This episode picks up where the last left off, inside the Brood Center Control Room in Olympus Mons. Phaeton points out that although they have captured him, they will not escape. Marsh demands an explanation from Marsala, who explains that the only way to get inside was to pretend to betray them. Marsala says he could not tell them this, since no Terran can resist a mind scan, which he knew Phaeton would use. Despite Phaeton's insults, Marsala goes on to explain that Terran treatment of Neo sapiens has been inhumane, but Phaeton's genocide is worse. Marsala states that loyalty, respect, and trust is the only way for both races to have a future.
Phaeton counters by saying that it has taken ages for natural humans just to get along with each other, when Typhonus lets Able Squad know that they have one more minute to surrender. Marsh says that they have Phaeton as a hostage, but will release him if Typhonus lets them go. Typhonus points out, "You see, even the greatest of leaders is expendable, if there are others waiting to take his place." Phaeton shouts back, "You traitor! You would betray me for your own ambition? My army will not serve a usurper!" Typhonus replies, "Farewell, Phaeton. You will be remembered forever as a martyr for the Neo sapien cause." Typhonus then closes down communications and orders his troops to attack and not take prisoners.
As one of the amphibious e-frames starts to beat down the door, Phaeton offers Able Squad one last chance to surrender, and in return they will get a painless death. J.T. says, "Listen, if we go down fighting Typhonus, we'll take you with us." Phaeton asks, "Lieutenant, humanity's end is inevitable. Do you think my death will make any difference?" and Marsh answers, "It'll make a difference to me." Nara hits on the idea to escape through the ventilator shafts. They all make it inside the shaft, Phaeton included, as the door is finally broken down. Typhonus is told that they exited through a ventilator shaft, and he orders their pursuit and destruction.
As Able Squad proceeds down the shaft (which is about seven feet high and wide, making standing and maneuvering possible) a Neo guard drops down from another shaft in front of them. Nara, who was in the lead, shoots him, but another drops down. Able Squad begins to move back, as a quick exchange of fire occurs. Marsh is in the rear and notices that there are troops approaching from behind. Bronski kicks through a vent cover and proceeds down a side shaft as the rest follow and Typhonus is informed of what has transpired.
Typhonus orders the shafts flooded with volcanic gases, saying, "We will see how well these Terrans can breathe without oxygen." The order is followed and the effect is immediate as all of escapees (Phaeton and Marsala excluded) begin coughing and choking. Phaeton notes, "Your inferior lungs cannot breathe volcanic gases." Marsala orders him to lead them to the surface, and after Marsala insists, Phaeton does.
Once outside the Nara collapses, and Marsala is alarmed. Phaeton uses this opportunity to disarm Marsala, and knock him down, near the edge of the cliff. After declaring, "Living with Terrans has made you weak!" Phaeton kicks Marsala over the edge of the cliff. Marsala is able to get ahold of the edge with one hand, but Phaeton picks up the gun Marsala had dropped and states, "There is no room for weakness in the Neo sapien order." J.T. is able to deflect Phaeton's shot, and gets swatted into the mountainside for it. Undaunted, he gets up and charges toward Phaeton, who catches his fist with little visible effort. Still gripping J.T.'s fist Phaeton tells him, "Humans should understand their limitations." as the pain sends Marsh to his knees. Phaeton then throws him towards the edge of the cliff. As Phaeton is about to shoot him from point-blank range, he is shot himself, and falls over the cliff. Torres congratulates Nara, exclaiming, "Good shot!" Nara simply states, "Not really. I was aiming for his blaster."
Torres begins a conversation with J.T. by saying that the climb down will be difficult. Marsh reveals to her his intention that they go back inside to destroy the brood center before it becomes operational. When she tells him they won't be able to do much damage without e-frames, Marsh says he learned how to hotwire Neo equipment from Napier, and points out a hangar higher up on the mountainside. Torres points out that the air is already thin, and it will get thinner as they climb higher. Marsh just tells her, "Hey, they don't pay us to do the easy stuff."
Able Squad is climbing up the mountainside without equipment. Marsh has a rock crumble in his hand, and it causes him some minor difficulty. Nara has the same occur to her, and she falls. Marsala is able to catch her, and she then finds a foothold. They share a touching moment, during which she almost seems ready to kiss him. As she begins to climb again Marsala whispers, "Climb safely, Nara Burns."
Upon arriving in the hangar, some Neo mechanics notice Able Squad, and try to use the e-frames they were repairing. One contacts Typhonus, who is shocked that the Terrans would return after having escaped. Torres and Nara are unable to hold off an e-frame with their hand blasters, so Marsala, after seizing a wrench, jumps on its back and begins smashing its fusion power transformer. The e-frame wanders to the hangar door, and Torres blasts it from behind, sending it down the cliff.
Torres discovers their own e-frames, speculating the Neos brought them there to examine the weapons systems. As Marsh gives the order to frame-up DeLeon calls J.T.'s attention to the fact that the Neos are tapping the volcano's heat and that the destruction of a certain geothermal processing station will destroy the entire complex.
As Neo guards and e-frames converge on the landing bay's interior doors, Able Squad blasts their way out. DeLeon lets his teammates know to head down the grav lift shaft, and they do. Upon arriving at their destination Marsh takes out the guard, but lets the technical crew escape. He instructs his squad to fill their e-frame cockpits with all remaining ordinance. He says it is the only way to detonate the fusion paks underneath the lava. Marsala points out that a nuclear detonation inside the magma chamber could destroy the entire mountain. Marsh says it's the only way to be sure.
The Able Squad members (except J.T., who is keeping his so that they can escape) disconnect after giving instructions to their e-frames to close the cockpits and walk into the lava pit. The members of Able Squad seem sorry to see their e-frames go, Bronski in particular. After all of the e-frames have plunged into the lava, Marsh enters his own frame. DeLeon announces that they have sixty seconds before detonation. Phaeton then arrives in his personal e-frame, declaring that none of them will leave alive.
Phaeton begins to rush at them, and J.T. uses his thrusters to fly at him, and propel Phaeton backwards into a wall. As he tries to hold Phaeton down he orders his squad to get on the grav lift. Phaeton finally throws Marsh, who lands near the lava pit as Bronski's e-frame sinks below the surface. Phaeton begins to shoot at the escaping members of Able Squad, who manage to get onto the grav lift and activate it. As Phaeton targets Torres, Marsh launches a missile that hits Phaeton squarely in the back. Phaeton's e-frame is undamaged, however, and he turns his attention to J.T., destroying one of his e-frames turbines after Marsh had managed to dodge a few shots. Marsh uses the remaining turbine to steady himself, and he launches another missile, which hits Phaeton. Phaeton revels in the fact that his frame is undamaged, exclaiming, "Direct hit, Lieutenant! I hope you are learning to appreciate Neosapien technology." Marsh's reaction is one of shock.
Meanwhile Neo guards are busy trying to shoot down the grav lift, and Able Squad is returning fire. Marsh then flies toward Phaeton while dodging a few shots, gets behind and on top of him to grab him and fly him into the lava pit. Phaeton screams as he is dropped in, but emerges seconds later no worse for wear. His frame's claws pierce J.T.'s frame as he grabs it, and dips the wing of it into the lava, where it catches fire and begins to melt. While doing this Phaeton says, "Your Terran e-frames seem to lack the heat resistance of our Neo sapien ceramic coating. Shall we make a test? Just as I suspected, an inferior design." At this same time Bronski (still in the firefight) wishes he had his frame. It responds by emerging from beneath the lava to fire its grappling hook at Phaeton, striking him right in the windshield. Both combatants are knocked out of the pit area and are separated. Marsh rushes at Phaeton, and starts to stick his e-frame's flaming wing into Phaeton's face through the shattered windshield. Phaeton hastily exits his e-frame, and J.T. sets the cockpit on fire, remarking, "Not bad, for an inferior design."
As the e-frames in the lava pit continue to sink and approach detonation, Marsh backs the now e- frameless Phaeton into a wall. The two smile at each other, and Phaeton nods his head, perhaps as a sign of congratulations for the battle that was well fought. The frames then explode, and magma pours into the control room. Phaeton is able to make his escape as J.T. gets knocked off his feet by magma rising up from the floor.
The grav lift, which had reached the top, begins to fall. Marsh positions his frame underneath it to catch it across his wings. Jolted by the lift's momentum, he is nearly pushed down into the lava. His thrusters are finally able to do the trick, and lift them all to the top. One explodes, forcing Marsh to throw the lift off the frame's shoulders. The members of Able Squad then jump safely off the lift. Marsh lands his own frame, and gets out. As his frame slides down into the volcano, it says good-bye. Marsh is surprised that it spoke to him when he was not plugged in. Marsala simply observes, "Humans are great creators, Lieutenant, though often unaware of the consequences of their gift."
Lava eventually begins to pour out of the volcano, and it looks as though the end has come for Able Squad. Marsala begins to get philosophical with regard to their impending deaths, when he notices an approaching ship. It is Weston and Takagi, who during the previous began a mission to try and recover their fellow squad members. They quickly board the ship, as Olympus Mons explodes.
At Io moonbase, Winfield tells Marsh that the ExoFleet is badly weakened, and they cannot challenge Phaeton alone. Marsh's new mission is to contact Jonas Simbacca and the pirate clans.
On an environmentally decimated Mars Phaeton is chastising Typhonus, blaming him for all that transpired. Phaeton is showing the first signs of Auto-Mutation Syndrome. He gives Typhonus a mission to hunt down Marsala, Marsh, and Winfield.
Credit goes ot: Patrick Danner's ExoSquad page.