Island of Ambition (Gargantia Episode 10)
(To check out part 9, click HERE)
The Salvage work commences and Pinion is finding loads of treasure in the now-vacant Whale Squid nest. The murdered bodies of the sentient beings and cousins of the human species litter the oceans, oceans of blood, oceans of gore, morally problematic oceans that give pause only to Ledo who knows why they are problematic, and to superstitious workers who believe in the curses of the Whale Squids that now haunt the sea of mist as spectres. Pinion’s work finds many weapons, cannons roughly 75 times more powerful than the arsenal of his entire fleet. He decides to hoard his wealth for himself and his own people, he won’t share his spoils with the world to make it a better place, and won’t even trade or sell the newfound wares.
Pinion takes on the aspect of a fascist with total control. His power as a worker with a will to help only those who are like him is nationalistic and close-minded. He has made a power grab through his popularity that has rendered him the true leader of the fleet over and above Ship Captain Flange and the other Ship Captains aboard. Pinion calls out on the radio frequency and tells the world of his findings and how he will destroy anyone who attempts to take them from him. Pirates show up to test his strength and are quickly defeated. Pinion takes over their ships, enlists the men as his own, and imprisons the Pirate Captain in a bay below.
Later, he will throw a party for Ledo whose fighting ability and technological superiority has led to the genocide of the Whale Squid, the eviction from their home, and the opportunity for Pinion to reap rewards. Ledo is disillusioned and angry with himself. He will brood and reflect on the evil he hath wrought as well as the propaganda ingrained within him from birth onward by the Galactic Alliance of Humankind. Pinion challenges him the next day to help with the work and quit sulking, but Ledo essentially tells him to fuck off and makes him aware that Pinion is ultimately at his mercy as the man with the machine that could kill every human on the planet without even taking damage.
“What is this? What am I doing it all for? Who am I doing it all for? When did it start? Was it when I first regained consciousness on this strange planet? Or was it earlier, like the first time I got inside Chamber, inside a Machine Caliber? Or did it start at the very beginning when I was born?” Ledo feels as if his life has been less than meaningless. He has actively killed without prejudice his own genetic brothers and sisters. He thinks back to when he exited the Machine Caliber after the genocide and recalls the blood and guts of thinking, feeling sentient beings caked on the outside hatch. The moral pangs reach an existential core that is itself a void, a void the Galactic Alliance filled through meaning in battle, in making the world and the Universe a worse place rather than a better one.
His visions of killing mother and fathers and stomping to death their children excites a physical revulsion and response in Ledo in the form of vomiting. As he reflects, Chamber has one of his inconvenient processing realizations. The light bugs that roam the Earth’s seas are not natural phenomena or true bugs. They are nanomachines made of the same material as the Hideauze shell. the material absorbs electromagnetic waves and converts them into chemical energy for sustenance. They use this energy to exist and to grow and to eventually self-divide. They are connected to the Hideauze in some way, but Chamber is still unsure of how.
Ledo, tired of these academic discussions, makes apparent to Chamber his lack of will to go on fighting and claims that he will fight no more forever against the Hideauze, because they are his relatives genetically. they are evolved from human beings. Chamber then acts uncharacteristically. He gives Ledo orders to fight. Chamber explains that the Hideauze are powerful beings that do not social orders or complex technology to continue existing. Therefore, unlike weaker human beings who do, the Hideauze have not continued to need large brains and intellects. Chamber believes, without great evidence mind you, that the Hideauze have therefore evolved over time to be less and less intelligent, but their space forms have evolved through constant fighting to be more and more powerful physically. they have reached the level of strength of Machine Calibers in space and therefore, should be considered Ultimate lifeforms quickly reaching their peak evolutionary levels of strength. Human beings have relied on intellect and social orderings and the Machine Calibers represent the highest form of evolution within the species of homo sapiens. Chamber therefore believes that the conflict between the two ultimate lifeforms is a teleological necessity and potentially an eschatological end-goal game.
As Ledo thinks about this new approach and questions why and how Chamber is commanding him rather than the other way around, a fleet approaches in the distance. We, the viewers, note that the individuals onboard are wearing hooded cloaks with odd symbols of an eternal eye, masonic style. Chamber notes their approach and a Galactic Alliance signal being emitted from that direction. As they near Pinion’s fleet, Ledo recognizes the Machine Caliber of his friend and superior officer Kugel onboard. Is it possible that both men survived the Hideauze battle and the bungled Telemaki Swing through the wormhole generator in Episode 1?
Till next time,