The Courier makes his way through a crashed Protectors ship and retrieves a glowing green substance, some kind of plasma energy.
On the mining colony of Ipcress 5, Jax and Xander set up a sting as Earth Confederacy Intelligence Services agents on The Courier who is meeting with Tierney. Jax spots someone that looks like her mother in the crowd. Tierney and The Courier make a run for it. When Jax follows The Courier into an ore processing plant, she again sees her mother.
Tierney gets away and Ralen retrieves Jax and Xander who have The Courier in custody.
Returning to the Dauntless, Jax examines a picture of her mother and discusses her experience with Xander. After they have sex, she dreams of hearing a woman call her name and being attacked by Xander. She wakes up and they discuss their personal insecurities.
They dock at the Pearl Space Station and receive a message that the Admiral wants to see them right away.
At the Earthcom Fleet Training Academy in Geneva, Switzerland, Jax and Xander report to Osborn's old office where the new Admiral Lucas is now installed. The Courier's real name is revealed to be Zed Multhay, a salvage worker.
Once Xander leaves, the Admiral warns Jax that she can't be involved personally with Xander if they are to continue to work together for CIS.
Osborn sits down with Ralen at the bar, looking for information on CIS operations. He expresses issues with Lucas, pointing to her relationship with Harlan Fried as evidence of her unsuitability for the job.
Lucas meets with Fried at Parallax Galactic Headquarters in New Chicago. He gifts her with a model of the Dauntless.
Jax returns to her room where her new roommate, Zazie, insists they head out to study group so she can introduce a new friend she's invited to the group.
Prof Schral is telling Ralen he has a new roommate when Zazie and Jax arrive at the lounge.
Turns out Ralen's roommate and Zazie's friend are both Jett, a reinstated student who wronged the group last year.
Ralen is incensed and Jax is livid but Prof Schral convinces them that Jett warrants a second chance. Ralen agrees.
Xander interrogates The Courier. Xander deduces the purpose of Tierney's involvement. The Courier gives up the location of the plasma he took from the Protector ship.
The admiral refuses to let Jax go on the retrieval mission and dismisses her.
Matta and Ralen are alone and discussing their future as exiles when Jett arrives with a couple of friends. Matta leaves. Ralen isn't hopeful about this living situation.
On the Icarus CGO-659, Xander leads a retrieval mission. Finding the case, they are interrupted by the arrival of a team, led by Eve, Jax's mother.
Jax and Admiral Lucas are watching on remote screen, shocked at Eve's appearance.
Zazie returns to her room to find Jett doing something under her desk. He stutters through an explanation for why he's there. Zazie tells him they are no longer a thing and then relents for the night.
Eve and Xander face off over the substance. Eve warns that it's dangerous. Xander insists she and her men surrender. One of Eve's men shoots the man holding the cannister. It hits the ground and shatters, the substance rapidly dissolving everything it touches.
Eve and her men portal out and away. Xander and his team try to outrun the substance. Xander is the only one to make it to an airlock and launch himself out into space. The entire transport is dissolved and communications are lost. The Admiral concludes that everyone, including Xander was lost.