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.