The changes began one day as young Shinji, then running away for merely the 23rd time since the beginning of life (the first time on screen in film chronology -- not in actual chronology -- discounting psychological excapes), contemplated suicide on an absurdly steamy mountainside. He did not realize it was actually a semi-dormant volcano. This is good, because had he known, the series would be over already. Suddenly, discounting all existing continuity, a giant golden apple, the size of a man (or a lion coming down on a man, which is rather disgusting any way you consider it) but the shape of an apple (duh) suddenly appeared, hovering in the air in front of him. A door opened out of the apple, and Shinji (slightly less catatonic now) silently and dazedly took absent note of a rather average looking man with curly hair, aviator goggles, and a bright red cape appear from the bright white insides, and hop out.

"'Lo", said the man. "I am Lord Ego. Take this." The man places a pocket-sized computer on the catatonic boy's knee. "It is a wholly remarkable book containing all the secrets of this universe, and several of others." He hopped back into the apple, saying "Laters, Ikari!" as he shut the door. The apple then disappeared, as if through terrible special effects.

The boy was then confronted by the MIBs from section two immediately, and they failed to notice the small computer he slipped in his pocket despite patting him down for weapons three times each. He was brought to the brig, and given a good talking to by Misato. When questioned about his choices, he changed his story slightly, adding: "It was destined to work out, anyway." Misato, both confused and perversely proud of the boy's newfound (though absurd) sense of confidence and security, went easier on him, and oddly, he agreed to pilot Eva, saying "I might as well -- things can only turn out one way, so whatever way I pick, that will be the happy ending." If Misato had queried for the source of this newfound confidence, Shinji would have had no problems tracing it back to a nutjob in a red cape who came to him in a solid gold UFO and spouted some nonsense at him, then abruptly disappeared. Misato would have had no problems sending Shinji to the 23rd nerve division, and perhaps putting padded walls and a combination lock on his entry plug. She didn't, so he didn't, so she didn't. So it goes.

Shinji, putting on his plugsuit before the beginning of Yashima, fingered the inlaid lettering of the strange computer. He had not yet opened it, or turned it on. Had he known that the inlaid lettering was actually greek for "for the prettiest", he would not have felt any more effeminate -- he had enough of a hard time with girls as it was, but he had a hard time with both sexes so he had decided that his hand was a better partner for the time being. Had he realized that this computer contained the sum and total of the universe he currently was in, he still wouldn't open it, because he just liked to go with the flow. Had he realized that this computer also contained lots of erotica pairing him with various characters (male and female) with varying levels of bad taste, he would have opened it, no question. Fortunately, it did not -- it only contained a single level of bad taste, and that was included just so that the boy would avoid the rest of the section and not find the real secrets linked to at the bottom -- or the "edit section" or "citation needed" links therein.

Had he known that the climax of Yashima would be the nut in the golden apple's debut to the rest of NERV, he probably would have hid in his entry plug, and Rei would be dead. So it goes.

It was a dark and stormy night. Very dark, since all of japan was without power. Ever since second impact, there have been a lot of stormy nights -- something about the rapid temperature difference in antarctica combining with the existing el nino effect, the phase of the moon, and the rise and fall of beaver populations during cicada mating cycles using sunspots as a meter. This night, something strange happened. The giant tetrahedron, on fire and falling, suddenly stopped as Shinji was rushing to open the red hot entry plug, &c. Alighting on this falling monstrosity was a large golden apple.

"An unidentified object detected five metres above the fifth angel. Code... muave? What?" Huuga was confused. In this part of the series, that was more common, but it was rarely shown onscreen.

"It's PWM, but nonorganic. In other words, it's a machine." Ritsuko typed with one hand absently while sipping coffee (cigarette held inbetween the first two fingers of her typing hand) and giving Huuga the evil eye for not Reading The Fine Manual.

Aboard the ship (or the apple), Lord Ego yelled to no one in particular: "OPEN HAILING FREQUENCIES! ALL HANDS ON DECK!" His fist-pumping slowed as the ship computer responded, in a soothingly synthesized female voice "There are no hailing frequencies, because this is not star trek. The only hands here are yours, and there is no deck. I could make all of the above happen, but I won't, because I don't feel like it"

"Good to know someone on this ship is sane still. Get moving and open the door"

"Open it yourself. There's a handle, you know"

"Oh... Right"

Opening the door, he pushed back his cape, ready for his Pose Of Awesomeness. It caught fire, and he ducked back in, grabbing a quickly materializing fire extinguisher and covering what was left of his cape with thick white powder. He went out again and landed atop the tetrahedron. "I AM LORD EGO: VERB, MAN-GOD, AND FOREMOST AUTHORITY IN MALICIOUSLY ABSURD SELF-INSERTION, MY GISH BE PRAISED. I HAVE COME IN PEACE"

By that time, NERV had managed to mobilize some speakers. "What do you want"

The nutjob grinned widely. "I have the book with all the answers. I know the scenario. I am bored with the rules. I want to royally screw things up here, and I can 23 garuntee that it will be for all of your benefit. Oh, and my ship computer wants to meet the MAGI system"

Misato was about to tell him to go away before he got his head popped off by a giant mech, before Gendou (watching all of this remotely) sent word to keep him around and happy. Something bothered him about this guy. It takes a certain type of nutjob to pilot a flying golden apple with an AI inside. It takes a certain other type of nutjob to accidentally use That Word in the context he did, with the casual manner he did. The commander was relatively sure that the second type did not exist.

This was not a part of his scenario. This was something created by someone outside the system -- someone who KNEW the scenario (probably all the scenarios), and deliberately came to make them all impossible. He would welcome this diversion, and in turn divert it; after all, the best way to take an enemy offgaurd is to befriend him.


A/N: This is probably the most far-out story I've started. Those of you who think this is pure crack (or pure nonsense) are in for a surprise; it maintains a bit of humour, but it actually is designed to progress to making light of more complex and 'serious' philosphical challenges.