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Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 15: Vector

January 26, 2009

“I’m taking revenge for the commander!”

Lieutenant Judy Brown, Linebarrels Of Iron Episode 15: Vector

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“Come back, my husband!”

After the depressing turn of events last episode, we start with the ousting of JUDA as a force, to be replaced by Kiriyama’s goons and his new state of Japan. They’re still out and searching for missing JUDA employees, and Kiriyami as just the thing to get him back; propaganda with his mother and sister, who proceed to belt out the most cheesy thing a fourteen-year-old can expect; a childhood nursery song.

Once the OP is done, we see the behind-the-scene transaction; Kiriyama has bought Hayase’s sister over with a Wii set, and has convinced his mother that her son is right and proper on the side of evil. Kiriyama tells the family to leave Kouichi to him. Once they depart, they turn to the problem of Linebarrel. While the machine is hidden in the trans-dimensional field it traverses during a Machina summon, the pilots have to remain in the material plane, and Reiji has already managed to find them.

Right on the U.S. military base in Japan, the personnel are all hastily preparing for departure back to the mainland, while Kouichi and Emi are hiding amongst the hubbub. Lt. Brown comes to inform them of the current state, and says that she’s be back since she knows that they’re in the right. Kouichi finally catches wind of the propaganda through the TV set in the room, and tries to block it out as best as he can.

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“Kouichi didn’t come to the room I booked last night again…”

The others, however, attend school as normal. Domyoji and Risako are attending school as per normal (with the exception of armed guards standing at every corner). While Kiriyama-employed teachers spread his “greatness” around, Risako wonders where Kouichi could be.

While the entire base evacuates around our two escapees, Hayase falls asleep after a small talk with Emi. Emi follows suit, but a nightmare about her pre-series past wakes her up; her father, inventor of Linebarrel, has given the title of Counter-Machina to it, and she promptly wakes up after that unknowingly giving him full view of her cleavage (admittedly her clothing didn’t help in any concealment efforts). Kouichi is in for another nightmare, however, as the TV replays Kiriyama’s propaganda trap over and over again.

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You stand up against the oppression. We’ll go and find some real backup.”

While Shizuna and Izuna are getting depressed over their lack of power back in their school, Miu and Yamashita are seeing a more violent form of their oppression in their own school; a teacher is dragged off, screaming and kicking, to behind a wall as he is executed for voicing dissident against the new government. This action galvanises them into action, and Yamashita plans to get to Mr. Moritsugu for an explanation. Before they can carry out their desperate plan, however, Hiro Aonuma, field operative for JUDA turns up in time to supply cliché disguises.

Back at JUDA’s underground hangar bay, Kiriyama has his goonies analysing the Machinae stored there. Goro Maki, although not seen, has surrendered to them, but Rachel has been deemed an “untouchable” since she’s a U.S. citizen. While all this is going on, Yamashita and Miu are disguised as a couple on a date, and with sheer luck, they get through.

Sitting on JUDA’s presidential seat, literally, is Kiriyama, as he and Reiji scheme on how to get the inert Machinae working again. Kiriyama decides to give up on that aspect for the time being, while he confides to Reiji about his next want; the entirety of the Katou Organization.

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“Yes, Judy dear, he IS an idiot.”

While Kiriyama is living the high life of a modern dictator, Kouichi is out somewhere in the U.S. base, roasting fish over a small fire for Emi and his’ next meal since the chefs were the first personnel to pull out. Lt. Brown appears just in time to douse water on the flame, and points out that Kouichi just so happened to pick his spot right beside the area for fuel storage. Judy stops just short of how Ishigami didn’t rein Kouichi in strongly enough, and tells him that if he keeps looking that depressed at the mention of the deceased company president, Emi, who has even greater worries, will feel low too.

While Emi and Kouichi settle their meal with canned stuff and biscuits, the news start their coverage on Kiriyama’s inauguration ceremony as Japan’s leader. Kouichi expresses his disapproval, and Emi follows; they then embark on a 10-second long “No it’s my fault” game until the anti-Kouichi nursery song propaganda stars playing again.

Come night, Judy makes a makeshift barrier in the room of the two kids and joking warns Kouichi not to attack her.

Kouichi, however, is unable to sleep; sharing his sentiments is Emi, who gives up trying to sleep on the bed and instead joins him on the floor, separated by only the flimsy barrier. Just before she falls asleep, she confides in Kouichi that she has had many a dream; they’re her memory, but it’s filled with terror. Kouichi spends the rest of the night thinking away until he falls asleep as well.

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“Oh my god… It’s a guy girl! In my bed!”

With morning comes a new development; Miu, having gotten out of the city blockade, hands Kouichi’s Christmas present to Emi, who left it back at JUDA last episode. While they exchange talk, Kouichi wakes up uncomfortably close to Yamashita, who happens to be sleeping beside him. His shout wakes a disgruntled Yamashita, and Miu says that they’re here to pass important info to the U.S. military, as a way of explanation.

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“BOOM! On second thought, it resembles the Master Chief’s helmet…”

Before anything can develop further, the Katou Organization land their boots on the place (and the rest of the important places in the world) and soon, the entire base is engulfed in a massive one-sided fight. While everyone, even Lt. Brown scramble to fight, Kouichi and the rest of the Factors decide to fight after hearing Sawatari’s announcement about being here for Linebarrel only. Both Emi and Kouichi nearly call out Linebarrel, but stop short when Lt. Brown manages to persuade them (and hard-knocking Kouichi) into staying down while they handle their own problems. Just before they can escape, however, Sawatari and Dimitriv find them. The capture is a failure, however, as Lt. Brown charges in with an ARMA and tackles both her and Dimitriv’s Machina into the fuel tanks. The resultant explosion engulfs the entire base in flame and shrapnel; while the Machinae pilots are shielded by the remaining buildings, everything ARMA-sized is wiped out, including Sawatari, Judy, Dimitriv and the entire ARMA force. Emi, shaken by the entire scene, collapses and tells Kouichi to just leave her there, but Kouichi gives her a “get a hold of yourself” talk and declares that he’ll do better than her so that he can protect everyone.

While everyone is having a mental revelation of sorts, Katou is watching on from the relative safety of his sub, as usual. Whether or not his plans will come to fruition now rests entirely on Kouichi and his will.

Not much to revel in for this episode, but we do get to see Kiriyama being the usual post-coup ass he is. A bit more about Linebarrel’s past is revealed, and we finally get to the “get-a-hold-of-yourself-Emi” part of the manga. Whatever happens next is anyone’s guess.

Tomorrow will be the posting of Episode 16. Yes, I am really late with it this time round, but I had a shitload of things to do (no, it’s not just CNY celebrations).

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