The crew breaks into two groups and ambushes the CDF’s main force. As the Kurogane makes a frontal assault, Raidese leads a team with Lou, Tam, and Chen to strike from the rear.
They managed to bag two enemy command carriers, but were interrupted by an enemy ace in a black Lion armed with a boosted railgun. Raidese’ Schutzwald was damaged beyond repair, and the Panzer and Galahad were disabled, but they narrowly managed to drive him away.
While the Kurogane is down for repairs in New Chicago, Lou and Chen are abducted by the mysterious ace, who reveals himself to be Elzam V. Branstein. Not only Raidese’s older brother, but Major Sombold’s best friend as well. He revealed some incite into the CDF’s motives, and then released Lou and Chen unharmed with a cryptic message for Sanger.
Meanwhile, Tam and Chief Varhan work feverishly to restore Panzer’s automated repair systems.
Now back in fighting condition, the pilots launch with the main UEM space fleet to try and prevent the CDF offensive fleet from entering the atmosphere. 5 of the twelve carriers escape, but nearly all of their PTs are destroyed. But this victory comes at a terrible cost: Major Sombold fights desperately to keep Elzam at bay during the operation, and winds up missing in action.
With no leads about the Major’s whereabouts, the Kurogane prepares to descend to earth in pursuit of the remaining carriers.