In one last ditch effort to break the tension, Nina makes a pitch to the roadblock guards, pointing out that it’s not just a bunch of wanderers trying to sneak in, that they’ve got a full-on medic plus several people trained in at least first aid, all equipped with suits that would protect them from whatever it was that was plaguing the town. Amazingly, the man stops with his hand in the air then slowly lowers it. Thinking it over for another minute he finally nods once and agrees to at least bring them to their clinic, after they’ve donned the suits.
Sealing themselves in their environmental armor, the girls follow the hover-Cyclone into Bishop and Knox fills in the others over the radio, requesting that Jack and circle the place just in case things go badly. Back at camp Sampson, Meshan, and Athanas listen in on the radio and get ready to race to town if needed. As the trio drives through the outskirts of Bishop they can see it’s seen better days. Most of the buildings are falling apart, though the deeper into it they go the better looking they get. People can be glanced through windows and a few are out on the street, but they hustle inside as quickly as they can or just hurry down the street. Soon enough the small convoy stops in front of a larger building, one that looks like it was a full hospital in the past.
Led inside, the guard leader takes the trio past hallways and rooms filled with people who are coughing up storms, shivering with fevers, and curled up with major pains. In a large room full of patients the guard calls out to a young woman moping down someone’s brow. Emily, the town’s only doctor comes over and berates Dave (the militia leader) for bringing more people into town. Knox quickly explains that their suits fully protect them and that they’re here to help. Emily relents and sets them to work trying to keep people’s temperatures down. Nina immediately calls for ice baths and expresses wonder that this plague hasn’t killed more people (one patient registered a temperature of 50°C). Since there’s no ice to be had, but mountains nearby someone gets the idea of sending the others on a supply run.
Jumping on the radio Knox explains what’s going on to the others and Sampson suggests making a run down to Edwards to meet up with Captain Blair, hoping that he could release some of the medical supplies they brought with them. Knox agrees and Sampson takes off to harvest ice from the mountains then off to the south. In the meantime Athanas and Meshan stay put as guards for the camp while Jack circles the skies above Bishop. As everyone splits up Knox goes through Emily’s records looking for clues.
After one trip to deliver ice to the town, Sampson makes it to Edwards without issue and manages to get a sizable case of anti-viral medicine (Emily had confirmed earlier that it was some superflu), and grabbed some extra supplies so that he can rebuild the air conditioners and water supplies for the hospital. In town, Knox discovers a pattern and Nina and Athena have some luck easing the people’s suffering.
As everyone gathers back together Knox explains what she’s figured out: thanks to Emily’s meticulous (at least in the beginning) note taking it’s clear that the virus came in from the west, carried by the wind. Right around then a small quake rattles the area but it’s minor and Emily tells everyone that small tremors like that have been pretty regular for the past few months (just before the plague hit) and are nothing to worry about. That seems to set off another light in Knox’s mind and she sends Jack on an urgent mission: get a surveillance camera and run recon out to the west. Flying in a search grid for about 50 miles out to the west, Jack films the ground and keeps an eye out for anything unusual. He doesn’t spot anything, but as soon as he lands back at camp Knox is waiting for him and downloads the footage.
As she studies the film the supplies arrive and are delivered to the hospital by Dave and some other militia members. Knox soon exclaims something and points to a spot on the map. She had been using the film to see if any of the natural features had changed and sure enough, something had: a lake is missing, apparently drained down a fissure that’s in the middle of the lakebed.