In September C.E. 71, the long war between the Earth Alliance and ZAFT comes to an end. In October, a wealthy man named Matias meets with freelance photojournalist Jess Rabble and offers him a scoop about a ZAFT weapon. Matias has selected Jess because he’s a good cameraman and knows how to pilot mobile suits. Jess declines and says he wants to see the world and the truth of the world for himself. Matias says this assignment fits with what Jess wants to do, so Jess agrees. After Jess leaves, Matias tells Kaite Madigan to make sure he does his job as well. In space, Junk Guild pilot Lowe Guele transports a canister in his Gundam Astray Red Frame. Nearby, Jess watches things from inside a rented Raysta civilian mobile suit and concludes that nothing is going on. Suddenly, Serpent Tail mercenary Gai Murakumo appears in front of Jess in the Gundam Astray Blue Frame Second L and stabs the Raysta in the face. Jess is captured and taken back to Lowe’s ship, the Re.H.O.M.E. Lowe wonders who Jess is, Gai guesses that Jess is a journalist. Jess accuses them of being ZAFT mercenaries and says that it’s illegal to falsely use the symbol of the Junk Guild. Lowe is confused, and Gai explains that Jess must be assuming that GENESIS Alpha is a ZAFT base and that they’re part of it. Lowe says that was true a few days ago, and he introduces himself to Jess. Holographic captain George Glen appears, and Lowe says he wants to show Jess what’s outside. Jess sees GENESIS Alpha and recognizes it as ZAFT’s weapon from the last battle, but Lowe explains that it’s a variation. He said it was originally designed to provide an extra boost for space shuttles before it was turned into a weapon. Jess asks Lowe what he plans to do with GENESIS Alpha, and Lowe says he wants to use it to go into deep space and see Mars. Jess laughs that off as a silly thing to do, but Lowe says no one can say that something that hasn’t been done before is stupid. Reed Weller signals Gai that company is on its way, so Gai prepares to launch. Jess thinks to himself that Lowe is an idiot, but he finds that he’s excited. In space, Elijah Kiel informs Gai that a ZAFT mobile suit squadron is approaching. On the Serpent Tail shuttle, Kazahana Adja has trouble tracking the mobile suits because of the N-Jammer, and Reed explains that they have to hide because GENESIS Alpha’s presence is a violation of the cease fire. Kazahana’s mother Loretta reports that more suits are approaching, but Reed isn’t worried because they’ll be taken care of. As the ZAFT suits approach GENESIS Alpha, they come under attack from Canard Pars’ Dreadnought H. As the Re.H.O.M.E. prepares to depart, Jess apologizes to Lowe and says that as a journalist he can’t go by his misconceptions. Jess says he wants to see the world and photograph it from a mobile suit’s perspective, so Lowe decides to give him something to make up for the damaged Raysta: the Gundam Astray Out Frame. Jess is amazed that Lowe would give him an expensive suit, and Lowe explains that it was just an incomplete suit that he found inside GENESIS Alpha and decided to work on. He asks his quantum computer 8 to stay with Jess and help him on Earth, and Kisato Yamabuki reminds Lowe that it’s time to go. Jess takes a picture of them together and launches in the Out Frame. Jess films the action as GENESIS Alpha fires and hits the Re.H.O.M.E.‘s booster, sending the ship speeding off. Jess sends a message to the ZAFT forces saying that he’s captured everything on film. Liam Garfield thinks he’s crazy, but the Professor points out that ZAFT has no reason to fight now that GENESIS Alpha’s existence is public. As the ZAFT forces withdraw, one pilot attempts to shoot Jess, but he’s shot by Kaite’s GINN Assault Type. Later, Matias looks at the photos and tells Jess that Kaite saved his life. He then tells Jess to hurry to South America, where the Alliance is trying to kill one of its ace pilots for desertion: Edward Harrelson, known as “Ed the Ripper.”
ZAFT reporter Bernadette Leroux reports on a developing situation in South America, which has declared independence from the Atlantic Federation after it was annexed during the war. As Jess climbs a mountain in Out Frame, he recalls Matias giving him the assignment to interview Edward. Kaite said he wasn’t coming along, but Matias ordered him to help Jess if he’s in trouble. Jess reaches the summit, but the rock face breaks and the Out Frame plunges toward the ground. 8 launches a sub wire to catch hold of the mountain. The next day, Jess is surprised when he reaches a base in the mountain recesses. A ZAFT transport plane lands at the base, and Bernadette notes that she’s never seen a mobile suit like Out Frame before. Jess introduces himself, and Bernadette tells him he should leave if he doesn’t have proper clearance. She’s allowed to be there because she’s officially collecting data for PLANT. Bernadette and Jess enter the base and are greeted by Edward. Jess and Bernadette are shocked that someone nicknamed Ed the Ripper could be so friendly. Edward explains that he doesn’t have much time and asks them to interview him at the same time. Bernadette doesn’t think Edward will be interesting if he doesn’t play the part of hero, but Jess is intrigued by him. As Bernadette finishes her questions about politics and strategy, Jess asks Edward what kind of woman he likes. Edward says that Jess is an interesting person and tells him that he likes busty women. Edward is informed that the Alliance has found them, and he tells Jess and Bernadette to run away. Jess declares that he won’t run away and will stay to watch the fight. Edward launches in his Sword Calamity and sees that his opponents are three Raider Full Specs. As the Raiders fire missiles, Edward laughs and says he knows their weakness because he was the test pilot for that suit. Edward slashes at them with his anti-ship sword and rocket anchor, destroying two of them. The third Raider seemingly retreats, but it fires missiles and catches Edward off guard. As the Sword Calamity falls off a cliff, Jess rushes over and rescues Edward. Later, Bernadette tells Jess that he’s disqualified himself as a journalist for getting involved with his subject. The next day, Jess watches Bernadette’s report and concludes that it’s just propaganda for PLANT. Jess says the Alliance is sure to attack now, but Edward explains that it’s ok as long as they just focus on him. That’s why Bernadette reported it as she did, and Jess realizes his mistake. Edward asks Jess how long he’s going to stick around, and Jess says he wants to know everything about Edward and will stay until the war ends. At the Alliance’s California base, an officer assigns ace pilots Morgan Chevalier, Jane Houston and Rena Imelia the task of hunting down Edward.
Several months earlier, the Alliance invaded the Orb Union during the war. At Orb’s Morgenroete research facility, Erica Simmons gives orders to transfer backup data to the battleship Kusanagi and destroy the originals. Erica orders klutzy technician Yoon Sefan to quickly transport the quantum computer AIs to the Kusanagi. While attempting to load the computers for transport, Yoon becomes entangled in cords and wires. By the time she finally untangles herself, the battle has ended and the Kusanagi has launched into space. Several Junk Guild members on a salvage operation for the Alliance encounter Yoon. Since she has no place to go, the men ask her to join the Junk Guild. Six months later, Jess is annoyed that someone from the Junk Guild is messing around with Out Frame. When Jess climbs up the hangar, he’s shocked to see that Yoon has installed a bathtub on a new backpack. Jess wonders why there’s a bathtub, which was ordered by 8. Jess thinks that Yoon is rather dopey, and 8 explains that she’s the designer of the Raysta. Just as Jess is about to try out the tub, the base’s alarm sounds because the Alliance is approaching. Edward launches in his Sword Calamity, followed by Jess in the Out Frame. Edward heads to a foggy coastline where he says the Alliance is using a naturally-occurring mist to hide its forces. Edward asks Jess if he’ll be ok, but Jess says he’ll be fine with the shooting coat, which makes the Out Frame harder to spot. As Jess begins to film, Jane’s Forbidden Blue jumps out of the ocean and stabs at Edward with a trident. Edward attacks with a sword, and Jane says she never would’ve thought he’d betray the Alliance. Jane vows that she won’t let Edward get killed by Morgan or Rena because she wants to kill him herself. Edward tells Jane to stop fighting because he wants her to understand, and she says she can’t understand how he threw everything away for his homeland. As Jess watches, he realizes that Edward and Jane are much closer than friends. As the fight continues, Jane asks Edward if he left her for another woman, and if everything he told her was a lie. Jane moves in to attack again, but she and Edward stop when Jess replays the segment of the interview where Edward says he likes a busty woman. Jane asks Edward why he didn’t tell her he was fighting for his country, and he explains he didn’t want to get her involved. Jane says that from the first time she met Edward she decided to follow him wherever he went. Later, Edward asks Jess not to broadcast that part of the interview, and Jess says it was enough for him to be able to show the truth to someone. Jane says the battle isn’t over because the Alliance will refuse to accept South America’s independence. Elsewhere, Yoon becomes lost in the jungle and stumbles upon the end of a battle between ZAFT’s ZAKU Mass Production Trial Type and the Alliance’s new Dagger Ls. Former Orb pilot Barry Ho jumps onto the Raysta and tells Yoon to escape. Yoon asks which way to go, but the ZAKU spots the Raysta.
Barry asks Yoon to switch places with him in the cockpit. Now in control of the Raysta, Barry knocks away the ZAKU’s blade tomahawk and kicks it in the back before escaping. Yoon asks why he didn’t fight, and Barry explains the Raysta is no match for the ZAKU, and that its pilot is highly skilled. At the base, Jane explains that the Alliance is planning a missile attack on the continent if she, Morgan and Rena failed to kill Edward. Edward believes he can take care of things if he goes up to space with the Raider Full Spec to attack the Alliance’s Panama base from above. Edward asks Jess to stay alive and keep reporting on the Alliance’s actions. Outside, Jess runs into Bernadette and the ZAKU. Bernadette tells him that Courtney Hieronymus was testing the ZAKU in the neutral zone when it was attacked by the Alliance. Bernadette says her crew filmed Courtney destroying the Dagger L squad. Jane says that such a battle is against the cease fire and realizes that the Alliance sent troops anyway even though it was supposed to be up to her to fight Edward. Bernadette says that ZAFT won’t interfere in South America’s affairs, and Courtney wonders if Out Frame is number 12. Jess wonders why the Alliance would send in mobile suits if they planned a missile strike, and Jane realizes it’s a trap. Just as Edward reaches space, his re-entry capsule is shot down by Morgan’s Gunbarrel Dagger. Edward realizes he was tricked into coming to space, and Morgan says it would make sense to have Edward fight him on his home turf. Morgan gives Edward three choices: surrender, die in battle or burn up during re-entry. Morgan says that as a Eurasian it’s not as though he doesn’t have problems with the Alliance, but he can’t forgive treason. Morgan deploys his Gunbarrel and fires at the missiles fired from Edward’s Raider Full Spec. As they approach the atmosphere, Morgan disconnects the Gunbarrel Striker and sends it to attack Edward. The Gunbarrel fires at the Raider Full Spec, causing it to fall into the Earth’s gravity well. Morgan tells Edward that if he’s a real hero, he’ll survive and come back to space to face him again. Edward quickly dodges a large piece of debris and recalls that a Junk Guild ship used debris to shield itself during re-entry. Edward flies over to the debris and latches onto it. Using the debris, he safely returns to South America. Elsewhere, Matias asks Kaite to go to South America and help Jess. With Jane and Morgan having failed to kill Edward, Rena prepares for launch in her Sword Calamity.
DESTINY ASTRAY picks up soon after where ASTRAY and ASTRAY R left off. It turns out that after taking over GENESIS Alpha, Lowe found an incomplete ZAFT suit that he turned into Out Frame. Jess enters the scene and becomes the new star of the show. He’s pretty different from a typical mecha protagonist since he’s a photojournalist. During this introduction, we also get cameos from Gai’s Serpent Tail mercenaries, as well as X ASTRAY star Canard. Given the two year gap between the SEED and DESTINY TV series, there’s some things that need to be filled in. It’s interesting that after the war, the Alliance faces south Earth-bound problems. That all arises from their wartime annexation of the United States of South America. Now, South America is fighting for its independence with the help of SEED MSV ace pilot Edward Harrelson. Other characters from SEED MSV also play important parts, representing ZAFT, the Alliance and Orb. The battle for South America isn’t over, and Edward will have to face another ace using his favorite mobile suit.