Having arrived on Juno, Sopp settles into a bus of some sort to make his way to the palace. No sooner does he get into his seat…when he realizes that he’s not alone. Not only that, but there’s a headdliner on board. Cautiously, he looks behind him to see……Voards, who’s more than a little happy to see him. Before Sopp can do anything. Voards…well..for want of a better phrase…proceeds to dry hump him into submission with LOVE. To the horror of the rest of the passengers. This goes on for the first 2 pages of the manga and considering that Voards is supposidly straight as an arrow, the first time I read this, I about died.
Just as the fun’s about to really start and you think you’re gonna get some quality Yaoi, the conductor puts a stop to it. (Considering too that Sopp is Amateratsu, you can’t help but think he was enjoying it.) Fun ended, Voards introduces his traveling companions, a fellow named Luviel Lays and “Maquera”, his fatima. Sopp eyes Maquera suspiciously…then prodceeds to lift up her skirt and check out her underwear. Really. ^_^’ Voards naturally isn’t happy and asks what he’s doing to his Magaella. (Payback for baing jumped!) Mr Conductor is not happy, and with no fanfare at all, they get tossed from the bus, with 50 KM from the Palace. Voards declares that they will hitchike, and that both Sopp and Magealla need to strip to “entice”. Sopp wants no part of it, but Magaella comes off with the clothes quick. Sadly, Sopp stripped looks far better than Magaella! As a ride approaches, Voards tells them to make with the cheesecake to get them a lift. (Sopp REALLY gets into it!!!!!) The ride is going their way, as it’s Colus’ men who have come to get them. Sopp then seems sad that he didn’t get to pose more.
Once inside the palace, Queen Lizard and Colus greet the travelers, wishing that the circumstances were better. Lizard then shows the pictures of the Boowray Mortarheadds. Even being a Mortarheadd Meight, Sopp is somewhat unfamiliar with the design and is surprised that Voards is quite knowledgable about them. He then goes on to say that during his 10 years away from Trun, he’s seen much and wonders why he left in the first place. (Also not hiding who he really is very well.) Lizard then takes her leave. Outside, the guards ask who the King is entertaining to which she tells them that 2 of the most powerful people in the galaxy are with Colus. Naturally, since they were the ones who picked up “the hitchhikers”, they find this hard to believe….Still in the meeting, the conversation comes up as to why wars are waged in the first place. Having seen many ages already, Sopp speaks on this: wars being waged because of Pride in Country that turns into arrogance and feelings of inferiority in others. His insight shared, he then says that he believes that this point in history will be looked upon in the future with much derision and disgust.
Back at the Floating Palace, Lachesis is obviously worried about Sopp. She is greeted by Hind Kill, who reveals himself as Amateratsu’s shadow. Seeing how she’s concerned, she bids her leave for Juno, and says that he’ll send three of the Mirage Knights to guard her. She objects that she’s just a Fatima, but Hind tells her differently: since she was chosen by Amateratsu, she ceased to be mere Fatima and now the Mirage Knights are her faithful assistants.
The next morning, Sopp opens the window only to find that news has spread about his little hitchhiking strip. Voards asks him if he’s had a lonely night and offers his…”companionship” if he is. Before this gets any farther, the gates of the palace open to a familiar ship: the one bearing the crest of The Black Knight. Roados has arrived with Est and Dr. Morard to the delight of the citizens. In the palace, Colus gets som friendly ribbing about getting smacked around from Roados, which he takes in stride. He takes the opportunity to apologize to Morard about Ulicle, but Morard was just happy that the two were together happily for so long. In honesty, he’s more interested in Clotho, who has yet to arrive. Colus expresses that her sister Lachesis could be far more powerful and that he felt fear being around her. Morard says he’ll look into it…
Voards looks around for Sopp, but Magealla tells him that Sopp and Colus are in the underground factory…
…Where Sopp is admiring the Junchoon. Colus asks Sopp for his help with the reworking and Sopp offers his expertise. While they’re preparing to go over the blueprints, Roados appears with Est. Sopp introduces himself but Est automatically realizes that he’s really Amateratsu. After he leaves, Roados states that he doesn’t much care for Amateratsu…but that Sopp is “really cute”. Poor guy.
Outside with the general populace, two Trio Knights keep the peace. (Not to mention that they’re popular with the kids!) They spie upon some interesting characters who have just arrived on Juno…Mirage Knights Sharie, Urazen and Leopard. (Lachesis is off getting ice cream…) They bid that they are there to see Colus and are wisked off. In transit, Leopard chides the rather….flamboyantly dressed Urazen to mind his manners while at the palace. Urazen pretty much calls him an old man, and Lachesis doesn’t help. ^_^’ When they arrive, Urazen tells Sopp that Mirage Knights Rogner and Dipper Dopps have already infiltrated Hagooda. Sopp then asks Urazen to get him some LED parts that he’d like to try out on the Junchoon….
Afterward, all of the players for the next act are arriving in place. Clotho has arrived and is talking to Magealla. Colus’ advisor Trao Ballanka is at the grave of his friend Bruce, who ended up perishing on the front lines with his fatima Elma. Sharie walks up to the grave and says that she’s Bruce’s sister…and a Mirage Knight. He leaves her at the grave, but keeps looking back to her. Ultimately, her destiny will lie with the Trio de Colus.
Shortly after, Iemarah arrives in the Bell Creal with the parts that Sopp had wanted for the Junchoon. She mentions that she brought the KoG with her just in case although Sopp sighs that he needs to do more work on it. There’s quite a few other suits and headdliners there as well, from the Trio, the AKD and Trun. Quite the show of force. Lizard talks to Trao about Hagooda hunkering down and withdrawing from her country, news courtesy of Rogner. Colus is amazed at the unification of the three forces.
Est meets with other fatimas as well while the preparations are being made. She meets with Teata, the fatima who will defeat her in the end. Clotho is also happy…until she hears words coming from the future. Terrified, she slumps down and calls for Lachesis..
Lachesis, on the other hand, is about to have a fateful meeting of her own. Dr. Morard has happened upon her feeding birds…when she shows him her true form from the future. Normally, her appearance is that of a young woman with short brown hair. The future form of the Fatima Fates is quite a bit more elegant, with the opera pink outfits that Ballance will eventually give them. Fatimas that can transcend past, present, future. Morard watches in horror as she adresses him in this form, then asks her to speak no more. She then reverts to her normal form.
It’s now been three days since Sopp redesigned the Junchoon. Colus and the others are amazed that it took him so little time. Exhausted, he falls asleep with Lachesis looking on. However, there’s a problem: Junchoon is quite noisy…and not working well. Sopp being a Meister, isn’t sure what the problem is as this hasn’t happened before.
Clotho, terrified as to what she’s seeing, runs to see Lachesis, who returns to her future form. She tells Lachesis that Colus is about to die and that she’s confused as to what’s happening. Lachesis can offer little in the way of comfort, but tells her that Junchoon is even more scared than she is. Clotho doesn’t want to pilot a Mortarheadd, but realizes that this is her destiny. Lachesis tells her to go to it and comfort it. Sopp is surprised when Clotho goes to the factory and consoles the Mortarheadd. The noise stops and it aknowledges her as it’s Fatima. The final players are in place.
Colus then announces that the time is right to attack Hagooda. The battle is about to begin.