| FEBRUARY 2004 - Chapter 69- #10/Ch.8 "Eternal Farewell"|
A bird sits on a large stone slab with a cross carved on it. It's still dark out when Levio hears a noise, a sound, the "ark", the ship Knives flies around the planet collecting the plants. Someone's cooking fried rice, Levio wakes, looks around, and finds Vash sitting at the table eating, alone. Rushing past him, he goes to the door of the orpanage and finds the stone slab. Eyes wide, he returns to the kitchen where Vash sits. "Ni... Nicholas...!! Wolfwood-san....?" Vash looks at him blankly, "He's dead. I buried him." Levio's eyes widen, his mouth drops open. He argues with Vash over Nick's fate, over his own, why Vash didn't kill him, and Vash turns his head, revealing that now over two-thirds of his hair is black. Shortly after Wolfwood's death, Knives came for Vash - he was able to fend off his brother, and send an attack back at him. Knives laughs, leaving Vash, heading west. The struggle turned his hair darker. Levio watches him eating, and finally with a bit of prodding, sits down to eat as well. First the rice, then pasta, finally a huge salad - each man remembering Nicholas with the food they're eating. The next morning, the two of them leave the orphanage, Vash sets Nick's Cross Punisher in the sand next to his grave. "Where are we headed?" Levio asks. "Go West," Vash replies.
|END #10 - TRIGUN MAXIMUM #11|
| APRIL 2004 - Chapter 70 - #11/Ch.1 "Zero Hour"|
Elendira looks at Legato, lying in a strange contraption/medical bed. Zazie and he talk as the ship comes in view of a large city - December City. Meanwhile, Levio drives as Vash snoozes in the passenger seat until a bright light appears before the car and a ship appears. The two jump out of the car as a man comes down out of the ship. "Brad!!" Vash runs up to him, excited, but when Brad asks where Wolfwood is... Vash explains that he's dead, that Levio killed him, and Brad goes on a rampage, eventually slugging Levio. (Vash is too soft - of course. ^_^) Brad eventually cools down and Vash tells him that Knives is headed toward December. Apparently in the remains of the huge ship there is an Ion Blaster. The plan is to use it against Knives' unstoppable rampage. There's only one problem... It's powered by the plants. When Knives arrives, the plants revolt and break free from their bulbs. When the trio arrives in December - it's already too late. Meanwhile - far out in space, there's a voice - "Gate Open... Warp Out." The ships have arrived from Earth.
| MAY 2004 - Chapter 71- #11/Ch.2 "Slap Sticks Days"|
Three slick ships come out of warp. They scan the planet. The survivors of the cities Knives has taken the plants from are collecting in the October. Thousands of people are here, they look rough and tired. A lone man with a guitar sits on an outcropping as a familar ship flies over, one from the "village" where Vash lived on the SEEDS ship. From the ship comes a woman - Mrs. Luida, the leader of the "village". Those leaders from other cities have come here for a meeting to discuss what to do about Knives. Meanwhile, Meryl stands on a piece of the old crashed ship in the middle of October, overlooking the city and the people gathering there. Her hair hangs limp around her face and she wears a jumpsuit hanging around her waist. She watches them sadly until Milly comes to talk to her, "What are you thinking about?" Milly wears a t-shirt, jeans, jacket, and her hair's in a pony-tail. Meryl speaks of the old days, how she loved the excitement of working; following Vash. Suddenly there's an explosion below, a huge creepy looking man has busted out of a building followed by a strange girlie type fellow. Meryl and Milly look on with mouths hanging open - until suddenly a shadow appears above them. The girls look up to see a familiar sight - VASH, hanging from a ladder from Brad's little flyer. "WHAAAAAAATTT??" The girls say in unison as Vash drops from the ladder in front of the huge rampaging man.
The big guy takes one look at Vash, aims his rocket launcher at him, Vash aims in return - the rocket poofs out of sight. The big guy's eyes go wide - 'It disappeared...!?' As he stares the calvary take over and Vash takes off his glasses, rubs his eyes and turns around. The girls come huffing down to stand in front of him - Vash's eyes go wide "Ooh!!" Meryl huffs one more time, and her eyes tear up and she starts to cry. Milly rubs her eyes as well while Vash stands there confused of what to do.
The ships from Earth are approaching - close enough now that the satellite receivers around the planet catch their transmission. People all over the planet look up into the sky... Knives doesn't take the news too well - the plants have merged into one entity now, it breaks out of the 'ark', following a very in-human Knives. His only human feature is his face now - he grins as his ship lifts higher into the atmosphere.
| JUNE 2004 - Chapter 72 - #11/Ch.3 "Lightning & Thunder*"|
The meeting of leaders get the news about the ships as they head toward Gunsmoke. Meanwhile, Vash and the girls ride on the ladder over October, the people are rejoicing and Vash smiles in delight - at last everyone knows about the ships. They land and Luida comes over, talking to Vash for a time until she's called away. Brad lands the ship and exits with Levio. He has a hood over his head, and follows slowly behind Vash, Meryl and Milly when the big girl asks a quesiton... "Where... Is Bokushisan?" (Mr. Priest) Levio's eyes go wide, Vash stays quiet. Levio, not being able to stand the silence, turns to answer her when Brad stops him, and very subtley tells Milly that he's dead - only Milly doesn't get it at first - he rewords it - when Milly gets it her face screws up and she starts to cry. Levio clenches a fist.
Meanwhile Knives flies over towns destroying them. Zazie looks on. The meeting of leaders discuss their possibilites now that the ships are coming within range of the planet. Soon after, the girls give Vash a manilla envelope. He dumps the contents of it onto the table, there's the pen from Trigun #1, a lighter, a swiss-pocket knife with a key, a funny alien bobble, and a square case. "...Where?" The girls explain they got the contents from his coat after Jeneora Rock. Vash recognizes the square case - the coin case Legato gave him, when he opens it however he realizes there's more coins there than before. Meryl explains that Milly had two of them (Midvalley and Gauntlet), and she herself had one from Ninelives she'd had. Ninelives' "driver" explained to her about the game Vash and Legato played - collecting the coins in order to eventually face Legato face-to-face. Vash grimaces and leaves the girls.
Meanwhile Levio is in the bathroom washing his face. Brad comes into the bathroom and Levio thanks him for what he did back there - for what he said to Milly. Brad explains some things about Vash, and his reasons, then he leaves the bathroom. More talk with the leaders. Evening falls and Marlon brings Vash new ammo - recalls a time of partying witht he girls and Vash breaks into tears. Out in the desert people watch a strange light appear int he distance - a huge explosion. It hits the city like a nuclear blast. Out from the destruction comes one figure with a strange smile on his face. LEGATO. Zazie the beast lay dead at his feet - yes, his FEET - Legato has a body once again and he's coming for Vash.
| JULY 2004 - Chapter 73 - #11/Ch.4 "Regeneration of the Wicked Man*"|
37 minutes before the explosion. Zazie flies down on a gigantic butterfly to speak with Knives. He looks up at her calmly, doesn't even look human but for his head as she drops down to speak with him of the past. They'd met when he was young, not long after the Big Fall. While they speak, something happens to Elendira (who was standing near Legato) - it's him, her body falls to the ground, pinned there, unmoving - "Legato...!? Legato Bluesummers!!" And she waits... Zazie convinces Knives (or at least we think) that she wants to join him instead of the humans - and pulls a parasite from her body (I'm not mentioning from where) while the plants scream - and readies to plant it in his ear...
Suddenly her arm flings backwards, something... Legato is controlling her - her body unable to move, she calls the insects to her - but Legato has her pull her own gun, and aims it at her chest. She misses... But the fight isn't over. Elendira watched as Legato broke free from his coffin and uses his powers to kill all of Zazie's insects. He battles Zazie one on one - until Knives steps in - he forms an energy ball - and aims it towards Zazie's hive mind (think Starship troopers) - aims his energy at the ground and blows the creature sky high. The blast could be seen from space...
In the wake of the blast, people mill about October, seeing the smoke rising from the ground. Vash squints into the distance as he hunkers down with a few boxes of bullets. He picks up an empty shell, holds it between his fingers, and with a blank expression forms a bullet from his own energy. This was the power he displayed when he found Meryl and Milly. He sets the loaded bullet down on the ground with the others, carefully on end - until someone sneaks up behind him "Konnichiwa" Vash freaks out and the bullet blows a hole about the size of a bowling ball in the ground. He turns... "What do you want?"
Levio looks on as Vash starts to prepare anohter bullet, and then sets two coin halves on the ground. "Um... Here." He says slowly. "Ooo!! Wow! Huh?" He doesn't get it at first the reason why Levio has two - but it's because of his dual-nature.
Vash puts the coins into his case and counts them off... "Gale, Mine, Cyclops, Puppetmaster, Gauntlet, Hornfreak, Ninelives, Blade ....Chapel ....Double Fang and Trip of Death" Then he looks at it, "Damn, I'm missing one." Levio frowns, "....Beast.... right?" They both look at the case in deep thought until suddenly someone screams "Wait!!"
And out from nowhere steps the single freakiest guy Nightow has ever drawn - but his eyes are like Zazie's... Think disco guy... It's just wrong... He struts in, shows the two the coin, and Vash's mouth drops open. "Ah.."
| AUGUST 2004 - Chapter 74 - #11/Ch.5 "Get Ready, Get Set"|
The explosion can be seen from space. Two people on the ship from Earth discuss what they've picked up on the moniters. "Did you see that? Kuronika." "It's a plant," she says, "However, it's very big." We pull back to see a steaming cup, and then the bridge of the ship where a man with glasses stands looking behind him at a woman with long blond hair parted down the middle, holding the cup. She wears a space-suit, black and white (think the Guild from Last Exile). "I don't think that form can come from any other lineage," Kuronika says as she drinks her tea, "On that world dwells Independants."
"Is this what I've been searching for within my soul? It's troubling. It's not very far away and yet how... But it could be dangerous. To come from afar to help a comrad, only to find what I desire is a snake about to strike... And... Sorry." She adds as the man looks at her, "It's of no concern. But I also approve of seeing this. It may be nothing but I would assume that like during other times in the past, the "Hair Darkening Effect" should have stopped this... I understand it was the intention of permitting independants to exist. These have created a plan to avoid the hair darkening."
"?" The man responds and Kuronika continues, "The fellows have fused. Our generation has a single brain stem connecting us, you could say it's "block programming". The man says, "Then there isn't a connection to this sandy planet?"
"Indeed," Kuronika says, "On occasions the individual awareness dissolves, sometimes it is swallowed up. But the risk is too high for us to pass it by."
".........This needs to be handled carefully. We can't just go down there," The man says.
"You don't want to have a chat with it? That plant was created by humans, wasn't it?" Kuronika says with a smile.
Meanwhile on the planet, Vash and Levio look at the creepy guy who's fallen silent, lying on the ground "HE'S DEAD?!" Vash cries, then suddenly he sits up, coughs some strange worm thing out of his mouth and chases the boys around... (a very strange moment for Nightow - it's more like a crazy Hellsing moment).
Back to the coin case - it's filled now, and the strange guy takes his leave. Vash closes the case and turns is around in his hand when suddenly a little thing pops off the side revealing a switch. It looks like a cassette player's buttons - start and stop. Vash looks at Levio who doesn't say a word until he's about to press it and Levio flips out as a voice comes through the player "Fuahahhahahahaha." Legato's voice apparently - the recording ends with the same creepy laugh and Vash drops it from his hands and kneels down. Levio screams at him and they discuss I'd imagine the fact that it's a no-win situation (probably, remember, can't read it well) - Levio ends up speaking about Crimson Nail - the only GHG (though lost number) that stands between Vash and Legato... Levio (his hair now all cut short and looking a lot older than he did before) tells Vash he'll take on Elendira. Vash tries to knock Levio out (I'd imagine so he could leave and do it himself) but Levio just looks at him like 'uh, what are you doin'?' Vash stands like a foot shorter than Levio and nothing works (think Spike with Edward's dad).
July 21, 114 - 5:01:02
Sunrise. The people look out over the horizon - a huge creature floats towards them - it's Knives and his plants. Coming near to October now, the plants in the city start to react. The men of the city look up at them in shock as Vash walks toward them. There's a lot said I haven't been able to translate yet. Vash has resolved himself to go face his brother now... "I think there's a chance." He goes to the elevator and gives them the "Ok"...
July 21, 114 - 9:55:13
Vash waves goodbye - a lot of people are teary-eyed as they shake hands and say their goodbyes... "I have to go before he uses his power. There is only a small window of opportunity." (according to Mari this says: Every gate opening wide
begins with a narrow crack.) Including one little Meryl. She and Milly stand away until Milly pushes Meryl forward and Vash drops to his knees. "You're crying Meryl... Do you really think I will lose?" He hugs her and Milly bawls, "What's wrong with crying girls!!! I don't think it's not unusual for a girl to cry!!!" Vash laughs, "I understand I understand!" Vash laughs and Meryl pulls back, rubbing her eyes. Then, "...Meryl!!" Vash says and kisses his hand - Meryl looks at him in shock, then kisses her own and they touch knuckles before Vash leaves.
Meanwhile, a small ship flies over the city - giving a warning to all the people - I'd imagine to go to shelters, or maybe to retreat to the large crashed ship (not sure). People stand at the ready - Knives is coming - some people ready their weapons, others pray, some people it looks, commit suicide. Then we get a closeup of this building behind a fence, zoom in to this room where sits an atomic bomb - apparently the last resort if Vash doesn't win.
July 21, 114 10:20:23
July 21, 114 10:59:49
Kuronika sits looking at he moniters, holding her cup - she zooms in on the planet to see Knives. Her and the man discuss the planet - and she mentions that her "limiter program" will begin in 36 hours... She does NOT look very happy.
Meanwhile, Levio exits the ship to find Elendira standing at the ready.
Note: The the text for the Meryl/Vash/Milly scene are thanks to Mari. Arigatou gozaimasu!! In other news - it's pretty interesting to find out Kuronika is actually a plant. ^_^ Especially a "new generation" who seem to have a safety program of sorts built into them... But it almost seems to me that maybe "Independents" like Vash and Knives weren't a fluke... Hmmmm!
| SEPTEMBER 2004 - Chapter 75 - #11/Ch.6 "Someone to Defend*"|
Flashback - Levio saves the life of a little girl from the orphanage (from Maximum #9). Flashforward to the the standoff between Levio and Elendira. The Lost 13th GHG has come, she has come to kill Levio. He stands nervously watching Elendira, thinking 'Has she come to kill me now? Wait!!' Elendira shoots one of her crimson nails at him, barely misses skewering him through the head - it tears open his left cheek and he reels backwards. Levio grabs his face thinking fearcely about his choice of paths.
Just a little note: I called "Elendira" a "she" here because it's easier to keep the pronouns apart. *grins* Besides, it's kind of hard to keep it straight since he looks like a she. One other little note, there's really a whole long story of Wolfwood's and Levio's past in Maximum #9 that I don't even think Sumire has translated yet - just know that the two grew up in the same orphanage for a time, and Levio saved Jasmine, but later his alter-ego killed her puppy... So in this chapter he finally realized that being good had it's own rewards - more important rewards. And that she could overlook his flaws because of the good he did for her and later the children.
Elendira speaks to Levio, "I have to do this..." She doesn't seem very happy about it exactly - but when Levio pulls his "double fang" the twin guns he carries, they fight - causing an enormous amount of destruction to the city around them - people run for cover as Levio is thrown through the buildings, one, two, three walls - Elendira's nails flying after him. Elendira frowns, looking into the dark recess of the last building, the town's people yelling at her for causing so much destruction, but strangely enough she never does anything to them.
Then suddenly something zings past Elendira's cheek - blood cascading down her normally perfect features. "I'm not dead," Levio says, walking out from the building to continue their fight. But Elendira gets the upper hand - sends 8 huge nails into Levio and he falls to his knees, blood flying, drenching the ground in red. The town's people look on in horror and flee screaming. Levio listens to Elendira speak before she leaves him to die alone in the street.
But there were little eyes watching from the building where Levio appeared last. A boy with a a big hat and his little friends watch Elendira walk away before approaching Levio. "Get up!" The little children say - just like the last time... Flashback to minutes before when Levio found himself on his back after being thrown through the buildings. He opens his eyes to see the little children in tears, "You're so cute," he says, getting to his feet. But this time, he's not moving and the boy with the hat comes over to touch Levio.
Suddenly he moves, and spews blood and the little children wet themselves and faint over. Levio looks around him at them, "Ah... huh?" He pulls the nails from himself, they lay in a pile on the ground as the little children pull themselves to their feet. "Oh, sorry," Levio apologizes as suddenly someone screams and hurls herself at the children - embracing them all in a bear hug. She yells at them for running off and they cry and apologize, and she turns to look at Levio...
His jaw drops open as he stares at her. "Um... What's wrong?" She asks. "Ah... Nothing." He responds, and she goes on to look at his clothes (what's left of them) covered in blood. "Are you okay? That's not blood, is it?" The girl pulls off the cloak she was wearing. "Ah.. Uh... Here...!! I'll give you this." Levio holds his hands up, "Wait, don't you think it's a bit small, I'm a lot bigger than you." She tells him it's too big for her anyway. Levio takes it finally, "Forgive me, thank you. I'm grateful." Then he turns to the children, "Well, later everyone." The children look on a bit disappointed.
Levio turns and starts to walk away as the young boy in the hat runs up to him and grabs the back of his old blood covered cloak, and Levio stops to watch the boy take off his hat. He gives it to Levio, "For me?" The boy runs back to the group and Levio walks on, leaving the girl and the little children behind - he'd recognized her from long ago... Jasmine. The little girl he'd saved at the orphanage when he was a kid.
Levio walks out of town and looks up into the sky. Knives' ship is approaching, you can see the ship clearly now floating above the fused plants.
|END OF TRIGUN MAXIMUM #11|