Superwomen of Eva: Emerald Fury @orionpax09
Clash of Heroes

Disclaimer: I do not own Evangelion or anything associated with it. I have written this story solely because I enjoy writing.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything belonging to Marvel Comics or anything associated with it. I have written this story solely because I enjoy writing.

Superwomen of Eva: Emerald Fury

Chapter 7: Clash of Heroes

As he sat in his seat of power on the bridge, Gendo watched the scenario unfolding before him with keen interest. When he had heard that Spirit was coming, he was initially concerned, but at the same time, if she could soften the Major up, distract her so that Section 2 could more easily subdue her, then he was willing to tolerate her presence. However, he found himself increasingly interested in the way the beast that was now Misato reacted to this spanner in NERV's works. "Interesting," Gendo mused thoughtfully, especially intrigued by the close-up of Misato's face, which revealed the emotions of the creature for all the world to see.

"What should we do, sir?" Ritsuko wondered nervously. Gendo didn't bother to answer her; instead, he continued to ponder the situation, as well as the base feelings shown in the creature's face. From everything they'd seen so far, it was obvious that the Major still had some memories of her human existence. And those memories would have included Spirit, whom he knew she did not think of as an enemy. But at the same time, he could still see the anger in her face, anger and hatred and loathing he instantly recognized.

She sensed Adam, Gendo recalled, thinking things through. She didn't realize what it was she was reacting to, but she could still sense him. And if that were still the case, then he knew why she was experiencing such anger in response to someone she viewed as the enemy of her enemy.

Gendo had no doubt that Spirit had gained her extraordinary powers from a special sedative that Dr. Akagi had created and eventually dumped into Lake Ashi, a sedative containing DNA from Unit 00. As a result, portions of a human girl's original DNA had been overwritten with that cloned from Adam, thus creating Spirit. So Misato had to recognize Spirit as at least being part Angel, but at the same time, her human memories of a potential ally were keeping her legendary hatred of the Angels at bay.

At least, for now, Gendo smiled, his plan taking shape instantly.

"I suppose having Section 2 try and get rid of her is out of the question," Asuka muttered beneath her breath.

"Now, Asuka, relax," Kaji told her easily. "I'm sure she doesn't mean any harm."

"But Kaji-kun, the glory-grabbing bitch is sure to screw things up just by being there!" Asuka hissed vehemently. "Why can't those Section 2 morons just…fire a few rounds at her?! Get her to pack it up and go away?!"

That's not a bad idea, 2nd Child, Gendo thought poisonously as his plan took greater form. "Lieutenant Hyuga."

"Huh?" Makoto replied, spinning about in his seat. "Uh, yes, sir?"

"Order the helicopter to move in closer," Gendo ordered. Waiting until all eyes were all focused on him, the Commander continued, savoring his next words. "Have them fire a rocket at Spirit, but only after making sure that she will see it coming."

"Uh…sir?" Makoto wondered, his eyes rife with confusion. "Why are we -?" Gendo shot him a glare, killing his urge to question his order so blatantly. "Well, w-what I mean is…if we do that, then…won't she just block it with her AT-Field?"

"That's exactly what I'm hoping for, Lieutenant," Gendo replied in a superior manner. "Now give the order. Immediately."

Deciding it would best not to test his luck against the Commander, Makoto sighed before doing as he was told. As he did so, Ritsuko turned and looked disbelievingly at Gendo. "Sir…what are you doing?!"

"Reminding the good Major as to her purpose in life," Gendo purred, even as the helicopter lined up to take the shot. Its camera relaying giving him a perfect view of Spirit as she looked about in confusion. Completely unaware of the doom that awaited her.

"Your meddling ends today, girl," Gendo smiled even as the helicopter crew fired.

The creature that had been buried within Misato's mind looked at the winged girl in confusion, caught between two completely opposite impulses. The first was of instinctive recognition, a knowledge that the creature had encountered her or something like her in the past. Something terrible. Something dangerous. Yet, from the mind of Misato Katsuragi, came images of this girl as an ally, an enemy of her enemies. Instinctive loathing collided with wisps of a different life in the creature's primitive mind, leaving her confused and unsure of what to do. Attack or don't attack? She had no clear course of action. All she could be really certain of was that the winged girl hadn't attacked her or Shinji yet. In fact, she seemed to be flying away from the creature without doing anything.

As the green she-beast struggled to resolve her dilemma, one of the flying machines that had been harassing her returned, drawing closer to the winged girl. The creature snarled, knowing this to be an enemy. Eager to take her frustration and vent it something that she knew needed to be smashed, she gathered herself up to leap even as the machine turned, and released something that belched fire and smoke at the winged girl.

The flying girl didn't even flinch. "Oh, please!" she gritted in irritation as an octagonal wall of orange light shimmered into existence between her and the projectile, shielding her when it exploded. "Like that's gonna work?!"

The winged girl said something else, but the creature didn't hear it. All she could see was the wall of light shimmering beneath the cloud of flame and smoke, its appearance causing the bestial Amazon's mind to explode into flames. And from those flames erupted a tidal wave of horrid memories, memories of death and destruction and horror and pain that sent the creature staggering backward. Clawing at her head, whimpering as she tried to rid herself of the horrifying images that assailed her, she shuddered helplessly. Unable to cope or comprehend the memories or what force had caused them to emerge.

"Okay, if you bozos are done wasting my time, I'll be getting some answers now." Gasping at the voice that penetrated the miasma of fire and death shrouding her mind, the creature looked up at the winged girl, who sniffed disdainfully at her attackers. "Then when I've got those answers, maybe I'll come back and show you what I think of them!"

The winged girl then turned and continued to fly upwards towards the place where Shinji was hidden. But the creature couldn't see her anymore. All she could see was four wings of burning destruction rising up into the sky, consuming everything in their path. Transforming an entire continent into an ocean of death, chaos pain and chaos around the world…and stealing everything from a little girl who floated helplessly in a metal capsule, a mute witness to the horror before her.

"A…Adam?" the creature whispered in dread awe, watching as the girl with wings flew towards Shinji. Then her awe faded, and a hatred appeared that was so powerful and all-consuming that it swept across her mind, wiping out everything in its path. Misato's memories, the flying things, everything else was forgotten as she glared at the thing with the power that had stolen everything from flew up towards her Shinji.

"Adam…!" the creature breathed, her face twisting with abject rage and determination. "Adam!" She sucked in a furious breath, her mind conjuring up images of the cruel beast that had already taken so much from her...also stealing Shinji away as well. "Adaammm!"


Trembling at the bestial roar that cut through the air, Spirit felt goosebumps rising up from her flesh as she turned and down towards the source. To her horror, she saw Misato standing below, her body tensed and fists clenched. And even worse, her face was twisted with such raw, animalistic loathing that it scared her just to see it.

"Addaaaammmm!" Misato roared again, a deadly green light building up in her throat that spilled out at Spirit in the form of a tumultuous shockwave.

"Arrrgh!" Spirit cried out, too surprised to raise her AT-Field before the shockwave slammed into her. Her wings wrenched by the force of the blow, she was sent tumbling, completely out of control as she fell to the ground. Just before she crashed into the concrete, she spread her battered wings, gritting her teeth as they caught the wind. Despite the damage to her wings and body, she was able to slow her descent just enough so as to be able to land on her feet.

Collecting her wits, Spirit did her best to ignore the various aches and pains assailing her, certain they would be gone soon enough. Already, her injuries were healing themselves, her damaged wings already mended. Just as Misato again roared, "Addaaaammmm!"

Aw, crap! Spirit thought as she looked towards the beast-woman, turning white with fear. The creature that had once been Misato was rushing towards her like an out-of-control freight train, her arms stretched out to the sides as she closed in. Instinctively flapping her wings, trying to get some distance, Spirit was denied the freedom of the sky when Misato leaped at her, her monstrous hands filling the Angelic superwoman's field of vision before she again folded her wings and arched backwards. The move took the green savage by surprise, allowing her to pass overhead harmlessly, but it also sent Spirit falling back to the ground. Losing no time, she used her wings to help her flip over and regain her footing. Just in time to see Misato crashing down to the ground, snarling hatefully as she pulled herself back up and charged again.

"Wait, Misato! I'm not -!" Spirit protested in vain, holding her hands out before her as the beast charged, releasing a devastating punch at her that missed by mere inches. Glaring at the winged girl with increasing hatred and frustration, Misato quickly turned about and fired another punch. Leaping to avoid the merciless blow, Spirit gasped as the ground shattered, sending chunks of rock and dust flying up at her.

I don't believe this! Spirit gaped, her AT-Field deflecting the worst of the debris. I thought I was strong, but she…she's…! She wasn't given the time to complete this thought, for already Misato was advancing on her again, her eyes practically glowing with her ever-increasing rage. Her concentration broken, Spirit's AT-Field failed as she dodged another punch.

"Misato, please, stop it!" Spirit pleaded, trying desperately to talk the creature down before she was forced to do something she knew they would both regret. "I don't want to fight you! Please!"

The savage beast-woman didn't respond. Spirit didn't know whether it was because she was lost in her rage or simply didn't understand the words any longer. All the winged wonder knew was that the thing that had once been Misato Katsuragi continued to lash out in mindless hatred with fists that could shatter entire mountains.

As Shinji watched from his relative safe haven, he felt as if he was going out of his mind from sheer helplessness. "No! Misato, stop!" he cried out over and over again, pleading and begging in every way he knew, desperately trying to break through to her. His words had no effect, however; the green-skinned berserker continued attacking Spirit, crying out in growing rage and fury.

But why?! Why is she attacking Spirit, anyway?! Shinji asked feverishly, trying to make sense of what was going on. Misato still knew him, despite her transformation, so she had to remember Spirit. And she certainly didn't have reason to attack a hero fighting to stop the Angels. So why? Why would she attack like this?! Spirit didn't do anything to hurt me or her! So why -?!

"Addaaaammmm!" the savage she-beast roared, her hateful voice shaking the very building Shinji was standing in. As well as breaking through his confusion, sending his eyes flying wide open with realization.

Wait…she's been calling Spirit Adam...! Shinji gasped inwardly, rapidly snapping the pieces into place. Adam…as in…the 1st Angel?! At this thought, he flashed back to a short time before. When he had seen Misato staggering backward, confused and frustrated. Right after Spirit had used her AT-Field.

Omigod…that's it! Shinji blanched, looking down at the battle with renewed horror. Misato…she must think Spirit is an Angel! She'll kill her! With that thought, he looked up from the battle to the helicopter that was still flying overhead, the one that had provoked Spirit into using the protective barrier that all Angels had. But…does that mean…?!

"Ack!" Spirit cried out again, wrenching Shinji from his thoughts. Again leaving him helpless to do anything but wait and watch from a distance as his guardian tried to murder someone who had come only wanting to help...

Down below, Spirit was thinking similar thoughts to Shinji. While she was unaware of the importance of the name Adam, she did know that Misato had only attacked after she had used AT-Field. And as she continuously dodged the lethal giantess's blows, she spared a moment to look up at the helicopter that had fired on her.

So this is what NERV was up to! They tricked me into using my AT-Field! Spirit thought bitterly, looking at the savage, primitive creature Misato had become. They must've figured that with her head messed up, she'd figure I was an Angel! They want us to fight! Making a mental note to serve the creeps in the helicopter some well-deserved payback when this was over, the Angelic superwoman gasped as Misato sent her bone-crushing fists at her again.

Of course, the first thing I have to do is get out of this mess alive! Spirit realized as she leaped backwards, desperately dodging another series of hammer blows. The only thing working in her favor was Misato's own size; the Angelic hero could see the blows coming long before they were launched, simply by watching the way the beast-woman's muscles coiled about beneath her skin. Good thing I spend a lot of time watching people with big muscles on TV! she thought with a bit of humor. Who'd have thought watching 'American Gladiators' reruns with Nozomi would come in so handy?

Making a mental note to thank Nozomi for making her watch that stuff, Spirit considered her options. She wasn't going to get anywhere by dodging Misato all night, and she didn't want to use her AT-Field again, given how the emerald Amazon had reacted to it. Just one chance. I have to find out what happened to her. And that means I have to knock her down long enough to get to Shinji, Spirit realized, focusing on the monstrous woman and the way she moved. Watching and dodging another round of monstrous blows, waiting for the right moment. That moment came when Misato rushed at her, firing off another devastating punch. Calling upon all her superhuman speed and agility, Spirit dropped down below the blow and charged towards her opponent. You can dish it out, Misato! she thought as she drew back her fist. Now let's see how well you can take a hit! With that, Spirit fired a punch laden with all her superhuman strength into Misato's solar plexus. The two of them froze up the instant the blow connected…and the air was filled with the sounds of bones shattering.

"Yeeearrrgggh!" Spirit screamed, leaping away from the green beast and held up her right hand, feeling as if she had punched into layers of coiled steel. Clutching her wrist as the broken bones quickly mended themselves, the winged heroine looked up just in time to see Misato lash out with her forearm. Unable to move or think, Spirit took the blow right to her chest. Her ribs shattering from the impact, she flew backwards like she had just been shot from a cannon.

Her body on fire even as the shattered bones and abused flesh mended themselves, Spirit fell to the ground, skidding across the concrete, leaving a trail of feathers, skin, and blood in her wake before she finally came to a stop. Oh, great, she thought ruefully as she forced herself back up, already noting the torn fabric of her costume as her body once again mended itself. And I just finished fixing this thing, too.

Grimacing as the last of her injuries faded, Spirit gasped in horror as Misato once again bore down upon her, gleeful hatred shining in her eyes. Knowing precisely what would happen if the jade giantess were allowed to bring her bone-crushing hands to bear again, the winged girl panicked, summoning a ball of burning white energy in her hand. "No!" she cried out, not even thinking as she launched the bolt at Misato. The blast sprouted arms, becoming cross-shaped before it caught the green beast right in the stomach. Screeching in surprised outrage, the emerald Amazon was hurled backwards by the force of the blast.

"Misato!" Shinji cried out despairingly as Misato crashed into a smaller building.

Oh, God! What have I done?! Spirit thought in horror, realizing that she had attacked an innocent with a cross-blast capable of blowing a chunk out of a mountain. Spreading her wings and taking flight once again, she flew over the building she had shot Misato into. Examining the hole in its walls, the winged warrior immediately knew that nothing human could have ever survived such a blow. But then, she realized that she could still sense the strange sensation Misato now caused in her mind, and even heard low growls coming from inside.

Whew! That's a relief! Spirit thought gratefully, secure in the knowledge that she hadn't killed a friend. She probably has healing powers like mine!

Exhaling sharply, Spirit descended a short distance and came to hover in front of the hole. "Misato? It's me, Spirit!" the winged girl called out, hoping that the blast had knocked some of the fight out of her. "Can you hear me? Really, I just want…to…"

Spirit's voice slowly trailed off as the entire building began to shake and tremble. A huge drop of sweat rolled down the side of her face as she flew back a short distance, giving her a perfect view of the foundation breaking apart, and of the building as five stories of concrete and steel rose up from the street.

Oh, you've got to be kidding me… Spirit thought in dismay as she once again heard a roar of pure hatred. Just before Misato threw the entire building at her. Without room to dodge, the Angelic heroine fired another cross-blast, breaking up the impromptu projectile into smaller fragments before it could strike home. Then she expanded her AT-Field, which was sufficient to block the remaining debris.

As the cloud of destruction fell away from her, Spirit watched as Misato appeared once more, roaring her outrage. The she-beast's eyes flashing brightly, she fired another of the newly-dubbed Impact Roars at her. Spirit quickly countered with another cross-blast, cutting through the green shockwave effortlessly before slamming into Misato.

Whew! At least that's one department where I have the edge on her, Spirit thought grimly, feeling no satisfaction as Misato shrugged off the blast like it was nothing. That, and she can't fly after me. And I still…have my mind. Snarling furiously, the green beast leaped up at the nimble teen, forcing her to take full advantage of her wings in a desperate attempt to distance herself from the savage destroyer.

"Excellent," Gendo smiled as he continued to watch the battle from the comfort of the bridge. Observing the savagery and hatred demonstrated by Misato as she leaped at Spirit again and again, trying determinedly to wrap her hands about some portion of the winged girl as she continually evaded the strikes.

"Sir, I…I'm afraid I don't understand," Makoto muttered, not sharing in Gendo's enjoyment. "W-why did we do that? Trick the Major into attacking Spirit?"

"Spirit is an annoyance, a meddler who has gotten in our way too many times. Thanks to her, we've almost lost funding for our work, and her continued interference will eventually lead to disaster," Gendo declared in a reasonable manner. "So far, she has proven to be clever and powerful enough to elude capture." Then he nodded at the screen, and added, "However, the Major doesn't seem to have that problem, does she?" Ignoring the blatant looks of horror, the Commander smiled at continuing battle. "Now, the two of them will continue fighting each other until one is defeated, and the other is too spent to continue. Then Section 2 will move in with the sleeping gas…and we will have them both."

"Oh, yeah!" Asuka grinned wickedly, pumping her arms up and clenching her fists in a clear display of triumph. "Finally! It's about time we took care of that winged slut!"

"But…Asuka, what if the Major kills Spirit?" Maya wondered fearfully. "She's so strong…and with as out of control as she is…!"

"Then a petty annoyance will have been disposed of," Gendo countered before Maya could finish. "And I'm certain we could learn everything we need to know about Spirit…from her remains."

Ignoring the appalled disgust that this statement earned him from his subordinates, as well as the delighted chuckling Asuka made, Gendo returned his attention to clash going on before him, and smiled cruelly, his fingers steepled together in front of him.

Who says there's no such thing as free entertainment anymore? Gendo chuckled inwardly. Now, if only I had a soda and some popcorn...

Spirit knew she was tiring. It was slow, and she didn't get tired easily, but she could feel her strength faintly ebbing away. Her wings burning from the constant evasions, her lungs heaving, desperate for a reprieve.

Misato showed no signs of exhaustion. If anything, she seemed stronger now than she had been before. Only Spirit's power of flight kept her out of harm's way, and she knew that wouldn't be enough to help her friend. Nor could she simply fly away; as crazed and furious as Misato was now, she would likely follow Spirit wherever she went. They had been lucky in that the section of Tokyo-3 they were in was apparently deserted, but if they took the battle elsewhere, then the danger of someone else getting involved was more than Spirit could risk.

I have to get some answers! Spirit knew, but unfortunately, the only person who might know of those answers and would be willing to tell her was Shinji. And she was too busy keeping away from Misato to fly over to him. Let alone what would happen if the she-beast were to catch her in an enclosed space, where her wings were useless…

Just one chance, Spirit thought grimly, another orb of white energy forming in her hand. I have to knock Misato away again, stop her long enough to get to Shinji and get him away from here before she can catch me!

Watching as Misato leaped at her once again, Spirit quickly dodged her again and watched as she fell back down to earth. "At least I know this won't hurt you too much," she commented as she conjured up another cross-blast, trying to mitigate her own regret as she took aim at her attacker. "And I don't have to worry about your costume getting wrecked!"

With a cry of battle, Spirit launched the cross-blast down at Misato. Still looking at her quarry, the green-skinned savage raised her arms in order to block it. As the bolt of energy slammed into her, the creature growled hatefully, as if daring the blast to do its worst to her. Her feet digging furrows in the concrete as she was pushed backwards, the green beast roared furiously…before she tore the cross-blast apart in an act of pure, brute strength.

Spirit just hung there, her eyes wide with shock. "Aw, gimme a break! What's it gonna take to -?!" she cried out in a mix of frustration and despair. Then Misato focused her deadly glare at her, freezing Spirit's tongue in her mouth as the emerald savage leaped at her again like she was a big target. Taking a microsecond to remind herself not to leave herself open like that again, the winged adventuress raised her AT-Field, just in time for Misato to slam harmlessly into it.

Stopped by the octagonal force barrier, Misato quick started sliding down it, allowing Spirit to sigh in relief. A sigh that was cut off as the Amazonian destroyer grabbed at the AT-Field, her fingers actually sinking into it.

"No!" Spirit cried, recoiling as the emerald nightmare pulled herself back up, indescribable hatred and rage etched into her face.

"Addaaaaammmmm!" Misato roared as she pulled at the field. The ethereal energy stretching like taffy, she bit into the field, causing it to tear ever so slightly.

"What the hell?!" Shigeru gaped as Misato started tearing into the AT-Field. "How can she – is the Major generating an AT-Field as well?!"

"Negative! It looks like energy field she's throwing off is focusing on Spirit's AT-Field! It's somehow neutralizing the phased space!" Maya reported, looking from the battle to her display and back again. "She's tearing the AT-Field apart!" True to the technician's words, Misato finally ripped through the protective barrier like it wasn't there, throwing herself at her prey. Helpless to do anything to defend herself, Spirit cried out in terror as the Amazonian beast grabbed onto one of her wings, shattering it in her eagerness.

Screaming helplessly as her wing was wrenched, Spirit struggled to stay aloft, but her lone good wing wasn't enough to support them both. Crying out in pain and defeat, the winged girl struggled to at least remain above Misato as the two of them tumbled back down to the ground.

Coming down on her feet, a crater forming at her landing, Misato grinned savagely as she hefted Spirit overhead before smashing her down against the broken concrete. Screaming in pain, the winged girl struggled to free herself, but the jade destroyer promptly drove her foot deep into the girl's stomach, resulting in further cries of agony. Agony that was increased as Misato clenched the broken wing, and with a sharp, sudden tug, ripped it out entirely.

"No! She's killing her!" Maya cried out.

"I don't believe this!" Makoto gaped in astonishment. "Spirit's as powerful as a real Angel or an Eva, and the Major is walking all over her!"

I know, Gendo smiled deeply, watching as Misato grabbed Spirit by her thigh and remaining wing, and twisted her body like she was wringing out a towel. The superhuman girl putty in the hands of the seemingly unstoppable beast-woman.

Chuckling beneath his breath, Gendo continued to watch as a major obstacle to his scenario slowly died in pain. New plans of his own taking already shape…

"Misato, PLEASE! Stop it! You're killing her!" Spirit heard Shinji cry out over the sound of her bones shattering. Never in her entire life had she ever been in so much pain as she was now. Making it even worse was the gleeful, implacable look of unadulterated hatred in Misato's face.

Spirit knew that the beast Misato had become could kill her quickly, simply by crushing her skull or snapping her neck. But she didn't. She was taking her time because she was enjoying every moment of the torture she was inflicting on her. Caught up in her frenzy of destruction, she couldn't hear Shinji. She was too far gone to hear anything but the screams of pain of the creature in her hands.

Every ounce of her rage unleashed, the creature tore out the Spirit's other wing, sending blood splattering in every direction as she screamed even more. Roaring in delight at the girl's pain, Misato grinned and began flailing her about, smashing her into the ground over and over again. Each impact further pulverized her broken bones, ripping open her skin and leaving her a bloody mess as the wrathful giantess wound up and threw Spirit into another building.

Crashing into the wall at what felt like at least a hundred miles per hour, Spirit felt as if she should have died right then and there. When Misato fired another Impact Roar at her that smashed her through the wall, she found herself wondering if that wouldn't be preferable.

But as she lay on the ground inside the shattered structure, Spirit realized that she had been bought a precious reprieve. For even as she lay there, utterly helpless and unable to move, the miraculous healing power that she possessed kicked in and began to mend her broken body. Her crushed bones slowly realigned and fused back together, fresh skin appeared to cover up her many injuries, and a new set of wings were already springing up from the bloody holes on her back.

"Ah…ugh…" Spirit moaned as her shattered body restored itself. But the sheer amount of damage she had taken was taking time to heal, and time was one thing she knew she didn't have much of. For even as she looked at her regenerating flesh, she very nearly died of sheer fright when she saw Misato bearing down upon her, stumbling in her eagerness to kill her.

C'mon, Spirit! Hurry up and heal! she thought, trying to will herself to recover faster. Or she's going to make sure that you never have the chance!

But as fast as Spirit's healing power worked, Misato proved to be that much faster. The green destroyer smashed her way into the teen's temporary haven, grinning maliciously upon seeing her prey so utterly helpless. Too weak and injured to even move, Spirit watched as the monster woman picked her up by the neck, cutting off her air. Lifting her up so that their eyes met, the bestial Amazon drew back her fist, savoring this moment.

"Smash," Misato growled with a deep smile of pure hatred.

"No…!" Spirit wheezed out, raising up her right hand as a diminutive orb of energy appeared in her palm. With the last of her strength, she fired the tiny cross-blast into Misato's face.

Too focused on her prey, Misato didn't even notice the tiny cross-blast until it struck her in the eyes. As it exploded in a flash of light, the jade monstrosity cried out in agony, dropping Spirit as she stumbled backward. "What the…?!" Spirit gasped out as the last of her injuries faded, looking at Misato like the world was even crazier than she thought.

She shrugs off blasts that shatter mountains, but starts screaming over that tiny little thing?! Watching in disbelief, she saw Misato bring her hands away again, and saw tears streaming from her eyes. Her…unfocussed eyes…

Wait! That's it! Spirit gaped, hope returning to her as she got back to her feet, whipping out another tiny blast into Misato's face. As before, she screamed in pain, covering her eyes. That blast didn't wound her, it blinded her! So maybe…!

Taking flight, Spirit moved quickly so that she was just behind Misato. "Alright, greenie, lend me your ears!" she cried out just before slamming her palms down upon the creature's ears with all the strength she could muster. Once again, she howled in pain and outrage, falling to her knees as she cradled her head in her hands, her sense of balance seriously disrupted.

Now's my chance! Better make it count! Spirit thought, taking a position so that Misato was between her and Lake Ashi. Crouching, she brought her hands together at her side, taking a pose familiar to fighting manga fans everywhere, mustering all the power she could bring together. Waiting as long as she dared, building the white orb of power in her hands bigger and brighter. All the time watching as Misato once again got to her feet, and glared at her with unimaginable hatred.

"Take this!" Spirit cried out, firing off all the accumulated energy in one tempestuous strike. The cross-blast she released had a ring of energy around the front, and the arms that spread out from it looked more like fiery wings. The tremendous wave of destructive power slammed mercilessly into Misato, who screeched in shock and pain as she was sent flying across the surface of Lake Ashi. The savage beast plowed into the mountainside, a massive plume of dust and smoke erupting from the site of the impact.

Panting in relief, her chest heaving desperately as she sucked in one deep breath after another, Spirit stared at the mountains, still sensing Misato's unusual energy looming dangerously. "I sure hope that knocked her out," she breathed haggardly, barely able to stand upright. "Though the way this day has been going…I'll take a five-minute breather..."

Looking at the helicopter that still hovered nearby, Spirit knew that she now had a clear path. "Time to get some answers," she muttered, taking another look at the mountains, where Misato's energy seemed to grow again. "Before she comes back for Round Two!"

"I'm calling that the Halo Wave!" Makoto declared enthusiastically.

"Aw, schisse! The damned bimbo got away!" Asuka snarled in disgust, folding her arms across her chest and sticking her nose into the air. "Figures that Major Monster would blow it!"

"What's Katsuragi's status?" Gendo asked coolly, ignoring Kaji as he tried to placate the irate redhead. Focusing on Spirit as she took off, looking a good deal worse for wear. "Is she still alive?"

"Yes, sir. We're still detecting her pattern," Maya replied, frowning momentarily. "But sir…the energy signature…it seems to be getting stronger."

"What?" Ritsuko got out. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, sempai. I…I thought it had increased earlier, but I wasn't sure," Maya admitted. "But now…after that blast…"

"What now, Ikari?" Fuyutsuki cut in, his eyes narrowed. "After what Spirit did, Katsuragi might decide that this fight isn't worth the trouble."

"She won't. She'll be heading back into battle as soon as possible," Gendo declared with absolute certainty. "After all, that sort of single-minded determination is why I chose her as my Operations Director in the first place." Watching the energy signature continued to grow, the Commander narrowed his eyes. "She won't stop fighting…until her enemy has been defeated."

While Fuyutsuki was digesting this statement, Gendo adjusted his glasses, awaiting the final showdown between the two superhumans. Already anticipating the look on the 3rd Child's face when he saw his guardian come to him, her hands irrevocably stained with Spirit's blood…

On the far side of Lake Ashi, on the side of one of the mountains, rocks of different shapes and sizes were cascading down the slope. Falling from a newly formed impact crater, in which something large was rising up.

Already recovered from Spirit's Halo Wave, the emerald savage stood and looked across the lake at Tokyo-3. She had been angry before, filled with hatred of the creature that bore the same power as Adam, but now the creature was beyond enraged. The thing had actually caused her pain, hurting her eyes and ears, hammering her with the massive blast that had sent her flying away. And now the she-beast was far away from Shinji while the winged girl was near him. Near enough to hurt him, to take Shinji away from her, just as her family and her life had been stolen, so very long ago.

We won't let Adam hurt Shinji, the creature thought, ghostly wisps of Misato's mind combined with primitive, savage impulses. Shinji is friend. Shinji is family. We love Shinji. We will protect Shinji, and we will crush Adam, kill Adam, smash Adam…

Pure love and mindless hatred merged together in the creature's mind, she leaped into the air, ready to finish what she had started. She would kill Adam, and she would kill all the stupid, puny little humans who would hurt Shinji, make him suffer even more than he already had. And she would kill anyone else who tried to take him away from her.

She would kill them all…

As Spirit flew up towards the hole in the building from which Shinji stood watching, she felt like she was flying with anchors wrapped about her legs. The battle with Misato had pushed her to her limits. She had never had to recover from so much damage so quickly, regenrate so much ruined flesh so frequently, and the immense Halo Wave had drained her strength even more. Making matters worse was that she could sense the strange energy that Misato produced coming closer.

I guess I should be relieved she's still alive. But…I thought for sure that blast would at least knock her out or slow her down or something! Spirit thought, shaking her head in disbelief at this. If Shinji doesn't know of any way to stop her, I'm in big trouble! Not to mention the rest of Tokyo-3!

Imagining the bludgeoning engine of destruction Misato had become rampaging throughout the city, sending people running for their lives, menacing her sisters and her father, Spirit gritted her teeth and forced herself to fly faster. Eventually, she rose up to the hole in the side of the apartment building, where Shinji stood waiting. "Spirit!" he cried out as she entered the apartment, barely managing to land on her feet instead of her face. "A-are you okay?! Are -?!"

"I – I'm okay," Spirit replied, making sure not to say the boy's name. To not do anything to betray her secret identity. Sucking in a breath, she paused to look back out the hole. Painfully aware that the monster that had very nearly killed her was getting closer with each passing second. "Listen, please, we don't have much time! That thing out there…!"

"It's Misato!" the boy countered, looking scared and on the verge of completely losing it, something that Spirit understood. "Please, you have to help her!"

"Don't worry, I will!" Spirit promised, hoping that she didn't wind up making a liar out of herself. "But I'm going to need your help to do that!" Shinji looked at her, giving a determined nod. "Do you know what's happening to her?"

"It's some kind of mutation!" Shinji hurriedly gasped out. "She was irradiated by Jet Alone's nuclear reactor! It's not her fault!"

"Jet Alone?" Spirit repeated blankly.

"I – I – I don't understand it, either, but – that's what Dr. Akagi told me!" Shinji replied. "Uh – she's -!"

"The Head Scientist of NERV, I know," Spirit told him absently as she considered what he had told her. On the one hand, his story sounded like something from a bad science-fiction movie, and radiation alone couldn't possibly account for the Angelic power she had sensed in Misato. But on the other hand, Shinji had no reason to lie to her, and Spirit had no idea what was responsible for the origin of her own powers. Then she winced as a distant roar cracked the air and sent the hair on the back of her neck sticking up as a distant roar was heard, reminding her that she didn't have time to waste talking. "Now look, do you know of anything that can stop her? Does she have any kind of weakness? I mean, anything at all?!"

Shinji gave a quick nod. "We have to get her to calm down!"

A beat passed as Spirit stared at the boy, blinking several times in quick succession. "Calm…down?"

Giving another quick nod, Shinji elaborated, "She transforms when she gets mad, when there's adrenaline in her system! But if we can get her to calm down, she'll change back! Be herself again!"

Once again, Spirit was unable to speak, and she could have sworn that she could hear a cricket in the background. Why didn't somebody tell me that before I blasted her clear into a mountain?! she wondered, gulping at the knowledge that an anything but calm beast-woman was currently bearing down on her, eager to rend her limb from limb. Gasping incredulously, the winged hero demanded, "And just how're we supposed to calm her down?!"

Jumping back a bit, Shinji looked this way and that, as if searching for divine inspiration. "Uh…" he got out, looking rather sheepish as he suggested, "Well…we could lead her to a bar…?"

Wincing inwardly as the proverbial other shoe dropped squarely on her head, feeling as half a ton of angry beast woman was wearing it, Spirit quickly glanced outside and made a snap decision. "Look, we'll have to think of something later! Right now, I have to get you outta here!"

"No, you need to get away!" Shinji protested as Spirit moved to pick him up. "I'll be alright! I know Misato won't hurt me!"

Frowning, Spirit returned, "I wish I could believe that, but after what she's done, I can't take that chance!" Not giving him the chance to protest, the Angelic wonder picked the boy up in both arms and moved to the large door Misato had left in the apartment. Grimacing at how heavy Shinji felt in her arms, she spread her wings somewhat and prepared to leap into the night air. But before she could do, the remaining helicopter suddenly appeared before them, shining its searchlight right at them.

"What the -?!" Spirit got out as she staggered backwards from the wind coming off the rotors, averting her eyes to avoid being blinded by the helicopter's searchlight. Before she could say anything else, she cried out at a sudden pain in her shoulder. Gasping in surprise, she tumbled to the floor with Shinji falling on top of her, looking stupidly at the dart that was now protruding from her bare arm.

"Spirit!" Shinji cried out in horror as she gasped in exhaustion, the tranquilizer stealing the remainder of her strength.

"Excellent work," Gendo oozed, watching the video feed that showed Spirit collapsing, too startled by the blinding light to use her AT-Field to defend herself from the unseen tranquilizer. "At last, we have her."

There was silence for a time amongst the bridge crew as they watched Spirit collapse, the plight of the winged girl drawing noises of sympathy from them. Makoto was the first to recover from it when he looked at his display to see something that made him gulp loudly. "Commander, the Major just got past Lake Ashi! She's almost back to the city!"

"Order the helicopter to pull away from the building. Give the Major room, and ready the sleeping gas for deployment," Gendo ordered, looking at the display that showed Misato's progress. Eagerly awaiting the confrontation that was about to take place.

"Yes, sir," Makoto answered, looking very disgruntled as he relayed the orders.

"We'll wait until the Major is inside and distracted by Spirit before deploying the sleeping gas," Gendo continued, the deliciousness of his plan carving a slight smile across his face. "Given her present mental state, it is unlikely that she will be able to avoid its effects."

"What about Spirit, sir?" Maya wondered fear and suspicion in her eyes. "If she can't fight back because of the tranquilizer, then…"

"That is an acceptable risk," Gendo answered, dismissing the indignant look the techie shot at him. From his perspective, the damage that the Major would wreak on the winged girl would be much more than acceptable, a suitable punishment for all the ways she had interfered with him. "Sometimes, sacrifices must be made for the greater good," he intoned as an afterthought, looking forward to the moment when the winged annoyance's life was snuffed out forever.

Spirit was afraid.

She had been afraid many times, both as Spirit and Hikari Horaki. She had been afraid the day she had learned her mother had died, she had been afraid of the responsibilities she had taken when it came to taking care of her sisters and her own father, and more recently, she had been afraid of the Angels she had helped battle and destroy.

But none of that compared to the deep, soul-chilling fear she now felt. When Spirit had fought the Angels, there had been something strangely impersonal about their aggressiveness. She got in their way, they tried to kill her. They were almost like natural disasters in that respect; they weren't any less dangerous, but it wasn't as if they were out to get her.

The monster that Misato had become was a very different story. She thought Spirit was an Angel, one of the monsters for whom it was her duty to destroy. And for her, it was obviously very personal. And she would not stop at just killing her; she wanted to rip her limb from limb. To break and batter and smash her into a thousand tiny pieces, to make her suffer agony beyond imagining, exacting every possible torment she could before finally ending her existence.

Making things even worse was the fact that Spirit had already been given a preview of that pain. She knew exactly how much it would hurt when Misato finally killed her, and the thought made her quake in terror.

"Spirit, please, you have to get up!" Shinji pleaded, wrapping his arms around her left shoulder, lending all the strength he had. "If you're still here when Misato gets back…"

Don't remind me, was the only thing Spirit could think as she struggled to find her feet, her entire body feeling like it had been transformed into lead. Her limbs numbed, the winged girl gritted her teeth, mustering as much strength as she could as she stood. However, even with Shinji assisting her, she couldn't remain stable and soon toppled to the ground once again, bringing him down with her. "It's…no good, Shinji. I can't…fly like this…"

As these depressed thoughts caused a wave of fury to knot Shinji's brows, the two teens were driven from their thoughts by the sound of a distant, outraged roar. "Addaaammmm!" Misato's voice reverberated eerily, heralding Spirit's doom.

Aw, crap, the winged wonder thought, her wings aching at Misato's voice. "Why does she keep…calling me that…?" Spirit wondered hazily. "Can't she tell that…I'm a girl?"

"Adam…that's the name of the 1st Angel," Shinji explained, his wary eyes fixed on the opening in the wall.

"The 1st Angel…" Spirit nodded as she struggled against the drug. "That thing you beat, right…"

To her dazed surprise, Shinji shook his head. "That was the 3rd Angel," he explained, causing Spirit's eyes to expand. "Adam…it's what caused Second Impact."

"What...?!" Spirit got out, surprising herself with the strength of her words. "But I thought…that was a meteorite…"

Once again, Shinji shook his head. "That was a lie. A cover story," he explained hurriedly. "That's why we have to stop the Angels. If we don't, they'll cause a Third Impact and destroy everything!"

Her mouth popping at this, Spirit was about to ask for more information when she was cut off by Misato roaring, "Addaaammmm!" Her voice was much closer now, and the two of them focused every iota of their attention on the opening to their small sanctuary. A few seconds later, a massive shape shot up past the hole in the wall, before falling back into sight. Grabbing the rim of the hole in one of her monstrous hands, Misato stopped her descent and swung inside their tiny sanctuary. Crouching down just enough to avoid banging her head on the ceiling, the creature snarled hatefully as her emerald eyes bored into Spirit's crimson ones.

I guess…this is it, Spirit thought, oddly relaxed as the green giantess stepped forward, eager to finish what she had started. Never thought I'd go out this way…

"Misato, stop!" Shinji cried out, leaping from Spirit's side to come to stand before Misato, his arms stretched out to his sides. "Please, don't do this! Spirit is our friend, remember?!"

Smiling somewhat sadly, Spirit found herself touched and impressed by Shinji's bravery, despite the futility of his actions. However, what really amazed her was that Misato actually stopped in place, looking at the boy in surprise. What the…?! she thought disbelievingly, stunned by the irony that an eight-foot-tall monster was being balked by a boy who wasn't even five feet tall who she could snap like a twig.

"Adam…!" Misato growled as if arguing her point. Her entire body twitching with unspent aggression.

"No, this is Spirit, not Adam! Please, try to remember!" Shinji pleaded, unmoving as Misato looked from him to Spirit and back again. "She's the one who destroyed the 4th Angel, remember? And she's helped us out other times as well! She's our friend!"

The creature growled dangerously as she looked at Spirit. "Fr…friend…?"

While Shinji was pleading for her life, Spirit watched in amazement at the conflict she saw spread across Misato's face. He's getting through to her! she mentally gaped, at which point, an idea occurred to her. Misato was reacting to what she thought was an enemy, trying to destroy something she perceived as an Angel. Okay, so if she has powers like mine, she probably senses that I'm part Angel, the same way I can sense it from her, Spirit puzzled out, fighting the drug that clouded her mind. So maybe…if I'm not an Angel…

Afraid, but seeing no other way out of this mess, Spirit thought, I don't have wings. This thought became reality as her wings disappeared, her hair and eyes becoming their normal brown color. She grimaced as the drug hit her now fully human system harder, making it even more of a struggle to stay awake.

However, the affect her change had on Misato was obvious. The beast-woman's eyes shot wide open, and she looked around in confusion, searching for the source of the terrible power that she associated with Adam. Where was the Angel? Where was her enemy? Searching the empty apartment, Misato could only see Shinji…and the normal girl that lay on the floor, looking frail and helpless.

Turning to look over his shoulder, Shinji saw the now-human girl lying where Spirit had once been and gave a quick smile. "See, Misato?" Shinji asked as he looked at her once again. "Spirit's not an Angel! She's a friend! She's our friend!"

"Friend…? Spirit…?" Misato growled, her voice rife with confusion…even as the helicopter returned.

"Commander, the red/blue pattern…it's disappeared," Maya intoned, her voice grave as she looked up at Gendo.

"Perfect," Gendo intoned as the image of Spirit's broken, dead body appeared in his mind. "Have the helicopter move in. It's time for the sleeping gas."

Within seconds, Gendo's order was relayed to the helicopter crew, who slowly, carefully brought their craft in closer. "Be ready to get clear as soon as the gas is in," the senior Section 2 agent, a man by the name of Reiji Kazeoni ordered as the helicopter aligned with the hole, to make sure the canister of sleeping gas didn't simply bounce off of something and fly back out of the hole. "I don't want that thing to be getting any ideas."

"Understood," the pilot replied, the fate of the other two helicopters clear in his memory.

"Do you have the shot?" Kazeoni asked of the gunner, crouched and at the ready.

"Almost," the gunner answered. "I just need to be a little lower, and we're good."

"Right," Kazeoni noted, wanting to make sure that something like what happened to Captain Chiron happened to him as well. Then, he looked at the other gunner, the one he hoped would not be needed. "Remember, you are not to fire unless that green thing tries to escape. Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir!" the other man answered, cradling the launcher for the rocket propelled grenade. They both knew that it wouldn't even scrape the monster's skin, but they were hopeful that it would at least knock it back on its ass long enough for the gas to do its dirty work.

Kazeoni wasn't too hopeful but was nonetheless resolved to do his job. Looking out the open door of the helicopter, he looked at the scene before him. The creature was standing with its back to them, blocking much of what was in there. He thought he could see the 3rd Child, and managed a smile when he saw the girl lying prone on the floor. So much for the competition, he thought sadistically, painfully aware of the humiliation Spirit had caused Section 2. "Ready?"

The gunner with the gas nodded. "I have the shot."

"Then take it," Kazeoni ordered. With a loud hiss, the gas canister was launched into the apartment, flying past the three occupants and impacting against the wall.

Hikari watched helplessly as gas suddenly billowed up from the small container that had been shot into the apartment. With a wariness that had been born of battle, she immediately recovered from the shock and inhaled deeply. Looking at the other two, she watched as Misato's face once again filled with anger, but at the same time, the beast-woman was also sucking in a deep breath in response to the gas. Guess there's more of Misato still in there than I thought, the girl noted, watching as Shinji rolled up his shirt, covering his face as he also took a deep breath and held it.

Looking at Shinji in concern, the creature snarled deep in her throat before glaring hatefully at the gas canister. Her features creasing with anger, Misato stepped past the boy and the girl and picked up the tiny metal cylinder. Frowning at the tiny little thing, she turned it this way and that before making her way past the children. Ignoring the plumes of gas it continued to spew out, the creature sneered at the helicopter hovering close by, at the people that stared at her in awe and fear and threw the canister back at them.

"Arrgh!" one of them cried as the canister smashed into him. While Hikari was crying in relief at this, the first agent fell against two of his fellows, one of which was holding a rocket launcher of some kind.

Uh-oh! Hikari thought, her eyes going wide as a rocket flew into the apartment. I have wings!

Hikari transformed back into Spirit just before the rocket exploded, sending forth a wave of searing fire and smoke. With strength born of pure desperation, she got to her feet, interposing herself between Shinji and raising her AT-Field. Despite the limited power she was able to generate, it was enough to shield them both from the ensuing shrapnel. Unfortunately, it couldn't protect them from being sent flying by the force of the blast itself.

Momentarily blinded and deafened by the exploding grenade, the creature instinctively shielded her eyes even as she felt something slam into her. The force of the blast didn't hurt, but it knocked her off-balance, flinging her and the two children out of the apartment. Tumbling through the air, the creature heard a familiar voice crying out in terror. Stricken with fear, she looked and saw Shinji falling a short distance away from her, his arms flailing wildly as he fell.

Overwhelmed with horror, the creature realized that Shinji couldn't possibly survive the fall, and he was too far away for her to reach. But even as terror and rage mixed uncontrollably within her, another figure appeared in her view. The strange, winged girl with Adam's power shot down to Shinji and wrapped her arms about his chest. Certain that the monster had come to take him away, the creature was dumbstruck when she spread her wings, slowing their fall. That was all the creature could see as she continued to tumble, finally crashing to the ground.

Barely feeling the impact, the creature instantly recovered, pushing herself back up and watching as Shinji and the girl called Spirit also came down. As they tumbled towards the ground, the winged girl grunted in effort, angling herself so that she landed on her back, using her own body to cushion Shinji's fall. Protecting him from harm.

"Uh…" Shinji groaned as he rose up from the prone girl. Pausing to clear his head, he turned and knelt beside her. "Spirit? Spirit, are you okay?" When the girl responded only with a weary groan of pain, Shinji placed his hand to her cheek, visibly growing more concern. "Spirit?"

As the creature watched Shinji plead to the girl, trying to rouse her, she focused on her, the being with Adam's power. A person that had put Shinji's safety ahead of her own. Had saved him from the fire and smoke, had saved him from the fall. These things chased away much of her anger, allowing some of Misato's memories came to the fore. Memories of Spirit helping them battle the Angels, protecting the Children, protecting Shinji…

As if a switch had been flipped, all the creature's animosity towards the girl vanished. Shinji had spoken truly; the girl was not Adam, not the destroyer, not an Angel. Angels were monsters that never would have protected Shinji. Angels were things that made people hurt and die, monsters that took everything they loved away from them. The girl was Spirit. Spirit was a friend who fought the Angels. A friend…that she very nearly killed that day.

Sucking in a horrified gasp at this realization, the creature felt a wave of pure guilt slam into her like an N2. She had attacked a child, a friend. She had beaten and brutalized her and delighted in every moment of it. Staggering away from Shinji and Spirit, the creature struggled with this reality, trying to make sense of it. Why had she done this? Why had she done something so horrible to someone who hadn't deserved it?

Tricked… came a single word from Misato's mind, a word that resonated in the creature, and caused her to turn and looked towards the metal thing that still flew overhead, gas still pouring out of it. As the creature studied it, she remembered the puny men firing another thing of fire and smoke at Spirit, making her use Adam's power. Remembered how it had fled as soon as the two of them began fighting, only returning when she was weak and the creature distracted. How they had tried to hurt Shinji and Spirit, both with gas and more fire and smoke.

Tricked us…used us… the part of her that was Misato whispered, and suddenly, the creature understood. And with understanding came an explosive new wave of rage. The puny little men had tricked the creature in attacking Spirit. The creature's primitive mind had little context for treachery, but Misato's memories did. Misato understood such betrayal and the depths to which it ran. And these things caused her fury to burn even greater.

Out of her mind with rage, the creature leaped up at the helicopter, intent on inflicting upon it and the puny men the pain they had used her to inflict on Spirit.

"No!" Gendo cried out as Misato leaped up onto the canopy of the helicopter. Watching in awe, the Commander of NERV stood as she punched through the canopy, reaching for the pilot. Desperate to save his own skin, the pilot fled her outstretched hand. With no one controlling it, the helicopter began to spin out of control, falling forward because of the creature's immense weight.

I underestimated the influence the boy had on her! Gendo realized, having never imagined that Misato would abandon her hatred of the Angels, even momentarily, if one saved Shinji's life. The helicopter crew was now paying for this oversight as they came down to the ground. Misato landed first, concrete crushing beneath her feet as she used her newfound leverage to lift the helicopter up above her head. Snarling hatefully, she started shaking the Section 2 agents out of it.

"Order the rest of Section 2 to move in! I want all the remaining helicopters covering the area. Don't let them escape," Gendo commanded as Misato started swinging the helicopter as a baseball bat, making clear her intent to use its former crew as the balls. "I don't care what it takes! I want that monster brought down now!"

"Misato!" Shinji cried out as he cradled Spirit, who lay unconscious in his arms. She had succumbed to exhaustion and the tranquilizer dart the moment she had landed. And while she showed no signs of injury, her pulse was weak and her breathing shallow. Completely helpless to defend herself if a Section 2 agent decided to show up and put a bullet in her head. "Misato, please!"

His voice rising up over the panicked screams of the helicopter crew, Shinji watched as the Amazonian savage paused in her rampaging. Looking away from the Section 2 agent she had been terrorizing, she studied the two teens before tossing away her impromptu weapon. "Look, I think Sprit's hurt," Shinji explained as Misato came over to them. "We have to get her out of here! Get her someplace safe!"

Though Misato said nothing, her face filled with concern as she nodded her understanding. Crouching down beside them, she carefully lifted Spirit up off the ground and placed her over her shoulder. Satisfied that the winged girl was secure, Misato gingerly wrapped her free arm around Shinji, who allowed himself to be lifted up and pressed against her body. Doing his best not to look at the more forbidden parts of her anatomy, he felt her tense in preparation to leap, only to pause and frown. "Huh?" he asked, wondering why she was hesitating. "What is it?"

Her only answer was a low growl, but Shinji was already getting a feel for her mannerisms. Something was clearly wrong. Taking a cue from her hesitation, he looked about the area, trying to spot whatever had her concerned. Then he heard a low noise, too soft for him to identify at first. But as it grew louder, his heart sank with realization. "Oh, no…" he groaned as he watched a swarm of black cars screeching into view. "No, no, no!"

Misato snarled hatefully, her deep, bestial voice expressing her loathing in a way Shinji only wished he could. Watching despairingly as Section 2 agents appeared from their vehicles, all bearing various firearms as they closed in on them. Turning about, he saw even more agents taking up position between them and the lake. They're…they're boxing us in! Shinji realized even as more helicopters were heard. Craning his head back, he watched as soared above them, training their searchlights on the unlikely trio.

Swinging his gaze this way and that, aghast at the small army they had to contend with, Shinji then glanced over at Spirit. Misato's bestial self had already proven impervious to both Section 2's and Spirit's best efforts, but the prone superwoman was nowhere near as indestructible. And if Section 2 had any snipers nearby, or just decided to start shooting…

Wincing as his mind conjured up images of such outcomes, Shinji pleaded, "Misato, please, we have to protect Spirit!"

Misato nodded grimly as she watched Section 2 drawing steadily closer. As carefully as she could, the jade giantess shifted Shinji over to her left arm, using it to brace both him and Spirit against herself. Unsure of what she what had in mind, Shinji could only watch as she snarled in warning. NERV's secret police continued to come closer. Her eyes shining with hatred, Misato reared back, raising her right fist into the air, roaring her fury before she thrust it into the ground with all her might.

A force exceeding that of an N2 was sent explosively into the ground, shattering the earth beneath them. Huge fissures formed and massive chunks of concrete and earth erupted from the ground, sending the agents scattering in a desperate attempt to avoid the destruction. Gasping in horrified awe, Shinji watched as the shockwaves of destruction rippled throughout all of Tokyo-3. Before his very eyes, cars were upended, windows shattered, and buildings visibly lost power as the entire fortress city felt the power of the creature's raw, unleashed rage.

"We're registering earthquake conditions throughout all of Tokyo-3!" Makoto reported, sweat falling from his face as he worked his controls.

"Shockwaves are extending down into the Geofront! No damage reported!" Maya added, turning a nasty shade of white.

"This is insane! How can anything human be that strong?!" Shigeru demanded, looking like he was seriously considering different employment options.

"That's just it. I don't think she is human anymore," Ritsuko got out, looking at the devastation that her best friend had just wreaked. Numbed by the sight of it, the doctor turned a fearful eye towards Gendo. "Commander, I don't see how this is going to help! Section 2 doesn't have anywhere near enough firepower to stop her!"

"That's not their job anymore. With the failure of the gas and the tranquilizers, our only remaining option is to bring her down. Hard," Gendo stated, his brows furrowed as he studied his opponent. Then, turning to Asuka, he asked, "Proceed to the Eva Cages, 2nd Child."

"The Eva Cages?!" Asuka repeated blankly. Then her eyes widened in surprise as she asked, "You mean – you're sending me out?!"

"That is correct," Gendo confirmed before turning to look at the bridge crew. "Begin preparations to mobilize Evangelion Unit 02."

Her eyes widening in horror, Ritsuko watched as Asuka grinned ferally. "Alright!"

"Don't forget, 2nd Child, your objective is to subdue Katsuragi and bring her back to NERV," Gendo reminded her tersely. "Alive if at all possible."

"Yes, sir!" Asuka returned, snapping her heels together. "And, uh…what about Spirit, sir?" Pausing for a moment, not even bothering to hide the eagerness in her voice, the German asked, "What do you want me to do about her?"

"She of no importance to us," Gendo retorted gruffly. "Feel free to dispose of her in any way you see fit."

Her stomach twisting at the slasher smile that spread across Asuka's face, Ritsuko held up her hands as she approached the Commander. "Sir, no, no! This is a mistake!" When Gendo answered by eyeing her like she was a bug, the doctor elaborated, "Look, the more you provoke Misato, the worse this is going to get! If we just give her enough room to calm down -!"

"Then she'll escape, and take the boy and Spirit with her," Gendo countered effortlessly. Then, indicating the display of the creature holding the two children, he continued. "We have to subdue her before Spirit recovers from the tranquilizer. If that happens, the three of them will be able to escape, and I cannot allow that to happen. I can't let them get outside of Tokyo-3."

"Yeah! What are you thinking?!" Asuka demanded haughtily. "Besides, I can handle this! It's not like I'm dealing with an Angel here!"

"I know. That's part of the problem!" Ritsuko retorted. "The Evas aren't designed to fight against anything the size of a human! It'd be like trying to swat a fly with a cannon!" Then she gestured at the images of destruction that were currently being relayed to them by the newly arrived Section 2 helicopters. "And the thing we're dealing with is a lot more powerful than a fly."

"Look, I hate to break it to you two, but I think she's right," Kaji broke in. The two of them turned to stare at the spy as if they had forgotten that he was still there. "Besides, in case you haven't noticed, Katsuragi managed to tear right through Spirit's AT-Field. If she does the same with Unit 02…"

"Kaji!" Asuka cried out, clearly upset as this seeming betrayal.

"Hey, I'm just saying that I don't think this will work," Kaji replied easily. "Besides, if Katsuragi trashes Unit 02, where's that going to leave us when the next Angel rolls around?"

As Asuka bristled at the implication that she would lose to the emerald Amazon, Gendo frowning as if he had just bitten into something that had spoiled a long time ago. "And what would you propose, Dr. Akagi?"

Heaving a sigh, Ritsuko thought of the woman she had known in college. "Let me talk to her," she suggested in an even tone. "Look, she recognized Shinji, despite the mutation. She recognized Spirit as well! She'll remember me, too, sir! I can get through to her, talk her down! All I need is for Section 2 to stay away from her long enough for me to get to her!"

For several seconds, Gendo considered this, seeming to weigh the innumerable variables of the situation. "Very well, then," he finally stated, sending relief shooting through the doctor. "You have one chance." Outrage twisting her features, Asuka was about to protest when the Commander added, "In the meantime, we'll continue to make Unit 02 ready for launch. If I don't see any progress, or if it seems that she may try to escape…"

His meaning sinking in like a ton of bricks, Ritsuko nodded, "Very well, sir."

Asuka sniffed loudly as Ritsuko broke for the door. "As if you have a chance of…hey! Kaji! Where are you going?!"

"I'm heading up with Ritsuko," Kaji replied in a lackadaisical fashion. The two women turned and looked in astonishment at the unshaven man, who answered, "Hey, if we can get Katsuragi to cool down without getting you involved in this mess, the better I'll feel." With Asuka somewhat mollified by this statement, Kaji grinned at the doctor. "And besides," he commented beneath his breath, "there's no way that Katsuragi could ever forget about me!"

I know. That's what I'm afraid of, Ritsuko thought sourly as the two of them began their trek up to the surface.

The world was a strange place at times.

This was something Shinji had learned a long time ago when his mother had died and his father abandoned him. Various events throughout his life had merely reinforced this knowledge, from being brought to NERV as the last chance humanity had against the 3rd Angel, to feeling so comfortable in something that stank of blood. But the strangeness of this moment was in a league all to itself.

Earlier that day, he had watched Misato transform into a savage, green-skinned beast that had torn its way through anything that had gotten in its way. He had watched her rip Spirit's wings off and bludgeon the girl onto the brink of death. And now, he and Spirit were both clutched in the green beast's arms as she stood at bay against the forces of NERV, staring down all of Section 2, filling the agents with such fear that they dared not approach. Danger surrounded them at every point, and no matter how this standoff ended, nothing would ever be the same for any of them.

And yet, Shinji had never felt so safe in his entire life.

Ever since he had moved into Misato's apartment, he had slowly, gradually opened up to the purple-haired woman who had given Shinji a place in her life. But despite this, there had always been a niggling fear eating away at the back of his mind that she would abandon him or hurt him if it proved convenient or necessary. He knew it could happen; it had happened with his father, and he had no doubt that it could happen again.

But the Misato that now held him, the creature that had been stripped of all subtleties or capacity for deceit, had done everything she could to protect him. Had battled the punks, Section 2, even Spirit, all for the sake of keeping him safe, and even now was fighting for the sake of himself and Spirit. It was like all the complexities of the civilized mind had been boiled away, leaving only the very core of Misato's being, a person who loved to drink, showed some playfulness…and would fight for Shinji's sake. Would fight, even die, all in order to keep him safe.

Looking at Spirit, who was struggling to reawaken, Shinji wrapped his arms tightly about Misato's neck, and buried his face into her shoulder, savoring the sensation of her warm, soft skin against his own. This really is Misato, Shinji thought, even as the creature tightened her grip on him and Spirit, just enough to give even further reassurance to them. This is what Misato is really like, deep inside. This is…

Feeling the warmth at this realization, the incontrovertible proof that Misato truly cared for him, not just as a pilot, but as a person, Shinji sighed and allowed himself to forget about the horror surrounding him, if only for the moment.

He wasn't even aware of the footfalls approaching him and the others.

I'm definitely getting older, Ritsuko thought ruefully after her latest mad dash.

The elevators that had sent Ritsuko up through the Geofront and to the surface seemed to be perversely slow that day, as if afraid to get anywhere near where Misato now was. And despite the fact that she had taken the path that would open out as close to Lake Ashi as was possible, it had ultimately taken some running in order to get to where she was going. Staring hatefully at the fancy shoes she was wearing and taking a moment to consider investing in a decent pair of running shoes, Ritsuko dodged the various cars and debris that now littered the street, courtesy of Misato's furious blow. Kaji kept up effortlessly, seeming to enjoy staying just behind the doctor.

After what seemed like an eternity, they encountered the wall of Section 2 agents surrounding the danger area. When they tried to get through, one of the black-suited idiots NERV kept on for doing their dirty work turned about to face them, only to get a face full of Ritsuko's ID card. In this manner, the doctor blazed a trail through the human wall, Kaji using his own ID in order to follow behind her. Then, finally, the two of them were looking at the creature Misato had become with their own eyes. Standing in the center of the makeshift battlefield, keeping her enemies at bay with her glare and her fury.

My God, what have I done? Ritsuko thought, horrified at the sight of her closest friend, transformed into destruction personified. It was one thing to look at blood samples, simulations, even recordings from the field. None of these had prepared Ritsuko for the sight of Misato, keeping the world away from the two children, trapped in a world of hatred and power.

For an instant, the doctor allowed herself to feel a wave of guilt and horror at her role in Misato's condition, at the sabotage she had done at Gendo's behest, and then shoved it away. There was nothing I could have done to stop this, Ritsuko told herself once more. Gendo would have just had someone else do it if I hadn't.

Rationalizing away her feelings as she always somehow did, Ritsuko gathered her courage and carefully moved towards the creature, watching every step she took as the ground shifted ominously beneath her. Kaji moved in much the same way, carefully following the same general path taken by the doctor. As the two of them approached, the beast-woman that Misato had become fixed her furious emerald eyes on the doctor, and Ritsuko couldn't help but tremble somewhat. However, she mustered all the courage she could find and continued forward.

At least she isn't attacking, Ritsuko thought, holding up her hands to show that they were empty. Doing her best to look as small and harmless as she could. "Hello, Misato," she spoke softly, to avoid startling her into action.

The creature didn't move. Instead, she continued to watch as Shinji straightened up in her grasp. "Akagi-san! Kaji!"

"It's alright, Shinji. Everything's going to be okay now," Ritsuko spoke soothingly, hoping that she wasn't lying for once. Though she came closer to losing her cool when Misato growled her warning.

"No, no, it's okay, Misato! Really!" Shinji protested even as the creature sneered menacingly. "It's Akagi-san and Kaji! Remember?" When Misato frowned her confusion, the boy smiled nervously. "It's okay, Misato! They aren't going to hurt us. Trust me."

Please, trust him! Ritsuko thought nervously as she drew closer, taking care not to get within range of the she-beast's bone-crushing hands. Aloud, she asked, "Do you remember me?" When Misato returned her gaze, saying or doing nothing to indicate any recognition, Ritsuko did her best to forge ahead despite it. "Misato, it's okay. It's me, Ritsuko. Remember?"

"That's right, it's Akagi-san," Shinji reassured her, and much to the faux-blonde's relief, some of the anger ebbed away from Misato's features.

Well, at least she isn't becoming violent or trying to run away, Ritsuko thought, painfully aware of the limitations Gendo had placed on her. As she thought these things, the girl she knew only as Spirit began to stir.

"H-huh?" Spirit got out as she regained consciousness, her wings fluttering somewhat as she looked wildly about. "What the -?!"

"It's alright. Everything's fine," Ritsuko intoned, desperate not to let the situation degenerate any further. Not to give Gendo any cause to launch Unit 02. "My name is Dr. Ritsuko Akagi of NERV. I'm here to help you."

The wary look Spirit gave her made it abundantly clear what she thought of that statement. Fortunately, Shinji took Ritsuko's statement at face value. "It's okay, Spirit!" he reassured her. When the winged girl frowned in response, he frowned somewhat and asked, "Uh, how are you feeling? Can you stand up?" Spirit made a thoughtful sound in her throat and visibly seemed to take stock of the situation before nodding. Smiling at this, the 3rd Child turned to the green beast holding them. "Misato, it's okay. You can put us down now." The creature's growled quietly in her throat and frowned as if she were asking if Shinji was sure about that. "Don't worry, Misato! We'll be fine now. Please, trust me."

The hesitation was clear on Misato's face, but slowly, carefully, she complied and allowed both Shinji and Spirit to get back down to the ground. The winged girl was still somewhat shaky but regained her feet easily enough. Then, getting some distance from both them and Ritsuko, she spread her wings and was soon hovering above the ground. "Are you two going to be okay?"

Shinji nodded gratefully. "We'll be okay now, Spirit," he quietly assured her. "Just go take care of yourself."

Frowning somewhat, Spirit looked at Ritsuko and Kaji. "Just so you know…this isn't over." And with that, the winged girl flew out across Lake Ashi, moving faster than any helicopter could hope to.

Shaking her head, Ritsuko watched the girl that represented one of her biggest mistakes disappear from sight. Why can't my successes be as spectacular as that one failure? she wondered before returning her attention to the problem at hand; getting Misato cooled down enough to change back to herself before Unit 02 showed up and sent the situation into an irrevocable death spiral.

While Ritsuko was slowly, carefully considering the best way to handle the situation, Kaji smiled boyishly and started past her. "Well, now that that's taken care of…" he declared smoothly as he approached the emerald destroyer. "Hey, there, Katsuragi. Remember me?"

"Kaji, wait!" Ritsuko got out, sensing disaster in the making.

"Relax! Everything's going to be fine. You said so yourself, didn't you?" Kaji asked absently. "So, Shinji, you okay?"

"Uh, yeah. Um…I guess," Shinji replied uncertainly, watching as Misato studied Kaji's face, shifting her head one way, then the next. "Misato, this is Kaji. Remember him?"

Misato frowned somewhat, narrowing her eyes as the unshaven man cautiously approached her. "Kaji…" she rumbled uncertainly.

"That's right," Kaji replied, smiling easily as he closed the gap, shaking his head as he studied Misato. "Man, oh, man. And to think that I used to say that green wasn't your color. Shows what I know." Casually placing his hand on the creature's hip, he added, "And I used to think that that body of yours couldn't get any more perfect. I – huh?"

Wincing as Kaji cut himself off, Ritsuko watched as the green beast shuddered in revulsion. Her eyes and expression easily recognizable as Misato's, the creature snarled hatefully, grabbing Kaji up by his shirt and hauling him up to look her in the face. The unshaven man didn't have time to so much as scream before the Amazonian savage roared hatefully, causing his face to ripple before the force of her fury.

"Waaauugghh!" Kaji cried out in dismay as his entire body fluttered like a windsock in a tornado. As soon as she had expended her roar, the jade giantess sucked in a fresh lungful of air before rearing back. Crying out incomprehensibly, Kaji could do nothing as Misato sent him flying into the air. Tumbling out of control, the unshaven man tumbled out of control before landing in the lake with a massive splash.

Sweat-dropping as Misato roared her fury, seeming to be daring Kaji to come back and try something like that again, Ritsuko could only watch as Shinji did his best to affect damage control. Yup, she remembers him, alright! Talk about throwing fuel on a fire!

Gulping as she looked around, half-expecting Unit 02 to appear to make things even worse, Ritsuko returned her attention to Misato…and actually managed to smile. "You know, there have been lots of times when I was tempted to do something like that myself."

"Misato, please, stop! You have to calm down!" Shinji pleaded, taking his guardian's hand in his own. When she looked down at the boy, his face twisted with sadness. "Please, Misato…please…you have to calm down…"

Misato frowned somewhat, and then looked around, looked at the Section 2 agents still surrounding them, staying at a relatively safe distance. She looked up at the helicopters that still hovered overhead. Growling lowly, she knelt down beside Shinji and wrapped her arms around him. Drawing him in close as she grimaced at NERV's secret police, showing absolutely no intention of calming down.

Disappointed but not surprised, Ritsuko frowned and brought out her cell phone. Calling up the bridge, she waited as patiently as she was put through to Gendo. "Commander, I think I'm making some progress with Misato, but I need some more room to work here." Pausing just long enough to steady her voice, the doctor then said, "I need Section 2 to leave the area."

"Impossible," Gendo sternly responded. "Section 2 is the only guarantee we have that she will stay where she is."

"Commander, please, listen to me!" Ritsuko pleaded, glancing over at where the she-beast huddled, cradling Shinji and shielding him with her own body. "The whole reason Misato is doing all of this because she's trying to protect Shinji! She thinks that Section 2 is putting him in danger! Therefore, the only way to get her to calm down is to pull them out of the area! If she thinks Shinji is safe, we'll be able to get her to relax!" Practically hearing Gendo frowning on the other end of the line, Ritsuko did her best to hold her own violent impulses in check. "Please, sir, she isn't going anywhere! She's just trying to keep Shinji safe! Once he's safe, she'll transform back!"

There was a deep, ugly pause before Gendo answered. "You had better be right about this," was all he said before the connection broke, leaving Ritsuko to let out a deep breath of relief. The doctor replaced her cell phone and waited, watching and hoping. A few minutes passed, but finally, the helicopters flew away. Misato looked up at this, snorting suspiciously as the sound of their rotors faded, and continued to look about suspiciously as the Section 2 agents on the ground followed their example.

"See, Misato?" Ritsuko told her even as she straightened up a bit and looked about, not quite trusting the convenient disappearance of her enemies. "Everything is alright now. Nobody is going to hurt Shinji."

"That's right, Misato. See? Everything's okay now!" Shinji piped up, looking at the purple-haired behemoth with reassuring eyes. "Nobody's going to hurt me anymore. You can relax now."

As Misato looked deeply into Shinji's eyes, the anger she still felt slowly ebbed away from her face, leaving only adoration for the boy she was holding. "Shinji…" she growled lowly, once again drawing him closer, even smiling as she cuddled the boy. A smile that deepened when Shinji wrapped his arms about her neck, even managing to smile in return.

Ritsuko had no idea how much time passed as she stood there, watching almost enviously as the two of them shared their embrace. However, she was startled when the lines of Misato's body began to waver, her eyes becoming disoriented. "What the…?"

"It's okay, Akagi-san," Shinji reassured her gently. "This is what happened last time." He then returned his to Misato, who was looking increasingly drained and confused. "She's changing back…"

Watching awestruck, Ritsuko looked on as the creature born of the power of both Adam and Jet Alone slowly shrank, steam rising from her body as her skin paled, her strength faded. Before long, the Misato she knew was kneeling before Shinji, shuddering somewhat as she looked from the boy to her surroundings. "Welcome back, Misato," the faux-blonde smiled, even as she watched the last of the green fade from her friend's eyes.

"Ritsuko?" Misato gasped out, trembling as she looked around, saw the destruction she had caused not that long ago, once again found herself naked. She looked at Shinji's concerned face, and then back to her friend. "What the…?" she moaned in desperate fear. "Ritsuko, what…what's happening to me…?"

Giving Misato a sad smile, Ritsuko took off her lab coat and draped it about her shoulders. "That's a long story, Misato," she said in all honesty. "Let's get back to NERV, and…I'll tell you everything."

Well, that accomplished a whole lot of nothing! Hikari thought unhappily as she shed her tattered costume. Not only do I still not know what's really going on, but I wasn't able to help Shinji and Misato, and I totaled this costume in the process!

Wanting nothing more than to go back to bed and at least pretend that she could still sleep eight hours a day, give her body a chance to recover from everything it had been subjected to, Hikari was just about to take off the rest of her costume when the door to her room slid open. Blanching, she found herself confronted by her older sister Kodama. As the eldest of the Horaki sisters studied her disheveled sibling, looked at the ruined garment at her feet, her face settled into a disapproving frown. "Hikari, what have you been doing?!"

Groaning in weary dismay, Hikari managed to make it to her bed, where she fell back onto her bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. Maybe I should have let Misato just kill me and get it over with!

Author's Notes: Okay, now we're moving onto the story proper, where things get really interesting! Please, read and review! And please, spare a moment to check out some of my other stories.

I hope you like her Halo Wave attack, and I apologize for the beating she takes in this story. But I watched "Ultimate Avengers: The Movie" before writing this, and at the end, it had Captain America, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Giant Man, Wasp, Iron Man, and Thor, all battling the Hulk. The Hulk was winning before they managed to sedate him with Betty's help. In short, Hulks are tough, and I think that, all things considered, Spirit did pretty good in holding her own.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and will be back for more! Until then, as Stan the Man Lee would say, Excelsior!

Omake 1

While Ritsuko was slowly, carefully considering the best way to handle the situation, Kaji smiled boyishly and started past her. "Well, now that that's taken care of…" he declared smoothly as he approached the emerald destroyer. "Hey, there, Katsuragi. Remember me?"

"Kaji, wait!" Ritsuko got out, sensing disaster in the making.

"Relax! Everything's going to be fine. You said so yourself, didn't you?" Kaji asked absently. "So, Shinji, you okay?"

"Uh, yeah. Um…I guess," Shinji replied uncertainly, watching as Misato studied Kaji's face, shifting her head one way, then the next. "Misato, this is Kaji. Remember him?"

Misato frowned somewhat, narrowing her eyes as the unshaven man cautiously approached her. "Kaji…" she rumbled uncertainly.

"That's right," Kaji replied, smiling easily as he closed the gap, shaking his head as he studied Misato. "Man, oh, man. And to think that I used to say that green wasn't your color. Shows what I know." Casually placing his hand on the creature's hip, he added, "And I used to think that that body of yours couldn't get any more perfect. I – huh?"

Wincing as Kaji cut himself off, Ritsuko watched as the green beast shuddered in revulsion. Her eyes and expression easily recognizable as Misato's, the creature snarled hatefully, grabbing Kaji up by his shirt and hauling him up to look her in the face. The unshaven man didn't have time to so much as scream before the Amazonian savage roared hatefully, causing his face to ripple before the force of her fury.

"Waaauugghh!" Kaji cried out in dismay as his entire body fluttered like a windsock in a tornado. As soon as she had expended her roar, the jade giantess sucked in a fresh lungful of air before rearing back. Crying out incomprehensibly, Kaji could do nothing as Misato sent him flying into the air. Tumbling out of control, the unshaven man tumbled out of control before landing in the lake with a massive splash.

Sweat-dropping as Misato roared her fury, seeming to be daring Kaji to come back and try something like that again, Ritsuko could only watch as Shinji did his best to affect damage control. Yup, she remembers him, alright! Talk about throwing fuel on a fire!

Gulping loudly as she tried to think of a way to salvage the situation, a loud, mechanical rushing was heard. Her eyes bulging from their sockets, Ritsuko turned about to see one of the Eva launch gates open up. A moment later, there was a rushing of air as Unit 02 appeared.

"No! Asuka, what are you doing?!" Ritsuko shrilled as the German's Evangelion tore its way free of the gantry and stomped its way towards them.

"Outta my way, Akagi!" Asuka snarled as Unit 02 crouched down and raised its fist. "I don't care if her head is screwed up or not, nobody messes with my Kaji and gets away with it!"

"Wait! No, Asuka, don't!" Shinji pleaded, waving his arms desperately, but to no avail. With a merciless battle cry, the volatile redhead drove her Eva's fist down squarely upon Misato's head, crushing her down into the street.

"Ha! Take that, you lime-green whore!" Asuka crowed, grinding the Eva's fist down upon her. "Serves you right for – huh?!"

Ritsuko had no idea of what was happening at first. All she could hear was a grinding noise coming from beneath Unit 02's fist. Then a savage, hateful roar filled the air, and the Eva's arm was forced up so fast that the armor crumpled in some places. As Asuka cried out in surprise and pain, a large, green shape flew forth from the hole. Latching onto Unit 02's right arm, Misato braced herself against the Eva's side, and with a tremendous roar, ripped the biomech's arm off.

"Aaaarrrggh!" Asuka shrieked in pain and continued to do so as Misato leaped up again and smashed Unit 02 over the head with its own arm.

"Aw, damn…" Ritsuko moaned, watching as Unit 02 was pulverized by the berserk she-beast. "There is no way in hell I'm taking the blame for this one!"

Omake 2

"Um, excuse me?" Kaji asked no one particular as he treaded water, watching the events back on shore. "Hello? Aren't we…perhaps…forgetting something?" With considerable dismay, he unshaven man watched as Section 2 departed. He then saw an ambulance come and pick up Shinji, Misato, and Ritsuko, before driving off.

"Okay, okay, fun's fun, but seriously, I can use some assistance here!" Kaji proclaimed, waiting for a rescue helicopter to come along and pluck him from his humiliating predicament. He would even take one without a crew of scantily clad lovelies. "Aw, c'mon, you people aren't just going to leave me out here…are you?"

Just as Kaji was becoming worried that everyone had forgotten him in their hurry to get Misato back to NERV before she got mad again, his eyes went wide at the sight of a silvery fin cutting through the water. Gulping, he watched as the fin slowly glided towards him, which was all the incentive he needed to start swimming as quickly as he could.

"Help!" he shrieked as he swam madly towards shore, completely unaware that, just below the surface, a silver surfboard with a fin extending from the top was trailing him, rather than a shark.

Back at her tiny apartment, Rei Ayanami was relaxing, looking out the window with an odd smile on her face. "The perv deserves it," she stated firmly, deciding that maybe she would come along later and rescue him. If she felt like it.

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