Provided by: Adam Keith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the year 1969, a desolate lunar landscape is disturbed by a small spacecraft and the footsteps of a human being. Stirring lunar dust around his feet, Neil Armstrong turns to face the distant planet Earth and states, "That's one small step for man...one giant leap for mankind."
Back in the 22nd century, the exocarrier Resolute II and the massed forces of the Exofleet approach the Earth's moon at full speed. On the jumpship Arnhem, Nara Burns and Marsala talk about the war and its imminent end. Nara can't believe that the war is only three years old, but Marsala comments that a lifetime can be lived in three years.
J.T. enters the Arnhem's hangar, where the rest of the squad is preparing their E-frames. He calls out instructions, telling everyone to check everything and stating, "This isn't the Earth, people, but it's right next door." Meanwhile, Alec thanks Wolf for saving several works of art while he was on Earth. Alec comments on Phaeton's lack of appreciation for the "finer things in life," and briefly casts a glance at Maggie.
Elsewhere, Captain Butler runs his pre-jump harassment routine as the jumptroops climb into their drop capsules. The troops laugh tensely and Pellegrino states that the squad is ready. O'Reilly calls out, "Two minutes to drop," and the Exofleet enters position in orbit of the moon.
On the bridge of the Resolute, Admiral Winfield tells Simbacca of his misgivings towards ordering others into battle when he would much rather risk his own life. Simbacca says that is the reason that they are willing to follow his orders. Winfield then orders all squadrons to launch the assault.
Dozens of jumpships and transports fly just above the moon's surface and begin releasing hundreds of E-frames and jumptroops. The jumptroops hit the ground just as several Neosapien laser batteries break through the lunar surface and open fire on the fleet of transports, catching several E-frames and drop capsules as they emerge from their ships. The batteries focus their fire on one transport, blasting away until it comes apart and explodes. J.T. spots a set of gun installations on a nearby ledge and silences them with a pair of missiles.
In one of three massive pyramids nearby, Typhonus orders his officers to fight to the death and declares that the moon must not fall. When one of the officers says that the lunar garrison isn't equipped to deal with a full-scale invasion, Typhonus shouts, "The moon is a dagger pointed at the Earth. It will give them the base they need for an invasion. Now go!" His officers stand mute for a moment, but then turn and leave.
In his secret bunker underneath Phaeton City, Phaeton receives Typhonus' report of massive Terran forces overpowering his lunar defenses. "You are a simpleton, Typhonus," Phaeton declares, and compares him to his incompetent predecessors. However, Phaeton states that he will have to save Typhonus in order to save the Neosapien cause, and promises that the Exofleet will be utterly destroyed in a few hours. "We may not have hours!" Typhonus barks, to which Phaeton replies, "Do not disappoint me, Typhonus. Everything we have fought for hangs in the balance."
Meanwhile, as Terran E-frames try to suppress the Neosapien ground defenses, Butler's squad drops a few meters away from the Apollo 11 historical site and the Eagle lander. O'Reilly spots two Neosapien batteries hidden behind the crest of a mountain and fires off a cluster of missiles at them. One of the missiles is destroyed on its way, but the other five find their targets and rip holes into the mountainside as they explode. Pellegrino blasts pasts the Eagle lander and takes cover behind a "Tranquility Base" sign as a Neosapien Y-wing opens fire on the jumptroops. Pellegrino drops the fighter with a few blasts and then joins up with the rest of the squadron. Longfeather reports only minor casualties and the troops follow Butler away from the lunar lander.
Nearby, Alec comments on the absence of Neosapien E-frames while the squad approaches the three pyramids, each of which features a massive laser cannon. Takagi blasts past the rest of the squad and targets one of the pyramids, reducing it to a twisted heap of metal with full blasters. Torres targets one of the remaining two and destroys it, and Weston pulls into position above the third. Before she can open fire, however, dozens of Neosapien E-frames emerge from the ground and begin firing. Alec calls out, "It's an ambush!" and one of the Neosapiens shoots the arm off of Maggie's E-frame. When she shouts that she's hit, Alec lays down covering fire and asks her if she's alright. Weston says yes, and Alec tells her to be careful. Maggie looks at him and says coyly, "Why, Mr. DeLeon, I didn't know you cared," before blasting away.
We hear Phaeton's voice speaking to his men about the glory of sacrifice and the destiny of the Neosapien race as the battle continues to rage on the moon. Longfeather takes to the sky and blasts in the side of the last remaining pyramid before landing and fires five mines at its main door. Butler motions his troops to follow him into the pyramid, and he and O'Reilly drop a Neosapien soldier that leaps out from behind a corner. Meanwhile, as Phaeton's speech reaches its climax, thousands of Neosapien E-frames blast toward the moon and the Exofleet.
Resolute II and the other capital ships shower laser blasts on to the moon's surface, but Simbacca and Winfield are disturbed by the sensor reports of thousands of enemy E-frames approaching the fleet's position. Winfield orders all remaining E-frames to scramble at once to keep the Neosapiens away from the fleet and the ground forces. Throughout the ship, pilots run to the hangar bays as the Resolute tries to muster a fleet defense.
The vast numbers of E-frames make for quick casualties as entire squads of Terran and Neosapien frames are quickly destroyed in the first waves of blasts and missiles. An Exofleet cruiser picks off three Phaeton-style E-frames, but a missile cluster from one of their wingmates severely damages the cruiser and shortly afterwards blows it apart. Resolute then comes flying through the cruiser's debris with guns blazing and devastates the incoming Neosapiens. A stray Neosapien missile makes it through the carrier's defenses and destroys a gun port, shaking the ship. On the bridge, Winfield declares, "Phaeton's pulled out all the stops!" to which Simbacca replies, "Then we will all go up in a glorious blaze, brighter than a new sun." Winfield doesn't share Simbacca's desire for a glorious death, however, and says that it can't be the end.
Captain Butler and his jumptroops wait outside the pyramid's entrance for Able Squad to lend them a hand in getting through the Neosapien-infested halls of the complex. Before the troopers can get moving, the Admiral orders all E-frames to defend the fleet from the attacking Neosapiens. J.T. apologizes for not being able to help the jumptroops, and Butler protests, saying that, "Without your E-frames, we might as well hang targets on our backs!" Alec volunteers to stay, observing that one more E-frame wouldn't help the fleet but might make a difference for the jumptroops. J.T. gives him permission to go with Captain Butler and tells him to be careful. Maggie is visibly worried about Alec going with the jumptroops, telling him, "Hey, don't get cocky, Alec." DeLeon, of course, responds by saying, "Why, Weston, I didn't know you cared." Maggie retorts, "In your dreams, DeLeon!" The squad blasts off and Alec takes point as the jumptroops enter the pyramid.
From a distance, the squad sees the looming bulk of the Resolute II surrounded by flashes and explosions as the thousands of Neosapiens attempt to destroy it and the fleet. Bronski winces and says, "I knew I wasn't gonna like this one," as the squad closes in. On the Resolute's bridge, Simbacca comments on the bravery and skill of the attacking enemy and states that he can almost respect them.
The space around the Resolute is thick with Neosapien E-frames, giving Marsh no trouble in finding two and blowing them up. J.T. quickly gets picked up by another enemy frame, though, and is unable to shake it until Wolf comes from behind and rips into it, pausing for a moment afterwards to give a triumphant belch.
Meanwhile, in the corridors of the command pyramid, DeLeon's radar spots three Neosapien E- frames coming around the corner. Pellegrino fires off two plasma grenades, and the hall in front of them is soon filled with flame and melted E-frame debris. As Alec and the jumptroops round the corner, though, Typhonus and several other officers in E-frames emerge and open fire. Alec and the jumptroops step back and return fire, destroying two of the E-frames before one chases O'Reilly into another hall. A shot fired at Typhonus is blocked by one of his men, which allows Typhonus to escape. Alec calls out his name and heads after him.
O'Reilly dodges blasts from her pursuer and fires off a small rearward missile at him, knocking him to the ground momentarily and allowing her to dart into another room. Her pursuer gets back on his feet and catches up to O'Reilly, dropping her with one direct hit. As the Neosapien steps down into the room and prepares to blast his fallen target, O'Reilly struggles to regain consciousness. Just as the Neosapien fires again, O'Reilly blasts off the floor and launches a missile directly into her pursuer's cockpit, slamming his broken E-frame first to the wall and then to the ground. O'Reilly stands and continues into the next room, where she finds a control center and a screen showing an irate Phaeton demanding a report from the absent Typhonus. As she turns away, O'Reilly is shot again, this time by Typhonus, and falls to the floor. Typhonus raises the massive foot of his E-frame above her fallen form and states, "The Exofleet may retake the moon, but for you, the battle is finished."
Typhonus is interrupted by the sudden appearance of an electric field around his E-frame, and Alec DeLeon says, "Checkmate, Typhonus! I'm disengaging all your systems." But Typhonus' E-frame is only affected by the Mega Burst Jamming Device for a few seconds, after which he faces Alec and blasts him against the wall. "This is a specially modified E-frame, Terran," Typhonus announces as he lifts Alec into the air and repeatedly crushes his E-frame. Alec cries out in pain just as O'Reilly fires a missile into Typhonus'back, killing him and forcing him to drop DeLeon to the ground.
O'Reilly rushes over to Alec, trapped in his mangled E-frame, and asks him how badly he's hurt. "Bad," he manages to say, "I'm not going to make it...my E-frame knows...it told me." O'Reilly dismisses this as delirium and says that she's going to call for an evacuation shuttle, but Alec refuses and insists that she do something first. He tells Colleen to remove Typhonus' black box from his E-frame and to hook up his own E-frame to the communications console. Then, he tells O'Reilly to replace his E-frame's black box with that from Typhonus' E-frame. O'Reilly figures it out and says, "I get it! You're going to process your communications through his black box so you'll appear to be him." Alec grins painfully and adds, "I can do more than that."
In his secret bunker, Phaeton rants about the incompetence of his generals, remembering the past failures of Typhonus, Draconis, Shiva, and "now Typhonus again!" Livia quails at his tirade and, with a burst of utterly false hope, announces an incoming message from Typhonus, suggesting that it might be good news of the battle. Phaeton barks, "Typhonus! Is the battle ours?" but Typhonus responds that the E-frame squadrons have betrayed him and are surrendering en masse to the Terrans.
Inside the communications room on the moon, Alec continues posing as Typhonus and informing Phaeton of the poor progress of the battle, adding that he has been mortally wounded by Exofleet forces.
Phaeton becomes enraged, cursing the cowardice and treachery of his underlings. "I am taking command of the E-frames!" he bellows, adding menacingly, "They will receive one last order." He then grabs hold of a lever and slams it down.
In orbit above the moon, the battle continues to rage as the Neosapien E-frames swarm over the Exofleet. The pilots of Able Squad continue destroying the enemy frames, but the Neosapiens clearly outnumber the Terran E-frames. Two pairs of E-frames get behind J.T., who fights hard to dodge their fire, but suddenly his pursuers explode. "Good hit, Bronski," J.T. says, but Wolf didn't shoot them. "It just went kablooie," Bronski states. Torres notices that all of the enemy E-frames are going up in flames, allowing the squad to return to the moon.
O'Reilly disconnects Alec's communication with Phaeton and says that she's calling an evac shuttle, but DeLeon insists that he still has one more thing to take care of.
Outside the comm room, Butler's jumptroops continue their losing battle against the Neosapien E- frames. Pellegrino's section withdraws from their current position to a safer one, but soon the Neosapien E-frames stop firing as they receive a message from Typhonus stating that Phaeton has surrendered to the Terrans and that the war is over. The Neosapiens pursuing Pellegrino and Longfeather glance at each other, then climb out of their E-frames, hands raised into the air. "Guess somebody forgot to tell them they were winning," Pellegrino says.
His deception complete and having saved the Exofleet and the jumptroops from possible destruction, Alec finally lets O'Reilly call for a medical shuttle. He gives her his black box, telling her to give it to Maggie. "You give it to Weston yourself," she insists. Alec asks, "You never answered my question...you do care about J.T., don't you?" Colleen again ignores his question, telling him to not talk and to rest. "Tell him," Alec says. "I never told Maggie." He taps the black box and whispers, "Remember..." Moments later, with tears running down his face, Alec DeLeon quietly dies. O'Reilly falls to her knees and cries.
Outside, amidst the wreckage of the pyramid cannon and Tranquility Base, Able Squad lands and finds Colleen O'Reilly walking out of the pyramid. She approaches J.T. and says that the medtechs arrived too late to help him, never mentioning Alec's name. Maggie comes up to O'Reilly, seeing her holding the flight recorder, and says, "Alec?" O'Reilly looks up at her and says, "Maybe if he had let me call them sooner," then hands Weston the black box and says that he wanted her to have it. The squad is completely silent until Bronski says solemnly, "I never thought it would be him." J.T. asks Maggie if she'll be alright, but she only nods and walks away. Maggie cries for some time, and O'Reilly collapses at the base of the Eagle lander. "When is this stupid war going to end?" she cries out. J.T. says, "No one knows...but it'll be sooner because of Alec." "We came in peace for all mankind," she reads from the lander. "We can always hope," J.T. says. Rita picks up the American flag, brought to the moon centuries ago and knocked over by the fighting, and plants it back into the ground. As Maggie returns to the squad, Torres stands back and gives the flag a long salute.