Evangelion Third Genesis: Part Two
The phone rang shrilly once, then rang again. A hand came out from under the covers and reached out blindly. A emply glass fell to the floor, a book soon joined it but finally, the receiver was grabbed and pulled sluggishly under the covers.
"Yes?" the sleepy voice asked. There was a moment's pause, then "Yes, this is Maya Ibiki. Yes, this is she."
There was a extended period of silence, and a sleepy mind slowly began to work. Suddenly Maya sat right up in her bed, her brown eyes wide and her short black hair sticking up wildly as the sheets puddled around her waist.
"Misato?" Maya blurted out.
Misato's clearly amused voice came through loud and clear, "I'm glad to hear that you're awake at last."
"How can I help you?" Maya squeaked nervously.
Misato quietly said, "I hope you'll come back to work. NERV has been reactivated, and we could use your help."
"I resigned," Maya reminded her, "after everything that happened with sempai." She thought of Ritsuko and felt a burst of pain that she quickly tried to bury.
"I know," Misato admitted. She paused for a few seconds, and Maya wondered what was happening on the other end of the line. "I was just thinking that Ritsuko could really use your help," Misato said casually.
"She's there?" Maya gasped softly.
"I couldn't get the charges against her dismissed," and Misato sounded quite amused as she said, "but for her punishment I was able to get her assigned as a scientific resource here at NERV." There was a beat of silence, "Things are pretty disorganized here right now. So, would you be interested in rejoining NERV?"
Maya didn't even have to think about it, "I'll be there. When do you need me?"
"As soon as possible," a relieved Misato answered. "Ritsuko will be getting here at Tokyo-3 tomorrow, can you make it here by then?" she asked.
"I'll be there," Maya answered her firmly. She found out which building to go to and was offered an apartment in the city before she gently lay the phone back in to its cradle.
Maya looked around her Tokyo apartment, already thinking of the details she needed to attend to. First, she called her landlord, explaining that she had to move out immediately. Then, packing her clothes.
Most of her items she just bundled up as small as she could and packed into the cases, then she reached the bottom drawer of her dresser. She pulled it open and almost reverently pulled out the plastic wrapped bundle that lay there.
It unfolded easily, her NERV uniform. Maya hadn't been sure why she had saved it so carefully when she had resigned, but now she knew. She let herself think the thoughts that she had been fighting back since Misato called, 'I get to see Ritsuko again!'
Early the next morning, and Maya was ready to go. She called up a few friends she had made in Tokyo, put the items she couldn't pack up into storage, and prepared to leave. She had come to Tokyo because she wanted to get away from Tokyo-2 and it's sister city Tokyo-3, and everything that they represented to her. She wanted a normal life, or as normal as she could get.
The train was easy to catch, the first taking her from Tokyo to Tokyo- 2. It was a popular trip, people from the city wanting to see the 'city of the future' that was so nearby. Maya looked out at the buildings running by, and let herself think.
Maya remembered some of what happened in the end, at least she thought she did. The army had invaded NERV, and she had crouched down behind a control panel, waiting for rescue. Or if she was honest with herself, waiting to die. Then... it happened.
The gunfire, the weapons discharges, they all slowed, then finally stopped. She flowed through the ceiling at her, smiling warmly. Ritsuko's ghost.
'But she's alive, isn't she?' a frowning Maya thought to herself. 'So what was it that I saw?' she wondered. The memories got awfully blurry after that, and she eventually found herself back where she started from, crouched down in the NERV control center as someone announced over the communication system that the fighting was all over.
The next few days were pure chaos. Misato in the hospital, near death. Ritsuko being held in a military infirmary, pending her trial for the attempted murder of Gendo Ikari. Rei gone, Shinji in a coma, all the EVA's in ruins or missing.
Maya had hit her limit, and tendered her resignation to her immediate superior. She left NERV, intending never to return.
'So much for that idea,' Maya thought to herself wryly.
Arriving at Tokyo-2, Maya made a little detour before boarding her next train. She changed in the ladies bathroom, pulling on that familiar, comfortable uniform once again. She felt curious glances as she went to the military train, curiosity and a bit of respect. When she showed her NERV pass to the officer at the train, he threw her a instant salute.
'What on Earth is going on?' Maya wondered.
She settled into a seat beside another young woman, a dark haired woman who looked at her wide eyed. "Are you really a NERV officer?" she gushed.
Maya blinked in surprise, "Well, yes..."
The woman actually squealed with happiness. "Where you there for the battle for NERV headquarters?" she asked eagerly.
"Yes," Maya answered her cautiously.
"What was it like?" the girl looked at her breathlessly.
"Chaotic," Maya blinked. "Who are you?" she asked quietly.
"Oh," the girl blushed, "my name is Nako." Maya looked at the girl push her large, round glasses up higher on her nose and dearly hoped that this trip was going to be much faster than she thought it usually was.
Maya left the train, feeling a bit guilty that her new friend had to continue onward. She looked around to get her bearings, and then made her way through the high tech city.
"Fifth floor," Maya murmured, checking her hastily scribbled directions as she exited the elevator on the correct level, "office 5-C." She went a short way down the hall, finding a unmarked office door. The one on the left said, '5-B', the one on the right said, '5-D.'
'This must be the place,' Maya thought, putting her hand on the door. It opened up under her touch, and she heard a familiar voice.
"... found a Rei Ayanami," Misato finished.
There was a short pause, and Maya heard Ritsuko say, "A Rei Ayanami? You mean another clone?"
Maya drew her hand back, knocking loudly on the doorway.
"Come in," Misato called out.
Maya pushed the door open and moved to stand in front of Misato, "Maya Ibiki, reporting for duty, sir." She paused, "Or ma'am, whichever you'd prefer." Ritsuko sat up almost as soon as she saw her, and Maya had to fight a smile.
"Just Misato," the dark haired woman smiled wryly, "I'm not too into the military style."
"Maya," and Ritsuko smiled, "it's good to see you." The blonde pushed her hair back nervously, revealing how pale she was.
'I forgot, it hasn't been that long since she got out of the hospital,' Maya thought. Before she could stop herself she asked, "Have you been getting enough rest, sempai?"
Ritsuko blushed, looking down as she muttered, "Don't start mother henning me, now."
Misato shifted on the couch, wincing a bit as she grabbed her ribs. "I bet we could both use some of that, actually," she admitted.
Maya smiled at Misato, silently mouthing 'Thank you.'
Misato smiled back, "Why don't the two of you take the rest of the day off, get settled in?"
"But..." Ritsuko started.
Misato smiled impishly before adding, "It'll give the two of you a chance to catch up with each other, too."
To Be Continued...