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Episode 3: Pilgrimage

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 26, 2010

 

Summary

 

At Marteal's temple on Jiagono, church officials debate Montewells' nomination to the papacy. One man states that Montewells is qualified because of Chirico's defeat, and another questions the use of the Nextant. Noskowitz steps in and reminds everyone of the excommunication of the group that was researching Perfect Soldiers years ago. Noskowitz says that the creation of the PS itself was a crime, and he accuses Montewells of circumventing Alegium's authority to defeat Chirico. Another man says that a Nextant is the same thing as a PS and makes the accusation of heresy. Montewells speaks up to defend himself and asks why he would try to sway people's faith when he's seeking the papacy. He says that the drive to create ATs led to a monster like Chirico and asks how much longer the church should bear the existence of the Untouchable One. Noskowitz then asks why the PS project was a failure, and Montewells answers that they disregarded humanity and turned away from God. He thinks the Nextant is different because it has an auxiliary brain that increases a person's combat abilities. Montewells asks Teitania to take off her clothes so that everyone can see the difference between a Nextant and PS. Afterward, she leaves the chamber and walks through a hall filled with statues. She then finds her way down to a messy room filled with old books. She accidentally knocks over one of the books, which flips open and shows an old picture of Chirico with his friends Coconna and Vanilla Vartla. An aged Jean-Paul Rochina asks Teitania if she got bored of hearing the old men talking. She sees that Rochina is the one who is still collecting records about Chirico. She comments that the Chirico she encountered wasn't the same as the one she'd read about because he seemed to be a pitiful man who could only run away. Rochina yells at Teitania not to talk about Chirico as though she knows him, nd she asks Rochina if he's an expert on Chirico. She asks if Chirico could really be alive under such circumstances, and he tells her to convince him if she really thinks Chirico is dead. Outside Ilyshin City, Godiba meets with a commander who asks about him giving special treatment to a man who isn't one of their soldiers. He then identifies the man as Chirico and says they can't afford to take their eyes off him. The next day, Godiba asks Chirico what he plans to do, but Chirico says nothing, so Godiba gives him keys to a truck. Teitania continues to look through Rochina's collection, including pictures of Red Shoulder founder Yoran Pailsen. Rochina explains that Pailsen was the first man to try to observe Chirico. He then tells Teitania that Chirico has been found alive and laughs madly. He adds that plenty of people in Gilgamesh and Balarant worship Marteal, including the Manaura government forces. Teitania overhears her father being accused of lying, and Noskowitz laughs at Montewells' nomination. Teitania wants to go back to Manaura to confront Chirico, but Montewells tells her to bear her shame and wait.

 

Gilgamesh Scopedogs enter into battle against Balarant Fattys on Manaura's surface. Godiba admits that he let it slip to his commander that he knew Chirico was the Untouchable One, and Chirico asks him what he wants. Godiba explains that 32 years ago there was a scandal over whether the church should acknowledge Chirico. At the time, Godiba was a follower, but he felt that he couldn't forsake the Untouchable One or the PS that was with him, so he got excommunicated. Godiba thinks that Fyana might be at the nearby spaceport, but they can't go in there casually. Chirico says that Godiba is the only person he can rely on because he needs an expert doctor to help Fyana. Chirico then drives away from the battlefield, and several Scopedogs give chase. Chirico asks if there's any weapons on the truck, but Godiba counters that a doctor wouldn't carry weapons. Chirico dodges the Scopedog fire and reaches a two lane road. He maneuvers the truck to cause barrels of liquid medicine to fall out. The barrels hit the Scopedogs, causing them to trip and fall. The truck approaches the spaceport and comes under long distance fire from a land battleship. At the spaceport, Chirico asks a receptionist for information, who pulls up a picture of Baldec. Chirico then walks off and heads to the area where cold capsules are stored. Godiba finds the bay that Baldec was using, but it's now empty. An employee tells them that the capsule left five days ago on a charter flight to Jiagono, and Godiba asks who claimed it, but the employee says he doesn't know. Later, Godiba tells Chirico that there's no direct flights from Manaura to Jiagono, and they'd have to wait three weeks for a connecting flight. That's a problem because Fyana can only last two weeks in a half resuscitated state. Chirico thinks there must be something they can do, and suddenly their truck is surrounded by a procession of Marteal pilgrims. Godiba asks one of them what's going on, and an old man tells him they're taking a pilgrimage to Alegium because Pope Theo will name his successor. Godiba tells Chirico this means there will be a flight they can take. At Alegium, Rochina tells Teitania about Serge Borough and Gimual Iskui, who researched the PS and were branded as heretics. He then tells Teitania about Fyana and how everything went wrong when she met Chirico. Teitania doesn't understand why Chirico went into the capsule because you can't wake yourself up from cold sleep. Rochina mentions that Fyana is awake, and that she must know the answer. Rochina laughs and says that Teitania reminds him of his younger self, and he adds that she's jealous of Fyana. Teitania insists that as a Nextant, she's different from a PS and has a mind of her own. Maori tells Montewells that opinion among the elders is now drifting toward Noskowitz. Elsewhere, Chirico and Godiba pose as pilgrims on a charter flight to Alegium.

 

Commentary

 

The chase for Fyana takes on a new sense of urgency with the revelation that she can only last two weeks in her current partially revived state. At the same time, there's a large dose of politics with Montewells making his play for the papacy. However, that's all undercut by the revelation that Chirico didn't die on Conplant. There are some revelations here regarding the original series, mainly that the Secret Society and its members were outcast heretics from the church of Marteal. These revelations come from Rochina, now an old man and still as obsessed with Chirico as always. He also seems to be a bit nutty, given his constant mad laughter. We also see Teitania starting to question her nature as a Nextant, because she's trying to convince others (and herself) that she's different from a PS. With Chirico on his way to Alegium, it's only a matter of time before things start blowing up.

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Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Shining Heresy Episode 3 VOTOMS Shining Heresy Episode 3

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