The war is entering into its final days and the group have been asked to help New Zealand in a last ditch effort to win the war. The last few weeks are very draining on them, they are missing family and their homes. The war may be nearly over but there is still a lot of fighting to do. As New Zealand launches its offensive against the invaders, the group evacuates the feral kids except for Gavin, and decide to attack a service station but they are spotted and Ellie ends up on board a train. She takes the opportunity to sabotage the train but is shot in the leg and the group is broken up.
Ellie is captured and taken to a hospital on the orders of an enemy colonel, who hopes it will help him if the war is lost, which looks likely. Whilst she is recovering, the enemy colonel tells her that her friends have been killed whilst escaping, sending her into temporary depression. After her recovery she is sent to a POW camp, where she realizes she cannot reveal her true name. A familiar face from Wirrawee inadvertently does this and Ellie, helped by a young doctor, escapes from the camp.
Ellie eventually tracks down her mother, who is suffering physically and mentally from the war. She stays with her until news breaks that the war is over - Australia signed a peace treaty with the occupying power, resulting in the formation of a new nation on the continent (a plot point further explored in the Ellie Chronicles).
Ellie's life returns to a semblance of normality on her old farm (which is right on the border with the new nation). Although both her parents survived, she is still saddened by the apparent death of her friends. The novel takes an upbeat turn when it is discovered that they had survived, and had been placed in a high security prison, along with Gavin and most of the New Zealand commandos who went missing. Her friends return to their old lives as well, more or less. Lee moves to Stratton with his siblings and takes up an accelerated course, Fi moves to Stratton with her family and Kevin moves to New Zealand to do school talks. Gavin moves in with Ellie on her farm (his single parent believed killed during the war, and the whereabouts of his sister still unknown). Ellie and Homer continue their lives as farmers.