Part 77: Mission 22 (Mars Route) - PrologueVotings now closed and the vast majority (9 against 3) wanted to check out Mars.
Lets get this show going with the prologue:
In his log, Kazuma relates how Taiga took Mamoru back to Earth to have talks with his parents and they related the story of how they found Mamoru eight years ago when he was delivered to them by Galleon; regardless of Mamorus newfound heritage, though, both the kid and his parents still see themselves as true family.
Kazuma would love to soak in a bit more of that normal family ambiance, but for now there's the little matter of a voyage to Mars: a major step for Trailer-kind; and after that, an even more major step to Jupiter - closing in on the kind of life spaceman legend George Glenn led.
Still, Kazuma is also puzzled by his father's odd behavior of late, which he figures is due to Aria.
Whether Aria was responsible for the new Valhawk/Valstork weapon, or whether it was just the shock of battle jarring loose one of Carret's black boxes, is a matter of speculation.
But the timing was way too perfect to be blind luck and Kazuma has a feeling that theres something else there; Bless' reaction to hearing Aria's name, after all the denial of a love child, isn't exactly reassuring.
Of all the mysteries in Bless' past, the circumstances under which he met Kazuma's mother are the most obscure. Given that Bless was born and raised on Mars, perhaps this trip will give Kazuma a chance to reveal what the stuck-up Aria's deal really is.
Elsewhere on the ship, Noal is quizzing Boss on the planets in the Solar System. Boss has a good head for this: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Mamoru and Boss mooks are both impressed that the remembered them all surely, with his intellect and Boss Borot, there isnt anything that can beat him!
Of course, there used to be one more planet - Prometheus? Nemesis? Lucifer? No one can remember its rightful name, but D-Boy explains that that ninth planet certainly hasn't vanished merely forgotten.
It was disqualified by a group of scientists, condemned to permanent obscurity.
Kazuma figures D-Boy would seen the planet as the Argos travelled to the fringes of the solar system and asks how it felt; D-Boys silence points to Shihomi that he doesnt want to talk about and, while Kazuma apologizes, he imagines it mustve been scary being on the edge of our known space and facing the unknown.
D-Boy admits that the sight of Pluto and the edge of our solar system filled him with dread but perhaps he was a bit justified, considering all the many races that came from outside: the Zondar, Galra, Radam, Eviluders
When Suzuishi thinks about it, we seem to have a good idea of what were dealing with most races but such is not the case with the Eviluders they remain obscure and Fahra mentions that, even in Altea, they were regarded as mere rumors.
This supposedly warlike race is nothing but a vaguely sketched enemy in D-Boy's Radam memories - one that indiscriminately attacks other cultures.
He vaguely knows that the Eviluders were especially enthusiastic in their assault on the Radam, despite the fact that their forces were equal in strength and massive carnage on both sides would be the likely outcome.
Even more interesting is how similar the Tekkaman and Detonators seem to be; oddly enough, both sides have had one such entity betray their peers and fight against them: D-boy and the Radam, Orgun and the Eviluders.
Kazuma figures theres a partnership in the making there and figures they should team up to fight their enemies together: a tag team of Gloomy D-Boy and Crazy Orgun, Noal suggests.
Aki is quick to criticize Noal for his silliness but D-Boy seems more confused than angry at the joke, and Shihomi thinks that Aki's influence is slowly softening D-Boy's shell.
Speaking of forgotten planets, Mars falls into that category too; the dreams of a vital colony there were laid waste when Akito and Yurika were kids, and those who helped build the settlement seem reluctant to try again.
That seems to be the time when Bless met Taiga and the others, since he spent his entire teens living on Mars.
The odd part is how easily the Earth seems to have given up on colonizing its closest planetary neighbor, though Kazuma figures such efforts will resume when this war is over.
But what constitutes the end of the war?
Akane is hoping for some clearly defined "last boss" like every other game, and Kouji and Ryouma hear a ring of truth in this simpleminded concept.
As things currently stand, we don't really know who or what we're trying to defeat.
Take the "Jovian Lizards" for instance, which were only called that because they were first spotted on Jupiter some 70 years ago.
The question is whether George Glenn, the leader of the first manned expedition to Jupiter and the "First Coordinator", fought them.
Fahra has heard that the Coordinators are a strain of humanity which has undergone genetic engineering, and wonders where they all are.
Mikoto explains that they look outwardly identical to the "Naturals" without genetic changes, and that they all retreated to the space colony known as "Plans" to avoid open conflict with those Naturals.
The Plant didn't even intervene during Treizes revolutionary war, part of a full century of enforced ignoring one another and, if the rumors are true, that century has made the Coordinators steadily less and less friendly...
The journey to Mars is over fast, and Kouji would rather look for the Lizards and Chouryuujin than mull over our list of potential enemies.
It will be difficult to gather information, though, given how much of Mars is uninhabited; for all we know, one or more enemies may have been busy building forward bases on Mars by now.
That doesn't faze Kazuma, whose childlike enthusiasm is a constant puzzlement to Akane.
Kazuma retorts that her childlike breasts are a puzzlement to him, and that if she's not careful Mihiro will beat her in that department.
Akane gets furious, and while Mikoto and Sayaka say that she has nothing to worry about, it seems like very cold comfort coming from the two curvaceous girls.
As the Trailers say: "The strong comforting the weak is an act of violence; do not sympathize without getting paid for it.
Mihiro can only wish for her to fight on.