The Andromeda Strain

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton, is about a lethally contaminated satellite that falls out of it's orbit and crashes into the earth. The story centers on Dr. Hall, the main scientist of "project wildfire," who's job it is to figure out how to prevent the spread of the andromeda strain, the disease brought down with the satellite.

The story begins in a small town in which the satellite has crashed. When the team assigned to find the satellite reaches the town they find empty streets- all the people are dead- or so they think. Not long after the men die of a mysterious disease. Before the men die, though, they report on their voice recorders seeing an old man walking towards them. When the wreckage of an airplane crash near the town is searched, only smooth bone is found amidst the ruble, no blood from the body is found on the site - in fact, no blood is on any of the victims of the disease, because the first thing the alien substance does is clot all blood in the body.

If an infected person has something wrong with their blood circulation that would prevent this from happening, the disease immediately travels to their brain and drives them insane. The government immediately calls in Dr. John Hall to inspect the satellite. A team of well-known scientists is assembled to assist him. The main objective of this group is to find out what the disease is and find a way to prevent it from spreading. The headquarters for the operation, "Operation Wildfire," is located five-stories below ground beneath the Nevada desert. If any leak in the system should occur the lab will automatically self-destruct. Dr. John Hall holds the only key to stop the detonation. Step by step...