Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Plot [ ] Note that depending upon the edition of the novel, the events of The Stand occur in either 1980–1981, 1985–1986, or 1990–1991. Captain Trips [ ] June 16 – July 4 At a remote base, a strain of known as 'Project Blue' is accidentally released inside a secret underground laboratory. Charles Campion, a soldier charged with security, manages to escape from the base by car with his wife and child.
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By the time the Army tracks Campion down to the East Texas town of Arnette and establishes a around it, he as has already died of the Project Blue virus and spread it to numerous others beyond the cordon. The virus is extremely contagious and resistant to antibodies and vaccines. A of apocalyptic proportions is triggered, which eventually kills off 99.4% of the world's human population. As the pandemic intensifies it gains many names, 'Captain Trips' and the superflu being the most used.
A multi-faceted narrative—told partly from the perspective of primary characters—outlines the total breakdown and destruction of society through widespread violence; the failure of to contain the outbreak; the military's increasingly violent efforts to censor information; the rapid collapse of society; the deliberate exposure of the virus in the Soviet Union and China to guarantee their destruction as well and, finally, the near-extinction of humanity. The emotional toll is also dealt with, as the few survivors must care for their families and friends, dealing with confusion and grief as virtually everyone they know succumbs to the disease. The Complete & Uncut Edition opens with a prologue entitled 'The Circle Opens' that offers greater detail into the circumstances surrounding the development of the virus and the security breach that allowed its escape from the secret laboratory compound where it was created. It also expands upon the Army's response to the outbreak; scenes of civil unrest, looting, and vigilantism; and deaths caused not by the pandemic itself, but by the resulting collapse of society. On the Border [ ] July 5 – September 6 Intertwining cross-country odysseys are undertaken by a small number of survivors in three parties, all drawn together by circumstances and their shared dreams of a 108-year-old woman in, whom they see as an embodiment of good.
The woman, Abagail Freemantle—better known as 'Mother Abagail'—becomes the spiritual leader for the survivors. Mother Abagail directs them to, where they struggle to re-establish a democratic society called the 'Free Zone'. Meanwhile, another group of survivors is drawn to by, an evil being with supernatural powers. Flagg's governance is brutally tyrannical, using gruesome methods of torture and execution to quell dissent. Flagg's group is able to quickly reorganize its society, restore power to Las Vegas, and rebuild the city with the many technical professionals who have migrated there. Flagg's group launches a weapons program, searching what remains of the United States for suitable arms.
Mother Abagail, feeling that she has become prideful due to her pleasure at being a public figure, disappears into the wilderness on a journey of spiritual reconciliation. During her absence, the Free Zone's leadership committee decides to secretly send three people to Flagg's territory to act as spies. Harold Lauder and Nadine Cross, who are disaffected Free Zone inhabitants tempted by Flagg, stage an attack on the committee with a bomb. The explosion kills several people, but most of the committee members avoid the explosion thanks to Mother Abagail's return. The Complete & Uncut Edition expands on a character seen only in flashbacks in the original novel: The Kid, modeled after spree killer. The Kid travels west through Colorado with the Trashcan Man, one of Flagg's recruited henchmen. He states to the Trashcan Man that he intends to kill Flagg and take over as leader in Las Vegas when he arrives.
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