On the Sakura Farm, Cookie and Cracker show Kudelia the crops Mikazuki has been testing. Though the plants usually wither and die, he keeps experimenting with new types. In space, the Isaribi and Hotarubi travel through a Gjallarhorn route and rendezvous with Isurugi’s Halfbeak. When Isurugi comes aboard the Hotarubi, Orga asks why he has only one ship instead of five. Isurugi explains that he’s come first with news: the Ariadne network picked up three Dawn Horizon Corps ships 12 hours away coming on a route from Mars. This is the group that transported the attackers to Mars, and it includes the flagship of pirate leader Sandoval Reuters. Isurugi wants to launch an attack now and stop Sandoval from linking up with the rest of his forces. Orga sees that they’ll be taking a huge risk, but Isurugi promises that the reward will match the risk. Orga agrees to plan, but only on the condition that Tekkadan is in command. Isurugi accepts, and Orga puts Eugene in charge of leading the fleet from the Isaribi. After Isurugi leaves, Orga tells Merribit that he thinks the man is hiding something and seems to be in a hurry, but he agreed to this risky plan so that Tekkadan could get the credit for taking down the pirates. Orga leaves it to Merribit to put the crew on rest rotations, and she tells him he needs rest after being up 36 hours straight. Orga heads to the hangar on the Isaribi and talks to Mikazuki about the plan to crush the pilots. Mikazuki vows to clear the way for Orga’s plans. The three ships pick up the pirate force, but Shino’s scout force discovers 10 ships instead of the expected three. Three of the pirate ships towed the others to hide their Ahab Waves. Sandoval calls Orga and offers a chance to surrender, but Orga instead demands an apology. As the pirate ships spread out, Eugene plugs in to the Alaya-Vijnana System and orders the Barbatos Lupus to launch. Merribit suggests retreating now, but Orga insists on moving forward. She calls Isurugi for a status update, and he says they have to hold out until the other Gjallarhorn ships arrive. The pirate fleet opens fire on the Isaribi, and Mikazuki starts shooting at Garm Rodis. Akihiro launches in the Gundam Gusion Rebake Full City and uses his sub-arms to fire four rifles simultaneously at the enemy. Shino’s Shiden Custom stabs an enemy that tries to get away, but Dante helps him make the kill. Another Garm Rodi attacks and is taken down by Graze Standard Types. Mikazuki takes on several Garm Rodis and gets an assist from Isurugi’s Schwalbe Graze. Sandoval’s ship comes under fire from missiles that create a cloud of pink smoke chaff to blind the pirates. The Tekkadan ships plow through the cloud and emerge to fire on the pirates’ rear. Sandoval is informed that they can’t maintain their battle lines, so he wants to circle around and attack Tekkadan’s rear.
Ride’s Shiden runs out of ammo, but he gets help from Lafter and Azee in taking down a Garm Rodi. Akihiro also runs out of ammo and turns his rear skirt armor into large scissors to cut into a Garm Rodi. Lafter tells him to disarm the enemy and go get resupplied. Mikazuki keeps taking down enemies, so Sandoval sends his two top underlings out in their Hugos. Mikazuki falls back to resupply, and Dante and Shino come under attack from the Hugos. Mikazuki returns to the Isaribi, and Atra brings him food while the Barbatos Lupus is refueled. Hush is amazed that Mikazuki moved around the most of anyone but used the least amount of propellant. Mikazuki asks Atra to bring him hot food next time, and he launches as Lafter’s Shiden returns. Eco complains to Orga that the Gusion Rebake needs more time for resupply due to its complicated equipment, and Ride’s Shiden isn’t ready either. The pirates come under fire from incoming Gjallarhorn ships, but they’re from the Arianrhod Fleet and not the ships Isurugi expected. Rustal is informed that Isurugi and Tekkadan are fighting the pirates, and Vidar leaves the room, vowing to himself that he’ll get McGillis. The battlefield becomes more chaotic, and Isurugi tells Orga that the new arrivals are under Rustal’s command. Orga realizes that this is why Isurugi was in a hurry, and Isurugi states that he wants their side to capture Sandoval, not Rustal’s. Orga orders his forces to avoid Gjallarhorn and focus on capturing Sandoval. Sandoval orders his forces to retreat and prepares to launch in his Hugo. Iok decides to launch in his Reginlaze over the objections of his men, and Julieta launches in her unit first. Sandoval takes off and immediately destroys a Graze. He vows to destroy anyone who comes at him, so Mikazuki rushes in at high speed. However, he’s blocked at the last second by Julieta, who declares that Sandoval is her prey.
An exciting episode that finishes with an ending that sneaks up on you and leaves you wanting more. Tekkadan is playing a big game by taking on the pirates and crossing paths with Gjallarhorn, but it’s all part of Orga’s plan to constantly move forward. Isurugi was in a hurry to wrap things up before Rustal’s fleet arrived, but obviously it didn’t work out that way. I’m sure the reason for that is the not-Gaelio masked man. Sandoval pulled a good trick by disguising his fleets numbers, but it immediately brought to mine that old quote of the Sand People in Star Wars marching in single file. The highlight of this episode is seeing Mikazuki in action. His skills have definitely improved over the last year, so it’s easy to see why he’s earned the nickname of “The Devil of Tekkadan.” It’s also interesting to see this episode touch upon something rarely seen in Gundam: the logistics of resupplying units during a prolonged battle. It has a real effect on combat, particularly with complicated units like the upgraded Gusion Rebake. Tekkadan has fought well against the odds, but how long can they keep it up against the pirates in a battle of attrition?