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.
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.
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...