FRAWD Investigators: Liberation Day | Scene 19

All the talking outside is boring. The guys in power armor down at the end of the alley are of far more interest to Lilly than Imogen and Jimmy’s political discussion. First things first, though, she heads to the bar to order a beer and whiskey from Joey Ray. “And I don’t want them watered down,” she says. The drinks are on the house tonight, but she tells him she is willing to pay to get the real deal.

Joey is reluctant. “The commander said we don’t want people to get too drunk, just have a good time.”

“It’s for Jimmy and Imogen,” Lilly says, but those words have the opposite of her intended effect.

“Yeah, I especially don’t want to give him too much alcohol!” He points to the battered jukebox, reminding her of what it suffered at Raynor’s hands the day before.

“C’mon, Joey. Please?”

“No. I’ve seen him when he gets too much to drink. I’ve been giving him water tonight.” Lilly takes the watered down whiskey and beer he slides across the counter to her. Then he fills a second mug. “Here. Sounds like you need a beer too.” Lilly thanks him, glad to have any beer at all. She has plenty on the ship, so she can have something with more kick later if she wants.

Imogen and Jimmy are still at it when Lilly returns to the alley. She leaves their drinks on the barrel of vespene and goes to check out the rigs worn by the marines. She actually already saw some of these suits early today when Imogen and Egon were replating them. One of the marines is so excited by his suit’s upgrades that he brags he can shoot even faster than before, but his pal calls him an idiot for the claim. The guys are all happy about the victory, enjoying some beers and smokes while sassing each other.

“So what happened on your side?” Lilly asks, stepping up to join the banter. While she is not the talker Imogen is, this is definitely her scene. She is hoping for some good battle stories.

“We hopped right off that APC. Dominion resistance? Minimal.” The raider answering her shakes his head, lips pressed together, looking almost disappointed. “Those troopers didn’t stand a chance against us. Overwhelmed them with our superior tactics, firepower, leadership, support.” He gestures at Lilly, “Those sensors made a real difference!” He takes a swig of his beer. “Yeah, we took care of those troopers, no problem, and waited for the call—thanks for getting that comms tower taken care of—and boom! Stormed the command center. Just like Antiga, you know? Bust in, find the officer, take him out.”

“Wait, the officer?” Lilly asks. She thought she was following along just fine, but that does not sound right.

“Well, the guy in charge. I guess the mayor or whatever.”

One of the other marines, a Mar Sara native, corrects him. “He was the governor, you idiot, the governor. And he wasn’t just some officer. He was a tyrant!”

“Yeah?” Lilly prompts this other marine for more information. “I heard he was bad.”

“He drove a lot of forced labor camps,” the local tells her.

“Like slaves?”

“They were nominally paid. It was more like a taking-advantage-of-refugees kind of thing. A lot of people were moving to Mar Sara to start a new life. Nah, he abused that. Lied to people. Worked them to the bone. A lot of people didn’t get the medical care they needed. Couldn’t barely get food. The last time people didn’t take too kindly to it, he gunned them—” He gets choked up for a moment, looks away. When he recovers, he says more quietly, “He had a few made examples of. Including my brother.”

“Oh.” Lilly had not realized things were so bad here. She and Imogen did not see the full picture during their previous Mar Sara trips. “Sorry for your loss.”

“Yeah. Well, revenge has been served. It is a cold, delicious dish.” He shakes off his funk. “But hey, today’s just the beginning! We’ve got this revolution going; we’re going to take out Mengsk, and the whole sector’s going to be better. Can we count on you for the next mission?”

“We’ll see,” Lilly says. “My partner’s probably negotiating that right now.” She glances up the alley to where a heated discussion is still going. Imogen and Jimmy do not appear to have even noticed the drinks she brought them. Turning back to the marine, Lilly shrugs.

“Yeah, officers like to argue about stuff,” the raider says. He is not inclined to think too hard about anything, himself. “That’s not what matters, right? We came, did the job, served justice. We did good. That’s the thing that counts.” Conversation then moves to lighter topics, like power armor and the War Pigs.