Dr. Marcy Whites resurrects V5, a prehistoric bacterium capable of creating synthetic oil, but bio-terrorism quickly overshadows her successes. People die by the millions when a genetically-engineered disease is inadvertently released in Mecca. Carried by fanatical Ambulatory Infectious Agents, the disease spreads like wildfire with a 100% kill rate. Out of desperation, countries agree to sanitize the perimeter of the Kill Zone with nuclear weapons, even as Cheyenne Mountain scientists work to adapt V5 as an antidote.
The deadline passes, and Operation Sanitize releases mankind’s most powerful weapons against its smallest enemy. Detonations temporarily halt expansion, but Kill Zones soon crop up worldwide. An antidote is created from V5, the entire world is inoculated, and energy independence is achieved. However, one year later, birth rates begin declining. Marcy and other scientists are locked inside Cheyenne Mountain gird for an extended stay—until the anomaly can be explained.