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Future Tense Recap

At a point, Senator George Parker meets with businessman David Spears. David warns that if his chemical plant is shut down then his company will go down the tubes. He wonders if the contributions he's been making were wasted, and asks if George will pay for the technology to clean up the pollution his company produces. George says that he might be able to kill the new bill in committee after a fact-finding tour of the swamp. David warns that if his company goes down then so will George's campaign contributions. As they walk off, Swamp Thing watches from the shadows.

The next day, George meets with Tressa and Will at the hotel restaurant. She warns that there's nothing that they can do to take him on his tour, and Will suggests that Tressa do it so that Swamp Thing gets the government to see what is going on with the swamp. Will leaves with George, and reporter Alan Harris comes up and greets his friend Tressa. Alan says that he's doing a story on the swamp as the Bermuda Triangle, and invites Tressa to dinner. They get ice cream and talk about old times, and Alan says that he got started as a writer by doing articles about the environment. He did an article about the future and parallel worlds, and tuning into the environment changed his life. Alan says that if hadn't been for Tressa taking notes for him, he would never have graduated. Tressa explains about George's tour and excuses herself.

Later, Tressa takes George through the swamp and shows him the ecosystems. She says that the swamp is being destroyed by pollutants, and George tells her that nothing he's seen has convinced him that the swamp is being harmed. Alan steps out with a gun and shoots Tressa's boat, holing it. He figures that Tressa can make it back to Houma, and he's going to take George on a tour of his own.

Tressa looks for Swamp Thing and tells him that Alan kidnapped George. Swamp Thing has heard of Alan and says that they need to find his path.

George finally collapses of exhaustion, and Alan asks him if kidnapping is more insane than polluting the environment. He says that something in the swamp scares him, and says that he made a fantastic discovery of an alternative ecosystems damaged by the thinning of the ozone layers. Alan warns that mutated bacteria could cause lethal outbreaks. George makes a run for it but Alan tackles him as the world flickers around them. Bandaged mutants take them captive as the sun shines down through the non-existent ozone layer. The leader takes George's sunglasses and orders his people to take the two men away to be judged.

Tressa and Swamp Thing track the two men and Swamp Thing finds a tape cassette. It belongs to Alan, and he says on it that he's found a gateway to the future and now he's going through. Swamp Thing tells Tressa that anything is possible in the swamp.

The mutant headman points out that Alan and George don't have the sickness yet. When George says that he's a congressman, the headman tells him that the government is all dead. The two men realize that they're in the ruins of Houma, and the headman says that it's 2031.

Swamp Thing finds the footprints showing Alan and George entering a clearing, but nothing showing that they left. He figures that if they can change the conditions that changed the ecosystem, they can bring the two men back. Swamp Thing says that they just have to change the local industry, and Tressa figures that it's the local chemical plant.

The mutants lock up Alan and George, and Alan explains that the mutants are being attacked by bacterial strains that don't exist in their time. The reporter says that George can't escape destiny, and no one would do anything despite the articles that he wrote. Alan asks why George did nothing. The leader brings them out and says that they have no supplies or need for outsiders. He asks if anyone will speak for their prisoners, and Alan figures that there was a plague. He describes the symptoms and figures that they took the burnouts out to die. The reporter describes how the ozone layer was destroyed and the bacteria mutated in the swamp water. The tribal elder confirms what happened and that nothing could stop the plague, and that it came from mankind rather than nature. George realizes that the elder is Will, and Will passes sentence on them: death.

Swamp Thing and Tressa break into the plant.

As George and Alan wait for execution, George insists that it can't be real. he dismisses Alan as a martyr, and Alan says that he's had longer to adjust to the idea than George. He describes an environmental protest five hours ago. A tug crewman poured waste on the protestors, and Alan discovered that he and others were ill. Some of their group had already died, and Alan figures that he's next. Alan says that George could have made a difference but did nothing. The headman and his men arrive and tell them that it's time.

Swamp Thing tells Tressa that he feels weak from the chemicals, and that it's started up illegally. He traces the pipe pumping out the pollution that created the future that Alan found, and uses his powers to lower the temperatures.

The mutants prepare to hang Alan and George.

The pollution temperature continues dropping.

George apologizes, saying that he didn't know things would turn out the way that they have.

The mutants hang George and Alan, and the future changes just in time. They appear in the plant, and George sees Swamp Thing before he leaves. Tressa tells him that he's a friend, and Alan looks at a burn on his hand that he got touching the headman. Alan tells Tressa what happened, and Tressa explains that they shot back the plant that was the source of the future. George says that he will shut down the plant for good when he gets back to DC, but Alan warns that he has to do more and asks Tressa to help the swamp no matter what happens to him. Unaware, Tressa tells him that nothing will happen to him and they leave.

Sometime later, Tressa goes to Alan's grave and leaves flowers.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 29, 2017

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