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MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
(Very well.)

"Don't jinx us," Keesha groaned.

"Let's move; someone may have heard that," Faasnu suggested.

I HAVE RETURNED!
If we have, I don't remember. Welcome back, at any rate.

I HAVE RETURNED!
Drem Yol Lok, Taran'atar. Welcome back. You don't know me, so I figured I'd introduce myself.

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
(Who's Kerrigan?)

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
As soon as the violence with the ugly creatures started, it stopped. Keesha approached one of the bipedal creatures and said, "By the Force... Flood. No wonder this place is so empty; it's contaminated with Flood."

"I think it's safe to assume why our Luranni and Squarr friends are sticking close to their ship," Charlene said. Opening a radio link, she told her AI, "Foxtrot, get a line to the Republic military forces; keep an eye out for Flood forms trying to gain access to other parts of Coruscant."

"Already done," Foxtrot responded. "Sent the message when you came under attack by those bastards."

"How did the Flood get here?" Faasnu mused. "And for that matter, why haven't we seen any sign of Flood activity anywhere else?"

"Let's focus on getting that Planet Prison," Keesha said. "Rae, take point; we'll cover you."

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
"Hold your positions, people," Faasnu commanded. "Something--"

A barrage of small, spherical pods no bigger than the palm of Faasnu's hand dropped down from somewhere above, followed by pair of grotesque masses of corpseflesh and tentacles.

"CONTACT!!!" Charlene shouted, raising her M41A and firing on one of the creatures. Keesha primed a grenade and threw it before the advancing mob. The creatures charged over it, and the ensuing detonation pulverized the spherical creatures and sent the other bipedal creature flying in six different directions. But more came charging in.

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
"He's just a kid, Rae," Keesha said.

"Quiet," Faasnu murmured. A bird-like alien appeared at an intersection - a Luranni marine. The team scattered for cover, hoping the Luranni hadn't seen them.

The alien looked around the empty streets, then vanished around a corner.

"Did he see us?" Keesha asked.

"If he did, I think we'd be hearing about it by now," Faasnu replied.

"Foxtrot, can you tap into the Luranni comm channels?" Charlene asked.

"Possibly," Foxtrot said, "Lemme see what I can do."

Faasnu peered over his cover, seeing nothing but a ghost town that was Black Sun territory.

"Where are they?" Keesha asked. "We're in their territory, why aren't they swarming us?"

"Either they're busy with other concerns, or they're not the only ones in this sector," Faasnu said. He ducked back behind cover and added, "I don't like this; something's not right. Just the remnants of a crashed Necromyan ship couldn't wipe out Black Sun on their own."

"Who else could be in this area?" Keesha asked. "It's not like--"

An odd rustling could be heard, the sound coming from everywhere at once.

"What the hell...?" Charlene whispered.

The rustling sounded again, and Keesha said, "Keep your weapons up; something's not right."

"No shit," Charlene grumbled.

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
Faasnu led the team through the empty depths of Black Sun Territory, ready to fire at...

A slight shuffle cause guns to point in one direction. A young kid, armed with a broken blaster, threw down his weapon with his hands up. "If you're gonna kill me, do it quickly," he said.

Faasnu breathed a sigh of relief. "Shit, kid - you almost took a bullet. What are you doing here?"

"What's it look like I'm doing?" the kid spat, "I'm trying to get the hell out of here! Those alien freaks want this sector, they can have it!"

"Where are they?" Charlene asked.

"How the fuck should I know?" the kid asked. "As far as I know, the bastards keep close to their ship... what's left of it, anyway."

"Did they have any working computers?" Faasnu inquired.

"Fuck if I know," the kid answered. "But from what I heard, they had something called... the 'planet prison' or something. They were gonna transmit the designs off-world, then blow this sector sky-high."

"Shit," Keesha cursed, "That's not good."

"There's a transport back thataway," Faasnu said. "Path's clear; get out of here while you still can."

"Way ahead of you, pal," the kid said. "I'm done with Black Sun."

The kid took off, and Faasnu commented, "Good to hear."

The team resumed the trek through the abandoned superstructure, weapons ready.

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
The Black Sun sector was unusually quiet, with only the distant hum of zooming speeders to disturb the otherwise perfect silence. It was unreal. The team moved slowly through the seemingly-abandoned superstructure, keeping eyes open for any kind of ambush.

"Talk to me, Foxtrot," Charlene requested, "Where is everybody?"

"Unknown," the AI replied. "There's an odd field throughout Black Sun territory that's blocking scanners. I can't read any life signs - use your motion trackers."

Keesha and Charlene engaged their motion trackers in their armor, the trackers giving off a steady tap, tap, tap as they scanned the area for any sign of activity.

"Nothing," Keesha said. "Not a damn thing."

"I don't like this," Charlene said, keeping her M41A ready to fire.

"Keep moving," Faasnu said, "The sooner we locate the planet prison, the better."

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
The transport pilot took the team as far as the edge of Black Sun Territory, dropping them off at an abandoned platform with an elevator going down to black sun territory.

"This is as far as I can go," the pilot said. "When you get the Planet Prison, find high ground, radio in, and I'll come pick you up."

"Affirmative," Charlene said as she stepped off the transport. She cocked her M41A as the others got off the transport. Faasnu unslung his H3M1, and Keesha unfolded the stock of her AK50M7.

"Remember - we are here for the planet prison," Faasnu said. "However, if we come across a functioning computer, hack it and see if we can find a motive to the enemy's taking of the planet prison. Let's move."

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
Faasnu led the team toward the taxi pad, where he turned to face the others. "I will say this once: We must prevent the Luranni and Squarr forces from getting off-world with that Planet Prison. No telling what kind of damage they can do with it."

"Remember that it's only part of a larger weapon?" Charlene asked. "We still have to track down the other parts."

"One thing at a time, Charlene," Keesha said.

"We need to get the planet prison first," Faasnu agreed. "Is everyone ready?"

Charlene readied her weapon. Keesha did the same, and Faasnu loaded his weapon while waiting on the others.

Dragon'taan: Heart of the Marauder Corps
Your ally speaks for both of us, Ahkrinviingah said. Find your brother. He must know of this.

As you wish, master, Faasnu droned. He rose from his trance and turned to Krystal. "I'll alert Kyle; you find your son - if the disturbance in the force is correct, you will need to shield your son from these rebels."

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
The team took an air taxi to the Senate tower, then headed inside. Following Charlene, they entered a tall room lined with pillars, followed the SIS Agent's directions, and found their way to General Garza's office.

"Ah, you must be that Marauder Corps team I was told to expect," Garza greeted them. "I'm General Garza, Republic Military. Good to finally meet you, mister..."

"Mathayus Indari," Faasnu responded, "Though most know me as Darth Faasnu."

"Ah, Faasnu - I've heard of you. And your friends...?" Garza asked.

Going in a left-to-right order, Faasnu introduced the members of the team. "This is my wife, Keesha, our Marauder Operative, Charlene - AKA Marauder One - our other Marauder Corps operative, Zack McCloud, our resident Cerinian Operatives, Alex and Rae, and our sniper, Valtozaz."

"We came here in regards to what happened to the Black Sun sector?" Keesha said.

"Ah, yes," Garza responded. "I will, of course, share my intel - but it's not much." She took a deep breath, then began, "As you know, the Black Sun sector has been a thorn in the republic's side since the end of the last war. They are into slave trading, spice smuggling, gun trafficking, the works. Recently, however, a starship crashed in that sector, and since then, all surveillance into that sector ceased, and all radio transmissions from that sector stopped broadcasting. We suspected Sith involvement, so we sent three strike teams to try to determine the extent of what happened there and find any evidence whatsoever of Sith involvement. What we got back was... not what we expected."

"You have something to show us?" Charlene surmised.

Garza didn't verbally respond, but she tapped a few commands into her desk computer, and a holo-screen was brought up. It was apparently a video feed from one of the soldiers, fighting what appeared to be...

"Freeze it there!" Faasnu requested. The image froze, and Faasnu commented, "Well, fuck me..."

"You know what these things are?" Garza asked.

"Luranni Marines," Faasnu answered, indicating one of the aliens - an anthro-bird creature. Indicating a squid-like alien, he added, "And it looks like the Squarr are with them." He looked to Garza and asked, "Any indication that they may have left the area?"

"None," Garza answered. "Whoever they are, they've kept to Black Sun Territory. Why were you going in there, anyway?"

"We believe they have something called the 'planet prison' - old Republic tech developed during the last war with the Sith," Keesha answered.

"While we've gotten no information that indicates they have such a thing," Garza stated, "our technology database was hacked ten minutes before you arrived; we're trying to figure out what is was the hackers were after."

"Then they may already have the designs for the Planet Prison," Charlene said. "We have to stop them before they find a way off-world with it."

"Command thinking, Charlene," Faasnu complimented. "Let's move."

Dragon'taan: Heart of the Marauder Corps
(I was kinda hoping Krystal would tell Faasnu and Ahkrinviingah what problem she sensed.)

There is a disturbance in the Force, Lord Faasnu, the ancient dragon said.

What is it's cause, master? Faasnu asked.

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
"Don't do that," Faasnu told Rae. "We're in the spaceport; looking around like that attracts... unwelcome company."

A human approached the group wearing Republic SIS (Strategic Information Service) colors.

"Privet. Chto privelokomandu nayemnikov , kak vy zdesʹ?" (Greetings.What brings a team of mercenaries like you here?) the man said.

Charlene flashed her Marauder Corps identification and responded, "Maroder odin. YA zdesʹ, s etoy komandoy , chtoby proveritʹ Chernyy Territoriya VS." (Marauder one. I am here with this team to check out Black Sun Territory.)

The SIS agent looked dumbfounded, but snapped out of it and pointed to the turbolift, saying, "Vy khotite, chtoby proveritʹ s Generalʹnym Garsa, v pervuyu ocheredʹ." (You'll want to check in with General Garza, first.)

"Spasibo," (Thank you) Charlene told the agent.

The team began moving, and Keesha asked, "What was that about?"

"That was an SIS agent," Charlene replied. "Said we'll want to check in with General Gaza before we hit Black Sun Territory. Speaking of which..."

Charlene called after the SIS man, "Ey - tam, gde nakhoditsya ofis generalʹnogo Garza v ?" (Hey - Where is General Garza's office?)

"Pervyy etazh v Senate bashni, povernite nalevo v zal s kolonnami , topravo, pervaya dverʹ sprava!" (Ground floor in the Senate Tower; take a left at the hall with pillars, then a right, first door on the right!) the SIS agent replied.

"Come on," Charlene said.

Dragon'taan: Heart of the Marauder Corps
(Oh) "What is it? A--" Faasnu stopped midsentence. He closed his eyes momentarily, then opened them to look at Krystal. "Come with me; we must commune with my master." He stepped outside, went around the block, and got on his knees in a meditation trance.

What is thy bidding, my master?

Dragon'taan: Heart of the Marauder Corps
(Technically, Kursed, it's night on Dragon'taan right now.)

Faasnu turned to face this newcomer and asked, "Forgive me for asking, but who are you, and what problems do you speak of?"

Drake ignored this exchange, sipping his Romulan Ale. He looked at his watch, slapped a tip on the counter, and said, "I'm heading out, Jerry. Have a goon one."

"G'nite, Drake," Jerry responded. Drake walked out of the Bellator bar, shifted to dragon form, and took to the starlit sky...

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
"They are," Keesha affirmed. "Or were."

"As I indicated," Foxtrot said, "Black Sun has apparently been wiped out by an unknown entity or faction. Who or what that is remains unclear."

Faasnu returned armed with an RX Hybrid H3M1 and his multiple lightsabers. "I know a Jedi doesn't typically use guns, but being in the company of little brother and the DMC, I have taken to using firearms."

Keesha retreated momentarily, returning armed with an archaic-looking RX Kalashnikov AK50M7.

"We ready for this?" she asked.

"We have to get to black sun territory, first," Faasnu stated. "Charlene, take point."

"On it," Charlene responded. She opened the hatch, and the team descended the ramp to Coruscant Spaceport.

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
"I'll keep that in mind," Charlene responded as the Unseen Predator dropped into realspace. Charlene guided the ship to a docking bay down planetside, where she asked Foxtrot, "Talk to me, Foxtrot - where are we going for this 'planet prison' thing?"

"I can't pinpoint the device's exact location," Foxtrot answered, "But one piece of evidence suggests it's somewhere in Black Sun territory... or at least, what was their territory."

"Was?" Keesha repeated. "Who's there now?"

"According to the news bulletins," Foxtrot replied, "Black Sun has all but disappeared from that sector. Three republic teams sent there haven't returned, and surveillance is down in that area."

"Meaning whoever - or whatever - took out Black Sun may still be in the area," Faasnu surmised. "But it's not as though we have any choice. Load up - we'll be needing full combat loads; assault rifles, scatter guns, explosives, the works. I'm not about to get caught flat-footed in there."

Charlene had already disappeared, returning momentarily armed with an M41A Pulse Rifle and a few grenades plus a Model 30 Kadgeron Disruptor Pistol. She waited at the boarding ramp for the others.

MARAUDER, EPISODE II: Rise of the Desolator
"It was," Charlene affirmed, "But Maria died a traitor; Charlene simply rose to took her place, in an effort to redeem the title 'Marauder One.""

"Charlene," Foxtrot said, "We're coming up on Coruscant."

"Any sign of our Mandalorian friends?" Charlene asked.

"Negative," Foxtrot answered.

"Strap yourselves in, people," Charlene requested. "We'll be hitting Coruscant in a few."

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