Garfield is doing an ad talking about the illegal trafficking of children for meta experimentation.
Cat reports on a UN summit on meta-humans. The Justice League Liaison, Catherine Cobert, is finishing her address to the UN announcing the resignation of Batman and the other members. Luthor then takes the podium and says that the independent nations are disappointed that some League members don't stand for the values of the group. Garth objects, noting all the objections that the UN has placed on the League over Atlantis' objections. Sumaan Harjavti of Bialya notes that no Bialyan hero has been invited to join, and Troia of Themyscira says that Bialya should produce non-wanted heroes. Arguments break out and Luthor recognizes Zviad Baazovi, ambassador from Markovia. Baazovi says that Markovia forbids any so-called "heroes" from entering the country.
Artemis and Dick enter Markovia by plane, while Jefferson and Connor fly in separately. Dick figures that the assassin who killed the royal couple is connected to the royal family, and he and Artemis will use false invitations to get into the Gregor's pre-coronation reception. Once they're inside, Dick spots Ecks and notes that he has taken a low-paying job at the children's hospital. Jace is with Ecks, and Dick notes that there is no indication that she has training for meta work. Frederick approaches Brion and Gregor, and then goes to the podium. While he talks, Brion warns Gregor that Frederick can do much damage in the year that he will be region. Gregor tells him to have patience and goes to the podium.
Dick and Artemis note Brion walk away. Jeff and Connor land via the super cycle and head to the hospital to check the power usage. Meanwhile, Brion approaches Jace and reminds her of his request for her to activate his metagene. Jace warns that it's dangerous and suggests that Brion talk to Ecks. Gregor goes into the place, telling a security guard that he's going to the restroom. Dick follows him in to his meeting to Ecks.
At the hospital, a masked Jeff and Conner break in using a device to bypass the alarm. Jeff can sense the power use and follow it to the morgue, and find no bodies there. They find a secret door and Jeff warns that he hasn't been able to generate power since Rann. He finds a hidden panel and they use the device to get through it. They plant camera bugs and discover that the walls are shielded against their transmission. They find a disassembled Mother Box from New Genesis, and four children sealed in cylinders filled with tar.
Count Vertigo attacks Conner and Jeff, and Plasmus steps forward to finish them off. Jeff stares at Plasmus in horror, since Plasmus looks like Plasma, the girl that Jeff accidentally killed on Rann. Plasmus burns Conner, and Conner manages to create a hole in the floor so they can escape. Vertigo sends Plasmus, Ana's brother Otto, after them.
In the graveyard, three thugs bury the dead servant who let the Quraci assassins into the palace. Nearby, Dick and Artemis suit up. In the grave, the servant comes back to life with a glow of purple energy. As Xxx tries to climb out of the grave, Artemis attacks the thugs. One of them runs to the van while Artemis takes the other two down. She goes to the grave and helps the girl out, and one of the thugs recovers and uses an energy whip on them. The servant creates an energy shield, deflecting the whip and knocking the thug back. The thugs go for more weapons and Artemis takes "Dead Girl" over the wall and tries to get answers from her. The servant doesn't speak English, and Artemis calls the Super Cycle for extraction.
Ecks drives Brion on a mountainside road, saying that he's making sure that they're not being followed. He's unaware that Dick is following them, and radios Artemis to say that Ecks and Brion are heading to the hospital. Artemis and Dead Girl have reached the Super Cycle.
Dick calls Conner and Jeff, and they barely get the signal because of the sewer walls. They come to a grate and Jeff goes through first, diving into the waters below. Plasmus grabs Conner before he can jump, burning him unconscious and dragging him away.
Ecks and Brion go into the hospital, and Dick is unable to contact Conner but determines from his GPS where Conner is. He sends Artemis to Conner's coordinates and sends a flying robot bug into the hospital to maintain surveillance on the two men.
Artemis tries to get through to Dead Girl, who doesn't remember anything from before Artemis found her. Her rescuer assures her that she'll be okay, and spots Jeff unconscious on the beach below. Artemis lands the Super Cycle and tells Dick that she's found Jeff and there's no sign of Conner. Jeff wakes up and says that they got Conner.
Plasmus takes the unconscious Conner to the base and recognizes him, and has Plasmus put him in the subject room.
Ecks takes Brion to the morgue and leads him to the hidden Bedlam base. Dick's bug follow them and the shielding blocks its signal. Inside, Ecks says that the cylinders are metamorphosis pods. Brion realizes that Ecks is one of the meta-traffickers, and insists that he wants no part of it. Vertigo takes Brion down and has Ecks sedate Brion. The villain then tells Ecks that he screwed up exposing their operation to the royal family, and orders him to put Brion in a pod.
Jeff tells Artemis about Plasmus capturing Conner, and Dick says that their first priority is to rescue Conner. He heads to the base via the hospital and tells Jeff and Artemis to go in via the sewer.
Once Conner and Brion are placed in the pods, Vertigo goes to check on Ecks orders and tells him to do nothing until he returns. Jace comes in and floods Brion's pod with tar. When Ecks objects, Jace says that she knows what she's doing.
As Vertigo leaves, the three thugs arrive and their leader, Henchy, tells Vertigo that Dead Girl came back to life and is a full meta. He explains that Dead Girl had help from Artemis, and Vertigo sends the thugs to lock down the complex. He then calls his superior and warns that their operation may have been compromised.
Brion wakes up and begs Jace to stop. She assures him that it's for the best as the tar fills the cylinder.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 12, 2019