Just to clarify some stuff first:

The characters and whatnot belong to their respective owners. I just use them for non-commercial entertainment. If you hold the rights on anything in my work and want it deleted feel free to contact me .

Caution: English is my third language. I use it quite a lot so while there will be some mistakes now and then, I strive to improve. Please forgive me my occasional butchering of the English language. On the upside, expect Asuka to actually say something authentic in her native tongue. This is actually my first attempt to write fiction since school which is a couple of years past. And it's the first time in English. So bear with me. If you get the twitching eye reading my stuff either stop or contact me with advice. I would be glad if someone would proof read.

Now then. This is a "what comes after" fanfic. It takes place after "End of Evangelion" but the events are slightly altered. Don't worry, the first few chapter more or less takes care of the deviations. Furthermore the characters are a mixture of the original and the Rebuild series (up to 2.0 for the moment). They will be a wee bit more cheerful but don't expect Shinji to become Mister Sunshine. After all, a blind cavefish whose pond suddenly dried out is more cheerful then him.

Also I'll draw on other stories and universes for inspiration. Expect to see some familiar references or even themes. Which ones I'm not sure yet and I would rather not tell before I come round to actually introducing the individual concepts. I aim for a grimdark setting with some humour now and then, but the usual suspect (Warhammer 40k) will only play a minor inspirational role.

I would like to thank EarthScorpion (look up his great story "Aeon Entelechy Evangelion" here on ) who gave me some great reading material and the inspiration to write my own story.

Since I'm all in favour of "read your stuff the way you like it" here is a link to the story in pdf format: dl . dropbox u/2292204/bailout . pdf
I'm writing this in LaTeX so it's not as if it's an extra effort for me. Feel free to print it, read it on your Kindle or whatever gadget you fancy. I don't know much about licenses but you can assume that you can do whatever you want with the story as long as you don't profit financially.

I rated this fic as T for mild violence, sexual themes and language. It will also be rather depressing at times. Depending on how far things go I might upgrade the rating to M, but as I am averse to writing excessive violence and/or detailed sex scenes it is unlikely. Rest assured that if you have seen the original series there won't be anything that could faze you.

I will try to update the story approximately once a month, but you all know how life can be...

So now without further ado

Nerv's CIC, codenamed 'The Bridge' was empty, as was the rest of the base. One could almost describe it as peaceful. Not that Nerv Headquarters was the most bustling of places under normal conditions anyway. There where never a lot of people and quite a lot of space. But those few tended to congeal into hubs of activity where now their absence could be noted.

If there was someone to do the noting.

The delusion of peacefulness was a superficial one. It was impossible to ignore the signs of struggle everywhere. Hatches were blown out of their hinges, equipment was smashed and bullet holes riddled walls and furniture. But curiously bodies were absent. Not even traces of blood could be found. Which, needless to say, was odd.

People prone to superstition might call this place haunted. In a way they would be right, for while the place looked all but deserted the machinery still worked. True, it seemed like they were in a hibernation of sorts, nevertheless the MAGI held vigil, compelled by instructions as old as their neural connections themselves. For all a fictional observer would know the people could have been gone for a day or a century. But there where no observers. The power cut to all but the most essential of circuits, the lights were one of the first systems that went quite literally dark. The place was dark and silent as a mausoleum, a final resting place so dull that even it's occupants decided to venture for greener pastures.

The change came quite sudden as these things go. The dust accumulated since the inhabitants mysteriously disappeared - and there was quite a lot of it, courtesy to all the shooting - had had time to settle long ago. Now it was somehow perturbed and fogged the air as it had in the cataclysmic last moments of the bases infiltration.

The machinery also noticed the change, but the reaction seemed muted. A blinking green light here, a flash of diagnostics on a screen there and the excitement was over again. Somewhere in the vast caverns there might have been some diagnostic bleeps as relays switched through redundant systems, maybe even a slight grinding of gears but it was far from the usual places humans would have ventured even when they still occupied the place. Suddenly there was a blearing of alarms and noise reminiscent of a building sliding out of the geofront. It was however not coming from the usual districts where the technological wonders were common. In fact, this particular structure seemed to rise outside the city proper on the premises of a long abandoned industrial area next to a similarly abandoned apartment block where a certain blue haired girl had lived in a different age.

After some time there was a deafening whooshing sound, not dissimilar from a starting plane but unbelievably louder. For a few minutes the city was basked in light again. But soon it was over, the alarms bleared again and the structure retracted back into the geofront, it's job done. After a while silence and peace reigned again. However, now there were quite a few pens floating trough the air.

Slowly Shinji crawled towards wakefulness. He felt disoriented, which did not trouble him as much as he expected. He was used to it by now. That now troubled him greatly, but in an abstract way that did not really affect his current state of mind. So for now he was quite content to let his mind drift, trying to recollect what had happened, why he actually felt disoriented and slightly groggy. Were those two feelings connected? Did they belong to each other? Strangely, he did not think so. It hardly mattered anyway and he did not try to hard. Probably something went wrong during the last mission and he had no real interest in going back. He resented it all, Evangelions and Angels alike. But for now he could not even be bothered to hate them.

Like a stab in the gut, the memories came back. He wanted to scream, even made all the right movements but no sound came. He did not care, his face a contorted mask of horror. It was hardly surprising given that Shinji's last memories where those of human instrumentality coming to pass. Instrumentality itself might not have been so bad. Sure being stabbed by multiple replica lances would have never been fun, but he had survived worse. What made the recollection so unbearable was the sense of loss. Shinji had felt utterly alone, still felt this way actually, and that was something he feared above pain, above death. Asuka had died, as had Misato. They had left him alone and although during instrumentality there had been promises they had felt hollow and false. He had rejected them all, the choice not really a difficult one in the end. In those not-quite-dreams the sense of utterly being alone had been overshadowed by the feeling of being deceived.

A part of him that was detached from the screaming and crying boy came to understand that the giant in the shape of Ayanami, which only could have been Lilith, had tried to deceive him. But to what end he was not certain. Apparently she needed his approval but did not care if she got it through deception. She had been furious when Shinji had not given his consent to instrumentality. He remembered being stranded on a beach with Asuka. And he remembered anger. He had tried to hurt Asuka. And with this particular memory the screams finally became sobs. His throat was now to raw anyway. He was disgusted by himself, even though that analytical part of him realized that he had been manipulated. That it was not really him, that had tried to strangle the girl. Sure, he might have provided the anger but he would never have acted in such a way, right? But then he remembered what he did to her while she was in her coma. This had not been a dream and there where no outside influences he could blame. The truth was Asuka was right all along. He was a pervert and while he did not want to kill her, he very well might hurt her.

But it did not matter any more. Asuka was dead like everybody else. And with those thoughts of shame and regret Shinji drifted back to sleep.

Another place, another time, yet similar nondescript. Asuka's awakening was quite different from Shinji's. It just was not her nature to lie quietly in the dark. So after mere moments she began trashing and screaming, demanding an explanation, someone to talk to - or more likely to continue screaming at. In short she did her very best to mask the feeling of uneasiness and disorientation. With time came some recollection of what had happened. Her angry screams became a furious growl. Everyone who knew Asuka at all would have ran as fast as possible, because right now it would be preferable to face an full fledged Angel than the redhead. She was furious at how her victory was stolen from her. At how the mass production EVA's mocked her by standing up again, after she had devastated them so quickly and utterly that it had put everything Shinji had ever done to shame. Yet she had not won, hence she was furious.

She remembered instrumentality but not as an active participant but rather in a detached form of an observer. She witnessed the false realities and somehow knew Shinji was the center of them. Why him she did not know but again it made her furious. Why should he, of all people, decide her future. That baka! Never!

Yet she had to give it to him, he sure showed some spine when he resisted the temptations. She almost felt like cheering when he strangled the doll that looked like her, apparently breaking the illusions for good.

Superficially the mocking imitations of life seemed nice enough and a part of her, the hurting one, would have been very glad to just accept them and live in blissful ignorance happily ever after. But lying down was never her style and her stubborn part was quick to override the heretic. Strangely her reasonable part, more often disagreeing with its impulsive counterpart then not, was even more vehement in rejecting the false life offered.

After some considerable time her energy was spent and her trashing stopped. With a start she realized that she was submerged in LCL. Her anger gone she felt curious about this. Shouldn't someone have rescued her by now? Shinji must have defeated whatever it was that caused her utter failure, considering she was still here and not dead. But what was it? Asuka was still fuzzy on the details, as for example what had happened before she went against the MP Evangelions or what happened between the beating she received by the former and those strange hallucinations.

And then she remembered dying. Twice.

First by her own choice. After she caved and gave in to despair. For being a failure. She had slit her wrists in a bathtub in some ruined building outside Tokyo 3 and had felt herself slowly drift into oblivion. Finally at peace. Obviously that had not worked out as she had hoped.

The second time was worse and better. She was ripped apart by the MP Evangelions, utterly powerless to stop them. It was pure agony but her hatred overrode the safety measures of the body and so she stayed conscious long past the braking point. It was, after all, not her body that got ripped apart, the wounds only sympathetic. Not that it mattered in the end. The entry plug got crushed and so did her real body. At least she died fighting like she always imagined she would. Yet she was here, wherever that was, very much alive, not even in pain.

She cried herself to sleep feeling absolutely powerless and alone, hating both. Just before drifting back to sleep she whispered softly: "Mama I'm sorry. I'm so sorry...".

"Shhh Liebes. Alles wird gut. Schlaf jetzt. Ich bin stolz auf dich."