The road went deep into Sweetwater Marsh, which is to say it went
nowhere. That was just where the three men in the battered pickup
truck wanted to be for what they had planned for this Monday
Scott Allen, Al Giordano and Cal Rayner had plans. Ostensibly, they
were going there to retrieve a stash of stolen jet fuel Giordano had
stashed there. That was the only plan they spoke of when all three
were together. Allen planned to join Rayner in beating Giordano to
death for stealing from his cousin. Giordano planned to join Rayner
in drowning Allen for seducing Giordano's girl. Rayner planned to
enjoy beating Giordano for awhile, then gut-shoot Allen, pour fuel
over their groaning bodies, and watch them burn.
He had no particular grudge against them; he'd just never tried
burning anybody to death yet, and thought this would be a good
Sweetwater Marsh was a good place for doing evil, the kind of evil it
was hard to get away with even in Gotham City of Earth-3. Once, the
water had indeed been sweet. It had been the source of Gotham's
drinking water, the best tapwater of any big city in Amerika, so pure
that science labs didn't bother buying distilled water.
But there had been a market for the cypress trees of Sweetwater Marsh
as timber, so naturally many of them were cut. People had wanted
land to build suburbs, so naturally hectares of the marsh had been
drained. It would have cost money to treat the effluent from
Gotham's factories, and so it had been dumped, untreated, into the
marsh. It had been inevitable. People always sought their own
interests, didn't they?
So Sweetwater Marsh had become a foul, stinking, poisonous cesspool,
only visited by those who wanted to go nowhere, to be nowhere, to be
outside of anyone's interest or concern.
The three men climbed out of the truck slowly, warily, each watching
the others. There was a tension between them, unacknowledged, each
man's fear and suspicion feeding on the reactions of the others. A
few meters from the stack of fuel cans, they all froze, whipping out
their various weapons as a fourth figure approached, bare feet
seeming to walk right across the surface of the foul bubbling pool on
the far side of Giordano's stash.
The men watched, their overwrought fear turning to surprise and
pleasure (still overlaid with a good deal of suspicion) when they saw
that the intruder was a small, slim young woman. A girl, perhaps, or
even a fairy, she was so slender, so delicate, so fair. In fact, her
skin was actually white, a translucent milky white that complemented
the long silver hair that hung down her bare white back.
She stepped amongst them, naked and unafraid, with no shyness but no
boldness either. She was simply there, with them, unspeaking,
smiling gently, touching them one by one, lightly, with long white
fingers. Ignoring the automatic hanging limp in Rayner's hand, she
took his face in her hands and kissed him. As he tasted her cool,
limey lips, he felt all the cruelty and violence in his heart melting
away, and somehow he knew that it would not return. She kissed the
other two, and peace descended in the poisoned heart of Sweetwater
So began the strange career of Monday's Child, the mute and lovely
spawn of Sweetwater Marsh. Wherever she went, the values on which
Amerikan society was founded were upended, and no power on Earth-3
could stop her for long. Power Ring in particular developed a
passionate hatred for her, and tried again and again to destroy her.
But that is a story for another time.