A NEON GENESIS EVANGELION fanfic. Rights belonging to GAINAX and AD Vision. Used without permission. HERZ by E.L.Toh Part I: It's Been A While 'Ah, she's here. I hope this one won't give us as much trouble as the last one...' thought Shigeru as the maglev train came to a stop. The passenger doors slid open and a young lady stepped out. A very pretty young lady. In her mid-twenties and of average height, straight raven-black bangs that framed her face. There were hints of deep green highlights in the black if you looked carefully. It went well with her eyes - somewhere between hazel and green. A very deep tan screamed sun, sea and sand. Her uniform was the drab greyish-blue 'No.3 dress' of the United Nations International Peacekeeping Force. Essentially used as office wear, it was white shirt, matching tie, jacket, knee length a-line skirt. However, looking at her, it didn't seem so bad. A black leather belt around her waist, on the outside of the jacket, accentuated her lithe figure. As did the opaque stockings that showed off her athletic legs. Shigeru unconsciously smoothed his dark blue uniform as she walked to stand about two feet before him. "Cpt Kagero of the UNIPF Inspector-General's Office reporting," she said, saluting smartly. "Maj Aoba Shigeru," said Shigeru as he returned the salute. "Welcome to HERZ. I'm in charge of Sections 1 and 4. Manpower and Logistics. If you need to get your leave balance or toilet rolls, I'm the one to see. By the way, you can call me Shigeru." "Kurumi." They shook hands. "I understand that your belongings have been sent directly to your quarters in an accomodation block within the Geo Front. Everyone else is a little busy at the moment so I guess it falls to me to show you around." "Thank you." Her crooked smile was rather alluring. "...and this is the command centre." Shigeru said in hushed tones. There was a tall brawny man in a brown version of Shigeru's uniform standing behind three operators in their biege HERZ attire. He dwarfed the woman standing on his right, her hands in the pockets of her white lab coat and a long brown ponytail slung over her right shoulder. "That big bald fellow with the beard is Col Peter Strasser. Used to be from the Third Branch in Germany. He's our deputy commander and concurrently chief of Section 3, that is, Operations. Those three are our bridge operators. From the right - 2nd Lt Mochida, 1st Lt Igarashi and 2nd Lt Ito. I used to sit where Ito is working now. The lady in the lab coat is Dr Ibuki Maya. She's our Chief Scientific Officer." "Ah yes, I know all about her..." Kurumi said dryly. Her voice carried an edge. "Umm. Up there are Maj-Gen Katsuragi and Lt-Col Hyuuga. The former is our Commander and Boss-Lady. She used to be head of Operations when we were still NERV. Hyuuga's head of Intelligence. Section 2. He used to sit in the centre, where Igarashi is now." Kurumi looked up to see a beautiful woman with long black hair leaning forward, looking intently at the holographic display in front of the tower-like structure of the command centre. Her left arm and her right elbow were planted on her console as her right hand covered her lips. The only signs of her age perhaps were the small wrinkles on the corner of her eyes, the stray strand of silver or gold in her hair and the reading glasses tucked into the front breast pocket of her uniform. The Commander's uniform was a form-fitting black number trimmed with red around her wrists, shoulders and collar. Those areas where in turn trimmed with gold. Hyuuga wore a cyan version of Aoba's uniform. Sporting a flat top hair cut, mustache and small pointed beard, he stood with his arms behind his back. Hyuuga Makoto's expression was serious as he observed the tactical displays as well. High above their dais was a red symbol, a half maple leaf with the letters H E above R Z and the motto: God's in his heaven. All's right with the world. "We're currently monitoring the situation at Krasnoyarsk. Negotiations between the Russian government and the rebels have broken down. The former have launched a full scale assault to recapture the nukes though the latter will still definitely be able to launch before the Russian forces can break through. Intelligence confirms that the rebels are targetting major West Russian cities as well as the capitals of the European Union and Japan. And those are old-style nukes with lots of radioactive fallout, not like the N2s." At this moment, a channel from the UNIPF High Command opened to the command centre. The image of the United Nations logo appeared, underneath were the words "SOUND ONLY". "Maj-Gen Katsuragi. The Americans have refused to help unconditionally. It looks like we have no choice but to use Plan B. Deploy Evangelion at once." "Understood." The channel winked out. With a nod from Misato, Col Strasser began to bark a series of instructions. More view screens began to open up in front of the bridge. "Who are your officers in the field?" asked Kurumi. "1st Lt Aida and Cpt Ikari." "Ikari?" *** Kensuke loved this. Some real action! Even if he couldn't pilot Eva, at least he got to fly the largest aircraft in the world. It flew high above the range of normal anti-aircraft missiles, undetectable to conventional radar. In any case normal anti-aircraft missiles did not have warheads that could really be more than a bee sting against this flying fortress. Perhaps the only drawback was having his immediate superior on board. "Kensuke! Misato has given us the go-ahead. Take us out of the clouds and launch Unit 05-Bravo. Transport 5-C will use Unit 05- Charlie to provide cover." "Jawohl mein fuhrer." "What did you say!?" screeched Cpt Ikari Asuka Langley, deputy section chief for operations. Her auburn locks now only reached her shoulders. A black eye-patch covered her left eye. Over her right hand was a black fingerless glove that was part of a harness of latex- like material extending all the way up her right arm and around her shoulders. That was mostly covered by her camouflage fatigues over which she proudly wore a red HERZ Ops jacket. "Oh I'm so scared," deadpanned Kensuke. "Will the two of you knock it off?" came Misato's voice from the intercom. "The world could be blown to smithreens while the two of you bicker." The note of amusement in her voice was evident but it was nonetheless a reminder of their professional duties. "Hai, Katsuragi-shirei." Two of the huge arrowhead-shaped craft emerged from the cloud cover. The transport with the designation '05-C' flew below and slightly ahead of the other painted with '05-B'. As they descended, several rebel anti-aircraft batteries let loose with their missiles. In due course they splattered against a translucent hexagonal-shaped barrier that projected from Transport 05-C. "Bravo, this is Cpt Ikari Asuka Langley. Acknowledge." "Yes." She sighed inwardly. Maya told her that the voice for all the Eva Unit 5 Dummy Plugs' A.I. were completely synthesized by the MAGI but Asuka was still convinced that it sounded a lot like Wonder Girl. 'Come to think of it, they behave a lot like her too.' "Bravo, your orders are to destroy the missile control bunker. Do you understand?" "Yes." "Release Eva!" A humanoid but monstrous shape emerged from the bay of Transport 05-B and dropped down towards the nuclear missile base. After falling a distance, it spread wings that sprouted from its back and soared with a deadly grace over the land. Charging troops and burning vehicles marked the pitched battle that was being fought between the Moscow government and the rebels. Unit 05-B, also known as 'Bravo', descended down one of the missile silo shafts and used its AT Field to smash its way through the steel-reinforced concrete walls. Those aboard the transports and back at HERZ Headquarters could see from its point of view as its AT Field eventually caused the collapse of the entire bunker. "Objective destroyed. Awaiting orders." "Well, just to make sure, get rid of the missiles as well. Smash the fuel section of the rocket's propulsion system... I'm not coming back for this god forsaken place again to clean up another mess. Got it, Bravo?" "Yes." Asuka watched as Unit 5-B lumbered back to the missile shafts and did as it was told. The resulting explosion caught all the other ICBMs in a huge fireball that rose above the ground. "Objective achieved." "Okay, return to transport." "Not bad huh?" asked Kensuke. "When *I* was a pilot, an Eva had skill. It had grace. War was an art form. Now it's just sheer brute force. No A.I. can match living, breathing spontaniety! Maya should get some of my valuable piloting experience imprinted on the A.I.s! And red is sooo much prettier than this awful white..." Kensuke imagined Unit 5-B stamping its foot and throwing a tantrum. He decided to steer the conversation away slightly. "How about imprinting Shinji on the Eva series?" "Pleeeease. Eva is used for restoring world peace and security. It's not some kind of domestic helper. Next thing you know, Unit 01 will deployed with an apron and skillet." Despite Kensuke's loyalty to his friend, he couldn't help grinning as the image of Unit 01 playing a cello floated into his head. *** Opening a channel back to the United Nations, Misato had only two words for her political masters. "Mission accomplished." The show having ended, Shigeru decided to give Kurumi a grand tour of the rest of the non-operations parts of Headquarters. Location of the medical centre, the various offices, washrooms, vending machines and of course, the cafeteria. "Well, the food's gotten better even though we've reduced overall expenditure on catering. I think the Commander must have stopped trying to help out in the cafeteria kitchen." Kurumi didn't quite get the joke as she looked around at the food stalls and the long rows of tables and chairs. Then she saw him. *** "Can't this thing go any faster!?" Kensuke gave Asuka a puzzled look. "What?" "Faster! Make this thing go faster! I need to get back!" "What's the matter with you now?" Kensuke asked, a little annoyed. He looked back at the redhead to see the brow above her good eye twitching uncontrollably. "Just shut up and fly this thing! Baka-Shinji is fooling around with some woman again!" "You're paranoid." "Am not." "Are too." "Am not! Am not! Am not!" *** Shinji had watched the whole operation at Krasnoyarsk from the plug of Unit 01. Relieved that everything had gone fairly smoothly, he showered and changed into civilian attire. Helping himself to a cup of tea, he sat down to read some notes Hikari had prepared and had asked him for an opinion on. He had been reluctant, having not much expertise on international politics but Hikari insisted that that was perfect since it was her very first lecture to undergrads who probably knew nothing much about international politics either. "International Politics in the Post-Second Impact Era by Dr Horaki Hikari, International Relations Department, University of Tokyo-3... The past three decades have seen dramatic changes in the international landscape - a greatly enhanced United Nations, the relative decline of the twentieth century great powers and the rise of challengers to the old status quo, the nuclear destruction of an entire sub-continent, the marginalization of oil and the Middle East, the advent of the 'technology of God' - all have their roots in what is perhaps the most significant event in modern human history, that is, the Second Impact..." Suddenly a pair of hands clamped over his eyes. "Guess who!" In addition to the hands over his eyes, Shinji felt something pressing against the back of his head. To be precise, two things. But the voice was familiar, from quite a long way back. Pulling the hands away from his face and turning around, he found himself facing a chest. It was not particularly well-endowed but it definitely belonged to a female. Blushing, he corrected his gaze and saw her. "Kurumi!" "Hiya, Shinji-kun. It's been a while. Surprised?" "Yes! But how? I mean I haven't seen you for years... You've joined the UN?" Kurumi explained her posting to HERZ and her part of the regular UN regime of inspecting its autonomous agencies to minimize waste, fraud and corruption. "So I hear you've married that witch?" Kurumi pouted. "Ack! Please don't call my wife that." "Oh my my my, Shinji-kun..." said Kurumi as she kneaded Shinji's shoulders and arms. She whistled. "You've grown some. Been training?" Shinji nodded weakly. "Misato-san thought it was a good idea if Eva pilots should have some basic military training. You know, after what happened with the A801 and the JSSDF and all that... Kurumi, please... I'm a married man now," squeaked Shinji. "Oooh, I like this a lot. Have you grown elsewhere?" "What?" Then he followed her gaze southwards. Shinji's blush was so pronounced that he looked like he was going to burst. "Oh! That's so cute! You still blush like a schoolboy! How about a kiss for an old friend?" She leaned forward as Shinji tried to hold her off. 'Asuka's going to kill me.' Shigeru observed everything from a discreet distance. "She's definitely trouble." He turned around and left Shinji to fend for himself. "Big trouble." *** "Asuka, could you please just stop pacing around for a moment?" Taking no notice of Kensuke, Asuka continued to pace. The twitch of her right eyebrow had become even worse. "Aaargh! I'll make him suuuffer for this! Just you wait till I get back, Baka-Shinji..." "Don't whip him too hard this time, alright?" That stopped Asuka's pacing. She spun around, her face beet-red, as she sputtered incoherently. Kensuke started to laugh loudly. *** ANNEX A TO PART I International Politics in the Post-Second Impact Era by Dr Horaki Hikari First Year Undergraduate Lecture Synposis (2027) International Relations Department University of Tokyo-3 Introduction The past three decades have seen dramatic changes in the international landscape - a greatly enhanced United Nations, the relative decline of the twentieth century great powers and the rise of challengers to the old status quo, the nuclear destruction of an entire sub-continent, the marginalization of oil and the Middle East, the advent of the 'technology of God' - all have their roots in what is perhaps the most significant event in modern human history, that is, the Second Impact. Having narrowly avoided a Third Impact in 2015, the exposure of the 'Instrumentality Project' has only served to accelerate existing trends. Due to the active role in this conspiracy played by the major national governments, the very credibility of the nation-state as a form of governance has been severely weakened, even in liberal democracies. To the scholar of International Relations, these changes have serious implications that strike at the roots of the international system. How much independence can states retain? Will the United Nations become a world government, laying down the law to the members of the international community? What further technological innovations will alter the geopolitical balance of power? How will the old great powers cope with systemic change? These questions are of great importance not just because of their effect on high politics but how ordinary people live their lives. Just take yourselves as examples. Those interested in government and politics must consider which bodies - the prefectural assembly, the nation-state or the UN - will best serve your community and the general interest. Our budding bankers and financiers will take an active part in the changing economic balance among the nations of the world and closely watch the activities of the mighty mega-corporations that owe allegiance to no particular nation-state. Those joining the military have other options besides that of their national armed forces - the UN International Peacekeeping Force or the commercial direct action forces. Perhaps some of you will even decide to enter academia and be lecturing to students at this very podium a few years from now. During the next nine weeks, I will be covering the following areas: the various schools of thought in IR; sovereignty, nationalism and the state; diplomacy and war; international law; the First and Second Treaties of Valentine and the evolution of the United Nations; the mega-corporations as international actors; the international political economy and finally changes and continuities in the international system. It is my hope that this introductory course will, at the very least, broaden your horizons and maybe encourage you to take up further courses with this department. Karl Marx said that "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways, the point, however, is to change it." You, all of you, hold the world and the future in your hands. With your heart in the right place and with effort and understanding, it is within your power to shape it. Thank you. END OF PART I NOTES I. Originally posted, with the same title, to the rec.art.anime.creative, I found that the fic had to be rewritten due to the following reasons: 1. I had not planned it properly and had written myself into a dead end. It was difficult to hold the plot together. 2. Some details bothered me a lot, particularly about the new characters. I had to change them. 3. I saw End of Evangelion over the summer. The effect was devastating. I couldn't write for quite a while after that. When I eventually did recover, certain aspects of the old character's relationships had to re-evaluated. And I wanted to bring the fic into line with some of the movie's details. 4. An integral element to the story is international politics. My views had changed over the course of my studies. The story will reflect some of those changes. II. Just to clarify some of the military ranks (and arranged in ascending order of seniority): 2nd Lt - Second Lieutenant 1st Lt - First Lieutenant Cpt - Captain Maj - Major Lt-Col - Lieutenant-Colonel Col - Colonel Brig-Gen - Brigadier-General Maj-Gen - Major-General Lt-Gen - Lieutenant-General Gen - (Full) General ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many thanks to: Andrew Huang for the encouragement in getting me started on writing fanfiction in the first place and for providing pointers on the drafts. Also to RPM who generously shared his experience in writng epic works. Joyce Wakabayashi for the astute comments and questions. And for keeping my spirits up with a constant flow of ideas and material. My faithful pre-readers Li Lip Khoon and Tan Leng Huei, the former of whom was the one who introduced Evangelion to me. To all those who have shared their thoughts on HERZ: A-1 I-Bus, Rocci Cirone, Soumitra Choudhury, The English Shinji, Chris Jones, Korhonen Kai, Jurai Knight, Jiro Maeda, Micah Potasnik, Steve Sasaki and anyone whom I have inadvertedly left out. Your support and enthusiasm has keep this fic alive. Ver 1.0 - 23 Jan 99 Ver 1.1 - 25 Jan 99 Ver 2.0 - 27 Jan 99 Ver 2.1 - 31 Jan 99 Ver 2.2 - 21 Feb 99 Ver 2.3 - 13 Oct 99 contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com archive: http://www.teloong.mcmail.com/HERZ.htm HTML version is available for Part 1.