(8x18) Terra Resurgent: Part 3, Episode 3
Not long after Columbia established its non-aggression treaties with Alexandria and Pacifica, talks have begun, at the initiation of Metis and Columbia, to negotiate a cessation of hostilities between Pacifica and Alexandria as well. While representatives of the latter nations meet in neutral Columbia to discuss that possibility, Metis and a Columbian archaeological crew are high in the Andes finally beginning the excavation of the base of Starbridge America to search for Xio.
The negotiations in Columbia are under intense pressure, as a temporary cease-fire called while the talks are underway is threatened by terrorist groups on both sides near the front lines of the war. These largely underdeveloped peoples know their respective opposing forces only for the attacks they constantly receive from them, and scarcely know or care that their legitimate authorities are trying to arrange for those attacks to stop permanently. They only see that their lifelong enemy is showing a moment of weakness by halting their attacks, and they want to take this time to strike back while they can, which threatens to demand military response from the other side, spoiling the attempt at peace.
Meanwhile in America, semi-rogue branches of each superpower's military, unhappy with the prospect of giving up on their war, attempt to bait each other side into moving on Starbridge America, so as to force Metis and Columbia to either back up their threats and consequently be forced to ally with the other side (the baiting side) so as not to lose the subsequent war, or else to concede their claims to the starbridge, allowing the opposing forces to go to war over it as they please. But as that situation is reaching a head, the archaeological expedition makes a miraculous discovery: a buried Foundation starship, the one Xio used to land at the starbridge. Xio is not inside it, and the ship is damaged beyond repair, but protected within it are a number of Foundation artifacts, including a gravitic blade, personal combat drones, and the halo interface to control them with. Armed with this technology centuries in advance of anything either side of the war has at their disposal, Metis emerges from the dig a one-woman army, able to single-handedly enforce her own claim to the starbridge, and leave Columbian politics out of it.
With that situation defused, the peace talks in Columbia proceed in time for at least a permanent cease-fire to be agreed upon. The combined forces of both superpowers armies thereafter work to enforce a demilitarized zone separating Alexandrian and Pacifican territories, jointly suppressing the terrorist activity on the former front lines. It is only a first step, but it is one that promises, in time, to slowly help reunite the world once again.
Next: Sol Resurgent: Part 1, Episode 1