Episode 5: Mark of the Brothers

Was it all a dream? Or was it an illusion? Allen's fortress got trashed by the invisible giants just as I predicted it would. We managed to escape from the giants using Allen's airship, but only after Van had transformed Escaflowne into a dragon and used it to lure them away from us.

Hitomi: Now they're trying to catch him. And it looks like they're going to succeed.

Dilandau: Be vewwy vewwy quiet. We're hunting dwagons. Heheheheheheh.

Van: Dammit! Turbulence! Gee. It sure would have been nice if the genuises who had designed this contraption had thought to pack a barf bag on it somewhere. Especially with all the throwing up I've been doing lately.

Dilandau: *SHOOTS* Aww.... Are we playing too roughly with you?

Van: Screw this. Time to take this baby out of Valkyrie mode and land. *SKID*

Dilandau: Ha-ha! You can't see us but we can see you! *SLAM* So, you led us away in order to save your friends, eh? You got spunk.... I HATE SPUNK!!!!!



Escaflowne: *THUD*

Dilandau: Whoops.

Folken: A-HEM, I kind of wanted him alive...

Dilandau: Lighten up, boss! I wasn't doin' nothin' wrong! I was just showing him this new game I learned! (It's called, "Is there a God?")

Goats: Baaaaa!

Kio: Uh-oh. Looks like Van screwed the pooch. Big time. There's flames all over the place. No sign of Escaflowne, though.

Merle: You don't think Lord Van bit the dust?...

Allen: Naw, since they need him to pilot Escaflowne. I guess, since we're the only OTHER main characters, that it'll be up to US to go save him. How many are we, Gadeth?

Gadeth: Seven. Not counting Miss Doom 'n' Gloom, Old Man Mole, and the Comic Relief Catgirl.

Allen: Seven of us against an entire Floating Fortress. It's a good thing THIS IS ANIME™ otherwise I'd say those were pretty bad odds. As it is, our biggest problem won't be fighting the enemy, but in trying to figure out where they are.

Hitomi: Um, I think I could be of help in this area...

Allen: Well, I'll admit you DO have some skill as a psychic but, when it all comes down to it, you're a GIRL. What could YOU possibly do?

Hitomi: Well, Mr. Chauvinist, why don't you test me and find out?

Dilandau: Enough with the subtlety, Folken. Let's just find and kill all those Asturian meddlers, destroy Escaflowne, and be done with it.

Folken: No. We must study Escaflowne. We must find out why it's a danger to our plans. I'll just open the hatch here and--

Escaflowne: FWIP. *EJECT*


Dilandau: Hey! He looks familiar!

Folken: He's the new king of the Smoking Hole in the Ground Formerly Known as Fanelia.

Teo: Hiding out under cliffs from enemy guymelefs... Patching up ripped sails while suspended over thousand-foot-deep chasms... This ain't what I thought I'd be doing when I joined the Asturian army. "Be All You Can Be" my ass!

Paile: So... this "Tarot" thingie is gonna help us learn all about the boss' mysterious past?

Kio: You mean the past he never likes to talk about?

Reeden: Hey, you two! Wouldya quit dropping plot points and just listen already?

Hitomi: I've just drawn the Fool Card. It represents your father's personality....Selfishness...Eccentricity...Separation... His actions resulted in your family breaking up. Hunh. Sounds like he might be a Hollywood celebrity...

Allen: Innnnnnteresting. Continue.

Hitomi: Here's the Judgement Card. You may meet your father again at some point, but you'll still be mad for what he did to you when you were young and the two of you may fight. Gee, Allen. Your life sounds just like the plot of "A Boy Named Sue." (Not that I'd know that THAT is, being Japanese and all...)

Allen: Thanks. You've said enough. Gadeth, bring out the map.

Hitomi: Uh, did I do okay? Were all those things I said about you true?

Allen: Yes. Except you left out the part where I'm a colossal sex machine who's irresistible to women. But no matter. I'm convinced of your powers. Let's find Van now.

Lamp: *Flicker*

Van: Unhhh. An unfamiliar ceiling... Uh, there's some guy in the corner wearing a vampire cape and whistling a Sergio Leone tune.. No wait.... It's a Fanelian Folk Song! How did Mr. Creepy over there come to know it?

Folken: Ah, Sleeping Bishy is finally awake.

Van: Who are you? And how come you know that Fanelian folk song?

Folken: Dot dot dot...

Van: Oh, the silent type, eh? Looks like I'll need to use a little persuasion on you! Fortunately for me, you were stupid enough to leave my sword within Lunging Range. b Give me Liberty or give me Death!

Folken: How about I just give you Disarmament? *SWING* *DISARM* *CLATTER* You shouldn't be so quick to throw your life away.

Van: Feh! Not another stupid lecture! Just who the hell do you think you are anyway, my Dad?

Folken: No. Your brother.

Van: ORO??!!! Wow. Things have certainly taken a Dickensian turn around here...

Gadeth: Soooo...how's her swinging a tchotchke over a map gonna help us find that Van kid?

Merle: Stifle.

Moleman: K Cera, Cera.

Folken: So... long time no see, Van. Whatcha been doin' with yourself these past ten years?

Van: You... They told me you were dragon food! But here you are working for Zaibach, the same bastards who fried our kingdom! Words cannot express my disappointment at your not being horribly torn apart and eaten ten years ago!

Folken: It's nice to see you, too. Come with me. I will take you to meet the Emperor. Together we will rule the universe as uh... brother and brother! VAN! IT IS YOUR DEST-IN-Y. *heavy Darth Vader breathing*

Van: What's the matter? You sound like you got asthma or something.

Folken: No! I was just doing an imitation of Darth Vader. You know. The Star Wars character I keep ripping off--er, I mean--paying homage to...... Oh, go back to sleep. *PRICK*

Van: Okay, Edward Needlehands... *THUD*

Hitomi: Ooh! I see him! He's there! *Point*

Allen: That's where the Wandering Continents gather. Wandering Continents being just bigger versions of the Floating Rocks which keep this ship afloat... Yes, I said floating rocks. Stop snickering.

Dilandau: Hunh. So how is it that this old hunk of junk can threaten our ideal future? Wait. It's talking to me. What was that you said, Mr. Escaflowne? Open me and peek inside? Well..since Mr. Busybody's not around, I guess it wouldn't hurt....

Paile: Thar she blows!

Allen: It's the Floating Fortress! Dive! Dive!

Dilandau: YAAAAAHHHH!!!!!! I was wrong! It DOES hurt!!! *explode*

Crusade: Whoopsie. *CRASH*

Folken: WTF??!!

Zaibach Soldier: Sir! We're picking up the outline of a..... Winnebago.

Allen: Weigh the anchor! Okay boys, we've latched on! Let's roll!

Allen's Men: Arrr! Avast ye! Shiver me timbers! Let's get them scurvy scalawags! *fighting and random pirate noises*

Van: The fuck is going on out there? Sounds like a hockey game's broken out somewhere...

Allen's Men: Coooome, frieeeends, who plough the seeeeea,
Truce to navigation;
Take another station;

Moleman: Let's vaaaaaary pirac-eeeeeee
With a little burg-lar-eeeee!!

Gatti: Um. So where's Master Dilandau? He'll, like, slap us and stuff if we try to move without his orders, so maybe we ought to split up and find him.

Allen: *CLANG* *SWIPE* *ASSKICK* Ha! Four enemies at once! Spike Spiegel, eat your heart out!

Shester: Oh boy! It's one of the intruders! Boy, won't Master Dilandau be pleased when he sees that I've--


Shester: --been taken prisoner in the stupidest way possible.

Allen: Okay, Canary-Boy! Start singin'!

Hitomi: Allen...*Sigh*... Gee, I seem to have forgotten all about that Van kid, haven't I?....

Van: True, but hey! This vision of my horrible impending death ought to push me back into the front of your mind!

Hitomi: Oh no! If I don't act fast, Van'll be toast. Again.

Merle: Hey! Where are YOU going?

Van: Someone's coming. The door's opening!

Shester: Hi.

Van: Aren't you a little short for an Imperial Stormtrooper?

Shester: I don't have to answer that. *KLONK* Unh.... *THUD*

Allen: Hi Van! Nice to see you still haven't kicked the oxygen habit! Let's blow this joint!

Hitomi: Hmm. The gap between the Crusade and the Floating Fortress is about six meters.... My best long jump is about 5.7 meters... Oh well. I sure hope gravity on this planet is less than it is back on Earth, otherwise this long jump is going to be long in the direction I don't intend it to be in.

Merle: What are you doing? You can't jump! What are you? CRAZY?

Hitomi: Uh-huh. Crazy like a fox! A flying fox! *LEAP* *SOAR* *LAND* Oof! Hey, I didn't die. Cool. Now to go rescue Van.

Allen: Here, Van. I'll take care of all the enemy cannon fodder in this section. You go get Escaflowne. It's in the hangar down the hall.

Hitomi: Oh there's Van! But who's that creepy guy in the cape yelling down to him?

Folken: Geez, Van. You're the same as ever. Always leaving your toys lying around the house. Here. *toss* Gotta go now.

Hitomi: So Van's brother is a mullet-wearing vampire? This planet just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Wait...Wasn't there supposed to be something I risked my life to run all this way over here to do?

Dilandau: Heh heh heh. It's T-Shirt Boy... And his unsuspecting ass is mine!

Hitomi: Oh, riiiight. Prevent Van's impending murder. Uh, Hey, Van! You might wanna have a look behind you!

Van: What the-? Not YOU again! Lucky for me I got a sword now...

Dilandau: *SWING* *CLASH* I HATE you, you know that? I HATE HATE HATE HATE you! I hate your fuggin' guts! I hate every single stinking, stupid, heroic INCH of you! In fact, there's not a single thing you could ever do which would make me hate you more than I do RIGHT NOW!!!



Van: Uhhh. Hitomi, we'd better hurry and go. Whitey here looks like he's about to a'splode. Gotta remember to pick up Alice before we leave the ship, though. (Sorry. I meant to say "Allen".... It's the hair... AND the puffy sleeves...)

Allen: Okay everyone! We all made it back safe and sound! Job well done! Let's take off!

Gadeth: Take off, hosers!

Dilandau: Grrrr. How dare they? My beautiful face....Gee. When I became a soldier they didn't tell me I was, you know, gonna get hurt and stuff. *sniffle*

Zaibach Soldiers: The enemy craft is escaping! And our engines are fucked up so we can't stop it.

Folken: Van... You will stand beside me one day... It is your DES-TI-NY!!! *Darth Vader Breathing Sounds* *coff* *coff* haaaack.....Okay. Maybe I DO have asthma....

Merle: Lord Van! It's so nice to have you back in Glomping Range once again. *MEGA-GLOMP*

Van: Thanks. I was supposed to save you but you wound up saving me. It's a switcheroo!

Allen: You have Hitomi to thank. Her visions helped us find you and helped keep this little impromptu mission of ours from becoming another Bay of Pigs.

Van: Izzat so? ....................Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaw I don't feel like being nice to her yet.

Hitomi: Fine. Next time I see a hideous vision of your impending bloody death, you can get your OWN ass out of the sling.

Allen: Mr. Gadeth, set a course for Palas, the capitol of Asturia! Warp Factor One! And............................engage!

Hitomi: Hey, wait a minute! We're just flying off into the sunset! No cliffhanger this time?

Van: No, just heaping piles of me looking at my sword with a grimly thoughtful, bishy expression of resolute determination. Isn't that enough for you?

Kawamori Shouji: No, I'm not slippin' folks! I just thought I'd fill you all with a false sense of security for maximum impact later on in the story when I start dropping the real crushers on you. Being an evil anime director is fun! *Kefka laugh*

On to Episode 6: The Capitol of Intrigue