Jessica Cruz has been chosen by the Ring of Volthoom as its new host, and she struggles to resist its temptations. It knows all about her. It knows about how she was attacked four years ago, and the ones who did it are still free – and as a result she has been so frightened for her life that she hasn’t left her house in all that time. It is that fear that attracted the ring to her, because it can use that fear to fuel destruction. Hoping to destroy it, she fires a shotgun at the ring, which only serves to make it angrier with her as it forces itself onto her finger.
Meanwhile, at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne insists that he is not Batman, as his visitor Lex Luthor insists that he must be. Ignoring the denials, Lex explains that a threat is still coming to earth, and the two of them need to present a united front against it. Bruce stands, insisting that he had no part in saving the world, nor in playing vigilante in Gotham by night, and excuses himself. Rather than allow him to leave, Lex pulls a gun from his coat and states that he will prove that Bruce is Batman, noting that he felt the draft and smelled the stale air of the Batcave when he sat down.
Before he can take his accusations further, he hears the click of Alfred Pennyworth’s own pistol being cocked next to his temple. In a flash, Bruce violently knocks Lex aside, but the man regains composure enough to focus his attention on the clock against the wall. He fires a shot of explosive ammunition at it, and in the rubble, the path to the Batcave is revealed. Grinning, he suggests they start their conversation, as the other two men glare at him.
Meanwhile, on the new Justice League Satellite, Shazam tires of monitor duty with Cyborg. In the hopes of occupying him, Victor suggests that he try using his magic to track the Ring of Volthoom. Unsure of just how to use his power, Billy calls upon the power of Shazam to show him what he wants for the League. Instead of the Ring of Volthoom, the magic produces a ping-pong table. Given that, Billy suggests that they use it, since they’ve got it.
In Metropolis, Leonard Snart uncomfortably arrives at LexCorp, where Mercy Graves gives him a tour. The visit is uncomfortable simply because he is not used to being treated like a hero. Mercy explains that he was called there because Lex wants have him undergo some tests of his physical and psychological state – standard procedure for new LexCorp employees. With surprise, Leonard realises that he’s being offered a job.
Lex curses himself for taking so long to realise the truth about Bruce Wayne. Bruce refuses outright to let him see the Batcave, even now that he’s discovered it. Lex explains that he’s not there to blackmail Bruce – just to convince him to find a place for Lex on the Justice League. Bruce responds that Lex is not required to help strengthen the League against the coming threat. He tells the fable of the frog and the scorpion to explain:
On the banks of a river, a scorpion once asked a frog to bring him to the other side. The frog refused lest the scorpion sting him. The scorpion therefore insisted that he would not, because doing so would cause them both to drown. So, the frog agreed – but halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog. When the frog asked why, the scorpion responded that it was in its nature.
Lex knows the story well enough, and Bruce offers a modified ending to the story for clarification: Halfway across the river, a bat flies by and eats the scorpion while the frog swims away. From this, Lex is to understand that he is not welcome in the League or Bruce’s house. Once Lex has left, Bruce receives word that Superman and Wonder Woman have noticed a detonation of emerald energy in Oregon.
In Portland, Jessica Cruz is now under the control of the Ring of Volthoom, and realises with worry that she needs help to get away from it. Fortunately, the Doom Patrol is prepared to “help”, though it may not be a painless process.