"How are you doing?" asks Joe.
Despite the way his voice sounds, it turns out he's not trying to pick up girls. Or maybe he is, as he's talking to Jun. She tells him that she thinks there's something suspicious in the area.
Of course, Joe tries to claim Jun's idea. They're next to a tower, and the Condor declares that it seems 'suspicious'. They are in the remains of an old oilfield, but all of the oil has been depleted, so it's not running anymore.
Joe and Jun move to investigate the tower.
"Galactor has a taste for hiding its bases in places like this, don"t they?" Joe comments.
The two leap onto the tower, climbing up to the top.
Once they get there, they leap down to the bottom. There is a long tunnel, and Jun remarks that it looks like it was once filled with crude oil. Not surprising, since this is an old oilfield, after all!
But before our heroes can process this, a flood of water comes rushing at them from down the tunnel! Joe and Jun barely leap out of the way, clinging to the edge of the tower as the water rushes by. Jun remarks that it sure is a lot of water. Where could it come from?
Joe notices something even more interesting... there is a massive mecha insect in the middle of the water!
Jun calls the insect mecha a 'giant ant lion'. So that's what it is! I never would have guessed!
Faster than you can blink, the Science Ninja Team is all back together in the God Phoenix, flying over the desert.
They spot the ant lion coming out of the sand at the bottom of a large hole.
It dives back down into the sand, then sticks its butt out again, before spewing water into the hole. The mystery of the moving lake is solved!
Ken immediately understands everything that's going on.
But just in case you don't get it, the narrator explains. The monster ant lion siphoned all of the lake water from beneath. Then, in order to find the Red Sand, the ant lion sent the water to a new place in the desert, to create a new lake.
Ken immediately reports to Dr. Nambu.
Ken tells Dr. Nambu that they need to infiltrate Galactor's base and rescue the old man, because he's the only one who knows the secret of the Red Sand. Ken asks Nambu for 'special forces', and in an especially ballsy move, asks for permission in advance to use Bird Missiles in case of an emergency.
Perhaps trusting in Ken a little too much, Nambu gives his permission. Is this the permission the Science Ninja Team is acting under for the rest of the series?
A 'special forces' helicopter drops a massive strong of bombs into the old oilfield tower.
Jun explains to Jinpei that when they bombs blow up, they will make the entrance bigger for the God Phoenix. So... why not just use the bombs to destroy Galactor's base? Oh yeah, rescue the old man... got it.
The Earring-Bunny Captain is still whipping the elder. He is finally realizing that the old man won't talk, no matter what happens to him. The elder invites the Earring-Bunny Captain to kill him, as he will never reveal the secret of the Red Sand.
The Captain retorts that killing an old man isn't much fun. Instead, he's going to kill everyone in the village. He kicks the elder in the face to prove it.
"I'm quite cunning, if I do say so myself." the Earring-Bunny Captain says modestly.
The Captain wraps his whip around the elder's throat, threatening to send the ant lion to the village. The elder wants to know how the Earring-Bunny Captain can threaten the people of the village when they know nothing.
Finally, the elder talks. He says that the Red Sand is buried deep in underground tunnels. The Captain demands to know where.
"Where the Mountain of God casts its shadow on the night of the full moon!" the elder cries, as he is choked by the whip.
This makes no sense to me, but apparently it means something to Earring-Bunny Captain. He's excited.
But just as the Earring-Bunny Captain is preparing to move out, he is shocked to see the ceiling falling in on him!
"What's that?" he cries.
Why, it's the Science Ninja Team, of course! The bombs that were dropped inside of the oilfield tower are exploding!
The hole in the ground is now big enough for the God Phoenix to go directly down inside.
Once in the tunnels, the God Phoenix makes its way to a set of large metal doors at the end of the corridor. Ryu doesn't stop to knock, but simply plows the nose of the God Phoenix through the wall.
"It's Gatchaman!" announced Earring-Bunny Captain. "Where's the ant lion?"
The Team exclaims as they see the village elder on the floor.
The goons run off to the ant lion, while Ken and Joe exit the God Phoenix to rescue the village elder.
But before they can do so, the Earring-Bunny Captain shoots the old man, and he falls into Ken.
Suddenly, Jun and Jinpei are there too, as Ken asks the old man to hold on. Instead, the elder tells Ken about the Mountain of God.
Ken is clearly working hard to understand this cryptic message, as the man dies in his arms.
The God Phoenix gets out the same way it got in.
It seems that the full moon is tonight! We see the shadow of the Mountain of God reaching a specific spot on the desert sands. Underneath the ground, the Red Sand moves. The narrator tells us that in this subterranean cell, there is no escape for the Red Sand.
But there is now! The ant lion burrows up from underneath the Red Sand, and immediately begins pouring water on it, and then sucking up the resulting liquid.
"We've done it! We've got the Red Sand!" the Earring-Bunny Captain exclaims.
But even as the ant lion emerges from the sand (at the peak of the shadow of God’s Mountain) the God Phoenix appears on the scene.
The Science Ninja Team is ready for action!
Until they see the massive eruption of Red Sand caused by the ant lion mecha. Then they're scared. Or in Joe's case, miffed.
The Red Sand begins to spread across the desert.
"There's more red water than ever!" Ryu exclaims.
The goon at the controls of the ant lion spots the God Phoenix.
The Earring-Bunny Captain is really mad now!
He has the ant lion shoot laser beams at the God Phoenix. He's only forgotten one thing.
His mecha is sitting in the middle of a pile of explosive Red Sand.
"Bird Missile away!" Ken orders.
Unfortunately, Joe shoots the mecha, not the Red Sand. The mecha is undamaged.
"Good grief! That's one tough bug!" Ken exclaims.
"Here I come, damn monster scum!" Joe curses.
The God Phoenix comes around for another pass.
And still, the Bird Missile does nothing.
"At this rate, they'll take us down!" Jinpei whines. With what? The laser beams it's shooting at you that you've easily been avoiding?
"Last resort time!" Ken announces. He orders everyone to do the Science Ninja Technique: Firebird. Um... why aren't they just shooting the explosive Red Sand? Does it seem like this is the obvious solution?
They follow Ken's plan and go Firebird.
Clearly this is one stressful maneuver.
The Firebird passes just over the Red Sand lake. And as I thought, the lake/Red Sand catches on fire and starts to explode, engulfing the ant lion!
Sometime during this Firebird maneuver, Jinpei and Jun switched seats.
Joe looks like the Firebird made him nauseous.
The Team surveys the area.
Jinpei is excited that the Red Sand is all burned up.
But Jun thinks it's too bad, because it could have been useful to mankind. Joe just rants that if Galactor had their hands on that power, no matter how hard the Science Ninja Team tried to stop them, the Earth would belong to Galactor.
Ryu points out that in the end, it was the Red Sand that took out Galactor for them. They should be grateful to the sand.
Ken agrees. And oh yeah, they should be grateful to the 'old man who gave his life for the cause' too. If only he had actually had a name!
But since he doesn't, the Science Ninja Team flies home across the moonlit desert.
The End... or is it? Didn't Nambu have a sample of that Red Sand? He could make it multiply as much as he wants...
This episode was not used in BOTP.