Part 11: Mission 4 - Prologue
Kazuma relates the latest financial blow in the ship's log, noting that the upcoming appeal to Freeman is unlikely to bring about any relief.
Neither the pay nor the way the crew has been treating him sit very well with Kazuma, and he figures he ought to have jumped ship for the Nadesico and headed to Mars.
Given how Mars is the jumping-off point for mankind's ambitions beyond the Solar System, it would be only right for a Trailer to see the place.
He thinks back on how there were once nine planets in the solar system before one somehow got demoted, making the Solar System smaller by the amount of its orbit, and space that much bigger and wider.
He greatly wants to venture out into that wide world of outer space someday but, for now, he's counting on his father's bargaining acumen to stave off a long walk off the short pier of bankruptcy.
Bless is trying to put the screws to Freeman and wring out another job offer, but Freeman points out that the Outer Space Development Company is just a branch of the Space Development Corporation, whose finances he can't manipulate at will.
Only the Corporation's president, Taiga Koutarou, has that authority.
Bless seems vaguely ill that the Gold Tiger would be tied into all this, harkening back to the days when both Taiga and Freeman were out for his blood.
Kazuma wonders who is this old acquaintance of Bless and Duo inwardly wishes he could have seen this clash between the Special Forces ID5 squad and the Hawkeye's men.
In any case, Bless says that whatever the past may be, in the present he's the Valstork Family's representative, and prepared to bow the knee to Taiga if need be.
Freeman says that won't be necessary: he can get a job the way Trailers normally would; in fact, he does have one little thing he'd like Bless to see to before coming to Earth.
Kazuma tells him that he should have said so in the first place, but Freeman warns that this is going to be a lot harder than the theater you just staged.
Noal asks and Freeman confirms that, indeed, this would have originally gone to the Space Knights D-boy quickly, and correctly, assumes that it involves the Orbital Ring and the Radam.
It seems a joint force of army intelligence and government operatives investigated the Ring the other day; the Block 20 mission Noal and Aki were on was a preliminary the main team has already went into the Ring and they havent heard anything since.
Duo prepares to relax a bit while they handle this since its not Preventers business but he and Quatre aren't off the hook either: Lady Une is with Freeman.
She explains that thanks to a little bureaucratic reorganizing, the Space Knights and Preventers both had their HQs shifted to G Island City as such, they are now working together.
Duo wonders if they're going to be merged into the "Space Preventers", but Lady won't discuss that until your people reach Earth.
Duo tells her he'll report on his own mission in person too.
Kazuma is surprised that she is THE Lady Une and Quatre affirms: shes the former peace Ambassador of Treize, now working as the head of the Preventers.
Lady thanks Bless for looking after her men but he says it was no problem.
Duo doesn't equate janitor duty with being "looked after", but Kazuma assures him that his janitorial acumen is second to none.
In any case, Noin, another Preventer operative, was in on the joint investigation of the Ring, and she wants Duo and Quatre in on this new job in their capacity as Preventers.
It seems the joint mission had been an investigation of the biology of the Radam, plus retrieval of surviving humans and recon drones confirm life signs aboard the Ring, indicating survivors.
Unfortunately, the former recovery team was wiped out by the Radam, their final transmission an image of a Tekkaman who D-Boy quickly identifies as Tekkaman Dagger, one of the Radam's servants.
D-Boy knows full well the destructive power the Tekkamen wield, and is surprised that one would allow itself to be photographed...
This would seem to be a provocation, if not an outright declaration of war, and D-Boy figures that Dagger is waiting for him specifically.
Bless cautions D-Boy against selfishly acting alone, reminding him that pulling together is the only way for Spacemen to survive.
Bless isn't sure of D-Boy's background of course, but something about the way he carries himself has him convinced that he is also a Spaceman.
Freeman has 40k ready, but this time Bless wants full disclosure of the job's contents before any mention of money.
All D-Boy can think of is Dagger...
The Blue Earth gets sent ahead to do recon on the Orbital Ring, despite Noal's half-hearted grumbling.
Most of the real work will be done by D-Boy, so the Blue Earth is mostly acting as lookout.
Theyre landing into the ring to allow D-Boy to take a closer look at the situation and Kazuma, who is hiding inside the cargo compartment, quickly starts panicking as they start their descent.
The Valstork is lurking in reserve, ready to spring if things go bad but Shihomi is fretting over the look in D-Boy's eyes when he saw the picture of Dagger.
It was something even more complex than the rage and hatred at the surface.
Shihomi is a pretty infallible judge of character, and Akane is sure there's more D-Boy knows than he's letting on.
Horis opines that the whole shadowed past thing must be what is drawing the ladies to D-Boy, and Akane rejoins that he ought to try showing a bit more of that himself.
After all, he is an intelligence officer and an alum of the Federation academy...
He might consider it if Shihomi digs that sort of thing, but she says both her and Akanes ideals for a man are pretty high does Horis think he can reach them?
Horis says that hes just like them, when it comes to his ideals its what made him join the Trailers in the first place.
Duo finds all this to be a bit lax for his tastes, but Bless tells him that unless he relaxes when he can, the constant tension will break him down.
Duo likes this personal philosophy of Bless', but Quatre just hopes that Noin is okay.
The good news is that "wiped out" doesn't necessarily mean "utterly destroyed", and Noin's already shown she can live through bigger bloodbaths than this.
But just then a new problem comes to light when Mihiro comes in looking for Kazuma she cant find him anywhere on the ship.
Bless quickly expects the worse and Horis confirms: Kazuma has taken his personal spacesuit and headed outside Bless is not happy at this unauthorized action.
Inside the Orbital Ring, Kazuma is trying to keep up with D-Boy, who tells him flatly that he has no reason to wait up if hes having a hard time, he can return to the Blue Earth.
Kazuma is pretty confident in his spacewalking ability, but D-Boy reminds him that his job is strictly to relay communications.
Kazuma asks if theres a reason why he didnt bring Aki or Noal along and D-Boy says that, should the Radam attack, he wont have time to protect any of them, especially if its Dagger.
Kazuma knows that well, saying that hes not a kid and can handle himself D-boy says that he IS kid, for troubling his father like this; Kazuma asks why D-Boy is taking his fathers side to eagerly and D-Boy says that if Kazuma cant put himself in his fathers position and consider his actions, then he has no right to say that he ISNT a kid.
Kazuma knows he's not even half the man his father is, or as intelligent as Shihomi or as accurate as Akane.
Even his piloting would be second-rate if not for Mihiro's help, and it seems he's trying to be even a bit more helpful to his clients and thereby gain his father's praise.
If he's going to be saddled with being Hawkeye's son, at least he wants to get be worthy of the title.
D-Boy is impressed with how clearly Kazuma articulated it, and Kazuma mutters that he hadn't planned to say any of it at all...
But something in D-Boy's eyes, something about the burden he carried, made him want to unburden himself to D-Boy.
That, and the fact that he's feeling a bit short on confidence himself.
Just then the two stumble on some of the survivors, who fire a warning shot in their general direction thinking them to be Radam.
The survivors, Bernard and Youko(Orange-haired woman), don't seem thrilled to see only two people in the rescue party (one of whom is a kid), but Noin recognizes D-Boy from the Space Knights.
Bernard is a commander from the Orbital Ring's defense forces, one of the few left after months of surviving the Radam.
Noin and Youko are from the investigation team, and when Bernard waxes disappointed about Trailers being sent to rescue him.
Kazuma angrily points out that his companion is D-Boy, a.k.a Tekkaman Blade.
It seems these are the only survivors, thanks to Tekkaman Dagger.
Speak of the devil, he shows up, glad that his actions have made an impact.
D-boy calls him his old name, Fritz, and Dagger is surprised that he remembers that much still, he won't indulge D-Boy the chance to hear his own name.
He vows to cut D-Boy to ribbons for his treachery towards the Radam as he Teksets.
Daggers hunt for Blade is much more than mere business: aside from his betrayal of the Radam, Dagger takes special insult on the fact that Blade scarred his face so.
He figures that the only appropriate punishment for such crimes is death.
Bernard thinks he can hold Dagger off by himself while everyone else escapes.
Daggers swats him away and focuses on making Blade Tekset to fight him.
D-boy does so but Dagger immediately calls him on his foolishness and activates some device.
This device starts wreaking havoc on D-boy who bends over in pain.