The battle begins in full force as McGillis corals his forces and Orga gloriously shouts his men into the fray. Rustal focuses his forces on McGillis while he sends Julieta to fight Tekkadan, and the Barbatos specifically. His power clashes with her raw tenacity in a ferocious but even dogfight, though it doesn’t stop them from landing a direct hit on the Hotarubi.
Then, miraculously, Rustal’s forces launch a retreat signal just as Isurugi arrives with back up. His troops get their second wind, but one soldier gets a little too trigger happy and fires off an illegal weapon. The Dainsleif, the same weapon that killed the Turbines. Seems Rustal managed to get a mole into McGillis’ people to fire off one of them and make it appear as if he was breaking regulations in this sanctioned battlefield. While this might hurt McGillis’ credibility down the road, what matters now is that Rustal has full authority to use all of the weapons he has to wipe them out. So, by simply sacrificing a few of his men and putting on an act, he’s gained the justification to turn the tide. With that move, he takes out over half of McGillis’ Revolutionary Fleet, including Liza, and prepares the second shot to finish them.
The next shot severely damages the Flauros and the knocks out the Hotarubi’s weapon’s control but doesn’t touch the Outer Earth Regulatory Joint Fleet. Rustal reasons that, despite them being in play now, they’re the same as the other Seven Star members waiting for the outcome of this fight. As such, once Rustal removes McGillis, they’ll be his to command, just like everything else.
Yamagi goes to see Shino, who’s still reeling from his broken arm, but asks him to bring “that thing he asked for.” Yamagi objects, but Shino begs him to bring it so he can keep fighting. The Hotarubi’s finished, but it can still be used as a remote shield to protect them for one final shot. They’ll use the Flauros’ makeshift Dainsleif to land a hit on Rustal’s main ship, but it’ll only have one shot. Shino tells Yamagi they’ll go out drinking once he’s finished…which is basically the same as saying he’s two weeks from retirement, but it’s the closest the group is to their goal, so they have to try everything.
Orga rallies his men with their courage, McGillis rallies his with Bael, but Gaelio returns in his upgraded Kimaris Gundam to finally finish the job. Isurugi arrives to buy time, though Gaelio tells them he’s just a pawn. Isurugi doesn’t care as long as the world McGillis wants is forged, even with his own death. Just then, the next Dainsleif round fires, destroying even more of his remaining forces, but doesn’t account for the remotely controlled Hotarubi flying in. Bemused, the forces close in on Tekkadan, even while Shino and Yamagi have one last tender moment (which probably would’ve ended with a kiss if not for the helmets).
The Ryusei-Go launches to prepare the shot while the other forces engage. McGillis returns to save Isurugi and face Gaelio (well that was a cul-de-sac), Mika faces Julieta, and Eugene launches the Hotarubi to block the Dainsleifs, allowing Shino to take his shot. Everything is set up perfectly…until Julieta throws off the shot. It misses by inches.
In a roar of rage, Shino blasts towards the ship and is blown to pieces, leaving nothing but wreckage and blood.
I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying!
Oh god, this was an emotional roller coaster. Everything up to eleven from beginning to end, climaxing with the death of another main supporting character AND the destruction of a Gundam Frame we didn’t get THAT long ago! Rustal’s underhandedness and forethought continue to show how formidable an opponent he is both on and off the battlefield, but it was worth it to see him sweat for even a second.
Still, this HAS to be the last Tekkadan member we see die, right?