Father Bob told the team about Shapiro’s absence and tested everyone for the Yellow Fever. Luckily it seemed that no one else was infected and Father Bob had the suppression solution on hand to keep his own illness at bay.
Dangerfield realised that a swift exit might be required and headed down to the airfield to arrange for some transportation, leaving the rest of the team to resolve the situation (his player wasn’t present).
The rest of the team asked around and learned that Shapiro had been sited heading into the jungle via an animal track.. That same track that Tobias and Dangerfield had been following earlier! The Team set-off after him, after some consideration Tobias decided to take the Haftorang Device along, better than to leave it unattended.
Travel through the jungle was uneventful this time, the party also elected to go around the spider-web filled area. Shortly after this the team came across an area where a large section of the mountainside had been shorn-off by something which also left a large 30’ hole in the earth, descending to unknown depths. But even more interestingly the shorn away mountainside had revealed a hexagonal passageway part-way up the mountainside, from which a strange white light was pouring.
The Team did not have long to consider this before more of the strange winged demon creatures descended upon them, certainly attracted by their lanterns/torches in the night.
The fight was short with the creatures being no match for the deadly hand-guns of CC and Tobias, Father Bob suffered a few minor scratches, but nothing more serious.
As the Team began their climb up to the corridor they heard the sound of a man and a woman talking from above, but their skills at scaling cliffs prevented them from getting close enough to hear the conversation, and by the time they reached the top the conversation was over.
Entering the passageway the Team found themselves in some kind of high-tech facility, discovering that the walls/floor/ceiling of this hexagonal passage were glowing to provide light and a mysterious device with a small 5’ stepped pyramid being circled by two floating stone slabs which Tobias recognised as a Gate-machine, capable of linking two faraway places, and even other dimensions!
As they approached this device they heard Shapiro call out, challenging them to identify themselves. The Team advanced cautiously. Shapiro was there, alone, but he did not seem himself, he spoke about a moment of triumph and opening a gate. When challenged by Father Bob, it seemed that he was about to attack him, but Tobias was faster, blasting away at Shapiro and wounding his hand, revealing a scaly arm beneath the human exterior.
CC reacted quickly to this development and quickly disabled “Shapiro” with 3 well-placed shots.
While Father Bob bound and blindfolded this Serpent Man wearing Shapiro-looking skin CC and Tobias moved into the next room to discover a large computer bank which must relate to the controlling of the gate. It appears there is more to the complex, but an old rock-fall had blocked off access.
While messing with the computer Tobias accidentally opened the gate, but was able to quickly close it again (no one looked through..). He was later able to activate a map showing various other gate locations around the world as well as on a mysterious extra continent off the coast of East South America. The team confirmed that there were no gate-ways near New York (and Caduceus HQ), and CC later thought he was the indicator for a gate in Iceland blinking, but when the others looked it was not.
The Team then proceeded to attempt to interrogate “Shapiro”, this did not go smoothly as Tobias was especially jumpy, and kept knocking “Shapiro” out when he started speaking in Naacal, but they were able to discover:
- “Shapiro” was a snake-man working for Inner Night.
- The snake-man “consumed” the actual Shapiro to take is appearance.
- It was planning to kill as many humans as possible to power the gate.
- The gate was to finally open to somewhere which would be its moment of triumph.
- The Haftorang Device had been re-set to go-off at dawn.
- It was planning to shelter in the complex here, where it should be protected from the Haftorang Device
The interrogation ended when the Serpent Person called upon the darkness and swiftly was consumed in shadow and turned into an oily slime creature like the ones the Team encountered in South America!
The creature slammed into poor Father Bob, with a blow which should have shattered his feeble frame it sent him flying across the room to land in a heap against the computer terminals. Father Bob was lucky to live.. but felt that his luck had all been spent!
CC quickly pulled and lit a flare to deal with the creature, but Tobias was faster, producing the flame-pistol and scorching it straight into the heart of the creature, burning it to a crisp and leaving nothing behind but a dark stain on the floor, of the serpent man there was no sign.
Checking the Haftorang Device the Team was able to determine that its clock had been moved forward and they had barely 4 hours before it would explode and destroy the nearby area. Hoping to save the villagers from instant death the team decided to leave it within the facility in the hopes that its blast would be contained.
Rushing back to the farm the team ran straight past, set to head straight to the airfield as they only had about an hour and a half left, but Father Bob stopped. He determined that the Viral Analyser was too important to leave behind…
CC and Tobias were not so sure, but they could not leave Father Bob to handle this alone, the three of them requisitioned a truck from the survey camp and loaded the Analyser aboard, they were arrived at the airfield with only minutes to spare, minutes which were spent loading the device onto the small plane.
As the plane lifted into the air there was an almighty explosion as the top of the mountain was blown clear off by the force of the Haftorang Device’s ignition. Looking back the team saw the extent of the devastation as the whole mountain was but a smoking crater, the survey-camp, farm and all the diseased people were just gone..
The team was not in the clear, however, as rocks and debris from the explosion rained down on their plane, a large rock clipped the wing and send the plane spiralling down to crash into the jungle.
The team took over a week to trek back to civilisation, Father Bob now unconscious and barely alive in the last stages of the infection, only the suppression solution holding it at bay. They boarded a plane for New York, hoping that they can get Father Bob back in time..
Father Bob just moans and dreams feverishly.