers explanation was more plausible than this one.

"That's... DUCK!" said Ranma, breaking her grip and heading towards the floor of the train car.

"Huh? What do you mean 'duck'?" managed Misato before the reason became obvious.

A flash of light occurred outside the traincar, Misato glanced that way, her mind beginning to put together clues. "They're not..."

BOOM!

"... an N2 Mine?" yelled Misato as it became clear why her companion was digging his fingers into the wood flooring of the traincar. There was a split second of boggling as he did that, and then it was too late.

The traincar went off the track and became very mobile in a different direction, rolling once in midair with the rest of the train.

Fortunately for Ranma, he'd dug himself grips into the floor, and so just hung on and then dropped from the now-wall to the new floor when everything stopped moving.

Unfortunately for Misato, she went down and was quickly buried in the heap of things that Ranma had pulled out of his pocket.

Even more unfortunate that Misato, with her swirly eyes indicating a lack of personal consciousness at the moment, didn't realize that she had a fish in her ear.

Had Misato been conscious at that moment, she might have been a little grossed out. After all, there was a fish falling into her ear, and feeling something cold and slimy sliding into any part of one's body wasn't exactly a comforting feeling. Plus, there would be the problem of having to get it out, and all of the humor that others would get when they would hear that there was a fish in her ear.

Of course, had she been aware of just what sort of fish it was, she would have been having flashbacks to 'Invasion of The Body Snatchers'.

As it was, Ranma had to walk over to her as she was not getting up. He was confused by her lack of movement, and knelt next to her as he shook her shoulder. When that didn't work, he lifted her up and supported her upper body in his arms. "Hey! C'mon! Are ya okay?"

"Waaa..." she murmured, sounding rather incoherent.

"This ain't the time for ya ta take a nap."

"Gra..."

"What are ya goin' on 'bout?"

"Eh?"

"Ya gotta wake up..."

Her head lolled from side to side. "Uhhh..."

"Ya won't live ta get another beer if ya stay like this!"

"What?" Misato yelped as she managed to focus enough to notice his yelling.

"You're awake?"

"I have to be, what with your yelling."

"I'm glad. I was kinda worried that ya mighta gotten hurt real bad..."

"Nothing a bit of calm and safe reality won't fix..."

"Huh?" he grunted, sounding surprised. "What's that mean?"

"Nothing... But still, what's going on?"

"Other than the fact that our train's derailed."

"How did that... Oh, yeah. The N2 mine. My head's still ringing. But at least we're safe for now, even if I keep on hearing a voice."

"A 'voice'?"

"Yeah. Coming from over there," she replied, pointing back at the direction where the explosion had come from.

"There's nothin' there. Okay, there's the buildings, and a lot of empty streets. 'Course, maybe ya'd heard somethin' from one of the soldiers."

"I kind of doubt that."

"Well, 'bout the only other thing there is the Angel."

"Are you saying that I'm in communication with that?"

"Not really. But, maybe it has found a way ta talk ta ya."

"And how would we know that?"

"Only one way to figure that out. What's it sayin'?"

Misato concentrated, frowning deeply. "As far as I can tell, what it's saying is 'What strange thing art thou?'"


It was confused. There was an imperative - to find and unite with Adam. There were the Lillim surrounding it, which launched one attack after another towards it, the means of which it did not understand nor need to.

Yet crossing its path had been something Other. Not of the Lillim, though mimicking the appearance. Not of the Angels, though itself did not use that term. It thought of itself and its brethren as simply Them.

Yet into its overriding purpose had come something unexpected - curiosity. This Other was burning bright with possibilities the Lillim did not.

"What Strange Thing Art Thou?" called out the Angel, wondering if its Purpose had been postponed after all.


"What strange thing is what?" asked Ranma. "Maybe that fish in your ear?"

"WHAT?" asked Misato, immediately trying to pluck the thing out. When she did, she glanced at the horrid thing and slowly came to a stop. Again. "WHAT?"

"What what?" asked Ranma, putting stuff back in his pockets.

"It's a 'babel fish'," said Misato. "I saw that movie when I was a kid. Dad didn't get all the British humor, but Mom and I did - it was one of the few happy times before everything went wrong so I remember it..."

"A 'bible fish'?" asked Ranma.

"Babel fish," automatically corrected Misato still staring at the fish. "Sort of like the 'universal translator' used in some old Sci-fi series I saw. It translates languages so that you can understand any language being spoken."

"Sounds handy," said Ranma.

"There was something about it proving the existence of God because it was so unlikely to exist on its own that a God had to have created it or something," said Misato. Then she put the babel fish carefully back into her ear.

"Ugh," said Ranma.

A wandering dog sniffing at the train looked up at her and gave a tentative woof. (I suppose a milkbone is completely out of the question?)

"I'm afraid so," said Misato, feeling rather faint. If a babel fish could prove the existence of a divine being, then it also followed that the appearance of something from a fictional movie within her own universe meant...

Ranma Ikari might be telling the truth.

"You okay, that ain't burrowing in or something is it?" asked Ranma, putting more away in his pockets. Hmmm. Pocky. He'd just take one for now and save the rest for later.

"We've got to get you to NERV Central," said Misato, falling back on Duty. She'd work the rest of this out later.

"Adam Be Near," said the Angel in the distance. "Dost Thou Who Art Other Seek Adam As Well?"

"Who is 'Adam'?" asked Misato as she scanned her surroundings. Car - squished. Train - derailed. Angel - over that way.

"Adam who?" asked Ranma.

"Come on," said Misato, striding off in a direction away from the Angel.