FRAWD Investigators: Pilot | Scene 5

As the protoss begin fighting with the guards, Imogen heads to the central command building, focused on the Banshee. Even if they cannot use it as part of their escape, she hopes to prevent it from coming after them. Perhaps she can get the commander of the compound to turn on his employers…. But first, she has to get into the building, and the window to the northeast room is right here. Sounds of gunfire already fill the camp, along with panicked shouts from guards: some that the protoss are loose, some that the zerg are coming. In the chaos, Imogen shoots at the closest window and tries to smash through the broken glass with her shoulder, but it is more resilient than she expected. She hears a muffled voice inside the building shouting, “You idiots! Don’t shoot my office!” 

Ted, sweating profusely and looking very ill, offers to burn through the wall, presumably with something vespene-derived. Imogen gives him the go-ahead, but she continues to work the problem her way. The commander is right there, in that room. Maybe she can just take him out. She tries shooting at him through the glass, but the way she is ducked down to avoid being seen from inside, she cannot get a shot off cleanly. “Don’t make me turn this psi disruptor off!” she hears the commander yell. “I’ll do it! I’ll escape in the Banshee, and all y’all can die!”

Ted calls her over to the hole he has made into the adjacent room, the northwest corner of the building. Imogen tosses one of the knockout grenades through the opening and then jumps through herself, unloading a clip in case anyone is still standing. There is one guard, and he flees, coughing. As the smoke dissipates, Imogen takes note of a desk and a safe. She asks Ted to search the room while she clears the building.

“I can help do that,” Ted tells her.

“Oh!” Imogen is surprised. “You’ve decided to grow a backbone now, have you?” She takes a crouched step into the hall, intending to roll her other grenade at the commander but then has to quickly duck back into her room to avoid him seeing her as he leaves his office. She notes that Ted has already burnt through another wall, gaining access to the southwest corner of the building. The psi disruptor could be there, and if he wants to focus on that, it is fine with her.

Imogen hears the commander in the hall, muttering to himself, “I will have to do it myself, then. With the Banshee.” She waits until he steps by and then starts shooting. She clips him, and as he grabs for his gun, she shoots that away from his hand. He dives through a door further down the hallway, into the southeast room, and it slams shut. Imogen shoulders through it in time to see him disappearing up a ladder. He closes the trapdoor behind him, and Imogen changes her plan.

Instead, she dashes across the hall to the room where Ted is, shouting that she needs him to burn a hole in the ceiling. She finds him collapsed in a chair, exhausted. The melted mess in the corner of this room must have once been a psi disruptor. 

“I feel so much better,” Ted says. He notices Imogen and tells her, “Leave me behind and go. The zerg are coming.” Imogen insists he come along, but Ted refuses. “I’m a danger to be around. It is safer for me to be with the zerg than with people.”

Imogen tries one last time. “I know what it’s like to be different, I do,” she tells him.

“No,” he insists, “you don’t. Not like this. But this is what I am now.”

Imogen hands Ted the last grenade and leaves, pausing in the northwest room only long enough to grab whatever papers are in the desk to help with the court case. Then she dashes across the compound to Steve’s truck. Over by the mine, she sees the high protoss hovering, lightning shooting out from him and destroying anything it touches. At the truck she finds Lilly demanding that Steve let her into the cab. After some badgering, he calms down enough for Lilly to take the wheel, and they drive away as zerg descend on the complex and the Banshee takes off. A zergling jumps in front of the truck, but Lilly just runs it over. Turning to Imogen, she asks, “Where’s Ted?”

“Ted deserted,” Imogen simply states.

And abandon your team with all these zerg everywhere? Lilly thinks disapprovingly. “That’s dumb,” she says.

* * *

Grom’s rescue earns Lilly five hundred credits, which she splits evenly with her colleague. Imogen, meanwhile, receives a package presumably from her mysterious benefactor. It contains a psi gauntlet. Back at FRAWD headquarters, Jefferson Duke logs Ted’s status as AWOL in his official Dominion record.