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Phase 44
Phase 44 cover
Volume: 8
Chapter 44
English title Point of No Return
Total pages 30
Released 2003
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Point of No Return is the forty-fourth chapter of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order.

Cover[]

Alita mentally enters a library study with the specter of Colonel Payne sitting at a desk.

Summary[]

Within her psyche, Alita enters a study and sees Colonel Payne sitting before her; the specter remarks how surprising it is for her to come to him and asks if she is able to become a normal person after knowing what she did in the past as Yoko. As Alita debates it, Payne takes a photo album and tosses it to her, advising that Alita goes back to her life with Figure Four, Ido and her friends. Even though Alita greatly wishes to do so, she reluctantly declines. Payne maniacally grins and informs her that she is at the point of no return; if Alita continues forward, she will suffer another cruel fate. When she yells back how he is nothing more than a delusion, Payne retreats and promises they will meet again.

As she wakes up, Alita is told by Ping Wu that the Space Angels advanced to the next round of the Z.O.T.T. She comes across an old frosted over terminal and Ping prepares to dive in with Kale and Porta Nova. Before inserting the Fata Morgana, Alita asks if this will destroy Melchizedek. Ping insists it's nothing serious but his tone causes Alita to snap at him. Porta Nova eventually comes in to defuse the situation; recovering, Alita takes a deep breath then plugs the key in.

Alita enters cyberspace and comes across the avatars for both Ping and Porta Nova. Noticing how scattered the inside is, Ping mentions it is Camelot, the primary networks shell of the system and it was in the process of being rebuilt. Work had stalled due to a vital piece missing: the Fata Morgana. As Alita wonders how it got into Caerula's possession, the group enters an old domain and come face to face with a gigantic stone image in the shape of Merlin, the prototype of Melchizedek and the other systems.

Ping theorizes they could use it as an entrance to bypass many of the antivirus or antibody resistance and they enter through the stone image's forehead; upon entry, two beams of light shine through the eyes and the group come across a screen filled with static. The static slowly turns into snow and a lone woman is shown standing off in the distance.

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