By Jia Zhang

He looked across this barren wasteland. The Earth was crying, was bleeding, was hurting. In the Aftermath, there were few survivors. He was one of them. And he was sure that he was the only one who could hear the weeping of the Earth, calling out to Her Children, and asking Her Beloved why He had done this, why had He so forsaken them all—why He was gone. He understood all too well why it had happened. Unlike the Earth, he was not in a state of emotional distress. He understood all too clearly of everything.

He was a non-essential factor in the road of life. He was unimportant, he understood. He truly served no purpose, yet, the Fates had granted him this new life in this New World—after Armageddon. He wasn't sure if he was thankful or not. Sometimes he felt just good to be alive, but he thought that to be the instinct of every living thing that had some sort of a conscious. At other times, he wished that he was dead, like all those He took at the Wake.

He missed Misato. He missed her very much. She was one of those people who he held very close to his heart. She was his savoir. She drank a lot, and she was never the most perfect person in the world. But he knew that perfection was a falsehood people took to. It was an impossible goal—an imagined goal. But he thought that as long as you tried to be perfect, then you were already there. But Misato never tried to be perfect, and that was what was best about her. She was so natural—so human. She was so much like this weeping Earth. Did she represent the Mother? No, not really. But to him, she was a lot.

He sighed. There was blood on the Moon. Was it too, dead as well? Perhaps. But he did not know. It was hard to find out what was alive and what was dead. But then again, life and death, both were so intricately designed and intertwined so magnificently with each other. Adam and Eve. Romeo and Juliet. Tragedy. He shook his head. He didn't wish to contemplate this right now.

He knew that Shinji also live. He wasn't sure as to how he had survived His Last Test, but he knew he had survived. He was never really close to Shinji. He felt such an overwhelming sense of pathos for the boy, after all he had went through. The death of his beloved mother must have been terrible—a scar cut so deep that it drew the life out of him day by day, and he did not seem to realize it at all. He always felt that Shinji, in truth, represented Humanity so well. Like Misato, he also found Shinji to be so utterly human—so naked to the world, and when its wipe came down upon him, he took all the pain. Ah, what a modern day Jesus he would have been. But was Shinji really the Adam—the Messiah? He didn't know, to be honest. Did that Angel think that Shinji was the Adam? He wasn't sure. Shinji. That poor child who was forced to bare all the pain that represented Sin. Son to a dead mother, abandoned by a forsaken father, and a friend of a friend. He was glad that Shinji was alive.

He thought it was time he continued on his journey. He wanted to find the sea, and watch the Sun descend past the horizon. No matter how much the Earth changed, whether it died or was reborn, the Sun would always shine. Was this a kind of lost metaphor? He wasn't too sure. Was the Sun the Light? Was it Hope? He wasn't sure about Hope, since he had none, and he was quite sure it had been locked away in Pandora's Box as its Brothers and Sisters roamed the Earth to their pleasure. But he was sure that one day Hope would be strong enough to break out of the Box.

He stopped and sat down, tired, his feet hurting from walking against the coppered edged bloody stones. The sky rained red. He hid, under the protection of a broken house, as the sky continued to bleed. He thought it was all oddly beautiful.

The rain reminded him of Asuka. She had lived; he wasn't sure why. She seemed like the last person who would pass His test. But she did survive, and she was with Shinji now. He did not feel like pitying Asuka, because he knew that she would not want him to pity her. Or anyone to pity her, in fact. Before, he had always found the girl to be obnoxious, rude, and the most impudent child he had ever met. But he also knew that the kind of soul Asuka had was also exactly what this grieving Earth needed. Was she the Mother? No, she was defiantly not the Mother. Was she Eve? He wasn't sure, but he thought so. Asuka had never had the pleasure of seeing Eden. Her mother made sure of that. But he thought now that the Test was over, maybe that poor child could find the love she had never gotten. He knew Shinji loved her. He hoped that she'd love him back.

White bandages covered the bleeding of the sky. Finally, feeling it was all right to go out, he left his hiding place and continued on his way to the sea. He loved the water. It was always so pure and clean—the nostalgic drug of daydreamers. He didn't feel like one, though.

He wondered about her—Rei. How sad what she was, a simple tool to be used. There were so many of her, and perhaps each, in the end, represented her entire. He didn't know Rei very well, but he felt her to be so damaged. Not in the sense of physically, but mentally. She was robbed, of everything she deserved. Still, now that he thought about it, she wasn't a doll at all. She held inside of her emotions, all which made her completely and utterly human. Only if someone could have taken that child and helped her piece together the puzzles to her identity. She offered the Choice to Shinji. She wasn't the Mother, but the Messenger, who brought us all our Tribulation. She was not be to hated. She was to be loved for bearing such hardship in her small body. He hoped Rei was somewhere nice.

Finally, after his long journey, he was finally here. His eyes gazed out at the ocean—forever clear and shining. It reflected the sky and sun, and the light flickered across the water, like fireflies in the darkness of the night. It was so beautiful, he thought.

The last Angel, he wondered why he had done what he done. Why had he allowed Shinji to destroy him? Why had he let himself fall beyond the Veil? He often wondered what the Angel thought when he had laid his eyes upon Lilith. Yes, Lilith was the Mother, who gave birth to this new age, the one who was the catalyst that gave Him the notion of the Last Test. He wondered if that Angel knew, the moment he saw Lilith—he wondered if he knew.

Pen Pen cracked opened the lid to the beer. As he gazed across the waters, with glorious Sun falling beyond the horizon, he came to a discovery.

Kaworu—the Last Angel—Pen Pen finally understood what he had seen when he saw Lilith. God was dead, and Heaven and Hell were crumbling into pieces. The souls no longer had a place to go, and all those demons and angels had found refuge on Earth inside the body of Two. The Angel must have loved Shinji very much, Pen Pen thought to himself. He loved Shinji, the representation of Humanity, and so he found himself so deep in love with humanity—the quintessence of what this Earth was—for there would be no Earth without humanity. And for that reason, he forced the Fates to weave another blanket for our world.

God is dead.

And that picture of Eden was shattered.

The Earth weeped because She had lost Her Beloved.

And because of the love of one Angel, and the will of one Messenger…

We find ourselves here.

Pen Pen's dark eyes gazed across the apocalyptic wasteland.

Heaven no longer existed. Hell no longer existed.

This was Utopia.