"All Units! Launch!"
At the Major's command, the catapults fired and Units 00, 01, and 02 were sent rocketing upwards to the surface. Very specific exit points had been selected beforehand so the team could surround and assault the Angel. As their gates opened and the Evangelions were let out, the latest target came into view.
For Ayanami Rei, the arrival of an Angel to Tokyo-3 was always oddly welcome. Her life being as it was had a stagnant feel to it, a place of boredom and routine. Gathering friends was an action that held no interest, as the people she was told to be her peers were shamefully ignorant, particularly when socializing with one another. From her "birth" her purpose was to further the scenario of the Commander, and a part of this was murdering arriving Angels. When time passed without such an occurrence, her life had nothing of interest or joy, save her momentary interactions with the Commander and his son.
So as she got a look at the Angel, Ayanami's blood was pumping harder than usual, feeling alive for the first time that week.
"Keep out of sight," came Major Katsuragi's voice on the commlink. "It might not be able to tell you're here yet. Looks blind."
"Roger that, Misato!" came Soryu's voice.
Letting the German girl speak for her, Ayanami followed her orders silently. Cautious and smooth, she crouched her Evangelion slightly, hiding beneath an office building that made up the Tokyo-3 skyline. While ordered not to fire yet and remain undercover, the girl readied her rifle while waiting.
"We're going to wait a moment and see if it acknowledges the threat," furthered Misato from the commlink. "We have no change in behavior since you've launched. Appears to be feeling for an opening to the Geofront."
"You're not even going to let us do anything?" No mistaking Soryu's voice. "So we're just supposed to wait until it pounces and kills us, that it?"
"Be patient!" Impossible, quipped Rei in her mind. But the major continued, "If it doesn't make a move for a few minutes, we assault. Don't waste time dancing about- you have it surrounded, so on my mark, I want you to drop cover and swarm. No quarter, just neutralize the field and fire until it's dead."
"Roger, that," replied Sorhyu. "Just don't make us wait too long."
"I'll keep that in mind. Shinji!"
"Yeah!" Shinji's voice rang out on the commlink, clearly not expecting to be spoken to, but understanding the gravity of the situation, "I'm here."
"The Angel is facing in your direction. When you drop cover, you'll be getting the full attention from it. Just be prepared to extend your AT Field as fast and fully as possible."
"I understand.... Thanks, Misato."
Ayanami grinned to herself at this brief exchange, as well as Asuka's angry grumbling about "invincible Shinji" a moment later. She'd decided some time ago to protect Shinji to the best she could, the same way she worked to serve and aide his father the Commander. The Ikari bloodline just had a certain power over her, and her interactions with both were things that made her typically dull life seem much more enjoyable. She supposed-
Blaring alarm over the commlink. "We have movement! Evasive action!"
Inside the entry plug, Ayanami sprang into motion, her EVA leaping to her command. No sooner had she darted around from behind the building then a long, pinkish red rounded tentacle plowed clear through the windows. Abandoning her cover and readying her rifle, the pilot glanced at the enemy.
Another typical Angel design. Seemed all the ones that attacked either resembled randomly-chosen and put together images from either the Bible or the journals of Sigmund Freud. In this case it would be the latter, although it also might have more to do with pictures from a medical journal.
Hovering over the streets of Tokyo-3 and casting a wide shadow was a bizarre, greyish-pink ovular shape. It appeared as if made from something that resembled flesh, but was too tough and coarse, giving more resemblance to frozen meat then living human tissue. Behind the surface were shapes and shadows twitching and flicking ominously within. As Ayanami ran, she peered closer at it.
It was a fetus. Or a form that greatly resembled one. As Ayanami stared, the oversized, bulbous head twitched about, as if trying to see through the floating sac it hung in for its enemies.
Being that Ayanami's first foe faced in battle was a giant, shape-shifting Octahedron with the same motive of destroying mankind, the pilot didn't stare for very long before firing.
The shells were absorbed harmlessly by the AT Field, exploding before they reached the target. From inside the fleshy cocoon, more slithering tentacles protruded out of a placenta hovering over the floating silhouette inside. One came toward Unit 00 and Rei leapt courageously out of the way, the feet of her EVA leaving two-foot deep imprints on the street's of Tokyo-3 from impact. Looking at the viewscreens in worry, she saw Unit 01 barely avoid four long tentacles, hacking two of them short with its Prog Knife as it performed a similar retreat.
"Nice work, Shinji. Pilots, keep back!" Misato's voice was clear over the intercom, Rei listened to it while her EVA ran, "Wait until you can spot an opening and move in! We don't know what those things can do!"
"Relax, Misato!" Sohryu however wouldn't quite comply with orders, "We already fought a stupid Ultrasound Angel, remember? I beat it on my own, and I was wearing that stupid fatsuit!" Ayanami had to try not to smack herself as the first of the main-production EVAs charged toward the enemy per her pilot's whim.
"Asuka, that's way too dangerous!" Surprisingly the voice that sounded over the channel was Shinji's, not the major's. From her vantage point, Ayanami saw Unit 01 raise her rifle and let out a stream of bullets toward the Angel, presumably to give Soryu some cover. In spite of her feelings for the German pilot, Ayanami rose her own gun and began firing as well.
"Watch yourself, Asuka! You get grabbed by one of those things, no telling what's going to happen!"
"Relax, Misato," replied the redhead smugly. Unit 02 was slicing the tentacles apart as best she could when they emerged, "These things won't stand up against a good knife, or a giant clo....
One of the wriggling digits penetrated Unit 02's AT Field, shooting into its large back, and Ayanami knew from looking that it was slipping into the armor and toward the entry plug. Over the static-coated wails of the Major and Shinji she glanced at the viewscreen for the image feed from Unit 02.
"Clooowwwsthhhhangaahhh..." Asuka's face was unnaturally pale, twisted into a lost expression of shock. The coloring of her skin was starting to rapidly change into a rosy pink, and starting from beneath her, the LCL inside the entry plug was beginning to turn a sicking green.
"Shinji! Rei!" The Major's voice sounded again, and the pilot pulled her eyes from the viewscreen, "Listen, forget about Asuka for now!"
"Ikari," Ayanami spoke for the first time during that mission. "If we can detach Soryu from her connection from the EVA, there's a fair chance we can save her life, but we find that difficult to do before the EVA is killed."
"Exactly." Misato was heard talking to the various members of the bridge command before directing her orders to the pilots, "Okay, listen up. I need you to try and penetrate the outer shell of the Angel. See if you can rip it open and the outer shielding and kill its inner body. Just stay away from the umbilical cords, got it?"
"Understood," came the firm reply from Ayanami. Glancing over at the video feed for Unit-01, Ayanami gave Shinji as supportive a look as her unexpressive face could manage, "Ikari, Unit-01 is a superior machine, and you're a superior pilot. You need to drive in and cut the Angel's inner form out. I can give you as much cover-fire as possible."
"Right..." Shinji visibly gulped, glancing at the hovering Angel in fear. Ayanami looked as well, seeing it rise higher into the air, the tight cord attached to Unit-02's back being reared up and the mech's form going up into the sky. The boy stared for a moment before continuing with a shaky, "Okay... I can try and get in there, maybe I can cut her down while I'm at it..."
"If you think you can, it'd be nice to have more manpower." Ayanami now rose her voice for the Major, "Major Katsuragi, I will require a more potent rifle to protect- Look out!"
That was perhaps the highest Ayanami had ever risen her voice, and it was oddly futile since Shinji was already looking at the Angel and was able to leap out of the way. The monster had used the captive Unit 02 as a club on the end of its tentacle, and attempted to slam it painfully into Unit 01. Being that Ikari was able to leap out, the assault only landed into a nearby building.
Only problem was that Ikari had leapt away into a swarm of tentacles.
"Ikari!" One glance at the video feed for the boy's entry plug saw him slipping into the same bizarre coma as Soryu, and Ayanami decided this was time to get serious. "Major. Rifle."
"I know! I know!" Misato was frantic on the other line, yet Ayanami was more concerned with the Angel rearing up the other Evagelion units to bludgeon her with, "I'm sending it, just be careful!"
As a missile cannon for her EVA catapulted from the ground, Ayanami caught it seamlessly, while her compartment for a Prog Knife opened. Before readying her weapon, she grabbed the knife and tossed it expertly at the Angel.
The weapon drove up to the hilt into the cocoon around the fetus, which didn't seem very thick. From inside her entry plug, Ayanami heard the creature scream... Surprisingly, it sounded nothing like a baby's cry, as one would expect. This one seemed more in tune with a woman having intercour-
Pain. Pain in the torso. Ayanami let out a cry as she tightened the grip on her Butterfly controller. Pain right on her bellybutton.
Moving her neck was difficult. Whole body tensing up as if she'd had a snakebite. The was a tentacle. Burrowed from straight under the Angel and through the ground underneath her. A tentacle. The EVA's AT Field was breached. The Entry plug was breached. She needed to do something. Eject the plug. Say something. A light was coming into view.
Mouth wasn't moving. Vocal cords made slurred and grunting noises. Could hear The Major on the audio feed. Her voice was deeper. She was talking slower. The warning beeps within the entry plug were slower. Everything around Ayanami was slower except herself. Had to do something. There was a light somewhere.
Unit 00 was breached. Ayanami could be replaced. There were dozens more of Ayanami. Ikari and Soryu could not be replaced. They were unique. She cared for Ikari. She couldn't leave him. The light was blinding.
Like being in the warm darkness for months at a time. The light hadn't been seen before. It was scary but at the same time inviting. Ayanami knew it was the right place to be, to be in the light.
As the world around Ayanami continued to slow, something pulled her. It was attached to her stomach, but she knew there was nothing there. She was naked, but she knew she should be still wearing her plugsuit. Something was yanking her backward, away from the light, kicking and screaming. Into a cramped, warm darkness. She was alone in the entry plug, yet Asuka and Shinji were there, blind and curled into balls against one another.
There was a scream. This wasn't natural. She didn't want to go.
As Ayanami was pulled into the darkness, feeling herself sliding into a very cramped, stuffy place filled with water, tried her best to climb away. She was sliding downward through a rapidly-narrowing vertical passangeway, and tried to wedge herself in place. Whatever was pulling at her belly button kept doing so, but she held firm where she was.
Just moments after the blue-haired-girl's motion stopped, music played. Soft, lilting music, although Ayanami was unable to place either the source or what instruments could produce it. There was a violin, but other noises seem to come from music-makers she had never heard before. There was a woman's voice under toning it all, not actually singing words, but purring and cooing in a very soothing fashion. It was only one line or two of music, being repeated endlessly, and the catchy beat slipped into Ayanami's ears and stayed there like a worm.
She felt her mind slowing down, her mental faculties lessening, her concentration ebbing. But her resolve wouldn't go.
"NO." Rei growled, squeezing her eyes shut from where she was stuck between the two shafts. "No. You will bring me my fellow pilots. Now."
With all her might, Ayanami thought of Ikari and Soryu. Their safety in this matter was a major priority (Shinji's more than the irritating German noisebox). As her focus pulsed through her mind, it spread somehow to the world around her. The darkness around Ayanami ebbed. Light flowed through. The walls she'd wedged herself between widened and she fell downwards.
Ayanami was falling, but soon landed. Rather than find this landing as particularly rough however, it was actually... cushioned. She landed bottom-first on a soft, padded surface like a mattress, and bounced a little before coming back down. The experience was even... fun, almost. Something was different.
Something was different about her. She opened her eyes, but soon found them filled with burning light. Even as they were clearing, she was able to feel things about herself. Firstly that she was wearing a garment that covered most of her body, similar to a plugsuit.
Ayanami was never a person to care very much about fashion, and her own wardrobe was limited to her school uniform, her suit, and a few sets of underwear, so that was about all she could compare this to. The problem was that this didn't tighten around her body the way her plugsuit did. Further, it was made out of a very soft, breezy cloth. Beyond even that, while it did cover her hands like her plugsuit, it seemed to lack cuts for individual fingers, and just clumped them all together with a single cut for her thumb. They even lacked the shoe-like soles on her foot-coverings, the ends feeling more like loose socks.
No, this was certainly not her plugsuit. When her eyes adjusted fully however, she could see it was white like her plugsuit. And cut with different colors in the right place, like her plugsuit. It was a crude mockery of her typical uniform, which Ayanami of course, did not find the least bit humorous.
But the outfit was... Wait. As Ayanami looked at her hands, she held them out in front of her body. They were much shorter, proportionately. So were her legs. Trying to flex her muscles, they seemed much softer and less responsive. Frowning, she got shockingly to her feet. She was at least strong enough to walk it seemed, although the coverings on her feet and the soft surface she was walking on made that difficult.
Yes, once she was standing it seemed very clear her body was out of proportion. She remembered seeing in magazines pictures of super-deformed characters from various television programs. Had she herself been super-deformed at the moment?.
Noise. Worried, Ayanami turned her head immediately. There were two small shapes just a few feet to her left. Brown hair and red hair. Worried, the girl toddled toward them.
Wait... toddled... As she sped as fast as she could with her shaky balance, Ayanami became aware of something very thick covering her bottom and going between her legs. It was positioned and felt like underwear, but was cushioned and bulky. Not sure about the possibilities, but not caring enough to find out, Ayanami put that out of her mind as she reached her fellow pilots.
"Ikari?" Her voice had a higher pitch, but as she reached the Second and Third Children, Ayanami spoke softly, plopping onto her cushioned rear end. "Can you hear me?"
Both Ikari and Soryu were apparently asleep, curled up in balls, and breathing softly. Watching closer, Ayanami could see Shinji had also been changed... His cheeks were softer and his shoulders much less broad. This didn't seem like super-deformed characters. He and Soryu actually resembled very small children. Perhaps even infants... Ayanami didn't have much experience with children, or indeed, people in general, so she didn't know where the line between infants and small children were drawn, but she would have to put them in the former category if she had a choice.
Of course, given her size relative to theirs, that meant she must be an infant as well.