Saturday, December 30, 2017

Episode 30 : Halloween Soldiers, Assemble!

Skeleton General Skull Kaiser
(In Hell)

Skull Kaiser, formerly one of Samhain's greatest generals, stages a rebellion against impossible odds. The fate of countless worlds rests upon his ability to protect the Loss Queen and beat back her assailants. Along the way he is forced to fight old friends and make new allies...

Episode 30 : Halloween Soldiers, Assemble!

This episode opens with Samhain reviewing the remains of the destroyed Skeleton and Corpse armies along with their respective generals. He curses to himself before addressing all his remaining commanders assembled before him. He acknowledges that they have no information on Champagne's remaining forces. The only thing that's for certain is that they are still quite formidable. Still, Samhain has numbers on his side and it's time to make a push and storm the Loss Tower. He orders Nou Wire to lead the assault while Titan Foiler will take command of Gran Mal in Gear Binder's absence and set off for the Loss Tower as well. Titan Foiler orders Schatten Messer to take advantage of his shadow teleportation and retrieve as much information as possible. He looks disdainfully to Kali Dharma and Phantasma King telling them that they are with him. Kali Dharma bows her head in shame, Phantasma King shrugs. Samhain says that he must go and make preparations for transporting the Root Palace when all is ready; he gives the word and everybody salutes him.

We cut to an exterior view of Gran Mal and zoom in to an open dock that gives us a view of the wide engine room. Titan Foiler is giving orders to countless Machine soldiers to ready the Gran for departure. Once satisfied, he steps into a small Jump Station and transports himself to the bridge. Here, the lights are dimmed and Machine soldiers sit at Gran Mal's controls. Titan Foiler gives the order to move out and looks out the main window while we get an internal monologue of how he's very angry and bitter towards Skull Kaiser for causing so much trouble.

We cut to an exterior shot of Gran Mal as it begins its lurching march towards the Loss Tower. Our vantage point shifts just slightly to reveal a small blinking light accompanied by the whirring noise of a focusing camera lens. We zoom in closer to this and see that it's a small, robotic ant tracking Gran Mal's progress.

We cut to Skull Kaiser who's being greeted by a very pleasant man dressed in luxurious silk robes. He welcomes Skull Kaiser and introduces himself as Doubashira. He seems very cultured and somewhat effeminate. He explains to Skull Kaiser the significance of all the thousands of towering copper pillars he sees, that each pillar represents a destructive lust harbored by the one of the damned. He starts leading Skull Kaiser to his first test, to confront his lust and then move on to compete with Doubashira in combat. Doubashira explains that the combat is a mere formality and that this hell in general is nothing for Skull Kaiser to worry about in the grand scheme of things. As they walk on, Doubashira explains how this hell works: when the damned are in the presence of the their assigned pillar, that pillar takes on the likeness of whatever overpowering lust they suffered from while living. Those not strong enough to utilize their willpower are drawn to embrace the thing they cherished most, but they are burned to death by the scalding touch of the copper pillar which is kept at a constant 1000 degrees C. Doubashira stops and tells Skull Kaiser that he's reached his pillar. Skull Kaiser continues and stands before the pillar blocking it from our view. He simply stares for moment, then slowly removes his helmet. He continues to stare, heaves out a big sigh, then bows his head. After a while, he turns away, so that we never see what the pillar represented and Doubashira places a reassuring hand on his shoulder. This is the first time we see Skull Kaiser's face since he's been in Hell and his eyes are brimming as if he's on the verge of tears. Doubashira jokes good-naturedly with Skull Kaiser, saying that it was easy, right?

They walk together and Doubashira keeps talking the whole way, while we cut to where they end up. Now, they're on the top of a very large copper pillar (apparently, this one isn't hot) and Doubashira has just finished snapping his armor on (his attendants were providing it to him piece by piece). He looks like a wiry bronze and ivory cherub with sharp, angular joints and ragged taffeta wings. He puts on his mask (which IS the face of a cherub) and tells Skull Kaiser to defend himself and win for the sake of the Loss Queen.

To Be Continued...

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