Cancer is a problem that has long been wrought over by philosopher and biologist alike. It provides a tremendous insight into the diversity of complex phenomena, into the ontogeny of order, into the deepest deterministic principles of life itself. Here we try to sketch dynamically the emergence of such a metastatic and invasive process, tying together chemical, molecular, and physiological insights to more clearly define the problem. We follow the progression of small-cell lung cancer in a population of brachial lung cells tracing the molecular, cellular, and systems etiology of this complex disease.