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PULSAR is an intergalactic research organization that branched off from the Galactic Collaborative Research Institute to pursue a more dangerous approach towards conducting research. PULSAR can be described as a group of independently-operating fleets working under a common command, travelling throughout various galaxies and kidnapping sentient beings (animals, humanoids, and more) to steal their power and mutate them, with a goal of creating a massive army.
Duster and Lapis were life-long friends and vagabonds who would eventually end up settling on a desolate planet named XB-22. While Duster dreamed of being able to travel into space and find something better, Lapis was content with their situation, offering to support Duster along the way. Eventually, a spaceship from a big research corporation (later revealed to be PULSAR) lands on their planet looking for new recruits. The duo, realizing that the corporation would have a lot of money, attempt to rob the ship, only to be spotted and mistaken for potential recruits by an officer named Dima. Not wanting to draw any unwanted attention, they play along and wait on line, only to learn from another candidate on line that they can get paid at this organization and travel the galaxy. Duster is enticed by this and convinces Lapis to apply, seeing an opportunity to escape planet XB-22.
The application requires candidates to defeat the organization's lowest-ranked member in combat. Duster is selected first, and easily wins the fight, and Lapis wins shortly after. As they receive an assignment to wipe out local lifeforms attacking one of the company's outposts, Lapis remains skeptical about the organization, while Duster is relieved to be leaving XB-22. The duo soon completes their first assignment of wiping out giant bugs and receives payment, only to learn that their payment must be spent towards upgrading and maintaining their mission equipment, rather than spending it on luxuries.
While off to a rocky start, Duster rises up in the ranks very quickly and takes on enhanced and larger bugs, as Lapis takes up a new role as a mission operator after getting injured during an offense mission. Duster meets some of the higher ranking officers, including Miro, the daughter of one of the organization's captains, who gives Duster a hard time by having him perform extra missions with no compensation. As Duster gathers research samples for Miro, he comes across a document within a laboratory that lays out a plan to fight giant bugs as part of an experiment. Duster is surprised by it, but pretends not to have noticed it lest he draw the ire of Miro.
As Duster reaches the Elite rank, the highest rank available at the organization, he is asked to meet with the organization's Commander, who promptly fills him in on their true mission while revealing that the organization is actually PULSAR, which worries Duster. The giant bugs are also revealed to have been created by PULSAR, which escaped from their laboratories; instead of seeking and destroying the bugs, the organization hired recruits to defeat the bugs as the scientists would discreetly monitor the evolution and development of the bugs, resulting in countless sacrifices. Having been contracted to create bio-replicant weapons (lifeforms that can easily be cloned for combat), PULSAR decided to apply the research on more powerful creatures that would be captured from Maple World, with their penultimate goal being to capture a creature they known as Shinsoo and use her power for these weapons, as well as for their own purposes.
Duster later meets with Lapis and reveals the truth to him, and Duster, remorseful for helping PULSAR in their goals of taking over the galaxy, plans a mutiny during his promotion ceremony where he would reveal the truth to the other mercenaries in his fleet and take over. He does this during his speech at the ceremony, but things don't go as planned as Miro overhears the speech and unleashes a swarm of giant bugs on the group. Duster, Dima, and Lapis lead a group towards the escape shuttles, but are outnumbered. Lapis offers to bring down the blast door and sacrifice himself, to Duster's sorrow and regret. Duster hesitates to let Lapis do this, but Lapis leaves him with words of encouragement:
“Our comrades have already lost so much. They need you to lead them, and you need to understand their pain. We are at our best when we overcome our pain.”
- ― Duster
Duster remembers this as he makes his way toward the escape shuttle, setting course for free spaceport of Libertaria. While on the shuttle, Dima suggests that Duster change his name so that PULSAR does not look for him, and Duster chooses to be called Captain Vaga. As Dima leaves to notify the crew of this, Duster promises to honor Lapis's memory by destroying PULSAR, and afterwards buying his own planet and naming it Lapis.
PULSAR is known as APORD in CMS, TMS and JMS, and stands for "night curtain" according to Jett.