Macallan Orsel is a young genetic scientist working at Rockefeller University in New York City. She and her grandmother are the last remaining members of the Orsel clan, a wealthy New York family of intellectual adventurers. She and her research partner and lover Jimmy Saltzer are trying unlock the elements of the human genome that govern aging. Although talented, Macallan has grown a bit fond of breaking the rules and frequently marshals more resources than the University has allocated to her. When she is reprimanded by Head Medical Provost Rhiner, Macallan receives a call from her grandmother’s butler Sedgewick. Her grandmother, Amelia Orsel, who has been ill for some time, has lost consciousness and is fading in and out of states of dementia.
Macallan rushes to her grandmother’s side. When she arrives, her grandmother is only semiconscious. She recognizes Macallan but begins to speak very strangely. She keeps saying how special Macallan is, and that no one is supposed to know about her. Macallan is puzzled and mentions the word “Leviathan” which causes her grandmother to become very agitated and complains about hearing voices inside her head. Soon, she relapses into unconsciousness leaving Macallan confused and worried. After Sedgewick convinces her to spend the night at her grandmother’s lavish Fifth Ave apartment, Macallan discovers a secret staircase under her bed. She follows the staircase to a hidden room occupied by mysterious large sphere with a single word inscribed on it. Leviathan.