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The Big Shell is a marine decontamination facility located in off-shore Manhattan. The Big Shell comprises of two main units - Shell 1 and Shell 2, each with six surrounding nodes. It's octagon-like shape and structure resembles that of a tortoise. The Oil Tanker incident, where the U.S.S. Discovery mysteriously sank, caused a huge amount of crude oil to be discharged into the sea. This prompted the U.S. Government to erect an oil fence immediately afterwards. The Big Shell was then proclaimed a symbol of environmental protection.

It is later revealed, however, that the Big Shell was an elaborate hoax conducted by none other than The Patriots. Arsenal Gear, the Navy's massive collosus and new prototype, was actually hidden beneath the Big Shell. It was disguised as an environmental issue to conceal Arsenal Gear's existence, and The Patriots were using it as an excuse to fund projects into developing Arsenal Gear, i.e. the Oil Tanker incident was intentional. Everything else that followed, as the "Big Shell Incident", was staged by The Patriots in order to test GW's neural AI, and also to conduct the S3 Project.

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