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EVA and all things related to EVA are copyrighted by Gainax/Project EVA 1995-2004.
This story alone is just my intellectual property.


	"At the end of the world, what does one think about? Loved ones? 
Friends lost along the way? The horrible things that cursed your life? What 
you could have done to make it better? Why did this have to happen? How 
could I have changed it? At the end of the world, what does one think 

	A woman with dyed hair sat in the dark on a cold metal bench.

	"At the end of one's life, is anything different? Yes, because at 
the end of the world, one knows that they are not alone. Death is a lonely 

	"Be quiet in there," the guard yelled from outside the cell.

	Akagi Ritsuko, with a master's degree in poly-mathematics and 
quantum gravitonics, sat in the dark cell, sealed away by the one she had 
once called "lover". Betrayed by the one who she had trusted the most.

	Perhaps, too much.

	"All personnel to yellow-stage alert positions for incoming A-426 
order. All entrances and exits to the Geofront will be closing once the 
order is enacted. Five minutes... mark," the female voice on the PA said.

	"426?" Ritsuko thought, shocked. She sighed in the darkness, her 
body becoming even more limp as her mind tried to block out what she knew in
her heart. "My work was for naught after all. Ikari rules with an iron fist.
Misato... You can still learn the truth, beyond anything Kaji knew."

	    --<      DIAMOND TEARS      >--

	In a lesser darkness, behind an oversized desk of wood, sat a man. 
The man had all the power he could ever want. Power over hundreds, thousands
of people. Power over the world's most powerful weapons ever created. Power 
to do as he pleased.

	However, the man was eternally unhappy.

	The only reason he lived was to retrieve what had been lost.

	He only wanted what he couldn't have.

	And he was also under the power of another, a group with more power 
than even he.

	"SEELE." He breathed the words like a foul pestilence, as if he 
could somehow sweep those old men away just by saying that word. But nothing
is so easy. Their objectives were the same, yet different. They wished for 
death. Purification through red earth. "The time has come."
	In a dark room, the windows remained shut.

	A young boy was laying down at his bed, his back to the world at 
large. His mind was dead, yet raced at a speed no one could imagine. 
Hundreds of thousands of thoughts passed through that brain of his, thoughts
of negatism.

	Hatred. Anger. A sense of betrayal. Regret. Wondering, "Could I have
done something different? Could I have saved him?"

	Ikari Shinji was living in the past, something which no one could 
change. That in itself was another fact paralleling the boy to his father. 
They both wanted to change unchangeable things. But one major thought passed
from one side of his mind to the other: "Why?"
	In a far, dark corner of NERV's underground headquarters, a woman 
sat in front of a computer. She typed, typed, typed, typed. A floppy disk 
was partially inside her mouth. It was cold in that part of NERV, neither 
designated as Central nor Terminal Dogma.

	Katsuragi Misato sat inside the massive database of the MAGI 
supercomputers. The enormous area for storing data, as well as extra 
computing power for secondary functions, thusly giving the MAGI power to use
their total prowess.

	"Kaji-kun... You were right after all," she whispered, her eyes 
narrowing as she stared at the screen.
	Inside NERV's main control center, the Announcement Room, the three 
lieutenants sat. The lighting was kept at a minimal, on standby mode. For 
some reason, NERV was still awaiting an attack. All of the features of 
Ibuki, Aoba, and Hyuga were grayed. The only color in the giant room was 
the main holoscreen, currently displaying data on the EVA units 00-13 in red

	EVA-00': destroyed
	EVA-01: under cryostasis, B-type
	EVA-02: under cryostasis, B-type; no designated pilot
	EVA-03: destroyed
	EVA-04: lost, assumed destroyed
	EVA-05 through EVA-13: main construction finished, awaiting core 
from S2 replication plant at Beijing branch

	"Why are we still here?" Maya asked, clutching her pink pillow in 
her arms. This was not because she was nervous; it was a natural thing to do
for her. A conditioned response to boredom.

	"Because we were ordered to," Shigeru replied nonchalantly.

	"I know that, but... I mean, why? That boy was the last Angel, 

	Makoto nodded. "That's right. There isn't anymore threat to Earth."

	"But that doesn't mean we can just leave," Aoba contested. "We have 
a lot of work to finish here."

	"Like what?"

	"Experimentation on the EVAs," Shigeru said quietly. Maya's eyes 
suddenly were looking at the floor.

	"With or without Ritsuko..." she whispered.

	"A-426 order going into effect," the announcement rang.
	In the deepest, darkest part of NERV headquarters, the second-in-
command, Vice Commander Fuyutsuki proceeded further into Terminal Dogma, 
leading several groups of high-level techs. In their hands are stretchers, 
ones built specially for transportation of a special thing.

	Even the white stretchers seem grey in the inky darkness of Terminal
Dogma. These special stretchers have a glass enclosure- an enclosure that 
sealed off whatever was inside. And inside the enclosure was an orange-
yellow liquid.

	But that wasn't all.

	Fuyutsuki came to a stop near the end of the dark corridor and slid 
his passcard through the acceptor. The door slid open slowly, revealing 
that it is nearly six inches of metal. "This entire area's sealed like Fort 
Knox," Fuyutsuki silently mused. "Take them in here," he vocally continued.

	Later, Fuyutsuki informed Ikari of the proceedings. "So they all 
arrived without damage?" Gendo asked from behind his desk.

	"Yes. In fact, those people at the Massachusetts Island branch had them 
shipped using one of our stealth jets. I made sure that SEELE did not find 
out. These ones may even be in better condition than the ones we previously 

	"Yes, the Massachusetts branch had gone ahead to the nineteenth 
	In a bright white room, a human form lie. Besides the slow breathing
and unconscious beating of her heart, Soryu Asuka Langley remained in her 
comatose state. Even furthest predictions and the most advanced technology 
in the world couldn't tell for certain when she would return to the world of
the living.

	"I guess no one has been coming to see the girl, huh?" a nurse said 
quietly as she adjusted Asuka's prone body.

	"Not since that boy came in the day she was brought here," a second 
nurse said, assisting the other. "No. Not even the woman that usually 
visits her."

	"Maybe they finally gave up on her."

	"I guess so. Too bad we can't... This is boring."
Four days pass...
	Back at the commander's "office," Fuyutsuki and Ikari meet again. 
"The replacement has been completed without error. It is as if that little 
incident never happened," Fuyutsuki reported.

	"Did you inform Commander Schwartzwalt?" Ikari asked in an 
unconcerned tone. He knew Fuyutsuki would take care of all loose ends.

	"No, he wanted to keep the entire transaction on the quiet end. 
Schwartzwald knew the A-426 would go through without problems. All 
operations have been shifted to the sixth lab."

	"Good. Meanwhile, while we are on the subject of sixths-"

	"You want to bring the Sixth Child here."

	"I had no idea I had become so predictable. Yes, I do. I believe 
that we need EVA-02 operational, and seeing as how it's original pilot is 
no longer available and the Fifth was unusable, another pilot is the only 

	"What about using Rei? Now that the A-426 has gone through-"

	"Out of the question."

	"You're completely set on bringing another child here. You know that
the rumors of an attack are just that... Rumors. Do you take such things 

	"It is of no concern. I refuse to take such an unnecessary risk, 
even as we are so close to achieving our goals." Fuyutsuki looked into the 
further corner of the room, trying to find some way to respond, argue his 
point to Ikari. But he could find none.

	"I won't say that I agree with you, Ikari. Nevertheless, you 
outrank me."

	"Yes, I do."

	"You bastard," the professor thought. "Even with Unit 02 active, 
how could we defeat nine EVAs equipped with S2 cores?"

	"Anything is possible, as long as EVA is involved. The Sixth 
Children will be summoned as soon as it is found."

	"Even if we are attacked, we cannot be sure when. You may be 
mistaken if you bring another child here now," Fuyutsuki stated, still 
trying to prove his point.

	"Yes, I realize that, so I've improvised a backup plan. I made an 
appeal to the United Nations as well as the G7 nations to rebuild Tokyo-3."

	"What?! The sheer amount of time it took to build the original 
city was immense! The money it would take-"

	"Is available. The UN granted the appeal several hours ago. It 
will prove to the world that NERV has done everything possible to return 
things to the way they were. We need the public to believe NERV functions 
only to protect them." Fuyutsuki scowled.

	"I cannot believe your audacity. It's inhuman. You want people to
move back to the city, proving to be a human shield? How can you be sure 
SEELE won't attack a city full of people? Or attack during construction?" 

	The ominous silence that followed was one that had plagued the 
command duo for years. Every so often, Fuyutsuki's hatred of Ikari's
decisions would rise to a boil. Not to say that either man had no control 
of their emotions; on the contrary.

	"Doctor Akagi will be released," Ikari said bluntly.

	"Are you out of your mind? She'll destroy all of the new dummyplug 
systems we installed. What makes you think she'll do anything less?" 
Fuyutsuki was becoming a little more than angry.

	"It is in her best interest to continue doing as she is ordered. I 
doubt if she would want to hoist all of her experiments and testing onto 
Lieutenant Ibuki."

	Fuyutsuki, unable to come up with any reasonable argument, sighed. 
"As you wish. I'll see to it myself."

	"Have Akagi begin the search for the Sixth Children immediately."


    EPISODE: 25
			The Beast that Shouted "No" to its Own Heart

	At the dark cineplex of the human mind, Asuka resides. Inside her 
mind, her soul rests. Asuka had confronted herself a hundred thousand times 
inside her own skull, fighting the toughest and most grueling battles of her
life. Harder than fighting the Angels, even.

	She had never managed to conquer herself.

	If Asuka had known that she was being replaced for a second time, 
perhaps she would have had more motivation to escape her own AT Field. She 
was trapped within herself.

	Humans have always been fragile creatures, always teetering on the 
thin line between complete order and chaos. Never knowing what awaits them 
around the corner, yet planning their entire lives out years in advance. 
Having the ability to completely ignore everything around them, but at the 
same time having the power to observe the most subtle nuances of any thing.

	While it has and always will be known that all people are different,
and the individuality is what keeps the chaos close, Man is all from the 
same basic design. Whether designed by God or Lillith, though, no one can 
truly know what the true design is, and what it was meant to become. Mankind
had the ability to clone ADAM, the original being, yet they know not what 
the being was.

	"Why am I still here? Why can't I get out of this place?"

	The German redhead stood on a totally black plane. Everything around
her was black. She stands in a sea of endless darkness... The darkness of the
mind. Asuka felt that she'd just been in the place, but she'd been there 
before. She remembered it.

	"Synchro-rate is zero.
	"I can't pilot EVA.
	"It won't move for me anymore.
	"EVA is my life...
	"Without EVA...
	"My life is meaningless...
	"I wish to die?
	"I wish for death?"

	"Come die with me, Asuka."

	"No, I don't want to die!
	"I don't want to die!
	"I don't want to die!!"

	"You're a brave little girl, Asuka."

	"You are strong."

	"Yes, I am!"

	"You don't need me."

	"I don't need anyone!"
	"You can live alone, on your own."

	"Of course I can, I am Soryu Asuka Langley!"

	"You have no right to pilot EVA."
	"Shut up, Misato!"

	"Synchro-rate refuses to register."

	"I don't want to hear these things again!"
	"Come be with your mother, Asuka."

	"No! I don't want to die!"

	"Be a good little girl, Asuka."


	"I love you, Asuka. Come be with me."

	"Never! I don't want to die!"

	"They don't love you, Asuka.
	"They hate you, Asuka.
	"You don't need them, just as they don't need you."

	"They do so need me!"
	"I need you, Asuka."

	"I am needed right here!
	"I don't want to die yet!"

	"You are alone here."

	"Shut up!"

	"You are alone, Asuka."

	"No! I don't want to be alone!"
	"You're all alone."

	"Don't leave me alone!
	"Please look at me!
	"I don't want to be alone!"

	"Yet you need no one?"
	"Shut up, Wondergirl!
	"You know nothing of me!
	"You're just a mindless doll!"

	"You hate me?"

	"Of course I do!"

	"Why do you hate me?"

	"Because you're a doll!"

	"Why do you hate a doll?"

	"Because that killed my mother?"

	"You hate what killed your mother, yet you hate your mother. Who 
don't you hate, Asuka?"
	"I hate everyone! Especially you, Shinji!"

	"I'm sorry."

	"Shut up! You're just a doll too, aren't you?"

	"Not anymore than you."
	"Look at you. You can't even feed yourself. You're pathetic."

	"Shut up!
	"How can you, of all people, say those things to me, Shinji?"

	"Because you make me feel like shit."
	"Because you are?"

	"Am I? Who says? You? Who are you to decide? Are you God?"

	"It's my human right! I can say what I want!"

	"Then I say you're stupid."

	"Shut up!"

	"Don't I also have such a right?"



	"Because you're a stupid wuss!"

	"I say that I hate you."
	"You can't hate me, Wondergirl.
	"You're only a doll!
	"You must have been told to hate me!"

	"No, I truly hate you, Soryu. You are the most pathetic pilot I 
have ever seen."

	"Who are you to say that?!"

	"I am I."

	"You're nothing but a puppet!"

	"You're worse than a puppet. You have no power outside this realm.
	"You will remain alone forever."
	"I will? No, that can't be!"

	"I hate you, Asuka, so I'll just leave you alone like you tell me 
to, OK?"

	"No, Shinji! Don't leave me alone!"
	"You always ask me to, so I'm doing what you told me to, since you 
say I'm nothing more than a doll."

	"No, that's not what I meant!
	"Please don't leave me alone!"

	"Then what did you mean?" The cold reality of Ayanami's voice 
penetrated Asuka's thoughts again.

	"I... I was wrong."

	"You were wrong?"
	"I made a mistake, OK?!
	"Maybe I shouldn't have treated Shinji so harshly.
	"Maybe I should have gotten closer to those that were around me.
	"Maybe I could have been a better friend for Hikari.
	"Maybe I could have been a better teammate."

	"You wish to change?"


	"You understand that changes take time. Things won't be the way 
you want all the time. You must set realistic goals for yourself, my darling
Asuka, otherwise you'll live your life being regretful all the time. I 
don't want my daughter to live like that.
	"I want you to be happy, Asuka."

	"Thanks, mama.
	"Thanks, Shinji.
	"Thanks, Misato.
	"And I even thank you, Wondergirl.
	"It is I who am the doll.
	"I don't want to be a doll!
	"But should I return? That means I'll get hurt. People will hurt 

	"You'll hurt people."

	"It's the natural way that people work. It can't be helped."

	"No, that's incorrect."


	"Sometimes, it is possible to act differently to avoid hurting 
others. This may hurt you at the same time. Balancing the benefits of 
helping or hurting is a vital part of life."

	"But I don't know how to balance those things."

	"No one does, Asuka, and no one can teach you. You have to do it 
for yourself. You have to decide what to do at that moment you are 
approached by a decision. It's impossible to predict life, so don't try. 
Just live your life to the fullest while you still can, my Asuka."

	"Mama... I'll try."

	"That's my good girl."

	"Thanks, mama. I love you."

	"I love you, too, Asuka. I always will."

	"I want to go back. I want to experience those things again."

	The last thing Asuka saw before the white ceiling was the image of 
her mother's face, smiling. Smiling not at Asuka, but for her.

	Inside that hospital room, a thousand things flew through Asuka's 
mind as she forgot all that had happened in her mind during her comatose 
period. Asuka's eyes narrowed, trying to filter some of the room's painfully
bright white light. After not perceiving such light for several weeks, 
it hurt to simply see.

	Her hand shot out to the railing on the side of the bed. It's 
original purpose was to keep her from falling off the bed, but it now served
as another thing. Asuka's anchor to reality.

	Second Children was back.
To Be Continued...