FRAWD Investigators: Lost & Found | Scene 5

It is late in the day when Saffron reaches the abandoned wasteland outpost of Mar Sara’s old colonial militia. Imogen is not too keen on salvaging a zerg-infested area at dusk. “I don’t want to go in that ruin when it’s dark out. We can do it in the morning,” she suggests. “I’ve got a flashlight, sure, but that’s not quite the same thing.”

“Oh, right,” Lilly says. She had not thought twice about going down there in such low-light conditions. She circles the area for a bit, and Imogen allows that simply doing a scan at this point would be fine.

Lilly is aboard a science vessel along with a man in a Confederate military uniform like she is, though his indicates a higher rank. He also sports a glowing red cybernetic eye, quite rare in the sector. The bald man has cables jacked into his head and snaking up to the ceiling, and he operates the vessel’s controls fluidly. “Ah, yes, reporting!” he says with pleasure. “Corporal, can you please run that scan? It should be ever so simple even for someone like you to handle.” When Lilly questions if he means her, he grows more prickly. “There is no one else in the science vessel, so I must be talking to you. Unless I am talking to myself, which sometimes I do have to do. Yes, you!” Lilly takes no offense, just steps up to the indicated station. She runs the life-signs scan, and the results are off the charts. The military scientist glances over and says breezily, “Those are absurd. You must be wrong. Run it again.” Lilly reruns the scan, and the numbers come back even higher than before. “Ugh!” her superior groans in disgust at her presumed incompetence. “Bring up visual.” Lilly enables the visual display, and there is a gigantic, seething hive of some sort, surrounded by creatures the like of which she has never seen before, claws and teeth everywhere. “What is that?!” the lead scientist cries, and suddenly they are under attack.

Lilly has a good idea what zerg life signs look like, and there are absolutely none in the results from her current sweep. With that assurance, Imogen agrees to poke around the ruins now instead of waiting until tomorrow. Armed with flashlights and guns, they prepare to leave the ship. Given that this is an old facility and one destroyed by the zerg, there is nothing compromising for Snowball to see here, so Lilly is inclined to let him come along.

“You should at least pretend a little bit to resist letting him come out,” Imogen says, “so that he feels like he’s won something.”

“Maybe he’ll pay me with candy,” Lilly laughs. She gives it a go, but Snowball can read her body language too well. Retaining his terran form, he excitedly heads outside with them into the ruins, leading the way with great curiosity. There is a derelict barracks and a couple rundown supply depots with no trace of anything vespene-powered. The place looks like it was struck from orbit by intense energy weapons, likely when the protoss glassed the planet. There are a few human remains here and there, and the occasional useless fragment of power armor. The place was probably overrun by zerg before being leveled by protoss. The realization sends a shiver down Lilly’s spine. Somewhere buried in her memory are personally experienced scenes much like this one.

As they look around more, they find some scraps that could be useful for repairing damaged vehicles, so they stock up what they can against future scrapes. The real prize is a damaged old SCV suit with the insignia of the Mar Sara Colonial Militia. The mechanized Space Construction Vehicle, once restored, could be used to do exterior repairs to Saffron while in vacuum. It is no power armor, that is for sure, but Lilly still thinks it would be awesome to have.

Snowball does not stray too far from his terran minders, but he does look around independently. They do not notice him pick up any salvage for himself, but he walks through the buildings and then examines their recovered items with interest.

Random parts go onto the shelves in Saffron’s central hub, but the SCV takes up residence in Imogen’s room. Lilly’s is crowded enough already with Snowball, and this way Imogen can tinker away at the suit as she has time and resources to do so.

Lost & Found’s first full day on the job has been satisfactory indeed.