Now that the team has been beefed up with the addition of Glass, a Spectre Tager from the destroyed K Cell, the party decides to use her knowledge of Fort Nishima to acquire some weapons and info. In particular, Sweep wants to acquire something poisonous to infect the Templeship’s tubule system, which is in the process of deconstructing and assimilating everything on 9JO.
Since the base is two branches over from the part of the city they’re in and that’s not far, they decide to investigate the military base. Initial scouting by Byte shows that the centre of the island has phased with the Shan Templeship and an interdimensional membrane is in place. Avoiding that area because of its possible dangers the team swims into the ocean, avoid some gelatinous waters and submerged cilia, and arrives at Fort Nishima.
The base is devastated, with signs of internecine warfare between the soldiers everywhere. Obviously the Shan targetted the military structure here first to sow chaos. Mecha with signs of explosive and plasma weapon damage litter the armoury, and the corpses of many military personnel foul the waters (though the Shan organic collection tubules are making short work of them). Byte hacks into the military network and with Glass’s help locates a secret bioweapons lab in one of the sub-basements. Sweep uses his Tager’s Cauterizing Beam to cut through the security doors and decontamination chambers within, but barely avoids setting off a massive trap rigged with chemicals. Investigating the storage and freezer areas of the lab KQX Cell (as they are now known) finds Dr Adams.
The man’s right arm is a mass of tentacles and claws, identifying him as a Duo-Sanara Dhohanoid, and he immediately makes a demand and an offer to the team. He holds a red container with a potent mixture in his left hand, and in his right tentacles he holds a deadly plague virus. He knows the team are Tagers, and that they would love to rip him to pieces, but he’s offering the Shoggoth Matrix mixture in exchange for freedom. But to seal the deal he wants Sweep to become infected with the plague, because only the Doctor knows the cure. Sweep agrees to the Faustian bargain. The team leaves the bioweapons lab and heads for Dr Adams’s escape capsule.
Enroute they are intercepted by a Gale Nazzadi Powered Armour controlled by a Shan. The Ward of Seclusion conceals Byte and Sweep but Dr Adams is spotted while attempting to inject the Shoggoth Matrix into a tubule, resulting in the rather incongruous situation of two Tagers trying to save a Dhohanoid’s life (because it’ll take him some time to administer the poison). The Gale throws up a smokescreen and almost fries everyone with a massive charge beam, but just in time Dr Adams finishes his procedure and makes a run for it! Sweep chases the doctor fervently, knowing that he holds the cure to plague he’s infected with. The Doctor almost manages to escape, but at the last second is stopped by Byte’s paralytic needles. Sweep finishes him off, and finds a treasure trove of lab equipment in the doctor’s tentacles.
The Shoggoth Matrix has been injected into the Templeship’s system, and that’s probably not good news for the Shan. Sub-mission accomplished! Though there’s still the little problem of the Gale PA to deal with…