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[Thank you, Saturn, for the screen caps!]

Gatchman Episode 92: “The End of the Crescent Base”

BOTP Episode: “Invasion of Space Center, Part II”


 


Picking right up from episode 91, we start with a view of sun shining through a blue sea, but it quickly becomes apparent that we’re seeing an incoming barrage of torpedoes.

“Torpedoes detected! Distance 500!” cries an anxious voice as we see the torpedoes all registering as dots of light on a radar screen.


 


“Fire rocket engines! Move the base!” orders another anxious voice –this one belonging to Dr. Nambu- as we see a view of the Crescent Coral Base’s engine room.

And the base’s engines fire up, but the torpedoes are zooming in fast (and besides, they’re attracted to the homing beacon the Galactor agents planted so I doubt they’ll be evaded much by moving the base).

Indeed it is too late.


 


Torpedoes strike and pierce the lower section of the base, where the engines are located. There’s a massive explosion that sends flames shooting out of the sea and into the air above, and a second one, and we briefly get an aerial view of the coral reef, with smoke and flames rising from the sea on either side of it.


 

Inside an engine room, water is now pouring in. “Damage in Engine Room One!” reports a voice, “Flooding in Engine Room One! All maintenance personnel report immediately!”

Water continues to pour in, and as frightened scientists and technicians look on, a vast wave of water sweeps towards them and washes them away. Elsewhere, another explosion erupts near another group and unleashes a new flood of water to whisk them away as they cry out in horror.


 


A piece of one of the damaged engines breaks off and falls into another part of the engine, and yet another explosion results, sending flames shooting out into the water that surrounds the underwater base and more water now rushes in through this new breach in the base’s exterior.

We’re getting a view of the whole base, from below looking up, and it’s not looking good! Flames are emanating from the lower half of the base in multiple locations, and especially from near the engines, and explosions are continuing to break out.


 


The “camera” now zooms in on the round windows at the very top of the base and in one window, we see Ken and Jun looking out it while Dr. Nambu is busy at a console in the background.


 


Inside, Dr. Nambu is calling “Abandon Engine Room One!” into a microphone, as Ken watches him, eyes wide in concern, “Close the shutters to prevent further flooding.”

But still more torpedoes are incoming, “At distance 300!” reports a frightened voice. These torpedoes all hit and pierce one of the base’s engines.


 
Another massive explosion results, leaving the engine reduced to mangled wreckage barely attached to the base anymore.

“Having discovered the Science Ninja Team’s secret base, the Crescent Coral Reef, Galactor has ordered a full scale attack,” says the narrator, as we see still more explosions occurring inside the base’s engine rooms, “led by a homing device planted in Engine Room One, a barrage of torpedoes hit their target without fail and destroy the base.”

Explosions are causing metal girders and frames to collapse inside, as some technicians (or scientists, or engineers) frantically try to keep more of the machinery from breaking apart, while one cries “Fire in the main engine room!” as flames draw near.

We cut back to an external view of the entire base, still pouring flaming smoke from numerous areas. With the destruction of one of the engines, the base now appears to be off balance, and the entire thing begins to pitch. Up on the top level, Jun and Ken both cry out as the floor suddenly tilts, and they have to lean against the wall to stay upright.


 


“Detach us from the Coral Reef!” says Dr. Nambu, “Or the base will be crushed and fall in the trench!”

So, a technician says, “Understood, abandoning the camouflage reef!” and he presses a red button. Immediately, the girders that hold the reef onto the base itself fire up with small rockets, detach from the base and begin to move away from it.

But one girder doesn’t detach correctly. “Rocket number two failed –the camouflage coral reef won’t detach!” calls out the alarmed technician. And as the coral reef begins to tilt askew, because the base is now only attached to it on one side, one of the detached girders swings towards a large undersea window in the upper section of the base and smashes right through it.


 


Technicians scream before being hit with torrents of incoming sea water, and the base and the semi-attached coral reef tip even further askew, sinking deeper into the sea.

Fortunately, the base, still dragging the now-steeply tilted reef along with it, hits a rocky ledge, at the edge of the trench, and comes to a halt there, still spewing smoke and flames.

 

We get an aerial view and all that can be seen is flaming smoke rising up into the air from the sea and one pointy end of the reef, sticking up awkwardly from the water.

“Unless we burn through the pillar and detach it, the base will fall on its side!” says Ken now, looking out the window of the upper level room that he, Jun and Dr. Nambu are still in.

“Let’s call back the God Phoenix and cut it off by using the rocket gun,” suggests Jun.


 


“We can’t!” snaps a sweating Dr. Nambu. When Jun asks why, he goes on “Galactor will be waiting for the God Phoenix and blow it right out of the sky, that’s why!”

Ken and Jun look at each other in dismay. Meanwhile, more explosions continue to erupt throughout the base. An undersea window is smashed as a result, and still more water comes flooding in.

“Computer Room Two is damaged! It’s started flooding!” cries a voice from a speaker and Ken and Jun turn to stare, aghast.

We get a look at the room, and it’s completely full of water and the table and chairs are floating near its ceiling. Another explosion rips through the room.

Back where Ken, Jun and the Doctor are, Ken is snarling in anger and frustration and pressing his clenched fists against the window as his shoulders tremble.

Dr. Nambu is calling “Attention all personnel!” and ordering an immediate evacuation of the base. We see some scientists/technicians standing in a room, waist-deep in water with more coming in, listening to his words.


 


Another explosion rocks the room.

“There’s no way we can leave right now,” insists one of the men, responding back to Dr. Nambu. Dr. Nambu yells that the base will be “obliterated” in a matter of minutes but the man insists “We’re not leaving now –we’ve got to save the Mantle Project for world peace, don’t you see, man?”

I guess you have to admire his dedication, if not his instincts for self-preservation.

Another explosion hits the room and flames rush across the water’s surface.

An anguished looking Dr. Nambu is clutching his microphone. “What stubborn idiots!” he says, before turning and telling Ken to evacuate everyone. “All we can do now is reduce the casualties as much as possible! That’s it.”

“What about you?” demands Ken.

“I’ll dispose of our secret documents so that Galactor won’t get their hands on them,” he replies, “Now hurry!” Does this involve computer hard drives or servers? No -he runs over to some tall cabinets by the wall, opens them and begins pulling out and throwing binders full of documents into a pile on the floor.

Ooh, how high-tech.


 


“If anyone disobeys,” he snarls, “Throw them into the mini-submarine by force!”

“Let’s go!” calls Ken to Jun and they both run from the room as Dr. Nambu continues to heave more binders from the cabinets. I guess he’s planning to make a document bonfire.
Ken and Jun run down a flight of stairs.


 


And then we get another external view of the base. The situation’s not good –explosions are still ripping through the base and it’s continued to tilt as it sits on the ledge overlooking the trench, and now it looks like it’s going to fall down into the trench… very soon.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, the God Phoenix is speeding along underwater.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 08-09-2010 at 19:38.
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On the bridge, Jinpei is staring at his instruments and he makes a startled “huh?” even as a frowning Joe turns away from his radar screen and demands “What the hell was that?”

“Something exploded, Joe,” says Ryu nervously.

“Is it possible that Galactor’s attacked our base?” continues Joe, glowering even more.

“No way,” insists Jinpei, “If that’s the case, we would have heard from them.”

Not if Dr. Nambu wants to keep you from rushing back to the base to try to defend it…

“But isn’t it strange we haven’t seen any sign of Galactor after all this time searching for them?” continues Joe, more convinced that something’s not right, “Ryu, let’s go back to the base.”


 


Ryu complies.

Meanwhile, back at the base, explosions even bigger than before are breaking out inside, and entire engine rooms are engulfed in flames. Other rooms are filled with water, in which debris and furniture are floating.

Jun and Ken are standing at the bottom of a flight of stairs, staring in horror at the flame-filled and flooded space before them.

“Is anyone still alive out there?” cries Ken across the vast chamber. “Is anyone here? Can you hear us?” adds Jun.


 


There’s no answer. They exchange an anguished look and then continue to shout.

Eventually, there’s an answering shout from a group of scientists or technicians who’ve managed to find a place that isn’t on fire or flooded. Ken and Jun’s faces brighten and they run towards them.


 


There’s only about half a dozen of them (and their clothes are torn and soot-stained), and Ken asks if there are any more survivors, but one of the men replies that they’re the only ones left. “We’ll most likely all die here,” he adds. Such an optimist!

But Ken points out that the submarine isn’t damaged and that “We still have a chance to get out!”

“That’s a negative,” insists the man, “Leaving here would mean we’ve caved in to Galactor.”

Sheesh, haven’t they ever heard of “living to fight another day?”

“We haven’t lost yet,” insists Jun, “In any case, we have to evacuate!”

Maybe they should point out that they’re Science Ninjas and that they were instructed by Dr. Nambu to throw reluctant evacuees into the sub by force if necessary.

“What? All the research and development we’ve done?” continues the scientist, “Think we’re just going to give it over to Galactor?”

It’s either already flooded or on fire –there couldn’t be much left to give- and Dr. Nambu’s probably preparing to burn it anyway.

So Ken points out that he’s a Science Ninja –well actually, he punches the scientist in the gut, but close enough.


 


“Oh my,” says Jun, wide-eyed, as the scientist collapses and Ken drapes him over his shoulder.

Ken turns to glare at the rest of them, declaring “I’ll drag all of you out of here by force if I have to –those are my orders from Dr. Nambu!”

“Please,” says Jun earnestly, taking the ‘good cop’ role, “What we need to achieve world peace isn’t documents and machines, it’s your lives and more important things.”

“She’s right,” insists Ken, “Even if we retreat this time, we can still start over as long as we have you!”

“Come this way –it’s too dangerous to stay!” says Jun, beckoning as she and Ken turn to leave.


 


Either it’s these persuasive words or the example of their unconscious comrade that decides it for them, but the rest of the scientists all follow them now.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nambu is endeavoring to ensure that no R&D is given over to Galactor –he’s still pulling binders of documents out of cabinets and tossing them into a pile on the floor. A very large pile.


 


He’s staring blankly at the heap, clearly not happy about what he has to do, but he pulls out a lighter from his jacket so it seems he’s about to get the bonfire started.


 


The remaining girder that’s keeping the coral reef attached to the base is warping and bending now from stress, and this causes the reef to shift and fall against the base. In his room, Dr. Nambu staggers suddenly as the floor tilts even more beneath him. He accidently drops the lighter and it lands on top of the pile of binders where it begins to char one of them. But worse, a massive, towering computer now starts sliding away from the wall, tearing its electric cables loose, and careening towards Dr. Nambu…


 

 


But we cut to Ken and Jun, and in their case, a huge chunk of metal girder is falling from the ceiling and nearly lands on them. Unfortunately, the submarine they need to use to get the scientists away from the base is not so lucky and it now has a long section of girder lying on top of it.


 


Still, Ken and Jun breathe sighs of relief that the submarine doesn’t appear to have taken any damage. “I think she’ll still be able to get out,” says Ken, but the scientists are now peering out of the sub’s hatch. “Aren’t you two coming with us?” calls one of them.

Ken calls back that he and Jun will be leaving with Dr. Nambu and that they’re to go on ahead. “Based on the torpedoes’ trajectory,” Ken adds, “Galactor must be taking up positions in the southeast. Head northwest and surface as soon as possible!”


 


The scientists agree with this (or don’t want to get punched) and they seal the submarine’s hatch as Ken and Jun run from the docking bay and seal its door behind them. Ken tells Jun to open up the shutters and bring the monitors online, so they can oversee the submarine’s departure.

Jun presses a button on a nearby console, and the large exterior door of the submarine’s docking bay begins to open and the bay starts filling up with water.


 


But there are some electric cables running across a wall, somewhere in the base, and a surge of electricity is traversing one of them.


 


When the surge reaches the end of the cable, there’s an explosion.


 


And the submarine bay’s exterior door stops moving before it’s fully open and Ken and Jun’s monitors go dark.

“The generator room’s been destroyed!” cries Ken, “Now the escape shutter won’t open!”

They go running back inside the submarine bay, which is still filling with water, anxious to see if the submarine will still be able to get out.


 


Well, the docking clamps release the submarine and it begins to drop below the surface of the water inside the bay and move towards the partially open exterior door. However, the top part of the submarine catches on the top of the exterior door, thwarting its first attempt to exit. “Come on, you can make it,” mutters a very tense Ken. The submarine tries half a dozen more times to leave, each time ramming its top against the door that’s partially blocking its way, but eventually the door crumples and gives way and the submarine is able to finally to leave the docking bay and take the scientists away from the base.


 

 


Jun and Ken, seeing this, sag with relief.

Ken tries to contact Dr. Nambu, saying “The research engineers have escaped safely,” but they both look worried when Dr. Nambu doesn’t answer.


 

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 08-09-2010 at 19:40.
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We cut to Dr. Nambu and the lighter he dropped has caught the pile of documents on fire and it’s burning away vigorously, but the massive computer that slid away from the wall has fallen on top of Dr. Nambu’s leg and he’s unable to pull himself free despite strenuous efforts, sweating heavily from, no doubt, both stress and the heat from the fire.


 


The God Phoenix is still heading back to the base, underwater, and it goes right over the Galactor ship that’s hidden in the sand on the sea’s floor.

On board the Galactor ship, two goons observe the God Phoenix, and note that it doesn’t seem to have detected them.


 


Meanwhile, a happy Berg Katse is listening to harpsichord music, drinking wine and playing chess (my, such cultured pastimes).

The goons inform him of the latest development and ask him if they should fire on the God Phoenix.

“Nah,” says Katse merrily, advancing a white pawn (not sure who he’s playing against), “Lets savor the moment. It’ll be neat to feel their anguish as they watch their base collapse into the deep!”


 


He reaches for a glass of wine from a server-goon and laughs. “Our cloaking device is on anyway,” he adds, sniffing his wine appreciatively, “So they’re no threat to us.”


 


As the God Phoenix approaches the Crescent Coral base, the base is mangled, burning and teetering on the edge of a deep trench, about to fall in.


 


Ryu sees it first and gasps in horror, followed immediately by Joe and Jinpei.


 


“What happened to our base?” whispers Ryu in shock as a wide-eyed Jinpei gasps “It’s wasted…”

Sweating, Ryu hits some buttons as he mutters “It’ll be a real tricky docking.”


 


The docking bay he’s aiming for is partially behind the reef, and tilted on an odd angle –as is the entire base. On his initial attempt to get the God Phoenix inside the bay, one of its wing pods hits the side of the bay entrance, and the whole base shifts slightly, and the girder that’s still holding the reef against the base tears some more.

“The base has lost its balance,” says Joe, frowning and sweating as he stands right beside Ryu, “The slightest shock will make it fall.”

But it hasn’t fallen quite yet, and Ryu takes a relieved breath. On his second try, he gets the God Phoenix in smoothly.

Back on the Galactor ship, Katse advances a white bishop. “What’s that?” he asks, “So the God Phoenix has just entered the base?” And, for some reason, he now sweeps all the chess pieces off the board and onto the floor (I guess his imaginary opponent was winning) and stands up.

“Very well!” he says, with a dramatic arm gesture, “The Science Ninja Team is trapped like rats now. Ready all torpedo tubes! Destroy the Crescent Coral base! Aim!”

The Galactor ship rises up now from its concealed position beneath sand and muck on the sea floor.

“Fire!” yells Katse, and more torpedoes are sent on their way.


 


Inside the base, Ken is banging with his hands on the door of the room that Dr. Nambu is in, yelling “Doctor! Doctor Nambu! Open the door!”

But inside the room, Dr. Nambu’s leg is still pinned beneath the massive computer, the fire is still burning and he’s unconscious now.


 


Ken’s looking frightened. “Doctor, Doctor Nambu…”

“Ken, you don’t think-” gasps Jun.

“This stupid automatic door’s had it, Jun,” says Ken, eyes closed as he shakes in frustration.


 


But then Joe’s voice comes over their bracelets. “Ken, can you hear me, Ken?”

Ken quickly asks “Where are you?” and Joe informs him he’s in the God Phoenix’s hangar. “What happened? We can’t get the shutter open?”

Ken tells him the generator room’s been destroyed. “All systems are down –doors and all.”

Hmm, that’s a design flaw, having doors that can’t open in the event of a power failure!

“Fabulous,” groans Ryu, “We shouldn’t have tried so hard to get in.”

And it gets worse. Jinpei sees the new barrage of incoming torpedoes on the radar screen.


 


“What?” says Joe, as does Ken, who’s listening in on his bracelet. He asks Jinpei their distance and is told “200 –they’re way too close!”


 


“Damn!” snarls Joe, banging a fist down on the console, “They must have been hiding nearby, just waiting!”

Ryu can’t understand why they didn’t pick up some sign of them on their radar.

“A cloaking shield,” answers Joe disgustedly. “100!” calls out Jinpei.

Jun looks at Ken, who’s closed his eyes in resignation and leaned back against the door that will not open, arms folded.

“This is it,” he says, “This is the end for us.”


 


The Galactor ship is incoming too, follow in the torpedoes’ wake –no doubt so that Berg Katse can watch the fun when they reach their target.


On this grim note…

Commercial Break!


The torpedoes draw still closer. Inside the God Phoenix’s hangar, Ryu closes his eyes and thinks “Here goes,” before pressing some buttons and banging the God Phoenix against the shutter door –presumably in the hopes of bashing it open.

The whole base tilts even more precariously…

Even as it tilts, Ryu keeps up with the banging and the torpedoes get ever closer.


 


Now the whole base really tips, going nearly horizontal.


 


Ken and Jun fall against the wall as it becomes their new floor, and the torpedoes all strike their target.

There’s a huge explosion, witnessed by the Galactor ship. “Did it work?” demands Katse eagerly as more and more torpedoes explode.

When the smoke and fire finally clear, it sure doesn’t look like there’s much of the base left intact at all –just a bunch of mangled chunks!


 


“Well, I’ll be damned. It actually worked. Didn’t see this coming,” says one of the several happy goons who are observing all this with Katse. Katse brushes them all aside, ignoring the implied insult in the goon’s words, to get closer to the view screen.

“We’ve done it at last,” Katse is saying, as if he too can’t quite believe they’ve actually pulled it off.

Now dozens of triumphant goons are gathered together, and they’re all raising their arms in the air in a group cheer and yelling “Banzai!” over and over, while others are clapping their hands together or dancing in circles, arm in arm.


 

 

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It’s quite a sight, especially as most episodes end with them getting blown up and dying as Katse abandons them in an escape pod.

Speaking of Katse, he’s standing by himself, staring out a window, and nearly sobbing in happy disbelief at the victory that’s been achieved. “We finally did it. We blew away the Science Ninja Team,” he says, pressing the back of his hand to his mouth, “Oh, how long have we waited for this day…” There’s even a tear streak on the bare part of his face.


 


But then he gets a grip on himself and becomes aware of all the celebrating that’s going on behind him.

“Put a sock in it!” he snaps, “The fat lady ain’t sung yet!”

“Huh?” gasp all the goons, their dancing halted.

“We may have won the war,” says Katse sternly, turning away from the window to face them, “But there’s still much work to be done. We’ve sacrificed so many of our comrades in the name of Galactor’s ultimate triumph [Got that right!]. We aren’t going to twist and shout and scream ‘Banzai!’ until the day the Earth’s under our supreme and total control. Only then will we celebrate our victory.”

“Now get back to work…” he mutters.

The badly damaged base, no longer attached to the reef at all, is sinking down into the trench. But instead of dropping all the way to its bottom, it comes to rest against a ledge only part way down, where it lies on its side, leaking a heavy stream of air bubbles and still releasing some streams of smoke.


 


Ken is lying on the wall-that-is-now-a-floor, his eyes closed. But his eyes flutter as he regains consciousness and he thinks “What happened? Why is it so quiet?”

So he sits up, with some effort, and discovers that Jun’s face and arms are draped across his lap. Under different circumstances, I imagine he could be happy about that, but in the current predicament, he can only sit up and then pull her up by her shoulders.

“Jun! Jun, wake up!” he cries, shaking her.


 


On the God Phoenix, Joe is also regaining consciousness and sitting up, but no one is draped across his lap (and considering who the two available candidates are, that’s a good thing!). Eyes still closed, he clutches his head with one hand, shaking and clearly in pain.

(Makes me wonder what else might be giving him head pain besides having just endured a massive torpedo strike.)

Nearby, Ryu and Jinpei are awake too, and sitting back-to-back on the floor.

But is it really the “floor”?

“Well, I guess we survived the blast,” says Jinpei, with tentative optimism.

“Yeah, I guess so; we managed to escape from the barrage of torpedoes,” says Joe, still grimacing, “But we may have only delayed our deaths by a little while.”

“Well let’s get the ship going again,” says Jinpei, hopping to his feet and even giving an enthusiastic chuckle before he stumbles and sits down again, going “Huh?”

“Ohhhh!” he cries as the true situation now dawns on him. The God Phoenix is completely upside down and their chairs, and all the controls, are up on the “ceiling” where they can’t reach them.

Now they’re all staring up at the “ceiling.” “What are we going to do?” asks Ryu.


 


Joe doesn’t answer –instead he tries contacting Ken. “You guys okay in there?”

“Yes,” replies Ken. It seems he’s succeeding in waking up Jun, and now she and Ken are sitting back-to-back on the floor –or wall, or whatever. “We’re okay but we’re worried about Dr. Nambu. He’s trapped!”

On the God Phoenix, Ryu and Jinpei draw near Joe to listen in, both expressing concern for Doctor Nambu.


 


“Do you think you can break into the observation room with the God Phoenix?” asks Ken, as Jun cranes her neck around to look at him.

Joe has to inform Ken that the God Phoenix is upside down. He stares ruefully at the floor-that-is-now-ceiling, adding “Sorry, we can’t as long as we’re stuck here in the hangar.”

Ken asks their current depth, so Ryu has to go and stand beneath his chair and look up to the ceiling to try to read his instruments. “The depth is 800,” he concludes.

Ken insists they have to do something and asks Ryu if he can think of any way to turn God Phoenix right side up again. Ryu admits that it would take another explosion to hurtle them out of the hangar room. Joe concurs, adding crossly “I afraid he’s right; we can’t do anything on our backs like this.”

Ken slumps in despair and doesn’t answer. Jun is sitting beside him now, resting her arms on her knees and she doesn’t seem to know quite what to say either. Gloomy silence prevails.


 


We get an exterior look at the God Phoenix now. I guess it’s the “camera” angle, but it sure looks like it’s more on its nose than on its back. I’m surprised that Joe, Ryu and Jinpei aren’t sitting on the view screen.


 


Inside, Jun is still sitting quietly, her eyes closed. But her expression softens slightly, as sad music begins to play, and she asks “Ken?” softly.

“Yeah?” says Ken, his back to her again.

“What are you thinking about right now?”


 


“About my Dad and Mom,” answers Ken. Jun briefly opens her eyes and glances back at him. I think she’d been hoping he might say something that involved her…


 


Eyes closed again and face averted, she replies “So then, what was your mother like, Ken?”

Ken looks up, as if recalling memories. “Well, she was kind, but she was frail, especially after Dad went missing. She was often confined to her bed.”

Ken’s eyes widen for an instant, then he clenches them shut and bows his head.


 


“And she finally passed away when I was only 11,” he says, emotion wracking his voice as his eyelids tremble. He opens his eyes again now to stare at his shaking hands. “I still remember, her ashes were lighter than snowflakes…” He clasps his shaking hands together.

“You know, you’re lucky, Ken,” says Jun, “To have memories from then.”

“What about your parents?” asks Ken, still holding his hands together, but peering back over one shoulder towards Jun.

She bows her head. “I don’t recall,” she says sadly, “Since I grew up in an orphanage, you know.”


 


Ken, still peering back at her, looks a bit taken aback and then rueful. He closes his eyes and gives a small, low laugh.


 


“Hey, why are you laughing that way?” asks Jun, surprised and puzzled at this reaction.

“It’s just funny, you know,” admits Ken, “We’ve worked together for so long, but we know so little about each other’s private lives.”


 


Ken’s expression suggests perhaps he’s regretting this now, especially as it’s looking like there won’t be a future time to get to know each other more closely.

“That’s really true,” says Jun, “About me and you.” We can’t see her face as she’s saying this, and neither can Ken, but I suspect she’s making an effort to keep her tone lighter than what she’s really feeling. All those years they’ve “worked together for so long,” and in what seems like the end here, I can imagine she’s feeling that all she has are “could have beens.”

Now we cut to Joe, and if he’s feeling bitter or remorseful that he didn’t get closer to Ryu or Jinpei while he still had time, he’s hiding it well. Though he’s looking very frustrated at his current predicament of being stuck helpless inside an upside down ship.

But there’s a deep, low rumbling noise and he looks up quickly. “Something’s coming!” he says. Ryu and Jinpei, still sitting together, both look up apprehensively.

What’s happening is that the base is now falling off of the ledge that it’s been sitting on since it first dropped partway down into the trench, and as it’s sinking it’s also turning.


 


Joe, Ryu and Jinpei all go tumbling as their ceiling-turned-floor turns into… something else.


 

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 08-09-2010 at 20:00.
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Jun also cries out in surprise and she and Ken go tumbling too.

But as the base falls deeper into the trench, Ryu is able now to get the God Phoenix out of the hangar –I guess they did turn right side up in there!


 


“Right on!” Joe is saying, energized by this chance to finally do something, “It looks like God hasn’t abandoned us yet. Ryu, bring us about and ram through the hangar room.”

A grim looking Ryu seems keen to try just that, answering “Yeah!”

And with some triumphant-sounding trumpet music, he brings the God Phoenix about, fast, and succeeds in bashing it through the hangar, just like he’s done with many a Galactor mecha.


 


“Ken, we got the God Phoenix in,” Joe is saying as he watches the docking bay room they’re in fill with water from the hole they just bashed in its door. “We’ll head over your way now.”

Ken and Jun are standing up now, and Ken tells him to bring something that can burn through the automatic door to Dr. Nambu’s room.

“Will gunpowder do?” asks Joe. Hee, it figures he’d want to blow the door up!

Ken ruins his fun though by pointing out that since they don’t know where in the room Dr. Nambu might be, they have to be more cautious.

“Got it, I’ll figure something out,” answers Joe. He asks Ryu what their current depth is and Ryu tells him “1200.”

“You stay here and stand by so we can be ready to get out of this joint,” he instructs Ryu, and calls “Come on, kid!” to Jinpei before running to leave the God Phoenix. Jinpei says “Yeah!” and follows on his heels.

However, the entire docking bay is flooded with water.

Now, I know that what follows is dramatic and all, but there’s been plenty of episodes that demonstrate that they have scuba gear on board the God Phoenix. Why didn’t they take a minute here to go and get some of it?


I will assume that Joe felt that it was essential to get to Ken and Jun and rescue Dr. Nambu as soon as absolutely possible, and that he didn’t anticipate any trouble in the underwater swim that would be required to accomplish that.

When Joe and Jinpei get to the dome, Joe tells Ryu to open it as Jinpei takes a deep breath in preparation for holding his breath for a while.

Once immersed in the water, they begin to swim towards a stairway leading out of the docking bay.


 


Ken and Jun are waiting pensively.


 


But the sound of gurgling water gets their attention and they both look over at the top of a nearby stairway, flooded with water, where some air bubbles are now rising to the surface.

“Ken, the water’s coming in!” cries Jun.

“Great!” says Ken angrily, “Pretty soon the water pressure will twist this base apart!”

And indeed that’s what appears to be happening, as we get a look at the exterior of the base, still sinking deeper into the trench.

Meanwhile, Joe and Jinpei are still swimming underwater. They come up through a hatch, still underwater, and keep on swimming through another room, where furniture is floating around, but Jinpei is in some distress now –clearly running out of oxygen.


 


Beginning to black out, he stops swimming and sinks towards the floor.

Joe sees this and swims after Jinpei. He catches hold of him, putting a hand over Jinpei’s mouth to keep him from inhaling water.


 


But the base’s twisting, due to the increasing water pressure as it sinks still deeper, is causing chunks of it to break apart now. With large pieces of debris falling towards them, Joe starts swimming out of the way, bringing Jinpei with him.

Unfortunately, a very large and heavy piece of debris lands right behind them and pins the corner of Jinpei’s cape to the floor.

Joe yanks as hard as he can to pull Jinpei’s cape away, but it’s no use, and then Joe himself starts to run out of oxygen. Still he clearly has no intention of abandoning Jinpei to save himself, and he keeps trying to pull Jinpei’s cape clear of the debris.

That’s some damned strong fabric their birdstyles are made from -unfortunately, in this case.


 


Joe’s is still holding Jinpei and trying to free him when he too runs out of oxygen and collapses…


 


But, thank goodness, Ken is now in birdstyle and he’s swimming towards them from the opposite direction.


 



Up above, Jun is waiting anxiously near the water’s surface at the top of the flight of stairs. She gasps as the whole base shakes and rumbles, its top section slowly being crushed by the increasing water pressure. But just then, Ken breaks the water’s surface and he’s pulled Joe and Jinpei along with him.


 


Jun is initially thrilled they’ve all made it, but then is worried when she sees that Jinpei is unconscious (though Joe is showing signs of reviving).

“Don’t worry –he hallucinated because of the water pressure and blacked out, right Joe?”

Joe doesn’t say anything but he gives Ken a penetrating glare, frowning.

Is Ken trying to cover for Joe here? Why doesn’t he want to say that Jinpei’s cape got pinned under a piece of falling debris? It’s not like Joe can be blamed for that happening. Does Ken think that Joe would be embarrassed if everyone knew that he’d been ready to drown alongside Jinpei rather than leave him, or that he’d be embarrassed if everyone knew that he couldn’t figure out how to get Jinpei’s cape free (something which Ken, apparently, did figure out how to do –perhaps he sliced a piece of the cape off with his boomerang) and that he’d needed to be rescued too along with Jinpei?

I’m guessing that’s it –that Ken’s covering up the fact that Joe had needed to be rescued too. But is there also a silent reproach, “Next time –take scuba gear! ” here too? Perhaps he doesn’t want Jun to get upset at how close Jinpei came to drowning on Joe’s watch.

Ken carries Jinpei, still limp, out of the water, and Joe walks up the remaining stairs and out of the water too. Immediately he pulls a small gas canister from his belt and attaches it to the back of his cablegun.

It turns out that his cablegun can also function as a welding and cutting torch, and Joe starts cutting through the door to the room where Dr. Nambu is, as Jun watches.


 


Meanwhile, Ken instructs Ryu to bring the God Phoenix up near the observation room and to have first aid ready too

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“Ken, we’re at a depth of 1800 –we’re running out of time!” says Ryu as he brings the God Phoenix out of the hangar up towards the observation room.


 


But Joe’s cut all the way through the door now, and he, Ken and Jun all gasp to see that Dr. Nambu is lying, unmoving, on the floor. The fire seems to be out though!

Ken cries “Doctor!” and rushes towards him, lifting him by his shoulders. It’s not clear if his leg is still pinned beneath the computer or not, but with three of them there now, they can probably free him if it is.

“He’ll be all right –let’s transfer him to the ship!” says Ken.

The God Phoenix pulls up alongside the observation room now. From what I can tell, Ryu smashes the God Phoenix’s dome up against a round window in the observation room just as the dome is opening, breaking the window (and some water does come rushing in when this happens) but it’s briefly a tight enough seal that all five of them (Ken carrying Dr. Nambu and Joe carrying Jinpei) can go through the broken window and straight to the bridge of the God Phoenix as Ken yells “Hurry up!” anxiously.


 


(Oh, and Jun is in birdstyle now too.)

With everyone on board, the God Phoenix pulls away from the base, leaving it to sink further to even more crushing depths in the trench, and zooms up and away.

On the bridge of the God Phoenix, Dr. Nambu regains consciousness to see Ken, Joe and Jun all staring fixedly at him, happy to see that he’s okay.

“You saved me,” he whispers, “There’s no way I could have gotten out of there alive without you.”

Jinpei, still unconscious, is slumped in a chair beside him and Dr. Nambu asks if he’s going to be all right.


 


“Don’t worry, it’s a mild case of decompression sickness,” says Joe, “Don’t worry –it’ll pass and he’ll be back to his annoying self.”

“And the fate of the base?” asks Dr. Nambu.

“I’m sorry, Sir,” says Ken, “We had to get out.”

“Turn this ship around,” says Dr. Nambu sternly, “We’ve got to destroy the rest of the base!”

Ryu turns to stare at him in dismay. “What? What did you just say, Doctor?”

“Doctor!” says Jun.

“We’ll blow it up, using a super bird missile,” continues Dr. Nambu. Joe –usually so keen blow things up with missiles- looks horrified at this, but then he normally only blows up Galactor bases, not his own.

Ken looks appalled too. “Look Doctor, the base is as good as gone. Let’s just let it find its final resting place and let it go.”

“Listen,” counters Dr. Nambu, “The ocean depth here is only 4000 fathoms. It would be an easy task for Galactor to salvage it considering their scientific capabilities.”

Behind Ken, Joe turns away in frustration as he realizes that Dr. Nambu is right. Ken bows his head and closes his eyes. Jun looks upset too.


 


“If that happens, it means surviving records and materials in our former base will fall into their hands. We must not lose our heads over sentiment –look at the reality closely, analyze, and then act!”

“Understood, Dr. Nambu,” says Ken quietly, eyes still closed, “Joe, are you ready?’


 


“You’re the leader,” is Joe’s response.

So, at Ken’s order, Ryu turns them around to head back towards the sinking remains of the Crescent Coral base, in a steep dive down the trench.

“Okay, that’s it, we can fire from here,” says Ken, his face set in an intense expression, as soon as the base becomes visible below them. A hand –Ken’s, judging from the color of the glove- readies itself over the red button. I guess what Joe meant by “You’re the leader” is “you should be the one to do it.”


 

 


“Okay, everyone take your last look and say your final good byes,” says Ken, as we see the base sinking… Our last look at it too.


 


I guess Jinpei’s missing this moment though.

Oh wait, Jinpei’s still out of it, eyes still closed, but now he’s muttering to himself “We’re going to protect the base… Won’t let Galactor defeat us…”


 


“Ohhh,” says Jun, as she and Ken turn to stare at Jinpei, “Ken…”

“Joe, what are you doing?” Jinpei continues to mutter, as if dreaming or hallucinating, “Don’t worry about me, go rescue Dr. Nambu…”

Dr. Nambu, looking moved at these words, lowers his chin to his hand, eyes closed.

“Poor kid,” says Joe, also with closed eyes and bowed head, “He must still think he’s swimming for his life.”


 


Ken is looking miserable, and Ryu calls out anxiously “2500!” and whispers “This is far beyond the ship’s outer limits.”

Ken is realizing that what none of them want to do has to be done –now.


With a gasp, Ken pushes the button and fires a missile.


 

 


The God Phoenix is now heading for the surface, but everyone is morose and grieving. Flames from the explosion below them now go shooting past the view screen.


 


The base is gone forever.

The God Phoenix continues to head towards the surface, as the narrator starts speaking and as we see bits of debris from the obliterated base sinking in the dark water below.

“And so the Crescent Coral base was lost to the deep. The Team was forced to swallow their tears of regret as they ascended, knowing that somewhere in the darkness, Katse was laughing at their defeat.”

The pieces of debris now look small and white as they sink slowly into the dark depths, rather like the ashes of his mother that Ken had described to Jun.

“But also waiting out there was the hope for peace,” continues the narrator as the God Phoenix speeds along and then breaks the surface of the sea to take to the sunset-streaked sky above, “For although fire had enveloped their world, soon their wings would rise like the mythical phoenix out of the ashes! Just as it was foretold…”


 


The End.

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BOTP Episode: “Invasion of Space Center, Part II”

We open with a view of Center Neptune, where fish are swimming past serenely. I guess no one’s told them that there are incoming missiles.

“Things are very hectic down here at Center Neptune” Zark is saying, “Since Zoltar and the eeevil forces of planet Spectra are attacking our entire Space Complex.”

Yes, don’t forget that there’s an entire “Space Complex” here, even if all we’re currently seeing is Center Neptune.

“I still can’t get through to G-Force,” says a fretfully pacing Zark, as 1-Rover-1 sits nearby, “But my sensitive cosmic probes tell me that Mark, Princess and Chief Anderson are trapped inside the Research Center. I’ve got to find a way to rescue them before Zoltar’s missiles penetrate the electronic force shield that protects us from invasion.”

He stops pacing now.

“G-Force is still trying to find the targeting device that the Spectra missiles are homing in on. I’m counting on them, but those Spectra spies could have planted the homing transmitters in any number of places!”

And he flaps his cape vigorously and flies over to his monitors.

“I’d better check with Susan, out on planet Pluto just to make certain this attack by Spectra isn’t a total galactic invasion.”

And now Susan’s voice is coming through…

“Hello Zark, this is Susan, out on planet Pluto,” she says.

Susan, Zark knows where you are!

“You wanted to speak to me?” she continues.

“Susan!” exclaims Zark, “Sometimes your ESP is uncanny.”

“All of my paranormal receptors,” she replies, “Are perfectly attuned to your supramodulators, Zark. I am sensitive to your every component.”

Ick.

“You mean you know everything I think?” asks Zark, sounding a bit nervous.

“Sometimes before you think of it,” she claims.

“But we’re light years apart,” points out Zark, “How could you know?”

“I think we are the same sign,” replies Susan.

Oh that is just too “seventies”!

“Aries?” asks Zark. Makes sense –aren’t Aries people supposed to be bossy? Unless that’s Taurus…

“No, my sign says ‘Made by Quanto-Tobor Labs,’” explains Susan.

“That’s mine!” says Zark happily, “We are the same sign!”

“Anyway, I’m afraid I don’t have good news,” says Susan, finally getting around to telling Zark about an imminent galactic invasion, “There are more and more rockets coming from Spectra and headed towards Center Neptune.”

That’s interesting news –I wonder if we’ll get to see any of these “more and more” rockets from Spectra when they show up at Center Neptune.

“Thanks, Susan. I’ll try to reach G-Force again,” sighs Zark.

Now, other than Princess supposedly not having her communicator turned on, has there been any explanation as to why Zark hasn’t been able to contact them or any of the dozens or even hundreds of personnel throughout the entire Space Complex who might be able to convey a message to them even if Zark himself can’t?

And people actually tell this robot that he’s a genius…

If and how Zark tries, we don’t get to see. What we do see are all the missiles that are currently heading towards the Research Center, lured by a homing transmitter.

Inside the Research Center, Chief Anderson’s voice is broadcasting orders for everyone to evacuate the power complex and “Clear the Center! Clear the Center!”

“Thank heavens,” voice-overs Zark as we see the missiles again, “All of the personnel at Research Center are getting away just in time!”

So Zark knows this and yet he can’t contact anyone at Research Center –like Mark or Princess? It just doesn’t make sense…

But now all the missiles start hitting the lower part of the Research Center, where its engines are located. There’s lots of explosions and flames and smoke go shooting up, right past the coral reef (Hey, just like the one at Center Neptune!) and into the air.

In an engine room, water is gushing in and Chief Anderson’s voice is still ordering a complete evacuation as a piece of massive engine crumbles and falls into the rest of the engine, causing another explosion and a new breach in the Center’s exterior for water to flood in through.

We see the Research Center from a distance and smoke and flames are pouring from it while explosions are erupting all throughout.

Up close and near its upper level, Mark and Princess are staring out of a large round window while Chief Anderson is busy at a computer console behind them.

“Security Chief Anderson calling Center Neptune defense units,” Anderson is saying into a microphone, “Activate all anti-missile shields. Seal off Space Center!”

Great, so Zark is safe.

Missiles are still incoming, and they hit another of the Research Center’s engines, destroying it.

“Space Center’s anti-missile shields are working,” says Zark, happy that he at least won’t get blown up, no doubt, “But the Research Building is taking a terrible beating! I’m trying to get through to G-Force in the Phoenix, to warn them!”

Meanwhile, the interior of the Research Center is mostly flooded, on fire, wracked with explosions or “all the above.”

“Section D personnel –head for your escape hatch!” says Chief Anderson’s voice as we see the personnel in question doing something that suggest they’re trying to save one of the engines.

Does this mean that Zark lied? He said everyone was getting away safely. These guys appear to be neither safe (there’s a fire raging just ten feet away from them) nor away.

I’m so disillusioned.

Meanwhile, the Research Center continues explode and belch flames and smoke into the sea around it. And now it’s also starting to tip sideways.

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Inside, Mark and Princess lean against a wall for support as the upper level room they’re in, along with Chief Anderson, starts to tilt. “Emergency Control Center, all personnel evacuate building,” Chief Anderson says into the microphone.

Elsewhere, a member of the personnel is reporting “Sector B cleared, Chief.”

He presses some buttons and now the girders that attach the coral reef to the Research Center fire up and detach themselves from the Center. Oops, except that one of the girders doesn’t detach, and the Research Center is dragging the reef down with it and turning it nearly vertical in the sea as the Research Center proceeds to tip sideways.

From the surface, all that’s visible is one pointy corner of the reef that’s still protruding from the water, and a lot of flames and smoke coming out of the sea.

“All personnel have been cleared, Chief!” says Mark, turning away from the large round window, “It’s time we got out of here.”

“It’s the Phoenix, Chief, calling in,” announces Princess, gesturing to her communicator (What? It’s not turned off?”

“Ignore it,” growls Chief Anderson, much to Princess’ and Mark’s surprise. “It’s urgent!” protests Princess.

“There’s nothing they can do now,” continues the Chief, “Let them stay where they are. They’re safe anyway.”

Mark and Princess exchange a worried look, but seem to accept this.

Meanwhile, still more of the Research Center is exploding, catching on fire or flooding. Some areas are completely water-filled and have furniture floating up at the ceilings.

“Calling Center Neptune, do you read me, Center Neptune?” Anderson is saying into his microphone, “Come in, Zark.”

He turns away from the microphone saying “It looks like we’re cut off from Center Neptune. There’s no time to lose, we’ve got to locate that targeting device.”

Um, isn’t it a little bit late for that?

I guess Mark doesn’t think so; he says “Let’s go.”

“Go ahead,” replies Anderson, “I can’t leave these top secret files for Zoltar.”

He opens a large cabinet and starts pulling out binders of files and throwing them into a heap on the floor, adding “Get going, I’ll follow you as soon as I can. Good luck.”

So Mark and Princess leave the room at a run as Anderson continues to heap up top secret files on the floor, and then they run down a flight of stairs.

Meanwhile, the Research Center is perched at a precarious tilt on the edge of a deep trench in the sea floor, still exploding and still emitting smoke and flames.

And the Phoenix is elsewhere, speeding along under water. On the bridge, Keyop gasps for no apparent reason. “Still no word from Mark?” asks Jason, turning in his chair.

“I’m worried,” says Tiny. “Keep trying to raise them, Keyop,” says Jason, glowering.

At least we know why they’re unable to contact the others -Anderson ordered Mark and Princess to “ignore them.”

“Hit it, Tiny, we’re going back,” says Jason next, gesturing towards his radar screens with one arm.

“Big ten,” replies Tiny.

And back at the Research Center we’re seeing… still more explosions! Even more stuff is on fire! More furniture is floating around in flooded rooms!

“No way out this way,” concludes Mark, staring at a room full of flames as he stands at the bottom of a staircase with Princess, “Our only hope is G Section.”

Back in the upper level room, Chief Anderson is continuing to throw top secret files into a heap. Staring at the pile, he flicks a lighter from his jacket pocket and gets a flame going.

Don’t try this at home, kiddies! Arson is bad!

The remaining girder that’s attaching the reef to the Research Center is buckling and crumpling now, causing the nearly-vertical reef to push up against the Research Center, causing it to shake and tilt even more.

And this causes Chief Anderson to stumble and drop his lighter –still emitting a flame- right on top of the pile of top secret files. And just as that’s happened, the more tilted floor causes a massive computer to move away from a wall, tearing its electric cords, and slide towards Chief Anderson as he turns his head in alarm.

Mark and Princess watch a big piece of girder fall from the ceiling of a submarine docking bay that they’re standing in, and it lands on top of the submarine that’s there.

“Ahh, bad luck,” says Mark with some exasperation, “The escape hatch is jammed.”

“Get aboard, there’s room!” calls a man who is suddenly standing in the open hatch of the submarine, along with a buddy.

Wait a minute, didn’t you say earlier that “All personnel are clear,” Mark?

I guess you can’t believe anyone on this show when they say that everyone’s evacuated to safety.

“Close that hatch!” calls Mark, “Don’t worry about us! We’ll try to get you out of here!”

As the two guys standing in the sub’s hatch listen, Mark explains “We’re going to the control room. Wait for my signal, then run her out of here!”

“Okay, Commander,” says one of the guys, and he and his companion drop from sight and seal the hatch.

“Right up your alley, Princess –take over,” says Mark as he shuts and seals the docking bay door behind him and Princess. They’re in the control room and she runs over to the controls, presses a button and then view screens turn on and give her and Mark a view of the submarine inside the docking bay.

The exterior door is starting to rise up and the bay is filling with water.

However, what looks like an electric surge is moving across an electric cable on a wall, and when it reaches the end, there’s an explosion and the door stops rising. The control panel that Mark and Princess are using to oversee the submarine’s departure also goes dark.

“Something’s happened,” says a worried Mark, “We’d better take a look, Princess.”

They go back into the docking bay to see that the sub hasn’t left yet. It releases from its docking clamps, though, and starts moving towards the door out but because the door isn’t opened fully, the top of the sub bangs against the edge of the door and keeps it from getting past.

Mark and Princess stare in concern but the submarine rams the door half a dozen more times and finally succeeds in crumpling the door and getting past it and out to the open sea beyond.

“At least we got that sub loaded with personnel out on time,” says Mark, sagging in relief. He lifts his communicator and tries to contact Chief Anderson.

No response.

“He’s in trouble,” concludes Mark –instantly. Princess gasps.

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He is indeed in trouble. The heap of top secret files is burning away vigorously and his leg is pinned beneath that massive computer that was careening towards him the last time we saw him.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix has returned and the sight that greets Tiny, Jason and Keyop is that of the battered and burning Research Center, its reef dangling vertically beside it, teetering on the edge of a deep trench. All three of them gasp in horror.

“Research Center!” cries Tiny. “Bombed out!” gasps Keyop. But Tiny guides the Phoenix towards one of the Research Center’s hangars, despite the fact that getting there, past the reef, is “like moving through a maze.” His first attempt to get the Phoenix inside the hangar causes one of its wing pods to bang into the exterior of the Center (which makes the whole thing shake and teeter that much more). “You can do it, Tiny,” says Jason encouragingly, “Just wiggle us in there somehow.”

It’s not entirely clear to me why they want to go in there. Shouldn’t they be attempting to contact Zark or, heck, somebody –even a sub full of evacuating personnel- to find out what’s going on before they go rushing in? And it’s not like they even know that Anderson, Mark and Princess are in there, since their attempts to contact those three were “ignored.”

Tiny’s next attempt is successful.

Meanwhile, Zoltar is playing chess, apparently by himself. Who knew that Earth board games were popular on Spectra? He advances a white bishop, muttering “Now, all my chess pieces have been played!” So, he sweeps them all onto the floor with his arm.

I don’t think Zoltar really understands how to play chess.

But, he stands up and declaims “With one final assault, I will wipe out Earth’s key installation and G-Force as well! All hands to battle stations!” He points dramatically with one arm.

So his missile base ship rises up from the sand or muck on the sea floor that’s been concealing it from detection. “Fire!” yells Zoltar, as the ship heads towards the Research Center and more missiles are sent on their way.

At Research Center, Mark is banging on the door of the room where Chief Anderson is, calling his name. “Are you still in there, Chief?”

Anderson is still in there but he unconscious now (overcome by the heat and smoke from the top secret files bonfire, I imagine) and his leg looks like it’s still pinned beneath the massive computer.

“We’ve got to get the Chief out of there,” says Mark as he and Princess stare anxiously. “We need help to get in there,” declares Princess. Mark is shaking with frustration, saying “There’s no one left in the Center except us.”

I don’t know, you said that before Mark, and you were wrong. In fact, you’re wrong now too, but then there’s no way you could know that the Phoenix has arrived. Still, that’s what you get for keeping Jason, Tiny and Keyop out of the loop.

In fact, Mark seems shocked when Jason’s voice now comes through on his communicator, “Mark! Can you hear me?”

“Loud and clear,” replies Mark. “We’re inside the Center, Mark. Are you and Princess okay?”

“We’re all right but the Chief’s in trouble,” says Mark, “We need help!” Princess glances over at Mark and then looks down, closing her eyes.

Meanwhile, over at Center Neptune, Zark is “Calling all defense units! Center Neptune is in terrible danger. Alert all shore batteries.”

Zark has to back away from his console now, as it’s shooting out sparks all over the place.

Research Center is taking a terrible battering! Some of Zoltar’s missiles are heading this way!”

And then his whole room shakes.

“Uh oh, one or two of them have gotten through to us! I think we’re getting a leak in here. Full power on anti-missile shields! Crews shore up all breaks!”

I wonder if anyone, is even listening to all these orders he’s giving.

“I’ve tried every way to get through to G-Force,” says Zark now, throwing up his hands briefly, “But they don’t answer.”

What ways have you tried, Zark? It wouldn’t have been that hard to give Zark a line here to the effect that his communication systems are malfunctioning or damaged (I mean, they are emitting sparks now), just so there’s a rational explanation for his inability to contact anyone on G-Force and so he can stop acting like it’s all their fault.

“Commander’s in B Section,” Tiny is telling Jason, over on the Phoenix.

“More trouble coming!” says Keyop, seeing the new barrage of incoming missiles on the radar screen. “Where?” demands Jason.

“What’s wrong?” Mark is asking, via his communicator.

“Oh… million missiles,” says Keyop, with (I hope) some exaggeration.

Well, there certainly is a goodly number of them. Jason bangs a fist on the console, scowling, as says “We’ve got to stop them, Tiny! Blast them!”

“No way, Jason,” responds Tiny, “Sorry, can’t maneuver in here. Looks like we’re trapped too.”

“Try anyway!” snaps Jason. “Too late,” says Keyop, scrutinizing the radar screen.

“We’ll just have to wait, Princess,” says Mark, closing his eyes, folding his arms and leaning back against the door to Chief Anderson’s room.

The missiles continue to head their way…

Suddenly Tiny looks up, saying “I’m going blast through.” He starts pressing buttons and begins ramming one of the Phoenix’s wing pods against the hangar’s inner door that leads to the docking bay. However, by do doing, he’s also sending tremors through the already precariously-perched Research Center.

The Research Center slides off the ledge where it’s been sitting and begins sinking into the trench. It’s also tipping fully onto its side now, and Princess and Mark both fall over as the wall beside them starts becoming the floor.

And the missiles hit the Research Center, and there’s a massive explosion.

“We’ve won, Sire!” says an exultant Spectran soldier, watching this from the missile base ship with some fellow soldiers, “We’ve destroyed their Center!”

Zoltar comes rushing up behind them to see for himself.

“It is time for celebration!” declares Zoltar, and next we see a whole room full of soldiers raising their arms up and down in the air as they cheer enthusiastically.

But the Research Center is still sinking into the trench. However, it soon comes to a rest on another ledge, only part way down, but it’s still lying on its side and looks like it wouldn’t take much to dislodge it and get it sinking again.

Inside, Mark and Princess are now sitting on top of the door to Chief Anderson’s room, as it’s now the floor. Both are silent and morose-looking.

The Phoenix is inside the hangar still, but looks like it’s resting on its nose now.

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Mark and Princess are sitting back to back and she has her eyes closed, but some expression flits across her face and she says “Mark?” as some sad music starts playing.

“What?” replies Mark.

“It doesn’t look like we’re going to get out of this, does it?” she says a bit hesitantly.

“It looks bad,” concedes Mark, now lifting his head to stare at the wall, “But I’m counting on Jason, Tiny and Keyop. They won’t let us down, Princess.”

Now he closes his eyes and drops his head as anger makes his clenched eyes tremble.

“Zoltar hasn’t beaten us yet,” he says, and then stares at his shaking hands, “When I think of the times I had Zoltar in my hands and let him go…” He clutches his hands together and falls silent.

“I just want you to know,” says Princess sadly, “I enjoyed working with you.”

“Me too,” replies Mark, peering over his shoulder towards her.

“We made a good team, didn’t we?” she says, bowing her head again. Mark’s eyes are wide with dismay hearing this, and he briefly looks rueful, but then he laughs.

“You think that’s funny?” says Princess, confused by this reaction.

“I was just thinking of the times we had together: the good and… sometimes not so good.”

“I liked you best of all, Mark,” says Princess, “You know that, don’t you?”

Aww, but now we cut abruptly to Jason, slouching unhappily against a wall on the Phoenix’s bridge, eyes closed and arms crossed.

Don’t worry, Jason –even if Princess doesn’t, I like you best of all!

Actually, the chairback that’s hanging down from the ceiling beside Jason is a pretty big indication that the Phoenix is currently upside down, but no one is commenting on this.

But Jason hears a rumbling noise. Looking upwards, he announces “We’re moving!”

Tiny and Keyop, sitting on the “floor,” look apprehensive.

Research Center is falling off of the ledge it’s been sitting on and sinking into the trench again but it’s turning as it does so. We get a quick glimpse of Tiny, Jason and Keyop all tumbling around inside the bridge, and then Mark and Princess doing the same in the corridor where they’re sitting.

The Research Center is still sinking (though at least it’s upright now), but we hear Tiny’s voice say “Hang on, Team!” and then the Phoenix comes flying out of hangar.

“That was a stroke of luck,” says Jason, standing beside a grimly smiling Tiny and clenching a fist, “Now, to locate the section where Princess and Mark are trapped.”

So now Tiny turns the Phoenix around and speeds it back into the hangar they just came out of (or one that looks just like it) but hard enough that the nose of the Phoenix bashes right through the hangar’s inner doors to reach the docking bay.

“We’ll have to go in after them, Tiny,” Jason is saying as he watches water filling up the docking bay.

“Mark calling, come in Phoenix, come in,” says Mark into his communicator as Princess stands beside him.

“Ears on!” replies Jason from the bridge.

“We’re stranded up here in B Section,” explains Mark, “Can you make it, Jason?”

“We’ll make like a fish,” he replies, adding “Wait for us, Tiny.”

“Good luck,” says Tiny.

“We’re going to try to get through,” says Jason, as Keyop stands beside him, “But you may have to bail us out, Tiny.”

He and Keyop head for the dome.

No one says anything about what a good idea it would be to use scuba gear…

Jason and Keyop are in the dome, on top of the Phoenix. “We’re on our way,” says Jason into his communicator as Keyop takes a deep breath.

The dome opens and they start swimming through the water. We see Jason and Keyop swim up through a hatch and then across a large room where the walls are damaged and submerged furniture is floating around. But Keyop is clearly beginning to run out of oxygen and is in some distress. He blacks out and starts sinking towards the bottom of the room. Jason sees what’s happening, though, and swims after him.

But the Research Center is twisting and crumpling as it sinks ever deeper into the trench and now some debris is breaking off the upper part of the flooded area that Jason and Keyop are in and dropping towards them.

Jason has covered Keyop’s mouth with one hand to keep him from inhaling water, and he sees a big chunk of wreckage about to fall on them and he moves them away quickly.

But not quickly enough –the wreckage pins the corner of Keyop’s cape to the floor. Jason starts yanking, trying to free Keyop, but to no avail.

“Jason and Keyop are in trouble,” voice-overs Zark [How does Zark know?] but thank heavens I was able to alert Mark to what’s happened!”

Wait a minute here –since when is Zark suddenly able to communicate with the G-Force members again? Gah, couldn’t they have just kept Zark out of it and let Mark figure out that something was going wrong? After all, he was the one having ESPish feelings of impending doom at the beginning of Part I.

At any rate, Mark is in his G-Force uniform now and he’s swimming towards Jason and Keyop. Jason is still trying to pull Keyop’s cape away from the wreckage but now he too is starting to black out.

Princess, still in her civvies, is standing near the top of a flooded staircase, staring nervously into the water where, presumably, Mark went. The Research Center, still sinking, is warping and twisting even more, and the walls are shaking around Princess.

But Mark, Jason and Keyop all pop up now at the water’s surface. Keyop is limp and is being held by Mark, but Jason seems to be regaining consciousness, though his eyes are closed.

Princess is happy to see them all, but then anxiously asks “The Chief?”

“He wasn’t in the forward computer room,” replies Mark, “So he must be in there –open ‘er up, Jason.”

Jason actually gives the back of Mark’s head a rather intense glare, but he doesn’t say anything and he goes over to the door in question, pulling out his cable gun and attaching a gas canister to make it work as a cutting and welding torch.
“Come in, Tiny, hurry,” Mark is saying into his communicator as Jason proceeds to cut through the door, “We’re going into the secret file room.”

Tiny pilots the Phoenix out of the docking bay and hangar and heads towards the upper level of the Research Center. “I’m on my way, Commander.”

Jason has finished cutting through the door and now he, Mark and Princess all look inside and gasp. The fire that was burning before is out, but Anderson is unconscious on the floor. Mark rushes over to him and lifts him up by the shoulders. It’s not clear if his leg is still pinned –probably not seeing as everything got thrown all around earlier when the Center was turning around.

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Mark looks back, saying “He’ll be okay, Jason,” as if he thinks Jason needs special reassurance as to the Chief’s wellbeing.

Now Tiny smashes the Phoenix’s dome up against a round window in the secret files room and this enables the four of them to cross over into the Phoenix, Mark carrying the Chief and Jason carrying the still-unconscious Keyop.

And the Phoenix flies away, as the mangled and battered Research Center continues to sink ever deeper in their wake.

On the bridge of the Phoenix, Chief Anderson opens his eyes. “You gave us a scare, Chief,” says Mark, who along with Princess and Jason is staring intently at him, relieved to see he’s awake.

“Commander, I don’t remember what happened after the missiles hit,” says Anderson, as Keyop continues to slump inertly in a chair beside his, “What happened to Keyop?”

“He swallowed a little too much ocean, but he’ll be all right, Chief,” replies Jason.

“Research Center?” he asks next.

“Not much left I’m afraid,” answers Mark.

“Turn back,” says Anderson grimly, “We can’t let it fall into Zoltar’s hands.”

Tiny looks unhappy to hear this. “That’s a tall order, Chief.”

“We can’t!” cries Princess.

“There’s top secret equipment in that complex,” continues Chief Anderson, his face stern.

“But we can’t turn back now,” argues Mark, “We barely got out of there in one piece.”

“The secret files must not be captured by Spectra,” says Anderson, “We’ve got to destroy Research Center.”

Jason has turned his back, but his and Mark’s slumped shoulders and Mark’s sad expression suggest they know he’s right, though they hate the idea.

“Well, since Zark has duplicates of all the files,” concludes Mark, “What’s your vote, Jason?”

Oh, of course, marvelous Zark has back-ups of everything.

“I’m with the Chief,” he replies (perhaps because he can’t resist a chance to blow something up?)

So, Mark instructs Tiny to take them back and they head for that trench where the Research Center was sinking.

They’re in such a deep dive, the Phoenix is vertical (yet when we cut to the bridge, Mark is standing upright with no problem –maybe there’re magnets on his boots.)

“There it is,” says Mark, but it’s his hand, not Jason’s, that’s reaching for the red button.

“Hate to do this to Research Center,” says Mark, frowning, “But the Chief’s right.”

We get a last look at the mangled Research Center as it sinks.

Now Keyop is muttering, though his eyes are still closed, “All wet… never drink… water again.”

“Keyop!” says Princess.

“Well, here goes,” says Mark, and he pushes the button.

The missile heads for the Research Center while the Phoenix turns to speed back up and out of the trench. Mark and Princess, both with bowed heads, are in front of the view screen and we see the light and flames from the explosion rush past when the missile strikes its target.

It’s a massive explosion, one that will certainly obliterate all secret files!

“Well, Research Center has been destroyed,” voice-overs Zark as we see bits of debris from the desctruction sinking into the sea’s depths, “But the Chief and G-Force will get back to Center Neptune safely, and Zoltar has been thwarted in his plan to steal our top secret files.”

Um, did Zoltar ever say that that was his plan?

“Research Center will be a great loss,” admits Zark, as the Phoenix continues to speed towards Center Neptune, “But only temporarily. I’m already beginning to compute the design for a new and even more modern Research Complex.”

As he’s saying this, the Phoenix breaks the sea’s surface and takes to the air –not to Center Neptune. I guess they’re avoiding Zark. I don’t blame them.

The last shot of the Phoenix coming out of the sea is very cool –all dramatic oranges and purples.

“Well, that one really put me through the wringer,” Zark is saying now to 1-Rover-1, “I can tell you. I’m a bundle of burned out resistors and shattered sensitrons.”

1-Rover-1 yaps.

“Thanks, 1-Rover-1, it always helps to have you standing by for comfort and reassurance. But our day isn’t done. My work is only starting now. Over-taxed as my trigatron is, I’ve got to put it to work at once to conceive plans for the new Research Center.”

Weird electronic warbles and bleeps are now heard, apparently coming from Zark’s head.

But in walk Mark and Princess! (I guess these two always do get stuck with the job of visiting him.)

“Hello, Zark!” says Mark, as Princess adds “We’re back safely!”

“What’s the matter, Zark, are you having a short circuit?” asks Mark.

“Do you suppose he might have gotten hit in that attack?” asks Princess.

“Oohh,” she coos, “Poor Zark.”

But now Zark stops electronically warbling and bleeping. “Oh!” he exclaims, “Commander! Princess! I’m sorry, I didn’t see you come in. I was just doing some very deep thinking. I’ve almost completed the plans for a new and better Research Center.”

Mark laughs, saying “Zark, you’re the greatest. We’re sure lucky to have you on our Team.”

“You’re a wizard and a genius,” adds Princess, “And myyy hero!”

And she kisses Zark on the head.

Zark, somehow, actually blushes, and then emits some more weird electronic noises and his lights blink rapidly.

“I guess we’d better go, Mark,” says Princess, “He’s doing some deep thinking again.”

She starts walking away, and as she does her facial expression changes, as if she’s scowling. Is she inwardly appalled at all the gushy praise she and Mark have to dish out to a silly robot who was really no help to them in this episode and who couldn’t even manage to contact them most of the time? She ought to be.

I guess we’re supposed to think she’s put out by Zark not saying anything in response to her compliments and kiss.

But Zark says, “No, now I am having a short circuit!”

The End.

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LB ... I thank you once again for a marvellous recap of such another important episode, both Gatch and BotP! All the while, you've managed to keep my heart pounding as if it were the first time I've been watching the episode! Phew ... so much tension!

I agree with you regarding the fact that it was quite uncanny for Joe and Jinpei to go underwater without any scuba gear ... I think it could have easily been another one of the writers' choice of ideas to increase dramatization ... and, also with this comment of yours that follows:- "I’m guessing that’s it –that Ken’s covering up the fact that Joe had needed to be rescued too. But is there also a silent reproach, “Next time –take scuba gear! ” here too? Perhaps he doesn’t want Jun to get upset at how close Jinpei came to drowning on Joe’s watch."! - I cannot find any other explanation.

Well ... you can certainly imagine what I'm not so happy about, especially in the Gatch version! Come on!!!! Jun, or Ken, had the golden opportunity to, at least, mention that they liked each other, thinking that their end was imminent! At least, in the BotP version, Princess had the courage to do so! For one time, I actually prefer this part of BotP other than that of Gatchaman ... hmm ... putting aside all the Susan and Zark crap even in such a tension-filled episode for just a little while!! In Jun's words there was something being implied, but why couldn't they make me happy ... just for once!!

My hysteria apart ... I so much liked this statement of yours: "The pieces of debris now look small and white as they sink slowly into the dark depths, rather like the ashes of his mother that Ken had described to Jun."! How thoughtful, romantic, and poetic! Thanks, again!

BTW ... the fact that Ken and Jun mentioned that they knew so little about each other's private life, me putting all the other SNT members in the same picture also, does raise more question marks about when they really met each other, and started forming the team, or about the timings of any case of adoption by Dr. Nambu, does it? Well ... they've surely left us ample fanfic fodder to play with!!

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It's a common assumption that Nambu raised the team, and yet there are clues that this isn't the case.

There's the dialogue in this episode. If Jun had come into Nambu's household as a child about two years younger than Ken, she would have to have done so after his mother died, and be about 9 years old. It's unlikely nobody would have mentioned the death.

In the upcoming 'Giant Demon Man' episode, Ryu teases Jinpei about his birthday in a manner which suggests he wasn't all that familiar with Jinpei's past.

Jinpei remembers Jun finding him, so he had to have been 3 or 4 years old (or else he made the memory out of what he had been told). Since Jun is 16 at the start of the show, and he's 10, she would have been 9 when she found him. Unless I screwed up the math.

Ryu has a family. Although we don't see his mother, we can assume she's alive. Anyway, no reason for him to be in the household.

I'm sure there are other clues, but I can't think of any right now.


OTOH, it does seem the writers occasionally pulled stuff out of thin air when they needed to.

And everything in the show moves at the speed of plot.

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BTW, I noticed that the BotP review made no mention of Center Neptune being mobile. I think the scriptwriters junked that.

And I remember wondering why the place looked like it might be able to launch.

(Downward-pointing motors are not a good idea for a base that has to move horizontally. In this case, the Gatch II mobile base makes more sense. Now, how do they fool the sub-hunters? IRL, the U.S. Navy can track submarines, and Crescent Coral is much larger than any submarine.)

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LB, as always, you did a fantastic job recapping, and Saturn certainly got some great screencaps!

This episode is so poignant... since it's Part II, we already know the backstory, and we open in the thick of it. The entire episode is simply spent trying to survive, and acknowledging that they have lost. The sacrifice is great... not just for the Team, but for the viewers, who have lost that familiar fixture they have seen in every episode since nearly the beginning of the series.

It's an interesting comparison though... when a Galactor base is exploding, the goons are running in droves, but here, the Crescent Base personnel demonstrate in many ways that they're ready to lay down their lives to save the information that could defeat Galactor and help world peace (via the Mantle Plan). It say a lot about the 'heart' of the 'good guys' and really shows why the Science Ninja Team is the side we're rooting for... even if they do have to punch out one guy to get him out of there.

quote:
I don’t think Zoltar really understands how to play chess.


That would make sense, seeing as chess is an Earth game, not a Spectran one. Wink

And of course, Marie, I share your frustrations regarding Ken and Jun! But even more... what about Mark and Princess, who more than once throughout BOTP have been said to have 'affections' for each other??? All we get is one crappy line?

Well, if LB will allow me to indulge myself (and I guess it's not really a question, since I'm going to do it anyway) I'm going to post a little something I wrote awhile ago. It's my 'continuation' of that scene in BOTP, when Mark and Princess think they're going to die.

*****

“I always liked you best of all, Mark.” she revealed softly. “You knew that, didn’t you?”

Mark nodded, then realized that as they were facing away from each other, she couldn’t see his head.

“I had always hoped that might be the case.” he said slowly, turning around to take her into his arms.

Tears streaked Princess’ face, and she gratefully accepted the small comfort he offered her. But Mark knew that there was more that he needed to say.

“I have feelings for you, Princess.” Mark admitted, glad for the darkness in the room that prevented her from seeing the redness creeping over his face. Despite his embarrassment, however, the Commander forced himself to continue. It was now, or never, and Mark couldn’t live with himself if…

“It’s more than ‘liking you best’.” he said, pushing his mind away from the grim reality of their situation. Dimly, he was aware of Princess snuggling further into his arms, pressing herself against his chest. The sensations she unknowingly engendered in his body urged him onward, and he found himself clarifying for her.

“Jason is my best friend.” Mark tried to explain. “I like him. But you… my feelings for you are different, Princess.”

When he didn’t elaborate, Princess raised her head from where she had been nestling it against his shoulder. Her emerald eyes connected with his blue ones, and suddenly Mark felt as if they were communicating through that look alone.

Still, he felt the need to verbalize it. To confirm what both of them already knew.

“I love you, Princess.” he said simply, not knowing any better way to put it.

She smiled at him, still not saying a word, and he bent his head, kissing her softly.

“If my life has to end, here and now,” Mark whispered, “I’m glad that you’re the one here with me.”

“I’m glad that you’re here too.” Princess replied. “I would hate to be alone, right now.”

“Of course, a big part of me also wishes that you were safe on the Phoenix, right now.” Mark grinned wryly.

“I wish we were all safe on the Phoenix, right now.” Princess sighed, laying her head on his chest as Mark tightened his arms around her.

A beeping sound began emanating from their wrists.

“Well, speak of the Devil!” Mark laughed, raising his communicator to answer the hail.

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
But even more... what about Mark and Princess, who more than once throughout BOTP have been said to have 'affections' for each other??? All we get is one crappy line?


Rofl I know exactly what you're after!!!!

quote:
It's my 'continuation' of that scene in BOTP, when Mark and Princess think they're going to die.


Oh, TJ ... thank you, thank you, thank you! ... how about one 'continuation' script for Gatch, now!Wink1 Puppydogeyes

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LOL... that bit is from one of my fics... I haven't written that scene in Gatch... *yet*.... Devil1

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Great recap LB!

I've got to say, I always wondered about the scuba gear, too. Maybe they misjudged the rate of water coming in and didn't think they'd need it.


TJ, thanks for sharing that snippet. When will you rewrite the Gatch scene?

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quote:
Originally posted by amethyst
TJ, thanks for sharing that snippet. When will you rewrite the Gatch scene?


When I use this episode in a fic! That snippet is from Invasion of the G-Force Snatchers... Wink

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quote:
Originally posted by gatchamarie

BTW ... the fact that Ken and Jun mentioned that they knew so little about each other's private life, me putting all the other SNT members in the same picture also, does raise more question marks about when they really met each other, and started forming the team, or about the timings of any case of adoption by Dr. Nambu, does it?


I've often wondered if Ken knew that Jun had been in an orphanage since she was small but didn't know just how young she had been when her parents died and had assumed that she might have some memories of her parents (I can remember some things from when I was 2). Jun, it seems, has also never directly asked Ken what his mother was like. Maybe because such topics were sad and likely to stir pain, all the Ninjas avoided asking each other questions about their dead parents. In episode 20, when Ken tells the others that Galactor had killed Joe's parents (something Joe says in episode 18 -though it's not clear there if he's reminding Ken of that or telling him for the first time) it seems as if Ken's telling them something they might not already know -which always sort of puzzled me.



I took a stab at continuing the Gatch scene recap with one possible "what could have been..."


0000000000

“That’s really true,” says Jun, “About me and you.” We can’t see her face as she’s saying this, and neither can Ken, but I suspect she’s making an effort to keep her tone lighter than what she’s really feeling. All those years they’ve “worked together for so long,” and in what seems like the end here, I can imagine she’s feeling that all she has are “could have beens.”

“This isn’t how I wanted it,” says Ken softly, almost to himself, still keeping his back to hers.

“Well,” says Jun, “You did say to me, during our very first mission, ‘If we die, we die together.’”

Ken sighs, staring at the wall as he remembers. “I was full of big talk back then, wasn’t I? Back then, I thought we’d have Galactor defeated in a few months.”

“We all did, not just you,” says Jun sadly, her shoulders drooping more.

“I kept waiting,” says Ken now, “I kept telling myself ‘Soon, this war will be won,’ but months turn into years…”

Now Jun peers back over her shoulder at Ken.

“This isn’t how I wanted it,” repeats Ken more vehemently and he turns suddenly to find Jun’s face only inches from his, her eyes wide in surprise and, perhaps, hope. He puts his hands on her shoulders, speaking urgently.

“I thought I’d have time, after we won the war –time to… learn everything about you, time to…” He hesitates and looks down, voice dropping to a whisper, “To get it right, between us.”

“Ken, I love you,” says Jun suddenly. His head snaps up at these words and for a couple seconds, they just stare at each other… Jun is starting to look away now but-

“I love you too, Jun,” says Ken pulling her towards him suddenly so she’s crushed against him, but her own arms encircle him now. Ken’s hiding his face in her long hair aside her neck and his shoulders tremble slightly as he continues to hold her close. “I’ve always loved you. I’m so sorry…”

We can see Jun’s face now and she’s smiling, eyes closed, as a tear runs from one of her eyes.

“Don’t be sorry,” she whispers, “You got it right.”

They continue to hold each other close, but soon Ken shifts and it sure looks like he’s going to kiss her…

But suddenly the entire base lurches and starts turning.

Jun cries out in surprise as she and Ken go tumbling.

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 08-09-2010 at 21:07.
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