Kung Lao is called upon to protect the Essence of Edenia, the Edenian race’s only hope of ever escaping the treachery of Outworld. It is learned that the Essence of Edenia has been smuggled to the Earth Realm by the warrior Daahraan (guest star Hank Stone). Thought to have been destroyed, the Essence is all the Edenian race has left after their Realm was overrun by Shao Kahn. The Essence provides Edenians with the hope that they may rise again–precisely why Shao Kahn wants to destroy it once and for all. When Princess Kitana (guest star Dara Tomanovich), Kahn’s stepdaughter and herself a vanquished Edenian, hears of the Essence and Daahraan, she and her lifelong friend, Qali (guest star supermodel Roshumba Williams), set forth to retrieve the Essence. Since their intent for the Essence is in direct opposition to Shao Kahn’s, this is literally a life-or-death mission. Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) also wants to get his hands on the Essence in order to get back into Shao Kahn’s favor. He dispatches Vorpax (series regular Tracy Douglas) to follow Kitana and Qali. Kitana convinces Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) to go with her to meet Daahraan. When they get to the warrior, they find that he is dying, having been brutally attacked. As Kung Lao tries to help him, he utters his dying words–that Kitana is Shao Kahn’s stepdaughter. Kung Lao is incensed and goes after Kitana, not knowing two important facts about her: She is not an agent of her stepfather’s evil, but an Edenian trying to protect her race, and she is a fierce warrior with special powers including a pair of fans that act as both a shield and a weapon. Once Kung Lao learns of Kitana’s true mission, he agrees to help her by hiding the Essence somewhere in the Earth Realm. A series of double-crosses (some well-intended, some not) leads Qali, Vorpax and Kung Lao to a face-off over the Essence. In the middle of this, Shang Tsung appears (having temporarily left the Cobalt Mines), grabs the pouch containing the essence and escapes back to Outworld with Vorpax close behind. Kitana is despondent when she learns that Shang Tsung made off with the Essence. What she does not know, is that the pouch Shang Tsung has is a decoy and Kung Lao had successfully managed to protect the Essence, thereby preserving the hope of the Edenian people.
When Shang Tsung’s sorcery puts Taja and Siro’s lives in danger, Kung Lao risks all of the Earth Realm to save his friends.
Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) takes Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) and Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) to the Temple of the Order of Light for some meditation and reflection. What Siro and Taja discover after some reflection is that this isn’t for them and they decide to leave Kung Lao and head back to the trading post.
As they’re leaving the post, and elderly monk notices a water sack hanging on a post, and assuming it’s theirs runs after Taja and Siro to give them the sack. The monk drinks some of the water before he gives it to them. The sack, as it turns out, is Kung Lao’s, but his friends take it anyway.
The monk returns to the Temple and dies shortly thereafter. As the other monks are preparing his body for burial, it continues to age and disintegrate until there is nothing left except a pile of dust. It is clear to the other monks that the dark powers of sorcery are at work.
Vorpax (series regular Tracy Douglas), having completed her mission, is discovered trying to sneak away from the Temple. Kung Lao chases her and she narrowly escapes through a portal back to Outworld. Piecing together the events of the day, Kung Lao surmises that Vorpax, acting for Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke), put something in the water sack that was meant for him, not the monk. He then realizes that Siro and Taja have the water sack and are probably drinking the remainder of the potion that caused the monk to age into oblivion–and will do the same to them.
The monks tell Kung Lao of a woman, Omegis (guest star Angelica Bridges), a sorceress who has defeated mortality and can reverse Shang Tsung’s potion. Unfortunately, the monks warn, Omegis is a friend to no one and only serves her own desires.
Arriving at the trading post, Kung Lao discovers that his friends have already aged almost 20 years from the day before, and the aging shows no signs of slowing. Their journey to Omegis is labored, considering that Taja is more than 50 years old and Siro is well past 60. Sensing time is running out, Kung Lao leaves his friends at an abandoned temple and goes on alone.
Kung Lao tells Omegis why he’s come, but as he was warned, she is unsympathetic and unwilling to help. She tells Kung Lao that he should get used to seeing his friends die–since he’s immortal (until he’s defeated in Mortal Kombat), he’ll outlive everyone he meets. Kung Lao persists and Omegis finally relents, giving him a potion to reverse Shang Tsung’s sorcery.
By the time Kung Lao gets back to Taja and Siro at the temple, they have been taken captive by Shang Tsung. Unless Kung Lao agrees to face off with Shang Tsung there and then in Mortal Kombat, Shang Tsung will keep Taja and Siro from getting Omegis’ potion. It’s fierce battle, but once again, Kung Lao is victorious and defeats Shang Tsung (who barely has the strength to make it back to Outworld) in just enough time to get the antidote to Taja and Siro.
With Taja and Siro back to normal and Shang Tsung back in Outworld, Rayden (series regular Jeffrey Meek) visits Kung Lao and berates him for selfishly putting all of the Earth Realm in danger by engaging in Mortal Kombat to save two friends. Oddly enough, Rayden’s warning echoes Omegis’–immortality comes with a price.