Soukou no Strain – 02
Having lost everything after that happened, Sara changed her last name to Cruz and is now at the Basion General Strategy Tactical Institute as part of the mobile infantry division. Sara’s been here three months and she is now on another training mission, except in a suit called a Gambee. By acting apart from the other students, she manages to catch the attention of the commanders, but is having a hard time fighting the training bots. Although she knows that she could do this easier in a Strain, she lost her Mimic on that fateful day, so she can’t control a Strain anymore. All she can do now is question why her brother did all that, and in order to find out the truth, she’s decided that she must see Ralph again. Sara hasn’t made any friends at this new school and being is ostracized by a girl named Isabella because of her lack of teamwork. However, she knows that Isabella and her group were choosing easy targets during training and that real combat is quite different. A girl from the Space Armored Division named Lottie chides Isabella for what she did and feels that Sara fights like a Reasoner.
Although there are sub-light-speed maneuvers coming up, Sara doesn’t have the required training time to participate. She goes to argue with her instructor who finally gives in under the condition that she clears the Basion descent maneuver that’s coming up in 4 weeks. With this, Sara puts herself onto a rigorous training regimen in the simulators at the cost of her sleep. On one particular day, she encounters Lottie in the exercise room and Lottie matches her running on the treadmill at four times normal gravity. Lottie even challenges her to see who will be become worn out first, but the two run evenly until both collapse at once. Sara later wakes up in the infirmary and finds herself hooked up to an IV. After the doctor tells her to rest and leaves, Sarah and Lottie introduce themselves to each other. They soon notice that the TV is airing a report about Ralph’s betrayal, causing Lottie to get quite angry at the traitor.
The day finally arrives for the Basion descent training with the goal of retrieving a float from inside the gas cloud and returning with it. But because of a strong magnetic storm, the students’ electronic equipment – such as radar – won’t work very well. In order to watch the training mission, Lottie goes to see the Technology and Engineering Division instructor Melchisedec who has a small probe following the action. Sara passes through all the asteroid obstacles and finds the target, but her Gambee gets pushed aside by Isabella’s. The two girls race forward, but Isabella doesn’t notice the large asteroid that floats into her path. Seeing Isabella knocked out, Sara had actually shoots her rival’s Gambee with an electrified arm. This shocks Isabella awake and might have saved her life, but she doesn’t know that until Lottie explains it to her later as she’s confronting Sara.
Having passed the training, Sara is allowed to go on the sub-light-speed maneuver by her instructor. But when she gets out of the shower later, she finds her uniform ripped apart and her pendant gone. Since that pendant is so precious to her, she searches everywhere from the garbage to the Gambee cockpit, but can’t find it. Though dejected, her search eventually takes her to a room of junk with a Strain in the middle that’s covered up. Sara also notices that there’s a dirty doll sitting in a chair nearby, which she takes pity on. Upon closer examination, she realizes that the doll has a Mimic in its back – one that’s labeled E.M.L.Y. Sara feels that this Emily probably doesn’t have a Reasoner and must be lonely. It is to this doll that Sara confesses that she’s lost both something and everyone precious to her. In that respect, she feels that she and the doll are the same and starts crying to it.
At that same time, far away on a Deague ship, the girl that Ralph took from the military lab at Glabella is recalling that her name is Emily.
We find out that Sara is now hiding her identity under the name Cruz, which is probably to get away from all the anti-Werec family and traitor sentiments. Though everything else about her and around her may have changed, including her hairstyle, Sara’s goal of seeing her brother again remains the same. She just now has a really has a good reason to want to see him again, as opposed to just wanting to be reunited with her brother. The intriguing aspect here is that the girl Ralph took is named Emily, just like the doll/Mimic that Sara finds. The connection between the doll and the girl may be obvious, but how they got there remains a mystery. For now, I imagine that Sara will probably reawaken the doll somehow and that they’ll take control of the Red Strain that’s shown in the opening sequence.
Given how fast Sara’s friends were killed off the first episode, I wonder how long this new cast will last. Maybe Ralph can show up next episode during the sub-light-speed maneuver and kill half of them or something.