Karma goes undercover. In the pouring rain, she entices a police lieutenant from his station at the palace by pretending she has lost her way and her car has broken down. She says she chose the place because she could see the light through the rain. The lieutenant explains that they are the household guard, and Karma replies that at least she knows she is in safe hands. The lieutenant orders his men to stand by their posts while he sees to the lady.
As he holds her umbrella for her as she walks him to her car, the lieutenant asks Karma what brought her out on such a dreadful night. Karma replies that, strange as it may sound… a matter of life and death. He asks her to get behind the wheel, but Karma has other ideas. She removes her sunglasses and uses her psychic ability to enthrall him. She wants to be taken to the palace, and the lieutenant has little option but to comply.
They return to the palace, where the lieutenant explains to his men that there’s nothing they can do. He whisks Karma away to get her some dry clothes and a taxi, but the guards feel he is wanting more than that, and are jealous of the privileges his rank affords him.
Inside the palace, Karma is overawed. The palace puts even the Palais de Versailles to shame. As they wander through the massive walkways, the lieutenant suddenly manages to shake off his mind-control and he grabs Karma’s arm. She regrets letting her concentration lapse, but the threat the officer poses is nullified as Patch, no longer wearing an eye patch or gauze over his eyes, emerges from behind a curtain and punches him, knocking him clean out cold. He puts his gloved hand across Xi’an’s mouth and pulls her behind the curtain.
She is surprised to see him, as her uncle had boasted that he was dead. He ain’t the first, replies Patch. Archie is with him, and he drags the officer behind the curtain and out of sight. Xi’an explains to Archie that her uncle has captured Tyger Tiger, together with the two American women who were protecting her. Archie says that the coast is clear and that they should scramble while they have the chance. Patch asks Xi’an if the women are dead, but she believes not, although Bloodsport and Roughouse evidently tried their best. Because General Coy is in league with the prince, they were brought to the palace. She followed in order to free them.
As they move quietly through the palace, Xi’an tells them that she was once better than she is now. She was what people call a ‘super hero,’ but she sacrificed that life when she entered her uncle’s service. Patch says that last time he asked why, Xi’an told him it was none of his business. Xi’an now explains all. Months ago, her younger brother and sister were kidnapped. Her last hope is that her uncle’s underworld contacts would enable her to locate and rescue them.
They come across an elderly servant, and Karma asks them not to be alarmed. She uses her mind-control to take him over, informing Patch and Archie that when she releases the servant, he will remember nothing of their presence. Patch asks what changed her mind to tell them now. She tells him that he reminds her of how she used to be. She discovered she could no longer turn a blind eye to her uncle’s villainy. She prays it is not too late to live up to her namesake, Karma, and balance the evil she has done, or done because of her, with good.
They make their way outside into a courtyard, as the rain continues to fall hard. Patch asks them to walk clear of the pool and, as they skirt past, a large tentacle emerges from it. Archie asks how he knew it was there, and Patch says he followed his nose. His joke disguises the truth. It’s their scent that’s led them there.
Inside the palace, General Coy, formerly of the South Vietnamese police, is being entertained by two ladies, as Lindsay McCabe is thrown before him by Roughouse. She is wearing a skimpy outfit, and she slides across the shiny floor surface. The general is pleased she shows a proper slave’s respect by abasing herself at his feet. Lindsay replies that she’s no slave, but Roughouse picks her up and says the collar says different. Maybe they can play later, if she behaves. Bloodsport leads in Jessica, also wearing a collar around her neck with a chain attached.
Bloodsport has taken some of Jessica’s blood. He explains that it will do her no lasting damage, but it makes her more tractable. He confesses that her essence is unlike any he’s tasted. Coy says that when their business is over, he might give her to him.
Coy calls the women foolish for daring to match themselves against him. They may have led his men on a merry chase, but when Bloodsport tastes someone’s blood, as he did Tyger’s, they are physically bound. Once he tracked them down, it was the simplest of matters for Roughouse to smash their hiding place down around their ears. Bloodsport drained Chang dry, and left his bloodless corpse as a warning to any others fool enough to think of challenging him.
Jessica asks meekly why they are still alive. Coy loses his cool façade and lunges at Jessica, grabbing her by the face. He tells her that perhaps it’s because death is too quick and easy an end. She caused him considerable inconvenience, and he’s a great believer in repaying hurts done to him a thousand-fold. He slaps her hard across the face, and informs her that after they are drugged and re-educated with the proper skills, they should fetch him a tidy sum on the auction block.
He lights a cigarette and says that, alternatively, he might forego the profit for pleasure. That is why he hasn’t employed his niece to possess them and force them to do his bidding. He taunts them with the prospect of a torturous death. However, he adds, why dwell on unpleasantness? He can also be generous. Sarcastically, Lindsay asks whom they have to kill. Coy says it’s funny she asks, and opens a curtain to reveal Tyger Tiger, still dressed in Mr. Chang’s impenetrable armor. Roughouse believes there’s nothing in this world he can’t smash, and he attempts to rip the armor from Tyger’s body. “Ymir’s icy breath,” he exclaims, “It won’t break!” Bloodsport regrets that he can be of no help either. His flesh must touch another’s for his power to work.
Coy knows that Lindsay gave Tyger the armor and dressed her. Logically, she should hold the key to removing it. She should do so while she still has the chance to leave the palace. Lindsay glances at Jessica for advice, but Coy grabs her by her flowing blonde locks and warns her that unspeakable fates await her should she presume to thwart his will further. Lindsay smiles, and tells him he can go to blazes. Coy erupts in a fit of anger and raises his hand to strike her. Suddenly, a gloved hand grabs Bloodsport by the neck and smashes him to the ground. Logan warns Coy, “Let the lady go, Coy… an’ maybe you get to live.”
Roughouse seizes his chance to attack, and slams Patch clean through the outer wall. Logan knows there’s an easier way to do this. He snikts his claws, unseen by those inside. Roughouse exits through the hole in the wall and figures on grinding Patch into powder. However, he doesn’t know about the adamantium-laced claws, and he charges right into them. The big guy stumbles for a moment before dropping like a stone.
Patch steps back inside and tells Coy it’s his turn. He notices that Coy is smiling and there isn’t even a trace of fear scent. He realizes too late the implications. Bloodsport, having recovered, grabs him around the face from behind, and the moment his skin makes contact, Patch starts to bleed. There’s no wound; not even a mark. It pours right through his skin and Patch’s strength goes with it.
Watching anxiously from behind a curtain, Archie asks Karma to zap Bloodsport, but the vampire’s resistance is much stronger than before. Perhaps it is because she has tasted her blood, she surmises. Luckily, she manages to distract Bloodsport long enough for him to release his grip on Patch. Unfortunately, Roughouse grabs him as he falls from Bloodsport’s grasp, and swings him around before hurling him through the hole in the wall. Bloodsport is furious, and shakes Karma’s attempts at mind-control with ease. Karma reels from the psychic backlash this causes. The vampire wishes to deal with her, but General Coy orders him to deal with Jessica Drew first.
Bravely, Archie steps out from behind the curtain, and informs Coy that if Drew dies, then so does his niece. He holds his weapon to the young woman’s temple, and looks like he isn’t messing around. Coy had been expecting his appearance, and he knows that Archie is no cold-blooded killer. Archie’s bluff is undone straight away, but he instead aims the pistol at Coy and tells him he has no compunction in punching his ticket.
Bloodsport has other ideas. He chops Archie’s forearm, which forces the pistol from his grasp. He then goes in for the kill. Roughouse, meanwhile, goes one on one with Patch with his huge fists. The two men trade punches, but Patch has only been biding his time. He unleashes the full force of his strength on the big guy, but Roughouse simply responds in kind, and sends Patch hurtling through the air once again. Back inside, Jessica Drew steps up and tackles Bloodsport before he can get to Archie.
She warns them to keep their distance from him, and wraps her hand in a piece of torn curtain. She’s gambling that she’s agile enough to stay out of reach, but Bloodsport is confident in his own abilities.
Bloodsport tells Jessica that he fears their duel will be over before it begins, but, out of nowhere, Tyger Tiger suddenly jumps him, smashing him to the floor with a solid left cross. Tyger orders Jessica to go and help Patch while she deals with this ‘carrion.’ Lindsay watches in glee as Tyger proceeds to pummel the vampire into submission. Jessica teams up with Patch in the pouring rain, but is caught out when Roughouse smashes the ground, throwing her into the air and over the pool. A tentacle reaches out and drags her under the water in an instant.
Patch reacts quickly, and kicks Roughouse from behind into the pool, and then follows them both in. The water is thick with tentacles, but there’s no sign of what they’re attached to. As Roughouse is the juicier meat, the tentacles concentrate on him, as Patch slashes away at the tentacles holding Jessica. He knows that, if Jessica sees his claws, the X-Men’s game could be up. They’re supposed to be dead. Fortunately, the water is murky, and Jessica has more pressing concerns. Patch doesn’t care anyway. She’s a friend, and he wonders if the X-Men’s mission is worth her life. He grabs her and swims to the surface, before dragging her out to safety. Roughouse emerges moments later.
The big guy stands before them and ask if they’ve had enough. Jessica’s answer comes with a kick to the face, as she says they haven’t even started. Patch manages to allow his berserker rage to take over, and he slams his fists into Roughouse without letting up. Even Jessica is shocked at his ferocity.
Inside the palace, Tyger and Bloodsport seem more evenly matched. He cannot harm her due to the armor, but she cannot harm him either, as he cannot be slain my any mortal forging. Still, he remarks, her companions have no such protection. As he turns his attentions to Archie, Xi’an and Lindsay, Tyger seems to prove his theory wrong by thrusting her hand at his neck. A loud ‘Krak!’ rings out, and Bloodsport drops to the ground.
General Coy looks worried, and he searches for Archie’s gun. He also calls for Roughouse but receives no reply. Suddenly, the big guy drops in front of him, unconscious, with Patch and Jessica close behind. “Surprise, sucker,” says Patch, as Coy sees his advantage disappear completely.
Coy tries to worm his way out of this confrontation but, luckily for him, a savior is at hand. A man’s voice behind them informs them that the only soul on Madripoor, especially within the walls of the royal palace, who possesses the right and power to order summary executions, is its prince!