Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Chapter 5 – The Three Pieces of Me
1985 – Sapporo, Japan
The rain outside her apartment continued to fall, as it had all day, as the monsoon was going over the city, between the wind and rain, it made her mood more depressed than it already was. It was a good thing the sounds of the weather were so loud, that way, no one would hear her sorrow.
Naoko Akagi was lying in bed alone, crying. She had been trying to contact someone all day, someone she thought had liked her. But it turns out he barely remembered their encounter from last month. He hadn't called her since that night, and Naoko, as smart as she was, was completely naïve when it came to the motivations of men. When she mentioned the reason for her phone call, she was laughed at by the man and simply told to go. "Take care of it." The sad news for Naoko was that she was pregnant, and what made it worse is that the man who did it, didn't love her at all, and could care less about the child they had created together.
In about 8 months she would have a child to raise on her own, a child she hoped would love her. But, still, she was alone, her mother lived in Hyogo. "Maybe I should move back home, with mom, it might be easier than being alone. I don't think I can do this alone." Naoko said aloud, and then she went back to crying. "Why does this always happen to me, will I ever learn from all of the stupid things I do with men, or will I always fall into the same trap?" she cried harder than before. "I'M SO FUCKING STUPID!" She yelled at the ceiling.
Even as a successful woman, Naoko always had trouble with men. She lost her virginity to a one night stand when she was 15, and in the five years since then, she had gone to college and gotten her masters, and was working on her doctorate. But with men, it was a series of one night stands that amounted to nothing more than sex, sex, and more sex. And at the end of it all, she was always left alone. Now, this time, she was alone, but she wouldn't be for very long, seeing as she had a kid on the way.
"How will I finish my doctorate, with a baby?" Naoko said as she continued to cry. "I'll have to move back home with my mother, or just leave the brat with my mother so I can finish my work on LAZARUS, otherwise my thesis will mean nothing. I'm not qualified to be a mother, I would be a horrible mother, I don't care about other people at all."
"I guess I have some decisions to make in the morning." As Naoko said this, lightning flashed outside the window, illuminating the dark room she was in, her face was red, and the makeup she had been wearing had run from her excessive crying, and now covered her face and was all over her pillow. After turning restlessly for several minutes, she continued to cry until she fell asleep, unsure of what the future had in store for her.
1991 – Hyogo, Japan
"Ritsuko, why in the hell are you being so difficult?" Naoko yelled at her daughter as she was packing her bag for the lecture. "We're only going to a lecture, and you're too young to stay home alone. Perhaps if you behaved better, I could have a babysitter come and watch you! I wish your grandmother weren't off in Okinawa, and then she could watch you. But I'm stuck with you! It's so damn inconvenient!"
"How do you think I feel, having to go to all your stupid lectures? I don't want to go to another stupid lecture. I don't want to go to Kyoto, I'd rather be at home studying things I like to study!" Was young Ritsuko's heated response to her mother's pleas. Arguments like this had been common since she could talk coherently, and seeing as she was a genius, she spoke very much like an adult, and sometimes came off like she didn't care about anyone, cold and heartless, as her grandmother had described it, her mother especially disliked this behavior, as it reflected badly on her as a mother. Ritsuko also had a flair for sarcasm, even at the tender age of six, and didn't hold back when she was arguing with her mother.
"Why don't you go find another 'uncle' for me then, maybe he could babysit me in between all your 'research,' then I wouldn't be stuck going with you!" Ritsuko yelled back.
"How dare you talk to me that way, I AM YOUR MOTHER!" Naoko roared, she had left a bright red mark on Ritsuko's face where her hand had impacted, and blood was coming out of the corner of Ritsuko's mouth, Naoko had hit her so hard, she cut the inside of Ritsuko's cheek against her teeth.
"Why do you hate me so much? What did I ever do to you? Parents shouldn't treat kids this way!" Ritsuko said with tears in her eyes, trying to restrain herself from crying and giving her mother the satisfaction. "I HATE YOU!" Ritsuko yelled, and ran toward her room, but she was grabbed roughly by the arm and spun around by her mother.
"I don't care what you think of me, you little brat, but you will be coming with me to the lecture, and you will sit in there quietly and act respectfully towards the people in that lecture hall, including me, or there will be hell to pay when we get back home. Do you understand?"
Ritsuko, stood there in silence for a few moments, the pressure on her left arm was becoming increasingly painful, as Naoko continued to squeeze her small arm tighter and tighter. Looking into her mother's face all she saw was rage and hatred. Ritsuko could never understand why her mother was like this, she was a nice person in public, but at home she was a complete bitch, always yelling and sometimes even throwing stuff, that is when she wasn't at the lab working on her next synthetic creation.
Ritsuko finally recognized defeat, and also didn't want to be hit anymore. "Fine, I'll go, and I'll be good." Her voice sounded small and defeated, and she still had tears in her eyes. "Just, please let go of my arm."
1991 – Kyoto University
"Well that was a fun lecture wasn't it?" Naoko asked as Ritsuko was walking next to her, still looking depressed from the altercation before the lecture. "What did you think of the lecture?" Naoko continued, she felt herself getting angry again, but repressed the anger because she was in public, and didn't want to be viewed as a bad mother. "Ritsuko, I'm sorry about before, I shouldn't have hit you, I was just mad at the circumstances, not you."
Ritsuko continued to stare into space, not responding to her mother, 'She always does this, does she think I'm stupid? She's just trying to make herself feel better.' Ritsuko thought to herself. 'Maybe I should just accept the apology and try to be nicer to her, I only have to put on the happy face when I'm around her, that might work, and she may be less mad if I try to tolerate her.' Ritsuko smiled slightly and turned to her mother. "I accept your apology." Ritsuko said as bluntly as possible, and tried to look relaxed when she said it.
"Thank you sweetheart, I'm glad you're not mad at me anymore." Naoko said, but what she thought was. 'You're lucky you finally said something brat, I thought I'd have to hit you again when we got home, at least before my mother got home' Naoko sighed and kept walking, taking Ritsuko's hand in hers as she did. 'Why do I get so mad at her, she's too young to have done anything to hurt me, even if she is as smart as me, she still doesn't understand the implications of some of the things she says. Maybe that's why I'm mad, she reminds me of a younger me. Who knows, I'm a scientist, not a psychologist.'
The mother and daughter duo walked silently all the way to train, immersed in their own thoughts and trying not to cause another fight, and the pair stayed silent all the way home.
August 1998 – Artificial Evolution Laboratory
Naoko walked into her lab, and sat at her computer. She had just come back from a short break, having been unable to sleep; she was running on caffeine and willpower after being up for over 63 hours.
For those 63 hours, Naoko was finalizing her proposal for building the MAGI system. She had been using the EVE system for simulating the interactions of the three MAGI components. She had been working separately from the EVE system to finalize the schematic drawings for how the MAGI system would be built, and also finalize the formulas and technical drawings for copying a person's personality. It had taken 8 long years of work, and had been saddled with lots of problems, mostly monetary problems but some involving the technology behind it. But, finally Naoko had funding through a donor organization to the Artificial Evolution Laboratory, the Human Instrumentality Project, who had taken an avid interest in her work. Now, after several more hours of work, she would be that much closer to finishing her biggest project to date.
After working for another nine hours, Naoko was at her limit. Thankfully though, she had finished working on both parts she still needed to work on, and EVE would continue to chew on the simulations for a few more days, but all that meant was a break to get some well needed rest.
The rest would have to wait though, as there was a loud crash from the lab next door to hers 'That's odd.' Naoko thought. 'That lab is empty, there shouldn't be any noise coming from it. I should probably go see if there is a problem in there or not.' Naoko reluctantly got up and walked to her lab's door. She went down to the lab where the noise came from and saw the light was on.
She opened the door and looked inside, and saw a young woman with shoulder length brown hair cleaning something up off the floor. Looking around the young woman, Naoko saw that there were several boxes filled with documents, and a few crates with research equipment inside of them. "Excuse me, what are doing in here?" Naoko called out to the girl, which startled her and made her knock something else off the desk next to her.
"Oh, I'm sorry." She said. "I didn't realize I made that much noise when I knocked this stuff over. Are you from the lab next door?" She asked nervously.
"Yes, I am Dr. Naoko Akagi." Naoko had a rather accusing look on her face. "And I don't mean to be rude, but why are you making all this noise, some people are trying to work you know."
"Sometimes I get nervous in a new place." The young woman blushed. "And being my first day, I got a little distracted, and knocked over half the things I put on my desk. I really should be more careful. I'm very sorry for disturbing you, Dr. Akagi."
'What an odd girl, and she's a scientist and that clumsy? It's a wonder she hasn't been killed by any of her experiments yet.' Naoko thought. "So what are you here to study?"
"Well I'm here to find a way for souls to communicate with one another. If the barriers between people can be weakened, then it may be possible for people to truly understand each other. I hope that doesn't sound too convoluted." The young woman said.
"That is a very noble research goal." Naoko stopped and realized something. "But you know, I still don't know what your name is, Miss… ?"
"Oh, that's right, I didn't introduce myself, and like I said, sometimes I get nervous and distracted." She tilted her head and had a smile on her face. "My name is Yui Ikari, and it's wonderful to meet you." Yui said brightly.
To Be Continued
A/N: I do not own Evangelion or any of the characters, GAINAX and the other distributors of NGE related material do. I am simply using them as a backdrop for my fanfic.
This chapter was intended to be short, as a lot that was introduced in Chapter 2 didn't need to be repeated. However, a bit more on Ritsuko's mother and father never hurt anyone. So basically, Ritsuko is the product of a one–night stand, which explains her daddy issues, and her eventual "relationship" with Gendo (and her trying to understand her mother through a man who was bonking her mother, which, yes, is gross). Naoko on the other hand, this explains her coldness, and devotion to Gendo, and the extreme reaction she suffers when being called an. "Old Hag" by Rei I (rejected yet again! By another man who claims to love her). I took the chapter title from how the MAGI operate, with three pieces of her personality bolted on in synthetic brains.
Also I would like to note that I do not condone violence against children, I just wanted to show how violent Naoko's slap was on little Ritsuko, and well, Ritsuko's lucky her mother didn't choke the shit out of her (cause we all know what happens there, don't we?) Well Naoko, for as calm as she comes across, has a violent temper when she feels slighted which child abuse (such as I described above) could also be a partial explanation of Ritsuko's coldness towards others. Now some of these backstories may seem convoluted, but in my head, these explanations might shed some additional light on our cast of emotionally crippled (but still lovable and relatable) characters.
As I said before, and will always say at the end of chapter, please leave comments, as I would like to try to improve the story going forward any way I can. And, hell, constructive criticism is a good thing.