At the abandoned Mendel colony, DaCosta searches for evidence and finds a journal. As he leaves in his shuttle, he is followed by a GINN Recon Type. On the Eternal, Andy tells Lacus that Heavens Base has fallen, and he asks her why she thinks Orb will be Durandal’s next target. She believes it’s because Orb is strong, and she thinks the country is one step of Durandal’s plan to create a new world order involving Earth and the PLANTs. At Heavens Base, ZAFT soldiers secure the area and begin to treat the wounded. Rey tells Shinn and Lunamaria that Djibril abandoned the other Logos members by escaping during the battle. Shinn crushes his soda can and vows to crush Djibril when they find him. Durandal speaks with Talia and wonders where Djibril escaped too. Elsewhere, Djibril’s plane arrives at Orb. At the underwater dock, Murrue and Murdoch discuss the repairs to the Archangel. Murrue asks Kira what’s wrong, and he says there’s much he doesn’t understand. He says he feels powerless without the Freedom Gundam and doesn’t think he’ll be able to protect anyone. Murrue tells him to hang on until Lacus returns from space. In the infirmary, Cagalli visits Athrun while Neo watches TV news reports about the fall of Heavens Base. Athrun says that he feels like he wants to die, and Cagalli tells him not to say such things. He asks how Meyrin is doing, and Cagalli explains that she has a slight fever. Athrun says he doesn’t understand why she helped him, and he feels bad about getting her involved. Cagalli asks Athrun if he can forgive her, and he says he should be the one to apologize. She says she almost got married, but he understands she wanted to protect Orb. He tells her that he felt impatient because he was unable to do anything while she spent every day fighting for Orb’s survival. Cagalli wonders if there’s nothing they can do to end war, but Athrun says he doesn’t believe that. In space, DaCosta returns to the Eternal and reports to the bridge. He explains that the colony was a mess, but the lab was tidy and nearly all the information was destroyed. However, he found a scientific journal that makes mention of Durandal’s “Destiny Plan.” Suddenly, the GINN Recon Type destroys one of their surveillance cameras. Andy wants to launch in the Gaia Gundam, but Lacus says there’s no point because the GINN’s mothership is probably nearby. Andy says that the Terminal factory hasn’t finished working on the DOM Troopers, and Lacus suggests launching the Eternal. Andy and DaCosta object due to the Eternal‘s lack of firepower, but Lacus says they can at least come close to atmospheric entry to drop the two new Gundams down to Earth.
The Eternal breaks away from the factory satellite and drops its asteroid camouflage. On the Archangel, Murrue announces on the loudspeaker that the Eternal is under attack in Earth orbit. Three Nazca class ships begin their pursuit and launch many ZAKU Warrior and GOUF Ignited units. Murrue tells Kira that she doesn’t know how many units are attacking the Eternal, but as a last result they’re prepared to drop the two pods. Neo calls the bridge and says that Athrun is annoying him because he keeps repeating that Kira has to protect Lacus, or everything will be lost. Kira tells Cagalli that he’s going to borrow the Aile Strike Rouge and its booster before running off. Murrue tells Neo that she sees he remembers the code to contact the bridge. Athrun thanks Neo and refers to him as Mu, and Neo insists again that he isn’t Mu. In space, the ZAKU Warriors and GOUF Igniteds attack the Eternal, and Andy launches in the Gaia Gundam. At Orb, Kira launches in the Strike Booster and heads into space. Andy fights off several ZAKU Warrior and GOUF Ignited units, but he is quickly overwhelmed by their numbers. A GOUF Ignited attacks Andy with its heat rod and destroys his beam rifle. Kira breaks out of the atmosphere and detaches the booster, and he attacks the ZAFT units. A Gunner ZAKU Warrior fires its cannon at the Eternal, and Kira blocks the shot at the cost of both the Aile Strike Rouge’s arms. Andy grabs Kira’s rifle and tells Kira to hurry up and get his new unit on the Eternal. As Kira enters the rear docking bay, a stray shot blasts off both of the Aile Strike Rouge’s legs. Kira hugs Lacus and says he is happy to see her. He asks where the new unit is, and she takes him to the hangar storing the Strike Freedom Gundam. Kira thanks Lacus and says that with the Strike Freedom he’ll be able to fight the battles that he needs to. He quickly reprograms the Strike Freedom’s OS before launching. He immediately attacks the ZAFT units and begins disabling them. Two GOUF Igniteds grab hold of him with their heat rods, so he launches the DRAGOON units from his wings and blasts them. He disables the remaining attackers, and the ZAFT fleet commander can’t believe that Kira disabled 25 mobile suits in two minutes. Kira approaches the fleet and uses his onboard weapons and the DRAGOONs to disable the three Nazca class ships. With the ZAFT attack force disabled, Kira returns to the Eternal.
Following the defeat of Heavens Base, the story switches to space and focuses on the old SEED crew, relegating Shinn to about two lines and some angry soda crushing. DaCosta investigates the Mendel colony, last seen in SEED when Rau made several revelations to Mu and Kira about their pasts. DaCosta finds something known as the “Destiny Plan,” but we don’t learn too much about it before ZAFT attacks. Andy fights in a custom colored Gaia Gundam, but at this point it’s not clear if it’s Stella’s old unit or a new one. Kira returns to action with the Strike Rouge, but the color scheme is changed back to the classic Strike Gundam colors. Unfortunately, the poor old Strike isn’t much of a match for the latest ZAFT designs. And unfortunately for ZAFT, they’re no match for the massively overpowered Strike Freedom Gundam. It’s got two beam rifles, railguns, beam sabers, a chest cannon, and on top of that DRAGOONs. And of course, there’s also the METEOR. For a guy who only likes to disable people, Kira sure does pack a lot of firepower. Strangely, when Kira deploys the DRAGOONs against the ships, there’s the Newtype sound effect, which in SEED has been reserved for guys like Mu/Neo and Rau. Whether or not this makes Kira a Newtype is a mystery for now. On a humorous note, the fat ZAFT captain reminds me quite a bit of Conscon from the original Gundam series. Both have the same dumbfounded look on their face when they say, “What? He destroyed _____ mobile suits in _______ minutes?” Now that both Kira and Shinn have their fancy new Gundams, only time will tell when they have a rematch.