On their return from winter break, the seniors find themselves shorthanded when slugger Marco heads out for a tour of Major League teams looking for a post-graduation slot. Trouble quickly follows in the form of a Monday morning commotion in the Biology building. Ryo finds his entomology professor, Dr. Carleton, dead on the floor of his office, covered in insect bites and stings. A quick look around the office determines that Carleton didn’t keep any dangerous insects there, and that he had likely been dead since Saturday mid-day.
Ryo quickly informed his comrades, and the heroes immediately thought of Johnny “Bug Boy” Chafe, a student who could control bugs with his mind. Johnny had been stalking a female classmate, and the heroes had roughed him up a bit to convince him to desist. When the heroes confronted Johnny about the death, he seemed genuinely shocked, however. Some Persuasion from CP led Johnny to reveal that he had developed a formula for attracting insects to food, and that accidentally spraying it on his arms gave him the power to control bugs. He also revealed that the formula was in a lab notebook that had disappeared a few weeks prior, and that Dr. Carleton had recently started dating another professor, Dr. West.
Matt and Troy deployed some hacking skills and broke into the Insectarium’s video surveillance logs to discover what might have become of the notebook, while CP, Mariana, and Ryo headed to find Dr. West. Dr. West’s office was closed, however, with no sign of recent presence. Meanwhile, Matt and Troy’s review of the video showed a third player, a graduate student identified as Eric Ruiz, who seemed to have some animosity towards Johnny and some romantic interest in Dr. West. The two teams headed out to West’s and Eric’s residences to investigate further.
At Eric’s apartment, Matt and Troy had no luck picking the front door lock, so Matt deployed his trusty crowbar instead. Inside, they found a hideous swarm of insects of all kinds covering walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as some mysterious shell-like objects that might have been the exoskeleton of a giant insect. Matt quickly snapped some photos and send them to the other team just as they arrived at Dr. West’s house.
CP’s sharp eyes spotted a key hidden over the front door, and the trio entered, finding a similar hideous bug swarm. In the living room, they found a large cocoon and what appeared to be Eric, transformed into a bug-man. Eric pounced on Ryo, receiving a cut from his trusty katana in exchange, and CP jumped in with his .357. Between Ryo’s sword, CP’s gun, and Mariana’s Zippo flamethrower, the creature was quickly dispatched. Opening the cocoon revealed a comatose Dr. West. A quick escape and a call to 911 ended the case.