While resting in Condor’s Aerie base (Subject Nine having decided that he is Condor), the base computer receives an incoming satellite message. The call is coming (presumably) from France, where Laughingstock has been hiding himself since the government rounded up all the superhumans. Laughingstock is insane, but remarkably helpful. The criminal confirms that the superhumans did not all go willingly— and makes it sound as if the alien battle was simply a public relations stunt. He remains cryptic about their identities, but taunts them about his past defeat of Subject Nine. They are left creeped out in general, especially so considering that this means that the military is after them for extremely dark motives.
Subject’s Ten’s broadcast empathy sends everyone into a panic and her dislike of losing Eight convinces the team to return to the hospital in Roswell in an attempt to locate the other three subjects. Confirming the team’s suspicions that this is a poor plan, they find that their companions are nowhere to be found. Three men in black suits attack them — one with massive strength, another with mind-control powers and a third with storm control. The team is badly bruised, but they overcome their attackers and flee (in Condor’s jet).
As they escape, they see a flash of light. Their pursuers bombed the hospital in an attempt to stop them. News reports later tells the public that the hospital was the target of a terrorist attack.
Using computer resources, the team discovers that there were three major superhuman teams in the U.S.: the Argonauts (based in DC, but with no known base), UN Force/Peacekeepers (based in New York) and Goldstar (with major offices in New York, Los Angeles and DC). At Laughingstock’s earlier suggestion, the group decides to drive into DC and break into the Goldstarr offices to find out more information. Once there, they find themselves trounced by Laughingstock—who had been bored without any intelligent competition. He claims to have been a friend of Ten’s father and attempts to make off with her and Nine. The team rallies and drives the madman off, but the battle has drawn attention.
Subjects Four, Six, Five (who also disappeared in Roswell) and Eight attack them. Each are dressed in black suits and appear to believe themselves long-serving government agents. Rather than fight their former friends, the team bolts, barely escaping.