"Arcane's Lullaby": After defeating Sethe in the Deadlands, Swamp Thing is wounded, and Abigail Arcane, naked and exhausted, drags him to the back of a pickup truck and begins driving back to Louisiana. All the death she has see
- I want you awake for this. To hear about what I'm going to do to her...
- -- Anton Arcane
Appearing in "Arcane's Lullaby"
- Abigail Arcane (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Arcane's Lullaby"
After defeating Sethe in the Deadlands, Swamp Thing is wounded, and Abigail Arcane, naked and exhausted, drags him to the back of a pickup truck and begins driving back to Louisiana. All the death she has seen fills Abby with sadness and disgust, knowing that she is connected by blood to The Rot, and was recently nearly claimed by it. As she drives, she spots a dead deer on the side of the road coming to life, and knows that her heritage is following her, but Alec senses her pain and causes flowers to grow out from under the hood of the truck, and Abby knows that she is safe with him.
They arrive at the old house that the Swamp Thing built for her long ago, in the middle of the swamp. When she pulls back the tarp that she covered him with, she is startled by how wan and thin he appears. Weakly, he jokes that she should see the other guy. As she drags Alec into the swamp to heal, she comments that she hasn't been back to the house in years. She is surprised to see a glowing green grove in the middle of the swamp, and Alec explains that it is the renewed Parliament of Trees. Though they were burnt during the Rot's rise, he had managed to draw them into The Green and help them to take root as little saplings in the swamp, where he could look after them. Before going resting, Alec warns that if he goes to sleep now, he will be out for some time, and won't be able to keep her safe. Not wanting someone to do all of her fighting for her, Abby urges him to sleep. He sinks down into the swamp to rest, while Abby ventures into her house for the first time in ages.
However, a shadow is cast over Alec's immobile body. Standing over him is the disgusting visage of Anton Arcane. After beating Alec over the head savagely, Arcane begins whispering menacingly into his ear that he wants to keep him alive just long enough to hear what he plans to do to Abigail. He explains that he is very old, and has walked the earth for more than a century, siring more than fifty children for the Rot. Of those, Abigail was the most special. At just a few months old, Abby had killed her mother by playing with the aspect of the Rot inside of her. He knew she was exceptional, then. Arcane took her under his wing and taught her, but she fought him every step of the way; she fought her destiny. And as much as she may fight, Abby knows that her place is with him; that the fight in the desert was only the beginning. Even as she continues to try to hide in the Green - hiding from herself - he will find her. And now, she is just steps away. His story told, Arcane beats Alec into pulp.
Inside the old house, Abby hears the creak of a door, and pulls her gun. She is horrified to be greeted by the sight of Anton Arcane's Un-Men. She knows that if they are here, he must not be far behind. Stepping out of the shadows, Anton Arcane gleefully announces that he has killed the Swamp Thing, and that now, he has come to take her home.
- This book was first published on June 6, 2012.
- This cover is an homage to the cover of Swamp Thing #10 by Bernie Wrightson.
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