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


Gatchaman Episode 96: “Storm Galactor’s Headquarters!”

BOTP Episode: “Vacation on Venus”


 


Rain is falling heavily in what looks like a town from an old Western, but it’s dark and no one is about. Looming over the town is a tall rock formation (I think “butte” is the term), the result of many thousands of years of erosion and indicative of the terrain of the American southwest.

A bolt of lightning strikes the ground, and then a giant buffalo appears.


 


As lightning continues to flash, there is suddenly an explosion around the giant buffalo –on one side of its head, in fact. This causes people to appear, rushing out of buildings into the rain to see what’s happened.


 


The narrator tells us “Deep in Mammoth Canyon, near Break Town in the country of Ameris, a lightning bolt has set off an immense and inexplicable explosion.”


 


But now the rain has stopped and the sun is back out. We’re seeing a narrow river flowing sinuously through a deep gorge, and lying near it is a mysterious object…


 


And we switch to a view of this odd, horn-like object being shown on a projection screen, as Dr. Nambu shows it to the Science Ninjas.


 


“And what do you suppose this might be, everyone?” He asks.

Jinpei thinks it looks like “the horn of a dinosaur that somebody dug up.”

Dr. Nambu agrees it looks like that, but then he brings up some close-up images of the object, revealing that it’s “a sophisticated mecha with rock particles bonded to its surface.”


 


“It’s impossible for us to make such a finely detailed mecha, even here at the ISO,” continues Dr. Nambu as everyone stares at the close-up, “So we believe it can only be part of a Galactor mecha monster.”

Ken agrees, conceding that Galactor does have the technology to pull it off. Joe notes that, despite the fact that the object was apparently blown off in a large explosion, the mecha doesn’t seem to have sustained too much damage. Dr. Nambu theorizes that “something caused an explosion during the monster’s construction.”

Jinpei laughs, “It’d be just like those dorks to blow themselves up!”

Jun asks Dr. Nambu if he really thinks this explains the explosion at Mammoth Canyon.

He does. “There are witnesses in Break Town who saw a large mushroom cloud,” he says.

Joe concludes there must be a secret Galactor base there, then.

“We had suspected for a while that a base or two was in that area,” acknowledges Dr. Nambu, “It could very well be their headquarters.”

He brings up a map of the region on a screen, as everyone contemplates the exciting import of this statement.


 

(Hmm, if this region is meant to be akin to the American southwest, the major bodies of water have certainly shifted position.)

In fact, Dr. Nambu tells them that the Intelligence Division at the ISO, based on the examination of the mecha scrap, thinks there is an 80 % likelihood that Galactor’s headquarters are located on the upper waters of the Yellow River.

“Doctor,” says Ken intensely, “This is our chance –just give us the order to move out!”

“But on the other hand,” muses Dr. Nambu, perhaps unwilling to get anyone’s hopes up, “This could just be an elaborate trap. If it was their headquarters, they could have moved, and Mammoth Canyon is too narrow for the God Phoenix to navigate.”

Ryu is disappointed to hear the God Phoenix is too big.

Ken is determined. “We’ll find a way in.”

“I won’t be satisfied until we at least try it,” declares Joe.

So, Dr. Nambu informs them they will have to go up the river then in a canoe powered with an outboard motor.



 


“Be careful, and good luck,” he concludes and all the Ninjas shout “Roger!” and run from the room.

“I hope it really is Galactor’s headquarters,” thinks Dr. Nambu to himself.

And we cut to a car driving across some barren and rough terrain, amidst more buttes and rocky outcroppings. It proves to contain the Science Ninjas, sans Ryu. I wonder where they got this car? The side that the driver –Joe, naturally- is on is that of a British or Japanese car, for what that’s worth.


 


Soon they’re driving through very narrow and twisty ravines, where it’s clear the God Phoenix wouldn’t be able to go, and we can see that they’ve got a canoe strapped on top of the car.

Wherever the God Phoenix has been parked, Ryu is there, resting with his feet up on his console.


 


“Here I am, watching the God Phoenix again,” he says to himself with a yawn, “Oh man, am I getting sick of this. Can’t I have some major action for once and find Galactor’s headquarters?”

“Well, whatever,” he concludes, “This is my job, so that’s what I’ll do.” He yawns again and slumps forward on his console and we get a quick exterior view of where the God Phoenix is parked, at the top of a deep ravine.

Meanwhile, in the car, Jun speculates that poor Ryu is probably sulking, but a smiling Jinpei insists he’s probably “snoring away.”

(In the subs, Jinpei says “he’s probably snoring away with a bubble of snot hanging out his nose,” –a detail we are mercifully spared in the dub!)

“Man, this happens to him all the time,” says Joe, as if he’s feeling bad for Ryu.

“Ryu understands his importance on the Team,” says Ken, acknowledging the sacrifice that the Owl makes –missing out on the action- in his role as pilot of the God Phoenix.

But Joe has just noticed that another vehicle –a jeep- is coming up behind them, and fast.


 


The road is narrow, and the jeep gets right on their tail, its driver laying on the horn obnoxiously. The road is also bordered on one side by a steep cliff.

“Damn, what’s the hurry with that bozo?” snaps Joe, pressing the gas pedal and speeding up.

But the jeep speeds up too, and manages to pass the Ninjas’ car, bashing against them in the process.


 

 

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Considering how easily they could plummet over the side of the cliff, the Ninjas are justified in being pissed off. Jinpei opens a window to yell at the jeep’s driver, but starts coughing instead as all the dust from the road hits him.

But we get a look at the driver now. (He’s blond, so clearly he’s up to no good! ;-) )


 


“Huh, that bastard’s pretty good,” concedes Joe, “Hold on to your seats everyone –let’s put the pedal to the metal!”

And Joe does just that, speeding after the jeep and turning the car up on its side to pass the jeep and get in front again.


 


“Man, I’m glad we made it around him,” says Jinpei, looking rather queasy.


 


But he looks out the rear window and waves mockingly at the jeep, adding “Take that, you big jerk!”

The driver of the jeep seems to have an advantage over them, namely greater familiarity with the terrain. He takes a different way now, going up to a higher level of the cliffs than where the Ninjas are driving, checks to see where they are on the road down below, and then shoves a large boulder down off the cliff to hit them.


 


Joe sees the boulder just as it’s about to strike.


 


He swerves to avoid it, as Jun also cries “Watch out!” but there’s nowhere to go except over the side of the road, and down a very steep bank


 


“Son of a-” snarls Joe, and everyone else cries out in alarm. Jinpei clutches on to Jun.

“Auugghh!” yells Joe, seeing they’re heading for a sheer drop.


He pulls out his gun and fires a cable from the front of it, out the window on his side.


 


Immediately, as Ken leans over and takes the wheel, Joe fires the rear cable, with the hook attachment, at the rear side window on the other side of the car (where it shatters the window, startling Jinpei that much more).

But both cables catch and hold on the sides of the deep ravine and save them from a plunge to certain destruction but nevertheless leave them in a precarious situation, with Jinpei still groaning anxiously.


 


“That was too close!” says a sweating Ken, still clutching the steering wheel.

“That guy in that car was deliberately targeting us,” says Jun indignantly. “I bet he was from Galactor,” snarls Jinpei, waving a fist, “That maniac!” But the car shakes and trembles, with sounds of groaning metal under strain, putting a stop to his show of belligerence.

Up at the top of the cliffs, the blond driver looks down at them briefly and then drives off, as Joe glares up at him. “I’m not so sure of that,” says Ken, looking puzzled.

Next, we see the town near the large butte where the people saw the explosion at the beginning of this episode. I have absolutely no idea how they managed this, but the Ninjas have gotten their car back on the road and now it’s parked on a street in the town.


 


Maybe they had Ryu hover overhead in the God Phoenix, attach cables to the car and then airlift them to safety.

It turns out that the Ninjas are in a restaurant. Why they have chosen to remain in birdstyle while doing this, again I have no idea –it’s hardly inconspicuous. At any rate, they seem to be the only customers present, and the patron, a man with a long beard, brings them their food.


 


“There you are, thanks for waiting,” says the man, setting down their plates.

Jinpei waxes enthusiastic about eating –getting dinner in town must have been his idea- and scoops up a forkful of what appears to be noodles.

Joe looks far less enthusiastic about his food but takes a bite anyway, as the man remarks “You kids are sure wearing strange clothes. Where are you from?”


 


Clearly he doesn’t know very much about the Science Ninja Team.

“We’re from the ends of the Earth, old man,” says Joe, still looking unimpressed with his food.

“Come on now, stop with the jokes,” laughs the man, “Your face is funny enough.”

(Hey, I hope he’s referring to Joe’s visor –his face isn’t funny-looking!)

Ken laughs though, and informs the man they’re from Utoland.

“Ah, just as I thought,” replies the man, “Hippies. Where are you headed then?”

Now this is interesting, that Utoland (wherever it may be) has the reputation of being populated with hippie-types. I suppose a lot of the customers that have been shown at the Snack J might fit that description though. Or maybe in this out-of-the-way rural area, he thinks any young people from a big city must be hippies.

Ken, scooping up a forkful of noodles, tells him their plan is to paddle up the Yellow River, to Mammoth Canyon.

“Ah!” says the man in alarm, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you!”

This sure gets Joe’s attention. “Why not?” he demands.

“Because of the scourge of the giant death buffalo,” replies the man, as if this were something everyone ought to have heard of, “Oh, you’ll never make it back alive.”

“What’s ‘scourge’?” Jinpei asks Jun. “Not in your vocabulary?” she smirks.

“Apparently you kids don’t know a thing about it,” continues the man, “But deep in the canyon is a little grave that’s called ‘the city of the moon.’”

So now we see images of the story that the man relates.


 


“Since olden times,” no one has gone near this place except Indians near death –warriors injured in battle or the very elderly- and “It’s said that there’s a protector of the grave called the Death Buffalo.”

We see an image of it now.


 


“Legend has it he ruthlessly kills anyone who enters the canyon,” continues the man, as we see images of human bones scattered all over the ground. Coming back to the man himself and the restaurant, he finishes up with “Give up on the canyon and go somewhere else –It doesn’t pay to provoke the gods.”

“Sounds like the perfect cover for Galactor’s headquarters,” says Joe skeptically, as the man walks off towards the kitchen. Ken agrees it’s likely they’re spreading rumors of a curse to keep the locals away from that area. “Something sure stinks,” concurs Jun.

Jinpei takes her words literally. “Don’t look at me, Sis! I wouldn’t fart in the middle of a meal!”

“Stop joking around and pull your mind out of the toilet!” snaps Jun. Hee…


 

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Next we see a staircase cut into the rock, descending from the town down into the deep ravine where the Yellow River flows, and there the Ninjas are setting off in their outboard-motor-powered canoe.


 


However, a man who is very clearly Galactor –hell, he’s got the logo right on his scarf- is observing their departure. He speaks into a radio, “Agent 2 here, looks like Gatchaman and the others just started making their way upstream.”


 


“So they waltzed out here just like we suspected,” says Katse, presumably from the secret-base-that-might-be-their-headquarters, “If that scrap was enough to lure them out, then it was a bargain.” He’s accompanied by a goon and a man who can only be a Captain of the week (whose uniform and appearance were seemingly inspired by the traditional garb of Native Americans).


 


“Just you wait, Science Ninja Team,” snarls Katse, “I’ll finish you off for good!”

Next we see a group of birds, circling in the air, but down below on the river, the Ninjas are still making their way upstream. Ken, Joe and Jinpei are using paddles to keep the canoe from colliding with rocks, while Jun is manning the outboard motor. It must be hot, as they’re all sweating –even Jun wipes her forehead with one hand.

High above them, the blond man who’d been driving the jeep before is running along the edge of the cliff overlooking the ravine, and he’s carrying a rifle. But Ken and the others don’t see him.


 


There must be spy cameras planted along the ravine, as Katse is watching the canoe’s progress on a screen.


 

“Here they are, they really did take the bait,” he laughs, “Good, good… Keep coming further in.”

He instructs the Captain not to do anything until he himself gives the word. However, this isn’t preventing the blond man from taking aim at the canoe with his rifle.


 


“Science Ninja scum,” thinks the blond man to himself as he gets a fix on them through the rifle’s sights. (Unlike the man at the restaurant, he knows they’re not hippies, at least.) He appears to be aiming for Ken.


 


“Die!” says the blond man, and he fires, but his elbow slips as he does so. Still, he looks like he only just missed hitting either Joe or Jun. The bullet strikes the side of the canoe near them.


 


Everyone is startled, and in the confusion that ensues, they capsize the canoe.


 


The blond man, looking angry, reloads his rifle and takes aim again, shooting a hole in the bottom of the canoe. “Damn it, I screwed up!” he mutters as the canoe glides off downstream now, no Ninjas in sight.

“Damn it,” yells Katse, banging his fists down, “Who the hell is out there bird hunting? I told you not to give any orders until I gave the word!”


 


“It’s strange, Chief,” says the Captain, “None of my people would have done it.”

Katse still wants to know who did it, and a goon tells him there’s “a suspicious looking character on the bluff at Point P.”

“Huh?” says the Captain. He’s not being presented as terribly bright or enterprising and I suspect there’s some rather politically-incorrect stereotyping going on here, but he certainly isn’t the first Galactor Captain or goon to be depicted in an unflattering light.

Katse orders the goon to zoom in on the suspicious character.


 


“Who’s the kid with the rifle?” asks Katse, who’d clearly been expecting a different sort of character.

“I don’t know, Chief,” says the Captain, “He doesn’t appear to be a member of Galactor.”

“Why,” snarls Katse, “would someone who isn’t one of ours be targeting the Science Ninja Team?” And he smacks the Captain on the head, yelling “Catch him!”


 


“I’m not letting some pop gun punk get in my way,” sneers Katse.

The blond man is still staring down at the river, whence the canoe went, but we see where it went. It’s now stopped outside a cave-like entrance in the cliff.


 


And then it’s inside the cave, and four very wet Ninjas are sitting on the rocks near it –clearly they were underneath it as it moved down the river.

“The guy who shot at us was that speed demon from before,” Joe is saying.


 


Ken is now beginning to think the man really might be an agent for Galactor despite his earlier doubts. Jun agrees he seems to be trying to assassinate them. A glowering Joe now says he thinks the man is probably waiting outside the cave to take another shot at them.

“What should we do now?” asks a somewhat nervous Jinpei.

“We haven’t come this far just to turn back and run away with our tails between our legs,” says Ken grimly.

“I’m not running from jack!” agrees Joe.

“Hey, check it out, Ken,” adds Joe, “It looks like this cavern carries on upstream. What do you think?”


 


“So if we go through this cave instead, we won’t get shot at anymore!” is what Jinpei happily thinks.

Ken agrees that they should repair the canoe and go that way.

Meanwhile, the blond man is preparing to climb down to the river with a rope.


 


“So, you’re playing hard to get, huh?” he’s muttering to himself but then he looks up suddenly, startled to see a helicopter approaching him, fast.

The helicopter, naturally, contains Galactor goons and they quickly capture the man with a net and fly away.


 


The Ninjas are travelling through the underwater stream in the cavern, and the guys are all paddling, though I don’t know why since there aren’t any rocks to avoid here and the motor is propelling them. Maybe they think it looks all manly, for Jun’s appreciation.


 

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“It’s getting kind of creepy in here,” notes Jinpei apprehensively. A drop of water from a stalactite falls on him and he yells in alarm “Something just hit me!”

No one comments, but no one looks exactly at ease either. Well, they’ve got paddles, so they aren’t up shit creek.


Commercial Break!


We’re at the Galactor base, where the Captain is presenting the captive blond man to Katse.

“Good work, Chief Wampum,” says Katse (Katse does not call him this in the subs!).

“You’re really something, going after them all by yourself,” says Katse to the blond man, grabbing him, “How about it? If you join Galactor we can take them down together. What do say?”


 


“You mean you jokers are Galactor?” retorts the blond man, and he spits at Katse.


 


“Eugh! He slimed me!” yells Katse (It’s “How vulgar!” in the subs) and he belts the blond man across the face.

But the blond man hisses that he’s after both the Science Ninjas and Galactor.

“Listen, I don’t know what we did to cheese off a punk like you, but I don’t mind adding your headstone.” “Take him!” he instructs some goons, and the blond man is hauled off somewhere.


 


Another goon informs Katse that the Science Ninjas are still progressing upstream through the drainage cave, and he’s watching them on a view screen.


“Well,” says Katse, “How about that? They think they’ve taken a short cut to come see me. I think I’m starting to see a little nameplate on my desk with ‘Leader Z’ on it.” He smiles craftily, and gives an evil laugh.


 


Meanwhile, in the drainage cave, Jun sees something up ahead. “It looks like we’ve come to the end of the tunnel,” says Ken.

“There’s something really freaky about this place,” he adds a moment later, looking around as Jinpei droops wearily. Too much paddling for him, I guess –he should have tried to get Jun’s job.

“It looks like some kind underground lake,” remarks Joe.

“I wonder where we are now, Ken,” says Jun, and just then a large door slams down behind them, blocking the way back out.


 


They are indeed in a large, circular “lake.”


 


“Be careful,” Ken is saying, “It looks like we’ve found Galactor’s base.”

Aaand, no sooner has he said this, but the canoe nearly capsizes as the water suddenly swirls and pitches. It’s all pouring out of the underground lake, from below.


 


The Science Ninjas get caught up in the current and sucked down too, all tumbling out of the canoe as it drops.


 


Galactor is certainly big on nets in this episode. There’s another one waiting here and all the Ninjas land in it.


 


All the water from the “lake” has poured away now, and Ken asks Jinpei if he’s okay, which Jinpei says he is –aside from being “netted like a bunch of fish.”

But then Jinpei spots “that guy from the jeep” tied to a pole down below.


 


And indeed it is him, looking a bit worse for wear –he doesn’t seem to have noticed the net o’ Ninjas that’s hanging above him.


 


Jinpei surmises that the man’s current predicament means he’s not with Galactor. Ken agrees but is more immediately concerned with escaping from the net.

But then Katse’s evil laughter is heard and two panels on the wall are raised to reveal him, “Chief Wampum” and some goons, all with prime locations to watch the proceedings.


 


“You sure stuck your foot in it this time,” gloats Katse, “Galactor’s headquarters here? Oh give me a friggin’ break!”

The Ninjas remain defiant and Ken yells “We haven’t even begun to fight, Katse!” brandishing his boomerang.

I think he was about to slice the net with it, but Katse pulls a switch and the whole net becomes electrified and all the Ninjas scream in anguish.


 

Katse is enjoying their suffering immensely. “Four blackened chickens, coming right up!” he crows, and orders a goon to increase the electric current.


 


And the Ninjas scream in greater anguish. “I’m toasting over here!” cries Jinpei. Ken yells “Jinpei, we’re going to escape with Ninja Technique: Bird Cross!”


“The bird cross?” yells Jinpei. “Jinpei!” cries Jun. “Go for it,” gasps Joe.

So they do, and it rips the net to shreds.


 


“Bring the guns online! Fill them full of holes!” yells Katse.

Guns come out of the walls and fire at them, but don’t appear to be targeting well and the Ninjas join hands and drop to the water below, unharmed.


 


They land near the blond man. Ken raises the man’s head and tells him “Come on, pull yourself together,” –surprisingly kindly considering the guy sent them over a cliff in their car and then later tried to shoot them.


 


Katse is ranting angrily “Shoot them!” but Captain Wampum points out that the bullets can’t reach the targets.

Wasting no time, Joe and Jun pull out their cable gun and yoyo, respectively, and fire up at the edges of the open drainage doors to the basin high above them.


 

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And up they go… Joe gets the harder job of bearing Ken and the blond man (who appears to be getting an interesting view of Joe’s physique).


 


“I won’t let you escape!” yells Katse, as the bullets still fail to stop the Ninjas’ ascent, “Close the ceiling! Do it now!”

A goon rushes out to where the Ninjas were, and pulls a lever on the wall. The blond man sees this.


 


The doors above start sliding together again, sealing the way out, and only Jinpei, yelling “Hey, watch out!” as he sees this, is able to make it through before they close completely.


 


He goes rolling, coming to a stop when he hits the wall, but everyone else falls back towards the water.


 


Manacles now coming flying at them and latch onto the wrists of Ken, Jun and Joe. The blond man, unwanted, lands in the water below.


 


Then the manacles’ chains retract and pull the three of them up against the wall. Bondage fetishists, enjoy!

Now Katse really laughs evilly, declaring “I’ve hooked you real good now, and you’re too meaty to toss back in the ocean. I think I’ll debone you, scale you and cook you up good!”

“I’m sick of listening to your blithering speeches,” says a defiant Ken, “Shut up and get it over with!”

Katse declares those will be his last words and aims flame throwers at the three of them.


 


“Now, set the flame guns to extra crispy,” Katse informs a goon.

Captain Wampum reminds him that “midget boy” is not there, but Katse isn’t concerned about him escaping very far. “Not even a gnat could escape this base.”

Well, “midget boy” is currently crouched behind a boulder. Realizing he’ll need help to mount a rescue, he tries to contact Ryu.


 


“Ryu, this is G-4 –come in!” Much to his distress and disgust, all he hears is Ryu snoring (and maybe there is a bubble of snot hanging out his nose.)

“He’s snoring away as usual!” wails Jinpei, clutching his helmet, “Damn it! What am I going to do now?”

“Calling Shorty Pants! Attention, Shorty Pants!” calls Katse’s voice from a speaker system.

“I’m not short, you pointy-eared rat!” yells Jinpei, looking around the empty chamber.

(Yes you are, kid, and you’ll still be short in the last episode of Gatch F!)

“Sorry, but the cavalry ain’t coming,” continues Katse’s voice, “If you don’t give yourself up quietly, your friends will be char-grilled.”

Jinpei is horrified.


 


“Now be a good boy –give up and I’ll cancel the barbecue,” concludes Katse.

“Don’t listen, Jinpei,” shouts the ever-defiant Ken, “Never mind about us –just get away from here!”


 


“That’s right, Jinpei,” adds Jun more melodramatically, “You need to live so that you can come back to avenge our deaths!”

Right, no pressure or anything, kid!


 


“Don’t be fooled,” shouts Joe, pragmatically, “If you waltz out into the open you’ll just end up like us!”


 


It’s Joe’s response that Katse seems to dislike the most –a large whip comes flying out and lashes Joe, making him yell in pain. S&M fetishists, enjoy!

“The glare in your stare deserves a reward, boy,” snarls Katse, holding the controls to the mechanical whips, “Think I’ll execute you first!”

“Go on,” says Joe in a low, intense voice, “I grew up to be what I am now thinking only of how much I want to kill you, so it’s no surprise you can see the hatred in my eyes, you rat.”

Definitely a cool Condor moment!


 


Katse’s lip curls in fury. “That’s it, tough guy! Let’s see how much you can take!”


 


The whips come flying, and Joe is screaming in pain as his whole body gets lashed half a dozen more times.

“Show yourself, Shorty Pants! This is the last time I’ll tell you!” yells Katse.


 


“Jinpei, don’t let Katse provoke you!” Joe yells, defiant in his anguish.

“Even if we’re killed,” adds Ken, “You live on with Ryu and defeat Galactor!”

“Jinpei, listen to us,” implores Jun.

“Hang tough, Sis,” wails Jinpei into his bracelet, tears streaming down his face.


 


No one, however, is paying attention to what the blond man is doing –in fact, he’s staggered over to the lever that the goon had pulled to close the doors above.


 


“I can’t wait any more,” growls Katse, “Just torch the three of them.” However, a goon wearing headphones looks up and says “Lord Katse, the radar’s picked up something that could be the God Phoenix.”

“What?” demands Katse, “That’s strange.” He holds his chin, puzzled. “From the signal we captured, it sounded as if he didn’t make contact.”

After a pause, Katse concludes, “Whatever. We’ll just torch the God Phoenix too while we’re at it.”

And we see the God Phoenix flying through air over the rocky terrain. On its bridge, a wide-awake Ryu is staring grimly ahead and thinking “Jinpei, forgive me. It would be bad if Galactor overheard us, so I pretended to be asleep. Just be safe.”

Hurray for Ryu!


 

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But Ryu is startled to see something suddenly rise up from the ground. “Ahh! That craggy mountain just started moving!”


 


Ryu sweeps the God Phoenix past, managing not to hit the massive thing that just rose up in front of him. It’s the Death Buffalo (missing horn and all!)


 


“Holy cow, that giant minotaur monster’s made of solid rock!” cries Ryu, getting a good look at it as he brings the God Phoenix back around.

Still chained to the wall, which is now shaking and moving, Ken says “Apparently the base itself was a mecha!”

As Ryu swoops past the mecha again, it opens its mouth and spits a blast of flames at the God Phoenix. Fortunately, Ryu gets away fast enough to avoid getting hit.

“You’ll have to do better than that,” he growls. The mecha spits flames again, and again Ryu evades them.

Meanwhile, inside that base, that I guess is now inside the Death Buffalo/minotaur mecha, the blond man is pulling the lever.

As the doors in the floor of the now empty “lake” begin to reopen over the chamber where the rest of the Ninjas are chained up, Jinpei sees that this is his chance and prepares his bolas.


 


“No way, I’m not just running away and leaving them all to die!” he declares, and as the doors continue to open, he hurls his bolas right at the window in the chamber below where Katse is standing.



 


The bolas smash through the glass, throttle a goon at the console, and then explode.



 


Katse yells in outrage, but the destroyed console must have held the controls for the manacles, because now all the manacles holding Ken’s, Jun’s and Joe’s wrists open and release them.


 


As the three of them all leap free, Katse yells “Die, Gatchaman!” and pulls another lever, to fire the flame guns.

But Ken throws his boomerang and slices apart all three flame guns, destroying them and causing an explosion.

Katse is crouched on the floor of the control room and Captain Wampum rushes over to him to tell him that the explosion “knocked out our power.” Smoke is pouring from gaping holes in the damaged walls behind them.

“Idiot!” yells Katse, punching him in the face and knocking him down, “Why are you so incompetent? Hurry up and fix it!”

“But how?” gasps the Captain.

Meanwhile, Ken has jumped down to where the blond man is, still clutching the lever.

“You have my thanks,” Ken tells him. I guess him helping them now cancels out his earlier attempts to kill them!

“I’m sorry, I guess I had the wrong idea about you guys,” says the man, turning to look at Ken. Ken points out that the main concern at hand is “to get out of this place,” and tells the man to put his arm around his neck.


 


Jun and Joe are up above with Jinpei, and Jun tosses down her yoyo for Ken to catch, and he and the blond man get pulled up.


 


Once up, Ken disgorges his blond burden and immediately contacts Ryu.

“I want you to set a super bird missile to level 10, and launch it straight at the minotaur!” orders Ken. Interesting that he knows it’s a minotaur, but I suppose that’s a logical assumption.

“Okay, it isn’t moving anymore,” says Ryu, “so I can blast one right into its flank steak.”

“No,” says Ken, “There was an explosion in its horn area –it should be weak there, so you should aim high.”

“Finally I get to cut loose!” says a gleeful Ryu to himself, and he lunges for the shiny red button.


 


A super bird missile is readied.


 


And it’s fired, smashing into the minotaur mecha’s head (through the hole where the horn had broken off) and ending up in the control room, sending goons flying.


 


“Ah, it’s a missile!” says one goon still on his feet, and he and Captain Wampum turn to run –only to be stopped by Katse.

“Hey! Where do you think you’re going?” barks Katse, “You’ve gotta make a last stand here!”

“You say that,” points out the Captain, “But you’re going to run away again.”

Right he is –Katse immediately turns and dashes from the control room!

Elsewhere on the mecha, Ken grabs some of his explosive charges.


 


And he hurls them and blows a hole in the mecha’s exterior.


 


The Ninjas and the blond man all run towards this new escape route, but Joe turns suddenly as if to go back, horrified to realize that “He’s getting away!”

Ken knows who Joe means, and grabs his shoulder. “Joe,” he says firmly, “We’ll have to catch him another day –we’ve got to get out of here!”


 


So, as the God Phoenix comes flying up and hovers outside the hole Ken created, they all jump to its dome and then it takes off again.

But now the remaining horn on the minotaur’s head shatters to reveal that it conceals an escape rocket for Katse, which goes speeding off into the sky.


 


In its wake, the entire minotaur mecha explodes. Inside it, goons go tumbling to fiery deaths, and outside it, debris is hurled in all directions –and a lot of it lands on top of Break Town.


 


And one large chunk of rock lands on top of an especially unfortunate man –I don’t think this will be in the BOTP version!


 


The town is in flames, with people running and screaming.

Then, as sad music plays, we see that the God Phoenix is parked elsewhere, and the Ninjas and the blond man are watching the smoke rising from all the destruction in the distance.

“I thought in the end, that the Science Ninja Team and Galactor were just the same,” the blond man is saying.


 


“So that’s why you came after us,” says Ken, “But why did you think that?”

“Because of your war with Galactor,” says the blond man, “I lost everything that mattered, all my hopes and dreams were reduced to dust.”

Ken is confused, and then the man points towards the burning town.


 


“Look! My underwater farm was laid to ruin, just like that town.”

The Ninjas are shocked to hear this. I’m trying to figure out what the man means. Where was his underwater farm? In the Yellow River? In that unknown body of water that was on Dr. Nambu’s map? Somewhere else entirely and he just happened, by complete coincidence, to be visiting here when the Ninjas showed up? If his farm was nearby, was it ruined in that first explosion at the beginning of the episode? If so, I don’t see how he can blame the Ninjas for that!

 


“I know you’re on a mission, but while you’re all fighting for glory, innocent people are caught up in the crossfire.” The man winces, continuing “When you don’t consider the time and place of your battles, good people always get hurt.”

“The war’s been hard on you,” says Joe quietly, bowing his head. “Sorry,” says Ryu sadly. “I’m sorry too,” says Jun. “I guess we all should be,” says Jinpei glumly.

“It doesn’t matter anymore,” continues the blond man, “I’ll start over.”

Ken closes his eyes, deeply moved. “Forgive us,” he says, “Sometimes we get too wrapped up in ourselves.”

“No,” says the man, putting a hand on Ken’s shoulder, “I see now that it’s Galactor who is in the wrong –I’m satisfied just knowing that.”


 


“Check you later,” he adds and begins to walk away, but then he turns and calls back to them “Just win this war!”


 


Ken looks heartened by this (and little does he know, is only nine episodes from accomplishing this).


 


The man disappears from sight behind the rocks, but the Ninjas continue to watch the burning Break Town in the distance.

“The battle was over,” says the narrator, “But Gatchaman and the others were now acutely aware of how people were being sacrificed in the name of justice because of their fight. They felt their hearts clench as they realized anew the gravity of their mission.”

The End.

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BOTP Episode: “Vacation on Venus”

Okay, I laughed as soon as I saw this title, realizing that new heights of astronomical inaccuracy were about to be achieved in this episode.

We start with the usual view of Center Neptune, as Zark –dispenser of scientific misinformation to children everywhere- tells us “Here at Center Neptune, deep beneath the sea, we keep a constant eye on the entire universe. Of course, our first concern is our own solar system.”

Zark is apparently checking out the solar system’s planets, one by one, and now he’s doing Venus.

“Uh oh,” he says, “It looks like they have a very serious weather condition up there.”

Gee, let’s see… According to Wikipedia, “Venus has an extremely dense atmosphere, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and a small amount of nitrogen. The atmospheric mass is 93 times that of Earth's atmosphere while the pressure at the planet's surface is about 92 times that at Earth's surface—a pressure equivalent to that at a depth of nearly 1 kilometer under Earth's oceans. The CO2-rich atmosphere, along with thick clouds of sulfur dioxide, generates the strongest greenhouse effect in the Solar System, creating surface temperatures of over 460 °C (860 °F).”

Yes, I can see how this might qualify as “a very serious weather condition”!

Yet, somehow, there is a town on Venus and there it is currently raining heavily. Lightning flashes in the sky as we see a butte-like rock formation looming behind the town –and then the head of a giant buffalo also comes into view. But the lightning strikes one of its horns and this causes an explosion. People in the town come running outside, despite the rain, to see what’s going on. Flames are spewing high into the air now up on top of the butte.

“Volcanic action on Venus!” Zark voice-overs, “What could have happened to our warning system? I’d better alert Security immediately.”

“I’ve given Chief Anderson these telecom pictures,” Zark is saying next as we see views of a twisty river flowing through a deep gorge in bleak and rocky terrain.

It would have been slightly more plausible if the BOTP people had tried to pass this off as Mars, I think. Heck, they could have called the episode “Mission to Mars” or “Mischief on Mars” and even kept the alliteration going.

“-and analytical read outs on the disturbance,” continues Zark, “And he’s conferring with the G-Force Team right now.” Our final telecom picture is of a strange horn-shaped object lying near the edge of the river.

“That strange object,” says Zark, “Looks like the horn of some strange, incredibly huge animal.”

And it’s an image of this horn that Chief Anderson is showing to G-Force. “Zark’s coordinates center the blast right here,” he tells them.

Keyop burbles and says “Funny volcano… barbecue?”

“We think it was supposed to look like a volcano,” says Anderson, “But we’re pretty sure there’s something else behind it.”

He shows them some close ups of the horn, and it clearly looks mechanical in nature.

“Zark has done some remote spectrographic analyses of the material, and it doesn’t come from Venus. Neither does it come from any of the other planets in our solar system, which means only one thing and I think you can guess what that is.”

“We don’t have to guess,” says Mark, “Trouble comes from only one place.”

“Right,” says Jason, “It has to be Spectra. That little stunt has all the earmarks of a Zoltar special.”

“And if it continues,” continues Anderson, “I don’t have to tell you what could happen to the planet Venus.”

Keyop laughs unaccountably, burbles some more and says “Long ride,”

“Don’t pay any attention to him, Chief,” says Princess, “He gets some strange ideas.”

“In this case, he might be right,” says Anderson, “Spectra could knock Venus completely out of orbit!”

My, my –that would be quite something.

“That’s it –they’re trying to destroy our solar system,” concludes Jason. “And us!” adds Tiny.

That certainly is a more ambitious plan than Spectra’s usual schemes!

“Well, we’re going to stop them –and fast,” concludes Anderson gravely, “Or rather, you are –you’re going on a little vacation… to Venus.”

He brings up a map on the screen. Mark stares, and everyone else looks taken aback by this announcement.

“And you will be going as regular tourists,” continues Anderson, “To cover up your investigation, pretend to be doing a little boating, mountain climbing, fishing –that sort of thing.”

“Right, it’s a good cover,” says Mark. “We’ll play it like real ecology freaks,” agrees Jason.

“All right, G-Force, that’s your assignment,” finishes Anderson, “Off to Venus, and stop the Spectran invaders.”

Everyone goes running from the room.

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“And whatever you do, come back safely,” thinks Anderson to himself.

Next, we get stock footage of the Phoenix departing Center Neptune.

“Tiny has made another perfect lift-off in the Phoenix,” gushes Zark’s voice, “And G-Force is on its way to planet Venus.”

And now we see the Phoenix, out of Earth’s atmosphere and heading into space, leaving Earth far behind.

“Earth is the third planet in order from the sun,” continues Zark, getting at least that much correct, “And Venus is the second, so as space flights go, this is just a nice little joyride for the Team.” We are shown a tiny dot, springing across space from Earth to Venus (and somehow, they pass a nebula on the way –who knew we have a nebula right here in our own solar system?)

“And now they’re homing in on Venus,” says Zark, “The joyride is almost over as they get ready to act like tourists and try to locate the secret Spectra base.”

So now we see the Phoenix, flying over a bleak Venusian landscape, but suddenly this changes to that of a car, bearing a canoe, driving across a bleak landscape.

Inside the car, Mark, Jason, Princess and Keyop are posing as ordinary tourists… by wearing their official G-Force uniforms. Maybe they can pass them off as the latest trend in outerwear for “boating, mountain climbing, fishing –that sort of thing.”

Looks like they drive like the British, or the Japanese, on Venus –Jason is on the left side of the car, guiding it through a narrow ravine.

Elsewhere, Tiny is on the bridge of the Phoenix and resting his feet on his console, yawning. “Oh boy, flying top cover for the Team is really the pits,” he says to himself, “There’s nobody to rap with –wish I had something to eat, like maybe a couple of space burgers. Yeah, loaded with cheese, and relish, and tomatoes…” He closes his eyes sleepily, and yawns again.

Meanwhile, in the car, Princess is saying, “Mmm, it’s hard to remember we’re not on vacation.” “Catch a big one,” adds Keyop. “I sure hope Tiny remembers why he’s here,” says Jason.

“Quit worrying, Jason,” says Mark, “Hang loose.”

But Jason doesn’t get a chance to do this –a jeep is speeding up behind them, tailgating and honking its horn.

“What’s that speed freak trying to do?” demands Jason, pressing the gas to speed their car up too. But the jeep stays on their tail, and then manages to pass them, knocking into them in the process. Keyop opens the window to yell at the jeep’s driver but instead ends up enveloped in a cloud of dust.

We get a look at the driver though, and it’s a young, blond man, smiling maliciously at them.

“That clown’s not playing with a full deck,” declares Jason, “We’d better stop him before he really hurts somebody.”

Naturally, doing this requires Jason to drive even faster and flip their car up on its side to pass by the jeep on the narrow road. In the back seat, Keyop looks queasy and clutches Princess, but then he looks back at the jeep, waving his arms mockingly. “Mess with us," he retorts.

But the jeep takes a fork in the road to a higher elevation while G-Force’s car continues along the edge of the river ravine. From this higher vantage, the blond man pushes a large boulder down towards them. Jason sees it about to hit the road right in front of their car, and he swerves and takes the car down a very steep bank. “We’re going over,” he says grimly.

But then he fires cables from the front and back of his gun, out of each side of the car, while Mark takes the wheel. The cables catch on either side of the ravine and stop the car’s rapid descent to… something that surely wasn’t good.

In fact, as the “camera” pulls back, we see that they’re dangling high in the air.

“Cables are holding,” says Mark, sounding calmer than he looks. “Who was that man? He must be spacey!” declares Princess. “Ooh… hands on him,” says a scowling Keyop, fists clenched –until the car lurches slightly on the cables.

Up on high, the blond man has stopped his jeep, but then he drives off again. Seeing this, Jason glares and Mark says “I think we’ll be seeing him again.”

And now we see the butte where the explosion had occurred before, with the little town nearby, and Zark is saying “Well, Tiny brought the Phoenix around in time to rescue G-Force-”

Kudos to BOTP for explaining that little detail.

“-from that dangling car. Now the Team is setting off to explore the main river of Venus in their search for the Spectra base.”

Yup, no time to stop for a meal and hear tales of Death Buffalos from any restaurant proprietors!

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They’re at the bottom of some stairs cut into the rock and descending from the town down into the river gorge, preparing to set off upstream in a canoe powered by an outboard motor. No fishing gear in sight and they’re still in their G-Force uniforms –not doing a very good job posing as tourists.

“All set? Shove off!” says Mark and they’re on their way. As they disappear around a bend in the river upstream, a sinister looking man, with a Spectra logo on his scarf, steps into view, having observed their departure.

“Spectra Control, this is station three,” he says into a radio, “G-Force is heading up river.”

Elsewhere, in the secret base, we see Zoltar, a goon and a Captain whose uniform seems to be modeled after the traditional garb of Native Americans –but surely that’s just coincidence, as this is Venus, not Earth!

“Excellent, excellent,” Zoltar is saying, “Do nothing to frighten them off. They are on vacation without their usual protection. [What is that exactly?] This is the ideal time to make certain of their capture –do you understand?”

We get a quick view of some birds circling in the sky (Venus’ birds look just like Earth birds) and then we’re back to G-Force in their canoe. Mark, Jason and Keyop are wielding paddles to keep the canoe from hitting rocks and Princess is manning the outboard motor.

Everyone is sweating –after all, it’s 460 °C on Venus! Princess dabs her forehead with one hand. High above, on the cliffs overlooking the gorge, the young blond man runs by, carrying a rifle.

No one in the canoe seems to have spotted him.

Zoltar is watching the canoe on a view screen. He laughs and says “Earth-born fools, see how they struggle to enter my trap. I will not disappoint you, my Earthling friends. Soon you will meet the one you came so far to see –the great Taura!” He looks to the nearby Spectran captain as he says this, but I don’t think the captain is the great Taura.

“Are your men in position?” Zoltar asks him. “Yes,” says the captain.

And we cut back to G-Force, in their canoe. Up atop the cliffs, the blond man is hunkered down and taking aim at them with his rifle…

But before he can do anything, Mark cries “Hit the water!” and the canoe flips over –apparently he spotted the man about to shoot them and flipped it himself.

The blond man, seeing the upside down canoe going downstream now, growls “Next time I won’t slip,” waving one fist in anger. And maybe next time, he’ll manage to fire his rifle, because he sure didn’t this time.

Meanwhile, Zoltar bangs his fists down angrily on a console, demanding “What happened? They’re getting away! Oneida, answer me, why did they turn the boat over?”

Yup, the captain is “Oneida” and while I can’t verify the spelling of this, somehow I’m willing to bet it’s the same as that of a certain Native American tribe of the Iroquois Nation.

“I do not know,” says Oneida, “It looks as though something frightened them.”

“I can see that, you fool,” retorts Zoltar, “But what was it?”

“There’s your answer,” pipes up a Spectran soldier, “Somebody’s hiding on top of that cliff.”

“Who is it? Who is that man?” demands Zoltar, as they all look at an image of the blond man, still holding his rifle, on a view screen.

“I’ll get a close up,” says the soldier, bringing up a better view of the blond man’s face.

“Well, who is it?” demands Zoltar again.

“I do not know; he is not one of our men,” says Oneida.

“If G-Force escapes because of this, you will pay dearly, Oneida,” says Zoltar, fists clenched in anger, but we cut quickly to the blond man himself and certainly Zoltar wouldn’t smack his captain, Oneida, in the head or anything like that, because that wouldn’t be nice.

The blond man is just staring down at the river, where G-Force is nowhere in sight now. But then we see where they are –just inside a cave at the side of the river, downstream from where they were.

Inside the cave, everyone is very wet and huddled near the still-upside-down canoe.

“This isn’t the most fun I’ve ever had on vacation,” says Jason witheringly.

“I think it’s the greatest,” says Mark, deadpan, “I’m going to come back every year.”

“When you two comics are through, how about us getting out?” says Princess.

“That’s the end of my routine,” glowers Jason, “Let’s go.”

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“Dangerous,” burbles Keyop.

“Keyop’s right,” says Mark, “We could be sitting ducks if we go back out there now. What we need is to make ourselves invisible.”

“I’ve got an idea!” says Jason, gesturing deeper into the cave, from whence a large stream of water is flowing, “Instead of going out, let’s go farther in. This water’s coming from some place.”

“Fool Spectra,” says Keyop happily.

“I think you’ve got the right idea, Jason,” says Mark.

Elsewhere, the blond man is tying a rope with which to descend down the cliff. “Only way to get ‘em is to go find ‘em,” he mutters.

His plans are thwarted, however, when a helicopter piloted by Spectran soldiers swoops towards him and they throw a net over him to capture him and then go flying off with him.

So now G-Force is travelling along an underground river in their canoe, and the guys are paddling, even though there’s a motor and no rocks to avoid. I guess it looks cooler than just sitting there.

“Next time,” says Keyop, “Nice vacation… back yard.”

A drop of water from a stalactite hits his shoulder, startling him. The guys keep paddling, and Princess has her hand on the motor, steering.

So, we cut to Zark, pacing back and forth at Center Neptune.

“G-Force has covered a good deal of planet Venus,” he says.

They have?

“But so far, they haven’t found a sign of Spectra’s base. They’ve been threatened by a strange blond man, but is he an agent of Spectra or is he just a hostile citizen of Venus?”

He stops pacing. I wonder where 1-Rover-1 is.


“When you’re dealing with alien planets, it’s so difficult to tell,” continues Zark, “I’ll try to bring them in on my monitor again, and see if I can be of any help. My stigmatic grading spectrograph should get through to Zoltar’s headquarters… I think I’m making contact.”

Right, so Zark can see what Zoltar is doing, but he can’t contact G-Force and tell them where Zoltar is –that doesn’t make much sense.

What Zoltar is doing is watching his soldiers bring in their latest, blond, captive.

“We have brought the prisoner, Zoltar,” says Oneida, “Do you wish to question him?”

“Indeed I do,” says Zoltar, striding over to the man, whose arms are bound to his sides with rope.

“If you wish to avoid any unpleasantness,” Zoltar tells him, “You will tell me immediately what you are doing in these mountains and what is your connection with G-Force.” He grasps the man’s shirt and gives him a shake for emphasis.

“We don’t like aliens on Venus –especially you!” declares the man (but he doesn’t spit at Zoltar –that would be vulgar!)

“Your manner and tongue need polishing!” says Zoltar (unaware that he’s been spared being spat at), “Take him and bring him back only when he’s ready to talk willingly!”

So, the blond man gets hauled away by some soldiers.

“You found them again –good!” says Zoltar now, seeing footage on a view screen of G-Force canoeing along the underground stream, “Make sure you do not lose them.”

“How eagerly they seek to enter my web,” enthuses Zoltar, “It is a sign from the Great Spirit that I will succeed! Soon G-Force will be no more -then it will be Earth’s turn!”

And back to the canoe, the guys are still paddling unnecessarily and Princess calls out “It’s getting lighter,” pointing further ahead in the tunnel.

“I’d like to see a little daylight right about now,” says Mark.

I wonder where the light they’ve been using to see their way along the underground stream all this time is coming from –special animators’ light, I guess, so they can draw something other than blackness for such scenes.

“So much for wishing,” continues Mark, looking around, as Keyop sags in weariness –too much paddling, apparently.

“What kind of cave is this?” demands Jason. “It doesn’t look natural,” concurs Princess.

And then, a clearly “unnatural” metal door slams down behind them, blocking their way back out of the cavern they’ve entered.

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“I have a feeling we’re about to get some of the answers we’ve been looking for,” says Mark, frowning.

And the canoe pitches as the water starts swirling and moving around them –it’s all pouring out of the bottom of the “lake” they’re on and they and their canoe get pulled along with it.

The canoe plummets down, and they all fall out of it, landing in a large net that then surrounds them like a bag, trapping them suspended in the air.

“Okay…” says Mark.

“Ooh, ooh, caught like a fish,” says Keyop, adding “Creep… in the jeep,” as he spots the blond man down below, tied to a post in waist-high water and apparently unconscious.

“He’s also the gunman we saw on top of that cliff,” notes Mark.

Zoltar’s evil laughter causes him and Keyop to look up suddenly. Panels on the walls rise to reveal windows, behind which stand Zoltar, Oneida and various Spectran soldiers, inside a control room.

“At last I’ve hooked the little fishes of G-Force,” mocks Zoltar, “The Luminous One will be pleased with my catch.”

“Not over yet!” shouts Keyop.

“You’re fishing out of season,” is Princess’ blistering retort.

“Here’s something for your Luminous One!” declares Mark, brandishing his boomerang.

“Oh no!” says Zoltar at this sight, and hits a switch to send electric current coursing through the net.

I guess it’s only mildly uncomfortable though, because certainly none of the G-Force members are screaming in agony or anything like that.

Nevertheless, Zoltar feels this merits a peal of evil laughter, saying “Your feeble toys will not work here –now you shall feel the mighty wrath of Spectra!” He apparently increases the electric current, but this just prompts Mark to say “Whirlwind pyramid, go!” in a voice that suggests he’s not feeling any pain at all.

They immediately begin to spin, and the net is instantly shredded to bits.

“Quick!” snaps Zoltar, “Stop them! They’re getting away!”

The four of them drop down to the water (and no wall-mounted guns are shooting at them, or anything like that) landing near the blond man, who’s still slumped, seemingly unconscious. Guess he’s just been using his captivity as a chance to catch up on sleep –very sensible of him.

“Listen, can you hear me?” says Mark to the man, lifting the man’s head as the man stares blearily at him.

“They must not escape again, Oneida!” snarls Zoltar. “They will not escape this time, I promise you,” he replies.

Jason and Princess shoot cable gun and yoyo up at the sides of the doors far above that had opened to drain all the water out before. Then, with Keyop hanging on to Princess and Mark and the blond man hanging on to Jason, they start ascending.

“Close the hatch, quickly!” orders Zoltar and a soldier runs out into the main chamber and pulls a lever on the wall –an action the blond man is looking down in time to observe.

“Closing!” cries Keyop, looking up, and he springs from Princess just in the nick of time to get through the hatch before it shuts –no one else makes it through.

Keyop tumbles and rolls over to a wall, and Mark, Jason, Princess and the blond man all fall back down towards the water in the main chamber.

Manacles come flying out of nowhere and latch on to the wrists of everyone except the blond man, who continues to fall to the water, while Mark, Jason and Princess get pulled up against the wall of the chamber as the manacles’ chains retract.

“The little one,” asks Zoltar, “Where did he disappear to?”

“He slipped through the barrier before we could get it fully closed,” admits Oneida.

“He will not leave his companions,” says Zoltar, “Our thermal detector will find him.”

Keyop is still in the room that had previously contained the underground lake, and he’s crouching behind a boulder. “Get Tiny,” he says, calling “Come in, come in!” into his wrist communicator.

But all he hears in response is snoring.

“Asleep!” cries Keyop, clutching his helmet in frustration, “Big dummy! No use!”

“Listen carefully, small one,” says Zoltar’s voice, “You will return here at once.”

“No chance!” says Keyop defiantly, looking around the room.

This post has been edited 3 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 04-10-2010 at 19:00.
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“The safety of your companions rests with you,” continues Zoltar’s voice, “If you do not return immediately, the responsibility for whatever happens to them is yours –you have ten seconds to return!”

Keyop looks horrified.

“Don’t listen to him, Keyop,” says Mark, via his wrist communicator, “Find Tiny quick and bring the Phoenix in.”

“Run, Keyop,” says Princess, “Get away!”

Keyop is in tears, listening to them. Hey kid, at least Princess isn’t telling you to survive to avenge her death after Zoltar char-grills her with a flame gun!

“Princess!” cries Keyop nevertheless.

Oh, and Jason isn’t being brutally lashed with whips either.

But meanwhile, the blond man is staggering over to the lever on the wall that the soldier had pulled to close the hatch doors, and no one seems to notice this.

“He must be somewhere close. Have you located him yet?” Zoltar asks a soldier in the control room.

“No, Sir,” replies the soldier, “His body temperature is not like the others’.”

Hmm, Keyop has an unusual body temperature? That’s interesting –presumably a result of being grown from a single cell in a lab, but who knows…

“Hmm,” says Zoltar, holding his chin, “These stubborn Earthlings have a foolish loyalty towards each other that may yet solve our problem.”

“The fat one who flies their space ship,” continues a smiling Zoltar, “Order the Great Taura to take care of him!”

And now we see the Phoenix flying over the rugged Venusian landscape, and on the bridge, Tiny is thinking to himself “Lost them. Tiny, how can you be so dumb, falling asleep at a time like this? Who knows where the Team is or what kind of trouble they’re in. Oh, how am I ever going to find them?”

Aw, so Tiny got deprived of one of Ryu’s finer moments –he really was asleep, not cleverly pretending.

Suddenly Tiny cries “That whole mountain’s coming unglued!” as he sees something bursting out of the ground below.

It’s a giant buffalo, aka the Great Taura. (Missing one horn.)

Tiny is able to swoop past it as it rises up before the Phoenix.

“Only Zoltar would have a pet like that. Let’s take another look!” says Tiny, bringing the Phoenix around.

Well, the Great Taura swats at him, but doesn’t do anything else.

“That must be the Phoenix,” Mark somehow surmises as the wall he’s manacled to begins shaking, “Tiny found us!”

Tiny flies past the Great Taura again, and this time it spits flames at him, but Tiny gets away undamaged.

“Yeah, that’s Zoltar’s,” concludes Tiny grimly, evading another blast of flames.

Meanwhile, the blond man pushes the lever and reopens the hatch doors to the main chamber. Seeing the doors opening, Keyop adds explosive charges to his bolas and, with a “Don’t fail now,” hurls them at the window of Zoltar’s control room below.

They hit the window and we quickly cut to Zoltar lurching back to get away from an explosion, and then suddenly the manacles holding Mark, Jason and Princess all unlatch from their wrists.

“Oneida, the prisoners!” yells Zoltar, pulling a lever to fire flames at them. (Where did the flame guns come from? We hadn’t seen those before.) But Mark throws his boomerang at them, slicing through them to destroy them.

Princess and Jason head up and out but Mark goes down to where the blond man is.

“We thank you,” says Mark.

“You’re not really one of that gang of killers, are you?” asks the man, turning from the lever he’s been clutching on to and looking at Mark.

“No, but I think we can find a better time and place to talk about it,” replies Mark, “Right now, we’ve got to get out of here.” He goes over to the man and drapes one of his arms over his own shoulder.

Up above, Princess and Jason are standing at the edge of the open hatch doors with Keyop. “Mark, catch!” calls Princess, throwing down her yoyo to lift up Mark and the blond man from the main chamber.

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“Phoenix, this is G-Force Commander,” says Mark into his wrist communicator (I guess “Tiny, this is Mark” won’t do when there’s a stranger standing right there), “If you read me, it’s a red alert. Red alert, Tiny!”

“Big ten, Skipper,” says Tiny from the bridge of the Phoenix, adding “Heads up, Taura, here I come!” and reaching for the red missile-launching button.

He fires a missile at Taura’s head and it goes in right through the hole where horn had broken off and lodges in the floor of the control room.

Yup, everyone except Tiny is inside the Great Taura, it seems.

“We’ve got to get out!” cries a soldier, seeing the missile. He and Oneida turn to flee, only to be stopped by Zoltar, who yells “A Spectra soldier does not run! You will remain and fight!”

“The Great Taura is finished,” says Oneida, “It fails us.”

Oh, well, when you put it that way… Zoltar turns and immediately dashes from the room himself, calling “Okay, hit the escape hatches!”

Elsewhere, Mark grabs some explosive charges from his belt compartment and throws them at a door to the exterior, blowing it apart. Then he, Jason, Princess, Keyop and the blond man all run towards the opening and, as the Phoenix comes by and hovers outside, they all jump to its dome.

The Great Taura’s one remaining horn crumbles, revealing an escape rocket which then blasts off in the opposite direction of the Phoenix.

Inside the Great Taura, the missile Tiny launched finally explodes and the Great Taura is obliterated (with no sign of dying soldiers –clearly they were all able to evacuate in time).

Now the Phoenix is parked on some high terrain overlooking the burning remains of the Great Taura in the distance and everyone is standing outside watching.

“It’s finally al over,” the blond man is saying, “Spectra and the Great Taura have been defeated.”

“It’s all over, but you don’t look too happy,” notes Mark, “Why not?”

“I’ve been waiting too long for this moment,” he replies, staring off into the distance, “I guess it’s hard to believe it’s finally come true.”

Just how long has Spectra been on Venus anyway? He makes it sound like years.

“You see, when Spectra first attacked Venus,” says the blond man, pointing towards the flames in the distance or possibly to the town in the foreground of the flames, “They killed my people and I swore I’d avenge them. I’ve been trying to hunt them down ever since.”

Everyone looks utterly shocked to hear this.

“For a while there,” continues the man, “I thought you were with them. I guess my folks can rest in peace now and my mountains are free again.”

“Sorry about your folks,” says Jason, bowing his head gravely. “Me too,” adds a somber Tiny. “Anything we can do?” asks Princess sadly as Keyop burbles “Name it,” dolefully.

“You’ve done enough already,” says the blond man, “Just by destroying that monster and driving Spectra away.”

Mark listens, eyes closed.

“I’m grateful and all Venus is grateful,” continues the blond man, “Guess I’ll be getting back to my mountains now.” He puts a hand on Mark’s shoulder. “It won’t be the same but it’s still my home.”

So, with a wave and a “Good bye, my friends,” he walks away. Mark looks very moved by all this.

Oddly, for BOTP, we never did learn what this blond man’s name is.

Now Zark starts voice-overing as everyone else stands and watches the sunset and the flames in the distance, “A very sad story, but one that’s going to have a happy ending –I feel it in my precognitive node. That young man is going to meet a nice young lady –maybe like Princess- and they’ll start a new family. Take my word for it!”

So, it’s not so bad, kiddies, if your family dies, according to this robot, as you can just make some babies with a pretty girl and replace them.

“Well, it’s a relief to know that once again, thanks to G-Force, Earth and our entire solar system are safe and secure,” says Zark, back at Center Neptune, “The Team must be well on its way back home now, so I’d better get on monitor and guide them along.”

Right, they can't even go between two adjacent planets without your guidance, Zark.

He flaps his cape and flies over to his monitors.

“7-Zark-7 to G-Force,” he says, once there, “Do you read me?”

We see a glowing dot traversing space and hear Mark saying “We read you loud and clear, Zark.”

“I have you cleared for reentry,” says Zark, “Estimate touch down at 02:00. Did you enjoy your vacation on Venus, Commander?”

“Thanks a lot, Zark,” says Mark’s voice drily, “We’re coming home for a vacation.”

The glowing dot is nearing Earth now.

“There’s a good deal to that old saying ‘Always keep your feet firmly planted on Earth,’” says Zark, “But there’s another old saying, ‘Hitch your wagon to a star!’ and that’s the motto of those five incredible young people in… G-Force!”

He salutes.

The End.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by lborgia88 on 04-10-2010 at 19:06.
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Oh, LB, I'm still ROFL 2 at some of your copmments! Too funny! And Saturn, another great job with the screencaps!

I did have to wonder at this comment:

quote:
“We had suspected for a while that a base or two was in that area,” acknowledges Dr. Nambu, “It could very well be their headquarters.”


So... Nambu's suspected a base there for awhile (perhaps even Galactor Headquarters) and hasn't sent the Team over to investigate it yet? Either the Science Ninjas have been very busy, or Nambu's being very lax.

And, is it just me, or does the blond man look like Ken? I tried to recolor his hair to see... what do you think? Does Ken want to spit at Katse too?

 

Please ignore my terrible coloring job... I'm not too good with Photoshop.

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Ooh, and I was inspired...

 

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Laugh2 You need to spend more time being inspired with Photoshop! Their thoughts suit their expressions so very well here!!

I agree, the nameless man does look a lot like a blond Ken. Really, there's not a lot of diversity in hair color on the Team (all brown except for Jun's dark green). It would be interesting to decide who on the Team needs to become a blond or a redhead.

Yes, Dr. Nambu does seem lax. I can only hope that he was waiting for a little more confirmation of his suspicions that a Galactor base or two might be in that region, lest he waste the Team's time on a fruitless search. With the final episodes drawing closer, I wonder if the writers wanted to get viewers thinking about the importance of finding Galactor's headquarters again. There also seemed to be some foreshadowing in the way that Katse singled out Joe for a whipping.

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There are a few reasons for Native Americans to be annoyed by this episode. I think you can spot most of them. (And since Native Americans are still misrepresented in media of all sorts, they're entitled to it. It's not any one depiction, but the cumulative effect of incorrect, anachronistic and silly portrayals that causes the trouble.)

Well, more confirmation that Ameris is an expy of the United States.

In the subs, the Galactor captain utters the stereotypical 'How' a few times, and you might have noticed that he raises his right hand in the stereotypical gesture as well. The Japanese were plainly running with that instead of doing any research.

'Underwater farm' - I think the writers were trying to be different. But it does suggest that the ISO (or someone) might have been promoting underwater activities, and the young man was one of those who made a stab at an underwater farm. Then the SNT mixed it up with Galactor, and his farm was a casualty.

As for BotP: no reason for that nonsense with Venus. In 1978, word was out that Venus was not habitable by humans. They could have made it another planet, and invented a McGuffin to draw the team there.

'Vacationing' in Birdstyle happened in Panic of the Peacock, also. The scriptwriters just weren't trying very hard.

I think Katse's lines about cooking the SNT must have been an in-joke, given the voice actor. He must have laughed his ass off whenever he came across those in his scripts.

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quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
Ooh, and I was inspired...

 


LOL! TJ, I love it! That is such a great screenshot, and it definitely needed captioning! I just happened to watch that episode last night before bed, and I was laughing at their Brady Bunch vacation station wagon! They were even going to what appeared to be the "Old West" (did anyone see that Brady Bunch ep?)

And I was also thinking that the guy in the ep looked like a blond Ken! Great minds think alike! Wink3

Of course, one of my favorite parts is Joe loudly slurping spaghetti through his visor!

Great work on this ep, LB and Saturn!

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LOL, glad you liked the captioning! It just came to me when I saw that pic... it was crying out for some 'additions'!

Yes, Springie, I totally remember that Brady Bunch episode! It was the first episode of the 'Grand Canyon' 3-part story! And the guy who captured them was Thurston Howell III !!!!

Yeah, that spaghetti-eating scene is hilarious! You have to wonder why they couldn't have just gone into the restaurant in civvies. I'm guessing they had to be driving in Birdstyle so that the Blond Guy could figure out who they were. Plot necessity, you know...

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I don't know why, but I cannot see the pics you've attached, TJ! Darn ... I so wanted to see the change in hair colour as I too had immediately thought that the blonde man looked very much like Ken! ... no wonder I liked his look instantly!Wink3

Thanks again for another great recap, and screencaps, LB and Saturn! I agree with TJ, LB ... you kept me smiling all through the write-up with all your apt comments!

The episode in itself did have some inconsistencies, which have already been pointed out, though! Not one of my favourites, but you've managed to make it seem more enjoyable! And, great thinking about the foreshadowing of Joe being singled out by Katse ... it also transpired from the way Joe had spoken, verbally revealing the anger which could also be seen in his eyes.

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