Day of the Unicorn - U.C. 0096 - The beast of possibility finds its master and soars through a shaken cosmos! The year is U.C. 0096. Three years have passed since the end of the Second Neo Zeon War. It is said that the Vist Foundation manipulates the Earth Federation and Anaheim Electronics from behind the scenes. Hoping to create a new world, the Foundation attempts to hand over a certain secret to the Neo Zeon remnants known as the Sleeves. This will mean the opening of Laplace's Box, which holds a great secret tied to the origins of the Universal Century.
The exchange between the Vist Foundation and the Sleeves is to take place at the manufacturing colony Industrial 7. This is the home of the student Banagher Links, who rescues a girl he sees falling through the colony's zero gravity area. The girl gives her name as Audrey Burne and says she wants to prevent a war, spurring Banagher to step into the conflict surrounding Laplace's Box - almost as if he is drawn in by his own bloodline.
In UC 0001 23:40 Greenwich Mean Time, Ricardo Marcenas, the Prime Minister of the Earth Federation, is hosting a ceremony at his orbital residence, Laplace, marking the end of the Anno Domini era and usher in a new era, Universal Century. A group of terrorists destroy Laplace during the ceremony, killing everybody inside. The terrorist spaceship explodes as well, sending a young boy named Syam Vist adrift in space. While floating in space, he reaches for possession of an object. Many years later, in U.C. 0096, Syam is visited by his grandson Cardeas Vist. They are preparing to hand over Laplace's Box to someone who can correct the flaws of the Universal Century, otherwise the Earth Sphere will not be able to continue. Syam thanks his grandson and asks for forgiveness. Cardeas turns, admitting, "What we're about to do may lead to the destruction of the world. If anyone can grant you forgiveness, it will have to be me". Cardeas then walks away before Syam goes into a deep sleep. The Neo Zeon remnant group "The Sleeves" travels to Side 4's Industrial 7 colony so that their captain, Suberoa Zinnerman, can meet with Cardeas to receive something known as "Laplace's Box", which is said to be capable of either restoring the future, or destroying the world. En route, they are pursued by Federation forces. Marida Cruz sorties in her NZ-666 Kshatriya and quickly disposes of them.
Banagher Links, a sixteen year old student at the Anaheim Electronics Industrial College at Industrial 7, does a part-time job clearing space debris with a miniature Mobile Suit. He viewed war as something akin to fiction, as he was born after the One Year War ended, and did not experience the more isolated wars that followed it. His class field trip to the colony builder, the Snail, has been delayed. At the same time, his class finds a museum full of One Year War relics, notably a MS-06F Zaku II. Though his friend Takuya Irei wants to look around, the rest of the class doesn't care, as the war ended a long time ago. Banagher then spots the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam performing a test run in the distance. Inside the suit are Cardeas and an unnamed pilot who are testing out its performance. After performing a successful test, Cardeas' right-hand man Gael Chan contacts him, informing him about the shuttle delay and the possibility that an Anaheim student might have spotted them. Cardeas blows this off, believing that they were moving so fast that no one could've caught more than a glimpse. He then returns to the colony, where Gael updates him about Londo Bell's pursuit of the Sleeves. Contacting his sources at Luna II or Londenion isn't bearing much fruit. Cardeas could guess that Bright Noa must be behind this and instructs Gael to keep an eye on Federation supply fleets. He then turns to the rest of his staff, ordering them to seal the NT-D, delete the Unicorn's testing OS and upload the La+ program. He then retires to his study, where he views a file on Banagher.
Elsewhere, a young woman named Audrey Burne stows away on Zinnerman's camouflaged freighter, the Garencieres, as Zinnerman travels to Industrial 7. Once the Garencieres arrives, Audrey begins making her way through the colony. She is momentarily distracted by the sight of the colony and enters a construction area. She loses her control in a zero-G environment and begins falling out of the center of the colony.
After the tour, Banagher prepares to leave the technical school with his class when he senses something. Banagher hijacks a TOLRO-800 "Torohachi" to investigate and finds Audrey in free-fall. After rescuing her, the Torohachi runs out of fuel and crash-lands near the Anaheim Electronics school. After a moment of distrust, Audrey pleads for Banagher's help to reach to the Colony Builder in order to prevent a war. Impatient, Audrey leaves before receiving an answer, but Banagher manages to stop her; he volunteered to take her there as he knows how to get there.
On their way to the Colony Builder, Banagher and Audrey encounter Marida and her two men, who have been sent to retrieve Audrey. Although Audrey tries to persuade Marida to let her continue her quest, Marida disregards her arguments and attempts to retrieve her by force. Banagher fakes a self-destruct with his Haro long enough for the two to escape from the elevator. Although Marida and her two men attempt to give chase, Banagher manages to prevent them from pursuing them by throwing them off their platform. At the Vist estate, Banagher and Audrey meet with Cardeas Vist. Audrey asks Cardeas to reconsider his decision to hand over Laplace's Box to Neo Zeon, but Cardeas wants Banagher to leave instead because he feels Banagher has nothing to do with Audrey. Seeing Cardeas displeased with Banagher, she didn't want him to be in further trouble; she expressed her gratitude for taking her this far and relieved him, however Bangaher didn't want to leave. Banagher mentioned how it was different from learning war in school and sensing it from being with her; he didn't care who she is, so long as she needs him. Audrey was a bit taken back from Banagher's words, but she told him she didn't need him and to forget her. Unable to accept his situation, Banagher stubbornly remained until Cardeas had someone remove him from the mansion. Cardeas and Audrey continue their discussion in private, and while Audrey pleads for the decision to be reversed, Cardeas reassures her that the Vist Foundation is aware of the threat presented by Full Frontal, and has taken measures to ensure the box will open to those who will use it wisely.
Meanwhile, a AMS-129 Geara Zulu doing reconnaissance around the colony receives Minovsky interference, as Londo Bell began surrounding the colony. Thinking that he has been spotted, the pilot panics and attacks, destroying a RGZ-95 ReZEL before being destroyed himself. Marida senses her comrade's death and after discussing the situation with Gilboa Sant, they decide to cut straight through the colony to rescue Zinnerman. Marida then launches in her Kshatriya to battle Londo Bell's forces.
Elsewhere in the colony, Zinnerman meets with Cardeas to receive Laplace's Box. However, as it turns out, the Vist Foundation wasn't give the box itself, but its key. A confused Zinnerman then prods Cardeas about the reason for giving the key but not the box, and mentioning the underhanded activities the Foundation was involved in. Cardeas smoothly reminds him that the Zeon leaders acknowledge the value of what they are offering, which is why they sent Zinnerman to receive it. Zinnerman admits that with the precarious state Neo Zeon is in, they need to seize the moment and would be disappointed if things went badly. Vist then changed the subject by asking Zinnerman if he believed in the existence of Newtypes. Zinnerman admitted that he's seen amazing things on the battlefield that cannot be easily explained. Cardeas then goes into a brief history lesson about how Zeon Zum Deikun's development of his Newtype theory led to the One Year War, the Gryps Conflict and the first and second Neo Zeon Wars. Cardeas explains that Laplace's Box has the potential to destroy the world or create the future that was envisioned at the start of the Universal Century. For that reason, the Vist family is handing over the key to Neo Zeon as a test. Vist then warns Zinnerman that the box would never open if they remain narrow-minded ideologues with a single goal - namely, reviving the Principality of Zeon.
Meanwhile, the battle between Londo Bell and the Sleeves intensifies. As the collateral damage rises, the colony is evacuated. Daguza Mackle leads his ECOAS 920 special forces team on an operation to prevent the opening of Laplace's Box. Accompanying them is Alberto Vist, an Anaheim Electronics executive, who encounters Cardeas and fatally injures him.
Amidst the chaos, Audrey, Takuya Irei, and Micott Bartsch are rescued by Riddhe Marcenas and are brought back to the Nahel Argama. Banagher discovers the fatally wounded Cardeas Vist in the cockpit of the Unicorn. After discussing the nature of humanity with Banagher, Cardeas decides to entrust the Gundam to Banagher as it scans his biometrics, thereby making Banagher the only pilot permitted by it. He is then told that if he proves himself to be a suitable pilot, the Unicorn will grant him powers unrivaled and show the path to Laplace's Box. With his final words, Cardeas asks Banagher and his mother for forgiveness, causing Banagher to realize that Vist was his father before Cardeas is consumed by an explosion. Banagher then launches in the Unicorn and confronts Marida. Upon seeing him, Marida attacks the Unicorn but Banagher rams the Unicorn into Marida and pushes her out of the colony. Once outside, Marida tries to attack the Unicorn again. Within the Unicorn, "NT-D" appears on the monitors while the cockpit starts shifting and transforming. The Unicorn then emits an energy field that deflects the Funnel beams before its structure changes and expands. Audrey sees it and utters the word "Gundam".
Notes & Trivia
- This episode was edited into three episodes for Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096: Departure 0096, First Blood, and They Called It Gundam.
- The Zaku remains on display is most likely the Zaku piloted by Denim in Mobile Suit Gundam. The Zaku on display has a large hole in its left side that suggests heat-based damage, which matches where and how Denim's Zaku was hit.
|Gundam Unicorn Episodes|
Day of the Unicorn | The Second Coming of Char | The Ghost of Laplace | At the Bottom of the Gravity Well | Black Unicorn | Two Worlds, Two Tomorrows | Over the Rainbow