In the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, the spirits within Staff of K'ad-Mon, acting through the transformed Man-Thing, have come to retrieve a fragment of the shattered Nexus of All Realities. However, the piece is in the form of a jewel embroidered into the revered Cloak of Cleito, mother goddess of Atlantis. The jewel and the Cloak are enshrined within the heretofore lost part of ancient Atlantis called the City of the Golden Gate. Opposing the Man-Thing is the antediluvian god Evenor, who has reverted the swamp creature to his human form of Ted Sallis. Sallis, completely disoriented, survives within a pocket of air provided by Evenor.
Having been brought to the City and transformed into a water breather by Evenor, Sallis' wife, Ellen, enters the air bubble to explain recent events and persuade him to abandon the fragment. Again human in appearance, Ellen is recognized by Sallis, who angrily recalls her betrayal that led to his becoming the Man-Thing. The Staff, floating next to them, calms Sallis and imparts to him the necessity of their quest, providing him with an alternate approach.
The Staff, acting through Sallis, creates a vortex that engulfs him, Ellen and Namor, and carries them millennia into the past to the continent of Atlantis at the height of its glory. There, they are greeted by Sorrow, who in the future will be Ellen's fellow inmate in a mental institution. Ellen's mind reels at the seeming impossibility of her presence.
Sorrow leads the trio to an airship which transports them to a temple where they are welcomed by Cleito herself. Greeting Namor as a "child of Earth and Sea", Sallis as "a man of the lineage", and Ellen as "mother of the Dreamer", Cleito freely surrenders the Nexus fragment to the Sub-Mariner. Within instants, Atlantis fades away, again becoming the undersea ruins the trio had left a short time before. Evenor, sensing the essence to Cleito, withdraws into the darkness of the sea. The again-gilled Ellen finds the so-far retrieved fragments all strung upon the necklace she wears, as Namor bids her farewell with a smile and departs. Sallis again becomes the Man-Thing as the Staff warps them to another place.
Ellen realizes with amazement that they now stand on another planet. The oddly transformed Man-Thing responds to her in a harsh and cruel voice.
[To be continued in STRANGE TALES Vol 4, #1]