Second Fight: Dilandau vs. Ayanami Rei

Aerial shot: the Battle Arena, searchlights raking the sky.

Voiceover Drew Carey: Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway, the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter - oh, wait, wrong show. Heh-heh.

*Kerpow!* Carey is clubbed like a baby harp seal by indignant supporters of Clive Anderson.

Voiceover Clive Anderson: Oh dear. That was a bit unnecessary. Nevertheless, let's proceed with... a fight between two artificially-engineered, emotionally damaged albino mecha pilots. Oh, for heaven's sake. This is me, Clive Anderson, saying good night. Good night. Stomps off muttering.

Zoom down into the arena, where pit crews are polishing Dilandau's Alceides and Eva-OO. Arisa and Kyoko, still making a cameo from All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, are watching them from the commentary box.

Kyoko: See, we need an extension cord like that at home. To camera. Good evening, everyone! Tonight we'll witness the arena's first mecha battle, a clash between two titans of the anime world as Escaflowne and Evangelion go head-to-head.

Arisa: And after last week's embarrassment to extreme sports, the participants have signed a legally binding agreement not to discover they have a lot in common and refuse to fight and go shopping together, Goddamnit.

Kyoko: They didn't really, did they?

Arisa: Well. Evil shopping. But nevertheless!

Kyoko: This programme is brought to you by the number 0 and the word nevertheless. And now, in the red corner, Diiiiiiiiilandau Aaaaaaaaalbatou!

Dilandau enters to We Will Rock You by Queen. The Dragonslayers follow, stomping and clapping to the song. Cheers and flower-throwing from the crowd, and one pair of boxer shorts.

Dilandau: I don't ever want to find out whose these are.

Unidentifiable Voice: Aww, nuts.

Arisa: And, in the blue corner, wearing a very fetching, uh, plug-suit, Ayanami Rei!

Rei steps forward impassively. Light applause and another pair of boxer shorts.

Kyoko: I think that was the same person. The combatants are now entering their mecha. It's a good thing this arena doesn't have a roof, because man, that Eva is tall. NERV staff have been in and out of here all day setting up scaffolding and running in one huge mother of an extension cord.

Arisa: They look pretty mismatched, I've got to say. And I'm puzzled as to why Dilandau is choosing to fight in the older-model Alceides, as opposed to the more advanced Oreades. It looks bug-sized next to a machine built for fighting Angels. Maybe he's trying to make a statement, I don't know.

Kyoko: Nevertheless, he looks confident. Of course, we can't even see Rei - she's inside that funny plug thing. It looks like the NERV team are ready to go - they're clearing the area. The Dragonslayers, too, are getting the hell out of the way. Gatti seems to have picked up the shorts; good luck to him. Now, let's get ready to rumble! I just always wanted to say that.

The Oreades and Eva-00 begin to move. Dilandau goes straight to flight mode and whizzes round behind Rei. She turns to follow him and he does the same thing again; she makes a grab.

Arisa: I just want to say, that's one ugly giant robot. It's got no styling.

Asuka Langley Soryu: Not like my liebchen!

Kyoko: Siddown, kid. This is remarkable - Dilandau is getting Rei wound up in her own extension cord! He's taking advantage of his mecha's smaller size and greater manoeuvrability and literally running rings around the Eva.

Rei tries to disentangle herself but Eva-00 stumbles and falls full-length, demolishing the arena restrooms.

Kyoko: That's not good.

Arisa: Yeah, when the giant soft-drink tubs start kicking in, people are going to be really pissed at her. She's panicked and ejected. It looks like this is going to come down to hand-to-hand combat.

Kyoko: And Dilandau swoops down and slashes the plug open with a liquid-metal scimitar! Is she even going to be alive in there? I can hear him laughing...

Arisa: See, this is what happens when you build realistic engineering limitations into science-fiction. Nerds praise you, but people from fantasy series with flying-rock-powered mecha kick your ass.

Dilandau lands and leaps out of the Alceides, runs to the steaming plug and drags Rei out by the scruff of her neck. He holds her up so they're face-to-face, grinning.

Dilandau: Hello, little girl.

Rei: Oh, shit.

Kyoko: I can't see what's happening - is he going to finish her? No - no, it looks like he's been distracted by something inside the plug. He's reaching in - he's got...

Arisa: Ikari Gendo's glasses.

Dilandau: These yours?

Rei doesn't speak, but tries to take them back. He holds them out of her reach; she reaches for them, still wordless. Dilandau drops her to the ground and holds the glasses over her head.

Dilandau: Jump for them, now! He begins to laugh. Rei jumps desperately but he's taller than her, and taunts her, bringing the glasses in reach, then yanking them away.

Kyoko: He's just gotta play with her, doesn't he?

Rei loses it and hurls herself at Dilandau's glasses hand, manages to grab his arm, hauls herself up and sinks her teeth into his wrist through his glove.

Arisa: AwRIGHT! Catfight! Catfight!

Dilandau: OW! Let go, you crazy little bitch! He flails his arm to get Rei off but she hangs on like grim death; his glove is slipping down his arm; one more swing and she goes flying off with glove and glasses.

Kyoko: And there she goes! Ouch - she's hit the wall. She's... she's not getting up. Paramedics are in the arena, and they're signalling that... they're signalling that Ayanami Rei is dead!

Crowd: Gasp! Someone throws another pair of boxer shorts.

Arisa: Will you cut that out!? This is a solemn moment!

Kyoko: You know, there's something deeply uncool about killing a frail fourteen-year-old girl. Frowns at Dilandau.

Dilandau: But I wasn't even trying to kill her! At the time.

Ikari Gendo: Never mind! There's more where that came from.

The NERV crew tidy Rei into a bodybag and take her away.

Kyoko: Sad, weird and icky, but true.

Arisa: So does that count as a win, or what? I mean, the other fighter's dead. The toilets are trashed. We've got to announce some sort of result.

Kyoko: Ladies and gentlemen! The score is Eva-00, 1, Arena Restrooms, nil! Please just hang on until you get home!

Arisa: Which is where we're going. C'mon, Kyoko, I had half a litre of apple Fanta before the match. They get their handbags and leave. The audience file out.

Dilandau: But did I win or not!?

Chirping of crickets.

Hideaki Anno: I'm so depressed.

<<the end>>

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