Scenario Author: Allan Goodall
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: September 18, 2004
Game System: Chaosium's Basic RolePlaying (BRP)
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Nicholas Connelly, codename MICHAEL (Jason Gallagher); Joshua Frost, codename MORGAN (Jimmy Pope); Carson Kovac, codename MAYA (Alana Goodall)
The agents of M-cell were deep underground in Delta Green's Plum Island, Massachusetts laboratory facility. They spent most of the morning keeping themselves occupied in a combination library/office at the end of the corridor on the upper level, Level 1. It was almost 11:30 when agent BAXTER finally came in to see them. In a gruff voice he announced that his Office of Naval Intelligence team had finished the maintenance on the laboratory designated for M-cell's use, then he turned on his heel and left. "Charmed, I am sure," muttered Agent MAYA.
The agents descended the nearest staircase. The lab was on Level 3, the lowest level, directly below the office where they had spent most of the morning. It was the farthest away from the facility's main entrance; it was the farthest away from the ONI team. They exited the stairwell. The lab was the room immediately to their right. They slipped into the room and looked around. The lab was cluttered with an eclectic mix of biological and electrical equipment. Most of the electrical plugs were of 1950s vintage. Wires with extra plugs — these were modern and grounded — hung from the power outlets on the ceiling to which they were spliced. There were tables and stools for lab work, a a fume hood built into a wall, and a long, narrow table for writing notes. There were no stocks of chemicals in the room, except for those used to prepare microscope slides. Presumably there were chemical supply closets elsewhere on the floor. Almost completely covering the wall behind the note table was a print of the periodic table of elements. Video cameras identical to the others found throughout the facility rotated back and forth, humming softly.
MORGAN found a nearby locker room with hazmat suits, chemically resistant coveralls and lab suits. He donned a hazmat suit, went back into the lab and pulled out his samples of strange fluid. The viscous liquid still maintained its metallic crimson colour. The other agents suited up in a similar manner and helped him set up.
The CDC investigator explained to his fellow agents what he hoped to learn of the material. He wanted to know its chemical makeup, how it reacted to protein, whether or not it was affected by exposure to heat, cold, electricity, and — remembering the caged human being at the secret government facility on Plum Island, New York — how it reacted to animals. He sent MAYA to buy some mice from a local pet store. She changed back into her street clothes and went off to a pet store on the mainland.
MORGAN started by deducing the sample's base chemical makeup. After a couple of hours all he could deduce was that it seemed to be mostly organic. It mostly consisted of carbons and hydrocarbons. It also contained a very high mineral content, consisting mostly of silicates and traces of arsenic. There was also something else, but short of running the entire sample through a mass spectrometer, which he was not yet prepared to do, he couldn't deduce it.
MAYA returned with two dozen mice in cages. MORGAN took a couple of blood samples from several of the mice. He kept a couple of samples aside for the purpose of baseline comparisons, and he kept one mouse segregated as a control subject. He placed a cage with a mouse under the fume hood. He drew some of the crimson liquid into a syringe and squeezed a drop onto the floor of the cage. At first nothing happened. Then the drop started to move toward the mouse. The mouse instinctively retreated from the drop, but the drop followed. It chased the mouse into a corner, and slid onto the mouse's leg. The fluid ran up the rodent's body and into its mouth. The mouse ran around and around, bumping its head on the bars of the cage. MORGAN took another mouse and placed it in the cage. The second mouse sniffed the first whenever it came close, but mostly tried to avoid it. The first mouse ran around and around, swatted at the new mouse, banged into the cage, fell on its back twitching, and then got up again and repeated the cycle. MORGAN removed the first mouse and put it into an empty cage. The second mouse, the one that had not been exposed to the fluid, seemed entirely normal. Apparently there were no airborne pathogens or particles, at least none in sufficient quantity to hurt the mouse. The infected (invaded?) mouse continued its mad romp in its new cage.
MORGAN picked up a piece of glass and slid it sideways into a cage. It was a tight fit. He placed a mouse on one side of the makeshift partition and put a drop of fluid in the other. The fluid slowly made its way to the partition, then oozed under it through the narrowest of gaps. It chased the mouse, like the other drop, but this drop was smaller and slower. The mouse was able to stay away from the drop as the fluid oozed around the cage. MORGAN placed a second mouse in the cage. The crimson fluid followed whichever mouse was nearest.
After putting on thick gloves, MORGAN went back to the infected mouse. He held it with tongs while MAYA took a blood sample. All the while MICHAEL looked on, taking notes. MORGAN inspected the mouse's blood through a microscope. He saw mouse blood platelets but he also saw, mingled with them, what looked like flattened dodecahedrons. These geometric structures merged and split apart, like the thick liquid of a lava lamp. MORGAN took some of the infected mouse blood and put it into a cage with yet another mouse. Nothing happened. The fluid seemed bound within the mouse's blood, and the blood showed none of the fluids mobility. He checked the samples with a Geiger counter but all he got was the slow crackle of background radiation.
He took another sample of mouse blood. He squirted some fluid into the blood and looked at it under the microscope. Within seconds the fluid mixed thoroughly with the blood. Further experimentation showed that fluid diluted in blood and injected into a mouse resulted in erratic behaviour, but the behaviour was not as energetic, not as pronounced, as that of the mouse that was invaded by the liquid. MORGAN smeared another mouse with blood mixed with fluid. The fluid/blood mixture did not try to enter its host and did not cause it to act erratically.
It was time to take the experiments to a new level. MORGAN asked MAYA for a blood sample.
"You want it to taste me?" she cried. "Even from a distance?"
He nodded. With some hesitation, MAYA let MORGAN draw some of her blood. For once his work with a syringe was flawless and she felt only the slightest of discomfort from the needle. Under the fume hood he mixed the fluid with MAYA's blood. The fluid mixed with MAYA's blood as it did in mouse blood.
MICHAEL left the facility and drove to a nearby diner for take-out. He brought back food for MORGAN and MAYA, who had slipped out of their hazmat suits and donned lab coats. The CDC investigator and the IRS agent stopped experimenting with mice and ate supper. MICHAEL, who wasn't a huge fan of fast food, went up to the first floor. There was a cafeteria there, run by the ONI team. He sat alone, eating quietly by himself and looking for BAXTER. He didn't hear any snippets of important conversation, nor did he see the B-cell agent. The agents from M-cell didn't trust BAXTER or his ONI subordinates. There was apparently some sort of inter-cell politics going on within Delta Green. MICHAEL wanted to stay out of it, but he still needed to know what BAXTER was doing.
When he returned, MAYA and MORGAN had just finished their supper and were getting back to work, minus the hazmat suits. MAYA suggested that they put a drop of blood and a drop of fluid on the same slide and watch what happened through the microscope. MORGAN did as she suggested. The fluid migrated to the blood and merged with it. Next they put the two infected mice — one infected with the fluid/blood mixture and another with just the fluid — in the same cage. At first the two mice fought each other with teeth and claws, but then they separated. They settled down to a routine of dashing madly around the cage, bumping into each other and the cage walls with equal frequency.
MORGAN took another mouse and put a large drop on it. The fluid slid along the mouse's body and into its mouth much more quickly than the first dropped they tried. "See," said MORGAN, "size does matter."
"Oh, please," said MAYA. "Is that what we're down here for?"
They needed to do a post mortem on one of the infected mice. MORGAN picked up an infected rodent, and MICHAEL grabbed one of the untainted mice. With the easy motion of a football fan twisting the cap off a beer bottle, MORGAN and MICHAEL snapped the necks of the mice. With delicate precision MORGAN dissected the two tiny brains. The brains didn't look different at a physical level, and the agents didn't have any way to test the neural path ways. MORGAN noticed, out of the corner of his eye, that metallic crimson fluid — devoid of blood — was pooling from the body of the infected mouse and sliding across the table toward his hand. MORGAN moved his hand out of the way and drew the fluid into a syringe. He injected the fluid into one of his empty metal containers.
For his next experiment MORGAN needed electrical current. Just as the government scientists had done in New York, MORGAN hooked up leads to a power source, a multimeter and two probes. He put two vials of crimson fluid in a glass beaker and slipped the probes into the fluid, making certain that the probes didn't touch. He turned on the power. The multimeter showed that the fluid offered no electrical resistance. They checked their equipment and tried again. They got the same result. The stunning truth hit MORGAN and MICHAEL simultaneously. The fluid was a superconductor... a room temperature superconductor. Human science had only managed to create superconductors at very, very low temperatures. MORGAN drew the fluid back into the vials. He checked the supply rooms down the hall and, with luck, found a sealed cannister of liquid nitrogen. He submerged the vial in the liquid and drew it back out. The fluid refused to freeze, even at extremely cold temperatures.
MORGAN returned to the lab and pondered their next experiment. MAYA was closest to the door. She heard men running down the hallway. She told the other agents. The two men looked at each other and then started securing the samples and the mice. MAYA jogged out of the room and listened for the ONI agents. She heard them running up the nearby stairs. She followed.
When she got to Level 1, she saw activity around the communication room. MAYA pushed her way inside. BAXTER was there, too. The bank of monitors showed that camera 2 was no longer functioning. One of the ONI team, a woman, told BAXTER that they had lost contact with the "man upstairs". He meant that they had lost contact with Delta Green agent BASIL.
BAXTER ordered a squad of four men to secure the metal doors at the top of the stairs that led to the surface. The men drew their guns; two carried pistols, the other two carried submachine guns. MAYA pushed past the ONI members in the communication room and out into the hall. There were two sets of stairs running down to the lower levels, one set at either end of the corridor. The western most stairs were closest to the entrance to the facility. The eastern most stairs were the ones they had been using all day and came out next to their laboratory. She turned left and headed for the eastern stairwell. She hadn't taken more than a few steps before she heard gunfire. As she ran down the hall she heard more shots and strangled screams. She rushed down the stairs as quickly as she could.
MICHAEL and MORGAN heard some of the shots. While MORGAN finished packing up the lab, MICHAEL ran up the stairs. He met up with MAYA and the two ran to the third level together. There was more shooting from upstairs.
By this time MORGAN had packed up all of the samples and joined the others in the hall. MICHAEL directed MORGAN and MAYA to cover the stairs. They moved up to the Level 2 landing while MICHAEL pulled out his Glock and took up a position part way down the hall. The sound of gunshots grew louder.
BAXTER and the ONI team, or what was left of it, ran down the stairs from the first level, meeting up with MORGAN and MAYA. Before BAXTER could explain anything, he and his men opened fire at something moving down the western most stairwell. MORGAN and MAYA didn't get a good look at the target, but it appeared to be a deformed human. BAXTER told them to get downstairs. He and his men would secure the floor and then join them. There were eight ONI agents left, including BAXTER; there was no telling what happened to the others.
MICHAEL caught sight of something coming out of the western stairwell. He fired at it. The creature was a bit larger than a man. It looked like a cross between a human, a frog, and a fish. It was unarmed, but the sheer menace in its long talons and large, circular eyes were too much for MICHAEL. MICHAEL's mind tried to grasp what he saw. It was a frog-man... a frogman! A diver! Obviously a diver... probably swam ashore from his mini sub! He fired a second time, instinctively. The creature (SCUBA diver, in MICHAEL's mind) fell to the floor, dead. Another creature, identical to the first, moved out of the stairwell. There were others behind it. MICHAEL fired again and again. The second creature fell. A third and a forth came at him. He continued to shoot.
MORGAN and MAYA reached the lowest level as the creatures burst out of the far stairwell. They opened fire, allowing MICHAEL to retreat to a doorway closer to his colleagues. They could hear shots from upstairs even as BAXTER and three ONI agents joined them and also opened fire. BAXTER shouted over the gunfire that the creatures were headed straight down to this level. The M-cell agents guessed that the creatures were after the crimson fluid.
Gunfire echoed through the hall in a horrible cacophony, then everything was still. No more creatures emerged from the stairwell. MORGAN counted sixteen fish-men littering the hallway. MICHAEL had killed four of them, as had MORGAN. MAYA had wounded two. The other bodies were credited to BAXTER and the three ONI men. Everything had gone quiet upstairs.
BAXTER directed M-cell to clear the nearest stairwell up to the second level, while he and his men cleared the far stairwell. With MICHAEL in the lead, they cautiously ascended the stairs. On the second floor three shaken ONI agents waved to them. They had secured the second level. Seven creatures lay motionless on the floor. BAXTER showed up presently and directed the agents to continue up to the first level.
MICHAEL, MAYA, MORGAN and BAXTER cleared the rooms on Level 1. There were no creatures — dead or living — but there was the body of a female ONI agent lying near the communication room. Now they needed to secure the main stairwell and get out of the facility. BAXTER entered the communication room, ignoring the hysterical questioning of his subordinates.
MICHAEL directed MAYA and MORGAN to follow him. He hadn't gone more than a few steps when BAXTER called out from the communication room. "Wait!"
MAYA went back to the communication room. The monitors showed that it was dark outside, with parts of the outer facility bathed by exterior lights. She and BAXTER saw things moving outside. More creatures were heading their way. MORGAN and MICHAEL entered the room.
A very large shadow fell over the compound. It was shaped just like the creatures, but it was many times larger. MICHAEL's jaw dropped open as his mind tried hard to grasp what he was seeing. The other Delta Green agents in the room gasped at the significance of the shadow: something very big was headed their way, and the agents were trapped.
BAXTER said, "We have to get out of here!" The others glared at him for stating the obvious. "Come on," he ordered. He took them toward the eastern stairwell, his agents in tow. He explained that there was a way out of the facility. Hidden behind the periodic table in their lab, and behind a tapestry in an office above their lab on the second floor, were secret exits. BAXTER had an idea where the second floor exit would take them but he was unsure where the third floor exit went. He did know that the third floor exit took them "further away". MICHAEL told him to take them to the second floor exit.
The M-cell agents wondered, with suspicion, why BAXTER hadn't mentioned the exits earlier. The reason was answered when BAXTER ripped down the tapestry. Drawn on the wall was a set of intricate lines in a large oval pattern. The agents had seen something similar in New York. This was no ordinary exit.
They could feel the ground shake as something heavy approached. MICHAEL moved up to the wall... and stepped through the squiggles. He immediately found himself in total darkness. He flipped on his Maglite. He was in a storage room. Shelves, lining the walls, held artifacts of all description: amulets, knives, skulls, tablets. MICHAEL thought they might have some sort of occult significance, but he wasn't positive. On the wall behind him were the squiggles that made up this side of the magical gate.
Someone bumped into MICHAEL from behind. It was MAYA, carrying a couple of mice cages. She was joined shortly by MORGAN, who carried cages along with his usual gear, and the ONI agents. The ONI agents muttered to themselves that the door was "well hidden". If they deduced the significance of what happened to them, they hid it well. Last through the gate was BAXTER. "I placed a charge on the wall beside the lines," explained BAXTER. "We won't be followed."
MICHAEL cautiously opened the door. The room beyond was cavernous. Row upon row of shelves filled it. The shelves held more strange artifacts, as well as musty old tomes and ancient pottery. In the far corner was an office area divided from the shelves by two free-standing cloth-covered wall partitions. MICHAEL caught movement out of the corner of his eye. A voice said, "Please don't move!"
A tiny but wiry middle-aged Oriental man stood off to the side. His long hair was pulled back in a ponytail. He wore khaki trousers, a dress shirt open at the neck and a vest. In spite of his appearance, there was something strangely menacing about the man. Before MICHAEL could do or say anything, BAXTER moved forward. "Dr. Wu?" he asked, though his voice implied he already knew the answer. "I'm Agent BAXTER."
Wu didn't seem to recognize BAXTER by sight, but he evidently knew him by name. Dr. Wu relaxed. BAXTER indicated the other Delta Green agents. "These are Agents MICHAEL, MAYA, and MORGAN." He turned to the agents. "This is Dr. Jensen Wu."
BAXTER pointed out his ONI team, who were talking nervously amongst themselves. The team members were trying to come to grips with what had happened to them, but weren't having much luck. The setting, though vaguely disquieting, was peaceful. This seemed to have a calming effect on them, as they slowly wandered around the room as if in a dream. This allowed the Delta Green agents to talk with Dr. Wu in private.
BAXTER stated that Wu was a Delta Green "friendly" who ran something called "the D-stacks," which were housed in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Wu, the son of Chinese immigrants, had a distinctive New York accent. That's where they were now, hundreds of miles from where they were standing just a few minutes before. They described to Wu what had just happened. Wu asked if they thought this had anything to do with what he saw on CNN. The agents looked at each other, then followed Wu behind his desk, where he kept a small television. The TV had a live feed from Plum Island, New York. Someone — terrorists, most likely, according to the report — had broken into the agricultural research station just off Long Island. The military sealed off the island while the police were investigating. The talking head on the TV parroted the official line: there were a couple of people hurt during an attempted break-in, but no biological specimens were lost and there was no danger to the public. M-cell realized right away that their Plum Island lab wasn't the only one attacked by the strange creatures.
Wu said that the creatures were called "Deep Ones" in the ancient texts. MICHAEL muttered to himself that they were just men in SCUBA equipment, but he did not openly contradict the professor. Wu said that it was the discovery of these things that prompted the creation of P-Division of the Office of Naval Intelligence back in 1928. This agency eventually became Delta Green. MORGAN described the large creature they saw. "Hmmm. Dagon or Hydra. They are very old Deep Ones, or they are some sort of Deep One god. The text books are unclear on this."
MORGAN stepped forward and described the fluid they were testing. Wu thought for a moment and said, "I have heard of this. It is exceedingly rare, only mentioned once or twice in the old texts, but I remember reading about it." He thought for a moment. "It is called 'the blood of Cthulhu', though it is unclear whether the name is literal or descriptive." He went on to explain that "Cthulhu" was a "Great Old One", a godlike alien said to be trapped in a submerged city, where he lies dreaming. The liquid known as "the blood of Cthulhu" was linked to a time when the "stars are right". Wu finished by saying that followers of Cthulhu needed to gather this fluid in preparation for Cthulhu's awakening.
The four Delta Green agents and Wu discussed their next move. BAXTER declared that they had to contact A-cell for direction. He pulled out a cell phone and walked into Wu's office for privacy. A few moments later BAXTER came back. ALPHONSE said he was sending Agent ANDREA to investigate. The male members of M-cell went pale.
MAYA was confused. She understood that Delta Green was a covert organization within the United States government. Recently she had heard that there was some question about its authority, but it was finally sinking in that the whole organization may be entirely illegal. She put her hands on her hips and demanded an explanation. "Uh," said MORGAN, "we left some things out."
"Yes, haven't we though," replied MAYA. "You show up with beer and pretzels, and make it sound like fun, and shooting the odd gar fish. Who the hell is ANDREA?"
"Fish? What gar fish?" asked MICHAEL, deep in denial.
"Someone shoot him with some blue fluid before he asks another stupid question," snarled MAYA.
MICHAEL and MORGAN explained that ANDREA was one of the leaders of A-cell, and someone not to be trifled with. If she was coming, things were deadly serious.
The Delta Green agents settled down and waited for ANDREA. BAXTER kept his team as calm as he could while deflecting their questions. They didn't have to wait long; within half an hour, ANDREA was standing in the doorway to Wu's D-stacks. Somehow she entered the building without setting off the alarms. "Who is in charge of this mess?" she asked.
ANDREA appeared to be in her late thirties. She was attractive and athleticly built, with her long brunette hair pulled into a ponytail much like Wu's. She was well dressed in a skirt and jacket set, suggesting she had been out for the evening. She wore sensible shoes. The purse was a bit big for what she was wearing. Her right hand hovered above the purse's opening.
BAXTER stepped forward. He described the fight in the laboratory, and indicated the surviving ONI team members. ANDREA scowled ever so slightly. BAXTER said the appearance of the creatures had something to do with M-cell. "We bought mice," replied MAYA. "Does this call forth fish, or what?"
MICHAEL took over the narrative. He told ANDREA about their mission to Plum Island, New York. If ALPHONSE had briefed her ahead of time she gave no indication. MICHAEL described some of their experiments on the crimson fluid.
"It's impervious to heat, cold, and electricity," said MORGAN.
"It's attracted to mice," said MAYA.
"It's a room temperature superconductor," added MICHAEL. "It also appears to be organic, in some way." He added Dr. Wu's contention that it was the "blood of Cthulhu". ANDREA glanced at Wu for confirmation. Wu nodded.
ANDREA was angry, though she had no obvious outlet for that anger. One Delta Green agent, BASIL, was missing and presumed dead. Several ONI members were dead, while the others were a serious threat to Delta Green's security. The Plum Island, Massachusetts facility was compromised and probably destroyed. Compartmentalization was breached between M-cell and Dr. Wu. In spite of all that, she realized there was no way to predict the carnage. There was little else any of the agents — BAXTER included — could have done. "What a cock up," she said to no one in particular. "From this moment forward, I'm in charge."
MAYA's temper flared. "Fine Wonder Woman. I'm ready to go home, now."
MORGAN and MICHAEL pulled MAYA away. MAYA was unaware that ANDREA was not just a Delta Green bureaucrat. "Ever hear about a cleaner?" asked MORGAN?
"What, like Pinesol? I just want out."
MICHAEL explained it more clearly and succinctly. ANDREA was in charge of fixing things when they went bad. She was also in charge of Delta Green's retirement plan... the "9mm retirement plan". ANDREA was Delta Green's chief assassin.
For the first time MAYA understood all the ramifications attached to working for Delta Green. Her eyes narrowed to slits. "I'm going to audit that bitch when I get home..." she said, under her breath.
ANDREA paced for a moment, then turned to M-cell. They had the crimson fluid, so they would be responsible for disposing of it. It was MORGAN's contention that the fluid couldn't be destroyed, short of a nuclear bomb. ANDREA looked at Wu once again for confirmation. He agreed; everything he read suggested that the substance couldn't be destroyed. That meant it had to be buried somewhere, preferably far away from an ocean.
MICHAEL suggested they bury it in Death Valley. MORGAN lit up with an idea. "Yucca Mountain!" Yucca Mountain was a controversial underground nuclear waste dump site being built in Nevada.
ANDREA shook her head. "Stay away from Yucca Mountain." She explained that Yucca Mountain wasn't what it appeared. "Yucca Mountain is MJ-12's replacement for the Ice Cave."
Dr. Wu continued the explanation. The Ice Cave was the code name for a top secret Delta Green holding facility. It was first used to hold specimens captured in the Innsmouth Raid of 1928. What it held now was anyone's guess, since it fell into Majestic-12's hands after Delta Green was disbanded during the Vietnam War. Yucca Mountain would presumably take over the Ice Cave's duties with 21st century technology.
With Yucca Mountain out of the question, the Delta Green agents discussed other locations, such as Carlsbad. MAYA brought up Fort Huachua in Arizona. ANDREA thought about it and went with MAYA's idea. She slipped away to make the arrangements.
MORGAN put the cages with the infected mice on a table. He killed the mice and decapitated them one at a time. As the liquid oozed out of the rodents, MORGAN sucked it up with a syringe and injected it into a cannister. ANDREA returned as he finished.
There was a flight out to Dallas that night, leaving from Newark. It was in everyone's best interest for the agents, and the crimson fluid in particular, to get out of New York as quickly as possible. They would fly from Dallas to Tucson the next day, and then drive to a set of co-ordinates A-cell would supply. Further instructions would be forthcoming. She made it clear that if there were further "complications", M-cell was expendable.
As MORGAN packed up his stuff, MAYA caught sight of the ONI agents. She asked ANDREA if A-cell had enough blue fluid to inject BAXTER's team.
ANDREA shot MAYA an icy glare. "I'll take care of it," she sneered.
Bitch, thought MAYA. She suspected that ANDREA wasn't going to need the blue fluid. Bitch in cheap shoes.
The M-cell agents left the museum by taxi cab and headed to the airport in Newark, New Jersey. The only nervous part of the trip was when they drove through the Lincoln Tunnel. They were just too close to salt water to be comfortable. They managed to relax only after their aircraft lifted from the earth.
The exhausted agents were checking out of their hotel room when ANDREA phoned. She gave MICHAEL co-ordinates to a barren area about 10 miles from Fort Huachua. They were to drive out to those co-ordinates by 4:30 p.m. local time that day. There they would find a deep hole. They were to throw the samples into the hole, throw some dirt in after the samples, and then leave. ANDREA did not offer any explanation as to who had, or would, dig the hole, or who would fill it up. The mission was now fully compartmentalized.
The agents flew to Tucson, rented a car and took a well deserved rest in a motel. At 2:30 p.m. they left their motel and drove east on I-10. They turned south on highway 80. Signs indicated that they were heading toward Tombstone, Arizona. The agents found that somewhat ironic. Before they got to Tombstone they turned west onto highway 82. It wasn't long after passing the San Pedro river that they turned north onto a dirt road, following co-ordinates given by their GPS system.
It was almost exactly 4:30 p.m. when they came to an area that bore the tracks of heavy equipment. They got out of the car and found the hole. It was about a foot and a half wide and very deep. They couldn't make out the bottom with their flashlights. It looked like the sort of hole dug for demolitions work.
The agents threw the samples and the remains of the infected mice into the hole. They threw in some dirt, as ordered. Then, with the uneasy feeling born of leaving something dangerous out in the middle of nowhere, they got into their rental car and left.
When they returned to their motel room they phoned ANDREA but it was ALPHONSE who answered. MICHAEL made his report, and ALPHONSE thanked them, then told them that their rental car on Plum Island, Massachusetts was returned to the rental agency. They had lost the equipment they took into the laboratory and didn't bring out with them, but whatever remained in the car was safe. He didn't volunteer any information about the state of the lab. They hung up.
The agents booked flights home for the next day. The mission was now, for all intents and purposes, over. They could afford to relax. They crashed out in one of the rooms, watching TV. CNN had nothing more to offer about the break-in at Plum Island, New York. If the majority of the damage was done to the hidden part of the lab, as the agents suspected, the world at large would never learn what truly happened there.
CNN did have a story that caught the agents' attention. A Navy helicopter crashed in Massachusetts. All occupants onboard the helicopter were killed. Included were the pilot, co-pilot, and a team of twelve working for the Office of Naval Intelligence. As suspected, ANDREA didn't need to use the blue fluid...