Meanwhile, somewhere out there...

Gendo Ikari sat alone in a room. In his hands was a VHS tape. His name was written on the label. It was on the bed when he returned home. Yui must have left it for him. He sat on the edge of their small bed that was always just large enough, and held it in his hands and stared at it. Shinji was still with Fuyutsuki, asleep the last time he called. When he'd composed himself he realized he had no idea how to tell the boy that his mother went to work and would never come back. He held the tape in his trembling hands and swallowed, hard. He pulled his sleeve across his mouth, already crusted with dried mucous and tears. He'd wept in public, in front of Naoko Akagi, and he didn't care. Yui was gone. The light had gone out, and there was a hollow place in his chest.

He turned on the television. It was already set to static. He turned on the VCR, and Yui's face popped up, staring intently into the camera. She put it down, on the beside table a few feet away from where he now sat. She sat on the bed in an old band t-shirt and drew her legs up in front of her, her pale, silky thighs as distant to him now as a half remembered dream. She leaned her chin on her knees and stared into space for a while, and then pushed her hair back behind her ear. Her eyes glistened with tears.

"Gendo," she murmured, and then louder, "Gendo, my husband, my love. If you're seeing this, it means I died in the contact experiment. We both knew this was a possibility."

He broke out in a fresh sob to quiet himself, biting his hand.

Yui looked at the camera. "I…" her voice tightened, "I h-have to focus. I have things I have to say and I have to make sure I say them before…"

Her eyes squeezed tightly shut and she turned away, biting her lip, shaking with a suppressed sob. After a while, she took a deep breath and looked back into the camera. "There are things we have to do. Shinji needs your help and guidance, Gendo, more than you could ever know. I've already discussed this matter with Fuyutsuki. I didn't want you to worry, so I never told you."

His stomach froze, turned to a cold ball in his guts, and he became very still.

"I… I was always afraid you'd reject me if I told you the truth," she whispered, sniffing. "I kept it a secret. It's not very impressive, I… I should just show you."

She picked up a pen and held it on the flat of her hand. It teetered a little, nearly tumbling off the rounded edge of her palm, and then slowly rose, hovering in midair as she grunted in concentration. It slapped into her hand and tumbled off, bounced off the bed, and was gone.

"I first found out when I was about thirteen. Father had me tested, and… I was forbidden to use my gift. I took drugs to suppress it. I think it's why they wanted me for the program. I…"

She choked up for a moment.

"I'm a mutant."

Coming soon, from the author of Last Child of Krypton, The Riddle of Steel, the Crisis of Infinite Shinjis, and others...


The age of heroes ended on August 21, 1973...

Mutants, madmen and monsters, demons and ghosts...

...and those are the good guys

Prepare yourself for the astounding prologue, "SECRET ORIGINS"