"Then Lets Take Them Out."Great googly moogly....
Episode 17 of Bodacious Space Pirates was full of all sorts of surprises...
"...and that, children, is a 'Zuka review."
...and had a thoroughly satisfying story that...
I gotta wait a week? A whole week? GHAAAH!
OK, in the last episode, Lynn revealed that the person
Princess Gruier had seen her secretly communicating with was Jenny
Doolittle. Jenny, the former president of the yacht club had graduated a
few episodes ago. Jenny had been exceedingly cool under fire
(literally at one point) and quite helpful in concealing the whereabouts
of Princess Gruier when that became necessary.. It was also offhandedly
mentioned that she was an exceedingly wealthy heiress. Well, Jenny
(according to Lynn) is being married off to some politico in an
arraigned marriage and she wants to hire the Benten Maru to kidnap her.
This, of course, is awkward.
As we saw last episode, the current "crew" of the Benten Maru consists of Marika, Chikaki ( who's on TAD from the privateer Barbarossa)
...and members of the yacht club who Marika recruited to do one simple
lark of a mission ( a theatrical "raid" on a cruise ship to entertain the
passengers) in order to keep from loosing the ships letter of Marque
during the period that the rest of the Benten Maru's actual crew is in quarantine.
A good deal of the episode revolves around debate between Marika and
Chikaki about whether to accept the job. Marika does. It seems she has a
plan of some sort.
There is a surprisingly painless resolution to the situation (Jenny does
most of the legwork) and the rest of the episode revolves around
negotiations between Marika, Jenny and the insurance company. The company pulls a lot of legal and financial strings quite rapidly leaving our heroines to figure out how to deal with the ramifications of the fact
that they've just annoyed a Megacorporation and inserted themselves
into a succession war.
Marika suggests dealing with the problem directly "Let's take them out!".
She obviously has a plan but her first priority is to get Jenny to the
University she has surreptitiously enrolled herself in as it is in strictly neutral
territory. I assume she also wants to wait until she can get her crew
back as leading a bunch of high school girls into battle would be...
Not the cliffhanger. Just a surprise....Wait, why is that girl still dressed as a dinosaur?
There's a good discussion of this ep over at Chizumatic but the thread suffered from a bout of topic drift and has been closed. I still had a few questions and observations.
On the face of it, Marika's decision to take the job seems pretty hard to defend, she's got a plan, obviously but seriously...
Her crew consists of 2 qualified people and a bunch of teenagers who were about to get the astronautical equivalent of an AB ticket.
There are less than a third as many of these novices as the ships regular crew.
Most of them are minors.
Whatever plan she may have is likely to turn to worms if anything goes wrong.
Her plan was stationkeeping.
This makes sense if she had also been in contact with Jenny after accepting the job. The "plan" was simply to wait until Jenny showed up at the location she'd been given. This makes the plan a lot more sensible. Go. Wait. Pick up the escapee when she arrives. Then hightail it to safe space. Of course things got complicated because of pressure on the insurance company and she had to conduct negotiations in normal space for the benefit of Show. This allowed the mercs to catch up. At least that's my reading of the situation.
This idea is somewhat contradicted by Jenny's dialog with Lynn when they embrace on the bridge. However, before that, Lynn specifically said she expected Jenny in a small craft. Chikaki, a short time later reiterates her concern and says"They've completely taken the lead on this?" and Marika says that is correct. This seems to indicate that the job was, on the face of it not only a good deed, but doable and not irresponsible.
I liked the fact that Grunhilde saw through Jenny's bravado. "Her eyes are not smiling'" That was a nice touch.
I think that the Galactic Empire is set up similar to China in its heyday. There is the Empire proper, and a bunch of tributary states that are nominally independant and have their own militaries, customs and laws, but they have treaty restrictions on the size of their regular forces. The Empire also exclusively sells them their military equipment. This analogy explains why the corporate fleets exist, they are empire based and as such are semiofficial representatives of the Empire. They are allowed to have heavy security (Rivaling the navies of some tributary states) much the way the treasure fleets and merchant fleets of China were before the decline. This makes the privateers very interesting aces for Sea of Morningstar to have.