Deep in the jungles of the Amazon region of South America, a large force of Zentraedi soldiers under Khyron's command assess the damage level of a half-buried battlecruiser. On the command deck, Khyron radios a team looking at the reflex furnaces. He is told that the furnaces won't run unless they can get some Protoculture soon. While the main reactors could be working after a few days' work, takeoff would still be impossible. Still, Khyron says that he wants all reflex weaponry functional immediately. He then orders his entire crew to go to standby alert and informs them of his plan--a raid on a factory sector to seize the Protoculture matrix necessary to refuel the ship's main reactors. As he signs off, he begins to gloat madly: "The events of this day will burn forever in the minds of the Micronians. They will know how Khyron the Destroyer was able to crush them with their own Protoculture!" He smashes his radio microphone. "All will bow to Khyron!"
Meanwhile, everyone in New Macross City is filled with Christmas cheer. Well, not exactly everyone--in the skies above the city, Rick Hunter is filled instead with thoughts of how to get Lisa to start talking to him again. He radios the SDF-1 and finds Sammie at Lisa's post. When he asks her where Lisa is, Sammie tells him she's not on duty and probably went home. Rick gives her his report and tells her his squadron will be returning to base.
On the busy city streets, the three former Zentraedi spies are operating a toy kiosk. Rico asks how they're doing, and Bron tells him they've only sold two so far. Rico supposes the problem could be their location, and Bron suggests going to the mall. "The mall couldn't be any worse than this," Rico grumbles, and the others mutter in agreement.
In a lonely park across town, Lynn Minmei sits on a swing, replaying the departure of her cousin and former manager Lynn Kyle in her mind. She wonders what will happen to her now, and tells herself that her singing days are over. Still, she has no clue what else she can do. Minmei feels like the only person in the world with nobody to turn to, but then she thinks about Rick and wonders what he's doing now. She starts to consider going to him, but thinks better of it.
Moments later, the former spies have their entire stand packed up and Bron is complaining that Rico's gotten them kicked out of the mall, too. "Maybe we could try the park?" Rico asks. "There's plenty of kids over there. Hey, there's one now!" he says, coming to a halt. "Right there on that swing!" The other two turn to look, but Bron points out that it's no kid--it's Minmei! They try to get her attention, but when she notices them she pulls on her sunglasses and runs away. The three stand dumbfounded, wondering if she heard them.
That evening, Rick finishes boiling some water when he hears on the news that Minmei has gone missing. Then he hears his doorbell. For a moment he figures it could be Lisa, but he remembers she's still mad at him. When he opens the door, he is surprised to see Minmei standing out in the snow. She asks if she can come in, and apologizes for not calling ahead. "My friends don't have to call," Rick tells her cheerily. He asks what's wrong, and when she doesn't answer he suggests going inside where it's warm. But instead, she puts her head to his chest and begins to cry.
A short while later, Minmei is warming up with a hot beverage and Rick's uniform jacket around her while Rick tells her what he heard on the news. She tells him that she's just tired of everything. "I'm sick of being fussed over all the time. Now when I think of my life, I remember the things that I've lost rather than being grateful for what I have. I don't know why I feel so negative. I don't have anyone I can turn to for support anymore." Rick tells her everyone feels bad once in a while, but he tells her she's a great talent, which is something most people would love to have going for them. "It sounds a little more like self pity, if you ask me, Minmei," Rick says. He says she should be happy because of her music. "Well, if that's all I've got," Minmei counters, "then I don't want to sing anymore." Rick tells her she couldn't stop singing, that her songs are her life. "My life is a song!" she snaps. He says she can't be serious, but she insists she can't perform anymore. Rick asks if something happened between her and Kyle, and Minmei says that isn't it. Yet, she shouts that she doesn't care if she ever sees Kyle again as long as she lives. Rick remembers her and Kyle being so close, but Minmei tells him that was the problem--Minmei and Kyle were spending so much time together that they grew sick and tired of seeing each other day-in and day-out.
Just then, Lisa comes along to see Rick. She finds the apartment door half-open and hears Minmei's voice. "I have nobody who understands," Minmei says. "None of my friends in the entertainment industry really know who I am. It's terrible! You see, Rick, I know you care. That's why I came. Please let me stay!" She insists that she won't get in the way, and she tells him she doesn't know who else to turn to. Outside in the cold, Lisa stands with her eyes closed, listening to the conversation, hoping that Rick will cast Minmei out, but naturally he doesn't. "Well," he tells her, "I guess it's all right, if you're sure you really want to." At those words, Lisa closes Rick's door and runs far away, stopping at a lamppost to catch her breath.
Claudia Grant walks down the streets of Macross City, which are still bustling with activity even in the dark of night. After seeing a happy couple walk by she thinks of Roy Fokker and decides to stop in a bar to give him a toast. The bartender asks if she wants her usual, but she asks for something stronger. Just then she hears an off-key rendition of "My Time To Be a Star" coming from the far end of the bar. It's Lisa, clutching a drink in her hands.
Lynn Minmei awakens that night in the bedroom of Rick's apartment, taking a moment to remember where she is. When she thinks about it, she realizes that Rick was right, that she is just feeling sorry for herself. She climbs out of bed, finds Rick on the sofa, and notes how uncomfortable he looks. As she pulls his blanket up over him, she thanks him.
On a sunny Christmas morning, Lisa looks downright glum as she is shuttled to the SDF-1. "Oh, why don't I just give up and let her have him?" she asks herself. The driver offers to radio headquarters and tell them he's driving her home, but she assures him she'll be all right.
Elsewhere, a dockworker reflects on his perfect life as he lights a cigarette, only to find his life over as a team of Zentraedi Battlepods led by Khyron leaps from the waters before him.
Inside the SDF-1 command center, Vanessa fills Lisa in on the bridge crew's Christmas party tonight, and asks if she wants to invite Rick. Lisa doesn't think he'll be able to make it, and when Vanessa points out that today's his day off, Lisa tells her he's home with a miserable cold. Just then, Sammie reports a Zentraedi attack in the industrial sector. Lisa orders all Veritechs to scramble. Max and Miriya rush to their craft.
Within the industrial sector, Khyron complains that Grel is leading them around in circles. "The Protoculture has got to be here somewhere!" Grel exclaims. Khyron tells Grel that if he doesn't find it, his incompetence may cost him his life.
The entire sector is evacuated as the Zentraedi renegades search for the Protoculture supply. At the SDF-1 command center, Gloval notes that they aren't attacking, merely searching for something. Exedore figures that Khyron is searching for the Protoculture necessary to repair his battlecruiser. Gloval tells Lisa to direct the Veritech Fighters to defend the Protoculture storage warehouse. They are to protect it at all costs.
Khyron surveys the area around him, finding the Micronians to be better prepared than he anticipated. He looks up just in time to see a Veritech swooping down to attack. He shoots it down with a grin. "These Micronians are no match for my power," he boasts.
As Max and Miriya's squad approaches the industrial sector, a small team of Quadranos led by Azonia flies out of hiding to intercept the Veritechs. They manage to knock out a few of the duo's wingmen, but they are no matches for the Sterlings.
After hearing about the Zentraedi attack on MBS, Rick discovers that it was in part of his sector, and wonders why he wasn't notified. He switches to his uniform, tells Minmei he'll be back soon, and hurries to the airfield where he finds Skull One waiting to take to the skies once more.
Finally, tossing a tarp aside, Khyron finds what he was looking for—the Protoculture storage matrix. He hoists it up on his shoulder, staggers under the weight for a moment, and orders one of his men to cover his flank.
In an unevacuated sector of the city, Minmei is shopping for groceries for dinner when she hears the latest on the attack on the radio. The damage is now in the millions, the fighting is escalating, and casualties are higher than had been earlier reported--twenty-five pilots are either wounded or missing. After checking out she rushes back to the apartment, worried for Rick.
Returning to his Officer's Pod, Khyron uses a pair of grappling claws in the feet of his mecha to grab hold of his prize. He tells Grel to prepare to move out as soon as possible, and Grel gives the order to return to base.
Max radios Rick with a report that the retreating Zentraedi forces are headed right for him. Rick tells him to prepare to block their escape route. As a burning Quadrano falls to the water below, Max tells Miriya he's going down to help Rick. He then spots the landing enemy troop carrier on his radar. It's touching down in the city.
As Max and Miriya's Veritechs race towards Khyron's carrier and Skull One fires away at it from below, the surviving Zentraedi forces manage to escape to the safety of their getaway ship. It begins to lift off, and Khyron sends a message out to his foes: "Attention Micronians, this is Khyron the Destroyer. I want to wish all the people of Earth a merry Christmas, and I send you a special greeting from Santa Claus. May all your foolish holidays be as bright as this one." At the moment Khyron's message ends, somewhere in the city a Micronized Zentraedi in a Santa suit pushes a trigger, setting off explosives throughout Macross City. Rick looks back from the cockpit of his Veritech, and decides that helping to save the city is far more important than pursuing Khyron. He asks Max if he's with him, and
grudgingly Max decides to let Khyron escape in order to help the civilians.
The squad, armed with fire-retardant bombs, descends into Macross City to put out fires and rescue civilians. They manage to bring the fires under control, and while few are thinking of presents, the people of the city have not lost their holiday cheer. In the street outside a church, a number of citizens start to sing "Silent Night".
On a dark street in front of the SDF-1, Rick chides Lisa for lying to Vanessa about his whereabouts. He tells her he should have been notified at the first order to scramble. Lisa lets him know how she came over last night only to find Minmei with him. Rick looks troubled by the news, and doesn't even seem to notice when the entire SDF-1 becomes aglow in colored lights.
All across town, the heroes of the RDF and their friends celebrate, while in Rick's apartment, Minmei simply prays for Rick's safe return. The door to the apartment soon opens, and Rick is surprised to find a nice Christmas dinner and a teary-eyed Minmei waiting for him. After dashing off to wash her face, she wraps her arms around him and asks if he thinks he could ever leave the service. She never wants to lose him ever again.
After dinner, Minmei lights the single candle on their Christmas cake. She wishes Rick a merry Christmas and a happy new year. "May we have a million more like it," he responds. The two lean over the cake and kiss.
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