FRAWD Investigators: Mayhem on Mar Sara | Scene 14

“If it is just a matter of hours, we should evacuate the clinic,” Lilly says.

“Lilly, you have some contacts who operate out here. Perhaps you can give them a call,” Imogen suggests.

“What are you thinking?”

“Well, if it’s a matter of evacuating, they might be able to help with that. But they also might have a stake in this game.” The raiders operate in the waste. These zerg are in the waste. It seems reasonable to Imogen that they would want to know about this.

Lilly pulls Imogen aside, away from the firebat, and drops her voice. “I don’t believe it’s just a matter of hours. How does this guy know that?” She nods in Sam Aran’s direction. He is busy tinkering with his vespene bomb.

“You could go on reconnaissance and see what you think, if you want,” Imogen says. “It’s not really my area of expertise.”

“I could take a look,” Lilly agrees. “I’m okay going off by myself. I think Sam’s going to do what Sam’s going to do. And you can have these.” She gives Rory Swann’s number to Imogen, as well as the number for the first man she drank with, although she does not have many details on how he might be of use.

Lilly calls over to Sam, asking where she should head to see the problem area for herself. He tells her that he plans to set the bomb off at a cave a little ways to the north of where they all fought the zerglings. He believes that leads into their tunnels. There is also an above-ground hive off to the west, but he thinks that one is too well defended to attack. He is not sure if that more distant hive is connected to the local tunnels.

“And your plan is…?”

“Blow up the tunnel.”


“Collapse it in on the zerg.”

“For the point of…?”

“Saving the clinic.”

“Okay.” With a full understanding of Sam Aran’s questionable plan, Lilly sets off. As she heads across the purple goo, she notices a creep tumor off in the distance, the source of the slime that covers the landscape in this area. She knows that as long as that tumor is around, the zerg will be more comfortable and move more easily. The tumor is a little bigger than a vulture bike and does not have any defenses of its own. It could probably be easily destroyed, but that is likely to attract attention. Lilly makes note of the tumor but does not pause to deal with it right now. She considers maybe diverting to deal with it on her way back.

Lilly finds the cave entrance Sam told her about without encountering any zerg. She carefully enters the creep-coated tunnel, trying to move as quietly as she can over the gooey surface. It feels humid in the cave, unlike outside, and smells organic, a bit like a locker room. The tunnel is dim, and as she moves downward along the curving route, it widens and opens up more. The walls appear shaped in some way, as though the zerg have been working it. There are no supports in this tunnel, and she wonders how stable it is right now. Zerg are not known for their engineering, but they are survivors. On the other hand, it is mainly through strength of numbers that zerg tend to survive.

She notices a choke point, where the rock looks harder so the zerg would have trouble digging their openings wider there. It is a few zerglings wide, though probably a careful hydralisk could fit through if it ducked down. She suspects that is where Sam intends to set off his bomb to block eastern movement through the tunnel system and bring the roof down on the rest of it.

As Lilly studies the cave, she hears growling echoing from both east and west. She cannot identify all the sounds she hears. Based on some of the higher pitches, there are zerglings around, but there might be other zerg as well. Lilly moves up closer to the narrow space to investigate. Around the corner she sees two zerglings. At first it seems they are digging at a side wall, but upon closer examination, she sees that they are attacking something. It is hard for her to see exactly what they are clawing at, whether it is a creature or some sort of equipment. There is a glint of something metallic, possibly an antenna. The zerglings growl and chitter, but Lilly thinks she also hears whimpering, like someone is in pain. She definitely feels like someone is in pain. Whatever that thing is, it is the size of a small dog or child, certainly small enough for her to carry away from here.

Lilly considers shooting the zerglings, but the noise that would produce could attract more zerg. Going up against two zerglings with a knife is not really something a sane person would do, but…. She looks around to see if there are any other options. Lilly grabs a loose rock and throws it down the tunnel, hoping to distract the zerglings. The sound makes one of them look up, and it turns in her direction.

Crap. Lilly stays very still, hoping not to be noticed. The zergling that was looking her way turns back to its companion and takes a swipe at it. The two creatures start attacking each other, and Lilly sneaks closer, trying to get a clear view of what they are fighting over. Its purple hide is covered with tough-looking scales, and it has tiny eyes and many small legs. Lilly recognizes it as a zerg larva, capable of morphing into any type of zerg, but there is a device implanted in this one’s skull. It seems that the zerglings were trying to claw at the device.

“What the hell is going on…?” she breathes.

The larva turns toward her and tries to stand on its small legs. It seems to be responding to her interest in some way, but it is not aggressive. Like it is waiting for her, maybe. She studies the larva, a little confused, and then she recognizes a logo on its cranial device. The three-headed dog icon matches the logo on one of her resocialization barcodes. She has been resocialized three times, as far as she knows from the barcodes tattooed on her: once by the Confederacy, once by the Dominion, and once by someone else. Someone who uses that logo. Lilly seeks information about her past, but she is not looking to advertise the fact that she has been resocialized, not once, but at least three times. But maybe if someone can tell her something about the tech on this larva, she will be able to use that knowledge to figure out a piece of her own missing history. 

Lilly grabs the larva, turns, and runs. The zerglings continue scratching at each other for a moment and then notice what she has done and take off after her. One of them gets close enough to slash her leg, but she just ignores it and picks up the pace. The pursuing zerglings strangely stop at the cave entrance. Lilly does not.