FRAWD Investigators: Coda | Scene 7

As Imogen approaches the dropship windshield, she starts to feel the Xel’naga artifact long before she can see it herself. She has interacted with it enough already that she can sense its presence nearby. Lilly stops her at the last safe spot for them to stand together. There they set up the anchor for Lilly’s climb and then wait for Kate’s signal.

Soon there is a rap at the corrugated metal sheet that forms the door of the makeshift warehouse. “Kate Lockwell here, with UNN!” The sound disturbs the people on the floor, and Norm urges them all to remain calm. “I know you’re in there, Moebius Foundation!” Kate shouts. “I have some questions. The Dominion public has a right to know!”

Norm slides the door back slightly, and Kate forces her microphone in. “Uh, these old things are very dangerous,” he says hastily. “You should just go now. I don’t know what you’re on about.” With a crackle and a pop, the floodlights set up around the room go out. Norm swears under his breath. “Ugh! The door shorted the circuit with the lights! Again!” He orders one of the technicians to go check on the fusebox. Annoyed now, Norm tells Kate to get out of there. The security squad steps in to push her back and drag the rusty door shut again.

Lilly steps lightly across the windshield and hooks her rope over a solid looking beam above so that she can slide straight down to the artifact. Once she is just above it, she flips upside down and sets up the comms equipment exactly as Imogen described. As soon as it is in place, Imogen senses a change in the artifact, cuing her to start. She flips a switch on the relay she carries. Then she closes her eyes and loses herself to the process, bridging the link between energetic places she cannot articulate and the equipment Lilly has assembled. The message to Earth is short. Although the power to send it is great, it gets transmitted in one quick burst straight up along the rod from Neiman’s ship and out across the galaxy.

Imogen does not want the sector engulfed in civil war, but Kate’s message is just as important as Imogen’s. What good is it to keep Earth away, if Koprulu remains so mismanaged? Matt Horner’s question is a valid one. Having dealt with her strategic goal of stopping a second UED invasion, Imogen plugs Kate’s data stick into her relay. She keeps the psionic bridge intact long enough to allow this message to transmit as well. Kate’s will go out in all directions; the excessive power is needed to flood the sector, not span the galaxy.

Lilly is looking straight at the artifact, hanging face-down as she is. It was already glowing slightly when she got here, but shortly after she places the comms equipment, the whole artifact pulses and then the glow gets brighter. Down below, a tech cries out, “Whoa! Something’s happening!” Then a radio crackles to life in the room, and Kate Lockwell’s voice begins her Mengsk exposé. Lilly glances up at her partner and sees Imogen right by the edge of the break in the windshield. Getting that close seems kind of dumb, but her partner keeps moving forward, almost as if drawn toward the artifact. Before Lilly can hiss out a warning, Imogen is falling, just like this is another cliff. Lilly makes a grab at her, but she only slows Imogen’s fall for a moment before losing her grip. Imogen slams into the cluttered floor below, sending up a cloud of dust.