FRAWD Investigators: DORF Star | Scene 16

Lilly sees the ghostly form of a purplish protoss with smoother skin and less height than Malorn emerge from behind the pedestal. She bears some sort of staff with bright blades jutting out each end. With a twirl, the protoss sheathes that weapon and then snatches up the frying pan laser. This must be Lendasha, but there is little that Lilly can do about that right now from clear across the room. However, Lilly can do something about taking out Lendasha’s backup. With her right hand, she flips the release on the hydralisk’s restraints—no need to be subtle anymore. Imogen can come up with an explanation later if needed. She shifts behind the hydralisk, pulling the hand with the creep cocktail out of her pocket. She slams the injector into the zerg’s back with her left hand and throws her right fist up and out to the side. The blood hunter, complacent under his cloak, does not see it coming at all. There is a certain satisfaction to feeling her knuckles connect with flesh, even if it is not that of one of the scientists. And besides, if she had just started taking shots at Lendasha with her pistol, this guy would have jumped her anyway.

And indeed, the dazed protoss does swing his weapon at her, the same double-scythe type thing Lendasha has. Malorn said the blood hunters would be armed with warp blades, so Lilly figures that must be what this is. His initial moves are jerky from the blow to the head, but once he gets his bearings, he lands a hit against her arm. There is not enough force behind it to cut her up like Dr. Brine, but it feels like it left a bad bruise. As he swings, she hears a strange reverberating voice like Malorn’s, but the words must be in a weird protoss language, because she cannot make them out at all. She sees one of the troopers looking about frantically at the sounds, alert but unsure of what to attack. The second bloodhunter swings at him, and the terran hears it coming just in time to avoid Dr. Brine’s fate. His chest is torn by the blade, but he keeps hold of his assault rifle as he falls back, firing it wildly at his best guess of the adversary’s location. Luck is on his side, and a few bullets hit their mark. The other trooper rushes away from the fray and pulls the alarm, leaving his teammate to continue ducking and shooting desperate bursts.

Lilly’s own protoss has to contend with both her and the hydralisk. The zerg cannot see him, but it seems like he can smell him. Lilly jerks back out of the way and spares a moment to quickly evaluate the room. The researchers are of no use at all in this fight, but at least they are staying out of the way, cowered in the back corner as they are now. They were glad enough to shoot chained up things, but now that those things are fighting back… Stupid scientists, Lilly thinks, embarrassed anew by the criminal past she barely remembers. But this is combat, and she needs to focus. Malorn said nothing about not killing blood hunters; they are fair game. She could keep slapping at this guy with her fists, but something sharper would be more effective. In front of her, the hydralisk swipes its claws down, but without the advantage of her sensor goggles, he misses the blood hunter. She does just about as well with her knife, but at least they are keeping this enemy occupied. She has fought alongside zerg before, and it was even with a hydralisk, but what is happening here is far from a coordinated attack. Progress is slow, and she takes another hit from the warpblade, a gash across her left hand that does not look too bad to her.

At the edge of her field of vision, she sees that a spray of bullets from one of the troopers has finally hit its mark. There is the clatter of his target collapsing, and deep purple blood spreads across the floor. The trooper himself stumbles backward, tripping over a piece of equipment and landing on his backside. He sits there, trying to catch his breath, his assault rifle held tight to his own bleeding shoulder. He continues squeezing the trigger, but the empty magazine yields nothing but clicks. There is another burst of bullets as the other trooper takes aim on Lendasha, and then Lilly hears Durian’s voice from the comm on her belt.

“Whoa! The alarm’s getting tripped. That can’t be good. I’m guessing that’s the signal. I’m on my way back!” He has left his radio on transmit, and Lilly hears him issue orders, “Go, go, go! Alarm’s going off! Everybody out!” She does not know how he intends to get through the restricted door, but he is capable and a fully licensed mercenary, so she trusts he will figure something out. She recognizes Johnson’s smarmy voice in the background asking in a panic what he should do. “Get out of here, man!” Durian orders, and from the sound of it, he throws the guard out of his way. Totally worth the credits, she thinks with a fond smile.

The blood hunter manages to land a solid blow on the hydralisk and maneuvers to give himself a bit more breathing room. At first Lilly wonders why the zerg does not press the attack, and then she remembers she is the only one in the room who can actually see their opponent. Lilly, however, is right here, and she is a completely valid target from the hydralisk’s perspective. He jerks a claw at her, and she yanks herself back out of the way just in time. Right, right. Feral zerg. It seemed like a good idea at the time to set him loose, but Lilly is having second thoughts now. The trooper on the ground has replaced his clip apparently, as he is now shooting at the hydralisk. Lilly ducks out of the line of fire and draws her own pistol, downing the blood hunter with a couple well placed shots before he can choose a new target or make a break for it.