To Have Seen an Angel – Chapter 5

Author's Notes:

Again I find myself apologizing for the tremendous length of time between updates. It was not my intention to allow the story to languish for so long. So without further ado – I present the next chapter of "To Have Seen an Angel". Enjoy :D



Title:To Have Seen an Angel
Universe:Neon Genesis Evangelion
Type:Multi-chapter Story
Rating:R – Adult Language, Graphic Violence, Adult Situations
Disclaimer:Gainax owns Evangelion. So does ADV and others. I don't. This is just a nonprofit fan-work. Don't sue me.
Chapter Five: Born Again

There are questions in the universe that are as old as the universe itself. They were asked before the concepts of speech and language were created. It's quite possible that they were the trigger that forced the universe into being.

Names like "God" and "Heaven" and even "Creator" are artifacts – pieces that are placed in our vocabulary to attempt to explain these most ancient of questions. In a way, our term "Universe" is the true encompassing of that thing we call 'God'. For if our belief is true; then, God is infinite and omniscient. He is everything and anything around us.

Still, since God is everything, then God is the Universe. They are inseparable, indistinguishable. This means that the power that formed the universe was God's awakening. Ever since that awakening, the universe has been trying to figure its self out.

You might ask: If God is omniscient then why would he have to figure himself out? It is perhaps the most cruel joke that existence can play upon a being: Immortality. An Immortal being can know everything – predict everything – given the proper experience. Such as would be with God. But that would be an empty and most dissatisfying existence. After all, what good is it to create a universe incapable of change?

People assume that God is somewhere up there – living in the heavens, simply watching and occasionally interacting with his creations. Some assume that they can find Him in a church, or in a book. Some assume that He is listening to their prayers; some assume that He speaks through the priests and clergy of the various religious associations. In a way, they are all right. However, in a way, they are all wrong.

People seem to forget that God is everything, and everything is the Universe. We are created by God because He is the stars that formed the carbon atoms in our bodies; He is the earth that we evolved on. He is the rock that built our churches, and the trees that created our books. But a sentience cannot exist in rock or stone; cannot be held by paper or pen. The energy of the universe, the creative thought that formed it and allowed us to exist, can exist in only one place: a living being. From the smallest microbe to the largest whale – God exists in living things. Each creature, in its own way, tries to answer the questions that formed the Universe.

It has been said before that we are the universe made manifest. Each soul – from smallest cell to an entire human being – contains a small portion of that which we call God. It also contains a small fraction of His power… And that the soul can continue after death is proof of this. Of course, there always remain the questions…

"Who are you?

What do you want?"

Ritsuko couldn't understand why she was hearing these questions. She couldn't understand much of anything in her current state… except for the fact that hell was not exactly what she imagined. In fact – it was a lot like LCL.

The voice was louder this time:

"Who are you?

What do you want?"

The former doctor recognized the voice. It was feminine: "Lilith" she whispered to herself.

"Who are you?

What do you want?"

'What do I want?' Ritsuko asked herself. Did she want to die? To simply cease to be – fall from existence?

Ritsuko shook her head, "I want to live!" She shouted… or attempted to shout.

"There is a price." Lilith's disembodied voice mentioned casually.

'When is there ever not a price?' She asked herself, shaking what she perceived to be her head slowly back and forth – as though the universe had decided to play yet another joke on her. "What is it?"

"To return to the Earth, in the land of my children, you will do so by taking your form from my own." The voice stated, with a sense of sadness.

It didn't take long for Ritsuko's mind to grasp the concept.

"To return to life requires that I give of myself to sustain you." The voice promised. "A small part, to be sure, but a part none the less. Your flesh will not be your own."

'Of course my flesh isn't going to be my own,' she thought with a frustrated mental sigh. After all, Rei had done a completely thorough job of vaporizing her body. And she was under the quiet assurance that this was to be her 'punishment'. Ritsuko had been an integral part of making Rei Ayanami exactly who she was.

And now, Rei would show her just why her state was certainly not preferable. After all, the flesh of Lilith was pure angel. Her new 'body' would be immortal in much the same way.

Doctor Akagi thought about what was happening to her. She was going to get a second chance to live; but, there was a terrible cost involved. In a way, Ritsuko both hated and loved Rei for her action. The girl had granted her last request: Her death was indeed quick. For that she loved the blue haired angelic shell…

Unfortunately, the girl had decided to share her particular brand of immortality with her. Facing death was one thing. And although facing immortality would be a blessing to some souls – the members of Project E knew better. And Ritsuko Akagi knew best of all what kind of curse that lay before her.

Asuka moped around the streets of Tokyo III. She had spent quite a while in the changing room before leaving. She was trying to understand and reconcile the scene that unfolded before her. She knew on a subconscious level that she should be royally pissed at the third child for embracing the First… but she could not find the anger within herself.

Unfortunately for her, Misato had paperwork to do – there was always paperwork when something monumental occurred – and a significant portion of HQ being vaporized was certainly under that heading. And because they were eye-witnesses, Shinji and Rei were forced to stay with the often inebriated Major.

What had confused Asuka most was that she felt something when the sections of terminal dogma were destroyed. That something was sharp and cold… but she also had premonitions from before the destruction. As though something powerful had awakened, and it was pissed off.

As she randomly took streets around the city, she felt pulled in various directions. A left here, a right here… Almost as if some force were guiding her towards a particular location. These thoughts began to intrude into her subconscious, but before she could speak, she saw where her feelings had led her.

The crater where the Sixteenth angel had exploded was not as large as it could have been… However, it was large enough to hold a significant quantity of water. The newly formed lake looked quite odd and out of place in the outskirts of the city. The metal girders and remnants of buildings that were at the edge of the blast lingered: sticking up from the surface of the water. They were a kind of monument to those who had died in that explosion.

Suddenly humming filled the air. Asuka recognized the tune almost immediately, "Ode to Joy…" She whispered. Her eyes searched for the song, and found it coming from a statue of an angel – the kind that had slivery bird-like wings and a beautiful female body. It stood up quite well, considering its proximity to the explosion of the last angel.

Sitting on the uneven surface of the statue was a 14 year old boy with grey hair and dull red eyes. While he wore a contented look on his face while he was humming, that content did not quite reach his eyes.

Asuka approached him slowly, feeling slightly odd in his presence. His eyes slowly rotated to meet Asuka's. Then, for a second, his eyes met her gaze. His humming stopped, and a look of confusion slowly spread over his features. The confusion was gone in the next instant – as a true smile, one that did reach his eyes, came over his face. "Music is a wonderful thing, would you not agree, Miss Sohryu?" His voice was sing-song in quality as he observed the obviously confused young woman. After several long moments of silence he continued, "I think it's perhaps the greatest lilum invention." With that statement, he jumped from the statue to the ground in a fluid motion.

Asuka took a step back, "If you say so."

The boy chuckled, "I do, but you do not need take my word for it. Its beauty is plain to see, as is yours."

Asuka blushed slightly. "Yeah, right."

"Forgive my manners, Miss Sohryu. I have the pleasure of knowing your name, but I have not yet identified myself to you." The boy was about to continue, when Asuka sharply shook her head and gazed at him with a touch of anger.

"Yeah, about that… How do you know me well enough to recognize me on sight?" Asuka accused the young boy.

At this, the boy smiled, and said, "Why everyone knows who you are, Asuka Langley Sohryu." To make a point he extended one of his fingers as if counting, "As they know that you are the Second Children…" He grabbed and extended another finger, "and as they know you are the graceful pilot of Unit 02." The third finger extended, his smile grew as he teased, "I would have thought that you, of all people, would have realized that your reputation would always precede you?" He watched her attentively as he thought, 'Three… a good number.'

"Here I am being flattered by some kid on the edge of a water-filled crater." Asuka muttered.

The boy's eyes narrowed slightly, "And this is bad how?"

Asuka harrumphed.

"In any case, my manners are indeed lacking. I shall rectify it at once!" The boy said with a flourish. "I am Kawrou Nagasa." He bowed in a traditional Japanese manner, "Although I have not officially been assigned here, I soon shall take my place as the fifth chosen children."

Asuka's eyes widened slightly, "Y…You're a pilot?"

Kawrou sighed, his smile wavering slightly, "Of course. Given recent events: such as the near-death of the fourth child, the severe damage to units Zero and Two, and the fact that two of the three pilots were nearly killed in an unknown event - the Council that oversees NERV thought it would be prudent for me to be close-by. Just in case."

Asuka's eyes narrowed on the stranger, "So… who are they sending you in to replace?"

Kawrou's smile increased again, "I am no-one's replacement. I shall pilot one of the recently completed Mass-Production Evangelions. It's undergoing some minor cosmetic modifications before shipment to Tokyo III. Once it arrives, I will officially join the NERV pilot staff."

"I see…" Asuka trailed off, some part of her satisfied that this person would not be replacing her.

"Although I must admit…" Kawrou started, "I am a little surprised by one thing."

Asuka raised her eyes a bit as Kawrou studied her.

Sensing her confusion and her curiosity, he clarified for her, "We are more alike than you can imagine."

"I guess we'll see about that, then." Asuka finished, looking into his red eyes. 'They are a brownish red… but his skin, and that hair. If I didn't know better…' She thought, and then asked "Are you related to Ayanami?"

Kawrou smiled enigmatically and said in a sing-song voice, "Perhaps I am."

Asuka watched as the strange Fifth Children walked away. After about ten feet, he started humming "Ode to Joy" as he walked down the broken street.

"Damn it!" Misato swore at the uncooperative mainframe computer. According to the system, there were no records from the room at the time the explosion occurred. An explosion that just happened to take her best friend, vaporizing her and a significant portion of the underground complex. "This doesn't make sense. The video should be there!"

Shinji sat silently staring at the wall. "This is father's doing." He mumbled, not loud enough for Misato to hear. However, Rei did manage to hear his statement.

Her eyes widened slightly. "What if it is?"

"I… I had hoped that he would change." Shinji admitted. "That he'd be a father to me… and to you. At least he could have tried."

Rei sighed slightly, her body seeming to sink into the plastic chair. "Shinji, it's not your fault. You did everything you could do."

Shinji seemed to deflate, resigning himself to the simple fact that Rei was correct. What more could he have done? "I just wish… that… if even for a moment… he could have tried."

Rei nodded silently. "Perhaps you should seek out Sohryu. Perhaps you will believe it when you hear it from her as well."

Shinji mirthlessly giggled, "Right. Like she'll want to listen to me complain."

Rei's eyes narrowed, "Then do not complain. Just talk. Tell her."

Shinji seemed to think this over. However, he was interrupted by his guardian. "Shinji, Rei…" Misato started, "I'm not going to be able to get anywhere as long as the Magi don't want to show the video. So you might as well leave for the evening. I'm sure that we can pick this up tomorrow."

Rei and Shinji got up to leave, but Misato interrupted them again, "Shinji… Try to find Asuka and walk her home. I'm sure she hasn't made it there yet." She glanced at a computer screen, "She's by the crater for the Sixteenth. It's getting late and I don't want her walking home alone."

"Ok Misato." Shinji replied as he and Rei walked from the room.

Misato watched as they left the room, and then sighed. "Why?" She asked the empty air. "Why did whatever it was have to take Ritsuko?"

Terminal Dogma – Heaven's Gate:

Deep under the LCL pool, the now opaque egg-like sphere began to crack, as a pair of fingers wedged their way out of the casing…

Author's Notes:

I hope you enjoyed this latest chapter of To Have Seen an Angel. Several reviewers have spotted (one very recently) my use of Star Trek quotes in this story. The first quote is in the first chapter – when Gendo has his "breakdown" (Trust me; it is unbelievable because it should be.) The actual quote from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was as follows:

Kirk: (Watches as the Enterprise burns up in the atmosphere) My God, Bones, what have I done?
McCoy: What you had to do… What you always do: Turn death into a fighting chance to live.

The second quote is from The Original Series episode Amok Time, and occurred in the Third Chapter of THSaA. In Amok Time the quote occurs when Spock was speaking with his rival (For the life of me I can't remember his name) after he had believed that he killed Kirk: "You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."

There will be other references to obscure (but hopefully memorable) sci-fi quotes throughout this story. I shall leave them as Easter eggs for those who didn't get a chance to hunt this year.

I hope the quality of the story is good. I'm posting this chapter now, but I'll probably repost it after I've had a proper chance to correct all the mistakes I'm sure I made. But I want to get something out there for people to read. I hope this chapter is at least as good as the previous ones – even if it is a bit short. I promise the next chapter will have more Asuka and Shinji.