Akito dreams of his childhood, growing up with Yurika. On time, Yurika found him crying alone and told him that she had a magic spell that would bring him back to normal. She has him close his eyes and then kisses him, sending Akito’s ten year old self reeling back, asking her what she did that for. Yurika happily points that he’s now back to normal… Erina tries to coax Akito out of his quarters to the mission briefing, but Akito declines, not wanting to be around Admiral Munetake. Erina tries to assure him that Admiral Munetake wasn’t the one who shot Gai–in fact, one of his subordinates confessed to the crime and was court martialed. On the bridge, before Munetake can start the mission briefing, Yurika informs him that, though Nergal may have signed an agreement with the military, as captain of the Nadesico, she will refuse any orders which she deems to run afoul of the crew’s interests. Munetake takes this in stride and tells her not to worry–this mission is a rescue mission. They are to rescue a goodwill ambassador who seems to be trapped on a small island in the arctic circle. Yurika wonders why such an important person came to be left on such an inhospitable and barren island. Munetake tells her that the ambassador was on a research mission there when the Jovians attacked and was unable to get away. It has been decided that the Nadesico is the only ship capable of braving the inhospitable environment and avoiding enemy detection long enough to save the ambassador. As Nadesico sets off on her mission, Akatsuki challenges Akito to a duel in the simulation room. During their simulated battle, Akatsuki asks Akito if he and Yurika are an item. Akito denies this, and Akatsuki says that that works for him, as he has his eye on her. Despite Akito’s dismissal of all things Yurika, this throws him off kilter, and allows Akatsuki to easily win the match. Afterwards, Akito is dragged away from watching more Gekiganger episodes by Megumi, who’s off duty thanks to a blizzard rendering the radio useless. She takes him to the Nadesico‘s virtual reality recreation room and sets them up as high school students alone in a classroom after everyone else has gone home. After spending a very short time getting in character, Megumi locks the classroom door. Back on the bridge, Minato, Izumi, and Hikaru gossip about what entertaining things Megumi and Akito are up to in the virtual reality room. Unsurprisingly, Yurika starts to space out. But before things get out of hand, Erina pops up and starts ordering everyone back to work and chastises Yurika for not paying attention. Jun wonders why a helmsman is ordering everybody around and Mr. Prospector explains that it’s because she used to be an executive secretary at Nergal. Back in the virtual reality room, Akito is distracted by thoughts of Yurika at a critical moment, but is saved from certain embarrassment when a ship-wide emergency is declared. It seems that, while distracted by thoughts of Akito and Megumi alone together, Yurika accidentally fired the gravity blast cannon–alerting all nearby enemies to their presence.
The Nadesico is forced to hide under an ice drift while they plan their next move. With their original course cut off by the now swarming Jovians, they are forced to choose a much more dangerous path through the ice. The Aestivalis pilots are put on alert, but upon learning that nobody’s seen Yurika since she blew their cover, Akito goes off looking for her. He locates her in the virtual reality room, which promptly switches on, sending the two of them back to high school. Akito tells her that sulking isn’t like her, but she tells him that she’s a clumsy girl who gets everybody else into trouble and begins to cry. Remembering her plea to him after the unfortunate destruction of the remaining Martian colonists, he tells her that he knows a magic spell to get her back to normal. Akito leans in for the kiss, but Yurika stops him at the last moment–suddenly regaining her normal demeanor. She ‘reminds’ him that when he didn’t kiss her on Mars, it was so she could become stronger, and tells him to kiss her when he’s in love with her. After all, that would be her first kiss. Akito, of course, knows that this is not true, but before he can fruitlessly attempt to remind her, alarms go off and Yurika cheerfully reminds him that he’s supposed to be on alert status. Munetake sarcastically welcomes Yurika back to the bridge and tells her that if they get bogged down here, the ambassador might starve. Megumi reminds him that he’d most likely freeze to death first, but Munetake absent-mindedly states that that isn’t very likely. Before they can ask him what he means, the Jovian attack intensifies, and Akito sends a message to the bridge requesting the ambassador’s location so he can go rescue him. She complies and sends out the other pilots to cover him. Ryoko, Izumi, Hikaru, and Akatsuki manage to clear a path for him, but Akito runs into a fast enemy farther out. With his energy quickly running out and his visibility low, he creates a flare with his spare ammo, and, locating the enemy, charges at it at full speed. In the distance, the crew of the Nadesico witness and explosion, and hope that Akito’s alright. Time passes and the blizzard lifts, but still there is no word from Akito. Yurika begins to blame herself, but suddenly the radio comes to life, and Akito asks that he and the ambassador–a polar bear decked out with experimental equipment–be picked up. Munetake explains that the military spent a lot of money on that experiment and wanted it back, but who would risk their lives for a bear? Megumi greets Akito in the landing bay, but he explains to her that he has to report to the captain first. Yurika welcomes him back, and Akito wonders if she’s really forgotten the kiss they shared on Mars so long ago.
So the Nadesico‘s first mission as part of the United Earth Forces is a minor equipment recovery mission which every other ship was deemed too important to assign to. Things aren’t going well for Akito either, who can’t seem to get Yurika out of his head, even with Megumi throwing herself at him (his ‘we can’t, we’re only high school students!’ defense in the virtual reality room was easily the most hilarious line in the episode). Things don’t look good for Megumi, and poor Ryoko might be out of the running before she ever leaves the starting gate. It may not have been big on plot, but the humor makes up for it in this episode.