Escaflowne episode 5 "Big Brother's Seal"
(the Justice card)

Is it a dream? ...or an illusion?
Hitomi summarizes the previous episode.

The Alseides are catching up to Escaflowne. "If you don't fly any faster, I'll hit you," says Dilandeu. He begins shooting fire from a krima claw. Between the shooting and poor winds, Van is forced down. As the Alseides land, they disappear. Van is easily caught. "Gotcha'," laughs Dilandeu as he materializes in front of his pinned prey. "You became a decoy so the others could escape. I hate that sort of pretension." He begins pounding on Escaflowne. "I really hate it!" Escaflowne finally goes limp. "What? Over already?" The Vione arrives. "I was only playing, Strategist," explains Dilandeu.

The Crusade does its best to follow Escaflowne. They find unnatural fires, but no melf. The girls worry for Van. "No," assures Allen, "they won't kill Van. I hear only the King of Fanelia can operate Escaflowne."

"Don't worry," says Gadeth, "we'll save him." The crew echoes this sentiment with grim enthusiasm; they want blood! Quietly, Gadeth asks, "How ‘bout it, Captain?"

"How many survived?"

"Seven, including myself."

"Would a frontal assault on the floating fortress' camp be too difficult?" wonders Allen. "If we could quickly determine their location..."

Hearing this, Hitomi musters her courage. "Um, Allen," she begins, "I think I could figure out where Van is."

"You certainly predicted the attack on the fort," concedes Allen. "However..."

"It wasn't just coincidence," insists Hitomi. "I felt it!" She tries to explain how, even though she doesn't really understand it, this power has been getting stronger since her childhood.

"Even so," says Allen, "this is a job that we soldiers must do. Please, understand." He turns away.

"At least test me," Hitomi says with determination. "Please!"

On the Vione, Dilandeu and Folken head through the docking bay, to where Escaflowne is being kept.

"We've sent out patrols; they won't get back to their country," says Dilandeu. "There's no point in skulking around here any longer."

"We're not allowed to be unprepared," explains Folken. "Let's wait for their report."

"How like a strategist." They reach the stairs leading to Escaflowne. "Now, our future is secure. Let's pull the samurai out and destroy it."

"I can't permit that," replies Folken.

"Why?"

"Why is this such a threat to our future?" asks Folken. His hand brushes his sword as he climbs the stairs. "Not until we can determine why it is a threat." Folken raises his hand to Escaflowne's energist. It glows and the cockpit opens, spitting out a semiconscious Van at their feet.

"Him!" chokes Dilandeu in recognition.

"Yes," says Folken, "Fanelia's new King."

As it hides from patrolling Alseides, repairs on the Crusade get underway. Inside, Hitomi begins her reading for Allen, so that she might prove herself. He, Gadeth and Meruru watch silently. Outside the room, the inactive crewmen also watch. Pairu wonders if she can do it. He's shushed by Riden.

"Il Pazzo (the Fool)," begins Hitomi. "Following your own way in life, common sense disregarded. This card shows your father's character. This card, reversed, covers your family. (The result is) Collapse; the family's separation." Allen's eyes twitch.

"Is that true?" asks Pairu.

"I don't know," says Kio. "He doesn't talk about his past."

‘It's all here,' thinks Hitomi, ‘The loss of his sister, his mother's death. It's all because the father...'

"Continue," prompts Allen.

‘What should I do?' she wonders, beginning to sweat. ‘He seems angry; I must have said something bad... But if I don't get him to believe in me...'

"What's wrong, Hitomi?"

She collects herself and goes on. "Il Giudizio, the Judgement card. In the near future, you and your father will be reunited." The pressure mounts. "However, because you cling to the past, your heart is full of hatred... So... this card..."

He takes her trembling hand. "Thank you, Hitomi," he says quietly, "that's enough." He gestures to Gadeth.

"Um..." she is uncertain, "I..."

"You passed!" he says, spreading out the map Gadeth has brought. "Find out where Van is."

In a dimly lit room, Van wakes to a whistled tune. He sits up in the bed. "Who are you!?" Folken walks over to him. "Why do you know a Fanelian song?" Seeing the King's sword on the desk, Van makes a dash for it. Folken does not try to stop him. "Won't you lead me to my gaimelf?" demands Van. Folken is undisturbed by the drawn sword pointed at him.

"Do you think a soldier of Zaibach would submit to such threats?" says Folken. "You cannot get out of this floating fortress."

"If it means living as one of your tools..." Van attempts to slit his own throat, but Folken disarms him.

"You must not throw your life away," says Folken. Then, he removes his cloak and shrugs off his vest. One of his arms is plainly mechanical, but that is nothing compared to what comes next. On the wall, behind the gaping Van, Folken's shadow sprouts wings.

"Brother," whispers Van.

On the Crusade, Hitomi suspends her pendant over the map to help her to find Van.

On the Vione, Van tries to deal with his shock.

"It's been a long time, Van. About ten years."

"I believed," says Van, "that you hadn't run away from the ceremony of succession, but that you had died fighting a dragon. I believed that you had faced your enemies; that you had fought to the end." He turns to face his brother, but Folken's back is to him. "Why are you with Zaibach!? Why did Fanelia burn!? Answer me!" He notices Folken's smile. "What's so funny!?!" Van trembles with rage. "Don't laugh!!!" He yanks Folken around by the shoulder and finds himself in an unexpected embrace.

"Van," Folken whispers into his ear, "return with me, together, to Dornkirk, the Emperor of Zaibach, and see the beginning of a new future." He pricks Van with a needle hidden in one of his mechanical fingers. Van slumps to the floor, unconscious.

It's dawn and Hitomi is still at it. Allen suggests she rest, but she wants to continue. "If only we had something of his..."

"We do," offers Meruru: the handkerchief Van used to bind her wound. She puts it on Hitomi's hand. "What should I do?"

"Think of him with your heart," instructs Hitomi. Allen adds his hand to theirs. They concentrate as Hitomi's hand moves the pendant across the map. Suddenly, she sees him! He's in a place where levitation stones gather.

"That's it!" agrees Gadeth, "It's a perfect place to hide a floating fortress."

Her part of the job over, Hitomi happily passes out.

In the Vione's docking bay, Dilandeu contemplates Escaflowne. "So, this is a threat to the future of the Zaibach Empire. It's just an old antique." He steps closer. "How did this thing work?" The energist glows darkly as he raises his hand to it...

The Crusade spots the Vione and drops dramatically to get within striking distance.

Meanwhile, Dilandeu screams as the light and energy of Escaflowne's energist floods the bay. Even Folken, on the bridge, feels the resulting shudder that runs through the Vione. The tremors also wake Van.

As the Crusade drops, Allen notices, with surprise, that smoke is billowing out of the Vione.

Folken demands to know what's wrong. The bridge crew reports an explosion in the docking bay. Just then, they notice the Crusade!

Allen's men grapple the Crusade into position and charge into the battered bay. Only Allen pauses to wonder about the cause of the destruction and smoke.

From his room, Van wonders what's up.

Allen's crew enjoy the fight.

Dilandeu's men worry about their Captain. They must find him before they will act. Schesta has the misfortune of meeting up with Allen and is quickly subdued.

On the Crusade, Hitomi has a vision of Dilandeu killing Van.

"What is it?" asks Meruru.

"I saw it," says Hitomi.

"What was it?"

"I have to go."

"Where?"

"I have to get to Van."

"Hey, wait!" Meruru runs after Hitomi.

Van is surprised when Schesta opens his door then collapses into the room. Allen steps around the unconscious youth. "You look well."

"Allen, you came to rescue me?"

"There's no time; let's go."

The Crusade's docking planks have been withdrawn. Hitomi contemplates the empty space between her and the bay. "The distance is five... six meters." Meruru finally catches up to her. Hitomi tosses her sweater to Meruru and announces that she's going over. "My personal broad jump record is 5.4 meters..." says Hitomi to herself.

"Wait! What are you thinking!?" chides Meruru. "You can't jump that! All that way! You fall; you die! Hey, wait!"

Hitomi takes off... and makes it (naturally). "I did it!" She gets up and takes off to find Van. Somehow, she knows where to go.

"Monster..." murmurs a dumbfounded Meruru.

Van and Allen are making their way to the docking bay. Allen tells Van to go on and get Escaflowne, while he takes care of the Zaibach soldiers.

Hitomi spots Van and is about to call out to him, but Folken beats her to it.

"Van!" Folken looks down on him from a catwalk. Van turns.

"Big brother!"

Without another word, Folken tosses down the King's sword, then turns away.

Van is too distracted to notice Dilandeu sneaking up, through the smoke, behind him. Fortunately, Hitomi does notice and calls out. Van blocks Dilandeu's sword blow in the nick of time.

"I should have killed you last time," snarls Dilandeu. "I hate you! Hate you!! Really hate you!!!" A lucky blow slices into Dilandeu's cheek. Traumatized, Dilandeu screams and slumps to his knees. "My face," he whimpers, clutching the wound with his free hand. "My face."

"Hitomi, hurry up!" barks Van as he makes his way to Escaflowne. They meet up with Allen and the withdrawal is ordered.

Dilandeu staggers to the edge of the bay to watch the Crusade leave. "How dare you? My beautiful face..."

Folken also watches, unable to follow because the Vione's energist power is off line. "Van, one day you will return to me."

On the Crusade, Van is reunited with a tearful Meruru. "By trying to save you, I was the one who ended up needing to be saved," Van says to the crew of the Crusade, in an attempt at a thank you.

"We couldn't have done it without Hitomi," says Allen.

"Oh..." Van says, then looks away, "sorry about that."

Hitomi's not thrilled by his weak response.

Allen gives the order to head to Palas, Astoria's capital, while Van contemplates his realities.

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