FRAWD Investigators: The Ambush | Scene 17

Lilly and Narud find Imogen leaning against a tree, catching her breath. When she sees them, she grabs a metal spear and then scoops up an armful of technology. Just as she straightens up, a branch of another nearby tree explodes into splinters. There was no sound of a shot firing though. Sniper rifle! Imogen thinks, remember Neiman taking out zerg on Redstone III. As Narud panics about being under attack, Imogen drops the cloaking equipment and scrambles for her comm. “Malorn! Malorn, are you above ground?”

Indeed, he is. Not wanting to stay cooped up down in the temple, he has been keeping an eye on the terran ghost from a distance. “I left him alive, as agreed,” he replies grumpily.

“He’s shooting at me!” Imogen shouts back, scanning the horizon to try to locate the threat. She is surprised to spot Neiman. For some reason, he is no longer cloaked. 

“Well, if that’s a problem, you shouldn’t’ve asked for him to be left alive. I thought you wanted to kill him!”

“Do something about the gun,” Imogen orders.

“Additional requirements!” Malorn mutters. “I prefer to rend flesh,” he tells her.

Neiman lowers his rifle and begins running toward Imogen and the others. She points him out to Lilly, who can cover them with Sweetpea while Narud helps Imogen carry the stolen materials. She shoves the cloaking technology into his arms and then grabs the antenna with her off hand, so that the other can draw her pistol.

“We need to destroy that,” Narud says, nodding at the spearlike equipment Imogen is holding. “He was going to call Earth and bring them back. We’ve got to wreck that, maybe throw it into the swamp or something.”

“Uh, this is Imogen.” Lilly makes the introduction while scanning the area with Sweetpea. Neiman is too far off to hit right now, but maybe she can slow him.

“We’ll deal with that all later,” Imogen tells Narud, dismissing his concerns for now.

Lilly covers the retreat, laying down suppressive fire, but Neiman closes the distance between them. She is intentionally lagging behind so that she will be the target, not Imogen and Narud. Neiman is close enough now that she can see the fancy goggles he is wearing. Bet those have telescopic vision, she thinks, envious. She is not sure why blood is leaking out of them, though. Actually, his whole face is pretty bloody, including under his nose and around his ears. 

Lilly files this information away but does not let it distract her from her job. One well-placed shot manages to actually hit Neiman, but fueled by rage—or perhaps stims—he does not slow. He is able to get off more shots than Lilly is, since his C-10 does not need to cool down like the frying pan laser does. Lilly’s luck holds out for a while, but one bullet comes frighteningly close, hitting Sweetpea. The laser whines disturbingly as Lilly aims at a tree in the middle distance, hoping to bring it down across Neiman’s path. 

Instead, just a branch catches fire. It is certainly not enough to impede Neiman’s forward progress, but it does focus his attention in Lilly’s direction, away from the protoss running up behind him. Unfortunately, the ghost gets off one more shot before Malorn connects with him. The high velocity round goes right through the meat of Lilly’s arm.

The pathetic terran ghost uses a weapon that requires two arms, so removing one of those will satisfy that insufferable psion’s demands that Malorn disarm him. He will not be strong enough to wield that gun with one arm. Weak terran. Inferior biology. Inferior weapons, too. Malorn slices clean through Neiman’s arm before the ghost even notices he is there. The terran collapses in agony, and Malorn snatches up the rifle, slicing through that as well. “There, this weapon has been dealt with,” he calls out to Lilly Washington.