The ExoFleet does not proceed with the attack on Tethys, but sets course for the Homeworlds at full speed. Captain Marcus makes the decision that the faster ExoCarriers should return as quickly as possible, so half the ExoFleet's firepower lags behind. Marsh considers this decision to be suicidal, and tells the rest of the bridge crew to ignore Marcus' order. Marcus is obeyed, however, and during the travel time before arrival, Marsh is charged with mutiny, found guilty, and sentenced to be executed. The ExoCarriers engage the Neo sapien Fleet, commanded by Phaeton aboard the Olympus Mons.
Written by: Michael Edens
Long Synopsis: provided by Adam Keith (email@example.com)
Major Events or Points of noteEdit
- Marcus' tendency to rush into a battle at full speed costs the ExoFleet half its firepower in the battle with the Neo Fleet.
- Winfield has still not recovered from his injuries.
- All organized resistance on Earth and Venus has collapsed.
- The Homeworlds Congress is dissolved.
- Marcus' reaction to having his orders questioned by another officer (i.e. charging Marsh with mutiny and having him sentenced to death) no doubt discouraged anyone else from questioning him in the future.
- We see the genesis of Napier's resistance cell.
|“||The birth of the Neosapien Order is a thing of beauty. It would be unthinkable to not witness the most important event in history...the moment the Neosapiens seize their destiny. The reign of the old humanity ends this day. We, the stepchildren of mankind, are now its rulers. Think, Typhonus, what the rule of the Neosapiens means. Justice, at last. Logic, at last. Order, at last. Our laws will prevail. What glories the Homeworlds will see, governed by our even hand!||
The surface of Earth is lit up by explosions as Phaeton's forces sweep across the planet. In orbit, we see Phaeton on the bridge of the Olympus Mons receiving a report from General Shiva. Shiva informs Phaeton that all organized Earth resistance has collapsed, and that all major cities are either in Neosapien hands or in ruin. Phaeton congratulates Shiva on his work when an explosion behind Shiva diverts his attention. A lone Terran fighter flies by and fires on Shiva's massive E-frame, but Shiva quickly crushes it with his E-frame's claw. General Draconis makes a report as well, informing Phaeton of similar progress on Venus. When Draconis attempts to take credit for the victories, Phaeton quickly and harshly reminds him who is in charge. Draconis backs down.
Typhonus, Phaeton's minister of war, suggests that Phaeton should direct the remainder of the invasion from the Battle Ministry headquarters on Mars. Phaeton disagrees, insisting that the inception of the Neosapien Order is a thing of beauty and must be seen to be appreciated. As he waxes about the glories of the future under the Neosapien order, we are shown his armies fighting and subjugating Terrans across the Earth, his forces killing people in the streets, destroying the Sphinx, the Taj Mahal, the U.S. Capitol building, and other historical landmarks.
As Shiva's armies spread out in an attempt to put down the last resistance in the major cities, Sean Napier desperately tries to escape capture. Two Neosapien E-frames pursue him in his stolen groundcar as he leads them through the back alleys of Chicago. When the E-frames destroy the groundcar's engines, Napier feigns death. The two E-frames head off in search of more targets, leaving Napier to climb out of the wreckage and keep running.
Meanwhile, the ExoFleet is en route from Saturn to the Homeworlds, hoping that they will be able to stem the tide of the Neosapien conquest. Weston, Marsala and Marsh enter the bridge of the Resolute to find a very stressed Captain Marcus shouting at a communications officer who is unable to repair the carrier's damaged communication systems. Marcus orders the officer off of his bridge, and tells him to "take that blasted Neosapien with you!" J.T. resists, but Marsala insists that the time is not right, and leaves. Marsh suggests to Marcus that Weston might be able to repair the comm unit. Marcus grudgingly agrees, saying that it couldn't possibly get any worse.
Elsewhere on the Resolute, Lieutenant Burns is trying to repair a fusion pack when she slips with a drill and cuts herself. In anger, she throws the fusion pack at a nearby door just as Marsala passes through it. Narrowly dodging the pack, Marsala chides Nara for her temper around such dangerous objects. Nara tells Marsala that she is nervous and worried about her family on Venus, and when Marsala tries to console her, she demands to know how she could understand since he doesn't have a family. Marsala explains the bond between his broodmates, and expresses his concern about having to face them in battle. Nara apologizes and says that she didn't know; Marsala simply replies, "There's no way you could."
On the bridge, Maggie completes her repairs to the communications equipment and activates it. The Resolute picks up a distress call from an Exofleet officer on Rangoon Station, a small platform orbiting Earth. The officer tells that the Neosapiens have broken down the last real defenses on Venus and Earth, and have already taken all of Mars. He explains that Phaeton wanted the ExoFleet to attack the pirates so that the Homeworlds would be left defenseless. The officer begs for help one more time before the transmission is cut off. Marcus is frantic, and knows that the fleet won't be able to reach the Homeworlds in time. In a remarkable show of decisiveness, he orders Weston to contact the fleet and tell the carriers to proceed at full speed, leaving the cruisers and other support ships behind. J.T. tells Maggie to belay the order. Marcus recoils and demands an explanation, to which Marsh replies that leaving the support ships behind would be suicidal in attacking an already much larger force. Seething with rage, Marcus informs J.T. that he refuses to be told what to do by an E-frame jockey, and promptly orders security to arrest Marsh on the charge of mutiny.
In sickbay, a Neosapien nurse watches over the delirious Admiral Winfield. Marsala enters and asks how Winfield is doing. The nurse replies that he is doing well for someone with his injuries, but that he continues to resist the sedatives that are given to him. As Marsala approaches the admiral, Winfield briefly regains consciousness and repeatedly mutters the same orders under his breath, tormented by an unseen enemy.
Marsala leaves the sickbay and goes to the brig, where Marsh is being detained until his court- martial. Marsala informs Marsh of his selection to represent Marsh at the court-martial. J.T. expresses confidence in having Marsala as counsel, but maintains that it won't matter when the six exocarriers attack the entire Neosapien Fleet.
In Chicago, we find Sean Napier being resentful to the absent ExoFleet as he walks with a group of refugees trying to leave the Neosapien-occupied city. When a squadron of Y-wings fires upon the humans, Napier tries to dive out of the field of fire, but is wounded by a near miss. The Y-wings land and take the humans to a nearby labor camp, where a menacing Neosapien guard explains the humans' options: work for Phaeton, or die.
The space station of the General Assembly of the Homeworlds is surrounded by ships from Phaeton's armada, and the representatives within are forcibly detained as they await Phaeton's arrival. The uproar in the Assembly dies as Phaeton enters, followed closely by Typhonus and several guards. Phaeton takes the podium and announces that the human rule of the Homeworlds is at an end. "Your unconditional surrender to us...to me...is now a fact," Phaeton informs the Assembly. The secretary-general approaches Phaeton and formally surrenders. Phaeton dismisses the surrender as inevitable and announces, "I now hereby declare this Assembly dissolved. Your services are no longer required."
Inside a Neosapien labor camp in the burning city of Chicago, Napier and the rest of the captured humans are forced to slave away at constructing and repairing E-frames for use by Phaeton's legions. One of the older men collapses and drops the E-frame arm he was carrying, and a Neosapien guard orders him to stand up. The old man can barely breathe, and the guard orders two other Neosapiens to take him away. Napier uses this distraction to commandeer one of the E-frames, and crashes through the stone walls of the building. Several armed soldiers chase after him, and laser towers shoot off the E-frame's only arm, but he manages to penetrate the camp's electrified fence and to escape into the streets. Short minutes later, the fusion pack in the E-frame dies, and the frame collapses. Just then, a Y-wing passes overhead and fires on the E-frame, destroying it. Napier escapes by jumping into an open sewer manhole.
As Napier tries to orient himself, three humans step out from one of the dark tunnels and greet him. They introduce themselves as Jinx Madison, Eve Hanley, and Peter Tanaka, and offer Napier some water. As the four talk about the Neosapien invasion, Tanaka complains bitterly about their plight. "You sound like you've already given up," Napier prods. Napier insists that hope remains, and that the Terrans have to fight back against the Neosapiens.
Lieutenant Marsh's court-martial has begun in the interim before arrival at the Homeworlds. In front of a panel of three judges, Marcus summarizes his case against Marsh, maintaining that J.T.'s transgression is only the latest incident in a career of insubordination. Since, he says, Marsh's actions made worse an already urgent situation, Marcus insists that Marsh is guilty of mutiny in time of war, and demands the death penalty. Marsala, the defense counsel, calls Marsh to the stand. Marsala describes the ExoFleet regulations which stipulate that an officer is bound by duty to disobey any order which he feels to be "criminal or immoral." J.T. needs little prompting to express his belief that Marcus' actions, which resulted in the allegedly suicidal reduction of the Exofleet's force, were criminal and immoral. Marcus stands again and loudly reminds the judges that the fact of guilt has already been established. The panel of judges confer briefly, and then pronounce Marsh guilty as charged and slated for execution the next morning.
A Neosapien E-frame on patrol in Chicago finds an apparently unconscious Sean Napier lying face down on the ground outside a warehouse. As the E-frame lands to investigate, Napier leaps to his feet and throws a flare bomb at it, catching the E-frame on fire. Napier runs into the warehouse as the Neosapien pilot puts out the flames on his E-frame and gives chase. The E-frame tears through the warehouse door and finds Napier standing still with his hands up, telling the Neosapien not to shoot. In the rafters above, Tanaka cuts loose a metal I-beam which swings down on a chain, slamming into the E-frame and running it into the ground. The pilot climbs out, and Madison and Tanaka both try to tackle him. The Neosapien shakes each of them off in turn and lifts up the attacking Hanley by the head. The Neosapien barely has time to state, "We will crush all resistance," before Napier drives a forklift into him, crushing him against the wall. Napier walks to the damaged E-frame and looks it over, promising his unseen enemy that he will be better armed the next time.
General Shiva makes another report to Phaeton, still on the bridge of his flagship. Shiva informs Phaeton of the complete subjugation of the Homeworlds and reports the loss of only one E-frame in combat. Of more interest to Phaeton are the sensor reports that six carriers from the ExoFleet are on Earth approach without the rest of the fleet. Phaeton exults in this, the moment of his enemy's defeat. Confident that the ExoFleet has effectively destroyed itself, Phaeton orders his fleet into position.
On the Resolute, still en route to Earth, J.T. Marsh is taken from his cell and is being escorted through the corridors to the place of execution when the ship rocks violently. Knowing that the Neosapien Fleet has attacked, Marsh cries out in frustration. Outside, we see one of the six exocarriers destroyed as the entire might of the Neosapien armada is brought to bear on the ExoFleet.