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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: toheel@singnet.com.sg or teloong@cwcom.net
archive: http://www.teloong.mcmail.com/HERZ.htm

HTML version is available for Part 1.