Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over, but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone. But bizarre catastrophes soon envelop the Boston area. Is it sabotage by scientific means or nature revolting against man's attempts to control it?