FRAWD Investigators: Changes | Scene 1

Having left the wounded protoss Arudin with his people on Browder II and made some business arrangements with Fleet Commander Selendis there, Lilly and Imogen fly Lt. Spearmint to Korhal. During the flight, Imogen tries to prepare the Antigan survivor for what Augustgrad is like. His last awareness of Korhal was as a backwater planet rebelling against the Confederacy. That it is now the center of power is something he is rather ambivalent about, given the devastating form of help the Sons of Korhal ended up providing to Antiga. 

Aside from the politics, there is also just the scope of the place to prepare Spearmint for. It is a busy, crowded city, full of people, technology, and pollution, all things that have been scarce on Antiga these past few years. Just being on Saffron has been anxiety-inducing for him, and he pretty much mentally shut down for a few days. Now though, he will need to come out of his shell if he is going to convince Grom to provide the help his planet needs. He was a soldier before this all started, a member of the Antiga Colonial Militia, even in pre-zerg times. In addition to having shaved his chin clean, he has used the fancy razor Lilly recovered to trim his hair short. It is a start, making him more presentable and moving him another step further away from the luddite cult he was stuck with on Antiga.

“It’s not exactly a police state, but there is a certain arrogance to the Dominion,” Imogen warns Spearmint.

Huh, guess so, Lilly thinks. She has gotten so used to Imogen that she often forgets her partner is a foreigner. It sounds like Imogen and their passenger are settling in for a lot of boring talking, so Lilly grabs the sticks from Browder—which Axion granted her because she won their final bout—and lets Sunshine out of her quarters. They wrestle some, playing tug-of-war with the pieces of branch. The lyote gets control of one of the sticks and scurries off with it, not quite the domesticated pet just yet. Lilly lets her go; she just had an idea for a bait trap that could work on one of those protoss tiger-things. That occupies her attention until the ship needs her again.

“If Mengsk is styling himself Emperor, that does not surprise me,” Spearmint tells Imogen.

“Well, unfortunately, it trickles down to others who feel like they’re in a position of power and so they can boss around anyone they want,” Imogen adds.

“I see. Is this Grom fellow among that cadre?”

“Oh no, he’s a businessman. I’m just saying, you could run into marines in power armor on the streets who might hassle you for no reason.”

“So they’re just like the Confederacy,” Spearmint observes, frown deepening.

“I never visited the Confederacy, so I can’t say for sure, but probably, aye.” 

Spearmint grumbles about the Confederacy some, including their worthlessness against the zerg. Imogen gives the Dominion some credit in this regard. Their forces can be effective against the zerg, when they put their mind to it. Spearmint has spent some of his time aboard Saffron catching up on five years’ worth of news. The zerg control almost three-fourths of habitable planets in the sector. A lot of those worlds were either already terran or planned for colonization, back before Antiga fell.

“This is why we didn’t think going directly to the authorities was the best solution for your planet,” Imogen tells him. “But we do think Grom will work out,” she adds encouragingly.

“I hope so. I have a feeling that if I don’t make a deal with someone, someone else is just going to come in and take it anyway. Better to cut a bad deal than get tread on.”