FRAWD Investigators: (Re)Socializing | Scene 3

The zerg heart of the radiolisk shudders to a stop again. Imogen stares down at it a moment. Lilly has been awfully quiet this whole time. She could have joined the conversation whenever she wanted. Imogen tucks some loose strands of hair back into her braid and then turns around to face her partner. “Well, I suppose you heard what the queen is looking for in order to not be so angry with us about Redstone.”

Lilly puts away the knife she was sharpening. “So what did she say?”

“She wants to know what Mengsk is after on Tarsonis. Really. Not that this is all just a show of Dominion strength. And Aiden’s pretty confident that as far as the Dominion has gotten here, it is because the queen has allowed it to happen to help her figure out what they’re doing here. Whether it’s them looking for something Confederate or something else. You yourself are awfully keen to find something from what the Confederates were doing here. Do you remember enough about that? Is that something big enough that it would be helpful to Mengsk?”

“All I know is that I was sending all the information in my journals from the Cerberus facility on that AI. So my name’s on it, which is why I want to get it. But I don’t know the scope. I don’t remember.” 

“So it was some sort of zerg research, but the part that was conducted on Tarsonis, not on Chau Sara?”

Lilly shrugs. Her memory is hazy, and she cannot quite fit together on a timeline all the pieces that have come back. “I know I was sending it from here. But not really when.”

Adjutants are secure high-capacity storage devices. It is possible that there is research on that adjutant related to actually controlling zerg, not just attracting them like a psi-emitter does. With the Cerberus facility on Chau Sara now just a crater, this may be the only record of it. “If it holds information on how to control parts of the Swarm, that would be very useful to Mengsk,” Imogen says.

“So do you want to take this job?” Lilly asks practically. “What’s she paying? ‘Cause it sounds pretty dangerous.”

“What she’s paying is to not be a Sword of Damocles dangling over us for the rest of our lives.”

Lilly looks at Imogen blankly for a moment. “Okay.”

“She hasn’t done anything to inconvenience us yet, but she could at any point in time. She was really mad after Redstone. And we’ve got her little spy kept in a closet all the time here,” Imogen says, gesturing at the open door to Lilly’s quarters. “She can find us whenever she wants to.” Lilly nods. “It would be good to not have to worry about that. Maybe you don’t worry about that anyway, but we’re trying to make something of our lives here. I would prefer to worry about what the next job we have lined up is, not when the Swarm is going to descend on us.”

“We’ve done jobs for protoss,” Lilly states. “We’ve done jobs for the Rebellion. We even partnered with Zagara.”

Imogen sees what Lilly is saying. They have had a diverse set of clients. “And we helped out Blight,” she adds to the list. Still, she struggles with the decision. “I don’t have a personal loyalty to the Dominion. I don’t want our friends hurt, but Durian’s getting out. I don’t want people needlessly killed. This planet, though, has already been wiped out. Would I want to help them attack an inhabited planet? No, I wouldn’t. But I feel like that’s not at stake here.”

“So it’s a salvage op.”

“Aye, I think it is. And it might just be the information, or it might be getting to it—whatever it is—first. If we get to it first, then we have something to sell.” At peace with the decision, Imogen switches gears to accomplishing it. “So did Durian say anything about knowing someone who can commission a sensor sweep?”

“Durian’s getting a promotion,” Lilly announces with a smile. “He’s going to be a lieutenant. He’s got a ceremony this afternoon.”

“They’re still letting him out though, right?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I checked.”