FRAWD Investigators: Antiga Antics | Scene 4

On the hike back to Saffron, Lilly leads them a little closer to the ruins, just to check them out a bit. She is pleased to find that a burnt-out truck on the outskirts is actually in pretty decent shape. All the windows are blown out, and there are no doors, but it still has four wheels. Imogen sees her eyeing the vehicle and jokes, “Lilly, I don’t think that will fit inside Saffron.”

“It’ll fit across the bridge. And it will fit barrels of vespene.”

Imogen inspects the engine and finds it to be in far better shape than the exterior. She manages to jumpstart the vehicle, and they resume heading to their science vessel with Lilly driving. The truck does not have much fuel, but it is enough to handle a few trips between their ship and the Exploracorp facility. Back at Saffron, they offload the salvage and swap it for climbing gear and respirators. Lilly checks on Snowball, relieved that he has neither escaped nor been kidnapped. She leaves the frying pan in Saffron stuffed under her bed since she is not going to use it in a vespene-drenched environment. Then she and Imogen drive back toward the science building, this time following the shoreline where the ground is a bit flatter. 

There are no proper roads around here, having been reduced to rubble by the fighting and then overgrown by weeds, so the ride is rather rough. The truck splashes through a large puddle that turns out to conceal a much deeper pothole than Lilly had realized. The vehicle lurches out of control. She and Imogen both manage to jump clear of the truck and avoid injury, but it ends up half in water. 

Imogen pulls out the climbing gear and tries to set up a winch to haul the truck backwards, while Lilly takes position at the hood to push. Imogen climbs into the driver’s seat and puts the truck into reverse, revving the engine. Lilly throws herself fully at the vehicle and pushes with all her strength.

Lilly is on Antiga Prime with her unit. A Confederate siege tank is rolling toward their position. These tanks are hideously dangerous, able to pound a marine into a smudge with a single shot. But when they set up and switch into artillery mode, they are even worse. She cannot let that happen to her squadmates. This siege tank is preparing to set up right on the edge of a cliff. Lilly runs towards it, dodging the shot it fires at her. She reaches the tank as the anchors are descending but before they lock into the ground. Lilly pushes. The driver inside curses and yells, “What is that? Identify target! I’m being attacked!” He brings the gun around in Lilly’s direction, not realizing that the kickback will provide just enough extra push to achieve her goal. There is no way he can shoot something so close, but he tries. Lilly ducks down, the blast of the gun going over her. The tank slides toward the edge, over-balancing and falling off the cliff. Lilly hears nothing, deafened by the weapon’s blast.

Lilly feels the truck move backwards a little, but then it stops. Imogen’s contraption behind the truck comes undone with a loud snap. With that useless now, she jumps out and joins Lilly to add what little strength she has to the push. Lilly gives another heave, and the truck lurches free of whatever was catching it, rolling back up onto stable ground. Imogen performs a quick inspection and determines that nothing has been damaged beyond what already was. They resume driving to the Exploracorp building.