The final episode of Spiral Labyrinth wraps up with the story of two men based on Kefenhiller’s research. On the one hand is the idealist Jeikmeister and the other Michaelsen. Yang ultimately dumps his interpretation of the research onto Cazellnu and Attenborough, but even he cannot say that is truly what happened. After that, Yang is given a new assignment and everyone moves on in their careers.
Yang begins by telling the story of Jeikmeister, the man at the head of intelligence gathering from the Empire at the time of Ashbey’s death. Jeikmeister’s father investigated thought crimes within the Empire, especially those who desired for republican democracy. As part of his work, he brought home writings on the subject. Jeikmeister secretly read the books and came to believe that democracy was ideal as a way of rebelling against his father. He held these opinions in secret as he progressed through the Imperial military, while at the same time he organized a network to provide information to the Alliance. Eventually, Michaelsen joined the network at about the same time Jeikmeister made his decision to defect after the deaths of his wife and son.
Jeikmeister asked to be assigned to the front lines, and took the opportunity to escape in a shuttle and defect to the Alliance. Once there, he was given the status of a Vice Admiral and given a room in which to monitor intelligence coming from his old network, now run by Michaelsen. As he spent more time in the Alliance, Jeikmeister became jaded as his hope that the Alliance would represent his ideals simply wasn’t true. Then came the arrival of the 730 Mafia onto the scene. Jeikmeister met with Ashbey and decided that he could be trusted with the information from the Empire. As Ashbey piled up the victories, Jeikmeister hoped that the military and Ashbey in particular could be the source of reform within the Alliance.
Ashbey’s death ended those hopes, and Jeikmeister retired early. He lived out the rest of his days far from Heinessenpolis and died from complications from pneumonia having not seen a doctor.
So what of Michaelsen? Because of Ashbey’s death, the network did not have to ever worry about taking sides in internal affairs within the Alliance. Michaelsen continued to run the network as he had while trying to find a way out, unsuccessfully. Based on Kefenhiller’s recollections, the Imperial military were suspicious of Michaelsen, but pride meant they could not accuse him of anything directly. The result at Tiamat meant that Michaelsen became one of the senior officers remaining in the forces and bought him some time.
The end for Michaelsen ultimately came as officers were being reassigned. There was anger among the first group when their assignments had to be withdrawn in error, and the manner of apology made them angrier still. Michaelsen cracked open a door in his office and was seen to have shrugged at what was happening. As the commotion died down, the assignments went ahead. The second group of officers came in and waited for their assignments when one officer entered the office and saw Michaelsen’s dead body. No culprit was ever found.
Attenborough reacts to this story as though he had been told a lie, which Yang says it is. He says it is so because there is simply not enough information to conclude what he says happened did happen. Yang says the key information would only be revealed after the political body collapses.
Yang and Attenborough depart as Hortence observes how similar the three men are; too short-sighted to realize they should be working together. Attenborough wonders where he will be in 10 years time, at least hoping they will all be alive.
The denouement comes quickly as Yang files Kefenhiller’s documents, which are then made unavailable to the public for 25 years. Yang then opened a letter from Miriam Rosas which revealed that her grandfather had in fact committed suicide and that Yang shouldn’t worry about being responsible for it. Yang interpreted the action as Rosas deciding to embark on a journey to the past. Later, Yang received a new assignment on the front lines as part of the 8th Fleet’s Strategy Department. At Cazellnu’s wedding, Attenborough says that Yang should be next. Cazellnu himself says that Kefenhiller’s documents would not have been sealed if Yang had filed them under his own name. However, Yang says that in 25 years there will be skilled historians who would be able to put the story together better, though that may be due to the Alliance and Empire no longer existing. Yang wonders about his assignment on Econia, and thinks that maybe it was Cazellnu allowing Yang to live out his dream profession if only for a small amount of time.
Conclusion: As is pretty obvious from what I’ve been saying in this space, this OVA was a few episodes too long. May the first Gaiden series bring some excitement back in the form of Reinhard’s early career. As for the conclusion of this episode, I think it’s fair to say that it suffers in much the same way as the historical documentary series in the main OVA did. As an account of the time, it doesn’t really feel all that urgent and it is merely information that hardly seems relevant in this case to the main story.