Zechs gets a report mid flight about the attack at the Corsica Base, and he silently thanks Walker for getting him information on two more Gundams. He then gets a call from Lucrezia Noin of the Victoria Base, who comments that rumors of his exploits as the “Lightning Count” have made it to Victoria. Zechs comments that he doesn’t care much for rumors because it causes people to expect more of him, and Noin asks him if he’s heard any rumors about her. Zechs answers that he’s heard she’s done a great job training pilots, but he wonders what has changed since she used to hate war. She answers that her efforts come from a love of outer space. She then conducts zero gravity training with cadets 100 meters underground, and when they perform poorly, she tells them to improve and not embarrass themselves in front of Zechs. Wufei rides a motorcycle through the forest and heads for the Shenlong Gundam. While still in the air, Otto reports to Zechs that they’ve lost track of Wufei. Zechs concludes that he’s heading for the Taurus space mobile suits at Noin’s Victoria Base. Otto comments that the Alliance is too lax with its security, because even civilian children know that the Taurus suits are at Victoria. He also comments on how Zechs and Noin were the two best graduates from the Lake Victoria Military Academy, but Zechs explains that Noin always put herself in second place to make him look better. After taking a shower, Noin refers to Zechs by his real last name, Peacecraft, and waits for him. Later, she addresses her cadets and tells them they’ll now become members of the Specials. Several Taurus suits are rolled out, and Noin tells them that their first mission in OZ will be to safely transport their suits to space. One cadet asks if that’s a job for the transport crew, but Noin slaps him and says she’s trained her men to take care of their own machines. Zechs arrives at Victoria and has a drink with Noin in the lounge. He asks when the Tauruses will be moved out, and she tells him it’ll be at 7 a.m. the next morning. Zechs cautions Noin not to get too attached to her soldiers, and she says they won’t die because she’s trained them not to do things. Zechs points out that his own men have been killed, and Noin responds that she thinks battles risking people’s lives are miscalculations. Otto then calls and reports that the Tallgeese is turning out to be superior than what was expected, but it’ll take a month or two to complete. Later, Wufei detonates a series of explosives in the cadets’ barracks. Noin runs to the barracks and holds a cadet in her arms as he dies. Leos begin searching the area, and Noin is informed that it’ll take 30 minutes to load up the Tauruses for transport. There’s no sign of Wufei, and Noin takes off in her Aries to lead the mobile suit force. She picks up Wufei on her heat radar and takes off to intercept. She chases after Wufei’s motorcycle and orders her men to bring her a space laser. She opens fire, and the impact knocks Wufei off of his motorcycle. Wufei kicks some flashbangs into the air and escapes to the Shenlong Gundam. The two Aries pilots target Wufei with the space laser, but she tells them not to shoot, and he uses that chance to kill them. She tries to attack herself, but Wufei knocks her Aries into the forest.
Zechs tries to tell the soldiers that the enemy isn’t coming their way and they shouldn’t move the Tauruses. However, they ignore his orders and move out one of the transport planes. Wufei uses the space laser to destroy the transport right after its takeoff. Wufei calls out to Noin and tells her she’s weak because she underestimated him for being a kid. He says he doesn’t kill women or bleeding hearts and leaves. Elsewhere, Heero works on repairs to the Wing Gundam by himself. Duo asks him why he’s rejecting assistance, and Heero says he doesn’t want anyone touching his suit. Duo points out that Heero has no parts, and that engineers can’t do repairs without parts. He’s depressed by Heero’s gloomy attitude, and Heero asks him to keep it down. Heero then gets a notice of a new mission involving an OZ transport carrying Gundanium alloy. Heero decides to take care of it in the morning, and Duo wonders how he can fix his suit by then. Relena stands at an oceanside cliff and calls out for Heero to kill her. Darlian attends a meeting with Septem and other military officials about the Gundams. Because Gundanium can only be refined in outer space, they conclude that the Gundams must’ve been sent by the colonies. Darlian comments that they shouldn’t interpret the actions of a few as representing all the colonies, and Septem asks if the colonies are acting out of jealousy. Another officer accuses Darlian of being a spy, and Darlian tells them they are the biggest threat to peace. Elsewhere, Treize takes a bubble bath and comments to his assistant Lady Une about the tensions at the Lagrange point. He asks about Darlian, and she tells him things are being taken care of. Heero works through the night on the Wing Gundam and takes off for his mission in the morning. Duo is amazed that Heero fixed his suit over night, until he’s told that Heero stole his parts from the Gundam Deathscythe. Heero spots the OZ transport in midair and destroys it with his buster rifle. Quatre plays a violin and is joined by Trowa on the flute. Maganac members work on repairs to the Gundam Heavyarms, and Maganac commander Rashid Kurama is glad that Trowa isn’t an enemy. Noin’s disabled Aries is towed back to the base, and Zechs asks her how she is. She tells him she wants to get stronger and fight the enemy alongside him. He tells her the Gundams have caused him problems, and he’d be happy to have her with him. A pack of hyenas surrounds Wufei, but he frightens them off. He says that fighting weak enemies leaves him feeling empty and screams into the sky.
This episode introduces us to two new characters: Lady Une and Lucrezia Noin. A lot of focus is placed on Noin, an old friend of Zechs’ from military academy. She’s a skilled pilot, but it’s also quite obvious that she’s got a thing for Zechs. He’s aware of it, as he notes that she would perform less than to her ability to make him look better. Despite her skills, she’s got some funny ideas about war. She claims that risking men’s lives is a miscalculation, but all battles involve risking lives. There’s no such thing as a battle where people don’t die. Her claim that her soldiers won’t die because of her training is also woefully naive. That’s why it must come as a huge shock to her when they’re killed, and by a kid no less. Her rude awakening seems to have changed her opinion, since she wants to join with Zechs at the end. Alternately, we see that tensions between Earth and the colonies are high, and that Treize is playing a part in that. I’m not sure why he has to make plans in a bubble bath, though. Finally, it’s always amusing to see interactions between Heero and Duo that contrast their gloominess and cheerfulness. It’s fitting that Heero would pull off his miracle fix of repairing the Wing Gundam by stealing parts from Duo.
Original Review: November 23, 2000