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Phase 8
Phase 8 title page
Volume: 2
Chapter 8
Japanese title 高く高く積んだ積み木の塔を
Romanized title Takaku Takaku Tsunda Tsumiki no Tō o
English title Tall Towers of Blocks Built High
Total pages 33
Released 2001
Story Arc Tiphares Arc
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Phase 9

Tall Towers of Blocks Built High is the eighth chapter of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order.


Alita lying amid some smoking ruins.


Nighttime in Tiphares sees Alita thinking of her failure to find Lou Collins in the adults' compound and discovery that she has been imprisoned in the Medical Inspection Bureau Core for a year now. Marge Mahan comes looking for her and tells Alita that they have sent an envoy to the children's camp to reconcile with them. While she is confident that both sides will reunite, Marge is concerned about how life post-Medical Inspection Bureau will be, as the M.I.B. had completely run Tiphares. Alita reminds Marge that Tiphares is also reliant on the Scrapyard and must make peace with the surface. Marge is also worried that whoever created Tiphares may eventually intervene, although they have yet to do so. Alita theorises that this creator must be in Ketheres.

Pam Mahan tries to bring Nola Lafargue some food, as the latter had remained in the building they had come from. She knocks the tray of food away and demands why Pam led them to the adults' camp. Pam tearily responds that she wanted to see her mom regardless if she no longer has her brain. Deckman 100, who has awoken from sleep mode, tries to also claim that he is human. Pam tries to ask Nola to help the children reconcile with the adults, but Nola angrily slaps her and runs off, telling her that they are through. As Nola runs she briefly sees Jim Roscoe around a corner and recalls how they met. A week before he found her cowering in a corner following the death of her parents. He then had his companions kill a captured adult in front of her. Jim extracted out the man's brain bio-chip and placed it in Nola's hand, telling her that her parents were never human, so there is no need to mourn them. In the present, Nola thinks to herself that Jim was right, but now can no longer see him. Alita appears instead and Nola recalls her words that whether the brain is organic or a bio-chip does not prove that one is human. Nola realises that without her parents she is lost and does not want to be alone. She falls asleep on the floor near a resting Sachumodo.

The following morning Sachumodo gazes at the buildings of Tiphares and thinks how odd it is to see the world now through a giant's eyes. When Jim was a boy he would build high towers of blocks and enjoyed knocking them down. Now Sachumodo sees countless block towers and wonders if he can ever knock them all down. When a killer robot appears and investigates him, he sees it as a toy. Nola awakes and sees Jim's dead boy next to her, as she was picked up by Sachumodo while asleep and is being carried in his left hand. With his right he picks up the robot and slams it into a wall and into the ground. Nola leaps from Sachumodo's hand to grab a long curtain, which rips but does not break. Sachumodo begins using Jim's body as a puppet to try to get her to stay and play with him. Nola is able to swing onto a ledge and escape, while Sachumodo calls her by name and says that she is making him sad before starting to smash through the building after her.

Nola sees Pam and Deckman 100 but before she can reach them Sachumodo breaks the floor she is on and she is just able to cling to the edge. Pam reaches down to grab her, but Nola tells her to leave. Sachumodo again uses Jim's body as a puppet, saying that he died, but now the world is just a giant tower of blocks. Nola realises that Sachumodo has Jim's personality and recalls that he told her that he had hacked into the M.I.B. factory to build a friendly monster that would have his memories. She asks if Sachumodo is Jim and he replies that Jim is no longer human, but a thing that no longer knows despair or fear. Nola realises that if she chooses to live by taking Pam's hand then she will have to accept the humanity of the Tiphareans with bio-chips and her own flaws and sins. The only way to change everything is to die, but she decides to live and grabs Pam's hand and is pulled up with Deckman 100's help. Pam is overjoyed that Nola is safe and the latter tells Jim that she will try life again. She tells Jim that she loved him, but hopes he has found some peace. Sachumodo tells Nola that true despair will catch up with her and that he will show her true anguish. He makes a grab for her and Pam but is stopped by a beam which hits him in the face and knocks him on his back. Alita then tells Sachumodo that if he wants to play, then to play with her.

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