Stroheim's Unit Strikes Back (story arc)
Having been barely conscious at the time, Suzi Q reveals through hypnosis that Esidisi mailed the package to somewhere in Switzerland. After learning the exact location to be Saint-Moritz, Joseph, Caesar, Lisa Lisa and Messina drive off to catch the package before it reaches its destination. Joseph says goodbye to Suzi Q and promises to come back to her, jokingly adding it might be after a few years. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, Kars awaits Esidisi's call near a public phone but sees that no one will call. Departing, and slicing a car in two along with the two drunk drivers to save a small dog from being run over with blades sprouting from his arm, Kars feels concern over Esidisi's status.
At the Italian/Swiss border, the group crosses path with a Nazi car, whose occupant seems familiar with Joseph, but the car overtakes the group before Joseph can identify the officer. The Ripple users find the train being inspected by a Nazi Platoon that is seizing the Red Stone of Aja. The commander of the platoon, revealing without showing his face to Lisa Lisa's group, reveals that he already knows about everything that's happened last week and invites the group to the inn that he and his men are occupying as a sign of cooperation
The same night, Kars arrives at the inn that the Nazis use as their base. Using his superior senses to detect five people in the room nearest to him, Kars creates a blade and swiftly kills the five soldiers inside the room before entering the building. But Kars finds a sixth person waiting for him inside: the platoon's commander. The colonel takes the time to compliment Kars on his speed and intelligence, but the Pillar Man leaps to attack the officer. As Joseph springs into the room, the Nazi blocks the blade with was is revealed to be a metal hand. The Nazi is revealed to be Rudol von Stroheim, who survived the grenade blast and has been transformed into a cyborg by the Nazis based on the analysis that they acquired from Santana.
Kars glares at Joseph, instinctively knowing that Joseph was the one to have beaten Esidisi. The Pillar Man declares that he will personally kill him, as he doesn't wish to live a dangerous Ripple user like him alive. Feeling ignored, Stroheim shows off the capacities of his mechanical body, twisting itself at unconventional angles while intending to literally rip Kars apart bit by bit. Finally, Stroheim reveals an abdominal machine gun and gleefully shoots at Kars while praising the marvels of German technology. Although Stroheim manages to blast Kars out of the chalet, the Pillar Man reveals his Light Mode, causing tiny claws on the blades to spin around them at high speed like a chainsaw, and begins to slice the bullet with his blades, to Stroheim's horror who hasn't expected such speed and power. Kars approaches Stroheim and effortlessly slices him in two, placing the cyborg at his mercy.
- 039 (083). Stroheim's Unit Strikes Back, Part 1
- 040 (084). Stroheim's Unit Strikes Back, Part 2
- 041 (085). Stroheim's Unit Strikes Back, Part 3
- 05 (09). Race Toward the Cliff of Death