The KIVA Laboratory facility, owned and operated by the Sendrex Corporation, is located in Bannon, New Mexico. The complex was built to handle classified research, including the work of Dr. Carl Steubens, who had been studying magnetic fields in the ozone layer, also known as rainmakers, in his lab on the third level.
Built in a state of the art facility almost entirely underground, the KIVA has the most advanced security of all the Sendrex Corporations. Nothing moves in or out of the complex without being constantly monitored and controlled, and security features include body scans, fingerprinting, and voice recognition. The labs are all independent of each other, airlocks along the corridor are designed to close in any emergency, and the elevator shafts are protected by CO2 gas discharge lasers at 10,000 watts.
When Sendrex ordered a new series of experiments, Steubens refused to accept the results and feared that his work was being used to create a weapon using chain reactions in the ozone to cause the ozone layer to self-destruct, thus leaving the Earth vulnerable to the sun's ultraviolet rays which would kill everything on the planet. To prevent the scenario of an ultimate doomsday weapon, Steubens invited his friend, Dr. Sidney Marlowe, the only other expert in the field, to visit him at the lab, and he planted plastique explosives in the facility. Steubens and Marlowe were not supposed to survive, and their research would be set back 20 years or more.
The explosion on level three, 300 feet below the surface, caused a chain reaction of explosions that reached the first level. Most of the personnel were able to escape, but at least 20 people were unaccounted for, trapped below ground in the rubble. The explosion had also ruptured one of the tanks of sulfuric acid on level three, and the acid leaking into the ground threatened to reach the aquifer. Because the aquifer leads directly into the Rio Grande, the acid could poison most of New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, and the decision was made to flood the entire complex with sodium hydroxide to neutralize the acid, then aim an underground missile at the KIVA foundation to fuse the substratum rock between the lab and the aquifer.
Because of the tight security, it was assumed that the explosion had been an accident, and in a desperate attempt to rescue the survivors before drastic measures had to be taken, MacGyver was called in by the government. MacGyver was able to reach the third level, stop the acid leak with chocolate bars, and rescue Marlowe and Steubens, eliminating the need to destroy the facility.
Cross Reference: Charlie Burke, Andy Colson, Ed Gantner, Colonel Keel, Sidney Marlowe, New Mexico, Sendrex Corporation, Barbara Spencer, Carl Steubens
Episode Reference: Pilot