Luke Cage takes center stage with the ‘Bolts still at large!
With the Raft still a shambles, Luke finds himself a prisoner of Mr. Fear!
Meanwhile, Songbird discovers a vital clue to catching the Fugitive Thunderbolts!
Songbird and Mach V are putting things back in place at The Raft when The Federal Advisory Committee to Thunderbolts (F.A.C.T.) arrives to discuss why the team leaders decided to allow Ghost to enter the time machine (in the previous issue) to find the lost Thunderbolts team. The F.A.C.T. team and Songbird/Mach V argue over various aspects of the program and its members.
Meanwhile, Luke Cage is out rounding up criminals who fled the Raft after it was destroyed by Juggernaut during the events of Fear Itself. After capturing Ox and Fancy Dan of The Enforcers in Pennsylvania, Cage heads to Washington D.C. to capture more escapees. There he unexpectedly encounters Mr. Fear, who gasses Cage with a psychoactive agent that amplifies his fears and causes hallucinations. (Cage was apparently set up by a bogus tip.) While under the effects of the psychoactive agent, Cage is haunted by his fears: of being stretched too thin between his different teams and his family, of failure, of trusting current and former Thunderbolts members, of losing his co-leaders’ trust, of losing the time-stranded team members forever. After the end of a vivid hallucination, Cage awakens to find his hands around the throat of one of Mr. Fear’s deceased assistants. Mr. Fear’s voice leads Cage to believe that he killed her during his fear-fueled hallucination. Cage eventually deduces that poison from Mr. Fear killed her instead.
Back at the Raft, Songbird and Mach V restate their commitment to Cage as the leader of the Thunderbolts to the F.A.C.T. agents. As they do this, a representative of Lloyd’s of London delivers a box given to the company way back in 1888 with instructions to be given to the Thunderbolts leaders during the present week. Inside is a letter from Ghost saying that he has found the lost team, is in stealth mode, and that the Thunderbolts were going to attempt to return to the present time again soon. Cage reports back to Mach V on his encounter with Mr. Fear and Mach V relays the information from Ghost’s letter to Cage.