Upon returning to Gotham City, Batwoman is pleased to see her girlfriend Maggie Sawyer, despite the fact that the GCPD detective is yelling at her to stop a monster from destroying the city, rather than worrying about her. The monster is the mythical Hydra, which has coiled itself around Kate’s own penthouse, and is now destroying it, along with the lab and all of her memories of her lost sister and mother.
Angrily, Batwoman rushes at the monster, but she is stopped by Wonder Woman, whose own feelings of responsibility for Medusa’s rampage are weighing her down. She warns that only three people could hope to survive a battle with the Hydra – and Batwoman is not one of those. The kidnapped children ought to be Batwoman’s focus. That was her case, after all. Wonder Woman promises to handle the Hydra herself.
Agent Cameron Chase of the DEO is now doubting her life-choices. She is no soldier, but in order to survive this battle, she will need to become one. Her father was once the vigilante Acro-Bat, and he never understood the way in which his activities hurt his family; hurt her. Batwoman and Wonder Woman – they don’t understand either. Cameron had taken the job at the DEO in order to tear off all of the masks like theirs. It wasn’t until this moment, though, that she realised that she and the DEO are at war with those people and their enemies; the metas.
Meanwhile, Director Bones corners Medusa herself, ordering her to stand down, lest he blow a hole in her gut. Though he is equipped with goggles that prevent him from succumbing to her stony gaze, he is not impervious to the attacks of The Hook. Concerned for the director, Chase fires her weapon at the monster, only to have him turn on her. Unexpectedly, a third player leaps into the fray. It is Flamebird, only just recovered from her injuries at the hands – rather, hook – of the same creature. As much as she hopes her uncle Jake was right that she is ready to face him, Bette is full of fear and worry that she won’t be strong enough to beat the Hook. She hopes, at least, if he slices through her gut again, that this time it will kill her.
As Maro draws the blood that will call Ceto forth, Medusa explains to the children how her mother – the mother of all monsters – came to be. Ceto was the daughter of Gaia and Pontus, the earth and the sea respectively. She became the goddess of the oceans, and fell in love with Phorcys, Mystery of the Deep. From their union, several creatures were born – including the Gorgons. These monstrous children gave mortals a sense of awe and wonder until the Gods of Olympus decided that they needed to be punished for it, setting their own children against them. Ceto was then brought to Mount Olympus for judgement. Rather than kill her, Zeus banished her, leaving nothing of her behind except for the epithet “The Mother of All Monsters”. When Medusa calls her mother back, here in Gotham City, that is what Ceto will be – and the mortal world that the Gods hoped to protect will suffer for it.
Uncomfortable leaving Maggie to fend for herself, Batwoman continues her fight with Medusa’s cultists, hoping to find the missing children. She is surprised to receive aid from Kyle Abbott and his shape-shifting offshoot of the Religion of Crime.
Wonder Woman, meanwhile, struggles to find a way to kill the Hydra, with no easy means of preventing its heads from growing back. Eventually, she discovers that swinging her sword quickly through the air causes her blade to heat up such that it can melt the creature’s scales and cauterise the wounds she causes, preventing healing. With luck, she will succeed, and strike the monster down.
Finally, Batwoman catches up to Medusa, Maro, and the children at the edge of Gotham Harbour. Maro’s efforts have succeeded thus far in returning Medusa’s lost brothers and sisters to life, providing ample defence against Batwoman’s attacks. Desperately, Kate calls out to The Weeping Woman, begging her to do something to help. She urged the ghost to consider what she would do if these were her children. Angrily, the spectre turns on Maro, enraged that he took her children from her and would not let her spirit rest. With her power, she drowns him and washes him away.
It is too late, however. Ceto, the Mother of All Monsters has risen from the ocean depths.