Saionji is walking across the Ohtori campus. He comes to the forest where the Dueling Arena is hidden. The gate is of course closed. He stands there a moment, contemplating it. His left hand eventually reaches out and grips the handle. Having no Rose Signet, nothing happens. He pulls on it once, then again, and still nothing. He lets go, regarding the gate one last time before turning and walking back down the stairs.
Juri (off): It has begun, you know.
Switch to the Ohtori Fencing Gym. The fencing team is holding practice; there is the clashing of metal and the pounding of feet. On the mezzanine level overlooking the gym, Shinji and Juri are standing next to each other, leaning on the railing.
Shinji to Juri: I know. I received another letter a few days ago. The Rose Bride is now engaged.
Juri to Shinji: And those of us yet to make a challenge may do so.
Shinji to Juri: Are you planning on dueling?
Juri to Shinji: I don't know. You?
Shinji to Juri: No, no way. It's wrong to become engaged because of a duel.
Juri looks at Shinji. Shinji shrugs sheepishly, looking a bit uncomfortable.
Shinji to Juri: And I can't get engaged to anyone right now.
Juri to Shinji: Shinohara-san?
Shinji nods, blushing.
Juri to Shinji: Not even for the power to revolutionize the world?
Shinji to Juri: I thought you said you thought it was wrong, too.
Juri to Shinji: I did, and I do. Nonetheless, despite what we believe, things are now in motion for one of us to receive that power. Regardless of whether or not we think it's right for Ayanami-san to become engaged because one of us defeats the other, Asuka's actions have forced our hand. So long as none of us were engaged to the Rose Bride, we could hold firm to our morals without fear. But now, thanks to Asuka, if we remain idle and refuse to participate, that power will go to Tenjou Utena by default.
Shinji nods slowly.
Shinji to Juri: I hadn't thought about it like that, but I suppose you're right. And since you've brought it up, I'm not comfortable that we're discussing this without the others. It's like we're plotting against them.
Juri to Shinji: Neither Asuka nor Utena consulted us before dragging us in the game. I see no reason that we should discuss with them whether or not we will participate. Can you remain passive knowing such a prize might be within your grasp but that it will go to another if you do nothing?
Shinji looks out across the floor at the fencing team. Juri does too.
Shinji to Juri: I don't know.
Juri to Shinji: Neither do I.
Switch scenes. Utena and Rei are walking together through the hallways of the school. Students pass by them both.
Utena to Rei: Is it really true that you have no friends?
Rei to Utena: What need have I of friends, Tenjou-sama?
Utena stops walking. Rei turns and looks at her.
Utena to Rei: Listen, Ayanami, I really think it would be good-
A phone rings, it is Rei's. Rei reaches into her book bag and pulls it out.
She says nothing else to whomever is on the other line. Rei closes the phone and places it back into her book bag.
Rei to Utena: I must go.
Then she leaves, just like that. Utena watches her go, a little puzzled.
Utena: Okay...that's fine, I guess...
Switch scenes: Asuka is wandering the halls of Ohtori alone. She doesn't look very happy; after all, the loss to Utena is fresh in her thoughts, as is everything else that has gone wrong thus far. The sounds of someone playing the piano indicates we are in the Music Hall, and Asuka peeks her head in the familiar doorway to see Kozue still doggedly teaching herself to play "The Sunlit Garden." She watches Kozue play for a while, not actually going in or saying anything, just remaining in the doorway. Kozue has gotten better, a lot better in fact. It sounds almost perfect, until she misses a key note and stops. She replays that section, once again hitting the wrong note. She replays it a third time, getting it right and continuing with the song. Asuka slowly turns away from the door and walks away.
Switch to NERV control. Ritsuko is there with Maya, Shigeru, and Hyuga. A few shots of the screens are shown, with the Magi display on them. Different readouts for Balthazar, Melchior, and Casper, and one for all three of them together.
Maya to Ritsuko: All systems check out for Casper.
Shigeru to Ritsuko: All systems check for Melchior.
Hyuga to Ritsuko: All systems check for Balthazar.
Ritsuko: All three Magi systems operational and have passed the 127th periodic check. Good job, everyone.
Maya to Ritsuko: How long do we have before the harmonics test?
Ritsuko to Maya: Still a few hours off. The pilots are still finishing class.
Ritsuko looks around.
Ritsuko to group: Has anyone seen the Commander or the Vice-Commander today?
Shigeru to Ritsuko: Not yet. But I believe they were scheduled to unload the cargo they retrieved from Antarctica.
Switch scenes: NERV warehouse. Gendo is there, watching technicians transport a massive cylindrical object the length of an aircraft carrier deck. It is wrapped in heavy cloth, so we can't see exactly what it is.
Switch scenes: Shinji and Utena are having lunch on an Ohtori hillside.
Utena to Shinji: Another harmonics test after school. You'd think they'd give it a rest, already. Has your life been so consumed by NERV for the last year?
Shinji to Utena: Mostly, yes. It's not hard to imagine why Juri has given up so many of things she used to do before the Angels appeared. I never bothered to get involved with many class activities, so I guess it doesn't bother me as much. I guess I've also gotten used to it.
Utena reclines onto her back, looking exhausted.
Utena to Shinji: Between being a pilot, school, and now this End of the World business, I have no free time whatsoever.
Shinji looks thoughtful.
Shinji to Utena: Say, Tenjou-san?
Utena to Shinji: You can call me Utena, Shinji-kun.
Shinji to Utena: Do you think you can walk away from this? Stop dueling and release Ayanami?
Utena to Shinji: I keep trying to tell her that we're not engaged, but she either refuses to believe me or believes otherwise. I don't know what all this nonsense is about, but I'm not getting engaged to anyone just because I won a duel.
Shinji to Utena: Well, you did duel with Asuka. We were told what dueling in the Arena would mean in the letters. To everyone else involved, you are now the One Engaged.
Utena to Shinji: Well, since both you and Juri said that you had no plans to duel that shouldn't be a problem.
Utena's words are said very naively. Shinji now looks at her like Juri was looking at him earlier. Utena honestly doesn't understand that in becoming the One Engaged, that being the one lined up to acquire the power of miracles, she's made herself a target. Utena looks over, noticing Shinji's silence.
Utena to Shinji: What's wrong?
Shinji to Utena: It's nothing.
At this point, Wakaba appears over the hill in an incredible surge of energy.
Wakaba: There you two are! Come on! Come on! There's about to be a duel!
Shinji and Utena: What?
Wakaba: They're going to duel! The President and the Vice-President of the Student Council! Hurry or we'll miss it!
Wakaba takes Shinji and Utena's arm, pulling them up, and making them call along with her.
Brief shot of other students rushing to the Ohtori dojo to watch.
Inside the dojo, we see Saionji and Touga, Kendo sticks in hand, patiently staring each other down. Unmoving, they patiently wait for the right moment to strike. We hear female students cheering on both of them. We also see a brief shot of the audience, which includes Toji (still on crutches), Kensuke, Wakaba, Shinji, and Utena. Juri moves in behind them.
Juri: They're at it again, I see.
Kensuke to Juri: Yeah, who do you think will win this round?
Toji to Kensuke: Do you think this time will be any different than the last?
Utena to Shinji: What are they talking about?
Shinji to Utena: The President and the Vice-President do this all the time. Or at least, the past year I've been here, anyway.
Utena to Shinji: Oh. I've never seen them duel like this.
Shinji to Utena: Price of having to endure Akagi's tests so often.
Wakaba: I hope it's Saionji-sempai!
Toji to Shinji: Better watch it, Shinji. Shinohara-san's had a crush on the Vice-President since before you came here.
Wakaba glares at Toji.
Wakaba to Toji: Stop causing trouble!
Toji and Kensuke grin at Wakaba. Toji even elbows Shinji buddy-like to make a point. Shinji looks slightly embarrassed. Everyone falls silent for a moment. Touga and Saionji stare each other down, then strike. Slowly, with a panning shot, it is revealed that Touga is the victor. Touga's female fans cheer.
Switch scenes: Toji, Kensuke, and Shinji are all together on the Ohtori grounds.
Toji to Kensuke: I'm telling you Aida-kun, we should learn how to do that stuff too. Girls love it.
Kensuke to Toji: Join the Kendo team? Are you nuts? Did you see those two? They've been doing that for years.
Shinji to Toji: And you can't do it until you're able to walk, anyway.
Toji to Shinji: And the only one of us who has a girlfriend has naturally studied swordplay.
Kensuke to Toji: That doesn't count. All he ever does is practice with girls.
Toji to Kensuke: See what I mean! He's already got them lined up!
The three laugh.
Shinji: I used to practice with Miki all the time. Only recently have there been girls to train with.
Kensuke to Shinji: Do you know when Miki is coming back yet? Shinohara-san said he got really hurt a long time ago.
Toji: In the same attack that I was wounded.
Shinji: No. He's actually in a coma.
Toji and Kensuke: Oh?
Shinji: Yeah. His body's almost healed, and they've done some kind of electric-therapy with needles to keep his muscles strong, but he hasn't woken up yet. I've been to the hospital several times to see him. I've even played one of his songs for him, but he doesn't seem to notice I'm there.
Switch scenes: Gendo's conference room. Gendo and Mikage are there. They are watching slides as they appear on the floor. First slide is of Utena training with Juri (episode 4). Second slide is Utena in Unit 00's Entry Plug. Shot of the two people in the room. Third slide is Utena at Ohtori. Fourth slide is Utena and Shinji together. Focus now on the duo, the flashing of lights indicates the slides are continuing as they speak.
Mikage: She's gone into no restricted areas unescorted. Has not even requested to be shown them.
Mikage: Made no suspicious phone calls, either on the cellular we gave her or on any of the public lines.
Mikage: Has not queried the staff about anything out of the ordinary, or even routine information that doesn't pertain to piloting Eva.
Mikage: No transmissions detected from either her or her belongings. She's not bugged nor carrying any recording devices.
Mikage: In short, Ikari-kun, Tenjou Utena has behaved exactly like the other pilots. If she is a SEELE plant, she's a very good one. There's no evidence that she's anything but what she claims to be.
Gendo: And yet, she was wearing a pilot's ring before we approached her. Someone involved with either NERV or SEELE had to give it to her. What are we missing?
Switch scenes: Ritsuko, Misato, Hyuga and Shigeru are examining something on the monitors.
Misato: What is that?
Shigeru: Seems to be some kind of corrosion.
Ritsuko: 87th protein wall. Wasn't there maintenance done on that recently?
Hyuga: Yes. Three days ago.
Misato to Ritsuko: Will that affect the test later?
Hyuga to Ritsuko: It shouldn't, no.
Switch scenes: Touga and Utena are sitting together at a table. They are having some kind of drinks, but it isn't tea. There are other students all around them at other tables. We are still at Ohtori though; the tower and the forest are both visible.
Utena to Touga: You're very good. You beat the Captain of the Kendo team.
Touga to Utena: Saionji and I have known each other a long time. We've dueled as you saw thousands of times.
Utena to Touga: You must be very good friends.
Touga's expression becomes somber.
Touga to Utena: Once, maybe.
Utena to Touga: Did something happen?
Touga to Utena: Nothing more than childhood friends slowly growing apart.
Begin Coffin flashback.
Two young boys are riding a bicycle together, obviously Touga and Saionji. Saionji is carrying two Kendo sticks on one shoulder, Touga is steering the bike. It's raining.
Saionji to Touga: Raining, just like I knew it would.
Touga to Saionji: Can't be helped. You're the only one I know who is good enough to practice with, so I lose track of time.
The two ride past a church. Touga stops the bike and looks on.
Touga: It's a funeral.
Two men, carrying umbrellas, approach them.
First man: You two haven't seen a young girl wandering around out here, have you?
Saionji: What happened?
Second man: A young girl lost her parents recently. She disappeared when we weren't looking.
Touga: We haven't seen her.
First man: I see. Thank you.
The men wander off. When they are gone, Touga gets off the bike and begins walking towards the church. Saionji hesitates but follows him. Switch angles, they are entering the church.
Saionji: Are you sure we can be in here?
Touga: Three coffins...
He is right, there are three of them. Touga goes to the one in the middle and begins lifting the lid.
Saionji: Touga, don't! No, don't open it!
The coffin lid is up, inside is a very young girl curled in a fetal position. We can't see her face, but the color of her hair indicates this could be a very young Utena. Touga and Saionji look in on her.
Girl: Please, don't open it. Please.
Touga: Everyone's trying to find you.
Saionji: Why are you hiding in such a place?
Girl: Please, don't let anyone know that I'm here.
Touga: I won't tell anyone.
Touga: A gentleman is always on the side of the girl.
Saionji: But why are you hiding here?
Girl: This is where I should be. My mother and father are dead, but there was another coffin here. It must be mine. Being alive is so...sickening. How can people go on living when they know they will one day die?
Touga: I see...
Girl: Eternity can't exist, can it? Nothing is eternal. Everything is now. So I'll just stay here in this coffin.
End Coffin Flashback.
Back to the present with Touga and Utena.
Touga to Utena: And we left her there.
Utena looks shocked.
Utena to Touga: You left her?
Touga to Utena: But the next day, she was out of the coffin. Something about her eyes was different though.
Utena to Touga: I can't believe you left her there.
Touga to Utena: It was what she wanted.
Utena to Touga: I wonder whatever became of her.
Touga to Utena: What, indeed?
Saionji comes walking up behind Touga now. Touga has taken Utena's left hand in his. Utena blushes.
Touga to Utena: What a lovely ring this is. Is that our school crest, by chance?
Focus on the Rose Signet. Saionji looks at it intently, then turns one of the walls where the Ohtori crest is displayed. The two look very similar. Brief flash of Saionji with Juri, and we see Saionji seeing Juri's Rose Signet as well. Return to Saionji's dumbfounded face.
Utena to Touga: I...don't know...it looks like it.
Touga turns to Saionji, having released Utena's hand. Saionji is already walking off, though.
Touga to Utena: I wonder what that was all about?
Saionji is back in the library, looking at the archived newsprint again. There's a picture of two men, one older, one younger, on the screen. One, though we haven't seen him before, is a forty-ish Fuyutsuki Kozo. The other appears to be a slightly younger Mikage. In the picture, Mikage is wearing a Rose Signet. In the background of the photo is the dueling forest.
Headline: Ohtori Academy Welcomes New Professor.
Saionji looks at the picture astounded. Brief flash of Touga holding Utena's hand with the ring, then Juri's hand with the ring as she fiddles with it. Shinji with his as he plays basketball. Asuka with hers as she wanders the campus. Miki with his as he plays the piano. A shot of Rei with hers as she reads alone.
Saionji: That's it...
Saionji prints the screen shot, takes the print out, and leaves in a rush. The computer remains on.
Switch scenes: Asuka, Shinji, and Utena are walking towards NERV. Asuka is a few steps ahead of the others. Nobody is saying anything. Shinji looks at Utena once, who looks back, but they remain quiet. It continues that way for some time. Finally, someone speaks. It is Asuka, who grins wickedly as she turns to look at Utena. Everyone stops walking.
Asuka to Utena: I underestimated you once.
Utena to Asuka: Huh?
Asuka to Utena: I got overconfident and thought you weren't any better than him.
She nods towards Shinji.
Asuka to Utena: The next time we duel, I won't lose.
Shinji to Asuka: You've already had your chance. Someone else should duel before you get another try.
Utena looks at Shinji.
Shinji: That is...um...if there will be any more duels.
Switch scenes: Inside NERV. Ritsuko and Misato are awaiting the arrival of the pilots in the testing room. Maya is there with them. Misato and Ritsuko both have coffee. Misato checks her watch. We see a brief shot of the protein wall corrosion again. Then Ritsuko checks her watch. Closer shot of the protein wall. One last shot of Misato and Ritsuko waiting, then NERV goes on alert.
Begin soundtrack: Symphonic version of "The Minuet" From this moment on, the only thing we will hear in NERV is the music. We will see people shouting orders, gasping in shock, etc, but we will not hear them.
Ritsuko and Misato look up as the klaxon starts. Maya's eyes grow very wide. Ritsuko and Misato rush over to her. We see a picture of the protein wall, the corrosion beginning to expand.
Up in the control room, Shigeru is shouting something to Hyuga. Hyuga looks at his terminal, and shouts something back. On Hyuga's terminal, we see the protein wall corrosion growing with the flashing warning "Pattern: Blue" over it. Above, Mikage is shouting something to them both. Shigeru yells over his shoulder to Mikage. Gendo shouts an order, and Shigeru looks surprised. He nods nervously, flips a switch, and the flashing klaxon stops.
Back in the testing room. Misato is looking through the window into the testing room where the infamous protein wall is. Her eyes are wide as she says something to Maya. Maya flips a few switches.
Inside the testing room proper, laser equipment begins blasting away at the corrosion. Eventually, the beams look to fissile out.
Misato looks shocked. Ritsuko says something in surprise which might be "AT-Field?" by her lip movements. Misato grabs both Ritsuko and Maya by their collars and begins tugging them out. As they leave, on Maya's screen we see the protein wall with the words "AT-Field Confirmed. Object identified as 11th Angel."
In the control room, Mikage shouts another order. Hyuga nods and begins pushing buttons.
In NERV, doors begin to shut. Wheels spin, hydraulics heave, and bulkheads are sealed.
In the control room, on Hyuga's computer, we see the a schematic of NERV with the words, "Central Dogma sealed."
Outside of NERV. The music is paused, and we hear the real world again. Utena, Shinji, and Asuka are at the gates. Asuka is swiping her card, but it continuously reads "Access Denied."
Asuka: Oh no! You don't suppose they won't let me pilot simply because I lost one match, do you?
Shinji swipes his card. Utena swipes hers.
Utena to Asuka: Mine isn't working either.
Shinji to Asuka: Nor mine. Everything's working, it's just the doors seem to be locked.
Back in the control, the music resumes exactly where it left off. Ritsuko, Misato, and Maya storm in. Maya resumes her normal station. On the main display is the Magi diagram we saw earlier. Shigeru shouts something to Ritsuko, who gets a terrified face. We see lots of lights go off on panels and arrays, then everyone looks up to see the color changing on the Melchior display. Ritsuko shouts orders, and Maya, Shigeru, and Hyuga all type commands furiously on their keyboards. The color change is slowed, then stops, then resumes. Maya says something, eyes large, over her shoulder. Now the Balthazar display begins to change color as well.
Outside of NERV again. Music pauses. The pilots are sitting against the gate. Shinji and Utena are trying to make calls on their phones. The shadows have moved, indicating some time has passed.
Asuka: How long do they expect us to wait?
Utena closes her cellular phone.
Utena: Misato's not answering her phone.
Shinji closes his.
Shinji: Nor anyone else.
Back in the control room. Music resumes. At this point, Balthazar and Melchior are a different color than Casper, and even Casper has some change of color. Over the two possessed Magi, the word "Violated" is shown on the display. Ritsuko types something on her terminal. The main display now says "11th Angel nano-colony evolving." Misato shouts something up to Mikage, who looks at Gendo. Gendo says something only Mikage can hear, and Mikage in turns says something to Misato. Ritsuko continues working, the words "Forcing terminal evolution" now flashing. A countdown begins as Casper is being taken over. Ritsuko is typing furiously. When it reaches one, Ritsuko punches one final command. The consumption of Casper stops, and the other two Magi return to normal as well. End music.
Outside NERV: The gates open and the pilots fall onto their backs as the doors vanish behind them. Transition: the pilots walk into the control room. Everyone there looks exasperated.
Asuka: How come the gates weren't working? What have you been doing in here, anyway? How long did you expect us to wait out there?
Everyone slowly turns and glares at Asuka, save for Mikage and Gendo who are above. Asuka realizes she should have remained quiet and slowly backs out. So do Utena and Shinji.
Switch scenes: Saionji is sliding pictures and documents into a large manila envelope. Included is the picture we just saw him print. He seals it up, and we can see that he's already placed postage on it and addressed it, though the print isn't readable. He is just about to walk out the door with it when he sees something that makes him stop. Angle across the room to his bed, where a letter closed with a wax rose seal rests. Slowly, he sets the envelope down and walks over to the letter. He picks it up, opens it, and begins reading. As he stops reading the letter, his hand drops. The letter had been concealing his other hand, which holds a Rose Signet between his fingers. He looks at it curiously.
Switch scenes: Rei is looking at Unit 01 as she did in Episode 5. Gendo walks up behind her, and places one hand on her shoulder.
Gendo to Rei: Do you still feel cheated?
Rei to Gendo: A little, perhaps.
Gendo to Rei: Other things still await you.
Rei to Gendo: I know.
Switch scenes: Saionji is walking across Ohtori. It is now night.
Saionji (voice-over): My friend. I hope the enclosed information is what you were seeking. Although I'm not certain of the relevance, I believe this is the linking evidence you were looking for. So many mysteries surround the NERV pilots and this school, as you have already informed me. I must apologize that in my search for answers here, I've mostly discovered only more mysteries. Perhaps you, holding other pieces of the puzzle that I do not, will be able to uncover the secrets. I've included with these documents my own notes and observations. Hopefully they will aid you. My part, however, in this, is now over. Circumstances have arisen and I can longer be part of your search without revealing myself. Good luck, and-
Saionji has made it back to the forest. He reaches out, taking the handle to the gate in his left hand. Focus on the handle as we see his hand grasp it, Rose Signet exactly where it should be.
Saionji (voice-over): -may destiny favor you.