A Neo fleet surrounds the Pirate base on Tethys, and a single Neo shuttle approaches and then enters a Pirate facility. It lands and Jonas Simbacca, Barca, Jubail, J.T. Marsh, Alec DeLeon, and a few more pirates enter the landing area. All of the main characters' faces display varying degrees of anger, with Simbacca's most pronounced.
A shuttle door opens and Typhonus emerges with two guards behind him. He announces, "I am Typhonus, the personal envoy of Governor General Phaeton." Simbacca remarks, "Ambassadors do not come armed." Typhonus has walked up to Simbacca, he replies with a smile, "We do. I am here to make you a proposal, Simbacca." Simbacca seems to be to the point of rage, but manages to say, "I am... listening." Typhonus says, "Neo sapiens are the superior species. We rule the Homeworlds by right of conquest, and soon will crush the ExoFleet. But we have no interest in where you live. If the Pirate Clans remain neutral, we will guarantee your freedom here. The only thing we ask is that you turn the ExoFleet emissaries over to us." Marsh tries to step forward but is restrained by Barca and Jubail, "Don't listen to him, Simbacca. The Neos will get rid of us now, but someday soon it'll be the Pirates turn." Simbacca turns back to face Typhonus, "We need no Neosapien permission to live on the outer planets. And we do not sell ourselves for bribes. I have guaranteed the safety of the ExoFleet emissaries." Typhonus turns and walks away, saying, "A display of Neo sapien power should convince you to reconsider."
Marsh shouts, "It's a trick!" A side panel on the Neo shuttle opens and a pair of e-frames fly out while Typhonus'guards open fire. Typhonus gives orders to kill all but Simbacca and the two exotroopers. The pirates and exotroopers scatter to find cover behind cargo crates or whatever else can be found. But it does little good as the Neos often destroy any obstacles. Simbacca and Jubail are fleeing from an e-frame, but Simbacca soon pulls out a blaster and tries to make a stand. Jubail realizes this is not likely to succeed and knocks Simbacca out of the path of enemy fire, and they wind up behind some crates.
Marsh wants to make a run for their e-frames and DeLeon agrees. They run out, dodging Neo fire. Barca notices this, announces that they are trying to escape and begins firing at them. But a Neo soldier is then able to approach Barca and shoot him in the back. Marsh and DeLeon make it inside the Pirate ship, but their e-frames are gone. Marsh states that they can't help and Simbacca is on his own.
Simbacca remarks, "So this is Neo sapien diplomacy, an ambush." Jubail is trying to convince Simbacca that they should flee because they don't have any weapons with which to fight. Once out they can raise the necessary support from the other pirates. But Simbacca shouts back, "I do not run in my own home. I'll fight with my bare hands if I have to!" With that he walks over to a pole in the ground and yanks it out, taking a large chunk of rock with it. He then drops a bolt in the vicinity of a Neo guard, who hears it over the noise of his own blaster firing and walks over to check it out. Simbacca then thrusts the rock on a pole in the Neo's stomach and picks up his blaster and shoots him. He shoots a Neo e-frame, but it is hardly damaged and fires, knocking him unconscious. Jubail sees his leader fall, and moves for the Neo blaster he dropped, but the Neo e-frame knocks him over before he can fire a shot.
Neo soldiers and e-frames stand among a number of fallen pirates. Typhonus orders Simbacca taken aboard the shuttle. Barca awakes, and a Neo e-frame prepares to finish him off. Barca shouts, "Don't shoot! I surrender!" The e-frame pilot just says, "We don't need any more prisoners." Typhonus stops him, however, and tells Barca to inform the rest of the Pirates that it is useless to attempt to resist Neo sapien power. Barca says that he will do so. The Neos the board their shuttle, which then takes off and lands inside Typhonus'flagship.
Hallas leads a group of pirates that blasts its way into the shuttle bay. Hallas approaches Barca, who reports that Simbacca was taken hostage. Jubail has also roused himself to his feet, though the holds his arm and leans against Hallas to remain standing. He declares that they should attack the Neo fleet immediately. Barca objects on the grounds that Simbacca will be put at risk. Jubail says that to do otherwise would be to risk all of their lives, and the surrounding pirates seem to approve of a fight. When Barca complains that the Neos are too strong Jubail accuses him of being a coward. Barca denies this, and states that they should save their own lives if possible and can do that by trading the exotroopers for Simbacca, as it was their fault that the Neos were even there. The group of surrounding pirates shouts approval for this plan. Jubail ponders this, and agrees, ordering a search for the exotroopers saying that the ExoFleet at least owes them Simbacca's freedom and can provide that. The pirates then begin the search. Once the pirates have left the area Alec slides open the door concealing the two of them. He figures that they have failed, but J.T. doesn't think so and believes that if they can get to their e-frames they can still accomplish their mission. They then leave to begin their own search.
Back at Io Admiral Winfield is recording a log entry, and he talks of the Neo blockade of Io and his belief that they cannot break it unless Marsh succeeds in getting Pirate help. Winfield then ponders the GRAF shield situation, namely Algernon's attempts to repair it while the only thing that holds the Neos at bay is their belief that it is in fact functional. He mentions that Sean Napier has begun to organize the Homeworlds resistance and says it is the only bright spot in their situation. But, Winfield notes, it will all be in vain unless Marsh returns with the Pirates. A sort of shuttle is then observed leaving the Io base.
Back at the Pirate base on Tethys Barca is giving orders regarding the search. He tells them not to take any chances, saying, "Remember, they don't have to breathing when we trade them to Typhonus." The pirates laugh, and go their separate ways. Once gone, Marsh and DeLeon open a panel and drop from the ceiling. They run down a corridor, and find their e-frames. But their e-frames have been dismantled, and Alec comments about how they were talking peace the Pirates were attempting to steal their e-frame technology. Marsh says their primary concern is getting the frames back together, but Hallas approaches them from behind, saying, "You won't be needing your e-frames, the only trip you'll be taking is to your graves." Marsh and DeLeon stand and raise their arms and Marsh says, "I could talk to you 'til I'm blue in the face, but you wouldn't believe it. We're on your side." Hallas responds, "I don't care if you turn green. Now stand away from those e-frames!" DeLeon says, "Anything you say," and begins to step past the pirates when he lets out a karate yell and kicks two of the pirates. Hallas takes aim at Alec, but Marsh throws a wrench that knocks the blaster out of his hand. Both of them try to make a run for the blaster that lies on the ground. Hallas gets there first, but J.T. slams into him and they struggle for the blaster.
Meanwhile one of the pirates on the ground tries to covertly grab hold of his blaster and quickly raise it. He does so but Alec shoots it out of his hand with a blaster he acquired from the other pirate and says, "Repeat after me: 'I... surrender'." Marsh has emerged with the blaster, and Hallas yields. Marsh then tells to DeLeon that they're going to frame up.
Marsh and DeLeon are then in their e-frames and are trailing Hallas as they move to a Pirate ship. Alec asks, "Think we can get out of here with no more surprises?" Then a group of pirates begin to open fire on them and J.T. remarks, "If you don't like surprises you're in the wrong line of work." They return fire, and DeLeon tells Marsh to board the ship while he holds them off. Marsh picks up Hallas and proceeds inside while DeLeon slowly back in.
Hallas yells, "Let go of me!" Marsh responds, "Whatever you say," and drops him uncomfortably into one of the pilot seats. "Fly us out of here, now!" orders Marsh. Hallas replies, "If you think the Clans will let you escape just because I'm a hostage, you're mistaken." Marsh tells him, "Hey pal, you don't get it. You're not our hostage, we're your hostages." Hallas is shocked, "What?!" Marsh tells him, "Just fly." As they take off Barca directs pirates on the ground, telling them to shoot the ship down. They make their way out, however, and proceed toward the Neo fleet.
When Typhonus learns of a Pirate ship on approach he orders it destroyed. But Hallas makes contact and tells him he is under a flag of truce and wishes to exchange the two ExoFleet officers for Simbacca. Typhonus cancels his order to fire, and tells Hallas to dock. Once the transmission is ends he gives orders to have Marsh brought to him while the other two are to be disposed of.
Marsh and DeLeon now have blasters in hand, and J.T. tells Hallas to dock. Hallas turns and says, "I don't know what you hope to accomplish." Marsh replies as he walks away, "Well maybe you'll find out... if we live long enough." As the docking collar connects Alec asks what Marsh plans to do about Hallas, and is shocked when Marsh tosses Hallas a blaster. Hallas immediately points it at Marsh and calls him a fool, but Marsh replies, "Am I? We're here to rescue Simbacca. Do you want to fight us, or help us?" Hallas lowers the blaster and says he'll do it their way, for now.
As the pressure doors slide open a number of Neo soldiers wait on the other side. They quickly realize it is a trap, and are driven back by the e-frames. The three keep pressure on the fleeing Neos, though one manages to report to Typhonus that they are under attack from ExoFleet e-frames. Typhonus orders a security alert and for all forces to converge on the docking bay. A number of Neos run through an armory and leave it with gun racks bare.
The three boarders are still pushing the Neos back, and when they flee through a door Marsh says he and Hallas will guard the door while Alec gets into the Neo computer to find Simbacca. DeLeon gets to a panel and proceeds. He soon reports, "I'm into their computer system." Marsh, busy holding off Neos at the door, shoots back, "Don't give me a play-by-plan DeLeon, just find me Simbacca!" Alec shortly succeeds and reports that he has found him. Marsh asks if he can do anything to slow down the Neos, and Alec responds that he can close all the hatches to corridors that don't lead to Simbacca. Marsh tells him to do so, and the Neo try and succeed in escaping before the doors close.
The three then have an empty hall before them, and they try to hurry for Marsh knows that the Neos will soon be able to overcome Alec's commands. As they run some Neos manage to blast their way through a door and begin firing at them from behind. Marsh orders DeLeon and Hallas to get Simbacca while deals with the guards, which he does in short order. He makes it back to the other two in time to see DeLeon blast his way into Simbacca's cell, which knocks the Pirate leader back. Hallas is the first to enter and Simbacca is pleased that the Pirates decided to fight the Neo sapiens rather than submit to them. He asks Hallas how many fighters he brought, and Hallas responds, "Uhhh... only two, Simbacca," and Marsh and DeLeon step forward. Simbacca is shocked that it is the exotroopers, and Marsh reiterates their need for an alliance. Then DeLeon reports that more Neo forces have arrived and have them boxed in.
The four try to fight their way out. Simbacca turns to Marsh and says, "This fight will make you a legend in the clans, Marsh. They'll tell the story of our deaths for a thousand years." Marsh replies, "I'd rather be alive than a legend." He tells Simbacca that they'll need the assistance of the Pirates, and tells DeLeon to send a transmission to them. Alec breaks into the Pirates' emergency frequency and tells Simbacca that he'll have a few seconds before the Neos notice and begin jamming.
Simbacca orders the Pirates to attack, and tries to shame them by saying that the exotroopers are fighting their battle for them. The transmission is quickly noticed, and jammed. Jubail announces, "Alert all ships, we attack on Simbacca's orders." As the other pirates run off Barca pulls him aside and says, "Wait Jubail! Attacking the Neo sapiens will cost many lives, all for the sake of one. Leave Simbacca to his fate, and you could be the new leader of the Pirate Clans." Jubail sneers, "Only a coward would let someone else remove the obstacle in his path. We attack!" Barca is visibly angry. A squadron of Pirate fighters soon takes off and approaches the Neo fleet, and once close enough opens fire.
Inside the flagship the four are no longer making progress, and are firing at the Neo soldiers from behind entrances to other corridors. Hallas bemoans the fact that they are trapped, but Marsh just laughs and says, "You give up too easy." Outside Jubail orders the fighters to concentrate on the flagship, and they shake up the ship sufficiently so that Marsh and DeLeon step out to try to break the line of Neos before them. The soldiers fall back, and the e-frames proceed.
Typhonus receives a report that the intruders have broken out of the brig, but he intends to dispose of the Pirates first. He orders all ships to open fire, although some already had. A hit Pirate fighter crashes into a Neo ship. Jubail blasts rows into the outer armor of the flagship. On their next approach the rest of the fighters in his wing are destroyed. With a cry of "Long live the Clans!" he begins another approach and fires causing a large explosion on the port side.
Inside DeLeon is worried that the ship is coming apart. Marsh tells them to get back to the ship while he provides cover. On the bridge Typhonus receives a report that they are losing containment on the propulsion reactors. He orders that the ship be evacuated, and there is an announcement to abandon ship as the four intruders fight their way back to their own ship.
Simbacca and Hallas enter and take off. Marsh tells DeLeon to follow them out while he covers the retreat. Both e-frames have soon left the ship, and Marsh encounters Typhonus in his e-frame. Typhonus says he will destroy Marsh, but Marsh tells him that if they don't escape the immediate vicinity they'll both die. Soon the flagship explodes knocking them both back. DeLeon approaches Marsh, who asks where Typhonus is. DeLeon tells him he escaped, and Marsh says, "Next time, Typhonus is mine."
Back at the Pirate base, Simbacca announces in front of a large group of pirates, "These two have proved their courage. We each have held the life of the other in our hands. Until the Neo sapiens are defeated, the ExoFleet and the Pirate Clans will fight... together!" With that final word he raises his arms with Alec's arm in one and J.T.'s in the other. The surrounding pirates cheer, while Barca turns away in disgust.