FRAWD Investigators: Intrigue at Iceberg Station | Scene 3

At the door to Mira’s headquarters, Lilly and the marauder escorts turn and enter the compound. Imogen continues plodding onward, head so fuzzy that she does not realize she is no longer following anyone. After a few steps, it sinks in that she does not hear the incessant droning of power armor praise anymore. She lifts her head and looks around. Lilly is looking at her quizzically from the entrance to a building. 

Imogen rejoins the group, following the marauders down a few corridors. One of them pauses at an open door and raps on the jamb. “Hey, commander, these two ladies have a letter for you.”

The office is rather simple, dominated by a desk upon which an elaborate battleplan is spread. Mira looks up from it, the pink light of her cybernetic eye shining up at the marauder. “Oh? Who is it now?”

The map and figurines take up most of the deskspace, but on the corner of the wooden surface is a formal portrait of Matthew Horner. Something seems off about it to Imogen. “What rank is that?” she whispers to Lilly. “That doesn’t look like what he was wearing on Hyperion.

“Captain, I think,” Lilly mutters back. Most of her soldiering time has been boots-on-the-ground stuff. The fleet has a slightly different rank structure.

Dismissed, the marauders step out of the way, giving Mira a clear view of her visitors. “What do you have for me?”

Imogen steps forward, holding out the envelope, and Mira snatches it. “My apologies that it has taken so long to deliver this, but we hadn’t been this way in a while.”

Mira produces a sharp letter opener that probably really is just a knife and slices open the envelope. She pulls out the note and immediately recognizes the handwriting. “Dear Matthew’s words are always worth the wait,” she says. Once she has read the very short message, she sighs in pleasure. “Ah, dear Matthew, you always know the way.” She folds the note and slides it into her pocket. “I thank you for bringing me words from my dear Matthew. Did he seem well to you?”

“He was busy,” Imogen reports.

“That man really should take a break. If you run across him, you should tell him he should take a vacation… to lovely Dead Man’s Port.”

“Oh, so you don’t need one yourself, then?”

“I’m afraid I as well have business that calls to me,” Mira says, glancing down at her map. “But I do not need to trifle you with such details.”

Lilly and Imogen make a point of troubling themselves with them, nonetheless. The map shows another section of Dead Man’s Rock. Some of the figurines are clearly marked with Mira’s symbol, while the rest have a white iron cross on a black background. A name pops back into Imogen’s head from their last visit, Colonel Orlan. This is Mira’s plan to finally push him out, solidifying her grip on the planet. “Looks like a stalemate right now,” Lilly mutters.

Imogen dimly remembers Lilly and the marauders talking about some other military equipment among all the power armor stuff. The some details surface now, even as the edges of her vision fade in and out. “Have you considered just setting up the… the… Ach, the boxy fellas,” she points at a set of units, and Lilly supplies the appropriate word. “Setting up the siege tanks here?” Imogen suggests the change to Mira, pointing to an outcropping. “They should be able to fire on his…” Again, she struggles to fish the right term from her murky mind, and Lilly comes to her rescue. “Command center. They should be able to fire on his command center from that distance, they should. No need to plow through the front door.” Imogen gives her head a shake, but that only makes things worse. “Ach,” she says, putting a hand up to her temple. “Sorry, had a bit of a rough landing earlier.”

Mira is a little skeptical at first. “Hmmm…. You know, I had not gotten to considering that sector yet. But I think you may be right.” She looks up at the woman across the table from her, noting the dilated pupils and the bruise just visible at her hairline. “I notice that your accent is unusually thick today,” she says, recalling her conversation with this Umojan a few months ago. “Do you need some assistance yourself?” She throws a hand out at the current battle plan. “If I’m not going to be sending all my troops through this meat grinder, I will certainly have more medical supplies available. The medics may be able to offer you some assistance in the short term.”

Imogen stutters out her response. “I think that’d be good. I did get knocked about a bit.”

“Ah yes. The choices on Dead Man’s Rock are either to pay exorbitant docking fees or take your chances landing on trash. I see you chose the latter today.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Lilly acknowledges.