Mercer tried to find out the reason for the research done at Gentek and discovered the true purpose his work was designed for. Unfortunately, he dug too deeply to find the truth about Blackwatch's hand in Gentek; they called for a purge of the scientists that knew about the Blacklight project. Alex took a sample from the labs as "life insurance" and escaped.
Mercer was cornered by Blackwatch agents at Penn Station after his mobile phone was traced to that location. Knowing there was no escape for him, Alex broke the vial on the ground and released the sample of the Blacklight virus contained inside, infecting the people at the station. The virus was so powerful that it near-instantly killed the civilians present. The virus spread into Mercer's body shortly after he was shot dead.
- The vial appears many times in Alex (ZEUS) flashback and these recollections of past events were always painful.
- To be curtained, the vial has a mystery itself since that it is hard to tell where it was in the Gentek building.