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EVA and everything related to EVA is copyrighted by Gainax/Project EVA 
1995-2004. Nothing legal about my ownership.
Author's Note: Assume for humor's sake that Tokyo-2 and Tokyo-3 are in 
different time zones, please. Continue.

	"Hi, Misato. It's been at least... ten hours since I've seen you 
last," Ritsuko sighed. Misato shrugged a little.

	"Eh, I know. Ikari has us all working overtime, with no additional 
pay! But anyway, what did they find out about that new EVA?"

	"Not much. Most of the data was encryped from inside."

	"The EVA came with security systems?"

	"Apparently, yes, and very good ones at that. The only reason we 
haven't cracked the encryption codes is because Ikari's had everyone running
in ten different directions lately. Even more so than before the third 
Angel's attack."

	"Nah, I doubt that."

	"How would you know? You weren't even here."

	"That's beside the point. So what did you manage to find out?"

	"Well, it's got Progressive 'daggers' instead of knives. We're not 
sure what that really means since we haven't had the pilot in it and haven't
cracked the decryption coding. The armor is about the same as Unit 02's, 
but it's painted dark blue. Terakawa's favorite color, apparently."

	"I'll venture to guess that he never considered his daughter's 
favorite colors, huh?"

	"He probably doesn't even know his daughter's favorite colors. I 
guess that's all I really know right now."

	"I see. When are you going to try activating it?"

	"With Izumi? Or another of the Children?"

	"Izumi. I don't want Shinji, Asuka, or Rei in that thing until we 
know the differences between Unit 14 and our EVAs. That's an official order 
from the Operations Division." Ritsuko sighed again.

	"Misato, do you seriously think that matters?"

	"Hey, Ikari doesn't give all the orders around here. I directed 
almost all of our battles. Remember Operation Yashima? The synchronized 
attack and training for it? That was all me!"

	"You remember the seventh Angel? Don't be talking like you are the 
only person who attacked the Angels."

	"Well, in that case, I'd have to give all the credit to the 
Children. The first four, that is. They not only sacrificed damn near 
everything on a regular basis, but they carried out our orders successfully.
I don't even think Ikari can take so much credit."


	"Oh God, this place is huge!"

	A lone girl wandered through Central Dogma. Her hair was a dark 
black and hung down just past her shoulders. Her bright green eyes, however,
were her most evident feature. Terakawa Izumi, the Sixth Children.

	She was lost.

	"Right here... Or was that back there? Wait, what block is this? 
Shit, am I lost! This isn't funny, father! Can you hear me!!" the girl 
yelled as she descended a particularly large escalator.

	Now, Izumi wasn't one to be panicky. She was more annoyed than 
nervous at the fact that she was lost inside NERV headquarters. But when she
noticed another girl about her age getting onto the opposite side of the 
escalator, Terakawa immediately made contact.

	"Hey, you!" she yelled, waving at the other girl.

	A blue-haired girl. Terakawa knew she'd seen the other girl's 
picture before somewhere, but she couldn't recall her name. Izumi ran down 
the what remained of her retrograded escalator and up to meet the other 

	"Hey, wait up!" Izumi yelled. "Oh yea, we're on an escalator." When 
Izumi finally did catch up to the blue-haired girl, otherwise known as 
Ayanami Rei, she was slightly out of breath.

	Ayanami took noticed of the girl, but made no effort to engage in 
any type of conversation. "Hi," Izumi said, trying to sound friendly.

	"Good morning."

	"I think you mean good afternoon," Izumi said, tapping her finger 
against her raised wristwatch. "It's 12:30."

	"You must be the Sixth Children," Ayanami stated quietly.

	"Yea, that's- Hey, how'd you know that?" Izumi asked as they reached
the top of the escalator.

	"Your watch is on Tokyo-2 time," the pale girl explained before 
entering an elevator.

	Izumi, in the meantime, was dumbfounded by the other girl's 
perception. It was correct, of course. Terakawa was unable to really 
understand what had just happened, but changed her watch to 11:30 anyway.

	Only when she began walking again did she remember she was lost. 
"Ah, no! I can't stand this anymore! Somebody help me!"
	"Sir, we're getting reports that a strange girl is walking around 
aimlessly in Central Dogma," Hyuga said to Sub-Commander Fuyutsuki. The 
professor glanced at the screen from over Makoto's shoulder, which shown a 
listing of all reports.

	"Must be the Sixth. I knew we shouldn't have let her get into HQ 
without Katsuragi to lead her around," the older man sighed. "What a 
disgrace. Where is Terakawa now? Put it up on the main screen."

	The largest holoscreen, which floated several meters away from the 
Announcement Room's back wall, changed to display a layout of corridors from
all of Central Dogma. A small green '6' displayed the Sixth's position. 
"She's not even close to where she's supposed to be," Hyuga said quietly.

	"You mean, supposed to have been. Doctor Akagi started the testing 
without her, almost an hour late," Maya replied.

	"Correlate the reports and all of her passcard check-ins by time. 
Try and find her route," Fuyutsuki ordered. Hyuga typed in several commands,
and the screen remained the same, but now displayed a twisting, repeating 
path of green.

	"She's been wandering around for almost two hours," Aoba said with 
a grin. "Did someone give her a map?"

	"Yes," Fuyutsuki said, sighing again. "What a sad state of affairs. 
Ikari has our people doing so many different things to prepare for human 
invasion that there weren't enough human resources to just track her down 
and bring her in for testing on time."

	"All of the UN's people have pulled out," Aoba added. "We're low on 
full-time help. Everyone's gonna be burnt out from all these unfinished 
projects suddenly ordered completed."

	"What about Major Katsuragi? Wasn't it her job to show the new 
Children around?" Maya asked.

	"It was, but she's working with the Weapons Development section 
right now. Something about expanding progressive technologies," Hyuga 
responded. "Oh, look at this, Vice Commander. It appears the Sixth contacted
Rei for a couple minutes."

	"Oh? I thought Rei was attending the testing?" Ibuki questioned.

	"Ikari ordered Akagi to discontinue testing any Children on Unit 
00's simulation. All of the data was stored in the secondary databases."

	"I guess I could go and find her," Aoba suddenly opted. "I have my 
present workload done, and at least this way I can earn my pay instead of 
wasting space in here."

	"Alright, go for it," Fuyutsuki said. "That girl needs some guidance. 
Just listen to any announcements in case we need you back here." 
Aoba stood up.

	"Yes, sir."
	"Ah, Kensuke, you're back!"

	"Of course! I still have a lot of questions about EVA!" the 
bespectacled boy said happily. "But I'm glad to see you, too, Shinji."

	Classes had started again.

	Hikari and Asuka spent most of the time before school catching up 
on the things they'd missed in each other's lives. The so-called 'Stooge 
Trio' also got reacquainted with each other. Some of the classmates hadn't 
returned, but some new ones had come. As the new students were introduced by
the aged teacher, Ayanami took notice of only one. A girl with bright green 

	"...And this is Terakawa Izumi, from Tokyo-2." The aforementioned 
girl bowed, then took a seat on the opposite side of the room from Shinji 
and Asuka. Of course, Ikari and Soryu immediately recognized the name and 
took to their keyboards.

	''That must be the Sixth,'' Asuka typed.

	''Yea, or someone with the exact same name,'' Shinji replied.
	''I doubt that. You Japanese, though... A lot of the names are just 
alike, so maybe its a pronunciation error or something.''

	''I dunno. It might be her, but maybe we should wait til-''
	''That'd take too long!'' Asuka changed the address to Terakawa's 
desk. ''Hey, are you the Sixth Children?!''

	Izumi stared in confusion at her beeping laptop before figuring out 
that someone had instant-messaged her.  ''Yea, that's me. How'd you know 

	''Your name. Misato told me. Do you know Major Katsuragi? She's the 
head of the Operations Division at NERV.''

	''No, the only person I know from NERV is Lieutenant Shigeru.''

	''You mean Aoba?''

	''Yes, Aoba Shigeru.''
	Meanwhile, at the Commander's office, a discussion of a different 
kind was taking place. "The data has been decoded?" Ikari asked from behind 
his desk.

	"Yes. The encryption was pretty good, but it was easily cracked," 
Ritsuko replied. "All of the data was downloaded, and it's partially 
analyzed right now." She was unsure of whether she should act proud
of the work she accomplished or not.

	"Do we know anything more than before?" Misato asked.

	"Not much. Besides that the basic genome type is confirmed to be 
from ADAM, the DNA strands are actually a mix of Unit 00 and Unit 03, not 
the combination of Units 00 and 01 as we originally speculated. The pilot-
to-EVA interface is a bit different from our own EVAs. More refined, I 
suppose. It appears that Terakawa also built in a kind of automatic kill 
switch in case the EVA ever berserked," Ritsuko explained. "We can't be 
sure if it actually works, of course."

	"Does it take the same kind of entry plug?" Fuyutsuki questioned.

	"Yes. It came with its own, but we replaced it with one of Unit 00's
spares. The personality pattern is not like any I've seen. It's patterns are 
very odd, but it doesn't pose a problem at the moment."

	"So, Unit 14 is compatible with all of our equipment?" Ikari asked. 
"The overall systems are close enough to ours that it won't be a problem?"

	"Yes. We're running simulations right now to make sure nothing 
unexpected happens," Ritsuko said in a totally blank voice.

	"We have three completed EVAs, with another more than 40% complete."

	"You're planning on using Unit 03?!" Ritsuko asked, suddenly 
outraged. That project was hers, not Ikari's.

	"Of course. Wasting an EVA on research only is out of the question 
at this time," Ikari stated coldly.

	"EVA-03 is not available for piloting!"

	"Not yet."

	"It never will be! The interface is too primitive! Do you recall, 
Commander Ikari, that Unit 03 is reconstructing itself without prompting? 
It's evolving, Commander, every day. While its true that the next level of 
EVA could eventually become a better weapon than the ones we have now, this 
is like using the original EVA before we understood what would happen. Do 
you remember what happened with the first EVA, Commander?" Ritsuko 
exclaimed, the venom in her voice rising.



	"Please recall that you are still on... probation, Doctor Akagi," 
Ikari said calmly. "I make all final decisions."

	"Also please recall the A-426 order. I won't mess with your projects
if you don't mess around with mine. I thought that was the deal," Ritsuko 
tried, to no avail. The Commander was such a... manipulative little...

	At this time Misato was thoroughly confused, but she decided to just
listen. Reconnoiter some information. Ikari was quiet for quite some time, 
as if he was giving actual thought to the subject. "You are walking a thin 
line, Akagi."

	"You've already crossed that line. I'm sure SEELE would agree."

	"... What other options do we have?"

	"Ruling out regenerating EVA-00?" Misato asked.


	"... And building any new EVAs?"

	"Yes. Our monetary income from the UN is not as... copious... as it 
has been in the past," Ikari said, his voice very slightly annoyed.

	"Then the only option is Unit 04," Misato said bluntly. Ritsuko turned 
to stare in concern at her colleage. Had she finally lost it? There was no way.


	"Well, has it ever been confirmed that the EVA was destroyed? Has 
anyone gone out to where the Second Branch was and looked around?"

	"Some long-range surface testing revealed nothing, but no further 
inquiry was made. They assumed that the S2 core's lattice was not strong 
enough and collapsed, converting all matter within 89 kilometers to pure 
energy," Ritsuko explained. "Including the EVA."

	"There you go. I say we go in and do some more extensive testing of 
the area where the branch was. At least then we can be sure. That's the only
thing we can do," Misato said, "at this time to cure the situation."

	"But why do we need another new EVA?" Ritsuko asked.

	"NERV has to become independent, thusly we need an independent 
fighting force. We need something competant enough to fight off nine mass-
production EVAs," Fuyutsuki said.

	"Why not request to the UN the money for another EVA?" Misato asked.

	"Quite simply, everyone knows that the last Angel was defeated. 
Unless more Angels begin to attack, the UN won't give us the money. They 
would say what a waste it would be, since now we have three EVAs."

	"What about building a new EVA to refine construction technologies? 
Or for extra testing?" Misato asked, trying to find some other option, since
even she that knew looking for Unit 04 was grasping at straws.

	"No. We are able to conduct a search for Unit 04 at a relatively 
low cost, compared to designing and building a new EVA. The next question 
is how to go about searching for EVA-04," Ikari stated.

	"Renting all that construction equipment, on top of setting up 
remote postings for satellite uplinks to the MAGI would be a little more 
than we can stomach on what's left of the budget after all normal expenses,"
Fuyutsuki said.
	"EVA could do that same thing for much cheaper. All we have to do 
is fly an EVA over there and have it dig where we tell it," Misato stated. 
"It's a pretty simple idea."

	"One EVA should be enough," Akagi added. "But..."

	"Unit 01 is our only option," Fuyutsuki finished. All three knew 
that Ikari wouldn't allow the usage of Unit 01... Especially for something
so comparatively trivial.

	"Fine then. Ready EVA-01 for shipment to the Second Branch in two 

	"Yes, sir!" both Misato and Ritsuko said crisply.

	"And I'll contact Schwartzwald to send some mobile transmission 
equipment. That'll be easier than shipping it from here," Fuyutsuki said.

	"Good. Everything is in order. The American government should agree 
to it. The Second Branch was totally isolated," Ikari said. "Dismissed."
	At one of the many entrances to the Geofront, a tall woman with 
platinum blond hair stood, arguing with the guards. "I swear! You wanna see 
my card again?"

	"Yes," one of the men gruffly replied. The woman fumbled in her 
pocket for a while before producing a wallet, which flipped open.

	"See?" The guard took the wallet. "Hey, I've got money in there!" 
But the guard didn't respond. "My name's Kaima Maru, I'm supposed to be 
the Sixth Children's legal guardian! How 'bout this?" The woman, apparently 
named Maru, then took a piece of paper out of her pocket, giving it to the 

	The guard immediately looked down to the bottom of the paper. 
Against his suspicions, it was marked with the seal of NERV. He brought out 
his special scanner and scanned the seal. It was a verified number.

	The guard returned the possessions to Kaima Maru, then gave her a 
passcard. It wasn't unlike the ones usual NERV personnel had, but it had 
no picture or name. "Here is a temporary passcard. When you get to Central 
Dogma, find out about setting up an appointment with Commander Ikari for 
getting your own personal passcard. Here is a map."

	"Thanks," Kaima said, her voice heavy with sarcasm.
	Several hours later, Ikari stood with the Sixth Children and her 
guardian on a 2-D grid of Tokyo-3. "You will be sharing an apartment, I 
assume?" Ikari asked.

	The two woman, who had just been introduced to each other about an 
hour before, looked at each other. "Sure," Kaima said.

	"Sounds good to me," Terakawa added.

	"Your apartment is in the fourth block beyond this one. It is the 
same building as Major Katsuragi, for the sake of convenience. Here."

	Number 6-08
	1: Kaima, Maru
	2: Terakawa, Izumi
	Number 3-02

	"Thank you, Commander Ikari," Kaima said. "I'm gracious that you're 
allowing me to come into NERV's headquarters."

	"You should be thanking Miss Terakawa's father. Dismissed. Your 
possessions should already be at the apartment." Both child and guardian 
left, although the child was grumbling about something.
	"Thanks for inviting us over for dinner, Major," Maru said cheerily.
Two adults and four young adults sat at Misato's dinner table.

	"It's just to welcome you to Tokyo-3," Misato said in an equally 
happy tone, making sure not to say that she was welcoming Kaima to NERV.

	"It's especially convenient because Miss Kaima didn't run to the 
store like she said she would," Izumi stated. "There isn't a speck of food 
in that entire apartment."

	"I said I'd run to the store tomorrow!" Maru retorted. "Anyway, 
thanks, Major."

	"Don't call me that now. Only call me 'Major' when I'm working, 
alright? It's one of my pet peeves, you know..."

	"Now I understood what you meant at school, Asuka," Izumi said to 
the redheaded German.

	"Yea, I figured you'd get it sooner or later," Asuka replied between
mouthfuls of instant ramen. "Finally now there is another normal Children 
besides me!" Shinji decided to keep his mouth closed. Asuka had been a lot
more normal, that was true, but she still treated him like crap most of the time.

	"OK, so let me get this straight. First Children," Izumi said, 
pointing at Rei, "right?"


	"Sorry if I sounded like an idiot yesterday. I was totally lost."

	"You sounded more like one who was lost than an idiot," Ayanami 
replied quietly. Asuka began to laugh.

	"Leave it to the First to be blunt," Soryu chuckled.

	"And you're second, Asuka, and Shinji's the Third Children, right?"

	"You're right," Shinji said. He wasn't exactly comfortable with so 
many people around, even if they were just his coworkers and classmates.

	"What about the Fourth and Fifth?"

	"They... retired," Misato said quickly, trying to put an end to that
subject. Izumi could tell from the looks on faces that it was a sore thing 
to speak of.
To Be Continued...