Saturday, December 8, 2012

World End’s Messiah - NGE/SKU Chapter 3

World End’s Messiah - NGE/SKU, post series both series

All NGE and SKU characters belong to their respective owners.

Summary: He felt like he had to strangle her then, because no way should her pale skin be growing dark from right underneath his fingertips.

Chapter 3 (Please keep the C&C coming, people!)

Before setting foot upon the irrationally undamaged campus grounds (an eye-catchingly grand academy he had somehow never noticed around this area before), Shinji had considered a broad range of possibilities on what they might found there: deserted buildings hopefully still fueled by backup generators, food and drinks in defunct cafeterias at risk of staling, the scattered few people – if it was still possible for others to retain individual forms even now – lurking about like weary refugees in this broken world of his making . . .     

Antiquated music, coming languid and elegant and definitely live (as it lacked the frizzed-out quality of a recording), was not what he had expected to encounter.

“Sounds like string instruments, Shinji-kun,” commented Asuka, a wistful glint within her one revealed green eye (It once had another color pre-Instrumentality . . . violet? Amber?).  “Cellos, perhaps?”

People playing musical instruments in the wake of Instrumentality . . . upon this now brutally barren Earth?  Unthinkable.  Yet, the music persisted, drawing the two children past a dark alley framed by regal buildings (likely what their history teacher had called Byzantine architecture) artfully adorned by rose motifs, before they were to enter an elegant courtyard, where some sort of party was apparently going on.

The place was but illuminated by a singular candelabra on a white-draped long table, upon which a feast of apples, grapes, and pears had been laid out, accompanied by champagne glasses and stacks of empty plates.  Lanky boys in school uniforms – all wearing a black ring with a magenta rose motif visible even under the veiling of dimness – flitted about each carrying a cardboard with a pointing hand drawn upon it.  Musicians (a trio of stick-figured girls) on cellos could be seen at a dark corner, setting the mood for the peculiar scene with their competent (if physically showy) performance.

Nasally male voices, whispery and dark with cynicism, hovered adrift over the cool night air:

"To think that once again, they’ve rebuilt it back from scratch."

“This is all to accommodate that matchless artifact soon to be acquired by you-know-who.” 

“The Sword of Instrumentality – the summation of humanity’s collective will-power; to think such a blade could even be possible to forge . . .”

“You know the influence that person has on the world, and it took even him fifteen years after the Apocalypse to make happen.”

“A-Asuka,” Shinji found himself growing more wary by the second, “do you think these people are somehow connected to NERV?  How come they seem to know about Instrumentality?  And this sword they’re talking about-”


Turning nervously towards his girl (the one who led him to this eerie place), the boy’s eyes popped wide as he did a double take.

Gone were the eye patch and the bandages covering her eye and arm, revealing the now dark-skinned, pink-haired girl to have been completely healed; in fact, she was no longer even in her plugsuit, but rather, a sleek, embroidery-adorned red uniform looking vaguely to what the ring wearing boys wore, only hers was more well-tailored and “elite” in appearance.

“Asuka . . . how’d you . . .”

“It looks like the clothes have transformed on their own,” murmured the girl, as she studied her new wardrobe with hooded eyes.  It was only when she glanced over at him that her surprise became apparent.  “Shinji-kun . . .”

Glancing down upon himself, Shinji was shocked to see that he himself now was wearing something that looked like a white variation of the uniform Asuka now wore.


“White with purity,” commented Asuka, her voice exuding not her usual girlish whine, but rather, a dark, aged envy; it vanished in an instant, to be replaced by a warm, indulgent grin.  “How princely this looks on you, Shinji-kun.” 

“Asuka . . .”

“Shinji-sama?  Ikari . . . Shinji-sama?”

Sometime during their talking, the trio of girl musicians had since ceased their playing, and had now come up to them in exuberant flutters of puffy sleeves and short shirts. With eager hands, they pawed at him; with ravenous mouths, they exclaimed his praises:

“Welcome to Ohtori Academy, Ikari Shinji-sama!”

“It’s really you, the one who piloted the Evangelion against the monsters . . . the one to have kept this Academy intact through the worst of the attacks!”

“Without this Academy as sanctuary, we’d all get sucked into that white giant like all those poor people from the outside!” 

“It’s because of your heroic determination that we’ve all been kept safe!”

“You’re truly the Prince of the World – our Messiah!”

“How-Why-Wha . . .?”  To say that Shinji was overwhelmed by the girls’ adoration would be an understatement.  It had been a while since he had been brought here to Tokyo-3.  While everyone at school appeared mildly interested in his status as an Eva Pilot (with Kensuke being the sole enthusiastic among the lot), the boy had never experienced anything close to this fanatical worship he was currently getting from the females here.  Sure, Kaworu had told him that he was not aware of his own popularity, but this . . .

“Quite the lady’s man, Shinji-kun,” drawled Asuka, crossing her arms and giving the boy a sardonic smile; said boy was relieved to see only good-natured humor within the girl’s glinting eyes, instead of that explosive jealousy he so often noticed seething beneath.

“Shinji-sama is our prince!” squealed the girls, now dramatic to the point of being theatrical.  “Shinji Ouji-sama!”

“Oh, I . . .” feeling Asuka’s slim arm slipping around his (in a demure manner that made him conscious of the take-charge male role he as a man should play in front of the ladies) Shinji straightened his back and smiled back at the star-struck females.  “Thank you; I did what I could, for umm . . . the world!”  Clumsy though his delivery might be, the girls ate it right up.

“How brave ~”

“How cool ~”

“How valiant ~”

It would have been easy for Shinji to lose himself completely in the admiration of others - that very thing that kept him in constant craving through life and Instrumentality.  Yet, even while heady with teenage male pride, the boy could not help but overhear the boys’ conversation continuing on in the party’s background, and thus remained conscious of the increasingly cryptic turn it now took:

“To think the classic role of the heroic revolutionary shall now be filled by that weak-minded child.”

“Let’s not forget: this child is now sheath to the accumulated might of all mankind.”

“A weak-minded sheath will likely suit you-know-who’s purpose better than those willful ones that came before.”

“Let’s see how it all goes down this time around.”


The shrill, desperate child’s cry shocked Shinji out of the haze currently clouding his perceptions, allowing for him to finally see past the clamoring girls, past the party, to discover the little blond boy calling for his attention from some distance away.  The child was standing under a focused ray of light spearing down from the dark heights above; with his ruffled clothes and heaving chest, he looked like he had just been through some rough struggle prior to showing up. 

Shinji had no idea what to make of this.

“Err . . . you . . . ?”

“Err NOTHING!”  Roared the boy (with such heated agitation, he temporarily reminded Shinji of how Asuka was like before she somehow got changed by Instrumentality), foaming slightly at the corners of his mouth.  “Just run, kid!  Escape from the Ends of the World while you still can!  Or, you’re gonna end up like me . . . or worse, like them!”  He pointed a finger at the partying bunch, still moving the “pointing hand” cardboards about (seemingly) randomly as they murmured on amongst themselves.

Ends of the World?  “Um . . . I think your’re the one who’re a kid-”

“I’m goddamned older than you, you bio-robo piloting brat!” snapped the child.  “This hell is what keeps me looking like this even after fifteen years went by!”  Seemingly understanding how Shinji would not easily take his words to heart, the strange child tore at his matted blond locks, before abruptly widening his eyes as he then pointed at the trio now hanging around Shinji.  “The girls!  Look at their faces!  Can you even see what they look like?!”

The boy’s words impacted Shinji like a splash of cold water.  All the while, he had simply attributed the shadowy appearances of the girls – along with those of the boys – as their being outdoor in the night.  But while the boys were indeed milling about some distance away, the three girls were right in his face - he could not, no matter how much he squinted his eyes, make out any distinctive features on their faces.  At all.

Jolting backwards in fright, Shinji again turned back towards Asuka, whose features he could clearly make out despite her dark skin; Asuka, who was now giving him a quizzical smile – like she was subtly reminding him of how he was making a scene in front of admiring strangers, in public.

“A-Asuka, these people-”

“Ssssh . . . get a hold of yourself, Shinji-kun,” cooed Asuka, as if the faceless girls looked normal – as if the blond boy now warning him never even existed.  “I know you’re not used to clamoring fans, but these girls here are merely trying to show you their appreciation.”  Her voice gained a velvety edge.  “There’s no need to get scared.”

“Ikari-kun,” persisted the blond boy, who also appeared oblivious to Asuka’s presence,  “we’re right in the monster’s stomach like Jonah from the Bible!  You’ve just gotten swallowed up, you’ve yet to get corroded away by the place’s venom!  Stay any longer, and you could become integrated into its fresh and blood like these goons, or worse, cursed to eternal stagnation like me!   This mustn’t happen to you – not when mankind’s fate is now in you hands!  For God’s sake, just flee this so-call-Academy and don’t look back-” And his voice – along with the ray of light illuminating him – got cut off with violent abruptness, as the boy then disappeared as if he was never there in the first place.

“Ah . . . Ah!”  Pointing a shaky hand after where the boy had vanished, Shinji again turned towards Asuka (for help, for guidance, for someone to tell him what to do), but was then kept silent by what he saw before he could even open his mouth.

The girl had since moved away from his side, and was, by now, walking up along a straight path that was fenced in from sides by the “pointing hand” cardboards – all standing upright on their thin edges, as if upheld up by invisible forces.  Stopping in front of the entrance to the stone building facing the courtyard, she turned towards the metal plate nailed beside the arched doorway, and brushed her slim, dark fingertips over its dull surface. 

On the plate was written the following title - “Ikari Memorial Hall”.

One of the two entrance doors opened seemingly on its own, revealing the building’s ominously dark interior; when Asuka then stepped unhesitant-ly into the thick, clouding shadows simmering within, Shinji had no choice but to follow her, regardless of the trepidations now eating at his nerves. 


Against each other they stood upon the barren shore – two albinos facing one dark-skinned entity, with neither side showing signs of backing down. 

“I seek only an alliance with Lilith’s descendants,” insisted Anthy, lady-like mannerism firmly upheld in spite of subtle evidences of growing frustration, “hopefully through the correspondence of the Seeds of Life.  I need to fight my brother, who now exists as their ultimate adversary.”  She punctuated her point by gesturing at “Ohtori Academy”, looking pristine from where it now perched upon a small mountain of debris close to the shoreline.  “Do you want to continue tolerating his existence here?  Can you afford to do so?”

“And why would you of the First Ancestral Race wish to fight your own flesh and blood?  For the Lilins, whose well-being you care nothing for?” asked the visor-wearing Kaworu, the down-turned corners of his lips clearly displaying his skepticism over Anthy’s words.  “You, more than powerful enough to crumble any human effort, had remained passive while an elite few condemned the entire world to this failed evolution.  Do you now try to convince us that you’re willing to side with such low lives against even your own kin?”  From behind the pale angel’s back, Rei watched the dark-featured entity with something between outright distrust and reserved uncertainty.

“Without breaking the shell, the chick will die without being born,” murmured Anthy, in the wistful tone of one recalling something from an ancient past, before her voice gained the strength of certainty.  “Without experiencing the loss of physical form, people can never think beyond the the flesh.  Seele’s Instrumentality, while flawed by human selfishness and limitations, still helped in breaking the world’s shell for its people.”  She swept an arm across the general direction of the ripping waves of LCL.  “This amber sea could be as a transient cocoon before humanity is to rise again upon new wings, so long as-”

“So long as they turn to either you or your brother to complete their evolution,” Kaworu cut her off, “thus rendering all people reliant upon your godly good grace for their continual survival.” 

Anthy shook her head, her long locks rippling as serpents about her delicate figure.  “Not my good grace; the Calyx’s good grace, which even the two of you could trust.”

Both albinos jolted in shock at her statement. 

“The Calyx . . .”  Rei’s red eyes widened in wonder, as her guardedness started to lessen.  “Could it be . . . are you the one who . . .?”

“The humans don’t know, but the two of you should’ve sensed her presence since long ago – the Heavenly Calyx safe-keeping the souls of all those deceased since the Apocalypse . . . an event coinciding with what the humans had termed the Second Impact.”

“The Calyx . . .” Kaworu seemed to be mulling Anthy’s words over in his head.   “Do you have proof of your alliance with her?“

Reaching into the pocket of her pink dress, Anthy produced a ring – one bearing a magenta rose-motif – and held it up for the pale youth’s inspection.

“You speak the truth.”  Tensed lips slowly relaxing, Kaworu let out a soft sigh as he then removed his visor, revealing warm, smiling eyes.  “If you’re trying what I think you’re trying with the Calyx, then I suppose I can understand why you would have to wait until now before stepping in and aiding the Lilins.”  He looked over a shoulder at Rei.  “It’s okay now – she’s on our side, and that of the Lilins.” 

Awkwardly stepping out from behind Adam’s child, the current embodiment of Lilith stepped up towards the First Ancestral Entity, and engaged her in a civil handshake.

“I’m Rei.”

“Rei,” Anthy took the girl’s cool hand in both of hers.  “Rei and Kaworu, Seeds of Life given life; more than any other in this world, the two of you would surely understand the reason behind our wanting to help the humans.”

“For friendship,” said Rei, earnest as a newborn.

“For love,” said Kaworu, mature as a grown up.

Anthy kept her steady, penetrating gaze on the two.  “The one you both cherish, the young Messiah with power over all human souls, is being bewitched by the Ends of the World as we speak; if we’re to rescue the Lilin Race from sure damnation, we have to act fast.  Will the two of you help me help humanity, if only just for the sake of those you’ve come to love in your human incarnations?”  To that, both Seeds of Life nodded firmly in affirmation; Anthy’s smile broadened as a blooming summer’s rose.

“Then, first thing first . . .” raising a delicate hand, the First Ancestral Entity pointed it daintily at what appeared to be a massive, caved in area opening up the ruin-filled landscape in the distance, and stretched out her fingers in a dark, delicate fan . . .

. . . and the caved-in area quickly came to be “refilled”, cluttering up with man-made buildings and structures that would look familiar to anyone who were from around the area; even the charred trees covering the surrounding hills now were again livening up like coral polyps under water, as Tokyo-3 again stood tall as if time itself had been turned back by miraculous means.  Even the serious “light pollution” surrounding the city was back – a sign that electricity was again up and running.

“Reversal of State,” murmured Kaworu as if in remembered pain, “that First Ancestral technique Keel Lorenz had repeatedly failed in replicating via human science, thus affirming his insistence with rebirth through Instrumentality.”  His voice dropped a further notch.  “Had I been able to better control the urge to rejoin . . .”

“This is as much as I could afford to do for the moment,” gasped Anthy, wiping sweat off her creased brows in apparent exertion.  “The Fortress should be completely operational by now, that with its multiple backup generators all working anew.”  She then turned towards the albino girl, who watched all this with awe.  “Rei, if you could resurrect Nerv’s integral staff?  I’m talking about the portion who will aid instead of hinder our efforts.” 

Accepting Anthy’s crisp order with ease (as if it was from coming from Major Katsuragi herself), Rei turned to face the vast LCL Sea lapping at the shore, and focused.

To Be Continued . . . ?

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