An exploration fleet clashes with an unknown enemy over a newfound planet.
- Japanese title: (needs transcription)
A ship soars through space, conveying the Galaxy Garrison's Galactic Survey Team on its mission of exploration. On a deck of this ship, called the Rugger Guard, the officers Asimov and Ise discuss how in six month, the expedition has visited three star systems without finding any habitable planets. They hope things change as they approach "star number eight". Ise worries that the Rugger Team may be getting too relaxed since there's been no action.
In the mess hall, the Rugger Team kills time. Aki, Jack, and Keats lament all the downtime. Izu and Nagato get into a fight over cards; Kaga intervenes to stop the fight, and she alerts everyone that the bridge has picked up an unidentified object on radar. The entire team perks up. Seeing that the object's course is due to coincide with the ship, Ise sends the Rugger Team out to investigate.
The team, excited, boards their vehicles and is ready to launch, only to have the launch aborted -- the object has vanished from radar! Ise writes it off as space junk. Frustrated, the team returns to the common area and kills more time.
Some time later, the bridge reports they've found a planet orbiting star number eight. Asimove sends the Rugger Team out immediately to look for signs of habitation. Upon surfacing, the three Rugger teams split up to gather data specific to their roles.
Meanwhile, the bridge reports another unidentified object not far from the ship. Cautioned to stay alert, the team continues to explore. Aki Team is soon surprised by an armada of small alien fighters. The fighters attack! Walter Team and Keats Team abort their data collection to provide reinforcements. Battle ensues. The Rugger Team doesn't have much trouble, and the enemy withdraws.
As the battle winds down, the bridge detects a foreign space fleet, but are unable to identify who they are or where they're from. They transmit all records of the day's events to Earth.
Back on Earth at Galaxy Garrison Headquarters, the organization's Director talks recent events with Dewa. Dewa reports that this was the Rugger Team performed well on their first combat, and that the Survey Team is building a base on the planet. The identity of the enemy is still undetermined.
In the meeting room, the Director talks recent events with other Garrison chiefs. They are excited about finding the planet, but they are stunned by the discovery of the alien forces. Some chiefs favor recalling the Rugger Team back to Earth, as defense in case the enemy decides to bring the fight there. The Director refuses, citing the need to continue exploration.
Back on the new planet, Ise reports to the team that their mission will continue, and that an armored fleet will be sent to reinforce them. The team is pleased.
On the alien ship's bridge, Captain Rackal angrily asks where his reinforcements are. A subordinate asks if they should send a report to Commander Teles; Rackal refuses, wishing to report only when the enemies have been destroyed. The subordinate comments that the enemies are "more powerful than we can imagine," which only angers his superior. Rackal reiterates that they will fight until the enemy is destroyed.
Back on the new planet's surface, the Survey Team's temporary base has been completed, but the reinforcements have yet to arrive. Appearing over the horizon, another alien fighter fleet approaches! Rushing to meet them, the Rugger Team is surprised when a robotic fighting machine emerges from the ground. The combined firepower of the Rugger vehicles doesn't have any effect.
The Rugger Team falls back to defend the weakly-armed Rugger Guard, but Ise orders them to keep fighting the robot. All other options exhausted, Aki orders the team to form Dairugger. The two fighting machines begin combat. While the fight rages, the Galaxy Garrison reinforcement fleet arrives! The team no longer needs to worry about the Rugger Guard's safety.
The fight ends with Dairugger dispatching the enemy robot with the Rugger Sword. Seeing the defeat, alien man accepts his loss and withdraws.
In the aftermath of the battle, Ise is left wondering who they just fought, and what other surprises await them in their mission.
Rugger Guard/Survey Team:
Galaxy Garrison on Earth:
"Keats, don't you have precognitive powers?"
—Walter Jack demonstrates his expositionary skill
"I guess as Walter Team leader, I ought to get in there and break it up."
"Let 'em be, Walter. It's so early still. If you stop them now, the day'll just keep dragging on. Lets see what happens."
"Yeah, good call."
—Walter Jack and Manabu Aki stand back and let Izu and Nagato go at it
"That must be what my telepathy picked up."
—Keats comments on the fuzzy nature of his psychic ability
"We have a target planet at 36,000 space kilometers forward starboard!"
—a Rugger Guard bridge officer... uh, "space kilometers"?
"The problem is the unidentified fleet the Rugger Team encountered."
"We never even dreamed that such a thing existed."
"And just when we were overjoyed at finding an inhabitable planet. It's like being thrown from heaven down to hell."
—Three Galaxy Garrison meeting attendees discuss recent events
"These guys sure are vindictive! This time we'll really kick their asses!"