Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/jgatchfa/public_html/forum/Sources/Load.php(225) : runtime-created function on line 3

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/jgatchfa/public_html/forum/Sources/Load.php(225) : runtime-created function on line 3

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/jgatchfa/public_html/forum/Sources/Load.php(225) : runtime-created function on line 3

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/jgatchfa/public_html/forum/Sources/Load.php(225) : runtime-created function on line 3

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/jgatchfa/public_html/forum/Sources/Load.php(225) : runtime-created function on line 3
Gatchaman Episode 74: Secret of the Birdstyles by lborgia88, saturn
Gatchaman Episode 74: Secret of the Birdstyles by lborgia88, saturn
Summary: Part of TJ's and LB's episode reviews:  When she loses a shoe during a mecha attack, Jun’s secret identity is at risk of being discovered by Galactor.
Categories: Gatchaman Characters: Berg Katse, Dr. Kozaburou Nambu, Jinpei, Joe Asakura, Jun, Ken Washio, Ryu Nakanishi, Sosai X
Genre: Episode Review
Story Warnings: Mild Violence
Timeframe: Mid-Series
Universe: Canon
Challenges: None
Series: LB's and TJ's Episode Reviews
Chapters: 4 Completed: Yes Word count: 11000 Read: 7250 Published: 11/18/2010 Updated: 11/18/2010
Story Notes:
This is a Gatchamania Episode review. Opinions expressed are those of the author.This episode review is image intensive. Thank you, Saturn, for the screen caps!

1. Chapter 1 by lborgia88

2. Chapter 2 by lborgia88

3. Chapter 3 by lborgia88

4. Chapter 4 by lborgia88

Chapter 1 by lborgia88

Gatchaman Episode 74: “Secret of the Birdstyles”

BOTP Episode: “Museum of Mystery”



 



Interestingly, this episode begins where we left off with episode 73 –the Himalayan Mountains, or “the roof of the world.” Yes, we are getting a lot of hints now that this region is significant…

“Lord Katse,” the narrator tells us, “facing defeat by the Science Ninja Team, fled desperately for his life. Gatchaman pursued, ready and eager to fight.”

Yup, that sounds like the previous episode alright. What we see now is episode 73’s mecha, Mammothoon, bursting forth from all the ice that had buried it at the end of that episode, when “Mammothoon was no match for the God Phoenix and its Super Bird Missile, and down the beast plunged, buried beneath a glacier.”



 



But, it’s back again now, and Katse is standing in its control room. He is not pleased.

“The Science Ninja Team dares to hunt me down like a moth for their miserable collection!” he rants, “Just you wait, you’ll pay for this insult with your life.”

But now we cut to a seaside amusement park, far from the Himalayas, where serene music is playing and happy children are enjoying the rides –as the excited shrieks of ones riding a roller coaster attest. Jun and Jinpei are on a very tall ferris wheel, enjoying the view.



 



“Look, you can see the Oceanography Lab from up here,” remarks Jun, as we see the structure she is referring to, but Jinpei prefers to sniff the fresh ocean breeze.

One might think, by this late in the series, that people would feel that scientific installations are prime Galactor targets and that therefore sites adjacent to them are not the safest places in the world for children, but the amusement park is nevertheless crowded.

Jun is enjoying the sound of the ocean waves and sighs “Isn’t peace wonderful?”

Of course now, because she has said that, something decidedly un-peaceful occurs!

There is a disturbance on the ocean’s surface, and a spout of water shoots suddenly into the air.

“Something’s coming up!” cries Jun as she and Jinpei stare in alarm.



 



What comes up is Mammothoon.



 



Some other children on the ferris wheel also see it, and are afraid.

Now Mammothoon rises even more from the water, and all sorts of people in the amusement park see it now and react with horror.

“That’s Mammothoon, Sis!” cries Jinpei.

“So Katse’s alive!” gasps Jun. Yes, I guess they did have hopes at the end of the previous episode that he might have been finished off at last.

“Damn it,” yells Jinpei, “He must have somehow managed to get out from under that glacier!”

Jun immediately contacts Ken and tells him that Mammothoon has reappeared at the amusement park at “Point N.”


 



Ken’s flying his plane.



 



“What? But I thought we’d finished it off with that Super Bird Missile!” replies Ken, scowling.

“He is one stubborn bastard,” says Joe’s voice, coming through on Ken’s bracelet.

“Tell me about it! He’s a monster!” says Ryu’s voice next.

It’s a conference call!

Ken instructs Joe and Ryu to head to Point N and Jun to keep an eye on Mammothoon until they’re all there.

Jun implores Ken to hurry.

Mammothoon is now fully out of the water and it strides towards the amusement park, smashing its fence with one giant foot. Inside its control room, Katse (pointing dramatically) informs the goons that their target is the Oceanography Lab –no surprise there. He orders them to arm the missile bays and “Fire!”

Two large missiles now shoot from Mammothoon and hit the Oceanography Lab, obliterating it. Katse chuckles smugly, sure that he’ll rattle the Science Ninjas and frustrate them with his apparent immortality.

‘Let them witness my wrath!” he continues (with more dramatic pointing), “Wipe those snots from the face of the Earth!”

Still on the ferris wheel with Jun, Jinpei notes that Mammothoon is now heading straight for the amusement park. Jun declares that saving the children is their first priority and she leaps from the ferris wheel to the ground. Jinpei follows her example (though his landing is far less graceful). Mammothoon is now smashing stuff up as hordes of panicking people are fleeing past Jun, depriving her of the privacy she needs to change into birdstyle.

One of the running children, a little girl, trips and falls, crying in fear. Too far away to do anything, the little girl’s mother gasps in horror as Mammothoon’s enormous foot looms over her daughter, about to crush her…



 



But Jun, running extremely fast, is able to reach the little girl and whisk her away just before Mammothoon’s foot comes down. But, one of Jun’s shoes is visible, caught between two of Mammothoon’s toes.


 



A short distance away, Jun is crouched beside the sobbing little girl, shielding her protectively.



 



Jinpei is highly impressed and alarmed by Jun’s nick-of-time rescue of the girl but Jun, her bare foot prominently in the foreground of the shot (just in case you didn’t notice her shoe stuck between Mammothoon’s toes, I guess) tells him she’s fine and orders him to “go help the others!”

So, while Mammothoon walks along, smashing up some more amusement park rides, Jinpei leads away a herd of more fleeing children, carrying one small boy himself, piggy-back style.

Now, something swoops down from the sky towards Mammothoon –it’s Ken in his G-1 jet.


 



“He just doesn’t know when to die. Let’s teach him,” thinks Ken, a grim expression on his face.

With that, he blasts Mammothoon’s head with his jet’s laser cannon. Inside the tremoring control room, Katse is outraged and orders more missiles to be fired on Ken. But, a goon then informs him that Ken’s attack has just wiped out Mammothoon’s missile launching system.

Go Ken!

“Then we have no other choice but to withdraw,” realizes Katse in frustrated dismay.

Meanwhile, on the bridge of the God Phoenix, Joe declares “Your stomping days are over!” and reaches for the shiny red button.


 


Unfortunately, his moment of glory comes to an abrupt halt when Ryu points out that their five vehicles aren’t all combined so he can’t fire missiles.

Joe slams both fists on the console, yelling “Katse, you filth!” Hey, at least he’s not blaming Ken for ruining his fun. (Actually, Jun’s and Jinpei’s vehicles probably aren’t on board either.)

Now Ken instructs Ryu and Joe not to chase Mammothoon too far, and to rendez vous at the Crescent Coral Base. I’m not sure why Ken’s saying this, unless it’s because Mammothoon is going back underwater now and Ken realizes that there’s no point in the God Phoenix going after it if Joe can’t fire missiles at it.

So, Mammothoon disappears below the ocean’s surface, a trail of smoke streaming from its head where Ken’s attack damaged it. (Isn’t a lot of water going to leak in there? There must be water-tight interior doors to seal off the damaged section.)


 


So, next we see an exterior view of the Crescent Base and all the usual accompanying fish activity.

“Don’t despair, Team,” Dr. Nambu tells the assembled Ninjas, “Thanks to Jun and Jinpei’s early warnings, although the lab was destroyed, there were no fatalities. That in itself is to be commended.”

Hooray, no one died! And this isn’t even Battle of the Planets! Oddly, the Ninjas don’t look particularly happy or relieved at this news though. Jun looks downright depressed…

Now, Dr. Nambu tells them all to “go and relax a while” or, in the subs, “All of you go relax in the standby room.” Is a “standby room” like a “ready room”? Will there be ping pong and musical instruments there?

Everyone heads for the door, except Jun. Dr. Nambu, noticing this, mildly asks her what’s wrong.



 



And now Jun, looking miserable, tells him that she’s lost one of her shoes.



 



“What?” cries Dr. Nambu, turning to glare at her.

The other Ninjas, forming a conga line of consternation, all turn and stare at her too.



 


“No!” continues Dr. Nambu, “Did you lose it during combat?”

“Yeah,” she says quietly as he keeps talking.

“Search everywhere for it, no matter what it takes you must get that shoe back!”


 



In the dub, Dr. Nambu actually sounds a little gentler here than he does in the original Japanese. But either way, Dr. Nambu has never yelled at Jun like this! She was clearly expecting and steeling herself to be reprimanded but now she jerks her head up, eyes wide, in unhappy surprise.

“Find it, all of you!” yells Dr. Nambu in conclusion.

And now we cut to Mammothoon, back inside a Galactor base somewhere.



 



Jun’s shoe is still stuck between the toes on one of its feet so, as the narrator informs us, there was no way that the Ninjas could find it.

A crew of mecha maintenance goons are busy at work. One is welding (probably the area damaged by Ken’s laser cannon) while others appear to be cleaning and polishing and still other are inspecting Mammothoon’s feet.

One of the foot-inspectors finds Jun’s shoe.


 


He is amused by this (perhaps thinking that the rest of her got stomped flat) so he goes and shows his find to another goon (who must be his superior as he’s lounging idly in a chair, his feet on his desk.)

“Why would I care about it? Don’t bring it to me, you twit!” snaps the boss-goon (who seems to have modeled his management style after Berg Katse) and he snatches the shoe from the hapless goon and whacks him in the head with it. “Back to work! Go on!” he adds before hurling the shoe through a small chute that leads to an incinerator.

The shoe lands on a pile of… well, stuff that Galactor doesn’t want, and then flames come blasting from all sides.



 


Now we cut back to Dr. Nambu, who’s even angrier than he was before.


 


“You still haven’t found it?” he yells, banging his fists on his desk, “Don’t you understand?”

At least this time he’s yelling at all five of them and not just Jun, though she (followed by Jinpei) appears to be taking it the worst. Actually, Ken’s looking rather upset too.

“If her shoe falls into Galactor’s hands,” barks Dr. Nambu, “they’ll use it to discover the secret of the Science Ninja Team’s transformation!”

It seems that this thought hadn’t occurred to any of the Ninjas.

Ken gasps. Jun gasps “Oh dear!” Ryu adds an anxious “That’s right.” Joe merely emits a low “hmm,” holding his chin thoughtfully and Jinpei, eyes wide, groans “I didn’t even think about that,” while clutching a hand to his head.

Somewhat more calmly now, having made his point, Dr. Nambu proceeds to explain his fear that Galactor, with its “vast scientific resources,” will discover the shoe’s secret.

Jun closes her eyes, contemplating this scenario’s dire ramifications.


 


Dr. Nambu stands up and turns to gaze pensively out the undersea window, saying that all they can do is “pray that the shoe doesn’t fall into their hands.” He closes his eyes, lowering his head as one readying himself for the worst.

But now we cut to Berg Katse, who’s also yelling –this really is the “yell at your subordinates” episode! At least in Katse’s case, everyone around him is probably used to it.

“What? There’s a shoe that the Great Automatic Incinerator won’t burn?”

The goon he’s yelling at is the same one who whacked the foot-inspecting goon on the head with the shoe. What goes around, comes around… However, this goon seems to have learned that “they can’t hit you if you’re not actually present,” as he is merely a face on a screen.

The goon stiffly affirms that this is the case.

“That’s ridiculous! Have you guys moved happy hour back to noon?” rants Katse. Heh, we did see in episode 71 that some goons have no qualms about drinking on duty. But this goon, all propriety, continues to assert that Katse needs to come see the remarkable shoe for himself.

With an ungracious “all right, all right!” Katse tells the goon to take the shoe to the lab and begin tests on it, and that he himself will be there shortly. The goon off screen now, he pauses to rant one more time, fists clenched, “I have a dinner to plan and they’re bothering me with women’s footwear!” (Lest anyone think he’s organizing a gala dinner party, in the subs he complains “Now I won’t have time to relax and enjoy my meal!”

Yes, it’s a hard and trying existence, being Lord of Galactor.

So now we see Jun’s shoe, fixed in place by a complex vice-grip apparatus. It’s inside a small chamber with a glass window, through which Katse and a goon (not the one he spoke to before) are observing it. The goon, at a control panel, activates a mechanical arm with a drill attachment and tries to pierce the shoe.


 


At first, it looks like the drill is successful and Katse, gloating that it’s “an ordinary shoe after all,” turns to leave (and go relax and enjoy his meal, no doubt). But the goon hastily asks him to wait, and then tells him “The shoe’s not breaking apart or anything!”

“Huh?” snarls Katse, but as he turns and the drill bit is retracted, it is clear that the shoe is undamaged.

“How can this be?” yells Katse, raising clenched fists, “Use all of Galactor’s scientific resources to analyze it!”

Yes, Dr. Nambu’s worst fears have become reality.

So next they subject the shoe to extreme cold, such that it becomes coated in ice, and then hit it with a mechanical sledge hammer. But the shoe remains unscathed while the hammer shatters.


 


As Katse and the goon continue to observe from behind the safety of the glass window, the shoe is blasted with some kind of energy, but the device doing the blasting apparently overloads and explodes while doing the shoe no harm at all.


 


I’ve always figured that the Ninjas’ birdstyles protected them from a lot of damage, but the way this shoe is enduring such abuse, I’m almost surprised the Ninjas have to worry about coming to any harm at all (expect maybe through their faces, or in Jun’s case, her upper arms and thighs as well)!


But now, some kind of very high pitched sound frequency is being directed at the shoe, and it seems it might actually be having an effect. “More!” says Katse, and the sound becomes even more high pitched as the bombardment continues. The device is releasing smoke now…


 


The goon and Katse are both sweating nervously and the goon cries “We can’t push it!” but Katse yells “Continue!”

And then, to Katse’s amazement, the shoe begins to change…


 


And it transforms into a tall, white boot.


 


“It belongs to the Science Ninja Team…” says an awed Berg Katse, as we’re shown an image of the Swan –certainly suggesting that Katse knows just which member of the Team this shoe matches.


 


But now we’re at the Snack J, where somewhat sad music is playing as light glitters off the disco ball on the ceiling. Jun is alone, sitting at the bar, and clearly depressed.



 


I’m surprised that everyone’s ditched her –even Jinpei. You’d think they might, realizing she’s sad, hang around and try to cheer her up. But maybe they’re still frantically trying to find her shoe and are out there still searching.

She’s remembering Dr. Nambu’s earlier words about how Galactor will surely use their “vast scientific resources” to learn her shoe’s secret, and we can see that she’s wearing now a pair of ordinary, non-transforming shoes.


 


“If they find that shoe,” thinks Jun despairingly, “They’ll know who I am.”



 


To further add to the atmosphere of gloom, it’s raining heavily outside as Jun opens the Snack J’s door and stares out into the night.

“I’ll become a decoy,” she thinks, her face showing desperate determination to do something to solve the crisis she feels responsible for creating, “Galactor’s sure to come looking for me.”

With that, she goes outside, her red replacement shoes stepping along the rain slicked sidewalk, gaining speed as she breaks into a run.

Now we’re looking at Leader X, addressing Katse. Hey, he's not yelling at his subordinant. In fact, Leader X is pleased, saying “Well done, Lord Katse,” and adding “I have devised two missions based on the discovery of the shoe.”

 


The first, explains Leader X, is for the Galactor scientist, Dr. Misuno, to develop a device that will use what they now know about the shoe to be able to “break off” the Science Ninjas’ transformations, but he will need several days to complete this work.

We get a look at a Galactor scientist staring into a microscope-like device, presumably as part of this mission.

The second mission, declares Leader X, will be carried out by Katse himself. Katse makes a little bow, looking honored. Leader X has a name picked out this second mission too: “Operation Cinderella.” Hmm, the prince in that fairy tale wasn’t trying to track down Cinderella via her shoe in order to kill her and her friends, but otherwise, it’s an apt analogy.

We’re shown a group of diligent Galactor scientists all sitting around a table.


 



“Immediately afterward, top class specialists in the plastic arts,” explains the narrator, as we’re shown a detailed diagram of Jun’s shoe covered in measurements and then a montage of images of hard-working scientists, “Anthropotomists, sculptors and cosmetic medicine experts were summoned from various Galactor research institutions and a steady stream of data was passed around.”

Now we can see that they’re using all their combined data to generate an image showing the shape of the shoe’s (or the boot’s, really) probable wearer –“age, height, weight, and even the personality of the person who wore it.”

Okay, it’s a stretch to believe that all that could be construed from one boot, but I’m prepared to go along with this ‘cause it makes for a good story.

At last, an eager Katse gets a look at the final result.


 


“Her face and style of clothing,” are the only things they can’t determine from the shoe, explains a goon, as Katse continues to stare at the image of the Swan. “But we believe her body shape is accurate,” he adds. Really, Jun’s birdstyle doesn’t exactly do much to hide her body shape, and lots of people in Galactor (including Katse) have seen her. But then again, when they see her she’s usually moving very fast and a lot of the goons who see her don’t survive to describe her!

Katse is extremely pleased that he can now begin his mission, and he breaks into triumphant, evil laughter.

Meanwhile, Jun is walking down an empty city street in a somewhat less-than-desirable part of town.


 



Suddenly she gasps in fear; two men are there and one of the pulls a knife on her.



 



They grab her and hustle her into a narrow alley…



 


I think this would be a terrifying nightmare for most women, but fortunately for Jun (and unfortunately for the two men), she is a highly trained fighter.

We hear the men crying out in surprise and pain, and the sounds of blows. Then Jun emerges alone from the alley, brushing off her clothes.


 



She’s not shaken or traumatized in the least –no, she’s actually disappointed!

“Rats,” she says, “They’re just a couple of street thugs. And I thought they were from Galactor.”


Next, we see a large, vividly coloured blimp.



 



“This is every girl’s dream!” cries an announcer’s voice over speakers, “The World Beauty Center will make you into the world’s top beauty –free! This offer is limited only to 16 year old girls. Step right up!”

Hmm, if Jun was 16 when the series began, wouldn’t she be at least 17 by episode 74? I guess Galactor’s science isn’t as accurate as they think.

There are definitely a lot of 16 year old girls within earshot of this announcement, and it seems they all want to be a “top beauty.” An eager horde flocks towards the blimp and next we see a long line up of girls, chattering excitedly as they wait to enter a building.


 


The announcer is standing there, microphone in hand, urging them to wait patiently and explaining that a cut-out silhouette just inside the door “represents the ideal proportions for a 16 year old girl.”

He continues, “Now, only those who can pass through it have what it takes to be a world’s top beauty and receive a free makeover.”

I’d like to think that these girls would feel insulted to be told that there’s only one, precise body shape that represents “top beauty”! But, sigh, they apparently are not.


 


The first girl who tries to pass through the cut out is too big.


 



The next girl looks more likely, but she’s a bit too tall and her shoulders are too wide. As the announcer calls for the next girl to step up, we can see that all this is all being covertly observed from inside the building by a woman in a purple dress who’s peering between a window’s blinds.


 


“That’s so not fair!” cries a girl’s voice, and we must assume that the third girl, whoever she was, also is not Swan-shaped. The watching woman smiles. She has blond hair and a very pointy chin, rather like…

Commercial break!

Chapter 2 by lborgia88

At the Snack J, Jinpei is bearing a tray with two water glasses to a booth, wherein are seated the first two girls who tried to fit through the cut out.

“Here you go, ladies,” says Jinpei, all charm as he places their glasses on the table.

“I heard someone say that when she got inside,” the first girl is saying to the other, “all they did was stare at her feet and tell her to leave.”



 


The second girl wonders if perhaps that rejected girl had athletes foot. The first girl doesn’t think much of this theory.

“Then maybe it’s all just a fake,” continues the second girl, as Jun is shown drying dishes over at the bar, “Don’t you think it’s strange that they only wanted 16 year old girls?”

Hearing this, Jun is so shocked she drops the plate she’s drying and it smashes on the floor.


 


As Jun queries about who is only looking for 16 year old girls, Jinpei explains “they say they’ll make you into the world’s most beautiful girl.”

Smirking and rubbing his face, he adds “So hey, you’re 16 too, Sis. You should go there and have them make you a little better looking.”

“Baka!” says Jun in Japanese (“Smarty pants!” in the dub) as she throws her dish towel over Jinpei’s head, vaults over the counter and takes off.

“Watch the bar for me!” are her parting words. Jinpei, apparently displeased at being stuck with all the work, snarks “You know, as soon as women hear they can be pretty, they freak out. Jeez…” (In the subs, he adds “Women are so shallow” here!)


But Jinpei is momentarily distracted from expressing any more bitter and sweeping female stereotypes when his bracelet begins chiming –he’s still snarky though!

“Ah shut up! I’m busy working!” he yells into his bracelet –and abruptly changes his tone when Dr. Nambu’s voice comes through.

Dr. Nambu (who either didn’t hear or is choosing to ignore Jinpei’s rudeness) informs him that he’s calling a meeting, and in a suddenly sweet and cheerful voice, Jinpei hastily says he’ll be there, throwing the dish towel over his head in dismay at his close call.

Next, we’re at the Crescent Base. Lowering a newspaper he’s reading, Dr. Nambu inquires why everyone is present except Jun.


 


Jinpei begins rambling nervously, but gives away that he knows something, so Dr. Nambu fixes his scrutiny on him, demanding “So then, where is Jun? Well, Jinpei?”

Finally Jinpei says he’s “pretty certain she went to check out that new beauty center.”

“She went to the beauty center?” demands Dr. Nambu, not at all happy to hear this.

Ken, puzzled, wants to know if there’s something that matter with that as Jinpei, looking worried on Jun’s behalf, asks “Should she not have gone there, Doc?”

Brandishing his newspaper, Dr. Nambu explains there’s a story in it about a fake business exclusively going after 16 year old girls.


 


“This is only a guess,” he adds, “But I think Galactor used Jun’s shoe to discover her physical features and they’re looking for her.”

We get a pan across the four guys’ faces and they all look worried to hear this.

Dr. Nambu is now afraid that Jun “has fallen into their trap in order to recover her shoe.”

“That sounds like Jun,” admits Ken. If Ken had been paying more attention, he might have noticed that she was desperate to get her shoe back and prepared to take off by herself to do it. (And, he can’t really point any fingers at her either, as that’s what he did in episode 38 when he lost his bracelet.)

“Jun is in grave danger,” concludes Dr. Nambu anxiously and he orders the four Ninjas to head to the beauty center at once.

Some concern is warranted, but I think Jun has often demonstrated that she can take care of herself (and she certainly did earlier, with the two street thugs!)

And now we learn that the blond woman with the pointy chin and purple dress is not any disguised version of Katse, because she’s talking to an on-screen Katse.


 


She’s explaining that she’s only found five girls who “fit the data exactly,” but Katse seems satisfied with that number and he orders the woman to bring all the girls to Mammothoon immediately.

She gets up and goes through a door. In the next room, there are five girls sitting on a couch. She apologizes for keeping them waiting, and tells them they’re delighted to offer makeovers to such promising girls.

As she’s saying all this, we see that one of the girls is Jun. The announcer beckons them all towards an elevator. Jun is looking like she’s thinking as they all ride the elevator up…


(Note that there are five girls, including Jun, here.)
 



She’s startled though, when a cloudy purple gas suddenly starts pouring into the elevator car through a ceiling vent!



 


We can hear frightened girls calling out, but when the elevator door finally opens, the woman is standing, wearing a gas mask.





 



And all five girls are slumped on the elevator car’s floor. Except Jun. She’s kept her head, covered her mouth and nose, and managed to stay conscious. But she’s pretending to be out cold like the others.



 


Now the elevator starts up again, and this time it ascends a tube that leaves the building and goes up to the big blimp that’s hovering above.

Inside the blimp’s control room are two Galactor goons. The woman exits the tube, approaches the goons, and tells them to head back to their base. Soon, the blimp is on the move.

One of the goons notices that the God Phoenix is flying close by, and the woman isn’t happy to hear that.


 


On the bridge of the God Phoenix, Ryu thinks it’s weird that there’s an “ad balloon” coming their way. Ken, however, thinks it looks more like one of Galactor’s “dread zeppelins.”

“Do you think Sis could be stuck in there, Big Brother?” asks an anxious Jinpei.

Ken tries to determine just that contacting her via bracelets.


 


At first, he gets no response.


 



But then his bracelet begins to flash a bird scramble –Ken seems rather alarmed by this, as he’s probably wondering why she can’t talk.



 



But she’s actually still pretending to be unconscious. She and the other four girls have been moved to a cell but Jun is surreptitiously tapping her bracelet against the bars.


(Note that there is, somehow, an extra girl now, bringing the total, including Jun, to six)
 


“Pretend you don’t see them and maintain your course,” the woman instructs the blimp’s goon pilots.

And the God Phoenix and the blimp soar right past each other.

On the bridge of the God Phoenix, Joe is angry.

“Damn it, there’s no hope of attacking it, Ken,” he says.


 


Ken doesn’t look happy with the situation either but quietly and firmly says “We can’t risk the chance that the zeppelin could explode with everyone on it.”


 


“So, we would be blowing up Sis too!” says Jinpei, belatedly realizing what he means.


“It’s not just Jun! There are four other girls in there too!” yells Joe (and he doesn’t usually yell at Jinpei) as he bangs a fist down on the console beside Jinpei (who looks abashed at this reprimand).



 


Don’t worry Jinpei, he’s probably just in a foul mood because he can’t fire any missiles at it. I wonder how they know that there are four other girls with Jun -perhaps it had been announced earlier, when the beauty center was still acting legit, that there were five finalists.

Ken decides that they will tail the blimp, in the hope that it will lead them to its secret base, so Ryu brings the God Phoenix around and Ken then instructs Jinpei to try tracking the location of Jun’s bird scramble using the radar.

Jinpei eagerly takes on this task with a “Just leave it to me!”



 



He starts searching…

Meanwhile, we see a building surrounded by exhibits of dinosaur skeletons.


 


Inside this building, we see both the blimp and a very large exhibit of a wooly mammoth, and we get a close up of the mammoth’s face…

The girls are still in a cell with barred walls and still all slumped on the floor, but standing nearby are the woman, holding a whip, and Berg Katse.



 



Katse wants to get a good look at the girls’ faces and arms, pointing out that “The Science Ninja Team wear bracelets.” The woman now enters the cell and, using her whip, props up one groggy girl’s chin so that Katse can get a look at her.




 



Katse’s not so interested in her and the woman moves onto the next girl.



 



She doesn’t seem to be quite what he’s looking for either and he says “Next!” So, the next girl gets her head raised up by having her hair pulled, but Katse doesn’t think she looks very Swan-like either.



 


“Great,” he says sourly, “At this rate our operation will fail! Don’t you have anyone better to choose from?”

Jun now quickly removes her bracelet secretly, and hides it in her pocket.



 



“Hey, the bird scramble disappeared,” cries Jinpei now, staring at the radar screen on the bridge of the God Phoenix.



 



No one likes this news. “It means Jun’s in even more serious danger,” declares Ken grimly, but he thinks she must be somewhere close by and that they should land and search around for Galactor’s base.


Ryu, though, says that there’s nothing in the area that looks suspicious to him. The God Phoenix is flying over woods now. But Jinpei pipes up that he’s “pretty sure there’s an outdoor museum up ahead.”

Ryu’s not impressed with this comment, but Joe makes the connection that a “mammoth” might well be at a “museum.”

“See,” retorts Jinpei impudently, “It wasn’t such a stupid idea –I know what I’m talking about!”

Ken squelches all this with a crisp “All right, let’s go with Jinpei’s flash of inspiration,” but he and Ryu are both looking far from calm, “Take us down slowly.”


 


As the God Phoenix flies past the museum, Ken, Joe and Jinpei appear on the dome and then soar down towards it, landing on the roof.

Meanwhile, in the cell, it’s Jun’s turn to show her face to Katse for inspection. She’s got her back to the woman, who tries to use her whip to make Jun turn her head towards them.


 


Needless to say, Jun does not cooperate with this, and the woman snaps at her “Hurry!”

“What’s the matter?” barks Katse, “Hurry up and look this way!”

Fortunately, a goon chooses this moment to call out “Lord Katse, it’s the God Phoenix!”

“Again?” Katse now stalks off angrily and the woman, pausing to hit Jun with her whip, follows after Katse. Jun stays where she is, lying on the floor of the cell and keeping her face averted, but her eyes narrow in thought as she sees that now is the opportune moment to act.

“I knew they’d come,” she thinks.

Katse is viewing the God Phoenix on a screen, angrily wondering how the God Phoenix found them, and he yells “Get them out of my sky!”

With that, several of the dinosaur skeletons outside now crumble away, revealing interior missile launchers. Ryu is startled to see this looming threat but he quickly rallies, swerving the God Phoenix sharply and avoiding the initial barrage of missiles.

Meanwhile, Ken, Joe and Jinpei have discovered that there is a mammoth in the museum.



 


Breaking through the skylight, they soar down to land on the mammoth’s head. Jinpei is smug that his hunch has proven correct, but Joe swats him and and says “Don’t let it go to your head.”


 


What did you do to annoy Joe, Jinpei? He seems to be singling you out for abuse in this episode. Then again, the oft-impudent Jinpei probably needs a little “keeping in line” now and then, lest he become a brat.

Meanwhile, back in the cell, Jun is one Cinderella who is not going to just wait to be rescued. With a karate chop, she takes out the woman as the other four girls gasp in both shock and admiration.


 


“Come on, girls,” says Jun, and they follow her lead and escape the cell. In fact, she leads them directly behind Katse, but they quickly and quietly run past and he remains oblivious to the jailbreak-in-progress.


 


They all rush down a corridor, and as it opens into a large room, they’re all startled to see there are two goons with machine guns standing there –who turn on them menacingly.

Well, not for long. Jun kicks one of them in the head, and karate chops the other goon, then flipping him.

Now we see what they were guarding –a little round table upon which rests Jun’s missing shoe (now in its civilian state).



 


She is both overjoyed and relieved to finally have it back again.


 


Unfortunately, when she picks it up, an alarm starts sounding.


“Someone is stealing the Ninja Team shoe!” yells Katse, and he starts running. He goes to the cell where he discovers the woman on the floor. She struggles to stand, crying “Lord Katse, please forgive me –the girls have escaped!”

And Katse snaps “Useless!” and kicks her in the face. So, no forgiveness there.

Now Jun is running, leading the other girls. Suddenly, a partition lifts right in front of them, revealing Katse and numerous armed goons.

“Rather rash of you to try to steal the shoe and run away!” sneers Katse, “Which one of you is it?”


 


The girls stare in dismay, but they don’t try to turn Jun in to save themselves or anything like that (they’ve probably seen enough by now to figure that she’ll deal with this situation!)

And indeed, a confident “It was me!” causes the four girls to turn around in surprise, revealing that it’s the Swan herself, in birdstyle, who now stands behind them.


 


“I’m the girl you’ve been looking for, Katse,” continues Jun.

“I knew you had to be one of those girls!” retorts Katse, as the goons open fire.

The girls all shriek but Jun shields them with her cape (after seeing what her shoe can endure, I can well believe that her cape is bullet-resistant!)


 



Next, Jun lashes out with her yoyo, taking out several of the goons. Then there’s an explosion and, as Katse yells “What the hell?” a large chunk of the ceiling collapses onto several more goons.

Standing above by the newly created hole in the ceiling are Ken, Joe and Jinpei.



 


“Bullying girls? More your speed, but still low, Katse!” declares Ken, glaring down.

With a dramatic “Today will be your last, prepare to die!” Katse orders those goons still standing to open fire now on the boys.

The Eagle, Condor and Swallow instantly scatter, avoiding the gunfire. Ken hurls his boomerang and takes out a swath of goons, then finishes off more of them with kicks and punches.


 



Joe flies, somersaulting, through the air and then he clobbers several more himself.



 


And Jinpei kicks a couple of goons, takes down a couple more with his bolas and then uses the rather less dignified (but effective) tactic of biting.





 



Ken, clearly knowing that Jun must have her shoe back if she’s in birdstyle, informs her that it’s time to go. I will assume that she’s abstained from the big group fight here because she’s chosen to stick by the four girls.



 



Indeed, next we see, she casts her yoyo up through the hole the other three Ninjas created in the ceiling, and raises herself up, taking two of the girls with her.



 

 

Not one to miss an opportunity with girls, Joe does the same thing with his cable gun and two other girls (luckier, in my opinion!) get to cling to him as he lifts them out.


Yes, the girl in the yellow pants has an especially good opportunity to familiarize herself with his physique.
 


Now Katse is having his “I’m outta here!” moment, and he begins turning to flee


We seem to still have the mysterious extra girl, as there’s one remaining for Jinpei to carry (perhaps she’s collapsed in grief here at missing the chance to cling to Joe?)



 


“Jinpei, hurry!” says Ken, glancing at the fleeing Katse. “What about you?” asks Jinpei but Ken cries “Just go!” So, Jinpei rises up through the hole (seems he borrowed Joe’s gun here) and Ken runs after Katse.

Unfortunately for Ken, Katse got a head start. So, Ken hurls his boomerang after Katse, but just in the nick of time (for Katse) a partition barrier drops down, leaving Ken’s boomerang, Ken and a piece of Katse’s cape on the wrong side of it. Katse has escaped yet again.

“Come back here you stinking coward!” yells Ken in frustration, hitting the partition with his boomerang.



 



But now Jinpei contacts Ken, telling him to hurry and get out, lest Mammothoon start firing missiles and trapping them.

Ken turns to go but then pauses, pulling a tracking beacon-like object from his belt compartment.


 



With a smirk, he flicks it up in the air such that it sticks to the ceiling.

Meanwhile, outside, Ryu is zooming the God Phoenix along the ground and he smashes it clean through the museum’s exterior wall and into the main exhibit room where the mammoth stands.

The God Phoenix stops right in front of its trunk and Joe, Jun and Jinpei, along with the girls, all slide down the trunk and onto the God Phoenix’s dome.

Inside the mammoth, Katse orders “Bring Mammothoon online, on the double!” Now, the mammoth changes, shedding its fur while its trunk now takes on a mechanical appearance.

Now, finally, Ken leaps clear of Mammothoon and joins the others on the dome of the God Phoenix (where we’re back to four girls plus Jun again).

As the dome lowers them all inside the God Phoenix, on the bridge, Ryu mutters “Here goes nothing” and takes the God Phoenix up, smashing it through the large skylight on the ceiling and into the air above.

“I want you to bring that ship down now!” orders Katse, and then Mammothoon fires two missiles at the God Phoenix.


 


Katse is laughing evilly, sure that he has triumphed –that is, until a goon at a screen informs him that the missiles are turning around and coming back at the museum!

As Katse wheels around, gasping “That’s not possible!” we see the beacon that Ken had left stuck to that corridor’s ceiling and it’s emitting a signal that is clearly attracting the missiles its way.


 


Katse turns to run –no doubt for his escape pod- but first has to fend off the clutches of the two goons present, who obviously realize they’re about to be abandoned to a dismal fate.


 



And the missiles draw near…



 



They pierce right through Mammothoon, into the control room that Katse had fled moments earlier, and then they explode, destroying Mammothoon and the museum in a massive explosion.


And the God Phoenix flies along serenely through a blue sky. On the bridge, we have the mysterious extra girl present again. For some reason, even though these girls were able to run down corridors earlier with Jun, now they are all just sprawled, slumping, on the floor of the bridge as if overcome by the trauma of their experience.

Silly girls, pay attention –the Condor himself is sitting mere feet away from you!

Ryu is glad “Everyone made it through okay,” and Ken notes that “We got Jun’s shoe back safely,” as we pan over to see Jun on the far side of the bridge, sitting with Jinpei. He continues “It’s too bad we let Katse get away,” though, looking grimly disappointed.

“It couldn’t be helped,” says the normally revenge-fixated Joe as he glances towards the girls, “The girls are safe; that’s the most important thing for now.”

And Joe casts a rather interested looking glance in their direction.


(Look up, you stupid girls! You’re missing your chance here!)
 


Jinpei (perhaps because he’s not sitting near Joe now) indulges in a final bit of misguided brattiness, scowling at Jun disapprovingly and pointing didactically with one finger while saying “Hey Sis, to keep from losing one of your shoes again, I think you should write your name in them from now on.”

“Idiot!” retorts Jun, grabbing his face with both hands, “If I did that, they know who I was right away, now wouldn’t they?”


 



Still, I think that Jun will henceforth be very certain she never loses any item of her civvies ever again.

“You and Katse have a lot in common!” protests Jinpei plaintively.


And now we see Katse himself, wretchedly saying “My apologies for having failed you yet again,” to Leader X.

“Idiot! Imbecile! Simpleton! Fool!” yells Leader X. Yes, this really was the “yell at your subordinates” episode. “I have nothing left to say to you; our only hope in this situation is that Dr. Misuno’s secret weapon is almost complete!”


 


On that ominous note, Katse does a humble, sweeping bow.

As the God Phoenix flies over the city, accompanied by ominous music, the narrator says “When will Dr. Misuno’s mysterious new mecha be complete? What storm awaits our heroes as they withdraw, basking in their victory?”


 

Despite the foreboding ending, linking it to future episodes, this episode certainly showcases Jun’s talents and resourcefulness and gives her a somewhat rare solo opportunity to overcome adversity and to shine, while still leaving the other Ninjas with something to do too.


The end.

Chapter 3 by lborgia88

Battle of the Planets Episode: “Museum of Mystery”

“Center Neptune,” says Zark as we see Center Neptune, “Hidden from prying eyes, deep beneath the sea, is the tireless guardian of our galaxy, protecting the universe and keeping a watchful eye out for alien invaders who try to plunder it.”

Hmm, so your eyes, Zark, are “watchful” but any eyes trying to watch you are “prying”? A tad hypocritical. Oh, and you’re not that deep beneath the sea either!

Zark informs us that Center Neptune has been his home since he was manufactured and that “I’ve never left it.” Somehow, that’s really rather sad.

Now Zark flaps his cape and flies over to his console, which is emitting sparks.

“Uh oh, I’m getting a red alert” he says, though it more resembles imminent electrical failure.

“An emergency signal from a remote spot right here on Earth,” he adds, “Something strange has been sighted.”

Now we’re being shown a range of tall, snow-covered mountains. But somewhere in their midst, something previously buried in ice and snow and bursting forth.


“It’s an imperial mastodon,” says Zark, “Those creatures became extinct in prehistoric times. They’ve been gone from Planet Earth for millions of years.”

Um, I’m pretty certain they didn’t go extinct until around the end of the Ice Age, roughly 10,000 years ago. Jeez, it’s a good thing my Dad (a geologist) never heard this line of purported science from Zark when I was a kid!

Zark can hardly believe it –“They might as well be sending me a picture of a dinosaur.” He doesn’t seem to have noticed that its trunk is clearly mechanical –maybe robots, mechanical themselves, aren’t so good at noticing such discrepancies. But despite his skepticism, he feels duty-bound to check it out.

Now we cut to Zoltar, standing in some control room with a couple of Spectran soldiers.

“Now listen,” he’s telling them, “The new Earth Resources Center is the white structure behind the amusement park,” and he goes on to explain that when the mastodon appears, there will be such a panic that they will be able to destroy the Center before anyone realizes what’s happening.

Meanwhile, at the seaside amusement park in question, a good time is being had by all, including Princess and Keyop, who are riding together on a ferris wheel and enjoying a good view while on high.

“Have you ever wished you could be a soft white cloud, drifting in a warm blue sky?” asks Princess, who I am sure is merely being fanciful and is not under the influence of any ‘trippy’ substances.

But, there is a disturbance on the ocean’s surface. Princess and Keyop stare in concern.

“Elephant,” says Keyop as a trunk rises from the sea.

“No elephant is that large!” corrects Princess (nice to see someone on this show with a grasp of zoology) and she immediately contacts Mark, telling him to come to the park and that it’s a red alert.

The mastodon’s head is now out of the water, followed by its body…

“Trouble, Tiny. Get Jason and the Phoenix and head for Joyland Park,” says Mark into his wrist communicator. He’s flying in his plane.

Tiny’s voice responds “We’re on our way, Princess. When you know what’s going on, fill us in.”

“Just get here fast!” says Princess’ voice earnestly.

Now we’re seeing the Earth Resources Center and the mastodon, now out of the sea and standing near the shore, starts moving in its direction. What lies between it and its goal is Joyland Park, soon to be not so joyous.

Back to Zark, who is contacting the Earth Resources Center and informing them that they are “a prime target for attack –evacuate all personnel at once.”

Next, the mastodon is firing two missiles at the Center, and it is completely blown to bits. Smirking, Zoltar says “That should teach them a lesson. If these defiant Earthlings will not share their resources willingly, we have ingenious ways to make them change their minds.”

Zoltar decides they should take the mastodon for a stroll through the amusement park too.

Watching from the ferris wheel car, Keyop sees the mastodon heading their way now and says “Let’s jet.”

“Be careful you don’t land on your head,” Princess tells him, to no avail as he pretty much does exactly that.

Using its trunk, the mastodon smashes an elevated walkway that, fortunately, has no people on it.

Next we see Princess’ feet running extremely fast… somewhere, and then the mastodon’s massive foot… and now one of Princess’ shoes is stuck between two of the mastodon’s toes. I guess she was running so fast one of her shoes went flying and just happened to embed itself there?

Now Mark, in his jet, swoops in towards the mastodon’s head as we hear Princess’ voice asking him “What’s holding you? This is urgent!”

“That’s one of Zoltar’s lovable pets,” thinks Mark and he fires his jet’s lasers at its head as he flies past it, causing an explosion.

“G-Force again!” snarls Zoltar, from the mastodon’s tremor-wracked control room, “How can they respond so quickly?”

Now the Phoenix is swooping in too. Jason is standing over the missile launching button, saying “Too late to do any good, but at least Mark got there.”

He starts reaching for the button, and we cut to Tiny, saying “That critter was unreal! Where’d it come from?”

“Where else,” says a scowling Jason, banging his fists on the console now, “Spectra!”

And the mastodon, now trailing smoke from its head, disappears back underwater, whence it came.

“It’s getting away, and there’s nothing more I can do –I’m heading back to Center Neptune,” announces Mark into his wrist communicator (overlooking the fact, apparently, that the Phoenix can go underwater and could pursue the mastodon).

“Check you there,” replies Jason.

So now we’re back at Center Neptune, and everyone is standing before Chief Anderson.

“Zark reports that everyone from Earth Resources Center and Joyland Park got away safely,” he says (and it’s really bizarre that, for once, this is what happened in the Gatchaman version too). According to Anderson, Zark also reports that Zoltar is responsible for the attack and “is determined to harass us in every way until we give him what he wants.” They could probably figure that part out for themselves, Zark.

“And that will be?” asks Tiny. “Never!” replies Anderson, turning towards the undersea window.

“Chief,” says Princess apprehensively (and the only one now still standing near his desk), “I don’t know how to tell you –I’ve lost my G-Force shoe.”

“You what?” gasps a horrified Chief Anderson. All the others, about to file out of the room, gasp too.

“Without your complete uniform, you can’t transmute,” barks Chief Anderson, glaring at her, “That makes you useless to G-Force until you find that shoe!”

“Oh,” cries Princess softly, looking stricken. Now, while she can clearly do a lot more for G-Force while she’s transmuted, I think she’d be far from useless in her civvies. She could stay on the Phoenix -flying it or doing radar surveillance- or do on-the-ground reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering while posing as a civilian etc.

“Get that shoe!” yells Chief Anderson, just in case she hadn’t figured that out from his first words.

Now we’re back to the mastodon, now at a Spectran secret base somewhere, and Princess’ shoe is still stuck between its toes. Zoltar’s voice is ordering repairs of the mastodon to be completed at once and indeed, there’s a crew working busily doing just that. One Spectran soldier finds the shoe, moves his mouth though saying nothing, and then the shoe is hurled into an incinerator’s chute.

The shoe falls… until it lands on a heap of rubbish. Flames ignite now as incineration conmmences, but Princess’ shoe appears unaffected.


Back at Center Neptune, Chief Anderson, angrily banging two fists on his desk, says “We face a greater problem should anyone submit your G-Force shoe to atomic radiation. It would act as an electronic replicator.”

All of the assembled G-Force member look concerned to hear this.

“Replicator?” repeats Princess. “What?” asks Tiny.

“A three-dimensional figure reproducing Princess perfectly, could be derived from that shoe,” declares Chief Anderson, glaring at them all.

“Oh no!” cries Princess (though we don’t see her).

Anderson stands and turns to the window. “If that shoe has fallen into the wrong hands, Princess” he adds, “Your cover has been blown.” He bows his head, closing his eyes.

Back at the Spectran base, Zoltar is annoyed that he’s being bothered with reports of an “indestructible shoe.”

“Do you expect me to believe that?” he demands of an on-screen Spectran soldier, who replies “See for yourself.”

“If what you say is true, it’s made from an element about which I know nothing,” says Zoltar, sounding marginally more intrigued now.

Zoltar agrees to come to the lab and instructs the on-screen soldier to prepare to subject the shoe “to all destructive forces.”

“A substance that cannot be destroyed, and made into a shoe?” says Zoltar, fists clenched, “Nonsense.”

So next we see Princess’ shoe being held fast in a vice-like apparatus and being, well, subjected to “destructive forces” while Zoltar and another soldier look on from behind the safety of a glass window.

Zoltar is amazed when a drill is unable to pierce the shoe. He orders the soldier to try freezing it next and soon it’s encased in ice but, when hit with a sledge hammer, it remains undamaged (while the hammer shatters).

Next they blast the shoe with some kind of heat energy device, until the device overloads and explodes, but the shoe is still fine.

Finally, they subject the shoe to radiation (accompanied by a high-pitched frequency sound).

“We’re at the peak,” says the soldier nervously, “It’s not safe to go higher.”

“I’ll decide that,” declares Zoltar and the radiation continues.

And now the shoe transmutes into one of Princess’ long white boots. “Ooh!” says Zoltar, seeing this, “Aha, the female of the G-Force team.”

And we’re shown an image of Princess in her G-Force uniform.

Now, at Jill’s restaurant, it’s raining outside. The door opens and Princess looks out. “I don’t know what to do,” she thinks bleakly, “I’m no good at all to G-Force –perhaps I should resign.”

She leaves the restaurant, heading off across the rain covered sidewalk, wearing now a pair of dark red shoes.

Elsewhere, the Luminous One is saying “If you can duplicate the girl from her shoe, your scientists can use the same process to reconstruct her as she looks in civilian life. Once you have that, you must devise a clever way to find her and lure the real girl to Spectra. I want that pretty thorn in our side removed.”

I’m guessing that by “lure her to Spectra,” he doesn’t mean trying to recruit her for their side.

“Yes, Luminous One,” replies the listening Zoltar, who is then told that another failure will not be tolerated.

Now Zark, who apparently can see (and show us viewers) all sorts of things that he is utterly powerless to prevent or warn others to prevent, is telling us that “the Spectran scientists are working night and day, without stopping, to produce another mannequin of Princess, one that will allow Zoltar, at last, to identify a member of the G-Force team and, by association, the others.”

Zoltar’s scientists, Zark tells us, “virtually slaves to Zoltar’s will, must achieve success –or else.” Eh, if they survived grad school, they’ll be used to that.

But now Zoltar is gazing happily at a mannequin of Princess, and “has a little idea in mind.” He laughs evilly.

Next we see a colorful blimp against a blue sky. Below, in the city, a man with a megaphone is hawking “Tomorrow’s Woman” cosmetics, announcing “Ladies, become tomorrow’s woman, appear on television and tell everyone everywhere how Tomorrow’s Woman cosmetics actually changed your life.”

From all directions, girls come running and line up for their chance to audition.

“If you fit the mystery silhouette,” the announcer explains, “If you have the magic measurements, you will be one of the lucky finalists, so step right up ladies…”

The first girl to try is too big to fit through the silhouette cutout, as is the second girl, who is told, “You don’t even come close –forget it!” by the rather tactless announcer.

Inside the building, a blond, rather sinister woman is watching the activity by peering between window blinds.

Chapter 4 by lborgia88

Now we’re back to Center Neptune, and Zark. He’s ascending his lift tube, babbling about how he wants to “sit down and recalibrate my strobotron resonators against my telemetric potentiometer.”

Um, okay.

“In other words,” he simplifies, arriving back in his room, “I’m going to take a ten second oil break.”

He notes that Zoltar is certainly going through a lot of trouble to find the girl who matches the one he built from Princess’ shoe.

If you know what he’s doing Zark, then why haven’t you reported to anyone that he’s got a bogus modeling contest going on? Or do you not know about that yet?

As soon as Zark is lying on his “oil break” bed, Susan contacts him.

‘I have a rather urgent problem,” she says, “Do you think you could find a girl?”

Zark babbles in some confusion now, concluding with “I don’t want to find another girl.”

“You don’t understand,” says Susan, “Princess is missing. G-Force hasn’t seen her all day.”

Zark, apparently so charmed by Susan’s voice, needs a moment to realize that this isn’t a good thing. Hastily he says he’ll get right on it, but we don’t actually see him get up off this “oil break” bed.

Instead, we cut to Chief Anderson, who is reading a newspaper. “She’s entered that ridiculous contest,” he informs Mark, Jason, Tiny and Keyop.


“In the finals,” adds Keyop, who clearly knows all about it.

“What’s gotten into her?” asks Chief Anderson.

“You were pretty hard on her, Chief,” responds Mark, accurately,

“Depressed,” adds Keyop. Yes, I think that being told you’re “useless” qualifies as depressing.

And she doesn’t even get to walk around alone, beating up street thugs in alleys

“This Tomorrow’s Woman search has a phony ring to it,” declares Anderson, gesturing to the newspaper again, “Nothing I can put my finger on, but it’s enough to make me worry.” He proceeds to explain that he’s done a check on Madame Dumaine, the woman running the Tomorrow’s Woman company, and turned up shady connections and rumors that she’s even an agent for Spectra.

Now Mark looks worried! So does Keyop.

“I think Princess has gotten herself in big trouble,” says Chief Anderson, “You’ve got to help her out of it.”

This gets an enthusiastic “G-Force!” salute.

Now Madame Dumaine is talking with an on-screen Zoltar, explaining that she’s gathered together all the girls that were able to fit the silhouette cut-out.

“Splendid,” says Zoltar, and tells her to bring them aboard. She says that will only take a few minutes.

“Girls, how nice to greet all you lucky contestants,” she says, entering a room where Princess and four other girls are all sitting on a couch, “We’ll go upstairs for the final judging.”

Next, they’re all in an elevator car together, and it’s suddenly flooded with a cloudy, purple gas from a vent in the roof.

The elevator pauses on one floor now, and the doors open (to disperse the gas, now that it’s done its work?), revealing Madame Dumaine, wearing a gas mask, and all the girls on the elevator car’s floor, unconscious.

However, Princess has covered her mouth and nose with one hand and, though lying on the floor too, is only pretending to be unconscious.

The elevator continues up, out of the building through a tube, and into the blimp that’s hovering above.

Inside the blimp, Madame Dumaine informs two Spectran soldiers that they can leave now, as all the girls are on board. The blimp unmoors and moves off.

On the bridge of the Phoenix, Tiny is worrying that Princess could be “a million miles away by now.” Well, then she’d have to be on a Spectran space ship for that, but she’d still be closer to Earth than either Venus or Mars are –that shouldn’t seem far to people who purportedly travel to other galaxies.

Mark says he will try to contact her.

Keyop nervously says “Two million.”

Mark tries to reach Princess via his wrist communicator. He gets a response, but not one that uses her voice. Inside a cell on board the blimp, she’s tapping her wrist communicator against one of the bars. She’s lying on the floor, as are the four other girls who were in the building below and the elevator with her, and a fifth girl who must have snuck in from somewhere else.

On the blimp’s bridge, Madame Dumaine is saying “There’s nothing to worry about –why should they suspect us?”

It turns out that she’s referring to the Phoenix, which has just flown past them.

“What happened to that signal you were getting from Princess?” Jason asks Mark.

“It faded,” says Mark, looking like he’s willing himself to remain calm, “Why did she answer in code instead of voice?”

“Prisoner,” say Keyop, looking frightened.

“You may be right, Keyop,” says Jason, banging his fist on the console beside Keyop (causing Keyop to cringe and duck), “We’d better find her, fast!”

A distressed looking Keyop glances up at him.

Mark decides they’ll fly back over the area where they first detected her signal and try again. Then he instructs Keyop to put his “cosmic communicator” on the “detector panel.” Doing this, Keyop starts trying to track her via the radar screen.

Next, we’re seeing a large building that appears to be a scientific museum as it’s surrounded outside by exhibits of dinosaur skeletons. Inside, we see the Mastodon, (now disguised with fur) and the blimp, parked beside it.


Princess and the other unconscious girls are still in a cell, but now Madame Dumaine is there, holding a whip, and so is Zoltar.

Now that he knows the G-Force female’s shape, Zoltar wants to get a look at the “pretty creatures” in the cell, to see if any seem “familiar.” Madame Dumaine enters the cell and forces the reluctant girls to show their faces to Zoltar.

He emphatically rejects the first two girls, while Princess subtly removes her wrist communicator and puts it in her pocket.

On the Phoenix, Keyop is staring at a blank radar screen, but he says “Big bleeps!”

“This could be it!” says Jason.

“We’ll go down and look around,” agrees Mark, and he tells Tiny to keep the Phoenix circling, close, in case of emergencies, as “This could be Spectra’s new secret base.”

Mark, Jason and Keyop all leave the Phoenix through its dome and soar down towards the dinosaur museum below, landing on its roof.

Meanwhile, in the cell, it’s Princess’ turn to show her face to Zoltar and she’s not cooperating at all, keeping her face averted.

But before Zoltar can get the “good look” that he wants, a soldier’s voice cries out “Intruders! G-Force!” and that makes Zoltar (and Madame Dumaine) forget about Princess for the moment and run for the control room.

Princess, thinking to herself, is sure that it must really be G-Force.

Zoltar is now watching the Phoenix on a screen and complains “How did they find us? Quickly, the anti-aircraft missiles!”

Outside, some of the dinosaur skeleton exhibits crumble to reveal missile launchers hidden within. Two missiles are fired at the Phoenix, but Tiny sees them coming and is able to swerve to avoid being hit.

Now, from the roof, Mark, Jason and Keyop jump down to land on the mastodon’s head.

“Let’s go,” preens Keyop, apparently pleased with his landing (he didn’t land on his head this time) but Jason gives him a swat and says “Steady, tiger.”

Now, Princess is on her feet and able to escape the cell –Madame Dumaine must have been too distracted by the apparent arrival of G-Force to remember to lock it when she left. She calls to the other girls to come with her.


She and five girls are able to sneak right behind Zoltar’s back and run down a corridor. The corridor opens into a room, where Princess’ shoe is resting on a little table, completely unguarded. Looking moved almost to tears to have found it (and to be useful again, I suppose) she picks it up.

This causes an alarm to sound and instantly Zoltar realizes that someone has taken the shoe. He sets off at a run.

Princess and the girls are running down a corridor again, but suddenly a wall is raised up and behind it is Zoltar and a whole bunch of gun-toting soldiers.

“Going somewhere, ladies?” asks Zoltar, “Allow my men and I to escort you.”

What a gentleman.

“Hold it, Zoltar!” says Mark, “G-Force will do the escorting!” He and Jason and Keyop are a floor above, looking down through a ragged hole in the ceiling that exists for no apparent reason.

“Ever G-Force, always G-Force, eternally G-Force!” snarls Zoltar, exasperated, “Rout them!”

Suddenly, Princess appears near Mark, in her G-Force uniform.

“Princess!” he says. “And both shoes!” she replies.

Suddenly she’s back down on Zoltar’s level and she casts her yoyo up through the ragged hole in the ceiling above and lifts herself up through it, carrying two of the girls with her. Jason likes this plan (and now he too is suddenly on the lower level), and he uses his cable gun in a similar fashion as two more (lucky) girls cling to him.

Zoltar, who has apparently just been standing there alone (wherever did all those soldiers go –they were just here a minute ago?) watching all this escaping, now turns to flee himself.

Mark sends Keyop to “get Tiny” and he chases after Zoltar. He throws his boomerang, but a partition barrier drops down just after Zoltar has run beneath it, and Mark can’t follow him. Nor does he like his consolation prize –a piece of Zoltar’s cape that didn’t make it through on time either. Clutching it and his boomerang, he pounds on the barrier in frustration.

He’s contacted by Tiny, who’s ready to pick everyone up.

“Everything under control?” asks Tiny.

“One last touch,” replies Mark, and he removes a tracking beacon from his belt compartment and throws it so it sticks to the ceiling.

“There’ll be a little surprise when this attracts their own missiles back to them,” he thinks. Then he runs for the Phoenix.

Tiny smashes the Phoenix through the wall and into the museum’s main exhibit room, where the mastodon is.

Everyone –or Jason, Princess, Keyop and the girls- slides down the mastodon’s trunk and to the Phoenix. Inside the mastodon’s control room, Zoltar orders that it be prepared for “all-out attack.”

This entails it losing all its fur and the skin on its trunk.

Now, Mark finally leaps clear of the mastodon too and lands on the Phoenix’s dome where the others are all crouched. It descends, taking them all into the Phoenix.

Tiny initiates lift off, smashing the Phoenix through the large skylight in the museum’s roof, and then high into the air.

But Zoltar calls for a missile strike, and two missiles are fired at the Phoenix.

Zoltar laughs triumphantly, until a soldier informs him that the missiles are turning around and are now coming towards the museum.

“Everyone onto the escape ship!” cries Zoltar.

So nice that he has an escape plan for all the crew members.

Now, drawn by Mark’s beacon, the missiles home in on and strike the mastodon, and there is an explosion.

We must assume that the escape ship got away in time.

But the Phoenix is flying along now, and on its bridge, the four original girls plus the fifth one that appeared while they were in the cell on the blimp, are all kneeling and slumping on the floor, apparently overcome by their day’s traumatic experiences.

Mark notes that they destroyed Spectra’s base but that Zoltar and his men escaped, and will be back at some point. “He’s a glutton for punishment.”

“Hey,” says Jason, “we got our big contest winner back safely anyway.” This is perceived as a reference to Princess, even though Jason glances at the other girls when he says it.

She looks rather embarrassed.

“Stick to G-Force, tomorrow’s woman,” Keyop informs her sternly.

“Don’t you start needling me, or you’ll be yesterday’s Keyop,” she informs him, grabbing both sides of his face in her hands.

“Oh no,” says Keyop.

The Phoenix flies on, as Zark’s voice tells us that “we’re making plans to welcome Princess back to the G-Force team.”

“There’s going to be a big party,” enthuses Zark, now on his “oil break” bed, “And I’m invited.”

He decides he will chance wearing a paper party hat, even though robots look strange in them, and “Susan may be there,” he sighs.

1-Rover-1 yaps something.

Apparently he’s not invited to the party, as Zark instructs him to watch the monitors and contact him if anything comes up.

He yaps again –probably a form of “no fair!”

“I’ll bring you a nice tidbit from the party,” says Zark, “Maybe a knife or a fork to chew on. You’re in charge now.”

1-Rover-1 yaps happily at that.

The end.

This story archived at http://www.gatchfanfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=1215