The destruction of the Genesis Pit has proved to be a major setback for the Invid. The Regess Mother finds it necessary to introduce a simulagent among the freedom fighters. She will learn what she can from the rebels and then eliminate them. The creature is taken from the dark recesses of the biogenetic laboratories. When hatched, the larva will take on the characteristics of a human female. It is transported inside a crystal cocoon and carried to the site of a recent Invid victory. But the scouts are careless. They handle the fragile egg roughly. A beautiful woman emerges from the cocoon, as planned – but without memory or cultural loyalties. Still, her alien cells from a psychic link with the Regess at the Great Hive. The Invid Mother receives the simulagent's transmissions perfectly.
Scott and crew arrive at the scene of the terrible battle. As the young lieutenant surveys the ruin, his hopes are dashed. They had received information concerning another Expeditionary Force from Admiral Hunter consisting of 6,000 fighting men and women. The freedom fighters have arrived too late. The Invid had not only Massacred the troops, they have destroyed all of the innocent townsfolk as well.
Scott falls into a deep depression. The others decide to leave him alone while they check among the wreckage for supplies and usable weapons.
Lancer, Lunk, and Annie find a beta fighter plane and more alphas. Lunk tries to get Scott to share in the excitement: "With five fighters and three cyclones we'll probably be able to knock the Invid right off the planet!"
Annie agrees. "This is so terrific, Scott! We're gonna have enough firepower to turn us into a miniature army."
"Five lousy fighters won't make any difference against the Invid," Scott snarls. "We'll all end up like this."
Lancer cautions the others away while he has a word with their unhappy friend. "Scott, listen to me, okay? We're all together with you – ready to follow you, the leader. And we want to keep travelling with you, to help you in your fight against the Invid. They're awesome...as aliens come, they're probably the worst. But if you give up now, there is nobody here who can lead us. Don't you remember what you said? 'We're all soldiers and we have to follow orders – whatever cost, no matter what happens.'"
Scott Bernard is unconvinced. As Lancer walks away, he can't help thinking: "What do you think you're trying to prove, you idiot? There's no way to defeat the Invid. Not now or ever!"
He settles back into sad, angry thoughts. His head is filled with painful memories of Marlene.
Rand and Rook happen upon the female simulagent. They believe her to be a shell-shocked war victim. The newly hatched Invid larva has no idea who or what she is, but she is grateful for the duo's friendly overtures.
Back at camp, the pitiful girl causes quite a stir. She touches everyone's heart. Even Scott takes her notice. Her fragile beauty reminds him of Marlene, but when they try to question the newcomer, she collapses, whimpering. Suddenly, they are surrounded by hordes of Invid fighters.
Scott leads the crew into battle. Lancer takes the new beta into combat. The others man their weapons with deadly accuracy. Rage gives Scott the edge to rout the aliens. Victory brings fresh determination for them all. Still, the savage battle depletes their fuel supplies. They take to the skies in a search for more protoculture.
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