This and all following chapters are based on and influenced by
" A Critical Moment for the Science Ninja Team"
1972 Tatsunoko Productions
My heartfelt gratitude and respect goes to all of the people who were involved in the creation and execution of Gatchaman. Without their extraordinary imagination anime, animation and story telling would be far less enriched.
Please enjoy and comment.
Jinpei ,always the showman, decided to fake a heart attack at the table. While Nambu normally frowned upon such childish acts, something in the performance put a death grip on his funny bone.
The doctor went from a smile to laughter quicker than the team could get into Birdstyle.
The only one not amused was Ken. He was drilling Jinepi with his eyes. Nambu's laughter only made things worst.
Ken thought the best course of action was to quietly withdraw the tip. Ken's hand had only closed half the distance to the cash before it had disappeared off the table. The doctor had it and was giving it to Jun. Ken had to occasionally remind himself that Nambu was faster than any of them. When he wanted to be. The doctor signed the receipt and composed himself.
"Honestly, You kids are going to be the death of me." Nambu said with a smile.
They all walked out of the restaurant and said their goodbyes.
"Remember. 8am sharp for practice." Nambu reminded them.
A chorus of "Roger" answer him.
Joe pulled up to his trailer and took a good look around. No one was around but Mother Nature. After securing his Skyline for the night, Joe entered the trailer and quickly started opening windows. He wanted to remove any hot, stuffy air. Joe's home cooled as he took a nice long shower. He finished preparing himself as he closed the windows and shades. It was wonderful just him and his bed.
Joe did not care that it was only 9pm. He had planned this night for a week. He needed a good nights sleep and he was going to get one. He drifted off to sleep listening to the sound of crickets.
2:55am Gallactor base:
Berg Katse sat in the control room drinking tea and waiting for his newest Commander to report in. Katse really thought their latest mecha was ingenious. Even Sosai thought it had merit. A mole tank that attacked from underground.
It's ascension from the earth was enough to cause panic and destruction. The mole tank's biggest asset was the fact that it could escape underground. Neither the God Phoenix or the Firebird could follow it.
"Lord Berg Katse" crackled over the com link. Katse had learned to hide the excitement in his voice when speaking to his Commanders. It did not mean that he did not feel a rush of adrenaline at the beginning of a mission. Especially, when something advantageous might come from it.
Katse cut the com link and switched the viewer to Utoland 6. The station was always the first to report Gallactor activity. Katse did not have to wait long.
3:22am ISO Headquarters
Dr. Nambu was reading the initial security force report.
Giant mole tank...came from UNDER ( that was disturbing) the subway system...rampaging through downtown...
Nambu wouldn't have to wake the entire team up. Thankfully, Ken was out on late night patrol.
"Let Ken get grumbled at." Nambu thought.
The entire team had been trained to respond to their bracelets even from a deep sleep.
3:25am Gallactor base
Katse and everyone in the control room watched as the Special Report banner interrupted the late, late movie. Katse was very pleased with the sweeping shots of total destruction in the center of Utoland. Robert Kim, channel 6's star reporter, prattled on about eyewitness reports and live interviews as the mole tank rampaged in the background. Katse, feeling a bit giddy, addressed the viewer.
" Mr. Kim, I will be heartbroken if you don't thank Gallactor for that Emmy you will receive because of us."
The men in the control room loved that one. Katse smiled.
"Oh, what a beautiful morning..." rang though Katse's head.
3:30am ISO Headquarters
Dr. Nambu's viewer was filled with Gatchaman's slightly annoyed face.
"Hakase, I can't get Joe to respond."
"Where are you?"
"I'll be with the God Phoenix in 5 minutes. Jun and Jinpei will be there about the same time."
"Don't worry about Joe. I'll get him. Ryu did you get the report I sent?"
A very sleepy Owl answered: " Yes, Hakase. A mole tank? What is Gallactor doing? Haphazardly working it's way through the animal kingdom?"
( And thus was born the running bet around ISO. Which animal would Katse come up with next?)
"I wish I knew Ryu. Please inform me when you make contact with it."
Nambu switched off the viewer and activated his com link. It was 3:30 in the morning. He decided to do this gently.
" G-2. Come in."
Nambu waited 30 seconds
3:32 am Joe's trailer
Joe was burrowed into the sheets. Joe kept his bracelet on 99% of the time. So when Nambu was calling to him the sound was very muffled by the pillow that was over it.
"Joe please wake up."
Nambu was about to get loud when, very quietly,Joe answered.
Nambu was stunned. Joe hadn't called him that in years. As good as it felt, he knew that it was mostly Joe sleep talking.
"Condor. You have a very impatient mole tank waiting for you downtown."
Joe flew out of bed and started getting dressed.
" Sumimasen, Hakase."
"Ok, just get going. The team will be waiting for you downtown."
"Gatchaman, Joe is on his way."
"Thank you, Hakase"
Nambu was smiling at least till he got the latest report.
Joe was out the door in 3 minutes. Ken was going to be miffed. Joe knew that Hakase was waking him up because Ken couldn't. Not a good way to start a mission.