This episode shows a little about how hard life is for most of the citizens in the Empire. Despite the fact that its been a few years since the end of war, life is still hard. Alice is angry. Again. Because Oland is late. Again. And so is Oreld. For the sixth time that month. Oreld finally comes in from the date that he was on. Oland is outside with the gate guards because he found a basket with an infant child in it. Oland comes running into the office carrying the baby. Captain Hunks reads a note out loud from the mother. She can’t raise the baby so hopes that the Army can and turn the baby, Dieter, into a solider. Alice is angry at the fact that a mother could abandon a child. The baby wakes up and starts to cry, everyone in the office unsuccessfully try to pacify the baby until Oreld suggests that it needs to have diapers changed. He gets nominated to change the diapers. Turns out the Dieter has good aim and can shoot for distance. No matter what the team tries to do, the baby only stops crying when Oland is holding him. Alice wants to go search the city for Dieter’s mother. Despite Oreld’s objections, Captain Hunks agrees, claiming that reuniting the mother with Dieter falls under the “war relief” category. Alice, Oreld, and Machs follow a lead that the mother might be in the black market section of the city.
Down in the black market, Alice marches from stand to stand asking about Dieter’s mother. Oreld keeps suggesting that Alice be more discrete because there is no real law in the area and being soldiers won’t guarantee their safety. Since their search is going no where, Oreld leads them to somebody he knows who might be able to help. The meet an older man whom Oreld refers to as “Pops” (they don’t really make it clear whether this is just someone Oreld knows and worked for or is his father). The man is surprised to see Oreld, he didn’t believe the rumors that Orled had joined the Army. Pops doesn’t care about the baby or the teams mission to find the mother. When Alice tries to appeal to him, he scoffs at the fact that she’s a Lieutenant and is Orled’s commanding office. He goes onto mock the teams overall mission of “war relief”. How does finding the mother of an abandoned child offer relief when there are parentless children out on the street.
Alice finds that Oland has taken the child out into a nearby park. Alice is depressed because of what Pops said. She knows that helping find the mother of Dieter won’t help all of the other children that Pops mentioned. But she still will try. Oland notices a lady watching them from nearby and realizes that she’s Dieter’s mother. She starts to run away but Alice manages to stop her. The mother explains that she decided to leave Dieter outside the gates of the Army H.Q. as the only way that Dieter would survive. In the end, Captain Hunks gives the baby back to her.
So here we get a hint of how life is for people who are on the bottom rung of the empire’s class structure. Alice’s idealism won’t let her believe that black markets exist without any legal laws and that smuggling is rampant. Oreld tries to explain to her that people who buy things through the black market are breaking laws in order to survive. We’ve seen a little of how Alice lives and we know that Alice wants to level the playing field between the nobility and commoners, but her idealism causes her to be blind to how the other half really live. And we’re starting learn a little more about the other members of the unit. We know that Oland is homeless, sleeping under a bridge and that Oreld comes from the streets. And it looks like next week’s episode is an Alice’s home life episode. So we get to learn more about her story.