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

HERZ
by EeL (Toh Ee Loong)

Part XI: FULL CIRCLE

   "Go on, Shinji," said Misato.

   Shinji hesitated momentarily but the moment passed and he swiftly
took the seat. He gazed up at the arcane symbol above him. The Tree of
Life bathed him in its blood-red radiance. The vast space and emptiness
of the room had oppressed him when he had faced this seat which was its
centre. Now he realized how lonely its owner must have felt, the 
emptiness, the silence, the symbols pressing on the solitary occupant.
Almost instinctively, he placed his elbows onto the table, his fingers
interlocking, the bridge of his hands just under his nose. 

   "Father," he murmured, eyes squeezed shut at the pain of the memory.
This had been his father's seat. He felt a hand on his shoulder and
turned his head to see Misato, her expression soft, concerned and 
slightly melancholy.

   He placed his hand over hers. "This has been your burden too," he
said softly, "it must have been so hard for you, Misato-san."

   "It was even harder for you. Ever since the day you came to Tokyo-3,
I placed all my hopes and dreams in you. It was unfair and this is a
burden that nobody should have to bear."

   "It is something I must not run away from. And I could not do it 
without you. But now the time has come to reclaim our lives from 
Project Eva."

   Misato nodded and as she exited the room, Asuka and Rei entered.
The latter took her place at Shinji's right hand while the former
stood on Shinji's left. They exchanged glances and nodded to indicate
their readiness. Shinji took a deep breath and ran his hand over one 
of the instrument panels on the Commander's desk.

   Immediately the room was plunged into darkness. One by one, black 
twelve monoliths appeared around the three Children in a circle. Each
was traced with the bas-relief of an Egyptian diety, giving an eerie
red glow which was the only illumination present.

   "Our condolences on the loss of your father," boomed the voice of
Ra, "why do you wish to speak to us?"

   "I am told that you helped us before. In 2015, thrawting SEELE and
forestalling disaster. Supporting HERZ behind the scenes these twelve
years. And rescuing me from SEELE. Will you help us again?"

   "Everything, from the beginning, has turned on the son of Ikari,"
said Ammon, "we will not refuse you in this crucial time of need.
What is it you wish of us?"

   Shinji explained the plan the Children had come up with.   

   "It is an audacious scheme," said Thoth as Shinji concluded. "There
is nothing remotely like this scenario in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Are 
you certain it will work?"   

   "Yes," said Rei flatly.   
  
   "Very well," said Osiris, "when the time comes, we will be ready to
conduct the ceremony. Till then, fare ye well."

   With that, the monoliths vanished one by one and the red light of
the Tree of Life shone throughout the room once more.

***

RESOLUTION 7734 (2027)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 7734th meeting on 4 Nov 2027.

THE SECURITY COUNCIL,

DEEPLY CONCERNED that Resolution 7730 (calling for the mutual 
withdrawal of Russian and Ukrainian military forces from the
Crimea and its vicinity) has not been implemented,

DETERMINING that there exists a breach of international peace and
security as regards the escalating clashes between the Ukraine and
the Russia Federation over the Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet,

AFFIRMING the prohibition of the use of force in the conduct of 
international relations laid out in Article 2, Section 4 of the 
Charter,

AFFIRMING the inadmissiability and illegality of the acquisition of
territory by the use of force,

ACTING, under Chapter VII of the Charter,

1. CONDEMNS the outbreak of fighting between the Ukraine and the
Russian Federation;

2. DEMANDS that both sides cease military operations and withdraw
immediately and unconditionally all of their forces to the positions
in which they were located on 1 Aug 2027;

3. CALLS UPON the Ukraine and the Russian Federation to begin 
immediately intensive negotiations for the resolution of their 
differences and supports all efforts in this regard, and especially
those of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE S/2027/246),

4. DECIDES to take the following measures to secure compliance with
United Nations Security Council Resolutions 7725, 7730, 7733 and 7734;

5. CALLS upon those Member States co-operating with the United Nations
International Peacekeeping Force (UNIPF) to use such measures 
commensurate to the specific circumstances as may be necessary under 
the authority of the Security Council to prevent the spread of fighting
across Ukrainian and Russian borders,

6. AUTHORIZES the UNIPF to direct HERZ to deploy two units of 
Evangelions to take all necessary measures, including the use of 
force, to stop the fighting in the Crimea.  

***

   Misato was seated at the command dias in Central Dogma, satelite
images of the area around the Black Sea being updated automatically
for all of the command staff to see. Col Gessler, her deputy and chief
of operations, emerged from the platform lift behind her.

   "I take it you've seen the resolutions, Maj-Gen Katsuragi?"

   "Yes... 'all necessary measures'... And the A-17 from the United 
Nations International Peacekeeping Force is virtually a blank cheque."

   "No doubt UNIPF will be hoping if the Black Sea Fleet ends up at 
the bottom of the sea as a result of HERZ intervention in this little
Ukrainian-Russian fight," said Gessler. "The removal of another source
of tension and a further diminution of a Security Council Permanent 
Member's military capability."

   "There's still the Israeli-Syrian dispute. A similar UN Resolution
was issued for us to intervene there with two Evas as well."

   "Yes, all hell's broken loose there as well after that pre-emptive 
strike by the Israelis. Anticipatory self-defence, said the Israelis.
Outright aggression, scream the Syrians. The Turks and the Iraqis are
being drawn in on the Israeli and Syrian sides respectively. Could even
spread to Jordan and Egypt," said Gessler.

   "Yes, it's messy. I just have a bad feeling about this. It's too
much of a coincidence for two major international incidents, that are
conducive to HERZ intervention, occuring at the same time."

   "Your orders?"

   "Carry out the operations as planned. Cpt Ikari will be remaining
in the Geo Front. Get in quick and get your ass back here quick."

   "Understood." Col Gessler saluted and left to carry out his orders.

   "Lt Ito," said Misato.

   "Hai!"

   "As soon as the Evas depart, go to First Stage Alert. Complete 
lockdown of the Geo Front and Tokyo-3. All HERZ forces on war footing.
Notify the JSSDF and the relevant ministries that I'm issuing a special
D-17 declaration of a state of emergency for the whole of the Tokai and
Chuba regions."

   "Hai, shirei!"

   Misato returned to her office to find two guests waiting there for
here. They were a Japanese woman in her twenties and an Englishman in
the sixties.

   "I am Dr Kagero Natsume," said the woman.

   "Yes, I can see the resemblance. A feisty one, your sister Kurumi,"
replied Misato, "and this is Prof Edward Hullett Carr?"

   "I presume Dr Kagero's predecessor told you to expect us?" asked
Carr.

   "Yes," replied Misato, "I also understand that your group is to
aid us in this final struggle with SEELE and its allies?"

   "Your Ikari Shinji is a bold one. He plans to put an end to the
prospects for Instrumentality, to allow man, the Eighteenth Angel
to remain in its current form for at least another eon."

   "How?"

   "There is a promise to be mended. A covenant to be re-established,
that lay in ruins because of the Second Impact."

   "And where does GEIST come into the picture?"

   "The twelve of us will perform the ceremony. SEELE plans to use
the Red Earth Ceremony to end the human race as we know it. The First
Child has provided us with an alternative to seal that possibility."

   "I don't understand."

   "You do not need to. Have faith. The Children will prevail."

***

   Headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia,
United States of America.

   Senior members of the US executive, military and intelligence
branches presided over Operation Akhenaten. Named after the Eygptian
Pharaoh of the XXVIII Dynasty who singlehandedly sought to abolish the
entire Ancient Egyptian pantheon and replace it with a new religious
order, centred on himself as the only true intermediary between the 
world and divinity.

   "First objective is to destroy GEIST's command and communication
nexus, its most effective weapon. Target is the Eighth Generation
Supercomputer codenamed YGGDRASIL. Location is Old Tokyo. This strike
will also eliminate the GEIST member known as HORUS."

   "Method of attack?"

   "Surgical N2 bomber strike."


   The US Air Force bomber hugged the ground, using Japan's mountains
to obscure its radar signature. The advantages of stealth technology
and having supplied of most of the JSSDF's advanced hardware made the
chances of its detection miniscule. The target was the partially 
submerged ruins of what had been the thriving city of Old Tokyo. It 
had been the first victim of the new N2 weapon on 20 Sep 2000. And now
it would taste the power of that weapon again. 

   "Target acquired."

   "We have a confirmed lock on."

   "Open bomb bay doors." 

   "Bomb bay doors opened."

   "Release device."

   With that, the N2 device fell towards the drowned city.

   The depths of Old Tokyo held the GEIST installation of the first 
YGGDRASIL super-computer node, CLOTHO. The GEIST member in charge,
HORUS, looked from his dais down at the numerous technicians at work
at their consoles. Just then, the installation's chief security officer
ran up to him.

   "Sir, there's an incoming object directly over us!"

   "Aircraft?"

   "No, Sir. It's falling on a perpendicular trajectory towards the
surface of Old Tokyo. You better see for yourself."

    Recognition and horror washed over Horus' features as he saw the
display. "Issue an evacuation order at once!"

   Klaxons blared as a synthesized voice announced,"All personnel must
evacuate this facility immediately. This is not a drill. I repeat. All
personnel must..."

   There was a muffled roar as the device penetrated the layers of
rock, soil and armour plating before detonating. Those tunnels and 
chambers not incinerated by the blast were crushed as the shock wave
collapsed support structures, bringing down tonnes of debris on 
personnel and equipment.
   
   Elsewhere, a US Sixth Fleet Aegis cruiser was patrolling the waters
of the Meditereanean. Its crew was tracking a commercial airliner 
en route to Zurich. On board was SOBEK, keeper of the purse strings
of GEIST whose assassination was the objective of this mission. Also
on board, were three hundred other crew and passangers. The airliner 
was brought down with a single surface-to-air missile. Mission
accomplished.

   In the University of Tokyo-2, masked gunmen burst into the office
of a genial old professor and gunned him down. As THOTH lay dying, he
thanked the gods that none of his students was with him at the time.
OSIRIS, NEPHTHYS, SETH, ANUBIS, RA, ISIS and HATHOR all met similiarly
violent ends at the hands of US operatives.

   Back in CIA HQ, there was considerable satisfaction with the 
ruthless efficiency of the operation. 
 
   "Ten out of the twelve GEIST members have been eliminated, all in
the space of an hour." 

   "Only AMMON and PTAH remain at large. They have probably taken 
refuge in the Geo Front, under the wing of the HERZ Commander Misato 
Katsuragi."

   "We won't be able to get enough forces for an assault on the Geo 
Front through Japanese territory and the JSSDF flatly refuses to be
involved. In addition, HERZ has got a small army of its own and 
automated defence systems. Not to mention its Evangelions."

   "Units 05-Bravo and Charlie are in the Crimea while Units 05-Delta
and Echo are on the Golan Heights. That just leaves them with Units 01
and 05-Alpha."

   "Even two is a considerable force. And if the other four can return
in time to reinforce them..."

   "It is of no consequence, SEELE fight poison with poison. They will 
see to it that the Geo Front is completely razed, no quarter given. As 
for the Eva 05 series in the field of combat, we've supplied our 
'friends' at SEELE with the necessary toys to make sure that the HERZ 
Evas will not be coming back ever." 

***

Eleven black monoliths. The one marked 'SEELE 03' is missing. 

SEELE 02: And so our comrade has fallen, killed when GEIST snatched
the Third Child from our hands.

SEELE 07: But blood calls for blood.

SEELE 10: Ikari Gendou has finally paid for his treachery with his
miserable life. And our American 'friends' have just informed us that
GEIST has been crippled.

SEELE 11: We no longer have to worry about their interference. GEIST 
could only hold back the end of history, the force of destiny for only
so long. Now that the errors from 2015 have been swept away, everything
has come full circle again. At last. Everything, as foretold by the 
Dead Sea Scrolls, will flow into their correct paths.

SEELE 12: Let it begin.

***

   Alert signs appeared all over the flanking display screens of the
HERZ command tower.

   "MAGI is being attacked! There's an intruder in the system!" 
shouted Kensuke.

   "Beginning counter-measures and attempting trace," said 2nd Lt 
Mochida. 

   Maya exchanged glances with Ritsuko. 'It's beginning again.' She
then looked up to see Maj-Gen Katsuragi arriving to take her place
at the command deck and assumed the pose that Commander Ikari had
so favoured. 

   "All other MAGI systems have been pinned down as well! We can't
add them to our defences this time!" reported 1st Lt Ito.

   "BALTHAZAR is being taken over!" exclaimed 2nd Lt Igarashi.

   "Initiate 666-Protector," ordered Maya.

   "Hai!"

   R.AKAGI TYPE-2 
   666-PROTECTOR ENGAGED.
 
   The encryption sequence swept the entire MAGI system like a wave.
There was a periodic blink as the basic codes changed themselves. The
intrusion slowed down somewhat but the cheers proved premature as its
pace began to recover.

   "Damned. It must SEELE's Eight Generation super-computer," cursed
Ritsuko under her breadth. "They're attacking MAGI directly using 
nanobots and nanoprobes to bypass the defences over the codes and the
uplinks."

   "Yes," said Maya. "We'll have to up the ante as well. At least we
had some time to prepare for this. Initiate next stage!"

   M.IBUKI TYPE-3
   666-INOCULATOR ENGAGED.

   The SEELE intrusion ground to a halt as its invading nanobots were
sought out and destroyed by the defence created by the HERZ scientists,
much like the way, the human immune system seeks out and destroys
invading organisms.

   Soon, the screen displaying BALTHAZAR, MELCHIOR and CASPAR showed
the portions taken over were recaptured and the entire system swept
clean.

***

SEELE 05: We have failed in this round as we did in 2015. 

SEELE 06: Force must be used to complete the path to Instrumentality.
But we no longer have the JSSDF to move as a pawn. 

SEELE 08: Thus we have gathered the EVA-06 series. Built by those fools
who wish to have Evangelion as a tool in their petty struggles of power
politics, trying to defile Eva's higher purpose with their base designs
only to have Eva taken from them and delivered into our hands by our
manipulation of their S2 engines and the Sea of Dirac.

SEELE 09: Now the EVA-06 series will descend on HERZ and bring death
into their midst.

SEELLE 02: But first, we must deal with HERZ's reinforcements...

***

   In the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, the gigantic white forms of
Eva Units 05-Delta and Echo were literally making waves as they
waded ashore, the blazing hulks of the Black Sea Fleet scattered
around them. Artillery and missile fire crashed impotently against
their A.T. Fields.

   High above, Col Gessler observed the destruction from the Antonov
242 Eva transport aircraft. From the battle relays from the Middle 
East, Eva Units 05-Bravo and Charlie were making good progress in
expelling the belligerent forces from both sides.

   "Sir!" shouted one of the techs to the Deputy Commander and Ops
Director of HERZ. "We're reading a massive energy buildup coming 
from the hills! Same thing at the Golan Heights!"

   "What the..."

   A massive beam of energy streaked across the sky, penetrating Unit
05-B's A.T. Field and shattering its S2 engine. The Eva collapsed into
a smoking heap on the shore.

   "Unit 05-B is down! Unit 05-B is down!"

   "Same for Unit 05-E! Direct hit to S2 engine!" shouted another tech.

   'A positron cannon. Like the way Katsuragi dealt with the Fifth
Angel,' thought Gessler. "It's a trap!" he shouted. "There's no time
to retrieve the remaining Evas and escape! We have to destroy those
positron cannons quickly!"

   The orders were given and the remaining Units began lumbering towards
their new targets. But SEELE had planned too well. Before Eva Units 05-C
and 05-D could reach the cannons' positions, the American-supplied
weapons had cooled, recharged and fired again - with similarly 
devastating effect.

***

   "Mama, Otousan... what's wrong?" asked Akiko, her little hands
placed over those of her parents' as the child sought reassurance from
the two people who gave her life. She had seen how her mother and 
father had held her and each other like they might never meet again
in this lifetime.

   "Your mother and I have to do something very important soon. Aunt
Kagero will look after you until we come back. Akiko-chan, you'll be
a good girl, right?" said Shinji. To Akiko, her father looked very
wise and very sad but hopeful as well. She nodded her head vigorously.

   Asuka smoothed her little girl's chestnut hair. "Remember, Akiko-
chan... Mama and Otousan love you. Always." Her hug and kiss was 
followed by Shinji's, then the door to the changing room slid open.
Standing there was Kagero Kurumi.

   "It's time. They're here," she said quietly.

   Husband and wife nodded and rose from the bench. They looked at 
each other. There were so many words. Good luck. Be careful. I love
you. Come back home safely. So many words. But there were no words
as those would have failed them. Looking in each other's eyes, all
that could be said and more passed between the two. And then they
strode out to face their destinies.

***

   From the skies above Tokyo-3, nine winged shapes descended into 
the Geo Front through the breach made by the JSSDF N2 strike in 2015
and then began to circle the pyramidal structure of HERZ headquarters.
With the arrival of the EVA-06 series, events had come full circle.  


END OF PART XI

Ver 1.0 - 8 Jul 1999

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