While on a scouting mission, the group hide in enemy trucks to avoid being spotted. After a dark and uncomfortable journey they discover to their shock that they have been transported right into the airfield. Upon finding out Kevin suffers a nervous breakdown and goes into shock. The rest of the group, however, decide to use this as an opportunity to attack the airfield (instead of trying to escape), which would in most cases lead to their deaths. While scouting out a nearby barracks, Ellie kills two soldiers while Homer is on the toilet. Realising that it is only a matter of time before the bodies are found, the group begin their attack immediately.

They stage an attack by stealing two trucks, driving them into position, and destroying several fuel trucks by shooting them. The resulting explosions, chain explosions, and fire destroys nearly every plane on the airfield and some of the buildings, dealing a significant blow to the enemy's air force, clearing the skies and creating a crucial bombing opportunity for the New Zealanders.

They make their escape in one of the stolen trucks, and after evading their pursuers, they miraculously slip out of the district by going down to the river, and drifting downstream to the nearby city of Stratton. Here they discover a tribe of feral (and hostile) children (they even dare to mug the group), who have been living on the streets and hiding from enemy troops since the war began.

Ellie also notes that Lee is frequently away from the hide-out within Stratton, and after following him, she is shocked and hurt to see that Lee has established a secret relationship with an enemy teenage girl named Reni. The book concludes with Lee falling into a trap designed to bring about his capture, and his subsequent rescue by Ellie. Ellie saves Lee from being captured, but Lee's indiscretion damages their relationship, romantic or otherwise