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The time had come.

He did not need to see it – he knew what was happening. It was what they had planned for after all. Despite all Ikari’s little games, despite the efforts of the Children – and they were all Children to him – the human race was about to achieve its destiny. Everything was going according to the scenario – his scenario at least.

Facsimiles of faces reared around him, flickering representations of fading men, each a tool for the other, each a user of another. By the force their will, these men had managed to impose their idea of destiny upon all humanity. They had managed to take the reins of billions of souls, and pull in a direction that only they could foresee, and which only they had the knowledge to desire. This was the moment of man’s greatest triumph – where man took control of the destiny of men.

And yet despite all this, they were afraid. 

None of them revealed it outwardly. They were SEELE after all, the shadow masters, the puppeteers, the visionaries… Yet even then Kihl could see their fear, taste it, as if the miasma of their weakening resolve permeated the air around him. The Chairman could see it in their eyes, the way they flickered back and forth between view screens and the pixelized images of their peers, making sure that the others were still present, had not yet succumbed… checking to see if they were alone.

The one with the bent nose was the first to break.

“Good God… what have we done?”

Kihl did not turn to his subordinate’s image as he responded. “What He should have done Himself a long time ago.”

The words come now, as if in a deluge. Words… little fireflies to hold back the darkness, to void the encroaching silence.

“Are you certain of what comes next Kihl?”

“Are you certain?”

“Will we truly be gods?”

“Immortal?”

Kihl did not look at them. “It is written. It is the case.”

“But is it certain? Kihl we must be certain!”

“Humanity must be whole. We must know if our scenario is accurate.”

“Anything less than immortality is unacceptable!”

Kihl smiled, amused. “Do you lose heart? Now of all times? Such little faith…”

“We must have assurances that- ”

“Certainty can only be found within the self. I am certain, of only this am I sure.” 

Silence.

“And for me that is enough.”

That is when he felt it. A pull in his being. A crack in his boundaries. A call in his soul. The old man’s eyes flickered to the monitor. “It begins.”

As one the faces turn away, myriad expressions flitting across them as their project reaches its culmination. Awe. Fear. Anticipation. Hunger. The salvation of humanity is at hand.

One by one SEELE succumbs to it’s creation. Some go without a sound – others struggle, or whisper a name. It matters not… In the end, all surrender to their original state.

Only Lorenz Kihl remains.

The old man slowly, meticulously begins the motions that will allow him to stand, the whirring of the gyros and servos imbedded in his artificial spine offering him once more that familiar pain. He could have had them replaced many times, with synthetics that were indistinguishable from flesh, with machines that would have made him more than man…

He kept the one he had. He had designed it himself, spent years learning about bio-mechanics from scratch, designing each part, planning every stage of assembly. He knew its every whine and sputter, every fault and virtue, every inch of its cold metal.

No one changed Kihl but Kihl alone. 

With a final whir, he was upright, short of stature for one of his race, yet that fact had never bothered him. Very little bothered the old man – he was Kihl after all. Whatever he encountered could be overcome by that fact alone. And if he could not overcome – then he was not the man he thought he was, and his passing would be of no great loss to the universe. 

So in the final hour of men, the Chairman of SEELE stood and waited. Only his final adversary remained, the first who might be worthy of him. What made this anticipation more unique was the fact that he did not know who this would be – he had never believed and yet he had never disbelieved either – and as such he did not know who to expect. At other times he had speculated as to what would lie beyond the Scrolls, what would be his final foe -–but speculation was useless at this point. 

So Kihl closed his eyes and waited… for God – or for Death. 

It is understandable then, why even a man such as he was a little surprised when he found himself staring at Kaoru Nagisa. 

----
The Human Complementary Project:
Case Final
The Case of Lorenz Kihl
----

Kaoru: Tell me what you see…

Kihl: (tuning his head to gaze at Kaoru) Nagisa. What is your purpose here?

Kaoru: (dressed in his school uniform, smiling. His hair is more white than gray now, and his eyes blaze like fire. Light emanates from his right hand.) So ready to label me by my physical appearance I see…

(The world around them dissolves into blinding light. When vision returns all that remains are Kaoru and Kihl standing amidst a void. )

Kaoru: Tell me what you see All-Father…

Kihl: (unfazed by the void) A strange title it is you offer me, Nagisa… Or whatever phantom you may be …

Kaoru: And yet strangely fitting is it not? For was it not your hand that formed humanity into a new creation? 

(Kaoru opens his right hand, and from it emerge seven shining stars which circle the boy’s head, before settling down beside him and becoming lamp stands, shining in the darkness. In the distance a trumpet blast is heard. Kaoru opens his left hand and the light from the seven lamps are gathered within it to form a radiant sickle.)

Kaoru: (raising the sickle into the air) Is this not your work?

(Kaoru brings the sickle down in a sweeping motion. The lamp stands are bisected and disappear, but their light explodes into the void. The emptiness of the void is replaced by a multitude of images, variations on a single theme. Men and women, thousands of them. They were from every race, every tribe, nation and language, and they sat on metal folding chairs, each ringed by a circle of light. Around them flit ghostly images, forms which seem to speak then flicker out of existence, only to be replaced by others who repeat the cycle.)

Kihl: (with satisfaction) The complementation of man...

Kaoru: (waving his arm at the multitude) Yes, this is the fruit of your harvest. A cleansing of the self and the walls which makes man an enigma to man. That which has been suppressed and avoided, that about which man lies to himself... All these given form and brought to the surface.

Kihl: I see. In the form of accusation.

Kaoru: (turning to Kihl) What other way does man have to relate to himself?

Kihl: (grunting) Hrmm… It is strange that they all seem to be seated…

Kaoru: It is a symbol of their passivity. Complementation has been imposed upon them – it is not their choice. They would resist if they knew but how…

Kihl: (slightly amused) Is that a rebuke? Are you to be my accuser then, Child who is Fifth and Last?

Kaoru: (cocking his head, as if listening) Not I All-Father… For I have never been your victim.

(In the distance a trumpet blast is heard. The images vanish as if in a distortion. Kihl finds himself standing on top of a mountainous pile of scrolls, each one dusty and flecked with dried blood. Above him, the sky is an enormous domed ceiling, crisscrossed with eldritch lines that crackle with power. The lines twist and dance maniacally, forming script and shapes at times obscure, at times familiar, but always stopping short of being fully recognizable: one second seeming like a bowl, then a woman with dragon’s wings, then the Tree of Life…)

(Before Kihl are arrayed four Monoliths, a single shape inscribed on all but one: a triangle {^}, a line {l} and a circle {0}. The final monolith is unmarked and stands slightly distant from the others. Behind the Monoliths is a sea of humanity, seated on their folding chairs, eyes downcast and hidden in shadow. Kaoru is nowhere to be seen. )

Monolith {^}: (Distorted voice. Adult. Female. ) You have claimed us all.

Monolith {l}: (Distorted voice. Adult. Male.) You have imposed a destiny upon man.

Monolith {0}: (Distorted voice. Young. Female.) A destiny which was not desired. 

(The unmarked Monolith is silent)

Kihl: (laughter) You say it was not desired –by who? The weak, teeming masses? Fools too placid and content in their little worlds that they neglect to seize their own destinies! Desires are only for those who have the will to make them reality. 

Monolith {l}: And you consider yourself one of them?

Kihl: I consider myself the only one. 

Monolith {^} : And that gives you the sole claim on the fate of all men?

Kihl: (gazing at the lights in the sky. An image of seven eyes.) Ascension requires a Prime Mover, and in lieu of a God I will be sufficient.

Monolith {0}: Man must not create a God.

Kihl: No… yet Man has the right to become his own God.

Monolith {^}: And what of those who value humanity higher than divinity?

Monolith{0}: What of their freedom?

Kihl: What does a human know of freedom? We are shackled in chains from the moment we are born – unique and alone. No, what men call freedom is merely the burden of futile hope – freedom is the province of God alone. And I have raised them to His level. It is I who has made us free.

Monolith {l}: The sum of all men will never equal the Infinite.

Kihl: (scornfully) The Infinite is unattainable – what good is a heaven that lies beyond reach? The sum of men is enough to fill in the emptiness in the heart of humanity – that is sufficient.

(Silence. The lines of light above Kihl begin to swirl faster and faster, their movements strange and spasmodic. An image of a sword, a burning tower, a beast with four eyes and a beast with but one… The lights begin to pulsate at a greater rate, as if keeping time with the beat of a hidden heart, slowly throwing more and more of the scene into the light. In the distance a trumpet blast is heard. The four Monoliths rise higher into the air, even that one which has remained unmarked and unspeaking.)

Monolith {^}: Hearken to me, you who would be God. You have taken away man’s freedom, and so have deprvied him of a present. The humanity which once strove for that which was good, for happiness and accomplishment – whose greatness was precisely in the struggle to overcome – that himanity is no more. You have replaced it with an entity with no lack at it’s core – and thus one with no desire and no purpose, no love and no joy. What has no emptiness cannot be fulfilled, and what needs no fulfillment has no need of the now. On behalf of the humanity that is, you stand accused.

(The Monolith dissolves and in it’s place stands Yui Ikari, a cup of wine held in her hands.)

Monolith {l}: Hearken to me you who would be Man. You have taken away man’s individuality, and so have deprived him of a past. The past was a cesspool of sin, of blood and of pain – yet it was the ground from which he ascended to greater heights. That which was can no longer be atoned for now, because no one exists to be held responsible. You have deprived us of our guilt and thus made it impossible to make ammends. On behalf of the humanity that was, you stand accused.

(The Monolith dissolves and in it’s place stands Gendo Ikari, a cup of blood held in his hands.)

Monolith {0}: Hearken to me, you who would be Kihl. You have taken away the potential of man and thus deprived him of a future. Mankind existed for the not-yet… A project whose richness lay in the inability it posessed to complete itself. Possibility was the key to infinity, and with it lay the hope of a story that would never end. But you have ended history and all that might have been is never more to be. There are no more dreams, no more goals, no more pirpose, no more hope. What is left will never grow, and that in itself is death. In the name of the humanity that will be, you stand accused.

(The Monolith dissolves and in it’s place stands Rei Ayanami, a cup of water held in her hands.)

Kihl: (laughing, speaking as if to himself) Is this all that I have to accuse myself of? A vague guilt over the loss of human ideals? Of moral values? I am beyond such guilt, such morality – even in the world that was, I was beyond it. A strong man creates his own paradigms, and none has proven stronger than I. Such pitiful norms as those you expouse hold no power over me. (looks over at the final Monolith, unmarked and silent.) It would be better to have remained as that one – its silence bears more weight upon me than your accusations.

Yui: (gently) Silence does not mean a lack of accusation. There are times when words are to fragile a tool to excavate the truth.

Gendo: (gravely) The accusations have not ended, nor can they ever end. What has come before was merely the finite – what follows is a ceaseless multitude.

Kihl: (a slight furrowing of the brow, looking more closely at the last monolith) What is this that remains?

(In the distance, a trumpet blast is heard. The last Monolith begins to grow in size.)

Rei: (quietly) What remains are the never-born children of humanity. On behalf of the humanity that could have been, you stand accused.

(The final monolith continues to grow as the sound of a cacophony of voices begin to fill the air. The light-etched sky cracks as the Monolith reaches it, and a flood of wine, blood and water pours down towards the gorund. The sea of humanity that sits behind the Monoliths raise their eyes towards Kihl, their gazes burning red in the darkness as the Monlith expands, crushing them in its wake. Kihl raises his arms against the onrushing wall of obsidian but to no avail, as he feels himself being pushed farther and farther back until he can retreat no more, as his bones are crushed into powder as the wall continues to grow…)

(And then his mind is overcome by a flood of thoughts, of emotions, vivid images of times and places both familiar and impossible, spiked occassionally by words of such force that Kihl finds them echoing in the vaults of his sanity…)

----
MORTALITY
----

(Scenes long supressed, of a project gone awry, A slight error, a malfunction, a youth in his prime forever crippled. Pain, damnable pain, and above all a knowlegde that one is not invincible, that there is something that will forever be beyound one’s reach…)

Kihl: That was the beginning… so long ago. Nature and chance may impose their limits, but I will not be like the rest of humanity. I will overcome!

----
DEPENDENCE
----

(Cold table, cold intruments, cold machinery inside your flesh. No dulling of the pain, no dulling of the will – and yet the will is impotent, it’s destiny in the hands of lesser beings. The pain is a far second to the humiliation, the knowledge that one is not sufficient onto the self…)

Kihl: A temporary stumbling block, easily overcome. It matters not that others were involved in the final phase – the parts were my own creation. I am my own creation – I did not need them. Kihl needs none but Kihl… should need none but Kihl…

----
OBSESSION
----

(The thrill of discovery, the feel of dried parchment on your skin. Words of promise, words of prophecy, words of power. A means for immortality, for completion, for sufficience on to the self. To possess all in the one…)

Kihl: The scrolls were but a means, spare keys to the secrets of life left carelessly upon the shelf for the servant to discover. This is the destiny of humanity, of what was meant to be – but I will not accept it as a gift. I will not have anything given to me… I only possess what I can take.

----
POWER
----

(Senses focused on the monitor, carried a thousand miles away. An instant of horror, of dread, and yet of anticipation. The wings errupt into the sky and the world is changed forever. As mankind huddles in ignorance in fear, you drink from the sweet dew of ecstasy…)

Kihl: Nothing the heavens can throw at me will derail my goal. The first impact was nothing but chance. In causing the second with my own hands I have taken the reins of fate… I have imposed my will on the lives of every living creature. This… this is true strength…

----
COMPLEMENTATION
----

(Surrounded by faces of fear and hunger, alone in conviction. A girl with the wings of a dragon, growing as the end apporaches. And end which is a beginning which is an end… this is the culmination of the will. This is the expression of power. This is the triumph of Kihl…)

Kihl: Yes… triumph. I have overcome! All that is left is my eternal reward…

(Sensations begin to return, an awareness of body, of senses. A vista forming on the horizon…)

Kihl: My reward…

(Kihl is standing at the bottom of a hill, by the side of a road. In the distance a trumpet blast is heard. The road leads up the hill towards a splendid city. The city shines like a precious stone, like jasper, clear and crystal. It has a great, high wall with three gates on each side, a name inscribed on each. The city itself sparkles from within, its structures built of beaten gold. From within come the sounds of a multitude clapping, so loudly that the sound is like thunder in the ears. It is drowned out only by the chanting of the millions of voices within, raised in welcome and jubilation)

Voices: Congratulations! Congratulations!

Kihl: (smiling) Ah, it is good. (Proceeds up the hill)

(The road winds upward, and the voices, the applause gets louder with each step. As the road ascends however, it gets narrower. Finally, in a passage where the two sides of the road are blocked by high cliffs, the road narrows to the extent that only one person can pass through. The road at this point is blocked by a single person who seems to be going in the opposite direction. It is a boy, wearing a school uniform, his eyes downcast. He is carrying what appears to be a lance with his left hand.)

(Kihl and the boy stop in front of each other.)

Kihl: Move out of my way boy…

Boy: (mumbles something incoherent, right hand spasmodically clenching and unclenching)

Kihl: Move!

Boy: (softly) … I can’t…

Kihl: (growling) Neither of us is going anywhere unless you move, boy… 

Boy: (silence)

Kihl: (fists clenched at his sides but trying to make his voice sound gentle) Perhaps you have lost your way? The City of Man is in the other direction… I myself am going there. If you turn around I can lead you there…

Boy: (shaking his head vigorously) No… I won’t go back…

Kihl: (surprised) What? Do you reject complementation?

Boy: (quietly) … I am I… I am me…

Kihl: (angry) What sort of fool are you? 

(Kihl pushes the boy to the ground. As the boy hits the earth, Kihl recognizes him as Shinji Ikari)

Kihl: (scornful laughter) Of course – Ikari’s spawn! I should have recognized you from the start… even now you flee from the inevitable?

Shinji:(getting up on his feet, using the lance as a crutch) Won’t… won’t run away…

Kihl: (shaking his head) To think that Unit 01 chose you… You are the least of us all Shinji Ikari. Your will serves no purpose but to bind you to others – you will never amount to anything but a tool.

Shinji: (shaking) Must get away… I want to start from the beginning. One more time…

Kihl: Useless child, it is too late for that – humanity has lost its shapes. We are one… all that remains is for us to join them. Don’t you see? The Eva’s were made for this one purpose…

Shinji: (growing determined)No… That is not the world I want. This is not what we fought for…I want everything back! Even if it’s painful…At least it will be real, at least I will have hope, a chance…

Kihl: (disdainfully) Pathetic – you don’t even have the strength to accept a gift when it is given to you. Stand aside! I will not be delayed by the likes of you…

(Kihl attempts to go around Shinji but there is no room. Kihl and the boy begin to push against each other. With a mighty push Kighl sends the young Ikari sprawling. The lance spins from the boys fingers and lands before Kihl, who picks it up. Shinji stands and retreats up the road, finally stopping before the entrance to a tunnel, barely wide enough to admit one person. He turns to face Kihl.)

Kihl: (advancing menacingly with the spear in hand) You were useful to me boy, but do not attempt to rise above yourself. You have no chance of stopping me, of halting the inevitable. Why not run just away again? You are just asking for more pain.

Shinji: (fingering a cross tied around his neck before extending his arms and bracing them against the cliffwalls flanking the road) Reality is pain. I’m through with running – I have the will to live. I want a chance… a chance to achieve happiness for myself. And I want that chance for everyone else as well…

Kihl: (firmly) So be it…

(Kihl rushes forward and rams the spear into the Shini’s chest. It’s blade penetrates the boy’s clothing, then his flesh, with equal ease – almost as if there was nothing there. The Third Child lets out a cry – one of pain, but also one of release, of joy, as the spear’s point emerges from his back, it’s head soaked in blood. In the distance, a trumpet blast is heard. Immediately fluid begins to issue forth from the wound… not blood but LCL. The liquid gushes from Shinji’s body in a torrent, and Kihl finds himself swepts away by it, back down the road, down the mountain. Soon the LCL is a flood, carrying him farther and farther away from the golden city, farther away from the approving cries…)

Kihl: No… No!

(Above him Kaoru Nagisa reappears, feathered wings extending from his back as he flies apace the descending form of Kihl)

Kihl: Nagisa! Help me!

Kaoru: I cannot. 

Kihl: (desperately) Help me!

Kaoru: (sighs and reaches towards Kihl. Before his hand can touch the older man it stops as it hits an AT Field.)

Kihl: (shocked) What… what -?

Kaoru: No one can help you Kihl. The light of your soul is too bright, your boundaries too strong. No one can breach your field – you will never surrender yourself to the unity of souls. It is not for you to join with us Kihl… Total surrender is only the province of the weak – and that is the one thing you could never be, correct?

(Kihl looks behind him and sees himself approaching a sheer drop, a waterfall of LCL. The liquid plunges downward at an astonishing rate, it’s end no where in sight. Kihl reaches frantically towards Kaoru, but is blocked by his own AT Field)

Kihl: This is not possible! I will not be denied… not when I am so close!

Kaoru: (flying back upwards to the City, his voice fading away) The destiny of humanity is in the hands of another now… As for you Kihl, you have long desired to be sufficient on to yourself.… You never desired anyone’s help, nor to help anyone. In the end, is this not the fate you desired?

(Kihl’s scream echoes across the sky as he plummets from view. In the distance a trumpet blast is heard. The seventh. And reality returns as the world dissolves…)

----

The first thing he noticed was the taste of LCL. It permeated his tongue, his nostrils, his innards. With an effort the man raised his head from the floor, a floor flooded with the remains of humanity, and gazed at his surroundings. An office, his office, with screens that showed a barren, empty world. The man struggled to his feet and lurched out a doorway, his breath coming in short, ragged gasps. He ran through deserted corridors, down empty stairways filled with liquid humanity, unmindful of the pain of his non-human parts, his mind not quite comprehending, his eyes not quite seeing. Finally he finds himself outside a building, amidst a silent city, his feet ankle deep in the blood of Lilith. Without thought the man found himslef kneeling on the floor, hands grasping at the LCL, cupping it in his hands only to watch it trickle down his fingers. The man is silent then for a long time, and for an instant it almost seemed as if he was going to weep. 

Instead, Lorenz Kihl knelt amidst his creation, raised his face to the uncaring stars…

And screamed.
 
 
 

 

     Authors Note: Whoa... that was different. And difficult @_@ I tried to pattern the body of this fic after the final episodes of Eva as well as the movies… some of the images and lines (notably Shinji’s) are paraphrased from those sources. I tried to include some images from the book of Revelations as well. Practically every image, symbol, person and line used here has some sort of deeper meaning that says something about what I think of Kihl and his situation, as well as how his relation to others. The Ikari’s (I count Rei amongst them) I consciously chose to stand as opposition to him, for in different ways they have all opposed him. I also wanted to have a symbolic meeting at the end between the ‘hero’ and ‘villain’ of NGE – in the end, it is Shinji after all who derails Kihl’s plan. (At least in the movie)

This fic started out as I was pondering what kind of person Kihl might have been to desire Third Impact. It struck me as the ultimate irony if the person he became to realize his dream might also make him unable to set foot in his own promised land. Maybe in that way, justice would be served…

Add the experience I've head reading Nietzsche, Sarte and Camus recently and out pops this fic ;P Hope it was an interesting experience for you guys as well :)
 
 

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