December 5th, 1999

Matoi is a Beaten Man

"No business card yet?" complains Matoi that morning. He is looking through the newspaper and finds an article that interests him. Someone's filmed a video of the Rescue Rangers. Matsuri hurries over, scolding him and snatching the paper from his hands. He's trying to snatch it back when Shou wanders by, remarking on this card that's arrived airmail. He, Nagare and Daimon are looking it over, trying to figure out which one of the it is for as it is only addressed to Tatsumi. The picture on the front side is of a fire truck and Nagare reads "F.D.N.Y. Hey! It's from New York!" he is delighting, when Matoi grabs the card and stares at it, with an expression of dawning horror. They stare at him making inquisitive noises and with a tone of panic he says, "I've gotta run!" and races for the door. "But breakfast..!" Matsuri starts to call after him. Matoi makes it out the door when someone hails him, and he freezes in horror. "S -- S..!" The taller man, in a dark cap, grabs him and starts shaking him up. His siblings hear his cry and come racing to the door. "Hey, long time, yes?" he is shouting as he roughs up Matoi. Nagare blocks the others, his face pale. "Kudou." "Kudou? The Rescue guy?" asks Shou. Nagare confirms. "But I thought he went to America?" Nagare is still making numb confirming noises and holds up the postcard. Daimon risks a look out the door as we hear Matoi utter a strangled, "Help me!" Kudou has him in a hammerlock. Glances up and sees Daimon's face in the door. "Oh, the little brothers!" He straightens up, dropping Matoi, as Daimon and Matsuri come half-falling through the doorway, Nagare and Shou behind them. Nagare salutes in wide-eyed response to his greeting, as poor Matoi picks himself up off the street, rubbing his aching neck. There is a brief exchange about plans.

The tow men are in a race, slurping up ramen as fast as they can. The siblings watch in amazement as the bowls pile up, but Matoi loses it first and slumps, reaching for a last container of Ramen. Daimon gasps, "Matoi's BEATEN?" as his brother tumbles to the floor. Kudou laughs around a mouthful of Ramen. Poor Matoi is rubbing his aching stomach while Kudou is not a gracious winner. Matsuri cautiously brings him something to drink. "Are you guys always like this?" He confirms, with a wicked glance towards Matoi. "That guy's always like this, yeah. And I always help him." Matoi is listening to this with an expression of unhappy frustration as he lays on the couch, waiting for his stomach to settle. Nagare asks tentatively, "You helped Matoi?" "Oh yeah, all the time. He couldn't have become a rescue soldier without me." Poor Matoi can do nothing for the humiliation as Shou moves around to look down at him, eyes alight with mischief and victory.

Their father walks in about that time, and glances over. "We have a guest?" Nagare answers cheerfully, "No, it's Matoi's senior, Kudou." They greet each other, but Kudou is on his feet, "Oh, you're the guy who disappeared when they were kids! I heard all about you. What've you been playing around at all this time?" But the looks on assorted faces alert him he may have said too much. Mondo looks a bit strangled and looks down rather than glaring at Katou. "I haven't been playing -- " But then the building starts to shake violently, and they all stumble and grab for things to hold onto. It's over quickly, but Mint signals them that a Saima Monster has come and tells them where. Katou is left staring after them in confusion as they drop everything and grab their orange jackets and race out the door. "Hey, father-guy. What are they doing?" Mondo snorts. "I haven't been PLAYING at all, all this time." He marches off towards the wall, which opens for him to Katou's amazement.

And out in the forest, in the mists of the trees, a monster rises from the water. Possibly part turtle, it is Gabara. And right after it reaches dry land, it is hit by a blast. The Gogofive have come. But it is unimpressed with their challenge as they race at it. Katou watches in the viewscreen in astonishment. "Of course, they're the Gogofive." Mondo regards him with the patience of a man who wants to be vindicated. "Yup." Katou goes thoughtfully and sits in a chair, crossing his legs, while Mondo smugly moves to watch his children fight. The monster takes them down, then catches Matoi, only to get shot in the gut, and Matoi uses the V-mode punch to knock it back into the lake. They are all very pleased. But then Matoi slumps, rubbing his chest. He's suffering indigestion from the eating contest and when his siblings tease him, starts whapping them.

Koboruta goes to ask Diinasu what now, her monster is down so easily. And Pierre agrees. But she points out that the Gogofive are easily fooled by what they think they see. The monster will be back soon. And even their mother and that darned Salamandesu will see. This is her only chance. Sure enough, the monster is alive and well still in the little lake.

They arrive home, Matoi in the lead because it's easier when facing his siblings' teasing. But he finds he is totally unable to face the teasing of Katou. "You only fight to here?" his sempai asks, whapping him lightly with a duffel bag. Then he heads for the door. Startled, Matoi asks, "Where are you going?" "I'm going back!" Katou snaps. Matsuri asks nervously what he's going to do the next few months. He is re-joining the corps, I think. He tells them, "See you later, Gogofive. Keep up the good work," with a jaunty tip of his hat. Matoi stares at him going and finally in frustration shouts, "Hold it, wait a minute please! You can't leave like that!!" He catches Katou's shoulders and makes the other man face him. Not hard, Katou is willing. I'm not certain of the speech, but the impression I get is that Matoi feels he has to prove himself to Katou, to show his senior that he deserves his placement as leader of the Gogofive. That it isn't only the cool equipment that lets him win. They stare at each other intently, and then Mondo puts his two cents in for having Katou stay, to the half surprise of the others. Katou agrees to stay and see them work, and tosses his heavy duffelbag into Shou's arms, sending our boy tumbling to the floor. Shou stutters, "Jeez, just what all do you have in here?" Katou is re-tying his shoes. He's just brought some equipment. He tosses something else into Daimon's hands. And Matoi watches him with intent determination.

So, they are up in the mountains and Mondo is playing referree. The two men are geared up in rescue outfits for a Combat Challenge, as the others hang about. Matoi and Katou go to the start banner, and Daimon starts them off on their race along this obstacle course. Off into the woods, and it looks like only Mondo is really rooting for his son, while the others are giggling. Our two cross a river and Matoi stumbles, but they still are close. Then to Matoi's fury, Katou takes a shortcut down to the next bit of the course, getting way ahead and forcing Matoi to do the same and look like an idiot because of it.

There was a time when they were in a burning building, the flames everywhere. Matoi was hit by falling debris and downed, and Katou came back for him, scolding the rookie even as he got him up and got his helmet back on, even taking off some of his own equipment to get Matoi safe, over protests. And lifting the injured Tatsumi onto his back to carry him out. And so he had always been behind, the one who needed help. But now he managed to get up beside Katou. But then the Earth quaked and they stumbled. Below, in the mountain, Gabara was stirring up the fires. Matoi and Katou found a frightened family on the path ahead of them, and raced to gather the people together and protect them. Matoi ended up with his arms full of a little boy. And rocks falling, the group tried to avoid it, but Matoi ended up slipping over the edge of a sharp decent, the child tight in his arms. Katou called frantically down after him.

Minto signalled the others warning them that an attack had started in that area. Alarmed, they ask if Matoi had called in, but he hadn't. Mondo tells them they must go, it's probably the Psyma. Nagare agrees and the siblings take off. Mondo goes in the Rescue Lab truck to hunt for his missing son. Katou meanwhile is calling down to Matoi, and they hear the boy crying, "I'm scared!" He has to push the parents back from the edge over their urgent fear for their son. Matoi is trying to reassure the boy. But the tree he's clinging to is small and fragile, and they haven't got much time before it tears from its moorings.

The others are in the area, and Nagare determines to look for the monster. The others should wait. He dives into the water and swims way down, fidning the staff that is causing the quakes, but then the monster comes up behind him, and they are fighting in the water. Meanwhile, Mondo is driving along the trail when Katou comes out in front of him, waving wildly, then asks if he has any rope. Yes he does. "Where's Matoi?" "By himself." And Katou shoves into the driver's side, too in a hurry to answer the frantic questions. But Mondo goes with him as he drives quickly. "Where are we going?"

Matoi cannot get a better purchase, though he tries desperately. And Mondo quaks with horror, seeing his son hanging so far up the cliff. By such a thread. And Nagare fights in the water, and the imps arrive to fight the others. And in a nearby town, the ground quakes, frightening people. Katou gets out a roap gun, and fires it into the cliff next to Matoi. The pulley works well, Mondo driving the car to have Katou hauled up, who manages to take the child from a relieved Matoi's hand, then makes Matoi join him on the rope, knowing his friend probably won't be able to hold on for much longer. And for the first time, perhaps, Katou speaks to Matoi as a fellow rescue soldier, rather than as the young trainee whose life he had saved so long ago. As Mondo backs the car, allowing the pulley to let the three of them down, there is an easing between the two young men. They settle to the ground. Matoi slumps wearily, Mondo rushing to him to make certain he's all right. Katou has the little boy and says sharply but affectionately, "Hey, get up! You still have fighting to do." Matoi makes his way to his feet, grinning. "I know, I know!" And the other battles are still going on. Imps and the others, Nagare and the demon in the depths of the water. Nagare gets the staff out and destroys it, but the demon is powerful and knocks the four down. Just in time, Matoi arrives. And together the five face their enemies. "We are Gogofive!" and they trash the imps with enthusiasm. Katou has caught up with the fight, and prepares to fire a hook from the roap gun at the enemy. Frantic, Mondo grabs him and tussles with him, afraid for his children's lives. Katou fires and hits an imp in the behind. Enraged, the imp comes flying at them and tries to brain Katou. He and Mondo run together, but the imp pursues, its shots knocking them down. They cringe but it is shot, and Katou watches in amazement as it falls. Behind it appears an annoyed Matoi, who scolds them for being in the way. Katou and Mondo apologize profusely as Matoi heads back to the fight. And they at last destroy the monster. But of course, Pierre is there to make it big.

They call in the Mars Machines and form Victory Mars. Katou watches in admiration. "Wow! Those robots!" He turns to Mondo. "Father -- er, Professor, you made them?" At Mondo's smug nod, Katou salutes him. "Now you get it, do you?" Mondo says with pleasure. And Victory Mars flips its enemy, and ends the battle with the Mars Flare. Katou shouts his appreciation.

The others watch from a distance. Katou and Matoi are leaning over the bay. Matoi speaks quietly. "Senior. After fighting the Psyma, I'll be back to being a Rescue Soldier again." Quietly himself, Katou responds that he knows his friend can to it. Get the darned watch. They look at each other with relief. Then he turns, says his goodbyes, and heads off into the sunset. "Is he going back to America?" Shou asks. But Daimon says maybe he's not. Nagare comments wondering what kind of rescue work the man will do. Even Mondo is there to see Katou off. Matoi shouts, "You just wait, Sempai!" and Katou waves back over his shoulder without turning. Mondo is very pleased because Victory Mars really impressed Katou. They are headed back home themselves, but Matoi stops long enough to sincerely salute Katou.


Hell's Psyma Corps

December 12, 1999

In the dry, winter weather, the cold day, Matsuri is in a shop buying a Christmas cake. She had asked it to say "Happy Birthday" rather than Merry Christmas, the shopkeeper confirms before accepting her money. Meanwhile, in the Saima home, Salamandesu stands remembering miserably how he fell out of favor with his enraged mother. In helpess fury, he slashes around with his spear under the glow in the ceiling. Then Pierre comes anxiously, "You called me?" he asks politely. Salamandesu turns to him and asks for a special weapon. Pierre hesitates, for this is something very dangerous. When he starts to refuse he finds Salamandesu's spear in his face. It seems their mother might die soon anyway. Shaking in terror, Pierre gives Salamandesu the key.... Our villain goes to the gates of Hell and opens them. The creature who comes out is Kaosu, and greets Salamandesu politely enough. He ushers Slaman into the gate. A strange, dead world. Skeletons. Dead beasts. Salamandesu confronts Kaosu, who asks what he wants here. Salamandesu explains he wants to destroy the Gogofive. And Kaosu sends him on.

Everyone is decorating the tree when Mondo comes out. He is delighted by the pretty Christmas decorations, but he has forgotten something, and it hurts his children that he has. Uncertain, he turns and Daimon shows him the cake Matsuri had bought. He reads the words. "Happy birthday, Mother." It gives him considerable pause and he swallows. Matsuri asks, "You didn't remember her birthday is coming?" with some anger. Mondo is unsettled. Reluctantly, he speaks.

Eight years before, on a freezing, snowy day, she left them. She asked what they were to remember, and Matoi led his younger siblings in saying, "The family must stick together!" Matsuri did not want her mother to go, but Matoi reminded the little girl that their mother was searching for their father. And mother knelt in front of her little girl and told her she had to go. Matsuri gave her a protective charm of a reindeer holding a bell. She took it and told the children not to forget her birthday. And she crossed the bridge. They decorated the tree on Christmas Even and then the news came. Something had happened to the airplane their mother had rode on. Destroyed?

But Shou was not happy. And then Mint called. And Imp attack on the city, smashing trees and Santa Claus and things like that. The demon Kaosu has come. Our heroes race off, change into battle armor and challenge it. But when they raise their weapons and fire, demon and imps vanish. They hear it laughing, turn to see it above them and then it blasts them with its staff. And they are flung to the dead world, to the other side of the open demon gate. Where Salamandesu went.

Mondo asks Mint where the kids are, but the poor little robot has no clue. Our heroes get up and find they are surrounded by skeletons. There is brief panicked screaming when one of them realizes he is holding a skull and tosses it into Matoi's hands, but their hysteria is interrupted by Salamandesu, who says he will teach them where they are. After jumping back into their skins (hahah) This is the demon world. Salamandesu stands with Kaosu, and turns and locks the door. It vanishes. He shows them the key and explains there is no way out of here without the key. Our heroes come at him.

Mondo is walking anxiously around, settles near the cake and reads the inscription again. There is even a present the heroes bought for her. Just in case. "Please watch over our children," he whispers.

Our heroes aren't doing too well, and Salamandesu tells Kaosu to summon ghosts of demons past. Terrible creatures, more zombie than alive, and they come towards our heroes. Matoi fires on the demons and they seem to disintegrate. They fire all together and the demons fall to pieces, then simply regenerate. Kaosu explains they can't kill the dead. And the demons are whispering, "We want to live." Trade our heroes' lives for the demons! But our heroes fire on Kaosu's staff and it is broken. The ghosts start coming after Kaosu and Salamandesu, as well. Salamandesu summons the door for them to escape and tries to open it, but there is a power surge. The key is shattered. There is no escape by that course, for any of them.

It is the Saima Queen, peering down from the sky, who has taken the gate away. She laughs at the stunned Salamandesu. When he asks her why, she says now the Gogofive are trapped. And she vanishes. On the main ship, even Koboruta and Diinasu are appalled. Pierre pleads with her to get Salamandesu back. But she says there is nothing to be done. Kaosu is trying to support Salamandesu, who blasts the demons. It only buys them time. Our heroes are getting smashed. Matsuri sees a tunnel in the cliff and they all run inside. It is silent, a yellow glow at the other end. There are tunnels going in many directions. The demons are coming in after them, and our heroes cave in the ceiling. But again, they have only bought themselves time.

Salamandesu is fighting the demons as best he can. One blasts him and injures him badly. "Dammit, this was supposed to be the Gogofive's fate!" And in the tunnel, while they are still trying to decide where to go, Matsuri stops and says, "I hear bells!" "What? Bells?" They all stop and listen. Yes, there is a strange jingling. Matsuri is certain it is the bell she gave their mother and they should follow it! And then they hear her calling, see a glow in the distant tunnel. They follow the summons, tears in their eyes, and the demons break through the wall. There is a pool of green. Or is it a mirror? "Mother?!" Matsuri calls. She is sure it is her, but the others are uncertain. And Matsuri refuses to leave as the demons come into the area and her brothers call her. She doesn't see the demons and is backing into their midst. Matoi lunges for her, and the glow flashes down, knocking her into his arms and pushing the demons back. The glow fades out, used up its energy in the struggle, and our heroes jump into the pool. The demons pursue them. The pool becomes stone.

Our heroes land first, in the deserted plaza where they had been fighting earlier. They see the glowing lights that form into giant demons. Three former enemies made it out. Mint alerts Mondo that the kids are back, and Matoi calls the GoLiner. Launching into the skies, it forms the Grand Liner, our kids at the helm. The demons fire on it and then leap to attack. Two hold the Liner while the third stabs it. But then Liner Boy comes to help, knocking them free. They use the Grand Storm on two of the demons, who die again. The third is still coming. Our heroes call in the Victory Robo to face this one. Victory Prominence damages the demon and our heroes form the Max Victory Robo and finally take it out completely. The battle is over. For them. Mondo is relieved, and stares at the cake on the table.

And at the Saima base, the Queen is totally furious, while Pierre is clutching his head in despair. Diinasu is shaking, holding herself and terrified. Koboruta speaks in a low voice that he feels sorry for Salamandesu. The little guy only wanted to defeat the Gogofive. He and Diinasu go off, and Pierre drops to his knees, weeping.

And in the deadlands, Salamandesu seems still alive. In fact, he is infuriated. The Gogofive will pay for this.

Our heroes watch Christmas shoppers. Shou asks, "Was it really our mother?" Daimon answers, "Then she's really dead." But Matsuri refuses to lose heart. And Nagare agrees, their mother loves them. And Matoi says yes, they must have their Christmas Birthday party. And then, snow begins to drift down. It is fake snow, but for the show's purpose it is real. They stand there a moment longer, then Matoi says, "Let's go. Father is waiting."


The Horrible Psyma Tree

December 19, 1999

He makes his way through the Deathlands, searching. The bones of trees, smell of burning, the sound of something squeaking... a creature? He sees Kaosu lying crumpled on the dead ground. and hurries to him. Kaosu lies in a ring of white branches. Salamandesu wants to help him, but Kaosu only says he can think of nothing to get them out of there. And then a voice comes through, distorted, calling Salamandesu's name. A faint, wavering image appears in the sky and Salamandesu recognizes Pierre! Pierre has been researching in a magic book, and has discovered a way to get Salamandesu back. But there will be a price. Something will happen to Salamandesu if he accepts. And he does. The demons are coming again. Salamandesu rushes to face them, cutting a swath through them and swallowing their souls as they fall.

Matsuri stops to stare in a shop window at an adorable, white teddy bear dressed like Santa. She remembers what her mother had said, when Matsuri gave her the charm the day she left. She goes on and does not see another woman, somewhat dazed seeming, who stops and stares at the teddy bear. She wears an odd charm about her neck.

Matsuri walks along hearing Christmas bells ringing. She sees a little girl sitting alone on a bench, under the branches of a Christmas tree outside an orphanage. Feeling sorry for the little girl, she stops to say hello and perhaps asks if she is an orphan. The little girl cheerfully says "No," and opens up a locket around her neck to show the picture of her mother. The picture is that of the woman who we saw looking at the teddy bear after Matsuri left. Then the nuns come out, calling the girl, Atsusa. They want her to come in. She says her mother is just late, and the nuns smile and say they are sure it's all right. Atsusa says she wants to wait, but goes in willingly enough. Matsuri asks the younger nun who says the girl was left here on Christmas Day, two years before. The mother never had come. The older nun calls the younger one. Matsuri goes home.

Sitting unhappily on the couch, she has related this sad story to her brothers. This has caused pain in the recently opened wounds. Matoi understands. Daimon is angry, but Shou and Nagare agree it's a sad thing for a child to wait, believing her mother will come back. And this child is alone. Matoi seems to be vowing to try to search for the girl's mother.

In the Deathlands, Salamandesu walks. He carries bits and pieces of the swallowed demons. Kaosu is worried, when the overload hits. Salamandesu changes, his wings arching out, savage fangs, heavy muscles, a long tail. Stunned, Kaosu comes to congratulate him, but he knocks the other away, then calls him close. He opens the gate between worlds.

Last Stage Salamandesu
Pierre lands on Earth in front of the orphanage. He wanders through the graveyard, until he finds a suitable place but then there is a power blast. Pierre falls as Salamandesu swoops out of the ground carrying Kaosu with him. Pierre scrambles to his feet to see the two staring around. "YES!" he cheers, that Salamandesu has the power and can control it. But Salamandesu paces and snarls that he has come to fight the Gogofive. Obeying the demand, Pierre opens the book (which has a picture of the Queen on the cover) and finds a suitable spell. From atop the orphanage, he tosses a card into the Christmas tree. Just as his magic finishes its spell, little Atsusa runs out of the orphanage with the younger nun right behind, intent on waiting out here for her mother. And tree roots surround the two humans and absorb them. They appear as goards on the tree, paintings of themselves on the outside. They are in the dark. And the tree roots go into the building and around, snatching humans and turning them into great goards on the tree.

Mint calls Mondo Hakase frantically. A Saima has come. Our heroes see and head out, and Matsuri recognizes the location. They arrive and all is still. Matsuri points to the bench where the little girl had been sitting earlier. At that moment, out spring the roots. Nagare is caught first and then all are caught. Salamandesu and Pierre step out from behind the tree, gloating. Matoi struggles to his feet , amazed by the new appearance, but they struggle and manage to change into their armor, cut themselves free of the roots. Salamandesu merely sneers and Pierre makes a signal. The souls trapped in the goards cry in pain as they are tortured. And our heroes recognize what is happening in horror. Atsusa cries for her mother. And the power is channeled to Salamandesu! Matsuri calls out, "We've got to help them!" Our heroes fire on the tree, causing the prisoners sheer agony. Pierre mocks them. When they try to fight they find themselves up against Kaosu. Matsuri fires but only ends up hitting Shou, as Kaosu uses him as a shield. Daimon and Nagare fight Pierre, while Matoi goes up against Salamandesu. They bring out the Hyper Five, but Salamandesu draws more power from the tree of souls and is not even damaged. Kaosu laughs.

In the Saima base, Diinasu stares in shocked amazement at Salamandesu in the scrying window. Koboruta is amazed, too. They hear him say he is going to get even the Queen.... And Diinasu turns to see the Queen behind them, aware of all that's going on. Salamandesu is blasting the heroes. Power increasing, he calls to Pierre, who channels the children's energy to make Salamandesu and Kaosu big. Police try to clear the area. And a young woman, carrying a white teddy bear in her arms, is rushing the other way. The police officer moves to stop her. She races around him, thinking only of her daughter.

Our heroes fall and Mondo sends in Liner Boy as Max Liner. Mint sends out the 99Machines, Mondo orders the formation of the Victory Robo and our heroes board. Salamandesu gets Liner Boy, inflicting serious damage and dropping the robot like a broken toy. Victory Robo goes against him and he catches their sword, preventing them from doing Victory Prominance. He destroys the sword. Mint and Mondo send in the Grand Liner.

Atsusa's mother arrives at the tree, looking for her girl. She finds the locket on the ground and is afraid her daughter is dead. And Atsusa calls her, trapped within a goard. Her mother stares in horror.

And the heroes fight. Grandliner uses the Grandfire. Kaosu dives between and is destroyed by the attack. Furious, Salamandesu calls for more power. Pierre channels it and the trapped souls scream in pain. Without hesitation, the mother reaches for her daughter's glowing goard and cries in pain. And Salamandesu attacks, able to fly, now. The damage is severe. And Salamandesu uses a glowing-winged attack that truly damages them. They fall, but Grand Liner arrives in between with Minto piloting and taking the brunt of the attack. But the power is too much. They want him to get out of the way. Then Matsuri sees way below them, the mother getting back up and reaching for her daughter's goard as if in a daze. Atsusa tells her not to get hurt, but also cries for help. The mother whispers sorry. Matsuri tells her brothers that Atsusa's mother has come back. It heartens them. And then, the Grand Liner parts and Matoi makes sure Mint is all right, even as they summon the Mars Machines and form Beetle Mars to fight Salamandesu. They assume Max Victory Robo, and with Victory Mars faces Salamandesu. And Atsusa's mother struggles to get through and free her daughter. Her desperate tear falls on the tree and breaks the link, the glow dies away. Salamandesu is furious and confused as his power is cut off. He is no longer able to keep the heroes back, and they stab through his main gem. He staggers towards them, but is beginning to fall apart. With a scream of agony, he finally falls and dies in fire. The heroes cheer.

Diinasu and Koboruta turn in agony from their little brother's death and confront their mother about this standing aside and doing nothing (I think that's the complaint, anyway, they see in their brother's fate their own future). She is angry and withdraws. They don't know what to do. And on Earth, Pierre picks up the green gem that is all that remains of his beloved Salamandesu. Grieving, he staggers away in the darkness.

Our heroes arrive back in the area, where Atsusa's mother holds her unconscious daughter in her arms. But the child wakes and says "Momma, Momma, of course you came!" Weeping, her mother falls to her knees, apologizing. But Atsusa will have none of that. "I always believed in you." This really made me weep, you know. I'm crying even now. And the ambulance leaves with mother and child, presumably all the others who were trapped are already taken away. And our heroes watch this with a lump in their throats, and snow begins to fall.


December 26, 1999

Mint has been sent out to buy some computer cords and things like that. Mondo is handing out filing for the kids to do, dropping a load into Matoi's arms. The kids are less than enthusiastic, as their father wanders off. Daimon remembers something he has to do, Matsuri does, too. That leaves poor Shou and Nagare to be grabbed by a quick and alarmed Matoi before they can make tracks. They start sorting through the files and find the first thing covering the attack by the Magma Golemn. One of the first times they all were reunited. Their delight in what they see attracts Daimon, who watches from across the room. The discovery that their father wasn't really dead. Their first mission on the Grand Liner, going into the flames. It recalls amazing times, the first astonishment of what their father had made. Bashing holes in buildings to rescue those still trapped inside.

Nagare and Shou tiptoe away while Matoi is focussed, but he grabs them quickly. "And where are you going?" Nagare sticks the next file in, to see it focuses on their first battles with Jirufiiza, Koboruta, Diinasu and Drop, as well as the wizard Pierre. Shou is smug about their teamwork. The file he pulls out is covering their attacks when they work together, like with the Livebird, the V-mode attack, and things like that.

With Nagare and Shou focussed, Matoi is the next one to make a break for it, but he trips over a vacuum cleaner. The next disk Nagare puts in covers the three winged demons, whose deadly explosive feathers laid waste to the city. The time when someone they knew, a mother of a young baby, was nearly killed when the feather her baby held exploded, wrecking her apartment building. When they ran and hid from these dangerous demons. Getting caught in explosions, fighting each other, saving a baby left next to a large bomb.

The saving of Liner Boy from Saima control. The time when they had deadly exploding flowers on their wrists and took Liner Boy up into space, barely surviving. When the younger ones were trapped in a flaming building. Liner Boy coming to save the day in tandem with the Grand Liner. Doing the Max Formation to fight Jirufiiza and succeeding in killing him. The trio are feeling much better about their assignment.

And then a phone call comes, from the boss. Mondo is still wandering about thinking. Matoi is puzzling over the phone call, when Nagare suggests that the big matter is probably the turnover to the year 2000. Nagare and Shou are thinking about the Y2K problem, and realize that is the big thing. What will happen if traffic lights malfunction and trains cannot run? They hurry out of the house.

Pierre is weeping under a bridge, remembering when Salamandesu was Drop, just a cute little guy. The change to pupae form, the sudden waking in fire of Salamandesu. The transformation that was his last, when the Gogofive used Victory Mars to kill him. Pierre is hysterical. He sits beside the octopus he is frying, drunk or just too greived to make sense. He gets up and swears, then sits down and sends the empty cans from his food flying. They go over the edge of the bridge and land on Mint, who falls down. There is a computer glitch, and then his date-stamp rolls over to 000000!

Daimon and Matsuri are working on the files and computer with Shou. Something small comes in. Yes, it's Mint. He announces his return and Matsuri comes to him. I guess he's been shopping. They comment on how slow he was, and he congratulates them on the New Year. Startled, they come to him. Daimon points out there are still 6 hours to go, and Shou agrees. They start gathering the equipment he's brought with him. Shou plugs a cord into the computer and sees the images from the time a naked Matoi walked in on Matsuri in the bathroom, while she only had her towel on. They are astounded. And then comes the image of when the group was undercover, trying to find the Saima egg. Horrified to find these embarrassing pictures they start to protest. The time Daimon drank the milk so fast it poured down his chin all over his clothes. Them eating. Horrors! All the pictures they'd much rather forget! From Mint, I guess.

Shou quickly tells Daimon to capture the data. He pulls out a disk and puts it in. At last things settle down, and they're looking at the alignment of the planets. The Grand Cross. The time the demon summoned in the Queen, and they were narrowly able to stop it, because their father broke the magic symbol. Launching into space when the great, deadly asteroid came. Using the Victory Mars for the first time. When Matoi signaled home, thinking they would not survive, and Mondo's cry when he thought so, too. But they did survive, to return to protect Earth. The trio wept, watching, remembering their father's love of them. Seeing it for the first time.

And then the memory of their mother, too. A new image, of the second stage of the Magma monster. Assorted monsters, and more ridiculous events. And image of the Saima eating? They are stunned by the sights. Every monster they faced over the year. Shou cannot figure out how Mint has all these images, and whaps the little computer, which to their surprise, whaps him back, knocking him down. Mint has been infected with Pierre's memories of Salamandesu and announces that he IS Salamandesu. Just then, Matoi and Nagare return home.

They stare in confusion at their cringing siblings, who slowly turn to look at them. Unaware of anything going on, Matoi happily whips out the tickets he managed to get. But the three are not to be knocked from their shock. They show him the images appearing on the computer screen. There is Kaosu, gone large, and Mint is raving about the Saima ruling the Earth. Nagare is not phazed. He sits down and calls up a report. Things immediately seem to settle back to normal, and all family members sigh in relief.

At that moment, apologing profusely, Mondo comes through the door. They are relieved to see him but what is the matter? He comes to them, panting in his rush. Yes, the bug has bit. The Millenium bug is in Mint. Nagare takes a quick look and finds the date in Mint's processor says 2000, 1, 1. And if this has happened to Mint, starts Mondo, then it could happen to all the machines in Bay Area! The images come to their minds of the great robots causing havoc in the city as they ring in the millenium, playing baseball with towers as bats and other architecture as balls. Matoi cries out in dismay.

Then Mint begins to smoke. They all cringe back against the wall, except Matoi who determinedly goes forward and gives Mint's top one hard smack. The date snaps back to 99.12.31. WHEW! After a moment, Mint looks around and asks in innocent confusion, "What am I doing here?" The whole family sighs in relief, until Nagare notices that the computer has lost all the information Mint was downloading. It only takes a moment for them all to look at Matoi. Shocked and embarrassed, he sits down facing away from them. It was his pound that caused Mint's data to erase. When they finally step forward at him, he apologizes profusely.

At a temple, a monk rings a bell and prays. Outside, the lights are on. Everyone is gathering paper that now must be typed in. Daimon is starving. Matoi is angry because they cannot use his tickets. But then Mondo arrives with dinner, Ramen, which everyone takes with great thanks and happy relief.

They watch the rising sun together, and Mondo tells his children how strongly he believes in them.


Januray 2, 2000!!!

Koboruta and Diinasu know something is happening, and they rush to ask their mother. She is furious with them and uses a wind to push them back, saying they are worthless to her. She withdraws through the gate, closing it behind her, leaving them alone. Koboruta makes it to the door but cannot open it. Rejected, Diinasu falls. Koboruta comes to her, trying to reassure her they can get their mother's love back, but she does not believe. Pierre wants revenge for the destruction of Salamandesu.

And our heroes are all dressed in kimonos about to head out to a temple for New Years. Matsuri arrives in their mother's kimono and they are all delighted. She looks wonderful. Mondo comes out of the door to the base with a small choir he is directing as they sing enthusiastically. His kids watch in astonishment, and he turns to explain that he's written them a theme song. This does not sit well with them. He wants them to remember the song, but they take off as fast as they can. They arrive at the temple, complaining about their father, to find Kyoko there in her kimono. Daimon asks her what she wished and she says "To be a Gogofive," so a small scuffle ensues over the wishing bell. But then Pierre arrives with a kind of fish-demon. He cheerfully wishes our heroes a Happy New Year. While our heroes change and fight, Kyoko gets the civilians out of the way. And then the fish demon captures Nagare and sucks a glowing, blue light from him. He collapses. A moment later, the others are also captured. They are vaguely, dazedly conscious, clapping. Pierre explains they are watching their dreams. And then the demon sees Kyoko hiding behind a statue. When Pierre tells it to get GoRed, it instead chases after her. She cries out, "Why are you after me?" and Pierre exclaims, "Where are you going?" to it, but it comments that it just has to find out her dreams and catches her, It seems her dream is particularly delicious. She collapses against the statue.

The demon goes to drink and disappears with Pierre. Matoi brings the others home. They are all playing together, like children. They don't seem to notice him. Mint can offer no solution, and Mondo can only repeat what they already know. The group are trapped in a dream world. Then a Saima attack begins again, and Matoi faces the demon alone against all advice. But there is no choice. The demon tries to suck out Matoi's dreams, but Matoi himself shrinks and is absorbed. Pierre is rather surprised, but orders the thing to attack Matoi.

Mondo has just registered this, when all the playful people freeze, then fall. And Matoi finds he is facing the GoGoFive, led by Kyoko as GoRed. He realizes this must be her dream and tries to talk to her, but she sees him as the enemy (let's talk Freud, here). She really lays into him. The team attacks him and he falls inside the red rescue vehicle, which takes off with him. But then he sees Daimon pursuing him, a kind of super-cop. Ordering him to pull over. He says he cannot, don't you understand. And yet it seems Daimon understands in a way what is happening, that this is his dream. He faces off against the red-rescue vehicle and launches himself at it for a collision.

Matoi is flung loose. He finds Nagare in the dark, dressed as a boxer, with a powerful restraint that breaks apart. Nagare's eyes are on fire, and flames surge around them as his brother starts to box with him. Matoi gets badly bruised, then finds himself on an operating table, pinned hand and foot by folk in lab coats. The doctor comes in. It is Matsuri, but she does not recognize him. She is going to lobotomize him. Just in time he manages to break free, then a hand snatches him through a door. He finds Shou on a stage leading a group, and then realizes they are all there, singing. When he cannot get through to them by shouting "Open your eyes, this is a dream!" he tries to join the song. But the family pushes him off the stage, informing him angrily this is their dream, not his. How dare he take over the lead position. Shou fires on him from the guitar.

And he is facing them with their Vlancers in the great outdoors. Their anger with him is leading to this attack, and Mondo hears his children wishing their brother dead. Their life-forces are being drained by the Saima, even as they fight. He does not know what to do, but then he has an idea. Matoi flees the others, falls down a cliff, only to find he is under attack by Victory Robo and the Max Shuttle, too. He is finally unable to fight. He tries to reach them, telling them his dream is to all be together, but they have him down and are about to kill him. And then a strange melody reaches through, their father's voice siging a lullaby love-song. Shou mutters, "That song..." Matsuri says, "It's father's song."

Pierre and the demon are walking together, when the demon starts to suffer indigestion. "What's the matter?"

And Matoi desperately says to them to remember the most important dream of all. The future of Earth, the life of all human beings. "One life is the future of the world!" It is getting through. They are focusing on his words, connecting with the world of humans and children, birds and life. They recognize him at last and pull away. And then their energy signature breaks from the demon to return to them. Pierre screams in protest seeing the energy go. They regain consciousness. And Matoi gets loose and stands up to face Pierre and his demon, smirking.

The others join him, and they fight together, their anger now directed at their enemy. They change into armor and attack, knocking at the demon until it falls. Matoi attadks with the Vlancer and slashes off its snout, then they fire together using the Vmachinegun. The beast is destroyed, and Pierre makes it big. The battle is going, but then the demon blows a blue balloon from its snout and the world cracks into illusion. And there is Diinasu, singing, from a merry-goround. Her song is startlingly beautiful, a love song, and its magic reaches the boys and catches them, they are lost in the magic. Matsuri is the only one unaffected, and sings her own song to counter Diinasu' spell. A rock-and-roll theme she sings, while the two women face each other in a dream battle. She manages a dream-shot to Diinasu' shoulder, and the spell is broken. They destroy the monster, and Pierre flees.

At the temple, all of them together in their kimonos. Matoi thanks his father, Matsuri says he sounded great. Kyoko asks whatever led Mondo to try the song. His explanation is a bit confusing, all about alpha-waves and suchlike. Nagare comments that it was just luck, then. Matoi comments on how, in their dreams, they were all the heroes. Kyoko asks what his dream would have been. His is, of course, of being the best and greatest. He says, anyway. They are all less than impressed and tell him so, hurting his feelings so that he pouts and turns aways from them, but then reveals he is teasing, and his brothers pounce on him.

GO! GO! 2000

January 9, 2000!

Pierre is wandering the Saima base, calling Koboruta, Diinasu and the Queen, but there is no answer. He has been left on his own. "Where is everyone? What are they doing? Is there nothing for me, now that Salamandesu's dead? He searches through a pile of cards and an imp anxiously brings him the newspaper. It is advertising a new robot! And Pierre has a great idea.

Matoi, Daimon, Matsuri and Mondo are reading the article about the Big Douser. Their other brothers are very excited about it. Shou and Nagare have headed to the Sceience and Technology Museum to see it. They come in and watch a demonstration of the thing's fire-fighting ability in delight. There is so much it could do. They go to greet the driver, an old friend, Katou. He calls the robot over and it greets them with a delightful action. But the Big Douser is operated, not an individual. At least, not to our notice. Our heroes go off. Nagare is pointing out the Big Douser may resemble Liner Boy, but is nowhere near as sophisticated.

While the driver, Katou, is starting to recharge the robot, the Saima arrive. He tries to fight them, but gets beaten for his troubles. They make off with the robot. Shou and Nagare arrive only in time to find out what has happened from the battered, half-conscious young man. They call their family to tell them what has happened. The programming grid was destroyed, and Shou is furious.

Pierre is trying to choose a card when an imp helping place the robot, backs into him and three cards, one with a demon face, one a blank, the third unknown, fall into the gate. Pierre scolds the imp, then puts Big Douser's power cord into the gate and uses his magic. And Big Douser appears in the city, a giant. Mint alerts the Gogofive. Our heroes come in with the Victory Rob and find themselves facing the Big Douser's fire-extinguishers, which are now flame throwers. The horror of this powerful weapon, corrupted, is worst for Shou. They manage to hit it, and it is damaged. It powers down and becomes normal sized. Pierre rushes to grab it, but it is burning hot and his hands glow red.

The Gogofive arrive and meet the robot, which cocks its head at them in the "okay, all systems go" gesture. Pierre is cooling his palms in a puddle. Our heroes take the robot back and do some analysis. Mondo and Nagare work together. To their horror, they find that the robot has been altered. They come to their siblings. Nagare announces angrily that it is not Big Douser. It is a Saima-monster, now. Shou is dismayed. He asks his father if it's true, and Mondo sadly confirms. Shou runs to the room where they are keeping it. Nagare follows him in. They note the robot is unresponsive, and when Nagare is trying to explain perhaps how they'll have to destroy it, Shou becomes very upset. This robot is programmed to protect and save lives, and when Nagare tells him it has to be destroyed, he gets hysterical and punches him. He is determined that they try, somehow, to repair the robot, to free it.

His family is anxiously waiting when Nagare arrives. He announces quietly that Shou has run off with Big Douser. Our young hero is determined to find a way to save the robot. Somehow. Nagare cannot see any way. He is reluctant to join the others in their search for Big Douser. But Matoi gives him his rescue jacket, and he goes with them. Our heroes search, but no one has seen them. Everyone runs on their own. Nagare carries Shou's jacket.

The first time Katou brought Big Douser to show him to Shou, and it beeped playfully at im. Shou greeted the robot with delight. They took him to fight a terrible fire, Shou flying the helicopter that carried the robot. It went into the warehouse on command and used its extinguishers until the fire was dead, but then to their dismay the ceiling fell in. The robot slowly walked out and they were relieved to see it was all right. Shou ran forward to hug the thing and started rubbing the ash off of it.

But it was only memory. Shou has the robot with him at a garbage dump. Suddenly, the programming is activated, a mix of images, a demon, Shou's and Nagare's faces, flit across its memory. It marches away, Shou calling after it, where is it going? He remembers what Nagare had grimly said that made him punch him. It was not dangerous. Big Douser sees a child on a bike and mother, and targets them. Shou arrives just in time to take the major force of the fire blast, but the mother and child are injured, bleeding. He turns accusingly on the robot, which gives him its "all programs go" sign, and walks off. With a cry of anguish, he punches the ground.

Shou finds Nagare, and admits that his brother was right. The robot is dangerous. And just as they are talking, "I do understand your feelings. You wanted to believe it was all right. So did I." Mint calls them. Big Douser is in the city, destroying buildings. it is blasting cars and people run frantically. Nagare gives Shou his jacket. They have a job to do, and they will do it together. Matsuri, Matoi and Daimon find the robot first. Then Nagare and Shou join them. And then the imps and Pierre arrive to support the robot they control. Nagare and Pierre utter more personal challenges to each other, and our heroes start to fight their way through the imps. Nagare manages to hit Pierre and is about to seriously lay into him, when the wizard points out that Big Douser is approaching a gas tank. Pierre calls the robot to destroy it. Shou and Nagare run frantically and grab the robot, trying to stop it. But it just keeps walking. It stops, and they feel a moment of hope, but it flings them off. They fall in front of it, taking the blast that would have hit the tanker. It continues towards target and they prepare to fire. It is considerable anguish for Shou, who remembers his what this robot was intended to be. Finally, in grief, they fire on it. And it falls with a beep and explodes into pieces. Pierre cries out in dismay at the destruction of his critter, then flees as they all fire on him. Is he dead? Next week we'll know.

The sun is setting. Nagare picks up the logo of the robot and whispers sorrow and apology. He and Shou salute the remains. With helpless fury, Matoi shouts out at the sea against the Saima. And something comes, a small, red, spider-like creature which slips onto him and into him, vanishing into his neck. At the Saima base, Koboruta and Diinasu laugh in front of the gate. Does Matoi hear them? I don't think so.


January 16th, 2000

Pierre these days tends to seem less than sober. He is alone, anguishing over Salamandesu's death. He stumbles to the wall the Queen had vanished behind, the magical symbols carved in the door seem to mock him. "I cared for him, helped him! What use is all my power?" He pounds on the door, calling the Queen's name. And there is a quake. Pierre falls to land on a cavern floor and that's the last we'll see of him for a bit. But Diinasu and Koboruta are hard at work with a strange, black spider that matches the red one currently living inside Matoi. It is Parasite. They will use Matoi's strength to give Jirufiiza his life back.

Matoi and the others are running. He's been pushing them hard, and Matsuri has a cramp in her side, so the others stop. Matoi urges them on. He turns to run but then is hit by a piercing agony in his chest. It stops him, but goes as quickly as it came. Matsuri asks what's wrong, he says he's okay. They tease him and run past. But then Mint calls and warns them he has detected a Saima presence.

Diinasu and Koboruta are in the underground chamber where, so long ago now, they had opened the gate for their mother. With Pierre gone, Diinasu has to perform the magic spell. "Amiasu, amiasu, amidark! Open!" and the end of the black spider glows a brighter purple. Just then, the heroes arrive all in armor. Matoi makes the what are you up to demand. Diinasu turns, strutting around. "Gogofive... no, Go Red. How nice of you to come." "What?" asks a confused Matoi. "We've got a great present about to come." She looks down at the parasite. Koboruta steps forward to point out that Matoi is the first-born and most powerful of the Gogofive family. Diinasu adds that they can use that. Matoi counters indignatly that his strength comes from the heart and they can never use that (I'm actually just guessing, here). Diinasu laughs and turns. "Parasite! Take the power!" And the thing's black end pulses fiercely. Matoi cries out in pain, clutching his chest. He falls to his knees, his family gathering anxiously around him. He loses his armor to struggle with the agony in his chest, tears open his jacket and shirt. Now everyone can see the red Parasite in his chest. Koboruta explains what is happening, then a surge of orange lighting flows from Matoi to the black parasite. Nagare shouts in anger, "What are you doing?" Diinasu replies smugly, "We're taking your brother's power for OUR brother." The black parasite glows bright blue, then becomes blue lightning and heads into the nearby shaft. Matoi screams in agony. Diinasu is gloating, but then her attention focuses on the bright, golden yellow light streaming from the shaft. It surges out, coalesces, and becomes Sylph. Matoi and the eldest Saima both understand what is happening.

The other brothers fight, while Matsuri takes Matoi from the cavern. They are soon all outside, Jirufiiza blasting the heroes down. They fire on him and hit, but he is unaffected. Matoi, however, doubles over in agony. Jirufiiza fires back and then continues a more physical attack. The drain on Matoi is tremendous, and Koboruta tells them they are only making it worse. If they keep this up, they'll end up killing Matoi. Mondo frantically sends Liner Boy in shuttle form to pick up the kids. It agrees urgently. Our heroes stand to protect Matoi as Jirufiiza advances, but a blast from the Max Shuttle pushes him back, and then our heroes are beamed aboard. The Saima snicker, Diinasu commenting that the heroes ran away. It won't save them.

Back in the Saima home, Jirufiiza asks where their mother is. They are hesitant to explain, then there is a quake. Koboruta says they really are not sure what she's doing. Jirufiiza is certain the only thing to do is destroy the Gogofive. His brother and sister are enthusiastic to help. And the building quakes again.

Pierre regains consciousness during the quake. He sees an intense, red glow and goes towards it to find a cavern full of fire and flame, recognizes the Queen's presence in awe. We can hear her laughing, a subtle, quiet menace. "Grand Deimasu-sama!" he acknowledges.

Matoi is in a hospital bed, breathing oxygen, and going into occasional convulsions. They can look at a computer screen and see the bright, red Parasite in his chest and how it is draining him. They cannot pull it from him, it would kill Matoi. They are all anguished, and watch their delirious brother. Matsuri comments how horrible this all is, that their brother is being destroyed like this. Mondo's voice is gruff with anger and concern. There is nothing they can do other than fight. Matsuri agrees, and Shou. Daimon says, "But we can't do it without him!" But Matsuri shakes her head. "He's is always with us. He's a part of us." Nagare agrees. They will go out, fight the Saima, and do whatever they can for their brother. Nagare takes the initiative and, since Mint has reported Saima presence, leads the others out after telling Matoi to wait. Mondo watches them go with pride and anquish.

Jirufiiza is on Earth, draining power from Matoi to use to destroy buildings and terrify the populace. Flying bodies everywhere. Koboruta and Diinasu are delighting in their brother's presence and power, but then the Gogofive arrive. They announce that the four of them will fight. Reminded that there are only four of them, they counter that Matoi is in their hearts, and so always with them. "We'll fight you." Jirufiiza counters that no, Matoi is in HIS heart. Battle is engaged. The power drain is killing Matoi, and Mondo watches his struggling son in anquish. Our heroes fight all three of the Saima, for Matoi's sake determined not to back down. They are briefly downed by a fierce shot from Jirufiiza, then another one. Matoi calls out for them where he lies on the hospital bed. That second shot has blasted them from their armor, but they won't give up. The Saima laugh. Daimon is in a fury, Matsuri calls them on, they will do this, with concentration and all the rage they have, for Matoi. They won't give up. When they stand with purpose renewed, even Jirufiiza is astonished by their determination. Koboruta thinks there's no way, but I think Diinasu gets a little worried. Our heroes transfer back into armor and launch and all out attack against Jirufiiza, who drains more power from Matoi. Matsuri points out that there are two Parasites. Shou agrees these things are supplying Jirufiiza with great power, and Daimon reminds them that they can't get the one off of Matoi but... Nagare ends the statement. They can get at Jirufiiza's. And Jirufiiza is stepping forward, thinking he is about to kill them. They haul out the V-Lancer and concentrate their fire on the Parasite, calling to return their brother his life. Finally, the damage is severe and Jirufiiza falls.

Red lightning flashes around him. Koboruta and Diinasu cry out. The Parasite on Matoi is hit by the feedback and detaches, wriggling on the floor. Matoi has horrible burns on his chest, and Mondo frantically tries to wake him. As Jirufiiza struggles in pain, our heroes note he is behaving oddly. Diinasu and Koboruta run to him. Mondo calls to tell his kids the Parasite is off Matoi. Jirufiiza asks Diinasu what is happening to his strength. She know that Jirufiiza is dying, now that he has no energy coming from Matoi. He will not go out easily, and gets to his feet to continue fighting. Koboruta says in anguish there is nothing they can do, but then says, what about our energy? Diinasu realizes this is an option, but then Koboruta hesitates because he doesn't think he nearly has the strength. But Diinasu says oh yes, to help their brother fight. They cannot bear to see him like this, wavering on his feet, though determined to see it through. Diinasu makes a decision and summons the other Parasite. Mondo and Mint note its leaving in surprise. The Gogofive (four) note its arrival with astonishment. Jirufiiza asks what she's doing and she says to use her energy to fight the Gogofive. Our heroes hear that, and haul out the Goblaster in V-mode, using hyper-mode, they fire on Jirufiiza. Diinasu dives between them and takes the shot herself. She turns from her anguished brothers and staggers towards the Gogofive as though to blast them, but then falls with a cry of pain. Koboruta blasts them away. Jirufiiza comes to Diinasu and she whispers in pain that he must take her power, please. He is anguished and refuses her request, knocking the Parasite away. But she forces herself to her feet and snatches back up the Parasite, embedding it on her chest. There is a power surge as her energy flows to Jirufiiza, who calls out in anguish. She looks at her brother, tears on her face, a small smile of victory. She glows golden, beautiful, then the glow fades and her wings go with it. She falls, dead. Jirufiiza runs to her, sorrow for his sweet, beautiful little sister. In a sudden shimmer of light, her body disappears. He is on his feet, now his fury to kill the Gogofive is tremendous.

Koboruta is fighting the others and getting cut to pieces. The furious Syphe gets to his feet and shouts that he will take all their lives. But someone cries out "No!" Matoi arrives in a fury, clutching his still-painful chest but dressed, to tell how his family gives him strength. But at this point it is not only he who has this wonderful thing. As Jirufiiza points out, Diinasu has given her life for him. And for revenge, Jirufiiza will destroy them. They are about to start fighting, when the ground shakes long and vicious. Everyone is confused. At base Mondo wonders what is going on, and Mint tells him it is the Minus-energy. "What?!" he exclaims. And he sees it on the computer screen, glowing power at the center of a sphere. Pierre comes running to the other two, shouting about Grand Deimos. Koboruta and Jirufiiza ask him what he's on about, and he explains that she's finally getting out. Smugly, Jirufiiza says, "Now you're all in for it." (something about their lives) The three Saima teleport away together, our heroes reacting in horror.

And somewhere, under the ground? The Queen absorbs more and more power, then the crossover is complete. Power to chanbe and be reborn. She forms into a terrible monster, with long, sharp claws, ferocious teeth, demon wings and a vaguely human face. Our heroes run, having no idea where to go but intent upon fighting, anyway. The ground shakes. Smoke billows in the air. Then the sky turns red, and they know it is too late. What can they do, now? "What does this mean for the world?" frets Matoi.

To be continued

January 23, 2000

In our last episode, the Queen, Grand Deimosu, at last is free from her prison. And she looks... frightening.

She is presented to the thousands of imps in a huge, dark cavern. Koboruta and Jirufiiza are pleased with their mother. Pierre announces the beginning of the Saima Millenium. But, says the Queen, we have to destroy the Gogofive.

And our heroes are madly researching and programming. On Mondo's computer is the image of the Minus-Energy at the heart of the world. Matoi asks anxiously what they can do. Mondo is sure there is a way, if they can just get to where the Saima ARE. Matoi decides they will search, but he is still suffering pangs from his burned chest. When he staggers, Mondo determines he should stay here. The others promise him they will search, reassuring him until they leave. It almost hurts more not to go with them than the pain in his chest.

At the Saima castle, more plans are in effect. Koboruta has an audience with his mother, she tells him she wants to see his power. This is his turn at the Gogofive. When he goes off, Pierre steps out of the shadows and asks if she really thinks Koboruta will be all right. The Queen reveals to Pierre that Koboruta is a sacrifice, being used to bring the Gogofive to the Saima Road. He will die. Jirufiiza hears the plans, and goes to help his little brother.

Our heroes, in their armor, search for the Saima Road at a large, outdoor stadium. They know the entry has to be around here, somewhere. They meet Koboruta and demand to know where it is, but he fires on them with a great gun. When they fall, he comes to finish them off. But they were only faking, and soon they have him down, Nagare's gun in his face, and are demanding that he tell where the Queen is hiding. When he won't say, they are about to fire. "That's ENOUGH!" calls a voice. Yes, Jirufiiza arrives in time to knock them away, but he cannot keep Koboruta from continuing the attack, trying to do it on his lonesome. The Queen hisses and transports all of them away.

Mint announces, "They've gone into the Saima Dimension!" Matoi squawks, "What?!" He determines to go, his father tries to hold him back, but even now the boy is stronger and races out.

Our heroes are in a blue, gray place, devoid of life. They see above them a bizarre castle resting atop a mountain. "What in heck is that?" As the air glows and shifts, Koboruta asks in surprise why they are now here, on the Saima Road?" A shaken Jirufiiza answers, "Mother." The Gogofive hear and understand, the Queen is there. Matsuri tries to signal Matoi. There is only static and she tells her other brothers. They are ready to go attack the castle, when they hear sinister laughter, a woman's voice. She tells them that here on the Saima Road, their power will be hers. And Koboruta takes the hint and goes to attack them. Jirufiiza tries to stop him. "Why are you stopping me?" Koboruta asks. "This is my time, for Mother!" He pushes Jirufiiza out of the way and continues his attack.

And at the stadium, Matoi hears the explosions but cannot track where the noise is coming from. "Where is that damned entry???"

Koboruta's weapon is deadly, but not enough. The heroes keep getting back up. When at last they manage to seperate him from his weapon and pretty much climb all over him, the Queen tells Jirufiiza, "Now! Get the gun and fire it while they're all in one place!!" She telekinetically lifts it into his arms. He says he won't do it, this is his brother. She says she'll just have to do it herself, and takes control of his body. He fights her control and begs her to stop, but she wins the struggle, and forces Jirufiiza to fire on Koboruta and the Gogofive. The explosion is tremendous. Matoi still searches frantically, hearing his siblings scream in agony.

And on the Saima road, the four Gogofive lie unconscious. Jirufiiza ignores them, racing to Koboruta's fallen form. "Big brother," Koboruta says, with roasted lungs. Jirufiiza gasps, "Koboruta, what have I done?!" Koboruta reminds him that Jirufiiza was always first, and Koboruta second. He wanted to die and return to their mother(?). "Brother," he says again. His hand slips from Jirufiiza's, and he dies, exploding. Jirufiiza gets to his feet and shouts, "Mother -- NO! Grand Deimaus! Why did you do it?" The Gogofive regain consciousness soon enough to hear the ensuing furious argument. "What are you doing? Why did you kill my beloved brother?!"

"Children of Saima lie to their parents, and sometimes try to kill them. He was too weak, so I had no use for him. I won't let anyone kill me. You two had to live together to survive, because I did not want to take care of you." And he in fury shouts, "We aren't your DOLLS!" She says cheerfully that she will use his body to kill the Gogofive. And she blasts him. He screams. The Gogofive cry out in anger, for she has killed her own child. And she sends her flames from his body, at them.

And in the park, Matoi finds at last the source of the sound. Far above him there is a speaker? Giant dimensional hole, and he jumps into it, falling through the dimensional hole until he lands, and races to try to help his family. But the flames come at him, then he sees the blackened form of Jirufiiza in the flames, coming at him. But Jirufiiza says, "This is not me, this fire is Grand Deimosu's. It moves everyone like they're dolls! The only way to stop it is to defeat her! You're still have good meat in your body, I think you'll survive." And he explodes at last. Matoi understands the message. Going into the flames to help his siblings will boot no good. He runs towards the Saima castle, while his family struggles in the fire, afraid for him and putting all their hopes on him. He fights his way through imps and searches for Grand Deimosu. He finds the demon gate, glowing inside with white fire, and jumps through. His family, even in the fire, is trying to channel their strength to him. But their armor is beginning to melt!

Matoi has reached the heart, reached Grand Deimasu. He will fight her, for his family. But she is not impressed, and sends him flying into a wall. "You are strong, but you're only human," she mocks him. I swear, she is royally scary-looking. She has him caught, and will destroy him slowly. But though he is steaming (literally, she's burning him up), he remembers how to fight her. When she is forced to release him, he counters that is isn't his physical strength that matters. He makes it through her guard and punches a hole through her. The backlash tumbles his siblings onto the track of the playing field, and they look for him frantically. He is there, just having arrived far from them. He is the only one still in his armor, and says he beat Grand Deimosu. They walk together to leave the field, when she arrives.

Darkness rules the sky, she is giant and begins blasting fire and electrical bolts all around the city. Matoi signals his father and calls in the Go Liner. They gather their vehicles and form Victory Robo. The Queen is not impressed. They try their spinning kick, then punching, but she catches their fists and sends magical energy through the robot, to stagger them. When they fire on her, she disappears. Nervous in the dark, they look around. They cannot see her, but she can touch them. So they try Victory Scan, and find her. They call in the Max Liner and form Max Victory Robo. Pulling out all guns, they fire on her until she has to reappear, and they keep firing. She falls and explodes! Is she really dead? They've only used half their robots. But Mint says the Minus-energy has been destroyed. Mondo sighs in relief. They have done it! WHEW!

Well, that's kind of anticlimatic. Anyway, the sun is out, the Max Victory Robo glows, and Pierre staggers out of the extra dimension in dismay. Then he hears laughter, and the sky goes dark. Yes, the Queen is still alive. And she gathers her strength, and closes her claws around the world!

January 30th, 2000!

This episode contains a lot of English! So it's rather amusing. In a great, tall building, a young blond American reporter is interviewing Mondo's friend. The broadcast is being double-sent, English and Japanese. "In just a few days, the negative energy on Earth is zero. The Saima no longer exist." And far, far away, at a Memorial Hospital, a balding doctor is watching the news with relief. An anxious female nurse barges into the room and says, "Doctor! The patient in Room Eight has woken up!" He jumps to his feet in shock. "What? The Asian lady who has been in coma for eight years?!" "Yes, Doctor!" "Let's go!" They bound out of the room together.

Our heroes are watching the news with their father. When the interview is over, Mondo tells them it was a long, hard fight, but they did a wonderful job. But Matsuri still looks upset. She goes to the cabinet and brings out a small, black, photo book. She gives it to their father. It has a picture of their mother, and of them inside of it. He stares at it wistfully. Now that the battle is over, they want to talk about her, says Matoi. Mondo tenderly closes the album and sets it on the table. They watch him expectantly. Daimon asks, "Did you tell Mom about the Gogofive?" Shou overrides his question with a furious, "Did you tell her ANYthing?!" but Nagare calms him down. "It wasn't his fault." Still, they all wait for answers.

He is a long moment before starting sadly to explain that he had to go into hiding ten years ago, in order to build the Gogofive equipment, that they would be able to fight the Saima. He could not contact them. They were always in his thoughts. But why, then, did their mother go, his children want to know. But before he can answer them, the phone rings on the computer link. It says on the screen, "Voice only," and Shou answers it.

It is Kyoko calling, from a shuttle up above the world. She can see a huge, bizarre energy storm. She has been listening to the interviews, but she's afraid they're wrong. Something is up there! But there is static, and they are cut off. Panicking, Shou shouts into the microphone. And up above the world, Kyoko sees eyes looking at her from the clouds, and hears Grand Deimos' evil laughter.

Pierre, stumbling along, hears the same thing. He can see her, huge, spread across the sky, clouds like grasping claws. He calls to her and vortexes open above him. Lighting bolts flash down to slaughter people and destroy buildings. Mondo's friend runs to the computer and reads on it the line "Protection against calamities", on its screen announces Minus Energy! Ha! She's baaaaaack. They start frantically trying to reach Mondo. Rescuers are everywhere, cutting people out of the rubble, racing victims to hospitals.

Kyoko gets through on the Gogofive's vid-phone. She is back on Earth and tells them she saw Grand Deimos in the skies. Matoi protests that they'd destroyed her, but Kyoko will not be ignored. After all, she's right. Mondo is left behind to support his children, who tear into the base and change into their battle armor. They take the Go-Liner out to the area of the greatest destruction, and break out the 99 Machines. They form Victory Walker to spray water around and douse much of the fires. Matoi heads in with his vehicle. And everywhere people are anguished, injured, frightened. They had so hoped the Saima were really gone!

Pierre has Salamandesu's green gem, and asks Grand Deimos to recreate him. Intrigued, she agrees. He calls on the magic, and she sends down an energy beam upon the stone. A shimmer of light and first Drop appears. In a matter of moments he goes into his coccoon stage, and them becomes Salamandesu, the beautiful, the proud. Surprised, he asks of the ecstatic Pierre, "You called me back from death?" But Pierre explains that the mother did it. Before Salamandesu can quite digest that information, Grand Deimos announces there is more. Energy crackles and begins to form a huge shape.

Our heroes are using the Lifebird equipment to help dig people out of the rubble. Then they startle when they hear this totally bizarre scream that seems to fill the air for kilometers. They have no idea what it could be, and no time to investigate. But in a tall building, Mondo's friend is in danger. The building is shuddering, and his young aide pulls at him, dragging him to the emergency exits, around falling debris. They make it out of the building, but almost run straight into Salamandesu. The young aide screams, then dives protectively in front of his boss, spreading his arms wide to make himself the easier target if an attack should come. Salamandesu approaches them with menace, when he is staggered by a blast. Yes, our heroes have arrived. They are stunned. He greets them nonchalantly, "Long time no see." Before they can do anything, he says he has someone to introduce to them. That weird scream occurs again, and then a creature comes flying between them. It is Jirufiiza!

Matoi protests, "I thought you felt the same way we do!" But something is totally wrong. Jirufiiza's eyes are dim and filmed over. He is like an animal, obeying his master, when Salamandesu sends him at our heroes. And while that's going on, Mondo's friend has joined him at the base and they will work together. Speaking of togetherness, Jirufiiza and Salamandesu make an effective team. But Mondo calls our heroes to tell them there are some children trapped in a nearby building. The team splits up. Nagare and Shou remain to fight the villains, while Matoi, Matsuri and Daimon go on a rescue mission.

They use the extension ladder arms from Matoi's vehicles to get into the building. Through their suits they can hear the children weeping and calling for help. They have to dig through the rubble, but it's not easy. Matoi and Daimon use their equipment to raise a slab so that Matsuri can crawl under it. Matoi almost drops the block on her, but she makes it through and tells him she's okay. She continues crawling through the rubble until she gets to the room where the children are. They are frightened, bruised and dirty, but otherwise all right. They ask Mondo to send in the Lifebird, but he tells them they can't use the tools, as the building is filling with flammable gas! They'll have to dig through. A little girl asks Matsuri if her mother will come for her, and our heroine hastens to reassure her. However, a sullen little boy says no one will help them.

Jirufiiza has pinned Shou against a wall, Nagare lying coughing at his feet. Shou tries to get through. "Why are you obeying your little brother?!" "Little brother..?" repeats Jirufiiza. Shou says, "Have you forgotten what your mother gave to you?" The memory wells up beyond the fog, of fire and agony. Jirufiiza's eyes shimmer, then glow bright red. He releases the heroes and turns to face Salamandesu. "Oh, my cute little brother!" he exclaims in amazement. For he had never seen Salamandesu, of course. Salamandesu stutters and tries to get Jirufiiza to turn back to the fight, snarling, "Get out of the way!" but memory is awakening emotion, and the golden one asks, approaching his brother, "Why do you use me as your shield?" Furious, Salamandesu runs Jirufiiza through. He falls with a cry of confused agony. Shou and Nagare quickly fire on Salamandesu, who falls. Grand Deimos won't be stopped that easily, though. She sends out a blast of power, to remove from the two the last remnants of their feelings, and to turn them into giant monsters to fight.

And the building our other heroes are in is filling with poisonous gas. Mondo sends the Max Shuttle to take the Mars machines up into the atmosphere, to gather solar energy and join the battle. Victory Mars and Grand Liner are formed to fight Salamandesu and Jirufiiza, firing the Liner Gatling. Grand Diemos is running her two puppets and using them effectively.

And in the house, where no one is present to hear it, the telephone is ringing and ringing. A woman sits in a hospital room, waiting. Eventually, though, she gives up.

Mondo calls in Matoi and Daimon, who don't want to go. Matsuri tells them they have to. The sullen little boy says, "Of course no one will help us." Matsuri tries to reassure him that they would be back. The gas is seeping into the room they are in.

And on the battlefield, as Grand Deimos anticipates victory, Matoi shouts back at her to ask what's the point of ruling the world if she kills everyone and there's only her left?


February 6th, 2000!

We left our heroes fighting Jirufiiza and Salamandesu gone large. All three robots are out, the Grand Liner, Max Victory Robo, and Victory Mars.

MotherA translator is helping them ask the woman about what she remembers. "You've been in a coma for eight years." "That's a long time," she says thoughtfully. She holds the bell and rings it softly. "I was dreaming." The doctor asks in English, "What kind of dream did you have?" and the translator relays the question.
And Matsuri is digging out, while Daimon is on the other side, digging through. The boy says no one will help, his parents won't come for him, but Matsuri says they will.
The woman has been dreaming of her children, fighting against dreadful monsters. And she prays that something dreadful has not happened to them.
And the queen watching as fire and destruction rained down by Jirufiiza and Salamandesu might beat the heroes. Mondo warns everybody that the dreaded gas is filling up the building, get the heck out of there. Daimon screams to Matsuri as he frantically digs through. Matsuri decides the only thing to do is to get the children as far from the gas as possible. She has the full attention of the bitter boy, who finally begins helping her pull kids away from the gas, things are very dangerous, and everyone is coughing and crying, except the boy. Matsuri assures him that the parents are coming. And our heroes continue the fight, Grand Deimosu mocking them. The boy explains that he misses his parents, because they are never home. Matsuri tells him how she has four brothers, and though her parents are gone, she was never alone. And never gave up belief in her family. The gas is really coming in, and she pushes the frightened children back. But just then Daimon makes it through to where they huddle, and they lead the kids down the stairs, clear some last debris to where their parents are waiting, struggling through to get to their children. And young Toshou discovers to his shock and relief that his own parents have come, anguished and relieved to find him alive. Stunned, he asks, "You came for me?" They hasten to tell him yes they did. He is their precious child. He looks back at Matsuri and smiles slightly. "You can believe in the bonds of family," he agrees with her, and she nods back to him enthusiastically. They get out of the school to see the battle. Matoi is piloting the Max Victory Robo, sees them down below and shouts warning to get out of here. But a double blast from the enemies at the school, and Matoi takes the Max Victory Robo to stand between the building and the blast. The gas is set off anyway, and the fireball surrounds the robot. The crowd screams and ducks. Mondo, watching, calls his eldest son's name. The robot falls, and there is no answer to Mondo's calls. Both Victory Mars and Grand Liner are down, and Nagare cries out for Matoi. Mint says they can't get up. And Mondo's friend mutters helplessly. Kyoko pounds on the thing beside her in anguish and frustration.

Grand Deimosu is expecting victory, and her two avatars stand, still without her running them. Mondo rushes into the room with a silver case, he gives it to Kyoko, for the sake of the world, he says, and tell her to take it to his children. But in the meantime, the queen shrouds the world in darkness. A blast into the ocean causes a tidal wave that comes up and swamps the base. Mondo and his friend bravely stand. Lightning from the black sky charges the giant bodies of Jirufiiza and Salamandesu. Kyoko and the aidePierre is watching all this and thinks they'll win. Daimon and Matsuri are getting no answer to their calls. They get the kids out of there and head for home. Kyoko and the man's aide make it to the house, though they are soaking wet, and call on a sub-computer station, but cannot reach Mondo. Kyoko clutches the thing he had given her, and is determined not to fail, for his sake if nothing else. And the phone rings.

And the woman in the wheelchair makes a phone call, and some other woman answers the phone. After a long moment, hearing the stranger's voice become more alarmed asking who's calling, the woman is able to speak.
Nagare and Shou are alive, searching for Matoi in the flames and rubble. They can't find him, and the sight of Salamandesu and Jirufiiza standing in the constant blue lightning in frightening at the least. But Nagare's bracelet is beeping at him, telling him that the minus-energy in increasing. He and Shou continue their search.

Last ChanceMatsuri and Daimon make it home in a rescue vehicle, as Kyoko hangs up the phone. They find her and the other man about to leave. "The Bay Area..?" Matsuri asks, and Kyoko shakes her head, clutching the silver case tight. Daimon is about to break, this new loss, and Kyoko watches him with anguish, but she comes to him and holds out the case. "It's from the Doctor," she tells him. They open it and find inside a paper titled "Max Victory Robot, B Version, (Greek symbol, looks a bit like an E or an M on its side) Project." It is the last robot, the last chance. They must protect the world. He had told her, and she told them. They are about to take off when she tells them to wait, and pulls out the message she had taken just before they got there. "Call here." In the car Matsuri dials the phone number, and weeps when she is answered, Daimon does too.

Nagare and Shou search frantically through the wreckage, finding nothing and despairing that Grand Deimosu will win, when they hear a familiar voice calling them. "Nagare-san, Shou-san! Over here! Matoi is here!" It is Liner Boy, for though the machinery was destroyed, his mind is still intact within the AI box, and Matoi lies in the wreckage beside the box. They carry their unconscious brother out of the wreckage, down into a subway entrance. As they tend his injuries, wiping blood from an abrasian on his mouth, he wakes at the pain. "The kids?" he asks. Between them, Nagare and Shou tell him, "They're all right, but the base is gone, and so is Max Victory Robo." Horrified, he asks about the Grand Liner and Victory Mars. They tell him both are useless, now. They are out of power, charging up, and the minus-energy in increasing. They are about giving up, Shou expressing his bitter anguish at their failure and Nagare hanging his head, but Matoi glares up the stairs. He struggles to his feet and encourages them on. "While there's even one life to protect we have to fight!" They meet his eyes and silently agree. "This is our last fight!"

Meanwhile, the queen is absorbing more power, the sun is blocked by the moon, or some other round object, and Pierre is doing his best to help under the giant, frozen forms of Jirufiiza and Salamandesu. "The last people," he says.

Matsuri and Daimon make it to a dark warehouse, punch the codes to let them in. She bears a flashlight and they stand in the bright, blue light. They shade their eyes, then squint and look up. There is another robot, huge and solid, black against the light behind it.

The sun comes out. Matoi, Nagare and Shou stare up at the two giants, then determine to change into their armor. Power and light activates the still bodies of the two giants, and Grand Deimosu has taken up residence within. She wears them, lives in them. But Matoi is there, challenging her. "Listen to me, see if you can find me!" She recognizes him, and he fires his guns ineffectively at Jirufiiza's body, only annoying her, but it does serve to distract. And Nagare and Shou bring out the Victory Robo and Grand Liner, but the Queen's blast takes down both robots, and the young humans are fallen. The three brothers stand together in the monster's flames, and just when Jirufiiza's body will be used to kill them, a new robot comes.

"What the hell is this?" Grand Deimosu protests. Daimon answers this is the last one of Mondo's creation, piloted by him and Matsuri. Our heroes come together in the cockpit. There are cords that plug into their suits, and they pour their own strength into the machine. The queen blasts them and the feedback is agony. When they think they will fail, Daimon and Matsuri tells them that their mother is alive! And for the first time in long years, they know it beyond doubt. She tells them of the conversation, and how glad their mother was that they had not forgotten her. That they had waited for her. The power of their belief kept her alive. So now maybe they've lost their father, but they have their mother back. And this last robot of their father's. For the sake of the world, for the sake of everyone. They channel their power into the robot. The glow of their lives and strength unnerves Grand Deimosu and she moves to attack. However, they have more power, purer power, than she does, and they charge up their blade, slice and dice the two bodies, which explode. Pierre is sent splattering like a fly into a wall, and Grand Deimosu is expelled into the universe. She disintegrates with a cry of rage.

Our heroes switch out of their armor with cries of victory, leave the cockpits and stare up in amazement at the robot, then run towards the Bay. Wishing, without much hope. The water is still, and no sign that Bay Area was ever there. Matoi calls, "FAAATHER!" But of course there is nothing. Nagare, Shou and Matoi are almost lost in their grief, and Daimon and Matsuri try to reassure them. Kyoko is alive, and went seraching for their father. "But..." says Nagare weakly. But it is Shou who sees the red van approaching and calls their attention to it. They watch intently. Yes, Mondo is there, alive. The aide is driving. They've had time to clean and change. At his friend's encouragement, he joins his children and tells them he is so proud of them. They are so happy to see him. Kyoko watches in relieved delight. But the news is not over. He has a wonderful surprise for them. A wheelchair dismounts from the truck and Mondo's friend pushes it forward. It is their mother.

Mondo takes over the pushing, and brings her to his frozen children. Matsuri and Daimon, who've had longer to digest the news, come to her. Shou is the next step behind. Nagare and Matoi are still too in shock to move. Matsuri kneels in front of her, "Mother!" "Oh, you've all grown so big!" And she looks at each of them, "Matsuri... Daimon... Shou..! Nagare..." and she and Matoi stare at each other in wonder, all of them trembling. Mondo walks around to stand between Daimon and Matoi, he says to her, "Ritsuko, he is the one who raised them all, not their unreliable father," holds his eldest son's trembling shoulders and his wife agrees it must have been hard. Mondo thanks him with a bow of his head. But Matoi pulls away, too emotional to hold his stoic appearance, and finally breaks into tears. His siblings watch him with pride and some concern, but he turns back to them and shouts, "WE DID IT!" And they explode into bounding joy in the power of their family.

Family reunited

And the show ends. They are a family again, their mother is on her feet and sends them off to work with home-made lunches, which they thank her every moment for. Matsuri can be an ambulance nurse again. Daimon can be a police officer again. Shou can be a helicopter pilot again, and his friends welcome him back enthusiastically. Nagare is back with the Chemical department, testing flame-retardant chemicals. Matoi is back with his fellow fire-fighters, and he and his old opponent fight playfully over the shrimp in the lunch his mother had made him.

And Matoi's final message to us, the audience or to his fellow firefighters, "Remember us with joy!"