Ge 999 Ultimate Journey Stop 5-5 ~ 5-9 + Introduction to Stop 6
Stop Five, Section Five
The 999ers reach the train. The robot arms have already let it go, part of Canon’s hacking operation. Everyone but Tetsuro goes inside the train. The boy decides to stay outside to destroy groups of Guardnoids that have somehow bypassed Sirius Platoon’s defenses and are trying to blow up the 999 as it prepares to take off.
Canon pops up next to Tetsuro and tells him the engine is ready and they can leave as soon as he rejoins the 999. But just as he is about to board it, 5 meters away from the train, between him and his destination, is none other than Loge. Tetsuro readies the Cosmo Dragoon but before he can shoot, Loge has teleported right next to him and twisted his arm, making the weapon fall to the ground.
Loge is impressed with Tetsuro’s stubbornness, tells him to accept defeat, walk back to his cell and stay there. Tetsuro of course refuses. Loge starts to beat him, not wanting to kill him, but only to accept defeat and go willingly back to his cell.
If you’ve seen or read Galaxy Express 999, you know Tetsuro can take all sorts of beatings, but a divine one? But the boy is clever. He gets Loge to stop punching and kicking him by talking dirt about him. He starts asking Loge, what the heck are you, a god, a giant? Loge is quite upset at this taunting. Suddenly, one of the robot arms strikes Loge, then drags him up as he’s coming to his senses. Canon saves the day again!
Tetsuro says goodbye to Loge and starts walking toward the 999, only to find that a sword is stuck on the ground barring his way. The robot arm collapses and Loge is standing with another sword in his hands. “Pick it up,” he tells Tetsuro. The blade on the ground is a Super-Oscillating Blade, of giant make, as Loge explains to the boy.
Loge starts hitting Tetsuro with the sword, and the lad can barely block the hits with his own blade. Loge taunts him, telling to go ahead and use the Cosmo Dragoon if he wants, but Tetsuro knows it won’t help. At one point Loge’s blade grazes Tetsuro’s shoulder at exactly the same spot that Helmazaria had wounded him (back at the beginning of Eternal Fantasy). Then Loge strikes him so hard that Tetsuro’s sword goes flying and the boy falls into one of the robotic hands sprawled on the floor.
Smoke covers the entire place. Tetsuro can’t see anything, and he waits and waits but Loge doesn’t strike the final blow. He muses about his fight with the Black Knight Faust, where everything was dark but the rocket sound guided him so he could beat his foe [I don't remember any of this at all, must rewatch Adieu again at some point!!].
Tetsuro doesn’t have a clue as to what’s happened to Loge, but the smoke is overwhelming and he can’t even stand up. He starts to go unconscious when all of a sudden he hears a voice calling his name. The voice of a man, somehow familiar. The voice tells him to get up and fight. Following the voice’s directions, Tetsuro retrieves the Cosmo Dragoon. The words that come out of his mouth when he gets the gun are: “Thank you…father.” He himself is surprised at his words, but before he can dwell on them Loge yells his name out.
Tetsuro turns and points the Cosmo Dragoon at Loge. Loge is holding his sword, but he doesn’t make a move. Tetsuro lowers the weapon, and tells Loge that he understands: the god was hurt by the robotic arm and his strength is totally exhausted by now. Loge tries to raise the sword but it falls to the ground, proving what Tetsuro says. And of course, Loge tries to get Tetsuro to shoot him but the latter refuses. Mercy, this is called.
Then Loge begins to speak. Long ago, another man beat him in a fight. This man had learned that Loge intended to bring about Ragnarok and was trying to stop him. But when he wounded Loge, when he could have killed him, he didn’t finish the job out of pity. Loge was scared that the man would tell everyone about Ragnarok and all of the scheming to bring it about, so he proceeded to attack this man (I imagine once he had recovered) and wounded him very heavily. The man was able to escape (no mercy here, Loge would have killed him if he could) but his philosophy changed. The experience taught him that might was right, and he decided to mechanize himself and become eternal.
It dawns on Tetsuro that this man was none other than his father: Faust himself. Loge confirms him and says something quite interesting: gods are practically eternal, so they have zero notion of what it feels like to wish for eternity so fervently as to be willing to mechanize oneself. In that sense, gods, being eternal, might be as far away from eternity as one can be. But human beings can sometimes achieve eternity [through greatness, we presume], and Tetsuro’s father somehow achieved that [after being an evil bastard, I guess].
Loge now tells Tetsuro to get the hell out of there. He’s won the fight, he can go. But Loge makes it clear that he will continue to work toward Ragnarok and that he will triumph in the end. Tetsuro boards the 999.
This is a coda to the Fifth Stop. The Phantasma vanishes, and Big One’s Bulge [OMG that's an amazing three word combination right there!] gives a report on things to Maetel and Tetsuro. The Big One had gotten caught in an abyss, but Princess Aurora from Great King had somehow destroyed most of the abysses in the Milky Way.
The Metanoid Fleet begins to enter our universe a month faster than anticipated. The Galactic Fleet is assembled in the nick of time. The time of battle has come.
And here the stop ends.
Discussion Preliminary to Stop Six
There are two things we need to be clear with as we enter this chapter. The first is: the final battle has already started! It’s weird how the little section seven in one paragraph says: alright guys, and here we are, it’s time for battle. Not much of a set-up at all. So when this section begins, the Great Galactic and Metanoid Fleets are already engaged in battle.
Now, this stop actually takes us to Valhalla and keeps us there for three sections straight, and so the second thing we need to be aware of is Wotan’s basic situation (which is similar in both Matsumoto’s legendarium and Wagner’s).
Here’s in a nutshell the deal, the issue, the tragedy, that pursues Wotan in Wagner’s opera: Wotan derives his power from oaths and promises. He is the guardian of oaths (all the oaths in the world, I guess). This makes him truly powerful, indeed, the lord of the gods…. However, when you think about it, isn’t it the case that the truly powerful are always breaking their oaths? In fact, one of the main ways that people gain power is by deceiving through oaths, pledging to do things and then not doing them (and by the way, never having intended to do them in the first place either). I’m looking at you politicians!
So if Wotan doesn’t break any oaths, he’s kind of left a bit powerless, right? But if he maneuvers and starts making and breaking oaths, then he loses all of his power, because that’s where his power resides originally. [You have to imagine there's some kind of poetic justice slash karmic power even greater than the gods which is checking what they do and ready to penalize them if they go against their natures. If Wotan breaks his oaths, out goes his power, if Thor starts taking too many showers, out goes his power (you can't have lightning and water mixing yo), if Idunn starts eating oranges, same thing...]
Wagner’s Wotan is as power hungry as they come, and so his solution to this bind is to have others do his dirty work. If he pledges not to do X, and if someone else does it for him, then he gets X without breaking his pledge, correct? Ah, but that will only be true, you say, if that someone wasn’t coerced or hired to do X. In other words: if s/he did it out of their own free will. And of course since Wotan is like the most awesome being in the universe, people tend to do what he tells them. So the god has to play this headache-inducing game of trying to insert ideas into people’s heads without them knowing it was Wotan that put the ideas in there. Otherwise it’s game over.
We’ll see how all of this plays out in Stop Six of Ultimate Journey when I write about it next time…