Book opens with a voice over from Wesley telling how Hellbent's dead body lays in the woods in Alabama while The New American is being burned by Southern Cross in Birmingham. The SDC is watching, half doing nothing, others visibly torn about stepping in while Ole Miss is trying to reason with Cross. Cross gets too close as he taunts NA and gets hit by chunk of pavement. Delta tells NA to "stand down" only to be told no. Muscle Shoals and Ole Miss look on while Mark Twain moves out of the way to avoid the impact of Pharos into Delta. The rest of the CDC arrives shortly after and both sides begin a stare down.
A brief interlude showing the CDC staff monitering the situation with the East Coast Intellectual revealing he knows Wesley leaked the truth about the CDC being fake to the press.
Cross then breaks the stare down by shooting off a burst of flame which Amber Waves stops with her shield. The two sides start to brawl. Delta and Pharos square off while Ole Miss gets sent by Twain to find NA's jetpack. Cross tries to burn NA again, but incinerates the CDC speedster instead when NA ducks out of the way.
The reporter who Wesley gave the info to is watching the fight on television. She burns the file and calls her editor to tell him she has no story. Meanwhile the Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy, calls the CDC headquarters in a panic and is told there is a nuclear contingency to the problem of out of control Supers. The president authorizes that option. Pharos is told to move the fight to a new location so he throws Delta in that direction, grabs New american and tells Amber to follow them. Cross and MS follow them while the rest stop fighting.
4 missles are launched and we learn that 3 are being shown as off course. Chet draws a gun and explains that the three missiles are heading for New York, Washington and Atlanta. Chet then is revealed as the arcitect of everything that has happened and that he was a victim of Helbent's at one time. But his attempt at suicide had been anticipated by the ECI who removed the bullets from his gun.
Wesley tries to get the heroes to stop fighting but can't get their attention until NA breaks them apart with a concussion punch to the ground. He then convinces them to try and stop the missiles. Pharos pushes himself farther than ever becaoming able to actually fly not just jump a half mile at a time. Not to be outdone Delta also decides to try for a missile. But Cross isn't buying the story and attacks Amber and NA again. Ole Miss finds the jetpack, uses her power to make it whole again and flies off after a missile. Cross rants about race and who is better than who until Muscle Shoals turns on him. New American takes the opportunity to bury Freya's axe in Crosses chest and tells Amber and Muscle to leave before the missile gets there.
the three rogue missiles are stopped and Cross taunts NA one last time before the fourth missile gets there but then Ole Miss swoops in and saves New American as Cross begs for help. Meanwhile Amber and Muscle are unable to get far enough out of blast range and Muscle tells her to put up her shield trusting that it will save them. Cross tries to get his fire back but burns in the nuclear inferno.
Later the government spins the situation as an alien invasion dismissing any hint of a traitor in the government as Communist propaganda. Pharos gives the CDC file to Miss Darling again and confesses that he loes her but cannot be with her as he is evolving beyond humanity. Jason and Wesley have a chat and Jason flies off with a new uniform to carry on heroing despite still being wanted. He mentions paying his respects at the location of the nuke strike.
The issue ends with Muscle Shoals and Amber Waves walking hand in hand inside a huge golden bubble created by Amber as Muscle makes flowers grow in the scortched Earth they have passed by.