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Episode 42: The Desert

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 4, 2005

 

Summary

 

Chirico sleeps inside the sandrunner and wakes up in the morning to join Shako. Shako drives a stick into the sand and rubs his spear against it to lure in a sand mole. Chirico asks Shako if he has canned food, and Shako answers that he does but doesn't like it. The sand mole travels through the sand and jumps out in front of Chirico. The sand mole dives back into the sand and circles around Chirico. Chirico pulls out his gun and prepares to shoot it when it jumps out again, but Shako kills it with his spear. Shako cooks the sand mole meat with canned heat, but Chirico isn't very hungry. Shako tells him it's the only thing they'll be able to eat before sunset, so Chirico digs in. As they travel in the desert, Chirico asks Shako how things turned out in Kummen. Shako says he doesn't know because he came home soon after Chirico's escape when his contract was terminated. Chirico says that many weird things have happened to him, and that he's come to Quent to see if he's a Perfect Soldier as claimed by Rochina. He says that the Society will probably come to Quent, and Shako says they already have. He explains that they were spotted in the skies last night doing low orbit reconnaissance. Chirico examines the landscape with a pair of binoculars and spots three Zwerg ATs traveling parallel to them. He asks Shako where they can hide, and Shako answers that the entire planet's surface is a desert, so they have to wait until they can reach the crevasses where his people live. One of the Zwergs blocks their path and fires some warning shots, but Shako dodges and continues on course. The Zwerg pilots report back to the Schmitel twins, and Killy warns them to be cautious when a Quentman is involved. They don't think that one Quentman is a big deal and say that the Quentians are nothing after losing their civilization. Killy reminds them that the Quentians once had an advanced civilization and had the power to control the entire galaxy. The twins order the Zwerg pilots to separate Chirico from Shako. Chirico uses his gun to blast one of the Zwergs in the cockpit and destroy it. Shako speeds towards a canyon and causes one of the other Zwergs to fall off the side. He then travels alongside the canyon's edge and heads down a slope to lose the last Zwerg.

 

As night falls, Chirico and Shako travel down a road in the canyon on their way to the Quentian village. Shako examines the sandrunner and reports that the radiator was damaged in the attack. Chirico thinks they should go down to the village and see if they have weapons, but Shako says they won't because no Quentian fights on their homeworld. Chirico asks how Quent can have a 3,000 year history of producing the galaxy's best mercenaries when they have no weapons and no advanced technology. Shako explains that Quentians have technology but prefer not to use it. He tells Chirico that the word Quent means "bottom of the valley." The Zwerg pilots report to the Schmitel twins that Chirico and Shako are hiding in the canyon on their way to a village. With Killy asleep, the twins authorize the Zwerg pilots to open fire on Chirico. As Chirico and Shako head farther down, the Zwerg pilots shine a spotlight on them and give chase. They cause a rock avalanche with their weapons fire, which Shako believes probably destroyed the village. The Zwergs surround them, and Chirico says it's ironic that the two survivors of Kummen would die so easily. Shako tells Chirico that he's changed and become softer, but he likes him better that way. Chirico runs out and fires his gun as a distraction to draw the Zwergs' fire. Shako slams the sandrunner into two Zwergs. As the Zwergs slide down a hill, Chirico commandeers one and attacks the other Zwergs. Shako is chased by the other Zwergs and jumps out of the sandrunner when it slams into one of the Zwergs. Chirico fights off the last Zwerg and destroys it. Aboard the flagship, Killy yells at the Schmitel twins for violating his orders and starting a fight near a Quentian village. Chirico asks Shako if he thinks he's a PS, and Shako tells Chirico that he's no ordinary man. After traveling across the desert in the stolen Zwerg, they finally reach the valley with Shako's village. Chirico wonders to himself if Quent is nothing more than a graveyard since the Quentians destroyed their own civilization thousands of years ago.

 

Commentary

 

Chirico and Shako's journey across the desert begins. As expected, the Secret Society attacks them in the desert. The Schmitel twins become overzealous and violate Killy's orders, which leads to the destruction of a Quentian village. They also made a mistake of attacking with ATs, which allowed Chirico to steal one for himself. Throughout the journey, many questions are raised. What is the mystery of Quent's past, and why did they destroy their own civilization if they were so powerful? If they love peace, why are they the galaxy's best mercenaries? Finally, what connection do they have to Perfect Soldiers? Hopefully answers will be forthcoming.

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Overall Rating

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3 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Episode 42 VOTOMS Episode 42

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