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Rated: 13+ · Novel · Emotional · #348401
A story about how I discovered reality. WORK IN PROGRESS
"I want you to observe for your possible pleasure and to give you knowledge of things that I feel I may know better than you, because my world is different from yours, as different as every man's world is from the world of others."
         -Tennessee Williams: preface to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Part One
Roots


In the Beginning

         My name is Shane Cherry. I was born on July 21, 1985 in a Philadelphia hospital at approximately 11:15 PM. This is my story. This is my life. This is your lesson.
         Actually, before you continue reading, I want to let you know that this book is entirely true. Every action of it. I can't vouch that my thoughts and ideas are true truths of life, just as I can't give you proof that one divine being created the universe, but all of these events are true. No, let me rephrase that. I can't vouch that my thoughts and ideas are your true truths of life.

         My name is Shane Cherry. I was born on July 21, 1985 in a Philadelphia hospital at approximately 11:15 PM.
         Actually, before you continue reading, I must give you a warning. This book inspires thought. There are some people who are very afraid of this idea. It's something I've learned to cope with, despite being taught that the only knowledge worth a damn is book smarts and street smarts.
         I'm sorry for the foul language, but I only use swearing for four reasons. The first is to make a point. Occasionally, I need to make a point so dearly, that I add a swear into my sentence. It's not logical, but it's effective. The second reason is for humor's sake. Rarely, very rarely, I use curse words in jokes. I'm proud to say that this is actually more than when I use curses to make points. Jokes don't hurt anyone. The third reason is quotes. In the vernacular of a story or in a quote, I always include the curse word for realism. Finally, I've curse words twice in my life to hide.
         Anyway, the warning I gave you was to let you know that you may learn of a thrid kind of smarts, emotional smarts. I recently went on an expedition of the mind and the soul. This is a record of what I found. I ask that you read it at least twice, as the second time through, you are bound to see things that you had not seen previously. It is all quite interesting, but actually, I should start at the beginning.

         My name is Shane Cherry. I was born on July 21, 1985 in a Philadelphia hospital at approximately 11:15 PM. Thus begins my life and thus begins my story.
         And so I grew and so I lived. The technicalities of my early life are unimportant. This story doesn't begin to get interesting until recently. That was when I began to take notice of the world around me. I'm not lower class. I'm not in the ghetto. I'm not insane, with backgrounds of an unbalanced family. I'm from a good upringing in a high class town. My life is screwed up.
         I've grown up in Huntingdon Valley, the drug capital of suburbia, as I like to call it. Huntingdon Valley is a suburb of Philadelphia, but it seems untainted from the foul stench of poverty that looms over some sections of the city. We're very well-off here. Financially, I'd guess that my family is about in the middle class structure of the town, just judging by the size and elegance of the houses where people live. My closest friends all live in houses smaller than mine.
         I know my upper-middle class upbringing is something envied by many people, and for that I'm glad. Not that others envy me, of course, but that there is something to be envied.
         I go to a fine high school. It's one of the best in the nation, having earned some fancy blue ribbon award. Yes, Lower Moreland High School offers all kinds of lovely courses, as well. They range from foreign languages to Film Studies to Ceramics to Photography to Sociology to Concert Band. Occasionally, someone actually takes one of the many academic courses as well, mainly because a few of those are required for graduation.
         Then there's the lovely people of Huntingdon Valley who I should also mention. These people are quite obviously excellent company. How could many of them afford such expensive houses if not for being rewarded for good deeds in life? They can also probably afford excellent care-takers for their young ones, in order raise them well. After all, they can afford to buy each of their children luxury cars, so why not nannies? And their children, after being raised by those nannies, should be extraordinarily well mannered and very productive members of society. They will probably never go broke, as they all know the meaning of a dollar. After all, how could they not if they've been around so much money all of their lives?
         Yes, Huntingdon Valley is the perfect little town, if you're looking at it from a certain direction.
         Even my family can be considered perfect. As a matter of fact, there are people who would literally kill their own mother to be part of my family, if the need for it arose. Obviously, it never will.
         My father is a generous man. He has worked every day in his life and is probably the only reason I don't live in a low income section of Philly from where I hear stories of beatings nearly to death on school property. I know I don't always show him this, but I'm very thankful that he's here. He's so generous, in fact, that he's buying me a car. It's going to be a green 2002 Civic LX. He bought one for my older brother as well. I know it's hypocritical of me to accept such a gift. I'm a little spoiled myself, but that isn't the only reason I accept it. My father likes to provide for his family. He feels like a failure if he doesn't, even though he occasionally does it to excess. I know my brother and sister won't like me writing this, but I think my father needs to accept that he doesn't need to continually shower us with gifts. He does eventually put his foot down and end these gifts, but I don't think he does it nearly soon enough.
         There are very few terrible flaws about my father. When he does spoil my siblings and me, however, he doesn't seem to realize it until it's too late. Then he'll say one day, "I wish you guys would help your mother out by cleaning up this house a little," or, "You three are brutal! You destroy this house and you don't even care!" And he's right. But it's too little, too late. My siblings and I already have other things we need, or want, to do, and his wants seem to always fall in line after ours. I feel ashamed just to say it.
         Another important thing about my father is that he's the guy who is married to my mother. That, in its self, is becoming a rare quality. I'm not saying divorce is wrong. If it's necessary, it's necessary. But I think that a strong relationship is key to a successful household, whatever that means.
         This is especially true if the children of that household are raised with morality. This was my mother's department, as it should be. Too often do parents spoil their children and teach them indifferency towards everything and then refuse to take the blame. That's the typical story of Huntingdon Valley parents.
         My mother grew up in a house of morals, however, and therefore passed them along to her three children. She's a strong woman, who knows pain and responsibility. My aunt died when I was young. She had cerebral palsy, among other handicaps. Thus, she needed constant care throughout her life. My mother provided most of that care.
         It's not typical conversation, and I'm hesitant to add this, but I feel it's important. My older brother is actually the second born in my family and my younger sister is actually the fourth to reach birth. I, in fact, am the Third Child. My mother had an undetectable (and rather disgusting for me to write about, so you'll have to excuse me if I puke) condition dealing with her birth canal. Unable to support the weight of a baby, it gave way, and my mother's first baby was lost. It was through this type of pain and the responsibility of caring for her sister that my mother learned morals and ethics, and taught them to her three little bundles of joy.
         And speaking of her three bundles of joy, you've only heard about one of them, thus far. I'll start with my older brother, Evan. He always knew that this town was no good for him, yet Evan never grew enough to want to leave home. He has his place and he likes it. He has his routine and he likes it. He has his life and he likes it. He just ignores that which he doesn't like.
         Unfortunately, Evan doesn't like a lot of things. Work is a good example. Most people don't like to work, and I certainly agree with them, but Evan's dislike of work is magnified by my father. You see, Evan also dislikes authority. Evan, like most members of my family, especially on my father's side, is a bit stubborn and a bit rebellious. This isn't always a bad thing, but it always has the potential to be.
         And that brings me to Taryn, my sister. She is a bit of a tomboy, which isn't much of a surprise, since she was raised by her two brothers and her liberal mother. She's taken to Evan's rebellious nature in perfect synchronization with the media-driven slightly hippie gothic trend. She's not off the deep end, however, and she fills the final spot in the perfect family nicely. (Also, she has insisted that I mention the inaccuracy of the term "gothic" as far as describing the group of people that it does describe. Dating back to the style of architecture of cathedrals from which the term is derived, it would be more accurate to call this particular group "romanesque.") All that's missing from that perfect family is a dog, and we have two of those, among many other pets.
         And so you can see that I have the perfect life and the perfect family. That's why I'm so screwed up.

Perfect Family, Perfect Friends

         My perfect family has forever set me apart from the other children of Huntingdon Valley. HV kids tend to lack morals. They are born innocently enough, but their parents quickly teach them the ways of amorality and superficiality. My scatter-brained nature was clearly evident in my early life and I also inhierited a shy trait from my mother, giving me the perfect combination for failure in this little town. Isn't it heart-warming?
         I learned quickly my place. I was never really meant to be part of the "in crowd," but rather, an outside observer. If not for that sole fact, I'd be a mindless drone of Huntingdon Valley's snobbish society, doing only what is accepted by popular opinion, lest I face unrelenting insults aimed at my back. I always narrated a story in my mind about this outsider's view, but I never realized its potential. Once I did, I knew I had no choice but to write it down. Only like that could I make a difference. But that is not how this book came to be.
         I soon found a group of unpopular kids to be my friends. Outcasts seem to find each other as if by some natural instinct. Both my brother and my sister share that instinct with me. I found my haven in a group of video game playing, math problem solving, anime watching, bottom line dorks.
         Yes, I'd managed to associate myself with the bottom rung of social ladder in a town where social positioning could determine your future. It did determine mine. I expect that in a different scenario, I could have missed that group of people entirely, but one way or the other, I think I'd have found a similar one eventually and fell into my destiny. A skeptic, I didn't always believe in fate, but now I'm not so certain that it doesn't exist. Throughout my entire adventure, I felt as though I was being aided somehow. Something was helping me get my information for this book. Something was helping me along me journey. I didn't notice any of that happening as I trekked along my path, but now I realize that this force has been my dearest friend.
         Of course, my other friends deserve more credit for my enlightenment than I do. They just don't know it. As a matter of fact, the entire Lower Moreland High School helped me in my recent transformation, the focus of this story, but my friends deserve the most credit. There are three particular friends that I want to mention before I continue my story. The one bond that the four of us share completely, is that we all can't stand the sycophants and snobs that make up most of our school. Despite all of my rants about Lower Morelanders, I'm probably the most lenient towards them of the four.
         First, there is Douglas Rosenberg. I've known Doug longer than the other two of this set of friends, and he has served me well as a friend. He's somewhat ordered, a result of his mother's dilegent upbringing. Doug even rarely signs by that shortened version of his name, using Douglas whenever possible. He's book smart, very much so; however, whenever he was asked what he would change about himself, I always remember him saying, "I think I can be just a little bit smarter." Doug and I shared video games in common practically forever, all the way from the height of Sonic the Hedgehog's popularaity. We can reminisce about when Tails was first introduced, but of course, newer video games keep us busy most of the time.
         Then there's Dominique Centofanti. To onlookers, she'd appear to be my girlfriend, though she never has been, and never will be. We've had our share of aggravation and confusion as a result of that matter. It probably hinders me as far as dating goes almost as much as my lack of social class within the school. Dom and I don't let it bother us though, at least not since eigth grade. Dom isn't part of my video game dork group, so she isn't connected with my other friends as much as she is with me. I think they probably only took notice of her existence because I did first, but nevertheless, we're good friends. We flirt continuously, and recently, I've found it quite fun to tickle her, as she lets out a loud, high pitched shriek whenever I do. I know this sounds cruel, but this was an especially fun way to lighten the mood after the September eleventh bombing of the World Trade Center, at least for me.
         Dom has a good soul, and I'm not the only one to notice. As a matter of fact, Doug, in his quest to find someone who he can stand to go with him to the Jounior Prom, just as a friend, asked Dom. She accepted.
         Finally, there's Alex Lee. Alex has probably been the single most influential person in my transformation, unless you count my own participation. I don't. You see, Alex is unlike everyone else in Lower Moreland because he's not from Lower Moreland. Alex Lee is Hong Kongese, or whatever you'd call it.
         When Alex came to Lower Moreland in fifth grade, he, like all newcomers, had new kid appeal, but unlike the others, Alex slipped through the cracks of the infamous "in crowd." It was for one reason. He was different. I don't know whether the "in crowd" just dropped him because he was different or if Alex pushed them away, but if I had to guess, it would be that he dumped them. He's a stronger man than most.
         By seventh grade, Alex fell through those cracks into my little, growing, and at the time, even slightly popular nerd group. (The whole dork thing was in style that year. I guess it's because it was before people entered teenage superficiality, but after they realized that social class and snobbish behavior don't have to be dividing lines.) I don't remember how it exactly happened, or how I met any of my friends for that matter, but I met Alex, and we bonded quickly.
         In recent years, Alex, Doug, and I have been a trio of gamers, together unlocking every secret the seemy underbelly of the video game world has to offer. Doug and I, however, haven't had many classes together this year, and being dorks, a telephone is foreign object in making social calls, so I've been spending more time with Alex than with Douglas, and I've become closer friends with the Alex than ever before.
         Alex lives in a small apartment with three rooms, a kitchen/family room, a bedroom, and thankfully, a bathroom. He's probably the lowest income kid in all of Lower Moreland, although he's technically not even in Lower Moreland anymore. A series of floods drove him out of his old, larger apartment. Now he lives in the smaller one, luckily still permitted to go to our school at least for the time being. At least those weasels gave him that much. Alex's simple and, although mostally Americanized, just barely somewhat traditional Chinese lifestyle interests me. It's not about money. It's about freedom. Alex always complains about his family, but they seem like nice people to me, so I guess I just don't see them the way he does. Regardless of whether they're monsters or not, however, I believe that Alex has it better off than any of those Lower Moreland snobs. He has morals.

Neon Genesis (New Beginning)

         And now that my introductory chapters are out of the way, I can get to the meat of my story... almost. First I need to tell you about something that awakened me. I mean, there have been several wake up calls in the form of literature and movies that I have encountered, but ignored, or only allowed myself to only open my eyes in a half sleep before drifting back into the night. This particular thing, for lack of a vaguer metaphor, snapped open my eyes and then wrenched out my soul.
         It was some time in the last week of December or so of 2001. I had been meeting with Alex a lot lately, as I had just helped him find and purchase a game for his Nintendo 64 for called Perfect Dark for an amazing price of only $9.99. I paid about $40 for mine when it was newer. Anyway, we had been working together, each of us beating a level or earning a cheat and then doing it again on the other one's game. One other thing we did, though, was use a cheat for the Combat Simulator mode that required four controllers. So, I had been meeting with Alex a lot lately.
         As I worked on the cheat on one of the games, Alex went into his parents' bedroom to watch something using their VCR. They had left earlier, and this was the only time he could do it. So I continued to play the video game, and Alex continued to watch the tape of whatever program he said he need to "watch". It went on like this for only a short while when Alex invited me to watch a scene with him.
         As it turned out, the program he had been viewing was a Japenese anime cartoon. As it turned out, it would change my life. Anyway, the couple of scenes he invited in to watch were humorously scripted jabs at human sexuality. Saying it like that almost saps the fun right out of them.
         When Alex's parents returned, and he discontinued his dilegently dubious "viewing", he offered me the chance to borrow the tapes when he was done "watching" the remaining eleven hours. He said that he wasn't quite sure about some of the story line, and since I'm always up for a challenge, I said I'd give it a go.
         It didn't take long for Alex to finish taping the series, which he then gave to me. I think it was the beginning of January, probably the third or the fourth when I actually got it. It only took me two nights to watch the majority of the series, as I was completely engulfed in it. It's name was Neon Genesis: Evangelion. It would greatly help you understand my book if you read it as well, but I've provided a synopsis for those who have never seen it and either choose not to watch it or for some reason can't do so.
         I actually don't know where to start about Genesis. I guess "In the beginning" is the best place. Neon Genesis is basically about a group of invading supercreatures that have to be stopped in order to save mankind. It contains more Biblical references than a Jehova's witness within its complicated story, and it's twenty-something episodes long. I'd guess that it would take about a month to air it in its entirety.
         That's the short version of its synospsis. Brace yourself because I'm about to lay the in-depth version on you, and it's a doozy. You'll have to excuse my analytical comments interrupting the story, but I'll try to keep them to a minimum. It's not important, but in the interest of accuracy, I want to warn you that I probably have some of the episode numbers wrong.
         Also, I cannot ever claim to do justice to this series. Although overlooked, it is a Lord of the Rings of anime on both an emotional and adventurous level. The caliber of the series is much higher than that of any other show I've ever seen.
         (I don't know what current copyright laws say I can and can't do, so I may have to remove this part from my novel if they say I can't make money off of the GAINAX corporation's story. Therefore, I may post a synopsis and my thoughts about the story on a writing website I use. The address is www.stories.com. I'd make no money off of that part of my novel as technically, it wouldn't be in the novel. Did I mention that I'm brilliant yet? No? Well, what about egotistical?)

         The first thing I'll mention is that the music in the opening of Neon Genesis: Evangelion is excellent. As a matter of fact, it's probably the best opening montage I've ever seen. I especially like how the story itself never mentions, even to the main character, that he is a boy of legend, but the theme song reveals that there are forces pushing toward the end of the series.
         The first episode opens with a gloomy scene of total dispair. That always peaks interest. Sirens are blaring and an evacuation warning can be heard from anywhere in the city of Tokyo 3. The main character is the only living thing that can be seen, standing by a phone booth on an empty street. His name is Shinji Ikari. His name is also Shane Cherry. You see, fair reader, that Shinji Ikari is me.
         I won't pretend to understand how, out of all random possibilities for a character, Shinji Ikari managed to be created from me. Shinji thinks and feels almost exactly like me. It's like he's a part of me.
         Shinji's similarities with me are not just mental. They are physical, as well, as surprising as that may sound. Shinji is unmuscular and physically weak. Unusual for anime, his brown hair sits flat on his head, coming down in points at the bangs, as if to attempt to barely hold on to the traditional anime fashion. If it weren't for those points at his bangs and his large, blue eyes, not even I could tell the two of us apart. But then again, I didn't notice it originally, but my hair sort of does sit in points. I guess it's just his eyes.
         More importantly, however, is his emotional state. This is where Shinji is the most like me, although I didn't know that when I first began the watching the series.
         Shinji is waiting to meet Misato Katsuragi, a co-worker of the father who abandonded Shinji in his youth. His father, whom Shinji hates, has apparently summoned Shinji. It just might have something to do with the giant monster currently ramaging through Tokyo 3, but then again, I don't think I've ever seen a city named Tokyo that wasn't attacked by a giant monster of some sort.
         Misato has sent Shinji a picture of herself so he can recognize her, but it also shows her immature nature. It's the first of the series' comically sexual instances. In Misato's picture, any viewer can see down her shirt at her breasts, so she took the liberty of scribbling in an arrow pointing to them and the words, "Take a look at this!"
         Misato arrives just in time to save Shinji from the giant monster, taking him to NERV headquaters. Apparently, NERV is a secret organization dedicated to saving the world from this giant monster and his friends, all run under the watchful eye of Commander Gendo Ikari, Shinji's father.
         As it turns out, NERV has giant mechanical beasts of some sort called Evangelions. Evas for short, it turns out that there are currently two Evas and one pilot. And to make the situation better, that pilot is injured. Well, that explains why Shinji has been called there. In short, Shinji, code named The Third Child, pilots in battle the second of the Evas, Evangelion Unit 01.
         In the second episode, Shinji defeats the scary, giant, Tokyo-crushing monster, but it's not by his ability. The Evangelion itself is a living being. It awakens and defeats the monster, also called an Angel.
         Also in that episode, Shinji moves in with Misato. It's good to be astute, as this episode has some humor for those with good observation skills.
         The third episode introduces Toji (Toe-G) Suzahara and Aida (I-da) Kensuke. While not happy with Shinji at first, they become Shinji's first friends. They sneak out of a shelter during a battle between Eva 01 and another Angel, nearly getting killed in the process. By the end of the episode, they've seen the Eva from the inside out, and more importantly, realized that when Shinji pilots the Eva, he suffers. Also explained by Ritsuko is the hedgehog's dillema. When two hedgehogs get close to each other, they stab each other with their quills.
         Episode four is curiously named "Hedgehog's Dilemma." This is a reference to Shinji's state of mine. By the end of the series, Shinji doesn't seem to have much trouble around certain people, people with whom he's comfortable, but he still appears cautious around people during a first meeting. That sounds familiar to me.
         Shinji actually decides to quit and go home during this episode, as he does many times in later episodes, trying to escape his own personal pain. His running, however, leaves only Rei (Ray) Ayanami (I-ana-me), also known as The First Child, able to pilot Eva 01. It's a severe hinderance to the world's defenses. A theme in Neon Genesis shows up for the first time in this episode, a theme I'd often pondered well before seeing the series. Are personal wants important enough to disregard the wants or needs of others? Oh, Shinji, I know thee too well. Of course, Shinji returns, like I always do.
         In episodes five and six, another Angel attacks. Shinji and Rei destroy it, of course. Shinji notices a burn on his father's hands, however, before they leave on their mission. Ritsuko explains that Commander Ikari saved Rei from an accident when testing Eva 00, burning his hands in the process. There seems to be a connection between the two of them. Also, Shinji's relationship with his fellow pilot is explored as he sees a loner, an outsider, from an objective view.
         The history of the series is revealed in the seventh episode. In the year 2000, a "meteor" hit Antartica, melting the polar ice caps and killing half of the world's population. This was known as the Second Impact. As you may already expect, it was a cover-up. Ritsuko Akagi, the head scientist for NERV explains the truth. A group of scientists found the frozen body of Adam, the first human being, still living. Adam is also the first Angel. There was a mysterious explosion, and Antarctica was left as a giant puddle.
         Later in the series, there's talk about the Dead Sea Scrolls. They predict the coming of seventeen such Angels, including Adam. The first one that Shinji defeats is third. Up to this point, Angels numbers one through five have been accounted for by NERV, but nothing has been revealed about the second Angel.
         Almost too little in signifigance to mention from the seventh episode, is also the fact that Misato is a slob, but she only shows Shinji that side of her. His friends point out to him that she is comfortable around him and considers him family. Thus, Shinji's friends help him have a revelation.
         Episode eight is one of the last that marks major signifigance until closer to the end of the series in both my story and the Genesis story. Many of the others are simple attacks by the Angels. Some are humorus, some have slight emotional revelations involved. I promise I'll skim over them as quickly as I can.
         Anyway, episode eight introduces The Second Child, Asuka (Aww-ska) Langley Sohryu (Sore-you). She is arguably the best character in the series. A hot-headed, intelligent, strong-willed German girl, she provides a lot of comic relief, especially in the beginning. When she first meets Toji, it's simply hilarious.
         Also introduced is Ryoji Kaji (Kaj-E). Kaji is different from every other character in the entire series. He has inner peace. Kaji is laid-back, mellow, and very funny. He's also a ladies' man, as Misato, Ritsuko, and even Asuka drool over him. Kaji is escorting Adam, reduced to his embryo form by NERV specialists, to Commander Ikari at NERV Headquaters.
         Oh, yeah, and Asuka and Shinji beat up an Angel.
         I'm only mentioning episode nine because it's absolutely hilarious. Shinji and Asuka go into battle against an Angel that can only be destroyed when its two parts are attacked simultaneously. For training purposes, Shinji and Asuka must live together, acting identically for almost a week. Shinji tries to kiss Asuka in her sleep once, but doesn't do it. Again, it's there mostally for humor.
         Shinji, throughout the course of the series, listens to the same two songs on his tape player whenever he's thinking. This is as good of a time to mention it as any, and as the tape player is in episode nine, I figured I'd mention it.
         Episode ten increases on the relationship between Asuka and Shinji. It looks like she's somewhat interested in him, but she doesn't want to admit it. Maybe she's a hedgehog, too. Episode eleven shows that Commander Ikari has a nice side. He isn't all business. It's the first time Shinji sees this.
         I'll skip to episode thirteen, where it's revealed that not only NERV, but Tokyo 3 itself, relies on three computers programmed by Ritsuko's mother to make all of their decisions. An Angel invades them, nearly destroying the computer system.
         Skipping to episode fifteen, Commander Ikari and Shinji go to the grave of Yui (You-E) Ikari, Shinji's mother. Ikari makes an interesting comment there, saying that "burying memories is man's way of surviving." Later in the episode, Shinji and Asuka are alone at home. In another humorous moment, Asuka actually tricks Shinji into kissing her by insulting his masculinity. Then, as if to demonstrate that she, too, has quills, immeadiately goes to the bathroom to wash her mouth out.
         It also turns out that Kaji is actually a spy for both NERV and the Japenese government. I find it incredibly ironic that the man with the least amount of conflict surrounds himself with the most. Kaji takes Misato to the center of NERV headquaters, where he shows her Adam, now half-regenerated, nailed to a scarlet cross. Adam has obviously been crucified. Also, there is something called the Lance of Loginus protruding from Adam's chest. It is apparently important for the confusion of the story, but I doubt its importance.
         In the sixteenth episode, Shinji realizes for one of many times that I must face my fears. When Shinji enters battle with an Angel, he seems to draw strength from convincing himself that there is no other choice. He whispers, "I mustn't run away. I mustn't run away. I mustn't run away." Shinji is right. Shinji's constant running becomes a theme throughout the story as he awakens to the fact that he's been running. Once again, I must emphasize that my synopsis pales in comparison to the actual show.
         Also, noted only for Genesis' story, Eva 01 acts without a power supply in this episode. It is later revealed that the Evangelions actually have souls.
         The eighteenth episode marks a personal dilemma. NERV's third branch creates Eva 03. When a parasitic Angel takes control of the Angel, Shinji refuses to attack it while a pilot is trapped inside. Commander Ikari switches the Eva into an autopilot type mode. Eva 01 destroys Eva 03, nearly killing the pilot, who happens to be Toji Suzahara. Shinji feels at fault for death of his friend, as he thinks that Toji has been killed. If I had created the story, he would have died, solely for dramatic emphasis. The importance of this episode, however, is that Shinji didn't want to hurt his friend, despite the possibility of destroying the world.
         In the next episode, number nineteen, Shinji, angry, runs once again. Meanwhile, a humanoid Angel with razor sharp blades attacks. Asuka, piloting Eva 02 is completely annihilated in a matter of seconds. Rei then attempts piloting Eva 00, which is currently damaged, but is also defeated. Shinji, watching the battle from a distance, meets up with Kaji. Kaji has interesting and enlightening advice during the series, telling Shinji that, "People don't understand themselves, much less others". During this meeting, however, it is not what Kaji says, but rather what he does, or rather, what he doesn't do, that convinces Shinji to return to NERV and beat the crap out of the Angel.
         Kaji is peacefully watering watermellons in a field admist the chaos. He doesn't evacuate. He doesn't run. If he's going to die, he says, he'd like to die doing something he enjoys.
         Shinji's synchronization ratio with the Eva during the battle (in which it once again operates without power) is recorded as 400 percent. In episode twenty, it is revealed that as a result of this, Shinji has become one with the Evangelion. His mind and body have actually bonded with the Eva. He struggles with his own existence and eventually decides that he wants to live. This is the final factor in a experimental method of retrieving Shinji's physical form from inside the Eva.
         In episode twenty-one, Kaji commits treason. He discovers tons of truthful information about the lies on which NERV was founded and passes them secretly to Misato. He is well aware of his punishment and accepts his own demise. His last request is that Misato cares for his watermellons.
         Misato is more overwhelmed by Kaji's death than anyone, especially since they had recently returned to being lovers. Shinji finds himself unable to open up to her and comfort her, so he begins to not return home at night. I believe that at this point, Asuka, feeling threatened by the fact that Shinji is a better pilot that her, had already stopped returning home every night.
         Somewhere around now in the series, episode numbers being a complete blur, flashbacks to the creation of NERV and the Evangelions are revealed. This marks where the series gets confusing. After the Second Impact, Gendo and Yui Ikari work together in an attempt to create the Evangelions. Ritsuko's mother apparently has a thing for Commander Ikari, as they have an affair after Yui's death. The show is unclear on how she dies, but it is implied that she is killed in a lab experiment dealing with the Evangelions. Suicide and homicide are both also probably causes of death. Rei is also present in the flashback, with the purpose revealing that the affair between Ritsuko's mother and Commander Ikari is not out of love. Ikari is using her.
         Back in the present, Asuka's scarred past catches up with her. Her mother abondonded her much more dramatically than Commander Ikari abandonded Shinji. When she is saved from an Angel by Rei, Asuka feels worthless. She begins to find it harder and harder to hold up her psychological shield around others. What she doesn't realize, and what many people don't realize, is that there is no need for a shield. Asuka overcompensates for her resulting insecurities by trying to always act tough, despite having a delicate soul. Asuka's inner turmoil results in her being unable to synchronize with Eva 02.
         In a heated battle, Rei is forced to destroy Eva 00 in order to defeat an Angel. Only Shinji and Eva 01 remain to fight. Rei obviously fails to survive the hideous explosion that destroys Eva 00, but nevertheless, she is alive. She seems like a different person, though, saying that she must be the third, a line that refers to a tank of Reis held deep within the depths of NERV.
         Ritsuko, who also loves Commander Ikari, discovers the truth about him. He still loves his wife and can't accept her death. That is why he created Rei. I told you this gets confusing. There are a whole tank of Reis under NERV headquaters. Discribing them as "bodies without souls," Ritsuko destroys them in front of Misato and Shinji. They seem to be made from Yui's soul, but there is also speculation at some point in the series that Yui's soul actually inhabits Eva Unit 01. Again, it's confusing.
         Asuka had meanwhile run away, looking for protection from the world, as she is no longer strong enough protect herself. She is actually very similar to Shinji in some respects. Due to Asuka's state, a new pilot is found for Eva 02. Kaworu (Car-w'oh-roo) Nagisa (Na-geese-ah) arrives to pilot the Eva. He is obviously at peace with the world.
         Kaworu accepts Shinji for he he is, comforting Shinji. Kaworu also manages to stir things up for Rei (the Rei, not the tank of Reis), but in a peaceful manner. He tells her that they are the same. At the risk of using a cliche, he is to good to be true. As it turns out, Kaworu is the last Angel, who commandeers Eva 02 externally and attempts to reach Adam.
         When he reaches Adam, despite having plenty of time to touch Adam and destroy mankind, Kaworu, stops. Kaworu realizes that Adam is not actually Adam at all. He is really Lillith, the Second Angel, and they key in SEELE's Human Evolution Project. He decides that mankind deserves to live and allows Shinji to catch him, rather than melding with Lillith and granting SEELE their wish. Once again, Shinji is faced with the dilemma of destroying the one friend he has, the only thing dear to him, in order to save others. This time, Shinji eventually kills Kaworu. That makes the score one to one. Personal want is tied with responsibility to others.
         And so, Kaworu, SEELE's synthetic Angel, created to aid in the evolution of the human race, is destroyed. It is also implied that Rei has the same abilities as Kaworu, but does not know how to use them exactly. She, like the Evas, and like Kaworu, can be used to grant both the secret wishes of SEELE and Commander Ikari.
         Now the series gets much more confusing! When it seemed like I was just starting to comprehend the history of the show, Commander Ikari somehow used Rei to defeat the Human Evolution Project and bring about instrumentality, the unification of all human minds. Yeah, I was lost, too.
         Apparently, SEELE (Say-lay), the organization that oversees NERV, had been trying to use the Evangelions to further evolve the human race. Commander Ikari, however, uses Rei somehow to bring about instrumentality. This is his last chance to be reunited with his wife. It is also the focus of Neon Genesis: Evangelion's last two episodes.
         Although it treks through the minds of Rei, Misato, and Asuka, instrumentality focuses on Shinji's mind. The treks through the other three could be within his mind, anyway. Shinji interacts with himself, his perception of other people, their perception of him (which are probably actually his perception of their perception of him), and his perception of life all to come to conclusions about his own life. This only gets more confusing as I try to analyze it.
         At one point, Shinji finds himself, drawn in black and white, floating. He can't do anything except float in a see of white. This is due to the fact that there is nothing else in this universe. Nothing can hurt him, but Shinji sacrifices his own abilities to perform actions in the process. So ground is added. Now Shinji can no longer float, but is restricted to movement on the ground. Also, Shinji risks hurting himself by hitting the ground. He gives up his freedom to add to his world, to add a purpose to the world. There can't be just nothingness in a world, or there is no point to having a world at all.
         In another part of instrumentality, Asuka awakens a sleeping Shinji, beginning a very humorous segment in which Shinji has a perfect, happy family and a perfect, happy day at school. My life, that's all Shinji wanted.
         Shinji later awkakens from that reality. He realizes that he actually lived a life similar to one with a functioning family and that he was not as hated as he had previously thought. He wasn't under as much pressure as he had thought. He just looked at the world in the wrong light. Shinji learns that one's perspective forms his reality. That is the culmination of the series. As he makes this realization all of the characters, even Pen-pen, Misato's pet penguin congratulates him. Subtitles are shown on the screen as Shinji congratulates himself. "Thank you to my father." And then, "Goodbye to my mother." And finally, "And to all the children," "Congratulations!"

         But there was a second ending filmed for this series. Entitled End of Evangelion, it is more confusing than instrumentality. In this ending, just about everyone dies when SEELE attacks NERV headquarters in an attempt to carry out the Human Evolution Project. Rei abandons Ikari, melding with Lillith. Lillith was the Second Angel, and now Rei has become part of her. The Biblical references are out of control here. First came Adam, then Lillith. Lillith was taken out of the picture and then from Adam was created Eve, or in this case, Eva. What a mess!
         The entire Eva series, which were being built during the battles with the Angels, attack and capture Shinji and Eva 01. Then Lillith engulfs them all and someway, somehow, Rei gives Shinji a choice. He may either remain in instrumentality and allow the mankind to be sucked of its individuality, or he can release all of humanity, but he would live in a world of pain. He chooses pain.
         And so Shinji finds himself on a beach in a postapocalyptic wasteland strangling Asuka for all the pain she had put him through during the main series when she continually removed her emotional shielding and then replaced it whenever he got close to her, putting the brunt of her anger solely on him. And Shinji sits on the burning sand and lets his head drop to his knees and says, "I feel terrible."

         There was a third ending filmed as well, but I never saw it.

         I apologize for the tediousness and the longevity of the previous chapter and of the chapter yet to come. They are each included for a reason, so please, read them, despite their lack of interesting material. I realize my summation appears bland, but I cannot even nearly begin to describe the emotional implications of the series. I strongly recrommend that you actually watch the series before reading any farther in my book if you can, as it'll help you understand that chapter you just read, and also, the chapter that follows.

Neo Neon Genesis (New New Beginning)

         Shinji and I are almost one. The difference between Shinji and me is that I did come from my perfect family and perfect home, while he had a reason for torment. He had an excuse. I am not solely Shinji; I am myself as well. Shinji is only my tormented side, a side of myself I had burried, a side of myself I had forgotten, a side of myself that upon watching Neon Genesis: Evangelion awoke. That is why I subjected you to the long and probably boring synopsis you just read. If I had never seen Genesis, I'd still be ignorant. Shinji Ikari is only my tormented side, but laying dormant for so long, when it awoke, its presence was felt. It is the side of myself with direct control over all of my emotions, and thus my strongest. There is only one other side of myself that can ever overcome it in battle. That side is my greatest gift.
         And so, as I have already stated, Shinji is not my entire being. I have my creative side, for instance, a side of myself that insists I change stories that I dislike to things I do in my own mind. My moral side tells me it's wrong, however, to change somebody else's work, so my greatest gift finds me a technicality. If I add a character, or even multiple characters, I can manipulate the situations to my liking. Maybe it's the chance for adventure, maybe just the wanting a better ending to those stories, but I've wasted probably upwards of a few years of my life in my own imagination, putting forms of myself in stories. I don't imagine them once, but rather, I dwell on them for hours at a time. Unfortunately for you, only when I write them down, can I ever stop.
         Thus, I present to you a new story of Neon Genesis. I composed it over time, some even after my journey, the event chronicled in this book, had ended. I've included only the finished product here for your convenience, rather than posting it according to when I thought of each segment. It is written in a style focussing only on key elements, as I still have a lot to say, and concerns about the size of this book will become an issue. I also made sure to write in a style that GAINAX corporation could use it to make another Neon Genesis series out of it, in case they ever choose to do so (mainly as a peace offering for the near copyright infringment above). All I would ask would be to perform the voice of either Shinji Ikari or my added version of me.

         The first episode would begin with a black screen and a subtitle.
         "There are many worlds. Each world has its own current reality." and then, "Each world's current reality exists simultaneously with others." and then, "In one such world and one such reality, a young boy defended the planet Earth from invaders known as Angels." The screen would show clips of Shinji defeating the Angels. Returning to blackness, the subtitles reappear. "When the planet was safe, one man united all human minds. Thus was instrumentality." Clips of the instrumentality process are shown. The subtitles return simply stating, "Peace." and then, "When two realities exist side by side, they are known as brother realities. Each one is similar to the other." and then, "In a brother reality to that one, instrumentality was adverted, but the world was destroyed." Clips of SEELE's attack on NERV from End of Evangelion are shown. It ends with the shot of Shinji on the wasteland beach that ends the series. "This is the story of a third brother reality."
         (Note: I wrote this story as something presentable on television. That opening could change slightly according to the ending of Death and Rebirth, the other alternate ending for the Neon Genesis series.)

         Other than my new beginning, my new Neon Genesis begins with the same first episode as the other. There could be episodes created to show the time before the Third Angel's attack, showing the creation of NERV and that sort of thing, but it would not be necessary to my fantasy. All of the events until the destruction of the Third Angel, Shinji's first battle, remain the same, with the exceptions listed above. I have only altered Neon Genesis with presence of any characters I chose to create, not rewritten it completely. It's wrong to make other characters act in a way that they would not normally act, so I change only the situations that affect them by changing those around them.
         Shortly after the Third Angel's demise, the scene switches to a secret NERV testing facility in Germany. Kaji is seen looking through a glass window.
         "How's Asuka doing?" a voice asks him. Kaji continues to look forward as a teenage boy, sixteen, walks beside him. The boy's face is hidden by a combination of the collar on his uniform shirt, turned up to hide his mouth, and a shadow, which he steps into instinctively.
         "Up four points," Kaji responds, "NERV thinks its almost time to send her and Unit 02 to Japan."
         "Then she's just in time. The Third Angel attacked yesterday."
         "Are you leaving then?" Kaji asks, turning his back to the glass. He leans against a control panel on the wall.
         "I have to, Kaji," the boy responds. "The Third Child... he's..."
         "I know," Kaji sighs. "You still have the option to turn back. Nobody is making you do this."
         "I know," sighs the boy, "I don't want to go, but I just can't run away, not now."
         "Well, try not to get hurt over there. It's dangerous. We both know the implications of this business, but I still don't think you're ready." He pauses. Shortly after, he continues. "If you think you must go, you must go. I suppose things could be much worse. I just hope that you get there in time to make a difference. Who knows when it'll be that Commander Ikari sends Unit 01 back into the field. I'd hate to see anything happen to the famous Third Child. Reports say he had a forty percent sync ratio."
         "It doesn't surprise me, not with Eva 01's soul."
         "So it's true then? The rumors?" Kaji asks, turning towards the boy for the first time.
         "Yes, Kaji, And I'd know better than anyone." The boy also leans back against the glass as he says this. Only a few features of his face can be seen behind Kaji's. They stand there for a minute in silence.
         "When are you leaving?" Kaji eventually asks.
         "Tonight. I'll arive in Tokyo-3 by tomorrow morning. That should give me more than enough time to-" Their conversation is cut short by Asuka's arrival into the room. Her long, red hair floats through the air as she jumps into Kaji's arms.
         "Kaji!" she yells in delight. "I didn't think you'd come!"
         "Anything for you, darling," Kaji flirts back. The boy sighs in the background as Kaji continues, "Dr. Von Nogstron tells me that you've been performing quite well on your latest tests, much higher than the First Child."
         "And did you expect anything less from me, Kaji?" Asuka continues her flirting. With a second sigh, the boy rises from his reclined position and begins to walk towards a nearby exit. When he reaches it, he turns and looks back once. Though his face lies within the shadows of the doorway, his eye meet Asuka's. His head turns back suddenly. "Kaji, who's that?" Asuka asks as the boy stands silently with his back to them.
         "Just a friend, Asuka, just a friend," Kaji answers as the boy begins to step forward again. "Take care," he calls. The boy's left hand raises over his shoulder in a waving motion as he dissappears into the shadows.

         The series follows Shinji from that point forward until the attack of the Fourth Angel. As he walks through NERV headquaters and Tokyo-3 during this time, he notices, on a few occasions different people, including a boy who remains in the shadows constantly. This occurs mainly at NERV headquaters and school. I'll spare you the details that I have created in my mind, as they will only serve to prolong my story, which I want to keep short, as it is not the focus of this novel. There is only one intrusion to the story before the Fourth Angel's arrival that I feel is worthy to mention.
         Shinji sits in the bath tub during the second episode, sorting out bad memories in his mind. I changed this slightly. In my version, Shinji remembers his father abandoning him, but soon after, his thoughts turn to his mother's gravestone, and a second grave that sits next to it. It reads, "Ikari Jonai 1999-2013."
         During the battle with the Fourth Angel, "The Lobster Thing," as Alex has accurately named it, Shinji, with less than five minutes of power remaining, has taken Toji and Aida, his only two friends, into his cockpit, in order to save their lives. They clearly see the pain on Shinji's face. As Shinji is about to send his knife directly into the Angel's core, the Eva gets hit by something.
         The camera switches to NERV headquaters, where the situation is being analyzed.
         "We just got a reading! Something has struck Eva Unit 01's left rib cage!" someone calls out. Misato, thinks to herself, "Come on, Shinji! You can beat this thing!"
         On the surface, Eva 01 topples over, falling onto a nearby hill. It's leg is damaged and it can no longer stand. Both Toji and Aida have been knocked unconsious from the fall. Suddenly, Shinji realizes that the Angel has been destroyed. He sees the core of the Fourth Angel shattered almost completely. It's red glow has faded to a dim light. Standing before the Angel is a boy, naked, staring at the corpse that lay before him. His back is to the Eva. Protruding from each arm is a long, blue, glowing blade. He turns and looks over his shoulder, his face still in the Angel's massive shadow, but it can clearly be seen that he is now looking at Eva Unit 01. Shinji can see almost into his eyes. Then Shinji blacks out.

         When Shinji awakens, he finds himself in the same hospital bed he was in after his battle with the Third Angel. He eventually gains the senses to ask himself, "Was that a dream?"
         Again the story would begin to follow Shinji as he runs from NERV. My next interruption occurs after Shinji returns home with Misato, but before the Fifth Angel attacks.
         Shinji, sits once again in his bath tub, staring at the nothingness that fills the space between him and the wall. It is here that he looks over his past memories. The camera zooms in on his face. Suddenly, his eyes widen as he realizes what happened during the battle with the Fourth Angel. The camera switches to inside the Eva's cockpit for a second before showing a figure running on the ground. With a leap, the shadow crashes into the side of the Evangelion, sending it toppling to the ground. The camera once again shows the inside of the cockpit, which is now filled with the screams of Shinji, Aida, and Toji. The camera returns to outside of the Eva, where the figure can be seen for a split second resting on midsection of the Eva. The shadow's right leg suddenly explodes and then compresses itself, regaining its proper size. This sends the creature flying through the air, silhouetted by the sun's light. As it flies, a blade begins to grow from the right arm of the shadow, extending until a full length that reaches beyond its clenched fist. This blade strikes the Fourth Angel, landing directly in its core.
         They stand there, Angel and silhouette, for a split second that seems like an eternity, before the silhouette once again explodes. In a matter of seconds, it grows out of its human body, tearing the clothes it once wore to shreds. Shinji stares at it from the Eva's cockpit, frightened by its mighty power. The beast grows until it reaches its full size. Still a shadow, it has grown to the size and shape of an Evangelion. Its only distinct features are the deadly blades coming from its arms, glowing a pale blue against its own white skin. Shinji blinks for a second and then sees only the shape of a boy, about his age, standing in the shadow of a now decimated Angel. The boy turns his head towards Shinji as Shinji awakens from his dream, still sitting in the bath tub.
         The scene switches to Commander Ikari's office. He sits with his chair facing away from his desk. Misato Katsuragi (Cat-sir-ra-g-E) stares at the back of his chair from the other side of the room.
         "Your report, Captain Katsuragi?" Ikari asks impatiently.
         "All our visual sensors went blank for a window of ten seconds on the day of the incident, sir," Misato answers compliantly. She adds, "If you want my opion, well, I believe it was sabotage, sir. Someone didn't want us to see what was happening up there."
         "But what about the pilot?" Ikari asks, remaining calm.
         "Sensors indicated a large object next to the Angel moments before it was destroyed. The pilot was in an instable mental state and could not be questioned about it and the passangers both had seen nothing. Luckilly, we managed to get a thermal scan on the object. I think you'll like to take a look at this, sir." She places a file she had been holding on his desk. He turns and lifts it to his eyes.
         After staring at the picture for a moment, Ikari simply says to Misato, "Thank you, Captain Katsuragi, that will be all." Ikari places the file back on his desk. The camera zooms in on it, showing without a doubt that an Eva struck the Fourth Angel.

         Again, sparing you the details so that I can reach the good part of the book without focusing on fiction too long, the story carries on as it was written with the exception of the boy who spoke with Kaji being seen once again in NERV headquaters. When the Fifth Angel, a diamond shaped monster, attacks, something once again strikes it suddenly. It fires at any target that comes within its range, but the same shadow that struck the Fourth Angel creeps up on the Fifth Angel in its human form. Then in a rush of movement, the shadow's larger form slashes the Angel, stopping it from firing a beam that could have destroyed Eva 00 and Rei. Noticing that the Angel had been stricken, Misato yells for Shinji to finish the job while its gaurd is down, and he destroys it. All of Japan's electricity had been channelled to Eva 01's rifle during the battle, so the visual sensors are still unable to record a clear image of the shadow. Shinji still manages to express his concern for Rei's life, like he does in the original series, despite Rei's not being as close to death.
         This brings the story to Asuka and Evangelion Unit 02's trip from Germany to Japan. As Misato, Shinji, Toji, and Aida disembark from their helicopter, the camera stays behind. A minute after they leave, a cargo hatch inside opens. A teenage boy, about sixteen years old, steps out from the hatch and onto the deck of the ship on which Asuka had been travelling. His United Nations Navy uniform's collar is flipped up to cover his mouth. He wears sunglasses and a naval cap to hide his facial features as best as possible.
         The episode continues as the children and Misato meet Asuka and explore the boat. Shinji catches a glimpse of the faceless boy once. Also, Kaji finds time to slip away into a secluded cargo hold. There Kaji secretly meets with the boy.
         "Do you have it?" asks the boy, leaning in the corner of the room. Kaji simply smiles and lifts a suitcase up and down gently, to show that the "it," whatever it is, is inside. "Then you'll be delivering it to Commander Ikari?"
         "Yes, and I bet he'll be glad to get his hands on this prize! It's one of a kind, you know."
         "Of course."
         "So, I've heard that NERV has had its hands full these past few weeks. News of the Fifth Angel's demise hit Germany before we left," Kaji smirks.
         "Yes, the Eva pilots fought well and have thus far destroyed all opposing Angels without much damage."
         "And is that the official report?" Kaji asks with his smirk growing.
         "Of course," responds the boy. "It's rare for NERV to include anything Ikari can't explain in its reports, so why should this case be any different?" Kaji's laughter can be heard echoing through the darkness. There's suddenly a crash. The boat rocks and Misato falls in through the doorway. She rises to her feet and points her pistol at Kaji.
         "Misato, I didn't realize you took those comments I made earlier quite so seriously. I know that you didn't sleep with Shinji... Although now that I think about it, the boy never actually denied anything!" Kaji remains cool under pressure.
         "Who were you talking to?" Misato demands, holding the gun steadily at Kaji. She looks around, but sees nobody. The ship rocks again as it becomes clear that something is hitting it's hull.
         "Why, I was just exploring this relic and making a few notes to myself about its design. It's amazing this old tanker still floats!"
         "Damn it, Kaji, don't lie to me!" (I'm writing this in the vernacular of the series.) Misato now notices the case in Kaji's hand. "What's that?" she asks.
         "This, my dear Misato, is a gift for Commander Ikari. Top priority mail, if you will." There's a third impact on the hull of the ship. Kaji remains standing, but Misato loses her footing and then regains it quickly.
         "Damn it!" Misato yells. "Come on, Kaji, this has to be an Angel!" Kaji follows Misato back up to the deck, where Shinji and Asuka have already begun to activate Unit 02.
         The episode continues as it would usually. Shinji and Asuka manage to defeat the Sixth Angel, Asuka being hilarious as usual. This episode in the original series is the first of three consecutive episodes that are the best in the entire show. Also, Kaji delivers to Commander Ikari, Adam, the first human and the First Angel, from whom all life began. Adam is in an embryotic form, contained within the suitcase that he had held.

         The series continues as planned during the battles with the Seventh and Eighth Angels. The mysterious shadow person arrives at each of these battles, but decides that he can't help. The views of the person begin to become more clear, but still not clear enough for a face to be seen. Also, the boy who spends his time with Kaji is seen a couple of times by Shinji, Rei, and Asuka, silent as always. Asuka mentions having seen him before, but she can't remember where. Although the characters do not notice it, the boy spends his time watching as Ritsuko conducts experiments.

         My next interruption occurs during the blackout that leads to the attack of the Ninth Angel. The spider-like Angel positions itself over a chute through which all three pilots are trying to climb. Unfortunately, the Angel's deadly acid drops prevent that. Asuka quickly makes a plan. She climbs as far as she can along the chute and holds her position, taking the brunt of the damage from the Angel's acid. Meanwhile, Rei climbs to the bottom of the chute and tosses a rifle up to Shinji's Unit 01. Asuka quickly moves out of the way, and Shinji fires a volley of shots.
         The shots hit nothing but the night sky.
         "Did you get it, Shinji?" Asuka asks irratated.
         "I don't think so," replies a bewildered Shinji.
         Suddenly, movement is seen by all three on the surface. Shinji points the rifle quickly at the first thing he sees. It is the shadowed boy. In the darnkness, none of his features can be seen; only a faint outline and the dim glow of the two blue blades are visible. Shinji retracts his rifle. With a look of disdain, the silhouette turns and leaves.
         "Hey, where are ya goin?" Asuka yells, breaking the silence. All three Evas climb out from their hole to search for the figure, but they are stopped immeadiately by the sight that lays before them. The Angel has been torn to shreds. Blood stains the city of Tokyo-3. The Angel's body is almost unrecognizable.
         "What could have done something this... this... horrible?" Asuka asks, nearly crying.
         "I think I'm gonna be sick," are Shinji's only words.
         Rei says nothing.

         The scene changes to Commander Ikari's office. Misato and Ritsuko stand in the office now, attempting to withstand the heat of Ikari's stare.
         "Report?" he asks, fingers perched in a triangle formation. His stare continues piercing Ritsuko and Misato.
         "The blackout was carefully timed during one of my key experiments with the Evas relative to the special project you assigned me," Ritsuko explains in a monotone voice. "Three years of research was lost."
         Misato adds, "Our generators were found cut through by some sort of blade. There was no residue of any sort, but it is obvious that the cause of the blackout was sabotage." Commander Ikari smirks at that statement. "The MAGI agree," says Misato, attempting to back up her previous remark.
         "The causes of the blackout are of no consequence to us," Commander Ikari states. "Return to normal work. Ritsuko, you may consult the findings of Rei's project to make up for as much lost work as possible. Understood?"
         "Yes, sir," Ritsuko responds.

         The scene switches again to a balcony on NERV headquaters' main tower. A teenage boy, about sixteen years old, leans over the rail. His NERV uniform's collar is turned up to hide his face and his hair drapes over his eyes. The features of his face that are not covered by his collar and hair are cast into the shadow of each. Slowly, Kaji's familiar figure walks next to him from behind. He relaxes on the railing, leaning against it. His back is to the camera.
         "I heard about the Angel," he says calmly.
         "Yes," the boy responds, "The blackout was timed exactly right. Ritsuko lost all of the information from her experiments, and the Evas handled the Angel's attack. At least, that's what the official reports says." He chuckles. "How did you do?"
         "Brillantly," Kaji smiles. "Ikari has already put Adam in the Central Dogma. He's an inspiring sight, if I do say so myself. I took the liberty of disabling all security measures during the blackout, so we could have a party down there if we so chose!"
         "Great." The boy pauses. As the silence grows longers, Kaji turns to look at the boy. "Kaji, I think I'm ready."
         Kaji leans his head back and stares up at the sky. "I never stopped you before," he says. "If you're ready to reveal yourself, we can work something out." There's another pause. "So who will it be?" Kaji asks at last.
         "Misato... and Shinji... and I guess Rei and Asuka, too," comes the boy's slow reply, "With the Angels attacking in force, there's not much point to hiding it anymore... and I guess... I'm tired of running."

         The camera changes again. I'm not writing this in terms of episodes, but this is where I'd start one. This scene opens with Kaji walking down a secluded hallway deep within NERV headquaters. His hands lie deep within his pockets and he strolls with his head held up high with his eyes closed, whistling. His stroll comes to an abrupt ending when he feels the barrel of a pistol touching his forehead. He opens his eyes to double-check that which he already knew.
         "Hello, Misato," he says cheerfully, not swayed by the firearm.
         "Why did you call me here?" Misato asks impatiently. "And what kind of work are you in? What's this big thing you had to show me?"
         "All in due time, Misa-"
         "You don't have much time, Kaji," Misato interrupts, cocking the gun.
         "Well since you obviously aren't interested in a candlelight dinner to start off the evening, we'll get right down to business. Misato, keep your eyes on this!" Kaji takes a keycard out of his pocket and in one fluid movement, reaches beyond Misato to run it through a lock of the Terminal Dogma entrance. The room opens up to reveal a scarlet cross with a large white being attached to it. A lance protrudes from its chest.
"This," Kaji explains, arms spread to show Misato the entire room, "is Adam, the key to the Second Impact! It's said that if an Angel were ever to touch him, all humanity would be destroyed! It took me months to figure out this little secret, but once Commander Ikari took me into his elite cabinet, well, everything just worked out!
         Misato looks around slowly, taking in the creature that stands crucified before her, legless, with seven eyes on its purple face. Eventually she starts to ask Kaji something, but is cut off by the sound of footsteps echoing through the Dogma.
         She spins around to see the figure of a boy walking towards her through the dimly lit room's shadows. She aims her gun, waiting to see what will happen.
         "Relax, Misato; the boy's with me," Kaji calls, keeping his eyes fixed on Adam.
         "Shinji? Shinji, is that you?" Misato calls into the darkness as the figure slowly approaches the one central light that hovers over Adam.
         "No," the figure replies slowly, "but you're close." The shadown pauses for a moment before taking one last step into the light. His entire body can now be seen, and special attention is given to his face. It is a face that Misato clearly remembers.
         The camera floats from the boy to Misato and zooms in on her face as her eyes widen and her pupils dilate. She drops her gun and slowly falls to her knees. The camera returns to her face to show a tear swelling up in her eye as her trembling lips manage to utter a single word. "Jonai..."

         This is where I'd insert the title screen, etc. Then a subtitle would appear on a black screen. "1998 AD" would soon disappear to show a scene of Yui and Gendo Ikari working. Yui leaves work early to catch a movie, but Commander Ikari stays behind for a few moments, saying that he'll catch up with her later. As she walks to the movie, she is attacked by a stranger and raped. Her husband finds her, and gives the aggressor a good punch before running over to his wife. In this moment, the attacker, unfortunately, escapes.
         "1999 AD" A new scene begins. Commander Ikari's second in command informs his of Yui's giving birth to a baby boy. Her preferance for the boy's name is Jonai. When asked about it, Ikari yells, "She can name her child whatever the hell she wants!" and pauses for a moment before adding, "Jonai... I hate that name."

         "2015 AD" For a brief moment, the camera shows Commander Ikari at his office. He is staring suspisciously at the thermal picture of the Eva shadow striking the Fourth Angel. The scene then changes.
         Misato, Jonai, and Kaji arrive at an apartment door.
         "Are you sure Rei will recognize you?" asks Misato?
         "I don't think Rei Ayanami has ever forgotten a thing in her life!" Jonai exclaims. "Besides, of all people, I know Rei will remember who I am. I'll get her to come over for dinner at your place, Misato. That way, we'll have the whole gang together!" Jonai enters the appartment, leaving Misato and Kaji alone in the hallway.
         "You know, Misato, it's likely to be a while before Jonai can convince Rei to come to dinner, and this is an awfully empty hallway..." Kaji begins to flirt.
         "Don't get fresh with me, Kaji," says Misato, slapping his hand as he tries to put it around her shoulders. "I've got too much on my mind." There's a pause. Eventually, Kaji begins to whistle to fill the silence. Misato finds her lips moving and a brief sound escaping them. "Just how did he survive, anyway?"

         "2013 AD" The scene opens in NERV headquaters. A series of voices call up from the computers.
         "Entry plug inserted!"
         "Pilot vitals are okay!"
         "Fifty percent activation!"
         "Everything's looking good!"
         "Eighty percent!"
         "It could actually work!"
         "Ninety-five percent! Ninety-six percent!"
         "I think we may have done it this time!"
         "Ninety-eight! Ninety-nine! Ninety-nine point one! Point two!"
         "Our dream may be about to come true. Gendo, we may have done it," comes the voice Commander Ikari's second in command. He sits with Ikari overlooking the chaos.
         "The Evas are very tempermental," Ikari responds calmly. "Don't be surprised if they betray us."
         "How're ya doin', Jonai?" calls Misato as the camera switches to the main control floor. It is from there that Misato leads the entire operation.
         "Ninety-nine point five!"
         "It's a little painful, but I think I'm okay," Jonai responds. The camera has meanwhile switched to where he sits inside the cockpit of an Eva, wearing the standard pilot's suit. He's wincing a little from pain. After his one sentence, the camera changes again to outside the Eva. It is predominantly white, also colored with a peaceful sea green. A light blue shade is also present, along with a few smaller armor plates in the tan color of a seabed. Attached to its arms are two long, blue blades. The camera zooms in on the Eva's designation numbers. They read, "01."
         "Just hang in there, Jonai," Misato calls, "It'll only be another minute or two." The camera returns to NERV's control room as the countdown continues.
         "Point seven! Point eight! Ninety-nine point nine!" Suddenly, the relays begging going backwards, disconnecting as the count back.
         "What's wrong?"
         "They're going backwards! I can't stop it!"
         "Ahhhhhh!" Jonai's pained scream echoes through the entire complex. The camera switches to the cage that holds the Eva as is tares through its bindings. It immeadiately begins rampaging through NERV's underground systems. It's blades slice through the walls of the facility as if they weren't even there. Meanwhile, inside Eva 01, Jonai is seen clutching his head, reeling in pain, and screaming loudly.
         "Quick! Eject the entry plug!" Misato yells, running to a nearby control panel.
         "I can't! The command is being overridden! The Eva has full control!"
         The camera returns to the Evangelion's rampage as it crashes into a large manufacturing room. The Eva begins to trash everything. It even slices through two giant chains that were being used to carry a spare blade, suspended in the air. As the blade makes its way to the ground, it is intercepted by the Eva's left wrist. Both the blade and the hand that had been attached to that wrist fall to the ground.
         "Thirty more seconds until that thing is out of power!" cries a voice back in the control room. Ikari's face remains calm and unchanged during the entire ordeal.
         The camera shows the Eva climbing out of NERV headquaters onto the surface of the planet. It begins running off into a desert. It is intercepted by a group of three UN helicopters, but deals with them easily. It jumps, twisting in air, and lands on its feet. The Eva then swats down all three effortlessly in a single swing. Unit 01 turns to walk away and continue its rampage, but as its power has now run out, it collapses after a few steps. The camera returns to NERV headquaters, where a big timer now reads "00:00:00."
         "The Eva has lost all power," a voice calls triumphantly. It is evident that visual scanners were destroyed during the Eva's rampage. "We're detecting radiation leaks from the Eva."
         "Help me!" Jonai's voice comes weakly through the intercom.
         "Help yourself," Ikari sneers, never leaving his calm voice, as he stands to address Jonai.
         "Help me! It hurts!" Jonai's voice blasts crying through the control room.
         "Aren't we going to send a recovery crew?" Misato yells at her commander.
         "No. The radiation is too dangerous. You may lead a radioactive recovery crew as soon as one can be assembled." Ikari's face remains emotionless. For the first time, the command room seems silent, except for the voices of Jonai, Commander Ikari, and Misato.
         "But that could be hours with all the red tape! What about the pilot?" she pleads with him.
         "You have your orders, Lieutenant Katsuragi."
         "Yes, sir." Misato's head falls as she realizes that she can't help the trapped Jonai.
         "How could you do this to me?" Jonai's voice comes again, this time carrying with it a renewed anger. "How could you do this to your own son?"
         "You were never my son," comes Ikari's strike. He says it as calmly as ever, but it is an obviously deep cut. A silence follows.
         "The pilot has cut the audio connection," comes a voice from one monitor at last. The silence regains its composure and once again settles over the control room with renewed strength. Suddenly, the monitor's voice returns again and banishes the silence back into chaos.
         "The pilot's sync ratio is increasing! It's fifty percent! No, ninety! 140! 220! It just keeps increasing!"
         "No, it can't be happening! Not again!" cries Ritsuko, who had been working with the computer operators throughout the scene.
         Commander Ikari, sitting again, perches his fingers against each other and stares at the screen. His thoughts remain silent to the viewer.
         "It's at 300 percent! Now three-fifty! Three-seventy!"
         The camera moves in and focuses on the concerned expression on Misato's face as she hears the computer operator's voice.
         "400 percent! It's unbelievable!" The operator then adds, "Hey! Something's going on out there!
         "No! No, it can't be happening!" cries Ritsuko.
         "Sir," another computer operator reports to Ikari, "Our sensors aren't picking up anything anymore! Not the Eva, not the pilot's life signs! Nothing!"
         "Bring the visual sensors back online. Do it quickly," Ikari responds after a brief pause. The control room once again falls into silence as the workers struggle at their computers to bring sensors back online.
         "Got it!" calls the one who had reported to Ikari. The room falls into silence yet another time as they all stare at the image on the screen. Eventually, Misato breaks the silence.
         "There's nothing there," she says, staring at the empty desert.

         "2015 AD" "Shinji, Asuka, I'm home!" Misato calls through the front door of her appartment. She opens the door for Rei, Kaji, and Jonai to enter. Shinji, cooking in the kitchen, and Asuka, reading a book on the living room floor both call back to her. Misato pops her head into the kitchen to warn Shinji, "We've got a couple of guests, tonight, Shinj! You better make twice as much dinner!"
         "Huh? Oh, okay..." Shinji replies obediently. Meanwhile, Asuka's voice can be heard from the living room.
         "Hey, what's Wonder Girl doing here?... Huh?... Oh, Kaji, I didn't see you there!" The camera shifts to the living room. Asuka hangs around Kaji's neck as Rei and Jonai stand in the background. Asuka suddenly notices Jonai, adding, "And who's this, Kaji?" as she releases her grip from his shoulders.
         Jonai, however, doesn't wait for Kaji's response, grabbing Asuka's hand and introducing himself. "Jonai Ikari, at your service," he says gingerly. As it says it, he bows and kisses her hand. Asuka is obviously flattered and a bit disoriented by his actions. Just then, Misato enters from the kitchen.
         "You've obviously been hanging out with Kaji for much too long," she says. "But don't forget, Jonai, that you owe me one heck of an explanation, and you can give it to me as soon as Shinji gets here. He'll want to hear this, too. It'll be nice to have your family back together, won't it?"
         "You're related to Shinji?" Asuka asks, drawing back.
         "Yeah, I'm his brother," replies the boy.
         "Shinji never told me he has a brother!" exclaims Asuka in surprise. She turns towards the kitchen and yells, "Hey, Shinji!" before Kaji cuts her off.
         "Asuka, Jonai's being here is a surprise for Shinji. Keep quiet about it, okay?" Kaji whispers.
         "Oh..." Asuka says annoyed, but then she flirtingly adds, "Anything for you, Kaji,"
         "What, Asuka?" Shinji calls from the kitchen. Asuka thinks for a moment before answering.
         "Isn't dinner done yet? We're starving in here!"
         "Just a minute!" cries Shinji, "It's almost done!" The camera follows Misato as she walks into the kitchen.
         "Here, Shinji," she says, "Let me finish up. You can go entertain our guests.
         "Oh?... Okay," Shinji answers. As Misato begins the final preparations with the food, Shinji, followed by the camera, walks into the living room. As he sees Rei and Kaji by the far wall, he calls, "Hi, Rei! Hi, Kaji! What are you guys doing-"
         As Shinji was talking, a boy sat in a near chair where Shinji could only see the back of his head. He had not yet realized the presence of the third guest when the head started to turn and look at him. As soon as eye contact is made, Shinji loses his words. They obviously recognize each other. Jonai leaps from the chair and turns as Shinji takes a step towards him all in one fluid movement. They embrace.

         After a subtitle with the appropriate year is displayed, the scene becomes a flashback of Shinji crying as Commander Ikari abandons him. In my story, the popular segment is changed slightly. As Commander Ikari leaves, he holds the hand of Jonai, who looks over his shoulder with tears in his eye.
         "2013 AD" Commander Ikari is seen approaching Shinji, who is now twelve years old. Shinji sees him coming.
         "F-f-f-father? W-w-what are you d-d-doing here?" Shinji stutters, nervously.
         "I had business nearby. I'm came here to tell you that Jonai is dead." The camera focuses in on the pain in Shinji's eyes. Shinji bursts into tears. Commander Ikari stands emotionless.

         Back in the present, Jonai, still embracing Shinji, whispers in his ear, "I'm home." (This was a theme from the first couple of episodes.)
         "Ewwwww! What are you two doing? You're boys! You shouldn't be hugging; you should be fighting each other or something! You're men; act like it!" Asuka breaks the moment. Jonai and Shinji break their embrace. The group moves to the kitchen table and sits down to begin eating. Small talk occurs and Shinji is happier than he's ever been during the run of the series.
         "Mmmmm... This is excellent! Did you cook this, Shinji?" Jonai asks, grabbing a dumpling.
         "Uh-huh," Shinji replies with a smile.
         "It's a good thing you found Shinji, huh Misato? I don't know how you can stand eating what you used to cook for me!" Jonai raves. Misato grumbles as he continues, "Of course, I'm not much of a cook myself and even your meals look like gourmet banquets after Kaji tries to cook!" Kaji blushes as Misato chuckles.
         "Well, I always did enjoy ordering in food," Kaji jokes, "And there's no better reason than an oven fire to do it!" Asuka now notices that Shinji has been looking around the room without saying anything, just staring at the people who each sit there.
         "What's wrong with you?" she asks.
         "Huh? Oh, nothing. It's just that I was thinking is all."
         "Thinking what?"
         "Well, it's almost like we're-"
         "A family?" Jonai interrupts. Shinji nods.
         "You're both too wierd," Asuka replies. The meal continues. Misato chugs down a few beers, but she manages to keep some of her senses. Suddenly, admist the small talk, Asuka slams both hands on the table and jumps to her feet.
         "Ach mein gott!" she screams, "I knew I saw you somewhere before! Jonai, you were in Germany! Admit it!"
         A flashback of Jonai talking with Kaji after the destruction of the Third Angel is shown. This time, however, Jonai's face can be seen.
         "Oh..." Asuka continues, growing angry. "And from the way you looked at me, I know exactly what you were thinking, pervert!"
         "Ha! I was looking at Kaji! I just wasn't sure if it would be the last time I'd see him before I died! I was headed right here, to the most dangerous place on the planet, you know! Asuka, you don't seriously believe that the world revolves entirely around you, do you?" Jonai laughs, leaning his chair back on two legs. A smacking sound is heard. In the next shot, Jonai is seen with the imprint of a hand slapped across his face, his chair knocked over completely. Asuka storms away, leaving a silence at the table behind her.
         The meal continues as the conversation slowly begins to resurrect itself. As it comes to a close, Jonai and Rei find themselves each reaching for the last morsel of food.
         "Ladies first," Jonai yields, "It's yours."
         "You have it. I'm fine," Rei responds as she withdraws her hand.
         "Well, this is certainly not something worth arguing over," Jonai says as he once again reaches for the last piece of food. Suddenly, Misato's fork comes down upon Jonai's sleeve, pinning his arm to the table.
         "Not so fast! Rei's not the only lady at this table, Jonai!" Misato exclaims. "I thought you'd have enough manners to at least ask me if I wanted it, but I guess that if you're hanging around with guys like Kaji, manners are something you don't really need a lot of!" As Misato says this, her hand remains on the handle of the fork. Jonai pulls back his arm, ripping the sleeve of the shirt near his wrist. Everyone's eyes fall onto a large scab on Jonai's arm that runs from near his wrist to somewhere still covered by his sleeve.
         "Did I cut you?" Misato asks compassionately, but with force. Jonai attempts to pull his arm away, but she grabs him by the wrist and forces it under her eyes. "Let's get a bandage for this. It looks pretty bad...," she begins to diagnose, "Hey? How far up your arm does this thing go? I couldn't have gotten you with the fork that far!" In a single, overpowering, quick action, Misato tears Jonai's sleeve until she can see the scar in full, running from near his wrist up to near his shoulder. The shirt drapes over his arm in tatters by a section attached to the cuff around his wrist and the small section of sleeve that sits on his shoulder.
         Another silence falls upon the group as they freeze in place. It is Rei who eventually moves, breaking the scene. She reaches with both hands to Jonai's other arm and tears the sleeve from the shoulder to reveal another long scar. She gasps.
         The focus switches to Shinji as memories flood back to his mind of the shadow who helped the Evangelions defeat the Fourth and Ninth Angels. In both memories, Jonai's face is now clearly posted above the shadow's shoulders, as Shinji realizes that the causes of the two long scars on Jonai's arms are the two long blades of the silhouette.
         Shinji, suddenly becomimg very angry and jumping to his feet, yells at Jonai, "How dare you? I thought... I thought you wanted to be with me! You've been here all this time and you didn't even tell me!"
         "I... I... I wanted... I couldn't..." Jonai attempts to explain, but buckles under the pressure of Shinji's one assertive glare. In her room, Asuka hears the noise and leans against the paper-thin door. The camera shows the faces of everyone at the table, all frozen under the stress, with the exception of Kaji. All eyes around the table except Kaji's fall onto Jonai, seemingly pushing him back as he cowers in his chair.
         "Come now, Jonai; the time has come!" Kaji breaks the silence. "You said this was what you wanted, so it's about time you took the initiative." Jonai's head silently falls. Staring into his lap, he begins to speak.
         "Do you remember that last day we spent together, Misato?" Jonai squeaks, "We had that great day on the town before we went back to NERV for the activation test. That was my last day of innocence before the world got so screwed up...."

         "2013 AD" The scene shows Misato and Jonai in a town square, looking around and shopping every so often. This lasts for three or four camera shots before, they both are seen laughing happily at a cafĂ© table.
         "So are you ready for the test today?" Misato asks, sipping a fruit-flavored drink of some sort.
         "As ready as I'll ever be," Jonai responds, taking a sip of a similar drink.
         As Jonai and Misato exchange smiles, the scene switches to the activation test, showing clips of the previous flashback. This time, the camera stays in the cockpit for most of the test as Jonai reacts to the chaos in the control room. As the error occurs, Jonai begins screaming and holding his head. The Evangelion begins its rampage and eventually ends in the desert, except for one hand. Inside the cockpit, Jonai panics, as the Eva has lost all of its displays and has been failing to respond to his control. He is obviously under tremendous mental and physical stress, wearing scars acquired during the Eva's rampage as proof. The conversation between Ikari, Jonai, and Misato is replayed word for word, but when Jonai terminates the audio link, the camera shifts to inside the Eva. Jonai sits in the cockpit, shivering wildly, when a soothing voice comes to him.
         "Do not be afraid."
         "Mother? Is that you, mother?" Jonai calls to the voice.
         "I am Evangelion."
         "You... You're my mother! I recognize your voice!"
         "I have enough energy to save you, Jonai, but you must relax."
         "What? What do you mean?"
         "Relax, Jonai. Relax." Hearing these words, Jonai closes his eyes and sits back in his chair. His face is full of frustration, but it is beginning to fade. "Good," calls the voice, "Just keep relaxing." A white light creeps over the screen, engulfing everything. Suddenly, it retracts, as if it were a simple flash of light, to reveal darkness. Jonai floats in the middle.
         "What is this?" he asks.
         "We are one, Jonai, but I am too strong. I have overpowered you. I will destroy myself now. Cherish your life, Jonai, and use it well."
         "Wait! No-" Jonai's words are cut short. The darkness disappears and he finds himself in the desert, bracing himself with his hands and knees, barely able to keep himself from falling to the ground. His sweaty, dirty, bloody face can be seen as he tries to figure out what just happened to him. After a few moments, he stands, looks at the desert before him, and walks away.

         "2015 AD" "...After that, it wasn't long until I met up with Kaji. He helped me out and took me in. Since then, I've spent my time watching over NERV and especially Ikari. I know all about how he covered it up as an explosion caused by a bad circut and I know that he had Eva Unit 01 reconstructed from the DNA in the one hand that was left behind. I'm very fond of his story of how I died that day. It's because people think I'm dead that I've managed to hide for so long." Jonai finishes his tale.
         "So you've been with Kaji all this time?" Misato eventually asks, breaking yet another silence.
         "Yes, Misato, I've cared for the boy for quite a while now," Kaji replies, "And you always said that I shouldn't even buy a goldfish!"
         "I've actually spent most of my time on the job with Kaji, uh, helping out a little," Jonai adds with a smile as he rises from his chair. "Most recently, we've been spending time in Germany. He was assigned to protect Unit 02, you know. The funny thing is," he adds, as he begins walking across the room, "That when Asuka accused me of being interested in her sexually earlier, was absolutely true." He leans against the door to Asuka's room. "Since the day that I saw her, I've been entranced in her beauty! I can hardly believe I've restrained myself thus far! I'd act on my impulses, but I really think that I'm just not good enough for her!" Jonai suddenly flings open the door and chuckles as Asuka, who had been leaning against it to hear, tumbles to the ground. Still at the table, Shinji chuckles.

         Asuka, of course, finds a retort and the evening continues until the festivities reach a conclusion. The series continues mainly along its natural path, changing course only to include Jonai in battles and conversations with the pilots. One such conversation includes the questioning of Jonai about whether or not he can use an AT field like the Evas. His response is, "If I can, I don't know how." This is a minor conversation with extreme importance.
         My next major interruption occurs during the attack of the Thirteenth Angel, a parasite that hijacks Evangelion Unit 03 as it is being activated for the first time. I'll keep it short as this chapter is much too long already.
         Before the battle, Kaji is seen working diligently on a computer. He obviously finds what he was looking for, smiling.
         During battle, Rei and Asuka are both defeated by the Angel, leaving only Shinji, who refuses to fight the Angel, as it contains a pilot inside of it. Eva Unit 03 pounds on Eva Unit 01 until Commander Ikari authorizes the use of the Dummy Plug, an Evangelion autopilot system. Shinji screams in horror as Eva Unit 01 turns the tides and starts ruthlessly attacking Unit 03. Suddenly, a voice reaches him over the intercom.
         "Shinji!" Jonai calls from the roof of a building not far from the battle. He wears a headset of some sort for communication purposes. "I just transmitted an override command for the Dummy Plug! Enter it into your Eva's computer and you can stop this carnage!" Shinji does it, and Eva 01 stops fighting. Jonai attacks now, leaping to the cockpit of Unit 03. He cuts it open with his blades and pulls the pilot out of the machine. Shinji then finishes it off in Unit 01. When he sees the pilot; however, Shinji becomes infuriated with his father. Shinji can't forgive him for trying to use the Dummy Plug to kill his own best friend, Toji Suzahara.
         The battle has horrible repercussions. Shinji collapses in his seat and decides never to pilot an Eva again. Kaji is nearly discovered as a spy, barely escaping NERV's grasp when they discover that the Dummy Plug override command was sent not from Jonai, but from somewhere inside NERV itself. Finally, Jonai is forced to reveal to Ikari that he has survived his father's tyranny. He shows Ikari the true power of what he has become, transforming into what he calls Evangelion Unit Infinty. It's a shame that this chapter has been so long, preventing me from going into detail with it, as I think this would be one of the coolest scenes in my fantasy Neon Genesis.
         As things begin to cool down, Jonai convinces Shinji, Asuka, and even Rei, that they need to have a party to celebrate the Thirteenth Angel's destruction. Saying, "We might as well celebrate while we know we still have a reason," he arranges a party at Misato's apartment. Also included would be a scene on Misato's balcony where Shinji would reveal to Asuka and Jonai that he no longer wants to be an Eva pilot. While Asuka is harsh to this idea, Jonai accepts it and gives him words of advice. Also revealed in this scene is that Asuka and Jonai have been having secret meetings on the balcony at night.
         The party scene is set when Shinji is asleep after his emotional hardships from the balcony scene and the battle. Jonai has left to make some preparations for the party. Asuka has the class rep, her best friend, over for some girl to girl chat. I'll refer to Class Rep by title, as done in the show, for the simple reason that these Japanese names can really be annoying.
         As Class Rep and Asuka chitchat, they are kicking back, wearing light clothes, and discussing, of all topics, boys. There's popcorn on the floor and the room is in shambles. It's obvious that they've been having an afternoon of girls only events.
         "Okay, so what do you think of..." Asuka says, pondering whose name she'll throw. She finishes her sentence with the name of a boy in their class with no real importance.
         "Oooh, he's cute!" Class Rep responds. "So what about...." The conversation goes on like this for a few minutes before Class Rep eventually brings up a familiar name. "Okay," she says, "What about Shinji?"
         "Ummm... well... I guess Shinji's okay... uh... six maybe?" Asuka feebly attempts to formulate an answer. Her voice has dropped to a low tone.
         "What do you mean?" the Class Rep asks, obviously flustered by Asuka's sudden seriousness.
         "It's like, he's sensitive, which is nice, but he never acts like a man. It's like he's incomplete or something," Asuka adds. Finally, she regains he usual arrogant manner and stuns Class Rep when she bursts into interrogation. "So what about Toji? You like him or what?"
         "Well... I..."
         "Personally, I think he's maybe a two at most, but I suppose you're entitled to a little bad taste." Class Rep giggles at Asuka's remark. She takes her next turn.
         "So who's next? Oh, I know! What about that new guy you're working with? The one two classes above ours? What's his name... Oh, Jonai! What about him? You like him?"
         "What? Are you kidding me?" Asuka replies, infuriated. "I... uh... that is... I mean... Oh, he can be so aggrovating!"
         "You do like him, don't you?" Class Rep yells, laughing. Asuka blushes.
         "I guess... I don't know... maybe..." Asuka finally responds as she regains her seriousness. She lets it melt away, however, turning around the once again tense conversation. "Hey," she says. "What about Aida Kensuke?"
         After a pause, both girls yell, "Ewwwwww!" kicking their legs in the air. There comes a knock at the door. Both girls go to answer it. On the other side stand Jonai and Rei.
         "I didn't know you'd be here," Jonai says to Class Rep, smiling politely.
         "Actually, I better get home," she replies, glancing at Asuka. "Let me know how this all turns out." She leaves. Rei seems unmoved by the situation, but Jonai is clearly puzzled by the last remark. Asuka then realizes that Jonai is holding a single yellow flower in his hand. It doesn't take him long to see that she's noticed the flower.
         "I... uh... I... I thought it would look good in your hair," he says, presenting it to her. Asuka's look changes from one of interwoven bewilderment and disdain to one of surprise as she accepts the flower and puts in in her hair, blushing.
         "Where's Shinji?" Jonai asks as he and Rei enter the apartment.
         "Oh? He's asleep," Asuka replies. Jonai leans over Shinji's dormant body, and after a slight pause, a smile begins to creep over his face.
         "Hey, Asuka," he begins a question, "What color lipstick do you wear?"
         After a few giggles, Shinji is awoken, now with what appears to be marks from excessive kissing on his cheeks. Afterwards, when the partygoers begin to relax in Asuka's tiny bedroom, Asuka suggests the classic party game, Spin the Bottle. Rei, of course, doesn't object, but Shinji and Jonai both seem apprehensive about the idea. When manhood is insulted, however, Asuka has her way. "What's wrong?" she taunts, "Afraid to kiss a girl?"
         So the game begins. Also at Asuka's suggestion, Shinji spins first, whether he wants to or not. The bottle spins around the circle quickly at first and then begins to slow down. Asuka and Shinji are the only ones reacting as the bottle spins and points to different people. It eventually slows to the point where it will obviously land on Jonai. A look of horror begins to creep onto Shinji's face, but Jonai remains stoic.
         "Ha ha!" Asuka laughs. "You two have to kiss!" Just before the bottle comes to a complete stop, the screen turns black, followed by a flash of blue striking downward. Jonai's blade is seen cutting the bottle cleanly at its neck. The head flies off and spins in the circle, eventually coming to a stop. Asuka stares at it for a moment, a lack of words coming out of her gaping mouth.
         "It's pointing at Rei," Jonai says with a smirk.
         "Hey! That's not fair!" Asuka cries. After a moment she adds, "And you broke the bottle, you idiot!"
         "It was a stupid game anyway."
         "Oh yeah? Well... You still have to kiss someone!" Asuka retorts, furiously, grasping for anything with which she can win the arguement.
         "How about you?" Jonai asks sarcastically.
         "Fine!" Asuka yells, leaning into him. She grabs him by the collar, pulling him close to her by the massive amount of shirt contained within her fist. As she slowly moves her lips closer to his, the focus of the shot changes to Shinji and Rei. Their eyes have been focused on each other since the top of the bottle had pointed at her. Shinji swallows some air in his throat. Slowly, Rei leans in and kisses Shinji. The kiss lasts only a moment before their lips part. Rei sits back in the exact position as before, as if she had never moved.
         "Why did you do that?" Shinji asks.
         "It's the rules of the game," Rei replies sirenely. "They wanted me to do it."
         "Oh," Shinji says, almost disappointedly, "You don't always have to do everything you're told. You don't just have to please other people. You can make your own-" Shinji is cut short when Asuka, on top of Jonai, falls inbetween him and Rei. Asuka and Jonai are kissing passionately, and neither one seems to notice Shinji and Rei.
         After a moment, Asuka suddenly jumps up and yells, "Ugh! That was disgusting! I'm never kissing a boy again! I'm going to go wash my mouth out!" As she storms out towards the kitchen, Jonai sits up, holding his head in confusion and pain.
         "What just happened?" he asks slowly.
         "I don't know," Shinji replies.
         "Well, I'm going to find out!" With that, Jonai storms into kitchen in pursuit of Asuka. He reaches her, attempting to begin a conversation, when the camera returns to Shinji and Rei. They start talking to each other, but it doesn't take long for the arguement in the kitchen to be heard behind them. Rei reveals to Shinji the lipstick on his face during this conversation, and he frantically tries to wipe it off, but he fails. The conversation ends abruptly when a crash is heard from the kitchen. Shinji and Rei both jump for the doorway to find out what's going on, Rei's skirt getting torn slightly on Asuka's dresser as they go. When they look into the kitchen, they see Asuka and Jonai, again embraced in a passionate kiss. This time, however, Asuka has Jonai pinned to the kitchen table. The junk from the table is now sprawled all over the floor. At that moment, the door opens, and Misato enters.
         Misato stops in her tracks, as the camera goes from her shocked face to the lipstick on Shinji's face, to the tear in Rei's skirt, to Asuka and Jonai on the table, and finally to the mess of beer cans and old food containers on the floor. Arising from burial under a pile of beer cans, Pen-pen shakes off some beer that had spilt all over him and the floor.
         "Some party, huh?" she asks, her voice barely audible. Noticing Misato's presence for the first time, as well as the of Shinji and Rei, Asuka pulls apart her kiss with Jonai.
         "I hate you!" she yells, slapping him across the face. She storms into the bathroom and begins to gargle. Jonai's head tilt's back, as if the situation is too much for him to handle, and he sees Misato. As she stares as him, he simply closes his eyes in a sigh.

         "You did what?" a shocked Class Rep asks the next day in school. The scene is that of a gym class outside.
         "I don't know... I just... Ugh! He makes me so mad!" Asuka replies in justification. She and the Class Rep are sitting by the sidelines of a volleyball game.
         "So then I guess you do like him, huh?" Class Rep mocks in her quiet demeanor.
         "I don't know."
         "What do you mean? You've got to know!"
         "I just don't know!" For a moment, the two fall into silence. Finally, Class Rep breaks it.
         "You know," she says, pointing to Jonai, who sits on the sideline of a basketball game within sight of the volleyball court, wearing a jacket over his gym uniform, "There's only one way to find out."
         "You're right!" Asuka exclaims. She jumps to her feet and storms off in Jonai's direction. The boys see her coming and begin to make exclamations about their sexual interest in her as she walks past them, annoying them with the fact that she's ignored them. When she reaches Jonai, it becomes apparent that he's been thinking about something, as he's awoken from a daze by her presence. She grabs him by the shirt again and pulls him to her, this time kissing him much more harshly. After a moment, she pushes him away, tossing him to the ground, as she turns to leave. Admist cheers from his classmates, Jonai, stares at her with a puzzled expression on his face. The camera follows Asuka as she returns to her own gym class and the Class Rep.
         "So?" asks the Class Rep.
         "Yeah," Asuka says, almost gloomily, "I like him."

         Not long after that, the Fourteenth Angel, a humanoid creature with long razor blades so sharp that they can pierce an Eva's armor, attacks. Shinji still refuses to pilot the Evangelion as the battle begins, and Unit 00 is severly damaged, so Asuka and Jonai square off against it alone. Asuka; however, is no match for the Angel. It quickly demolishes Unit 02, separating both arms from the body in a matter of seconds.
         As a blade is sent forth to decapitate the Eva in a death blow, Jonai's screams can be heard. "Asuka!" he yells in both his voice and the voice of an Eva, as he, in the form of Evangelion Unit Infinity, lunges himself towards her. Eva Infinity strikes Unit 02's shoulder, knocking it to the ground. At the same moment, still suspended in air, it sends a volley of blaster fire at the Angel, all attempts to damage it in vein. The razor blade cannot be stopped, as it reaches out for Infinity. The noise of the strike is heard as the screen shifts to one of complete darkness.
         Rei then attempts to fight the Angel, using Unit 00. Unfortunately, it has been damaged in the previous battle, and therefore is no match for the Angel. Finally, Shinji returns to pilot Unit 01. He destroys the Angel, barely preventing it from reaching Adam. The Evangelion acts on its own accord to finish the job when its power supply is gone. As the Angel is destroyed in horrific fashion, Shinji, like in the true series, reaches a 400% synchronization ratio with the Eva.
         This particular episode would end on a shot of Asuka and Jonai. His body lays limp, his head in her lap. She leans over him, sobbing profusely. Both are covered in the blood of the Angel, the blood of the Evas, and Jonai's own blood. There's a cut in his left shoulder that pierces through his body completely. His arm is barely attached. The camera zooms in on Asuka's crying face for a moment before showing the blank expression on Jonai's face as the episode ends.

         The next episode reveals Shinji's problem of having no physical body, as in the series, but also reveals NERV's frantic attempts to revive Jonai. Misato leads a group of doctors in running through NERV's hospital area with Jonai's body in order to get to the operation room, and then she goes to check on Ritsuko's progress with regaining Shinji's physical form. This sort of pattern is evident Misato's paticipation in this episode, which focuses around both Asuka and her.
         During all this, Asuka spends her time waiting outside the operation room. She reminisces and thinks about life, repeating the words, "I swore I wouldn't cry anymore." She begins to realize that life makes less and less sense as she ponders it. Throughout the episode, there are also a few scenes with Rei, showing her reaction to the damage recieved during the last Angel's attack. Now, her feelings of pain are clear. Also, at some point during this episode, when things look like they are at their worst, Kaji makes a bold move, allowing NERV officials to catch up with him. He knows of his own demise and accepts it. Thus ends the life of Ryoji Kaji.
         Eventually, Shinji is saved, so Misato spends her time in the operating room with the doctors and Jonai. Shinji is resting in another section of the ward, unaware of any of this. Eventually, the camera, after a segment of Asuka's thoughts, goes inside the operation room to show Jonai's heart monitor as it bleeps its final bleep. The long straight line is all that remains. Misato walks out of the room, back to the waiting room, where Asuka waits. Misato's head falls as it shakes slightly. Asuka jumps into Misato's arms, crying tremendously. In the background, a table with a body on it, all covered in a white cloth, can be seen being wheeled away by the doctors. Suddenly, Jonai's body spasms as he gasps violently for air. The doctors all jump back in shock, as Jonai then turns and sits on the table, his legs hanging over the side. The sheet falls down and rests over his lap. Asuka, seeing all this, is the only one to move. She leaps from Misato's arms directly into his and hugs him tightly, crying the entire time. Jonai looks puzzled for a split second before he smiles and puts his arms around hers. It is then that Misato notices that Jonai's shoulder is perfectly intact, without as much as a scratch on it.

         And the series continues. Jonai begins spending time in NERV Central Dogma, using it as a quiet place where he can think. He becomes absorbed in his thoughts about the Angels and Adam, failing to notice when the Fifteenth Angel attacks. The Angel attacks from outside the Evas' range of attack, piercing Asuka's Eva and mind with a telekinetic attack that forces repressed memories to surface. These memories of Asuka's scarred childhood are enough to destroy what's left of Asuka's fragile mentality. Rei is forced to go to Central Dogma and return with the Lance of Loginus, a weapon capable of destroying the Angel. When she does, she finds Jonai staring at Adam, his arm slowly moving upwards. The noise causes Jonai to forget what he was doing. He allows Rei to take the lance and destroy the Angel.

         I'd like to once again plug the original series Neon Genesis: Evangelion as it will make this book, and the ending to this fantasy in particular, a lot easier to understand.

         When the next Angel attacks, Asuka can't sychronize with her Eva, not able to even make it move. Rei destroys the Sixteenth Angel, destroying Eva Unit 00 in the process. Jonai is absent during the battle, presumably in Central Dogma.
         Afterwards, Asuka flees from NERV, her mental state in shambles. Only one person attempts to console her. Jonai finds her before NERV does. In the dark, gloomy mental insanity, they have sex. It's not done in a tasteless fashion, like in many stories, but rather, this is truly an act of love. Also, it is Asuka, who is in in the process of rebuilding herself mentally, who initiates the act. Presented in a tasteful manner, they show their love for one another.
         Afterwards, it is revealed that Jonai has betrayed Asuka to NERV. He apologizes, although she is peacefully sleeping and cannot hear him. His reasoning is that she is safer there; he doesn't believe that he can protect her anymore, so he must rely on NERV to do it for him. Asuka is later revealed to be pregnant, but only she, Jonai, Misato know about the child.

         Asuka being unable to pilot, The Fifth Child, Kaworu, comes to replace her and eventually hijacks Eva Unit 02 externaly, taking it to Central Dogma, in an attempt to reach Adam. He does not know until he looks at it closely, but the being in the Terminal Dogma is not Adam, but Lillith, the Second Angel and the key to SEELE's Human Evolution Project. Classifying him as the Seventeeth Angel, Ikari sends Shinji in Unit 01 to stop him. Jonai, followed by Asuka, also travels to the Central Dogma. They get there while Shinji and Eva 01 are fighting Unit 02. Rei also arrives like she does in the original series, watching from a walkway near the ceiling. Asuka waits by the side of the room as Jonai challenges Kaworu.
         Stepping between Kaworu and Adam, Jonai prepares for battle. "You," he sneers, "You filth! You won't get by me!" Jonai charges at Kaworu, and they quickly engage in a fast paced battle, Kaworu mainly on the defensive. After a few moments, Kaworu dodges a punch from Jonai, countering with one of his own. The force sends Jonai crashing back. He lands a few feet away from Adam. Meanwhile, Unit 01 crashes through the wall, still fighting with Unit 02. The wall falls to the ground in sections the size of boulders. Kaworu reaches Adam and then stops, saying his little speech from the original series. Unit 01, now having defeated Unit 02, grabs Kaworu. Kaworu convices Shinji that he has reconsidered and no longer wishes to live. The situation becomes much more tense than it was as Shinji must decide whether to let all mankind die or murder his friend. As the situation tenses further, sweat begins to pour down Shinji's face.
         Finally, the silence and the tension are both shattered by a blue light passing through a black screen. Jonai cuts off the Eva's hand, allowing the fist, Kaworu included, to fall to the floor. A camera shot in the cockpit shows that Shinji had pulled the trigger to kill Kaworu. Jonai leaps to the Eva's cockpit and commands that the Eva's link to Shinji be severed. Misato complies from the control room. Jonai then uses one of his blades to cut open the Eva's cockpit and forcibly remove Shinji. He tosses Shinji on the ground, next to Asuka. Jonai walks to the Eva's massive fist that still imprisons Kaworu.
         "Why won't you let me die?" Kaworu yells, bursting from the Eva's fist as he begins fighting again with Jonai. After a short time, Jonai once again is flung back. This time, Kaworu, without physically touching it, lifts a boulder created by Unit 01's crashing through the wall. He hurls it at Jonai. Jonai's only response is to hold up his arms, shielding his face.
         The camera shifts to the control room for a second as someone yells, "We're reading another AT field!"
         "Is it the Angel?" Misato responds, frantically.
         "No! It's coming from Jonai!"
         "What? It can't be!"
         The camera returns to Terminal Dogma as the boulder shatters on impact. Even Kaworu is a bit surprised by this turn of events. Only Jonai remains focused, despite the fact that Kaworu's boulder has torn his left hand completely off his wrist. As Jonai charges Kaworu, Kaworu flings another boulder at him, but this time Jonai jumps and twists in the air, evading the boulder and landing directly in front of Kaworu, exactly how Jonai's Unit 01 evaded the helicopters that had attacked it. Jonai grabs Kaworu by the collar with his right hand. He lifts Kaworu off the ground.
         "I do want you to die, you scum, but I refuse to let Shinji waste his innocence on something as worthless as you! After all the pain that you created, all that was created when the Evas were made to fight you, all the suffering ever, I won't let Shinji sink to your level! No. I'll do it for him! You already destroyed me, Angel! You and your kind! I thought that being an Eva pilot was a good thing, that I was helping the world, but I was betrayed... and it all comes down to you! I'm going to enjoy my revenge!" Jonai draws forth the blade of his left arm. As it slices through his shirt, it is positioned to clearly cut through Kaworu's head. Jonai's left hand suddenly grows from the nothing attached to his wrist and joins him in his domination over Kaworu.
         Returning to the control center, Misato asks with urgency the computer operator, "What color was that AT field?"
         "It was blue!"
         "You know," Kaworu says peacefully as the camera returns to the Dogma, "He would have killed me. It would have pained him to do it, but he would have killed me." For the first time, Jonai looks up and he sees directly into Kaworu's eyes. They stare deep into each others' eyes for a moment. Jonai's eyes are angry, but scared. He is obviously too weak to truly do the task that he claims he will perform. Kaworu's eyes are peaceful, calm, and sirene. Suddenly, Jonai releases Kaworu.
         Kaworu falls to the floor, but lands on his feet. Jonai slowly begins to step back, his blades returning to arms. He eventually crashes into the side of the scarlet cross to which Lillith is crucified, sliding down into a sitting position with his back leaning against the cross.
         "You're not the Seventeenth Angel," he says eventually.
         "No," responds Kaworu.
         "Then are you God?"
         "No... but a messanger from him."
         "Then," says Jonai, his head looking only downward, "That day. That battle with the Fourteenth Angel. I died that day." A flashback of that horrible incident is played. "I am the Seventeenth Angel."
         The room falls silent. A look of shock and pain is shared by both Shinji and Asuka, but the others, Jonai, Kaworu, and Rei, remain stoic. Eventually, it is Kaworu who breaks the silence. "Yes, Jonai, your humanity died that day, but the part of you that was Evangelion, the part that was Angel, that lived on. Now you have a choice. You must decide which is more important, your own life or the lives of mankind. This choice is yours."
         After another moment, Jonai speaks. "No," comes his voice, strongly and authoritative. "I won't make your choice!" Jonai rises to his feet.
         "You would forsake a choice from God?" Kaworu asks, still serenely.
         "Shinji..." Jonai says, ignoring Kaworu, "Asuka... I'm sorry." With that, Jonai reaches forth and touches Lillith.
         The screen becomes totally white. Only Jonai and Shinji remain.
         "What happened?" Shinji asks.
         "I am a weakling, Shinji," Jonai responds. "I couldn't save Asuka, I couldn't save you, and I couldn't save the world. All I did was fail. I don't have a strong soul, Shinji, so I gave my power to the man with the strongest soul that I know. This is your father's dream, Shinji. This is instrumentality."
         "What does that mean?"
         "It's almost like Heaven. It's a place, sort of. It's the end of mankind, just like the prophecy said, but it is not the final destination of the species. That thing in the Dogma, it wasn't Adam. It was Lillith. I used my power and its own to bring out the strength of the soul. Explore this place, Shinji." With that, Jonai Ikari disappears and Shinji's instrumentality begins.

         Jonai is seen with Asuka. They are all that is there within a purely white world. The are holding hands.
         "Asuka," he says, "I failed you. I couldn't protect you. It wasn't my place. I'm sorry." Asuka doesn't say a word, but simply stares at him lovingly. Then he fades into the light. With that, Jonai Ikari disappears and Asuka's instrumentality begins.

         Through the world of white, Jonai walks now with Commander Ikari. Ikari is laughing.
         "My dream. My dream has come true," he says.
         "Yes," Jonai replies, "I had no other choice but to unite humanity in its destruction. Only like that could instrumentality take place."
         "Indeed," agrees Ikari, smiling. "Thank you, Jonai. Thank you, my son, for doing this for me." As Jonai fades into the light, Yui Ikari appears from it, joining her husband.

         Jonai once again is seen with Shinji after many of the events of instrumentality have taken place. It immediately follows Shinji's "And to all the children," "Congratulations."
         "Congratulations, Shinji," Jonai says.
         "Congratulations," Shinji replies through a subtitle.
         "Shinji, this place's existence is ending," Jonai speaks, "The world is reforming. I am too weak to maintain this purgatory. People are realizing that they no longer need instrumentality. They are awakening."
         "Like I did."
         "Shinji, only those who still have a purpose, who still have a reason for living, only they are returning."
         "Who will return?"
         "Those who still have a purpose. Those who feel they still have a purpose."
         "Will I return?"
         "Only you can decide."
         "What about Misato and Asuka? Will they return?"
         "Asuka will. She's strong. I know she won't give up. Misato, however, feels that she already completed her purpose. She delivered you to the world. She just wants to rest now. She has decided not to return."
         "What about my father and Ritsuko? And Toji and Aida?"
         "Your father and Ritsuko have both chosen not to go on. They are happier here. They chose this anti-life, this almost death to the inifinite potential of life. But Toji and Aida will continue their lives. They have decided to return."
         "Then what about Rei Ayanami and Kaworu Nagisa?"
         "No, Shinji, they won't return. They'd rather be at peace. I'm not sure whether or not they even came to this place, but I know for certain that they'd rather be at peace. They have decided not to return."
         "And you?"
         "I do not know what will become of me. I may simply cease to exist, but I am certain I will never again see Earth's soil. I want to go back, to be with you and Asuka, but, I've already died, and my time on Earth is over. This is no place for me, Shinji, but neither is Earth." For a few seconds, there's a silence, but this silence is not tense. It's peaceful. This entire conversation has been peaceful. Finally, Jonai speaks again. "Shinji, in the eve of destruction, new enemies will arise to challenge the Earth. Some of humanity has been spared their ends now for a prolonged life in the physical plane. It will be up to you to defend them, Shinji.... Also, please, take care of Asuka for me."
         "I will." This last line is spoken.

         After the Shinji fades into light, Jonai is seen standing with Asuka.
         "Asuka, this place's existence is ending," Jonai says, "The world is reforming. Those who still have a reason for living, a purpose, a destiny, those people will return there."
         Asuka looks into his eyes. "But you won't be coming back, will you? You're going to leave me like everyone else!" she says, and after a moment of reflection adds, "But this is bigger than us. You can't stop it. It will be a part of life."
         "Just as pain is a part of life," Jonai replies. "I'm sorry, Asuka."
         "I love you."
         "I love you, too." And so, as they experience true love with one another, they seal it with a kiss. The camera spins around them. First, it spins around Jonai's head, then around the back of Asuka's head, and then it reaches Asuka's face, and Jonai is gone. For a moment, Asuka stands like that. Suddenly, there is a flash of the pure whiteness leaving. Asuka now stands exactly where she did when Jonai touched Lillith, only now there is no Lillith, no Kaworu, and no Jonai. The room looks empty, as she stands there with only Evangelion Unit 01, the scarlet cross, Shinji,and the rubble. The Evangelion looks almost pale, like the life has left its eyes. Asuka moves forward towards the cross, and searches some of the nearby debris. As she removes something from it, she dusts it off, revealing it as Jonai's hand. As Shinji walks up behind her and puts his arm around her waist to comfort her, she lifts the hand to her lips and kisses it gently. She then places it at the foot of the cross. Together, Asuka and Shinji turn and walk away towards their future.

         "2030 AD" In what looks like another part of NERV headquarters, Asuka, now an adult, sits at a table, reading some kind of report. It becomes obvious that the room is her office. Looking around the room, the camera shows a few family portraits, a diploma, and a wedding picture of Asuka and Shinji. It also shows a picture taken during the delivery of a child in which Asuka looks like she's about to kill Shinji. Two children stand before her. One, the younger, a boy with short brown hair, is whistling quietly, tapping his hands on the table. The older, a girl with long, reddish-brown hair, sits with one hand supporting her face. She continually blows a few strands of her own hair up, and watches as they gently return to place over her mouth.
         "I'm very impressed with these reports!" Asuka says, "You two are both getting higher scores in all areas of training! You're beginning to live up to the amazing potential that your mother gave you!"
         "Thank you, Mommy!" the boy smiles, cheerfully, "Daddy said I'm doing good, too!"
         As sirens erupt over the facility, Shinji's voice interupts the conversation from an intercom. "This is Commander Shinji Ikari! The pilots of Evangelion Units 08, 10, 11, and 14 are to report to the cage immediately!"
         "There's your father calling for you now. You better run along," Asuka says.
{indent)"Yes, Mommy!" the boy happily skips out of the room. The girl turns towards Asuka. After a sigh, she looks up from the table.
         "Mom," she says, "Will you tell me a little bit about my father? I know you've told me before, but I like to hear the story."
         "Well," Asuka begins, "You're father was a brave man. He sacrificed everything he ever had and ever could have for me, and for you, and the world. He-"
         Once again, Shinji's voice intrudes on the conversation. "Evangelion Unit Infinty, report to the surface immeadiately!"
         Yelling, "Sorry, Mom! Gotta go!" the girl jumps out of her seat and runs out the door. The camera follows her down the hallway as long blue blades begin to protrude from her arms.

         And so ends my fantasy, or at least all you need to know of it. There is a lot more to it, but it has gone on for long enough for you to gain the literary value of my character from this example of a fantasy. If you look hard enough, you can examine me as a literary character and a person. It's all underlying messages, much like those I will use throughout this book; however, this is probably the highest concentration of them. I feel there is no better way to gain a sense of who I am than to look through my thoughts, and I have probably spent more time thinking about just that part of this fantasy than anything else during the time this story took place. Mr. Reilly, this one's for you.
         I once again apologize for the length of the section, as it is much longer than necessity requires for my story. It simply would not make any sense with including only the parts that have significant meaning. That is most of it, however, so no more than a third to a half of this thing would be cut anyway. Once again, I implore you to do yourself a favor and watch the real Neon Genesis: Evangelion. It's a good show, and my story could not at all times capture the raw human emotion that it does, but like my book, I must warn you. You will think.
         I would not have written it out, however, despite its length, had there not been a reason for it. The most important reason is the same reason that I hold for writing this book. By writing this down, it no longer will plague me. I no longer will obsess over it, unable to focus on anything else, as I from time to time did, and as I from time to time do, in regard to this book as a whole. It took minutes to read the story, and hours to write it, but days to compose it. I rolled it over and over in my mind, replaying every detail. I finally can let it rest.
         There are other reasons for writing it, however. For instance, I have shown you another side of myself. Jonai Ikari is me, as I am Shinji. Jonai is my heroic side, my perception of the hypothetical me. He is who I would like to be, the hero who saves everything even at the cost of an unimaginable sacrifice. Would I really act like that in the sort of situation where his ideals are necessary? Probably not. Jonai is hypothetical. He's not real. Sort of.
         Jonai is a part of me. My heroic side is a part of me, just as my tormented side is a part of me. Both are equally strong, but my problem is that heroism grows to its strength only after torment has been defeated and caged. I suppose my heroic side is really a coward.
         There is also some symbollism from a literary point of view in my fantasy. I won't go through and mention it all now, but I'd like to stress one point. Jonai is not now, nor never was, Jesus. Any similarities between the two are strictly coincidence. I don't like how there is a trend in literature to base a character on him. I make original characters. And, yes, I realize the hypocrisy of that statement. And, yes, I realize it on both the symbollic and physical levels.
         In summation, I'm sorry to have subjected you to a fantasy of my own mind that was so elongated that it will probably be the largest chapter in this book, and I'm sorry to have included a long and confusing synopsis of a story that was not my own in what may very well end up as the second largest chapter in my book, but both are crucial to my novel.
         I don't know. Maybe I'm just immature for a sixteen-year-old.

Part Two
Trunk


The First Revelation

         Neon Genesis: Evangelion would take about one month to watch if it were one of the shows aired on Cartoon Network. It took me three days to watch it. It enveloped me so quickly that the monthlong trek took a mere three days. At first, I wanted to see it for the action and the sexual humor that I already knew was included in it, but even in the preliminary episodes, I noticed a boy who was very similar to me. He was shy, an outsider. He was reclusive and well behaved. He did what was expected of him, no more, no less. And most of all, he thought. As the series progressed, I realized exactly how much Shinji was me. My secret fears and desires, things I had let sleep, left buried under piles of mental garbage, some things even of my subconscious mind, all unearthed. Also, Shinji wasn't happy. Shinji was my tormented side, finally personified so that I could see myself with an objective view. Like a secret weapon, a missle of some kind, this information, Shinji's adventure, his mind, shot through my defenses, breaking every wall, until it finally found the vault that held the secrets of my very being. The there missle changed shape and became a key, and there, it opened the vault and I saw inside.
         That change, of course, was not immediate. And it was not the only factor. Shinji helped me see something quicker that I would have realized on my own eventually. More than a key, his adventure was fertilizer, helping grow a seed that was already planted. At first, I found a simple answer to all the questions I had. I can't even remember what the answer I had found was, but I remember the question. It was a question that was sparked in my mind somehow by Neon Genesis, through some long train of thought, but now that I think about it, is never once asked throughout the series. It was a question I have always pondered since I realized the human mind's potential to think and began forming my own opinions about things.
         What is the purpose to life?

January 10

         By January 10, roughly a week, maybe a week and a half, probably less than that, more like three days after I had discovered the false truth of the reason for living, I realized it was total crap. I just had a feeling that there was more to it than a simple answer.
         It was a cold morning. I pulled my hooded, denim jacket tight around me when I waited for the school bus. Two other boys wait with me at the bus stop, but we never talked. Ever. I just stood there, half-frozen, attempting with great failure to warm myself. The funny thing about human bodies is that when there are a lot of them in a small space, everybody is warm, but none of us want to get that close. It's always uncomfortable.
         When the bus arrived, I got on. I immediately walked to the back and sat there, exactly two seats behind the other two boys. They were the farthest back on the bus with the exception of me. I sat alone back there, not talking to anyone, alone with my thoughts. I stared out the window, emotionless to any onlookers. I wasn't looking at the scenery, though. I was looking at the nothingness out the window between the window and the scenery. It was the empty space that I saw. Nothing can be very peaceful.
         As I sat, I was thinking about one particular question raised by Neon Genesis. When asked why they pilot the Evangelions during the beginning of instrumentality, both Asuka and Shinji replied with the same answer. They do it because that is how their value is measured. People like them when they do it. It gives them value. When they pilotted Eva, they were worth something in the eyes of others and in their own eyes. After this, the subject had become vague, and for one reason or another, it stuck out in my mind, plaguing me. The question nagged at the back of my mind. Can one's actions truly define his being?
         As I got off the bus, I wandered aimlessly through the hallways as I always did, feeling incredibly Shinji. My head was to the ground, my face emotionless, as I tossed the idea of human worth around in my mind.
         "Are you okay?" asked some teacher I passed in the hallway. I just nodded. I always get that kind of thing when I'm deep in thought, so I just ignored it.
         My third period class is English. It's the first period of the day where I was alone. In my first two classes, Alex is always there, sitting next to me, distracting me from any woes I may have. I'm always up for some good video game chatter, no matter how dire my personal situation is. Besides, I was not drawn into my own mind very much that day. It was still the beginning. My seed was just starting to grow. In third period, however, I had time to think. I almost never listen to my teachers in class because I can learn something very quickly, so I do something else to pass the time. That day, I drew my first of only two pictures of Jonai Ikari in existence. It's of Jonai standing with his back turned, the Fourth Angel lying dead in front of him, shadowing him in its massive shadow. The core was burning the dim red of coals before they finally go out. Unfortunately, it was a pencil sketch, and I didn't have color. As my thoughts of the beginning of my Neon Genesis fantasy rushed through my pencil onto the paper, I felt comforted. With my jacket lying draped over my chair so that I could just slip my arms into it if I wanted to do so, I sat back and smiled.
         That day was also important in that it was my junior meeting with my guidance councilor, the day when I was to walk into the guidance office unsure of my future and then leave with the magical knowledge of my exact life up to the moment I die. At least, that was the impression I had. It's one of those student and parent meeting things, so my mother was also there. I guess it's because it's such a big decision.
         I don't remember the exact details of the meeting. I remember it being cold in that office. I pulled my jacket over me in the beginning, and continually buttoned it tighter around me as the meeting droned on. For an hour and a half, Mrs. Blanche went on and on about colleges. Whenever she asked a question about any preferance I had, I just told her the truth, a statement that I had been telling people since they had begun questioning me about college.
         "I don't know!" I said, somewhat angrilly, pulling my coat tighter and buttoning another button. "I don't know how kids as young as sixteen are expected to make a decision that will alter the rest of their life, anyway!" That one I almost yelled. I don't remember Mrs. Blanche's exact response, but I remember the disdain I took to it. It was something telling me that that was the reason my mother was there and she was there, so that I could be guided in a good direction, and that we'd keep open every possibility for me, so that I could see everything before making a decision. It sounded like crap spewed by some machine just there to get me into some place where I could make Lower Moreland look good. After I left that meeting and said goodbye to my mother, I walked through the hallways again, not waiting very long to remove my coat.
         If I remember correctly, I got to my fifth period class that day. It was math with Mr. Cendrowsky. Mr. C is a great guy and all, but he's not always fun to be around on a thoughtful day, and it was getting to be a very thoughtful day. None of those Lower Moreland pigs with the brain capacity of pet rocks like him because he always makes you think rather than telling you the answer. I was just glad that I only had about five more minutes with him by the time I got there.
         Afterwards, I probably stayed for an extra minute to check and see what work I had missed, because I remember that when I walked to my next class, the hallways were pretty much empty. I remember thinking as I walked down the math wing stairs about the extent of the mental questions I had had as of late. I wanted to figure out who it was who made Neon Genesis and write them a letter. It would tell them of the evils of their program, how it had raped me of my innocence, how I was happy with my ignorance until their instrumentality had ruined it for me, how in creating myself with such exactness, they had destroyed me, showing me myself as I did not want to be seen, letting me see the secret me, the one I hide, the one I don't let breathe and try to suffocate, try to slowly kill and bury beneath layers and layers of myself the one that is hidden below me where no one can find it because he is vulnerable much more able to be hurt than I am ignored by even me overlooked not seen not there cant be there cant be real why is he here!
         They had awoken my tormented soul.
         For the first time, I was capable to truly look in upon myself, and I did not like what I saw. I saw Shinji, a whining, complaining, scared, tired, little boy. I loathed that part of me with every fiber of my being. There's no room for the weak in this world! You can't let other people see how weak you are or they'll control you! I don't want to be Shinji! I don't want to be weak! I don't want to be controlled! I have to be strong or who else will be strong for me? Those bastards, I'll make them pay for this awakening of a beast I cannot control, of a part of me that scares me, that frightens me, all because it is too weak.
         My anger passed as I knew what I had to do. No good would come from a letter, and I could always write one later. The only way to ease my soul would be to ride it out, to quest for answers. Only I could find my own salvation. An angry letter would do me no good.
         I got to my sixth period class, Concert Choir. It's placed in the choral room, the room farthest from the rest of the building. The first thing I usually do when I get into that room is drop my schoolbag somewhere around the perimeter, leaving my jacket with it. This day was no different.
         Mrs. Miller is one of the better teachers, in my opinion. She respects her students and treats them thusly. She is not popular with the ingrates of Lower Moreland, however, because she also demands respect. She isn't a machine, though, like some of the other teachers of LM, just programmed to teach and that's all. She can see when students are tired, overworked, or just plain ill, but they can't miss a day of school or it would just catch up with them in double the force. Due to this, she is very lenient in the classroom. As a matter of fact, there are days when we don't even sing at all. We simply discuss politics or school issues that are on our minds. Mrs. Miller will even let someone sleep during class, as long as it isn't a habit. This usually comes into play when a student is tired, overworked, or just plain ill, but he can't miss a day of school or it would just catch up with him in double the force. I took advantage of her kindness that day. When I wasn't singing, I laid on the floor behind my seat, closed my eyes, and just thought.
         It wasn't long before I heard a voice calling to me, "Tired?" it asked, "Or just reflecting on the past?" It was Chris Lux. He's one year younger than me by grade, a sophmore that year, though he dwarfs me by physical height. A tall and skinny kid with a fair face and neatly trimmed golden hair, he's the kind of guy who will chuckle when he reads this description. Then he'll make a sarcastic comment about how bad it is, chuckle again, and add "Just kidding." He's an all-around great guy, except that at times he's known for his excessive perkiness. He also seems a little naive at times. I didn't know it at the time, but he's actually a year older than me by age. He's always acted so young that I never suspected that he could be older than me.
         "Reflecting on the future," I replied, my eyes still closed. I was thinking about a lot of things, some of great cosmic importance, some of absolutely no importance whatsoever to anyone except me. Somehow my thoughts drifted to Matt Friedman for a moment or two, falling somewhere in-between the two degrees of importance I mentioned above.
         From the moment I saw Matt, I knew we were very similar people. The first time I saw him was an audition for last year's school drama, The Diary of Anne Frank. I look very young, so it was obvious that the only role I could audition for successfully was that of Peter. The description I was given of the character was that he is shy and a loner. I thought that there was no doubt that I'd have that role, as I was the shyest kid I'd ever met. When I looked around to survey the competition, however, there was one guy who stood out because he spoke to no one. As it turned out, it was Matt. He read fabulously and got the part, and I knew it. Before I came to the high school and had gotten in with the theater crowd, actually fitting in somewhere for the first time outside of my small group of video gaming dorks, I would have been competition for him, but at that time, I could barely offer him a challenge at all for the part. He still didn't know anyone at LM and wasn't going around trying to make friends. I actually felt pity for him, though, being all alone. I actually decided to lend him my friendship so as to help him out, the arrogant little bastard that I was.
         I served on stage crew for that production, a job almost as difficult as acting itself for that play. I became good friends with him because I realized as time went on that we shared the same beliefs and the same sarcastic wit, although I must admit that he can top me any day. I've probably actually picked up a line or two from him. Through the school's drama department, I had plenty of time to converse with the guy.
         We worked together in every show since, until he graduates. (I use that tense because he hasn't quite graduated yet, but there won't be any other shows.) I remember when we were on the set of Moon Over Buffalo. He played Richard and I was the stage manager. The other members of stage crew are some (ahem) liberal girls. They're a bit wild and outgoing. This led to some interesting conversations between them, Matt, and me, especially since Matt and I tended to be more conservative, small, and hidden when dealing with people. We both out grew that trait through the wonders of socializing, but at the time, we were very shy, especially Matt. I once asked him how many girlfriends he had had, as a result of a puzzling conversation we had had with the girls. He told me that he had only had one real girlfriend, citing a girl who had literally flung herself onto him during The Diary of Anne Frank. His reasoning was simple. He didn't want a shallow relationship and he wasn't ready for a deep, meaningful relationship. Thank goodness I wasn't the only one who was waiting for something that felt right.
         Our differences are small and slight, mainly his fashion sense and his way of being honest when asked a question, rather than attempting to avoid questions with the potential for embarrassing the person who responds by using some kind of bad joke to pull attention away from himself, make himself look foolish, and thus embarrass himself, like I would always do. Though our beliefs were the same, we were and are different people, with different backgrounds and different futures. For instance, his family is incredibly poor when compared to the snobs of LM (though in comparison to most people, I would assume they're near the upper ranks). It's not our current similarities that appeal to me in our friendship, or the possibility of a similar future for that fact. It's not even the fact that I can make a complete fool out of myself in front of him with some joke that even I barely understand and is stretched so far that it bounces back like elastic and hits me in the face. It's that he's a nice guy who is interesting to be around, with a great sense of humor, and who is morally sound. You just have to get to know him.
         After that random flashback, my mind travelled to more current settings, my attempts to find the truths of life that were floating around there somewhere. I knew I'd have to find the true ones and sort out the falsities.
         My thoughts then passed to song. Why do I sing? It was an obvious answer. It's a way to release stress. Shinji has a cello he uses for that. I'm so much like Shinji. I'm so much like Shinji. I'm so much like- No I'm not! I can't be! It's not- ugh! Back to the truths of life. Why exactly was I searching, anyway? What was I going to gain that had been preventing me from just letting the whole thing drop?
         The answer came to me shortly. It was one more thing that I shared with Shinji. I discovered that I wasn't truly happy. All my life, since I discovered deep thought, deep emotion, I hadn't been happy. I actually started crying when I realized what a pathetic being I was, lying on the floor like some animal, never truly happy. I didn't wipe off those tears, those tears of rebirth. For the first time in my life, I let those evil thoughts drain out of me. Now I knew my quest.

Value of a Life

         I probably drew in my comic strip through all of my next class, Political Science. I draw cartoons a lot. I then travelled to Ceramics, my final class of the day. Sitting there, I tried to strike up a conversation with the girl who sits next to me.
         Andrea has a heart of gold, as the cliche goes. More importantly, she thinks for herself. She's actually the youngest member of LM's class of 2003, only fifteen, having skipped a grade. Even more impressive, she still takes advanced placement courses and has high grades. She puts a lot of work into her classes, though, and is very particular over every detail. In Ceramics, she is a perfectionist, making certain to keep the ultimate degree of reality in her works. Coming from a traditional Jewish family, she knows the value of money and of morality. She has her own views on things and likes it that way.
         I tried discussing some philosophy with Andrea that day, but, being caught up by discussions with others, she didn't hear my call to her that day. I let it drop and stood alone for a little while.
         The period passed, and eventually it was time to go home. I left, still deep in thought. My expressionless face looking towards the ground, I walked through the hallways to board the bus home.
         "Hey, man, are you okay?" came a message from one student. I didn't know him and he didn't know me. He had never heard of my accomplishments.
         "Yeah, I'm fine," I probably said in a monotone voice. I continued walking to the bus still thinking of the value of a human life. Can accomplishments really be the determining factor in one's value as a person?
         No! They can't! I got on the bus as my thoughts began to change. I began to realize exactly what it was that had happened a few moments ago. I began to realize what had happened when I first entered the building that day. People cared about me. They were concered about my emotional state, about my well-being. Humans do have some kind of base value, a value that lasts with them through their entire life. This value is always there; you just have to perceive its existence!
         I realized this sitting there on that bus, but for some reason, something wasn't right. Something stuck out in my mind, something upsetting. I was a bit apprehensive, a bit uneasy, but I had no idea why. It was just like there was something there that I didn't want to accept.
         When I got home, I was tired. I was exhausted not physically, but mentally, from the heavy thoughts that I had lifted that day. Not having much homework, I went upstairs immediately, and fell upon the bed. It wasn't long before I was asleep. I awoke twice, each time thinking it was morning and that I had to get ready for school. That series of events that I go through every morning always occupies my mind for the first few seconds it takes me to get my bearings when I awaken from sleep.
         The third time I awoke, I saw my father standing over me. He reminded me that the auto show was currently in Philadelphia. He had suggested that we go earlier in the week, so he wanted to know if I had anything preventing me from going with him now. Of course, I had my homework, but not much, so I went to do it, telling him that we could go if I finished it fast enough.
         While I was working on my homework, I called to Freckles, the smaller of my two dogs. The little bischon curled up against my leg and let me pet her as I did my homework. It was nice that she came.
         I finished my homework easily, so it wasn't long until my father and I were in the car. Dad tried talking to me, but most questions he asked were deflected by answers of "I don't know," or "I don't know!" In case you were wondering, the topic was college.
         I knew he was trying to reach out to me, but I can't get excited about college. I don't think that it's right to make sixteen-year-olds make decisions that will determine the rest of their lives; it's not fair. I don't like the idea of going to college at all, so I had not really thought about it. I was uninformed, so just like in the councilor's office that morning, all I could say was "I don't know."
         I knew Dad cared for me and was only trying to help, but I was absolutely clueless. I was completely indecisive. Even when we stopped at Wawa, I was unsure of my decision. What he said about college seemed to make sense. He said that I should do what I want, the kind of "follow your heart" message I had been hearing all day, but he said it in a manner that was much more comforting than the typical "Go on and have fun with your new life!" He said that no decision about college would be a permanant decision. If I wanted to, I could change schools. If I didn't like my field, I could study some more and change fields. He said he's support me in anything I did. That reassured me. Something about college finally made some kind of sense. Don't get me wrong; I was still very apprehensive about college, but it didn't look quite so bad. If I remember correctly, that was a warm car. I left my jacket unbuttoned.
         I remember that the skyline was very beautiful that night. It was a modern world, filled with tiny little lights that flickered and outlined all the buildings. I liked that view. When we got closer to it, I saw China Town inbetween those lights. It was amazing to see a culture such as that flourish in the middle of a bad part of Philly.
         When we got to the auto show, I had my jacket pulled tight around me. It was in such a bad part of downtown Philly. My father and I spent a lot of time walking from one room to another, making small talk about the cars. I didn't really know much about them, but it was nice to have a chance to be with my father, despite the constant lulls in our conversation. I walked beside him, my hands thrust deep within my jacket pockets, looking at eveyone as if they were some kind of potential enemy, as if I was that one character in every Japanese anime who is always silent. Nobody ever knows what he is thinking, though there is usually a lot there. We eventually came to a room marked "Exotic Cars" that had a bunch of foreign cars in it. Of course, these were top of the line cars, Lincolns and the sort. We spent some time there, looking at the prices. A couple of them cost well over $300,000!
         While I was looking at a black car of some kind, I remember turning to see where my father had gone and not seeing him. I turned another direction and still couldn't find him. My grip on my jacket had loosened up during the evening, but I pulled it tight around me again. I walked faster now, my hands deeper in my pocket. I began to walk faster as I looked for him. A feeling of panic rose within me. I was scared. What if I couldn't find him? No, that's silly! I was being irrational, but what if he wasn't there? Then I saw him, and my heart began to beat slower again, and I walked up beside and thrust my hands deeper into my pockets, as if I was that one character in every Japanese anime who is always silent. Nobody ever knows what he is thinking, though there is usually a lot there.
         We took an escalator down from the top floor in the room with the highest priced cars. That little ride down gave us ample time to see the gaint sculptures that hung from the cieling. They were nothing more a few coiled twists and turns trying to be passed off as modern art. I thought of myself as hypocritical then for mentally insulting that "artwork" because it had no kind of form or meaning at all when I made doodles and paper clip sculptures that looked like them all the time. I guess I can see the form and meaning on my own creations, or maybe I just like them because they're mine.
         Around then my father stopped to go to the bathroom. I waited outside on a chair in a nearby hallway. It looked like there was some kind of closet behind me. I saw some men doing something down at the other end of the hallway for a moment as I began to let my mind wander.
         I began to fantasize a little. I was bored, I guess, bored with my surroundings, with my life. First I decided there was a monster in that closet, a hideous beast with claws and sharp teeth. It would jump out snarling and grunting, and be prepared to devour anyone it saw. Then it would meet me. I'd fight the monster with my hands alone, and I'd defeat it and kill it. But what about those men at the end of the hallway? They had just finished planting a bomb in this closet behind me. It would explode and destroy everyone in the building, unless I did something. Then I thought that maybe that idea was silly, but as I rebounded into the idea that a bomb existed, I fell back into fantasy. Then my father returned from the bathroom, and it all ended. The bomb, the monster, and the conspiracy of the men at the end of the hall were all gone.
         As we continued to the room with the cheaper junk cars, I could feel our social class dropping just by being there. It was filled with common people. As we walked, we stopped for a moment in front of a salesman who was peddling some amazing cloths that could soak up any liquid on the face of the planet. He was more than a salesman, though; he was a comedian. He was full of energy and even when his product couldn't preform a miracle, he had a joke to pull attention away from that fact and leave you with the illusion that it almost could preform a miracle. When he got to the end of his presentation offering a two for one "bargain" of this amazing product, I felt tempted to almost buy one myself. It's amazing how much sway words can have in the way they're presented, not just what is said. It was also comforting to see someone seemingly enjoy doing his job. We left with two packs of his amazing sqaures of fabric.
         Just after that, I decided to write a book of my thoughts. I thought maybe it could accompany the electronic journal I had been keeping, The Personal Chronicles of a Teenage Boy. I actually remember a few pieces of the room, a portrait of what I saw when I made this momentus decision that would alter time forever.
         That was the last room we visited that night. Afterwards, we got in the car and began our ride home. I saw that beautiful skyline again, this time noticing the red, white, and blue lights on the _(Ben Franklin)?__ Bridge. Ugh. Patriotism annoyed me. It was a new fad that the entire country had been suckered into joining. I especially dislike those who were making money off of this fad.
         I talked to my father about the road we were on. I don't remember the exact conversation, but it was about how the road looked like it would be fun to drive on. My dad told me that I wouldn't like that road, though. There was no way I could handle the twists and turns. I wasn't a good enough driver.
         I have always been uneasy around change, but driving was more than just any change. I was always very cautious, very careful, and very uptight when I drove. I'd be so stressed and alert that everything would shock me and I wouldn't be able to respond to any of it. I was so frightened that I might take this weapon I was pilotting and hurt someone with it. That scared me. It scared me a lot.
         My father and I only talked for a few minutes during the beginning of the ride and towards the end. The majority of it was quiet. I fantasized again in the car during the ride. I thought about a court case this time, one sparked by my attitude towards the colored lights on the bridge. I was being tried for treason, but through a technicality, I managed to escape at my own hands. Also, it wasn't the people of the nation who wanted me tried, only the government. The people loved that I managed to free myself. It was then that I realized a theme behind these illusions I gave myself. In each one, I was loved by all. I became famous and popular for something incredible. I was accepted.
         







WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EPILOGUE BELOW! DO NOT READ! WILL NOT MAKE COMPLETE SENSE UNTIL THE OTHER 300 PAGES ARE ADDED! WILL SPOIL ENDING!
Or go ahead, see if I care. Actually, if you mention to me anything about the notes for the epilogue that I have listed below, it's possible that I may become a little annoyed, but that will be your problem, because I'll be annoyed with you. Of course, if you never tell me that you read it, I'll never be annoyed, because in my reality, you never will have read it. If you don't understand what I just said, wait for me to write this book, so that maybe you will.




Part Three
Branches


THE BELOW IS MAINLY NOTES THAT I HAVE BEEN USING TO COMPOSE MY WORK. IT HOPEFULLY MAKES NO SENSE TO YOU.



Epilogue I
Fruit


         I've had every component of my alteration of Neon Genesis: Evangelion since I about half-way through my month, but it still felt as if it was incomplete. Shortly after the final section of this book, what was missing came to me.

         Chronologically, it now begins long before Shinji ever sets foot in NERV as an occupation. In fact, he is only a child. It is only a five or ten years after the Second Impact. Jonai, Asuka, and Shinji have no idea their futures will be so messed up. In fact, you could argue that none of them even exist yet.
         There is a man working as part of the SEELE council; however, he is not one of the voices. He will not get that chance.
         This man is Karimanu Nagisaka. He is has chosen to be the volunteer pilot of SEELE's secret "vessel," SEELE's attempt to repeat and improve upon Commander Ikari's experiment of not long ago. He is volunteering despite the fact that his own life will be sacrificed to this cause, but he cannot allow the corruption of SEELE to influence this project. On the night before his implantation into "vessel," he tells his dearest friend, Dr. Akagi, Ritsuko's mother, his fiancĂ©, his only regret.
         "I haven't always been so perfect. I faltered once, but one time is enough to torture you for the rest of your life." After a pause and sigh, he continues, "I raped a woman once, then ran. I don't remember why I did it exactly, or how I could've sunk so low, just that I was drunk, and that I did it. I hope you don't think I'm a monster for this." He pauses again as Dr. Akagi takes this all in. "I guess it doesn't matter now," he says. "After all, this is my last day, our last day together. It's just that I could never escape it. Everywhere I looked, there he was, staring at me, deep into me. Everytime I opened my eyes, I saw him, and he always seemed to know. I couldn't get away from him."
         "From who?" Dr. Akagi finally asks.
         "From the woman's husband. From Gendo Ikari." Karimanu pauses and turns to refill his glass with more wine. "It feels good to finally get it off my chest." Karimanu gets hit then, by Akagi. As he is about to get off the ground, he sees her engagement ring fall past his eyes. She runs out of the room, hands covering her eyes, tears soaking her wrists.
         "Wait!" he calls, getting up. "Come back!" he adds, running from the room. And as he runs, he crashes immeadiately into a wheeled sort of table, almost a bed or a medical stretcher. It topples over and so does its contents. The workers who were pushing it, pick up their cargo, some kind of long skinny object wrapped in a white sheet, and place it back on the cart.
         "What the hell is that?" Karimanu yells in his aggrivation.
         "This is the vessel," replies one of the workers. Karimanu is left wide-eyed. He notices as the workers wheel away the cart, a human hand, dangling down on the left. Twenty-four hours later, neither Karimanu Nagisaka nor Dr. Akagi exist.
         There are other episodes too, that I won't mention, as I haven't put as much thought into them as the rest of this. Mainly, they are of Jonai, Rei, and Misato somewhere between the time of Dr. Akagi's suicide and Jonai's last day as a child. The time passes just like any other time.
         Eventually, the series comes to the ending that begins this book. Jonai disappears into instrumentality and the world begins again. This new world is the next set of episodes.
         NERV has now expanded a bit from the time that Shinji piloted Eva Unit 01. There are now about twelve Evangelions, a growing number. Shinji commands them in their fight against a newly formed Russian alliance, armed with Evas of their own.
         The Evas are weaker than before, as they no longer have souls. They are just machines now, except for one. Evangelion Unit Infinity is the daughter of Asuka and Jonai. She fights as furiously as her father, no matter whether she takes the form of an Eva or only draws her blades.
         She is very fond of the only father she's ever known, Shinji, who, after marrying Asuka, now commands NERV and the majority of the world. His wife now takes Misato's old post, and his son pilots Evangelion Unit 11.
         More pilots are needed, however, and that is why Toji Suzahara shows up one day with Ayanai Shitari, the new pilot for Evangelion Unit 17. Ayanai's long golden hair is sholder length, and he has a twinkle in his eye that perfectly complements his natural radiance. He looks golden, almost like a god.
         His first test is a syncronization ratio test during a battle simulation. Having never before piloted an Eva, he is still willing to fight Infinity. The average sync ratio for a pilot's first attempt since the removal of the Eva's souls is 150. His is 1000, the new maximum. He dominates her.
         The battles with the Russians get harder and tougher. Soon, even Infinity has trouble fighting them off. Every Eva pilot is distressed except Ayanai, who remains as calm as he has always been. He continues to syncronize perfectly with Eva 17. He saves Infinity's life on more than one occasion She hates him for it.
         Meanwhile, Asuka has grown to like this boy. She pays more attention to him than to her own children, a flaw that is especially noticeable to her daughter. She even takes him to the Central Dogma on the anniversary of Jonai's death to see her lover's remains. The Dogma is still in ruins, almost perfectly preserved. But one thing is missing. Jonai's hand is no longer in the glass case she had placed it in. The glass is shattered across the floor. Asuka falls to her knees before the pile of stones that make up Jonai's grave. Here she cries until her eyes are ensnared by the blueish hue of two blades emerging from Ayanai's arms.
         Asuka learns from Shinji eventually that Shinji has created Ayanai, as Gendo created Rei, in an attempt to ressurect his brother. When Asuka learns this, the bad gets worse. She leaves her husband and destroys her family. Ayanai is withdrawn from the Evangelion program.
         The Russian attacks become more and more devastating. Finally, after a brief moment of peace, a secret force of twenty Evas is brought to fight against NERV's dwindling forces. NERV's Evas are no match for the overwhelming size of the Russian force. Asuka watches the fight as the Evas slowly drop to the ground. Eva Unit 11 is one that falls.
         When all is clear, only Infinity is left, surrounded by Russian Evas. She is tired and beaten, but not willing to give up the fight. She makes one last exhausted effort to turn the tides in her favor, but is struck from behind, and falls to the ground. As she tries to get up, she suddenly sees Unit 17 fly into battle. Ayanai, still at 1000% syncronization, decimates the Russians, finishing off the attacking force. After the battle, Ayanai steps out of his Eva, onto the ground.
         "Why..." moans Infinity, "do you always have to save me?"
         "Because you let me."
         Ayanai's response fills Infinity with rage. She yells, "Then I won't let you anymore!" lunging for him, but her attacks cannot penetrate his AT field. A flash of white light emerges from Ayanai as Infinity, now in human form, crawls on the ground, crying. Asuka is left seeing the first silhoutte Shinji saw back when his portion of the adventure first began. Jonai has returned.
         Asuka runs into Jonai's light. She's not phased by Ayanai's transformation into her dead lover. She can't be because her pain is too strong.
         Screaming things like "How could you come back here? Why did you hurt me? I hate you for leaving me! Wasn't I good enough for you?" Asuka begins pounding on Jonai's chest. He stares at her coldly, and stabs her with his blade.
         "Why am I seeing this?" asks Shinji, still a boy, still in instrumentality, still with Jonai leaning over his shoulder like the parrot of a pirate. "Why do I have to see this?"
         "Because you want to. You must really hate Asuka."
         "No, I don't hate her! I don't hate her at all! Why did she have to suffer? Tell me why I remember that! Tell me why I saw her suffering!"
         "Maybe it's because you didn't want to suffer anymore. Somebody has to suffer, Shinji, and you didn't want it to be you, you selfish bastard. But I guess you already knew that."
         "Yes," says Shinji, "Somehow I did."
         The instrumentality process is renewed somewhat. It all comes to one final conclusion. Shinji begins stating it, and soon after Jonai joins in. Then the child Asuka and Rei join in, and adult Toji, and all the other characters slowly begin to say Shinji's last message.
         "And so, my world is what surrounds me, but only I can see my world, because it is only my perceptions! There is no one else to percieve it for me, because I only have perceptions of other people! I am trapped by these perceptions, and yet I am freed, because it means anything is possible, as long as I believe it strongly enough to alter these perceptions! So life is just a perception, just a dream to pass the time! It is a game that I play because I have nothing else to play, and so if I don't play it, I do nothing, and if I do nothing, I percieve no reality, and if I percieve no reality, I percieve no me! I cease to exist! I have to live in the reality I percieve, or there will be nothing left of me!"
         "And so," Jonai asks, "What now, Shinji?"
         "Now I play the game again."
         And the world starts over.




Epilogue II
Seed


         My story still doesn't end. It never will. There will always be changes, revelations to make.
         As for now, there are a few things, that during the writing of this book began to change for me. First off, I've become cooler. I don't seem to have bad days anymore. It's like a day is a day, and that's all it is. There's no need for silly classifications like good or bad. Things haven't been striking me as bad at all lately. Maybe there'd be something that was not opportunistic or of a slightly annoying tendency, but I haven't really seen much bad things. Things just sort of happen and that's all there is to it. Also, I've become more philosophical. I guess it comes from finally being able to see myself for what I truly am in an objective manner.
         Another change is that of Jeremy Seltzer. He seemed to lose his sainthood. He never lost his good looks or youthful spirit. Those traits will be with him forever, as they remained with his father and brother, but that extra little thing, that spark of revelation, isn't as noticable as it once was. I still think he is more enlightened than he lets on, but I just don't seem to be able to see very much of it anymore. I see that look on his face of knowledge, that he understands something greater, but it is not as prevalent as it once was. I guess it's because I no longer need a Kaworu.
         The funny thing about Jeremy is that he celebrated his fifteenth birthday during the writing of my book. When I think about it, fifteen seems kind of old, almost mature, but it's not. Jeremy is living proof of the true nature of that age and of my own. Physically, he is and I am of an elder variety, especially as viewed by society, but the truth to the matter is that he still acts like a child, and rightfully so. When his father brought cupcakes to our rehearsal that day, I remeber saying something to him along the lines of, "Ah, Jeremy, thank you for so generously sacrificing a year of your youth so that we all may enjoy a few cupcakes." What I didn't see right away was that Jeremy never sacrificed anything. His youth will always remain. Thank you, Jeremy, for being my Kaworu.
         And damn you, society, for screwing me up so damn much. (That was to make a point, by the way.) Sitting around that day, after enjoying a chocolate cupcake, I noticed the behavior of the other cast members. I'm a junior, one of the physically oldest in the cast by that measure. Yet, I saw something that I see everyday, something I somehow missed and can never get back. I saw youth, pure, innocent youth. The way the other cast members behave at times is that of joy and innocence; they goof around, mainly telling jokes about sexuality or a movie or anything else that fits their fancy. The atmosphere is always light during these exchanges. They can bring a smile to a dead man's face. And yet, I can never participate in these activities, not until I can I fight against the notion of place that the proper society of Lower Moreland has embedded in my mind. That is the reason that before Jess, I never had a girlfriend. I was always too young emotionally to commit myself to participate in this type of uplifting discussion, but now, the time has evaded me, as I am to old physically. It's no longer my place to act that young. I'm expected to act like an adult, acting with maturity and dignity, but I don't want to be an adult. I can't be an adult. The simple fact is that emotionally, I still am, and may always be, a child. If not for this wretched body, I'd be truly fourteen, able to flirt and joke and live as I should do, as I want to do, as I only know how to do. But before I can, I must fully reject that notion that's been embedded in my mind. I've been successful thus far, each day winning a small battle in this long war. Since writing this, I've become more integrated, younger, stronger; but I don't think I'm strong enough to erase completely my society. Not yet. But I will one day.
         In my own way, I already have. I found a crack in society's tight grasp through which I can slide, at least at times, to freedom. By using a veil of anonymity, I was able to be fourteen again. I found a place with no physical form. I found the internet.
         As cliche as it sounds, I met someone over the internet. I met Jess. If you were wondering about my romance with her and hoping for a happy ending, I suggest you close the book now and never read about it again......
         Now that all the suckers are gone, I can tell the open and true tale of what's happened since my book's official "ending." Jessica and I have a blossoming relationship. We've talked on the phone a couple of times. When I speak to her, I feel relaxed. I feel open. I enjoy just knowing that she's there. I could lay in bed with the phone in one hand for hours, just listening, even if neither of us had said anything for fifteen minutes, and still just enjoy knowing that she's there. The best part is that I think she feels the same way. Whenever we find that we've come to a lack of words, she, just like I, laughs at the awkardness of silence, or lack thereof. When I'm speaking with her, I don't seem to need words. There are times when I just laugh for no reason. I think it's because I'm actually happy. I guess that although I don't seem to see that many things as bad anymore, I still see some good.
         I have a comfort with Jess that I don't have with anyone else. I can be fourteen and sixteen at the same time when I speak to her. I don't have to fit into the mold. Society has no more grasp over me when I speak with her. I just feel so comfortable. It's a comfort that I've never had with anyone before, but that I enjoy so very much. I've seen that comfort countless times before. It's in health class documentaries about the teenage years, it's rampaging through sitcom romances all the time, and it's in the hearts of the one couple that I see kissing every day on my way to math class. It may even be the comfort that I see my parents share. Of all of life's ironies, I find this one the most ironic of all. It's almost like I have the "perfect" teenage relationship.
         And so, well, things happen. I can't say what or how or why, because I don't yet know. My story will continue, but my book will end. I guess the only question that remains is, "Will there be a sequel?" Well, the answer is undoubtibly yes. Peace and conflict are a cycle. I feel at almost at peace now, but later, I will find another conflict. Whether or not I will record, I cannot say, but one thing is for certain, I will encounter it. My journey is not completely concluded, but the adventure is over. I still have some battles to fight, but there is no need for them to be part of this book. I never wrote this book for you. I wrote it for me. It's a crutch, a journal, a safebox. But I don't need it anymore, so I am ending it. If I later once again find myself in the midst of conflict and deem it necessary to continue this series, maybe not even for myself, but for the benefit of others, I will. I fully expect to face conflict again and one day begin an physical sequel to my journey, as the only true way to gain perfect peace is death. As for now, however, all I will do is face life, day by day.
         I still look in that mirror every day. Physically, I think I'm extremely ugly. It's kind of funny, I guess. I think I look better when I shave, though. It makes me look more youthful, more like I really am. When I look in that mirror, I still see Shinji a lot. The thing is, though, that I see Jonai a lot more.
         The only difficulty I really have now is that of coping with the fact that I cannot truly interact with people. Well, I can interact with people in that they can see me, and they can perceive me in a way they chose. I can even try to alter their perception so that they can look at the entire world, not just their secluded view. What I can't do is save them. I can't save anybody any more than anyone else can save anybody. Of course, I don't mean physically. I mean metaphorically, I can't save anybody. It's up to the individual to truly believe. If someone is stubborn, it won't matter how much I try to change their point of view; they still won't see everything, only their dim corridor and not the vast, open floor. In Neon Genesis instrumentality was a way for everyone to see into each others' mind. It let them all see truly what others thought of them, and from there they could see what they thought of themselves. It was a way of erasing that part of the mind that sees and leaving only that which perceives. That would be the only way I could teach the stubborn, but that's not something of Earthly existence. I'll probably never truly be able to cope with this fact, not without an Eva anyway.
         I don't think Heaven exists. I just don't understand how there can be perfect bliss. It's the whole good without evil isn't really good because good and evil are relative terms thing. But then there's also time. How can a place exist without time? Everything would be over in a single moment. But how can Heaven exist with time? If souls in Heaven knew of time, then they would know of the passage of time, and they would know of an opinion about the passage of time. They would have to feel boredom or impatience or something! It just isn't fathomable to me, much less any mortal, that Heaven could truly exist as it is described. I think that if Heaven does by some chance exist, it instrumentality, exactly as in Neon Genesis, a place where you can control your beliefs by wanting it to be so.
         I've been recently working on that research report for school. I've made the human experience's presence in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof my thesis. Every character lives in his own illusion. It's been making me think about my own illusion. How do I know that there isn't some other reality that I'm not seeing, that this isn't just some illusion? I suppose I don't. I mean, all other illusions eventually disintegrate, and this one hasn't, so I have a sort of proof that it's real, as much proof as that can be. I mean, behind this, all I can find is emptiness. I suppose the real reason to believe that I've found the truth, at least in my own perception and my own reality, is the comfort I feel. It's not like before, when I felt peaceful and yet disturbed. This acceptance of conflict is comfortable, peaceful, and sirene. It's not a false comfort, though, like so many others. I know this one is real. I feel it's energy like it is real energy. I don't know what else it could be, if it weren't truth.
         You know, the most ironic thing about all of this, is that now that it's over, it's like whenever people have been telling me to put on a warmer jacket, that it's cold outside, and that I'll freeze to death if I don't wear more layers, I just sort of laugh to myself and tell them the truth; "It's not that cold."
         I still see Shinji sometimes when I look back on myself, but it is far more common for me to see Jonai. I remember once having an excess of energy and a need for a fight, so I put a Tae Bo tape that my mother had into the VCR. Once I played through that, I still had energy, so I went outside and ran around the block once. The sun was at my back and I could see my shadow running out in front of me. It wasn't my shadow. It was Shinji's. I saw Shinji in that shadow, in the way my hair flipped up as I ran, but I knew he was only a shadow.
         Talking with Jess, something strange would happen to me every time I'd go to hang up the phone. I'd see myself as Shinji again, the way I always used to, with a void of black all around me. Shinji would... I would reach out into the darkness for something, for Jess, before she slipped away from me! As I reached, I saw her moving, get farther away, being engulfed in the darkness! Then Shinji or I or whoever I saw as myself would scream something, and it would end. It always ended with a feeling of regret that I didn't say the words that I had screamed in my vision. "I love you!"
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