After spending an hour pointlessly reloading and getting progressively more annoyed, I checked a walkthrough for an alternate method past this deadlock and hopped a portal across the map. However, I was so pissed off by this point that I could not find any enthusiasm for more pointless clicky fighting. Especially with irritating acid slugs that have random chances of destroying your equipment. HORDES of slugs. I can just outrun them, but it's a bad sign for a game when I get to the point where I am walking around grumbling, being trailed by hordes of monsters that can never catch up with me but will never stop following either. Breaks immersion.
Hate everything right now. Maybe my mood will improve later.
edit: Stumbling over a random outpost to explore did make me feel a bit better.