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EVA and everything related to EVA is copyrighted by Gainax/Project EVA 1995-2004,
this is just my intellectual property.
****************************************************************************

	"Goddamn it..." A series of grunts and groans could be heard, even 
from outside Asuka's hospital room. One of the nurses attending to her quickly 
walked into the room.

	"Sssh, settle down! Don't try to move," the nurse said, trying to 
calm Soryu. She failed. Miserably.

	"Don't shush me! You people have had me laying here for almost a 
week! I can't stand it anymore! I've gotta get out of this place! I can't 
take one more breath of this filtered air! It's making me sick!"

	Yes, the Second Children was back. With a vengeance.

	"You can't move around yet-"

	"Why the hell not?!"

	"-because your muscles still haven't recovered from the atrophying 
that took place. You didn't move under your own power for more than a 
month, kid. You should be proud that you can still sit up without too much 
of a problem," the nurse continued, disregarding the fact that Asuka had 
interrupted her again. "Now I wish she'd never woken up in the first 
place," the nurse thought as she tried to restrain Asuka.

	It was easier said than done.

	"When the hell am I gonna be 'able' to do things for myself, huh?" 
Asuka exclaimed, still struggling against the nurse despite already feeling 
quiet exhausted.

	"We can probably begin retraining your muscles in four or five 
days."

	"Unacceptable!" The booming of the German's voice was heard down 
many, many a hallway.


SUBCAPTION A:
SECOND JUDGMENT
             Midsummer's End


	It was hot outside, just like every other day.

	An unending summer, neverending heat.

	Temperatures below sixty were highly uncommon. This was one of the 
reasons Misato had decided to stay home on that day. "I should be thankful 
that my place wasn't annihilated in that blast," Misato thought as she 
grabbed the can of beer again. "I did lose all the windows and drapes, 
though. Still, those are easily replaced."

	Misato's eyes slowly closed...

	Memories immediately flooded though her mind.

	The dummyplug core. The clones of Rei, just floating there. Soulless
things... Things that man should never have played with. Second Impact...

	"Everything started then."

	Misato knew the basic details, and everything else she had managed 
to reconstruct from her own fragmented memories. SEELE hadn't actually 
been formed until early 2000, but Kihl Lorenz had been there before that. 
Pulling strings. Manipulating others.

	ADAM had been there for quite some time. Hell, he could have been 
there since the beginning of time. Or the beginning of humanity, at least.
Due to global warming, the layer of ice shielding ADAM was thin enough in 
mid-2000 to bring him out. A base of operations was literally built around 
the first Angel  by Ikari and Lorenz. Once Man had uncovered ADAM, 
it was thought that God knew Man had gone too far in the wrong direction, 
so ADAM would destroy himself to wipe the earth clean of the human 
plague.

	However, using the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Lancea Longini found 
around the Dead Sea in what had once been Israel, ADAM was reduced to an 
embryo. Only half of Mankind was destroyed, which was a good thing. But 
three billion people were killed. "And for what? So we could start Third 
Impact and have Lorenz become a god?"

	But then again, all Angels were rumored to have been around, too. 
But where had they been hiding? Could they all hide their wavelength 
patterns until that started their missions? "There's still so much I don't 
know..."

	The Dead Sea Scrolls also revealed that more Angels would attack, 
adding up to seventeen in all. Thusly, Man had to build a weapon that could 
neutralize the Angels' AT Fields. As Eve was created from Adam in the Bible,
EVA was created from ADAM. Modified clones, trapped and restrained by their 
own armor.

	But EVA was still unrefined. Not everything was known about it.

	That was why berserks happened. Because the soul or the EVA itself 
gained control from the pilot. EVA's mind was blocked out by combining the 
armor, the pilot, and the soul. However, if the pilot backed out, lowering 
the ego borderline, either the EVA or the soul would take control.

	It wasn't a complex idea, but it was a secret one.

	"Shinji can't be told these things," Misato thought. "He already 
knows too much for his own good." She glanced in the direction of his room. 
"He's been in there for more than a week. I should check on him, but... 
How can I confront him again? I basically told him to forget about the 
seventeenth Angel." She scowled.

	"I don't see how he could get so close to something that wasn't 
even human. Then again... They do seem to know the human mind, in all 
aspects. That Angel put up no actual resistance. It showed human 
emotion...

	"No, that isn't possible. He was a monster, just like all the 
others. He wanted to kill us all. Start Third Impact to end Mankind. Then 
again... Shinji met that boy right after... Oh, yea... Right after he 
found out about Rei, right after Asuka mentally collapsed. Right after Kaji 
died..."

	"Maybe I can see how," Misato said quietly, "he got so close to it. 
That's why I'm so attached to Asuka and Shinji. I really don't have... 
anyone else. Even Penpen's still with Hikari." A small smile crept onto her 
face. "They should be moving back soon." Misato walked out to the balcony 
and watched the hundreds of UN-funded construction sites all around the 
city.

	"The city will be totally finished in five more weeks. Ikari is 
making sure SEELE can't attack us right now. But it's only delaying the 
inevitable..." The woman walked back inside her apartment, suddenly 
disgusted by the sheer waste of money taking place at Tokyo-3. The entire 
world had spent the last fifteen years sacrificing too much for NERV.

	As Misato slowly began to walk back to the kitchen for another beer,
she heard a familiar noise from down the hallway. She found herself standing
at the entrance of the corridor, facing another being at the end of it. 

	It was Shinji.

	Misato blinked a few times, trying to find out if it was just some 
illusion. But no, he was really there. He'd come out of his room on his own,
without prodding from anyone. Misato thought over the implications of this 
as an alternate to thinking about what to do.

	Shinji was staring back at Misato like a deer caught in headlights. 
The awkward moment continued as neither one could come up with something to 
say. Misato was mainly worried about Shinji's condition. He seemed a lot 
thinner than the last time she'd seen him; the skin almost seemed to hang 
from his skeleton. His hair was quite unkempt, and he was a little hunched 
over.

	Shinji seemed to begin to relax. Misato readied to say something, 
but he broke the gaze and quickly walked into the bathroom. A slightly 
amused smile crossed Katsuragi's face.

	"He probably hasn't peed in days," Misato thought.
---
---
	In that bathroom, Shinji stood, staring at his reflection in the 
mirror. The dark bags under his eyes seemed to have grown even more. His 
hand reached up to his cheek, pressed against it.

	"I... I'm real," he whispered.

	The last thing he could remember was talking with Misato at the 
lake after defeating Kaoru... Or was it being at some movie theater... Or 
was it Asuka waking him up for school? Wasn't the school destroyed when 
Unit 00' self-destructed? Or had he been in EVA-01?

	Shinji wasn't quite sure of anything. All he knew was that the last 
Angel, his friend..., had been defeated. But he didn't want to think about 
that.

	Somehow, the young Ikari seemed to be sure of one thing... He had 
passed out of one time of his life into the next. He wasn't even sure what 
that meant. He knew that he wanted to talk to Misato, confront her about... 
Why did he want to confront her? Why did he need to?

	By the time Shinji got the courage to get outside the bathroom, he 
found that Misato was gone. "Misato-san's already left..."
---
---
	"Ritsuko, why did you bring me here again? To celebrate your 
freedom?" the Major asked sarcastically. In a dark recession of NERV's 
headquarters, the third- and fourth-in-command personnel were meeting. It 
was a dark, nondescript room, dimly lit by red lighting. It was one of few 
unmonitored areas in the Geofront.
	"I am hardly free, Major," Akagi said forcefully, showing Misato 
how much Ritsuko really believed that statement. "That's not why I called 
you here. I don't think you were notified, but Ikari ordered me to select 
the Sixth Children."
	"What?! But Asuka's not comatose anymore, and Rei doesn't even have 
an EVA, so why the hell did he do that?! I understand him less now than I 
did when I started working here..." Misato complained.
	"No need to tell me. I argued those points and several more to him, 
but he's bent on bringing another Children here. Come. Let me show you 
something." Ritsuko entered the single elevator the room supported, followed
by a wary Misato. After what she'd already seen, Misato wasn't sure if she 
wanted to see more.
	The pair spent several quiet minutes in the confined space, 
continuously falling down to the Megadepth facilities. The elevator stopped 
where Ritsuko had specified, although Misato had no idea where they exactly 
were. As soon as Misato had exited the elevator, the doors closed, leaving 
them in total darkness.

	A light suddenly flipped on. Ritsuko was wearing a white safety 
helmet, with the light attached to its top. Another helmet was in the 
doctor's hand, and Misato placed it on her head, flipping the light on. 
"Lead on, Doctor. I can't tell you where to go, since I don't know why we're
here."
	"As you wish." The adults proceeded along a raised platform, only a 
little more than a meter wide. The railing didn't help Misato's apprehension
of accidentally falling over the edge.

	Katsuragi placed her hand on the top of her helmet and looked over 
the edge. The light dissipated before the bottom could be seen. "How deep 
is this thing?"
	"How high can an EVA jump?" Ritsuko replied.
	"I dunno... Pretty high."
	"Well, it's just enough higher than that, and just wide enough."
	"What's that supposed to mean?"
	"You'll see."


CAPTION B:

NEON GENESIS
EVANGELION:
DAY OF JUDGMENT
EPISODE: 26
			Simulacrum


	"It's dark and cold, and I am extremely lost, Ritsuko. I hope you 
weren't planning on playing hide-and-seek."

	"Will you stop being so sarcastic? That's my job. But we could 
play if you wanted to. I'd take you days to find me down here."

	"Especially since I have no idea where we are or what's down here."

	"That's why I brought you here."

	"Maybe after that we can play flashlight tag. We can even bring 
Shinji, Rei, and Asuka. And while we're at it, we can invite the commander, 
too."

	"I doubt if Shinji would want to be down here."

	Misato was suddenly snapped out of her doubting mood. Ritsuko was 
implying that there was something quite important down in this god-forsaken 
place. Something of dummyplug-like proportions? Misato couldn't be sure.

	The women continued walking down the bridge, eventually crossing its
length. The bridge converted to a corridor for about sixty meters. "These 
walls are totally solid," Ritsuko commented quietly. Her voice echoed around
the small enclosure when the end of the hallway suddenly became visible. A 
motion sensor light flipped on automatically.

	Ritsuko removed her helmet and opened a small locker hidden in the 
wall to the right. Katsuragi took off her's as well and began to search for 
another locker to no avail. Akagi, satisfied that her accomplice couldn't 
find one, gently took the helmet from Misato and opened another locker.

	"I'll never get over how you can memorize things, Ritsuko."

	"How do you think I became head of the Technical Department? I 
remembered what it's really for."

	"Satisfying Ikari's sick desires?" Ritsuko silently added.

	"Please slide S-99K passcard," a disjointed computer voice ordered. 
Ritsuko produced her passcard and slid it through the acceptor. "Please 
press your hand against the scanner."
	
	On the wall opposite the lockers, a hand-sized block slid out and 
angled up a little. An impression of a hand was on it, and Ritsuko placed 
her own hand against it. A line of light slipped from the machine's top to 
its bottom, then back, before sliding back into the wall.

	"Accepted. Welcome, Doctor Akagi. Level -177 labs are open." The 
light flipped off, but the door slowly began to open. Bright white lights 
flooded the small hallway until the door was opened.

	"My God..." Misato gasped. Ritsuko pulled her through the nearly 
twenty-inch thick door and into the lab.

	"This is my personal test site. It's codename is 'Neon'. It's a 
hypermodern laboratory, designed especially by me for my purposes," Ritsuko 
explained. "I made it especially to house a central EVA unit as a test 
subject."

	"Yea, I can see that..." The entire area, which itself was a little 
more than big, was a mainly circular central lab. Glass windows lined the 
rooms outside the central lab. Along the outer periphery ran a wide walkway 
and railing, but in the center was a dropped cylinder. 

	Inside that cylinder was an Evangelion.

	Or rather, part of one.

	The head was fully formed and armored, and the spine was there, 
but the legs were missing, as well as the lower abdomen. The right and mid-
chest areas were formed, yet they weren't armored. The brown or grey 'skin' 
was remarkably humanlike... The separate parts of the body were connected 
or hanging by thick wires.

	"What the hell is this?!" Misato yelled. She recognized the armor's color 
and felt slightly sickened.

	"Obviously, this was Unit 03. I managed to salvage part of the 
bio-material and brought it here. It's been spontaneously reconstructing 
itself in this environment."

	"Spontaneous? You mean, like you aren't doing anything to it?"

	"Besides adding the appropriate armor and biomechanical parts, 
yes, that's correct. That's why we brought it here; so it wouldn't be 
contaminated by DNA from the other EVAs or Angels. As you can see, it's a 
relatively slow process... But the fact that a completely annihilated EVA 
can reconstruct itself without human interference is amazing."

	"Why's that?"

	"We designed all EVAs to only regenerate when we told them to by 
introducing commands into the mechanical systems. This EVA began to do that 
without any of those systems or commands. It evolved a built-in survival 
mechanism. Do you know what that means?"

	"Do tell."

	"EVA is immortal. They can only die if the pilot self-destructs it. 
All the other Units have probably evolved this capability as well."

	"So now we're supposed to believe that the EVAs are living beings? 
Do they have consciousness?"

	"No, they don't really. They're like animals-"

	"Animals have a consciousness."

	"Then I guess they are more like robots, but only because we 
designed them that way."

	"You talk like you built EVA from scratch. All EVAs are really 
modified clones of ADAM, isn't that right, Doctor?" Misato asked accusingly.

	"Yes, but they are highly modified. That's why they have no soul; 
they are clones. Just as the Rei clones have no soul, the clones of ADAM 
have no soul."

	"So how exactly are they different, huh?"

	"I think the most important part is the armor itself. It keeps the EVA's 
bestial mind in check, and it allows the pilot a more even flow of input. 
The second change was the loss of the S2 core. We didn't have the technology
to create one then, so the power cables became necessary."

	"But the EVA Series has S2 organs, right?"

	"S2 engines, yes."

	"What's the difference?"

	"Obviously, S2 organs are totally biological in origin, while S2 
engines are mechanical. Our S2 engines are codenamed S3 engines. Synthetic 
Super Solenoid."

	"So it isn't the actual thing."

	"No, it's a working mechanical copy of the S2 organ of the fourth 
Angel. As you know, the first prototype failed-"

	"And we lost another EVA."

	"That is why I have Unit 03 here; it's another EVA at a relatively 
low cost. We only needed to pay for the biomechanical and armor plates. The 
S3 plant in Beijing is making one for this Unit right now."

	"You do realize that you're doing just what Ikari wants," Misato 
asked in a most deadly of tones.

	"No, this is my baby. I won't let him touch any of my projects 
until everyone else can do the same."
---
---
	"Ikari, I must implore that you stop the search for the Sixth 
Children. The Second is recovering, and Unit 03' should be finished in 
sixteen weeks, providing an EVA for Rei-" The professor and the Commander
were at odds again.

	"No, this is something that cannot wait for natural things. The 
Sixth Children will be brought here, even if I must personally look over 
the list and choose the next Children."

	"You don't trust in Unit 01's power?"

	"Unit 01 could be used against us. Even our own EVAs could play 
some part in starting the Third Impact. We must force SEELE to take more 
drastic measures."

	"What if one of the Children is killed?"

	"Would you rather sacrifice all Humanity?"

	"I doubt if SEELE would start it-"

	"Then you are as foolish as they are. Just as they doubt we would 
bring another Children and another EVA here. We must not take any chances. 
The sheer insanity of allowing the old men to walk into NERV headquarters 
is beyond my comprehension, professor. I will put up the highest defense 
against that group, at any cost."

	"But should we be using so much of our monetary resources?"

	"Fuyutsuki, it is not your decision. I will not let our position 
stagnate at a time when we are most open to attack. We only have one pilot 
on duty, and I doubt if he would go into the EVA of his own free will." 

	Ikari suddenly stood from his desk and took off his right glove, 
exposing the embryonic form of ADAM. Fuyutsuki looked slightly taken aback 
as the huge eye of the being stared out at the world. "I would not put these
Children into situations any worse than the situations I am constantly in."

	"I hope you know what you are doing, Ikari."

	"Hope is a denial of reality."
---
---

To be continued...