Man Made Gods
A/N: I recommend that readers should watch the entire Evangelion series, or at least be familiar with it before reading this. I'll do my best to introduce the world of Neon Genesis Evangelion to those unfamiliar with it.
Year 2004, After Second Impact, GEHIRN Medical Bay, Geofront, Tokyo 3
"He's been like this ever since, Dr. Ikari."
Gendo Ikari adjusted his glasses and observed his son sitting on a hospital bed, through the one way mirror. It had been two days since the test type consumed his beloved wife Yui, and he spent hours trying to reverse the process with no success.
In his desperation to retrieve his wife, he had forgotten that his son saw the accident first hand and apparently, was now in a state of shock. He read the report by the doctor and pondered for a moment, wondering what to do with him.
The nurse on station waved her hand in front of the four year old Shinji's face, trying to gain his attention, but the child didn't even show any reaction.
"What will be his treatment?"
"Immediate therapy to get young Shinji out of this state of shock." The doctor replied. "Also, continued therapy to ensure his mental health for however long it is needed."
The doctor glanced at his boss, and seeing no reaction from the bearded man's face, added "Don't worry Commander. Children are resilient and very impressionable at his age. With proper support and therapy, he would be able to move on and live a productive and normal life."
The doctor's statement gave Gendo Ikari an idea. He had first thought of shipping his son to some far flung place to live in obscurity until he needed him, but with the pressure from his backers to produce a working, moving eve prototype, he might need his son as an alternative test pilot.
And now, he had the perfect excuse to use the new personality conditioning methods with the help of the latest GEHIRN technology. The neural transmitters Naoko Akagi was developing looked promising, and he wanted to test the new equipment before the he used it on the developing embryo that would become the first child.
"I'd like to start the therapy now with your permission..."
"Have my son in a wheelchair doctor and move him in one of the rooms inside the GEHIRN research complex. Dr. Akagi will take care of his rehabilitation." Gendo ordered.
"But sir, at his current state, his mind's completely fragile, and any sudden change in his environment might cause damage to his psyche." The doctor objected. "I suggest we refrain from..."
"I was not asking for your opinion doctor." Gendo said. He stared at the man with his cold gaze that caused the doctor to flinch.
"Very well, I'll tell the nurse."
Gendo watched impassively as the nurse took young Shinji by the arm, and the little boy dutifully followed, his blank stare causing the doctor to frown with worry. Even now, the child showed no signs of reacting to outside stimuli, as the nurse pushed on the child's shoulders, causing him to sit on the wheelchair.
The medical staff looked on with apprehension as Gendo Ikari wheeled his son down the poorly lit corridors of the uncompleted Gehirn research facility and soon disappeared into the darkness.
"You can't be serious Gendo." Naoko Akagi whispered when she heard the director of GEHIRN's orders. She would have shouted, but concern for the young boy sitting quietly at the corner of her office caused him to lower her voice.
"Look at him." Gendo replied. "Normal treatments will not be effective. This is the perfect opportunity to test if the neural interface personality transplant will work on a human mind."
"But to your own son?" Naoko asked. "Gendo, this is a relatively untested procedure... and the risk of damaging his mind from the process, it may result in permanent paralysis!"
"My son's mind's already broken Naoko. I've seen the results of your preliminary tests, and I'm confident it will work." Gendo replied. "I want him to be stronger, obedient, and with the mental fortitude that he will need when he eventually pilots the test type. You know importance the pilots' role for the scenario. There is no room for deviation of the scenario."
Naoko Akagi glanced at the young boy with pity. Even if the child's mother managed to take away from her the object of her desires, she felt no ill will against her off spring. Yui Ikari is dead, and now the path was clear to Gendo's heart.
"Neural pathway scans are complete." One of the scientists reported from his monitor.
"LCL temperature at 36 degrees."
Naoko nodded and observed the four year old boy floating inside the tank. "Pulse?"
"Normal pulse, blood pressure stable."
"Commence transmission of the neural projectors."
Naoko glanced at the young boy's father who observed the procedure above them behind a window. She took a deep breath and pushed a button in her console, and twelve machines with metal probes began to inch closer towards the poor boy's cranial cavity.
Seconds later, everyone in the operating room could hear the muffled screams of agony through the LCL as Shinji Ikari's neural pathways were completely modified. Memories of the events leading to his mother's death flashed though his mind several times, until they were utterly destroyed from his brain, along with two years worth of memories.
"Pulse rising!" The scientist shouted. "He's in danger of cardiac arrest!"
"Continue on." Naoko subtly winced, feeling sympathy for the boy. She knew the pain receptors inside Shinji's brain were fluctuating, but that was needed to modify his development to suit his role as a pilot in the future.
"Phase one successful!" The scientist reported. "Detecting no irregularities in the neural pathways."
"Commence to phase two." Naoko ordered. She glanced at the window and frowned when she saw the slight smile on Gendo's face. The procedure she devised in a month for Shinji's rehabilitation looked successful, with the critical portion of the treatment over.
Naoko Akagi sipped her coffee as she analyzed the data from the test runs on the three super computers that she had been developing. It had been three years since Shinji's treatment and conditioning, and two since he started living with her. He was every working mother's dream child, quiet, obedient to a fault, and extremely intelligent. The speed with which he absorbs information and retains them was astounding.
Satisfied with the maturation of the biological supercomputers, Naoko nodded in approval and leaned back on her chair. She glanced at her ward and smiled.
"What are you doing there Shinji-kun?"
"Finishing my work assignments as required." The seven year old replied.
"What do you say we take off early and eat some place nice hmm?" Naoko asked. "Ritsuko's called me earlier and she wanted to see you."
Shinji looked up for a moment and nodded, before he returned back to reading his book. Naoko stood up and stretched, and grimaced when she heard the pop of her bones.
"Let's go Shinji."
Naoko acknowledged her fellow Gehirn scientists as she made her way towards the elevator that would take them to the surface. The GeoFront complex and Tokyo-3 were nearing completion and every week more and more people came in to maintain the thousands of equipment and buildings that house them.
Security was tight too, it had been back then when GEHIRN started, but she could see more section 2 agents monitoring the flow of human traffic in and out of the GeoFront.
"My, Shinji's getting bigger." A middle aged man approached and smiled at the seven year old.
"He has a healthy appetite." Naoko said fondly and ruffled Shinji's hair.
"Proper diet and nutrition is essential for a pilot." Shinji replied, earning amused looks from the Gehirn staff.
"What are you doing here Dr. Fuyutsuki?" Naoko asked. The second in command of GEHIRN was not usually seen except in the monthly meetings for the various department heads.
"We just finished our work in the Central Dogma." Fuyutsuki replied. "I haven't seen the sun for days, and I thought I'll enjoy a nice lunch under outdoors."
"And I suppose you won't tell me what you two are working on down there?" Naoko asked. She was highly curious about where her lover always disappeared to, but Gendo had always been evasive in his answers.
Fuyutsuki laughed. "You know the answer Naoko. Why do you always ask this?"
"I can't help but be intrigued." Naoko shrugged. She gently took hold of Shinji's hand when the door to the elevator opened and they immediately stepped inside.
The other staff members understandably chose to wait for another car, since they all felt uncomfortable being around the second in command of Gehirn. Fuyutsuki was no Gendo, but he could still make grown men and women squirm with a glance. Gendo's gaze was entirely on a different level.
"If you ever need my technical assistance..." Naoko continued.
"We have all the technical assistance we need." Fuyutsuki assured her. Naoko Akagi had offered her help several times, and every time the aging man replied with the same answer. It had become a routine between them over the last two years, and still, Naoko's curiosity had never waned.
"I'm having lunch with my daughter." Naoko said after a moment of silence. "Would you like to join us?"
"I'll be delighted to." Fuyutsuki graciously nodded. The door to the elevator opened, revealing the noise of construction assaulting their ears. Tokyo-3 was growing at an astonishing pace, and already a few buildings were finished and undergoing furnishing and installation of climate control equipment to escape the perpetual summer heat.
"Take the back seat Shinji." Naoko said once they reached her parked car. The boy followed the famous scientist's orders without question and dutifully buckled his seatbelt.
Fuyutsuki wondered if the first child he and Gendo were raising would behave similarly to the third. He knew that Shinji was the test subject for the procedure that modified and altered a person's neural pathways.
Obedience, a higher capacity for learning and higher tolerance for pain, Shinji was on his way to becoming the perfect pilot to combat the angels. Only time would tell if they were successful.
Misato Katsuragi pulled down the neckline of her shirt and blew into it, trying to get cool air to warm her sweaty body. This caused several construction workers above them to stop their work as they admired the bountiful sight below.
"You have no shame." Ritsuko Akagi hissed. "Misato! You're causing a scene!"
"What?" Misato looked around and finally heard wolf whistles above her. She saw the drooling workers and gave them a victory sign with her fingers and a smile, and continued her strut beside her best friend.
"It's not my fault!" Misato added. "It's too damn hot, and you made us walk eight blocks! Eight!"
"How was I supposed to know the train system is only up to that point?" Ritsuko huffed. "Besides, why did you wear that thing anyway? It's just a simple lunch with my mother and her ward."
Misato glanced at her dark blue blouse and gray jacket she wore over it. "This is my best clothes Ritsuko. And besides, this isn't a simple lunch! I'm about to meet the third child!"
The Marduk Institute, an advisory body for the United Nations, had released the name of three children to selected individuals and certain companies with the security clearance last year. They had the unique ability among all of humanity to pilot huge mechanized robots to fight the incoming alien invaders.
Due to Misato's past, and with her intentions to join Gehirn and fight the aliens that killed her famous father and friends, she had been privileged enough with the information. Ritsuko was also told, due to her rising status as a prodigy in the field of bio technology and with her mother as one of the chief scientists of Gehirn.
"And your mom's quite famous in the university." Misato added. "I might not know a lot about bio computer systems and like you and Kaji, but I know your mom's practically worshipped by my professors."
"She should be." Ritsuko smirked. "From last I heard, she's on the verge of completing the much talked about Magi system, and that would revolutionize the industry."
"Imagine the possibilities with that much computing power." Misato gushed. "Do you think your mom would allow us a tour of the Gehirn facilities here?"
"Planning of joining Gehirn?"
"Of course!" Misato exclaimed. "Why do you think I study so hard? Gehirn only accepts the best, and this is the organization that develops the latest technology to fight off those fuckers."
Ritsuko, used to her best friend's colorful language, merely rolled her eyes at her friend. "Let's go avenger, I think I see the restaurant."
"Finally! I'm starving Rits, do you think Gehirn will pick up the tab?" Misato asked eagerly.
"I'm sure mother would pay." Ritsuko raised her hand over her eyes to better see over the noon sun. "I think that's her car parked in front."
"Yeah! Food and a ride back!"
Fuyutsuki knew the girl that entered the restaurant was Naoko's daughter. She had the same facial structure and eyes, though her build was different from her voluptuous mother. The brunette was slimmer and taller, and had a mole under her left eye.
His colleagues at Kyoto University had told her of her talent in meta-biology, and he knew Gehirn already had their eyes on the promising student. If she even had a quarter of her mother's genius, she would be a valuable addition to Gehirn.
What the older man didn't expect was the appearance of the young woman accompanying Ritsuko Akagi. Misato Katsuragi, the only survivor of the Katsuragi expedition in Antarctica, he was on board the ship with Gendo when they encountered the life pod that contained the poor girl. She was clearly in shock, similar to how Shinji was before his treatment.
However, unlike Shinji who closed off his four year old mind to the outside world, Misato stopped speaking until he received reports that the girl had enrolled at Kyoto University, apparently back to normal.
'Good for her.' Fuyutsuki smiled. He wondered if she would recognize him.
She did, and he immediately saw her eyes widen in recognition as soon as she saw him and he gave a polite nod back. Introductions were quickly made, and he noticed Misato's frown when Naoko mentioned Misato's father. He knew then that Misato was not over the incident, but who could blame her though?
The death of two billion lives was caused by an accident during the expedition headed by Misato's father. The official story of the second impact (with the first impact where the planet Earth colliding with another planet, thereby creating the moon) was a very small meteorite travelling near the speed of light crashed into the Antarctic shelf, causing the ice to melt and billions of lives lost.
The truth was the Katsuragi expedition was an attempt to harvest samples of the discovered alien body trapped in the ice. However, their probe only caused it to awaken, releasing a large amount of energy that melted the ice, and changing the Earth's axis.
As mother and daughter quickly caught up with each other, Misato glanced at the stoic boy seated beside her. While most seven year olds should have fidgeted in their seat, complained or grew impatient while waiting for their food, Shinji Ikari merely sat there, looking straight ahead like a statue.
Misato was tempted to poke the young boy on the arm to see if he really was alive, and she was about to do so when they boy's head moved and she found herself staring into the strangest pair of eyes she had ever seen. Around the boy's pupils was a light brown, almost golden haze, before fading to a normal light blue. She had never seen such unique eyes before.
"Hello." Misato raised her arm for the boy to shake.
Shinji glanced at his guardian, and when he received an approving nod, he took the woman's arm and shook it once. The light caught his face and the thin area around his pupil looked like flecks of gold.
She heard a cough and muffled laughter, and noticed that her tablemates were giving her amused looks.
"It's called central heterochromia." Naoko Akagi said. "It's an extremely rare eye coloration disorder that affects a tiny fraction percent of the population."
"Does it affect his eyesight?" Misato asked. The unique eyes held her gaze, and she couldn't help but smile at Shinji.
"His eyesight's normal." Naoko answered. "However, he does gain attention from those unfamiliar with this genetic quirk, such as yourself."
"Don't worry Misato." Ritsuko giggled. "I had the same reaction when I first saw Shinji-kun here when I visited mother last year."
"Not the same I think." Naoko smiled. "If I recall, you thought he was wearing contact lenses, and then began to search for a procedure to make your eyes look the same."
"Mother! I did not!" Ritsuko's cheeks blushed red.
"Oh yes you did honey. I saw the logs of those medical databases you looked into."
"So, eager to gain the attention of boys at Uni then huh?" Misato elbowed her friend who sat to her right. "I never knew Ritsuko."
"You have to admit having eyes like those would make you stand out." Ritsuko slapped her friend's elbow aside. "And I was thinking of something decent, and not resorting to barely there skirts and plunging necklines."
"You're just jealous Rits." Misato countered. She looked again at Shinji who had now begun eating. "But you're right though, it will certainly attract attention."
"So are the rumors true?"
"What rumors?" Naoko asked absently while she cleaned the plates they used for dinner. Misato happily accepted Naoko's invitation to stay over for the night, and was now on the guest room sleeping, tired from their trip from Kyoto.
"That Gehirn's using the alien technology against them." Ritsuko said. "Mum, Misato told me of what she had seen during the second impact."
Naoko frowned, though her daughter couldn't see her face since her back was facing Ritsuko. "And after learning the truth, you still want to join Gehirn?"
"Of course! I want to follow your footsteps, and become a leading expert in computational biology... and someday, design a second generation of bio tech computers after your Magi systems become obsolete."
Naoko laughed and faced her daughter. "I don't think that will be happening any time soon Ritsuko. Well... perhaps someday, but by then, you'd be old and wrinkly."
"Mooom!" Ritsuko complained.
"It looks like we to cut this short honey." Naoko said as she read a message from her mobile phone. "Something's come up, and I really need to get back to Gehirn, an experiment they are conducting needs my expertise."
"Take care of Shinji-kun, okay? He's your responsibility. I'll be back tomorrow morning, or around lunch." Naoko added.
"Yeah mom. Don't worry about Shinji, he's very easy to watch over."
"I bet." Naoko sprayed a liberal amount of perfume on her wrist and neck before she rushed out, white lab coat forgotten on the rack.
A moment later Misato stepped out of her room, yawning and looking refreshed.
"That was a short nap." Ritsuko observed. Misato usually slept for hours, and she always had to be dragged out of bed by herself or Kaji so that she wouldn't be late for her classes.
"That's because I haven't had any beer." Misato complained. "The nap was helpful, but I can't help but feel that something's missing."
"You mean the buzz from being drunk?"
"Yeah that!" Misato happily agreed. "Where's your mom?"
"She had an experiment to take care of." Ritsuko sighed. "You know, I'm fine with him dating other men, she doesn't need to hide it under the pretense of working."
"She's probably worried that you might get offended, since technically your parents aren't divorced." Misato said.
"I'm not." Ritsuko waved her hand to dismiss her friend's statement. "I barely knew the man, and from what I know, he's an ass."
"Aren't all men?" Misato joked. "Well, except for Kaji... he can use my ass anytime."
"Misato!" Ritsuko furiously hissed. "This isn't like the dorm rooms with thick concrete walls! Shinji might hear!"
"Oh right sorry." Misato said."So... since your Mom's out, is it fine if I have a drink or two?"
"Go ahead." Ritsuko replied. "I know you had that six pack beer hidden inside your bag. I took one out and put it in the fridge earlier."
"You're the best Ritsuko!" Misato rushed to the kitchen.
"Yeah yeah." Ritsuko reached inside her pocket and moved towards the open window and lit a cigarette.
Year 2008, Tokyo-3, Japan
Naoko Akagi slowly woke up as the rays of the sun slipped through the blinds of her apartment window. She, along with her fellow scientists and technicians in Gehirn found their new accommodations more pleasant, rather than spending weeks on end without seeing the light of the sun deep inside the GeoFront. The artificial light wasn't enough, and they needed the real deal.
She turned in bed and frowned when she couldn't feel the warm body that slept with her that night.
"Gendo?" The chief scientist murmured.
She heard the sound of fingers rapidly typing on a keyboard and raised her head to see her lover already awake, and as expected, working, delegating orders and emails to his staff. His unyielding work ethic was among one of the things that she found attractive, along with the power and influence at his command.
He was a robot, a machine that did not stop until he got his way, destroying any obstacle and threat to his goals. Hundreds of thousands answered to this man, and even the Japan Strategic Self Defense Force and the United Nations greatly respected, and even feared his influence. Of all the women that worked and answered to him, he chose her to share his bed.
"Busy, as always." Naoko said fondly.
Gendo glanced at her, and despite her nakedness, she did not reach for a pillow or the blanket to cover her modesty. She lay bare and exposed before his eyes, and she loved the feeling.
"We have to remain ahead of schedule." Gendo replied. "Integration of the Magi system to the city is a top priority, and with your completion of the supercomputer system, we're right on track. You've done really well Naoko."
She blushed, but also acknowledge one of his very rare praised, and it gave her a warm feeling. She slightly parted her legs to show her lover how happy she felt.
Last night, Magi went online, and started to run Tokyo-3. Everything was automated, from the security blast proof doors, traffic lights, mono rail transit systems, even vending machines were now controlled by Magi. It was a breath taking sight to see the dozens of high rise buildings, all housing important personnel and office space, literally rise up from the deep inside the GeoFront to greet the full moon.
This was still a test run though, and she needed to work out the bugs in the system before she could draw up plans for mass production to be shipped out to the various Gehirn branches around the world.
"I'm glad you're happy Gendo."
"I am." The man removed his glasses and crawled on the foot of the bed towards her. She widened her legs further and raised her knees in anticipation.
"Wait, Shinji-kun, he might hear... AH!" Naoko gasped when she felt him thrust his fingers inside her.
"He already went to school." Gendo replied.
As he ravished her body, Naoko moaned and screamed, enjoying his ministrations.
She had moved in with him in his pent house apartment, and with Shinji, she finally felt like she was part of a complete family once more. She prepared meals, and drove Shinji to school, and to work with Gendo. At night they would eat their dinner, discussing inconsequential things, and sometimes Fuyutsuki would even join them.
Shinji as always remained silent, unless directly asked a question by his father. Naoko grew fond of her adopted son, and noticed the difference in his behavior when he was alone with her and with everyone else. She was delighted that he had started to show signs of independence and he soon developed quirks that only she knew.
He was, the third child, one of the elite Evangelion pilots, but that didn't mean that his social skills needed to suffer, and so encouraged him to speak more freely. He did, with a vocabulary no pre teen should have, but it was progress. She enrolled him in the local school, to further develop his social skills, with moderate success.
One of her friends suggested that a hobby was helpful for a child's development, and she took him to a music store in one of their rare trips outside Tokyo-3. It was an awfully cute sight to see Shinji, carrying a cello, and a faint blush on his cheeks - if the light and heat wasn't playing with her eyesight.
Gendo's thrust became faster and she wrapped her legs around him, moaning with pleasure, and pain.
"Yui..." Her lover whispered his dead wife's name as he came inside her.
"A day after the tsunami that wiped out millions of lives in the southern hemisphere, India and Pakistan, thinking that it was a nuclear strike against their countries, immediately unleashed their nuclear arsenal on each other."
Shinji Ikari sat quietly at the very front of the class, his attention solely focused on the old teacher relaying the events surrounding the second impact, a catastrophic event that triggered a third world war, and the combined deaths reduced humanity's population by half.
"The nuclear fallout was carried to South East Asia, creating chaos and devastation and widespread hunger. As expected, their governments failed, and the United Nations had to intervene. China however, objected to..."
Around him, his classmates chatted with each other, either blatantly in front of the teacher that seemingly didn't care, or through the local area network messaging service in their respective computer tablets.
A flashing white box attracted his attention, and noticed that it was an invitation by one of his classmates to 'hang out' during lunch. He ignored it, along with the folded paper that landed in front of his desk.
His adoptive mother had told him that school was an important exercise in social interaction, and he agreed, thinking that it would help him overall as a pilot. He was beginning to have doubts, his classmates stared at him strangely whenever he spoke, and he didn't know whether if it is because of his strange eyes (he observed that most people have a strange fascination with them) or the words that he used.
His eyes immediately focused on the door, as the principal appeared, with a girl with strange blue hair and red eyes.
The girl walked in front of the board and the old teacher paused in his lecture. The principal whispered a few words into the teacher's ear, along with a long envelope.
"Very well, thank you Principal Akita." The history teacher faced the class and cleared his throat. "Class, this is Ayanami Rei, she will be joining us from now on."
'The first child.' Shinji thought as he observed his fellow pilot.
The girl bowed a little and repeated her name and a short greeting. Her voice was very soft, and the students in the back leaned forward, struggling to hear her.
"Welcome Ayanami. Why don't you pick a chair?"
The girl moved, though she her eyes glanced at his direction for a moment before she sat nearest the windows. The teacher continued his lecture, and a moment later chairs previously empty near the window was suddenly filled with students. Shinji grudgingly admired their stealth at avoiding the teacher's notice.
"So Ayanami-san, where are you from?"
"Do you want to have lunch with us?"
"Why is your hair like that? I've never seen such hair color."
The blue haired girl glanced at her new classmates surrounding her seat for a moment, and then stared out the window.
"Not another one!"
The history teacher paused in his lecture and glared at the trouble maker of the class. "Suzuhara! Pipe down!"
"When you told me we we're going to calibrate the prototype's sensors, I didn't realize we would need wetsuits." Ritsuko Akagi said as she helped her mother zip up the tight suit. She turned around as her mother helped her get into her own, grimacing with how tight it compressed her chest.
"Do we need to wear these?" Ritsuko asked.
"We could, but the LCL is nearly impossible to remove on normal clothing." Naoko turned to her daughter and grinned. "Or if you're feeling kinky, you could wear that two piece that I saw you buy in that store, and give the ground maintenance crew a show."
Ritsuko blushed and glared at her mother. The bay where the orange colored prototype was submerged in LCL had walls that had parts of it covered in super strong composite glass, to allow the scientists inside to communicate better with those on the other side of the wall.
"You're so easily teased." Naoko laughed.
Progress on the construction of the prototype and the test type increased to a frenzied pace, now that the Magi super computer was online, helping with the diagnostics and maintenance.
"Why does it have to be submerged in LCL anyway?"
"You're familiar with the LCL correct?" Ryouko asked.
Ritsuko nodded. The LCL, or Link contact Liquid, the rare and extremely expensive liquid had an incredible oxygen rich property that allows the human body to breathe while being submerged in it. It had revolutionized the treatment of injured civilians, and was now coveted by deep sea salvagers as replacement for bulky oxygen tanks.
To see an enormous tank filled with the prized liquid was a sight to behold, and there were even rumors of an entire lake of LCL being made outside the complex. The younger Akagi marveled at the budget that Gehirn had its disposal. She wondered who the financial backer of the Gehirn Research Agency, certainly the U.N., on its own, couldn't afford all the enormous expense that they required.
Everywhere she looked, everything was top of the line, or she thought it wasn't invented yet, but there it was, ready for her use. She recognized the names of the scientists that she passed by on the corridors, all were leading experts in their various fields, and their salaries had to be big enough to get them on board.
She remembered last week when she was finally allowed to see the giant weapons they would eventually use to fight off the invaders. It took her breath away when she finally stood in front of Unit-00, the very first reliable working prototype as it was about to be filled with LCL.
"Despite Unit-00's appearance, it is not entirely a robot." Naoko said, as they walked towards the elevator that would take them on top of the tank.
"What do you mean?" Ritsuko asked, surprise and confusion evident in her face. "What else could it be if it does not use robotics to move?"
"Anyone can build a robot, like those fools on the Jet Alone project that keeps trying to steal our budget." Naoko replied.
'Anyone can also build a supercomputer made out of purely silicon chips and wires, but not my Magi.' She mentally added.
"The Evangelions are on an entirely different level." Naoko continued. "Though there are some robotic parts, seventy percent is entirely biological, hence the need for the LCL to supply them with oxygen and nutrients whenever we remove the armor."
"Bio...logical?" Ritsuko gasped. "That thing is alive?"
"In a way, but to make it easier to understand, it's a humanoid life form that needs very special pilots like Shinji-kun to act as its brain."
"But why all this?" Ritsuko asked, completely astounded by her mother's revelation. There were no printed information regarding the Evangelions, and even those that worked for Gehirn for years haven't even stepped foot inside this part of the pyramid complex. Her abilities and her mother being the top scientist allowed her the rare privilege in working on project Eva.
"Aren't robots entirely made of metal more cost efficient and durable?" She asked again.
"They are, against conventional enemies." Naoko replied. "But we are constructing the Evas specifically to combat the angels. You would soon understand, as you integrate yourself with the project Eva team."
Year 2009, Hamburg, Germany, Gehirn-3 branch
"I don't give a flying fuck about that prick." Misato stretched back on her seat while she waited for her imported instant noodle to finish cooking.
"..and I don't care if he has the stamina of a horse! Ritsuko you slut!" Misato yelled at the cordless phone pinned between her chin and shoulder.
"Yeah I know." Misato lifted the aluminum cover of the instant noodles and inhaled the aroma. "Yeah, you too. Mess that squirt's hair for me, will you? Sure, bye."
Misato was halfway through her meal when her alarm sounded, meaning her lunch break was over. She hurriedly swallowed the remaining noodles and soup in one gulp before she retrieved her military hat and smoothed out the crease in her dark blue United Nations officer uniform before she headed out to her weapons theory class.
It was a completely different experience from what she imagined herself to be working for Gehirn. When she was tested by the recruitment office, she was told that her line of expertise and interests meant that she was better suited to operational planning and command, and would be of better use in Gehirn branch -03. Her best friend Ritsuko, who was more suited to research, was transferred to Tokyo-3 under the apprenticeship of her mother.
It wasn't all bad though, she had impressed her instructors with her ability to plan military tactics, and her creativity in utilizing whatever resources in her disposal when fighting angels in simulations. She had seen the still unfinished Unit-02 and its designated pilot, preparing for the day they would eventually carry humanity's hopes on their shoulders and defeat the angels.
They had told her that was real reason that caused the melting of the Antarctic ice caps and the resulting tidal wave was the mysterious Absolute Terror field that the aliens emit, rumored to make them invulnerable to any conventional attack.
"Lieutenant Misato." The instructor greeted her with a curt nod as she entered the tactical room.
"Sir!" Misato snapped a salute at the Colonel, and sat after the honorary greeting was returned.
"You've finished the assigned reading, yes?"
"Yes sir." Misato nodded. She had stayed up late to finish the assigned readings regarding the various equipment packs that the Evas will eventually use in battle.
"Any questions then before we get started?"
"I was wondering if an Eva can fire its positron cannon while still connected to its customized transport aircraft." Misato said.
"Thinking of an aerial bombardment then?" The colonel chuckled. "Yes, theoretically, the aircraft's engines can supply the positron cannon, though it will not be as powerful and effective. And since we don't have any data on how the AT field behaves, we don't know if a positron beam supplied by a limited power source can have produce any effect."
"This is frustrating the hell out me sir." Misato said honestly. "We haven't tested even one of those robots in the field, and we just expect them to produce an AT field while in battle against the aliens?"
"Angels Misato." The colonel corrected his favorite student. "And yes, the scientists said so... we just have to believe in those machines. It's their job to create the technology, and ours to think up of ways to use them as weapons."
"Angels, aliens they're the same to me." Misato replied.
"I'm just following Gehirn protocols here. If they tell us to call those things angels, then we have to start using the term too. Anyway, keep up on your training. I heard from the scientists that the Magi system is nearly finished, and once one of those supercomputers is shipped to us, the simulations should become more realistic." The colonel grinned. "It might get even challenging for you."
The United Nations International officer looked up from her desk and groaned. "Not now Asuka, I'm not feeling well."
The 9 year old redhead scrunched her nose at the smell of Misato's apartment and hurried to the windows to let the air in.
"Drunk again?" Asuka kicked the empty cans of beer that littered the floor. "Unbelievable! How am I supposed to master Japanese if my teacher is too drunk to teach?"
"Relax Asuka." Misato massaged her head and stared at the designated pilot for the still unfinished Unit 02 with bloodshot eyes. "You have the language down, it's just the Japanese characters that you're having trouble. Considering that you only started lessons two months ago, it's an incredible achievement. Besides, we have plenty of time."
"Hmfff." Asuka sniffed and turned her back on her teacher, hiding the small smile on her face from Misato's praise. "I told you I'm the best. And it's not thanks to your instruction! I worked my butt off between my studies, and Kaji even gave private lessons! He's so smart!"
"Don't mention that jerk to en again Asuka." Misato said. "Just hearing that asshole's name makes me puke."
"You shouldn't speak such foul words in front of a young woman like me!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever." Misato slowly headed to her small fridge and took out another can of beer.
"Now wonder Kaji broke up with you." Asuka teased. "He likes a proper lady, and someday when I grow older he's going to marry me!"
Asuka's crush on Kaji Ryouji was widely known around Gehirn-03. No one was sure when this infatuation started, but Misato guessed it was when the second child first laid her eyes on Kaji the man whore was running with her around the track field for the physical assessment test required by the United Nations military. She remembered seeing the girl's face pressed into the chain link fence, her eyes serious as she observed them circle the track.
Ever since that first meeting, Misato noticed that whenever she and Kaji were, the girl was not far behind, spying from whatever cover she could find. She remembered being put out for a time since she and Kaji couldn't perform quickies as often as they wanted.
Asuka finally introduced herself to Kaji, her cheeks as red as her hair, and her blue eyes sparkling with admiration. But she didn't stammer, and confidently introduced herself to the amused man. Misato could never forget seeing the delighted expression on the girl's face, when she heard of their infamous and much gossiped breakup.
"I think I prefer the third child than you." Misato teased.
"What do you mean?" The girl demanded, her natural competitiveness showing. "I'm the best pilot there is!"
"Well for one, he's well mannered, though a bit quiet." Misato grinned as she remembered the few times she tussled Shinji's hair during her brief stay at the Akagi residence. At first she thought that the boy was incapable of showing any emotion, until she saw the slight frown on Shinji-kun's face when she messed up his perfectly combed hair.
"You've met the third child?"
"Yeah. Before I was assigned to Gehirn 3, I stayed for two weeks at Tokyo-3 and lived with Shinji and his guardian, Doctor Naoko Akagi." Misato replied. "She's the one who designed the Magi supercomputer systems."
"What's the third like?" Asuka asked. She had heard the names of the other pilots and was eager to learn more about them.
"He's very quiet, he rarely talks."
"You mean he's dumb?"
"Quite the opposite in fact." Misato finished her beer. "I heard he's a very intelligent boy, but that's to be expected if your guardian is Naoko Akagi. And I'm sure you've heard of Gendo Ikari, that's Shinji's father."
Asuka nodded, immediately recognizing the name. If there was the biggest boss in all of Gehirn, it was Gendo Ikari. Even her father mentioned the name a few times in the dinner table, admiring the responsibility and power the man has. Still, even if the third child was the son of the big bad boss, doesn't mean he was the better pilot.
"So?" Asuka countered. "That has nothing to do with piloting! When I start the synchronization tests next year, I'm sure I'll have the highest scores! I'll show that third child who is the best among the three of us!"
Misato swore that she would be present when the second and the third child finally meet. She was sure it will be an interesting sight.
"The first child huh?" Ritsuko mused. "What is she like?"
"Quiet." Shinji replied and continued eating his dinner.
"So she's just like you Shinji-kun." Naoko Akagi grinned.
"No." Shinji narrowed his eyes at his adoptive mother. "I listen to the instructor's lecture, the first child does not."
"What do you mean?"
"The first child looked out the window the entire time." Shinji replied. Even he was not that quiet in class. He sometimes spoke with the class representative when it was his turn on cleaning duties to receive the correct instruction.
"Hmmm... mother, do you think the first child went the same treatment Shinji has?" Ritsuko asked.
"It's possible." Naoko mused. "I'll ask Gendo later. Shinji, did you see the first child's parents?"
"No. A black car picked her up while I was waiting for Ritsuko-san."
"Strange." Ritsuko observed. "Why was she hidden for so long? And why did she suddenly appear?"
"I may have an idea." Naoko sipped her tea. "Shinji's about to perform mock synchronization tests this month using the prototype neural clips and the plug system. I heard from Fuyutsuki about testing the pilots plug suits too. It's an exciting week for all of us, and I guess Gendo wanted the first child tested as well. I know Gehirn 3 in Germany is about to do the same with their second child."
"It's going to be hectic down there, and I can't wait to analyze the data." Ritsuko turned to her mother's ward. "Are you excited, Shinji-kun?"
Shinji just shrugged and resumed eating, earning amused looks from the Akagi women. He really didn't care much about the first child... his priority was only on obeying his adoptive mother and making her smile. She wanted him to become a capable pilot and fight the angels, and that was what he would do.
A/N: I wrote this as homage to (in my opinion) the best Anime series ever created.
Naoko Akagi's a character that greatly fascinates me, the genius that created the Magi supercomputer, yet willing enough to spread her legs to Gendo.
Is she attracted to powerful men? Or is there another reason?