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Missions: The Hunt Begins, Into the Depths, and The Bug Shaman

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Background: The Hunt Begins

Your return to the Universal Brotherhood is anything but subtle. The team hits the same back door Coyote found and you storm through, quickly making your way into the restricted area and the room where you last met Jessica. And first encountered the bugs.

You stand there together, listening to the sounds of chittering coming from somewhere distant. Harlequin stares into the darkness, humming tunelessly while fingering the sword on his hip. Then he turns, lifts his Aegis launcher to his lips, and gives it a kiss.

You give the signal and the hunt begins.

Background: Into the Depths

The cold, utilitarian facilities of the Brotherhood's private areas break away and degenerate into sprawling subterranean tunnels. Tunnels that were not crafted by the hands of Man.

The air is foul with the smell of decaying flesh and something else -- a rank, stinging acid bite that hits noses and eyes hard. Wet, squirming noises echo throughout the tunnels, punctuated by low moans and the occasional gasp -- for what, you can't tell.

One thing that you can tell, though -- Aegis works. You shoulder your launcher and keep going.

Background: The Bug Shaman

A rhythmic thrumming punctuates the air, passing through you, vibrating your lungs in your chest, and making it hard to breathe. It's an electricity that makes the hair on your skin stand up in protest.

Ahead, you hear the sounds of chanting, accented by the moist wriggling of larvae. There are low rumbles too -- stone on stone. The sense of... imminence is everywhere.

Something is coming. And it has to be stopped.

Karma Points
  • [8]  Reach Level 2 (Exit B).
  • [10]  Defeat Jessica (#7).
  • [5]  Defeat the bugs (#7).
  • [5]  Decide Jessica's fate (#10).


You'll begin this mission in the basement of the Universal Brotherhood building (#1) -- that is, in the place where you first encountered the extra-planar bugs. There won't be any bugs here now, but you will encounter a trio of Brotherhood security forces, including a mage. After dispatching them, you should head down the passage where the bugs came from before (Exit A).

As you make your way further into the Hive, you'll run into more Brotherhood forces, and eventually some bugs. For the bugs, remember that regular weapons and spells will work against them when they're in their true form, but that you'll need Aegis Mk. 1 Launchers when they're in their spirit form. It'll take three hits from a launcher to kill a spirit bug, and if you only wound it, then it'll return to its true form on its next turn, and you'll have to start over. So make sure that you always have your launchers fully loaded, that you concentrate your attacks on one spirit bug at a time, and that you keep your launcher characters hasted or otherwise buffed.

You can also use overwatch to your advantage. If you know that a bug is going to turn into a spirit on its next turn, then you can equip your characters with their launcher and set them to overwatch the bug's position. That should give you a couple of free shots at the spirit bug before your turn starts, making it easier to finish it off.

When you reach the final chamber on Level 1 (#2), you'll find two Brotherhood soldiers inside. A couple of turns after attacking them, three bugs will tunnel into the area (#3) and add themselves to the fray. You'll be able to use one of their tunnels to reach the exit for Level 2 (Exit B). Going through the exit will earn you 8 karma points.

Level 2 will begin with an ambush. As you make your way around the first bend in the hallway, three bugs will tunnel into the area (#4) and attack you. But luckily, they'll show up about a round apart, giving you a chance to deal with them one at a time.

Then in the next room (#5), you'll encounter three Brotherhood soldiers. While you're fighting them, yet another bug -- a bombardier -- will come at you from behind, so be prepared for it. Bombardiers will shoot out "venom bombs," which will damage and poison everyone in roughly a 5x5 area, so always prioritize them over everything else.

In the rest of the level, you'll encounter three more bugs, including another bombardier, and two more Brotherhood soldiers. To open the way to Level 3 (Exit C), you'll need to enter a storage room (#6) and use the terminal there. You'll also find some stuff to loot in the storage room: a Doc Wagon Gold Trauma Kit, a Doc Wagon Platinum Trauma Kit (if you have Decking 5 and can open the safe), an HE Phosphorus Grenade, and two Premium Medkits.

On Level 3, you'll quickly come to the Ritual Chamber (#7), where you'll encounter Jessica Watts and Lynne Telestrian. No matter what you say to them, you'll learn that the bug queen is on her way, and that Lynne is taking Marie-Louise's place as the host. Lynne will then make her way over to the altar in the center of the chamber (#8) -- where she'll await the queen -- while Jessica attacks you.

This battle can be difficult. Jessica is a powerful shaman with 325 HP, and she'll have the help of four insect pillars (#9). During the fight, pillars will open up one at a time, and Jessica will run to them. When she reaches an open pillar, she'll receive a buff called "Favor of the Queen," which will make the bugs in the area more powerful. To remove the buff, you'll have to "kill" the open pillar, which means you'll have to deal 40 damage to it. When that happens, the pillar will close, and Jessica will take 15 HP damage. You can also just attack Jessica to damage her. Closed pillars won't take any damage.

While you're chasing Jessica around and attacking her and the pillars, bugs will tunnel into the ritual chamber, roughly one per round of combat. They'll work just like before, and so you'll have to decide how much you want to concentrate on them, and how much on Jessica. When you "kill" Jessica, she'll flee the chamber and the bugs will stop tunneling in, so for the easiest battle, you should focus on Jessica and defeat her as quickly as possible. Taking Jessica out of the battle will earn you 10 karma points. Then dealing with any remaining bugs will earn you 5 more karma points.

Note: If you're "slow" to kill Jessica, then you'll eventually start seeing soldier bugs. When that happens, you should probably give up on whatever strategy you're using and just focus on Jessica. Soldier bugs have 150 HP, and you don't want to be facing them with other enemies around.

At the end of the battle, you'll automatically follow Jessica and start a conversation with her (#10). Jessica will suddenly show remorse for killing her brother and trying to start a bug invasion, and you'll have to decide what to do with her: kill her yourself, let the bugs kill her, or take her prisoner. It won't make any real difference which you choose. Regardless, you'll earn 5 karma points for ending the threat.

1 - Entrance Elevator

2 - Chamber

3 - Tunnels

4 - Tunnels

5 - Hatchery

6 - Storage Room

7 - Ritual Chamber

8 - Altar

9 - Insect Pillars

10 - Jessica

  1. Passage.
  2. Passage.
  3. Door.
  4. Passage.