FRAWD Investigators: DORF Star | Scene 20

The camera pans from a state-of-the-art building surrounded by lush green grass to a tan woman in her mid-thirties with long black hair. She speaks into her microphone and then holds it out to a darker-complected muscular man with a tidy black crewcut. “This is Kate Lockwell from the Universal News Network. I’m here with Durian of the Endurians Mercenary Company. Now, I understand that there was a zerg attack here. Is that correct?”

“Uh, yes! There was a zerg!” Durian blinks, the lights from the camera setup too bright in his face. “I was just here on a normal protection/security detail contract for some very important people.” He glances over at Lilly, standing next to him. “Ah, but yes, I’m with the Endurians Research Company—er, the Endurians—oh, gosh!” He stumbles through the interview, not used to this kind of pressure. 

Lilly pats him on the back encouragingly and lays a comforting hand on his arm. This brings her closer to the cameras, and there are so very many of them. With her left hand, she adjusts her collar nervously. 

With that silent support, Durian straightens up and starts over, “Yes, I’m Durian from the Endurians Mercenary Company. I was protecting some very important people today. They sounded the alarm; I came in on the situation. Local Dominion forces were doing their best, but they needed some professional help. That’s what I came there for. Some zerg, a hydralisk, had broken loose, but I got in there and with my professional skills eliminated the threat with minimal civilian casualties, in addition to help treating and getting people out of there.” He turns from Kate Lockwell to look straight into the cameras. “The best way to stay safe, folks, is to not get into a dangerous place in the first place. The second best way to stay safe is to hire the Endurians Mercenary Company.” Following the new tag line, he recites his phone number for the potential customers out there.

Despite her own feelings of exposure, Lilly smiles. Durian is definitely getting some good press out of this.

The camera pans back to Kate Lockwell. “You heard it live, folks. Zerg in a Dominion facility. Have they already penetrated our homeworld? I hope not. But thankfully we’ve got mercenaries keeping us safe and augmenting our Dominion forces. When Dominion forces aren’t good enough, if you’ve got the credits, hire a mercenary.”

* * *

Imogen has drawn a shorter straw as far as journalists go. The reporter interviewing her is a bent and pale old fellow with thick glasses and a rumpled suit. “Eh, what happened to you?” he asks cantankerously. He jams the microphone at Imogen’s face and she jerks her head back to a more appropriate distance.

Jefferson Duke had wanted this whole investigation kept quiet, but since that is clearly impossible, she frames the events as positively as she can. A spin in favor of FRAWD will sound boring compared to Durian’s version, she is sure, but that is what is called for here. “The Dominion’s Fraud, Retaliation, Abuse, Waste Division exists to protect the taxpayers’ dollars and to ensure that Dominion resources are used in the best way possible. That includes making sure that facilities such as this one are operating in accordance with the appropriate health and safety requirements.”

The reporter pulls back his microphone. “What is this FRAWD thing really about? Isn’t this just another waste of our tax dollars?” The mike whips out again at Imogen.

“In fact, FRAWD has the smallest budget of any Dominion organization and operates on a tight shoestring in order to ensure that it itself does not waste anything,” she counters. “We even use public transportation.”

Herb Welch turns to the camera and ambles toward it, wandering in front of his interview subject.  “You heard it here, folks,” he drones. “The poorest, most pathetic division of the Empire turns out to do something good today. FRAWD: ensuring compliance, keeping you safe. They’re not asking much in return, folks. C’mon. Help ‘em out.”

* * *

Sarah Palmer also grants an interview. Her focus is on the museum still being open and how it is a great place for families to visit. She tries to get in on some of Durian’s limelight by saying he visited for DORF’s special veterans’ discount day. She assures the audience that all the issues were back in the research area, while the main gallery is completely safe and untouched. 

Later, when the reports are aired, rumors begin to circulate about protoss involvement. There are conflicting stories from interviewed troopers regarding whether the hydralisk acted alone or if protoss instigated the attack. No reports mention the disappearance of an experimental weapon, though.