Times are tough for Tesladyne. While their leader and CEO Atomic Robo was off saving the world from Dr Dinosaur, their main island base was raided by the forces of Majestic 12, an independent military group tasked with taking control of as much Tesla-derived technology as possible.
A small number of people escaped the raid – probably including top agent Jenkins, though he hasn’t been heard from since – but one just missed the whole thing: long-time Tesladyne particle physicist Sam Hopgood. Through dumb luck he managed to be in right place at the right time and was entirely oblivious to the raid, emerging from his work rooms after a week or so to wonder where all the equipment and people had gone. He started calling his contacts in the organisation, beginning with head physicist Phil Broughton, whose phone is the only one that rings; everyone else’s phones are dead, until he eventually gets in touch with Baxter Brown.
Baxter is at an electronics trade show in Seattle with his boss, Olaf Jensen, head of Tesladyne’s oft-neglected Commercial and Consumer Applications department, and up-and-coming Tesladyne electronics guru Vikram Singh. Jensen and Singh decide to head home and lay low with their families – they’re no action scientists! – but Baxter is made of sterner stuff. After spending his last day at the show talking up Tesladyne’s future prospect to potential investors, he decides to head for a nearby Tesladyne testing facility. When Sam calls, Baxter suggests he join him, and after loading up on office supplies – and filling out the requisition forms the way Janice would want him to – he hops in a Tesladyne flying car and heads towards the Oregon/Colorado border. He’s questioned when he entered American mainland airspace, but his answers seems to satisfy the authorities, and he arrives at Victor Golf around the same time as Baxter.
The pair find the testing facility empty, though the basic security measures are still active. But soon after they activate a console, they receive a transmission using authentic Tesladyne encryption from a shadowy figure who doesn’t reveal their identity. They use the title Dr. T, and reveal that they are a high-ranking Tesladyne operative who escaped the raid by Majestic 12 and is now working to rebuild the company and clear its name. To do that, they’re gonna need assets – and Dr. T has a lead on an old-school piece of Tesla tech which has surfaced in Europe. Sam and Baxter’s first order of business is to travel to Lithuania and secure it. Dr. T advises further contact will be made in 72 hours, and signs off.
Sam and Baxter make it to Lithuania and organise a meeting with Janos Varkalis, the contact who recognised the crate of Tesla tech at an auction, contacted Dr. T and bought it on Tesladyne’s behalf. He works at the Palanga Amber Museum, which is where he has brought the unopened crate; it seems to have been sealed for decades. Sam and Baxter open it up and discover the sphere device, and also a tuning fork gun; they’re still puzzling over what they might do when two armed Americans arrive and take Janos hostage, demanding the crate be handed over to them. Sam manages to distract them with creative use of office stationery, and Baxter bluffs them with the gun, and together they free Janos, tie up the agents – who it seems work for Majestic 12 – and hide them in another crate disguised as the one with the Tesla tech. They get the devices into the back of a museum truck and escape.
Having being tipped off that an ambush lies for them on the way to the main airport, Baxter calls on his commercial contacts and finds a nearby private airfield where a courier company agrees to take them as far as Reykjavik. During the flight, Sam notices a weird blue stain on the new crate they have packed the equipment in. Once they land, they open the crate to find that the sphere has seemingly leaked the blue substance from one of the unplugged holes in its surface; they right the heavy object, but Baxter is forced to touch the blue substance to avoid dropping the sphere. There’s seemingly no effect, and they re-seal the crate and get it couriered to the base.
Landing back in Oregon, Baxter and Sam head to their car only to find another group of Majestic 12 agents waiting for them. These agents are strong – they’re wearing some kind of body armour under their coats – and manage to capture the two Tesladyne employees. In the stress of the situation, though, Baxter’s left hand suddenly becomes the same shade of blue as the leak in the crate, and he touches the face of the agent to whom he’s been handcuffed, turning the entire right side of his face blue as well. Panicking, the agents draw guns, but Baxter and Sam manage to persuade the group’s leader that the only way to deal with this “infection” is to take him to their base. She agrees – though whether this is because she truly believes their story, or because the tech is being couriered there, is unknown. On their way back to the base, they talk the M12 soldier into taking off his powered armour, and trying to relax, which makes the blue retreat back to the initial touch. As they head towards Victor Golf, Sam and Baxter are trying to work out a plan – and wondering what the hell this blue stuff actually is…