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Fading In To The Stolen Light

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Rei looked up from her sitting position which was in the chair opposite Maya who was putting the final code into Judas which over looked unit 02's face. Maya turned seeing that Rei was wearing Asuka's leather jacket it apparently had not left her side since Asuka had vanished.

She'd heard that last night had been really hard for despite everyone coming over to Asuka's home and she had cried a lot, now she waiting opposite Misato and Kaji while Shinji and all off the others were waiting for them to begin it was early in the morning now and it had been a very long night but everything was ready now.

She took in a deep breath turning on the switches she just hoped this first phase would work, she leaned over eyeing Hayden. "Okay turn on the Judas restraints power!" Hayden nodded pulled the switches. "Power is now fully engaged!" Maya breathed in deeply. "Loading first code phase please stand by!"

She watched as the magnetic coils began to spin above the entry plug. "Entry plugs retrieval starting in five, four and three." She pressed the button activating the code. "Two, one…!" She looked up hearing the slow grinding sound as the entry plug started to come upwards moving away from the core which is deeply seated next to in fact it was almost touching it. She looked up. "Entry plug is coming free stand by for surface retraction."

She watched as the 02 plug came up to its half way point only for everything to suddenly flash red. "I'm loosing magnetic coil power!" She looked up typing disparately. "This should work! I had this configured perfectly it shouldn't be doing this." She watched as the coils suddenly lost the entry plug which flew straight back down, she turned to Hayden. "Shut off the power!" She watched as he did so and the whole machine went dead.

She breathed in sitting back in her chair. "That should have worked I ran those calculations fives times it was not in error!" She turned eyeing unit 02's face. "You're just not going to play nice are you?" She put a hand through her hair in frustration. "Great now it's going to be another two hours to set this up again and run it a second time, no wonder Ritsuko calls this piece of shit Judas."

Mari breathed in deeply eyeing her. "I don't get it you'd think that Asuka would want out, what is going through my stupid little sisters mind that she's holding out on us?" She paused before raising her hand. "Can this unit understand anything we are saying I mean can Asuka hear us in there?"

Misato looked at her, they hadn't told them the truth yet but once this was over Kaji and her already had a plan of how to tell them as they would send them all a private data disc and make them from an anonymous source and allow them to then follow their own paths on how they viewed it though Seele had said that only those pilots whose units were fully awakened would receive it and the others once they were awakened but not until. "Yes it can feel free to talk to it just don't throw anything at it."

Mari moved forward looking in to the unit's four green eyes. "Hey you fucking bratty princess you can hear me right? Whatever is keeping you there little sister it's an illusion, you'd think after all you'd been through with Bardiel you'd know that!" She breathed in painfully. "Plus I'm out here and so is your girlfriend and we're both waiting for you, we are not in there!" She stepped back folding her arms. "I'm going to murder her stupid ass when she gets out of there." Misato turned to Shinji who looked deeply uncertain. "Do you want to try?"

Shinji nodded breathed in walked up to 02's face looking at it, in all honesty he had not been this close in a very long time though he used to come up to all the time when he and Asuka were together but as the years had drawn on and they'd drifted apart he had not gotten close to it. He breathed in deeply looking at the green eyes feeling Kaworu come up and take his arm trying to give moral support as he kissed his cheek.

He looked up slightly as he spoke. "Hello Asuka." He breathed in sadly wishing now that he had, had that chance to talk to her before she'd been taken over by Bardiel. He had wanted to speak to alone and give her, his blessing with Rei as she had done with him for Kaworu. "I'm sorry that over the past few years we drifted away from each other and we didn't talk like we should have. I never realized how lonely or afraid you got I just though like everyone else that you liked being alone, I just got it so wrong we all did and it really hurt you." He breathed in painfully. "I'm most sorry for Hikari though I just let our past relationship get so much in the way of everything and I just didn't see that you had really changed."

He took in a deep breath letting it out slowly. "I don't blame you for tearing apart Bardiel like you did, so if you're not coming back because you think we would see you as disgusting or vile then please reconsider because you have it all wrong we all really want you back." Kaworu looked at him speaking softly. "I think she would really like that."

He turned to the unit looking at it for a long moment before stepping slowly forward looking in to 02's four eyes as he spoke calmly. "Thank you for helping Shinji I know you care about him and I know it was hard for you to let go after your relationship ended but it means everything to me that you helped him in the way you did and like him I want you to come back, you belong here with us." He breathed in deeply feeling Shinji take hold of his hand as he spoke sadly. "You're our friend and the symphony just isn't complete without you." Toji breathed in stretching as he came forward watching as they both moved back. "My turn..."

He looked up at 02's face. "Hey you dumb ass German! I spent part of my childhood idolizing you back in China one of the reasons I'm on this chicken shit program was because of you!" He folded his arms. "You don't get to be a coward or a quitter! You don't get to run out, your words in the first magazine I ever fucking read, you said you don't quit until your dead! You're not dead your just hanging out there so come back to us already!"

He paused as he lowered his voice speaking nervously. "Oh yeah and please don't hit me cause I kind of broke one of your sun flowers in your front yard I'm really sorry about that." Mari rolled her eyes. "Seriously she's going to loose her shit when she returns she loves those sun flowers, please tell me you didn't break one of ones at the front?"

Toji turned tensing nervously. "It was closer to the back." Mari shook her head. "Pray Rei can sooth her temper when she gets out and don't ever break them again Toji for the love of the gods. When we were kids she lost her temper with me big time when I accidentally broke one of the two she was trying to grow it was when I realized they weren't just flowers to her and that they have real meaning." Toji stepped back. "Got you…" He looked at Rei. "It's your turn."

Rei took in a deep breath moving forward as she looked in to 02's eyes as she spoke calmly. "I know you're in there Asuka, I know you can hear me." She moved even closer to the unit. "Is the fantasy world in there so much better than out here?" She took in a painful breath. "I bet in some ways it is in there you're not burdened by your self consciousness and self esteem and no ones second guessing you in there."

She breathed in deeply. "It's not paradise though it's all just an illusion and we need you out here in the real world." She paused narrowing her gaze. "You may not want to come back but you will come back for me, you hear me Asuka!" She felt her anger start to really burn, she hated how out of her control this situation felt. "You said once that you'd give me anything I desired! Anything you could offer was mine to ask, you remember that conversation right!?"

She pushed her short hair back in frustration. "Of course you do, well I desire your return to this world because you don't belong in there Asuka you belong out here with me!" She moved her hand up putting it against one of the huge sabres feeling the tears as they started to run down her face. "Come back to me please I'm begging you, don't leave me alone in this world, I already lost my mother and my aunt this way and I don't want to loose you as well!" She felt Shinji's arms suddenly wrap around her as he pulled her close as Mari appeared by her side as she began to cry harder.


I watch as the darkness fades away and I find myself walking through a huge sunflower meadow which mirrors the one in my childhood dream where my mama has me chase her and then she vanishes and I never find her. Yet I'm walking through these fields as an adult very slowly and nervously, dreams and fantasies yet I never imagined I'd ever be here. I feel so light but this whole trip has changed so much for me it feels like so much weight has been lifted from my shoulders and something that used to hurt just don't anymore.

Maybe it's this place every vision I've passed through has been like heaven and I've met two forms of my younger self in times I know weren't happy for either of them and when they were hurting a lot.

Asuka breathed in realizing that she was coming up to the end of the sunflower field. She moved slowly through seeing a woman sitting on a wooden stool barefoot she was in her mid thirties and was wearing a long yellow sun dress, which reminded her of one she had once had years ago. She could see light skin and long blonde wavy hair and she had a medium sized farmer straw hat on which had a frayed edge. She was painting on a large canvas with acrylic paint her painting was off the vast and wide spread meadows and rivers and farm land bellow though it was only half complete.

Asuka could feel her heart starting to race as she got closer. "Mama?" She watched as the woman turned her green eyes widening as a wide smile appeared on her lips as she stood up the joy in her face as she spoke gently and softly. "You're finally here, you finally made it to me." Asuka was crying she couldn't stop herself it was just the pure joy of seeing her mother again as the woman wrapped her arms around her and the smell of sunflowers hit her all at once and a feeling returned which she had not felt in years.

She was home, it was like being a child all over again and she could remember all of those good memories which instantly overshadowed the cold haunting hospital ones. Kyoko breathed kissing her daughter's head as she cried against her shoulder she had been doing a lot of that lately she had seen it all in her memories when she'd entered 02 as she could watch everything and read her thoughts and see her wants and desires.

Her daughter had gone through a deep transition these past few weeks and it was unlike anything she had ever expected to see she held her tighter. "I was worried that the path I put you on before you came here might be hard for you but I felt it would do you the world of good."

She pulled away putting her hands on her face wiping away her tears gently with her fingers. "Look at how much you've grown you're so big now, you're not little anymore." She turned looking at her left eye which suddenly ignited into glowing white and blue light. "And what you've done with your left eye it's so impressive."

Asuka was frozen in place. "You don't find it weird or strange?" Kyoko looked at her for a long moment. "Not at all, I mean when you changed your unit in your subconscious you hated the milky looking eye so you changed it along with your own physical strength and the teeth are also your own." She felt a sly grin form. "Wondrous carnage by the way, seeing you tear Bardiel up was one of the most magnificent things I've ever seen."

Asuka felt her mothers hands move to her shoulders she was feeling so confused right now and finding it so difficult to get her words out. "You're not mad or disappointed that…I did that?" Kyoko moved her hand up running it gently through her daughter's long red hair. "I'm guessing no ones told you truth have they, about where your anger comes from? They all probably tell you it's from your grandma."

She turned serious as she leaned closer to her daughter who suddenly looked so uncertain of herself and her good eye showing pure innocence while the left carried on glowing. "It isn't Asuka you have my anger through and through my mother is grumpy yes and she has her moments but she never had the anger I suffered growing up and you have that same anger and like me it's taken you many years to really channel and focus it."

She looked in to her good eye. "So do not feel any guilt over how you use your anger because all I've seen is you use it for good purposes and to help others." She paused moving her hand down to the pendent around her daughter's neck. "I saw in your memories that you've met someone very special who also doesn't view your anger as a negative."

Asuka looked down at the pendent feeling unsure about her next words as she fidgeted nervously. "Does my sexuality bother you?" Kyoko turned the pendent between her delicate fingers feeling a warm smile form. "Not in the slightest and believe me If I had not been sucked in here, I would have told you that as soon as you were old enough and I think Rei is a very nice woman and she makes you so happy."

She felt her smile fade. "I'm so sorry, I tried so hard to fight the AI personality but it just dragged me in and for years it fed my head with delusions and lies to keep me here it was hell. The battle with Shamshel though gave me the opportunity to override it for good and later I destroyed it but I realized afterwards that so much time had passed since you were small and you were now a teenager."

She breathed in painfully. "The AI made me believe that I had gotten out of the test and I was with you but it wasn't you it was all just a vile illusion." She breathed in painfully. "I realized later that they had also shoved this mangled soul less version of myself the one that strangled you in the hospital in here as well. I got to see that version of myself strangling you and it was truly awful once I was powerful enough I re-merged with her and we became one person again. I only use her old image just to protect this unit so others can't use it when you're not here." She breathed in deeply. "I made unit 02 for you it was always yours, no one else's." Asuka looked down. "I know you don't like Mari and I'm guessing you attacked her when she stepped inside."

Kyoko looked down sadly. "That was my fault Asuka, I had no idea that you saw her that way I know that now and it won't happen again, it will just not work for her but how the others react is out of my hands Kiko, Yui and your step mother Lydia I have no control over and the two who are yet to awaken are fighting their own battles against the AI programs but it takes time. Your step mother's incident was completely by accident and she didn't want to fight me and she didn't want you two to kill each other after she knew that you cared about each other so deeply in childhood like me she had a lot of guilt over her own actions. Granted we can not talk directly to each other face to face but even in the units we feel each other emotions and we can whisper now and again to each other. Yui was the first to break free but maybe what fuelled it was her anger over realizing Gendo had set her up and betrayed her, she then taught Kiko how to gain freedom and in turn Kiko helped me. I had only just started to whisper to Lydia but she picked up very quickly and took the first opportunity she got to destroy the AI as we share that common dislike for being cheated out of our lives by these vile AI programs."

Asuka looked up slightly unsure how to say her next words or if she should as maybe her mother would view this question as none of her business. "In your videos I saw you a lot with Kiko were you two together?" Kyoko felt a smile form. "We did sleep together in college yes but our lives took us in very different directions but we were always good friends and she was the one I always turned to in need as I've never been able to see her since she was sucked into 00 though at the time I thought she was dead and I was so utterly devastated finding out that she was alive and in the core was amazing. I know she played a huge role in helping Rei break your AT field apart and transcending unit 00 into its new state as she wants you two to be together no matter what and heard her whisper to me and that's when I pulled you in here."

She took in a deep breath. "I saw some of previous memories of your past cycles in human instrumentality when you were starting to ascend they were pure hell for you, you just don't belong there Asuka you reject it over and over." Asuka looked around her. "Is this instrumentality?"

Kyoko looked at the long meadows and fields. "Yes but it's not like that instrumentality this is all my godly creation, I am the only one here and I can do as I please and it's the same for the all the others." She turned looking at her painting. "I mean I can create anything I want here I even took up painting though I would say that I'm not as good as you are as you're an amazing digital artist."

She pointed upwards at the sun putting her arm around her daughter pulling her close. "I can watch you every time you step into unit 02 I can see your battles, it is much like having the eyes of a god as you can be in many places all at once I can paint down here but still see you in the entry plug and see out of 02's eyes." Her face formed a scowl. "I've seen that, that bitch Ritsuko has put Judas restraint on 02 and I've already stopped it working once and they're trying to bring you back and they're all waiting for your return and those who know the truth that my soul is in here are curious about why I'm not sending you back."

She looked at Asuka who looked overwhelmed now. "Rei is getting very unhappy she's already shouted at this unit once and she knows I'm keeping you here subconsciously but she hasn't admitted the truth openly yet and fully embraced it but I promise I won't delay you any longer than I have to."

Asuka looked up finally recomposing herself. "Why are you keeping me here mama is it about the two spears of destiny I created? Because that girl who is a goddess and who looks like Rei told me they are different from the lances." Kyoko looked up her face turning serious. "It's about them in part but it goes further there's something you really need to know about your step father and your step sister needs to know it as well because it's very important. I was unaware of his true intentions from the start of the marriage and his leaping from one woman to another was not random and the bastard had a deep and unhealthy obsession with this ideal of a perfect Aryan child and he took it to the real extremes as he wanted this child to be his true messiah. Now you and Mari and the others are in real danger if he has obtained any DNA through Bardiel's corpse.

"Ouroboros are just creating bestialized angel abominations and calling them archangels which are limited but his interests always lay in the Evangelions and myself and Lydia had very close links to Nerv at one time. What we both failed to realize was how far his fascination went and why he was happy to play us off against each other while pillaging what we knew about the Evangelions. I was first to fall then once Lydia's links with Nerv dried up he left her and Mari, she told me about all of this in whispers it was horrifying to realize that we had both been played because of Langley's vile ultimate agenda."


Gendo looked at the Judas restraint which was about to be turned on for the second time today he eyed Ritsuko they were both watching from high window above that over looked the bay close to Misato's office. "I'm starting to see your concerns with this unit."

Ritsuko looked up slightly. "The machine was working perfectly it was Kyoko she rejected it, just like Yui did…I just don't get it." Gendo put his hands behind his back eyeing his daughter who was watching once again from her chair next to Maya though she looked both devastated and deeply anxious the others pilots including Shinji seemed much calmer. "Is there a chance that Asuka is stuck?" Ritsuko shook her head. "No and I think this is more a case of Kyoko just being a stupid, stubborn bitch just like her daughter."

Gendo breathed in deeply. "She will let her go though?" Ritsuko eyed unit 02. "Yes, honestly this is just some fucking tantrum she's having just like she used to have when we worked together I got so sick of that temper of hers it's so annoying that Asuka inherited it." She looked down as a thought crossed her mind. "You almost sound like your concerned?"

Gendo's face remained unreadable. "No my dear I just see that this is putting a lot of unnecessary stress on my daughter and she won't be able to pilot until Asuka returns as her sync will hit rock bottom its not something I want or desire I'd rather have them both doing there jobs I care nothing for this emotional nonsense."

Ritsuko lit a cigarette. "Should I release a press statement this afternoon?" Gendo nodded calmly. "Yes and tell the German division the whole truth, about Asuka being sucked into the core but keep the world media guessing by saying that we believe the pilot is stuck in the entry plug, its happened before so they'll believe it. It happened once to my son and it took us two days to free him and pilots food rations last two weeks so they'll know that Asuka has food and water." Ritsuko breathed out the black smoke. "I'll see that done."

She paused raising her hand. "Mark my words the Judas restraint will probably fail again but once it's turned off Kyoko will probably send Asuka kicking and screaming back into the world in some dramatic fashion. Woman never played by the rules when she was alive nothing changed now that she's transcended." She breathed out the black smoke. "Mark my words they'll pull Asuka out either tonight or tomorrow morning and this will all be over and done with and everyone can get back to their lives here." Gendo looked at her. "And if it doesn't?" Ritsuko eyed unit 02. "Then we'll have a useless German paper weight and Seele breathing down our necks wanting results and I'll have to rebuild the Judas restraint from scratch, which would not please me."

Maya breathed in starting the code running seeing that everyone was waiting once again not long ago they'd all gone to get something to eat apart from Mari who had stayed with Rei and had brought her some breakfast not that she had touched it which was a problem because they'd said that she had, had no appetite last night either. This was affecting her really badly and she had not seen her like this in years.

The last time she'd been this way was when she had, had a very serious bout of depression after Gaghiel when she'd been badly burnt and a lot had come out into the open and she had stopped suppressing her feelings as much. Seeing this behaviour again was really starting to worry her though she had not even been with Asuka that long but it spoke the volumes about how she saw this relationship. "Turn on the power! Double the limit!"

Hayden turned on the power bellow. "Doubling the power right now, let's hope this red bastard plays along this time!" Maya looked down. "Yeah well you know what they say about second time being a charm!" She looked up seeing that the whole dock was watching them now just like last time they didn't need to be here most of them were finished but they'd still stayed which really surprised her.

The only ones who were still working were the specialists who were still doing the refit on 00's jaws and were almost complete while 04's team were making a tail slot which the whip lash tail could be put in, because it kept on creeping out towards 02 and had been doing for the past few nights before this incident it wasn't the only one as some time in the night when they'd everyone had broken for lunch 00's new thick slicing end tail had also moved out towards 02 as well.

Clearly the souls were trying to communicate somehow with one another that's why they were moving this way but 02's tail had not shifted to greet them despite that 04's was the closest. She took in a deep breath. "Loading code phase, stand by!" She looked up. "Retrieving the Entry Plug in five, four, three, two…one!" She pressed the button turning hearing the cringing start as the entry plug started to move upwards. "Come on that's it, come out!"

She watched as 02's entry plug started too slowly surface as the magnetic coils brought it fully up to its half way point as they started spinning faster keeping it in place. "Magnetic coil's holding!" She breathed hearing the sudden cheering from the dock workers she turned typing into the holographic panel. "Now loading in phase two codes!" She breathed deeply reading herself. "The retrieval pilot sequence will begin in five seconds!"

End of part 65