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A NEON GENESIS EVANGELION fanfic.
Rights belonging to GAINAX and AD Vision.
Used without permission.

HERZ
by E.L.Toh

A FRIENDLY WARNING: 
   I get the feeling that most readers will find this part very dry 
because it concentrates a lot on explaining GEIST and politics. But 
my aim is to give an idea of how deeply the issues surrounding HERZ 
and the Children are enmeshed in the problems and conflicts of the 
wider world. Close attention to the details is, I'm afraid, absolutely 
necessary to understand the whole story.

Part VIII: The House of Spirits

   Kagero Natsume stood in the darkened chamber. Twelve black monoliths
traced with the red outlines of ancient Egyptian bas-reliefs, appeared 
around her one by one.

   "Welcome, Dr Kagero," boomed the monolith depicting Ra. 

   "I'm impressed," said Natsume smiling a crooked smile. "Not just a
few of the pantheon but GEIST itself."

   "GEIST is more than just us," said Ptah. "Haven't I taught you that
before?"

   "Hai, hai, my mentor. I just feel like I'm playing with the big
boys now. Things must be hotting up to merit this little gathering,
neh?"

   "Yes," said Ammon. "Everything is coming together."

***

   "Hello, Mother," said Ritsuko as she stroked the side of the MAGI
CASPAR. "It's been a while."

   "Yes, it has," said Maya standing at her side. The HERZ command
centre was currently empty, the MAGI quietly running maintenance 
diagnositics.

   "I stopped visiting my mother's grave after I started my affair
with Gendou. I still don't. This is where she really is," said Ritsuko
gesturing at MELCHIOR, BALTHAZAR and CASPAR. "Even after she betrayed
me, putting her lover before her own daughter and landing me in this
wheelchair, I still can't help but feel a closeness when I'm here.
Perhaps because we were so alike."

   "But you survived," murmured Maya.

   "And I intend to keep it that way," said Ritsuko. "Maya, I really
shouldn't be here. GEHIRN and HERZ were created as successors to NERV
to separate research and operations. The UN wanted Eva but feared us,
hated us but they still wanted us... to do their work. I don't want
to get you into trouble. If the UN or any outsiders ever found out..."      

   "Sempai, do you remember all the times when I didn't have the
stomach for NERV's work? The dummy plug, Unit 01 eating the Fourteenth
Angel, the attack by the JSSDF. So many things. So many things... Of
all the command staff in HERZ, I'm still the most naive and fragile
but I understand what is at stake. We need you here. I need you here.
And besides, Katsuragi-shirei will cover for me. And she doesn't cover
for us just because she needs us, you know."

   "Oh I know, Maya, I know. This is HERZ, not NERV. Alright now, let's
get cracking."

   "Hai, Sempai," said Maya smiling.

***

   "Has Akagi heeded our warning?" asked Horus.

   "Yes, the attack by SEELE's ASCENSION system had already impressed
the need for better defences upon Dr Ibuki. And since we've shown 
YGGDRASIL to Prof Akagi, she will be acutely aware of what an Eighth 
Generation super-computer system at full strength is capable of. 
She and Dr Ibuki have begun work on a possible counter-measure," said
Natsume.

   "What are they planning?" asked Isis.

   "A Generation Eight system's processing power may be formidable 
but its most serious threat is to interface directly with a target 
system, inflitrating it with microscopic semi-organic machines or 
nanobots and then turning the system against itself. The nanobots then
evolve to maintain the link with the attacking system and to defeat any
means to counter it. GEIST's YGGDRASIL and SEELE's ASCENSION basically
emulated the Eleventh Angel. In fact, both use inert DNA from that 
Angel as the basic template for those systems.

   "Dr Ibuki is developing what she calls an inoculation defence. She
will create a force of nanobots to neutralise any foreign incoming
hostiles. Very much like vaccinating the MAGI. Prof Akagi will be 
developing the control codes and system uplinks as well as the program
needed to recognize intruding nanobots. Her 666 Protector will be 
further enhanced as well."

   "It is an elegant solution," said Horus. "Worthy of two of the 
foremost scientists in this field. Dr Kagero, will you be able to
get samples, codes and schematics for us to use for YGGDRASIL?"

   "It'll take a little doing," said Natsume. "But I don't think it'll
be a problem. You lot seem pretty sure that SEELE is going to try and
take over HERZ like the way they did with NERV. Don't they ever learn?"

   "Control the MAGI and you effectively win the battle for control
over HERZ Headquarters. SEELE can then concentrate on seizing Unit 01,
Adam and Lilith," said Nephthys.

   "And their faith is in the Dead Sea Scrolls. They will try to re-
create a situation which parallels their prepared scenarios as closely
as possible. Already you can see the pattern emerging. A new set of 
Evas. The recent attack by that Eva-Angel hybrid from Lop Nor. It's 
only a matter of time before they try to retrieve the Lance of 
Longinus from its lunar orbit. They will also be seeking the definite
whereabouts of Adam and Lilith," declared Ammon.

   "How can you be sure yourself?" asked Natsume.

   "We have examined the Dead Sea Scrolls you and Col Gessler captured
from the OSSA facility in Tasmania. It is possible that SEELE now has 
the technology to capture the Lance from the moon's orbit and return it
to Earth. It's only a matter of time before they get their ninth and
final Eva. We have their scenarios as a basis for preparation. I'm 
sure Katsuragi is making full use of our little extra pocket money to 
prepare against SEELE as well?" mused Ammon.

   "Well," sighed Natsume. "It's my sister Kurumi who's the one you
should ask about what's going on with Katsuragi. Haven't spoken to her
in years. Based on what my source tells me, Katsuragi has got Kurumi
twisted around her little finger. HERZ's Commander is a shrewd one.
She's gotten to little sis through her two soft spots - Ikari Shinji
and curiosity." 

***

To the Inspector-General's Office
Inspectorate (Special Investigations Division)
United Nations International Peacekeeping Force
Tokyo-2, Japan

INTERIM REPORT ON SPECIAL EXTERNAL AUDIT
OF AUTONOMOUS U.N. AGENCY HERZ

   The audit is progressing well and while I have detected a number of
lapses in the accounts (See Annex A-1), the funds allocated to HERZ by
the UN and UNIPF generally appear to have been used appropriately.
Given HERZ's expanded role into active peacekeeping and peacemaking
missions, I project that expenditure patterns will continue to 
fluctuate for some time, reflecting the early experiences of the Rapid 
Deployment Corps.

   Generally the staff of HERZ have proved helpful and cooperative.

   Final report is expected to be ready in three months time in which
more detailed conclusions will be drawn and measures for further 
economies will be recommended.

(signed) Cpt Kagero Kurumi, Special Investigations Officer.

   Misato handed the report back to Kurumi. "That seems to be a fair
assessment of the situation," said the former with a hint of amusement
in her voice.

   "Well, it is the truth," said Kurumi. "Sort of. There's nothing 
wrong with the main or ancilliary budgets but there's an awful lot of
extra cash being funnelled through the deep dark corners of your little 
outfit."

   "Impressive," nodded Misato. "Most impressive. You are as talented
as I expected. You've come a long way, Kurumi."

   "All in a day's work," shrugged Kurumi. "Just out of curiosity, who
are your backers? A couple of billion dollars in supplementary funds
isn't something to scoff at."

   "I don't know."

   "What do you mean you don't know?"

   "Just that. I don't know. But I would like to."

   "And here's where I come in again?"

   "Yes," said Misato who handed Kurumi a disc. "This should give you
some leads to go on."

   "If you don't know who you're getting these funds from, why did you
accept them in the first place? Aren't you afraid that whoever is 
supplying the money is manipulating you?"

   "We are all puppets, Kurumi. Pawns in a larger game." 

   "And you want to cut the strings, right? That's what you're using
these extra billions for, aren't you? What are you hiding in the 
depths of Terminal Dogma, Katsuragi Misato? And where does Shinji-kun
fit into all this?"

   "Ah," said Misato as she smiled broadly. "That is a secret."

***

   "Katsuragi is consuming our infusions as fast as we can supply
them. Her hidden projects have consumed close to $4 billion already.
How do we know she is not lining her own pockets?" demanded Sobek.

   "She can be trusted," declared Ptah.

   "But we do not even know what she is planning, do we? There is
also a chance she might turn against as Ikari did against SEELE and
try to start a Third Impact. That's the last thing we want," said
Isis.

   "She was the only figure strong enough to fend off the nation-
states and the UN, thus ensuring HERZ's independence and giving us
some measure of influence. In any case, why do you think Katsuragi
can be trusted, Ptah?" said Ra.

   "She doesn't have the fanatical zeal of SEELE. Besides she isn't 
the key to all this," replied Ptah.

   "Indeed. It is the Children. Particularly the Third," said Ammon.

   "Please don't tell me the Scrolls told you that," snorted Natsume.

   "I have no intention to sound like Kihl and his lot but much does 
depend on Ikari. It is his destiny. And he will have to deal with it, 
one way or another. And how fares our efforts on other fronts?" said
Ammon.

***

   "Oh, inchou, I really hate wearing ties," grumbled Touji as he 
freed himself from the fashion instrument of torture that had been
abolished within HERZ's ranks. And just as Asuka's choice of pet name
for Shinji was unusual so was Touji's term of affection for Hikari.

   "Well, you better wear one at our wedding," said Hikari who still
slipped into Class Rep mode from time to time.

   "Erm. You're getting a lot of attention lately," said Touji quickly
changing the subject.

   "Well, it's not really me. It's my new paper."

   "Global Cities and Transnational Cosmopolitanism, isn't it?"

   "Wow, I'm impressed you actually remembered the title."

   "Hey, I could even understand it what it was about. Ahem. Fine 
piece of work. Very radical ideas. Taking the world's most important 
metropolis out of the control of their nation-states and making them 
'global cities'. Internal adminstration modelled on the finest 
traditions of the Greek city-states and the Swiss cantons. The basis
for a new type of global cosmopolitan citizen. Potentially a 
transformation of political community," recited Touji.

   "That's cheating! You got that from Prof Suganami's letter!"

   "Well, I try my best," said Touji. "Your old mentor's really such
a sweet old guy. You don't think he's got the hots for you?"

   "Touji, that's such a vile comment! Even if you are joking..."

   Touji smiled sheepishly. "Well, he must have gone through a lot 
of trouble to make you really famous. Interview with the Hathor 
Broadcasting Network. Presentation to a Select Committee of the UN 
Representative Assembly. And to the Board of the Quetzalcoatl Corp. 
Invites, air tickets and hotel vouchers. This guy does you no end of
favours! His recommendation and lobbying really clinched that scholar-
ship for you as well as your research grants."

   "Plus all the help you've got for the prosthetics. You think he's
got the hots for you too?" teased Hikari.

   Touji turned green.

***

   "I have sent Horaki on the rounds to give her ideas a wider
airing. The UN N2 bombing of those SEELE Eva production sites was
perfect timing. Horaki's ideas will receive an even warmer welcome
now that confidence in the nation-states have sunk to an all time low. 
She speaks well and bring across her case strongly. I always told you 
all that she was a worthwhile investment," said Thoth.

   "Yes, it looks that the scholarship and grants are paying off. Plus
the support we've given to her friend, Suzuhara," said Sobek.

   "Well, her interview caused quite a stir. I'll probably arrange
for her presentation to the United Nations Representative Assembly 
Select Committee to be televised as well. It's a pity we can't 
publicize YGGDRASIL sending all those US orbital weapons platforms 
to burn up in the upper atmosphere. That'd make good television," said
Hathor.

   "Why hasn't the United States kicked up a stink about this in 
public?" asked Natsume. "You'd think that they'd be going nuts, 
having their shiniest new toy obliterated."

   "Space-based weapons have been illegal since the 1967 Treaty. You're
not supposed to deploy weapons in space. Especially missiles or heavy
energy weapons. It would give any nation-state a huge advantage over
others. Shorter delivery and detection times.If they made a public
fuss, that would just show everyone else how sneaky they've been," said
Seth. 

   "What have we got against them having it?" 
 
   "At maximum power and firing simultaneously, their positron cannons
they could penetrate an A.T. Field, even at long range. It would have 
posed an unacceptable threat to HERZ's Evas which both we and the UN 
need not just to fend off SEELE but to change the face of global 
politics. I must say, getting rid of those orbital weapons platforms 
was also certainly a most satisfying way of ruffling American feathers.
They've been causing no end of trouble lately for us," said Seth. 

   "There is a risk of covert American retaliation," warned Anubis.

   "And it'll probably be more than poison in the milk," noted Ptah.

   "We have already agreed on what to do in that event," said Osiris.

***

TOP SECRET

REPORT OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
ON THE SABOTAGE AND DESTRUCTION OF THE USAF 
ORBITAL DEFENCE PLATFORM SYSTEM

   Information from SEELE, augmented by our own intelligence, have
confirmed the existence of an organization called GEIST. It consists
of twelve members named after the gods and goddesses of the Egyptian 
pantheon. They use largely non-governmental and non-state-based methods
to influence the development of international affairs. Sabotage and
destruction of the Orbital Defence Platform system is thought to be
the result of their work.

Designation: AMMON, the God of Prophets and revelations
Identity   : Edward Hullett Carr 
Description: Archealogist. Reowned expert on Ancient Egypt and Hebrew 
             history before sinking out of sight in 2004. 
Est Role   : In-house expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls

Designation: SOBEK, the God of the Nile and guardian of treasures
Identity   : Susan Strange 
Description: Reclusive banker 
Est Role   : Controls the finances of the group which are said to 
             considerable and enmeshed with many international 
             financial groups and mega-corporations.  

Designation: OSIRIS, the God of the Dead and resurrection
Identity   : Michael Walzer
Description: Managing Director of the medical and pharaceutical arms 
             of the Quetzalcoatl Mega-Corp
Est Role   : Unknown

Designation: PTAH, the God of Truth 
Identity   : Unknown
Description: Unknown
Est Role   : Intelligence and counter-intelligence

Designation: HORUS, the God of Life
Identity   : Prof Raymond Aron
Description: Computer scientist, formerly of NERV's Third Branch and
             chief developer of the Berlin MAGI 
Est Role   : Heads GEIST's Yggdrasil Project. The one most directly 
             responsible for the attack on our Orbital Defence Platform
             command and control systems.

Designation: NEPHTHYS, the Goddess of True Love
Identity   : Rosalyn Higgins
Description: Heads the Sternbild NGO and lobby group concerned with
             international law and protection of human rights. 
             Agitated over US non-ratification of the various human
             rights treaties and non-compliance with the Second Treaty
             of Valentine.
Est Role   : Unknown

Designation: SETH, the God of Thunder and Lightning
Identity   : Brigadier General (Retired) Kenneth Waltz
Description: Formerly South African Special Forces. Heads the Tierkreis
             commercial direct action group. One of the best and largest
             private mercenary outfits. Used frequently by the UN.
Est Role   : Military planning and networking.

Desingation: ANUBIS, the Protector-God
Identity   : Barry Buzan 
Description: Formerly of the Israeli secret security service Shin Bet. 
Est Role   : GEIST internal security.

Designation: RA, the Sun-God and creator of men
Identity   : Dr Ernst Haas 
Description: Director of the advanced biotechnology and genetics 
             engineering firm, ACGT Corp. A subsidiary of the 
             Quetzalcoatl Mega-Corp.
Est Role   : Unknown

Designation: ISIS, the Goddess of Miracles and protector of children
Identity   : Jane Elhstein
Description: Director, defence contractor for HERZ. Repairs to the 
             Geo Front after the JSSDF assault in 2015 and the
             upgrading of their defence and security systems.
Est Role   : Defence materiel provision.

Designation: THOTH, the God of Wisdom
Identity   : Prof Hidemi Suganami
Description: Of the University of Tokyo-2. Strident advocate of 
             transnationalism and 'beyond the state' theory. 
Est Role   : Thinker and philosophical guidance.

Designation: HATHOR, the Goddess of the Arts and Music
Identity   : Cynthia Enloe
Description: Chief Information Officer at the Hathor Broadcasting 
             Network. 
Est Role   : Propaganda.

***

   "Can I ask a question?"

   "Yes, Dr Kagero?" prompted Osiris.

   "Why GEIST? I mean as a name for this group of happy campers? Isn't
that a bit close to SEELE? And what's with the Egyptian mythology 
anyway?"

   "SEELE is the Throne of Souls. It is only fitting since their
aspiration of Instrumentality is the combination of all the souls of
mankind into a single perfect being - to become one with God. GEIST,
on the other hand, is spirit, the mind and intellect. Much more 
earthly. We keep the faith in the human spirit and the maintenance of 
our individuality. Which was when we learnt of SEELE's designs, we 
tried to stop them in 2015. Our efforts then only disrupted their 
plans for a time. But we have bought this time to prepare for a final
conflict," replied Osiris.

  "The Egyptian names reflect the areas of our specialization but 
more importantly, it means that if we should fall by the wayside, 
others will take our place and continue the work. Thus our cause will
live on," said Ra.

   With that the monoliths silently vanished one by one. Kagero Natsume
smiled as she strode out of the chamber. 

***

TOP SECRET

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
DECISION 76041

   Having considered all the facts available, the secret organization
GEIST constitutes a clear and present danger to the United States of 
America. It has perpetrated an act of terrorism which highlights the
extent to which it able to threaten national security. In addition, it
is engaged in efforts, on several fronts to undermine US power in the
international arena while seeking to subvert public opinion at home
and abroad against the US Government in its traditional form.

   The members of the NSC do not trust SEELE. But in keeping with 
that ancient adage of 'the enemy of our enemy is our friend', we find
that we have common aims in undermining the growing strength of the
United Nations. We are also both equally keen to see the diminuition,
if not complete eradication, of HERZ. Further intelligence suggests
that this autonomous UN agency is receiving significant inflows of
funds from GEIST. It is quite likely that both are conspiring against
the United States. 

   At this point, cooperation with SEELE will prove useful in pinning
down the exact locations of the twelve members of GEIST. The President,
by executive order, will authorize covert operations against the 
members of GEIST and the Commander of HERZ. The NSC recommends that
they be terminated with extreme prejudice. Measures should also be
taken to destroy their YGGDRASIL super-computer system to forestall
any future attacks on our defence infrastructure. Further plans will be 
discussed, at a later date, as to the best measures to disband HERZ
and assert greater US control over the Evangelions. If we cannot have
them, then they must be destroyed.

***

   "Otousan?"

   "Yes, Akiko-chan?"

   "Will Aunt Kagero be coming again?" asked Akiko. Asuka stiffened
immediately on her place on the couch.

   "Not any time soon, I think," said Shinji, glancing at Asuka with
some concern. 

   "Otousan, why does Aunt Kagero always try to be close to you?"

   "Erm... because she has a crush on me?" suggested Shinji. And when
faced with a quizzical look from his daughter, he decided to try and 
explain. "A crush is when someone thinks they like someone else but
they don't really like that someone else but they eventually realize
that they don't so they won't..."

   Akiko blinked several times and after pondering for a while, she 
turned towards Asuka. "Mama, did you ever have a crush?"    

   Asuka lowered her head. 'Kaji-san.' She then gathered Akiko into 
her arms. "Yes, Akiko-chan. I did. But that was before I learnt to 
understand your father." Shinji put an arm around his wife.

   Later that night, after Akiko had been put to bed, the doorbell
rang. Asuka opened the door and frowned as it slid open. Her reaction
wasn't due to any real hostility. Just force of habit.

   "Oh, it's you," said Asuka flatly. She led Rei to the spare room
that Shinji used as a study.

   "Ayanami! Is there anything wrong?" asked Shinji anxiously as he 
looked up from several musical scores.

   "Ikari-kun. Sohryu. Our preparations are nearly complete and SEELE
is also ready to act against us," said Rei.

   "Hai, hai," said Asuka. "Misato-san's Second Project is nearing
completion. And about time too. All thanks to Wondergirl, I suppose.
Plus SEELE already has eight Evas." 

   "Are your hearts and minds still set on the plan?" asked Rei. 
"There is much danger. You both might die."

   Shinji and Asuka held each other's hands tightly.

   "For the hope that Akiko-chan can have the chance to grow up and 
have her own chance at happiness, it's a risk we must take."

   "We have Unit 01, Adam and Lilith. We only lack the Lance," said
Rei.

   "How can we get it back?" asked Shinji.

   "If you will it, then it is shall be. I will guide you."

***

END OF PART VIII

Ver 1.2 - 23 Apr 1999

Spot the homages to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Slayers,
Joyce Wakabayashi's 'There's Something About Misato and My Best 
Friend's Wedding from Hell' (absolute kick ass parody), Jim Lazar's
the Garden of Eva and The Prince of Egypt.

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