12.1 - Big Game Hunting

Subject: Costa Rica Stag Party
File number: 74-73400
Admin Routing: D42-L5

Welp, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is I learned something about Joey. The bad news is that he wigs the fuck out when there’s trees.

Well, okay, it’s not that simple. Video footage attached.

We encountered something I’m going to call the “Stag-a-saurus” because it was big, undead, and looked like a fucking deer on LSD.

Anyway, the order of events seems to be like this.

  1. Joey starts attacking a strangler fig that Kiln climbed up on.
  2. The trees do this kind of WHOAAAA retreat and then go aggro. Don’t ask me how a forest goes aggro it just happened.
  3. Stag-a-saurus makes his entrance complete with WWE music.

Following that, Joey went after Roddy, Roddy and Mette rescued each other (long story but I ship it further investigation is called for), Mette calmed Joey down, and everything was generally hunky-dory there.

Kiln and I both had the same idea: lead it away from the group. Unfortunately, I had two things Kiln did not, which is (a) some god damn common sense and (b) a supply of expendable drones. So Kiln ran off on their own. More on that later.

Anyway! Now for the important bits.

  • Stag-a-saurus has two firing modes: a directed energy blast with a significant radius, and a full-360 energy discharge.
  • It appears to rely on traditional sensory apparatus for targeting, including sight, sound, and smell.
  • No immediate tactical or physiological vulnerability was identified. For group safety I went with a diversion tactic.
  • The creature appeared extremely emaciated or decayed and may have been functionally dead, I didn’t stick around long enough to get a sample. It might be necessary to employ fire, acid, or similar disintegration attacks.
  • For all we know, it was just chilling in the jungle when we showed up and poked the hornet’s nest. When it gets tired of chasing the drones, it might go back into standby. I’ll be gathering drone telemetry to confirm this later on - find out where it finally kills the drones (or where they lose juice), then do some satellite surveillance.

From all this, my early conclusion is that Stag-a-saurus was:

  • possibly bio-engineered from existing life - members of family Cervidae are found in Costa Rica
  • probably used as guardians or area-defense weapons
  • possibly integrated into the local biosphere somehow

Finally, some extremely dubious speculation about Joey. None of this is sourced, I’m just rambling.

  • It’s possible his rampage against the trees just woke this thing up, but that doesn’t explain why he rampaged against some freaking fig trees
  • It’s more interesting if Joey and Stag-a-saurus were somehow both engineered, but by opposite sides
  • If the proximity to the temple isn’t a coincidence, then is Stag-a-saurus on the side of the temple builders, or not? If it’s a protector of the temple, Joey and Kiln might end up throwing down sooner or later. If it’s hostile to the temple, then what’s it doing here, just chilling rather than smashing stuff up?

So basically, I’m wondering if Joey wasn’t going after the trees, but instead was after Stag-a-saurus.

Here’s my ask for Department 42.

Build me a tranquilizer gun. Something small, portable, discreet. I need to be able to carry it in my pack on missions like this, and snipe Joey if he goes off again. But, and this is the really important part, the dart should not only inject a sedative into his bloodstream, it should also take a blood sample immediately. When I pull the dart off him, I’ll send it in for analysis.

If whatever’s setting Joey off has a physical component, we should know about it. If we can spot antibody or hormone changes or something like that when stuff like this is around, maybe we can extract that out into a detector for the future. And it might give us clues into what makes Joey tick. The only lead on making him human again right now is this temple. As much as he’s got a thing for Mette, I can’t count on her always calming him down. I need something more reliable, for his safety, and hers.