|Manga chapters||Chapter 50-Chapter 53|
|Original air date||November 20, 2012|
|Story arc||Pazuzu Arc|
A flashback shows how Wiley met Lehm and Echo during a Gulf War mission in 1991. In the present, Koko's Squad is in Iraq and has to deal with the PMC escorting them, Excalibur, turning against them after they are fired.
During the Gulf War in 1991, Wiley is at an American base in Kuwait when someone comes looking for him. This turns out to be a Captain Lehmbrick with Delta Force who tells him that he needs him for something: destroying a chemical weapons factory in the mountains of northern Iraq. He will be joining a small team of four and they have 40 hours to complete the mission. Furthermore, they lack intelligence on the plant's interior but need to destroy it with a minimum of explosives. Wiley admits that he wrote his graduate thesis on demolition but Lehm is confident of his abilities as a combat engineer. They arrive at a parked Humvee where Wiley meets the rest of the team: Arkin, Howe, and Eckhart, who asks that he be called Echo.
On board a C-130, Lehm hands Wiley the only piece of intelligence they have of the plant, an aerial satellite photo. After Wiley gets over his initial shock he begins planning how he will demolish it as Echo reassures him that they will handle the guards. That night at an air base the Delta operators learn that Wiley comes from a family of architects, but he on the other hand ended up doing demolitions for the U.S. Army. The group boards a UH-60 Black Hawk which delivers them to a mountainside. As they prepare to move out, Wiley notices that the operators' attitude has suddenly changed as they have become very serious and focused as they gaze on the factory below.
Inside the factory the operators swiftly and efficiently take out the guards, further impressing Wiley. When things are clear Lehm alerts him that reinforcements will be coming as he gauges how to bring down the factory's massive support pillars. They did not bring enough explosives with them to do the job, but he gets an idea. An injured guard slumped across from Wiley comes to and is about to shoot him when Echo notices and takes him out, but not before the guard gets off a shot that grazes the right side of Wiley's head. Nonetheless Wiley stays focused, impressing Echo. Wiley then asks him for some help.
After team retreats to the mountainside and as far as the detonation cord will allow, Wiley triggers the explosives. The plant implodes, impressing the operators and Lehm realises that Wiley used the charges they had brought to detonate the 250 pound chemical bombs in the plant. As they are picked up by Black Hawk, Wiley thinks to himself that he was so impressed by the operators that he was driven to join Delta Force. At a bar in Fort Bragg he finds Echo having a drink with a lady friend. When Wiley asks how Lehm is doing he learns that he is now a major and has left the army. Echo then notices that Wiley has shaved the opposite side of his head to match the side that was grazed during the Gulf War so that they balance out, and is highly amused.
In the present, Koko's Squad is making a delivery in Iraq via convoy. Wiley finishes his story by telling them that when he went to see Lehm he met Koko Hekmatyar and was so captivated by her that he left the army as well. As Koko thinks to herself that Wiley's story of him shaving both sides of his head always works, Jonah cracks up everyone by observing that the story was amusing. Nazal, who is riding with Koko, observes that one of the squad members was there during the Gulf War and expresses his appreciation that they have returned to build an elementary school. Koko however replies that she does not want to be there, but they are helping HCLI's public image. She continues that she has her own security and thus does not need the services of a PMC like Excalibur nor his as an interpreter, as she can speak Arabic. Nazal counters that a convoy of ten trucks needs at least 20 men to protect it and that no one else in Excalibur speaks Arabic.
The Excalibur PMCs who are escorting the convoy are then shown bantering among themselves, expressing among other things the desire to shoot something and talking dirty about Valmet and Koko. Lehm is listening in on them and wonders how they can talk like this on an open line. Jonah, who is riding on top of the rearmost truck, sees a car coming up on them from behind and Koko has her squad members confirm that the driver is not a threat. However when he tries to pass the convoy Excalibur decides to open fire, killing the driver and destroying the car. Koko has the convoy stopped and informs Excalibur that they are fired.
The convoy continues minus Excalibur. Koko apologises to everyone for their useless security, excusing Nazal, who has remained and is driving the seventh truck. He observes to himself that he has never met a PMC like this. She is riding with Valme, who is driving, and compliments her on how she looks behind the wheel. Valmet is happy to hear this and asks Koko if she is more in love with her. She points out that she used to be in a mechanised unit, thus she inherently recalls how to drive a large vehicle. While agreeing that it is good that Excalibur is gone, she is concerned about Nazal remaining with them, as she suspects that he stayed to spy on them. Koko however replies by sticking a water bottle in Valmet's mouth, recalling that Excalibur took their firing without much protest, which raised her suspicions. She then announces that they are not hauling expensive weapons and can abandon the convoy if needed. When Mao observes that it would be dangerous to lose one's ride in the middle of the desert, Koko replies that if they are attacked they will respond with deadly force. When he hears the rest of the squad laugh at this, Nazal thinks to himself that they are crazy as well.
Jonah, who is riding with Lehm, suspects that Excalibur will return. Lehm agrees with this, noting that there are more and more people like them these days. When he starts talking about how things have changed since he was in Iraq more than a decade ago, Jonah asks if he means the Gulf War which he heard about from Wiley, who had conveyed that he idolised Lehm. Lehm replies that he missed this as he was listening in on Excalibur's channel and that while he is a good soldier, concedes that Wiley is also very good. This surprises Jonah and he learns that the FBI has blacklisted both Koko and Wiley, as they are considered to be the most dangerous members of the squad. Lehm also points out that the convoy is following Wiley because he has a sixth sense for bombs given his background and experience as a both a combat engineer and demolitions expert.
Lehm then expands on the squad's early days when it consisted of him, Chiquita, and Wiley Back then they protected a much younger Koko who at that age was already involved in arms dealing. She was a target for would-be kidnappers and assassins but thanks to Wiley she was kept safe, as he would turn the bombers' own bombs against them, confounding the police. Lehm then relates a story of when the hotel they were staying at in either Greece or Turkey was rigged with enough explosives to bring it down. Wiley rerigged the bomb, causing it to detonate when the bomber returned, taking out one of the hotel's six floors. This saddens Jonah and Lehm comments that all the praise that Wiley got during the Gulf War went to his head, on top of which Koko was always pleased by his work. Lehm is about to continue when the convoy stops for a break. While they are stopped Nazal is given permission to call his family. A fidgety Jonah quickly takes a soda from Wiley before retreating, causing the latter to wonder why Jonah is now scared of him. Lehm refuses to get specific when Wiley asks him what he told Jonah.
After the convoy resumes, Wiley senses something amiss while consulting a map and informs Koko that they will stop soon as he suspects that the curve up ahead may be concealing an ambush. Koko quickly supports him, alerting her squad to prepare for a preemptive strike as the convoy halts. Lehm and Lutz are directed to prepare their rifles while Nazal is advised that he cannot make any more phone calls. He thinks that the squad did a great job of anticipating the ambush and that Excalibur does not stand a chance.
The convoy is under observation by a pair of Excalibur spotters who see that everyone has exited the vehicles. They try to reach Nazal but he does not pick up and they contact their reinforcements. Wiley goes ahead to reconnoiter and finds an IED off to the side of the road in the form of a container box on a disabled trailer and knows that a second one will be across the road. The scouts hold their fire to avoid tipping off the convoy but see that Wiley has spotted the IED. Excalibur comes up the road in their vehicles and is anticipating taking out the convoy and getting a hold of Koko to ransom her. The driver of the lead truck is informed that the convoy has stopped and Nazal is not responding just before he is sniped and killed by Lehm. Valmet and the others open fire on the oncoming Excalibur vehicles while Lutz takes out a sniper in the ambush team, Lehm snipes the gunners on the trucks, and the vehicles are hit with fire. The scouts spot Wiley again and try to detonate the IED but Wiley has disconnected the cell phone attached to it and triggers both IEDs himself, wiping out the ambush team. The surviving members of Excalibur make a last ditch attempt by sending forward a human bomb in the form of an Iraqi that they had earlier captured strapped a bomb vest to. Koko has her squad hold their fire and calls Wiley back to the convoy to handle him. When he returns he has Ugo and Mao find a surviving member of Excalibur. While Wiley directs the Iraqi to get down by the side of the road when he approaches the convoy, Nazal accompanies Ugo and Mao. He points out to them the president of Excalibur, who has survived the blast and notices the son of a British official, who he asks for as the family is wealthy.
Back at their shattered vehicles the surviving members of Excalibur see the Iraqi fall over and try to detonate his bomb vest but fail as Wiley has disconnected the cell phone attached to it. They are then surprised to see their president come over to them with the bomb vest on, which Wiley detonates. He then notices that Jonah has gotten freaked out and thinks that he will no longer take his language lessons seriously. Jonah however thinks the opposite and that he had better or else he will die.
As the convoy continues, Koko recalls that Nazal told her that it was worth infiltrating Excalibur for two weeks and asks to be excused although they will be short a driver. Koko lets him go as the human bomb was a truck driver abducted on the freeway, so he can take over. A fleet of five SUVs then materialises to pick up Nazal and his captive. As both groups continue on Koko observes that the people of this country are strong.
Anime and manga differencesEdit
- The chapter shows Wiley and his squad watching an A-10 fly overhead with a burning oil field in the distance before the scene shifts to the base. A-10s are not shown flying over the base. Lehm mentions that they will land in Turkey and come in over the border.
- Wiley and the operators are shown arriving at the air field where the C-130 is. Wiley's reaction to learning that the photo is the only intelligence they have is not as dramatic.
- The Black Hawk is not shown departing. Lehm hands Wiley a biohazard suit. The operators are shown standing apart instead of side by side.
- Wiley prepping the pillars for demolition is not shown through the injured guard's POV of coming to. Wiley does not ask for Echo's help and the chemical bombs shown are different. The factory's destruction is shorter.
- The Fort Bragg sign is not shown. Echo and the woman are drinking at a table and her face is not clearly shown. Echo is drinking a bottle of Chang Beer.
- Nazal mentions that it is 19 years since the Gulf War but does not specify what Koko is helping rebuild. Koko offers to help him get another job instead of working for Excalibur.
- Excalibur is driving one of the semi-trailers and it swerves when the driver laughs. Jonah himself confirms that the driver of the car behind them is harmless. The Mercedes-Benz that tries to pass is an older model that is dark in colour. Lutz is shown reacting to the shooting.
- Lutz complains that they are down to one man per truck, which Valmet points out was how things were when the squad was smaller. Koko has a quick roll call before her conversation with Valmet.
- Koko recalls how the Excalibur PMC reacted when she told them they were fired. Tojo comments on Koko feeding Valmet more water.
- Chiquita is wearing a different shirt in the flashback. The only would-be assassin shown who was taken out by his own bomb is the one who rigged the hotel and the event occurs during the day.
- The entire convoy is not shown pulled over in a designated parking area. Koko is shown eating a burger but Valmet is not next to her.
- Valmet is shown loading her FN Minimi Para and Koko gives Nazal a suit of body armour.
- Excalibur's Renault Koleos is not shown taking fire during the fight. Wiley is not showing leaving the IED site and retreating. The ambush team is shown getting taken out by the IED and Wiley tells the others that Excalibur used too much explosive.
- The kidnapped truck driver is wearing a thawb and has different facial features. The wiped out ambush team is not shown.
- The scene with the surviving Excalibur members sheltering behind their vehicles is shorter. Koko is shown gathering everyone up after Excalibur is wiped out. Nazal's departure occurs right after and Valmet is shown reacting to the SUVs (Mercedes-Benz GLKs) arriving to pick him up. Both groups are on opposite sides of the road.
- The opening song is played at the end and a different format with larger credits. The ending song is not played.