Amanda speaks at Nicky's wake at Need Want for Nicky and talks about how the mayor made her an assistant. Datak and Stahma come in late . Once she's done, Datak offers a toast and assures everyone that he will work with the Earth Republic and nods to Colonel Marsh and his aide. Afterward, Amanda complains about Datak's actions at the wake as Marsh comes over. Nolan gets a call and leaves, and Marsh explains that he came there to pay his respects to another old soldier. He asks about the election and points out that if she accepted E-Rep's endorsement then she would have no trouble defeating Datak. Amanda figures that there's a price and Marsh warns her that he'd hate to see the town tore apart by alien barbarians. Ignoring his hints, Amanda wishes him luck.
At the hospital, Yewll removes the artifact and examines it.
Tommy and Irisa are together and she listens as he reads to her. She finally gets bored and grabs him.
Yewll takes the artifact to a rooftop lab and plugs it into some machinery.
Irisa kisses Tommy and he kisses her back, and then they undress
Yewll activates the machine and steps outside, and then turns it on. A blast of energy shoots out... and Irisa screams in pain. When Tommy asks what's wrong, she says that she can't feel her legs.
The next morning, Nolan checks at the hospital where Yewll is treating Irisa. Irisa insists that she's fine now and doesn't need to be there. Yewll suggests that it was a psychosomatic reaction. Meanwhile, Irisa catches a glimpse of a figure walking into the next room. When she goes in, there's no one there and she has memories of a child.
At Need Want, Stahma is with Kenya in her bedchamber but clearly distracted. She says that she has to get back to her husband's campaign tent before he misses her. When Kenya asks what the matter is, Stahma snaps at her and says that there's a limit to what she can share with a prostitute. She immediately apologizes and Kenya says that her attitude doesn't bother her and tells her to get out. Kenya then reconsiders and repeats her question, and Stahma warns that it will also put Kenya's life in danger. The Castithan finally explains that if Datak loses the election then he will be shamed, so he plans on having Amanda killed.
That night, Kenya tells Amanda and Nolan what Stahma told her but refuses to give them the source. Nolan insists that he needs to talk to the source but Kenya refuses. Amanda decides to take it seriously and insists that she won't hide. Nolan objects but Amanda says that she trusts him with her life and promises to win the election.
Later, Nolan visits Datak and warns him that if anything happens to Amanda, he'll kill him. As the Lawkeeper leaves, Alak comes in and Datak asks him what he plans to do about disappointing him at his wedding. The boy tries to apologize but Datak orders him to kneel and beg forgiveness. Alak does so and Datak tells him that his forgiveness must be earned. He tells his son to get up and says that he has an important job for him.
Later, Alak meets with his friend Kupac and explains about the shaming ritual. He offers Kupac a way into Datak's crew and says that he knows a way. Datak needs something done and it can't be traced back to him, and warns that it is something bad. Kupac is eager to help.
The debate begins and Councilwoman Bailey Riggs moderates between the two candidates. Irisa and Tommy are on guard, and Irisa notices Yewll in the crowd. The Irathient tells Tommy to cover for her and runs off. Meanwhile, Alak and Kupac are at a high point overlooking the crowd and Alak tells Kupac to hit Amanda right between the eyes. Once he leaves, Kupac takes out a rifle.
Datak speaks in favor of an alliance with the Earth Republic, and Amanda gets up to respond. Meanwhile, Irisa enters the hospital and examines the room where the child led her earlier. She looks through the plants but finds nothing.
Nolan watches the crowd as Amanda speaks against the Earth Republic and how they've taken over the towns they've allied with. As she continues, Kupac prepares to shoot and Nolan spots him. He calls out and shoots, and Kupac goes down. As Nolan runs forward, the rifle goes off... hitting him with a paintball. Alak insists that it was a prank.
The council meets and Datak demands satisfaction. Amanda explains about Kenya' report without going into details, and the council disagrees about whether Nolan acted legitimately or not. Datak calls for Nolan to resign but Amanda stands by the Lawkeeper and Rafe and the human members of the council stand with her.
At the hospital, the Castithans perform the burial rites over Kupac's body. Irisa admits to Nolan that she shouldn't have left her post, but he assures her that she would have done the same thing. He figures that it's better that he take the heat, and then asks where she went. Irisa dodges the question and says that he didn't have a choice, but Nolan admits that he didn't have to take a kill shot.
Datak is at home examining Nolan's old military files when Alak comes in. As Stahma looks on, Alak asks his father if he knew that Nolan would be there and shoot. Before Datak can answer, Stahma compliments Alak on his courage to confront his father. Datak agrees and says that he's proud of Alak, and that it's time to finish the unfortunate business.
Yewll returns to the hospital and realizes that someone has been searching through her plants. She removes a hidden key and opens the compartment containing the artifact, confirming that it's still there. Yewll sighs in relief and seals the compartment.
Nolan accompanies the Castithan priests carrying Kupac's body to his parents. He offers his condolences but the father goes inside and turns up the radio. Datak is speaking out about how he has information on how Nolan has killed in wartime atrocities, including the Yosemite Massacre. Amanda and Kenya listen and Kenya realizes that she was manipulated. Meanwhile, Alak broadcasts the recording from Nolan's court-martial where he speaks against the Votans. Datak concludes by reading reads Amanda's statement of support for Nolan, and Nolan walks back to his office.
Nolan meets with Amanda and hands in his badge, but she refuses to let him resign. He tells her to publicly disavow him but Amanda insists that what he was isn't who he once was. She plans to go on the radio to defend him, but Nolan warns her that's exactly what Datak wants. Nolan figures that Marsh gave Datak his sealed files and warns Amanda that if she gets emotional, she loses. He insists that he won't be the person that kills Defiance, and Amanda realizes that he's leaving. Nolan tells her to do the right thing and walks away.
Alak goes to Kupac's home and sees his friend's mother outside. She glares at him for a moment and then ignores him. Three miners grab Alak, take him into an alleyway, and beat him. Rafe finally stops them and Alak insists that it was supposed to be a joke. The miner says that he made a mistake allowing Alak to marry his daughter, and warns him that if he disappoints him a second time then the marriage will end. Alak nods in understanding and Rafe leaves with his people.
Yewll mixes some chemicals on the x-ray of Irisa that she took earlier and watches as a number of energy flows are revealed.
Kenya comes to see Stahma at home and accuses her of setting Amanda up, and promises to tell everyone. She also plans to tell Datak about the two of them. Stahma tells her that Datak knows and doesn't care, but Kenya doesn't believe her and says that it will destroy her marriage and her social standing. The Castithan warns her that it will end badly for her, and Kenya asks why she is what she is when she's capable of so much more. Stahma insists that she loves Datak's cruelty, which is proof of his strength. She opens the door and tells Kenya that she's alone.
Datak is out in the streets when Nolan knocks out his bodyguard, Raiga. The Castithan points out that Nolan is no longer wearing a badge and shows he has no gun, and Nolan drops his gun. As Datak goes for his blade, Nolan knocks him down. Smiling, Datak gets up and attacks him, and Nolan finally gets the upper hand. Datak tries to get to Nolan's gun, but Nolan steps on his hand and prepares to shoot him. Irisa stops him and after a moment, Nolan announces that he's done with the town. As he walks away with his daughter, Datak laughs in triumph and Irisa goes back and kicks him for good measure.
That night, Yewll goes back to the hidden chamber and puts the artifact back into the machine. She then goes outside and watches as Nolan and Irisa prepare to leave. Yewll activates the machine again and Irisa collapses, and Nolan carries her back to the hospital. Yewll checks her back and then says that she has to operate, and explains that it's a Votan parasite. Nolan refuses to leave his daughter but Yewll tells him to wait outside and let him do her job. Once he leaves, Yewll makes a careful incision, while the unconscious Irisa dreams of her childhood... and how the artifact was put on her back. The artifact then extended tendrils throughout her body.
In the chamber above, the artifact sends out metal tendrils. Meanwhile, more of the tendrils emerge from Irisa's back and join the ones coming down from the ceiling. As Yewll stares in surprise, Irisa has a vision of the Irathient child coming in and telling her to "become."
In the tunnels beneath the city, the other artifacts glow.
The hospital shakes and Nolan storms in. He finds an injured Yewll on the floor and no sign of Irisa.
Datak meets with Marsh and reviews the E-Rep document that will strip Rafe of ownership of the mines and returns them to the city. The Castithan points out that he hasn't won the election yet, but Marsh is confident he has rigged it and points out the percentage that Datak will receive. They share a toast to a profitable future.
Irisa walks through the forest, following the child that she imagined earlier. Exhausted, Irisa finally collapses. Irisa rolls over and realizes that it's her fellow Irathient, Rynn, Rynn says that she saw Nolan kill Sukar and asks why she should spare her, and then draws her knife.