By this point, the discussion has drawn a crowd of treepeople, including River, who reminds his dad that he's talked to them on the radio. Edwin admits it, but tells the Fringers that it only happens when it suits them, they don't even know who he is, and they sure as shit don't want people going into their quadrant.
The Fabulous Bishop Boys start tag-teaming Edwin, with Peter offering to go with Edwin as an armed escort and Walter suggesting he can barter antibiotics and medicine. Edwin tells them to go back to Boston, make the suit there and come back when it's safe, but Etta says the "Baldies" took away this Donald person when he took some rocks, so if they come here and read Edwin, they'll seal the mine permanently. Yeah! Just like they didn't do last time either!
Edwin, getting increasingly desperate, reminds the Fringers that they don't even know what the rocks are for, but they're putting all of them at risk. River, disgusted with his dad for arguing with his heroes, leaves, which sucks some of the fight out of Edwin. I can attest that few things would crush me more than to disappoint my own kid. Almost amusingly, everyone there seems to feel the significance of River's disapproval and Edwin stomps off to go sit down nearby. Peter comes after him, and sits down next to him.
After a moment, Edwin says he wants to help, but what happens if he doesn't come back? "You may be used to facing death all the time, but I'm not." Edwin says the other camp are bad people, and they may never make it back. What is this, "One Tin Soldier"?
Edwin says he has a lot to lose and Peter says he knows, but the rocks in the mine are important, and it's true they don't know what they do, but Walter will figure it out: "And when he does, we're one step closer to defeating the invaders."
Edwin says he's not afraid to die, he just doesn't know how to say goodbye to his son. (And also woodpeckers, I imagine.) Then Edwin bows before the inspiring presence of Peter's arm around his shoulders and sits up and says "All right. What do you need me to do?" Peter says to get on his radio and to tell them they're coming. And hell's coming with you? God, just once before I die I have the opportunity to say, "Tell 'em I'm coming. And hell's coming with me."
So Edwin does it -- conveniently alone in the radio room -- and calls "Kilo-Alpha Forty-Two," saying he's looking to barter. He makes contact with Kilo-Alpha and whoever it is says, in response to his request, that they don't have copper. "Let me speak to Ivan," says Edwin.