As the queen watches Ry scream and cry out for his life, a faint echo stirs from the depths of her mind. She's supposed to look down upon this.. animal, who she doesn't even know. So why is she perturbed? Why doesn't she look away like with the other people placed in the incinerator?
In the echo, memories that were almost forgotten. In those memories, those moments - joyful, exciting, sometimes sad, sometimes mundane - that seem to take on another meaning entirely. Much of them were with this person, from another lifetime ago. His name is Ry.
Her thoughts fly, a heart overwhelmed by rediscovered love. There's only one thing to do: Yana shouts out for the incineration process to be stopped, just seconds before Ry gets burnt away into ashes. Her subordinates look upon her order, wondering why the sudden change of plan, but all the same, they stop it.
Ry's breaths come out in shudders. He asks if this is what it's like to have died. His eyes wide shut as he looks back upon the entirety of his life - wondering if it was all just one fluke after another, or if it really meant something to have chased after the woman who touched him so.
The starship rises from New York, which lays half in ruins. It goes beyond the stratosphere, beyond the reach of conventional missiles to a place where even sound fails to carry over.
○ ○ ○
Ry wanders, disoriented by the ship's alien, cathedral-like abysses, and the sudden absence of anyone. He finds a window outside; he's in space, seeing Earth from above with his own eyes. He'd never realised how gorgeous and peaceful it is, like being in heaven above and seeing the beauty that people simply take for granted. Then the thought of being far from home pulls at him.
"Ry?" A familiarly soothing voice calls to him. It's Yana, who approaches him with that gentle manner when she knows his soul is aching. With a good look, Ry sees how little she has aged since.. the beauty mark is still there upon her cheek, accentuated by the regal makeup - but those many years of torment she'd spent under their mindwashing have taken their toll as her eyes now barely possess that lively spark for life they once had.
Alone together in this dreamy space, they are two dark figures who could only gaze at each other, unintelligible, as if the night is trying to further delay their fateful meeting.
Ry's the first to break their silence. "You're still beautiful," he goes.
"Don't be silly, Ry, I'm old. Please don't look at me like that. Why did you come here?"
He thinks about her question. It seemed so straightforward before, as she stands beside him, but the reality of so many questions he'd beat himself over the years with is hard for him to eluciate. Ry scans her eyes for any answer, and picks what ails him the most: "I couldn't let you just disappear from the world. What those bastards did to you - wasn't right. Without you.. all the colour had gone out of living, and those days would pass by quietly without any meaning to it. Without you.. I'm alone again. My chest heaves with aching every morning I have to wake up from my dreams, because I can't breathe without you, Yana.."
"But you weren't alone. You had friends. People who loved you dearly. Other people who'll cherish you, more than I ever can. And I envy you for it, to the point of jealousy. Even if Boris hadn't taken me away, inevitably I would have ran off on my own. Not because of you or anybody - but because my heart would have imploded from all that joyous happiness that I wasn't meant to have. I've murdered so many people, and hated people for the ugliness that I've experienced in my life. Ry, please don't blame yourself for any of that; you only made me happy.."
The tears stream down Ry's face. A haunted look in his eyes, as what she's said strikes him as grotesque, and then he shakes his head, letting his anguish break free. "You have no idea how much I dreamt of you, even hearing your voice in my ears. Or the amount of pain - even as the years passed, I wouldn't even consider having another woman. I looked only for you. There was always something missing.." His sadness dissolves into quiet, almost childish tears.
Yana is startled by his reaction. She realises how selfish she has actually been, and the connection she'd made with Ry from the very first time he'd laid eyes on her bandaged body. No amount of words would make up for the damage done, so she follows her gut and holds him in her arms, caressing him passionately, delicately. They embrace and remain like that, with her face buried upon his neck, while he catches whiff of her bergamot-scented hair - his tears staining.
When Ry calms down enough, Yana gives him a faint smile. The moon is coming into view, steadily flooding the chamber with radiant moonlight. "I don't expect your forgiveness for what's been done," she says. "As powerful as this ship is, I can't turn back time. Those years I've dwelled under cryogenic sleep, waiting in that darkness, a part of me always wanted to change the past, always regretting the pain and heartbreak I relive over and over in my memories. I'm sure nobody would ever welcome me back in the world - they'll condemn me and call for my head, first thing. But if I'd ever dreamt for something to come true, I'd wish.. for another day spent with you. Ry, you were a happy dream in a life that's been nothing but a hellish nightmare. If only I could have grown up together with you, Ry, oh, I'd.."
"There's nothing to say sorry for," he goes. "I'm so glad just to have known you.. you're indescribably wonderful, and nothing will ever change that. What only matters is that I'm here, with you. Don't ever leave me, Yana." He gives her a look of utter longing, of desire -- and now, Yana is the one holding back her sobbing. She is deeply moved, and goes to embrace him fully.
In the pale moonlight, they kiss with heartrending tenderness, with the same passion of their first kiss shared together amidst the partying and celebratory fireworks of the Harlem Rouge, so many years ago. Their kisses turn into making love, fingers interweaving in a frenzy which subsides into a deep, turmultuous pleasure - of immense loving and immense grief.