Operation: Broken Ground
|Operation: Broken Ground|
|Dates run:||August 21-24, 2007|
|Read the logs:||Operation: Broken Ground|
"Worms. Why de fuck Remy travel wit' any of you, I have no idea."
Mysterious disappearances of migrant workers in Arizona bring X-Force into a rather odd situation.
Information comes to XF of Something Strange happening on the border of Arizona and Mexico through a number of means - Doug and his media scanning, Mark and his mutant activist contacts - but nothing really concrete. When Wanda and Sofia have an encounter at the Mexican restaurant run by Mama Lupe with a relative recently arrived from Mexico, things get more suspicious - the relative is raving about some kind of deliberate program to wipe out Mexican immigrants, with there being several disappearances. Considering it's three odd things in the same place and they're in need of some back to basics work, the Snow Valley folks decide to go check things out, under the guise of a working party into immigration, or something of the sort.
Over the course of investigation, several things become obvious. 1) there have been a number of disappearances; 2) the local mayor and police department don't seem overly concerned, some going as far to hint that no-one really cares about a bunch of Mexicans; 3) something's got the immigrant worker population scared. Very scared. It also comes out that the region used to host some military research bases, closed after the end of the Cold War. Investigations continue at the migrant worker settlement, and that's when the group is attacked. By giant worms.
The worms, known as Mongolian Death Worms, are about four feet long, bright red and can spit a highly venomous yellow poison, plus attack at a distance with an electrical discharge. They are, in all, entirely disgusting and lethal. Hence the name "Death Worm". Thought to be a myth, until the Snow Valley crew finds themselves dealing with an attack on themselves during a meeting to exchange information and plan their next move.
The initial incursion is repelled, with several of the worms being killed and one escaping. Our heroes track the escapees through Remy's research into the local geology, to an old bunker at one of the disused military bases. It turns out the worms were part of an old bioweapons program, discovered in Mongolia and samples brought back for research. The result being the giant versions. It turns out that when the facility was shut down, no-one bothered to kill off the stock and so they've been stored in the bowels of the facility for the last thirty years. Aftershocks from the San Diego earthquake the year before compromised the containment, and some of the worms escaped, moving further and further afield in search of food. Snow Valley eliminates the surviving worms, discovers hundreds more in tanks, still alive and potentially able to escape, and destroy the whole place, disappearing in a cloud of smoke before the authorities can come figure out what the fuss is about.
Trivia and Meta
It was Wanda who insisted on renting hybrids for environmental reasons.
Amanda's unusual power useage, given the lack of a city to use as a source, was attributed at the time to possible ancient Anasazi ruins.