Antonio Cruz remained in the clutches of SHADOW and the leader of the local cell, the Umbral Knight. The Freedom League had uncovered his plans to destroy a spell hiding the Scarab’s secret lair. Two focuses for the spell remained, a circle of hieroglyphs are a tree in a clearing, and a ring of stones underneath the bay.
While they waited for SHADOW to strike, the Freedom League protected the tree while the forces of Atlantis protected the circle in the bay.
While the League was finishing its preparations, Umbral Knight appeared with another announcement. Standing before Pyramid Plaza, he spoke proudly of his plans to punish Antonio Cruz for his crimes, the next day at noon. Look toward center city!
The League took the Knight’s stance in front of Pyramid Plaza to mean he intended to stage his show there, so Raptor and Deathstroke remained there while Speed Demon ran between the tree and Pyramid Plaza. Unbeknownst to him, the mysterious stranger hung on to him for a ride.
But Umbral Knight was too smart for the Freedom League, his appearance before the plaza was a ruse and he pulled off his show at the city library. Bonfires of books on display, with one pile of books, circled in fire with Antonio Cruz lying bound on top.
But Umbral Knight never got to the planned climax of his show, as Cruz miraculously floated off the books then Speed Demon dashed him back to Freedom Hall.
Was it just a distraction, though? As at that moment a group of SHADOW agents, armed with flamethrowers entered the clearing with the tree. Speed Demon rushed Raptor to the scene and she quickly dispatched two of the agents, but got past her and set the tree on fire.
Speed Demon rushed around the tree to suck out the air and extinguish the fire. But the agents weren’t finished yet. Someone had placed a bomb on the side of the free, while a gunshot game out of the edge of the clearing.
Speed Demon was shot several times as he rushed Deathstroke to the clearing as well. Deathstroke grappled with the assassin and Speed Demon and Raptor attempted to hold off the agents who repeatedly struck at the tree.
Cynthia, the Freedom League’s android receptionist warned that someone was breaking in to Freedom Hall.
Before Deathstroke could subdue the assassin, she was teleported away. The SHADOW agents succeeded in seriously damaged the tree and Speed Demon rushed Raptor to Freedom Hall to find Umbral Knight and his minions waiting at the elevator.
Raptor dispatched the teleporting agent, remove SHADOW’s escape route. Umbral Knight took a swing at Speed Demon and Raptor, knocking out an already wounded Speed Demon but barely touching Raptor, who responded by stabbing the Knight Unconscious.
Umbral Knight’s last minion dragged him in to an elevator, but when it should have gone down, something dragged it to the top floor before letting it go. The Knight and his minoin were found unconscious in the wreckage of the elevator on the bottom floor.
Raptor removed the SHADOW leader’s dishcloth mask to reveal… Friederich Jung, the newly appointed CEO of the Rhodes Foundation (replacing Cruz). Jung would not speak much, but confirmed that the only one who knew his plans was The Contessa, but she has disappeared, breaking communication until things blow over. Jung had needed to bleed the Blood of the Scarab with the dagger of Soptis to open the tomb. Cruz explained that the Rhodes Foundation founder, Alexander Rhodes, was the Scarab. The Blood of the Scarab must be some of his family and Jung incorrectly believed the Cruz must have been his son.
With SHADOW defeated, the league called on Adrian Eldrich to help wrap things up. The spell obfuscation destroyed, Eldrich was able to find the hidden lair under Pyramid Plaza. The actual door was still closed, though and indeed demanded the Blood of the Scarab. It also warned that beyond the doors was imprisoned the Avatar of Set.
Eldrich scanned the city and found a descendent of Rhodes. The blood of Dick Grayson might be related to Alexander’s brother David. It was decided that the best thing to do was restore magical protections around the lair in case anyone else learned the significant of Nightwing.
As the League settled back in at Freedom Hall, a pile of books and magazines appeared. Murder, Assassination, Death… fell to the floor followed by the Contessa’s mask. Then clipping stressing the words I, Me…
Speed Demon interpreted the message from the mysterious stranger.
The Contessa killed me!