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The Warlock (also known as the 1st Special Assault Echelon) was a mecha created by Trevor Maloney. Powered by a captured Neuroi core, this machine was created with the intent of replacing the 501st JFW. Chain guns were placed in its arms, and a powerful beam weapon on the inside of each one, which can destroy any Neuroi in one hit. The Warlock also possessed an alternate form for faster flight, and a system that could control Neuroi cores. Additionally, the Warlock has its own shield, which is powerful enough to block the Witch Neuroi's Beams. Originally, five Warlocks working together were thought to be needed to accomplish such a thing, but one Warlock alone could control at least 30 Neuroi.
When Miyafuji Yoshika went AWOL, the Witch Neuroi showed her an image of some humans looking down at a fragment of a Neuroi Core, and then a strange mecha with the Neuroi core, which was in a canister. The mecha appeared to be making contact with the Neuroi. Because the Neuroi Girl apparently is incapable of speech, Yoshika was unable to understand what she was being shown. Later, outside the Neuroi hive, Gertrud Barkhorn, Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke, Erica Hartmann, Francesca Lucchini, and Charlotte E. Yeager, who were sent to shoot her down, had a scuffle with the Neuroi Girl that was abruptly interrupted by the same mecha shooting at the Witch Neuroi with its chain guns, then blocking its Beams with its shield and using its own Beam to defeat the Neuroi. While Yoshika fell out of the Neuroi Hive, towards the water, the mecha flew off.
Later, when the Witches returned to the base with Yoshika in tow (they took her into custody rather than shoot her down), Trevor Maloney used the Warlock and several soldiers to surround the Witches. Maloney revealed that the Strike Witches were being replaced by the 1st Special Assault Echelon, also known as the Warlock. However, his plan was ruined by Yoshika, who remembered the Warlock as the mecha that the Neuroi Girl showed her. To cover up his plans quickly, Maloney immediately disbanded the Strike Witches.
The Warlock was sent to attack the Neuroi Hive over Gallia shortly afterwards. A Neuroi tried to intercept it, but the Warlock defeated it instantaneously. Yoshika recalled that what the Neuroi Girl showed her was that the Warlock, like her, made contact with the Neuroi. Meanwhile, the mecha continued to destroy Neuroi planes as quickly as they came, but eventually, there were far too many Neuroi, and it was overwhelmed. At the same time, Trude, Minna, and Erica realized something was wrong with how Maloney acted when Yoshika blatantly shouted out what she saw, and decided to check their theory by watching the Warlock's actions. At this point, Maloney ordered that the Core Control System be brought online, but was reminded that they needed five or more Warlocks working in tandem for it to work. Suddenly, the Warlock activated the Core Control System on its own, causing all the Neuroi to circle around it and shoot each other. Then, the Warlock severed its connection with the Allies, becoming completely independent and donning Neuroi armor.
After becoming independent, the Neuroified Warlock raced towards the Akagi and fired upon it, fully showing that it no longer answered to the Allies. Even after realizing what was going on, Maloney was reluctant to deactivate the Warlock; after all, there was only one of it, but he knew he had no choice. Meanwhile, the Akagi attempted, with limited success, to fight back against the Warlock. Maloney attempted to shut down the Warlock, but this plan failed; the Warlock only attacked with more ferocity; shearing both the Akagi and the Witches' former base with a Beam. The Akagi was made short work of by the rogue mecha, and began to sink.
Using Mio's Strikers which she smuggled onto the Akagi, Yoshika prepared to battle the Warlock (with a bit of help from Perrine initially), having trouble at first and faltering when the Warlock revealed its core but actually managing to fight on par with the mecha afterwards when she realized it was no Neuroi. It nearly caused Perrine and Mio's deaths, had Shirley and Lucchini not (literally) swooped in and rescued them. Eventually, Lynne shot the Warlock down with her sniper rifle, causing it to crash into the Akagi and both to sink.
However, the Warlock combined with the sunken Akagi, allowing it to fly and covering itself with Neuroi armor but robbing itself of independent movement. The Witches battled it, and Lucchini used her Heat and Light Projection to allow Yoshika, Lynne and Perrine to attack the core from the inside. Dropping her gun on the way to the core, Yoshika sacrificed her Stikers to destroy the Warlock once and for all.
Strike Witches "What-if" — 1947Edit
This shouldn't be considered entirely canonical, because it is only based on Humikane's twitter and pixiv.
Maloney's adjutant apparently fled from Brittania as if he was driven out while his superior recieved punishment. In the Winter of 1947 Perrine revealed to Mio that they brought out an upgraded Warlock after the events of Strike Witches Season 2, which Mio scolded her for. Later, the new Warlock was seen trying to finish off a Witch Neuroi.
- The Warlock, while in its fight mode, especially with its main laser cannon open, bears resemblance to the Vic Viper, the spaceship from the video game Gradius, which also made an appearance in Sky Girls and in Zone of the Enders 2.
- Warlock also makes an appearance in the Strike Witches video game for Xbox360, Strike Witches, Wings of Silver. In the game, it appears as a reoccuring foe and faces them in a similar manner. However there were some differences in there, such as it merging with a large insectoid Neuroi during one boss fight. It also appears as its Akagi-infected version in the game, though unlike in the anime, it is attached to the area right behind the core, rather than at the direct front of the Akagi.