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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 V: Piling Ossa on Pelion

   A child in the city. She walked amidst the thronging 
multitudes. Observing the inhabitants of Tokyo-3 as they 
went about their lives. Occasionally, just occasionally,
one of them would notice her. 

   "Little girl," they would say. "Are you lost? Do you 
need help to get home?"

   "No, thank you," she would say. "I know the way."

   Looking into her eyes, they would see many things - 
things they had hidden away from themselves - reflected in
those red ageless orbs. Just for a moment. After passing 
the child - the First Child - those who turned back to look
would find that she had disappeared. Into the crowd perhaps.
They would ponder for a little while about her strange blue
hair and her pale white skin. About how six year olds 
shouldn't be running around their own. Then they would put
all thoughts about the pale little girl out of their minds
as they went about their lives. Though occasionally, just
occasionally, they would dream of those red eyes.

***

SEELE 12: The Ancient Greeks spoke of how the giants piled
Mount Olympus and Mount Ossa on to Mount Pelion to reach
the heavens.

SEELE 11: OLYMPUS, OSSA and PELION.

SEELE 10: ASCENSION.

SEELE 09: With the MAGI out of our hands, we have forged
new tools to undo the treachery of Ikari Gendou and to 
overcome the intransigence of Katsuragi Misato.

(In three separate locations around the globe, the ASCENSION
system with its aforenamed three main terminals began to 
run millions of lines of code and reached out across the
continents.)

SEELE 08: Once released, a genie cannot be forced back into
its bottle.

SEELE 07: Evangelion was discovered to fulfil a purpose.

SEELE 06: A higher purpose than what those fools at GEIST
or the UNdare to contemplate.

SEELE 05: So like man to refuse his own salvation.

SEELE 04: But it is inevitable.

SEELE 03: The genie that is Evangelion has been released
and cannot be forced back into its bottle.

SEELE 02: And now we return it to its original purpose.

SEELE 01: The Instrumentality of Mankind is close at hand.

***

   A single red light flashed on Maj-Gen's Katsuragi's desk.
She tapped a combination of buttons on its black reflective
surface. A man-sized holographic monolith appeared before
her. The image of Dr Ibuki Maya was framed by the background
of the command tower in Central Dogma.

   "Ibuki-hakase?"

   "Katsuragi-shirei. The attack on MAGI has begun. The 
intruders appear to be trying to access our control modules
for the Eva-05 series A.I. Dummy Plugs - trying to turn our
own military assets against us in the heart of headquarters."

   "SEELE is trying to turn back the clock," whispered Lt-
Col Hyuuga who was at Misato's right hand.

   "Counter-measures?"

   "I have engaged Akagi-Sempai's 666 Protector. But the 
intruders' processing power is immensely superior to ours.
It is analyzing the protector and has already penetrated
the subsidiary systems. We estimate three separate 
originating points of the attack. Each on its own is equal
to MELCHIOR, BALTHASAR and MELCHIOR combined. This is much
more than we expected. Maybe an Eighth Generation computer.
I would ask for your permission to..."

   "Plan B is authorized. Proceed."

   "We are, of course, ready to fend off the consequences 
of this action, shirei?" asked Maj Aoba from Misato's left.

   "We did not set a trap to become trapped ourselves. A
man jumps out of a flaming building because he will survive
for another few more seconds. We will deal with the UN and
the nation-states later. We must survive this first." 

   Under Maya's direction, the three deck officers
commandeered the five subsidiary MAGI systems around the
world.

   "MAGI 01 - HOUSTON is online."

   "MAGI 02 - NEW YORK is online."

   "MAGI 03 - MOSCOW is online."

   "MAGI 04 - HONG KONG is online."

   "MAGI 05 - BERLIN is online."   

   "Clear all their outstanding instructions," ordered Maya.
"And subordinate them to our MAGI prototype."   

   "It is done, Ibuki-hakase," reported 2nd Lt Mochida. At
that moment, five great urban metropolises were plunged into
chaos. The MAGI ran all the essential functions of those
cities. Electricity. Water. Traffic. Everything has a price.

   "We've halted the intrusion and are beginning to push
them back," reported 2nd Lt Ito.

   "Begin trace."

   The soldiers watched as the scientists and technicians
fought this battle. The seconds ticked past as innumerable
lines of code scrolled past on a dozen different screens.
All under the watchful eye of Dr Ibuki.

   "We have a lock on one of the intruders! Tasmania,
Australia. Transmitting Map Grid Reference."

   A second holographic monolith appeared before Misato. It
showed Col Strasser, in skeleton battle order, standing on
the deck of a ship. The sound of waves and wind surrounded
him.

   "You have the coordinates," said Misato, hands folded in
front of her face. "Get what we need. Everything else must
burn."

   "What do we do with any civilians we encounter?"

   "Everything else must burn."

   "Hai, shirei."   

   Strasser lumbered across the deck of the arsenal ship 
and entered the bridge. They were just minutes away from
the target.

   "Looks like Horus was right afterall. Though I hear we
have you to thank for placing us in this excellent starting
position, Dr Kagero."

   "Do you still doubt us, dear Col Strasser?" asked the 
raven haired scientist. 

   Strasser's eyes narrowed. "Mighty generous of GEIST to
provide a whole fleet to transport our troops and equipment."

   "Is there so little trust in the world today? Don't you
trust your old friend Aron whom we call Horus?" Her crooked
smile mocked him. 

   "What does GEIST get out of this?"

   "SEELE should not break our monopoly of the Eighth 
Generation systems. Ammon and the others wold also like to
see if they can get hold of any of SEELE's Dead Sea Scroll
scenarios. That's why I'm here."

   "The operation is going to be bloody. Are you sure you
want to come with me? You could wait till we've secured the
place."

   "There won't be time. And besides, it's not just my 
idiot sister who knows how to handle one of these," she 
said, patting her sidearm. "You really shouldn't under-
estimate women, Herr Strasser. Like your Commander, she has
a very... formidable presence. I expect she wisely ordered
you to give no quarter, to take no prisoners?   

   "Dr Kagero Natsumi, you're a cold one. HERZ is just a 
pawn to whatever game GEIST and SEELE are playing, isn't 
it?"

   Her reply was merely to smile as she strode towards the
holding bays.

   The ten ships in Australian waters looked like oil
tankers or container ships. But their purpose and cargo
were anything but mundane. Their top decks began to slide
back. Dozens of HERZ VTOL attack craft and helicopter troop 
transports emerged from them. Like a deadly swarm, they
headed towards the SEELE installation that held OSSA.

   Two hours later, a cheer went up in Central Dogma. One
of the intruders had completely disappeared. The remaining
two beat a hasty retreat.

   "We've won," breathed Maya in relief.

   "Well done, Maya," said Misato.

   "I'll start on the diagnostics and repairs immediately." 

   "Maya, Ritsuko will be so proud of you."

   She blushed. "Arigatou, shirei." The holographic 
communication link winked out. The only remaining light in
Misato's vast office was that blood red glow.

   "Hyuuga, Aoba."

   "Hai, shirei."

   "Stand by to analyze whatever information Strasser has
managed to capture... For now, leave me."

   "At once."   

   Alone, Misato leaned back in her chair and looked up at
the Tree of Life above her. 'Ascension. The pawn desires to
leave this game.'

***   

   Paul could scarcely believe his luck. He and his 
brothers from all over the world were here, stalking the 
very corridors of HERZ HQ. As their leader had promised,
there was no shelter from the wrath of God. These walls
could not protect the perpetrators of the blasphemy that
was Evangelion.

   "So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of
the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which
turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

   The Cherubim. The Angels. They had failed. Now, these
would be the instrument of God's anger. The flaming sword
that barred the way to the tree of life. Almost three
hundred holy warriors. Armed to the teeth. They had made
their way to Tokyo-3 and entered the Geo Front. The great
doors of steel lay open. The corridors were quiet. There
was token resistance from the occassional guard or 
technician but no general alarm had been raised.

   This was not luck, Paul thought. This was divine will.
Marvelling at his own righteousness he did not notice the
new recruit, John, slip away from his group.

***

   Maya returned to her private office and lab to retrieve
some files for the repairs. Entering, she was surprised to
see a stranger accessing her terminal. He heard her enter
and stood up. Drawing a silenced pistol from his coat, he
fired before Maya could even scream. 

***

   "The governments were tricked into believing that NERV
was going to end the world with a Third Impact. They sent
an army to kill everyone in NERV. Your mother was put into
Evangelion Unit 02 and later, she woke up to fight against
that army. But the Throne of Souls sent nine Evas to fight
poison with poison. Your mother fought bravely but was
defeated. Her wounds were terrible.."

   "Is that why Mama wears her eyepatch? And covers herself
all the time except when she's with Otousan?"

   "Yes, Aki-chan. Katsuragi-shirei sent your father to the
cage where Evangelion Unit 01 was kept but she was hurt by
some soldiers. Your father found that the soldiers had
sealed off the entry plug and he couldn't get in to help
your mother. It was terrible. He could hear everything that
was happening. But he had a friend. And she broke the
seal. They went up to the surface to face the Nine. The
Throne of Spirit fought the Throne of Souls and they used a
powerful computer to shut down five of the Nine. Without
the full number, there could be no ceremony as envisaged by
the Throne of Souls. Enraged, they turned the remaining five
on your father. But he won the day. With the help of a
friend."

   "Otousan says you helped him! His friend is you, Aunt
Ayanami!" Akiko said, delighted to make the connection. She
didn't understand everything her aunt told her but she 
loved Aunt Ayanami's stories. They had a magical feeling
about them. Akiko could feel it and almost touch it.

   "Aunt Ayanami, everyone says I look like you."

   "Why shouldn't we look alike? After all, I'm your father's
..cousin," the two found a mirror and looked at their images
side by side. It was a very close match, except for...

   "But my hair isn't blue. And my eyes aren't red."

   "You're right, Aki-chan. But, like me, your colour is
different from most of the other people we are around. You
got your colour from your mother. She's from a faraway 
place called Germany."

   "Deutschland!" said Akiko. Mama loved to conduct loud
German conversations with her in full view of Otousan. 
Shinji usually didn't have a clue as to what was going on
except when the word 'dummkopf' came up - that usually 
meant Asuka was talking about him. His German was about as
strong as his alcohol tolerance.

  Rei smiled at Akiko and carried her back to their seat.
Putting her onto her lap, she stroked the child's soft 
chestnut hair. Then her eyes darted towards the door of the
day care centre.

   "They're coming," Rei whispered.

   The door was torn asunder as the explosives detonated. A
group of men entered in the midst of smoke and flame. The
other children and their minders scrambled for cover.

   Paul immediately recognized the First Child. She was
carrying the spawn of the Second and Third as well. She
simply stood there and gazed placidly at them. Paul smiled
to himself. Two with one stone. The Lord's work would be
done.

   "Fire!"

   Rei raised her right hand and swung it down as a hail of
automatic weapons fire was released.

***

   "A.T. Field detected!" shouted 2nd Lt Mochida.

   "Where?" demanded Cpt Ikari Asuka Langley.

   "The nursery!"

   "All personnel go to first stage alert!"

   Klaxons erupted all over HERZ Headquarters.

***

   Misato's brow wrinkled as the alarm sounded. She exited
the office and headed for the command tower at Central 
Dogma. Passing through a corridor, she saw two heavily
armed men standing over a dead HERZ guard. They saw her
just a fraction of a second later and began to train their
weapons on her. That split second was all Misato needed
to beat them to the draw. 

   As the two men slumped onto the floor, Misato heard the
crackle of gunfire behind her. She spun around to see
another two men crumbling to the ground. Behind them were
Hyuuga and Aoba with submachine guns.

   "Shirei, you really have to watch your back," said 
Hyuuga.

   Misato nodded her thanks. "We need to get to the command
centre." They were about to pass the first pair of downed
men when one of them moaned weakly. Misato shot him in the
face and stepped over the body. The three entered the lift.   

   "Appraisal."

   "A coalition of the religious terrorists," breathed Hyuuga. "A
combined army of God so to speak. The earlier attack on MAGI must have
knocked out our defence and security systems without us realizing. An
attack within an attack."

   "And they've drawn the bulk of our forces away in the strike on that
SEELE installation in Australia," added Aoba.

   The trio encountered no further resistance as they entered Central
Dogma. Kensuke appeared to be in charge. He saluted them smartly.

   "Lt Aida, report."

   "Katsuragi-shirei, we have restored the defence system to 40% 
capability and the rest will be back online within the hour. We 
estimate almost 300 infiltrators armed with to the teeth. Our remaining
security forces are pushing them back now. Cpt Ikari has taken some 
troops with her to the nursery to investigate a powerful A.T. Field 
generated there."

   "Pattern analysis?"

   "It disappeared before MAGI could lock on."

   "Where is Dr Ibuki?"

   "We don't know..." said 2nd Lt Mochida helplessly, who was on the
verge of tears.

   "Eva status?"

   "Unit 01 is activated. Pilot Ikari is standing by in the Seventh
Cage. Units 05-Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo are activated and have
are taking up positions to guard Terminal Dogma."

***

   Kurumi looked down the central shaft that descended into the depths
of Terminal Dogma. She saw the massive blast doors opening to allow the
monstrous form of Unit 05-Echo to be lowered into the darkness.

   "What's Katsuragi hiding down there?" she mused to herself. The
various side shafts began to seal up as a lockdown was initiated.
"Well, time to take a break."

   She leapt from the top of the cargo lift into one of the side shafts
before it closed completely, leaving behind the two holy warriors 
inside it. Both men had been shot in the throat.

***

   "Akiko!"

   "Mama!"

   Asuka gathered up her daughter and hugged her fiercely. "Are you
alright? What happened here?"

   "Some people tried to hurt us."

   A quick glance confirmed that everyone in the nursery was unharmed.

   "Aki-chan, where are those people now?"

   Akiko, holding her rabbit doll, simply pointed at the wall framing
the entrance. It was covered with a reddish pulp with bits of 
pulverised metal and whitish fragments. A red liquid was dripping down
from it and pooling on the floor. Dripping. Asuka recognized the smell
of blood.

   "Mama," Akiko whispered in her mother's ear. "Aunt Ayanami said that
she would never allow anyone to hurt me."

***

   A day later. Hyuuga stood before Misato in the Commander's office.

   "I've completed the interrogation of the attack's leader. Apparently
they don't realize that it was SEELE that bankrolled and planned the
attack down to the last cent and detail. With all the details about
their organizations and contacts, we can launch a complete crackdown. 
I don't think we'll have to worry about the army of God for a while to
come. In any case, SEELE's true purpose was to put one of their men
into the assault group. That was the man who attacked Maya."

   "What did he want?"

   "A lot of our research was stolen including Eva and Angel data. Most
of it though was from the NERV era. Our own projects remain secure at 
this time. Also his weapon only stunned Maya. She's under observation 
in the infirmary now. Seems that he didn't intend to kill her."

   "Of course, she's too valuable. To any party. For any scenario."

   "Katsuragi-shirei, I doubt we will get any more information from
our holy man. What do you want me to do with him?"

   The blood red light reflected off Misato's reading glasses. "Let
him go."

   "Are you sure that's a good idea?"   

   "I'm sure SEELE will cover their tracks."

   "...and destroy all evidence. Hai, shirei."

***

   The door opened to reveal a tanned girl with short, raven hair in
a high school uniform. Her hazel-green eyes blinked with confusion as
she regarded Misato. '*She's* his guardian? Man, no wonder the guys 
are always fighting to deliver printouts to Shinji-kun.' Clearing her 
throat, she spoke.

   "Katsuragi-san?"

   "Yes, that's me."

   "You are Shinji-kun's guardian?"

   "Yes, I am. Can I help you?"

   "I'm Kagero Kurumi, one of Shinji-kun's classmates. I'm here as the
vice president of the sea sports club and we're organizing a trip to 
Okinawa. I asked Shinji-kun to come along but he said he wasn't allowed
to leave Tokyo-3. So I came to check with you."

   "It's an official matter but we can talk about it. Do come in."

   After sitting Kurumi down in the living room and serving her some 
tea, Misato explained how the current situation in 2018 restricted 
Shinji's ability to travel. As the only pilot of the only operational 
Eva, he had to stay here in case of any emergencies.

   Kurumi hung her head, obviously disappointed. 

   "Forgive me for being direct but you like him, don't you?" Misato
could see Kurumi's blush showing through her tan. However the girl was
also made of pretty stern stuff.

   Raising her head, she met Misato's gaze proudly. "Yes, Katsuragi-
san. I do."

   Misato sighed. "I'll see what I can do. There hasn't been an angel
attack in these three years and SEELE's been lying low as well. Also 
the UN won't deploy Eva. Not until the final arrangements for HERZ's
establishment are completed. If he does go, there'll be some security
details to take care of but nothing too major. Heck. I might even come
along for a vacation."

   Kurumi brightened at the concession. "Thank you, Katsuragi-san,"
she said, standing up and bowing formally.

   Misato gave a short wave. "It's alright. Though you shouldn't 
expect too much in the short term, Kurumi. Shin-chan's very shy. 
Especially around girls."

   "Ummm..Katsuragi-san? Ermmm..how should I put it?"

   "Ask away."

   "Shinji-kun... He *is* interested in girls, right?"

   Misato couldn't stop laughing for a full five minutes.


   Kurumi looked across the vast office at the woman sitting in the
seat of HERZ Commander. She could see the outlines of the mystical
symbols on the floor and the ceiling but their red glow had been
extinguished for now. The perimeter of the vast office let in some
light from the outside. But this only made the shadows long and the
air almost seemed grey. Taking a deep breath, she strode forward and
dumped a thick file on to the table before Maj-Gen Katsuragi.

   "Katsuragi-shirei, you're playing a dangerous game to try and
deceive the UN."

   "I don't know what you are talking about, Cpt Kagero."

   "Oh? Then what are all these discrepanies in the accounts? 
Creatively hidden but discrepanies nonetheless. Where has all the money
been going to? This is criminal breach of trust, theft and fraud on the
scale of billions of dollars."

   "I'm sure everything can be explained."

   Kurumi snorted. "You're not going to brush me aside so easily. 
There are some questions about your past as well. You're not as
blameless at the NERV Tribunal made you out to be."

   "Such as?" 

   "Your personal complicity in the disappearance of Japanese Interior
Ministry Agent Kaji Ryouji. Murdered by your own hand." Misato flinched
ever so slightly.

   "Anything you might have heard about that is sheer speculation...
and impossible to prove."

   "You'll pay for your crimes. I'll see to it."

   "I have no doubt in your abilities, Cpt Kagero. But understand that
if you persist in your crusade, it will be Shinji and his family who 
will pay the price for your foolishness."

   "What!? What does Shinji-kun have to do with all this?"

   "Everything, Kurumi. Everything."

   "How?"

   "He is the Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End."

   "I don't understand."

   "You will... And you will help me to help him."

***

ANNEX A TO PART V

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 

Schools of Thought in International Relations

   International political theory is extremely diverse and complex.
For the purposes of a rough overview, I will introduce a few 'schools'
that I regard as being particularly significant.

   STATISM. Their intellectual forefathers are Niccolo Machiavelli
and Thomas Hobbes. It was the dominant mode of thought in the 20th C
and continues to dominate the thinking of the governments of the Great
Powers. The nation-state is regarded as the supreme form of political
community, demanding the unquestioned loyalty and devotion of its
citizens. It recognizes no authority over itself and jealously guards
its sovereignty and independence from enroachment. But how does an 
abstract entity have moral precedence over a real flesh-and-blood
individual? Is the basic building block of the international system
the human being or an creature of the human imagination? 

   SUPRANATIONALISM. Their philosopher is Thomas Hobbes. An overarching
world government to impose order on the anarchical relations of the
nation-states. Emphasizing order, discipline, obedience and conformity,
they see a single world-state as the solution to achieve lasting peace
and stability. The modern United Nations is seen as an embryonic 
Leviathan in this mold. I would ask: What constitutes a just peace?
Is there room for moral change? Will such power corrupt and bring about
a world tyranny?

   TRANSCENDENTALISM. Christ and Marx find themselves in good company.
The latter is a more limited transcendentalist. The Communist Utopia
is the end of history and the end of politics. The pinnacle of human
achievement. All the questions of want and war are resolved. Politics
is merely something to be endured on the road to the worker's paradise.
The former promises a world beyond this one. Politics is irrelevant
except for where it might affect the immortal soul. Yet from this
tradition we have derived the most worldly of doctrines: the separation
of church and state, the theory of the just war, the basic equality of
man. The transcendentalists seek an escape from this world. What is
the value of the world as it is to them?

   TRANSNATIONALISM. The principle thinker of this school is Immanuel
Kant. The wider community of cosmopolitan man comes about. The
nation-state is no longer able to provide adequately for the security
and welfare of its denizens. The world citizen sees a responsibility
to his fellow human being beyond that of nationality, race, creed,
language or culture. The international organization, the functional
agency and the multi-national company are its vanguard, the nation-
state is merely one actor amongst many in providing for human needs. A 
harmony of interest is created amidst enlightened self-interest and 
thus it is hoped that perpetual peace will reign.

   Do be cautious about labelling the work of authors and scholars.
Mental categories are convenient starting points for those grappling
with them as tools of analysis but one should strive to be aware of
their subtleties. An ordinary mind separates out white and black.
Going further, the keen mind appreciates the grey.

END OF PART V

Ver 1.4 - 26 Feb 1999
Ver 1.5 - 13 Oct 1999
Ver 1.6 - 03 Nov 1999

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