FRAWD Investigators: Fallout | Scene 6

Laden with tubing, Lilly marches across the wilderness in the SCV suit, carefully unwinding it behind her as she goes. Suddenly, gunshots sound quite nearby. It is too dark to see whether the bullets kicked up any dirt around her, but those could very well have been warning shots. This theory is confirmed by the words that follow. “Freeze, dirtbags!”

“There they are, just up the ridge,” Imogen says sotto voce. Lilly looks in that direction and sees the silhouetted figures against the starry sky. It is the standard patrol, marine plus three troopers with guns leveled. 

Imogen then continues much louder, and this time, her voice sounds quite different. The all-points bulletins will have reported an Umojan involved in the prison break, so she masks her accent with an approximation of a Dominion one. They called us dirtbags? I can work with that. “Well, golly, we sure do look dirty, don’t we? You know, it’s all the scavenging out here in the wilderness. What are you boys doing out here, anyway? There’s not a military installation for miles!”

“Who the hell are you?” the marine calls down. So far, though, he has not brought a flashlight up to shine in their faces, thank goodness. “There’s some dangerous terrorists in the area. What have you seen?”

“Well, I’m Molly Rae, and this here’s Katie and Lu and Sandra and Dee. We haven’t seen no terrorists out here, but there’s an awful lot of those giant scorpion things. Might want to be careful, boys.”

“Don’t worry about us. We need to check that you’re staying safe out here,” the marine replies, fishing out a flashlight. “What are you doing this far out from nowhere? Scavenging?” Before the beam of light reaches them, Lilly swifts steps in front of Imogen and the others, giving them the cover of her bulky suit. Her own features are impossible to make out through the visor at distance. “The scantids shouldn’t be giving you much trouble,” the marine continues. “Hey, you ain’t seen Alpha Team out here, have you?”

Lilly shakes her head no, and Imogen replies, though to the marine it must look like the person in the SCV suit is talking. “Don’t tell us not to be worried about the scantids; we know all about scantids. We work in their space all the time. Now you fellas with your bright shiny armor, who have never seen a speck of dirt on anything, and your flashing lights around—that’s what’s going to attract scantids. You’d better watch yourself. That riles them right up.”

“Scantids? Pfft,” the marine blows his lips dismissively. “Well, you take care of yourselves. We gotta keep searching for Alpha Team.” He turns to his troopers. “All right, Beta Squad, keep searching this area. If you see any terrorists, if you see any scantids, if you see any remains of Alpha Team, let me know.” He starts to march off northward—the direction of the micro-refinery.

Temporarily leaving their pipeline to Sally, Belvedere, and Rosé, Lilly and Imogen circle back around north themselves. A scantid stampede would put a nice stop to this potential problem. Beta Squad is more on guard than Alpha Team was, though. When the scantids react to the encroachment on their territory, the troopers respond with concentrated fire, taking down one of them immediately. Lilly reflects that her charges might get a few more meals out of this battle, if the two sides take each other out. She tries dislodging some rocks, hoping her little avalanche will provide additional complications, but with how dark it is, the landslide misses the soldiers. She still smiles broadly, though; it is always fun to use an SCV suit.

Lilly had been hoping to keep their involvement hidden, hence her choice of natural weaponry. Imogen, however, draws her pistol. Gunshots sounding from this direction would put their little party at risk, so she times her shot to when the marine is unloading at the scantids who have torn apart his troopers. His light makes him an easier target, though the beam does jump around a lot as the conflict rages on. Her bullet hits true, striking his weapon.

A scantid charging at him, the marine growls, “Almost as bad as zerglings!” Then his gun is jolted and goes flying from his grip. “What the hell was that?!” he cries, shoving away the scantid now mauling him. When the dust finally all settles, the scantids and the troopers are dead, and all that remains is one solitary miserable and disarmed marine. His grumbles grow in volume as he rails at the situation. “Gah! Dangit! Stupid scantids! Stupid everything!” He looks around for a moment but cannot find his gun in the dark. Then he fiddles with his suit a moment before erupting again. “And my radio’s broke too! Gah! What the hell was that? Now I’ll have to hoof it back to base. Damn it! Forget it, I’ll deal with this in the morning.” As he turns and shuffles off, they hear one last muttered complaint. “Stupid terrorists. Scantids, in league with terrorists… we should have known.”

After the sole survivor of Beta Squad stomps off, Lilly and Imogen move in to recover what they can from the carnage. Imogen pulls out her own flashlight now that they no longer need to worry about giving away their position. They recover a damaged gauss rifle and a pile of scantid flesh that Lilly is happy to carry with her SCV-augmented strength. “No point in wasting good meat when we have all these mouths to feed,” she observes.