A Neon Genesis Evangelion short story
By Aaron Bergman
Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion © GAINAX / ProjectEva - TV Tokyo - NAS, Hideaki Anno, and AD Vision.
Well, this is certainly a surprising development. Who'da thought?
Aoba, who's still looking over my left shoulder, lets out a sigh that seems to contain equal parts shock and relief. "Well, at least we know what it's all about now."
Maya, who's looking over my other shoulder, doesn't say anything, and my glance at her tells me that she's known, or at least has feared that she's known, this all along.
I've never really cared about how the AT Field did its job, only that it did, and that when it failed, we could figure out which wire had shorted, which fuse had blown, and fix it. But, knowing this…
"How can we ever look at those poor kids the same again?"
Neither one of them answers my question, which suits me just fine. Because the truth is, we'll never be able to look at them the same, and the only honorable deed would be leaving NERV forever.
None of us would ever, could ever, do that. What we've done here yesterday, what we do tomorrow, is far more important than any person's honor.
And thus are we all drawn into the downward spiral…
Shaking off the sudden wave of utter despair, I read a bit further.
It's deceptively simple, really. The EVA interface amplifies the pilot's commands, in turn amplifies its own sensations, and the twain meeting renders the machine controllable. Even I'd known at least that much of it.
An 'inadvertent side-effect' of this interface was the additional amping of emotions, not only from the human but from the EVA itself. A cryptic side note says that the real 'synch ratio' we measure comes not from how well or badly the pilot's controlling the machine, but how well the emotions felt by both the pilot and EVA match.
But all that was considered unwanted… until the Commander's wife disappeared in an early experiment.
He turned his efforts to deducing why and how she'd vanished, and eventually reasoned that the emotions of his wife and the EVA had heterodyned, driving both of them further and further into synchronicity until there was no difference between man and machine. So why have two bodies… when there was only one mind?
He explored further down this path to find the source of the field that had literally torn apart EVA-01's holding pen, trying to figure out how the emotions both the EVA and his wife could have been strong enough to induce such an effect, and found the answer in psychiatry.
Aoba snorts. "I didn't know Fuyutsuki was a headshrinker."
Maya shushes him.
The texts he found detailed the 'AT field' theory. In short, all humans have a certain 'barrier' around them, a 'barrier' that, no matter how open or nice or friendly they are, holds the things that they will never be willing to share. The ordinary person's 'barrier' only has a few things inside, but as for a madman's… or woman's…
It could hold everything that a madman was, cutting him off from the world around him with a force that could not be breached… without breaking the mind within, of course.
And it had been his wife's 'barrier' that had been amplified through the EVA.
After much experimenting, the Commander found that a normal, well-adjusted person's 'barrier' wasn't powerful enough to be amplified through the EVA's interface, and so he turned to madmen. Who were, by definition, uncontrollable, which didn't suit his… other needs at all.
The next logical step was, of course, creating his own madmen, and madwomen, who had a strong enough 'barrier' between themselves and the rest of humanity to be picked up by the EVA, but were controllable enough to suit his… other needs.
Which is where the children came in.
Adults were far too strong in their own sense of self to be bent in the necessary ways without breaking them entirely, but children were flexible enough that, with just a word here, a shove there, an insensitive adult over here, they could be molded into just what Gendo needed. Controllable, isolated in their own minds, just wanting someone to reach out…
And he'd started with his own son…
Maya screams suddenly, and I stand up and put an arm around her even as Aoba did the same on the other side. We glare at each other (typical alpha male behavior over a female) but didn't do anything about it (typical omega male cowardice.) "What's wrong?"
She stops screaming, but only because the tears are choking her too thickly. "Everything I've ever believed in… is SICK!" She pauses for a moment, then moans, "sempai… why didn't you tell me?"
Not consciously meaning to do so, not meaning any mockery, both Aoba and I say somberly, "I guess ignorance is bliss…"
Author's notes: Right, I have a bit of a misnomer to correct. Last time, I wrote that I was explaining what Evangelion means. While such a statement is within the limits of my typical arrogance, that is not what I actually meant.
Y'see, I see people wondering about the mundane aspects of the series, while failing to appreciate the huge picture. I dunno how people can ask piddly little questions and say "I didn't really like the show because they didn't explain [fancy widget, awkward situation, or character motivation]."
Or maybe I just wanted to see with the first three how much I could shake up your perceptions of the characters, then with the second three explain some things, then with the next three…
Erm, I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this author note, other than rambling incoherently, so I'm just gonna skip straight to the end and say, "See ya next time!"
Watch this space for my Sailor Moon/Shadowrun crossover, coming soon! NO, it does NOT anyone saying "Moon Healing Activation" (aside from the occasional sarcastic remark…)
Aaron Bergman firstname.lastname@example.org
"There are two mantras in life: Yuck and yum. Mine is yum."
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