"A man said once that the greatest stories are never told. This is not a fictional story but a historical account, written to ensure that future generations will be aware of what their ancestors went through. And considering the reverence some people show towards me, I decided it would be best if I wrote this personally; too many times throughout history did scholars exaggerate the acts and deeds of a great person, mangling the truth so far beyond recognition that future generations started doubting its authenticity. I have no illusions about being such a person; indeed, the reader shall find that I am just as flawed as everyone else... maybe even more so.
For people using this document for research – historians, librarians, scholars, whatever –, I tried to make my account as clear and truthful as I could. I lived a long life and there is no way to tell how much longer I will walk this mortal coil, but chances are that whoever is reading this will do so at a time when I'm gone. Thus, trying to lie or mislead the reader is completely pointless.
Even if the reader does not take any of this at face value, I only ask that you listen. I didn't write this solely out of posterity. There were many errors and mistakes I made which could have been avoidable, errors and mistakes that came at a horrible cost. I have never been a man of religion and certain events I recorded here confirmed my belief that there are no deities worthy of worship in this universe, even as some of my fellow men started believing I should fill that spiritual vacuum – yet I still find myself praying that whoever is reading this will not repeat the same mistakes I made. Because if they do, there might not be anyone left to read their memoirs.
Believe me. As the greatest mass murderer in recorded human history, I know what I'm talking about."
- The memoirs of Kaworu Nagisa, first recorded circa 2371 AD
Low Earth orbit
~251,275,368 BC, exact date unknown
As the lone star slowly rose over the dark disc of the planet that formerly obscured it, the light illuminated nothing but destruction.
For entropy is a force that cannot be denied. Over time, all will return to nothingness, whether naturally or by force. In this case, force was what shattered the once mighty hulls that floated in the silent void, the once golden-brown metal now charred and blackened. Not one of them was untouched, for the enemy they once fought refused to be denied.
As the planet turned and light illuminated the darkness, it reflected off a billion objects. Long and slender vessels in the shape of enormous towers glided across the void, their numbers outshining the innumerable stars as the blue-gray hulls shined with cold indifference under the star's warm yellow light.
Even so, they weren't alone. For as the planet turned, another force emerged from the darkness to challenge their end one last time. First a trio of spires in a triangular formation, the shadow of the planet retreating to reveal the absolutely titanic vessel they belonged to. Smaller vessels detached from the side, each turning to face the enemy while the shadow kept retreating, uncovering the vaguely triangular hull until it abruptly gave way to a translucent sphere, triangular panes gleaming in the sunlight.
Finally the vessel left the shadow in its entirety. As if it served as an unseen signal, the smaller vessels simultaneously opened fire. Yellow beams of ionized plasma and energetic particles crossed the void, gouging deep gashes into the gray vessels. The first line shattered immediately, metal plates melting and tearing, gleaming towers falling apart underneath the onslaught they were subjected to and adding their own wreckage to the debris already separating the two sides.
But the enemy refused to be denied. Enormous bolts of blue-hot plasma detached from the tower-ships, their searing payload hurtling across the void with deadly accuracy to hit their mark. Hexagonal energy fields flared into existence in their path, the bolts slamming against the sudden impediment before breaking through. This time the result was far more destructive: instead of penetrating the armor and wreaking havoc inside like their counterparts did, the plasma bolts simply melted through their entire target, exotic metal alloys failing to withstand the temperature and physically impossible nature of dark matter plasma.
Even as more tower-ships fell apart, more and more took the place of the fallen ones, the fleet mindlessly pushing onward despite their losses. Casualties were irrelevant; everything and everyone was completely expendable, with trillions more to replace them. They could take their losses; their prey could not.
Such was the enemy the denizens of the planet warred against. And such was the enemy that has arrived to snuff out their existence forever.
Even that was all but irrelevant to the figure standing on top of the golden-brown behemoth. He knew this was the end. Their time had come and gone, never to return. But even so, he would fulfill the duty that was required of him.
A ring of light formed behind him, framing his head and upper body as the four-armed warrior leapt from the vessel, rapidly accelerating to blinding speeds that left the vessel behind. With a single command from his mind, the red spear in his hand shifted, two prongs becoming six as he brought the weapon to bear. A massive torrent of light erupted from the empty space enclosed by the weapon, lancing out towards the enemy with unstoppable force. As unrelenting as his enemy were, even they could not stand against the might he unleashed upon them: with a slashing motion, the beam cut across the fleet, a thousand vessels perishing in a single attack.
Reacting to this new threat, the gray vessels shifted their positions and unleashed their barrage upon the warrior even as he slashed outward with his weapon, several dozen energy beams erupting from the spear. His targets didn't even try to evade before the deadly lances of light were upon then, each beam burrowing through a separate vessel before emerging on the other side and seeking a new target even as the previous one erupted into a fireball behind them.
But not all of them had him in their sights. He saw great plasma bolts impacting the planet, each flash extinguishing millions of lives. A great sorrow rose up in the warrior, even though he knew all along what would happen. He could not save his people; no one could. His task was merely to distract the great enemy – and so he did, leaping into battle with the might that had come to be known of him. Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions fell before him... yet his strength wasn't infinite, unlike the ranks of his enemies.
Just before his end came, the warrior saw the behemoth, the last hope of his people, tear open space and time to depart to a place their enemy could no longer follow, and knew that everything was good.
Then a blinding brilliance covered the battlefield. Even the local star's light disappeared before it, the gray vessels pausing at the unexpected phenomenon. Their indecisiveness only lasted for a split second before they could think no more: vessels and debris alike became dust, dust became nothingness. In his broken armor, the warrior's still body dissolved into liquid, a tiny red light emerging from his mortal shell to join many others in answer to a calling that promised life anew.
Eventually the brilliance faded, leaving only a silent void and a two-pronged red spear drifting slowly towards the now uninhabited world. As the world turned and day became night, a red spot started spreading below, the most heavily bombarded region's crust splitting open from the abuse to plunge the formerly blue planet into a million years of darkness.
[Screen caption – main title: 大量破壊実体エヴァンゲリオン]
Tokyo-2, Inner District 5
September 25, 2041
"Scheiße Scheiße Scheiße, verfickte Scheiße!"
The hapless pedestrian barely managed to evade the source of the chain-swearing with a yelp, the teenage boy of around 14 years of age sprinting past without breaking his stride. – "Sorry!" – the boy called behind himself in English before turning his attention back to the front. 'Why the hell do I have to be late NOW, of all times?!'
Kaworu Nagisa was not having a good day. To him, it seemed like an eternity – but the truth is that it was only a week ago that his life was completely overturned.
Until a week ago, he was enjoying (to a certain measure) the life he had always known: the life of a teenager living by himself in a condemned building in downtown Vienna dating back to the 1970s, with no heating, running water or even electricity other than what he could get from illegally tapping into another building's network. Technically, he was a homeless squatter – but as no one ever bothered to evict him, he just showed himself in and all was fine. Besides, what choice did he have? Roam the streets until he froze to death in the next –30°C winter storm? Get eaten by a random specimen of the various xenofauna that roamed the Earth since Second Impact? Kaworu was perfectly fine with his current living arrangements, thank you very much.
That is, until a certain altercation with the son of his school's principal ended up getting him expelled from high school, barely two weeks after he began high school. That in itself was already a bad thing and for any other teenager, a source of much yelling and scolding from one's parents. Not for him, though. If there was any advantage to being a street orphan with no parents, it was the lack of getting yelled at by an adult.
With that said, no parents also meant no one to wake him up in time for school if his homemade alarm clock suddenly died during the night. Especially while his internal clock still hadn't completely readjusted to having been sent halfway across the world. Having only turned 14 this month, education was still compulsory for him and his expulsion naturally attracted attention from the authorities. Kaworu, naturally, knew that he was going to be sent to another school instead and that is precisely what happened... but what could've possibly caused said authorities to send an Austrian teenager to Japan, of all places, was beyond him.
Or rather, he had a good guess that it had something to do with his Japanese name. For the simple reason that nothing else came to mind.
And so there he was, running down the street of a Japanese city built from scratch after the Great Revolution of 2018, touted as a shining jewel of human perseverance alongside White Forest City... and he was late for school, right on his first day. At least, he thought he was late. Not having a watch or any idea how long it would take him to walk to school from his new home, he decided to depart early, just to be safe. As luck would have it though, that damn alarm clock died again and he almost overslept.
Bad luck wasn't the only kind of luck he had that day, however, as he rounded another corner to see the school's gates barely a hundred meters ahead of him. Letting out a sigh of relief, he slowed to normal walking speed and started rummaging through his bag, finally pulling out a slightly crumpled sheet of paper just as he reached the gate.
He almost didn't notice the rising sound of an electric engine until the black sports bike shot past him and through the gate, passing so close to him that his shirt was ruffled by the wind. The students who got inside before him immediately scattered in every direction to make way, most of them voicing varying degrees of surprise, fright and/or indignation. None of that really mattered to the biker, though, who deftly steered the vehicle into an empty parking slot and came to a stop, the engine going silent the instant the bike stopped.
The scattered youth made annoyed grumbling, several sending glares towards the driver before filing into the school building. The driver slowly and methodically disembarked, flipping open a small molly guard just ahead of the seat and keying in a security lockdown code that immobilized both wheels and the engine. That was all the figure could do before a twintailed girl in a long skirt stormed out of the school and immediately beelined towards the biker with a none-too-pleased expression.
"碇さん、それが危険だった!" – she erupted, even as the biker pulled off their helmet...
...revealing an unruly mop of blue hair. – "Horaki-iinchō." – the biker stated in a quiet voice that definitely wasn't that of a man. Even without that, the shades still failed to hide her feminine features – nor did the black leather coat succeed completely at concealing the feminine build beneath.
"What kind of reckless driving was that?!" – Twintails continued in slightly accented English. – "You could've crashed into someone!"
"I did not."
"I saw what happened!" – Twintails pointed a thumb towards Kaworu. – "You almost hit him!"
"He is not injured."
"That's not the point! Be more careful!" – With that, the twintailed girl turned away from the biker and went straight for Kaworu. – "Sorry about that. Are you alright?" - she asked, Kaworu catching her momentarily pausing as her eyes flicked towards his ash-gray hair.
"I'm fine." – he replied even as he saw the biker girl stuff her helmet underneath her arm and walk into the school building without a care in the world. – "Um... can you help me out a bit? I'm new here and was told to look for a Hikari Horaki."
Comprehension flashed on the twintailed girl's face. – "That's me. You must be Nagisa, right?"
"Yeah. So I'm in the right place? I mean, I've been here when I did the paperwork but you can never be sure."
"Don't worry, you are in the right place. We're going to be classmates, in room 2-1... but you probably don't know where it is."
"It's alright. I'll take you there."
True enough, she led him into the building, down a set of corridors and upstairs. Kaworu was used to being surrounded by people of his age group; but wherever the two of them passed now, everyone just stopped and stared at him as if he was some kind of curiosity. Even with the homogenization of most of the world's population after Second Impact, Japan's population was mostly native, with the usual Asian features and dark hair.
With his pale skin, ash-gray hair and crimson eyes, Kaworu was sticking out like a sore thumb and he knew it.
Evidently Hikari noticed it as well, if her slowing down to let him follow her closer was any indication. – "Sorry about the staring."
Kaworu shrugged. – "It's probably my hair. I've gotten used to it."
"I've been meaning to ask, if you don't mind..." – she said after a momentary pause. – "Why did you dye your hair?"
"I didn't dye. This is my natural hair color."
He nodded, even though he knew she couldn't see him. – "Yeah. I don't know why, it's always been like this. My eyes, too."
"Are you, um... an albino?"
Kaworu shrugged again. – "I don't really know. Never bothered to ask a doctor."
They walked in silence for another minute.
"Why did you transfer here, if I may ask?" – she asked eventually.
"It wasn't by choice, believe me. But that guy needed to get the message that he was being a prick."
Another pause. – "You mean you got into a fight?"
"More like he sicced his gorillas at me because I wasn't going to make an exception for him just because he was the principal's son." – he replied casually.
Hikari immediately stopped dead in her tracks and whirled around to face him. – "You picked a fight with your principal's son?!"
"I didn't pick a fight with him." – Kaworu denied, defensive at her sudden outburst. – "He came at me when I took issue with him harassing an elementary schooler."
Which was the exact, literal truth.
Hikari just stared at him for a few moments before skeptically asking – "And how exactly did that result in you being here?"
"The principal naturally didn't appreciate his son ending up with a broken nose and cheekbone." – He let out a sigh before adding – "Not that I blame him, but he didn't even bother listening to my side of the story!"
Again, she stared with a probing glare before turning away from him and resuming her journey, Kaworu falling in behind her. – "No offense intended but I honestly hope you don't intend to make a repeat performance here." – she eventually called back at him.
"Considering I don't see any elementary schoolers here, that's not very likely." – Kaworu deadpanned.
They eventually arrived to a classroom. Right outside the door though, Hikari paused and held him up. – "Seriously, no fighting. Please." – she said quietly.
"Don't worry. I'm not the troublemaker type." – he assured.
Hikari's expression seemed to lighten up at that, which was one less weight on his shoulder. On the other hand, it was immediately replaced with another; for the moment they entered the classroom, the entire class collectively turned to stare at him. As if the staring outside wasn't enough already.
Kaworu never really felt comfortable at being the center of attention for so many people at once.
Even if that attention came in varying flavors. Case in point, the girl at the front of the desk row starting at the door: brown hair with hairband and twintails ('What is it with twintails?' he wondered), glasses and a very generous chest, eyes running over him like those of a predator savoring a particularly delicious prey.
She was clearly and openly checking him out – and judging from her approving smirk, she liked what she had seen. – "Lookin' good there, stranger!" – she called out, flashing a thumbs-up at him.
"Mari!" – Hikari reprimanded the other girl. – "Cut it out!"
"Already staking your claim, Kari? That's bold."
"I said cut it out!" – Hikari repeated before turning her attention towards the class. – "Everyone listen up!" – she called out in a tone that was definitely unlike the polite and friendly behavior Kaworu had seen from her so far. Before he could ask her to not bother with an announcement, she thumbed towards him. – "Starting now, he'll be in our class. No heckling him, understood?"
"What's up with that hair?" – someone called from the rear of the class.
Kaworu sighed. – "For the second time today, I'm not dyeing it. This is my real hair color."
"Yamada! You mind shuttin' up?!" – a boy in a tracksuit called back. – "New kid just got here and you're already making an ass of yourself."
Kaworu thought he could see a faint smile flash across Hikari's face at that before she snapped back into 'class rep mode'. – "Suzuhara! Watch your language! And Yamada, I just said no heckling!"
"Hey, I just asked a question! How is that heckling?"
Without bothering to answer, Hikari turned back to Kaworu. – "So, um... you'll sit in front of Suzuhara."
Kaworu nodded. – "Okay. Thanks for everything."
She smiled at that. – "Don't mention it. It's my duty as class representative."
As Kaworu went to occupy his desk, however, he silently thought 'Just your duty?'
Chapter quick-fix completed on 15/02/23
A warning to new readers. This story is technically a crossover, yet I'm posting it here instead of in the crossover section because the other half is obscure enough that no one would find the story otherwise. With that said, prior knowledge of the other half is not needed to understand the plot and references; all necessary context and background information will be provided in end-of-chapter author's notes.
This is also going to be a VERY long story. I don't know the current length but it will probably be somewhere between 200k-300k words. Hell, it might even hit 400k words. I'm not writing it long just for length's sake; that's how many it will take to write down the whole plot without leaving anything out.
Explanation on the title: the 'Strategic' part is not meant as in 'something to do with strategy' but meant as in 'strategic weapon of mass destruction'. Thus the kanji in the title, tairyō-hakai jittai, literally meaning 'entity of mass destruction' (Japanese has no word for 'cyborg' but instead transcribes the English pronunciation into katakana) – which I believe is an apt description of an Eva's combat effectiveness against conventional forces.
Regarding the unsubtitled dialogue in this chapter: I do not use translation convention. That is, non-English dialogue will not be translated or subtitled (and in the case of Japanese dialogue, not romanized), if rendered in writing at all. Assume everyone speaks English unless stated otherwise. The reason for this is that there is no non-English language the entire cast speaks without exception; Kaworu in particular doesn't speak Japanese here, so he realistically wouldn't understand Hikari's outburst. Of course, if this story would be an anime, English dialogue would be in Japanese as well. With that said, I'm not going to toss around random Japanese and German phrases just for the hell of it either, for the simple reason that I don't speak either and thus the more (and more complex) I use, the more likely I'll screw up and make myself look like an idiot. Only when it makes narrative sense will a character use a foreign language. Also, this only applies to full sentences, not individual words and expressions like Rei's addressing of Hikari here; those are romanized for the reader's benefit.