Anton and Graham go to the docks and board a boat. Inside is an intricate refrigerated lab, and Anton reminds Graham that he received a sample of Alec's blood and was told to attend a meeting there. Dr. Richard Parnell comes out and introduces himself, and says that he got the sample from Anton. He needs to find the source of that sample, and it's a matter of his life and death. Parnell explains that he was born with a unique genetic temperature: his exterior body surface must remain at 40 degrees or less. He shows Anton the results of his cryogenic experiments and says that he can revive them with no ill effects. Anton tells Parnell to meet him at his lab and they'll talk. Outside, Anton tells Graham that Parnell is hiding something, and he'll benefit from cryogenic results and destroy Swamp Thing as well.
The next day, Parnell comes to Anton's complex and Anton shows him photos of Swamp Thing. He claims that Swamp Thing is a legendry creature, possibly the last survivor of a race of swamp men, which he's been protecting for years. Anton suggests that they use Parnell's freezing machine to slow down Swamp Thing enough to capture it, and Parnell worries that they might damage Swamp Thing. An assistant comes in and whispers to Anton, and Parnell says that he had his fingerprints erased and has reasons for his anonymity that has nothing to do with their association. The microscope Parnell is using flashes and Anton tells the assistant to take it to Graham to be repaired.
Later, Anton meets with Graham. Graham is removing a camera from the microscope and says that he'll soon trace Parnell's retinal print. Anton figures that Parnell works for one of the four government labs that he uses, and all of their employees have their retinal prints on line. Anton then meets with Robert Niedman, who says that he'll soon have it all as soon as the FCC clears his communications network. The scientist points out that the satellites are his, and Niedman notes that Anton had his assistant killed and took his disks. Anton asks about Ronald Parker, who worked for Niedman eleven years ago and died, and whose retinal prints matched those that he was looking for. He offers to smooth Niedman's way with the FCC in return for the information he wants about Parker.
Once he has the information, Anton returns to the complex and tells Graham that Parker is infected with a lethal virus. Parker was working on the virus, Zero, and it takes ten years to incubate. It's highly infectious but is dormant below 40 degrees. Swamp Thing's blood is the antidote, and Anton needs to obtain a sample of the disease before he can cure it. He says that he needs someone to infect that he can trust so they'll give him an accurate description of the symptoms, but assures Graham that he wouldn't infect him. Anton then tries to inject Graham with the virus. They struggle and Graham runs out. Anton orders his guards to capture Graham and return him to his lab.
Graham escapes the compound and flees into the swamp. Swamp Thing grabs him and demands to know why he's there. Graham finally says that Anton is trying to kill him and begs Swamp Thing for help, but Swamp Thing figures that it's a trick. He realizes that Graham is telling the truth and demands to know what's going on, and Graham tells him about Parnell.
Once he has the information, Swamp Thing goes to Parnell's boat Anton and Parnell are waiting and drop a net on him. They freeze Swamp Thing and shoot out his throat, claiming that it has venom sacs, then take him to Anton's lab and secure Swamp Thing in a freezing chamber to hold him captive. Anton leaves with Graham and offers his assistant a rare bottle of wine. Graham complains that Anton tricked him, and Anton explains that Graham's fear had to be real to convince Swamp Thing. He praises Graham, who eventually comes around.
Parnell tells Swamp Thing that he regrets caging him but he may be the only hope for mankind. He explains that the virus in his body will eventually wipe out mankind if it isn't killed. Swamp Thing hears him but is unable to speak in his frozen state.
A drunken Graham talks to himself about how he helped Anton. Meanwhile, Parnell calls Anton and says that Swamp Thing is growling and bleeding from the wound, unaware of why Anton shot Swamp Thing in the throat. Graham collapses sobbing into Anton's arms, saying that he loves him like a father.
Parnell dozes off and Swamp Thing tries to send him a telepathic message.
The next morning over breakfast, Anton tells Parnell that he knows all about the origins of his condition. Parnell explains that he developed Zero for the military, and decided to destroy it before they could unleash it on the world. He destroyed the sample but infected himself, and Anton says that they must find a cure.
Using the blood samples from Swamp Thing, Parnell labors to find a cure. He arranges to have Anton send a car to take him to his boat to get some notes. Swamp Thing taps on the glass of his cell and when Parnell comes over, directs Parnell's attention to his digital thermometer. He then speaks, saying that Anton transformed him from a man into a creature and wants the virus for his own purposes. Swamp Thing insists that he's no animal.
An alarm goes off alerting Graham that the temperature in the lab is rising. Anton tells him to activate the safeties and lower the temperature to zero.
Parnell realizes that his attempts to raise the temperature aren't working. He smashes the safeties and frees Swamp Thing, just as Anton and his guards arrive. When Parnell tries to attack Anton, the guards gun him down. Swamp Thing knocks the guards out and takes Parnell out, and Anton realizes that Parnell's blood is all over him as the temperature rises above 40 degrees.
Swamp Thing takes Parnell out into the swamp, and Parnell realizes that he's dying. He apologizes and asks Swamp Thing to put his body in a metal cylinder and hide it, and Swamp Thing promises that he will. Dying, Parnell says that the virus must die with him.
Anton is working in his lab when Graham comes in. The scientist claims that everything is fine because Parnell's blood was too cold when he bled on Anton, but Anton mutters to himself that he has ten years.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 17, 2017