от Стефан Куюмджиев
Mari almost jumped at the sound of the alarm. She was anxious beyond limit.
,,Goddamit!,,-she murmured as she chased her smartphone around the chamber,which now resided in a spaceship in orbit. The girl had minor issues retrieving her possession. She was all too used to the lack of gravity. She had used the Evangelion simulator,tuned to the specifics of Unit 05 in orbital conditions many times over. This was her first sortie and she was overly excited for it. After all it was her goal in life to pilot an Evangelion. Unit 05 was more OHAC than Evangelion,though. Mari did not care…much. She could tolerate the fact that the hulking 40 meter long piece of machinery was unusable in the atmosphere,even with the enormous rocket thrusters it had for legs. It was assembled in Russia,with spare parts from the productions of the third and fourth Eva Units. Its` existence was a last-ditch effort to utilize all available resources to fight the Unity on an equal playing field. The recently launched orbital fortress of the Unity called ,,Dawnbreaker,, was an ever looming threat and this threat was to be addressed in the current mission. The Evangelion Unit 05(Space-Use Proto Type) was to be fielded in it. And Mari Illustrious Makinami would be its` pilot. All the military servicemen aboard the oversized spaceshuttle that carried the Alliance For Human Preservation`s ace-in-the-hole knew about her was that she was this overly-enthusiastic teenage bespectacled girl,top brass had chosen to pilot a highly advanced biomechanical experimental weapon. She was energetic and friendly,but she seldom talked to anybody about anything but the use of Evangelions,the most advanced weapon they had. Created from the body of a highly advanced alien lifeform these things were part human in the most literal sense. Under the elaborate,colorful armor all of them wore,hid an organical near-human frame,forty meters or so in size. Unit 05 was an exception. He didn`t have legs. Or a left hand. It could still produce an A.T Field.The A.T. Field was an Evangelion`s special feature,frankly. It was a sign the enormous battlemech was alive. Literally. Each Unit held the soul of a person which was required as a central OS. Mari hurried across the relatively small vessel,muttering ,,Fuck yes!,, every ten seconds or so. She made it to the Eva in time. The girl had donned the required plugsuit before. It being a skin tight latex suit that had a few armored pieces here and there to lessen the pilot`s chance of injury in the process of piloting. Regardless it showed off Mari`s considerable attractiveness well.
,,Is the Apsalus IV ready?,,-she inquired in a ever so jovial tone
,,There`s a difference between Gundam and actual war.,,-the deck hand which oversaw the entry plug was a young man with a nervous expression and uneasy hands which he squeezed together at the moment.
,,Jesus,I`m just kidding.I thought someone could appreciate it!,,-Mari groaned.
,,Get in.Please use the damn thing well.I spent all morning calibrating and testing systems.,,-the Eva`s attendant blurted out.
,,Well I hope you`re good at programming.,,-Mari pat him on the shoulder and laughed. She then proceeded to slide into the plug quickly. She took her first breath of LCL slowly,in order to bear the burning in her lungs caused by inhaling the salty liquid. While it felt unnatural,it was possible for liquid to be breathed and LCL was key to synchronizing with an Evangelion. Without it a pilot would not be able to directly issue commands to the machine mentally. As Mari acquainted with the LCL,the plug shut behind her and slid into the nape of the neck of the Unit. Soon synch was complete and she was in direct control of her Eva. She felt odd. Most of the thing`s body was missing, as there was no time to grow it. The missing left hand was taken up with a giant railgun. The right arm had access to an array of modular weaponry, which right now was a giant pistol and a telescopic sword, capable of super-sonic vibrations,which optimized its` cutting power. Mari smiled widely as she tucked her feet into the foot-pedals and her hands into the control sticks, which were pointless to a skilled pilot like her. The foot-pedals were used to regulate the leg-thrusters. The Eva aligned into launch position,the bay doors of the shuttle opened and the biomechanoid was attached to the external railing. There was a buzz and then-launch. Voices danced around her, signifiying many things but she ignored them. She sped forward into the blackness,screaming in joy. She was too valuable to be chastised for this little quirk,and there was no point to it, the Eva`s S2 Engine powered the machine endlessly and the machine could operate indefinitely, if the pilot was fed and watered regularly.
,,Enaging secondary detection systems!,,-Mari cheerfully shouted, as she ran her hand across a host of buttons,inlaid on the cockpit door.
Regardless of what she stated,radar picked up nothing. That was odd. She was about ten kilometers from the ,,Dawnbreaker,,. By now a large army of OHACs should have had exited and descended upon her like a swarm of predatory bees. HACs(Humanoid Assault Craft) were mecha used by the Unity. Between sixteen and twenty meters tall,the Evangelions dwarfed them. They did not possess an A.T. Field and were many times physically weaker than an Eva. Regardless a HAC(either Orbital,or Sub Orbital) could fight and win against an Evangelion,using its` higher mobility. But not Unit 05. It was both,bigger and stronger than the enemy`s attack crafts, but it was also just as mobile. The A.T. Field(weak as it was) would prove to make her machine an even bigger pain in the ass for the enemy. Radar kept its` muteness,and that worried Mari.It was not good. The enemy had to show up soon. She decided the Unity could be made to fight if she fired a shot from the railgun in the direction of the ,,Dawnbreaker,,.
,,Can I get authorization to fire?,,-she directed her question towards central command, it being safely situated in the Geofront,the most impervious military base that could currently exist.
,,Yes,you may.,,-Military Operations Director Katsuragi said calmly, not betraying even a bit of her current nervousness.
,,Good. Commencing direct attack on target with rail cannon.,,-Mari said calmly enough.
She clicked a few buttons on the left control stick.
,,Left arm attachment authorized.,,-a female recording chimed.
Mari moved around to get comfortable,and focused on physically aiming the left arm for fire,while following and aligning the digital targeter.
,,Target acquired.You can fire.,,-the recording continued.
Mari twitched her left hand slightly and twenty tons of titanium alloy were sent forward with amazing force against the space station. Seconds later a hit was registered. A bright, ephemeral flash signified the fact that damage was dealt. Still no radio response. That was odd. Too odd. Was it a trap? There was a series of flashes across the space station. Then,half a minute later a Light-class Close Range-type OHAC sped past Mari. She responded by quickly turning around and shooting it with the rail cannon, with surprising accuracy. The mecha exploded,with a quick bright flash. Mari turned towards the station,ripping off covering fire with the rail cannon,as she sped towards it quickly. Multiple OHACs attacked her,simlutaneoously,from multiple sides. In response Mari just activated her A.T. Field, shrugging off, the ranged attacks and having the close range charges simply bounce off. She cut the distance to the ,,Dawnbreaker,, quickly. She was just five kilometers from the station when there finally was a radio response.
,,Surrender your forces,humans.,,-a deep, lilting husky female voice sounded, signifying that Kaede, styling herself Lady Of The Unity and Firstborn Of The Diclonius, the main leader of the Unity was aboard the station. The onboard computer`s triangulation, Mari onset confirmed that.
That was great.Now she had more incentive to attack the station. She engaged the prog. sword. The large blade let off a bit of light when it started vibrating. She held onto it lightly, as to allow quick slashes. The Eva closed the distance of five kilometers to three in under a minute, slashing multiple OHACs through the cockpits. She had not killed before, but she did not care regardless.T hey were just targets. Oh,how did she enjoy her job. Especially right now. She lent half an ear to the radio conversation from time to time. It consisted of an exchange of threats between the Military Operations Director and the Lady Of The Unity. It could be entertaining, had she not a more pressing matter at hand. She proceeded to advance until she heard a direct command. Over the course of her training she had learned to separate those from ordinary conversation on the radio.
,,Mari. Stay where you are,and cease fire.,,-was how it went like.
She did just so, turning off thrusters and using reverse ones to stop.
,,Good.,,-Kaede`s voice resounded-,,Now hand the machine over.,,
,,We can retreat,but we won`t just give you Unit 05.,,- Misato Katsuragi responded in a significantly higher voice .
,,Won`t you? If you do not we will destroy it. Along with the carrier and the support fleet. None will be spared. If we find escape pods we will destroy these too.,,-Kaede was on videoscreen. She was of moderate height, with long unnaturally red hair, red eyes, pale skin and a beautiful well-kept body. She was in her late twenties Mari could judge. The twin hornlets, visible on her head, signified her diclonius heritage. The diclonius being a mutant species of humans, with telekinetic abilities. She was one of the small amount of fertile diclonius there were. The Unity`s creation and leading policies centered around forcing humanity to accept and support the diclonius as its` successor species. Humanity had tried to smother the diclonius species in its` crib but they persisted. The early 00s saw multiple research facilities open, centered on the research and containment of diclonii. The projects fell apart by around 2005 however. And soon after the Unity was started by Kaede. In 2012 war erupted. A horrible war which took about seventy percent of humanity with it. A war that still raged on today.
,,This is inhumane.Your terms are still rejected,,-Misato was adamant.
,,And it was not inhumane when you kept us in cages like animals? It was humane how you treated us, how you used us as mere labrats? It was humane to smother our newborn in their cribs? You humans do not deserve kind treatment.Your whole species is savage and monstrous.You desrve no mercy.,,-Kaede said in a grim voice.
,,I wasn`t responsible for the decisions the government took, regarding you and your kin,when you emerged. I,however am responsible for the lives of the orbital fleet that was dispatched against you`s crew .I beg you. Think of all the lives you will erase with your action. They are not responsible for the government`s actions. We do not need to cause more death. There has been death enough.,,-Misato`s voice was calm, but it could be seen she was internally on the verge of breaking.
,,And that is why I ask you to hand over Evangelion Unit 05.,,-Kaede said triumphantly.
,,We will not. You will only use its` technology to kill and enslave the rest of us. Or at least try.,,-Misato`s voice was almost shaking.
,,Enslave? No,we will simply castrate most of you, and find male diclonii. Humans can die out, much more slowly, and much more peacefully if you just simply realize the futility of your struggle Lieutenant-Colonel Katsuragi. Now we give you a last chance at surrendering, before we destroy Unit 05 and your fleet.,,-the Lady Of The Unity was calm and collected as always.
,,We…deny…your advance.,,-Military Operations Director Katsuragi said slowly.
Just as Mari was about to begin retreat maneuvers a bright flash from the ,,Dawnbreaker,, blinded her. Next thing she felt was horrible pain. Insanely horrible pain. Her cockpit shook and both her feet were forced into the foot-pedals with immense power.
,,Head section destroyed!Main OS unresponsive!,,-a panicked voice shouted. A voice she recognized. The young technician which greeted her at the entry plug/
,,Main thrusters engaged.Mari,disengage them,re-entry will fry you in the LCL!,,-the young man shouted in panic.
Mari removed her legs from the pedals. One thruster disengaged. But the other was stuck.
,,Fucking hell no!,,-Mari screamed.
She tried to unjam the pedal, but she could not. The Evangelion soared downwards. Mari screamed as she tinkered frantically with the pedal. She managed to disengage the thruster.
,,There I did it!,,-she shouted victoriously.
,,E-evangelion Unit 05…has…already entered the atmosphere,Mari.,,-the technician spoke in a sad,grim voice.
Mari screamed. Tears started running from her eyes. She could feel the LCL get warmer. She screamed,crying. She screamed again. She kept screaming in horror,pain as the LCL started burning her skin off and anger. She kept screaming until she inhaled again,superheated liquid scorching her lungs and forcing her into a painful silence as the Evangelion plunged to its` death along with her.