FRAWD Investigators: A Very Special Mission | Scene 13

The inside of the train station is darker than outside but still navigable. It is lit by beams of light coming in through the partial roof, but there are plenty of dark nooks under collapsed rubble. Durian and his squad keep a sharp lookout. Kate lowers her voice, reporting sotto voce from the back of the group. “We’re here now in an old Confederate railway station investigating the ruins of the Confederacy. Ruined not only by zerg, but also by their own decadence. Let’s see if there’s anything to salvage.”

“Do you recognize anything?” Imogen whispers to Lilly. Imogen’s only knowledge of this location is images viewed through a psionic lens while monitoring Lilly’s terrazine-induced flashback.

Lilly looks around. This is the same railway station where she brought the adjutant holding all the Cerberus research all those years ago. She was dropping it off for storage before transport. If she can find those lockers, there is a very good chance she will find it, too. Lilly definitely wants to know what is in the report that she herself prepared, but she is not sure she wants the newscaster to. Without a word to her partner, she walks off to begin looking.

Taking that as a yes, Imogen starts to follow, but Kate calls for her. “Do you see any good salvage around here? You’re our tech person.”

“That’s what we’re looking for,” Imogen replies. It occurs to her that if she can find random junk in this place to entertain Kate, then the journalist is less likely to notice what Lilly recovers.

“Awesome! Let me know if you find anything, and don’t disturb the area until we get over there with the camera to take a shot of whatever it is.”

“We might need to disturb things to find things,” Imogen points out. Kate looks displeased with that news. “We can put some rocks back on top afterwards,” Imogen offers, “but we’re digging through ruins here. We’ve got to dig.”

“That’s probably okay,” Kate agrees. “But absolutely let me know if you find anything.”

After some rooting around, Imogen finds a dirty and misshapen box labeled Confederate Research Archives. She calls Kate over, and the reporter starts filming as Imogen opens the box. Inside is a partial glove and a small manual for the Confederate Ghost Program Stealth Suit Prototype. Seeing that, Imogen’s plan to use this discovery as a decoy evaporates. Terran psionic technology is something she has never had an opportunity to interact with. Imogen brushes her fingers across the glove, trying to coax out information on its history or who used it. She feels a stab of pain and quickly pulls her mind back; she is all right, but she realizes that could have been much, much worse. It is worth another look under safer conditions. The device is not bulky; Imogen could easily fold it down and slip it into a pocket if no one was looking. Unfortunately, the whole Dominion is watching, at least in the sense that Kate’s camera is right on Imogen.

“Here we are, looking at some horrible Confederate research project. This was probably some kind of torture device. We’ve got our Umojan technology expert here. What do you make of it?”

Imogen turns to the camera. “Well, this piece of technology is definitely not Umojan,” she says to buy some time while she thinks of a way to make it sound boring enough for Kate to give up on. “I know it would interest the viewers if this were some sort of torture device, but this is just a glove for reaching into specimens and things,” Imogen says apologetically.

Kate is certainly disappointed, but she rolls with it. She records Imogen’s explanation and then turns the camera back on herself. “We still don’t know the full extent of what the Confederates were researching. Almost certainly they were trying to learn things that Man was just not meant to know. It is most unfortunate.”

While Kate is focussed on that, Imogen slips the user manual into her inner jacket pocket since the journalist has shown no interest in it. The glove is a different matter. “Oh, hang on, don’t put that away,” Kate tells her. “We’re going to want everything to be in one place for later. I might want to take some shots of this… Ah, in fact, let’s get one of the Fruit Basket guys to carry all the stuff we find.”

“No, no! They might damage it or something,” Imogen protests. “Their arms are all full of guns,” she adds, digging for excuses.

“That’s why we’ll put it on their back! I asked for these protective backpack attachments to the power armor especially so they could carry things for us. We don’t know what we’re going to find, so this is the better way to handle it.” She calls over Carl, the marine from the Dominion, and puts the glove in his backpack. Kate smiles in satisfaction. “Good job, Imogen! I really appreciate your technical insight as well as your Umojan accent.”

“Ta,” Imogen says flatly, using a form of thank you seldom heard in the Dominion but not really meaning it.