On the Aether, Messer examines the data from the previous battle and gives feedback to Chuck and Mirage, but he ignores Hayate. Hayate asks what was the point in calling him over, and Messer counters there’s no point wasting time on him. However, he does tell Hayate that he shouldn’t hesitate in battle and needs to take the enemy down if given the chance. He notes that Hayate and Mirage keep aiming only for the wings, and when Hayate points out that Chuck and Arad to the same, Messer counters that they have the skills to do so. Mirage wants more feedback on her mistakes, and Messer tells her that she flies by the book and is thus predictable. Although he finds Hayate lacking in multiple areas, his movement is usually unpredictable, as demonstrated by the Immelmann Dance. On the Macross Elysion, Ernest, Arad and Kaname examine a map showing that the planets Listania, Airberl and Anthem III have all been annexed by Windermere. Kaname asks if they can expect any help from NUNS, but Arad thinks they’ll dismiss it as a minor conflict between frontier planets. Freyja searches for her music player and hears Mikumo humming the Singer of the Wind’s song outside. Mikumo says that she’s intrigued by the song and how you can feel life shining out of the boy’s voice. Mikumo thinks it’s odd that there’s nothing like that in Freyja’s voice. Mizuki, Nina and Beth eat at the busy Rag-Nyan Nyan and talk about the recent influx of businessmen on Ragna with the outbreak of war. Hayate has a beer with Chuck as the two grumble about Messer. Freyja comments that Mikumo can be a slave driver, and Hayate admits that Messer’s flying is impressive, like a dart piercing the blue sky in a straight line. Chuck thinks that Messer might have Arad beat on technique, and Makina adds that Messer’s piloting style puts minimal stress on his Siegfried. Although Hayate and Freyja are both annoyed by their superiors, they each vow not to lose. Arad asks Messer about how he’s treating the juniors, and he explains that he’s doing it so they stay alive. He then asks Messer how he’s feeling and reminds him to take it easy. Kaname brings them a bag of cat jellyfish, but Messer declines to join them and leaves. On Windermere, Heinz collapses from the strain of singing. Roid wants him to take a break, but Keith says they don’t have time for that because they just destroyed enemy scouts and need Heinz’s voice. Heinz declares that he’ll do his duty and asks Keith to end the war swiftly. Mirage looks at her Siegfried and thinks about comments she’s heard from people lamenting that she isn’t as skilled a pilot as her grandparents. Hayate gives her an apple and tells her they should show Messer that they’re not hopeless. Elsewhere, NUNS Nightmare Plus pilots at planet Ionideth are forced to fight comrades infected with Var. The situation worsens when the Aerial Knights’ Drakens arrive.
The Aether deploys on news of the attack on Ionideth, and mechanics prepare Delta Flight’s planes for launch. Ernest warns the pilots that about 70 percent of the NUNS pilots have been infected with Var, and the Aerial Knights are around as well. The Aether de-folds near Ionideth and launches the units from Alpha, Beta and Delta Flights. Arad tells Hayate to use caution for his first space battle and not run out of propellant. Walkure takes to their stage in the ship and starts singing. Delta Flight’s units use speaker boosters and project images of Walkure onto asteroids to distract the infected NUNS pilots. Chuck and Arad disable several Nightmare Pluses, and the Aerial Knights arrive and open fire. Mirage helps Hayate fight a Nightmare Plus, and he sees Messer and Keith fighting at high speeds by jumping off asteroids. Hayate comes under attack from the Jussila twins, who notice from his movement that he’s dancing with the wind. Hayate dodges their attacks and disables a Nightmare Plus in the process. Bogue and the Jussilas attack the Kairos fighters of Alpha and Beta Flights before firing missiles at the Aether. The ship’s pinpoint barrier stops the missiles, and Bogue calls Freyja a traitor before he’s kicked away by Hayate. Bogue falls back as Hayate gives chase, and Mirage is attacked by Hermann and Wolf Gura. Hayate hears Mirage’s may day and tries to help, but he’s too far away and out of propellant. He shoots up Gura’s Draken from behind, and the young pilot is killed in an explosion while trying to eject. Roid calls Keith and orders all units to return to the Branch, but Keith wants to keep fighting. Roid reminds him that Heinz doesn’t want unnecessary sacrifices, so Keith relents. On Ragna, Ernest asks Arad about Hayate, and he answers that Hayate is skilled as a pilot, but maybe not a soldier. Freyja hears from Kaname that Hayate killed an enemy pilot during the battle. Mikumo tells Freyja that Walkure doesn’t need someone who lets inane words get to her. Kaname and Makina interject, but Mikumo tells Freyja that as she is now, her voice won’t echo across the galaxy. She asks Freyja why she’s on stage and what feelings she puts into her singing. Mirage finds Hayate alone on deck and thanks him for saving her. She tells him that the first time she killed someone was in NUNS while fighting rebels who attempted to seize an Island class ship. She doesn’t think she’ll ever get over it, but she just learned to pretend that it didn’t affect her. She says that every kill is a new burden for them to bear as soldiers, but she’ll bear it if it protects people. Hayate thanks her and says he knew the time would come when this would happen. He knows that Delta Flight and Walkure are risking their lives, so he can’t do any less. Freyja overhears him and wonders what she’s risking her life for. In the Windermerian region of Scarfell, Keith shows Heinz the crater left behind by the use of a Dimension Eater seven years ago. Ernest addresses the crew and informs them that new orders have arrived from Lady M to investigate what the Windermerians are doing, meaning they will infiltrate planet Voldor.
Hayate and friends take to space for a battle against the Aerial Knights, and he scores his first kill (with his victim bearing an uncanny resemblance to Gundam Reconguista‘s Bellri Zenam). Hayate has maintained that he wants to do things his way, but I think he learned here that you can’t always do that when people are trying to kill you and your comrades. This culminates in a good moment with Mirage where she explains how she deals with killing people in battle. There’s a theme running through here in that Messer and Mikumo are both trying to push people to succeed, but their methods are questionable. Messer’s interactions with Hayate border on antagonistic, while Mikumo’s interactions with Freyja seem dismissive. However, both of the newbies seem dedicated to succeeding, so maybe everything is going as expected. Messer does give more helpful feedback to Mirage, but she has the additional problem of trying to escape the shadow of her famous grandparents. That’s no easy burden to bear. Windermere’s conquests are essentially unopposed as long as they can use Var Syndrome as a weapon to attack NUNS pilots. Based on what we’ve seen in past series and Arad’s comments, I wouldn’t expect NUNS on Earth to bother trying to help, since 20 years before this their predecessor U.N. Spacy sent the Macross 7 on a suicide mission to fight the Protodeviln.