What Has Gone Before

"If We Lay Us Down to Rest. . ." begins with preparations for the commencement of Operation Roundhammer, United Earth Forces' push into the enemy's home system. The 58th squadron is sent to Anvil, aka 2063-D, a moon of the enemy's home world. They stumble onto the nest of a primitive alien being and West is nearly killed by one of its crude traps. The creature turns out to be guarding a cave where several embryos are developing in cocoon-like cells. All the juveniles are killed in a firefight between the 58th and a group of enemy soldiers. 

Vansen agrees that the creature has to die because it has seen them, and it puts the mission in jeopardy. Cooper goes off to find and kill it, but he is unable to do so, and brings it back to camp. The squadron, thinking the alien might be the last of its kind, attempt to communicate with it. Finally, using sign language and the pictures in Cooper's comic book, they convey to it that the area is going to become very dangerous, and that it should run away.

In the second episode, ". . .Tell Our Moms We Did Our Best," the aliens initiate peace talks with Earth forces. They explain that life on their planet began when genetic material from Earth was carried to their system on an asteroid. They send an ambassador to the Saratoga for a meeting with several high-ranking military officers and E. Allen Wayne, the CEO of Aerotech. As a gesture of good faith, the Chigs agree to release at least some of their human prisoners, including Kylen Celina. Ross catches cold and is unable to attend the talks, so he sends McQueen in his place. However, things take a disastrous turn for the 58th when McQueen later describes the Chig ambassador to them. They realize that the creature they let escape on Anvil was in fact a Chig. When they admit this to the brass, the 58th is confined to quarters to await court-martial.

The peace talks erupt in violence when a bitter argument breaks out between Wayne and the Chig ambassador. The ambassador flies into a rage and breaks through the glass separating their two environments. He stabs Wayne to death, then detonates a suicide bomb. The only survivor of the explosion is Colonel McQueen, who loses his leg in the blast.

The enemy attempts to shoot down the ISSCV containing the ex-POWs. Ross sends the 58th squadron to rescue them. Their mission is successful, but Wang is almost certainly killed, while Vansen and Damphousse are shot down on 2063-Y, missing in action, their fate unknown.

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