Mahoro may be the Earth's greatest weapon, but human technology is still only so much; whatever the reasons and explanations, Ryuga does take a direct hit from an antimatter cannon...and shrugs it off. Mahoro is caught off guard, and her last thoughts before she blacks out are that if she somehow gets out of this alive, she still just might get back home before Sugur wakes up, destroy the note she left, and go on as if nothing at all happened. So black out she does, into her personal True Happiness that is a morning, any morning, cooking and ready to face the day. Of course it only gets better from there; Suguru suggests a picnic, and soon enough, the whole gang, Miyuki and Rin and Chizuko, Kiyomi and Toshiya, are at the door, yelling to Mahoro to come and join them...So just like on so many other sundays, a hillside picnic, a perfect day, friends, food, Shikijo-sensei the annoying, ridiculous...but familiar. Then, as the four girls are perched in a majestic tree looking over as much of the world as matters for them, the talk turns to dreams and aspirations. Sakura, Rin and Chizuko's answers are completely predictable, but as they turn to Mahoro with the same question - what it is that she dreams of - cue the end of the dream... And cue nothing but pain, as Mahoro snaps back into reality. But though she may be weakend and injured, on the brink of realizing that she may not be coming home after all, her and Ryuga both know she is still not at her limit. What Ryuga can't quite figure out, though, is why? And when he is about to unleash his own ultimate weapon - Ray Blade - all Mahoro does is stand there and wait for death to take her...because in the end, one death is the same as another. It is just at this moment, not a second too soon, really, that Suguru comes dashing into the middle of the fight. Like he said, he is all too aware he is not able to actually affect what happens in any real way...but that isn't the point; he does all he can - protects the one he cares for. And when Ryuga simply swats him out of the way, Mahoro, too, cannot merely stand aside. That which she would not do for herself, she will do for Suguru in an instant. The ultimate warrior, beaten but not defeated, charges up her ultimate weapon, which draws on her very life energy for its power - a one-shot suicide move - but if there ever was a time to use it, that time is now. As she charges towards him, and as Slash screams for her to stop, Ryuga snaps to a realization. In the end of all things, Mahoro did not care defeating him, even though she could have in a second. The only way for her to truly win would be if she survived. To protect Suguru, though, she is more than willing to give her own life. This way, the entire battle loses its meaning. There is no way Ryuga can truly "win"...and, instants before Mahoro is about to defeat him, the VESPER android lowers his sword... In the end, then, as Mahoro tells Suguru, the events of this one night end "like a dream." And as the two of them are flying home, Mahoro's happy tears glittering in the moonlight like so many stars, all Suguru asks is for her to never again go away without telling him. And, knowing what she knows, Mahoro's answer is "Okay. I will stay with you forever." What the full meaning of the seven words is will not be revealed until much later...moreless
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