Disclaimer: Kimagure Orange Road © Matsumoto Izumi/Shueisha. Area 88 TV © Shintani Kaoru/TV Asahi. Not intended for commercial gain or to challenge the status of these copyrights. Best by date printed on label. Not for human consumption. For external use only.

THE RED STRAW HAT PRODUCTIONS

presents

a script by the air of Spike Milligna

Area 23: or, TAP Gun Episode #2

DRAMATIS PERSONAE (a fancy Etruscan B method of saying "THE CAST")

THE GOVERNMENT FORCES

Kasuga Kyousuke as SHIN KASUGA

Hino Yuusaku as MICKEY SHINON

Komatsu Seiji as MACKOMATSU

Hatta Kazuya as COMMANDER 'SAKE' HATTA

THE REBELS

Ayukawa Madoka as CAPTAIN AYUKAWA, THE DESERT RAVEN

Hiyama Hikaru as LIEUTENANT HIYAMA, THE BLOND BOMBSHELL

Kasuga Akane as MAJOR AKANE

Kasuga Kazuya as COMMANDER KAZUYA

also starring

Kasuga Manami and Kasuga Kurumi as THOSE ROLLERSKATING WAITRESSES

with the special participation of

Kasuga Takashi as THE NARRATOR

DJ Dogman as THE REBEL ANNOUNCER

Jingoro as JINGORO

and VARIOUS UNNAMED EXTRAS WHO WILL BE SACRIFICED IN THE NAME OF A GOOD SCRIPT


Entries in italics denote out-of-character/situation actions and dialogue.
(Intro)

(A flight of government Skyhawks are on a bombing run against a rebel oil refinery)

(Cut to cockpit shot of lead Skyhawk)

SKYHAWK PILOT #1: Whiskey Section, cleared in hot, check switches.

SKYHAWK PILOT #2: Switches confirmed.

SKYHAWK PILOT #3: Three.

SKYHAWK PILOT #4: Four.

PILOT #1: Roger, we're starting our attack run.

(After a few seconds, there is a bright flash of light in the background, and the lead pilot looks back to see his entire flight blow up in a hail of cannon rounds. Each pilot manages to eject, however.)

PILOT #1: Mayday, mayday! We are under attack! Whiskey Section is under…

(His Skyhawk shudders as it is hit, and he ejects.)

(Cut to the sky above the downed flight, where we see a black-and-brown MiG-29 and a sand-yellow Su-35 circling the hapless pilots' chutes.)

(Camera switches to cockpit of the MiG-29. The pilot, who is watching the burning wreckage, lifts the visor of her helmet. It is Ayukawa Madoka.)

AYUKAWA: Nice work, Bombshell-chan. That's one less force of government lackeys we have to worry about.

(Cut to the cockpit of the Su-35, where the pilot raises her visor. It is Hiyama Hikaru, and she looks happy.)

HIYAMA: Kyadakyadakyada! It was nothing, Raven-san! Come on, let's go home. I could go for a beer right now.

Kyousuke: Oi, oi, no alcoholic drinks while we're shooting!
Manami: (pulling her brother away from one of the studio radiophones) Onii-chan!

(The two planes fly away into the distance, and the camera pans to show the Skyhawk section leader hanging under his parachute, bruised and bloody. He is gazing at the retreating planes.)

PILOT #1: I know those planes. They're… (fade to black as he faints from his injuries)

------oOo------

(Panning shot of empty desert, with blowing wind)

NARRATOR: When the wind blows over the desert, it brings along with it the memories and dreams of long-lost souls. For Shin Kasuga, those memories would be ones he tried to leave behind… this is Area 23, where I hope my children will behave themselves in spite of this violent script…

KASUGA SIBLINGS: Dad!

NARRATOR: Oops, sorry…

(Fade to black)

------oOo------

(Fade in to tarmac outside a hangar in Area 23. Walking alone is Shin Kasuga, looking macho in a blue flight suit, his hair done up in a puffy, spiky style that conceals one of his eyes. The effect is abruptly lost when he trips over an outstretched leg.)

SHIN KASUGA: (picking himself up from the ground) Ouch! Mickey, why'd you have to do that?

(Cut to show Mickey Shinon, Shin's fellow pilot, who is wearing a gray flight suit)

MICKEY SHINON: I don't like it when you try to look like the strong, silent type. Where are you going?

SHIN KASUGA: Over to the mess hall. I hear Commander 'Sake' Hatta's gotten the place some new waitresses.

MICKEY SHINON: Yeah, to replace the ones who left because they wouldn't agree to go out on a date with him. Mind if I join you?

SHIN KASUGA: Why? Am I coming apart?

MICKEY: (looking at Shin in disgust) That has got to be the worst joke I've heard yet.

SHIN: I can't help it. It's in the script.

(Cut to the mess hall of Area 23. All the pilots are looking appreciatively at a pair of girls wearing red-and-white waitresses' uniforms with miniskirts and rollerskates.)

Manami: How come we always have to wear clothes like these?
Kurumi: 'Cause Komatsu and Hatta said they'd treat us to a full-course Chinese dinner if we did.

WAITRESS 1 (MANAMI): Here's your order, flyboy. (smiles at a seated pilot and hands him a tray of food. Said pilot grins widely at her, enamored.)

WAITRESS 2 (KURUMI): (at another table) Here's your—oops! (a scream is heard as she accidentally dumps a bowl of piping-hot soup on an unfortunate soul) Sorry.

(Shin and Mickey enter the hall, and the waitresses immediately swoon over them.)

KASUGA TWINS: Ooh, hi, Shin! Hi, Mickey!

SHIN: Hi.

MICKEY: Hello, ladies. (they find a table and sit down)

Manami: You realize, of course, that we'd never swoon over these two in real life.

(The bullhorn mounted on the wall of the mess hall blares)

VOICE: Now hear this! Now hear this! Prepare to receive casualties! Medical personnel stand by to receive casualties!

SHIN: (looking up at bullhorn) Casualties? Mickey, who was out today?

MICKEY: Huh? (turns from Kurumi, who is sitting on his lap) Oh, Vangermann and some new guys. They were supposed to hit a rebel oil refinery.

(Cut to action shot of rescue helicopter landing and gurney being wheeled up to it. A figure is loaded onto the gurney and it rolls away)

NURSE: (holding her skirt down) Hey! Stop! The emergency room's that way!

(Cut to shot of quiet mess hall, panning from interior to the front doors. After a few seconds the doors suddenly bang open and the gurney is wheeled in)

SHIN: Hey, why'd you bring him here? The emergency room's that way. (points outside)

MALE NURSE: We wanted to see the new waitresses—I mean, he wanted to tell you guys something.

MICKEY: Vangermann?

(Camera focuses on the figure on the gurney)

VANGERMANN: Beware! I saw it today! I saw it! It shot us down!

SHIN: Saw what? What did you see?

VANGERMANN: The Desert Raven! She's here! She's here! (starts raving)

(One of the nurses—who looks suspiciously a lot like Ranma ½'s Akane—produces a mallet and knocks the pilot unconscious, then wheels him out again. The pilots in the mess hall start whispering worriedly.)

WAITRESS 1: The Desert Raven? Who's that?

MICKEY: Don't you know? She's supposed to be the toughest pilot in the rebel air force.

WAITRESS 2: Is she?

MICKEY: I wouldn't know. I haven't gone up against her before. But I guess she's not so tough. After all, she is a girl.

(Kurumi, incensed at the remark, smashes her tray down on Mickey's head.)

WAITRESS 2: Just a girl, huh? (She stomps away with Manami in tow.)

SHIN: (jerks thumb in twins' direction) And you wonder why none of them want to go out with you.

MICKEY: Oww… (shakes his head) What about you, Shin? Do you think she's tough?

SHIN: I… Maybe.

MICKEY: Hmm. You've got that 'I have a secret' look on your face again.

SHIN: No, it's nothing.

MICKEY: Suit yourself. I'm going to get some food. (stands up and leaves)

(Camera focuses on Shin. There is a haunted look on his face. He brings his wallet out and we see him take a picture out of it. The front of the picture is not shown.)

SHIN: So you're here, huh? (he tightens his grip on the photo)

(Shot reveals picture. It is a smiling Ayukawa Madoka.)

------oOo------

(Crossfade from picture shot to Captain Ayukawa, who is at a rebel airfield with Lieutenant Hiyama, drinking at a bar. They are in civilian clothes.)

LIEUTENANT HIYAMA: Nee, Captain, how many does that make today?

CAPTAIN AYUKAWA: I don't know… twenty, twenty-one? Who cares? (she sips her drink) At least we're getting paid good money.

LIEUTENANT HIYAMA: Well, I do! 'Cause I want to get promoted so everyone will start calling me (stands up and says in English) 'Captain Hiyama!'

AYUKAWA: You say it like it was the name of a superhero…

PASSING PILOT: Congratulations, Captain. I hear you clobbered them again today.

AYUKAWA: (nods) Thanks.

VOICE: (from offscreen) Hey, Blondie! Good work out there!

HIYAMA: (eyes narrowing) Excuse me. (She walks out of POV. A terrific altercation is heard, and the camera shakes. Then she walks back in POV, rubbing her fist.) And don't call me 'Blondie!'

AYUKAWA: (amused) Come on, Hikaru. We lose more good pilots that way.

HIYAMA: Che! (She gives Ayukawa a look, and they both laugh.)

HIYAMA: (picks up drink) Are there any really good pilots on the government side?

AYUKAWA: Well, there's bound to be a few.

HIYAMA: I heard the mercenaries in Area 23 are pretty good.

AYUKAWA: Yeah… (she gets a faraway look in her eyes)

HIYAMA: Let's give them a visit tomorrow, shall we? (smiles the patented Hikaru-chan Eye-Blinding Sugary-Sweet™ smile)

AYUKAWA: Oh, okay. Might be fun. I'll just clear it with Commander Kazuya.

------oOo------

(Cut to main briefing room of Area 23. Pilots are seated listening to a figure with an X-shaped scar on his forehead. It is Commander 'Sake' Hatta.)

UNNAMED PILOT: Commander Hatta, why are the waitresses here? (Manami and Kurumi smile and wave at the camera)

COMMANDER HATTA: I want to ask them out on a date later. Is that so wrong?

PILOT: Oh, no, no.

COMMANDER HATTA: Is everybody here? Good. Now, our target for today is this rebel airfield. (points to spot on wall map) You've probably heard that the legendary rebel pilot code-named 'Desert Raven' has been seen in the vicinity. Whoever can shoot her down will be awarded a bonus of seven hundred thousand dollars. (pilots whisper excitedly) Also, her wingman 'Blond Bombshell' goes for three hundred seventy thousand.

Hikaru: What? How come I only rate three hundred seventy thousand?
Madoka: (consolingly) Hikaru-chan.
Hikaru: (getting all teary-eyed) But Madoka-saaaan! It's unfair!

(Cut to view from seat behind Mickey and Shin. They talk while Commander Hatta's voice drones on in the background.)

MICKEY: Alright! I think I'll go over to MacKomatsu and get my Tomcat a couple of Phoenixes.

SHIN: Are you sure that's such a good idea? After all, those things cost a lot.

MICKEY: But if I can get her before the rest of this sorry bunch do, it'll be worth it. Say, Shin, who are you going to try and shoot down?

SHIN: Well, let's see… the bounty on the Raven's head is very handsome, but she might be too dangerous to handle… on the other hand, the Blond Bombshell's bounty is too small for my taste… maybe if I try to separate them from each other…

MICKEY: Typical. We'll spend all day here while you try to decide.

SHIN: Sorry.

MICKEY: Well, since you can't decide, I'm going after them both.

SHIN: (shrugs) It's your funeral.

MICKEY: How come you're so jolly and cheerful today?

SHIN: Doesn't the size of the bounty on their heads worry you?

MICKEY: Worry me? It makes me happy! (their conversation is interrupted by a blackboard eraser thrown from offscreen, which hits Mickey in the face and colors it white.)

COMMANDER HATTA: Listen up, you two! Quiz later! (everyone groans)

(Cut to Commander Hatta looking stern and important)

COMMANDER HATTA: And now… an important announcement: (shot from Hatta's POV of Manami and Kurumi) Will you go out with me later?

MANAMI: Out in this dump? I don't know…

HATTA: (whispering) Remember that Chinese dinner.

KURUMI: (shooting upright) Eeeyay!

MANAMI: Commander, how'd you get that scar on your forehead?

HATTA: What scar? (rubs forehead) Alright, which one of you jokers wrote this X on my face?

------oOo------

COMMERCIAL BREAK

------oOo------

(Shot showing Shin and the other pilots walking to their parked aircraft. He is carrying his trademark helmet in one hand, and is once more looking macho. Until Mickey trips him again.)

SHIN: (picking himself up) Hino—I mean, Mickey!

MICKEY: (smiles smugly) Got those Phoenixes. Those rebels are toast.

SHIN: Whatever. See you. (turns to leave)

MICKEY: Yeah, good luck to you too, Kasuga. Geez, what a stick-in-the-mud.

Hikaru: Darling is not a stick-in-the-mud!
Madoka: Hikaru-chan, please.
Hikaru: Sorry.

(Wide shot of tarmac. Lots of different planes are starting to taxi onto the runway. They arrange themselves into pairs and start to take off.)

(Cut to shot of Shin sitting in his blue-and-white F-20 Tigershark. The ground crew signals him to start engines. As he taxis out, Mickey forms on his wing.)

(Shot of MacKomatsu standing on the tarmac, watching the planes go by. As Mickey's F-14 passes him, he gives Mickey a thumbs-up sign. Mickey responds by extending his Tomcat's refueling probe. It looks a lot like a middle finger.)

MACKOMATSU: Damn kids. (slaps forehead) Oh no! I forgot to tell Mickey he needs a backseater to fire the Phoenixes! I've got to find a radio! (rushes out of POV)

(Cut to shot of Shin's Tigershark going to the end of the runway, waiting for permission to take off. Cross-fade into close-up of his face.)

SHIN: Ayukawa…

------oOo------

(Shot of busy operations room. We are shown the back of a short, small figure dressed in an olive-colored uniform. It is looking up at a transparent wall map of Asran with lots of little lights on it. A tall female figure dressed in the same type of uniform steps into the POV. It is Major Akane.)

MAJOR AKANE: (snaps to attention) Commander Kazuya!

(The short figure turns around. It is Commander Kazuya of the rebel forces. He smiles up at Major Akane.)

COMMANDER KAZUYA: Yes, Major?

MAJOR AKANE: Listen, you little twerp, how come you get to play the boss around here?

COMMANDER KAZUYA: (smiling mischievously) 'Coz, big sis, if you don't let me, I'll tell Madoka-neechan what you wrote in your diary.

AKANE: (disgusted) Blackmailer. Sir, our spy at Area 23 has just reported that a lot of planes have taken off and are headed our way.

KAZUYA: Dispatch our Combat Air Patrols.

AKANE: (saluting) Sir! (turns to leave)

KAZUYA: And Major?

AKANE: (looking back) Yes… (grudgingly) sir?

KAZUYA: Send Ma–er, Captain Ayukawa here first, okay?

AKANE: Yes sir. (leaves quickly)

(Camera follows Akane as she walks down the corridors of the rebel complex.)

AKANE: (grumbling) I don't know why I put up with this silly excuse for an organization. I mean, my hours are long, my work goes unappreciated, that idiot commander is a pain in the behind, and to top it all off, he's after my Madoka-chan too...

(She finds Ayukawa and Hiyama in a crowded pilots' lounge.)

AKANE: (brightening) Raven-san, you're wanted by Commander Kazuya.

AYUKAWA: Roger. (she stands up and leaves)

AKANE: All right, listen up, all of you! There's a major government raid headed for this airfield. All pilots are to remain in their ready rooms. No one will go off base, or you will be shot.

(Jump to mean-looking Komatsu and Hatta, waiting backstage, armed with guns)

KOMATSU AND HATTA: Heh. (Komatsu accidentally squeezes the trigger of his gun and hits Hatta in the face with water, revealing that they are armed with toy pistols.)
HATTA: Thanks for spoiling the shot.
KOMATSU: Sorry.

(Jump back to Akane)

AKANE: Blue Squadron, you will take off first. Wait for further instructions.

(The tannoy crackles to life, and everyone in the room looks up. The speaker is DJ Dogman.)

REBEL ANNOUNCER: Aaallllriiiight, boys and girls! Awooowooo! This is your announcer DJ Dogman speaking! Awooo! All squadrons are to take off in this order: Blue, Red, White, and Green. Armorers upload the appropriate air-to-air munitions. Refuelers gas up the planes! Fragmentary taskings are being distributed now! Take-off begins at thirteen hundred. Woofwooooaahooaaahooo! Do it now! May the Force be with you! Awoooooo-ooh-ooh!

(Cut to shot of Akane, who has her forehead in her hand and is shaking it in disgust)

HIYAMA: How come we have to get him as an announcer?

AKANE: 'Cause he was the only one who agreed to work for free.

(Cut to over-the-shoulder shot of Captain Ayukawa arriving in the ops room. She looks at Commander Kazuya)

AYUKAWA: You wanted to see me, Commander?

KAZUYA: (extending his arms, clearly wanting Ayukawa to carry him. She is confused, but does so. Kazuya 'accidentally' places his hand on her chest.)

AYUKAWA: Oh!

Kyousuke: (from offscreen) Oi! Kazuya! Where do you think you're touching her?
Manami & Kurumi: (holding back an irate Kyousuke) Onii-chan! You're spoiling the sequence!
Kyousuke: If you don't get your hands off her, I'll tell her who really walked in on her while she was dressing in ABCB's back room!

KAZUYA: Oh, ahehe. Right. (removes his hand from its resting place) I will pay you extra for a special mission I have for you today.

AYUKAWA: What is it?

KAZUYA: You are to ignore the raiders and target a particular aircraft. (he signals to someone in the background, and the wall map changes to a picture of a blue-and-white Tigershark.) This particular menace has been very troublesome lately. You are to eliminate my Kyousuke-nii… I mean, this pilot. (signals again. Picture changes to one of Shin Kasuga, grinning foolishly and holding up a victory sign.) I am authorized to pay you one hundred thousand additional if you can shoot him down. His name is–

AYUKAWA: (whispering, shocked) Kasuga-kun.

KAZUYA: You know him?

AYUKAWA: (expression changing, eyes narrowing) Yes, Commander. And eliminating him will be a pleasure. (close up of her grim face and slow fade to black)

------oOo------

(Side shot of Mickey's F-14 in flight. Camera closes in on front cockpit.)

MICKEY: Tell me again what you're doing in my back seat?

(Camera pans to reveal rear cockpit and MacKomatsu, who is wearing a helmet but no flight suit, and is looking very queasy.)

MACKOMATSU: I couldn't find anyone who knew how to fire the Phoenixes I sold you, so I had to come along.

MICKEY: That's touching. I guess you didn't want the government to lose its best pilot, eh?

MACKOMATSU: No, I just didn't want to lose my best customer. Urk… (ducks out of sight, and various retching sounds are heard)

MICKEY: Hey! Not on the floor, I just had that cleaned!

MACKOMATSU: (coughing) I brought a bag with me, stupid.

(Slow pan out from rear cockpit to an F-15D coming up behind the gaggle. It is Commander Hatta's personal plane. Close-up on his face.)

VOICE: (over Hatta's headset) Commander! What are you doing here?

HATTA: I'm happy I got a double date last night, so I thought I'd come along. Besides, if I get the Desert Raven, I won't have to pay you guys the bonus money.

(Numerous calls of "Tightwad," "Cheapskate," and the like over the radio.)

(Cut to outside ¾ rear shot of lead Rafale)

UNNAMED PILOT: All right, I'm getting a signal from the enemy. Whiskey and Vodka Sections, bracket left-right. Rum and Wine, bracket up-down. (planes veer in different directions)

SHIN: Who gives us these stupid call signs anyway? (looks out at Hatta's F-15, which is coming up beside him) Hey, who's that in Hatta's back seat? Kurumi!

KURUMI: Hi, onii-chan! (waves)

SHIN: Commander, why'd you bring the waitress along?

HATTA: She said she wanted to do something exciting today. Besides, onii-tama, she looks good in a flight suit.

(Cut of Mickey's F-14, which fires a Phoenix)

MICKEY: Vodka One, Fox One!

MACKOMATSU: (bending over radar screen) Mickey, are you sure you know where in the enemy group the Desert Raven is?

MICKEY: (strikes helmet with hand) Doh! There goes my money!

(Cue 'Mission 1: Fuga' BGM. Consecutive close-ups of Shin, Hatta, Mickey, the queasy MacKomatsu, and a cheerful Kurumi as the two forces close. When they pass each other, the formations break up and a huge furball begins.)

(Cut to action shot following Mickey, then Hatta, then Shin as the opposing forces tangle with each other. Numerous explosions in the background.)

(Fade out 'Mission 1: Fuga' BGM.)

MICKEY: Kasuga! Help! I can't shake him! (zoom out to reveal a yellow Su-35 behind Mickey's F-14)

SHIN: It's the Blond Bombshell! I'm on my way, Mickey!

MICKEY: I wish it were like this in real life, having Hikaru-chan chase after me! Yahoo! (laughs)

MACKOMATSU: Shut up, Shinon! Just keep us alive!

(Cut to close-up of Hikaru)

HIYAMA: Ya–ho! Darling's after me! I'll let you catch me, Darling! I mean, so long, government scum!

(Hikaru's plane POV shot of Mickey's F-14, which is hit by her cannon fire)

MICKEY: Vodka One is hit! I'm going down! (plane disappears off edge of POV) Hikaru-chan!

HIYAMA: Haha! Got you!

(Cut to Shin's Tigershark)

SHIN: Mickey! (fires a Sidewinder, which hits the Su-35)

HIYAMA: Raven-san! (she breaks as Shin's F-20 closes in on her) Darling, you're so mean!

(Cut to cockpit shot of Shin, who is about to press the trigger on his joystick)

SHIN: Sayonara, rebel scum!

(A line of tracers suddenly zip past his canopy, and he breaks away. Rear-angle shot reveals the MiG-29 of Captain Ayukawa on his tail.)

(Shot of Ayukawa in cockpit)

AYUKAWA: (switching frequencies) So, we meet again, Kasuga-kun.

(Return to previous POV of Shin)

SHIN: Ayukawa! You're not going to get away with this!

AYUKAWA: Oh no? Just try and stop me!

(Fade in 'Awakening' BGM.)

(The two planes battle for a long time, but it becomes clear that they are evenly matched)

(Fade out 'Awakening' BGM.)

(Shot of F-20 as it maneuvers)

SHIN: What happened to you, Ayukawa? You used to be someone I could trust!

AYUKAWA: (over the radio) What happened? I grew up, Kasuga-kun. I learned not to trust people like you, ever since you left me. (fires at Shin, but misses)

SHIN: I didn't leave you! I came back for you, but you had already gone away!

AYUKAWA: Liar.

SHIN: I've never stopped looking for you! That's why I came here, because I heard you'd been seen around this area!

AYUKAWA: Shut up!

SHIN: I'm not going to shut up! Can't you remember, Ayukawa? Can't you remember what it was like when we were together?

(Shot of Ayukawa's face, then dissolve into flashback, which shows various scenes of Shin and Ayukawa together, happy. The last one shows them facing each other, slowly coming together for a kiss. Dissolve back into cockpit.)

AYUKAWA: I… (shakes her head) Nice try, Kasuga-kun! It won't work this time.

SHIN: Ayukawa… I'm not going to shoot you down.

AYUKAWA: Then I'll do the world a favor and get rid of you! What? (she jerks her head up and back and to one side. Zoom out to reveal gunfire of Saab Gripen Wine 4, who is attempting to bag her.) You government swine!

WINE #4: Shin! What the hell do you think you're doing? Stop dawdling and shoot her down!

Takashi (holding his copy of the script): Oi, oi, such language!

(Ayukawa and the Gripen tussle briefly, and she manages to shoot it down.)

AYUKAWA: (looking down at instrument panel) Kuso! I'm out of weapons. (she looks up, out of the cockpit, and her eyes widen.)

AYUKAWA: Kasuga-kun!

(Cut to her POV of Shin's F-20. It is headed right for her.)

SHIN: Ayukawa! Let's die together!

AYUKAWA: (jerking her control stick) You idiot! (split-second zoom in/zoom out close-up of her face to reveal a tear dropping from one eye)

(Slow-motion shot of the F-20 and MiG-29 colliding, each plane slicing off one another's wing. Shin's F-20 begins to spin out of control. Ayukawa's MiG bursts into flames.)

Takashi: Kyousuke!
Hikaru, Akane & Yuusaku: Madoka-san!
Kurumi, Manami & Kazuya: Onii-chan!
Komatsu & Hatta: Kasuga!

(Close-up of spinning F-20 cockpit. Shin manages to eject.)

(Sequence shot of Shin's parachute deploying)

SHIN: Ayukawa!

(In the distance a parachute opens. Switch to Madoka's POV.)

AYUKAWA: Kasuga-kun!

(They float to earth, landing on the desert sands. In the background their planes have already crashed and exploded, sending up pillars of smoke. They unhook their harnesses. Shin runs to Ayukawa, while she just walks to him.)

(Close-up on Shin's happy face)

SHIN: Ayukawa… (crashes to a halt as two bullets hit the sand in front of him) Huh?

(camera spins around to reveal Ayukawa pointing a smoking pistol at him.)

AYUKAWA: Hands up, you jerk.

SHIN: This isn't what I expected… (raises hands)

AYUKAWA: You think one stupid explanation can undo years of anger? You left me behind, Shin Kasuga. No matter what reason you give, nothing's going to change that.

SHIN: You're… you're right. I accept this fate. (he closes his eyes. After several tense seconds, he opens them again.) Well, aren't you going to shoot me?

(Close up on Ayukawa's trembling hand. She drops her pistol.)

AYUKAWA: (lowering her head) I guess… I guess I just can't be a hardcase when it comes to you… Kasuga-kun! (runs to him)

SHIN: Ayukawa! (runs to her)

(They hold each other and are about to kiss, when…)

HIYAMA: (from offscreen) Daaaarrlliiiinnnggg!

(Madoka and Kyousuke instantly release each other, back in character. Camera focuses on Hikaru, and behind her Yuusaku, running up to them. When it zooms out to reveal everyone, Madoka is somehow standing away from Kyousuke, holding a gun in his general direction.)

HIKARU: Daarrliiing! Is–is it true? You love Madoka-san, and not me? (eyes fill up with tears, while in the background Yuusaku is grinning evilly)

YUUSAKU: (rubbing his hands) Haha, you're in trouble now, Kasuga.

KYOUSUKE: N-no, Hikaru-chan, that's not true! We… (lightbulb) we were just shooting the film, see? (points to camera)

(Shot of camera and Komatsu and Hatta behind it, grinning and waving. The twins pop up behind them.)

MANAMI: Hey, Hatta! What about that dinner you promised us?

KURUMI: Yeah!

(Komatsu and Hatta sweatdrop, laughing embarrassedly.)

KOMATSU: Hey, don't look at me! It was his idea!

HATTA: But you were the one who told me to tell them to wear those skimpy outfits! (aside) Such a corrupter of young minds…

KOMATSU: What! Why you...

(They begin to pull each other's face out of shape. Camera switches back to Kyousuke and Hikaru. Yuusaku is behind them, looking on enviously.)

YUUSAKU: Of all the darn luck…

HIKARU: (glomps Kyousuke) Wahahaha! I knew Darling was faithful to me! 'Coz if he wasn't… POW! (punches the air behind her, and a surprised Yuusaku is sent flying over the horizon)

YUUSAKU: Hikaru-chaaaaaaannn… (voice fades away)

KYOUSUKE: Ahehe… (sweatdrops, looking at Madoka. Camera changes POV to reveal Madoka scowling, and then turning her back on the pair. As she turns away, her scowl changes into a smile.)

KYOUSUKE: (voice-over narration) Kasuga Kyousuke, fifteen years old, living in the springtime of my life. But… you can't tell that when you're in the desert…

('sketch' FX shot, pullback to reveal photograph, and fade to black)

------oOo------

NARRATOR: And so we leave Area 23, where the desert winds blow and memories catch up to you… too bad you couldn't get a part in it, eh, Jingoro?

JINGORO: Meow! (Subtitles on bottom of screen: Are you kidding? I'm thankful I'm not in this cheesy production!)

------oOo------

END CREDITS