An alien race called the Inbit invade Earth in 2050 AD and quickly overrun the planet’s defenses. Some Earth citizens manage to escape to the Mars Colony. Thirty years later, Mars sends an invasion force to recapture Earth, but the fleet’s mission ends in failure. In 2083, the Mars Base sends the Second Liberation Force o retake Earth. On a Horizont class shuttle, a soldier named Stick Bernard proposes to his girlfriend Marlene, but she tells him she wants to think about it. Some of the bridge crew who grew up on Mars wonder what Earth looks like. The ship’s commander addresses the crew and says that this time they have the weapons to beat the Inbit. He says that in the event of an emergency landing all forces should head to the Inbit’s Reflex Point headquarters in North America. The commander orders atmospheric re-entry and puts Stick in charge of the transforming Legioss fighter forces. Marlene tells Stick that her answer is “yes” and gives him holographic pendant. Marlene is embarrassed as the bridge crew congratulates her. Stick then takes off in his Eta Legioss, which has been fitted with a TLEAD booster mecha. The Legioss squadrons launch and immediately encounter Inbit Shell-Dor transport ships carrying Eager mecha. The Legioss squads open fire, but many are destroyed by Eager suicide attacks. Stick and his men transform to Armo-Soldier mode to support the shuttles. More Eagers appear and perform suicide attacks on the shuttles. Stick destroys two Eagers that attempt a suicide run on his shuttle. The shuttle begins atmospheric re-entry, and Stick fires missiles to destroy several incoming Eagers. The commander tells Stick that they’ll be the first to reach Reflex Point, and he transforms to Armo-Fighter mode for re-entry. Marlene reports that an abnormality in the upper atmosphere’s ion layer is causing the shuttle’s temperature to rise. Stick’s TLEAD suffers some damage from increased heat, so he wonders if the Inbit did something to the atmosphere. He ejects his TLEAD to assist the shuttle against incoming Eagers, but his engines break down and send him off course toward South America. The shuttle is destroyed by the Inbit as it falls through the atmosphere.
Stick bandages his head after crash landing on Earth and becomes nervous as rabbits sneak through the bushes at night in the forest. He’s surprised when it begins to rain and is frightened by lightning striking a tree. He jumps back into the cockpit of his Eta Legioss and thinks about Marlene. He activates the pendant to listen to Marlene’s message, where she says she’s already decided on what wedding dress she wants. In the morning Stick fills up a water canteen in the river and pulls out a MOSPEADA motorcycle from the Eta Legioss. He then packs up his supplies and puts on his ride armor before driving off. Stick reaches the end of the forest and is surprised to see a vast desert stretching before him. Nearby, a young man named Ray inspects a crashed Horizont shuttle looking for supplies. After tripping in the dark, he finds an operational MOSPEADA unit and drives it out of the shuttle. Several Grab mecha immediately appear and destroy Ray’s old bike. They then chase Ray as he escapes with the MOSPEADA, and he sees Stick driving in the distance. Stick transforms his MOSPEADA to Armor mode and fires missiles at one of the Grabs. He jumps in the air to evade one of the Grabs and destroys it with another missile. Stick dodges the last Grab’s attacks and finishes it off with a missile. Stick tells Ray that his driving skills are good, and Ray responds that Stick is reckless. Stick asks Ray if he’s seen any other soldiers, but Ray is more interested in inspecting the MOSPEADA. Stick then asks where he is and where Reflex Point is, but Ray continues to ignore him. Stick then grabs him by the shirt, and Ray says he has a name. Stick introduces himself and transforms the MOSPEADA back to Ride mode, but he drops Marlene’s pendant, which activates after hitting the ground. Ray says that she’s cute, but Stick says nothing and picks up the pendant.
People who are more familiar with Mospeada as the final third of Robotech will find that the original version isn’t very different, compared to the changes made on Southern Cross. The Inbit are still here invading Earth, and the Mars forces fail miserably in their two attempts to recapture their homeworld. The main difference here is that Earth has been occupied by the Inbit for 33 years. This episode introduces us to two of the main characters: straight-laced soldier Stick Bernard and laid back loner Ray. Stick is basically a fish out of water: he’s an alien to this world, and he’s lost his comrades and his fiance. Despite that, he has a single-minded focus on carrying out his mission by reaching Reflex Point, even though he’s just one man. Having saved Ray, this marks the start of their long journey to North America’s Great Lakes region. Mospeada‘s transforming Legioss fighters certainly take a page from Macross‘ Valkyries, but the real standout from this series is the MOSPEADA. Even after nearly 30 years, the concept of a motorcycle transforming into powered armor around a person is still really neat. Overall, this introductory episode is a good start for the series.