The Daleks have fought their way through to Earth's solar system, and total defeat is expected at any moment. Ernst Tanlee has been placed in charge of all Earth Alliance military operations, and he is forced to call on General Landen, who fell out of favour when her entire Fearless regiment was lost in a failed attempt to assassinate Susan Mendes. Landen presses hastily converted civilian cruisers into service, and temporarily drives back the Daleks through sheer force of numbers -- but she knows that the Daleks are sure to be planning a counter-attack. Then something unexpected happens: an Earth Alliance ship detects a trans-solar disc approaching on minimal power, with a humanoid figure on board instead of a Dalek. Hoping against hope, General Landen sends out an old recognition signal... and gets a response. The figure on the disc is Salus Kade.
Kade has spent more than a year in complete isolation on minimal life support; he's dazed and delirious when he's brought on board, and is carrying on a conversation with his dead wife Lajitta, which causes Landen some embarrassment when Kade says aloud that he had her to come back to. Dr Mezerin doesn't hold out much hope for a full recovery, but Kade not only awakens, he smashes out of his life support chamber and walks, naked and bloody, to General Landen's quarters. He doesn't seem to know how to react when she simply lets him in and asks him to report. Still somewhat dazed, he tells her what happened on the Amorist, and Landen sadly informs him that he's the only one of his squad who made it back.
For the next two weeks, Kade does nothing but eat, sleep, and jog laps around mission control until he collapses from exhaustion. Mezerin is concerned for Kade's mental state, and even Kade believes that he's probably gone mad. Nevertheless, Landen intends to put Kade back on active service, and has him brought to the observation deck for a briefing. Long-range scans have detected an approaching asteroid storm so massive that it dwarfs the Dalek fleet towing it towards Earth's solar system; if it isn't stopped in time, the centre of the Earth Alliance will be obliterated. Landen has leaked news of Kade's return to the fleet in order to improve morale, and now she needs him to live up to the reputation she's created for him. She lost her entire family in the first year of the Dalek war, just as Kade has now lost his, and she'll do anything to make people like herself and Kade nothing more than bad memories in a time of peace. She thus promotes Kade to captain of the flagship Herald, and presents him to the fleet as the Fearless hero back from the dead. But as Kade walks out to address the Earth Alliance forces, he falls silent, hearing the human cheers and applause as the sound of Daleks chanting victory. Even Landen isn't sure what he's going to do for a moment, but he simply tells the crowd not to believe in him, but in themselves.
The EA fleet sets off to intercept the asteroid storm; it will reach the point of no return in nine days' time, and the fleet will arrive with two days to spare. The Daleks detect the approaching fleet, but they're already going at maximum speed; unable to reach the release point any sooner, they must therefore prepare for battle. Meanwhile, Kade visits the Herald's medical centre in the hope that another of his squad may have made it back. His hope appears to be in vain, but as he leaves, he encounters Fisk lying in a bed in the corridor, waiting for the doctors to get back to him. Fisk, who seems surprisingly chipper considering his condition, asks Kade how he's dealing with the discovery that Landen lured the Daleks to Talis Minor and allowed his wife and daughter to die just to get him angry enough to fight the Daleks for her. However, even Kade doesn't seem sure why he hasn't killed her yet. The Daleks then begin firing at the fleet, and Kade returns to ops, telling the surprised Dr Mezerin to look after the patient he was just talking to.
Landen tells Kade that they have identified the planetoid with the gravity net generators; the fleet will blast a path through the Dalek defences, and the new squadron of Spacers must carry explosives down to the generators to knock them out. It's likely to be a suicide mission, and it isn't the first one that Landen has sent Kade on. He asks her if her conscience bothers her, but she states that she just wants to defeat the Daleks, whatever the cost. Dr Mezerin then contacts Kade, and reports that the patient he asked about has come out of his coma suffering from severe brain damage and isn't expected to speak again. Before Kade can react to Mezerin's claim that the patient wasn't Fisk after all, the Daleks move in to attack, and Landen orders him into action. Kade asks her to see his squad off in person for old times' sake, and, a little surprised, she agrees to do so. But once the other Spacers have suited up and taken their places, ready to launch, Kade pulls a gun on Landen, demanding to know how she can act normally after doing what she's done. He already knows that she's responsible for the Daleks finding Talis Minor and killing his wife and daughter on Kedru 7, and now he's convinced that she ordered Mezerin to lie about Fisk being aboard the ship. Now aware that Kade is delusional and may be crazed enough to shoot her, Landen nevertheless can only repeat that terrible things happen in war. Kade thus decides to let another terrible thing happen, and forces Landen at gunpoint to suit up and join the Spacers on the suicide mission that she's sent them on.
The Spacers launch, with the reluctant Landen accompanying them, but in the heat of battle it soon becomes clear that the gravity generators are too heavily guarded for the original battle plan to work. Kade thus orders the Spacers to land some distance away and fight their way across the planetoid. The EA fleet continues to give covering fire, but there are more Daleks down on the planetoid than the EA soldiers have any seen in one place before -- and Landen's in the thick of it as Kade leads his men into the fire, holding nothing back, being every bit the Fearless soldier that Landen thought she wanted. Landen herself isn't nearly as fearless and is convinced that they're all going to die, and she's proven right when they break into the Dalek base -- and find that there are still two kilometres of heavy bulkheads and hundreds of Daleks between them and the generators' power source. Not only is this a suicide mission, it's one that's doomed to failure.
Kade keeps fighting, because that's what Landen made him into, and now she's here to suffer the consequences of it. But she doesn't want to die, and she thus calls out to the Daleks and surrenders. She knows that the Daleks will kill them anyway and turns to Kade to get htem out, but he refuses unless she tells him that she's sorry for what she did to him. Even under these circumstances, however, she can't bring herself to do that. Nevertheless, he calls out to the Daleks, claiming to have information about Susan Mendes, the Angel of Mercy. The Daleks exterminate the rest of his squadron anyway, and take Kade and Landen to their control room so Kade can give his information directly to their commander-in-chief. Landen is stunned when the Daleks allow them to communicate directly with the Dalek Emperor himself, but Kade is far beyond being impressed, and he strings the Emperor along for a while before revealing what he learned from Ollander: Suz and Kalendorf are sowing the seeds of rebellion throughout the entire Dalek Empire. Landen is shocked by the news, even more so when the Emperor reveals that it already knows. Kade shrugs, claims it was worth a try, and tosses his primed explosive charges directly into the gravity net generator controls.
The generators explode, and the asteroid field begins to drift out of alignment; Earth's solar system has been saved. In the confusion, Kade helps Landen to escape, but they find themselves drifting helplessly in space, as the EA fleet retreated under heavy fire the moment the generators shut down. Alone, Kade points out that he could just shoot and kill her now, but he's trying not to, because, unlike Lande, he's better than a Dalek. He demands that she apologise for destroying everything he loved just so he'd be willing to carry out a suicide mission for her; but again, she insists that she did what was necessary. Kade shoots her suit, damaging it but leaving her with a slim chance of survival. The EA fleet then detects her emergency beacon and picks up both her and Kade, and when Landen awakens aboard the Herald, Lt Carlisle reports that Kade has had to be restrained, as he's raving about resigning his commission and leaving the war. Landen orders Carlisle to let Kade go.
The asteroid storm has been diverted from its destructive course, but it makes little difference in the end; the Daleks always return, and the Earth eventually falls to them. Some time after the assault on the asteroids, Carlisle reports to Landen that they've received confusing reports implying that the Angel of Mercy has been killed and that there's been a massive slave uprising throughout the Dalek Empire. Landen realises that Kade was right, and Carlisle reports that Kade has also been seen on Talis Minor. Landen knows that Kade had to go back home to prove to himself that there was nothing left of his old life, and that when he accepts that, he'll be back to fight his war. And when he returns, it will be personal.