In the last living colony on Earth, New Babyl, Aliyah, a candidate in the state's Exemplar entertainment competition, stumbles upon a discovery known as The Archive, a find that will change her world forever.
Aliyah discovers a connection between The Archive and her late mother while an impromptu performance tests the patience of those in power.
While Phydra interrogates Bohdi about his hip-hop inspired performance, Aliyah leads her fellow Exemplar Candidates in a civil rights movement inspired protest against Bohdi's unjust imprisonment.
Aliyah and her friends look towards hip-hop for inspiration for the upcoming Exemplar group round, while in The Archive, Tempo uncovers humanity's forgotten dark history.
Aliyah, Apollo, Bohdi, and Brooklyn venture to the edge of New Babyl to see if there is life beyond the shield. Back at Reform sector, Sage and Mags find themselves caught in a riot between the Authority and angry citizens.
Aliyah and the Exemplar candidates all struggle with a new reality as they come to terms with how their actions have resulted in a Tribunal backlash.
Authority Phydra seeks to root out those connected to The Archive while Aliyah glimpses strange visitors to New Babyl.
As the Exemplar semifinals approach, Aliyah learns an earth-shattering secret about New Babyl.
Bohdi and Aliyah join a covert rebel group in New Babyl while Phydra hunts down a mole in the Tribunal.
Aliyah devises a plan to reveal the truth of New Babyl during the Exemplar finals, but Authority Phydra is closing in on her, determined to stop Aliyah at all costs.