The Andromeda Strain s01e01 Episode Script

Part 1

1 Thats Orion right there, the triangle.
And that is Cassiopia.
- Cassiopia? - Yeah Who was she? No idea.
Thats the big dipper, and here we have another celestial body.
What do you think you're doing? I'm about to go where no man has gone before.
It's a satellite.
This is so sick, look at that thing.
I don't know Jeff, maybe maybe we should leave it alone.
It could be radioactive and stuff.
- Should we tell Marti? - Are you kidding me? No.
The old fart would just grab it and take all the glory.
It's gone.
Great, Mandrake's going to shit a brick.
Bright light, big city, excitement.
Piedmont, Utah, the armpit of nowhere.
Awful quiet down there.
What are those? Buzzards.
This is Caper One.
Project Scoop appears to have been moved.
I'm following the signal.
Roger that Caper One.
No signs yet of any life, except for this joker staring at us in his pick-up.
Rounding the corner.
Hold on.
Looks like a war zone.
Tell me I'm not seeing this.
This town is full of bodies.
Over here, over here, help me.
Help me man, you've got to help me.
Oh god no.
No, no, no no! No! No, no, no, no, nooo! Where was this again? Piedmont, Utah.
It's an old mining town.
There's a state park nearby.
It's remote, very isolated.
We seem to have caught a break there.
You'll forgive me if I don't share your sense of gratitude.
Was it the Korean's? I think thats unlikely.
Who then? We don't know.
We're quarantiening the area.
This road is closed ma'am.
You need to detour back around using state road 46.
I'll also have a predator on an over-flight in the next couple of hours.
I'll know more then.
I'll notify the department of Homeland Security.
Let me handle that.
And the White House? Chuck.
I'll take care of both.
I'm also required to initiate the Wildfire Protocol Does Dr Stone still have the team? Untill they pry his cold dead fingers off the door.
I don't suppose there's any way round him? I can't watch him 24 hours a day.
Do you even know where Lance is? Are you questioning my parenting? How long have you been off your meds? Oh! The great dr.
Stone lays down the law.
Nations tremble and nubile graduate students spread their legs.
Look, you're not safe, all right? You're not safe to yourself or to our son.
Are you threatening me? Don't you try to bully me or I will drag you back into court.
- Yes.
- Dr.
Jeremy Stone.
I'm dr.
There's been a Wildfire alert.
My orders are to gather you and the rest of your team right away.
Please get yourself checked in.
Dad? - Late night? - It's mom's house.
Mom's rules.
Not anymore.
Look, I came by to tell you that I made arrangements.
You're gonna spend the rest of the month in L.
with my sister.
She's gonna look after you.
I can look after myself.
Oh, clearly.
Look, Lance.
We're not gonna argue about this, all right? It's a done deal.
You should - You should go pack.
- Mom's the one who needs help.
You mother has all the help she needs if she'll just take it.
Yeah, that just lets you off the hook, doesn't it? Sir? You can't wait to get out of here? - I have to leave.
- Yeah.
I'm sure you have to go wherever it is that you're going.
If it were anything else, you know that Yeah, I know.
It It's work.
It's important.
NASA had a satellite fail last night over the Utah desert, and, uh, the Army sent in a retrieval team.
I just wanted to give you a heads up before all the phone calls start about the black helicopters and little green men.
Why is the Army cooking up for NASA? I was told one of the instruments on board contained radio-active material.
I guess they're just playing it safe, Ed.
All right.
Approaching Piedmont.
Preparing to make my initial surveillance pass.
Go ahead.
Commencing thermal imaging and night vision recording.
What the hell is that? Are those bodies? Holy Christ in Heaven.
I'm moving to Northcom.
Confine everyone to base and lock it down.
I want you to stay here in D.
In case Beeter needs managing.
Yes, General.
How's the campaign going? Fundraising has slowed, and we're down 15 in the polls as of last night.
We expect to get hammered on the new Middle-East proposal.
But now this vent mining project suddenly has all our so-called allies in an uproar.
Ha, looking for their piece of the action, you mean? Exactly, and of course, the environmentalists are howling, and the opposition is scoring points.
Ready? Chuck, never seen you up this early before.
Few of us have your energy Mr.
Flattery will get you everywhere, won't it? Thank you, Pat.
President, we have a situation, I'm afraid.
An infectious disease outbreak of unknown origin in southern Utah.
How serious? Well, the area is remote, and we think we have it under control.
But I thought you might like to know about it right away.
And I'll wanna be there.
Respectfully, sir, I think it would be better if you stayed here in Washington.
- Daddy! - Whoa! Hello! What are you doing here? What are you doing here? Did you escape? Hello.
- Hello, Chuck.
- Joanne.
I'm sorry to interrupt, honey.
I was packing and this little monster got away from me.
You got away from your mama.
- Campaign tour? - Apparently the american people would rather see my wife than myself, although, I can't say as I blame them too much.
And as for you, young lady.
You've got to go back where you came from 'cause daddy is working right now, okay? - Bye Bye.
- Bye, Daddy.
So this infection is of unknown origin, you say? We're still gathering all the facts, sir.
This isn't going to be another Houston, is it? I think it's very unlikely.
Anything you need, Chuck, you let me know.
- Yes? - Dr.
Tsi Chou? - What is it? - There's been a Wildfire alert.
You okay, sir? Yeah.
Light sensitivity.
Uh, migraines.
Adrian has a dentist appointment on monday.
Don't let him tell you he's too sick to go.
How long do you think? If I call you and ask you about your mother, grab the kids, get on a plane and go west.
Get as much distance between you and the continental United States as you can.
I love you.
I love you, too.
Sir? Beeter has informed Homeland Security and the President.
The Wildfire team should be assembled at Peterson Air Force Base shortly after your arrival.
Who's the designated "odd man" on the Wildfire team? Army Major William Keene.
Ah, the hero of the Houston event.
Excellent researcher and a fine officer.
He had a big dust-up with Stone last year over who first isolated the CD-1 virus.
Have they made up? They agreed to share credit, but there's no love lost between them.
Maybe that's something we can build on.
Major Keene? What's going on? Please, make yourself comfortable, Doctor.
We'll be taking off shortly.
Hello, Angela.
- Jeremy.
- I, uh, asked for something bigger.
But this is the best they could do on such short notice.
I was in surgery.
If it wasn't important, we wouldn't have come calling.
How bad is it? Preliminary reports suggest a fatality rate of nearly a 100%.
You always bring me such good tidings.
Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts.
Flight attendants, please cross-check the doors.
I heard about you and Lisa.
How's Lance feeling? He's a teenager, so it's always hard to tell.
Beneath the raging hormones, I'd I'd have to say he's pretty angry.
He's tolerating the separation.
He's going to stay with my sister in Los Angeles for the rest of July.
I almost called you when I heard, but I figured that your life was probably complicated enough.
- Yeah.
- Yes.
Nash, you have a phone call.
Well, I guess I'd better take that then.
Jack's 'Rehab Nightmare' I'm on to something.
- Wheezer? - No names! God, you're paranoid.
Like the NSA isn't really tracing all our calls.
Wheezer, knock off the double espressos and go back to bed.
At the King.
One hour.
Yeah, may have a little trouble with that.
Mancheck? Mr.
Nash? Mr.
Nash, I think this is a terrible mistake.
I'll check in again when I'm done.
- It doesn't work like that.
- What doesn't? My addiction or my insurance? Well, both, really.
Simply put, these thermal vents on the ocean floor precipitate a fortune in almost pure mineral deposits.
Such as manganese, critical in the production of steel.
And gold in higher concentrations than most onshore mines.
Wheezer, this had better be good.
Until now, no one could extract these deposits because of the crushing depths at which they are found.
- But this new technology makes it possible.
- Do you mind? Come on.
Don't be a tease.
What's up? Not up.
"Project Scoop".
What's that? A Baskin-Robbins' special? Funny.
Check this out.
It's like a war zone.
This town is full of bodies.
Over here! Over here! Help me, man! Help me! You gotta help me.
Oh! No! No! No! What the hell was that? Early this morning, there was an exchange between NASA and the Pentagon about a satellite code-named Project Scoop that crashed in southern Utah.
About an hour later, I picked that up.
The last transmission of a retrieval team that went into a nearby town, Piedmont, after the satellite.
An Army retrieval team.
Hacking the Feds is a felony, Wheezer.
Homeland Security will be all over your ass.
My bike needs new tires.
Mancheck? No! Caper One, do you copy? Do you copy, Caper One? Once again, Caper One, do you copy? Come in.
Get General Mancheck.
Get Mancheck now.
Jack Nash, my favorite muckraker.
Whose career are you ruining today? Oh, you know me.
My hit list of the venal and the morally corrupt just keeps on growing.
I can't keep pace.
Hey, is Jeremy there? Well, for such a superb investigative journalist, you are sadly ignorant.
The good doctor and I split.
He has a love nest somewhere, probably on campus, close to the sororities he prefers.
I'm I'm sorry to hear that, Lisa, truly.
But do you have a number for him? This is very important.
It wouldn't do you any good.
Saint Jeremy's off on assignment for the Army.
Very hush-hush.
They picked him up early this morning.
Was this in regards to a Project Scoop? Don't know.
Don't care.
Good afternoon, everyone.
I'm General George Mancheck, Head of the US Army Bio-Defense Department.
Uh, you are now being distributed e-papers.
They contain continuously updated information about Wildfire, and what we currently know about the event, which is very little.
Since the failed biological attack in Houston last year, in which major Keene here played an important part, our vulnerability to terrorist action, especially bioterrorism, has been a subject of intense discussion.
You, the Wildfire Response Team and Laboratory, are the result of that discussion.
You volunteered in the spirit of patriotism for an assignment that was vague at the time.
Undoubtedly, you're wondering what the hell you've got yourselves into.
Well, obviously some of you have worked together.
Certainly everyone here has read each others' work, at least heard of one another.
I'm dr.
Jeremy Stone, Head of the Bloomsburg Facility at Johns Hopkins.
And the Chief Consultant for, and designer of, the Wildfire Lab and Project.
Where is the laboratory? For security reasons, we cannot disclose its location.
We're not allowed to know where we'll be working? No, but I can assure you that, uh, we'll be in full and constant contact with the outside.
Noyce? Uh, dr.
Angela Noyce, surgeon, ex-biologist, and I specialize in tropical and exotic diseases.
Charlene Barton, pathologist, Formerly with the CDC, Now with the San Fransisco Health Department.
Major Bill Keene, M.
, Virologist from the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Uh, dr.
Tsi Chou, microbiologist.
So modest.
About ten years ago, dr.
Chou was one of the premier designers of biological weapons for the chinese government.
But then I saw the light of Jesus.
And now I serve as a consultant on bioterrorism for a wide range of US Corporations.
Out of the ashes, into the fire.
Last night, uh, please.
Last night, a NASA satellite lost orbit and came down in a remote part of southern Utah.
When a retrieval team arrived, the satellite had been moved.
We believe by civilians, into the nearby town of Piedmont.
No signs yet of any life.
Except for this joker staring at us from his pickup.
We're rounding the corner.
Whoa, hold on.
This town is full of bodies.
- It's like a war zone.
- Over here! Over here! Help me! Help me, man.
You gotta help me! Aah! Aah! Help! No! No! The team's chemical sensors detected nothing unusual.
So we suspect a biological agent now code-named "Andromeda.
" Whatever Andromeda is, it killed those two soldiers so quickly, they didn't even have time to jump out of their humvee.
Two hours later, this infrared recording was made by a pilotless drone.
Flying east to west at an altitude of 500 feet.
The, um, bright spots indicating thermal activity are corpses.
And, uh, this is another pass immediately afterwards Same parameters.
What brought that satellite out of orbit in the first place? Uh, possibly contact with a meteor or unknown space debris.
Uh, there was also one of two new North Korean satellites in the area.
What they were doing there, of course, we have no idea.
Well, being sinister and inscrutable, no doubt.
If their purpose is benign, why keep it a secret? One could say the same thing about this operation, General.
What exactly was NASA doing with that satellite? And And why was an Army retrieval vehicle sent in after it had failed? NASA doesn't have a pot to piss in these days.
All flights are multipurpose.
We're going to need to trust each other, Doctor.
As long as we all act in good faith, - I don't have a problem there.
- General? Can we play both recordings simultaneously? That body by the recovery vehicle has moved between passes.
- Again.
- Yes, sir.
Freeze it.
Switch back.
Son of a bitch.
Someone's alive down there.
Listen, Bill.
Whatever differences we've had in the past, I hope we can put 'em aside for the duration.
I wouldn't miss this for the world, Jeremy.
Somebody has to keep an eye on you.
What's up with you and Mancheck? Mancheck? Well, during operation Desert Storm, I wanted to examine certain Iraqi munitions bunkers for possible biological agents, but he blew them up first.
Why the big hurry? Maybe there was something he didn't want me to find.
Oh, yeah, like the Loch Ness monster.
Or maybe there was proof of bigfoot.
Look, a lot of people wondered how Saddam acquired his bioweapons capability in the first place.
Now some people have suggested that certain governments, who were friendly at the time and eager for data on the battlefield use of weaponized biological agents.
Might have sold Saddam what he wanted when he was fighting Iran.
That's just a bunch of paranoid left-wing B.
It was never proven, Jeremy.
Just because you're paranoid, Bill, doesn't mean they ain't out to get you.
A heads-up from our friend at the NSA.
who's been running security checks on the Wildfire team.
An hour ago they picked up a conversation between Lisa Stone and Jack Nash.
How the hell did Jack Nash stumble on this? He asked about Project Scoop.
Who's his source? We're working on it.
Nash and Stone were an unbelievable pain in the ass over Kuwait.
How much does he know about Project Scoop? Well, as far as we can tell, nothing yet.
Don't do anything about Nash right now, except monitor him closely and identify his source.
What's the escort for? Paparazzi? A failsafe plan to prevent a break in quarantine.
The chopper will drop us off and hover at 500 feet until we recall it.
It will not land unless they get our signal.
Now if we don't come back, they're to immediately report back to base for decontamination.
And if the pilot fails to respond? Well, there is a failsafe for the failsafe.
It's not too late to reconsider.
Oh, this is just starting to get good.
Approaching target, sir.
We have smoke rising from the town, sir.
Whatever Andromeda is, it still hasn't killed the birds.
They could be potential vectors, as with SARS or West-Nile virus.
Best not to take any chances.
Captain, drop the Chlorazine.
Roger that.
Hmm, the Audubon Society's not gonna like that.
Lieutenant, when ready, lower the team into the center of town.
And take up your preassigned position.
Roger that.
What are the ultimate environmental consequences of mining these deep-sea thermal vents? We don't know.
But one thing we know for sure is that Enburtel, one of President Scott's largest corporate campaign contributors.
Will make a fortune from it.
- And once again, the President and his corporate masters - Hey, gorgeous.
Are ignoring science, defying international treaties and acting unilaterally.
Charlie H.
, long time, no see.
Sorry, Charlie, he just barged in.
That's all right.
Just call security.
Whoa, Charles, I'm not feeling the love here.
You're in rehab.
That was our deal.
30 days, then you might get your job back.
I'm clean.
I'm sober.
Look at me, I'm even tan, and I am - I've got a lead on something - 30 days rehab.
- That was the deal.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Come on, Charlie.
You're too good a producer to let your personal feelings - get in the way of a great story.
- How great? Last night, NASA satellite crashes in southern Utah.
This is news? We call that gravity.
NASA claims it was a weather satellite.
I know that's a lie.
And why was an Army retrieval team sent to pick up said NASA bird? And why was that team from the department of Bio-Defense? If this is another one of your paranoid fantasies, - I swear to - The whole unit died horribly.
Wait a minute.
Did you know this for a fact? - I saw the visuals myself.
- You got tape? I can get tape.
- Right.
- Meanwhile, a couple of hours later.
One of our leading epidemiologists is picked up by the Army and whisked away.
And? And the Army General in charge is Mancheck.
See? I knew it.
I knew it.
You You just won't let that go, will you? I mean, you're like frickin' Ahab - And the white whale with that guy.
- I swear to god, this just fell in my lap.
All I need is a week to run this down and a crew.
A week and a crew.
That's all I'm asking for.
Three days, then you get your ass back in Betty Ford, or wherever you were.
- This man loves me.
- Don't kid yourself.
Loves me! External symptoms Pronounced swelling of all surface veins and capillaries, jaundice Like yellowing of his eyes.
A few of them are clutching their chests.
This could be coronary.
Not coronary.
Look at his face.
Asphyxiation, maybe.
No, if a person can't breathe, they try to loosen the clothing around their neck and chest.
Look at that guy over there.
He has his shirt buttoned all the way to the top.
This isn't asphyxiation or heart attack.
Well, the survivor we saw was over near the retrieval vehicle.
Take a look.
Look at the way he fell and broke his nose on the steering wheel.
There's no blood.
A wound like that should bleed profusely.
Not one of the corpses we've seen, including the bird food back there, were bleeders.
- What is it? - I thought I heard something.
Don't get sketchy on us, doc.
We have a survivor on tape, remember? Major, there's a GPS tracking device in the shotgun seat.
It should still be locked in on the satellite.
Sorry, boy, I gotta get in there.
Bill, have a little respect.
How about we do our job and get out of here? Yeah, it's working.
Looks like we're close.
Pull over here.
There it is.
They opened it.
Angela, can you check his lividity? Okay.
Give me a hand, Bill.
One, two, three.
Easy, easy.
Dead for hours Distended arteries, no bruising.
Look at an artery, would you? Check his radial.
Clotted solid.
What does that? Is there a problem, officer? License and registration, please.
Nice bike.
It's a 1951 FL Panhead.
I did the restoration myself.
Tank shift, foot clutch You don't see those anymore.
You are Jonathan Scott? Yes, sir.
I-I just gave it new tires.
- Are you ready? - Yes.
- Is your husband watching? - Yes.
- And the family? - I hope so.
Would you like to say hello to them out there? Um I've seen enough.
We should nuke this place and be done with it.
You're not serious.
Under the Wildfire Protocols, Directive 7-12, a limited nuclear strike is a contingency.
- I agree with Bill.
- Ditto.
Why mess around? Because it's premature until we know what we're dealing with.
You're all forgetting that we have a survivor on tape.
Yeah, nine hours ago.
Maybe they're dead now, hving drowned themselves or burned themselves.
Or cut their own freakin' heads off.
You're okay.
Shh Shh.
It's okay Hi.
She must be hungry.
There's some baby formula here.
No, no.
Don't Don't Don't feed her.
Don't Don't do anything until we get her out of here.
Maybe feeding's part of the disease process, or there was something protective in her diet.
We can't take the chance.
We have to get her into a lab right away.
It's too bad she can't tell us what happened.
Maybe she can.
You leave that baby here! You got Got no right to Ow! You all right? Don't Don't touch me.
Just worried about your suit.
Let's L-Stat him and get out of here.
We're coming into the lab with two survivors An adult male and an infant female.
I will recommend to the President that he order a limited nuclear strike.
We need to figure out what the hell we're dealing with first.
I disagree.
What we're dealing with induces death, suicide or homicidal behavior within minutes.
You have as much time as the President gives you, and that's it.
What about our survivors? They'll be taken along with the satellite into the lab through a separate entrance.
Chou and dr.
Barton will be waiting for us.
We have no choice now, Chuck.
This thing is scary.
Our safest option is the nuke the site, and only the President can authorize a nuclear.
You promised us there would be no problems with Project Scoop.
You know as well as I do there are no guarantees on something like this, so calm down and let me handle it.
Pretty impressive security measures here.
Better than they look.
Killer pine trees? We've been under continuous observation by satellite and ground sensors since the moment the helicopter dropped us off.
There's at least one armed Predator overhead at all times.
If we were a menace, we'd be dead by now.
Stone, long time, no see.
Same to you, George.
How's your daughter? 13 going on 35.
Hello, dr.
Access approved.
The Wildfire lab has five levels.
All underground, grouped around a central utility core, at the bottom of which is our power source.
A small water-cooled nuclear reactor.
And the pool hours are Hey, at 5,000 to 8,000 rem, even a small exposure would result in disorientation or coma within minutes.
But, hey, knock yourself out.
Now, the top two levels are for service and maintenance crew.
They live on-site in 3-month rotational cycles under the highest levels of security clearance.
The bottom three levels, are the actual heart of the facility The laboratory itself.
And culture equipment.
Decontamination and containment are second to none.
It's safe to remove your helmets.
Oral antibiotics to kill off any flora that we might be carrying internally.
Now decontaminating the body externally is a bit more dramatic.
You're gonna have follow directions closely.
Taking a shortcut could prove to be fatal.
Once you're ready, you'll establish your identity using a retinal scan.
That was some spa.
We do have our amenities.
Now we each have our own private sleeping quarters, though we might not see much of them.
The dining area and gymnasium, which never close.
Now the badges you're wearing provide voice-controlled access to the computer system and the lab equipment.
They also monitor any radiation or possible contamination you might face, and provide inter-lab communication and recording.
You need to wear them at all times.
As painstaking as the entrance is, I promise you, it's much harder to get out.
Each level is self-sealing, and egress is only through authorization from the level above.
Communication with the outside is via secure fiber-optic phone lines and high-speed lan.
We can contact our families? Yes, but communication is only one-way.
Any personal urgent calls coming into the facility are rerouted directly through the comm center.
Of course, your privacy will be respected, but the priority here must remain the security.
There should be no discussion whatsoever about what we're working on.
What happens in the event of an accidental contamination? Hatch and seal, like a submarine.
In the event of an overwhelming breach, the lab is built atop a nuclear device.
I've just armed that system.
Once it's activated, there's a 15-minute countdown to detonation.
You gotta be shittin' me.
I'm sure the chances of an accident in such a beautifully designed facility are too small to be significant.
But if there should be a mistake There is a failsafe plan.
Keene is our odd man.
Please insert your card.
Odd man? Place your thumb upon the panel.
KEENE To abort the self-destruct sequence, Bill ID's himself via thumbprint and his card.
There's a panel like this on every level.
Why Bill? The Army ran an extensive battery of tests, and determined that unmarried males were more likely to make the right choice during a crisis.
In our particular case, the right decision is to not prematurely abort the self-destruction sequence.
So you were looking for the man most likely to kill himself and us.
I feel so reassured.
Gentlemen Chuck, why wasn't I told about Project Scoop? The omission was not deliberate, sir.
This is one of those programs that was initiated years ago by a previous administration.
It's just one of a number of platforms we have exploring the singularity.
Oh, and now, as a consequence, you want me to drop a nuclear bomb on Utah? That would be General Mancheck's recommendation, sir.
It's a limited low-yield tactical device, mr.
President - Less than a kiloton.
- Oh, is that all? We have ongoing test ban treaty negotiations with the Russians and the Chinese.
We're still trying to get North Korea and Iran to abort their nuclear programs.
How am I gonna explain this to them? Additionally, mr.
President, not to be crass That's your job, Pat.
Weigh right in.
Nuke Utah for whatever reason.
And you can kiss your reelection good-bye.
What does dr.
Stone recommend? The Wildfire team is divided over the issue.
That wasn't my question.
Stone would prefer more time to examine Andromeda.
I should add, mr.
President, that while no one is sure of the origin of this infection, we do know that a North Korean satellite was in in the area just prior to our bird going down.
What, you're saying this was an aggression, Chuck? Why would the Koreans do that? The Pyongyang regime has always been a loose cannon, sir.
I'm not prepared to go to war on a hunch and some half-baked intelligence.
If I authorize it, how quickly can you call that strike on Piedmont, General? Within 15 minutes, Mr.
Let's give dr.
Stone some time to do his work.
You lied to me about that satellite.
"Need to know", Ed.
If you ever lie to me again, Chuck, and Homeland Security might just stumble over on of your little "off the book" ops.
Why did you push the Korean scenario? You said yourself it was a possibility.
But unlikely.
You know something I don't, Chuck? Just do your job, General.
Let me do mine.
Yes, sir.
I-I just gave it new tires - Henderson.
- Charlie? Nash here.
I got a tip from my army source, units of the Salt Lake City National Guard are suddenly being deployed for a "training exercise related to immigration and border security.
" Odd thing is, according to my source, the order originated directly from the office of Chuck Beeter.
The director of the NSA doesn't have the authority - to call out the National Guard.
- Fancy that.
Oh, also, something's happened to my original source on Scoop.
He left me some weird message that cut out abruptly.
If I-If I text you his particulars, can you pull the phone records, tell me where the call came from? Sure.
I'll see what I can do.
And you check in with me regular, Nash.
And watch yourself.
We're obviously dealing with some kind of infectious agent, whether it's viral, fungal, bacteriological, parasitic or prion, we just don't know.
To complicate things, the latest weather report indicates a possible Santa Anna weather condition developing within the next 48 hours.
Those winds could conceivably sweep the contagion towards southern california.
Charlie Henderson from NNT called about the Utah guard rollout and the rumors that it originated out of Beeter's office.
This place leaks like a sieve.
It's sooner than we might like, but not entirely unexpected.
In any case, I think we can stall Henderson.
Maybe this would be a good opportunity to offer NNT an exclusive about your re-election campaign.
You know, kill two birds with one stone.
Henderson is not the real problem.
He can be leveraged, but Nash Nash is different.
Nash is a bulldog.
Have you located his sources yet? He's gone to ground, but we're closing in.
The problem is, if Nash gets in contact with Stone, there's gonna be no way to keep Project Scoop out of the press.
Can't we just impose a gag order on the Wildfire team? That ain't gonna be pretty.
Of course, sometimes these communication systems suffer from mechanical failure.
I say we go nuclear and sterilize the whole area.
Fortunately, you're not in charge.
The final call, please correct me if I'm wrong, is the President's.
Stone, please contact the communications officer.
Noyce is right.
Our job is to employ the best science we can so the President has the information he needs to make a decision.
Now why don't you all get started on the satellite? I'll be in in a minute.
Call for dr.
We're having a problem with the communication system.
Now we're okay within the lab, but I can't raise the outside at all.
Computer, phones nada.
So we'll be entering the capsule through the compartment door, which was originally removed by Piedmont's late Fire Chief.
I think it's safe to conclude that Andromeda was originally inside the capsule, otherwise the citizens who recovered it would never have made it back to town alive.
What did Mancheck say the satellite was doing? He didn't say.
Apparently, we're experiencing some kind of technical glitch within our communication system.
Glitch? I don't like glitch.
All external computer and communication lines are down, but I've been assured that they're gonna have them up and running as soon as possible.
Please, dr.
Chou, continue.
Uh, well, this is not a new satellite.
I would say it's at least two to three generations old.
And from what I can tell from the exterior, it wasn't designed for communications, navigations or surveillance.
- In fact, what it appears to be is a - Biocontainment vessel.
Son of a bitch.
I gather this is bad? Well, it's very damn odd.
It means that it was designed to capture and retain biological materials.
Which means two things This sattelite was not accidentally contaminated.
And the second thing? Mancheck is lying.
So it was what? Randomly collecting bio samples in space? - What are the chances of that? - Slim to none.
Let's pop it open.
Go back.
Stop it.
Zoom in.
Could that material be Andromeda? That's still to be determined.
If that's what knocked the satellite down, it must have been moving at a tremendous rate of speed or be incredibly heavy.
How could that be? It didn't do that much damage to the satellite.
Maybe it has elastic qualities we don't know about.
For now, let's assume this is Andromeda.
Bill and Charlene, you check the pathology of this thing.
See if you can figure out how it kills.
Noyce, you examine our survivors.
Find out what kept them alive.
Chou, you and I will test the black substance in Andromeda for what conditions each likes and dislikes.
See if we can't ID their nature and their structure.
So, Sergeant George, you and the men of bravo company have no idea then what this sudden call-up is about.
No, sir.
They pretty much tell us to show up and we find out what the deal is when we get there.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon insists this sudden alert of the Utah National Guard is nothing more than a routine training exercise.
No further details are forthcoming, including when this deployment will be over.
When have we heard that before? Computer, patient number one, according to documents found on him, is Kyle Tobler Male, 60 years old, undernourished, possibly anemic.
Computer, has he responded since arrival? AT 04:08 HOURS.
Basolyte test results? POSITIVE.
Kyle Tobler is a G.
I want two units of whole blood, plus plasma, and vitamin K for him and a complete blood workup on both patients.
You're gonna be okay, sweetie.
I promise.
Hey, Charlie.
What's up? I've got some bad news about your friend.
He's dead.
I'll text you the details in a moment.
I'm sorry.
Time Ten seconds.
Damn, this thing is lethal.
And airborne if there was any doubt.
Let's check it.
Most John Does we get don't drive a Harley Panhead.
Lucky for him you remember that.
Lucky for him.
This your friend? I don't know if you know anybody in the family or anything, but, uh, if his bike's available now, you know, I'd love to buy it.
No harm in askin', right? Removing contaminated air.
Dead animals are not infectious.
That's an extremely unusual adaptation if that's what that is.
Well, we know Andromeda coagulates the blood, but how does it enter the body? Through the lungs or the skin? We can radioactively tag some blood proteins and scan the animals on their initial exposures.
Let's start with a rhesus.
So you think Mancheck deliberately isolated us? Let's just say, I wouldn't put it past him.
- Have you told the others? - I don't want them distracted.
- There's so little time as it is.
- Why tell me? I guess because I needed somebody to talk to, Somebody I trust.
Are you making any progress? Yes, the infant's blood work is normal, and Tobler's anemic, and his pH is very acidic.
I don't know why.
Why don't you go ask him? - George, this is dr.
- Yes, sir, what can I do for you? We're having some kind of communications problem down here and I need your help.
Do you got a cell phone that works? Yeah, my wife got me this new Blackberry.
Jack, it's Jeremy Stone.
I need to talk to you.
It's urgent.
- I'll try to call back in one hour.
- Damn it! Aah! Who the hell are you? Where am I? I'm dr.
You were bleeding very badly internally, and we had to give you a transfusion.
What happened in Piedmont? There was an outbreak of disease.
That's why we brought you here.
Am I contagious? We don't think so, but we don't want to take any chances.
Initiating the scintillometer and exposing the subject.
Definitely inspired by the lungs, Andromeda then crosses into the bloodstream and begins coagulation.
But is that how it actually kills? Could it be a single cerebral clot? Maybe an anticoagulant could stop this thing? Let's repeat with something like heparin.
Okay, I want to get these tissues samples out to the lab first.
Computer, sample and stain with H&E and P.
I also would like sections of the nerve tissue stained with both Nissl and Cajal gold preparations.
The black material is artificial.
What do you mean? A construct? Yeah, at first it appears to have a complex lattice Like microstructure of carbon fibers.
Further analysis reveals a structure of buckyballs.
Well, that would explain how the contact drove the satellite out of orbit without damaging it, but isn't this kind of application still theoretical? Yeah.
This is nanotechnology lightyears ahead of anything anyone is doing right now.
What about the other material? Did you see that? That must be our infectious agent.
Computer, replay.
That's Andromeda.
Did anybody else make it? Just you and the baby.
That's Sylvie.
It's the Ritter kid.
Not used to her being so quiet.
She's one little yeller.
Cries to beat the band.
Nobody else made it? No, I'm afraid not.
This This place is giving me the creeps.
I want I want to get out of here.
You're not well enough to go anywhere.
I know my rights! I I I'm no damn terrorist.
You're in quarantine.
Well Well, give me a cigarette then.
Sorry, no smoking.
Oh, yeah, I've heard that bullshit before No smokin', no drinkin', no mexican food.
What's the point of livin' like that? It's damn boring.
You've been hospitalized before for the bleeding? Hell, yeah.
Spittin' up blood like Old Faithful.
Tell me I got an ulcer the size of a grapefruit.
Did they give you any medication, Kyle? They did, but I didn't much like the taste of it.
So you went untreated.
What about the pain? Uh, aspirin works just fine, About a bottle a day towards the end there, plus a little squeeze.
"Squeeze"? The pink lady, red eye.
You know, sterno.
Sterno, that's got methanol in it.
- Is that bad? - It can blind you or kill you.
Well, it didn't kill me.
They all died, but I didn't.
Kyle, what happened in Piedmont? What happened to you and the others that night? I don't want to talk about it.
It's very important.
Lots of lives depend on what you might know.
Look, I don't know! I don't want to talk about it.
Kyle, What did you see that night? It was Jeff Megan and Suzie Travers.
They found the damn thing.
They're just kids, really.
They They brought it to the fire station.
To the Chief, Hank Benedict, 'cause I hear he's an engineer and knows lots of stuff.
The only reason I know is 'cause I was playin' poker at the fire station Me, Hank, and Al Ritter who runs the gas station, Herbie Block and Annie Dillon.
You think it's from outer space? It fell from the sky, Annie.
You know what I mean.
Is it alien? Yeah, that's why it says USA on the side.
You think aliens can't spell? Probably just a weather satellite.
Yeah, that's what they want you to think.
Have you ever heard of area 51? You don't think that there aren't all these secret Government things that goes on that none of us know about? - What do you think, Hank? - It's a satellite Weather or communications or something.
I'll make a few calls, and let you know what I find out.
About a half hour later, I'm gettin' a soda from Al's gas station because the squeeze makes you kind of thirsty.
So you'd been drinking that day? How did you feel? A A A little dizzy, My My breath was kind of short on me.
My head! Aah! My head! Al? Al?! Hang on! Hang on, buddy! Hey, Annie.
What's going on? What's wrong with these people? You got to burn 'em out.
Don't you see? It's the only way.
Annie, well, what Annie! What Hey, Annie! Annie! And then everything's quiet.
Then it's like the whole world is dead.
And that's when I saw the General, Scott Arnold, a vet, steady as a rock.
You know what's happening, Kyle.
They've gotten under the wire.
They're inside the compound.
- I I don't think that's it, General.
- Got to face facts, soldier.
You tell 'em back home I did my best, okay? I thought I'd gone crazy, hallucinatin', too much pink lady maybe.
Hey! Hey! Hey, over here! It's me! I'm here.
Help me, man! Help me, man! You got to help me! No, no, no! Help, help, No, no, no, no! Poor bastard.
So Tobler was acidotic because of the methanol he was drinking.
It breaks down and becomes formaldehyde and formic acid.
Plus he was taking a bottle of aspirin a day.
That affected his breathing? He had to breath rapidly to blow off the carbon dioxide and decrease the carbonic acid in his body.
Well, maybe there's a way to attack Andromeda in there.
No, the baby's pH is normal.
There's nothing unusual about her except her colic.
- Charlene? - Here's what we know so far.
Andromeda is approximately 1 micron, the size of a single cell.
It's transmitted by air.
Dead organisms are not infectious.
Andromeda is inspired by its victim.
It crosses into the bloodstream where it initiates coagulation.
Death occurs within seconds.
Now we tested anticoagulants, but they don't affect its process.
So it cannot transmit from a corpse? Yeah, strange, isn't it? Andromeda kills men, kills all mammals as far as we know and then dies within the organism.
It shows no signs of having adapted to mankind.
You know, maybe this is just what it seems An alien life-form, the first mankind has ever encountered.
So it's not cuddly like E.
, but there it is.
Deal with it.
Who says it's natural? It could be engineered.
Especially given what Tsi discovered when he was looking at the black material alongside Andromeda.
Yeah, it's an extremely advanced form of nanotechnology called buckyballs, named after the inventor Buckminster Fuller.
The molecule is form of carbon 60, octahedral in shape, with 60 atoms forming the shape of a ball.
So if this black material was a manufactured shell containing Andromeda, then what you're describing is some kind of a biological bomb.
- Whoa! - Why not? It would be arrogant to think that human beings are the only creatures sophisticated enough to use bacterial warfare.
Why would you assume alien origin at all? Mancheck said there was a North Korean satellite in the area.
If anyone was gonna attack the United States, why go through all the trouble of sending a contagion into space and hoping that NASA will pick it up? Why not simply bring it in on a shipping container like one of the thousands that come in every day uninspected because Homeland Security just doesn't have enough resources to do the job? And for that matter, why use such an exotic bug when plague, typhus or smallpox would be just fine? Well, you'd be the expert on that.
- Whoa! - Easy, Keene.
Mancheck is a liar, and you are a racist fool! Yeah? How many died in that outbreak in Shanghal? That's enough, both of you.
It's growing? That's right.
Now the first time it displayed that behavior it was unprovoked.
So is what we just saw some kind of nonspecific growth response or a sentient reaction to injury? Maybe it just doesn't like being poked? I think we need to focus more on structure, what is Andromeda made of.
Bill, you and Charlene, do an amino acid workup While Tsi does a spectro-Analysis.
I'd like to continue my exploration of the black material.
That is, unless you think I'm a security risk, Bill? I trust you, Tsi.
Why wouldn't I? I know there's a link between Kyle Tobler and Sylvie Ritter.
I want to continue to pursue that.
Let's get started.
I appreciate the lift, man.
Car just up and died on me.
No problem, man.
It's important to see your family when they ship out.
You never know, know what I mean? What happened in Shanghai? It was a different time back then.
The international treaties on biowarfare were toothless.
Every country, including yours, was experimenting.
We were field testing a weaponized version of hemorrhagic smallpox at an outdoor laboratory.
It proved much, uh, hardier than we expected.
A young girl in a fishing boat 9 miles offshore caught the disease, brought it back to the city.
It killed 107 people, 30 of them children, before we could contain it.
There were people in both our governments who were prepared to unleash unimaginable horrors.
I like to think that in the end reason prevailed, but maybe we were just very, very lucky.
Jeremy! Jeremy! You're not gonna believe this.
Andromeda doesn't have DNA.
What is it, some kind of prion? No proteins, not even any amino acids.
Charlene was right.
There has never been anything like Andromeda, anywhere on the earth.
This is terra incognita.
This is alien.
Hey, that's good eatin'.
- Appreciate the food, mr.
- My pleasure, Sergeant.
Didn't know they were embedding journalists on this operation.
Pretty much standard operating procedure these days.
Just bringin' the war on terror home.
- Nash.
- Jeremy Stone.
Jeremy Stone I've been trying to reach you, man.
Where the hell are you? You sound like you're at the bottom of a well.
You can say that.
Listen, why is the guard deploying in southern Utah? They're calling it an exercise, but the orders originated with the NSA.
Possibly because some kind of secret satellite code-named Project Scoop came down in the desert.
- What is Project Scoop? - No idea, but it's Army.
This is being run by our old friend General Mancheck.
Let me tell you, when that sucker came down, it killed a lot of people.
I mean, no one's saying infectious outbreak, but And And how do you know that? I can't give details, but it cost my source his life.
And it wasn't any virus killed him either, unless microbes routinely pack 9 millimeter slugs.
These guys are not messing around, Jeremy.
Now I'm being followed.
At least, I was.
Are those guard units carrying any biohazard here with them? I don't know, but I can check.
All right.
Well, pay close attention to their equipment.
I got to go, Jack.
Wait, wait, wait.
I showed you mine.
You show me yours.
It's a biological infection called Andromeda.
That's all I can say for now.
When I know more, I'll call you first.
I promise.
Look, in the meantime, see what else you can find out about Project Scoop, and I'll call you back in three hours.
Listen, Jack, be careful, and I'm not just talking about the Army - and whoever else is following you.
- Andromeda.
It's lethal, beyond comprehension.
Tuesday, Marty, pot roast.
It's just coffee, Sally.
You all right, Marty? You look kind of green around the gills.
Flu or somethin', my head's killin' me.
- You have any aspirin? - Yeah, sure.
They're all out to get me.
Marty, you're hurting me.
Please, Marty, please.
General, there has been an incident 40 miles south of Piedmont.
A Utah sheriff named Wills has shot three people and killed himself.
Here's the raw network feed.
And here's the security camera.
Please, Marty, please, Please.
- If it's Andromeda - It is.
I don't know how Wills escaped quarantine.
Willis could have passed through Piedmont the night of the infection before the quarantine went up.
Have you isolated these bodies - and whoever worked the crime scene? - Already done, General.
I have a message from dr.
Stone regarding Project Scoop.
Unless communication is restored fully to the lab, Jack Nash will go public with all the details live on NNT.
You have ten minutes to comply.
What happened? Stone knows about Project Scoop.
Put Wildfire back online.
Get me Stone.
Yes, General.
Come on You deliberately isolated us.
And you lied about the purpose for the satellite, General.
We had a technical problem, and the problem got solved.
Now we want the full facts on Project Scoop and everything associated with it, or I swear to god every press agency from "The New York Times" to some podunk podcaster in Nebraska will get this story.
NASA astronomers discovered a singularity - in our solar system.
- A singularity? A theoretical distortion in the space/time continuum.
No longer theoretical There was a sudden and inexplicable appearance of a tiny source emitting extremely powerful bursts of light and energy In short, a wormhole.
Now we're still in the process of analyzing that data, but physicists have theorized since 1935 that traversable wormholes could function as portals between distant parts of the galaxy.
Project Scoop was one of several attempts to explore this phenomenon, and in this case, to collect samples of living organisms.
Now we're not sure exactly what happened, but on approach, the satellite became erratic and came down.
Shortly thereafter, the wormhole, or whatever the hell it was, closed.
Well, why in god's name did you withhold this? We have wasted valuable time, time we don't have, flailing about in the dark.
Can you imagine the panic, news of an event like this would have caused? It was strictly need-to-know.
Need to cover your ass.
Now why would the army's bio-Defense be covertly collecting samples? Maybe shopping for lethal material that wouldn't be covered by any existing or future biowarfare agreements? What we did, whatever you think of our motives, the problem facing us right now is Andromeda, - and it's getting worse by the minute.
- What do you mean? Well, the President, largely on your recommendation, opted for quarantining the area instead of calling in a limited nuclear strike, and now we've already had a breach.
I just got word of an event outside the quarantine zone that sounds like Andromeda.
Now I've got that area locked up tight, but I need to know, what have you got to fight this? Nothing at this point, not a single thing.
Andromeda is completely unlike anything we have ever seen.
It would appear to be alien in its source except Except for the material found along with it, which we think might be a casing or a delivery system.
It's built from materials common to earth but utilizes a nanotechnology that so far is only theoretical.
So what are you saying then? Is Andromeda of this world, or is it alien? We can't say, either way, but it's extremely unlikely that Andromeda is the creation of any kind of terrestrial power.
Whatever the source, General, we need to nuke Piedmont right now.
- I have to say, I agree with Bill.
- I think it's still too risky.
Well, what the hell else can we do? Wildfire has effectively ruled out Andromeda as originating with any known enemy Foreign or domestic.
Are we under attack or not? Absolutely, but from whom or what, we can't say with certainty.
What, you're saying this is an alien attack, Chuck? Yes, sir.
Wherever Andromeda comes from, it dies in Piedmont, understand? We're ready when you are, mr.
Are the guardsmen on the ground going to be safe? The action will be very limited.
We'll pull back all forward observation posts 5 miles.
None of our men will be in harm's way, mr.
Very well.
Do it.
5 miles from the target, I want you to let loose and climb like hell.
Theoretically you should be able to avoid the aftershock, but no one's actually dropped one of these things since Nagasaki.
You may authorize the launch when ready.
Yes, sir.
- It's a go.
- Sir.
What exactly are we lookin' for? Trespassers, little green men, who knows.
Tear it down, fellas.
They're pullin' us back.
- You got to be kidding me.
- You heard me.
Let's go.
What is that? Some kind of eagle, sir.
- It's got somethin' in its claws.
- What is that thing? Whoa, whoa, you can't shoot an eagle, Sergeant.
It's a rat.
He's bombing us with a rat.
No, way.
- Oh, my head! - You all right? - What's up, man? - Oh, it hurts.
He's dead.
This isn't happening.
Oh, man, this isn't happening.
It's the end of days.
The mark of the beast.
- Cut that out right now.
- The seals are broken! Hell in a handbasket, it's where we're goin'! Put your gun down! If Mancheck hadn't kept us in the dark We just ran out of time.
There are just some things that don't add up.
Chou's casing theory doesn't Doesn't feel right.
Something's missing, but I I just can't put my finger on it.
Come home, baby Afternoon, private Carson.
Jack Nash, NNT.
Great job you fellas are doin'.
Can I help you? Those, uh, Stryker carriers of yours are really something.
Are those chemical/biological units? Yes, sir, pretty much top-of-the-line.
Now what's that bio trace M3 sampler? Uh, it's used to collect biological samples.
We don't normally travel with this kind of, uh, equipment.
Why do you suppose they need something like that for? Uh, why are you here? You're approaching a restricted area! Stop your vehicle immediately! It's a suicide bomber! Open fire! Charlie, I'm at I'm at desert HQ, for the guard.
Some kind of suicide bomber just attacked.
I just sent photos.
Also I just found General Michaelson, you ever heard of - freedom of the press? - Take mr.
Nash to the stockade.
I'm a civilian, General.
He was illegally on my base, which has just come under terrorist attack.
Care to go on the record about that, General? Northcom, this is Alpha One.
I will enter the release zone in 30 seconds.
Roger, Alpha One.
Arm missile.
Roger that.
Arming missile.
Missile is armed and ready to go.
These are the results of our growth matrix program on Andromeda.
The particular growth medium doesn't seem to be a factor.
But atmosphere and light are crucial.
Darkness and infrared inhibit growth, likewise for oxygen.
nitrogen is a wash.
Ultraviolet light stimulates, so does carbon dioxide.
So Andromeda thrives best in an atmosphere of 100% carbon dioxide lit by ultraviolet light.
Looks to me almost like a pure conversion system.
Computer, post all results for all closed growth systems.
You're right No excretions, no waste, amazing.
What effect does radiation have? Computer, check all irradiated samples.
My god, it eats it up.
Nuking Andromeda is not gonna kill it.
It'll make it grow exponentially.
Give me General Mancheck.
This is a code red emergency.
Entering release zone.
Urgent message from Stone.
Get the President to shut down that launch.
President, message from Wildfire.
We have to abort.
Hold fire.
30 seconds to target.
- Mr.
- Dr.
Stone, what do you mean, abort? Andromeda eats radiation.
If you nuke it, you won't kill it.
- You will grow it.
- Northcom.
General Blair, this is President Scott.
I am ordering you to abort the mission immediately.
Stand down, Alpha One.
Do not launch.
I say again, cancel sequence and return to base.
Roger that, Northcom.
This is alpha one.
I am shutting down the launch sequence.
Confirming Missile is disarmed.
Oh, thank goodness.
Wow, that was close.
Northcom, I am having some kind of mechanical problem here.
Northcom, this aircraft is not responding.
Northcom, please come in.
I cannot control this craft.
Oh, my There went the visor.
Northcom, my visor is disintegrating.
The I can't I can't breathe.
I can't breathe.
I can't get air.
I I'm losing control here, sir.
I cannot get any air.
I need Northcom, please come The missile is rearmed! It's disintegrating! Its almost falling apart! I have to bail out!