Will dreams of running down a street in Philadelphia, three masked teenagers, and a gun going off. He jerks awake and goes outside to go for a walk. Swamp Thing calls to him and asks what's wrong. Will doesn't want to discuss it, insisting that it's personal, and walks away. He drops to his knees, yelling that it wasn't his fault, and Swamp Thing tells him to let it out.
Clutching at his head, Will staggers away and falls into a cave. He falls into a nest of spiders, and remembers the past.
In Philadelphia, Will and his friends Vinnie, Jase, and Bobby are playing pinball. They bet Will $10 that he can't beat the record, and he takes the bet. Will goes to the counter to get some quarters from the manager, Kevin, who opens the safe. Vinnie and the others watch and Vinnie figures that they have $1,000 by closing time. One of the boys, Jase, asks if Vinnie has told Will yet. Vinnie says that he doesn't want to give Will too much time to think about it. Meanwhile, Kevin asks Will if Vinnie was about to lose it on the pinball machine, and Will tells him that Vinnie was just playing tough.
Later on Jackson Street, Vinnie and the others tell Will about their plan to rob the arcade. Will warns that it's major-league robbery, and Vinnie shows him a pistol and says that they're ready. He says that none of them have any money and insists that no one will get hurt. Will tells them that he's out, and Vinnie insists that he stay quiet about it. After a moment, Will agrees to go along as the gun isn't loaded, and Vinnie takes the bullets out. However, Will refuses and walks away, and Vinnie reloads the gun.
That night, Will checks his watch.
Outside the arcade, Vinnie, Jase, and Bobby put on masks and go into the arcade.
Will finally goes to a payphone, only to discover that it doesn't work. He runs to the arcade.
Vinnie and the others hold up Kevin, and order him to open up the safe. Kevin throws the money at them and hits the alarm, and Bobby shoots him. Will arrives outside and hears the alarm, while the other three run out. Jase wonders what they'll do if Kevin dies, and Vinnie tells him to shut up. when Will arrives, they grab him and go into the alley, and they refuse to let Will go in to help him. They warn him that if the police see him then they'll tie the robbery to them, and demand that he keep secret.
A spider bites Will's leg, and he hallucinates Kevin appearing to him. He says that he went back a couple of days later and he hoped it had just gone away, and looks at the bullet wound in Kevin's chest. Will asks him to say what happened, and Kevin just says that he's history before fading away.
Waking up, Will finds Swamp Thing standing over him. Swamp Thing gives him a poultice for the poison and tells him to face his demons. He says that the dream was no accident and takes Will back to the house. Vinnie, Bobby, and Jase are there, and say that they're looking for a place to stay. Will tells them to keep running, and they admit that they've done a dozen armed robberies since Will last saw them. Jase says that they haven't shot anyone since, and that Will wimped out. Vinnie says that they hit their stride and Bobby draws a gun on Will. When Will wonders what happened to them, Vinnie says that times change.
Bobby suggests that they hit a nearby store and when Will offers to go into town and get them some money, Bobby punches him. Vinnie says that it was stupid and has Jase tie Will up, and the three teenagers leave. Will cuts himself free with a discarded crystal bell and runs out to his Jeep. He discovers that they cut the tires, and Swamp Thing tells him that he can't go after them. Will refuses to tell him where they're going, insisting that he'll handle it himself.
The trio drives to the store, put on masks, and rob the owner. Will crawls in through the back and grabs the owner's revolver, and then aims it at Vinnie who is holding his gun on the owner. When Vinnie refuses, Will fires a warning shot and says that he'll do what he has to do. When Bobby goes for his gun, Will wounds him and Vinnie runs. Will goes after him but Vinnie draws a knife and turns on him. Swamp Thing arrives and watches from hiding, and directs the spiders to crawl up Vinnie's leg. Vinnie crawls up a ladder to avoid them, and Swamp Thing leaves.
The next day, Will is working on a boat engine when Kevin arrives. He explains that he was badly wounded in the robbery but the ER medics saved him. Kevin tells him that Dr. Alec Holland sent him a message saying that Will needed to see him. The two of them go off together.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 27, 2017