LAP 43

As Miss Killer sleeps in her containment pod, Zoda spots an opportunity for mischief-making. He places his hand upon her chamber door as energy from his Reactor Might floods into her mind...

... allowing her to finally remember that fateful confrontation with Zoda, one hundred and fifty years ago.

At Platoon HQ, Jody informs the crew just because Black Shadow snuffed it doesn't mean Dark Million are giving up. They're going to carry on as usual, perhaps even more unpredictable than before due to power struggles. Before she leaves, she has one more announcement to make: Ryu will not be participating in the next race. The crew are shocked, Ryu especially, though Dr. Stewart claims she's just looking out for his wellbeing.

Screw wellbeing, Ryu wants answers! He catches up to Jody in the hallway and she explains that his troublesome relationship with Miss Killer is endangering the group. Ryu's gungho to race knowing she'll be taking part, but Jody challenges him: if she ordered him to fight her, what would he do? If Miss Killer really was Haruka Misaki, what would he do? With some reluctance, Ryu finally answers he would treat her as an enemy. That's what she wants to hear.

Zoda raises an assembly of Dark Million's ranks, claiming a spy among them was responsible for Black Shadow's untimely death. And that spy is Miss Killer-- or should he say, Haruka Misaki! She calls out his lies, statings he's been serving Black Shadow since the day she was born, though the crowd aren't willing to trust her.

He mentions she even vowed to avenge Ryu when the two first met, suggesting the two may be co-operating behind the scenes. If that's how he's playing, there's only one way Miss Killer can prove her loyalty: to kill Ryu Suzaku! Zoda believes she won't have the guts for it.

As the racers line up for the next event, Ryu and Miss Killer stare each other down; Jody orders the Platoon to watch over those two. The race starts and the two exit the starting grid side-by-side; Ryu wishes to reason with her, but the murderous mistress starts banging his machine. The chance for diplomacy has failed. Zoda teases her as he watches from his space station; she's gotta try harder than that to impress him!

The Dark Million lackeys keep an eye on Miss Killer while Jody gets between the Moon Shadow and Dragon Bird, only to have her thrusters bashed. Lucy and Jack arrive to bail their captain out, but Miss Killer and Ryu are both sick of their intrusions: this is their fight!

The two finally fly off the course and onto the plains below, Ryu chasing Miss Killer across narrow mountain paths. Her machine finally comes to a stop at a small ledge, and Ryu disembarks from his machine to see her face to face... only to find her cockpit is empty!

Ryu narrowly dodges an aerial attack from her and tries to get her to stand down, but she's in no mood to comply. It's his fault her reputation is ruined and everyone mistakes her for Haruka! He tries one last time to assure her of who she really is, but she viciously denies it and raises her knife to his neck.

He breaks free of her hold just as a Dark Million battle station passes overhead. The Platoon finally catch up to Ryu's position, but by the time they arrive both machines are gone, and they can do naught but watch as the battle station flies away.

Aboard Dark Million's base of operations, Ryu is brought before Zoda as a captive and comments "you seem even crankier after killing Black Shadow." Miss Killer tries to use his word to prove Zoda is the real traitor, but the big lug presses his head against hers and tries to fill her head with old memories of Haruka again.

Miss Killer appears unfazed, however, and begins laying into Ryu with punches, kicks and stomps. All throughout the beating he tries to convince her of who she really is, but that only enrages her, beating him to such an extent that even Zoda is shocked. Beaten and bruised, Ryu is taken to a holding cell while Zoda commends her violent ways... but she'll need more than that to prove she isn't Haruka Misaki.

Miss Killer exits the throne room... and while she's alone in the hallway, a single tear rolls down her cheek. She enters her room and sobs - she knows who she really is now. She isn't Black Shadow's eternal servant. She is Haruka Misaki... and she loves Ryu Suzaku.

The Platoon are scouring deep space in the Galaxy Runner for any hint to Ryu's whereabouts, but the trail only takes them so far. Jody fears she's responsible for this; if she had barred Ryu from racing like she wanted then he would never have gotten captured. Clash and Stewart tell her not to blame herself; Ryu would have bumbled into this scenario without anyone's help.

Ryu receives a visitor in his holding cell: Miss Killer. She comes to find a changed man in her presence; he no longer believes her to be his dear Haruka, and instead sees her as a monster. She's shocked by this, but quickly resumes her villainous persona to taunt him: he's willing to insult his captor when he's completely powerless?

Zoda takes Ryu to the hangar to grill him on the secrets of his Reactor Might, but he has nothing to tell him. Maybe a bit of clobbering will loosen his lips! Miss Killer listens to the beating for a while before leaving in tears, sobbing in the computer room. Knowing who she really is and remembering every attempt on Ryu's life she's performed, she can barely comes to terms with her actions. To account for her actions, she presses a key on the computer...

... and the Galaxy Runner can now get a trace on the Dragon Bird's whereabouts! The crew work their hardest to pin down the coordinates and jet off in that direction.

Ryu awakens to his cell door opening... and no one entering. His restraints are loosened as well! He rises and leaves, finding the hallway to be full of deactivated guards. The path to the hangar is completely clear, and his Dragon Bird is just itching to be driven away...

... but the moment he reaches it a spotlight shines down on him, illuminating a mob of Dark Million goons. Zoda is aware a traitor was responsible for his release, but that's no matter; it gives him free reign to blast Ryu away. Miss Killer appears from the crowd not to own up to releasing him, but to have the privilege of shooting him herself. She raises the gun to his head, but her mind is clogged with visions from the last time she tried to shoot someone...

The space station is rocked by a sudden explosion. The tremor causes Miss Killer to squeeze the trigger, blasting Ryu off his feet and into his cockpit. She's shocked at what she's done, but Zoda and the others have other concerns: they're under attack from the Galaxy Runner! While they assemble their positions, Miss Killer checks on Ryu.

He slowly rises; injured, but not mortally wounded. She expresses concern for what she's done, but to Ryu that only cements it: she is not the woman he loved. He starts up the Dragon Bird and escapes the hangar, flying into space.

The Platoon come to pick him up, relieved he's safe and sound. Ryu watches the space station makes it escape, kicking himself for having believed that temptress could ever be Haruka. The two villains return to the throne room, Zoda scolding Miss Killer on having bungled yet another attempt on Ryu's life, but an unpleasant cackle drowns out their voices...

Black Shadow lives!

He yuks it up at Zoda's feeble attempts: so long as Black Shadow has his "glorious dream", Zoda will never have the power to topple him. The underling responds by unleashing the power of his Reactor Might... to no effect.

"How pitiful." A single gesture from Black Shadow causes Zoda to erupt into flames, scorching him as he flees. Miss Killer bows to her master, glad to have him back, though he reminds her that anyone who betrays him will be punished without remorse... and she is no exception, should the event occur.

That evening, Ryu visits the lakeside park alone to find a familiar figure watching the ships pass by...

It's Miss Killer. The two regard each other in silence before she drives off, Ryu watching her as she leaves. In that moment, it was almost like he was with Haruka again...

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: Upset that he's alive again, Burt gives us a little more info on Black Shadow: he was born on August 15th, he enjoys spicy food, partakes in hot springs, and Buty calls him a mean ol' devil.

The next episode preview features Jack stumbling upon Ryu dressing up like a woman, the two discovering they both share the same hobby. The previews seem very enamoured with that 'joke', don't they?

Michael Chain now stands among Dark Million's ranks...

... along with three other hominids only seen in the bottom corners of a crowd shot; a pointy headed fellow, a guy in a purple jumpsuit, and a bloke in a cape.