While the Minerva battles the Girty Lue, the Minerva pilots fight against the stolen ZAFT prototypes in the Debris Belt. Even though it looks bad for the ZAFT forces at first, they are able to overwhelm the enemy thanks to Athrun's plan.
Shinn and Lunamaria enter the Debris Belt pursuing the enemy mothership Girty Lue. But the enemy on the radar does not show any movement to intercept. Just as both Talia and Athrun realize it’s a decoy, Chaos Gundam, Gaia Gundam, and Abyss Gundam emerge and attack. Girty Lue reappears from hiding as well and attack the Minerva from behind. They fell into Neo’s ploy.
ZAFT’s forces are divided and the Minerva is unable to use most of its weapons due to the high density of rocks. Neo uses those asteroids and blocks the ship’s path. Athrun’s suggestion saves this desperate situation. The Minerva fire weapons at close range and use the force of the explosion to break away, and counterattack immediately, damaging Girty Lue.
But the Minerva did not have enough power left to pursue the Alliance. The first battle of the Minerva ended in a draw.
Meanwhile at a different space area, there was an unprecedented situation. The remains of Junius Seven have moved out of a stable orbit and have begun to descend toward Earth.