Interlude: Marian

Time:  Approx six years before our story kicked off

Place: Darmouth, Marian’s office

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Isaac:  We’ve figured out what happened.

Marian: Jesus, finally.

Isaac:  An Area Supremacy Patrol ran into one of the Regime’s Fists near the end of their route.  They engaged and were wiped out, just one survivor.

Marian:  Shit.

Daria:  That doesn’t make any sense.

Isaac: I assure you, the evidence is…

Marian: Why did they engage?  Why on earth didn’t they break away once things started going wrong?  One Fucking Survivor?

Isaac:  The enemy used subterfuge to pin the patrol down in a gas station, they didn’t believe that they had the option to flee.

Daria: Oh, Alerter’s trick?

Isaac: Indeed.

Marian:  What’s Alerter’s trick?  She’s in First Fist, right?

Isaac:  Yes, one of the auxiliary members.  She controls sound.

Marian:  What’s her trick?

Daria:  She impersonates your superior’s voice over your comband, gives you fucked up orders.  We use codes to stop it from working.

Isaac:  Unfortunately, Eva apparently swallowed the phony assertion that the passcode holder had been destroyed.

Marian: Ah.

Isaac:  She thought that her team was buying time to complete an evacuation.  Last Stand kind of thing.

Marian:  I take it that was not true.

Isaac:  The ASP was the only unit involved in combat operations in that area.

Daria: Who survived?  Jean?

Isaac:  An unpowered human.  One Fidel Martinez.

Marian: The commanding officer?  How’d he escape?

Isaac:  He didn’t buy the ruse, but Eva mutinied, and the other Ultras took her lead.

Daria: They’d have had to.  She was the strongest in that crew by a long way.

Marian: So he ran?

Isaac:  Stayed and tried to regain control, but they just knocked him out.  First Fist tortured him for a while, but bugged out before finishing the job.

Daria:  They ran?

Isaac: We got the gist of the situation from the comband, and ‘accidentally’ leaked that you were on your way.

Marian: This Fidel…how’s he doing?

Isaac: How do you think?

Marian: See if he’s broken.  If he isn’t, then I’ve got plans for him.

Daria: Making another hero?

Marian: Shrewd enough to see through their tricks.  Brave enough to stand up to Eva.  Lucky enough to walk out of a fight that no one else walked away from.  We could do a lot worse.

Isaac:  ASSUMING he’s not broken.

Marian: Of course.

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