Space Symphony Maetel 05: Puzzles
A lot happens in this episode: the metalforming (reverse terraforming?) of LaMetal is almost complete, an order comes down to mechanize all of the remaining flesh-and-blood citizens (refusal to be followed by death), the real Queen Promethium shows up (maybe) and we finally get 100% confirmation that the Space Panzers were behind the meteor attack.
There are many puzzles here. Some of these puzzles are of the silly type, some are rather sublime, but they’re all fun! Let’s take them as they turn up in this episode.
1) Nazca gets to run around all over the place.
The boy’s debut on the planet involved a regicide attempt. He only staved off immediate execution when Maetel announced she would interrogate him. Ever since then, he’s been running around LaMetal like an untouchable. I know he has friends in high places but still, it’s a bit much.
2) Commander Leopard fights for Justice and so…
…he shoots the enemy in the back of the head pretty much. It’s a weird scene. When Leopard decides to finally stop the madness his first act is literally to sneak up on a commanding officer and off him. I guess it’s consistent with him being constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
3) The Space Panzers are human!
Barring some small modifications like Leopard’s right arm, the elite guard of Queen Promethium remains unmechanized. This is of course very puzzling. I can only think of two solutions:
a) Non-mechanization is a perk for this elite force.
b) Non-mechanization provides an advantage in fighting.
The first solution would imply that Promethium accepts the fact that it’s better to remain a flesh-and-blood human being, and so she allows her minions this privilege. But this flies in the face of Promethium’s own value system as well as her propaganda machine. The second solution doesn’t have any basis of support that I know of. Ultimately one would think that mechanizing the Space Panzers would have also increased loyalty to the Queen’s aims and prevented precisely the sort of rebellion we see here. I am mystified.
4) Maetel didn’t know about LaRela’s existence until she underwent the coronation ceremony.
Another rather big puzzle. The present queen of LaMetal is LaAndromeda Promethium II. Her immediate predecessor was Queen LaRela. Maetel is only two generations removed from the latter, how come she never even knew of her existence growing up?
The easiest solution I can think of is that Queen Promethium has systematically buried access to the history of LaMetal up to her own reign. Neither the names nor the deeds of LaRela are known to any LaMetalian born after her time. The interesting thing is that this censorship must have started before Promethium mechanized herself and turned evil. Maetel was in her teens when Promethium went bad, and evidently she didn’t know about LaRela and what she did back then.
Under the surface at least, Queen LaRela’s reign was a dark period in LaMetalian history. Since LaMetalians in this era hibernated throughout most of their planet’s 1000 year solar orbit, labor was required to maintain the planet’s facilities in the interim. LaRela systematically brought in slaves from other planets (mostly Earth) to fulfill this task (although to be fair, there are hints that previous LaMetalian queens had done the same thing). And when she realized that LaMetal would escape from solar orbit and drift into endless space, LaRela hit upon the idea of transferring all of her people to Earth, and forcibly removing all Earthlings to LaMetal. [BTW, Leopard was already commander of the Space Panzers in LaRela’s time so it’s natural for him to seek her aid once he’s set upon toppling Promethium.]
Queen LaRela’s plan was thwarted by none other than Promethium, who as Millennial Queen of Earth had developed affection for the Earthlings and hatred for LaRela’s abuse of the same. So it makes sense perhaps that as the new queen of LaMetal, Promethium would lock LaRela away and try to wipe off this nasty bit of history. ESPECIALLY when you consider that it was Promethium’s heroism on behalf of Earth that effectively doomed her own people of LaMetal to eternal winter. If LaRela had succeeded, this whole mechanization trauma/drama might have been avoided!