Adam and Eve
Chapter Three: Masada
A Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic
By Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton
---Central Dogma, Pribnow Box---
The little boy floated in nothingness. The area around his body shimmered in the darkness, waves of light scintillating over the thin veil of consciousness. Senses were dulled and he was left with nothing but his own thoughts and fears.
He was Shinji Ikari, at least he thought he was. Was he truly the hero everyone made him out to be above ground? Was he the savior of the world? No, he was just a scared little boy hiding within a suit of armor. He was a spineless waste, seeking gratification from his father and needing the hell that was Eva to justify his existence. He was pathetiche was a wretch. And yetwith all the negative there must come positive, hadn't he saved a few people, if not the world? Hadn't he helped humanity in some small way? Perhaps he wasn't such a waste after all
"Dr. Akagi, I think you should see this." The technician motioned her over to the bank of screen monitoring Shinji's synch-ratio.
"What is it?" The blonde looked down at the screen he motioned to and was surprised by what she saw but not greatly so. Shinji's synch-ratio dipped for a span of ten seconds before returning to the norm, such examples of depression weren't unheard of - especially when dealing with Shinji. "Probably Rei's presence that brought it back up. If this occurs again call me over." Dr. Ritsuko Akagi limped over to where Maya sat, her leg was bothering her that day. "What's the good word, Maya?"
The brunette looked up at her 'sempai' and shook her head. "No changes, combined synch remains at 85 percent, the same as it has been for months." Just then Ritsuko's headset beeped; Misato calling back. Ritsuko tapped the device twice.
"Yes?" She was getting annoyed. "What is it Misato?"
"I just picked up Asuka, where would you like her?" She heard the squeal of tires in the background. Ritsuko moaned and pinched the bridge of her nose.
"We won't start the physical and mental tests until tomorrow, you can take her to your place. And remember: no contact with Shinji per Commander Ikari's orders!"
"I remember!" Misato disconnected and the blonde scientist leaned against the console behind her. She felt very old.
Sins weighed heavily upon her mind, mitigated partly by the jolting soreness in her legs. What had she done now by bringing Asuka back - back to the horrors of NERV and EVA? Was it purely to appease Gendo or was it in some misguided effort to change the world - the mystical root of all seekers of knowledge? The thrum of consoles melted away her frustrations, here she was complete, here she was needed. Maya was saying something but no words came from her lips. She wasn't like her mothershe wasn't expendable.
"I'm sorry, Maya, what did you say?" The brunette looked up worriedly at her sempai, her legs must be acting up.
"Their ratios are slightly out of synch. More so than before."
Ritsuko focused her eyes and leaned over Maya's shoulder, gazing intently at the readouts. "What do you mean?"
"Look." She traced the line of their personal synch, the readings of their togetherness with each other and completely independent from the synch with EVA. "Their responses are at least 0.05 percent off." She reached for the printouts from their last joint synch-test. "In the past two years their synch hasn't wavered from 100 percent."
"I see" The blonde brushed back her bangs, evidently Gendo was behind this; he was the only one who could manipulate the Children this way. "Make a note of it and keep monitoring their physical readouts, there may be something off with their body chemistry today." She didn't think so, never before had their genetic peculiarities hampered the tests. She looked out of the glass window at the tank of LCL, the shadow of the test plug wavering with the vibrations of the walls as the orange liquid rippled. At times the hum and rumble of machinery in the Pribnow Box coalesced into a cacophony of roars, like the roar of an outraged god
"Yes, sempai?" She looked up from her calculations and saw the blonde place a pale hand on the reinforced Plexiglas. Something was amiss
"Schedule Shinji for a physical at 18:00:00." She tore her eyes away from the test and entered a number on the keypad hidden within the folds of her lab coat.
"Yes? Who is this?" A squeal of burning rubber echoed in the background.
"Misato, bring Asuka back here. We'll get her physical out of the way."
An annoyed sigh crackled through the tinny connection. "Don't give me that load of bull, Ritsuko, you wouldn't just change your mind unless it was something big. What's wrong?"
"I said nothing! Just bring Asuka here alright?" NERV's polymath genius silenced the line and looked back at Maya. "I'll need your help, somehow I don't think Asuka's going to be the most cooperative patient." She could feel a migraine coming on, just what she needed when her legs were acting up
He stood at the edge of a vast ocean, at the start of a long and winding destiny.
Gendo Ikari stood on the metal Isle of Man and gazed up at the artificial moon blazing down from the rafters of the cavernous room. All fears were gone, all sins forgotten as he, a mere Son of Adam, stood before the Mother of all. The air was still and stagnant with the stench of blood a tangible force in the chamber. Graf's door was untouched save his hand but the time would ultimately come when that trespass would be sternly punished. The walls were still stained with blood from Unit 02's rampage.
"She is come." He looked at the being restrained by forces of tradition.
The Giant of White looked down.
"You hate heryou cannot abide the idea that she still lives." Gendo smirked cruelly at his creator and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. If that action irritated the Mother she gave no sign of it, almost as if her multi-eyed stare looked past his physical body and pierced his soul. The situation was wrong, paradoxically, it was heretical for a Son to become the Father and yet that was precisely what Gendo intended to do.
Lilith, the first bride of Adam, lay crucified to the blood-red cross - her body sagging on the nails of Truth as life poured from her distended body. The cross was parallel to the tank's bottom, unseen as it was beneath the measureless feet of LCL, but the Giant stared down from an angle, her back separated from the cross itself. The steel mask cut into the white material of her neck but if she felt any discomfort she gave no sign of it, at least none that Gendo acknowledged.
"She is the Eve to my Adam, and you will soon be cast away." The darkness all around him made his tinted lenses appear black, his customary uniform open at the chest revealing a red turtleneck underneath. The chill in the room did not touch him. High above the Mask of SEELE stared down in anger at the simple creature that dared to challenge it's authority. "Adam is here"
White bloodied bandages fell away from his hand, yellow pus and fluid falling to join the soup of LCL, as Gendo displayed the awful handiwork of his plan. His gloved hand pulled the moistened gauze away from the pulsing wound on his wrapped other to exhibit a purple mass of vein and muscle. A grotesque pustule extended from the palm in the vague imitation of an eye, an act only furthered as it blinked with a rotten lid. The growth resembled a magatama or a fetus but only a few people knew exactly what it was. The purple tissue of the thing leached away color from the rest of his hand, iridescent veins ripping up his forearm and wrapping around his knuckles. This was Gendo's moment, this was the result of his long years of solitude and sin; he'd waited for this moment for close to twelve years.
Everything was going according to plan
The pulpy mass of tumorous tissue and subtly serpent-like tails that extended from the torso of the imprisoned giant began to swell, pulsing as the Seven Eyes of God looked down at the creature implanted into Gendo's hand. The white snakes writhed and stretched, vainly trying to reach Ikari as he stood safely beyond their influence, growing toothless mouths and snapping in frustration. Gendo smirked, lowering his hand and sliding on a white glove - denying their union.
"Soon you will have your wish. Her AT Field will not last forever." Off in the distance he could hear the rumble of a speedboat.
The Seven Eyes of God blinked and far away, miles above in the safety and security of man's domain the eyes of EVA Unit 01 and 02 flashed white. Technicians and workers would swear to their families and each other that it was almost as if the Units had blinked, the very idea sending chills down their spines.
As Gendo Ikari stood in the boat as they approached Graf's door he looked at Lilith with a cold calculating gaze. "I will become Amitiel to refuse God's idea of Lifelet us hope I survive"
Unseen in the raising gray fog of Graf's Chamber, Lilith's fingers stretched out as if vainly trying to reach for him as Heaven's Gate closed.
Fuyutsuki knuckled his back as he left the hotel. If Ikari was going to ship a sixty five year old man halfway across the world then the least he could do was ensure that the beds were soft. A chilly wind ruffled his coat and he had to grab his hat lest it blow away. The UN Summit building loomed over the quaint town; he'd have to take the skytram. From the base of the mountain the 18th century castle looked enormous, a grand confection of stone and wood flying high amongst the clouds; a bold façade for such a weak organization.
People milled about on the streets leading to the skytram station, most dressed as he was and here on official business for their respective countries, he didn't blame them for the harsh glares directed at his loathsome form in trenchcoat and homburg. Over the years, NERV had developed quite a bit of animosity from developing nations, those African and Middle Eastern countries seeking economic sanctions and aid came directly after NERV and as such didn't get as much aid as possible. Fuyutsuki was sure his proposal for a new defense system was going to go over like an N2 mine, no doubt Somalia was going to start an argument again. He could feel a headache already.
The skytram was built for six passengers but Fuyutsuki was the only one aboard, apparently the other nations really resented NERV now. He somehow doubted that many countries would stand up to defend NERV if worse came to worse, perhaps to save their own hides but certainly not for diplomatic relations. He sat quietly as the cube ascended and napped lightly until the jarring sensation of landing woke him. Wiping his eyes and plucking his hat from the seat next to him he exited the old 20th century construct and gazed up at the imposing portcullis of the building.
Regardless of the building's age, the inside was completely modern down to the DSL connections in all the guest rooms. NERV being on bad terms with SEELE, the shadow organization that ran the United Nations, was never invited to spend the night in the castle itself; another reason he resented Ikari doing this to him, Fuyutsuki mused as he knuckled his back again. Reluctantly he plodded inside as the main bell rang to herald the beginning of deliberations.
"Professor" Kozou's eyes expanded until they threatened to swallow his face. "How good to see you again."
"I haven't been called that since your 'summons', Kihl." An elderly-looking man looked up at the tall sixty-year old through a ruby red band of fiberoptic sensors in his visor. He wore a traditional suit in lieu of his green robes and stooped over for effect. A thin cane lay in his right hand. "Back giving you trouble?" Sarcasm dripped from his words.
"Why are you here, Professor Fuyutsuki? What does Ikari hope to accomplish?" The bent form of Lorenz Kihl stepped up the stairs leading to the UN Chairmen's board. "What is the project's status?"
"On schedule, the Second has returned and is undergoing tests." The old man hid his obvious displeasure at Fuyutsuki's announcement. Another bell rang signaling that caucus was in session. His hand fell on the door handle before Kihl's strong aged tone stopped him dead.
"The UN will never accept your defense proposal, you should never have come here, professor." The peculiar old man chuckled to himself as the sub-commander left and walked into the hall, sitting with his subordinates behind the UN Security Council panel. Fuyutsuki sat heavily in the upper tiers of the congress room and laid out his papers and transparencies on the holoscreen projector on his desk. A granite little plate sat at the lip of his seat, the words 'NERV - Fuyutsuki' engraved proudly into the speckled stone. His neighbor leaned in conspiratorially.
"I hope you don't think to ask us for another hand-out, Fuyutsuki, the budget is stretched thin as it is." The delegate from Kenya was looking for more UN aid to fund a twenty billion dollar irrigation project they'd been working on for years. The old man smiled wryly at the sun-darkened man and tapped the side of his nose. "I thought so, how can you NERV people," the African man spat out the name like an expletive, "live with yourselves knowing all you're doing is taking money out of starving children's hands?"
"Surely you realize the destructive power of the Angels, Mr. Geives? If NERV didn't exist they would have progressed further than Japan, I'll tell you that right now. If I recall correctly, your irrigation project has been lying stagnant since 2001. Care to explain where all the millions of dollars went?" The delegate sputtered and frothed at the mouth but was unable to come up with an agreeable retort to Kozou's scathing observation. The metal partition between them rose quickly and Fuyutsuki was alone again with his thoughts as Kihl rose from the bench.
"I now call this session of the Security Council to order! We have twenty proposals under consideration and very little time, would the delegate from the NERV autonomous international agency please stand."
Fuyutsuki rose from his chair and a blueprint of NERV's 'security system' appeared in the centre of the bowl-shaped room. "If it pleases the chair I would like to make a request"
"Do you feel different, Rei?" Shinji walked along the sidewalk in a white dress-shirt and black pants, his schoolbag swinging by his side. Rei was walking quietly behind him, her bag held in both hands in front of her legs, they had just finished their school tutoring. Since the attacks, both pilots had been forced to suffer through mandatory tutoring if they missed classes. Neither pilot had to take an entrance exam, nor would either of them ever suffer the exam-testing hell that students a generation ago died over; they would simply advance to the college of NERV's choice.
"I do not understand, Ikari-kun." Rei's red eyes flashed at the back of his head as he stopped walking back towards the apartment. Misato wouldn't be back until the evening, and only then to pick him up for a physical exam, so they were in no rush to reach home. "Do you feel different?"
Shinji shook his head and sat down at a bench outside a newly finished playground. Rei continued until she was standing in front of him, her shadow making his face all but indistinguishable. "Don't you? So much has changed, we're not so important anymore but I can't shake the feeling that something's changed inside." Rei continued staring at him, not even bothering to blink.
"Something has changed inside, Ikari-kun, our bodies have grown as we have matured, we are not the same as we were two years ago."
"No, not like that, Rei." Shinji looked up into her crimson orbs and the sun highlighted his cheeks in sallow shadow and thin light. He looked like a corpse. "Sometimes I feel like there's something inside of me, growing, feeding off my bodyI can't describe it, it's just there."
"Have you told this to Dr. Akagi or Maj. Katsuragi?"
"No, it doesn't happen that often." Rei sat down next to him with her bag in her lap, staring off across the street as Shinji began to calm down. He stood from the bench and fished for change in his pockets, eventually yielding enough to buy tea from the vending machine nearby. His shadow was cast over Rei as he leaned down and handed her a can. She slowly took the wet can and sipped slowly from the lip as Shinji settled back into his spot.
"Could this feeling have something to do with me?"
"Maybe, Rei, I really don't know." He was hunched over with his elbows resting on his knees, his face slumped down between them. The can dangled from his right hand, a bit of liquid absorbed into his chinos.
"This feelingis it because we became one?" Shinji's head whipped in her direction, an action so fast that Rei was startled slightly as he grasped her shoulders and shook her vigorously. "What is the matter, Ikari-kun?"
"It's not because of that, Rei, that was good - this feeling is bad. Please don't compare the two ever again." He fell into her arms and began to cry, why she could not begin to fathom. As his salty tears dripped into her teal dress, the blue-haired girl slowly embraced him and held his head to her shoulder. Why she did this she did not know, all she knew was the driving need to comfort the boy in her arms.
They sat like that for a while, Rei rocking him gently back and forth as Shinji wept into her dress, but eventually the tide ebbed and he pulled away, wiping the residual tears from his face. Not quiet collected and not still emotionally shaken, he took her hand and started back to the apartment. Together they kept a steady pace as both made their way up to their home, Shinji fumbling with the key in his haste, Rei never faltering from his side.
As he walked straight to her room, Rei began to undress, knowing that by the time she reached her bed he would be attired similarly. They lay down under her sheets, naked and close as Shinji frantically cried once more and eventually nature took its course once more.
"...therefore the funds and augmented budget given by the UN to the NERV organization is not sufficient." Fuyutsuki sat down. He had been talking for the last hour, he hadn't done so much talking since his teaching days. Delegate Geives had immediately begun the tirade against Fuyutsuki's proposal, violently defaming the NERV organization and it's reputation. The elderly sub-commander simply sat back and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"Decorum! Decorum, gentleman, please! Due to the rushed nature of this summit, the Chair will not confer to deliberate this item." Kihl, as master of ceremonies, stepped down from the podium and into the rectangular pit where he and the other members of SEELE sat as heads of the UN Security Council.
Fuyutsuki ignored the shouts from the Somalia delegation and slid the documents he'd shown over the holoscreen back into his briefcase. If he was correct in his assumption, and he usually was where Kihl was concerned, they would make a decision anytime now.
Sure enough, Kihl stood from the group and mounted the pulpit again, his steel cane echoing off the walls. Fuyutsuki watched as he tapped his gavel twice for attention and cleared his throat.
"As the representative of the Chair of the United Nations Security Council emergency aid summit, we hereby allocate the appropriate funds to the NERV Organization for essential reconfiguration of security protocols." The chamber immediately burst into a cacophonous roar of objections. The NERV delegate wisely decided it was time to leave, and headed towards the back door.
If he hadn't known better, he'd have said that Kihl was smirking as he delivered the verdict.