Ok, here we go with chapter 7. This one's a bit short and more or less a setup chapter, revealing a bit of Serizawa's history and some more history behind Shinji's father and his Eva project. Remember, italicized dialogue is a character speaking in English.


Shinji sat on the beach, his arms wrapped around his knees as he looked out at the rising moon. It was already well into nightfall, and several hours had passed since he, Aoba, and Professor Serizawa carried her back from the beach to the encampment. Shinji rested his head on his knees and sighed, deeply hoping Asuka was going to be alright. He sat for a while longer until he heard the tent behind him open. He turned and saw Richard come out of the tent and walk towards him, taking a seat on the beach next to him. The two sat in silence for a few minutes.

"So, she your girlfriend?" Richard asked.

Shinji nodded, continuing to watch the waves of the amber seas break against the beach. The two continued to sit in silence for a while until Richard finally got up. "Hey, I wouldn't worry too much about her. Serizawa's a genius, he'll figure out what's wrong." With a pat on Shinji's shoulder he headed back to the tent. Shinji didn't respond at all to what Richard had told him though, he knew it was something beyond science that was afflicting her. Asuka…

Shinji let out another sigh as he watched the waves break once more. His desire to help Asuka was profound, but he knew there was absolutely nothing he could do to help her. It's all exactly like you said, Kaoru. She's being consumed by the darkness and there's nothing I can do to stop it.

Shinji began to reflect on his dream…his encounter with the spirit of the Angel that wanted to aid him. Kaoru's intentions were to help Shinji, to guide him to an answer that would save Asuka and the rest of humanity from a plight that was supposedly greater than anything they had faced before. But the "path" that was laid out before him didn't make any sense. Since he had no means of helping Asuka, how could he possibly stop the darkness that was consuming her from destroying humanity?

"Kaoru…what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to help defeat this darkness if I can do nothing to stop it?"

"Speaking with phantoms, are we Mister Ikari?"

Startled by Serizawa's sudden arrival, Shinji flailed about and fell backwards into the sand. With a light chuckle, Serizawa reached down and helped Shinji to his feet.

"Professor, is Asuka going to be alright?"

"It seems so," Serizawa began. "But something concerns me about her condition."

"What is it, Professor?"

"Well, physically, she is perfectly healthy. There isn't a single sign of any ailment that would cause her to abruptly fall unconscious like that, and that's what worries me. She is perfectly fine, yet nothing we do can wake her. It's like nothing I've ever seen."

Shinji looked back at the tent where Serizawa had been examining Asuka. Even now, he could feel the creeping darkness around her, the darkness that kept her from awakening.

"Shinji, I understand how you must feel right now, but there is something of importance that I must talk with you about. Would you come with me please?"

Shinji nodded, following the professor down the shoreline a ways until the camp was only a small speck in the distance.

"Professor, why are we all the way out here?"

"I'd rather not have anyone listening in to what I need to ask you. Shinji, you are the son of Professor Gendo Ikari, am I correct?"

"Yes, he was my father."

Serizawa nodded. "I thought as much. Shinji, did your father ever tell you what he was doing in Tokyo 3?"

"He was working on the Eva project to fight the Angels. That was the only reason I was in Tokyo 3 actually, he wanted me to pilot the Eva. Professor, why are you asking me this?"

"So, you were one of the pilots, one of the selected Children. Tell me, is that girl in there another one of the Children?"

"Professor…"

"Tell me Shinji, did she pilot the Eva as well?"

Shinji nodded, taken by surprise at Serizawa's rough attitude. "Professor, did you know my father?"

"Gendo? No, I never knew him, at least not personally. His assistant, Fuyutsuki, however, was an old colleague of mine back in college. I had found out about the Eva project through him, when he asked me to come to NERV and assist Gendo in developing the weapon."

"You knew about the Eva project when it was being developed?"

"I did, and I tried as hard as I could to stop it. I knew what could happen if humans tried to harness the powers of the Angels, if they tried to play god with something they clearly understood nothing about. But no one would listen, they all just flocked eagerly to Gendo's abomination, and you, along with that girl, helped to cause all of this."

"That's not true professor." Shinji and Serizawa both looked with some surprise at Aoba when he spoke. "They had nothing to do with the Third Impact. In fact, these two were among the only ones that tried to stop it from happening. If it hadn't been for Asuka and Shinji, none of us would be here."

"Shigeru…"

"You seem to know quite a lot, Shigeru," Serizawa responded.

"Serizawa, you understand above all of us how much of a risk Eva was. That's why you were against it. But you can't deny that if it wasn't for Asuka and Shinji, none of us would be alive right now."

"Those abominations were the cause of the Third Impact! They are the reason that humanity is now reduced to a mere handful! I cannot, I will not condone the actions of Gendo or his abominable creations!"

Before Aoba could try to convince him otherwise, Serizawa left for the camp once more. Shinji watched the professor walk away, thinking about what he said. Maybe he was right, maybe it really was their fault.

"Shinji, don't listen to what he says," Aoba told him.

"Shigeru…what if he's right?"

"He isn't. I saw what you two were doing out there when the Third Impact began. You were fighting harder than I've ever seen you fight, you were determined to save anything and everything you could, and you did. The small handful of humans left is because of you and Asuka. The two of you gave us a fighting chance."

"You really think so, Shigeru?"

Aoba smiled and nodded. "You better believe it. If it weren't for the two of you fighting the mass produced Eva's and the last Angel then we never would have survived the impact. Now let's go back to camp and see what we can do for Asuka."

Shinji nodded and followed Shigeru back to the camp. He knew that there wasn't anything he could do to stop the darkness right now, but he would do whatever he could to keep Asuka safe. He was determined to do at least that, and was willing to fight as hard as he needed to see that it happened.