A United States space probe erratically falls from orbit and lands near a small Arizona town mysteriously wiping out all life in the vicinity except for two diametrically different survivors. Scientists have to determine "why a sixty-nine-year-old Sterno drinker with an ulcer is like a two-month-old baby". . . among other things. This details the secret mobilization of efforts and the extraordinary precautions taken as the U.S. tries to discover what ominous extraterrestrial entity is causing the plague... as it slowly mushrooms. Four biomedical scientists are encapsulated with the deadly probe far underground in an amazingly intricate decontamination chamber. Obviously based on a pipeline of information to actual equipment and installations (to be annotated with diagrams, etc.), this is horrifyingly immediate and filled with fascinating detail such as the fumigation chamber where they burn the outer epidermis off the skin. Brought right down to earth by what has appeared recently in the news, an exciting demonstration of the possible impossible.