Neon Genesis Evangelion: At the End of the World
Neon Genesis Evangelion: At the End of the World
By Luna Ayanami (email@example.com
Neon Genesis Evangelion is copyrighted by GAINAX. We must all bow down and grovel before GAINAX for letting us see this wonderful show. This story operates on a different storyline from the one depicted in Japan and I apologize for the liberties I have taken with the concept of the show. The characters are my own, and I created the environment and situations they live in.
No one could remember exactly how long it had been since the last battle between the Angels and the EVA units. But the world had been thrown into turmoil afterwards, and it had not yet recovered.
Land was a high commodity, since so much had been ruined when the last attack had come. It was coveted jealously by those who held it, and was sold at high rates to those who wanted it. Politics played a high role in the world structure...where politics could be played. Countries were divided by anarchy in poor areas where the land was ruined beyond hope to high dictatorship in areas where the land was richer.
Beneath the City of Night, a secret waited patiently for discovery.
Tokyo-3 had been hit the worst by the final attack, and it now lay in ruins beneath an eternal cloud that boiled blackly. It poured flash floods from its dark depths, lightning erupted constantly from one part or another. No one dared to go near it, much less in it, for very long, for it was worth your life to stay too long.
Signs still hang, warning of the danger.
One man, Adam Carson, a travelling man who roamed the world, looking for salvages that would be worth a lot of money, dared to enter the ruins of Tokyo-3. He was inside for months, and when he emerged, he barely escaped for his life. But he had what he had been looking for...evidence of NERV and the infamous EVA units.
The Night is watching.
Adam Carson has kept the secret of Tokyo-3 for twenty years. Now he has the money he needs to carry out his plan...
The secret uncovered.
He plans the excavate NERV headquarters and resurrect the Evangelion units.
The secret awake.
For as long as I can remember, I have lived in darkness.
It wasn't always physical darkness. Always, I could see the sun, play outside, do things other kids could do... but I didn't have a home, no permanent place to stay, no sure source of food, and I couldn't ever remember having parents. I lived in the slums of the onlt prosperous city in Japan, and I lived on my own.
I met Tashi when i was around six years old. I was lost, tired and very very sick. I somehow wandered into his yard while he was playing outside and fell down at his feet. He ran to get his mother, and they took me in until I got better. Afterwards, I had to go back to the streets.
Tashi managed to sneak away every now and then, more often as we both got older. He brought me food and protected me from the various bullies that terrorized the children of the city. He took care of me whenever I was sick or was injured. He always snuck me into his house when it was stormy outside and let me stay in the basement for as long as he could get away with. His parents didn't approve of his association with me, though I could never figure out why.
He was always nice to me. When he let me stay in his basement, he always had a bed for me, even though it was lumpy and uncomfortable, had no pillows and only a small, thin blanket that didn't do much good. He came and stayed with me in the bed, letting me use him as a pillow and it was warmer that way too. He had treats for me always, usually a cookie or something similar. I always looked forward to seeing him.
Then one day, when I was perhaps eight or nine years old, Tashi was visiting me in the slums and was tending to my badly scraped knee when some men came through and rounded up all the children they could find, including me and Tashi. He couldn't get away, and I could tell that he was worried about getting home. But he took my hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze and kept us together as the men pressed more and more children in around us. Frightened though I was, Tashi was there by my side, and I had absolute trust in his ability to make things better for me.
The men seperated us after a time, and I was both sad and scared to be seperated from my only friend, but I knew he wouldn't approve of me if I was to break down and show weakness to these men, so I held up a brave front, though inside I was shaking like a leaf on a tree in a strong wind.
It was weeks before I saw him again. I had been taken to several different buildings and had been poked and prodded by piles of men and women in white coats with cold instruments and big needles. I had been tagged with a bracelet around my wrist which displayed my name, approximate age, blood type and a few other things, none of which I could read. I was illiterate, and had been for a long time.
When I was reunited with Tashi, it was at the City of Night, Tokyo-3 and I thought it was hell.
There was no sun, only the big black cloud that rumbled threateningly overhead. For some reason, that scared me more than anything I had ever been through could.
We were taken to some underground bunkers that were dark and cold and wet. I could hear the sound of small feet skittering, and several brushed against my bare feet and legs. I was shivering and cold, and I clung to Tashi in fear.
That night, as we lay in our bunks, the men came again, and they told us what we were doing here, and the next day, we began the hard task of excavating the city.
I was almost fourteen when we hit the jackpot.
Tashi and I had been working together since we had come here, five years earlier. We were a good team. We helped move out more stuff than any other team, and we also uncovered more artifacts than anyone else.
After we had been brought to Tokyo-3, the leaders had chained us at the wrist in pairs. I was fortunate enough to get chained to Tashi; there was no one in the entire group I could have stood being shackled for very long, save him. We never talked much, but we never had to. I always knew when he needed my help, and he knew my need in return.
We were the ones to discover the lost NERV headquarters. The truth was, we had known where it was for months, but had never bothered to tell the leaders. We both felt, in those rare moments where we did talk, that the people who were holding us here had no right to the secrets buried beneath the ruins of the city. So we just never mentioned the huge building we had found. Whenever we could, we would go back to the site and uncover a little more.
I had thought that the discovery of HQ was a big deal, but it was the find of several months later that shadowed it all in comparison.
We were digging around a large, long shaft when, at the bottom, I could see a large, covered object at the bottom. My light wasn't powerful enough, so I asked Tashi if we could perhaps get a little closer. He shrugged and replied with, "Why not?" So we took our rope, attached one end to a big heavy bar right next to the shaft, and then unlocked our chains, as we had learned long ago.
It was kind of scary. Tashi looked at me soberly for a moment, then said, "You go first." I nodded in reply, hooking my light over my shoulder. Then I got myself into the shaft with a good hold on the rope and slid down easily. I jumped off and landed uneasily.
The object was so uneven. I walked across the top unsteadily, shining my light this way and that, trying to see the best way to lift the covering. Experimentally, I lifted a fold of it that seemed to be stretched between two seperate points on it. "It's cloth," I said, startled, and let it fall back into place.
"Can you pull it off?" Tashi asked, sliding down to my level.
"I can try," I replied doubtfully. I couldn't see to the bottom of the object, or what it was standing on, if anything, so I guessed that the covering was awfully big. Still, I handed Tashi the light, which he attached to his vest and we began to muscle the covering off.
It took awhile and afterwards, I threw it off the other side. It slide off with a hiss that seemed far too loud in the darkness, and I sat for a moment to rest. I was tired. There had been so much to pull up the one side and drop off the other...
"Mei...look," Tashi said quietly, pointing the light at a spot near where I was sitting.
I looked...and nearly fell off the object.
Tashi had taught me how to read a couple years ago. I still wan't very good, but if I went slowly, I could read nearly anything. This object...it was covered in dust and the gods-knew-what-else, but the colours were still visible, and so was the lettering. Still, I had to wipe off a good portion before I could make out the words clearly.
The leaders had told us what we were to be looking for. And I was sitting on it.
There, now wiped clear and visible even with the comparitively dim flashlight, was yellow and black striped warning markings on a purple body, along with these words:
Warning: EVA Entry Plug Access. Do Not Use Unless in Case of Emergency.
Beside it was big yellow lettering:
I didn't know what to think. Here I was, sitting on a lost <u>EVA unit,</u> something the leaders had been searching for since we had gotten here, and probably since before then too. "What are we going to do?" I asked.
Tashi shrugged, scattering the light for a moment. "Two things," he said after a moment, centering the light on the lettering again. "We either tell the leaders, or we keep this to ourselves."
I snorted, feeling myself return a little bit. "Do you...do you think we could...you know...activate it?" I asked, looking up at Tashi.
He looked thoughtful for a long moment. "We could...if we knew how."
I sighed and looked down again at the purple body beneath me. "I wonder how you open it up...?" I asked myself. I got to my knees on the back and ran my fingers lightly over the yellow and black striped panel. I didn't think I had hit anything, but it made a creaking sound and slid open a crack. "Whoa, what'd I touch?" I said, removing my hands hurriedly.
Tashi knelt beside me. He looked thoughtfully at the panel for a moment. "There," he said at last, pointing at a small button, nearly hidden on the side of the panel. "Press that again."
I pressed the button and the panel slid open a bit more. Inside, we could see two more buttons. So I pressed the button one more time, and as the panel slipped open a bit more, Tashi stuck his fingers in between the panel's edges and forced it open all the way. Then he picked up the light again and shone it inside. I leaned over and bumped my head with Tashi's as he also leaned in for a closer look. I pulled back automatically and let him inspect it.
"Hmmm," he said thoughtfully. "I think we push this one here..." He pressed the topmost button, but nothing happened. He pushed it again after a few moments, and then frowned thoughtfully. "I don't know -- " He stopped as the head behind us groaned and jerkily slid forward. There was a larger panel directly underneath us, and it moved upward, throwing us off-balance. Tashi immeadiately laid himself flat against the panel and caught hold of me as I started to slip off, catching hold of my waist and pulling me in close beside him. "Lay flat," he ordered roughly in my ear. I did as he said, flattening myself out next to him and hanging on tight.
The panel stopped moving, and we lay still for a few more minutes to make sure that it wasn't going to move anymore. Then Tashi got up and carefully crawled on all fours to the edge of the panel and looked down over it.
"Come see this, Mei," he said, motioning with one hand for me to come closer. I crawled closer and peered over the edge.
"Wow!" I exclaimed. "It's hollow!"
"There must be something else that goes in there...," Tashi mused, lying flat again. His eyes were distant.
"Tashi, think! What if there are more of these? Wouldn't that be neat!" I was really too excited to pay attention to him. Before I could really stop to think about it or before he could stop me, I swung myself over the edge of the panel and down into the hole.
"Mei!" I heard Tashi call my name, but I was too far engrossed in what I was seeing to answer him. "Mei! Are you alright? Come out of there!"
I walked a little bit into the hole. It was so dark; I couldn't see a thing. "Tashi?" I called.
"What?" came his tired voice.
"Can you pass me the light? I can't see anything in here."
Silence for a moment, then the light came swinging over the edge of the panel. I caught it deftly, and pulled it down into my hand. I shone it around the inside of the tunnel, taking paticular note of the smoothness of the walls. Then, when I was about a third of the way down, I saw a big yellow sign painted on the floor, surrounded by yellow stripes.
"Entry...Plug...Only," I read out loud as I swung the light from one side to the other. "Do...Not...Pass...This...Point. Hmm." Never one to listen to signs and warnings, I kept going...and heard something go click.
I stopped dead. Inside, a red light started flashing.
"Mei!" Tashi was shouting. "Mei! Get out of there! MEI!"
That's when I realized that the panel was closing.
Or rather, the panel was trying to close.
I turned around and saw that the panel was closing about halfway, stopping then opening again. It tried to close, but it only repeated the same process. Confused, I stepped back towards the entrance of the tunnel. The red light stopped flashing, and the panel slid open again. I shone the light around the tunnel walls, seeing for the first time the small square on the floor, and I guessed I had stepped on it, making it sink and causing some sort of reaction, but something was missing, so it stopped. "Huh," I said to myself. Then I turned around and walked back out of the tunnel.
I handed the light back to Tashi and then swung myself back up onto the panel with his help. When I was back up there, he surprised me by pulling me into a rough hug.
"Don't ever do that again," he whispered in my ear. "You scared me half to death."
"I'm fine," I assured him, more confused than ever. Tashi had stopped hugging me three years ago...
He let me go a few moments later, pulling back to look at me with an unreadable expression on his face. "Good," he said finally. "C'mon, let's see if we can get this thing closed again." He turned and crawled from the edge of the panel.
I followed, still wondering what had come over him.
We managed to get the panel closed by pressing the other button in the smaller panel, but the cloth that had been covering the Unit was gone, so we couldn't pull that over again. Tashi went up first, and then sent the rope flying back down to me. I patted Unit-01 lovingly before catching hold of the rope and Tashi lifted me up to the top of the shaft.
It was a couple months after I turned fourteen that we got Unit-01 working.
The leaders allowed us more freedom now. Tashi had appealed to them quietly, saying that we couldn't possilbly couldn't find NERV HQ without going off for a few days at a time. He also insisted that we couldn't possibly take a radio with us; it would just attract any errant power down here, and we could be electrocuted. He said it with just the right amount of awe and fear in his voice and posture that they believed we would come back, no matter what. Like we couldn't think for ourselves or escape or make it on our own.
So we always went back to the Unit, just to see if we could make it work again.
By then, we could jury rig anything that needed a power supply and was electronical. Tashi found a generator which he got working again, and had attached some cables to some lights we had found and hung around Unit-01. Now we could see what we were doing.
We had poked around a bit more, finding what was left of what the door had once said "Central Control."
Inside was various bits and pieces of what had been the ceiling lying all over the place, and what looked like chairs were scattered across the floor. Computer consoles were dark and some screens were broken. We tried to get one working again, and it turned out that I had the best luck at this.
I had next to no knowledge of electronics and the operating of computers, yet it took me less than a month to get one of them working and accessing files. That was how we learned about the EVA's.
There was more than just Unit-01, which had been our assumption until then. There was Units-00 to 13. 00 to 04 needed pilots, thought sensors, entry plugs and external power sources, but 05 through 13 were completely independant. We learned what exactly the entry plugs were (they were long cylinders which held the pilots and the vital portions that made the Unit run) and what they did, plus the uses of the thought sensors, placed on the head of the pilot. We also discovered that not all the Units had been destroyed, but had been left in NERV HQ.
We searched for the other Units, but we didn't search very hard. We had found Unit-01's entry plug and were primarily concerned with getting it operational again.
Like everything else we had found, the entry plug needed cleaning, badly. We had to take an entire week and a half just to get the door clear, and another half a week to clean the manual door release out. Then we opened the door and peered inside.
The air was stale of course, but we ignored it and waited until it had cleared out. Then we could see the pilot's seat and hand controls...and a suit and thought sensors lying on the seat. It was a major find.
I crawled into the plug, excited, and pulled the suit and sensors off the seat. I backed out of the plug and handed the sensors to Tashi, holding up the suit.
"Isn't this great?" I asked enthusiastically. "We found the essential parts of the Unit!"
"Not really," Tashi said calmly, examining the sensors. "These are just supposed to help. But that's not the point," he added. "We did make a major find."
The day afterwards, we decided to try the plug out. Tashi went first, placing the sensors on his head and climbimg inside. I shut the door behind him, and waited quietly. He was inside a long time. Just when the silence got unbearable and I was about to open the door, it swung open on its own and Tashi stumbled out, coughing.
"It doesn't -- " He stopped to cough. "It has a personality," he continued as I got in next to him and helped him out. "i don't know how, but it has a distinct personality, and it doesn't like me." He looked up at me, his eyes clouded slightly. Then he slowly reached up and pulled the sensors off of his head. "Here, you try it. It might like you."
Startled, I took the sensors from him and affixed them to my head like I had seen him do. Then I got up and climbed into the entry plug, closing the door behind me. I faced the cramped inside and sat down in the pilot's seat, placing my hands lightly on the controls.
It was a unique experience. I sat there for an indeterminate amount of time, looking about me at the dark interior in awe. Then, when I let myself relax and get used to the surroundings -- the smell and feel of the place -- I felt what Tashi had: a distinct personality.
It wasn't the plug; I knew that without really realizing it. It was the Unit itself, reaching out to the plug and into the sensors. I could feel it lightly touching the edges of my mind, and that scared me. It seemed to know that and pulled out. For the next few minutes, I could feel it's conscience running over and through me, exploring whatever it was that made me.
Then came the distinct and very clear thought: I like you.
It was shocking; it took me a moment to recover from that, and when I had, I realized that the conscience was gone.
Stunned, I got out of the plug.
Tashi was waiting for me; he took hold of me as soon as I stepped out of the plug. "How was it?" he asked tensely.
I couldn't reply for a moment. "It likes me," I said softly. "I don't know how, or why, but it told me that it liked me."
Tashi seemed surprised for a moment. "Truly?' he asked.
I looked up at him, knowing that he could read what I was feeling in my eyes. "Truly," I whispered, dropping my gaze.
He was silent a moment longer, and then he cheered loudly.
I stared up at him, surprised beyond belief.
"This is great!" he cried, lifting me up in the air and swinging me around. He set me down and hugged me tightly. "We have a hope now," he whispered in my ear. "We just might, beyond all expectations, actually make this work!"
I smiled, and rested my head against his shoulder. He continued to hold me for some time, until he carefully and gently pushed me away, his hands still resting on my shoulders.
"C'mon," he said warmly, smiling at me, "let's keep working."