On June 21, 2028, a riot breaks out in Los Angeles over the affordability and availability of water after it is privatized. Taking advantage of the distraction, a four-man crew of brothers Sherman and Lev and miscreants Buke and P-22 rob a bank. Unable to break into the vault, they steal from hostages at the bank, realizing that they were mainly staff of the wealthy sent to deposit valuables into the vault. Lev takes a male hostage's fancy pen despite being warned by the man not to. During their escape, an encounter with the police leaves P-22 dead and Buke and Lev critically wounded. They make their way to the nearby Hotel Artemis, a hotel/hospital that only treats criminals, run by Jean "the Nurse" Thomas. The Hotel only treats members who are paid-up in advance, so Sherman and Lev are allowed in while Buke as a non-member is kicked out by Everest, the Nurse's assistant. At the Hotel are two other guests. Code names for all guests are assigned based on the suite they are occupying. Sherman is code-named Waikiki, and Lev is code-named Honolulu. The other guests are code-named Acapulco, and Nice. The Nurse gets word from criminal Crosby Franklin that his father Orian "The Wolf King" Franklin, is en route and in need of immediate medical attention. Meanwhile, Waikiki catches up with Nice, who has moved on to work internationally while Waikiki has remained Stateside. When he reveals the pen his brother stole during the robbery, Nice explains that the pen is a mobile safe, and unlocks it to show it contains precious diamonds, saying they belong to the Wolf King, and reminding Waikiki that the Wolf King kills anybody who steals from him. To make matters worse, a wounded police officer named Morgan arrives outside begging for medical attention from Thomas..