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Marauder Shields 34: Thermopylae (Ver. B) by koobismo Marauder Shields 34: Thermopylae (Ver. B) by koobismo
The 34th episode of the "Marauder Shields" Mass Effect comic.
In this one... Preparations for the last stand of the 343 Task Force are underway, while a fan-favorite character has to face his past.

Be sure to play this track in the background to upgrade your reading experience: [link]

As an alternative, you can also listen to this incredible track (from the ingenious "Moon"): [link]

Alternative version, with Ashley as the Virmire Survivor, here: [link]

This is an ongoing story providing an alternative fan-made ending to the Mass Effect story, with a single game-changing maverick transforming the course of history: Marauder Shields. Be sure to start reading at episode 6. Special thanks to MichelKobayashi and my awesome team, especially our editor - AdoreeLyssa!

Hope is Alive!

[The Mass Effect universe, its design and characters are owned by BioWare/EA Productions. This is a work of parody and fan-fiction, created under the terms of fair use. Special thanks to BioWare for creating the world we all love and care for! I remain a huge ME & BW fan!]

P.S. This episode was waaay too long in production - the scenario had to be revamped a bit due to my lacking resources, but I think it turned out okay... ;) Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S.2. Thank you for all your incredible replies in our first MS Discussion Club topic! I've read them all already and I'm now in the process of gathering up all your wants and dislikes to make a few lil' additions to the MScanon - nothing that would force me to change our story, but little details and sub-arcs I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy. ;)

P.S.3. Have a Steam account? An Origin one? You can catch me at both (though I generally steer clear of Origin unless launching ME3) - my ID is... "koobismo". What a twist!

P.S.4. Help me spread this series around - retweet, send out links, share this with your friends and post it on your facebook wall!
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Haupmann Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012
And of course alternate things are great,
ComCreep Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012
You promised no. 35 on Friday, it's now Saturday night...
Jonasx Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012
Pretty much what CrulLovetroy said.

Koobismo gave us a heads up way in advance about the last two comics being delayed. He mentioned life's thrown him a few turns, and that a looser timetable or the lack of one would be beneficial; not just to him personally, but to the comic too. As the comics advance, they're getting more complicated. Do you want a rushed comic or an awesome one? That's what I thought. :)
CrulLovetroy Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012
If you're joking, I beg your pardon for the following response:
Koobs timetable doesn't exist anymore. He said he needed time, time to give his real life priority over the MS comics, which is only natural and one MUST NOT accuse him for doing so. Nothing in the world is as important as your own life and your affection for those you love. EVERYONE should be able to invest as much time into his family as he puts into work or hobbies. Koobs is doing the MS comics FOR FREE, so it's totally up to him when and for how long he goes for a break. However, 'break' is not an appropriate term. He promised he would continue publishing his work and keep up this amazing comic series, but with some more days between each episode :) no.35 was said to be released on friday ONLY if everything goes perfect, which I didn't really expected given the circumstances. However, I suppose we can assume the next episode to come out this weekend.
And on it being saturday night: It's saturday, 17:43 here in Austria, which happens to be not so far away from Poland... :)
Finally, let me assure you I do not want to offend you in any way. I'm just trying to clear up things, telling you why this episode, and some episodes in the near future, might take a while until being published.
silentruth Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012
finally, more N7s <3 and spartans <3
this is getting big
Marudia45 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012
I think it is a reference to both, the real Spartans as well as the Spartans in Halo Reach, because they both did a last stand fight and a lot of people referred the sacrifice ending of HR as a better bitter sweet ending then the one of ME 3.

As for Kaidan or Ashley picking up the little toyship, I think itīs a little jab to the Retaking Earth Trailer from Bioware, that was so damn awesome. But instead of this awesomeness we got ... well you know what we got.

Thatīs a thing that I never understood for Bioware Trailers for ME 3 as well as for Dragon Age 2. We see some epic fights but in the actual game, they never took place in any given way.

Well okay we fought the Arishok in DA 2, and the fight was epic, but it was not in the Place that was shown to us in the trailer. And Shepard never found this Ship in the actual game.

Itīs like these PR promises before the games came out. You didnīt really got what they promised you would get.
Vandomar Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
Great episode yet again! I think you managed to capture the best parts of Kaidan's personality. Thank you again for the great work!!
The-Lieber Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I love both versions, but since I never saved Kaidan I might actually like this one a bit more. No, they are equally awesome. Long live the MS Canon.
sami217 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
i seen the other version but i noticed a bright light in one of the cars could that be cmd.shepards body
fyresage Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Beautiful reference to Thermopylae and Simonides' inscription. :)
LucidValvo Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
If you look at the cross hairs above the rubble, along the right line, right above the shuttle, there appears to be a blue electric light...

It might be Glyph, and Shepard!

LucidValvo Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Awesome! Truly beautiful. I love Kaidan's speech, he was always my confidant, my advisor. He has a soft spot to him that made him see things from a different perspective, so different from Shepard's "fight through anything and everything" survival perspective. Kaidan saw things Shepard didn't. That's why I always was glad to have him on my team, things always felt more stable.

Now... what was in that rubble... ?

o _ o
MrGanman Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012 the references to the most famous last stand in history. I also really love the Herodotus in the codex entry. It's a little sad that some people only see Halo when they see the word Spartan, rather than the incredible real-world last stand of 300 Spartans and 1000 Thesbians.
ajsyav Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
More. I need more.
Tathiel-Valient Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sounds like someone is a paragon.
Legion-Commander Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
What is Halo doing in the Distress signal xD

Gogogo Master Chief, you immortal SOB :D;;
DavisGreyman Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That isn't Halo. That's talking about actual Spartans. You know, the warriors that 300 was based on?
Legion-Commander Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
Well them I know about, But 343 = Halo stuff (most of the time anyway)

and yes Thermopylae and all that is a place in Sparta I know

So I suppose its a "Double-Reference" :?
Walker124 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Awesome episode, as usual. =)

And since you asked for a Steam ID, mine is Krisars. Add me when you can. :)
DelphiRose Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Thank you for giving Kaidan (and Ashley) screen time. They are my favorite characters. Another wonderful page. So powerful. I especially like that you gave Kaidan and Ash each their own lines and didn't just copy and paste. Took a lot of work on your part and you should be commended for doing such a great job. Thanks for holding the line with us. It's looking like they'll never fix the endings, but your story still keeps hope alive. Thank you. :iconbowplz:
Esuzu Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Archon89 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Hell yeah, we actually see N7 operatives fighting the Reapers, following the Virmire Survivor! Awesome! :D
I love how made the two versions different, respecting the characters (Ashley more "poetic", Kaidan more about "You made me a better person), it truly stays loyal to them.
And I like Kaidan mentioning the good old "Shepard's bastardly crew"...well said, Kaidan! :D
JelenaEllethil Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yet another great episode. Both versions are great.
' We are- and always will be- the Normandy.' So god damn true. :clap:
StrawberryRainPop Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Man i wished i saved Kaidan now...
gearstark Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Love how you give this one and Ash's strip different flavors and the 300 reference is perfect for this situation.

By the way its great to see N7 commandos in the comic and kicking some ass in the meantime.
LtKaidanAlenko Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
I didn't like Kaidan's flashback, especially when he picks up the Normandy model. It skids way to close to ME3's ham-fisted overblown drama territory I hated so much. Otherwise very good, and the last frame gave me good old shivers down the spine (I thought the sniper noticed Shepard in the rubble).
Noelemahc Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So, Koobs, where do you stand on the theory that Ash and Kai pointed at each other for Sheppy-kun to save on Virmire because they liked EACH OTHER and had one of them not died (and Sheppy-kun or Sheppy-chan boinked Liara instead), would have hooked up?
SOSPuff Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Am I the only one to notice that Task Force number is 343? --> 343 Industries is developing Halo 4. So, as an old Halo-fan, the sole mention of Spartans brings a whole different imagery to my head...

Random? I think not! (but perhaps some people noticed this long ago...)
redsteven Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
No, I don't think it's coincidental... but I think the Spartan reference is appropriate for historical reasons more-so than for Halo :)

The 343 in the Halo games was 343 Guilty Spark. I assume that's why 343 Industries took that name.
SOSPuff Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Riiiiight, I'd forgotten about 343 Guilty Spark! (well, I played it in French, so of course it sounded quite different, hence this lapse in my memory)
Avenuewriter Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yet another awesome entry!
Blacklight-District Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Damn... I'm left speechless and wanting for more. The drama's way too awesome for words...
erd249 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Student Writer
Just got finished reading them both, amazing as usual. Not like we don't have them both, though, Kaiden or Ash, whoever got left behind at hell a little thing like that would make them miss this. They're here, in spirit. Legion, Thane...even Pressly. :) So buck up guys, time enough for tears when the fighting's all through. (Related, I wonder what is it about Mass Effect that makes me speak in motivational speeches.)

By the way, we are here if you need us, Chief. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who'll say so.
Rain-tear Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Damn, those N7 Elites look awesome!! >:3
Bon-Fire5 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hh, at this point in the comic, my game canon has changed. Now Kaidan is my Virmire Survivor. Interesting. Also, great episode.
MarauderShieldsVG Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Interesting, I'll add you on steam then, I use the name "The_Crazy_Hand".

BTW - Why has no one yet noticed the massive explosion likely caused by Jack hitting that capitol ship?
mjjdj88 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
just as good as Ash's. its unbelievable how good this is. great job once again!!
Prometheus-Bot Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Wonderful job displaying the differences between Alenko and Williams!
swimgun Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
I'm not gonna lie...I shed some manly tears when I read this over that epic music...your work is simply superb and I hope you consider having it bound at some point, and I would be the first to pre-order it.
Sigma-Echo-Seven Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Student Writer
Storytelling like this is why we read Marauder Shields.
VectorPrimal Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Remember us...
Garfield3d Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
I posted this in the other comic, but "Task" is misspelled at the end of the first paragraph of the Codex entry. The sentence reads: "I repeat: Alliance Special Taks Force 343 in need of immediate assistance."
Contraband42 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Well said, "...Shepard's bastardly crew."
redsteven Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Not totally sure why Kaiden says "it SHOULD have been YOU". That confused me a little bit (as opposed to him saying it should have been himself) but... maybe it will become clear to me later.

More MS plz :)
RickF7666 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
I think what he means is it should have been Ash that Shepard saved on Vermire.
redsteven Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Ohhhhhh.... okay.

Papineau Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love both version but this only appealed to my in a deeper level
alskylark Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for making a Kaidan version, it was beautiful :')
Man, I'm depressing myself by going to the SBN forums and reading these things, I haven't even been able to replay the games at all, and I still weep remembering their finale. I so would like to see into the future to see if the damage will be repaired or not, so that I could stop caring. I keep telling myself to forget about it, and I do for a while, but sometimes the awesomeity of the universe comes to mind, and moments of the games, and then I relive everything and it physically hurts xD
I... Need... to... focus... on other things.... I... Need... aghhhhh!
pacientK Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Love it. Checked both versions and was not disappointed.
Coobalt-Dahonli-One Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Mind-blowing, as usual! And including the N7 Elite squad was a bright idea too!
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Submitted on
September 19, 2012
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