LAP 22
Ryu & Falcon

The warp gate orbitting planet Earth is seeing its usual traffic of transport ships passing through. One such ship encounters some nasty turbulence, but it quickly subsides, chalking it up to the gravitational pull. What they don't know if the warp gate is damaged and sparking!
Director Tanaka has orders to send the Galaxy Mobile Platoon to the warp gate to investigate and fix it. Jody fears for the safety of her platoon, but F-Zero machines and their gravity drives are the safest option to access the warp gates' internals. If the warp gate fails, it might fall towards Earth; they're currently awaiting report from another team currently up there.

The first team have made their way to the warp gate, and have indeed seen the damage - this thing could fall apart at any moment! Unfortunately, the unstable gravity field crushes their machine to the size of a beach ball, killing the lot of them.

Lucy reports to the Platoon that the investigation "failed" (that's one way of putting it), so they're up next. Ryu's eager to take part, but Jack cracks wise about his age, saying an old relic like him would be no use to them; even Lucy's attempt at defending Ryu ends up insulting him. He storms out, and EAD scolds the two for being so inconsiderate.

Ryu cools down in the garage by spending some time with his Dragon Bird. Clash enters, and Ryu asks him about his machine - who made it, and where did it come from? The engine was handed down from the higher-ups, but it's otherwise a mystery. That resonates with Ryu - two lost souls whose histories are misunderstood.

The warp gate's state has worsened and all access has been closed off, causing protesting on the streets. While Jody takes EAD with her on a secet mission, Ryu chills at Falcon House and listens to Clank read the news reports predicting all the awful crap that's going to happen. He asks Ryu if he has any inside scoop on this - he's an F-Zero pilot and a police officer, after all! - but Ryu has nothing. He's just here to drink his coffee.

Suddenly, a tremor strikes Mute City, blacking out all the electronics; even the information panels in the sky. Clank presumes this is a side effect from the warp gate's gravity malfunctions. Ryu receives a call from headquarters: EAD has been gravely injured!

While Clash fixes up their robot partner, Dr. Stewart reveals Jody is partially responsible for his damage. The Platoon believe Jody doesn't trust them with the assignment, but in actuality, she did not want them involved for their own safety. You see, she, EAD and the doctor had been up in the warp gate trying to resolve the problem...

The three of them had planned to use the Sandwich Burst - the technique Miss Killer used a while back - to create radiant energy that would hopefully seal the Gravity Ring that's causing all this trouble. It would be risky, but being part-machine and EAD being a robot, she hoped it would be the least endangering option. Jody's White Cat led the way...

... while the Golden Fox and Great Star boosted side by side, awaiting her to loop around. The Sandwich burst generated energy more powerful than they could handle, causing EAD to spin out and crash in a fiery wreck, and Jody's machine to disappear through a warp hole!

The Platoon are shocked by this news, and what's worse, there's no predicting where she could have landed up! Lucy tries examining the White Cat's recorded data, hoping that'll give them some sort of clue... but the data she finds is unintelligible to humans. Only a computer engineer could comprehend it.
Meanwhile, Jody finds herself on an unknown planet and no communication with her allies. She begins exploring, hoping to find a landmark of some kind...

... and ends up discovering a whole fleet of docked Dark Million battle stations!

She's quickly noticed and attacked by the robot sentries, and she makes returning fire as she flees. Zoda watches this from his command centre and is most vexed; how did she find Dark Million's base of operations?!
Ryu calls upon Clank and brings him to the police station, taking him up to the highest floor, floor 179... and taking him even further, after presenting his ID to the elevator's security. Clank is confounded - then that means...

... this is the home base of the Galaxy Mobile Platoon, and Ryu has been a member of it this whole time! Clank is blown away; so this is why Ryu is so cool! He's taken to the central computer, and he has no trouble at all adapting to it. He's left to his work - he needs to analyse that data to pinpoint where Jody is, otherwise they're never going to find her again.

Speaking of Jody, she's got an entire crowd of robots and mechanical dogs hot on her trail. She narrowly avoids them by hiding in a river, but she can only keep this up for so long.
The Platoon board the Galaxy Runner and approach the warp gate, ready to have another shot at the Sandwich Burst.

Jack calls dibs on the middle and boosts ahead while Ryu and Lucy maintain their parallel boost energies. They pull it off without injury, and it looks like they got a result - the gate returned to its ordinary colour for a moment! However, it quickly turns back to a scalding red and resumes sparking. They need more power!

The three put more and more power into their boosts, but they keep getting the same ineffectual response. Their machines are eventually left burnt out with no result to show for it, but Ryu is desperate to continue - they can't give up now! They hear a sound, and a shape approaches from behind them...

It's the Blue Falcon! Captain Falcon beckons Ryu to follow after him, commanding him to disable his control system. Ryu complies, and finds a brand new HUD replacing his ordinary dashboard! This alone gives the Dragon Bird greater boosting power; pleased, Captain Falcon turns and boosts the other way. "Boost Fire!"

Jody is still fleeing from Zoda's forces, who wishes to capture her as a gift for Black Shadow. She eventually flees back to the White Cat but has no luck starting it... and finds herself cornered by an entire army of robots and hounds. She's in for it now.
Meanwhile, Clank has finally cracked it - he knows where she is!

As the Dragon Bird and Blue Falcon loop around, their machines clip, sending them into a hyper-powered spin state. On their second pass, the two machines clash into each other, rebounding clean off and producing a massive spark of energy - the Gravity Ring is being sealed!

This is just in time for Clank to enter the coordinates into the repaired warp gate, granting Jody a warp hole to take her back to inside the warp gate. The Platoon welcome their captain back with open arms, and she's pleased they sorted the problem without her...

... well, with a little help from Captain Falcon, who leaves without notice on his Falcon Flyer.
Back at headquarters, Lucy and Jack apologise for being so ageist towards Ryu, but that's all water off a duck's back by now. Clank passes by, informing them he's made some coffee in the break room -- wait a second, who let Clank hang around?!

Don't worry, he's not a squatter - Jody has made him an official member of the Galaxy Mobile Platoon, with his own key badge and everything. He's already proved useful to them, and is sure to be a great help in the future.
Ryu ponders about his co-operation with Captain Falcon and what he taught him... is there a connection between the Captain and his Dragon Bird...?

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: Burt explains what actually caused the warp gate incident this episode: "It was caused by changes in gravity within a black hole." Had our heroes not done anything, the whole galaxy would've been erased!

(click to enlarge)
A lot of the English text in this episode is ganked straight from a newspaper... including the information Lucy brings up while trying to track the White Cat: it's an article about Hokkaido University teaming up with UFJ Capital. "Only a computer enginer can decrpyt the information."