I tried to contain myself as long as possible... I really did. I was fizzing as I crossed the schoolyard. Bubbling as I entered the girl's locker room. Asuka was giving me weird looks, while Shinji happily scarpered off to his friends.
Some of the girls were talking about the power-cut, and the Angel. That only made it harder to keep quiet. Motoko was standing by her locker, fetching her indoor shoes.
I couldn't hold it in.
“I killed it!” I erupted with a squeal.
Everyone stared at me.
“There's no 'I' in team,” Asuka called over to me, caustically, “All you did was finish it off. I did all the hard work,”
But I still killed an Angel. I was entitled to some smug self-congratulation.
“Congratulations!” beamed Motoko.
“DakkaDakkaDakka, Dead!” I mimed firing a rifle at an overhead light.
“Ooh,” she boggled. “All I did was pass my English test,”
“Nice one!” I offered a thumbs up. The English language was harder to master than piloting a giant robot, I knew that from experience.
She hugged me. For a brief moment, I was surprised. Tentatively…a little unsure if I was supposed to, I returned the gesture. Her body was warm and soft against mine… nothing sexual… it was always nice to be held by someone. She sprang back a moment later, a broad grin plastered on her face.
“We are so win!” she cheered.
A few of the older girls scorned... but who cared? We both had good reasons to be cheerful, and we weren't going to waste the opportunity to enjoy the feeling.
I could hear Asuka complaining about how annoying the Fourth got when she had such a 'swelled head', how annoying Shinji was when he didn't make lunch in the morning because he didn't do his homework last night and...
Motoko noticed my expression turn sour, “What?”
“I forgot my homework,” I said, my voice shrinking. “Too busy with Angel,”
“I'm sure they'll understand,” she shrugged, “You saved the world, they can't expect you to be up to date with homework,”
I... saved the world. It seemed such a ridiculous thought, I had to laugh.
“Yeah, I know...silly isn't it?” she giggled.
Yup.... but it didn't half inflate the ego. My good mood continued up to the classroom. Nobody else really cared that much… it’d been more than 6 months and summer break since Sachiel first appeared. The Angels and the Pilots had become just another part of life.
I settled down at my desk, waited for Hikari to run through her daily rise-bow-sit drill, and logged into the school’s intranet.
A message popped up from Kyonichi.
::Nice work! Might have to change a few things because they seem a little unbelievable.
I messaged back ::Like what?
:: Well, the part about the Pilot’s mother’s soul being , for one thing. The guardian stuff was good :) . Some parts reminded of Blue Aru a bit.
Real life had one advantage over fiction…. It didn’t have to be believable. I wanted to go on a long winded rant about how I was the pilot of a giant robot fighting extraterrestrial monsters, how I’d come from an entirely different universe to do the job, and how that part was actually true. But I lacked the language skills to do all of that before lunchtime.
::Point is, We have to talk about changes, so we can be consistent when talking with Sakura. Can you meet me at TG today after school? Room 204, old building.
Asuka would probably scoff and snort at the nerds and otaku within…if I ever told her. But up until a few weeks ago, I had been one of them. I knew I was safer in there than anywhere.
“Now,” the teacher finished his lecture, “I trust you all had plenty of time to do your assignments last night in the shelters.“…damn… “If not, well that’s something I’ll bring up with your parents this afternoon.” He scanned the Pilot’s expressions.
“ Nagato, Ikari, and Sohryu, your NERV duties are no excuse for sloppy or late work especially if Ayanami can still manage to hand satisfactory work up with the same schedule. Hand it in Monday and I’ll decide on a penalty then.”
Nuts. I barely passed the last one I got in on time, and I knew even less about the Tokugawa plan and its social consequences than I did about the Valentine peace accords. I decided not to bother with it… since it was a sure thing I’d fail it anyway, I figured that time I’d otherwise have wasted failing, could be put to better use in a subject I might have a chance with
I could hear giggles around the classroom, some loved it when the Pilots were brought down a notch.
The teacher was surprised when Shinji handed something up… He scorned Asuka for having nothing at all, was a little more conciliatory with Nagisa because he hadn’t actually been in the class when the assignment was given.
I got a nice remark about how I was already falling behind after only a few weeks, and how I’d have a hell of a time catching up with my language difficulties and how I had to think of my future and my college education. What college would accept a student with a bad evaluation from their middle school, he threatened.
If Third Impact happened tomorrow, he’d still insist my puddle hand up his assignments. The teacher’s mentality was a universal constant.
I did well enough in mathematics to pass the year in anyways. I liked going a bit beyond what was expected Calculate the speed over a distance for a given time? They just wanted us to divide by time… I made a point to integrate with respect to t.
It was a bit silly, but it was also a self-affirming thing to do. Since the rest of the class hadn’t done calculus yet, the only place I could’ve learned would’ve been in my own schooling.
I’d taken two maths tests, and scored a full twenty in each of them.
The maths teacher loved me…especially since she doubled as our science teacher. We were supposed to have a teacher for every subject, but about half the school’s teachers and students had left after the Angel’s started attacking, leaving the remaining ones to cover what was left.
Class ended at what would normally be lunchtime, to give time for parents to meet teachers. I met Motoko for a few minutes, and nearly managed to forget that I had to go to the old building to meet Kyonichi.
‘Haruhi’ was around…. But I managed to avoid her. It seemed ridiculous….how screwed up would someone have to be in order to think they were someone else…to assume an identity to hide from reality?
An identity based on a popular animé.
Her friends were doing a Goodbye Lenin act around her to save her from the truth. It all seemed a bit like the traditional goofball highschool animé plot.
It didn’t take long for me to find the room, on the second floor in a part of the building that turned into a furnace in the afternoon heat. I could recognise a few of the voices coming from inside… Shinji, Touji and Kensuke were in there, among others.
I stopped outside the door for a moment, a paper sign reading “The Amalgamated Animé, Manga, Video and Traditional Gaming club’ taped to it.
I remembered my last time going to my college game society, then knocked on the door.
Kensuke’s voice. I waited a moment, taking a few moments to overcome a strange nervousness before sliding the door open.
“I am here for Kyonichi,” I stated, oddly shy.
The room was small, with a window half-blocked by a flatscreen television opposite the door, and shelves lining both walls. The shelves were loaded with a mix of DvD’s, animé, boardgames and sourcebooks, some of which I recognised. Kensuke, Touji, Shinji, Kyonichi and someone I didn’t recognise sat around a table in the centre…. With a Noriko Takaya figure in the centre.
“Noriko,” Shinji blurted, not quite believing I was here.
The unknown boy giggled. He was tall, a little lanky with jet black hair combed over to one side. Touji muttered darkly in Shinji’s ear, while Kensuke struggled with his surprise for a few seconds.
“I got the stuff printed off in my bag,” said Kyon, “We can go through it when the guys are playing…but…” he looked to the doll, and suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “…well, when I said you were coming…”
“We were wondering if you could sign this Noriko Takaya figure for us,” Kensuke finished for him, in a hurry.
Shinji sighed and rolled his eyes.
I stepped back a little, for a moment feeling a little ambushed.
I’d never been asked for my autograph before.
“Well, you’re the real thing. Noriko the mecha pilot,” Aida explained.
I assumed I was supposed to be angry…but didn’t really feel it. Truth be told I was a little bit flattered.
“Dude,” groaned Touji, “Have some self respect sometime,”
Shinji smiled a little. I knew what Asuka’s answer would’ve been…some colourful German, followed by a stinging red handprint on each face. I considered doing the same, but just didn’t feel up to it. For one thing, I’d always been a Gunbuster fan
I smiled a little nervously, “Sure, I liked Gunbuster,”
The dark haired one spoke up, “Can you say ‘Buster Beam’?”
I scowled at him. Shinji buried his face in his hands “I will sign,” I stated, firmly, remembering Asuka’s advice about dealing with them.
Kensuke handed the doll, and a marker to me.
“I volunteer for EVA,” I told them, “Because I want be like her. I want be giant robot pilot,”
“You’re one of us whosea real living the dream,” Kensuke said, stumbling over himself a little “I mean… I ‘d say yes in a heartbeat too, even though I know it’s hard work and…”
He was speaking so fast I had a hell of a time keeping up.
“I come here to get away from EVA,” Shinji cut him off, hard. It actually surprised me. The Third Child threw me a dark look, obviously not appreciating my intrusion.
“Sorry, Shinji,” apologised Kensuke.
“Maybe I should go,” I offered,
“It’s okay,” said Kyonichi, “We’re just not used to having someone whose so open to talking about the Evangelion. You can understand that we’re pretty fascinated by it,” I nodded. “And…well… it’s obvious from reading the conspiracy you wrote that you like animé.” I blushed a little… embarrassed.
“It kept me in touch with Japan, when I live abroad,” I responded. Another lie, but a good one.
I wrote on the figure’s stand;
Third Children. Pilot of Evangelion Unit 03. With Guts and Effort,”
I held the Noriko Takaya doll I’d just signed, staring at it. Its joyful brown eyes stared lifelessly back at me. I ran a finger along its body, tracing its figure down from its chest, over its hips and down its legs to the stand. The vinyl plastic was perfectly smooth under my finger... utterly unlike real skin. But still...
I had one of these once. The exact same Bomé figure with the slightly overlong legs.
I have a body just like this.
I looked up at Kyon, then Kensuke, then down to Shinji sitting at the table watching me. Something inside me just switched. Back to the doll… my signature still drying on the stand. I have a body, just like hers. I am... the same.
Again, back to the assembled boys, watching me like something was about to burst out of me.
...am a girl.
Just like that. Feeling my heart race in my chest like an engine on neutral. I felt faint, a little overheated. I turned to face the wall, propping myself up with one hand.
I am a girl.
Still nothing wrong with that thought. No howls of protest from my formerly masculine mind. That was literally it. Fear flared through my body, my stomach tensing up. I... I'm …. I feel like … My thoughts just ground to a halt. I looked up at them, swallowing....
I was aware of myself... I was aware of my body. I was aware I was different to them. I was aware
how. I was aware of how attractive I was… I’d know I was a a good looker, but now I actually felt it. I feel like I'm a girl.
“Noriko, you feel okay?” someone enquired.
“Overheated,” I responded, lying.
This shouldn’t feel okay, I wanted to whine. It shouldn’t be this easy. I knew it could happen… but I only figured it out five days ago. I should be screaming. I should be fighting…. It should not be this fucking easy to go from the man in the girl’s body, to just plain old girl.
“But you’re crying,”
“I am not!” I barked back, stunning everyone.
In the silence that followed, I felt a tear run down my cheek. Just one I checked my body once more, hoping for the right answer this time. I’m a girl was the answer I got back, along with a tingle in my boobs as they began to wonder why I was even asking such silly questions.
I had accepted my life as a member of club female. Whether I felt like a girl, or young woman, or whatever, I’d come to terms with the fact that I’d have to live as a man in a woman’s body for the rest of my life. I’d even thought that someday, I might finally just wake up one day and be a woman… full stop.
But not like this… and not this soon.
I wanted to feel uneasy walking into a girl’s bathroom again. I wanted to feel awkward watching Asuka undress. I wanted the concept of tampons to make me scream to the heavens. I wanted to be ashamed at the idea of even thinking about masturbating in the shower. All those little fears and shames that had dissolved over the last few weeks, I wanted them all back… every single one of them, just so I could be me again.
A moment of silence for my dead manhood please. I had my memories… I had some of my personality. I had the unique despair of knowing that they were going to be absorbed into the greater whole of Noriko and that I couldn’t stop it. I could feel myself loosing my mind…and worse, feel another one muscling in on the empty space
I had Kensuke stand up beside me, concern on his face.
“You can have my seat, if you’d like,” he offered.
He’s only offering it to you because you’re a girl, part of me warned. I thought about fighting back…about saying no. I wanted to. But Kensuke was just being kind… and I didn’t want to be rude.
“Thanks,” I offered him a soft smile, taking the seat. I had to force it.
He blushed… a light pink across his cheeks
“Ah… I’ll get you some water aswell,”
“Thanks,” I said again.
His blush deepened.
“I’ll… just… gogetit,” the last few words of the sentence ran into each other like a drunk driver into the back of a truck, as he ran off out on a hormonal rush.
The five other boys in the room just stared at the door he bombed through for a moment, before returning their attention to me… then to the door… then to the Noriko doll I’d signed.
What did I just do?
“Kensuke you cheeky git,” Kyonichi commented under his breath, Shinji was trying his damnedest not to laugh. “That was like, straight out of Trembling Hearts three,” continued Kyon. “When Kimiko feels faint in the clubroom…”
What… wait what?
“I never played Kimiko’s story,” Touji declared. “Tina’s the better ending. But I know what you’re talking about man,”
“Saya’s the easiest,” the dark haired one spoke up.
“What’s the point in playing a game on easy, Mamoru?”
“You get to the good pictures faster,” he grinned lecherously.
“But she’s fuck-ugly and her personality is horrible,” Touji argued back.
“That doesn’t matter. They all look the same from behind anyway,” snarked Mamoru.
Nice tact. The four remaining males gaped, then stared at me, expecting me to go off on some feminine rage about perversion and dating sims and how Mamoru was a total friendless arsehole. Followed by female on male violence. A minute or so of expectant silence followed… they were waiting.
I was too busy trying not to have my second psychological break of the week to care.
Kensuke came back, placing the plastic cup in front of me.
“Thanks,” I smiled again, earning another blush for my troubles.
“No problem,” he said, meekly.
“So Ken, Saya’s ending on Trembling Hearts three?” Mamoru started to dig for allies.
“Why? It doesn't even count as a game completion,” said Kensuke, diplomatically “It's a bad end where she cheats on you, unless you take the time to actually help her.”
“Why bother, the fun part's over?”
I hoped he was just joking.... people weren't really that damn thick. I had to say something.
“I play dating game too,” I stated, trying to sound as cold and malevolent as possible, trying to channel Asuka. “Like fishing. Fish like Mamoru easy catch, but too small to keep.” … fish being an obvious parallel to something else… “Big fish hard but worth effort,”
It was hard not to laugh at him… there was an odd pleasure to be had from watching him fizz with anger.
“I don’t give a crap!” he roared, red faced, “You say I’m small, I’ll show ya how big I am!”
“Mamoru,” Kyon interrupted him, deadpan “Don’t antagonise the girl who pilots the giant robot.”
“Asuka would’ve killed him,” Shinji giggled.
Wow… Shinji… laughing. I don’t know how, but it helped my mood. I’d never seen him laugh like that. He was so unguarded and comfortable.
There was something I could do… It’s idiots like him that give men a bad name. No Asuka, all men are not this stupid and weird….especially nerds and otaku. They’re not creeps or weirdo’s… I should know, I used to be one. The hardest part about talking to any girl was knowing that she’d probably already dismissed you as nothing more than an obsessive weirdo, based on the actions of a couple of braindead cabbages like this.
My last manly act, I supposed. I looked to the figure. Give me strength, Noriko.
“Mamoru. You know Asuka?”
“She tell me, fanboy, gamers… otaku... are all like you. I know not true,” I took a few moments to compose in my head, “Kensuke sell girl photographs, right? But… “ I recalled our meeting on the roof, “You have good reason for pilot EVA. You want to protect, and for Shinji not to worry. You want be his friend.”… he blushed again… “Touji sell pictures too, but Hikari tell me you have sister, and you care lot for her…spend a lot of time.”
“Yeah….well,” he shuffled his feet, a little ashamed.”Family’s family,”
“Kyonichi. You care about Sakura so much, to go to the effort of…. Um…. Tolerating Haruhi, to keep her safe,”…. It took him a moment to catch up to that. I thought carefully what to say next. “And Shinji, you really are brave,”
The boy just looked like he wanted to hide under the table.
“I see their Good. Mamoru,” I steeled myself, “What good do you do?” He slid back from me for a moment, wide eyed… terrified of being placed on the spotlight. “I know type. So afraid of being seen as not man, you act like you think a man is. A…. um…” what was the word, “Stereotype,” I used the English one. “What is good about you?”
Silence reigned, while I tried to glare right through him.
“He’s our friend,” Touji answered for him, calmly
“Huh?” I blinked.
Mamoru almost seemed as surprised as I was.
“Sure he’s an ass, dontcha think we know that?” Touji continued, “But he’s still our friend,”
Kensuke slid his glasses up his nose, “I don’t expect a girl to understand it. Betrayal may come easy to women, but us men live by cast iron codes of honour,”
I ran my hand through my hair… I guess I walked into that one. Shinji just quietly watched me, not quite sure what exactly to say.
“Fair enough,” I conceded, with a resigned smile.
“But you’re still a jackass Mamoru,” Kyonichi added.
Mamoru himself just quietly sunk down into his chair, not sure if he’d won that or not. That was the proof of it, my last ‘manly act’ had only served to confirm that I wasn’t one anymore.
“Thanks guys,” he finally said, his voice barely a whisper.
I kept it out of my mind while I ran through the Haruhi sheet with Kyonichi. Most of the changes were just linguistical… sometimes I’d pulled the wrong Kanji from the dictionary. Sure they sounded the same, but they had two wildly different meanings. Great for making puns, a pain for writing.
I took a few moments to admire some of the collection…a lot of post impact seemed comfortingly familiar. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was there, hidden among Gundam ZZ and something called the Blue Aru Platinum Directors Cut Final Edition. A few of the games and sourcebooks I recognised, some of them were pretty old.
It really seemed as if pop-culture had just been put on hold for about seven years by the Impact, then started moving on where it had left off.
Kensuke was explaining the rules of some wargame to Shinji, while Touji just looked bored with it all, only hanging around because two of his friends where, and Mamoru deliberately and obviously kept his distance from me.
With that done, Kyonichi thanked me… I considered hanging around for Shinji and walking home with him, but I’d intruded enough on his life for the day so I left and walked home by myself.
Half an hour later, and I stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror. One last try.
“I am a man,” I stated, calmly.
No, you’re not, my body answered. I couldn’t even picture myself as anything but the fourteen year old girl. It felt wrong to even try…. Completely and totally wrong.
“I am a girl,” I stated… again calmly.
Yes, I am, confirmed my body.
That was it. Gone for good. I thought I should’ve collapsed into the floor, bawling in a heap for my lost manhood, but… fuck that…. It wouldn’t change anything. I’d gone past the point of no return. I mourned for a few minutes in the shower…another bit of ‘me’ gone forever…. before taking time consider what to do next while drying my hair.
“I am…a girl,” I re-stated.
The result was still the same, not that I’d genuinely expected it not to be. My probationary period was up… I’d become a full-patched member of the fairer sex. I really felt I should’ve been a crazy ball of despair on the floor… but, I really didn’t feel that bad. It was a fate I’d resigned myself to, even if it had come a little faster than I’d expected.
Maybe if I hadn’t gotten that nice little ego boost from killing the Angel…calling up that memory still filled me with a surge of pride… it might’ve been the final tipping point, but it wasn’t. Psychologically, I was still hanging in there.
My self identity hadn’t been overwhelmed.
I still preferred to dress in jeans and a t-shirt, or wear shorts if it was too hot out. I still liked the exact same things I’d liked when I’d gotten out of bed in the morning. The concept of pink frills still gave me chills. I still baulked at the idea of wearing makeup, taking Shinji as a boyfriend, becoming the traditional Japanese housewife or doing any other so called ‘girly’ thing.
I recalled what I’d said to Mamoru, about doing stereotypical manly things because he was so afraid of being seen as a girl….to the point where he’d managed to do an overrun screw on his own natural personality.
Had I been doing the same thing?
No, I concluded after some thought.
Just because my brain now considered itself female, didn’t mean I had to act like a female stereotype. After all, with a few unintentional exceptions, I’d hardly acted much like a male stereotype when I was trying to hang on to my masculinity, had I? I just tried to be myself, and do the things I liked, or felt most comfortable with doing.
Regardless of what my body insisted it was… I was still myself. I just had to act like that.
So what did that mean exactly?
Who am I?
I am a former university student turned Mecha Pilot. I like Animé, I like Manga… I used to love it for the vicarious thrill it was, the chance to glimpse an ‘interesting’ life without ever having any of the risks actually involved. I had a thing for Asimov’s short stories…especially The Immortal Bard which was something I believed every English teacher should be forced to read. I dabbled in RPG’s, considered the Amiga 500 to be the greatest gift to computation since binary mathematics, was socially awkward and had the tendency to put myself down, rather than talk myself up. I was the stereotypical Evangelion fan so. I was a regular staffer at a local animé convention. I built Gundam kits, and played Warhammer… hell, I was actually a half decent miniature painter. I could be snarky and childishly vindictive at times.
I liked most of those things, months ago… long before I’d ever considered the whole ‘turned into a girl in another universe to Pilot the big giant robot’ as anything more than a fanfic scenario. I still did… one look through the web browser cache on my own computer proved it.
Add to that a newfound enjoyment of athletics, long stockings when I absolutely had to wear a skirt and religious wearing of a steel bracelet around my wrist… these among other quirks I’d gained from Noriko.
Misato was right.
I wouldn’t lose myself. All those things I’d enjoyed… I still would. And I would gain more from Noriko…. And that still scared me a great deal. But that would still become part of this thing that is ‘myself’.
Myself was always changing, evolving as I met new people or encountered new concepts. Two months ago, myself would never have even considered facing an Angel in combat with the fate of the world on my shoulders.
I accepted this ‘myself’ as this changing person, evolving based on experience.
Long before Episode 26. There were no trophies, no congratulations on top of a big blue ball with poor bus service… there didn’t have to be.
I actually felt good about it.
To celebrate, I treated myself to boiled pasta shells in curry sauce for dinner. Nice and healthy, nice and spicy.
Originally, I'd kind of planned to have Noriko's acceptance of herself mirror her decision not to bother with her school assignment.... she wasn't going to win, so why bother wasting time on it? It ended up a little bit different, and a little bit more self affirming.... based on comments that maybe Noriko whines a little bit too much. I decided to put her psychologically into a better place instead. The original tone bleeds through in the gaming room a little... so Noriko does get a bit of mood whiplash towards the end, and ends up moving forward.
I'm not quite sure how well it works but, too much despair and depression isn't fun to read... I guess.
I suppose, if Noriko hadn't gotten the psychological armour from killing the Angel, she might still have gone off that mental cliff.
That's the end of part 11. I need to find a prereader to run through for typos and such, and then it'll go post up on FFN. 75 pages or so within about a month. That's actually pretty damn quick. Next part, I think I'll show a few of Noriko's diary entries, Misato gets promoted to Major... Noriko takes a hint from one of 'my' fanfics during the drunken celebration that follows. And the tenth Angel decides that it's not going to do what some damned animé series says it should.
(I may need someone to run through my plans for that... it's looking interesting in my head.)
Also... Bonus. What did Noriko give to Kyon? I wrote it out with the intention of having it in the story... but couldn't fit it. Oh well, here it is.
To understand what NERV is, one must go back into the past, 5 billion years to The FIRST IMPACT which created the Earth’s moon. This Impact was caused by the arrival of a life-seed, sent by a race of aliens, referred to as the First Ancestral Race, or FAR, who referred to themselves as the PROTOCULTURE. This seed was codenamed ENKI by UN researchers. It appears that under normal conditions only one seed was intended to be placed on each candidate planet. Earth was different. A second seed crashed to Earth some time later, this one codenamed NINTU.
Both ENKI and NINTU are spherical shells. ENKI was hollow on the inside when discovered, containing nothing but the ENKI seed. NINTU is mostly infilled by rock and soil, though still contains the NINTU seed approximately 35 kilometres below the surface.
NINTU was the first to be discovered, buried beneath the Hakone region of Japan. It would be determined by UN Special Enhanced Evolution Levelup Executive (SEELE) that all current life present on the planet Earth including humanity, has evolved from NINTU, making NINTU essentially the Mother of all life, similar to biblical Eve.
SEELE tasked the General Evolution Heuristic Investigation Research divisioN (GEHIRN) with analysing NINTU to determine both past and future evolution of life on Earth, and manners in which to accelerate the evolution of the Human race. During the course of these investigations, the dormant seed ENKI was discovered beneath the surface of Antarctica.
A Space Shuttle mission was launched (STS-51-L) in 1986, with the intention of deploying an orbital mapping satellite to map the extent of both ENKI and NINTU, however this mission was sabotaged, the Shuttle and satellite being destroyed on launch. A coverup blamed a defective booster seal for the explosion. Due to this, it was necessary to send a manned expedition to map and explore both seeds.
The expedition to ENKI was led by Doctor Motoko Kusanagi. The expedition to NINTU was led by Priscilla Asagiri.
Kusanagi was a previously a major proponent of the quantum over-unity zero-point power generation theory, first proposed by Canadian scientist Rodney McKay, known for his lifelong quest for Atlantis. Regarded as a quack by the respected scientific community, he persevered with his research. A base was established on the Antarctic content, within the ENKI itself in 1988, where scientists began to tunnel deep into ENKI, looking for the seed of life itself.
A second base was constructed under lake Ashino near Hakone in Japan to study the NINTU seed, however construction lagged behind ENKI due to seismic disturbances from nearby Mt. Asama.
At 09:16 hours Zulu, September 13th 2000, an attempt was made by Kusanagi to contact the seed within ENKI. At 09:17 hours, the seed destroyed itself in the event known as SECOND IMPACT. It is believed that this failure was due to the ‘Genesis’ effect of the seed, which was theorised to be part of the initial terraforming process performed by the seed on landing. This process destroyed existing life in favour of the new seed matrix. The Antarctic region was rendered lifeless
Fearing a similar explosion at NINTU, construction of the now-named Artificial Evolution Laboratory was halted until it the cause of the ENKI explosion could be determined. The ENKI investigation was notably conducted by the two current commanding officers of the UN NERV organisation, both respected in the field Metaphysical Biology. The investigation concluded that ENKI was capable of destroying humanity, and had attempted to do so with an Anti-AT field. The attempt to stop ENKI from destroying humanity led to the event known as Second Impact.
Second Impact therefore, is the least-worst outcome.
Furthermore, ENKI had not been destroyed by the explosion, merely reduced to an embryonic state. The lifeform was recovered and taken into storage. It was also discovered that the detonation of ENKI, had lead to the creation of ENKI-based life… as opposed to NINTU based life currently populating Earth. This life could only live within the Antarctic Region.
These lifeforms were designated ANGELS. ENKI and NINTU based life cannot coexist on the same planet, despite being fundamentally the same creature, merely having evolved in different paths. It was known the ANGELS would attempt to contact ENKI and finish what was started. This is the only way for the ANGELS to survive. The only way for humankind to survive was to prevent this contact.
ENKI was interred within NINTU, the Artificial Evolution Laboratory was expanded into the base known as the GEOFRONT and the city of Tokyo-3 was built as a defensive bastion around this base. Conventional munitions however could not harm ENKI based life, due to the ANGELS Absolute Territory Field. To defeat the AT-Field the EVANGELION were created using the ENKI sample as a base.
Each EVANGELION requires a human soul in order to function, due to the dictates of Metaphysical Anthropomorphic Determinacy theorem. These souls were provided by the scientific teams which constructed the EVA’s, usually women whose children had been born after Second Impact. These ‘contact experiments’ invariably led to the effective death of the scientist performing them. Metaphysical Anthropomorphic Determinism theory states that the body is determined by the presence of the self within… with no soul to form the self, the body dissolved into primordial soup like substance known as LIQUID CONNECT LIQUID.
A side effect of this decision is that the EVANGELION can only be piloted by a specific child, the daughter or son of the scientist whose soul resides within the EVA. To further enhance this effect, each individual EVANGELION was created using a portion of the child’s DNA to act as a template for the growth process.
These CHILDREN are specially conditioned and trained to operate their machines at optimum efficiency. Each individual CHILDREN is trained and conditioned to pilot, and to believe that they enjoy piloting. This is performed through natural positive reinforcement, by a GUARDIAN figure who provides care and affection in loco parentis. As each CHILDREN has no mother figure, a female GUARDIAN is appointed, with the intention that the GUARDIAN become a maternal figure to the CHILDREN, who will strive to please her and earn her affection and favour. The GUARDIAN will supply care and attention to the CHILDREN for positive actions, such as Piloting in combat, improving their duty skills or succeed in their tasks. The GUARDIAN withdraws affection for failures, incorrect actions, or a refusal to Pilot.
Furthermore, The act of synchronising with an EVANGELION acts in a similar manner to a strong opiate on the CHILDREN’s brain, further reinforcing the idea that synchronisation and combat are ‘Good Things’, while creating a chemical dependency on synchronisation. After only a few months, CHILDREN become physically addicted to piloting.
The CHILDREN’s biochemistry is slowly changed to match that of their EVANGELION over their initial training period through a regime of drugs and steroids ostensibly intended to improve their physical condition. These changes allow for the use of EVANGELION derived spare parts should a CHILDREN ever be wounded.
It must be remembered at all times that these are not children anymore. Their only purpose in life from their birth has been to act as the CORE of the EVANGELION combat system. They are tools and components to ensure humanities survival, no different from a rifle or missile. Quality of life of the CHILDREN is of secondary importance to retaining their ability to function as CORE and PILOT.
Following the defeat of the ANGELS, a human-controlled THIRD IMPACT can be triggered using NINTU, in accordance with the scenario described the DEAD SEA SCROLLS. The Apotheosis of mankind is nigh.