We're back in the normal flow of time and space, but he still got what he wanted, Abel's Ark is here and with it the Zohar has returned as well. Surely there must be some way around this? We have to help them, to free them. We'll find a way, together we're strong enough to succeed.

Shion is very lost and confused right now though, she's lashing out at those who are trying to help her. Love is blind they say, but I'm not convinced that love is what she's feeling. She's clinging to happy memories, wanting that feeling to return, it's a confused longing. Everything was a lie though; can you really say you love someone you never even knew?

I really have got to stop getting so lost in my musings, that way I wouldn't have to try to figure out what I've missed. I'm meant to be the supportive one here, yet instead it's more like I'm not here at all. Maybe that isn't a bad thing though, if they don't notice I don't have to try to explain.

I can't believe that someone would go so far…so many dead, and for what? Civilians and soldiers alike, whether they were a threat or not, such a complete lack of care for life…how can you live with yourself? Jr. seems to be holding it together quite well at least, I'm definitely proud of him.

So he has to face another U.R.T.V as well as his father, who has stolen Gaignun's body…this really isn't any easy time for him. Why must everything be so difficult and painful for them? Life shouldn't be so difficult, otherwise what is there to live for? If we do this, can we make a brighter future for everyone?

So Dmitri Yuriev knows about some of that past, the Y-Data seems to have provided him with a lot of information. It isn't enough though, if he doesn't know better than to try. God doesn't approve, that's why we're in this mess, that's why I'm the failsafe…

That doesn't matter right now; we have to get out of here before we're pulled into the Ark. Between KOS-MOS and I we should be able to free the Elsa and escape in time. We shall probably have to enter the Ark at some point, but staying on the Durandal would be suicide.

--

I don't really know why I'm hiding in the hanger under the pretence of checking Asher…okay, so maybe I do, I want to sulk in peace without having to worry about being asked what's wrong. How can I explain what it is that's bothering me?

Well yes, you see back at the dawn of time, Mary and I decided to help humanity gain access to the higher plain, like Dmitri is trying to do now, and it meant that God decided to wipe everyone out. I really don't like thinking about what happened back then, it hurts so much to know that I'm the cause of all this pain. Everyone is suffering because of me.

Yeshua jumped slightly, realising he was no longer alone. "Canaan, we have to move out right away. What is it? Are you checking something out?"

Canaan stood beside him looking distracted. "chaos, have you ever wondered why you exist?

"One's reason for existing. That's a difficult question. I'd like to think it's for the people I care about, for everyone, but my existence doesn't necessarily mean people will be happy."

"Yes. Sometimes just existing can hurt others. chaos, you know, don't you? That I am such an existence."

"You remember?"

"Yes, with the information on Program Canaan... and all this data, there's no way I wouldn't remember."

"Codename 'Lactis'."

"Yes. That's my reason for existence."

"But you didn't desire that. It's not by your own will. You're not responsible."

"Even if it's all happening in my subconscious, it's still my responsibility. I was created for that purpose. To reject Program Canaan is to reject my own existence."

"You could hide who you are and continue to live, but that's not the answer you seek, is it?"

"Correct. I cannot deny myself. I am a Realian. The only one who can give me a reason to exist is the one who created me. chaos, if only that had been you. What should I do now?"

"Canaan..."

More than anything I want to be able to give you an answer, to comfort you, but there is nothing I can say, is there? Wilhelm…why did you do this? Why cause him so much pain? What not tell him the truth so he wouldn't get involved? It isn't fair to put him in this position. Oh Canaan, I'm so sorry, please stay strong, we can work through this, they won't blame you.

--

I don't want to be here, so close to everything…I'm afraid. I've always run away from the truth, from those memories. All of this is…what does he think he's doing? Doesn't he understand how dangerous this is? My mistake should never be repeated. No, this isn't my mistake, I was trying to help everyone, but he isn't. Dmitri doesn't care about the consequences of his actions.

This is not going to be an easy problem to get around, with the Zohar powering it and U-DO's involvement, I'm not sure that they have the power to stop him. I'm not really sure what I can do, this power is…all we can do is try, something will work out. Testament…so Albedo has come here to face his father? I suppose Dmitri getting his way would be no good for them either, but is Albedo here for them or because he wants to be?

Abel and the Zohar…so he was sent to retrieve them, but where are they now? Has everything returned to Abraxus, no, it's called Michtam now, isn't it. But Albedo is still here, so is he going to betray him too? That leaves two to go, one of whom is most likely to cause a lot of emotional duress… So it's all over at last and the twins rejoin again, just as Albedo wanted. Was that by chance?

Michtam…three of us dread stepping foot on this place, though Jan and Lactis are more obviously bothered then I am. Canaan, what are you thinking? Are you going to be okay? He's trying so hard to help as much as he can, and even more so to pretend that he's okay, but I know he isn't and I'm worried about him.

Voyager… Please stop, stop hurting them. Why be so cruel? What good is this going to do anyone? Please stop pushing them, Canaan is…please don't push him any further, I don't want…don't take him from me. Canaan, can't you tell them that you didn't know? Won't you explain that you've never tried or wanted to hurt us? Please Canaan; don't do this…

Canaan! No, please don't. Damn it. Don't you understand? He isn't betraying us; he's sacrificing himself to save us, because he can't bear to continue. Can't you save him? Is there anything that we can say to stop this? Canaan…you're not a traitor, none of us think that way, please can't you just accept that?

Lactis may well have found peace in this, but what about Canaan? Why did…Canaan you could have…why didn't I do anything to stop you when I knew what you were going to do? I'm so sorry Canaan. I really do wish that I could have saved you, but I know that there was nothing I could say to change your mind. Had I intervened you would have been angry with me wouldn't you? You couldn't find a way to exist with us without pain or guilt. Goodbye Canaan, I hope you've found your peace.

--

Now it's time for Nephilim to talk to Shion already. I think I've been in a daze since what happened with Canaan. Shion is so confused right now; she's buried herself in self-pity and is lashing out at everyone for it. We have to reach her though, we can't let her go with Kevin, if she does, everything is over. She isn't ready for all of this, but then, would she ever be if she wasn't forced?

Mary, welcome back. It's been a long time since I saw you last. Despite that, for now we can say nothing, can we? Not that I really know what there is to say. T-elos! I don't suppose I should be surprised considering who, or perhaps I should say what, she is.

They must fight in order to rejoin as one, in body and soul. The question is, who will win? T-elos decimated KOS-MOS the last time, but KOS-MOS has been upgraded since then. Will KOS-MOS have the strength to overcome this? We can but hope for her victory, though I will take no part in it, this is between the two them.

So we have to explain some things about this now, though certainly I intend to avoid as many details as I can. Soon enough it will be time to meet Wilhelm again…I wonder how much he will tell them? So Wilhelm offered him something like that? But what does that mean and is that really the same intentions that Kevin holds now? He is the only one left now, will he betray you too? It seems so likely now, but can you see that too?

Allen, finally you're ready to act? I'm glad, you've been waiting a long time to make her understand how you feel. With KOS-MOS' help as well this should be enough to make Shion see sense. Once she can see things for what they are, rather than what they were, everything should be okay. If she won't use the Key then we have a chance to change this.

--

Wilhelm…so it really has come to this? I had hoped that you wouldn't do this, but you don't really seem to care. You have no problem saying those things or hurting her, do you? Maybe I shouldn't have…no, I made the right choice. They were the right choice; nothing good would have come from staying with him.

"Stubborn, aren't we? How long can you stand it?" Wilhelm asked sarcastically and sadistically, not even flinching when Shion screamed yet again.

Allen tried his best to move. "Chief! Stop! Stop it! If you don't stop, she'll... KOS-MOS! Help her! Hurry!"

"Shion..." KOS-MOS muttered softly.

Wilhelm glanced at her. "Mary, I forbid you to interfere, understand?"

KOS-MOS…you don't know what to do, do you? Mary's feelings of guilt are conflicting with your will to protect Shion. Mary wants to protect her as well, but she doesn't know whether to do that by following Wilhelm's instructions or not. I'm sure you'll decide to help us, KOS-MOS' will has become very strong.

Wilhelm! What? You knew all of this would happen? Then why…? I don't understand; what is it you're trying to achieve by doing this? Why go through all of this when you knew things would turn out like this? Why not change things to work in your favour? What is this all for?

"For love? Ridiculous. That has no value." Wilhelm said sarcastically before continuing to hurt them both.

I may not have reacted to that, but it did hurt to hear you say that. I saw you look this way, but why? Were you afraid that you'd hurt me by saying that? I can never read you to know what you're thinking or feeling, you always remain an enigma. I don't understand what this is about. Please won't you be open with me for once? Is this really you or is this yet another façade? Please tell me what this is all for.

Stop! No, I mustn't do anything, I can't act. To help him now would undermine everything we've done. I'm trying so hard to pretend I don't care, but the truth is that seeing this is so painful and I feel so guilty for doing nothing, but what else can I do? Please, won't you just stop?

Do you really believe all that? I don't know why but, I can't take you completely seriously. The way you said that, it just seems far too melodramatic for you. This all seems to be a game to you; none of it is being taken seriously. Still, I think this is a good time to explain to you how I feel about this.

"Really? I think it's possible." Yeshua stated softly but firmly.

Shion looked perplexed. "chaos?"

Wilhelm smiled slightly, though not obviously so. "Yeshua, I didn't expect to hear you say something like that."

"This world is more flexible than you think. Even as we speak, ripples are spreading throughout the entire universe." Yeshua replied calmly.

"Are you saying you're going to release your power? You're a "failsafe" implanted in this universe. If you release your power, there will be more to worry about than just ripples. And besides, it's too late now to suppress their wills."

"If it was only me, that's true. But I'm not by myself."

"I see. Are you saying you've come here to challenge your own fate? That's a fascinating decision. But unfortunately, it looks like you're a little late."

Zarathustra! Wilhelm…that's true but, please, this has to stop now. Kevin! Please, please stop hurting him. If you continue then…please don't do this. I may not want to fight him, even though I don't agree with what he's doing, but that doesn't mean I want someone else to hurt him either. Still this is the only chance we'll get, we must stop Zarathustra.

Wilhelm turned his attention to Yeshua, all trace of the previous façade removed. "Do you understand what you're doing, Yeshua? Abel's controlled by the system and I'm the operator. If I should somehow, suddenly vanish, this world... and the universe will--"

Yeshua returned his gaze unwaveringly. "You may be right, but I-- I want to believe in the light of human beings' will."

"Very well, then. Is that your answer? That does sound like you, Yeshua."

In the end you still didn't tell me anything. But I have to wonder if you knew all of this was coming, the way you handled everything was just too perfect. Is that why you wanted to send me away? That way when I lost you, it might not have hurt me so much? Am I trying to be too optimistic about this? I suppose I shouldn't really be thinking about this right now, we still have a lot left to do and not much time to do it.

--

I'm glad that Nephilim is taking care of all of the talking; I don't really want to have to go into all of this right now. So it's time for everything to return to that place, despite everything we've done, returning to the beginning seems to be inevitable, just not in the way the Eternal Circle did.

I never really wanted to have to explain the truth about all of that, even though I knew it was inevitable. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be though, they don't really seem bothered by it. Only the fact that I won't be going with them seems to be a problem to them, and for that I'm glad.

The task has been laid out before them and they have accepted it willingly, so I definitely made the right choice, I'm glad. It makes those decisions so much less painful. Everything has worked out so far, and I'm sure it will continue to do so. After all the sacrifices made for this, surely humanity will strive forward and continue to exist for a long time to come. Now that they have left us, it's time to begin.

Jin, KOS-MOS, thank you for your help, we couldn't have done this without you. I'm sorry that we needed so much help with this, neither of us realised just how difficult this would be. Nephilim, Abel, now Mary and I shall leave everything to you. Please protect this power and this Universe, and thank you for everything.

The columns are all…but if they can't escape then everything is for nothing. What now? I don't have the power to help them. It can't really all be over can it? This energy is… Shion, there is a column left, quickly! If you hurry then you can still escape, that jump will take so much time off your journey as well, please, let them make it in time.

"I guess both you and I still exist in this world, after all. As long as people... as long as the universe desires it, we will continue to exist. We haven't finished what we need to do yet. So, until then, sleep well, KOS-MOS." Yeshua stated softly, feeling much better having heard Shion's words to them.

"Good night." KOS-MOS replied before shutting down and continuing to drift through space awaiting the day to be found once again.

And Wilhelm, thank you so much for that. I understand at least some of what you were trying to achieve and just from that little bit of knowledge I know just how strong you are. To go so far for me, despite how much it must have been hurting you, I'm truly grateful for that.

I'm sorry for the way I was, for doubting you, when I should have known better. You've always kept that promise to me no matter what. I do love you and when that time comes for us to meet again; I promise that I'll prove that to you. I'll make up for all this pain and hardship, and that is a promise I won't forget, I will fulfil it. So until that day, please wait patiently for me and know that I long for that day as much as you. Good bye for now my dearest lover and closest friend.


Well, there we have it, TF has finally come to a close. As promised I tried to leave it on a more positive note, so hopefully it isn't too depressing.

Thanks to Jinx for translating the Perfect Guide and letting us all know about Wilhelm's help in their escape, and that Wilhelm is still 'alive' like Yeshua is.

Thank you to everyone who has/will review, it's always nice to know what people think

Also, I was tempted a few times during this fic to write Wilhelm/Canaan. Would anyone be interested in reading that? Let me know!

Thanks again and good bye!