Episode 24: “IN: Aerial Bombing of Dejima — NUCLEAR POWER”

“…people who wish to reset the world.”

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And again, the bridge comes down. The tanks fall down on each other like the Brontosauruses in Peter Jackson’s King Kong or those giant elephants in 300. Even though they’re giant and gunmetal black, those spider-tanks are still Tachidorable. The army is pulling back now, and Gouda grins his hideous grin. “Now the refugees are isolated. Time to sit back and watch.” Be careful, Gouda. Things may be going your way time after time, but that just means you’ve rested your improv muscles. You may not even recognize such things when they burst, invisible, out of an elevator.

Kobuta sits in on a meeting with fellow military officials who argue about the situation. They want to send in troops, but the room stops when someone suggests the Jigabachis. Now… how would that not make for the media disaster each agency is so anal to avoid? See, this is why I should sit in on these things.

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The Prime Minister arrives, ready for duty, and is relieved of… it. Requesting the UN inspection during an emergency something qualifies as a something of treason, Takakura states. I’ll tell you what a something of treason is, you dang foolie. But sometimes, before the ending, the bad guys get the upper-hand, and Kayabuki is taken away. Nearby, Aramaki is told to go back inside.

Kobuta tries to check in with Section 9, gets some operators. “Didn’t you pretty ladies get destroyed on the plane?” Well, there’s probably a hundred of us. Pretty weird huh? “Yes, but I’m looking for the Chief.” He’s the weirdest of them. But we’ve been out of contact with him for now six hours. “Still at the Prime Minister’s residence?” Indeed. And I believe… that’s the last we see of Kobuta. It’s been good, buddy.

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In short, rapidly short order, the Jigabachi arrive. Kuze shouts his warning across the sky: Put down your weapons! They won’t attack unless you do! Some refugees are seeing Comrade Kuze for the first time. But before they can agape for too long, the Jigabachi strike, and we see their .50 calibur brutality from a distance. It’s like that rooftop scene from Black Hawk Down each time they’re in for the kill.

Kuze, watching the situation spiral so quickly out of control, commands his people to gather the best crack shots and meet him at the docks. He’ll link everyone to his cyberbrain once more. Sharing airspace with the Jigs once more is Section 9 — natural enemies. Batou says that their IFF code will be useless once inside. Those Jigs will attack. The Major is full steam ahead — she’s dealt with a Jigabachi once or twice before. And also joining the skies is a more mysterious team, from whom we learn that there won’t be a landing op until the nukes have been retrieved — that’s their job.

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Good Lord. Here comes “Cyberbird.” You’re killing me. The Tachikoma signal is soon cut off. Batou’s rearing too — “Let’s do this! This is my jam!” The mystery team, let’s call them Section 4, spots the Section 9 heli, and drives hard after them.

The Tachikoma are back in the chatroom. As is typical, they’re worried about Mr. Batou. Considering his line of work, this is doubtless a round-the-clock concern. They wonder if their fellow Tachi met up with Ishikawa yet. We get the corresponding word from the ground: shit’s slow in real life! I’m on the road, stop hassling me!

At CIS, Gouda is alerted to the Section 4 deployment into Dejima. They’re after the plutonium. But Gouda hides the true reason — says it’s something else. You’ll understand soon enough. Let’s hope so.

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Batou flies in, but can’t find an LZ — too much rubble. The Major says they’ll go in one-by-one, by rope. Saito’s got the plutonium, and all is looking… good… Oh, the Jigabachi! Batou flies up as they open fire — the Major already halfway out, and dangling now. She drops off on a roof — the helicopter storms overhead, hotly pursued. She drops down streetside, another mini-earthquake.

 

“Proto,” Togusa says. “You get in touch with the Tachikoma?” He jacks into the system. “Yes.” Togusa is impressed, self-effaces. Proto however is quite enamored of Togusa, claims he’s a man capable of meeting the demands of any situation. Oh, go on. They discuss how Kayabuki is being kept under house arrest so that they can shift the blame onto her after everything’s all said, all done. Proto’s got a new report, that Section 9 has entered Dejima with the plutonium. The Chief nods. Well, well. Good idea. Proto says that they’ve been attacked, and can’t verify if they’re alive or dead.

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Batou is in the midst of alive or dead, attempting to land with the Jigabachi on his tail. The Major shoots at it to draw its fire, and tells Batou she’s going on ahead. “Where are you Kuze?” she asks herself as she runs deeper into Dejima. In answer, Kuze and his friends gather on a harbory structure, rocket launchers in hand.

Batou did a fine job crashing the helicopter in a clearing. They’re camouflaged, and peek out for a sitrep: soon we will be surrounded. Section 4 strangely comes in guns blazing, and at the refugees, considering where sympathy-wise they end up. Such is the confusion of war. Damn, Batou says. Can’t believe those bastards followed us here.

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The leader of the Section 4 team, Suzabe, orders his crew to not use optical camouflage, minding the crossfire. I guess this is our cue that they don’t know it’s a fellow Section — though I don’t know who they even speculate is in this downed craft. Refugees? Regardless, Saito is asking the same question, flipped. What unit is this? Batou says this is bad. It’s a GSDA Special Ops squad. It’s possible he recognizes them here.

The Tachikoma follow up suspicious use of radiation scrubbers — could it be preemptive micro-machine deployment over Dejima, insurance for nuclear detonation? Well, intelligence should tell them there’s no nukes. They ask Proto for his expertise, and he’s taken off-guard they’d value his opinion. Uhh, well… Too late, Proto — they spot the sub anyway, an American Empire nuclear submarine off the coast of Dejima. Oh. If we know where this is going, here’s a tissue. Not twice, Kamiyama…

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“They’d really fire at Dejima?” Togusa is clued into the sub. Gouda must’ve known this all along. This is why he pushed the US/Japan security treaty? The Chief is familiar with this sort of game. This is the work of covert people who hope to reset the world. Togusa’s got a plan — get the Prime Minister back. The Chief flashes his piece, a tiny little revolver he can sneak into government buildings because no one would frisk such a stately gentleman. Paff — how unstately he truly is. Proto runs a search for her location and gets fried. Shit, that was a real guy, too. Oh wait, no — android. Look at this white blood. Proto, I had no idea you were an android. “Not an android,” he says in twitching fits. “A bioandroid… prototype…”

The jammer-copter cuts across the sky, into Kuze’s crosshairs. The Major sees his crew’s rockets overhead, and Kuze scores a direct hit. The assault choppers will be here soon, he warns. Let’s clear out! The Major sees him. Kuze! Back at the other helicopter, so many helicopters, Batou says they’ll be pinned down if they stay another minute. He’ll be last ones out and take the plutonium. They’ll take the houses — it’s like a maze in there.

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Saito, so military, gives the formation: two man cells, two sets. And Batou soon makes it out — one floating container of plutonium hopping off the helicopter. Suzabe is shocked. They’re using thermoptic camo! This ain’t the usual SDA troop, he says. Huh. What’s going on here? They’re supposed to be low-ranking soldiers! Sounds like… data manipulation…

He gives the order — two team B formation. Section 9 forms up in the houses, Batou taking up the rear, and that’s it.

Ah, that’s good. Once more Section 9 is dealing with a parallel Japanese Special Forces team, and here we set paramilitary tactics — formations, camo, jamming — in the shanty environments. Section 9 eventually uses the locale to their advantage — water to deactivate camo, leak some oil. I really like the whole thing, the idea of two squads like this fighting one another. It isn’t infantry combat, it’s a more complex game against the crumbling ruin.

The Major’s on her own, the Tachikoma have spotted the sub. We’re in position.

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