Izana's squad attempt to retreat and regroup, but two of its members are killed, and the squad leader's Guardian is damaged. When the Captain refuses Yuhata's request to mount a rescue, Tsumugi and Nagate request permission to sortie. Kunato intervenes, claiming that saving the recon team would be an excellent field test for the newest Guardian model, and, despite Sasaki's concern that the model is completely untested, convinces the Captain to allow the sortie. Nagate is entrusted with the new Guardian, the Tsugumori Mark II, and he and Tsumugi go after Izana and the recon team. Meanwhile, Izana and the squad leader enter the atmosphere of Lem IX using a piece of the Hayakaze as a heat shield, pursued by numerous Gauna. Izana realizes that the Gauna are attracted to the artificial Kabi they lost and, suspecting that they also react to Hyggs particles, discards their Guardians' fuel tanks as well. She is proved correct when the Gauna stop pursing them, but the loss of the tanks leaves them with only minimal energy with which to maneuver down to the surface. Upon reaching Lem IX, Nagate and Tsumugi cut through the Gauna in their path until they encounter a Benisuzume-type Gauna, this one in the shape of a human with the face of Shizuka. Tsumugi decides to confront the Benisuzume alone to allow Nagate to continue the search for Izana.