I had little time to dwell on the startling revelation that I had been editing my cube. Things on the ground at Zebu Investigation Centre had been developing rather fast. Like a damn bursting, biohazardous materials and loose symbionts were flooding the area surrounding the Centre. Threatening to drown everything, and change the landscape forever. Tohaa clean up crews had been dispatched, but O-12 brass was getting into a territorial huff and made direct threats to shoot any Tohaa on site. Not that I expected them to tell the difference between a Tohaa and a member of the Sygmaa Trihidron. The tension surrounding the situation was so tense you could taste it on in the air, and I had been called in to add a little sugar if that taste turned out to be too bitter.
With security forces in the area in such a trigger-happy mood our team had decided it best to avoid any contact with any of the humans in the area. Unfortunately, a massive Areojet decided it would be best to crash into the forest near our position. Knowing that any survivors would be in great peril due to the contamination in the surrounding forest, our team diverted to the crash site.
When we arrived on site it turned out that a security team from Tunguska was already on scene, apparently believing they had claim to any explosion in the forest beyond a certain scale. Their teams, in complete disregard to the hazardous conditions around them, were already sifting through the wreckage. Seeing that we could not let these humans leave to possibly spread contamination, our team advanced to quarantine.
The Kealtar took up our right flank, hoping to go around the wreck of the fuselage without exposing herself to the Grenzer. The Taquel and her Triad, a Kosuil, and one of the enigmatic Tohaa I had come to find were some Tohaa trained in deception, had taken the opposite route around the fuselage. The Kiel-Saan crouched nearby in a clearing around the trees, her symbiont armor fluctuating wildly in color. The Kerail and its Surda took cover behind some scattered cargo boxes. The Liberto, had wanted to get further up the field without the use of its camouflage, but the haze of the toxic symbiospores had prevented its advance before the rest of the team showed up, and the helot took cover just ahead of the Taquel’s positon.
Ashcroft and her cheerkiller body guards ducked behind view under a section of detached wing. The Grenzer sniper took position to prevent our advance, while the rest of its team took cover in the surrounding trees.
Our first priority was to clear out of the contaminated area, and then decontaminate the Tunguska agents who may have become infected. The Taquel advanced and using its mastery of Corahtar to create an impermeable field of pheromones cover the gap the Grenzer had its sights trained on. Without this overwatch the team advanced, and took up cover between two clumps of trees, though the Kerail and his Surda were both overly contaminated, and thought the Kerail’s protective gear prevented any harm, the Surda succumbed and fell to the ground.
Perseus led the team through the trees to advance on the Kealtar’s position. The Kealtar attempted to scramble out of sight, but a few quick bursts from the rogue myrmidon’s rifle took her out of action.
With this flank now unguarded, the Grenzer stalked through the trees until it could get to a position where it could take aim at the Kerail. The preceptor attempted to use its symbiobomb to cloud the area with a extreme burst of pheromones, but the Grenzer’s trigger finger was faster than the little creature could react and left little for it to obscure.
Ashcroft and the Cheerkillers moved from their hiding place, firing at the Kiel-Saan, Taquel, and Kosuil. Shots went wild, and the Kiel-Saan dodged forwards before taking a to the leg. Her armor riled in protestation, but the extra hazmat gear prevented the shot from disabling it. However, his shot had taken Ashcroft out into the open, and the both the Taquel and Kosuil landed hits. The Kosuil’s shot hit harder than intended, and completely disable the gallivanting bounty hunter.
The remaining cheerkillers continued out of the hazard zone, but not before one fell to the corrosive symbiospores.
Seeing an opportunity to end the conflict and continue with the decontamination, the Taquel advanced on the remaining Cheerkiller and disabled the human with few bursts from her spitfire.
This allowed the Liberto to don its camouflage, and then maneuver over the Grenzer and its fireteam. The native of Veruna attempted to douse the team with a spray of decontaminant, but only managed to take down the Interventor before Perseus obscured the area with smoke.
Unable to get a clear shot on the team again, the helot placed a proximity decontamination device, and retreated behind a tree.
Perseus’s keen eye uncovered the device and the lost child of Aleph destroyed it with a few well-placed rounds. The Grenzer FO moved to see the freedom fighter, and sent a spurt of flame towards the helot, but the Liberto leapt out of the way, avoiding anything worse than a proximity burn. The Securitate attempted bring the intervenor back to its feet with a rejuvenating cocktail of chemicals, but its shot was lost in the dense forest. The Grenzer stowed its sniper rifle and advanced on the helot with its pistol drawn. Seeing this nomad with its pistol trained on it, the Liberto took the opportunity to cover the area with decontaminant. The Grenzer fell, its shot failing to take the native of Veruna out of action.
Leaping back into action, the Liberto fired sprays of decontaminant. The remaining Grenzer caught the full brunt of it, going down hard, while Perseus shot the Liberto. The Securatate once again managed to avoid the spray, and moved to attempt to wrestle the device away from the now wounded helot.
The Taquel acted to free the freedom fighter, and moved to a position it could once again demonstrate its mastery of Corahtar and sent a blast of pheromones to disable the Securatate.
The befuddling nature of the symbiospores lead to me parachuting into the hazard zone, but this gum shoe wasn’t caught flat footed, and I hit the ground running. Making my way to secure what appeared to be one of the passengers who had survived the crash.
With the last ounce of its strength the Liberto put down another proximity decontamination device.
Perseus attempted to leap out of the way of the device, but the forest must have hindered him as he was taken out of action by the blast.
As I collected the cubes of the fallen and the team prepared for extraction, I placed a bug in the gear of the enigmatic Tohaa that had been masquerading as a Kriigel. I thought it was about time I had a little chat with one of these quiet operators…Though, with the gaps edited out of my memory, I suppose I could find out this was the second time it was about time.