At the complex, mutants cower in fear as gas flood their compound. Stella runs in and calls to Anton, and Graham and the security guards come in a few seconds later. Stella points out that Anton was in a nearby chamber doing mind-over-body experiments, and then it exploded. She says that Anton is dead and gives the mutants food to calm them down. Graham takes her to his office, and the head guard starts beating the mutants. One of them grabs and disembowels him... a mutated Anton.
In Graham's office, Graham tells Stella that he doesn't believe her story. He figures that Anton wouldn't have experimented without him, and Anton had her there because she has experience with sensory-deprivation chamber. Stella figures that Graham doesn't trust her, and he says that he's loyal to Anton's dream and everyone else has had their selfish interests at heart. Graham says that he's in charge until they find Anton, and says that Anton seduced her mind if not her body. He wipes away his tears and starts to kiss her, and then tells her that he's in charge and she should call him "doctor".
A guard calls and says that they have a corpse at the front gate
Swamp Thing finds a pipe pumping pollution into the swamp. The mutated Anton leaps out of the shadows and attacks Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing manages to break its grip and it runs off.
Graham examines the body, and receives a call that they've found another corpse in the lab. He sees a nearby broach and then leads a group of guards out into the swamp. They're armed with tranq rifles, and Graham orders them to take the mutant alive. Graham asks Stella met Anton, and she says that she wrote a paper in college and Anton talked to her about it over dinner. Stella explains that she refused to sleep with Anton, and later he invited her to work at the complex. She admits that Anton seduced her mind, and she respects Graham.
Graham explains that he found Anton's broach and knew that Anton was working on bringing out the beast in the human mind. He realizes that Anton has turned into a mutant. Swamp Thing emerges and says that Graham is correct, and Graham introduces her to Stella. The creature warns that the mutant has Anton's vicious cleverness and almost killed him, but Graham refuses to cooperate and leaves with Stella.
As Graham and Stella drive back, Stella points out that Anton is running on residual memory. She figures that Anton will be following recent memories, and he might even attack Graham. Stella assure Graham that she doesn't want to see him dead. They run over something, stop, and get out to check. It's a dead guard, and Stella confirms that his gun was fired but it didn't stop the Anton creature. Graham and Stella get back in the car and Anton leaps on the hood. The car is stuck in the mud, and Anton rips out the carburetor. He then drags Graham out, knocks him away, and drags Stella off into the swamp.
Swamp Thing finds Graham and wakes him up, and Graham tells him what happened. The creature demands to know what Anton was working on so that he can fight him. They go to the lab and Graham explains about Anton's research into the primal men. Swamp Thing analyzes the solution Anton was using and Graham gives him Anton's records. Graham says that Stella came in and felt sorry for the mutants, and Swamp Thing suggests that's why Anton kept her alive. He realizes that Graham loves Stella, and Graham admits that she kind of liked him.
Stella tries to get through to Anton so that they can go back to the lab. Anton starts to attack her, but then smells something and goes off.
Graham tells Swamp Thing that they can track the radon in Anton's blood, and use the freezing gun that Parnell created and they used against Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing says that they have to force the cordite cure into Anton's pores, but it will take a minute and he'll have to keep the beast busy until then. Graham wonders if it would be easier to kill Anton.
Stella wakes up and calls to Anton.
Graham and Swamp Thing use a Geiger counter to track Anton.
Stella runs through the swamp and Anton follows her. As he grabs her, Graham hears her screams and runs forward. He yells at Anton to stop and sprays him with the freezing compound. Anton knocks him down and prepares to kill him, but Swamp Thing grabs him. Graham goes to Stella and discovers that she's dead, while Swamp Thing shoves Anton back into a tree and hits him. The blows have no effect and Anton knocks Swamp Thing into the nearby water and tries to drown him. Graham pours the antidote into the freezing gun's tank and sprays Anton. Anton screams in pain and then reverts back to human form.
When Anton wakes up, he has no memory of what happened and wonders what Graham is doing there. He's happy that the experiment succeeded, and dismisses Stella's death as an unhappy circumstances. Graham prepares to shoot him, and Anton tells him to shoot or put down the gun. After a moment, Graham lowers the gun and Anton tells Swamp Thing that they'll talk later. He walks off and Swamp Thing tells Graham that he'll take care of Stella.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 29, 2017