Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Chapter 7 – Progenial Child
1990 – Sapporo, Japan
A young brown haired girl with brilliant aqua colored eyes was out to dinner with her parents. It happened to be her eighth birthday and they were at her favorite eatery in the city, a popular curry restaurant. She loved her mother's cooking, but her curry always paled in comparison to this place's curry. Since she was three, they came to the restaurant every year per her request. The reason she remembered such a place from such a young age was because she had a photographic memory.
Meet Mari Illustrious Makinami, child progeny. The reason they came to this restaurant the first time was after receiving the results of her first I.Q. test where she scored a 160, having picked up things here and there by looking at the books in her parents' extensive library, she was able to remember everything she saw, and had a very deductive mind from what the examiners said. This restaurant happened to be the closest place to eat and after going once, every year when her parents asked where she wanted to go for her birthday, she told them here.
"Mari, are you enjoying yourself?" Her mother asked.
Mari, having her mouth full of food nodded in agreement instead of attempting to talk with her mouth full of food.
"Oh Mari, you should eat more like a young lady and not rush through your food." Her mother said.
"Oh honey relax, she's a young girl, and genius or not, she deserves to be able to act like a child once in a while." Her father said, defending Mari's actions. "Besides, she likes the food, so let her eat how she likes."
"Alright dear, I'll leave it alone." Mari's mother said with a frown on her face. Mari understood what that meant, her parents were going to be arguing after she went to bed assuming she couldn't hear the yelling. Mari assumed they would be getting a divorce sometime soon, and had prepared for it mentally, but was still hoping her parents would stay together, for her sake.
Mari however kept on a cheerful face and continued to enjoy her curry. When it came time to leave, Mari was sad because she not able to take home any curry due it the fact she ate all of it, and also because she was so full she couldn't eat anymore curry. She walked to the car with her parents and sat behind her mother on the passenger side of the car. Her father turned the car on and pulled out of the restaurant getting ready for the lengthy drive home. Mari fell asleep after a few minutes because she was full, but woke up later to her parents arguing about something.
"Listen, I was trying to be polite at dinner, but she should be able to eat to eat like a lady, she's smart enough to learn to do that." Her mother said.
"Just because she's a genius doesn't mean all the fun should be sucked from her life." Her father replied gruffly.
They continued to argue like this for several minutes, until Mari noticed a truck coming at them from the driver's side. She yelled, but her parents were so deep into their argument they didn't notice until it was too late. All Mari could remember after that was the sound of crunching metal, the car flipping over several times, her parents' screams, and something warm running down her forehead before she passed out.
When Mari woke up again she was in the hospital. She tried moving but her left arm and legs were in casts, when she tried to lift her head she realized her chest also had a cast and her neck was in a brace. With her free right arm (which was bandaged by the way) she felt her face. There was a bandage above her left eye, but no other discernible cuts. She noticed a button lying on her bed near where her right hand had been. She reached for it and with a little effort, pressed the button.
A few moments later three nurses and a doctor came rushing into her room. "What happened?" Mari asked before they could say anything.
The doctor responded. "Well, young lady, you were in a very serious car accident. The injuries you sustained could have been worse, but frankly, you're lucky to be alive."
"So that means my parents weren't that lucky then." Mari responded, with a flood of memory coming back to her detailing the moments before and during the crash before she passed out. Tears started to form in her eyes, blurring her vision. "They are dead aren't they? I remember the crash!" Mari yelled, trying to hold back her tears. "My father got crushed by the truck and my mother's head went through the window in the door as we were rolling! Just tell me!" Mari felt several tears escape from her eyes, and she started shuttering. "I know what happened, so just tell me!"
Mari didn't realize, but the three nurses in the room were also crying silently. When the doctor spoke again, he tried to keep his voice calm, even though he was holding back tears of his own. "You are correct miss, your parents perished in the crash." He paused for a moment. "I don't know how or why you remember what happened in that car, but as I said, you're lucky to be alive."
"NOOOOOO!" Mari yelled before she gave into her sadness and began to cry loudly. "Maybe if they hadn't been… arguing about how I… ate my dinner… they wouldn't be… de… de… DEAD!" Mari shouted between sobs. She blamed herself, clearly, because their argument had been about her behavior in public.
One of the nurses stepped forward and put her hand in Mari's uninjured shoulder. "It's not your fault dear, the truck driver was drunk and ran a red light, it's not your fault or your parents fault, it's that man's fault." The nurse said consolingly.
Mari didn't want to hear it. "Can I… just be left… alone?" She said, trying to control her crying, but she was still unable to.
"We will in a minute miss." The doctor said. "But first we need your name, unfortunately due to the crash, the identification your parents were carrying were unreadable, and we don't have your name or address either, and it's been two days since you were brought in, we just need some information."
"My name is Mari… Illustrious… Makinami… I have some family… in Okinawa… I can give you their… phone number…" Mari still couldn't stop crying, although it wasn't as loud as before.
"That will work for now, Mari, at least we can register you under your name instead of listing you as Hanako Yamada and look up your family information through the national insurance system." He smiled at her. "But for now we'll leave you alone for a while. Please do try and get some rest." He motioned to the nurses and they left the room.
Mari wanted to roll over on her pillow to cry but she couldn't. 'I don't like being alone, I want them back.' Was what kept going through her mind. She would end up crying herself to sleep, wishing all the while for her parents to come back to her.
1992 – Okinawa to Sapporo, Japan
Mari was walking in a graveyard, carrying a bouquet of flowers.
"Hello mom, hello dad. How have you been?" She said quietly. "It's been a while…"
It had been two years to the day since the accident, and Mari was now 10. Things hadn't been very easy the past few years. Once her aunt arrived from Okinawa, she had some company but still wished that her parents would come back. She was in the hospital for three months recovering, and with all that time all she did was read and learn so she wouldn't fall behind in her studies. It was her way to cope. Her aunt understood it and brought Mari what she asked for.
When Mari got out of the hospital, she went home to her house, but it was clear after a few days that Mari couldn't live there anymore as it brought up too may bad memories, or rather painfully joyful memories that reminded her of the loss she suffered. She had recurring nightmares where she relived the crash and woke up crying. So after another week of packing up the house, she moved to Okinawa with her aunt.
Things weren't much better down there. The nightmares were still a constant occurrence. And being new at school didn't help much. People teased her for how smart she was and told her to go back where she came from. All of this led Mari to try and find something to escape with, and she did it with music. She remembered every song she'd ever heard, and would hum the ones she liked when she ignored people, or generally when she got bored just to shut herself off from the harmful world around her.
By her 9th birthday, Mari was still not ready to deal with her parent's deaths, and refused to head back to Sapporo. However, this year was different, Mari was ready to go back, and she wanted to do it alone. She needed to do it alone.
"Why do you want to go alone Mari? I wouldn't mind going with you." Her aunt said.
"I want closure Auntie, and I need to do it alone. I hope you can understand." Mari replied.
"Ok, Mari, you can go alone. I'll get you the tickets so you can go." Her aunt said, the sound of defeat in her voice.
There was one flight per day to Sapporo from Okinawa, and after three hours on the plane, Mari arrived back in Sapporo for the first time in two years. Even as young as she was, she wanted to go back. Her first stop was to her old house. There was a new family living there now, and Mari just wanted to see it one last time, she then went past her old school. She thought back and realized that was one place she wouldn't miss from her old life. She visited a few other places on the way to one of her last stops, the graveyard.
"How have you two been?" Mari asked, placing the flowers on the grave markers. "I've missed you. It's been hard without you guys there. Auntie means well, and tries her best, but she's not you guys." Mari sat down in front of the gravestone. "I still miss you both, and I want you to come back so much" tears began to swell in her eyes. "I know it's not my fault now that you died, but… why did you have to die!" Mari started shacking, remembering the crash, the hospital, all the memories flooding back. "Why did you guys have to argue so much? Couldn't you just get along? You loved each other right? Why did it have to happen, what did I do to deserve this?" Mari started to cry, holding her face in her hands. "Why did you leave me alone!? I JUST WANT YOU BACK!" Mari completely broke down, and was unable to leave. "WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME ALONE?!"
By the time Mari felt she could move, she got up and started to leave. "I won't come back here again, mom and dad. I just can't, this is the last time I'll ever visit. I'll miss you both" Mari left the graveyard, with tears still streaming down her face. "Goodbye… "
Mari's final stop was her favorite restaurant. "I'll eat here one last time, in memory of my parents and the good times before the accident, to honor them. Once I'm done I'll never come back to this city again. I'll leave it all behind me and move on with my life." Mari said as she walked inside the restaurant.
1995 – University of the Ryukyus
Mari was just getting out of her last class of the day. She was singing under her breath as usual.
'Cause we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
'God, I'm exhausted.' She thought. Even at 13 years old, Mari had come pretty far. She had skipped all of junior and senior high school after finishing her fifth year of elementary school. She was glad to have skipped that much, mostly because she wanted to become a scientist, and she wanted that to happen as quickly as possible. In three more weeks, Mari would have her bachelor's degree, and be ready to move on to get her master's. She was taking three times the classes as everyone else in her class, and she only showed up for tests, which she aced like a kindergarten spelling test.
She walked back to her dorm room, where lived alone because of her age. She was now a ward of the state and had been placed there by the government. Her aunt had died from cancer the year before, leaving Mari alone once again. But this time, Mari ignored her loss and kept working, she wanted to bring her ideas to fruition. In what little free time she had, besides sleeping, Mari worked on her doctoral proposal.
"How do I explain why I want to do this?" Mari asked herself. "My proposal sounds insane. I want to be able to find a way to transfer he should and memories of a person into another form, like into a computer, or maybe some kind of clone body, or a robot. That way people don't have to lose their loved ones all the time. They could live forever… " Mari trailed off as she thought what it would be like if she could get her parents back, and they would never be able to leave her again.
Mari collected herself. "I have like six months before this is due, I'm not sure why I'm stressing myself out about it though." She paused. "Well, I do know why I'm stressing about it, I want it to be perfect so they'll accept my application."
"If I actually am able to perfect my theory, maybe I could bring my parents back, and I wouldn't be alone anymore. I'd have a family again, and someone to love me."
As confident and intelligent as Mari was, she was just a young girl after all. She was lonely sometimes, as she hadn't made any friends, especially considering her age compared to those around her. This left her isolated, and even though she had convinced herself that she liked being alone, she truly, only wanted a friend.
As Mari often did when she was alone, she began to cry. "I just want my parents back."
March 18, 1996 – Kyoto University
Mari had the letter in hand, not that she needed it, as she had already memorized it, which read;
"Dear Ms. Mari Makinami, It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been accepted into the metaphysical biology doctoral program. This acceptance is tentative upon your current completion of your studies at the University of the Ryukyus by the end of this term. We would like to set up a preliminary meeting with you to meet with your faculty advisor, Professor Kozo Fuyutsuki, scheduled for March 18, 1996 at 9:00a. The meeting will take place in Metaphysical Biology Lab 1 of the Scientific Research Building on our main campus. We look forward to meeting you. Regards, Jushiro Kyoraku, Dean of Students."
Mari was ten minutes early for her appointment, she had found the building without a problem. Mari breathed in deeply to relax the flurry of butterflies in her stomach, and knocked on the lab door.
"Enter." A voice from within the room said. Mari opened the door slowly and walked inside. "Ah, good morning Ms. Makinami, you're early." Professor Fuyutsuki said.
"Yes, sir, Professor Fuyutsuki, I wanted to make a good first impression." Mari responded, smiling. "May I sit down, sir?"
"Yes, please Ms. Makinami, have a seat. I have been quite eager to meet you." Fuyutsuki said. "At such a young age, you've finished your bachelor's and master's degrees. Your intelligence is extremely high, and your doctoral proposal is very intriguing. The ability to transfer the soul of one person to another person or object is an intriguing theory. How did you come up with that?"
Mari sat there silently for a few moments contemplating what to say to Fuyutsuki. 'Should I tell him the truth, or should I tell him something else. I don't want him to think I'm bat–shit crazy.' Mari couldn't decide which road to take. 'I should just tell him the truth, lying would not make me a very trustworthy candidate.'
Fuyutsuki noticed her silence. "Ms. Makinami, are you alright?"
"Yes Professor, I was just preparing my answer." Mari said, she gathered all of her strength and explained her reasons for her thesis proposal. "After my parents died when I was 8, I had trouble dealing with their deaths. I was in the car when it happened and I can remember the details very clearly. It took a couple years before I could even visit their graves. After I visited them once, the idea came to me. If I were able to salvage the souls and memories of a person and transfer them to something or someone else, people wouldn't have to die needlessly, they could be reborn. They could be saved from the mistakes of others."
Fuyutsuki sat there quietly taking in what Mari had just said. "Wouldn't that be playing God, Ms. Makinami? Wouldn't that be beyond the ethical scope of science?"
"Well, professor, it depends on how the idea is implemented. At the moment it is only a theory, so there is little probative value to its implementation without a process to create a vessel for the soul to go into." Mari explained. "The only practical use is to keep people alive that shouldn't be dead, where the decisions were taken out of their hands."
"What qualifies a person is undeserving to die, Ms. Makinami?" Fuyutsuki said calmly. He had read Mari's file, and knew she had difficulties with her parents being gone. He had already surmised why Mari had come up with the idea, but he wanted to hear it from her. He needed to confirm that it came from her grief.
"I'm not sure, every person is unique. Maybe if someone is murdered or dies as a result of someone else's carelessness, they should qualify. Kids shouldn't become orphans because of some horrible and avoidable tragedy." Mari could feel the tears ready to come to the surface again, but she did her best to keep them down. "I know with my intelligence that I've come up with a way to make it possible to bring people back to life and play God. And even if it isn't possible to bring back my parents, it should be possible to bring back the parents of another kid who might become an orphan one day."
Fuyutsuki noticed that she was starting to tremble. For all of her maturity at such a young age, she was still just a lonely young girl. "Ms. Makinami… uh… Mari, you don't have to be upset, I just wanted to try and make you truly think about the implications of your thesis, and considering your argument, you are more than capable of discerning right and wrong when it comes to ethics in science." Fuyutsuki paused. "The reason I chose you for this doctoral program is because of the promise you have. Most 14 year olds have very little awareness of the harshness of life, but you, Mari, have been exposed to many things and because you are blessed with the ability to remember everything, which is an unfair burden for any person to bare, it makes you uniquely qualified to learn from your mistakes."
Mari had done her best but was unable to hold back her tears after Fuyutsuki's kind words. "Thank… you… prof… essor" she sobbed. "And… I'm… sorry… for… crying. It's… hard… to… hold… it… in… some… times." Mari cried softly.
"Mari, it's ok to cry about things that hurt us, as long as you don't let them control you." Fuyutsuki smiled at her, he realized it was a big risk to take her on as a doctoral student but her ideas would be worth it, and she would mature in time, and what was life without taking risks. He let her cry for a little while, not wanting to interrupt her grief. "I'd like you as a student, and that's why I selected you as one of the three."
"Three?" Mari asked, as she was wiping her eyes with her arm.
"Yes, you and two other girls will be receiving rooms on campus for the next term, which starts on April 1st. I think you may be able to become friends with them, they are just as intelligent as you, but a bit older of course, and their own theses are also quite interesting." Fuyutsuki said. "So, would you like to enter the doctoral program officially Mari? The decision is all up to you."
"Yes, I'd like to work on my doctoral thesis, and it would be nice to meet some other people like me." Mari said, her eyes were still red and puffy from crying, but the tears had stopped flowing from her eyes. "I accept your offer of being in your doctoral program."
"Good! I'm glad you've accepted!" Fuyutsuki was overjoyed, and glad she wasn't crying anymore. "Well, then I will see you in a few weeks, Mari… I mean Ms. Makinami. I shouldn't be calling you by your given name, its improper."
"Thank you, Professor Fuyutsuki." Mari said as she stood up to leave. "Professor, you can call me Mari, I don't mind, I am going to be your student after all." she smiled. "And aren't I a bit young to be referred to so formally? I'm not even technically an adult yet."
Fuyutsuki smiled back. "Alright then, I will refer to you as Mari from now on. But you will have to refer to me as sensei or professor." He joked.
"Thank you sensei." Mari said as she left. She walked downstairs to leave the building and began humming another song as she exited the building.
I keep looking for something I can't get
Broken hearts, they're all around me
And I don't see an easier way to get out of this
Her diary sits by the bedside table
The curtains are closed, the cat's in the cradle
Who would have thought that a boy like me could come to this?
As Mari got to the bottom of the stairs she saw a beautiful young girl with shoulder length brunette hair. 'Wow she's so pretty.' Mari thought as the two girls passed each other. The pretty brunette smiled at her as she walked by. Mari saw the girl walk toward the science building she had just left. 'I wonder if she is one of the other two doctoral candidates. I guess I'll have to wait a few weeks to find out.'
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.
As for the songs used in this chapter, I don't own them either, and they're listed below in order of appearance:
Madonna – Material Girl (1984)
Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight (1986)
Now, for Mari, I needed to create a fear of loss that will come in handy later on in series, and so, killing off her aunt and parents seemed like a good idea. Now I took some creative liberty with Mari's maturity. Given her intelligence and what she's been though, she can be extremely mature, but also have moments of being childish. I hope her extreme shifts between constantly crying and being super smart don't come off as too confusing.
Get ready for the next chapter, cause it's going to be a doozy.
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.