Appearing in "Out in the Cold"
- Veronica St. James, Grifter
- Peter Grim
Synopsis for "Out in the Cold"
Holden Carver, a.k.a. The Conductor (although he prefers going by his real name), is placed undercover in Tao's criminal organization by John Lynch, the director of Internal Operations after being fused with an alien artifact that makes him impervious to pain, gives him a powerful healing factor, and allows him to store pain he receives and pass it on to others through skin contact. Holden hates these abilities and constantly wishes to be rid of them. Lynch falls into a coma after being shot by Grifter (who had been brainwashed by Tao), leaving Holden with no link to the outside world.
He quickly rises through the ranks of Tao's syndicate and becomes one of his lieutenants, called "Prodigals". He falls in love with another Prodigal named Miss Misery and befriends Genocide Jones, a super-strong, bullet-proof member of Tao's organization. The series also focuses on Holden's internal struggle over whether or not there is a difference between his actions while serving Tao, who personifies "evil", and his actions while serving Lynch, who is widely seen as "good".
After unsuccessfully trying to escape, Tao learns of Holden's true allegiance (though he always knew and was just "playing" with Holden, hoping that he could turn him to his side) and Holden is forced to live on the run. With the help of Peter Grimm, his most trusted Prodigal, Tao is able to capture Holden and persuade him to become a true villain by convincing him there are no other options and that he is past petty concepts like "good" and "evil". As Season One ends, John Lynch miraculously awakes from his coma.
Coup D'Etat comes to pass and the members of Tao's organization are forced into hiding so The Authority cannot discover them. Holden is now a full-fledged villain and a trusted Prodigal. While on a mission with his own band of Torpedoes (lover-level members of Tao's organization) called the Hounds, consisting of the eager-to-please Pit Bull (introduced in Season One) and the werewolf Blackwolf, Holden is contacted by an agent of John Lynch. Lynch wants Holden to leave Tao and defect back to I.O. He later presents Holden with a member of the alien race who built the artifact that gave Holden his abilities and promises that if he agrees to come back he'll rid him of his powers.
Holden then begins to play both sides against the middle, hoping he will be able to free himself of his obligations to Tao and Lynch and run away with Miss Misery. As this goes on, he tries to reform, despite knowing that he will never again be the man he thought he was before falling in with Tao.
At the end of Season Two, Holden Carver is left in a vegetative state. Lynch puts him under the influence of a psychoactive drug which has the vegetative Holden believe that he is finally retired and living with Miss Misery and his ex-wife, Veronica St. James, on a tropical island. Tao had his tongue ripped out by Holden as a last effort to 'disarm' the main villain of the series before being handed over to Lynch. It is here that the story ends.
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