At Gibraltar, Shinn has nightmares about Stella, Athrun and Kira. Rey wakes Shinn up and gives him a drink. Shinn begins to talk about Athrun and Meyrin, and Rey reminds him that they were traitors. He tells Shinn he should’ve shot them down because he believes Shinn’s kindness is a weakness. The next morning, ZAFT hands out medals of honor to Shinn, Rey and Lunamaria for their performance at Heavens Base. In addition, Durandal promotes Shinn and Rey to FAITH. After the ceremony ends, Durandal tells Talia he expects she has things to say about his decision. Talia says she has things to say, but she’ll keep them to herself because she believes he doesn’t intend to listen to her. An officer interrupts their conversation with a report from Carpentaria about Djibril’s whereabouts. Shinn overhears the officer say that Djibril is in Orb. Kisaka reports to Cagalli that the Seirans are hiding Djibril, and in response ZAFT has sent a fleet from Carpentaria to surround Onogoro Island. At Gibraltar, Durandal meets with senior officers and asks Talia to take the Minerva to Orb. He says he is worried that if Djibril gets into space with Orb’s military, Orb and the Alliance Moon forces could attack the PLANTs again. At Morgenroete, Murdoch tells Murrue that it will take at least two days to finish repairing the Archangel. Meyrin visits Athrun, and Neo tells Athrun to stop fidgeting around and rest. Amagi cautions Cagalli not to act recklessly. Djibril tells Unato that the game isn’t over yet because he has the Requiem in space. Yuna makes a public announcement that Djibril is not in Orb, and he says that the ZAFT fleet surrounding Onogoro Island is an insult to Orb’s sovereignty. Cagalli watches the speech and knows that what Yuna is saying will have no effect. Durandal says he will not abide by Yuna’s ridiculous statement and orders the officers to drag Djibril out of Orb.
ZAFT initiates Operation Fury and begins its attack on Orb. GOOhNs, BABIs, ASHs, DINNs, GOUF Igniteds and ZAKU Warriors launch from the ZAFT fleet and begin firing. Several BABIs fly through the city and destroy the Seiran mansion. Miriallia reports on the situation and says that the Orb military hasn’t responded or ordered the evacuation of the civilians. At the defense headquarters, Yuna wonders why Orb is attacking, and Colonel Soga says it’s because ZAFT knows Yuna is lying. Yuna yells at Soga and tells him to begin counterattacking. Orb then deploys its ships along with M1 Astrays and Murasames. Cagalli asks for permission to use the Sky Grasper, but Murrue says that’s absurd. Cagalli begins to leave and runs right into Kisaka and Erica Simmons. Cagalli says she can’t stand by while Orb burns, and Erica tells her she should listen to Uzumi’s will first. Kisaka and Erica take Cagalli to a secret hangar containing the golden Akatsuki Gundam. A voice recording from Uzumi begins to play, and he says that he is leaving the Akatsuki Gundam behind as a last resort if Cagalli needs to protect Orb. He says that there were many things he couldn’t teach her, but she can learn them from those around her. Cagalli cries at hearing her father’s words, and Kisaka asks her if she will pilot the Akatsuki Gundam. Cagalli suits up and launches in the Akatsuki Gundam, followed by Kisaka, Amagi and the other Murasame pilots. Cagalli attacks several ZAFT mobile suits and destroys them. She then breaks off with one Murasame squad to head for the defense headquarters. She identifies herself and asks Yuna if he recognizes her as the real representative of Orb. When he does, she orders that he be arrested and charged with treason. Soga then punches Yuna in the face, and several other officers tackle Yuna. Two BABIs fire their chest cannons at her, but the Akatsuki Gundam’s armor reflects the shots and destroys the BABIs. Cagalli announces she is taking command and gives out battle orders. The morale of the soldiers rises with Cagalli’s arrival, and ZAFT begins to send out its second wave of mobile suits. As the Minerva arrives, Rey says that there’s no need to send out all three Gundams and that he alone should be enough. Shinn insists that he wants to launch, despite Rey and Lunamaria’s objections. Shinn launches in the Destiny Gundam, and Talia is surprised that he went out. Rey explains that Shinn volunteered under his authority with FAITH, and Rey used his own authority to authorize the launch. Cagalli spots Shinn and fires her beam rifle at him, but he blocks with his beam shield.
After the fall of Heavens Base, it didn’t take too long for ZAFT to discover that Djibril was hiding in Orb. This leads to ZAFT sending a fleet to attack Orb. Unfortunately, it’s really just covering the same ground from SEED. In fact, you’ll spot the use of stock footage from the Alliance’s invasion of Orb. On the ZAFT side, we’re seeing that Talia is increasingly becoming frustrated with Durandal’s actions. Shinn and Rey have been promoted to FAITH, placing Shinn even further in Durandal’s pocket. On the plus side, Cagalli returns to her old loud, forceful self and stops being the useless, crying idiot she’s been for most of the series. With her Strike Rouge trashed in space, Cagalli conveniently gets the Akatsuki Gundam, which looks like the Hyaku-Shiki with an Aile Striker pack. I really don’t understand what sense it makes for Uzumi to have hidden the Akatsuki Gundam years ago in case Cagalli needed. It obviously had to exist before he died, so why not give it to her in C.E. 71 during the first invasion or Orb? At the very least, having the Akatsuki Gundam is better than the ridiculous notion of using the Sky Grasper. I’m surprised that outdated fighter is even still around. On another note, it was great to see Yuna finally get what he deserves for being such a fool. I enjoyed Soga’s interpretation of carrying out Cagalli’s orders. If Todaka were still alive, I have no doubt he would’ve done the same thing.