4. The Heroine’s Melancholy

Akagi, Ibuki and Aoyama have just received some unpleasant news- Special Agent Shirota has been assigned as Dai-Guard’s tactical advisor. As per his new assignment, Shirota is currently in a meeting with the board of directors, who are listening to a report from the science department. Their studies of the Heterodyne have revealed that the creatures are formed from the energy released in dimensional quakes, triggered by tectonic activity. From these quakes the mysterious pink hexagons appear, which alter surrounding materials (such as water or earth), turning into the shell that forms the body of a Heterodyne. Unfortunately, that is all they have to report- there is no way to find out any more without capturing a live Heterodyne.

The directors are surprised that the science department seems to be so sure that there will be more Heterodyne, but they stand by their findings. Another Heterodyne will almost certainly appear within the next three days, and more can be expected over the coming month. Hearing this, the directors realise that the importance of further research, and decide that the next Heterodyne should indeed be captured. In the meantime, monsters are good for business- all the publicity that Dai-Guard is getting will help raise the company profile no end.

Back at the PR Division 2 office, Tanigawa has just heard some interesting news; apparently Shirota is planning to hand control of Dai-Guard over to a new Dai-Guard Enterprise Division, complete with trained army pros to pilot the robot. Having graduated from the National Defence University, Akagi might stand a chance of staying on, but Ibuki and Aoyama wouldn’t be so lucky. Not that Aoyama cares- being replaced would be an end to his problems- but Ibuki feels differently. She isn’t ready to give up Dai-Guard for anyone.

Just as predicted, another dimensional quake soon occurs, and from it a single pink hexagon falls to the ground. As it begins to rotate and multiply into a ring, the earth is whipped up all around it, forming the body of another Heterodyne.

Back home, Ibuki is listening with reluctance to her stepfather. He wants her to quit, claiming that working with Dai-Guard is too dangerous. A cynical Ibuki is sure that he is concerned with more than her safety- any bad press Dai-Guard gets might reflect badly on him and endanger his chances of becoming university president. In the end, he cannot deny this- in his eyes, Dai-Guard and its pilots are little more than the clowns of the press.

Later that night, Ibuki dreams of her biological father- but the pleasant dream soon turns to a nightmare as she recalls his death. Awakened by a phone call, it soon seems that things in the waking world aren’t much better- the next Heterodyne has been sighted.

Shaped like a giant sphere, the Heterodyne is a rolling ball of destruction that has so far squashed everything in its way. Still, as Shirota informs Dai-Guard’s pilots, the orders are not to destroy it, but to capture it. The army will use high vibration land mines to hold the Heterodyne in place, whilst Dai-Guard captures it using the latest arm attachment- the Net Cannon.

At first, it looks like all is going well. The army’s mine trap stops the Heterodyne, and Dai-Guard marches in to do its bit. Unfortunately, all the earth churned up by the Heterodyne is soon added to the creature’s mass, turning into an even larger ball that rolls out of the trap and right into Dai-Guard.

As the Heterodyne rolls away, Akagi aims the Net Cannon, but when he tries to fire, nothing happens. The impact with the Heterodyne must have damaged the Net Cannon, and without it, there can be no capture. As per Shirota’s orders, the team changes tactics- they will use the vibration mines to disrupt the earth that forms the Heterodyne’s body, and thus destroy it.

Picking up a mine, Akagi tosses it at the Heterodyne, but it bounces off harmlessly. As Akagi prepares to throw another mine, Shirota offers some advice- they should aim for the axis of rotation. Unfortunately, the Heterodyne is rotating too erratically, so Akagi decides to run after it instead. With Aoyama cranking the power up to full, Dai-Guard manages to run in front of the Heterodyne, stop it, and try to drive the mine into its body. Even this plan fails, however; the Heterodyne continues to rotate on the spot, making it impossible to implant the mine.

Pushing Dai-Guard out of the way once more, the Heterodyne rolls on towards the nearby city. With no power left, Dai-Guard is unable to follow, until Chief Oosugi and the team arrive to refuel the robot. Even with power restored, however, Dai-Guard is in pretty bad shape structurally- and worse yet, the Heterodyne is rolling right back towards them.

Shirota orders the team to retreat, but Ibuki refuses to go- she is determined to prove that they are more than the ‘clowns’ her stepfather thinks they are. Ordering Akagi to aim the Net Cannon, Ibuki climbs out onto Dai-Guard’s arm and accesses the manual firing controls. The moving target proves a little hard to get a lock on, but Akagi eventually manages it, and Ibuki fires.

The net cannon successfully immobilises the Heterodyne, but Ibuki is nowhere to be seen. Fortunately, she has gone no further than Dai-Guard’s shoulder, and with her located, it is time to finish the battle. Grabbing the vibration mine once again, Dai-Guard heads over to the Heterodyne, and this time pushing the mine into it is easy. As the mine goes off, the Heterodyne’s body loses cohesion, returning to dust, strewn with a handful of the pink hexagons.

Dai-Guard has saved the day once again, and there is yet more good news for PR Division 2; Shirota never requested a new Dai-Guard Enterprise Division- it was all just a rumour. In fact, he was so impressed by Ibuki’s performance that he is happy for Akagi, Ibuki and Aoyama to continue piloting- although, as Chief Oosugi reminds them, they still have their regular office duties as well…