(part seven)

Citan won't stop talking about this painting that is giving Fei the vapors, so Margie agrees to flag down a nun and ask about it. The nun tells them that the painting is of Sophia, the Nisan Sect's founder, and that she was around about five hundred years ago. That is all they know about Sophia. That's pretty lame, Nisan. In real life we at least pretend to know things about ancient religious figures. In any case, they head back to the house they have commandeered to discuss strategy. Oh, right, we're about to be attacked by an army with flying battleships! Sigurd tries to make nice with small talk, but Bart is having none of that.

How do you know that guy that tried to shove a sword down my throat?

Well, I wanted to break this to you gently, but Citan and I used to work for Gebler's government in Solaris.

You used to work for the people who overthrew Aveh, and... you didn't think there was maybe a conflict of interest here.

I got over it! Anyway, I was brainwashed and being used as a slave and a test subject for experimental drugs and didn't get much say in the matter.

Okay, back up.

Solaris sometimes captures surface-dwellers, which they call Lambs, to use as slave labor. They took me when you were still a baby. But they thought I was special for some reason and I got to join the army with Ramsus, who was going to shake things up, but he was shaking things up in a bad way. So I quit and escaped.

Okay. What is with this "surface-dweller" business? You make it sound like Solaris is in the sky.

Ha ha.

Please don't say that Solaris is in the sky.

Ah. Well.

Solaris is in the sky.

Son of a bitch, how does that even work?

Citan explains how this works, but this narration is not really going to touch on that quite yet, since it doesn't make sense anyway. Magic! It is magic.

So were you a brain-washed slave, too, Doc?

Oh, goodness, no, I am just a perfectly ordinary lower class citizen who made good on merit. ...I am pretty sure I am not lying this time.

So what about these experimental drugs, then?

"Drive" is a drug that Gebler gives its soldiers so they will flip out and use their robots better.

Robots are a very precise science.

So, just anyone in Gebler gets flip-out drugs?

I totally saw flip-out drugs on your girlfriend's night stand!

You didn't even know what they were until forty seconds ago! And she isn't my girlfriend! And why were you looking at her night stand?


Is that everything important? It better be, because this narration is moving on now. God, this game. Bart is pretty bummed about his First Mate having a terrible secret past and will hopefully run background checks on his pirates in the future. He goes outside to sulk for a bit, and Citan and Fei are jerks and follow him.

So I suppose you are pretty upset about Sigurd having a terrible secret past!

...do you mind?

You should try to think about it from his perspective! It is not easy having a terrible secret past when your terrible secret past is going around knocking over kingdoms!

You certainly seem to know a lot about having terrible secret pasts.

Ha ha! Ha. Well, in any case, we all genuinely liked Ramsus at first, but then he turned out to be something of a dick. So Sigurd's loyalties are clearly yours now. I mean, probably.

...Anyway, do you think I can defeat Gebler? As long as they are backing Shakahn and all.

Did I mention that Solaris is in the sky? You... probably need more people for that.

And about another three hundred years' worth of technology.

Ugh, fine, I'll go become king or something!

Citan has annoyed everyone in this town to his satisfaction, so it's now time to talk about this attack! Dear lord, this takes forever. Let's sum up: in order to successfully attack Shakahn and take back Bledavik, they have to get Gebler out of the way, so they are going to create an elaborate ruse with some stolen Kislev robots that makes it look like Kislev is attacking Aveh at the border where Nisan is, and that Nisan is aligning with them. This will presumably draw Gebler's forces away from Bledavik. There's a huge battleship in the area, but it is under the command of Vanderkaum, who, we are reminded, is an idiot. They then need to keep Gabler from returning to Bledavik, so they are going to leave a small force behind to keep them busy. Citan selflessly nominates Fei for this task.

What? Sorry, I was thinking about crepes.

We couldn't possibly put Fei in that sort of danger!

Ugh, whatever, Bart's just going to follow me around making sad faces until I say yes.

It's settled! They will commence with the plan tomorrow! They go around giving everyone high-fives and talking about how great this plan is going to work. Bart frets about whether or not he'll make a decent king after all these years of being a barbarian pirate in the desert, and Sigurd tells him that at the very least he'll need a bath. Ha ha! Everyone indeed seems pretty optimistic, and you know a plan isn't doomed until someone says they have a bad feeling about this.

I have a bad feeling about this.


Meanwhile, in Bledavik, Miang and Ramsus are in bed, and Ramsus is having a nightmare. That seems like a pretty logical progression, but Ramsus is actually dreaming about some battle he was in once where he and his entire unit got their asses handed to them by some red-haired dude in kabuki make-up. Hmmm.

Grahf is there, being a fag in front of the moon pretty much as we last saw him, and the red-haired guy takes out all of the robots while on foot and then gets into his own robot to take out the other people on foot. One suspects some sort of miscommunication there. He pretty much just steps on Ramsus, which is a nightmare probably a lot of people in this world have. It's not like these things have rear-view mirrors.

It is probably worth mentioning that this guy is using Fei's attack animations, but it's not like that's significant or anything. Ramsus wakes up!


Was it the pear dream again?

No, no, I'm fine. I'm just... going to go throw up for unrelated reasons.

Ramsus gets out of bed and leaves the room. It is definitely worth noting that he is wearing, like, black Speedos, but a good cap of it was not forthcoming. Alas.

God, you're gross.

Grahf appears! He was, uh, invisible before! Okay.

I don't know what you think you're doing, but stay out of my business, bitch.

Oh, relax, I'm not going to take that boy you're so hard up for. Ha ha ha ha.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Miang is right, Grahf is basically hilarious. She says some cryptic stuff about Fei looking just like Grahf, and she and Grahf go "way back." No doubt. How long is Ramsus going to be in the bathroom, anyway? We will never find out, as we cut back to Bart in the Yggdrasil. They've caught something on the sonar that looks suspiciously like another ship, but they can't catch it again, and they chalk it up to sand whales. ...Sand whales? Sand whales.

The distraction at the border seems to be working, and Elly is sent out to command a backup unit. And... oh god, her unit consists entirely of the Gebler dorks that broke into the pirates' hideout. They "banter" and "bicker" and are supposedly "funny" for a while while being huge assholes to Elly, because she's a girl, you see. Well, we'll see about that! She gets to drive a robot that only elite officers can operate! That should command some respect!

Dear lord.

Fei and his team have reached the border, but Elly and her team catch up to them before he can get into place. She recognizes his giant robot! Well, she'd better, she's the one who stole the thing from Kislev.

Will I never be free?

Probably not! The Gebler dorks remember Fei, too, and charge in to attack before Elly can give the order! They apparently do not remember that Fei kicked their asses last time, and he proceeds to do so again. They totally freak out, because they are tweeking, and Elly realizes that she might actually have to do something here.

But I don't want to attack Fei!

Maybe if I just get a little high.

It's flip-out drugs time for Elly! But we are treated to a flashback of Elly running down a hallway at a questionable camera angle while she hears doctors talk about how she should not take flip-out drugs, as they make her go crazy and kill people. That pretty much seems to be the point of flip-out drugs, but whatever, she doesn't want to take them. But she has decided to make an exception for Fei! That's sweet. And even though this is not Eva, the flip-out drugs turn Elly into...

Elly? Is that you?

Asuka Langley Sohryu! Holy shit, these drugs are terrible.

Elly? Elly, are you high?

Elly responds to this accusation by farting out some aerods, which are some kind of ether bullet.

Everyone on her team is extremely impressed! Only the very top percent of Gebler officers have the raw ability to locate and press the 'Fart Aerods' button!

You have to snap out of it! It's the drugs! The real you isn't nearly this competent an officer!

I'm going to sing the "Die and rot in obscurity" song! Die die die, rot rot rot...

But the drugs start to wear off! This is not a very efficient drug if it wears off in forty seconds. Elly starts clutching her head and arguing with herself about whether she really wants to kill everyone or not. Elly, don't make fun of Fei.

I guess I can attack her now.

He does, in a full body tackle that would be sort of sexy if it were not ridiculous giant robots.

Elly firmly communicates that this is bad touch and throws him off of her, but then her robot starts shorting out. Because that's what happens when you come down off of flip-out drugs: your robot shorts out.

I guess robots really are a precise science!