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provided by Wayne Wirfs (retribution17@hotmail.com)

The episode opens on Mars, in the wastelands, desert winds are blowing all around, and hovercar is cruising along that arid landscape. It stops, and a Neosapien steps out, holding a computer. The Neosapien, later identified as Marduk, presses a button on the computer, which launches a disc out of the computer. The disc then buries itself in the ground and sets of a series of small charges. Marduk then looks around, signifying he doesn't want anyone to see what he is doing. Seismographic readings appear on the computer as the charges go off. Then the computer screen shows the layout of an underground installation.

The scene exits and switches to the Pirate ships Avenger and Cobra, in transit to Mars. It then goes to the Cobra's bridge.

ExoFleet Commander DeSoto announces to the crew, which includes Able Squad, that the ExoFleet has discovered an enormous underground complex, and that ExoFleet intelligence doesn't know its purpose, as the complex was constructed in complete secrecy. Commander DeSoto then shows the complex's layout, the same that appeared on Marduk's screen in the beginning of the episode.

Commander DeSoto then says in order to learn the purpose of the complex a recon team will have to be sent in. The recon team will use the Pirate ship's cloaking ability to get into launch range of Mars. DeSoto then turns the briefing and command over to Captain Barca. Barca tells the crew it will be a pleasure to be a part of such an important mission and that he will do all he can to make it comes to a successful conclusion.

The scene switches to Typhonus' headquarters in the Mars' Wastelands. Typhonus speaks, saying that according to his spy the Pirate raiders will reach Mars' orbit soon. Typhonus wants to give them a welcome they will never forget, or survive, adds Tyohonus' Neo mega assistant. The scene ends with Typhonus'order: Prepare the trap.

The Avenger and Cobra cloak before entering Mars' sensory range. Hallas, on the bridge of the Cobra, gives the final ready call, telling the e-frames that they will launch 11 kilometers above Mars'surface in five minutes.

In the e-frame hanger bay Weston is putting the final touches on her e-frame while Alec comments to J. T. on the 11 kilometer drop.

"They sure believe in taking these Pirate tugs in low."

"Well, for the Neos sake I hope they keep their heads down."

Able Squad drops and immediately meets resistance, Neo e-frames with Typhonus in the lead. Typhonus tells his troops that they have entered the trap and for all units to attack. J. T. gives the order to break drop formation.

The battle starts and Bronski immediately takes out three e-frames. Then an ExoFleet e-frame is shot down, and another, and another, and another. Typhonus tells his troops to exterminate them. J. T. tells Commander DeSoto that the ExoFleet is outgunned five to one. DeSoto then radios back saying to withdraw and to go to the rendezvous point.

Back in the battle a Neo Y-wing blows up. Then ExoFleet e-frames withdraw. Nara's says that Delta and Echo Squads are retreating and asks if Able Squad should follow. J. T. promptly replies "No way! Able Squad, form up on me."

On the Avenger's tactical battle screen Commander DeSoto and Captain Neepo view the battle losses. K.I.A.'s appear all over the screen. Commander DeSoto says they've lost half the e-frames. Captain Neepo calls it an ambush but DeSoto calls it a slaughter.

On Mars' surface in a canyon Able Squad is being chased by six Y-wings. Weston, being last in line, takes a hit and tells the Neos that is no way to treat a lady. She returns fire with her chain lightning weapon, taking out two of the pursuing Y-wings. Her e-frame's right lower leg is blown off and she crashes to the ground. The four remaining Y-wings circle over her. One goes in for the kill, but DeLeon uses his electronic jamming weapon and the Y-wing crashes. J. T. fires off two missiles which in turn take out two Y-wings. Alec destroys the last Y-wing.

Torres places Weston's e-frame on her back. Weston tells Torres that she owes her one. Torres says that she can do the same for her later, but right now they have to get out of the area. Able Squad then leaves to go back to the Cobra. Marsala stays behind a few moments longer, looking at Mars. Nara tells him it's time to go, saying she knows it's his home but she's had enough of Mars for one day.

Back on the Cobra's bridge Hallas asks Marsh what happened. J. T. ignores him and asks the com to get Commander DeSoto. DeSoto appears on the screen and asks J. T. to report. J. T. tells her it was like the Neos knew they were coming. He says that if he didn't know any better they were setup, that they walked into a trap and they didn't leave the back door open. DeSoto says that thought has occurred to her and she's preparing a full report for ExoFleet Intelligence.

Communication is suddenly cut off and we see the Avenger blow up. The bridge door opens and Barca enters, with his followers. Barca tells J. T. that he should have stayed on Mars, because at least there he had a fighting chance.

Bronski and Kaz are walking down a hall on the Cobra. Bronski tells Kaz that he knew that the mission was going to be trouble. He then wants to go to the mess hall because disaster makes him hungry. Kaz sarcastically replies "What doesn't?" Two Pirates appear behind them.

When Bronski and Kaz enter the mess hall Bronski says he wonders if the Pirates ever heard of a burger, fires, and a jumbo shake. One of the Pirates who followed them surprises them by saying "No, but we have heard of bread and water. Think of it as your last meal." The Pirate then stuns Kaz and Bronski.

In the medical bay Weston is receiving a check-up. She asks the med-tech on the prognosis. Pirates enter and one says "Not very good I'm afraid. Your condition may prove to be fatal."

In the rec-room Marsala, DeLeon, Torres, and Nara hit their soda cans together, toasting themselves to coming out alive on another mission. A shot rings out, and the rec-room doors open. Four Pirates enter, stun guns ablazing. Alec immediately takes action and draws two pistols, but is shot. Torres gets off a couple rounds before she is stunned. Marsala charges the Pirates, knocking one down. Because he is a Neosapien he can take the multiple stun shots more easily. But the shots soon overwhelm him and he falls to the floor. Nara comes in with a flying kick, and follows up with another one. Two more Pirates are on the ground, but they get up. Nara gets hit in the arm with the butt of a gun. Nara in turn punches the Pirate with her good arm and knocks him out. Nara then makes a run for it. A Pirate is about to take Nara out but Marsala jumps in the way of the stun shot.

Barca's followers report back to him on the bridge, saying that an ExoFleet trooper, the one called "Burns" has escaped. Barca tells them to go find her. J. T. looks optimistic. Barca sees this and tells J. T. not to get his hopes up and that they will soon find her. J. T. tells Barca not to bet his life on it. Barca tells J. T. he is a brave fool and then proceeds with a short speech:

"We Pirates hold the balance of Power. Without us the ExoFleet cannot win. With us the Neosapiens will surely win. Simbacca traded our help for a miserable existence on the desert of Mars. Phaeton has promised me Venus-a whole planet for the Pirate clans."

J. T. responds back, loud enough for Barca's followers to hear. "If Admiral Winfield promised you less than Phaeton it's because he intends to keep his word. Phaeton will betray you the second he feels strong enough. Don't let this traitor lead you to-," but before he can finish Barca stuns him.

Barca and Hallas exchange words. Barca says once he gets Venus he will be made Clan Leader, and that Hallas can be his right hand. Hallas asks what if he refuses. Barca says he can choose either the sunlight of Venus or eternal darkness.

In the hanger bay two Pirates are busy looking for Nara. Marsala and her e-frame is in the background. Nara crawls around, trying not to be spotted. One Pirate leaves the hanger bay, as another stands watch. Nara sneaks up on him and knocks him out. She grabs his gun and is about ready to jump into her e-frame when Hallas yells from behind to wait. He says all the others have been captured and he escaped. Nara hops into her e-frame and tells Hallas to get in. She tells him she is going to free the squad and warn Admiral Winfield. Hallas says she is crazy and that they will be blown to atoms. She asks Hallas if he wants to live forever. Hallas then stuns her, and as she fades into darkness he asks her if the sunrise on Venus is as beautiful as she says. Barca and another Pirate appear from behind.

The scene switches to a Neosapien ship tugging a smaller one. Typhonus asks Barca if he studies Terran history. "I'd rather make history than study it."

"A pity. You can learn much from the past." Then plan is then laid out. "During the days of sail fire ships would be sent to the enemy fleet. They would create havoc, set rigging on fire. Or, if laden with enough explosives..."

A screen shows the hypothetical scenario-a smaller ship approaches the Resolute II, explodes, causing the Resolute II to go with it.

"This monitor is our fire ship," continues Typhonus, "An old idea with a new twist. You will lure it near the Resolute II. When it destroys Winfield's flagship I will attack and annihilate the remains of the ExoFleet."

Barca leaves. Typhonus'Neo mega is worried about making Barca Clan Leader and giving him Venus. Typhonus replies, "All of Venus Barca will ever see is a six-foot hole in the ground."

Barca is giving ExoFleet a debriefing, saying that most of the e-frames, along with Captain Neepo's ship were destroyed, but that they did capture a Neosapien monitor. Winfield tells Barca good work because they've never captured a monitor and that they can learn a lot from it. Barca says that Marsh's squad were the ones who captured it but that they died in the process. Barca ends communication and tells a subordinate to transfer the prisoners over to the monitor to share Winfield's fate. Hallas wants Nara kept aboard because he captured her and wants to decide her fate. Barca asks "Are you sure she hasn't captured you?" Barca gives Hallas a talk about what will happen if he betrays him and falls into Nara.

The prisoners are then transferred over to the monitor. The trap is set and the Pirates transfer back over to the Cobra.

In the monitor's brig Marsala is trying to bend the bars to escape, unsuccessfully. Bronski says "Great, when this tug goes we'll be blown back to Venus in a billion pieces." He receives a glare from Torres. Bronski responds to her glare, "I know, can it Bronski." J. T. says there's always a way out of any trap.

The NeoFleet is then seen travelling en route to the ExoFleet, stopping just outside of their sensor range.

Back on the Cobra's bridge one of the Pirates reports that Hallas is no longer on the bridge. Barca calls Hallas a fool and wishes Hallas would have surprised him.

In the Cobra's brig Nara is sitting down, legs crossed, eyes closed. Hallas rushes in and tries to unlock the gate, but the code has been changed. Hallas tells her not to worry and that he will get her out. Nara is confused and asks "Did I miss something or weren't you the guy that got me in here." Hallas melts the bars with his blaster and the two rush for the hanger bay.

Once there Nara tries to start her e-frame, but there is no power because the fusion pack's-

"Been removed from your e-frame," Barca says, walking into the hanger bay with three Pirates. Hallas and Barca exchange words, then open fire on each other. Nara spots Weston's still broken e-frame, and rushes towards it. Hallas takes a couple hits in the chest. Once in the e-frame Nara lets loose with a Chain Lightning attack. Barca sounds retreat and they run away.

Nara takes Weston's fusion pack and places it in her own e-frame. She lifts the unconscious Hallas into the back seat. The Cobra disengages the tractor beam and heads away from it. The tractor beams turns back on, heading away from the fleet as well. The Cobra doesn't detect this because the sensors are offline, because of the chain lightning attack. Nara radios ExoFleet telling them the situation. Time is running out on the detonator in the monitor.

Nara gets aboard the monitor and blasts open the brig. J. T. and the others run for an escape pod. They escape, and Barca is now seen counting down the last ten seconds. A Pirate looks out the window and sees the monitor is still in tow, but it is too late. The monitor explodes, taking the Cobra with it and killing Barca.

Typhonus, monitoring the explosion, says it is time to attack. His Neo mega says that the explosion was too far away to inflict any damage, and wonders what it means. Typhonus tells him Phaeton no longer has a spy, and calls a retreat.

Back on Venus, in a hospital, beside Hallas' bed, Nara tells Marsala that the doctors said Hallas suffered massive neural damage. Marsala says that he is lucky to be alive and then comments that they should go because there is nothing they can do. Nara tells him to go on-she wants to be there when Hallas wakes up. She then tells the unconscious Hallas that he's going to be alright.

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