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Delta Green M Cell Campaign (2003 – 2010)

The New Age – Part 2: Dawn of the New Age, Session 4

Scenario Author: Adam Scott Glancy and John Tynes
Scenario Publisher: Pagan Publishing, in the Delta Green rule book
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: November 13, 2005
Game System: Chaosium's Basic RolePlaying (BRP)
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Gabriel Dodge, codename MALCOLM (Jason Gallagher); Joshua Frost, codename MORGAN (Jimmy Pope); Carson Kovac, codename MAYA (Alana Goodall)

Spoiler Warning: This scenario is taken from the Delta Green rule book. If you are a Delta Green player you may wish to ask your Keeper if they intend to run any scenarios in that book before reading this write-up, as pertinent scenario information will be revealed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 2:10 a.m. EDT

La Quinta Inn, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Someone knocked on MORGAN's door just after 2 a.m. The knock woke up Agents MORGAN and MALCOLM.

It was Gaston and another man, both of whom were carrying duffle bags. Gaston introduced the other man as Special Agent William Denton. "We can trust him. I've dealt with him before on 'strange matters'," he added. MORGAN recognized Denton as one of the FBI agents involved in the Valiant investigation, though they had never talked to him directly.

MORGAN introduced Agent MALCOLM as Malcolm McDougall. He did not elaborate, and Gaston didn't ask any questions.

The FBI agents excused themselves. They were tired and needed to get to bed. Their room was just down the hall. MORGAN told Gaston they would see them later that morning, and closed the door after them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 6:00 a.m. EDT

La Quinta Inn, Tulsa, Oklahoma

MORGAN and MALCOLM woke up early and showered. MORGAN hacked into Yellow's system. The transport bound for Enolsis had left Kansas City on time at 6 a.m. MORGAN jotted down the license numbers of the truck and trailer.

MORGAN phoned Gaston's room to make sure they were awake. He told a groggy Gaston how to get to the rendezvous point and when they needed to be there. After he had Gaston repeat the information, he hung up.

MAYA knocked on their door just as MORGAN and MALCOLM were ready to leave. The three agents left the hotel, got in their Ford Escape, and drove to the nearest McDonald's drive through. They picked up some McGriddles and then headed toward the rendezvous point.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 8:25 a.m. EDT

Route 66, ten miles east of the Enolsis Foundation

The rendezvous site was a short dirt road of Route 66 leading to an undeveloped piece of land. MAYA chose the site based on a Google map. As it turned out, the site was nearly perfect. It was only a mile from an I-44 exit ramp and it was in a secluded area surrounded by trees. The road curved from Route 66 leaving a stretch a hundred feet long that could not be seen from the highway. When the agents arrived at the rendezvous site, they saw a red truck cab and a non-descript trailer already parked there. They parked their Ford Escape behind the trailer and got out of the Escape.

Three men wearing jeans and t-shirts got out of the truck. MORGAN recognized the first man as Agent LARRY, whom he had met a couple of times in the past. LARRY was a well built man just under six feet tall, in his late thirties with dark brown hair that was graying prematurely. LARRY exuded an air of supreme confidence. From their past encounters MORGAN suspected that LARRY was a Navy SEAL. MORGAN didn't know the other two men, but they were built much the same. One man was blonde and a little shorter than LARRY. The other man was an African-American who stood a couple of inches taller than LARRY. All three carried a silenced Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine guns over their shoulders.

LARRY shook MORGAN's hand and introduced the other members of L Cell. The black man was codenamed LYLE and the blonde man was codenamed LINCOLN. MORGAN introduced MAYA and MALCOLM. LARRY took them to the trailer. Inside were three more MP5s with silencers, a half dozen Glocks, and three pump-pressurized fire extinguishers. LARRY pointed to a box and said it contained 24 blocks of C4. There were three such boxes. Another box contained timed detonators. A dozen army surplus shoulder sacks lay on the floor of the trailer. The men had used them as makeshift pillows. LYLE pointed to yet another box and said it contained a pre-Vietnam era flamethrower in excellent working condition. He did not explain how he obtained the weapon.

MORGAN pulled out a pamphlet MALCOLM picked up from Enolsis. He spread it out on the floor of the open trailer and went over the plan. LARRY asked a lot of questions. He wanted to know as much as possible about the layout of the pyramid. He marked on the map all the entrances to the pyramid, and all the entrances to the campus. LINCOLN X-ed where he thought the explosives should be placed, though he said it was only an educated guess, subject to change when he saw the internal structure of the building.

The M Cell agents described their potential adversaries. They explained that the neotissue creatures were vulnerable to fire and not much else.

"That explains why you asked for white phosphorus grenades," said LARRY.

"Did you get any?" asked MALCOLM.

"Yeah, but there's going to be a hell of a paper trail to bury."

MALCOLM said it was likely they'd come up against Mi-Go. M Cell's experience with Mi-Go suggested that they could be physically harmed, but that they were very dangerous adversaries. MORGAN described the Mi-Go's advanced surgical capabilities and gave L Cell a brief overview of the Mi-Go's connection to the Greys.

"We have to assume that any members of the Enolsis cult we encounter are hostile," said MORGAN. "We don't know if their leader is in control of them or not. There are families in the compound. That will be..."

"Woah, back up!" interrupted LINCOLN. "Families? Explain this."

MORGAN nodded and explained the nature of the Enolsis campus. MALCOLM added that "civilian" cultists only seemed to visit the pyramid during a special event. He didn't think any events were scheduled that day.

"Man, this could be a real clusterfuck," said LINCOLN.

"Yeah, it could be," replied MALCOLM. "We're going to have to keep it as surgical as possible."

"I take it they are expecting a truck," said LARRY. "That's why you wanted a specific truck?"

"Yes, that's their last truck, the last truck they need for their preparations."

LARRY said that they couldn't get a truck painted in Yellow colors in time, so they would have to swap trailers and drive the Yellow cab to Enolsis with their trailer attached. Hopefully the fact that it was a generic trailer and not a Yellow trailer wouldn't be noticed.

They pulled up Google Maps for LARRY, and he and his team made their final preparations.

Gaston and Denton arrived. MORGAN introduced the FBI agents to the other men. MORGAN told Gaston only what he needed to know. The FBI agents were to pull over the truck on suspicion of terrorism, using the PATRIOT act to their advantage. They would escort the truck to the rendezvous point without letting the driver radio out. They would watch the driver while the Delta Green agents drove to Enolsis.

None of the Delta Green operatives told the FBI men that they might have to frame the truck driver for terrorism, and perhaps "disappear" him. As a last resort, of course.

Gaston and Denton agreed to the plan. They got into their car and drove back to the interstate. They would head east a couple of exits and then transfer over to the westbound lanes.

MORGAN asked LARRY if they were able to get acid. LARRY said that there was no time to get the acid along with everything else. MORGAN didn't like the idea of facing the neotissue creatures without acid. He checked his laptop for chemical companies in Tulsa. The best choice seemed to be John Bull Chemical and Supply. Their Yellow Pages ad said that they sold acids, alkalis, reagents and solvents "from a teaspoon to a truckload! Open to the public!". MORGAN would go for acid while MAYA and MALCOLM watched for the truck.

M Cell got into the Ford Escape. MORGAN drove east down the interstate. They passed the exit Gaston took and got off at the next exit. MAYA and MALCOLM jumped out of the Escape. While they looked for a place where they could observe the highway, MORGAN drove back onto the interstate and headed for the chemical company.

The company was in an industrial park outside of the city proper. The CDC investigator bought 20 gallons of 24 molar hydrochloric acid and a couple of cases of glass flasks. He paid for the lot with a Delta Green supplied credit card. He drove back to where he dropped off the other agents. He found MALCOLM and MAYA sitting in a bush near the highway.

MAYA spotted MORGAN. She nudged MALCOLM. "Here's MORGAN."

"There's the truck!" cried MALCOLM, as he stared through a pair of binoculars. MAYA shot a glance back to the interstate in time to see the distinctive orange markings of a Yellow transport. MALCOLM verified the trailer license plate number. It was the right truck. MAYA grabbed her cell phone and called Gaston. Gaston said he was starting to move, and then hung up. MAYA and MALCOLM ran up to the Escape and piled in. MORGAN headed for the interstate.

A few minutes later they saw the truck parked on the shoulder with Gaston's police car behind it. MORGAN stopped the Escape behind the police car. Gaston walked back to talk to them. The driver was shocked, of course, when they told him that terrorists were looking to hijack his truck. So far he was cooperating. The Delta Green agents nodded and thanked Gaston. MALCOLM reminded the FBI agent to make sure the driver didn't contact anyone. Gaston nodded and walked back to the truck. MORGAN headed back to the rendezvous point.

As the Escape pulled onto the short stretch of road, LARRY, LINCOLN and LYLE got out of the truck. They still carried their weapons. They noticed that someone had detached the cab from the trailer and moved the cab further down the road. MORGAN parked the Escape on the opposite side of the road from the trailer. M Cell got out of the Escape.

Fifteen minutes later the Yellow truck appeared followed by Gaston's car. After the truck stopped, Denton ordered the driver out of the cab and Gaston escorted him to the police car. Denton verified that the driver didn't have a chance to phone or radio anyone.

The members of M Cell put on surgical gloves before they opened the Yellow trailer. Inside were a dozen crates about three feet on a side. MALCOLM opened one. At first all he saw was packing peanuts. He dug through the peanuts and pulled out the contents. It was a crystal sphere a little over a foot in diameter. MAYA and MORGAN recognized it as the same kind of crystal Valiant held during his rampage.

MORGAN thought that a few of the crates would make good camouflage and cover in case their trailer was inspected while entering the compound. They didn't want to take the crystals with them, so they emptied a few of the crates and shifted the empty crates to their trailer. They left the crystals in the Yellow trailer.

The only thing left before beginning Operation Black Fly — MORGAN's name for the mission — was the sedation of the truck driver. MORGAN opened the rear passenger door while Gaston opened the rear driver-side door. Gaston caught the driver's attention while MORGAN pulled out a syringe. Before the driver knew it, MORGAN had injected him with a mixture of scopolamine and morphine. As the driver fought the sedative, MORGAN said, "You have the right to remain silent. This will ensure that you do."

A minute later the driver fell asleep, at which point MALCOLM said, "You are being charged as an enemy combatant of the United States. You will be held indefinitely without charge. You have no rights."

They carried the driver out of the car and lifted him into the Yellow trailer. LARRY and LYLE detached the trailers from the cabs. LINCOLN drove the cab forward, and then backed it up against the trailer their generic trailer.

While L Cell switched trailers, MORGAN poured acid into the pump-action fire extinguishers and then filled a bunch of empty flasks. Once the cab was attached, M Cell, LARRY and LYLE climbed into the trailer. MORGAN, MAYA and MALCOLM waved to Gaston, who gave them a short wave back and yelled, "Good luck!" They closed the trailer door.

As LINCOLN drove them to Enolsis, the other Delta Green agents prepared their weapons. LYLE pulled the flamethrower from its box, assembled it, and strapped it on. MALCOLM had two pistols, a dozen road flares and an equal number of white phosphorus grenades. L Cell provided some military web gear, so he pulled one on and stuffed it with explosives. MORGAN carried two pistols, a handful of flares, and some grenades. MORGAN grabbed one of the fire extinguishers. MAYA had three pistols and the manpurse full of acid flasks. As if they weren't encumbered enough, all three M Cell agents took an MP5.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 11:55 a.m. EDT

Enolsis Foundation, off I-44, Southwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma

The truck drove along for less than twenty minutes. Fortunately the trailer was equipped with air shocks so the ride wasn't too uncomfortable. Agent LARRY showed them how to set the explosives. The explosives had a timer which could be set for anything from five seconds to 10 minutes, and could be primed — and detonated — by remote control. The control also allowed the explosives to be detonated instantly. LARRY gave them some quick tactical pointers that could be summed up as "don't get in our way". It was a quick "in-out" mission: plant the explosives then get out. His biggest worry was an unexpected complication. If things went bad, M Cell was to run for the truck. L Cell would take care of themselves.

The truck horn went off. That was LINCOLN's signal that they were about to turn into the Enolsis campus. The agents hid behind the crates.

The truck came to a stop. The agents crouched down, trying hard not to make any noise. The side door of the trailer opened. Someone played a flashlight over the boxes. The agents held their breath and gripped their MP5s. The lights disappeared and the trailer door closed. The truck lurched forward. They were through the gate.

The truck made a sharp right turn, then curved around to the left. It stopped and then backed up. The sound of the truck's reverse beeper filled the trailer. The truck's brakes hissed as it stopped for a final time. Agents LINCOLN and LYLE pulled woolen balaclavas over their faces.

Agent LINCOLN opened the side doors and pulled down the ramp housed under the door. An Enolsis worker walked in with a metal dolly. Agent LARRY grabbed the man and pointed a gun to his head. LARRY moved the man to the back. The L Cell agent slipped a zip tie over the man's wrists and made him lie face down. A second man entered with a dolly, and suffered the same fate. MORGAN quickly sedated both men. A minute later a third man entered the trailer looking for the other two. LARRY grabbed him and covered his mouth. The worker was tied and sedated.

LINCOLN stuck his head into the trailer and LARRY tossed him an MP5. LINCOLN looked around and yelled, "Clear!"

LARRY pointed to the agents. "Go!" The agents grabbed their weapons and the explosives, and rushed out of the trailer.

They were in the loading dock of the Enolsis pyramid. There were a couple of men in here wearing street clothes. One of them yelled, "Who are you?"

MALCOLM pointed his submachine gun at him. "Down on the ground!"

Instead of complying, the two men threw their hands forward. Their arms extended as though made of elastic. They were the same kind of neotissue creature that attacked the agents in their hotel in St. Louis.

LARRY and LYLE fired their silenced MP5s into the creatures with little effect. MORGAN and MALCOLM kneeled beside their extinguishers, and sprayed the creatures with hydrochloric acid. MAYA ran behind the men pumped up the pressure in the tanks. MALCOLM yelled, at the top of his voice, "Remember us??? We're baaaaaack!"

The acid soaked the creatures. They let out a shriek and fell to the ground. Their steaming bodies shrivelled up and died under the barrage of acid. The male M Cell agents stopped spraying.

"Remember," yelled LARRY, "Secure. Plant. Get out! Go!"

They ran through the loading area and down a corridor. The doors at the end of the corridor were open. They ran through the doorway and into the auditorium. The seats were off to the left. The stage was in front of them. There were two people in grey jumpsuits who — from their tool belts — appeared to be technicians. Three other people wore street clothes. One of the people in street clothes turned and ran for the nearest aisle.

All three M Cell agents fired at the man running up the stairs. MAYA's bullets struck him, but they seemed to pass through his body. MALCOLM yelled, "LYLE!"

LYLE ran forward. At some point he had ignited the flamethrower. Flame licked out of the nozzle. He aimed and squeezed the trigger. A pressurized jet of napalm leapt from the nozzle. The flame struck the running man in the small of the back. He fell with a shriek. His body visibly melted in the heat of the flame. A line of fire burned from the stage to the stairs where the napalm had landed, but the flame retardant upholstery and carpeting refused to let the fire spread. "Good thing they built this place to code," muttered LYLE.

MAYA threw a flask of acid at a technician, but missed as the technician ducked out of the way. The two other people, a man and a woman dressed in civilian clothes, dropped behind the seats and out of sight. MORGAN rushed toward them.

At the same time, MAYA and MALCOLM noticed something was suspended a foot in the air over the stage. It was a disk about ten feet in diameter, hanging vertically like the magic mirror from Snow White. The disk rippled on one side like a pool of water. The back of the disk was black. The most disturbing thing about the disk — even more disturbing than the fact that it floated in mid air — was that it didn't seem to have any thickness. When they looked at it edge on it just disappeared.

LINCOLN and LARRY hunted the "people" in the auditorium. MALCOLM joined MORGAN. MAYA concentrated on the disk.

When she stood in front of it, the disk's rippling effect disappeared. The disk held the image of a strange, greenish room with walls that looked like they were covered in mold. A huge window took up the majority of the wall immediately opposite her. There was a reddish glow along the bottom edge of the window, but otherwise the view out the window was of the darkest sky she had ever seen. It took a second for her to realize the image was in three dimensions. She pulled up her pistol and fired. The bullet bounced off the window without any visible effect. She pulled out a flask of acid and flung it at the window. It sailed into the disk and shattered against the window, but with no effect. Some of the acid bounced off the window in large bubbles, only to rebound back out of the disk and fall to the stage floor.

LARRY and LINCOLN searched for the remaining technician while LYLE stood on the stage with the flamethrower. MALCOLM and MORGAN — both carrying their fire extinguishers — walked along the two aisles that framed the row of seats where the plain-clothed civilians had disappeared.

The female civilian shot an impossibly long arm at MALCOLM. He jumped out of the way. Her fist smashed into a chair, destroying it.

The male civilian attacked MORGAN. MORGAN just barely swung away from the blow; it clipped him along the rib cage, bruising a rib. MORGAN grabbed the extinguisher nozzle and squeezed. A jet of acid hit the male thing in the chest. The acid jet shot a large, steaming hole through the creature. The creature screamed as MORGAN played the acid over him, and then ran for an exit.

The woman jumped at MALCOLM. MALCOLM ignited a road flare and shoved it in her face. She fell back, screaming. MALCOLM picked up the nozzle of his extinguisher and shot her with acid. She steamed, screamed, and melted before him.

MORGAN watched as his attacker ran along the backs of the seats toward the main entrance to the auditorium. Before he had gone more than a half dozen steps, a stream of napalm roared from LYLE's flamethrower. It consumed the neotissue thing. The force knocked it into an aisle, where it burned until it no longer moved.

MAYA turned away from the disk and looked out over the auditorium. She spotted a technician — whom none had seen before — rushing for the loading dock. She shot the man. He let out a pained gasp and fell to the ground. "Oops!" cried MAYA. "Sorry! Wrong place, wrong time! You shouldn't have been working here...!"

A burst of submachine gun fire caught the attention of the M Cell agents. LARRY had found the last technician and shot him. The man lay on the ground, bleeding and still.

"Cultist," said MORGAN, pointing at the dead technician.

The L Cell agents broke out the C4. LINCOLN began placing charges on the pyramid's support members. MALCOLM grabbed some charges and started placing them, too. MORGAN took a charge and walked up to the disk hovering above the stage. He had only seen it out of the corner of his eye and assumed it was some sort of video screen. He intended to place a charge on it. Now he saw that it was something else entirely.

MORGAN assumed that he was looking at an interdimensional gate, similar to those they had encountered elsewhere. Whatever was on the other side could use a charge, too, he thought. He yelled, "Hey, star guy!" to MALCOLM, and then he stepped through the gate.

* * *

As soon as he stepped through, he knew he wasn't on Earth anymore. There was no gravity. Latent memories of his time on Mars took over, and he was able to twist himself and land up against the window feet first. The place smelled musty and moldy, like old toadstools. It was warm and humid wherever this place was. Small globules of water floated around him.

He was in a room no more than twenty feet across. Behind him was the return gate built into the room's rear wall. To either side was a large greenish-grey membrane that looked like a blister on a corpse. The membrane to his right (as he came through the portal) had two hexagons mounted on the wall beside it, one beside the other. MORGAN pushed himself toward the one on the left and pulled it aside.

The membrane separated the room from a small chamber that MORGAN thought was a "closet". Inside were a dozen crystal spheres, like the ones they found in the Yellow trailer. Although he didn't know what they were used for, at least now he knew why the Mi-Go needed to deliver the crystals to the pyramid. He noticed that most of the crystals were glowing, though some were not. He stretched his arm out to the nearest glowing crystal. It was warm.

He floated back to the window and looked out. He was in some sort of alien satellite orbiting above a huge red planet. He assumed that this was the same planet that was rushing toward the Earth. Off in the distance to his right was a weird green organic blob. The blob looked like it was made of the same material as the inside of this satellite, so he assumed it was another satellite. He looked to the left and saw an identical blob. He saw a greenish light further to the right and another, smaller light beyond it. He squinted and saw yet another light. MORGAN looked to the left and saw the same thing. He could make out at least twenty alien satellites hovering in a circle above the red planet.

MORGAN pushed over to the other membrane and looked inside. This "closet" was empty. He pulled back and looked at the hexagons. He was struck by an epiphany. He touched the nearest hexagon.

* * *

MALCOLM didn't hear MORGAN, but MAYA did. She watched as MORGAN jumped through the gate and landed on the window. She saw him float over to the left side of the image in the gate and pull aside a membrane. She saw MORGAN push back to the window and stare out for a moment. Sound did not carry through the gate, so calling to MORGAN was useless. MORGAN pushed over to the blister on the right. He pulled it aside and looked beyond it. He then pulled back and stared at the hexagons. He touched the closest of the hexagons.

Without so much as a flash, MORGAN disappeared.

"MALCOLM!" yelled MAYA.

* * *

MORGAN felt a strange pulling sensation. He looked around and he was still in the satellite. It took a moment for him to realize that it was not the same satellite, as this one didn't have a gate in it. Otherwise, it was identical.

MORGAN looked at the hexagons and touched the closest hexagon. He received the same weird pulling sensation. He was in a satellite; again, this one (assuming he had teleported to a different satellite) didn't have a gate.

He immediately touched the left hand hexagon this time. Again came the pulling sensation. He touched the left hexagon and he was "pulled" again. He saw the gate; he was back in the original satellite. He surmised that he had hopped from one satellite in the chain to another. The right hand hexagon took you one way, and the left hand hexagon brought you back the other way.

Suddenly MALCOLM appeared through the gate. The astronomer flailed his arms as he found himself in zero gravity.

"Hi, MALCOLM!" cried a cheery MORGAN.

MALCOLM flew to the window and hit it. His collision was fairly elastic, so the astronomer bounced backward toward, and through, the gate.

"Bye, MALCOLM."

MALCOLM flew through the gate again. This time he grabbed hold of a moldy green protuberance beside the window. He bounced and swung, but stayed inside the satellite.

MORGAN brought MALCOLM up to speed on what he discovered: what he found in the satellites and how he jumped from satellite to satellite. MALCOLM floated over to the membrane with the crystals. He looked inside. "How do we get them out of here?" he asked.

"We don't know if they are hampering us or hindering us," said MORGAN.

MALCOLM noticed that most were glowing. MORGAN told him that the glowing ones were warm. MALCOLM thought for a second. Following the logic that Enolsis was working against them, these satellites must — by definition — be working against the Delta Green agents. MALCOLM made a quick decision. "Get the C4!"

The male agents floated in front of the gate, grabbing onto anything they could find to hold them in place. They mimed and mouthed the word "C4" to MAYA, who was staring at them through the gate. She caught on to what they meant. They saw her disappear from view for a minute. When she came back into view she had a large sack filled with bricks of explosive. She jumped through the gate.

MAYA took to freefall as easily as MORGAN. She, too, had latent memories from their future adventure on Mars.

They quickly put together a plan. MAYA would go from satellite to satellite by touching the left hand hexagons, and MORGAN would go from satellite to satellite by touching the right hand hexagons. They would meet at the last satellite and then start dropping C4 charges on the way back. They divided the C4 blocks evenly between them. They floated over to the hexagons. MORGAN touched the right side hexagon. He disappeared from sight. MAYA touched the left side hexagon, and she disappeared. MALCOLM was left alone in the alien craft.

* * *

MAYA felt a peculiar pulling sensation and found herself in a different satellite, one without MALCOLM or an exit gate. She shivered at the thought of what just happened to her. She touched the left hexagon. She was "pulled" again. She was getting further and further from the gate and her way home by way of an alien race's teleportation technology. She suppressed another shiver and pushed the thought to the back of her mind lest it consume her. She touched the hexagon.

She was in a different satellite. In front of her, facing away from her, was an impossible creature. It had a body like an insect, complete with wings, but it was taller than her. Where a head would be was a cluster that looked vaguely like an exposed brain. It's primary limbs ended in claws. The creature was deftly manipulating something on a wall.

Without thinking, MAYA slapped the left hexagon. She teleported to the next satellite.

There was nothing in the this craft. She hit the hexagon. MAYA continued to quickly hop from satellite to satellite, deathly afraid that something was chasing her.

* * *

MORGAN also hopped from satellite to satellite. The thought of teleporting further and further from home wore on his mind. Still, he kept touching the right hand hexagon.

On the third satellite he saw a creature in front of him, a creature with an insectoid body and an insane, textured mass for a head. The creature — a Mi-Go — was facing him.

The Delta Green agent turned back to the hexagons. He felt the air shift behind behind him. Instead of hitting the right hand hexagon, MORGAN hit the left hand hexagon. The pulling sensation shot him (he hoped) back to the previous satellite.

As he materialized, he thought of MAYA. MAYA would be advancing from satellite to satellite, not retreating. If she came around to the satellite MORGAN just left, she'd run into the Mi-Go.

He slapped the right hand hexagon. As he felt the pulling sensation he saw something appear next to where he was floating. The hairs on the back of his neck stood upright as he appeared in the satellite he just came from.

The satellite was empty. MORGAN didn't waste any time. He hit the right hexagon.

* * *

MALCOLM floated near a wall. He felt a change in air pressure as something materialized in his satellite. Before him floated the strangest creature he had ever seen, something that looked like an insect with big claws. "That's an ugly bug!" he said to himself.

His natural reaction was to pull out his gun. He aimed it at the creature and braced for the recoil. He squeezed the trigger. Even while bracing, he still thumped into the wall. The bullet went wide.

The creature lashed out MALCOLM but missed. Maybe the shot distracted the creature. He fired a second time, but that shot missed, too.

He tried to twist out of the way, but the creature grabbed him by the gun arm. The thing's pincher broke the skin. MALCOLM saw beads of blood float in the air.

He fumbled for a white phosphorus grenade. If he was going to die, he was going to take this thing with him.

The air snapped around him. Bits of greenish liquid shot from the creature in a cloud of bubbles. The creature let go of him as it recoiled to the window. The air snapped as more projectiles slammed into the creature. Several of the projectiles missed, but most hit the monster square in its thorax. The projectiles ceased, and the thing sluggishly turned to the gate. It flew forward. Another dozen projectiles hit it, several of them penetrating straight through the thing's body and into the moldy walls. A couple of projectiles ricocheted off the window. More green globules of liquid floated through the satellite's compartment. In spite of the terror, MALCOLM found himself watching a single globule strike the wall and then sink into it. The thought of the walls feeding turned his stomach.

The bug thing bounced off the window and cartwheeled away, lifeless. MALCOLM looked back through the gate. LARRY and LINCOLN faced him, their MP5s up at their shoulders. They had seen the creature and had reacted.

MALCOLM waved, and then realized he had pulled the pin from the white phosphorus grenade. Fortunately the lever was still attached. He carefully replaced the pin.

Since he had nothing better to do while he waited, MALCOLM floated to the membrane and pushed it aside. He picked up a crystal and tossed it toward the gate. The crystal touched the gate and passed through it. MALCOLM continued throwing crystals out of the satellite.

* * *

MAYA passed from satellite to satellite as fast as she could. Every satellite was empty, giving her a weird feeling of deja vu and disorientation.

She appeared in what she guessed was the tenth satellite. The compartment before her was far from empty. The satellite was full of the bug-like creatures. She guessed that there were close to a dozen of the things. Near a cluster of several Mi-Go was a human being. She recognized the human: it was Gene Downing, the Living Power, the head of Enolsis.

The Living Power saw MAYA and gasped. Four Mi-Go near him advanced toward MAYA, moving with an unnatural ease in the zero-gravity environment.

Something materialized beside her. MAYA pulled out her gun while instinctively bracing against the wall. She turned to face this new threat.

It was MORGAN!

MAYA recognized him just as she was bring her gun to bear. She turned back to the cluster of Mi-Go. She aimed her pistol at the Living Power. "MORGAN! C4, and run!"

MAYA shot at Downing. She didn't see where she struck him as the recoil bounced her back into the wall, but she saw a stream of red bubbles slip from his tumbling form. MORGAN set the timer on the C4 block and pushed it away from him. The Mi-Go were almost on them. MORGAN hit the left hexagon, and MAYA hit the right. They popped out of the satellite as the claws of the nearest Mi-Go were almost on them.

* * *

MALCOLM continued to throw crystals out the gate. He stopped when he had thrown out half of them. He looked through the gate. LARRY watched him while the other two were somewhere out of sight. MALCOLM assumed they were planting explosives. He pantomimed picking up the crystals and carrying them away, a feat that wasn't easy in zero gravity. LARRY nodded and began picking up crystals.

LARRY spun around. He dropped the crystals and pulled his submachine gun up to his shoulder. LINCOLN and LYLE appeared. LYLE set off the flamethrower, while LINCOLN grabbed a flask of acid from the manpurse.

L Cell had company.

* * *

MORGAN appeared in an empty satellite. He set the block of C4 for five seconds and tossed it toward the "closet" with the crystals. He popped out of the satellite.

He was in another satellite. He threw a C4 block toward the far membrane in this craft and popped out.

MORGAN proceeded from satellite to satellite, repeating the process.

* * *

MAYA did the same thing as MORGAN. She set the timer on the C4 to somewhere around five to 10 seconds and threw it into the satellite's main chamber. She touched the right hand hexagon.

She materialized in the next satellite. A Mi-Go tried to grab her. She slipped out of the creature's way and hit the right hexagon. When she materialized she didn't bother dropping a C4 charge. Instead, she hit the right hexagon and dropped to another satellite. This time she did take the time to set and throw a C4 brick. She hit the hexagon and disappeared.

* * *

Agent MALCOLM pushed off from a wall and flew through the gate. He rolled as Earth's gravity pulled him to the stage. L Cell was involved in a firefight with men in blue coveralls and men and women in civilian clothes. There were at least half a dozen opponents, all armed with submachine guns, firing at L Cell.

LYLE let out a spray of napalm from the flamethrower. It hit one of the men in coveralls. The man let out a high pitched scream as his body melted in the flame. At least some of these people were made of neotissue. "Great," thought MALCOLM. "Neotissue creatures with machine guns."

MALCOLM still held the white phosphorus grenade. He pulled the pin and threw it at a woman in civilian clothes just as she levelled a submachine gun at him. The grenade flew wide. It hit the floor, rolled, and then ignited. A thick white cloud filled the front five rows of seats in that section of the auditorium.

Bullets snapped at MALCOLM's feet. He jumped off the stage and took cover behind the front row of seats.

* * *

MORGAN paused for a moment when he arrived at the next satellite. By his estimate he had two more satellites after this one before he arrived back at the satellite with the gate. The satellite heaved back and forth, as if floating in the sea. Motion out the corner of his eye caught his attention. He looked out the window. The motion came from the sixth satellite on his left. A fine mist extended out from that satellite's window. A Mi-Go moved along the mist cloud. It tumbled as it moved in a straight line. MORGAN suspected that it had been caught in an explosion.

He saw a flash erupt from the fifth satellite on the left. It was followed by numerous other flashes and a jet of mist shooting from the broken window. MORGAN somehow knew that the additional flashes were from the crystals releasing their energy after the C4 cracked them.

The red planet seemed to be brighter. MORGAN glanced at it. It was closer. It was moving. He saw the broken sixth satellite start to plunge to the planet's surface.

The CDC investigator threw a C4 block into the membrane containing the crystals and hit the left hexagon.

* * *

MAYA appeared in the satellite with the gate. MALCOLM was nowhere to be seen, but in front of her floated a Mi-Go. She pulled out her gun, braced herself, and fired. The bullet missed, but the Mi-Go didn't move. It continued to hang in place. She reached out and poked it. The creature slid away from her, toward the far wall. "Cool!" she said.

MORGAN appeared beside her. He saw the Mi-Go. "Ah!" he yelled, as he went for his gun.

MAYA said, "Wait, wait! It's, ah, uh, ee, uh... just get out! Drop the C4 and just get out!"

"Is it dead?"

"Dunno! Get out!"

MAYA pulled out her last block of C4 and set the timer for 10 seconds. MORGAN slipped over to the Mi-Go and pushed it through the gate. He pushed off with his feet and sent himself through the gate. MAYA shoved the C4 toward the membrane-covered closet and threw herself through the gate.

As MORGAN and MAYA tumbled to the ground, they heard gunfire. The auditorium was filled with white smoke. Flames licked up here and there. Smoldering and melting bodies littered the floor.

"Let's get out of here!" cried LARRY.

"Okie dokie!" replied MAYA.

"To the truck!" commanded the L Cell leader.

MORGAN looked down at his dead Mi-Go. There was no way he could carry it to the truck, it would be too big a burden. Swearing under his breath, he reluctantly left it behind. He saw his discarded acid sprayer sitting where he had left it. He picked that up and ran for the loading dock.

The members of L Cell joined him. LYLE carried the flamethrower even though it was out of ammunition. He had a bandage over his left bicep. LINCOLN ran with a slight limp. LARRY and MALCOLM appeared to be uninjured.

Someone was chasing MORGAN. He turned around and fired a short burst from his MP5. The bullets missed, and his pursuer — a young man in blue coveralls — stretched out an arm toward him. MORGAN ducked the arm, brought up the nozzle of the fire extinguisher and let off a stream of acid. The neotissue creature jumped to his right and rolled off the stage.

The Delta Green agents ran into the corridor, through the loading dock and out to the truck. MAYA headed around the front of the cab to the driver's door. LYLE followed. A woman in street clothes stood beside the door. The woman shot an arm out at MAYA. MAYA threw a flask of acid, but missed.

The creature's fist flew at MAYA's head. She ducked out of the way as the fist slammed into the side of the trailer. Her fist left a sizable dent.

LINCOLN limped around the truck. In his hands were two flares. He bit off the ends of the flares. They bathed him in red light. He jabbed them into the thing's face. As it screamed, he shoved the flares deeper into the neotissue creature's skull. The creature flailed its arms and ran away from the agents.

"Into the cab, ma'am," said LINCOLN, as he opened the door for MAYA. MAYA climbed up into the cab, and LINCOLN followed.

LYLE, MALCOLM and MORGAN ran up the ramp and into the trailer. LARRY pulled up the ramp, and climbed into the trailer with them. MALCOLM helped LARRY inside.

MALCOLM saw someone running toward the trailer. He pulled out a white phosphorus grenade and threw it. It ignited at the person's feet. The hot flame engulfed the man. The man screamed and began to melt.

LINCOLN had left the engine running. He threw the truck into gear, and it rolled forward with a lurch.

A human hand — or what looked like a human hand — grabbed hold of the doorway. MORGAN sprayed the hand with acid. The hand disappeared.

As the truck left the loading dock, LINCOLN and MAYA saw security guards running for the pyramid. When they saw the truck they stopped running and started firing at the cab. Bullets struck the cab, putting three bullets in the windshield. More bullets hit the trailer without penetrating.

MALCOLM held on to a tie-down ring inside the trailer with one hand, and leaned out the door. He sprayed the security guards with his MP5. MAYA's window was rolled down. She fired her submachine gun at the guards. None of the security guards were struck, but they all hugged the ground for protection.

The truck was coming up on the strange fountain with the laser light show. MORGAN grabbed a bag of white phosphorus grenades. He pulled the pin on one grenade and stuffed it into the bag. He tossed the bag into the fountain. The packaged exploded, shattering the crystal and destroying several of the lasers. A huge cloud of smoke engulfed the fountain.

Bullets cracked as the security guards recovered their composure. The truck took a sharp left turn. MALCOLM spotted a crowd of civilians huddled outside the main building. Most of them lay on the ground in reaction to the grenades detonating. A couple of them had video cameras.

"Duck," said LARRY, in a calm voice. MORGAN and MALCOLM saw he was holding the detonator. They threw themselves to the floor of the trailer. LARRY pushed the detonate button.

A series of deep thumps, more felt than heard, struck the truck. The thumps were followed by a deep rumbling and the unmistakable sound of torn metal. As they rumbling died down, the agents heard the shocked screams of the civilian audience.

The truck ran through the main gate. If there were any guards in the guard shack, none of them tried to stop the truck. LINCOLN braked hard and pulled a tight left turn onto Route 66 a car honked its horn as it sped past. The M cell agents looked back at the pyramid. The pyramid was gone. In its place was a large debris field and a cloud of dust. The pyramid had collapsed in on itself.

Fifteen minutes later they were back at the rendezvous point. LINCOLN skidded the truck to a stop. The agents jumped out of the trailer, and MAYA quickly climbed down from the cab. LARRY and LYLE detached the trailer from the truck. LINCOLN whipped the cab around and attached it to the Yellow trailer.

Gaston and Denton walked over to the agents. "I heard an explosion. I figured that was you." The agents only smiled in reply.

LINCOLN got out of the Yellow truck cab and ran over to the other cab. He started it up and then maneuvered it in front of their trailer.

MORGAN checked on the condition of the truck driver. The driver was unconscious, but breathing normally. The scopolamine MORGAN injected him with would play hell with the guy's memory prior to his abduction. Hopefully he'd have a hard time identifying anyone, particularly Denton and Gaston.

The CDC investigator walked over to the Yellow trailer. Inside were the Enolsis crystals. He grabbed two of them, walked over to their rental car, and placed them on the floor of the rear seat.

MORGAN joined MALCOLM and MAYA, who were standing beside LARRY and LYLE. They shake hands. "Pleasure doing business with you," said LARRY. "Let's hope they can contain this one," he added.

"I think we saved the planet," said MALCOLM.

"The planet?" LARRY raised an eyebrow.

"The planet," said MALCOLM.

"The planet," repeated MORGAN.

"The planet? How?"

"There's a planet coming toward us," said MAYA.

"If that planet actually makes it to the inner solar system," said MALCOLM, "the gravitational forces alone would be enough to wipe out all life on the Earth."

"And you think you stopped it?" asked LYLE.

"We think we stopped it," said MORGAN.

"Let's hope we have!" said LARRY. "Good op if we have!"

LARRY and LYLE joined LINCOLN in the truck. They drove down to where the road bent, and then turned out of sight.

The M Cell agents shook hands with Gaston and Denton. They wished each other good luck. The G-men got into Gaston's car and drove down the dirt road. The Delta Green agents got into the rented Ford Escape, this time with MAYA behind the wheel. She drove them out to Route 66, waited for a gap in the traffic, and then headed east to Tulsa. It wasn't until they were well on their way that they took off their surgical gloves.

Less than an hour later, the agents were back in MORGAN's hotel room discussing dinner plans.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 7:25 p.m. EDT

La Quinta Inn, Tulsa, Oklahoma

After eating, the agents went back to MORGAN's and MALCOLM's room. They turned on the TV and tuned it to CNN. The news reported some sort of terrorist attack on the Enolsis Foundation headquarters. One building on the campus was destroyed. Unconfirmed reports said that Gene Downing, the head of Enolsis, was dead, but his body had yet to be found. Every couple of minutes a reporter would talk about the similarities between this attack and the Oklahoma City bombing.

CNN played a video captured at the scene. The image was blurry. It showed an orange colored tractor-trailer rushing past and then the image shook as something rumbled off camera. The image whipped around to show the pyramid collapsing on itself.

The report continued with news that the driver of a truck was being questioned by police. The police would not confirm or deny that the driver was a "person of interest". They would not confirm or deny a rumor that terrorists were involved, although they did admit that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were called in.

Officials from Enolsis blamed the attack on the authorities. They claimed that they were raided by the government and that there was a conspiracy to cover it up.

MALCOLM checked his e-mail. There were more than 50 messages from his colleagues. The latest observations had the planet moving away from the Earth at an incredible rate, to the point where many of the observers could no longer find it. Some astronomers were even suggesting that their initial readings were completely wrong, that it was never heading for the inner solar system and/or it was never the size of a planet to begin with. The denials had already begun.

"We saved the world!" yelled MALCOLM. The agents danced around, ecstatic.

The next day the agents left Tulsa, Oklahoma. MORGAN left for Atlanta with the two crystals in his luggage, MALCOLM flew back to New Mexico, and MAYA went home to New Orleans.