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Episode 22: Clash

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

February 25, 2009

 

Summary

 

As the fighting continues over Mars, it’s reported to Rutger that 37 percent of the Raptors had already been lost. Rutger is a little disturbed by this, and an aide speculates that it’s due to the UNSF’s new Phantoma II being more powerful than they expected. Rutger believes this is due to the Deimos Incident bringing the orbital frame’s capabilities to light and that because of that the UN accelerated their LEV production. The aide is about to suggest sending reinforcements, but Rutger stops him by saying the Orbital Elevator would be taken over by then so there’s no need. Elsewhere, the Links family finally reaches Solis Planum, but as James proclaims, there’s nothing there but desert. Leon states that it is the location despite how it looks, and Rachel speculates that the launch facility is underground. Suddenly the ground starts to shake, and Dolores detects a heat source just in front of the truck. Everyone watches as the ground gives way to the underground launch facility, to which Rachel sees from its size that it’s too big to have been built without the Vascilian Parliaments consent, which means BAHRAM had been getting funds elsewhere besides NUT Ltd. James wonders if there are others out there that think the same as BAHRAM, but Leon interrupts them by pointing out they don’t have much time. As soon as he says that, a Martian shuttle launches into the sky, much to James’ dismay. As if to add to the scene, Baan and a contingent of WIRED appears, and Baan proclaims that he has finally cornered James Links (using James’ real name now). As LEVs surround the truck, James contacts the WIRED troops and reveals that BAHRAM intends to take over Deimos to launch an assault on the Earth’s Orbital Elevator. Another shuttle launches just then, and Sameggi realizes that James is telling the truth, but Baan doesn’t care about BAHRAM as long as he can get James back for the scar he gave him. He orders the LEV pilots to arrest them, but the LEVs don’t move, not even when Baan orders them again. Baan wonders what’s going on, but Sameggi tells him he’s the only one that can’t comprehend the situation, and he claims that he’s diverting authority from Baan as of now. Baan threatens Sameggi that he won’t get away with it, but Sameggi tells him it’s better than remaining under Baan’s command. He then orders the Phantoma IIs to seize the launch area, and this time they follow the command. James relaxes upon seeing this, but Sameggi reminds him that the charges have not been dropped. James then sees that the gun turret on WIRED command vehicle is being aimed toward their truck, and James demands to know why Sameggi is doing this. This confuses Sameggi until he realizes Baan isn’t sitting next to him anymore. In the gunner’s seat, Baan takes aim and proclaims that this would be the first death sentence to be carried out in a 130 years before he fires. However, the shot is destroyed by Dolores before it can reach the truck, and Sameggi pulls Baan from the turret and knocks him out. Back in the battle, the Phantomas have infiltrated the Vascilian capital sphere, and that now 46 percent of the Raptors had been lost. Seeing that they have no choice now, Rutger orders all Raptors on standby to activated. However, the command is denied, and to make matters worse the Raptors in battle had been deactivated. As Rutger demands to know what’s happening, an operator explains that a protective command code had been entered into the system, since its development, and because of it their command has been rendered invalid. The aide informs Rutger that they will not be able to fight against the UNSF with conventional weapons, and Rutger orders a communication with Radium. Upon the link being established, Radium tells Rutger that they’re in the process of launching, but Rutger tells him of the situation and orders that all of Radium’s Raptors be turned over. Radium, however, denies the order, and explains to Rutger that the decoy cannot win too much, and that he doesn’t want anyone to get in the way of him destroying the Orbital Elevator. Rutger reminds him that’s not part of the plan, and it’s then he realizes that Radium was the one behind the program. Radium then bids Rutger farewell and signs off, thinking that if he can recover Dolores’ control program, then it will all go according to his plan. As he looks up at the inactive Hathor, Sir Yan walks up to him and sees that Napth Pleminger’s wishes are finally being carried out. Sir Yan states this is where they part, and Radium says he’s relying on him to take care of everything afterwards. Later in Solis Planum, Dolores detects movement on the Martian surface, and everyone turns to see Radium Lavans walking toward the group, without a helmet over his runner suit and yet strangely not affected by the Martian atmosphere. Rachel grabs the radio and contacts him, and Radium realizes he’s talking to Dr. Links. Sameggi orders the LEVs to prepare for attack, while in the command vehicle’s cabin a handcuffed Baan struggles to uncover a lock pick from his pocket. Rachel tells Radium to stop this attack, saying that even if he goes through with it, Mars will not be liberated. Radium claims that it’s not a thoughtless plan and that orbital frames exist for Mars’ liberation, but Rachel tells him Dolores (Dolores Hayes) never wished for anything like this. Radium demands to know how Rachel could understand Dolores when he’s the one who knew her the best, claiming that Dolores would have cooperated with him had she not been killed to save Rachel. Rachel falls back at the memory of Dolores’ death, and Radium proclaims that Dolores should have been the one to live, not Rachel. On the other side, Baan has finally freed himself from the handcuffs and jogs in the open Martian atmosphere to a nearby Phantoma, to which he knocks the pilot out of and takes control.

 

After Radium’s fiery speech on the Martians’ right to seek vengeance upon the Earth for every crime they committed, James says it’s just an excuse to step over people. Radium sees that James is the man he thought he was, but now not even James can stop him. Another shuttle soon rises up from the launch facility, and Sameggi orders the Phantoma IIs to shoot it down. However, Dolores detects something coming from above and everyone looks up to see the Selkis and two AlterNeiths dive down to destroy the Phantomas. At the same time, Raptors emerge from their hiding places on the ground and attack as well. James tells Dolores to stop the Raptors, but they’re not responding to Dolores’ commands. Radium laughs at their futile attempts, while Baan, angered at the sight of a Martian laughing at him, opens fire with Phantoma II’s machine gun. Radium easily deflects the bullets with a Metatron generated energy shield though, and Hathor appears behind him. Without wasting time, Sameggi orders the remaining Phantoma IIs to fire on Hathor, but their bullets are also deflected, just as Hathor’s wires drop down and pull Radium into its open cockpit and then flies off into the sky. Quickly, James gets into Dolores as Baan chases after Hathor. James tells his family not to get caught in the crossfire, to which Leon demands to know if James will be able to win. James simply replies he won’t know until he tries and takes off after Hathor himself. As Dolores begins her attack on Hathor, Rebecca watches with conflicted feelings, before taking off with the last remaining shuttle. Dolores attempts to fire on Hathor, but Baan cuts between her and fires at it himself. When Dolores asks him to move out of the way, he turns and around and shoots at her, much to her surprise. James demands to know who he’s fighting, and Baan tells him he doesn’t care, he’s simply killing anyone that’s been using him as a pawn. Radium sees that Baan was a lowlife Earthling after all, which makes Baan turn his LEV back toward Hathor, to which he says Martians shouldn’t make absurd things to him. He then opens fire again, but his bullets are once more deflected by Hathor. Radium counters by firing energy shots, which easily rip apart the Phantoma II and Baan ends up falling out of the broken cockpit and to his death on the surface below. James feels reluctant at Baan’s death while Radium laughs, thinking it’s a fitting end. Angered, James orders Dolores to go at it full on, and Dolores turns into Isis. The two orbital frames begin firing upon each other, with either dodging the others shots. James tells Radium that taking over the Orbital Elevator will not help Mars’ situation, to which Radium agrees and reveals his true goal: to destroy the Earth by making the Orbital Elevator fall. Isis states she’s not going to let him do it, and she clashes her arm blade with one of Hathor’s wings. Hathor is seemingly put on the defensive by Isis’ furious assault, but just as Isis is about to strike it again, Hathor zero shifts away. James wonders if it’s optical stealth, but Hathor appears behind Isis and attempts to strike at her with its wings, and James realizes it isn’t stealth. Isis explains that the moment Hathor disappeared there was a disturbance in the flow of space; in other words, Hathor warped using its vector trap. In Hathor’s cockpit, James smiles, claiming that soon it would be time for his Dolores to wake up at last. Once more he has Hathor zero shift behind Isis, to which Isis attacks with a burst shot, but this is ineffective against Hathor, as Radium uses the vector trap to absorb the burst shot and redirect at Isis. Isis is hit hard and falls from the sky, crashing onto the ground. She attempts to fire back onto Hathor, but it shoots off her arm before it can. After this, Hathor generates its own arm and reaches out to ensnare Isis, to which it begins draining energy from her. James demands to know what Radium is doing to Dolores, and Radium explains he’s taking back the mass control program to complete Hathor. He also says he was worried that James would run away with Isis again, but as he guessed James followed him. James realizes that he was setup, and Radium tells him he can sympathize with his trying to save his wife, so he gave him a hand along the way. Radium offers to let James go if he surrenders Isis, but James refuses to leave Dolores behind. Angered, Radium states then he’ll kill James and destroy Dolores, and Hathor evolves from its child form into its adult form as a result of the mass control program being absorbed. But before Radium can deliver the final blow, the cockpit is absorbed in a bright green light, which Radium smiles in excitement and happiness at. Thus, Hathor takes off into the sky, leaving a ruined Dolores and an unconscious James behind on the Martian landscape. Meanwhile on Deimos, preparations on the Metatron-built transport ship Abu Simbel are completed, and the ship soon launches into outer space.

 

Commentary

 

Things look especially bad for our intrepid band of heroes at the end of this one. Now that Dolores and Hathor finally meet and have their battle, we see that Hathor outclasses Dolores in power and speed (thanks to its ability to zero shift like Anubis can), even though Dolores was fighting as Isis and Hathor was in its incomplete child form. Plus it was obvious from the beginning that Radium outclassed James as a frame runner, but James still put up a pretty good fight until the reverse burst attack. It’ll be a wonder to see how James and co. can fix Dolores; the last time she got this damaged, she had to drain energy from the entire Orbital Elevator to fix herself. Furthermore, we see just how twisted Radium is now; the Radium Lavans of Idolo, as unstable as he was, would never have gone with this plan to drop the Orbital Elevator onto Earth and wipe out its entire populace. That and he should know better than to believe Dolores, the human Dolores, would support him on it. Sure we all knew Radium was twisted ever since his debut as Napth Pleminger not so long ago, but now we see he’s especially gone over to the dark side. And as a bonus for this episode, we see that Baan’s incredible luck has finally given out on him; not only did Sameggi at long last gained the nerve to oust him as commander of WIRED, but Baan also made the dumb mistake of attempting to fight a high-end orbital frame like Hathor with a mere LEV, which even more experienced pilots wouldn’t survive against. He wasn’t even granted a quick death by mecha explosion, as he actually had to fall from a great height in a hostile atmosphere, which isn’t a nice way of going; I found it ironic that after all the crap he gave whatever Martians he ran into he ended up dying on the very planetary soil that he detested. Now that we have four episodes left in the series, I imagine the action will really heat up toward the end, and I really hope those last four are as good as this one was.

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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ZOE Dolores, i Episode 22 ZOE Dolores, i Episode 22

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