THE PAST IS PROLOGUE Location: Central New Jersey, deep within the brick and steel of a secret pharma base. Year: 1999. A shadowy figure dressed in gray, bald, and stroking a white cat enters a nondescript room in the middle of which sits a massive conference table. More than a dozen men and women leap to their feet at attention and wait until the man pauses at the head of the table and then very deliberately sits in high-backed leather chair. Shadowy figure: Have they arrived? Lackey #1: Yes, Leader.