|“||Gah! This is fun! This is so damn fun!||”|
–Bando, relishing a challenge as he wades into battle with a no-longer helpless Lucy
The first battle between Lucy and Bando is a textbook study in arrogance, missed opportunities and failure to use the available information against an unknown opponent. To paraphrase an old Woody Woodpecker cartoon, had Bando merely called his superiors, this would never have happened. For how poorly this battle went for him, only Bando would have lasted as long as he did in a fight with someone as bloodthirsty and powerful as Lucy.
In the wake of Lucy's bloody escape from the Diclonius Research Institute, Doctor Kurama engaged the use of SAT special forces to recapture or kill her. Bando's superiors only chose him for this mission reluctantly, given his poor attitude and total contempt for teamwork and standard procedure. In the midst of the chopper flight to Kamakura, Bando, after threatening another team member at gunpoint, demanded to be let off at the stretch of beach that was believed to be (and was) where Lucy came ashore. Accompanied by junior SAT operative Satou, Bando encountered a stretch of either good fortune or the worst luck imaginable. If not for events entirely separate from the search, he might well have never met Lucy.
Owing both to her head wound taken while escaping and a subconscious desire to be someone other than who she had become over the years, Lucy had in effect ceased to exist. In her place was an infantile girl named Nyu by two college students who had found and decided to house her. By chance, both of these students had been known to Lucy when they were children, eight years prior. One was Kouta, a boy who had been kind to the younger Lucy and became her friend. The other was Kouta's cousin Yuka, a girl, who like Lucy, had a crush on Kouta. In an awkward attempt to protect Lucy's feelings, Kouta had lied about his cousin's gender, causing the vulnerable young Lucy to believe Kouta had betrayed her, as had recently a possibly false friend. In retaliation and to isolate Kouta, Lucy murdered his father and younger sister, only to glean from his reaction that he had never intended to betray her. Lucy fled, eventually caught by the Diclonius Research Institute, and escaping to become the amnesiac Nyu. Due to the trauma of the murders, Kouta was also an amnesiac, and Yuka, the past subject of Lucy's jealousy, had not met her at that time and so could not know who she was.
At the house provided to him by Yuka's Mother for his college residency, Kouta was at first confounded and then enraged by Nyu's total lack of understanding of the world. When she broke a keepsake belonging to Kouta's murdered sister Kanae, it evoked rage in him not only for the loss of the token but an inadvertent reminder of Kanae's murder. Shouting at the infantile Nyu caused her to flee the house, with Yuka and eventually Kouta deciding to seek her out in the rainy night. Trying to replace the keepsake, a seashell, Nyu fled back to the beach where they first found her. At almost the moment Kouta (and in the manga version, Yuka with him) found Nyu again, Bando found the group and moved in.
In the manga, Yuka was quickly knocked unconscious by blows to the head from the soldiers' gun-butts. In the manga and anime, Kouta made an attempt to flee with Nyu before being halted by warning shots, and then knocked out. Desiring to fight the dangerous and able opponent Lucy had been cast as in his briefing; Bando became frustrated when the meek and confused Nyu stared confusedly at his provocations, to the point he elected to have Satou execute her instead. Satou, who had from the moment they found Nyu, insisted that they radio their team, was again shut down on this and even threatened by Bando if he didn't obey his orders. Bando slapped Nyu, causing her to bump her head rather hard. As Bando disdained the sight of her death, for the disappointment Nyu represented, he heard the single gunshot fired by Satou. Turning to look back, he saw not a dead Nyu, but Satou torn to pieces by the power of the awakened Lucy. While various factors could and did change the girl's personality in-series, it is unclear here whether or not it was the blow from Bando or the imminent threat to her life that enacted the change. In any event, Bando now had the battle he had desired, being careful what he wished for never even entering his brain.
Lucy began to utterly dominate the fight through thrown objects of every size, weight, and type keeping Bando on the run. Despite this, Bando can stay out of her (at that time) two-meter vector range and find cover, even seeing opportunities open up, such as grenades on Satou's body, which Lucy would soon be passing near. But these opportunities, if they existed, were quickly countered by Lucy's battle-savvy, using Satou's gun to target Bando outside her vector range. Before he truly took in what was happening, Bando was down on the ground with Lucy poised over him with weapons ready, both her firearm and her powers.
Neither Bando's efforts to improvise nor his obnoxious bravado served him well in this case. His attempt to grab a weapon hidden in his uniform cost him one arm and the use of another; His vengeful boasts at Lucy cost him both his eyes, although his maiming was likely in some way inevitable once Lucy had him pinned down. His death was averted in almost as happenstance a manner as the events that led to Lucy's presence on the beach at that time.
As Lucy prepared to kill him, she felt an object in her hand and looked at it. The object was a replacement seashell Nyu had located for Kouta, to replace the keepsake she broke. The concern for Kouta's well-being overwhelmed Lucy's bloodlust and shunted her personality back to Nyu, who fled the scene confused and afraid. Bando lay bleeding, broken and dying as his target once again effectively ceased to be, with only the determined aid of the then-homeless Mayu keeping him alive till the SAT came back for him. The activities of other SAT personnel involved in the search remain unrevealed.
Bando's loss in this battle cannot be ascribed merely to Lucy's overwhelming power, determination and great combat savvy. The prime candidate for blame is Bando himself and Bando alone. He failed to take in the admittedly little information he was given on his target until he was in the heat of battle. He neglected to keep his partner alive and therefore able to aid him. He again did not radio for support or orders, and indeed the noise and fury of the battle is not a spectacle desired by a special forces operation of any stripe. Most of all, having decided to ignore orders and kill Lucy on the spot, he played with his target and did not execute her himself.
This encounter was their first battle, but it would not be their last.
|“||Is it fun?||”|
–Lucy, preparing to execute a now-helpless Bando