In Vesta City, on the planet Venus, Sergeant Torres is searching a park that has been damaged by the war, as evidenced by cracked marble and statues with missing extremities. As she enters a section where the trees are less organized, two ExoScouts descend from trees in front of her and launch grappling lines that cross her e-frame. Although they think they have caught her, she simply snaps the ropes. Another jumps down from a tree onto her e-frame and tries to pull out its fusion pak, but Torres simply reaches back and pulls him off.
Torres tells them to stop, prompting the one known as Pirate to say, "Scouts don't take orders, they give 'em." At that Torres climbs out of her frame and the ExoScouts all back off, claiming that they were just having fun. She tells them she heard that some juvenile delinquents were terrorizing the park and knew it was them. The ExoScouts climb out of their e-frames. One says that the park was given to them, and Torres says it was given to them to clean it up. The Scouts talk about wanting adventure, fighting Neos, and becoming ExoTroopers. Torres tells them that they'll need a good education, clean record, and especially discipline. After saying that being an ExoTrooper is not supposed to be fun, she offers to take them on a camping trip, and they all eagerly agree.
Back on Earth, a Neosapien ship arrives at the Easter Island prison facility. Presumably it brings Wotan, the Neo lord who goes to General Shiva's cell. Upon entering the cell Shiva guesses that he is his executioner. Shiva says that he served the Neosapiens loyally, but wishes to die like a soldier. With that he tries to attack the Neo lord, who simply catches his attempt at a punch, picks him up over his head, and throws him into the wall, leaving a dent in it and Shiva dazed. The two Neosapien guards pick Shiva up and carry him onto the ship, which then departs.
Outside Phaeton's headquarters, in Phaeton City, Neosapien e-frame construction crews are at work on fortifications. Inside Phaeton says he is not surprised by Shiva's attempting to escape. Shiva remarks that Phaeton went to much trouble to see him destroyed. Phaeton then reveals to him that he intends to give him the most important command of his life, namely command of the remainder of the Neosapien fleet so that an attempt to retake Venus can be made. Shiva is surprised, but Phaeton explains that he needs time to create an army of Neo lords, develop new weapons, and finish his work. He believes that an attack on Venus will buy him the time he needs.
Shiva tells Phaeton that they are no longer strong enough, and that they would be intercepted before they could get into strike range. Phaeton tells him that in 72 hours there will be a solar flare powerful enough to render all sensors in the sector ineffective. He says they will arrive undetected and then attack. Shiva is still skeptical, however, pointing out that failure leaves Earth wide open to attack. Phaeton tells him the story of Julius Caesar's march on Rome. "Two thousand years ago, a Terran named Julius Caesar risked everything by leading his army across the Rubicon River to march on Rome. All he said was, 'The die is cast.'Will you throw the dice with me? One last time?" Shiva responds, "I told Wotan that I wished to end my life like a soldier. If it is can be done, I will take Venus." Phaeton tells him, "All war is a gamble. Everything is chance."
The Resolute II is in orbit of Venus, and Professor Algernon is taking its engines off-line to overhaul them. He estimates it will take six days. Marsh reminds Admiral Winfield that they will be vulnerable. Winfield knows this, and discloses to J.T. that since he believes the best defense is a good offense, he'll be taking a large portion of the fleet on a run toward Earth. Hopefully the Neosapiens will realize that it could mean an attack, and so they will go on the defensive. Marsh asks about what will happen if the Neos don't fall for it, and Winfield replies, "It's a calculated risk J.T. War is always a gamble."
The Neosapien fleet is en route, and Phaeton is giving one of his big inspirational speeches. "The blow you are about to strike will send the Terran rabble back to the cover of their Pirate hideouts. You will have your revenge for the Terrans' destruction of Mars. I will build a monument to your victory on Venus, and inscribe your names in stone, so that future broods will remember your courage." The crew of Shiva's flagship responds with cheers, although Thrax is present and he looks disgruntled. Shiva turns to talk to Wotan, and I think they had a short conversation. Unfortunately USA cut it to sell another commercial.
The ExoFleet's long range sensors pick up the Neosapien fleet, but apparently not well enough to get a good estimate to its size, since the report to Winfield is of a Neo patrol. He tells them to maintain course, and let the Neos get a good look at them. Wotan reports to Shiva that they have been scanned. He says it could be an invasion fleet bound for Earth, but Shiva tells him it could be a decoy, and he says it with much confidence. He reiterates their orders and says that they will follow them. He sends a single scout ship to track the Terran fleet, and it is Thrax's that goes.
Wotan reports the situation to Phaeton, angry that Shiva does nothing about the Earthbound fleet. Phaeton cuts him off, saying, "Shiva obeys my orders. He is my best general. I trust him... for now. But if Shiva proves to be disloyal, he is yours." Wotan smiles and says, "I, too, can obey orders, Phaeton." Back on the bridge the solar flaring begins, and Shiva orders the fleet to set course for Venus at flank speed (i.e. maximum possible).
Back on the Resolute II Simbacca and Marsh chat over coffee. Simbacca asks Marsh what he intends to do after the war. Marsh supposes that with all the destruction he would enjoy building things. Simbacca tells him, "There will be fortunes to be made after the war. More wealth than I ever saw as a Pirate. I intend to be one of the most important men in the solar system. And you could be there, with me, at my side. In this war I have trusted men with my life. You, I would trust with my money." Marsh thanks him for the offer, but says it isn't his style. Simbacca gets a report from the bridge regarding a sensor contact, and when J.T. sees it he says it can't be Winfield, and that it looks as though the Neos called their bluff.
On Venus Bronski is telling some of the ExoScouts a war story over the fire, although it is still daylight. Torres arrives with another Scout, both bringing firewood, as Bronski says, "Well, once those Neos knew it was Wolf Bronski they were up against, they started running!" Torres drops the firewood as she yells, "Bronski!" to which he replies with a, "Hi Sarge. I was just tellin'the boys here a few stories." Torres simply retorts, "Yeah? Sounded more like fairy tales." Just then Torres is radioed by J.T. and told to report back to the Resolute because a Neo fleet will arrive in about an hour. Torres and Bronski climb into their e-frames and she orders the ExoScouts to stay out of trouble. They then take off.
On the Bridge of the Resolute II Professor Algernon is reporting to Captain Simbacca and Commander Marsh on the status of the ship. The fusion batteries don't have enough power for weapons or propulsion, and so he recommends towing the ship away from the attack. Marsh says that the Resolute will likely be the Neos main objective, and that if they leave it where it is they will know the focus of the attack. He says that they can then attack the Neo flanks, causing them to break formation. Simbacca says, "I like the way you think J.T. Marsh. You will command the counterattack." Somewhat stunned, Marsh replies, "But Simbacca, that's a job for a senior commander." Simbacca just tells him, "If you win, no one will complain. And if you lose, there won't be anyone left to complain."
The Neosapien fleet is continuing its approach on Venus, and another flare disrupts their sensors once more. Wotan is concerned, but Shiva tells him that it won't matter once they have closed with the fleet around Venus. Marsh is leading an e-frame assault, and Alec tells him the Neos are in a standard sphere formation with the flagship at the center. Marsh reminds them it is a hit-and- run attack. Wotan reports the e-frame attack, and Shiva orders the fleet to open fire, which it does. Marsh tells the exosquads to target the flagship. For the most part they do, although Torres succeeds in destroying a different Neo ship. The ExoFleet takes some e-frame losses, but despite some damage the Neos don't brake formation. The Neos launch e-frames, and Marsh learns from Simbacca that the ExoFrigates are in position.
Wotan is confused, wondering why the ExoFleet attacks when they can't withstand their firepower. Shiva orders all batteries to fire on the approaching ExoFleet ships, and many are destroyed. Nara Burns tells J.T. that their ships need cover, but he holds her back. More ExoFleet vessels get destroyed and Wotan observes, "Their resistance is useless." But Shiva tells him, "They are desperate. That makes them dangerous."
The ExoFleet e-frames still remain away from the fight. Now in close range the ExoFleet ships begin to launch Fusion Torpedoes. Realizing this Shiva quickly orders evasive maneuvers and a break in formation. The ships of the Neo fleet comply, but some get hit. Those that do take massive damage, in some cases being destroyed or crashing into other Neo vessels. Noticing the break in formation, Marsh orders all e-frames to attack. Once again their target is the flagship. The e-frames surround the flagship and begin to do it damage. Shiva orders that their defensive perimeter be reformed, and eventually tells the helm to come about. But his ship takes heavy damage and loses both weapons and propulsion.
Shiva orders the launch of all remaining e-frames, himself among them. He is still confident in their ability to emerge victorious. He designates their main target as the Resolute II, and the Neo e-frames proceed. Upon observing on his scanners a Neo ship destroyed, perhaps his own, he promises the fallen that the Terrans will pay. Marsh notices that they have broken through to the Resolute, and ExoFleet e-frames also begin to converge on the ExoFleet flagship. Jonas Simbacca is meanwhile helpless to stop Shiva, as the Neo e-frames do damage to the still inactive Resolute II. Simbacca tells Algernon that there is nothing they can do and they must suffer the attack.
As he makes another pass on the Resolute, Shiva says, "The die is cast." But after launching another missile, Marsh attack from the rear and scores a hit. Shiva begins to go down into the Venusian atmosphere. Marsh watches and says, "You were the best of 'em, Shiva. Too bad you didn't serve a better cause."
Marsh returns to the battle, where the ExoFleet e-frames are chasing off the Neos. A wider view shows that all the Neo ships are withdrawing from the area. Burns excitedly says, "The Neo fleet's running!" and Marsh observes, "It's not a fleet anymore, Nara."
Meanwhile Shiva tries desperately to right his e-frame as it descends toward Venus. An attempt to fire retrorockets to slow reentry apparently backfires, as the only result is an explosion near the cockpit. The e-frame soon crashes after bouncing off a cliff face, and Shiva is thrown from the soon exploding e-frame. Shiva witnesses a Neo ship crash to planet and groans, "It is... finished" and falls to the ground. The ExoScouts quickly arrive, having apparently observed his descent. They turn him over, and Pirate says, "You're our prisoner, Neo." Shiva gasps, "Not for long. Soon I will be free." Another persists, "What's your name and rank?" Shiva replies, "I am.. I.. am just a soldier."
The ExoScouts decide to take him to Vesta to get medical attention. They are carrying Shiva on a stretcher when he says to them, as he struggles to breathe, "Put me.. down. Leave me. I do not wish to spend my last moments with half-formed Terrans." The ExoScouts watch, and begin to cry, even though he's "just a Neo." Pirate begins to throw rocks in the vicinity of Shiva, feeling that they ought to do something, and his fellow scouts do likewise. Shiva turns to looks at them and asks, "Why?" He then reaches his four-fingered hand up to the sky. to where the sun, partially obscured by clouds, is.
The ExoScouts are then seen coming down the mountain. Up where they had placed Shiva is a large pile of stones, with which they had covered him for a grave. We hear Phaeton's words echo, "I will build a monument to your victory on Venus, and inscribe your names in stone, so that future broods will remember your courage."