FRAWD Investigators: Pilot | Scene 2

As they walk through the compound to the mine entrance, the FRAWD agents pass a large central structure. Imogen again tries to sense what is inside. As usual, she is not able to tell anything about living beings beyond the walls. But she does see a Banshee bi-copter on its roof, and it looks like it must be a command building. 

The investigators approach the mine. There are a handful of guards and a dozen or so filthy workers. Lilly gets the vibe that the armed people are there to keep the workers in line, rather than to protect them from the zerg. One of them sees her watching and asks, “What’s your problem, pal?”

“I don’t have a problem, do you?” Lilly shoots back. The two stare each other down, but the guard looks away first and shuffles over to the card table where the rest of his coworkers are. Lilly quietly tells her companions that she thinks these people might be slaves. Imogen volunteers to keep the guards occupied while Lilly talks to some of the workers. Ted just complains that he does not feel well.

As her companions walk off, Lilly approaches a miner wielding a pickaxe. “You here of your own free will?” she asks.

“No one has free will,” he replies. “Are you the new guard?”

“No, I’m an investigator.” Lilly shows her ID. “How did you get here?”

He tells her he was grabbed during the night and then found himself forced to work here. He insists he used to be a very big deal on Korhal. When she asks his name, he tells her he is called Grom.

“You Jefferson Grom?”

“You know me?”

“I know someone wants you out of here,” Lilly replies.

“And can you get me out of here?”

“I can try.” They discuss escape strategies. Grom tells her there are eighteen guards, including their bosses. He reports that most of the guards are in the huts watching the off-duty slaves. There are about thirty slaves and also some weird protoss fellows in the refinery. Lilly estimates that the Banshee, if they can steal it, will only hold about six people. It is a tactical bomber, not a troop transport. She is surprised to see it in a place like this because it is pretty advanced Dominion technology. It might even have cloaking capabilities. Lilly keeps the aircraft in mind but resolves to be on the lookout for other transport so that they can free everyone. Grom tells her that he used to run a mining business, Grom Mining Consortium, LLC, and that he will gladly testify if she can get him out of there.

Meanwhile, Imogen pays the ten credit buy-in for the poker game and chats with the guards. She asks why they are not worried about the zerg, and they tell her Commander Louis has a psi disruptor, a piece of old Confederate tech that keeps them away. One of the guards nods over to the middle building as they are talking, and Ted, watching the game, takes note of the probable location of that device. Imogen loses enough hands that she is able to commiserate with a guard named Marvin and get him to escort them over to the refinery after the game.

As the investigators follow Marvin, they hang back a little to share their findings. Lilly states her intention to free all the slaves and says they can get a reward for rescuing Grom. Imogen asks Ted more about vespene gas and what it might have to do with protoss. The scientist explains that the gas is likely being used to power equipment at the mine, including the psi disruptor. Protoss can get very addicted to a derivative of vespene called terrazine. Ted tells Imogen that it can cause insanity and mess with their psionic powers. Imogen listens, but mainly what she hears is that terrazine has some interaction with psionics.