Damn it. I finally get a sweet new neo-orca morph after more than a decade stuck in bipedal-mode and I get myself infected with some weird alien crystal-plague. I mean, I guess it's better to know about it. I gotta say, those gatecrashers from "Lassiter" (wherever that actually is) are pretty on top of their game. At this rate, they may even beat Andy Westingbrooke as the most famous Gatecrasher of them all.
Alexi Oda and her team did an aerial survey over the shallow seas of the planet… I imagine that was pretty boring until they found a weird zone that sucked all the power out of their shuttle. I've seen bits of the XP, that Chloelia Octavia sure can fly. She saved all their asses from a watery grave. What little they could discover indicated undersea alien tech of some sort that eats the power out of any vehicle or even synthmorph that goes near it. Suddenly we aquatic uplifts are in demand!
One problem, none of us actually have the aquatic bodies we were born with. No problem! Apparently. Oda's team just stepped off through some gates where they happened to have Rael Duvalier on tap (!!) and he handed over two cherry-new neo-orca morphs and a neo-dolphin for Hank and Lucy and me. I have no idea what they must have given him in exchange. It was a bit of a production moving the morphs to water, and getting us installed. We obviously backed ourselves up first. After all, we were going to swim out into an alien sea to poke at alien artifacts…
A couple weeks later we made it out to the scene. Oda's team was in a shuttle hovering nearby (but not TOO nearby… or splash). We headed down.
We hit it with sonar and everything. It looked like an undersea wreck of a spacecraft. It seems like it deployed a system of tethered buoys which seems to be the tech draining electromagnetic energy from everything above it. Probably some sort of emergency self-repair system. We poked around and I found a hole in the side of the ship and swam inside. The interior was all glowing with this lemon-yellow light and I could see these enormous crystal formations growing all throughout the ship. They were clearly invasive, as they were punching through bulkheads, and otherwise did not seem to be the intended cargo. The crystals were glowing, and I figured they were probably leeching energy from ship-systems that were in turn leeching that energy from everything that came too close. I booped a crystal with my nose, but it felt solid like any other rock… but then I was awash in a weird vision.
I was back at the Somatek Hawai'ian research facility with my birth-pod and the scientists who created me but the lead scientist was clearly not any memory of him I have… something was speaking through him, asking me why I allowed myself, a created entity, to subordinate my desires to those who created me. I told him that I super don't, I blew that joint and joined the anarchists years ago. He seemed pleased… and then I came out of the vision.
I realized that the crystal had somehow talked to me and freaked the fuck out. We three fled the wreck. Sadly, our mesh inserts and other tech were all drained and powerless, but Lucy had decent transgenic vocal chords and was able to give something of a verbal report to Oda's team. They airlifted me back to shore while the others started the long swim so I could get my implants recharged and report what I saw. Oda's team vanished again, but when they came back a few hours later they had somehow procured XP from some black-ops team infiltrating a Fa Jing black laboratory on Mars where these crystal things were being experimented on. Apparently it's a crystal intelligence that can infect other intelligent beings, and it looks like I'm infected. They restored me from backup, so I guess I have an alpha fork here in my old bipedal body just in case this infection should prove fatal.
Shit. This body was so sweet, too. I've missed being me. It will really suck if I die of crystal poisoning.