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Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 14: Blood Spilt, Tears Lost

January 16, 2009

“I’m going to protect everyone… because this is what justice means to me!”

Kouichi Hayase, Linebarrels Of Iron episode 14: Blood Spilt, Tears Lost

Death and destruction starts off this episode, as the Jinrais blow up anything that moves and force the rest into submission. Military bases, naval fleets, nothing is a match for the ‘genius of Kiriyama’ as they either disarm, or get shot.

Back at the main base where the Jinrais were having their demonstration, Kiriyama is being confronted by a government official; without an explanation, he plugs a hole in the man’s chest, and announces his coup d’etat, justifying it with the “liberate the country from corrupt leaders” excuse.

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… I’ll kill you.

Back at JUDA, everyone is in still shocked after Reiji’s betrayal. Kouichi can only watch on as Emi is wheeled into the operating theatre, but this isn’t the only stress on his mind; walking into Ishigami’s room, he is faced with Miu, Izuna, and a crying Shizuna, and he realizes, even without words, that the Chairman is gone. Ditto for Rachel huddled somewhere in the Machina hangar bay underneath JUDA, and Maki has to swallow his own sadness to comfort her. Yamashita, still sitting in the Chairman’s office, is wearing an expression of indescribable pain and fury, while Yui, cleaning up the stuff that Ishigami left behind, has extreme trouble holding back her tears.

While the medical company is reeling from the impact of the betrayal, Kiriyama is quickly spreading his influence across the country; the media, transport facilities and other key locations are quickly coming under the control of his personal squads of soldiers. Somewhere hidden, though, Yuriannu and Kiriyama are still plotting away, this time with a secret weapon involved.

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“Five seconds to IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZOR!””

Risako is one of the many uninformed civilians still in the dark about the coup; the TV is displaying a Nice Boat and nothing else. She complains, but her mom only tells her to get to her homework.

The U.S. base in Japan is on high alert; they’ve received news that the coup was backed by the Katou Organisation. Lt. Judy Brown watches on with a grim face as the base pulls out all the stops to fortify their position.

Back to Kiriyama, where he’s in control and thoroughly enjoying it. He tells the operator to maintain silence against the U.S., China’s and any other country’s attempts to contact Japan, but is interrupted by another operator who informs him that Lt. Col. Igarashi and three others have escaped and deserted his Jinrai squad; Kiriyama writes them off and gives a shoot-on-sight order.

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“I told ya; he’s a hottie, ain’t he?”

Just at this moment, Makoto enters the room and swears allegiance to Kiriyama. Kiriyama immediately accepts it, and assigns Makoto an assignment; eliminate JUDA, and partners him with Reiji, who has just arrived.

The Katou Organization, for once, is just sitting idly doing nothing; Sawatari is admiring his own face in a mirror, Masaki is making cheap shots at him, and Dimitriv is having fun guessing whatever fetish Sobi is currently imagining right now. Jack is all alone, fantasizing about Risako, but his train of thought is interrupted by Katou entering the room, who proclaims that the time to take action has come.

Yamashita seems to have recovered from the shock; sitting and staring blankly at the ceiling, Shizuna gives her a sharp knock on her head to wake her up and get her to help in cleaning up the room.

Kouichi is standing outside Emi’s hospital room, looking in, when Miu passes him a drink. He accepts, and Miu tries to make small talk, but when it become evident that Kouichi’s mind has space only for Emi’s welfare at the moment, she makes a rather hasty exit. Just as well, then, as at that moment, Katou makes his second broadcasted appearance. Yui, who has been trying to contact JUDA-affiliated organizations since the cleaning started, is taken aback; Yamashita and the twins stop their cleaning, and Kouichi drops the can of drink in his hands in shock. Risako has a blank look as Katou makes his speech about how he is going to conquer the world, and cleanly split the people into two groups; those who will live, and those who will be killed in the coming battles. He announces Japan as his first base of operations as Kiriyama laments that with all the attention going to Katou, no one will remember him. Kouichi doesn’t hear the rest of the speech, however, he’d already shattered the TV screen at that point.

Meanwhile, Yui finally gets through to Hiro, JUDA field operative. He warns them that Kiriyama’s forces are coming to intercept JUDA and demand the handover of their Machinas; he doesn’t get to finish his sentence, however, as Kiriyama’s soldiers chase up to him, and a bullet grazes his hand and forces him to drop the phone. His warning came a bit late, as Kiriyama’s troops roll up to JUDA’s front door, spearheaded by Makoto. He demands the surrender of JUDA despite having to swallow the tirade that Shizuna, who recognized his voice, is throwing at him.

While the remaining JUDA members debate about the feasibility of either surrender or a end-all fight, Kouichi is walking around the hangar bay, giving a small pep talk to himself; he ends with strengthening his resolve to protect everyone else.

Before the JUDA core members can finish deciding as to what path they should take, they are rudely interrupted by Kouichi’s re-sortie in the Linebarrel, barring the Kiriyama forces’ path into the building.

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“The winner gets to grope Emi’s boobs!”

Reiji steps forward and would have summoned Vardant, if Makoto had not stepped forward in his Jinrai and offered to fight this one. Kouichi remembers that Makoto founded the Hayase Corps, and demands to know if it was nothing but a farce; the two clash, but through skill and cunning, Makoto and the Jinrai back Kouichi into a corner, knocking Linebarrel’s sword away. Makoto reminds Kouichi about what he said regarding power and speed not being everything when they first met, but before he can deliver the final blow, Kouichi puts the Linebarrel into a roll around and behind the Jinrai, grabbing its sword out of the ground, and severing the Jinrai’s sword arm. Makoto, apparently satisfied by this performance, tells Kouichi to take Linebarrel and run; before anyone can give a reaction, however, the battleground is suddenly bombarded by a hail of missiles; Makoto’s Jinrai is taken out immediately.

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“NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS!”

Before Kouichi can get his bearings, a jet descends from the sky and unfolds itself to reveal a variable Machina; the pilot introduces himself as Kiriyama Eiji, Factor for the Pretender. Small talk is exchanged, and then Kiriyama starts the attack by launching a hail of missiles; which in turn are used as cover for two oddly-shaped projectiles. They turn out to be wire-less Nerve Crack, and Kouichi, completely unsuspecting, is soon under the mercy of Kiriyama’s imagination. Before he can deliver the final blow, however, Emi suddenly runs out of nowhere; making contact with Linebarrel, Kouichi, Emi, and Linebarrel vanish in a flash of light.

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“The damned return…”

Cut to yet one of the many “mysterious location” scenes so prevalent in Linebarrels; liquid-filled tanks line up in a neat row, and in one of them lies someone almost identical to Yajima.

So ends a episode of recovery. Well, less recovery than more like taking a short rest before getting into gear; Kouichi must have had the shortest EMO-mode time ever, not counting episode 4. He’s learned to fight with both brains and brawn instead of being a muscle-bound idiot, so I guess we can look forward to seeing a not-so-sucky Kouichi now, since before this episode I bet he was the bottom feeder of the Machina’s pilot ranking chart.

But seriously, was that really Yajima?!

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