Natarle calls Kira repeatedly, but he doesn’t reply. He is shocked by the destruction of Heliopolis and wonders if his parents were able to escape. As he is about to return to the Archangel, he sees a light from a life boat and picks it up. Mu asks Murrue what their next move will be, and she says they are still in battle and have to get out of the area. Mu thinks that will be difficult with just the Strike Gundam and his Moebius Zero. Natarle suggests going to the asteroid base Artemis, which belongs to the Eurasian Federation. Mu thinks that the Moon is too far, and Natarle is sure that Eurasia will understand their situation and give them assistance, but Murrue is concerned by the Archangel‘s lack of an identification code. Kira returns with the life boat, and Natarle asks him who gave him permission to bring it in. She says they can’t accept it, and he argues with her that it was drifting out of control. They continue to argue, and Murrue steps in and says she will accept the life boat to stop wasting time. After landing, the life boat is opened and civilians are escorted out. Kira chases Birdy around and sees that Flay was in the boat. She asks him where they are, and he explains they are on an Earth Alliance ship. He takes her with him to see Sai and the others. On the Vesalius, Ades asks Rau what they will tell the Supreme Council since a neutral colony was destroyed. Rau asks how Heliopolis could be neutral if it was developing weapons for the Alliance. Ades says they have no mobile suits left to pursue the Archangel, and Rau suggests sending out the Gundams. Ades objects, and Rau says it doesn’t matter since they already have the data on the Gundams. The Archangel sets course for Artemis and launches decoy missiles to confuse ZAFT radar. Rau examines the data and sees that they are heading for Artemis. Athrun lies down in his room alone and thinks about his dead friends Rusty and Miguel.
The Archangel continues on course for Artemis, and Kira’s friends wonder where the ship is heading. Mu comes down and tells Kira he will have to perform the maintenance on the Strike Gundam himself because of a lack of manpower. Kira asks why it’s suddenly his mobile suit, and Mu answers because no one else can control it. He tells Kira that if he has the power to do something he should, and they are the only two who can protect the ship. Kira runs off, and Flay wonders what is going on. Sai and Kuzzey explain that Kira piloted the Strike Gundam and is a Coordinator. On the Vesalius, Athrun reports to Rau and is asked about what happened inside Heliopolis. Athrun explains that he was surprised to see his old friend Kira. Rau thinks that is very unfortunate and decides Athrun should be excused from the next battle. Athrun objects and says he wants to talk to Kira. He says that Kira is naïve and is being exploited by the Naturals, so he thinks he can convince him to join them. Rau asks Athrun what he will do if Kira refuses, and Athrun reluctantly answers that he will shoot Kira himself. The Vesalius pulls in to a position parallel to the Archangel. Everyone goes to battle stations, and Mu realizes if they stay still the Gamow will catch up, but if they start their engines the Vesalius will match their speed. Miriallia and the others decide they can’t sit around while Kira fights, so they contact bridge officer Dalida Lolaha Chandra and say they want to help. Kira sees them all in uniforms, and they say they will do their part while he fights. Kira puts on a pilot’s suit to prepare for battle, and Mu explains their battle strategy. Mu launches in his Moebius Zero, and the Aile Strike Gundam is prepped for launch. The Archangel fires at the Vesalius, and both ZAFT ships launch their Gundams. Kira launches from the Archangel and heads into battle.
Not much is going on in this episode, but it seems as if it’s trying to do something a bit more original. Natarle seems way too by-the-book and almost cruel. Isn’t it an old naval tradition that if a ship encounters people in distress they are required to help? Also, it’s interesting to see Athrun’s conflict about having to potentially fight Kira. Usually the hero has such anxiety, not the antagonist. Kira reluctantly accepts that he must pilot the Strike Gundam. His hesitance to fight but conflicting desire to defend his friends is very much like Victory Gundam‘s Uso Evin. On a minor side note, it’s only the fourth episode of the series, but we’ve already seen all three of the Strike Gundam’s Striker packs. Have to advertise those model kit gimmicks somehow, I presume. With the stolen Gundams heading into battle, perhaps something interesting will develop.