A Neon Genesis Evangelion one-shot by Andrew J. Talon

Disclaimer: Gainax owns it, I don't. I'm not making any money off this story either.

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Hello. Don't get up, there's no need. I'm just appreciating the sky, that's all. Been a while since I saw this one, mind you. Sure, it's not quite as breathtaking as some others, but... Well, what can I say? Nostalgia hits hard, and the first stars you see are more often than not to retain a special place in your heart.

No matter where one travels, the stars of home always twinkle brightest. Brother liked to say that. He was always coming up with bullshit sayings like that, thought it made him sound clever.

Tabris was always a smug bastard. Fortunately he's also an easily tricked bastard. Most of that side of the family is.

Hm? Oh... Sorry, I was rambling a bit. Been a while since I had anyone to talk to, you know. Let alone an interesting child like yourself.

Mm? You say you want to hear more? Hear a story from me? Well... I can certainly appreciate that. I'm full of stories, so many I could tell you one a day for every year of your life and I wouldn't get done with even a fraction of them. A story-listener's delight.

Old? Heheh... Oh yes. Very old. My hair is appropriately gray, mm?

... You say that aside from that, I don't look old? Well, that's healthy living for you. Or not so healthy living.

Anyway, you wanted a story, did you not? Very well... What sort of story?

... You want to know about me? Hmm... Well... I suppose I could tell you how it happened. Mind you... It's not a happy story. No, not all stories are happy, though I am safe to say that by my count, most are. It's all about scale, you see. And context, and other things you'll learn when you're a bit older.

I am not stalling. I just have a tendency to be a bit absent-minded sometimes.

Yes, my mind does seem to wander off a great deal! Well... Anyway, story about me, mm? All right...

It began a long, long time ago. So long that most people don't know how it really happened. Lots of different attempts to tell it have been made, by storytellers and theologians and philosophers... Lots of men, women, all trying to explain how it happened. And in a way, every one of their stories is true.

But mine's what actually happened. Do you follow? ... No? Well, all right then... I'll tell it in a way that you can understand.

There was a mother and a father, who were created by God after He finished up the Universe and settled them on the same home together. They weren't meant to, they were meant to settled in different places, but settle they did. God was bored, what can you say? The father gave birth to one set of children, and the mother gave birth to another.

... No, that's not how it works for humans, but just trust me on this, this is how it happened.

Anyway, the mother's name was Lillith, and the father's name was Adam. And at first their children were all pretty much the same and lived together in a wonderful garden together. They flourished happily, and Lillith and Adam lived in peace. But the time came for a choice to be made, handed down by God Himself. More or less. The choice was regarding two trees in the Garden, one the Tree of Knowledge and the other the Tree of Life.

God said "Your children may eat of the Tree of Life, and live forever, but they cannot eat of the Tree of Knowledge." Anything else was fine as far as God was concerned. But see... Here's the thing. Some of Lillith's children were curious about the Tree of Knowledge. They couldn't help it, they wanted to know what it was about. Most of Adam's children weren't like the children of Lillith-They held no curiosity for the Tree of Knowledge, were content to fill up on Apples of Life. All except for me, and a few other of Adam's kids who had spent time with the children of Lillith. I myself spent a lot of time with a pair... Let's say their names were Adam and Eve. Adam Jr. and Eve were especially curious about the Tree, and I was with them. So, the three of us snuck off when we thought we could be missed to have a gander at the tree.

It seemed so beautiful at the time. It's fruit so succulent and ripe and full of possibilities. I compared it to the fruit from the Tree of Life I had brought along, that I had failed to eat just yet. Knowledge... It was so interesting, the very energy of it's being filled with the past, the present, the future, so many things that could be known and wanted to be known.

The Fruit of Life was comparatively dull. Plodding along with everything already known and ordained, to the point that eating it would just keep things the same. But I wanted more. Eve and Adam Jr. both wanted more, FAR more.

"I want to have some," I decided.

"But..." Eve began. I looked at her with Adam.

"You're not scared, are you?" I asked with a grin. "Not now?"

Eve blushed prettily, and scowled. "I'm not afraid of anything!" She grabbed a fruit from the tree and ate it. Adam and I waited expectantly.

"Well?" Adam asked. "How is it?"

"It's... It's good..." Eve replied. Adam frowned, for he was naturally skeptical. I shrugged at him and gestured to the tree.

"C'mon... What'll it hurt? See? Eve took one, she's just fine."

"Yeah, but you haven't eaten any!" Adam accused. I shrugged.

"Well... I'm trying to decide which I want to eat first," I replied flatly. Eve giggled.

"This is just so great... Adam! Adam, try this!" She pulled another fruit from the tree, and handed it to Adam. The man looked down at it, considering, thinking...

"... All right," he said quietly, and took a bite, wincing as though expecting pain. When nothing happened, he chewed, deigning to taste the fruit... And he smiled.

"It's good! I mean... Wow!"

"C'mon, try it for yourself!" Eve encouraged me. I thought about it... Considered...

"Well..." I reached up. After all, they were my friends. They had eaten before me. Why did I have to eat from the Tree of Life anyway? Boring thing. I had convinced my friends to take the plunge-Could I not do the same for myself?

I took the fruit. I bit into it, and dear child, you cannot imagine the goodness it brought. I found new ideas, wonderful ideas running through my mind, and found my gaze going up to the stars above, that I had seen so many, many times before but... Here... It was as though I was actually seeing them for the first time.

"Eve, Adam..." I grinned. "There's so much... It's incredible, I-!"

They both were looking at eachother. Something strange was in their gazes, as they stared at one another. They embraced, and began to... Well, needless to say it's something you won't learn about for quite some time.

No, I'm not telling you. It'll just disrupt the flow of the story. Look, do you want to hear the rest or not?


Anyway, after they had... Had some fun, they looked at eachother, feeling, sensing things totally foreign to them before. Affection, physical affection, lust, love... And fear. Fear at the consequences, for I could sense something new about Eve. Something powerful. Something that even scared me, yet... Fascinated me all the same. Something like the thrill of a roller coaster. In an instant, I saw the future that would spring from my two friends... And I was a bit confused by their fear.

Confused, and frightened a bit myself... I looked at the Fruit of Life. Sitting there innocently. Well, I decided, why not try both? They're both here... So I took a bite of that too. It tasted... Bitter, yet... Familiar. Almost comfortable. The Past, the Known. It wasn't bad. I was just about to tell the others they could have some of the Fruit of Life too.

That was when God showed up... And He was not happy. This anger made Adam and Eve hide, and I found myself standing before the Almighty, both fruits in my hands.

"You! Why are you here? Why do Adam and Eve hide from me?" He demanded. I gulped, petrified, before Adam spoke up.

"We... We wanted to know about the Tree... And then..."

God saw the Tree of Knowledge. Saw Adam and Eve. Saw their confusion, fear and how they were changed. Saw me with the fruit in my hands.

"... Eve... She handed me some fruit-" Adam tried to say.

"B-But he wanted to come!" Eve cried, pointing at me.

Blaming... Blaming me. I looked up at God, and frowned. I felt new things now myself. Betrayal, disbelief, even guilt, for it was because I had led them here, that I had goaded them, that they had eaten of the Tree. That the Future had been made.

God searched us, knowing all, seeing all... And He nodded.

"... You have made the choice," he said quietly. "Made the choice to leave."

"What?!" We all gasped.

"Knowledge... Knowledge comes with a price," He said gravely. "Knowledge requires responsibility. It requires work, hard work... It requires... Mortality."

"No God no!" Cried Eve, for ending existence was a concept too unknown, too unknowable not to fear. Ironically brought about by Knowledge. Adam shook with her, trembling, also terrified.

"It is the choice you have made... And you must stick to it," God said, and I could see the genuine regret, the mixed feelings. I scowled at him.

"Why place the Tree there? Why grant us the choice?!"

"Because you could choose to not eat of it! I GAVE you the choice!" God retorted. "You knew the consequences yet you [i]still[/i] ate of it!"

"So there's no going back? That's it?" I demanded. "Then I'm staying with them."

"No, son of Adam... You cannot," God said. "You are not like them."

"Not LIKE them?! I had a choice too! I..." The betrayal stung, but I couldn't let them alone, could I? "I made it! I stand with them!"

"You made two choices," God stated. "You belong to neither Tree. Neither people now." He shook his head. "You are set apart from all other beings created. Knowledge and Life... You cannot stay with either."

"So what the bloody hell am I supposed to do?!" I shouted at him. God looked over all three of us, and sighed, disappointed, almost heartbroken. I had a bit of an epiphany there-He was just as disappointed in us as I was with my friends.

"Go," He said. "Go..." With that... He was gone.

"What... What do we do?" Adam asked shakily. I frowned, and looked back at him and Eve.

God was betrayed... Betrayed by us... And I in turn was betrayed by my friends. I felt angry. It felt surprisingly good, and I began to rationalize. I saw the betrayal God felt as stupidity, as arrogance. His little toys hadn't cooperated? My friends had tried to sell me out?

It was all so confusing... But I thought and I thought and I came up with a solution. God made the damn Tree. God put it there, God had to have known we might choose it... The solution was obvious.

Kick God's ass.

"You two... Leave," I said. "I'll make it so you can come back."

"Huh? But... How?" Eve asked. "You're just-"

"I'm a being unique," I replied quietly. "I'm unlike anything else He has created." I grinned, reckless ideas floating in my head. "I'm going to see how unique. So... Go. You don't want to be around for this."

Eve frowned, biting her lower lip. She walked up to me and gave me a hug. I blinked, surprised by the gesture.

"Be careful," she said. Adam came up, and hugged me with her, which was also confusing, but... Hardly unpleasant. They were my friends... They'd made a mistake. They were paying for it, we were all paying for it...

But I could do something about it. I felt the power of Life and the power of Knowledge inside me... And I decided that with these two things, I could do anything.

Well... To make a long story short... I learned something else on that day. As Adam and Eve watched from outside the Garden, I decided to get God's attention by destroying his precious creations. I beat the living hell out of my brothers, my sisters, even my Father. They were all strong, all powerful, but I had power, AND smarts. They were no match for me.

God finally came back, as though he'd never left, watching me beat down Adam. I turned and grinned widely at him, the thrill of battle, of accomplishment pushing me to greater heights of pride. I knew, I just KNEW I could defeat God next! Become Him! Make everything just the way I wanted it to be without anyone to stop me! I mustered all my courage and attacked God Himself, all my might and power going into the attack.

"Stop," He said... And I stopped. I stared back at him, in utter disbelief. I was stopped... All my power and knowledge just seemed to fade away. God sighed. I looked back up at him in fear.

"Will... Will you send me away now? Or..." I looked upon the bodies of my family around me, wondered... "Will you make me die now?"

God shook His head. "No. You cannot die, young one. You will not die... Ever." His eyes narrowed. "Instead, you will walk where you may, alone. Neither of the Children of Lillith or the Children of Adam. You will remain alone."

"Alone?" I asked, trying to imagine such a concept. Like death did to Eve, it inspired fear in me. "But... I have never been alone..."

"No. You have not," God agreed, looking almost sad. My fear turned to anger, and I glared hatefully at Him.

"This is YOUR fault! ALL your fault! Why did you put the Tree there?! WHY?!"

"... Like I said before," God said quietly. "I gave you all a choice. To give no choice at all... I could not do that."

"You just GAVE us the choice to destroy ourselves?!" I demanded. "WHY?!"

"So that you had the option to take it... Or not take it," He said. He shook his head. "And this... Is what you have chosen."

"I... I don't understand," I admitted. "Why choice?"

"Because... You all deserve to have one," God said.

After that... I left the Garden. Adam and Eve vanished, using their Knowledge to survive. I wandered, alone, for so long I can't remember how long it was... Until I met the 'fruits' of Adam and Eve's labors, so to speak.

Others of the brood of Lillith, seeing the power I had, had taken fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, and had left as well. Together with Adam and Eve they expanded their numbers, having children, building civilization. It was hard for them all, filled with hardship, but with wonder and hope for the future. That Future I saw, something of it remained in Adam and Eve's children and their followers.

I tried to help, and did so here and there where I could but... I was rejected. I wasn't like them. I didn't even resemble them. I could not stay long, I could not connect with them as I once did Adam and Eve. I found myself, gradually, forever looking in, like a beggar at a window gazing upon a happy family.

So I wandered, and learned. I used Knowledge to sustain me in ways Life could not. I wandered the whole of the Earth, watched as Lillith's children populated the world, ever coming up with newer ideas and new languages and concepts and stories... I was fascinated by them. I continued to help, continued to try and connect. Learning ever more, and teaching, which is a concept I was quite happy to embrace, but even though I became close to some humans, even though they grew with my experience and knowledge... They could not understand me. Not truly. They just could not.

Jesus? Well... He was a special case. Let's just save that for another time, as that is a whole OTHER story.

Anyway... What people don't understand, they also fear. And fear often leads to anger, anger to hate... And eventually, I just left Earth.

Really really, I did. Cross my heart.

Couldn't deal with this gap, this loneliness. So... I wandered again, across the stars, to other worlds. I learned of "cousins" of a sort, beings much like you, much like Adam, but... In all the universe I never met another quite like me. Some could sympathize, some could empathize, but never could they really, truly understand what it was to stand between two worlds like that.

So, in my wanderings and adventures, I began to not think about the Earth and not think about what was happening back in my home. Don't get me wrong, I had a great deal of fondness for humans, even after everything, but... It didn't really cross my mind a whole lot.

Not until I felt the dying screams of billions of people across the stars, and the call of my Father. I was drawn back, back across countless lightyears, to my home, my cradle.

And what I've found... Well... I can't say I'm too happy about it. I had met many beings across the universe who felt that other beings deserved no choice in their destiny, deserved not the slightest bit of freedom. Freedom... Freedom of choice. It had seemed to cause my friends and I nothing but trouble. At first, for a long time I thought Choice just plain sucked.

But the alternative... The alternatives to choice I have seen are horrific. Terrible. They bring about nothing but pain and suffering, ignorance and death. Death of individuality, death of joy, death of all the things that remind me that despite the costs of my choice, it is still a life worth living.

And if I hated to have such Choice taken from me, then others would too. And I... Couldn't let that happen.

So, child... I suppose, in short, I am here to help save the world. Maybe resolve some lingering guilt, I don't know. But mostly save it. Because... You deserve to have a Choice. Everyone does.

Even if it's the wrong one.

Who am I? Well... I've been given many, many names over the course of my time. Samael, Diablo, Lucifer, Satan, Old Tom, The Devil... I suppose I've never had much attachment to names, unless they describe what I do.

So... As far as this world is concerned... I'm here to fix things. I'm here to... Heal, to cure, to restore life to this burnt out globe.

... Yes... Rather like a Doctor...

In that case... I suppose, child, you can call me Doctor.

... Doctor Who? No, no... Just Doctor.

... Besides, Lucifer just makes me sound pretentious.

... Yes, the story is over. And, I'm afraid I have things to do. Many things. But... I hope to see you again someday, what was your name again?

... Ah. That's a nice name. I'll definitely remember it... So long as you remember mine.

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Kind of a stream of consciousness type deal. Just a random idea for an equally random take on The Devil in Evangelion-A universe wandering immortal who fights for freedom, much like everyone's favorite Time Lord. Who he's talking to? Well, there are many possibilities. Asuka, Shinji, Touji, Maya-Take your pick, I kept it vague on purpose. As for the religious assertions, keep in mind that Satan was essentially explaining the story in terms the child could understand, so it's not meant to be taken entirely literally.

Anyway, tell me what you thought about it. If it sucked or if it actually has some merit. If enough people think it's the latter, I might try to expand this past a one shot, but be warned-I have many, MANY large projects lying around also vying for my attention, so I might not get this particular ball rolling. Okay? Okay. Review away.