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Stage 7: Railway

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 21, 2006

 

Summary

 

Merowlink sneaks aboard a train traveling through the desert at night. He hides in one of the cargo cars when the conductor enters. Seeing no one else around, the conductor sneaks a sip from a bottle of alcohol. The conductor then announces in the passenger car that the train will be making a brief 30 minute stop at the next station for maintenance. As morning dawns, the train arrives at the station. The conductor comes to Lulucy's cabin to inquire about breakfast, but she tells him she'll eat later. At the station, a soldier announces on a bullhorn that the army will be in control of the train now. A battle engine is attached to the front of the train, and Merowlink wonders what could be so valuable on the train to warrant the army's protection. Oscar Von Helmecion boards the train, followed at the opposite end by Keik. After the train leaves the station, a bandit watches it and drives off. Helmecion sits down in the diner car under the observation of Keik. Keik leaves the diner car and looks at the placement of soldiers on the train. Nearby, a group of biker and Armored Trooper bandits travel through the desert, led by Ganard in his custom Scopedog. He believes the train has a shipment of jijirium, and he tells his men they'll attack the train as it passes over a bridge. Lulucy enters the diner car and stops when she sees Helmecion. Helmecion looks at Lulucy and calls her Flurel, but she slaps him. Just then, Ganard's bandits begin attacking the train. They fire into the diner car, and Lulucy and Helmecion duck for cover when a soldier is killed. Lulucy attempts to shoot Helmecion as he evacuates the diner car, but Keik stops her. Ganard's men spray the train with gunfire, killing several bystanders in the passenger car. The soldiers then set up their machine guns in the passenger car and return fire. The battle engine fires its cannon at the bandits, destroying a Dumping Beetle. Merowlink climbs onto the roof of one of the cars and comes under fire. He looks over to where the bandits are and immediately recognizes Ganard's custom red Scopedog.

 

The soldiers continue to fire at the bandits, but the bandits press their attack. The battle engine destroys several bikes with its cannon. A biker fires a bazooka round into the diner car, but Keik pulls Lulucy out of there just in time. Ganard closes in on the battle engine and orders his men to board the train. The bikers blast a hole in the side of one of the passenger cars and begin to board the train. Some of the soldiers are slow to respond and get mowed down by gunfire. After a biker jumps from the sidecar onto the train, Merowlink jumps off the train and knocks the driver off the motorcycle. A bandit blasts into the passenger car and tells Lulucy to give him all her valuables. She threatens to shoot him, and he tells her guns don't look good with ladies. Keik kills him from behind and tells Lulucy to stay down. Another bandit smashes through a window, but Keik kills him too. He then sees the shadows of two men on the roof and fires through the ceiling, killing both of them. The battle engine's cannon destroys a Golden Half Special, so Ganard retaliates. The cannon fires at him and misses, but he fires again and destroys it. Ganard comes under fire from behind and spots Merowlink on the motorcycle. Merowlink misses two shots, but he fires again and hits the Scopedog's shoulder. Ganard fires missiles at Merowlink, and the motorcycle emerges from the smoke with no one driving it. Merowlink then jumps onto the Scopedog. Ganard tries to shake Merowlink off, and Merowlink smashes his rifle through the Scopedog's camera lens. Ganard rams his Scopedog into the train to kill Merowlink, but instead Merowlink is tossed into the passenger car with Lulucy. Ganard opens his cockpit and sees a dog tag hanging from the lens. He recognizes Merowlink and asks if he's trying to get revenge for the members of the Schweppes Platoon. Just as Ganard is about the shoot Merowlink, the battle engine separates from the rest of the train. Ganard loses his footing when his Scopedog is nudged loose from the train. Merowlink grabs his rifle and rams the pile bank through Ganard, which knocks him out of the train. Keik watches the battle engine speed away and regrets losing his evidence. Merowlink goes out to where Ganard is, and Ganard tells him his real enemy is on the battle engine. Merowlink asks Ganard what he means, but Ganard dies. Lulucy tells Merowlink that Helmecion was in command of Plan Bang Doll. Merowlink asks her why she knows that, and she says that Helmecion seems to be an enemy for both of them. Keik smokes a cigarette and says to himself that things are becoming more interesting.

 

Commentary

 

This episode marks a change for the series, as it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. Merowlink's on the prowl again to get revenge, but there's more to things this time than just hunting down one specific man and killing him. Merowlink certainly does do that by going after soldier-turned-bandit Ganard, but he just proves to be a small fry in the end. Ganard and Lulucy both make mention of Helmecion, and we learn that he was in charge at Plan Bang Doll. It's very likely he's one of the highest-ranking members of the conspiracy. Helmecion also seems to have a connection to Lulucy, so I imagine we'll be hearing more about that in future episodes.

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Merowlink Episode 7 Merowlink Episode 7

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