Shinji breathed deeply as the cockpit filled with LCL, his hands gripping the controls tightly. He tried to clear his mind and relax, wanting to focus on the mission at hand, but he was still a little unnerved from the "Angel's" earlier flyby. Once again, he had to go up and fight it alone. Still, he was at least safe inside the protective shell of EVA Unit-01.
In the Command Center, Misato watched the monitors; some showed images of the purple colossus that was Unit-01, while others viewed the Angel devouring its captured meal from afar. Asuka and Rei stood nearby as Ritsuko — along with the other technicians — reviewed Unit-01's specifications before launch. Asuka sulked with her arms crossed, pouting, and Rei simply studied the monitors. Unable to find a better target, Asuka directed her heated glare at Misato.
"Why are we even here if you're just going to send stupid Shinji to fight the Angel?" Asuka whined.
"Because we need you to be on standby in case something goes wrong. As far as we know, one EVA should be enough, but since we don't know what this thing is or what it might be capable of," Misato explained patiently until Asuka looked away.
"Still seems stupid," she murmured; Rei stood silently.
Makoto turned to Misato. "Evangelion Unit-01 is ready for launch," she announced.
"Then launch!" Misato ordered. Makoto nodded and input the command.
In an instant, the holding mechanism was released, and Unit-01's platform shot up through a tunnel several miles long. At the end of the tunnel were two doors leading to the city above which quickly opened, bringing the mechanical giant to the surface. Shinji readied himself as the harness that held Unit-01 in place released, allowing it to move freely.
"Remember, Shinji, try to injure or cripple it. I want to study this thing alive, if possible," Ritsuko reminded him over the video link.
"Right," Shinji said, nodding. He moved the controls forward, willing the colossal machine to take its first step forward. He was ready to fight.
The Giant Bat viciously devoured the two people it had captured; their terrified screams had died out an hour ago. It wasn't a very filling meal, but it was the best it could muster at the moment. Its ears perked up at the sound of enormous, booming footsteps approaching it at an increasing rate. The Bat looked up to see Unit-01 barreling towards it like an Olympic runner, the cable in its back thrashing from the motion. The Bat screeched at the oncoming giant before taking to the air and diving towards Unit-01.
The purple colossus stopped upon seeing the Bat fly up into the air and barrel down towards, raising its arms in preparation to catch the flying beast. But, once the creature got within range, it unleashed an incredibly high-pitched shriek. The giant's arms fell limp as the bat latched onto Unit-01 and bit into its neck.
Inside the cockpit, Shinji screamed and instinctively covered his ears to try and block out the horrific shriek. It was as if someone was scratching a chalkboard with rusty razor blades and broadcasting the results through a giant amplifier. The volume of the shriek was so loud it drowned out the messages from the Command Center and even caused one of the monitors to crack. But Shinji's pain was not over yet; when the beast bit into Unit-01's neck, the mental synchronization caused him to feel two daggers sink into his own neck, adding to his screams of agony.
Back at the Command Center, everyone looked on as the unknown creature sank its fangs into Unit-01 and refused to let go. Misato, mouth agape, watched with a mixture of fear and anger as Unit-01 simply stood there and took the monster's attack.
"Come on, Shinji, you're better than this, just…fight through the pain!" she yelled into the microphone, her voice rattling through the receiver at the other end.
And indeed, Shinji grit his teeth before forcing his hands to the controls. Pushing back the pain of the beast's bite, he managed to make Unit-01 raise its arms and toss the creature aside, the Bat taking a small chunk of Unit-01's flesh with it before falling onto its back. Quickly Shinji tackled the Bat, pinning it to the ground. But once it was pinned, the beast let out another ear-piercing shriek, leaving Shinji to cover his ears and writhe while the creature slid out of his grasp. Once it had escaped, the beast took flight, heading away from the colossus.
Misato once again called Shinji on the communications link.
"Shinji, you're going to need to shoot that thing down so we can capture it. We're sending you a rifle to help, try to aim for the wings," she ordered as a structure emerged from the ground a mile away from Unit-01 and opened, revealing the huge Pallet Rifle.
"Got it," Shinji said before getting Unit-01 to stand and run for the newly emerged rifle.
While the purple giant made its way to the giant gun, the Bat circled back and dove towards Unit-01 with claws outstretched. It didn't take long for Unit-01 to reach the Pallet Rifle and remove it from the holster before aiming it at the beast. Shinji did his best to focus on the incoming monster's wings and began firing. His first three shots missed before the fourth one managed to graze the top of the Bat's left wing, causing the creature to cry out in agony. Still, it continued to push forward with its attack, shrieking as it dove.
Shinji fought the urge to cover his ears in pain; the shriek caused his audio feed to fizzle and more cracks to form on the monitors, while his eardrums felt like they would pop at any moment. Despite all of this, Shinji continued to fire wildly at the Bat and, while most of the shots missed, he managed to get one shot in at its wing and another at its side. The Bat cried out once more before flying away in, leaving Unit-01 to kneel down and drop its gun.
"Shinji! Are you alright?" Misato shouted over the comm.
Shinji, however, couldn't hear her as his ears rang, drowning out any other noise. After a minute of silence, the ringing dissipated and Shinji could hear Misato's pleas over the comm.
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine, I just…need a minute," he said weakly, sinking into his chair.
Misato watched the huge screen showing Unit-01 kneeling before cutting to the Bat landing on another building. The creature's wounds were seeping red blood, and the way it shuddered and limply moved its wing indicated that it indeed felt pain. However, as Misato and everyone else watched, the bullet wounds seemed to heal at an extraordinarily fast pace.
"Stupid Shinji, I bet I could've taken down that thing without any problems. Why didn't you send me out first, huh?" Asuka complained, breaking the silence as she pouted.
"Amazing," Ritsuko said with a soft sigh, ignoring Asuka as she observed the creature's wounds healing themselves as the minutes ticked by.
"Damn it...this thing can heal like an Angel, too?" Misato grumbled.
"Hey! Aren't you going to answer me?" Asuka interrupted.
"In a minute, Asuka," Misato said in the calmest tone she could muster.
"It's healing faster than you would expect, but I wouldn't say it's on par with the Angels, so it shouldn't be too difficult to take down," Risuko said, answering Misato's earlier question.
"But we still have the problem of that sonic attack it keeps using," Misato rebutted.
"True, but maybe if we—" Ritsuko was interrupted by the sound of the alarm going off once again.
"What now?" Misato shouted.
"We have another unknown object emerging off the coast of Tokyo-3," Maya answered.
"Blood Type?" Ritsuko asked.
"Orange, ma'am," Maya replied.
"Put it on-screen," Misato ordered; Maya nodded.
The screen cut to the coast of Tokyo-3, where a dark shadow drew closer to the surface before a huge monster erupted out of the water and crashed onto the shore. The enormous, putrid yellow creature had two giant legs holding up its comparatively small torso. Its feet had four clawed toes, radially spaced around each foot. The thing's torso had various spikes poking out from its sides as well as a few on its back, along with one large spike at the bottom end of its trunk. It was equipped with four tentacles at the center of its torso, as well as two smaller tentacles on the bottom of its torso and on the sides of its neck. Upon reaching the shore, its beady, black eyes gazed upon the new landscape before its mouth opened like a four-pedaled flower and let out a savage roar.
Ritsuko's eyes widened in terror and awe while Misato gritted her teeth.
"Damn it, how many of these things are there?" she asked aloud to no one in particular before turning to the technicians.
"Get Unit-02 prepped for launch." Misato turned to Asuka. "Asuka, get suited up."
"Finally," Asuka said in a snobbish, excited tone before turning and walking down the hall.