The sky over the East Coast of the United States was covered in clouds. 
As dawn came, the cloud blanket changed from grey to purple to gold; by 
the time the sun had fought its way above the horizon and the morning 
had begun, the clouds were their familiar heavenly white. Into the 
morning flew a JAL passenger airplane, tearing through the whiteness 
with its turbine roar. Its destination was New Amsterdam, what to the 
old New York City Tokyo-3 was to Tokyo itself. 70 kilometers from its 
ancestor, it was perched where the new beach of the Atlantic Ocean met 
the Hudson River and the Taconic Mountains. A mere 200,000 people lived 
in the city; still, for historic reasons, the governments of the United 
States and of New York itself met there, as well as General Assembly of 
the United Nations.

A special envoy from the UN met the three at the gate and showed them to 
a chartered limousine. Touji, Hikari and Shinji rode in style through 
the streets of New Amsterdam. The city was crowded, like its 
predecessor, but well-organized and astonishingly short. Unlike Tokyo-3, 
New Amsterdam had grown horizontally rather than vertically. Buildings 
of two and three stories, of red brick and concrete, grew like different 
species of mushrooms across the foothills. The dominant buildings were 
the government buildings. At tremendous expense, the original White 
House, Congressional Rotunda and Justice Building had been salvaged and 
restored. Reflecting the shift in power in the 21st Century, the three 
Capitol buildings were dwarfed by the UN General Assembly hall. This was 
an identical reproduction of the original buildings that had been 
destroyed in the Second Impact. That morning, with the overcast sky 
hiding the sun, the black face of the main building and the white clouds 
in the sky combined to make the skyline look like an eye, all-seeing, 
never blinking.

Touji, Hikari and Shinji were shown into an office on the second floor 
of the building. After only a moment or two of waiting, they were joined 
by a lanky fellow in a brown NERV uniform. His drab brown hair was cut 
close to his head with exacting precision. On the bridge of his nose was 
a pair of wire glasses. From behind them, his eyes shown with an almost 
maniac energy.


"Hi, everyone! Werucom ta Nyuu Ansatudam!" Hugs were exchanged all 
around. "Hikari, boy, you look wonderful. I guess I'm almost a decade 
too late to be using a line like that, huh? And I heard about your book, 
congratulations on all your hard work. It's going to be published in 
English, too, so I'll be able to read it both ways. Touji, I thought you 
were going to be studying your physical therapy. I suppose that can wait 
though, can't it? I'm glad you wanted to come out for a visit. Shinji, 
I'm so happy to see you after all of this time. I had just about given 
up hope that I'd ever see you."

"I'm happy to see you also, Kensuke," Shinji replied. "The NERV uniform 
suits you well. It suits you better than me."

"Don't try and be ironic, Shinji, or I'll hit you." Kensuke waved them 
into his office. Like the waiting room, it was paneled in real wood. The 
desk, filing cabinets, computer, window ledge and all other flat spaces 
were covered in models of science-fiction robots, EVAs and Angels. The 
visitors sat down in folding chairs. The room was large enough to 
accomodate four with ease. Kensuke walked to a credenza by the door and 
poured green tea into a mug from a thermos. "Would anyone else like 
something to drink?" he inquired. "Hikari? Touji?"

"I'm fine."

"I'll take a cup," said Touji. He was looking at a picture on Kensuke's 
desk. It was the class photo from their senior year in high school. He 
remarked, "I wish I'd thought to smile for the photo. You look like 
you're the only happy person in the picture, Kensuke."

"Yeah!" he said. "And that's why I keep it. I like seeing how people 
react to it when they realize who's the only smiling boy. Actually, 
though, you can see that Shinji's got a little bit of a smile." Kensuke 
grinned and added loudly, "Like he's got right now."

The smile melted off of Shinji's face, to be replaced with a blush. He 
was looking at a photo of EVA-01. Some photographer had caught the EVA 
in profile just as it was projecting its AT Field to catch the falling 
Tenth Angel. The picture had been published widely abroad. Kensuke had 
gotten a large glossy reprint of the photo. "What, ah, what ever 
happened to the Evangelions, anyway?" he asked Kensuke. "Even though I'm 
still supposed to be part of NERV, they never told me."

"You want to know? And do you want some tea?"

"Yes, I'd like some very much."

Kensuke gave Shinji a Styrofoam cup filled with tea and gestured to the 
photo. "01 is still somewhere under the Geofront, we presume. Same with 
the leftovers of 00'. 02 was encased in Bakelite and buried when they 
dynamited the remains of the Geofront. Now that the Technology of God 
doesn't work anymore, all of the EVA units are just big bunches of 
machine and pseudo-organic crap. Nobody wants them. The Japanese 
government can't pay to get rid of them, and there's nowhere to take 
them to. So there they'll be.

"Let me tell you a little more about my work. People still want the 
Technology of God. NERV scientists have demonstrated mathematically that 
there's no science behind it anymore--that is, there's no 
reproducibility. What's working for you one run-through will not work 
for you the second time, and there's no way of telling what kind of 
modifications you need to make to your experiment to get it working 
again. We know this. But there are a lot of stupid people in the world. 
They think--shut up, Hikari. As I was saying, they think that because 
the Technology of God worked for about 20 years, that it can work again. 
We can't tell them why not because that's a bunch of big dirty secrets. 
It wouldn't work anyway, telling them, because people believe what they 
want to believe.

"The other problem is that nothing is truly random in nature. We've 
demonstrated that the collapse of the Technology of God is 99.9999% 
complete. There's no way to be sure it's fully complete, because our 
statistics isn't that good. But just that one chance in 1,000,000 drives 
the same kinds of people who want to square the circle or find patterns 
in pi to pursue the technology.

"So you have people with dreams of ruling the world investing huge 
amounts of money they've made since the Second Impact in the Technology 
of God. There's less than 200 organizations in the world at any time 
that are even able to reproduce the basic experiments from '97 in the 
South Pole. Of these, 10 or so will reach '99 or 2K. These people 
present a threat to themselves and to the world, because if it WORKS--if 
their experiments succeed as would be predicted by Akagi's Laws--then 
their health, and that of those around them, is in extreme danger.

"That's where NERV comes in. We monitor them, we stop them, we 
incarcerate the money-men and give the scientists new jobs. The truth is 
that we're supposed to kill them all, but nobody obeys that. We're human 
beings, we don't like to take more lives than necessary. "

Kensuke paused to take a sip of his tea. Touji asked the question that 
was on everyone's minds. "So...have know...had to kill anyone?"

Kensuke nodded gently. "It's my job. It's a necessary evil. I'd always 
wondered if I could do it. But don't let's talk about that. Planning 
operations and seeing them out isn't even what I spend most of my time 
doing. Most of my time is administrative. I help Maya make sure NERV has 
enough liberty to do our job, that we have funding, that the UN is 
informed, blah blah blah. I do a lot of reports, actually, piecing 
together the information our operatives have gathered together. Costa 
Rica, Saudi Arabia, Angola...I have to know about all these countries, 
who's in power where, and how much of a threat they present."

"A moment ago, you mentioned Maya," said Shinji. "Isn't she still with 

"Yes," Kensuke replied, "in fact I'm under her command. But she and 
Major Thorgarssen have a report to give by the end of the week 
on...uh..." He leafed through a small pile of printouts on his desk and 
glanced across the top of one. "...on 'The Status of the Technology of 
God as a Threat to World Security in Europe'. So she's getting ready for 
that. But we'll see her this evening for dinner."

He casually tossed the paper aside. "Honestly, guys, Maya doesn't have 
the stomach for the killing aspect of our job; but she has experience, 
and she is a good scientist. She's better off not trying to be the 
senior officer around here and we all know it. Captain is as high as 
she's going to go, and that's that."

"Speaking of which," Hikari broke in, "is Asuka with NERV? Or do you 
know where she is?"

"Who, the Demon?" Kensuke said. He thought about it for a moment, and 
concluded, "No, I don't know. I do know who you'd need to talk to in 
Germany about it, though. His name's Lieberman, and he's in charge of 
SSO in the German branch. He's also the man you'll need to have sign off 
when you visit your dad, Shinji."

"SSO? What's that, Kensuke?"

"'Special Security Operations'. It deals with keeping the users of the 
Technology of God under lock and key, looking after the former pilots, 
things like that."

"Oh, I see," said Shinji. "In that case, would he know where Rei is?"

Kensuke laughed. "I was going to ask you a very similar question, 
Shinji. There's been no record of her since the day the UN had the 
bright idea of invading Tokyo-3."

Shinji flinched. " wasn't the UN's fault, I'm the one who was 

"Whatever." Kensuke finished off his tea and stood. "Nobody here at the 
UN points fingers anymore, if it makes you feel better. Now let's get 
out of this office! I'm sick and tired of being inside, and I haven't 
heard your stories yet. Come on. Maya's meeting us for dinner, but we're 
free until then. Are you jet-lagged? Have you checked into your hotel 

They went to the hotel, a five-story white building, and left their 
luggage in their rooms. Their entertainment for the afternoon was a 
glass-bottomed boat tour of the Statue of Liberty. It was perfect 
viewing weather: the afternoon sun had come through the clouds, and the 
water was placid and clear. There was a neap tide, bringing the tip of 
the torch almost out of the water. Below deck, the tourists were within 
10 meters of the Statue's crown. Shinji looked as best as he could at 
the timeless face, turned black by the water's shadows. It occurred to 
him that after the boat left, the Atlantic around her head would be 
completely still. The bronze woman in the ocean wouldn't "hear" anything 
or anyone. She would be all alone.

"Are we all the Statue of Liberty?" he asked that evening at dinner.

They were eating at a beautiful restaurant outside of the downtown area. 
The prices were reasonable, but Kensuke told them that it was hard to 
get reservations if you weren't someone in the UN or the government. 
Dress was casual. Bay windows looked out onto roads with light evening 

"Struggling forever and ever to get our hopes up above the waterline, 
but never succeeding?"

Shinji directed the question to Maya, across the table from him. She had 
grown her hair out long since he had last seen her. She was wearing a 
blue dress and a white blouse, and there were large hoop earrings in her 
ears. Considering the question, she set down her steak knife and fork 
and chewed thoughtfully. When she could talk again, she said, "I don't 
think so. People aren't statues, people can change and do different 
things. Take NERV as an example. First we designed and built the EVAs. 
When the Angels came, we switched from so much science to a 
defense-oriented program. Then the Angels went away and the Technology 
of God didn't work anymore. Now we're a sort of an anti-terrorist 
organization. So there was one NERV, but three purposes.

"People like your father, Shinji, and all the old people who want their 
own nations and their own tribes to be the top dogs, they are the 
statues. And what's happened to them? Your father is being held for 
crimes against humanity, and those partisan fools are laughed out of the 
UN. Maybe it's divine retribution. Everyone who can't move on is doomed."

Maya turned her attention back to her steak, but Shinji was replying to 
what she had said. "Shigeru and Makoto died because of me," he muttered 
darkly, "is that supposed to be divine retribution?"

The other four people at the booth went silent as Shinji's words sunk 
in. "Shinji..." began Hikari, but Maya interrupted, "No, it's all right. 
Shinji, that's a very good point. I should have had more respect for 
them and been quiet."

She drained her glass of wine and winced as she forced herself to 
continue the thought. "Only I came out of the Control Room alive, 
Shinji. I don't know about your father...but for me, it was only luck 
that kept me alive. I was so scared of the gunfire that was going on, I 
was hiding under one of the desks. I didn't have the courage to be up 
there shooting with everyone else, I hid. And Lillith spared me in her 
wake because I hid out of her path. It doesn't go any deeper than that."

"Can we change the subject?" said Kensuke. "If it's all right with 
everyone else."

"I don't like to think," murmured Hikari, "that it's only coincidence 
that keeps people alive. What if there was no meaning in who lives and 
who dies? Wouldn't that mean that there is no God?"

"I suppose not," Touji said.

"What if there is a meaning, and we just don't understand it?" countered 
Shinji. "Wouldn't that be proof that there is a God?"

Maya shook her head sadly. "It's no different from the Technology of 
God. The Technology of God works entirely randomly, so we say it's not 
science. God seems to work randomly, so we call belief in God 'faith'. 
Where there's a meaning we can understand, it's no longer faith, it's 
something else. You realize what this means...that any meaning we find 
in our lives will be an illusion, or faith, depending on what you call 

Kensuke tried again. "So!" he asked energetically. "What are your plans 
between now and the time you guys leave for Germany?"

Touji sighed contemplatively. "We didn't have that much. Maybe we can 
stay around on our way back. Shinji here wants to see his father, and 
we're all planning to visit Asuka. Once all that's done, we can have 

"Don't make visiting Asuka sound like punishment, Touji dear," rebuked 

Seeing that Touji had no real way to reply, Kensuke said to Shinji, 
"Well, be sure and stop by when you come back."

"Please do, Shinji," added Maya. "I'm sorry that we haven't had more 
time to spend together, I really am."

"I could try to be better myself, from now on, I suppose," said Shinji. 
"I'll e-mail you, or phone, now. I've written everything down.

"And hey, thanks for coming to see us. I'm having fun travelling around 
like this." It seemed an amazing thing for him to say, on reflection.