INTERLUDE:

Scientists and their Reaction Faces

Portions of the correspondence between Dr. Scott Fogle, Deputy Administrator of NASA; Dr. Julianne Steinhoff, Berlin-2 NERV Science Division; and Dr. Hayden Newson, Chief of Xenobiology at the Australian Center for Xenobiological Studies.


o

"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

I still feel a twinge of guilt when I think that it took the end of the world to give NASA a proper budget.

Granted, there was a point there where the United States seemed on the brink of all-out Civil War, but once it was decided that Second Impact was the result of a relativistic meteorite impact we practically choked on funding after decades of public disinterest.

Of course, this is nothing compared to the absolute money sinkhole that was the up-and-comer NERV. We had no idea what they were even doing with all that money. No offense meant.

o

"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

That all right, no offense taken. As a NERV employee, it's something I have to accept. We have been up to plenty of shady activities.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

You produced Evangelion Unit Two AND Langley-Sohryu. That is definitely worth all that expense.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

We have the benefit of hindsight. We are talking here about how it must have appeared at the time. Much of NERV's research was classified. NERV, if anything, was ... and still is... notorious for stealing research. What we could not claim, we bought off.

While now we can see it is vital, did not NASA also have fun during our Post-Impact Interregnum? Please tell us more of those days, Dr. Fogle.

o

"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

Astronomers of all shapes noted repeatedly have no way of detecting something that is approaching at relativistic velocity, and even if we did, there wouldn't be time to respond to it. But in an open-ended way, because were scientists and not philosophers, and who knows, someone might be able to figure something out.

The pattern recognition system that NERV used to detect Angels were derived from compact neutrino detectors, I believe. Fusion power, expansion in launch facilities, those were busy years.

It was not completely a delight however. More than a few of us were uncomfortable with the militarization of space. Armed satellites were launching every week, and those nukes up there could so easily be pointed in the other direction.

The governments were given the 'real' reason - it was aliens. No one was saying it was aliens... but it was aliens.

Besides, NASA saw its greatest achievements in the grip of the Cold War. This was only a return to the status quo.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

- No one was saying it was aliens... but it was aliens.

I see what you did there. ;)

But all of it was wrong. The Angels are not space-based at all.

o

"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

As Julianne said, hindsight. I remember how my wife jokingly asked me if we were searching for aliens in Mars. We were. It was very plausible at the time. Mars was once habitable, and the attack could have been a pre-emptive strike or some automated response by some long-dead civilization.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

That reminds me, is it true that it was NASA, not NERV, that coined the term Angels?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Technically, NERV Japan's official literature referred to the Angels as 'Shito', or Messengers. We referred to them as ' Au├čengast' or Alien Visitors. We probably would have eventually arrived at a more generic name like Exolife, except someone raised Asimov's quote about how if we venture out into space, "we will find apes or angels, but not men."

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

Remember, this was back when it was theorized that Second Impact could either be an accident or an attack. In both cases, we are at a clear disadvantage. It was still at the time when all information about Second Impact was heavily censored. The general public was not supposed to know it could have been the result of alien activity.

Calling them Angels made a lot of sense in context. Any being that could cross the gulf between stars would have immeasurable power.

An encounter between peer civilizations is very unlikely. If the Angels could get to us from wherever they were, they had either technology or physical capabilities far exceeding our own. And they do. Hence, we are the apes, looking up at the burning radiance of Angels.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

What did you think when you realized what NERV was actually building?

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

I was not one of those privileged with the big picture, so I was surprised just like many others to learn NERV's reason for being such a mysterious money drain. I had a vague idea we were all gearing up to fight aliens. I was actually thinking NERV was researching FTL or something like it. Only once the maths looked right would NASA be allowed to learn about it, and then we would build something to take the fight to the stars.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

For me, it was like: "Wait, giant robots? We spent all this while just to build robots to melee giant monsters? Why didn't we just build the biggest tank with the biggest gun? Something that can hit things in orbit?"

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

AT-field hax says, "No, Dr. Newson, you can't haz your Bolo."

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

Oh god no. Just mentioning AT-field on any BBS leads to like nine pages of bitching about it.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

NERV China, is just... gone. That could have been us.

The Angels are getting smarter. Or they've stopped holding back. That should have been us. There was no feasible way of stopping it. I was ready to die.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

Are you okay? Are you hurt?

o

"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

I am perfectly fine. The moment the first Angels appeared and attacked Tokyo-3, I knew there was a chance they might attack this place too. I just never considered that it would be so... impersonal.

I am only here because those children from NERV Japan pulled off another complete miracle. God! I don't know what to think. I'm happy to be alive. But I'm also afraid. It can only get worse from here.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

Why don't you just leave? If it's so dangerous, it would be insane to stay there.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Many have already left. Still, we are doing good, necessary work here. If a few more leave, that will be enough to break morale and shut down NERV-2. Positron weapontry and applied N2 research may be what it takes to turn the tide. We've stopped trying to produce Eva-05 in favor of producing armor and parts for Tokyo-3's Evas.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

Doesn't that leave you totally helpless?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Let's hope it makes Tokyo-3 all that more attractive as a target. It is worth attacking. If the Angels are here to fight, then let them fight. Let them find worthy opponents.

One must remember, how in god's name, homing lasers. No. Homing antimatter beams. From all the way across the world. The Angels are escalating their capabilities, but it seems there is still much about the AT-field we do not understand.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

Is that still classified? People are going insane around here.

o

"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Three women created the Eva's control systems - Ikari, Akagi, and Sohryu, all of them part of the GEHIRN Artificial Evolution Laboratory. The definitive explanation of the AT-field and its connection to human psychomorphic resonance is in Kyoko Zepellin-Sohryu's paper. Naoko Akagi's work on artificial intelligence and dual-nature existence is still unmatched, culminating in the quantum-computing MAGI system. Yui Ikari's papers reads a bit too philosophical, but it is the only one that explicitly refers to the AT-field as a 'shield' and 'sword'.

Yes, these are still classified.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

You total troll. If you were to say that out loud, heads would explode.

I'm really happy that you're okay, Julianne. Stay safe.

o


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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

So apparently psychic phenomena is a thing now.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

Well, that was an explosive return. This has certainly sent the whole scientific community buzzing. Psychic powers! From humans! So the Angels... might not be so alien after all. What does this mean, can we humans also generate an AT-field?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Psychokinetic, psychoresonant and psychomorophic activity have nothing to do with the AT-field.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

Really? You sound so sure.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

That is the official explanation, straight from the MAGI datalink to Tokyo-3. Straight from Akagi and Ikari (the younger). I am not confident that this is not just another (ahem) pack of lies from up top, but if they are so insistent about the divide, I do not know how we can possibly argue otherwise without evidence.

Tests have to be made, science must be done. That is the way of things.

o


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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Speaking as a NERV scientist, believe me when I say not even we understand it. If human minds could comprehend it, then Ritsuko Akagi wouldn't have gone mad trying to make sense of it.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Are you really perpetuating that meme too?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

It is not a meme. Akagi is legitimately mad. Bonkers. Insane. Her brain is full of sparks. She no longer thinks like a normal human being. Her experiments have no value because her presence is enough to skew all results. She shouts at machines and they complain back at her. Akagi is not a psychic, but she is a technopath.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

That is... impressive, if the rumors are true.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

I am serious about this. You will not find enlightenment there. There is only madness, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

That's not very discouraging. You're making it sound more epic.

But then again, it is literally epic, isn't it?. We live in a world where man-made giants battle primordial beings, and psychic phenomena are proven true. There is clearly more going on behind the scenes than we know.

o

"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

The scientific community occasionally benefit from being torn to its foundations and rebuilt. The nature of science was continued discovery. If the facts seemed to violate established theories - even what was commonly accepted as the laws of physics - then it can only be that there is something wrong with the current model. We once thought it Newton had the answer, but there was more with Einstein, and then Planck and Bohr, and now Ikari, Akagi and Sohryu.

We peel back the curtain only to find there is more yet undiscovered.

o

"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

I have seen it. I have felt it. We trespass on the realms of gods. I watched Sohryu's records and I could believe it, that a strong enough will could somehow reshape reality itself. It is not magic. Even magic has rules. The AT-field is not meant to be understood. It has no place in our understanding of the universe.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

With great respect Julianne, and I really, really, do not wish to offend, but it is not something that can be ignored. I mean, is it really that... frightening?

I repeat, I do not mean to offend. Just curious.

o

"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Again, I am not offended.

Yes, it is that frightening. It is a fair point that discussions about AT-field dynamics lead nowhere, but if there's anything I want it is peace. An end to this war. Maybe in time people can work on trying to integrate AT-field mechanics into our understanding of how the universe works. But right now, it is but a weapon used blindly.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

It occurs to me that perhaps it is not Akagi that should best be asked. Who else would know more about the AT-field? Ikari and the other pilots that routinely perform impossible feats with it? Or perhaps Nagisa, who lives it?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Kaworu Nagisa cannot be trusted about any information regarding the AT-field as his words in literally anything else. That murderous little shit is

...

No. Excuse me.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Let's talk about the AT-field instead of twenty pages of bitching about Nagisa. You have clear reason to vent about him, after what happened to Germany, but damn. Even after everything, this is still like, explosive. We don't want to make you relive it all over again.

o

"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Haha. Fine, I will indulge.

The AT-field produces distorted spacetime barriers? Yes, that is one of the basic properties of the field.

The AT-field works as medium for extrasensory perception. This one actually makes sense.

The AT-field as a cutting instrument? That's reasonable.

Homing laser? Yeah, sure.

Teleportation? ... whatever.

Antigravity? It is 2015 already. Where's my hoverboard, punk? Where is it?!

o

"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

You owe me a new keyboard. Oh my sides. My stomach literally hurts. That was way more funny than it had any right to be.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

I'm going to Berlin.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

If you feel you must, then I won't try to talk you out of it. However, even if you're doing so keep Julianne safe, do you have a plan so that you won't be a nuisance instead? NERV's security might not even allow you to approach her in the first place.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

I want you to picture the Xenobiology Lab. Imagine a hole in the ground in the center of the outback. Nothing but deserts all around, nothing to eat, nothing to drink, nothing to see. Inside it's a series of stacked capsules separated from each other by a vacuum. Each of these capsules is designed as to simulate the conditions on any exoplanet.

This isn't classified information. We're not NERV, you know. But this is all so that if we receive a sample and it breaks containment, kills all the scientists, and takes over the base, there is enough time to react and burn the place down.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

Impressive! And perhaps a bit morbid? I would enjoy visiting it one of these days.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

I want you to understand that I work in a lab that's like the perfect setting for a zombie outbreak. Juli works at NERV, and it's dangerous, but she doesn't work under horror-story conditions that's taunting Murphy just by existing.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

All right, so you may pass their psychological requirements. The main question is: do they have room for one more xenobiologist?

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""Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au

Who cares? I'll be a technician. Hell, if their cafeteria needs a cook, I'm there. What's important is that she gets someone who can have their back when everything goes to hell.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

Godspeed, then. I know she'll be happy to see you again.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de

NERV German Branch doesn't even exist anymore. The only reason this inbox even exists is that the server is actually in Cologne.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

How are you? I heard things were... apocalyptic.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Dammit, Juli. I should never have left when you got me arrested and deported.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de

You would have died. The Cradle-spawn found prisoners stuck in jail cells to be a particularly delicious treat.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Sometimes you make it really hard to be your best friend, you know that?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de

I'm fine. You're fine. You're safe. Sohryu came back and kicked so much ass you wouldn't believe. Everything's right with the world.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

Another thing occurs to me. Others may might take comfort and have faith that they're being protected by the new heroes of the age over there at Tokyo-3. I relish that even as the impossible continues to happen, it is a *human* doing it.

It is a human achievement, it was a human soul expressed to the utmost, and the greatest example of defiance against fate that was ever displayed. That a human being can command the AT-field so far, it is something to make me proud that I live in these times, even if it is full of fear and tragedy.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

You know, plenty of people doubt that Shinji Ikari is human at all. Why is it that only children can pilot the Eva? What is the quality that sets them apart from the rest of the human race?

o

"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de

Sohryu is 100% verifiably human though. And she is not the lesser in that trio of pilots.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

May I indulge in a bit of philosophy? Why do we regard those teenagers to the point of reverence? We human beings have an innate urge to exalt people, to put them on a pedestal. Celebrities, sports legends, heroes, leaders, great men and women, martyrs, saints and prophets... but I can verify that for those three - it goes far beyond that.

There are such things as personality cults, and... actual cults. I know for certain that there are people ready to start a religion about those three. They are a new Trinity.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)

Humans tend to have an undue fascination with the number three. I wonder why?

Excuse my interruption, Dr. Fogle. Please, continue.

o

"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

The battle against the Angels is always hard-fought, but amidst the existential dread, there is always hope that if the world could just support them and hold on, eventually even the Angels would break. The Angels had the AT-field? Well, individual humans might not have that, but in some small way, perhaps we wish deep in our hearts - this is our barrier. This is where we stand. This far and no further.

Break against it! Against terror, anger. Against despair, spite. Against apathy, insolence. Against loss, revenge.

That they are children makes them better symbols for the struggle. The future fights for itself. I think, this is why I personally could never be moved by Nagisa's rhetoric.

o

"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

That was beautiful.

But must we really talk about Nagisa? You know what they say about talk about religion and politics can destroy friendships, but Nagisa like combines both at once! Maybe even three at once - politics, religion, and (un)natural sciences.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)

Much as I hate to say it, maybe we should. For me, it's closure. For you guys, maybe there will be answers at last.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

There was a time when Nagisa's philosophy may have been... if not attractive, then at least an acceptable alternative. Then he tried to fulfill it with outright bodyjacking and mind control.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov

See, that has always been strange to me. It's part of why I recoil at a primal level to Nagisa's creed. Why imperil humanity's capacity to defend itself at the moment they needed to come together the most? Why split a straightforward war into two fronts?

Nagisa professed to have a better, more efficient way of defending humanity, except that what we were doing was working. It reeks of selfishness and egotism. For someone powerful enough and cunning enough that, to be honest, did manage to fight against Angels and NERV simultaneously with a good chance of winning, his goals and methods are nonsense. If he had offered just to help, he would have been welcomed with open arms. Even theft of the Earth's Cradle would be forgivable, if the resources sunk there were repurposed to fight the Angels too.

Even an independent second column wouldn't have been disturbed. If he just wanted to take it and flee, no one would have chased him. We had more than enough problems on this besieged Earth of ours.

Instead, he showed this ill-timed tantrum and destroyed whatever possible sympathies he may have gathered.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de

Right. Instead he stupidly decided to fight us, put in danger our defense of this planet, and for all his pain got his teeth kicked in. Nagisa's insane. That's all there is to it.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Transhumanism and post-humanism aren't bad, per se, but it's not really what we need -right now-. There's plenty of time for that later. Survival's a sufficiently strong goal, isn't it?

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

My children and grandchildren may experiment and explore those horizons if they want, but more important is having them live to have that choice. Not only did Nagisa remove that choice, he sought to apply it immediately. I mean, this is nonsense. There is no need to rush... or is there?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de

Ironically, the one best equipped to speak of Nagisa's reasoning is Ikari.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Which one? Because last I heard, the older Ikari outright betrayed NERV to join the Cradle. Or was it all a big plot by him after all? Nagisa was just following orders?

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

There is a theory that Nagisa was as mind-controlled as his servants, and in his own way was trying to screw it up.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Ah, yes, Cradle apologists. If Nagisa were to ask for forgiveness, that's one thing, but we must just people by what they do. Not whatever they imagine they actually mean. The damage can't just be waved away by an "Oops! My bad!" People died from his rampage through Europe! If it wasn't for Sohryu, I'd be dead right now.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

What pisses me off the most about it, is that if you break it down to its roots, Nagisa's philosophy is about surrender.

The Cradle was a tacit surrender, a subterranean time capsule to preserve a slice of human civilization even if the world itself is wiped clean of life. Nagisa stealing it didn't change anything about that. His philosophy was all about abandoning Earth as a lost cause and the present state of humanity as a failed existence.

I mean, like, who but nihilists would go for that?

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

How do you deal with this? I am never going to be proud of staying up all night to finish work ever again.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

We've basically barricaded ourselves here. Tea helps. Drugstores out there are looted or burning. The city would like to declare martial law, but even soldiers aren't any better off and to bring guns into this might just make things even worse.

What's important is to relax. We may not be able to enter into REM sleep, but we can reduce the stress on our body during our waking hours.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

... I'm still able to sleep. I don't know why. Sorry guys.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

We are living in literally miraculous times. When do I get to call you Saint Juli?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

Nothing makes any goddamn sense anymore.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

Potentially thousands of still dormant Angels. Tens of thousands.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Well, shit. That puts a different perspective to things. 'Operation Get Off This Rock' sounds sensible now.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" juli_steinhoff(a)nerv*de says:

No. We can win this. Nagisa's as much our enemy as the Angels. This is our goddamn planet, and we will keep it!

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

Why not just explain it so bluntly? Prof. Fuyutsuki was able to do it. He could have gained plenty of volunteers without issue.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" (a)nerv*de says:

Because as long as Ikari lived, there remains a chance of winning it. No matter against what insurmountable odds. That would have just polarized us even more to want to resist.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

But now we know NERV Headquarter's plan was to set off a controlled Third Impact using the pet Angel they had in the basement. That sounds... incredibly dangerous.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" (a)nerv*de says:

Meh. With a powerful enough AT-field, things can get timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbley.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

The Doctor never said that, and you know it. Stop mangling the classics please.

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

I have no words.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" (a)nerv*de says:

How fucked are we?

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"Dr. Scott Fogle" foglehorn(a)nasa*gov says:

I. Have. No. Words.

This could be extinction-level, or not as bad as it seems. We need to watch the results and extrapolate from there.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

This is getting cosmic. What good can a person do in times like this? What's the point anymore?

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" (a)nerv*de says:

The point is that we're still here. And that even when separated by continents, we're not alone.

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"Dr. Hayden Newson" hay_newt(a)xenostate*au says:

Nowhere is safe, Juli. We might as well meet the end together.

Too late now, I suppose.

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"Dr. Julianne Steinhoff" (a)nerv*de says:

I'm sorry.

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End Interlude


I am posting this interlude here instead over at Tokyo-3 Takeouts because this is

a) actually relevant to what's been happening in the fic

b) make it easier to see how others in the world outside of Tokyo-3 react to the bullshit hax that keeps getting thrown around the place.

When I rewrite this whole thing, Interludes not from the POV of the 'main cast' may be useful to show how ripples change the world as the plot goes off the rails. Sometimes the most showy displays aren't the ones with the greatest impact.

The main plot will continue in the next update. It's a big chapter with plenty of action that finally settles a lot of dangling plot threads.