The Innovator screams his desperation to the sky, a prayer to a god he doesn't believe in, a song begging for a better tomorrow—and every soul on this battlefield hears and understands it.
Particles diffuse through space and time, touching every human heart, and for a few precious moments, the fighting is paused; conflicts cease; people stop, and listen, and begin to understand. They begin to change.
Gundam rises above like a Messiah, its wings unfolding in flashes of color, miracles promised in their every pulse. And for just a few moments, long lost souls are drawn to the light.
The automatons overwhelm the Ptolemy; she knows that this is where she will die. But then the world pulses, and the 00 Raiser awakens, and Sumeragi hears every accursed soul on this battlefield cry out.
Setsuna's miracle does not surprise her. But standing between her and Billy in this empty hallway is Emilio.
"Leesa," he says gently, and the rest of the world falls away.
"I'm so sorry," she says—the only thing she can think of—and her voice is small and choked.
"I've never blamed you," he says, shaking his head, and takes a step forward. "Please, stop blaming yourself."
Mr. Bushido sits in this hospital, and watches the battle on his terminal, and feels more lost than he ever has before.
He does not question it when the particles diffuse through his lungs, and simply breathes. He knows that young man must be behind this.
("Live for the future," he told him, righteous anger in his voice.)
(Two figures stand just at the edge of his vision, tall and proud in their Overflag uniforms, and say the same thing.)
He thinks, and realizes, and changes. "Thank you," Graham Aker whispers to his empty room, and, smiling, closes his eyes.
His body is destroyed, but within Veda, he sees all.
"You did it," Lockon Stratos says, hovering, flickering, at his side. When Tieria looks over, he is smiling.
"Yes," he says. "Aeolia's Plan will be truly realized, and Setsuna will—"
Lockon shakes his head—he meant something else entirely. "I'm proud of you," he says. "You've come so far, since we first met."
Tieria pauses his work, now, to look at his friend. "I was able to do it because of you," he says, but Lockon disagrees.
"No, Tieria," he says, reaching for his shoulder. "You became human on your own."
She's wondered whether her parents would approve of all she's done.
(Now, she wonders if her friends would, too.)
The ship is breached, and Mileina is terrified, but Feldt can hear something more than gunfire. When she looks toward them, they dance just out of reach.
"We love you," says a voice she does not remember. "You've gotta keep going," says one that she does. Chris' green eyes are smiling.
"We're so proud of you," says another, deeper, and she swallows thickly as she turns to her terminal.
"We'll be fine," she says, and feels hope swell in her heart.
There is Gundam, and there is Saji, clawing at her hands as she tries to kill him.
What is she doing? Why—
"You can rest, princess," her mother says quietly from beside her. Louise jerks upright, and stares. "You've done enough."
"But you're dead—"
"And all we want is for you to be happy. Please, just let us go."
"I miss you," she sobs, grasping for her mother; her hand swipes through empty space. "I want you back—"
"I know," she says quietly. Louise feels warmth envelope her—and, too, she feels the hatred in her heart slowly begin to unravel.
Louise collapses, and Saji finds nothing when he searches frantically for her pulse.
"Put more faith in your friends," his sister says from behind him. Saji startles, twisting to face her. "She'll be fine."
"Kinue?" he asks, his voice choked. "How are you—?"
"Setsuna's miracle," she says, her smile growing warmer. Saji finds that's all the explanation he needs. "You'll be fine, too—you're not my kid brother anymore, huh? I'd even say you're a hero."
Saji lurches to his feet, tears blurring his vision, reaching for her—but his hand goes through her like smoke.
Behind him, Louise begins to stir.
Setsuna's Trans-Am is only background noise—until he hears a voice re-emerging from the back of his mind, until young faces that he has not seen alive in fifteen years flicker on his screens.
"Allelujah," one says, accusatory. "You can't die now, okay?"
"You killed us, but you've gotta keep living."
"We won't forgive you if you die!"
Their faces have ever haunted him, and now they dance across his vision, begging that their deaths were not in vain. Allelujah swallows, and nods, and blinks back his useless tears.
"Let's do this," Hallelujah says, impatient. Together, they pick up the throttles.
Sometimes, the agony from her loss is overwhelming, but she struggles with her guilt and rage in silence. Allelujah, after all, looks at her and sees Marie. The crew looks, and sees a useful tool. She knows she is not wanted; she knows they prefer her alter. She knows this battle is hopeless.
She knows she's going to die.
(She knows she is nothing. But the Colonel looked at her and saw something more.)
There is his gentle touch, his warm smile. "You are more than enough," Sergei Smirnov says quietly.
For the first time, she thinks she believes him.
al-Saachez is mocking him; through his fury, Lyle nearly doesn't hear the others.
"You're starting to act like me," his brother jokes, and Cherudim swerves dangerously as Lyle reacts.
"We love you, so much," his parents say.
He seeks them out—his family, those he would give anything to see again. He cannot find them, but he feels their presence—and he feels another, too. "Thank you, Lyle," Anew says, and he cannot hold back his sobs.
"Keep living," his sister begs. He looks at al-Saachez, and knows he has no other choice.
Cherudim charges forward, her pilot's face streaked with tears.
He is Gundam.
The 00 Raiser has transcended, and Setsuna is human no longer. "Soran," says a soft voice. She continues in his native tongue—"We are so proud of you."
He blinks, turns, and sees two figures with him. For a moment, he is silent. "I killed you," he says eventually, emotion choking his voice. His mother shakes her head.
"It's all right now," she says. "You've grown up so well—we couldn't ask for a better son."
Tears fall down his cheeks, and she reaches gently to wipe them away. "Go to your friends," she says. "We'll be waiting."