Luke Cage is visited by Owen Ridgley, a man who informs the Hero for Hire about a terrorist plot. Gideon Mace plans on blowing up each bridge and power station in Manhattan! His goal? To shake the very foundation of the United States! And Luke Cage is running out of time.
The story starts with Luke Cage standing atop a roof after the events of last issue. The police storm the building and find Cage, ready to accuse him of wrongdoing. However, Claire Temple stops them and informs the police that it was Cage who saved her and that he is the hero here. Leaving the rooftop, Cage discusses his secret with Doctor Burstein who wants to turn Cage in for his past crimes. However, the two discuss things and come to the conclusion that Cage should be allowed to continue as he is doing and that Burstein will keep an eye on him and act as a conscious of sorts, to make sure Cage doesn’t make the leap from hero for hire to mercenary.
The story shifts briefly to a meeting of thugs, plotting to take out a former recruit of their operations. Switching back, this recruit is frantically running to reach Cage, who is discussing a closed Orange Julius stand with D.W. Griffith. Griffith leaves as the recruit, Owen Ridgely, tells his tale to Cage. A former soldier, Ridgely was unable to find a job upon returning from Vietnam and united with other former soldiers under Gideon Mace, another former soldier, however he has a metal mace for a hand.
However, before Ridgely can fully tell Cage what Mace’s plans are, D.W. comes back to the office, claiming to have come from Orange Julius’s. Knowing that this a ruse, Cage barrels through the wall and takes out two thugs who had taken him hostage in the hopes of leverage for Ridgely. Turning back to Owen, Cage finds that he has been shot and with his dying breath he gives Cage the money for the case and tells him to take down the operation.
Back to Mace, his plot is revealed to include halting all traffic coming into New York City via bridges and tunnels, bringing the city to its knees. This all serves as a distraction though for Mace and a select few to rob Wall Street of its fortunes. Before Mace can exact his plans though, Cage drives up in a speeding car to bust up the operation. After taking out some goons, Mace and Cage face off, with Cage eventually gaining the upper hand. However, Mace uses pepper spray-like mace to blind Cage and runs off to spring his plans into action. Cleaning his eyes, Cage sees this and jumps onto the helicopter Mace flies off on and brings it crashing into the Hudson River, where Mace realizes he should have learned how to swim with his mace hand as he sinks to the bottom of the river to his death!
Back at his offices, Cage is having everything repaired from his scuffle with Mace’s goons. However, when asked for pay from D.W., instead of giving him the money from Ridgely, he says they will work something out, as he mails the money Ridgely gave him to his wife and daughter. As he walks into the distance he thinks about Doctor Burstein, his “conscious rap”, and how he can never let Dr. Burstein know it got to him.