Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode II: Attack of the Seeds
Chapter 6 – Living in the Shadows
1991 – Hyogo, Japan
Ritsuko Akagi was still nursing her sore face from a fight she had with her mother earlier that day. It still felt a little swollen, and she could occasionally taste blood in her mouth. Her mother had hit her quite hard, and it was Ritsuko's opinion that she didn't quite deserve to be hit so hard, or even hit at all. 'My mother's not really a mother, I don't think she ever wanted to be one either.' Ritsuko thought as she remembered the events of earlier in the day.
"How do you think I feel, having to go to all your stupid lectures? I don't want to go to another stupid lecture. I don't want to go to Kyoto, I'd rather be at home studying things I like to study!" Was young Ritsuko's heated response to her mother's pleas. Arguments like this had been common since she could talk coherently, and seeing as she was a genius, she spoke very much like an adult, and sometimes came off like she didn't care about anyone, cold and heartless, as her grandmother had described it, her mother especially disliked this behavior, as it reflected badly on her as a mother. Ritsuko also had a flair for sarcasm, even at the tender age of six, and didn't hold back when she was arguing with her mother.
"Why don't you go find another 'uncle' for me then, maybe he could babysit me in between all your 'research,' then I wouldn't be stuck going with you!" Ritsuko yelled back.
"How dare you talk to me that way, I AM YOUR MOTHER!" Naoko roared, she had left a bright red mark on Ritsuko's face where her hand had impacted, and blood was coming out of the corner of Ritsuko's mouth, Naoko had hit her so hard, she cut the inside of Ritsuko's cheek against her teeth.
"Why do you hate me so much? What did I ever do to you? Parents shouldn't treat kids this way!" Ritsuko said with tears in her eyes, trying to restrain herself from crying and giving her mother the satisfaction. "I HATE YOU!" Ritsuko yelled, and ran toward her room, but she was grabbed roughly by the arm and spun around by her mother.
"I don't care what you think of me, you little brat, but you will be coming with me to the lecture, and you will sit in there quietly and act respectfully towards the people in that lecture hall, including me, or there will be hell to pay when we get back home. Do you understand?"
After thinking back, Ritsuko rubbed the spot on her arm where her mother had grabbed it. Her mother had squeezed it quite hard, and now there was a deep purple bruise in the shape of her mother's hand that was tender to the touch. "I hate that woman, and I hate that she's my mother." Ritsuko said laying in her bed, trying to ignore the sounds of her mother having sex in the next room. Her grandmother was gone, meaning Ritsuko was at the mercy of her mother's moods (and lovers) until she got back. She hated when her grandmother left, because she felt defenseless. Ritsuko wasn't that tolerant of her mother to begin with, and her being a sarcastic child tended to make whatever outburst of hatred Ritsuko's mother was having focus in on her.
So in typical Naoko fashion, Ritsuko had been punished anyway when they got home, even after mother's shitty apology. She sent her to her room without any dinner to think about what she had said earlier in the day. "What a bitch, I acted polite, and didn't even roll my eyes during the lecture." Ritsuko said looking at her ceiling trying to relax. "I can't wait to get away from her."
February 14, 2001 – Nagano, Japan
It had been almost four years since Ritsuko's grandmother had had a massive fight with her mother and moved out of the house. The fight was over Ritsuko's wellbeing, something Naoko didn't really concern herself with all that much. Ritsuko, seeing the argument as her only chance to escape, followed her grandmother to where she was moving, to Nagano, up in the mountains. This had been quite a good decision. Even though her grandmother traveled a lot to visit other parts of the country, Ritsuko was fine on her own. 'I'm capable of taking care of myself.' Ritsuko kept thinking, and the alone time suited her personality.
Ritsuko had never been one to make friends easily, and liked being left alone. This was partly her mother's fault, as she had made Ritsuko think all human contact would be fraught with arguments and violence.
Now, she had rarely seen her mother in the time before the Great Calamity, maybe once every few months for a day or so, but since the tsunami and the wars started, Ritsuko hadn't seen or heard from her mother at all and assumed she was holed up in her lab, working on her great project, the MAGI System. 'The computer system designed with the human condition.' She thought sarcastically. Not even a phone call since that fateful day to check and see if her mother and daughter were alive. 'Figures, even when she should be a mother, or at least pretend to be a mother, and at least check to see that I haven't died or anything, she can't pull herself away from her work long enough to give a half a shit.' Ritsuko thought. 'Is she incapable of caring for others? Is that where I get that from?'
Ritsuko was now wandering through the streets to get home, which was made difficult by the fact that the city was vastly overcrowded with survivors following the Great Calamity. Being in a mountainous area of the country meant the rising ocean waters weren't a big issue to contend with, but the survivors seeking high ground were. They lived wherever they could fit. Unsurprisingly, even in this time of extreme crisis, many people were reluctant to let people into their homes, even though those from the flooded or decimated areas (especially the Old Tokyo suburbs) had nowhere else to go. 'It's not our problem they're homeless, they need to get themselves back on their feet.' Was Ritsuko's thought as she avoided the many people sitting in the streets, who were refugees from the flooded and destroyed areas that were now sitting below the new water level. 'Can't they go somewhere else?' She thought as she stepped around the people sitting in the streets.
After some very interesting navigating, Ritsuko finally arrived home, to an empty house. Her grandmother was out of the house again volunteering down in the disaster area, and helping who she could. 'My grandmother, the hypocrite. She might like to help others, but she won't let them into the house and give them shelter.' Ritsuko thought as she put the groceries away. 'Not that I'm complaining that those people aren't in the house, but my grandmother needs to stop acting like she's saving everyone.' Ritsuko scoffed, and went over to the cabinet to get some cat food for her new kitten.
Ritsuko had found the young kitten on the street a few weeks ago, covered in dirt, grime, and other unspeakable substances, and hiding in a garbage can near the supermarket. 'Oh, a cat, what's this poor thing doing out here.' Ritsuko took it home and cleaned it up, and found out it was a Tabby cat. Ritsuko and the cat bonded, unsurprisingly, as Ritsuko could trust the cat, and talked to her constantly, and the cat was glad to be rescued and cared for. Ritsuko had finally found someone to talk to (well more of a something, but you get the idea), she had finally found a friend. After opening the can of food and feeding the cat, Azuki, Ritsuko went to her room to relax.
The cat followed Ritsuko to her room and jumped on her bed, and curled up in Ritsuko's lap. "Azuki, what are doing up here?" Ritsuko said as she pet the cat. "Can I tell you something?"
"I miss my mother sometimes. I don't know why, she was never a very good mother, or a great person. And she never tried to protect me from anything that happened to me. She just didn't care, but I just wish I had my mother." Ritsuko said. "I know it doesn't make any sense, but I guess everyone wants their mother, no matter how awful they may be, I guess that's just human nature."
"Nyan." Azuki responded, nuzzling Ritsuko's hand.
"Well, I'm glad someone understands." Ritsuko quipped as she continued to pet Azuki "You know something else, she has never told me who my father is. I don't know why, but whenever I brought it up as a child, she would scream at me like I did something wrong. I want to know him too, or I guess, at least know who he is. I deserve at least that much, but seeing as my mother never talks to me, I guess I'll never find out."
"Nyan." Azuki now licked Ritsuko's hand.
"It's nice to have someone with me, even if you can't respond to anything I say." Ritsuko said, gently rubbing Azuki.
"Nyan!" Azuki purred.
"I do hope that one day my mother can tell me who he is, if she even knows who he is." Ritsuko said with a harsh tone to her voice. "You never know with her and men, she might have been with too many to know exactly who he is, especially considering I look so much like her." Ritsuko said, her voice tense. "I hate that I look like her, it's like an awful reminder that she's my mother."
"Nyan…" Azuki sounded somewhat concerned.
"I just hope I don't end up like her when I'm older." Ritsuko stated.
July 2003 – Tokyo–2
Now at age 18, Ritsuko was living in the new Capital of Japan, Tokyo–2. She was attending college at Tokyo–2 University. Ritsuko had stated a few months ago and was enjoying it very much. The city had just been completed, and with the new report about what had happened in Antarctica those few shorts years ago out, it was the consensus of the United Nations that a small meteorite, no larger than basketball struck the ice cap in Antarctica near Mt. Markham at approximately 95% the speed of light. For this reason the ice caps were melted and the team, the Katsuragi Expedition, investigating meteor activity around Mt. Markham were killed, save for one member whose identity was kept hidden to protect them from being harassed by the media.
Ritsuko thought this explanation was interesting, and would account for the lack of the warning before impact. Instead of calling it the Great Calamity, the report changed the name of the event to the Second Impact, referencing the fact that an asteroid had wiped out the dinosaurs, and reset life on Earth, the First Impact. The report also said that we as a species were lucky to have survived such a harrowing event.
Ritsuko however only read over the report out of simple curiosity, and also to see if her mother had participated in its conclusions, which it did not publically state. 'Figures, Gehirn couldn't even put its name on the actual report.' She thought.
Now that she was attending college after completing senior high school, Ritsuko was finding out, much to her chagrin, that she was quite a lot like her mother. She had taken up, not only computer engineering and bioengineering, but also looking into medical science for her bachelor's degrees, and eventual doctorate's. 'I can't believe we're that similar, our minds seem to be alike. But I can't be angry at the fact that this is what I'm good at.' She thought, cursing the mind her mother gave her.
However, because of her surname and what she was studying, and her mother's famous LAZARUS and EVE systems she was constantly being compared to her mother by her professors, and expected to make great strides in the fields she had chosen. 'I hate being compared to her and everything she has done! It's ridiculous, we're two separate people!' Ritsuko thought. 'Just because I'm her daughter, doesn't mean I'm like her!' This particular thought was a great sore spot to Ritsuko, because she still hated her mother, and didn't want to be anything like her. This was made harder considering that she had chosen fields of study that her mother had chosen and excelled in. 'Well, if they're going to keep comparing us, then I want to be better than my mother, so they can compare her to me!' she thought fiercely.
Ritsuko was on her way back from class. 'Ugh… another professor who only sees my mother's prodigy… that will be a wonderful class to deal with.' She thought sarcastically. 'Well, at least I only have that class once a week.' On the way to her dorm, Ritsuko decided to go and check her mail, and see if her grandmother had sent her anything. Come to find out there was only a single item in the mail, from her mother.
Ritsuko rushed back to her room to open the letter in relative seclusion.
I know it has been some time since we have talked. I have been meaning to contact you soon, but since Second Impact my work at the lab has become considerably more complicated than when we last spoke. I am currently working on several projects, the MAGI, Project E, a new project to deal with the after effects of Second Impact, and the HCP, a project to better adapt humans to the changing conditions on Earth.
I wanted to write to you about something other than my work, however. I wanted to tell you about your father. I realize I should have done this when you were much younger, but, me being the poorly adept mother that I am, was unable to share this truth with you. I wanted to protect you from it, but now it's time you know the truth. To be completely honest, your grandmother cajoled me into telling you this, but she is right, you have to know at some point.
I can't remember the name of your father, just what he told me when I told him I was pregnant. He said "I could give a shit if a slut like you got pregnant, maybe you should just go and take care of it." When I asked if he had even loved me he laughed and said "Why would I love you, I barely had to say anything to get you in bed with me, and now, look what happened. It's not my problem, you dumb slut." To this day, I still have trouble accepting what he said, and I'm hoping that you can forgive me for not being a better mother, or for that matter being a mother at all.
If you can find it within yourself to forgive me, please write me back at the address indicated on the envelope.
Ritsuko was floored by what she had just read. 'What the fuck?' she thought. 'How does telling me this now make anything any different, or any better?' Ritsuko shook her head. 'She must have had some sort of epiphany… or a stroke. I'm not sure which.' Ritsuko sat down on her bed and stared at the point where the ceiling met the wall. 'Why would she tell me now? Granny must have said something about the night we moved out…' Ritsuko shuddered at the thought of that night. 'But at least now I understand why she didn't want to talk about him. She was embarrassed about what happened, so I guess… maybe I can forgive her for that.' Ritsuko laid back and thought about it for a few minutes before jumping to a conclusion. 'Perhaps writing her back can take me a day or two to decide, she did make me wait six years after all.'
April 4, 2005 – Tokyo–2 University
Ritsuko, since receiving a letter from her mother some time ago, had become pen pals with her in an attempt to reconcile, or, at the very least, create a relationship between them. Ritsuko had weighed the decision's pros and cons, and decided that seeing as her mother had put in an ounce of effort, she deserved at least a letter in return. And that letter in return turned into a letter or two a week.
Ritsuko was on her way to lunch in cafeteria. It was first day of the new school year, and she was excited about continuing her studies. Ritsuko arrived a little late to lunch, so after getting her food, she had trouble finding a table. Because she wasn't a people person, there was nowhere for her to sit because every table had several occupants already.
There was however one table that had only a single occupant. Ritsuko saw a striking girl sitting alone at a table, with shoulder length, deep purple hair, dressed in an outfit that revealed quite a lot of her chest, and legs, showing off how attractive she was. She looked quite happy, and Ritsuko, desperate for somewhere to sit decided to approach the table. "Is anyone… uh… sitting here?" Ritsuko asked nervously.
"Nope, just lil' ol' me." The girl replied. "Feel free to sit down." The girl gave her a wide smile.
"Thank you very much." Ritsuko replied "I'm… Ritsuko, Ritsuko Akagi. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"I'm Misato, Misato Katsuragi." She said. "It's my first day, so I'm a little lost. I have a horrible sense of direction. I was looking for the dorms and ended up here. I don't know why, but I can never find my way anywhere unfamiliar, even if I have a map!" Misato rattled off quickly on one breath.
Ritsuko was wondering what brought on this unsolicited bit of conversation, but then something else clicked 'Katsuragi, like the expedition… she couldn't be the… survivor could she?' Ritsuko thought as Misato continued to talk. 'I think it would be impolite to ask, but, it may be worth asking just to know.'
"…and that's how I ended up choosing Tokyo–2 for college." Misato finished, unaware that her tablemate hadn't listened to her story at all.
"Ms. Katsuragi…" Ritsuko started.
"No, no, call me Misato, please."
"Misato, can I ask you a personal question, about your family?" Ritsuko asked, sounding a bit nervous.
"Is it about my father?" Misato asked. "Kenji Katsuragi, the head of the Katsuragi expedition to investigate meteorite activity in Antarctica on Mt. Markham?" Misato paused to see the look on Ritsuko's face telling her exactly what she wanted to know. "Yes, I'm his daughter, and I am the only survivor of the impact site that created Second Impact."
Ritsuko was shocked. "I… I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you, I was only curious."
"Don't be sorry, Ritz." Misato said, taking the opportunity to nickname her. "I don't have anything to hide, it's just that even after hearing my last name, you asked a question no one else has had the guts to ask me, not even the professors. They just stare like assholes."
"Well, I was… like I said I was curious." Ritsuko replied. "I just didn't think the name was very common. So I figured you had to be it, I just didn't expect you to be… the survivor."
"Well, I don't remember anything about what happened, just a big flash of light, and then waking up on an American ship some time later." Misato said matter–of–factly.
"Oh, I wasn't going to ask you about what happened, it must have been pretty traumatic, I imagine." Ritsuko said. "I'm not morbidly curious."
'You have no idea…' Misato thought back to Adam, glowing menacingly and his wings, her father dying to protect her, and the blast that shook the world and then the darkness. Misato shook her head slightly to get herself back to reality. "I like that you're honest, Ritz, it's a good trait to have. Listen, since I don't have any friends here yet." Misato paused and stared intently at Ritsuko's mole. "Would you like to be my friend?"
Ritsuko was stunned, she had never really had a friend (besides her cat, Azuki) but was interested in the prospect, as she wouldn't always be on her own, she would have someone to talk to, or at least someone who would talk to her. 'Sounds like a good idea to me.' Ritsuko thought. "Why not, you seem like a nice person, I think I'd like to be your friend."
"Great! So do you mind if I call you Ritz?" Misato asked, with a goofy smile on her 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.
I like Ritsuko less then I like her mother, mostly because she is a willing co–conspirator with Gendo, and is literally a bitch to Rei and Asuka. She takes it a little easier on Shinji, but her plan to blow him up with the 12th angel and of course killing all of the Rei clone bodies (what the fuck did they do to her anyway) and of course her trying to choke the fuck out of Rei in the manga and of course her banging Gendo (just like her mother in both cases, but like 10x worse.) and the fact I just don't like her attitude. But in order to do a proper Origin Arc, I needed to write about her too. Damn my anal retentive nature.
The easiest part of this chapter to write was her and Misato meeting for the first time (lunchrooms and people in these stories meeting seem like an interesting coincidence). I always wondered how they first met, so I decided to write about it instead of wondering about it. Good idea, right?
Ok, so the letter that Naoko sends her daughter essentially has the public cover story for the EVAs and the Human Instrumentality Project so as to protect SEELE and what is actually going on at Gehirn, and to add a bit of difficulty to anyone trying to find out the real plans of SEELE or Gehirn.
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.