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The story is about amiable, retired farmer, Silas, who lives on his sprawling farm with his wife, Jean. Also somewhat of a conspiracy theorist, Silas monitors the airwaves and learns that a Canadian company has developed an eco-friendly strain of bacteria that essentially eats oil, and is being utilized to clean up spills with fantastic results. But when scientists use an untested strain to clean up a spill in Manitoba, the secret consequences are devastating. When Silas learns about it, he stocks up on emergency supplies and barricades his family in his farmhouse. Friends and neighbors balk at another one of his over reactions, not knowing the bacteria has gotten into the pipeline and is devouring the oil underground at an astounding rate. Worse, the bug is airborne, and soon starts breaking down any petroleum based products, from rubber to plastic, rendering cars, cell phones, and sheathing on electrical wires useless. Food supplies dwindle and soon the country is chaos. Now Silas must protect his family from those who will stop at nothing to find food and warmth as the world descends into anarchy and the darkness of the pre-industrial age.