When an Earth outpost 16 light-years away is destroyed by an unknown alien force, a group of young United States Marine Corps Space Aviators find themselves on the front lines of an intergalactic battle in an attempt to save their home planet.
When the USS Saratoga passes close to the planet, Vesta Colony, where the Earth colonist were attacked, West goes AWOL and flies down to the planet in hopes that his girlfriend, Kylen, somehow survived.
Vansen wakes from a disturbing dream in which she sees her parents die to discover she is aboard the space carrier Saratoga. The squadron gets orders to protect a mining station against any Chig actions. As they arrive at the colony a laser battle erupts killing two of the squad. The rest withdraw as it becomes apparent the attackers are not Chigs but AI's infected with a computer virus that encourages independent action. A counter attack is mounted but most of the squad is captured. The AIs begin torturing the squad members trying to discover when a relief convoy is ...
In a suspenseful episode the members of the 58th are struggling, against an unknown enemy in a treacherous region of space with a damaged ship. Hawkes discovers that the ship they are traveling on is taking a shipment of unaware "tanked" In Vitroes to the front and he and McQueen struggle with orders when it becomes clear the In Vitroes are expendable.
Trapped on a hostile planet and captured by silicates, Vanessa and Damphousse are given a choice to make, while Wang is tortured and West finds someone unexpected. Meanwhile, McQueen and Hawkes must find a way to free their comrades alone.
After a dangerous mission is Nathan West the only survivor of the 58th. Severely injured he's returned to the Saratoga in complete shock, but was he really the only survivor? Traumatised he tries to make sense of it and find out the truth.
Disabled ship, far from searchers, no transmitter, cold and dark at Christmas. Team, felling lost, exchange thoughts, fears and gifts. CO sends the 1968 Apollo 8 Genesis message. With mysterious help, team does just enough to make it home.
Deep underground the 58th are on the run from hostiles. They meet another squadron who's commander orders them to enter another tunnel. Damphouse refuses and tells the 58th not to go because of a vision and a feeling. The other squad die. Could it really be ESP?
A new kind of unbeatable chig fighter emerges. Equipped with a new source of energy, it's the prototype of a deadly weapon that could change the course of the war. Mc Queen realizes he's the only pilot able to confront the new threat.
Mail delivery from Earth brings differing news for members of the 58th. A mission doesn't go well for Damphousse. Hawkes and McQueen become documentary stars, but who stole the Commodores Strawberries.
The 58th have to make an extraction point rendezvous off a planet so use the aid of the eponymous tank "pearly" to take them there. They meet an eccentric British soldier and a pair of AI's on the way then Wang has a crisis of conscience.
The exhausted 58th are given 48 hours leave on the pleasure ship Bachhus. Hawkes takes a trip he really shouldn't have, Damphousse and Wang get close, Vansen shows a hidden talent and McQueen and West take in a movie.
A planetary invasion by Earth military forces is ambushed and turns into a military disaster. There is no air support and no ground reinforcement as the supporting fleet, among it the USS Saratoga, is forced to abandon 25,000 stranded marines in order to launch another assault, which could ultimately save millions of lives, upon a more strategic planet. Before departing, Commodore Ross issues instructions: "You're strongly encouraged, but not ordered to do so, to keep engaging the enemy. If however the situation becomes untenable you're authorized to surrender. Semper...
The 58th recon a moon orbiting the Chig homeworld before a major invasion is set to begin. Among hostile Chig confrontations they encounter a single alien of unknown species that appears to be of no threat. Then the unexpected happens.