When Patrick woke up the first sensation he had was that it was incredibly bright. He felt himself breathe and then noticed not only was it bright but it was hot as well. The boy looked around and saw himself in a hospital room, with bright light shining out of the windows. The room was quite plain, only white walls, ceiling, and a white tiled floor. There was an IV attached to his arm, a variety of medical sensors at the side of his bed, and only one chair. Sitting in the chair looking straight at him was a very pretty brown-haired teenage girl dressed in a khaki blouse and skirt, with her hair tied in twin tails and red-rimmed glasses framing brilliant blue eyes. She looked at him with a smile on her face.
Patrick was still disoriented from whatever it was that he had experienced earlier, he still wasn't sure what. He looked at the girl for a moment without saying anything.
“Hello,” Mari said with her crisp English accent. Patrick didn't respond at first. “Welcome back!” the girl said to him.
“Where am I?” he replied groggily.
“You're in Oz,” Mary told him.
“Oh. Where's the Wizard?” he asked her.
She chuckled a little. “Well, at least you've got a sense of humor. 'Oz' means Australia,” she replied.
What the hell am I doing here? “There's still something here?”
She briefly looked out the window. “As I understand it this place is the garden spot of Oz.” Mari turned to him again. “You're Patrick Forrestal?”
“Who wants to know?”
“My name's Mari. Mari Illustrious Makinami”
“You're Japanese?” Patrick asked.
“Partly, on my mum's side. You're the first other EVA pilot I've met.”
“Yes. I'm a pilot as well. Mine's '05,” she smiled proudly.
Oh, no. Not this again. “Where my EVA?” he asked her.
“Just out back,” she motioned to the window. “You showed up just a few days ago.”
“No. In Nevada. They pulled you right out before the UN could spot you.”
Patrick tried to sit up in bed but his body refused to move. “What happened?”
“No one quite knows really. They've got lots of questions for you out there.”
“Who's they? NERV?”
Mari thought a bit before answering. “Quite a lot's happened since you've been gone. Perhaps I should let the others explain a bit.”
“I see.” Patrick thought everything over for a moment, but he could feel his fists clenching from the anger that had begun to boil. To him something was not at all well. “Mari?” he said softly.
“Did you say you were a pilot?”
“Oh, yes. I've been in training for quite some time now, though sadly I've never actually gotten past the basics with the EVA. You know, syncs and harmonics, that sort of thing.”
“Can I ask you a personal question?”
“Certainly,” she smiled, wondering what this was about.
Patrick leaned as close to her as he could. “Where's your mother?”
Mari was forced aback the question. Normally she was very down-to-earth about a great many things, but the fate of her mother was one area where she was still very deeply unsettled. She laughed nervously. “What's that got to do with anything?”
The boy stared at her angrily, “I said, where is your mother?”
Mari started to get out of the chair, “I rather don't like where this is going...” Patrick quickly grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her down to where his face was and shouted “I SAID WHERE IS SHE?!”
The girl pilot decided that was enough and with a good shove pushed off his hand from her wrist. Before he could get out of the bed Mari jammed her left elbow straight into his nose. Patrick recoiled in pain and covered his nose with both hands, which he could see were dripping with bright red blood.
Mari then turned around for the door. “She's dead, if you must know!” She stopped for a moment and calmed herself down, then looked at him over her shoulder. “Right now the others in the next building think you could have murdered ten thousand people a couple of months ago. If you know what's good for you I suggest you not pull any crap like you did just now.” In a huff she hurried out the door, telling the guards outside “He's up now, if you want him,” and then stormed off. In the distance he could hear her curse “Bloody Yank!” as she marched off.
Sorry, Mari, but at least now I know you're legit. Patrick saw his hands covered in blood and put his head back against the pillow. A moment later two nurses dressed in blue and green camouflage uniforms attended to his new wound and got him into new clothes. After another physician looked him over and he changed the two uniformed guards walked him out of the building.
Patrick made no attempt to resist the guards, partly as we wasn't even sure where he was or what his options were now, so there was no point until he knew where he could even run to. He didn't recognize any of them as being from NERV-2 and if anything else they were much more polite than his father's men were.
The group walked across a pavement sprawl to a larger building about 300 meters away. Patrick looked around him and saw something large in the distance covered in tarps. Was that the EVA? All around him was activity, soldiers marching, military vehicles driving around and aircraft of all types flying overhead and parked and taxiing on a nearby runway. In the five minutes that they took to walk to the other building he recognized perhaps twenty different types of military aircraft from all over the world: American, European, Russian, and others. As they got closer to the larger building that was their destination he saw the flagpoles in front and noticed two flags were flying. One was the pre-Second Impact Australian flag but there was another one he did not immediately recognize: it was a white flag with a red-colored eagle on the front. When they came up to the building he had a closer look and noticed that the eagle on the white flag was not an eagle at all, but a phoenix instead.
In the other building the guards led him through a series of hallways and then through a set of double doors. A second set of guards very politely showed him into a room. Patrick looked around the room and saw that it was dimly lit, with just a chair standing in the middle.
Oh, no, another cell! Before he could back out the two guards shoved him through the doorway and swung the door shut.
Patrick came back and banged on the door, as there was no handle to pull. “Hey, what the fuck is this? Let me the hell out of there!” After about two minutes of protesting to no response he knew he was stuck there. Dejectedly he walked around the cell. Along the walls there were two doors with no handles and a large mirror on one wall. The ceiling was high and smooth, and was installed with some recessed light fixtures and speakers. The lack of a bed and toilet in the room indicated to the boy that he wasn't going to stay here for long, which could be either good or bad depending on what his hosts had planned.
The large mirror was, of course, one-way glass. On the other side of it were Admiral Vinson, General Sheffield, Musashi, and another officer who was an intelligence specialist. Looking at the boy through the window Admiral Vinson noticed Patrick was sporting a new bandage over his nose. “What happened to his nose?” he asked the interrogation officer, who just shrugged and shook his head. The specialist turned down the lights in the room and spoke into a microphone.
“Please sit down,” the interrogator spoke over a loudspeaker. Patrick looked up at the speaker on the ceiling but did nothing.
A spotlight shined on the single folding chair. “Son, we're not going to hurt you. Please sit down.”
Patrick felt the need to show any degree of resistance possible, even something small. “No thanks. I'll stand,” he said in the darkness.
The interrogator then moved the spotlight directly onto him, increasing the brightness until it nearly blinded him. As Patrick tried to block the light with his hands, the interrogator spoke again. “Let's not make this harsh, shall we? Please...sit...down....”
Patrick sighed and took a seat in the chair. The light reduced its intensity slightly once he sat down. The interrogator started again. “Please state your name.”
“You know it already. That girl knew my name!” Patrick answered.
In the other room the interrogator clicked off the microphone and looked at the commanders. Both had resigned looks on their faces, as Mari had contacted Patrick without permission. The interrogator continued. “Your nose wasn't broken when you came out of the plug. What happened to it?”
“She did that!” Patrick replied.
Sir John and Musashi both smiled, curiously wondering what would provoke Mari to clock the boy. Sheffield then spoke in the microphone. “Mister Forrestal I understand your deep suspicions, but we're only after what happened. Let's get it all out of the way, shall we?”
“Whatever!” Patrick shouted.
Sheffield then took over the interrogation. “For the record, state your full name please.”
“Patrick Henry Forrestal.”
“Date and Place of Birth?”
“September 11th, 2001. Las Vegas, Nevada.”
Sheffield nodded to Vinson, verifying it was true. “Father's name?”
“Dr. Harrison Forrestal, PhD,” Patrick said with contempt. Musashi's eyebrows went up when he heard his tone of voice.
Sir John continued. “Mother's name?”
“Dr. Margaret Rickover Forrestal, PhD.”
“What were you doing at NERV-2?”
“I was the pilot for Evangelion Unit 04.”
“Were you the original pilot?”
“Who was the original pilot?”
Patrick paused for a bit and then said “Erin Forrestal.”
“What happened on October 25th, 2015?”
“I don't know, I lost track of the dates.”
“It was the day you disappeared.”
Patrick was silent and Sheffield tried again. “What happened the day you disappeared?”
Patrick just sat there and breathed deeply. In his mind the memories of that day raced through over and over. To him the visions in his mind seemed so disconnected, like he was a bystander watching another teenage boy go through it all. He really didn't want to talk about this, but knew they wouldn't leave it alone and in a way he wanted to know what happened as well. He sat there breathing hard and tried to work up his strength.
“I'm getting to it!” he yelled and then was silent as he tried to place it all together in his mind. “Dad put me in a cell after getting back from Tokyo-3. I was there for a long time. Then one day they knocked me out and put me in my plug suit. Next thing I knew I was being dragged over to the EVA.”
“You weren't piloting voluntarily?” Sheffield asked.
“No.” Vinson and Sheffield looked at each other at that remark.
“What happened next?”
“They...they bolted me in the EVA. I couldn't get out. Then they ran some sort of test on the unit. Once it reached sync threshold the EVA....um, she um....did something...”
“I don't know. All I remember is seeing her.”
After hearing Patrick Sir John glanced at Musashi, who just stood and watched the boy through the glass. Vinson picked up his phone and called Dr. Foch, who was outside with Unit 04. “Dr. Foch?”
“Did you notice anything unusual with the entry plug?” At that moment Foch was actually inside the entry plug with other technicians, examining it for damage and functionality. “Yes. I think perhaps our pilot was reluctant to go along with things.” Foch aimed his phone at the Throne of Souls and pointed out the hand and feet restraints that had been wielded onto it. Vinson then showed the image on the phone to the others as Sheffield continued with his interrogation. “Prior to seeing that did you notice anything unusual?”
“Anything unusual with the EVA, perhaps in the power system...”
“No. It was the same as usual. Except no power cable.”
“You had the S2 engine then?”
“That's what Dad called it, yeah.”
“And it was working fine?”
“Didn't need an umbilical that time, yes.”
“Did you do anything prior to the test?”
“Did you give the EVA any commands or try to move it?”
Patrick took a few more deep breaths as he was beginning to lose his self-control again. He remembered now what it was like to be chained inside the plug, which had then become a prison to him.
“Patrick?” Sir John quietly asked, “we really need to know what happened. Did you instruct the EVA to do anything during the test? Patrick? Patrick?”
Patrick exploded “I didn't want to fucking be there, Okay? I just wanted it to end!”
“And so you did what?”
“I asked the EVA to stop what Dad was doing?”
“You asked it to stop the test?”
“I asked it to stop him from doing everything!”
“What do you mean?”
Patrick was becoming more emotional. “I couldn't let him do it! I couldn't let him do it to them!”
“Who is them?”
“NERV. Dad wanted to destroy NERV!”
“Goddammit he was going to use the EVA and wipe out Tokyo-3!”
“So you did what?”
“I just asked EVA to stop it. I didn't care what she did!”
“Patrick, there were ten thousand people at NERV-2 when it disappeared.”
Patrick absorbed that for a moment. “What?”
“When your test took place there were ten thousand staff and others at NERV Second Branch. They were never heard from again.”
“What do you mean?”
A video projection came from the ceiling and played on one wall of the room. On the projection, Patrick saw an aerial image of NERV-2. He watched the video projection as a red and black energy cloud enveloped the base within thirty seconds, leaving behind a gigantic crater.
“This image is of NERV-2 immediately after your test. As you can see, the entire facility and the surrounding area are gone. There was literally no trace of any life within fifty miles of the base.”
“What the hell?”
“So please tell us what happened?”
“I didn't do that!”
“But you piloted your EVA at the time of the test. You asked it to stop your father. What did your EVA do to cause this?”
“I don't know!”
“You were its pilot. It follows your commands, and only your commands. What did you command it to do?”
“I just wanted it to stop my father!”
“And so it destroyed the base and all those people!”
“No! They're not destroyed!”
“Then where are they, then?”
“I don't know!”
“But you were the one who did this...”
“I didn't kill them! The EVA said she...she put them someplace else.”
“EVA said this to you?”
“Where did she put them?”
“I don't know!”
“She didn't tell you?”
“And you didn't think to ask...”
“How the hell was I supposed to even know what happened! I never wanted any of this! I just want the hell out of here!”
“Patrick, tell us what happened,” Sheffield persisted.
“I fucking told you already!”
“One more time, then.”
“NO, YOU ASSHOLE! I'M SICK OF THIS SHIT! GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” Patrick then grabbed the folding chair and began to furiously smash it against the mirror. “LET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE! WHERE'S MY SISTER? WHERE'S MY UNCLE? WHERE'S REI? LET ME GO!!!”
Musashi said to the Admiral “perhaps I should talk to him.”
“Would he recognize you if he saw you?” Vinson asked.
“Probably,” Musashi responded.
“Then I don't think that's a good idea. We still don't know who or what he knows, and we need to keep you a secret just a bit longer. I wouldn't want to risk that over someone's temper tantrum.” Vinson got out of his chair and headed to the door. “Whoever thought of using children as pilots was a real idiot!”
Patrick continued to smash the chair against the mirror in a blind fury. He was so sunk into his rage that he hadn't noticed Admiral Vinson had walked into the room. With one hand Vinson grabbed the folding chair, wrestled it from a shocked Patrick, and then flung it across the room. Patrick immediately backed up several steps, panting heavily. The two of them just looked at each other for a minute and Vinson thought Patrick looked very much like a caged animal, with angry eyes starting back at him.
“Son, do you know who I am?”
Oh, shit. I am so dead. “You're...you're Vance's father.”
Vinson stepped closer while looking straight at him. “Why'd you shoot him, son? Did your father put you up to it?”
Patrick could feel his heart beating rapidly and his breath getting short. His head felt thick as a watermelon. “No...no...I didn't want to do it!”
The admiral again quietly moved closer to Patrick, who was sweating profusely. “Then why'd you do it then? Didn't Vance ask you to stay out of the way?”
“I couldn't let him kill her, no matter what it was...I just couldn't do it!” Tears began to form in Patrick's eyes. “We didn't come there for that! That wasn't what this was about!”
“Sorry, son. There were a lot of things that were hidden from you. Did your father tell you anything?”
“Not until I got back,” Patrick said weakly. “He said this was all just a setup. He...he said he sent Vance out there to get killed so he could get this S2 engine.”
Vinson paused a moment and let his mind drift over to the image of his son. For the two months after he had narrowly escaped the UN authorities after the failed raid on Tokyo-3, Vinson had led himself to believe that the Forrestals, both father and son, had worked together to entrap Vance and in fact the whole group of renegades that Vinson led. Now confronted with the son in front of him, Vinson realized that his assumptions might have been wrong.
“You didn't want to go in that thing, did you?” Vinson was now within arm's length of Patrick.
“No,” Patrick was now breaking down, tears streaming out of his eyes. “I just want to go home!”
“Can't do it, son. If the UN or the others found you they'd kill you without blinking.”
“Where's my sister?” Patrick asked.
“We don't know. All we know is she wasn't at the base, so perhaps she's still alive somewhere.”
“My uncle?” Patrick asked again wearily.
“He disappeared the day you left without a trace. Your cabin itself was burned down.” On hearing that his home was gone Patrick just stood there and quietly cried for the next few minutes. Vinson said nothing but just stood and waited for the boy to burn out the emotion.
“Take me to NERV, then,” Patrick finally asked. “I'm an EVA pilot...I belong with the others.” Rei, oh God please still be alive...
Vinson motioned to the mirror and then turned back to face Patrick. “You've been gone a little while, son. A lot's happened since you disappeared.” The projector again focused an image on the wall and lights in the room dimmed. Patrick calmed himself down and watched the video as Vinson narrated.
“The day after you and everyone else at NERV-2 disappeared, the US government bailed out of the EVA program. They handed EVA-03 and all remaining NERV support personnel to Japan, and shut down 1st Branch. The Japanese then assigned their own pilot to the unit, designated the Fourth Child.”
Patrick laughed a little, and said under his breath “I guess Kensuke finally got his wish.”
“That wasn't his name. The kid was named Suzahara.”
“Anyway, it didn't go well. NERV set up Unit 03 at their facility at Mashishiro. Unfortunately unknown to anyone an Angel had hidden inside of the unit while it was being transported from the US. When activated the possessed EVA used it's AT field to destroy the Mashishiro facility and promptly attacked Tokyo-3. The unit then had to be destroyed.” Patrick watched in horror as the video showed EVA 01 violently tearing EVA 03 into pieces. “The pilot,” Vinson continued, “managed to only lose a leg in the process.”
Holy shit! Patrick thought. Shinji's just ripping him apart. That's not like him at all!
“A few days afterward the 14th Angel attacked Tokyo-3 and damaged both EVA-00 and 02, breaking into the Geo Front before being confronted by Unit 01. EVA-01 defeated the angel and then proceeded to...consume the Angel's S2 engine.” They both watched as the video, taken from a covert position, showed a grainy but disturbing image of a green-glowing Unit 01 bending over an angel carcass and eating what was inside of it. “NERV then quickly harnessed the unit. The pilot was trapped inside and it took a month to recover him...not unlike how we got you back.” Patrick looked with surprise at Vinson.
The video moved onto another scene. “Two weeks ago the 15th Angel appeared in Earth orbit. Units 00 and 02 attempted to attack it with positron cannons but then the angel countered by attacking Unit 02 with some sort of a mind probe. EVA-02 was intact but its pilot suffered a complete mental breakdown.”
Oh my God, Asuka! No...
“EVA-00 then used a new weapon and threw it into orbit, destroying the Angel.” Patrick's heart leaped as he saw the image of the blue EVA-00 running with a spear-like object and throwing it up in the sky like a Javelin. It's Rei! He watched as the spear flew rapidly to the upper atmosphere, the resulting shock wave blowing away rainclouds in its path. A moment later a spectacular explosion occurred high above Tokyo-3.
“YES! WAY TO GO REI!!!” Patrick exulted. For the first time today, he felt he could feel good about something. Rei was still there, and NERV was still in the fight against the Angels. Even after everything there was still hope. Patrick felt himself take a deep breath as he sighed in relief. He looked over at Admiral Vinson, who didn't share his elation but rather had a stern look on his face.
“When the 16th Angel appeared over Tokyo-3 Unit 00 was ordered to attack it. When it got into trouble they sent Unit 01 after it. The 16th Angel took possession of Unit 00 and then tried to attack Unit 01 with it. In order to save Unit 01 the pilot...” Patrick watched the new video as a large, white tentacle-like Angel was sucked into EVA-00. “...initiated a self-destruct and destroyed the Angel along with her own unit.” Patrick's elation turned into horror as he watched what looked like an energy field building around EVA-00. The Evangelion seemed to glow white and its bindings were released, revealing a giant human-like figure. The unit then exploded in a massive fireball, taking most of the inner city of Tokyo-3 with it. After the video finished Vinson quietly stood by as Patrick trembled.
Oh God, no...not her! Oh, please not her! Please...
Vinson looked at Patrick. “That happened the day you got back. They haven't confirmed that she died but seeing the video it's clear what happened. I'm sorry.”
Patrick was overcome with emotion. Today already had been too much for him to take, first finding out that NERV-2 was destroyed as was his old home, and that his family was missing. For a moment he had hoped that he could at least go back to Tokyo-3 and be with Rei and the other pilots, but now he felt like someone had just ripped his soul to shreds. Patrick collapsed onto the floor sobbing uncontrollably, his mind filled with images of the girl that he had left behind, and who was now gone.
“Did you know them well?” Vinson asked him.
“I wanted to,” Patrick weakly replied.
After the interrogation Musashi asked to see Sir John outside the control booth and spoke to him in the hallway, apart from the others.
“Are you sure the First Child is dead?” he said in hushed tones.
“There's no confirmation from NERV still, but it's quite obvious I would think,” Sheffield said. “As to why they haven't reported her dead, perhaps they don't want to panic the other pilots.”
Musashi folded his arms and bit his lip. “Perhaps not. Something else that I found down in Terminal Dogma, regarding the First Child. I think I mentioned earlier that she was cloned.”
“Yes, you did.”
“Then she may re-appear very soon. The important thing about her is that whatever Ikari has planned for Third Impact, she's critical to it. I don't think he would have sacrificed her in combat like that unless he had a fall-back of some kind.”
Sheffield considered this for a moment. “I'll have our inside man look into this. If she's that critical and if she's still alive, perhaps we should try to 'acquire' her.”
“Perhaps. Also, if you communicate with your insider can I ask him to pass along a message to someone?”
Go to Chapter Seven