Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode VI: Return of Reality
Chapter 11 – I Reject
December 31, 2016 – Tokyo–2, Emergency Evacuation Center
It was late afternoon in Tokyo–2 and the evacuation center was buzzing. Since early that morning, reports had come in of a massive movement of JSSDF soldiers and weapons heading towards Tokyo–3. No reason had been given for the rumors, and the movement of so many troops brought those who were old enough to have heard stories of Imperial Japan from their grandparents were worried about what that kind of deployment could mean. What made it worse was that after the news stations had reported on it, even though most of them had only made a small note if it, all the news stations in the country had gone dark, and the phone lines went dead, almost as though the government were trying to hide everything that was happening in Tokyo–3.
However, several NERV technicians stationed around the city in various evacuation centers decided to circumvent the government blackout on the news and hacked directly into the available NERV satellite feeds, giving them a wide angle view above and around Tokyo– of these centers happened to be where Toji and the others were staying.
Toji, out of sheer curiosity followed his sister, girlfriend, and best friend down to see what the commotion was. When they got there, a small crowd had gathered in the cafeteria, sitting and watching the television in awe. The AIS was firing on the invading JSSDF fighters and bombers, the attack had just begun and had yet to take a turn for the worse.
"Holy shit." Kensuke muttered. "That looks so cool from above."
"Kensuke, our friends are there." Sakura said admonishingly.
"Yeah, man, don't be an ass about it." Toji said. "They look like they're in real danger."
"When aren't they in real danger?" Hikari asked.
"Fair point… but why do they need so many bombers." Toji said. "That city can take a beating like crazy."
"Yeah, but can it stand up to…" Kensuke paused. "They're gonna nuke the city…"
"Are you… are you sure?" Hikari asked.
"Yeah… that's the only thing those damn things carry." Kensuke said. "And I'm counting… 75… damn…"
"Isn't that like… overkill?" Toji asked as they watched the planes quickly pull away from Tokyo–3 and watched as the N2 bombs went off in tandem as the image was whited out from the sheer destructive force of the blast. It took several minutes for the blast to dissipate, and rather expectedly, the city had been completely vaporized.
"Holy shit… they actually did that…" Hikari muttered.
"Our home…" Kensuke murmured.
"Fucking cowards!" Toji shouted at the TV, startling everyone in the room. "Too scared to fight the Evangelions, right?! Bunch a pussies!"
"Toji, relax…" Hikari said in a hushed voice. "You're scaring people…"
"I don't care about that!" Toji said loudly. "Did you see what they just did? They wiped out our home, and our friends are stuck there defending something that doesn't exist anymore! It's fucking bullshit!"
"But look at the Geofront…" Sakura said. "It's so beautiful."
"Sakura…" Toji began.
"Leave it alone, Toji." Hikari said as she saw splashes on the lake's surface. "Hey, Kensuke, why are they attacking the lake?"
"No idea…" Kensuke said. "Maybe there's a weapon or something in there."
They watched as the assault on the lake intensified. Then they saw what the JSSDF was firing on, Unit–02. They watched as Unit–02 emerged from the water and dodge a barrage of weapons fire by diving back into the lake.
"So they were firing at Asuka!" Sakura shouted. "I mean, the red one is hers right?"
"Yeah, it's hers…" Hikari said. "But she said she couldn't pilot… so she must be better now…"
"You mean with Shinji?" Kensuke asked.
"Do you think they made up?" Toji asked.
"Well…" Hikari replied as she gasped when the cruiser came out of the water and was set ablaze by another barrage of weapons fire.
"Holy shit…" Kensuke said as the cruiser was flung towards the shore and destroyed the JSSDF's assembled weapons, leaving only Unit–02 standing in the lake.
"Go Asuka!" Toji shouted. "Give 'em all hell!"
"She'll have her chance." Kensuke said. "They're dropping tanks in…"
"And they have those weird flying things." Sakura said.
"VTOLs." Kensuke replied.
"Think she can take them all?" Hikari asked.
"Probably…" Kensuke said as he pointed at the TV where Unit–02 was decimating them. "There's your answer."
They all watched as Asuka made short work of the VTOLs, but then they noticed the new flying wings that were deploying something new to the battlefield.
"What are those things?" Hikari asked.
"They look like Evangelions…" Kensuke said.
"And they're surrounding Asuka." Toji said angrily. "Thirteen to one is bullshit!"
"I don't think that'll be a problem." Sakura said as they watched Unit–02 rip the MPEs apart in under five minutes. There was a lot of cheering from everyone, most of all Toji, who cheered the loudest, watched as Unit–02 shut down from the lack of power just after the last MPE fell to the ground.
"Well, looks like the show is over now." Toji said.
"Damn, she's amazing…" Sakura said. "Look what she did…"
"Yeah, they're down for the count." Kensuke said happily.
"But it looks like we're never going home again…" Hikari muttered. "The city's gone…"
"Yeah, but we'll still be together, wont we?" Sakura asked.
"I don't know, sis." Toji said. "I mean our pops works for NERV, and Kensuke's dad does some shit for them, and so does Hikari's… they could go anywhere in the world now… which means we might not be together anymore…" Toji enveloped Hikari in a hug. "Don't worry about it so much babe… we'll figure things out when it comes to it… ok?"
"Y… yeah…" Hikari mumbled.
"Holy shit… how are they getting back up?!" Kensuke shouted. "That shouldn't even be possible!"
"What?!" Toji shouted in Hikari's ear as he looked at the TV. "No fucking way!"
"Wait… they're gonna attack her?" Sakura asked. "But she's not moving."
"Doesn't matter." Kensuke said. "They're… they're monsters."
They watched helplessly as the MPEs got up and moved towards Unit–02. Unit–02 rose slowly, almost as though it was having trouble moving. They saw the spears get thrown at it, and Asuka's A.T. Field hold the spears back, even if it was only for a moment.
"Look, another Evangelion!" Sakura shouted.
"Shinji hurry up!" Toji shouted. "Damn it Shinji, help Asuka!"
Sakura screamed in horror as they watched Unit–02 get ripped apart by the thirteen spears. Shinji was just too late to do anything to help her. The people in the room were completely caught off guard. Some threw up, others passed out, and several left the room crying, unable to bear witness to what was happening any longer. They watched as Unit–01 ran to Unit–02, knocking the MPEs back to the ground with what looked like a massive shockwave. As Unit–01 cradled Unit–02 in its arms, the room fell silent. Even those that did not know who exactly was inside those Evangelions, they knew someone had died.
"No…" Sakura sobbed. "Poor Shinji… he had to… he had to watch…"
"What took him so long…?" Hikari muttered. "He should have been there for her…"
"Hey, we don't know what held him up." Toji said angrily. "He'd never abandon her, I bet it was those soldiers. Maybe he was stuck and couldn't get to her."
"Guys, stop." Kensuke said as he saw Mari's Unit–XP appear on the field.
"He abandoned her for Kaworu!" Hikari said. "He's been fucking up a lot, and then… he just watched her die in there!"
"She can't be dead!" Toji said loudly. "I survived and Rei survived! She's not dead! Asuka's too damn stubborn to die!"
"Guys, seriously, look!" Kensuke shouted. "Unit–01 and Unit–02… They're engulfed in a purple light!"
They all looked back at the TV and saw what was happening. Unit–02 began to heal, its wounds disappearing, its armor repairing itself. They saw Unit–02 stir in Unit–01's arms and get back to its feet.
"See, she's alive!" Toji said happily. "I told you she was too damn stubborn to die!"
"Yeah… but, look." Sakura said. "Those monsters look like they're still alive."
"But… how?" Toji asked.
"Who cares?" Kensuke said. "They're all ok… and three of them are out there."
"Who else is there?" Hikari asked. "I didn't see…"
"You were too busy arguing with Toji to notice." Kensuke replied. "I'm pretty sure its Mari… I mean… Rei's Evangelion…"
"Blew up." Toji finished.
"Thirteen versus three isn't exactly fair odds either." Sakura said disappointedly.
"Yeah, but those three together can handle anything." Hikari said. "They made miracles happen before."
"Let's just hope they have one more in them…" Toji said.
They watched as their three friends fought the enemy one more time. It didn't look like they were going to win, it had been an hour since the three of them had begun fighting, making little headway beyond keeping the MPEs occupied, and trying to avoid the same spears that had ripped Unit–02 apart. Then, finally, it all began to turn around when they saw Unit–02 disappear from view and reappear above the Geofront. Unit–02 leapt down and surprised two MPEs, and then Unit–01 and Unit–02 ripped the two of them apart, causing them to explode.
"Damn." Kensuke said. "They exploded."
"I wonder if they can keep this up." Hikari muttered. "They've been fighting a lot the past few hours… that takes a lot of concentration."
Finally, after almost another hour of a stalemate between the two sides, Asuka's Evangelion looked like it was angry. It began moving very fast, and it cut down two MPEs, then another two, and a fifth, all in under two minutes. Each of them exploded as spectacularly as the first two, all to a room cheering loudly.
"Kill 'em all!" Toji shouted. "Send them straight to hell!"
"Toji, relax." Hikari said. "They know what they're doing."
Unit–02 moved towards another MPE and threw two discarded spears through it, causing it to also explode brilliantly. During that distraction, the other MPEs charged Unit–01, with one pinning Unit–01 to the ground.
"NO!" Hikari shouted. "Shinji, get up!"
"Wait, Mari's on the move!" Kensuke said happily as Unit–XP charged the MPE pinning Unit–01 down. It impaled the MPE at high speed, ripping it away from Unit–01. Everyone then watched in horror as Unit–XP decided to execute the MPE at close range. They saw something shoot out its back, but that was engulfed in an explosion, and sent careening off. Unit–01 stood up and moved furiously towards a trio of MPEs. In its apparent anger, the image coming through went red as Unit–01 brutally killed thee MPEs, leaving only one beyond. Unit–01 tossed Unit–02 a spear, and as the one tried to run and fly away, it was caught by Unit–02 and killed in midair.
"Yeah!" Toji shouted. "That was fucking awesome!"
"They're definitely gone this time!" Sakura said happily.
"Yeah, but what about Mari?" Hikari asked. "Her Evangelion exploded."
"I think she ejected." Kensuke said. "She's not dumb… she just did it to kill one."
"But she could have done more." Sakura said. "Right?"
"Not really her Evangelion wasn't in the best shape, remember her complaining a few weeks ago?" Kensuke explained. "It probably broke down or something from the damage."
"What's that?!" Hikari shouted as something came out of the ground. "Is it another Evangelion?"
"No… it looks like another Angel." Kensuke muttered.
"God, I hope they can kill this thing." Toji muttered.
"I don't think that's going to happen…" Sakura said as Unit–01 and Unit–02 were thrown backwards by Lilith, but then their fall was stopped by something they couldn't see.
"What the hell…?" Hikari muttered.
They watched as Lilith's chest was ripped out and then saw her get thrown around against the ground until then suddenly it stopped. They watched as Lilith got back up and reached towards the ground, only to have her arm cut off and fall uselessly to the ground, and then it all happened so fast, no one really knew what to make of it. All they could see now was a load of orange liquid washing over everything and then nothing. The feed hadn't gone dead, but it had been blocked by a large red flash.
"What the hell was that…?" Hikari asked.
"I don't know…" Toji replied as the room shook violently.
"Now what?!" Hikari said loudly. "What's going on now?!"
From the view the windows had, everyone could see quite clearly what was going on. The sky had turned a dark shade of red, almost like blood. Clouds had rolled in, and a torrential downpour had begun. Lightning in a frequency of occurrence that no one had ever seen before kept striking the tall buildings. The ground shook again almost as though the ground itself wanted to rip itself apart.
"It's almost like it's the end of the world…" Kensuke muttered.
"Is this because of that?" Sakura said as she pointed to the red screened TV.
"I don't know." Toji said. "I just hope those guys can fix it before we're all in trouble."
Asuka watched in horror as Unit–01 was enveloped partially by Lilith's body. Unit–02 ran towards them, but was knocked back by an invisible barrier, most likely an A.T. Field.
"Shinji!" Asuka screamed. "SHINJI!"
She didn't even see Rei get absorbed, but was even more disturbed when Lilith took on the visage of Rei before exploding into a giant cross and cascading LCL over the entire Geofront. Asuka felt the rush of LCL hit Unit–02, and then she felt herself become very weak.
"What's going on…?" Asuka muttered. "Why am I disappearing?"
Asuka watched as her arms and legs slowly dissolved into nothingness before she then ceased being, dissolving completely into the LCL around her.
One moment Mari was writhing in pain, watching as Lilith laughed mercilessly at her pain and suffering, and then the next, Mari didn't feel any more excruciating pain. Just that she was flying through the, and once again, slamming into the ground.
"What the hell was that?!" Mari shouted at the Entry Plug. "Not that I'm glad that's over."
Mari then felt a rush of liquid go over the Entry Plug. She felt the Entry Plug roll under the pressure of as the liquid passed over, sending Mari into another dizzy spin.
"Fucking hell!" Mari said as she felt a sickening, and familiar sensation creeping up her legs and arms.
"No…" Mari cried. "Not again… I can't do that again!" Mari screamed as her limbs disappeared in front of her eyes. "I don't want to go back into the Core! I never want to go back there again!"
Mari saw as her body begin to dissolve, almost as though it were being erased, and her feeling was leaving her body as it did, and then before she could even scream out for help, she simply ceased to be.
In the Command Center, no one knew what to do. They saw what Lilith had done, and much to Fuyutsuki's horror, he knew Instrumentality had been set in motion. He looked on as the energy wave that had shot penetrated the through the Command Center, and was followed by a deep sense of foreboding. Hundreds of wisps of energy, floating in midair hung in the room. They hung in the air for several moments before splitting apart and going towards the individuals sitting about the Command Center, and, as if drawn to human life, the wisps moved towards everyone in the room.
"My god… it's actually happening." Fuyutsuki muttered as he saw one of the wisps fly towards him and morph into Yui Ikari. "Ah… Yui… you would be the one to guide me to this new and uncertain place…" Yui embraced Fuyutsuki, and he dissolved instantly, ceasing to be.
The next people they went after were in a tight embrace as they approached. Aoba and Hyuga held each other as several wisps surrounded them, looking deep into each other's eyes. The wisps didn't change for them as they approached.
"So… is this it?" Aoba asked as the wisps surrounded them.
"I don't really care." Hyuga replied. "Just as long as my last moments are with you."
As they kissed one last time, the wisps hit them, and dissolved them into nothing.
Finally, Maya, after seeing everyone in the room disappear before her very eyes was the last one that was still in the room. She saw three wisps approach her and stop before they made their final charge.
"What… what are you?" Maya asked as the wisps took the shape of her girlfriend, Kotomi. "No… it can't be you." Maya muttered. "I'm just hallucinating… that's all."
The wisp–Kotomi moved towards Maya, Maya stood still and looked into its eyes. "I know you may not be her… but whatever's going to happen, I'm glad this is the last thing I see…"
Then just as suddenly as everyone else in the immediate vicinity, Maya ceased to be.
Gendo still lay dying on the ground in Rei's old room. He could hear Ritsuko on the ground next to him, going through her own death throws. As he began to feel cold, and could feel his impending death come down upon him, he felt a warmth above him. It took all that was left of his strength to look up and see what it was.
"Hello, Gendo." Yui said. "I see you've been causing trouble again."
"It is the natural order of things, Yui." Gendo replied.
"I know what you said to Shinji." Yui said. "Did you want him to shoot you?"
"It was all in the plan…" Gendo muttered.
"Gendo you can't lie to me." Yui said. "You did not plan for Shinji to do anything but listen to your orders… ad he defied you… although it was extreme, it was not unexpected that he wouldn't listen to you, you must know that."
"I chose to ignore it." Gendo said. "Much to my own demise it seems. I only saw you at the end of this long and winding road."
"You idiot." Yui said. "I've been here the whole time… I am Unit–01, and Unit–01 is me. You didn't need to bring me back. You could have prevented this."
"How?" Gendo asked.
"By simply putting your energy towards finding a way to stop all this." Yui explained. "By focusing your energy on something other than me. All this could have been avoided…" Yui paused. "But I must admit, you do deserve at least some of this… I mean, the doctors Akagi?" Yui asked. "Neither of them were very pretty, or extraordinary brilliant… what did you see in them?"
"Nothing…" Gendo muttered. "I simply could not be alone… and no one would really measure up to you… they just happened to be there."
"Convenience always worked so well for you, didn't it, dear?" Yui asked.
"Everything in my life was a convenience." Gendo said. "Except for you, Yui. You were always too good for me."
"That may be the case, but at one point, I did love you." Yui said. "And that's all that mattered to me… and no the product of our love, the one you've neglected for so long, has the fate of this world resting on his shoulders."
"He will end this world…" Gendo said. "And it deserves nothing less."
"If you truly believe that, you do not know our son." Yui said. "He has more hope in him than most people would dare to have after the life he's lived… and he is defiant like you are." Yui smiled. "He will save the world to spite you if he has to… because he no longer seeks your approval."
"You may be right…" Gendo muttered. "May I ask one thing, Yui?"
"What?" Yui asked.
"Why… out of all the people in the world, did you choose a retch like me to love?" Gendo asked. "Was I truly worth it?"
"Yes Gendo, you were." Yui said. "What you did that day on the cafeteria all those years ago… it was so genially kind, I knew there was good in you somewhere…"
"You brought the good out in me, Yui." Gendo said. "Without you, I am not worthy of life… I have brought such pain onto others…"
"But that pain is almost over." Yui said calmly. "It's almost time, Gendo."
"I know…" Gendo murmured softly as he looked at Yui one last time. "Thank you, Yui, for staying until the end…"
"You may have turned evil, but I couldn't let you die alone…" Yui muttered as Gendo slipped away and Yui looked upwards. "Now, Shinji, it's all up to you. Remember your promise to me."
The Prime Minister of Japan was still sitting at his desk. However, he was no longer able to enjoy his tea because the building was shaking far too much to leave a cup lying about. He looked out his window and saw the sky had turned dark a cloudy, with a blood red glow peeking through the clouds. Several lightning strikes had already hit the government offices, including the Prime Minister's office windows. Rain continued to pound against the windows, and as the Prime minister looked around, he saw one of his cabinet ministers, the Minister of Defense walk nervously into his office.
"This is unacceptable, Minster Noa." The Prime Minister said. "General Hitsugaya has not been in contact for several hours. Where is my status report?!"
"Sir, there is far more going on that simply needing a status report." Minister Noa replied. "No one is able to communicate with the former site of Tokyo–3."
"Is that right?" The Prime Minister asked as he slammed his fist on his desk. "Why am I only being informed of this now?!"
"Sir, it is a new development, and we needed to gain an understanding of what was really going on here." Minister Noa replied. "Tokyo–3 has been enveloped by… an anomaly."
"What kind of anomaly?" The Prime Minister asked. "Like the last time?"
"No sir, this is something different." Minister Noa replied. "We cannot cross over the border of this sphere of influence. When touched, a person is completely dissolved, leaving a puddle and their clothes behind."
"This is very serious, Minister." The Prime Minister said gravely. "But why is this a concern of mine? It appears to have taken out Tokyo–3 in a way we never could. I tis completely inaccessible to the outside world."
"Yes, but sir, we are in danger." Minister Noa replied. "The sphere, or rather, the dome, is expanding at a steady rate. We've measured that since it appeared an hour ago, it has expanded to a 50km radius from the epicenter."
"What does the mean for us?" The Prime Minister asked.
"Within two ours it will be large enough to encompass Tokyo–2 in its entirety." Minister Noa replied. "There is nothing we can do to stop it."
"Then prepare to evacuate all government officials and the royal family from the city." The Prime Minister said. "We must leave within the next 90 minutes."
"Sir, where what about the civilians?" Minister Noa asked.
"Leave them behind. There simply isn't enough time to get them all to safety. It is better that they don't know what's coming." The Prime Minister said. "There's nothing we can do for them anyway… and those from Tokyo–3 will rightly suffer the fate they assumed was avoidable."
"Sir, I must protest!" Minister Noa replied.
"It will be noted." The Prime Minister said. "Now carry out my orders and inform Hokkaido that the government will be operating from there for the foreseeable future."
"Sir, I still must protest that an emergency declaration be made…" Minister Noa began.
"I do not care about your protestations and proselytizing!" The Prime Minister shouted. "My decision is final! Now carry out my orders, or I will find someone who will!"
"Yes, sir." Minister Noa said as he turned and left.
As the door closed, the Prime Minister relaxed. "It appears the Committee has begun its bid to rule the world… I'm just surprised that its going as slow as it is." The Prime Minister laughed. "Soon enough, I won't have to worry about insubordination anymore, there won't be anyone making any decisions for themselves left!"
Shinji was in a sea of light. He couldn't feel anything but pure bliss. Everywhere he looked, there was light and warmth, almost like a perfect, utopian world. He didn't care that he wasn't wearing clothes, almost as if it didn't matter anymore. He couldn't see anything specific, just a blank, white, nothingness stretching out in every direction.
"Where am I?" Shinji asked himself, hearing his voice echo all around him to infinity. "Hello?" Shinji called out. "Is anyone there?"
"Shinji?" Someone called back, a voice Shinji knew.
"Mari?" Shinji called back as he turned around, looking for the source of her voice.
"Shinji, where are you?!" Mari called in what sounded like a panic.
"I'm here, Mari." Shinji called as he started walking around, where he finally found Mari, naked and lying on the ground in the fetal position.
"Shinji, I'm scared!" Mari shouted. "Where are we?!"
"I don't know, Mari." Shinji said. "Why are you so scared? It's so peaceful here."
"Shinji, this is where I was tortured for almost eighteen years… this abyss… I can't do it again…" Mari explained. "I don't want to be here anymore… Shinji… take me away from here… I want to go home."
"Mari, just relax." Shinji said. "It'll be ok… I'm here…"
"But I can't see you." Mari said. "I can't see anything…"
Shinji reached down to touch Mari. "Mari, I'm right…" Shinji said as his hand passed through her shoulder. "…here…"
"Shinji… please don't leave me…" Mari sobbed. "I can't be alone… it's too scary."
Before Shinji could respond, Mari disappeared, leaving Shinji alone once again.
"What the hell was that?" Shinji asked. "She was so afraid…"
"What the hell was that?" Shinji asked. "She was so afraid… why was she so afraid?" Shinji wandered around the nothingness asking himself that. "Is there really any reason to be afraid like that in a place like this? I feel so at ease. I don't think I've ever felt this at ease before… it's weird."
Shinji walked around some more, looking for any signs of life. Even though there were no landmarks or anything to say how far he walked, he didn't care, it simply didn't matter. Then he saw Asuka appear out of the nothingness.
"Baka…" Shinji heard. "Why are we here?"
"Asuka!" Shinji said happily.
"Shinji… why are we like this?" Asuka asked. "Why does everything fall apart? Why does everything have to be this way? Why can't I just be good enough for you."
"Asuka, you're perfect just the way you are." Shinji said.
"But I'm not!" Asuka protested. "I always second guess you, I always make you feel like an idiot, and I'm not that good of person…" Asuka trailed off. "I don't deserve you…"
"Asuka, there's nothing wrong with you." Shinji said kindly. "I love you, that's all that really matters. Anything else is just noise…"
"That makes you a better person than me, baka…" Asuka said. "My pet name for you is even mean… I don't deserve to be happy… especially with someone like you."
Shinji walked over to Asuka and tried to embrace her, but his hands passed right through her. "Asuka, you're perfect for me. You always tell me what I need to hear, even if I don't want to hear it… and I am stupid sometimes… I'm your baka…"
Asuka turned and walked away from Shinji, back into the abyss. "I don't deserve you, baka… I don't deserve anything…"
"Asuka, wait!" Shinji shouted as he ran after her disappearing form. "Asuka, don't go!"
Asuka disappeared from site, not unlike Mari's previous disappearing act. Shinji stopped where he was and scratched his head. "Why would she say that?" Shinji asked himself. "Why would she say all that and just disappear… she's not like that…" Shinji paused. "She's always so confident, and she's perfect… I'm usually the one that sounds like that." Shinji sighed. "Hearing it now, it sounds really stupid…" Shinji chuckled. "Asuka's right… I really am an idiot."
Shinji wandered around more, but didn't have to wander long before he ran into someone else, Misato.
"Misato!" Shinji said happily. "You're ok!"
"Shinji… what should I do…" Misato muttered. "I want to look for Kaji… but I don't want to know if he's dead… it's just not fair…" Misato looked towards Shinji. "Shinji, I need your help, what should I do?"
"I…" Shinji began.
"You should shut up about it and figure it out for yourself!" Gendo shouted from behind Shinji. "You can never do anything right!"
"It's too hard to make up my mind…" Misato said. "What… what if I make the wrong choice? I can't go back and change it if I do… I just don't want to make a mistake again…"
"It doesn't matter if you make a mistake, just make a decision and live with it!" Gendo roared as Misato started crying. "Grow up and keep up your damn mind."
"Stop yelling at Misato! She never did anything to you, she never did anything to anyone!" Shinji shouted at his father. "You shouldn't even be here! You should be dead!"
Gendo staggered backwards as Misato started crying and dropped to the ground, covering the white abyss with a sickening crimson puddle as he fell to his knees. "Shinji…" Gendo muttered as he collapsed into the pool of blood and disappeared from sight.
Shinji walked over to Misato, who was still crying. "Misato, are you ok?"
"I don't know…" Misato muttered. "Should I feel sad that he yelled at me, or scared because you killed him…?" Misato asked. "It's all so confusing, Shinji. Tell me what I'm supposed to think… please…"
"Misato, what are you talking about?" Shinji asked as he reached out to her. "You can make up your own mind, you're the adult." As Shinji tried touching her, his hand passed right through her, and she too, like all the others, just disappeared.
"What is going on here?" Shinji asked himself. "No is acting like themselves… they're all acting like…"
"You." A voice said from behind him.
Shinji spun around to see two familiar faces, one he was glad to see, and another who made his blood boil.
"They were acting like you." Kaworu said.
"They were simply projections of yourself." Rei added. "Extensions of your psyche."
"Why are you here…" Shinji muttered through gritted teeth. "You're dead."
"Ah… I'm not the Kaworu who treated you so… callously." Kaworu said.
"Then who are you?" Shinji asked.
"Ikari, neither of us are the people you knew in your lifetime." Rei said. "We are from different times."
"What are you talking about?" Shinji asked. "You're Rei, and he's Kaworu! How do you know who I am if I don't know you? It doesn't even make sense!"
"Shinji, this will take a moment to explain." Rei said. "Let us explain it in due course."
"Well said, Rei." Kaworu said. "Well said."
"Ok… so who are you?" Shinji said. "You look just like Rei… and he's just like that Angel."
"We are… beings living outside of time." Rei said. "Removed from the flow of time by a serious of unfortunate and extraordinary events."
"We are trapped here, in the void, unable to really do anything until this comes along." Kaworu added. "We just get to sit back and watch everything happen, over and over again."
"Do you mean instrumentality?" Shinji asked.
"Yes, Shinji, we do." Rei replied. "I have been trapped here since the beginning."
"The beginning?" Shinji asked.
"Of the cycle." Rei said. "The first time Third Impact occurred, we became stuck in a temporal causality loop… at the time, after being granted the power of a god, I didn't not realize the implications of this. I was removed from being able to break the cycle, I could not exert my influence outside of this space. I watched as your former self ended the world and then regretted his decision and wanted it remade. But when he did, he did not have enough power to bring the world back from the brink, he could not reform everyone as he wanted to… so he was left alone and slowly went insane as he waited until finally someone else came out too… Asuka. There he tried to choke her, thinking she was an illusion, but he was mistaken, and within a few weeks, they had reconciled somewhat, but that was as far as it went. They were the only two to return, and as they drew their last breath together, the world reset anew."
Shinji stared blankly at Rei. "Do… do you mean?"
"Yes, they killed themselves and died together." Rei said. "That was all they had left… they could not be bear to be alone… they wanted to end it. But then, I watched as the next cycle began… I saw another Shinji for a brief moment in the real world, right before the Third Angel attacked you at the train station… it is almost a universal constant, I get to see you in that moment, whether you see me or not, I know it has begun again. I was alone for a very long time, sometimes, I saw you fail and instrumentality began another way, and others, you came so close to making the right decision. Sometimes it wasn't even you that stood before me. Sometimes it was Asuka, other times it was Toji, I even saw myself on a few occasions, as a normal girl, someone not tainted by Lilith. There were a few times that the lives of everyone outside of here went on normally, without the Evangelions ever needing to exist. But then one day, Kaworu arrived. He died when a different you initiated a Fourth impact, trying to help, but you ended up making things worse…"
"Huh?" Shinji asked.
"Oh, right, this is where I step in." Kaworu said. "I watched you Shinji, you just wanted to help, but I died while I watched you, my head blown off by a collar Misato had forced you to wear, you watched me die, and I somehow ended up here… not that I mind the company of course…"
"And then t was the two of us watching, constantly waiting for things to change, but they never did." Rei explained. "For eons, countless cycles have completed and reset, leading to a whole slew of failed attempts to break us free. We simply never have the power. One Awakened Evangelion simply isn't enough to break us free…"
"Then what would be enough?" Shinji asked.
"Four." Kaworu said. "Four Awakened Evangelions and their pilots… with that much power the cycle can be broken."
"Why does the cycle need to be broken?" Shinji asked. "Does it need to be broken?"
"In order for the Angels to finally be at peace, and for the world to truly be saved, yes, the cyclical nature of our lives need to end." Rei explained. "The world needs to be freed from its isolation, so that we may live on, so that me and Kaworu can be freed from our prison here. The last Shinji tried… but we told him he did not have enough power."
"So, what happened?" Shinji asked.
"The previous Shinji, the one before you, he was in a good place, and he didn't want the world to end… he wanted to help so much, we actually forced a rest of the cycle on purpose, and molded it in a way that would help." Rei explained.
"What did I… I mean he… do?" Shinji asked.
"He did something no one else had thought of before." Kaworu continued. "He forced the cycle to begin from before the usual point, all the way back to First Impact. While this wasn't the greatest thing for us to go through… he added some interesting stipulations to how instrumentality would function."
"Like what?" Shinji asked.
"The other Shinji limited instrumentality's expansion so that everyone caught within it could be saved and brought back. He kept it from encompassing the whole world all at once so there was a chance everyone could be forced back from their warped, instrumentality induced reality. He also made sure that some bleed through of former memories would surface as dreams… but with that, the Angels also remembered everything that had happened… and that gave them an edge like never before. Some of them heeded the advice, while others ignored their dreams. But it seems to have worked out well enough, you're in a much better position than you normally are… with the admiration of your friends intact." Rei finished. "But we do not have a lot of time to waste."
"What can I do?" Shinji asked. "I only have one Evangelion. You said I need four…"
"You only need four to put things right for us." Kaworu said. "One is just fine to reverse things a little bit, or to completely damn the world."
"So what can I do with one Evangelion?" Shinji asked.
"Well, you can expand instrumentality and begin things with a fresh slate." Kaworu said.
"No, I don't want that." Shinji said. "The world doesn't deserve to live in bliss like this… it's not living at all without emotions… without a sense of death…"
"Or, you can save the world and bring Tokyo–3 back from the ashes." Rei said. "Everyone you know will be brought back from instrumentality and life will go on."
"That one sounds good." Shinji said.
"Be warned, Shinji, the cycle may not restart, but the danger is not over." Rei said. "after third impact, things become impossible to predict… it is all unwritten, as it was never meant to be… instrumentality may still occur again and you or someone you love may be faced with this decision again… unless there are four Awakened Evangelions."
"It's worth the risk." Shinji said. "My life may not be perfect, but I'm happy now… happier than I've been in a long time. It just took so much to realize that…"
"Then will it into being and make it so." Rei said.
"Hold on a sec… what about Misato?" Shinji asked. "She was almost dead when I left her. Will she be alright if I do this?"
"So you did notice." Kaworu said. "She would be brought back too… it's an all or nothing approach really. Bring everyone back… the souls are reformed into living bodies that are completely whole."
"So can I put everything like it was yesterday morning, Tokyo–3 still standing and everything, but make sure everyone remembers what happened, make sure the right amount of time has passed?" Shinji asked.
"If that is what you choose." Rei said. "Then so it will be."
"What about Rei?" Shinji asked. "I mean… you said you got trapped here… doesn't that mean she would…"
"She would be trapped here as well." Rei said.
"No!" Shinji said loudly. "I'm not leaving here without my sister! She was trying to save us and I screwed it all up! I'm not letting her sacrifice herself again to save the rest of us, I refuse to let it happen again!"
"Shinji, she is cannot leave." Kaworu said. "She technically doesn't have her own soul…"
"It is also not your fault." Rei said calmly. "You cannot stop something that is an inevitability."
"Don't I have the power of a god or whatever?" Shinji asked. "Can't I just bring her back? Maybe without the Angel powers or something?"
"You do, but that is beyond…" Kaworu began.
"How can it be beyond my power?" Shinji asked. "I won't leave someone I care about behind! I refuse to do something like that again!"
"Shinji, it is not a matter of choosing whether or not to leave her behind, she was never meant to be." Rei said. "Kaworu and I should never have been created in any timeline where we are made from Angel and human DNA."
"But it's not her fault she was created!" Shinji said angrily. "She has just as much right to live as anyone else! And I won't leave my sister here to be trapped!"
"He is very adamant." Kaworu said. "I mean, is it possible? No one's ever tried it before, right? Without the Angel powers, it should be possible… I think."
"No, no one has ever tried to bring Rei back…" Rei muttered. "Perhaps it is possible."
"So, can I do it or not?" Shinji asked.
"Perhaps you can… seeing as you want it so badly…" Rei said calmly. "You must really care for her."
"She's my friend." Shinji said. "Of course I care about her."
"Then if you really want her to come back as she was, minus her Angelic A.T. Field powers… it should be able to be done." Rei said.
"Good." Shinji said. "So… uh… how do I do this?"
"Just relax and concentrate." Rei said. "Visualize what you want to do."
"How do I exclude those things that attacked us… the Mark II Evangelions?" Shinji asked.
"Imagine them being gone, excluded from your vision, and focus on everything you want to come back." Rei said. "And then wish with all your heart for it to happen."
"Then what?" Shinji said.
"We'll see you at the next impact." Kaworu said.
"Will that really happen again?" Shinji asked.
"We honestly do not know." Rei said. "Just focus on setting the world right again, and everything will be fine."
"Right." Shinji said as he closed his eyes. "I want Tokyo–3 back… and everyone that got killed today… and everyone who's in here has to come back…" Shinji paused. "No Mark II Evangelions… no Lilith… and bring Rei back with us… but everyone needs to remember… no one should forget…"
"Just focus." Rei said reassuringly. "You can do this."
"I can do this…" Shinji said as he felt a surge of power rush through him and then he didn't feel anything at all.
January 1, 2017 – Geofront
Unit–01 awoke in a furious rage, Lilith still wrapped around its body. Unit–01's eyes lit up a bright red, with energy bleeding from them. It struggled against Lilith's continued hold on her, and the ground began to shake and Unit–01's head moved skyward as six wings of yellow orange light bursting from its back. With a surge of power, Unit–01 blew Lilith off of itself and rose into the air. Its arms extended outwards to the side and it let out a mighty roar as an orange energy field collected around it.
The field exploded outwards, encompassing the purple blue sphere that had formed until it matched the extent instrumentality had gone to. The field began to cancel itself out and then it simply collapsed. Unit–01 landed back on the ground, the Geofront restored to its former state, with the hanging buildings of Tokyo–3 above them once more. Unit–01 positioned itself in front of Unit–02, facing the red Evangelion. Unit–01 stood tall and then shut down, going dormant like Unit–02 standing across from her.
As Unit–01 shut down, the sunlight began to pour into the Geofront, signally the start of a bright new day, and the beginning of a new year.
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.
Sync Score Rankings!
Shinji – 250.0% (+100.0%)
Asuka – 125.0% (No Change)
Mari – 95.5% (No Change)
Rei – 20.0% (No Change)
So, the opening I decided to show the battle from a different perspective. We never get to see what the rest of the world saw when Third Impact happened, and how did people react to everything happening. And considering everyone was evacuated from the city, they would naturally be interested in seeing why they had to leave.
Now during instrumentality, Shinji didn't see his friends at all. They were all just projections of his own insecurities and faults. His fear (Mari), his inadequacy (Asuka), his inability to decide (Misato), and his rage (Gendo). The visualization of him "dealing" with these fears and putting them behind him will help him move on in the end, even if he didn't truly deal with them, he did take away a few lessons from hearing things for himself.
Finally, Shinji's discussion with Rei and Kaworu. Well, it goes over the basics of my interpretation of instrumentality. Rei (from NGE) has been trapped there since the original cycle, the show. She mentions in passing a few things that allude to the manga, and some of the spin off series, and Kaworu came along after he died in during a Fourth Impact as depicted in NTE. So with that, the two phantasms Shinji saw just before he saw Sachiel for the first time were those two. Now, they're trapped in instrumentality, or the reset portion of reality. They can't do anything in real time because the planet (at the very least) is stuck in an infinite and finite loop that can't be broken by a single Evangelion. So, they give Shinji some advice, and he chooses to restore things almost to the way they were, minus Lilith hanging around and the MPEs reforming. Shinji also did not reconstitute Unit–XP. In his haste, he forgot about it, so it's gone now, leaving only Unit–01 and Unit–02 operational, and Unit–03 in a horrid state of disrepair.
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.