Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode II: Attack of the Seeds


Chapter 10 – Electra
May 8, 2002 – U.N.R.V. Kenji Katsuragi

Misato Katsuragi was sitting alone in an observation room, which was a horrible shade of aqua green that according to some crazy ass doctor was a 'calming' color. In this room, was a single teddy bear, some wooden blocks, and a chai, with a two doors, one with bars on its window for observers that led out of the room and another door to the lavatory. She had on some horrible pajamas of the same color that matched the room. Her hair was now down to her buttocks. The Greek cross around her neck, given to her by her father, was the only thing left she owned in the world. Anytime someone had tried to take it from her she screamed loudly, and in the past two years, or when someone tried to turn off the lights, it was the only time she made a sound.

Doctors were baffled by her condition, it was hard to get an MRI done, because she wouldn't let go of the cross, so CT Scans were all that could be performed, on a limited basis. She was completely unresponsive to her environment, save for eating and using the bathroom, or when the lights were turned out, or when the cross was to be removed from around her neck. The first two reactions were simple rote memory, things she had done most of her life that were engrained in her routine. Some described the last two reactions as her having seen hell, others kept it simple by describing it as PTSD. Whatever it was, the girl needed help, but wasn't really receptive of it, because all she really did was stare blankly at the wall, clutching her knees to her chest.

Today was just the same for Misato as every day since Second Impact. All she could remember were those last moments before the darkness came.

Flashback

Misato began to stir as her father packed her back up. Her vision was blurry and all she could see above her was her father's head shrouded in shadow. "Daddy?"

Kenji gently set Misato down in the Link Tube's seat. "Misato, I'm sorry this happened." He took the cross off his neck and placed it around hers, a drop of his blood falling onto her cheek. "Please take care of your mother for me." He reached for the hatch cover. "I love you, Misato." He closed it, leaving Misato in the darkness. All around her the sound from the outside resonated with the metal tube she was stuck in. Sounds of high winds, and objects hitting the Link Tube. And then she heard and felt a massive explosion that sent the Link Tube flying through the air, and Misato, who wasn't secured to her seat and was tossed around a bit inside the tube. After a rough landing in what sounded like water, Misato, slightly dazed from the loss of blood from her wounds and the fact she had just been tossed around inside an enclosed space, found the button to open the hatch and stood up in the seat to see what going on outside.

What she saw around her was water the color of blood, the smell of blood was in the air, the sky was dark with a large glowing disc forming above what looked like the pit she had been observing only a short while ago. Coming from that same spot in the distance was a massive creature made of light, with pylons on its shoulders, a dark spot in its chest, and dark spots for eyes. "Adam?" The creature began to grow wings which spread wide and reached into the stratosphere, and it began to glow even more brightly. Misato fearing another explosion, got back into the tube, shut the hatch, and plunged herself into darkness once again. She found the safety belts to hold herself in place and braced herself.

The massive explosion threw the tube once again, Misato being buckled in was not injured this time around, and she felt the pod impact on the Dead Sea once again. Misato sat there quietly in the darkness, and cried. "Daddy, why did you have to go?"

End Flashback

Misato simply stared at the wall, as this memory, the worst day of her life, was on endless replay in her mind. It never ended, every time the memory finished, it began again. Sometimes she remembered parts of the experiment that led to her being knocked out. But she always remembered the darkness, and always remembered her father saying goodbye.

'Why am I alive? Why didn't I die that day?' She thought. 'Why is my father gone? Just as we were getting to become a family gain he was taken away.' Misato was brought out of her thoughts, because she heard visitors. Contrary to what many may think, just because she was unresponsive, didn't mean she didn't pay attention to her surroundings, she had simply lost the will to care.

The two old men, by the sound of the, were right outside her door. 'Looking at the freak in the room, and talking about like she can't even hear them.' Misato thought as she listened to them talk, or argue as the case may be.

"Who is she?" One man asked. 'A kind sounding man.' Misato thought.

"She is the only survivor of the Katsuragi expedition, her name is Misato Katsuragi." The other man said. 'A mean sounding man.' Misato thought.

Even though she didn't know their names, Kozo Fuyutsuki and Gendo Ikari knew hers.

"Wait… Katsuragi, as in…" Fuyutsuki began.

"Yes, she is the daughter of Dr. Kenji Katsuragi, the namesake of the ship we are on." Gendo said. "She hasn't spoken since it happened. The U.S. picked her up when they came to search for survivors, and released her into Japan's custody the day after Old Tokyo was nuked. It's quite a shame. Her mother was killed in the attack, leaving her a ward of the state with special needs. So she was released into the AEL's psychiatrists' care."

"That's a vast understatement, Ikari. This poor girl saw hell first hand, and has to live with that knowledge the rest of her life." Fuyutsuki said solemnly.

"Yes, her physical wounds were quite easily healed, however she has a scar on her chest to always remind her of what happened, so her psyche will need much more time to become whole again." Gendo said, as he looked at Misato with what appeared to be a look of concern or dismay. "It is quite a shame for her."

"Indeed." Fuyutsuki said quietly, still looking at Misato's silent and still figure in the isolation room. "Why is she in there? Why is she not out in the world? Or at least not locked away in a room?"

"Why you ask? It's simple, she saw Second Impact, and she's in no state to be on her own. So until she recovers, then she will stay under constant observation, under lock and key." Gendo replied calmly.

"Ikari! That's ludicrous, keeping a girl locked up because she saw what happened." Fuyutsuki shouted, sounding more outraged than before.

"It's for her own protection. Imagine if the media were to get ahold of her name. She would never be left alone, and the constant guilt of being the only survivor would be constantly being brought up by the media." Gendo said. "We're trying to protect her from all of that, by doing this. It's simply safer."

"I won't tolerate this, Ikari. She shouldn't be locked up!" Fuyutsuki said angrily as he began to walk away. "But seeing as I'm only here as a set piece, I'll go back to my room, and stay out of the damn way."

Misato stopped paying attention to their conversation 'Well, I guess I don't need to pay attention anymore. They aren't talking about the poor girl who saw the end of the world anymore.' She thought. 'That one nice man sounded concerned, at least. I just wish everyone would treat me like a person instead of as some sort of experiment. I'm a person after all!' She heard both men walk away. 'At least they didn't strip me down to test me like those doctors always seem to want to. And that scar of mine just gives them an excuse to ogle me.' Misato, out of instinct when she thought about the scar, put her legs down, and reached under her shirt to feel the scar and its roughness against the otherwise smooth skin around it. 'I wish I hadn't gone there, then I'd have been with my mother when she died, instead of being here all alone. I hate being alone. But I'm afraid to talk, to get close to anyone again, what if they get too close and then suddenly die again! I can't take that, not again! I just want to run away, but I can't do that either!'

So instead of taking a chance, Misato got back into her usual position and simply stared at the wall in silence till someone came in and interrupted her.

"Hello Ms. Katsuragi." Misato recognized it as the voice of the kind man from earlier he walking in front of her and crouched down to meet her eyes. "My name is Kozo Fuyutsuki. I just wanted to talk to you, if that's okay." Seeing as he didn't get a response from her, he continued. "I just wanted to tell you something important. I know you saw whatever the heck happened down there as it happened. No one should have seen that. It really shouldn't have happened, but it did. Just remember, that even though you saw hell, you can learn from that, and maybe, when you feel better, you'll be able to do something about what you saw. But you have to talk so we can help you." Fuyutsuki stood up and walked towards the door. "I'll keep coming here until you say something to me. I'm not here to hurt you, Ms. Katsuragi, I just wish to help." He then left.

Even though Misato had outwardly ignored his presence, she didn't actually ignore what he had said. 'He actually sounded like he wanted to help… I didn't think that was possible, all those doctors ever want is to make me into a case study, they think I don't pay attention, but I do. I heard them say as much, but him, he just seems like a nice person, who wants to help someone out.' She thought as her dark memories continued playing in her mind. 'He actually wants to help me…'


July 1, 2002 – New Yokosuka, Japan

Fuyutsuki had been going to visit Misato every day the expedition since he'd seen her through the observation room's door. Misato still had not said a word, as she was still afraid to. Fuyutsuki, however, was not to be dissuaded by anyone from visiting the poor girl, even Gendo could not keep him from doing something to at least get her talking again. 'I just want her to say something so that those doctors can help her, just to get her to open up.' Fuyutsuki thought. It was the last day of the expedition, and they were currently waiting for permission to enter into New Yokosuka, and Fuyutsuki would only have another one more chance to get Misato to say something before they disembarked.

He went down to her, well, holding cell, as Fuyutsuki put it. 'There is no reason the girl needs to be confined like this, no wonder she doesn't want to talk.' He thought on his way to the depressing room. When he arrived, Misato was in the same state she was every day he'd gone, in the fetal position in a chair facing a blank wall. He entered and greeted her. "Hello, Misato, how are you today?" No response, not that he was expecting one, just hoping for one. "We're going to be arriving in New Yokosuka soon, so this will probably be the last time we talk."

Misato, being as still as a statue was in fact listening. 'We're going to be arriving soon, meaning I'll be put into another dark room away from the light.' Misato thought. 'Maybe I should try to say something, before I don't get a chance to say anything to him at all. But I don't think I can. It's not worth it if it's the last day.'

"Misato, I know you're hurting, I saw that every time I come to see you. But I have one last piece of advice to give you before we get off this ship. Life is short, and you're wasting what little time we have on this planet by not talking. You could be doing so much, Misato, you just need to believe in yourself and get out of your head." Fuyutsuki said. "You need to stop running away, Misato, it's time to come and face reality again."

'Life is short…' Misato thought. The points Fuyutsuki was making were bringing back a conversation she'd had with someone else with just wanted to help her. For once a good memory came to the surface of her mind instead of the horrors of Second Impact.

Flashback

Colonel Shinji Ikari however, cut her off. "No, I told him I'd talk to you, because I understand how young girls can be stubborn, I have a younger sister after all." He smiled at her. "I'll tell you one more thing he told me in confidence, that he truly regrets ever suggesting you weren't his child. He hates himself for saying it…"

"He should!" Misato interjected.

"I'm aware of that, and like I said, it's up to you to forgive him, but maybe cut him a little slack. He was angry at your mom, and he regrets it. He's glad she forgave him too. He just wants to try and make up for what he screwed up in the past. Is that so much to ask?" Shinji said. "You only get one set of parents. My sister had a friend whose parents died in a car wreck she survived. The last thing she remembers is her parents arguing about her behavior at a restaurant. She felt guilty about not stopping the fighting sooner, and blamed herself for their deaths."

"What was the point of that story?" Misato asked, quite irritated at the ramblings of Shinji.

"That life is short, and there's no time for regrets or grudges." Shinji said.

"Well, I guess you're right… I can talk to him, but I don't have to like it." Misato said. "Why did you want to help him out anyway? What do you get out of it?"

"Well, all I get is the ability to help out a friend, and maybe get him a second chance with his daughter. Now buckle up, we're going to be landing in a minute." Shinji said with a smile. Shinji turned on the intercom "All right passengers, we'll be landing in a few minutes, so please take a seat and buckle up."

Shinji gently landed the plane on the cold hard tundra. He pulled the plane towards the maintenance hangar so his passengers could disembark. As Misato got up, Shinji stopped her. "Hey, remember what I said, second chances are something everyone deserves."

"Alright, thanks Shinji." Misato gave him a small kiss on the cheek. "For the talk and everything."

Misato made up her mind to at least talk with her father again, just for the sake of being polite. Misato met her father at the back of the plane, he was talking with the old man and the angry looking fellow. They walked off the plane, and Misato took her chance. "Hello dad, I'm sorry for being so rough on you lately, but me talking to you doesn't mean I forgive you."

"Well, it's a start I guess, at you're talking to me again." Kenji said, smiling brightly as he helped his daughter from the plane.

End Flashback

'No time for regrets or grudges.' Misato thought. 'I need to talk, even if I don't want to. The answer was there the whole time, but it was buried under the sadness, destruction and loss of what came that day. I need to talk, I want to talk, but I can't.' Misato's new found resolve began to weaken. "I mustn't run away." She said without realizing.

"Misato? You spoke!" Fuyutsuki sounded shocked and thrilled. "No, you can't run away anymore, that's absolutely right." He said reassuringly.

"I won't run away anymore. I need to… face what I saw and… accept it." Misato stammered. "Thank you for making me realize that." She gave him a small kiss on the cheek, emulating how she had thanked Shinji a few years ago. "Thank you for bringing me… out of the darkness."


October 27, 2003 – Tokyo–2

Misato was living alone in an apartment in Tokyo–2. After she began speaking with the help of Fuyutsuki, Gehirn released her, under a few conditions of course. These directives came from the voice she recognized as a mean man, Gendo Ikari. He told her in no uncertain terms that she must never reveal anything about Second Impact, to anyone, or face the hefty consequences, which he left unnamed, but considering his demeanor, Misato assumed the worst. The second point was she had to finish High School, and also attend college, per her father's will, and it would be paid for by Gehirn. The third stipulation was that she would be allowed to live alone, but she would be under surveillance to make sure she stayed safe, and that her true identity as the sole survivor of Second Impact would not be discovered. As long as she followed those simple rules, her life would be quite well off, as she would have access to her parent's money, plus her living and school expenses would be paid for by Gehirn, leaving Misato the rest of the money to do with as she pleased.

Because she was living alone, and didn't know how really to cook, she had been experimenting with instant food, and had found several combinations she considered to be delicious. 'Thick instant ramen with spicy curry on top, Yum!' Misato thought at her latest creation. These combinations, to more "normal" people however, would be described as disgusting. Misato also didn't really clean up after herself, and only cleaned when the apartment smelled like death warmed over. She only did laundry once a month, as she had bought enough clothes to last at least that long.

She was six months into her second year of high school. After being released into the world, she completed her first year of high school in a single semester by taking make up courses. It was good to keep her mind focused on other things, as she still had trouble with bad memories. But staying busy and keeping the lights on at night kept her from having any bad dreams, or remembering that horrible day.

She also had a single side project that kept her busy as well. She was trying to find out about that pilot who flew her to Antarctica, Colonel Shinji Ikari. It had taken her awhile to remember his full name, but when she did, she contacted the military and asked about his whereabouts. 'I just want to find him and thank him for helping me. Whatever that memory was, the one on the plane, it made me realize that I can't hide forever. I just want to tell him that. Plus if I can see him again, then maybe I can see that cute face again!' Misato thought 'He was strong, confident, and funny, like a man should be. I just want to see him again. His advice saved me from the darkness. He didn't even realize that his advice was going to be so helpful, and I'm grateful for that. The first person to treat me like a person instead of child.' Misato tapped her chin pensively. 'I guess I have crush on him, which doesn't make a lot of sense, I only met him the once. But the heart wants what the heart wants. I'm older now, so maybe he'll want to notice me. I'm tired of people treating me like a child. After everything that's happened, I should be treated like an adult. I bet he would. My mother and father are gone, so I don't really have to be a "good girl" anymore.' She thought looking down at her ample breasts. 'Guys love these things, and even with that scar, they still came out pretty well.' Every time she thought about Shinji, she had the urge to touch herself, but because she had to leave for school she couldn't deal with her pressing needs.

That day, on her way to school, she noticed that when she got to the school yard, the people around her got quiet. She had noticed this the past few weeks, but it was becoming more and more obvious every day. Misato wondered why they were all being so damn quiet as she passed. 'Did I forget my bra or something this morning?' Misato thought, she glanced down and saw the red outline of the bra through her white school shirt. 'They must have noticed the bra, that's why they're all being so quiet.'

Today went a lot differently than normal. She talked constantly, and that was a source of dismay for her teachers, however she had made quite a few friends. But today, everyone was quiet around her. She finally found out why in the last class of the day, world history.

"Alright class, as many of you may have heard from your parents the United Nations released a report on July 1st of this year detailing what made the Great Calamity, or what they now refer to as the Second Impact to occur." The old sensei started. "Now, I have finally been allowed, after several months of asking to actually discuss this in class." The teacher turned on a projector that began to play a video of a meteor approaching the Earth. "Second Impact is so named as the First Impact killed off the dinosaurs, and a meteor nearly wiped out life on the planet a second time. Now, according to the United Nations report, on September 13, 2000, a meteor around the size the basketball approached the Earth at approximately 95% the speed of light. It was detected by a Mexican astronomer, Ceimca Nan approximately 15 minutes before impact. However, factoring in the meteor's speed, it was too late to do anything about. It impacted near Mt. Markham, causing a massive explosion with force of several thousand kilotons of explosive power, obliterating the continent of Antarctica, and melting the ice caps on the continents." The teacher said, switching slides to an animated view of the Earth and a resuming his lesson. "The explosion caused by the impact caused a massive tsunami that at its height reached over a kilometer in height, and when it approached Japan, was close to the speed of sound, and still reaching 400 meters in height. The destruction that this wave created in a few mere hours, killed 2.2 million people and destroyed several countries in the Southern Hemisphere." The teacher switched to another graphic of the Earth that showed the coastlines before and after the impact. "The water levels of the Earth were raised by 70 meters, causing the destroyed coastal cities to be covered in water, trapping the survivors from being easily rescued."

Misato, listing to the explanation began to go white, which didn't go unnoticed by her classmates. 'That's not what happened, the experiment went wrong! That beast, Adam! He began to glow and exploded, he wiped out everyone and destroyed the planet.' Misato thought, worried, as the memories of that day began to come back again. 'I have to stay calm, I can't lose my cool. Not after all this time. I can do this. I mustn't run away.' Flashes of memories regarding of the Giant of Light, Adam rising from the hole in the ice, the large wings of energy sprouting from his back, just before the darkness came, until she was rescued days later by a United States aircraft carrier, in a near death state.

"So after the water levels rose, tensions across the world broke, causing widespread war, and led to Old Tokyo being attacked by China with a nuclear warhead. This lasted for five months, until the United Nations intervened and created a treaty to end World War III. Signed on Valentine's Day in 2001, the fighting came to an end, leaving the world with about half of its pre–Second Impact, around 3 billion people left in a shattered world."

The teacher paused and looked up at the class. "Ironically, there were several people at ground zero when the meteor hit. An expedition sent by the U.N. to investigate meteor impacts. This expedition was led by, uhhh… Dr. Kenji Katsuragi, and there was only a single survivor who was not named in the report to protect their identity. How they survived such a violent event has not been mentioned, but it is assumed they are in no condition to discuss the events in the immediate aftermath of Second Impact."

Misato completely blocked out what the teacher said after that, and upon, hearing the explanation of Second Impact for the first time, began to realize why people had been quiet towards her. 'They know my father is Dr. Katsuragi. But why are they so quiet around me? Do they think it's his fault? Do they think I know what really happened? I do know what happened, everyone died because someone interfered with my father's experiment!' Misato thought, her mind in overdrive, not able to hold together the shaky progress she had made in not thinking about Second Impact over the last year. It had all been shattered by listening to the teacher's lesson. 'They must think I'm the only survivor, they know I used to live in Old Tokyo, I said that when I introduced myself, they must think I was there and know what happened. Oh, what am I going to do? I have to run away, I can't stay here anymore.' Misato caught herself. 'I can't keep running away from my past, like Fuyutsuki said. I need to try and move on, but it's so hard to do with people silently judging what they think really happened. No one knows what happened except me, I'm the only one. Until I die, I have the only memory of what happened.'

Ding dong ding ding…ding dong ding ding

"Well, I didn't realize that this lesson took so long, so, make sure to complete your handouts for tomorrow, and, uh class dismissed." The teacher said.

The class representative stood up, Misato's closest friend Kotomi Amagi, a girl who looked very similar to Misato, except for her jet black hair, which was kept in a single long braid that went down her back, and the round glasses she wore. "Rise… Bow… Sit!" She said in a stern voice. She looked over at her friend, who had not even acknowledged her order to act respectively towards the teacher. 'Why didn't she get up? I wonder what's wrong?' Kotomi thought. 'I should check on her.' She walked over to her very pale friend, and gently shook her by the shoulder. "Misato, are you ok? You look awfully pale, is something wrong, are you sick?"

"Huh?" Misato said, brought out of her thoughts on Second Impact with a shake on her shoulder. "Wha…? Oh, Kotomi, I'm… I'm fine, I just don't like hearing about uh… Second Impact." Misato stammered, memories of the event still fresh in her mind, like it had only happened moments ago. "I just don't like thinking about it is all."

"No, Misato, I'm not dumb, I can tell it's something else. I know people have been avoiding you for a while, and the rumors of you having been there when it happened are just totally unbelievable, and until today, I didn't really fully understand any of it." Kotomi leaned in close to Misato and whispered. "Was it your father that the teacher said was in Antarctica? Dr. Katsuragi, was he your father?"

Misato only nodded, her face as white as a sheet. 'People do assume that I was there, and there are rumors. Why did my paranoid mind have to be right?' Misato thought.

"Oh, Misato." Kotomi hugged her tight. "I didn't realize that, I'm so sorry, no wonder you don't like hearing about this. Do you want me to walk you home?"

'Why is she not more freaked out? If the reason for people not talking to me is that my father was there when Second Impact happened, why does Kotomi not care? Does she just think of me as a friend, and not some unfortunate soul who was affected by Second Impact a bit differently than the others? She doesn't believe the rumors either, is she just a nice person that cares for my wellbeing? Like the Colonel did, like Fuyutsuki?' Misato thought, a tear rolling down her cheek. "Kotomi, I want to tell you something, but you can't tell anyone else. It has to stay between us, ok?"

"I promise Misato, I won't tell anyone else." Kotomi said quietly.

Misato whispered in Kotomi's ear "My father, Dr. Kenji Katsuragi died in Second Impact, and my mother, Minako Katsuragi died in the attack on Tokyo, I was left all alone, my family was gone, and I only survived by dumb luck. I hate people knowing about my past, it just hurts too much to think about, let alone to talk about…"

Kotomi just stared at her hurting friend. "Misato…"

"I want to tell you something else, but it will have to wait till we get back to my place." Misato said quietly, collecting her things as she thought to herself. 'If I don't tell someone, I'm going to lose my mind. I need someone to know, so they can at least help me. I can't do this alone. I'm not capable of being alone, that's not who I am…'

The two girls walked to Misato's apartment. It took them awhile to get there in the scorching heat, but when they got there, they were able to relax in the cool the air conditioning. Misato sat down next to her friend, she was still pale, and despite the heat they had just endured to get to her apartment. "Kotomi, what I want to tell you is even more of a secret than what I told you before, and you can't tell anyone else, for your sake and mine, ok?" Misato said sternly. 'I can't tell her the whole truth, just enough that she'll understand… no one needs to know about Adam, I don't think she could handle that kind of truth, I don't think anyone could.' Misato thought.

"Misato, I understand, I promise to never repeat what you tell me to anyone. I just want to make sure you're ok." Kotomi said, with genuine concern for her friend.

"Ok, so… the rumors about me being there are true. My father brought me because my mother was ill, she had cancer, and I was there because no one else could watch me. The meteor hit near the expedition's base. Most of it was destroyed as the blast wave went past us. But my father and me survived, both pretty badly injured, he carried me to something, to keep me safe. Just after he put me in it, he gave me this cross." Misato showed her the Greek style cross around her neck. "And then he sealed me in and there was another explosion. The next thing I remember, I'm on an American aircraft carrier being treated for my injuries. I got this." Misato opened her school shirt to reveal the long scar between her breasts. "From the Second Impact, the only physical wound I received. Everything else I dealt with is all emotional. I know that telling you all of this is a lot to take in, but I'll understand if you don't want to talk to me again." Misato finished.

"Misato… how could you think I'm so shallow, that I'd abandon you because of the truth? I'm not those other morons we go to school with, the ones who claim they're "nice people" when in reality they aren't. I just want to help you, you're my only friend, and I don't like to be alone either. Until you showed up, no one really talked to, or even cared to know my given name. It was always "Hey, Amagi" or "Hey, Rep" no one cared about me. But your first day last year, you were so polite, so kind, you didn't care that I was the Class Representative. You came up to at lunch and just asked me why I was sitting alone, and then asked if you could eat lunch with me, and after that, I guess we became friends. How could I abandon the person who cared about my feelings, even though she didn't even know me? What kind of person would that make me?" Kotomi said. "If you were there, like you said, you saw death coming and couldn't do anything about it, but you survived, and must feel awful that so many people died and you're still alive. Misato, you can't feel guilty for living through that hell, you have a duty to live your life, so that all those people didn't die in vain."

'Does she really mean that?' Misato thought. 'I feel bad for not telling her the whole truth, but I can't tell anyone about that ever, otherwise I could get into serious trouble.' Misato looked at her friend, and hugged her as she began crying. Misato was relieved that she had finally been able to tell someone at least part of the truth that haunted her.

Kotomi simply hugged her friend back. "It's ok, Misato, I'll be here for you when you need a shoulder to cry on. I know I'm lucky and my family survived, but I'll always come over to keep you company if you need it. "

"Thank you, Kotomi, I don't deserve a great friend like you." Misato sobbed loudly into Kotomi's shoulder.

"Yes you do, Misato, if anyone in the world ever needed a friend, it was you." Kotomi replied, holding her friend tightly to make her feel safe.


March 7, 2005 – Tokyo–2 Municipal High School

Misato had been in a good place for a while. Since telling her secret to Kotomi, she had been a lot calmer, and hadn't had a single thought about Second Impact. Kotomi spent a lot of time at Misato's apartment since then. They studied together, ate together (Kotomi cooked, for fear of eating Misato's strange food combinations), and sometimes, the girl even slept over. That was generally reserved for when Second Impact was discussed in class, and Misato was afraid the nightmares would come back. However, Kotomi's presence made it so the nightmares didn't come, Misato always felt safe around her.

Things at school hadn't changed much with the other students. Her homeroom class would talk to her, and had, after a while forgotten the rumors, believing them to be false. Unknown to Misato, Kotomi had talked to them and told them that Misato's father died in Antarctica, and that it couldn't be his fault, so they forgave Misato and began to talk to her again. 'I wonder why they changed their minds? Did they feel guilty about being shitheads?' Misato thought when their change of heart occurred. However, the students outside her class mostly avoided her, and still spread rumors about how Misato's father probably caused Second Impact, but as long as Kotomi was with her, no one dared say anything to Misato's face, or face the wrath of a supremely protective friend. 'It's probably better this way, if no one asks, I don't have to think about it again.' Misato thought.

But today was a special day, Misato was set to graduate from high school, and she was glad it was over. No one would bother her from that school again, save for Kotomi. 'Assholes, the whole lot of them… I glad this is almost over. Only one good thing came out of high school, and that's Kotomi.' Misato thought. In a few weeks she would be going onto Tokyo–2 University, the premiere school in the country. As much as Misato talked in class, she wasn't stupid or anything, she just didn't apply herself. So, for the last time, she put on her school uniform and walked to school. 'God, I'm nervous. I hope I don't mess up when we're marching into the graduation ceremony. That would be embarrassing.' Misato thought as she walked into the school. She went to her classroom, 3–B, for the last time, and met up with Kotomi.

"Heya Kotomi, ready for the ceremony?" Misato said, smiling widely. "Nervous at all to give your speech, Ms. Student Council President?" Misato chuckled.

"Oh, Misato, stop teasing me, you know I don't do well in front of large crowds…" Kotomi said, a rosy hue showing up on her cheeks.

"What? Did I say something?" Misato said with a smirk. "Why are you blushing… did I touch sore spot? You shouldn't be so nervous, you'll be fine. You're dedicated and level headed, the opposite of me. If you want some advice…"

"I don't…" Kotomi said, cutting off Misato's most likely misguided advice.

"Well, I'm telling it to you anyway Kotomi." Misato said sticking out her tongue. "Look, whenever I gave presentation I always image everyone in the room is naked. Really helps break the tension and the stress."

"Misato! How could you suggest I do something like that? I'm… I'm not a pervert!" Kotomi said in a hushed, but still quite shocked voice. "How does that even help?"

"It helps you visualize that the audience is as vulnerable as you are up on stage, it levels the playing field." Misato quipped. "And if you have a big problem with seeing people naked, try imagining them in their underwear instead."

"Huh…" Kotomi was stunned by Misato's response. "Where did you learn that from, Misato?"

"I read it somewhere, can't think if it was a magazine or a book though…" Misato responded.

"Have you been slacking this whole time Misato?" Kotomi asked, as her friend was never a wealth of knowledge about anything, save for cars.

"Mayyyybe." Misato replied. "I just didn't care about applying myself, that's all. And it's not like my grades were that bad… I did come in like 22nd in the school ya know."

"I know, but if you did more, you could have gotten a higher grade, Misato!" Kotomi said, pouting a bit at her friend's obstinance.

"I didn't care about that remember. I just wanted to finish high school so I could go to college. I did get into Tokyo–2 University after all." Misato said defensively. "Although, I did get to become friends with you, so it wasn't a total waste of time." Misato said, smiling at her friend.

"Ugh… Misato, you are so difficult sometimes." Kotomi said. "But, I guess you're advice might work, I'll give it a try."

"Good, now stop being so nervous, and get ready, I think we're about to head to the gym." Misato said, seeing the students lining up at the door behind their homeroom teacher. "So, break a leg, Kotomi!"

The two girls lined up appropriately and marched down to the gym, where the underclassmen, teachers, and families were lined up in the bleachers. Misato's worries of messing up the planned and precise movements of marching were abated when she safely sat down in her seat, without having made a mistake. First they sang with the underclassmen three songs, the national anthem, the city song, and the school song, which Misato mouthed because. 'I hate singing in public, so I'll just mouth the words.' Misato then stood and marched in line to the stage, and waited for her name to be called by the principle. "Katsuragi, Misato!"

Misato replied. "Hai!" And then walked to the principle, accepting the unfurled diploma and bowing in respect. She then walked back to her seat, stopping to bow at the guests and faculty who were present.

After everyone received their diplomas, the principle spoke, a short speech. 'Thank God, I'd go crazy if he talked forever.' Misato thought as she barely listened to his speech, only picking up a few words he was saying like "moving on" and "next stage of life." Misato was only waiting to hear her friend speak. When the principle finished, he announced the Student Council President would be speaking next. Misato then started paying attention.

Kotomi walked out and looked nervous. It was a minute before she spoke, and her grimace turned into a small grin. Kotomi then cleared her throat "Good afternoon everyone. For those of you who don't know me, I am Kotomi Amagi, the Student Council President. I was elected at the end of last year, after the urging of my best friend to run for the office. She said I would be good at the job, and there was no one else for it, and I guess she was right, seeing as I won. It has been a fun three years here at this new school, with us being the first class to completely go through the Tokyo–2 Municipal Senior High School. It is truly our school. We sat in each grade here, studying away for the next part of our lives, eating our lunches in our classrooms and on the roof, adjusting to the heat outside during P.E., forging new friendships and strengthening old ones, all while we tried to forget our old lives. All while we tried to forget about everything before Second Impact. In the last five years, we've seen a lot of change. Second Impact happened while we were in Junior High School, then the wars, and we were thrust into the worst set of disasters the world has ever faced, losing half of the world's population in the process! Old Tokyo was destroyed in a flash by a nuclear bomb dropped by the Chinese, countries across the globe ceased to exist. This city, Tokyo–2 was created to replace what we lost, and will eventually house the new United Nations Headquarters. But we here at this school, and others around the world survived. We lived through a hell no one should have had to go through. Some of us have suffered more than others could even begin to imagine. But regardless, we survived. It may not be pretty, but we survived, somehow. We have persevered to live on. And that is what we will continue to do, live on, in this strange new world that has changed around us so much. With the changes we have endured, we can overcome anything… no, we can adapt to anything in our way, any obstacle, any barrier, and any difficulty we may face. We will need all this adaptably we've gained in order to take up our responsibility to help rebuild the world we live in. The world our children will one day inhabit. We must bring it back to its former condition for the next generation. We must rebuild, we must show ourselves we are capable of anything in the face of adversity. We are capable, our generation is not one full of slackers, but achievers. Like the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." If we can survive Second Impact, we can survive anything. So, to the Class of 2005, I ask you one thing, are you ready to keep surviving in this world, and are you ready to bring it back to what once was, what only we can remember?"

At this the class started cheering. Misato was quite moved by the speech. 'Wow, Kotomi is so right, I survived the worst hell anyone could face, and I'm here now. I should be stronger for it. But I'm not, I still want to run away, I still have to lean on Kotomi for support, even now, after all this time…' Misato thought.

"Well, then Class of 2005." Kotomi continued. "Then I finish with this… let's go back into the world, our world, and take it back from the brink of death. Congratulations Class of 2005, you have overcome, and now, it's time for us to continue doing that. Thank you, and good luck, to everyone!" Kotomi finished.

Misato stood and clapped, along with everyone else in the gymnasium. Kotomi blushed as she was given a three minute standing ovation for her speech.

After she left the stage, the ceremonies were ended and the students, after one last address from their homeroom teachers, were free to go. Misato ran up to Kotomi after they were let go. "Kotomi, that was a great speech. You did great. You were right, about all of it!" Misato rattled off.

"Misato, calm down." Kotomi said, holder her friend's shoulders to try and get the girl to relax. "I just did what you said, I just imagined everyone in their underwear."

Misato was to say the least, floored by this admission. "Wait, what? You actually followed my advice? That's a first!"

"It's not the first time Miso–chan. Just the first time I've actually told you." Kotomi said with a grin on her face.

"Why is that Kotomi?" Misato asked.

"Because, Misato, when you're right about something, you can be somewhat insufferable about it." Kotomi sighed.

Misato stuck out her tongue. "No, I'm not, I'm not the type to gloat or say I told you so."

"Sure you're not, Misato." Kotomi said "So you really liked my speech?"

"Of course I did. It was very inspiring, like some old general, rousing their troops to action. I told you would be a great Student Council President." Misato joked "But, honestly Kotomi, I loved your speech. Who did you write it for?"

"See, there it is, the "I told you so" you just don't say it outright." Kotomi said. "I wrote part of it for you, Misato." Kotomi's voice dropped to a whisper. "I know what you've been through is pretty awful, but you survived it, and you can get stronger because of it. I know you Misato, you'll do great things one day."

"Kotomi, what do you mean?" Misato asked. "After today, we'll stay in touch, right?"

"Of course we will Misato, but I can't always be right there when you need me, no matter how much I want to be, it just isn't feasible, especially with me going to Hokkaido for school, I won't be able to see you very often, and the phones are still pretty spotty. But I'll write you all the time." Kotomi said, with a large amount of dismay in her voice.

"I know you will, Kotomi." Misato said as she embraced her friend. "I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too, Misato." Kotomi said, hugging her friend back.


March 12, 2005 – Tokyo–2

Misato was walking back to her apartment, after seeing her best friend, Kotomi, off at the airport. She stopped to get the mail first. Sifting through the stack she had gotten from her mailbox, she tossed the letters and junk mail she didn't need.

Misato went through the mail, chucking anything she found useless. "Junk… junk… bill… junk… Cosmo, tips on how to impress your man in bed… political ads, bleh… oooh Car and Driver, I'll have to read that later… more junk mail? I thought we were trying to conserve resources not waste them… oh what's this, a letter from the military. I wonder if it's about Shinji?" It had been over a year and a half since Misato sent a request to the military about Colonel Ikari. Even not knowing whether he was alive or not, she still thought about him a lot, and some of the time, it wasn't exactly PG rating of a thought either. Misato hastily opened the letter, ripping the envelope in half, and it read:

Dear Ms. Katsuragi,

I do realize this letter comes long after you submitted your information request to the JSDF, now the JSSDF. However, with our administrative switchover, and with the damage wrought by Second Impact, we have been backed up with many such requests. Seeing as you are not an immediate family member, and only a family friend to one Colonel Shinji Ikari we can only give you limited information on his whereabouts. Unfortunately the news is not good, Colonel Ikari is deceased, having died in the Battle of Tokyo on September 20, 2000. He went down with his plane after being brought down by the EMP from the Chinese nuclear weapon that destroyed Old Tokyo. He died a hero. I am truly sorry that I cannot give you any further information than that, I'm afraid, for privacy reasons. Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your friend.

Sincerely,

Colonel Chojiro Tadaoki Sasakibe

Chief of Staff for General Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto

All Misato could do without losing it was put the letter down 'It can't be true, he can't be dead! Who could I possibly love now?' She thought, as she decided to go to bed early, seeing as she couldn't handle the reality of the moment.

Later that night, Misato was lying in bed, a cold sweat was running all over her face, her arms were thrashing, she was clutching the cross her father had given her so tightly, small drops of blood fell onto her bedsheets, and her face had a look of pure terror on it as she slept, unable to find any peace in her dreams.

She kept seeing Shinji getting killed over and over again, and she was unable to help him. After seeing this at least a dozen times, she was left standing alone in the dark. Suddenly the lights turned on and it revealed she was in the glass observation room, overlooking Adam. Realizing where she was, her eyes widened in shock. "Oh, no, not here, not again!" She screamed. "Why am I here?! WHY AM I HERE?!"

"Because you must face your past." Misato's 14 year old self said, appearing out of thin air. "You can no longer run from this place."

"Why are you here?" Misato shouted at her younger self. "Why do you keep torturing me! Just leave me alone!"

"I can't leave you alone, Misato. I am you." The younger girl said. "You can't run away from here because you still exist here. You can never run away from this."

"She's right sweetheart, you can't keep trying to run from what you saw." Misato's mother appeared as well. "My how you've grown, my darling daughter."

"Mommy?" Misato was confused as to why her mother was in this place. "Why are you here?"

"To help you understand." Her mother replied.

"Understand what? This?" Misato gestured to the beast below them. "I understand this already, Adam went apeshit during that experiment, and over two billion people died as a direct result of it, with another one billion or so from the wars that followed. I lost you to those wars, mommy, and lost daddy to that thing down there. I get what happened and it sucks." Misato spat.

Misato's father appeared. "No, sweetheart, you don't understand. That is a basic interpretation of what happened that day, but it's not the whole story."

"How much more complicated can the story be?" Misato asked. "Adam exploded, and the world nearly ended. I'm not seeing anything more complicated than that."

"On the surface that may be, but in reality the events leading to my death, and Second Impact are much more complicated. Have you ever wondered why several people left the day before the experiment, when the next plane out was scheduled for two days after the experiment." Kenji said to his now thoroughly confused daughter. "That means they had an idea of what was about to happened, and got out of dodge to avoid being caught up in the hell that followed."

"You mean someone was behind the experiment literally blowing up in your face?" Misato asked. "Sounds like one hell of a conspiracy theory, daddy."

"It's not really a theory, more of a fact, kid." Colonel Shinji Ikari now appeared as she had seen him the one time before, in his flight suit. "Now, I know you probably never thought about this, but why was I flying alone? Most large aircraft require at least two qualified pilots for travel, but I was always sent alone, after being ordered to by my superiors. I never asked any questions, but damn it was hard to fly a plane alone, that's how I got to know your father so well. Someone had to be pulling those strings to get me to fly alone, and if they can have influence in the military, they can certainly bring about Armageddon."

"I know you noticed all of this Misato, because I am you. You never thought about any of this until now, because after hearing about Second Impact constantly in school, you started to wonder why they needed to lie. The truth can't hurt, can it?" The younger Misato said.

"No, that's not true! The lie is so everyone can accept what happened!" Misato shouted at the apparitions in front of her. "No one can handle that kind of truth, it's not needed, not for something as big as this! It's just better that way!"

"That's right kid, these dreams and the guilt you have, have absolutely nothing to do with any conspiracy." Shinji said. "You just can't accept the truth about some things."

"Like what, the fact you're dead?!" She yelled at the young pilot. "I just found out today, it's a little hard to process in such a short fucking time!"

"No Misato, he doesn't mean his death. You viewed the world on its worst day, and you lived, because I sacrificed myself so you could live on. The reason you can't move on Misato, has nothing to with anything else other than the fact you can't keep hating me because I was willing to die for you, like any parent would die to protect their child. I love you Misato, and even though you cut me out of your life, I was able to still love you despite what you said to me. You feel guilty for ruining our relationship, and then, when it was close to being mended, I died, and everything reverted to the way it was. You hated me again." Kenji said calmly.

"You're Goddamn right I did! You were selfish to just go and die like that! I needed you! I STILL NEED YOU!" Misato roared, spit flying from her mouth. "You left me alone again lie you always did when I was younger, when you left mom to go on your expeditions! You always left without saying goodbye. I was glad when mom left you, but after a while, I started to hat myself for breaking you up, but it's your own fault for dying, you could have been saved too! But instead you ran away. YOU RAN AWAY, AGAIN!"

"Misato, listen to your father, you have to forgive him for what he did. He knew if you were to survive, you wouldn't be alone. You were always a kind person, and very outgoing, no matter what happened at home between me and your father. You can never be alone, because people like you Misato because you are a kind person." Misato's mother said.

"Go away!" Misato covered her ears. "Leave me alone! Get out of my head! GO AWAY! I will not forgive him. I WILL NEVER FORGIVE HIM!"

"Hey kid, when I saw you on that plane, you were a little bad–tempered. But I knew the girl I met that day was nice, deep under that surly exterior you built to protect yourself so that you could get through your hard life. I find it hard to believe that that girl is gone. I find it hard to believe you can't forgive your father for doing what anyone would do." Shinji said.

Misato squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. "Why am I listening to you people? You're all dead! Even the old me, that person doesn't exist anymore. SHE DIED THAT DAY!" Misato screamed. "She can never come back! That little girl is gone… FOREVER!"

"No, I'm right here, I'm not dead, you simply repress the idea of being happy because you can't live with yourself if you're enjoying anything. The only person who you acted like yourself around in the last five years was Kotomi, and now that she's gone, all the progress you've made started to fall apart. You still hate your father, and yet you wish you could hear his praise once again. You're pathetic." The younger Misato said calmly.

"Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!" Misato bellowed, and then she felt something move below her, and she looked down.

Misato saw Adam below them stir, he began glow a brilliant white, and started to stand up, shaky at first, but as he steadied himself, he hovered in front of the observation room, and his eyes glowed, followed by a blast of yellow light that destroyed the room around Misato. She saw something hit her chest, after passing through someone else first, and then all she saw was darkness.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Misato screamed so loud that it woke up several of her neighborhood, and the police were called to investigate a woman being attacked in the building. After a hasty explanation to the police, Misato went to lie back down. Not that she could go to sleep however, because, Misato had just had the worst nightmare she had ever experienced and she was terrified of going back to sleep.


May 9, 2005 – Tokyo–2 University

Misato had been in college for a month now. The nightmares had continued since the day she found out her teen girl crush was dead. It was similar every night, the conversations with the dead, and all ending with Adam blasting her back to consciousness, covered head to toe in cold sweat. She hadn't heard from Kotomi since she left, which left Misato relatively alone. Misato lived alone on campus, in single dorm room, at the request of Gehirn.

However, she met Ritsuko Akagi, known to Misato as Ritz, on her first day of college, and they became instant friends at Misato's insistence. Ritsuko was a year older than Misato, but she was still a good friend regardless. She wasn't as good of a friend as Kotomi had been, but as Misato thought. 'She'll do.'

The girls were perfect for each other. Misato loved talking a bunch, and Ritsuko was quiet and simply listened. Ritsuko had written her mother about Misato, and was told to not let go of the new friendship she had, as it was the only one she'd gotten in her whole life. Misato was unaware of this, but was glad for the company none–the–less.

The two were doing their usual thing of going to lunch. There were very few tables open this time of day, so they took chairs across from each other at a crowded table. "God, its busy today, isn't it Ritz?"

"Yeah Misato, I'm glad we found seats so we can at least talk." Ritsuko responded, looking at her meal, and she began to pick at it. She looked quite bored.

"So what classes did you have today Ritz?" Misato asked, with her mouth full of food.

"Uh, Misato, just be careful not to choke on that." Ritsuko said, still looking discontent. "I have advanced computer programming and a bioengineering lab later on, what about you?"

"I got nothing this afternoon, I'm free as a bird Ritz!" Misato chuckled.

"Ugh, Misato, do you have to rub it in?" Ritsuko asked. "You could act a bit more sympathetic you know." Ritsuko said.

"I could, but that wouldn't be very much fun!" Misato said, finally noticing her friend looked sad. "You don't look very cheerful though, Ritz, why don't I tell you a few jokes?"

"Must you?" Ritsuko said sullenly.

"I must!" Misato declared proudly.

"Go ahead then…" Ritsuko said, sounding utterly defeated and apprehensive of what was coming.

"Ok, have you heard the joke about the Pizza?" Misato asked.

"No…" Ritsuko sighed. "What is it?"

"I can't tell you, it's too cheesy." Misato cackled.

"Oh, God…" Ritsuko hung her head and hoped no one else had heard.

Misato, not missing a beat continued on. "What's the difference between a Hippo and a Zippo?"

"I have no idea?" Ritsuko said, hoping it wasn't another stupid joke, and even only knowing Misato a short time, kinda figured it was.

"A Hippo is really heavy, but a Zippo is a little lighter." Misato said, and she started to laugh at her own joke.

"Jesus help me." Ritsuko whispered.

Misato plowed on to her next joke, much to the chagrin of her friend. "Why don't you ever see a hippopotamus hiding in a tree?"

"I really don't want to know, Misato…" Ritsuko sighed.

Misato kept laughing. "Because they're good at it!"

Ritsuko hid her face in shame. "Misato please stop, you're embarrassing me."

Misato got angry at Ritsuko's indifference. "Hey, I'm trying to make you laugh here, Ritsuko!" Misato steamed. "Here's a joke you might like, Knock, knock."

Ritsuko sighed, and decided it was for the best to simply to reply. "Who's there…"

Misato had a sickening grin on her face. "Go fuck yourself!"

Ritsuko was shocked, but couldn't help but utter a small girlish giggle.

"HA! I got you to laugh!" Misato danced in her seat. "I win, you smiled!"

Misato tossed her head back and laughed and when she noticed a guy sitting at the far end of the table. He had dark hair, which was unkempt, was tall, and had some stubble on his chin. He also had a boyish charm about him that intrigued Misato. It also helped that Misato found him attractive. As Ritsuko finished her lunch, and got up, Misato bid her friend farewell, and then marched over to the cute boy at the end of the table and sat down next to him. "Hi there, I'm Misato, Misato Katsuragi. Pleasure to meet ya!"

"No, Ms. Katsuragi, the pleasure, I'm sure, is all mine. Ryoji Kaji is the name!" Kaji said "My friends and lovers all call me Kaji though." He said with a glint in his eye.

"Lovers, huh?" Misato snorted. "So, Kaji, you some kind of playboy?"

"You could say that, Misato." Kaji said. "I play the field, but I've never met anyone quite like you before."

"Whatever do you mean?" Misato mused in a cute voice. 'Wow, he so cute, I wanna ask him out, but I'm a bit scared.' Misato thought.

'God, she's so beautiful, I'm afraid to ask her out. Maybe if I turn the tables on her, she'll ask me out, and I'll know for sure she's interested.' Kaji thought. "Well, no one has ever come up to me to ask me out before." Kaji said coyly.

"Ask you out, huh?" Misato said. 'I think he's interested, I guess I should ask before I lose the nerve.' She thought. "All right, playboy, you and me, dinner, at the ramen place down the street, tomorrow night, pick me up in my dorm at 6:00p. I live over there." Misato pointed to the tall, pale yellow, concrete dorm. "I'm in room 237. Don't be late." Misato said getting up, and sashaying away, giving Kaji a show of her nicely shaped hips.

'Score, she asked me out! I'm damn lucky she's interested.' Kaji thought "Don't worry, Katsuragi," Kaji called out to the retreating girl. "I wouldn't dream of being late for a date with you! That would be stupid!"

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.

Bleach references are fun. If you know what I mean, kudos, if not, meh.

The inclusion of Shinji Senior into Misato's thoughts (and the hot and heavy crush she develops) are how I'm going to try and tie in why she took Shinji in in the first place. Not only did Shinji remind her of herself, but he looked remarkably like the man she had a crush on as a teen, even though she only met him the once, and also had the same name. She never puts together these details, and that he's related to Shinji, she just believes him to be someone she can help, like he had helped her all those years ago.

Misato's friend, Kotomi Amagi, is named for a WWII Japanese aircraft carrier in the same class as the IJN Katsuragi. History can be fun. Anyway, Kotomi is just a nice caring person that Misato meets, and learns part of her secret (that she saw Second Impact) and will play a small role going forward, after losing touch after high school, she meets Misato during her time at NERV.

And finally we have the Kaji x Misato, or at least a first date invite. I'll be getting more into their relationship in Episode III, including their week o' sex and the breakup. No lemons though, not my style.

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.


つづく