Heller sits awake, mind crawling with thoughts and metal arm itching along with them. It's an irrational feeling, he tells himself. He didn't notice the technology that replaced his flesh before, and the way it bothers him now seems illogical, another constant irritation on an entire planet determined to wear him down.
But he remains human. Not for himself or for hope; it's out of love for his son, duty, and spite. Silverman would laugh to see him mad, tearing his arm apart to shake the feeling of mechanics.
Hours later, he finally sleeps, and forgets Zoidstar for the night.
Griff still dreams of being a Zoid. He can feel Zoidzilla's mind, demanding a pilot as focus and taking anyone who grips the controls. He can see himself targeting the enemy, his friends, over and over...
These nightmares, he can break. He almost shrugs them off now.
What scares him are the dreams where his memories return, because in them, he sees Zoids. Never directly: they're reflections, metallic mirages caught in the corner of his eye and then gone again. He knows they're not real, and seeing them leaves him wondering if he can trust any part of his past.
Rolo remembers the past too, but looks to the future. If not to the stars and home, the immediate: without shelter, without Gorgon to defend the ship, there is no possibility of stopping the invasion that haunted his fever-dreams.
Let Drew have his manly sulk and Namer his brooding. They've both saved his life often enough. He can watch their backs a bit, make sure everyone keeps their head screwed on straight—Zoids included. No sleep for him means repair night.
Sometime past two AM, Phil joins him, and they debate Zoidaryan circuit diagrams over stale coffee.
Phil considers himself lucky. He's got people he trusts (and who trust him), ones who appreciate an all-nighter spent surrounded by machines.
It's a pity they're also surrounded by this post-apocalyptic hellhole of a planet. Griff deserves to grow up safe, and Heller, well. Phil remembers how it feels to lose hope. They were both condemned here, but Heller sees it as a sentence.
He could leave the Zoids to their battles and the crew to their regret...forget Earth like it forgot him. But if Phil's learned one thing here, it's that friends damn well stick together.
The Namer names curiosity and remorse as the emotions leading him to save the Celeste's passengers. On these quiet nights, though, when he keeps watch under the blue moon and across the burnt landscape, it's the loneliness that strikes him the most.
What is he, without his people's story to tell? A wandering madman in the making, telling the rocks and dust about each and every machine that crosses his path. The humans have given him purpose. He would be grateful, but he fears purpose is dangerous.
His eyes stray to the horizon, where Krark glides, wings glistening wine red.
Krark flies, Zoidstar beneath and night above. His mind seeks, as always, to bridge the two, and as he passes the wreck of the Celeste his thoughts stray to the humans within. They are trapped and fragile, but they fell from the skies, and they yet survive.
He waits for their fellows—surely, no warrior race can resist such soldiers as his. Like he is there when the red Zoids land, he will meet them, and they will listen. The Zoidaryans saw Zoids as tools. As it was their undoing, it will make humankind his vehicle to the stars.
Redhorn bothers not with philosophy or the universe. To him, Zoidstar is the universe, and things continue to unfold as he wants. Zoidzilla remains dead, and Krark wastes his time talking. Mammoth talked too much, and like Mammoth, Krark is a dreamer...his thoughts are lost in conquest while the planet is still plagued with blues.
What leader would take an army out conquering when his own home is divided? Not Redhorn. If there is any merit to Krark's delusions, Redhorn will deal with him as he has all who stood in his way, and take Krark's spoils for his own.
Scavenger does not rest. Not while there is work to be done, and there is forever work. How, he asks, can the great wars continue without him to return the warriors to the battlefield?
Others call him unusual, he would say visionary. Oh, the factories might replicate Zoids, or even create new life...but they have no imagination. No soul. When Scavenger rebuilds Zoids, they are not only stronger, they are unique.
Forgotten in the depths of one of his many parts caches, buried under parts of the Black Zoid and the dead it left behind, a mechanical hand twitches.
Zunder, by contrast, is truly alone. The android watches the same sky, the Zoid's neck craned back to give full view to the blue moon traversing the sky.
"He only wanted to watch the end of the world. Now the world's gone and survived, and he's dead," Zunder tells the moon, as if the Zoids in the factories he knows lie above can hear. Will the red Zoids that fall to Zoidstar now ally with Krark, will they follow the recently-reborn Redhorn?
Rebelliously, Zunder finds he doesn't care. He has but one question:
"Who can I talk to now?"