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As The Stars Fade In To Darkness

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Somewhere on the dark side of the moon.

So we see each other once again the same green and blue planet with Antarctica soaking in bloody red nothing changes, it's the same every cycle and it's an utter bore. Bardiel's glowing blue vine like body moved slowly across the white stone off the moon some distance away he could see a space rover moving along the gravel using its arms to collect dust and dirt nothing ever changed.

The Lilin loved their little experiments though this time around high above the earth he could see a space station of some kind its reflective solar panels glinted in the distance they'd had so much time in this cycle to do more and getting this far had taken him far longer. Sadly he knew that he needed help on the last part of the journey and he hated that he had to do this every damn time but his form had his limits and he didn't want to burn up in the earth's atmosphere.

He turned as a silver portal opened close by as Arael appeared, his older brother could come and go as he pleased as he could open his own worm holes in time and play amongst the galaxy and stars. He'd always envied him because he had always wanted to have a form that allowed that as his vine like form had a single eye on a vine which had a solid glass layer to keep out space debris was limited though he could loose parts of himself and re-grow them.

He moved his eye as Arael came closer his AT field shifting out causing the space rover to shut down though it would only be temporary and on earth they'd think it was a code fault and reboot it but it would give them time to talk in private. "So the little adventurer finally arrives."

Bardiel eased his whole form up opening it up to make himself look bigger. "Do not do me the displeasure of mocking me it took me a long time to get here and twice I though I might die as there were meteor storms."

Arael moved slowly closer shining his bright light on his brother though no one would see it as they were on the dark side of the moon. "Father talks about the universe being changed and that some godly being is going against us and putting things in the way of our travels it used to be easier in past cycles but now it's so hard."

He paused. "Personally I miss Shamshel and I hate that I have to wait for her rebirth again in the next cycle because the others are no fun to talk to other than you, they lack the intelligence that you and Shamshel have." Bardiel raised himself higher. "Our deal still stands then?" Arael turned looking out over the vast earth. "Yes nothings changed if you can pull this off I will be very impressed."

Bardiel rose even higher opening his vine like body wider. "I won't fail this time where is the new false god being built?" Arael moved closer. "It's in the Kanto region up in the mountains it's many miles from Tokyo Three it's just having its armour fitted it looks bland and vile even for a false god but it won't be started until the day after tomorrow and no pilot has been picked yet. They chose today since I can tune into their radio and TV satellites feeds I can see all of this." There was a long pause. "Assuming your instincts are correct, she will be picked."

Bardiel moved his eye looking at the earth. "She will be picked because that is her fate and has been for the last two cycles it won't change only now she'll be an adult and not a child and it will make the game so much more interesting." Arael moved closer so that his whole lower glowing body was over Bardiel. "You really think we can pull this off?" Bardiel slowly began to curl up becoming a round ball. "When we talk again I will have joined you among the stars and I shall have what I desire."

Arael's huge under tendrils came free from his stomach each glowing with light as they took hold of Bardiel picking him up gently as out from his other tendrils came a thick white liquid which turned sticky as he started to wrap it like a spiders web around Bardiel it would turn solid as stone in seconds and would protect his brother as he came into the atmosphere. "I look forward to you joining me and seeing if you can win our bet."

He rose up slowly seeing that Bardiel was now solid and protected by the stone coating now and when he went into the atmosphere no one would notice him. He would just be another meteor or shooting star as he hit the surface. He moved higher as his whole body vanished as he pulled up his camouflage which meant no one would see him as he entered earth and dropped Bardiel off in the inner atmosphere before leaving.

His father had told him to watch earth but he hadn't done so in a long while as he was as sick of this endless game with the Lilin and preferred to spend his time flying among the stars and exploring, it was more much interesting.

Tokyo Three Nerv central planning room

Misato eyed the pilots who were all dressed in casual clothes all looking at her it seemed like so long since they'd been children now as she was looking at adults who were in their early twenties and one in her mid twenties. She eased up her document as she needed to give them there weekly roster.

She eyed Shinji who was drawing on his sketch pad feeling a smile form. "Okay so I have your roaster, Kaworu you're going to be working with Oculus." She turned eyeing the British woman who was looking at her phone. "Mari you'll be his cover." Mari looked up slightly adjusting her glasses. "Well this should be fun." She turned eyeing Rei who looked uncertain. "Rei you're going to be at the synthetic oil machine again with Shinji as his back up so he can fix the machine today."

She turned to Toji. "Toji you'll be training with both Mari and Asuka this week on the field using the Omega unit you're going to run night fighting." She paused eyeing Asuka who unlike the others wasn't paying any attention at all her blue eyes were looking elsewhere she breathed in deeply why couldn't she just for once pay attention in these talks?

She moved over to her. "Asuka!" She watched as the red haired woman turned sharply realizing that she was talking to her a sneer formed as she eyed her speaking coldly. "Yeah I know go kill some people in some verfickte place wherever…" Misato rolled her eyes. "No actuality this week you get to do something else." She pulled out the document. "Your going to pilot the UN's new alpha test unit it's been decided by Gendo and Ritsuko."

She eyed the document as the red haired woman looked at her she had been told by Gendo that Shinji and Rei would take no part in this test and that she had to pick from the other three which only left Mari who wasn't in the right place in her view and Toji but he would not be strong enough to handle it if the unit went wrong. This meant that Asuka was her only choice and Seele had made it clear that this unit had a new type of core which meant anyone could pilot it.

Asuka turned to her as she adjusted her leather jacket with it red sleeve stripes. "Why would you want me to pilot that piece of scheisse it's drab and ugly?" Mari felt a coy smile form. "So it's like unit 02 then?" She ignored as Asuka's cold look as she shrugged. "Just stating a fact princess...truth hurts." Asuka eyed her in disgust. "Oh that's rich coming from you four eyes your unit looks like it's out of Barbie's dream house set!" She felt a cold smile form. "It really goes well with your dumb verfickte personality."

Mari folded her arms. "You know Barbie isn't dumb she's has had vet, doctor and scientist dolls!" Asuka smirked slightly. "Yeah but before that she had a housewife doll and pregnant version..." Misato eyed them both as she spoke holding none of her anger back. "Be quite, both of you know I am so fucking sick of your juvenile bickering!" Asuka turned seeing the angry look on Misato's face. "She started it!"

Misato eyed her. "Yes and you know better you're a grown woman so behave like one for once in your life!" Asuka breathed in deeply there was so much she wanted to say back to that but she didn't have the energy to even bother it was her fault and it was always her fault and that would never change since no one liked her anyway.

Mari smirked. "Yeah stop being an asshole Asuka." Misato eyed her. "Be quite Mari!" Rei breathed in deeply wishing she didn't have period pain right now as the planning room chairs were not helping and she just wanted to leave so she could take a pain killer. "You know Asuka this is a big deal I mean it's a test unit and it's meant to have a new kind of core that means anyone can pilot it."

Misato turned instantly going with Rei's lead. "Yes it's a huge deal to pilot this unit I thought you would be happy with this I mean you get to show the world your skill as a pilot." She put the document on Asuka's table. "Like Rei says it's special." Mari folded her arms. "Yeah for special needs more like."

Asuka ignored her as she eyed the document she didn't care for Misato's ego stroking it wasn't real it was fake and it meant nothing to her anymore. Shinji looked up slightly. "I think it's really great that you got picked Asuka I mean they must have picked you for your battle skills right?" Asuka carried on reading the Nerv document. "I doubt it."

She breathed in painfully as she stopped reading looking up at Misato. "So if I do this and it's successful…will it go up in the visitor centre on my wall?" Misato rolled her eyes there was that typical ego as always. "Yes Asuka of course it will." Asuka eyed the document again. "I'll do it." Misato leaned over okay so that was a lot easier than she thought it was going to be she passed the red haired woman a written booklet. "Okay you need to read this it's your protocol it's very important and they said you don't need a new plug suite for this so you can wear your normal one."

Asuka eyed her. "You mean the one that doesn't fit and hurts my back and shoulders you know I would really like the updated plug suite version like Toji and Mari have since mine's old and needs retiring." Misato eyed her. "When this test is over you can have the new plug suite but not until."


Asuka slammed her locker shut as her gaze shifted to Rei she could see a slight pain in her green eyes as she leaned over the sink. "Are you okay?" She paused before speaking. "Its just you were fidgeting in the room and you looked uncomfortable." Rei pulled on her white plug suites collar she had just taken her pain killers and was waiting for them to work though she wished they'd work faster. "Its nothing to concern yourself over Asuka." Asuka looked at her for a long moment. "Is it period pain?"

Rei spoke evenly. "Yes." She raised her hand stopping the other woman before she could speak. "Look I don't mean to be rude Asuka but I just want to be alone I fly out in an hour and I just want this to go away so I can concentrate when I'm shadowing Shinji when he fixes the synthetic oil machine." Asuka looked down slightly realizing that, this was her queue to leave, there was no point in saying anymore as Rei didn't want her around.

She never did and despite the civil conversations between them they weren't close in any way and it always made her sad but she only had herself to blame.

She turned moving away watching as Kaworu walked past her giving her a smile as he adjusted his plug suite as he spoke. "Congratulations on being picked to pilot the UN's alpha test unit." Asuka looked at him for a long moment before speaking coldly putting her hands in her pockets. "Yeah whatever they probably just picked me because I'm expendable."

She watched as Shinji appeared close by his voice hitting the air. "Don't say that Asuka I think its great that you have been picked." He raised his hand. "I mean it's going to be turned on in front of the whole world live that's how positive the UN is about this unit working."

Asuka looked up slightly, Misato wanted to speak to her tomorrow regarding the specs and the danger and she would probably bring her some gift to try and suck up to her ego even though she no longer cared for it. "The UN leaders are a bunch of verfickte morons it probably won't even start up."

Shinji looked at her for a long moment he couldn't tell what she was thinking as she had her emotional walls up as high as ever. "And if it does then everyone will see how great you are for getting it to start up and for getting it to run, wouldn't that be great?"

Kaworu turned slightly giving the read haired woman a smile. "Shinji's right they'll be seeing you for your ability." Asuka breathed in deeply picking her bag throwing over her shoulder as she locked her locker. "I'm going home." Shinji watched sadly as she vanished from sight. "You know I thought she would be happier about this I mean it'll be good for her."

Rei looked up feeling the pain finally dull much to her relief. "She's been having a really moody week this week we both know what she's like it will pass." Shinji looked at his little sister who pushed her dusty light brown hair back her green eyes moving as she stood up right. She was right Asuka seemed to have a lot of off weeks at late but that was very normal for her nowadays but he couldn't help feel a twinge of sadness in his stomach because he never saw her smile anymore like she used to when they were children.

"You're right Rei it will pass it always does." He walked into the wreck room watching as Rei followed along with Kaworu he turned looking out of the window watching as a flaming star shot across the night sky burning brightly as it faded away. He felt a smile form well if were falling stars then maybe Asuka might have some good luck.

End of part 1