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Phase 55
Phase 55 title page
Volume: 9
Chapter 55
Total pages 37
Released 2006
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Phase 56

Phase 55 of Last Order is I Learned (私は学んだのだ Watashi wa Mananda no Da?)

CoverEdit

Arthur Farrell standing watch with his bow and arrows and Haruka playing her flute in the woods.

SummaryEdit

As the rocket ascends into the air, Vilma Fachiri senses someone nearby and grabs him. This turns out to be Radha, who is able to stop her from killing him. Vilma recognizes him and learns that after she had fallen into the Mississippi River, he had pulled her out, tended her wounds, and placed her in a mausoleum to await her return. During the following decades her right arm, which had been severed during her fight with Victor Byron, had regenerated. Vilma then realizes that she had likely experienced another Altered Shock which gave her the ability to regenerate. Radha takes Vilma by motorboat across a river, revealing that the prolonged ice age that the Earth had fallen into ended, causing a significant rise in water levels. He defends Arthur for having to shoot Vilma.

They arrive in Star City, the predecessor of what would later become the Scrapyard. Arthur instituted a new calendar system, known as Era Sputnik, and it is now ES 173. He also began the colonization of the rest of the Solar System. Radha takes Vilma to Cosmetica, an orphanage run by his granddaughter, Susheela, and Vilma also learns that Type-V mutants have effectively been erased from official history and relegated to a legend, which she can live with. She then watches a parade that Arthur is participating in and is bumped by a would-be assassin who tries to shoot Arthur with a revolver. However Vilma swiftly breaks his forearm, causing him to fire into the ground. She then realizes that her new mission now is to watch over Arthur from shadows, taking the alias "Qing-ji" or "Blue Princess".

One day while battling an apartment full of terrorists, Vilma notices that time seems to halt for her, enabling her to see her enemies' movements, the trajectories of their bullets, and even the air molecules, in other words, everything. This ability would later form the basis for the Eight Block Death Gate Array. Radha dies five years later, having raised a family who produced just officials and talented engineers. During her time in Star City, Vilma lived at Cosmetica and tried to earn her keep by running a martial arts school for adults, but her quick temper led to her killing disrespectful students, so that only those who could not pay the fees remained.

Arthur was ruthless in implementing his programs, and a growing population led to increased unrest as people demanded a fair energy distribution. This later turned into the anti-space development movement. Vilma however continued to defend Arthur without questioning the morals of either side for a decade. In ES 188 the prototype for the orbital elevator was completed. However three years later it was discovered that secret experiments on humans to create a drug-induced artificial hibernation for interplanetary travel had caused numerous deaths. Protests against the experiments triggered a crackdown and they escalated into riots, plunging Star City into a state of civil war. During the fighting Vilma noticed the crying of a baby whose father had fought and killed several police in hand to hand combat, but sustained mortal injuries. The man gave her the baby before dying, and he later became known as Tiger Sauer, the founder of Panzer Kunst. When she returns to Cosmetica, Vilma finds it ablaze. Three of Vilma's students, who she considers mediocre, had been able to evacuate the staff and children, but could not prevent the rioters from breaking through. Vilma leaves the baby with them before journeying to see Arthur at the space station.

Here Arthur shows her his plans for the completion of the orbital elevator, which will happen after his death, but which Melchizedek and his officials will continue. When Vilma responds that this too early, as the Earth has not been fully rebuilt, Arthur states that humanity would not survive another catastrophic meteor and that survival of the species takes precedence over all other concerns. He had learned that even those he loves must be sacrificed for the survival of his species from her and Victor Byron's example, declaring that as the result, he is their figurative son. Although hurt by this, Vilma does not respond. Arthur continues by wondering what if his design is not perfect or enough. He unlocks a storage device and gives Vilma the Fata Morgana, an unduplicatable program that could destroy Melchizedek beyond repair. Because its output is dependent on those who run it, Arthur foresees that it could fall into the hands of "fools" who would influence it to create a future "befitting those fools." If the time ever comes, Vilma, who will never age, is to carry out the "Last Order" and use the Fata Morgana to destroy Melchizedek. As Arthur declares that his work is now finished, Vilma gives him a package, which turns out to be the broken half of Haruka's flute that Victor had taken so many years ago. Arthur then withdraws a pouch from his jacket which has the remaining half, which he had kept all this time, and connects them together, seeing a vision of his dead love. Vilma wonders what would have happened if Haruka had not died. Arthur dies a few months later, having never married or had children.

Debut appearancesEdit

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