|First Published:||January 4, 2012|
|Previous Issue:||Swamp Thing #4|
|Next Issue:||Swamp Thing #6|
In Mato Grosso, Brazil, a Professor Robert and his guide Gabriel make their way deep into the rainforest where they encounter the Terena people. The Terena are vehement protectors of their land, and the Professor, smiling announces that he knows how to deal with them. Opening his shirt, he releases a cloud of flies, and The Rot overtakes them all.
In a general store just outside of Iberia, Texas, Alec Holland and Abigail Arcane prepare to enter the Deadlands in order to face Abigail's half brother William and his army of creatures of The Rot. However, the further they go, the weaker Alec's connection to The Green becomes, which means they will be in a much weaker position than William when they face him. As Alec feels his connection dwindling, Abigail feels her own connection to The Rot growing louder and stronger.
Using his memories from The Swamp Thing, Alec picks Abigail up some canned peaches, knowing they're her favourite. Though Abigail is somewhat turned off by his using the memories of someone she considers separate from him someone she once loved she accepts the gift gratefully.
As they leave the store they are suddenly surrounded by a swarm of pigs and cattle infected by The Rot. William commands the creatures, and Alec is shoved back into the store, leaving Abigail outside. William is angry with her for having put him in the hospital as a child. She pleads with him, arguing that it was only to protect him from the pull of The Rot.
While Abigail struggles to fend off the creatures with her shotgun, Alec tries to reach into The Green so that he can help her. With a pack of pigs charging him down, and Abigail disarmed and at William's mercy, Alec manages to make a small connection which grows and grows until finally thick vines shoot up from the ground and rip off the pigs' heads. Stepping outside, Alec destroys all of William's creatures and helps Abigail to her feet. Finally, he captures William and traps him high in the branches of a tree.
Abigail is wounded, and Alec insists on helping her. To shut up her complaints, he offers her a peach and tells her a story while he wraps her wounded arm with a bandage. As a teenager, he and some friends went hiking in the Western Appalachian Mountains. Despite the danger, his friends had convinced him to climb some vines up to a rockface and spraypaint a message across it. As he climbed, he felt safe, because something inside of him knew that there was a force trying to protect him within the plants. Alec considers that he had poured himself into the development of the Bio-Restorative Formula hoping that in doing so, maybe The Green would leave him alone.
Alec and Abigail admit that they both had dreams, sometimes nightmares, about their respective elemental forces. Alec had had dreams of a girl made of bones, and Abigail had dreamt of a boy made of leaves. There had always been warnings from the elements to avoid those people in both dreams, but now, realizing that they had been dreaming about each other, their own voices seem stronger than those of The Green or The Rot. Pushing aside the natural opposition their internal forces have for each other, Alec and Abigail share their first kiss, and the spirits within them embrace.
Unfortunately, something changes within Alec. The Rot has somehow grown stronger, and William knows it too. From the tree he is trapped in, he mocks them, warning that The Parliament of Trees is going to burn, and The Rot has won.
Meanwhile, Professor Robert and infected Terena people approach The Parliament with lit torches.
- Swamp Thing (Alec Holland)
- Abigail Arcane
- The Parliament of Trees
- Swamp Thing (Mentioned Only)
- William Arcane
- Professor Robert
- Terena People
- Mato Grosso
- Appalachian Mountains (In Flashback Only)