We're in a doctor's office. A gloomy-looking man with a bandage on his right hand speaks one word: "Malignant?" Looks like another feel-good episode! Actually, the doctor jumps right in to say it's small, still in the early days and with radiation, this type of carcinoma is ninety-five per cent treatable. Ninety-five? That's almost ninety-six! This carcinomatous Chet Williams does not seem cheered by those odds, nor comforted by the doctors bearded sincerity, nor amused by his joke that those are better odds than you get driving up the Mass Pike.
So the doctor breaks out the big guns (speaking patient-comfortwise): He gets up from behind his desk and sits on the front of it, facing Chet. "I've known you what, twenty years? We're going to get through this." Chet still doesn't speak.
Then he has to suffer the indignity of going from a cancer diagnosis to waiting for his bus on a bench that proclaims "Life's better in the sun." He's sitting there, brooding, when a man sits down next to him, holding some sort of small blue-glowing cylinder in his right hand. "Tissue connectivity. That's what goes last," says the man, who we'll find out later is Neil Chung. (No, not the same guy from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Chung.) Chet's all, wha? So Neil elaborates that the cure -- radiation -- will make him sick and weak, but it won't work, because the cancer has multiplied. Then it's chemotherapy, but the cell replication rate is too high. Neil's got Chet's attention now, as he explains about hurting, aching, burning bones and renal failure. You know, I'm not one who subscribes to the "I wish it were the good ol' days" mindset, but there was a time when it was considered rude to discuss renal failure at a bus stop. Neil checks his little blue cylinder and then puts it in his pocket. "And soon, you lose all mobility below the waist. Impotence, incontinence and, finally, full respiratory failure. All from one tiny mole."
And now Chet's a little more on board with this ninety-five percent survival rate that his doctor was talking about. "You're the other five percent," says Neil. The bus arrives, blocking our view. When it pulls away again, Neil's gone and Chet's lying motionless on the bench, streaks of blood running from his eyes. Nobody appears to have gotten off and there's no screaming, so maybe the bus is empty and no one saw what happened? As for the bus driver, well, as long as Neil had exact change, the bus driver's got no problem with him.
After the opening credits, we get the extra-special leg-cam showing us someone clad in Earth-2's Fringe Division's stylish urban-war black and grey camouflage. It's the Farnsworthbot, using the bridge to cross over to the other side. She gazes up in wonder at a Statue of Liberty not made of bronze...