The Masonic Lodge is a low, square building with a brick façade flanked by two narrow, frosted windows. There is the dark iron of the Masonic symbol set on the front and a white foundation stone in the corner.
The area is swarming with townspeople. As you sneak closer, your skin prickles, something doesn’t feel right. You notice that they aren’t wearing their funeral sunglasses and there is something wrong with their eyes. All of them are glowing blue. Then you put two and two together. People being ‘replaced’, ‘parasite eggs’, these people have been taken over. Infected.
“Do you have a plan?” Lang asks.
“I’m thinking—” you begin, when you feel the cold barrel of a raygun against your back.
“I do.” Hex stuns both of you. Once you’re both immobilized, she trusses you up like chickens and rolls you onto a hoverboard she unfolds from her walker basket. You’re dragged behind her like a trophy, straight through the group who barely react to you.
“Hey!” Hex calls. The group parts to reveal a lady with the piercing blue eyes of the infected. She’s dressed in a simple blue sack-dress. Something sharpens in her expression. You get the impression this is the group’s leader.
“You have the payment as agreed, yes?” she asks.
“Yeah,” replies Hex. “The Agents and their toys.” She removes a magnetic device from her shawl, and in the next instant, your communicators and rayguns are yanked away.
The crowd of infected edge closer. The leader grins with a mouth full of pointed white teeth. She hands over a glass holochip with a fake off-world pass on it, and Hex tucks it into her shawl.
“We trusted you!” you say.
“Sorry, dearie,” she says in a sugar-sweet tone. “That’s where you went wrong.”
Now you’re at the mercy of the infected hive. Two of them are hovering behind you. “It’s good to have some Agents with us for feeding time…”