The second issue of the year deals with the continuation of the robbery storyline, with the present Renegades in the Rabbitholes briefing room going over some data. The first page covers most of this, with it coming out that some kind of powerful magic was at work protecting the robbery as it was ongoing, keeping Advocate and the Police away. The boy genius suspects that it was nothing but utter and complete lucky that Wejona and Advocate happened to be on patrol within the area of the spell and thus were unaffected. Then, he moves onto discussion of the criminals that pulled off the robbery.
First panel of the next page is a close up of Danger Lad, young face grinning wildly, "In slightly better news, however, I believe I've found the base that the criminals acted out of. They are part of an organization called 'the Serpents'. Typically an American organization, the Guard has dealt with them before. With the data I've gathered, I believe that if we strike quickly we can root them out before they get too much of a foothold in Germany."
The bulk of the third and fourth pages deal with the Hellfire rising up out of its' hidden underground hanger and Rhapsody's motorcycle thundering off through the city after it. Before the end of the fourth page, all eight outer guards are dealt with and the team is on the ground preparing to find an entrance into the facility. The last two panels, however, are somewhat chilling in the extreme. The first revealing a pop-up turret from the top of the building as it swivels and targets the Hellfire with Danger Lad and Donald still aboard. You can almost hear the whine of radar as it locks on. The last a *FWOOSH*, and an image of a missile.
Assuming you didn't notice the fact that the mission was facing downward, it's only when you turn to page five that you let out your sigh of relief as you realize that the missile was fired from the Hellfire. The Turret goes up in a ball of flame and metal, while the Hellfire swivels around on its axis to get a better look at the scene. Surprise suddenly lost, the team decides that their best option is in through the front door.
The rest of the page is 'silent' art, with a few scenes from within exploring the vistas of the base and the gathered threats. Then, we see Advocate informing the others of the approximate number of Serpents that they face - somewhat larger an organization than they expected especially when it becomes apparent that the building has an extensive underground sub-level and is in itself fairly large and ornate. The building shakes again, presumably from another Air-to-Surface missile from the Hellfire.
When the team reaches the Computer room, their first battle begins as well. Primal and Rhapsody take care of this patrol, and half of them are down in two panels, before the remaining two are dragged into the main room. One of them passes out from sheer fear, while the other is pumped for information and data as the Advocate downloads as much of the organizations database into a spare floppy as he can. Never turn down evidence, after all.
The rest of the comic almost seems a teaser, as the group treads through the rest of the base, dealing with the odd guards and encountering the ornate base, complete with a remote-controlled defense network being piloted by a number of guards. Another counter-assault on the Hellfire is countermanded as the group disables the Remote Control Operators. Then, once the group finally reaches the stairs down to the sub-level�they come face to face with Alice, Queen of Hearts, at least for a few short moments. Those who have read Empire City find this encounter quite odd, as it contains no mention of all the rumors about Alice that have been cropping up lately nor any hint of the battle that recently took place between the Guards and Alice's own group - the Young Guns. Speculation runs rampant. The issue wraps up with a chase through the underground bunker, and the final capture - and suicide, via cyanide capsule, of the "Cobra Leader" of the Serpent Base.