Chapter 11: Revelations
Where am I? Patrick woke up in a dark room. He was sitting with his head lying on a table. The young pilot had been taken out of his plug suit and was now dressed in regular clothes. As soon as he woke up, two men dressed in black suits and sunglasses focused a bright light directly into his face and started to interrogate him.
"What were you planning on doing?" one of the men asked him,
"I wasn't planning on anything," Patrick answered. "Where's Vance?"
"What was your partner doing?"
"I have no idea. He just told me to stay out of the way. Where's Vance?"
"And you didn't warn your controllers?" the other man demanded.
"He was acting weird, really!" Patrick replied. "Where is he? Damn it where is he?"
"Your partner is dead," said the first man.
What the hell? "Dead? How?"
"Apparently he died piloting the EVA. "
"Oh my God!" Patrick went into shock, but the interrogator continued. "Were you using a Control Serum?" The first man demanded, while the second walked behind him.
"WERE YOU USING A CONTROL SERUM? ANSWER ME!" One of them then held his arms back, while the other agent slapped Patrick hard in the face.
"I don't even know what that is!"
From outside, Misato and Ritsuko Akagi watched the interrogation on a monitor fed from a hidden camera in the room. The monitor was labeled NERV DEPT 2 INTERROGATION ROOM ONE. Misato looked very concerned as he watched the forceful proceedings in the room. "I don't think he knows anything."
"Still," Ritsuko answered. "He'd have to notice something was going on, you would think."
"How did you figure out what Vinson was doing?" Misato asked.
"I had figured that maybe the early parts of the project might have used something like this," said Ritsuko. "So I went back into my Mother's research. I was able to determine, from her and the analysis that the MAGI did, that a neural control serum was the most probable method, but the composition of the serum he was using was the last piece of the puzzle."
"How did you figure that out?"
Ritsuko smiled at her. "Actually, a stray dog came by and managed to fetch some for me." She held up a syringe filled with orange liquid.
Misato knew that particular mutt. "Stray dog, huh?"
At the entrance of the GeoFront, Asuka and Shinji slid their identity cards and entered the security gates. They were still both in shock from yesterday's adventure.
"I can't believe they were both spies!" Shinji told Asuka in disbelief. "They seemed so cool!"
"I knew he was too good to be true!" she angrily replied as she followed him through the gate. "You can't trust anyone these days."
"I wonder how Ayanami is taking it?" Shinji asked.
"Don't make me sick!" Asuka groaned.
Elsewhere in the GeoFront, Rei walked down a corridor into Commander Ikari's office. She wore her school uniform and was carrying her Viola case with her. In the commander's office, Gendo Ikari sat at his desk, hands folded in front of his face, while a fat American man dressed in an older-style business suit pleaded his case to him. She watched the discussion from across the room. The American was very nervous, sweating from his brow as he spoke. "As you can see, this was a rouge element of dissenting American officers. They've always hated the UN and this was their way of retaliation."
"Commander Stennis," Ikari replied, "this pilot of theirs was able use this serum without anyone on your staff noticing? I find that very difficult to believe."
The American director took a handkerchief and dabbed his forehead. "Unfortunately Commander Ikari that is the way it is. Please believe me! We are completely loyal to the UN and to the Committee. If we were aware of any type of plot earlier we would have put a stop to it immediately!"
"You will have to answer to the Committee on this matter in any case," said the Commander. "I doubt if they're going to trust you with anything from this point further."
"Please, Commander Ikari!" the American's voice was desperate, but Commander Ikari was already distracted by someone else in the room. "Ah, Rei," he said warmly, as he stood up and walked over to where she was standing. "Are you going to your lesson?"
"Yes, sir." Her voice was devoid of emotion.
The commander smiled at her. "I hope you're feeling okay after yesterday. You gave us quite a scare."
"I am fine, sir."
"Good," Ikari replied to her with a slight smile. I will attend as soon as I am able. Please go on ahead."
"Yes, Commander," said Rei, again with a monotone voice. Her eyes simply stared at him.
Ritsuko walked back to her lab to study the reports on the damage to EVA-03. Fortunately Asuka's melee attacks didn't permanently damage the unit and it was being quickly prepared for shipment back to the NERV-1 branch in Massachusetts for repairs. EVA-04 was already packed for transport to NERV-2 in Nevada. As she sat at her computer an older man's voice was heard through the door. "Dr. Akagi!"
She turned around and saw a man in his fifties dressed in a white suit with rim glasses, his silver beard trimmed in a neat goatee. He looked nothing like a double-Nobel winning physicist.
"Dr. Forrestal," she said cynically. "What an unexpected pleasure!"
The American scientist warmly smiled at her. "I'm here to get my boy. I do have to apologize for the mess here; we had no idea what these people were up to until yesterday." Dr. Harrison Forrestal, scientific and technical chief of NERV-2, walked into her office.
Ritsuko waited until the door closed to make her statement. "Do you fully expect me to believe that crap?"
He kept smiling at her, but it was strained. "I shouldn't expect you to take such a tone with me."
She looked right at him. "We both know perfectly well that only someone with extensive experience with both neural control systems and genetics could concoct such a thing as that serum. "
His smile was now gone, and Dr. Forrestal waived a finger at her. "I wouldn't go around making big accusations if I were you. We were both taken advantage of. At least we had a handle on the bigger plot."
"The destruction of NERV in Japan," he continued. "That was the ultimate goal, anyway. Take the angel's S2 and combine it with an Evangelion and you get a completely invincible weapon. Fortunately quick thinking by your own pilots averted a complete tragedy."
Ritsuko walked right up to his face and looked him in the eye. "There is no possible way you were not involved!"
Forrestal turned away from her, and looked around her office. "I'm not going to deal with your accusations right now. Besides, don't think that no one else out there knows what you're really hiding at the bottom of this place, Dr. Akagi. I don't think the Committee would be very happy knowing about all of the research you're doing here, would they?"
She smiled and folded her arms. "I dare them to find out. Besides, I don't fry kids' brains out."
He turned back and looked directly at her. "Oh no, you just use them as puppets instead! Now where's my boy?"
Patrick was moved to some sort of a holding cell and dumped there. His whole body ached and screamed with fatigue. Patrick just lay on the floor.
Oh my God, I don't ever think I've ever felt so much pain. Vance, what the hell did you try to do?
He was too sore to move and he had lost track of time. Was he there for hours? Days? Patrick couldn't tell. The light was dim, and there were no features in the cell save a large red NERV logo. But somewhere at the edge of the wall he thought he could make out someone's shadow. "Huh, who's there?" He moaned. As soon as he spoke the shadow disappeared.
His voice was barely a whisper. "Rei? Is that you?" The door of the cell then opened, and a silhouette appeared in the doorway.
He knew the voice. "Father!" he said weakly.
"Let's go home."
After recovering him from the NERV brig, Dr. Forrestal walked his dejected son down the corridors within the NERV complex while the Japanese staff pretended not to notice them, or gave them glaring stares. They both stepped onto the long escalator that moved through the interior of the GeoFront, going up to the surface. On their way up the escalator, Patrick could see Shinji and Asuka, in their school uniforms, along with Major Katsuragi, standing on the downward escalator. Ashamed, Patrick turned his face away, but Dr. Forrestal placed his arm around Patrick's shoulder and smiled broadly at the three of them. Asuka shot the pair a dirty look, but Shinji and Misato both just sadly looked at them as they passed each other. As the two Americans continued upward, Misato turned her head and watched both of them leave. She couldn't help but have the worst sort of foreboding about the boy.
Several hours later, the Forrestals were on a hypersonic transport aircraft on the way back to America. They both sat alone in the passenger cabin: there were no other passengers on the flight. After about 30 minutes into the flight Patrick mounted up his courage. He looked at the seat in front of him and then at his father, who still had a broken smile on his face. Neither of them made eye contact with the other.
"What really happened to Mom, and Erin? "
Dr. Forrestal took a deep breath. "Those bastards we just left: they killed them. They killed them both."
"But Erin's not dead!"
"She might as well be. Poor girl. Destroyed by that thing. The Evangelion."
"Father," Patrick continued. "Why didn't you tell me? Why keep me away for so long?"
"It was your mother's request," Dr. Forrestal said. "She was concerned abut the risks of the project so we kept you secret, a sort of insurance policy. Your sister was the pilot candidate; we never told the UN or the Committee that we had twins."
"So when Erin freaked out…"
"We had an excuse to bring you in. They couldn't stop us now as the project was far too along."
"But what about Mom?" Patrick asked.
The scientist sighed. "Your mother was a believer in the benefits of the project, but was concerned about the risks to the potential pilots. When the Japanese research lab had their 'catastrophe' early in the project she sought to replicate the test but with a better result. Unfortunately GEHIRN, the organization that was running the project at the time, withheld critical information: she died. You were 4 as I recall."
"So, this GEHIRN killed Mother"
"Actually it was one of their project leaders that withheld the information we needed," the older Forrestal clarified. "You know who he is."
"How would I know?"
Dr. Forrestal calmly took a drink from his teacup. "His son is one of the pilots at NERV."
"Shinji? You mean Commander Ikari."
"I do." Harrison's smile was gone now. "And now he has something else up his sleeve. He plays nice with the Committee but he's planning something..."
"But Father," protesed Patrick, "they all seemed liked good people."
"Those children are just being used!" Dr. Forrestal exclaimed. "One of them, the First."
"What do you think she is?" he asked Patrick.
What do you mean by what? Not who? "I don't know."
"She's not even a real human!" Dr. Forrestal then turned and looked at his son, leaning closer as he spoke to him. "She's a clone of Commander Ikari's wife!" Patrick recoiled from his Father as he heard that. "What?!"
There was silence for a while as Patrick tried to absorb everything he just heard. He took a deep breath and dug into his soul for strength for what he was about to ask next."Father?"
"Did you know about Vance?"
"Of course I did. I'm the one who sent him."
"But he died?"
"He died for what he thought he believed in," said the scientist. "His father helped arrange this. Admiral Vinson and the others thought they were stopping the Committee and their master plan for Instrumentality, a perfect 'end-state' for humanity. "
"But I take it that wasn't what you're planning," accused the boy.
"No. Those fools thought they could take on the whole UN in some sort of pointless exercise." Forrestal took another sip from his teacup. "Typical military idiocy."
Patrick was now angry at his father's indifference. "So you just used Vance and the others then? You sent them on this suicide mission and then sold them out!"
Dr. Forrestal raised his own voice. "Don't you get it, boy? It's all coming to an end!" He then turned away and muttered to himself, "The world doesn't deserve to live on."
Patrick spoke softly "Father."
"I won't pilot the EVA again."
"You'll do as I tell you!" His father was angry but Patrick continued to speak softly. "There's no way you can make me do it."
"We'll see about that."
NERV-2, Groom Lake, Nevada
Once back in Nevada, they both walked off the aircraft. Waiting below the ramp were several security guards who then took Patrick away. He didn't resist them, but turned his head and looked angrily at his father as they lead him off. Dr. Forrestal just watched as the men took his son.
So much for that. Now I have to go beg to those fools.
Dr. Forrestal went to his office and called his aide, asking for no interruptions - no exceptions. Then he dialed a series of numbers on a separate phone-looking device on his desk. He dimmed the lights in his office and waited for the others to appear. Within two minutes the holographic images of five monolithic blocks appeared, each having the letters SEELE and a number on the block. The block labeled 01 spoke first.
"Dr. Forrestal. Congratulations on your appointment as the new commander of NERV-2"
Dr. Forrestal spoke directly to the "virtual" being in his office. He was spiteful. "Commander Stennis was a sleazy politician whose only benefit was plundering his friends in Congress for funds for this project. His presence won't be missed."
SEELE 01 cut immediately to the chase. "Is it true that you had no knowledge of the plot that was being formed within your own organization?"
"Unfortunately, no," Forrestal replied. "However, it's well known that the US military didn't take the lessening of sovereignty to the UN after Second Impact very well. It doesn't at all surprise me that they would steal my research and attempt a plot such as this."
SEELE 01 continued. "You, however, needed to be more careful about the activities within NERV-2. "
The scientist looked at the monolith in this office. "NERV-2 performs an essential backup role to the Japan-based NERV. Should a sudden catastrophic attack wipe out NERV and their EVAs, we would be the planet's only line of defense against Angel attacks. "
"All of this is true," said the monolith's voice, "But that is not your only value."
Dr. Forrestal smiled. "No, it's not. I've collected information regarding something that Ikari is working on. Something I think the committee would be very interested in."
Another monolith block chimed in. "By all means, let us see it!" A third voice exclaimed "Yes! I knew Ikari was two-faced!"
Then SEELE 01 spoke again. "I assume that by not already offering this information you have a request for this committee in mind."
Here it comes. "I do. I want the S2 engine."
The virtual committee Dr. Forrestal was addressing was incredulous. "But it was one of your pilots who tried to steal it!?" Another voice called out. "Unacceptable! NERV-2 has already proven it can't be trusted!"
"If you want a way to control or eliminate Ikari, I am your only option," Forrestal replied coolly. "Give me the S2 and I will merge it with one of the Evangelions we have. Following that, NERV will not be able to withstand our power. Provide me the S2 engine and, after I test it, I will give you everything I have on Ikari."
There was a moment of silence, and then SEELE 01 spoke again. "I will honor your request. But get your pilot under your control."
Forrestal smiled. "With some assistance recently provided from your labs, I no longer require the pilot at this time. He will be retained as a backup."
SEELE01 finished the discussion. "You may proceed. Ikari will fully regret he chose to betray us." Then the monoliths vanished from the office.
Harrison Forrestal stood there in his office and pursed his lips against his hands. Now I finish this on my own terms.