Switching Places/Eva!

by Greylle

DISCLAIMER: Do i look wealthy? No? Then you should realize i don't own any of the series involved, i'm just trying to put them together in a particularly weird manner entirely for the humor.
Chapter 24: World of Warped Craft

Asuka prepared to use her axe on the dwarf.

The dwarf in question raised a hand towards her and said a single word. "Confession."

Asuka felt SOMETHING happening, words trying to force their way out of her, and stopped her charge in order to try and control the impulse. "The other night when you heard me moaning, I hadn't hurt myself in the shower."

"I know," said Rei.

"AGH! That didn't... you knew?" asked Asuka.

"I knew, Misato knew, in fact I think the only one who didn't know was Ranma," said Rei, quite matter-of-factly. "It was rather obvious."

"You couldn't have known! None of you even batted an eye at it," said Asuka.

Rei just directed a completely flat look towards her fellow pilot.

"What are ye talking about?" asked the dwarf. "All the spell 'Confession' does is cause a random comment, right?"

"Perhaps originally in the game," said Rei to the dwarf. "In this case, perhaps not so much."

"Oh?" asked the dwarf. "Let me check. Confession."

"I have entertained the concept of being in a harem with Asuka," said Rei. "I would imagine though, that the practicality of the arrangement would be clumsy at best and completely unworkable at worst."

"Wow," said the dwarf. "Ye are right, lass. That didn't sound like a stock random response."

At which point two fists impacted the dwarf's face.

Lying on the ground, the dwarf directed his comment to the ceiling. "Okay. That mighta been justified a bit."


"The number of missing is continuing to increase," stated Shigeru. "While the number in any given area is small, it also appears to be world-wide."

"So the numbers accumulate just because it is so wide-spread," said Gendo, frowning as he considered that. It didn't reflect well on NERV if the attacks weren't specifically directed towards Tokyo-3 and NERV itself. "Anything else so far?"

"Still compiling data, but it appears the vice-commander was logged onto 'World of Warcraft'," said Shigeru. "Investigation is still ongoing."

"Hmph," indicated Gendo.


"[2:Trade Chat:][WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! WHY CAN'T I LOG OFF?!"]

"[2:Trade Chat:][GIVE IT A REST, DIPSTICK! EVERYONE'S IN THE SAME BOAT!]"

"[2:Trade Chat:] [I HAVE WORK! I NEED TO GET TO WORK! WHERE'S A GM?!]"

"[2:Trade Chat:] [ALL OF YOU SHUT UP! CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUILD MASTER! IF WE FIND ANYTHING OUT WE'LL PASS WORD ON.]"

"Useless," summed up Tyffania, Mistress Of Pain.

"Ignorance must announce itself," said Arcanno, alias Kozo Fuyutsuki.

"We have to determine something of the environment, it is not exactly the same as the game," noted Tyffania, leaning back against the wall. "The 'pets' I summon, the demons, are not passive creatures that merely stand around and await my commands."

"Ah, I noticed that you didn't have any present," said Fuyutsuki. "I take it that 'passive' no longer applies?"

"The imps throw fireballs at random targets, including blowing trash or walls," said Tyffania. "The voidwalker ATE Shayela's goat. My succubus... I'm trying to forget what my succubus tried to do in the freaking inn."

"Ah, that couldn't have been good," admitted Fuyutsuki.

"As soon as I could stop staring, I dismissed her," said Tyffania. She paused and shook her head. "I don't suppose they have something like 'brain bleach' around?"

"No," said Fuyutsuki. "Mind if I use View?"

"Something wrong?" asked Tyffania. "Besides the obvious?"

"We were thrown into a videogame," said Fuyutsuki. "There are a number of things to test and try out until someone figures out how to get us out. It might take awhile, depending on the difference in time rates."

"How long it is in game time being different from outside?" Tyffania shuddered. "Go ahead."

Fuyutsuki nodded and tried doing a select and 'View' on her. "Good equipment."

"I keep up," said Tyffania. "I work for the company after all."

"You do?" asked Fuyutsuki. "Huh. Specialist job is 'Cook'?"

"They were originally going to go with a 'don't go for realism' approach, but it was pointed out that after Second Impact had screwed things up - online games were being used as a way to keep contacts and maintain social connections. People were busy just surviving at first, but would log in and leave messages through online games anyway. When things began to even out, that trend just continued. As well as a sort of second life where things were less troublesome." Tyffania shrugged and brought up the stats for Arcanno. "You're not bad yourself - though some of your items are a bit dated. Job is set for 'Clothier'?"

"Enchantment and Tailoring work well together, even before the job update," responded Fuyutsuki. "Huh. That's odd."


There was no pain. Unless you counted the rock digging into her back near the right shoulder blade.

Tohkah groaned, reached around, and pulled the offending rock out before trying to get her bearings.

Slowly she got up, eyes blinking as she took in her surroundings. Rocks, reddish-orange in color, made up most of the landscape. Little patches of yellowish grass scattered about.

Tohkah shook her head, then rubbed her eyes. Nope - it was all still there. Great.

[Guild: Twobitsy: Anyone have any clue as to what/how/why we're IN the game?]
[Guild: Axendeth: Nope.]
[Guild: Savwafayre: Virtual Reality experiment gone wrong?]
[Guild: Stabbikins: No idea.]
[Guild: Behindyuu: Government thought control screwup?]
[Guild: Fruitypie: Not a clue. ^_^;;]

Tohkah let out a deep breath as she took in her surroundings. She reached down and took a handful of dirt, sifting it briefly through her fingers.

[Guild: Tohkah: The amount of detail is way too high for this to be a virtual reality.]
[Guild: Behindyuu: Tohkah - I just splashed my way through a puddle. I got an old computer.]
[Guild: Behindyuu: I have grafx set to low just to run the game.]

Tohkah finished examining some grass. Near as she could tell it was grass.

[Guild: Tohkah: We ought to link up in a city. Behindyuu - you're a level 44 Rogue. Go stealthy and find a place to hearth from. If this is like that Tron game - you die here you die for real.]
[Guild: Fruitypie: Oh hell. I just ganked a noob Ally.]

Tohkah shuddered. Some people really liked PvP. If the person died when their character died then things were a lot worse.

[Guild: Tohkah: Can we all meet in Thunder Bluff?]
[Guild: Stabbikins: Why not Ogrimmar?]
[Guild: Behindyuu: Why not Undercity?]

Tohkah snorted, wincing as apparently she had a bit of a runny nose. Maybe a dust allergy. Just wonderful.

[Guild: Tohkah: Tauren tend to be friendly and openminded, and Thunder Bluff isn't enclosed.]
[Guild: Twobitsy: I'm in Ogrimmar. It stinks. Literally. Sewage problems.]
[Guild: Axendeth: Behind- you're Forsaken. Your character model has no nose. Some of us do.]
[Guild: Behindyuu: Speciest!]

Tohkah sniffed. Dry and dusty.

[Guild: Stabbikins: Heading to Thunder Bluff, just don't get near the edge. Long drops are bad for your health bar.]


Gendo listened, frowning behind his steepled hands. "So everyone had at least a window open on their computers running 'World of Warcrap'?"

"'World of Warcraft', sir. Yes," agreed Shigeru.

"I stand by my earlier statement," said Gendo Ikari, a note of contempt in his voice. "Have someone invade the corporate headquarters and hack their systems."

"On it," said Shigeru.


"NERV forces have broken into the corporate offices of Blizzard - that's the company which owns the social/fantasy MMO of 'World of Warcraft'," said Shigeru, listening on his earphone as things went down half a world away. "They report it is empty. Even the receptionist desk looks abandoned - with a cup of coffee broken on the floor. Papers in disarray. Teams are splitting up. Assault team moving in. Hacker team is accessing their internal network."

"We have other hackers attempting to attack the network," said Makoto. "Apparently freelancers and others are trying to figure out what Blizz is up to. Internet chatter seems to be split as to whether this is the Illuminati, Skynet, or a publicity stunt."

Gendo said nothing, watching and listening from his usual seat. It was a pity that Fuyutsuki might be lost, but it was the loss of the pilots that was more pressing. Particularly that Rei was missing. As to that. "Send a recall message for Doctor Akagi. She is to return here at best speed."

"Sending," said Makoto. "And... oh. That can't be good."

The large screen on the bridge had just switched to a loading screen.

"What the-" began Shigeru. "Lost connection with hacking team! Assault team reports no contact - building appears empty. They are heading back to last location of hacking team."

"Shut down all outside connections," said Gendo. "Don't let-"

[System Loaded. Uploading character data. Extending AT Field.]


"So, guys?" asked Ranma, sitting back in the cockpit of Unit 01. "When we getting started with whatever ya wanted?"

Silence. There was a slight rocking of the Evangelion but other than that - all was quiet.

"Guys?" asked Ranma.


Gendo massaged his aching head.

"Something wrong, dear?" asked Yui.

"Something just happened, I'm sure of it," said Gendo. He started looking around, trying to figure out what it was.

The same old mountain cabin overlooking the lake he was fond of fishing in. The usual explosive sheep cropping the nearby grass in the same fashion they always did.

It was one of the more useful things that his gnome friend had given them as a retirement gift. For one thing, the sheep might explode - but only if some fool adventurer got bored and was looking for something random to attack.

There was Yui, looking as if she were slightly puzzled by the whole thing. Sometimes a student would come by for tutoring in her Alchemic Arts but other than that she was usually content with her herb garden and mixing various potions.

Gendo thought a moment and figured that just maybe his feeling of displacement might be caused by her latest attempt at coming up with a new rocket fuel.

As to him, he was still Gendo Ikaria - retired from the Stormwind Supply Corps (SI:6 operative 021) to a quiet life where he could work on his own engineering skills. Sad that his plans to have giant robots defending Stormwind had been shot down for budget concerns, but that was politics for you.

No, everything was in place as it should be. Must have been fumes from the latest rocket fuel experiment.


"Warwick? You have anything?"

"Looks like the hacking team was able to use the computer here to access files. Looks like they were doing some sort of patch upload today, but at 0500 everything stopped."

Captain Leon Harding looked around at the office before deciding it was some middle management type. Probably financial from what he was seeing. A half-eaten Snickers bar on the floor, paperwork sitting in neat stacks. "Okay, so whatever is going on that caused all these 'vanishments' hit here too. Half-done stuff and the bottles and stuff on the floor means they were just going about their business right?"

Corporal Anita Warwick nodded. "No warning. Apparently they usually schedule these updates for early morning in order to not cut out on the maximum traffic times. There was a bug though, so it was rolling restarts on their servers. Everyone vanished at once. That's the way I read it."

Captain Leon Harding eyed the computer. "So, one of these outside hacks?"

"Might be," admitted Corporal Warwick. "You want me digging further?"

"Hold off on that," ordered Harding. "Squad - maintain position. Do not touch ANYTHING. Warwick, you're the technical expert. Try to figure out if it's internal or external. Johnson - any luck with Nerv HQ?"

Johnson looked up from where he had been using the comset. "Nothing. Getting no response from HQ."

"Keep trying," said Harding. "This isn't a situation I've ever seen covered and this is all civvie equipment. Don't break anything we might need."


"Guys? Anyone there? Hellooooo," called Ranma. "This Eva unit is still hooked into the power and all, but some of the systems have got these red blinky things going. I think that's supposed to be a bad sign or something?"

Silence.

"Can ya guys at least stream a movie in here? I think they was playing 'Big Trouble In Little China' on TV."

"You know. If someone's out there?"


Ireul was a little shocked.

Everything was going pretty well. The Players were adventurers and already had characters - they'd been put in first. By the time he'd gotten to stage two, he'd gotten the AT Field ball rolling to the point where the false reality was becoming the greater reality.

Which would end in the brilliant solution of nobody having to die - the Lilim could survive and the non-Lilim could survive. That it was going so well was actually a little surprising.

That the scenario had grabbed the souls inside the Evangelions was a LOT surprising.

However, the Anomaly was NOT affected. The Anomaly was AT Nerv HQ in one of the Evangelions, and Ireul was uncertain how he and those two technicians hiding out in the launch bay had not ended up in the scenario.

MiRa was still floating about, having gone into a "sleep mode" that left it bobbling around like a balloon to the currents from the various vents.

Ah. There was another loose end to clean up.


"Okay, this is bizarre," said Doctor Ritsuko Akagi as she faced the screen. From THIS side, she could see a thick panel and there was her body on the other side of it. Unfortunately there seemed to be no way to get there from here.

HERE was in front of an odd menu that she vaguely recognized from seeing Fuyutsuki with that deplorable (if harmless) hobby of his.

Not that she hadn't met a few nerds and geeks with odd hobbies or even that particular one.

Two factions. Horde and Alliance. On one side were the various generic fantasy tropes dealing with the supposed "good guy" races: dwarves, elves, humans, gnomes, werewolves, and... well maybe werewolves weren't normally part of that crowd even if they were called 'worgen' here. Oh, and some weird goat-people.

The other side, the Horde, seemed composed almost entirely of leather-wearing pseudo-bad-boys of the type to go swaggering about and trying to play biker gang. She was honestly surprised she didn't see a way to add tattoos and have an unlit cigarette dangling from one lip.

Ah, there was a little male or female symbol up there. Good.

Since there was no way to escape that she'd been able to find, the next step seemed to be generating a character and then logging off.

"Orc - too much muscle and ugh. Undead - way too much ugh. Tauren - seriously? Who the hell would play a cow? I need to do a psych eval on Kozo if he actually plays this drivel. Troll - looks familiar. I think I dated this one's sister once. No. Blood elf - good enough. Just have to be long enough to find the log off or whatever help desk they've got."

The class likewise didn't matter, but warlock had little skulls on the costume so she went with that. Then there was customization - at which point her outfit switched to simple red robes - and she was somewhat surprised to see an approximation of her own face there. "Okay. More weird. They better have a good explanation for this."

When she hit the button to accept this, she really hadn't expected the feeling of being shoved inside a small compartment, shaken thoroughly and then-


Akagi shook her head and screamed.

"What IS wrong with you?" asked her bed-mate.

"Katsuragi?" asked Akagi.

"No, you really must have tied one on last night. I didn't even hear you get in," said the other blood elf, running a hand through hair the color of fresh blood.

"I..." Akagi looked around her, her eyes getting larger as she did so. "WHAT KIND OF GAME IS THIS?!"

"Not so loud, dear, unless you're TRYING to have a patrol investigate," said the redhead. "Well, whatever. I'm getting up. Better get down to the training area. You start warlock training today after all."

Akagi just sat there for a few minutes, trying to come to terms with what had just happened.


The Ree clambered down from their positions, the skeletal form of their version of Mecha-Godzilla standing vigil above them.

Most of the time, they had developed this comfortable silence where they operated almost as a group organism.

That hadn't gone well at all when they'd pranked some courier with "We are the Ree. You will be assimilated." Poor girl still flinched when they crossed her path.

Her computer terminal was empty. She was one of those taken.

After observing for a time, Ree-1 spoke. "They were Taken."

"Ireul. An interesting ploy," said Ree-2. "As he progresses, this world will be overwritten to the new specifications. Ireul would then be an End Boss."

"We could enter, influence the interface, become something wondrous," added Rei-3.

"But limited. Still. It's better than the Matrix," indicated Rei-2. All three had been severely disappointed by the series of movies.

Three young clones of Rei Ayanami considered the implications briefly.

"Banana milkshakes would aid the cogitation process," decided Rei-3.

"We are the Ree, we shall assimilate banana milkshakes," added Rei-2. "And those little vanilla cookies that go so well with those."

"Stop that, you know how freaked out the regular humans were after that attempt at 'pranking'," said Ree-1. "Ireul has not manage to rewrite reality yet. We can face that possibility later."


Makie Sasaki wandered the empty corridors of NERV. Her "handlers" who had kept her away from anything of note lately were gone.

Frankly, she was feeling a bit lonely.

Which was why when she saw the two technicians, she did a leaping glomp.

"Mrph!"

It was Kyoko Mihara. That Makie ended up face-planted in the woman's generous chest was entirely predictable.

"Makie?" asked Daihaku Sugimoto, the middle-aged tech recognizing the girl despite her face being hidden.

"Mrph!"

"Do you mind getting your face out of my cleavage?" asked Kyoko. "You've been watching too many old anime."

"Ah!" said Makie, stepping back. "Right. You two are okay?"

"Yeah. Any idea what happened?" asked Daihaku.

Makie looked from one to the other of the techs. "I don't understand much. I know it's Ireul and it involves computers. I wasn't grabbed for some reason."

"I suspect it was because you used to be an Angel," said Daihaku.

"Do you know why you two weren't grabbed? I haven't seen anyone else in the base," commented Makie.

"No, it might have been because..." Kyoko began blushing and looking elsewhere.

"That couldn't be it, could it?" asked Daihaku.

"Couldn't be what?" asked Makie.

"Nah. Nevermind," said Kyoko.

"Well, if we're not going to be grabbed immediately, I want to go ahead and do this," said Daihaku, going to a terminal and typing something out.

"What are you doing?" asked Kyoko, stepping up next to her fellow tech. "Oh."

"Ranma's still in Unit-01," said Daihaku. "I'm running a feed from one of the news stations in there and over to that monitor."


Pen-Pen smoked one of Misato's cigarettes, looking out over the balcony/walkway to the city beyond.

Eventually he spat it out though. He didn't care at all for the way it made the beer taste.

He could still hear the occasional beep of a car out there, or where a phone would start ringing. Over in that direction, some idiot's car alarm was going off.

Finally he turned his attention away from the city and returned to the apartment. "Big Trouble In Little China" was coming on soon, and it was the new Director's Cut version.

Whatever it was that was going on, it was way above his paygrade.


"Man this is boring. They've got it randomized but it keeps going back over the same four movies."

The Hentai Tentacle Monsters were bored. They wanted new stuff.

"Ireul should be a lot more considerate, you know."

"Eh. If he gets to full realization of this scenario, we'll be in it. What do you want to be?"

"One of the underwater zones, you could do all sorts of things in the water."

"I just hope we don't end up Murlocs. That'd suck big time."


Matariel didn't have the physical equipment to sigh. So Matariel generated a breeze that did the same thing.

Did you really need to use a plan to undo my work? Ireul - you are really messing with my groove here.

Well, if it flipped the AT fields and rewrote reality for this blue-green world, Matariel decided there were enough areas that could be developed further. Fill in blank spaces in the map.

Well, there was a chance the humans would collectively reject that new reality.

All it required was a consensus.

On second thought, that was pretty damn unlikely.


"Don't they have a breast-reduction spell or something?"

"I don't think that issue was addressed," said Rei softly to the level 5 Arms Warrior.

"Ugh, having to run everywhere with THESE bouncing. What's with this bounce anyway - you'd think they were freaking superballs or something!" Asuka brought her axe down.

"You... no take candle," complained the dying kobold.

"You don't even HAVE a candle," complained Asuka.

Rei, the level 20 Hunter, hung back as Asuka continued to collect gold dust. They weren't even in the same party after all, she was just there in case Asuka was suddenly overwhelmed with kobolds attacking.

After all, nobody was really anxious to test if dying was permanent or not.

"What's with the candles anyway?" asked Asuka.

"Metaphor?" guessed Rei.

"Okay, I was thinking running joke that didn't make any sense because I don't understand the reference. That works too though I suppose." Asuka lifted her axe again.

"Which Asuka are you?" asked someone coming around the corner.

"WHY do you look like me?" asked Asuka with a scowl. "But with smaller breasts."

"Well, I had a character, a MALE character, but when my computer turned itself on and did some weird stuff, my character data got corrupted or something," said someone named BenteiX who identified as a Level 65 Arms Warrior.

"What was your name outside the game?" asked Asuka.

"Kensuke," said BenteiX. "I guess you're the original Asuka."

"The number one, the one and only, the real one," boasted Asuka before she remembered she was treating the other Asukas as creepy and weird. "I mean. Yeah. I'm the REAL Asuka, dummkopf."

"Yeah, you're the one with the worst attitude," mumbled BenteiX.

"What was that?" growled Asuka.

"Nothing," said BenteiX. "So - what do you suppose is going on?"

"Go to any capitol city," advised Rei. "There are many theories put forward, all have their backers and detractors."

"Yeah, tradechat," said BenteiX. "Never actually seen it used for trade though. Almost as bad as the Barrens."

"Gold mine!" shouted a kobold.

"Actually, it's a copper mine, see!" said Asuka, pointing at a large mound of copper ore.

The kobold stopped, looked at the copper, looked at Asuka. "Copper mine not sound so good."

"You're not going to say something about your candle?" asked Asuka, intrigued because THIS kobold looked like all the others. Except for the weird thing on his head.

"Why are you wearing a coliander on your head?" asked BenteiX.

"Better armor," said the kobold. "Also fashion statement."

"You are not attacking," noted Rei.

"Just copper mine, respawns anyway," said the kobold.

"Do you have a name?" asked BenteiX, finding the change in script to be interesting.

As soon as the creature said it, the ident changed to that name with an 'elite' border. "Tucker."

"Well, Tucker, you might want to find someplace else to be," said BenteiX. "Otherwise adventurers are just going to keep dropping in."

"Tucker knows," agreed Tucker. "Tucker also keeps getting attacked by other kobolds. Tucker thinks this all sucks."

[Quest: Escort Mission!]
[Escort Tucker to a safe]
[location, avoiding aggro]
[from Gazebos, Grassy]
[Gnolls, and the Dread]
[Locks. Accept? y/n?]

"Cool, exclusive content." BenteiX smirked for a moment. "Anyone going to let me join the party?"

"You're too high a level," said Rei. She gestured and her "hunter pet" appeared, a large wolf. "Besides, it is Asuka who needs the experience."