21. The Ragnarök Connection

Anya: You woke up too soon.

Suzaku: C.C.?

Anya: What exactly are you doing here? Somehow I get the feeling that you didn’t come to help out Charles.

Suzaku: Anya? What are you…?

Anya: Well, at the moment I’m the mother of Lelouch and Nunnally. I am Marianne.

Ohgi: Yeah. I’m about to apprise Lady Kaguya and General Commander Xingke of the situation. I don’t know if they’re going to understand or not. But clearly, there’s one thing to do.

Tamaki: Yeah, I know. Which is… we’ve got to make sure that Zero is dead.

Kallen: I need to find out for sure. From Lelouch. Otherwise… I’ll never… I’ll never be able to move on.

Lelouch: So, since we have plenty of time now, will you answer me? Who was it that killed my mother and what’s your excuse for not protecting her?

Charles: How ironic. Here you are seeking the truth, you who made it this far only by your deception and your lies.

Lelouch: That’s true. I’ve lied every step of the way.
And not just about my name and past. I’ve hidden my true intentions, too.
But that’s pragmatism, isn’t it?
People need to play along with each other. We melt into a place.
If we didn’t, then nations and people, these things called communities wouldn’t exist.
Everyone uses lies. On family, on friends, in society.
And everyone wears a different face.
But, is that a sin? What is one’s true face?
Even you wear a mask, that of an emperor.
None of us can make a move now without our respective personas.

Charles: You’re wrong. When we realize that lies have no meaning in the endless flow of eternity, those personas will vanish. When we understand each other, conflict will disappear.

Lelouch: That all sounds like metaphysical nonsense to me.

Charles: It will soon be reality. You see, this is my Ragnarok Connection. Soon these masks known as deceit will be discarded by the world, revealing the truth.

Suzaku: Cs’ world?

C.C: In current terminology, it’s the collective unconscious. A collective of people’s minds with memories. The sea of transmigration. The great consciousness. Some refer to it as God.

Suzaku: Was that what I saw when we met at Narita?

C.C: There, it was mixed with your personal consciousness. I’m merely guessing as I don’t know what it was you saw.

Suzaku: How irresponsible.

C.C: Do you like having others peep into your mind? It’s people. Their masks are the collective unconscious. Windows that open into their minds and memories. And the minds of people are…

Anya: Ah, forget it. It’s too messed up for me to do. C.C., could you please?

C.C: Do you really plan to go in?

Anya: Yes, of course. Charles has been waiting for us after all. This would’ve been so easy if you’d only given him your Code. Oh, I’ll go first, all right?

Suzaku: What are you doing?

C.C: You know, Suzaku? You and I, we’re very similar.

Suzaku: Similar?

C.C: In the way that we both wish to die and yet are unable to.

Bismarck: Prince Schneizel and the Black Knights?

Kallen: Stay alive, Lelouch. I’ve got an important question that I still want to ask you.

Lelouch: Wha… it can’t be…!

Marianne: My, Lelouch. How you’ve grown.

Lelouch: Mother?

Charles: Marianne. I see you’ve come.

Lelouch: Is this an illusion? You do this?

Marianne: No. It really is me, Lelouch. However I can only take on my original appearance while I’m present within this system.

Lelouch: It really is?

Charles: Lelouch, I will now answer your previous question.
Half a century ago, my elder brother and I existed in a hell on earth.
Our family was just rivals competing for the throne.
Assassinations occurred with regularity. Daily betrayal spawned by lies.
Killing each other off. My own mother fell victim to it.
My brother and I were sickened and angered by the world.
We therefore both swore an oath. To create a world without lies.

Marianne: Both C.C. and I agreed to this as well. V.V., however…
What did you call me for today? I cleared everyone out of here. I even had Cornelia withdraw.

V.V: Sorry to do this. Especially without Charles around.

Marianne: Is this about the Sword of Akasha?

V.V: Hm? Oh, no. This is only about Charles.
Ever since he met you, Charles has been acting like a different man.
It seems to me that you and he have come to enjoy learning more about one another.
You realize that if this continues, the contract we made will never be fulfilled. I’ll be left alone.
From the beginning of time, it’s always been the woman who’s led the man astray.

Security: Lady Marianne.

Marianne: I told you to stay out of here.

V.V: The job’s done. Right. Begin the cover up.
Maybe we can make Nunnally out to be the witness.
It’s imperative that this looks like it was the work of terrorists.

Marianne: Anya Alstreim. The young girl who had arrived a week earlier to be schooled in etiquette.
My Geass power was to cross over into another person’s mind.
The power that had been dormant for so long activated for the first time as I was dying.
I hid inside Anya to save myself from being killed by V.V.
And then I realized. Realized that when my consciousness surfaced, I could communicate mind to mind with C.C.
When she discovered the truth, C.C. left the directorship to V.V. And then disappeared.

Charles: I spoke with my brother about it, however…

V.V: I heard. What a tragedy. I shall miss Marianne.

Charles: My brother lied to me. After we had sworn to create a world without deceit.

Lelouch: How dare you! Don’t try to pass off blame for everything on the dead? Nunnally and I, you sent us to Japan as hostages.

Charles: It was necessary!

Lelouch: Necessary for what? What kind of parent does that?

C.C: If you have someone you don’t want to lose, you should keep them at a distance.

TV Clue: Milly, when the sun rises I wanna get a shot with ground zero in the background.

Milly: Okay, gotcha.

TV Clue: Sorry about this. Relief will be here from Niigata and Nagoya by afternoon so hang tight.

Milly: I’m okay.

Bismarck: Right now, we’re suppressing the rebel forces with the aid of the Black Knights. However…

Schneizel: Hm? Is there something else?

Bismarck: Prince Schneizel, just how much do you know?

Schneizel: How frightening. What are you referring to?

C.C: I used Lelouch. I was fully aware of the truth the entire time. In order to bring about my own death, I had to make his survival a priority.

Suzaku: Any regrets?

C.C: Not really. My sensibilities are quite different as an immortal witch. I abandoned my humanity long ago.

Suzaku: We aren’t all alike, you know. C.C., I want you to send me to the other world. Regardless that you may think I’m foolish, I can’t wait here and do nothing.

Charles: That’s right. I sent both you and your sister to Japan to escape my brother’s sight. That’s also why I had Marianne’s body secretly taken away.

Marianne: As long as my body still exists, there’s the possibility that I’ll be able to return to it.

Charles: Anya and Nunnally became witnesses. Therefore it was necessary to rewrite their memories in order to protect everything.

Lelouch: Nunnally? You mean her blindness isn’t psychosomatic after all? But…

Marianne: Even though she was a false witness, there remained very real danger she would be killed.

Charles: To ensure Nunnally’s safety, proof was needed that would lead far away from the truth.

Marianne: The original plan called for only one immortal Code. However, for research to progress, we had to have an additional Code. In other words, without C.C., we didn’t have a 100% guarantee that it would succeed.

Charles: When Marianne was unable to persuade C.C. to help us, we were left with no choice. We were forced to use you, Lelouch.

Lelouch: Then, what was the point of me doing this?

Charles: These tragedies will no longer be necessary once the Ragnarok Connection is established.

Marianne: Masks will vanish. Then everyone can be exactly who they are supposed to be.

Lelouch: I see. All of the battle and bloodshed between Britannia and the Black Knights was done just to lure out C.C.
Well then… it seems that from the very beginning I was merely a nuisance. Just a ruckus in the world.
And what you two think of all this?

C.C: Did you already know that I was going to come here, Lelouch?

Lelouch: And that you regained your memories, too. It was necessary for this plan, wasn’t it?

Charles: Precisely. Therefore I cannot see any sense in your coming here as well, Kururugi.

Suzaku: I’m sure you can’t. I heard you’re already immortal. That’s why there’s something I want know for certain. Why did you make this thing? For what reason?

Charles: Why. Because it’s what Nunnally and Euphy both desired. They wanted a gentle world.

Lelouch: Now I see. It’s obvious.

Charles: The time is here. C.C., since we are all assembled, the plan can commence now. I will grant your wish, after everything has been completed.

Anya: Ah, what the…?! Where am I?

Schneizel: All over the world?

Kanon: Yes.

Schneizel: Bismarck?

Bismarck: It must be His Majesty’s plan come to fruition. If His Majesty succeeds in carrying out his vision, then whatever is left of the world would be yours to govern per his royal decree, although the sense of politics will have changed greatly.

Marianne: Behold! It’s begun! The Sword of Akasha is slaying God.

Charles: Now once our marks of Geass become one, the old world will cease and a new world will spring forth.

Suzaku: Lelouch, what was your motivation for wanting to control the world?

Lelouch: Don’t waste my time, Suzaku. You know it was Nunnally.

Suzaku: Are you just using her as your excuse?

Lelouch: Hm. Yes, you’re right. I am. I have fought to protect everything I thought I wanted to protect.

Suzaku: If you’re going to achieve that end, you need to take action.

Lelouch: Yes, the means to that end requires me to reject something.

Suzaku: Which is?

Lelouch: That… I… I reject you! And I reject everything you believe! Why do people lie? It isn’t only because they struggle against each other! It’s also because there’s something that they’re seeking. You now wanna a world without change. How stagnant! You could hardly call it life, the same as a world of memories. Just a world that’s closed and completed. That’s a place I wouldn’t wanna live in.

Marianne: But Lelouch, are you saying you’re rejecting me as well?

Lelouch: That depends. Is your desire the same as His Majesty’s, mother?

Marianne: It will be so good to rejoin all the people from whom we’ve been separated. You can be reunited with those who have died. Even Euphemia.

Lelouch: As I expected. You both believe that this new world you envision would be best for all. But forcing your good intentions on others is no different from an evil act.

Charles: In time, the people will come to accept it.

Lelouch: That time will never come! Only one thing is undeniably certain. I understand now that what you did to Nunnally and me may have been done out of good intentions. But… the hard fact remains that you abandoned us in a foreign land!

Marianne: But we did that to protect you!

Lelouch: Then why didn’t you stop the war between Japan and Britannia? The plan was such a priority for you both that it didn’t matter to either of you if Nunnally and I were alive or dead! That’s why you abandoned us. All you have left are self-serving excuses!

Marianne: Lelouch, you’re wrong.

Lelouch: You just told me! You said that the dead would rejoin the living! You don’t give a damn about the future!

Charles: The future is the Ragnarok Connection. Once it’s finally done, the gentler existence that Nunnally spoke of…

Lelouch: Stop it! The world you’re speaking of will be kinder and gentler only for you! The world that my sister wish for is one in which kindness is extended to everyone, even strangers!

Suzaku: He may be right. At the very least Euphy never said that Lelouch was Zero. Even to the very end. Shirley didn’t neither. That’s why I…

Charles: Let’s say it was true. What of it? There’s nothing to be done about it. The Ragnarok Connection has begun.

Lelouch: You think so? I am Zero! The man who works miracles.

Charles: Your Geass power will have no effect on me nor will it on anyone else here!

Lelouch: No! There’s someone else here, isn’t there? That’s right! Cs’ World is the will of mankind itself! And all men are not equal, remember those words? They’re your own and because of that, I’m sure you’ll realize that my power will work!

Charles: You’re a fool, Lelouch! God cannot be defeated by the power of the king!

Lelouch: I don’t intend to defeat God! This is a request! Yes. Now I know who I really am! God! Collective unconscious! Please, don’t stop the march of time!

Marianne: Lelouch, you ungrateful child.

Suzaku: Nobody would’ve wanted this! No one and especially not Euphy!

Marianne: And I saved you so that you could talk to Euphy again.

Suzaku: Meaning you are going to force me to, right?

Charles: You can’t do this, boy! Not against God nor all of humanity itself!

Lelouch: Regardless, what I want… is tomorrow!

Marianne: It can’t be!

Charles: The Thought Elevator is falling! The dream that I and Marianne and my brother all shared!

C.C: Charles, just stop already. It was presumptuous of us to even attempt this.

Charles: C.C., we still bear the marks of Geass. No matter what occurs, we…

Lelouch: This isn’t a falsehood, father. It’s reality’s response.

Marianne: Darling, you…

Charles: No, it’s not possible! I’m supposed to be immortal! We’re being absorbed? Consumed by Cs’ World?

Marianne: But what about C.C.? Why isn’t she disappearing as well? You supported this plan as much as we did.

C.C: Sorry. But I finally realized. The love you have… is only for yourselves.

Marianne: No, that’s not true at all. We love our children very much.

Lelouch: Do you have any idea what the meaning is behind Nunnally’s beautiful smile?

Marianne: The meaning?

Lelouch: Why don’t you understand? Nunnally was blinded! My own sister was crippled! She knew… she knew that there were things in this world that she would never be able to do by herself. So her smile… Nunnally’s smile… was her way of expressing gratitude!

Charles: You’re laboring under a delusion!

Lelouch: I will not let you call that a lie! Over my dead body! You’ve refused to face reality! Content to watch us from afar! Don’t make me laugh! There’s only one truth here! You, my own parents, you abandoned us!

Charles: You clever little fool!

Lelouch: Suzaku, stay out of this.

Charles: Can’t you understand that if you refuse me and what I offer, you will inherit his world, Schneizel’s world! Do not judge me, good and evil intentions are on each side of the same card! Even then, you still have…!

Lelouch: No matter what, I will always reject the world you envision. Begone now!

Charles & Marianne: Nooooo!

Bismarck: It can’t be!

Schneizel: Can I assume that…?

Bismarck: Yes, His Majesty has now been…

Lelouch: C.C., are you going as well?

C.C: When death comes, you want to at least be smiling, right? And you two. What are you planning to do now?

Suzaku: Huh?

C.C: You rejected Charles’s plan. Instead, you chose reality and forward march of time. However…

Suzaku: I know. Lelouch is the person who murdered Euphy.

Lelouch: What of it?

Milly: It has been one month since the destruction caused by the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead. Today His Majesty, Emperor Charles, will make an important announcement to the entire nation. We will be bringing you live international coverage of this from Pendragon Imperial Palace. Even though His Majesty has not made any public appearances in the past month.

Carline: Didn’t somebody say that the Emperor was missing?

Guinevere: Bismarck was the one who reported that. Now he is gone.

Odysseus: As for Schneizel and the others, where are they?

Carline: Don’t know. There’s been no word from Cambodia yet.

Soldier: Presenting, His Imperial Majesty!

Carline: Huh?

Guinevere: Well, that’s not…

Carline: Where’s His Majesty?

Milly: What the hell?

Rivalz: Wha.. It can’t be!

Kallen: But how…? There’s no way.

Lelouch: Greetings. I’m Lelouch vi Britannia of the Royal Family, 99th Emperor of the realm.

Bismarck: Good Lord.

Gino: How can this be?

Carline: It’s really you?

Guinevere: You’re alive?

Lelouch: Yes, sister, I am. I’ve returned from the depths of hell intact.

Odysseus: Lelouch, how good to see you. When Nunnally was located, I figured that you would be found alive, too. But now, aren’t you carrying this joke a bit too far? That’s the throne of our father…

Lelouch: Charles zi Britannia, the 98th Emperor no longer lives and I’m the one who took his life. Therefore, that makes me the next Emperor!

Carline: What are you saying? Are you nuts?

Guinevere: Guards! Take that fool and execute him! He’s guilty of murdering our emperor!

Kallen: Suzaku. But why?

Lelouch: May I introduce Suzaku Kururugi, my knight. A Knight of the Round above all others. I grant him the title “Knight of Zero”.

Kaguya: Suzaku? They’re working together?

Odysseus: Lelouch, Sir Kururugi, this just won’t do. Pulling a bad stunt like this on an international broadcast…

Lelouch: Do you think so? Let me make this easy for you all to understand. Acknowledge me as emperor!

Odysseus: Lelouch, I insist that you stop joking around like… We hear and obey, Your Majesty!

Carline & Guinevere: All hail Emperor Lelouch!

Everyone: All hail Lelouch! All hail Lelouch! All hail Lelouch! All hail Lelouch!

Schneizel: I need to thank you, Lelouch. Now that you’ve reappeared on the scene, we no longer have a problem to contend with.

Cornelia: But why is Kururugi helping him? What’s his reason?

Kanon: He succeeds in furthering himself by continually betraying others.

Schneizel: Don’t be concerned. Let Lelouch have all of it. Because it doesn’t matter. He can have Britannia, the whole nation. The question is what comes next. Which will control the world? Will it be Lelouch’s Geass power or will it be…

———– [ED]

Lelouch: How ironic. I, the one who has perpetually rejected and denounced Britannia, must now become the Britannian emperor. But I must! For everyone’s sake, I must!