The tension rises over Great Japan's potential nuclear strike and Orion's absence. Berlinetta pushes at Fadi to give him authority to attack.
Meanwhile Orion has a completely different obsession. He is worried about truly becoming Grendel. His soldiers have called him Grendel for years, but he is worried that he will become like Eppy Thatcher. He decides he needs to find out if Thatcher is still alive. He persuades Manny to look for him, which he does, at the expense of his own mind. Orion finds Thatcher in VEGAS and brings him back to his headquarters. He takes back the reins of government and interrogates Thatcher, who is completely insane and bereft of the devil. However, Orion gets an idea from talking to him. He gets his scientists to rebuild the Sun-Gun and uses it to obliterate Great Japan. He is now the ruler of the world and takes the title of Grendel Khan. Thatcher and Manny die from their infirmities. Berlinetta is court-martialed.
It is becoming clear that Zebra, Kierch, and Cross have all been affected by their vampiric transformation in different ways. Cross has become a megalomaniac, Kierch his slavish follower, and Zebra a impetuous skeptic. Their personalities clash repeatedly. Despite this, the vampires infiltrate the guards at Grendel's Palace and they successfully take over.
This arc has a very unique storytelling structure. Each of the comics in this arc are divided into two stories, each of which continues through the arc. The first half of each issue is about Orion, and is told using multiple small rectangular panels of the same size, usually 8 to a page. The text is often placed in large paragraphs the size of the drawn panels. The second half of each issue is about the vampires, and is told using a more conventional panel/text layout. Each of the vampire stories are themselves made of two parts: one about Cross, Kierch, and Zebra, and another about one of the "everyday" denizens of Grendel's Palace. They are narrated by either Zebra or Kierch.