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An unwavering journalist uncovers a virus gone awry, which opens the door to a mysterious vaccine administered year’s prior, leading her down a dark road revealing a nefarious and evil bond between a town and its white citizenry.

Book of Hymns 10

SYNOPSIS

A delusional man running frantically in the woods, through the trees and shrubs. He comes across a house, bangs on the door, yelling for help, bleeding from his eyes and mouth; he screams.

 

Several years later Cynthia, on assignment in the small town of New Haven, S.C., investigating black union worker discrimination at the construction site of Skyward Corporation. Several hundred protesters on site, divided along racial lines. Black protesters on one side, white protesters on the other. Cynthia looks on, as the screaming and shouting from both sides commences. The crowd becomes unruly, Cynthia moves to a safe location, while several law enforcement officers struggle to keep the two sides apart. Sheriff Leonard introduces himself to her.

 

After the protest, Cynthia is approached by Ronny in the parking lot. He verbalizes a cryptic message to her, just before Leonard chases him away. Leonard tells Cynthia to ignore Ronny and that he’s harmless.

 

Later that evening, inside the house she’s renting, Cynthia notices the door to the basement is locked. After managing to open it, she walks down. Upon going through some old boxes, she comes across a Hymnal Book. Inside is a list of names with vaccination dates next to each name, along with the doctor who administered them. She finds the whole thing odd and decides to investigate it further. Ultimately, she decides there may be pertinent information left behind at the hospital.

 

That evening, Cynthia goes to the general store, where she intervenes and stops Deputy Hatch from accosting Paul. Hatch looks at Cynthia and angrily walks away. Later, Paul tells Cynthia of the history between the town and his family and how he believes law enforcement’s hatred for his father and the struggle he endured trying to survive in this town, ultimately caused his father to have a heart attack.

 

After arriving home that same night, a brick smashes through Cynthia’s window, she dives to the floor. She gets up and runs to the window and sees a car speed away. Attached to the brick is an unsavory and threatening note.

 

The next day, Cynthia goes into the general store to get groceries and plywood for the broken window, which Paul offers to fix. In an untimely fashion, she accidently bumps into Adam, knocking the groceries out of her arms. He apologizes and offers to take her to dinner as a gesture.

 

After Paul fixes Cynthia’s window, the next day, Cynthia’s attempt to locate records from the old hospital falls short, as the City Clerk refuses to provide her the information. Cynthia and Adam have dinner at a restaurant, where the two discuss the protest, they appear to disagree on the approach by Skyward. She tells him about the rally she plans on attending. 

 

The next day, after the rally, Cynthia interviews Cornell about the town’s racist history. Unfortunately, he is vague with information and has little to say about anything else involving the town.

 

Cynthia takes matters into her hands and begins researching some of the names enclosed in the book, including the doctor. She finds a photo of more than 100 German scientists and doctors posed at Texas’ Fort Bliss in 1959. Among them is a photo of the doctor matching the name in the Hymnal Book. Cynthia digs deeper into the doctor’s involvement with the vaccines and discovers he was the lead physician at the old New Haven Hospital, which burned almost to the ground several years ago.

 

That evening, Cynthia drives down a secluded road, where she notices a car driving closely behind in her rearview mirror. She hits the gas, speeding up, the tailing car accelerates, matching her speed. The car behind begins to gain on her, inching closer and closer and hits the rear bumper of her car. She swerves but maintains control. The tailing vehicle hits her rear bumper again. She notices a turn off up ahead. At the turn off she yanks the steering wheel right and continues driving, before coming to an abrupt stop, escaping the chasing car.

 

The one person Cynthia confides in, Charlotte, her best friend and partner, shows up unexpectedly, after receiving a disturbing voicemail from Cynthia. Cynthia tells Charlotte what she’s discovered in the house.

 

Both Cynthia and Charlotte seek further evidence by searching the abandoned hospital. Upon entering, Cynthia walks into an office and trips over a loose floorboard. She notices something down inside the floor and removes an old ledger. Inside is a list of prominent African American union leaders.

 

Cynthia approaches Becky Miller, one of the individuals who received the vaccination. Becky tells Cynthia about an old barn where she received her vaccination. Cynthia and Charlotte, flashlights in hand, walk through the old barn. Cynthia notices an old dusty box in the corner; she walks over, kneels, and opens it; inside are several syringes. Headlights from a vehicle outside appear; Cynthia and Charlotte hide. Sheriff Leonard gets out of the vehicle, walks up to the barn door, shines his flashlight through a crack in the inside the barn door. As he doesn’t see any movement, he turns his flashlight off, gets back into his vehicle and leaves.

 

After returning home, Cynthia and Charlotte find the house ransacked; Cynthia calls 911. Sheriff’s deputies find no evidence of forced entry. Later, Cynthia investigates a strange thumping noise coming from the attic. Upon entering the attic with flashlight in hand, she notices an open window. As the wind whistles through the window, a coat rack is being pushed by the wind against a dresser. She walks over, closes the window, turns around, and sees several rodent cages stacked along the back wall.

 

Cynthia goes to the backyard, standing below the attic, she turns her flashlight to the ground and notices the grass has been disturbed, along with boot prints, leading to the wall that she’s standing in front of. A man’s voice calls out to her from behind. Startled, she turns around to see Adam, with Charlotte standing alongside him.

 

The same night, Becky is abruptly woken up, breathing heavily, she grabs her chest. She hears sounds coming from outside and goes to the front door to investigate. She picks up a baseball bat from behind the door and walks out onto the porch. A cat runs by, briefly startling her, black gloved hands grab her from behind, covering her mouth. She’s dragged back inside by the intruder.

 

With the shades drawn down, we see the silhouette of Becky and her attacker struggle before she’s dropped to the floor. The silhouette of the attacker stands in the shade-drawn-window.

The lights go out in the house.

 

Adam and Cynthia talk inside over a cup of coffee, as Cynthia questions him as to why he is there at such a late hour. Adam says that he is simply worried about her wellbeing. Cynthia reluctantly pushes him out of her life for his own safety.

 

The next day, Cynthia sends Charlotte to obtain information from an out-of-town blood lab that was used by Brenner. At the same time, Cynthia is approached by Jolene, the daughter of Becky Miller. She’s holding a piece of paper with Cynthia’s phone number on it, as she informs Cynthia of her mother’s murder the night before, accusing Cynthia of being the reason. She leaves Cynthia with a stark warning to watch her back.

 

Meanwhile, Leonard confronts Cornell about his meeting with Cynthia, while tasking him with a duty. Charlotte discovers key information from the blood lab connecting Brenner to some unusual experiments. Cynthia receives a tip about an orderly, who worked at the old hospital, who has since been incarcerated. She visits the prison in hopes to find out more information, where she learns he’s committed suicide.

 

Cynthia visits the orderly’s sister and discovers a key piece of information. Cynthia and Charlotte go to an abandoned cemetery inside a mausoleum, where they discover a trap door. Upon entering, they find two product tags on the floor: one for the vaccine, the other for a virus agent.

 

Skyward abruptly stops construction on their development. Cynthia investigates the Skyward site, where she discovers boxes of the vaccine and a bio-agent labeled PFU 4333, being moved into a warehouse.

 

Charlotte takes matters into her own hands and confronts Leonard with an old photo she found in the basement, of Leonard’s father and Brenner standing outside of the vaccination barn. After Charlotte threatens Leonard with going to the FBI, he attacks her. She manages to get away, runs to the back door and opens it, only to see Deputy Hatch standing there. He grabs her by throat and chokes her to the floor.

 

Cynthia approaches Ronny in a homeless encampment. Ronny reveals to her that PFU 4333 is a bio-virus that was being tested on rats. Later, Cynthia returns home, she notices the door slightly ajar, she slowly walks inside, calling out to Charlotte. She sees Charlotte’s body on the floor and rushes to her aid, attempting to revive her. Charlotte’s dead body goes limp in her arms, Cynthia screams. 

 

Charlotte’s body lay on a slab in the morgue, as Cynthia stands over the body rubbing Charlotte’s forehead. Sheriff Leonard enters the room, Cynthia turns and walks up to him, accusing him of having a hand in Charlotte’s murder, letting him know when all is said and done, he and the town’s secret will be exposed.

 

Cornell pays Cynthia a visit, bearing food and sympathy for her loss. She sits at the table, as Cornell serves her with a plate of food. She begins eating, as Cornell attempts to convince her the town is not as evil as she may think.

 

Cynthia decides to leave town, Paul convinces her to stay and expose the cover up. Cynthia gives Paul instructions where to meet her later that night. Cynthia makes a call to Charlotte’s FBI contact, informing him of her murder and that she has discovered incriminating evidence about the town. They make plans for Cynthia to deliver the evidence to the closest out-of-town FBI office.

 

Later, upon getting into her car, Jolene attempts to accost Cynthia at gunpoint, but Cynthia fights back, overcoming Jolene and gets away. Appearing sick, sweating, and coughing, Cynthia meets Paul. After refusing Paul’s insistence on getting medical attention, they continue to the Skyward site, where they break into the warehouse and load boxes of the vaccine and biochemical into a van.

 

Cynthia and Paul are stopped by Sheriff Leonard’s roadblock and are ordered out of the van by Leonard. They see Cornell, along with two deputies standing next to Leonard. Paul is held at gunpoint by Leonard, while Cynthia is led into a secluded wooded area by Cornell. Cornell instructs her to wait, as he walks away.

 

A man’s voice calls out to Cynthia from behind. She turns around to see Adam standing there. At gunpoint, he directs her to walk ahead of him. Meanwhile, back at the roadblock, Leonard admits to Paul that Paul’s father’s death wasn’t a heart attack, it was deliberate. As Cornell returns from the woods, Leonard instructs his deputies to leave, along with Cornell.

 

Cynthia and Adam walk to an open area and stop. Adam reveals to her that during each of their encounters together, at the restaurant and at her house, he slipped a new strain of the PFU virus into her drink, when she was away from the table. He instructs her to walk, she trips and falls to the ground. He walks up to her, as she gets up, turns, and hits him in the face with a rock, he falls, she runs. As he pursues her, he loses sight of her. He looks around, she comes from behind a tree, hits him in the face, knocking him down. She goes for the gun, he grabs her legs, she falls. He tries to pull her back, as she reaches for the gun.

 

Back at the roadblock, the sound of a gunshot is heard coming from the woods, which alerts Leonard, who turns to the sound. Paul lunges at him, knocking the gun out of his hand, as they tussle, falling to the ground. Paul, on top of Leonard, beats him unconscious. Paul drags Leonard to his Sheriff’s vehicle and handcuffs Leonard to the front grill of the car. Paul hears footsteps, he picks up Leonard’s gun, yelling out to the person coming out of the woods, that he will kill Leonard if they come any closer. Paul looks up, it’s Cynthia, he drops the gun and rushes to her aid. They get into the van and leave.

 

Sheriff Leonard, with one hand handcuffed to his car, he manages to pull his phone out of his pocket with the other and calls for help. As he waits, he attempts to pry his hand loose. He hears the shuffle of footsteps behind him, he turns around and looks up to see Ronny standing over him. Ronny pulls out a small axe from behind his back, raises it, wheeling it down at him, Leonard screams.

 

Three months later, Cynthia watching the news on television. A reporter talks about the unearthing decades-long cover up of a conspiratorial genocidal plot in New Haven. Cynthia turns off the television and walks over to the fireplace. She sits in front of it, holding the Hymnal Book, tossing it, along with the enclosed list, into the flames. As the book burns, the doorbell rings.