The Isaribi and Hammerhead depart from Saisei while Mikazuki and Nadi stay behind to wait for the overhaul of the Gundam Barbatos. On the Isaribi, Takaki criticizes Ride for his rough handling of cargo, noting that they can’t damage it and look bad in front of Teiwaz. Atra thinks about Mikazuki and Kudelia making a good couple, and Biscuit tells her that they’ve gotten messages from Mars. In a video message, Dexter reports that they’re running smoothly now with the money from Teiwaz and haven’t had any trouble with Gjallarhorn. Biscuit leaves the bridge to watch his message from his sisters, and Orga tells the others that he’s doing it to be considerate of the other Tekkadan members who don’t have families. Eugene and Shino talk about how they’d rather get messages from women, but Orga states he doesn’t care about women. Biscuit watches the message from his sisters talking about how they’ve completed the harvest. Takaki walks into the mess hall to listen to the message from his little sister, Fuka. She’s in an orphanage thanks to Takaki’s Tekkadan salary, but his goal is to save up and send her to school. Biscuit thinks it’ll be more than a dream for them now that they’re getting paid by Teiwaz. Kudelia watches a message from Tomomi, who begs her to return home. She tells Fumitan that her father must be worried about what she’ll do. She apologizes to Fumitan for getting her involved, but Fumitan says this is her job. Orga, Eugene and Biscuit meet with Naze on his ship to discuss the Ariadne paths to Earth, which are controlled by Gjallarhorn. He has a plan for avoiding Gjallarhorn’s routes, but Amida explains that those other routes are plagued by pirates who attack passing ships. However, Naze doesn’t think any individual pirate group would want to pick a fight with the Turbines. Naze then introduces Merribit Stapleton, a Teiwaz liaison who will be stationed aboard the Isaribi. Naze mentions that Merribit used to work in Teiwaz’s banking section and can help them with business. She says hello again to Orga, but it takes him a moment to recognize her as the woman who gave him a handkerchief when he was drunk. Orga isn’t happy about it, but Naze points out that it’s an order from McMurdo.
Eugene catches some of the younger boys leering at Merribit, and she quickly dismisses him after asking where Orga is. She catches up with Orga at the elevator and asks for his list of supplies, which he says Biscuit has. She says the ship is well run for being staffed by children, which Orga takes offense to, but she tells him none was intended. He tells her that he lost the handkerchief, but she isn’t bothered. He then asks if she was watching them since then, but she answers that it was just a coincidence. She asks if he hates her, and Orga answers that whether he hates or her not, he’ll follow his orders. Kudelia goes to the mess hall and asks to help Atra. The work gets her mind off things, and she asks Atra about her parents. She doesn’t have any explains that she used to work in a brothel doing chores, but she was often bullied and starved, so she ran away. She was hungry and saw Mikazuki on the street eating a sandwich, but he told her she couldn’t have any because he worked for it. He then went inside the bakery and used what little money he had to buy food for her. Afterward, the manager took Atra in and hired her. Kudelia feels a bit jealous because even though Atra doesn’t have parents, she found a family. On the other hand, Kudelia’s own father tried to have her killed, but Atra interrupts her and says it must be a misunderstanding. Atra thinks that Kudelia is their comrade and a part of the same family, which cheers her up. Akihiro practices in the simulator again with Lafter, but he stops because it’s almost patrol time. She notes that something was different today because he wasn’t fighting in his usual reckless and suicidal manner. Akihiro returns to the Isaribi, where Takaki asks to join him on patrol. Akihiro launches in his Graze Custom with Takaki’s Mobile Worker in tow. Takaki explains that he wants to learn more things to get more money for his sister. Akihiro mentions that he had a younger brother named Masahiro, but their merchant fleet was attacked by pirates and their parents were killed, so the two brothers were separately sold off as human debris. Akihiro had almost forgotten about his brother, but finding a family in Tekkadan reminds him of the family he once had. Takaki thinks that they’ll see each other some day, but he stops when he picks up nearby movement. The two come under attack from several Man Rodi mobile suits and send a message to the Isaribi. One of the Man Rodis closes in for a melee attack, but it’s suddenly stabbed through the cockpit by the Gundam Barbatos.
Tekkadan continues on its journey toward Earth, but as the episode’s ending shows, it won’t be an easy one. Amida warns that traveling off Gjallarhorn’s path means risking attack by pirates, and that’s exactly what happens. This brings up some history for Akihiro, because we learn he had a younger brother and had his family ripped apart by pirates. Finding a new family reminds him of the one he lost, and I’m sure there’s some guilt wrapped up in the fact that he hasn’t found his missing brother. We also learn about Atra’s past and how she had a rough time working clean up duty in a brothel. Takaki gets some extra flavor with the reveal that he’s working hard to put his sister through school. Kudelia, unfortunately, is in a holding pattern development wise because there isn’t really anything for her to do until they reach Earth. This means that she just falls back on constantly feeling useless with others trying to cheer her up. I don’t know how long the journey to Earth will take, but I hope the writers find something else for her to do in the meantime.