"Two Enter... One Leaves!": Before Swamp Thing must face his challenger in the Seeder, Wolf - a former avatar of The Green explains the rules. Neither may bring anything into the arena to use as a weapon. Neither may le
- Don't lose it, Alec. This is just a body. It's not you.
- -- Alec Holland
Appearing in "Two Enter... One Leaves!"
Synopsis for "Two Enter... One Leaves!"
Before Swamp Thing must face his challenger in the Seeder, Wolf - a former avatar of The Green explains the rules. Neither may bring anything into the arena to use as a weapon. Neither may leave the arena. They are not expected to destroy each other, but rather to demonstrate that they have mastered the Green; to prove that they are the better choice for the Avatar. As he prepares mentally, Alec reminds himself that he has already given up everything to become the avatar. If he loses that as well, he has nothing.
In the arena, Woodrue makes the first move, tossing a handful of seeds. Before any of the seeds even hit the ground, Alec has created ten new bodies for himself, and each one intimidatingly warns that Woodrue cannot hope to win. The seeds, though, begin to sprout poisoned tentacles that kill off the other bodies, enraging Alec. Angrily, he tears away the pouch full of seeds that Woodrue has been using, warning him to give up. In response, Woodrue spits one last seed from out of his mouth, and it sprouts a poisonous tentacle in Alec's eye. Unfortunately, he can't escape it by jumping to a new body, because that would constitute leaving the arena, and conceding defeat.
As he is doubled over in pain, Alec feels the wooden stake of the Seeder's walking stick thrusting through his chest. Woodrue opens a doorway out of the arena, and watches as his walking stick comes alive. The stick is apologetic for its having to act against the avatar, but obediently, it sprouts legs and begins dragging Alec toward the doorway. Though he struggles, Alec is kicked through the door by Woodrue, and it closes behind him.
Alec finds himself alone on an dead planet, without any life. If he does not jump to another planet - another plant - he will die. But that would concede defeat as well.
Proud of himself, Woodrue announces that he has beaten the Parliament of Trees' champion, and demands to be given the power of the Avatar. He is surprised, though, when the vegetable matter growing on the side of his face begins to grow more and more until it takes the form of the Swamp Thing.
As he slams his foot down on Woodrue's head, he hears the voice of the Green in his head demanding that he kill the challenger. After all, he knows too many secrets of the Green. They goad and pressure him, even as Alec protests that the man has been stripped of his power, and is a mere man, now. He remembers how his predecessor had taught him that when the Green asks him to do something that could change him in a way he does not want to be changed, he can say no. Finally, Alec tears his own leg off, in order to prevent himself from being tempted to crush Woodrue's skull beneath it.
With that, Alec suddenly begins to feel weak. He senses the Green pulling away from him, and hears the Green explaining that his service as Avatar has ended, and he has earned the right to live out the rest of his days in a paradise of his own making. As Alec's body dries and rots away, Woodrue is christened the new Avatar of the Green.
- This book was first published on November 6, 2013.
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