Provided by Adam Keith (email@example.com)
The episode opens at the ExoFleet's base on and around Io. Some repairs are being made, and Algernon is also shown busy at work. Nara Burns describes the current situation and talks about the squad, perhaps as a part of a letter to her brother. She mentions that it has been two years since the Neo sapiens began the war, that the ExoFleet is now on the defensive and that Algernon works to build a GRAF shield for their last base on Io. Nara then describes each of her fellow squad members in turn. As she does so J.T. Marsh walks in and after motioning for silence to Alec DeLeon leaves with him. Nara is anticipating going into battle soon, a figures it will be big.
Marsh and DeLeon are before Admiral Winfield, who tells DeLeon that the mission is completely voluntary and Marsh has already accepted. Winfield goes on to say that he wants them to go to the Pirate leader Jonas Simbacca to forge an alliance with the Pirates. Alec seems skeptical because the Pirates and ExoFleet have fought for generations, but Winfield notes that their ancestors were Terrans and he doesn't believe Simbacca will be able to stand by and do nothing as humanity is destroyed. Marsh also notes that they have lost so many ships and soldiers that they don't have much choice but to try and forge an alliance. DeLeon takes a step forward and, with a salute, says, "All right, sir. I volunteer."
Winfield watches as the shuttle carrying Marsh and DeLeon takes off. He turns to a pair of aides and tells them to notify the resistance leaders to await pickup and prepare for the summit.
Inside the Arnhem various e-frames are lined up in preparation for the pickup mission, and Wolf Bronski is having some difficulty handling a two-seat e-frame. In the cockpit of the accompanying scout ship Degamma are Nara Burns and Maggie Weston. Nara, after informing the Arnhem that their course for Venus is set, mentions her happiness in seeing her brother again so soon, and Weston somewhat wistfully notes, "Yeah, it must be nice to have someone you care about out there waiting for you."
A Neo sapien fleet is in the asteroid belt, and Typhonus reports to Phaeton that they have completed their search of the asteroid belt and have not found the ExoFleet there. Somewhat angrily Phaeton orders him to continue, to send out long-range scouts and search each of the outer planets. He wants the ExoFleet found and crushed before they can regroup. Typhonus says, "I will not fail you Phaeton. I will bring you Winfield's head." Phaeton replies, "Yes. I will have one head... or another." The transmission then ends and scout ships are dispatched.
Maggie and Nara have since arrived at Venus, and they exit the orbiting scout ship in their e-frames. Nara lands and meets her brother James, but they soon come under attack by Neo y-wings. They hurriedly enter the e-frame and take off, and Weston soon drops out of the clouds and destroys their pursuers.
Marsala lands in Phaeton City, formerly Chicago, at the opening to a sewer. Sean Napier emerges and asks, "Going my way, Marsala?" Marsala responds, "That was the purpose of this rendezvous Mr. Napier." As Napier climbs in he tries to explain, "It was a joke." Marsala seems disappointed that he didn't pick up on the joke and just says, "Oh." They then take off.
Rita Torres and Kaz Takagi wait in high orbit. When some Neo y-wings are in pursuit of Marsala, Torres draws them off and after a brief exchange with Kaz ("Hey Sarge, need some help?" "Stop talking and start hackin'."), he destroys them. Kaz figures they are then done, but Torres notes that Bronski hasn't returned yet. Just then he is seen shouting for help, with six Neos trailing him and firing. Bronski takes a few hits, and complains about the odds and the e-frame as Nick Tyree is in back and just asks him to lose the Neos. After a few maneuvers that discomfort Tyree Bronski is able to get behind two of the Neos and destroy them. Takagi swoops in to destroy another two, joking to Bronski who thought Kaz should've gotten there sooner, "Thought you had it under control, Bronski." One of the remaining Neos takes Kaz and is soon destroyed by him; the other takes Bronski and does some serious damage before Torres destroys it. Torres then quickly gives orders to return to the ship, and it is necessary to destroy a few more Neos along the way.
Inside the Arnhem the hanger crew is spraying foam on Bronski's frame to subdue an electrical fire. Torres yells to Bronski, "What's the big idea, Bronski? You were supposed to deliver that guy to the Arnhem in one piece." Bronski turns to look at an apparently unconscious Tyree and says, "He looks pretty peaceful to me, Sarge." Tyree moans and rubs his head.
At his Martian Palace Phaeton is holding a conference call with both Shiva and Draconis. Shiva reports that resistance leaders were taken by e-frames aboard a jumpship. Draconis reports the same, but notes, "Of course, we have very little organized resistance on Venus." Phaeton responds, "You have very few Terrans on Venus." Phaeton knows that Winfield is planning something, but he has a plan of his own. He ends the current transmissions and proceeds to contact Typhonus. He tells Typhonus to follow the ships delivering the resistance leaders, for they will lead him to the ExoFleet base.
Aboard the Arnhem, in the mess hall, Tyree is openly complaining about the ExoFleet and Winfield. He blames them for leaving to fight the Pirates, and criticizes the fact that he and his fellow resistance leaders are risking their lives for a meeting. A table away Torres, Marsala, Bronski, and Takagi sit eating and they don't like what they hear. Kaz states, "I'd like to pound that bloated face back down under." After Bronski claims first shot, Torres reprimands Kaz. Marsala stands up and says, "Mr. Tyree is our guest, and must be treated with courtesy." He walks over to Tyree and pours his soup/meal on his head, quieting Tyree, and then states, "I am... terribly sorry. I seem to be... all thumbs." Marsala shows his Neo sapien hand and twitches each of his four fingers/thumbs in turn, as his fellow squad members laugh.
Marsh and DeLeon have finally reached Saturn, and they enter an orbit of the planet. Alec wonders where their welcome is and if perhaps Simbacca changed his mind or if it might be a trap. Marsh says they'll wait, stay alert, and respond in kind if it is a trick. Just then they pick up two Neo scouts, and the exotroopers try to escape. After taking a couple of hits they enter their e-frames and exit the shuttle. The Neos destroy the shuttle, and engage the e-frames. Marsh seems to have some trouble with his pursuer, but Alec destroys one scout and then draws off the one following Marsh. Marsh then fires a pair of wing missiles, destroying it.
DeLeon is pleased, and exclaims, "Yes!" Just then a number of Pirate destroyers decloak and Marsh says, "Uhhh, I wouldn't celebrate just yet." They receive a transmission from a Captain Jubail who orders them to surrender or be destroyed.
Inside the two have been stripped of their armor and are being checked for weapons. Marsh tells them that they are there to see Simbacca, and Jubail tells them, "I am aware of your mission, otherwise you would have been blown to dust by now." Barca is displeased with such "ExoFleet filth" and pulls a gun claiming to know how to deal with them. Jubail stops him and tells him that Simbacca has granted them safe passage, then tells the guards "Confine them below before I forget my orders." Marsh demands to see Simbacca immediately, but Jubail just laughs at him and says he will meet him once they arrive at Tethys. DeLeon asks about their e-frames, and just smiles and says they will take good care of them. Barca questions letting them live, and speaks of the many pirates (including a mention of a brother of Jubail) who have fallen at the hands of the ExoFleet, and how they cry out for revenge. Jubail simply states that Simbacca has granted them safe conduct, and he is the leader of the clans. Barca smiles as though an idea has hatched.
Back at Io the Arnhem has returned, but has indeed been followed by the Neos. Winfield realizes that they have been discovered. Typhonus is pleased that the entire ExoFleet, as well as resistance leadership, has gathered in one place to make destroying them all an easy matter. Typhonus then orders an attack. The Arnhem comes under fire, and Torres shouts, "We're under attack!" to which Bronski replies, "So what else is new?" They frame up and Able Squad exits to deal with the threat.
Marsala is shown destroying one y-wing. Bronski, after some evasive maneuvers and complaining about not having his old e-frame, destroys a y-wing and an e-frame but is then knocked around by a couple others. Torres is engaging a few Neos herself. Bronski is then being tailed by four Neo y-wings, but Takagi picks off a pair and the other two withdraw.
The Neo capital ships, however, are unleashing a devastating assault on Io. Winfield orders everything at his disposal to return fire, and contacts Algernon to tell him to activate the GRAF shield. Algernon objects, saying that he hasn't run the tests he needs to ensure the substandard parts he was given will work. Winfield then more forcefully orders him to activate the shield. Algernon complies, muttering complaints under his breath as his does so, saying he won't be held responsible.
The GRAF shield begins to power up and its energy field reaches out from Io, crushing the Neo craft it envelops. Inside Typhonus' ship alarms are blaring, and he realizes it is a GRAF shield. He orders all his ships to retreat, and they do so. Just then the consoles in front of Algernon begin to smoke and cackle, as does the apparatus itself. Algernon sits and whines about how he told Winfield he needed more tests. Algernon contacts Winfield and tells him that it will take time to repair the shield, and that it is likely time they don't have since they are now defenseless in the face of a Neo attack. Winfield tells him, "As long as the Neo sapiens think we have the shield we have some time. You have your work cut out for you, professor, I suggest you get to it!"
Aboard the Pirate ship Marsh comments that the brig isn't as bad as he thought. Alec notes, "Pirate ships don't have brigs, remember? They take no prisoners." Marsh tells DeLeon that their own lives are unimportant, what is important is the success of the mission since its success is necessary to the survival of the ExoFleet.
Elsewhere on the ship Barca is reporting to Phaeton that Marsh and DeLeon are there in an attempt to secure an alliance with the Pirates against the Neos. Phaeton gives Barca orders to do whatever it takes to prevent such an alliance, and Barca seems happy to do just that.
Credit goes to: Patrick Danner's ExoSquad page