control

In reading through this site, you've probably noticed that the theme of "control" runs through each section. Control is the single most important thing in Zen's life, and indeed the only thing he truly cares about. To be specific, Zen seeks control over his own life and destiny, at the expense of everything else. He does not hesitate to wipe out anyone or anything that stands in the way of that goal, whether it's the government or something claiming to want to help him. Put another way, what Zen wants is total freedom — from people, from morality, from society — from everything but the violent urges that guide him.

Zen: I'm not really interested in my past, but... being
controlled... even for a second... I won't stand for it.

Control is, in fact, the very reason Zen exists. From a young age, he was trained in the black ops unit of the Galayan army, used to take care of the government's dirty work. With no past beyond the unit and no home to return to, his sole purpose was to fight and die for Galay. Like a marionette, he was nothing but a human weapon to be used in war, and discarded when there is no longer any need for him. Gia alone saw that there was more to him, and all of the soldiers in the unit, but Zero himself could not recognize it. Even his escape from the unit came from another's hands, for their own purposes — specifically, for Dr. Biggins's revenge. And Zero lost his life at the military's hands.

It's at that point that Zen gained control of his own life. Though he could have left at any time, he chose to remain with Zendo, as it sated his need for destruction. In leaving it, he was free to carve his own path of destruction.

Big sis: Zen. What about you? What are you going to do from now on?
Zen: The same as I've been doing. Kill. Steal. Destroy. If I'm alone... I'll be free.

From that point on, everything Zen does is to maintain control over his fate. To others, it appears that he is little more than chaos personified, leaving a trail of violence behind him, but that is what serves as control for Zen. He does not allow anything, whether it's individuals or the laws that hold up society, to get in his way.

It's for that reason that losing control matters so much to him. Not once since his rebirth as Zen had he lacked the ability to choose his own actions, and it's that loss that serves as the catalyst for him. Finding out his identity matters little in the face of the loss of control; instead, it's a means to an end.

Hakka: So, Zero... kill the colonel.
Zen: I only act for myself. Whatever tries to control me... whatever it may be... I will beat it down.

When faced with the truth of who exactly controlled him, and for what purpose, Zen reacts violently, only to find that for all his power he cannot help but be controlled. Hakka would be no match for him in a fight, but he doesn't need to worry when he can use mere words to turn Zen into a weapon once again, as he was before. Zen cannot break free from the hypnosis without outside influence, powerless before his conditioning. It's his identity that saves him, or more specifically the recognition of it. Even if it's only in Rian's eyes, he is more than a weapon to be used for another's purposes. His way is his own.

A purely evil soul... cannot be controlled by anyone. All living things are evil in some way. Down the long path of destruction, of death...
what awaits at the end is light... and at the same time, darkness.

Ultimately, Zen wants to be able to decide his own path. It might not be what society accepts, but it is what he wants. And if he is the only one who can control himself, then he can make that choice.

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