Restoration

Earworms:
Above the Winter Moonlight by Dragonforce

For the first time in a long while, I got 8 hours of sleep. Slept at 10 last night and woke up at 6 this morning–and boy I have to say that I feel good. Instead of sitting in the sala to do my devotions, I spent some time sitting outside in the garden just watching the stillness of the early morning give way to vibrant day.

Last Thursday I spent some time with my discipler and he helped me settle the issues I had. I really needed time to get away from it all and just focus on my relationship with the Lord and do what I enjoyed so that I could go back to my work empowered and strengthened once more.

Like Aumar said, when you do this the Lord doesn’t usually give you astounding revelations, but he does give peace to a raging heart. The one thing that struck me the most about what Aumar said is that everything that we hold precious would best give glory to our Lord like an alabaster jar of precious perfume–broken and poured out on His feet.

While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. 7 “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. 8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9 “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” Mark 14:1-9

“Wasting” such things always seems anathema to the world, but at the end of our lives, what is it worth? This jar of alabaster worth a year’s wages—in my case it would be well over a hundred thousand pesos—but it was broken and now it is used to remind everyone of the story of the woman who poured out what was most precious to her on the feet of her Lord.

Of course this doesn’t mean we should throw away everything we hold dear. It certainly means, however, that we should always be prepared to give to the Lord what He demands so that His name might be glorified. We serve the Lord best when we are broken and poured out on His feet.

Here’s something short I wrote after this short talk with Aumar:
As my life falls upon thy blessed feet, may your name be glorified. May my life and all that I am spread thy blessed fragrance. There is no other God but Thee. As I fall to my death upon thy blessed feet, raise me up and bring me beyond anything I’ve ever asked for, as long as your blessed name is glorified in me.
The more I die to you, the more alive I become.

I feel much, much better now, and I think today’s going to be a fantastic day.

Now on to my review of Code Geass Eps 24 and 25. WARNING: SPOILERS

Ep 24, “The Crumbling Stage,” begins with a highly unstable cyborg Jeremiah demanding C.C.’s and Zero’s whereabouts. General Patre’s forces are unable to pacify him, and he reacts violently upon hearing Lelouch’s voice on the PA system.

The Black Knights face off with the Britannian forces on the edge of the intact Britannian settlement, but Lelouch sets off a second Geass-induced collapse. The collapsing platforms allowed an almost direct path to the fortress, although the base itself is heavily guarded by the Glaston Knights, the Britannian army and automatic defense systems. Cornelia’s army is mostly decimated in the attack, but Guilford intercepts Toudou and duels him as Cornelia falls back to the fortress. Ougi attempts to contact Viletta (who we find out is called Chigusa while she suffers from amnesia), but she is seen walking out of Ougi’s apartment with dead people lying on the floor.

The Order of the Black Knights takes over the media and residential districts, seizing Ashford academy as its forward base of operations. Millay, Shirley, Rivalz and Nanaly are taken into the protection of the Black Knights, while a furious Suzaku seizes the key to the Lancelot from Lloyd (punching him squarely in the face) and takes off.
Kallen intercepts Suzaku in the Guren Nishiki, and although she manages to take off one of the Lance’s arms with her Radiation Wave, Suzaku blows the Guren’s Radiation Wave arm off. Lelouch arrives in Gawain to take on Suzaku, but leads him straight into a trap on Ashford Academy’s grounds. Lelouch then takes off and heads to the Britannian fortress, single-handedly annihilating the entire Britannian air force with the Hadron Cannon. He lands on the fortress’s roof garden, where he meets a very angry Cornelia.

Ougi meets Viletta in Ashford Academy. She is extremely disgusted that she ever stayed with an Eleven. She disarms him, identifies herself as a knight of Britannia, and shoots him in the stomach. Meanwhile, Nina is shown activating the Ganymede in Ashford Academy’s basement.

Lelouch is quickly overwhelmed by Cornelia’s superior fighting skills. As he attempts to take off, Cornelia’s Gloucester snags him with her smash hakens and attempts to shoot him—in time for a Geassed Darlton to arrive and send a lance through her Gloucester’s cockpit. As the Geass wears off Darlton, he realizes what he did. Lelouch thanks Darlton and instantly kills him with the Hadron cannon. He dies screaming the name of his princess.

The episode ends with Nanaly being taken away from Ashford Academy by V.V.

Ep 24 is packed full of non-stop action. It was a rough and horrifying ride, where the best and the worst come out of Lelouch. His scoundrelly tactics are incredible, but at the same time we see how far off the edge he’s gone. I found his killing of Darlton to be one of the most cold-hearted killings he’s done (yes, even more than his shooting of Euphie). This confirms the change in his character at the end of the previous episode, where Lelouch severs practically all his ties with his former life. This pretty much confirms what C.C. tells him when they bind the contract: From that point on, he will always be alone.

The last episode is entitled “Zero.” It begins with Lelouch using the Geass on Cornelia to find out what happened that fateful day that Marianne died. Lelouch is surprised to discover that Cornelia knows nothing about that day other than that the guards under her command were withdrawn at the request of Queen Marianne herself, and that the body was taken away by Prince Schneizel under the orders of the Emperor. The coffin at the Marianne’s funeral did not contain her actual body. Lelouch finds nothing more, but he thinks that his plans can still be set into motion until C.C. tells him that Nanaly has been kidnapped and was spirited away to Kaminejima, the site of the thought elevator that Schneizel was investigating. Just as Lelouch is about to take off in the Gawain, a berserk Jeremiah takes off in a very large mobile armor (which is amusingly enough, colored orange and looks very much like a giant metallic fruit) and pushes the Gawain off the roof of the Britannian fortress just as Lelouch is about to retrieve the unconscious Cornelia.

Lelouch attempts to shake off Jeremiah as he speeds off toward Kaminejima, abandoning the Black Knights in the process. He learns that Ougi was shot and is being treated, but appears not to care–the Avalon then arrives at Ashford Academy and picks up the remaining students. Cecile replaces the Lancelot’s left arm and engages the Black Knights while the students board the Avalon.

Lelouch tells Diethard and Toudou that something came up and he can no longer command them (since Nanaly was his reason for all of this in the first place), leaving them hanging.

Just as the Avalon completes the evacuation of the children, Nina emerges from Ashford Academy’s underground in the Ganymede, armed with a nuclear weapon. She is highly unstable herself and demands to speak to Zero as she threatens to detonate the bomb. With Diethard and Toudou pinned down on their respective fronts at Ashford and the Britannian fortress, the Black Knights are unable to move.

As Lelouch is engaged by the pursuing Jeremiah once more, the Black Knights’ offensive falls apart and Guilford leads a final charge to finish them off. Kallen takes off in an air transport to pursue the Lancelot to Kaminejima.

The Gawain lands at the entrance to the Thought Elevator. As they are about to enter, a psychic trap seizes both Lelouch and C.C., showing Lelouch C.C.’s memories of endless persecution. This is where, in my opinion, the best lines ever spoken in the series appear:

CC: “I don’t remember anything anymore…everything has been lost to the flow of time. The only things I remember are the memories of pain from when I was a witch. I will and always will be alone.”
Lelouch: “You are not alone. If you are a witch, I will become your Devil.”

(The sub I watch translated it as “I will become a warlock,” but I’m pretty sure the “Maou” used means “Devil.”)

Jeremiah’s mobile armor arrives once more and the Gawain engages it one last time. Lelouch attempts to shake it off with one last shot of the hadron cannon (aimed at the water, causing a huge steam explosion), and in the few seconds of respite that they get, C.C. kisses Lelouch and lets him off. C.C. then disables Daiorange and pushes the whole thing into the water, hoping to crush it in the abyss.

Lelouch manages to get to the Thought Elevator, just to be stopped by Suzaku. Kallen also arrives. Suzaku shoots Lelouch’s mask, shattering it. Kallen is shaken up by this revelation and she is unable to stomach Lelouch’s selfish reasons. Suzaku, on the other hand, reveals that he has suspected Zero’s true identity, but says he always denied it. Now that Zero’s identity is plain, he points his gun at Lelouch, telling him that he was a traitor to the world and that he’d betray everything to the end. Lelouch attempts to parlay, but Suzaku tells him his existence is a mistake and that he (Suzaku) will be the one to rescue Nanaly. Enraged by this, Lelouch raises his pistol at Suzaku. A shot is fired. Blackout.

A lot of fans were enraged by this thrilling but unexpected ending. I said elsewhere that they weren’t kids who didn’t like what they got for Christmas–they were rabid, feral children who mobbed Santa Claus and beat him up until he gave them more.

I totally expected a cliffhanger ending–besides, it’s a known fact that there’s a second season. I enjoyed the ending and look forward to the next one. It’s been an awesome series.

~ by J. R. R. Flores on August 4, 2007.

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