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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 XII: THE PROMISE/DO YOU UNDERSTAND?   

   "Ikari-kun."   

   "Ayanami?"   

   "Do not fear. I will protect you. Always."

***   

   "The nine units of the EVA-06 series is circling Headquarters!"
reported Kensuke, putting it on visual before the command tower.   
"Our Eva status?" asked Misato.

   Three communication screens opened.   

   "Ready."
 
   "Ready."

   "Ready."

   Misato nodded as she looked at each of the Children, the 
children she never had.    

   "Ganbatte," she said. Then steely determination replaced 
wistfulness on her face.

   "Launch Eva!"

***

   The monoliths of SEELE watched in disdain as Units Zero-II, 
One and Two appeared before Headquarters. Unit One bore the Lance 
of Longinus in its grip.

SEELE 05: So the loss of the Lance was their doing. No matter, we
shall regain it soon enough.

SEELE 07: The reconstruction of Eva Unit 02 is unexpected but it 
will come to nothing. They will be no match for our forces.

SEELE 12: Yes. We will destroy Units Zero and Two. Only Unit One 
isrequired for Instrumentality. HERZ's moment of doom has arrived.

   Another monolith appeared in the empty space previously occupied
by SEELE 03. It bore the two-dimensional image of an Egyptian king
wearing triple crowns.

AMMON: You are all fools. It is your doom that has arrived.

SEELE 01: You speak confidently for someone who has lost 
everything. Have you come before us to beg for mercy, Carr? Have 
you seen theerror of your ways? Will you repent and rejoin the 
fold?

AMMON: The Children have Unit One. They have the Lance. They have 
Adam. They have Lilith. You have nothing. It is your day of 
reckoning that has come.

SEELE 01: We will prevail. It is written in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

AMMON: There are more things in heaven and earth than were written
in the Scrolls.   

With that, AMMON's monolith vanished.

***

   "Everything is in its proper place," said Shinji as he looked up
at the sky. "We can begin now."

   Eva Unit Zero took Unit One's right hand in its left and Unit
Two's left in its right. In her entry plug, Rei stretched out her
bare hands. There was a trembling underneath the skin of her palms.
Two white embryonic shapes bulged out but were still beneath the
surface of her skin.

   "In my left hand, I bear Lilith. In my right hand, I hold Adam.
Let the ceremony begin." Thus spoke Ayanami Rei.

***

    Prof Edward Hullett Carr and Dr Kagero Natsume placed their 
palms on the pads of their consoles. The monoliths of AMMON and 
PTAH respectively appeared. They were soon joined by the other ten 
members of GEIST.    

   "We are more than individuals. We mourn those who have fallen 
and pledge to continue their work. We are GEIST."    

   "Let the ceremony begin," intoned AMMON.    

   "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake;
for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither
will I again smite any more every thing living as I have done,"
said twelve voices in unison.

***

    Rei closed her eyes and reached out with her consciousness. In
the dummy plugs of the EVA-06 series, her last remaining clones
stirred as Rei entered each and every one of them.

***

SEELE 09: This is impossible!    

   The eleven members of SEELE could only watch as they lost 
control of what had been their trump card. The EVA-06 series 
descended to meet the three Evas. Not to do battle but to serve 
their new masters.

***

   "At the heart of the ceremony are the two hearts who have been
joined as one. Bring forth the Lance as the symbol of blood and 
pain, bridge and bond." Thus spoke Ayanami Rei.    

   Unit One pressed the head of the Lance of Longinus against its
S2 engine as Unit Two brought the other end of the Lance onto its
own red core. The Lance passed into the twin globes easily and a
pattern of red veins erupted across the surface of both Evas.

   The white shapes of the EVA-06 series bore down on the three 
Evas. They bit into the shoulders and back of each of the HERZ Evas
and ascended towards the heavens with them, their wings beating
mightily from the effort.

   Upon reaching their appointed zenith, the Tree of Life appeared
in the sky, encompassing each and every one of them. The siren song
of this powerful event resonated throughout the world. Reality 
itself seemed to shimmer as if in the heat of a red haze.

***

   "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and 
heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease,"
intoned the voices of GEIST.  

***

   "This is the end of Evangelion. We have taken it away." Thus 
spoke Ayanami Rei.

   All over the world, the secret places where pieces of the Eva
Project had been sequestered erupted in light and flame. They came
from all over the globe and coalesced around the form of Unit Zero,
forming a growing sphere of Eva parts and tissue. This Lilith's Egg
had a grey-blue sheen and rapidly approached a quarter of the moon's
size. And orbiting it, as it left the upper atmosphere for the space
just around Earth, were the increasingly intertwined forms of Units
One and Two.

***    

   Watching all of this was Ibuki Maya and Akagi Ritsuko from the
safety of HERZ Headquarters.

   "That's why they wanted us to move all our parts to Matsushiro
and then evacuate it," murmured Maya.

   "Even with all our knowledge, without the original pieces, none 
will be able to create another Eva again. It's like the Lance,
only the original has the necessary properties for Instrumentality,"
said Ritsuko.

***

   Three voices in the void, each younger than the other, touching
each and every mind.

   "What is the essence of Instrumentality?"

   An image of Shinji and Asuka holding hands, smiling gently.
The complementation of humankind, the union of man and woman, of 
mind, body, heart and soul.

   "What is the actualization of Instrumentality?"

   An image of Akiko. Children. Humankind's immortality. Hope for 
the future.

   "Do you understand?"

***

   "Do you understand?"

   Kihl Lorenz turned to see a trinity of Rei standing before
him. The one in the middle was a small child in a pink dress. She
was flanked by Rei wearing a school uniform with her eye and arm
in bandages and by Rei wearing a white sundress, in the full bloom 
of womanhood.   

   Kihl sighed. "From the start, everything has rested with the
son of Ikari."

   He raised his head to see the third Rei stretch out her hand to 
him. The circle of SEELE faded as the monoliths disappeared around
him. He nodded and took her hand. In that instant his form dissolved
into the orangey fluid of LCL - leaving behind his robes, visor and
an assortment of mechanical parts.

***

   In separate worlds, Shinji stood across from his mother as did
Asuka who faced hers. The distance between parent and child seemed 
to increase inexhorably. There were no words but there was much
love, pride and joy. And understanding in their eyes. Until each
was to the other, just a speck in the distance like a distant star
in the sky.

   "As long as there is life, there is the chance to find 
happiness."

   "Sayonara, Kaasan."

   "Goodbye, Mama."

   The light in the eyes of Units One and Two flared brightly for
a while and then faded into darkness. Cold and silent forevermore as
their animating souls fled. And then the shells that were once Evas
were absorbed into Lilith's Egg, never to be seen again.

***

   "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all
flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall 
there any more be a flood to destroy the earth," intoned GEIST.

   "When you look up at the night sky, you will see the second moon
which is the sign of the promise, of our covenant." Thus spoke 
Ayanami Rei and then... silence.

***

   The sound of waves against the shore.

   The light of dawn, a new day greeted Ikari Shinji who lay on the
shores of Lake Ashino, Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He rubbed
his eyes and turned to see Asuka lying to his left. She began to 
stir as well.

   Asuka didn't dwell on the fact that Shinji's hair had turned 
completely white as she engulfed him a fierce embrace. Husband and 
wife held each other as they wept. 

***

   "Alright, you've been given a clean bill of health and we can 
finally let you go home now," said Maya to the seated couple.

   "It's about time too!" snapped Asuka.

   "But first, I have some wonderful news for you both!" beamed
Maya.   

   "What is it?" asked Shinji who thought that nothing could top
coming through this whole thing alive. He was about to proven wrong.

   "It's so lovely!" gushed Maya as she reached out to take hold
of Asuka's hand. "Oh Asuka, you're pregnant again."    

   "..."

   Asuka's look of bewilderment rapidly faded as she jumped to her
feet and shouted, "BAKA-SHINJI! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!"

   "My fault!? Why is always my fault!?"

   "Of course it's your fault! You're a male!"

   "Oh yes! I suppose it's got nothing to with you throwing 
yourself at me almost every night for the last few weeks! And you
kept insisting on being on top as well!"

   SLAP!

   Maya was having considerable difficulty trying to roar with 
laughter and groan with exasperation at the same time.

***

   Shinji's indignant look was matched by the red mark of a hand
across his left cheek as he and Asuka made their way through the
streets of Tokyo-3. Then, he felt something calling to him, tugging
at the edges of his consciousness.

   He turned and saw her, standing in the middle of the deserted 
street. She was in her school uniform, just like the way he 
remembered when he had first arrived in Tokyo-3. When he had first
set his eyes on her. This time, however, she was smiling gently. 
At him. It was a look of absolution. Of benediction. Of 
understanding. Of her love. Farewell, she said without words, and 
be happy.

    A flock of birds took flight. The sounds of fluttering and bird
song. Feathers, falling. His eyes were drawn away for just an 
instant and when he looked back, she was gone.

   "I already said I was sorry..." said an embarrassed Asuka. 
"I didn't really hit you that hard, did I?"

   "What..?" Shinji could feel a single tear running down his face.

   "Are you alright?"

   "Yes, yes. I'm fine." He put his arm around his wife and drew her
 closer. "Everything's alright."

   "Let's go home," she said, leaning her head against his shoulder.

END OF PART XII

Version 1.0 - 24 Jul 1999
Version 1.1 -  9 Aug 1999

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