Talon and Valravn tell Diva and the Lord Commander what happened to Beta and the Marauders take on a job hunting pirates, while Valravn searches for answers about the Brintan Plague.
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Diva and the Lord Commander return from finding work for the Marauders to find a very somber mood onboard the Yojimbo. Talon and Valravn reveal to them that in their last mission, Beta was killed when an AC 20 hit his cockpit before he could eject. Talon is clearly bothered by what has happened and blames himself for Beta’s death. Both he and Valravn are very interested in tracking down Geist and making him pay, while the Lord Commander is curious as to how Beta was tracked down at all as well as who hired the bounty hunter. In the meantime, the Lord Commander has found work for the team and grief has to be put aside. They are going pirate hunting on a job that has specific interest for Valravn as it has the possibility of recovering medical supplies and information on the Brintan Plague, the disease that is afflicting her mother. The Yojimbo sets off for the long journey to the moon Erzi in the Lyratan system. It is a system known for being a lucrative medical research area and one that is constantly under conflict, as well as being a hotspot for pirates. Being that they are down a mech warrior, the Lord Commander decides that he will take the field in Beta’s old mech.
As the crew journeys to Erzi word comes through that the Third Succession War appears to be coming to a close and there is even talk about armistice in the coming few months. Arriving in the Lyratan System the Marauders meet with their contact, Administrator Morrigan. In charge of one of the medical research facilities on the planet, she is interested having the Marauders take on the Hudsyion Syndicate. The Syndicate has been engaging in guerrilla warfare tactics and has been difficult for their security forces, and a previous mercenary group, to take on. They have several mechs at their disposal which comprise a mix of short and long range weapons. Morrigan’s company is losing money and by extension she is losing money as well. She wants the Marauders to take out the Syndicate’s mech force on Erzi, specifically the Griffin and the Victor, and drive them from the area. She is able to offer information on the enemy forces and where they are likely to strike next but no air or ground support. The team agrees to take on the job and Valravn offers to give up any monetary reward in exchange for information on the Brintan Plague, something that Morrigan agrees to if the enemy Victor is captured and brought to them in a useable state.
In an effort to blow off steam, the Marauders spend the night before battle getting into fist fights, cutting beer cans in half, and drinking. Late in the afternoon on the next day they wake up to find that the enemy is approaching and the time for battle has come. The Marauders confront the Hudsyion Syndicate, lead by their pirate captain, and demand that the medical supplies they are escorting are given safe passage. The pirates refuse and hostiles commence. Both sides take damage and the Syndicate is even able to use their Griffin to grab the supply convoy, and Diva falls into the water. The Whim of the Wind comes in with the killing blow on the enemy commander’s Victor, causing the mech to explode and the commander to eject. He attempts to leave the battlefield riding on the arm of the Griffin, while the Griffin continues to carry to medical convoy, but the Marauders threaten to continue firing on them if they do not leave the supplies behind. Swearing to return for his damaged mech, the pirate captain orders his men to leave the medical convoy and retreat. Despite the Victor being destroyed, Administrator Morrigan is reasonably pleased with how the mission turned out and gives Valravn a data chip containing information on the Brintan Plague. Back onboard the Yojimbo, the Lord Commander quietly pays his private respects to the man who was more than just his driver…his friend and the man who took a bullet for him, Beta.
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