Not long after they find him, Sam flies off again in Fluke Fish to save Maya, but this time Mimei jumps aboard and accompanies him. Bardanos lets him go, and remembers that Sam’s older brother Dick told her the “Goddess of Theseus” could communicate with Ozma before he left, never to return. After Gido reports the successful retrieval of Maya, General Danga orders him back home, but instead, Gido lets Maya decide their course. She wants to go to the zone, and en route they encounter the Bardanos, equipped with Monokeros. An undersand battle ensues, ending with the Bardanos slipping beneath Gido’s ship and ramming her from below. Both Bainos and Gido step out onto the top deck to see their opponent face-to-face.
This week gives us our first glimpse of Dick, Sam’s older brother, who apparently had a thing with Captain Bainos, and then went off to find the goddess, or Ozuma, or both, but never came back. Judging from his hair and voice, we have a pretty good feeling that yes, this Gido fella is indeed actually Dick, having perhaps undergone a similar amnesia/identity change similar to Mu La Flaga in Gundam SEED Destiny. Gido seems to be rebelling against his tight-lipped superiors out of personal ambition. He wants to see firsthand what makes Maya so important and what makes her tick, and he’s willing to risk his military career to make that happen.
Meanwhile, Sam, like his brother, yearns to strike out and save the girl and the world all at once, but at least this week Mimei is there to stop him from getting himself killed. And then we have another superlative, heated naval duel in which Bainos and Gido match wits once again with torpedoes, decoys, sonar, magnetic probes, and depth charges. That they’re able to match each other move for move right up to the point Bainos resorts to a near-suicidal ramming also supports the theory that all of Dick’s instincts and knowledge and even feelings for Bainos may be lurking somewhere under that silly mask. We may be wrong, but we don’t think we are. Someone needs to pry that mask off.
The doctor tells Bainos that Maya is not normal; she appears to be a Natura clone, not one of the designer clones called “Ideal Children” the population of Theseus is composed of. Bainos confronts Maya as Sam shows her around the shelter. Sam tells Maya he wants to defeat the Ozuma – the great sand whale – as a tribute to his older brother.
Not wanting to get Sam or the Bardanos crew involved in her problems, Maya sneaks away in a Fluke Fish. Sam follows her, but they’re intercepted by a Theseus submersible, and Gido recaptures her. Her cries seem to be answered by the Ozuma itself, but Gido escapes before it can do anything, leaving Sam to flee. He wakes up in the sand, and Mimei finds him.
Some of Maya’s many mysteries are revealed this week; as expected, her genetic profile is crucial to the future of her people, who are all clones (as opposed to Natura). As such, she has physical characteristics of Natura, only, different. The Bardanos’ doctor is concerned to the point she may believe Sam has brought them more serious trouble than they thought. She’s not just the president’s daughter, for instance. She may be their last hope.
We also got a clear look at the infamous Ozuma, which appears to be a massive machine of some kind (or perhaps something cybernetic). Sam wants to defeat it, but we don’t see how, unless they get that Monokeros thing working. It’s less of a quest for vengence than a quest to see if Sam has what his older brother (not father) had. He feels like he’ll never live up to his bro’s greatness unless he gives this Ozuma hunt a try. Maya, meanwhle, wants to meet with it for some reason, perhaps to tell her what to do.
The Bardanos dives into the sand, but the Theseus commander Gido is determined to flush them out with a variety of tactics. Sam and Mimei keep Maya safe, but when Captain Bainos orders the QT drive shut down its QT drive, the buried ship begins to overheat, as does Maya. Not wanting to harm Maya, Gido withdraws just as the Bardanos’ temp passes 50°C (122°F). He returns to Theseus High Command, where his superior reiterates Maya’s importance. Gido promises he will retrieve her.
This week was a stirring twist on the surface ship vs. submarine battle, with an ocean of sand rather than water, and an equally tense battle of wits. A kind of game of Chicken is played between the shrewd Captain Bainos and her Theseus adversary: and the latter must blink first to avoid killing his quarry. As if Theseus’s attack wasn’t proof enough, Bainos now knows for certain that Maya is a very important and valuable hostage – and there’s something “special” about her that she could use to her advantage. Of course, had Maya died, things would be simpler: the Bardanos would be hunted down and destroyed…but that’s not much different from any other day when you’re sand pirates with contraband technology!
We liked the military procedural scenario that took place, with Bainos using every trick at her disposal and Gido attempting to counter each one with a seemingly endless series of measures, including the use of sonar, depth charges, sand anchors, and finally, the waiting game. The technobabble is a little thick, but not enough to sour the tension. Sam doesn’t get much to do this week (as Mimei astutely points out when the danger passes!), but that’s okay, as we’re more interested in Maya’s secret and Bainos’ motives and plans for her, if any. The old crew/family photo is a nice way of quickly giving the characters some backstory; Bainos may even be Sam’s mother, judging from the eyes.