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Episode 10: Tactics

 

Review by Joel Jankiewicz

May 8, 2007

 

Summary

 

A new day is starting up, and just outside of Baikonur Space Base from the forest Dice dropped them off in. They run across a dead Blue and see more dead Blue in the open field, with Baikonur off in the distance. Tank Beetles pour out of the forest not far from them, and rush towards the base, but needle like darts start hurting the Blue. Multiple drones start attacking the Blue, killing them quickly and efficiently. Yuji asks Marlene what they are, and says they're drones called Attackers, which are unmanned and guard perimeters 24 hours a day. Yuji wonders why the Blue aren’t beaten yet if they have them, but Marlene tells him they can’t go far because of a supply cable attached to them, since they require a lot of power to run. One Attacker suddenly locks onto both Yuji and Marlene, and she pulls him behind a rock just as it shoots at them. Yuji’s shocked, and Marlene says they shouldn’t attack humans. They try to make a run for it, but the Attacker cuts off their escape route. Marlene fires her rifle at it, but wastes an entire clip that doesn’t even dent it. Just before the Attacker fires at Marlene, another shot blows the drone in half, and they both see a Sniper A.S. on a ledge, camouflaged and draped. The pilot identifies himself and asks for the unit both Marlene and Yuji belongs to, and asks them to come with him. It’s now nighttime, and at a camp a distance away, Marlene is told by the commander of the base that the drones are malfunctioning and can’t tell friend from foe. Everyone gathers for a briefing, and Yuji is surprised to see how the pilots act so casual. The commander says that they can’t waste any more time, and says they have to take the base. While the commander briefs them, two pilots whisper to each other, saying how the‘new’ girl brought a supposed Sleeper with her, but his friend thinks it’s a rumor. The commander says that Alpha team will go to a nearby Blue Nest to draw them out into the range of the Attackers, causing confusion. A Beta team would then enter Baikonur and repair the program running the drones, putting them back on their side, which then would allow them to use the base’s shuttle hangar to get to Second Earth. Yuji thinks to himself that if other Recovery squads are here that there are other Sleepers as well. The commander tells them to get some rest, and dismisses them. Yuji wanders around the camp and finds an open trailer, where he sees a cryo pod in the truck. He goes inside to see a woman sleeping inside, and one of the base’s personal asks what he’s doing. Yuji apologizes, and the man asks him if he’s the Sleeper he heard about, and Yuji says he’s right. The man says he’s Seamus Han from the 12th recovery squad, and Yuji introduces himself. Han walks to the pod, saying he found her, and she’s like an angel sleeping peacefully, untouched by the world. He says he’s one who’ll look after her until she wakes up on Second Earth, and would love to hear her voice. He goes on to say that the people of Second Earth will think of her as nothing but a ‘lab specimen,’ and tells Yuji to be careful when he’s up there too. He says he made a vow to protect her, just as his commander told him, at any cost. But he says his time with her is almost up, because once they reach Second Earth, it all ends there, which surprises Yuji. Later, Yuji can’t seem to rest because what Han told him bothers him. He wanders outside, sitting on a hill, wondering what’ll happen to him once he’s on Second Earth, since Marlene will leave him once he’s up there because she was just meant to bring him there as part of her duty. He’s surprised to see Marlene call out to him, asking him what he’s doing outside. She offers him some hot tea, and he thanks her. Yuji asks her what’ll happen to him once he’s up there, and Marlene says she really doesn’t know, only that it was part of her orders. She tells him tomorrow will be tough, and Yuji tells her the mission she’s on is suicide, since it’ll only be four A.S.s against the Blue and Attackers. But she says as long as there is a slight chance for success, she’ll follow her orders. She holds onto his hand, telling him that their future depends upon tomorrow. With that she gets up, and goes back to sentry duty, telling him to get some rest. The next day finally comes, and Heavy Duty A.S.s are being prepped. Marlene is working on her A.S., and Yuji comes up to her, telling her he’s going with her to help out. She tells him he can’t, since it’s her duty to get him to Second Earth, no matter what’ll happen. Yuji’s still shocked, but she tells him she’ll be fine. Within a moment, the four Heavy Duty A.S’s leave, and Yuji tells her to be careful and come back alive.

 

The A.S.s split into two groups, planning to attack the Blue nest at the same time. Meanwhile, Yuji is waiting with Beta team, nervous, when he hears gunshots off in the distance. The A.S.s fire a missile barrage into the nest, drawing the Blue out, and start to retreat to the range of the Attackers. The commander tells Beta team it’s time, and get ready to move out. The A.S.s keep falling back, and it’s not long before the Attackers meet up with them. The Attackers engage the Blue first, while the A.S.s hide at a designated point of position. Marlene kills a Chopper, but then gets a cry for help when she sees a teammate’s A.S. was attacked by the drones, with its leg damaged. Marlene throws one of the Chopper’s claws at one drone, and stops another with her rifle. The route to the base is finally cleared, and Beta team makes their move. The battle is complete chaos, and of the four pilots tells his teammate not to waste ammo, since he’s going berserk almost, firing in a frenzy. Beta team arrives at Baikonur and enter the main complex. Han hacks into the computer, but a support drone finds them and tries to attack them. The guards, along with Yuji, shoot it’s sensors, which get it to stop. Han tells them the supporters aren’t built for combat, but the commander says they’ll need to them to prepare the shuttle. Han says he knows this already, but his facial expression is hiding something else. As the battle continues with Alpha team, Beta team enters the main control room and tries to get all the drones back on their side. Yuji tells Han to hurry it up, but he tells him to be quiet. He starts to reprogram the drones, while in the battle, Marlene disables an Attacker by cutting its wire. Yuji tells Han to hurry again, but Han tells him to back off since it’s a sensitive computer. A guard points a gun at Yuji, and the commander tells him that he was allowed to come along because he had battle experience, but isn’t really a part of the team. Han clears the last firewall, but talks to himself quietly that none of the ‘fools’ with him understand the need to protect the Sleeper he found. One of the pilots in the battle is out of ammo, but Marlene tells all them to hold their ground at a ruined building. Han says the program is done and resets it, just before Alpha team is overrun by the Attacker drones. They stop moving, reactive, and no longer consider the A.S.s or any humans as targets, and go strictly after the Blue. Yuji is relieved, but as Han commands the supporters to prep the shuttle and unload their truck’s cargo into it, he continues to speak to himself quietly, saying his ‘angel’ deserves better, saying she’ll be safer with him. The commander tells Han to hurry up the prep, but Han says he needs to do an onboard system check before they can go. The commander says that Alpha team can come back and let the Attackers handle the Blue, and dump their gear behind once their safe. Suddenly the shuttle’s cargo doors close early, and the launch pad preps for launch. The commander asks Han what’s going on, while Han gets in the pilot seat, saying nothing is wrong with the shuttle. But he says that he and his ‘angel’ are going on a journey together, his face suddenly looking like that of a mad man. Yuji finally realizes what Han meant earlier, and how far he’s going to go to protect his Sleeper.

 

Commentary

 

It seems things haven’t gone according to plan. The commander’s main man who helped their team, Han, has betrayed them in the long run. It’s clear he’s not completely sane up there in his head, as if his crazy looking face wasn’t enough. He’s probably not going to Second Earth at all, taking only the other Sleeper with him. We also see the Heavy Duty Armored Shrike, which is a tweaked version of the Sniper A.S., but it has more weapons and a better rifle. But now everyone seems to be in a bind, because if they can’t stop Han from launching, they’ll be left behind.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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