The combined Gilgamesh fleet commanded by Admiral Fermaud Leon Lepard arrives in orbit of Quent. Lepard is hailed by Battentain, who explains the situation. He says that the ancient technology of Quent has reawakened and that all their forces on the planet have vanished. Lepard wonders if the Prototype is involved, but Battentain isn’t sure. Battentain orders Lepard to solve the mystery of Quent at any cost, even if it means sacrificing the fleet. In the Gilga‘s brig, a soldier brings Gotho and the others their rations. Vanilla complains about eating the same things again, and the soldier tells him he’s lucky to get such good food as a special guest. Gotho asks where they are, and the soldier says they’re in orbit of Quent. He also says that the Gilgamesh plan to use them to steal back the Prototype. Lepard hails Rochina and requests to open formal discussions. Although several Balarant officers wish to fight, Rochina responds to Lepard and agrees to meet him at Gomor’s spaceport. Shako tells Chirico that the recent developments complicate the situation for them. A Gilgamesh shuttle launches from the flagship and lands at Gomor’s spaceport. The Schmitel twins observe from a distance and hope a fight will break out. Lepard exits the shuttle and greets Rochina. He says that there used to be a man named Rochina in the Gilgamesh forces, but Rochina replies he doesn’t know anything about that. Lepard says he has a message from Battentain demanding the return of the Prototype. Rochina lies and says Fyana isn’t on Quent because she ran off with Chirico on Sansa. Lepard again demands that Rochina hand her over, and Rochina insists she isn’t on Quent. Lepard then has Gotho, Vanilla and Coconna hauled out of the shuttle. He suggests re-starting the negotiations, and Rochina agrees to hand over Fyana. Lepard takes off in his shuttle, and Rochina’s men ask him if he plans to hand over Fyana. He does intend to, and he tells them they can steal her back anytime. For now, he has a plan.
Chirico tells Fyana that he won’t let the Gilgamesh have her. She says that she’s afraid for him and doesn’t want him to investigate Quent any further. Rochina comes into the room and says he’s going to hand Fyana over to the Gilgamesh because he doesn’t want them to attack and seize control of Quent. Vanilla and Coconna are depressed by the current situation, but Gotho doesn’t think Chirico will let the Gilgamesh get Fyana. Lepard speaks with Battentain, and the two concur that Rochina will probably attempt a sneak attack. Chirico enters the AT hangar where two Fatty pilots are preparing for their escort mission. He asks Shako if he wants to come along, but Shako says he can’t fight on his own world. He instead punches out one of the pilots so that Chirico can steal his Fatty. The two Fattys board Rochina’s shuttle and head up into space. The shuttle docks in the hangar bay of Lepard’s ship. Rochina asks Lepard to leave the Quent system, but Lepard says that their agreement was unconditional and that he intends to send occupation forces to Quent to administrate things with the Balarant. A Scopedog attempts to grab Fyana, but Chirico blasts it and tells her to escape. Rochina and Fyana return to the shuttle, and Chirico blasts a hole in the ship’s hull. The shuttle blasts its way out of the ship, and Rochina orders his fleet to open fire. Both fleets exchange fire and launch their space fighters and ATs. Chirico singlehandedly fights off the Scopedogs inside Lepard’s ship and breaks into the brig. He tells Gotho and the others to escape in a shuttle, and he provides cover fire for them as they take off. Once the shuttle clears the ship, Chirico escapes from the ship and heads into space.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen an extended AT battle, and once again Chirico ruthlessly slaughters the opposition. We’re also treated to a nice fleet-to-fleet battle between the Gilgamesh and Balarant. With these kinds of developments, it seems that Chirico’s adventures on Quent could set off another full scale war between the two great powers. With two space fleets surrounding the planet, Chirico has no choice but to return to Quent and deal with the Overman who commands Rochina. What sort of power does he possess, and why would the Gilgamesh and Balarant be willing to go to war again over it?