Jim walks down the street and two men in a van watch him. They wait to take Jim until he's in a less public place. As Jim rides home, the two men cut him off, grab him, drag him into the van, and drive off.
That night in the swamp, Arcane lets one of his mutated creatures out to eat whatever it can find. Swamp Thing arrives and drives the creature off before it can eat a turtle, and then grabs Arcane by the throat. Arcane tells him that the creature has the urge to devour every living thing that comes in its way. When Swamp Thing prepares to kill Arcane, Arcane says that he kidnapped Jim to keep Swamp Thing from interfering in his current project. He wants Swamp Thing to leave him alone and then he'll let Jim go when he's finished at 4 am. Arcane says that when he creates five more of the creatures, he'll unleash them all on they'll eat everything in the swamp, including Swamp Thing. he tells Swamp Thing that Jim has eight hours and 48 minutes of oxygen remaining, and walks away.
Jim uses a candle to examine his surroundings, and discovers that he's in a cage.
Tressa is working at home and calls to Jim when she takes a break. She gets no answer when she calls her son to dinner, and calls Obo. Obo says that he hasn't seen Jim all day.
Arcane goes back to the Swamp and blows a whistle to summon the creature. He finds it in a tree and puts it back in its carrier. The creature hesitates and Arcane yells at it to get in... and the creature bites it.
Tressa drives through the streets of Houma, looking for Jim. She spots Obo and calls him over, and he offers to help her look for Jim.
Swamp Thing goes to the caves, looking for Jim, but finds nothing.
Tressa and Obo drive out toward the swamp and find Jim's bicycle.
Jim tries to dig his way out but runs short of breath.
Tressa calls Sheriff Andrews and the townspeople, and they search the swamp for Jim. Obo tries to reassure Tressa, while the creature watches from the branches of a nearby tree.
Swamp Thing finds Arcane's corpse and realizes that he's going to have to bring him back. He hesitates to use his healing powers to bring Arcane back, but realizes that he has to if he wants to save Jim. Before he can, the search parties arrives and Swamp Thing quickly ducks away. Meanwhile, the party finds Arcane and assumes that an animal got him. Tressa wonders if the attack on Arcane is connected to Jim's disappearance..
Jim finally passes out.
The coroner's assistant takes Arcane's body back into town while Andrews and his men continue the search. Swamp Thing watches from the shadows.
Jim wakes up and goes back to digging.
Swamp Thing slips into Houma and goes to the coroner's office. Meanwhile, the coroner arrives and is disgusted to discover who his "patient" leaves. Once he and his assistant leaves, Swamp Thing sneaks in.
Andrews calls off the search for the night, warning Tressa that it's useless to try and find Jim in the dark. She wonders if Jim has been kidnapped, just as Andrews gets a call about something else and excuses himself. Once Tressa is alone, she breaks into tears.
Swamp Thing enters the morgue and brings Arcane back to life. Arcane soon works out where he is, and Swamp Thing warns him that he can undo the resurrection. The scientist wonders why Swamp thing saved him, and then figures he did it to save Jim. He refuses to tell Swamp Thing Jim's location unless he has anonymity and Swamp Thing's word that he won't kill him once he has Jim back. Swamp Thing agrees and Arcane leaves.
Jim manages to dig a tunnel, and one of the creatures lunges at him from it. Swamp Thing arrives and kills it, and then pulls Jim out. As they go back, Swamp Thing tells Jim that he can't tell anyone what happened. The boy agrees but wishes he could tell Tress about Swamp Thing, and the creature says that he'll be able to... some day.
Tressa is asleep when Jim comes in. He wakes his mother up and she hugs him, sobbing in relief. Jim tells her that he had an accident and fell down a gully, and Tressa tells him that the important thing is that he's there.
Later, Arcane is walking down the street with a gasoline container. He bumps into Tressa and offers his sympathy for what she went through. Arcane claims that the coroner didn't realize that he was alive, and his throat will take weeks to heal. Tressa quickly excuses herself, and Arcane goes to his lab and pours the gasoline into the tank. He sets them all on fire... but keeps his newest sample, which he promises will be the beginning of a glorious new attempt.
Written by Gadfly on May 31, 2017