Once Upon a Time in Hopeland
Meryl and Roberto drop Vash and Wolfwood off at a port to board a sand steamer bound for JuLai. However, during transit, Vash is attacked by an assassin that Wolfwood recognizes as Livio. Years ago, Wolfwood met Livio in the Hopeland orphanage where Wolfwood befriended the younger boy. Wolfwood was later taken away by Knives' organization, the Eye of Michael, where he was injected with an experimental drug over the course of months. The drug strengthened his body, but also prematurely aged him into an adult and he was subsequently coerced into joining the Eye of Michael to protect Livio. Back in the present, Vash and Wolfwood attempt to non-lethally neutralize Livio. Zazie and Legato Bluesummers observe the battle, and Legato decides to complicate matters by sabotaging the sand steamer, sending it on a collision course towards Hopeland...