And now time for another gundam story hour (and a half)!
Episode 7: Scenario for Bloodshed
I told you this was getting darker. This episode can be summed up as, “Heero screws up MAJORLY.”
Treize has managed to spread a rumor all across the Earth Sphere that there’s going to be a big meeting of OZ officials. All those warmongers in one place. If the gundams could take them out, they’d end the war.
Quatre sets out alone (no Maguanac Corp) for this very important and dangerous mission. Remember that Quatre was raised in the lap of luxury… he calls the “San Francisco Starlight Hotel” to ask for a room. ONLY Quatre would do this for such a mission. My god, Quatre. Why are you so adorable? I’m going to chalk this up to his total lack of training and the fact that he’s not a hacker. Heero, Duo, Trowa, you’re good. Quatre or Wufei? Bollocks.
Anyway, Quatre runs into Trowa preparing to go to the exact same place! Coincidence! Quatre thinks this is marvelous, let’s team up. Trowa insists that he is working alone. Quatre’s all, “Alone together?” Why is he SO ADORABLE?
While the two of them have legitimately hired transport, Heero sets about stealing a carrier. Duo joins him. Duo also thinks this is awesome. They can clean this up together and then he can go back to space.
Heero gives him this look:
Tha fuq you talkin’ ’bout?
This is Heero’s “WTF is wrong with you?” face. It is my new favorite screen cap. I’m not sure why Duo wanting to return to space is what makes Heero so suspicious, so it’s worth thinking about.
The big fancy meeting is called but it’s not full of OZies, it’s all Alliance guys, and they happen to be the more peaceful members of the Alliance. In fact, they’re talking about pulling back troops and opening dialogue with the colonies. In Treize’s view, this is “the wrong direction.”
The gundams attack the base where the meeting is happening. Heero and Duo get there first, and then Trowa and Quatre. They don’t know who’s a friend and who’s an enemy, because the geniuses behind Operation: Meteor never thought to coordinate. Quatre, naturally, is the one who insists they should be allies.
All around the world, OZ soldiers start rebelling against their Alliance masters. This is Operation: Daybreak, a coup d’etat. Treize’s men taking over.
Meanwhile, Treize “helps” the Alliance bigshots evacuate, putting them all on one plane with OZ insignia. Heero spots it taking off and goes for it.
Wufei is the one who shows up to tell them all that they’re massive idiots who have just destroyed their only possible allies. Cue shock and horror. Heero knows he’s utterly wrecked things.
Oh, and Lady Une shoots a guy in the head from a moving plane while he’s falling. Don’t piss off Une.
First off, Treize is an absolute master of disinformation. He’s kept this coup under wraps, a global conspiracy, and he spreads a global rumor specifically for his enemies to fall for and do his dirty work for him. The man’s brilliant.
It’s also a pretty nifty way of bringing a lot of our plot threads together. Suddenly everyone’s all in one place. And things definitely just got worse.
Also, the target has changed. The Alliance has fallen, replaced by OZ, which is 100% under Treize’s control. He’s effectively the ruler of Earth now, but has to pay homage to the Romefeller Foundation, who we’ll learn about later.
So, good job everybody, blowing up the pacifists. Go team!
Good Things Relena Does: Stays out of everyone’s way.
Dumb Things Relena Does: Nothing! Ha ha! We’re not counting knocking over a vase, that’s just rubbing it in.
Good: 12, Dumb: 15.
Episode 8: The Treize Assassination
We pick up immediately following the previous episode at the New Edwards base. More mobile suits emerge to battle the gundams. Trowa and Wufei blow that popsicle stand to follow Treize, who’s getting away by plane and then by boat. They steal some aircraft carriers and pursue.
Duo and Quatre are ready to GTFO, too, but Heero… Heero’s just standing there, letting himself be shot at. He royally messed things up. He’s lost the will to live (again). Duo and Quatre can shield him but only for a little while.
Treize gives Une orders to finish them off. The orders she passes on to her men? Blow up the entire military base using the missiles stored there. They have ten minutes before everything in a 300km (186mi) radius goes kablooey. That would easily take out Los Angeles. Want to nix a few gundams? Blow up a chunk of southern California.
Major Sally Po is flying in their direction when she gets word that the base is being set to self-destruct. She’s already inside the impact zone so she lands and tries to stop them, but they hit the big red button anyway. Ten minutes, starting now.
Sally decides to run a hail mary. She gets on the PA system and makes a plea directly to Heero, the one kid she knows can deactivate this detonation. Somehow, her words get through. Heero wakes up from his stupor. He has a mission again. Off he flies. A race against time.
He finds the deactivation point and succeeds.
Intel Outside. This screen cap kills me every time.
When he emerges from the missile silo, he shouts into the night. “I screwed up. I totally screwed up!” He’s succeeded in saving millions of people… but he screwed up the main mission and that’s going to haunt him for a long while.
Trowa and Wufei catch up to the OZ ships. They crash their carriers into them and proceed to battle in their gundams, which magically survive the crashes (gundanium ftw). But Wufei’s not satisfied with the ships. He wants the big kahuna: Treize.
You know, if he’d pulled this off, the whole thing would grind to a halt. Kind of like the last episode. The Powers That Be are messing with us, aren’t they? “There are no easy ways out. You will see this to the end.” I can dig that.
While Wufei is fighting his way toward Treize’s ship (which is a freaking cruise liner with a pool, not a battle ship).
Treize’s idea of a getaway vehicle.
Zechs is taking over the last Alliance holdout. He sneaks past security to get to the guy in charge.
Why? Because he has a vendetta to avenge.
It goes back to that “Peacecraft” thing. They were the rulers of a nation, Sanq, that objected to the Alliance’s military goals. They advocated total pacifism. And so this guy, the one Zechs is preparing to shoot, wiped out the royal family and pretty much the whole nation. Guess who was the son and heir to that family?
Same guy? Same guy!
ZECHS. (Zechs not being his real name, you see.) This is why he wears the mask, so no one will recognize him as a prince who should be long dead. INTRIGUE.
Zechs shoots the guy who destroyed his life, and then says, “Rest in Peace, Milliardo Peacecraft.” ie, himself. Zechs has identity issues, but we can deal with those later.
Back at sea, Une takes the fight to Wufei, her last-ditch attempt to stop him from getting to Treize. But, Treize signals to them. He wants to face the pilot himself. Wufei is only too happy to do so. Treize makes it clear that he would like to duel as gentlemen, with swords, natch, and Wufei obliges.
Let’s be 18th century gentlemen about this.
So, Wufei takes out his sword (which looks like a katana, but that makes no sense because he’s of Chinese descent) and they fight. It’s close, they’re both wicked good. But, Treize is faster. He gets his sabre to Wufei’s throat.
Wufei tells Treize to kill him. Treize counters with a compliment. Wufei swears that unless Treize kills him he will continue to come after him until he can defeat Treize. Treize’s response? “That sounds interesting. I hope we can battle again.”
Wufei is supremely frustrated, his pride wounded. He gets back in Shenlong and lets himself sink to the bottom of the ocean because he’s a pissy-pants.
First off, Heero’s never going to kick this death wish habit, is he? I mean, yeah, he made an epic mistake. But most people wouldn’t react with, “I now deserve to die.”
Why does he respond when Sally reaches out to him? They have no special relationship. He wasn’t even awake most of the time she was his doctor. So what gives? Maybe he doesn’t only respond to Relena, maybe it’s any female.
My theory is that Sally gives him purpose, a new mission, something he can do right to atone for his crime. It gets him through the next ten minutes. Then he’s back to self-blame. This incident is going to come back again and again.
Also, we’re slowly revealing the legend of the Peacecrafts. We now know how they lived and how they died. We know who the remaining members of the family are. So, what are they going to do about it?
Also, Wufei is true to his word, he’s going to keep coming for Treize. Treize is his symbol for everything that’s gone wrong. Treize, meanwhile, is his engimatic self. You see, he respects this pilot now. He looks forward to dueling with him again. Treize might be a little off his rocker.
Good Things Relena Does: Really stays out of everyone’s way.
Dumb Things Relena Does: Yay, being cut out of the story!
Episode 9: Portrait of a Ruined Country
Noin and Zechs are preparing to take out the Alliance base in the remains of what used to be the Sanq kingdom. Zechs’ Tallgeese mobile suit is finally ready for use, but it’s incredibly powerful. So much so that the test pilot, Otto, has a bunch of broken ribs and internal injuries. But, Zechs is going to use it, because he’s that eager to take on the gundams with it. His theory is that the Tallgeese, being one of the first mobile suits ever made, is the basis for the gundams. Master the Tallgeese and he can take on a gundam.
In an undisclosed location, Heero and Duo have enrolled themselves in another school. (As Duo says, it’s a good disguise.) They’re playing basketball in PE. Heero makes a slam dunk. Because of course he does, he’s Heero effing Yuy, excellent at everything except interpersonal relationships. But he’s not enjoying things like Duo is. No, Heero’s got his eye on a battleship in the harbor. Duo makes a wager with him. Whoever takes the ship out first wins.
And then, Relena shows up.
In the pink limo.
Where did she come from? How did she find them? They, who are two of the most skilled agents in the world? HOW? NOBODY KNOWS. All she has to say for herself is, “Heero, I wanted to see you.”
Things just got worse for Heero, because now Duo sees that Miss Pink Limo is more than just the average girl with more than a casual interest in Heero. And Heero? He looks away.
Yes, back toward the battleship, will you let me have my romance?
Back in Sanq, the OZ forces are winning until the Alliance pulls out a bunch of laser canons. Retreat! But Zechs knows his Tallgeese can survive them. If he just pushes it hard enough… Harder… This suit is going to kill him. But Zechs sees his failure to “master” the suit as cowardice. The suit is literally killing him with its g-forces (or something) and he has to pull out of his attack at the last moment.
Time to check in with other characters again! Treize and Une are flying somewhere. Une asks what their next target is.
Treize: Let’s just continue fighting and winning.
Une: Shall I interpret that as meaning we should conquer the Earth Sphere?
Treize: That would be plenty. OZ would then be hated. It’d become the target for the entire world.
Une: What are you saying?
Treize: Those that are hated must remain strong. It’d be the perfect motivation, for OZ.
Une isn’t sure what to make of that. I’ll tell you what. THAT’S YOUR FIRST RED FLAG, UNE! Ahem.
The Maguanacs are yelling at Quatre for abandoning them to go on a mission by himself. Their commander, Rashid, is also not happy. Quatre apologizes, but at least he has a report to give. “They’re violent and dangerous, but they’re all really nice guys,” he says of the other pilots. How does he knows this? The soul of outer space told him. …yeah, there’s this weird little subplot where Quatre’s an empath. It doesn’t mean very much so feel free to ignore it and just accept that Quatre is good at reading and sensing emotions.
Oh, and Wufei and Trowa are brooding together over a pot of coffee. Or sulking, whatever.
Quiet people attract quiet friends.
Over in Sanq, Zechs is laid out on a hospital bed. That suit gave him a heart attack, and he’s lucky to be alive. He acknowledges this and yet he wants to go back out. Noin has to talk him down. He concedes to going out tomorrow instead of right now.
But, his buddy Otto is listening in on how this suit is “for suicide missions.” Hm. He takes Tallgeese himself. Zechs is alerted and calls in to try to stop him, but Otto declares that he’s doing this for Zechs, not for OZ. “Long live King Zechs!” He also knows the Peacecraft secret, apparently. And then he dies, destroying the Alliance base and winning the day.
Back at Unnamed School #1, Relena is talking to a photograph of her father.
Relena: I’ve come all the way here, just to chase after a guy. Are you surprised, Father? But I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to see him so badly. Can you understand how I feel, Father? Heero’s the support I need to have around until I can get over my sadness over you. But he keeps running away from me.
Relena. Heero is a TERRIBLE SUPPORT SYSTEM.
Then the battleship in the harbor blows up, knocking Relena out of her chair.
Duo got to the ship first, but Heero arrives soon after. Heero destroys the boat, and he’s smiling as he says “Mission: Complete.”
The next morning, Zechs walks the old Peacecraft palace. It’s a burned out husk, but the painting of the old king still hangs on the wall. It’s his turn to talk to his father now.
King Peacecraft had a wicked hipster beard.
Zechs apologizes that he hasn’t lived his life by the ideals of pacifism, and his hands are now too covered in blood to do so. But, he thinks Relena can. Yes. Relena.
Relena, who watches Heero go into school that day and hopes to stay by him for just a little bit longer.
First off, I still can’t get over Relena calling Heero her support. Are you insane!? Heero can’t even keep his own shit together!
Second, how does Relena find Heero and Duo!? This blows my mind. They are, individually, masters of deception. As a team they’re unbeatable. So how does some random girl just find them? It has to be the money. Maybe someone in her dad’s office helped. Even still, this isn’t just finding them, this is finding them after they’ve hidden themselves with the best encryption. HOW, RELENA? HOW?!
And third on the Relena front, there’s Zechs’ confidence that she’ll be a better ruler than he would. He knows nothing about her. He barely acknowledged her existence a week ago. So I guess this is based on bloodline? Crazy runs in the family?
I told you they were all nuts.
Anyway, the Tallgeese stuff is very interesting. It’s the first mobile suit ever, and as Zechs says, its weakness is that the pilot is human. The suit is too strong for us meat puppets. And yet he blames himself for not being able to keep up with it. That’s the first sign of Zechs’ inferiority complex.
When he speaks to Daddy Peacecraft’s portrait, Zechs makes it clear that he believes himself unfit to lead. This is an interesting point. He was clearly old enough at the time the Sanq kingdom fell (AC182, Milliardo was born in 176, so he would’ve been 6) to grasp some of his parents’ beliefs. Certainly to understand that they were killed because of those beliefs. And yet he went directly against their wishes by enlisting. Interesting, isn’t it? More to come.
Also, Une needs to pay attention when Treize said weird stuff like that. It’s going to be important.
Good Things Relena Does: Um?
Dumb Things Relena Does: Follows Heero to godonlyknowswhere. Thinks Heero has the wherewithal to be anyone’s support.
Good: 12, Dumb 17.