Song of the Crane

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11/22/2003 - 00:00

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In another place, and in another time - Mayuka Masaki was seperated her family after the attack on Tokyo. She grew up with a new name, and a new life - as the daughter of Gendo and Yui Ikari - and sister to Shinji.

  1. Prologue: The Planet Jurai - Earth Date - July 21, 1998

    Mayuka was sleeping. She'd slept a good portion of the entire ceremony. Tenchi nearly found this amusing. Here she was, being declared the heir apparent to the throne of the Juraian Empire, and she was snoozing. Not to say he couldn't blame her. She was nearly six months old - and he almost envied her in her sleep. The room was hot and had a drowsy feel to it.

  2. Mayuka sat up in bed and stared to cry. Deep and frightened - down the hallway, Masaki Noboyuki slowly came awake and rose from his bed. This was the only night in the past four that Mayuka had woken up crying. Not even when Tenchi and Ryoko had left had she cried. Now, she was engaged in full fledged - "I want my daddy now' tears.

    He slid the door of her room open. "What's the matter, Machi?" Noboyuki sat down on the bed and gathered his grandchild into a hug. "Bad dream?"

    Mayuka kept crying. "I want daddy!"

  3. The train slowly began to move out of the station. Achika yawned and leaned back in her seat. "I hate trains sometimes"

    Shinji gave his sister a smile. "No, you just hate to wake up early."

    "Maybe that's it. Or the fact that I already know father's not going to be happy I came with you. Now ask me if I care what he thinks."

    "Do you?"

    "No Shinji. I don't. I've understood for a long time he doesn't care about me anymore. He still cares something for you, I know that, but I'm more or less a tax deduction."

  4. Shinji slowly sat up rubbing his head. Suzahara had hit him twice - he wasn't dizzy, but it still hurt like hell. Ayanami swam into his gaze.

    "There's an emergency. I'll report in first." The pale girl ran off as fast as she could. Shinji pulled himself to his feet and took off after her. Another Angel. It'd been several weeks - he'd hoped that there would have been more time...no time for regrets.

  5. For Yosho, the past fifteen years had been absolute agony. He leaned back in his chair, staring outside at the lush, green countryside of rural Jurai. It reminded him of the Shinto Shrine in Okayama. Of the white house, and of his family. If he closed his eyes, he could hear Achika's laughter, followed by Tenchi's, and then Mayukas. Mayuka. They had been fools have not packed everything up and just left for Jurai right after Antarctica vanished. Then everything would be better.

    "Yosho? Are you all right?"

  6. The memory was an old one. Achika burrowed under the covers in her sleep and fell deeper into the past. She wasn't very old...but it was after she had started living with mom and father. She'd had a nightmare, about something. Shinji hadn't been born yet, but mom was very pregnant...it must have been the end of April or the start of May. She sat up in bed, sobbing softly.

    The light clicked on and a shadow fell in her doorway. "Sweet Pea? You okay?"

    "I had a bad dream."

  7. Achika dumped a handful of herbs into the rice cooker as the door opened. "Welcome home."

    Asuka kicked off her shoes and marched in ahead of Misato and Shinji. "Hey Achika, did you know your brother doesn't know how to swim?"

    Achika turned. "Yes I did."

    Shinji shuffled down to his room, head down. "Asuka..."

    "Can you swim, Achika?" Asuka folded her arms, grinning.

    "Of course I know how to swim." Achika turned back to the counter and started rolling the meat in the coconut batter she had made.

  8. Achika woke that morning with a pounding headache. She was no stranger to migraines - but this one was far worse than the norm. She winced and shoved her head under the pillow. She whimpered as the alarm went off, the low buzz causing her head to throb.

    Shinji rose and turned the alarm off. "Achika? Are you okay?"

    "No. I'm not getting up today."

    Shinji nodded. "Migraine?"

    In response, Achika wiggled her left foot, which was stuck out from under the blanket.

  9. On a third planet from a yellow sun, a bright blue against the blackness. All seemed calm for a moment, and then, in the Northern Hemisphere, a single flare of light surged upwards. Then, it was silent - and fourteen thousand people perished in Nevada, in the country known as the United States with the disappearance of NERV 02.

    ****

  10. Shinji took off down the hill at a full run. It was rare for him not to be informed of an approaching angel. He'd never really heard the alarm go off. By the time he reached the locker rooms, both Asuka and Rei were long gone. As Shinji pulled his plug suit on hurriedly, he hoped Achika had found a shelter. Personally, Shinji didn't know where any shelters were located, save for the one near the school.

    ****

  11. Asuka woke to an unpleasant smell. She rose from her bed and leaned out into the hallway. "Misato, what the hell are you doing?"

    "Making breakfast, sleepy head!"

    "Are you sure? Sounds and smells like you're destroying the kitchen!"

    "Oh quit complaining and come eat! Its good!"

  12. Shinji knew he shouldn't stand around in the lobby of the hotel staring, but it was very hard not to do so. It reminded him of some of the programs he'd seen on Television - in fact, he had seen this hotel on a Ultimate 10 in which this place had ranked seventh on luxury hotels of the world. Seventh. Holy shit, whoever this Mr. Masaki is, he is loaded... It was probably a good thing Asuka wasn't here, Shinji mused - she might demand to move in with Achika. Then again - if she made that decision, well - they wouldn't be here for very long.

  13. Two more angels. Just two more. For Gendo Ikari, the journey seemed longer than his life itself. He leaned back in his chair and sighed, staring out the window. Two angels until he would see Yui again. Before they could be - a family again in a different place. This time, nothing could hurt them. Nothing would part them. They would be together.

    And even Achika will be happy....

    Wait. Achika's birth parents were dead. Those that were already dead would not be a part of Instrumentality. That much was known. Furthermore -

  14. Asuka came home shortly after Misato and Shinji did. She had been thinking. She really didn't want to go back to Germany when it was all over. All that was there was a father who forgot her birthday, and a stepmother who pretended to care. That wasn't what she wanted. It's also a long way from Shinji... Common sense told her that she and Shinji might not always be together...she was smart enough to know that people change as time goes onward.

  15. The alarms sounded distant, for a moment the three of them stood there, listening.

    "What do you suppose is going on?" Shinji looked upwards toward a distant sound.

    "I'm guessing someone is hacking into the MAGI." Asuka stood.

    Shinji turned to Asuka. "Why do you think that?"

    Asuka folded her arms. "Simple. Hack the MAGI, shut down the lock down - and attack."

    "Simple basic strategy." Achika got off the stairs. "Which is causing me to consider Plan E."

    "What's Plan E?"

    "Plan E - battle stations."

  16. Shinji found himself laying down, or partially laying down...and merged with Rei. The stench of LCL was almost overpowering. "Ayanami? Where are we?"

    Rei responded, her voice flat and calm. "This is the sea of LCL... The primordial soup of life. A world without AT Fields... without your own shape. An ambiguous world where it is impossible to tell where you end and other people start. A fragile world where you exist everywhere, and thus exist nowhere."

    "Have I died, then?"

  17. The next three days passed quickly. Both Achika and Asuka's health improved enough for Washu to no longer be concerned. Asuka's eye no longer bothered her, and most of her trouble came from adjusting to the implant. Achika, who had sustained first to second degree burns on seventy percent of her body, had healed to where she now appeared to have just a rather nasty sunburn. She wasn't so hot all the time. Her main trouble was nervousness.

  18. It only took two months for the entire thing to be planned, organized, and prepared. That was almost to fast for Achika. Even more shocking was the number of people that were slated to attend - one thousand and twenty four people. She'd never seen that many people at once. Even worse, she only knew twenty four of the guests. She didn't know what was worse, the concept of being the center of that many people's attention, or the twenty pounds of undergarments she had on.

  19. Ten Years Later - Earth

    The planet was calm under a sky of grey. For ten years, the Earth had slowly began to recover from the horror of the Third Impact. Few animals and plants had managed to survive, and those that had, remained unaware of the event taking place. On a worn beach in the former city of Tokyo-3, the Sea of LCL stirred slightly in the warm spring breeze. Then - motion.

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