Jeremiah and Kurdy arrive in Mayfair and find the townspeople dead of cyanide. In the next town of New Hope they find the locals have an aversion to touching. The Elders ruthlessly enforce the law, making anyone who disobeys their edicts "disobey." When the people they befriend start disappearing, Jeremiah intervenes and is taken away where he finds out the offenders are stoned to death. Both towns are an "experiment" in determining how the original virus was transmitted, and the Elders destroyed Mayfair when they "failed." Jeremiah and Kurdy break free and expose the Elders' scheme to the unsuspecting townfolk.
Meanwhile, back at the base Marcus takes ill from an undiagnosed disease and begins suffering hallucinations of a Native Indian - Lee pushes the matter before the Council to determine the line of succession and fails