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The Defenders of Man were formed at some point after the End War. With Valerian Mengsk allowing more freedoms to his people (e.g. freedom of the press), an opportunity was presented for anti-Dominion factions to come together. The DoM was the foremost anti-Dominion group that formed as a result, and argued for the security of humanity. Drawing on the events of the Second Great War and End War, they were able to gain ground. It was secretly organized by General Carolina Davis, a prominent general of the Terran Dominion loyal to the Mengsk family. At some point they obtained a recording of Valerian during the Second Great War, which proved his complicity in the death of Arcturus Mengsk.
Unleashing the Zerg
The Defenders were able to recover technology from the defunct Moebius Foundation, which allowed for the augmentation of psi-emitter designs. It was planned that if this was ever discovered, the technology would be traced back to Valerian, who'd worked with the Foundation prior to its dissolution.
In their early stages, Defenders of Man agents in the Terran Dominion engineered for the transfer of several ghost agents to aid with the Defenders of Man's activities, including Nova Terra and Stone. Nova worked with the wrangler Maxwell, who sent her on a mission to plant anti-zerg devices in New Andasar on Antiga Prime. In reality however, these devices were psi emitters set to attract specific breeds of zerg. Stone mentioned that he did not wipe the mission backup files from their operations center, and they could use those as evidence against the Defenders of Man. However, before they could escape they were captured, and General Davis subjected Nova to a mind wipe.
When the Zerg Swarm attacked the colony of Bountiful, the Defenders of Man moved to save the colony, repelling the zerg before the Terran Dominion could respond. The Dominion began to debate whether the vigilante justice tactics of the Defenders of Man were justified, as popular opinion turned toward them as they were the fastest to respond to the zerg attacks on the Outer Colonies. More and more people flocked to hear their message, and UNN reported that the group was growing in number.
A Radio Liberty team was lead to an access point into the Defenders of Man database by Michael Liberty. There, they found files on Stone, Theodore Pierce, Delta Emblock and Nova Terra, as well as footage of Nova killing undercover Dominion agents. This footage was taken to Admiral Matt Horner and leaked to Universal News Network.
Nova later awoke with no memory in a Defenders of Man facility in Sharpsburg. As Maxwell performed examinations on her, Nova received a warning on her visor that her captors intend to execute her, prompting her to escape, along her fellow captured ghosts, Stone, Theodore Pierce, and Delta Emblock. The Defenders of Man unsuccessfully attempt to thwart her escape as they scuttled their facility and chased her through the city streets.
The Defenders of Man later followed Nova to Borea during a zerg attack. As they engaged the zerg, they broadcasted a message to the planet's population, proclaiming Emperor Valerian unfit to defend humanity against the zerg, and that only the Defenders could protect humanity. The Defenders then contacted Admiral Horner directly and demanded that he hand over Nova. Horner refused and ordered a retreat. The Defenders of Man were unable to pursue, being preoccupied with fighting the zerg.
Nova later recovered part of her missing memories, learning that she had been in the ruins of Tarsonis City. After establishing a foothold, Nova found a Defenders of Man outpost. She infiltrated the facility, and the Defenders activated a psi-emitter to lure feral zerg in as a means to scuttle the facility. Nova reached the comms room, where she discovered that the Defenders of Man were using psi-emitters to attract feral zerg to Tyrador IX in a bid to make Valerian's regime appear ineffectual.
Heroes of the People
Using a Viking, the Defenders of Man released psi-emitters on Tyrador IX, luring feral zerg to the planet. The population was overwhelmed, and the planet suffered high casualties. The Defenders of Man then arrived, offering to evacuate any civilians that needed rescuing. Nova and her Covert Ops Crew followed suit, and stealthily made their way onto the planet.
The Defenders of Man set up a fortification around one of the stadiums protecting a number of civilians, and began to ward away the zerg. Nova sent a force to attack the zerg hatcheries. However, soon after the Tal'darim arrived at Tyrador IX under First Ascendant Ji'nara, seeking vengeance against the Defenders of Man for their attack. Ji'nara released a Tal'darim mothership against the Defenders' defensive line, but this was stopped by Nova, who knew that the Tal'darim would destroy the civilians the Defenders were protecting as well as the Defenders of Man. After destroying the shield projectors and rendering it vulnerable to terran weaponry, Nova destroyed the mothership, forcing the Tal'darim to fall back. With the Tal'darim gone, the Defenders of Man rallied and repelled the feral zerg. The Defenders of Man were given credit for saving Tyrador IX, and membership began to grow.
In response to the lack of known Dominion response, protests began outside of Korhal Palace. Nova meanwhile struck a bargain with Highlord Alarak, and using terrazine from Jarban Minor was able to recover her memories of aiding the Defenders of Man in their efforts to lure the zerg to Antiga Prime. Nova retrieved the backup files of their mission, and with one last dose recovered her memory of seeing General Davis as the Defenders' leader. Nova reported this to Emperor Valerian Mengsk, who said that he had a plan to stop them, and that Nova needed to play her role to prevent other innocents from dying. Valerian contacted General Davis, and stated that he intended to step down as Emperor of the Dominion.
The Conspiracy Collapses
Valerian arrived on Vardona, where he would make his speech to the people that he was stepping down as emperor. Davis ordered her forces to keep a close eye on things, and that if anything went wrong, to kill Valerian. Valerian did indeed have a plan, while the Defenders of Man were going to keep a close eye on Valerian and his convoy, Nova would slip through the sewers into Davis's compound. The operation was a success, and Nova slipped into their base. Inside she discovered the Defenders of Man mindwiping Dominion ghosts, including Delta Emblock and Pierce. She also found that the Defenders had been developing new Dominion technologies. Nova disabled the two doors leading into Davis's room, and confronted Stone, her old squadmate who also had his mind wiped. Nova incapacitated him, and called for a team to recover him, then arrested Davis.
Before the people, Valerian publicly decried the Defenders of Man, and presented evidence that they were behind the attacks of the feral zerg. He brought Davis out in handcuffs, and stated that he would bring her to trial shortly. However, as that happened the Tal'darim Death Fleet struck Vardona, seeking revenge against the Defenders of Man. The lower ranking Defenders, unaware of the schemes of General Davis, immediately came to the Dominion's aid, and with their combined forces were able to repel the Tal'darim while inflicting heavy casulties. However, Davis managed to commandeer the ship she had been sent to, the Medusa, and escaped the planet.
Davis fled to the Cerros Shipyards along with her highest ranking and most loyal Defenders of Man. There they activated the Xanthos, an experimental war machine capable of shrugging off a large amount of damage. Davis personally commandeered the war machine, and attempted to use it to destroy the Dominion Fleet's Gorgon-class battlecruisers docked at Cerros. Without the Gorgons, Valerian would be unable to effectively rule the Dominion. However, Nova and Admiral Matt Horner arrived, defending the Gorgons and pushing through the Defender's lines. In a last ditch effort, Davis activated the Xanthos's secret transformation mode, allowing it to fire a thermal laser. The last of Davis's loyal defenders came to the Xanthos's aid, but it was of no use. The Xanthos was destroyed, and Nova infiltrated the wreckage, finding Davis alive. Davis stated she knew Nova's family, and that if Nova killed her, Nova would become as bad as she was. Nova, in direct defiance of Valerian's orders, killed Davis.
In the aftermath of the fall of Davis, public opinion returned to Valerian Mengsk. Magistrate Grayson's committee on Tyrador IX determined that the Defenders were indeed behind the attack, and many among the public felt Valerian was justified in using lethal force to end Davis as a threat. Nova, defying Valerian's orders and killing Davis, became a Dominion fugitive. However, due to loyalty to Nova, Reigel and her covert ops crew remained under her command and became a vigilante group.
Agent Stone woke up aboard the Griffin at some point after the Insurgency, but clung to the false memories of loyalty to the Defenders implanted by their resocialization. However, he was eventually convinced that the memories implanted within him were false, as was his blind loyalty to Davis. On Tyrador IX, the feral zerg attacks instigated by the Defenders led to the formation of the Knights of Tyrador, a militia meant to serve as the planet's security force. The Knights were armed with visually striking and extravagant weapons to give the illusion of security, but in reality corners were cut in the effectiveness of their weaponry.
- General Carolina Davis
- Wrangler Maxwell
- Agent Nova Terra (temporarily)
- Agent Stone (temporarily)
- Agent Delta Emblock (temporarily)
- Agent Theodore Pierce (temporarily)