FRAWD Investigators: Liberation Day | Scene 15

At dusk, Jimmy and his “boys” prepare to roll out. There are many women on his engineering staff, but only a couple in power armor. One of those is in the midst of a poker game when Raynor calls the muster. She drops her cards, flips closed her visor, and stomps off with the rest of her squad, abandoning the Dominion-branded radio which she was playing music on. Imogen picks it up and pops open the casing, looking at the interior electronics as she heads back to her ride. Spoofing the signal from the comms tower might require some rewiring, and it does not hurt to practice some on related equipment. Raynor’s Raiders pile into an old armored personnel carrier, and the APC rolls out of camp, lights-out. Saffron, too, launches in dark mode. Lilly will be flying instruments-only to avoid detection. 

The communications tower, while taller than the rest of the starport, has only a single small room staffed by at most two people at time. Most of the building’s interior is the staircase leading there. To accomplish their assignment, Lilly and Imogen will need to get to that room in order to access the electronics. “Might be easier just to take control of the tower and put our own people there to send the right signals,” Lilly thinks aloud as she guides Saffron through the dark sky.

“I imagine that’s the long-term goal,” Imogen agrees as she looks over the sensor readings. “But we need to fill the gap until then.”

“Any Dominion patrols down there?”

“It’s a clear path right up to Mar Sara City.”

Lilly calls it in. “Hey, Jimmy. You can drive your APC right up to the city gates and start causing a ruckus. It’s all clear, sir.”

“We’re about to make our move. I’m going to need you to start jamming as soon as you can. Make a beeline for that comms tower. Give me the go-ahead when you’ve managed to take it over.”

“You got it, Jimmy.”

“That’s when we’ll fully move into the city. What we do up until then we can pass off as just a raid.” A few minutes later, he radios again. Power armor clangs in the background as he tells Lilly that he and his boys are going in. The channel stays open, so they hear all the gunfire that follows. Lilly takes her cue and adjusts course for the starport.

“Now, that is convenient,” her partner murmurs. “Would you look at these readings!” The call from Jimmy starts to break up.

Lilly slams Saffron down on the narrow landing strip alongside the comms tower, ignoring the calls from its staff yelling at her about clearance.

Suddenly, there is silence in the science vessel. “It’s some sort of solar storm,” Imogen announces. “Reflected off the moon, maybe? Ach, who knows? The protoss glassed this planet; any sort of freakish thing could happen here.” Unfortunately, it has disrupted communications between them and the raiders in addition to calls from the tower. It is not going to last long, though, so she and Lilly need to act fast.

As soon as Saffron’s ramp is down, Imogen runs outside waving her arms wildly. The lights are on in the room atop the comms tower, and she can see two dark forms in silhouette. One of them looks to be shouting into a radio handset, but she cannot hear them through the thick glass. They throw the equipment down in frustration. Looking down at Imogen, they make jerking go-away gestures. She can understand quite well that they want Saffron off their strip. She puts on her best frantic expression and gesticulates back, trying to warn them through pantomime that raiders are coming. She points at her science vessel, makes guns with her fingers, waves in the direction of Raynor’s approach. Let them think we detected the threat and are on their side. She gets the response she was hoping for, a welcoming sweep of the arm. The red light beside the tower door flicks to green.