Synopsis by Emru Townsend
SDF-1 has been under heavy attack since thwarting the attack on Mars, as Khyron tests the limits of Breetai's orders not to destroy the fortress. Meanwhile, Rick has received the Titanium Medal of Valor for his actions at the Mars base, and Roy gives him some other news: he's been promoted to lieutenant, and assigned two subordinates, corporals Ben Dixon and Max Sterling. Rick brings Max and Ben to Minmei's 16th birthday party, and tries to find a way around the fact that he hasn't been able to think of a good present for her. He's saved -- sort of -- when Khyron stages an attack, and Rick leads his men into battle for the first time. Much to his surprise, the boisterous Ben talks a better battle than he fights, and the unassuming Max is a brilliant pilot, tearing into the Zentraedi forces like a demon. Rick's abilities as a leader are put to the test when the three of them end up being the ship's only line of defense against Khyron himself.