Burning Zone

Season 1 Episode 2

The Silent Tower

Aired Unknown Sep 10, 1996 on UPN

Episode Recap

After a record number of suicides in a two-year old apartment building, the team is called in.

The team meets their new director, Dr Daniel Cassian, consultant to the White House. An excellent doctor with considerable power and connections, he always plays his cards close to the vest, annoying Marcase intensely. Only Hailey appears privy to some of Cassian's secrets.

The building is quarantined and the team must use environmental suits. But Marcase is grabbed by someone who removes his protective suit. Cassian orders Shiroma to leave with him while Hailey stays to search for Marcase. Cassian takes Shiroma to their base of operations to start tests.

Marcase's abductor is delusional and intensely paranoid, ranting about people coming to kill him. Finally he knocks himself out and is later found by Hailey, who returns the man to the lab. Shiroma concludes that whatever the contamination in the building is, it is causing people to relive their worst fears. Marcase has already wandered off, feeling the effects of the contamination and starts hallucinating, reliving his worst memories - being in Africa, his mother and father dying of Ebola, himself sick, and how the local witchdoctor cured him, resulting in Edward being immune to Ebola. Marcase finds himself on the roof and Hailey narrowly stops him jumping from the roof.

Cassian accesses the mysterious Dawn database to research the unknown contamination, but his refusal to disclose what it is makes Shiroma refuse to trust him and she goes off on her own. She finds a secret, long-closed, office under the apartment building, finding a body and someone in an environmental suit - a Dawn operative - tries to kill her for the briefcase she found. But Cassian and Hailey, using her as bait, kill him first. They piece the story together: decades before, a scientist experimenting with bio-weaponry, created a ugly nerve agent but went into hiding. He fled without removing the last of the toxin, whose bottles broke during construction of the building above, resulting in the suicides. He was believed to be a double-agent for the KGB, who killed him. But Cassian takes unusual interest in the shoe of the skeleton, without explaining why. The contamination is cleaned up but it will be years before the building is habitable.

Marcase and Shiroma confront Cassian, demanding answers about this 'Dawn'. Cassian tells of the 'Dawn' who believe that Mankind is destroying it's host, the Earth. Their goal is to use disease to wipe Mankind from the planet. But Cassian refuses to say how he got the password or how he even knows about them.

Cassian visits the elderly man who was giving Cassian orders for his team. Cassian confronts the man about being the supposedly dead scientist. His proof: the shoe of the body: KGB style make. Making educated guesses, Cassian tells the story: the dead body was the KGB operative who was going to buy the nerve agent, but they tried to kill him and he somehow managed to kill his assassin. Frightened, he returned to his government who gave him a new identity in return for his expertise. Elegantly blackmailing the man, Cassian threatens exposure (using the foot of the skeleton - DNA) unless the man grants him access to the Dawn's database. (He could only use the previous access code once before they realised the breach.) But as Cassian leaves, he hears a gunshot. Cassian doesn't look surprised.