They arrive in Snowfield, and Bryce, Jenny and Lisa come out to meet them. 'The first thing we need to know,' says General Copperfield, 'is what kind of threat we're dealing with... chemical, biological, or other.' 'At the moment,' replies Bryce, ruefully, 'I'm kind of leaning toward 'other'.' The team spreads out and the scientists begin gathering data. They encounter many weird and frightening sights... including another pile of metallic objects in the church, in front of the altar. 'Like an offering,' says one of the scientists. Dr. Flyte corrects him: 'Undigested remains,' he says.
Over the next few minutes, in a stunning series of horrific events, the whole contingent is wiped out, leaving only Dr. Flyte, Sheriff Bryce, Jenny and Lisa. General Copperfield is last to be killed: a pair of oily black tentacles seeps up through the pavement, penetrates his hazmat suit, and an oily black liquid fills the suit and smothers him. Dead, but still standing, he leans over and smacks the faceplate of his helmet against the pavement, shattering it. He straightens up again, slowly removes a large curved piece of the glass from his mouth, regurgitates into it and puts it on the pavement in front of Dr. Flyte. The eerie voice that was heard on the phone now speaks clearly from his mouth. 'My Flesh,' It says, and as It does so, the liquid in the glass resolves itself into a small, spotted gecko. 'Study it. Write the gospel. But do not try to leave. Witnesses to the Miracle.' Message delivered, the general's body topples over, and the oily black substance oozes out of the suit, leaving it collapsed and empty on the pavement.
They take shelter in one of the mobile labs. Dr. Flyte begins to analyze the tissue sample. Theorizing, they come to the conclusion that this Entity has lived in the depths of the earth for eons, growing to immense size, and absorbing knowledge from its prey. It can separate off parts of Itself to send as drones, warriors, phantoms... having them assume the shapes of anything or anyone It has absorbed, even of people or monsters from their memories and dreams. With these, It has manipulated Bryce, Jenny and Lisa into bringing Dr. Flyte here... to be Its prophet... to write Its gospel. For It has come to think of Itself as God--or Devil, perhaps because this is what some of Its terrified victims may have thought in their final extremity: Omnipotent... Immortal... Indestructible.
Dr. Flyte's analysis reveals that It is closely akin to oil in Its chemical composition. He tells the others that there is a manmade bacterium among the samples in the lab that was developed to break up and disperse oil spills. IF...they can culture enough of it, and IF...they can figure out a way to deliver it, and IF...they can draw the whole mass of It to them long enough to infect It... they MIGHT be able to destroy It. Bryce asks Dr. Flyte if he's sure this will work, and Dr. Flyte says yes...then adds, 'Unless there's a nucleus, a small inner mass, that can tear itself away from the core and survive on its own.' 'You know,' says Bryce, wearily, 'I really just wanted you to say yes, there.'