|June 24, 1998|
|April 17, 2003|
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Escape from Pain
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Vash the Stampede
The episode begins with Monev the Gale training in a dark room full of guns and ammunition, he is then interrupted by the arrival of Legato Bluesummers who assigns him the mission he has long waited for: the assassination of Vash the Stampede, to which he smiles. We then cut to Vash visiting Belding's Shoe Store and talking to the owner.
The next day Milly and Meryl are enjoying the peace and quiet while Vash gets lost in thought while looking at the sky commenting on how much he would've like to show it to Rem and how silly it is to think that, his daydreaming is then interuppted by a basketball accidentally hitting him in the face after kids are playing with it with Vash joining in on the fun and eventually Milly and Meryl as well but one child does not appear to want to join in despite Vash and Meryl's attempt at trying to get her to do so.
The fun and games soon end after the arrival of Legato who passes Vash causing him to stop playing and form a very worried expression, after sitting on a nearby bench Legato speaks with Vash telepathically giving a cryptic warning of Vash's impeding death later that day and to prove how serious he is Legato lures one of the children to him offering her food which she takes while he pats her head, but this peaceful moment is quickly ended as Legato grabs her head appearing as though he is about to kill her much to Vash's horror but it was merely a ruse as he lets go acting as though he never meant any harm laughing about how scared Vash looked and states that he could kill everyone there if he wanted to causing Vash to get ready for a quick-draw, but Legato departs with Vash knowing that he would begin a slaughter if he got into a fight with him and deciding not to fight. Legato leaves a brown paper bag on the bench calling it both a lesson and a going away present after he leaves the shoemaker's wife runs out to the townsfolk screaming about her husband being murdered and not being able to speak to her with Vash looking in horror at the bag.
Later that night, Vash is framed and arrested for the murder of the shoemaker with Milly and Meryl arguing his innocence to the sheriff who has confiscated the .45 Long Colt. While this is going on Vash is sitting in his cell questioning Legato's motives and coming to the realization that he is under the employ of Knives, Milly and Meryl enter the cell area to see Vash and see an angry devilish expression on his face scaring them both but begin to relax after he immediately switches to more calm state of mind, the girls tell Vash they will help him out of this but are cut short after the arrival of Monev the Gale, a memeber of an organization of assassins created specifically to kill Vash or make him suffer, who fires his machine gun gauntlets into the building stating he has arrived to kill Vash and then quickly busts into his cell holding Vash against the wall counting down to before he fires the gauntlet, Vash is quickly saved by Milly firing her stun gun at both Monev and his cuffs to which Vash quickly retreats and retrieves his gun.
Vash begins running all over town warning people to run and saving them from Monev's gun fire, but after getting tired of Vash's running Monev decides to fire off his guns through a group of houses and several people yelling that he and the town will die together, and against Vash's protest and horror he fires killing many people including several children. This causes Vash to abandon his calm attitude and fires off three shots at Monev's helmet immediately, Monev notes this sudden change in personality calling Vash the devil after looking into his devilish blue eyes and retreats in absolute fear with Vash trying to shoot him again as he runs, the insurance girls catch up to him trying to join him but he refuses yelling at them to stay away and walks off with Meryl in tears over seeing him be so different than his usual self fearing that they will lose him. Vash quickly goes to the towns bank and quickly asks them to allow access to the safe, and as he is loading his revolver sees that he only has two bullets left realizing that he is in a corner as he sets up his game plan, Monev arrives knowing his plan and fires into the bank hitting the safe but Vash activates and explosive on the back of it shooting the safe out of the bank hitting Monev's machine gun catching him off balance and it is revealed that Vash rode on the back of the safe and as it is in the air he fires his last two bullets at two restraints on Monev's machine gun, but it is not enough as the gun quickly transforms into a bazooka and fires a rocket Vash jumps off the back of the safe the leather straps on his left arm pealing off to reveal a metal arm that houses a machine gun that he fires at the rocket causing it to explode before it got near him.
Monev falls back defeated, with Vash walking up to him deploring him for the destruction he caused and the lives he ended tonight but Monev shows no remorse for his actions. Vash loses it, he kicks Monev down to the ground pointing the barrel of his gun arm at his eye and nearly pulls the trigger, but is stopped by thought of Rem and Vash knowing that if he pulls the trigger that he loses the memory of her forever. The sun comes up, Vash breaking down in tears one of which drips on his prosthetic arm, knowing how close he came to breaking his ideals.
- In the Manga, the reveal of Vash's left arm being both a prosthetic and a gun happens in the cell when Monev is holding him by the throat and in an attempt to save himself Vash uses it to escape his restraints and retrieve his gun.
- In the anime, Vash points the barrel of his gun arm at Monev's eye where as in the manga Vash points his revolver at his eye since when Monev shot through the buildings he also blew off Vash's left arm in the process.
- Though Legatos talk with Vash is nearly the same it differs in only two ways in the manga that being: Legato confirming to Vash that he is working for Knives and the other being the mention of the coin case that Vash would have to complete after fighting each member of the Gung-Ho-Guns.