So I head to the S-Mart - the closest Fast-Travel point form which I can start walking to the crabman lair. No sooner do I step out of the parking lot than this boy runs up. Seems he's from a town to the south that is under siege by giant fire ants. He isn't sure where his dad or his neighbors from across the street or the scientist they were renting a room to are. Having fought a few giant ants before, I agree to help out. Anything to stave off the insanity of sneaking into a crabman lair.
I quickly find out that these are literally fire-ants. That is, the ants can breathe fire. Like a flame-thrower. I take a quick spin around the town blasting the things while trying to find the kid's house. I wind up finding an abandoned train station in the middle of this and wind up circling around the whole town trying to get to where I need to go. Luckily the kid has a good shelter to hide in. Unluckily, his dad died taking the ants down with him. The kid takes the news about as well as you can expect - thankfully he was all cried out. He asks me to figure out what's caused the ants and keep them from hurting anyone else. I agree, of course. It's what a sheriff would do.
Dad had a key to a newly constructed shack out behind their house. Seems this belonged to the scientist. A quick examination of his notes (he left his password written on the desk - not smart) reveals that the ants are HIS fault. Apparently he was trying to shrink the regular giant ants back to normal size and.... well, silly him he somehow gave them the ability to breathe fire. His notes also tell how he was working on his experiments in a lab he built... inside the train station.
So yay! More tunnels! More ants! And a virtual depletion of most of my guns, ammo and land mines. The only interesting things of note I find are a tunnel that says it leads up into a church and a room full of loot and swag, including a safe containing "Naughty Nightwear". No sooner do I swipe it, a raider type comes in demanding that I return it. My speechifying skills convince him to let it go and that I am in fact the rightful owner of this sexy lingerie.
Sad how the most reasonable person I've met today is an underwear-stealing maniac in a hockey mask.
Eventually, I find the scientist. It quickly becomes apparent that the not so good doctor has gone past being a mad scientist and has now entered Dr. Moreau territory. It doesn't matter that he just killed an entire city and destroyed two families (I found the dad from the other family down here in the tunnels as well - no sign of his wife or kids...) - he must solve the ant-shrinking problem. He says that he has created a device to make the ants docile but that he needs a clear path to the ant queen's lair. In exchange, he offers to use his science to enhance my genetics.
Guess who gets recruited to go kill the ant queen's five personal guard ants to get that clear path made? Guess who came back and - after making sure the ant-calmer was turned on - blew the head off the pencil-neck geek who thought ant shrinking was more important than people? Guess who went back and killed the ant queen... just to make sure? Guess who made level 8 and - despite a karma drop for killing the amoral scientist - is still very good?
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