The Marauders head to New Abilene to recover and repair, and are set on a mission by Lord Mulligan to face off against a rogue mercenary group known as The Lost Third.
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Still recovering from the loss of Beta, the Marauders head back to the planet of New Abilene to regroup and repair. Talon wants to go out and find the bounty hunter Geist to take revenge for Beta, but the Lord Commander wants to spend time on New Abilene to find the person who hired Geist in the first place, as well as finding a new mech warrior to fill their vacant spot on the lance. Valravn produces a data chip that she secured during the last encounter that she cannot interpret. Laurent is able to decipher the information contained on the ship and gives the Marauders a brief rundown. The Brintan Plague, so called because it originated on Brintan-4 in the Taurian system, and it is a new plague that has only been recently been reported. Brintan-4 has a very small population which is tightly controlled by the Taurians but lately a small number of new cases of the Brintan Plague have been reported outside of this planet. The appearance of the plague is complicated, it is a neurodegenerative viral infection which is highly contagious with possible origins in a laboratory or bioweapon technology. Valravn is devastated by this information as her mother, being diagnosed with the Brintan Plague, has been essentially spreading this disease to others the entire time. Treatments are purely palliative and patients need to be kept isolated but total numbers of infected are unknown. Something else that is unknown is how Valravn’s mother came to be infected to this plague in the first place. The crew agrees to be tested for the presence of the plague while Valravn sends a message with this new information back to her mother.
Arriving on New Abilene, the Marauders are met by the new Lord Mulligan and his aide, Peter, to discover that the planet is in the middle of a civil war. They are currently fighting against Baron Lazaroth who is working to keep the nobility in control of their ancestral territories and lands. The Baron has a mercenary group working for him known as The Lost Third, a group comprised of former House Marik soldiers. Lord Mulligan is now working with the Magistracy and is interested in hiring the Marauders to help in their current situation. They are offering large amounts of money and salvage rights but the Lord Commander is also interested in finding out more information regarding Geist. Terms are agreed to and the Marauders prepare to take the field against The Lost Third with Lord Mulligan, and his family Atlas, by their side. Talon is less than thrilled at this new lance mate, especially since the current Lord Mulligan ascended to his new position by killing his father, the former Lord Mulligan. His objections heard, noted, and ignored, Talon and the rest of the Marauders are given their mission brief. They are to engage a section of The Lost Third in order to secure a supply depot which is rumored to contain large amounts of salvage and “other things” from the Baron Lazaroth.
Taking to the field, the Marauders face off against Captain Bradshaw of The Lost Third. Captain Bradshaw is a good deal chattier than the enemies they usually face and much of the battle is spent in witty banter and insults, as well as mechs shooting each other. He even gets under Valravn’s skin by claiming to have her mother’s sword, something she does not believe to be possible. The battle seems to be turning in the favor of the Marauders when Captain Bradshaw comms in with a proposal. He claims that the supply depot is filled with Star League era cargo worth thirty million c-bills and he is willing to split it with the Marauders in exchange for being allowed to leave the battlefield. Lord Mulligan counters with an increase in their pay as well as reminding the team of his government connections. After a few rounds of negotiation, the Lord Commander allows Captain Bradshaw to cede the battlefield in exchange for ten million c-bills and his mechs. The captain agrees with the threat of meeting his commander, General Kam of House Marik, in the very near future. Valravn contacts Captain Bradshaw before he is out of range and demands to know the truth of her mother’s sword. He tells her that the sword is actually her family’s sword and that he took it when he personally destroyed her entire house and killed all members inside. Valravn swears to find him and take back what is hers, a promise the captain welcomes. Regrouping from the battle, the Marauders take a moment to remember Beta. The Lord Commander has not only just received information from Lord Mulligan regarding Geist, but he has also found a bottle of Beta’s favorite brew. He pours each lance member a drink and they all remember their lost friend. The Lord Commander then goes on to read aloud some of Beta’s journal entries and Lord Mulligan’s information which reveals that Diva is in reality a member of House Steiner known as Maria Gonzalez and an attache to a Lyran Military Commandant, whose past has been erased most likely by someone high up in House Steiner. Diva begins to swallow hard, due in part to the itching and burning in her throat, as the Lord Commander reveals that Diva was the one who notified Geist of Beta’s location because he was getting too close to finding out the truth of her background. As Talon unsheathes his sword and Valravn becomes more confused and disturbed, Diva collapses to the floor. The Lord Commander looks on coldly as the newly discovered spy succumbs to the poison that he put into her drink.
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