Meryl and Milly are stuck inside their room as the Typhoon passes over Oregon City. When they check on Vash, all they find is a note saying not to look for him. Milly placed a tracking device in his food, but a cat had eaten it. Standing on a cliff, Vash has a flashback of he and Knives when they first arrived on the planet. Knives said all the ships except Lem’s survived because of her, and he will kill all remaining humans. Trusting Borcan’s calculations, Vash times his jump for the eye of the storm and lands on a strange metal device. He’s not alone though, as Nicholas decides to drop in right behind him. Vash tells him he’s going home. They approach a ship suspended in the clouds that is too damaged to reenter space, but has enough power left to remain airborne. There are descendants of the crew who still live inside, and Vash visits them every few years. On one edge of the ship, a wooden bird can be seen spying. The Puppetmaster tells Legato that Vash is not alone, and asks if the man with him could be Chapel. Legato responds that it doesn’t change the mission either way. An old man referred to as Sensei orders a man named Brad to let Vash in. Brad, along with the rest of the ship, is very disturbed that Vash brought along a land dweller A girl named Jessica runs and hugs Vash since she was best friends with him as a child. She tells him to see her immediately after he is finished talking with Sensei. Brad tells Nicholas to stay put until Vash comes back. Meanwhile, the agents determination to find Vash is cut short when they open their door and are greeted by a torrential wind.
The ship’s inhabitants stand around Nicholas staring. A kid throws a rock at him and tells him to go away. The child’s mother scolds the him but says she agrees. The crew clearly views themselves as superior, but Nicholas breaks the cold reality that one day the reactor will run out, forcing them to live on land. Vash tells Sensei he has not spotted Knives but felt him nearby. He also mentions that his gun popped open again just like in July City. Upon hearing this, Brad grabs Vash by his collar and tells him that he is causing all the danger. Sensei reminds Brad that Vash has prevented Knives from causing further damage. After Brad leaves, he tells Vash that Brad is just jealous of Jessica’s affection towards him. He also gives Vash a gift in the form of a brand new mechanical arm. Nicholas hears gunshots and rushes to the room where the sounds are emanating from. He busts down the door to discover several dead bodies. Brad and the rest of the crew are right behind him, and they think he did it. Vash goes to visit Jessica, but the only thing he finds is a package with the word “kill” written in red on it. More gunshots occur behind Brad, and upon turning around, he sees everyone behind him dead on the floor. Nicholas runs out and confronts the killer, one of the puppets. The puppet address him as Chapel, and Nicholas guns him down. Two more puppets appear, and one has Jessica. The puppet tells Brad to kill Nicholas or Jessica will die. Nicholas tells Brad it’s a trap and that the only way for them to survive is to sacrifice the girl. Vash comes to the rescue and shoots the head off one puppet. Nicholas finishes off the other. What’s left of one puppet tells Vash that it’s not over yet, since there is another of puppet on the ship.
This was the second best episode so far. The idea of a ship still suspended in the sky is novel, and provides an interesting setup for tension between the land dwellers and sky dwellers The way the ship’s inhabitants viewed Nicholas is similar to how Knives views humans in general. Ironically, Nicholas ended up being the one who tried to protect them. The second half had me completely in suspense, which reached a climax at the end of this cliffhanger. We finally learn that Vash was indeed responsible for the July City incident, but it was not intentional. Another interesting note was the reference to Nicholas as Chapel. Could he in fact be the Gung-Ho-Gun that was missing in episode 15? We shall see soon enough.