After the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam pulls the Garencieres into space, the crew of the Nahel Argama are in shock as they come under fire from another Federation ship, the General Revil and its contingency of RGZ-95C ReZEL Type-C's and RGM-89A2 Jegan Type-A2s's. The mobile suits themselves come under fire from Angelo Sauper's YAMS-132 Rozen Zulu, which disables the units from further combat. After taking care of the attack force, Angelo bows out to set the stage for Full Frontal to attack the General Revil with the MSN-06S Sinanju. The General Revil launches beam interference missiles, rendering the Sinanju's beam rifle useless. Even though numerous teams of Jegan A2s attempt to stop him, Frontal easily disables them and combines the Rocket Bazooka with the rifle. Despite the ship's heavy defenses, Frontal attacks the ship, forcing it to retreat. Inside the Sinanju, Frontal awaits the opportunity to talk with Banagher once more. Inside the Nahel Argama's hangar, Mineva asks Banagher if he believes that Zeon and the Federation can work together with Laplace's Box within their grasp. She also explains that she saw many new things during her time on Earth and admits her ignorance about the world. Banagher agrees with her and came to the realization that it is hard for people to work together, much less understand each other since people can't escape what they were born into and their obligations. He explains that Cardeas Vist fought the tension to ensure Laplace's Box would be opened. However, Mineva wants to believe that all people are truly good as Banagher secretly tells her the location of the box.
In space, the Tri-Stars, with Watts in a new RGM-96X Jesta Cannon, catch up to the slowly moving Garencieres. Watts Stepney, still annoyed after being kicked into the ocean by the Unicorn, brashly attacks the ship. Nigel Garrett notices that the ship isn't reacting to their presence at all and realizes that the ship is abandoned and is set to self-destruct. He urges Watts to escape as the ship explodes. Watts' Jesta Cannon survives the explosion, although Watts is traumatized. Also in space is Bright Noa and the Ra Cailum. He and Meran converse with an angry Martha Vist Carbine. She chastises Bright for giving the Unicorn the means to escape and asserts that the Nahel Argama and the Rewloola, the Sleeves' main ship, are on their way to the Moon. Bright admits that his plan backfired, with Frontal capturing the Nahel Argama due to his quick response. Martha asks how he could lose track of the group, and Bright explains that the standard patrol fleets were removed from the area due to the nature of the General Revil's mission, and subtly implies the Vist Foundation's hand in the conflict. He confronts Martha on what Laplace's Box actually is, and she tells him about The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry that has been a Vist keepsake. The "box" is guarded by a white unicorn and a black lion, and Martha tells Bright that if they can't protect the box, then they'll destroy it as she dismisses the services of Londo Bell. On Earth, a shuttle containing the RX-0[N] Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee Norn, now piloted by Riddhe Marcenas, launches into space.
On the Nahel Argama, Suberoa Zinnerman watches over a recovering Marida Cruz when Flaste Schole enters, confirming the Garencieres' destruction. He laments that he was getting used to the controls and asks how long it had been since Zinnerman had rescued Marida from the brothel. Flaste leaves Zinnerman, who begins to have flashbacks of his daughter, Marie, as well as his wife. Zinnerman tells the unconscious Marida that he originally planned to capture the Nahel Argama, but to him the only thing that mattered now was her. Within the hangar, there is tension between the crews and pilots of the respective sides. Takuya Irei, Banagher, and Mineva overlook the still damaged NZ-666 Kshatriya, which is essentially a wreck from the beating it took from the Unicorn at Palau. Takuya explains that he's come up with an idea to improve the Unicorn based on all the data collected from all its fights since Industrial 7 and his know-how of mobile suits. However, Banagher remains silent and points out to Takuya that they don't even know who they'll be fighting against. Mineva then changes the subject to Micott Bartsch, having not seen her since they parted ways at Palau.
Elsewhere, the tension on board the ship boils over inside the engine room as Sydow Omoki openly complains that he doesn't want the Sleeves on board the ship anymore. Jonah Gibney and another crew member agree despite Liam Borrinea explaining that they don't have much of a choice since the incident with General Revil meant that their superiors had planned to kill them all. Conroy Haagensen heads to the engine bay as Angelo arrives with his guards, contemptibly asking what they will do about it. Micott tells him they'll throw the Sleeves off the ship by force since they shot down Federation mobile suits. Mihiro Oiwakken thanks them for saving the ship from the attack, but says that the Sleeves won't be openly welcome aboard. Mineva soon arrives and criticizes Angelo for his behavior as she urges everyone to work together in order to survive. Micott confronts Mineva about her time on Earth, saying that the situation has only gotten worse. Otto Midas then speaks on the ship's PA system and explains that with them being caught in the Laplace's Box conspiracy, working with Neo Zeon is now the only way to escape.
On the bridge, Frontal thanks Otto for his cooperation, but Otto explains that he won't side with the Sleeves nor will he allow them to have Laplace's Box. However, Frontal counters that the ship would still have no other means of survival presently. He continues by revealing that the final coordinates from the La+ Program are revealed to be within the remnants of the Battle of Loum, and Frontal theorizes that this was chosen as to retrace humanity's conflicts and emphasize the importance of the box. Otto realizes that the Sleeves have been intercepting data from the Unicorn's La+ Program, but Frontal tells him that they don't know the precise location, and that ever since the Unicorn had chosen Banagher as its pilot, its capabilities have gone far beyond its normal specifications. Frontal also adds that Banagher is aware of the box's potential as their trump card to save them all. Otto confronts Frontal on his intentions with the box, given he is "The Second Coming of Char" and likely has grander aspirations than simply reviving the Principality of Zeon. Mineva enters dressed as Zeon royalty, and says she also wants to hear Frontal's intentions. Frontal agrees and unmasks himself to the shock of the bridge crew. Over the PA system, he explains that all the Spacenoids want is the right to self-governance, but the Federation would never consent to it as there would be a role reversal. He adds that Earth currently relies on space to survive as it no longer can feed its own population.
Frontal says that if he were Zeon Zum Deikun, he would play the situation to his advantage, and that Deikun was more a philosopher than a politician. In spite of the Zabis twisting Zeon's ideals or the previous Neo Zeon conflicts, Frontal's ultimate goal would be to create a Side Co-Prosperity Sphere along with the Moon. If all of space boycotts the Earth economically, the Earthnoids would be forced to abandon the Earth until it became uninhabitable. As the Federation itself would collapse from the mass migration of its citizens, the only government that would emerge on top would be the Republic of Zeon. Although the Republic gained autonomy after the One Year War, Frontal explains that its autonomy will be revoked by UC 100 and if that were to happen, the Side Co-prosperity Sphere would fail to see the light of day. Mineva explains that the Vist Foundation saw the juncture and chose to offer Laplace's Box to the Sleeves because of it. During this exchange, both Banagher and Zinnerman arrive on the bridge. Frontal replies that Cardeas Vist had no knowledge of their plans, but he didn't want to see the Federation become further entrenched, and that the Federation's intention was to eradicate Zeon when the Republic ceased to exist. This is exemplified by the Unicorn itself, which Frontal sees as being the eliminator of the Newtypes. Mineva realizes that Frontal wants to use the Box to gain time to form the Side Co-prosperity Sphere and instead of asking for the Federation to change, he is choosing to use the box to marginalize them. She argues that this course of action is far from the ideals of not only Zeon Deikun, but also Char Aznable, who attempted to move man into space to speed up their evolution into Newtypes. Mineva further explains that in Frontal's future, there would be children on Earth wishing to rebel against his world, essentially maintaining the status quo of a continuous cycle of conflicts between Earth and space like the One Year War. Frontal explains that it is not about right or wrong, but about the will of the collective.
Banagher speaks up and points out that Frontal speaks indifferently about his plan even though it involves the future of his own people, and that he sounds detached from it all. He muses about the green light from the Unicorn during Mineva's rescue, and explains that its warmth was the collected feelings of those he knew. Frontal reveals that he also saw that same light before and that is was likely due to the collected consciousness of man being manifested through the psycoframe, and that a large psyco-field from the RX-93 ν Gundam deflected the asteroid Axis from hitting the Earth three years ago. Frontal tells him that even after then, mankind did not change and that they would rather sweep possibility under the rug to keep the status quo, and that possibility itself was the trigger for many wars. Mineva laments that the Char Aznable she knew was truly dead and then tells everyone that Laplace's Box is hidden at Industrial 7, specifically the colony builder Magallanica. With Banagher's anger confirming the box's location, Frontal departs for the Rewloola and leaves Angelo on board the Nahel Argama.
Elsewhere, the Banshee Norn reaches orbit and heads for the General Revil. Inside, Riddhe recalls a conversation with Alberto Vist, who explains that the interests of the Federation and the Vist Foundation were aligned with keeping Neo-Zeon away from the Box. He explains that the Banshee was originally developed to be piloted by Cyber-Newtypes, and he had gone to great lengths to make sure Riddhe became the Banshee's pilot without Martha's knowledge. He also asks Riddhe to both destroy the Unicorn and bring back Marida, and says that if he fails, then the Vist Foundation would use its last resort. Riddhe asks if Alberto is fine with killing Banagher, and Alberto replies that their path is already stained in bloodshed. He explains that the Vist family has a long history of killing family members, with Martha's father being killed by Syam Vist, and he believes that Martha is declaring a war on men. Alberto admits that the world needs a clean slate, as Riddhe flies the Banshee through an asteroid field at top speed and lands on board the General Revil.
On board the Nahel Argama, Banagher sits with his Haro when he is visited by Marida, who requests Banagher's help in stomaching down her hospital food. Banagher inquires about what Marida likes to eat, and she replies with ice cream. Banagher then laments about how everything seems to go wrong, though Marida reassures him that she wouldn't be with him if not for his efforts. She tells him to trust in the power of possibility and to follow what he believed in like his father. Banagher believes that it was irresponsible, but Marida says that Cardeas was lucky to pass his dream onto Banagher. She exits the room and is confronted by Mineva. She tries to apologize, but Marida tells her to follow her heart. Elsewhere on the ship, Takuya, Micott, and several other officers arm themselves in secret with arms supplied by Conroy. Takuya asks about Mineva, and Micott explains that she had told Frontal the coordinates to throw him off because her skin did not get tingly as it would when women lie. Suddenly, Angelo and several armed officers walk in and demands to know what they were up to. On board the Rewloola, Frontal and Zinnerman observe preparations on a legless red mobile suit. Frontal says that Zinnerman would have taken the ship with or without them, and notices that his hatred has been suppressed by other dreams. Frontal asks if either Banagher or Marida had changed him, but Zinnerman says that he can never let go of his hatred, yet he can't call it meaningless. He believes that he has given up on everything and wonders if Char felt the same way when he chose to take revenge on the Zabis. Frontal muses that if Char were alive, he would not be completely human.
On board the Nahel Argama's bridge, a Federation patrol vessel contacts the ship, having apparently received a distress signal. Before Mihiro can cut them off, the ship picks up the Sleeves' Musaka-class cruisers and the Rewloola with Federation IFF codes and presses for an explanation. Angelo enters and tells them to shoot down the vessel. Angelo tells them that Takuya, Micott and the other officers he captured had sent the distress signal, and reveals that he has now taken them captive. Angelo inquires if this means that their partnership is being dissolved. The ECOAS members quietly go into action as Angelo pulls a gun on Otto and demands that he make a decision. Angered, Otto calls the Zeons terrorists and ends their alliance of convenience, giving ECOAS the signal to rescue the hostages. With smoke bombs being dispersed, the hostages are rescued and the crew of the Nahel Argama arm themselves while Flaste leads his crew to the hangar to secure the Garencieres' machines. Conroy finds Banagher and tells him to go to the hangar and smash the Sleeve cockpits. He also tells Banagher to keep in mind that Daguza Mackle had saved his life at Laplace. In the hangar, Banagher heads for the Unicorn but is quickly subdued by Frontal. Frontal tells him that since they now know where the box is, there's no incentive in keeping Banagher alive. Frontal entices Banagher to join him by attempting to twist Cardeas' words and asking what Banagher would do with the box. Banagher tells Frontal that he would use the box for both sides. Frontal rebuffs Banagher's answer by explaining that he would have to become a vessel for the collective and release everything in order to fulfill the wishes of mankind. On the other side of the hangar, Angelo boards the Rozen Zulu and begins heading towards Frontal. Frontal tells Banagher that he had underwent training like a Cyber Newtype under Cardeas' supervision, and now that he has emerged as a Newtype, he can no longer be a part of the collective and would someday run into the same sorrow that had confronted Frontal. Suddenly, Angelo is pinned down by the Kshatriya, piloted by Marida with Mineva inside, who states that they will not follow Frontal. Mineva declares that Frontal is not Char Aznable on the grounds that despite everything Char had become, Char was still a man who believed in human possibility. Angelo attempts to launch his incom claw in retaliation, but the Kshatriya's shoulder knocks it towards the ceiling. Mineva says that whatever Laplace's Box is, and whether or not it leads to Frontal's future, opening the box would be a significant turning point for mankind, and asked if Neo Zeon truly wanted a future devoid of the ideals of Zeon Deikun. As the successors to those who fought in the One Year War, Neo Zeon had taken on not only the name of their predecessor but their responsibilities as well. Accepting the status quo as an unchangeable reality, Mineva concludes, would be shirking that responsibility.
Hearing the voice of Zinnerman, Marida opens the Kshatriya's cockpit at his command. In anger at Mineva's words, Angelo grabs the Kshatriya and prepares to fire on Mineva and Marida. Zinnerman implores Marida to grab Mineva and abandon the Kshatriya, but Mineva asks if he is still imprisoned by his past when he has Marida. Zinnerman laments that he was unable to help his daughter and wife. To his surprise, Marida calls him "father" and asks Zinnerman to let her do things her way. In grief, Zinnerman gives Marida her final order: To listen to her heart. In response, Marida punches the Rozen Zulu as Angelo launches his other arm towards Zinnerman in rage and prepares to fire. In the confusion, and with some covering fire from Conroy, Banagher manages to escape from Frontal and gets inside the Unicorn. Meanwhile, Angelo launches into a tirade, ranting that they need something more powerful than humanity and claims that Frontal himself has transcended humanity. Banagher counters by asking if humanity's future should be built by humans as the Unicorn transforms into Destroy Mode. He agrees that people are weak and flawed, but that is why people need each other. The psycoframes of the Kshatriya, Unicorn, and Rozen Zulu all begin to resonate as Frontal boards the Zulu and Angelo forces their way out of the hangar. As they leave, Frontal declares a race to Industrial 7, with Laplace's Box as the winner's prize. Angelo tears off the Zulu's right arm and blasts out of the Nahel Argama, with the Rewloola and Musaka ships departing.
Meanwhile, in the ruined capital of Dakar, Martha arrives at a meeting with Federation officials headed by Ronan Marcenas, and proposes a solution to their problems. Back on board the Nahel Argama, Zinnerman asks Flaste to put him out of his misery, but the latter rejects the request, pointing out that he and Zinnerman still have a whole mess to clean up. Inside the hangar, Takuya observes the completed RX-0 Full Armor Unicorn Gundam, sourcing all the available weapons from the ship, while the Garancieres' Geara Zulus are given orange stripes to differentiate them from the original Neo Zeon forces. From the bridge, Otto tells the crew that their mission was to head for Industrial 7 and secure Laplace's Box. However, they would be doing this for themselves and not for the Federation. Of the paths laid out by Frontal and Mineva, he admits that he does not know which was correct, but he says that they would not be the ones to make the decision. Rather, it would be humanity's future generations that would judge them. Otto encourages everyone to return alive in order to allow the world to see the truth. Banagher launches in the Full Armor Unicorn, but the ship soon picks up the Banshee's signature, which the escort ship had reported as being launched from the General Revil. The Nahel Argama fires missiles and launches two ReZEL's and a Jegan in response. The mobile suit team tries to stall Riddhe with inflatable dummies and quick attacks, to little effect. Banagher moves to intercept Riddhe, and the two clash using beam sabers.
Notes & Trivia
- This episode was edited into two episodes for Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096: The Side Co-Prosperity Sphere, and Nahel Argama Recaptured.
|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