Curriculum 05 (Combination)
Wonderful summary written by Dawn!
It's Zero's turn in the Cueval. Instead of seeing the simulation, Zero sees through it at first, seeing the data behind the simulation; Kizna prompts him on how to focus properly, and the artificial situation snaps into place around him. There are two Victim, and Kizna attempts to talk Zero through it, but their... interesting partnership doesn't make for a very coherent collaboration. Zero wants everything right now and thinks Kizna takes much too long; Kizna wants him to take it slowly and thinks Zero is much too impatient. But they manage to make it through for a while, Kizna just doing whatever Zero snaps at her and complaining about it afterwards. But as Zero engages the first Victim, crowing his victory before he even attacks it, Azuma reminds him that he's in space. Suddenly, Zero's null-gravity sickness kicks in with a vengeance, and he gains a sudden total vertigo (sick to his stomach) only barely getting out of the way before the Victim collides with him. Kizna calls Azuma out for his unnecessary words, but Azuma tells her that in order to become a Pilot, Zero will have to get over his null-grav sickness first.
Hiead leaves the chamber. Ikhny follows him hastily, advising him to watch the practices so he can learn from them. Hiead ignores her. She tells him then that at the beginning of the simulation she read an abnormal mind reaction on her screens, and it concerned her. Hiead reacts now, turning around and seizing her and slamming her against the wall violently. He tells her coldly that she should remain as his support, nothing more; she shouldn't bother to try and understand him. He leaves again while Ikhny slides down the wall, nerve-wracked and traumatized, and huddles in on herself.
Zero is very upset at the Victim for attacking him while he was sick. He succeeds in killing one, and the others cheer him on until he shouts that he's got nothing left to throw up anyway. The other Victim has gone ahead to "Zion", but they can still catch up with it. Zero refuses to waste time with the safe route that Kizna shows him, insisting that she just give him more speed and he'll go right through the asteroid field in his way. Kizna, fed up with getting ignored, tells him to do whatever he likes, but Azuma notices that in spite of her words, she sets the speed at only 80% to avoid the Pro-Ing overheating, letting Zero think she'd followed his instructions, but acting in his best interests anyway. He observes that this pair may work out after all...
Clay and Yamagi are impressed by how much Zero's enjoying the simulation, now that he's forgotten about his space sickness; Yamagi assumes that it's because it's only a game, a simulation, and there's no actual danger. But Clay thinks that Zero is working as though it were real, not thinking of it as a no-risk situation -- he'd be having fun even if it were a real battle.
Zero gets in range of the Victim, but decides against going the safe way and shooting it down. He thinks he can do better than that. He races up suddenly, dodging the Victim's attacks at an amazing speed, and his EX kicks in as he approaches the Victim, sending sparks from his headset as he cries that this will be the last blow--
And elsewhere, across GOA, Erts whips around in sudden alarm, shocked. With him is another Senior, Aracd, who asks him what's wrong. Erts responds that nothing is wrong, just that for a moment there, he felt somebody's strong emotions overwhelming him. He moves on, but not without looking back...
Kizna is glowing about Zero's perfect performance (he hadn't been wounded at all) as he leaves the Cueval feeling proud of himself. Yamagi elbows past him, muttering under his breath about not losing to him, and Zero reminds him cheerfully that he threw up in there. While Yamagi screams at him that he'd been trying to forget that, Kizna approaches and realizes to her horror that Zero's hair is standing on end -- EX reaction. She tackles him and forces him up against the wall, nearly smashing his face against her chest as she tries to hide his hair from view and muss it up so that it doesn't look quite so static-laced. As she draws back again, praying no one noticed, Zero comments quietly that her breasts are kinda big. Kizna stares at him for a few seconds, then screeches in outrage and flattens him. Zero whines about it for a few minutes, grumbling about how he doesn't understand girls. Azuma calls out to him and instructs him to get rid of his zero-gravity sickness... and his EX reactions. Kizna gets a bit miffed when she realizes he'd seen it, but then snaps to it and hauls Zero out of the room before he gets himself in trouble. She later explains to him about EX, and apologizes for kicking him, but admits that she'll probably do it again sometime. Zero is bewildered. Then she forces him into space training.
Ikhny watches as Kizna tries to wrestle Zero into a room with outside access. The boy is clinging to the door and screeching that he doesn't wanna go, but Kizna manages to kick him into the chamber. Ikhny proceeds along to her own partner, standing in a dark room by a window. He totally ignores her, but she has nowhere else to go -- this is the time when the Repairers are supposed to be coaching and improving their Candidates, so she has nothing else to do but be with him -- and sits down a bit away from him.
After a few minutes, Zero floats along, wiggling around frantically and trying not to be sick before he gets yanked back out of sight. Kizna is having a great deal of fun playing him like some sort of kite. She asks him why he has this null-grav sickness and he responds that in his opinion it's only natural, with nothingness all around him; Kizna assumes, for some reason, that this means that his heart is not content. Zero would agree to anything just as long as she got him down, but she refuses to do so unless he agrees to give up his dream of being a Pilot, which is really what it all amounts to. If he looks forward, he has nothing to be afraid of. Kizna draws him back down to the surface of the ship, and they talk for a while, about the experience. Zero said it was exciting, but "something was missing" compared to his experience with Eeva Leena.
On GIS, sirens go off. The Victim are approaching again, and it's time for the Goddesses to go out to battle. Rioroute greets the new Agui Keimeia, but at the same time, Teela is preparing herself for battle. She's in a dark room, reassuring Dr. Revord that she'll be alright, that she can still fight. She's been caressing his hand, but now she brings it up to her cheek and smiles, saying that he is the only one who remembers her as she truly is. But soon... she will be able to meet "him"...