Zatara narrates his life story. At 28, he was a stage magician with a young family; his wife Sindella and a two-year old daughter, Zatanna. His act was a success, in part due to his occasional use of real magic. One night, the stage caught fire and Zatara was forced to use his magic to put out the flames. The audience thought it was all part of the act, but for Zatara it was a new beginning. Among the audience was a smiling Kent Nelson.
Outside the Tower of Fate, Flaw throws Teekl's corpse to the ground and Klarion decorporealises and ascends to the heavens. Inside the Tower, Thirteen is horrified. Doctor Fate explains that without his anchor, Klarion could no longer remain on the mortal plane. Outside, Child decides to have some fun and sends out an ember of flame, which explodes upon hitting the Tower. Fate is overcome, and Zatanna casts a spell of protection as the Tower is destroyed around them. Child enters the ruins, as Fate rises and begins to chide her, but he is interrupted by a punch from Flaw. Fate is sent flying through the rubble. Child congratulates Flaw for sparing her the lecture, and begins to destroy the few surviving items. Mary rises, but is unable to summon powers from the now-disrupted ley lines. Instead, she draws power from her fellow students, hurting them. Mary summons the power of Zeus to fire a lightning bolt at Child, but misses. Child wonders why Klarion allowed such pathetic creatures to thwart him, then teleports away with Flaw to unleash chaos. Zatanna levitates the rubble off of Traci and Khalid and helps them up. They say they are okay, but eye Mary warily. Zatanna runs to Fate, calling for her father. She gasps as she sees the Helmet of Fate is cracked.
On the set of Space Trek 3016, the cast and crew film the 16th take of the latest scene. Garfield delivers his lines as Tork in utterly wooden fashion, forcing the director to call cut. Schwartz takes Gar aside and encourages him to give him more, especially at three in the morning with everyone on overtime. Gar assures him he'll give him more. Take 17 begins and Gar has forgotten his lines, much to everyone's disappointment.
Klarion flies through time and space in the true form of a Lord of Chaos. Though he hates to admit it, he needs a hero.
Penny Randall boards Charlie Daggett's school bus. The students are saddened that the next stop is school, but Charlie reminds them only smiles are allowed on his bus. En route, they cross a bridge as some suspension cables snap. Several collisions knock the bus halfway over the edge as the occupants scream. Superman, and later Superboy, come to their rescue. As the pair of heroes argue outside about Superboy's involvement, the children on the bus cheer as Charlie wonders when Superman got a sidekick. Superman and Superboy both depart, followed by the arrival of Klarion. The Chaos Lord had missed the heroes, but decides to find an anchor to the mortal plane. He chooses the "motorcycle" (school bus), and possesses it. Charlie is startled to find a pair of demonic eyes staring back from his instrument panel. Klarion informs him that he has taken control of his skateboard. Charlie tells him it's a bus, reminding Klarion of someone, before he teleports the bus away.
Zatara continues his story. After saving the audience from the fire, he felt the desire to do more than just entertain with his powers, but lacked a direction forward. Watching the news with his family, he saw a report about the Superman, and his daughter's reaction to it. Inspired by this fellow immigrant, Zatara wondered if he too could use his unusual abilities to help his adopted home. Zatara prayed for guidance until he knew what he had to do. Between performances and time with his family, he used his gifts to protect society, stopping a bank robbery in a mask. But still Zatara wished to do more. And then Kent Nelson knocked at his door.
At the ruins of the Tower of Fate, Fate finally awakens, and assures Zatanna that her father is well enough. Zatanna asks if he now understand the threat Child poses, and that he needs their help. Fate admits the threat, and he might, possibly, need help. Meanwhile, Khalid and Traci confront Mary about her stealing their power. Mary defends herself, saying that she was the only on conscious to even try to stop Child; she had to do something. Would they like to see Child do the same thing in New York City or El Paso? The others reluctantly acquiesce, but insist Mary never do something like that again without asking first. Fate uses magic to restore his torn costume, but the crack in his helmet remains. He is ready to begin the hunt for Child, but Zatanna asks if he can call for more power from the Lords of Order. Fate explains that that is not their way, nor is it needed, before summoning a portal and going through. Zatanna sighs, then casts a spell to refresh herself and her students, before they too go through the portal.
Back at the set of Space Trek, Schwartz talks with Garfield. He notes that he has had to deal with difficult behavior from Gar before; his fights with Gretchen, and his being late due to missions with the Outsiders. But at least then when he had been there, he had been sharp. Now he seemed a million miles away. Schwartz knows it must be hard for Gar to deal with Superboy's passing, and offers him the studio's resources to help with his grief. Garfield insists he's fine and just tired. Instead, Schwartz offers him a break. Gar wonders if the show can go on without him, as Schwartz had once suggested everyone's jobs depended on him, but the director assures him that Harvey's Lieutenant Der'Chow has grown popular enough to carry the show. He tells Gar to consider the idea, assuring that everyone loves him, but they need to consider the show too.
Zatara continues his story. Kent Nelson offered him guidance, and the work of his new calling increased as he faced the likes of Wotan, Blackbriar Thorn and Felix Faust. But his dual careers cost him time at home. Kent stepped in to help, becoming part of the family. Zatara hated being away from his family but, after prayer, decided it was a necessary sacrifice for the greater good. But something worked against him. Not an enemy, but cancer. He tried to be there for his sick wife, but he still had to work to pay medical bills, and still had to defend the world. He was away in some hotel, in some city, when once again Kent Nelson knocked on his door, this time to tell him that his wife had passed away.
Zatanna and her students emerge in Sydney, finding the city ravaged by a volcano at the base of a pillar of flame. Fate tells them they are too late, as Child had moved on after leaving her mark of chaos. Mary seems drawn to the pillar, as Fate conjures another portal. Khalid objects that they must help the people there, but Fate insists they must save the world. The Stranger, appearing from nowhere, agrees. he has summoned the Justice League, the Outsiders and every mystic champion he could...
...sending heroes to each crisis as Madame Xanadu predicted them. As he spoke, Red Tornado and Terra arrived in Sydney and began to help the city. The Stranger notes that the heroes' efforts will be for nothing if they do not stop Child. Zatanna reluctantly agrees.
The bus is on a bridge under attack from giant plants. It is thrown off despite the best efforts of Black Canary, Green Arrow and Red Arrow, but is saved by Guy Gardner, who catches it in a baseball mitt energy construct. But these still aren't the right heroes, so Klarion teleports the bus away.
Fate Zatanna and the Sentinels arrive in Manhattan to find another pillar of fire and gravity reversed. Wonder Girl, Troia and Wonder Woman help people caught in the area, as the Wizard uses his magic to try to contain the pillar of fire. Zatanna is shocked to see Wizard helping, and Fate summons another portal.
Fate and the others emerge from the portal to see Mera attempting to control another pillar of fire, this one the biggest yet, with a hard water octopus. Fate sees that Child is already gone, and that they must follow, so he conjures another portal.
Fate, Zatanna and the Sentinels emerge to another pillar of fire, with a horde of demons crawling out of a crater at its base. Blue Devil uses his staff to try to drain fire from the pillar, as Etrigan incinerates the demons with his fire breath. Fate notes that Child is gone.
Green Arrow and Black Canary help to evacuate the school bus, which has become stuck on a broken road. Klarion complains that he keeps seeing the same heroes, and teleports the bus and all its occupants away, leaving behind a confused Arrow and Canary. The bus then flies through a strange blue and purple dimension. Klarion sees no heroes at all, and teleports them once more.
The school bus appears in space and narrowly misses hitting Baby. Back in Agra, Fate concludes that they must be getting closer to Child.
Unknown ---- --, --:-----
Charlie and the children scream until they run out of breath, as the bus careens through a tunnel of strange lights and sights. Back in Agra, Traci insists they must help as they are the only ones there.
As Zatanna and the Sentinels come down to land on their flying carousel seats, they are nearly hit by the school bus. Back in Agra, Zatanna tells Traci to follow the plan, they must find Child. Back in Manhattan, Klarion exclaims that those were the heroes he needed, but not so soon, and teleports the bus once more. Back in Agra, Fate summons a portal, and the group goes through.
Vandal Savage silently observes the chaos wrought on Earth, the pillars of fire sticking out into space.
Zatara continues his story. The loss of his wife sent him reeling. At Kent's suggestion, he joined the Justice League, now he no longer faced his threats alone. He cut back on his stage work, and when he did go out, took Zatanna with him. But just as he had been inspired by Superman and Kent, he had become an inspiration to others, including his daughter. In a crisis, she took up the Helmet of Fate. In that moment, Zatara knew what he had to do, and so convinced Nabu to take him as his host rather than his daughter. To Zatara it seemed as though his whole life had built to this moment, but he worried that to her it must have seemed like he was abandoning her once more, able to give her no more than an hour a year of his time. But it was a sacrifice he made to save his daughter.
Back on the set of Space Trek, Der'Chow has taken Tork's lines, and Harvey delivers them well to the crew's great relief. Garfield walks off the set.
Fate and the others emerge, and for the first time there is no pillar of fire; they are in time. Child compliments the humans on their job melting the ice cap, but she believes she can do better. Fate fires and energy beam at her, but Flaw easily blocks it as Child sing-songs a taunt at them. Mary summons the power of Zeus, and she and the other Sentinels channel their power into Zatanna, who channels her power into Fate in turn. Fate summons a massive ankh overhead as he threatens Child with a Fate worse than death. He fires an almighty energy blast at Child and Flaw, but they emerge utterly unscathed, Child delighted by the "pretty" explosion. Child then snaps her fingers, conjuring a pillar of flame that shatters the ankh and sends Zatanna and the Sentinels to the ground. Child then traps Fate in a giant fist of ice, and resumes her song: "you can't kill me...", before threatening to kill every living thing on Earth and departing with Flaw. Klarion teleports the school bus in, only belatedly realizing he has found who he wanted, when he wanted them. Zatanna looks up to Fate, her father, trapped in the ice.
Inside the Helmet of Fate, Nabu asks why Zatara tells him what he has no need to know. Zatara says that his body will not hold out forever, that Fate must pass his story on to Zatanna when the time comes. Nabu objects that it is not his responsibility, but Zatara insists it is, so long as he keeps Zatara hostage. Reluctantly, Nabu agrees, if it becomes necessary. Zatara tells him it will be; he will not allow his daughter to die, and he knows that for Fate to win the coming fight, much less survive it, it will almost certainly take all of Zatara's life force.
The episode follows the arc's backward titles scheme, this one translating into "Go Forth And Conquer!" This refers to Child's conquest of Earth as she spreads chaos with her pillars of fire. It can also refer to Doctor Fate, Zatanna and the Sentinels of Magic's mission to conquer Child.
As with the preceding episodes, this installment has the listener from the previous one recounting a story to someone else. However, this one breaks the pattern in two ways. Firstly, while in the previous episode Doctor Fate told a story to Zatara, now their roles are reversed. Secondly, instead of asking why he is being told what he already knows, Fate asks why Zatara is telling him what he has no need to know.
After Charlie Daggett corrects Klarion, the Chaos Lords says he reminds him of someone, alluding to Teekl, who had the habit of constantly correcting Klarion's malapropisms and gaffes.
This episode reveals that the school bus was claimed by Klarion as his new anchor, after Teekl died in the previous episode and Klarion traveled back in time to recruit heroes to help him defeat Child. The episodes whose events he teleported into include:
"Misplaced": in Dakota City when the world was split in two. As seen in that episode, the bus was saved by Rocket from falling off a bridge in the world without grown-ups. This episode showed that in the world of grown-ups it was saved by her mentor Icon;
Zatanna is surprised to see the Wizard helping. He was among the magic wielders that helped Klarion split the world in "Misplaced".
This episode reuses scenes from "Misplaced", when Zatanna put on the Helmet of Fate and Zatara offered himself up as a replacement host, and from "Private Security" when they spend their annually quality hour together.
The clapperboard scene at the Space Trek 3016 studio is nearly identical to the that of "Leverage", the difference being that the show is now on episode 516 instead of 316.
Superman's first public sighting was recorded on June 1 at 19:38. This timestamp is a reference to his debut in Action Comics #1, which was published on April 18, 1938, but is cover-dated June. Likewise, the second news report about him was broadcasted on November 28 at 19:41 and accounts his battle with "mechanical monsters". This is a nod to the second animated short film produced by Fleischer Studios, based on Superman, titled The Mechanical Monsters, which came out on November 28, 1941.