M’Beke, troubled by the noise from the Church, confronted the cult about it, earning only hostility from Sister Harridan, learning nothing. He instructed the guards to keep a closer eye on the frequent comings and goings there.
People are taking ill. Burroughs found Pellet the arms dealer in the Bazaar looking very ill, and Lucas from the Fort also looking ill and reporting that the arms dealers have good gear. M’Beke asked Jess to try to diagnose the sick Fort citizens, so she set up a dispensary tent outside the gate so that sick people can be quarantined outside the Fort perimeter if need be. Jess locked sick Lucas in the dispensary tent, and also drew blood from Enrique to test. The microscope showed no signs of bacterial infection as Jess started to gear up a makeshift medical lab.
Reports of sickness spreading throughout the Fort and Bazaar, though at least Lucas doesn’t seem to be getting any sicker. Newcomers to the Bazaar Pellet, four other arms dealers, and their leader Fuse are doing brisk business. Burroughs has another vision, of people and big machines digging stuff out of a pit in the ground.
M’Beke decides to chase out Fuse and his gang. He orders his soldiers to shut down the Bazaar. A scuffle between vendors turns into a fight, leaving a handful of casualties.
Boom! The southeast tower on the east wing of the Fort explodes in a ball of fire, as from a grenade hit. The sound of automatic weapons fire rings out. M’Beke, confronting Fuse’s gang, takes a bullet, but kills one of the gang and severely wounds Pellet. Jess kicks Lucas out of the dispensary tent, locks Pellet in instead. M’Beke declares a quarantine, sending sick Fort citizens out to the cleared Bazaar space, but Lucas returns to the Fort before the gate guards get the order. In the confusion, Fuse’s gang ran off in their truck … but had to abandon Pellet, who remains a hostage of the fort.
Jess opens her mind to the psychic maelstrom again, and the Voices tell her that the Dig is full of mutants. Our heroes finally realize that people are taking ill from radiation poisoning from the new weapons from the arms dealers; a quick examination with Jess’ geiger counter confirms it. M’Beke has her test the camp, collecting radioactive weapons, marking them, and putting them in a separate armory space.