Doctor Wesley McClaren is an immunologist in Ennis, Montana, and he has turned down an offer to join his friend Richard Bach, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the head of a unit called the Biological Response Team (BRT). Wesley and his daughter Holly live on a farm in Ennis, and a farmhand named Frank lives with them. Just over the hill from the farm, a 52 day standoff against militia leader Floyd Chisolm has ended. Floyd has decided to be his own attorney in court. Everyone is shocked when Floyd spits on Judge Tomkins. After the hearing, Tomkins starts feeling sick. Holly, like she always does, stops at Wesley's office after school so she can go home with Wesley. On their way home, Wesley gets a call on his mobile phone. Wesley rushes to the hospital with Holly and tells her to wait in the doctors' lounge, then Wesley is taken to see Tomkins, who looks awful. Wesley is told that Tomkins collapsed in his chambers at the court building..