Curriculum 02 (Ex)
Wonderful summary written by Dawn!
Resumes where the last episode left off. The Victim are attacking, GIS launches the Ingrids, and the Repairers are on the bay narrating status and activity. Gareas is feeling somewhat off his feet, unable to make Eeva Leena move properly and feeling something is wrong with her, and he wanders if it's because of "that Candidate".
Azuma is taking the Candidates to a safe place for the duration of the attack. Clay asks about Zero, and Azuma tells him that Zero is already where he's taking them. Hiead also refuses to go in immediately, but for a totally different reason -- he asks Azuma to let him fight with the Candidates that are heading out to battle. Azuma tells him that he likes that attitude, but that he ought to keep a rein on it until he's sure it won't get him killed, and shoves him rudely into the room after Clay.
Elsewhere in GOA, the Pro-Ings are getting ready to launch. The first five go down the roll-call, but the fifth one doesn't answer immediately. After repeated calls, Erts Virny Cocteau raises his head and thinks unhappily that he doesn't want to have to fight...
Clay and Hiead continue stumbling down the hallway, but on their way to the doctor's ward where Azuma's sending them, they're passed by attendants wheeling a man on a stretcher, the man having lost his leg in the latest explosion. They find the man again when they reach the emergency ward, and Dr. Rill Crowford decides that the best path is to amputate and just replace the whole leg later on. She recruits Clay and Hiead, against their will, to hold the man down -- they don't have time to wait for the anesthesia to kick in, and this will hurt.
After the operation, Hiead and Clay are both very nearly physically ill; a nurse sends them to recuperate in a more quiet region of the emergency room. Clay spots Zero, lying on a bed unconscious, hooked up to varying machines; Dr. Rill reports that he's in a coma, with no injuries other than a small bruise that he must've got on exiting the cockpit. They'll just have to wait for him to wake up.
Once again inside Zero's mind, he's still dreaming of the grassy hill and the sun-dappled shade and the refreshing breeze, and the girl is leaning over him, telling him to find her, one more time...
Zero wakes up, demanding that the woman come back. After a slight incident wherein Dr. Rill assumes that he was demeaning her femininity, Zero recovers from his displacement by retracing his steps out loud -- after getting out of the sanitary ward he wound up in a strange place, and then inside an Ingrid and met a girl... At this point Hiead loses control and snatches at him, demanding to know if he really was inside a Goddess.
Once again elsewhere in GOA, the lights are flickering on and off as a group of girls get a lecture from a female Instructor. She warns them that if they're going to cry, they should cry now -- and then never again. From this day forward they will be battling as Repairer Candidates, fighting just as surely as the boys, and they have to be strong. The girls, one and all, assure her that they won't cry, but one girl in particular, Kizna Towyrk, comments that that's not quite right, that "that child" is afraid too. The Instructor evacuates them from that area of the ship, which has been hit; as the girls file away, one in the back -- Ikhny Allecto -- notices that Kizna has gone missing.
Hiead is still shouting at Zero, who refuses to answer him. Zero demands for Hiead to let him go, and when Hiead doesn't do so, he kicks him away violently. Rill warns them to go outside if they're going to insist on fighting in this state of emergency. It's then that Zero realizes that there's a battle, which means that the Goddesses will be fighting. Totally forgetting about Hiead, he races outside to get a good look at the fight. Hiead follows him and sucker-punches the unsuspecting boy in the doorway.
Here we briefly return to Erts; his Pro-Ing is being launched into space. He stands there, unmoving and vaguely depressed, as the orders are given out. And when he finally looks up, it's only to hope that the Victim don't come so that he doesn't have to fight...
Hiead and Zero are glaring at each other from across the room, Hiead still demanding to know if Zero got into a Goddess, and Zero refusing to tell him on the simple principle that he thinks Hiead's got a bad attitude. He decides to beat the crap out of him instead. The two boys start their brawl once again as Azuma and Clay enter the room; Zero gets hit and goes flying back into Clay. Azuma warns him that fighting is prohibited in GOA. Zero acknowledges this, but continues anyway. Azuma allows it, and when Rill enters he tells her to watch and see something interesting -- as Zero uses his EX.
But this time Hiead is prepared... He braces himself and catches Zero's fist in his hand. While Zero is stunned, Hiead tells him that their power is the same, and that only one with their power can truly "become" Goddess Pilots. But only one of them -- Hiead, or Zero.
And again elsewhere. Kizna is singing to a Pro-Ing numbered "88", but an explosion in the distance cuts her off. She begins talking to it, telling it her hopes and expectations for the Candidate who'll be their partner.
In the distance, where the explosion had taken place, Erts has gained life as the battle raged onwards; he's standing upright and has ammunition to his bearing while he maneuvers around the battlefield. Some of the Candidates are unable to escape the path of the Victim's blast, and he cries that he won't allow anyone to die, performing a difficult maneuver to save them. He gets praised by his superiors and instructed to lead the retreat, which he does with a strength that he didn't possess in his first appearances.
The Pilots are nearing the end of their battle; they set a trap for the Victim, Gareas and Yu attacking simultaneously, but Garu is only the decoy, allowing Yu to deal the critical blow. Teela prepares for the last strike...
Erts pauses in mid-retreat to look back over his shoulder, at the remnants of the battle, at Zion, and wonders how they can really fight... Apparently, Teela agrees with him. As she finishes the Victim off, she wonders if they're really doing the right thing...