Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Chapter 8 – Where The Fates Lead Them
April 1, 1996 – Kyoto University

The campus of Kyoto University was bustling. Yui was in the car with her brother Shinji as they pulled up to the school. She had a load of her belongings in the back seat and trunk of his car. "Hey, sis, where are we supposed to be going? Do you know what building you're in?" Shinji asked his sister while trying to avoid running anyone down with his car.

Yui had a campus map in her hand, and she was trying to read the small print on it while her brother was navigating the crowd of people moving into the dorms. "I'm in the Sotsugyo dorm, it's on the far side of campus, near the… research building. I'm sorry Shinji we have to turn around and go the other way." Yui said as she hung her head in shame.

"Yui, will you cheer up? I took leave because I wanted to be the one to bring you to school. Plus, I know you don't have the best sense of direction, so I'll let go of the fact you got us lost." Shinji smiled at her. "So stop looking so depressed Doctor Ikari."

Yui smiled back at her goofy brother. "Yes, Sir, Captain Ikari, Sir!" She couldn't help but laugh the minute the words had escaped her mouth.

Shinji smiled as executed he a K–turn to head in the direction of the dorm. "Wow, sis, I didn't think you had a sarcastic bone in your body, but I stand corrected." A few minutes later, the car arrived in front of Yui's dorm, the crowd was almost nonexistent here, as this was where those who had already gotten their bachelor's degrees were housed, away from the fervor of the undergraduates moving in.

They both exited the vehicle and started to grab Yui's belongings from the backseat. "Ok, sis, what floor are you on?"

"Well, it says I'm in room 915, which looks like it's on the top floor." Yui grimaced, 'It sounds like a lot of stairs.' She thought.

"You better hope this place has an elevator or you're on your own little sis." Shinji said as he contemplated how to get up to the top of the building once without feeling exhausted.

"What? You'd leave me here all alone?" Yui looked shocked and felt like crying at her brother's threat of betrayal.

"Damn, sis, you still can't handle a joke can you." He laughed. "Plus you're face and that high–pitched 'What?' made the joke so totally worth it." He walked over and hugged his sister. "Now relax and let's start moving your stuff in, huh? I don't have all day ya know."

"Yeah, yeah, I know, you have important piloty stuff to do." Yui stopped to open the door to get in the building. "I wonder if either of the other two doctoral candidates are here yet?"

"Well, you won't find out unless you get your stuff upstairs." Shinji said, spotting an elevator. "Let's get a move on."

Meanwhile up in room 916, Kyoko was settling herself in, having shipped her belongings to her dorm, when she arrived early in the morning, she started moving her stuff in and organizing everything where it would stay for the next several years.

"I can't believe I'm moved in already." Kyoko looked around at the stack of empty boxes. "I thought I had more stuff than that. I guess starting a new life is easier than I thought."

She walked over to the hallway to bring the boxes to the recycling room. She dumped the boxes off, and was passing the elevator when it opened revealing a man carrying a small stack of items and a young woman carrying an equally large stack. "Hello there, could you direct us to room 915 please?" The man asked.

"Sure it's right next to my room, just follow me." Kyoko got a better look at the girl, and she recognized her. "Yui? Yui Ikari?"

"Yes, I'm Yui Ikari." Yui said, but she recognized the voice she heard, and it sounded vaguely familiar, then it hit her. "Wait, I recognize that voice, Kyoko?"

"Oh, Yui, it is you." Kyoko was happy to find someone she had met, even if she had only met her after having Yui's boobs smooshed in her face. "At least we didn't literally run into each other this time." Kyoko chuckled when she said this.

"Oh my god, I didn't expect to run into you so soon." Yui squealed. "I can't believe we're neighbors. It's nice to know someone here, even if we only met the once."

"Would you like some help Yui? It looks like you have a lot of stuff." Kyoko said looking at both Yui and the man with her and the amount of stuff they were carrying.

"That would be very much appreciated, Kyoko." Yui said with a smile as Kyoko took two boxes. "Thank you very much for your help."

"Ok, ladies, if you could quit gabbing for a sec and lead me to the room, that would be a tremendous help." Shinji piped up from behind the boxes. "Come on, this stuff ain't light you know."

"Don't mind my brother, he's always cranky like this." Yui laughed. "He acts all tough, but he's just a sweet guy under all that anger and sarcasm."

"Hey, come on Yui, stop kidding around!" Shinji yelled, a blush creeping up his face. "Come on, I really need to put this stuff down, its heavy."

"Alright, so he stops complaining I'll show where your room is." Kyoko said. "Just follow me, it's down the hall."

The small group walked down the hall to room 915. "Well here it is, do you have the key?" Kyoko asked.

Yui put down what she was carrying and felt into her pockets. "Oh no." Her eyes were wide with shock. "I left it in the car with the campus map."

"Damn, Yui, for someone so smart, you are really scatterbrained sometimes." Shinji said. He reached into his pocket and grabbed his keys. "Here, take these, and go down to the car and get your room key." He tossed the keys in the direction of his sister, who was caught off guard and missed catching the keys. "Oh, and bring something back up, I'll watch your stuff till you get back." He leaned against the wall and sighed.

"I'll come with you Yui, I don't mind helping you get more stuff back up here." Kyoko said as Yui went to retrieve the keys. "Let's take the elevator, I don't feel like using the stairs."

"Yeah, I don't feel like using the stairs either, I'm kinda lazy." Yui smiled. "Thanks again for your help, by the way."

"It's not a problem, it's the best way to make new friends." Kyoko said. "By the way, what doctoral program are you in? I didn't really get to ask you last time, I was in such a rush."

"Well, I'm in Professor Fuyutsuki's Metaphysical Biology doctoral program." Yui said proudly. "The day we ran into each other, I had just finished my meeting with him. I was so happy, and in such a rush to tell my family, that I didn't watch where I was going. But it was still nice to meet you, no matter how awkward it was." Yui blushed, remembering how they met, with her boobs smooshed into Kyoko's face.

"Wait a second, you're in Professor Fuyutsuki's program too? That's fantastic!" Kyoko was thrilled, she had been worried for two weeks that I wouldn't like who else was in the program. "Thank God one of them is you!"

"Oh, you're in the program too?" Yui's eyes were bright with joy. "I'm glad, that means we'll be spending time together, and we can become best friends!"

"I wonder who the other person in the program is?" Kyoko mused.

"Well, all Professor Fuyutsuki said is the two others in the program were girls, so we'll be friends while we work on our doctorates together." Yui was quite happy at the prospect of two intelligent friends, all thoughts of boys pushed from her mind.

The girls reached the front door and went outside and went to the car. Yui found the room key on the dashboard where she left it. When they collected the second load of Yui's belongings, Kyoko commented. "How did you fit so much stuff in this small car?"

"It's a gift, I really like playing Tetris." Yui joked.

Kyoko looked toward the front door and saw a young brunette with long hair. "Hey, look at her." Kyoko pointed over to her. "Isn't she a bit young to be at a college?"

"Don't point Kyoko, its rude." Yui said, spotting the girl. "Yeah, she looks familiar, like I've seen her before."

Mari had no idea the women behind her were talking about her. The majority of her belongings wouldn't be delivered until tomorrow, so all she had was a duffel bag full of clothes, a hello kitty backpack with some books, and a small padded bag with her laptop. She was humming to herself again, like she usually did.

A singer in a smoky room
A smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on, and on, and on

She reached out for the door to open it and walked inside. She heard a call from behind her to hold the door. Mari obliged and held the door. She walked toward the elevator after hearing someone behind her saying. "Thank you." Mari reached the elevator and pressed the button to call it. She was completely oblivious to Yui and Kyoko being behind her.

Mari pressed the button for the 9th floor, and saw the two girls who were behind her step into the elevator. Yui noticed the button for the 9th floor was already pressed. "Oh, you're going to the 9th floor too?"

Mari was surprised someone was talking to her. At her last school, people had avoided her because of her age. "Yeah… I'm going to room 914." Mari recognized Yui as the 'pretty girl' she saw after her meeting with Fuyutsuki. "What room are you going to?"

"Well I'm in room 915, so we're right next to each other. I'm Yui Ikari, by the way, nice to meet you." Yui smiled. "I'd shake your hand, but both of our hands are full."

"I'm Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu, I'm in room 916, nice to meet ya." Kyoko winked, but she couldn't be seen behind Yui's belongings. The girls had decided, if they got in the elevator with Mari, that they would be nice and not treat her like a kid. "So what's your name?"

"I'm Mari Illustrious Makinami, it's nice to meet you both." Mari said shyly as the elevator dinged at their destination. The hallway was relatively empty, save for the man standing further down the hall, with a pile of boxes around him.

"Hey, girls, what took so long?" Shinji called down the hallway. "I thought you got lost or forgot about me."

Yui called back. "How could I forget you, you're so obnoxious sometimes, it's hard to forget."

"Yeah, yeah, sis, come on." Shinji started, but he noticed Mari behind them. "Hey, who's the kid? Isn't she a bit young for college? She looks like she's 12 or 13."

"Shinji, don't be rude!" Yui cried out. "She's going to be my other neighbor, so be nice!" Yui sounded a bit angry so Shinji backed off.

Mari, after hearing the exchange, felt a bit down. She knew she was young, but no one had ever really mentioned it in front of her, let alone that loudly. Her head slunk down, and her cheeks became flushed. She felt like crying. 'But, wait, that girl, Yui, defended me. No one's been that nice to me since my parents died, or my aunt even…'

Yui turned around after putting her stuff down and saw Mari's head slunk down, and she rounded on her brother. "Look what you did!" Yui yelled. "You made her sad! Now apologize to Mari and make her feel better!"

Shinji had never seen his sister actually be mad at someone, so he was caught a little off guard. "Hey, um, kid… sorry, I mean, Mari." He smiled while he talked to her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to call you out or anything. I mean, I should know that age and intelligence don't mean crap together, my sister over here is the smartest person I know, and has been way smarter than me since she was like five. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

Mari stood there, the sad look on her face had been replaced by a look of shock. Yui had defended her, and made her brother apologize. Even more confusing to Mari was that she was actually apologized to. 'I haven't been treated this nicely in a long time.' She thought. It took Mari a moment to realize what she should do. She lifted up her head and walked toward Shinji and hugged him. "You don't have to apologize, I just got wrapped up in my own thoughts." She smiled at him and then walked over to Yui and hugged her too. "Thank you for sticking up for me though, I hope we can be good friends."

Yui was shocked when Mari had hugged her brother, but she was even more shocked when Mari had come over and hugged her. Yui returned the hug. "I hope we become good friends too." The girls released their hug and Yui walked over to her door and gave the key to her brother. Mari, meanwhile, opened her own door and put her stuff inside on the bed. She walked back out to the hallway, and moved to help Yui move her stuff into her room.

At that moment the elevator opened again revealing Professor Fuyutsuki. He walked over to the group. "Good, I'm glad all three of you are here." He said quite cheerfully.

"All… three?" Yui and Kyoko said, both confused as the only two people besides themselves were Mari and Shinji, and seeing as Shinji was a fighter pilot… that only left… "Mari?" They both said simultaneously.

"You're in Professor Fuyutsuki's Doctoral Program too?" Yui asked.

"Yes, I am." Mari replied, she looked a little embarrassed, but was also glad that the people she had met were so friendly, and that they would be spending time together between their research for their respective doctorates.

"So she's the third huh, not bad, at least she's friendly." Kyoko said with a smile.

"Well, I'm glad you've all met." Fuyutsuki said. "Once you three are settled in, would you please come over to my office, we have some things to discuss about beginning your research." Fuyutsuki turned to leave. "Oh, and whoever owns the car out front should move it to a parking area before it gets towed."

"Ah crap, I gotta move the car, I can't have it towed." Shinji said, running towards the elevator. "Yui, let's go, you can grab the rest of your stuff, and I'll be back up to finish helping you unpack after parking the car somewhere more appropriate."

"I'll come and help too." Mari said. "Is there much stuff left?"

"No, not really" Yui said looking at the boxes of her stuff in the hallway. "There should only be three or four things left in the car."

"Ok, guys, I guess I'll stay here and watch the stuff." Kyoko said sarcastically. "I'll stay to make sure it isn't stolen or anything, alright Yui?"

"Thanks Kyoko, I appreciate it." Yui said departing for the elevator with Mari and her brother.

A few minutes later the elevator dinged, and Yui and Mari returned with the remainder of Yui's belongings. They walked over to Yui's door to see it open and the other boxes inside already. "Kyoko you didn't have to do that." Yui said, putting the boxes she was carrying on her bed.

"It's no problem, I didn't mind doing it." Kyoko said. "Speaking of stuff, Mari, don't you have any more stuff to move in besides those three bags you had before?"

"Oh, the rest of my stuff won't be here from Okinawa until tomorrow." Mari said. "But I have enough clothes and stuff to last a few days."

"Well, once my brother gets back, I'll tell him he can go back home, and we can go see Professor Fuyutsuki." Yui said.

As the girls stood there in Yui's room, they all thought to themselves. 'This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.'

November 1997 – Undisclosed Location

In a dark room, 12 monoliths lit up, each displaying the name SEELE and a number. The scene from above must have looked like a very evil clock.

'SEELE 01' spoke. "Well, it appears there are some pieces of the apocrypha puzzle are beginning to fall into place."

"Yes, this is quite an interesting development." 'SEELE 04' stated. "It appears that the Katsuragi expedition has finally found something in Antarctica. They are beginning the process of digging into what appears to be a subterranean cavern. It also appears they have obtained a sample, a large red sphere that had some EM Radiation coming off of it."

"Excellent… that means we may have found the catalyst for our desires." 'SEELE 03' quipped. "We may getting closer to our goal than we think."

"Let's not get carried away gentlemen, we do still have our work cut out for us." 'SEELE 01' said. "The sample should be sent off to the UK, they are already doing extensive testing on biomechanics, so it should go to them." He paused. "Now, what will we do regarding the other development?"

"It appears that a professor at Kyoto University has accepted three students into a doctoral program, and their research topics could help us create a way to initiate our plans for instrumentality." 'SEELE 09' responded. "They were brought together 19 months ago, and their research is progressing steadily."

"We could be looking at a viability and proof of concept within the next year." 'SEELE 12' added. "Their projects could assist with the recovered sample."

"Should any contact with these three individuals be made by us or a proxy?" 'SEELE 07' asked. "Or should we wait until a more appropriate time?"

"For now, we will contact the two older ones in a few months, about their research though the Artificial Evolution Laboratory." 'SEELE 02 said. "As for the younger girl, we should contact her thorough Alcion in London, perhaps her research will be of better suited there to that abomination they are suggesting on creating. Especially after they have received the sample, their research will be moving forward quite quickly."

"I concur with that plan, but contact should be held until late March, I'd like to see more of their research flushed out before we go and try to add it to the scenario." 'SEELE 01' began. "That would be our best course of action" 'SEELE 01' paused. "Well for the moment, I believe that was all there was to go over, unless there is more to report?" There was silence. "Then that concludes our meeting gentleman, until next time."

And with that the monoliths went dark once more.

December 1997 – Kyoto University

It was snowing outside. A quiet lull was hanging over the university. Winter break was coming, so the majority of students were getting ready to head home for the break, however, an intrepid trio were planning to stay behind for the break to continue their research, and also spend time together.

In the year and a half or so since Yui, Mari, and Kyoko began their doctoral studies they had become, as they had predicted, the best of friends. Their friendship had grown, not only because they lived next to each other, or because they were in the same doctoral program, but because they filled the holes in each other's hearts. Mari had wanted to have friends since she was little, but because most of the people her own age were never very interested in the 'odd little smart girl' she had been alone until meeting Yui and Kyoko. Kyoko wanted people to respect her intelligence over her beauty, which both girls did because they didn't want to get into her pants. As for Yui, all she ever wanted was to be around people. When she was around people, she was happy, and when people were around her, they were happy. And these girls were the definition of happy.

As to their research, it was also progressing quite admirably. The girls had realized after discussing their doctoral topics that they meshed together in an odd sort way, like their own friendship. Kyoko even joked that fate had brought them together because of what they wanted to accomplish.

Yui's research into the barriers separating people were beginning to show results. She had found some metaphysical evidence to the existence of these fields, but not the scientific purpose for their existence. She had named them in a paper she wrote on the subject. She named them Absolute Terror Fields for the reason that people are terrified to be close to one another. Yui hoped to have more evidence by the end of the term, and maybe even demonstrate the existence of one, with any luck. Yui hadn't changed that much, considering the time she spent in school, other than needing to get glasses that is.

As for Kyoko, her research into the cloning of human tissue was coming along. Her research had actually expanded into regeneration as well. She had found in her research that not only could a shell be made from a sampling of cells from a living or even a dead person, but that boy parts could be regenerated through use of specific drugs and a high electrical current. So far, however, the method has led only to the death of several lab rats. Kyoko was hoping that she could start to replicate lab rat 'shells' in the next few months, and then use those same shells for the regeneration experiments. Kyoko had changed for the better and became less sarcastic and more trusting of people thanks to her new friends.

Mari's research however, was coming along, but had stalled a few months ago. Mari was trying to prove the existence of a soul before she had moved on to trying to transfer a soul from one vessel to another, but was running into the roadblock of proving that a soul actually existed. This frustrated her quite a bit, as she was used to being the best at stuff, but she compared herself to her two classmates, and her research was the farthest away from completion, let alone proof of concept. Mari had changed a lot, considering she was a growing girl and all. Her hair was even longer, and she needed glasses. She didn't want glasses, so she opted for contacts so she wouldn't look, in her words. "Like a total nerd."

Fuyutsuki couldn't be prouder of his students. Each one was making great scientific strides and was working towards completing their research, and in Yui and Kyoko's case, at near breakneck speed. Fuyutsuki encouraged them the best he could, giving them all equal attention. Although, to some, Yui was his favorite because of her kind demeanor and her relentless determination.

Back to the present, Yui was in her room looking out the window at the snow. "It's so beautiful, I've always loved the snow, but I hate the cold." Yui laughed at the irony of her statement. She was taking a well–deserved break from her research. Yui decided that in order to continue her research she needed a week long break away from the lab to get a proper amount of sleep. This break also "happened" to allow her to enjoy both Christmas and New Year's.

Yui heard a knock on her door. She walked over to the door, and looked through the peephole to see Mari standing there soaking wet. She flung open the door. "Mari?! What happened? Are you ok?"

Mari was shivering quite a lot, every piece of clothing she had on was soaked with what looked like mud and slush, and this condition made her teeth chatter when she tried to talk. "Well… when I was walking… I slipped on some ice and fell… into a pile of half melted snow… and I can't find my room key… so I knocked on your door." Mari started to cough. "Could you please… help me?"

Yui pulled her into her room and grabbed a towel. "Of course I'll help you silly." Yui started to dry off Mari as best she could, but the wet clothes weren't helping the situation. "Why don't you go into the bathroom and take a warm shower so you don't get sick, and I'll find some clothes for you to wear." Yui smiled. "And then I'll go out and look for your key and see if I can find it tonight, if not, we'll look in the morning."

"Ok, Yui." Mari replied meekly. She started to walk to the bathroom, and even though she was still shivering, she felt a lot warmer. 'Maybe it's just because she's being so nice to me, like always.' Mari thought as she closed the door and started to strip off her cold, soaking wet clothes. She turned the shower on to the point where it looked like steam was emanating from the showerhead, not water. She stepped into the shower and yelped, the water had scalded her where it made contact on her body, her breasts.

"Mari?!" Yui called her from outside the bathroom. "Are you ok in there? Did you fall or something?"

Mari fiddled with the shower knob to cool the water down enough for it to be tolerable, but still warm enough to stop her shivering. "No, I'm ok, the water was too hot." Mari rubbed her chest where the water had scalded her. "I'm turning the water down, but I'm fine." Mari tested the water again and it was tolerable, so she stepped under it and started to warm herself up and clean off the filth that had soaked through her clothes from the disgusting brown snow.

"Ok, just don't burn yourself." Yui called. 'I think she's a little nervous about having lost her room key. If worse comes to worse, I'll just have her stay here tonight.' Yui thought 'We are friends after all, it's not a big deal.'

Mari finished her shower and grabbed another towel, and as Mari dried her face, she noticed the towel smelled. It didn't have a bad scent, just a familiar one. 'It smells like her.' Mari thought. She wrapped the towel around herself, resting it on her breasts and walked out of the bathroom.

Yui was sitting on her bed, dressed in boots and her coat. Next to her were a small pile of clothes. "Here, try these on, and see if they fit." Yui motioned to the clothes on her left. "I'll be back in a little bit, I'm going to search for your key. Do you remember where you fell?" Yui asked, grabbing a flashlight off her dresser.

"I fell right outside the research building." Mari replied as she blushed. "Just be careful, it's icy, and you shouldn't get hurt trying to help me."

"I'll be fine, as my brother puts it, I have dumb luck." Seeing the sad look on Mari's face, Yui thought two things. 'Awww, it's cute that she worries about me.' And the second thing 'I wonder if that's how I look when I pout at Shinji?' Yui put those thoughts aside for a moment. "I promise that I'll be careful, Mari, ok?"

"Ok." Mari said, still looking at the ground. Mari only looked up when she heard the door close. She looked at the clothes Yui had left on her bed. There were a few sweaters, a pair of sweatpants, some high cut shorts, some socks, and a few t–shirts to choose from. Mari realized however that there were no panties in the stuff Yui had given her. Mari had to think. 'I guess I'll use these as panties.' She thought holding up the shorts. 'It's not like I have any other choice. Plus, I'm starting to get cold and should get dressed.' Mari picked out what she wanted to wear and put it on. She moved the remaining clothes on top of Yui's dresser. While she was doing that, she started to feel tired. Mari walked over to Yui's bed and flopped down and fell asleep quite quickly. But before she drifted off to sleep she muttered. "This smells like her too."

Yui was walking back to the dorm. She was cold, but it was worth it, she had found Mari's key in the snow, along with a ¥10,000 bill buried under a lot of snow. "Boy, it's the best Christmas Eve ever." Yui said to no one in particular. "But I do wonder where Kyoko is." Yui looked at the research building. All the lights were off, so Yui assumed Kyoko was in her room. She walked into the building and boarded the elevator. When she reached her room, she realized she had forgotten her key inside. 'Shoot, why did I leave the key behind?' Yui chucked. 'That's kinda ironic though, go out to find a key, forget your own key.' Mari had locked the door, so Yui couldn't get in. She knocked and heard a loud scream from inside the room. "Mari, can you unlock the door? I left my key behind."

The door clicked open to reveal Mari, nursing a sore spot on her forehead. "Sorry, you scared me." She said sullenly.

"What did you do? Fall out of bed?" Mari nodded. "Aww, you fell asleep, huh? I didn't mean to take so long, but I did find your key." Yui smiled as she held up the key to show Mari, and walked in and shut the door.

Mari, still nursing the sore spot which was starting to form a large bump, jumped when another knock came to the door. "Yui! Are you ok? I heard a crash." It was Kyoko.

Yui opened the door, and Kyoko stepped in. "Did you fall, Yui? You have to be more careful." She saw Mari and her bump however. "Wait, Mari are you ok?"

"Yeah, my head just hurts a bit." Mari replied, still nursing her injury.

"Let me see." Kyoko grabbed Mari's face gently and inspected the bump. She touched it lightly with her index finger, which made Mari yelp. "That hurts a lot huh? Well whatever the reason you fell out of Yui's bed is, you shouldn't be sleeping alone tonight, just to be safe." Kyoko turned to Yui. "Speaking of, why is she in your bed?" Yui explained the situation to Kyoko. "Oh, Mari, that's why you shouldn't work so late, you can't see the ice in the dark." Kyoko gave the young girl a hug. "Why were you working so late anyway?"

Mari wanted to say something, but didn't want to admit her research had stalled, and that's why she was so tired, and angry. 'Both of their projects are moving along fine, but mine is stuck! Why me, why can't I be better!' Mari thought, as tears, once again had begun to well up in her eyes. Her two friends noticed the glistening in her eyes. They had never seen Mari cry before, as Mari had been careful to hide this from them, along with some of her past (mainly her dead family) so that they wouldn't view her as just some little kid. As she had done when she was younger, she cried alone in her room. But not this time.

"The reason I was in the lab was because my research has stalled. I haven't made any progress in weeks! I'm falling behind, and I hate being behind!" Mari started to cry, but continued anyway. "I just don't want to be seen as the failure of our group! I just don't want to disappoint anyone! I don't want to look like a… A STUPID KID!" She stopped talking as she continued to sob. Yui and Kyoko looked at each other, and were confused by her outburst. They knew she was young, but they treated her like an adult because she acted like one. 'Does she really view herself as a kid?' Kyoko thought. 'She's way smarter than I was at her age. Maybe this has something to do with her past she doesn't like talking about.'

Yui however was the first to react, she grabbed Mari and hugged her tight, letting the younger girl cry onto her shoulder. "It's ok, let it all out Mari." Yui hugged her tighter. "It's ok to cry sometimes, and I know working on a thesis is tough, but sometimes you have to know when to take a break before you burnout. And neither of us want that to happen."

"Yeah, you mean a lot to me, and to Yui, we just don't want you to cry." Kyoko tried to sound more compassionate, but she was still confused as to why Mari was crying.

Yui continued while still letting poor Mari cry on her shoulder, but her tone was more serious and motherly. "So here's what's gonna happen. You're not going back to that lab until after New Year's. You're going to take a break and get some sleep, and a new idea will come to you."

"No it won't." Mari sobbed. "I suck at this."

Yui released her from the hug, but held her so they faced each other. "Mari, you don't suck, you're the smartest person I know, you'll find a solution, you just need to take step back and it will come to you."

"But… " Mari started, but Yui cut her off. "No buts, Makinami. No lab work for now, and as for tonight, because of what Kyoko said, you're not sleeping alone, you're staying here tonight, and tomorrow, we can talk about everything that happened, ok?"

Mari stood there, wiping the tears and snot from her face. "Ok…" Was the only response Mari could muster.

Kyoko yawned loudly. "Well, seeing as it's so late, I think it's time to go to bed." She started walking towards the door. While Yui finally took off her boots and coat. The clock on Yui's desk beeped, as it did every hour. The time shown was. "12:00."

As Kyoko left the room, Yui called to her. "Merry Christmas, Kyoko!"

"Yeah, yeah, Merry Christmas you two." Kyoko said as she closed the door.

Yui locked the door, shut off the light and walked over to her bed, and hoped on it. "Merry Christmas Mari!"

Mari walked over to the bed and crawled in, getting comfortable she cuddled up next to Yui. "Merry Christmas." Mari said as she drifted off into a deep sleep.

March 1998 – Kyoto University

Mari was in a good mood. She was walking to the lab to continue working on her research, and to also meet Professor Fuyutsuki, who was going to be doing a check on how they were doing with their research.

In the last few months, Mari had moved ahead very slowly with proving a soul exists. But after listening to Yui's advice at Christmas, and taking a break, a thought came to her. She realized she had been trying to prove the existence of a soul with those who were deceased. Mari realized she needed to prove the existence with a living person, and then try to find evidence of a soul in the dead.

Mari approached the Scientific Research Building and went up to her lab, and sat down at her computer. Her lab was covered in notes and scribbles detailing how she was proving a soul existed. There were complicated formulas and diagrams, and a prototype of a machine that could detect and measure the strength of the soul. Mari sat and waited for Professor Fuyutsuki to come in. She had the first appointment with him, and the wait was slowly killing her. 'When will he get here? I can't wait to tell him I'm making progress.' Mari though, and to pass the time, Mari started humming to herself again.

An angel's smile is what you sell
You promise me heaven then put me through hell
Chains of love got a hold on me
When passion's a prison you can't break free

After what to Mari seemed like forever (it was really only 10 minutes), she finally heard a knock on the door. "Mari are you in?" Fuyutsuki said. "I'm here to review your progress."

Mari jumped off her chair and bolted to the door. "I'm here professor!" She flung the door open. "Good morning Professor, how are you?" Mari bowed slightly when she said this.

"I'm doing well Mari, thank you for asking." Fuyutsuki said while he looked around the lab. 'A lot has changed in here from the last check in, I'm glad she got over her scientist's block.' He kept looking around seeing the various formulas listed on the notes taped up all over the place. "So, Mari, how have you been doing?"

"Well, my research has been picking up lately… " Mari started, but Fuyutsuki interrupted her.

"Mari, I asked how you were doing. We can talk about your research in a few minutes. I haven't had much time this semester to check up on any of you girls, or your research." Fuyutsuki said kindly.

Mari was taken aback, the professor was asking about her, and not just her research. 'He really is a nice guy.' Mari thought. 'He's as kind as Yui is.' Mari concluded, but decided she should answer the question asked to of her. "Well, professor, I've been doing ok. I had some problems with falling behind with my research before Christmas, but Yui set me straight and told me not to stress so much and to learn when to take a break." Mari blushed. "Yui, Kyoko, and I have become very good friends." Mari smiled at Fuyutsuki, still with a blush on her face. 'It's nice to have friends.' She thought.

"Well, I'm glad you've made some friends, Mari. I'm happy that you're doing so well." Fuyutsuki paused. "But, what problems did you have with your research?"

"Well, I got stuck, and couldn't think of a way to prove the existence of a soul. But after Yui forced me to take a break did I realize the answer was in front of me the whole time. You can't prove the existence of a soul on someone who's dead because all of the electrical impulses in the body have gone. I also realized that Yui's A.T. Field has something to do with the soul as well. I pieced together, this theory." Mari grabbed a stack of mismatched papers from her desk and handed them to Fuyutsuki. "I realized that in all of my previous tests, a living person emits a frequency below extremely low frequency, somewhere under 0.5 Hz. It took so long to identify because the frequency is so abnormally low. I started to build this." Mari motioned to the bulky looking machine. "To scan the body of a person to detect ridiculously low frequencies. Once I've established that these frequencies are in fact emitted from the person, I can move on to a corpse to detect a frequency similar or lower than what would be present in a living person."

"Well, Mari, I'm impressed. You found a way to solve your problem, but how do you plan on transferring the 'soul' to another vessel?" Fuyutsuki asked, curious if she had come up with a tentative solution to this problem as well.

"I haven't worked out the practical solution yet, professor, but I have a theory." Mari smiled widely, very proud of her work. "Well, if all souls are some sort of frequency, then it should be plausible to transfer it using something like a radio receiver to record the signal, and then a very focused transmitter to transfer the recorded data to the vessel."

"Mari, I'm very impressed. In the past few months you've come a long way." Fuyutsuki was beaming, he was incredibly proud of her breakthrough. "Now, I do expect a formal paper on this, sometime next term perhaps, not a stack of messy coffee and ramen stained sheets of paper like this." He held up the stack of discolored and mismatched papers in his hand, and handed them back to Mari. "I'm glad you're out of your rut, Mari, you're doing wonderful work, never forget that."

"Thank you professor." Mari bowed again. "I don't want to disappoint you, or your doctoral program. I'll continue trying my best."

"I expect nothing less from any of my students but their best." And with that Fuyutsuki got up and left the lab. "Have a good day Mari, I'll be back for another check–in in a few weeks."

"Bye professor, have a good rest of your day." Mari said happily.

Fuyutsuki was proud, but he still had two others to check up on. He knocked on the next closest lab door. "Come in." Kyoko was sitting at her lab desk with magnifying goggles on. She was inspecting a lab rat she working on, or rather, one she was forcibly cloning from a small sampling of DNA. "Oh, Doc, it's you." Fuyutsuki liked the nickname she'd come up with and thought it was endearing, even if it wasn't wholly appropriate, Fuyutsuki couldn't fault her for being sincere.

"Ah, Kyoko, how are you doing?" Fuyutsuki asked politely.

"I'm doing great Doc, I'm finally working on the practical use of my thesis, creating an empty vessel from a sample of DNA. So far it's been 3 days, and it's only, at my estimation, 17% complete. I need to find a way to bombard it with more energy, that won't fry the tissue. Perhaps an oscillating wavelength from Extremely Low Frequency to Extremely High Frequency might do it. I can't bump it anywhere into the infrared or ultraviolet range, otherwise I'll cook the tissue, or give it cancer." Kyoko laughed. "That'd be great, creating cancer and a vessel/clone."

"So, what are you using now as a frequency range?" Fuyutsuki couldn't feel the any emanating vibrations coming from the diodes above the specimen, and they were being focused on the specimen with pinpoint accuracy.

"Well, I'm using Ultra Low Frequency to Ultra High Frequency, which is an improvement over the narrow frequency range I used before that." Kyoko sighed. "I think, with the greater frequency range, the vessel being created being bombarded with electrons, and wavelengths won't be able to adjust to the frequencies as easily as there is greater range of frequencies available. Although, I may be missing something. A liquid medium perhaps to immerse the growing vessel in to expedite or assist in the generation process."

"Well, Kyoko, I think you're coming along quite nicely. I'll let you get back to work." Fuyutsuki turned to leave. "But I do expect a long detailed paper on your findings in the next few months."

"Thanks, Doc, be seeing ya." Kyoko called as he left her lab. "I'll get the paper done for you once I have some concrete findings." Kyoko smiled, putting her magnifiers back on to continue monitoring her experiment 'I wonder why he's always so calm? Maybe it's because he's so kind. He is the best teacher I've ever had, open and caring, but always ready to let you bounce ideas off of. I just wish he wasn't so busy.'

Fuyutsuki was looking forward to the final pupil he had to check–in on. She was his favorite, not that he would admit this openly, and her work was more than just hard science, it was also trying to understand why humans can only become so close before feeling scared and having to run away. Fuyutsuki also felt Yui's work had the most widespread practical use. While Mari's thesis was exceptional, it would erode the basis of many religions around the world, and Kyoko's research dealt with cloning and to a lesser extent limb regrowth, but the process would probably hurt a living being, and make its real world use quite limited.

He knocked on Yui's lab door, he didn't hear anything, but saw the light was on, and went inside to see Yui asleep at her desk, drooling slightly, and snoring softly. 'Funny, she tells Mari to take a break once in a while, but she ends up falling asleep at her lab desk. How cute.' Fuyutsuki thought. "Yui, are you awake?"

Yui jumped at the noise and almost fell out of her chair. "Sensei? I'm sorry, I forgot you were coming today." Yui stammered, embarrassed that she had been caught sleeping.

"It's alright, Yui." Fuyutsuki said as he smiled kindly at her, with a special smile reserved only for her. "But I expect a glowing report of your activities with your thesis."

"Sure thing, sensei." Yui wiped the collected drool from her face and grabbed a notebook from her desk. "Well, I've been working on a detector for detecting the A.T. Field, but the problem with building such a detector is that I'm unsure of what the A.T. Field is actually composed of. I think it's somewhere in the lower wavelengths of EM Spectrum, but, it also has the properties of something else indescribable outside of an anime or sci–fi show."

"Yui, as crazy or outlandish as your theory may be, you can say it out loud. I won't judge you." Fuyutsuki said, trying to support Yui's discoveries, even if they may sound crazy.

"Well… perhaps… I would call it… subspace." Yui blushed, seemingly embarrassed at what she was suggesting. "I would call the field slightly out of phase with our reality, but still occupying the same space, which is what makes it hard to detect. I think once I get this machine built, I will be able to detect the A.T. Fields and be able to visualize them as well." Yui motioned to a device strange device on her lab table that looked like a mini radome with a pair of goggles attached to a computer unit that reads the data from the radome.

"What is your progress on this detector Yui?" Fuyutsuki was curious to see if she had a major breakthrough.

"Well, I can turn the detector on, but I still have to program the computer for what it is searching for, and the antenna unit needs to be fine–tuned a bit, so I'd say it's probably half done." Yui was proud of herself for her accomplishments.

Fuyutsuki walked over to examine the machine. "Yui, I'm very impressed. I'm very glad you're coming along so well. I'll guess that it'll be a few months before you have some concrete findings."

"Yes, sensei. I'm hoping the same thing. Do you want paper for when I have some definite findings?" Kyoko asked.

"Yes, Yui that would be excellent. Whenever you the paper to me will be fine." Fuyutsuki headed for the door. "And, Yui, have a good rest of your day, but perhaps you should instead go get some sleep, and not leave a wet mark on your desk."

"Alright sensei, that sounds like a good idea." Yui replied as Fuyutsuki left the room. 'Sensei is great mentor, I'm always inspired when he's around.' Yui smiled. 'I want to make him proud of his choice in me, and in my work.'

Fuyutsuki left Yui's lab to go back to his own, extremely proud in his decision to bring these girls together in his program. 'Not only are they friends with each other, but they have, in such a short time done so much with what was mere theory two years ago. I don't think I could ever be convinced that it was a mistake to bring them together.' He thought.

Meanwhile in the admissions office, a tall, stony face man was standing at the desk with an application in his hand. "Good afternoon, I'm here to drop off my transfer request to the Dean."

"What is your reason for transfer, sir?" The secretary asked in a nasally a monotone voice.

"My current doctoral program is closing down after the sudden death of its professor, heart failure they said. I wanted to transfer here because I've heard such wonderful things about your doctoral programs." The man said.

"Do you have an appointment, sir?" the secretary asked, not wanting to hear anyone's life story.

"Yes, it was set for 10 o'clock this morning." The man said.

"Your name please." The secretary asked.

"Gendo Rokubungi." Gendo said with a smirk on his face.

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:
Journey – Don't Stop Believing (1981)
Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name (1986)

Holy crap that was a long chapter. Especially compared to the other ones I've completed thus far.

So, now with meaningful character interaction, the chapters will be longer than before. I hope that I'm getting across that Mari is a very broken girl (makes Asuka almost seem normal, right?) Because of her brokenness, she's going to go through a lot once she makes it to the future. And if any of you have read the manga, then you can kinda see where she's going with Yui. And yes, the return of the original stony faced man, Gendo Rokubungi. What is in store for him next chapter I wonder?

Now, the name of chapter is an allusion to the three fates of Greek Mythology. Each of the girls represents one of the fates. Kyoko measure create the string of life, Yui measures it, and Mari cuts it. I set this to what each girl was researching (however loosely it may fit), regeneration (creation), understanding (measurement), and transference (death). This motif also plays into the fact that their research will play a direct part in the creations of the Evangelions, making them the ones who, in essence, control the fate of humanity.

I hope that wasn't too deep for an Author's Note, and if it was, my apologies.

I also started to include the sweet magic–y science that will be built on in the future. The tough part was making something up that didn't enter into. "Treknobabble" territory but was still based on somewhat actual science–y concepts.

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.