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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 VI: The Eleventh Stroke

(A dark empty room. Twelve monoliths appeared, one by one, in a 
 circle. SEELE 01-12, SOUND ONLY. In the centre, just below the level
 of the monoliths, a holographic projection showed HERZ VTOL attack
 craft bombarding the OSSA installation. HERZ troops debus from their
 helicopter transports and storm the underground facility.)

SEELE 02: The loss of this experimental facility is regrettable but
nonetheless its loss was not beyond our expectations.

SEELE 03: Indeed, we have gained the upper hand from this exchange.
Katsuragi thought she could trap us. Instead, she left her own 
headquarters vulnerable. The Army of God provided an excellent 
distraction for our own agent.

SEELE 04: Another step closer to Instrumentality with the tools taken
from HERZ itself.

SEELE 05: That is true but their assault on OSSA was not entirely
fruitless. Both managed to capture some of our new Dead Sea Scrolls 
scenarios from OSSA before PELION and OLYMPUS were able to break the 
connection.

SEELE 06: It will do them little good. All is written in the Scrolls
and HERZ cannot prevent the inevitable. Even with actions like this...

(The image switches to an image of a bunker-like chamber with
 numerous computer consoles arranged around a rectangular steel
 box with a red top. Just about the height of a man and labelled
 'ASCENSION: OSSA'. Technicians and soldiers mill around it. 
 The view re-focuses on the chamber's entrance. Within moments, 
 the double doors are ripped open by an explosion. Before the smoke 
 and dust can settle, canisters are fired from the outside into 
 the chamber, filling it with thick white smoke. The hologram 
 displays a reading on the bottom right-hand corner of the image:

 CS GAS DETECTED.

 Soldiers in HERZ combat uniforms, wearing gas masks, poured through 
 the breach. Even through the smoke and confusion, it is clear to all
 that they easily overwhelm the opposition from within the chamber in
 a matter of minutes. The last cowering technician is shot - point 
 blank - in his hiding place under a console. The view focused once
 more on the entrance of twisted steel.

 A bald and bearded man, much taller than the rest, escorts a raven-
 haired lady into the chamber. Their faces are obscured by their gas 
 masks. The former seems to be the leader of this operation but 
 displayed a polite deference to the latter who is distinguished by
 her white labcoat. In her right hand, a reinforced case.)

SEELE 07: Well, well, well. Col Peter Strasser and Dr Kagero Natsumi. 
Deputy Commander of HERZ and one of GEIST's emissaries.

(Dr Kagero removes a metal plate on the chamber floor and pushes a 
 button in the opened panel. The whole terminal's housing begins to
 slide upwards - revealing a foundation of piping like the metallic 
 organs of some robotic beast. She opens her case, revealing a laptop
 of sorts and connects it to a port on the surface of OSSA. As she 
 settles down to work, she gestures to Col Strasser in the general
 direction of the projection's source. The German officer levels his
 gaze and looked directly back at the monoliths. He draws his automatic
 and fires a single shot. The holographic image breaks into static.)

SEELE 08: Katsuragi has been bold to take such a gamble. Does she
expect to get away with attacking Australian territory just like that?

SEELE 09: Why not? The Australian government will disavow all knowledge
of OSSA. HERZ's mandate from the UN does give Katsuragi the neccessary
jurisdiction to act against us.

SEELE 10: Yes, the national governments can never let themselves be 
seen to be associated with us. Not after how GEIST called forth 
YGGDRASIL to take over the secondary MAGI systems we had control of and
disrupt five of the Eva-05 series. Who would have thought they already
had a prototypical Generation Eight system then? Those twelve years ago
... when our plans, as well as those of the traitor Ikari were wrecked
by the Children. Tearing aside the veil of secrecy that protected our
work. Broadcasting our scenarios to the whole world. To let the masses
know of our plans to elevate them from their pitiful existence.

SEELE 11: Nonetheless, the Great Powers are making use of us as we are
of them. Chafed by the power of the United Nations and the unseen hand
of GEIST, they turn to us for the technology to counter Evangelion 
which only the UN, thus far, has possessed. But once they have regained
their pre-eminence, they will abandon us - the cowards have lost the 
stomach for the complementation of mankind. To think our work has come
to this! The vulgar use of Evangelion to further a few petty political
pursuits. Commercial spin-offs from the E-project! How man refuses to
transcend his mediocrity! Against stupidity, the gods themselves fight
in vain.

SEELE 12: But we have still managed to deal GEIST and HERZ a setback.
They are not invincible and they are not infallible. The day will come
when we will reclaim Unit 01, Lilith and Adam. We have triumphed 
against the seventeen cherubims with swords of fire, sent to stop us
from uniting the fruits of knowledge and life. Now only our last and
greatest enemy stands in the way of its own salvation. The eighteenth.
Man himself.

SEELE 01: We now have the material from the Third to the Seventeenth
from HERZ's vaults. Already the Sea will deliver the Eighth of the Nine
to us. Soon...very soon. We cannot literally turn back the hands of 
time but history can repeat itself. Our scenario will be successful. 
It has been written.

***

   Maya opened her eyes. She was in the infirmary, looking up to a
ceiling that the Children had become well acquainted with through
the course of 2015. There was someone else in the room.

   Ritsuko was asleep in her wheelchair, her hand over Maya's. Her
back was to the evening sun, obscuring her features but Maya knew her
simply by her presence.

   "Sempai..."

   The platinum-haired scientist's eyes flew open. "Maya! You're 
finally awake!"

   "What...what happened?"

   Ritsuko recounted the attack by the terrorists. "...you were lucky
that your assailant used a dartgun instead of the weaponry that the
other goons employed. You were stunned but not otherwise hurt. Still,
it would have been quite a shock to your system. How are you feeling?"

   "Like Katsuragi-shirei after a whole of fridge of beer. When she
used to drink, that is." Even after a dozen years of abstinence, Misato
had still been unable to shake her reputation. "But other than that,
I think I'm fine. What was that guy doing in my lab anyway?"

   "It seems that Angel data - DNA structures, pattern analysis, the
works - were all downloaded. From Sachiel to Tabris. I don't like this,
Maya. SEELE is planning something big. An attack within an attack 
within an attack. An elaborate ruse," Ritsuko said darkly.

   "What can we do?"

   "Strengthen our defences and try to anticipate their next move,"
Ritsuko turned to her disciple, companion and friend. "Maya, in the
old days when martial artists taught swordplay, they would always
keep the final technique to themselves. As insurance for their 
position as master. If there were ten strokes in the swordplay, they
would keep that last stroke to themselves. These past years, I have 
had time to study and to reflect and to pry the secrets from my mother,
from beyond the grave. Armageddon is approaching and SEELE must not
triumph. Protocol be damned, I will teach you my tenth stroke and 
together we will create another beyond it."

   "Sempai... where do we start?"

   "That is for tomorrow," said Ritsuko, reverting to her nagging mode.
"You get some sleep now."

   "But there must be so much to do. I..."

   "Maya..." Ritsuko's tone and raised eyebrow indicated she would
brook no argument.

   "Oh alright..." Maya pouted.

   "Oh, by the way, Shigeru wanted to send you this ridiciously huge
'get well' bouquet but the doctors said it would cause a hayfever 
outbreak in the entire wing so he got you this teddy bear instead."

   "He's so silly. Doesn't he ever learn?" Maya didn't sound too
irritated though.

   "And Natsumi asked me to pass you this." Ritsuko handed over a
little card. "Right, I'll see you tomorrow." Her mentor wheeled herself
out. "Good night."

   Maya lay back and opened the card, it had a Hello Kitty get-well-
soon theme. 

   "Yo Maya. Break a leg. Sorry I couldn't drop by. Yours, KN."

   Maya sighed and laid back. The sun had already set and there was
a full moon rising.   
   
***

   In the Great Karoo Range in South Africa.

   "...Three. Two. One. Initiate Eva activation."

   "Sea of Dirac detected!" shouted Kaori as MAGI began to give its
analysis of the unfolding event. 

   "Show me," said Hyuuga, who was the senior officer on the watch.

   The satelite image showed half a mountain being obliterated by a
expanding black globe. It was not an explosion in the normal sense.
There was no heat or light. Everything in a 25km radius simply 
disappeared.

   'Damned,' he thought. 'If it weren't for our sabotaging the Negev
Eva, this would be the Ninth. SEELE is working quickly. Too quickly.'

   In the depths of Terminal Dogma, a pale figure floated in the LCL.
Three voices contended. The same, yet not the same. In conclusion:
   
   "The appointed time is approaching."

   "Now we wait. Till he calls us again."

   "For the third and final time."

   The pale young lady rose from the deep pool of LCL in the Chamber of
the Guf. The combinations of genetic code spelt out in As, Cs, Gs and
Ts formed a spiral on the walls like glowing green runes of some arcane
inscription. Her appearance gave the impression of someone in her mid-
twenties. The LCL flowed smoothly down her ivory skin. It did not even
cling to her bluish hair. She walked across the surface of the LCL and
onto the solid edge of the pool and put on the white sundress lying 
untidily there.

   'Ikari-kun would probably have folded it nicely if he was here now,'
she thought with just the barest hint of a smile. She turned and walked
into the shadows.

***

   Kurumi sighed. Shinji was so transparent. He was fidgeting with the
squarish cross around his neck. She seemed to remember that she had
first seen it hanging on the neck of one Katsuragi Misato. No, she was
sure of it. An eidetic (or photograhic) memory did not fail her. It 
was the same cross. He continued to fidget.

   "Shinji-kun," she sighed. "What is it you want to talk to me about?
Is about the nasty twitch your daaarling wife has developed on her 
only good eye?"

   "No..no.." Shinji waved both hands in front of him frantically. "I..
I need to ask a favour from you."

   Kurumi brightened instantly. "Shinji-kun, you know I've never been 
able to refuse you. What do you need from me?" 

   Shinji cleared his throat. "You see...Asuka and I... it's our
wedding anniversary next week. And...I need someone to look after 
Akiko-chan while we're out. I need someone I can trust, given the
attack and all the craziness so far..."

   "Wait a minute, you want me to be a babysitter?"

   "Please," he said, doing the lost puppy dog look at he often used
on Asuka. "We usually ask Maya to help us with Akiko-chan but she's
just had a nasty experience and she's got a lot of work on top of that,
I don't feel we can ask her now."

   "And Asuka is fine with it?"

   "Well...it took a little convincing but she's okay," said Shinji.
Actually it was half an hour of ranting and raving before Asuka 
relented. "I'm sure Akiko-chan will be no trouble at all."

   "Oh alright. You win. But I have a price."

   Shinji gulped.

   "I want a kiss now and another after. A real kiss, mind you."

   "Urm...can I get back to you on that?"

   "It's now or the deal's off," Kurumi arched her eyebrows 
dangerously. "Be thankful that I'm not asking for...more."

   "Urm...alright."

***

   In the Commander's Office.

   There was two images displaying the Congo operation. The first
showed a UN fleet exchanging fire with the shore batteries at the
port of Pointe Noire. The former however had the distinct advantage
as its two aircraft carriers were protected by the AT Fields of Eva
Units 05-Bravo and Charlie. After the aerial bombardment had further
widened the advantage, the two white Evas waded ashore and began to
demolish weapons bunkers and pillboxes, providing cover for the
landing craft that evacuated the beleaguered UNIPF Rapid Deployment
troops that had been trapped in the city for almost a week.

   The second image showed Eva Units 05-Delta and Echo descending 
from the skies, inserted by their massive Antonov-242 transports.
They quickly captured Kinshasa's airport by demolishing rebel tanks
and artillery. Infantry scattered from the two white demons like ants. 
The two Units protected the air evacuation of the UN's troops in that
city as well.

   "Peter and Asuka deserve medals from the UN for this," mused 
Maj-Gen Katsuragi. "Almost no loss of life. The objective of pulling
the UN's troops out was accomplished with much less time and money 
compared to a conventional operation."

   "Well, I think Asuka would rather that we stopped requiring her to
take the synch and harmonics tests...yeah, I know," Shigeru raised his
hands defensively. "If anything, we've got to get Maya to speed things
up."

   "The publicity surrounding our success in the Congo will help in the
coming censure debate on our hijacking of the five secondary MAGI 
systems, already the Germans and British have overriden the French and 
will cast a veto on our behalf in the Security Council," said Hyuuga.

   "We still need another one," murmured Misato.

   "The Japanese Government is amendable as well. Afterall, they've
felt that Japan alone took way too much of the brunt of the Angel's
attacks. It's time the pain got spread around."

   "What of the reaction to the terrorist attack on our headquarters?"

   "Public reaction has been sympathetic. It helped that the Hathor 
world news network did a story about the dangers of fanaticism and
really dredged those groups through the mud. Its news report even
alluded to the attack as an attempt to prevent us from helping to 
bring the boys back home from the Congo."

   "Excellent. And our American friends?"

   "The UN General Assembly has voted to suspend their UNGA seat for
deliberate failure to pay their dues. The Representative Assembly is
due to meet and recommend that the Security Council suspend the US seat
among them for at least 3 months in retaliation for its failure to
hand over those survelliance satelites."

   "My, that'll be really popular with the folks back on the domestic
front of America's traditional rivals. Russia and China must be dancing
with glee now," remarked Aoba.

   "I gather the Europeans will abstain. Doubt if any of the developing
world Permanent Members will have any sympathy for Uncle Sam. It's nice
that they're taken down a notch for a while but hope the US doesn't 
decide to lash out or withdraw completely."

   "And the fireworks in South Africa?" asked Misato.

   Aoba held up his clipboard. "The South African event has been 
confirmed as a Sea of Dirac. The higher ups at UN International Peace-
keeping Force are running around like headless chickens. It seems that
everyone is building an Eva behind their backs. The only major power
left that hasn't had a Sea yet is the People's Republic of China."

   "I haven't been able to get any contacts about where the ninth Eva
is being constructed. No chance of us repeating a Negev at this time,"
reported Hyuuga. "We need to strengthen to our own position. Katsuragi-
shirei, what is the progress on our Project 02?"

   "No worries," said Misato, her hands folded under her nose. "Rei is
taking care of it."  

***

   (A single red eye. Two rapid blinks in succession. Fade in a 
regular booming sound in the background. About five seconds apart
each time.

   View zooms back to reveal a pale face framed with unruly blue hair.
Zooming back more, she wears a white sundress and is standing against
an uneven background of white and sky-blue. The crashing sound.     

   The view zooms back more. We see she is standing on a huge 
outstretched palm. The right hand of the Eva Unit is held at its 
chest level. The Unit is of the 5-series design but its head has been
modified to display a single red eye. Unlike the other four, this has
also been repainted with a predominantly blue and white scheme. Unit-
05-Alpha. The second Unit Zero. 

   Rei stands with her hands behind her back and gazes forward. The 
view swings to the back of the Eva. We hear the Eva's heavy footfalls
as it continues its descent into the heart of Terminal Dogma.)

***

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 

Beyond the State: the Mega-Corporations

   Nation-states have traditionally been the focus of International
Relations. High politics, diplomacy, trade agreements, treaties and
war are all features of inter-state interaction. However, in the
wake of the Second Impact, the international institution has come to
the foreground as an actor in international relations that equals and
may some day even exceed the nation-state. In today's lecture, I 
wish to consider another actor that has much promise in challenging
the primacy of the nation-state in the international arena.

   The mega-corporation is by no means a new phenomenon. In the 17th
Century, the bankers of Italy decided which kings could finance wars
or buy titles. In the 19th Century, the House of Rothschild were the
bankers of the powers of the Congress of Vienna. They had such an 
excellent system of information gathering and transmission that the
Rothschild brother based in London was the first person in England to
know of Nelson's victory at Tragflagar. In the 20th Century, we saw
of the House of Morgan that had more funds that half of the countries
in the world then. The Rockfeller empire of Standard Oil, even after
being broken up, continued to dominate the oil industry. General Motors
employed more people than the populations of several small countries
put together.

   But in the 21st Century, the mega-corporation can be distinguished
from the old multinational corporation. They have the potential to be
truly transational. (See forthcoming academic paper to be published by
H.Horaki, Global Cities and Transnational Cosmopolitanism.) Another
salient point is that mega-corporations have actively should to change
the way the world works instead of simply working within the existing
system. Employing their vast resources and technological prowess, they
have nudged the nation-states in the direction of a different world. 

   A classic example was the Quetzalcoatl Corporation which is based
in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Their most notable achievement was to develop a
hydrocarbon fuel subsitute for petroleum. They had developed a fuel 
from a mix of biomass and refuse that could be produced cheaply in the
tropical regions of the world. In addition, it was a sustainable form
of energy and its production reduced greenhouse gas emissions as well
as actually absorbing carbon oxides from the atmosphere in the process.
Against tremendous resistance from the automobile industry and the oil
majors, Quetzalcoatl manage to lobby for stricter environment laws and
emission standards which in turn resulted in consumer acceptance of
the new fuel and its accompanying implications for the old internal 
combustion engine. The resulting drastic fall in the demand for oil
has seen the decline of much of the Middle East that failed to 
diversify from oil. Oil producers like Venezuela and Nigeria now have
possess both biomass and petroleum production facilities.

   In the world of services and information, the Hathor News 
Organization has become an important force in international media,
providing news and entertainment throughout the globe through digital,
satelite and internet links - which Microsoft had planned to do before
being broken up by the anti-trust authorities in 2000. Hathor's ability
to reach a worldwide audience 24 hours a day was pivotal to its major 
coup of exposing the Eva conspiracy and Instrumentality Project to the
people of the world in 2015. Its transnational character has made it 
relatively independent of national censorship.

   Before concluding, another important development is the 'Ted Turner'
effect. In 1998, the media mogul donated US $1 billion to the United
Nations over a period of 10 years. Contributions by the mega-corps to
the UN has now become a regular event. Being no longer hostage to the
disruptive antics of non-payment by the great powers, this has helped 
the UN make good on the promise of the Second Treaty of Valentine, for
more effective and just international government.

END OF PART VI

Ver 1.1 -  8 Mar 1999
Ver 1.2 - 21 Mar 1999
Ver 1.3 - 22 Oct 1999

Many thanks to turk187 for spotting an error.

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