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Stranded on the unimportant world of Sorona, the Iron Jesters headed toward the settlement of Cask. However, they were swiftly ambushed by zerglings. Orran ordered his troops to form a circle and fight back, and in the opinion of Private Maren Ayers, a medic, saved the platoon. Still, one quarter of the Iron Jesters were wiped out.
The platoon joined forces with local colonists, who had been under siege for the previous eight months. For the next six months, the marines and colonists fought off daily dwindling zergling rushes by taking shelter behind "the Wedge".
Finally Private Ayers decided to test out a scientific theory of her father's. She left the safety of the Wedge in order to collect some dead zerglings, drawing Orran's ire.
Ayers' experiments yielded explosive results – she was nearly killed while investigating a new mutation within the zerglings. Orran heard the explosion and, believing it was a grenade, took Ayers to the medbay. Ayers tried to explain the mutation to Orran, but the lieutenant believed Ayers had constructed a grenade and tried to commit suicide. He told her that, if he wanted to commit suicide again, not to wear her suit of armor while doing so.
Ayers was confined to quarters, and meanwhile the zerg had stopped their daily assaults. Orran let Ayers out of confinement after a few days, and when a week had passed without more attacks, he sent out three marines to scout the area. They discovered large numbers of "sick" zerglings and slew them. However, Ayers realized the zerg had not weakened, but instead had used the situation to increase their mutation rate. That's when the new breed, banelings, poured into Cask.
Over four days, the zerg demolished the settlement. By the time the Terran Dominion reinforcements arrived, only Lt. Orran and Private Ayers had survived the assault by hiding in a cliff face. They were both taken in for interrogation. Ayers believed they would both be killed afterward, and in revenge detonated her interrogation room.