A State of Mercy
Chapter 1: Clubs, Spears, and Progressive Knives
Simon was the second person into the kitchen in the morning, the first being the only other Wolf pilot in the house.
"Morning," he said in a tone with about as much enthusiasm as he could muster, which is to say practically none.
Sean only grunted in agreement from his position at the table. Simon pulled a box of leftover pizza out of the refrigerator that wasn't reserved for an intelligent bird and shoved two pieces in the microwave for thirty seconds.
"That's disgusting," Asuka said as she entered the room apparently to tired to scream about it this early in the morning.
"Yeah? Well, I'm not risking a tapeworm by eating Shinji's idea of cooking."
Sean silently agreed. The only reason he wasn't eating the leftovers was because he found the government breakfasts served at the lunchroom in SS to taste better. The red-haired girl sat down at the table next to Sean and leaned her head on his shoulder. Simon glared at them from where he leaned against the counter top.
"The legal age of consent in Nevada is-"
"16. Yeah, but its still fucking disgusting," Simon finished his friend's often-repeated statement for him. Asuka mearly giggled as she nuzzled up against her boyfreind, feeling his warmth.
Simon finished his pizza and pulled his pilot jacket on. "Just be careful to use protection, you kids."
Asuka extended her middle finger at Simon's back as he exited the house and went to work. About a minute later, they heard his Delorian pull out of the driveway across the early morning desert.
"Gott he's a swinehunt!" Asuka fumed.
"Come on now, he's not that bad," Misato Katsuragi said as she entered the kitchen.
"He can a bit much sometimes, but he's pulled each one of our asses out of the fire. So he's kind of got the right to be that way," Sean said, trying to strike a delicate ground between both of the very opinionated women.
When Shinji entered the kitchen he immediately saw the conflict brewing and looked for a quick out.
"Uh, do you guys really need me to cook breakfast?" he asked.
Before Asuka could jump his ass and make him cook, Misato dismissed him.
"No, that's okay. Run along to school now," she said with what would be a grin if the Yebicu beer can weren't obscuring the view of her mouth.
Sean bolted up from his seat, ready to go to work. "I've got to go to work. Have fun at school," he said to Asuka.
She leaped up from her chair and into his arms, planting a very emotionally charged kiss on his lips. After twenty seconds he released her, grudgingly, with a smile.
"I've got to go," he said and made a slight bow as he left the house.
If Simon had been there the conforming to Japanese customs would have made him cringe, if not fling him into a seizure. Sean got in his car and started the engine. Then he headed off in the direction of SS, the concrete/steel buildings around him casting shadows across the road in the early morning light.
Deep beneath the Nevada desert was Substation Six, a sprawling government installation dedicated to the halting of the Harvesters. The Harvesters are a race of alien beings that began attacking Earth shortly after the last Angel attack. Each Harvester attack has been in this same place: western Nevada.
The UN in conjunction with the US government constructed SS and the city above it to intercept and eliminate the Harvesters one attack at a time. Fresh out of a war with other giant attackers, three Evangelion units were sent to the US along with the entire Tokyo 3 command crew, save Commander Ikari who was fired for taking certain…liberties with the first child.
But the star of the show was the American scientists' form of Evangelion. Called Wolves, these new versions sported jump jets, fusion engines, new sensors, new weapons, a stronger AT Field, and better armor. They were what the Japanese scientists had been afraid to make their Evas: atomic fighting machines.
There were only two Wolves: Unit 01 being called Cerebrus and Unit 02 being called Greymarch. Right now, Simon was sitting inside Greymarch's entry plug minus the LCL. He was cleaning the displays with a rag. A holographic window appeared on one of the displays showing Misato's face.
"Hmm?" he asked absentmindedly, still working the rag.
"Uh, we may have a situation," she said.
"A situation? Like get your plug suit on Simon, situation?" he asked, reaching for the LCL injection handle.
"Not quite yet, though in a few minutes you'll need to. Target is inbound through the atmosphere right now in a cocoon."
"Great. Any other information I should know?"
"Besides it's for sure a Harvester, no. Our pilots have been pulled from school and are ready to back both you guys up. When we find Sean of course," she said.
"Check Asuka's entry plug," he muttered, more to himself then Misato. Misato gave a nervous grin, "We've already checked there."
She signed off and Simon started undressing and entering his plug suit. He tossed his uniform into a duffel bag and hurled it onto the umbilical bridge for when he got back. The plug closed around him and he pulled the LCL injection handle. The familiar orange liquid squirted into the plug and filled his lungs.
Automatically, the plug screwed into the Wolf's upper neck and sent a surge of color patterns flashing up around where Simon sat, the LCL seemingly disappearing into nothingness. The words Wolf Evangelion Unit 02 Active appeared on the display in front of him. He felt the Wolf's simplistic conscious pull at the edge of his mind.
He gave it a mental bitch slap, making it his own. The persona retreated back to the core. Simon took a breath full of LCL.
"Get me to a launch pad," he ordered.
Three seconds later the entire setup of restraints, power cords and walkways surrounding the Wolf called Greymarch had been removed and it was being moved to launch pad twelve. Airlocks moved out of the way above the ready to launch Greymarch. Misato's voice filtered in over the radio.
"When you're ready Simon," she said.
Simon closed his eyes.
"What the hell!?" Simon shouted out loud.
"What's happening? Is it a sync problem?" Misato asked over the radio.
"No its not a sync problem," he replied.
The image of a female head moving back and forth on his penis flooded into his mind. The woman looked up but her face was blurred. Simon instinctively grabbed his head with one hand and shook the image away.
"What is it Simon?" Misato asked.
"Nothing, launch me."
Greymarch stood at the center of the Intercept City holding an assault rifle loosely under one arm. The sky was cloudless and via magnification Simon could clearly see the Harvester jettison its cocoon and begin a free fall right toward him.
"Misato, analysis please," he said.
Almost immediately a three dimensional hologram of the target appeared in front of Simon. The normal humanoid stature was present and complete with the biotic implants that each Harvester normally had. Armor plates covered everywhere but the joints and the right hand had been traded in for a ball shaped club.
"Looks like another melee variant," Misato mused.
"It would seem so."
Melee variants were usually faster then their ranged counterparts to make up for the lack of having any upper hand on the opponent. Simon snapped his assault rifle up to his shoulder and locked on to the target. The reticule turned green and Simon squeezed off a long burst. Rounds clanged against the Harvester's chest plate.
The assault rifle's bolt clacked open. Without thinking Simon yanked out the clip and tossed it to one side. The thirty-ton empty box crushed a parked truck and dented the front of a hardware store as it came into contact with Earth. Simon grabbed another clip out of the nearest ammo dispenser and reloaded his weapon.
By the time he was finished, the Harvester had touched down three blocks to his left. He turned and fired from the hip. The target dogged right and he chased it with a stream of bullets that blew chunks out of buildings and ripped billboards into ribbons. A few rounds connected with the target's shoulder and left side, drawing little blood and hydraulic fluids.
Simon saw the target approaching him to quickly too allow him time to reload again. So he hurled the rifle at his attacker and drew his prog knife from its place on his thigh. The target stumbled a bit when the rifle hit it and gave Simon just the time he needed to engage his jump jets. The two combatants collided and fell into a thirty-story office building.
Glass shattered and steel groaned under the pressure the two giants forced on the structure. Simon rammed his knife deep into the Harvester's unprotected neck and sliced laterally, drawing a large volume of blood that ran across Greymarch's hand. The Harvester smashed its club into the side of Simon's head.
Inside the cockpit, Simon struggled to force pain from his mind and focus on the job at hand. The Harvester had gotten up and was about to club him again. From where he lay on his back, Simon could see Cerebrus reach the top of a lift behind the Harvester, a spear in hand.
"Shank it!" Simon shouted.
Greymarch kicked the Harvester in the chest, driving the creature backward onto Cerebrus' spear. The spear exploded out the target's chest in a geyser of blood. Simon stood up and recovered his dropped prog knife. Then the target did something no one expected: it spun its head around to face Sean.
The target's arms did the same kind of inversion technique so its upper half was now, more or less, facing Cerebrus. This of course allowed it to slam its club into Sean's temple. Cerebrus stumbled and fell to the ground as its pilot nearly lost consciousness. The Harvester pulled out the spear that had entered it and raised it above its head.
Asuka screamed over the radio. "Get up! Get up now!"
Greymarch drove its prog knife through the Harvester's skin, muscle and neck vertebrae. Simon looped his arm around the targets waist to prevent it from crashing down on top of Cerebrus as its head fell to the pavement with a thud and a vibration that sent manhole covers flying. He released the body with a slight nudge to make it fall to the right.
Sean shook his head to clear the blur out of his vision. He could hear Misato over the radio.
"Simon, help Sean get up and return to the Cage. I'll meet you down there."
Misato saw the entry plug unscrew itself from Greymarch and watched as Simon climbed out of it. He managed to climb down to the umbilical bridge before vomiting the LCL out of his lungs. She'd seen pilots do this many times and could tell that Simon was in a hurry to finish the process.
"Simon, don't do this," she cautioned.
The former SEAL ignored her as he stormed to Cerebrus' Cage. She cursed in Japanese and jogged after him. The door opened to reveal Sean on his knees in the center of the umbilical bridge, just recovering from vomiting the LCL. Simon grabbed his fellow Wolf pilot by the collar of his plug suit and yanked him up off the floor.
"Where the hell were you?" Simon spat at him, his voice a harsh whisper.
"I was in the break room," Sean said.
"Are you fucking deaf? Alarms tend to be pretty loud when there's an attack," Simon countered. When he didn't respond, Simon threw him back onto the deck.
"Jesus Simon! He's injured!" Misato shouted.
Simon spun around to face her. "I got hit too, you know," he hissed and stormed back to get out of his plug suit.
Misato stood in silence and watched Sean stand up, the whack to his head finally wearing off. A moment later, the door opened and Asuka came running in. She ran into Sean and started kissing him.
"You're not hurt are you?" she asked, pushing him out to arm length. Checking his body for any bruises or other signs of injuries.
"No, I'll be fine," he told her with a smile.
She started crying and hugged him again. He ran a hand through her red hair and nuzzled her neck. He glared past Asuka to Misato with a 'don't tell her' look.
Misato nodded and walked back to the command center.
TO BE CONTINUED…